Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I’m Not Afraid « Playlist: the Blog of a Gay College Student in Minnesota

After 10 hours and 33 comments, here is the transcript of the huge debate that happened yesterday on my Facebook page:
(Ian) Vaughn Walker: If same sex couples can marry, will it change institution? Ted Olson: Won’t change it. Will fulfill it.
(Leah) Genesis 2:18-24
(Ian) The LEGAL institution of marriage, not the religious institution of marriage. I could care less about the latter.
(Leah) Legally, no one can really say anything is right or wrong. Secularism is without morals because morals entail religion. Right and wrong, if not defined by deity, are defined by humans. Which humans? The ones with the most power.
(Laura) Oddly enough, the bible does clearly state to not judge and love people unconditionally no matter what…. Thing is, a lot of Christians don’t exercise that belief. They may think they do, but they don’t. If they did, same sex marriage would be allowed in every state.
(Rebecca) Um, marriage ceremonies include the phrase “in HOLY matrimony.” Humans are not holy, God is. He defines marriage as man+woman. I’m not challenging Him on it.
And there used to be that whole “What God has brought together, let no man tear asunder” portion — or however they phrased it.
Relativism and subjectivism much? Relativism: I can date/live with/marry whomever I please as long as it makes me happy and I’m not hurting anyone. Subjectivism: I’m the one with the authority; there’s no authority above mine.
John 8:44 & Romans 1:18, 22, 25.
The Bible also clearly states many times that homosexual acts (among others) are sinful.
“They will know we are Christians by our love.”
Love is accepting, but not tolerant. If you love someone who’s ruining their life by doing drugs or something, you intervene; you don’t stand by and watch.
Or, at least, you SHOULD step in and TRY to help.
(Ian) Again, this is not for ANYTHING other than for us in the LBGT community to have equal freedom and protection under the LAW. There are around 1500 legal rights that are granted to a couple when they are legally wed, and denying this to a whole group of people because your RELIGION says it’s wrong is DISCRIMINATION and BIGOTRY, pure and simple. Ifyou don’t recall, people were using the Bible and religion to try and prevent interracial marriage back in the ’50s and ’60s, and now we look in hindsight and see how silly that is. But if you want to continue you’re closed-minded hatefulness, be my guest. Just don’t expect me to listen anymore, because I’m sick of people telling me that I’m not as good as they are.
And HOW DARE YOU slap that whole “homosexual acts are sinful” BULL. That’s like saying it’s sinful to not have both arms. What about people born without arms? Where does that lead them? SAME DEAL. I DO NOT choose my sexual orientation. I just deal with it. Why? Because it’s better to live happy and healthy doing what your body chemistry tells you instead of repressing yourself because some BOOK tells you you’re wrong. THAT I believe is sinful.
(Grant) “We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.” H.L Mencken
Please do not assume your religious delusion is something to quote and throw in other people’s faces. There are a number of people who do not actually care to hear or see your religious dogma, but people think it is taboo to say anything. Do us a favor and keep it to yourself.
(Sheila) Sorry, but, I’m gonna go Mommy on you here. No Ian, I don’t think that our faith Discriminating and being Bigoting, GOD”S WORD IS LAW. Therefore, the simple answer is, it is written in the Bible. It is written in the Bible that homosexual acts are sins, which they are. It is also written that murder is a sin. Do you disagree? And DO NOT come back and say that homosexual acts are not as BAD as murder, that goes without saying, but the fact is they BOTH are SINS. So what’s next, legalizing murder? You know, we LOVE you, otherwise you would hear nothing from us when YOU, ONCE AGAIN, post something that you know will spark this conversation. You know, I’ve never told you this, but I think it’s way past time. Morgan used to get so pissed at you, because you were struggling with wether you were gay or not. She used to say “Ian thinks he’s gay.” I can really understand her frustration now. She was so afraid that you would CHOOSE that lifestyle. Because she knew that lifestyle sets you way away from God. Again, sorry for going Mommy on you here, but I’m on cold meds and I’m really tired of hearing (reading) you whine. I have asked you several times this past year to come see me, and, I know Rocky (FCC Youth Pastor) has mentioned that to you as well. AND YOU HAVE NOT!! What are you afraid of? If you want to post something that is not going to get this reaction, stop being so BIGOTED about your lifestyle, and don’t DISCRIMINATE against us people of faith because (YOU THINK) you are gay.
(Jaimee) I don’t see why this is an issue. People of the same sex marry for love where as there are people that go to Vegas, get drunk and marry people while they’re not even coherent. Sanctity of marriage? I don’t think so. :P
(Leah) Ian, you’re getting very defensive. I have never ever said that I am better than you, nor have I showed it. I call my friends out on things, as friends should do. If you want to talk more about it, I’m all ears.
(Kalene) Leah: morality exists without the divine of the simple reason of the Golden Rule and how it came about through the growth of our species. Humans wouldn’t have gotten anywhere if we all just killed each other when we got mad. So we didn’t kill each other so we could survive, etc. Many of the atheists I have met are the kindest, most generous people I have met and they are so for the sole reason that they care about other human beings. I have a hard time finding such people of faith to genuinely care about anything unless they can later convert another person to their religion.
Also Leah, why would someone want to be a friend of yours when you condemns their lifestyle to hell?
Sheila: You are a horribly close minded person, shame on you for believing that everyone accepts your god as divine master. Also, your bible was written by humans. HUMANS make errors. It wasn’t even written in English originally, so unless you are fluent in the original language of the bible, much of the specific meanings of the verses are lost in translation. Regardless of this fact, the Leviticus verse your faith uses so often is followed by decreeing that it is against your god’s wishes for you to wear clothing of mixed fibers (like a shirt made of cotton and polyester), shaving your beard, or eating shellfish! Also context is important, but I guess context isn’t important to your faith?
Also, if someone is not a Christian, why the hell would they listen to anything you have to say if the only proof you were offering is a book that holds no authority to them? It’d be like someone throwing passages from the Koran at you to try and convince you of a stance!!
(Jaimee) Another thought of mine, whether you are religious or not, from my belief, God created us each uniquely and therefore created some to be gay and we should let them live their life in peace.
(Grant) Sheila – You have, more than likely unknowingly, used a fallacy of authority. You have miss used your authority as “mommy” in a discussion where being a mother has no relevant impact. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, but that in turn makes your argument, or statement, an unsound argument. You can emphasis choice all you want, but sexuality is based on a continuum scale, it is not binary like most commonly thought. If you disagree that is your choice, it obviously conflicts with your beliefs. If you do choose to disagree, then why would you not in turn just agree to disagree with Ian? According to his facebook information, Ian identifies himself as an atheist. As your personal beliefs would allow you to disagree with the argument that sexuality is based on a continuum, then you should allow him to disagree with your beliefs it is a sin. Aside from your obvious misunderstanding of Christian doctrine, you are an embarrassment to people who do identify themselves as a Christian, which is what lead me to post a second time since they were unable. Before this post gets too long, which I have refrained from discussing some issues, how dare you bring up your daughter to guilt Ian. You can argue all you want that it was in good intentions or that you are so frustrated that Ian is not following your delusional religion, but that is not fair to Ian or your daughter. Don’t be a monster. Saying stuff like that over facebook causes resentment, you will do more damage than you could possibly do good.
(Leah) Kalene: So humans have found out that the “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” is a great way of self preservation. What if there was some one who did something evil behind the backs of everyone. No one knew what they were doing… No one. Would their act be wrong? No one knew about their underhandedness…. So they were right in doing so? This theory implies that it’s only wrong if you get caught. And I’m sure most people would agree morals are a lot more than that. Atheists are kind, etc, etc, because they are humans. Like all humans, we are made in the image of God. Just because they don’t believe in him, doesn’t mean he doesn’t believe in them. As for Christians only caring about only people who convert: that’s totally false. Animals can’t covert, no way possible. So we don’t care for them? Humans are God’s creation. God cares, I care. I don’t love only Christians, that means I couldn’t love some of the dearest people in my life. You’re saying that I hate my dearest friends because they are not Christians, and I find that insulting. Why can’t I have the capacity to love other people outside my religion? Another thing, I have to approve of everything my friends do in order to love them? All of my friends sin, I sin, so I guess no one would consider myself their friend since sin is meant to be out of our lives. The difference is trying to follow God, we all fall short though.
Context is very important, Leviticus is not the only verse that talks about homosexual acts though. Leviticus’ rules are meant for the people of Israel, but are still applicable to our lives as we strive to know God more. The Bible is inspired by GOD.
We offer the Bible as proof because we believe it is the truth. Your argument states that, therefore, Atheist cannot use science as a proof because that’s all they have to lean on for proof. Christians use these both to reveal God currently working in the world.
(Grant) “All of my friends sin, I sin, so I guess no one would consider myself their friend since sin is meant to be out of our lives.”
Do you put them, your friends, and yourself under the same microscope as Ian? Do you seriously and honestly post/say/think those same things about yourself? Don’t bother saying you do because you don’t, if you truly did it to all your friends, family, and self you would have been taken aside and informed that in Christianity God is the one who judges, not you.
” Leviticus’ rules are meant for the people of Israel, but are still applicable to our lives as we strive to know God more.”
So if you’re going to say you don’t have to follow all the rules because they were meant for “people of Israel,” and don’t Christians consider themselves children of Israel? just saying, then none of the laws hold weight. You can’t just pick and choose which your going to “inforce” or “live your life by.” By the way… you can know all you want about God, in Christianity that doesn’t get you to heaven.
AND PLEASE! Learn the history of your book! Seriously, just because you say “…the Bible as proof because we believe it is the truth. ” does not mean it is truth. Learn in which context the New Testament authors meant for their letters to be taken. Find out what was going on in history in the location they wrote them for. Or find out more about the multiple authors of genesis, why there is two creation stories.
(Kalene) Leah: What is this evil act behind everyone’s back that no one knew about? Did it harm someone? Did it harm the so-called evil person? If it did no harm to anyone, I can hardly see how it can be evil.
According to Google dictionary:
Evil is
-that which causes harm or destruction or misfortune
-having the nature of vice
-morally objectionable behavior
None of these definitions work if no one knows about the behaviors of the “evil” individual through his or her “evil” actions.
Also, I did not intend to insult you. I did not imply that you do not love your friends. Perhaps you do, I don’t know your heart, only you do. I was stating that if you are doing as you are now and condemning a friend’s way of life, especially something they were born into (science has much proof in this direction of the “argument”), that your friend would be likely to break off contact with you. You can love them all you want, but they will probably withdraw their love for you since you cannot be accepting of something that they simply are.
(Ian) Wow, I get back on my computer, and return to this. I’m simply flabbergasted. There’s so much for me to cover. I’m going to do the best I can.
1. I am not afraid of the church. The only reason I have never made it to FCC is time. I started school now, and when I’m on break, I tend to be with my friends (who, btw, support me in all aspects of my life). I simply cannot find the time to drive into Willmar to be conditioned.
2. I did not post this to provoke controversy. This is the equivalent of any of you religious-types posting something filled with God or Jesus. I’m proud of who I am!
3. I’m whining about as much as Martin Luther King, Jr. was when called for black rights. There is a great inequality in this country, and those being discriminated against have the right to call out those who are repressing them. That’s all I did.
4. Arguing that, and then using “mommy” is almost insulting. I waited to come out to my mother until I was 18, because I thought she’d have a similar reaction. Instead, my mom is even more supportive than I could ever, ever hope for! She’s smart enough to know that I do not choose to be this way (why would I? I wouldn’t have to put up with THIS), and she is proud that I have the courage to go through all this.
5. For the short time I knew Morgan, she was always very supportive of me. She participated in the Day of Silence (an LGBT event) with me, defended me (sometimes almost to violence) when someone made a homophobic comment toward me, and even tried to hook me up with a (male) classmate I expressed feelings towards. If she was against my homosexuality, she never expressed it to me, probably because she knew something like this would happen. I’m proud of her for that. I can’t say the same for everyone else.
6. Reading some of the comments today have deeply, deeply saddened me. In my mind, one cannot be someone’s friend and then not support them – ALL of them – at the same time. I have friends who are both (some VERY) religious, and support me and gay rights. If you don’t approve of who I am, of something that is about as pre-programmed into a person as eye or skin color, than that’s fine. But DO NOT do that and then turn around and say you love me. That’s a lie and you know it. You either love me, as a tall, white, vision-impaired, right-handed homosexual, or you don’t. And if you don’t, then I don’t know if I want you in my life. So make up your mind and act accordingly. I’m sick of this.
I now have a clearer understanding of who I can call “friend.”
That’s all I’m going to say about this, unless I need to clarify something that might not have made sense. Now go about your business.
(Sheila) Grant – I bring up Morgan because, out of everyone I know, she had the absolute BEST insight into people’s struggles. I bring her up not to “guilt” Ian, but to remind him. His being gay was a choice. I use the term going “Mommy”. Becuase that is what she used to say. And yes I very well know that things said over FB can cause resentment, which is the reason I posted to begin with. Ian has this bad habit of lumping all Christians into the catagories of Discrimanatory and Bigots, and I resent it. Just FYI, some of the best friends (and family) I have are Athiests and Homosexuals. I have a friend who is a murderer, and many other people who have commited the sins of Adultry, Idol worship, heck I have a great friend who is a Satanic worshiper. I love them all. We have the best times together. Trust me, we have all learned how to agree to disagree, agreeably.
Kalene – do a little research and find out the process for translating the Bible. Very interesting stuff.
(Sami) Ian I am so sorry you are getting these types of comments from people who are supposed to be your friends. I’m shocked.
(Kalene) Sheila, I took a class on it thanks. You will never get the exact meaning of something directly from one language to another. Impossible. You can get darn close, but not exactly. And scholars today still disagree on how to translate from one language to another, because with language comes things like cliches and word choices that are not necessarily present in the language the work is being translated to. Why do you think there are so many different versions? Here’s a little info for you to look at from a non-biased source: (scroll to the bottom of the page and look at the table)
ESPECIALLY look at the “conservative bible project” features…. scary that other people can mess with what your god had to say?
Not to mention that even in each of the books original forms, they were copied by hand when other scholars needed a copy of the scriptures, or when they were getting a bit worn. Mistakes happen, we’re human. And they didn’t have Microsoft office back then. Not to mention weathering, misplacing a page or two, and vandalism/theft.
Also, please stop using Ian to fuel your persecution complex. It is not fair to him. He understands that not ALL Christians hate homosexuals, but there is quite a large, and vocal part of your religion that condemns him to a miserable life here on earth. And if you agree with them that homosexuality is a sin and that Ian does not and should not have the right to marry any man who he is committed to, then you, sadly, are in with those Christians who preach a gospel of hate towards their fellow human beings. If you don’t like it, then unfriend Ian and stop commenting on his page.
Sorry, Grant tipped me off to an EXCELLENT bloodbath and the more I read, the more I was intrigued.
UGHUGHGHGHG, I ten paragraphs written and deleted, I can’t even begin to write what I want to say (seriously, 3 more comments have been made since I started writing). so I guess here’s some outtakes:
What’s up with all the bible verse slinging? That only works when you are fighting other Christians (sometimes). Again, I just became Ian’s friend, so I don’t know his particular religious beliefs outside his “Religious Views” on Facebook. By the looks of it, he’s more lenient towards Atheism (and with how these series of posts look, he has a convincing reason to be). So how the heck are bible verses and Christian taunts going to help him?
I don’t think it’s our jobs as Christians to police the world. Our jobs are to serve those who are in need, and to love one another, sayeth the Lord. No bible translation can screw that up.
Ugh. I hate internet debates. Especially religious ones.
Ian, I’d like you meet you sometime.
(Andrew) everyone else had something to say so I thought I would too (althoguh I hate reading not to mention posting long blabbering things) God IS love, so to say that God doesn’t approve of “gay love” is like saying God doesn’t approve of himself, that will be all, thank you
(Phil) Man.. I love you Ian. You’re an awesome guy and nothing changes that. This is very heated and interesting and it has really given me a new understanding of people’s beliefs and how different perspectives may be. I have to say that despite any opinion, in the end you’re Ian and I never want you to be anyone else but you.
(Grant) Sheila – Saying you know all these types of people does not mean a damn thing. You can’t put together an arguement where don’t look like a bigot. Take the blinders off your eyes. You are making Christians cringe! If you truly knew, or understood, how to agree to disagree you would have then admitted that instead of throwing it back out that Ian made a choice. This is Ian’s facebook, if you do not like his status, or other things he posts, change your settings so they do not show up in your news feed. You came on here, there was no invitation for you to come. You decided you wanted to make a public statement about how Ian was living, what you consider, a life of sin. Great attempt at trying to “explain” your motives about Morgan, I can’t find a single person who is not appalled by what you did.
(Trey) When i first got on fb today and looked at this post, i was like “HOLY CRAP THATS A LOT TO SAY ON A STATUS POST!” but then i decided to read deeper into what was being said. This whole conversation really opened my eyes farther and helped me to understand. There is much that i agree and disagree about all this but i feel that enough has been said on both sides without me adding mine. the one thing that i honestly DO want do add in and is the thing that matters to me the most is that I love you so much ian! you have ALWAYS been a good friend and very kind to me and that i want you to know that i will always be there for you. :)
(Ian) Phil, Trey, I love you. :P
(Mom) To morgan’s mother: Keep your bigoted “Mommy” opinion to yourself. Ian has a mother who loves him just as GOD has created him. In addition, I think it is a terrible you feel the need to bring your dead child into an argument. And finally, there is not a single soul in this world that would CHOOSE to be gay. Who the hell would be so masochistic as to CHOOSE to be hated for nothing other than your desire to love someone outside of society’s accepted norm. I think maybe your should pray about your inability to love your neighbor.
(Grant) ^
Oh snap!
(Lucy) God’s greatest commandment was TO LOVE THY NEIGHBOR. The rest of the Bible just elaborates on that point- spin it any way you want. Men wrote the Bible. No doubt, speaking through their faith in the Trinity, but also, they wrote the Bible in the context of their society. They had no way to perceive how we would have grown and changed in the span… See More of 2,000 years (or longer in the case of some books). That’s why the Bible is a living, breathing document, and it takes immense faith, scholarship, and an acute level of open-mindedness to even begin to perceive the awesomeness of God. You can’t just read the words. You have to research and understand the times in which these people were speaking to understand the message they were trying to communicate. That being said, the Bible does consider homosexuality an ABOMINATION. But with a little research you’ll realize two things, among others: 1) the people living in what we now consider Palestine/Israel were a fragile, unprotected, and small society of tribes and were deeply concerned about growing their population and ranks, and so homosexual relationships were not allowed because everyone needed to produce children. 2) the Bible also says eating shellfish, wearing wool blend clothing, shaving, and ACNE are all ABOMINATIONS, as well (the more ridiculous, but just as real, LEVITICUS- look it up!). So do your homework, don’t get confused by the details, and keep loving each other and God at the center of your faith- not petty, antiquated, irrelevant rules.
Also, in the Ten Commandments, God said nothing about scorning homosexuals, but he did say THOU SHALL NOT BARE FALSE WITNESS (that’s lying). That includes a life of lying to yourself about who you are.
God loves you. God loves all of us. LOVE will never be a sin.
(Trey) OMG! those last two paragraphs pretty much come from my heart! beautifully said!
(Grant) I take my hat off you Lucy.
Ian's post reminded me of my own coming out in the conservative Midwest 20 years ago.

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