A Conversation With The Religious Right

As we, Virginia voters, approach the November marriage amendment ballot issue, I have attempted to have a discussion in my postings online with the religious right.

I’ve offered, time and again, to have a conversation that might lead to a mutual understanding – and time after time they only repeat mantra, like being stuck in a groove of an old vinyl record.

Yes, I do hear God’s voice in the Bible. And I also hear God’s voice outside the Bible -- to not would be to diminish God, to suggest that prayer is only a communication without a reply, that there are no other places in experience where God’s voice would not resonate with my moral fiber.

1 Corinthians 13:11-12 "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."

To live my life in the context of my childhood understanding, and, now as a man, continue to look unquestioning to authoritative parent figures for my choices, would be to deny my responsibility for finding my own way in life, and in the finding of God’s truth that resonates with my own God given reason and moral compass. And, for me, discoverable truth is also God’s truth.

This is why my acceptance of scientifically proven fact trumps superstition and pseudo science. This is why I defer to scientific and medical conclusion over tradition, over speculation, over bias.

For me this does not conflict with God’s will, it only increases my love and amazement for Him and what He has created.

Comments

Mark said…
may I ponder a bit more into your 'fact' and 'science'.

What sexual boundaries does God put on our lives? and why and where do you get them from?

Are the many folks that have left the homosexual life, liars, fooling themselves.. ?

Is there anything God Cannot do?

What is God's greatest commandment? and how does that relate to what you say here? To live my life in the context of my childhood understanding, and, now as a man, continue to look unquestioning to authoritative parent figures for my choices, would be to deny my responsibility for finding my own way in life, and in the finding of God’s truth that resonates with my own God given reason and moral compass. And, for me, discoverable truth is also God’s truth.

Your not suggesting YOU create YOUR own moral compass, are you?
Bill Garnett said…
I am not a theologian -- but neither are you.

I don't have any interest in imposing my religious beliefs on you -- you seem dead set on imposing yours on me.

And no, I don't create my moral compass. And frankly, you are arrogant to imply you know God any better than anyone else. In fact, I find your type to be ungodly and mean-spirited. Certainly not in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. The Bible warns of men like you – shall I give you the verses?
Mark said…
I am not a theologian -- but neither are you.

are you sure?

I don't have any interest in imposing my religious beliefs on you -- you seem dead set on imposing yours on me.

Maybe that's because you don't care if I know God's truth, you don't know God's truth, or you are just lazy, or you only use God's words for earthly indeavors.

I actually care about you, if I piss you off and you run to the Bible and prove me wrong, I will celebrate with you. If you pull truth out of your pocket, I will refute it. The choice is and always has been ours. We either seek God first, or we live without Him.
David said…
Mark, to answer your reasonable question, yes, they are in a sense fooling themselves.

Those who perform so-called "reparative therapy" themselves will admit that they can't really change a person's sexual orientation. All they are doing is a form of behavior modification. It's not exactly news that people can live in opposition to the way they were made by God. The question is, why would anyone come to the erroneous conclusion that God would want them to? What kind of Christian puts the interpretation by mortals of other mortals' relationships with God above their own relationship with God?

God gave us our large brains for a reason. Please, ponder that - and please don't try to tell me that it's some sort of "test," but only for me. If you want to go there, how can you be so sure it isn't a test for you, instead?

We are each responsible for finding our own path to God, and I'll thank you to pay attention to your own. I don't mean to sound snippy, but I find it rather astonishing when someone actually believes they have more authority to speak about what God has in mind for me than I do.
Bill Garnett said…
David,

Thank you – you are one of the more reasonable, articulate, and intelligent voices in the blogosphere and I am thankful and feel privileged when you post.

There is a frustration in attempting to have a dialog, or in having any constructive, honest, conversation with some posters on the blogs who have such set religious beliefs. I don’t have animus towards them as much as confusion over the contradiction, that they see themselves as infallible arbiters of God’s word, and also their behavior is so unlike that described for Jesus himself. I think reality and truth will eventually win out – but how much pain and suffering they will inflict, ironically in the name of God’s love, is beyond me.

It seems these personality types have been around all through history and may be part of the Big Plan – to balance reason against intransient stupidity.

How long they can persist in preaching that the world is flat is beyond me.

Regards,

Bill
Mark said…
I don't mean to sound snippy, but I find it rather astonishing when someone actually believes they have more authority to speak about what God has in mind for me than I do.

David, I have said many many times, that authority is God's word, the Holy Bible. I find it astonshing when people rip the bible apart to satisfy a worldy want.

A false teacher as Christ taught us, only uses half truths, affirming parts of the Bible while destroying other parts. I am not guilty of that, Bill is.
David said…
Thank you, Bill. It's hard not to have animus when people are denying our very humanity. I'm convinced that some of them, at least, honestly don't see what they are doing.

So Mark, you put the interpretations of other human beings above your own relationship with God? According to you, it's impossible to know God without this book. I wonder what all the poor people did prior to the invention of the printing press? How did they receive guidance? Better yet, what about the poor people who had to listen for the word of God before the leaders of the church decided what was in the scriptures and what was out? Where do you think the Holy Bible came from?

I beg to differ with you. I think you are very much guilty of false teachings. The only authority you have is to speak of your own relationship with God.

What you are suggesting amounts to infantilizing people. That certainly serves the interests of something, but I don't think it's God.

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