I'm James Goetz, an evangelical Christian and an alumnus of Valley Forge Christian College, and I hope to dialog with some people from Soulforce. I understand that some of my views are discriminated against in this forum, but I still hope to dialog with some people from Soulforce.
I'll try to begin with some common ground. For example, I support same-sex civil marriage laws in the US. And I oppose discrimination against LGBT people in public institutions. And I'm repulsed by violence against LGBT people. And I understand that various studies of mammals indicate a small percent of mammals are likely born with same-sex tendencies.
On the other hand, I believe and teach that sex apart from heterosexual marriage is ethically wrong. And I support this view in both public dialog and private religious institutions.
I understand that my views could be banned as anti-gay comments in this forum, but I must be upfront about these views to have any meaningful dialog with members of Soulforce.
A warm welcome to you!
I don't agree with some of your views, but I am glad you are here to dialogue. At least you're willing to hear the other side. Too many are not...
Glad that you have come to the forums. I am always willing to discuss things with a person who disagrees with me as long as he is respectful and willing to admit that the other person's opinions also have validity. I also believe that people have a right to their own beliefs as long as they do not try to impose their beliefs on others.
I also am of the belief that sex is something that is ideally kept inside of the bounds of marriage. However, when a person says that only heterosexual marriages are valid, that removes from us gays a basic right that straight people have saved for themselves. That in itself is discrimination. As I see it, people who wish to get married ought to have that right.
You say that you think sex outside of heterosexual marriage is "ethically wrong". On just what do you base your ethical opinions?
And BTW sex is only a small part of the whole idea of being gay. There many gay people who have never had sex. Being gay and having sex is no more connected than being straight and having sex. I lost my job for being gay. My employer had to admit that I had done nothing wrong and was an excellent employee, but it was too bad, I had to go. That type of action comes from the belief that just being gay is ethically wrong. What are your opinions on that?
Tu Amigo, Pablo
Hello James and welcome to Soulforce. I'm open to different points of view. A good dialogue is always welcome.
Per your second paragraph, I hold to the separation of church and state to some degree. For example, I believe that same-sex marriages are invalid in the context of divine institutions while I support that same-sex marriages can be valid in the context of state government. Likewise, I don't deny the civil rights of same-sex marriages.
Per your third paragraph, I wrote an essay "Sexual Purity and Scripture" on my blog http://theoperspectives.blogspot.com...scripture.html.
I agree that sex should be a small part of life in general. And I never said anything close to "that just being gay is ethically wrong." And I'd be interested in more details about your controversial firing so I could have a solid opinion about it.
Welcome to Soulforce! You have been respectful even as you stated your beliefs. Much appreciated. You have the right to believe what you do, just as anyone else.
You recognize that what any given person's beliefs might be, such should not be a reason to deny others civil rights. Thank goodness! My main problem is with Christians (or members of any faith, for that matter) who think their personally embraced doctrines should become law, and thus be forced on society as a whole. People like James Dobson, Pat Robertson, and most other famous Christian figures disgust me for this very reason. They are hateful. They say they don't hate, but calling a viper a teddy bear doesn't make its bite any less poisinous.
I'd simply ask you to consider how your statements in churches or wherever about the rightness of heterosexual marriage to the exclusion of everything else might affect young people questioning their sexuality. Mary Griffith, whose gay son took his life because he felt cursed and abandoned by God, said it well when she stated: "Before you echo 'amen' in your home and place of worship, think. Think and remember a child is listening." You obviously intend no damage to gays or anyone, but words can still have a powerful and negative affect on people. The first pastor I came out to as gay was certainly not malicious (I was 17 then), but his message in so many words that "straight is better" stayed with me for years, and nearly destroyed me a number of times as I tried to be something I'm not in order to please God. Please consider this.
Thankfully, I've come to a pont where I see my sexual orientation as good and natural. Had I been able to do so earlier--had I been affirmed by that priest instead, and others to follow, I wonder how much suffering might have been prevented.
Bright blessings and again, welcome.
Hi I am a Druidic Pagan studying Buddhism. Druids believe in the conscious awareness of and between all living things. We consider sex to be the most powerfully sanctifying expression between beings. I have five beautiful people with whom I am in love. We are a family of lovers/brothers who share heart and intimacy. We express the connection openly.
For me marrriage would be meaningless. I fall in love too easily and I don't live a life holding in my feelings anymore. For others like my parents it is very real.
One of my lovers was cast out by his Catholic genetic family because his gift of capacity for intmacy is with his own gender. Now he is a part of our love circle. He was forced to leave his family and his faith because his church leader maintains that God's Love is conditional on him stifling the gift of sharing intimate joy.
Be careful when you speak for God. I am not a Christian. I do however believe the message from Christ is love unconditional. Unconditional to me means embracing with full complete affirmation that entitlement to joy has unlimited variety of expression. I repeat the signature on my posts every day
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