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Gay Marriage Editorial, Washington Post, quotes CS Lewis

The man. The myth.

Re: Gay Marriage Editorial, Washington Post, quotes CS Lewis

Postby Kolbitar » 01 Aug 2005, 23:07

::Ah but, the 'right' you are talking about is not the same 'right' that those in favour of gay marriage are talking about.

All people have the same right – to marry a person of the opposite sex. Let us make that clear, no one is being denied this right – it applies to ALL. Some people want to expand that right to marry to cover people of the same sex. Some people want to expand that right to include more than one person, and I imagine that would include either or both sexes. Some people want to expand that right to include brother and sister, or sister and father, or…you get the picture. In all cases but the first, marriage is denied to the person or persons “ in love.” What whimsical standard you might come up with to deny everyone else but immediately unrelated heterosexual and homosexual couples who “love” one another, is beyond me. The natural law was the guiding principle for the founding of our free society, it is what we use as a standard because it exists apart from us and our whimsical “rights,” and it is only when government acts according to this natural law that it in fact is natural. When government starts fabricating rights it then acts as a law unto itself, it becomes subject to the whim of the majority (assuming it’s a democracy), and has detached itself from the very law by which we are secured our rights – it begins to pit itself against the basis of freedom upon which it should stand.

But more importantly to the relevance of dangerous governmental actions, you’ve now (by granting a right to a special minority of people only) rejected the equality of all human beings on which rights and freedoms are predicated. Oh, yes, you’ve opened the possibility of gay marriage to everyone, and are therefore not denying anyone, using my line of argument, their rights – but, under your argument, polygamists, bisexuals, and those desiring incestuous unions ARE denied (how open minded!). But what right are you really granting? The right for everyone to enter into a sterile relationship. This is a right clearly not found in nature, in human nature, for no one would exist if it was. It is therefore NOT a right inherent in EVERY human being, and if it is not common to all, then you raise up a special group of people over others and deny the equality of all people.

So far then granting this “right” means Governmental fabrication of rights – which amounts to calling the State God. It means a denial of the equality of all persons. And, it is a breach of the bond of reason – natural law – which we are obligated to each other to uphold – it is unjust. I could go on, but if what was just said means nothing to you then why bother?!

::They want the right to marry the person of their choice, regardless of sex.

A right found in the natural law? or in governmental fabrication?

::It could be argued that straight people do not have the right to marry someone of the same sex as them either, so no one is being denied. But it is highly unlikely that a straight person would WANT to marry someone of the same sex - why would they?

Rights are not predicated on wants which vary from person to person. If they were, then might makes right, which fits in nicely with the implications you’ve landed yourself in thus far.

::The right they are being denied is to marry the person they love.

I’m being denied about fifty thousand rights as we speak if rights are predicated on varying wants of individuals – if might makes right.

Thanks,

Jesse
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Re: Gay Marriage Editorial, Washington Post, quotes CS Lewis

Postby robsia » 02 Aug 2005, 12:27

I'm so very sorry you are finding it so difficult to understand my point.

I really don't think I can explain it in simpler language.
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Re: Gay Marriage Editorial, Washington Post, quotes CS Lewis

Postby a_hnau » 02 Aug 2005, 17:17

Hi, all. Here's my ha'pennorth on this;

- one of the things which society has always done is decide what does and what does not constitute acceptable/desirable behaviour within that specific society. Some of these decisions are enforced by that society through whatever means are deemed appropriate (e.g. laws, but could also be simple force, coercion, fear - you don't have to look far in history to find examples)
- the decisions made by society on such matters are made on the basis of the values held by that society (or at least, those with power in that society)
- specifically in respect of issues like homosexual marriage, if a society chooses to change its laws, rules, on such issues what it's actually doing is making a statement about a change in its values i.e. it wouldn't have decided there was a need for a change unless the value system had changed
- at the very least, Christians can say about any change in laws/rules, that there is a change of values involved, and ask the question as to whether society realises that this is how values are affected, and if so, do people believe in this change of values? If people do firmly believe in this change of values then there's little that can be done except continue to bring out the implications and consequences of such a change and hope that this has some impact

Francis Schaeffer demonstrates some very pointed conclusions about the inability of society to live with the consequences of fully working out the implications of some of the changes to values that have seemingly taken place in Western society in the last fifty to a hundred years.
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Re: Gay Marriage Editorial, Washington Post, quotes CS Lewis

Postby robsia » 02 Aug 2005, 21:51

Society does change, frequently for the better.

Of course, there are always people who do not think it is for the better.

But, if enough people DO believe this is the case, then the 'rules' do inevitably change.

Thank you a_hnau, for your very reasonable post.

There are many, gay AND straight, who DO believe that gay marriage should be allowed.

There is also a very vocal group who believe it should not be.

In the end, I do believe that eventually gay marriage will happen in much of the Western world, although it make take longer in the USA, as the religious conservatives are so vocal there.
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Postby robsia » 21 Aug 2005, 21:39

OK- it says "no posts exist for this topic" on page five. Wonder what will happen if I make a post . . .
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What DID C.S. Lewis say on the subject?

Postby cajun » 20 May 2008, 16:35

It's futile to debate what CSL would have said on the subject of gay marriage. As far as I am aware he HAS said nothing on the matter. You have to remember that so very far from being anywhere near discussing gay marriage, in Great Britain, mere homosexual relations were against the law (as they were in most of the United States when Lewis wrote).

We know that C.S. Lewis had some personal antipathy for individual gay people he knew, and was inclined to use the word "pansies" in discussing them as a group.

On the other hand, Lewis was also critical of the laws of England on the subject and on one occassion (I think in "The Four Loves") refuted the argument that the "gay lifestyle" was immoral because it was illegal.

Lewis also was a proponent in several of his writings ("Mere Christianity" and "The Four Loves" come to mind) of what we now call "civil unions," in which the obligations of cohabitation were laid out and distinguished clearly from those of the Sacrament of Marriage as Christians know it.

C.S. Lewis foresaw the current day, in which half of all marriages end in divorce, and sought to allow those who did not view marriage as a sacred institution violable only at risk of one's immortal soul to cohabit without abusing the Sacrament of Marriage, while still having the legal protections afforded to married couples.

Do we get any closer to an answer to the question "What would C.S. Lewis have said about gay marriage?" by looking at these facts? Not really.

I suspect that in the back room of the Eagle and Child, some hilarious commentary might have ensued - after the first pitcher, to be sure - as to how "gay" such a marriage might be ("pretty dismal, actually, one might think... "). After which, possibly some searching discussion as to how Divinely ordained the legal ordinances of Great Britain (or governments in general) were in that respect. (There was a old drinking song called "Moses and Aaron" which dealt with the issue less reverently than the clergy might have wished.)

But we do get the general idea that Lewis might have been content to distinguish living arrangements from pairing of souls.

(And here the proponents of gay marriage get themselves into trouble by backtracking as to whether they "just" want to be able to same-sex partners to have spousal benefits on the same basis as married hetersexual couples or whether "marriage" per se was somehow important in a sprirtual way. I think this is a point on which they ought to pick a story and stick with it.)

Hope this helps with the hashing-out of this issue.
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Re: a related editorial

Postby cajun » 20 May 2008, 17:02

Colleen wrote:From World Magazine, by Marvin Olasky, full editorial available here.

Charles J. Chaput, the archbishop of Denver, noted in a guest op-ed page column that lawmaking inevitably involves a battle of beliefs: "If we say that we 'ought' to do something, we are making a moral judgment. When our legislators turn that judgment into law, somebody's ought becomes a 'must' for the whole of society. This is not inherently dangerous; it's how pluralism works."

He continued, "Democracy depends on people of conviction expressing their views, confidently and without embarrassment. This give-and-take is an American tradition, and religious believers play a vital role in it. We don't serve our country—in fact we weaken it intellectually—if we downplay our principles or fail to speak forcefully out of some misguided sense of good manners."

That says it well. Christians, like others, should compete democratically. We're all best served when we put forth our views vigorously. As Mr. Chaput concluded, "Patriotism, which is a virtue for people of all faiths, requires that we fight, ethically and nonviolently, for what we believe."


Thoughts?

In grace,
Colleen


Archbishop Chaput has been courageous on a number of issues (I live in Denver and have seen so-called libertarian attorneys try to get the Archdiocese of Denver's tax exemption lifted because of Chaput's forceful advice to his flock to consider the demands of their faith before entering the voting booth).

Not that I agree with everything Archbishop Chaput says - his boss, Pope Benedict, has declared my own church (and Lewis's, since he was a member of the Anglican Communion as I am) "defective," which has caused this new Pope's status in my eyes to fall from "The German Shepherd" to another, less favorable canine metaphor). But even conclaves have been known to err significantly - this is one of those cases, in my humble opinion.

I wouldn't care for Chaput to make the laws I must obey on his own; I am content, however, for him and every other legal voter to have his say and to persuade others within the limits of fair and legal comment (the same limits everyone else must observe). And I was extremely angry when I read of the liberals' attempt to manipulate the nation's tax laws to silence Chaput. Where were they when Rev. Wright was holding forth?
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Postby Mornche Geddick » 12 Jun 2008, 17:16

I've thought about this topic and read the Bible verses in question and it seems pretty plain to me (especially from Romans 1 : 27-28) that what is being forbidden is not homosexuality itself but anal sex.

For me (like Lewis) that law seems quite unnecessary. They might as well forbid sewer-diving, or enact a law against drinking neat vinegar.

But to decide whether gay marriage, civil or religious, can be lawful we need to ask these questions:

1) What is homosexuality?

2) Does it necessarily involve anal sex?

3) Does it necessarily involve other sins such as jealousy, possessiveness or promiscuity?
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Postby rusmeister » 16 Jun 2008, 10:00

Mornche Geddick wrote:
But to decide whether gay marriage, civil or religious, can be lawful we need to ask these questions:

1) What is homosexuality?

2) Does it necessarily involve anal sex?

3) Does it necessarily involve other sins such as jealousy, possessiveness or promiscuity?


Ah, the dangers of Sola Scriptura! (=I read a Bible verse and interpret it on my own within the limits of my own knowledge. The result is inevitably opinion and frequent contradiction between different readers.)

Still, I think the first question IS one of the most important.
Homosexuality is a term invented and first recorded in 1892, for the first time suggesting a completely separate class of people experiencing a natural (in the sense of normal, proper) state of affairs. It also marks the widespread use of the verb "to be" rather than the traditional "to do", "to commit"; ie, the beginnings of presenting it as a state of being rather than action. The fact that it is a modern definition for something that had to have been present as long as humans have been suggests that this is not true.

#2. There is no basis for supposing that it must.

#3. Irrelevant to Biblical teaching and Christian tradition on the whole - the next logical question would be whether these other sins accompanied adultery, for example.

Not that any of this really matters. People who want to justify it will do so, no matter what arguments are put on the table. You can't intellectually convict anyone of sin against their will. I only hope there are some people who honestly want to arrive at Truth (even if it is unpleasant or not what one wants to hear), rather than people's opinions.
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Postby Jservic2 » 27 Jul 2008, 19:03

I support this role of law making. I find it the best way about going about it, make all contracts of the government uniting two people a 'civil union' and leave marriage to the church. Although I disagree with gay marriage i think the lack of benefits such as hospitalization visitation rights are deplorable. That being said the government has no right to define a religious act.

When making laws for a diverse group of people you can not assume every one comes from the same ideal set. Freedom of choice is a fundamental characteristic that God has provided for us, it should be represented in society.

The article may make some wrong conclusions, but I think C.S. Lewis would tend to agree with separation of marriage from the state. He was very Libertarian leaning IMO, he talks about forms a government extensively in an essay.... I forgot which one..... it could be Lillis that fester but again I am not sure. But, he comes to a conclusion that government is at best a necessary evil, with a Theocracy being the worst.
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Postby Jservic2 » 27 Jul 2008, 19:27

* warning I did not read the whole thread so this may have been already covered. *





rusmeister wrote:
Mornche Geddick wrote:
But to decide whether gay marriage, civil or religious, can be lawful we need to ask these questions:

1) What is homosexuality?

2) Does it necessarily involve anal sex?

3) Does it necessarily involve other sins such as jealousy, possessiveness or promiscuity?




Yet we also have to define the role of government. The fact that homosexuality is a sin maybe very apparent to Christians, but may not be to non-Christians. So we also have to:

1.) Define the role of the government.

( Is the role of the gvt. to suppress sin? Enforce a moral code?)

2.) Define the role of law

(where does law stop benefiting society and harming personal choice and freedom?)


This is all to consider that if Gay 'civil union' should be outlawed than should other sinful acts? Should we outlaw lust, conceit, jealousy, selfishness? where do we stop ? We should separate law from morality.
If you are only (not) doing something because it is (not) legal are you being moral? Can you force morality upon some one? What about non Christian moral sets? What if another culture imposes their laws, ie) praise to Baal. The thing with religions is that in most case they are mutually exclusive, so than how can we formulate laws around them?
We are called to a different law, I am not so sure we should enforce this law onto the rest of society. Just as we should not want an Islamic law imposed on us, we should not impose our Christian specific laws on others.

The flip side is that we should protect our Christian moral law set. We should not let society interpret our laws. We should be firm as a church to condemn homosexuality as sin, it is not okay to live in that life style, if you decide to be a Christian. Of course we should treat all people with love, and you can be a Christian and struggle with homosexuality just like you be a Christian and struggle with heterosexual perversion, or any other sin. But, you must recognize your sin and repent and try to change, that is a foundational principle of repentance!

The Gay marriage debate should not be political it should a philosophical / religious debate. Lets take it out of Washington, because it is only confusing the mater.
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Postby rusmeister » 27 Jul 2008, 23:44

Jservic2 wrote:* warning I did not read the whole thread so this may have been already covered. *

rusmeister wrote:
Mornche Geddick wrote:
But to decide whether gay marriage, civil or religious, can be lawful we need to ask these questions:

1) What is homosexuality?

2) Does it necessarily involve anal sex?

3) Does it necessarily involve other sins such as jealousy, possessiveness or promiscuity?




Yet we also have to define the role of government. The fact that homosexuality is a sin maybe very apparent to Christians, but may not be to non-Christians. So we also have to:

1.) Define the role of the government.

( Is the role of the gvt. to suppress sin? Enforce a moral code?)

2.) Define the role of law

(where does law stop benefiting society and harming personal choice and freedom?)


This is all to consider that if Gay 'civil union' should be outlawed than should other sinful acts? Should we outlaw lust, conceit, jealousy, selfishness? where do we stop ? We should separate law from morality.
If you are only (not) doing something because it is (not) legal are you being moral? Can you force morality upon some one? What about non Christian moral sets? What if another culture imposes their laws, ie) praise to Baal. The thing with religions is that in most case they are mutually exclusive, so than how can we formulate laws around them?
We are called to a different law, I am not so sure we should enforce this law onto the rest of society. Just as we should not want an Islamic law imposed on us, we should not impose our Christian specific laws on others.
The flip side is that we should protect our Christian moral law set. We should not let society interpret our laws. We should be firm as a church to condemn homosexuality as sin, it is not okay to live in that life style, if you decide to be a Christian. Of course we should treat all people with love, and you can be a Christian and struggle with homosexuality just like you be a Christian and struggle with heterosexual perversion, or any other sin. But, you must recognize your sin and repent and try to change, that is a foundational principle of repentance!

The Gay marriage debate should not be political it should a philosophical / religious debate. Lets take it out of Washington, because it is only confusing the mater.


Dealing with your points in reverse order:

If you say we should not force faith on others, you are quite right. If you say that we should not enforce morality on others in society, you are quite wrong. The essence of law is the enforcement of some kind of morality on others. Thus we (theoretically, anyway) vote in a (theoretic) democracy to establish the morality of the laws we agree to live by.

On law that does not have Christian morality as its source, well, I'm from America, which has (coincidentally) its primary traditional basis of law in Christian and not Islamic morality. But seriously, the question is, what kind of culture do we want to live in? Surely it behooves Christian to encourage Christian culture and to do what is possible to enact laws that support Christian morality and discourage immorality?

Actually, the point where we stop is easy to define. You list sins that are conditions of the heart (sources of sins of commission) and confuse them with sins of commission. A sexual act with a member of the same sex is a sin of commission - done or not done, therefore, it is a measurable, and much more external act than simply experiencing and even encouraging lust, for example. There are a couple of NT references that list (what is today called 'homosexuality') along with murder, adultery, and a few other sins of commission that, amazingly, we (traditionally) have outlawed. 1 Corinthians ch 6 comes to mind:
9. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10. Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.


Anyway, point is that sins of commission is where we stop.
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Postby Jservic2 » 28 Jul 2008, 05:16

This may be Rus but I have a hard time outlawing something that is agreed upon by two consenting adults and does not involve a third party.

If you say that we should not enforce morality on others in society, you are quite wrong. The essence of law is the enforcement of some kind of morality on others. Thus we (theoretically, anyway) vote in a (theoretic) democracy to establish the morality of the laws we agree to live by.


I do think we need to come to some sort of combined 'convenience' in order to have a functioning society. I specifically do not use the word morality since if it is forced by law I do not really believe that is what it is. But I do think it should be the least common multiple.

Surely it behooves Christians to encourage Christian culture and to do what is possible to enact laws that support Christian morality and discourage immorality?


Hmmm, I might actually disagree. I think to an extent that is true, but as soon as it destroys freedom it is crossing the line. The crux a free society is that there will be out right carnality, sin, and, debauchery; completely legal. Now that does not mean we should not protest the heinous acts, or encourage people not to live this way, or enact societal pressure upon this group. Yet legality, that is diferent.
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Postby rusmeister » 28 Jul 2008, 10:41

Jservic2 wrote:This may be Rus but I have a hard time outlawing something that is agreed upon by two consenting adults and does not involve a third party.

If you say that we should not enforce morality on others in society, you are quite wrong. The essence of law is the enforcement of some kind of morality on others. Thus we (theoretically, anyway) vote in a (theoretic) democracy to establish the morality of the laws we agree to live by.


I do think we need to come to some sort of combined 'convenience' in order to have a functioning society. I specifically do not use the word morality since if it is forced by law I do not really believe that is what it is. But I do think it should be the least common multiple.

Surely it behooves Christians to encourage Christian culture and to do what is possible to enact laws that support Christian morality and discourage immorality?


Hmmm, I might actually disagree. I think to an extent that is true, but as soon as it destroys freedom it is crossing the line. The crux a free society is that there will be out right carnality, sin, and, debauchery; completely legal. Now that does not mean we should not protest the heinous acts, or encourage people not to live this way, or enact societal pressure upon this group. Yet legality, that is diferent.


They are free to do what they want in the dark. The question is, what can they do with public approval? It is foolish to legalize immoral activity, which IS public approval, if you have the ability to help stop it. It is upon us to discourage it with the abilities given to us - be it our tongue - or our vote. If we are truly a minority, or if our vote is worthless, which on state and national levels I think is the case (in progress, at least - a devaluation of our votes in general), then you have to accept whatever the rulers impose. But if you can make it something difficult to do and shameful, then you should.
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Postby Dr. U » 29 Jul 2008, 03:34

I read through all the posts in this discussion, and have two additions to make.

(1)A couple times, a number of the verses in the Bible were cited that specifically name homosexual behavior as one of a number of sins God forbids. However, there is another passage that was (and often is) overlooked. When Jesus was asked about divorce, he said (Matt 19), "Haven't you read that in the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'".

This important teaching of Jesus cuts across dozens of cultural practices around the world and addresses them as not God's way: i.e., one man and one woman, not one man and four women or 10 women, or one man and the latest trophy wife, or one woman and two men, or one man and 100 prostitutes, or two men, or two women. Not only would this have been a direct assault on Greek homosexual practices - which dominated their culture - it also would have been a direct assault on Roman family practices, in which the father's authority extended into the marriages of all his grown children, even to the point of being able to mandate a divorce and strategic remarriage with someone else. (There's a distant echo of that paternalistic Roman world in the tragic Corleone family of the Godfather books/movies.) This short passage is RICH in insights and checks on the behavior of every person in every culture, and we ignore it at our ultimate loss.

Lewis devoted a whole chapter of Mere Christianity to the virtue of chastity, in the light of Jesus' words, and noted that it's always been the least popular Christian virtue - because it IS hard, it goes against all kinds of personal habits and preferences as well as whole cultures.

(2) One of the reasons this issue is not going away is because those who practice homosexual behavior are quite publicly frank that they intend to push legal acceptance of homosexual practice or legal penalties for those convicted of not sufficiently accepting these behaviors, into all areas of society. Churches and Christian organizations, including schools and charities are often named as targets. In the US there have now been quite a few lawsuits pitting a church or religious institution or organization's right to religious convictions about the nature of what constitutes sin against a secular non-discrimination conviction that views such convictions as evil that needs to be eliminated from society. Sometimes they have lost, and it hasn't always been Christian organizations alone. E.g., a Jewish seminary in NYC denied married student housing to a same-sex couple, and lost in court based on supposed discrimination, with the court requiring the seminar to give the same sex couple housing on campus.

It may even possibly mean that, over the long run, Christians in the "Western world" will have to develop more house-church and underground networks, perhaps including financial, rather than institutions that can easily be sued. I hope not, but it is something to start thinking about, how to make churches and Christian organizations leaner and less of a financial target to nuisance lawsuits that may arise from issues like legalization of homosexual marriages.

(3) Actually, one more comment. Someone a few pages back said something about "progress" in society, apparently defining it in their reply as when majority opinion has swayed to a new paradigm.

I'm modestly read in the history of "race" and racism. As the African slave trade grew in profitability for Europeans after the Renaissance, (the Muslim Arabs had already been capturing and selling sub-Saharan Africans for 800 years), there was a philosophical and theological chipping away at the biblical doctrine that humanity is one, until - hooray - "progress" won, and the idea of four "races", with the "white" race supposedly superior, became an unquestioned paradigm until after the mid-20th Century by almost everyone in the "Western world" except the most radical Catholics and Protestants. Generations of intellectuals laughed at the days when people had been so benighted as to have once believed that all peoples on Earth were created equally human by God from a common origin, when now "everyone" knew that, say "blacks" were scientifically proven inferior to "whites".

We need to be careful about majority opinion as an arbiter, even and maybe especially, majority opinion of whatever is in intellectual vogue in a given generation.
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