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You are here: Home > Forum > A Place of Safety > General Talk > Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin
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Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76275] Tue, 26 November 2019 10:27 Go to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Bensiamin has taken a couple of cues that were already on the site and done prodigious work in creating the segment on Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin. My help has been in topping (careful!) and tailing it, and turning his work into pages here, plus creating the index page to the segment. I also migrated the couple of cues into the same segment.

Bensiamin has not been alone in his work. I'll leave it to him to mention others

I'm sure you have material to contribute. So contribute. He'll tell you how.

[Updated on: Tue, 26 November 2019 10:55]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76282 is a reply to message #76275] Wed, 27 November 2019 01:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bensiamin is currently offline  Bensiamin   United States

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Timmy is right to point out that the new pages on Homosexuality and Religion were a joint effort, although both c_m and Geron Kees are making light of their contributions as if they had no substance. And that, for the record is not the case. This is heavy material, and to the degree the pages are friendly and approachable, it's thanks to these gentlemen's editing, and it goes without saying, is a direct and positive reflection on their writing abilities!

There will likely be errors identified, especially in the table, so please comment and send them my way. Any other material for consideration I am also happy to receive. The pages will make some uncomfortable, perhaps even angry, and that's certainly not the intent. This is not an anti-faith scree. Rather, it is an attempt to objectively set forth the factual and historic role that religion has had in the anti-homosexual mindset that is still far too common in many so-called advanced societies.

As Timmy says on the landing page for the section, "The good news is that you have no reason to stop believing in the faith, the deity or deities, the religon you wish to follow," conversely "No faith? No deity? Atheist? Agnostic? Humanist? That's ok, too." The purpose is to provide some objective information, especially for those trying to sort out their sexual identity, and who are struggling with what their religion tells them not just about homosexuality, but about themselves! That's where I was over twenty years ago when I found this site, and it's resources were a life saver for me!



Bensiamin
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76283 is a reply to message #76282] Wed, 27 November 2019 02:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teddy is currently offline  Teddy   United States

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I just want to say that I love this development. Thank-you to all involved.



“There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.” - Terry Pratchett
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76286 is a reply to message #76283] Wed, 27 November 2019 17:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bisexual_Guy is currently offline  Bisexual_Guy   United States

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I found this information yesterday, and was glad to see it.

Many thanks to all who had a helping hand it assembling, compiling, organizing, editing, and making it available.  The information in there takes some time to completely digest.  I hope it can be helpful to many over the years.
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76289 is a reply to message #76286] Thu, 28 November 2019 15:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
American_Alex   United States

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The reality is that just abandoning religion is the easiest way to get over the entire construct of 'sin' and guilt. Religion does nothing but restrain us from logic, and it costs us a lot of money while doing so. Prehistoric constructs such as religion and monarchy not on subjugate us, but actually keep humanity from advancing to a freerer, more egalitarian state.



"Able was I ere I saw Elba"
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76291 is a reply to message #76289] Thu, 28 November 2019 23:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
cm is currently offline  cm   United Kingdom

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That may be so, but there are plenty of people who feel differently. These pages on the site are designed for them rather than those with your views. It seems somewhat intolerant to just dismiss the difficulties that some people of faith have by telling them to simply abandon their closely and sincerely held beliefs.

....a bit like saying the best way to deal with homosexuality is to be straight...


Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76295 is a reply to message #76291] Fri, 29 November 2019 00:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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"cm wrote on Thu, 28 November 2019 23:53"
That may be so, but there are plenty of people who feel differently. These pages on the site are designed for them rather than those with your views. It seems somewhat intolerant to just dismiss the difficulties that some people of faith have by telling them to simply abandon their closely and sincerely held beliefs.

....a bit like saying the best way to deal with homosexuality is to be straight...





--
I am atheist in all my thinking, yet I welcome these pages, encouraged them. I recognise that others have a right to their belief systems. I disagree with the basis of their belief systems, yet I know they are firmly held beliefs. While those beliefs do me no harm I hold them to be harmless. They help those who believe in them

As a person who adores males over females I have tried to be one who adores females over males. I have failed. Trying and failing hurt me, and badly.

Your assessment, cm, of that post is on the money, and put better than I was able

[Updated on: Fri, 29 November 2019 00:28]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76297 is a reply to message #76291] Fri, 29 November 2019 01:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teddy is currently offline  Teddy   United States

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"cm wrote on Thu, 28 November 2019 15:53"
That may be so, but there are plenty of people who feel differently. These pages on the site are designed for them rather than those with your views. It seems somewhat intolerant to just dismiss the difficulties that some people of faith have by telling them to simply abandon their closely and sincerely held beliefs.

....a bit like saying the best way to deal with homosexuality is to be straight...




--
Thank you for these words, cm. Well said. 

With that, I'll quit while I'm ahead! 😮😇😊



“There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.” - Terry Pratchett
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76301 is a reply to message #76275] Fri, 29 November 2019 04:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bensiamin is currently offline  Bensiamin   United States

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I will keep my comments short, while seconding those of Timmy, c_m and Teddy, and point everyone to the banner at the top of the Forum pages:

A Place of Safety: I expect simple behaviours here. Friendship, and love. Any advice should be from the perspective of the person asking not the person giving!

As has been said, being religious or having faith is a personal choice. It certainly isn't necessary or appropriate to push the extreme alternative of atheism, which also happens to be a choice. To do so misses the whole point of mythology and spirituality. Mythology answers the big questions, spirituality has to do with a sense of peace and purpose. There is a lot to be said for achieving a sense of peace and purpose, by whatever means, especially given the world we live in.






Bensiamin
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76302 is a reply to message #76301] Fri, 29 November 2019 05:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
arich is currently offline  arich   United States

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Any system of beliefs to me is simply the concretization of ideas. A bad Idea. No?

Well, that's not true I have to admit, If it can be called a "belief system" it would be Love. But then all great philosophies have said this.
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76303 is a reply to message #76302] Fri, 29 November 2019 08:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Talo Segura is currently offline  Talo Segura   France

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When you discuss religion and belief there are two distinct aspects: formal religious bodies or sects, like the Catholic Church and Protestantism, with all their sub-sects (which are listed on the pages about dealing with religion); then there is relgious belief in personal terms, a belief in God or a power greater than oneself, spirituality, mystercism.

I took from American Alex's comment that it would be a good move to abandon those formal religions (especially the anti-homosexual sects), but I don't think he was talking about belief in general (so no need to crucify the guy).

When you start with religion as a topic you might expect strong reactions, one only needs to look at our history. The - how to deal with religious sects - guide pages essentially advocate finding a more tolerant branch of one of these formal religious bodies so you may continue to practice your religion. I'm not sure what you do if you are Muslim, but that's an aside.

There does however exists a strong anti-formal religion sect opinion that holds the premise (referred to by American Alex) that the best thing for humanity would be the demise of those sects and not their continued support (given their atrocious history). That is not at all saying one should abandon belief in God, but one should abandon being a member of a (harmful) sect.

There is nothing wrong or bad with joining together in worship and praise, finding solice in a group. However, the history of these major formal religions leads to the conclusion that they serve the people who head them and imprison their adherents, wrapped in guilt and fear. They have a history of persecution, secrecy, and atrocity; are exclusive and excluding of those who do not conform; and would convert the whole of humanity to their beliefs (often leaving a choice of convert or die).

Whilst pages about aiding people who are held captive within these formal religions is meant to be positive it nevertheless promulgates their existence and support, when a better solution might be to abandon these sects, but not abandon your beliefs. Is it possible to be part of a Christian sect as a gay person today because that sect has modernised their beliefs, when in the past they would probably have burnt you at the stake? 
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76310 is a reply to message #76303] Fri, 29 November 2019 15:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
American_Alex   United States

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This is the crux of the argument between those who are religious and those who are atheist. Spirituality, faith, and honor are constructs which can and do exist outside of religious dogma, despite the protestations of those from religious communities. The very basis of theism in general is that one group is preferred, while those not a part of that group are shunned. At the root of it, that makes it essentially the same as prejudice, sexism, nationalism, and homophobia, despite all the illogical convolutions which theologians do to make it more palatible to the uneducated masses.

[Updated on: Fri, 29 November 2019 15:25]




"Able was I ere I saw Elba"
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76311 is a reply to message #76310] Fri, 29 November 2019 16:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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"American_Alex wrote on Fri, 29 November 2019 15:24"
This is the crux of the argument between those who are religious and those who are atheist. Spirituality, faith, and honor are constructs which can and do exist outside of religious dogma, despite the protestations of those from religious communities. The very basis of theism in general is that one group is preferred, while those not a part of that group are shunned. At the root of it, that makes it essentially the same as prejudice, sexism, nationalism, and homophobia, despite all the illogical convolutions which theologians do to make it more palatible to the uneducated masses.

--
nonetheless, the purpose was to alert folk to the fact that these pages exist now, and in one place. We can rail against injustices or perceived injustices, or praise religion and praise faith, but neither of those are important.

That I cannot conceive of a secret scary deity in the sky makes me no better and no worse than someone who can, and I have no more and no less right than they to my opinions.

When I die I will either find nothing, or that I am wrong. When they die they will either find they are correct or will find nothing. Of course the paradox is that one cannot find nothing.

So, if a discussion on the merits or otherwise of religion, faith and none of the above is wanted, create another thread on it, please. This thread is for discussion the pages that are present



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76315 is a reply to message #76310] Fri, 29 November 2019 19:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teddy is currently offline  Teddy   United States

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"American_Alex wrote on Fri, 29 November 2019 07:24"
The very basis of theism in general is that one group is preferred, while those not a part of that group are shunned. At the root of it, that makes it essentially the same as prejudice, sexism, nationalism, and homophobia, despite all the illogical convolutions which theologians do to make it more palatible to the uneducated masses.

--
Actually this is not true. If one takes the time to look at Christ's message, for instance, it's exactly the opposite of that. As are the messages of many others including the Eastern Religions. 

Nearly everything Christ's followers have done since his day, however, is a human construct that does exactly what you said. So in short, it's not the message that is an ass, it's the messenger that has perverted the message in order to assign himself power, wealth, and authority over others. 



“There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.” - Terry Pratchett
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76318 is a reply to message #76310] Fri, 29 November 2019 21:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark   United States

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"American_Alex wrote on Fri, 29 November 2019 08:24"
The very basis of theism in general is that one group is preferred, while those not a part of that group are shunned.

--

Unfortunatly, those claims are not only the basis of organized religion.  Take a look at the teachings of Hitler, for example.  If you weren't of the "Arayan race," you were inferior, and he did everything he ever did based on that non-religious belief.  First, by maintaining that all people of German descent (read: those he defined as Arayans) should live in a single nation.  Then that said people should rule the rest of the world.  He even went so far as to say that certain specific groups should be put into concentration camps and ultimately put to death (not only Jews, but other groups such as gypsies, homosexuals, and those with physical or mental disabilities) because they threatened Arayan purity.

There were others in history who also did horrible things, and none of them did what they did in the name of religion; in fact, some were, at least outwardly, atheists (Stalin, Chairman Mao, and Pol Pot were each responsible for the deaths of millions in the name of nationalism, just as Hitler was, and each opperated under an atheistic political system - communism).

Now, have there been people who have done very, very bad things in the name of religion?  Oh, absolutely.  I'm not trying to claim otherwise, because anyone who's ever studied history on even a basic level know that was an incorrect statement.  But on the other hand, there have been people who were avoded atheists who have done things that were just as bad in the name of things other than religion, or even in the name of atheism, which could be argued to be a sort of religion as well, or at least a set of religious beliefs stating what its adherants believe about God, souls, heaven, etc. (namely, claiming that such things do not exsist).

So I don't think that saying"We need to abandon it because a few people did bad things in its name" is something that should be used as an arguement for abandoning religion, because if we did that, we'd have to abandon a lot of other things as well, because other people have done bad things in the names of those things as well.
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76330 is a reply to message #76310] Sun, 01 December 2019 13:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
NW is currently offline  NW   United States

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"American_Alex wrote on Fri, 29 November 2019 15:24"
The very basis of theism in general is that one group is preferred, while those not a part of that group are shunned. At the root of it, that makes it essentially the same as prejudice, sexism, nationalism, and homophobia, despite all the illogical convolutions which theologians do to make it more palatible to the uneducated masses.


--
That turns out not to always be the case. There are plenty of theists among British Quakers (as well as very nearly as many who would describe themselves as atheists). There isn't a theology,and they don't believe in any dogma, but in questioning and sharing understanding. It is a central shared understanding that there is "of God / of the light" in every human (however one understands that), and any form of exclusion is contrary to Quaker testimony.

I'm proud that Quakers here were one of the major groups pushing to be allowed to conduct religious same-sex marriages (when the original UK government proposal was for civil marriages only).



"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. ... Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night devoid of stars." Martin Luther King
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76331 is a reply to message #76275] Sun, 01 December 2019 16:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bensiamin is currently offline  Bensiamin   United States

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It goes without saying that atheism is a position that anyone is entitled to, as Timmy points out, just as one is entitled to a generic belief in spirituality, or a more formalized faith or religious belief. Campbell's work in mythology, corroborated by others, is that human nature requires something to address the big questions of life. The shortcoming of most of atheism, in my view, is that it doesn't offer an alternative.

No is not an alternative. Campbell's big point was that we need a new mythology for the age in which we live, rather than trying to force fit a 5,000 year-old mythology into modern times. Instead of offering that type of alternative, much of atheism (a la Christopher Hitchins and Richard Dawkins) has become strident, focusing on belittling those that believe anything, berating their stupidity and demonstrating insensitivity and intolerance while they're at it!




Bensiamin
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76332 is a reply to message #76331] Sun, 01 December 2019 17:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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"Bensiamin wrote on Sun, 01 December 2019 16:29"
It goes without saying that atheism is a position that anyone is entitled to, as Timmy points out, just as one is entitled to a generic belief in spirituality, or a more formalized faith or religious belief. Campbell's work in mythology, corroborated by others, is that human nature requires something to address the big questions of life. The shortcoming of most of atheism, in my view, is that it doesn't offer an alternative.

No is not an alternative. Campbell's big point was that we need a new mythology for the age in which we live, rather than trying to force fit a 5,000 year-old mythology into modern times. Instead of offering that type of alternative, much of atheism (a la Christopher Hitchins and Richard Dawkins) has become strident, focusing on belittling those that believe anything, berating their stupidity and demonstrating insensitivity and intolerance while they're at it!




--
I think one can be perfecty content with being atheist without evangelising atheisim. If one evangelises it then it becomes a de facto religion, albeit with no deity.

Choice is key. I can choose a deity and choose to be content by throwing all my intellect and emotion into worship of that choice, or I can choose none and be content with that.

Isn't Buddhism a deity-free religion? What an irony for Buddha that he wanted no worship of himself though.

[Updated on: Sun, 01 December 2019 17:42]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76334 is a reply to message #76318] Mon, 02 December 2019 01:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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"Mark wrote on Fri, 29 November 2019 21:07"
Unfortunatly, those claims are not only the basis of organized religion.  Take a look at the teachings of Hitler, for example.  

--
It was suggested that Hitler was a professed devout Roman Catholic

Odd, then, how his behaviour was in complete contravention of the teachings of that particular organisation, but ironic that he could have confessed his sins and expressed contrition on a regular basis and been forgiven in the eyes of their deity, or at least by the black cloaked alleged representative in his local church

[Updated on: Mon, 02 December 2019 01:27]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76336 is a reply to message #76334] Mon, 02 December 2019 03:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark   United States

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"timmy wrote on Sun, 01 December 2019 18:26"

"Mark wrote on Fri, 29 November 2019 21:07"
Unfortunatly, those claims are not only the basis of organized religion.  Take a look at the teachings of Hitler, for example.  

--
It was suggested that Hitler was a professed devout Roman Catholic

Odd, then, how his behaviour was in complete contravention of the teachings of that particular organisation, but ironic that he could have confessed his sins and expressed contrition on a regular basis and been forgiven in the eyes of their deity, or at least by the black cloaked alleged representative in his local church

--

Which is, if I had been politely asked about in my original comments, I would have happily expanded upon.  Yes, most facists of the 30's and 40's were at least raised in a formally organized religion.  (It should also be noted that even many who were later Communists had at least some formal religious contact during their youth - for example, Pol Pot, the infamous Communist leader of Cambodia who was responsible for the deaths of millions, attended a Catholic school in France in his youth.)

What I had hoped to indicate (and yes, perhaps did not emphasise very well in my last post) was that just because someone was raised in a particular line of beliefs (whether religious or secular) does not mean that they always follow said teachings as adults.  Hilter, among other things, was reportedly a very big fan of Martin Luther, and some have even accused Hitler of being obsessed with the occult (the Indiana Jones movies were not entirely without basis, as among the occult items of fame that he is said to have had his followers actively look for did indeed include the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail).  Either one alone was hardly the habit of a "good little Catholic boy."  And of course, as you have mentioned, most of his activities upon his rise to power as chancellor of Germany were not exactly in accordance with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, or even in mainstream Christianity in general.  If I were to describe his belief system in a nutshell, I would say that he believed whatever he thought would bring him power, even if they were inconsistent with his upbringing.  If he could ever be conisdered a Catholic for most of his adult life, it was largely in name only.

What I had also hoped to emphasise is that I object to the idea that theism is bad because a few people who outwardly claimed a connection (no matter how loose said connection was) to religion but who did very bad things, and therefore all religion of any sort should be eliminated because of that.  Communism did just that, and still those who followed it (Stalin, Pol Pot, Chairman Mao) did things that were just as bad as people like Hitler ever did.  (I fully believe that even if there had never been religion in the world, Hitler would still very likely have risen to power and did most, if not all, of the things he actually did; the only difference is that he would have had to blame someone other than the Jews for Germany's woes.)  The only thing that was different was the specific banner under which they rallied their followers.

Yes, organized religion often has its faults.  Unorganized religion often has its faults.  No religion at all often has its faults.  While there have been very bad people who have done very bad things in the name of religion and atheism both (and who, unfortunately, will continue to do so), I cannot, I will not, blame all the good people who follow a particular set of beliefs for the actions of a small handful of nutjobs who say they follow said beliefs but whose actions say otherwise.  To do otherwise would make me just as bad in many ways as the very people I would seek to condemn.
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76337 is a reply to message #76334] Mon, 02 December 2019 04:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
arich is currently offline  arich   United States

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E 8, or what some call the "theory of everything."  Is worth a look. Quantum Gravity reasearch, has a couple of vids called, "What is Reality?" On YouTube or their site.

I have to say up front I am not an atheist, I'm not into religion no matter. Like they say "if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck..."  And atheism fits the bill. I've given them both a listen and they both fall woefully short.

I'll always go with something rather than nothing. Love all. I would fall at it's feet, but then, I don't think Love, would want or require that.

🙏🏼Namaste.

[Updated on: Mon, 02 December 2019 04:26]

Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76338 is a reply to message #76337] Mon, 02 December 2019 05:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teddy is currently offline  Teddy   United States

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Just want to say that I'm loving this discussion. So many good thoughts. So much informative back and forth. 

Hitler wasn't the only politician to profess Christianity and act in ways that are the antithisis of the faith. I can think of another more recent politician who can shoot someone on 5th avenue and christianity will bow and scrape at his feet in honor of him. Which means that one's profession is only as good as one's actions.

If one professes to be a religious person shouldn't they fulfill the tenents of the faith they profess? And if they profess, yet are abusive of others, what does that say about them? About their religion? About their deity? 

Which leads me to my point... Why wouldn't... Why shouldn't a person, after observing all this bullshit surrounding religion just say, "Fuck it all!" and join the agnostics or the atheists?



“There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.” - Terry Pratchett
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76346 is a reply to message #76338] Tue, 03 December 2019 03:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark   United States

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"Teddy wrote on Sun, 01 December 2019 22:06"
Just want to say that I'm loving this discussion. So many good thoughts. So much informative back and forth. 

Hitler wasn't the only politician to profess Christianity and act in ways that are the antithisis of the faith. I can think of another more recent politician who can shoot someone on 5th avenue and christianity will bow and scrape at his feet in honor of him. Which means that one's profession is only as good as one's actions.

If one professes to be a religious person shouldn't they fulfill the tenents of the faith they profess? And if they profess, yet are abusive of others, what does that say about them? About their religion? About their deity? 

Which leads me to my point... Why wouldn't... Why shouldn't a person, after observing all this bullshit surrounding religion just say, "Fuck it all!" and join the agnostics or the atheists?

--

Certainly, you are right about the idea that if someone specifically professes a particular belief system, they should indeed follow it to the best of their abilities.  If they fall short, they should make every reasonable effort to rectify the situation (that's why so many religions have some sort of concept of repentance - they realize that we're human and we all fall short from time to time).  Failure to do so, obviously, says very poor things about not only them and their religion & deity, but also about other followers of said doctrine who are trying their best to follow the tenants of the faith in question (and yes, you are also right about how actions speak much louder than words).

Hoever, if someone acts in a way that's contrary to their professed beliefs (if they even profess any specific belief system in the first place), I do not believe in blaming others of said faith who neither act that way themselves nor have any control over the acts of said individual.  That would just be plain wrong.  It would be like blaming all Germans for the actions of Hitler or blaming all citizens of the country of this certain other recent politician.  If I did go around blaming innocent people, how does that make me any better?

Why do people not just join the atheists and agnostics after looking at the Hitlers of the world?  I think some of it has to do with what you said earlier - they look at the original message and sincerely believe that there's still truth in it, even though there are those who don't always act that way.  They blame the specific messanger who isn't those teachings, not the message that tells us we should help each other out and build each other up, not tear people down.

To use a bit of an example, let's say I buy buy some apples at the grocery store, and upon  returning home discover that one of them has a small bruise.  Do I throw away all the apples because of that one bruise?  Of course not.  That would be silly.  Sure, I don't eat the bruised part, but neither do I toss out all the good apples (or even the entire apple that has the bruise) because of it.  I simply remove the bruised part and eat the rest.  That's something that could be said of those who profess to have religious beliefs, despite the fact that there are those who don't follow the teaching of religion - they know that there's no reason to toss out the good just because there's a bad spot.
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76348 is a reply to message #76275] Tue, 03 December 2019 07:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Talo Segura is currently offline  Talo Segura   France

Toe is in the water
Location: Europe
Registered: July 2019
Messages: 88



I was not about to draw the parallel between The Church and Nazism, nevertheless it is a valid comparison. When such popular movements encompass the majority of people one is faced with the decision of going with the flow or making a stand. Abandoning formal religious sects, like Catholicism, Evangelical Christians, etc. would not be a bad move in the face of their harmful and negative doctrines. 

It similarly is not a great idea to promote a shifting to another religious branch who have modified their membership to encompass homosexuals. One may believe in God and respect Jesus without being a part of a religious sect of dubious origins and with a very bad track record for humanity.

Only a very few people would join a Nazi organisation and very few people would support this. The same applies to The Church sects, why encourage people to be part of such corrupt and inhuman, exclusive, and threatening organisations. The argument is not about belief in God and worship, it is about promoting the organisations and sects that run the show.

I don't even know why people appear to defend these Christian sects, just look at the things they are responsible for doing, the misery, pain, and loss of life they have caused. Christianity is a negative religion, if it weren't people captured within it would not need help to escape. And - escape - is the key word, get away and stand apart, don't fall for the church that changes it's spots. 

Mark says: I cannot, I will not, blame all the good people who follow a particular set of beliefs for the actions of a small handful... But it is not a small handful, it is the entire organisation. An evil body with a history of death, torture, and abuse, that rules through fear and guilt. 

Christianity has forced itself on large parts of the world where it has destroyed ancient civilisations. Through its doctrines it has promoted over population (no birth control) and disease (no condoms). Thousands of its followers demonstrate to impose their views, no abortion, no same sex marriage. At the same time they are happily led by a bunch of men who abuse their power by forcing sex on children. One might say - for the love of god open your eyes - and don't suport these religions.

[Updated on: Tue, 03 December 2019 07:55]

Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76349 is a reply to message #76348] Wed, 04 December 2019 03:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark   United States

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Yes, there have been bad people in all religions, not just Christianity.  But there have been bad atheists, too.  Religions have oppressed...but so has atheism.  Religions have forced themselves on large parts of the world...but so has atheism.  Thousands of religious followers work to impose their views on the rest of the world...but so have thousands of atheists.  If you don't believe me on that, go ask anyone who's escaped from China, Vietnam, Cuba, the former Soviet Union - people who live under regimes who told them, "You will do what we say, when we say it, or you will die...or worse!"  (In other words, there were atheists who were doing exactly what some here are so quick to blame religions for.)

But at the same time, there are both religious people and atheists alike who I have personally met and gotten to know who are nothing like that.  (Hi, Timmy!)  They are the kind of people who would bend over backwards to help you if you needed it, all while asking absolutely nothing in return from you for it.  They have never once, in my personal experience, tried to force anything on anyone.  Yes, some of those religious folks are in an organized religion, some of them are not.  Some of the latter do not wish to belong to an organized religion because they view organized religion very much like many of you here do - while they believe in a Higher Power and believe that the original messeage as brought by individuals like Jesus (of loving thy neighbor as thyself and helping out people in need) isn't bad, they also believe that those who now claim to represent God are very much bad and have strayed so far from that message that the message that organized religions teach is now unrecognizable from its original form.  All these religious folks, whether or not they belong to a formally organized religion, help people out without forcing anyone to do (or even just believe) anything because they believe that that is what God actually wants them to do.  Similarly, many atheists also help people out without forcing them to do or believe anything, not because they believe that a higher power told them to, but simply because it is the right thing to do.

As such, it is rather hard for me to say that literally all religious people or all atheists are bad, because in my direct, hands-on personal exeriences that have repeatedly occured over many, many years (and all done with my eyes wide open, thank you very much) such a claim that they're all bad flies directly in the face of said experiences.  There have been people who were truly the personification of evil, and I absolutely stand with you in saying that they're evil, and that I hope they pay for the evil things they've done.  Should there indeed be a God out there who one day will have a judgement day of some sort, I do not envy those people, because I can't imagine that He would be happy with what they did in His name.  But at the same time, I will not go after the people who honestly really are trying to make the world a better place, regardless of why they believe they should do it.
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76351 is a reply to message #76275] Wed, 04 December 2019 08:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Talo Segura is currently offline  Talo Segura   France

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Location: Europe
Registered: July 2019
Messages: 88



Getting back to the origins of this thread it is about advice for those who are homosexual and may find themselves excluded from following their Christian beliefs with many branches of the Christian Church, Catholic and Protestant.

It is highlighted that some Christian sects have modified their policies to allow homosexuals to be members. I do not think that it is a good option to join or be part of those sects that have, if you like, attempted to modernise by accepting homosexuals.

There is only one Christian sect, to my knowledge, which has never modified its viewpoint and interpretation of Christianity and which has always accepted everyone (homosexuals included), has always accepted same sex marriage and has never accepted killing people (going to war) in the name of God or Christ. That one sane Christian sect which provides an environment for Christian worship amidst an organised group of fellow believers is Quakerism - https://qfp.quaker.org.uk/introduction/ 

I am not an expert in the history of the Quakers, however, it would appear to be a sound choice for Christian homosexuals who desire that organised support and fellowship of worship.

Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76356 is a reply to message #76351] Fri, 06 December 2019 00:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
American_Alex   United States

Toe is in the water
Location: New York, upstate
Registered: October 2017
Messages: 98



You know, if I believed in god, I'd probably be a Quaker. 



"Able was I ere I saw Elba"
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76357 is a reply to message #76356] Fri, 06 December 2019 01:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
arich is currently offline  arich   United States

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Ism's can only fracture us. And Love is the only base large enough for us to build a fulcrum that can move the world. Is there motive more worthy?
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76358 is a reply to message #76357] Fri, 06 December 2019 02:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teddy is currently offline  Teddy   United States

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Messages: 376



"arich wrote on Thu, 05 December 2019 17:39"
Ism's can only fracture us. And Love is the only base large enough for us to build a fulcrum that can move the world. Is there motive more worthy?

--
At the risk of appearing overly religious, AMEN!!! haha



“There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.” - Terry Pratchett
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76359 is a reply to message #76358] Fri, 06 December 2019 06:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bensiamin is currently offline  Bensiamin   United States

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I concur in principle, and Talo's comments and observations are well taken.

The Society of Friends (Quakers) certainly stand out in terms of their openness and tolerance. Howeve, it is not uniform. His reference was the English Quakers, and they are ahead of the pack (like the Church of England) in terms of homosexual acceptance and tolerance, but that is not the case with Quakers worldwide.

That's why the denomination table in the Religion and Homosexuality page says what it does about Quakers: each assembly can determine it's own position (which is democracy at work!) rather than suffer a denominational standard. That variance, though allows societal pressures to seep through There are lots of conservative Quaker assemblies for whom homosexuality is frowned on and same-sex marriage is not allowed.



Bensiamin
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76363 is a reply to message #76359] Fri, 06 December 2019 18:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
arich is currently offline  arich   United States

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Not trying to offend anyone here, but.

I have to ask, if you believe in"God" and are part of a sect, why do you think, God, needs you? Or why would God need for anyone to be anything but themselves on there own unique personal journey.

LOL, you see I'm one of those weirdos that believes in free will. Though I have to admit, it's hard to come by seeing as most people give it up without a thought. From my POV though, I've always thought human relationships to be a bizarre form of slavery (anyone know where I can get a shrug emoji?)😏 sorry I digress once again. But really we have to take care in what we do with the freedoms we do have

What was it JC called the sects he had to contend with? I keep thinking it was something like, nest of vipers.?

Why hang a label on a, good, healthy, Loving attitude and way of life... boxes man what are they really good for except to put stuff in. Next thing ya know you have a burden.

✌️
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76364 is a reply to message #76363] Fri, 06 December 2019 19:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13458



I look at it from the point of view of a putative deity.

Why do I want some or all of:
  • People to worship me
  • People gathering in a fixed day to perform chants to my glory
  • People controlling other people
  • People ceding control to other people
  • Sacrifices
  • Wars
  • Good things

All in my alleged name.

If I were a deity I would be satisfied to be a deity. Unless, of course I got bored. Then I'd create politicians.

I have no time to be all seeing, all powerful, all knowing. I can't be arsed to create a heaven or a hell or a limbo, or a purgatory. I'm busy doing things 'beyond the world's understanding' and bending the laws of 21st century physics. Ah, yes, 21st century of  Common Era, that is. There've been  civiisations around way before Common Era started.

As a deity I wouldn't mind the occasional friendly nod, but I don't want organised nodding.

I'm certainly not sending 'my son' to earth to get tortured and killed just to make folk think I'm good! That would just be nasty.

[Updated on: Fri, 06 December 2019 19:41]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76367 is a reply to message #76364] Sat, 07 December 2019 01:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
arich is currently offline  arich   United States

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Yeah man, I totally get it.

As Sean Carroll would say, or something like it, " what chicken laid this low entropic egg we call the "Big Bang?""

Whether a big a@@ chicken egg or fiat. We are a integral part. I mean have you checked lately? You just might be God....

Look at Buddha, he transcended but hung around. And look what happened, no matter how many time he told his followers he didn't want to be deified, they went and did it anyway... But I and the cosmos are ☝️ as are you.

There I go, goin all hippie on ya.... ✌️🖖 must have been the Pink Floyd.... and well, never mind.

[Updated on: Sat, 07 December 2019 01:26]

Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76368 is a reply to message #76367] Sat, 07 December 2019 01:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
arich is currently offline  arich   United States

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Messages: 563



Lyrics from " In The Wake Of. Poseidon" King Crimson

Plato's spawn cold ivyed eyes
Snare truth in bone and globe
Harlequins coin pointless games
Sneer jokes in parrot's robe
Two women weep, dame Scarlet screen
Sheds sudden theater rain,
Whilst dark in dream the midnight queen
Knows every human pain
In air, fire, earth and water
World on the scales
Air, fire, earth and water
Balance of change
World on the scales
On the scales
Bishop's kings spin judgment's blade
Scratch "faith" on nameless graves
Harvest hags hoard ash and sand
Rack rope and chain for slaves
Who fireside fear fermented words
Then rear to spoil the feast
Whilst in the aisle the mad man smiles
To him it matters least
Heroes hands drain stones for blood
To whet the scaling knife
Magi blind with visions light
Net death in dread of life
Their children kneel in jesus till
They learn the price of nail,
Whilst all around our mother earth
Waits balanced on the scales"

What is your will Lord?
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76369 is a reply to message #76367] Sat, 07 December 2019 15:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13458



"arich wrote on Sat, 07 December 2019 01:23"
Yeah man, I totally get it.

As Sean Carroll would say, or something like it, " what chicken laid this low entropic egg we call the "Big Bang?""

Whether a big a@@ chicken egg or fiat. We are a integral part. I mean have you checked lately? You just might be God....

Look at Buddha, he transcended but hung around. And look what happened, no matter how many time he told his followers he didn't want to be deified, they went and did it anyway... But I and the cosmos are ☝️ as are you.

There I go, goin all hippie on ya.... ✌️🖖 must have been the Pink Floyd.... and well, never mind.

--
Buddha, for all he is revered, walked out on his wife and child to go and sit selfishly under a tree until he found enlightenment. He let his family down rather badly.

Isaac Newton sat only briefly under a tree and worked out the science behind gravity.

Perhaps Buddha might have chosen a better tree if he wanted to make real progreaa towards enlightenment

I know which one I'd rather follow



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76370 is a reply to message #76368] Sat, 07 December 2019 17:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
NW is currently offline  NW   United States

On fire!
Location: Worcester, England
Registered: January 2005
Messages: 1525



I rather incline to the Jethro Tull approach:
"When I was young
And they packed me off to school
And they taught me how not to play the game
I didn't mind
If they groomed me for success
Or if they said that I was just a fool

So, I left there in the morning
With their God tucked underneath my arm
Their half-assed smiles and the book of rules

And I asked this God a question
And by way of firm reply
He said, "I'm not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays.
"

(Wind-up, from the album "Aqualung")



"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. ... Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night devoid of stars." Martin Luther King
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76373 is a reply to message #76370] Sun, 08 December 2019 00:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
arich is currently offline  arich   United States

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Messages: 563



NW's. Tull, song and lyrics inspired this post.

And personally I think, Anderson is one of the finest lyricist around, I'm going to go with another of his songs:

"Skating Away (On the thin ice of a new day)." I'll not paste the lyrics here but I highly recommend a listen...
Though it must be said he needed to switch from cold to hot (back in 1974 we didn't know if the world was going to freeze or fry).

But it's a new day, all those cats Buddha, Laozi, JC, all those guys were pretty cool. But I can't help but think the knowledge they disiminated has been superseded. Human culture does seem to be an evolutionary thing.

But then their core ideas have been well and truly mangled down through the ages. 

Here's a little something from,"Skating Away."
'And as you cross the circle line
Well, the ice wall creaks behind
You're a rabbit on the run"

The "Ice wall," speaks to me of, time, that has buried, or should I say obscured all that has gone before. Which is good and natural, even Sir Issac, man where would we be without him (LOL 🤔 hmmm again). 

All I'm trying to say is, take what is good but don't get bogged down. Things change, and we're rabbits on the run. Not a bad thing, just necessary I think.

Anyone else into the study of the, Axial Age hypotheses? Not everyone agrees with Jaspers, conclusions, but worth a look.

[Updated on: Sun, 08 December 2019 00:34]

Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76374 is a reply to message #76373] Sun, 08 December 2019 01:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
arich is currently offline  arich   United States

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Messages: 563



I was going to edit this into my last post but I guess it's to late for there.
So here it is.

I have a subscription at YouTube FQXi also at www.fqxi.org. If you have a mo check it out.

Carlo Rovelli, "What does meaning mean in a natural world" 

Just another interesting part of the discussion... At least to me.
Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76375 is a reply to message #76374] Sun, 08 December 2019 01:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
arich is currently offline  arich   United States

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https://youtu.be/U6-PAKOt7sM

Maybe

[Updated on: Sun, 08 December 2019 01:19]

Re: Faith, Religion, Homosexuality, LGBTQ People, God, Sin  [message #76376 is a reply to message #76370] Sun, 08 December 2019 17:44 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
Bensiamin is currently offline  Bensiamin   United States

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Messages: 226



NW - thanks for the reminder from the Jethro Tull lyrics! I've clearly gone way, way too long without listening to Aqualung!

That is a perfectly positioned extract from the lyrics!



Bensiamin
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