CADRE Comments

A Rational Look at Christianity; Basing Reason in Truth

This November, the people of the State of California will be voting on Proposition 8 which could ban homosexual marriage in that state. On a site that I ran across called "Gather" (which I gather is a gathering site for gay rights people), an author (Troy W) published a short essay entitled Why California’s Proposition 8 Would Make Jesus Weep in which he said:

In the name of “traditional family values” and spearheaded by conservative Christian groups a measure has been put on the California ballot to, for the first time in California history, add discrimination to the state constitution. This measure has no other purpose than to limit the rights of human beings to legally acknowledge their love for one another and make a binding commitment to one another.

Now, I don't particularly want to get into the merits of this proposition. Needless to say, I disagree with the opinion of Troy W. both as to the purpose and effect of the proposition. I will say that it seems apparent to me that the reason for this proposition is that a lot of citizens of California don't share the same ethical worldview as Troy W and felt that the California Supreme Court overstepped its Constitutional boundaries in dictating as a matter of equal protection that gay marriage should be equated with non-gay marriage. Certainly, there are those of us who disagree that the highest and most important ethical obligation is to promote pleasure.

Most of the essay is the usual pablum against Proposition 8 and limits on homosexual marriage, but what caught my eye was Troy W's statements about Jesus. He said:

In the Bible Jesus teaches us to love our enemies and embrace those whom others would cast out. Jesus led by example when he embraced the lepers and brought the pariahs of his time to sit at his side. He embraced those who others disparaged and ridiculed. He never said that homosexuals were evil. In point of fact he never spoke on the subject anywhere in the Bible. He taught love and acceptance of all even those whom have wronged you. He forgave those who crucified him as he died on the cross. He never said he hated anyone. Truth be told you have to go to the Old Testament to find anything about homosexuality and even then you have to look pretty hard, unless of course you are one of those for whom that passage of the Bible is more important than the actual teachings of Christ in which case you can find the dog-eared page most quickly more than likely.

If you accept that the New Testament is the chronicle of the teachings of Christ then as a follower of Christ you should be opposed to any law that would subjugate a segment of the population for who they happen to love. One of the few times Christ was ever cited as showing real anger was when he went into the Temple and saw people perverting the church for their own gain. Now the so-called followers of Jesus are using religion as a club to scare people into making laws that cause God’s children to be excluded and feel emotional pain unnecessarily. “Judge not lest ye be judged.” “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” That is what Jesus taught. Hate and exclusion is the realm of darkness. Do you think telling people their love is illegitimate is what Jesus would do?

This is part of the typical parsing of the Bible that I have seen coming out of the gay rights movement, and it is an example of really poor thinking. Allow me to break it down by pointing out faulty reasoning in the writing. In doing so, I do want to point out that my writing here is based upon my conservative understanding of the Bible. I know that not everyone who I readily acknowledge as a Christian agrees with this understanding, but that is an in-house discussion that will be going on for years (and in which I am confident the conservative reading will ultimately prevail).

(1) Jesus never said that homosexuals were evil. This is a variation of the argument from silence (argumentum ex silentio). Looking at the argument in syllogistic form reveals the missing term and the flaw in the argument:

Premise One: Jesus never said that homosexuals were evil.
Unstated Premise Two: Whatever Jesus didn't discuss is not evil.
Conclusion: Therefore, Jesus didn't find homosexuality evil.

Now, I don't particularly like the use of the word "evil" here because of the connotation that is carried into our present day society. When people think "evil", they think Halloween or Friday the 13th which are extreme examples of evil. I prefer to make the argument using the word "unethical" because the word "ethic" implies an actual objective moral code, and it puts the argument into a more realistic context using today's vernacular. So, substituting "unethical" for "evil" the syllogism reads:

Premise One: Jesus never said that homosexuals were unethical.
Unstated Premise Two: Whatever Jesus didn't discuss is not unethical.
Conclusion: Therefore, Jesus didn't find homosexuality unethical.

Obviously, Premise One is true (as long as one understands that we are dealing with what Jesus directly said), and the conclusion is the conclusion that Troy W wants the reader to reach. However, to get from Premise One to the Conclusion, one must pass through Premise Two (or something similar). Is there any reason to believe that Premise Two is true? Jesus never mentioned rape, does that mean he thought it isn't unethical? Does the fact that Jesus never mentioned torture mean that it isn't unethical? Obviously, It doesn't follow from Jesus' non-mention of something (either approving or disapproving) that He approved of it. It means, rather, that it wasn't something that we can say he addressed in his three year ministry. To assume that Jesus' non-mention of homosexuality is some sort of silent affirmation of homosexuality is to make an unwarranted leap to a not-so-certain conclusion.

In fact, isn't it true that if Jesus' non-mention of homosexuality could be seen as affirmation of the practice then it's equally valid to argue that Jesus' non-mention of homosexuality can be understood as rejection of the practice? After all, Jesus spent a great deal of time pointing out how the Jewish Priests and Pharisees had distorted God's law, which means that Jesus' failure to address this particular "distortion" proof that Jesus approved of the practice? Obviously, if the failure to mention homosexuality can be seen to support Troy W's position, then the failure to mention it can equally support condemnation of the practice.

Now, Troy W's argument may not be fallacious if the argument can be made that Jesus didn't condemn homosexuality when he was confronted with the issue. However, nowhere in any of the four Gospels is there any account that Jesus was confronted with the opportunity to either affirm or condemn homosexuality. It simply isn't there. Thus, the fact that Jesus never addresses homosexuality cannot be seen as some type of silent affirmation of the practice.

2. In point of fact he never spoke on the subject anywhere in the Bible. It is certainly true that Jesus never directly addressed the subject of homosexuality. However, the Bible as a whole is not silent on the subject. It does refer to it as a sin -- in fact, it identifies it as an "abomination" (Leviticus 18:22) and as "shameless lusts" and "indecent acts" (Romans 1:26-27). Jesus Himself said that he had not come to abolish the Law (including Leviticus), but to fulfill the law. (Matthew 5:17). In other words, Jesus did not say that the law does not identify sin anymore, but rather that he had come to free us from the consequences of that sin.

Consequently, the fact that Jesus never spoke about homosexuality does not mean that the Biblical teachings on the subject as a whole are void and without effect. They are still binding, but the punishment has been taken away because of the work of the cross.

3. He taught love and acceptance of all even those whom have wronged you. He did teach love, and He did teach that all people can attain the Kingdom of God. However, Jesus did not teach acceptance of the actions of all people. Yes, He sat down with the sinners, but the limited times that the Bible discusses Jesus' interactions with these sinners they are identified as people most in need of God's forgiveness. Jesus points out that those who are healthy don't need a healer (Matthew 9:10-13). The woman who cleaned Jesus' feet with tears was also identified as a sinner. (Luke 7:36-50). If anything, Jesus teaches that those He went to (and who came to him) were most in need of His mercy and forgiveness -- not that he accepted what they did.

4. Jesus never said he hated anyone. True. However, the Bible says that God hates those who do wrong (Psalm 5:5) while at the same time loving them enough to offer forgiveness if they turn from their evil ways. Moreover, Jesus didn't hesitate to show His contempt for those who distorted God's Word for their own purposes (Matthew 23). Make no mistake -- God is a God of love, but that does not mean that God is equally accepting of all activity as either acceptable or sin-free.

5. You have to go to the Old Testament to find anything about homosexuality. No, despite attempts by some to have the verses in Romans (Romans 1:26-27) apply only to cultic prostitution, these efforts are largely baseless (in the opinion of many). There are also references to homosexuality as a sin in one of the other letters which I can't find that quickly because my edition of the Bible isn't dog-eared to those pages.

6. If you accept that the New Testament is the chronicle of the teachings of Christ then as a follower of Christ you should be opposed to any law that would subjugate a segment of the population for who they happen to love. If I believed that love was the highest and only ethic, I would agree with this statement. However, a solid understanding of the Biblical teaching requires a synthesis of the teachings as a whole. Christians are not free to ignore the remaining teachings of the Bible about sin and leading Godly lives and still be consistent with the teachings of the entire Word of God.

7. One of the few times Christ was ever cited as showing real anger was when he went into the Temple and saw people perverting the church for their own gain. Yes, he saw people perverting something that was holy. Since God has set his imprimatur on marriage between a man and a woman (Genesis 1 and 2) but has never done the same for homosexuality (which a conservative reading would say has clearly identified as sinful and not blessed), it seems to me that it is the people who are trying to claim that Jesus would support homosexual marriage who are "perverting the church for their own gain."

8. “Judge not lest ye be judged.” Christians are not to judge whether a person has sufficient saving faith. Christians are to judge actions and behaviors as either consistent or inconsistent with the teachings of the church (e.g., 1 Corinthians 5). Almost immediately after saying "Judge not lest ye be judged" in Luke 6:37, Jesus states that Christians are to identify good trees and bad trees by its fruit, i.e., they are supposed to judge a person's heart by their actions (Luke 6:43-45). Moreover, God has judged and will judge (Romans 2).

9. “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” This phrase from John 8 is an admonition to be merciful and forgiving in light of our own sin. This verse is usually cited as a club against Christians not to identify sin, but the people who cite this verse always forget the end of the account. There, Jesus tells the woman who was a sinner and about to be stoned, "Go now and leave your life of sin." The account does not say that Jesus wanted her to continue in her sinful ways, and Christians, likewise, warn about sin and oppose its casual acceptance.

10. Do you think telling people their love is illegitimate is what Jesus would do? I think that Jesus would tell the truth. If the overall Biblical teaching on this subject is accurate (and I strongly contend that it is) then Jesus would not lie and say that He approves of homosexual marriage. Rather, he would say, "Go now and leave your life of sin."

12 comments:

Theological arguments aside, why should the State interfere with people's personal relationships?

If my Aunt and her partner of thirty-five years want to call their exclusive, committed, loving relationship a "marriage" (and honestly I can't think of a better word to describe it) who are you to tell them they can't, or to deny them the legal benefits (and obligations) that would apply to any heterosexual couple in a similar relationship?

If the church they attend is willing to perform a ceremony to formalize that relationship as a marriage who are you to tell them they can't?

It never ceases to amaze me what lengths people will go to in trying to justify their bigotry...

As I said, I am not getting into the merits of the legislation of my post. If the people of the State of California decide to not pass Proposition 8, that is their decision.

If you are referring to me as a bigot, I respectfully disagree. In fact, the fact that you cannot seem to tolerate my differing point of view would very nicely fit the definition of bigotry, i.e., "stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own." Personally, I prefer to engage in rational discussion of the merits rather than hurl ad hominems at each other, don't you?

I tolerate your point of view, I'm just not afraid of pointing out that it's a bigoted point of view.

Now, make up your mind, is it "I am not getting into the merits of the legislation..." or "I prefer to engage in rational discussion of the merits..."?

And I tolerate your bigoted point of view, as well.

I don't see why you can't understand what I wrote.

A typical display of Christian hate. Are you capable of doing anything else?

I understand what you're saying bk; you want to discuss the Biblical aspects of the question and ignore the rest; but this is piece of secular legislation we're talking about and last time I read the American constitution it didn't say anything about laws having to conform to your particular Biblical interpretation.

If others have different interpretation isn't it their right, in a secular society which espouses freedom of conscience in matters of religion, to exercise that interpretation, so long as it doesn't infringe on someone else's rights?

Do you really want to be in the position of arguing for the State to have the authority to decree which of those interpretations is the "right" one?

Goliath,

Sorry to upset your cart, but I don't hate anyone. Why are you so hateful?

A Hermit,

Yes, I am focusing only on the supposedly-Biblical argument being made by Troy W. That is what 98% of my post concerned. I said specifically in my post that I wasn't going to get into the merits of the argument, and except for a general statement that I understood why the people may want to pass this amendment, my post didn't do that. Yet, you want to keep turning the discussion to a different point which I really didn't touch on in the original post. If I had wanted to argue about the merits of the legislation, I would have done so.

However, you seem to misunderstand the relationship between the Constitution and morality. In case you didn't know, the police power of the state allows it to regulate on the basis of the health, safety, morals and welfare of the citizens of the state. This is well settled. The state does legislate the morality of the people, and the question becomes whose morals will be legislated.

No where does the U.S. Constitution nor the State of California Constitution say that the people's morals have to be discerned from an atheistic/secular viewpoint. The people are free to incorporate into the Constitution any moral viewpoint that they choose -- even one that is rooted in religion (as all moral viewpoints ultimately are). Even your viewpoint that promotes "freedom of conscious" is ultimately rooted in a religious principle -- that man has value (Biblical teaching) and therefore should be left alone by the state in matters of conscience.

Further, the argument about homosexual marriage has both religious and a non-religious elements anyway.

Having said all of that, let me respond:

. . . last time I read the American constitution it didn't say anything about laws having to conform to your particular Biblical interpretation.
True. But it doesn't say that only secular viewpoints are allowed to formulate our morality nor does it say that the people as a whole cannot have a broadly agreed moral principal put into law.

If others have different interpretation isn't it their right, in a secular society which espouses freedom of conscience in matters of religion, to exercise that interpretation, so long as it doesn't infringe on someone else's rights?
Yes, and I disagree with laws that would put people into jail for homosexual conduct. But the request is for more: equal status in the eyes of the law with heterosexual marriage. Many would find that to overstep the bounds of exercising freedom of conscience.

Do you really want to be in the position of arguing for the State to have the authority to decree which of those interpretations is the "right" one?
It already is. One way or another, it will decide what the society sees as moral.

"...it doesn't say that only secular viewpoints are allowed to formulate our morality nor does it say that the people as a whole cannot have a broadly agreed moral principal put into law."

It does say that no law shall be passed establishing a religion; since the only objections to homosexual marriage come from a particular Biblical interpretation passing a law to explicitly ban such marriages violates that principle.

"I disagree with laws that would put people into jail for homosexual conduct. But the request is for more: equal status in the eyes of the law with heterosexual marriage. Many would find that to overstep the bounds of exercising freedom of conscience."

Why? What harm is done to you if my elderly Aunt's 35 year committed relationship is given the same recognition as my marriage?

"It already is. One way or another, it will decide what the society sees as moral."

Nonsense. Passing laws to protect the public is not the same as imposing a particular Biblical interpretation. Some Biblical interpretations disallow divorce except in cases of adultery; I don't see any propositions out there to impose that standard on everyone...

The repulsive thing about this proposed amendment is that seeks to deny rights; something no constitutional amendment has ever done. That alone is troubling enough disqualify it, in my opinion.

Well, since we're going to have a political science discussion after all (which is admittedly practical, if not the original point of Bill's article); and speaking as someone who, despite disagreeing even more strenuously than Bill's post with the weak theology and exegetics of the paragraphs from Troy's essay, would frankly also oppose the attempt to amend the state constitution to restrict against gay marriage (the same as I opposed a similar attempt to amend federal constitution)...

{inhale}{g}


1.) In point of fact the case will be settled by majority vote (or maybe the high majority? 2/3 pass or something like that?) of the registered population of California, who will (one supposes) all be voting according to their ethical understanding on the topic and probably also with some idea of how their opinion fits into their worldview-ideology.

1.5.) Such behavior in no way amounts to the establishment of a state religion; any more than a secularist rationale successfully voted into action by a majority would amount to the establishment of a secularist parallel to state religion.

2.) The state has already been granted power (more-or-less by popular consent) to exercise power to enforce the laws decided upon by the people and/or by the people's elected representatives. Or, more precisely, people hired by people already working in state functions, and (in the case of highest executive offices) elected by popular vote, will be empowered to enforce the laws decided upon as morally proper by the people of the state.

3.) All of which is exactly why people like Troy are giving appeals like Troy's (among other kinds of appeals), in order to reason with portions of the voting constituency according to frames of reference expected to be acceptable by the people such arguments are addressed to.

4.) That being said, and realizing (in agreement with Bill) that to some degree this Proposition is being accepted by some people as a response to what they consider to be judicial fiat improperly trumping the legislative authority of the majority votes (which technically the judicial action might or might not have been--much of the point to judicial oversight is to help offset the potential tyranny of a majority vote acting against a previously codified standard as represented by the constitution)...

{inhaling again}{g}

...it is my firm belief that constitutional amendments of this sort are highly dangerous things to be engaging in. If this was an amendment being proposed to ban legal recognition of religious marriages (of whatever kind), we Christians would be frothing at the mouth, and rightfully so. (And probably predicting the arrival of the Antichrist, too. {g})

It isn't a question of whether the grounds for the attempt are religious, philosophical (in accordance with the worldviews of the proponents) and/or metaphysical--they're going to be that anyway (as Bill correctly notes), whether the people involved realize it or not.

It's a question of when it's appropriate to create restrictions that will either directly hamper the recognized rights of people to the pursuit of liberty and happiness or else will lead to subordinate legislations that do so.

Such attempts aren't necessarily wrong in principle, but they do create grave precedents. Is this topic of such vital importance to the well-being of the people who will benefit from it (whoever those are) that it is worth hampering the personal well-being of whomever will be restricted by it?--vital on the scale of it preventing a war, or being worth going to war over, if necessary?

In the case of slavery, that answer was deemed to be yes. (As it was with the Constitution overall in relation to our political freedom from Great Britain.) Is that really where we are at here? I think it's clearly obvious that we are nowhere near that level of necessity and importance.

Nor is this a case where a vast disenfranchised population will be finally given freedom to participate in the governance and legislation of the nation. (Such as with women's suffrage; or with slaves for that matter.) On the contrary, a small minority will be given overriding legal priority for disenfranchisement in a private matter that is important to them but not (so far as I can tell) of great import for the survival of the nation. (I could here cynically quip that the fastest way to reduce the number of people genetically predisposed to homosexuality, however many of those there may be, would be to insistently promote their preferences. Let them marry and be faithful to their partners rather than encouraging them to do something that might actually breed more of them!--evolution wins. {/irony})

Nor again is this a case where the government will be modified in such a way as to reduce the threat of tyranny (such as with the reduction of the President's, or the Governor's, legal term of office). On the contrary, the only active result possible from such an amendment will be state enforcement against the practices of a group of citizens.


So, if we must have a poli-sci discussion on the matter, there are my thoughts.

JRP

But since this is an apologetics journal dedicated to discussion and analysis of philosophy, theology and exegetics--and since that was the 98% thrust of Bill's article, which was responding to an apologetic attempt by Troy W--then I'll add some things to Bill's analysis.


1.) While I'm passing down the article in topical order, I'll pause a moment to observe that the people in favor of homosexual marriage per se, are not necessarily arguing for the promotion of their personal pleasure (though admittedly that kind of ground often finds its way into their appeals and their rhetoric.) They may be, and sometimes are, arguing for the right to be recognized as people who are being faithful in personal relationships with each other. We have agreed that our legal system should be set up to reward such fidelity to the conjugal care of persons for one another--and I think we ought to fairly recognize that this can be and often is a key concern for at least some of the people seeking the legal recognition of marriage for their union. To reduce the issue to a representation that "the highest and most important ethical obligation is to promote pleasure", is frankly unfair to people who wish to share in the rewards for faithful fair-togetherness toward each other. And as a trinitarian theist, that's something I can religiously respect as being directly and closely related to the highest and most important ethical obligation. Which makes the situation more ethically complex for me, but that's how it goes. {shrug} (More on that ethical complexity later.)

I'm probably about to go even further in agreeing with Bill on his other points (where I mention them), so I figured I ought to get my chief disagreement with him out of the way first. {g}


2.) In a way this may count as a disagreement with Bill, too; but it's more of a disagreement with Troy W, and I expect Bill will say 'duh' and agree with it, too. {g} But, um, yeah, if Jesus is actually the second Person of YHWH, Incarnate; and if God had anything at all to do with the several (and only negative) injunctions against homosexual behavior in the OT and NT both; then in fact Jesus has "spoken somewhere in the Bible" on the topic. And He's uniformly against homosexual activity. (Per se. More on that qualification later.)


2.1.) As a minor aside, Jesus does mention catamites (i.e. the malakon) in passing in the Gospels, as a rhetorical device when asking who the crowds had come out to see in their appreciation of John the Baptist. It isn't an apocalyptic denunciation, but neither is it a positive comparison. (If anything it's a humorous negative.)


2.2.) Also as a somewhat less minor aside, there is some question as to whether Jesus is the one speaking in RevJohn 22:14-16 (which is bracketed by verses, 12-13 and 16, where He is certainly explicitly speaking.) But if He is, then He's saying that the "dogs" are among the sinners still outside the gates of the New Jerusalem along with other archetypical categories of sinners; the emphasis being that they're still there because they still love and practice their sinning. "Dogs", in this kind of context, is a Hebrew euphemism for homosexuals. (And certainly they're outside by the injunction of God in any case, even if the verses are descriptive commentary by the author.)

The situation isn't hopeless; the Spirit expects the church to join Him in encouraging those still outside who are thirsting, to repent, drink of and wash clean in the river of life flowing out of the never-closed gates, and so obtain permission to enter the city and eat of the tree of life and be healed. But still...


3.) I routinely find it ironic that the persons appealing to tolerance of others who are different, against exclusion and rejection, are asking us to tolerate (and even to some degree approve of) the rejection and exclusion of the opposite gender in favor of others who are far more similar to themselves; even to the point of taking on the roles that would normally be filled by those other persons.

I happen to get along better socially with men than women, as a general rule, myself. I expect I have a preference for men in that way: if you gave me the option of spending time with two peers with equivalent topical interest to me, and eliminated any sexual attraction from the consideration, I'd probably choose to be around the guy every time.

But if I happened to also have a sexual attraction to men, then I would be being encouraged to exclude women from arguably the most intimate human relationship possible to me; a relationship that ideally undermines the barriers of my selfishness and even my cliquishness, and requires me to be vulnerable to the actions of someone crucially different from myself.

Such an attraction would also be encouraging me to enact, typologically, a rejection of the world by God; instead of enacting, typologically, a self-sacrificial providential and intimate care for the world by God. That won't be of much importance to people who aren't supernaturalistic theists, of course; but it's important to me (a Christian who believes chivalry to women is the human-relationship ideal that men are called to aspire to).


4.) Do I think telling people their love is illegitimate is what Jesus would do? Setting aside the particular question of homosexuality, which is not a personal factor in my life, my answer is: yes, absolutely I believe God (including as Jesus) could and does tell me that some loves of mine are illegitimate and ought to be reshaped and redirected. I have a very strong personal attraction to a woman whom I would gladly have married (who incidentally is not a Christian); but she began a romantic relationship with another man before I was in a position to begin courting her myself. And as an ethical matter, I am required to avoid doing anything to entice her away from him or do anything other than pray for and encourage their relationship together--even when their relationship hasn't been as strong as it could be. I cannot even legitimately hope that their relationship (which I have had to hopefully consider a marriage and which they eventually proclaimed as a marriage) will one day fail so that I can be with her myself. That would be adultery and even (in spiritual principle) murder in my heart.

Guess who God condemns for that? Me. And rightfully so. It would be very much better for me to be burning in hell forever (if that's what it comes to) than for me to be a person who would act against either of them (but especially her) in such a way.


Frankly, preaching against homosexuality isn't high on my list of theological priorities. I have my own problems; and my own logs in my eyes. {wry g} But, neither do I appreciate facile theological and exegetical appeals on the topic. And I agree with Bill: those two paragraphs (at least--and I have found them to be typically representative of common appeals) are facile theological and exegetical appeals.

That all having been said: I'll reiterate that the question of marriage introduces some real ethical complexity into the topical mix; and I believe it ought to be respected as such. (This is aside from the legal/political topic, which I've already given much opinion on above.) I personally have a moderately strong instinctive distaste for homosexuality; but I recognize that this is no ground for ethical injunctions against homosexuality, much less against a homosexual marriage. I believe that metaphysical theology (insofar as it has anything to say on the matter), and scriptural testimony (which has more to say explicitly), both come out against encouraging homosexual behavior, per se. But common reason and scriptural testimony about God's intentions, do also praise mutually supporting self-sacrificial personal fidelity (especially that found in marriage) as not only being an ethically good thing but also of closest relationship to the fair-togetherness of God Himself.

And that gives me proportionately strong ground to believe, as a Christian, that even though I must believe the homosexual expression of the relationship must be misdirected, those who are nevertheless faithful in doing what is good in such circumstances will not be losing their reward. Insofar as their relationship needs healing, I can trust that one day it will be healed and even in a fashion that the persons themselves will approve of.

And that's no different in principle than any other such sin-problematic relationship that all of us, whoever we are, may (and most likely do) enter into. If I'm critical of them, I'm critical of myself as well; I'm not excluded of the same principles challenging their relationship, and they're included in the same hope I have for myself in my own various relationships, whatever that hope may most legitimately be.

JRP

Hi BK

Are you quite sure about #6 in your original? I'd like to suggest an alternate, if you'd consider it: that love is the highest ethic of Christianity, and we are to love everyone; however, we are not to have sex with everyone so it is not quite legitimate to take passages about how love (agape) is the highest good and apply them to sex.

& if you don't mind an addendum: being forgiven is not the same as being right.

Just in general, given that humanity reproduces heterosexually and that's just biology, any government committed to the long-term is going to encourage responsible exercise of heterosexuality as the way to keep things going into the future.

Take care & God bless
WF

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