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fgoodwin

Community Day backs away from BSA over its gay policy

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"41% of homosexuals in a recent study reported being the victim of a hate crime at some point in their life after age 16.

 

"That's more than "a few people" expressing their hatred. Even if we cut that statistic in half, it's still quite a bit of hatred out there."

 

You only know half the story. How many heterosexuals committed these hate crimes? Definately not 41%.

 

The last claim that I heard was that homosexuals make up 10% of the population. So that survey is true, that makes 4.1% of the general population that has been the vicitm of a homosexuality related "hate crime. I think that we can safely that the perpetrators of these "hate crimes" each comitteed multiple crimes, let's go with five as a round number. So that leaves us with 0.802% of the general population that has committed a "hate crime" against a homosexual. Not quite an epidemic.

 

Also we need to wonder what are these "hate crimes"? Are they being kicked and punched? Did somone knock their school books out of their hands? Was is simply, "Don't stand next to me in the shower, you stinking homosexual"?

 

 

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Yah, I think theft is immoral. I suppose yeh could call that a "prejudice", but I think that's just bein' silly.

 

Whether a thief is immoral or not I can't answer. That's up to a Guy with more Qualifications than I have.

 

I think that recreational drug use is immoral, too. More religious-based prejudice, I suppose. Whether a particular drug user is immoral or not I can't answer. I understand that the drug user experiences a natural attraction or "orientation" to drug use, and that such addiction happens for reasons that may be biological or environmental or some combination.

 

But I would try to convince him to stop using drugs. And I would try to keep other kids from followin' in his footsteps in terms of drug use. And I wouldn't hold him up as an example of leadership to children.

 

Must be an expression of my hate. Just like my condemnation of gay-bashing. I think that's immoral too.

 

Guess I should stop that, it's just being prejudiced.

 

Trying to tar all religious folks who object to homosexual activity on ethical grounds with the brush of gay-bashing is the worst sort of religiophobic hate-based prejudice. There's not a single western religion that teaches it's OK to beat up or kill a man for his orientation. We're all about conversion. ;)

 

Beavah

 

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"Trying to tar all religious folks who object to homosexual activity on ethical grounds with the brush of gay-bashing is the worst sort of religiophobic hate-based prejudice."

 

Sorry, but I'm so not doing that. I'm just trying to keep "gay-bashing" from being dismissed as something that is not happening, or that when it is happening, that religious beliefs aren't at the root of some of it.

 

"There's not a single western religion that teaches it's OK to beat up or kill a man for his orientation."

 

Again, not what I said. I specifically said "some religious folks", not "religions". Although some sects of Islam do teach just that. But there are more than just "a few" people out there whose personal interpretions of those teachings say that it is OK to do that. So it sounds like your real beef is with the people in your religion who are misinterpreting the teachings of your religion, not with the people who are calling them "hateful" because of it.

 

Still trying to figure out how someone who is devoutly religious can still be a religiophobe...

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The topic kind of went the way of other threads anyway and I've thought some more about the "buzz words", as Aquila put the phrase.

 

Beavah had some thoughts on the 'buzz words' and these two statements sort of encapsulated his thoughts:

"But by throwing out "hate" and "prejudice" (and other buzzwords), the discussion changes to an offensive/defensive posturing rather than the issue of behavior."

then later,

"Prejudice and hate cut both ways, packsaddle. Best to stay away from that kind of loaded language, eh?"

 

I had associated certain attitudes and actions against gays with prejudice and hate. I think (correct me if I'm wrong) that objections to this association are because some views toward gays are based on religious beliefs. And Dan (and I) thought that just because attitudes and actions are based on religious belief they should not thereby automatically receive a 'pass' on prejudice and hate, if those are the effective outcomes.

This summary is brief, I know, so correct me if I've gotten something badly wrong in it.

 

The exchange between Dan and Beavah caused me to think a little more about the things we 'believe' and our basis for them. I admit I have some difficulty with the topic because, as a scientist, my beliefs are very tentative and I actually delight in seeing them shattered by data and new observations, or by better reasoning. It has long mystified me why everyone else doesn't feel this way too.

As evidence of this consider Beavah's statement: "Callin' someone else's fundamental belief hateful is a good way to start conflict and war, eh?"

War? Really? Sadly, Beavah seems to be correct...I wonder why though?

 

I guess I'm as naive as Galileo was when he tried to help the Church out with a better system of planetary motion. But I continue to ask myself, "why do people kill other people over ideas?", especially ideas that can't really be separated from superstitions and myths.

After all, ideas are things that actually don't exist, really. Right? Theyre just a system of neural activity, not much different from computer vaporware.

 

This is particularly puzzling for a scientist because in science ideas are constantly in flux, just waiting to be examined, criticized, re-examined, and potentially rejected.

So I think back to the days when I literally DID try to move objects with faith alone. The ideas of those days were very clear. At least they seemed to be at the time. They were written right there, in the KJV Bible - infallible, inviolable. But, I eventually had to ask myself...

"Are black people really cursed and inferior as written in the Bible?"

 

My mere willingness to ask questions like this did two things: First, it opened a flood of related questions in my mind. Second, it made it clear that I was never EVER going to be a Presbyterian. and perhaps not any of the other flavors, either.

The answers were my path to science. They also put me in a minority of white persons who understood that those Biblically-based views of black people were employed by persons of faith to hold attitudes and commit actions that were prejudiced and hateful. I suspect that a fair number of black people agreed with my view, though.

 

So if a particular religious belief IS a negative statement on a person or group outside those following that religion, then what difference does it make who that person or group is? Does anyone FAIL to understand the prejudicial nature of such religious doctrines with regard to race? Circle the answer:

YES

NO

Why is it easy for us to understand this with respect to race and NOT with respect to gays, atheists, or other faiths and minorities? This question is one about which I continue to wonder. And about which I was thinking earlier in the thread.

 

So why DOES one group threaten war just because their religious view is associated with prejudice by someone else? I remember this kind of thing from the '50s and '60s, only the topic of equal rights was with respect to race, not sexual orientation.

It's only an idea - right? And the ones who OUGHT to be alarmed are the recipients of the prejudice, right? But black people didn't bomb the churches, lynch people, or turn fire hoses on peaceful assemblies of people. The people who did those things claimed Biblical authority. They were filled with prejudice and hate.

 

It seems to me that we should be able to lob ideas back and forth an infinite number of times without the threat of violence. The concept of WWJD comes to mind. Perhaps that isnt explicit enough in the scriptures.

 

So I ask: If I and others consider the religious-based attitudes and actions of the 50s and 60s to be prejudiced and hateful toward blacks, why the objections today when I make comparisons to identical attitudes and actions with regard to gays, atheists, or any other group? The better question might be: why do you USE your faith as a defence of such attitudes and actions? Or do you disagree that the religious-based attitudes and actions against blacks were prejudiced and hateful?

This inquiring mind would like to know.

 

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Various versions including KJV, Revised Standard, maybe some others, I'm not sure how many. But you already knew that, right?

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So, you were reading the Bible and being taught that blacks were inferior and cursed. Yet, blacks were using the same Bible in their churches. My guess is they weren't seeing the same message you were. The prejudice and hate came from society, not from the Bible. Maybe we are seeing the same thing regarding homosexuality, but I don't think so. There are some major differences here. One issue is about skin color, the other is about an act.

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Perhaps my Brother Pack is being misunderstood. I know that as a youth in the early 60's being told by a friend of my father that the "black race" was cursed. When Cain slew his brother, he was marked, and this guy said the mark was black skin therefore all black skinned people were descendents of Cain. Seeing as how my hero of heroes at the time was Gale Sayers, I had a slightly different take on this concept. I did note on Sundays when Sayers got the ball, this guy cheered as loud as anyone. You know, yeah he can score 6 touchdowns for me, but please dont live in my neighborhood.

 

The bible can be used to justify anything. Who is it that wants women to be subject to their husbands? Wasnt that an issue just a few years back?

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I agree OGE, but I also agree with Brent to some extent. I do understand that as you say, we can justify many prejudices that we already hold...with carefully selected and interpreted Bible passages. I further believe that this is not unique to Christianity. To me, whether the prejudice is there anyway or if it has been taught from scripture, the effect is the same and neither one is better than the other.

 

The connection to the conflict articulated earlier in the thread seems to be to the source of our moral code. If it is based a flavor of religion that dictates the code from a book like the Bible, then any negative judgement of people based on that code will automatically coincide with what we otherwise would call 'prejudice', if that prejudice is based on the same writings. In this way the two are indistinguishable when viewed from the outside...which is where, of course, the objects of the prejudice reside (and me as well, more often than not).

 

Moreover, the ultimate origin of a societal prejudice is nearly impossible to identify if the society has been dominated by one general type of religion, as ours has been.

 

I have a strong sympathetic response to the 'underdog', cultivated during the '60s and '70s. Today I see gays as having suffered unfairly and I work either to change this status or else to make resistant people uncomfortable with their prejudices.

 

I disagree that the difference is between skin color and behavior. I am satisfied that sexual orientation is not a matter of choice and that prejudice against gays exists regardless of any 'behavior'.

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Yah, packsaddle, I think if you are tryin' to judge a whole group by the actions of its most outrageous or misguided members, yeh can always find a way to condemn any group of people. In that case, all scientists can be tarred my Watson's recent racist comments about the genetic inferiority of blacks.

 

Now how would yeh feel about talkin' about the "hate" and "prejudice" of science? The implication, even if unstated, is that the ideas of science and all who live by them are wicked. Dr. Watson (and others!) proves it.

 

The fact that a few "Christians" tried to justify slavery with biblical quotes doesn't change the fact that emancipation in da U.S. was accomplished only through the persistence and single-minded determination of the much larger Christian faithful who objected to slavery as a morally reprehensible act.

 

What yeh miss in your analysis is that western religions don't make "negative judgement of people" as you claim. At least, not the way you scientists like Dr. Watson do. ;) Our moral code makes judgments about actions, and to some extent about attitudes that drive bad actions (like Envy, Pride, etc.). The effects of behaviors and actions on communities are determinable. The effects of attitudes like Lust or Gluttony can be seen in the effects on people.

 

But your belief that the formal teaching of religious belief is negative judgment of individual persons is simply wrong. And prejudiced. And hurtful. It reflects you scientists like Dr. Watson who like to judge people rather than evidence, and assume the rest of us do the same. :) Yeh see how easy it is to use a bad apple and ignore what a group really teaches?

 

It might be easier for you to make that error because your moral code comes only from personal experience in da '60s, rather than drawing from broader data derived from 4,000 years of religioethical data and teaching. :)

 

Beavah :)

 

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"The fact that a few "Christians" tried to justify slavery with biblical quotes doesn't change the fact that emancipation in da U.S. was accomplished only through the persistence and single-minded determination of the much larger Christian faithful who objected to slavery as a morally reprehensible act."

 

Well, Beavah, don't you think the current situation with gays is completely analogous? There are an increasing number of Christians who believe (and the doctrine of their denominations is reflecting this more and more) that the "immorality" of gays is no worse or different than the "immorality" of the average sinner, so it is reprehensible to single them out for prejudice and discrimination.

 

The United Church of Christ, the United Methodist Church, and the Episcopal Church (well, at least part of it) are all using the same Bible as the evanglicals, but they are coming to a different conclusion on this issue, right? So does that mean that the prejudice against gays isn't really coming from the Bible, but from society (as Brent said about racism)? Doesn't that kind of cost them their entire "religious belief" defense?

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"But your belief that the formal teaching of religious belief is negative judgment of individual persons is simply wrong."

 

Again, Beavah, I have to sound the horseapple alert. How can you teach a negative judgement on an entire group without that judgement applying to the individual persons who make up that group? Well, I think homosexuality is immoral, but Adam and Steve over there aren't really immoral, because the Church didn't name them specifically....

 

And what do you consider "formal teaching"? I admit it has been a while since I've been involved with a church that actually has doctrine, so I'm not sure what qualifies as "formal". Is what the pastor preaches from the pulpit a "formal teaching"? For Catholics, is it formal if the Pope says it?

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Yah, DanKroh, don't know if yeh claim to be a "scientist" like packsaddle, eh? But if yeh asked packsaddle whether different scientists ever look at the same set of data and come to very different conclusions (or workin' theories or whatever), I bet he'd say "yes, all the time." The same is of course true for economics, psychology, history, etc.

 

So I'm not sure what your point is in tryin' to hold Biblical religions up to a different standard than the rest of human endeavor. Do some Christian religions interpret things differently, or even pastors within the same religion? Sure, and that can be part of an ongoin' exploration and dialog. Often heated dialog, same as any other human endeavor. Do we have our nutjobs who go off da reservation? Sure, just like every other human endeavor. Religion doesn't make us less human. The Anglican communion is goin' through some of that heated dialog right now, eh? ;)

 

But because you're not a practicin' Christian or at least are fairly far removed from anyone teachin' yeh how it works, you're introducing a lot of your own personal prejudice. Christianity at least, and probably many of the others, believes exactly what you describe:

 

Well, I think homosexuality is immoral, but Adam and Steve over there aren't necessarily immoral

 

A good Christian condemns thieving as immoral. "Thou shalt not steal." But a good Christian does not condemn a thief.

A good Christian condemns adultery as immoral. "Thou shalt not commit adultery." But a good Christian does not condemn the adulteress. "Let he among you who is without sin cast the first stone.... Nor do I condemn you, but go and sin no more."

 

So, just like a scientist, we can say the equivalent of "If you (or anyone) touches this high-voltage line while grounded, the results for you are likely to be very unpleasant, and we would strongly advise you not to do that." But we can't see everything, especially what's in a man's heart, so final judgment is left up to God. It might be that despite what da scientist thinks, the power line is off, or the man's shoes are really well insulated, eh?

 

But that doesn't make da general advice of not touchin' power lines bad advice.

 

As far as degrees, I'd think of homosexual lifestyle as a serious sin, eh? But I'd expect all religions, not just some as you claim, would consider it "no more sinful" than other serious sins. Sin is sin. But that's not the same as the notion bein' simply "cultural."

 

In fact, if yeh look at the data carefully, the only culture that is wafflin' at all on homosexuality is America and some of western Europe. The rest of the Anglican world is up in arms against the "renegade" American Episcopal church. So from da evidence, it suggests that it is most likely that embracin' homosexuality as acceptable is a strange cultural phenomenon of America. Part and parcel with America's sexually promiscuous culture in other ways... and a very, very short-term and recent phenomenon to boot.

 

I wonder how many scientists make broad claims based on one short-term, very localized sample, eh? I bet not many good ones.

 

Beavah

 

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