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Religious Nones: The bigger picture shows increasing polarization

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On recent Sundays, we’ve been pointing to discussions of the rise of the Religious Nones (people who say they have no religion) – and what that means and doesn’t mean. (Here and here, for example).

It doesn’t mean that former theists have become atheists or even that they are likely to. The driving factor is the collapse of mainline Protestantism, leaving people who are vaguely theist without a religious identity. Many questions lie beyond that change but first, a note about identity…

The Catholic Church is in big trouble too. But the nature of the problem is a bit different. “Catholic” is a multigenerational identity. People can think of themselves as Catholic even if no one since their grandparents’ day has ever been to mass. Put another way: They don’t think they’re atheists (that’s scary). They just continue to say they are Catholic—even if they can’t recite the Lord’s Prayer. No one challenges them on the point. Why bother? One suspects it’s roughly similar with Islam in the Middle East.

By contrast, let’s say that no one in your family has darkened the door of a mainline liberal church since your grandmother did, occasonally, in the 1960s. You probably won’t think of yourself as a member. Truth be told, such a church never had much impact on the culture around it. In recent decades, it probably became largely indistinguishable from the surrounding culture from which it got all its ideas. Its disappearance would have little cultural impact.

The rise of the Nones does mean something important, however: Those who care about the Big Questions are more visibly polarized:

Consider, for example, the percentage of Americans who report that their religious affiliation is “Strong.” This percentage has fluctuated a bit over the decades, but the most recent survey puts it at 34 percent, a number that has remained basically unchanged since 1975, when 35 percent of Americans reported a strong religious affiliation. Apparently, the rise of the Nones is not attributable to a decline in religious enthusiasm among the most strongly committed.

By contrast, the decline in the percentage of Americans who say their religious affiliation is only “Somewhat strong” appears steadier, particularly in recent years. In 2006, about 12 percent of Americans told the GSS surveyors that their affiliation was “Somewhat Strong.” In the most recent survey, that percentage has fallen to only 4 percent. That is a significant drop… Confirmation bias is always a problem when one looks at data like this. Still, the 2018 report suggests that Americans are becoming deeply divided in our attitudes toward religion, a subject about which I’ve written elsewhere. Mark Movsesian, “The Devout and the Nones” at First Things

Movsesian goes on to explain that the divide leaves a deeper mark now on American politics, with Religious Nones being the largest group in the Democratic Party (30%) and 70% of declared Republicans believing in the “God of the Bible.” The “religious left,” incidentally, now seems to be largely an artifact of thinkmags, although it was an important force decades ago.

Visible polarization enables issues to become more politicized than they otherwise could be.

Whatever happens with science issues as a result won’t be dull.

See also: Researchers: Rise In “Religious Nones” Masks Growth In Evangelicalism

and

For The First Time, “No Religion” Is The Most Popular Choice For Americans

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307 Replies to “Religious Nones: The bigger picture shows increasing polarization

  1. 1
    Brother Brian says:

    Isn’t it possible that the rise in nones is due to a rise in people making their own determination as to what the scriptures mean rather than relying on others to tell them? I would think that people using the brain given to them by God (according to most here) to interpret his “words” would be what God would want.

    Personally I think a decline in the “authority” of religion is a good thing for society. We have to justify and be accountable for our own prejudices rather than use church authority to justify them.

  2. 2
    AaronS1978 says:

    I wouldn’t say that it was because they’re making their own determinations. They’re a great deal of social media’s that had something to do with this including a lot of bad publicity that also happened as well and they correlate quite well together even to the point of a cause.

    As a Catholic I watched our religion crumble because of the scandal that happened and even though we have gone to great lengths to fix this in the past years (and I know some will disagree and bring mistakes that also have been corrected) we still have not been able to shake off the problem and the publicity of what happened. I’ve watched as our churches startto empty out and it has done nothing but get worse in recent years.

    Furthermore, The aggressive attacks on religion, many of which are strawman argument and splitting hairs, have a huge impact on the popularity of religion in general. In liberal media, Being religious is being associated with gun toting rednecks that are racist, hate women, and the gays! It is also associated with being dumb and has been so for quite some time.

    when this is beaten into your head every single day at a college will have an impact on whether or not you stay religious.

    Fun fact The first couple of international IQ tests that were done found that Singapore was one of the smartest countries in the world and also the poorest and most religious.

    However that is change since then and more and more intelligent people seem to be atheist now despite the fact that in our past very very intelligent and genius level people mostly we’re not atheist

    That seems to correlate with the idea that if you were intelligent you have to be fashionably atheist and this would definitely have an impact as it might convince individuals to disregard religion and become atheist because nobody wants to be considered stupid.

    This would increase numbers and show more people turning away from religion plus show a skewing in iq test. It’s not the intelligence that makes you an atheist it’s the fact that if you are intelligent you should be an atheist because believing in God is no different then believing in Santa Claus.

    Also is worth pointing out that many of the religious nones were religious at one point. As these surveys were taken year after year and there is not a sudden population growth that all happened to be religious nones that suddenly appeared. These people consist of many past generations and I’ve lived through all of these events and it would not surprise me with the advent of social media and the pressures presented by that, that this would be the real of the decline in religious.

    So there are many many factors that are contributing to the rise of religious nones, and as Bill Maher said In an interview on the daily show years ago “ We finally got that needle to move a little bit more towards us on both drugs and atheism” I think this was back in 2010, but there has been a very very strong push to make religious people look stupid and to undermine religious authority, With absolutely no real pushback from religious authorities especially when it comes to social media and other outlets.

    So here is a general picture of what I’ve gotten from media monsters like Maher and in the academia of ASU

    Who would want to actually be religious when religious Christianity is associated with murdering in the name of God, low intelligence, Bigotry, hating homosexuals, child molestation because all priest do this and only priests, hate speech, Donald trump, They are all Chauvinistic pigs and hate women, religious people believe in the magic man in the sky, And Catholics are stupid because they can go to confession and get all of their sins washed away just because they asked for forgiveness which also is not true this was a debate I had with a very angry feminist, anti science and believe in myths because of our low intelligence and instinct, the list goes on

    A funny story that I have about this Was an individual was writing His dissertation on how chauvinistic the Bible was starting with a quote of Ephesians 23, I was incredibly angry when he quoted it because he decided to disregard Ephesians 24, 25 and 26, Which talked directly to how the husband has to sacrifice himself for the wife, I called him out on it forced him to put it on the board, I said read the whole thing before you make comments and interpretations he pulled Ephesians 23 from his dissertation, After the teacher had told him “to the Chagrin of many feminists the Bible also has many quotes exonerating women and god acting like a mother hen.”

    But all of those things are things that I’ve encountered and I’ve watched have an impact I think the biggest driving factor is nobody wants to be considered stupid and being religious makes you stupid and Ignorant. And that is the argument most often levied against religious people by atheists and other social media outlets. Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins are very guilty of that

  3. 3
    Brother Brian says:

    AaronS1978, I would agree that religion (or lack) are not linked to intelligence.

    The decline in attendance may be linked to the pedophilia scandals, but it is far more complicated than that as attendance at many denominational churches is also declining. The real scandal in the Catholic Church was not the pedophilia. Pedophikia amongsts priest is no higher than amongst other professions. The real scandal was the efforts put into covering up the incidents for decades, if not for centuries.

    But I think one of the other things driving people away from the church is their stance on homosexuality. As the negative social and career implications of being a known homosexual have significantly declined more and more people have discovered that they have friends and family members who are homosexual. And they see that these people are the same as they are, and not the deluded sick sinners that many churches tell them that they are.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    The gist of BB’s statement in post 1 is that people ought to think for themselves. The irony is that people thinking for themselves is exactly what the atheistic materialism of BB’s Darwinian worldview excludes:

    “The Astonishing Hypothesis is that “You,” your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased: “You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.” This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people today that it can truly be called astonishing.”
    Francis Crick – Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul (p. 3)

    “Science provides clear-cut answers to all of the questions on the list: there is no free will, there is no mind distinct from the brain, there is no soul, no self, no person that supposedly inhabits your body, that endures over its life span, and that might even outlast it.”
    Alex Rosenberg – The Atheist’s Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life without Illusions – pg. 147

    Darwin’s Robots: When Evolutionary Materialists Admit that Their Own Worldview Fails – Nancy Pearcey – April 23, 2015
    Excerpt: Even materialists often admit that, in practice, it is impossible for humans to live any other way. One philosopher jokes that if people deny free will, then when ordering at a restaurant they should say, “Just bring me whatever the laws of nature have determined I will get.”
    An especially clear example is Galen Strawson, a philosopher who states with great bravado, “The impossibility of free will … can be proved with complete certainty.” Yet in an interview, Strawson admits that, in practice, no one accepts his deterministic view. “To be honest, I can’t really accept it myself,” he says. “I can’t really live with this fact from day to day. Can you, really?”,,,
    In What Science Offers the Humanities, Edward Slingerland, identifies himself as an unabashed materialist and reductionist. Slingerland argues that Darwinian materialism leads logically to the conclusion that humans are robots — that our sense of having a will or self or consciousness is an illusion. Yet, he admits, it is an illusion we find impossible to shake. No one “can help acting like and at some level really feeling that he or she is free.” We are “constitutionally incapable of experiencing ourselves and other conspecifics [humans] as robots.”
    One section in his book is even titled “We Are Robots Designed Not to Believe That We Are Robots.”,,,
    When I teach these concepts in the classroom, an example my students find especially poignant is Flesh and Machines by Rodney Brooks, professor emeritus at MIT. Brooks writes that a human being is nothing but a machine — a “big bag of skin full of biomolecules” interacting by the laws of physics and chemistry. In ordinary life, of course, it is difficult to actually see people that way. But, he says, “When I look at my children, I can, when I force myself, … see that they are machines.”
    Is that how he treats them, though? Of course not: “That is not how I treat them…. I interact with them on an entirely different level. They have my unconditional love, the furthest one might be able to get from rational analysis.” Certainly if what counts as “rational” is a materialist worldview in which humans are machines, then loving your children is irrational. It has no basis
    within Brooks’s worldview. It sticks out of his box.
    How does he reconcile such a heart-wrenching cognitive dissonance? He doesn’t. Brooks ends by saying, “I maintain two sets of inconsistent beliefs.” He has given up on any attempt to reconcile his theory with his experience. He has abandoned all hope for a unified, logically consistent worldview.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....95451.html

    In fact, if BB were really a real person that could think for himself instead of just being a neuronal illusion with no free will, i.e. instead of being a “Darwinbot”, then BB would reasonably conclude that his ‘God given’ brain is indeed God given and is certainly not the product of happenstance accidents:

    The Human Brain Is ‘Beyond Belief’ by Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D. * – 2017
    Excerpt: The human brain,, is an engineering marvel that evokes comments from researchers like “beyond anything they’d imagined, almost to the point of being beyond belief”1 and “a world we had never imagined.”2,,,
    Perfect Optimization
    The scientists found that at multiple hierarchical levels in the whole brain, nerve cell clusters (ganglion), and even at the individual cell level, the positioning of neural units achieved a goal that human engineers strive for but find difficult to achieve—the perfect minimizing of connection costs among all the system’s components.,,,
    Vast Computational Power
    Researchers discovered that a single synapse is like a computer’s microprocessor containing both memory-storage and information-processing features.,,, Just one synapse alone can contain about 1,000 molecular-scale microprocessor units acting in a quantum computing environment. An average healthy human brain contains some 200 billion nerve cells connected to one another through hundreds of trillions of synapses. To put this in perspective, one of the researchers revealed that the study’s results showed a single human brain has more information processing units than all the computers, routers, and Internet connections on Earth.1,,,
    Phenomenal Processing Speed
    the processing speed of the brain had been greatly underrated. In a new research study, scientists found the brain is 10 times more active than previously believed.6,7,,,
    The large number of dendritic spikes also means the brain has more than 100 times the computational capabilities than was previously believed.,,,
    Petabyte-Level Memory Capacity
    Our new measurements of the brain’s memory capacity increase conservative estimates by a factor of 10 to at least a petabyte, in the same ballpark as the World Wide Web.9,,,
    Optimal Energy Efficiency
    Stanford scientist who is helping develop computer brains for robots calculated that a computer processor functioning with the computational capacity of the human brain would require at least 10 megawatts to operate properly. This is comparable to the output of a small hydroelectric power plant. As amazing as it may seem, the human brain requires only about 10 watts to function.11 ,,,
    Multidimensional Processing
    It is as if the brain reacts to a stimulus by building then razing a tower of multi-dimensional blocks, starting with rods (1D), then planks (2D), then cubes (3D), and then more complex geometries with 4D, 5D, etc. The progression of activity through the brain resembles a multi-dimensional sandcastle that materializes out of the sand and then disintegrates.13
    He also said:
    We found a world that we had never imagined. There are tens of millions of these objects even in a small speck of the brain, up through seven dimensions. In some networks, we even found structures with up to eleven dimensions.13,,,
    Biophoton Brain Communication
    Neurons contain many light-sensitive molecules such as porphyrin rings, flavinic, pyridinic rings, lipid chromophores, and aromatic amino acids. Even the mitochondria machines that produce energy inside cells contain several different light-responsive molecules called chromophores. This research suggests that light channeled by filamentous cellular structures called microtubules plays an important role in helping to coordinate activities in different regions of the brain.,,,
    https://www.icr.org/article/10186

    If anything ever screamed that it was created by God, the human brain is certainly it. But alas, according to BB’s Darwinian worldview, he is not allowed to think for himself, and thus he is forced, by no will of his own, to believe the insane proposition that his ‘beyond belief’ brain is just an accident of Darwinian processes.

    Of course BB is not a neuronal illusion, and of course BB is free to believe whatever he wants. But the real reason that BB refuses to believe that God created his ‘beyond belief’ brain has nothing to do with the science at hand and everything to do with his apriori bias against God.

    In short, BB’s reasons for excluding God from his life are not the result of logic and science but entirely the result of his preexisting emotional and psychiatric bias against God.

    Studies establish that the design inference is ‘knee jerk’ inference that is built into everyone, especially including atheists, and that atheists have to mentally work suppressing their “knee jerk” design inference!

    Is Atheism a Delusion?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ii-bsrHB0o

    Design Thinking Is Hardwired in the Human Brain. How Come? – October 17, 2012
    Excerpt: “Even Professional Scientists Are Compelled to See Purpose in Nature, Psychologists Find.” The article describes a test by Boston University’s psychology department, in which researchers found that “despite years of scientific training, even professional chemists, geologists, and physicists from major universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Yale cannot escape a deep-seated belief that natural phenomena exist for a purpose” ,,,
    Most interesting, though, are the questions begged by this research. One is whether it is even possible to purge teleology from explanation.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65381.html

    Richard Dawkins take heed: Even atheists instinctively believe in a creator says study – Mary Papenfuss – June 12, 2015
    Excerpt: Three studies at Boston University found that even among atheists, the “knee jerk” reaction to natural phenomenon is the belief that they’re purposefully designed by some intelligence, according to a report on the research in Cognition entitled the “Divided Mind of a disbeliever.”
    The findings “suggest that there is a deeply rooted natural tendency to view nature as designed,” writes a research team led by Elisa Järnefelt of Newman University. They also provide evidence that, in the researchers’ words, “religious non-belief is cognitively effortful.”
    Researchers attempted to plug into the automatic or “default” human brain by showing subjects images of natural landscapes and things made by human beings, then requiring lightning-fast responses to the question on whether “any being purposefully made the thing in the picture,” notes Pacific-Standard.
    “Religious participants’ baseline tendency to endorse nature as purposefully created was higher” than that of atheists, the study found. But non-religious participants “increasingly defaulted to understanding natural phenomena as purposefully made” when “they did not have time to censor their thinking,” wrote the researchers.
    The results suggest that “the tendency to construe both living and non-living nature as intentionally made derives from automatic cognitive processes, not just practised explicit beliefs,” the report concluded.
    The results were similar even among subjects from Finland, where atheism is not a controversial issue as it can be in the US.
    “Design-based intuitions run deep,” the researchers conclude, “persisting even in those with no explicit religious commitment and, indeed, even among those with an active aversion to them.”
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/richa.....dy-1505712

    i.e. It is not that Atheists do not see purpose and/or Design in nature and biology, it is that Atheists, for whatever severely misguided reason, live in denial of the purpose and/or Design that they themselves see in nature. And yes, ‘denialism’ is considered a mental illness.

    In the psychology of human behavior, denialism is a person’s choice to deny reality, as a way to avoid a psychologically uncomfortable truth.
    Denialism – Wikipedia

    Moreover, there is the sheer irrationality of atheists being very hostile towards a God whom they claim is merely a myth:

    When Atheists Are Angry at God – 2011
    Excerpt: I’ve never been angry at unicorns. It’s unlikely you’ve ever been angry at unicorns either.,, The one social group that takes exception to this rule is atheists. They claim to believe that God does not exist and yet, according to empirical studies, tend to be the people most angry at him.
    http://www.firstthings.com/ont.....gry-at-god

    Yes the denial of design is not based on logic or science, but is indeed found to be based on preexisting emotional and psychiatric conditions and/or biases of atheists against God.

  5. 5
    Fasteddious says:

    Strangely, I find myself agreeing with much That Brian and Aaron write here! Basically, in the past fifty years or so, church attendance has gone from the societal norm to a personal and largely private activity. Meanwhile, being an agnostic or a gentle atheist has gone from being suspicious to being cool in the broader society — essentially the expected secular norm now, unless one is running for President. I lay the blame (or credit if you prefer) for this squarely on the mainstream media, which has always been focused on the transgressive, novel and unorthodox. In recent years, they have become more so, jettisoning any semblance of respect for the church, and behaving accordingly. As the media has become less neutral and more biased, they are also becoming more openly anti-Christian and bolder in their biases and attacks. This, of course, plays into the polarization noted in the above title, and becoming more divided in North American society in general.

  6. 6
    AaronS1978 says:

    Thank you for the post I appreciate it.
    Just got home and read this and I do agree with BB and the homosexuality thing. And it was pretty much how you treat these people if you treat them like they’re monsters yeah they’re going to pull away and that’s not fair. There people like everybody else. And I do believe that that has had a huge impact on things as well. My sister is a lesbian but she is far more religious than me. The reason for this is the way our family confronted it and treated it. We were nonchalant when she came out said we already knew. She was expecting it to be some big huge thing like what the media had told her which everybody was going to hate her and we were going to ostracize her from the family.

    Really nobody cared. I can’t say that is how everybody else is treated but that’s what happened in my family and she remained very close to us and ended up being hyper religious.

    the difference it makes to show a little kindness and mercy just because changed a whole lot of things

  7. 7
    Seversky says:

    The increasing polarization in society is what alarms me because it seems to be spreading across all human societies. It makes me wonder if what we are seeing is some sort of nascent global social upheaval that is a consequence of the sheer size and complexity of human society, the appalling difficulties of governance and administration on this scale, the widening gap between government and the governed, the inevitable corruption that attends these situations and mass communications and social media that make money out of pandering to the prejudices and fears of their vast audiences. I have no idea how all this might turn out and it ma ybe my good fortune that I won’t be around to witness what may happen,

  8. 8
    Brother Brian says:

    AaronS1977

    Just got home and read this and I do agree with BB and the homosexuality thing.

    Thank you. As I am sure you can predict, I don’t always get the best reception here when I mention homosexuality. I don’t think this is the only issue driving people away from the churches. Proscriptions against bIrth control and premarital sex contribute to this as well. But the bizarre attitude that is being taken against homosexuality, has driven more people away from organized religion than anything I can think of in recent history.

    Birth control and premarital sex are issues, but the majority of Catholics simply ignore thiese edicts and don’t tell anyone. But telling homosexuals that they are sinners, and that they are not allowed to marry the person they love because of something written in the bible, with no valid argument other than words written a few thousand years ago, drives them and their family and friends away from the church.

    This is sad because most churches do far more good than harm. But people remember the harm more than they remember the good.

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    Funny, BB wants to lecture the church on what positions it should take on objective morality when his materialistic worldview is completely amoral and denies the existence of objective morality altogether. In fact, when the ‘survival of the fittest’ morality of Darwinism is coupled with BB’s atheistic materialism, not only is the resulting morality inherent in BB’s worldview amoral but it becomes downright anti-morality.

    BB may falsely believe that he has the moral wherewithal to lecture the church on objective morality, but far be it from me personally to pretend to lecture anyone else on how they should conduct their lives. All I can share is my own testimony of how my own sins kept me homeless and in dire poverty for over twelves years.

    And from that homeless nightmare I can testify, what the sinner who lost all control of his destructive sin readily understands, but the sinner, who does not think he is really a sinner (if he even admits that there is even such a thing as sin), but who is under the delusion that he is somehow controlling his sin, does not readily understand, is that Jesus Christ had the full power and authority of heaven to relieve Himself of the horrid torment of the cross but instead chose, because of His great love for us, to endure it, in its entirety, willingly, so that he might completely overcome temptation, sin, hell and death, and all their horrors, on our behalf, (since we were and are completely incapable of doing so), so that we may be set free from our sin, even from death, and reunited with Him. Love is the only proper response on our part.

    John 8
    34 Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

    Temple Veil – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDNHoijNO2I

    Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace) [Official Lyric Video] – Hillsong Worship
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiyYoe678yI

  10. 10
    EDTA says:

    BB @ 1,
    >We have to justify and be accountable for our own prejudices rather than use church authority to justify them.

    Isn’t it more the case that we have our prejudices, and then we seek out the groups (now on the internet instead of in our home town) in which we feel most comfortable–which will be the ones that agree with us? That’s where the internet hurts us because every kind of nuttiness is out there–even kinds that were not available to most people 30 years ago even.
    So I’m not sure that people are making up their our own minds any more than they used to, nor that bigotry is being reduced in reality.

    Sev @ 7,
    >The increasing polarization in society is what alarms me because it seems to be spreading across
    >all human societies…
    .
    >…some sort of nascent global social upheaval that is a consequence of the sheer size and
    >complexity of human society, the appalling difficulties of governance and administration on
    >this scale, the widening gap between government and the governed, the inevitable corruption
    >that attends these situations and mass communications and social media that make money out of
    >pandering to the prejudices and fears of their vast audiences.

    I’m thinking this is a good part of what is happening.

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, never underestimate the consequences of sending a Lenin into a society in ferment in a sealed train, or of sponsoring a disaffected soldier recovering from war wounds to spy on a small political circle he might want to join.. That is only the two most glaring cases. We have been taught to despise the heritage of Christendom, by those who abused positions of trust to teach selective hyperskepticism, nihilism and radical agendas under false colours of Classics, History, Theology, Literature, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, Economics, Law, Politics/Government and these days Science. Their students carried same into the media and halls of power, compounded by spiral of silencing tactics.Cultural Marxists tracing to the Frankfurt School and the like and derivatives in so-called Critical Studies schools, I am looking straight at you, you bear serious responsibilities for the consequences that are beginning to play out despite abundant historical exemplars that should have warned us. One of those lessons is that while age old evils and corrupt tendencies are going to be present in communities and institutions, so are means of responsible reform, where also the warped, ruthless and ambitious radicals pining for revolutionary tyrannical unaccountable power are utterly unlikely to lead successful reforms but rather reigns of terror. Our civilisation in recent generations has failed to learn the hard-bought, bitterly costly sound lessons of history (including the literally living memory history of Fascism and Communism) and now the bills are beginning to come due. KF

  12. 12
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    But telling homosexuals that they are sinners, and that they are not allowed to marry the person they love because of something written in the bible, with no valid argument other than words written a few thousand years ago, drives them and their family and friends away from the church.

    Total nonsense. They cannot procreate, so given that they cannot marry. That is the valid argument.

  13. 13
    ET says:

    The increasing polarization in society is due to the asinine insistence on methodological naturalism in science. That and scientists pushing BS science

  14. 14
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Also, let us not forget the post 9/11 false, academically grossly irresponsible false immoral equivalency projected from Islamist radicalism to the historic Christian faith and to contemporary Christians. Because of the hole where sound history should reside in our common knowledge (and let’s not start on the holes for logic and worldviews analysis) such scapegoating, stereotyping, slander and outright deceit have built up a dangerously false view that is now routinely reinforced as a case of what people often think they know but don’t. Blend in the corrosive impact of the institutional and personal blood guilt over the ongoing holocaust of our living posterity in the womb — 800+ millions in 40+ years, mounting at about a further million per WEEK — and we see a toxic brew that is inviting an intoxicated generation down a slippery slope — and yes, slipperiness is obviously a ratchet — heading over a cliff. The ghost of Plato is shaking its head in disbelief, as adequate warning was put on the table 2350 years ago. KF

    PS: Lest we forget, Plato’s warning:

    Ath [in The Laws, Bk X 2,350+ ya]. . . .[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [i.e the classical “material” elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art . . . [such that] all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only [ –> that is, evolutionary materialism is ancient and would trace all things to blind chance and mechanical necessity] . . . .

    [Thus, they hold] that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.-

    [ –> Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT, leading to an effectively arbitrary foundation only for morality, ethics and law: accident of personal preference, the ebbs and flows of power politics, accidents of history and and the shifting sands of manipulated community opinion driven by “winds and waves of doctrine and the cunning craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming . . . ” cf a video on Plato’s parable of the cave; from the perspective of pondering who set up the manipulative shadow-shows, why.]

    These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might,

    [ –> Evolutionary materialism — having no IS that can properly ground OUGHT — leads to the promotion of amorality on which the only basis for “OUGHT” is seen to be might (and manipulation: might in “spin”) . . . ]

    and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [ –> Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality “naturally” leads to continual contentions and power struggles influenced by that amorality at the hands of ruthless power hungry nihilistic agendas], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is,to live in real dominion over others [ –> such amoral and/or nihilistic factions, if they gain power, “naturally” tend towards ruthless abuse and arbitrariness . . . they have not learned the habits nor accepted the principles of mutual respect, justice, fairness and keeping the civil peace of justice, so they will want to deceive, manipulate and crush — as the consistent history of radical revolutions over the past 250 years so plainly shows again and again], and not in legal subjection to them [–> nihilistic will to power not the spirit of justice and lawfulness].

  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    BB (or should that be any of a large number of other sock puppet aliases?),

    Pardon, but why is it that you are so obviously obsessed with perversities and repeatedly bring them up seemingly under any remote excuse? (Has it dawned on you that reasonable people are generally repelled by actual or metaphorical sewage and only deal with such by necessity, then they go wash hands and try to forget? )

    It seems it is necessary to again put a few corrections on the table:

    >>Isn’t it possible that the rise in nones is due to a rise in people making their own determination as to what the scriptures mean rather than relying on others to tell them?>>

    a: As this seems a root point, it needs to be dealt with first.

    b: For one, in an era when radical but self-referentially incoherent, self-falsifying subjectivism and relativism compounded by media trumpeted radical, ill-founded skeptical speculation have spread far and wide, a truer summary would be that many people are turning to voices that tickle their itching ears with what they want to hear, rather than to soundness.

    b: A strong indicator that such is the case can be seen from the tendencies to wrench scripture out of sound and responsible consultation, interpretation and application, in defiant ignorance, to set up and knock over biblical strawman targets and the linked tendency to avoid fairly addressing on its merits, the core warrant for the Christian faith.

    >> I think one of the other things driving people away from the church is their stance on homosexuality.>>

    c: When one is in Isa 5:20 – 21 territory, of course one will despise what does not comfort one in waywardness:

    Isa 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good
    and good evil,
    who put darkness for light
    and light for darkness,
    who put bitter for sweet
    and sweet for bitter!
    21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
    and shrewd in their own sight!

    d: Where, Paul is manifestly right in the analysis of what happens when communities turn their backs on the root of reality who is its moral governor:

    Rom 1:19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

    24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

    26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

    28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

    e: Thank God, that is not irreversible, just as with the woman caught in adultery who Jesus saved from those who pounced on her then counselled to leave her life of sin, by the gospel and the Spirit through the scriptures and support of the body, we may find deliverance from ruinous, enslaving unrighteousness:

    1 Cor 6:9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous[b] will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,[c] 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

    f: That’s not a welcome message today, but it is a sound one backed up by millions of cases in point.

    >> As the negative social and career implications of being a known homosexual have significantly declined>>

    g: The life-, health- and soul- wrecking implications have not declined.

    >> more and more people have discovered that they have friends and family members who are homosexual. And they see that these people are the same as they are, and not the deluded sick sinners that many churches tell them that they are.>>

    h: The incidence of such behaviour varies with cultural settings. Vanishingly small in some cases, 1 – 3% in our time and culture, 100% by way of compulsory social role in certain cultures, so familiarity with cases does not change the facts of damaging, ruinous perversity with destructive personal and cultural consequences. (Kindly see the sobering discussion here and ponder why we so often hear only what is now an obviously heavily funded, power broker-backed ideological agenda and its talking points. A glance over at how the ongoing slaughter of our living posterity in the womb at a million more per week, cumulatively 800+ millions in 40 years is enough to show that what the powers push and what is right or truth have little to do with one another.)

    i: Today, we see how we are embarking on an increasingly grotesque experiment with over a hundred so-called genders, undermining of the stable heterosexual marital bond, linked undermining of family as stabilising social foundation, and more.

    j: As I am not in jurisdictions where I would be pounced on, deplatformed and censored for saying such unwelcome things, I can add, we also see a rising lawless bully tactic trend associated with homosexualist radicalism, including in dangerous judicial over-reach by way of trying to rewrite not just constitutions but the laws of our nature written into our XX and XY genes and linked requisites of child nurture.

    k: As Rom 1 directly implies, societies in rebellion against the plain evidence of a conscience guided inner life and of an obvious creation order without, thus in moral spin-out, are generally full of deluded sinners, convinced they are right but manifestly wrong.

    l: Where, the sinners part is universal: “ALL have sinned . . .”

    m: In some societies, there is sufficient truth that is preserved and respected that people in rebellion against God and the right, or who find themselves trapped in enslaving sins at least recognise their plight. That is a better state than one where we pretend wrong is right and then attack the right and the truth for failure to conform to crookedness.

    n: That latter condition is why our civilisation is on a voyage of stubborn, ruinous folly headed for shipwreck. As Plato warned against, much less many others.

    >>But telling homosexuals that they are sinners,>>

    o: To tell people that we are ALL trapped in sin and need rescue, cleansing and transformation is to tell the truth of hope. To cling to darkness and its progressive ruin, is folly.

    p: To point out, by way of a plumb line, that we are setting up a crooked yardstick as false standard of straightness, accuracy and uprightness, is a needed correction.

    >>and that they are not allowed to marry the person they love>>

    q: We are repeatedly warned that falling in love, or infatuation or simply lust out of moral control of what is right is a snare that pulls us into ruinous sin. So, “but I’m in love” is no excuse from moral responsibility. Hollywood’s myths are no help.

    r: The critical question is, what does the law of our manifest nature, rooted in creation order, have to say about what marriage is. That is obvious, given our complementary sexes and the requisites of sound family life. Marriage is not a legal fiction, a label for a contract that sets up an artificial person that can be reconstituted under colour of law at will.

    s: That pretence that we are dealing with a mere social convention is the central fallacy that has been foisted on us, setting up a crooked yardstick under false colour of law.

    >>because of something written in the bible, with no valid argument other than words written a few thousand years ago,>>

    t: The central hatred of God, our creator, having a voice in how morally governed creation is to operate, emerges. And in appealing to anti-Christian bigotry, such rhetoric dodges the manifest evidence from our nature as male and female as key parts of that creation order.

    u: So, to correct the crooked yardstick, let us put on the table the hated, corrective words from the mouth of the acknowledged all-time greatest of moral teachers, Jesus of Nazareth (as part of a teaching on the prior folly of the serial adultery-driven divorce and remarriage game):

    Matt 19:4 He [Jesus] answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female [–> Gen 1 – 2, note the identified, naturally obvious case of two distinct, reproductively complementary sexes, here anchored to creation order for the human race], 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother [–> implying the successive generations of families built on man + woman + faithful commitment –> well-nurtured children] and hold fast to his wife [–> fidelity propagates from one generation to the next, how much more so infidelity], and the two [= husband (male) + wife (female)] shall become one flesh’ [–> through the act of marital, procreative union, naturally leading to children]? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. [–> ponder how the child reflects that union] What therefore God has joined together [–> Adam and Eve and their successors in one flesh union], let not man separate [–> including, how much more, by violating the nature of marital union: Adam + Steve, Eve + Mary, Either + fido, or a robot etc].”

    v: This is clearly rooted in naturally evident creation order, and is a law that is antecedent to what kings, parliaments or judges may decree. They did not invent marriage, nor can they re-invent it, they can only set up crooked yardsticks under false colour of law.

    w: With, ruinous consequences that are already beginning to be manifest in what 5 year olds are being taught under compulsory education law (as in, moral turpitude and millstones . . . ) , with the chaos of over a hundred so called genders (many, frankly, manifestly insane . . . ), with usurpations and impositions on conscience and freedom of expression that point to unravelling the hard-bought lessons and compromises in constitutional law that recognises and protects such freedoms.

    >> drives them and their family and friends away from the church.>>

    x: If this is the price such wish to demand in order to be involved then it is too high: apostasy.

    y: The historic Christian faith is just that, historic, anchored on an authentic gospel witness attested by the 500 core witnesses and so too on longstanding factual, ethical and scriptural foundations that we neither created nor have legitimate authority to materially alter.

    z: If one wishes to walk away from well founded truth, that is his ill-advised choice [which, please, please, please, for one’s own good, reconsider . . .], but that cannot ever change the eternal reality attested to by that truth and that historic witness to and record of the truth sealed with the blood of the apostles and martyrs. Including, where that reality, that truth, that witness, that record happens to address man as male and female, the marital union and the family as the naturally evident creation order foundation for a sound civilisation.

  16. 16
    Brother Brian says:

    EDTA

    Isn’t it more the case that we have our prejudices, and then we seek out the groups (now on the internet instead of in our home town) in which we feel most comfortable–which will be the ones that agree with us?

    You have a good point here. And I believe you are correct with situations of people joining specific churches, or other organizations for that matter. People will join the churches that best match their own beliefs and prejudices. We don’t have to look any further than the Westboro church to know that this is likely true. However, I don’t think that this would account for people leaving churches. It would be interesting to see what happened after that hateful minister became the pastor of the westboro church (assuming it existed before him). I assume that there were a large number of congregants who left because of his vile preachings.

  17. 17
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    BB (or should that be any of a large number of other sock puppet aliases?),

    If you are going to believe every lie that comes out of ET’s mouth then I don’t think we have anything to discuss.

  18. 18
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, sorry, but on the above behaviour in this thread “you” now have independently satisfied me that “you” are one face of a circle of irresponsible Internet straw figures pushing a ruinous agenda (commonly termed “trolls” or “Internet atheists ” etc), whether put up by one individual or by a circle of ideologically driven hyperskeptics is of little moment. Going forward, that is how I will for cause regard “your” persona, including the fairly obvious subtext in a loaded name. I answer “you” and that circle above, given yet another manifestation of an unhealthy, unwholesome obsession and linked agenda that evidently need to be corrected for record. In that context, it is fair comment for me to note for recor also, that such straw figures exist only to push an agenda, they are not genuine interlocutors and so they are answered for record to correct the agenda, not in any expectation of reasonableness or responsible behaviour. That “you” have tried to disqualify and dismiss two participants who responded on the merits without cogent reply, speaks directly to the problem of such ideological, agit prop tactics. When you — I here stop the quote marks, having made the point — respond responsibly, we will take you more seriously, until then the absence of cogent response given the sort of assertions you already made, speaks for itself. KF

  19. 19
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    Going forward, that is how I will for cause regard “your” persona, including the fairly obvious subtext in a loaded name.

    The origin of my internet name comes from the fact that my name is Brian and I have two older sisters who always refer to me by that moniker. In fact, most of my good friend call be Brother Brian. That you derive some nefarious motive behind my moniker is beyond my control.

    That “you” have tried to disqualify and dismiss two participants who responded on the merits without cogent reply, speaks directly to the problem of such ideological, agit prop tactics.

    I have had very good back-and-forth with EDTA and Aaron1978. I respond to any commenter who maintains that level of courtesy, even if we disagree. To those who don’t, I simply do not typically respond. I find that a wise approach.

  20. 20
    OldArmy94 says:

    Nominal Christianity has been on the decline in America since the 1960s, and I say, good riddance to it. As for the homosexual issue, those churches that have tried to shoehorn it into their theology, or otherwise simply dismissed biblical doctrine about marriage and sexuality, have been on that road to oblivion. Indeed, research shows that those who profess to be gay are much more likely to seek out a conservative, Evangelical congregation than a liberal mainline church. That may seem remarkable at face value, but it reveals that those who truly seek the Face of Jesus will gravitate toward truth. Those who are exclusively concerned about their own needs and desires, Scripture, doctrine, and historical grounding be damned, will never arrive on that heavenly shore.

    The bottom line is if the “Church Universal” concerns itself with numbers and popularity, then it will never be the instrument that God has ordained it to be. Instead, let God worry about the numbers, and don’t forget that narrow is the way.

  21. 21
    hazel says:

    Just a word to BB. I think you are right that LBQT issues are one of they key issues splitting people from some churches, and churches from each other. I also offer my sympathy about your having triggered some of kf’s rants.

  22. 22
    hazel says:

    Pardon, but why is it that you are so obviously obsessed with perversities and repeatedly bring them up seemingly under any remote excuse? (Has it dawned on you that reasonable people are generally repelled by actual or metaphorical sewage and only deal with such by necessity, then they go wash hands and try to forget? )

    Hmmm. Has it dawned on you, kf, that lots of reasonable people don’t consider homosexuality a perversion, and are interested in the subject because they believe homosexuals deserve to be treated equally in all respect to others, so that people like you who consider homosexuality a perversion are a significant part of the problem. Saying that “reasonable people are generally repelled” arrogantly ascribes to yourself an inaccurate and unjustified right to declare what is reasonable.

  23. 23
    AaronS1978 says:

    Hey guys, I don’t want to sound like an idiot I guess is the only way I can put it or I’m sitting on a high horse because I’m not

    But I do try very hard not to browbeat or aggressively attack anyone on this site for any reason as I would prefer to explain my point of you and share that in the hopes that maybe it might convince or help someone see Things differently.

    Now I do go on to some of my rants such as anything blabbed out by Jerry Coyne, But I return exactly what he delivers so I think that’s fair

    But it when it comes to people on the site which I love the site to be honest with you, I do try very hard to keep it cordial and the main reason why is because I’ve been on other sites where you state your opinion and certain individuals will ravenously attack you even when they’re wrong and they will just continue to attack you until you stop. My experience has been people like Jerry Coyne doing exactly that to me. It always boils down to them just trying to make you seem like you’re stupid when you’re not

    This is the main reason why I don’t immediately start swinging at people like seversky and bb. I certainly don’t like it and find it not helpful in trying to get your point across to someone the doesn’t believe.

    I have noticed a couple of times that I’ve chimed in on and even gotten the backing of the site moderator when people it came to that for example What happened to you seversky When he said he didn’t support any show that claimed to be a documentary but felt the need to lie to get it’s point across.
    It was with Tyson Neil’s use of over exaggerating the truth and lying in some cases, seversky said he disagreed with it but a couple of us misread it and jumped on his case. I pointed out that he was actually disagreeing with the commentator and was agreeing with this sites post. I believe Barry said seversky was owned an apology. We all make mistakes we just got to be mindful of them

    I just try to keep things fair. On post a while back when I engage BB about a comment he made when it came to genetic engineering and the comment made by BB about F and G, I engaged in what I felt was appropriate but I didn’t go into mocking or attacking them. Since then BB and I have had I couple of back-and-forth that have been not bad conversation.

    I really do try to be careful though because a lot of what we discussed is a very sensitive topic and often we do have people jump down our throat’s for what we believe and so I really try hard not to do the same to those that don’t believe in what we do

    And that’s why I try to keep it chill with even the people that disagree with me

    Except for Jerry Coyne He doesn’t deserve any respect alongside his anti- theist cronies On his website why evolution is true…………..

    I only said it like that because he said the exact same thing about David that still gets under my skin he such a jerk

    By the way KF home which I have the utmost respect in. I have a story for you one of the first people I beat in a debate was a guy named Malachi Howard and his real name was Ben. When you mention the above about BBs name it reminded me of this. He looked like an evil Doogie Houser even had an evil mustache

    So he was sat next to me in my debate class we ended up getting along really well I even drew in the picture of the character venom for the front cover of this book.

    I had just finished my debate with another individual about video games and how damaging that they could Be to you. I won the debate which was hilarious because I am a huge video game nut, And so was my opponent the differences I understand what problems video games can bring.

    Anyways it was Malachi Howard turn. I went in entire semester not knowing anything about him when it came to this topic but his topic of debate was comparing God to Santa Claus. He started up by mocking everybody they didn’t believe in evolution. And he quoted everything from the God delusion.

    Again this guy and I got along really well up until he did that. I saw what he was doing and I started to engage him and he was not prepared for what I was bringing to the table he even missed quoted several lines of his own evidence which I fact checked him right then and there. I wasn’t even supposed to debate him he didn’t have somebody that was challenging him apparently so I ended up being his challenger. He failed the debate and he actually received a D on his project. You never spoke to me again after that day even though I asked him at the end of it why his name was Malachi and it was actually specifically to mock the Bible.

    It just reminded me of that one that was mentioned above. So I totally understand why you thought BBs name was like that but after a little bit I didn’t think BB was really doing that.

    But I totally get where you’re coming from because that actually happened to me and it was with the person whom which I regarded as a friend and didn’t find out until way later how much he hated Christians, but I don’t believe is the case for BB

  24. 24
    Brother Brian says:

    Thanks Hazel. It just seemed logical that as the general population gets to know more and more LBQT people, and realize that they don’t have horns, that people will start questioning the teaching of churches that still “demonize” same sex attraction. Again, I find this to be sad as most churches do some very good and necessary work.

    There are other church teachings, such as not eating meat on Friday, that don’t make any logical sense but they are essentially harmless and just a way to demonstrate their faith. But the views on LGQT people hits too close to home for many people, and has a long history of resulting in persecution and prosecution of people simply for being attracted to the wrong person.

  25. 25
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    If you are going to believe every lie that comes out of ET’s mouth then I don’t think we have anything to discuss.

    Look, punk, if anyone here is a liar it is you. And you don’t have anything to dioscuss

  26. 26
    Brother Brian says:

    AaronS1978@23, excellent post. I agree that there is nothing to be gained by browbeating or making baseless accusations against someone. There is even less to be gained by raising the discussion to an emotional level, which is what Jerry Coyne does. I may agree with the basics of what he says on many occasions but I completely disagree with the way he says it. The same applies to Dawkins and Hitchens.

    I have tried very hard to be reasonable but I admit that I have, on occasion, slipped. I learned a long time ago that the best way for me to avoid falling into that trap is to simply not read or respond to some commenters. Unfortunately, this sometimes gets these people even more irate. But short of lying and saying that I agree with what they are saying, I don’t know what more can be done.

    But I totally get where you’re coming from because that actually happened to me and it was with the person whom which I regarded as a friend and didn’t find out until way later how much he hated Christians, but I don’t believe is the case for BB

    I can assure you that I don’t hate Christians, or any religion for that mater. My wife is Christian and my daughter is converting to Judaism. I strongly disagree with some religious teachings, homosexuality, birth control and premarital sex as examples, but that is fine. I fully support anyone who wants to abstain from their same sex attraction, not use birth control and not have sex until they are married. But I don’t support people trying to use force of law, or social sanctions, to prevent others from following through with same sex attraction, using birth control or having sex before marriage.

  27. 27
    ET says:

    hazel:

    Has it dawned on you, kf, that lots of reasonable people don’t consider homosexuality a perversion,…

    No. I doubt such people exist.

  28. 28
    AaronS1978 says:

    Now hopefully without hitting a beehive I will attempt to explain this. It is not the homosexual person that should be demonized at all there still a person. And he without sin may cast the first stone as Jesus said. What is considered a sin by the Catholic Church is the actual action of having sex with the same sex the attraction itself is not considered a sin. And again I would like to emphasize and he without sin may cast the first stone. We all screw up

    This is were a lot of debate stems from The distinction of the two. The person having same-sex attraction should not be demonized. The same sex attraction can be stemmed from many different factors both environmental and some genetic even though there is no specific gay gene especially as of recently shown, I do believe there are epigenetic factor and other environmental things that contribute to it. It is often that people that experience some form of molestation have a tendency toward same-sex attraction. Which in the Old Testament does decree stoning of both the perpetrator and the victim I believe for the reason of the behavior spreading. This is a spot I don’t agree with but I do understand why it was written like that at the time, But again the son of God a.k.a. God stated he without sin may cast the first stone.

    But the attraction in itself is not the sin.
    It’s specifically the action. The reason for this is because of natural law and a union between a male and female is required to have a chance at producing new life(another human)

    There is no chance of that in the union between a male and a male or a female and a female, not through natural means.

    I strongly believe finding a middle ground where everybody can meet can rectify a lot of these issues
    Being homosexual is not a sin and having a same-sex attraction that person should not be treated as a leper, Much like anything it’s the action that is considered the sin. Now I understand that having sex is an integral part of a relationship and having that intimacy

    Saying that it is a sin to do so is also similar to saying that they don’t have a right to love. I’m not saying that but I am saying that since this is a problem we should probably try to figure a way to clarify that and even help people find a reasonable solution for this as well

    I personally do not have a solution, But I have heard of programs that work and help people find an answer

    And I have seen people shift their attraction in one direction or another so it’s not entirely hopeless or locked in

    I would just suggest that we offer up our understanding patience and consideration towards people of same-sex attraction and treat them no differently than everybody else

  29. 29
    daveS says:

    hazel,

    Has it dawned on you, kf, that lots of reasonable people don’t consider homosexuality a perversion, and are interested in the subject because they believe homosexuals deserve to be treated equally in all respect to others, so that people like you who consider homosexuality a perversion are a significant part of the problem.

    I agree. It is a significant problem (IMHO) that so many people, when encountering a gay person or even the word “homosexuality” immediately think of “actual or metaphorical sewage”.

  30. 30
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, first, you may want to address the substantial matters on the table rather than speaking dismissively of rants. Currently, for example, there is an attempted precedent on the table in this region where a judge has implicitly claimed power to single-handedly rewrite a Constitution, leading to an appeal by the Government. That is — by any reasonable reckoning — a serious tyrannical, anti-democratic move being motivated by the sorts of assertions I have addressed above in brief. A Democratic Constitution (especially on Bill of Rights clauses) manifestly should only be amended through democratic processes. And if questionable assertions are eroding Constitutional law like this, sensible people had better sit up and take notice. KF

  31. 31
    hazel says:

    kf, if you would like people to respond to substantive issues rather than the ranting nature of your posts, don’t rant. That’s simple.

  32. 32
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, I suggest you may be well advised to reconsider, i/l/o fairly unpleasant but regrettably accurate facts of the matter. That is an actual issue in itself, it is one that is plainly also connected to health issues and it is one reason why it is clear that something is seriously questionable with what is being advocated: abuse of organs in patently unhealthy and even dangerous ways that cut across manifest purposes — hence, twisting out of the natural order in perverse ways is not something that we can sweep away as though it is a mere dismissible, unsophisticated, ill-mannered opinion. I do not doubt that many are now desensitised to the issue and would like to act as though it is immaterial, but it is in fact and for cause strongly connected to a significant part of the objections that are made. KF

  33. 33
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, there is no rant — no empty rage or irrational raving [there is due revulsion and sadness at the state and trends of our Civilisation] — and the pattern of side stepping of substantial matters on the table is duly noted.I draw your specific attention to a Constitutional law, good governance issue that has been put on the table. I do point out that when people conclude that judges will impose their agendas on Constitutions, arrogating the power to amend constitutions from the bench, that is what will stir quite justified outrage. Which is not by any means empty ranting. “A long train of abuses and usurpations” beyond reasonable doubt destabilises the foundations of governmental legitimacy. KF

  34. 34
    hazel says:

    A substantive fact, I think. Lesbian sex carries less risk of disease than heterosexual sex, and many heterosexuals suffer fro STD’s. And I don’t see any sustantive argument about what is perverse from kf: I just see opinion. He’s welcome to his opinion, of course, but he doesn’t hold the market on what is reasonable.

  35. 35
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I think a bit more from Plato is useful on the wider pattern of how democracies are inherently unstable and need to be regulated culturally through a sound moral consensus — which is exactly what is being undermined in our civilisation:

    It is not too hard to figure out that our civilisation is in deep trouble and is most likely headed for shipwreck. (And of course, that sort of concern is dismissed as “apocalyptic,” or neurotic pessimism that refuses to pause and smell the roses.)

    Plato’s Socrates spoke to this sort of situation, long since, in the ship of state parable in The Republic, Bk VI:

    >>[Soc.] I perceive, I said, that you are vastly amused at having plunged me into such a hopeless discussion; but now hear the parable, and then you will be still more amused at the meagreness of my imagination: for the manner in which the best men are treated in their own States is so grievous that no single thing on earth is comparable to it; and therefore, if I am to plead their cause, I must have recourse to fiction, and put together a figure made up of many things, like the fabulous unions of goats and stags which are found in pictures.

    Imagine then a fleet or a ship in which there is a captain [–> often interpreted, ship’s owner] who is taller and stronger than any of the crew, but he is a little deaf and has a similar infirmity in sight, and his knowledge of navigation is not much better. [= The people own the community and in the mass are overwhelmingly strong, but are ill equipped on the whole to guide, guard and lead it]

    The sailors are quarrelling with one another about the steering – every one is of opinion that he has a right to steer [= selfish ambition to rule and dominate], though he has never learned the art of navigation and cannot tell who taught him or when he learned, and will further assert that it cannot be taught, and they are ready to cut in pieces any one who says the contrary. They throng about the captain, begging and praying him to commit the helm to them [–> kubernetes, steersman, from which both cybernetics and government come in English]; and if at any time they do not prevail, but others are preferred to them, they kill the others or throw them overboard [ = ruthless contest for domination of the community], and having first chained up the noble captain’s senses with drink or some narcotic drug [ = manipulation and befuddlement, cf. the parable of the cave], they mutiny and take possession of the ship and make free with the stores; thus, eating and drinking, they proceed on their voyage in such a manner as might be expected of them [–> Cf here Luke’s subtle case study in Ac 27].

    Him who is their partisan and cleverly aids them in their plot for getting the ship out of the captain’s hands into their own whether by force or persuasion [–> Nihilistic will to power on the premise of might and manipulation making ‘right’ ‘truth’ ‘justice’ ‘rights’ etc], they compliment with the name of sailor, pilot, able seaman, and abuse the other sort of man, whom they call a good-for-nothing; but that the true pilot must pay attention to the year and seasons and sky and stars and winds, and whatever else belongs to his art, if he intends to be really qualified for the command of a ship, and that he must and will be the steerer, whether other people like or not-the possibility of this union of authority with the steerer’s art has never seriously entered into their thoughts or been made part of their calling.

    Now in vessels which are in a state of mutiny and by sailors who are mutineers, how will the true pilot be regarded? Will he not be called by them a prater, a star-gazer, a good-for-nothing?

    [Ad.] Of course, said Adeimantus.

    [Soc.] Then you will hardly need, I said, to hear the interpretation of the figure, which describes the true philosopher in his relation to the State[ –> here we see Plato’s philosoppher-king emerging]; for you understand already.

    [Ad.] Certainly.

    [Soc.] Then suppose you now take this parable to the gentleman who is surprised at finding that philosophers have no honour in their cities; explain it to him and try to convince him that their having honour would be far more extraordinary.

    [Ad.] I will.

    [Soc.] Say to him, that, in deeming the best votaries of philosophy to be useless to the rest of the world, he is right; but also tell him to attribute their uselessness to the fault of those who will not use them, and not to themselves. The pilot should not humbly beg the sailors to be commanded by him –that is not the order of nature; neither are ‘the wise to go to the doors of the rich’ –the ingenious author of this saying told a lie –but the truth is, that, when a man is ill, whether he be rich or poor, to the physician he must go, and he who wants to be governed, to him who is able to govern. The ruler who is good for anything ought not to beg his subjects to be ruled by him [ –> down this road lies the modern solution: a sound, well informed people will seek sound leaders, who will not need to manipulate or bribe or worse, and such a ruler will in turn be checked by the soundness of the people, cf. US DoI, 1776]; although the present governors of mankind are of a different stamp; they may be justly compared to the mutinous sailors, and the true helmsmen to those who are called by them good-for-nothings and star-gazers.

    [Ad.] Precisely so, he said.

    [Soc] For these reasons, and among men like these, philosophy, the noblest pursuit of all, is not likely to be much esteemed by those of the opposite faction; not that the greatest and most lasting injury is done to her by her opponents, but by her own professing followers, the same of whom you suppose the accuser to say, that the greater number of them are arrant rogues, and the best are useless; in which opinion I agreed [–> even among the students of the sound state (here, political philosophy and likely history etc.), many are of unsound motivation and intent, so mere education is not enough, character transformation is critical].

    [Ad.] Yes.

    [Soc.] And the reason why the good are useless has now been explained?

    [Ad.] True.

    [Soc.] Then shall we proceed to show that the corruption of the majority is also unavoidable, and that this is not to be laid to the charge of philosophy any more than the other?

    [Ad.] By all means.

    [Soc.] And let us ask and answer in turn, first going back to the description of the gentle and noble nature.[ — > note the character issue] Truth, as you will remember, was his leader, whom he followed always and in all things [ –> The spirit of truth as a marker]; failing in this, he was an impostor, and had no part or lot in true philosophy [–> the spirit of truth is a marker, for good or ill] . . . >>

    (There is more than an echo of this in Acts 27, a real world case study. [Luke, a physician, was an educated Greek with a taste for subtle references.] This blog post, on soundness in policy, will also help)

    Remember, this was penned in response to the collapse of the first significant democratic polity.

    KF

  36. 36
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, pardon but we both know that STD’s are spread through promiscuity, so that is a red herring. Secondly, given precedent in law, lesbian behaviours cannot be severed from all too typical male homosexual behaviours, or for that matter from many other aspects of the lengthening alphabet soup abbreviation that is commonly used. As to the matter of twisting out of the manifest order of nature coded into the genetic basis of the two complementary sexes and linked requisites of sound child nurture, one may choose to deny but cannot change the manifest realities. You have managed to turn around the issue rhetorically by dismissing massive empirical evidence of the order of nature for the two sexes and asserting that to point such out is mere opinion, meanwhile implying that it is all mere opinion, i.e. there is no naturally evident basis for the conjugal, historic understanding of marriage. In reply I simply note the bare fact that marriage is immemorial but the novelty we are seeing imposed by dubious means under colour of law was barely whispered in odd academic corners but a few decades ago. It has gained currency precisely because the moral fabric and intellectual underpinnings of our civilisation are being aggressively eroded by radical but powerful, well-funded agendas. Agendas that as I noted, just applauded the usurpation of a constitution by a judge trying to impose his agenda from the bench, and yes I am implying that the FCO is implicated given a message they put out on the matter. A warning bell if ever there was one — this sort of misgovernment is fully of the magnitude of what triggered the American Revolution. Do we understand the matches we are playing with? KF

  37. 37
    daveS says:

    KF,

    Even gay people do not spend all their time rutting like goats. I suggest the thought of people with same-sex life partners should not immediately conjure up the unpleasant images you described in your previous post.

  38. 38
    Brother Brian says:

    DaveS

    I agree. It is a significant problem (IMHO) that so many people, when encountering a gay person or even the word “homosexuality” immediately think of “actual or metaphorical sewage”.

    I think you have hit the nail on the head.

    To be totally honest, the idea of homosexuality and transgender makes me uncomfortable. But, being an intelligent being, I know that my discomfort is my problem, nobody else’s.
    Hazel

    A substantive fact, I think. Lesbian sex carries less risk of disease than heterosexual sex, and many heterosexuals suffer fro STD’s.

    And are monogamous gay men more prone to disease than heterosexual couples? And even if they are, that is a personal decision. We make decisions all the time that have health impacts. Think of that the next time you order a Big Mac. Does KF want to enact laws against anything that carries a health risk?

    Some of the arguments used against homosexuality is the fact that they have a lower median life expectancy. But the same people who use these arguments refuse to admit that their attitude to homosexuals, and the stress and depression it may cause, is part of the problem.

  39. 39
    kairosfocus says:

    DS et al, I will only note that there is a reason certain well-known sex manuals were forced to put warning labels regarding certain acts. The realities are manifest. KF

  40. 40
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, the undermining of foundational stabilising institutions of civilisation under colour of law is everybody’s business. Likewise, usurpation of a Constitution and applauding of same by responsible officials and officers of the courts are everybody’s business. KF

  41. 41
    bornagain77 says:

    Here is a very interesting testimony of a former lesbian professor who specialized in Queer Theory who converted to Christianity

    Vacating Freud: Recovering Soul Identity in Light of the Gospel by Terrell Clemmons – 2017
    Excerpt: According to Dr. Rosaria Butterfield, who specialized in Queer Theory as a lesbian English professor at Syracuse University, the idea that one’s identity is tied to sexual desires is a product of the Freudian paradigm, which has thoroughly permeated our culture. In her first book, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey into Christian Faith, she detailed the inner landscape of her conversion to Christianity in her thirties, an experience she described as a mix of an alien abduction and a train wreck. In her second book, Openness Unhindered: Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ, she proposes a more biblically faithful concept of identity as it relates to the Christian and sexuality.,,,
    http://www.salvomag.com/new/ar.....-freud.php

    My Train Wreck Conversion
    As a leftist lesbian professor, I despised Christians. Then I somehow became one.
    ROSARIA CHAMPAGNE BUTTERFIELD| FEBRUARY 7, 2013
    http://www.christianitytoday.c.....rsion.html

    Openness Unhindered: Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert – video
    https://vimeo.com/148228001

    Rosaria Butterfield: Repentance & Renewal (An academic, and former homosexual, honestly confronted Romans 1)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBX8_vhu4Xw

    Here is another powerful testimony of a gay rights activist who had a ‘radical’ encounter with God

    David Bennett – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yehENU4s_Y

    You will often here it claimed that gay people are ‘born that way’. Yet there is scarce scientific evidence to conclude that gay and transgender people are actually “born that way”

    “a report finds scarce scientific evidence to conclude that gay and transgender people are “born that way”. The 143-page paper, published this week in The New Atlantis journal, combs through hundreds of studies in search of a causal, biological explanation for sexual orientation and gender identity, but comes up empty. “The belief that sexual orientation is an innate, biologically fixed human property — that people are ‘born that way’ — is not supported by scientific evidence,” says the report, written by a psychiatrist and a biostatistician at Johns Hopkins University. “Likewise, the belief that gender identity is an innate, fixed human property independent of biological sex — so that a person might be a ‘man trapped in a woman’s body’ or a ‘woman trapped in a man’s body’ — is not supported by scientific evidence,””
    (Born gay or transgender: Little evidence to support innate trait, Wednesday, August 24, 2016)
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....-evidence/

    Moreover, although many on the left, regardless of their lack of scientific evidence, will often claim that homosexuals are irredeemably ‘born that way’, in direct contradiction to that claim, it is also often claimed by the very same people that gender is not based in biology but is a choice. And as Jordan Peterson pointed out, this direct contradiction in claims is “completely insane”:

    Jordan Peterson: Gender ideology is ‘completely insane’ – March 23, 2018
    (LifeSiteNews) – “The LGBT lobby is dead set against anything that smacks of conversion therapy, the idea that you could convert someone who has a primarily homosexual identity to someone who has a primarily heterosexual [identity],” he told Trussell. “It’s illegal in Ontario and in many [American] states now to even attempt that. But if there’s complete independence between the biology, the identity, the expression and the sexual preference, then there’s no reason to assume that it can’t be changed.”
    Bolstering his argument, Peterson mentioned the ultimate conclusion of gender ideology, namely that gender is totally fluid. Some activists teach that a person can be a man one day and a woman the next, or even change sexual identity from minute to minute.
    “If it’s that fluid, and it’s only dependent on subjective choice, which is what the legislation now insists, then why can’t that argument be used by conservatives to say exactly the same thing about sexual preference?”
    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/jordan-peterson-gender-theory-has-become-unquestionable-doctrine-thats-comp

    Moreover, unlike the mythical ‘gay gene’ that, like Bigfoot, nobody has ever been able to find, on the other hand there is abundant scientific evidence that gender is biologically ‘hardwired’ into us and gender therefore is not merely a sexual preference as many on the left falsely claim that it is:

    The genetic difference between men and women,,, – 06 Nov 2017
    Excerpt: a full third of our genome is behaving very differently in men and women.
    These new data pose challenges for science, medicine and maybe even gender equity.
    The human genome
    Men and women have practically the same set of about 20,000 genes.,,,
    They found that about one third of these genes (more than 6,500) had very different activities in men and women. Some genes were active in men only or women only. Many genes were far more active in one sex or the other.
    A few of these genes showed sex biased activity in every tissue of the body. More commonly, the difference was seen in one or a few tissues.
    Most of these genes were not on sex chromosomes: only a few lay on the Y or the X.
    How could a third of our genes be differently controlled in men and women?
    https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/11/throughout-our-bodies-thousands-of-genes-act-differently-in-men-and-women

    How Men’s Brains Are Wired Differently than Women’s
    Male brains have more connections within hemispheres to optimize motor skills, whereas female brains are more connected between hemispheres to combine analytical and intuitive thinking
    By Tanya Lewis, December 2, 2013
    Excerpt: “On average, men connect front to back [parts of the brain] more strongly than women,” whereas “women have stronger connections left to right,” said study leader Ragini Verma, an associate professor,,,
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-mens-brains-are-wired-differently-than-women/

  42. 42
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, if homosexual people really are ‘born that way’ then is should be completely impossible for homosexual people to change their lifestyle. Yet the following documentary has many testimonies of former homosexuals who are now Christian. Moreover, many of them are now in heterosexual relationships:

    Such Were Some Of You – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKSFPdyH8x4
    “Such Were Some of You” (A Documentary) was inspired by the passage in 1st Corinthians 6:11 that declares that in Jesus’ day there was a population who had been so transformed by their relationship with Him that they were no longer “same-sex attracted” or at the very least, actively homosexual. They had found such a measure of healing from the brokenness and strongholds associated with what we now call homosexuality that they no longer considered themselves homosexual, nor did they act in that way. “Such Were Some of You” features interviews with a “cloud of present-day witnesses” who testify to the same life-transforming power of Jesus Christ. They describe the development of their same-sex attractions, what the gay lifestyle was like, what their conversion process was like, and the various ways that Jesus has brought healing to their broken places. “Such Were Some of You” lays out the facts about healing homosexual confusion and rejoices in the reality that Jesus Christ can heal anyone from anything while providing grace for the journey.

    Here are extended interviews with 29 former homosexuals who are now Christians

    GUESTS – THE EXTENDED INTERVIEWS – videos – Extended Interviews with 29 former homosexuals who are now Christians
    http://suchweresomeofyou.org/

    I found this testimony particularly moving

    Daniel Delgado Pt 1 – Transgender Transformation – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bv1ZK6a3ITk

    And here is documentary for Christian families of homosexuals who want to “bear witness to the biblical reality without losing their love and affection”

    How Do You Like Me Now? – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgg65Ocnjhc
    Description: It is often a traumatic moment when a loved one tells you they are homosexual. Your world comes to a screeching halt. What do you say? How do you bear witness to the biblical reality without losing their love and affection? Is healing even possible? In this critical resource for the Body of Christ, we hear from almost two dozen people who have found themselves in that position. Skillfully guided by well known writer and counselor, Joe Dallas, we hear their stories and possibly discover for ourselves a better path. Includes a special section with Stephen Arterburn, whose brother lived a homosexual lifestyle before dying from AIDS.

    And here is a very good lecture that touches upon every biblical argument that homosexual advocates try to use to justify homosexual behavior within society and even within the church

    I Was an Apologist for Gay Theology | Joe Dallas – video lecture
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFr8Eh46-z8

    Verses:

    Mark 8:37-38
    “For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

    Jude 1:4
    For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

  43. 43
    Brother Brian says:

    BA77@41 and 42, without getting into the “are homosexuals born that way” bullshit, I can honestly say that I am sexually attracted to small breasted thin women. And, surprisingly, that describes my wife. My brother is attracted to more “rotund” women. And I am sure that women have similar (but different) attractions. Yet, the church does not tell us that we are wrong to have such attractions. Or advocate for conversion therapy to try to make me more attracted to heavier women. If you can present a valid reason why we should discourage people from being attracted to someone of the same sex, without invoking some religious doctrine, go for it.

  44. 44
    EDTA says:

    BB @ 16,

    >We don’t have to look any further than the Westboro church to know that this is likely true.

    Well, I know someone from there, and live within a few hundred miles of there. It is a cult, where those not willingly there (and my acquaintance was one of them) are kept there by various psychological manipulation tactics. Marry in (via an out-of-town wedding), then find that you’re stuck there for life. I feel very sorry for my acquaintance, who seemed to have a good
    heart beneath the facade he was forced to wear.

    It’s not the phenomenon I was talking about above, but unless you have had at least tangential contact with Westboro, this wouldn’t be know-able.

  45. 45
    Brother Brian says:

    EDTA, I agree that most people get caught up in these “cults” for what they think are noble reasons. And they are, for the most part, not evil people. It bothers me when people write others off as being “stupid” or “evil” simply because of their affiliations. Usually it is far more complicated than that. But, when someone is presented with multiple correctives, and still reluctant to accept reality, it is easy to think less of them.

  46. 46
    hazel says:

    ba writes,

    Moreover, if homosexual people really are ‘born that way’ then is should be completely impossible for homosexual people to change their lifestyle.

    I’ve known a number of people who married as heterosexuals, had children, and then found themselves attracted to the same sex later in life. And of course, there are bisexual people who are attracted to both. I think that much of this is connected to one’s involuntary biological nature, but, especially for some, acknowledging that biology is easier if/when the culture around one becomes more accepting. Conversely, many people who have been raised with strong cultural feelings about the perversity of homosexuality actually have homosexual feelings and wide up leading double lives with their homosexual affairs: there are examples of this on a regular basis

    Of course there is a “lifestyle” associated with each of us which includes our sexual identity and behaviors, but one’s sense of who one is sexually attracted to is not a “lifestyle”: it’s a presentation of one’s nature.

  47. 47
    Brother Brian says:

    Hazel@46, I agree. Sadly there are plenty of examples of homosexuals who marry a person of the opposite sex because that is what family, church and friends expect of them. Only to make two lives miserable by trying to live a lie.

    In fact, the minister who presided over our wedding was married to a lovey woman, and had three kids, only to finally acknowledge that he was not attracted to women. He still loves his children and ex wife, but is now happily married to his male husband. Thankfully, his kids and ex wife have supported him. In fact, and I know this will make KF blow a gasket, his ex was the “best man” at his same sex wedding. It was one of the most beautiful ceremonies i have ever seen. But I can’t ignore the fact that because of the external pressures placed on him by family, friends and the church, he and his ex were delayed for many years in finding true happiness.

  48. 48
    hazel says:

    Nice story, BB.

  49. 49
    bornagain77 says:

    No, Christianity Doesn’t Need To Endorse Homosexuality To Grow
    Rev. Oliver Thomas is simply one in a long line of terribly misguided clergy who believe the best thing for the church is to stop being Christian.
    Excerpt: Stop accepting the Bible as true and admit Christianity has gotten it terribly wrong on homosexuality. This is the advice Rev. Oliver Thomas gives in a recent opinion article in USA Today for how the church can stop “hemorrhaging members” and see brighter days.
    He warns that “the church is killing itself” because it has painted itself into a corner by actually believing what the Bible says. He contends that Christians should just admit that the Bible gets it wrong on so many important issues and that “reason and experience” should be our new guide, as if this is a new idea. He says the church is terribly wrong about sexuality, particularly homosexuality, and would do very well to wise up, lest it find itself reduced to a warehouse for cobwebs.
    “Churches will continue hemorrhaging members and money at an alarming rate until we muster the courage to face the truth: We got it wrong on gays and lesbians,” he says.
    We don’t have to wonder whether Thomas is correct. Not only is he wrong, but an impressive body of very strong data and experience demonstrates the precise opposite of what he claims is true.
    Yes, many churches are hemorrhaging members, and have been since the early 1970s. But anyone who studies these things carefully will tell you this is happening almost exclusively in the more politically and theologically liberal mainline churches. These are the same churches that are doing exactly what Thomas calls for: rejecting the credibility and authority of Scripture.
    This same research shows the churches he says must change or else are holding rock-solid steady in attendance. These are the more conservative congregations that unapologetically take the Bible at its word, including on homosexuality. His advice here is not just ill-advised, but the equivalent of telling any retailer that the way to growth is to stop being helpful to your customers and jack up your prices. Let’s see how true this is.
    Theological Liberalism Is a Death Knell
    Research done jointly at Harvard and Indiana universities makes this clear, reporting that the number of adults attending liberalizing mainline churches has tanked precipitously from 35 percent of the American population in 1972 to 12 percent in 2016. This decline of the mainline churches began in the early 1960s when they started to question and officially change their positions on historic Christian basics like the deity of Christ, the existence of miracles, the reality of sin, and the atoning death of Jesus and His resurrection, as well as jettisoning biblical convictions about sex, gender, and abortion. People started running for the doors of these churches with every new compromise, and this exodus continues en masse today. It could hardly be worse if these pastors asked their parishioners to leave and never come back.
    The Harvard/Indiana University research also shows that the churches that take the Bible as the reliable word of God are doing very well. Compromising on biblical truths was, and is, a devastating church-growth strategy. Holding fast to these truths and preaching them boldly is a very effective one. Let’s look at some real numbers from the folks at the Pew Research Center showing the same thing.
    Pew’s “America’s Changing Landscape” explains that, between 2007 and 2014, mainline Protestant churches declined by 5 million adult members. This is hemorrhaging by any sober accounting. Churches in Pew’s “evangelical” category grew in absolute numbers by about 2 million between 2007 and 2014. Again, the exact opposite of what Thomas prescribes.
    Where Do Gay Christians Go to Church?
    When same-sex-attracted Christians go to church, they are not choosing the pews of churches Thomas is calling us to become. Again, it’s just the opposite.,,,
    https://thefederalist.com/2019/05/06/no-christianity-doesnt-need-endorse-homosexuality-grow/

    Hmmm, apparently non-compromised righteousness is one of the most attractive things about Christianity.

    So much for trying to conform the church to the changing whims of the culture.

  50. 50
    EDTA says:

    At the risk of pouring some more gasoline on the dying embers here, I ask the following:

    The sexual urge is a powerful thing, and the dopamine (et al) released during sex (or in anticipation of it) is a powerful drug. Does anyone doubt that, if its release is associated with something else, that it can bind the two things together? By “something else”, I refer to all the myriad non-traditional variations on sex that our culture is exploring these days. We’ve all heard of “sex addiction”.

    In other words, once a person starts associating the release of dopamine with a particular kind of sex, is it not possible that the only reason they say, “Hey, now I’m {that sort of person}” is that they nursed along the association between their dopamine releases and that kind of sex? Perhaps there was a random thought during their youth of, “what would same-sex sex be like?” But then fantasy and dopamine and a supportive sub-culture took over.*

    The dangerous thing here is that our culture is living its collective life as if happiness and pleasure are the only goals. It is no longer interested in whether something is right, productive, dignified, expedient, etc. Just whether it brings happiness. And when sex becomes the top rung on the scale of happiness, haven’t we reduced ourselves to a mere search for a drug?

    *I know non-traditional couples make all sorts of claims about “love” and all the other non-sex aspects of any deep relationship, but a plain same-sex friendship could supply all of those other things. What differentiates them (and makes them objectionable to some) is sex. That makes their one distinguishing quality seem quite superficial.

  51. 51
    Brother Brian says:

    EDTA, I don’t think there is any difinirive cause of same sex attraction but almost all research points to it occuring at a very young age, and becoming very strongly fixed in the psyche. Can it be reversed? Possibly. In the same way that brainwashing and repetitive reinforcement can fix certain behaviors in our repertoire. But isn’t that playing fast and furious with free will (ie, short circuiting it to assuage some religious guilt)?

    The dangerous thing here is that our culture is living its collective life as if happiness and pleasure are the only goals. It is no longer interested in whether something is right, productive, dignified, expedient, etc. Just whether it brings happiness.

    But the big question is, who decides that something is right, productive and dignified? You? Me? KF? (God help us). Or do we leave that up to the person directly affected by their own actions? Barring any harmful impact on others, I opt for the latter.

  52. 52
    hazel says:

    edta writes,

    *I know non-traditional couples make all sorts of claims about “love” and all the other non-sex aspects of any deep relationship, but a plain same-sex friendship could supply all of those other things.

    No, they don’t make “some sort of claim about “love””: they love, just as a heterosexual couple does, and they want the physical affection, including sex, that goes with that. Assuming that EDTA is a heterosexual, I ask him or her would you be satisfied with a plain friendship, without sex, with your spouse?

  53. 53
    Brother Brian says:

    Hazel

    Assuming that EDTA is a heterosexual, I ask him or her would you be satisfied with a plain friendship, without sex, with your spouse?

    Hazel, to be fair, as we get older, the friendship part becomes more important than the sex part. After all, I am in my mid sixties and my spouse and I only have sex three or four times a week. I would love to get my hands on KF’s stack of sex manuals to put a little spice back in our sex life. 🙂 But seriously, leaving sex aside, we are also talking about intimacy and having our relationship respected by others for what it is.

    If my wife and I are out in public and introduce ourselves to strangers, nobody looks at us funny. Or questions our relationship (other than my wife’s taste in men). But when two men or two women do the same, far too many can’t get beyond envisioning what they do under the bed sheets. Something they never do with opposite sex couples. To me, the perversion lies with those who can’t get beyond these thoughts, not with those who have found love with another person.

  54. 54
    kairosfocus says:

    EDTA,

    in fact no complex, volitionally involved human activity has ever been shown to be genetically determined, though the notion of genetic determinism is currently a powerful, often lab coat clad, cultural narrative: my genes made me do it; never mind the self-referential incoherence and self-falsification implicit in such a claim — it undermines rationality itself; part of the suicidal folly of our culture in this era. Instead, while our behaviour may be and is genetically influenced and enabled (it is part of what makes us human, male, female, of a given stage of life etc) we are in the end morally governed, conscience-guided rational and responsible creatures or else the basis of rationality and even rational persuasion collapses.

    This BTW means that our sexual habits and linked patterns of attraction and behaviour are not genetically determined, including heterosexual ones. And indeed there are many habituating (or even “addictive”) heterosexual behaviours starting with serial adultery and pre-marital sex, which for cause fall under moral stricture. In that context, homosexual patterns can be readily seen to fit such a framework, cf the already linked here.

    That’s why there is no one common development phase onset point, it is why its incidence in our civilisation is strongly urban/rural connected, it is why it does not fit the statistical degree of incidence patterns for known genetic disorders, it is why it varies in incidence with time, legal restrictions, cultural institutions (current Western pattern — in key part a response to buggery and/or sodomy laws), Greco-Roman pattern (catamites especially), Melanesian pattern (compulsory at a certain stage of adolescence), military institutionalisation (evidently, Sparta), Institution (e,g, prisons etc) and more. It is in this context that I pointed out in 15 above that “incidence of such behaviour varies with cultural settings. Vanishingly small in some cases, 1 – 3% in our time and culture, 100% by way of compulsory social role in certain cultures.”

    In the Melanesian case, for example, once there was a cultural shift on the scale of decades, the institution was abandoned given the discrediting of the underlying driving mythical narrative. In this light, and given the clear parallel of how powerful forces are enabling the killing of our living posterity in the womb at the rate of a million more per week (and cumulatively 800+ millions in 40 years), suppressing and marginalising dissent, we must ask rather pointed questions as to why homosexualisation and linked patterns are being so aggressively pushed today.

    Pushed, to the point where responsible agencies and many individuals were seen applauding the patent judicial over-reach of implicitly amending rights linked Constitutional clauses by a single judge ruling from the bench (in the teeth of specific provisions for proper recommendation to amend). This specific case and how it was backed by official statements, is a red flag warning that something very dangerous to constitutional democratic self government is afoot.

    A wake-up call.

    KF

  55. 55
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, turnabout projection to stigmatise common-sense recognition that some practices are not only unnatural and manifestly unhealthy but for cause are repulsive. And, we note the obvious failure to respond cogently to substantial counters to your initial assertions. KF

  56. 56
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    And, we note the obvious failure to respond cogently to substantial counters to your initial assertions.

    And what, exactly, are my initial assertions? I am almost certain that they are not what you claim them to be.

    This BTW means that our sexual habits and linked patterns of attraction and behaviour are not genetically determined, including heterosexual ones.

    Is anyone suggesting that sexual attraction and behavior are genetically determined? Or is this a strawman?

    All we know is that our sexual preference develops at a very early age. But you comment about premarital sex is irrelevant. Nobody is suggesting that this is a sexual habit, or perversion. Most people who enjoy premarital sex (and it is enjoyable) do so in a monogamous nature. They just haven’t taken vows. I don’t see anything wrong with this. And, frankly, I would recommend it. But it is a personal decision, not something that is yours or my business.

  57. 57
    kairosfocus says:

    H, pardon my having to note this again, but being in love does not change moral duties and proscriptions, as we have been warned ever so many times. Adulterous love is still adultery. Incestuous love is still incest. A certain adult-child “love” movement in North America known as NAMBLA is patently perverse. And more. The proper focal issue — which you and others above have failed to cogently address — is that there is a genetically based pattern tied to the complementarity of the two sexes, thus to reproduction and to stability requisites of sound child nurture which establishes marriage through the law of our manifest nature as involving the lifelong commitment of a man/husband and a woman/wife, who in the natural course typically become parents. No other relationship in our civilisation has these characteristics or foundational character for sound community life. It is therefore apparent that marriage is established by the law of our morally governed nature and that attempts to destabilise or distort it are fraught with peril for the future of our civilisation. Likewise, the clearly linked attempt to redefine personal identity (these days, from fairly early childhood) away from recognising the significance of being male or female. In this context, a simple examination of several of the myriad of proposed “genders” will suffice to show that something is seriously, blatantly wrong . . . but is obviously being pushed by very powerful, well funded forces that are obviously hostile to our civilisation. The recognisable pattern of agit-prop operations, street theatre, media amplification, targetting for 1984 style two minute hate, lawfare etc indicate that we are seeing a fifth column operation at work using low-kinetic forms of fourth generation warfare and cultural marxist ideological and agit prop techniques. KF

  58. 58
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, you and I both know that those assertions begin in comment no 1 and continue on from there. My remarks on points in no 15 were notes of response under clips from your early comments; which also happen to respond to the wider pattern we have seen for months now. So, just scroll up. KF

    PS: Your attempt to re-write recent history, that there was a major effort to sell homosexuality as a genetically determined pattern, even dressed up in a lab coat (remember, “gay gene” and “hippocampus”), is revealing. The effort failed, but thanks to media amplification, it left a common public perception; one that has actually made its way into successful agit prop and lawfare efforts. It is therefore entirely appropriate to point it out and to emphasise the significance of morally governed rational responsibility for our behaviour and even habits in general and on sexual matters. The attempt to suggest “strawman” fails, fails in an utterly revealing manner.

  59. 59
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: I see how you tried to isolate premarital sex as though it was my only example of morally dubious, often habitual and even addictive sexual behaviours that are intrinsically disordered. Obviously, the act involved is usually a natural one, as is the case for the first listed, adultery. Likewise, that would hold for a lot of incest and some cases of preying on young children. The classic warning text on Amnon and Tamar speaks to much of this, including issues of seduction, deceit and force. The wider frame that being in love — an emotional state that is notoriously blinding — cannot justify wrongful conduct stands. And more.

  60. 60
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Returning to the focus in the OP, it is evident that there are many forces at work that have led to disaffection targetting (in the main) the mainline protestantism that went liberal in the USA over a century ago. The fundamental issue is that there has been a concerted effort to stigmatise the heritage of Christian Western Civilisation by creating a very unbalanced, largely negative view of its heritage. The inevitably oppressive, theocratic-tyrannical, war against reason and science etc theses come readily to mind. We need to understand the force of Paul’s natural law theme in Rom 1, that driving a wedge between us and the evidence pointing to God as creator and wellspring of rationally evident moral law opens the flood-gates to moral spin-out. Unfortunately, due to the suppression of many sound lessons of history (some of it within living memory, some of it playing out again before our eyes in Venezuela etc) we have become vulnerable to the talking points of the manipulators. We forget that a high freedom, prosperous, economically and technologically progressive civilisation is anything but a readily achieved, inherently stable “natural” state of the world. We are on a slippery slope with the slipperiness serving as a ratchet and we are blissfully ignorant of ruinous peril, starting with what happens when masses are disaffected from key social institutions. Here, marriage and family, church, media [which have been grossly irresponsible], education, government, even logic, and more. We are playing with ruinous fire and seem to forget the warning Plato gave in his Ship of State analogy. KF

  61. 61
    daveS says:

    KF,

    buggery

    😮

    Perhaps it’s different in British English, but I believe that term is generally considered offensive in the US (although it’s very rarely used).

    Some interesting etymology from wikipedia:

    The modern English word “bugger” is derived from the French term bougre, that evolved from the Latin Bulgarus or “Bulgarian”. The Catholic Church used the word to describe members of a religious sect known as the Bogomils, who originated in medieval Bulgaria in the 10th Century and spread throughout Western Europe by the 15th Century. The Church used it as a term of offence against a group they considered heretical. The first use of the word “buggery” appears in Middle English in 1330 where it is associated with “abominable heresy”; though the sexual sense of “bugger” is not recorded until 1555.

  62. 62
    EDTA says:

    @51, @52
    >But the big question is, who decides that something is right, productive and dignified? You? Me? KF? (God help us). Or do we leave that up to the person directly affected by their own actions? Barring any harmful impact on others…

    Since you invoke God, I suppose I can also, and so would point to our maker’s standard. (Yes, that leads back to apologetic topics unending–which we’re happy to engage here.) But even if evolution were all one had to point to, even it clearly smiles only upon heterosexuality.

    As KF points out, we all share this culture, so what we do matters to others. The latest demographics I’ve seen indicate that 23% of males born today will never marry. They may want to, but won’t. Men not tied down by family obligations are a restless lot, and I’m not sure porn and video games are an adequate personal or cultural substitute for a spouse and family. What future awaits us is anbody’s guess, because we are rushing headlong into uncharted territory. But I’m not expecting a utopia to just happen. (One could point to partial parallels re homosexuality and so on, but because of technology’s great influence and our unprecedented prosperity, all historical parallels may break down.)

    >Assuming that EDTA is a heterosexual, I ask him or her would you be satisfied with a plain friendship, without sex, with your spouse?
    If, for instance, due to medical reasons, sex became impossible, then I would be most satisfied with the remaining aspects of my marriage. There would be no thought of seeking sex elsewhere.

    > After all, I am in my mid sixties and my spouse and I only have sex three or four times a week.
    TMI 😎

  63. 63
    hazel says:

    EDTA writes, “If, for instance, due to medical reasons, sex became impossible, then I would be most satisfied with the remaining aspects of my marriage. There would be no thought of seeking sex elsewhere.”

    I agree with that.

    kf writes, “practices are not only unnatural and manifestly unhealthy but for cause are repulsive.”

    I find kf’s attitude repulsive, for cause. I’ll leave it at that. No sense going down this rabbit hole of a discussion again.

  64. 64
    ET says:

    Nature- homosexuality goes against nature. The people who cannot see that are blinded by their own asinine agenda. And I find their attitudes repulsive, for cause.

  65. 65
    hazel says:

    P.S. to 63: However, EDTA, your point really doesn’t address the issue I raised. Same-sex couples love each other in the same way you love your spouse, and have the desire, and the right to fulfill that desire, to have their love have a sexual aspect. Of course, many heterosexual couples eventually have the sex aspect fade, sometimes to nothing, for various reasons, and continue on with a loving, non-sexual relationship, but that certainly doesn’t mean that that option ought to be what same-sex couples ought to be satisifed with, or have to accept.

  66. 66
    ET says:

    hazel:

    Same-sex couples love each other in the same way you love your spouse, and have the desire, and the right to fulfill that desire, to have their love have a sexual aspect.

    What gives them the right to fulfill that desire? What about a killer’s desire to murder? Do they have a right to feed their desire?

  67. 67
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, it is a legal term, defined in law. Pardon my ignorance of US usage on the matter. I would expect rarity rather than offensive character. KF

  68. 68
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, I am not making up the fact of repulsiveness, I am reporting it on record as a material factor. As to — some of the! — health effects, I suggest that an easy to find popular reference is All you wanted to know about sex but were afraid to ask; brace for a shock. Above, as fair comment, you are committing the fallacy of shooting at the messenger. KF

  69. 69
    daveS says:

    KF,

    Is oral sex as objectively repulsive as anal sex? Should they both be illegal?

  70. 70
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, I have already noted repeatedly on the point that being in love does not remove one from moral responsibility or from implications of the spreading of various practices in a community or in its institutions. And BTW a right is inherently a moral claim, so to properly assert a rights claim one must manifestly be in the right. One cannot properly exert a right that others enable or uphold one in the wrong. KF

  71. 71
    hazel says:

    kf, the fact that homosexuality is repulsive to you and others is a material fact. The fact that it is NOT repulsive to me and many others is a material fact. The issue is what is fair, not who is repulsed.

  72. 72
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    BB, you and I both know that those assertions begin in comment no 1 and continue on from there.

    These were not assertions, they were expressions of my opinions in response to the issue of an increase in the number of “nones”.

    My remarks on points in no 15 were notes of response under clips from your early comments; which also happen to respond to the wider pattern we have seen for months now.

    I read those but didn’t respond because your responses were not relevant to the issue of the church’s teachings on homosexuality being part of the reason why the number of “nones” is increasing. If you want to disagree with my suggestion that some of the decline in church attendance is due to this, please state your case.

    PS: Your attempt to re-write recent history, that there was a major effort to sell homosexuality as a genetically determined pattern, even dressed up in a lab coat (remember, “gay gene” and “hippocampus”), is revealing.

    Being “born that way” is not a claim that it is genetically determined. The only debate at this point is whether same sex attraction is something that is the result of embryonic development (born that way) or something that develops in the first few years after birth.

  73. 73
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, the Meese Commission highlighted the practice fellatio as a major disease vector and noted on its relative ease and speed of practice. There is immediately a public health interest in its regulation as a dangerous vice and as a likely major form of prostitution and child abuse. Given precedence in law, it cannot be singled out from other similar acts. In some US jurisdictions at least, oral and anal acts are/were together classified under sodomy. More broadly, the issues pivot on not parsing vice but highlighting virtue. There is a right context, pivotal to the stability of society given the destabilising nature of especially male sexuality in its various potential habitual forms. This is tied directly to the recognition of marriage and the heterosexual bond as a key means of sound society. All of this is connected to the issue of socialisation of men as a major stability challenge for any civilisation. KF

  74. 74
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, “expressions of opinion” are assertions, as can be seen simply by scrolling up, starting from no 1 above. I responded point by point in 15, which records your remarks and my notes. KF

  75. 75
    ET says:

    The fact that homosexuality goes against nature is a material fact. The fact that it is stupid to think that homosexuals were forced in any manner to marry someone they were not attracted to, is also a material fact.

  76. 76
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    The only debate at this point is whether same sex attraction is something that is the result of embryonic development (born that way) or something that develops in the first few years after birth.

    It’s a mental illness.

  77. 77
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS, the Meese Commission highlighted the practice fellatio as a major disease vector and noted on its relative ease and speed of practice. There is immediately a public health interest in its regulation as a dangerous vice and as a likely major form of prostitution and child abuse. Given precedence in law, it cannot be singled out from other similar acts.

    (edited)

    So, in order to prevent our civilization from going over a cliff, I take it you believe oral sex should illegal? Or perhaps it should be allowed between married couples who commit to monogamy? Exactly what should we do?

  78. 78
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Your attempt to dismiss my comments as irrelevant without cogent reply fails. As the record shows.

  79. 79
    Brother Brian says:

    EDTA

    Since you invoke God, I suppose I can also, and so would point to our maker’s standard. (Yes, that leads back to apologetic topics unending–which we’re happy to engage here.) But even if evolution were all one had to point to, even it clearly smiles only upon heterosexuality.

    Well, I did use the term “God” facetiously, but id did open the door. 🙂 If we assumed that homosexuality was 100% genetically determined, and 100% one way (i.e., absolutely no chance of having sex with someone of the opposite sex), then I think that you would be correct. But there are not many researchers who are claiming that homosexuality is strongly genetically determined.

    As KF points out, we all share this culture, so what we do matters to others. The latest demographics I’ve seen indicate that 23% of males born today will never marry.

    But of these 23%, how many end up in a long term committed relationship? I don’t know but I suspect that it is not insignificant. I chose a formal marriage ceremony to publicly announce my commitment to my spouse. And I assume you did as well. But that does not mean that marriage is the only option. And society has accounted for this with common-law legislations.
    KF

    Hazel, I am not making up the fact of repulsiveness, I am reporting it on record as a material factor.

    Repulsiveness is a personal opinion, not an objective fact.
    That you find certain sexual acts repulsive is fine. Nobody is forcing you to engage in them. But conversely, nobody has the right to force others not to engage in these sexual acts unless the acts include minors or are non-consensual.

  80. 80
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, really. I pointed out a few facts in a much broader context that requires careful prudent regulation, you just set up and knocked over a strawman. KF

  81. 81
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    PS: Your attempt to dismiss my comments as irrelevant without cogent reply fails.

    What does any of that have to do with my suggestion that the church’s teachings on homosexuality is one of the causes for declining attendance?

  82. 82
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS, really. I pointed out a few facts in a much broader context that requires careful prudent regulation, you just set up and knocked over a strawman.

    I honestly thought from your post that you believed oral sex should be regulated (and thus illegal in some instances on public health grounds). I guess I stand corrected: You do not believe oral sex should be illegal?

  83. 83
    hazel says:

    I always find it somewhat amusing, and telling, to watch kf avoid a question by declaring it a strawman, or not related to the OP, or too specific, or a tangent, or some other excuse.

    Very often specific questions cut through the fluff, and bring important details to light.

    Should oral sex be illegal is a good question. What do you think, kf? Is your answer yes in some situations and no in others? What is your reasoning?

  84. 84
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    What does any of that have to do with my suggestion that the church’s teachings on homosexuality is one of the causes for declining attendance?

    It’s unsupportable. But if teaching the truth drives people away then that alone is very telling.

  85. 85
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    BB, “expressions of opinion” are assertions,…

    Let’s examine that assertion.

    Opinion: a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge..

    Assertion: a confident and forceful statement of fact or belief.

    In comment 1 I stated:

    Personally I think a decline in the “authority” of religion is a good thing for society. We have to justify and be accountable for our own prejudices rather than use church authority to justify them.

    Clearly a personal opinion, not an assertion. And at comment three:

    But I think one of the other things driving people away from the church is their stance on homosexuality.

    Obviously another opinion as opposed to an assertion. I then went on to have fruitful (no pun intended 🙂 ) discussion with EDTA, AaronS1978, Fasteddious and Hazel about this. And then the thread went completely off the rails at comment 15 when you distracted everyone from the subject of the OP (the increasing number of “nones”) to your personal repulsion and moral repugnance towards homosexuality.

  86. 86
    ET says:

    hazel:

    Should oral sex be illegal is a good question.

    What makes it a good question? To me it is a sign of an ignorant agenda.

  87. 87
    ET says:

    When someone makes a statement investing his strong belief in it, as if it is true, though it may not be, he is making an assertion.

    Clearly Brother Brian was spewing assertions. They may have been his opinions but they are still assertions.

  88. 88
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, I simply invite the interested onlooker to review your remarks from 1 above to see the facts for themselves, which will make it clear that you put on the table direct and implicit claims of fact and views consistent with a known cultural agenda. Indeed, at points there is a question of redefinition of the Christian faith to suit a current agenda. I have responded point by point at 15 as already linked. This onward pattern of rhetoric that does not address the substantial issues but dances around speaks for itself per my own comments on patterns that have become clear to me. KF

  89. 89
    kairosfocus says:

    H, I will give more detailed reasons when I can, I am commenting in gaps in a work situation. It is plain that with what was put on the table which I briefly responded to we are out on a tangent of a tangent, and that the focal issue even on the level one tangent imposed by the comment at 1, is not what was put into my mouth just above. KF

  90. 90
    hazel says:

    ET, some reasons that “should oral sex be illegal” is a good question.

    First, it’s related to the OP in it’s an example of a practice that is widely accepted but that it is not supported as acceptable by many churches, therefore contributing to the reasons people might be leaving the church. It also brings up the issue about whether morality should be legislated, and if so, whose morality. Also, what role should “repulsion” play in making these kinds of judgments. And what exactly are the criteria for something being “natural”: is this a philosophical or an empirical category?

  91. 91
    Brother Brian says:

    Hazel@90, I agree with this. There are probably many issues that are resulting in a decline in attendance at church and a general decline in categorizing oneself as religious. I think that the church’s stance on sex being one of them. Oral sex, anal sex, masturbation, sex purely for fun, premarital sex, etc. I once heard a comedian say that 95% of men admit to masturbating, which proves that 5% of men are liars. It is a little crude, but probably not far off the mark.

    I see nothing wrong with questioning church teachings. Given the great variation that we see in church teachings, many contradicting each other, it is obvious that they can’t all be right.

    Leaving sex aside, I would like to hear from others as to what they think the reasons for an increasing number of people distancing themselves from religion.

  92. 92
    kairosfocus says:

    BB (et al):

    I think you have put on the table a list of common addictive, often morally dubious sexual habits and practices. That’s the real problem, as our civilisation in key parts has increasingly turned its back on God, its moral governance has gone out of control, just as the Apostle Paul summarised in Rom 1 so long ago now.

    The underlying sexual ethics tied to the law of our morally governed nature has been laid out sufficiently above. The issue is not, whether people wish to indulge, but that they wish not to be reminded of relevant virtues such as chastity and fidelity. They also often wish for moral codes to be re-written to suit their preferences, and as law expresses aspects of such a code, law too.

    In such a day, ever so much like the pagan Greco-Roman world, the answer of the gospel is the same as ever: no. The issue is repentance and transformation by discipleship.

    As for the matter of regulation of fellatio especially, the issue is one of public health, prostitution, exploitation and abuse (including of minors). Sufficient law needs to be in place to restrict the vectors for spreading especially viral STDs, but in an era of serious antibiotic resistance, bacterial ones too. A world that takes such seriously as antivirals fail and as antibiotics go into terminal failure due to widespread resistance, is going to look a lot more like a world regulated by Christian principles than one that runs on the lines of the epidemic of indulgence that has mounted up across the past generation.

    Sheer need to survive with reasonably good health is going to solve the problem anyway, but we can save our selves a lot of pain and loss ahead of time.

    But then, we seem hell-bent on squandering the heritage of freedom anyway.

    HIV was just the harbinger.

    KF

    PS: Shooting at the messenger does not solve the problem of the reality behind the message.

  93. 93
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: BBC on a post-antibiotic world:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/health-34857015

    Antibiotic resistance: World on cusp of ‘post-antibiotic era’
    By James Gallagher Health editor, BBC News website

    The world is on the cusp of a “post-antibiotic era”, scientists have warned after finding bacteria resistant to drugs used when all other treatments have failed.

    They identified bacteria able to shrug off the drug of last resort – colistin – in patients and livestock in China.

    They said that resistance would spread around the world and raised the spectre of untreatable infections.

    It is likely resistance emerged after colistin was overused in farm animals.

    Bacteria becoming completely resistant to treatment – also known as the antibiotic apocalypse – could plunge medicine back into the dark ages.

    Common infections would kill once again, while surgery and cancer therapies, which are reliant on antibiotics, would be under threat.
    Key players

    Chinese scientists identified a new mutation, dubbed the MCR-1 gene, that prevented colistin from killing bacteria.

    The report in the Lancet Infectious Diseases showed resistance in a fifth of animals tested, 15% of raw meat samples and in 16 patients.

    And the resistance had spread between a range of bacterial strains and species, including E. coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    There is also evidence that it has spread to Laos and Malaysia.

    Prof Timothy Walsh, who collaborated on the study, from the University of Cardiff, told the BBC News website: “All the key players are now in place to make the post-antibiotic world a reality.

    “If MCR-1 becomes global, which is a case of when not if, and the gene aligns itself with other antibiotic resistance genes, which is inevitable, then we will have very likely reached the start of the post-antibiotic era.

    “At that point if a patient is seriously ill, say with E. coli, then there is virtually nothing you can do.”

    Resistance to colistin has emerged before.

    However, the crucial difference this time is the mutation has arisen in a way that is very easily shared between bacteria.

    “The transfer rate of this resistance gene is ridiculously high, that doesn’t look good,” said Prof Mark Wilcox, from Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

    His hospital is now dealing with multiple cases “where we’re struggling to find an antibiotic” every month – an event he describes as being as “rare as hens’ teeth” five years ago.

    He said there was no single event that would mark the start of the antibiotic apocalypse, but it was clear “we’re losing the battle”.

  94. 94
    ET says:

    hazel:

    First, it’s related to the OP in it’s an example of a practice that is widely accepted but that it is not supported as acceptable by many churches, therefore contributing to the reasons people might be leaving the church.

    The Church says oral sex is OK within a marriage.

    It also brings up the issue about whether morality should be legislated, and if so, whose morality.

    Morality is already legislated. Rape is illegal. Murder is illegal. Stealing is illegal.

    But all that is moot. There is a far greater judgement that awaits us all…

  95. 95
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    Leaving sex aside, I would like to hear from others as to what they think the reasons for an increasing number of people distancing themselves from religion.

    What? They are distancing themselves from a particular Church or denomination. Nothing more.

  96. 96
    daveS says:

    KF,

    As for the matter of regulation of fellatio especially, the issue is one of public health, prostitution, exploitation and abuse (including of minors). Sufficient law needs to be in place to restrict the vectors for spreading especially viral STDs, but in an era of serious antibiotic resistance, bacterial ones too. A world that takes such seriously as antivirals fail and as antibiotics go into terminal failure due to widespread resistance, is going to look a lot more like a world regulated by Christian principles than one that runs on the lines of the epidemic of indulgence that has mounted up across the past generation.

    Can you give an example of such “sufficient law”? At some point we need to get to specifics.

  97. 97
    bornagain77 says:

    As to the claim that people are leaving the churches.

    No, Non-Believers Are Not Increasing In America – APRIL 24, 2019
    Excerpt: The stats are given as often and with as much confidence as they are wrong. The story goes that our nation is growing more secular with every passing day. Christianity is tanking, and atheists and generic non-believers mushrooming.,,,
    Stark gets more precise: “The entire change [toward none-ness] has taken place with the non-attending group.” “In other words,” he adds, “this change marks a decrease only in nominal affiliation, not an increase in irreligion.” Stark says the wealth of data he has studied, as well as that his peers have, “does not support claims for increased secularization, let alone a decrease in the number of Christians. It may not even reflect an increase in those who say they are ‘nones.’”,,,
    In fact, Professor Barry A. Kosmin, director of the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, the man who coined the term “the nones,” expresses frustration that the larger press has not really gotten the story right on what belief group is actually seeing the largest size increase. He told me, “The rise of nondenominational Christianity is probably one of the strongest [religious growth] trends in the last two decades” in the United States.
    He added that the percentage gain among the “nons,” or nondenoms, is “many times larger” compared to those we have come to know as the nones. Read that again. The growth of nondenominational churches has been many times larger than that of the nones. Is it likely that one group that is growing—the nones—are gaining folks from a particular group that is growing at even greater pace? That answer would be no.
    Greg Smith, the long-time associate director of research at the Pew Research Center, adds heft to the conclusion that evangelicalism is actually growing. He confidently explains that while the more liberal mainline churches have been tanking dramatically, losing from 5 to 7.5 million members since 2007 (!), things are completely different for evangelical and non-denominational churches….
    The Harvard/Indiana University researchers found the same thing, explaining “evangelicals are not on the decline” but “grew from 1972 when they were 18 percent of the population, to a steady level of about 28 percent” from the late 1980s to the present. This “percentage of the population” measure is very significant because it shows not only growth in terms of real numbers, but enough growth to keep up with or even exceed the rate of population growth. That’s not nothing.
    https://thefederalist.com/2019/04/24/no-non-believers-not-increasing-america/

    And again,

    No, Christianity Doesn’t Need To Endorse Homosexuality To Grow
    Rev. Oliver Thomas is simply one in a long line of terribly misguided clergy who believe the best thing for the church is to stop being Christian.
    Excerpt: Yes, many churches are hemorrhaging members, and have been since the early 1970s. But anyone who studies these things carefully will tell you this is happening almost exclusively in the more politically and theologically liberal mainline churches. These are the same churches that are doing exactly what Thomas calls for: rejecting the credibility and authority of Scripture.
    This same research shows the churches he says must change or else are holding rock-solid steady in attendance. These are the more conservative congregations that unapologetically take the Bible at its word, including on homosexuality. His advice here is not just ill-advised, but the equivalent of telling any retailer that the way to growth is to stop being helpful to your customers and jack up your prices. Let’s see how true this is.
    Theological Liberalism Is a Death Knell
    Research done jointly at Harvard and Indiana universities makes this clear, reporting that the number of adults attending liberalizing mainline churches has tanked precipitously from 35 percent of the American population in 1972 to 12 percent in 2016. This decline of the mainline churches began in the early 1960s when they started to question and officially change their positions on historic Christian basics like the deity of Christ, the existence of miracles, the reality of sin, and the atoning death of Jesus and His resurrection, as well as jettisoning biblical convictions about sex, gender, and abortion. People started running for the doors of these churches with every new compromise, and this exodus continues en masse today. It could hardly be worse if these pastors asked their parishioners to leave and never come back.
    https://thefederalist.com/2019/05/06/no-christianity-doesnt-need-endorse-homosexuality-grow/

    That is really quite amazing. It turns out that the loss in supposedly ‘Christian’ churches has been among the liberal churches that many conservatives, (since many liberal churches endorse Darwinism, deny miracles, and some even go so far as to deny the deity of Christ), would not even consider them to be Christian churches in the first place. Whereas the growth in Evangelical Churches meets or even exceeds population growth.

    Moreover, when we look at the population of the entire world, we find that “Atheism is Dying”,,,

    Pew Study Shows Atheism is Dying While Islam Projected to Dominate by the Turn of the Century
    JOHN SANIDOPOULOS | 02 JUNE 2018
    Excerpt: We often hear from atheists how religion is dying out as mankind comes to see the clear light of reason.
    Atheist “intellectuals” speak disparagingly about religion and predict that mankind is on the cusp of a new age in which religion will simply disappear as science, technology and reason are in the ascendant.
    The facts indicate exactly the opposite. It is religion which continues to grow around the world while the statistics indicate that agnosticism and atheism are dying out.
    A new report chronicled here by Pew Research at the Daily Telegraph tells a very interesting story.
    While the numbers of those who are “religiously unaffiliated” is predicted to rise in Western Europe and the United States, in global terms their numbers are shrinking as Christianity and Islam continue to wrestle for spiritual domination in the world.
    According to the Pew Research Centre, the religiously unaffiliated – referring to atheists, agnostics and other people who do not identify with a religion – are declining as a share of the population.Sixteen per cent of the population was unaffiliated to a religion in 2010 and Pew predicted by 2050, this would fall to 13 per cent, mainly because individuals in this group are older and have less children.
    http://www.pravmir.com/pew-stu.....e-century/

    Whereas Christianity, again when looking at the entire world population, is continuing to grow at a healthy rate:

    Think Christianity is dying? No, Christianity is shifting dramatically
    By Wes Granberg-Michaelson May 20, 2015
    Excerpt: Over the past 100 years, Christians grew from less than 10 percent of Africa’s population to its nearly 500 million today. One out of four Christians in the world presently is an Africa, and the Pew Research Center estimates that will grow to 40 percent by 2030.
    Asia is also experiencing growth as world Christianity’s center has moved not only South, but also East. In the last century, Christianity grew at twice the rate of population in that continent. Asia’s Christian population of 350 million is projected to grow to 460 million by 2025.
    The global religious wildcard is China. Even today, demographers estimate that more Christian believers are found worshipping in China on any given Sunday than in the United States. Future trends, while difficult to predict because so much is below the religious radar, could dramatically drive down the world’s religious “nones.”
    The growth of Pentecostalism in Latin America is estimated to be at three times the rate of Catholic growth. Non-Catholic believers now account for 2 percent of Latin America’s 550 million Christians.
    Today, Brazil not only has more Catholics than any other country, but also more Pentecostals, reflecting Pentecostalism’s astonishing global growth. Tracing its roots to the Azusa Street revival in 1910, and comprising 5 percent of Christians in 1970, today one of four Christians is Pentecostal or Charismatic. Or think of it this way: one out of 12 people alive today has a Pentecostal form of Christian faith.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/05/20/think-christianity-is-dying-no-christianity-is-shifting-dramatically/?utm_term=.9ef31bdab313

    Russia and China are particularly interesting to look at. Although atheists in both Russia and China, when they forcibly took control of the governments of those countries, mercilessly slaughtered Christians for decades and also tried to forcibly indoctrinate the entire population into atheism for decades, both Russia and China are now experiencing an explosion in Christianity despite that severe persecution by atheists on Christians:

    Russia’s Journey from Orthodoxy to Atheism, and Back Again
    By Gene Zubovich | October 16, 2018
    Excerpt: In Russia, there is a religious revival happening. Orthodox Christianity is thriving after enduring a 70-year period of atheistic Soviet rule. In 1991, just after the collapse of the USSR, about two-thirds of Russians claimed no religious affiliation. Today, 71 percent of Russians identify as Orthodox.
    https://religionandpolitics.org/2018/10/16/russias-journey-from-orthodoxy-to-atheism-and-back-again/

    And as the following article states ““Mao thought he could eliminate religion. He thought he had accomplished this,” Prof Yang said. “It’s ironic – they didn’t. They actually failed completely.”

    China on course to become ‘world’s most Christian nation’ within 15 years – 19 Apr 2014
    Excerpt: Officially, the People’s Republic of China is an atheist country but that is changing fast as many of its 1.3 billion citizens seek meaning and spiritual comfort that neither communism nor capitalism seem to have supplied.
    Christian congregations in particular have skyrocketed since churches began reopening when Chairman Mao’s death in 1976 signalled the end of the Cultural Revolution.
    Less than four decades later, some believe China is now poised to become not just the world’s number one economy but also its most numerous Christian nation.
    “By my calculations China is destined to become the largest Christian country in the world very soon,” said Fenggang Yang, a professor of sociology at Purdue University and author of Religion in China: Survival and Revival under Communist Rule.
    “It is going to be less than a generation. Not many people are prepared for this dramatic change.”
    China’s Protestant community, which had just one million members in 1949, has already overtaken those of countries more commonly associated with an evangelical boom. In 2010 there were more than 58 million Protestants in China compared to 40 million in Brazil and 36 million in South Africa, according to the Pew Research Centre’s Forum on Religion and Public Life.
    Prof Yang, a leading expert on religion in China, believes that number will swell to around 160 million by 2025. That would likely put China ahead even of the United States, which had around 159 million Protestants in 2010 but whose congregations are in decline.
    By 2030, China’s total Christian population, including Catholics, would exceed 247 million, placing it above Mexico, Brazil and the United States as the largest Christian congregation in the world, he predicted.
    “Mao thought he could eliminate religion. He thought he had accomplished this,” Prof Yang said. “It’s ironic – they didn’t. They actually failed completely.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new.....years.html

    So apparently, despite the constant lies and propaganda, even violent coercion, from atheists, the future growth of Christianity in not nearly as bleak as some atheists have painted it to be, not even in America. In fact, it is ‘exploding’ exactly where atheists tried their damnedest to snuff it out. Whereas atheism is shrinking, even ‘dying’. as an overall percentage of the entire world population.,,, May it die completely!

    Verse:

    Isaiah 9
    6 For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
    And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
    7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
    He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
    establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
    The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.

  98. 98
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, I suggest, sufficiency needs to be set in light of what is beginning to hit us with antibiotics. I am seeing that for example, we excrete traces which go into sewage thence wastewater treatment plants — as in oodles of bacteria. Resistance pops up, and horizontal gene transfer spreads far and wide in the environment. Then blend in all the gory details about other vectors for super-bug infection. Toss in viri and yeasts etc for good measure. HIV was only the harbinger. Think, then, about a post antibiotic world where any scratch may be fatal and blend in how small a scratch may be. Mix in a porn-enslaved male population with addictive, promiscuous habits, prostitution, abuse, child exploitation etc. What do you think we are going to see after the first couple of epidemics? Then, ask yourself what we need now to head such off (given, we are already at the threshold). And BTW, mix in other possible vectors. I remember, as a kid, being warned not to touch any surfaces in public spaces such as stair railings and the like, due to TB. KF

  99. 99
    ET says:

    The Church attempts to guide people. The final Judgement is not theirs. And leaving the Church does not get you a pass.

  100. 100
    hazel says:

    So should oral sex be illegal? Yes, it is one thing, in some circumstances, that can lead to disease and contribute to the evolution of antibiotic resistant bacteria, but can it be singled out as illegal?

    And kf, you write, “Mix in a porn-enslaved male population with addictive, promiscuous habits, prostitution, abuse, child exploitation etc.”

    How about all the normal people with a good sexual relationship that enjoy oral sex?

  101. 101
    daveS says:

    KF,

    You seem reluctant to give a forthright answer. I’m going to guess that yes, you do believe oral sex should be regulated. Perhaps oral sex between men should be illegal, as it was in the famous Georgia case which led to Bowers vs. Hardwick.

  102. 102
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    DS, I suggest, sufficiency needs to be set in light of what is beginning to hit us with antibiotics.

    Between 1999 and 2010 deaths due to STDs in the US (primarily HIV and HPV related deaths) decreased from 5.3 to 2.7 per 1000,000. I haven’t read anywhere that fewer people were having sex over this period. To put it into perspective, during the same period deaths dues to car accidents decreased from 15.3 to 10.7 per 100,000. For further perspective, in the US the death toll due to gun deaths was 12 per 100,000.

    The number of activities and behaviours that carry an associated risk are uncountable. We manage the risks, we don’t simply make the ones associated with things you think are repulsive, and bring happiness to others, illegal.

  103. 103
    bornagain77 says:

    I Thought Christians Were Stupid Bigots By Rachel Gilson – April 21, 2019
    Excerpt: Then, as I was about 16, I started to understand my sexuality more. I’d already had some sexual relationships with men—well, high-school boys, really. But as I started to be attracted to women and then act on those attractions, I was like, ‘Oh, this is where my heart is. The reason stuff with boys felt out of place was because it’s not my place.’ I gradually started to own that identity more and more. I knew from the culture that Christianity was against homosexuality. So by the time I was 18, I had concluded that Christians were both stupid and bigots.”,,,
    ,,, she had a dawning realization which she describes as: “Oh my goodness—God is real, and I am in a lot of trouble. Because not only is he real; he is perfect, and I am incredibly imperfect.” But there was an element of hope there too, she says: “I understood for the first time that Jesus had come to place himself as a kind of wall between God’s wrath—his right and fair anger at my sin—and me. I knew that if I trusted in Jesus, I was going to be saved.”,,,
    How could you just give up such an important part of your identity, something that had been so fundamental to your sense of self for so long? “Well,” Rachel says slowly, “it would definitely be tragic to give up something that valuable for something that is less valuable. And it would also be tragic to pretend like this real part of my life, my sexuality, is less than it is. But Jesus is more precious than even that very deep part of me, because of his great love. And…” she pauses for a moment with a smile, “that sounds really weird if you’re not a Christian, right? But the Bible talks about a Christian’s relationship with Christ being something we should be able to die for because it’s so precious. And celibacy and singleness are not death,” she says frankly. “Not having sex or not experiencing a romantic relationship is a severe thing, but I’d be willing to give up even more than that. In fact, giving up things is a very normal part of the Christian life. There are lots of people who give up sex, who give up their bodies, who give up their money. And you don’t really do it out of obligation—you do it out of love. You’re captured by Christ’s love, and it drives you to do things that you never thought possible before, because Jesus gives you this sense of security and purpose and an ultimate destination.”
    Rachel concludes, “The reason that most people aren’t Christians is either because they think that Jesus isn’t really real or that he isn’t really worth it. But Jesus is both—really real and really worth it. Yes, I gave up some major things and some significant sexual relationships—but God has heaped upon me beautiful and good things in their place.”
    https://churchleaders.com/outreach-missions/outreach-missions-articles/348951-i-thought-stupid-christians-were-stupid-bigots.html

  104. 104
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, did you notice the break-down of antibiotics that is in progress globally? Think about how a wide range of behaviours will need to change when superbugs take over. KF

  105. 105
    ET says:

    Cone collars until you get married. And even then you can only take them off when you are @ home. 😎

  106. 106
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    BB, did you notice the break-down of antibiotics that is in progress globally?

    Antibiotic resistance has been around as long as antibiotics have. And, actually longer than that as most of the early antibiotics were derived from nature.

    But this isn’t limited to STDs. There are plenty of antibiotic resistant diseases out there. Many contracted through aerosols (ie, being close to other humans). Might I suggest that we ban all events in which humans congregat. Sporting events, weddings, churches, etc. Many Asian people reduce the risk of infection by wearing breathing masks. Much like many people reduce the risk of STDs by wearing condoms.

  107. 107
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, notice that we have basically lost the war with the bugs. I was asked on a specific matter and pointed out the significance of its vector characteristics in a superbug world. Looks like we are hell-bent on learning from the superbugs. KF

  108. 108
    Brother Brian says:

    PS/ a major source of potential disease infection is eating in restaurants. Do we ban restaurants because of the risk? No, we use hygiene protocols, latex gloves, masks, etc. to manage the risk. There is something else made of latex that is available to manage risk. It’s name escapes me for the moment.

  109. 109
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    BB, notice that we have basically lost the war with the bugs.

    I don’t quite follow the logic. Because of indiscriminate and inconsistent use of antibiotics several resistant strains of bacteria have arisen. Almost sounds like evolution. But because of this problem we shouldn’t put any legal restrictions on congregating in groups, shaking hands, going to work when we are sick, eating in restaurants, going to hospitals, taking flights and cruises. Yet you want us to take legal action against homosexual acts, premarital sex and oral sex. I’m interested to see how you fit masturbation into your equation. An act that has no risk of disease and causes no harm.

  110. 110
    hazel says:

    Good points, BB. I am looking for some consistent argument from kf, but this business about disease isn’t it.

  111. 111
    bornagain77 says:

    Christian women and radical feminists unite to oppose the Equality Act – May 06, 2019
    “What threat could possibly unite radical feminists and Christian women conservatives? Clearly this is a historic and momentous occasion when women on the left and right have put aside differences to come together on behalf of all women. The Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) and Concerned Women for America (CWA) recently joined hands to oppose the misnamed and insidious Equality Act.
    It’s true that we disagree about many (maybe even most) issues. But there is no doubt that American women are in jeopardy of losing hard-fought-for rights.
    The Equality Act just passed the House Judiciary Committee last week, and it threatens to erase protections for women — protections that benefit women and society as a whole. Legislative and policy “reforms” proposed in this dangerous bill will lead to blatant violations of our safety, privacy, and dignity.
    Under this bill, men and boys will take away women’s small business grants and hard-won spots on sports teams; they will be allowed to live in women’s domestic violence shelters and use our locker rooms….
    For a male who identifies as female, he doesn’t even have to change his name, the way he dresses, or see a doctor or counselor. If the Equality Act passes, he’ll also be able to sue you for violating his civil rights if you persist in seeing him for the man that he is.”
    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2019/05/06/feminists_conservatives_join_forces_to_oppose_equality_act_140261.html

    To repeat: although many on the left, regardless of their lack of scientific evidence, will often claim that homosexuals are irredeemably ‘born that way’, in direct contradiction to that claim, it is also often claimed by the very same people that gender is not based in biology but is a choice. And as Jordan Peterson pointed out, this direct contradiction in claims is “completely insane”:

    Jordan Peterson: Gender ideology is ‘completely insane’ – March 23, 2018
    (LifeSiteNews) – “The LGBT lobby is dead set against anything that smacks of conversion therapy, the idea that you could convert someone who has a primarily homosexual identity to someone who has a primarily heterosexual [identity],” he told Trussell. “It’s illegal in Ontario and in many [American] states now to even attempt that. But if there’s complete independence between the biology, the identity, the expression and the sexual preference, then there’s no reason to assume that it can’t be changed.”
    Bolstering his argument, Peterson mentioned the ultimate conclusion of gender ideology, namely that gender is totally fluid. Some activists teach that a person can be a man one day and a woman the next, or even change sexual identity from minute to minute.
    “If it’s that fluid, and it’s only dependent on subjective choice, which is what the legislation now insists, then why can’t that argument be used by conservatives to say exactly the same thing about sexual preference?”
    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/jordan-peterson-gender-theory-has-become-unquestionable-doctrine-thats-comp

  112. 112
    Brother Brian says:

    Hazel

    Good points, BB. I am looking for some consistent argument from kf, but this business about disease isn’t it.

    I agree. I enjoy many of my interactions with KF on various subjects, but I don’t see how this isn’t simply his gut reaction (and revulsion) to any sexual activity that he doesn’t approve of. Hopefully he will provide a better argument.

  113. 113
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, regrettably, you epitomise why we are going to learn some very hard lessons from the superbugs. Shooting at the messenger is not going to alter the facts. And BTW, as you brought such up, for cause restaurants and groceries as well as agro industries are pretty stringently regulated under law, precisely because of the dangers. There aren’t entire movements undermining that. In the case of Caribbean islands, the difference between current tourist paradises and the tropical disease death traps of old has been over a century of pretty serious, sustained public health — the hidden secret behind tourism. Pull that effort back enough and things would spin out of control so fast it is frightening. We all need to learn the lesson that the superbugs have basically won their war with the drugs industry — that’s a game changer. KF

  114. 114
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Observe, about a hundred comments later after 15 above, and we are still seeing distractive, evasive, shoot at the messenger tactics. That should tell us a lot about what is really going on and the sort of voyage of folly our civilisation has embarked upon. This will not end well; Rom 1 is dead right. KF

  115. 115
    daveS says:

    KF,
    I think the issue for me is that you’re dropping vague hints here and there rather than stating clear policy proposals. Can you at least cite work by public health experts who support “regulating” oral sex?

  116. 116
    bornagain77 says:

    Hmmm, UD atheistic trolls bemoaning fictitious and imaginary legislation on oral sex, whilst the real legislation actually passed by the legislative left is completely insane.

    Why am I not surprised?

    Christian women and radical feminists unite to oppose the Equality Act – May 06, 2019
    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2019/05/06/feminists_conservatives_join_forces_to_oppose_equality_act_140261.html

  117. 117
    hazel says:

    kf, your post at 15 is pretty much unreadable: why do you keep referring to it?

    From the beginning the point being argued has been that one main reasons for the decline in church membership has been that churches have clung to judgments about things that the general populace have decided they don’t believe in, such as homosexuality and sexual practices.

    I would say that puritanical and apocalyptic thinking such as you express, in the extreme, could be stated as a more general reason for the decline in church membership.

  118. 118
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    BB, regrettably, you epitomise why we are going to learn some very hard lessons from the superbugs.

    I get it. Homosexuals, people who enjoy oral sex (Guilty), teens who have sex before marriage (guilty again) and masturbators (oops, I am blushing) are solely responsible for all of the antibiotic resistant bacteria out there and the downfall of civilization. Yet, in spite of my depraved life, I have never had an STD, an antibiotic resistant infection or an unwanted pregnancy. I will let you in on my secret. Condoms, birth control pills and serial monogamy. In short, all of the risk management tools that are available to us if we are not prevented from accessing them.

  119. 119
    EDTA says:

    Hazel @ 65,
    > Same-sex couples love each other in the same way you love your spouse,…

    I’m not convinced it is the same sort of relationship as what I have. Mean relationship longevity is not the same for one thing, nor do I think it will reach parity. People who do not embrace marriage in its most strict form do not seem to take other aspects of it (like the commitment aspect) as seriously. For the most part, they seem to be in it for the sex alone.

    Plus if they are not reconciled to their Maker, then their relationship has no spiritual/supernatural component whatsoever (despite what they may be telling themselves in their churches.)

    BB @ 79,
    >But of these 23%, how many end up in a long term committed relationship?

    About half of the ones who are single today will, but that number will drop to none (of the 23%) a generation from now. That is a tectonic cultural change that we have no clue how to cope with.

  120. 120
    hazel says:

    EDTA writes, ‘For the most part, they seem to be in it for the sex alone.”

    Given the same-sex couples I know, I’d say definitely that that’s a bunch of baloney. Many of them are middle-aged women who were in closeted relationships for a long time, but now can be out in the open. As with most middle-aged couples, I imagine has both a less frequent and perhaps more integrated role in their overall relationship of love, support, and companionship.

    I’d can’t begin to imagine where you think you’re getting the data to support that statement that most of them are in it for the sex alone.

  121. 121
    hazel says:

    Oops – left out an important word: “As with most middle-aged couples, I imagine sex has both a less frequent and perhaps more integrated role in their overall relationship of love, support, and companionship.

  122. 122
    bornagain77 says:

    Adults Raised by Gay Couples Speak Out Against Gay ‘Marriage’ in Federal Court
    By Lauretta Brown | January 23, 2015
    Excerpt: “I wasn’t surrounded by average heterosexual couples,” she says in her court brief. “Dad’s partners slept and ate in our home, and they took me along to meeting places in the LGBT communities. I was exposed to overt sexual activities like sodomy, nudity, pornography, group sex, sadomasochism and the ilk.”
    “There was no guarantee that any of my Dad’s partners would be around for long, and yet I often had to obey them,” she said. “My rights and innocence were violated.”
    “As children, we are not allowed to express our disagreement, pain and confusion,” Stefanowicz explained. “Most adult children from gay households do not feel safe or free to publicly express their stories and life-long challenges; they fear losing professional licenses, not obtaining employment in their chosen field, being cut off from some family members or losing whatever relationship they have with their gay parent(s). Some gay parents have threatened to leave no inheritance, if the children don’t accept their parent’s partner du jour.”
    “I grew up with a parent and her partner[s] in an atmosphere in which gay ideology was used as a tool of repression, retribution and abuse,” B.N. Klein wrote of her experience with a lesbian mother. “I have seen that children in gay households often become props to be publicly displayed to prove that gay families are just like heterosexual ones.”
    Klein said she was taught that “some Jews and most Christians were stupid and hated gays and were violent,” and that homosexuals were “much more creative and artistic” because they were not repressed and were naturally more ‘feeling.’”
    “At the same time I was given the message that if I did not agree (which I did not), I was stupid and damned to a life of punishing hostility from my mother and her partner,” she recounts. “They did this with the encouragement of all their gay friends in the community and they were like a cheering squad. I was only allowed out of my room to go to school. This could go on for weeks.”
    “I was supposed to hate everyone based on what they thought of my mother and her partner,” said Klein. “People’s accomplishments did not matter, their personal struggles did not matter, and their own histories were of no consequence. The only thing that mattered was what they thought of gays.”
    Robert Oscar Lopez who was also raised by a lesbian mother and her partner, had a different experience which he described as the “best possible conditions for a child raised by a same-sex couple.”
    “Had I been formally studied by same-sex parenting ‘experts’ in 1985, I would have confirmed their rosiest estimations of LGBT family life,” Lopez wrote, but then went on to argue against same-sex marriage saying that, “behind these facades of a happy ‘outcome’ lay many problems.”
    He describes experiencing a great deal of sexual confusion due to the lack of a father figure in his life. He turned to a life of prostitution with older men as a teenager.,,,
    https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/lauretta-brown/adults-raised-gay-couples-speak-out-against-gay-marriage-federal-court

    High school graduation rates among children of same-sex households – 2013
    Excerpt: Children living with gay and lesbian families in 2006 were about 65 % as likely to graduate compared to children living in opposite sex marriage families. Daughters of same-sex parents do considerably worse than sons.
    http://link.springer.com/artic.....13-9220-y/

    That Study Showing Kids With Same-Sex Parents Fare Better? Yeah, the Media Left a Few Details Out. – July 2014
    http://dailysignal.com/2014/07.....t-details/

  123. 123
    Brother Brian says:

    EDTA, I have to agree with Hazel on this one. You suggest that homosexuals seem to be in their relationships more for the sex than for the love. And, obviously, that is true for some. As it is true for many heterosexual couples.

    But, I have a serious question. When you see a couple, either homosexual or heterosexual, what outward clues do you see that they are more interested in sex than love? With respect, I suggest that your conclusion is drawn more from preconceived bias (predudice) than from objective observation.

    I am in my mid sixties and I am friends with three homosexual couples of similar age. Intellectually I know that they enjoy sexual interactions. As I know that my heterosexual friends also enjoy sexual interactions with their spouses. But regardless of which couple I am with, their sexual activity is the furthest thing from my mind. I am far more interested in their other interests and experiences.

  124. 124
    hazel says:

    Yes, BB: how often do we look at our friends and think about their sex lives? And if we do, how much do we know? In my experience, all that is pretty private and not a very big part of my experience of them at all.

    And to be more crude, try going into a restaurant or Walmart or just the downtown streets and think about the sex lives of the couples coming down the streets. Pay attention to how stereotypes arise based on looks when you have no real idea about their sex lives: how often, how passionate, how varied, what practices, how satisfying, etc.

    This is all just stuff that should be left in people’s individual hands (and other body parts) and the rest of us should stay out of it, irrespective of gender.

  125. 125
    Ed George says:

    I have been following this conversation for some time. Very interesting and thought provoking. But I have to be honest, BA77’s comments at 4, 9, 41, 42, 49, 97, 103, 113, 116 and 122 are off topic and irrelevant. Not surprising, but sad none the less.

  126. 126
    Brother Brian says:

    Hazel

    Yes, BB: how often do we look at our friends and think about their sex lives?

    I think that you have touched on the key point. Obviously you and I look at our friends and feel that their sexual practices are of little interest to us. We understand that they probably enjoy sexual activity but we don’t think about them or base their worth on them. However, some appear to look at the very same people and obsess about their sexual activity, passing judgment accordingly.

  127. 127
    bornagain77 says:

    The Inescapable Link between Homosexuality and Pedophilia – JANUARY 9, 2019
    A German cardinal, Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, is in a lot of trouble for pointing out the obvious: the problem in today’s Catholic Church is homosexuality and its inescapable link to pedophilia.
    The sexual abuse of boys by Catholic clergy is now a mushroom cloud hanging over the Catholic Church, threatening its stability and its future. The issue burst into the open with the revelation in the summer of 2018 that six dioceses in Pennsylvania had been covering up at least 1,000 instances of child sexual abuse by hundreds of priests over the course of decades.,,,
    Cardinal Brandmüller was a bit too quick to deflect blame from the Catholic Church itself, by blaming the whole problem on homosexuality. But they invited this scandal when it began allowing homosexuals to enter its seminaries in the 1960s. They did so because of the difficulty of recruiting young men into the priesthood who quite naturally wanted to marry and have families.
    As more and more homosexuals flooded seminaries and then went into the priesthood, a culture of homosexuality was fostered in the church with all its attendant pathologies.
    One pathology that LGBT activists will not acknowledge is the unmistakable connection between homosexuality and pedophilia. The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children stated flatly that “the vast majority of the offenders are male.” (The information in these paragraphs is found in the publication, “The Top Ten Myths About Homosexuality” from the Family Research Council.)
    The Journal of Sex & Married Therapy, in a study of male sex offenders against children, found that one-third of the offenders directed their sexual activity against males. And the Journal of Sex Research found that homosexual pedophiles commit about one-third of the total number of sex offenses against children.
    This fact is particularly disturbing. Homosexuals comprise just two percent of the population, yet are responsible for 33% of all child sexual abuse. They offend against children at 16 times the rate of the normal population.
    The Archives of Sexual Behavior, in a study of 229 convicted child molesters, found that “eighty-six percent of offenders against males described themselves as homosexual or bisexual.”
    https://www.afa.net/the-stand/culture/2019/01/the-inescapable-link-between-homosexuality-and-pedophilia/

    Frightening Gay Statistics
    PEDOPHILIA IN THE UNITED STATES
    In the United States, homosexual activists are more circumspect about their efforts to gain access to children than they are in Canada or Europe. While NAMBLA has regularly marched in homosexual pride parades in New York, San Francisco and other major cities, homosexual activists publicly disassociate themselves from pedophiles as part of a public relations strategy.,,,
    How prevalent is child molestation among homosexuals?
    The Gay Report, published by homosexual researchers Jay and Young in 1979, revealed that 73 percent of homosexuals surveyed had at some time had sex with boys 16 to 19 years of age or younger.5 (5. K. Jay and A. Young, The Gay Report (New York: Summit Books, 1979), p. 275. )
    Although homosexuals account for less than two percent of the population. they constitute about a third of child molesters.6 (6. K. Freund and R.I. Watson, “The Proportions of Heterosexual and Homosexual Pedophiles Among Sex Offenders Against Children: An Exploratory Study,” Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy 18 (Spring 1992): 3443, cited in “The Problem of Pedophilia,” op. cit. Also, K. Freund and R.I. Watson, “Pedophilia and Heterosexuality vs. Homosexuality,” Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy 10 (Fall 1984): 197, cited in NARTH Fact Sheet. ) Further, as noted by the Encino, Calif.-based National Association for research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), “since homosexual pedophiles victimize far more children than do heterosexual pedophiles, it is estimated that approximately 80 percent or pedophile victims are boys who have been molested by adultmales.7 (7. Thomas Schmidt, Straight and Narrow? Compassion and Clarity in the Homosexuality Debate (Downers Grove, IU.: Intervarsity Press), p. 114, cited in “The Problem of Pedophilia, op. cit., p. 2. )
    A nationwide investigation of child molestation in the Boy Scouts from 1971 to 1991 revealed that more than 2,000 boys reported molestations by adult Scout leaders. (Note: The Scouts, who have 150,000 Scoutmasters and assistant Scoutmasters, ban hundreds of men each year from scouting out of concern that they might abuse boys.)8 (8. Patrick Boyle, Scout’s Honor (Rocklin, Calif.: Prima Publishing, 1994), p. 3l6. )
    A study of Canadian pedophiles has shown that 30 percent of those studied admitted to having engaged In homosexual acts as adults, and 91 percent of the molesters of non-familial boys admitted to no lifetime sexual contact other than homosexual.9 (9. W. L. Marshall, et al., “Early onset and deviant sexuality in child molesters,” Journal of interpersonal Violence 6 (1991): 323-336, cited in “Pedophilia: The Part of Homosexuality They Don’t Want You to see,” Colorado for Family Values Report, Vol. 14, March 1994. )
    Judith A. Reisman, Ph.D., and Charles B. Johnson, Ph.D., conducted a content study of the personal ads in the Advocate, the national gay and lesbian newsmagazine and discovered that “chickens,” a common term for underage boys sought for sex, were widely solicited. Many of the advertisements in the magazine solicited boys and teens from within a larger pool of prostitution ads.10 (10. Judith A. Reisman, Ph.D., “A Content Analysis of ‘The Advocate,”‘ unpublished manuscript p. 18, quoted in “Pedophilia: The Part of Homosexuality They Don’t WantYou to See,” ibid. ) The authors also note a statement from a book review by homosexual activist Larry Kramer that the work, “like much canonized male homosexual literature, involves sexually predatory white men on the prowl for dark-skinned boys to gratify them.11 (11. From “Lany Kramer’s Reading List,” The Advocate, January 24, 1995, p. 99, cited in “Status Report,” The Reisman & Johnson Report of Partner Solicitation Characteristics as a Reflection of More Sexual Orientation and the Threat to Children, First Principles Press, January l995.)
    In a 1985 study of the rates of molestation among homosexual pederasts compared to heterosexu1 pedophiles, Dr. Paul Cameron found the following:
    153 pederasts had sexually molested 22,981 boys over an average period of 22 years.
    224 pedophiles had molested 4,435 girls over an average period of 18 years.
    The average pederast molested an average of 150 boys, and each heterosexual pedophile molested an average of 20 girls, a ratio of 7.5 to one. 12 (12. Dr. Paul Cameron, “Homosexual Molestation of Children/Sexual Interaction of Teacher and Pupil,” Psychological Reports 57 (1985): 1227-1236.)
    http://www.emaso.com/links/ext.....istics.htm

    Of course, gay activists and their allies in the fake news media, are in full denial mode over these stats. But the link is real none-the-less.

  128. 128
    EDTA says:

    BB,

    >When you see a couple, either homosexual or heterosexual, what outward clues do you see that they are more interested in sex than love?
    Conversations I have overheard are one way of knowing this. Another big clue is from gay pride marches: They are not marching so that they can have meaningful friendships with others of the same sex. They can have that with no one being critical of them. I have those relationships. They are marching for the one thing that makes their relationships different. Third, from the gay community’s internal discussions on-line. Their most passionate subject internally is sex. Their criticisms of each other as a culture are sex-centered. So it is from them that I get this idea.

    >With respect, I suggest that your conclusion is drawn more from preconceived bias (prejudice) than from objective observation.
    Everyone is subject to bias, and I’m no exception. But the non-sexual aspects of homosexual relationships just don’t make it to the surface first. ( Now I know more about males than females in this regard, so I’m not surprised Hazel’s experiences are different from mine.)

  129. 129
    bornagain77 says:

    Ed George, I’m sorry you feel that way. Since you are a troll, should I seek to be more trollish like you are so as to be more ‘on topic’? Or should I just seek to have the administrators ban you for repeatedly pestering me?

    Rhetorical question, but you get the point.

  130. 130
    AaronS1978 says:

    Holy cow! It took me like five minutes the scroll down here, five minutes this OP as exploded, and it’s still about homosexuality, stds and such which are all very hot button topics. The OP is about why people are possibly moving away from the church LOL Even though I think I’m pretty late to this party now sadly I’m also seeing a lot of people from both sides here mocking one another 🙁

    Now I just want to state a few things specifically about the diseases, I was fascinated with the entire subject

    This directly pertains to the spreading of diseases do to homosexuality and what Ive been reading above

    I challenged a friend of mine, who is gay, a long while back. I said if it was a homosexual couple that were Ground Zero for HIV and it spread through out their community, do you think that it would’ve actually had spread if they had remained faithful and monogamous to one another? He refused to answer the question because he knew what the actual answer was.

    The reason for diseases like these spreading had a lot to do with a couple things working in tandem and correlating with one another. Comically antibiotics did have a part in the spread of stds and their developed resistance to them as well.

    The other thing what is the advent of birth control. What both of these things had done was allow people To have sex more freely and frequently. Which helped fueled the sexual revolution.

    (Fun fact one of the first major advertisements for antibiotics was how it could cure gonorrhea in 24 hours. Nother fun fact gonorrhea was one of the first STDs to become very biologically resistant to antibiotics)

    People believed that they could use a quick fix and get rid of the disease as soon as they got it. They no longer needed to pay as much attention to the fact that they were still spreading the disease. They also didn’t know that it was becoming resistant to the very medicine that was in the enabling them to have sex more frequently.

    Another thing that contributed to this was birth control, all types condoms to hormonal birth control it made it easier to have sex without the ramifications of a child. (I do not support hormonal birth control for many different reasons one it does really mess with the woman’s cycle and her biology. Secondly it does nothing just prevent a disease. However condoms do and if you are going to use a Contraceptive use a condom it prevents everything in almost all cases)

    The increase in promiscuousness is actually the main source Of the spreading of STDs which is what I believe KF is getting at. Also not disregarding tradition as it does have consequences, some not immediately known. But there always seems to be a domino effect much like the sexual revolution that has lasting consequences.

    Now homosexuals were blamed for having HIV because the disease was spreading rapidly through the gay community. It was erroneously claimed that God was punishing them for being gay. Reality was, most people didn’t know they had it, too homosexual males had a tendency to have sex more frequently and unprotected then lesbian females which was the second reason why it spread so quickly throughout the gay community. It was a promiscuity That was the primary source of the disease spreading. If any claim that God was involved it was because of the fact that they were being promiscuous.

    Which brings me to my second point, promiscuity leads to the spread of stds, Certain contraceptives and antibiotics make it easier to be promiscuous, People do take advantage of this, Intern antibiotics are used more frequently to deal with the problem, And the bacteria respond in kind by becoming resistant to the very thing that we used to try to prevent them, which had enabled us to also be more promiscuous.

    Affectively we get a very vicious cycle that ends up creating a superbug that doesn’t give a shit about your personal preferences sexual preferences or any other preference or your political opinion. (Not trying to be mean here)

    Now certain ancient traditions like marriage and just being monogamous and faithful do help prevent these things. You can be an evolutionist and find value in what I just said, in fact I believe that was considered by evolutionary psychology one of the primary reasons for the evolution of monogamy to prevent diseases. It also prevents a lot of the psychological issues that happened between two individuals want to third-party enters into the equation.

    Now I’m starting a babble here and I apologize for that. But another part of my point is the idea of eroding tradition and I believe that’s a lot of what KF is get at is that eroding traditions like these have a tendency to lead to severe consequences that can be very harmful to everybody in general. Also eroding traditions has a tendency to have a domino effect. I’ll try to explain. If you reject and get rid of one tradition as it was unimportant then you go on to question another similar tradition as unimportant as well and then another and another. “ If this was silly and unimportant why is this” The idea is you just keep knocking down all of these old traditions without remembering the reason why they were there in the first place. Often to prevent something bad that was there in the first place, and when we remember it is often to late.

    So we might not understand why certain things are part of the moral law or we even agree with them. But often I usually look at that think “well there has to be a reason for it” and will try to find and way the reasons for why it exists. Hence why evo psychology constantly tries to explain ways why morality is good for you and that’s why it evolved the way it did. Even though I really don’t agree with much of evo psychology suggestions, As there are many of them and they all kind of require you to believe you were unaware of the reasoning of why they exist.

    Now I wrote this for a couple of posts ago! But dammit I’m going to use it when I waste all my time I took me a while to write this :p

    Now let’s get back to the nitty-gritty of why people falling away from the church

    I have a new reason left-handedness

    Remember according to Dutton you have a higher mutational load therefore you were more susceptible to being an atheist due to your mutational load and you all are infecting people with your mutational load. This is the real reason why lefties were bad in the church! 😉 man I’m smart! I’m not :0

  131. 131
    bornagain77 says:

    AaronS1978
    “Now let’s get back to the nitty-gritty of why people falling away from the church”

    As to the claim that people are leaving the churches.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/religious-nones-the-bigger-picture-shows-increasing-polarization/#comment-676591
    Conclusion: So apparently, despite the constant lies and propaganda, even violent coercion, from atheists, the future growth of Christianity in not nearly as bleak as some atheists have painted it to be, not even in America. In fact, it is ‘exploding’ (in Russia and China) exactly where atheists tried their damnedest to snuff it out. Whereas atheism is shrinking, even ‘dying’. as an overall percentage of the entire world population.,,, May it die completely!

  132. 132
    kairosfocus says:

    BB (attn H and EG et al), your setting up and knocking over of strawmen at 118, sadly, shows the fundamental irresponsibility and underlying open door to amorality, nihilism and chaos in your arguments. Along with H’s further “unreadable” strawman, you persuade me to actually simply put 15 back on the table, noting that the cited remarks being addressed are your own, within the first 14 comments, and starting from no 1. The two embedded links go to a 101 on warrant for the credibility of the gospel (yes, including a fair bit of video viewing courtesy Strobel, Habermas and Craig et al), and the other is a book on the my genes made me do it thesis (which you tried to suggest has not been a material issue). Not a literary exercise but notes in response to various assertions, insinuations and inferences that are by and large both ill-founded and utterly revealing of the agendas afoot. Hint, if you demand that the Christian faith apostasises from well founded truth and ethical principles as the price for you to involve yourself with the church, that is another way of saying that you are implacably hostile to the faith that drove the synthesis that founded modern post-pagan Western Civilisation. In short, you are anti-civilisational AND anti-Christian; which immediately implies that your counsels are likely to be advice of ruin. A very good question to ask, then, is why? (Cf here, on that.)

    Okay, here goes:

    _____________

    [BB:] >>Isn’t it possible that the rise in nones is
    due to a rise in people making their own determination as to what the
    scriptures mean rather than relying on others to tell
    them?>>

    [KF:] a: As this seems a root point, it needs to be dealt with
    first.

    b: For one, in an era when radical but self-referentially
    incoherent, self-falsifying subjectivism and relativism compounded by
    media trumpeted radical, ill-founded skeptical speculation have spread
    far and wide, a truer summary would be that many people are turning to
    voices that tickle their itching ears with what they want to hear,
    rather than to soundness
    .

    b’: A strong indicator that such is the case can be seen from
    the tendencies to wrench scripture out of sound and responsible
    consultation, interpretation and application, in defiant ignorance, to
    set up and knock over biblical strawman targets and the linked tendency
    to avoid fairly addressing on its merits, the core warrant for
    the Christian faith
    .

    >>I think one of the other things driving
    people away from the church is their stance on
    homosexuality.>>

    c: When one is in Isa 5:20 – 21 territory, of course one
    will despise what does not comfort one in waywardness:

    Isa 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good
    and good evil,
    who put darkness for light
    and light for darkness,
    who put bitter for sweet
    and sweet for bitter!
    21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
    and shrewd in their own sight!

    d: Where, Paul is manifestly right in the analysis of what
    happens when communities turn their backs on the root of reality who is
    its moral governor:

    Rom 1:19 For what can be known about God is plain to them,
    because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes,
    namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly
    perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that
    have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew
    God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they
    became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were
    darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged
    the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and
    birds and animals and creeping things.

    24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts
    to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25
    because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and
    served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!
    Amen.

    26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable
    passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that
    are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural
    relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another,
    men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the
    due penalty for their error.

    28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God
    gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

    e: Thank God, that is not irreversible, just as with the
    woman caught in adultery who Jesus saved from those who pounced on her
    then counselled to leave her life of sin, by the gospel and the Spirit
    through the scriptures and support of the body, we may find deliverance
    from ruinous, enslaving unrighteousness:

    1 Cor 6:9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous[b] will
    not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the
    sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice
    homosexuality,[c] 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor
    revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such
    were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were
    justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our
    God.

    f: That’s not a welcome message today, but it is a sound one
    backed up by millions of cases in point.

    >>As the negative social and career
    implications of being a known homosexual have significantly
    declined>>

    g: The life-, health- and soul- wrecking implications have
    not declined.

    >> more and more people have discovered that
    they have friends and family members who are homosexual. And they see
    that these people are the same as they are, and not the deluded sick
    sinners that many churches tell them that they are.>>

    h: The incidence of such behaviour varies with cultural
    settings. Vanishingly small in some cases, 1 – 3% in our time and
    culture, 100% by way of compulsory social role in certain cultures, so
    familiarity with cases does not change the facts of damaging, ruinous
    perversity with destructive personal and cultural consequences. (Kindly
    see the sobering discussion here and
    ponder why we so often hear only what is now an obviously heavily
    funded, power broker-backed ideological agenda and its talking points.
    A glance over at how the ongoing slaughter of our living posterity in
    the womb at a million more per week, cumulatively 800+ millions in 40
    years is enough to show that what the powers push and what is right or
    truth have little to do with one another
    .)

    i: Today, we see how we are embarking on an increasingly
    grotesque experiment with over a hundred so-called genders, undermining
    of the stable heterosexual marital bond, linked undermining of family
    as stabilising social foundation, and more.

    j: As I am not in jurisdictions where I would be pounced on,
    deplatformed and censored for saying such unwelcome things, I can add,
    we also see a rising lawless bully tactic trend associated with
    homosexualist radicalism, including in dangerous judicial over-reach by
    way of trying to rewrite not just constitutions but the laws of our
    nature written into our XX and XY genes and linked requisites of child
    nurture.

    k: As Rom 1 [–> already cited] directly implies, societies in rebellion against
    the plain evidence of a conscience guided inner life and of an obvious
    creation order without, thus in moral spin-out, are generally full of
    deluded sinners, convinced they are right but manifestly wrong
    .

    l: Where, the sinners part is universal: “ALL have sinned .
    . .”

    m: In some societies, there is sufficient truth that is
    preserved and respected that people in rebellion against God and the
    right, or who find themselves trapped in enslaving sins at least
    recognise their plight. That is a better state than one where we
    pretend wrong is right and then attack the right and the truth for
    failure to conform to crookedness.

    n: That latter condition is why our civilisation is on a
    voyage of stubborn, ruinous folly headed for shipwreck. As Plato warned
    against, much less many others.

    >>But telling homosexuals that they are
    sinners,>>

    o: To tell people that we are ALL trapped in sin and need
    rescue, cleansing and transformation is to tell the truth of hope. To
    cling to darkness and its progressive ruin, is folly.

    p: To point out, by way of a plumb line, that we are setting
    up a crooked yardstick as false standard of straightness, accuracy and
    uprightness, is a needed correction.

    >>and that they are not allowed to marry the
    person they love>>

    q: We are repeatedly warned that falling in love, or
    infatuation or simply lust out of moral control of what is right is a
    snare that pulls us into ruinous sin. So, “but I’m in love” is no
    excuse from moral responsibility. Hollywood’s myths are no help.

    r: The critical question is, what does the law of our
    manifest nature, rooted in creation order, have to say about what
    marriage is. That is obvious, given our complementary sexes and the
    requisites of sound family life. Marriage is not a legal fiction, a
    label for a contract that sets up an artificial person [–> i.e. a corporate entity] that can be
    reconstituted under colour of law at will.

    s: That pretence that we are dealing with a mere social
    convention is the central fallacy that has been foisted on us, setting
    up a crooked yardstick under false colour of law.

    >>because of something written in the bible,
    with no valid argument other than words written a few thousand years
    ago,>>

    t: The central hatred of God, our creator, having a voice in
    how morally governed creation is to operate, emerges. And in appealing
    to anti-Christian bigotry, such rhetoric dodges the manifest evidence
    from our nature as male and female as key parts of that creation order.

    u: So, to correct the crooked yardstick, let us put on the
    table the hated, corrective words from the mouth of the acknowledged
    all-time greatest of moral teachers, Jesus of Nazareth (as part of a
    teaching on the prior folly of the serial adultery-driven divorce and
    remarriage game):

    Matt 19:4 He [Jesus] answered, “Have you not read that he
    who created them from the beginning made them male and female
    [–> Gen 1 – 2, note the identified, naturally obvious case of
    two distinct, reproductively complementary sexes, here anchored to
    creation order for the human race], 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall
    leave his father and his mother [–> implying the successive
    generations of families built on man + woman + faithful commitment
    –> well-nurtured children] and hold fast to his wife [–>
    fidelity propagates from one generation to the next, how much more so
    infidelity], and the two [= husband (male) + wife (female)] shall
    become one flesh’ [–> through the act of marital, procreative
    union, naturally leading to children]? 6 So they are no longer two but
    one flesh. [–> ponder how the child reflects that union] What
    therefore God has joined together [–> Adam and Eve and their
    successors in one flesh union], let not man separate [–>
    including, how much more, by violating the nature of marital union:
    Adam + Steve, Eve + Mary, Either + fido, or a robot etc].”

    v: This is clearly rooted in naturally evident creation
    order, and is a [–> statement or summary of a] law that is antecedent to what kings, parliaments or judges may decree. They [= agents of the state] did not invent marriage, nor can they re-invent it, they can only set up crooked yardsticks under false colour of law.

    w: With, ruinous consequences that are already beginning to
    be manifest in what 5 year olds are being taught under compulsory
    education law (as in, moral turpitude and millstones . . . ) , with the
    chaos of over a hundred so called genders (many, frankly, manifestly
    insane . . . ), with usurpations and impositions on conscience and
    freedom of expression that point to unravelling the hard-bought lessons
    and compromises in constitutional law that recognises and protects such
    freedoms.

    >> drives them and their family and friends
    away from the church.>>

    x: If this is the price such wish to demand in order to be
    involved then it is too high: apostasy.

    y: The historic Christian faith is just that, historic,
    anchored on an authentic gospel witness attested by the 500 core
    witnesses and so too on longstanding factual, ethical and scriptural
    foundations that we neither created nor have legitimate authority to
    materially alter.

    z: If one wishes to walk away from well founded truth, that
    is his ill-advised choice [which, please, please, please, for one’s own
    good, reconsider . . .], but that cannot ever change the eternal
    reality attested to by that truth and that historic witness to and
    record of the truth sealed with the blood of the apostles and martyrs.
    Including, where that reality, that truth, that witness, that record
    happens to address man as male and female, the marital union and the
    family as the naturally evident creation order foundation for a sound
    civilisation.
    _______________

    By no means a literary exercise, but it is clear that in the 100+ comments since, objectors have had no cogent reply on substance. Though, we know that they are ever so prone to imagine or claim rhetorical victories on fallacies of distraction, distortion, personalities and dismissal.

    It is time for sober-minded assessment of the voyage of folly our civilisation has clearly embarked on.

    KF

  133. 133
    kairosfocus says:

    AS78, I indeed long since pointed to promiscuity (and to the way various acts either multiply exposure [i.e. Meese Commission members on fellatio in the streets] or open up microbe invasion routes [ponder, abrasion]) as a key problem. I further pointed to how in the broader context we have effectively lost the antibiotic war, with implications for viruses and yeasts etc also: we are going back to the pre-antibiotic days and need to re-learn the hard won daily life disciplined, diligent precautions for survival in an environment where a shaving nick could easily be fatal. Any reasonably informed person knows the implications of up to 1,000 sexual contacts — many anonymous — per year and the patient zero phenomenon or possibility you alluded to. I think we can take it that reasonably aware people know such or can quickly enough find enough facts to substantiate. There is a reason why popular sex manuals had to put warning labels on certain acts that were proscribed by the old sodomy and b—–ery laws. It is also blatantly obvious that our feelings (I’m in love/ infatuation/ lust etc) cannot justify the behaviour of morally governed creatures. Which includes that we are inescapably morally governed by duties to truth, right reason, prudence, sound conscience, fairness and uprightness etc. Marriage and family exist as Creation order, naturally evident means of moral government to safely channel sexual urges that can easily ruin a civilisation. Ponder, issues of fornication, promiscuity, adultery, incest, failure of men to defend their families even to the death. The thread above inadvertently exposes the real agenda: anti-civilisational and anti-Christian. We all need to pause and read again, Plato’s parable of the ship of state, Bk VI, The Republic, and then ponder Luke’s commentary by case study in Ac 27. KF

  134. 134
    daveS says:

    KF,

    I think most people (say, in the USA) are willing to take pragmatic steps to prevent the spread of superbugs (and even “regular” bugs such as HPV). But we also value our civil liberties.

    If you truly believe we should regulate various activities, you need to be very clear about what that would look like. Your coyness is undermining your argument.

    It hasn’t been long (~16 years) since consensual oral sex between men in their own home was illegal in some states. We don’t want to go back to that.

    If you refuse to tell us precisely what these regulations entail and how they will respect our civil liberties, then naturally we will not take you seriously.

  135. 135
    ET says:

    hazel, Ed, Brian and Dave are all ignorant of the fact that the Judge of all of our actions is the Only opinion that counts. You were given the free will to do whatever you want. You just have to deal with any consequences.

    Have your alleged civil liberties. You will be judged on your actions.

    People have to regulate themselves. They will have no one to blame but themselves when it comes time to be judged.

    kairosfocus is trying to save people and you morons are trying to make fun of that. Shame on you. You are pathetic people.

  136. 136
    daveS says:

    ET,

    No, I am very concerned with the impact antibiotic resistance/superbugs will have on public health. Two of my acquaintances (one a close neighbor and the other a family member) have died unexpectedly from infections that, although not caused by superbugs, we expected would be treatable.

  137. 137
    ET says:

    daves:

    No, I am very concerned with the impact antibiotic resistance/superbugs will have on public health.

    And yet you are OK with lifestyles that would bring them about.

  138. 138
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, you are right to be concerned about the lost war against the bugs. We need to be asking very pointed questions on that and where it leads. KF

    PS: My problem on HPV is the number of strains vs the number that have components of vaccines vs viral mutation rates (with an eye to the common cold/ influenza as yardstick of what is possible). Displacing which strains dominate does not solve the overall problem, and that is one set of viruses where condoms (already marginal given failure rate challenges) are not effective. And this concern extends far, far beyond STDs . . . though it came up in that context. We are in an arms race with micro-evo and that is not a good place to be. Here it is now routine for antibiotics to be prescribed in pairs and it is routine for that to not be particularly effective. The doctors are suspiciously — let’s not panic the public [familiar from the volcano] — silent on the shift, and that got my attention bigtime, as we can add up two and two for ourselves.

  139. 139
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    Hint, if you demand that the Christian faith apostasises from well founded truth and ethical principles as the price for you to involve yourself with the church, that is another way of saying that you are implacably hostile to the faith that drove the synthesis that founded modern post-pagan Western Civilisation.

    Who is demanding that the Christian faith do anything? I am fine with the church continuing to teach what they do. All I have been doing is explain that some of these teachings may be why people are leaving the church. The fact that I disagree with some of these teachings is of no concern to me or the church as I am free to live my life the way I see fit. I choose to think that homosexuality, premarital sex, sex for pleasure and non-procreative reasons, masturbation, cohabitation without marriage, same sex marriage, birth control and being transgender are perfectly acceptable and should be accepted by society. This is not to say that there are no risks associated with any of these but that it is a person’s right to accept that risk as long as it does no harm to others. And an intelligent and responsible person will take steps to manage and minimize these risks. This could include monogamy, serial monogamy, use of condoms, etc.

  140. 140
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    All I have been doing is explain that some of these teachings may be why people are leaving the church.

    You don’t have any idea. That is the fact.

  141. 141
    Axel says:

    ‘If you refuse to tell us precisely what these regulations entail and how they will respect our civil liberties, then naturally we will not take you seriously.’ – DaveS @ #134

    ET, @ #135, note the amusingly reflexive threat of DaveS, immediately before your post – evocative of the circular firing-squad metaphor.

  142. 142
    daveS says:

    Axel,

    Threat? Circular firing squad? Have you been reading the posts in the thread?

  143. 143
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, the facts are on the table. They are a direct implication of what you have said. And given the agit prop and lawfare push to impose that agenda, prudent people will take due notice. For example in that light, the so called Queen James “translation” is not merely parody, it implies where such would lead the church. Apostasy. Likewise, we can see very similar trends in various denoms, such as how the African bishops just had to stand up for a Methodist denom. We can add up two and two for our own selves. KF

    PS: Parody loaded renderings:

    Romans 1:26

    Their women did change their natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, left of the natural use of the woman, burned in ritual lust, one toward another; (QJV) (Page 545)

    Romans 1:27

    Men with men working that which is pagan and unseemly. For this cause God gave the idolators up unto vile affections, receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. (QJV) (Page 545)

    1 Corinthians 6:9

    Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor morally weak, nor promiscuous, (QJV) (Page 554)

    1 Corinthians 6:10

    Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (QJV) (Page 554)

    –> These are fed into a theological scheme of “reinterpretation”

    __> Contrast CARM: https://carm.org/queen-james-bible

  144. 144
    Brother Brian says:

    Well, I am pretty sure that this thread has run its course, and fallen limp into a sewage filled ditch. Time to leave.

  145. 145
    Ed George says:

    BB at 144, I don’t normally agree with you but on this we concur.

  146. 146
    Brother Brian says:

    EG

    BB at 144, I don’t normally agree with you but on this we concur.

    🙂

  147. 147
    SmartAZ says:

    In the 19th century Americans started moving west and three institutions went with them. There was vaudeville, traveling entertainment. There was lyceum, traveling education and culture. And there was the itinerant preacher, offering a new style of preaching called “hell fire and brim stone”. It was very entertaining, only loosely based on scripture, and pastors didn’t even try to compete. Instead they switched to preaching public morality and philosophy. Eventually an entire generation grew up not knowing the first thing about the religion they claimed to believe. That is why most Christian churches don’t teach doctrines, and most members don’t know what they are supposed to believe.

    Restating that conclusion: Modern Christians as a rule don’t know what they are talking about.

  148. 148
    kairosfocus says:

    BB (& EG et al):

    It is clear that from its first few comments — as started by BB from 1 and from 3 and 8 following — the thread was pulled into topics that for cause most normal people find repulsive.

    It exists in the further context of trollish rhetorical claims to an unanswerable pro-homosexualism (etc) case, as well as of dismissiveness to the longstanding concepts that we have a naturally evident morally governed nature and that this extends to implications of the complementarity of the two sexes forming the unit of reproduction, tied to stability needs for child rearing. (See Girgis et al on conjugal marriage here on; that which is built in to our morally governed nature is a law that Governments cannot create nor repeal, they may only duly recognise or ill-advisedly distort under false colour of law; at peril of undermining core human rights — which is precisely what is at stake on these matters.) Further to such, the arguments made above turned on an implicit expectation that the historic Christian faith (which is foundational to our civilisation) rejects the creation order framework for marriage and sexual ethics, set in the context that refusal to abandon such creation order naturally evident ethics is a driving dynamic for waning in the culture. That is, effectively, in a culture bent on de-christianisation, the church itself should be de-christianised in order to remain “relevant.” The proper name for such an invitation to heresy is, apostasy.

    (The due answer to such starts with the key, core warrant for the gospel, which grounds its credibility as true and so, decisively relevant to every living soul. That is, as accurately reporting central facts about our nature as a morally governed creation with a sin problem requiring redemption by Messiah and as calling us to repentance and sound discipleship. Those who propose de-christianisation should first provide an actually sound, cogent rebuttal to the central gospel message. Though many assert or imply that such exists, such an argument does not appear above, nor can it be found in the many attempted skeptical alternatives to the historic core gospel facts and message. In reply, Christians will insist that for excellent cause, we confidently stand today on the same grounds we have stood on since 30 AD. The just linked will provide a 101, including several useful video presentations. [Those who have been led to denigrate and despise the heritage of Christendom — a standard cultural marxist strategy (often presented as critical studies of X, Y, Z etc) — are invited to ponder a balancing view here on, and those needing to engage a worldviews level analysis may find here on helpful.])

    Others of course pointed out that it is those churches that seek to most vigorously stand by the historic core of the Christian faith that are growing.

    That aside, it has also been evident that, contrary to the confidently asserted claims on the merits, objectors to historic, natural law oriented views of sexuality, marriage, family life, community life and personal identity have not made a cogent case.

    That can be seen, for instance in the consistent failure above to cogently answer the issues pointed out in 15 above and brought forward at 132.

    The real verdict against the homosexualist agenda and its rhetorical narratives is that it is not merely anti-Christian but anti-civilisational, disruptive to core issues of personhood, sound management of sexuality, to the foundational institution of marriage (which it seeks to redefine out of existence under false colour of law) and so also disruptive to sound family life, proper upbringing and formation of personal identity. To see this last, a glance at lists of the many novel “genders” that have been put on the table will suffice. Though, the recent spectacle of individuals and even government agencies applauding court decisions they desired while seemingly failing to recognise the dangerous precedent of a judge claiming the power to implicitly rewrite a Constitution from the judicial bench. This last, patently manifests judicial over-reach and usurpation of legislative power at constitutional level; thus such threatens to undermine the legitimacy of constitutional democracy pivoting on a legislature made up in the main of elected representatives and backed by popular referendum power.

    That is a hard verdict, but unfortunately, it is a warranted one.

    As a civilisation, we need to recognise the sort of voyage we are being drawn into and the shipwreck likely to ensue if we do not turn back.

    KF

  149. 149
    kairosfocus says:

    SZ, I suggest a glance here, yes, a tabulation of the Nicene Creed, set in linked scriptural context, point by point. I further suggest a careful reading here, an undeniably foundational historic creedal summary of the heart of the gospel message dated as text to 55 AD and as underlying oral tradition reporting the core testimony of the 500 central witnesses, to 35 – 38 AD. That is what has to be answered to by those inclined to invite us to de-christianisation, and I again therefore point here on. particularly noting the tabulation on core, minimal historic facts. KF

  150. 150
    bornagain77 says:

    Kf, 148, nice summation.

    per 149, You may appreciate this from David Wood. It was given in response to an atheist he was debating at the time:

    Dr. David Wood Proves the Resurrection of Christ
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZVgM3gxxh8

  151. 151
    daveS says:

    KF,

    The real verdict against the homosexualist agenda and its rhetorical narratives is that it is not merely anti-Christian but anti-civilisational, disruptive to core issues of personhood, sound management of sexuality, to the foundational institution of marriage (which it seeks to redefine out of existence under false colour of law) and so also disruptive to sound family life, proper upbringing and formation of personal identity.

    Yikes. What a hateful and uninformed message you are spreading.

    Anyway, the people I know who are homosexual have more modest goals. They simply want to enjoy the same freedoms that I have. Such as sharing their life with the person they love. They also would like to find fulfilling work and feel that they are contributing to society. Except for some physical differences (as a couple), they are just like you and me.

  152. 152
    bornagain77 says:

    “modest goals”

    and yet,,,

    Christian women and radical feminists unite to oppose the Equality Act – May 06, 2019
    “What threat could possibly unite radical feminists and Christian women conservatives? Clearly this is a historic and momentous occasion when women on the left and right have put aside differences to come together on behalf of all women. The Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) and Concerned Women for America (CWA) recently joined hands to oppose the misnamed and insidious Equality Act.
    It’s true that we disagree about many (maybe even most) issues. But there is no doubt that American women are in jeopardy of losing hard-fought-for rights.
    The Equality Act just passed the House Judiciary Committee last week, and it threatens to erase protections for women — protections that benefit women and society as a whole. Legislative and policy “reforms” proposed in this dangerous bill will lead to blatant violations of our safety, privacy, and dignity.
    Under this bill, men and boys will take away women’s small business grants and hard-won spots on sports teams; they will be allowed to live in women’s domestic violence shelters and use our locker rooms….
    For a male who identifies as female, he doesn’t even have to change his name, the way he dresses, or see a doctor or counselor. If the Equality Act passes, he’ll also be able to sue you for violating his civil rights if you persist in seeing him for the man that he is.”
    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2019/05/06/feminists_conservatives_join_forces_to_oppose_equality_act_140261.html

    Let that sink in,,, “if you persist in seeing him for the man that he is.”

    So much for modest goals.

    Kf is right, homosexual advocates sell their agenda as nothing for us to get overly concerned about, i.e. “just two people loving each other” they say, and you are a hateful homophobic bigot for suggesting otherwise, they say,,, but in reality, the homosexual agenda seeks to radically alter society itself and if you stand in their way they will marshal all their forces to destroy you and your business.

    There is hate in the debate, but the vast majority of the time it is those pushing the homosexual agenda who are being extremely hateful towards Christians, or anyone else, who dare stand in the way of their overall agenda to transform society.

    A little peek beneath the hood

    Adults Raised by Gay Couples Speak Out Against Gay ‘Marriage’ in Federal Court
    By Lauretta Brown | January 23, 2015
    Excerpt: “I wasn’t surrounded by average heterosexual couples,” she says in her court brief. “Dad’s partners slept and ate in our home, and they took me along to meeting places in the LGBT communities. I was exposed to overt sexual activities like sodomy, nudity, pornography, group sex, sadomasochism and the ilk.”
    “There was no guarantee that any of my Dad’s partners would be around for long, and yet I often had to obey them,” she said. “My rights and innocence were violated.”
    “As children, we are not allowed to express our disagreement, pain and confusion,” Stefanowicz explained. “Most adult children from gay households do not feel safe or free to publicly express their stories and life-long challenges; they fear losing professional licenses, not obtaining employment in their chosen field, being cut off from some family members or losing whatever relationship they have with their gay parent(s). Some gay parents have threatened to leave no inheritance, if the children don’t accept their parent’s partner du jour.”
    “I grew up with a parent and her partner[s] in an atmosphere in which gay ideology was used as a tool of repression, retribution and abuse,” B.N. Klein wrote of her experience with a lesbian mother. “I have seen that children in gay households often become props to be publicly displayed to prove that gay families are just like heterosexual ones.”
    Klein said she was taught that “some Jews and most Christians were stupid and hated gays and were violent,” and that homosexuals were “much more creative and artistic” because they were not repressed and were naturally more ‘feeling.’”
    “At the same time I was given the message that if I did not agree (which I did not), I was stupid and damned to a life of punishing hostility from my mother and her partner,” she recounts. “They did this with the encouragement of all their gay friends in the community and they were like a cheering squad. I was only allowed out of my room to go to school. This could go on for weeks.”
    “I was supposed to hate everyone based on what they thought of my mother and her partner,” said Klein. “People’s accomplishments did not matter, their personal struggles did not matter, and their own histories were of no consequence. The only thing that mattered was what they thought of gays.”
    Robert Oscar Lopez who was also raised by a lesbian mother and her partner, had a different experience which he described as the “best possible conditions for a child raised by a same-sex couple.”
    “Had I been formally studied by same-sex parenting ‘experts’ in 1985, I would have confirmed their rosiest estimations of LGBT family life,” Lopez wrote, but then went on to argue against same-sex marriage saying that, “behind these facades of a happy ‘outcome’ lay many problems.”
    He describes experiencing a great deal of sexual confusion due to the lack of a father figure in his life. He turned to a life of prostitution with older men as a teenager.,,,
    https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/lauretta-brown/adults-raised-gay-couples-speak-out-against-gay-marriage-federal-court

  153. 153
    daveS says:

    KF,

    PS to my #151: Have you spoken about these issues with your pastor? I ask this in all seriousness—I have had discussions with “my” (well, my wife’s) pastor that have been very helpful.

  154. 154
    hazel says:

    Kf writes, “It is clear that from its first few comments — as started by BB from 1 and from 3 and 8 following — the thread was pulled into topics that for cause most normal people find repulsive.”

    Man, you really don’t get it. BB’s comments were exactly on topic: he was offering some thoughts about why church membership has declined:

    Isn’t it possible that the rise in nones is due to a rise in people making their own determination as to what the scriptures mean rather than relying on others to tell them? I would think that people using the brain given to them by God (according to most here) to interpret his “words” would be what God would want.

    Personally I think a decline in the “authority” of religion is a good thing for society. We have to justify and be accountable for our own prejudices rather than use church authority to justify them.

    One of the things he mentioned that people have decided to think for themselves about is homosexuality, because they disagree with the stance of the church. Your statement that this is a topic that “most normal people find repulsive” is EXACTLY the problem BB is talking about: a puritanical viewpoint that many normal people find outdated, repressive, and antithetical to our values about the pursuit of happiness. YOU, kf, are representative of one of the reasons people are leaving the church, and BB’s opening comments have helped illuminate that topic.

  155. 155
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, kindly drop the projection of hate and phobia, that is an unjustified personal attack — and one in a context where many substantial issues on the table are not being addressed cogently. Which in the end speaks. I have given an analysis of one stream of a broad movement of skepticism and cultural marxist influence and its effects on a civilisation foundational movement thus also the civilisation. That is about ideas and movements and strategies not individuals. The primary question of truth — accurate description of reality — on the table is that of the fundamental human moral dilemma and the warrant for the gospel answer to it, which extends into moral matters, including the strong endorsement of NT foundational documents that we are under moral government of law written into our hearts and are accountable over the implications of moral government expressed as the law of our nature. I suggest, that that is what needs to be cogently addressed: warrant. KF

  156. 156
    kairosfocus says:

    H, the record above stands. So does the implication of the consistent diversion from core foundational matters of truth and warrant. If the core gospel is well warranted (and serious examination has been invited for 2000 years) then turning from it is turning from the truth and right we do or should — per warrant — know. Such rejection in the face of warrant has serious implications. Therefore, the pivot is warrant. KF

  157. 157
    hazel says:

    We understand that is what you think, kf, and you are entitled to your opinion. But the issue is that many people disagree with you, and disagreements about this and other related topics are part of the reason people are becoming uninterested with church membership.

  158. 158
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, kindly read this review of the Yogyakarta principles, so called, on the sort of agendas that I have spoken to: https://c-fam.org/wp-content/uploads/Yogyakarta-Principles.pdf Then, kindly peruse the list of “genders” here: https://genderfluidsupport.tumblr.com/gender/ and the paper here https://web.archive.org/web/20140124031537/http://www.harvard-jlpp.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/GeorgeFinal.pdf , then come back to us on the matters of being uninformed as to agendas afoot in our civilisation. KF

  159. 159
    daveS says:

    KF,

    Do you have any gay or lesbian friends?

  160. 160
    bornagain77 says:

    Perhaps the atheists on UD defending the moral ‘righteousness’ of homosexuality on this thread would care to elaborate on exactly how they have derived that moral standard for homosexuality from the amorallity that is inherent within their atheism?

    The truth is that any moral standard that atheists might appeal to so as to justify their claim that homosexuality is a morally righteous thing, i.e. ‘tolerance, love, “pursuit of happiness”, etc.. etc.. must ultimately rest its foundation on Theism.

    Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis Doodle – animated apologetics (the transcendent nature of the moral law)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_VYCqCexow

    Yet, herein lies the irresolvable dilemma for atheists, although any objective moral standard, (that the atheist might appeal to to justify his belief that homosexuality is righteous), must find its basis in theism, every monotheistic culture on the face of earth, i.e. Judaism, Christianity, Islam,, all hold homosexuality to be immoral.

    In short, either atheists must deny the fact that their worldview is defunct as to deriving any foundation for objective morality, (which is what they most often do), or else they must invent their own monotheistic tradition in which homosexuality is not a sin. Enter BB, who is an atheist, and his liberal cheerleaders trying to jump on the failing and dying theology of the left in order to try to dictate to the right how it ought to run its conservative churches:

    No thanks, you’ve destroyed your own liberal churches with such compromised righteousness, May God always and forever prevent your lies from ever infecting our conservative churches.,

    Pete Buttigieg doesn’t get to make up his own Christianity – April 2019
    Except: “There is no record of Mr. Pence ever insulting Mr. Buttigieg or returning his mockery with similar derision. Mr. Pence has shown remarkable restraint and nothing but civility and a generous spirit of true tolerance.
    While our vice president may find it politically imprudent to respond to such provocations, some of us see less reason to remain so circumspect. Presumptuous as it might be to offer a response on behalf of our vice president, I am going to venture a try.
    Here goes
    Mr. Buttigieg, has it ever occurred to you, that the “Mike Pences of the world” don’t have a problem with “who you are,” but rather we just disagree with what you do? We believe human identity is much more than the sum total of someone’s sexual inclinations. In fact, the “creator” whom you so boldly reference makes this pretty clear.
    There is no place in His entire biblical narrative where He defines us by our desires. All of us, however, are known by our choices. We are made in His image, we have moral awareness and moral culpability. We can and should choose to not do some things we may be inclined to do. God help us if we don’t. One’s appetite for porn, polyamory, and any other heterosexual or homosexual act does not define you. Your decision as to whether or not you satiate such an appetite does.
    You see, Mr. Mayor, this is a matter of your proclivities, not your personhood. What you don’t seem to understand is that when it comes to your personal peccadillos, most all of the “Mike Pences of the world” really don’t want to know. Your sexual appetites are your business. The thing about obedient and faithful Christians is this; we consider someone else’s private life to be just that — Private. Please stop telling us what kind of sex you like. We don’t want to know. If you want us to stay out of your bedroom, please shut the door. Stop opening it up and forcing us to applaud and celebrate.
    Before I close, Mr. Buttigieg, I have to point out one more thing. Surely you are aware you just implicitly admitted you agree with all of us “Mike Pences of the world” and you, too, think sexual behavior is, indeed, a moral issue? Otherwise, why include your derogatory remarks about porn stars and those who engage in their services? Why do you disparage them? By your own logic, isn’t “your quarrel, sir, with their creator” and not them? How is it that you blame others for their sexual behavior but you hold yourself guiltless before your own sex tribunal and morality police?
    Oh, I can hear your reply before you even open your mouth, Mr. Buttigieg. It is as predictable as the sunrise. “You’re missing the point” you say. “This is not about sex. It is about marriage.” Well, aside from the transparent incongruity of this claim, let’s cut to the chase and close with this: What gives you the right to redefine a sacrament of the church? You don’t get to make up your own Christianity. You also don’t get to make up your own Jesus, and in case you missed it, He is explicitly clear on His definition of marriage: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
    No, our quarrel really isn’t with your creator, sir. Our quarrel is with you.”
    • Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, is the author of “Not A Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” (Regnery 2017).
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/apr/14/pete-buttigieg-doesnt-get-to-make-up-his-own-chris/

    No, Christianity Doesn’t Need To Endorse Homosexuality To Grow
    Rev. Oliver Thomas is simply one in a long line of terribly misguided clergy who believe the best thing for the church is to stop being Christian.
    Excerpt: Stop accepting the Bible as true and admit Christianity has gotten it terribly wrong on homosexuality. This is the advice Rev. Oliver Thomas gives in a recent opinion article in USA Today for how the church can stop “hemorrhaging members” and see brighter days.
    He warns that “the church is killing itself” because it has painted itself into a corner by actually believing what the Bible says. He contends that Christians should just admit that the Bible gets it wrong on so many important issues and that “reason and experience” should be our new guide, as if this is a new idea. He says the church is terribly wrong about sexuality, particularly homosexuality, and would do very well to wise up, lest it find itself reduced to a warehouse for cobwebs.
    “Churches will continue hemorrhaging members and money at an alarming rate until we muster the courage to face the truth: We got it wrong on gays and lesbians,” he says.
    We don’t have to wonder whether Thomas is correct. Not only is he wrong, but an impressive body of very strong data and experience demonstrates the precise opposite of what he claims is true.
    Yes, many churches are hemorrhaging members, and have been since the early 1970s. But anyone who studies these things carefully will tell you this is happening almost exclusively in the more politically and theologically liberal mainline churches. These are the same churches that are doing exactly what Thomas calls for: rejecting the credibility and authority of Scripture.
    This same research shows the churches he says must change or else are holding rock-solid steady in attendance. These are the more conservative congregations that unapologetically take the Bible at its word, including on homosexuality. His advice here is not just ill-advised, but the equivalent of telling any retailer that the way to growth is to stop being helpful to your customers and jack up your prices. Let’s see how true this is.
    Theological Liberalism Is a Death Knell
    Research done jointly at Harvard and Indiana universities makes this clear, reporting that the number of adults attending liberalizing mainline churches has tanked precipitously from 35 percent of the American population in 1972 to 12 percent in 2016. This decline of the mainline churches began in the early 1960s when they started to question and officially change their positions on historic Christian basics like the deity of Christ, the existence of miracles, the reality of sin, and the atoning death of Jesus and His resurrection, as well as jettisoning biblical convictions about sex, gender, and abortion. People started running for the doors of these churches with every new compromise, and this exodus continues en masse today. It could hardly be worse if these pastors asked their parishioners to leave and never come back.
    The Harvard/Indiana University research also shows that the churches that take the Bible as the reliable word of God are doing very well. Compromising on biblical truths was, and is, a devastating church-growth strategy. Holding fast to these truths and preaching them boldly is a very effective one. Let’s look at some real numbers from the folks at the Pew Research Center showing the same thing.
    Pew’s “America’s Changing Landscape” explains that, between 2007 and 2014, mainline Protestant churches declined by 5 million adult members. This is hemorrhaging by any sober accounting. Churches in Pew’s “evangelical” category grew in absolute numbers by about 2 million between 2007 and 2014. Again, the exact opposite of what Thomas prescribes.
    Where Do Gay Christians Go to Church?
    When same-sex-attracted Christians go to church, they are not choosing the pews of churches Thomas is calling us to become. Again, it’s just the opposite.,,,
    https://thefederalist.com/2019/05/06/no-christianity-doesnt-need-endorse-homosexuality-grow/

  161. 161
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    Well, I am pretty sure that this thread has run its course, and fallen limp into a sewage filled ditch.

    That is what you do- turn discussions into a limp, sewage filled ditch. And I am sure that you are very proud of yourself.

  162. 162
    ET says:

    daves:

    What a hateful and uninformed message you are spreading.

    It was the truth. I guess the truth hurts.

    Anyway, the people I know who are homosexual have more modest goals.

    Nonsensical hearsay.

  163. 163
    ET says:

    Homosexuality goes against nature. And we are part of nature so it goes against us, too. HIV and AIDS would not be the problem they are without homosexuality.

  164. 164
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Let me list some of the “genders” from the master list — and remember transgender is being pushed very hard just now:

    Gender Master List

    This is an ongoing list of gender identities. If you see an identity with a confusing or wrong description, feel free to message us about it and we will answer as soon as possible. Feel free to mix and match your own prefixes and suffixes to create the identity that best describes you.

    Any gender named _gender may be made into _boy, _girl, _nonbinary, etc.

    (example: demigender, demiboy, demigirl, deminonbinary)

    Abimegender: a gender that is profound, deep, and infinite; meant to resemble when one mirror is reflecting into another mirror creating an infinite paradox

    Adamasgender: a gender which refuses to be categorized

    Aerogender: a gender that is influenced by your surroundings

    Aesthetigender: a gender that is derived from an aesthetic; also known as videgender

    Affectugender: a gender that is affected by mood swings

    Agender: the feeling of no gender/absence of gender or neutral gender

    Agenderflux: Being agender and having fluctuating feelings of masculinity of femininity, but NOT male or female

    Alexigender: a gender that is fluid between more than one gender but the individual cannot tell what those genders are

    Aliusgender: a gender which is removed from common gender descriptors and guidelines

    Amaregender: a gender that changes depending on who you’re in love with

    Ambigender: defined as having the feeling of two genders simultaneously without fluctuation; meant to reflect the concept of being ambidextrous, only with gender

    Ambonec: identifying as both man and woman, yet neither at the same time

    Amicagender: a gender that changes depending on which friend you’re with

    Androgyne: sometimes used in the case of “androgynous presentation”; describes the feeling of being a mix of both masculine and feminine (and sometimes neutral) gender qualities

    Anesigender: feeling like a certain gender yet being more comfortable identifying with another

    Angenital: a desire to be without primary sexual characteristics, without necessarily being genderless; one may be both angenital and identify as any other gender alongside

    Anogender: a gender that fades in and out but always comes back to the same feeling

    Anongender: a gender that is unknown to both yourself and others

    Antegender: a protean gender which has the potential to be anything, but is formless and motionless, and therefore, does not manifest as any particular gender

    Anxiegender: a gender that is affected by anxiety

    Apagender: a feeling of apathy towards ones gender which leads to them not looking any further into it

    Apconsugender: a gender where you know what it isn’t, but not what it is; the gender is hiding itself from you

    Astergender: a gender that feels bright and celestial

    Astralgender: a gender that feels connected to space

    Autigender: a gender that can only be understood in the context of being autistic. Meant for autistic people only.

    Autogender: a gender experience that is deeply personal to oneself

    Axigender: when a person experiences two genders that sit on opposite ends of an axis; one being agender and the other being any other gender; these genders are experienced one at a time with no overlapping and with very short transition time.

    That’s just the A bloc, it goes down to V.

    Please, please, please, for the future of our civilisation (thus the thriving of a mass prosperity, constitutionally democratic, high responsible freedom world), let us think again.

    KF

  165. 165
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, personalising again. FYI, my list of acquaintances, neighbours and friends across time includes people with same sex attractions and habits. It includes suicides and murder victims. It includes an eminent and brilliant man (later a minister of government) who from childhood I knew as “uncle X.” It includes the past head of my university, who was by reputation the first black man to earn a PhD in Philosophy from Oxford. It includes an eminent professor whom I respected then and remember with respect now. It includes a hall-mate who was later a respected, brilliant colleague on staff in a college. We are all perfectly capable of marking a distinction between people and issues, agendas and trends, so let us do so. I have linked more than sufficient evidence of agendas that fully meet my description. I draw to your attention that “gay” — as seized by activists at the turn of the 70’s — in material part is an ideological identity, not properly equal to male homosexual. There are non-gay male homosexuals, some of whom have been active in objecting to or questioning the agenda; hence the notorious tactic of silencing by “outing.” In Germany, there were two competing movements, one militaristic and one pacifistic (remember the General Staff Officer who died of a heart attack while dancing in a tutu before the Kaiser?); the Nazi persecution that is often discussed heavily targetted the latter. We could go on and on, but the point is made. The core issues of truth and warrant are on the table above, kindly address them. Is, or is not the core gospel message (which founds gospel ethics) true and credibly so? That is the pivotal question — and I here emphasise our known duty to truth and right reason. KF

  166. 166
    daveS says:

    KF,

    FYI, my list of acquaintances, neighbours and friends across time includes people with same sex attractions and habits.

    Are these people you occasionally have a beer with? Perhaps discuss music or current events, and share what’s happening in each others’ lives?

    Do you use the same language you used in post #148 when speaking with them?

  167. 167
    daveS says:

    KF,

    To reply to your first sentence, yes I am personalizing because I’m curious how well you know these friends as persons. Judging from the way you speak about them, I would guess not very well.

  168. 168
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, I have given you more than enough. You know or should know that the pivotal questions lie elsewhere, as was already pointed out. We will take due note of the continued pattern across several days now of dodging those pivotal questions; drawing a due inference on what the balance of the case is on the merits. And yes, the implicit amorality of evolutionary materialistic scientism and its implication that morality is subjective or relativised, are past of the matters at stake. So is the self referential incoherence and self-falsification of such evolutionary materialism. KF

    PS: An acquaintance implies personal knowledge and friend implies more than mere acquaintance. I do not use such words lightly.

  169. 169
    daveS says:

    KF,

    There’s obviously not going to be much progress in this discussion, but I would urge you to read the last sentence in hazel’s post #154 again. It really is true.

  170. 170
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: The B bloc:

    Bigender: the feeling of having two genders either at the same time or separately; usually used to describe feeling “traditionally male” and “traditionally female”, but does not have to

    Biogender: a gender that feels connected to nature in some way

    Blurgender: the feeling of having more than one gender that are somehow blurred together to the point of not being able to distinguish or identify individual genders; synonymous with genderfuzz

    Boyflux: when one feels mostly or all male most of the time but experience fluctuating intensity of male identity

    Burstgender: and gender that comes in intense bursts of feeling and quickly fades back to the original state

    Remember, the “modest” goals include imposing such and the like under colour of law, education and more.

    KF

  171. 171
    john_a_designer says:

    I have stayed on the sidelines of this so-called discussion or debate because it started off, as we have seen here again and again, with just a lot of pretension and posturing on the part of some of our regular interlocutors who believe that their uninformed, fact free opinions, biases and beliefs actually prove something. Unfortunately, people on “my side” continue to allow themselves to get played these uninvited guests. (I don’t think there is anything in UD’s guidelines that invites anyone to show up here to just obstruct and obfuscate. Please correct me if I am wrong.)

    Doesn’t anyone any either side know how to use Google? Here is what I found after a 3 minute search.

    In an article posted on the Federalist website contributor Glenn Stanton asks:

    Religious faith in America is going the way of the Yellow Pages and travel maps, we keep hearing. It’s just a matter of time until Christianity’s total and happy extinction, chortle our cultural elites. Is this true?

    https://thefederalist.com/2018/01/22/new-harvard-research-says-u-s-christianity-not-shrinking-growing-stronger/

    (I just noticed that BA77 cited this article @ 97 above.)

    His research into some high profile secular studies totally debunks this left wing canard, narrative and talking point. Here are a few excerpts from his article:

    New research published late last year by scholars at Harvard University and Indiana University Bloomington is just the latest to reveal the myth. This research questioned the “secularization thesis,” which holds that the United States is following most advanced industrial nations in the death of their once vibrant faith culture…

    Not only did their examination find no support for this secularization in terms of actual practice and belief, the researchers proclaim that religion continues to enjoy “persistent and exceptional intensity” in America. These researchers hold our nation “remains an exceptional outlier and potential counter example to the secularization thesis…”

    Mainline churches are tanking as if they have super-sized millstones around their necks. Yes, these churches are hemorrhaging members in startling numbers, but many of those folks are not leaving Christianity. They are simply going elsewhere…

    When the so-called “progressive” churches question the historicity of Jesus, deny the reality of sin, support abortion, ordain clergy in same-sex relationships and perform their marriages, people desiring real Christianity head elsewhere…

    What is really counter-intuitive is what Stark and his colleagues at the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion found when looking at U.S. church attendance numbers going back to the days of our nation’s founding. They found that the percentage of church-attending Americans relative to overall population is more than four times greater today than it was in 1776. The number of attendees has continued to rise each and every decade over our nation’s history right up until the present day.

    Take a few minutes to read what Stanton found that the researchers say about the millennials. They are the one who make up the vast majority of the so-called nones.

  172. 172
    asauber says:

    Indeed,

    The Regular Interlocutors will claim they are not hostile to Christians while obviously attempting to spread misinformation that is clearly attempting to demoralize Christians. Its funny and pathetic and routine.

    Andrew

  173. 173
    ET says:

    daves:

    There’s obviously not going to be much progress in this discussion, but I would urge you to read the last sentence in hazel’s post #154 again.

    hazel is an angry imp. That sentence is proof of it.

  174. 174
    hazel says:

    🙂 I’ve never been called an “angry imp” before. That’s certainly original!

  175. 175
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: C in the master list of “genders”:

    Caelgender: a gender which shares qualities with outer space or has the aesthetic of space, stars, nebulas, etc.

    Cassgender: the feeling of gender is unimportant to you

    Cassflux: when the level of indifference towards your gender fluctuates

    Cavusgender: for people with depression; when you feel one gender when not depressed and another when depressed

    Cendgender: when your gender changes between one and its opposite

    Ceterofluid: when you are ceterogender and your feelings fluctuate between masculine, feminine, and neutral

    Ceterogender: a nonbinary gender with specific masculine, feminine, or neutral feelings

    Cisgender: the feeling of being the gender you were assigned at birth, all the time (assigned (fe)male/feeling (fe)male)

    Cloudgender: a gender that cannot be fully realized or seen clearly due to depersonalization/derealization disorder

    Collgender: the feeling of having too many genders simultaneously to describe each one

    Colorgender: a gender associated with one or more colors and the feelings, hues, emotions, and/or objects associated with that color; may be used like pinkgender, bluegender, yellowgender

    Commogender: when you know you aren’t cisgender, but you settled with your assigned gender for the time being

    Condigender: a gender that is only felt during certain circumstances

    Remember, this is what the alphabet soup agenda wishes to impose under colour of law.

    KF

  176. 176
    hazel says:

    I don’t think anyone here but you have been discussing this issue. You are taking a quacky website way too seriously.

  177. 177
    kairosfocus says:

    H, in fact that list and the like have been in the background of policy discussions and push agendas. That’s why I independently know it is accurate — and obviously indefensible. Similarly, the Yogyakarta agenda which tries to insinuate itself as soft law. We already see what is going on under the name of marriage equality — up to and including judges usurping power to unilaterally amend constitutions or make up claimed constitutional law out of imagined emanations of penumbras and the like. KF

  178. 178
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Just for that, here are the D’s — the promoted premise is that gender is a mental-emotional-psychological construct distinct from XX vs XY . . . that leads to, you can make it up as you go as continues below:

    Deliciagender: from the Latin word delicia meaning “favorite”, meaning the feeling of having more than one simultaneous gender yet preferring one that fits better

    Demifluid: the feeling your gender being fluid throughout all the demigenders; the feeling of having multiple genders, some static and some fluid

    Demiflux: the feeling of having multiple genders, some static and some fluctuating

    Demigender: a gender that is partially one gender and partially another

    Domgender: having more than one gender yet one being more dominant than the others

    Demi-vapor (term coined by @cotton-blossom-jellyfish): Continuously drifting to other genders, feeling spiritually transcendental when doing so while having a clear -slightly blurred- inner visual of your genders, transitions, and positive emotions. Tied to Demi-Smoke.

    Demi-smoke (term coined by @cotton-blossom-jellyfish): A transcendental, spiritual gender roughly drifting to other genders that are unable to be foreseen and understood, shrouded in darkness within your inner visual. Elevating through mystery. Caused by a lack of inner interpretation and dark emotional states. Tied to Demi-Vapor.

    Duragender: from the Latin word dura meaning “long-lasting”, meaning a subcategory of multigender in which one gender is more identifiable, long lasting, and prominent than the other genders

    Again, this is the sort of thing the alphabet soup agenda wishes to impose under colour of law.

    KF

  179. 179
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks,

    I trust we have had enough of what falls of its own weight.

    Let us now turn to the real issue, warrant for the core of the gospel. Once there is serious warrant, we need to ponder whether we are willing to live by the truth and right that we know or should know.

    To begin, let us ponder the minimal facts approach that looks at relevant consensus facts of scholarship regarding Jesus, as Habermas has studied and documented for a generation. Yes, I know it is in the linked but obviously unless it is put in thread, it seems it will not be faced.

    Summarising from Apologetics Wiki:

    The minimal facts method only uses sources which are multiply attested, and agreed to by a majority of scholars (ranging from atheist to conservative). This requires that they have one or more of the following criteria which are relevant to textual criticism:

    Multiple sources – If two or more sources attest to the same fact, it is more likely authentic
    Enemy attestation – If the writers enemies corroborate a given fact, it is more likely authentic
    Principle of embarrassment – If the text embarrasses the writer, it is more likely authentic
    Eyewitness testimony – First hand accounts are to be prefered
    Early testimony – an early account is more likely accurate than a later one

    Having first established the well attested facts, the approach then argues that the best explanation of these agreed to facts is the resurrection of Jesus Christ . . . . [Source: “Minimal facts” From Apologetics Wiki. Full article: here. (Courtesy, Wayback Machine.)]

    A list of these facts can be compiled, up to a dozen:

    1. Jesus died by crucifixion [–> which implies his historicity!].

    2. He was buried.

    3. His death caused the disciples to despair and lose hope.

    4. The tomb was empty (the most contested).

    5. The disciples had experiences which they believed were literal appearances of the risen Jesus (the most important proof).

    6. The disciples were transformed from doubters to bold proclaimers.

    7. The resurrection was the central message.

    8. They preached the message of Jesus’ resurrection in Jerusalem.

    9. The Church was born and grew.

    10. Orthodox Jews who believed in Christ made Sunday their primary day of worship.

    11. James was converted to the faith when he saw the resurrected Jesus (James was a family skeptic).

    12. Paul was converted to the faith (Paul was an outsider skeptic).

    Why are such generally accepted? As I summarised:

    That a Messiah candidate was captured, tried and crucified — as Gamaliel hinted at — was effectively the death-knell for most such movements in Israel in the era of Roman control; to have to report such a fate was normally embarrassing and discrediting to the extreme in a shame-honour culture. The Jews of C1 Judaea wanted a victorious Greater David to defeat the Romans and usher in the day of ultimate triumph for Israel, not a crucified suffering servant. In the cases where a movement continued, the near relatives took up the mantle. That is facts 1 – 3 right there. Facts 10 – 12 are notorious. While some (it looks like about 25% of the survey of scholarship, from what I have seen) reject no 4, in fact it is hard to see a message about a resurrection in C1 that did not imply that the body was living again, as Wright discusses here. Facts 5 – 9 are again, pretty clearly grounded.

    So, the challenge is to explain this cluster or important subsets of it, without begging questions and without selective hyperskepticism.

    It is not hard to see why the old objections commonly seen since C17 – 18 have fallen by the wayside; they just cannot cover the facts. Today, there are two men left standing: the historic Christian view and some sort of mass hallucination theory.

    Of these, the latter is exceedingly problematic, as ” collective visions are not psychologically plausible as the cultural expectations of a resurrection would have been of a general one in the context of the obvious military triumph of Israel. Nor, does it explain the apparently missing body. Moreover, we know separately, that the culturally accepted alternative would have been individual prophetic visions of the exalted that on being shared would comfort the grieving that the departed rested with God.”

    We are therefore left with the Morison challenge:

    [N]ow the peculiar thing . . . is that not only did [belief in Jesus’ resurrection as in part testified to by the empty tomb] spread to every member of the Party of Jesus of whom we have any trace, but they brought it to Jerusalem and carried it with inconceivable audacity into the most keenly intellectual centre of Judaea . . . and in the face of every impediment which a brilliant and highly organised camarilla could devise. And they won. Within twenty years the claim of these Galilean peasants had disrupted the Jewish Church and impressed itself upon every town on the Eastern littoral of the Mediterranean from Caesarea to Troas. In less than fifty years it had began to threaten the peace of the Roman Empire . . . .

    Why did it win? . . . .

    We have to account not only for the enthusiasm of its friends, but for the paralysis of its enemies and for the ever growing stream of new converts . . . When we remember what certain highly placed personages would almost certainly have given to have strangled this movement at its birth but could not – how one desperate expedient after another was adopted to silence the apostles, until that veritable bow of Ulysses, the Great Persecution, was tried and broke in pieces in their hands [the chief persecutor became the leading C1 Missionary/Apostle!] – we begin to realise that behind all these subterfuges and makeshifts there must have been a silent, unanswerable fact. [Who Moved the Stone, (Faber, 1971; nb. orig. pub. 1930), pp. 114 – 115.]

    This is the guilty secret at the heart of today’s hyperskepticism toward, dismissal of, apostasy from and hostility against the historic Christian faith.

    KF

  180. 180
    hazel says:

    I believe the heart of the matter has been revealed.

  181. 181
    kairosfocus says:

    H,

    it is credible that Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled 700 + year old specific scriptural prophecies of Messiah, including particularly resurrection from the dead. In that context, with 500 eyewitnesses, most still alive when such was committed to record 55 AD, a record handed down to us in unbroken, good chain of custody.

    This puts the issues just addressed through the minimal facts approach at the centre of our self-understanding as morally governed creatures and as a civilisation. Once we see the warrant for the gospel by this and other means, it demands a duty to warranted truth response. In which context, demanding that the church move away from its warranted core is ill-founded. And a civilisation that could readily access such warrant but elects to ignore is telling us a lot about itself. Nothing good.

    It also establishes a centre of authority, the one who broke death.

    And, on marriage, gender, sexuality etc, this is his record:

    Matt 19:4 He [Jesus] answered, “Have you not read that he
    who created them from the beginning made them male and female
    [–> Gen 1 – 2, note the identified, naturally obvious case of
    two distinct, reproductively complementary sexes, here anchored to
    creation order for the human race], 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall
    leave his father and his mother [–> implying the successive
    generations of families built on man + woman + faithful commitment
    –> well-nurtured children] and hold fast to his wife [–>
    fidelity propagates from one generation to the next, how much more so
    infidelity], and the two [= husband (male) + wife (female)] shall
    become one flesh’ [–> through the act of marital, procreative
    union, naturally leading to children]? 6 So they are no longer two but
    one flesh. [–> ponder how the child reflects that union] What
    therefore God has joined together [–> Adam and Eve and their
    successors in one flesh union], let not man separate [–>
    including, how much more, by violating the nature of marital union:
    Adam + Steve, Eve + Mary, Either + fido, or a robot etc].”

    Notice, he points to the naturally evident creation order and how this grounds a law of our manifest nature.

    Such is antecedent to governments or cultural customs, it cannot be made by them or materially altered by them.

    That is what many would defy today, to the obvious detriment of the community as the stabilising family is steadily eroded. Oh, it may still stand for many years yet but the implications point to a hard collision with reality.

    KF

  182. 182
    Axel says:

    ‘Remember, the “modest” goals include imposing such and the like under colour of law, education and more,;’
    – KF
    Of pivotal importance, but you’ll get no hint of tha from the MSM – only their victimhood. Yet their lobby is extremely wealthy and powerful ; which, admittedly, is to be expected.

    I don’t think that S. African film star who had let her little adopted boy choose to be a girl, can have any conception of how she will mess up his life thereby, and cause him great bitterness.

  183. 183
    kairosfocus says:

    Axel, the “quacky website[s]” seem to include the likes of Facebook, which has a similar list of IIRC 51 options. The point is not that such lists are the same but that they are now surfacing as the alphabet soup agenda progresses; based on the notion that “gender” is turned into a psychosocial construct, which implies that we end in radical subjectivist and/or relativist chaos, precisely because we have turned away from the naturally evident creation order that pivots on the two complementary sexes. We have turned our backs on objective truth and descend straight away into Rom 1 chaos. This then naturally extends to marriage and family and more; where we must always recall, the agit prop amplified by the media is driving a lawfare agenda intended to impose chaos under false colour of law. Chaos, that is patently anti-civilisational, breaking the compact of civil liberty and implying restoration of the state of nature (in effect resort to the clans . . . often, glorified gangs and warlords) — very likely to trigger a snap to authoritarianism to impose order and safety. Where of course, lurking in the background is the guilty secret behind our civilisation’s mass apostasy in the teeth of what we should easily know. KF

  184. 184
    kairosfocus says:

    Axel, also, let’s see if there is a cogent, substantial response on the warranted truth — as opposed to opinions — issue. KF

  185. 185
    hazel says:

    Just to be clear, the issue here is not whether homosexuality is right or wrong.

    The primary issue we are discussing here, which was introduced in posts 1 and 3, is the proposition that some church’s stances on such issues as homosexuality and other matters are some of the main reasons people are leaving the church, and identifying as a None.

    Such people think that the church is wrong in their stance, and thus distance themselves or withdraw. For instance, a recent headline paragraph on the internet said,

    The United Methodist Church voted on Tuesday to uphold and strengthen its ban on same-sex marriage and LGBT clergy in a move likely to alienate large numbers of followers who had pushed for reform.

    Link

    This is a supporting example of the point being made that there are differing opinions about whether homosexuality is wrong or not, and there is a disconnect in places between churches’ position and the beliefs of many potential members.

    That is the main issue here. Discussing our differing opinions about whether homosexuality is right or wrong is not the main issue.

  186. 186
    Brother Brian says:

    Hazel

    Discussing our differing opinions about whether homosexuality is right or wrong is not the main issue.

    That’s what I thought. But apparently there are other agit-prop agendas out there that desire to distract us from the focal point of the OP. 🙂

  187. 187
    kairosfocus says:

    H (& I add, attn BB), the moral status of homosexual acts is a material issue in an assessment of claims, inferences and/or suggestions that refusal or hesitation to embrace same is a significant contribution to church affinity issues, particularly if homosexualisation of a christian denomination (or of a “version” of the Scriptures, such as the so-called Queen James Bible) implies apostasy. On the force of Rom 1 and 1 Cor 6:9 – 11, it is very hard to escape that conclusion. Apostasy is betrayal of core christian identity by those individuals or those movements that once were in a better stance; often it turns on specific distorted teachings or rejection of core truths — that is heresies. This then leads straight back to truth and warrant of the core gospel; which is on the table. KF

    PS: Differing opinions on behaviours (notice, my emphasis) is immaterial to warrant regarding the moral status of said behaviours.What follows is not pleasant to deal with, but there are responsibilities. First, I have already outlined the natural law framework for sexuality and the Christian endorsement of same as reflecting naturally evident creation order. Further to this, on warrant of the resurrection and thus the gospel, Jesus is a primary centre of reliable authority, thus by extension his specific commissioned primary messengers and missionaries, the apostles. This implies an extension of that authority through the scriptures, which must be carefully and soundly handled. There are specific anathemas on scripture-twisting and some pretty stern warnings about those who would teach same. This sets up a historic core to the christian faith, which is described as “once for all delivered unto the saints.” Those who sufficiently distort or outright reject that chain of authority and its core content are not christian, whatever they may say or believe or make claims otherwise. Indeed, purveyors of error on the gospel, gospel ethics and the scriptures are caught up in — hard but necessary words — heresy and apostasy. In the case of those who have published the distorted version already cited, they fall under very specific anathemas.

    PPS: I draw attention to AS above on other sides of the dwindling away story.

  188. 188
    Brother Brian says:

    But seriously, I have still not heard anyone arguing that the church’s stance on homosexuality and other consensual sexual practices, including birth control, is not one of the causes for people distancing themselves from organized religion. My proposition was really very simple. Have people left the church because of this or not?

    To my mind, the problem lies with the church and the way they present their message. With all due respect to KF, I certainly would not attend a church where he was the pastor presenting the arguments he has presented in this thread. And, I suggest, many have left their church for the same reason.

  189. 189
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, if a denomination X betrays its commitments to core gospel truths and/or inseparably linked gospel ethics in order to please those who wish to demand acceptance of behaviour Y; which is contrary to that core . . . then numbers affiliating with X are irrelevant. X would have become apostate and heretical, losing its genuine christian identity. For, dechristianising the church to gain support of those who reject core principles and truths is perversion of the core identity of the church; even if X wishes to continue using the same names, vestments, buildings etc. KF

  190. 190
    hazel says:

    Here is the correct url for the link in 185, which appears to be wrong: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-religion-lgbt-united-methodist/united-methodist-church-strengthens-ban-on-same-sex-marriage-lgbt-clergy-idUSKCN1QG022

    The last paragraph says,

    The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, remains strongly opposed to same-sex marriage. But a growing number of U.S. Protestant denominations allow gay marriage and clergy, including the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

    This is a key issue dividing churches these days. They churches mentioned in the last sentence believe they are taking the morally correct position.

  191. 191
    kairosfocus says:

    B, I challenge you to answer on the merits to the summary of the substance and results of the minimal facts approach. Noting, that that addresses warrant of the central, pivotal gospel truth. I note further to this that we undeniably have a known duty to truth, right reason etc, thus to warrant. KF

  192. 192
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    BB, if a denomination X betrays its commitments to core gospel truths and/or inseparably linked gospel ethics …

    Who determines what these core gospel truths are?

    But that is beside the point. All I have proposed is that one of the reasons for the decline in church attendance is the church’s view on homosexuality and other things sexual. Do you agree with this?. Yes or no? Any response other than yes or no is a distraction from the core point of the OP.

  193. 193
    kairosfocus says:

    H, the issue is not whether said organisations believe they are taking a correct stance but whether they are warranted in light of the historic core of the christian faith and its warrant. (Kindly note above on the minimal facts.) If such denoms are acting out of line with the well warranted core gospel and/or inseparably linked gospel ethics, all that a list of such denoms would be is a list of new adherents to heresy and apostasy. Which BTW is something Jesus himself specifically warned against as an eschatological sign. And, historically, such has happened many times. There is a reason for the old saying, Athanasius contra mundum. KF

    PS: See 15 above on relevant substantial issues and key texts.

  194. 194
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, you again fail to address the warrant for the core gospel, which is outlined upthread; we note that conspicuous, sustained refusal to address the merits. Warrant is a matter of grounding of what is true, not a playing out of Arthur Leff’s grand sez who fallacy. KF

  195. 195
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    BB, you again fail to address the warrant…

    I refuse to be drawn off again on a tangent from the focal point of the OP which, to remind you and everyone else, is the reason for the increasing number of people who don’t associate themselves with a religion (the “nones”). So, again, do you agree that religion’s stance on homosexuality and other things sexual is one of the reasons for this? Is my original proposition correct or not?

  196. 196
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, you know or should know that the warrant for the core gospel message is pivotal to understanding why heresies and apostasies cannot be a basis for growth. From which, playing out of numbers games becomes a comparison of guavas and beach death apples, as the core nature of an apostasised organisation has been forfeited. The fallacious, distractive rhetorical gambits being used to avoid addressing core warrant and core substance are thus all too revealing as to the agenda of your circle here and elsewhere. It is a safe bet that if your circle had cogent responses they would have been used long since. The studious evasions are therefore an implicit acknowledgement that the balance on the merits does not favour the agenda that circle serves. Claims to rhetorical triumph by that circle are therefore exposed for their essential emptiness. Sadly, it is not just about arguments, there are consequences to errors and ill-founded agendas, Accordingly, I will again remind us of the parable of the ship of state. KF

  197. 197
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Plato warned 2300+ years past:

    It is not too hard to figure out that our civilisation is in deep trouble and is most likely headed for shipwreck. (And of course, that sort of concern is dismissed as “apocalyptic,” or neurotic pessimism that refuses to pause and smell the roses.)

    Plato’s Socrates spoke to this sort of situation, long since, in the ship of state parable in The Republic, Bk VI:

    >>[Soc.] I perceive, I said, that you are vastly amused at having plunged me into such a hopeless discussion; but now hear the parable, and then you will be still more amused at the meagreness of my imagination: for the manner in which the best men are treated in their own States is so grievous that no single thing on earth is comparable to it; and therefore, if I am to plead their cause, I must have recourse to fiction, and put together a figure made up of many things, like the fabulous unions of goats and stags which are found in pictures.

    Imagine then a fleet or a ship in which there is a captain [–> often interpreted, ship’s owner] who is taller and stronger than any of the crew, but he is a little deaf and has a similar infirmity in sight, and his knowledge of navigation is not much better. [= The people own the community and in the mass are overwhelmingly strong, but are ill equipped on the whole to guide, guard and lead it]

    The sailors are quarrelling with one another about the steering – every one is of opinion that he has a right to steer [= selfish ambition to rule and dominate], though he has never learned the art of navigation and cannot tell who taught him or when he learned, and will further assert that it cannot be taught, and they are ready to cut in pieces any one who says the contrary. They throng about the captain, begging and praying him to commit the helm to them [–> kubernetes, steersman, from which both cybernetics and government come in English]; and if at any time they do not prevail, but others are preferred to them, they kill the others or throw them overboard [ = ruthless contest for domination of the community], and having first chained up the noble captain’s senses with drink or some narcotic drug [ = manipulation and befuddlement, cf. the parable of the cave], they mutiny and take possession of the ship and make free with the stores; thus, eating and drinking, they proceed on their voyage in such a manner as might be expected of them [–> Cf here Luke’s subtle case study in Ac 27].

    Him who is their partisan and cleverly aids them in their plot for getting the ship out of the captain’s hands into their own whether by force or persuasion [–> Nihilistic will to power on the premise of might and manipulation making ‘right’ ‘truth’ ‘justice’ ‘rights’ etc], they compliment with the name of sailor, pilot, able seaman, and abuse the other sort of man, whom they call a good-for-nothing; but that the true pilot must pay attention to the year and seasons and sky and stars and winds, and whatever else belongs to his art, if he intends to be really qualified for the command of a ship, and that he must and will be the steerer, whether other people like or not-the possibility of this union of authority with the steerer’s art has never seriously entered into their thoughts or been made part of their calling.

    Now in vessels which are in a state of mutiny and by sailors who are mutineers, how will the true pilot be regarded? Will he not be called by them a prater, a star-gazer, a good-for-nothing?

    [Ad.] Of course, said Adeimantus.

    [Soc.] Then you will hardly need, I said, to hear the interpretation of the figure, which describes the true philosopher in his relation to the State[ –> here we see Plato’s philosoppher-king emerging]; for you understand already.

    [Ad.] Certainly.

    [Soc.] Then suppose you now take this parable to the gentleman who is surprised at finding that philosophers have no honour in their cities; explain it to him and try to convince him that their having honour would be far more extraordinary.

    [Ad.] I will.

    [Soc.] Say to him, that, in deeming the best votaries of philosophy to be useless to the rest of the world, he is right; but also tell him to attribute their uselessness to the fault of those who will not use them, and not to themselves. The pilot should not humbly beg the sailors to be commanded by him –that is not the order of nature; neither are ‘the wise to go to the doors of the rich’ –the ingenious author of this saying told a lie –but the truth is, that, when a man is ill, whether he be rich or poor, to the physician he must go, and he who wants to be governed, to him who is able to govern. The ruler who is good for anything ought not to beg his subjects to be ruled by him [ –> down this road lies the modern solution: a sound, well informed people will seek sound leaders, who will not need to manipulate or bribe or worse, and such a ruler will in turn be checked by the soundness of the people, cf. US DoI, 1776]; although the present governors of mankind are of a different stamp; they may be justly compared to the mutinous sailors, and the true helmsmen to those who are called by them good-for-nothings and star-gazers.

    [Ad.] Precisely so, he said.

    [Soc] For these reasons, and among men like these, philosophy, the noblest pursuit of all, is not likely to be much esteemed by those of the opposite faction; not that the greatest and most lasting injury is done to her by her opponents, but by her own professing followers, the same of whom you suppose the accuser to say, that the greater number of them are arrant rogues, and the best are useless; in which opinion I agreed [–> even among the students of the sound state (here, political philosophy and likely history etc.), many are of unsound motivation and intent, so mere education is not enough, character transformation is critical].

    [Ad.] Yes.

    [Soc.] And the reason why the good are useless has now been explained?

    [Ad.] True.

    [Soc.] Then shall we proceed to show that the corruption of the majority is also unavoidable, and that this is not to be laid to the charge of philosophy any more than the other?

    [Ad.] By all means.

    [Soc.] And let us ask and answer in turn, first going back to the description of the gentle and noble nature.[ — > note the character issue] Truth, as you will remember, was his leader, whom he followed always and in all things [ –> The spirit of truth as a marker]; failing in this, he was an impostor, and had no part or lot in true philosophy [–> the spirit of truth is a marker, for good or ill] . . . >>

    (There is more than an echo of this in Acts 27, a real world case study. [Luke, a physician, was an educated Greek with a taste for subtle references.] This blog post, on soundness in policy, will also help)

  198. 198
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Further clip from the article cited by AS:

    Mainline churches [–> the ones that by and large took up modernist theology 100 years or so ago, note comments here on where this went gravely wrong] are tanking as if they have super-sized millstones around their necks. Yes, these churches are hemorrhaging members in startling numbers, but many of those folks are not leaving Christianity. They are simply going elsewhere. Because of this shifting, other very different kinds of churches are holding strong in crowds and have been for as long as such data has been collected. In some ways, they are even growing. This is what this new research has found.

    The percentage of Americans who attend church more than once a week, pray daily, and accept the Bible as wholly reliable and deeply instructive to their lives has remained absolutely, steel-bar constant for the last 50 years or more, right up to today. These authors describe this continuity as “patently persistent.”

    The percentage of such people is also not small. One in three Americans prays multiple times a day, while one in 15 do so in other countries on average. Attending services more than once a week continues to be twice as high among Americans compared to the next highest-attending industrial country, and three times higher than the average comparable nation.

    One-third of Americans hold that the Bible is the actual word of God. Fewer than 10 percent believe so in similar countries. The United States “clearly stands out as exceptional,” and this exceptionalism has not been decreasing over time. In fact, these scholars determine that the percentages of Americans who are the most vibrant and serious in their faith is actually increasing a bit, “which is making the United States even more exceptional over time.”

    This also means, of course, that those who take their faith seriously are becoming a markedly larger proportion of all religious people. In 1989, 39 percent of those who belonged to a religion held strong beliefs and practices. Today, these are 47 percent of all the religiously affiliated. This all has important implications for politics, indicating that the voting bloc of religious conservatives is not shrinking, but actually growing among the faithful. The declining influence of liberal believers at the polls has been demonstrated in many important elections recently.

  199. 199
    Brother Brian says:

    KF@196, is that a yes or no? I have no desire to go off on tangents from from this OP. It would not be fair to News. If you want to post your own OP on the evils of homosexuality, I will respond to it accordingly. But for this thread, if you are not willing to say yes or no to whether the church’s stance on homosexuality and other things sexual is partially responsible or the decline in church attendance, I don’t think you have anything to offer that is worth listening to.

  200. 200
    hazel says:

    Supporting BB: kf refuses to answer a simple question, one which is central to the OP.

    The premise is that one of the reasons for the decline in some church’s (or denomination’s) attendance is that increasing numbers of people disagree about the church’s view on homosexuality.

    kf, do you think this is a true statement?

  201. 201
    kairosfocus says:

    H, the empirical evidence — as AS pointed out — is that this is not the driver or the/a dominant driver of the overall pattern. Furthermore, there is reason to hold that such a change by a denomination would be a mark of fundamental alteration of character relative to the core, well warranted Christian faith, i.e. apostasy. The suggestion is in effect, to gain or hold the affiliation of those whose views are evidently incompatible with the core Christian faith and inextricably linked ethics, churches should fatally compromise their essential character. Were that done, the church would itself fail as a church, even if it would grow numerically as an organisation. Where, it is the churches which have refused such and similar compromises that have been driving growth. KF

    PS: Clipping as linked:

    Recent research argues that the United States is secularizing, that this religious change is
    consistent with the secularization thesis, and that American religion is not exceptional. But we show
    that rather than religion fading into irrelevance as the secularization thesis would suggest, intense
    religion—strong af?liation, very frequent practice, literalism, and evangelicalism—is persistent and,
    in fact, only moderate religion is on the decline in the United States.

    It seems that in former Communist countries as well, conservative Christian faith is vibrant and has grown. In China it is the same. In the South, there has been a huge surge over the past century which is in the main conservative to the point where the Methodist and Anglican churches show that it is leaders from the South who are now challenging the modernistic trends in one of the latest forms, homosexualisation. That challenge is based on the view that such is apostasy.

    Much of this has already been pointed out by me or others, so the suggestion of evasiveness is inappropriate.

  202. 202
    hazel says:

    kf, you write, “the empirical evidence — as AS pointed out — is that this is not the driver or the/a dominant driver of the overall pattern.”

    But the question is is one of the reasons for the decline in some church’s (or denomination’s) attendance is that increasing numbers of people disagree about the church’s view on homosexuality.

    As your quote, and the article show, strong religious belief has stayed steady, but moderate moderate religion is in the decline. I’ll maintain (but ask you no more questions) that a main reason for this is many people’s dissatisfaction with their church’s stance on homosexuality, as illustrated above by the recent issue in the Methodist church.

    That’s all I’m interested in establishing. All the rest of your concerns about what is Biblically justified and what is heresy is irrelevant to me.

  203. 203
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, the thread is more than enough evidence as to what has been going on here and elsewhere, starting with your injection of homosexualism as though it were a driving force of presumed decline, along with rejection of the core Christian faith and scriptures. In answer, it is material to have pointed out why homosexualisation is dubious theologically and generally, and why the real issue is warrant for the core Christian faith. We take due note that you have been unresponsive to empirical evidence on what the actual trends are, to the reasons why the promotion of such homosexualisation is dubious [in direct answer to your comments] as well as to the challenge of warrant and truth. KF

    PS: For record as it is again lost in the onward comments, I clip the core part of comment 15 which makes notes on several of your claims from comment 1 on. You have never made a cogent, substantial response to the following, which we can now freely infer is a good sign of the real balance on the merits:

    [BB:] >>Isn’t it possible that the rise in nones is
    due to a rise in people making their own determination as to what the
    scriptures mean rather than relying on others to tell
    them?>>

    [KF:] a: As this seems a root point, it needs to be dealt with
    first.

    b: For one, in an era when radical but self-referentially
    incoherent, self-falsifying subjectivism and relativism compounded by
    media trumpeted radical, ill-founded skeptical speculation have spread
    far and wide, a truer summary would be that many people are turning to
    voices that tickle their itching ears with what they want to hear,
    rather than to soundness
    .

    b’: A strong indicator that such is the case can be seen from
    the tendencies to wrench scripture out of sound and responsible
    consultation, interpretation and application, in defiant ignorance, to
    set up and knock over biblical strawman targets and the linked tendency
    to avoid fairly addressing on its merits, the core warrant for
    the Christian faith
    .

    >>I think one of the other things driving
    people away from the church is their stance on
    homosexuality.>>

    c: When one is in Isa 5:20 – 21 territory, of course one
    will despise what does not comfort one in waywardness:

    Isa 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good
    and good evil,
    who put darkness for light
    and light for darkness,
    who put bitter for sweet
    and sweet for bitter!
    21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
    and shrewd in their own sight!

    d: Where, Paul is manifestly right in the analysis of what
    happens when communities turn their backs on the root of reality who is
    its moral governor:

    Rom 1:19 For what can be known about God is plain to them,
    because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes,
    namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly
    perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that
    have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew
    God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they
    became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were
    darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged
    the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and
    birds and animals and creeping things.

    24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts
    to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25
    because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and
    served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!
    Amen.

    26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable
    passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that
    are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural
    relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another,
    men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the
    due penalty for their error.

    28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God
    gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

    e: Thank God, that is not irreversible, just as with the
    woman caught in adultery who Jesus saved from those who pounced on her
    then counselled to leave her life of sin, by the gospel and the Spirit
    through the scriptures and support of the body, we may find deliverance
    from ruinous, enslaving unrighteousness:

    1 Cor 6:9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous[b] will
    not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the
    sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice
    homosexuality,[c] 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor
    revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such
    were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were
    justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our
    God.

    f: That’s not a welcome message today, but it is a sound one
    backed up by millions of cases in point.

    >>As the negative social and career
    implications of being a known homosexual have significantly
    declined>>

    g: The life-, health- and soul- wrecking implications have
    not declined.

    >> more and more people have discovered that
    they have friends and family members who are homosexual. And they see
    that these people are the same as they are, and not the deluded sick
    sinners that many churches tell them that they are.>>

    h: The incidence of such behaviour varies with cultural
    settings. Vanishingly small in some cases, 1 – 3% in our time and
    culture, 100% by way of compulsory social role in certain cultures, so
    familiarity with cases does not change the facts of damaging, ruinous
    perversity with destructive personal and cultural consequences. (Kindly
    see the sobering discussion here and
    ponder why we so often hear only what is now an obviously heavily
    funded, power broker-backed ideological agenda and its talking points.
    A glance over at how the ongoing slaughter of our living posterity in
    the womb at a million more per week, cumulatively 800+ millions in 40
    years is enough to show that what the powers push and what is right or
    truth have little to do with one another
    .)

    i: Today, we see how we are embarking on an increasingly
    grotesque experiment with over a hundred so-called genders, undermining
    of the stable heterosexual marital bond, linked undermining of family
    as stabilising social foundation, and more.

    j: As I am not in jurisdictions where I would be pounced on,
    deplatformed and censored for saying such unwelcome things, I can add,
    we also see a rising lawless bully tactic trend associated with
    homosexualist radicalism, including in dangerous judicial over-reach by
    way of trying to rewrite not just constitutions but the laws of our
    nature written into our XX and XY genes and linked requisites of child
    nurture.

    k: As Rom 1 [–> already cited] directly implies, societies in rebellion against
    the plain evidence of a conscience guided inner life and of an obvious
    creation order without, thus in moral spin-out, are generally full of
    deluded sinners, convinced they are right but manifestly wrong
    .

    l: Where, the sinners part is universal: “ALL have sinned .
    . .”

    m: In some societies, there is sufficient truth that is
    preserved and respected that people in rebellion against God and the
    right, or who find themselves trapped in enslaving sins at least
    recognise their plight. That is a better state than one where we
    pretend wrong is right and then attack the right and the truth for
    failure to conform to crookedness.

    n: That latter condition is why our civilisation is on a
    voyage of stubborn, ruinous folly headed for shipwreck. As Plato warned
    against, much less many others.

    >>But telling homosexuals that they are
    sinners,>>

    o: To tell people that we are ALL trapped in sin and need
    rescue, cleansing and transformation is to tell the truth of hope. To
    cling to darkness and its progressive ruin, is folly.

    p: To point out, by way of a plumb line, that we are setting
    up a crooked yardstick as false standard of straightness, accuracy and
    uprightness, is a needed correction.

    >>and that they are not allowed to marry the
    person they love>>

    q: We are repeatedly warned that falling in love, or
    infatuation or simply lust out of moral control of what is right is a
    snare that pulls us into ruinous sin. So, “but I’m in love” is no
    excuse from moral responsibility. Hollywood’s myths are no help.

    r: The critical question is, what does the law of our
    manifest nature, rooted in creation order, have to say about what
    marriage is. That is obvious, given our complementary sexes and the
    requisites of sound family life. Marriage is not a legal fiction, a
    label for a contract that sets up an artificial person [–> i.e. a corporate entity] that can be
    reconstituted under colour of law at will.

    s: That pretence that we are dealing with a mere social
    convention is the central fallacy that has been foisted on us, setting
    up a crooked yardstick under false colour of law.

    >>because of something written in the bible,
    with no valid argument other than words written a few thousand years
    ago,>>

    t: The central hatred of God, our creator, having a voice in
    how morally governed creation is to operate, emerges. And in appealing
    to anti-Christian bigotry, such rhetoric dodges the manifest evidence
    from our nature as male and female as key parts of that creation order.

    u: So, to correct the crooked yardstick, let us put on the
    table the hated, corrective words from the mouth of the acknowledged
    all-time greatest of moral teachers, Jesus of Nazareth (as part of a
    teaching on the prior folly of the serial adultery-driven divorce and
    remarriage game):

    Matt 19:4 He [Jesus] answered, “Have you not read that he
    who created them from the beginning made them male and female
    [–> Gen 1 – 2, note the identified, naturally obvious case of
    two distinct, reproductively complementary sexes, here anchored to
    creation order for the human race], 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall
    leave his father and his mother [–> implying the successive
    generations of families built on man + woman + faithful commitment
    –> well-nurtured children] and hold fast to his wife [–>
    fidelity propagates from one generation to the next, how much more so
    infidelity], and the two [= husband (male) + wife (female)] shall
    become one flesh’ [–> through the act of marital, procreative
    union, naturally leading to children]? 6 So they are no longer two but
    one flesh. [–> ponder how the child reflects that union] What
    therefore God has joined together [–> Adam and Eve and their
    successors in one flesh union], let not man separate [–>
    including, how much more, by violating the nature of marital union:
    Adam + Steve, Eve + Mary, Either + fido, or a robot etc].”

    v: This is clearly rooted in naturally evident creation
    order, and is a [–> statement or summary of a] law that is antecedent to what kings, parliaments or judges may decree. They [= agents of the state] did not invent marriage, nor can they re-invent it, they can only set up crooked yardsticks under false colour of law.

    w: With, ruinous consequences that are already beginning to
    be manifest in what 5 year olds are being taught under compulsory
    education law (as in, moral turpitude and millstones . . . ) , with the
    chaos of over a hundred so called genders (many, frankly, manifestly
    insane . . . ), with usurpations and impositions on conscience and
    freedom of expression that point to unravelling the hard-bought lessons
    and compromises in constitutional law that recognises and protects such
    freedoms.

    >> drives them and their family and friends
    away from the church.>>

    x: If this is the price such wish to demand in order to be
    involved then it is too high: apostasy.

    y: The historic Christian faith is just that, historic,
    anchored on an authentic gospel witness attested by the 500 core
    witnesses and so too on longstanding factual, ethical and scriptural
    foundations that we neither created nor have legitimate authority to
    materially alter.

    z: If one wishes to walk away from well founded truth, that
    is his ill-advised choice [which, please, please, please, for one’s own
    good, reconsider . . .], but that cannot ever change the eternal
    reality attested to by that truth and that historic witness to and
    record of the truth sealed with the blood of the apostles and martyrs.
    Including, where that reality, that truth, that witness, that record
    happens to address man as male and female, the marital union and the
    family as the naturally evident creation order foundation for a sound
    civilisation.

  204. 204
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: It is quite obvious from the just above, that a response on the warrant for the Christian faith in the teeth of assertions you made, BB, is appropriate. While that is linked above, it clearly again needs to be excerpted, as at 179 above, which was studiously evaded on substance.

    Let us take due note of your arguments and insinuations against the biblical record of the core Christian faith, from early in the thread:

    >>Isn’t it possible that the rise in nones is due to a rise in people making their own determination as to what the scriptures mean rather than relying on others to tell them? . . . . something written in the bible, with no valid argument other than words written a few thousand years ago >>

    You here suggest blind dependence on being told what the scriptures teach and that there is little or no objective warrant for what is recorded in the Bible (presumably as core to the faith and thus to its ethics, especially as applied to homosexual behaviours and linked agendas).

    So, for further record, from 179:

    Let us now turn to the real issue, warrant for the core of the gospel. Once there is serious warrant, we need to ponder whether we are willing to live by the truth and right that we know or should know.

    To begin, let us ponder the minimal facts approach that looks at relevant consensus facts of scholarship regarding Jesus, as Habermas has studied and documented for a generation. Yes, I know it is in the linked but obviously unless it is put in thread, it seems it will not be faced.

    Summarising from Apologetics Wiki:

    The minimal facts method only uses sources which are multiply attested, and agreed to by a majority of scholars (ranging from atheist to conservative). This requires that they have one or more of the following criteria which are relevant to textual criticism:

    Multiple sources – If two or more sources attest to the same fact, it is more likely authentic
    Enemy attestation – If the writers enemies corroborate a given fact, it is more likely authentic
    Principle of embarrassment – If the text embarrasses the writer, it is more likely authentic
    Eyewitness testimony – First hand accounts are to be prefered
    Early testimony – an early account is more likely accurate than a later one

    Having first established the well attested facts, the approach then argues that the best explanation of these agreed to facts is the resurrection of Jesus Christ . . . . [Source: “Minimal facts” From Apologetics Wiki. Full article: here. (Courtesy, Wayback Machine.)]

    A list of these facts can be compiled, up to a dozen:

    1. Jesus died by crucifixion [–> which implies his historicity!].

    2. He was buried.

    3. His death caused the disciples to despair and lose hope.

    4. The tomb was empty (the most contested).

    5. The disciples had experiences which they believed were literal appearances of the risen Jesus (the most important proof).

    6. The disciples were transformed from doubters to bold proclaimers.

    7. The resurrection was the central message.

    8. They preached the message of Jesus’ resurrection in Jerusalem.

    9. The Church was born and grew.

    10. Orthodox Jews who believed in Christ made Sunday their primary day of worship.

    11. James was converted to the faith when he saw the resurrected Jesus (James was a family skeptic).

    12. Paul was converted to the faith (Paul was an outsider skeptic).

    Why are such generally accepted? As I summarised:

    That a Messiah candidate was captured, tried and crucified — as Gamaliel hinted at — was effectively the death-knell for most such movements in Israel in the era of Roman control; to have to report such a fate was normally embarrassing and discrediting to the extreme in a shame-honour culture. The Jews of C1 Judaea wanted a victorious Greater David to defeat the Romans and usher in the day of ultimate triumph for Israel, not a crucified suffering servant. In the cases where a movement continued, the near relatives took up the mantle. That is facts 1 – 3 right there. Facts 10 – 12 are notorious. While some (it looks like about 25% of the survey of scholarship, from what I have seen) reject no 4, in fact it is hard to see a message about a resurrection in C1 that did not imply that the body was living again, as Wright discusses here. Facts 5 – 9 are again, pretty clearly grounded.

    So, the challenge is to explain this cluster or important subsets of it, without begging questions and without selective hyperskepticism.

    It is not hard to see why the old objections commonly seen since C17 – 18 have fallen by the wayside; they just cannot cover the facts. Today, there are two men left standing: the historic Christian view and some sort of mass hallucination theory.

    Of these, the latter is exceedingly problematic, as ” collective visions are not psychologically plausible as the cultural expectations of a resurrection would have been of a general one in the context of the obvious military triumph of Israel. Nor, does it explain the apparently missing body. Moreover, we know separately, that the culturally accepted alternative would have been individual prophetic visions of the exalted that on being shared would comfort the grieving that the departed rested with God.”

    We are therefore left with the Morison challenge:

    [N]ow the peculiar thing . . . is that not only did [belief in Jesus’ resurrection as in part testified to by the empty tomb] spread to every member of the Party of Jesus of whom we have any trace, but they brought it to Jerusalem and carried it with inconceivable audacity into the most keenly intellectual centre of Judaea . . . and in the face of every impediment which a brilliant and highly organised camarilla could devise. And they won. Within twenty years the claim of these Galilean peasants had disrupted the Jewish Church and impressed itself upon every town on the Eastern littoral of the Mediterranean from Caesarea to Troas. In less than fifty years it had began to threaten the peace of the Roman Empire . . . .

    Why did it win? . . . .

    We have to account not only for the enthusiasm of its friends, but for the paralysis of its enemies and for the ever growing stream of new converts . . . When we remember what certain highly placed personages would almost certainly have given to have strangled this movement at its birth but could not – how one desperate expedient after another was adopted to silence the apostles, until that veritable bow of Ulysses, the Great Persecution, was tried and broke in pieces in their hands [the chief persecutor became the leading C1 Missionary/Apostle!] – we begin to realise that behind all these subterfuges and makeshifts there must have been a silent, unanswerable fact. [Who Moved the Stone, (Faber, 1971; nb. orig. pub. 1930), pp. 114 – 115.]

    [To this, we may add from 181 to H:]

    it is credible that Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled 700 + year old specific scriptural prophecies of Messiah, including particularly resurrection from the dead. In that context, with 500 eyewitnesses, most still alive when such was committed to record 55 AD, a record handed down to us in unbroken, good chain of custody.

    This puts the issues just addressed through the minimal facts approach at the centre of our self-understanding as morally governed creatures and as a civilisation. Once we see the warrant for the gospel by this and other means, it demands a duty to warranted truth response. In which context, demanding that the church move away from its warranted core is ill-founded. And a civilisation that could readily access such warrant but elects to ignore is telling us a lot about itself. Nothing good.

    It also establishes a centre of authority, the one who broke death.

    And, on marriage, gender, sexuality etc, this is his record:

    Matt 19:4 He [Jesus] answered, “Have you not read that he
    who created them from the beginning made them male and female
    [–> Gen 1 – 2, note the identified, naturally obvious case of
    two distinct, reproductively complementary sexes, here anchored to
    creation order for the human race], 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall
    leave his father and his mother [–> implying the successive
    generations of families built on man + woman + faithful commitment
    –> well-nurtured children] and hold fast to his wife [–>
    fidelity propagates from one generation to the next, how much more so
    infidelity], and the two [= husband (male) + wife (female)] shall
    become one flesh’ [–> through the act of marital, procreative
    union, naturally leading to children]? 6 So they are no longer two but
    one flesh. [–> ponder how the child reflects that union] What
    therefore God has joined together [–> Adam and Eve and their
    successors in one flesh union], let not man separate [–>
    including, how much more, by violating the nature of marital union:
    Adam + Steve, Eve + Mary, Either + fido, or a robot etc].”

    Notice, he points to the naturally evident creation order and how this grounds a law of our manifest nature.

    Such is antecedent to governments or cultural customs, it cannot be made by them or materially altered by them.

    That is what many would defy today, to the obvious detriment of the community as the stabilising family is steadily eroded. Oh, it may still stand for many years yet but the implications point to a hard collision with reality.

    This is the guilty secret at the heart of today’s hyperskepticism toward, dismissal of, apostasy from and hostility against the historic Christian faith.

  205. 205
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    BB, the thread is more than enough evidence as to what has been going on here and elsewhere, …

    Sorry. I had a hard time understanding your response. Was it a yes or no to the proposal that part of the decline in church attendance is due to the church stance on homosexuality and other sexual activity?

  206. 206
    Ed George says:

    I really don’t understand KF’s reluctance to answer a simple yes or no question. I am a Christian and I stopped attending the church I had been going to for years because the minister kept preaching against homosexuality and same sex marriage. My conscience wouldn’t allow me to continue to pretend that true love between two people was against God’s will. I didn’t become non-Christian, but I did become anti-church. Or, at least, anti any church that would allow any minister to preach what he was preaching.

  207. 207
    ScuzzaMan says:

    Ed, Christians who take the bible as the rule of faith and practice do not agree that “true love” requires sexual expression. You’ve erected a strawman in your own mind, and you’ve separated yourself from other believers by pretending it is real and therefore a legitimate basis for your separation.
    Be that as it may, you are entitled (by God) to your opinion and to live according to it. Does the God you worship require you to deny that right to Christians whose opinions differ from yours?
    In other words, what is the more legitimate principle on which to separate, according to you: differing from your opinion or differing from God’s opinion?

  208. 208
    ScuzzaMan says:

    Was it a yes or no to the proposal that part of the decline in church attendance is due to the church stance on homosexuality and other sexual activity?

    It was a Yes. As is KF’s wont, it was a very carefully phrased and properly qualified Yes, but a Yes nonetheless. There’s nothing at all difficult in understanding it. I’m having a hard time understanding your having a hard time understanding it.

    The stance of many modern churches, that the biblical record on any topic can be set aside whenever it inconveniences one, is absolutely a major factor in the decline of church attendance. On the other hand, consider the religions that are growing, whether Christian or otherwise they share one central characteristic; they are adamantly militant in defending their doctrines from within and without.
    There’s no mystery here. Once the church has nothing to say on any point that separates the believer from the unbeliever, it is no longer a church. It is merely a forum for bad singing and worse philosophising.
    Which, as you well know, one can get almost anywhere.
    Including here, eh?

  209. 209
    kairosfocus says:

    SM,

    thanks for a useful interjection. As you know, we are dealing with a much broader issue than the particular items being currently pushed.

    Denoms that betray commitment to the well-warranted core truth of the gospel and to inextricably linked gospel ethics are losing their essentially Christian character. So, they will lose members who remain faithful to that well warranted core, they will attract for a time those who are pleased with the latest surrender, but eventually interest will fade. The parable in Jn 15 speaks of branches that reject the life-giving vine and wither. Their initial numbers will be meaningless.

    Genuine growth will shift to denoms that remain faithful to the core.

    The key problem is therefore the warrant of the core truth of the gospel and the linked soundness of core gospel ethics (as moral transformation from sinful lifestyles is essential to discipleship).

    Homosexualisation of marriage, pressure to accept gender alphabet soup and the like are only the latest item in a long trend to reject the core Christian faith: dechristianisation is a definite agenda of the radical secularists, is accompanied by a much broader mischaracterisation of and hostility to our civilisation, triggers apostasy and invites neo-pagan “substitutes” in attempts to fill spiritual needs. . However such trends also undermine core stabilising institutions for our civilisation and are ruinously anti-civilisational.

    It is obvious that those caught up in the latest fashionable push by and large will not recognise that (cf. the reaction just above to the list of “genders” . . . and the refusal to recognise that this is a sign of the ruinous nature of what is being pushed), and far too few are aware of the core Christian warrant — and many of these do not want to face that warrant (and are thus failing duties to truth and right reason . . . part of the moral law attested by conscience ).

    That will, DV be addressed here at UD, today.

    Similarly, it should be obvious from above, that determined objectors do not have a cogent answer to core Christian warrant or to the understanding that there are naturally evident creation order based principles of moral law that are foundational to civilisation which the state can only recognise or ill advisedly try to subvert under colour of law.

    Too many have been indoctrinated into an unhealthy, anti-civilisational, primarily negative view of the heritage of Christendom; both in schools and in the media; but as that heritage is vital for our future, we need to rebalance. They have been misled to imagine that cultural marxist attacks on our civilisation are sound, and to imagine that evolutionary materialistic scientism is well founded. In fact, both of these are ruinous and anti-civilisational, leading to shipwreck. BTW, an index of the rot is how, scarcely a generation after communism collapsed in abysmal failure, it seems that “socialism” (and therefore state control of the economy . . . which is bound to fail, as Venezuela sadly illustrates) has become fashionable again. There is clearly a widespread, deep-seated, straight thinking problem.

    A sounder evaluation would reckon with say the points put on the table by the Jewish — given anti-Christian bias, that is important — scholar Bernard Lewis in a famous essay on the roots of muslim rage:

    . . . The accusations are familiar. We of the West are accused of sexism, racism, and imperialism, institutionalized in patriarchy and slavery, tyranny and exploitation. To these charges, and to others as heinous, we have no option but to plead guilty — not as Americans, nor yet as Westerners, but simply as human beings, as members of the human race. In none of these sins are we the only sinners, and in some of them we are very far from being the worst. The treatment of women in the Western world, and more generally in Christendom, has always been unequal and often oppressive, but even at its worst it was rather better than the rule of polygamy and concubinage that has otherwise been the almost universal lot of womankind on this planet . . . .

    In having practiced sexism, racism, and imperialism, the West was merely following the common practice of mankind through the millennia of recorded history. Where it is distinct from all other civilizations is in having recognized, named, and tried, not entirely without success, to remedy these historic diseases. And that is surely a matter for congratulation, not condemnation. We do not hold Western medical science in general, or Dr. Parkinson and Dr. Alzheimer in particular, responsible for the diseases they diagnosed and to which they gave their names.

    It is time for some serious re-thinking.

    So, let us proceed.

    KF

  210. 210
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, the answer has been given many times by me and by others: apostasy against the well warranted core gospel and linked ethics of life transformation is already a fail. So, the numbers claims and suggestions that to attract the de-christianised the church should dechristianise itself is a patent counsel of ruin. Any loss of numbers reflecting exit of the dechristianised is a mark of clarifying the true picture, it is not a primary driver. Just, it points to the need to address the warrant for the gospel and its integral ethics of moral transformation that ever so many wish to discard or dismiss. It is therefore telling that over the better part of a week, objectors have shown clearly that they are unable to cogently respond to that warrant — we can take it to the bank that if the core case was weak and readily refuted we would see gleeful pouncing instead of evasion here and misleading claims by the Spearshake circle of having defeated the case elsewhere (without links back to where the alleged triumph was achieved). We are dealing with agit prop, trollery as part of that and record showing the true balance on the merits was needed. This thread is further substantiation of that record and balance on the merits. Determined objectors don’t evade and distract attention from weak cases, they pounce on them. KF

  211. 211
  212. 212
    daveS says:

    SM,

    It is merely a forum for bad singing and worse philosophising.

    Hey now. The singing at the small country church I attend is outstanding.

    And while the pastor is clear that homosexuality is inconsistent with their doctrine, he also acknowledges that everyone in the building is a sinner, and he doesn’t go off on unhinged rants about how teh gays are plotting to destroy western civilization.

  213. 213
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, glad to hear you have a good singing church. I suggest that your pastor is right about fundamental incompatibility. As for “teh gays,” that is not equivalent to male homosexuals (as I already noted regarding “outing”). Instead, it is and has been an activist, ideological identity ever since that word was taken and redefined coming on fifty years past. I would think it is an obvious given that ideologies have socio-cultural, legal and political agendas which will have some sort of core leadership. Agit prop, street theatre, media amplification and lawfare in pursuit of policy dominance (aka “mainstreaming”) are going to be a part of radical agendas, and in this case, it draws heavily on the line of thinking deriving from the Frankfurt School and now commonly found in “critical studies.” It will not be hard to find cases that fit in under the relevant elements of operations just described. Further to this, as say LGBTQI (and more to come) indicates, the policy intent includes radical redefinition of marriage, personal identity, morality and law, media, education and more; where it can be shown, readily, that these are highly likely to destabilise core elements of sustainable civilisation. KF

  214. 214
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Here are the E’s from that master list, just to remind us:

    Egogender: a gender that is so personal to your experience that it can only be described as “you”

    Epicene: sometimes used synonymously with the adjective “androgynous”; the feeling either having or not displaying characteristics of both or either binary gender; sometimes used to describe feminine male identifying individuals

    Espigender: a gender that is related to being a spirit or exists on a higher or extradimensional plane

    Exgender: the outright refusal to accept or identify in, on, or around the gender spectrum

    Existigender: a gender that only exists or feels present when thought about or when a conscious effort is made to notice it

  215. 215
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N2: Facebook’s version, courtesy ABC News:

    Agender
    Androgyne
    Androgynous
    Bigender
    Cis
    Cisgender
    Cis Female
    Cis Male
    Cis Man
    Cis Woman
    Cisgender Female
    Cisgender Male
    Cisgender Man
    Cisgender Woman
    Female to Male
    FTM
    Gender Fluid
    Gender Nonconforming
    Gender Questioning
    Gender Variant
    Genderqueer
    Intersex
    Male to Female
    MTF
    Neither
    Neutrois
    Non-binary
    Other
    Pangender
    Trans
    Trans*
    Trans Female
    Trans* Female
    Trans Male
    Trans* Male
    Trans Man
    Trans* Man
    Trans Person
    Trans* Person
    Trans Woman
    Trans* Woman
    Transfeminine
    Transgender
    Transgender Female
    Transgender Male
    Transgender Man
    Transgender Person
    Transgender Woman
    Transmasculine
    Transsexual
    Transsexual Female
    Transsexual Male
    Transsexual Man
    Transsexual Person
    Transsexual Woman
    Two-Spirit

    There are, of course, other lists given how gender is reconceptualised as a psycho-social identity.

    We need to think seriously about what we are doing to ourselves and to our kids down to age three it seems, and how such has come to be.

  216. 216
    daveS says:

    KF,

    As for “teh gays,” that is not equivalent to male homosexuals (as I already noted regarding “outing”). Instead, it is and has been an activist, ideological identity ever since that word was taken and redefined coming on fifty years past.

    That’s your own idiosyncratic definition. The rest of us, including “my” pastor, use “gay” and “homosexual” as synonyms.

    Please understand that people who refer to themselves as “gay” are not necessarily activists. Many would just like to live their lives without harassment.

  217. 217
    ScuzzaMan says:

    Many would just like to live their lives without harassment.

    Sadly, this term (I refer to “harrassment” not “gay“) has also been so perverted that it now is equivalent to “guilty of displaying insufficient enthusiasm for [x]“.
    It is now considered harrassment in the workplace, in the media, and on social media for a social conservative to defend themselves from incessant senseless attacks by radical dyscivic activists.
    It is now considered harassment in the workplace, in the media, and on social media for a researcher to refer without euphemism to the actual historic record.
    It is now considered harassment in the workplace, in the media, and on social media for anyone to contradict the regnant destructive Narrative.

    The perversion of our language is a necessary prerequisite to the perversion of our thoughts (as noted above by KF, constantly on display here) and thus inevitably the perversion of our culture, politics, and morality, i.e. our civilisation.
    As a Christian I am bound to recognise and openly acknowledge that my sins are no less consequential – no less responsible for the death of our Lord – than anyone else’s.
    This does not oblige me to believe that sin is not sin.
    This does not oblige me to deny that sin exists.
    This does not oblige me to not name sin as sin.
    And none of these things, in and of themselves, constitute “harassment“.
    I am first to freely admit that many Christians do not understand these distinctions, that many have erred on either side; some becoming fanatic and some becoming passive in the face of sin.
    It is not loving to let our fellow man descend into darkness without warning. God strictly warns us that as watchers on the walls we are responsible for giving a clear warning of danger, or else we ARE responsible, and will be held accountable, for other people’s sins, and the deaths these bring.

    Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

  218. 218
    daveS says:

    SM,

    I have some neighbors three houses down. They are a lesbian couple, and I have been hearing some grumbling from other neighbors about this. I don’t think this will escalate further, but we do have our fair share of nuts who have been known to make others’ lives difficult. I would like them to feel as secure as I do and not feel the neighborhood is against them.

  219. 219
    hazel says:

    Dave writes, ” Many would just like to live their lives without harassment.”

    Correction: Most (the vast majority) would just like to live their lives without harassment.

  220. 220
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, pardon but that is not so; the tactic of “outing” alone should be enough to make the point, as well as the history in Germany. There is already enough above in the thread on the matter, I need go no further on a tangent on a matter that is not germane to focal questions. KF

    PS: Given recent events at a school in Colorado, do we need a reminder that there are other cases of relevance? Do I need to point to how Asia Bibi — who thankfully just found refuge in Canada — offended those looking to be offended by simply taking a drink of water? Do I need to point to what happened to florists and bakers?

  221. 221
    kairosfocus says:

    SM, very well and quite soundly said. I only add, we need to re-read 1984 and Animal Farm, as a reminder of where things can end up. We need to be reminded that truth says of what is that it is and of what is not that it is not. Our first intellectual duties are to truth, right reason, prudence and justice. KF

  222. 222
    Axel says:

    DaveS, re your post #211 :
    ‘…..and he doesn’t go off on unhinged rants about how the gays are plotting to destroy western civilization.’
    Well then, DaveS, they must have been destroying it by accident, since it has long been well under way ; a theme this article, notably its link given below it, expatiates upon :
    https://www.veteranstoday.com/2019/05/10/apocalypto-now-abortion-and-human-sacrifice-in-the-americas/
    http://www.culturewars.com/2007/Apocalypto.htm
    At the very least, it seems many of you haven’t been paying attention ; while J M Keynes, does appears to have been aware of it, as he commended the benefits Christianity had afforded our civilisation. However, I believe there are statistics indicating that male homosexuals tend to be unusually promiscous.

  223. 223
    hazel says:

    kf writes, “I need go no further on a tangent on a matter that is not germane to focal questions.”

    The kf writes, “PS: Given recent events at a school in Colorado, do we need a reminder that there are other cases of relevance? Do I need to point to how Asia Bibi — who thankfully just found refuge in Canada — offended those looking to be offended by simply taking a drink of water? Do I need to point to what happened to florists and bakers?”

    Interesting: kf says he needs to go no further on tangential matters, and then adds two more tangential matters. It is sometimes hard to know what is acceptable to bring up on his threads, and what is not.

  224. 224
    Brother Brian says:

    Following KF’s list of gender identity, I give you a list of Christian identity:

    Catholic
    Baptist
    Methodist
    Wesleyan
    Lutheran
    Presbyterian
    Protestant
    Pentecostal
    Charismatic
    Episcopalian
    Anglican
    Mormon
    Churches of Christ
    Congregational
    United
    Jehovah’s Witness
    Assemblies of God
    Evangelical
    Church of God
    Seventh-Day Adventist
    Eastern Orthodox
    Holiness
    Church of the Nazarene
    Disciples of Christ
    Church of the Brethren
    Mennonite
    Dutch Reform
    Apostolic
    New Apostolic
    Quaker
    Christian Science
    Full Gospel
    Christian Reform
    Independent Christian Church
    Foursquare Gospel
    Fundamentalist
    Born Again
    Salvation Army

    And this is only the American ones. It appears that gender is not the only thing with an identity crisis.

  225. 225
    hazel says:

    From Dylan’s “Hezakiah Jones”:

    He says, “Hezekiah, you believe in the Church?”
    Hezekiah says, “Well, the Church is divided, ain’t they,
    And… they can’t make up their minds.
    I’m just like them, I can’t make up mine either.”

    The whole song has great lyrics.

  226. 226
    Brother Brian says:

    Hazel

    From Dylan’s “Hezakiah Jones”:

    I am going to have to look that one up. Provide the link to KF. 🙂

  227. 227
    hazel says:

    I recommend Google, BB. This is not a song for kf.

  228. 228
  229. 229
    bornagain77 says:

    Hmmm, BB lists all the Christian denominations of America as if that refutes the gender insanity on the left. ,,, Well granted, Christians may argue over doctrinal issues within Christianity til the cows come home, but I bet they, (at least the conservative churches), are not the least bit confused over the fact that a man who believes he is a woman is in denial of reality and is therefore delusional.

    Johns Hopkins Psychiatrist: Transgender is ‘Mental Disorder;’ Sex Change ‘Biologically Impossible’
    By Michael W. Chapman | June 2, 2015
    https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/michael-w-chapman/johns-hopkins-psychiatrist-transgender-mental-disorder-sex-change

  230. 230
    Ed George says:

    BB@223, although I often share your frustration with KF, like his responses to you on the warranted gospel thread, I think this was uncalled for. Yes, there are many variations of Christianity, but the are all base on the same fundamental beliefs.

  231. 231
    Brother Brian says:

    BA77

    Hmmm, BB lists all the Christian denominations of America as if that refutes the gender insanity on the left. ,,,

    No. I was demonstrating the inanity of KF posting gender identities from a fringe group with the very real disparity in how Christianity is applied. Christianity covers everything from officiating at same sex weddings to protesting at the funerals of homosexuals who died of AIDS.

  232. 232
    bornagain77 says:

    Well just because a liberal Church who officiates gay weddings calls itself Christian does not make that Church truly Christian anymore than man calling himself a woman makes that man truly a woman.

    Pete Buttigieg doesn’t get to make up his own Christianity – April 2019
    Except: Oh, I can hear your reply before you even open your mouth, Mr. Buttigieg. It is as predictable as the sunrise. “You’re missing the point” you say. “This is not about sex. It is about marriage.” Well, aside from the transparent incongruity of this claim, let’s cut to the chase and close with this: What gives you the right to redefine a sacrament of the church? You don’t get to make up your own Christianity. You also don’t get to make up your own Jesus, and in case you missed it, He is explicitly clear on His definition of marriage: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
    No, our quarrel really isn’t with your creator, sir. Our quarrel is with you.”
    • Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, is the author of “Not A Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” (Regnery 2017).
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/apr/14/pete-buttigieg-doesnt-get-to-make-up-his-own-chris/

    At best one can say that liberal Christians, it they are deemed Christians in God’s eyes, (and who but God can know a man’s heart?), are, at best, severely confused Christians about both theology and biology.

    Verse:

    Jude 1:4
    For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

  233. 233
    hazel says:

    From Wikipedia

    No true Scotsman or appeal to purity is an informal fallacy in which one attempts to protect a universal generalization from counterexamples by changing the definition in an ad hoc fashion to exclude the counterexample.[1][2] Rather than denying the counterexample or rejecting the original claim, this fallacy modifies the subject of the assertion to exclude the specific case or others like it by rhetoric, without reference to any specific objective rule (“no true Scotsman would do such a thing”; i.e., those who perform that action are not part of our group and thus criticism of that action is not criticism of the group).[3]

    Philosophy professor Bradley Dowden explains the fallacy as an “ad hoc rescue” of a refuted generalization attempt.[1] The following is a simplified rendition of the fallacy:[4]

    Person A: “No Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge.”
    Person B: “But my uncle Angus is a Scotsman and he puts sugar on his porridge.”
    Person A: “But no true Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge.”

  234. 234
    Brother Brian says:

    BA77

    Well just because a liberal Church who officiates gay weddings calls itself Christian does not make that Church truly Christian

    But who decides what church is truly Christian? You? KF? Me?

    That has been my point all along. And I tried to present it on KF’s gospel OP when he claimed that nobody had addressing his core points (not that any of us could figure out what the were), just to find out that he had closed comments.

    So, I ask you, who determines what is the correct interpretation of the bible and god’s true teachings? The 35+ examples I provided just from the US suggests that there are as many variations as KF claims the agit-prop agenda has for gender identity. You expect me to ignore most of these Christian sects as flakes but to accept these 100 or so gender identities as being legitimately argued for. Sorry, but that is BS.

  235. 235
    bornagain77 says:

    Since you are defending the gender insanity of the left, and insisting that the Church endorse such insanity, should you not claim the “No true Scotswoman” fallacy? 🙂

    i.e. You are the one insanely arguing that a scotsman can be a scotswoman simply by believing it to be so.

    LOL,,, Ha Ha Ha,,, It is humorous that your fallacy objection can be so easily turned against your argument! 🙂

    Ha,, Ha,, Ha,,,

    Whew,,,

    “no true scotswoman fallacy! 🙂

    LOL

    Ha Ha Ha

    You guys need to get out of your dungeons more and get some better arguments!

    LOL

    ha ha ha..

  236. 236
    daveS says:

    hazel,

    Interesting: kf says he needs to go no further on tangential matters, and then adds two more tangential matters.

    JAD stated above that we heathens were baiting KF but perhaps it’s the other way around? Really makes you think …

  237. 237
    Brother Brian says:

    BA77

    Since you are defending the gender insanity of the left, and insisting that the Church endorse such insanity,

    At what point have I insisted that the church endorse anything? The point of the OP was why people are leaving the church. I presented a reason that I think is partially responsible. Frankly, I don’t care what the church does about it. All I know is that their current course will free up some prime real estate and some impressive buildings for other ventures. Possibly massage parlors or gun shops.

  238. 238
    bornagain77 says:

    BB “But who decides what church is truly Christian?”

    As I somewhat alluded to in my post at 231, God does. ,, The “adulteress church” (i.e. number 4 on the list) in the following article seems a quite fitting description for the liberal church of today

    The Seven Churches of Revelation
    https://davidjeremiah.blog/seven-churches-of-revelation-bible-study/

  239. 239
    Brother Brian says:

    BA77

    BB “But who decides what church is truly Christian?”

    As I somewhat alluded to in my post, God does.

    Fair enough. But that begs the question, why do you and KF expend all this energy to try to convince us that your flavor of Christianity is the right one? Are you really trying to convince us, or to convince yourselves.

  240. 240
    bornagain77 says:

    Well BB, since you are a dogmatic Darwinist who is impervious to reason and evidence, I have long ago given up ever trying to convince you of anything. I post mainly for unbiased readers and let them judge for themselves.

    footnote: My ‘brand’ of Christianity is first and foremost, the resurrection of Christ from the dead as a propitiation for our sins.

    You get that part right, then the rest is just minor details

  241. 241
    Brother Brian says:

    BA77, I would just like to tell you, and I say this with all sincerity, that you are much more engaging and convincing when you respond with short comments in your own words, rather than the extensive cut and paste that you are known for. Take this comment as you see fit, but I just wanted to let you know that i mean this sincerely.

  242. 242
    bornagain77 says:

    Again, I’m not here to please you. So I’ll post how I see fit. With as much evidence as I need whenever I want. Sometimes a point being made needs ample reference, sometimes it does not.
    Your personal opinion of what I write is the least of my concerns.

  243. 243
    Brother Brian says:

    BA77

    Your personal opinion of what I write is the least of my concerns.

    I think we all agree that you have far more serious issues than what my opinions are. Far, far more serious. 🙂

  244. 244
    bornagain77 says:

    “I think we all agree that you have far more serious issues than what my opinions are. Far, far more serious.”

    Says the man with a psychotic pathology against God Almighty, the creator of heaven and earth and all that is in them.

    In your psychopathic rejection of God, you have made it abundantly clear that you have absolutely no clue what “far, far more serious” issues are, nor what they could possibly be:

    Luke 12
    4 “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!

    5 Stories of People Who Saw HELL During Near Death Experiences…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2cDGKlIzQk

    Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity, General Relativity and Christianity
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4QDy1Soolo

  245. 245
    Brother Brian says:

    Hazel

    For BB only: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AicfqEyOHvc

    Thank you for that. I just listened to it. Dylan, at least in his younger years, could see through the all the BS to the root cause of social issues.

    I think that pretty much sums up my opinion of religion. There is nothing wrong with religion that couldn’t be fixed by getting rid of its pompous leadership.

  246. 246
    kairosfocus says:

    H (attn DS et al): You will note that I simply pointed to cases that give a lot of telling colour to the talking points being tossed around above. I have not elaborated, but those cases put a very unflattering light on some of what has gone on. KF

  247. 247
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, it seems fallacies of irrelevance and toxic distortion on your part know no bounds. It is true that Christians count among our sins divisiveness, something which Jn 17:20 – 23 proscribes in very strong terms. I will note that (apart from very fringe groups on the list), serious, biblically informed members of the list of denoms would instantly agree to the Nicene Creed, which can readily be shown to be an accurate summary of the historic, Apostolic, C1 founded Christian faith. We need institutional and often individual repentance, as I have called for from appropriate platforms over the years. That said, such bears no reasonable analogy to the disintegration of understanding of naturally evident, creation order complementarity of the sexes specified by our genes and biology of reproduction that is being pushed today by the alphabet soup agenda. Such disintegration goes to our core identity as persons and is manifestly absurd on its face; indeed some of the descriptions reflect and may worsen obvious psychological problems through implanting irrational notions and encouraging ill-advised behaviour. Where, such again reflects the cultural marxist oppression thesis and is blatantly anti-civilisational through contributing to further — note the implication that we have long been in serious trouble — undermining of marriage and family. I note, since the founding trio of Greek philosophy and beyond, it has been known that taming and civilising young men, harnessing prowess and sexual energy in stable directions is the number one challenge of every generation of every civilisation. We are playing with ruinous fire, in a world with nukes and other horrors in play. Our hellish, suicidal folly is manifest. The question is whether we can turn back before the cliff’s edge collapses underfoot, precipitating us into an apocalyptic horror beyond the nightmares in zombie movies. Which, reflect the underlying sense that we are on a cliff’s edge through a popular entertainment genre. KF

  248. 248
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    BB, it seems fallacies of irrelevance and toxic distortion on your part know no bounds.

    I posted a list of Christian sects in America to show how absurd the alphabet soup of denominations is. I did this as a counterpoint to your absurd posting of the alphabet soup of gender identity that you grabbed from a fringe web site. Apparently we are both guilty of toxic distortion.

  249. 249
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, I cannot but notice your fallacious misuse of the no true scotsman fallacy and the Leff grand sex WHO, to infer that there is not an objective core that identifies “the faith, once for all delivered unto the saints.” The underlying problem lies in the same refusal to attend to the core gospel and its evidentiary warrant that founds the Christian faith and challenges all worldviews that cannot address the reality of Jesus of Nazareth. The who who defines the Christian faith is he who fulfilled 300+ prophecies of messiah and was shown to be Son with power by the resurrection from the dead with 500 unstoppable eyewitnesses.By that same authentication, he was shown to be the Logos, Reason Himself, Creator and upholder of the cosmos by his powerful word. The root and core reality of ordering laws of nature. In that context, as was pointed out above but was studiously distracted from, he is the centre of legitimate authority. His sent Ambassadors, the Apostles, were authenticated as primary witnesses of truth, which we have on C1 record. That witness defines and specifies in quite objective terms, what the faith is and who is legitimately a disciple, born again, saved, in transformation of truth, power, purity. Such necessarily involves repentance and purification from sins incompatible with being a child of the Day. All this and more can be elaborated, and you already have seen but studiously ignored one of the yardsticks on moral transformation 1 Cor 6:9 – 11. Elsewhere, you have shown that you lack familiarity and facility with the scriptures, ending up in ill advised distortions. In short, there are cogent answers but as you studiously avoid addressing the core warrant for the gospel, you are in no position to handle the issue soundly. As this thread and others demonstrate. I suggest, you would be well advised to think again, starting with the Habermas minimal facts discussion. KF

  250. 250
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, the very fact that you imagine the two to be comparable shows the depth of error in drawing inappropriate analogies and using such toxically. It is noteworthy that, having a warranted corrective in front of you, you doubled down on the error. Case proved. KF

  251. 251
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    BB, the very fact that you imagine the two to be comparable shows the depth of error in drawing inappropriate analogies and using such toxically.

    I completely agree with you. The two lists are not a valid analogy. Yours is a list that nobody, other than a few conspiracy theorists, takes seriously. Mine is a government recognized, tax exempt list of real Christian denominations.

  252. 252
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Maybe I should give a summary of my advice as to when one has enough knowledge base for a responsible, semi independent exposition of scripture. On hearing a text or topic, you instantly, automatically have a cross-referenced, chronologically developed awareness of the whole counsel of scripture on the topic, with onward topics back to the core of Christian theology. Simultaneously, you should be able to recognise and correctly integrate the content of the creedal summary known as the Nicene Creed into a similar cross-referenced framework and can address or better anticipate typical objections and misunderstandings. Further, one should be able to summarise the core warrant for the Christian faith and in a nutshell answer common objections. In addition, one should be able to use standard original language tools, so that one can reasonably refer to standard explanations of key terms in the original, Strongs being the key first level source. If you cannot meet these criteria, you are in no position to responsibly expound or frame teachings soundly. Notice, I here speak at lay level; at professional level, we are talking courses in original languages, exposure to systematic theology, training in relevant disciplines and more. A professional theologian needs at least a Masters as initial level, and the research doctorate is the standard full professional level. Far too many underqualified and ill informed people venture out, imagining that they know more than they do and dismissing due correction of their blunders. KF

  253. 253
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, the lists I have put on the table are in use in policy-influencing contexts in the first instance and in the second, are used by the leading online entity, Facebook. The framing principle of separating “gender” from genetically grounded complementarity of the two sexes has been pushed by any number of entities of academic and policy influence. If one simply observes the evolution of the usual alphabet soup list (now at LGBTQI noting the T especially), one will see that it is shaped by precisely these factors and is definitely applied to policy and academic contexts. Your doubling down and attempted dismissal fail yet again. In so failing, your argument inadvertently reflects the point that the system as well as its manifestations in various lists and schemes, is absurd and indefensible on its face.Which is the precise point, we have a ruinous agenda afoot, currently destroying women’s sports and a couple of years past trying to push men into bathrooms used by young girls. There are many other associated absurdities including medical malpractice that seeks to manipulate bodies chemically and surgically to reflect imagined “gender.” KF

  254. 254
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    BB, the lists I have put on the table are in use in policy-influencing contexts…

    I’m afraid that this is just nonsense. No policy making body is looking at your gender list and taking it seriously. Feel free to provide evidence that I am wrong. Not just things like “transgendered” or “two spirited” but some of the genders you have been providing in your alphabet soup. However, the US government has granted tax free status to all of the names I provided in my list. Policy making bodies obviously taking them seriously.

  255. 255
    bornagain77 says:

    To add credence to the claim that the transgender issue is first and foremost a mental health issue,

    NEW STUDY: MORE THAN HALF OF ALL FEMALE-TO-MALE TRANSGENDER TEENS ATTEMPT SUICIDE
    05/10/2019
    https://winteryknight.com/2019/05/10/new-study-more-than-half-of-all-female-to-male-transgender-teens-attempt-suicide-2/

    Also of note:

    Why Puberty Blockers Are A Clear Danger To Children’s Health – 12/18
    As much as transgender ideologues disguised as doctors want to claim otherwise, some drugs pose serious and lasting risks to children.
    https://thefederalist.com/2018/12/14/puberty-blockers-clear-danger-childrens-health/

    and again

    Johns Hopkins Psychiatrist: Transgender is ‘Mental Disorder;’ Sex Change ‘Biologically Impossible’
    By Michael W. Chapman | June 2, 2015
    https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/michael-w-chapman/johns-hopkins-psychiatrist-transgender-mental-disorder-sex-change

  256. 256
    AaronS1978 says:

    Wow I went back to that thread to see that it was at 253 comments all of which is just bickering I don’t even know where to begin with this

    I would just say close the thread, Like I am trying to formulate some kind of comment that hasn’t already been said

    Like degrading families because we have to be mindful of a mental disorder that transgender people actually do have, Point in case that television show on TLC (Can’t remember the title of the show but it was the boys’ name) about a boy that wanted to become a girl but he was 9 or 12 (can’t remember) and his parents were pretty much forced into agreeing with his decision. This is absurd it should be the other way around that child doesn’t know what he wants to be at that point and things can definitely change once you hit puberty.
    Having such a controversial surgery or hormonal treatment at such a young age is ridiculous but it’s allowed now! 

    That’s wrong there’s no reason to ruin a family or bend to something that’s only been really prevalent over the past 10 years, and to be honest with you really only since Bruce Jenner apparently came out and said I’m definitely a transgender, which blew the roof off of everything, to the point that South Park has made fun of it, Just a couple years ago I saw something on YouTube making fun of the 740 different types of gender identification. The video was pulled Because it was offensive. And I know that this is existed for longer than just 10 years it didn’t just spontaneously come into existence I get this, But it’s only been in the past 10 years that it became super prevalent.

    A recent study came out showing that there is a high rate of mental disorders in the LBGT community, Yet nobody wants to address this because it might offend the people with mental disorders.

    If there something wrong with them we need to help them but we can’t help them because, well, we will offend them

    BB77 Already posted multi studies about that and They are promptly ignored.

    Lastly the two list that were provided one is just a list of religions ( Christianity and it’s different flavors of vanilla) And the transgender community.

    So I see the parallel, The,”check this out, all of these religions have identities that are different from one another. But that’s it it’s just a parallel it’s like connecting dots.

    The other issue I have with that is pointing out that religions have tax exempt status many organizations have tax exempt status, I work at a bank I see it all the time not just religions. Hell individuals can file for tax exempt status if they meet the proper requirements.
    So it’s hard for me to see why repeatedly bringing up that religions have tax exempt status has anything to do with this short of trying to demonize them and insinuate that they’re bad people because transgender don’t have tax exempt status, but Christianity that supposedly has an identity crisis just like transgender, does. This is an asking for an explanation this is insinuating an insult

    Now The religions in question have affectively the exact same core belief “believe in Jesus son of God”. Secondly, the reason for the different divisions had nothing to do with identity crisis. The primary schism happened with Catholicism and Protestantism over behaviors that were being taken with in the church that we’re not exactly kosher. This schism gave birth to all the different Christianity as you see today, short of a few.

    Mormons are kind of off but all the other religions pretty much have the same core belief

    On the flipside, the apparently fraudulent or stupid list provided by ABC news (which at that point if they are trash we should discard every other three letter news station such as CNN and NBC) Is a list of people with possible psychological disorders that to be honest with you, need help, more than a lot of people can provide.

    I am sure the smart ass comment will be used here so I’ll just get this out there right now because that seems to be the attitude of this thread, “I would consider religious people crazy too”

    But that seems to be the attitude of this thread it’s not really about discussing anything it’s about discrediting people and insulting.

  257. 257
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, you simply do not know the facts but decide to dismiss as if you are master of facts. Then you insist on a false analogy already corrected, again ignoring material facts on the table. That ends the subject, demonstrating the root problem. KF

  258. 258
    kairosfocus says:

    AS & BA 77, indeed, there is a serious problem, one that has unfortunately led to distortions of society and to what can only be rightly termed medical malpractice. KF

  259. 259
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Refocussing.

    On the table is a warrant regarding the core gospel message, which is foundational to the civilisation which has come down to us.In effect, the Christian synthesis of the heritage of Jerusalem, Athens and Rome framed what became Christendom and has come down to us today, now usually styled Western Civilisation. The just linked also discusses through Schaeffer’s framework, how for hundreds of years, there has been a growing push in thought, culture and general society to split apart “grace and nature” or reason and revelation, leading to a breakdown of the unifying core in both worldviews and cultural agendas. This reflects the classic problem of the one and the many.

    In our time,the OP notes that there has been a longstanding push of dechristianisation and radical secularisation, culminating in a situation where, if one lists Christians by denom, “none” now comes out at the top of the list, alongside Catholicism and Evangelicalism. As a previous OP noted:

    “‘Religious nones’ as they are called by researchers, are a diverse group made up of atheists, agnostics, the spiritual, and those who are no specific organized religion in particular. A rejection of organized religion is the common thread they share,” CNN reports.

    “It is the first time we have seen this. The same questions have been asked for 44 years,” political scientist and Baptist pastor Ryan Burge told CNN. Timothy Meads, “ICYMI: ‘No Religion’ Now As Popular As Catholicism, Evangelicalism” at Townhall

    Of course, this is a grab-bag category and a bit of an anomaly as a result. However, it does surface serious questions on how we form our worldviews and how we respond to readily accessible — but increasingly marginalised and often disdained — evidence that the gospel core of the Christian faith (thus the integral gospel ethics of turning from a sinful lifestyle through repentance) is actually strongly warranted. In turn, this is driven by the consideration that our thought-life is under moral government i/l/o duties to truth, right reason (thus warrant), prudence, justice etc.

    So, in part, the study tracks the degree to which many have been led to doubt or dismiss that warrant, in the teeth of its actual strength.

    Which, is not a healthy sign for the state of our civilisation (not to mention, our souls).

    That’s why the already linked has in it a provocative remark, i/l/o the significance of serious explanatory alternatives given the twelve minimal facts about Jesus of Nazareth:

    This, then, is the guilty secret at the heart of today’s hyperskepticism toward, dismissal of, apostasy from and hostility against the historic Christian faith: the evidence that warrants that faith is not only credible but strong. (I add: especially, once blatant question-begging through anti-supernaturalistic prejudice is off the table . . .

    We need to soberly deal with this matter.

    It is time for a fresh conversation, including on how the logic of being points to a necessary being world root, and how our existence as morally governed creatures leads to the need for a root of reality capable of grounding ought. Where, there is precisely one serious candidate . . . if you think not, kindly provide an alternative: ________ and warrant on comparative difficulties: ________. (Much harder to do than to dismiss rhetorically or studiously ignore.)

    Namely, the inherently good, utterly wise creator God, a necessary and maximally great being. One, worthy of our loyalty and of the responsible, reasonable service of doing the good that accords with our manifest nature. This last, pointing to the significance of the natural moral law that is attested by functional consciences.

    In this context, we can see the significance of Cicero’s observation in de Legibus, c. 50 BC:

    —Marcus [in de Legibus, introductory remarks,. C1 BC]: . . . the subject of our present discussion . . . comprehends the universal principles of equity and law. In such a discussion therefore on the great moral law of nature, the practice of the civil law can occupy but an insignificant and subordinate station. For according to our idea, we shall have to explain the true nature of moral justice, which is congenial and correspondent [36]with the true nature of man. We shall have to examine those principles of legislation by which all political states should be governed. And last of all, shall we have to speak of those laws and customs which are framed for the use and convenience of particular peoples, which regulate the civic and municipal affairs of the citizens, and which are known by the title of civil laws.

    Quintus [his real-life brother]. —You take a noble view of the subject, my brother, and go to the fountain–head of moral truth, in order to throw light on the whole science of jurisprudence: while those who confine their legal studies to the civil law too often grow less familiar with the arts of justice than with those of litigation.

    Marcus. —Your observation, my Quintus, is not quite correct. It is not so much the science of law that produces litigation, as the ignorance of it, (potius ignoratio juris litigiosa est quam scientia) . . . . With respect to the true principle of justice, many learned men have maintained that it springs from Law. I hardly know if their opinion be not correct, at least, according to their own definition; for “Law (say they) is the highest reason, implanted in nature, which prescribes those things which ought to be done, and forbids the contrary.” This, they think, is apparent from the converse of the proposition; because this same reason, when it [37]is confirmed and established in men’s minds, is the law of all their actions.

    They therefore conceive that the voice of conscience is a law, that moral prudence is a law, whose operation is to urge us to good actions, and restrain us from evil ones. They think, too, that the Greek name for law (NOMOS), which is derived from NEMO, to distribute, implies the very nature of the thing, that is, to give every man his due. [–> this implies a definition of justice as the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities] For my part, I imagine that the moral essence of law is better expressed by its Latin name, (lex), which conveys the idea of selection or discrimination. According to the Greeks, therefore, the name of law implies an equitable distribution of goods: according to the Romans, an equitable discrimination between good and evil.

    The true definition of law should, however, include both these characteristics. And this being granted as an almost self–evident proposition, the origin of justice is to be sought in the divine law of eternal and immutable morality. This indeed is the true energy of nature, the very soul and essence of wisdom, the test of virtue and vice.

    It is time for a fresh, sober-minded conversation.

    KF

  260. 260
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N 2: Continuing . . .

    We may now set out to frame how that natural moral law may be drawn out, by using a first principles approach, for instance:

    1] The first self evident moral truth is that we are inescapably under the government of ought.

    (This is manifest in even an objector’s implication in the questions, challenges and arguments that s/he would advance, that we are in the wrong and there is something to be avoided about that. That is, even the objector inadvertently implies that we OUGHT to do, think, aim for and say the right. Not even the hyperskeptical objector can escape this truth. Patent absurdity on attempted denial.)

    2] Second self evident truth, we discern that some things are right and others are wrong by a compass-sense we term conscience which guides our thought. (Again, objectors depend on a sense of guilt/ urgency to be right not wrong on our part to give their points persuasive force. See what would be undermined should conscience be deadened or dismissed universally? Sawing off the branch on which we all must sit.)

    3] Third, were this sense of conscience and linked sense that we can make responsibly free, rational decisions to be a delusion, we would at once descend into a status of grand delusion in which there is no good ground for confidence in our self-understanding. (That is, we look at an infinite regress of Plato’s cave worlds: once such a principle of grand global delusion is injected, there is no firewall so the perception of level one delusion is subject to the same issue, and this level two perception too, ad infinitum; landing in patent absurdity.)

    4] Fourth, we are objectively under obligation of OUGHT. That is, despite any particular person’s (or group’s or august council’s or majority’s) wishes or claims to the contrary, such obligation credibly holds to moral certainty. That is, it would be irresponsible, foolish and unwise for us to act and try to live otherwise.

    5] Fifth, this cumulative framework of moral government under OUGHT is the basis for the manifest core principles of the natural moral law under which we find ourselves obligated to the right the good, the true etc. Where also, patently, we struggle to live up to what we acknowledge or imply we ought to do.

    6] Sixth, this means we live in a world in which being under core, generally understood principles of natural moral law is coherent and factually adequate, thus calling for a world-understanding in which OUGHT is properly grounded at root level. (Thus worldviews that can soundly meet this test are the only truly viable ones. If a worldview does not have in it a world-root level IS that can simultaneously ground OUGHT — so that IS and OUGHT are inextricably fused at that level, it fails decisively.*)

    7] Seventh, in light of the above, even the weakest and most voiceless of us thus has a natural right to life, liberty, the pursuit of fulfillment of one’s sense of what s/he ought to be (“happiness”). This includes the young child, the unborn and more. (We see here the concept that rights are binding moral expectations of others to provide respect in regards to us because of our inherent status as human beings, members of the community of valuable neighbours. Where also who is my neighbour was forever answered by the parable of the Good Samaritan. Likewise, there can be no right to demand of or compel my neighbour that s/he upholds me and enables me in the wrong — including under false colour of law through lawfare; usurping the sword of justice to impose a ruthless policy agenda in fundamental breach of that civil peace which must ever pivot on manifest justice. To justly claim a right, one must first be in the right.)

    8] Eighth, like unto the seventh, such may only be circumscribed or limited for good cause. Such as, reciprocal obligation to cherish and not harm neighbour of equal, equally valuable nature in community and in the wider world of the common brotherhood of humanity.

    9] Ninth, this is the context in which it becomes self evidently wrong, wicked and evil to kidnap, sexually torture and murder a young child or the like as concrete cases in point that show that might and/or manipulation do not make ‘right,’ ‘truth,’ ‘worth,’ ‘justice,’ ‘fairness,’ ‘law’ etc. That is, anything that expresses or implies the nihilist’s credo is morally absurd.

    10] Tenth, this entails that in civil society with government, justice is a principal task of legitimate government. In short, nihilistic will to power untempered by the primacy of justice is its own refutation in any type of state. Where, justice is the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities. (In Aristotle’s terms as cited by Hooker: “because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like .”) Thus also,

    11] Eleventh, that government is and ought to be subject to audit, reformation and if necessary replacement should it fail sufficiently badly and incorrigibly.

    (NB: This is a requisite of accountability for justice, and the suggestion or implication of some views across time, that government can reasonably be unaccountable to the governed, is its own refutation, reflecting — again — nihilistic will to power; which is automatically absurd. This truth involves the issue that finite, fallible, morally struggling men acting as civil authorities in the face of changing times and situations as well as in the face of the tendency of power to corrupt, need to be open to remonstrance and reformation — or if they become resistant to reasonable appeal, there must be effective means of replacement. Hence, the principle that the general election is an insitutionalised regular solemn assembly of the people for audit and reform or if needs be replacement of government gone bad. But this is by no means an endorsement of the notion that a manipulated mob bent on a march of folly has a right to do as it pleases.)

    12] Twelfth, the attempt to deny or dismiss such a general framework of moral governance invariably lands in shipwreck of incoherence and absurdity. As, has been seen in outline. But that does not mean that the attempt is not going to be made, so there is a mutual obligation of frank and fair correction and restraint of evil.
    _______________

    * F/N: After centuries of debates and assessment of alternatives per comparative difficulties, there is in fact just one serious candidate to be such a grounding IS: the inherently good creator God, a necessary and maximally great being worthy of ultimate loyalty and the reasonable responsible service of doing the good in accord with our manifestly evident nature. (And instantly, such generic ethical theism answers also to the accusation oh this is “religion”; that term being used as a dirty word — no, this is philosophy. If you doubt this, simply put forth a different candidate that meets the required criteria and passes the comparative difficulties test: _________ . Likewise, an inherently good, maximally great being will not be arbitrary or deceitful etc, that is why such is fully worthy of ultimate loyalty and the reasonable, responsible service of doing the good in accord with our manifestly evident nature. As a serious candidate necessary being, such would be eternal and embedded in the frame for a world to exist at all. Thus such a candidate is either impossible as a square circle is impossible due to mutual ruin of core characteristics, or else it is actual. For simple instance no world is possible without two-ness in it, a necessary basis for distinct identity inter alia.

    So, we can see how a stable community can be built, framed on responsible, reasonable principles, many of them manifestations of the sort of natural law that Cicero and many others have discussed. In this framework, responsible government may then extend through civil law framed on justice and good community order.

    KF

  261. 261
    Brother Brian says:

    AaronS1978@256, I agree that children should not be given hormones or surgery for the purpose of transgenering. We don’t allow them to drive, drink or vote because they are not emotionally or physically developed enough to handle it. However, once they reach the age of majority, and want to transgender, go for it.

    I have personal experience with this issue. A young man in my office entered my office and informed me that he was going to start hormone treatments for the purpose of transgendering. In the two years since she announced this, her absenteeism has declined, her productivity has increased and her coworkers, with the exception of one, have all been supportive. I fired the exception and I have no regrets over doing so.

    With regard to the two lists the reason I mention their tax free status was to explain that the 30+ flavors of Christianity are recognized by the policy makers. I didn’t intend to infer that it was actually about the tax free status. My apologies. The reason I justaposed my list with KF’s was to demonstrate the inanity of his inference that policy makers anywhere were taking this list seriously. I could have used any list of government recognized organizations of similar nature (eg, amateur sports associations) but I used Christian sects/denominations as I felt it was apprise given KF’s claims.

  262. 262
    bornagain77 says:

    Someone is ignoring the obvious mental illness of transgenders living in denial of biological reality, (which is a mental illness that Darwinists themselves also happen to suffer from),

    In the psychology of human behavior, denialism is a person’s choice to deny reality as a way to avoid a psychologically uncomfortable truth.
    Denialism – Wikipedia

    Denying reality is also commonly referred to as being delusional. Insisting that laws be enacted to make the transgender’s denial of reality a ‘right’ in which the transgender can, by force of law, upset social norms for the vast majority of the population, (such as male and female locker rooms, ‘males’ playing female sports, male and female bathrooms etc.. etc..), is a call for widespread “social psychosis” .

    Here is a deeper look at the ‘real’ mental illness behind transgenders:

    The Transgender Movement and ‘Gender Identity’ in the Law
    By Peter Sprigg Senior Fellow for Policy Studies
    Virtually all people have a biological sex, identifiable at birth and immutable through life, which makes them either male or female. The transgender movement represents a denial of this physical reality.
    A Mental Disorder
    The belief that one is, or the desire to be, of a different “gender identity” from one’s biological sex has long been recognized as a mental disorder.[i] Psychiatrist Sander Breiner declares, “[W]hen an adult who is normal in appearance and functioning believes there is something ugly or defective in their appearance . . . there is a psychological problem.”[ii] Another psychiatrist, Rick Fitzgibbons, calls it “a fixed false belief . . . specifically a delusion.”[iii] Psychiatrist Paul McHugh declares, “It is a disorder of the mind. Not a disorder of the body.”[iv]

    Those who choose not to live with the “gender identity” that corresponds to their biological sex are known as “transgender” persons. (Note: The tiny number of persons who are “intersexed”—born with a mix of male and female genetic or biological characteristics—are in a separate category and are not considered “transgender.”[v])

    After extensive lobbying by transgender activists, the American Psychiatric Association changed the diagnosis of “Gender Identity Disorder” to “Gender Dysphoria” in 2013. It remains on the list of disorders, though, because, “To get insurance coverage for the medical treatments, individuals need a diagnosis.”[vi]

    Causes and Treatment of “Gender Dysphoria”

    While causality is difficult to determine, those who identify as transgender are more likely to have been victims of child sexual abuse or to have a history of trauma, loss, and family disruption.[vii]

    Susan Bradley, M.D. and Kenneth J. Zucker of the University of Toronto, leading experts in gender dysphoria in children, have declared that “clinicians should be optimistic, not nihilistic, about the possibility of helping the children to become more secure in their gender identity.”[viii] Psychiatrists have reported that gender dysphoria often occurs with other mental health problems in adults, and that it “improved in parallel during treatment” for those conditions.[ix]

    “Gender Reassignment” Surgery

    Full transition involves hormone treatments, breast surgery (removal or implants), other cosmetic surgery, genital reconstruction, and a change of personal identification. However, not every person seeking to live as the other sex will undergo surgery.[x]

    These surgical procedures are not always successful and can be extremely painful.[xi] A lifetime of hormone treatments can also have profound physical and psychological consequences.[xii] Psychiatrist Jon Meyer concluded that “surgery is not a proper treatment for a psychiatric disorder and it is clear to me that these patients have severe psychological problems that do not go away following surgery.”[xiii] High rates of suicide exist even among those who have already received gender reassignment surgery, which suggests that suicidal tendencies result from an underlying pathology.[xiv]
    https://www.frc.org/transgenderidentity
    Click here to read the entire paper
    https://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF16B28.pdf

  263. 263
    bornagain77 says:

    A Pediatrician Explains How ‘Dangerous’ Equality Act Would Force Doctors to ‘Do Harm’ – May 10, 2019
    Excerpt: Doctors who are uncomfortable prescribing hormone treatments or doing gender reassignment surgeries could soon potentially be in violation of federal law, warns Dr. Michelle Cretella, a pediatrician and executive director of the American College of Pediatricians. And they’re not the only ones at risk: Parents, too, could find themselves unable to decide on their own child’s medical treatment. Read our interview with Cretella, posted below, or listen to it on the podcast:
    https://www.dailysignal.com/2019/05/10/a-pediatrician-explains-how-dangerous-equality-act-would-force-doctors-to-do-harm/?

  264. 264
    bornagain77 says:

    8th Place: A High School Girl’s Life After Transgender Students Join Her Sport
    ,,, A junior, Selina missed qualifying for the 55-meter in the New England regionals by two spots. Two spots, she said, that were taken by biological boys.
    Had the boys who identify as girls not been allowed to compete, Selina would have placed sixth, qualifying to run the 55 in front of college coaches at the New England regionals.
    Instead, she placed eighth, watching the 55 from the sidelines after qualifying in only the long jump, an event in which the transgender athletes didn’t compete.,,,
    https://www.dailysignal.com/2019/05/06/8th-place-high-school-girls-speak-out-on-getting-beat-by-biological-boys/

    Why aren’t all the women’s rights people on the left up in arms about stuff like this?

  265. 265
    Brother Brian says:

    I would like to scroll back to something someone said up-thread but I don’t recall the name, and I don’t have enough time to shear her for it. It had to do with homosexual promiscuity and using it as one of the arguments against same sex marriage. I assume the argument is that because of higher promiscuity, homosexuals would be incapable of being monogamous. However, using the same rationale, we should be taking steps to prevent blacks from marrying. After all, STD rates among blacks are much higher than other races.

  266. 266
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, I just saw the latest from you. FYI, the evidence is the setting up of a “marriage” under colour of law does not stop the promiscuity; this is of course reflective of the underlying transgressivity involved. More to the point, you cannot declare the tail of a sheep is a leg and announce by word magic, it has five legs. Marriage is part of our genetically stamped law of nature and no magic words under colour of law can change what ‘ent into what is. Despite any sez who fallacies to the contrary. The fundamental crooked yardstick here, is the notion that by word magic, we make law as we please. Nope, that’s nihilism, whether of a judge or a panel or a parliament or a referendum makes no difference. Worse, in this context, the nihilism imposes what, in strict terms, is sacrilegious blasphemy and demands that people warp conscience to approve of wrong under colour of being right. That is trying to undo the 1648 Westphalia settlements that lie behind key freedom of conscience and expression provisions in bills of rights. That, predictably, on long, sad, bloody history, will not end well. Going further, it is part of an agenda with no limit that is disrupting identity, implications of biology, societal provisions that protect women in the public and many more things. These things will not end well. But then, whoever said that prudence was a natural state of a democratic polity that is prone to the Plato style mutiny on the ship of state? KF

    PS: I note your racially loaded, ill-advised comment in passing.

  267. 267
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    Marriage is part of our genetically stamped law of nature and no magic words under colour of law can change what ‘ent into what is. Despite any sez who fallacies to the contrary.

    No, marriage is a human/society made institution. At various times it has been different things. Society is well within its rights to decide what marriage is.

    PS: I note your racially loaded, ill-advised comment in passing.

    There was nothing ill-advised about it. I pointed out the fact that an identifiable group in the US (African Americans) have promiscuity/STD rates more than double that of other races because the suggestion was being made that marriage should be denied another identifiable group because of higher rates of promiscuity/STDs. If marriage should be restricted due to high promiscuity/STD rates of an identifiable group, it should apply to all groups with high promiscuity/STD rates.

  268. 268
    kairosfocus says:

    BB,

    it is an implication of self-refuting evolutionary materialism, that the only possible laws are the ones we make up. It is also an implication of the same philosophy that our being morally governed and being able to actually reason are delusions. And in that context law and justice reduce to might makes ‘right.’ The whole scheme thus falsifies itself as well as exposing itself as anti-civilisational, ruinous nihilism.

    So, we must turn instead to a world framework that has room for a rational life governed by duties of care to truth, right reason, prudence and justice. In that context, as Cicero long since pointed out, law is highest reason, concerning the just and prudent, so what we ought to or ought not to do.

    Within such a framework, marriage is part of the law of our nature, reflecting the existence and complementarity of the two sexes as well as relationship stability for sound child nurture. It is not an arbitrary contractual arrangement that whoever grabs power can do with it what he or she wants. But then, the mutineers think they can do as they p[lease on Plato’s ship of state, never mind ruinous consequences.

    Playing carelessly and heedlessly with fire is liable to set off a conflagration that no one can control, costing losses that we cannot afford.

    That’s why a sound civilisation does not cede power to nihilists and their absurd ideologies.

    Unfortunately, the soundness of our civilisation is very much in doubt at this stage.

    KF

    PS: You have also chosen to double down on a largely irrelevant, racially loaded claim, showing a tin ear. If you had said widespread promiscuity, that would be one thing. Singling out like you did on a factor (skin colour and associated racial features) that is in itself irrelevant to a morally governed behaviour is completely another and is at best ill advised.

  269. 269
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Plato’s warning, 2360 years ago:

    Ath [in The Laws, Bk X 2,350+ ya]. . . .[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [i.e the classical “material” elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art . . . [such that] all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only [ –> that is, evolutionary materialism is ancient and would trace all things to blind chance and mechanical necessity] . . . .

    [Thus, they hold] that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.-

    [ –> Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT, leading to an effectively arbitrary foundation only for morality, ethics and law: accident of personal preference, the ebbs and flows of power politics, accidents of history and and the shifting sands of manipulated community opinion driven by “winds and waves of doctrine and the cunning craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming . . . ” cf a video on Plato’s parable of the cave; from the perspective of pondering who set up the manipulative shadow-shows, why.]

    These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might,

    [ –> Evolutionary materialism — having no IS that can properly ground OUGHT — leads to the promotion of amorality on which the only basis for “OUGHT” is seen to be might (and manipulation: might in “spin”) . . . ]

    and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [ –> Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality “naturally” leads to continual contentions and power struggles influenced by that amorality at the hands of ruthless power hungry nihilistic agendas], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is,to live in real dominion over others [ –> such amoral and/or nihilistic factions, if they gain power, “naturally” tend towards ruthless abuse and arbitrariness . . . they have not learned the habits nor accepted the principles of mutual respect, justice, fairness and keeping the civil peace of justice, so they will want to deceive, manipulate and crush — as the consistent history of radical revolutions over the past 250 years so plainly shows again and again], and not in legal subjection to them [–> nihilistic will to power not the spirit of justice and lawfulness].

    We ignore this at our peril.

    KF

  270. 270
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N2: There is indeed a high rate of promiscuity, adultery and other forms sexually immoral behaviour. That in itself is a strong sign of how much trouble our civilisation is in. This sort of behaviour has also been known (since at least Augustine, on record) as warping one’s moral sense; that is already a pointer to one reason for widespread spiritual break down as warned against in Eph 4:17 – 24 ff. What we need is a reformation, but until people are convinced the alternative is ruin, that is not likely. We are in a moral hazard race towards a cliff-edge and need strong alternative leadership to call us to turn back before the edge crumbles underfoot. I am not prepared to bet on prudence saving the day; that’s why I think we are in for a wild ride over a cliff’s edge with a very hard, painful awakening as we hit rock bottom. An awakening that comes at a cost we can ill afford. KF

  271. 271
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Let us not overlook the guilty secret factor:

    the guilty secret at the heart of today’s hyperskepticism toward, dismissal of, apostasy from and hostility against the historic Christian faith: the evidence that warrants that faith is not only credible but strong. (I add: especially, once blatant question-begging through anti-supernaturalistic prejudice is off the table.

  272. 272
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    Playing carelessly and heedlessly with fire is liable to set off a conflagration that no one can control, costing losses that we cannot afford.

    Yet same sex marriage has been the law in many jurisdictions for almost 15 years and none of the earned dire consequences have come to pass.

    Singling out like you did on a factor (skin colour and associated racial features) that is in itself irrelevant to a morally governed behaviour is completely another and is at best ill advised.

    Then why were you not as vociferous in your objection when the same argument was used because some homosexuals are promiscuous. The argument is either fallacious for all or for none.

  273. 273
    daveS says:

    KF,

    We are in a moral hazard race towards a cliff-edge and need strong alternative leadership to call us to turn back before the edge crumbles underfoot. I am not prepared to bet on prudence saving the day; that’s why I think we are in for a wild ride over a cliff’s edge with a very hard, painful awakening as we hit rock bottom.

    Several of my Christian friends (and my wife) also think similarly, but are not especially worried—that’s just how the Great Tribulation is going to be. It will be followed by the Second Coming anyway. All this is supposed to happen in the not-too-distant future, perhaps even within our lifetimes.

    On the other hand, I, like you, am concerned about threats that various issues (energy, fresh water etc.) present to our Earthly existence. I’m not particularly worried about otherwise well-behaved couples rubbing “wrong” bodyparts together.

  274. 274
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, it is clear that disintegration has set in, but as the initial breakdowns are what you want (notice the deeply flawed positivist view of law . . . a warning sign!) you do not see the cliff’s edge.That reminds me of the recent court decision applauded by many that because they get what they wish they do not see the deadly danger of the notion that a judge can unilaterally rewrite a constitution from his bench. KF

  275. 275
    daveS says:

    KF,

    Do you believe that same-sex marriage will ever be illegal anywhere in the US again?

  276. 276
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, I think last days fatalism is an error. On reading my Bible, at Pentecost, Peter spoke of “in these last days” as we also see in Heb 1. Messiah is eschatological, and arguably the frame extends to Jeremiah and Daniel: 2,600 years so far, the time when God goes global, then as gospel goes, revival meets resistance by riot. And riot is very bad governance in any of the nations that are created by and accountable to God. Where, God is creator of the nations and the gospel has an intrinsic ethical component which is part of how it teaches the nations. Including as we can see in Alfred’s Book of Dooms and in Justinian’s Corpus Juris Civilis (in its embedded textbook, the Institutes) — not perfect, but instructive. So, too, the parables of the stewards found wanting should serve as warning enough that we must not be found idle or refusing to teach the nations i/l/o Messiah. Where, Gal 3:14 is clear that in the seed of Abraham, the blessing of Abraham is come to any nation that will but receive it. So, the current guilty secret of our civilisation is a bad sign, and it is tied to the Rom 1 collapse of ethics and good order that marks communities in stubborn rebellion against what they know or should acknowledge concerning their Creator. I can find no justification whatsoever for enabling error by silence; especially ruinous error. The lesson of the White Rose movement on how the idolatry of political messianism works ruin should also be noted. I think too that Schaeffer’s thought on the line of despair has somewhat to teach. DV, more later, today, I handed over a draft. KF

  277. 277
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, wrong question. The question that gives me nightmares and day stallions is, will the US survive the current tidal waves and moral collapse, along with Britain, France and Germany? As for the little archipelago to the south, who knows? KF

    PS: Do you not see how gender mania is leading to disintegration of even personal identity, much less family and community order?

  278. 278
    daveS says:

    KF,

    Do you not see how gender mania is leading to disintegration of even personal identity, much less family and community order?

    Based on what I observe in real life (rather than fever-swamps such as Breitbart), we are facing some genuine issues as we come to terms with the fact that not all of us fit neatly into the gender roles dictated to us by our genitalia. How to deal with children experiencing this, for example.

    I don’t care much about gender, to be honest, so I’m not the person to ask about this. I think of myself simply as a citizen of the Cosmos.

  279. 279
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, first, these issues are active in national and international legal contexts, so your oh its just news sites I don’t like, dismissal fails. Second, it is clear that already, we have had cases of indoctrination down to 4 & 5 year olds under cover of compulsory education, e.g. Birmingham (as well as the usual nonsense at Colleges). Third, it is clear that we all know or should know the reason for XY and XX chromosomes; that sets the norm, and the fairly rare people with particular medical or psychosocial problems can and have been recognised and responded to appropriately. What is going on is very different, an ideological agenda of dubious character, and it is already being reflected in distortion of marriage, family, law and personal identity, all of which are foundational to sound community. KF

  280. 280
    daveS says:

    KF,

    Third, it is clear that we all know or should know the reason for XY and XX chromosomes; that sets the norm, and the fairly rare people with particular medical or psychosocial problems can and have been recognised and responded to appropriately.

    Sorry to be blunt, but I suspect you have no idea what you are talking about. Perhaps we should listen to the people who have experienced these issues firsthand?

  281. 281
    hazel says:

    Yes, I seriously doubt that the people kf refers to would agree that they have been “responded to appropriately.”

  282. 282
  283. 283
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    BB, it is clear that disintegration has set in,…

    Can you provide some real examples of how same sex marriage has contributed to the disintegration of civilization. But none of this “it has weakened marriage” nonsense.

    That reminds me of the recent court decision applauded by many that because they get what they wish they do not see the deadly danger of the notion that a judge can unilaterally rewrite a constitution from his bench.

    I must have missed the specifics on the ruling you are referring to. But that is irrelevant. Courts are tasked to interpret laws with respect to the constitution. By their nature, all rulings are going to be divisive. They wouldn’t end up in court if they weren’t. A constitiution is not, and should never be, carved in stone. Cultures and civilizations change. In the last 150+ years we have seen dramatic population increases and a shift from rural to urban living. As well, we have seen dramatic changes in technology and medicine, infant mortality rates and longevity. These changes often require modifications or amendments to constitutions. If a people and its government oppose a court ruling, they have the power to draft new, clearer laws or to amend the constitution. Our government and judiciary are far from perfect, but I will take it any day over a theocracy.

  284. 284
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, you are talking in ignorance of relevant facts, and no I do not have to provide a proof to you. I will simply state that unelected, electorally unaccountable judges should never be in effect rewriting specific provisions of a Constitution, simply on principles of democratic self government. In this case, there is a further specific provision for judges to recommend amendment if they feel that is advisable, which was ignored and marks a further usurpation. In, a case of an instrument passed by referendum as part of its enactment process scarcely a decade ago. Nor is there a question of “theocracy,” which these days too often is a projection to distract from clear will to power manipulations under false colour of law. Perhaps, you will be able to explain for us how moral government, starting with that of the mind through duties to truth, right reason, prudence and justice arises without foundering on the IS-OUGHT gap, on the radical secularism you seem to advocate: ______ . KF

  285. 285
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    BB, you are talking in ignorance of relevant facts, and no I do not have to provide a proof to you.

    With respect, without some examples that we can discuss your cautions are little better than the guy standing on the street corner wearing a sandwich board with “The End is Nigh” on it.

    I will simply state that unelected, electorally unaccountable judges should never be in effect rewriting specific provisions of a Constitution…

    As I have no idea what rulings you are talking about I have no idea if this is really happening or you simply do not agree with a specific ruling. Maybe I can use an example that I heard about up in Canada. The government of the day passed a law that effectively banned doctor assisted suicide. This law was taken to the supreme court and the court ruled, rightly in my opinion, that the law violated the charter of rights and freedoms. This wasn’t the court rewriting the constitution, it was the court ruling on a law with respect to protections under the constitution. There was nothing stopping the government from redrafting the law in such a way that the charter rights were protected, and the court actually recommended that the government do this. To the best of my knowledge, the government didn’t.

  286. 286
    kairosfocus says:

    H, perhaps, the incident BA77 highlighted involving a leading practitioner and censorship of views rooted in that practice and related analysis is relevant. KF

  287. 287
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, you have made my point for all to see. You know nothing about a specific case being appealed by a Government on precisely the grounds that lawmaking (and this involves constitutional provisions here) is the remit of a different governmental process, but are speaking dismissively and are projecting stereotypes including “theocracy.” KF

  288. 288
    hazel says:

    I get the feeling that kf doesn’t understand and/or accept the role of the judicial branch in the United States: you know, the ol’ balance of power, three branches thing.

  289. 289
    Brother Brian says:

    KF, you are still refusing to provide examples of how SSM has caused a decline in civilization or mentioned what court ruling you are talking about. If you have provided this information up-thread just provide the comment number.

  290. 290
    kairosfocus says:

    H,

    I am NOT speaking of the USA but of a Westminster Parliamentary jurisdiction with a written Constitution in part passed by a referendum process. And, radical judicial activism in the USA is actually part of a much wider problem that tends towards undermining legitimacy of the present governmental order. I am, for cause, seriously concerned that the days of the sort of liberty we have enjoyed are numbered.

    BB

    If destabilisation of Constitutional law (including things coming from the Westphalia settlement) does not register with you, nothing will. Nor will the point that pretending that the tail of a sheep is a fifth leg through word magic cannot confer the necessary reality.

    KF

  291. 291
    Brother Brian says:

    Hazel

    I get the feeling that kf doesn’t understand and/or accept the role of the judicial branch in the United States:

    I think that he understands it. But you are probably correct in that he doesn’t accept it. Or, at least, doesn’t accept it when they pass a ruling he disagrees with. It is no secret that he thinks that Roe v Wade was an example of the court rewriting the constitution. But I guarantee you that if the court ever overthrows Roe, he will support their ruling. Even though there will be millions of others who will claim that it is an example of the court rewriting the constitution.

    The fact that he refuses to provide any examples of the downfall of civilization caused by SSM (or gender identify issues), or specifics on court decisions that are rewriting the constitution, speaks volumes.

  292. 292
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, there is dangerous judicial activism tantamount to re-writing the Constitution in the USA. That is not the case I am speaking to, where actual text in one clause establishing a procedure is being flouted and actual text in another place is being in effect re-written, and on the claim that it is established that courts can rewrite Constitutions like that. If you do not see that that is a very dangerous pattern of behaviour, then it is revealing that you cannot see it. KF

    PS: I further think that you are missing the significance of intelligible, built in law of our morally governed nature that Governments, courts or referenda can only acknowledge. If they try to rewrite to suit their preferences or agendas, all they can do is to write unjust oppressive decrees under colour of law. The global holocaust of our living posterity in the womb 800+ millions and adding up at a million more per week, is a capital case in point and it shows a failure to understand where the right to life comes from and why it is the first right. In the American case, there is an asymmetry: a court may properly recognise the right to life, but in robbing a class of living unborn children of that recognition all they have done is to enable holocaust under colour of law. Which is as I have long said, the central evil of our day. For, blood-guilt is the most corrupting influence of all.

    PPS: That you refuse to acknowledge signs of civilisation disintegration in progress speaks volumes about what you will not acknowledge. It does not affect the reality of a civilisation stubbornly heading for ruin.

  293. 293
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    That is not the case I am speaking to, where actual text in one clause establishing a procedure is being flouted and actual text in another place is being in effect re-written, and on the claim that it is established that courts can rewrite Constitutions like that. If you do not see that that is a very dangerous pattern of behaviour, then it is revealing that you cannot see it..

    Damn. KF, you still have not done anything other than claim that some court has rewritten a constitution, somewhere, sometime. Do you have a specific example or not? If not…”THE END IS NIGH” will be your epitaph.

    That you refuse to acknowledge signs of civilisation disintegration in progress speaks volumes about what you will not acknowledge.

    That I refuse to acknowledge signs of civilization disintegration in progress, when I have not observed any, and even after you have refused to provide any examples after being repeatedly asked, definitely speaks volumes. I worked in a sewage treatment plant for ten years, so there is no need to mention the volumes I am speaking of.

  294. 294
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, the case is very real, I do not need to prove its reality to you, though your reaction is quite revealing. Second, a major sign of where our civilisation is is precisely the ongoing abortion holocaust which ever so many refuse to acknowledge, by far the worst in human history and mounting up at a Nazi holocaust every two months, approaching a Stalin democide every year, about a Mao every two years. Further, your reaction to the distortion and breakdown of a keystone institution, Marriage, family, individuality is telling. Our duty is to acknowledge evident reality (i.e. to truth), failure in this basic task of mind does not change that reality, here, growing evidence of civilisational chaos, confusion, undermining, disintegration. KF

  295. 295
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    BB, the case is very real, I do not need to prove its reality to you,…

    The case may be very real. But it mystifies me why you refuse to reveal any details about it. This approach definitely does not support your argument. But you are certainly entitled to keep the facts supporting your argument secret.

    Second, a major sign of where our civilisation is is precisely the ongoing abortion holocaust which ever so many refuse to acknowledge,

    Sorry, but I wasn’t aware that the abortion issue was caused by same sex marriage. Could you connect the dots for me please?

  296. 296
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    Further, your reaction to the distortion and breakdown of a keystone institution, Marriage, family, individuality is telling.

    Really? I’m pretty sure that my marriage and family is the exact same now as it was 15 years ago, just before same sex marriage became legal. I am curious? Is your marriage and family any less? If so, might I suggest that the problem is with you and the commitment you brought in to your marriage, and not the fact that two men can now exchange wedding vows?

  297. 297
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, your resort to strawman fallacy just now is further telling. I will note that the lawlessness, benumbing and en-darkening that enabled the abortion holocaust are opening the door to more and more, even as the slippery slope’s ratcheting action leads ever closer to the point of collapse. The very fact that you imagine that marriage can be arbitrarily redefined through word magic under colour of law in the teeth of manifest evidence from our nature and function as male and female, underscores the point. FYI, marriage is not a contract that can be changed at will once the balance of power shifts on Plato’s mutinous ship of state. KF

    PS: You may find here a useful balancing perspective: https://uncommondescent.com/laws/logic-first-principles-20-what-is-law/

  298. 298
    daveS says:

    KF,

    Speaking of colors, recall this.

    And these 90+ year old women, finally getting married after 72 years together (5 years after it was legalized in their state).

    Does it not warm the cockles of your heart just a bit?

  299. 299
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, try as you might, you face the issue of foundations, what is law? In answering that, you will find the answer to your attempts to dress up calling a sheep’s tail a leg as somehow conferring the required reality of being a leg. Fail. KF

  300. 300
    daveS says:

    KF,

    I’m just asking about your emotional response to those pictures. This is where you’re supposed to empathize with those who have experienced so much abuse over the decades finally having their relationship recognized. Like when the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes in one day. Do these pictures bring you no joy whatsoever?

    Looking back, I have to say June 26, 2015 was one of the happiest days of my life, at least in the last decade or so, even though I don’t have that many connections to gay and lesbian people. Further, Americans seem to have accepted the change without much fuss, and it’s extremely unlikely that it will be undone, I’m glad to say.

  301. 301
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, I must weep then pray over those who are doing grave harm to their souls and who are caught up in an agenda of ruin for our civilisation. KF

  302. 302
    daveS says:

    I doubt they are “caught up” in anything; that suggests a lack of agency. Rather they (and others like them) are making a deliberate decision to marry, based on their life experience, and most likely do not endorse the destruction of our civilization.

  303. 303
    Brother Brian says:

    DaveS

    Speaking of colors, recall this.

    🙂

  304. 304
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    DS, I must weep then pray over those who are doing grave harm to their souls and who are caught up in an agenda of ruin for our civilisation.

    Any God who would damn someone’s soul simply because they find love with someone of the same sex is a God that is not worth worshipping. And I fail to see how two people in a long term committed relationship are hastening the ruin of civilization.

    Neither the government nor the church have a place in the bedrooms of the nation.

  305. 305
    doubter says:

    It s interesting that the article writer completely ignores what is a growing segment of the population: those who would self-identify as “spiritual but not religious”. Those who reject established religions with all their pomp and circumstance and rituals and inerrant holy books and tithe-consuming clergy, but who also reject materialism and atheism and who still know there is a God and a human incorporeal spirit, and survival of death. Probably this ignoring is because it also is a trend that threatens established Christian churches as much or more than aggressive atheists.

  306. 306
    Brother Brian says:

    Doubter@305, I didn’t read it that way. I thought it was clear that the survey was talking about people not associating themselves with a specific religion, but in many cases still retaining spirituality. I didn’t interpret this as becoming atheist.

    I have many friends who are spiritual, believe in a higher being, but completely reject the God portrayed by Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

    Most of this thread, when it hasn’t veered off into accusations and insults, and anti gay rants, has been about why people are leaving organized religion. I suggested that the approach towards homosexuality was a significant factor. But far from the only one. I think another reason, not touched on above, is that people are choosing to spend more of their family time with the family, doing things that they can all enjoy. If God exists, surely he doesn’t give a rat’s ass if people are going to a church. I would think that he would think (I know, presumptuous of me 🙂 ) that it is far more important to spend quality time with your family than to sit in a church and listen to someone, who God has not ordained, to preach to you about what God has ordained.

  307. 307
    PaoloV says:

    There seems to be much terminology confusion with fundamental concepts.

    Christianity is not a religion. It’s a personal relationship between every Christian and his/her Savior/Lord.

    In religions salvation is at the end.
    In Christianity salvation is at the beginning.

    That’s why religious people try to do things to please God and thus hope to get His favor.

    In Christianity we try to please God because we already got His favor first. We do it in return to His amazing grace.

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