Tyler D, the mental gymnastics necessary to reconcile the tribal god Yahweh to
the universal God of brotherly (philia)love.The commandments, “You
shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You
shall not steal,” “You shall not covet and whatever other command
there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love(*agape ,not eros
love) your neighbor as yourself.” *Love does no harm to a neighbor.
Therefore *love is the fulfillment of the law.(Romans 13: 9-10)When
a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn't he have a right to use the same
lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into?
God has every right to exercise his judgment and his power, but he also has the
right to be very patient with those who are the objects of his judgment and are
fit only for destruction..(Romans (9:21-22 NLT).The seven feasts in
Lev 23 that were given to Israel: Significance 1. Seasonal 2. Memorial of
God’s dealing with the Herews. 3. Prophetic symbolism of God , all
fulfilled in Christ, Passover, Yom Kippur.
@donnTo my ear, those sound like equivocations handed down by
bookish theologians.Regarding the Old Testament I only heard
snippets growing up, but when I read it as an adult I was honestly horrified at
the level of barbarism. I saw only glimpses of the God Jesus talked about…
instead Yahweh struck me as a vain, jealous, wrathful tribal god who sanctioned
rape, killing, slavery and a whole host of other cruelties.It’s interesting to me that large segments of early Christians (e.g.,
Marcion, Gnostics, etc…) wanted to jettison the OT altogether. I wonder if
Christianity would be better served had that decision been made. At
the very least we would not be forced to do the mental gymnastics necessary to
reconcile the tribal god Yahweh to the universal God of brotherly love.
RE: Tyler D, The Bible condemns homosexuality is also in the same book that
condemns a laundry list of actions that no one today believes raises any moral
dilemma (e.g., eating shell fish or wearing certain cloth?The O. T.
requirements is that they were part of the Law of Moses and specifically for the
Israelites. That Law was fulfilled with the sacrifice by Jesus on the cross The
ceremonial was fulfilled . But not the Moral Law: The moral laws, ,
relate to justice and judgment and are often translated as "ordinances."
And are to be based on God's holy nature. As such, the ordinances are holy,
just, and unchanging. Their purpose is to promote the welfare of those who obey.
The value of the laws is considered obvious by reason and common sense. The
moral law encompasses regulations on justice, respect, and sexual conduct, and
includes the Ten Commandments. It also includes penalties for failure to obey
the ordinances. Moral law does not point people to Christ; it merely illuminates
the fallen state of all mankind.
Tyler - Thank you again for your comments. I am enjoying our conversation.My understanding on the Old Testament requirements is that they were
part of the Law of Moses and specifically for the Israelites. That Law was
fulfilled with the sacrifice by Jesus on the cross. Now there is a new
covenant. Since more recent scripture speaks of homosexuality as sin, as do the
modern-day prophets of my church, I follow those teachings. We are
absolutely on the same page when it comes to the "letter" of the law.
There is hypocrisy everywhere, and it is the one thing Jesus spoke most
forcefully about. As his follower, I should strive to do the same. I hope my
comments convey that feeling. I am sure some members of my church would think I
am condemned because I vote Democratic and do not unquestioningly follow a
certain talk-show host (Mr Beck specifically).Thanks again for you
comments....all the best to you as well.
@RedWings"Government is in my religion when they establish a
protected class and then punish a church for not supporting that class."Could you be more specific on that? How in any way is the government
threatening to punish a church for not supporting gays?Do you mean
that, if churches get involved in trying to defeat gay rights legislation,
they're threatened with losing their tax-exempt status? But that would
only be fair, since gays pay taxes and churches don't.Do you
mean the constantly-claimed threat by churches that the government will force
them to perform gay marriages, even if that goes against those churches'
beliefs?It's been specified in every piece of gay marriage
legislation that I'm aware of, that any church which can't accept gay
marriage will be exempt from performing them.Why, anyway, would gays
want to celebrate their love in a church which condemns that love? Maybe a few
ultra-activists would demand that "on principle," but I doubt it could
ever be implemented.So could you please tell us how government is
trying to get your church to support gays?
@RedWingsAgain, thoughtful comments…My point was
simply that if one takes the entire Bible as the literal word of God (vs. the
writings of Bronze Age men doing their best in their own time & culture) and
is going to follow it to the letter, it would be very easy to slip into
hypocrisy if one were to pick and choose which directions apply to our world
today and which do not.And if you’re not going to pick &
choose, wouldn’t that require that you do not eat shell fish, do not wear
blended fabrics, and stone your neighbor when you see him mowing his lawn on
Sunday (at the very least glare at him menacingly)? Perhaps the
answer lies in what Paul said – “the letter kills but the Spirit
gives life.” And perhaps we should be mindful that the folks Jesus
consistently called out were the hypocrites and the ones following the letter of
the law without love in their hearts.But it sounds like you know
this already and so I applaud you for it… best to you.
Tyler D:Thanks you for your comment.First, there are
many New Testament scriptures which condemn homosexuality: Romans 1:27, 1 Cor
6:9, 1 Tim 1:10, Jude 1:7. I believe that the power of procreation are meant
only to be used by one man and one woman in the bonds of marriage. That said, I understand that others do not share my belief. We all have our
Agency, or freed to choose our actions. For me to restrict that in others is to
go against God. Christ loved the sinners but hated the sin. As His follower, I
should be expected to do no less.I have no animosity toward anyone
for their choices. I do not fear gay people; I have had many friends and
associates that are gay. I do not love them less because of this. And I am not
saying that homosexuality is a "choice". However, I cannot
say I follow Jesus if I do not have the integrity to try to follow His
commandments and doctrines.....
I think Lennay Kekau should have given the prayer. That would have solved the
The purpose of religion is to enslave the minds of men. The reason for religion
is to control the efforts and wealth of people by playing on the most primary
drive of all life, the drive to survive. The fear of death is the greatest and
most universal weakness of all human beings and it provides the avenue to get
inside a persons head. Religion is good, it gives a person the calm
determination to do good. But beyond the individual religion has a terrible
reputation. In all of history there is little to show the good that religion
has done for civilization and the general welfare of people, but there are
mountains of evidence of the harm. The actions of religions betray
their true nature. If they were truly the voice of God and had a path to
everlasting life they would have no need to advertise and thrust their cause in
our faces. Yet they do so with their public displays of jewelry, clothing,
mannerisms, buildings and insistence that others follow their lead. It is their great power that we must fear and prevent them from taking over
no fit...most people in Utah probably think a man can pray anywhere he is at,
that it does NOT require a special person to do it for them, and God that will
hear them regardless.Oddly enough, in the predominant Utah religion,
lay people are saying the prayers and running things on a daily basis. I am not
certain anyone in Utah, that belongs to that church, is upset with a lay person
giving the prayer at the inauguration. If they are, they probably need to
reconsider their position, and simply be thankful a prayer was said, at all.
Those that think Obama is not a socialist need to learn what
socialism is...because he is absolutely doing things in a socialist way. And I
doubt that Obama loves this country, if he did, he wouldn't be consistently
doing things that divide us. His wife is on record saying quite the opposite of
herself, as well. I think Obama loves power, as do far too many politicians,
and that leads to doing things that benefit the people you owe, instead of
benefiting the country.
@RedWings – “The Bible is clear that homosexuality is sin.”I liked most of what you wrote… it sounded thoughtful and
reasonable and not at all like much of the knee jerk hate speech we so often see
on this topic.But I would ask that you reflect on what you wrote
above. I think you’ll find that where the Bible condemns homosexuality is
also in the same book that condemns a laundry list of actions that no one today
believes raises any moral dilemma (e.g., eating shell fish or wearing certain
cloth). And this is also the same book that requires you to stone
people for all sorts of offenses – working on Sunday, being a non-virgin
on your wedding night, worshipping other Gods (sorry Hindus). So
the question is, why are some religious folks today focusing solely on this one
issue when they have clearly (and rightly) discarded most of the other
directions found in books like Leviticus and Deuteronomy?
To explain my comment from yesterday:Government is in my religion
when they establish a protected class and then punish a church for not
supporting that class. Gay marriage laws have turned homosexuality into a
protected status, then states threaten to remove tax-exempt status or punish
individuals for running their business by their Christian values.The
Bible is clear that homosexuality is sin. Believing the Bible does not make me
a bigot. It is telling that the Bible never changes, but society does.I have gay friends. Sexual preference is not a determining factor in our
friendships. We just don't talk about it. We are all Children of God, and
He loves us all the same. Even those who deny His existence.This
whole problem goes away if government sanctions civil unions, and churches
perform marriages. That is probably too easy a solution for a society that just
wants to argue.And BTW - I voted for Obama. The threat of seeing
the poor die in the streets under a Pres Romney was more scary to me than a
president who supports gay marriage.We CAN all get along, it just
takes a little work.....
To SSOh how wrong you are that America was built on Christian
values "The Government of the United States of America is not,
in any sense, founded on the Christian religion..." Our founding Fathers
1797! It is amazing how misinformed so many of our citizens truly
So gays, now that you are free of oppression, and have power, what will you do
As a direct rebuttal against the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, newly elected
President Thomas Jefferson reminded the country what I remind everyone today:"And let us reflect that, having banished from our land that
religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet
gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked,
and capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions."But every
difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We are all Republicans.
We are all [Democrats]. If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this
Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments
of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left
free to combat it."The only danger to American freedom is the
abandonment of reason, for then error of opinion runs amok and we return to the
dark and bloody days when religiously-appointed and sustained tyrants ruled the
Much ado about nothing IMVHO.
Who teaches honesty? I know government punishes the liar, but the
lesson there is "Don't get caught." We're creating
a nation of thieves and liars if we don't at least admit that many virtues
require supernatural faith to expect most to adhere to it. What
motives does a man have to be kind, or share his wealth with the downtroddden?
Government takes a man's means, but there's no charity in
it, because of compulsion. Yet, in this country millions give billions every
year of their own free will to causes that matter motivated solely due to good
will. Who will teach good? Government teaches what is
popular, what is acceptable by consensus, but good comes by inspiration not
committees. Good requires sacrifice and fortitude of spirit, and compassion in
the face of incomplete understanding. Justice? Patience? Mercy?
Faith? Hope? Grace? Kindness? Service? Holiness? Decency? Self-discipline?
Tolerance? Morality and so forth? All require a nod toward the Divine--toward a
desire that reaches beyond. (Isaiah 5:13) Therefore my people are
gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men
are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst
RE: Xscribe,A government without religion is exactly what we need!??Obedience to God’s word(The Bible) is the only way you l have protection
from this: In 2011 Planned Parenthood performed abortion every 94 seconds. (A)First abortion (B)then Homosexual marriage, (C) Is paedophilia next on
the Liberal agenda ? In 1976 the(liberal) National Council for Civil
Liberties, the respectable (and responsible) pressure group now known as
Liberty, made a submission to parliament's criminal law revision committee.
It caused barely a ripple. "Childhood sexual experiences, willingly engaged
in with an adult," it read, "result in no identifiable damage …
The real need is a change in the attitude which assumes that all cases of
paedophilia result in lasting damage
Sure, lots of prayers being offered. I have one. I pray this next four years
go rapidly before our eyes and pray America gets out of this...alive!
If a Christian nation had been the intent of the founders, they would have put
that in the Constitution, front and center. Yet the text of the Constitution
contains no references to God, Jesus Christ, or Christianity. That document does
not state that our country is an officially Christian nation. The First
Amendment bars all laws “respecting an establishment of religion”
and protects “the free exercise thereof.” Nothing here indicates
that the latter provision applies only to Christian faiths. The
Declaration’s reference to “the Creator” is plainly deistic so
no support of Christianity there! Key founders such as James Madison and Thomas
Jefferson opposed mixing church and state. The key Founders were not
Conservative Christians and likely would not have supported an officially
Christian nation. The Christian nation founded on Christian principals is a myth
that has many supporters among the religious right, but that doesn’t mean
it has validity. History supports that The Constitution is a secular document,
and nowhere does it appeal to Christianity as a guiding force. SS needs to
further his/her reading of history because history doesn't support his/her
@ Mister J,You don't get Christian principles without a Christian
religion.@Pac_Man,Again, I point you in the direction of a
history book for your answer as to what Christian principles built this country.
You can read so many instances where the founding fathers quoted from the bible
and used prayer as guidance in making decisions that shaped the future of the
young nation. Even the prayer offered today at the inauguration is a tradition
that has been handed down from them. People like to make everything
a technicality and use word play to twist what is the truth. This is a Christian
nation built on Christian principles, which came from the Christian religion. I
will say again, if you don't like it you don't have to accept it, but
you have absolutely no right to try and erase that history, nor do you have the
right to get rid of it in our current society.
Can't remember seeing so much hubbub over a bigger non-issue. But thank you
all (a fair number of you at least) for reminding me of the genius of Jefferson
and the "wall of separation."
George W. had moral issues. Cheney was foul-mouthed. But apparently those guys
were okay? Why is that?
Hey, Miss Piggy, what was Bush's approval rating when he left office? What
was his highest and lowest? Bush came in when the country was doing well, had a
90 percent approval rate, and squandered that down to 25 by the time he left
office.Obama came in when the country was going down the tubes, had
a 69 percent approval rate. It went as low as 38, and now he enjoys a 51
percent approval rate, kind of the difference in the vote. Seems to me Obama
has had a consistent approval rating, and Bush plunged like a stone in water.
90 to 25, and you're going to bring up that Obama is at 51?
I do not like the changes our current leadership represents, its that simple. (
and its my right not to like them) During the election Obama used terms like
"we support equality" as though they are the only ones! It just seems to
me that Americans are not well represented when the President takes an in your
face attitude and that is what I see more often than not from him. In my opinion the President USES religion, if we look at his past affiliations
with a Radical Anti white preacher and then his shift to a more moderate
position for the election then his choice of a foul mouthed VP and the use of
Disgraced and immoral Bill Clinton during the election...well its clear to me he
is a man with zero morals period! So for him to say "So help me God"
during his swearing is to me is a mockery of religion and God period.
Ronald Reagan in one of his sppeches talked about separation of Church and
State . It was for the protection Of the Churches from the Goverment. not
word for word but the same meaning. I think you can find his speeches of
religion on u tube
I expect all the Constitutional fundamentalists, knowing that the saintly
Founding Men kept religious ceremony separate from the inaugural ritual, will
now demand the same. That is, unless their constitutional fundamentalism is no
more than rhetoric, or is limited only to the Second Amendment and the
implements of violence.
Aaaahhhh healthy debate. One of the things that makes this country great. No
problem with who said the prayer, just glad that there was a prayer. For those
who say we shouldn't have prayers, what does it matter? If you don't
believe in it, no harm, if you do believe in it then you believe it helps this
country. Prayer is a right that you don't have to participate in. You are
more than free to ignore it, turn on your ipod, etc.
@ Whoa Nellie: If you don't want a government without religion, you are in
the wrong country.Although the Declaration of Independence is one of
out founding documents, it is not actually a governing document.The
governing document is the Constitution, and the only mentions of religion it has
are to stress that there is not a religious litmus test for a position in
government, that individuals have freedom of religion, and it states the date as
"Year of Our Lord."That's it. There is nothing in the
Constitution that directly ties the government of the United States to any
Why do we have to pray at every government ceremony and function, if there was
less prayin maybe there would be less friction among the good christian folk, I
dont think the atheists would say much about who didnt get to pray.
@WastintimeYour words reminded me of the many accounts of Near-Death
Experiences I've read over the years.According to most people
who have had those experiences, we're asked to review our lives on "the
other side"--not by a harsh,judgmental Ruler ready to cast us into hell, but
by a loving Source who wants us to learn from our mistakes.And there
are two emphases to this review:(1) How much did we try to learn
while we were in this life?(2) How much did we love while we were in
this life?No one was ever asked, "What religion were you while
you were in this life?"
Continually looking for reasons to take offense or excuses to justify offense
merely hardens hearts and numbs the soul. Strip away all the
labels--Protestant, Catholic, Atheist and the titles--Bishop, Pastor, Priest,
President--they are all man's conventions. We will one day stand before
God--naked--except for our hearts and souls. It isn't going to matter the
labels we used, all that matters is how we treated our brothers and sisters--did
we love them as ourselves? Did we love them as God loves us? Stop
using religion as a political tool, before you turn all away from God and
This is beyond absurd. Of the myriad real-world pressing challenges we face as
nation, conservatives decide that >>who's praying
I, too want religion in my government. I want it to be my religion, however,
because yours is kind of flaky. I say that with all due respect, because we both
bring the same evidence to the table. That being the case, maybe we're
better off to keep religion personal, and out of government.
If there was any "religious tension" present in today's
Inauguration speech, it is the tension created by media sources like the Deseret
News. I think we would all agree that both "religion" and
"government" have made worthy contributions to humanity (BTW, the
opposite is also true).Let's not fall in the trap of
ostracizing one another about the merits of either. By doing so, we are only
carrying out the "tensions" that a particular segment of the media wants
to confer upon us.
I am truly grateful that the President has chosen to be inclusive of many groups
in this country - I would not be surprised if Jesus were to do exactly the same
thing. If we profess to be true Disciples of Christ, perhaps the President
provides us all with a valuable example and lesson.
@Fred44:"Regardless of your political persuasion this was a great
speech filled with hope and belief in the greatness of America."This was nothing but political rhetoric. His hop and belief is to turn
America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, into the land of
socialism and the home of wealth redistribution. "Is it
racism..."Typical Obama supporter... when you get in a bind play
the race card."The President has an approval rating around
50%..."Almost a repeat of Jimmy Carter."...the
republicans in congress have a single digit approval rating."Most of which are Democrats.@Wonder:"Miss Piggie, you
are not telling the truth. You did not have to pay any penalty on your 2012 tax
return for not 'signing up' for Obamacare."Now you
tell me. I could-a been watching the ceremony... with a clothespin on my nose.
"Telling lies is a big no no..."Tell that to the
guy who just pledged to uphold the US Constitution.
Many of you may be unaware that there are some religious faiths who keep their
churches open all of the time. For example, Catholics may go to Mass every day
and pray at their Catholic Church throughout most of the day. Possibly
some people may find this helpful in their lives? One could investigate.
Possibly this could be initiated at their church? Those who have a great
need for prayer to be just the way they choose, by a special person they select,
and at a place they find to their liking.....Could that solve the
With the endorsement of the LGBT by Obama, has started the downfall of this
country. We do need religion in Government. A country without religion in
Government will slowly and completely waste away. The Constitution of this
country, a divine document is on the verge of hanging by a thread by the
incompetence of this individual who calls himself a President.
Even as a Christian, I don't understand why people think this country was
"founded on Christian principles."What does that mean
exactly? The country was founded on a system of government that does not exist
in the Bible or any scripture. Nor are there are not ethereal principles
inherent in this country's founding that are distinctive Christian.
As much as a significant volume of evangelicals and Utahns have shunned all
things Obama, I wish to point out that he has shown himself to value religion
time and time again. All the associations he has had have been way too dissected
to represent everything Obama is at his core, catering to negative views some
conservatives wish for him to have for condemnation. Differing
opinions is not a negative. I understand that. Hopefully they will be sustained
in a democratic tradition, one outside of unreasonable one sided opposition,
which is not constructive in a democracy in my view. We can support
our president and still oppose him at times. It's not that complicated.
Respecting Obama's efforts as president is all together different than
inductively objecting everything Obama does as communist before legitimate
examination. President Obama loves this country, and buying into
cable news slanderous propaganda aimed on making him non-American and socialist
at every turn are very dogmatically paranoid and unfair. Be not like a
delusional Glenn Beck, and see things in a fair and balanced way (NOT Fox News
The widow of slain civil rights hero isn't allowed to pray? It is one
prayer out of millions that will be offered this day. Some people need to get
To SS...***Principles not religion. Big difference. ***You and
your ilk w/ the conform or leave diatribe are getting old.
On a day when we celebrate a group of people changing our country for the better
through protests, we must also remember it is also Christian principle to do so.
The founding fathers welcomed protests and assembly and free speech its in the
constitution. If you don't like it do something, run for office, get an
initiative, write your representative, protest, Don't just leave, make a
All of you objecting to religion should read a little about history. Maybe the
Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. Go read a history book. This
country was founded on Christian principles and wouldn't be the same
country today without them. If you don't like it you are free to leave.
It's your God given right!
To keep government out of religion, keep religion out of government.
A government without religion is exactly what we need!
On this day we who are religious should be grateful that the president chose to
say, "So help me God" when taking the oath of office. We should be
grateful for the prayers in inaugural events. Who cares who said them? I
can't see how someone else's ecumenical prayer ever hurt an athiest;
no one is being coerced into saying "Amen."
I love the choice of Mrs. Evers-Williams as choice to do a prayer. On Dr. Martin
Luther King Jr. Day and being a survivor of her own husband being killed at the
hands of racists, her having hope in our country and God makes her more than an
appropriate choice for this duty. My own faith believes in a lay clergy and it
isn't necessary for "clergy" to have to say a prayer, any prayer or
My entire life I've heard prayers delivered by non-clergy. Why is it an
"Christian conservatives are asking what these choices say about their place
in broader society. Does their absence from the inaugural podium mean
they're being pushed out of public life?"I certainly hope
so! Self-important self-righteousness is what causes so many Utahns to display
their ugly unpatriotic ranting. Keep your religious beliefs OUT of my face. I
don't care how "christian" you are, screaming foul doesn't
convince me at all.
As a gay man, I've made this point before regarding, e.g., Giglio. But I
think it bears repeating.Gays are *not* looking for conservative
Christians (or anyone else) to approve of gay relationships. it's a free
country. and we accept everyone's right to say what they believe.What we *won't* accept, and continually fight against, is anyone's
using inflammatory language toward us (or toward any other group of productive,
law-abiding Americans).It's one thing to say, "I don't
believe God accepts homosexuality." Fine, no problem.It's
quite another to call us "an abomination" (Giglio) or "similar to
incest and pedophilia" (Warren).So, no, we're not trying to
push traditional Christians off the stage. But we refuse to let ourselves be
cast by them (or by anyone else) as demons. We've been subjected to too
much violence already because of that.No more.
Lol.Ok.Tell me how my government is in your religion?And no, accepting my tax dollars to help fund your religion apparently
does not count.
A government without religion has no place in my country.
Since when did the clergy have the corner on prayer?
Pagan - Your government has no place in my religion
Your religion has no place in my government.