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Comment: Four reasons the Christian and Jewish faiths are set to approve equal marriage

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  1. The Catholic Church will never accept a definition of marriage other than “one man, one woman”. Other sects and religions may.

    1. John-Paul 2 May 2012, 4:52pm

      jean, jean, jean!!! review the history books… the catholic church will never accept a definition of marriage other than one (white) man and one (white) woman…..oops, they already did!!
      I can’t wait till the catholics take the gays up the isle!

      1. “The world is changing”. Correct, it’s returning to the barbarity of the Roman Empire.

    2. The catholic church can go and &%$£ itself.

    3. Robert in S. Kensington 2 May 2012, 7:38pm

      Who care is the catholic cult accepts it or not? It’s numbers are declining rapidly and will continue to do so while it remains stuck in the middle ages, much like Islam. Others have moved on and more will follow. The catholic cult doesn’t own any marriage, none of them do. In America, 98% of catholic women of child bearing age use or have used birth control in defiance of the teaching of its tenets and the majority of catholics support equal civil marriage. It’s irrelevant what the catholic cult says.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 2 May 2012, 7:42pm

        Four catholic countries have introduced equal civil marriage, proof again, catholicism is irrelevant.

      2. Robert in S. Kensington 2 May 2012, 7:43pm

        Who cares if the catholic cult accepts it or not I meant to have stated…my apologies.

      3. Catholic numbers are increasingy globally. Get your facts right or risk people ignoring you.

        Btw, calling a religion a “cult” just because you dislike it makes you sound like a twit. Just sayin’.

        1. Like the way you use ‘sect’?
          You seem to be a pupil in the Joanna Bogle School of Catholic Historical Perspectives and Debating Skills.

      4. How are it’s numbers declining? They’ve increased by 500 million over the last 60 years!

    4. Like it never stopped condemning capitalism, or defending slavery, or gave up burning heretics….Oh, wait…

  2. Great article. I really enjoyed it. Well written and compelling and deserves to be read widely.

  3. de Villiers 2 May 2012, 5:11pm

    I agreed with the sentiments behind the article but it displayed no understanding of why religions, particularly Catholicism, opposes homosexuality. The reference to marriage being a sacrament in the 16th century and the issue of celibacy hitherto ignores the old testament – where the first commandment is for procreation (peru ra’vu – go forth and multiply).

    The suggestion that “the evidence of scripture today… suggests God is cool with variations” does nothing to persuade religious people of the error of their interpretation.

    It seems that people are forever content to argue past each other – arguing against their own conception of their opponent’s positions whilst never truly understanding them. Hence meaningless references to “sky fairies” from atheists and “homosexualist rights” from the religious.

    1. Perhaps you could enlighten us as to why Catholicism opposes homosexuality.

      1. Paddyswurds 2 May 2012, 5:59pm

        I@James E…
        ….if they make a big enough noise about homosexuality, no one will notice that their whole edifice is dedicated to misogyny and paedophilia…

      2. A rather twisted history of scapegoatism dating to the late (tradtionally aclaimed) Roman Empire.

    2. Paddyswurds 2 May 2012, 5:55pm

      ….”(peru ra’vu – go forth and multiply).” pity the sky fairy didn’t think that little gem through when he “created one man and one woman” and left the murder Cain without a woman, so that he had to jump his mothers bones in order to comply. …and incest, paedophilia and murder has been a tenet of the Abrahamic cults ever since……

      1. Paddyswurds 2 May 2012, 7:19pm

        murder** obv.

        1. Paddyswurds 2 May 2012, 9:43pm

          oops the murderer Cain….. **

  4. Pointless article. Don’t tell US this. Go and tell those who are trading in hatred, and clean up your own bloody house.

  5. Alan Austin 2 May 2012, 6:35pm

    Interesting comments. Thank you.

    Would you agree that there have in fact been many major changes in doctrine through the centuries?
    And that these have served to correct former errors in understanding?
    Have you read the John Jay reports (linked in the article)?

    @de Villiers:
    Re “no understanding of why religions, particularly Catholicism, opposes homosexuality.”
    Fair enough. Perhaps it was implied in the four changes of understanding postulated, rather than stated explicitly.
    A somewhat whimsical reflection on the Biblical passages which have led to the Judeao-Christian opposition to same-sex unions is here:

    Don’t worry too much. The debate is raging well and truly within the religious communities. And the conservative traditionalists are now getting what is referred to Downunder as the rough end of the pineapple …

  6. Dr Jonathan Sachs has yet to comment on the equal marriage consultation. I doubt very much that he is against the idea-but I very much hope that in the future he will find it in his heart to give it his blessing.

  7. Lumi Bast 2 May 2012, 8:03pm

    I don’t give a damn what Christianity and Judaism do because they’re hateful religions that blindly follow made up books that are homophobic, sexist, pro sacrifice and murder, pro rape, etc.

    Christianity and Judaism both need to realize that civil marriage is none of their business and they have no say in it. I don’t follow their evil religions, I shouldn’t be forced to follow it’s pathetic laws/rules.

    1. Alan Austin 2 May 2012, 9:11pm

      So, Lumi, would you be heartened and encouraged to learn that many Christian and Jewish communities are now abandonning their hate, their homophobia, their sexism, their blindnesses and their other iniquitous former beliefs?
      Or would this disappoint you?

      1. Alan i meet Christians all of the time. Very few mention homosexuality. I attended a festival recently of around 7,000 Christians,went to 10 seminars and various bible studies and it was barely mentioned. The focus was really on mission in the many areas where people are suffering. Jesus said nothing about homosexuality. With the Samarian woman at the well he was counter cultural dealing with both sexism and racism. The beatitudes are purely about equality, but before God not sexuality. Christians are defending marriage as reflective of Gods procreative plan as something distinct from loving relationships. I know of no Christian who hates homosexuals, but what i do notice is homophobia in the wider non christian community. With regard to Lumis comment, there is no distinction in law between civil and religious marriage and any change in the law will remove by force a central sacrament of the church. I get very depressed how often the word homophobia gets misused.

        1. You are very selective about whom you mix with or listen to or are taking a very potent mind-bending drug. Get real.

      2. Christianity and the Bible itself is homophobic, but if Christians and Jews can look past it, I’d be happy. They’re responsible for a LOT of the homophobia here in the US, and in the UK too.

        1. Alan Austin 3 May 2012, 7:20am

          But Lumi, that is the point of the article.
          Christianity and the Bible are not intrinsically homophobic.
          Yes, the last 250 years or so have been a period in Church history when homophobia has taken root and flourished. But it was not always so.
          Here in France, Allan Tulchin has discovered from parish records.that ceremonies of affrèrement joined unrelated same-gender couples in life long unions which raised family, held property jointly, and were in all respects the same as or equivalent to marriages in terms of law and social custom.
          And as the article above claims, “Biblical historians now increasingly think that the Bible condemns homosexual rape, temple prostitution and coercive or abusive acts. But not loving, monogamous same-sex unions, as previously misinterpreted.” Follow the link for a reputable scholar who has analysed the texts in detail.
          So there are definitely signs of hope that both churches and synagogues are emerging from this homophobic phase.

        2. Lumi Bast 3 May 2012, 6:46pm

          The Bible IS homophobic, it’s blatant, just like it’s misogynistic, pro sacrifice, and pro slavery. If Christians want to be real Christians, they’ll be homophobic but if they don’t want to be brainwashed and they want to see the light then they’ll be pro LGB

          1. Alan Austin 3 May 2012, 7:58pm

            Lumi, I still think it’s a matter of interpretation.
            We read in the Old Testament about David and Jonathan’s intimate relationship. How intimate is not clear. We are told they kissed each other and wept together. We read that the union caused Jonathan’s father great anger because of “your own shame and the shame of the mother who bore you.” Their love was “wonderful, more wonderful than that of women.”
            We also read that Ruth clave unto Naomi. We just don’t know precisely what ‘to cleave’ means here. But it is the same word – dabaq – as used in Genesis 2:24: a man shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
            We know “God brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs”.
            And there are intriguing New Testament passages about eunuchs, who appear to be what we would call LGBTQ people today.
            Yes, Biblical interpretation in recent decades has been homophobic. No question. But that the Bible is intrinsically homophobic seems not so clear.

      3. @ Graham (it won’t let me hit reply)
        I don’t know where you live, but I know most Christians HATE homosexuality and the majority of them are homophobic, here in the US. It’s also very rare to meet a non religious homophobe.

        Homophobia means either being afraid of homosexuals or disagreeing with/disliking homosexuality and/or homosexual sex, being against same sex marriage. Most Christians fit that description.

        There is no distinction between civil marriage and religious marriage in the legal sense because all are civil in the end, but what I’m saying is have marriages performed by religious people/buildings be up to the individual person/building so those of us who wish to have a non religious marriage can do so without it affecting religious freedom of others.

        Marriage is the joining of two people who want to make a commitment to each other. Children have nothing to do with marriage.

        1. Do the homophobes THAT YOU KNOW take the time to outline their religious beliefs behind doing so? I don’t know where you live but from my experience of homophobes they don’t.

        2. Hi Lumi I live in the U.K and homophobia as you describe it is rare in my experience. One of the concerns in the Christian community in the U.K. is that if marital parity is achieved here ( which looks likely ) then the Church despite government assurances will be forced to perform same sex marriages under European equality law or dissent which will be divisive.The religious doctrine behind this is that traditional marriage has life giving potential through loving intimacy. Most Christians i know including me believe in respect for diversity, respect for homosexuals but that marriage has an added function beyond long term loving relationships which make it distinct. so long as we all enjoy the same legal rights it is possible to call long term loving relationships by a different name. If you don’t believe in God or his revelation this will not be at all important to you but i self identify with God in the same way others identify with their sexuality.

  8. “For the conservatives resisting this reformation, the stakes are just as high: to change now is to cave in to the liberal secular lobby and abandon the true faith practised for 2000 years. Longer for the Jewish community.”
    This is just the cosy nonsense they believe about themselves. Very few Jews or Christians today would defend slavery, absolute government, or the subjugation of women. Their holy books and traditions take all this totally for granted.
    They are self-deceiving hypocrites.

  9. I agree strongly with the aims of the article but disagree with the statement that the Bible does not condemn loving, monogamous same-sex unions. The statement ignores the fact that these unions between men usually involve males penetrating males, which the Bible definitely does condemn. So the Bible does indirectly condemn loving, monogamous unions between men if penetrative sex takes place.

    Nevertheless the Bible’s condemnation does not apply today. This is because it is mainly based on the ancient cultural idea that it was shameful for a man to be entered like a woman during sex. As we no longer accept this cultural reason, the condemnation does not apply today. Full details of this reasoning can be seen on the Gay and Christian website at

    1. Alan Austin 6 May 2012, 1:39pm

      Hi Raycol.
      V pleased we are in agreement on the main issues.
      But still think the view is most valid – and gradually becoming widely held – that those Scriptural passages which have been taken to prohibit all male-male penetration have been misinterpreted.
      For example, Genesis 19 refers to rape. Leviticus 18 and 20 refer to ritual prostitution in satanic worship. Romans 1 refers to straight men seeking adulterous cheap thrills. 1 Corintians 6 and 1 Timothy 1 refer to abusive or coercive behaviour.
      None of these relates to monogamous, consensual unions.
      Do you have any other passages in mind, Raycol? If so, happy to discuss further.
      Cheers, AA

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