Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Same-sex Marriage on the Channel 4 News

So I thought I knew what my afternoon looked like until a producer from the local NBC affliate called wanting to know if I "had any thoughts" about the vote in Maine.

Ummm ... yes. Yes I did. And here they are:




[Thanks to parishioner David A. for technical assistance!]

24 comments:

NG said...

Nice work; however, next time you're invited to appear and the opposition says it was about redefining marriage, you should bring up Ref 71 in WA. The opposition is livid of it's passage.

BW said...

Nicely done Reverend.

Mitchell said...

"At all Saints Pasadena we belive in the Constitution not the Bible"

Jim said...

Well said.

FWIW
jimB

BJ said...

You go, girl! I am always so proud when you speak, Rev. Susan -- you just always say what needs to be said.

PseudoPiskie said...

The gentleman had the wording down pat. If given time to pursue the topic, Susan could have gotten to the truth. The support for LGBT rights seems honest but disappears as soon as the Bible is mentioned. I'm tired of the veneer of Christianity which barely conceals the rejection of Jesus's message to love all and leave judgment to Godde!

uffda51 said...

Mitchell, we live in a democratic republic with a constitution that protects our right to religious freedom. The founding fathers rejected the divine right of kings and decided that we would be a self-governing people. This is why we have the most religiously diverse country on the planet. Those who wish to live in a theocracy are free to leave.

Pastor Gomez, aside from the ubiquitous conservative phrases “preserve the definition” and “centuries of tradition” (as though the definitions and traditions have never changed) really had nothing to say.

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

Mitchell ... Thanks for the chance to say -- one more time -- that in point of fact we at All Saints Church do NOT "believe in" the Bible. We don't "believe in" the liturgy, either. Or the "church" for that matter.

What we do -- to the best of our ability and some-days-better-than-others is what Our Lord called us to do: TO FOLLOW HIM. To serve the last, the least and the lost in His name. To heal the broken, to bind up the wounds of the oppressed and marginalized, to liberate the captive and to bring hope to the hopeless.

Bruce said...

I'm trying to parse the phrase "believe in the Bible" and figure out just what it means.

To believe in the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus, of course, means to believe that something exists when it does not. I think the atheists apply that same logic to most of us. Believing in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, then, must not be the same thing as believing in the Bible, because the Bible does exist. I've seen it with my own eyes. In fact, I've got one right here and I'll bet there are more than a few copies to be found at All Saints Church in Pasadena. Using this analysis, it seems pretty clear that the folks at All Saints Church "believe in the Bible.

Maybe then, to "believe in the Bible" means to believe in what it teaches us. I'm not 100% sure what the Easter Bunny teaches us, but it has been argued that Santa Claus (or St. Nicholas) teaches us about the spirit of giving that we see in God's gift to us in Jesus Christ, which we celebrate at Christmas. So, if believing in the Bible means believing in what it teaches us, we need to decide just what that is, and I suspect this may be where the problem begins.

Since it seems to be the literalists who toss around phrases like "believe in the Bible," we should ask them what they think believing in the Bible teaches us about the genocidal scorched earth policy God commands in 1 Samuel 15:3? Or, what the Bible really teaches us about the treatment of women, especially in light of the seeming approval given to the way the old man solves his dilemma in Judges 19:22-30. We know some of our literalist brothers and sisters think the Bible teaches us that women should keep silent and submit to their husbands, as Paul admonishes, but does it really teach us that slavery is OK, and slaves should be content to submit to their masters, even the cruel ones, as encouraged in 1 Peter 2:18? I could go on, but I think the point is made.

Maybe it's just because I'm so ignorant of what literalists believe that I think they could be so ignorant, but if we're going to cherry pick chapter and verse and then take each bit literally, why can't we start with John 3:16? Let's see: "...whosoever believes in him ..." To me that sounds like the Bible is teaching us that everlasting life is available to anyone who believes. Anyone. Even if we can't all agree on what it means "to believe."

I think I can believe in that.

RonF said...

PseudoPiskie:

I'm tired of the veneer of Christianity which barely conceals the rejection of Jesus's message to love all and leave judgment to Godde!

Susan:

What we do -- to the best of our ability and some-days-better-than-others is what Our Lord called us to do: TO FOLLOW HIM. To serve the last, the least and the lost in His name. To heal the broken, to bind up the wounds of the oppressed and marginalized, to liberate the captive and to bring hope to the hopeless.

Jesus taught us to love one another. But if you look at what he said and did you'll see that while he loved everyone that didn't mean that he accepted everyone's behavior. Consider the parable of the woman who was going to be stoned to death for adultery. He loved her, and in that love he talked the crowd out of killing her for her sin. After they left, however, he told her to stop sinning. He didn't tell her and others that she had not sinned. Time after time Jesus met with sinners and told them to repent of their sins. He didn't do it out of anger over their sins. He did it out of love for them.

So if you believe that the Bible teaches us that homosexual behavior is a sin - and it seems to clearly do so, not too many things get called an abomination in the Bible - then you do as Jesus did. You love them despite their sins. You stop people from doing evil things to gays and lesbians because of their behavior, but OTOH you also tell gays and lesbians that they are sinning and that they should stop.

Many so-called Christian clerics and laity fail at this. They forget that they were instructed to "Speak the truth in love", not in hate. And the media, which uses sensationalism to sell advertising time, promotes them as the leaders of the opposition. I suspect that another reason for that is that the general political and social attitudes among the members of the media prompts them to give the least credible spokespersons for supporting the Christian viewpoint the most exposure. But the messengers that are presented for that does not invalidate the position, much as we are told that the sins of a minister do not invalidate the Sacraments.

Giving a bond between two people of the same sex the same legal and societial status as the marriage bond is giving society's approval and sanction to such a bond. That is much different than what Jesus did in such circumstances.

uffda51 said...

. . .not too many things get called an abomination in the Bible.

Really, RonF? How about shellfish, and a host of other things?

You’re still speaking of homosexuality as “behavior” and an “abomination,” and quoting the Bible out of context, and yet you claim the news media is not credible? But you are?

Thousands of volumes have been written about the context in which the Bible was written. They are readily available to all of us.

LGMarshall said...

Susan -- you often bring up the fact that your son is in the Military ... I'd like to hear his opinion, re changing the foundations of Marriage-- yet we do not get to hear directly from him. How is that going to work out in terms of Military housing? Why do tax payers have to cough up more money, to accomodate this miniscule popluation? Is your son disgruntled that there is no housing for gays in the Military?

I was wondering if he is homosexual as well?

So glad you finally came clean about not believing in the Bible or the Church. Whew! that's obvious to most, but glad you admit it out right. That'll help any sincere seekers steer clear of your building -- and not mistake it for a Church.

IT said...

Logic is not a strong point, LGM
Why do tax payers have to cough up more money, to accomodate this miniscule popluation?
I'f it's miniscule, it won't cost much. And how much do you think the taxpayer has lost hounding GLBT out of the military after training them?

Susan's son is probably straight. But i bet he loves and supports his mom, who loves and supports hi, in the face of your "genital" obsessions.

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

I don't presume to speak for anybody ... including my sons (either of them) ... but suffice to say Jamie was home on leave for our February 2006 wedding and the highlight of our rehearsal dinner was his toast to us and to our life together.

As for the "baiting" on the Bible/Church stuff, SO not biting.

Read what Bruce wrote above and consider getting a clue. Or not.

We've "decided to follow Jesus" ... you "believe in" whatever you want to.

MarkBrunson said...

LGMarshall and RonF are lying, for anyone reading this, and Susan explains exactly why.

I would add that, if you try to actually nail down the Bible-worshippers, who do not, in fact, worship God, you will find that they can justify pretty much any hatred and bigotry on their parts, while deftly skimming right away from anything remotely like responsibility.

They have neither honor, nor strength, don't fall for it.

Ask, instead, if RonF refrains from all the other abominations mentioned in the Bible. When he gives you the little Bible story about Peter and his alleged dream on the roof, ask if that means just food (he won't be able to answer)and then ask if he forces women to cover their heads in church and keep silent. Ask if he restricts his understanding of all aspects of 21st Century life to what the Bible says on the subject.

He'll begin going on about "no new revelation" - point out that there was no new revelation on the Aaronic/Levitic priesthood, and he'll slide around to the "Church Fathers" and "Holy Tradition" and so, you can ask him if he adheres to the "Holy Traditions" concerning medicine, psychiatry, and, for that matter, John Chrysostom - and others' - conviction that "unrepentant" gays should be killed.

Ron will hem and haw, and talk about changes in understanding, and - by now - you should've figured out that even he doesn't know what he believes, outside of what he wants to believe.

There ya go. That's why they are lying! Enjoy!

IT said...

One word:

Divorce.

Civilly perfectly legal.

Case closed.

Mitchell said...

OK you SMART girl you, I change my wording.

"At all Saints Pasadena we take the Bible with a GAINT grain of salt."

Just Me said...

Thank you IT; you're absolutely correct. Same-same marriage, taken from a legislative point of view, should not be rejected.

Unfortunately, people on both sides of the "civil" (term very loosely used) insist on focusing on the biblical point of view.

In America, the government can not base law on religion. This ridiculous back-and-forth over what the Bible says has nothing to do with civil rights.

Divorce is legal. Adultery is legal. Old hairy men wearing speedos is legal. What is okay legally in this country doesn't necessarily translate to what is "okay" to individual Americans.

"Marriage" in this country isn't treated as a sacrament. There is no "sanctity of marriage" pushed or endorsed. So the argument against same-same marriages based on protecting the sanctity of marriage is laughable.

To win the "civil" debates, you have to use "civil" arguments.

Fight the biblical battle in the churches.

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

Exactly. If we're a nation with freedom of religion we have to defend the rights of people who will not bless same sex marriages because of their theology. Those within the community of faith can work to CHANGE that theology, but "the state" has absolutely no right to dictate who I as a priest can or cannot bless.

Conversely, no faith community has the right to dictate to the state who does or does not get equal protection under the constitution.

The "sanctity" of marriage has nothing to do with the 1138 federally protected rights same sex marriages DON'T have that opposite sex marriages do.

It's wrong.

It's unconstitutional.

It's going to change.

And we're going to change it.

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

As for Mitchell ...

I'm going to let the "smart girl" comment pass ... this time. (Consider yourself lucky.)

And -- in point of fact -- no grain of salt necessary.

Here's the deal: We take the Bible too seriously to take it literally.

Just Me said...

See Susan, despite me being labeled an ignorant bigot, rabid dog or Lord knows what else, we can still see eye-to-eye. ;) Now that's the America I know and love.

God's peace.

(please feel free to delete this next section due to irrelevance to the topic)

Let's also come together in unity and pray for the soldiers murdered, @ Ft Hood, the 8 people just gunned down in downtown Orlando and their loved ones.

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

Just Me ... Just note that every effort is made here to "squelch" the ad hominem attacks on other commenters (you should see the ones I end up DELETING!) and that my precise hope is that in spite of differences on any single issues we can find more that unites us than divides us in our common commitment to the Good News of God in Christ Jesus.

IT said...

And regardless of our views of religion, Bibles, or otherwise, our common humanity requires us to mourn the dead in Ft Hood and Orlando. Thank you for that reminder.

Just me, I agree: keep civil marriage civl. It's a different argument entirely than what any one church should do.

LGMarshall said...

Re the 'wedding' toast-- What choice did Jamie have? other than to be polite?

Susan, I know you don't speak for your sons... but I'll give my best guess-- in their deepest hearts, in their deepest longings, they preferred you to re-commit your life to their Father. Not someone else.

Who wants brokeness? no one.