February 28, 2011

Pastor Theologist: Heterosexual sex was therefore an afterthought designed to give back the man what he had lost.

My Take: The Bible’s surprisingly mixed messages on sexuality

It's my pleasure, as someone who immersed him self in Theology and Divinity as a young person...to introduce to you this post. adamfoxie* My Take: The Bible’s surprisingly mixed messages on sexuality
Editor's Note: Jennifer Wright Knust is author of Unprotected Texts: The Bible’s Surprising Contradictions about Sex and Desire.
By Jennifer Wright Knust, Special to CNN
We often hears that Christians have no choice but to regard homosexuality as a sin- that Scripture simply demands it.
As a Bible scholar and pastor myself, I say that Scripture does no such thing.
"I love gay people, but the Bible forces me to condemn them" is a poor excuse that attempts to avoid accountability by wrapping a very particular and narrow interpretation of a few biblical passages in a cloak of divinely inspired respectability.
Truth is, Scripture can be interpreted in any number of ways. And biblical writers held a much more complicated view of human sexuality than contemporary debates have acknowledged.
In Genesis, for example, it would seem that God’s original intention for humanity was androgyny, not sexual differentiation and heterosexuality.
Genesis includes two versions of the story of God’s creation of the human person. First, God creates humanity male and female and then God forms the human person again, this time in the Garden of Eden. The second human person is given the name Adam and the female is formed from his rib.
Ancient Christians and Jews explained this two-step creation by imagining that the first human person possessed the genitalia of both sexes. Then, when the androgynous, dually-sexed person was placed in the garden, s/he was divided in two.
According to this account, the man “clings to the woman” in an attempt to regain half his flesh, which God took from him once he was placed in Eden. As third century Rabbi Samuel bar Nahman explained, when God created the first man, God created him with two faces. “Then he split the androgyne and made two bodies, one on each side, and turned them about.”
When the apostle Paul envisioned the bodies that would be given to humanity at the end of time, he imagined that they would be androgynous, “not male and female.” The third-century non-canonical Gospel of Philip, meanwhile, lamented that sexual difference had been created at all: “If the female had not separated from the male, she and the male would not die. That being’s separation became the source of death.”
From these perspectives, God’s original plan was sexual unity in one body, not two. The Genesis creation stories can support the notion that sexual intercourse is designed to reunite male and female into one body, but they can also suggest that God’s blessing was first placed on an undifferentiated body that didn’t have sex at all.
Heterosexual sex was therefore an afterthought designed to give back the man what he had lost.
Despite common misperceptions, biblical writers could also imagine same-sex intimacy as a source of blessing. For example, the seemingly intimate relationship between the Old Testament's David and Jonathan, in which Jonathan loved David more than he loved women, may have been intended to justify David’s rise as king.
Jonathan, not David, was a king’s son. David was only a shepherd. Yet by becoming David’s “woman,” Jonathan voluntarily gave up his place for his beloved friend.
Thus, Jonathan “took great delight in David,” foiling King Saul’s attempts to arrange for David’s death (1 Samuel 19:1). Choosing David over his father, Jonathan makes a formal covenant with his friend, asking David to remain faithful to him and his descendants.
Sealing the covenant, David swears his devotion to Jonathan, “for he loved him as he loved his own life” (1 Samuel 20:17). When Jonathan is killed, King David composes a eulogy for him, praising his devotion: “greatly beloved were you to me; your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women” (2 Samuel 1:26).
Confident claims about the forms of sex rejected by God are also called into question by early Christian interpretations of the story of Sodom. From the perspective of the New Testament, it was the near rape of angels - not sex between men - that led to the demise of the city.
Linking a strange story in Genesis about “sons of God” who lust after “daughters of men” to the story of the angels who visit Abraham’s nephew Lot, New Testament writers concluded that the mingling of human and divine flesh is an intolerable sin.
As the New Testament letter Jude puts it:
And the angels who did not keep their own position, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains in deepest darkness for the judgment of the great day. Likewise, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities which, in the same manner as they, indulged in sexual immorality and went after strange flesh, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire (Jude 6-7).
The first time angels dared to mix with humans, God flooded the earth, saving only Noah, his family, and the animals. In the case of Sodom, as soon as men attempted to engage in sexual activity with angels, God obliterated the city with fire, delivering only Lot and his family. Sex with angels was regarded as the most dangerous and offensive sex of all.
It’s true that same-sex intimacy is condemned in a few biblical passages. But these passages, which I can count on one hand, are addressed to specific sex acts and specific persons, not to all humanity forever, and they can be interpreted in any number of ways.
The book of Leviticus, for example, is directed at Israelite men, offering instructions regarding legitimate sexual partners so long as they are living in Israel. Biblical patriarchs and kings violate nearly every one of these commandments.
Paul’s letters urge followers of Christ to remain celibate and blame all Gentiles in general for their poor sexual standards. Jesus, meanwhile, says nothing at all about same-sex pairing, and when he discusses marriage, he discourages it.
So why are we pretending that the Bible is dictating our sexual morals? It isn’t.
Moreover, as Americans we should have learned by now that such a simplistic approach to the Bible will lead us astray.
Only a little more than a century ago, many of the very same passages now being invoked to argue that the scriptures label homosexuality a sin or that God cannot countenance gay marriage were used to justify not “biblical marriage” but slavery.
Yes, the apostle Paul selected same-sex pairings as one among many possible examples of human sin, but he also assumed that slavery was acceptable and then did nothing to protect slaves from sexual use by their masters, a common practice at the time. Letters attributed to him go so far as to command slaves to obey their masters and women to obey their husbands as if they were obeying Christ.
These passages served as fundamental proof texts to those who were arguing that slavery was God’s will and accusing abolitionists of failing to obey biblical mandates.
It is therefore disturbing to hear some Christian leaders today claim that they have no choice but to regard homosexuality as a sin. They do have a choice and should be held accountable for the ones they are making.

Gay cricketer Steve Davies's coming out reflects changing attitudes in modern professional sport

Source: Supplied / News Limited
Steve Davies and Ian Roberts
 Steve Davies
When England wicketkeeper
 used the internet to publicly 
announce he was a homosexual 
this week, he joined a growing 
list of openly gay athletes who have 
slowly changed attitudes in 
professional sport.

Truth is in the 21st century, not only
are announcements such
as Davies's unlikely to bring
any ill-feeling from the wider sporting community, they
are just as commonly embraced by
both gay and non-gay citizens as a symbol
of sexual equality.
However, it's been a slow journey for society to move to a point where gay sporting icons like former Wales international Gareth Thomas are the inspiration for movies and Australian swimming icon, Stephanie Rice, is forced to make a public apology for using the word "faggot" on Twitter.
Former American footballer David Pokay is regarded as one of the first professional athletes to confirm his homosexuality, having made the announcement in 1975 - three years after retiring from the NFL in 1972.
It was reported that Kopay - who addressed the issue in his controversial 1977 autobiography, The David Kopay Story - was allegedly denied positions as a professional and college football coach due to his sexual orientation.
Tennis great Martina Navratilova is another player who is likely to have received greater endorsement as a lesbian player in the modern era of professional sport.
After announcing she was gay in 1981, a disappointed Navratilova spoke of an article that said she would "pick my doubles partner so I could look at her bum".
But demeaning remarks such as these have continued to diminish by the years, not least within the Australian sporting community.
Perhaps the watershed moment for gay equality in Australian sport came in 1995, when Ian Roberts became the first professional rugby league player to announce his homosexuality. The former Kangaroos forward was still playing at the time.
While Kopay and Navratilova are considered by many to have suffered professionally for their public revelations, Roberts has since become an Australian sporting icon.
When Roberts came out, it was such huge news that NRL Footy Show panellists Paul Vautin, Peter Sterling and Steve Roach were moved to appear in a poster campaign against homophobia.
And it worked - more recently, golfer Karrie Webb and former Olympic swimmer Daniel Kowalski are examples of gay Australian athletes who raised little attention in comparison to their predecessors.
This comments were made by 

  • FOX SPORTS            Edited by adamfoxie*

UK Court upholds foster ban on couple who oppose homosexuality

The High Court has backed a council’s decision to bar a couple from fostering children because they oppose homosexuality.
The couple said they could not tell a child that being gay is ok Pentecostal Christians Eunice and Owen Johns, of Derby, were told by the city council in 2007 that a fostering panel had rejected them because of their views.
They told a social worker that they could not tell a foster child that homosexuality was acceptable.
They applied to the High Court to clarify policies on foster parents who have “traditional” views on sexuality. Today, the court agreed with the council’s decision.
The Johns, who were supported by the Christian Legal Centre, say they do not recognise sex before marriage, or the validity of civil partnerships.
Mrs Johns said in November: “The council said: ‘Do you know, you would have to tell [children] that it’s OK to be homosexual?’
“But I said I couldn’t do that because my Christian beliefs won’t let me. Morally, I couldn’t do that. Spiritually I couldn’t do that.”
Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill said: “We’re delighted that the High Court’s landmark decision has favoured 21st century decency above 19th century prejudice. In any fostering case the interests of the 60,000 children in care should override the bias of any prospective parent.
“Thankfully, Mr and Mrs Johns’s outdated views aren’t just out of step with the majority of people in modern Britain but those of many Christians too. If you wish to be involved in the delivery of a public service, you should be prepared to provide it fairly to anyone.”

Oscars Forget Corey Haim Died; Eddie Fisher Also Omitted


Corey HaimRon Galella/Getty Images
The Lost Boy has turned into the forgotten boy.
Corey Haim was the most notable omission from last night's Oscar "In Memoriam" segment. While Céline Dion sang "Smile," a montage of the fallen famous flashed on the screen, including Leslie NielsenDennis HopperGloria StuartTony CurtisLena Horne and filmmakers Blake EdwardsArthur Penn and Irvin Kershner, among many others.
But not Haim. The '80s heartthrob, who died last March of an accidental drug overdose, wasn't the only one overlooked, however. Who else was left out?
All-around entertainer Eddie Fisher, who died in September, was MIA, as were Last Tango in Paris star Maria Schneider and go-to Mel Brooks character actor Kenneth Mars, both of whom passed away earlier this month. Also not saluted: actress-producer Lisa Blount, a Golden Globe winner her role in An Officer and Gentleman and an Oscar winner for Best Short Film in 2002, died last October.
The Academy has yet to comment on why such actors weren't included, but they will probably refer to us to last year's statement. Asked why the likes of Farrah Fawcett, Bea Arthur and, another like Haim another former child star, Brad Renfro, were left off the list, an Academy rep refused to apologize.

Read more: http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/b228419_oscars_forget_corey_haim_died_eddie.html#ixzz1FHGzqZEG

MTV Won't Air Kanye Video Which is for Violence Against Women

by Amanda Kloer · 
Kanye West has never been one to shy away from controversy, but fans and activists alike are concerned his newest video "Monster" glorifies violence against women. That's why activists Sharon Haywood and Melinda Tankard Reist created a petition asking MTV and Universal Music Group to pull the offensive and misogynistic video. MTV recently responded to the over 1,600 Change.org members who signed their petition, agreeing not to air "Monster." But Haywood and Reist's work is far from over, as Universal Music Group still hasn't responded.
"Monster" is not the usual scantily-clad, hyper-sexualized women washing expensive cars with even more expensive champagne. The video features West, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, and Nikki Minaj surrounded by the "sexy" corpses of women in lingerie. Other women dangle from the ceiling by chains. Behind Jay-Z, a dead, naked woman lies with her mouth wide open, bluntly indicating her last act was a sexual one. Ross erotically eats a plate of raw meat from between a female corpse's legs. And West practically rapes the dead bodies of two women in bed. The message of the video is pretty clear: women are sex objects and it can be erotic when they are killed in violent, sexual ways.

Glenn Beck Kicked Out by Madison Radio Station WTDY

glenn beck cap.jpg
Devoid of "actual content."
​Glenn Beck has been booted off the air by Madison radio station WTDY-AM because he slagged on the broadcaster's hometown, and because of a "lack of actual content."
Beck usually occupied the 10 a.m. to noon slot at a station that features a lot of business coverage from the Wall Street Journal and the deep thoughts of Dennis Miller, Laura Ingraham, and Phil Hendrie.
You might think that with the union protests in Madison, Beck would have "actual content" that could have dovetailed nicely with the local market. But no.
WTDY can no longer carry the Glenn Beck program. Over the last 12 months, the show has devolved into plugs for Fox News (the radio version of which is aired by our direct competitor), his books, and other personal endorsements. The lack of actual content becomes more apparent daily. Monday's program was the final straw; his unabashed deriding of Madison is unacceptable for broadcast in our community.
wtdy glenn beck.jpg
He's through in Madison.
WTDY didn't cite the specific insult that Beck leveled at Madison, but his comments on the union protests there started with observations about "dope-smoking hippies" and devolved into theories about communist takeovers.
Last month, Beck's radio show was dropped by WOR in New York City because his ratings had tanked, and he can't get back on the air because of his recent anti-Semitic ravings about  Reform Judaism being "almost like" "radicalized Islam."
His Fox News program's ratings have also been on a long slide. And last week on MSNBC,former GOP Rep. Joe Scarborough called him a menace to Republicans everywhere.
This guy is losing it before our eyes. He's bad for the conservative movement. He's bad for the Republican Party. He's bad for Fox News. It's that simple.
,     http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter

Featured Posts

Coronavirus Makes The Rich and Well-off Disappear From 5th Ave.

  An empty street in Manhattan on Thursday.   Photographer: Debra L Rothenberg/Getty Images By  Amanda L Gordon Bloomberg        ...