I have created this thread to question the basis of Christianity. Not to insult, degrade, or marginalize Christians or the religion they choose to follow. But rather to ask questions, gain understanding, and provide factual evidence which supports the basis of my beliefs - while asking Christians the same.
However, I ask that you not quote Biblical verses; as I have rejected Christianity, and using this as an argument will be unproductive for you in proving/defending your viewpoints.
That said, I have a couple of questions for those of you who identify as Christians:
1. Why is it you try and push your definition of "morality" into government policy, essentially using mass societal acceptance of religion and religious philosophy, to limit the rights of others (namely gays)?
Specifically: When pressed for reasons as to why they reject the notion of same-sex marriage Christians often cite the Bible. Specifically, Leviticus and Romans. However, in citing Leviticus, they fail to recognize the other perversions within the Old Testament - namely numerous passages condoning rape, mass murder, theft, and incest.
How can you have it both ways - selectively ignoring either outdated or unacceptable passages, yet still cite Leviticus as a reason why God disapproves of homosexuality? Using this logic, it's perfectly alright to rape virgins, kill anyone who doesn't believe in your God, and anyone who you believe a false prophet; all deemed acceptable in the Old Testament.
You say the foundation of Christianity is based off the New Testament, yet a number of you continue to quote the Old Testament as evidence of God's disappoval of homosexuality. Again, you cannot have it both ways.
If you can use the New Testament as an argument that God disapproves of gays and homosexuality, I too can use it to question the validity of your God, Jesus Christ:
"If I [Jesus] bear witness of myself, my witness is not true." (John 5:31)
"I [Jesus] am one that bear witness of myself..." (John 8:18)
According to these passages, Jesus admitted to being a false witness; in plain English, he admitted to being a fraud.
Isn't it interesting that secular history is silent on the historical actuality of the alleged life and teachings of Jesus? It is true that our only source on his existence is the Bible. If he was such an influential person wouldn't it be safe to assume his miracles, teachings, and greatness would be recognized outside of the Bible?
But I digress; it is obvious many Christians believe homosexual "lifestyle" to be a sin. Acceptable.
It is also obvious many Christians have used Christianity to their advantage in the political arena; using their power and the mass social acceptance of their beliefs to rally and advocate for the passage of laws which would limit or completely deny rights to homosexuals. Not acceptable.
The Constitution did after all call for a separation of church and state. Your personal religious beliefs (whether they be the immorality of gays, immorality of seculars, inferiority of women...whatever they may be) are not in any way, shape, or form acceptable as a reason to deny equal rights for these groups.
Your Bible. Your religion. Your beliefs. Acceptable arguments only in your home, your church, and in your
life. Not in those who wish not to take part in your religious beliefs. Therefore, your disapproval of certain lifestyles does not give you a right to pass and/or advocate legislation that would discriminate against these groups.
Another argument used for the disapproval of gay marriage is the fact that it's a sacred, Christian sanction, and by allowing gays marriage rights this would be compromised. Fair enough.
Except, there's a problem. Heterosexual atheists, Buddhists, Muslims, and Hindus in this country are also allowed marriage rights. So if marriage is a Christian tradition, why do you discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation?
If it's a Christian tradition shouldn't Christians - no matter what their orientation - be allowed to marry? Using this logic, atheists, Buddhists, Muslims, and Hindus wouldn't have this right because after all, they aren't
So essentially we're dealing with two issues:
1. The right of gays and lesbians to have equal protection under the law (rights which would allow them the same benefits as married heterosexual couples).
2. The Christian belief that homosexuality is a sin, and thus gays are fair game to marginalize and deny the benefits of married heterosexual couples.
To me, these two issues are separate, distinct entities. One calls for equal and fair treatment for all - as detailed in the Constitution - the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness for all US citizens.
The second is a religious belief; a belief that is neither relevant or accurate. A Christian belief that has no place within legislature.
Christians tend to be stead fast in their Biblical convictions - citing verse after verse which they believe advances their argument. Their arguments are difficult to counter - not because they're based off of factual evidence - but because they are derived from their Bible.
A Bible that is devoid of proof. It's not as though you can track down the writers of the Bible and ask them exactly what they meant. The Bible (translated and interpreted by many different people) on it's own doesn't amount to much, yet Christians continue to cite it while ignoring scientific evidence.
Christians accept Biblical scripture yet label anyone who doesn't accept it "intolerant". Yet they too refuse to accept differing viewpoints; scientific viewpoints which completely and totally go against everything they believe in.
Example: homosexuality. Many Christians adamently allege that homosexuality is a sin. A choice. An abomination. This despite the findings from the American Psychological Association
. Now the APA is made up of a number of highly respected psychologists, neurologists, psychiatrists, and human sexuality experts, among others.
They have researched, studied, and analyzed homosexuality extensively. Their findings: they all unilaterally agree that it is not
a choice. It is not
abnormal. And it is not
something that can be changed.
APA's official stance on homosexuality:
Is Homosexuality a Mental Illness or Emotional Problem?
No. Psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals agree that homosexuality is not an illness, mental disorder or an emotional problem. Over 35 years of objective, well-designed scientific research has shown that homosexuality, in and itself,is not associated with mental disorders or emotional or social problems.
Yet despite this mountain of evidece from an unbiased, scientific source like the APA, many Christians continue to believe that homosexuality is some kind of perversion.
When asked to give supporting evidence for their views that it is abnormal, that it is a choice, and that it is a perversion, they again cite their Bible. How well does a 3,000 year old book with no supporting evidence stack up to findings from the APA? It doesn't.
Christianity can't stand up to scrutinity. It can't stand up to science. And it can't stand up to reason. Christians cite faith and I cite proveable evidence. You can't have both, and the only thing consistently delivering evidence to support claims is science.
Christians often ask for evidence on top of evidence when provided with a credible, reliable source like the APA. This despite the fact that they haven't provided the first bit of "proof" other than their Bible. Their Bible and their
personal interpretion of what a certain passage means.
It's called anti science.
2. Why are you always so concerned with the "sins" of others?
Isn't it true Jesus said to love sinners, rather than condemn them? Isn't that your God's duty, rather than yours?
Shouldn't you concern yourselves with your
sins rather than someone else's? What does it matter to you what "sins" others choose to partake in? It is true that all sin is equal, correct? So that being the case, your sins, are just as serious as someone else's.
So why so much time, effort, and energy on the "sins" of gays and lesbians?
3. Why do you choose to ignore some verses while focusing on others?
Why are verses condoning the aforementioned slavery, murder, rape, etc ignored, yet Leviticus quoted when you want to condemn gays? You can't say it's because the Old Testament isn't Christianity - because afterall, you do believe in one God.
And this was the same God that was in the New Testament, correct? So, using that logic it was the same God in the Old Testament - the one who ordered, condoned, and allowed such behaviors - that it was in the New Testament.
I suppose I could get into the many contradictions, errors, and inaccuracies of the Bible (not to mention the omissions - removed because they either were deemed irrelevant or contradictory) but I'll stop.
So in all this, my question to Christians is why the double standard? Why hold gays to a different standard than you do any other "sinner"? Why the push to pass your definition of morality onto others? Why attempt to limit the rights of those you deem "sinners"?
According to your Bible, Jesus loved and accepted everyone. Somehow I don't see that same acceptance among "Christians" today.