*sarc font* Please, dear blinkie, explain to me what I believe. I’m dying to know and am shivering in the desperate discomfort you have labeled that I feel in anxious anticipation for your enlightenment.*sarc off*
Seriously, what about my honest and clear answer seemed so nonsensical to you? Or is that question to difficult for a rhetorical bully like yourself to have to answer honestly? When I actually corner you on content and substance, demonstrating point for point how you’ve erected a straw man, you don’t take on a single one of my points, and instead call me names.
I think it’s you who doesn’t like how it makes you look to have to straight up answer: what’s logically wrong with finding the Constitution and Biblical morality to be perfectly compatible?
There’s no dodge in my response: I met you head on and told you why you’re asking the wrong question.
Or maybe I should adopt your tactics and force you to answer MY question in the way and ONLY the way I prescribe under threat of being labeled a cowardly “dodge” artist unable to provide straight honesty, hoping no one pays attention to the man behind the curtain that hides your true inabilities. Here’s the question, and you may ONLY answer with a date: WHEN DID YOU STOP BEATING YOUR WIFE?
There. If there’s no date, that must PROVE that you have something to hide.
I dare you.
(You won’t play, though. You like to set yourself up as sole competent judge. It’s okay though, we all see through that illusion…)
 February 2, 2016 at 3:13pm
It’s not a yes or no question.
It’s a false dichotomy.
If you phrase the question that way, it’s the usual cop out failing to address the REAL question usual stuff of artificially dividing people.
It’s not one above the other, they’re addressing separate categories: one is moral and spiritual, the other is political. The fact that oftentimes the Venn diagram of the political intersects with the other two doesn’t imply hierarchy.
We see your trap.
When you try to trap us into claiming hierarchy, you’re actually moving the goalposts and trying to make our belief in putting the spiritual and moral first somehow in opposition to the need for political structures to guarantee our being able to continue putting the spiritual and moral first.
If you were serious about understanding Christian beliefs, or Christian attitudes about politics, you might be able to see how the principles underlying the political structures outlined in the Constitution are, in fact, quite Biblical, your false dichotomy notwithstanding.
Dodge, failure to answer the question, wishy washy nonsense response.
It's not a false dichotomy. It's not even a difficult question, but it forces theists in to an uncomfortable place that they don't like, and can't answer honestly because they know how it makes them look.
Which is why you, and the rest, are desperately trying to get away from this question and throwing up smoke screens for the people who are too uncomfortable to even respond.
*sarc font* Please, dear blinkie, explain to me what I believe. I'm dying to know and am shivering in the desperate discomfort you have labeled that I feel in anxious anticipation for your enlightenment.*sarc off*
Seriously, what about my honest and clear answer seemed so nonsensical to you? Or is that question to difficult for a rhetorical bully like yourself to have to answer honestly? When I actually corner you on content and substance, demonstrating point for point how you've erected a straw man, you don't take on a single one of my points, and instead call me names.
I think it's you who doesn't like how it makes you look to have to straight up answer: what's logically wrong with finding the Constitution and Biblical morality to be perfectly compatible?
There's no dodge in my response: I met you head on and told you why you're asking the wrong question.
Or maybe I should adopt your tactics and force you to answer MY question in the way and ONLY the way I prescribe under threat of being labeled a cowardly "dodge" artist unable to provide straight honesty, hoping no one pays attention to the man behind the curtain that hides your true inabilities. Here's the question, and you may ONLY answer with a date: WHEN DID YOU STOP BEATING YOUR WIFE?
There. If there's no date, that must PROVE that you have something to hide.
I dare you.
(You won't play, though. You like to set yourself up as sole competent judge. It's okay though, we all see through that illusion...)
 January 11, 2016 at 11:24pm
Think twice, think_twice. Is it that the negative consequences don’t exist? Or is it that some are better at hiding them/denying them than others?
True, not everyone gets lung cancer from the first cigarette, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t harmful.
And the fact that some are describing the effects from a spiritual perspective or using spiritual arguments to justify their opinions doesn’t make the objective effects any less real either.
The 22 studies SHOW that the results ARE quite scientific and rigorous: your “peace of mind” is a subjective concept, but the part of your brain that activates when you’re called upon to make a moral judgment TURNS OFF upon exposure to porn, according to the studies. Perhaps that turning off has degrees to it, but if your subjective “peace of mind” has a normal connection to the regret you’d feel of cognitive dissonance if you made a choice contrary to your OWN value system (so I’m describing this effect independently of any given system of morality–just your own, whatever that may be) because your brain’s ethics area was temporarily disengaged from porn viewing, then even that subjective “peace of mind” would be inevitably disturbed.
I can make a parallel argument for the inevitability of the objectification pron viewing produces. It undermines the very principle of selfless behavior toward the sex you’re attracted to.
January 11, 2016 at 11:10pm
It may be more peccadillo than full throated sin to simply add some stakes to a game to make the game interesting, but it most definitely is immoral for all the reasons the pastor stated.
Plus, it’s not conservative in principle.
Why? Just look at the arguments people use FOR lotteries. It’s all about how: 1. we can make money for govt programs (supporting seniors is their favorite heart-string puller); 2. we will heavily regulate it so the system doesn’t get abused; 3. if we don’t do it here, people will just go to the next state and do it.
But when you really think about it, every OTHER way govt gets the means (money) to fill its LEGITIMATE functions, it does so by taking a small percentage of the value citizens add (income taxes, sales taxes–there’s positive work/exchanges done that govt takes its “contribution” from). What positive work/exchange is being done by a lottery? Nothing new is created, no resources have been acted upon to create new wealth, it’s just a net drain on existing resources. And yes, it DOES prey upon the poor, offering only a false hope.
If you want limited govt, and a moral populace that doesn’t need much governing so it can stay small, you cannot support gambling in any form.
 December 2, 2015 at 10:21am
This dude doesn’t even understand the CONCEPT of repentance. It’s a PERSONAL act of contrition before God. You can’t repent FOR someone else.
Anyone in his church with any background in scripture whatsoever should be fleeing, if they haven’t already done so.
[-2] November 20, 2015 at 11:48pm
7. Look, I can’t speak to what experiences you have or haven’t had in what limited ecclesiastical experiences you’ve allowed yourself. And I’ll even admit that sex isn’t often the central message of any given Sunday school class. But that’s because it shouldn’t be. Sunday school teaches about the LOVE people should develop toward one another, and, when married, the physical intimacy should grow out of emotional and interpersonal intimacy. Don’t be a bigot. Allow them the freedom to believe yes means yes in marriage, even if you wish they’d allow yesses to mean yes before marriage and outside of marriage too. They learned to ask first from following Christ, who taught them to love first, and add sex between spouses on top of the love.
[-2] November 20, 2015 at 11:48pm
6. US culture passed through an extended period where Victorian uptightness about sex led many Christians to misunderstand the core Christian attitude toward sex, but this is NOT a Christian attitude, but instead a CULTURAL one. It always was and ever will be a distortion of the true doctrines. The Bible talks about incest, masturbation, homosexuality, bestiality, polygamy and a host of other sexual topics—it’s not mum on sex, and it’s not for prudes. There are parts of it that are quite R-rated. It doesn’t insist upon eroticism, and doesn’t promote sex outside of marriage, but it’s actually quite sex-positive when it does discuss hetero sex. Although it sets boundaries for the proper expression of sexual desire (i.e. within marriage), the desire itself is NOT profane—in fact, quite the contrary: it’s sacred. THAT’S the core Christian doctrine on sex: it’s to be respected—partners must respect each other’s right to bodily autonomy, as well as the potentially procreative powers they have on loan from God himself.
[-2] November 20, 2015 at 11:48pm
5. Now if you want to use me talking about “implications” as more ammo to falsely assert “Aha, SEE! I TOLD you the Bible doesn’t discuss it!” as if all Christians are caricatures of prudes absolutely allergic to all discussions of sex, let alone the “filthy” extramarital kind, you’d again be comparing apples to oranges, setting up straw men, committing denial of the antecedent and a host of other logical fallacies along the way. Just because something isn’t explicitly spelled out in your prescribed way doesn’t mean the IDEAS aren’t central and clear. Just because someone promotes abstinence outside of marriage doesn’t mean they believe sex is negative, or taboo, or dirty. Stop projecting things we don’t believe onto us. We believe the command to “multiply and replenish the earth” is still in force, and no one says we can’t FULLY enjoy the fun of taking on our part in creation—even if procreation isn’t our immediate goal.
[-2] November 20, 2015 at 11:47pm
4. I’ve been alluding for many posts now to the “wives submit” passage in Ephesians. You can’t get at the Christian concept of consent without it. The Greek word “eros”, used to separate out the concept of romantic sexual love from other kinds, doesn’t appear ONCE in the Bible. Do you ALSO assume all Christians believe in completely platonic marriages on complete celibacy? Your assertions about what is and isn’t in the Bible are completely misplaced. Christian IDEAS are found in the Bible even if your narrow prescriptive language isn’t the wording used to flesh them out. Stop being so obtuse.
Let’s go apples to apples. The IDEA of consent IS a Biblical IDEA. And here’s evidence: In all of the passages about loving a spouse, cleaving unto them, giving yourself to them, the Greek word “agape”, or the highest, most selfless kind of charitable sentiment of service and self-sacrifice, is the concept employed. It’s incredibly hard to leap to “selflessly love your spouse” without passing through the minimum basic “respect your spouse’s equal right to decide about his/her body”. You can’t have sex under the Christian directive to a marital relationship based on that selfless agape WITHOUT the concept of consent already being an inevitable part and parcel of the package. It’s really quite logically simple. One idea follows from the other.
This is not complicated exegesis.
It’s. The. Basics.
[-2] November 20, 2015 at 11:47pm
3. I didn’t say Christians believe ANY age was proper for consent, I just said that since the Bible DIDN’T define a SPECIFIC age, that there is some variation by culture and social norm as to what that age should be. You’re LYING, and it insults my God-given intelligence: the point is that ALL cultures DO make a distinction between children unable to consent to sex and adults who may. And they are ALL supported by Christian doctrine in making that distinction. It’s the most sickening twist of my words possible to suggest that I think it’s “ok with [the Christian] God” to have sex with a 10 year old JUST because she’s pubescent and her country’s laws say it’s okay is. How dare you!
What I wrote—that you conveniently left out of your oh-so-careful quotations, btw—was that you would not be satisfied by my explanation that the concept of consent WAS found in the Bible EVEN THOUGH there’s no verse stating: “thou shalt require consent for every sexual act” explicitly. Boy was I RIGHT about that. What’s implied in my statement is NOT that any age will do, but that the Bible teaches MANY things by implication, and not explicitly. In fact, one of Jesus’s MAIN modes of instruction was through parables, which contain indirect messages that are plain to initiates and to those to whom the key of interpretation is offered.
[-2] November 20, 2015 at 11:46pm
2. But you’re not interested in mutual comprehension. Comprehension actually escapes you entirely. Far from being able (read: willing) to pick up what I’m laying down, you can’t even read your OWN contradictions in context.
TT of 2:26: “I do not believe Christians believe in coercive sex”
TT of 2:36: “do you or do you not agree with a country deciding that a 10 year old who has gone through puberty should be able to marry and have sex?” (insinuating that Biblical Christian theology IS fine with it, as if it’s even my own Biblical interpretation)
At least do me the courtesy of having the courage to own the contradictions in your implications, TT. What you’re insinuating IS vile, and it’s the reason I’m spending time writing to a brick wall on the subject (truth be told, it’s the potential neutral readers I’m hoping to give a counter-balance to your tripe—you personally, I fear, are a lost cause). You can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist I take you for what you mean, and then misrepresent the central point I make. You can’t charitably (and correctly) claim you think Christians don’t believe in coercive sex, and then turn around and claim I think our God is okay with using children for sexual gratification.
[-2] November 20, 2015 at 11:45pm
1. This is a fascinating study in me demonstrating your contradictions, logical fallacies, and moving goalposts, and you sticking your fingers in your ears refusing entry.
What is marriage?
What is consent?
What is Christian doctrine on marital relations?
You’ve defined none of these terms, and when I do, you dodge around them. You claim to quote things for a reason, which is ostensibly so that you can’t be caught in flagrant misinterpretation. But that’s EXACTLY what you’re doing.
The IDEA of marriage cannot avoid sex in its core definition. Consenting to marry is therefore unavoidably consent to an exclusive SEXUAL arrangement.
(Put your best Bullwinkle voice on) “But Happy,” you’ll object, “I didn’t say it wasn’t, I’m just saying”…blah, blah, blah.
Yes. Go ahead. Stubbornly insist that consent to exclusivity in partners is not the exactly identical concept of asking permission for an act of sex at each instance. We get it. You can’t move on.
The problem is not on our end, it’s on yours.
You can’t admit that Christian theology teaches that concept INSIDE its concept of marriage, and I won’t let you get away with it.
I showed that I understood your point, but you’ve shown nothing but distortion of mine. If mutual understanding is really what you’re after, why don’t you stop trying to paint me into a rhetorical corner (which you’re failing miserably at anyway), and start trying to rephrase my own points until I’m satisfied you’ve actually got the concept.
[-3] November 20, 2015 at 10:43pm
No seriously, do it.
It’s actually good advice.
The link I gave you on the age of Mary at marriage has a HUGE blaring caveat in bold print: that whole passage you cited is APOCRYPHAL and cannot be trusted. The article’s MAIN point is to EXPOSE the text you cited as illegitimate myth.
The term I’ve coined to describe the ability to read combined with the persistent refusal to actually intake the basic message of a given text because of an ideological filtration system somewhere between the brain’s visual receptors and its language processors–malliteracy–finds its very personification in you.
Both Mary AND Joseph were quite free to back out. It’s a pretty well known story. Easily verifiable. Try the first two chapters of…oh nevermind. You’ll just get confused and think something even more twisted…
But hey, I actually DID force a little headway in your development. Now we’ve shifted the goalposts to ALLOWING for Christians to believe in consent, just as long as they don’t admit the CONCEPT of it comes from the Bible.
And where, sir, do you suppose Christians derive the values that would make them reject coercive sex (which is the opposite of consensual, no?)? Why is it so hard for you to admit that the very teachings on how to love a spouse in a sexual relationship aren’t narrow, and DO apply to the SAME concept of consent this article is talking about?
Yes, CA law applies consent OUTSIDE of marriages TOO, but that’s NOT at issue here.
[-2] November 20, 2015 at 2:00pm
“This is honestly the first I’ve heard of the Bible saying “the age of consent is up to ruling governments.”
That’s because the metaphorical ears you refer to aren’t connected to your brain without a pernicious twist. It’s neither what I said, nor what I meant, so why do you try to represent my meaning that way? I have my suspicions.
But let’s be clear: does the Bible give an age of marriageability? If not, then who decides? (p.s. society does not equal government, never has). What it DOES say pretty clearly is “render to Caesar”. Satisfied?
Of course you’re not. You want me to admit to some ludicrous idea that I’m inconsistent with Christian beliefs unless I believe in barely-pubescent rape.
How foul you must think Christians are. How deeply heartless, sexist and wantonly self-gratifyingly utilitarian you must think we are to condone forcing young girls to satisfy our sexual pleasures.
I think YOU’RE the one who doesn’t really believe in what you’re insinuating. You’re just too invested in the argument to admit defeat at this point.
Seriously, what Christian do you know who opposes the defense of a girl who was coerced to have sex. At age 10, 13, 16, or even ANY age?
Why do you feel the need to offend us so?
“former Evangelist”. Yeah, I checked it out. That’s a distortion too (surprise!). The accurate term would be “anti-Evangelical”.
The “Christians” who don’t agree with me on consent do so COUNTER to their own core doctrine (that kind exists).
[-2] November 20, 2015 at 1:41pm
Twice, you may be the only person in history naive enough to seriously assert that idea that the wedding ceremony is “absolutely fundamentally” NOT connected to sexual activity.
Look, I get what you’re trying to say: that even though the institution of marriage may be primarily organized around the legitimation of a couple’s sexual unity, that’s not an excuse for either one of the couple to assume that any and all sexual activities now have no further need for a verbal affirmation of consent.
The problem is that I actually AGREE with you on this principle, and I derive my agreement from specifically Christian values and Biblical analysis. The distortion is NOT that I’m talking about a different kind of consent than you and the article are.
The problem is that you’re malliterate.
The problem is that you are refusing entry on facts that refute your silly position.
The problem is that you’re assuming untrue things about Christian beliefs, and publicly defaming them based on the false assumptions.
Your entire assertion that Christians believe in coercive sex is a straw man.
Neither I, nor Christian values and doctrines believe about sexual consent as described in this article are what you claim we do.
And stubbornly insisting you’re right, doesn’t correct your logical fallacies, errors of reasoning, almost total lack of documentation, and intellectually dishonest refusal to accept correction.
Have you looked up the rest of the “wives submit” verse yet? Thought not.
[-2] November 20, 2015 at 1:20pm
On Mary’s age: I said “maybe” because I hadn’t looked it up. I just did (so much for me “not reading”–pure projection: you’re the one who doesn’t read, or reads with ideological blinders on): we don’t know Mary’s age, marriageable age in Jewish tradition of the day was technically anytime after about 12 for women and after 13 for men (although most weren’t betrothed until 16), but it could have been as late as 18 and still been within the cultural norm–which is still assuming they followed it.
On Joseph: That Joseph was an older pedophile, as you insinuate, is a pernicious myth debunked here: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08504a.htm. Also, you implied the marriage was arranged, but we know from the Biblical account that the coercive nature of an “arranged marriage” wasn’t the case. It all refutes your idea that the Christian concept of marriage is of the opposite of sexual consent, but rather sexual coercion.
And you’re doing nothing but doubling down.
This time, you’re moving the goalposts, though: NOW you base your (FALSE!) claim that the concept of sexual consent is not Christian on the fact that the words “thou shalt require consent for all sexual activities” are not found in that specific string in the Bible.
Again, zero demonstration of the core Christian IDEAS about sexual relationships, just twisted “denying the antecedent” logical fallacies.
By your standard, dogs don’t bark because they don’t expressly say “bark”.
[-3] November 20, 2015 at 12:52pm
And yes, I’d LOVE to see those articles on “purity culture”. I’m sure there are a few who go overboard with the idea, but I’ll counter with the MILLIONS of examples of Christians who believe in abstinence before marriage who completely REJECT the notion that a girl’s OR BOY’S only worth is in their sexual purity. More total distortion on your part. The point of purity culture is that the worth of a human being is in their SOUL, NOT their body (any part of it). You’re spouting utterly ignorant nonsense. And you’ve taken the chewing gum analogy totally out of context too: it’s not about how gross the used gum is, it’s about how awesome taking off the wrapper at the right time will be when girls AND BOYS respect THEMSELVES enough to make a full commitment to their partner’s PERSON, and not just their BODY.
Seriously, have you sat down in a Christian Sunday School lesson on this, like, ever?
These things are not taught in secret. If you want to actually KNOW something, instead of babbling inanities, have the guts to honestly investigate and go sit down in one. I promise, the concepts are usually taught in a clear and simple way–someone with your level of challenge with basic vocabulary STILL should get the point.
The root of your beliefs about Christian beliefs is biased bigotry and ignorance. The root of my Christian beliefs, as I have asserted, IS that sexual consent IS important for EVERY sexual activity.
Stop. The. Lying.
[-3] November 20, 2015 at 12:39pm
To cite the immortal Inigo Montoya “You keep using that word (consent–or for that matter: arguing). I don’t think it means what you think it means.”
There’s a SERIOUS problem of BASIC terms going on here.
Do you speak English as a native language?
How can I confirm or refute an idea of mine that you re-state “to make sure I understand” when you’ve got the fundamental basics of the context so messed up? Your re-statement of everything I said is complete and utter nonsense.
A wedding is a ceremony consists of two adults who CONSENT (sorry for using words beyond your vocabulary, can’t avoid this one) to sex AND other things in front of some kind of authority and witnesses, is it not? From the MEANING of the wedding ceremony it does NOT automatically follow that ALL sexual encounters are automatically consented to between the married couple. It just doesn’t. You’re projecting some extreme distortion of Christian beliefs on marriage as if they’re the core fundamentals. It’s ludicrous.
The Biblical concept of consent leaves it to society to determine the age and maturity of the consenters, and in our society that’s 18 in most states, as it should be for other acts of consent (consenting to a contract, to military service, to participation in democratic representative government, to responsible behavior with firearms, etc.). Don’t falsely claim that the Biblical concept of consent is somehow fundamentally opposed to CA’s legal one.
Seriously? That’s your takeaway? You think that Blest pointing out the law/custom means s/he’s ignorant that there were people who went around the law/custom?
Are you always this intellectually dishonest, or is this a special occasion?
Blest is obviously overstating about ëvery culture on earth, and really ONLY accessing the Western tradition (so your Buddhist and Greek examples are right out–even though the Greek one is HUGELY inaccurate: the City-States had widely differing norms on marriage, some of which included a ceremony: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Greek_wedding_customs), and your long string of examples cited as if you know what you’re talking about is almost entirely fact-free (Ignatius gives one of the first RECORDINGS of a ceremony, doesn’t mean ceremonies weren’t required or common; parental consent was a requirement until Alexander III shifted it to fiancé consent but even then it’s common in most societies; and just because the British aristocracy and church allowed peasants a common-law exception doesn’t mean marriage wasn’t the rule: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_(Catholic_Church)), even if it weren’t entirely beside the point.
The point is: if we took the IDEA of consent to sex seriously, since sex is the mechanics by which children are created and expand responsibilities into the broader domains of family and society, then the circle of consent should also widen.
Questioning does you no good if you read sideways.