For The Bible Tells Me So

Non-lacrosse specific topics.

Postby StrykerFSU on Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:07 am

I'm no student of the law so my questions is, legally speaking, what are the respective definitions of "marriage" and "civil union" and do they vary by state? What is the role of government in a "marriage" versus a "civil union"?

It seems to me that a marriage is a holy sacrament while a civil union is just that, a union recognized by the government. I understand that in some marriage ceremonies the officiant says something along the lines of "by the power vested in me by the state..." but is the state recognizing the sacrament of marriage or the union?

What I find interesting is that when measures are placed on the ballot to allow same sex marriage they are defeated by the electorate but I think if asked, most people would support civil unions between same sex couples. It would seem that the decision of whether to marry same sex couples would fall to the individual churches and congregations and in that case, wouldn't separation of church and state preclude the government from compelling religious groups to marry same sex couples?

I am all for equality before the law and it would seem to me that same sex civil unions would satisfy that condition. If a couple is dead set on being married in a church then the onus would be on them to find a church that would conduct such a ceremony and the Federal Government should have no say in the matter.
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Postby Beta on Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:10 am

MBlax327 wrote:Still, conditioning, doesn't qualify that as a choice......sorry if i am mincing at words here. But........that's not choosing, that's just realizing what you are attracted to.


Yes but you can choose to do that. Participating in a relationship with a man or woman is an action.

Actions are voluntary or involuntary. Breathing, Blinking, Heartbeat: Involuntary. Anything you can control and still be alive: Voluntary.

You could choose to go date a guy right now. You may not want to, but if you did want to, and you did it...you'd be gay, because of your actions, that you chose to do.

Ya heard?
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Postby MBlax327 on Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:53 am

Beta: Agreed that the action itself would be a choice. However, the attraction is what i don't think is voluntary in any way shape or form. And yes, i could date a guy right now, like it or not, and that would be my choice. But the fact that there are homosexuals who choose not to date men (like the governor of New Jersey did) doesn't make them any less homosexual. Their state is not one of choice.

Stryker: Let me preface by saying that i have always admired the level of intelligence you bring to these debates, whether i agree with you or not.

The legal statements and documents involved do not define marriage as a religious act. therefore, there is no reason why the legal portion of this dictates a changing of the naming convention. If anything, a look into the etymology (i think i spelled that correctly) of the word marriage would prove that it stems from the simple combination of wealth and property. (any other linguists out there that may have better research on this? man i should not have sold my textbooks back), and would prove that the term is something that was first used as a legal term, and then was adopted by religious institutions.

Although i agree that both parties would probably be okay with this, it does seem strange that the naming conventions would have to change on the part of the homosexuals, when marriage is something that the state is supposed to define. A religious institution acting without consent of the state results in absolutely no legal ramifications. In my opinion, everyone should have to get married at a courthouse. Then, if you so please, you can have a religious ceremony to your hearts content.

If you wish to change the name so that the people who adopted this term and gave it different meanings are content, then you should change it for everyone. Everyone should have to be civilly made into a union. then, go get married, but your marriage gives you no rights, your civil union does. That would be fair.
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Postby LaxRef on Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:46 pm

MBlax327 wrote:
Beta wrote:I believe that one's sexual preference (albeit man, woman, tree) are a CHOICE...since it's an action that someone does...and you can choose not to do it...whether you like it or not. The human brain can be conditioned just like an animal's to salivate at the sound of a bell, the sight of a blonde, brunette, whatever.


I disagree with this, although i don't know first hand the experience of finding men attractive. I find women attractive, and I think, that no matter how hard i tried i would not find men attractive in the same way. I don't think, that even with a benefit to being so, i could become a homosexual, i don't think i could choose to be a homosexual.

I don't see why it couldn't be the other way around. A child reaches sexual maturity and begins to notice what they find attractive. It very well could be, and without choosing asnything, they are simply attracted to men instead of women, like i am to women instead of men. Claiming that it is a genetic trait is not something i am trying to do, I'm just trying to say that i don't think it is, necessarily, a choice. Instead, it seems to me like someone would just be attracted to someone else, and that might include men, or exclude women, whatever the case may be.

However, i do appreciate that given that it is a choice, just like religion is a choice, that you have no problems with it. It's a lifestyle, let them live it.


I would say that being heterosexual or homosexual in terms of who you are attracted to is not a choice, but it is a choice whether or not you act on those desires. The problem comes when people try to tell other people what choice they should make, especially when most of these people are basing what the "correct" choice is on religion.

There's a great quote on this from the "Isaac and Ismael" episode of The West Wing (which aired shortly after 9/11 and is one of the best and most thought-provoking episodes of any television drama ever):

"...there's nothing wrong with a religion whose laws say a man's got to wear a beard or cover his head or wear a collar. It's when violation of these laws become a crime against the state and not your parents that we're talking about lack of choice."


I think that's especially apt in this discussion.
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Postby MBlax327 on Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:49 pm

LaxRef wrote:I would say that being heterosexual or homosexual in terms of who you are attracted to is not a choice, but it is a choice whether or not you act on those desires. The problem comes when people try to tell other people what choice they should make, especially when most of these people are basing what the "correct" choice is on religion.


And again, Good form, Ref.
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Postby Beta on Thu Jul 03, 2008 3:46 pm

MB,

If identical twins born from the same sets of genes contain one homosexual person and a sub 50% rate of a homosexual sibling who has identical genes...how can homosexuality be considered a mentally hard-wired trait? This is something would have to be developed after the split...but before cognitive reasoning can take effect.

I find it not possible that a mutation can occur in that time frame that only manages to effect the sex of which they are attracted to, and not anything else.

When does a child officially know that they are attracted to certain things. 5? 6 years old? 5 years in that stage of human development...conditioning towards/away-from anything is achievable.

Anytime you smell your favorite meal, you think "hungry". Anytime you hear your favorite song, you think "happy". Anytime you see whatever is your definition of attractive, you think "sex".

The way humans think about anything, can be altered and that is proven. What makes the direction of your sexual wants any different than any other portion of our thought?
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Twins and sexual orientation

Postby Jana on Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:43 pm

Study on Twins and sexual orientation
One widely cited study in the 1990s found that if one member of a pair of identical twins was gay, the other had a 52 percent chance of being gay. In contrast, the result for pairs of non-twin brothers, was 9 percent. A 2000 study of Australian identical twins found a much lower chance.

This is a pretty big statistic:

52% rate of homosexual orientation versus the national norm of 9% rate. To me this shows that orientation IS genetic, because twins share the same genes, for the most part.

The whole idea of "sanctity" does not belong in government. All marriages should be considered civil unions, and sancifying marriages should happen in churches (sorry to repeat an earlier, better written post).

We (or as JW says "man") choose to play ala carte with the New and Old Testiment rules to follow. Most men trim the sides of their beards, most women do not cover their hair, most people eat pig meat, mix clothing types, etc.

If the biblical laws against homosexuality should be the government's moral compass for laws, then we should also enforce all the other laws, allow polygamy (the bible does not speak against it), forbid women to speak in church, stone the astrologers, etc.

What I find most interesting about Jesus Christ is that when he showed up to fulfill the prophecy, he was nothing like the "establishment" of Jewish followers expected him to be. If he comes back again to walk this earth, I suspect he will be nothing like the "establishment" of Christian BibleBangers expects him to be. If it's anything like the last time, this is what I expect:

-he'll chase the moneymen out of the churches
-criticize the established religious denominations
-hang out with the discarded and detested (drug addicts, prostitutes, drug dealers, loan sharks, homeless, and....the homosexuals, among others)

Somehow I doubt the "apocalypse" is going to be anything like the "establishment" expects. Also, since scholars tell us that the disciples expected the world to end very soon - it's been over 2000 years. When is someone going to say The Emperor Has No Clothes? Maybe those predictions were false? Maybe the result of someone having a psychotic episode and he bothered to write it down? Maybe apocalyptic predictions should be stricken from the Bible?

Question - this idea that Christ places love in our hearts. Does this mean humans are incapable of loving others without Christ putting love there? People didn't love in the old testiment days?

IMHO, sexual orientation is something you are born with, like having green eyes, or growing to be 6'4", or having a large wingspan, or disliking the taste of coconut. It's just different. It shouldn't threaten your own hetero sexuality.
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Postby MBlax327 on Thu Jul 03, 2008 5:30 pm

Beta:
I do not have the research or documentation to back up my opinions, so please just take them as that, just opinions. In these opinions, i thought i had said that i did not think that it was a genetic "hard-wiring", although Jana's post makes me wonder about it. However, with the nurture part of our development, i do think that things can become hard wired, as i believe is the case in an attraction. if a person finds themselves attracted to a person of the same sex or gender, than i belive it was not a choice for them to do so, just like it was not my choice to dislike tomatoes or believe that maryland blue crabs are by far the greatest tasting thing on the face of this earth. I find women attractive, and i don't think i had a choice in the matter. All i am trying to say is that i belive, in my opinion, that homosexuals are influenced in the same way that i was, no matter what that influence actually is. Perhaps you are right, and it was some socio-cultural conditioning. That makes no difference to me. I still don't think that constitutes the possibility of choice. However, what i hadn't understood from some of your earlier posts, is that you were speaking about choosing to act on these attractions and desires. that, in fact is a choice. I apologize for the misinterpretation.

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Postby Steno on Thu Jul 03, 2008 5:43 pm

Beta wrote:MB,

If identical twins born from the same sets of genes contain one homosexual person and a sub 50% rate of a homosexual sibling who has identical genes...how can homosexuality be considered a mentally hard-wired trait? This is something would have to be developed after the split...but before cognitive reasoning can take effect.

I find it not possible that a mutation can occur in that time frame that only manages to effect the sex of which they are attracted to, and not anything else.

When does a child officially know that they are attracted to certain things. 5? 6 years old? 5 years in that stage of human development...conditioning towards/away-from anything is achievable.

Anytime you smell your favorite meal, you think "hungry". Anytime you hear your favorite song, you think "happy". Anytime you see whatever is your definition of attractive, you think "sex".

The way humans think about anything, can be altered and that is proven. What makes the direction of your sexual wants any different than any other portion of our thought?


First off not enough is known about genetics to really for sure say yes or no to this debate, but sources, like Jana's, point to yes.

Now Beta, two questions:

have you ever gotten excited when you've seen a naked man?

have you ever gotten excited when you've seen a naked woman?

Go back to the first time you made out. Heart beating, maybe a little twiching in the leg...just uncontrollable excitement. All of these responses totally out of your control. You didn't say, "heart beat, blood vessel's dilate, penis do your thing." You merely let your own natural response take its course.

Imagine if that first experience had been with a man. You probably feel a little repulsed at the idea, and as a heterosexual that is totally normal. A homosexual feels the same way about the very idea of heterosexual activity.

Even if these responses are conditioned, they are NOT voluntary, just as your desire for the female is not voluntary. You just feel it; it just seems right.

Recap: desire is not a choice. acting on desire is.
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Postby Beta on Thu Jul 03, 2008 6:49 pm

Steno wrote:First off not enough is known about genetics to really for sure say yes or no to this debate, but sources, like Jana's, point to yes.

Now Beta, two questions:

have you ever gotten excited when you've seen a naked man?

have you ever gotten excited when you've seen a naked woman?

Go back to the first time you made out. Heart beating, maybe a little twiching in the leg...just uncontrollable excitement. All of these responses totally out of your control. You didn't say, "heart beat, blood vessel's thdilate, penis do your thing." You merely let your own natural response take its course.

Imagine if that first experience had been with a man. You probably feel a little repulsed at the idea, and as a heterosexual that is totally normal. A homosexual feels the same way about the very idea of heterosexual activity.

Even if these responses are conditioned, they are NOT voluntary, just as your desire for the female is not voluntary. You just feel it; it just seems right.

Recap: desire is not a choice. acting on desire is.


How does Jana's source point to yes? Identical twins the vast overwhelming majority of the time have the same eye color, hair color, etc etc. A 50/50 split in terms of a gay twin having a similarly gay twin seems to point more towards the theory that something in their upbringing caused it. A 99/1 towards both twins being gay would be the majority that genetics could play a role.

Ok, I'll answer your questions even though they're something that someone would ask a homophobe, which if you knew me...you'd know that's not the case. No I have never gotten excited when seeing a naked man. Yes I have/do get excited seeing a naked woman whom I find attractive. I don't have the stereotypical knee-jerk reaction to the ought of making out with a dude. It's just not something I wanna do, so I wouldn't freak out about the thought.

Acting on a desire is a choice, I agree.

If someone can go from gay to straight, or vice versa...then it's a choice, no?

Jana wrote:...shouldn't threaten your own hetero sexuality...


Agreed...if something threatens your sexuality then you can choose to try something else...since it cleared wasn't "hard-wired" in the first place. Sexuality IMHO is soft-wired, just as other mental processes, which is all sexuality is my fellow animals.

(To summarize, I don't think people are born gay/straight/whatever. Nor do I think genetics can determine how a person's brain is going to interpret future likes/dislikes. I think it is something that surfaces during the developmental stage of life. Yes, things like that can be conditioned over the later part of life...but it takes a lot longer to "learn" than a young child would. Thus a "choice" in a sense that it can be changed. Ie soft-wired, not hard-wired. I don't a full-fledged straight woman can wake up liking women all of a sudden. But over time, I 100% believe it is possible to start thinking that way.)
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Re: Twins and sexual orientation

Postby cecilc on Thu Jul 03, 2008 6:53 pm

Jana wrote:What I find most interesting about Jesus Christ is that when he showed up to fulfill the prophecy, he was nothing like the "establishment" of Jewish followers expected him to be. If he comes back again to walk this earth, I suspect he will be nothing like the "establishment" of Christian BibleBangers expects him to be. If it's anything like the last time, this is what I expect:

-he'll chase the moneymen out of the churches
-criticize the established religious denominations
-hang out with the discarded and detested (drug addicts, prostitutes, drug dealers, loan sharks, homeless, and....the homosexuals, among others)


Agreed ... The Jewish version of The Messiah is a "warrior messiah" - not a "philisophical messiah" .... So when Jesus preached and loved instead of single-handedly routing the Romans and freeing Judea .... that just wasn't what the masses were expecting .....

I would add one more "expectation" to your list:

- he'll probably be viewed as just another "kook" by the majority of people (we're just that cynical ...)

Jana wrote:Somehow I doubt the "apocalypse" is going to be anything like the "establishment" expects. Also, since scholars tell us that the disciples expected the world to end very soon - it's been over 2000 years. When is someone going to say The Emperor Has No Clothes? Maybe those predictions were false? Maybe the result of someone having a psychotic episode and he bothered to write it down? Maybe apocalyptic predictions should be stricken from the Bible?


Every generation has felt that they were living in the "end times" .... and I have lived through several "End of The World" predictions in my lifetime. We know that those predictions were wrong (I mean, we're still here!) ....

Jesus said that He would come as a thief in the night ... meaning: "man" cannot predict that event ... and "man" has proven that he cannot predict that event! Just do a search for all of the dates that someone has predicted that the world will end - you'll find a wad of useless (albeit interesting) predictions of our demise ...

So .... "No" - I don't believe that the Biblical apocalyptic predictions are wrong. Your feeling that The Emperor Has No Clothes comes from "man's" expectations of imminent fulfillment of those predictions ... because they haven't happened yet doesn't make the predictions wrong. Just because "scholars tell us that the disciples expected the world to end very soon" doesn't mean that it was due to happen ....

Again, it's how "man" interprets all of this that causes all the misinformation; misunderstanding; and misuse of the Bible's message(s) ....
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Postby Steno on Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:21 pm

Beta wrote:If someone can go from gay to straight, or vice versa...then it's a choice, no?


Can they? I don't think so. I think one realizes their own true sexuality in time. I think the 'confused' period comes from our culture norming heterosexuality and otherizing homosexuality. If all orientations were treated equally in our culture, then everyone could feel comfortable with their God-given desires.

Also, did you choose to be straight? Or is it a choice you make each time you interact with someone?
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Postby LaxRef on Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:34 pm

Beta wrote:How does Jana's source point to yes? Identical twins the vast overwhelming majority of the time have the same eye color, hair color, etc etc. A 50/50 split in terms of a gay twin having a similarly gay twin seems to point more towards the theory that something in their upbringing caused it. A 99/1 towards both twins being gay would be the majority that genetics could play a role.


The smoking gun would be the rate in twins separated at birth. I don't know that they have that data.

But there's still a major flaw in your reasoning: the assumption that saying that there's a genetic component to sexual orientation means that sexual orientation is driven entirely by genetics, and that people are either "gay" or "straight." More likely, environment has some part in it, and there's probably also a continuum with some people "gay" or "straight," some people "bi," and some people "mostly gay" or "mostly straight."

That 50% vs. 9% figure really is staggering if you understand statistics. There's clearly something going on here. Oh, the other obvious comparison to make is, "What's the rate of homosexuality in pairs of same-sex fraternal twins vs. the rate in identical twins?" If the rate in fraternal twins is 9% and in identical twins it's 50%, you can't deny the role in genetics. Even if the rate for fraternal twins is higher than 9%, it's not too hard to do a Chi-squared test to see if there's a statistically significant difference.

In fact, that's too obvious an idea for someone to not have thought of it before me. Here's one study:

http://researchmag.asu.edu/stories/supporting.html

That link doesn't show the statistical analysis, but I got the needed data from the article and came up with a Chi-squared statistic of 7.18 on 1 degree of freedom, which is highly statistically significant. The p-value is 0.0074, which means there is only about a 74 out of 10,000 chance of seeing a result this strong if fraternal and identical twins had the same probability of concordance.
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Postby Beta on Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:26 pm

LaxRef wrote:
The smoking gun would be the rate in twins separated at birth. I don't know that they have that data.


Bingo.


But there's still a major flaw in your reasoning: the assumption that saying that there's a genetic component to sexual orientation means that sexual orientation is driven entirely by genetics, and that people are either "gay" or "straight." More likely, environment has some part in it, and there's probably also a continuum with some people "gay" or "straight," some people "bi," and some people "mostly gay" or "mostly straight."


That's the exact opposite of my reasoning actually. I think it's based on environment. To be blunt, nature vs nurture...I believe nurture is the cause. I think Ron White said it best, everyone's gay...it's just a matter of how gay. Be it 1%, 50% or 100%.

That 50% vs. 9% figure really is staggering if you understand statistics. There's clearly something going on here. Oh, the other obvious comparison to make is, "What's the rate of homosexuality in pairs of same-sex fraternal twins vs. the rate in identical twins?" If the rate in fraternal twins is 9% and in identical twins it's 50%, you can't deny the role in genetics. Even if the rate for fraternal twins is higher than 9%, it's not too hard to do a Chi-squared test to see if there's a statistically significant difference.


I actually majored in statistics. There's a problem though, since they have a common constant (which you mentioned earlier) and that is that their environments in which they're raised are the same. That skews all data. That's like saying "all these ice cubes melt in the desert, and these bigger ice cubes melt in the desert also". That's why what you said earlier about separately-raised children being important. That would be some information I'd love to see (something for me to google at work, perhaps?).
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Postby LaxRef on Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:18 am

Beta wrote:
LaxRef wrote:
The smoking gun would be the rate in twins separated at birth. I don't know that they have that data.


Bingo.


But there's still a major flaw in your reasoning: the assumption that saying that there's a genetic component to sexual orientation means that sexual orientation is driven entirely by genetics, and that people are either "gay" or "straight." More likely, environment has some part in it, and there's probably also a continuum with some people "gay" or "straight," some people "bi," and some people "mostly gay" or "mostly straight."


That's the exact opposite of my reasoning actually. I think it's based on environment. To be blunt, nature vs nurture...I believe nurture is the cause. I think Ron White said it best, everyone's gay...it's just a matter of how gay. Be it 1%, 50% or 100%.


I don't think it is. You're saying, "It must be environment, because if it were genetic it would be 100%." But that's not the case: it can be heavily dependent on genetics while still depending on environment. Consider the fair-skinned person who's in the sun all the time vs. the fair-skinned person who lives in the sewers: they're both more susceptible to skin cancer due to genetics, but the one in the sun all the time is the one who's most likely to get it.

Beta wrote:
That 50% vs. 9% figure really is staggering if you understand statistics. There's clearly something going on here. Oh, the other obvious comparison to make is, "What's the rate of homosexuality in pairs of same-sex fraternal twins vs. the rate in identical twins?" If the rate in fraternal twins is 9% and in identical twins it's 50%, you can't deny the role in genetics. Even if the rate for fraternal twins is higher than 9%, it's not too hard to do a Chi-squared test to see if there's a statistically significant difference.


I actually majored in statistics. There's a problem though, since they have a common constant (which you mentioned earlier) and that is that their environments in which they're raised are the same. That skews all data. That's like saying "all these ice cubes melt in the desert, and these bigger ice cubes melt in the desert also". That's why what you said earlier about separately-raised children being important. That would be some information I'd love to see (something for me to google at work, perhaps?).


But that's the beauty of this study: each set of twins, fraternal or identical, is raised within the same environment. You have one gay twin in each group, and the other one serves as the control. If it were all or mostly environment, you'd expect identical twins and fraternal twins to have the same rate of concordance since they have the same environment growing up. But they're not! The identical twins have a much higher rate of both being gay than the fraternal twins.

Now, what's the difference here? Well, the difference between Twin A and Twin B in each pair isn't environment, since they grew up together in the same house, went to the same schools, etc. But the fraternal twins are not genetically identical, while the identical twins are. Thus, even for twins raised in the same environment, rate of concordance for the ones with the same genes is statistically significantly different from the rate for the ones with different genes, which says pretty clearly that there's a genetic component.

Interestingly, the rate of concordance for fraternal twins is higher than the rate of homosexuality in the general population. That's likely because in some of those pairs of fraternal twins, both twins have the relevant genes.

Suppose it's one "gay" gene, which gives you about a 66% chance of being gay (based on the identical twins in the linked article). Then for fraternal twins, you'd expect that if one twin had the gene then in about half the cases the other would as well (this is a bit of an oversimplification, since we don't know if the gene is dominant or recessive, we don't know if it's linked to other genes, etc.). Then in about half the cases with one gay twin, you'd expect the "gay" trait to show up in the other. Since .50*.66=0.33, you'd expect about 33% of the fraternal pairs to show concordance, and in the article the fraternal twins had a 30% rate.

Maybe you're not convinced, but I am. :D
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