by Stuart Gathman


Sitting there with folded hands
And peaceful heart and restful mind I see
The warm sunlit color
Of brown and red and gold leaves rustling
With a spicy, rich, dark, earth smell stirring
In the cool caress of crisp autumn air
Glinting here and there with shadow shapes
Of carved wood chairs and rough, red hearth
And wondering recollect the days of joy and pain
And stumbling steps and breathless pace,
A table set by God and spread with blessings amply served,
And now for which as afterward I sit in time of rest
My heart with quiet thankfulness is overflowed
And eagerly awaits
The dawn.
Posted 11/19/2006 at 8:35 PM

:)-referring to the post
ps. thanks for your comment:)
Posted 11/20/2006 at 10:4 AM by pikljooce
thanks for the ideas! :) certainly is coming down to the decision...i need to research more.
Posted 12/6/2006 at 3:28 PM by pikljooce
Who wrote this?
Posted 12/12/2006 at 3:43 PM by bptzdbyfyre

Sunday November 19, 2006
        Conversation on Saturday, August 31, 2002 with a young man
        at a Subway somewhere in the cornfields of Indiana.

Are you a Christian?

  No, I used to be, but I'm not anymore.

What is your group called?

  We don't have a name.  We have chapters all over the world.

How do your beliefs differ from that of Christians?

  We never ask for donations, and follow *only* what the Bible says.  We reject all worldy influence, and have no TV, radio, or newspapers.

In what ways do Christians add to or fail to obey the teaching of Scripture?

  Jesus sent His disciples out 2 by 2, with no purse or provisions.

George Muller, St Benedict, St Francsis embodied this principle in different ways.  How does your group handle differing interpretations of a Scripture?

  I'm not aware of any difference in interpretation.  It has never come up.

How does your group handle someone teaching a different doctrine?  For instance, suppose someone started teaching that Jesus only apperared to be Human?  How would this be corrected?

  But Jesus does *not* have a Human nature!  He overcame our Human Nature so that we can overcome it also.

Ok, suppose I come to your group and claim that Jesus is fully Human as well as Divine.  How would you handle it?

  I don't know.  We go by what the Bible says.  The Bible says Jesus overcame the flesh, and we are to become like Christ.

The Bible also says "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us," and promises resurrection of the body for both the just and unjust.  What do you call Adam's nature before the fall?

  I don't know.  I have to go...

Posted 11/19/2006 at 5:20 PM


"...for they shall cry unto Jehovah
because of oppressors,
and he will send them a saviour,
and a defender, and he will deliver them."
(Isaiah 19:20)(ASV)-BibleGateway

"...At the time that God
has already decided,
he will send Jesus Christ
back again."
(1Timothy 6:15)(CEV)-BibleGateway

"I have come in My Father's name
and with His power..."
(John 5:43)(AMP)-BibleGateway

"I will come with the mighty acts
of the Lord Jehovah..."
(Psalm 71:16)(ASV)-BibleGateway

Posted 11/19/2006 at 7:25 PM by Anonymous

Sunday November 12, 2006
I am often asked if there is a secular reason to be against "gay" "marriage".  There are many reasons based on historical sources and authorities which are not accepted by most secularists.  But there are secular reasons as well.  I think the best way to answer is to first explain what the "gay" "marriage" issue is not.   We will leave aside the question of whether sexual behaviours commonly called "gay" are healthy or moral for another discussion.

It is not about redefining words.  Words like "gay" and the like are too far gone to be worth trying to save.  It is true that the more radical gay advocacy groups are intent on redefining the word "marriage".  However, this only serves to confuse those trying to think about the issue.  It doesn't change the issue.  Marriage is what it is even if the activists force us to make up a new word for it.  Furthermore, there are honest efforts to create "civil unions" that don't attempt to redefine marriage - just create a legal framework that resembles it in some ways.

It is not about freedom.  In the United States, everyone is free to engage in any desired sexual behaviour in private.  (There are increasingly minor restrictions on what may be done in public that apply equally to all types of sexual behaviour, and practices involving a minor, or fatal to a partner in the short term are illegal.)  Furthermore, everyone is free to exchange public vows of fidelity (or infidelity) with persons or animals  (yes, a woman exchanged vows with her dog in public) of any description while calling on any deity, demon, or non-existence of same that they choose.  Everyone is free to sign  legal documents with any person or persons creating mutual privileges and obligations just like a civil marriage (sorry, bestie buffs are out of luck until they succeed in getting animals declared as "persons").  They do not need to hire a lawyer to create such documents from scratch - if their type of sexual behaviour is at all popular (and is a kind that wants such obligations), an advocacy group has most likely already created standard forms.

It is not about tax benefits.  Until recently, civil marriage carried a tax penalty, prompting many couples to say their vows and skip the civil marriage - or get a civil divorce each December and remarry in January.  Even recent reforms do not entirely eliminate the marriage penalty.

So what on earth are gay activists trying to get with civil unions or gay "marriage" that they don't already have?  They want explicit official approval.  They already have implicit approval with the repeal of sodomy laws in most states.  But they want explicit approval - a pat on the back.  The more radical elements want to brand those who fail to sing their praises with proper feeling as "bigots" guilty of "hate crime" (which makes those who demand this gay fascists), but most of those calling for civil unions just want official approval.

Before we consider civil unions, we need to ask why we have civil marriage.  Why not have weddings in churches or covens of choice, sign a legal agreement and be done with it?  Civil marriages are supposed to encourage marriage because the survival of the state depends on the next generation.  In other words, it is a "compelling state interest".  Lest you think this is an exaggeration, look at the fate of Germany and France today.  The survival of the German nation depends on whether the current secretary of family affairs, a woman setting the example with 7 children, can convince enough other Germans to take on the challenge of raising a family.  In the United States, the birth rate is still stable.  But this depends on enough people not just having babies, but raising families.  Civil unions do not meet such a state interest.  

There are those who resent the role of marriage and families in nurturing the next generation.  They propose "advanced" methods of procreation that involve breeders (or test tubes) and day care in place of marriage and family.  (Sound familiar?)  This vision is the next step in the process of separating sex and procreation.  This process began with birth control.  Now, people were told, you can have sex whenever you please, and have children when you please (if you please - which Europeans today by and large don't).  Same sex, and inter-species sexual behaviours are more ways to get sex with out procreation.  Test tube babies, surrogate mothers, sperm banks, egg banks, are all ways to get procreation without sex.  Abortion is a way to "fix" unwanted procreation after the fact.

We have not yet reached the limits of this separation.  In "That Hideous Strength", C. S. Lewis describes the fictional selenites (moon people) as lying with images of their mates, warmed and animated by cunning arts, while their children are conceived in vats by machinery.  Our culture is already exploring the fringes of selenite culture with virtual pornography.

But if we do reach this nirvahna of endless sex without responsibility, scientifically controlled procreation, and children raised by villages of professionals, so that marriage is no longer a compelling state interest, then civil unions are still less a state interest.

Edited on January 20, 2007 to correct reference to German Chancellor.
Posted 11/12/2006 at 5:14 PM

your posts are longer than Mrs. Murphy's ack!
Posted 11/13/2006 at 9:51 PM by greenbubbles6
In case anyone thinks I am alone in my views, here is a secularist presenting the secular argument against state sponsored civil unions.
Posted 12/6/2006 at 8:33 PM by CustomDesigned
Some comments from a German who considers himself a libertarian. Note that even in Europe many (though probably not most) would disagree to my PoV, but that doesn't make it any less my PoV, so here it goes:
First, I don't know the exact situation of gay activism in the USA, but I strongly suspect it is much more radical and emotional than here in Europe.
"Marriage is what it is even if the activists force us to make up a new word for it." — Well, that's a very traditionalist argument. It doesn't make much sense to an unreligious, all-out humanist such as me. To me, marriage is a completely artificial concept. In a German context, it mostly means tax benefits and the right to refuse to give evidence. Following your argument, the metric unit system or, for that matter, SPF shameless plug) are bad because they break with tradition.
If you ask me, official marriage (including any tax benefits or penalties) should be abolished altogether. "Straight" couples don't need official approval, either. Why not have weddings in churches or covens of choice, sign a legal agreement and be done with it? (I'm sure you get the point.) I seriously doubt that "official approval of marriage" poses a significant encouragement for people to have children.
With a fertility rate of 2.01 in 2006, France doesn't have a significant fertility problem, unlike Germany (2006: 1.39). Here in Europe, I haven't heard anyone claiming for a long time that marriage has any significant impact on the probability of giving birth to a child. Rather, one of the most determining factors -- if not the most determining one -- is the level of compatibility of family and career (AKA work/life balance). In Germany, the friendliness of companies towards mothers and their children leaves a lot to be desired, so women often feel they have to choose between pursuing some career or having a child — mostly regardless whether they're married or not. In France, work/life balance is much better for mothers: many companies offer child care facilities, and parental protection laws are better. The same
(BTW, your reference to German chancellor Merkel having seven children is incorrect — she doesn't have any (and is sometimes, though very rarely, criticized for that). It is the secretary of family affairs who does have seven.)
Posted 1/20/2007 at 11:36 AM by jmehnle
(Oh, and BTW, I'm not gay, if that matters to anyone.)
Posted 1/20/2007 at 11:41 AM by jmehnle
Well, that's a very traditionalist argument.

The lines are blurry sometimes, and its difficult to make distinctions. The definition of marriage is a matter of precedent, since the definition is a legal definition. Precedent and tradition are both rooted in historic meaning, but they are not the same.

To me, marriage is a completely artificial concept.

Is it? Not really. It is an anthropological or sociological concept, but that doesn't make it artificial. It is based in our common humanity which is one race and two genders, but it isn't 'man made'. No more than any other concept of civilization.

If you ask me, official marriage (including any tax benefits or penalties) should be abolished altogether.

I offer that your lack of value in marriage is simply a lack of appreciation of it.
Posted 1/22/2007 at 1:24 AM by OnLawn
The "civil union" is a political sleight-of-hand having been created purely for political purposes in order to satisfy a loud and whiny special interest group.

This is because the government has no important state interest in promoting civil unions — "gay marriage” really — which really applies to those types or models of relationships incapable by nature of producing offspring.

Government has no legitimate interest or business either in regulating or institutionalizing the private and personal relationships of consenting adults of these types of relationships, which would include those between friends or partners of the same sex regardless of sexual intimacy. If two people of this type of relationship wish to make a contractual living arrangement between them they can have a legal contract of sorts drawn up by lawyers. There is no reason why society should subsidize or bear the costs of private, intimate relationships that have no compelling state interest.

When people have actively sought to make government stay out of the private lives of consenting adults when government interference was disadvantageous to them, they can't very well expect government to then intrude into their lives just because it would now be advantageous to them. The principle of non-intrusion works both ways.

The government, however, does have an important state interest in promoting the relationships of men and women, since only their relationships are able to produce future citizens. To promote and protect this relationship by institutionalizing it with the advantages and legal status of marriage increases the likelihood of producing and raising offspring in optimal circumstances in order that they become responsible and productive citizens.

The difference between marriage and civil unions, then, is the difference between relationships that have an important state interest and ones that don't.
Posted 1/22/2007 at 5:53 AM by Charlie_Feather

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