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ariesjow

Church Street: Nashville's "Gay District?"

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Also, I have a problem with your ideas about telling gays their lifestyles are wrong. I think that there has to be a way for them to know. God won't appear to them and tell them that what they do is wrong. That is why he sends us here to do that. However, don't get me wrong. I don't think we should go and say "YOU ARE A SINNER. UNLESS YOU CHANGE RIGHT NOW, YOU WILL GO TO HELL!" That is wrong, and will just make them hate Christians that much more. But I do believe that it is our job to do the convicting.

"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven" - Luke 6:37

"What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church?" - 1 Corinthians 5:12

I think the Bible makes it very clear that it is not our job as christians to judge the actions and lifestyles of non-christians (see Matthew 7:1-2 as well).

Of course, as Heckles said, religious beliefs should have absolutely nothing to do with the legality of gay marriage. "intolerance of sin" is fine for your personal beliefs - if in fact you believe that being gay is a sin (which many christians do not) - but to suggest that somehow intolerance of sin should be written into the constitution is a massive miscarriage of justice. i'm sure that somewhere in the bible you could find passages that could be interpreted to promote slavery, prevent women's rights, outlaw interracial marriages, and end all divorce - and in fact, the bible was used against all these things.

here's the thing: gay marriage is eventually going to be legal. whether its next year or 100 years from now, gay marriage will eventually be reconsidered in the same way as heterosexual marriage. other countries (including our northern neighbor) have already legalized it nationwide, while massachusetts is the first domestic state to do so. New York's likely new governor has already said he wants to make legalizing it an issue and its only a matter of time before california does so. you can fight it all you want, but its gonna become legal because there is really very little legal justification for denying homosexuals the right to marriage.

i guess i just don't understand why people feel like homosexuals are pushing their lifestyle down everyone's throats...how is gay marriage going to change the sanctity of heterosexual marriage? Your marriage doesn't mean anything less - its just that now, homosexuals can enjoy the same rights and benefits that everyone else gets...

but yeah, i guess this has come off topic, so maybe a mod could start a gay marriage thread for all these posts...and we can continue to talk about the great rebirth of church street on here

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Homosexuals dont' "push" their lifestyles down anyones throat anymore than a Christian does theirs. It all boils down to personal beliefs that "you or I are right, and everyone else is wrong" type of thing.

We as a human race have got to find a better way to survive on the Earth.

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This got hot, fast?!?

To clarify I said that it was 'my' mistake because I thought the thread was in the was in the Nashville forum and not the Nashville-coffee house forum. Tot Pack pointed out my mistake and I said my bad.

Also I said the extremes from BOTH sides were trying to push agendas. You obviously agree that certain faiths have agendas but somehow you have a problem believing the homosexual lobby has certain goals beyond civil unions/gay marriage?? Get real...

And not to sound like a broken record but the public school system is NOT the proper forum for ANY ideological agendas (Gay or Straight)!

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Homosexuals dont' "push" their lifestyles down anyones throat anymore than a Christian does theirs. It all boils down to personal beliefs that "you or I are right, and everyone else is wrong" type of thing.

We as a human race have got to find a better way to survive on the Earth.

Ahhh.. a rational voice. Regarding homosexuality and Christianity, I believe it comes down to this: Do you interpret the Bible from a mostly literal or figurative perspective? I was raised to believe the Bible MUST be read literallly [KJV only, by the way] but now I know better. The Bible must be viewed in the context of its time, when science wasn't a factor. Back then, they believed the earth was flat, that thoughts literally came from heart, and that the entire universe revolved around the earth. The Bible was penned largely by severely ignorant people with their own social and religous agendas. To say every word was inspired by God is a stretch. Whatever the Bible says about stoning non-virgins, the roles of women, dietary requirements, medicine, science and homosexuality are irrelevant in postmodern times. For a Christian, I believe the Bible is a good to study for history's sake, and to learn how Jesus lived his life. And in my most honest opinion, if you're a good Christian, you'll learn from Jesus' life and let the rest go. So yeah, thank God gays are gaining visibility in Nashville. Praise God, even. I was extremely surprised to see two women walking down Lower Broadway last week arm in arm. For a minute I wondered if I was in the West Village, but naw, I was in good ol' Nashville.

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A lot has been brought up in this thread since I last joined the conversation, so I doubt I'll be able to address all of the issues that were brought up. barakat, I don't believe it's a stretch to say that the whole Bible is God's Word. There have been several things expressed by others in this thread on this point. Basically it comes down to faith.

Secondly, a lot of stereotyping of conservatives has gone on, and I can certainly understand why that's the case, but let me give you a little more insight into my position on some matters that were brought up. Firstly, I don't think that a Constitutional amendment is what is needed here. I think this is a matter that falls under the 10th amendment quite adequately. It should be up to the states to decide this matter. Secondly, I don't believe the Federal government should be involved in public schools at all. Their current involvement including the existence of a federal department of education is unconstitutional. The war in Iraq was also brought up and I oppose it wholeheartedly on the grounds that it is unnecessary, unconstitutional, and immoral. Hopefully my statements will help clarify where I'm coming from.

Thirdly on the issue of bringing judgement, that's not my point here. God has rendered the judgement on the act of homosexual sex, it is a sin. My point here is not to call out any individuals for condemnation, but rather to answer the movement that would have gay marriage openly practiced throughout this land. At the very least I may be called upon to respond with a vote, and I don't believe I should be silent on the matter either.

Finally a question to those who believe that homosexuals have a right to marry: where do you believe that right, or any rights at all come from? I am curious as to your answers.

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I believe in the Locke theory that there are natural inalienable rights that nature gives every human. Its not about God, the government, or human beings.

We have natural inalienable rights that governments think they "grant" us, but the reality is that government either stands in the way of the natural right, or they allow it to happen. If they stand in our way, the government is wrong and should be either changed or punished for doing so.

At this point in history, for this particular issue (gay marriage), the government is not granting each individual human being inalienable natural rights of self governance according to their individual adult consensual needs.

The U.S Constitution was written before the industrial age. It did not forsee the need to transfer benefits between entities and individuals as we need today. Industrialized medical care, industrialized real estate, industrialized pension benefits are beyond what the original founders had in mind.

We've build an industrial society that excludes a certain portion of our population, and its time for that to end.

Besides industrialization, most people who follow the current conservative Christian movement rant about traditional marriage and don't really even understand what traditional legal marriage is.

Do people who follow conservative Christian leaders realize that marriage before slavery was ended wasn't eligible for non-white black americans? These rights were only granted to them - even though they naturally had the right through nature and were being discriminated against - after the Civil War in much of the country.

When this country began, marriage licenses weren't government documents, they were church documents. This is before industrialization.

Gay men and women secretly had ceremonies for many years, and are having them today with increasing honesty and openness.

Its only time before government grants the legal right that we already have by nature.

Most people don't understand traditional marriage. All people think about when they think marriage is man + woman. They don't realize slaves weren't legally able to be married barely 150 years ago right here in our own nation.

Traditional marriage has always underwent change. Marriage many times in the early 1800's was a ceremony outside the control of people. Women were forced to marry, and women under many cultures within this nation were considered property of husbands until the women's rights movement.

Conservative Christians, Moderate Christians, Liberal Christians, and Non-Christians alike wouldn't recognize so-called "traditional marriage" even from 100 years ago before the women's rights movement, and we're just talking about history within the life spans of your great grandparents down to us.

Traditional marriage wasn't about romance, it was about a financial arrangement or a heirarchy and social order. Men in the 1800's would marry a wife based on tradition, without government approval, and their wife would in effect be property. They'd go around screwing mistresses on a regular basis. But they'd still be married.

Most Conservative Christians don't even understand traditional marriage itself, and in my opinion you need to truly understand history before you can stand for something so strongly.

That's why marriages are more unstable today as opposed to the 1800's. Marriage is about passion and romance more than property and financial arrangements in modern times. Women are considered equal to Men in modern marriage. This is a new concept created since the turn of the 1900's for crying out loud...

Men screwed around in the 1800's all the time, but they remained married, and their wives were obedient to the social norms of the time.

We're not as civilized of a society that we think.

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Thanks for answering my question, heckles. Part of the problem with any type of discussion like this stems from the different world views we're coming from and espousing. I personally take the standpoint laid out in the Declaration of Independence where unalienable rights are concerned: that we are endowed with them by our Creator. I don't see marriage between homosexuals as a right that is being withheld because I don't believe it is a God-given right at all given that God's Word stipulates that homosexual sex is a sin, that it is unnatural.

I'm glad you brought up the concept of marriage as a church function. Marriage is an institution given to man by God, therefore I'm inclined to believe that it falls within the realm of church authority, though I'm open to hearing other opinions on this point. God's recognition of the marriages of black men and women supersedes any governmental recognition or lack thereof. However, God doesn't give approval to homosexuality, so the comparison is apples to oranges.

I think the focus on "traditional marriage" is the wrong approach to this debate from a Christian standpoint. The focus shouldn't be on tradition, but on Godliness. I think it just comes down to the fact that the phrase "traditional marriage" has more marketing value as a campaign tool than the Word of God, and that's a sad thing.

As I said before I oppose a constitutional amendment regarding marriage. I think it's definitely under the jurisdiction of the states, not the federal government. I will honestly be very surprised if such an amendment is ever seriously pushed as I think the concept exists largely as a carrot to appeal to "conservative" voters and not the result of a will to see such an amendment go forward.

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As long as you understand that Thomas Jefferson, the creator of the Declaration of Independence, was a Deist and not a Christian.

When he wrote of the Creator, he meant mother nature. Not exactly your typical Christian view of what God is.

Thomas Jefferson was viewed as an enemy to religion in his time by some.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_jeffer...Religious_views

Read more about him if you want. I'm into history so I hope everyone really understands what our founding fathers meant by "God" as opposed to what the Falwell's and Robertson's of today falsely tell us.

You may not be a conservative Christian if you are against a gay marriage amendment, at least on this issue. If you do not support an amendment then you aren't the one my frustrations are directed toward. Please keep this in mind.

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I'm also interested in history, and Jefferson definitely had some interesting religious views. He even made up his own Bible by picking and choosing the passages of Scripture that he liked and leaving the rest. Not cool. However, most of the founding fathers were Christian, and I believe would have interpreted the Declarations statements on the Creator differently than the deists. At the very least the Declaration presupposes that there is a Creator and that our rights come from Him. I believe most people at the time would have seen that Creator as the God of the Bible, and that is certainly where I believe our rights come from.

I am a conservative Christian, I just think the problem is that the meaning, to a lot of people, behind that phrase has changed. The politicians in Washington who go about under the banner of conservatism are in fact neoconservatives, a whole other group entirely, whom I oppose. My belief is that they use Christianity to grab earthly power, and that many if not most of them are not sincere in their beliefs.

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The intentions and beliefs of the original founding fathers of the United States of America aren't that ambiguous, and there is little debate that almost none were evangelical Christians. Most were deist believers and would be considered atheist by the current conservative Christian movement even though they professed a belief in God.

That is a discussion for another day, I'm just saying my belief of inalienable rights and individual freedom is the root of my belief in gay marriage for all.

Gay marriage is bound to happen, and part of celebrating gay marriage and diversity is to have a gay community that is identifiable. Would giving Church St. official identity as a gay district be a harmful thing? Hardly. It would be great to celebrate diversity.

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I disagree with you on the beliefs of the founding fathers, but as you say, that's a discussion for another topic. On the topic of Church St. I do think it would be harmful for the city to officially identify the street as a gay district. Again, the harm is that giving a district such recognition would be the city's proclamation that homosexuality is a good and acceptable thing, when it is not. Putting it's stamp of approval on homosexuality would put the city at odds with God on this issue.

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I disagree with you on the beliefs of the founding fathers, but as you say, that's a discussion for another topic. On the topic of Church St. I do think it would be harmful for the city to officially identify the street as a gay district. Again, the harm is that giving a district such recognition would be the city's proclamation that homosexuality is a good and acceptable thing, when it is not. Putting it's stamp of approval on homosexuality would put the city at odds with God on this issue.

It is neither the city of Nashville's place, your place, nor anyone else's place to tell me whether or not my homosexuality is a good and acceptable thing. I know nothing of your life other than what you have written on here. Is it my place to accept you and your wife's relationship as a good thing? Of course not. I could not care less about that part of your life. I would expect and appreciate the same courtesy. I have a wonderful group of friends, a family that I'm very close to, and lead a very normal, productive life. My life is very similar to yours in every way but one, and that way is my own thing to deal with.

While I'm not looking for validation, I will absoulutely vote no to something that would disqualify me from the same rights you accept as God given.

It's amusing to me you can write in another forum about how bashing one's town is wrong, but in this forum you can state how something which is at the very core of a person's being is wrong.

Original forum topic......I love having Church Streeet as a safe, compact, social outlet. It doesn't need to officially be deemed a gay district....Walks like a duck, talks like a duck...chances are its already very much a duck.

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^ Thanks for comment MurfRez. I don't think there's any conflict in the two stances I've taken that you mentioned. Bashing someone's city is wrong, and so is homosexual sex. Let me be clear on one thing: I would never want to bring childish name-calling into this debate, nor do I seek to call you or anyone else out on any issue of sin. As big a sinner as I am, that would be silly. My point is only to stand against something that I feel is wrong, and a city lending its support and acceptance to the sin of homosexuality would be wrong.

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shoot.. this is a hot topic it seems.

i look away for two seconds and everyone is throwing their opinions down everyones throats.

welp, since it is hand in hand (gay marriage and a gay district?) i guess i will continue to share my thoughts.

yeah.. i think for my generation (young adults and teens) we feel (and I'm not talking for EVERYONE, just my perspective of my generation) don't really care about gay marriage.

it isn't a big deal. people love one another (like i have argued before). thats that. its love.

not religious. (althought it seems in order for you to marry someone.. you must be religious?)

i and i think alot of others are tired of this arguement..

its ridiculous how the conservative agenda pushes and pushes..

you keep pushing.. and you will definately get a bigger push back.

and throwing religion into it is silly. cause marriage doesn't have to be religious at all.

but yeah, this is why i love nashville. BECAUSE you have such a mixture of cultures and lifestyles.

its really great that we can atleast talk about this..

you probably can't go to other areas and actually hold conversations about this topic.

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^ I agree that it's great we can talk about this, and I think we've all been pretty civil with each other. I would say marriage is "religious" in that it's a gift from God for one man and one woman to join together. I believe that God is active in the affairs of mankind. A Christian can't (or shouldn't) attempt to compartmentalize God into some areas of his life and leave Him out of others. What I mean is, God must come into every part of every discussion, especially in one such as this where we're debating morality, rights, and policy. God is not an abstract construct of a religious system, but rather the Holy Creator of all that is.

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It is neither the city of Nashville's place, your place, nor anyone else's place to tell me whether or not my homosexuality is a good and acceptable thing.

Really that's what it all comes down to. I'm gay, you're gay, and really the opinions of other people shouldn't matter whether or not we get rights. But they have the freedom to talk and teach as they wish within their own social circles and families.

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I can appreciate the fact that this conversation hasn't gone down the toilet yet. Thanks for the civilized discussion fellas.

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Shoot, I'd be glad for just civil unions, as long as we aren't considered second class citzens..

I just want to know when I'm older I can marry anyone I want without having to "please" anyone, or go by anyone elses standards.

It doesn't seem fair for you to use religion as the bases of telling two people you can't love one another and actually express your emotions..

Society will get use to the idea.. its just going to take time.

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It doesn't seem fair for you to use religion as the bases of telling two people you can't love one another and actually express your emotions..

The question shouldn't be whether or not any "religion" accepts it, but whether or not God accepts it.

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OK, this is my last comment on this topic.

Jews marry.

Muslims marry.

Hindus marry.

Methodists marry.

The Church of Christ marry.

Catholics marry.

Episcopalians marry.

Non-denominationalists marry.

Hell, even ATHEISTS marry.

Whose version of God do you propose has to accept it for it to be legalized?

This is why we have seperation of church and state. Thank God.

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The question shouldn't be whether or not any "religion" accepts it, but whether or not God accepts it.

Here's the thing. My partner and I have been together nearly 19 years. We're obviously not legally "married", but we are totally committed to one another, have had a commitment ceremony in our christian church and have the love and support of our friends, families and church family. We have our own very personal relationship with God and are married in God's eyes. We count our blessings every single day that God has brought the two of us together and set our feet on this life journey. Nobody - no church, no government, no group, no individual - nobody will put asunder what God has put together here. Our love and our relationship are rock solid. We have a peace that passes all understanding. Honestly, what more could a couple ask for?

In the time we've been together, we've seen plenty of straight couples make a complete mockery of the "institution" of marriage. Members of our own families have married and divorced numerous times. There have been children involved in those breakups. Families have been torn apart. All of these people made vows before God and family and broke those vows. Then have gone on to repeat repeat repeat - with the apparent blessing of church and government. We see celebrity marriage nonsense on the news everyday -- too much to even comment further on.

If same-sex marriage ever comes here, we may or may not take advantage of it. We've gone through the legal wrangling required (and spent the money no straight married couple would ever even think of spending) to ensure that our relationship is as close to legal marriage as possible. We don't need anybody's further "blessing" on our union. If it never happens here, well, our foundation is certainly firm enough that no misguided group or individual is going move us from it.

So. This discussion could go on and on and on. I won't be bogged down in it. I think I'll just sit on our firm foundation with the very love of my life, and enjoy our beautiful city and the Love we have in our home.

Oh, and I don't think Nashville "needs" a designated gay district. If Church Street really takes off and evolves naturally that way, then I say that's just great. If not, well, that's great too. I guess that gets me points for eventually arriving back at the original topic!

David

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OK, this is my last comment on this topic.

Jews marry.

Muslims marry.

Hindus marry.

Methodists marry.

The Church of Christ marry.

Catholics marry.

Episcopalians marry.

Non-denominationalists marry.

Hell, even ATHEISTS marry.

I really hate to get into this one because I try to save arguing about religion and politics for more appropriate arenas like family reunions, but . . .

Anna Nicole Smith got married, pretty much for financial reasons only. Didn't Pamela Anderson just get (re)married - in Nashville? If that didn't bring the wrath of God on the city, nothing will. :rofl:

Seriously, the laws of Tennessee as well as many other states are pretty lenient about getting divorced and remarried while one's first spouse is still living, which is definitely against many religions, including Catholicism and some of the more literalist Protestant churches. While those preachers are urging their congregations to vote to ban gay marriage, they also ought to ban divorce just to be fair. It seems much more credible that easy, temporary opposite-sex marriage by drunken, flavor-of-the-month celebrities as well as run of the mill people going to drive-through weddings, and then promptly getting divorced, is doing much more damage to traditional families, and especially to children, than two individuals of the same sex seeking legal protections for each other and possibly their children could ever do. Although I would personally prefer not to use the word, "marriage," for same-sex unions.

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I'm actually in total agreement that we have a serious problem in America and in the church regarding divorce. That too is something that needs to change in this country, and you won't see me making excuses for that type of sin either.

David, I think you're right that this discussion could go on and on. Regarding how you see your relationship and how you believe God sees it, what's your standard for knowing whether or not God accepts it? His Word is quite clear that homosexuality is sin.

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