What are your prayers for this election?

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end to the nonsense re: same sex

My prayerful hopes for the nation's elections were answered mostly affirmatively by the outcome.It was good to see the electorate speak out across this nation yesterday to again denounce the nonsense about same sex unions being socially and morally acceptable as one of many diverse lifestyles acceptable within the legal and social structure of America. IN 2004, 11 states banned it: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/09/30/politics/main646662.shtml
Now your own state (CA) as well as Fla. passed yesterday, their own bans on same sex marriage, along with several other states. Perhaps the vocal "clergy" who spout off so quickly (and in the name of Christ, PSR, etc.) in support of gay rights/unions/lifestyles should reassess the motives folks--discover and tend to God's work and less to cultural political issues which dervie from political faction groups with their own political and social agendas. You do not speak for God or PSR when you foolishly advocate such secular views in your region of the country. I am a PSR alum. and you absolutely do not speak for me, I just did for myself and so did the vast majority of the rest of the nation. Anon.

Relax

Dear fearful, anonymous alum of PSR and beloved child of God, your anxiety and worry will soon be a memory. God's unconditional love will enfold you as well as all those whom you fear and, thus, persecute. You and your gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered brothers and sisters will be, together, embraced and equaly cherished. Relax in the sure knowledge that you are already forgiven your anger and hatred. May the Peace of Christ, that passes all understanding, be in your heart this moment. And so it is. Amen.

My prayerful hopes...

I would like to respectfully request what has been requested on this site before, that as members of the community of PSR, be we students, faculty, staff, family, trustees or alum, it is important to stand behind our comments by signing our names to them. Though it takes more courage, putting your name behind your comments is a much better way to engage in a caring and constructive dialogue with the members of this community.

My prayerful hopes regarding this election are mixed. I am excited that we have a president elect who has empowered millions of people of color who have waited a long time to see this day. I am also excited that our president elect seems to want to turn our country in a new and honorable direction. I know that our work has only just begun in pushing this president to stick to his promises for "change" and expand upon them. I also know that the road to equal rights for the LGBTQ community has just suffered a significant set-back but I am hopeful because I know that the struggle is far from over and those of us who seek these rights are far from defeated.

I would like to call attention to some thoughts that the mayor of San Francisco Gavin Newsom offered at the No on Prop 8 rally at Glide on Saturday. He called attention to the fact that the courts and the legislature moved far more quickly in favor of civil rights for people of color than did the public opinion polls of the day. The courts and legislature moved far more quickly in favor of inter-racial marriages than did the public opinion polls of the day. The constitution of this country and that of this state have never before been ammended to limit rights, only to expand rights.

I do not think that anyone speaks for God. Many people speak about God and about the radical inclusive love that a man named Jesus called his followers to profess. This love calls many Christians to fight to ensure that everyone in the country in which they live is ensured equal rights under the law. And although there are certainly Christians who disagree on this specific issue, I know that the results of this election will not stop members of the clergy, seminarians and other Christians from speaking out in the interest of those who face injustices under the law.

May we all be comforted by the loving sacred spirit in this exciting, bittersweet and turbulent time.

Katie Thompson, MDiv Student, PSR

reply

Katie: Unfortunately, your comparison of equal civil rights for "gayunions" with the noble civil rights advances for minority groups and others based on race, gender, religious beliefs or biological characteristics, is invalid. A person's gender, race, other biological characteristics are not a matter of conduct and choice, and all persons under our constitution already have inalienable rights as a human being (protected human rights). Regardless of all the rhetoric otherwise, all persons including gays today enjoy equal status under the law politically and have the exact same civil rights as any other person under Title VII, the ADA, state law, etc. Civil rights for each person is not the issue....Persons who choose to live and engage in alternate sexual lifestyles have no such rights to demand socio-political acceptance on the same par as the traditional Biblical norm for marriage involving only a man and a woman. Note that Jesus did a first miracle where?....wedding at Cana maybe? Jesus did not specifically condemn any sinners including those in alternate sexual conduct, but after healing those afflicted, taught to go and sin no more.

Civil Rights or Religious Rights?

Anonymous,
I must say that I respect you for having and making known your opinion, but I must respectfully disagree, and correct some of your assumptions.

The quest for gay marriage rights isn't about socio-political acceptance. Because the gay marriage movement it not asking for religious marraige of LTBTQ to be authorized by all. If a community of faith does not beleive it is right to be married as same sex persons, that is that community's right, (which is protected in our government).
We are asking for civil marriage. The right to spend our lives with one another and live together just as straight couples do, is allowed us by law. But when we have children and we will, will I who is the care taker in the home be allowed to see them in a hospital? If I travel without my partner, and a child is hurt, will I be able to make legal decisions? What about my partner's health? What if she is injured and needs medical attention, and is incapable of making them herself? Can I make those decisions for her, as her wife, or will the medical community make those decisions because I am not a viable authority? After a lifetime of living with my partner, will she be able to recieve my benefits in the event of my death? As it stands now, she would not because we were not in a civil marraige.
However this issue gets more complicated when we look at how marriage is created in this country. To be married you must seek out a CIVIL authority to approve the paperwork and the application to be married. However, once that paper is received, the officiator of the marriage does not have to be a CIVIL authority, but that ability is conferred on RELIGIOUS authorities (i.e. ministers).
So if you are a member of a faith community that does not approve gay marriage, the answer is simple, do not perform them.
However, making this a religious issue is not the true reality of the issue at hand. We are asking for the same CIVIL rights as straight couples, we are not asking for SOCIO-POLITICAL acceptance. If that comes(and I truly believe that it will), it comes, but the government should not be allowed to tell us that we are allowed to BE citizens, and yet not afforded the same rights of inheritance, tax benefits, adoption and medical authority as other people. These are two different issues you are melding into one.
The No on 8 campaign here in California explained itself as asking that we stand for equal rights, as we were afforded by law. The Proposition was asking to overturn a supreme court decision that said that it was illegal to discriminate. If you really are talking about the civil rights already afforded, then you should have been in opposition to this proposition as it was disallowing equal rights, it was not about granting them for the first time. It had a basis in the law, and that is why the Supreme Court of California made the statement that it did.
Civil rights are CIVIL rights, and that equality is what we are still seeking.

Last question: Did Jesus EVER talk about homosexuality? If your religion is based on Jewish story, you have a biblical basis upon which to suppose homosexuality is a sin, however, it is not in Jewish LAW that homosexuality is a sin. It is never mentioned in the 10 commandments, nor, in the more important reality of Christianity did JESUS ever speak out against it. He preached love and acceptance for all, even the socially cast out. I love my partner, and that is love that had been granted and codified by religion in THREE separate marriage commitment ceremonies performed by RELIGIOUS authorities. Have you had to be married three times to continue to hold the civil rights afforded by the first stroke on a marriage license?

First of all, while I

First of all, while I disagree with you, I would defend your right to speak. But to defend your right, I would first need to know who you are. It is strange that it appears that while I am cast as the sinner, I am unashamed and stand in the light, while the righteous hide anonymously and throw stones from the shadows.

It is strange that you bring up the wedding at Cana, because beyond providing for more good wine, it is difficult to use it to support any other conclusion. Just because Jesus did his first miracle at a wedding of a man and a woman does not mean that he is against same-sex marriage. It would appear that you are arguing from silence.

I am stunned really by what you have termed as the "traditional Biblical norm" of one man and one woman. The Biblical norm appears to me as one man, many women. Much of what we see in the Bible regarding the definition of marriage has been retroactively constructed. We take our understanding of marriage today and project it onto the Bible.

I find it extremely disturbing that I am being defined by what I do less than 0.1% of my life. It is not a lifestyle I am living. It is my life.

I implore you, listen to what we have to say, not as people who choose to live and engage in alternate sexual lifestyle, but as human beings. Come, sit and eat with us, and listen, like what Jesus would have done. Put aside your preconceived notions, and listen.

Ok, anonymous, you've had

Ok, anonymous, you've had your say. Katie was respectful and although her opinion differs from yours that does not invalidate it. This is intended to be a safe space for this community to express itself openly, not a free-for-all where the loudest voice wins. I believe there are many sites where you can engage in this type of discourse.
Anonymous, you say that PSR does not speak for you. I don't think PSR ever claimed to speak for all of its alumni, staff or faculty, but that aside I agree that no one faction of any community should claim to speak for the whole. Using that same logic 52.5% of Californians do not have the right to speak for all of California.
Only eight years ago Prop 22 passed by 61.4% so I would say the ranks that do speak for you are thinning. Do you think similar legislation would pass eight years from now?
I look forward to 8 getting smacked down in the courts.
I know there will be an overwhelming urge to respond to this comment, but please refrain. I already get it- really I do. I've seen this commercial.

Obviously...

Obviously, you folks may not realize what a blessing and sense of freedom it can be to not be married...A trite pulpit joke goes, a pastor at his first wedding service became nervously tongue tied and recalled it appropriate to quote scripture. All he could recall to say to the couple is "Father forgive them, they know not what they are doing...." First, this bantering and discourse centers on the arguably mistaken notion that "civil marriage" before the state is an inherent human "spiritual" right. It does not seem to be so...the CA Supreme Court last year committed a categorical fallacy in analogizing "right to marriage" (a civil, statutory construct) with a fundamental protected right extending to all persons(framers of the Constitution and human rights follow this construct). Justice for all is our ideal, but justice does not equate to absolute equality...it equates to giving to each what is due that person (Constantine's definition). The problem is knowing what is "due". Functionally, "justice" is a set of universal principles which guide people in judging what is right and what is wrong, no matter what culture and society we live in. Justice is one of the four "cardinal virtues" of classical moral philosophy, along with courage, temperance (self-control) and prudence (efficiency). (Faith, hope and charity are considered as the three "religious" virtues.)Equality of fundamental human rights as protected by various civil rights enactments and the US Constitution is not the same as right to enter a civil contract such as marriage. Persons who are deemed incompetent, or even those not yet of majority age, are ineligible legally to enter into any such civil arrangement as a "right to marriage". It is a state created civil right and can be limited and defined as the state sees fit. There is no confusion or combining of concepts as one of you remarked. The ideal of absolute justice for all, and equal rights are two fundamentally different categories in a legal analysis, and it seems your supreme court wrongly blended them to apply a wrong standard of scrutiny to review the legislation struck down last year. Thus, yes for Prop. 8 as a corrective. Moreover, you all may need to look beyond the sheltered cove of your bay area for a larger perspective, because over 30 states now have similar enactments as your state's Prop. 8. We are discussing the Christian (not OT Jewish), Biblical norm for marriage in this context, which is clearly monogamous union of a man/wife. Thanks for your thoughts,Anon again.

The state did define marriage

It seems you are arguing a point for me. The state did define marriage, and the supreme court further defined it. So for you to say that this is wrong is as incorrect as you saying we are wrong in our assumptions.

I never said civil marriage was a spiritual right, I said that the two are being combined and confused as one concept. You may not like my spiritual marriage, but nonetheless, it happened and it happened in a church by a spiritual leader who has the authority to marry people in a civil commitment. Unfortunately because of how the state's civil marriage laws were rewritten, she was not able to civilly marry us. Does that make us any less spiritually married? No. but it does deny me privileges that civilly married couples receive. I will repeat what I said before, if you don't want to marry a person of the same sex, then don't. But allow me the right to choose my own path in life which is a protected right that I be allowed life and liberty. You can not stop us from being together, why do you care if we are civilly married? We will continue to engage in spiritual ceremonies of marriage regardless of law. What is so special about it that we are not allowed in the door?

Secondly, I am from outside the bay area. I am very aware of the states that are choosing the path of discrimination, I am from one of those states, which has voted it change the state constitution which did define marriage to make this definition more "clear". Yet, I am still queer and I was still married in that state.

Thirdly, your assumption that not being married is a blessing and a freedom, comes from a heterosexually socially constructed value of marriage. Marriage doesn't have to be a separation of freedom. In fact, I am more free in my life because I have a wife who cares about me and is married to me. I do not define my marriage as something to be sorry for. It is a statement of commitment and one that I believe is very important as a human being, to create commitments of this caliber in life. Obviously you are very committed to your view of my sexuality, and your interest in it, and I'm sorry to say that unfortunately, I am not that interested in your personal sexuality. I believe that my life is my own and your life is your own.

I will say again, I will not prohibit your right to love and marry, please don't think I want your prohibition which you apparently were not a part of as you are from another state it appears.
If prop 8 had passed, it would not have taken away the right for heterosexuals to marry, it would have made marriage an equal opportunity civil commitment.

And in three years I will be a minister, and I will be marrying couples, regardless of their choice of partner. It is not up to me who you love and marry, it should not be up to you who I love and marry.

To get back the the ACTUAL question posted on this site, my prayer is that people may overcome the constructs in which we are so firmly entrenched to see the beauty and interconnectivity of all God's creation on this planet. It should not matter the color of my skin, it should not matter who lives in my house and it should not matter what I think, what matters is that we are all in this one life together on this one planet and there is nothing we can do but try to work together.

Beth: Thanks for your

Beth: Thanks for your personal heartfelt testimony on the issue. As an ordained Methodist (PSR alum 1981) and licensed, trained atty. and heterosexual, you are correct in noting this is not a personal issue of angst for me. I have no personal interest in any of your arrangements, sexual lifestyle or acts, or even in PSR as a school that harbors the progressive views you all share. My view is primarily from a legal analysis: yes, the state and its citizens through the legislative process defined by law what the institution of marriage in CA was for its citizens (heterosexual monogamous union). On a legal challenge, the state supreme court reinterpreted that law (concluded it was "unconstitutional" as applied), but it did so by replacing the statutory construct of civil marriage with its own analysis of Marriage as a fundamental right for all (protected human right), and then applied a "strict scrutiny" standard to review the state action. That is where legally the fallacy seemed to occur...the court in short legislated its own mistaken analysis as marriage for all by right, in place of the legislature's own definition. Your court in CA historically has that problem a lot, and since Rose Bird was C. Justice, has been corrected and/or overturned multiple times. In any case, God speed and may Christ bless and keep you. anon.

CA Supreme Court past

FYI--Rose Bird was the first female Chief Justice on the California Supreme Court, and the first ever to be removed from that office by a majority of the state's voters. California justices are selected by the governor but must be regularly reconfirmed by the electorate; prior to Bird, no California appellate judge had ever failed such a vote. She was removed in the November 4, 1986 election by an overwhelming margin after a high-profile campaign that cited her categorical opposition to the death penalty. She had voted against the death penalty in all 61 cases that came before her. This led Bird's opponents to claim that she was substituting her own opinions and ideas for the laws and precedents upon which judicial decisions are supposed to be made. In addition, the Bird court struck down California's "use a gun, go to jail" law that made a prison term mandatory for any crime in which the use of a gun was involved. Critics and even some supporters could not find any justification for making that law unconstitutional.. . .and so it goes.
anon.

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