Adventist Forum, et al., Submit Supreme Court Brief Opposing GC Position

Blockquote “Why would a woman want membership in a male-only country club?”

Good question. If she wants to be a member in a traditional Freemasons lodge, will she be accepted? An artificial, enforced levelling of the society, will not produce anything good.

1 Like

The issue is a legal one over protected classes. In labor and public access law there are protected classes such as race, religion, gender, ethnicity, age, disability in which turning anyone away due to those protections is a violation of the law. Otherwise, being turned away for no shoes no shirt not service is not in violation of protected classes and thus they can turn away customers. Like I mentioned in the car service analogy: they can deny service for all sorts of reasons, but they can’t turn away protected classes. They cannot turn away blacks for being black, or a particular religion that a person may embrace (Islam, Hindu, Catholic, etc.).

1 Like

Making the teachers pastors also makes it easier to use “morality” issues to remove them.

1 Like

Through the 60’s and into the 70’s (I think), the GC would publish, as part of their minutes, a list of remunerations for various positions. Women were never going to get the same pay as men based on these tables. Worse still, many of the senior roles had no provision for a woman to occupy the position.

If anyone wants examples of how discriminatory the church was (and to a certain extent still is) you need look no further than the official church archives of the 1960’s - early 2000’s.

2 Likes

I need to start by stating that I support gay marriage and voted against such a ban when it was put on ballots. That would be like a Sunday law to me. But this is not so simple. First people come out against bigotry stating that anyone with a different view are haters. They are looking in the mirror. I doubt that those who think they are following the Bible literally actually hate gay people. I might disagree with them, but don’t judge them as “haters.” We are quick to do this and make our social problems worse. It is the same whenever lawyers or any one else uses extreme words for the Supreme Court.
I suspect a church may be fearful that they may be required to hire those they believe are in error and feel this opens the door to such compulsion. It is also a personal “religious” choice in the website case. It is not an easy solution.

I remember that Peter had the same reaction (biblically based prohibition) about having to meet with the Macedonians as well not to mention the host of other things that were also dealt with a little later…

As we know now LGBT is not any different that being born blind (remember when the disciples ask Jesus for his thoughts) or any of a host of biologically based issues. Knowing this requires we change our view in such matters.

1 Like

If one is born blind, he/she has a major handicap. But if he/she, as a blind, insists that he/she has another kind of eyesight, as natural as yours, and he/she wishes to pilot the plain on which you and I fly, I would not fly with that person.

I do not condemn the natural orientation or the disorientation of any person. But Jesus told us what to do with our natural members that push us toward sin (Mt 5:29-30; Col 3:5). If I am morphologically a man, but I feel like ”loving” another man, not a woman, it means that I must either change my disorientation (if possible), or renounce any plan of same-sex marriage/date, in analogy to the eunuchs of Mat 19:12. God have mercy on the unfortunate blind people!

1 Like

Being blind and being gay are not equals to use as an example. Time will be the judge. If the blind person tries to fly the plane it will likely crash. If a gay person falls in love with another gay person and they choose to have a relationship or to get married, they have an equal chance (if the church doesn’t interfere) to have a long and happy relationship. Their marriage will cause no damage to the heterosexuals around them. No one will get hurt and no plane will crash.
So I am with you. If I know my pilot is blind, I will not board that plane. Similarly, if I am a gay man and I fall in love with a heterosexual (man or woman), I will not enter into that relationship because the likelihood of it crashing is higher than 50/50.
Being gay is no more of a handicap than being straight. Both are a blessing. You just have to find the right partner that matches your orientation. Just like a magnet.
So, if you want to defend your point, please come up with another example that is more appropriate. Thanks! Floyd

6 Likes

Reading the comments, I feel that some people are missing the point of the Amicus Brief. Do we want to live in a world where we are discriminated against because we are Seventh-day Adventists? Although the US has a "freedom of religion’ law giving us the right to practice our religion as we feel is true to God, if we went to Publix or Safeway to buy groceries and they wouldn’t sell to us, would we be upset or would we simply go to Wal-Mart and shop there until they too put up a sign outside saying “Adventists not welcome here”?
In Colorado, gay rights are protected, including the right to marry. No discussion. They shouldn’t have to shop around for someone to create a website for them as a gay couple because they are fully accepted by law in that state. If the website creator wasn’t doing a public business and only did it for friends or for people within her local congregation that would be different. The correctness of gay vs straight is not being discussed here; it is about her right to discriminate against something that is unquestionably legal in her state. For that she should not be able to discriminate in a public business and what is even worse is that the SDA church is siding with her saying that she (and obviously the church) SHOULD be able to discriminate when the scenario doesn’t fit their mood.
Truth of the matter is, if that couple were friends of her, went to her church, or were the son and partner of her pastor, she might make an exception. Might… It is only speculation, but then her cherished belief would be set aside because of a personal relationship. Discrimination is an ugly beast.

5 Likes

Hi Ron,
As I understand it, the GC isn’t involved in the case itself but joined an amicus brief brought by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. That brief argues for the Supreme Court to rule in favor of the web design firm being allowed to discriminate against gay couples.
For reference, here’s the brief joined by the GC:

And a direct link to the full Adventist Forum / SDA Kinship brief:

My point was not about the civil law. This issue has not just a political face. It is first of all a Biblical, theological issue. As regards the politics, it is good to have as many rights as possible, including the right to worship Satan in the street. But it is not the same thing to accept it as a legitimate practice in the Church.
Civil laws are hypocrite, since not every sexual whim is accepted. If you are a man wishing to marry another man, you are welcome. But if you wish to marry your sister, or have an official polygamous marriage, what says the civil law? Only the most bizarre anomalies are acceptable.

Perhaps you might be interested in reading Alicia Johnston’s new book: The Bible and LGBT Adventists. it is a book that addresses almost every conservative “yes, but” in the discussion of gay Adventists. It can be ordered at: www.aliciajohnston.com and is making waves in the SDA community. It is difficult to still think that God condemns homosexuality after reading this book.

2 Likes

Tim, like your grandmother, decades ago I was a church school teacher. During that time teachers (and i don’t know who else) were issued yearly a card called Missionary License. It wasn’t made clear what its purpose was. By many, I think, it was considered a quaint Adventist folkway. One of my fellow teachers would use it to get clergy discounts.

2 Likes

I’m sure you are familiar with the thought about, first they came for so 'n so, but I didn’t care, etc, etc, and then they came for me but no one was left to care? Try to read the Bible in context, culture, and how the reader of that time understood the words. You might just arrive at an entirely different belief. Condemnation is very easy, but listening, understanding and learning are vastly more difficult.

2 Likes

I totally agree with you.

For many, they see being gay as a choice one makes. My illustration is designed to drive the point home that gays do not choose to be so any more than a blind person choses to be blind.

1 Like

Come now! I wasn’t all that many years out of my preteen years before I realized that the church weasels every chance it gets. I watched it happen repeatedly as a teen and throughout the intervening decades between then and now.

I will admit that there are those who’ve not been around the church long. Or haven’t been observing too closely? Like the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand? Or the teenager with fingers in ears yelling at the top of their lungs, “I can’t hear you!!” :wink::wink:

6 Likes

The Bible is clear for millennia in this respect. Humanity did not need to wait so long time to finally discover the truth about a moral principle. The sexual deviations are clearly opposed to the Creator’s design, even though in some cases the nature itself was unfortunately perverted. The devil invented such things, in order to cause adulterers and whoremongers congratulate themselves, since they are normal. But nothing less than God’s initial plan is normal.
.

1 Like

You do realize that you are unironically saying that even you, having been subject to 6000+ years of the effects of sin in the world, are not in alignment to God’s initial plan physically mentally or spiritually.

You are very right when saying humanity didn’t have to wait very long, after all they discovered what the moral principle was when they ate the fruit of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

The Bible doesn’t say the devil invented this nor is there any record of adulterers/whoremongers congratulating themselves for that matter either. Unless I missed that verse in the Bible it sounds like you or someone you are quoting made this up.

3 Likes

Sir, it is a huge difference between having the handicap (or the blessing) of a supposed gene of murderer, and actually be a serial killer.

The Bible does not excuse anyone for sin, though sin appears to be so natural. The natural inclination is not a guilt, but the desire, purpose or justification of sin is already sin and guilt, before any visible action.

We are all sinners. While sins are not equal in guilt, they all lead to eternal death, if they are not repented for. In this case, we are dealing with a special sin, that is especially disgusting even for normal sinners, and treated in the Bible as a capital sin. And instead of helping a sinner to repent, people seem to congratulate him/her, justifying the sin and explaining away the Word of God. This is a true sign of the time, more convincing than Revelation 13.

1 Like

I am sorry you have lost me here. You appear to be changing subjects, what are you talking about?

2 Likes