The following lightly edited remarks by John Nay, president of the International Religious Liberty Association, were delivered on August 21, 2023, as part of the opening program for the association's ninth World Congress.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/views/2023/do-we-really-support-religious-liberty
Religious reasons are not the only reasons for objecting to same sex marriages. These kinds of relationships make no sense from a biological or anatomical point of view.
But it does make sense economically since Christians have written the tax laws to favour “marriage”. A religious privilege right wing professed Christians do not want to share. When the church writes briefs in the courts to assure them the right to discriminate one is left with only one conclusion: that SDAism does not really believe in religious liberty.
Just tell that to all those who are born this way. It may be biologically and anatomically inconsistent, but I am absolutely certain that these people came out of the womb with a non-conforming attraction. Your objections disgust me because, no one is asking you to participate in a gay relationship. No one has a right to enter their bedroom to check out their behaviour. It’s none of your business. And if you’re talking about morality, it’s still none of your business. Jesus, the only words I trust, said “DONT JUDGE”. What do you think that means? Just let people live their lives.
You may believe that, Beverley, but let me, as a gay Adventist now in my 80s, testify that they made great sense to me, especially when the alternative was to marry a woman I did not love, as many of my Adventist contemporaries did because of the pressure applied to them by people like you. Those relationships ended up sexless, unloved, with abandoned children, huge sadness all around, promiscuity, and some suicides. Same-sex marriage is far better, far more Christian, and those who disparage it must prefer chaos and hurt.
You apparently don’t understand the directive from Jesus not to judge. Passing judgment is apart of everyone’s life experiences daily. Therefore, I suggest that you gain better understanding of what Jesus actually meant by telling us not to judge.
Perhaps you should explain it for us of slow uptake…
Two thousand years of people just like @bvj_01 telling us what Jesus REALLY meant hasn’t made things clear enough?!?!
A very timely article, and something that is increasingly lacking in SDA churches: Discussion about religious liberty!
How very odd that for nearly 160+ years now SDAs have waited for Protestants to join hands with Catholics and impose Sunday Laws on the rest of us, something which there is no hint of coming true, but now SDAs are joining hands with Catholics and Evangelicals to impose their mutual religious views on sexuality on everyone!
Ouch, talk about a group of people who don’t have a clue about what they claim to believe!
Then what reasons cause individuals to get into those kinds of relationships? A desire to sin perhaps? The Devil whispering in their ears?
I’d stick with biological and anatomical…
Relationships are like life.
Neither makes much sense.
Trying to understand either in rational terms is to miss the point of both!
I’m pretty sure that there is a biological basis for same sex attraction, and that attraction is definitely predicated on the needed anatomical features being present in the object of affection. So biology and anatomy are indeed the basis of same sex marriages!
So you’re saying that when other species engage in this behavior it’s NOT sinful for them, either?!?!
I’d say the gay monkeys are definitely sinning. No magical afterlife for them!
Your level of thinking reminds me of something Rod Sterling once said. “A sickness known as hate. Not a virus, not a microbe, not a germ — but a sickness nonetheless, highly contagious, deadly in its effects. Don’t look for it in the Twilight Zone — look for it in a mirror. Look for it before the light goes out altogether.”
You, who judge, and use the Bible to harm others for the sake of your own sensibilities is far worse off than the unrepentant sinner.
sorry, that is a nonsense ! By those marriages rarely one birth of a descentand is prohibited - - and please quit the "Anatomy" - explanation - -
I appreciate John Nay’s stimulating questions & wise observations. As a fourth generation Adventist it fascinates me to look at our subculture, how our beliefs came to be, and what they look like now. I agree with Nay’s suggestions that we are at times hypocritical. It seems clear to me that our early passion for religious Liberty largely stemmed from our terror of end times. Along a similar vein, I fail to understand how our earlier convictions to not bear arms, to only serve as medics in combat has now flip-flopped into most conservatives I know joining the far right in Christianity in there fight to keep all “gun rights” in place amidst the epidemic of mass shootings (which are too often fueled by hatred towards sexual and religious diversity).
I lived in the Bay Area and my office overlooked a marina. I’d occasionally see seals there. At some point during that time, some animal welfare group relocated an otter that had taken to raping baby seals in the area. It was not an isolated example, this behavior has been documented in other places. I remember thinking at the time that perhaps that was close to sinning!
One can only hope there’s an otter Hades….