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Well, if you insist completely ignore the REST of the stimulus bill and concentrate only on this ...
Yes, the $50 would make a huge difference to me right now. Work has come almost to a standstill at my company, which hauls bulk cement for construction projects. I used to make $50k a year; right now $50 represents about half a week's net pay. So, yes, it would make a HUGE difference as I struggle to survive the Republican's Second Great Depression.
But, let me bring you back to the real world, the one inhabited by the rest of us who do not wait dutifully for our daily dose of Republican talking points. That's right, the vast majority of Americans DO live in this world.
My company is sitting on enough contracts to keep us all well paid - as soon as the stimulus bill is signed into law. We're ready to go. Trucks are fueled, cement has been made, we're ready to roll the moment the government gives the contractors we work for the green light to actually start pouring concrete to make the freeways that aren't being built because there isn't enough money in the state budget to get started.
I have this from the very highest authority within the company.
So, while these jerks in the House and Senate screwed around to delay this bill for no earthly reason other than to amuse their fd up, whack job base, 450 of us sat idle for all this time, making a run or two a week instead of two runs a day.
Irony of irony, one of these nuts comes up to me the other day and complained about the "stimulus" bill and how it wouldn't help anyone, and with the very next breath complained that he was only working one day a week. Well duh. I walked away from him in utter contempt and disgust.
Thank you Republicans for causing this depression from not paying any attention to the chinnanegans the banks were pulling; thanks Republicans for not doing anything once the depression started; thanks Republicans for sitting with your head up your s while millions suffered, grandstanding to appease your base, what precious little is left of it. Oh, you had better bet this will remain in my memory for generations to come. Payback will be a *ch, I assure you.
So, hope that answers your question. Yes, it most certainly will and could you possibly think of telling your worthless Republican congress that if they aren't man enough to fix the problem they created, at least have the common decency to stand the hell out of the way while better souls than they come to our aid.
Let me state here and now why I even bother posting any of this.
I couldn't care one rat's ass about what any Baptist or Evangelical thinks about anything. I wouldn't darken the door to your home or your church for all of Bill Gates' money. It is my view that the least likely place on Earth I will ever find a person of God is in those two places. End of discussion. The hate and abuse those two camps spew forth is enough to turn my stomach, let alone the hypocrisy and love of power and money their leaders clearly exhibit.
I don't care if I ever change your view of anything. Who cares? Stew in your own hatred for all I care. History is against you. We will have our freedom, our rights, and the respect we deserve as gay people. There is no force on earth that will stop that. The younger a person is, the less hate there is. This is a battle you have already lost.
What I care passionately about is getting out the word to other lgbt people that there is nothing to fear from the hate mongers that dare call themselves followers of Christ. They are not. They have no more the word of God on their lips than the local village idiot.
What I want to say to my lgbt family is simply this: if you would like a church life, if you would like to express your spirituality, there ARE churches out there that love you, embrace you, and desperately want you to be a part of the faith, as you, not one change needed from you.
Our hearts and minds are open, and we want you to know that, to be heard above the bigots that have kept you isolated for so very long. Don't assume that the right wing idiots are by any means "religion" and that you are excluded. You are not. In many churches - mine most certainly - lgbt people are the life and soul of our congregation and we simply would not exist without their love, compassion, hard work, and devotion.
If this is what you yearn for, let no man keep you from it. There is nothing about your sexuality that keeps you from God. Learn it, love it, live it.
In the New Testament there are three passages to consider.
Romans 1:21, 26, 27
Revised Standard Version
21 for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him...
26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men...
The King James and New International versions say virtually the same thing.
Romans 1:26 and 27 clearly speak of same-gender sex by both men and women, the only passage in the New Testament that does so. Rom. 1:18-32 speaks of Gentiles (heterosexuals) who could and should have known and served and given thanks to God but would not, so God gave them up and let them do whatever they wanted to do, and that resulted in degrading and shameful acts, including same-gender sex. It is almost a moot point, but Paul is not listing sins for which God will condemn anyone, he is listing sins that occur because people have forsaken Him. These are acts committed by those who have turned away from God and so become "consumed with passion." All of us recognize that those who forsake God and give themselves over to lustful living--homosexual or heterosexual--stand condemned by the Bible. This passage is talking about people who chose to forsake God.
Conservative theologian Richard Hays says, "No direct appeal to Romans 1 as a source of rules about sexual conduct is possible."B-6
I Corinthians 6:9
King James Version:
9...Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate [malakoi], nor abusers of themselves with mankind [arsenokoitai], 10 Nor thieves..., shall inherit the kingdom of God.
New International Version
9...Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes [malakoi] nor homosexual offenders [arsenokoitai] 10 nor thieves...will inherit the kingdom of God.
Revised Standard Version--1952 edition:
9...Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals [malakoi and arsenokoitai], 10 nor thieves..., will inherit the kingdom of God.
Revised Standard Version--1971 edition:
9...Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor sexual perverts [malakoi and arsenokoitai], 10 nor thieves..., will inherit the kingdom of God.
A comparison of how the two Greek words are translated in the different versions shows that translations often, unfortunately, become the interpretations of the translators. In I Cor. 6:9 Paul lists the types of persons who will be excluded from the kingdom of God and for some he uses the Greek words malakoi and arsenokoitai. KJ translates the first "effeminate," a word that has no necessary connection with homosexuals. The NIV translates the first "male prostitutes" and the second, "homosexual offenders". The RSV in its first edition of 1952 translated both words by the single term, "homosexuals". In the revised RSV of 1971, the translation "homosexuals" is discarded and the two Greek words are translated as "sexual perverts"; obviously the translators had concluded the earlier translation was not supportable.
Malakoi literally means "soft" and is translated that way by both KJ and RSV in Matt. 11:8 and Luke 7:25. When it is used in moral contexts in Greek writings it has the meaning of morally weak; a related word, malakia, when used in moral contexts, means dissolute and occasionally refers to sexual activity but never to homosexual acts. There are at least five Greek words that specifically mean people who practice same-gender sex. Unquestionably, if Paul had meant such people, he would not have used a word that is never used to mean that in Greek writings when he had other words that were clear in that meaning. He must have meant what the word commonly means in moral contexts, "morally weak." There is no justification, most scholars agree, for translating it "homosexuals."
Arsenokoitai, is not found in any extant Greek writings until the second century when it apparently means "pederast", a corrupter of boys, and the sixth century when it is used for husbands practicing anal intercourse with their wives. Again, if Paul meant people practicing same-gender sex, why didn't he use one of the common words? Some scholars think probably the second century use might come closest to Paul's intention. If so, there is no justification for translating the word as "homosexuals." Other scholars see a connection with Greek words used to refer to same-gender sex in Leviticus. If so, it is speaking of heterosexuals given to such lust they turn to such acts.
Richard Hays tells us, "I Corinthians 6:9-11 states no rule to govern the conduct of Christians."B-7
One commentator has another reason for rejecting the NIV and original RSV translations, "homosexuals." Today it could mean that a person who is homosexual in orientation even though "of irreproachable morals, is automatically branded as unrighteous and excluded from the kingdom of God, just as if he were the most depraved of sexual perverts."B-8
So I Cor. 6:9 says nothing about homosexuality with the possible exception of condemnable pederasty.
I Tim. 1:10
King James Version:
9...the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners,...10...for them that defile themselves with mankind (arsenokoitai)...
Revised Standard Version - both 1952 and 1971 editions:
9...the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for 10 immoral persons, sodomites (arsenokoitai),...
New International Version:
9...the law is not made for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful...10 for adulterers and perverts (arsenokoitai)
Here only the RSV specifically refers to same-gender sex, using the term "sodomites," which is the translation given in both the Old Testament and New Testament to Hebrew and Greek words for male temple prostitutes. The KJV probably has the same thought. The NIV does not necessarily refer to same-gender sex. Again Paul has used the Greek word arsenokoitai, the word in I Cor. 6:9.
As discussed above, this word would have no reference to homosexuality or homosexual sex in our discussion.
So like the other two New Testament passages, I Tim. 1:10 says nothing about homosexuality or homosexuals and nothing about same-gender sex unless that of temple prostitutes or possibly the molestation of young boys by heterosexuals.
In view of the facts set forth above, we realize there is no moral teaching in the Bible about homosexuality as we know it, including homosexual sex (except possibly pederasty). The Bible cannot be used to condemn as immoral all same-gender sex. It clearly condemns lust, whether homosexual or heterosexual. There is certainly nothing in the Bible about anyone going to hell because he or she is homosexual. All who go to hell will go for the same, one reason: failure to commit their lives in faith to Jesus Christ as their lord and savior.
From a slightly different approach to interpretation, Dr. Robin Scroggs states, "The basic model in today's Christian homosexual community is so different from the model attacked by the New Testament that the criterion of reasonable similarity of context is not met. The conclusion I have to draw seems inevitable: Biblical judgments against homosexuality are not relevant to today's debate."B-9 [Italics his]
Dr. Gomes concludes his discussion of homosexuality and the Bible with these words:
The Biblical writers never contemplated a form of homosexuality in which loving, monogamous, and faithful persons sought to live out the implications of the gospel with as much fidelity to it as any heterosexual believer. All they knew of homosexuality was prostitution, pederasty, lasciviousness, and exploitation. These vices, as we know, are not unknown among heterosexuals, and to define contemporary homosexuals only in these terms is a cultural slander of the highest order, reflecting not so much prejudice, which it surely does, but what the Roman Catholic Church calls "invincible ignorance," which all of the Christian piety and charity in the world can do little to conceal. The "problem," of course, is not the Bible, it is the Christians who read it.B-10
Again from Letter to Louise:
Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13
Revised Standard Version:
22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman, it is an abomination.
13 If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death...
The King James and New International versions say virtually the same thing.
Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 are the only direct references to same-gender sex in the Old Testament. They are both part of the Old Testament Holiness Code, a religious, not a moral code; it later became the Jewish Purity Laws. ["Abomination" is used throughout the Old Testament to designate sins that involve ethnic contamination or idolatry. The word relates to the failure to worship God or to worshiping a false god; it does not relate to morality.] Professor Soards tell us, "Old Testament experts view the regulations of Leviticus as standards of holiness, directives for the formation of community life, aimed at establishing and maintaining a people's identity in relation to God."B-4 This is because God was so determined that his people would not adopt the practices of the Baal worshipers in Canaan, and same-gender sex was part of Baal worship. (The laws say nothing about women engaging in same-gender sex; probably this had to do with man's dominance, and such acts by the subservient had nothing to do with religious impurity.)
God required purity for his worship. Anything pure was unadulterated, unmixed with anything else These Purity Laws prohibited mixing different threads in one garment, sowing a field with two kinds of seed, crossbreeding animals. A few years ago in Israel when an orthodox government came into power, McDonalds had to stop selling cheeseburgers. Hamburgers, OK. Cheese sandwiches, OK. But mixing milk and meat in one sandwich violated the Purity Laws--it had nothing to do with morality. These were laws about worshipping God, not ethics, and so have no bearing on our discussion of morality. Helmut Thielicke remarks on these passages: "It would never occur to anyone to wrench these laws of cultic purification from their concrete situation and give them the kind of normative authority that the Decalogue, for example, has."B-5
Another reason they are not pertinent to our discussion is that these laws were for the particular time and circumstances existing when they were given. If you planted a fruit tree, you could not eat its fruit until its fifth year, and all fruit the fourth year must be offered to the Lord. A worker must be paid his wage on the day of his labor. You must not harvest a field to its edge. We readily dismiss most of them as not applicable to our day and culture, and if we dismiss some of them for any reason, we have to dismiss all of them, including the sexual regulations, for that same reason.
When we add the fact that these laws were talking about heterosexuals, it makes three reasons, any one of which would be sufficient, why they have no bearing on questions about homosexuals or homosexuality or on the morality of same-gender sex by homosexuals today.
From Letter to Louise:
Genesis 18:20 to 19:29--The Sodom Story
Some consider the sin of Sodom to be same-gender sex, although we are not told in Genesis what Sodom's sins were, only that they were so great that God determined to destroy the city. On the evening before its destruction he sent two angels, in disguise as men, to the city to lead Lot and his family out early the next day. Hospitable Lot invited them to spend the night at his house. During the evening the men of the city surrounded the house and demanded of Lot that he bring the two men out so that they could [19:5]
King James Version: "know them."
Revised Standard Version: "know them."
New International Version: "have sex with them."
When Lot refused to bring his guests out, the men of the city were about to break his door down when the angels struck them all blind and the mob dispersed. The next day Lot and his family were led out of Sodom, and the city was destroyed by fire and brimstone from heaven.
The Hebrew verb used here, "yadha," "to know," is used 943 times in the OT and only ten times clearly to mean "have sex," then it always means heterosexual sex. The word normally used for homosexual sex is "shakhabh." Many scholars believe that in Gen. 19:5 yadha means "know" in the sense of "get acquainted with" (the city's men may have wondered if these were enemy spies or they might have sensed the city's impending doom and been concerned with what these strangers were doing there) and have several arguments for this, including Sodom's being used as an example of great sin numerous times in the Old and New Testaments with nothing ever said about same-sex sex, and the context of Jesus' references to Sodom (Luke 10:10-13) which seems to imply lack of hospitality as the sin.
Other scholars think it was the common practice of showing dominance over and humiliating outsiders by forcing them to take the part of a (an inferior) woman in a same-gender rape.
Others think it means "have sex," and point to Lot's offering his two virgin daughters to the crowd if sex is what they want, if they will just leave his guests alone. If this is the right interpretation, it is clearly about violent, criminal, gang rape, something always condemnable.
Another thought is expressed by Religion Professor David L. Bartlett: "This story is certainly an unlikely starting point for a `biblical' understanding of sexual ethics. While the attempted homosexual rape by the men of Sodom is explicitly condemned, the offer by Lot to hand his two virgin daughters over to the violent and lecherous inhabitants of Sodom is related without a word of judgment."B-2
Conservative theologian Richard Hays says, "The notorious story of Sodom and Gomorrah--often cited in connection with homosexuality--is actually irrelevant to the topic."B-3
There is nothing in this story applicable to our consideration of homosexuality.
This is Letter to Louise, one of the best studies of the actual words in the Bible - not the English version, the real Bible, in it's actual languages it was written in - as it pertains to homosexuality.
Read this. THEN tell me how you think homosexuality is a sin. Very, VERY, thin argument your side is making.
Then let me throw a few verses at you about love, your obligation to help the disadvantaged, and your fundamental need to abandon your wealth if you truly seek God.
That will make a very interesting session.
Why on earth would it be? Leviticus? Can you find Leviticus in the Bible if your life depended on it? Christians, I talking to YOU. Do you even know which versus even remotely pertain to homosexuality? Do you bother to even look at the original languages they were written in? Do you realize that Bibles that use the word "homosexual" are not accurate, because the word wasn't even invented until the 1890's in Germany, and didn't become part of the English language until well into the 1950's? What, God sent a revision to the editor? Are you nuts? The original language in Leviticus, by the way, is "men who are soft." You are on VERY shaky ground when trying to make this entire argument, based on original language in the Bible.
Did you know that Jesus himself never said one word about homosexuality? Oh, wait, yes he did, too. Remember the story about the Centurian? No?
The one recorded instance in the entire Bible where Jesus ever encountered a gay person was the Centurian story. A Roman soldier - the Centurian - calls Jesus in a crowd and asks him to heal his ill slave - specifically referring to him as his male, sex slave, his lover. (Check the original language.) Jesus' response isn't one of revulsion, but utter praise! When the Centurian says that it is not necessary for Jesus to travel to the lover to heal him, that the lover was healed simply because Jesus said he was healed, caused Jesus to exclaim to the crowd, "I have not seen this kind of faith in all of Israel!" Yes, praise for a homosexual's faith, not condemnation of who he was. Explain that.
Are you telling me you are more holly than Jesus himself? If He did not judge us, why do you?
And speaking of which, how come you never condemn wealth? Jesus certainly did. A third of all the words in the New Testament, and 2/3 of the words of Jesus, specifically say that the wealthy have great problems getting into heaven because their wealth keeps them from God. Yet you never, ever hear evangelicals mention that? Why? Too busy raising money and driving Mercedes?
Why this fascination with homosexuality when Christ tells you take care of the poor, care for the widowed and defenseless, and stop judging? Look at the countless times he lambastes the pious religious peoples in Israel. Are you listening? He's speaking to you - I'd suggest you stop worrying about gay people and start worrying about your own plight. There are too many homeless, too many abused, too many isolated and defenseless people who go without one shred of help in this country. THOSE are the concerns of Jesus, not gay people.
I dare any of you to tell me that is not the "gospel truth."
Joe, I would say that's the problem right there. For the sake of a few small dollars for the middle class, and huge cuts for the wealthiest, Republicans have been cutting taxes for years. In Arizona, they passed amendments that require a 2/3 majority of the legislature to raise taxes at all, but they keep cutting each year.
So for those hand fulls of dollars for guys like you, we have the worst schools in the country. It's just great. We are facing a huge deficit this year, and there is no chance of raising taxes because of the amendments. So, you could have schools where there are smaller classes, and you could have excellence. You chose a new Mercedes for the CEO of Exxon. I would say that's a poor choice, but that's what you favor.