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4:23 AM
@TRiG: I read part 1, but couldn't find parts 2 and 3
@dancek: You know you can vote to close a question, too :)
4:50 AM
@Flimzy. Parts 2 and 3 are linked in my answer above (which I've just noticed misspells his name: must edit again).
@TRiG: Okay, thanks. :)
And now someone tell me why I'm online at 6 a.m.
I'm guessing it's not because you woke up early on a Sunday morning :)
Certainly not!
Actually, I'll log off now, leave the office, walk home, let the ducks out, and go to bed.
(Internet connection broken at home, so I came into the office.)
Good ... morning.
heh... see ya
5:08 AM
Q: Proposed capitalisation fix

TRiGWhen you ask a question on main, you are greeted with the words What's your christianity question? be specific. I'd say that both Christianity and be should have initial capital letters.

4 hours later…
9:20 AM
@Flimzy I sure do, but unless there's a good reason to close I'd rather leave it open!
9:42 AM
@Flimzy should we take the democracy discussion into chat?
@dancek: So are you saying that fighting against the majority is not a good use of our effort?
@TRiG thanks for the box turtle bulletin article, it's interesting.
I mean, I would assume that if a vote came to Sweden to change the gay marriage laws, you would encourage Christians to vote in a way that's consistent with their Christian world view, and not just consider the issue "lost"
@Flimzy yes, I'd say loving is better than fighting. And if it comes down to just voting, sure, vote for what you believe in. But when it requires an awful lot of political work (as it usually does), it's better to concede when the majority is against our viewpoint.
Wouldn't that be true even when the battle hasn't yet "been lost?"
I.e. in the U.S. debate about gay marriage, for instance (not sure how closely you follow that)
Gay marriage isn't legal in the U.S. yet (I guess a few states allow it), but it looks like it's becoming increasingly likely that it will become legal in more and more states
Is it worth a Christian's effort to keep fighting against that, or should these same Christians spend their time actually loving people instead?
9:49 AM
@Flimzy I'd say loving people is better, but in that case I'm not willing to tell others what they should do. It might actually be God's will that they fight to keep the laws as is, even if I don't see the point in fighting
Wouldn't it also hold then that God might call Christians in Sweden to work for political change?
@Flimzy Sure, but there's a difference. They already had legal gay marriage for a long time, so what would that do for the thousands of legally married gay couples if their marriages were declared void and their lifestyle deemed illegal?
I don't know... but I don't think that is a reason a Christian shouldn't fight against it.
If God really calls someone to that, who am I to question God's ways. But that'd really be an unexpectable calling for me.
There are many "solutions" I can think of to that issue...
I also don't think "The Bible is used to back that view" works, either... because, at least in the U.S., many try to use the Bible as evidence for the pro-gay-marriage case, too.
IOW, I think you can use the Bible to advocate any cause you want.
9:57 AM
@Flimzy I take it you haven't lived anywhere with a strongly pro-gay atmosphere. I have many gay people as friends, and even though I disapprove of their lifestyle, I love them as human beings. Taking away from them rights that have already been given would be quite cruel.
I'm not necessarily disagreeing with your conclusion... I just think your reasons either aren't really clear to me, or are flawed... heh
I have many gay friends, too. None of them are legally married...
Although in many regards, continuing to deny them those rights is also cruel.
@Flimzy I'm fine with editing the answer, but I really have a hard time expressing myself clearly enough here.
a) I don't think that "denying someone rights they shouldn't have in the first place is cruel" is a good reason not to fight for change
b) I don't think fighting against something that is viewed as immoral has to be equated with refusing them their rights anyway
(Note I'm not taking the stand that they shouldn't have these rights--I'm playing devil's advocate here)
@Flimzy I'm really having a very hard time translating these two points to enhancements to the answer.
10:08 AM
@Flimzy a) the point is in the Bible passage: don't judge outsiders
@Flimzy b) for example, I'm not saying anything against gay marriage laws to begin with
(the gay marriage question WRT my answer comes down to personal interpretation of whether it's bad or good or neutral to the country as a whole)
It's also a polarizing hot-button issue, which probably makes it less of a good example
Although, in the U.S., most issues are seen as polarizing, at least by Christians...
which is sad that the U.S. ties Christianity to their politics so much
@Flimzy yeah, so I don't have it as ann example... the question does though
This isn't intended to directly affect your answer... I'm mostly thinking out loud...
For me, the main things to remember are: 1) Always behave in a loving manner toward everyone, Christian or non
2) The focus of our "fighting" should be on people's souls, not their behaviors... if their souls are won, their behaviors will follow
I apply this to the abortion issue in U.S. politics the following way:
* I'm never a single-issue voter on the issue of abortion (many Christians ignore every other issue and only vote based on a candidate's pro-life stand)
(Let me add to this that the abortion issue in the U.S. is essentially at the mercy of the courts right now, which have ruled in favor of abortion rights. The only way to change this is to change the judges on the Supreme Court, such that they would rule in opposition... or pass a U.S. Constitutional amendment, which requires a 2/3 majority of the states to agree)
And given that the supreme court rarely re-hears a case on the same issue, that probably means we need a 2/3 majority of the states to pass an ammendment to the constitution
What all that means is... who we vote for has practically zero effect on the abortion issue
So a far more effective way to spend our effort, if we want to save infant lives, is not in the political arena at all
I think I'm rambling
@Flimzy good points there. (Though I'm not familiar with the US situation that well)
I think I'll add Ephesians 6:12 to my answer, to emphasize what our major objective is
Anyway, I guess what I'm getting at is... the way to fight the abortion battle in the U.S. isn't by voting at all... so while I would absolutely vote to abolish (or limit) abortion rights, given the chance... A far more effective way for a Christian to fight this battle is by loving those who might want an abortion, and educating them to the harm it causes them and their infant.
I suspect the same is true of the gay marriage issue... it's far more effective to love our gay friends than it is to pass laws about them.
Yeah, I think that would be my summary... Christians should be involved in politics, but it should never be the "first line of defense" on any issue...
And in a democracy, Christians should understand that the majority rules, even when the majority is wrong. So to affect change, what's far more powerful than affecting politics, is affecting the majority... by living as an example of Christ, etc, etc
10:20 AM
@Flimzy you okay if I quote you?
hehe, if you want to.
It's 5:20am here, I'm not sure how coherent my thoughts are :)
@Flimzy well, take another look at my answer after you've had some sleep :)
I've told Christian friends before, when discussing voting... "Don't waste your time campaigning for a specific candidate.. spend your time witnessing to friends. If every candidate you supported was elected tomorrow, they'd still be voted out again in 2, 4, or 6 years... the only lasting impact you can have is to change the hearts of the people, not the politicians."
Sure, I'll read it again tomorrow :)
I'm going to remove my comments from y our answer now, too
BTW, I really like your answer... there was just that one point that I wasn't quite sure about
@Flimzy thanks both for the compliment and helping with the answer! It's much better now IMO (I finished the edit).
Looks good... I'll read it again in the morning...er... afternoon
10:32 AM
@Flimzy :)
somehow I got sucked into scifi.SE tonight
Do homosexuals really care about the christian marriage?
Don't they just fight for equal right in terms of taxes and other benefits married couples enjoy?
@BeatMe: I suspect there are some in both camps.
@BeatMe In Finland, they seem to. They've already got registered partnership that gives them the same legal status as marriage.
@BeatMe This is always just about the legal marriage, nobody can (or should) force the church to marry gays. This is about the right marriage provides.
10:37 AM
I can easily support the rights for homosexuals (or any other sort of relationship) to be given hospital visitation rights, etc...
why should christians fight against a law for civiil union?
@Fabian they're trying to force the church in Finland. (who are? pro-gay organizations -- I don't know if gay people themselves care)
I don't know if tha'ts an issue in other countries, but that's one of them in the U.S. anyway
@BeatMe: One argument I've heard against gay marriage, from a non-Christian standpoint, is that homosexual marriages don't benefit society in the same way heterosexual marriages do...
@BeatMe: Of course the most obvious way that's true is in the ability to procreate
although if you consider adoption, then perhaps that's not even valid
i was about so mention that ;)
I'm sure people who spend more time thinking about this than I do have thought of other ways this is (or might be) true, too... heh
10:39 AM
other points heterosexual marriages benefit the society?
@BeatMe btw I was very surprised to see you date Matthew in 40AD here -- do you believe it was that early? (I do, but then I believe a lot of stuff)
two sources cited that date so I used it
anyway, the argument is "marriage benefits aren't there to show favoritism, they're there because marriage is actually a benefit to society in a way that gay marriage is not"
But even if that argument holds water, I think some of the rights should still be granted
Shared insurance costs, hospital visitation, etc... to me, those aren't really "marriage" rights anyway...
10:41 AM
@BeatMe yeah, it's just that Matthew contains a prophecy about tearing down the temple, which happened ~70AD. So most non-Christians date it ~80-90AD to get it to sound more correct :)
do you have any links that support the "gay marriage is not benefition to society"
@BeatMe: No, I don't. I don't know if I even hold that view... I'm just saying it's a common view... and even if that view is right, that's not a reason to deny homosexual partners all rights
I agree with that ;)
@BeatMe I think the "best" argument is that intuitively, marriage is life-long and between one man and one woman. Allowing anything else is a slippery slope. (and it actually seems to be in some sense; in Finland we don't yet have legalized gay marriage, but it's raised a lot of talk about allowing polygamy, too)
and of course, an argument on intuition is not gonna be very strong against any opposition...
but then 50% of marriages are divorced again
10:48 AM
@BeatMe yeah, and that just shows that the societal marriage is different from the biblical ideal of marriage
Are there people who want to legalize polygamy in Finland?
I mean, I'm sure you can always find a couple (or three..?)... but is there a significant number?
The legal status of polygamy varies from country to country. There are many countries which do not permit polygamy, and a person who marries in one of those countries a person while still being lawfully married to another commits the crime of bigamy. In all cases, the second marriage is considered legally null and void, and consent from a prior spouse makes no difference to the validity of the second marriage. In countries which outlaw polygamy, some people circumvent the prohibition by a practice of serial monogamy, where a person serially marries and divorces multiple partners, or by re...
nothing about finnland
@Flimzy it's had a lot of media coverage. Not a lot of politicians behind that, though.
The youth organization of the Green League is actively proposing polygamy laws, but I don't know how many of the actual members of parliament of Green League agree. And even they only make up 5% of the parliament.
Did you ever see Stephen Colbert's thing about how we should get back at gays for ruining america?
10:55 AM
i'm not in the us, so I just see small clips of him ;)
I'm sure I can't find the youtube clip... but it basically involved him going into a 5-minute rampage about how horrible gays are, so to get back at them, we should all pretend we're gay, so that a gay person will fall in love with us, then at the last minute, before we say our vows at our not-really-legal wedding, we'll, in front of everyone, humuliate oursleves by telling the world we're not really gay
I can't do it justice
He turned it very emotional... it was pretty funny
pretty much trying to make gay-haters realize that being gay is not easy
so why would anyone choose that?
i think I have heard about that
but here's one of my favourite clips of him: glumbert.com/media/lucifereffect
@BeatMe: Where do you live?
@BeatMe: Some say that Revelation is about things that happen in the future, which would put it 2000+ years after the close of the rest of the NT
11:12 AM
I like that clip... I had to share that with a friend of mine... I think she'll like it, too
11:31 AM
Q: Doesn't the design need to be changed? Is it still being decided upon?

brilliantI don't know, but do you think this current design is a suitable one for a site on Christianity? I don't know, perhaps, there have already been a serious consideration on this matter that I have overlooked, but there are some elements in the current design that I see as having no relation to Ch...

8 hours later…
7:35 PM
@dancek No, diamond mods can't but some SE staff can. Mods can see some rough statistics about who voted for or against what users so we can sort out abnormalities, but in no case does it show what specific posts were voted on by who.
@Richard I think we'd be better off working on the quality of answers to the pile of questions we have than coming up with new things to ask. We have more questions than answers in general.
7:57 PM
@dancek Perhaps that bit of text isn't properly understood. Either the dating of the text or our understanding of it has to be wrong :)

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