America is not a theocracy, but was uniquely founded with religious freedoms as a fundamental principle. To take marriage, a faith originated covenant relationship, and try to change what it means and force religious institutions and individuals to support it violates the freedom of expression clause of the First Amendment.
I'm from Ireland.
Plenty of other Americans disagree with your reading of the situation, apparently including the current POTUS, so I don't think my being from Europe is all that relevant.
Your country's laws and governance are nowhere near as unique as you think they are. Alot of other countries have modelled their Constitutions, etc, on the US model, plus all countries in the English speaking world inherited alot of their legal principles from English common law. We're getting way off topic now though, suffice to say that the views I've expressed are shared by alot of Americans themselves, so I don't think I'm giving some kind of Europe-only perspective.
That said, I do think it's relevant, as the teacher addressed it, and many have expressed either perplexity or outrage over why he felt the need to express his beliefs at all. He posted it in response to the media reports around the President's announcement.
Snipped from Skewed View's post # 11 in this thread:
BBM"All this talk in the news about gay marriage recently has finally driven me to write. Gay marriage is wrong because homosexuality is wrong. The Bible clearly states it is sin. Now I do not claim it to be a sin any worse than other sins. It ranks in God's eyes the same as murder, lying, stealing, or cheating. His standards are perfect and ALL have sinned and fallen short of His glory. Sin is sin and we all deserve hell. Only those who accept Christ as Lord and daily with the help of the Spirit do their best to turn from sin will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. There aren't multiple ways to get to Heaven. There is one. To many this may seem close minded and antagonistic, but it doesn't make it any less true. Folks I am willing to admit that my depravity is just as great as anyone else's, and without Christ I'd be destined for hell, if not for the undeserved grace of God. I'm not condemning gay marriage because I hate gay people. I am doing it because those who embrace it will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. And I desire that for no one."
Facebook posting by Buhler USD 313 teacher/coach Jack Conkling
You not believing in heaven or hell, doesn't mean you are writing hate speech towards believers.
(Calling people who disagree bigots and homphobes may be considered hate speech though)
It is absolutely wrong, but I can't show you how it is wrong without seeing it.
I've already explained why people in 1400 BC could have had no such concept. It simply wasn't relevant to their social or economic systems.
Christians have been making up all sorts of things based on bad translations and, yes, they have been doing so for centuries. It isn't a conspiracy, necessarily, just ignorance. I am not referring to all Christians at all times, of course.
Accusing me of "undue personalization" is not the same thing as saying I am wrong.
But what would you say if the same teacher had posted (for his 600 "FB friends" including students) that all Catholics are the same as murderers?
What if he said all those who vote for Democrats are the same as murderers?
What if he wrote that slavery should be legal as long as the slaves are treated well (as per the OT)?
Is there no limit to what a teacher may say about those whom he teaches and/or their families?
But most of us are posting from the United States. And opposition to gay rights here in the U.S. has come largely (though not exclusively) from conservative Christians and Jews.
Next year, the fired guy ran for school board - and won! Aiieee! But he was fine though and didn't, to his credit, go nuts and seek retribution.
I'm going to follow wfgodot's request that we not make this a "gay marriage" thread. Suffice it to say the only issue in that regard is civil marriage. I've yet to read a single gay activist argue that churches be forced to perform sacraments that violate the church's principles.
I have said before and I will say again that I support the right of any church to refuse to marry gay couples.
What was unique about the U.S. was the very clear and deliberate decision to separate church and state, a decision that has been threatened during various "Red scares" by putting the name of God onto our money, in our courtrooms and into our Pledge of Allegiance.
But all such decisions are relatively recent and were not the decisions of the Founding Fathers.
I think Europeans understand all this quite well. And thanks to their history of religious wars, many European nations now offer more freedom of and from religion than the U.S. does.
The fact that you compare my disbelief in heaven and hell with a teacher telling his students that gays are like murderers is the perfect example of how ridiculous arguments in defense of this teacher have become.
Here's a very knowledgable source (a reverend, BTW):
1. The word that is translated as "homosexual" in Deuteronomy also means "male prostitute" or "male acolyte in a pagan temple". (If that seems like an oxymoron, some pagan religions included sexual intercourse as part of their worship. So an "altar boy" was basically also a male prostitute. That's why the same word was used for both.)
Since the first half of the Deuteronomy verse bans female prostitutes (or female temple acolytes), it makes far more sense that the second half of the verse refers to male prostitutes. Jumping to male homosexuality as we understand it makes no sense, logically or poetically.
More importantly in re Seek's post above, there is NOTHING in that verse that refers to homosexual persons or their sexual orientation. It simply wasn't a concept in 1200 BC, when Deuteronomy was written.
2. Deuteronomy also condemns cross-dressing, so I assume that all women who wear pants are just like murderers, too, along with every Scotsman in his kilt.
Deuteronomy, 22:5"The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God."
Confidential to Seek&Find: my preceding post is what I mean by "Christian" scholars cherry-picking. Many (not all) of the Biblical prohibitions you list are cases where somebody has found one word that can have many meanings and then insisted it means "homosexual", ignoring context to serve an anti-gay rights agenda.
Even in the most seemingly obvious references (Leviticus), scholars debate whether the primary concern was private sexual behavior or keeping the Hebrews from joining in the bacchanal at the nearest pagan temple.
As a rule, the ancient world didn't worry too much about sex between males because it didn't result in children and therefore didn't affect property rights. (And sex between females was ignored almost entirely until the 1800s.)