Monday, November 20, 2017

Cons Christian: "Does the New Starbucks Christmas Cup Feature a Lesbian Couple?"

That question was posed by conservative Christian Jim Denison. Well, Mr. Denison, I think that the Starbucks Christmas cup does include a lesbian couple holding hands. What's it to ya?

Denison explains:
As unbiblical morality becomes increasingly popular, it's worth asking: Why should Christians stand up against cultural trends?
What is really worth asking is: What defines biblical morality and why should anyone care?

So-called biblical morality is based on ancient texts from two periods. The first of these is the Bronze Age (and possibly the Iron Age). The dates of both vary by region. The second is based upon the teachings of Jesus Christ and his disciples. Jesus Christ was an observant Jew. He was presumably circumcised and probably kept kosher. A few decades later Paul, still principally an observant Jew, changed thousands of years of Jewish law, eliminating the need for converts to endure painful surgery and allowing them to eat the foods that they were accustomed to. Paul's revisions were out of convenience.

Jews considered circumcision and the dietary laws a moral imperative. Today? Not so much.

Now some people consider the Bible (I guess both books) to be the inerrant word of God. If that is true then God made lots of mistakes including the order of things. He also presumed that the sun orbited Earth and that's just for starters. Since he supposedly created stars and planets, you would think that he would know their relative positioning and how they get there.

The better explanation is probably that the Bible reflects the times in which it was written. Very little was known about human sexuality and same-sex sex usually meant man and boy (as was true throughout ancient Greece and Rome). Close to the same passage in Leviticus, the one that today's conservative Christians claim prohibits homosexuality, is all that stuff about the need to murder insolent children and women who aren't virgins at the time of their marriage. If I recall correctly the death penalty was applied to people who worked on the Sabbath.

The Talmud emerged around 500 BCE and a second book around 200 BCE. It is a compendium of Jewish law. While the Torah might call for capital punishment, the Talmud makes it virtually impossible to carry out. In other words, the existence of the Talmud invalidates the notion that the Hebrew Bible is the inerrant word of God because then these very pious rabbis would be defying God.

Conservative Christians today are selectively observant. They could not possibly obey the Bible or they would all be in prison due to the stoning of numerous people for various offenses. The Talmud has no relevance for Christians. In fact, by today's standards the Bible obliges immorality. So spare me that biblical morality crap Mr. Denison. With scripture as pretext, man has murdered, tortured, enslaved and ethnically cleansed his fellow man, and then some. Denison sports two PhDs from Christian institutions. Neither required a great deal of critical thinking I suppose. He continues:
I often write about our culture's postmodern belief that truth is what we believe it to be. Here's a corollary consequence: Popularity has become our definition of success.

Possessions are measured by popularity. Why do we want to drive and wear what is fashionable? Why do we care what other people think of our cars and clothes so long as they do their job?
Ah yes, truth. There is religious truth which is based upon belief or faith. Then there is scientific truth which is based on evidence. The former gives us creationism, the latter; Evolution. As for success, that varies depending upon the individual. Trump measures success by wealth. Obama by accomplishment. Some Christians measure success numerically by converts. Denison described conspicuous consumption. It is often inverse to our insecurities. You know what's coming:
Morality is driven by popularity as well. Since 61 percent of Australians voting in a recent election supported same-sex marriage, lawmakers will now change the centuries-old definition of marriage to accommodate the popular vote. Whether gay marriage is actually harmful to gay people and society at large is not a factor in the conversation.
How about the many of us who think that it is immoral not to allow gay couples to marry and enjoy the same happiness as everyone else. I left that link in tact because Denison is a fount of misinformation and hate. What is it that gives these people a monopoly on morality? What follows is just a small sample. In full it resembles the outpouring of MassResisance and other hate groups:

Gays shouldn't marry because they are promiscuous, unstable perverts:
The Journal of Sex Research found that “the modal range for number of [homosexual] sexual partners ever was 101-500.” In other words, the number of participants in the study reporting 101-500 sexual partners was higher than any other group. The study also reported that 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent had between 501 and 1,000 partners. Another 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent reported more than 1,000 lifetime sexual partners. According to one study, 66 percent of gay couples reported sex outside the relationship within the first year, and nearly 90 percent if the relationship lasted five years.
The first sentence makes no sense. “Modal” pertains to form. This passage is included in many, many anti-gay polemics and never with a link because it is copied from one to the next. Denison provides a link which does not resolve. The last sentence has a separate link — to the Catholic Education Center. Throughout the treatise the purported authors are concentrated on a couple of well-known anti-gay doctors.

Returning to the current diatribe, it evolves into more biblical quotes. Denison has never learned the simple truth that no belief system is authoritative. By definition, faith is not evidentiary.

By the way, I purchased this today (I emptied the contents into a coffee saver which I keep in the freezer). I hope it is Christmasy enough for Mr. Denison:


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