Making the World Safe for Mormonism

(a line I borrow from Ken Myers)

“What we offer as Catholics is to strengthen the family as the basis of society. When there is a solid family life, there is less likelihood of crime, there is less likelihood of drug use. The children grow up with a solid foundation. And that is a foundation they can take all through their lives,” Rozanski said. “And, as a Church, what we are saying is that God made us male and female, and that the institution of marriage is so crucial. It is a sacrament of the Church, if the sacrament is well lived, then the children and future generations will benefit.”

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46 thoughts on “Making the World Safe for Mormonism

  1. Far be it from me to argue with someone I went school with but there is an important choice for Christians to make here. Yes, ideally we would want families with a mother and father to be encouraged. But what does that imply for those families that are different? Do we want to legislate against them? Do we merely want to try to change culture and go from legislating to suggesting? And if we merely want to encourage through changing culture through suggesting, do we want to stigmatize those families that are different knowing how flawed many ideal families are?

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  2. Curt, either way someone is going to legislate. Either we make laws and policies that encourage fathers to remain with mothers and rear the kids or punish them for failing, OR we pass laws to tax all citizens to pay for the public school meal programs, after school programs, and social service programs to provide the services that parents do not. I’m not agreeing with the bishop about the church or about marriage necessarily, but how you think that we just affirm everyone in their family situation is wise I’ll never know. Haven’t you heard reports about urban school systems?

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  3. D.G.Hart,
    Yes, but do we really want to legislate to prohibit choices or to allow for them? And which ones should we allow for noting that society, by Scriptural definition, is a dumping ground for all and not just restricted for those in the Church.

    Also, perhaps if the economy supported the ability of fathers to get living wage jobs, perhaps we would pay less in taxes for those services.

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  4. Katy,
    Yes, but I was asking which approach to legislation do we want to participate in especially when it comes to relationships between consenting adults.

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  5. Curt Day
    Posted August 13, 2014 at 7:03 pm | Permalink
    Katy,
    Yes, but I was asking which approach to legislation do we want to participate in especially when it comes to relationships between consenting adults.

    All society–thus the state, and thus the law–is concerned with is the progeny that sex [coitus] creates. Work backwards from there.

    Correspondingly, I do not know what “relationships” means in this context. [Do you have a “relationship” with your hooker, or at least on many more significant that the guy who cleans your drains?

    It’s a Babel word. If there were no such thing as children, sex would be no more morally complicated than neckrubs. [Even masturbation

    https://oldlife.org/2014/08/obsessed/

    would have no greater moral or metaphysical overtone than flossing.]

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  6. Tom,
    But progeny is not the only concern of our laws. And that is where the problem comes in because while we want to prohibit same-sex marriage in the name of defending marriage, we are, and I think rightfully so, seen as being intrusive and intolerant of those who are different without cause. Also realize the digression of influence Christianity has had on legislation since homosexuality use to be criminalized, and then could be grounds for losing one’s job, with same-sex marriages being prohibited, and finally with the proposal of Jim Crow laws. At the same time, we are very silent about the sins of those with wealth and power, realize that governmental jobs does not equal power, which actual harm to more people.

    In the Reformed community, the same-sex marriage issue temporarily makes 2kers into transformationists as both argue against same-sex marriage on the grounds stated above that it is only when a child has a solid family life, with it being understood that the family consists of a mother and a father, that the child has the best chance at escaping participation in crime and using drugs.

    If only we relied solely on the preaching of the Gospel in this matter, we would not face the unnecessary scorn we are facing today.

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  7. “as both argue against same-sex marriage on the grounds stated above that it is only when a child has a solid family life…”
    Who argues this? Same-Sex marriage is wrong because homosexuality is wrong. Duh. If someone doesn’t believe this, why even argue?

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  8. Curt, why does this make 2k into transformationalism? You think that observing laws is transformationalism? So you bought the lie that 2k is antinomian? Who among the 2kers is advocating political solutions or saying what that bishop said — as if the church is here to build a happy society.

    It is possible, though, to observe the effects of one or no-parent homes. BTW, that’s hardly an argument against same-sex marriage. Same-sex sex has to be among the safest forms of sex out there. Why? No offspring. It’s the heteros we need to worry about.

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  9. On a completely random thought, I would like to state a proposition:

    ‘A fire is not extinguished by talking to it. All that is required is for an ice cold shower to be put over it, and it will likely start talking back…’

    Just sayin’.

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  10. @Curt

    I find that the transformationalist impulse is largely driven by a perceived need to have some kind of hegemonic pseudo-religious culture in which everyone participates, i.e., the reestablishing of some kind of broad-based Christian consensus. Among transformationalists, there seems to be a belief that such a broad-based Christian consensus is necessary for society and that everything will go to hell in a handbasket without it.

    In contrast, I’m quite content to accept a fair degree of tribalism, where people can collect into more tightly networked subcultures and where morality is enforced more by private agreement than by public laws.

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  11. D.G. Hart,
    I believe that transforamationists (or is it transformationalists) are active in changing culture and even mandating laws; it isn’t about merely observing them. So no, I didn’t buy any lie about 2kers being antinomian.

    When it comes to same-sex marriage, I believe, and you can correct me if I am wrong, 2kers and 2K churches support laws that prohibit same-sex marriages.

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  12. Bobby,
    I agree with your first paragraph in part though a transformationist would prefer not to say it that way. After all, in talking about this, Keller juxtaposes having Christianity having privilege with being pushed to the margins (I believe that is somewhere around pg 257 in his Center Church book). But we must add how hegemonic the influence depends on the Biblical abstract/concreteness of the principles/laws being promoted.

    At the same time, I can’t disagree with your second paragraph enough. It certainly doesn’t follow the great commission. It certainly doesn’t call us to love the world in the partial way in which we can imitate God in sending Christ where it says God loved the world, and it ignores Bonhoeffer’s criticisms of the monasteries of way back where people would separate themselves to create a world they could love. That is where I would struggle with your approach and even with calling such a position 2k. After all, one of the basic assumptions of being 2k is that of living in exile the ways the Jews did in Babylon.

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  13. Curt, granted that often it looks like the neo-Calvinist-CRC-that-doesn’t-ordain-women, but the URCNA to its 2k credit has resisted following the lead of other NAPARC denoms in making any formal ecclesiastical statement in relation to the political question of marriage. From what I understand, the thinking is that not only does nature make the answer obvious but also to do so is to weigh in where churches ought not tread. So far as I know, members are free to have diverse political views.

    And why would Bobby’s view not be consistent with 2k if 2k–in contrast to transformationism–is more agnostic on the power of politics to maintain general society? And what’s the great commission have to do with questions that correspond more with creation mandate?

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  14. Curt Day
    Posted August 13, 2014 at 10:15 pm | Permalink
    Tom,
    But progeny is not the only concern of our laws. And that is where the problem comes in because while we want to prohibit same-sex marriage in the name of defending marriage, we are, and I think rightfully so, seen as being intrusive and intolerant of those who are different without cause.

    Not atall. Sex has a metaphysical dimension in [most] Biblical thought because its teleolgy is the creation of life. Further, we have marriage laws because of family, not because we just want to regulate orgasms.

    As for those with “same-sex attraction” being “different from us,” without an evaluation of what that difference means, it’s more modernist babytalk like “relationship.” The obliteration of the distinctions and differences between male and female [which are both Biblical and qualifiable in nature] is part of the madness of the modern world, which believes we can conquer nature with bullshit.

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  15. Curt, if you’re going to assert that about 2k churches (hey, now we’re legit), you need to supply a link. So far the OPC hasn’t taken a stand on legislation.

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  16. Tom,
    Yes, according to our religion, we have certain perspectives on sex. But when we try to force our religion’s views of sex on others, it is intrusive for those outside the Church. And they easily note how upset we get about their sexual sins while showing little to no concern about the sins of economic systems that condemn others to poverty and enslavement so that a few could live in luxury or the political sins that start tribalistic wars. And none of that has included the current destruction of the environment because of our way of life.

    See, there is preferential treatment here where we jump on the sins of the individual common sinner but say nothing about the sins of economic and political systems that hurt people on a larger and even more pervasive scale. This is especially true when we are beneficiaries of systems that oppress and threaten others.

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  17. D.G. Hart: “Curt, if you’re going to assert that about 2k churches (hey, now we’re legit), you need to supply a link. So far the OPC hasn’t taken a stand on legislation.”

    If I may interject myself into this conversation: As you know, the OPC tends not to take stands or adopt “position statements” on legislation because of its confessional understanding of the spirituality of the church. But it does not thereby follow that the OPC has no official position with respect to same-sex marriage. The OPC does “officially” rejects same-sex marriage because it (1) Affirms the moral law of God (which condemns homosexuality as sin), and (2) Our Confession of Faith defines marriage (in line with Scripture) as a union between a man and a woman (Confession of Faith ch. 24 “Of Marriage and Divorce”). Thus in most circumstances any GA-adopted statement which would “take a stand” on the matter of same-sex marriage would be superfluous. The church has already “taken a stand” on such matters in its Confession and Catechisms.

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  18. “Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity forbidden by the Word. Nor can such incestuous marriages ever be made lawful by any law of man or consent of parties, so as those persons may live together as man and wife.” (Confession of Faith 24.4)

    If incestuous marriages can never “be made lawful by any law of man,” then does it not follow (“by good and necessary consequence”) that sodomite “marriage” likewise can never be made lawful by any law of man?

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  19. Curt, that’s not a church statement or a sermon. You could presume that Clark would preach this, but that is a leap.

    Blogs are not ministries or churches.

    Sorry to sound Jesuitical, but you made a specific claim that doesn’t seem plausible.

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  20. D.G. Hart,
    You asked for a link from a 2k blog and I provided 2. Granted it is not from a sermon or church statement, but judging from the blogs and that they come from seminary professors who are active members in their churches and possibly teaching elders, these blogposts indicate that such teaching is taught in at least some of their churches. No conclusive proof on that so far, but it is an indicator. And if I have the time and resources, I will see if I can find conclusive proof.

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  21. D.G. Hart,
    BTW, as I thought over the moving of your goalposts I realized that since there is no official 2K denomination, a statement from a church or denomination is not necessary to prove my point. All that is necessary is if a person, whether they be a layperson or a minister, believes that the church should take a stand and be active in changing society would not be 2k on that subject. And, in fact, a professed transformationist who only works as an individual for change in society and doesn’t demand that his or her church take a stand and follow suit is really a practicing 2-ker.

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  22. D.G. Hart,
    Again, you are not asking the right question since there is no 2k denomination nor believer requirement to join any church. It is Reformed individuals who are 2kers or transformers. So isn’t it about what the individual believe about how the Church should be involved with culture that makes that person a 2ker or transformer?

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  23. Curt, the point is not about 2k, but about an assertion you made about 2kers or 2k churches. None of the links you have provided says what you claimed. They do show that 2kers are of the opinion that same sex marriage is wrong. But since when is having an opinion the same as saying the church must do. In that sense, this is about 2k and I don’t think you get it. 2kers have lots of opinions. They draw the line at the church have those same opinions.

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  24. D.G. Hart,
    Certainly there is nothing in the links about 2k churches. But when 2kers state the position about opposing same-sex marriage strong enough to other Christians so as to imply what other Christians should believe , there is that implication.

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  25. Curt Day
    Posted August 15, 2014 at 12:22 am | Permalink
    Tom,
    Yes, according to our religion, we have certain perspectives on sex. But when we try to force our religion’s views of sex on others, it is intrusive for those outside the Church. And they easily note how upset we get about their sexual sins

    Forcing gay marriage on society by the use of force [the state] is just as coercive. To abandon our society to the heathens is, well, I’m sure you’ve seen the Benedict Option-Jeremiah Option thing.

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/jeremiah-option-vs-benedict-option/

    Although it protests it’s not apolitical on the individual level, 2K-ism becomes indistinguishable from going to the monastery, or becoming Amish. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won’t say anything. Just leave us alone.

    As for “getting upset about sexual sins,” I’ve actually drawn a line here if you read me kindly–on the whole society has no more interest in non-procreative sex than it has in neckrubs. Although I’m not exactly good with screwing on the sidewalk.

    while showing little to no concern about the sins of economic systems that condemn others to poverty and enslavement

    Turn off the noise, por favor. Nobody except Ayn Randian sophomores argue we have no moral obligation to the disabled, to widows and orphans. The only question is whether the left’s narcissistic and careless Beatitudism leads to more of the latter, hurting those its purports to help.

    As for 2k “churches,” it’s really more a bleat by a certain elite that spends most of its efforts bagging on the religious right anyway, while giving the left a pass while it empties mainline Protestantism of any religious content beyondplatitudes about “social justice.” As the old saw goes about reformed Judaism, their messiah looks less like Jesus and more like FDR.

    So even though putatively inert, on a practical level, 2k is an ally of your party, or at least the enemy of your enemy. Don’t kick.

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  26. Tom,
    How does forcing gay marriage on society = letting gays marry each other?

    And is the opposite of abandoning our society to the heathen either Christian Paternalism, Constantinianism, or theonomy? Are you insisting that in a society based on religious freedom, that Christians have a privileged ruling place over all others?

    And as for your compassion, have included the working poor, those whose homes have been illegally foreclosed on by the banks, and those who can’t find living wage jobs because they have been moved offshore or taken over by robots? Are you identifying individual categories while missing the overall picture because of your literalist interpretation?

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  27. Curt Day
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 10:09 pm | Permalink
    Tom,
    How does forcing gay marriage on society = letting gays marry each other?

    And is the opposite of abandoning our society to the heathen either Christian Paternalism, Constantinianism, or theonomy? Are you insisting that in a society based on religious freedom, that Christians have a privileged ruling place over all others?

    And as for your compassion, have included the working poor, those whose homes have been illegally foreclosed on by the banks, and those who can’t find living wage jobs because they have been moved offshore or taken over by robots? Are you identifying individual categories while missing the overall picture because of your literalist interpretation?

    A pyromaniac in a field of straw men. You’ve ticked off almost every cliche and slander of the non-left.

    As for seizing control of society via the power of the state, is this really the first you’ve heard of it?

    As for “letting gays marry,” when it’s an exercise of popular sovereignty, what else can you do? America has always been a Protestant country, and even when theonomic, the particulars about what God and the Bible say were always a matter of popular sentiment. It’s hardly as though gays were stoned to death along with our drunk and disobedient children.

    But gay marriage is only the front line–one 2k-ers deserted, BTW. But at some point, the government will come for them, too. They’re already teaching our children that gender can be changed by some hormore shots and a mutilation of the genitals into some simulacrum of a penis or vagina.

    It’s the assault on reality by politics that’s really the issue. Well, that and the abolition of metaphysics, of course. “Rights talk” is empty without a metaphysical foundation, for there is no longer a natural law other than the law of the jungle.

    At some point, Christian charity was replaced by ‘social justice.” Good luck with that. Onward Kantian Soldiers!

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  28. Tom,
    First, it’s like you love to be insulting so I will limit my comments

    As for your strawman comment, please note from your comments

    Tom,
    Yes, according to our religion, we have certain perspectives on sex. But when we try to force our religion’s views of sex on others, it is intrusive for those outside the Church. And they easily note how upset we get about their sexual sins

    Forcing gay marriage on society by the use of force [the state] is just as coercive. To abandon our society to the heathens is, well, I’m sure you’ve seen the Benedict Option-Jeremiah Option thing.

    Who is forcing what Tom? This is use of force seems to be consistent with how anarcho-capitalists use the word. But that state is what is recognized as the government and I will defer you to Romans 13, which formerly only recognized heterosexual marriage plus my original answer: How does forcing gay marriage on society = letting gays marry each other? For if nobody is forcing us to marry gays, how are gays forcing same-sex marriage on us? How? After all, we didn’t say heterosexual marriage was being forced on us while the law endorse it alone, and gays would have had a more right to say that a form of marriage was being forced on them than you have.

    I’ll leave the rest of your insulting tone to yourself.

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  29. Curt Day
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    Who is forcing what Tom? This is use of force seems to be consistent with how anarcho-capitalists use the word.

    I don’t know what that means. Did you learn that term from the internet or did your parents pay for you to learn it at college?

    Or are you in steep student debt to pay for your leftist inculcation? Can you get your money back?

    How does forcing gay marriage on society = letting gays marry each other?

    That formulation–for the second time now–begs the question. Your parents deserve their money back just for this. And if it’s your own student debt that will cripple you financially for a decade or two, I’ll take fries and a drink, and a dessert with that too, sure. Just to help you out. You’re clearly management material.

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  30. Tom,
    This my last response to you because you’re really not interested in a respectful discussion. By your own reasoning, we could say that just as same-sex marriage was forced on us, so has heterosexual marriage. After all, both are being defined by the government.

    Again, by assigning to laws and their enforcement by the government to having something forced on us is also said by anarcho-capitalists because they simply oppose government–they want the private sector to provide for and control everything. That is not to say that you belong to that group, but you are following the same reasoning about government here. And the flaw in that reasoning is that disputes that are usually covered by law defined and enforced by government would sometimes then be settled by gang wars.

    Finally, nobody is forcing same-sex marriage on us. However, by prohibiting it, gays who wish to be married, actually have grounds for saying that heterosexual marriage is being forced on them.

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  31. Curt Day
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 6:44 am | Permalink
    Tom,
    This my last response to you because you’re really not interested in a respectful discussion. By your own reasoning, we could say that just as same-sex marriage was forced on us, so has heterosexual marriage.

    We could say that if we were unable to recognize necessary distinctions, which is the hallmark of the modern age, argument by false analogies and comparisons. Same-sex sex does not create babies, the very first–and undeniable–premise I laid out.

    Reciting the leftist catechism is not discussion, sir. Check yrself before you wreck yrself.

    http://www.popecenter.org/commentaries/article.html?id=3050#.U_D1ssVdW4r

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  32. Curt Day
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 5:55 pm | Permalink
    TVD,
    What is the importance of that obvious fact with regard to marriage?

    I can’t start this all over again at the turnip truck level, sir. Per the link above, you’re apparently unequipped to hold up your half of a discussion. It’s not your fault.

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  33. TVD,
    All of this insulting others does not belong especially on a Christian site. Most of the time, resorting to insulting others like what you did is an authoritarian appeal that is meant to stifle discussion rather than continue.

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  34. Curt Day
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 10:44 pm | Permalink
    TVD,
    All of this insulting others does not belong especially on a Christian site. Most of the time, resorting to insulting others like what you did is an authoritarian appeal that is meant to stifle discussion rather than continue.

    I missed the part where you rebutted, responded, refudiated or even acknowledged anything I’ve said. Please start over.

    Stipulated: Coitus makes babies.

    Resolved: Society and therefore the government has no compelling interest in giving legal status to any other orgasms.

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  35. TVD,
    You’re playing games so go ahead. Play those games by yourself. And btw, the problems started when you answered a simple question with insults.

    Like

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