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Choices, rights, and privileges

I read a letter to the editor of the North Fort Myers Neighbor this morning on the subject of homosexuality, marriage, and the repeal of the “Don’t-ask-don’t-tell” policy. The letter, from Whitney Decker, is titled “Is it wrong to love?”, and favors the continued push for normalization of homosexuality in our society.

I disagree with much of Ms. Decker’s letter, and though I could express my disagreement in a responding letter to the editor or by commenting online, I don’t know Ms. Decker, and I don’t want this to come across as a personal attack. She sounds like a reasonable and thoughtful person.

Happily, I have a blog.

Ms. Decker avows that she is a Christian and reads her Bible and can’t find any Scripture that forbids same-sex marriage. I don’t know if she is a Christian. I don’t know how much she reads her Bible. I do know that she doesn’t understand the Bible in the same way I do.

However, that is not the main thrust of her letter, and neither is it the point of this response. After using a weak and tenuous definition of love to open her opinion, she launches into her line of reasoning with this gem, “Every day, [homosexuals] are unfairly told they are not allowed the same rights as “normal” couples.”

“Rights,” she says.

Those that are trying to make homosexuality a normal and accepted lifestyle are succeeding. They have used every means possible to popularize their sentiments. We have reached the point where it is no longer surprising or shocking to see homosexuality depicted as normal on television or in movies.

Ms. Decker’s opinion is an example of the thinking that is becoming widely accepted as fact. It is thinking that is both reasonable and wrong. It’s reasonable because there is logic and reason that is used on a premise that leads to a conclusion. It’s wrong because the premise is wrong. The premise is that we are arguing about “rights.” In fact, those that are pushing for the normalization of homosexuality and any other aberrant behavior will always find it in their best interests to argue from this premise.

Quoting Ms. Decker again, “Every one, gay or straight, should have the same rights.” I agree. If we are talking about fundamental human rights, then the premise is correct. Are homosexuals human? Yes. Do homosexuals have the right to be treated as human? Yes.

However, the many other issues that come up regarding homosexuality are not “rights” issues, though popular opinion, as evidenced by Ms. Decker, would have you believe them to be so. Marriage? Adoption? Serving in the military? Those are not human rights. Those are societal privileges. Using the premise of rights to argue for the granting of privileges is nonsensical and misleading.

Should homosexuals have the privilege of serving in the military? That’s a different question than their “right” to serve. Should homosexuals have the privilege of adopting children? Should they have access to the privilege of marriage? Talk about these things from that vantage point and we can have a real discussion.

[For the record, I don’t think it is wise to allow homosexuals to have any of those privileges. It might surprise you to know that serving in the military might be the one privilege I could see homosexuals having. Giving homosexuals the privilege to marry just makes no sense.]

Every day, we are being told that we don’t have the “right” to treat a homosexual differently than a heterosexual, therefore it is wrong if we do. That’s astounding irony, isn’t it?

No one has the “right” to marry. No one has the “right” to be in the military. No one has the “right” to adopt children. No one has the “right” to be a school teacher. But when you equate the “rights” of being human with the “right” to do these other things, you have started with an incorrect premise, which leads to a false conclusion. The false conclusion we’ve been led to is that by taking away these “rights”, we are treating homosexuals poorly.

In the end, our privilege to disagree is being attacked. Once again, this is ironic. Those of us that disagree with the normalization of homosexuality are told that we can’t disagree, though even if we have the right to disagree, such disagreement is hateful and immoral and wrong, equal with being a Nazi or a anti-suffragist or slave-owner.

Thankfully, I still have the privilege of disagreeing. I still have the opportunity to say that homosexuality is wrong. Homosexuality is a lifestyle a person chooses, regardless of the inclinations of nature or nurture. A person is no more born to be a homosexual than they are born to be a carpenter or a thief. Just as no one has a right to be a carpenter, but only gains the privilege and opportunity, no one has the right to be a homosexual and to live as one. However, should they make that choice, they shouldn’t be surprised when their privileges and opportunities do not match those of people that have made the choice to live a heterosexual lifestyle.

Thank you for the privilege of sharing my thoughts.

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Bible resources and shameless linking

I usually just use free stuff that is available on the web when I am doing Bible research. BibleGateway.com is my favorite place to go. And I’ve also found some really cool commentary stuff through Archive.org. They have old commentaries, like from the 1800’s. In a lot of ways, the older the commentaries are, the more I like them.

I have tried different Bible software. Quickverse used to be really good, and I tried them, but on the Mac…it just wasn’t a good experience.

Recently I used Logos Bible Software on Pastor Steve’s PC. It was rather good. The only problem with Logos is the price. It’s really expensive. I like free better.

However, the Logos software is really good. But until now, their newest product, Logos 4 hasn’t been available for the Mac. They will soon be releasing Logos 4 for the Mac, and they are trying to do a lot of promotion for it.

They are running a contest, getting people to tweet and blog and link to their site, doing promotion for them. I’m in. They have good prizes, so if this helps me win something, great. If not, well, you should still check them out. Like I said, it looks like really good software. (But did I mention that it’s pricey?)

Here’s the sample post they give to put in your blog post, to be entered for a prize…

Logos Bible Software is giving away thousands of dollars of prizes to celebrate the launch of Logos Bible Software 4 Mac on October 1. Prizes include an iMac, a MacBook Pro, an iPad, an iPod Touch, and more than 100 other prizes!

They’re also having a special limited-time sale on their Mac and PC base packages and upgrades. Check it out!

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Cool new service: YouVersion Live

YouVersionYouVersion is both an iPhone app and an internet website that combines the Bible in multiple versions with social networking features. If you go to YouVersion.com, you can see the full functionality of all that this unique online Bible offers. But the coolest new feature is YouVersion LIVE, which gives churches and other groups the ability to interact with the congregation.

The feature was turned on this past Wednesday and we created our first live event for Faith. We have since created a few other live events. We are learning what we can do and how to make it better. We are not only using it for worship services, but for special events, such as the Tim Hawkins concert on November 8. Go to YouVersion.com/groups/Faith to see what we’re doing.