Lou Engle is Rick Warren Times Ten

Lou Engle – “The Call” (Pro-Prop 8, YouTube him, boycotting Newsweek)

Newsweek Magazine runs a story by Lisa Miller claiming The Bible supports same-sex marriage.

On FOX Live with Alan Colmes, December 22nd 2008. (20:20 min/sec on Hour One, free audio-feed on Alan.com all this week)

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This brand of hatred against others is the most dangerous and infectious to our society. Lou Engle and those who follow him represent the very worst of that which is the Christian faith and the many Churches under Christ found in America today. Something, I believe, humanity should have shed long ago just like the burning at the stake of heretics and the stoning to death of adulterers was shed. Lou Ingall and what he represents are only so dangerous because he advocates indirectly that YOU should personally DO something about it. He does this by creating the ever-popular idea of a ‘war on’ in this case the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman.

This similar character named Rick Warren never goes there, but both of them represent this latest brand of religious-fueled hate and fear mongering against the gay community.

Don’t take my word for it. Make up your own mind after reading this.

Here is a transcript minus the liberal host:

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“We [The Call] are in a spiritual battle and awakening against immorality by opposing same-sex marriage.”

“Man cannot be arbiter of truth or definer of morality.”

“All immorality is evil.”

“All government is derived from God‘s government.”

“Kings and rulers [the states] who throw off God‘s Laws become accountable.”

“Society is best run under God’s Law.”

“Once you open the door here, what keeps everything from being open?”

“[Gay marriage] leads to more legalization of that which is immoral.”

“I stand with the foundation of God‘s Words.”

“Gay marriage loosens the moral standards.”

“The media trumpets it and it becomes standard and then becomes manifested in education.”

“Newsweek doesn‘t know the foundation of scripture and do a disservice to scripture by basically cutting it to pieces.”

“Let’s have those who understand The Word be the voice of truth in this situation.”

“The Bible is a wonderful book because it is brutally honest.”

“Jesus was not ambivalent about marriage between a man and a woman”

“It becomes clear that homosexual relationships are morally wrong.”

“It is not just Old Testament but Old and New, right through the last book of The Bible.”

“Basically these people don‘t really truly believe that The Bible is The Word of God.”

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Now if you listen to the whole interview you’ll hear good counter-points but there is only so many things that Alan can get into with Lou over the air.

Here is what actually matters in a discussion of legitimizing same-sex marriage:

“Once you open the door here, what keeps everything from being open?”

“[Gay marriage] leads to more legalization of that which is immoral.”

First and foremost, the ‘flood-gate’ argument is always presented in defense of banning same-sex marriage and it doesn‘t meet even the most loose interpretation of American Legal Code and the most loose observation of American society. The idea that state approval of specific ceremonies will lead to more state approvals of non-specific ceremonies is not supported by any facts. Our national history is ripe with examples where laws were passed and society as a whole was a long time catching up.

Changes in the law are almost always the first step toward major social change, not the whole staircase. The argument is only true in reverse. When we change the laws of our nation it still takes a lot of effort to see justice and equality done under the law.

To use a favored extreme example, if pedophilia became state approved it would still take years before these individuals would not be violently assaulted in the streets or in their homes were they publicly known to be pedophiles. I obviously think this example is immature and irrelevant to the greater discussion but it is important to address the favored arguments of the opposition. I will fight to defend the rights of homosexuals and fight to lock up child predators at the same time without any spiritual, ideological or moral conflict within. I question the stability of mind of anyone who thinks this a great balancing act or an impossibility for a genuine human being to have.

“All government is derived from God‘s government.”

“Kings and rulers [the states] who throw off God‘s Laws become accountable.”

All government is derived by the will of the people in it‘s inception and to date. Many governments abuse and murder their populations but regardless many of the citizens do not unite to end all government and exist within an anarchy-system. In fact most revolutions result in the installment of yet another despot instead of a citizen-based or faith-based leadership structure. To limited thresholds the people of any nation will withstand horrors just to have a government.

God’s government would best be termed ‘The Church.’ Considering no deity within the Bible established a ‘Christian Nation’ nor did Jesus ever condone blind patriotism to our rulers.

Most likely Engle is using a term in which he really means to say ‘derived from God’s teachings.’ Even still this is not true of many highly successful empires throughout history who ruled without care for the Biblical Laws for centuries. All great civilizations fail, and choosing to rule in a manner that is in conformity with the Bible has never shown to provide any amount of ‘immortality’ for any civilization or government.

In fact the two major and successful nations of today outside of North America and Great Britain are secular in their government and use no form of religious scripture to motivate their national agendas. I am no big fan of Russia and China but they are super-powers and they are governments and they most certainly did not derive from ’God’s government’ or ‘God’s teachings.’

Had they, I believe, we would have this troubles in the world. But that’s another topic, let’s stay focused here.

Accountability is not something removed from a religious-founded national government. Accountability is inherent to having governance over others and the level of it is directly connected to the level of ethics practiced. Ethics is just a intellectual way of saying morals. A government without any ethics will fail quickly and the foundations of all ethics derive from moral teachings found in multiple world-religions.

These concepts were well understood by the Founders and by me, but not by Lou Engle. This is why I find his thoughts on government not only ridiculous but dangerous if accepted as fact by the public.

It is clear in his statements regarding the nature and the history of humankind governing itself that he not an avid student of civics, as I am. I will not fault him for it. Just I would hope not to be faulted if I misquoted or misstated anything relating to the Christian religion in this weblog.

It has been a long time since my Catholicism classes came to mind but I do read The Bible periodically. I just don’t currently own one.

“Man cannot be arbiter of truth or definer of morality.”

“[Newsweek & Lisa Miller] don‘t know the foundation of scripture and do a disservice to scripture by basically cutting it to pieces.”

The Founders and the very foundations of our government lack anything prescribing citizens to answer to God’s Laws directly and our founding documents did not include any language to the effect of ‘moral standards’ or ‘God‘s Law.’

Why do the Biblical prescriptions not appear within the Constitution or the Bill of Rights? Because our nation was founded on the concept of keeping the matters of the church and the matters of the state within two reasonably separate spheres.

Many call this the separation of church and state for short. I believe it is more important to read the long version, I‘m like that. There is no true separation and there never was because many Founders did not fall under fundamental religious views while others did. The end result was a compromise involving overtly-religious ceremony in legal and civil proceedings but language directly within the First Amendment that no religion will be state-mandated at any point under the lawful enactment and enforcement of the Constitution by The Supreme Court.

Lou Engle, by his own admission, wishes to degrade or destroy this fragile system of balance in our country. Leaving us with a government approved religion, and no need for a legislature because we can simply review scripture for any contingence within society. I seriously doubt that Engle, or anyone who holds these positions, thinks this far ahead. I assume the need to control the actions others is blinding them from rational and logical deduction.

Engle does a strong disservice to the informed public by cutting our nation’s proud history of social and political compromises into worthless pieces, and then spits on the ideas held strongly within the founding days of our beautiful country. That no church should be paramount in the eyes of the state.

Truth and morality are always an internal and personal process when we speak of belief. Man is only the arbiter of truth and morality should he reject everything but his own personal thoughts. Even simple things like television programs can convey morals and truth, but the ‘ultimate truth of self’ lies outside any religious text or TV show. It is personal discovery. Fundamental religion seeks to destroy this personal discovery and replace it with one, unchanging dogma that cannot be questioned.

George Washington, I think, would privately agree with Lou Engle on certain things but then publicly run him out-of-town if he brought this message of interjecting God’s Law into the American Legal Code. Build me a time-machine, someone.

“Society is best run under God’s Law.”

“Once you open the door here, what keeps everything from being open?”

“Let’s have those who understand The Word be the voice of truth in this situation.”

Society is best run under the People’s Law, not under God’s Law. The two align far more than they depart in America today. This is also a founding element of our American society and government. We could easily have designed a system by which church members and those respected for a strong sense of faith would serve in Supreme Court type positions, but we did not. We made a system of three branches and none of them answerable to the Church. Those with a strong sense of justice and ample legal background fill Supreme Court seats and those who motivate the voters fill the other branches.

Engle would best me any day of the week in a Bible-quoting contest. But I would beat him any day, any time in a civics debate or an American Law-quoting contest. The real thing to digest it that our country was designed to facilitate exactly this. Allowing each person of different values and beliefs to present themselves to the nation and be judged on their words and their expertise on the issue discussed.

So let people read and judge for themselves on the issues of personal morality and the messages of any scripture, but allow the informed to speak on  how the introduction of new laws surrounding legal matrimony provides no threat to the public and common good whatsoever.

The intangible and immeasurable amount of what could be called ‘moral decay’ within society caused in changing the legal codes surrounding same-sex marriage and granting a fully legitimized and recognized by the state gay marriage, is not sufficient to deny the privileges provided at no cost to heterosexual citizens under the state’s direct supervision.

As a voting citizen and a student of both American history and civics I would like to say that I support the legalization of same-sex marriages in all the states, on the grounds that there is no loss to the public in any tangible or discernable degree. No evidence supports the claims that state-wide approvals of same-sex marriages will coincide with an out-flow of legal cases brought by homosexuals wishing to marry under denominations that would deny their services to them. No evidence supports the claims that approval of same-sex marriage would result in a change in school curriculum for kindergarten to middle school educational services provided by the state.

“Jesus was not ambivalent about marriage between a man and a woman.”

True, however Jesus never spoke at all in regards to homosexuality in the Bible of today. I hold a personal belief that he spoke on the issue but we cannot hear his words, for they are lost to history. I will not speculate on what he said but please consider what Jesus has said on others who might be shamed by society or deemed sinners by others before you convince yourself that ‘Jesus disapproves of gays.’ Come to your own conclusions, by all means.

Jesus was ambivalent to personal worldly attachments like wealth, taking a wife and raising children. Jesus also told us only by listening to him and trying to do as he did could we enter Heaven. I believe personally that abstention from all sex coupled with the loss of desires of the flesh can be an attainable goal for any person who feels that such life choices are the best for them. This is not appealing in the modern age thus something not focused heavily in major churches across America today.

I believe this is the nature of Jesus’ message about how to enter Heaven rather than that only through worship of Jesus as the Son of The Father can one enter Heaven.

Evangelicals would strongly disagree, stating many scriptures that mean something entirely different to me than they do to them. The bottom line is I don’t believe that acceptance of specifically Jesus as your personal savior is the only path to what is called Redemption and ultimately what is called Heaven.

Just as I believe that homosexuals in America should have every privilege and right provided to me as heterosexual living in America. (For the sake of the many homophobes on the internet I would like to say that I could be gay and if I was I would tell you, like a real man does. A man of honesty and integrity. A man who doesn’t look down his nose at others who do things he might not want any part of personally.)

In his time, those who sought to demean and degrade the message of Jesus called him before them and asked him what one law was above all others in God’s Laws.

“Love.” He replied.

Love not only for fellow Christians and those of the faith but love for all of God’s Works both great and small.

In my humble opinion the people of this world who are gay are part of God’s Plan and part of His Works therefore deserve the same love we provide to those who are not gay. Lisa Miller of Newsweek Magazine would agree with me and Lou Engle would probably call me a heretic once the cameras were turned off.

“Basically these people don‘t really truly believe that The Bible is The Word of God.”

This what the textbooks call fundamental religion versus progressive religion. Both sides believe that scripture comes directly from Origin (or The Word of God from The Mouth of God) but the progressives believe a level of ‘mortal pollution’ exists in what we read today as The Word of God from The Mouth of God as outlined in The King James Bible. From there the classifications splinter into many groups and thoughts on scripture.

I am not a fundamentalist but I believe that there is nothing wrong with holding fundamentalist convictions about modern-day affairs. The difference is what we do about our feelings and how we go about expressing our views in public.

By my definition of morality, it is immoral to take a fundamental ideology and seek to impose that point of view on any of God’s children. But by the textbook definition I am a progressive. The greater point is to define for yourself what you think not based in weblog or Lou Engle sermons but by personally reading the material, if you care deeply about these topics. I would never presume to take actions to enforce my definition of morality upon evangelicals or those who disagree with that definition.

“I stand with the foundation of God‘s Words.”

We’ve all heard the famous:

“Judge not, lest ye be judged.”

I say that I stand with the foundation of God’s Words in direct defiance of Engle and The Call.

I would rather not take this position but he has forced my hand in the matter by threatening the safety of my gay brothers and sisters with his hateful and shameful rhetoric. I pray that he reconsiders his positions on how one is to treat gay-Americans and how our laws should be justly enacted in our times.

I am just a lay-person for the information of any who are curious if I practice faith.

 

Eric Lightborn

http://americapress.wordpress.com

December 23rd 2008

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