[forthright] Always Finding Fault/We're Not In Kansas Anymore

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From: Forthright Magazine <ba@...>
Date: Thu, 18 Mar 2004 11:58:43 -0600
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross


COLUMN: From Friend to Friend

Always Finding Fault
by Phil Sanders

An elderly man lay in a hospital with his wife of
55 years sitting at his bedside. "Is that you,
Ethel, at my side again?" he whispered.

"Yes, dear," she answered.

He softly said to her, "Remember years ago when I
was in the Veteran's Hospital? You were with me
then. You were with me when we lost everything in
a fire. And Ethel, when we were poor – you stuck
with me then too."

The man sighed and said, "I tell you, Ethel, you
are bad luck."

Wouldn't you like to be married to him?

It seems there is no pleasing some people; they
look on the negative side of life and develop the
habit of criticizing others about everything.

Many years ago one mother so criticized her
daughter that later in life the daughter, finding
no opportunity for satisfying her mother, took her
own life.

Paul said, "Let your speech always be with grace,
seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may
know how you should respond to each person" (Col.
4:6).

Solomon knew that "Like apples of gold in settings
of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances"
(Prov. 25:11).

Frequently people are looking for a loving
thought, a kind heart, a sincere compliment, an
encouraging word, or a message of hope. As
Christians we can make such a difference in
people's lives by lifting up spirits rather than
by tearing down.

The next word you speak could make someone's day!
Season it with salt!
----
Read this article online, tell us what you think,
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____


COLUMN: Fidelity

We're Not In Kansas Anymore
by Mike Benson

My first tornado was a Technicolor "special
effect" on a televised version of the 1939
classic, The Wizard of Oz. The Benson house was
still intact, but the movie left me emotionally
reeling as a youngster. That dark whirling cloud
that flung Dorothy and Toto through the sky
haunted my bedtime dreams for years. It just
seemed so incredibly real.

Like the heroine of that beloved film, I have
often wished that I could "click my heels" and be
magically transported back to the more virtuous
environment of the early 1960's. Over the past
four-plus decades, our nation has been "swept out
of Kansas" by the cyclone of moral relativism and
summarily dropped into Oz — where nothing makes
sense anymore. At least, nothing in terms of moral
codes of conduct.

Case in point — homosexual "marriage". Since
President Bush's call for a constitutional
amendment banning gay unions, thousands of same-
sex couples have flocked to California and other
such states (e.g., New York, Oregon, and New
Mexico) in order to pursue legal sanction for
their unholy relationships. One of the more
notable examples comes from the media princess,
Rosie O'Donnell. She and her girl-friend, Kelli
Carpenter, recently flew to San Francisco in order
to "tie the knot". In an effort to fan the flames
of her agenda, O'Donnell commented, "I think the
actions of the president are, in my opinion, the
most vile and hateful words ever spoken by a
sitting president." She continued, "I am stunned
and horrified. I find this proposed amendment
very, very, very, very shocking. And immoral..."

Immoral?! Immoral?! Did I miss something here?
Exactly when did the statute of limitations expire
on the wickedness of this form of fornication (cf.
Isa. 5:20)? Brethren, while we have a Divine
mandate to extend kindness to every fellow
citizen, we cannot and must not — under any
circumstances — endorse this course of action.

And why not, you may ask? First of all, because
homosexual behavior is contrary to God's will
(Rom. 1:26,27; 1 Cor. 6:9,10; Gen. 19:1ff; Matt.
19:4-6). Period. But second, because same-sex
unions promote even greater moral evils. For
instance, in the event the United States
government legally sanctions homosexual
"marriage", how can it then deny polygamist
marriage too?/1 Think that sounds "out in left
field"? Don't believe it for a minute. Study the
following excerpt from a Fox News Live broadcast
dated February 27, 2004. The discussion was
between Family Research Council's Genevieve Wood
and radio host "Karel":

WOOD: We discriminate against all sorts of people.
We don't let people marry three people, we don't
let a man marry two women, or a woman to marry two
men and we don't allow group marriages.

KAREL: Polygamy is not on the table here.

WOOD: Yes it will be. My friend, yes it will be...

KAREL: No it will not be. It is an invalid
slippery slope argument. That is invalid.

WOOD: That is not true. Let me explain to you why.
How would you write a law that only limits
marriage to two people? Why would it be just two
people? You are discriminating against a group of
people out there — and believe me, there are
people who think polygamy is a good idea, who
think group marriage is a good idea. Granted they
are a small minority, but they'll come forward and
say "we have a right to get married, too. You are
discriminating against us."

KAREL: When they come forward you come back on FOX
and you go against them. That is not the issue
here.

WOOD: No you come back on FOX and tell them why
you would discriminate against them. Because you
are basing your entire thing on discrimination.

KAREL: The issue here is whether or not a civil
institution — marriage - which has nothing to do
with religion and the 2,000 rights granted therein
are going to be denied to a group of people based
on gender. That Massachusetts Supreme Court says,
"No".

WOOD: Why would you deny it to polygamists? Why
would you deny it to any other group of people who
say it is a civil institution?

KAREL: I am not entering that debate with you
because it is not on the table.

WOOD: So, you're okay with polygamy too?

KAREL: I am not going to get into an issue that we
are not discussing. We are discussing gay and
lesbian marriage, not polygamy. If you want to
have another segment on polygamy, great.

WOOD: The American people understand that when you
go out and think about redefining the institution
of marriage, you have to take the long-term view.
This is not just something that we are changing
for today so that Rosie can make her statement, or
for tomorrow. We are talking about how this
affects the culture and how it will impact our
laws 30 years from now. The argument that you're
making in a court of law would have to stand up
for polygamists and anybody else who walked in and
said they want to come up with a new definition of
marriage. Based on what you're saying, there is
absolutely no reason those people should be denied
rights.

KAREL: These same arguments were used against
women's right to vote, were made against slavery,
were made against any great social change in this
country. They all screamed slippery slope,
slippery slope. This is an institution that
already exists. It grants 2000 rights to a man and
a woman; it excludes monogamous couples that want
to enter it based on gender. Those are the facts.
If you would like to argue those facts, then do
so.

WOODS: I am happy to argue with them. I am happy
to argue. Because you are saying that we are
discriminating based on gender, and I am saying
that you are suggesting that we discriminating
based on numbers. And why so? (Family Research
Council, Thursday, March 11, 2004, www.frc.org).

While gay-rights activists flood the airwaves with
their vile propaganda, what they're not talking
about are the repercussions of their policy. As
you can see, they steadfastly refuse to address
the subject of polygamy. Why? Because they can't.
To be consistent, they are incapable of
discriminating against polygamists AND THEY KNOW
IT. The reason why you're not hearing the
homosexual community talk about this is because it
opens a veritable "Pandora's Box" for their
illicit cause./2 Same-sex unions legitimize other
forms of aberrant, amoral conduct; they usher in
even more radical and harmful departures from the
biblical pattern of marriage./3

Brethren, "we're not in Kansas anymore." The
Wizard of Oz was fantasy, but rampant immorality
is an all too tragic reality. Our homes are in
danger of being tossed (Eph. 4:14) about by the
winds of political correctness. Homosexual
marriage runs contrary to all that is right and
decent and threatens to destroy the traditional
family structure. It is long past time that we
individually and collectively stand our ground and
voice our opposition to this ungodly movement
(Ezek. 33:2-11; Jas. 4:17). "There's no place like
home..." (Prov. 27:1; Gen. 2:24).

/1 "Among the likeliest effects of gay marriage is
to take us down a slippery slope to legalized
polygamy and "polyamory" (group marriage).
Marriage will be transformed into a variety of
relationship contracts, linking two, three, or
more individuals (however weakly and temporarily)
in every conceivable combination of male and
female. A scare scenario? Hardly. The bottom of
this slope is visible from where we stand.
Advocacy of legalized polygamy is growing. A
network of grass-roots organizations seeking legal
recognition for group marriage already exists. The
cause of legalized group marriage is championed by
a powerful faction of family law specialists.
Influential legal bodies in both the United States
and Canada have presented radical programs of
marital reform. Some of these quasi-governmental
proposals go so far as to suggest the abolition of
marriage. The ideas behind this movement have
already achieved surprising influence with a
prominent American politician. None of this is
well known. Both the media and public spokesmen
for the gay marriage movement treat the issue as
an unproblematic advance for civil rights..."
(Stanley Kurtz, "Beyond Gay Marriage," The Weekly
Standard, July 26, ‘03, Vol. 8, Issue 45).

/2 "The highly touted half-page of analysis from
an unpublished paper that supposedly helps
validate the "conservative case" for gay marriage
— i.e., that it will encourage stable marriage for
heterosexuals and homosexuals alike — does no such
thing. Marriage in Scandinavia is in steep
decline, with children shouldering the burden of
rising rates of family dissolution. And the
mainspring of the decline — an increasing sharp
separation between marriage and parenthood — can
be linked to gay marriage" (Stanley Kurtz, "The
End of Marriage in Scandinavia," The Weekly
Standard, Feb. 2, '04, Vol. 9, Issue 20).

/3 "Once [our] society is unsatisfied with and
abandons God's absolute standards, then it is only
a matter of time until we become victims of our
own subjective standards. The door has been
cracked open with regard to the definition of
marriage in allowing homosexuals to marry, so now
a polygamist in Utah, who has five wives, is
appealing bigamy convictions brought against him
on the basis of this court ruling. This man's
lawyer is arguing that the decriminalization of
homosexual sex is no different than polygamy"
(Steve Higginbotham, "Yesterday's Fringe, Today's
Center," South Green Street church of Christ
Weekly Newsletter, Vol. 23, No. 2, Jan. 12, 2004).

----
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