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February 15, 2005

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Lurking Observer

I don't agree with what Alan Keyes (purportedly) has done. (Keeping in mind, of course, that the media sometimes gets the facts just a tad off.)

But I also have to wonder:

If a GOP personality holds to his principles, and disowns a child who is gay/lesbian then he's a monster.

If a GOP personality doesn't hold to his principles, and makes an exception for his own child, then he's a hypocrit.

If a GOP personality breaks with the Party so that he's making a broader exception, then the GOP is shown to be a party of monsters.

Short of adopting the Dem position on gays/lesbians (and actually becoming a Democrat), I take it that there's nothing a GOP personality can or should do?

Is the debate on the topic already over?

TM

Good question. Let me lunge at it:

Whether he is a hypocrite depends on what principles he has been espousing.

"Love the sinner, hate the sin" covers this issue for lots of religious types, I have been told.

SO I guess, would Keyes be hypocritical (in a broad Rep sense - I don't know what his specific religious/poltical values may be) for financing his daughter's college education, or letting her live at home? That is not exactly like deciding to support her right to marry another woman.

Or, is it hypocritical of Cheney to love his daughter but oppose gay marriage?

I know people say so, but I don't see that as hypocrisy - Cheney expects his kid to follow the same rules that apply to everyone else, and endure the (arguably stupid) consequences.

Now, does that mean Cheney should abandon his party because of this issue, if he honestly supports gay marriage?

That becomes the Andrew Sullivan question - how does Cheney rank that amongst the many other issues (national defense, taxes, abortion, guns) that might prompt him to prefer Republicans?

Its troubling. And I am troubled by my own implication that Keyes does *not* worry for his daughter, or thank the Lord for her - I am sure he does.

But IMHO, he is blowing it big time.

Brad DeLong

By George, I think Lurking Observer's got it! That's exactly right!

But there is a fourth option: love the sinner, hate the sin, and throw a big party for the tax collectors and prostitutes and hope that if you can love them enough some of them will repent and Testify.

But that's very hard to do. It requires that one have an almost divine nature...

:-)

Ignatius Byrd

I would suggest that the "remote possibility that there is a totally different backstory" is not quite so remote as all that.

Mr. Keyes did not just find out that his daughter is a lesbian (http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/archives/7569), and yet he did (apparently) just kick her out.

While I don't know how much more there is to the story, the chances that there is more is roughly 100%.

creepy dude

Actually Keyes is being perfectly consistent. He is a Christian right? This is a Christian nation right?
Christians presumably follow the teachings of Christ?

Well here's what Jesus had to say (KJV Matthew Chapter 10)

10:34 -Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
10:35- For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
10:36 -And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
10:37 -He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

You know Keyes is familiar with those verses. So Christians ought to be applauding Mr. Keyes.

Of course-people who are into a deeper version of Christianity than that proffered by the words of Jesus-should rightly condemn Mr. Keyes.

The interesting question is from whence does this deeper version of Christianity arise and what are its main tenets?

TM

...throw a big party for the tax collectors...

Another tax-and-spend lefty... Geez.

Abigail

Compassionate conservatism? Ha, what a joke.

TM

Of course-people who are into a deeper version of Christianity than that proffered by the words of Jesus-should rightly condemn Mr. Keyes.

The interesting question is from whence does this deeper version of Christianity arise and what are its main tenets?

Hmm, by my lights, Abraham was a wimp, too. Well, the Irish were pagan then.

And I don't fisk the New Testament, but it is an interesting question.

One answer - even if we take that literally, we also need to believe that Keyes has correctly interpreted Jesus's teaching with respect to the proper treatment of homosexuals (so let's keep the Prof's comment in play).

For example, maybe Keyes should disown his daughter if she has an abortion, or a child out of wedlock. That, I could listen to (and I might disagree, but I could listen).

But this?

ed

Hmmm.

I must say that I applaud every time a liberal takes the opportunity to bash Christians and Christianity. Makes me all tingly and anticipating that wonderful day when Evangelicals will ally themselves with liberals.

Let's face it. Christianity has nothing to do with this. Keyes, who is a more than a tad whack-nutty himself, decided to throw his kid out. *shrug* there probably is more to this. There very well may not be anything more to this. It might be because of her being a lesbian. It might be because she "Even though she disagrees with him on "almost everything" political". It might be because her idea of "working hard" doesn't jibe with his idea of "working hard".

What I haven't seen yet, not that I really care btw, is a statement from Mr. Whack-Nutty himself on this issue.

Frankly in a time when kids feel put-upon and oppressed for having to take out the garbage, anything is possible.

Cecil Turner

"I don't fisk the New Testament, but it is an interesting question."

I don't think it's really necessary, if read in context. The NT is fairly explicit on the basis of law, and love clearly trumps consistency:

Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Jesus said unto him, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
Keyes ought to've gotten a clue from the way the electorate overwhemingly rejected him. I've been somewhat impressed by the internal consistency of his belief systems . . . right up to the point he tries to foist them onto the rest of us. His overzealous and judgmental pronouncements are the most loveless I've seen in years . . . and certainly aren't Christian. I'd also be happy to help slap him (as an educational tool only, of course, to help him see the light).

BTW, this isn't breaking news. Power and Control had a bit on it ten days ago.

mcg

Ah, the old "it's all about love argument"---the argument that usually effectively renders sin, judgement, and discipline irrelevant. It's quite common---and quite wrong. The Christian doctrine cannot be summarized in a single <blockquote>. I could just as easily quote you this:

But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.
Pretty harsh stuff, eh? For the sake of the non-Christian audience here, he is specifically talking about people who claim to be Christians---in fact, this quote is followed by the following:
What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. Expel the wicked man from among you.
My point is simply that it is not that straightforward. I'm not saying that Keyes has his Gospel right; nor am I saying I do, either. But we can make the safe bet that Cecil doesn't either.

mcg

OK I decided I was a bit too harsh on Cecil; sorry. Unlike many he's not trying to make the simplistic "love is all that matters" argument---his words are "love trumps consistency." But I really don't buy that, either. Love should only trump consistency when there is ambiguity or conflict. Where teaching is clear it trumps both.

Cecil Turner

"But we can make the safe bet that Cecil doesn't either."

I suppose I could rejoin with a few supportive quotes--they're certainly not hard to find:

  • A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
  • This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.
  • Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
  • Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
  • And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
But I'm not sure there'd be much point. There are certainly those who fail to achieve the goal in everyday life, as I'm sure I don't reach my own potential--but it's hardly an obscure part of Christian doctrine. And hey, if I'm confused about that point, I'll be happy to continue to be so in my own loving way.

There's also nothing in the concept of love that prohibits discipline. And in fact, if Keyes made his daughter move out because he thought it would be good for her in the long run, I'd owe him an apology. But I tend to agree with TM, and suspect educational slapping would do him more good.

creepy dude

Jesus wasn't no hippy.

mcg

Cecil, I hope you take my above apology seriously, because I mean it so. But returning to doctrine my point is really that you just can't use the banner of love to avoid the hard stuff, and there is plenty of it in the New Testament as well. For example, consider yet another quote from Paul, referring again to a man within the church who is sexually immoral:

When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.
Now my claim to you is that this does not contradict the various quotes you have provided regarding Jesus' admonitions to love one another: on the contrary, it is consistent with them. As hard as it may be to see that "handing a man over to Satan" (a euphimism for excommunication) can be loving, a beliving Christian must assume that they do somehow reconcile. So again, allow me to suggest that the Jesus' idea of what is "loving" and "gentle" is not devoid of all apparent harshness.

Cecil Turner

"Cecil, I hope you take my above apology seriously, because I mean it so."

I wasn't offended in the first place, so it really wasn't required, but yes, I accept it. (In any event, t'd hardly be reasonable for me to take offense over such a gentle remonstrance after offering to apply physical correction to Mr Keyes's attitude.) I didn't respond only because you're inside my OODA loop and I didn't want to clutter the thread.

"But returning to doctrine my point is really that you just can't use the banner of love to avoid the hard stuff, and there is plenty of it in the New Testament as well."

I don't really want to engage in a discussion of orthodoxy, and would suggest there's little chance we could come up with an authoritaritave solution acceptable to both of us. There's even less of a chance of reconciling the various beliefs of all those who call themselves "Christian," so the point is likely moot (in the original, "endlessly arguable" sense of the word).

"So again, allow me to suggest that the Jesus' idea of what is "loving" and "gentle" is not devoid of all apparent harshness."

I don't think we have any major argument on the point. But underlying love is a requirement, and not all harshness is appropriate. (There are also many historic excesses committed by those who believed they were acting appropriately, including some excommunications, which I suspect neither of us would defend.) In the particular case, even if one presumes a homosexual lifestyle is inherently sinful, there's no disconnect between Mr Keyes disapproving of his daughter's lifestyle and continuing to support her as an individual he presumably loves. I'd suggest that's the more appropriate course of action. (Assuming again there aren't major particulars I'm unaware of.)

TM

Unlike many he's not trying to make the simplistic "love is all that matters" argument...

McQ, I'm glad you stopped by, and we are going to enjoy having you here. But as I guess you've noticed by now, you aren't going to get rich waiting for Mr. Turner to make simplistic arguments.

And what we seem to all agree on is that there are some contexts in which proper Christians can be expected by their faith to take a hard line, but no one has stepped up to assert that having a lesbian daughter is one of them.

mcg

Well, to be honest we probably agree more than disagree on the specific case of Alan Keyes and his daughter, though I withold full judgement until I hear more of the story. It is only in the more general issue where we may diverge (and even then only possibly).

Interestingly, in the Advocate article she claims to still be "very Christian" (more specifically, Roman Catholic).

mcg

TM---well, allow me to step into uncharted territory then.

Jesus himself says "For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man's foes will be those of his own household. He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."

When the love of your own daughter comes in direct conflict with your reverence to Jesus Christ, I do think that he makes it clear what your choice should be.

Now consider a daughter that unashamedly embraces homosexuality and continues proclamation that she is "very Christian", in light of some of the verses I quoted above.

I dare say that puts a Christian in a rather tough spot. But that's about as far as I'm willing to go :) I frankly pray that I am never faced with such a test.

creepy dude

not uncharted mcq- I already cited that scripture to TM and he rightfully pointed out that begs the question of proper Christian treatment of homosexuals.

I didn't have the heart to point out that the present Christian treatment of homosexuals was on grotesque display during the last election.

So I'll ask you. I know Republicans have no problem letting homosexuals lob softballs at the President during press conference, but marriage is a no-no.

But that's just Republicans. What's a proper Christian approach?

Cecil Turner

"Now consider a daughter that unashamedly embraces homosexuality and continues proclamation that she is "very Christian", in light of some of the verses I quoted above."

I'd suggest it's preferable to Satanism, or many other destructive behaviors (and in fact, most of the quotes above relate to non-belief, which is a far more common and yet apparently more manageable issue). In any event, sinfulness is hardly an unknown human condition . . . the bigger issue is the ongoing nature. And even that assumes an interpretation of scripture and some value judgments--which would hopefully be tempered by love.

"But as I guess you've noticed by now, you aren't going to get rich waiting for Mr. Turner to make simplistic arguments."

Shucks, yer makin' me blush.

mcg

OK, we're getting into some doctrinal stuff here so maybe we're heading too far afield. But the fact that she proclaims to be "very Christian" is a bit of a double-edged sword. No doubt it is, overall, a good thing, far better than Satanism, as you put it. Indeed if she is authentically saved, then I am of the position that she remains so, even if she is temporarily astray due to her sin.

However, Scripture does seem to teach that we as believers are judge "insiders" differently---more strictly and harshly---than "outsiders." The verses I quoted from Paul above are but one example: a sexually immoral "insider" is to be excommunicated; a sexually immoral "outsider" is not to be judged (that being God's jurisdiction). Perhaps that is because, in an eternal sense, the greatest problem that a non-Christian has is not their earthly sin but rather their unbelief.

So had Maya Keyes had the audacity to say, "How can I be a Christian when its doctrine condemns my lifestyle," we would be in a different situation altogether. In such a case I would think that Mr. Keyes would even less justification for "tough love" than he does now. (That is, if he has any.)

mcg

By the way, my screen name is "mcg" not "mcq"---thanks to the underlining, you can't tell the difference.

Lib

How about "love the child, hate the free loader".

Judith

Then he ought to go back to the mirror and slap himself a few more times.

I'll assume you know the background story and thus won't elaborate, but I'd say Keyes is more likely to go home and slap his mother.

mantis

The interesting question is from whence does this deeper version of Christianity arise and what are its main tenets?

The sermon on the mount.

Gidgidonni

Quote:
10:34 -Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
10:35- For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
10:36 -And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
10:37 -He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

You know Keyes is familiar with those verses. So Christians ought to be applauding Mr. Keyes.
\Quote

No, no they ought not. Assuming, that is, that he kicked her out and ceased speaking with her on the basis of her homosexuality- though I can't think of *any* good reason to cease speaking with your child. I'm betting there's more-in my experience every story has at least two sides, and most have five or six-but we'll put that aside for the moment.

I cannot speak for all Christianity, only my little corner of it. But so far as I understand the doctrine of Christ, this passage is speaking about loyalties, not advocating hatred. Remember the historical context of this. At this time it was a question of the *Christian* being disowned, not of him disowning anyone else. So Christ is saying that if your family *forces* you to choose between them and Me, I am to be your choice. I read nothing in this passage that would condone disowning your child for any sin, no matter how grave. The command, "Love one another" is absolute. Children may need to be disciplined, or told things they don't want to hear, but refusing to speak to them? I cannot see any reason for that beyond simple pettiness.

Gidgiddoni

Quote:
I didn't have the heart to point out that the present Christian treatment of homosexuals was on grotesque display during the last election.
/Quote

I don't believe that the people you're referring to represent "Christian treatment of homosexuals" as a whole any more than your average Berkeley parade represtents the Left as a whole. It's always easy to take execrable people from any group-all groups of any size have plenty to choose from-and set them up as a straw man.

MMM

TM writes: "For example, maybe Keyes should disown his daughter if she has an abortion, or a child out of wedlock. That, I could listen to... But this?"

The missing quote so far in all of this, from The Man Hisself, is "Go and sin no more."

Agreed that Christian doctrine states that homosexual acts are sin, then...

One cannot claim "to still be 'very Christian'" while actively persuing and persistantly commiting sin. One can try, but playing God for the fool may be hazerdous to one's afterlife.

As Maya Keyes is wholly unrepentant in this regard she can lay no claim of Christianity, no matter how many times she goes to church. Indeed, the very fact that she has become a promoter of sin makes her quite the opposite of a Christian. In the eyes of Christianity she can only be judged to have become a tool of Lucifer.

To imply that the father is under some obligation to help the offspring continually commit and promote sin is, from a Christian perspective, absurd. Refusing to pay tuition is not a death knell.

As for those who proclaim the old man a flake, well, perhaps it runs in the family.

"I'm all about working for global justice." - Maya Keyes

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