Reporter Lisa Kaylor blogs about faith and values

Unitarian Universalist churches get involved in Pride weekend

The Rev. Mark Kiyimba, head of the Unitarian Universalist Association in Uganda, will speak in Augusta and Aiken.  Nancy Pierce/Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
Nancy Pierce/Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
The Rev. Mark Kiyimba, head of the Unitarian Universalist Association in Uganda, will speak in Augusta and Aiken.

Unitarian Universalist churches in Aiken and Augusta will host the Rev. Mark Kiyimba on Sunday as part of Pride weekend, a gay right's march and festival in its second year in Augusta. The pastor, head of the Unitarian Universalist Association in Uganda, has been making headlines for standing up against anti-homosexual legislation that threatened the lives of gays and lesbians living in Uganda.

 

He recently fled Uganda and is traveling the United States to share about the recently shelved bill, which was first introduced in 2009 and drew widespread condemnation from world leaders.

 

In Aiken ...
WHAT: The Rev. Mark Kiyimba meets at the Aiken Unitarian Universalist Church for a morning service, potluck and screening of the short documentary film Homosexuality: Africa's Last Taboo
WHEN: 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: Aiken Unitarian Universalist Church, 115 Gregg Ave., Aiken
LEARN MORE: Call (803) 644-3304

 

In Augusta ...
WHAT: A screening of the documentary, Missionaries of Hate, about anti-homosexual legislation in Uganda with the Rev. Mark Kiyimba prior to the evening service
WHERE: Unitarian Universalist Church of Augusta, 3501 Walton Way Extension
WHEN: 5:45 p.m. Sunday

 

WHAT: Walking In the Light of Love, a service with the Rev. Mark Kiyimba followed by a question and answer session
WHERE: The Unitarian Universalist Church of Augusta
WHEN: 7 p.m. Sunday
LEARN MORE: See uuaugusta.org.

 

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howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 06/24/11 - 08:29 am
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Being "anti-homosexual" is

Being "anti-homosexual" is not about hate. That idea is an agenda pushed by those who wish to push homosexual rights. For sure, no legislation can be allowed to threaten any people group (which is another reason to avoid Sharia law). But, these "churches" cannot deny that the Judeo-Christian tradition denounces homosexuality as a perversion, not an alternate lifestyle. That is a fact that no amount of shouting or whining can deny.

Have your pride day. That is your constitutional right. Just know that no number of parades can ever cover up the truth of what the Judeo-Christian scriptures teach.

just COEXIST
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just COEXIST 06/24/11 - 08:56 am
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howcanweknow - Unitarian

howcanweknow - Unitarian Universalists are not Christian, that's not what their denomination is, I know because I attend the UU church. In certain countries on the African continent, even being suspected of being gay is a death sentence. And as for Jesus, he didn't say anything about homosexuality, Paul did. Now if you are a Paulist instead of a Christian, that is your prerogative, but personally I think Jesus was real big on the whole human rights issues and real small on killing people.

nannygoat
6
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nannygoat 06/24/11 - 09:51 am
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You are correct. Jesus made

You are correct. Jesus made no specific comment about homosexuality. But God did and acted on his hatred of the practice by leveling Sodom and Gomorrahfor this exact behavior. Good enough for me. We are commanded to 'love the sinner and hate the sin.' Pray for and guide those who choose to conduct their lives outside the pathways God has laid out for us. Do it kindly and gently. You can still love those who practice such diverse lifestyles without condoning their behavior. And going back to Jesus, we have the perfect example of how you can be loved for who you are not what you do.

PrayN4U
348
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PrayN4U 06/24/11 - 10:26 am
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Sin is sin no matter how you

Sin is sin no matter how you dress it up. God hates sin and it's made very clear in the Bible what will be the consequesces.

Old Testament and New Testament

READ: Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

1 Kings 14:24 And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.

Romans 1:26-27 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.

nannygoat
6
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nannygoat 06/24/11 - 11:12 am
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just COEXIST Jesus isn't

just COEXIST
Jesus isn't about human rights. He's about God's right. There is no middle ground. Man has already proven, and continues to do so daily, that there is no such thing as 'human rights'. We only have the 'rights' given to us by our Heavenly Father. The right to love Him and as live as He directs.

momster59
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momster59 06/24/11 - 11:20 am
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PrayN4U - and while you are

PrayN4U - and while you are at it here are a few other passages for you to read. I would have added more, but there just is not enough room.

Read Deuteronomy 22:28-29 If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.

Read deuteronomy 22:23-24 If within the city a man comes upon a maiden who is betrothed and has relations with her, you shall bring them both out of the gate of teh city and there stone them to death: the girl because she did not cry out for help though she was in the city. and the man because he violated his neighbor’s wife.

Read Exodus 21:7 When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again.

Read Exodus 21:15, Whosoever strikes his father or mother shall be put to death.

Read Leviticus 20:9 All who curse their father or mother must be put to death, they are guilty of a capital offense.

Read Deuteronomy 22:20-21 But if evidence of the girl’s virginity is not found, they shall bring the girl to the entrance of her father’s house and there her townsmen shall stone her to death....

Read Exodus 31:15 Work six days only, but the seventh day must be a day of total rest. Because the Lord considers it a holy day, anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death.  

Read Exodus 21:20-21 When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property.

I do sincerely hope you do not advocate the forcing a rape victim to marry her rapist, the murder of a rape victim because no one hears her scream, selling of one's daughter as a sex slave, killing a child who hits or yells at his parents, murdering a woman who can't prove she was a virgin on her wedding night (especially by stoning on the steps of her poor parents' house), killing people who have to work on a Sunday, owning slaves to begin with, much less letting someone get away with murdering someone just because that person doesn't die immediately.

Cherry picking the verses that support your dislike of gays does not affect their human rights. If you are a Christian, why don't you tell us what JESUS said about homosexuality? He said absolutely nothing. He is not Paul. He also defied the pharisees by working on a Sunday, defended the woman who was to be stoned, and spoke of loving everyone as you love yourself and treating them the way you want to be treated. He said EVERYONE. So go ahead and hate on people of the GLBT community, but don't be surprised when you die to find out that Jesus disagrees.

nannygoat
6
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nannygoat 06/24/11 - 12:12 pm
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momster59 - You are so

momster59 - You are so correct. Treat others as you wish to be treated. Love your neighbor as yourself.
Howver, Jesus worked on Sunday because he said he worked when his Father worked. This defied the pharisees because they made this their battle. He defended the woman being stoned and loved her so much she CHANGED her behaviour as to be more like Christ rather than live without His Love.

just COEXIST
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just COEXIST 06/24/11 - 01:51 pm
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Nannygoat, do you think Jesus

Nannygoat, do you think Jesus advocated killing rape victims, selling your daughters as sex slaves, killing young women who can't prove their virginity on their wedding night, killing rebellious kids, allowing people to own and even setting parameters as to how they can get away with murdering slaves, and stoning people who work on the Sabbath?

I understand the reasoning of your post, I just don't buy that as what Jesus really was advocating.

howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 06/24/11 - 02:23 pm
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Logic people. Please, try to

Logic people. Please, try to think a little and be logical. "Jesus never said anything about homosexuality." PLEEEZZZ Don't you understand that there's no way you could possibly make that statement unless you had every word Jesus ever said recorded? The Gospel writers do not quote Jesus as saying anything directly about homosexuality, but the Gospels admit that they are not exhaustive regarding Jesus' words. John even admits that he is woefully brief in writing what Jesus said. So, please stop the illogical nonsense that "Jesus never said this or that". That is cherry-picking in the extreme, so stop.

Jesus left and gave his apostles the ability to speak for him through the inspiration of God's Spirit. Happened on Pentecost, and went through Paul. Therefore, what Paul says is the word of God, just as what Jesus said. Of course, many will disagree because Paul spoke out so boldly about sin -- especially homosexuality -- and those that demand their right to defy God and be their own God MUST find a way to discredit Paul. Sorry, can't do that. You are building a straw foundation for your thinking there.

Jesus taught love for all-- and especially for God #1. How does Jesus say you love God? By obeying Him. What does God say about homosexuality? It is a sin. Therefore, if you love God as you claim, then you cannot give your personal blessing to a persistent homosexual lifestyle. God and homosexuality are incompatible.

I know UU's are not a "church" in the Christian sense. Just a philosophical group really. That's OK. To each his own. No one in their right mind could ever single out homosexuals for murder, so we are in total agreement there, for sure.

howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 06/24/11 - 02:14 pm
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There is absolutely nothing

There is absolutely nothing inconsistent with loving God and hating homosexuality as a sinful lifestyle. That is the Christian response to homosexuality. Certainly, Christians are to love homosexual people. I had a wonderful friend who was a homosexual. But, we had very frank and open discussion about the nature of homosexuality as a sin, and, of course, we disagreed. But, loving someone is telling them the truth, even when it hurts -- especially when it hurts.

Sadly, my friend died a few years back, and at a relatively young age. His lifestyle was not the healthiest. I really miss him, but I'd still try to help him out of his homosexual lifestyle. I cared about him that much.

howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 06/24/11 - 02:21 pm
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Mom and Nanny, Loving people

Mom and Nanny, Loving people is important, but Jesus SAID that loving God was #1. That is the first priority. Loving God is NOT renaming what God calls an abomination as an "alternate lifestyle". From Genesis through Revelation, homosexuality is condemned as a sin. That's not to single homosexuality out among other sins, but it is clearly in that list. So, you can't "cherry pick" adultery or murder as sin, but call homosexuality OK. That's dishonest.

Honestly, just admit that you believe God is full of it, and be done with him. God gives you the right to disagree with him (for now). But, like Momster says, many will be surprised one day when they finally meet "their Jesus". As Jesus SAID, many will be shocked when they see him face-to-face and find out they never really knew him at all.

momster59
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momster59 06/24/11 - 02:24 pm
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I will never understand how

I will never understand how people came to understand that we should not kill people for crimes such as working on the Sabbath, being a rape victim who happens to be married or engaged, or being a rebellious son or daughter, or how we came to know that slave ownership was wrong, that eating pork and shellfish are not wrong, which are ALL listed as God's laws and yet demand to cling to the one on homosexuality. Just blows the mind how these things are decided.

According to God (as stated in the bible) it is a sin NOT to kill the people for the crimes listed. Obviously civilization has come to the (correct) decision, that he changed his mind on rape victims and slaves, and what we can eat, but not on homosexuals. God is only so progressive after all....

howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 06/24/11 - 02:28 pm
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Mom, you continue to blow my

Mom, you continue to blow my mind. You claim to know the Bible and have read quite a bit, but your comprehension is just so lacking. Not trying to be mean, but just trying to give some friendly advice encouraging you to do some real study and thinking about this stuff. You do not have a good handle on it.

As has been explained many times before here, the OT laws and regulations were for a specific time, place, people, and purpose. The were necessary for the Jews carving out a foothold of civilization in a heathen land. Once that happened, Jesus came and fulfilled all those old regulations. As you know, Jesus summed up all these laws in 2 simple statements: Love God, and also love others. If you do this, you'll be fine.

That's not inconsistent. Man has not "corrected" God. How arrogant of you! Jesus fulfilled all those regulations, and updated them for us. Focus on the NT teachings, and stop being so OT.

By the way, OT condemnation of Homosexuality was not done away with. It was upheld and emphasized (e.g, Romans, Jude). So, you can't explain away homosexuality as an OT rule. It's a NT sin as well. God is HIGLY consistent.

momster59
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momster59 06/24/11 - 02:46 pm
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hcwk - I understand perfectly

hcwk - I understand perfectly well. The fact that the apologetics offered by certain Christians imo lacks rational thought does not mean that I don't. As a matter of fact, Jesus himself says that he did not come to do away with the old, but to bring in the new. Slavery is condoned and spoken of throughout the NT also, how do you apologize that away, but keep the part about homosexuality. What about divorce? Pick and choose your apologetics any way you can.

Paul is not Jesus, did not live during Jesus' lifetime and speaks of Jesus as if he never knew he was ever actually on Earth as a human. We will have to disagree on this one unless Jesus actually physically appears to tell us his opinion, which I don't see happening anytime soon.

just COEXIST
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just COEXIST 06/24/11 - 02:58 pm
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I don't get it. Certain

I don't get it. Certain Christians are saying that they should and do love homosexuals (but hate the sin), but are against this UU program. This suggests to me that they just saw it had something to do with homosexuality and did not even read the article.

What this program is about is to stop the Ugandan legislation aimed at making homosexuality a capital offense. This bill also would make homosexuality outside of the country a capital offense and request extradition.

So those of you who are claiming to love Jesus and agreeing he says you should love everybody (even though you think you should hate the sin), is this not something that Jesus would advocate against? Just as he stopped the stoning of the woman, do you not think he would stop the execution of an individual based on whom they love?

The lack of compassion from those who profess to follow perhaps the most compassionate religious figure in history "blow my mind" to quote one of their own.

howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 06/24/11 - 03:02 pm
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Mom, Apologetics is extremely

Mom, Apologetics is extremely rational. I didn't say you weren't rational. I believe you are very rational. It's just that you are basing your rationality on incomplete or faulty information. Once you get the real picture, I think you'll be fine. What you have been taught or the scholars you've read are not very good, to put it bluntly.

You brought up slavery, but you forgot to mention that it is Paul -- the very authority you deny -- that did away with slavery. Did not Paul, speaking for Christ, say that there is NO slavery for anyone in Christ? Christ's teachings freed the slaves. However, you must remember that slavery was an accepted social and economic practice of that day. It was very common, and some "slaves" were actually more members of the family than servants. Although the NT does teach that slavery was to be abolished, the institution did not immediately cease to exist (and it is ever still practiced in some places today). So, the NT says that as long as the institution was still part of society, slaves and masters were to respect each other and fulfill their roles. Slavery was not condoned, but it took many years for societal order to follow the biblical mandate.

Frankly, though, comparing slavery with homosexuality is apples and oranges, and you even bringing this up demonstrates what I mean about your lack of true understanding. Slavery as an institution was abolished by the NT teaching. Homosexuality is consistently condemned as a sin by the NT. So, don't even try to make that invalid comparison. Doesn't work.

Paul is not Jesus. Right. But, Paul is an Apostle of Jesus. You are dead wrong that Paul did not live during Jesus' lifetime. The book of Acts shows Paul very active trying to tear apart the early church there in Jerusalem in the early 30's AD. Paul was a great Pharisee, so he had already studied for years by the time Jesus died. Again, your understanding of the Bible and history is not what it should be.

There are many scriptures where Paul speaks of encountering Jesus -- on the Road to Damascus, as one example. Paul was commissioned as an Apostle just as was Peter, James, John, etc. Paul was endowed with the Holy Spirit as in inspired writer and preacher speaking for God.

If you deny Paul's writings as part of the inspired NT then, again, that just further confirms my point that your understanding of the NT is still in the adolescent stages. That's not a put down, but a challenge to do more study and thinking about things. You'll get there. But, you need to stop writing all these dogmatic posts about things that you really don't quite understand (yet).

howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 06/24/11 - 03:17 pm
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Coexist, if all this UU

Coexist, if all this UU program is doing is to educate folks that homosexuals are being killed and that we need to stop this legislation, then sure, Christians are with you 100%. No group should be persecuted like that. That's blatant hatred and needs to stop. Homosexuals have a right to live as they please. The Bible is clear about that. We have free choice. God does not want robots, but created beings with the freedom to choose their own lifestyles and even have the right to tell God he does not exist. There are warnings about the long-term ramifications of sinful lifestyles, to be sure, but killing others like this is obviously wrong.

What Christians cannot abide, however, is this gay "pride" thing. There is no pride for any one group openly defying God, and that's exactly what Christians see this parade as being. Not a celebration. If you love God, you can't celebrate when others openly flaunt their disobedience and disregard for God. That's the issue.

So, you are correct. Any legislation OKing persecution should be stopped. But, I wish such legislation was not necessary at all.

One thing I don't understand is why all the angst for Christians speaking out against homosexuality as a lifestyle, while upholding the personhood and dignity of the individual homosexual. But, there is no outrage against Islam for how it handles homosexuals? From what I understand, Muslims countries do indeed murder homosexuals (is Uganda an example of this outrage?). Instead of berating the Bible, I'd be a lot more upset about the Koran and the murder of homosexuals by Islam. They are pretty clear about how they see homosexuals. But again, Jesus taught tolerance and love for you enemies. Muhammad, unfortunately, taught otherwise.

nannygoat
6
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nannygoat 06/24/11 - 03:15 pm
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Coexist - No I don't think

Coexist - No I don't think Jesus condoned any of the atrocities you mentioned earlier. But I agree that more indepth study is needed to be certain we are not 'inferring' anything into the Bible as it is written out of our lack understanding. Absolutely noting in the Bible is ever to be taken out of context. HCWK put it very well when they stated that to study the Bible is a long detailed process that requires knowledge of bibilical history, politics and language.
Compassion for someone does not imply approval of the life that a person chooses to lead but of the person themselves and doing what is right to keep them shining in God's light.

howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 06/24/11 - 03:19 pm
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"Compassion for someone does

"Compassion for someone does not imply approval of the life that a person chooses to lead but of the person themselves and doing what is right to keep them shining in God's light."

Beautifully said, Nanny.

just COEXIST
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just COEXIST 06/24/11 - 03:24 pm
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"If you love God, you can't

"If you love God, you can't celebrate when others openly flaunt their disobedience and disregard for God. That's the issue."

I am not of your particular religion, I love God, but see him in a very different way than you apparently do. I find that remark a bit presumptuous and insulting as stated. Please don't make assumptions. It is more correct for you to add either an "imo", or "according to my religion" before making such a remark.

nannygoat, how does desiring to stop prosecution and murder of an entire class of people fit into what you are saying. Also, if you can't take things out of context then please explain why God, whom Christians claim to be loving, would add the things into his laws that momster59 listed earlier. Are you saying these are not actual laws of God even though the bible says they are? For both of you and howcanweknow, your logic to me seems to be contradictory.

howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 06/24/11 - 03:36 pm
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Co-E, Obviously, when I refer

Co-E, Obviously, when I refer to "God" I am referring to the Christian God. Sometimes I forget that "God" can mean many things to different people. I apologize for not specifying that God, for me, is the Christian God or Jesus Christ. That is my perspective, and is from where I am coming from.

Please see my above comment regarding the OT laws. Yes, those seemed harsh by our modern standards. But, you cannot interpret those laws outside of their proper context. They were given for a very specific people (ancient Hebrews) in a specific location (Palestine, which was inhabited by a very hostile and violent people who sought to exterminate the Hebrew) for a specific time (until Israel was established). Many, of not most, of these laws were more temporary than permanent. For example, the prohibition against eating pork. That was (thankfully) repealed in the NT. God had nothing against pork in the OT days, but probably for health reasons his law was for the Hebrews to avoid it at that time.

Remember too, though, who are we to tell God what to do? We modern, enlightened folks sure can think too highly of ourselves, at times. What God chooses to condemn is his business, not mine. He is God, and I am not. Arrogance is a poor substitute for faith and obedience, don't you think?

So, many of the minutia of OT laws were repealed by Jesus. He SAID that he came to fulfill the law, and sum it all up in 2 commands: 1) Love God, and 2) Love others.

No, Christians do not seek to follow all the OT regulations. God superceeded these laws with Jesus. Don't get hung up on distractions like this. Focus on Christ and the NT teachings. That's what Christianity is all about.

just COEXIST
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just COEXIST 06/24/11 - 03:49 pm
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howcanweknow - I am seeking

howcanweknow - I am seeking neither to convert to Christianity, nor to get you to convert to my faith. I will choose to not follow a religion that makes excuses for a God who would give instructions as to how to sell your daughter as a slave, order you to kill someone for being a rape victim just because she didn't scream loud enough, or kill a poor girl who is accused of not being a virgin on her wedding night. I also don't think he would give land to his people by having them commit genocide on an entire race of people (even killing all the infants), or condone slavery at any time for any reason. He is God. If he wanted his plans to work they would work without so much downright evil. To me, and most others not of the Judeo-Christian background, the Old Testament God is very evil and acts more in the Christian description of Satan than a loving God they profess to worship. It is my belief that God did not, and would not ever order such things and these laws appear to me to be written by a primitive man.

We will just have to disagree as to the nature of God.

nannygoat
6
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nannygoat 06/24/11 - 04:00 pm
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OT book Hebrews is a good

OT book Hebrews is a good lesson on the NT laws and clearly outlines how it superceeds the OT laws. Many OT laws were harsh because it was a harsh time and man wasn't very good at following the law. On his own, man never will be, either! So the penalties became harsher, as well. Newer and harsher laws were added to make a point. When God sent us Christ, He became the new law. Praise God!

momster59
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momster59 06/24/11 - 04:17 pm
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Well that really explains

Well that really explains what COEXIST was talking about, now doesn't it. Well.....maybe then again not.

BamaMan
2356
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BamaMan 06/24/11 - 04:56 pm
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Love the person, HATE the

Love the person, HATE the sin. Two very different things. God loves all of us, like a Father loves his children, but hates sin; and he gave us ALL laws to live by, and we will ALL answer on Judgment Day.

momster59
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momster59 06/24/11 - 05:49 pm
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BamaMam, already covered that

BamaMam, already covered that thought of your religious doctrine. Do you have anything new to offer that we haven't covered? Or would you care to enlighten us with answers to some of the problems/questions I see our UU friend COEXIST brought up?

I would expound on them myself, but she and I think the same way.
By the way, how many of you Christians knew that your expression "love the sinner and hate the sin" is not found anywhere in the Bible? It was actually said by Mahatma Gandhi (a Hindu) in his autobiography. Not important, but just an interesting little piece of information.

COEXIST, do you go to one of the local UU churches? I'm hoping to attend the lecture at the one in Augusta

howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 06/24/11 - 06:16 pm
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Co-E, you explained it for

Co-E, you explained it for yourself. Listen to your very revealing words: "TO ME, the OT God is very evil." See, it's not about YOU. It's about God. You are judging God, and making Him think, do, and act on YOUR terms. You know best, and God is wrong.

His ways are above ours, and we cannot judge Him. The "bad" things (at least what we call bad) in the OT were done for a time and a purpose. Sometimes "bad" things are necessary to bring out a greater good. Ask a woman in childbirth.... You have no idea what would have happened had God not done what He did. And, IMO, it is very arrogant of you to judge God. You are not omniscient.

If you, Richard Dawkins, etc. are trying to find some way to discredit Christianity, then if this is the best you can do, I'm sorry. Ain't working.

Tell me about Jesus? What don't you like about him? He is also the God of the OT, you know?

howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 06/24/11 - 06:24 pm
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Mom. I knew that about "love

Mom. I knew that about "love the sinner". Funny that Gandhi would use the term "sin". I didn't think he believed in the Christian God or in the concept of sin? Is he being inconsistent in his faith? Since Gandhi was Hindu, which of the several million gods he believed in was he sinning against?

momster59
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momster59 06/24/11 - 07:06 pm
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hcwk - thank you for making

hcwk - thank you for making us painfully aware of just how little you know about the Hindu faith.

Willow Bailey
20580
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Willow Bailey 06/24/11 - 07:43 pm
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momster59, According to Old

momster59,

According to Old Testament law, anyone caught selling another person into slavery was to be executed:

"He who kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death." (Exodus 21:16)
So, obviously, slavery during Old Testament times was not what we commonly recognize as slavery, such as that practiced in the 17th century Americas, when Africans were captured and forcibly brought to work on plantations. Unlike our modern government welfare programs, there was no safety-net for ancient Middle Easterners who could not provide a living for themselves. In ancient Israel, people who could not provide for themselves or their families sold them into slavery so they would not die of starvation or exposure. In this way, a person would receive food and housing in exchange for labor.
So, although there are rules about slavery in the Bible, those rules exist to protect the slave. Injuring or killing slaves was punishable - up to death of the offending party. Hebrews were commanded not to make their slave work on the Sabbath, slander a slave, have sex with another man's slave, or return an escaped slave. A Hebrew was not to enslave his fellow countryman, even if he owed him money, but was to have him work as a hired worker, and he was to be released in 7 years or in the year of jubilee (which occurred every 50 years), whichever came first. In fact, the slave owner was encouraged to "pamper his slave".

Just reading the previous posts prompts me to think of the many homeless who would be delighted to be treated and provided for as well as a slave.

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