Lincoln, Darwin and Gay Marriage

Thursday (Feb. 12) we will celebrate the 200th birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. The parallels in their … Continued

Thursday (Feb. 12) we will celebrate the 200th birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. The parallels in their lives provide valuable insight for the Presbyterian Church USA, which embarks this week on a major process of inquiry into the place of gay marriage and civil unions in the church and in the country.

The parallels in Lincoln’s and Darwin’s lives are also useful for the rest of a nation, which remains as bitterly divided over issues of homosexuality as we are about creation and evolution, and as we once were over human slavery. Lincoln and Darwin were two great men whose visions and life work ultimately served humanity but polarized people enormously.

Lincoln was right, both about the need to come together as a single nation and not just a collection of states, and about the need to end slavery. But he took America, perhaps needlessly, into the bloodiest war we ever fought and only arrived at his views about the evils of slavery late in the game.

Darwin was right, too. At the very least, he developed an approach about how life grows and differentiates that inspired generations of cutting-edge scientific inquiries. But, like Lincoln, his views created a bloody cultural war in which we remain fully engaged.

Both Lincoln and Darwin were much more complex than the sides that celebrate them and their legacies often admit. The truth is Lincoln was more concerned with preserving the Union than with freeing the slaves, and Darwin was a religious man who saw his science as bringing glory to the God in whom he believed. That kind of complexity bordering on contradiction would serve us well as we continue to thrash out the place of gay marriage and civil unions in this country.

While it would be wrong to ask those with strongly held views about gay marriage and/or civil unions to simply give up on their ideas, I do wonder if they think the kind of ugliness the battles we engage when it comes to these issues will be seen as any less ugly than the battles in other wars, military or cultural, which we have fought in the past.

Of course, there is no moral equivalence between creationists and supporters of human slavery, but it is worth noting that in each case, people used/use religion and scriptural passages to justify their beliefs. I hope that both those in the PCUSA and anyone else who uses sacred teachings to justify their position, whatever it may be, remembers that having a verse to lean on never guarantees that God is leaning your way.

It would be helpful in addressing today’s culture wars if both creationists and those who oppose any recognition of the potential sacredness of a committed, monogamous, same sex relationship, without betraying their beliefs, approached these issues with greater humility. It’s worth remembering that like those who used the bible to support slavery, they might one day look back, if not with shame, at least with regret over their understanding of God’s word….and so might those who support such marriages and unions. If we treated each other with that awareness, whichever we go, will get there together and be the better for it as a nation.

Brad Hirschfield
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  • Glarinca

    Blacks in California voted for Proposition 8 for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that there is no comparison between civil rights for all races and the right to enter into a specific type of contractual relationship. Marriage is a form of contract, not a fundamental right. What many people don’t realize is that California is ALREADY miles ahead of most of the rest of the country in that under California state law, California Family Code section 297.5, domestic partnerships have already been granted the same rights and responsibilities as marriages. This includes a whole host of rights specifically noted therein that proponents of legalizing gay marriage erroneously claim do not exist.

  • Paganplace

    ” Glarinca “Blacks in California voted for Proposition 8 for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that there is no comparison between civil rights for all races and the right to enter into a specific type of contractual relationship.”Actually, it’s a fundamental aspect *of* contract law in America that the government can’t say what adult citizens can and cannot enter into legal contracts of *any* kind. And there’s the ‘full faith and credit’ clause of the Constitution, which as yet means a state ‘civil unions’ statute is not portable unless another state specifically makes a law to recognize such a contract. In fact, many anti-gay laws voted for popularly by people only seeing their anti-gay desires play *merry Hell* with contract law in general.In fact, Prop 8 is against the U.S. Constitution, even if they amend the California one.This goes directly to who’s a human citizen under US law and whether our unalienable rights as Americans apply to queer people. If you were a class of people whose rights and dignities and security even in your own person, right to petition for a redress of grievances, or otherwise not have your humanity subject to the *opinions* of any given monotheist or straight person, you might not think there was really *that* much difference between racial equality and simple *human* equality.In fact, they’re based on the same premise. You. Don’t. Get. To. Say. You don’t like black people, you don’t like queer people, even if you’re in a majority voting one day…. You don’t get to say who’s a full citizen and equal human. Even if you really want to, or your minister or the Mormons and Catholics say to.

  • 2calm

    PAGANPLACE”In a sense, when those we usually know as ‘social conservatives’ try to make their religious text out to be something *like* science, and then fight that way, they create their own problem. Too bad they have a way of making it other people’s problems, too.”I couldn’t agree more, I think what you said is well established. But what continues to be denied is that scienctific text is made out to be something *like* religion in that it more often than not speaks in absolute terms of things not scientifically proven. Which causes its own set of problems for everyone, namely, gets in the way of finding out what is “true”. Isn’t that what we are all after?Which leads back to my first statement.

  • Paganplace

    “I couldn’t agree more, I think what you said is well established. But what continues to be denied is that scienctific text is made out to be something *like* religion in that it more often than not speaks in absolute terms of things not scientifically proven.”When people try to use science to claim to ‘prove’ with ‘authority’ there is nothing else, I do call them on it. None of this gives a religious myth or story or even ‘value,’ even my own, any ‘authority’ to say what facts are ‘true’ or conclusions are reasonable, compared to the evidence. Science *can* be misused. Not everyone’s actually good at it, or we wouldn’t even be having these ‘debates.’ Most of the ‘debates’ are between people who think through neither science ‘nor’ religion and are just trying to ‘win’ something with as little mental effort as possible. “Which causes its own set of problems for everyone, namely, gets in the way of finding out what is “true”. Isn’t that what we are all after?”Not necessarily. As I postulated above, in other terms, some simply want to ‘do things’ which make them ‘feel’ as though they have what they call ‘dominant truth’ *over others.* It’s not even about the content, just the ‘fight.’ But saying something more or louder doesn’t make it ‘truth.’ That’s neither reason *nor* spirit, never mind sufficing for both, I say.

  • Paganplace

    Don’t assume the reason isn’t there just cause it *is* a bit emotional given the *actual real and ongoing hardhsips , not to mention general insults,* you yourself spout. Read again. The legalities are in there. As for the statement about, ‘You don’t like black peole, you don’t like queer people, then,’ that was a conditional hypothetical, actually, but if the shoe fits….

  • edbyronadams

    “It would be helpful in addressing today’s culture wars if both creationists and those who oppose any recognition of the potential sacredness of a committed, monogamous, same sex relationship, without betraying their beliefs, approached these issues with greater humility. It’s worth remembering that like those who used the bible to support slavery, they might one day look back, if not with shame, at least with regret over their understanding of God’s word….and so might those who support such marriages and unions. If we treated each other with that awareness, whichever we go, will get there together and be the better for it as a nation.”____________________________________________It would be helpful if the supporters of gay unions would have a bit of humility as well. Since California already had a domestic partnership law that provided all the legal rights and responsibilities to same sex couples as to heterosexual unions, all that is, except the use of the word “marriage”, it seems to me the failure to compromise was on their part, not the part of persons who see marriage as a relationship between heterosexuals and voted those beliefs.As far as evolution goes, Darwinism rules the day, as it should, since the fossil record, even if it is always incomplete, supports the notion of evolution by yielding more complex organisms from newer geologic layers. There though, once again, the empiricists who need enough humility to admit that the theory of the chemical evolution of life has almost no evidence to back it. It just does not rise to the level to be called “science”. It is speculation.

  • patrick286

    As an educated twentysomething living in the Northeast (another history geek from massachusetts), I must say the glorification of Lincoln is a bit overdone. Lincoln wanted to break the backbone of the Confederacy’s greatest asset: manpower. Lincoln knew that if he freed the slaves the officers and soldiers fighting on the fronts would want to return home to protect hearth and kin from ‘the dreaded Negro uprisings’. As it turned out, the worst damage done to farms and families in the South occurred at the hands of Northern armies, of which a very small fraction was African Americans.

  • Paganplace

    And to amplify, Glarin:”You don’t know me from Adam. You don’t know my sexual preferences, my race or much of anything that would cause you to make such an accusation. How dare you. You have just provided a perfect example of my point that Prop 8 opponents automatically assume that anyone who questions redefining marriage in this way is a bigot or religious zealot.”You don’t know *me,* but seem to be willing to claim I don’t deserve the same rights as straight people, and that black people should be offended at the very *thought.*No, I don’t know you from Adam. Not my myth. Isn’t he the guy that didn’t marry Steve and thus everyone’s supposed to emulate his superlative jealous-God-pleasing skills?

  • Paganplace

    “It would be helpful if the supporters of gay unions would have a bit of humility as well.”When I’m claiming to speak to or for *Gods,* I’ll show some humility. As is proper for people claiming that their religion is supposed to subordinate the rights of humans in a free nation.When I speak as an American, I have every right to not kneel before Christians. As for the ‘civil unions law’ actually being equal with full faith and credit, that’s not even so. Christians keep *claiming* civil unions should be enough, then outlawing civil unions.

  • Paganplace

    And, again, unless California has a mind to secede from the Union, Prop 8 is Unconstitutional, it was just meant to hurt queers and try to get some homophobes out to vote for Republicans in the process.

  • FH123

    PAGANPLACE Wrote:One of the problems of evolution as a scientific theory is that any possible variant is simply worked into the theory, thus making it impossible to disprove…and this is a fine example of this practice. Einstein’s theory of relativity is constantly put to the test, but if a scientist questions the veracity of evolution, they are immediately branded a pariah. Science has been hijacked by atheist/naturalists with regards to evolution in order to support their worldview, which of course has prompted a response from people with a differing worldview. Dawkins et. al. have done science a disservice by injecting their worldview in neutral science…and I would place those who propose ID as a method for furthering their worldview in this category as well.Science can’t answer the most childish questions with regard to the more important questions in our world, such as: How did everything begin?’; ‘What are we all here for?’; ‘What is the point of living?’Sir Peter Medawar wrote:

  • edbyronadams

    From where do rights originally arise, even before the Constitution? Do they come “endowed by the Creator” as posited by Jefferson in the Declaration or some other source. If Jefferson was correct, then what people believe the “Creator” says about contracts has a direct bearing.As to the “full faith and credit” issue, that falls under federal purview, not the state. Take it up with the Feds.

  • tahlib

    What would Lincoln? Abraham Lincoln may have been the first American to write about a same-sex couple getting married. What does history tell us about what he’d say today about gay couples getting married if he were alive today?

  • Paganplace

    “” FH123 Author Profile Page:”PAGANPLACE “One of the problems of evolution as a scientific theory is that any possible variant is simply worked into the theory, thus making it impossible to disprove…”Actually, that’s what we call *resilient.* Evolutionary science is not a monolithic authority claiming absolute, revealed, and unquestionable knowledge. Religious dogmatists who are taught to *believe* it’s a ‘rival authority’ keep trying to argue in these terms and generally doing nothing but muddy the waters in the minds of the unschooled. People *don’t* quote Darwin to ignore evidence before them, or to claim they’ve totally overturned the theory of evolution in any form.. This is *not* how science works and not how it’s *supposed* to work. When scientists think like this, (And even Einstein ended up doing this: afraid to accept certain new information to deal with quantum mechanics, but still struggling the latter half of his life to reconcile certain beliefs in an ordered, always-predictable-universe on all scales *with* what the theory of Relativity still observes and predicts.) …When scientists do *this,* they tend to get embarrassed by history. This is as it should be. Scientists are humans, too. But the discipline of science is *meant* to be adapted and refined, not handed down and ‘attacked’ or ‘defended’ like some divine edict.

  • Glarinca

    Paganplace:I have read your posting several times and still cannot fully understand the “conditional hypoteticals” – which mainly seem to cloud the debate. Read the California law mentioned above and tell me what rights are not guaranteed for same sex partners in civil unions. There is a very long list of examples in that law, and it specifically states that “Registered domestic partners shall have the same rights,protections, and benefits, and shall be subject to the same esponsibilities, obligations, and duties under law, whether theyThe problem is not with California, which as I stated before actually LEADS the nation, but elsewhere in other states that have not fully grappled AND OPENLY DEBATED the issue. The only flaw I see with the California law is that in truth straight people under the age of 65 are NOT allowed to form a civil union with a person of the opposite sex under this law, so this actually is a situation where gay individuals in truth have contractual rights that straight people do not.(In case there is confusion, this is not a stance I am seriously taking, but am rather using it to further illustrate the logic flaws that abound.)The “Adam” reference was unfortunate on my part – and had nothing to do with the Bible in my mind for as I stated above I do not ascribe to any particular religion, and therefore your Adam and Steve reference means nothing to me. Sorry. I agree with you it is mythology and little more.

  • andycutler

    Too bad the far right religious psychos are creationists – if they believed in evolution they’d WANT to legalize gay marriage in hopes homosexuality is genetic and it would die out in a few generations if gays and lesbians no longer experienced intense social pressure to stay in the closet and have sham marriages.

  • patrick286

    i wonder what Darwin would like of our bitter discourse?

  • Paganplace

    ” andycutler “Too bad the far right religious psychos are creationists – if they believed in evolution they’d WANT to legalize gay marriage in hopes homosexuality is genetic and it would die out in a few generations if gays and lesbians no longer experienced intense social pressure to stay in the closet and have sham marriages.”Well, there’s definitely a little *flaw* in their half-reasoning *social* Darwinism, the only kind they like, about trying to *force* people to have babies with straight sex… even if innate traits were that simple and binary (They said the same about race, too) the fact they have historically forced queer people to breed (Or become priests and conservative politicians acting like em) pretty much… well. Doesn’t make sense, does it. Actually, like with race, there isn’t a single or even constellation of ‘genes’ which likely expresses actively in an individual and makes that individual ‘gay.’ More likely, the complicated processes that mean humans can produce offspring a variety of sexuality exist in us all, and you couldn’t breed us out if you tried: in fact, possibly the more population stress there is, the more a mother’s body is likely to respond by producing offspring with more on their mind than producing yet *more* offspring to strain food supplies and social harmony. Sexuality is about more than mechanical acts of breeding, particularly among humans. Something religious authoritarians always screw up. It’s like, ‘As long as you follow certain instructions, it’s OK, any deviation means you should hit someone. But you’re not a primate. At all. Don’t look at the resemblance.’

  • SinisterMatt

    I think that in reality proponents and opponents of gay marriage are talking past each other. Part of this derives from their perception of just what the nature of homosexuality is. Proponents argue that homosexuality is something a person is born with and it cannot be changed. There is some scientific evidence for this position. Because of the definition of homosexuality as an identity, then the idea of rights comes into play. Opponents argue that homosexuality is not an identity per se, but rather is an act or a behavior (a “sex act” if you will). Scientific evidence also backs up this idea. Since opponents see it as a behavior, then there is no need to enact legislation conferring legal rights to gays. Because the scientific evidence goes either way, either side takes whatever it wants from the scientific literature that supports their position and runs with it.Perhaps a good starting point is going to be for both sides to come together and work out a common definition of homosexuality and its origins. To reach a compromise takes humility for both sides. Only then will we get somewhere. Cheers!

  • monel7191

    “But, like Lincoln, [Darwin's] views created a bloody cultural war in which we remain fully engaged.”Maybe the good rabbi should make a sojourn through the more southern, rural portions of this great country. He just may see more confederate battle flags than he will see the Stars and Stripes. One hundred fifty years plus has not entirely ended the American Civil War in the old confederacy.As for Charles Darwin, he may also take a few minutes to watch some of the christian snake-oil salesmen on the numerous religious channels. These charlatans have compared Darwin to Stalin and Hitler both and routinely bray that evolution was the reason behind the Holocaust in nazi Germany.Like the idea that the south must rise again, the evangelicals pump the local yokels full of misinformation to keep their flocks ignorant and their collection plates full.

  • hgeorgek

    The complexities attributable to Lincoln which the author believes may have eluded his fans are in my opinion much more grounded than the supposed “truth” the author provides (“The truth is Lincoln was more concerned with preserving the Union than with freeing the slaves…”and “…only arrived at his views about the evils of slavery late in the game.”). Does he believe Lincoln’s reignited political ambitions after the Kansas/Nebraska act, his renewed and quite literal zeal in the Douglas debates for instance, were “to preserve” a union not then in any (tangible) jeopardy? A hypothetical abstraction? “Preservation,” in the unique genius of Lincoln, was the authentic, lawful and also admittedly quite substantial lynchpin enabling a much more complex agenda, one which rarely varied, through use of tools that were as flexible as the audience and circumstances at hand required — literally. With the race riots in, for instance, New York immediately following the costly victory at Gettysburg, requiring many of the troops from that battle be sent directly there (!) — Lincoln knew and had long known a “war of liberation” would not play in Peoria, much less New York. In short, only when it appeared to him the ‘peculiar institution would NOT likely die a natural death did he perceive the need to act: ploddingly, according to some in the north: maniacally according to those in the south: in short, just right! One could not add or subtract one calculated word or gesture of his and be assured we would still arrive at the correct outcome. It is hard, but still possible to underestimate him.

  • Mitchavery7

    Theologians like yourself are no longer relevant. The myth of Dog has been busted. The opening of literal&cyberspace borders has shown that the less education one has the more likely one is to believe in Dog. Third world countries are run by warlords as the weak/religious cower out of survival instinct. Has your Dog abandoned these people or as Darwin has PROVEN are they just a victim of survival of the fittest. Lord Acton said in his famous speech in 1789: “Power corrupts and absolute power (i.e. God) corrupts absolutely”. ANYONE that claims that they somehow, someway have some special insight to Dog… Puuuh-leaze dude. YOU’VE been smokin’ something…

  • Paganplace

    Your rhetorical dyslexia is misplaced. Dog, we should have no complaints with. :)

  • JamesK1

    bigcove, you are pretty misinformed about Presbyterian theology (which is unfortunately rampant in our denomination). We do not consider the Bible a mere “guidebook”, and we do not have a checklist of beliefs and behaviors “to get a successful place in the afterlife” (ever heard of predestination?). Our beliefs and our behaviors do NOT determine whether or not God chose to redeem us. Remember that one of the historic mottoes of the church is “ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda”, that is, “the church, always being reformed.”Lincoln is apt in this case. The Presbyterian Church, particularly in the South, made a 180° about face on slavery, partly due to contemporary events, but also due to prayerful reflection by the church’s membership on the issue. Yes, you find plenty of support in the Bible for slavery, and the Bible was used frequently used to justify it. Today, we find such arguments repugnant.Similarly, we changed our mind on the ordination of women. Even though through prooftexting, a ban on women in the puplit can and was constructed, through prayerful discernment we changed our minds and now ordain women and men to all offices in the church. I of course speak for the Presbyterian Church (USA), the largest and mainline branch of Presbyterianism in the US. There are still small splinter churches that refuse to ordain women. Perhaps you come from one of these? I am a member and officer in the PC(USA), raised in this denomination.Any Presbyterian Church that fails to offer comfort and love to gay and lesbian people seeking their place in the universe is FAILING in its mission as Christ’s church.We’re reformed, and we’re always being reformed. God is still at work changing hearts, and that bothers some people who are comfortable with their prejudices.

  • FH123

    Paganplace Wrote: “PAGANPLACE Actually, that’s what we call “myth”.But in the end, evolution, true or false, has no bearing on proof or disproof of God or the notion of God. Regardless, atheist or christian must rely on faith, because certainty is not a possibility that science or religion can offer. It may well be that all the proofs for God may fail, but God may still exist. The logic for God is simple: The desire for God originates from God—and eventually leads to God! The logic for atheism is not near as simple…why are we here again? If your worldview can’t answer even the simplest questions about our existence, it’s hard to imagine it catching on with the populace. You can’t really even hang your hat on reason because as evolutionist J B S Haldane once said:”If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of the atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true…and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms.”It’s a quandary…marketing a “worldview” that explains consciousness as an accident brought about by mindless matter, and then insists that the reasoning of that mind should then be trusted. Good luck with that.

  • harveyh5

    Rabbi Hirschfield,You state that Darwin’s views created a bloody cultural war in which we remain fully engaged. The only ones fully engaged in this war are those supporting creationism and intelligent design. Those on the side of evolution need be engaged only to keep the lunacy of the former in its rightful place. You also state you hope those who use sacred teachings to justify their position, whatever it may be, remember that having a verse to lean on never guarantees that God is leaning your way.Never? Think there’s agreement with that from those who believe the Bible is totally without error and free from all contradiction?

  • Paganplace

    Darwin didn’t ‘create the war’ any more than the fist kid dumb enough to say ‘The Emperor is dressed inadequately’ created the bullying she was then subjected to. :)

  • Alex511

    fr glarinca:>…What many people don’t realize is that California is ALREADY miles ahead of most of the rest of the country in that under California state law, California Family Code section 297.5, domestic partnerships have already been granted the same rights and responsibilities as marriages. This includes a whole host of rights specifically noted therein that proponents of legalizing gay marriage erroneously claim do not exist. That is completely untrue. Want to ride in the ambulance, or make medical or final decisions for your spouse/partner? Better be able to prove you are legally married. Want to insure that well-meaning “real family members” (translate as parents or siblings) can’t evict you from a home that you AND your spouse purchased before spouse passed away? Better be able to PROVE you are legally married.In 33 states, glbt’s can still unfortunately be evicted, fired, or expelled, just for being glbt. Get a clue, and work to overturn Prop HATE.

  • Paganplace

    Thanks for bringing some *facts* Alex, but I don’t imagine the virtuous Christian souls who used certain lies to try and claim ‘gays are bad’ are going to be back to apologize. Like so many things, they’ll just go somewhere to repeat the slanders, then call it a ‘triumph’ when they got someone to vote against civil rights.

  • jshuey

    ANDERSON2 : “if our “faith” says “it is wrong” what can we do to accept gay marriage or Darwinism or anything else?”Since your “faith” relies on Leviticus for moral instructions, can I then assume that your “faith” also requires the death penalty for all those folks working over at WalMart on Sunday, or unruly teenagers who mouth off to their parents, or divorced folks who remarry?And, if not, I feel pretty safe in saying that your position is far less a matter of “faith” than of personal bigotry.

  • Paganplace

    Actually, it’s kind of like how they approach the ‘Evolution debate.’ Come say the same stupid stuff, get refuted, ignore it, claim they’re therefore ‘repressed people’ with every right to deny others equal rights in contract law in America… Then keep saying it elsewhere. Feel ‘smart.’ Whatever.

  • Paganplace

    And, to the person who wanted to make ‘The Case For God,’ …consider that people are disinclined to give the ‘benefit of the doubt’ to unverifiable things told to us by *liars with obvious ulterior motives.*Dig?

  • ParkerD1

    The comments here seem pretty ironic to me, given the following statements by Darwin in Descent of Man:“We must remember that progress is no invariable rule. .We can only say that it depends on an increase in the actual number of the population, on the number of the men endowed with high intellectual and moral faculties, as well as on their standard of excellence.” (Descent of Man, Chapter 5)He also adds: “Obscure as is the problem of the advance of civilization, we can at least see that a nation which produced during a lengthened period the greatest number of highly intellectual, energetic, brave, patriotic, and benevolent men, would generally prevail over less favoured nations.” (Descent of Man, Chapter 5)“With increased experience and reason, man perceives the more remote consequences of his actions, and the self-regarding virtues, such as temperance, chastity, &c., which during early times are, as we have before seen, utterly disregarded, come to be highly esteemed or even held sacred…. Ultimately our moral sense or conscience becomes a highly complex sentiment- originating in the social instincts, largely guided by the approbation of our fellow-men, ruled by reason, self-interest, and in later times by deep religious feelings, and confirmed by instruction and habit.“It must not be forgotten that although a high standard of morality gives but a slight or no advantage to each individual man and his children over the other men of the same tribe, yet that an increase in the number of well-endowed men and an advancement in the standard of morality will certainly give an immense advantage to one tribe over another. …this would be natural selection. At all times throughout the world tribes have supplanted other tribes; and as morality is one important element in their success, the standard of morality and the number of well-endowed men will thus everywhere tend to rise and increase.”Darwin cited Greek history (its fall) to prove his points. If only judges inclined to redefine terms would read Darwin and do some thinking about what he had to say.

  • bob2davis

    You religious folks are incredibly naive. Jesus himself certainly had to be gay. He never married. He spent most of his time with men. He told us to love one another without exception. And he had a boy toy in the disciple John “whom Jesus loved!” Just read your bibles! Those of you who think that homosexuality is a sin and fight against civli rights for gay people, are only attacking Jesus and all that he stood for. I guess you’ll be spending a lot of time in that hell that you’re so fond of threatening others with.

  • jshuey

    FH123: “But in the end, evolution, true or false, has no bearing on proof or disproof of God or the notion of God.”It does if your god is good old Yahweh, the god of the Old Testament.Evolution smashes any chance of the bible being the inerrant word of an omniscient, omnipotent god. If evolution is correct, Genesis cannot be. Period. It is that simple.If Genesis is wrong, Christianity has two major problems:1. The bible is not the infallible word of god. Therefore, what in the bible can be trusted to be true? How do you tell? (What you pick and choose to believe from the remnants says more about you personally than it does about the possibility that any of it might be true.) And2. No “Creation” as described in the bible (twice actually, with conflicting accounts – See Gen 1 & 2), no Adam & Eve, no Garden, no serpent or tree or or forbidden fruit or…”original sin”. No original sin, no need for a “savior” to be grotesquely tortured to death to save anybody.So evolution does have a bit to contribute to the question of at least one god – Yahweh. Now Thor, Baal, Ra, or any of thousands of others? Less so.

  • arthink

    you should do your homework on darwins life–at one time he was a believer in God but when his daughter died he said that all of his faith in a god has dried up!!-he did not glorify God through his theory but glorified himself through materialism—

  • Paganplace

    Darwin was not a ‘revealed Prophet,’ Parker. He was a Victorian dude who postulated a theory that happened to be a big deal back in those days of tight collars, tight corsets, fainting couches to deal with said things, and a whole lot of effort being put toward devices to prevent wet dreams. Evolution is not dependent on someone reading the man as being righteous and infallible. Unlike Christian homophobia and historical racism and such, which actually is.

  • Bluefish2012

    I don’t get it. Why should those who believe that God’s word–the Bible–prohibits homosexual sex be the only ones who should approach the Bible with humility? Doesn’t that go for those who revere the Bible on BOTH sides of that issue?And if both sides approach the Word of God with humility, the question remains–how did God order his creation on this matter? I humbly suggest that he made them male and female for a reason.

  • B2O2

    Please don’t blame Darwin for the fact that our domestic Taliban members – here in the 21st century no less – are fearful and hostile toward science. He was just the scientist; he’s not responsible for the cowering tribespeople who duck to avoid his findings because they fear they bring with them Evil Spirits.And to Bluefish2012: your purported “God” purportedly “prohibited” homosexual sex in the same section of the “Bible” where “He” commanded parents to haul their misbehaving kids to the village square to be STONED TO DEATH (Deut 21:18-21). I humbly ask that you not be hypocritical. Either get those kids to the executioner, PRONTO, or cease forever your rantings about what consenting adults do together. Thank you very much.

  • Paganplace

    ” Bluefish2012 “I don’t get it. Why should those who believe that God’s word–the Bible–prohibits homosexual sex be the only ones who should approach the Bible with humility? Doesn’t that go for those who revere the Bible on BOTH sides of that issue?”It’s a *book.* Books are for reading, not for abasing yourself at.Gods do not need such things.

  • spidermean2

    While Lincoln liberated many people, Darwin, on the other hand, enslaved millions, if not billions, of people thru his idiotic theory which many, like the communists around the world, adopted.He has also enslaved many people’s mind and caused it to be idiotic. For how can a thinking person escape the fact that nature is full of INTELLIGENCE in it?Brad Hirschfield is a stupid person for showing high regard for the most stupid person on earth, Charles Darwin. The name is synonymous to stupidity and hell. The guy could be frying right now in hell and tortured by his lies.What a pity. And more pity for people like Hirschfield who follow the idiot’s path.

  • coloradodog

    “humility” is not a characteristic of Abrahamic fundamentalists and never will be

  • coloradodog

    Pearljr123 wrote:One of the main reasons Blacks in California overwhelmingly voted against gay marriage is that Blacks resent their struggle being compared to a sex actOnly a simpleton would boil down being gay to just a “sex act” It’s tantamount to saying “their struggle” is just a chip on their shoulder.

  • spidermean2

    While Lincoln liberated many people, Darwin, on the other hand, enslaved millions, if not billions, of people thru his idiotic theory which many, like the communists around the world, adopted.He has also enslaved many people’s mind and caused it to be idiotic. For how can a thinking person escape the fact that nature is full of INTELLIGENCE in it?Brad Hirschfield is a stupid person for showing high regard for the most stupid person on earth, Charles Darwin. The name is synonymous to stupidity and hell. The guy could be frying right now in hell and tortured by his lies.What a pity. And more pity for people like Hirschfield who follow the idiot’s path.

  • FH123

    PAGANPLACE WROTE:Your stream of consciousness approach fails to impress upon me your key point. I’m just guessing here, but your point seems to be that; if people don’t subscribe to the existentialist philosophy about coming to grips with the cold realities of life’s utter meaninglessness that you do, then you are a delusional idiot. “It does if your god is good old Yahweh, the god of the Old Testament.”That’s absurd…it does no such thing. 2 creation accounts, macro, micro.As a skeptic myself, we could go round-and-round about proofs, contradictions etc. located in the bible, but I would not have a chance of changing your mind. I will leave you with the words of a much smarter theologian than me:Martin Luther wrote: “Faith is a free surrender and a joyous wager on the unseen, untried and unknown goodness of God.”Francis Collins, the president of the Human Genome Project discovered Christianity at the age of 27, so overcoming intellectual objections to religion is possible. Either you open up your heart honestly and find the Christian worldview intuitively true, or you find it lacking, nothing I say can help you in your search. I struggle with doubt daily, but in the end Tennyson was right when he urged us to cling to the “sunnier side of doubt.” If you have lingering questions of a scientific nature about the Bible’s authenticity, I suggest reasons.org. They approach the debate with a higher deference to the scientific community than the average ID site. However, science, can’t answer the fundamental questions of life for you IMO, as I’ve already mentioned.

  • Paganplace

    And, I know this can’t possibly register with you, Spidey, but it’s not ‘the’ world that’s ending. Just yours. The one where you think that stuff you say means anything. You will actually get over it. One day.

  • edbyronadams

    “Did black people not have unalienable human rights in the 19th century, just cause a majority of voting Southerners thought they had the curse of Ham and that Jesus said they should obey their masters?”As a matter of fact their rights were quite alienated until 1864. Abolitionists asserted those rights existed but it took the bloodiest conflict in our country’s history to establish them in fact. Now, gay rights supporters merely feel that asserting a right creates in the minds of the people. It’s peculiar.

  • Paganplace

    “” FH123 Author Profile Page:PAGANPLACE WROTE:Your stream of consciousness approach fails to impress upon me your key point. I’m just guessing here, but your point seems to be that; if people don’t subscribe to the existentialist philosophy about coming to grips with the cold realities of life’s utter meaninglessness that you do, then you are a delusional idiot. “”Well, it’s interesting you should come up with that, but I was thinking something more along the lines of not getting my notions of the scope and intent of the universe from people who can’t find themselves on a map.

  • spidermean2

    Earth which has no brain was able to produce thousnads, if not millions, of plant and animal species. And take note, WITH BRAINS TOO or some “controlling chip” which is their respective DNAs.Man, which many people think is INTELLIGENT, upto now cannot produce even a SINGLE ONE, from scratch.And yet, many people think there is NO INTELLIGENCE in nature.HOW DUMBER CAN THESE EVOLUTIONISTS GET? The stupidity is just mindboggling.Ever find a religious idiot? Brad Hirschfield is one.

  • Paganplace

    Ok, Spidey, you’re boring me:”And yet, many people think there is NO INTELLIGENCE in nature.”Work on some reading comprehension, then I’ll be glad to discuss the notion of genius loci. :)

  • spidermean2

    Pagan, pick a brain. Obviously what you have is not a brain. It can’t think.

  • Paganplace

    Oh. Is that what it is. This is an argument for teaching kids it’s OK to stop thinking and read a Bible in elementary school… why again?I’ve had better queerbashings from people who were too young to know how *straight* sex worked. Oh, right. That’s you, you just have been not-doing it that much longer. :)

  • edbyronadams

    I do not claim it’s my *opinion* that means a black person cannot be owned and sold and abused by me, I acknowledge that we are all equal under the law in America.Once again, this was not true until the Civil War. The rights of black people were certified in blood.________________________________________I am an American citizen, and you do not *give* me rights with your opinion or your Bible.They are mine by birthright. _____________________________________First, not a Christian. Second, if those rights are yours by birthright, where were they for generations of homosexuals previously. Certainly by original intent, they do not appear in the Constitution. One has to establish them in the minds of the people for rights to exist. The California lesson is that establishing them in the mind of the esquire class is not enough.

  • Paganplace

    “First, not a Christian. Second, if those rights are yours by birthright, where were they for generations of homosexuals previously.”Exactly. This is why slavery was *wrong,* as well. Just cause it’s being done, and a preacher’s opinion says it’s *OK* doesn’t make it right. Our constitution says… All. Even if it takes some time. Past injustices and people having difficulty getting their hands out their pants and/or Bibles doesn’t make it *right* to violate what are for Americans, unalienable rights and dignities. They are not conditional on Bibles or churches or Fox News or what England thinks. They are inherent to us all. Slavery was not right cause a lot of people *liked* it. It was *wrong.* Just as any injustice or inequality is, and always was, *wrong.*It shouldn’t *take* bloodshed. Or you repeatedly ignoring what we queers happen to keep saying is done to us, except of course for you claiming, ‘Since you’re obviously upset about these rapes and indignities, I’m going to ignore you and say you’re invading straight people’s lives by having the temerity to demand your birthright.’I’m talking about *reality.* The Founding Fathers were articulate people, conscious of in a real situation. The *one* thing they expected of we, their posterity, was both. Let’s not disappoint them.

  • Paganplace

    Also, maybe your *not* a Christian, but you’re sure apparently representing *someone* who thinks you’re ‘above’ what America stands for, that gives you some mandate to decide who gets rights and who doesn’t. We don’t play it that way, here in America.

  • TomLogue

    The Rabbi says, “The truth is Lincoln was more concerned with preserving the Union than with freeing the slaves….” This misstatement riles me. This is not accurate.Lincoln was the first statesman to come up with a plan to end slavery that had the political support of the majority of americans. His plan was to prevent slavery from expanding into the west, the most dynamic and growing part of the country at the time, and cause slavery to die on the vine in isolation in the south. This was a slow death of slavery but it was a sure death of slavery. The South recognized immediately that Lincoln’s plan was the death knell of slavery, which is why they chose war when he was elected on this platform.And Lincoln considered many compromises to stop or end the war, but he refused to compromise on this plan to isolate slavery in the South so that it would die a natural death.Later, during the war, he changed his plan to make for the immediate end of slavery as a war-goal. He did this in the emacipation proclaimation that many amateur historians currently like to criticize. While it is true the proclamation did not free anyone on the day it was signed, it lead to the freedom of some 4 million people within 28 months. That is not too shabby, given that slavery had haunted our nation continent for several hundred years before that time.Let’s stop denigrating Lincoln’s contribution.

  • edbyronadams

    Paganplace, while keeping loved ones from visiting in the hospital is wrong, and keeping natural inheritance rights from a legally registered partner is wrong, it will take more convincing to make me see that depriving same sex couples of the use of the word, marriage, an institution that has meant the same thing since the dawn of history, is an injury. I support civil unions but not gay marriage.

  • vegasgirl1

    *Sigh …* To the gay rights movement: Please understand you will never, ever change the minds of those who believe homosexuality is a sin and will never accept you as full and equal members of this country. Forget it. Instead of obsessing over them, concentrate on other areas and fight battles you can actually win. “Marriage” is too loaded a word for many in the faith-based community accept. Civil unions are other matter altogether, but otherwise, you are wasting your time trying to persuade conservative churches.

  • aussiebarry

    Heres a Hypothesis, The Southern States, that had freely entered into a union with others, were freely allowed to leave. Within ten years , economic reality plus pressure from European trading partners, would see the end of slavery. This same economic reality would probably have The Confederate States voluntarily asking for reunion with The United States. three quarters of a million americans would not have been slaughtered, one hundred and fifty years of hatred and intolerance may have been avoided, the vast sums of money and human effort to prosecute the war, would have been used to benefit the country,and maybe, it would have not been so unusual for a mixed race person to be President in 2009

  • Paganplace

    Actually, Aussie, the Civil War had everything to do with whether ‘economic reality that would have ended slavery anyway’ would have been allowed basically everywhere West of the Appalachians to continue the injustice on un-exhausted soil with massive economic advantages. The South fired on Fort Sumter when they weren’t allowed to *expand* slavery *enough* while denying what the Union was about. They wanted a new feudalism.

  • chatard

    Excuse me? Having a “verse to lean on.”??? And your teachings, Rabbi, are based on …….?

  • aussiebarry

    Pagan, do you think that an economy based on slaverey coud have continued next to a vibrant industrial capitalist country, and how long do you think that public opinion in Europe would have allowed the importation of Confederate produce. I think one of the reasons for the Emancipation was to stop Europe recognising The Confederacy. Just asking as a pacifist who always hopes there are other ways besides war

  • Paganplace

    I mean, here, Eby… What in your *extensive* Biblically-based experience of being a queer person in modern America, never mind trying to hold committed relationships together under legalistically-adversarial conditions… Makes you think this is *really* some fit of pique where queer people are to blame for raising any trouble and ever complaining about the regularly-scheduled sanctified beating?

  • edbyronadams

    As Rabbi Hirschfield pointed out, what is needed is a little humility here and it is not the just the opponents of gay marriage that feel that god has whispered in their ear.

  • TomLogue

    AussiebarryI respect your idealism. But the historical record suggests that the South would not have come around so easily or quickly. Even after the war, it took 150 years to reach the state we are in today. Some 40% of its population was black and the South had to find a way to accomodate two racial groups in one society, when the promienent group was completely racist. The north was equally racist, but it had fewer blacks so the problem was not as threathening to the white majority. Extreme and open violence against blacks continued well into the 1960′s. Even today, it is interesting to note that in areas of very high black populations, such as Mississippi, the white power structure remains the most intact and controlling and of all the southern states.

  • Paganplace

    Cause I’ll tell you one thing… None of you ‘real’ civil-rights-wanting religious and racial minorities had much complaint about some skinny little queer chick standing up to the Prods in the Seventies. 21st century. America. Our. Turn.

  • aussiebarry

    Tomlogue, that is one of the things I wonder about, would it have taken 150 years if slavery had ended out of necessity rather than a humiliating violent conquering of the south?

  • Paganplace

    ” edbyronadams Author Profile Page:As Rabbi Hirschfield pointed out, what is needed is a little humility here and it is not the just the opponents of gay marriage that feel that god has whispered in their ear.”Am I acting too uppity, Massa? Perhaps if I were to grovel.

  • Paganplace

    I mean, far be it from me to think I need more than the civil unions that *dont’ exist in California as you claimed they did as an excuse to deny us our civil rights* or anything…

  • Paganplace

    I mean, hey, just cause your *absolutely full of it about rights I don’t actually enjoy* don’t mean I’m not ‘ungrateful,’ right?Maybe have a referendum on it.

  • Paganplace

    ” aussiebarry “Tomlogue, that is one of the things I wonder about, would it have taken 150 years if slavery had ended out of necessity rather than a humiliating violent conquering of the south?”Only thing that should be humiliating about is no one down here seeing how shameful it was *before* a whole bunch of people got shot. Actually mostly died of disease before they could get killed in noble battle, of course, but that’s how it always goes.

  • StephenBWise

    Rabbi,It seems that they are closer in their thinking to the American slave owners of old, than are today’s creationists.Just as Creationism is not born out of authentic Christianity, gay marriage would not be seen as progress by either Lincoln or Darwin.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Being gay is not a life style choice. Gay people are born into the world, innocently gay. Being gay is not a big deal. It is a sin that is not a sin. I would say that bigotry is more of a life style than being gay. So, what is “religious” people’s gripe with gay people? Why is being gay so bad?Why is gay marriage so bad? How will it hurt anyone? It only hurts people’s pride, who invest all of their worth in their imagined superiority to a designated scapegoat; it only hurts people who cannot admit that they have been wrong.

  • JosephGAnthony

    “But he took America, perhaps needlessly, into the bloodiest war we ever fought and only arrived at his views about the evils of slavery late in the game.:”

  • Paganplace

    Hi, Daniel. Can you believe this? They got ever darn force-multiplier in the world and still think everyone’s gotta breed or else it’sll spoil their end of the world. Go figure. :)

  • labman57

    There will be a day when Western civilization will look back and regard the religious right’s opposition to “evolution by natural selection” as absurd as the Church’s denial of the existence of atoms, or the vacuum, or the sun as the center of the solar system in past centuries.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    StephenwiseSince you brought this up, I think that Lincoln and Darwin both would have seen the necessary goodness of gay marriage, and they would not be easily duped by the “religious” folks and their milk-toast “faithiness.”I somehow cannot imagine the Abraham Lincoln, who presided over the Civil War, whose sons died, whose wife veered in and out of insanity over her tenuous situation, of divided loyalties, surrounded by death, destruction, and grief, I cannot imagine that he would have any attitude towards gay people motivated by even an ounce of malice. What a very small and petty person you are to project your own predjudices on Abraham Lincoln.

  • labman57

    The problem is that organized religion did not evolve to promote love or “good will toward man”; it evolved to bring a sense of order by controlling the behavior of the populace. And therein lies the problem.Cherry-picking biblical scripture to support one’s personal bigotry and hatred is as intellectually lazy as it is dishonest. If you truly believe that the Bible represents the word of God, then you should follow ALL of its pronouncements literally, even those that contradict other passages.You cannot legislate morality since one person’s morals are another person’s sins. Personally, I am more interested in promoting ethics than any particular religion’s morals.

  • cletus1

    I’m sure there are people in polls who still believe the Earth is the center of the universe as well. Most students can’t even pick out Mexico on a map. So, as far as teaching creationism in school is concerned, who really give a sh*t. The scientifically inclined ones will learn about evolution, and the rest can be taught the religious fairy tales.

  • Athena4

    Actually, I saw a BBC story a few weeks ago that says that, looking at Darwin’s private writings, historians have discovered that he was an ardent abolitionist. He published his works at a time when people believed that blacks and Indians (both dot and feather) were sub-human and it was okay to subjugate them. His scientific discoveries proved that human beings are all the same, just with some genetic variations due to natural selection. So Lincoln and Darwin had quite a bit more in common than the good Rabbi realized when he wrote this. As for same-sex marriage – it should be legalized. No one is forcing churches to religiously marry gay individuals, but the secular government *should* allow it. As for “domestic partners” or whatever euphemism people use… how’s that “separate but equal” thing working for ya? It’s certainly not working for a woman whose partner collapsed when they were on their way to a cruise in Florida. The woman was hospitalized, and her partner and their children were NOT allowed to ride in the ambulance with her, make medical decisions for her, or even visit her because they were in an “anti-gay state.” Appalling.

  • Glarinca

    Alex511,I think you are as ignorant of, and unwilling to examine, the facts as the Pagan dude / dudette.My advice to you and your cohorts is to find a better argument as you are losing credibility each day you continue with this dribble. It doesn’t help your cause either when you go to such an extraordinary effort to publish the names and locations of the Proposition 8 donors for the simple reason that you want people to harrass them. You guys are such an easy debate target….

  • jprfrog

    My dentist came to the US from Vietnam when he was 11. This morning he asked me why US education was so backward. He said that even when he was in a DP camp, he had to do homework and when he arrived here as a 5th grader he knew more math than high-schoolers…and that was 30 years ago. Reading some of the bilge in these comments might help him to understand the answer. Particularly those who are so sure what science can and cannot do who seem to know so little science. I am an atheist who has more books on my shelves about religion and the Bible than I have about my own profession (music). I have read the Bible much, and one thing that strikes me hard, knowing that the texts I am reading were written down over a period of 11 centuries (and translated many times since…so unless I read Hebrew, Aramaic, Persian, and Greek I am not reading the original), and that the ideas of God in those texts evolved, if I may use the word. After all, the First Commandment doesn’t say “I am the only God” or “I am the God of the Universe” it says “I am thy God, thou shall not have any Gods before me” which seems to imply that there ARE other gods. (I am paraphrasing from memory, don’t hold me to any exact version.) This is a very different idea of God than in Second Isaiah, not to mention Job (which attempts to cope with the famous problem of evil, and doesn’t succeed; here God behaves like a megomaniacal despot, with more than a touch of the sadist), let alone the ideas of Paul or that raving maniac John of Patmos (whatever would the Rapturists, the Apocalyptics and End-Timers, or the scripters of horror movies, do without him?)My point is that organized religion, like any other entity which wants to survive (think DNA passed down the generations) must adapt to changing realities. It helps to have a sense of our best understanding of what the realities are. In the area of natural phenomena, modern science seems to do best with this, and every good scientist will emphasize science’s self-limited scope. Questions like “why are we here?” or Heidegger’s famous “Why is there something rather than nothing” are metaphysical (not physical) and look to be unasnwerable in any meaningful sense. How we should live is the concern of ethics, which does not depend on adherence to any one Book — are Buddhists, Hindus, and Pagans not generally ethical, and do not some Christians lie steal and murder? There may be scientific explanations for our ethical impulses, grounded in some facts of our evolution as social animals but the jury is very far out on that one. This has become a long screed. I end by saying that so far, relying on the Christian Bible for ethical guidance (more in the breach than the promise) has not worked all that well so far.

  • mbeck1

    Please don’t put words or thoughts in Darwin’s mouth or mind. He was not a religious man. He might have been a deist like Jefferson, as many men of the enlightenment were.

  • financepirate

    I have a couple quibbles with your history.”But [Lincoln] took America, perhaps needlessly, into the bloodiest war we ever fought and only arrived at his views about the evils of slavery late in the game.”Lincoln arrived at his views about the evils of slavery long before he became president. But, as president, he recognized the limits on his power to do anything about it. He focused on what he could do, and what he felt was his duty to do, and that was to preserve the Union. And the notion that Lincoln “took America” into the Civil War is a stretch at best. I’d call it preposterous. The states that would later form the Confederacy started seceding well before Lincoln even took office. They were responding to his election, not to any policies he tried to enact. Their cowardly actions and dishonorable notions of property precipitated the Civil War, not Lincoln’s heinous crime of getting elected president.And to address the point of your article, I agree that people should not use Bible verses to justify their positions on these issues. Not because doing so is disingenuous, as you suggest, but because the Bible is so often wrong on so many issues.In this “culture war”, proponents of teaching science will eventually defeat proponents of teaching nonsense, not because we all come together civilly, but because science is the very effective process by which we search for the truth, whereas creationism and ID are flat-out wrong, and have been shown to be so over and over again.Along the same vein, you are right to predict that same-sex marriage will eventually be legally recognized, but not because we sing kumbaya and treat each other’s views with respect, but because the ultimate trend in civilization is toward more personal freedom, not less. We move toward less bigotry and hatred, not more. There are bumps in this road, but eventually, the people who call themselves “Christian” or “American”, and somehow reconcile that with opposition to gay marriage, will either open their eyes to their prejudice, or their generation will die out, and their stupidity will be just as marginalized as the KKK and Neo-Nazis are now.There is debate, and there is “debate”. On the one hand is legitimate debate on difficult moral issues (like abortion or economic philosophy), and on the other hand is the evolution vs. creationism “debate”, and the same-sex marriage “debate”. Once we learn to recognize the difference, we will move on, as we always do. Backward social conservatism never wins.

  • avgjoe3

    Amen brother. Well said. We all need to focus on inclusion rather than division.

  • copocabana

    what exactly did Charles Darwin actually SAY? from Scientific American, “So you are an atheist?Do you see your lack of faith as a loss, then?The questions in this fictitious interview were posed by Christoph Marty. The answers are original quotes from Charles Darwin from a variety of sources, including The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online, who died in 1882.”

  • Chris64

    Bravo! Humility is exactly what has been lacking in each of these debates. People of faith need to remember that no one can ever have a monopoly on the truth when it comes to spiritual and ethical matters (as opposed to scientific ones), and even sincerely held beliefs can turn out to be very misguided as time wears on.

  • financepirate

    C1RID – no one is trying to force your church to recognize or perform marriages for couples that haven’t followed all the rules of your church. It’s the government that needs to recognize these unions with the same legal benefits as heterosexual marriages. Your church is free to do as it wants – you’re aware of the First Amendment, right? It helps when participating in this sort of discussion if you know what you’re talking about.And the “my theology is better than yours” schtick is entertaining. I can see bigotry dying right in front of me.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Hello also to you Pagan Place. Now, we’re done with Holocaust Deniers, and we’re back to the homophobes. Ugh!So, I would like to ask, Glarinca, what is so wrong with being gay? what is so wrong with gay people? why do religious people, the Mormons, Baptists, and the Pope feel so called upon the scapegoat the gays for everything? Blame it all on the Jews and the gays. That is the same old tired story. Well, I am sorry to inform you, those days are over. So again, I ask, what is wrong with being gay? Why is it bad? Why is being born gay a “life style choice” but being a religious fanatic is not? Gay people are born that way, innocently, and without any intent or desire to be gay; that is how the baby comes out. If you don’t believe it, then just ask a gay person, instead of assuming that you know everything about what gay people must feel and experience. Religious people have quite alot of explaining to do, about their theolgoical and cultural bias against gay people. Gay people don’t have any explaining to do; that is a waste of time and breath.I just wish that for once in my life I could hear a religious person say “I love gay people” instead of “I don’t hate gay people.”

  • bigcove

    As a lifelong Presbyterian, from a family of Scots/Irish Presbyterians, I have heard the internal debate about the acceptance of homosexuality in our Christian sect. In my opinion, a narrow interpretation of the sect’s guidebook, the Bible (including the Tanakh and the New Testament), would seem to say that homosexuality is not part of the sect’s accepted reasons for a person to get to a successful place in the afterlife. As a previous commenter said, the Unitarian Church has a more open policy when it comes to people’s lifestyle choices.Therefore, although I have homosexual and lesbian friends, I do not steer them toward the Presbyterian Church’s teachings as a means for them to find comfort in their place in the universe, whether here on Earth or the concept of an afterlife. At the same time, I do not condemn their sexual partner preference because I understand that with the way the universe works, anything goes, including hermaphrodites.Science has clearly shown us that. Science and religion can and will exist together because not everyone can understand their place in the universe through rational investigation into species intermingling on one planet. For them, they need an external reason for being. As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child and when we look around, we clearly see that no two villagers are exactly alike. When we accept this simple fact, we can learn to let those who want religion to raise a child create just as successful a human being as those who reject religion and use purely secular means to create a successful human being.That is a legacy we can thank Lincoln, Darwin, Mother Theresa, Gandhi, MLK and others for giving us.

  • anderson2

    I always enjoy your slow measured approach to things…but, BUT…if our “faith” says “it is wrong” what can we do to accept gay marriage or Darwinism or anything else?

  • philsevilla

    Christian teaching about homosexual acts simply stated is that the behavior is intrinsically evil morally. Brad Hirschfield’s veiled attack on Christian beliefs is shameful considering he is a religious figure. He diminishes the great contribution of Abraham Lincoln whose Christian beliefs propelled him to fight slavery and to preserve the union of states. Darwinian evolution as a theory of creation is a different matter. Many Christians including the Catholic magisterium do not subscribe to the fundamentalist concept of creation as described in the book of Genesis.

  • Pearljr123

    One of the main reasons Blacks in California overwhelmingly voted against gay marriage is that Blacks resent their struggle being compared to a sex act.

  • Perditus

    Mr. Hirschfield,

  • douggy1

    I agree with Rabbi Hirschfield on the tone of the advocates and the need for humility. As for Darwin, I think too much as made of him, given his belief that the cell was a simple organism and the later discovery of its infinite complexity and storage of information in DNA. All that being said, the same sex marriage debate is one that really should be no debate at all inside the Christian church, which bases its tenets on the Bible. Completely unlike slavery, there are distinct passages directly addressing the issue of same sex relationships in both the Old and New Testaments and the definition of “marriage.” In fact, William Wilberforce, who was the real father of ending slavery in western civilization leaned on his Christian faith to oppose it. In any event, in the context of a Christian church, redefining or wildly interpreting scripture to suit the current whims of modern culture is, ironically, more like using the Bible to support slavery than any alleged misinterpretation. As to civil unions, these are clearly a matter of civil law. If the government under which we live grants such unions (as it is here in California), then the Bible says it is to be respected. However, our law also grants us freedom of religion. Thus, the morass of modern law in everything from employment to property use to free speech will continue to highlight the tension between freedom of religion and the rights that conflict with religious beliefs. I concur and join in the Rabbi’s hope that people can discuss these issues intelligently and in respect of one another’s opposing views.

  • Phoneboy

    I think it’s a wonderful article, but I believe I share a different personal view than the author (in that I support gay marriage).One of my favorite lines is:”having a verse to lean on never guarantees that God is leaning your way”.I think in this case, that line would be Leviticus 18:22. I can understand strict Jews and Christians who feel the need to enforce this line in their personal lives, but I don’t understand the majority of Jews and Christians – who can selectively choose which of God’s laws they want to abide by.While some will oppose marriage based on this line, they will continue to eat lobster and wear blended fibers, both of which are also prohibited according to Leviticus.I believe that we as human beings should be protecting the free will of other human beings. If two people willingly want to marry, then why should a government stop or prevent them? Marriage is a tradition independent of religion (and if we’ve forgotten, separation of church and state is an ideal we should abide by).Personally, I think the U.S. Government should only recognize civil unions between ANY two people, gay or straight. The government’s job is to recognize a couple’s right to jointly file taxes, share health care, and visit spouses in the hospital. Let a couple’s religious organization recognize it as a marriage.

  • 2calm

    There is a problem with leaning on the scientific approach to everything. That is, one of its greatest discoveries, is that it has only revealed a fraction of “truth” compared to what remains mystery.

  • Eri333

    First of all, I loved the article!Secondly, Wow! The ignorance of history and knowledge on this board is astounding!!! Now, I don’t know a whole lot about Charles Darwin personally. Maybe he wasn’t a Christian, but if he was agnostic, he did believe in some sort of higher power or god. Hence the irony in religious opposition to his theories. Abe Lincoln, however, you guys are sorely mistaken on. He was no “life long abolitionist” by any stretch. In fact, he would have been happier to leave the subject of slavery alone. Now, in the long run, he did the right thing w/ the Emancipation Proclaimation, but people forget it only freed slaves in the Confederate States. Border States, like Maryland, got to keep slavery till the end of the war. In other words, this wonderful document was primarily a political move, not a moral one. Also, Lincoln was actually kind of racist, like most Northerners (and Southerners) of his time. He actually wanted to ship blacks back to Africa and he certainly didn’t see them as his equals for most (if not all) of his life. And no, for the record, I’m not a southerner, I’m a history geek from Massachusetts. Seriously, though, look up more than the just history you were spoonfed in school, and you will see what I’m talking about.

  • camarriott

    You Christian’s views are so wrong- Not that you’re pro human slavery or anything, but you’re views might as well be that because not believing evolution is just another way of saying you want slaves…. I’m so smart, I have many leather bound books and I definitely have more insight then all of you. I write and spell-check and then I post things to this page and allow the masses to partake… Go head, partake. Taste and see that I’m god…er good…. I’m not god, science is god. Anyway, I really am something- And another thing, you Christians really need to humble yourselves!Who is this shmuck? Rabbi Brad Hirschfield.Yeah, a real insightful cat. Like Christians even have a prominent voice anymore. I see far more articles like this then I do for the other side. Everyone preaches tolerance and acceptance for every group except Christians. Christians believe their cause no more passionately then their critics, yet since Christians come off as hard the opposing end say’s Christianity is shoved down their throats. Quit being stupid.

  • cholt29

    Response to phone boy. As the mother of four children, one of each, I too believe the government should stay out of the church’s business and only recognize civil unions, leaving the definition of marriage up to religious institutions where there is no agreement. It’s called the Separation of Church and State and it’s time the state stopped trying to define what some churches consider a sacrament and others don’t. I am a committed Christian with two gay children, both in long term committed relatonships. I belong by choice to an open and affirming UCC church where my gay children are weldome. The only thing that destroy’s marriage is divorce, so let committed gay people have the same rights and responsibilities as everyone else. Its a civil rights issue the same as other civil rights issues and people then have true freedom of religious expression.

  • Mulhollandl21

    Gay marriage is so much easier than the abolition of slavery or the acceptance of evolution! I hope we see it succeed as the evangelical movement dies down a bit. Slavery was part of an economic system, not a religious one. Darwin’s ideas assault not just the specific words of the Bible, but the idea of a supreme being – spirituality itself. Gay marriage doesn’t threaten at that level. We have nothing to lose by accepting it. The more interesting question is how long it will take for evangelicals to suffer the same fate as other religions which have promised to know the end is coming (and when it doesn’t see their followers drift away).

  • kingpigeon

    “Darwin was a religious man who saw his science as bringing glory to the God in whom he believed”Completely false statement. Unbelievable. How do people who know nothing about a subject wind up getting published in the Post, whereas I rot down here in “Post a comment” hell? :-))Anyway, I recommend you read Janet Browne’s excellent and entertaining two-volume biography of Darwin to learn something ABOUT Charles Darwin before you comment on his religious views.

  • kingpigeon

    …perhaps Rabbi Hirschfield was confusing Darwin with Newton. Newton did offer his thoughts on the workings of the universe as a tribute to the beauty of God.

  • Rumplestiltsken

    I love all you liberals. Your opinions are always indisputable fact. Such nonsense.While the bible is too far fetched for me personally, I also cannot believe that life on earth was simply some accidental occurence that evolved in such an amazing way. Think about it. This was the opinion of Thomas Jefferson and one that I share. He was not a strong believer in organized religion, but he did believe in a supreme being.I wonder what Darwin would have made of homosexuality since it flies in the face of most of his theories?

  • ladymacbeth977

    It would be easy for straight people to ‘agree to disagree’ politely on this question. Gay people don’t have that option; our lives are affected, and harmed, but discrimination every day. It’s hard to agree to respect the opinions of someone whose opinion is that God wants you to cease to exist.

  • Paganplace

    ” Pearljr123 “One of the main reasons Blacks in California overwhelmingly voted against gay marriage is that Blacks resent their struggle being compared to a sex act. “Queer people and our families are not ‘sex acts’ any more than black people are Willie Horton. This was a snow job by religious people who wanted to *tell* people we’re nothing but ‘sex acts.’

  • Paganplace

    “I wonder what Darwin would have made of homosexuality since it flies in the face of most of his theories?”It doesn’t. People are social creatures who are not adapted to survive as isolated breeding pairs.We share the vast majority of our genetic material with our siblings. If your sister or tribe, has an extra pair or two of hands around to help with the feeding and childrearing, this is a very *successful* evolutionary strategy for a species to have in its deck.

  • jhbyer

    Thanks, Rabbi, for highlighting important history often shunted aside in favor of a revisionist view of Christianity as solely spurring abolitionists.Another example of what Christians have come to regret is the victimization of Galileo and his fellow scientists for flatly contradicting no less than God, who speaks in the Bible of the sun circling the earth. Why creationists have no problem with science differing on that, while objecting to evolution suggests the problem is Christian’s self-image as unique in God’s eyes not God’s word.

  • Glarinca

    Blacks in California voted for Proposition 8 for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that there is no comparison between civil rights for all races and the right to enter into a specific type of contractual relationship. Marriage is a form of contract, not a fundamental right. What many people don’t realize is that California is ALREADY miles ahead of most of the rest of the country in that under California state law, California Family Code section 297.5, domestic partnerships have already been granted the same rights and responsibilities as marriages. This includes a whole host of rights specifically noted therein that proponents of legalizing gay marriage erroneously claim do not exist.

  • Paganplace

    ” Glarinca “Blacks in California voted for Proposition 8 for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that there is no comparison between civil rights for all races and the right to enter into a specific type of contractual relationship.”Actually, it’s a fundamental aspect *of* contract law in America that the government can’t say what adult citizens can and cannot enter into legal contracts of *any* kind. And there’s the ‘full faith and credit’ clause of the Constitution, which as yet means a state ‘civil unions’ statute is not portable unless another state specifically makes a law to recognize such a contract. In fact, many anti-gay laws voted for popularly by people only seeing their anti-gay desires play *merry Hell* with contract law in general.In fact, Prop 8 is against the U.S. Constitution, even if they amend the California one.This goes directly to who’s a human citizen under US law and whether our unalienable rights as Americans apply to queer people. If you were a class of people whose rights and dignities and security even in your own person, right to petition for a redress of grievances, or otherwise not have your humanity subject to the *opinions* of any given monotheist or straight person, you might not think there was really *that* much difference between racial equality and simple *human* equality.In fact, they’re based on the same premise. You. Don’t. Get. To. Say. You don’t like black people, you don’t like queer people, even if you’re in a majority voting one day…. You don’t get to say who’s a full citizen and equal human. Even if you really want to, or your minister or the Mormons and Catholics say to.

  • 2calm

    PAGANPLACE”In a sense, when those we usually know as ‘social conservatives’ try to make their religious text out to be something *like* science, and then fight that way, they create their own problem. Too bad they have a way of making it other people’s problems, too.”I couldn’t agree more, I think what you said is well established. But what continues to be denied is that scienctific text is made out to be something *like* religion in that it more often than not speaks in absolute terms of things not scientifically proven. Which causes its own set of problems for everyone, namely, gets in the way of finding out what is “true”. Isn’t that what we are all after?Which leads back to my first statement.

  • Paganplace

    “I couldn’t agree more, I think what you said is well established. But what continues to be denied is that scienctific text is made out to be something *like* religion in that it more often than not speaks in absolute terms of things not scientifically proven.”When people try to use science to claim to ‘prove’ with ‘authority’ there is nothing else, I do call them on it. None of this gives a religious myth or story or even ‘value,’ even my own, any ‘authority’ to say what facts are ‘true’ or conclusions are reasonable, compared to the evidence. Science *can* be misused. Not everyone’s actually good at it, or we wouldn’t even be having these ‘debates.’ Most of the ‘debates’ are between people who think through neither science ‘nor’ religion and are just trying to ‘win’ something with as little mental effort as possible. “Which causes its own set of problems for everyone, namely, gets in the way of finding out what is “true”. Isn’t that what we are all after?”Not necessarily. As I postulated above, in other terms, some simply want to ‘do things’ which make them ‘feel’ as though they have what they call ‘dominant truth’ *over others.* It’s not even about the content, just the ‘fight.’ But saying something more or louder doesn’t make it ‘truth.’ That’s neither reason *nor* spirit, never mind sufficing for both, I say.

  • Paganplace

    Don’t assume the reason isn’t there just cause it *is* a bit emotional given the *actual real and ongoing hardhsips , not to mention general insults,* you yourself spout. Read again. The legalities are in there. As for the statement about, ‘You don’t like black peole, you don’t like queer people, then,’ that was a conditional hypothetical, actually, but if the shoe fits….

  • edbyronadams

    “It would be helpful in addressing today’s culture wars if both creationists and those who oppose any recognition of the potential sacredness of a committed, monogamous, same sex relationship, without betraying their beliefs, approached these issues with greater humility. It’s worth remembering that like those who used the bible to support slavery, they might one day look back, if not with shame, at least with regret over their understanding of God’s word….and so might those who support such marriages and unions. If we treated each other with that awareness, whichever we go, will get there together and be the better for it as a nation.”____________________________________________It would be helpful if the supporters of gay unions would have a bit of humility as well. Since California already had a domestic partnership law that provided all the legal rights and responsibilities to same sex couples as to heterosexual unions, all that is, except the use of the word “marriage”, it seems to me the failure to compromise was on their part, not the part of persons who see marriage as a relationship between heterosexuals and voted those beliefs.As far as evolution goes, Darwinism rules the day, as it should, since the fossil record, even if it is always incomplete, supports the notion of evolution by yielding more complex organisms from newer geologic layers. There though, once again, the empiricists who need enough humility to admit that the theory of the chemical evolution of life has almost no evidence to back it. It just does not rise to the level to be called “science”. It is speculation.

  • patrick286

    As an educated twentysomething living in the Northeast (another history geek from massachusetts), I must say the glorification of Lincoln is a bit overdone. Lincoln wanted to break the backbone of the Confederacy’s greatest asset: manpower. Lincoln knew that if he freed the slaves the officers and soldiers fighting on the fronts would want to return home to protect hearth and kin from ‘the dreaded Negro uprisings’. As it turned out, the worst damage done to farms and families in the South occurred at the hands of Northern armies, of which a very small fraction was African Americans.

  • Paganplace

    And to amplify, Glarin:”You don’t know me from Adam. You don’t know my sexual preferences, my race or much of anything that would cause you to make such an accusation. How dare you. You have just provided a perfect example of my point that Prop 8 opponents automatically assume that anyone who questions redefining marriage in this way is a bigot or religious zealot.”You don’t know *me,* but seem to be willing to claim I don’t deserve the same rights as straight people, and that black people should be offended at the very *thought.*No, I don’t know you from Adam. Not my myth. Isn’t he the guy that didn’t marry Steve and thus everyone’s supposed to emulate his superlative jealous-God-pleasing skills?

  • Paganplace

    “It would be helpful if the supporters of gay unions would have a bit of humility as well.”When I’m claiming to speak to or for *Gods,* I’ll show some humility. As is proper for people claiming that their religion is supposed to subordinate the rights of humans in a free nation.When I speak as an American, I have every right to not kneel before Christians. As for the ‘civil unions law’ actually being equal with full faith and credit, that’s not even so. Christians keep *claiming* civil unions should be enough, then outlawing civil unions.

  • Paganplace

    And, again, unless California has a mind to secede from the Union, Prop 8 is Unconstitutional, it was just meant to hurt queers and try to get some homophobes out to vote for Republicans in the process.

  • FH123

    PAGANPLACE Wrote:One of the problems of evolution as a scientific theory is that any possible variant is simply worked into the theory, thus making it impossible to disprove…and this is a fine example of this practice. Einstein’s theory of relativity is constantly put to the test, but if a scientist questions the veracity of evolution, they are immediately branded a pariah. Science has been hijacked by atheist/naturalists with regards to evolution in order to support their worldview, which of course has prompted a response from people with a differing worldview. Dawkins et. al. have done science a disservice by injecting their worldview in neutral science…and I would place those who propose ID as a method for furthering their worldview in this category as well.Science can’t answer the most childish questions with regard to the more important questions in our world, such as: How did everything begin?’; ‘What are we all here for?’; ‘What is the point of living?’Sir Peter Medawar wrote:

  • edbyronadams

    From where do rights originally arise, even before the Constitution? Do they come “endowed by the Creator” as posited by Jefferson in the Declaration or some other source. If Jefferson was correct, then what people believe the “Creator” says about contracts has a direct bearing.As to the “full faith and credit” issue, that falls under federal purview, not the state. Take it up with the Feds.

  • tahlib

    What would Lincoln? Abraham Lincoln may have been the first American to write about a same-sex couple getting married. What does history tell us about what he’d say today about gay couples getting married if he were alive today?

  • Paganplace

    “” FH123 Author Profile Page:”PAGANPLACE “One of the problems of evolution as a scientific theory is that any possible variant is simply worked into the theory, thus making it impossible to disprove…”Actually, that’s what we call *resilient.* Evolutionary science is not a monolithic authority claiming absolute, revealed, and unquestionable knowledge. Religious dogmatists who are taught to *believe* it’s a ‘rival authority’ keep trying to argue in these terms and generally doing nothing but muddy the waters in the minds of the unschooled. People *don’t* quote Darwin to ignore evidence before them, or to claim they’ve totally overturned the theory of evolution in any form.. This is *not* how science works and not how it’s *supposed* to work. When scientists think like this, (And even Einstein ended up doing this: afraid to accept certain new information to deal with quantum mechanics, but still struggling the latter half of his life to reconcile certain beliefs in an ordered, always-predictable-universe on all scales *with* what the theory of Relativity still observes and predicts.) …When scientists do *this,* they tend to get embarrassed by history. This is as it should be. Scientists are humans, too. But the discipline of science is *meant* to be adapted and refined, not handed down and ‘attacked’ or ‘defended’ like some divine edict.

  • Glarinca

    Paganplace:I have read your posting several times and still cannot fully understand the “conditional hypoteticals” – which mainly seem to cloud the debate. Read the California law mentioned above and tell me what rights are not guaranteed for same sex partners in civil unions. There is a very long list of examples in that law, and it specifically states that “Registered domestic partners shall have the same rights,protections, and benefits, and shall be subject to the same esponsibilities, obligations, and duties under law, whether theyThe problem is not with California, which as I stated before actually LEADS the nation, but elsewhere in other states that have not fully grappled AND OPENLY DEBATED the issue. The only flaw I see with the California law is that in truth straight people under the age of 65 are NOT allowed to form a civil union with a person of the opposite sex under this law, so this actually is a situation where gay individuals in truth have contractual rights that straight people do not.(In case there is confusion, this is not a stance I am seriously taking, but am rather using it to further illustrate the logic flaws that abound.)The “Adam” reference was unfortunate on my part – and had nothing to do with the Bible in my mind for as I stated above I do not ascribe to any particular religion, and therefore your Adam and Steve reference means nothing to me. Sorry. I agree with you it is mythology and little more.

  • andycutler

    Too bad the far right religious psychos are creationists – if they believed in evolution they’d WANT to legalize gay marriage in hopes homosexuality is genetic and it would die out in a few generations if gays and lesbians no longer experienced intense social pressure to stay in the closet and have sham marriages.

  • patrick286

    i wonder what Darwin would like of our bitter discourse?

  • Paganplace

    ” andycutler “Too bad the far right religious psychos are creationists – if they believed in evolution they’d WANT to legalize gay marriage in hopes homosexuality is genetic and it would die out in a few generations if gays and lesbians no longer experienced intense social pressure to stay in the closet and have sham marriages.”Well, there’s definitely a little *flaw* in their half-reasoning *social* Darwinism, the only kind they like, about trying to *force* people to have babies with straight sex… even if innate traits were that simple and binary (They said the same about race, too) the fact they have historically forced queer people to breed (Or become priests and conservative politicians acting like em) pretty much… well. Doesn’t make sense, does it. Actually, like with race, there isn’t a single or even constellation of ‘genes’ which likely expresses actively in an individual and makes that individual ‘gay.’ More likely, the complicated processes that mean humans can produce offspring a variety of sexuality exist in us all, and you couldn’t breed us out if you tried: in fact, possibly the more population stress there is, the more a mother’s body is likely to respond by producing offspring with more on their mind than producing yet *more* offspring to strain food supplies and social harmony. Sexuality is about more than mechanical acts of breeding, particularly among humans. Something religious authoritarians always screw up. It’s like, ‘As long as you follow certain instructions, it’s OK, any deviation means you should hit someone. But you’re not a primate. At all. Don’t look at the resemblance.’

  • SinisterMatt

    I think that in reality proponents and opponents of gay marriage are talking past each other. Part of this derives from their perception of just what the nature of homosexuality is. Proponents argue that homosexuality is something a person is born with and it cannot be changed. There is some scientific evidence for this position. Because of the definition of homosexuality as an identity, then the idea of rights comes into play. Opponents argue that homosexuality is not an identity per se, but rather is an act or a behavior (a “sex act” if you will). Scientific evidence also backs up this idea. Since opponents see it as a behavior, then there is no need to enact legislation conferring legal rights to gays. Because the scientific evidence goes either way, either side takes whatever it wants from the scientific literature that supports their position and runs with it.Perhaps a good starting point is going to be for both sides to come together and work out a common definition of homosexuality and its origins. To reach a compromise takes humility for both sides. Only then will we get somewhere. Cheers!

  • monel7191

    “But, like Lincoln, [Darwin's] views created a bloody cultural war in which we remain fully engaged.”Maybe the good rabbi should make a sojourn through the more southern, rural portions of this great country. He just may see more confederate battle flags than he will see the Stars and Stripes. One hundred fifty years plus has not entirely ended the American Civil War in the old confederacy.As for Charles Darwin, he may also take a few minutes to watch some of the christian snake-oil salesmen on the numerous religious channels. These charlatans have compared Darwin to Stalin and Hitler both and routinely bray that evolution was the reason behind the Holocaust in nazi Germany.Like the idea that the south must rise again, the evangelicals pump the local yokels full of misinformation to keep their flocks ignorant and their collection plates full.

  • hgeorgek

    The complexities attributable to Lincoln which the author believes may have eluded his fans are in my opinion much more grounded than the supposed “truth” the author provides (“The truth is Lincoln was more concerned with preserving the Union than with freeing the slaves…”and “…only arrived at his views about the evils of slavery late in the game.”). Does he believe Lincoln’s reignited political ambitions after the Kansas/Nebraska act, his renewed and quite literal zeal in the Douglas debates for instance, were “to preserve” a union not then in any (tangible) jeopardy? A hypothetical abstraction? “Preservation,” in the unique genius of Lincoln, was the authentic, lawful and also admittedly quite substantial lynchpin enabling a much more complex agenda, one which rarely varied, through use of tools that were as flexible as the audience and circumstances at hand required — literally. With the race riots in, for instance, New York immediately following the costly victory at Gettysburg, requiring many of the troops from that battle be sent directly there (!) — Lincoln knew and had long known a “war of liberation” would not play in Peoria, much less New York. In short, only when it appeared to him the ‘peculiar institution would NOT likely die a natural death did he perceive the need to act: ploddingly, according to some in the north: maniacally according to those in the south: in short, just right! One could not add or subtract one calculated word or gesture of his and be assured we would still arrive at the correct outcome. It is hard, but still possible to underestimate him.

  • Mitchavery7

    Theologians like yourself are no longer relevant. The myth of Dog has been busted. The opening of literal&cyberspace borders has shown that the less education one has the more likely one is to believe in Dog. Third world countries are run by warlords as the weak/religious cower out of survival instinct. Has your Dog abandoned these people or as Darwin has PROVEN are they just a victim of survival of the fittest. Lord Acton said in his famous speech in 1789: “Power corrupts and absolute power (i.e. God) corrupts absolutely”. ANYONE that claims that they somehow, someway have some special insight to Dog… Puuuh-leaze dude. YOU’VE been smokin’ something…

  • Paganplace

    Your rhetorical dyslexia is misplaced. Dog, we should have no complaints with. :)

  • JamesK1

    bigcove, you are pretty misinformed about Presbyterian theology (which is unfortunately rampant in our denomination). We do not consider the Bible a mere “guidebook”, and we do not have a checklist of beliefs and behaviors “to get a successful place in the afterlife” (ever heard of predestination?). Our beliefs and our behaviors do NOT determine whether or not God chose to redeem us. Remember that one of the historic mottoes of the church is “ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda”, that is, “the church, always being reformed.”Lincoln is apt in this case. The Presbyterian Church, particularly in the South, made a 180° about face on slavery, partly due to contemporary events, but also due to prayerful reflection by the church’s membership on the issue. Yes, you find plenty of support in the Bible for slavery, and the Bible was used frequently used to justify it. Today, we find such arguments repugnant.Similarly, we changed our mind on the ordination of women. Even though through prooftexting, a ban on women in the puplit can and was constructed, through prayerful discernment we changed our minds and now ordain women and men to all offices in the church. I of course speak for the Presbyterian Church (USA), the largest and mainline branch of Presbyterianism in the US. There are still small splinter churches that refuse to ordain women. Perhaps you come from one of these? I am a member and officer in the PC(USA), raised in this denomination.Any Presbyterian Church that fails to offer comfort and love to gay and lesbian people seeking their place in the universe is FAILING in its mission as Christ’s church.We’re reformed, and we’re always being reformed. God is still at work changing hearts, and that bothers some people who are comfortable with their prejudices.

  • FH123

    Paganplace Wrote: “PAGANPLACE Actually, that’s what we call “myth”.But in the end, evolution, true or false, has no bearing on proof or disproof of God or the notion of God. Regardless, atheist or christian must rely on faith, because certainty is not a possibility that science or religion can offer. It may well be that all the proofs for God may fail, but God may still exist. The logic for God is simple: The desire for God originates from God—and eventually leads to God! The logic for atheism is not near as simple…why are we here again? If your worldview can’t answer even the simplest questions about our existence, it’s hard to imagine it catching on with the populace. You can’t really even hang your hat on reason because as evolutionist J B S Haldane once said:”If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of the atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true…and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms.”It’s a quandary…marketing a “worldview” that explains consciousness as an accident brought about by mindless matter, and then insists that the reasoning of that mind should then be trusted. Good luck with that.

  • harveyh5

    Rabbi Hirschfield,You state that Darwin’s views created a bloody cultural war in which we remain fully engaged. The only ones fully engaged in this war are those supporting creationism and intelligent design. Those on the side of evolution need be engaged only to keep the lunacy of the former in its rightful place. You also state you hope those who use sacred teachings to justify their position, whatever it may be, remember that having a verse to lean on never guarantees that God is leaning your way.Never? Think there’s agreement with that from those who believe the Bible is totally without error and free from all contradiction?

  • Paganplace

    Darwin didn’t ‘create the war’ any more than the fist kid dumb enough to say ‘The Emperor is dressed inadequately’ created the bullying she was then subjected to. :)

  • Alex511

    fr glarinca:>…What many people don’t realize is that California is ALREADY miles ahead of most of the rest of the country in that under California state law, California Family Code section 297.5, domestic partnerships have already been granted the same rights and responsibilities as marriages. This includes a whole host of rights specifically noted therein that proponents of legalizing gay marriage erroneously claim do not exist. <That is completely untrue. Want to ride in the ambulance, or make medical or final decisions for your spouse/partner? Better be able to prove you are legally married. Want to insure that well-meaning "real family members" (translate as parents or siblings) can't evict you from a home that you AND your spouse purchased before spouse passed away? Better be able to PROVE you are legally married.In 33 states, glbt's can still unfortunately be evicted, fired, or expelled, just for being glbt. Get a clue, and work to overturn Prop HATE.

  • Paganplace

    Thanks for bringing some *facts* Alex, but I don’t imagine the virtuous Christian souls who used certain lies to try and claim ‘gays are bad’ are going to be back to apologize. Like so many things, they’ll just go somewhere to repeat the slanders, then call it a ‘triumph’ when they got someone to vote against civil rights.

  • jshuey

    ANDERSON2 : “if our “faith” says “it is wrong” what can we do to accept gay marriage or Darwinism or anything else?”Since your “faith” relies on Leviticus for moral instructions, can I then assume that your “faith” also requires the death penalty for all those folks working over at WalMart on Sunday, or unruly teenagers who mouth off to their parents, or divorced folks who remarry?And, if not, I feel pretty safe in saying that your position is far less a matter of “faith” than of personal bigotry.

  • Paganplace

    Actually, it’s kind of like how they approach the ‘Evolution debate.’ Come say the same stupid stuff, get refuted, ignore it, claim they’re therefore ‘repressed people’ with every right to deny others equal rights in contract law in America… Then keep saying it elsewhere. Feel ‘smart.’ Whatever.

  • Paganplace

    And, to the person who wanted to make ‘The Case For God,’ …consider that people are disinclined to give the ‘benefit of the doubt’ to unverifiable things told to us by *liars with obvious ulterior motives.*Dig?

  • ParkerD1

    The comments here seem pretty ironic to me, given the following statements by Darwin in Descent of Man:“We must remember that progress is no invariable rule. .We can only say that it depends on an increase in the actual number of the population, on the number of the men endowed with high intellectual and moral faculties, as well as on their standard of excellence.” (Descent of Man, Chapter 5)He also adds: “Obscure as is the problem of the advance of civilization, we can at least see that a nation which produced during a lengthened period the greatest number of highly intellectual, energetic, brave, patriotic, and benevolent men, would generally prevail over less favoured nations.” (Descent of Man, Chapter 5)“With increased experience and reason, man perceives the more remote consequences of his actions, and the self-regarding virtues, such as temperance, chastity, &c., which during early times are, as we have before seen, utterly disregarded, come to be highly esteemed or even held sacred…. Ultimately our moral sense or conscience becomes a highly complex sentiment- originating in the social instincts, largely guided by the approbation of our fellow-men, ruled by reason, self-interest, and in later times by deep religious feelings, and confirmed by instruction and habit.“It must not be forgotten that although a high standard of morality gives but a slight or no advantage to each individual man and his children over the other men of the same tribe, yet that an increase in the number of well-endowed men and an advancement in the standard of morality will certainly give an immense advantage to one tribe over another. …this would be natural selection. At all times throughout the world tribes have supplanted other tribes; and as morality is one important element in their success, the standard of morality and the number of well-endowed men will thus everywhere tend to rise and increase.”Darwin cited Greek history (its fall) to prove his points. If only judges inclined to redefine terms would read Darwin and do some thinking about what he had to say.

  • bob2davis

    You religious folks are incredibly naive. Jesus himself certainly had to be gay. He never married. He spent most of his time with men. He told us to love one another without exception. And he had a boy toy in the disciple John “whom Jesus loved!” Just read your bibles! Those of you who think that homosexuality is a sin and fight against civli rights for gay people, are only attacking Jesus and all that he stood for. I guess you’ll be spending a lot of time in that hell that you’re so fond of threatening others with.

  • jshuey

    FH123: “But in the end, evolution, true or false, has no bearing on proof or disproof of God or the notion of God.”It does if your god is good old Yahweh, the god of the Old Testament.Evolution smashes any chance of the bible being the inerrant word of an omniscient, omnipotent god. If evolution is correct, Genesis cannot be. Period. It is that simple.If Genesis is wrong, Christianity has two major problems:1. The bible is not the infallible word of god. Therefore, what in the bible can be trusted to be true? How do you tell? (What you pick and choose to believe from the remnants says more about you personally than it does about the possibility that any of it might be true.) And2. No “Creation” as described in the bible (twice actually, with conflicting accounts – See Gen 1 & 2), no Adam & Eve, no Garden, no serpent or tree or or forbidden fruit or…”original sin”. No original sin, no need for a “savior” to be grotesquely tortured to death to save anybody.So evolution does have a bit to contribute to the question of at least one god – Yahweh. Now Thor, Baal, Ra, or any of thousands of others? Less so.

  • arthink

    you should do your homework on darwins life–at one time he was a believer in God but when his daughter died he said that all of his faith in a god has dried up!!-he did not glorify God through his theory but glorified himself through materialism—

  • Paganplace

    Darwin was not a ‘revealed Prophet,’ Parker. He was a Victorian dude who postulated a theory that happened to be a big deal back in those days of tight collars, tight corsets, fainting couches to deal with said things, and a whole lot of effort being put toward devices to prevent wet dreams. Evolution is not dependent on someone reading the man as being righteous and infallible. Unlike Christian homophobia and historical racism and such, which actually is.

  • Bluefish2012

    I don’t get it. Why should those who believe that God’s word–the Bible–prohibits homosexual sex be the only ones who should approach the Bible with humility? Doesn’t that go for those who revere the Bible on BOTH sides of that issue?And if both sides approach the Word of God with humility, the question remains–how did God order his creation on this matter? I humbly suggest that he made them male and female for a reason.

  • B2O2

    Please don’t blame Darwin for the fact that our domestic Taliban members – here in the 21st century no less – are fearful and hostile toward science. He was just the scientist; he’s not responsible for the cowering tribespeople who duck to avoid his findings because they fear they bring with them Evil Spirits.And to Bluefish2012: your purported “God” purportedly “prohibited” homosexual sex in the same section of the “Bible” where “He” commanded parents to haul their misbehaving kids to the village square to be STONED TO DEATH (Deut 21:18-21). I humbly ask that you not be hypocritical. Either get those kids to the executioner, PRONTO, or cease forever your rantings about what consenting adults do together. Thank you very much.

  • Paganplace

    ” Bluefish2012 “I don’t get it. Why should those who believe that God’s word–the Bible–prohibits homosexual sex be the only ones who should approach the Bible with humility? Doesn’t that go for those who revere the Bible on BOTH sides of that issue?”It’s a *book.* Books are for reading, not for abasing yourself at.Gods do not need such things.

  • spidermean2

    While Lincoln liberated many people, Darwin, on the other hand, enslaved millions, if not billions, of people thru his idiotic theory which many, like the communists around the world, adopted.He has also enslaved many people’s mind and caused it to be idiotic. For how can a thinking person escape the fact that nature is full of INTELLIGENCE in it?Brad Hirschfield is a stupid person for showing high regard for the most stupid person on earth, Charles Darwin. The name is synonymous to stupidity and hell. The guy could be frying right now in hell and tortured by his lies.What a pity. And more pity for people like Hirschfield who follow the idiot’s path.

  • coloradodog

    “humility” is not a characteristic of Abrahamic fundamentalists and never will be

  • coloradodog

    Pearljr123 wrote:One of the main reasons Blacks in California overwhelmingly voted against gay marriage is that Blacks resent their struggle being compared to a sex actOnly a simpleton would boil down being gay to just a “sex act” It’s tantamount to saying “their struggle” is just a chip on their shoulder.

  • spidermean2

    While Lincoln liberated many people, Darwin, on the other hand, enslaved millions, if not billions, of people thru his idiotic theory which many, like the communists around the world, adopted.He has also enslaved many people’s mind and caused it to be idiotic. For how can a thinking person escape the fact that nature is full of INTELLIGENCE in it?Brad Hirschfield is a stupid person for showing high regard for the most stupid person on earth, Charles Darwin. The name is synonymous to stupidity and hell. The guy could be frying right now in hell and tortured by his lies.What a pity. And more pity for people like Hirschfield who follow the idiot’s path.

  • FH123

    PAGANPLACE WROTE:Your stream of consciousness approach fails to impress upon me your key point. I’m just guessing here, but your point seems to be that; if people don’t subscribe to the existentialist philosophy about coming to grips with the cold realities of life’s utter meaninglessness that you do, then you are a delusional idiot. “It does if your god is good old Yahweh, the god of the Old Testament.”That’s absurd…it does no such thing. 2 creation accounts, macro, micro.As a skeptic myself, we could go round-and-round about proofs, contradictions etc. located in the bible, but I would not have a chance of changing your mind. I will leave you with the words of a much smarter theologian than me:Martin Luther wrote: “Faith is a free surrender and a joyous wager on the unseen, untried and unknown goodness of God.”Francis Collins, the president of the Human Genome Project discovered Christianity at the age of 27, so overcoming intellectual objections to religion is possible. Either you open up your heart honestly and find the Christian worldview intuitively true, or you find it lacking, nothing I say can help you in your search. I struggle with doubt daily, but in the end Tennyson was right when he urged us to cling to the “sunnier side of doubt.” If you have lingering questions of a scientific nature about the Bible’s authenticity, I suggest reasons.org. They approach the debate with a higher deference to the scientific community than the average ID site. However, science, can’t answer the fundamental questions of life for you IMO, as I’ve already mentioned.

  • Paganplace

    And, I know this can’t possibly register with you, Spidey, but it’s not ‘the’ world that’s ending. Just yours. The one where you think that stuff you say means anything. You will actually get over it. One day.

  • edbyronadams

    “Did black people not have unalienable human rights in the 19th century, just cause a majority of voting Southerners thought they had the curse of Ham and that Jesus said they should obey their masters?”As a matter of fact their rights were quite alienated until 1864. Abolitionists asserted those rights existed but it took the bloodiest conflict in our country’s history to establish them in fact. Now, gay rights supporters merely feel that asserting a right creates in the minds of the people. It’s peculiar.

  • Paganplace

    “” FH123 Author Profile Page:PAGANPLACE WROTE:Your stream of consciousness approach fails to impress upon me your key point. I’m just guessing here, but your point seems to be that; if people don’t subscribe to the existentialist philosophy about coming to grips with the cold realities of life’s utter meaninglessness that you do, then you are a delusional idiot. “”Well, it’s interesting you should come up with that, but I was thinking something more along the lines of not getting my notions of the scope and intent of the universe from people who can’t find themselves on a map.

  • spidermean2

    Earth which has no brain was able to produce thousnads, if not millions, of plant and animal species. And take note, WITH BRAINS TOO or some “controlling chip” which is their respective DNAs.Man, which many people think is INTELLIGENT, upto now cannot produce even a SINGLE ONE, from scratch.And yet, many people think there is NO INTELLIGENCE in nature.HOW DUMBER CAN THESE EVOLUTIONISTS GET? The stupidity is just mindboggling.Ever find a religious idiot? Brad Hirschfield is one.

  • Paganplace

    Ok, Spidey, you’re boring me:”And yet, many people think there is NO INTELLIGENCE in nature.”Work on some reading comprehension, then I’ll be glad to discuss the notion of genius loci. :)

  • spidermean2

    Pagan, pick a brain. Obviously what you have is not a brain. It can’t think.

  • Paganplace

    Oh. Is that what it is. This is an argument for teaching kids it’s OK to stop thinking and read a Bible in elementary school… why again?I’ve had better queerbashings from people who were too young to know how *straight* sex worked. Oh, right. That’s you, you just have been not-doing it that much longer. :)

  • edbyronadams

    I do not claim it’s my *opinion* that means a black person cannot be owned and sold and abused by me, I acknowledge that we are all equal under the law in America.Once again, this was not true until the Civil War. The rights of black people were certified in blood.________________________________________I am an American citizen, and you do not *give* me rights with your opinion or your Bible.They are mine by birthright. _____________________________________First, not a Christian. Second, if those rights are yours by birthright, where were they for generations of homosexuals previously. Certainly by original intent, they do not appear in the Constitution. One has to establish them in the minds of the people for rights to exist. The California lesson is that establishing them in the mind of the esquire class is not enough.

  • Paganplace

    “First, not a Christian. Second, if those rights are yours by birthright, where were they for generations of homosexuals previously.”Exactly. This is why slavery was *wrong,* as well. Just cause it’s being done, and a preacher’s opinion says it’s *OK* doesn’t make it right. Our constitution says… All. Even if it takes some time. Past injustices and people having difficulty getting their hands out their pants and/or Bibles doesn’t make it *right* to violate what are for Americans, unalienable rights and dignities. They are not conditional on Bibles or churches or Fox News or what England thinks. They are inherent to us all. Slavery was not right cause a lot of people *liked* it. It was *wrong.* Just as any injustice or inequality is, and always was, *wrong.*It shouldn’t *take* bloodshed. Or you repeatedly ignoring what we queers happen to keep saying is done to us, except of course for you claiming, ‘Since you’re obviously upset about these rapes and indignities, I’m going to ignore you and say you’re invading straight people’s lives by having the temerity to demand your birthright.’I’m talking about *reality.* The Founding Fathers were articulate people, conscious of in a real situation. The *one* thing they expected of we, their posterity, was both. Let’s not disappoint them.

  • Paganplace

    Also, maybe your *not* a Christian, but you’re sure apparently representing *someone* who thinks you’re ‘above’ what America stands for, that gives you some mandate to decide who gets rights and who doesn’t. We don’t play it that way, here in America.

  • TomLogue

    The Rabbi says, “The truth is Lincoln was more concerned with preserving the Union than with freeing the slaves….” This misstatement riles me. This is not accurate.Lincoln was the first statesman to come up with a plan to end slavery that had the political support of the majority of americans. His plan was to prevent slavery from expanding into the west, the most dynamic and growing part of the country at the time, and cause slavery to die on the vine in isolation in the south. This was a slow death of slavery but it was a sure death of slavery. The South recognized immediately that Lincoln’s plan was the death knell of slavery, which is why they chose war when he was elected on this platform.And Lincoln considered many compromises to stop or end the war, but he refused to compromise on this plan to isolate slavery in the South so that it would die a natural death.Later, during the war, he changed his plan to make for the immediate end of slavery as a war-goal. He did this in the emacipation proclaimation that many amateur historians currently like to criticize. While it is true the proclamation did not free anyone on the day it was signed, it lead to the freedom of some 4 million people within 28 months. That is not too shabby, given that slavery had haunted our nation continent for several hundred years before that time.Let’s stop denigrating Lincoln’s contribution.

  • edbyronadams

    Paganplace, while keeping loved ones from visiting in the hospital is wrong, and keeping natural inheritance rights from a legally registered partner is wrong, it will take more convincing to make me see that depriving same sex couples of the use of the word, marriage, an institution that has meant the same thing since the dawn of history, is an injury. I support civil unions but not gay marriage.

  • vegasgirl1

    *Sigh …* To the gay rights movement: Please understand you will never, ever change the minds of those who believe homosexuality is a sin and will never accept you as full and equal members of this country. Forget it. Instead of obsessing over them, concentrate on other areas and fight battles you can actually win. “Marriage” is too loaded a word for many in the faith-based community accept. Civil unions are other matter altogether, but otherwise, you are wasting your time trying to persuade conservative churches.

  • aussiebarry

    Heres a Hypothesis, The Southern States, that had freely entered into a union with others, were freely allowed to leave. Within ten years , economic reality plus pressure from European trading partners, would see the end of slavery. This same economic reality would probably have The Confederate States voluntarily asking for reunion with The United States. three quarters of a million americans would not have been slaughtered, one hundred and fifty years of hatred and intolerance may have been avoided, the vast sums of money and human effort to prosecute the war, would have been used to benefit the country,and maybe, it would have not been so unusual for a mixed race person to be President in 2009

  • Paganplace

    Actually, Aussie, the Civil War had everything to do with whether ‘economic reality that would have ended slavery anyway’ would have been allowed basically everywhere West of the Appalachians to continue the injustice on un-exhausted soil with massive economic advantages. The South fired on Fort Sumter when they weren’t allowed to *expand* slavery *enough* while denying what the Union was about. They wanted a new feudalism.

  • chatard

    Excuse me? Having a “verse to lean on.”??? And your teachings, Rabbi, are based on …….?

  • aussiebarry

    Pagan, do you think that an economy based on slaverey coud have continued next to a vibrant industrial capitalist country, and how long do you think that public opinion in Europe would have allowed the importation of Confederate produce. I think one of the reasons for the Emancipation was to stop Europe recognising The Confederacy. Just asking as a pacifist who always hopes there are other ways besides war

  • Paganplace

    I mean, here, Eby… What in your *extensive* Biblically-based experience of being a queer person in modern America, never mind trying to hold committed relationships together under legalistically-adversarial conditions… Makes you think this is *really* some fit of pique where queer people are to blame for raising any trouble and ever complaining about the regularly-scheduled sanctified beating?

  • edbyronadams

    As Rabbi Hirschfield pointed out, what is needed is a little humility here and it is not the just the opponents of gay marriage that feel that god has whispered in their ear.

  • TomLogue

    AussiebarryI respect your idealism. But the historical record suggests that the South would not have come around so easily or quickly. Even after the war, it took 150 years to reach the state we are in today. Some 40% of its population was black and the South had to find a way to accomodate two racial groups in one society, when the promienent group was completely racist. The north was equally racist, but it had fewer blacks so the problem was not as threathening to the white majority. Extreme and open violence against blacks continued well into the 1960′s. Even today, it is interesting to note that in areas of very high black populations, such as Mississippi, the white power structure remains the most intact and controlling and of all the southern states.

  • Paganplace

    Cause I’ll tell you one thing… None of you ‘real’ civil-rights-wanting religious and racial minorities had much complaint about some skinny little queer chick standing up to the Prods in the Seventies. 21st century. America. Our. Turn.

  • aussiebarry

    Tomlogue, that is one of the things I wonder about, would it have taken 150 years if slavery had ended out of necessity rather than a humiliating violent conquering of the south?

  • Paganplace

    ” edbyronadams Author Profile Page:As Rabbi Hirschfield pointed out, what is needed is a little humility here and it is not the just the opponents of gay marriage that feel that god has whispered in their ear.”Am I acting too uppity, Massa? Perhaps if I were to grovel.

  • Paganplace

    I mean, far be it from me to think I need more than the civil unions that *dont’ exist in California as you claimed they did as an excuse to deny us our civil rights* or anything…

  • Paganplace

    I mean, hey, just cause your *absolutely full of it about rights I don’t actually enjoy* don’t mean I’m not ‘ungrateful,’ right?Maybe have a referendum on it.

  • Paganplace

    ” aussiebarry “Tomlogue, that is one of the things I wonder about, would it have taken 150 years if slavery had ended out of necessity rather than a humiliating violent conquering of the south?”Only thing that should be humiliating about is no one down here seeing how shameful it was *before* a whole bunch of people got shot. Actually mostly died of disease before they could get killed in noble battle, of course, but that’s how it always goes.

  • StephenBWise

    Rabbi,It seems that they are closer in their thinking to the American slave owners of old, than are today’s creationists.Just as Creationism is not born out of authentic Christianity, gay marriage would not be seen as progress by either Lincoln or Darwin.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Being gay is not a life style choice. Gay people are born into the world, innocently gay. Being gay is not a big deal. It is a sin that is not a sin. I would say that bigotry is more of a life style than being gay. So, what is “religious” people’s gripe with gay people? Why is being gay so bad?Why is gay marriage so bad? How will it hurt anyone? It only hurts people’s pride, who invest all of their worth in their imagined superiority to a designated scapegoat; it only hurts people who cannot admit that they have been wrong.

  • JosephGAnthony

    “But he took America, perhaps needlessly, into the bloodiest war we ever fought and only arrived at his views about the evils of slavery late in the game.:”

  • labman57

    There will be a day when Western civilization will look back and regard the religious right’s opposition to “evolution by natural selection” as absurd as the Church’s denial of the existence of atoms, or the vacuum, or the sun as the center of the solar system in past centuries.

  • Paganplace

    Hi, Daniel. Can you believe this? They got ever darn force-multiplier in the world and still think everyone’s gotta breed or else it’sll spoil their end of the world. Go figure. :)

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    StephenwiseSince you brought this up, I think that Lincoln and Darwin both would have seen the necessary goodness of gay marriage, and they would not be easily duped by the “religious” folks and their milk-toast “faithiness.”I somehow cannot imagine the Abraham Lincoln, who presided over the Civil War, whose sons died, whose wife veered in and out of insanity over her tenuous situation, of divided loyalties, surrounded by death, destruction, and grief, I cannot imagine that he would have any attitude towards gay people motivated by even an ounce of malice. What a very small and petty person you are to project your own predjudices on Abraham Lincoln.

  • labman57

    The problem is that organized religion did not evolve to promote love or “good will toward man”; it evolved to bring a sense of order by controlling the behavior of the populace. And therein lies the problem.Cherry-picking biblical scripture to support one’s personal bigotry and hatred is as intellectually lazy as it is dishonest. If you truly believe that the Bible represents the word of God, then you should follow ALL of its pronouncements literally, even those that contradict other passages.You cannot legislate morality since one person’s morals are another person’s sins. Personally, I am more interested in promoting ethics than any particular religion’s morals.

  • cletus1

    I’m sure there are people in polls who still believe the Earth is the center of the universe as well. Most students can’t even pick out Mexico on a map. So, as far as teaching creationism in school is concerned, who really give a sh*t. The scientifically inclined ones will learn about evolution, and the rest can be taught the religious fairy tales.

  • Athena4

    Actually, I saw a BBC story a few weeks ago that says that, looking at Darwin’s private writings, historians have discovered that he was an ardent abolitionist. He published his works at a time when people believed that blacks and Indians (both dot and feather) were sub-human and it was okay to subjugate them. His scientific discoveries proved that human beings are all the same, just with some genetic variations due to natural selection. So Lincoln and Darwin had quite a bit more in common than the good Rabbi realized when he wrote this. As for same-sex marriage – it should be legalized. No one is forcing churches to religiously marry gay individuals, but the secular government *should* allow it. As for “domestic partners” or whatever euphemism people use… how’s that “separate but equal” thing working for ya? It’s certainly not working for a woman whose partner collapsed when they were on their way to a cruise in Florida. The woman was hospitalized, and her partner and their children were NOT allowed to ride in the ambulance with her, make medical decisions for her, or even visit her because they were in an “anti-gay state.” Appalling.

  • Glarinca

    Alex511,I think you are as ignorant of, and unwilling to examine, the facts as the Pagan dude / dudette.My advice to you and your cohorts is to find a better argument as you are losing credibility each day you continue with this dribble. It doesn’t help your cause either when you go to such an extraordinary effort to publish the names and locations of the Proposition 8 donors for the simple reason that you want people to harrass them. You guys are such an easy debate target….

  • jprfrog

    My dentist came to the US from Vietnam when he was 11. This morning he asked me why US education was so backward. He said that even when he was in a DP camp, he had to do homework and when he arrived here as a 5th grader he knew more math than high-schoolers…and that was 30 years ago. Reading some of the bilge in these comments might help him to understand the answer. Particularly those who are so sure what science can and cannot do who seem to know so little science. I am an atheist who has more books on my shelves about religion and the Bible than I have about my own profession (music). I have read the Bible much, and one thing that strikes me hard, knowing that the texts I am reading were written down over a period of 11 centuries (and translated many times since…so unless I read Hebrew, Aramaic, Persian, and Greek I am not reading the original), and that the ideas of God in those texts evolved, if I may use the word. After all, the First Commandment doesn’t say “I am the only God” or “I am the God of the Universe” it says “I am thy God, thou shall not have any Gods before me” which seems to imply that there ARE other gods. (I am paraphrasing from memory, don’t hold me to any exact version.) This is a very different idea of God than in Second Isaiah, not to mention Job (which attempts to cope with the famous problem of evil, and doesn’t succeed; here God behaves like a megomaniacal despot, with more than a touch of the sadist), let alone the ideas of Paul or that raving maniac John of Patmos (whatever would the Rapturists, the Apocalyptics and End-Timers, or the scripters of horror movies, do without him?)My point is that organized religion, like any other entity which wants to survive (think DNA passed down the generations) must adapt to changing realities. It helps to have a sense of our best understanding of what the realities are. In the area of natural phenomena, modern science seems to do best with this, and every good scientist will emphasize science’s self-limited scope. Questions like “why are we here?” or Heidegger’s famous “Why is there something rather than nothing” are metaphysical (not physical) and look to be unasnwerable in any meaningful sense. How we should live is the concern of ethics, which does not depend on adherence to any one Book — are Buddhists, Hindus, and Pagans not generally ethical, and do not some Christians lie steal and murder? There may be scientific explanations for our ethical impulses, grounded in some facts of our evolution as social animals but the jury is very far out on that one. This has become a long screed. I end by saying that so far, relying on the Christian Bible for ethical guidance (more in the breach than the promise) has not worked all that well so far.

  • mbeck1

    Please don’t put words or thoughts in Darwin’s mouth or mind. He was not a religious man. He might have been a deist like Jefferson, as many men of the enlightenment were.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Hello also to you Pagan Place. Now, we’re done with Holocaust Deniers, and we’re back to the homophobes. Ugh!So, I would like to ask, Glarinca, what is so wrong with being gay? what is so wrong with gay people? why do religious people, the Mormons, Baptists, and the Pope feel so called upon the scapegoat the gays for everything? Blame it all on the Jews and the gays. That is the same old tired story. Well, I am sorry to inform you, those days are over. So again, I ask, what is wrong with being gay? Why is it bad? Why is being born gay a “life style choice” but being a religious fanatic is not? Gay people are born that way, innocently, and without any intent or desire to be gay; that is how the baby comes out. If you don’t believe it, then just ask a gay person, instead of assuming that you know everything about what gay people must feel and experience. Religious people have quite alot of explaining to do, about their theolgoical and cultural bias against gay people. Gay people don’t have any explaining to do; that is a waste of time and breath.I just wish that for once in my life I could hear a religious person say “I love gay people” instead of “I don’t hate gay people.”

  • CCNL

    Some observations:The general population to include many of the voters in California, rightly or wrongly, find gay sexual activities, married or not, to be “yucky” and unusual and typically associate such activity with the spread of AIDS which is of course wrong. Said AIDS epidemic in the gay male community at the start of the AIDS crises will always remain unfortunately a stigma on the gay community.” And after all of this rhetoric, gay “marriages” simply simplify and somewhat sanitize what are still “yucky” acts caused by a variant gene(s) and/or hormone imbalance. One wonders if stem cell research will find a cure?? Hmmm, would the embryos formed from the sperm of gay guys and the eggs from gay gals make more ethical embryos for this and other types of research?? “There are impressive lists of gay people who did not let their yucky defect get in the way of being a contribution to society. Unfortunately, they were not able to contribute to the evolutionary process of DNA improvement via procreation. And one will never know whether they would have achieved even greater achievements without said defect.From below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, gay sexual activity is still mutual masturbation caused by one or more complex sexual defects. Some defects are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O’Donnell. Of course not all having these abnormal tendencies, show it outwardly as alluded to in the following synopsis:From Wikipedia:With respect to gays, they act differently because of differences in their physical makeup. If there is a god, one assumes he will not punish said individuals since said god is responsible for their created differences to begin with. If there is no god, then there is no hell (or heaven or purgatory) to worry about.

  • zjr78xva

    Notice that the writer does not call for humility on all sides — he admonishes only those whose views diverge from his. The writer regards himself either as sufficiently humble already, or as not needful of humility on account of his inherent correctness.It is the one who asserts that marriage can be redefined who makes the more outlandish claim, and therefore by rights is the one who ought to be at pains to humble himself.In any case, it is absurd to speak of the “sacredness” of a relationship predicated on sin.

  • B2O2

    I’m still waiting for one – any – of the anti-gay Christians here to tell me whether or not they have stoned their kids to death for misbehavior, as the “Lord” has commanded them to in Deuteronomy 21:18-21.It’s interesting that our English-speaking Taliban countrymen never seem to have any comment on that, but plenty of comment on the Old Testament rantings against homosexuality. You people are an embarrassment to our otherwise modern country.

  • SouthernBaptistPastorFromVirginia

    It’s ironic that these 2 figures were born on the same day: Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, whose strong moral leadership through our nation’s darkest hour resulted in exorcizing the scourge of slavery from our land and putting African Americans on the road to citizenship. And Charles Darwin, the “enlightened” evolutionary thinker, whose largely forgotten (or now deliberately concealed) racist worldview envisions peoples of different ethnicities as representing varying levels of human advancement, and (most disgusting of all) ranks people of color just barely above gorillas or apes in terms of their advancement. (I’m not making this up!) I’ll gladly celebrate the birthday of a great American, a great president, and a great human being like Abraham Lincoln. But, when it comes to celebrating the birth of Darwin, I would just as soon celebrate the birth of Hitler! Ugh!

  • satchwinston

    Charles Darwin was NOT religious. He described himself as an agnostic. To describe deists, agnostics, and pantheists as “religious” is wrong. A religious person is someone who believes in a personal God or gods.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Glarinca said:”I only presented a legal and logical argument that the definition of a specific type of contract such as marriage needs full and open LOGICAL discussion, including questions such as why not also embrace multi-partner marriages.”Well then, what is your logical reason for denying equal rights to gay people? What is wrong with being gay? Why bother to consider multi-partner marriages? I was not aware that there is a grass roots movement for that. Whho is asking for that? Why mix that all in with gay marriage and gay rights? It is not logical to bring that up, when that is merely your theoritical what-if. Why is gay marriage bad? Who does it hurt? How does it cause injury to people? I mean REAL injury, not mere stubbornness to change with the times, or the pain of admitting error. Why do straight people need to blame their failure at marriage on gay people, who are innocent of any wrong-doing on that account? I think that chooseing a heterosexual life-style with a succession of marriages, blended families, and unending custody battles over the half-linked step-kids, passed around from home to home, without a real home, is alot worse than simply, and merely, being born gay.

  • CCNL

    Having a birthday the same as a famous person is quite common since the chance is one in 365 (days in a year). Having two famous people with the same birthday is also quite common. Having two famous people having the same birthday in the same year is not quite as common. See

  • roscym1

    Lincoln did not come late to a hatred of slavery. He was very clear in his opposition to slavery through most of his life. He was also a pragmatic politician and knew what he could do and how fast he could do it. (See “Big Enough to be Inconsistent: Abraham Lincoln Confronts Slavery and Race (The W.E.B Dubois Lectures). “Needless war”? Southern Social Conservatives – that’s what we call them today; earlier they were secessionists and segregationists – have always been hard headed obstructionists. A truly United States and the 13th – 15th amendments were not going to come without dragging these people with great effort kicking and screaming. Thank God we had an Abraham Lincoln to keep the country fixed on the goal and on track or where would we be?

  • edbyronadams

    DanielintheLionsDen wrote:”Why bother to consider multi-partner marriages? I was not aware that there is a grass roots movement for that. Whho is asking for that? Why mix that all in with gay marriage and gay rights?”Because limiting marriage to two individuals is another example of the arbitrary nature in which society defines the term “marriage”. If rights are being violated, why limit yourself to just some violations. If it’s about rights, let’s look at all restrictions. On the other hand, we could simply understand that the word “marriage” already has a meaning and leave it at that with its current restrictions.

  • bevjims1

    As science continues its discoveries into the true nature of homosexuality, the fear of it will subside and those who are homosexual will be accepted equally by heterosexuals. It is already happening to some extent. The information age will destroy the misinformation coming from fundamentalists and the ignorant. But the information age is very young. In 150 years, assuming our technologies remain with us, our great-great grandchildren will look back on these days as we look back on Darwin’s days, amazed that the obvious could not be comprehended.

  • Alex511

    fr glarinca:>…My advice to you and your cohorts is to find a better argument as you are losing credibility each day you continue with this dribble….<I gave correct information. It's sad that the rr's and other fundies get their "info" from such lie-filled groups like "afa", the "frc" or the laughable "fotf". They're not QUITE as bad as freddie phelps and his westboro CULT, but they're getting close.

  • Glarinca

    Alex511,You have my arguments all wrong. At no time have I cited anything but the actual state of California law – read it yourself: It is PURE FACT and nothing else. This is the problem I have with most of the reactionaries on both sides of this issue that are so clouded with emotion that they can’t think straight enough to put forth a logical argument. Also, for both you and Pagan, at no time have I referenced anything to do with a religious belief – I fully agree that most of the religious arguments on this issue are based on mythology. I am merely trying to present a position based on law and logic.

  • jaxas

    Look. I don’t hink most of us really are that divided. Oh, we may have differing views on Creation, Evolution, God and the like. But for most of us, we are not at war with our neighbors. I believe in Evolution. Yet I attend church on a fairly regular basis. I believe most Americans fit into the category of people like me, who do not have rigid, fixed views on everything and anything.The so-called culture war is on the fringes of our society. People like Rush Limbaugh and James Dobson on the right or Mark Moulitsas or Christopher Hitchens on the left maybe actively engaged in something of a war, but for most of us the culture war like most of the other wars taking place on this planet are happening far, far away and have little meaning to our everyday lives.I am certain that I have neighbors living beside one another who are atheists, agnostics, and fundamentalist Biblical literalists. But, those beliefs don’r control our everyday lives. Most of us don’t get up everyday and do a three hour tal program on radio badgering and insulting those who do not agree with us.

  • respondus

    But he took America, perhaps needlessly, into the bloodiest war we ever fought…Dude, your history is as bogus as any I’ve read recently. Read a friggin book and discover the truth, not the lies and obfuscations. What, do you still have confederates in yoour attic or sometyhing?Oh, and all your pithy comments about America today – do you actually have any data or or you just pulling those out of your arse too?I thought a Rabbi was a teacher. This dude seems to know nothing. BTW, your homophobia is bad form as well as bad policy.

  • Glarinca

    Danielinthelionsden,Answers to your questions:”What is wrong with being gay” – Regarding “…why do religious people, the Mormons, Baptists, and the Pope feel so called upon the scapegoat the gays for everything?”I dunno. Ask them If you read my discussions I never once made a religious reference in my argument.

  • CCNL

    Some observations:The general population to include many of the voters in California, rightly or wrongly, find gay sexual activities, married or not, to be “yucky” and unusual and typically associate such activity with the spread of AIDS which is of course wrong. Said AIDS epidemic in the gay male community at the start of the AIDS crises will always remain unfortunately a stigma on the gay community.” And after all of this rhetoric, gay “marriages” simply simplify and somewhat sanitize what are still “yucky” acts caused by a variant gene(s) and/or hormone imbalance. One wonders if stem cell research will find a cure?? Hmmm, would the embryos formed from the sperm of gay guys and the eggs from gay gals make more ethical embryos for this and other types of research?? “There are impressive lists of gay people who did not let their yucky defect get in the way of being a contribution to society. Unfortunately, they were not able to contribute to the evolutionary process of DNA improvement via procreation. And one will never know whether they would have achieved even greater achievements without said defect.From below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, gay sexual activity is still mutual masturbation caused by one or more complex sexual defects. Some defects are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O’Donnell. Of course not all having these abnormal tendencies, show it outwardly as alluded to in the following synopsis:From Wikipedia:With respect to gays, they act differently because of differences in their physical makeup. If there is a god, one assumes he will not punish said individuals since said god is responsible for their created differences to begin with. If there is no god, then there is no hell (or heaven or purgatory) to worry about.

  • zjr78xva

    Notice that the writer does not call for humility on all sides — he admonishes only those whose views diverge from his. The writer regards himself either as sufficiently humble already, or as not needful of humility on account of his inherent correctness.It is the one who asserts that marriage can be redefined who makes the more outlandish claim, and therefore by rights is the one who ought to be at pains to humble himself.In any case, it is absurd to speak of the “sacredness” of a relationship predicated on sin.

  • B2O2

    I’m still waiting for one – any – of the anti-gay Christians here to tell me whether or not they have stoned their kids to death for misbehavior, as the “Lord” has commanded them to in Deuteronomy 21:18-21.It’s interesting that our English-speaking Taliban countrymen never seem to have any comment on that, but plenty of comment on the Old Testament rantings against homosexuality. You people are an embarrassment to our otherwise modern country.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Glarinca said:”I only presented a legal and logical argument that the definition of a specific type of contract such as marriage needs full and open LOGICAL discussion, including questions such as why not also embrace multi-partner marriages.”Well then, what is your logical reason for denying equal rights to gay people? What is wrong with being gay? Why bother to consider multi-partner marriages? I was not aware that there is a grass roots movement for that. Whho is asking for that? Why mix that all in with gay marriage and gay rights? It is not logical to bring that up, when that is merely your theoritical what-if. Why is gay marriage bad? Who does it hurt? How does it cause injury to people? I mean REAL injury, not mere stubbornness to change with the times, or the pain of admitting error. Why do straight people need to blame their failure at marriage on gay people, who are innocent of any wrong-doing on that account? I think that chooseing a heterosexual life-style with a succession of marriages, blended families, and unending custody battles over the half-linked step-kids, passed around from home to home, without a real home, is alot worse than simply, and merely, being born gay.

  • edbyronadams

    DanielintheLionsDen wrote:”Why bother to consider multi-partner marriages? I was not aware that there is a grass roots movement for that. Whho is asking for that? Why mix that all in with gay marriage and gay rights?”Because limiting marriage to two individuals is another example of the arbitrary nature in which society defines the term “marriage”. If rights are being violated, why limit yourself to just some violations. If it’s about rights, let’s look at all restrictions. On the other hand, we could simply understand that the word “marriage” already has a meaning and leave it at that with its current restrictions.

  • thinker84

    Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, a lovely, thoughtful and well written piece which I think will prove insighftul for many readers. I am a committed Atheist, brought up Christian, and this is the first religious article I have read which is balanced and open-minded in what is all too often a divisive and opressive debate. That it comes from a Rabbi is all the more heartening. Whilst I will remain an opposer to faith, I hope that more people like you will lead me to be more open to those who practice it.

  • daniel12

    The big problem I see with the Darwin/Wallace theory today is not that it is wrong in the sense of being incorrect–I believe it is correct.The big problem is that even the scientific minded are not really up to it. In other words, as genetics advances we are willing to recognize genetic diseases and such things as homosexuality having a genetic basis, but we are not up to examining differences between men and women and between races.In fact we say there is no controversy as to the latter. We say obviously there is no difference there. But are we sure about that or are we superimposing our socialistic tendencies on evolutionary thought? Of course we cannot return to religion and try to say all are equal before God, so we are left advancing–and not having the courage to really see how people are the same and different.That is the biggest problem of evolution–all of biology–today.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    edbyronadams : Why? Why exclude gay people? You did not reply to any of my quesitons about what makes gay people so bad and so terrible that they should be excluded, and what makes straight people so good and so superior that they should get preferential treatment ahead of their “inferior” gay brethren? Why is it wrong to be gay? Why are gay people bad? Why are gay people inferior? Why are you better? What about you makes you good and superior to other people?I supppose, you would rather have kept slavery, and “leave it at that?” I suppose that you would have rather kept votings rights for white men alone, and excluded black people and all women, and leave it that? I suppose you would have preferred to keep the 13 colonies subservient to England and leave it at that?Why not open you mind to you fellow men and women and show a litte kindness. How does kindness hurt you? That is what I would like o know? And, of course, it is something that you cannot answer, or else you would.

  • edbyronadams

    There is nothing intrinsically evil about gay people. However, just because they claim a right does not make it exist. People must be convinced that the argument is correct for the right to be established. This was certainly true in ridding our country of slavery. It took the point of a gun to convince many. What people ignore is that black people were still viewed as inherently inferior by practically every white person, north and south, even after the Civil War. Change takes time.Meanwhile, in order to avoid real injury, the push should be made to create civil unions that attend all the rights and responsibilities of marriage to couples that do not meet the current definition of marriage.As far as practical difficulty, changing the definition of marriage creates problems in the education of children as to what the fundamental institutions of society are like. Answers that used to be simple for the simple creatures that children are become complicated and unnecessarily revolve around sex and sexual orientation. Furthermore, the use of the word in generations of literature are called into question.Since you, Daniel, have so many questions, answer mine. Why must you have the right to a word, when an institution that gives you the same rights can be created?

  • justillthen

    jove4015,”I just love how straight people love to tell me change takes time. If change happens after I die it doesn’t do me any good. The time is now.”Sorry, but the fact is that large scale social change from imbedded prejudices and distrust into equality DOES take time, and a progression or succession of adjustments on the way. The time IS now, for what is occurring now. To think that suddenly everyones brother and sister that have deepseated conditioning against gays will wake up and be healed of it, and gays will be treated fairly by all, is naive. This form of transformation takes time.I am not against equal rights for all, marriage included. I am for it. “The fact is, people who are against gay marriage are against it…but because they want to feel that they are inherently better than us…”So it seems that you generalize about ‘straights’ and their reasons and rationalizations at least as much as you believe that straights judge gays… How enlightened of you. You do not speak for me here.

  • justillthen

    DanielintheLionsDen,”The demand for gay marriage has become a tidal surge, being held back artificially.” I understand this, but hold to “change takes time”. There are moments of tidal surge forward, and perhaps we are in one, but still… Substantial cultural change is a evolutionary process of consciousness.

  • edbyronadams

    Marriage is one of the basic building blocks of society. Despite the current siege and new thinking, it is still the best institution for raising productive children. Instituting changes in the definition of such should be done slowly for fear of invoking the law of unintended consequences. For example, the gay liberation that swept the nation following Stonewall set up a social situation in which people like the infamous Patient Zero could easily spread HIV across the globe. Completely unintended, unforeseeable and unfortunate circumstances arose from liberating a previously oppressed portion of the population.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    JusttillthenI do not have any control over the rate of change, nor whether marriage will ever be changed to be extended to same-sex couples. All I am saying is that I think it would be best, especially for gay people, for it to happen as quickly as possible. Whatever may ultimately happen, I am not going to shutup and I am not going to let homophobia stand and persist, unchallenged, as it always has in the past. All gay people are doing is ASKING for their rights.And you are saying, “be quite; don’t even ask.”

  • CCNL

    And after 165 comments, “gay marriage” is still an oxymoron.

  • justillthen

    jove4015,”I just love how straight people love to tell me change takes time. If change happens after I die it doesn’t do me any good. The time is now.”Sorry, but the fact is that large scale social change from imbedded prejudices and distrust into equality DOES take time, and a progression or succession of adjustments on the way. The time IS now, for what is occurring now. To think that suddenly everyones brother and sister that have deepseated conditioning against gays will wake up and be healed of it, and gays will be treated fairly by all, is naive. This form of transformation takes time.I am not against equal rights for all, marriage included. I am for it. “The fact is, people who are against gay marriage are against it…but because they want to feel that they are inherently better than us…”So it seems that you generalize about ‘straights’ and their reasons and rationalizations at least as much as you believe that straights judge gays… How enlightened of you. You do not speak for me here.

  • justillthen

    DanielintheLionsDen,”The demand for gay marriage has become a tidal surge, being held back artificially.” I understand this, but hold to “change takes time”. There are moments of tidal surge forward, and perhaps we are in one, but still… Substantial cultural change is a evolutionary process of consciousness.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    JusttillthenI do not have any control over the rate of change, nor whether marriage will ever be changed to be extended to same-sex couples. All I am saying is that I think it would be best, especially for gay people, for it to happen as quickly as possible. Whatever may ultimately happen, I am not going to shutup and I am not going to let homophobia stand and persist, unchallenged, as it always has in the past. All gay people are doing is ASKING for their rights.And you are saying, “be quite; don’t even ask.”

  • CCNL

    And after 165 comments, “gay marriage” is still an oxymoron.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    CCNLI am not sure what you mean by “gay marriage is an oxymoron.”I guess you are trying to be flippantly cute, while remaining anti-gay. You seem to have formed all of your ideas about gay people from false stereotypes, hearsay, and simply what you have made up or imagined.I am sure that if you would get out of the house and off your block, and meet some gay people, you could form your ideas and make you comments based on the real deal, and not on phoney or false data.You may think that you do not know any gay people (that is what everyone says when I make this suggestion). But you probably do. And if you are not able to find a single gay person anywhere in the world to ask a few questions of, to help you with your curiosity, then wouldn’t you agree that gay people are not really a threat, after all?I mean, “HELLO!” How can gay people be battering at the gates of civilization if you cannot find one anywhere to interview on gay matters.

  • CCNL

    Again, some observations:The general population to include many of the voters in California, rightly or wrongly, find gay sexual activities, married or not, to be “yucky” and unusual and typically associate such activity with the spread of AIDS which is of course wrong.Said AIDS epidemic in the gay male community at the start of the AIDS crises will always remain unfortunately a stigma on the gay community.” And after all of this rhetoric, gay “marriages” simply simplify and somewhat sanitize what are still “yucky” acts caused by a variant gene(s) and/or hormone imbalance. One wonders if stem cell research will find a cure?? Hmmm, would the embryos formed from the sperm of gay guys and the eggs from gay gals make more ethical embryos for this and other types of research?? “There are impressive lists of gay people who did not let their yucky defect get in the way of being a contribution to society. Unfortunately, they were not able to contribute to the evolutionary process of DNA improvement via procreation. And one will never know whether they would have achieved even greater achievements without said defect.From below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, gay sexual activity is still mutual masturbation caused by one or more complex sexual defects. Some defects are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O’Donnell. Of course not all having these abnormal tendencies, show it outwardly as alluded to in the following synopsis:From Wikipedia:With respect to gays, they act differently because of differences in their physical makeup. If there is a god, one assumes he will not punish said individuals since said god is responsible for their created differences to begin with. If there is no god, then there is no hell (or heaven or purgatory) to worry about.

  • justillthen

    DanielintheLionsDen,You have me wrong. I am not saying “be quite; don’t even ask.”I misread an earlier post of yours where you said you “do not disagree that change takes time”, and I read that you do not agree. My apologies.

  • justillthen

    DanielintheLionsDen,You have me wrong. I am not saying “be quite; don’t even ask.”I misread an earlier post of yours where you said you “do not disagree that change takes time”, and I read that you do not agree. My apologies.

  • justillthen

    edbyronadams,”Marriage is one of the basic building blocks of society. Despite the current siege and new thinking, it is still the best institution for raising productive children.” Male/Female pairing has many advantages, not least of which is that there is a role model of both sexes present in the lives of the children. But same sex couples have been found to be at least as supportive and positive an environment for children as traditional heterosexual couplings.I find this reasoning to be flimsy. Change takes place and much of the future is unknown or unintended. But we are better off now than we were two hundred years ago with the many social changes that have come, and that is true through history.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    CCNLYour reply cited a number of false sterotypes about gay people, as well as much that you have dreamed up on your ownmind . I take it therefore, that you are not going to ask real gay people about what it is like to be gay. If you want to know if being gay is a choice, or something that just happens, why wouldn’t you just ask a gay person? Why would you interpose your sensations ahead of the person who is actually experiencing the sensation?Any-hoo, suit yourself. I do not believe that there is much to argue with in your post. You have already POSTED the exact same thing in an earlier cycle. Since you are not interested in asking real gay people about gay matters, then I would not regard your comments to seriously.

  • CCNL

    Real gay people?? Like one of my best friends who died from AIDS after mutual masturbation went horribly wrong!!!Reiteration is part of education.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    CCNLI am not sure what you mean by “gay marriage is an oxymoron.”I guess you are trying to be flippantly cute, while remaining anti-gay. You seem to have formed all of your ideas about gay people from false stereotypes, hearsay, and simply what you have made up or imagined.I am sure that if you would get out of the house and off your block, and meet some gay people, you could form your ideas and make you comments based on the real deal, and not on phoney or false data.You may think that you do not know any gay people (that is what everyone says when I make this suggestion). But you probably do. And if you are not able to find a single gay person anywhere in the world to ask a few questions of, to help you with your curiosity, then wouldn’t you agree that gay people are not really a threat, after all?I mean, “HELLO!” How can gay people be battering at the gates of civilization if you cannot find one anywhere to interview on gay matters.

  • justillthen

    DanielintheLionsDen,You have me wrong. I am not saying “be quite; don’t even ask.”I misread an earlier post of yours where you said you “do not disagree that change takes time”, and I read that you do not agree. My apologies.

  • justillthen

    DanielintheLionsDen,You have me wrong. I am not saying “be quite; don’t even ask.”I misread an earlier post of yours where you said you “do not disagree that change takes time”, and I read that you do not agree. My apologies.

  • justillthen

    edbyronadams,”Marriage is one of the basic building blocks of society. Despite the current siege and new thinking, it is still the best institution for raising productive children.” Male/Female pairing has many advantages, not least of which is that there is a role model of both sexes present in the lives of the children. But same sex couples have been found to be at least as supportive and positive an environment for children as traditional heterosexual couplings.I find this reasoning to be flimsy. Change takes place and much of the future is unknown or unintended. But we are better off now than we were two hundred years ago with the many social changes that have come, and that is true through history.

  • CCNL

    Two hundred years ago or today or 60,000 years ago, or from below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, gay sexual activity is still mutual masturbation caused by one or more complex sexual defects. Some defects are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O’Donnell. Of course not all having these abnormal tendencies, show it outwardly.

  • Athena4

    CCNL,Two words for you: Portia DeRossi. Now, have you gotten over your sophomoric thrill that the WaPo allows you to use the word “masturbation” without flagging it as offensive?BTW, pretty much all acts that homosexuals do can be done by heterosexuals. You’d be surprised at how straight people can get their freak on. Just ask Senator Vitter. Does that make them less deserving of rights than people who do it vanilla-style?

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    CCNL said:”Real gay people?? Like one of my best friends who died from AIDS after mutual masturbation went horribly wrong!!!”I don’t believe it. Sorry.

  • CCNL

    Dan in the Den,Just like gay sexual activity being mutual masturbation is the truth, one of my best friends died from AIDs from such activity. Many of his friends to include myself said our goodbyes to him at the AIDs hospice where he eventally passed away. And btw, if two sisters/brothers celibately live together should they be considered “married” and receive the benefits of being “married”??? Ditto for two Buddhist monks??

  • Athena4

    “And btw, if two sisters/brothers celibately live together should they be considered “married” and receive the benefits of being “married”???”Sorry, I’m not well versed enough in the West Virginia legal code to answer that.

  • CCNL

    Two hundred years ago or today or 60,000 years ago, or from below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, gay sexual activity is still mutual masturbation caused by one or more complex sexual defects. Some defects are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O’Donnell. Of course not all having these abnormal tendencies, show it outwardly.

  • Athena4

    CCNL,Two words for you: Portia DeRossi. Now, have you gotten over your sophomoric thrill that the WaPo allows you to use the word “masturbation” without flagging it as offensive?BTW, pretty much all acts that homosexuals do can be done by heterosexuals. You’d be surprised at how straight people can get their freak on. Just ask Senator Vitter. Does that make them less deserving of rights than people who do it vanilla-style?

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    CCNL said:”Real gay people?? Like one of my best friends who died from AIDS after mutual masturbation went horribly wrong!!!”I don’t believe it. Sorry.

  • CCNL

    Dan in the Den,Just like gay sexual activity being mutual masturbation is the truth, one of my best friends died from AIDs from such activity. Many of his friends to include myself said our goodbyes to him at the AIDs hospice where he eventally passed away. And btw, if two sisters/brothers celibately live together should they be considered “married” and receive the benefits of being “married”??? Ditto for two Buddhist monks??

  • Athena4

    “And btw, if two sisters/brothers celibately live together should they be considered “married” and receive the benefits of being “married”???”Sorry, I’m not well versed enough in the West Virginia legal code to answer that.

  • Athena4

    They all moved there.

  • CCNL

    That is odd considering the large number of pagans in West Virginia.

  • Athena4

    They all moved there.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    CCNLI do not believe that you had a best friend who died from AIDS that he contracted from masturbation. If there is some truth to this story, then you might rephrase your claims in a more truthful and more believable way.