Biblical religion the only–and illegitimate– basis for anti-gay laws

“Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians.” “Moral disapproval alone … Continued


“Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians.”

“Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians.”

That’s the historic sentence with which Federal District Court Judge Vaughn Walker struck down California’s Proposition 8, which restricts legal marriage to a union between a man and a woman.

It is impossible to know at this stage whether Walker’s memorable phrase will ultimately become a legal precedent, because the judge stayed his own ruling in anticipation of an immediate appeal, and the case is likely headed for the Supreme Court. If the case does reach the high court as presently constituted, I wouldn’t bet on this decision being upheld. The profound religious conservatism of Robscalitomas (my acronym for Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas) probably means four automatic votes against gay marriage as a right guaranteed by the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. And unless Elena Kagan or Sonia Sotomayor can work the same magic on Anthony Kennedy that Sandra Day O’Connor once did, it’s certainly even money that Kennedy will take the side of social conservatism and the Catholic Church hierarchy.

Be that as it may, the decision in California casts on unusual light on the fact that conservative religion–based on a literal interpretation of Genesis and Leviticus–is and always has been the main source of opposition to gay rights. What the judge is saying, of course, is that disdain based on religious faith–even if ratified by majority vote–cannot jettison the constitutional rights of any group. This is what the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment are all about.

Many adversaries of gay rights make strenuous efforts to cast their views in more rational, nonreligious terms. Gays, they insist, are always more promiscuous than straights, so they’ll be more likely to divorce if they’re allowed to marry. (This one actually ought to make opponents of gay marriage happy.) Children exposed to a “gay lifestyle” are more likely to have problems in school and their community–a statement that is certainly true, because the trouble will come from people who think Leviticus is an appropriate manual for modern life.

The distinctive and admirable component of this decision is that it zeroes in on religious motives for discrimination and doesn’t rely mainly on dubious sociological evidence. The so-called “studies” of right-wing Christian groups, relying entirely on anecdotal accounts of those who oppose gay rights, are worthless scientifically. And to be honest, I don’t think that more objective studies have much to tell us at this point about the social impact of gay marriage, because gay marriage is so new and offers such a small sample that we really don’t know whether such unions will be more or less stable than heteroxexual unions or whether children will turn out more or less happy. And guess what? It doesn’t matter.

The freedoms to marry or not, to have children or not, are among those basic rights that have nothing to do with sociological evidence, biased or unbiased, about possible outcomes. We already know, for example–one of the few things we do know about marriage–that teenage couples have the poorest possible outlook for a stable union.

Marry and have a child before age 20, and let’s just say it’s harder for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for teen parents to make it as a couple. But who would pass a law saying that, because sociological studies show the outlook is poor, two 18-year-olds should be prohibited from marrying? The right to marry is protected by the Fourteenth Amendment, period. The fact that I wouldn’t like it if my 18-year-old daughter got married doesn’t mean that my personal opinion ought to be written into law. The same is true for religious fundamentalists who are repelled by the idea of same-sex marriage.

The most relevant precedent, of course, is the Supreme Court’s unanimous 1967 decision, Loving v. Virginia, overturning state bans on interracial marriage. In his opinion, Chief Justice Earl Warren noted that the Virginia trial judge–who suspended the Lovings’ 25-year sentence on condition that they leave the State of Virginia–intoned that “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangments there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.” (But wasn’t it God who allowed men to build boats so that they could travel from one continent to another, and capture and transport slaves, thereby making intermarracial sex available?) This entire opinion, because it captures the idiocy of the thinking behind bans on racial intermariage long taken for granted, bears rereading today. And I am not at all sure that, if a secret ballot had been taken in 1967, Americans would have agreed that interracial marriage ought to be legal.

In the gay marriage case, George Chauncey, professor of history and American studies at Yale University, referred to the right-wing religious arguments frequently used in the 1950s and 1960s not only against interracial marriages but against all racial integration. He noted that the arguments were the direct predecessors of those “mobilized in the Proposition 8 campaign and many of the campaigns since Anita Bryant’s ‘Save Our Children’ campaign, which argue that homosexuality itself or gay people or the recognition of their equality is against God’s will.”

Religious beliefs, except among Biblical literalists, are far from static on this issue. The changing religious landscape on gay rights issues can be seen in a 2008 poll by the Pew Forum, “Religion Among the Millennials.” In the section on social and culture war issues, the gap between those over and under 30 is apparent in nearly all religious groups–with the important exception of white evangelicals. White evangelicals are the only–I repeat, only–religious group in which a majority of those under 30 answered “no” to the question, “Should homosexuality be accepted by society?” Among African-Americans–the most religious group within the American population–51 percent under 30 said homosexuality should be accepted by society–compared with jut 36 percent over 30. The religiously unaffiliated, Catholics, and mainline Protestants are the three groups in which a majority of those over 30 and under 30 believe homosexuality should be accepted.

I was surprised that lay Catholics are just about as likely to favor social acceptance of homosexuality as mainline Protestants. In fact, Catholics under 30 are even more supportive of homosexual acceptance than mainline Protestants under 30. These figures show a huge disparity between the thinking of lay Catholics and the Catholic bishops, who, while they can’t convince their own members, can spend a huge amount of money joining right-wing Protestants in passing measures such as Proposition 8.

I was also surprised at the generation gap between African-American churchgoers. As an aside, those who claimed that African-Americans were responsible for the passage of Proposition 8 are wrong. Because the sheer number of white right-wing evangelicals is so much greater than the total of black fundamentalists, Proposition 8 would have been passed had there been no black voters at all in California.

Because of the very large number of white fundamentalists–and the fact that an overwhelming majority of those under 30 agree with their elders on this issue–I do not share the views of those who believe that opposition to gay equality will go away as older, more conservative voters die off. Moreover, the financial ability of rich religious institutions to fight gay rights at the ballot box if they choose to do so is unrelated, as the difference between Catholic bishops and the Catholic laity demonstrates, to the beliefs of their church members. California voters may have passed Proposition 8, but the Mormon Church and the Catholic Church, along with well-financed Protestant Christian Right organizations, paid the bill for the anti-gay marriage campaign at the political level.
My guess is that they will continue to do so unless the Supreme Court uphold’s Judge Wright’s decision.

_______________________
Note: I’m fascinated by the back-and-forthing about whether or not I am Jewish. Not since I spoke at a Hadassah luncheon, and the women gasped with pity when I said I was an atheist, have I experienced such concern about where I stand under Jewish law. First, of course, I am an atheist. This means that I do not believe in Judaism as a religion any more than I believe in Christianity or Islam. But Judaism as a religion and Jews as a people are not the same thing (yes, yes, I know that a lot of rabbis, including those who helped craft the Israeli Law of Return, would disagree).

Nazi Germany, with its ideology separating “Aryan” from “non-Aryan” races, started out making a distinction between half-Jews and “whole” Jews, but in the end it didn’t matter. People with only one Jewish grandparent or parent were eventually sent to the ovens. That I have one parent who was a Catholic of German-Irish origins, and one parent who was a nonobservant Jew of German origins, is a fact of my history. but I am not about to use Nazi criteria for defining who I am.

I’m reminded of a line in a novel by Faye Kellerman, whose detective series is based on an improbable union between an ultra-Orthodox Jewish woman and a detective who was given up for adoption by a Jewish mother and was then raised as a Baptist. The detective tells the rabbi who eventually marries them, “It takes more than an accident of birth to make a Torah Jew.” So it does. I could never be a Torah Jew any more than I could be a believing Catholic–and that would be just as true if my mother, instead of my father, had been Jewish. But my father’s long denial of his Jewishness–also a sad fact of Jewish history in many European countries–had its effect on me, in that I still feel a deep sadness that he could not acknowledge his own history. That history is part of my own history and is probably one of the reasons why I feel more Jewish, in a cultural sense, than anything else. But this has nothing to do with rabbinical law or religious belief.

And by the way, passage of Judaism through the mother in rabbinical law is naturally based on the fact that before DNA testing (ie., most of human history), you could never be 100 percent sure of who the father was. This conversion of pre-science tradition into religious law is just one reason why Judaism is no more rational than any other religion. So cut it out, you well-meaning yentas. Oh yes. I am definitely the product of that most sacred of institutions, a marriage between one man and one woman.

About

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    SUSAN:I don’t know whether or not you are referring to my posts, but, actually, the larger issue of the chat was what it means to say one is Jewish or “half-Jewish,” etc.Judaism is and is not more rational than other religions. It is, in some of its forms, closer to philosophy than say, to Christianity, even to Unitarianism.At any rate, what does this mean? “That history is part of my own history and is probably one of the reasons why I feel more Jewish, in a cultural sense, than anything else.”To feel culturally Jewish means to know something about the culture, beyond what one intuits from Reformed Jews on the upper west side or reads about the HOlocaust. Jewish “culture” is extremely complex.

  • trambusto

    If gays can’t marry, then there should a ban on divorce in this country. The arguements for both are the same. Why to opponents of gay marriage have to drag The Bible into this? They pick and choose what they want from it and don’t follow all of its tennets anyway.

  • garoth

    It’s hard to say how this will play out in the Supreme Court. On the basis of the Constitution, it should be a no-brainer. But this court has shown itself to be willing to “make stuff up” to support its biases, especially in the ruling that makes corporations real people to remove any restrictions on corporate spending in elections. It will be interesting to see – but wouldn’t it really be a bomb shell if they agree with Judge Walker? And how do you get around his reasoning? Once you look at the “defenses” of “heterosexual only” marriage, it is clear that they are all religiously-based. In the past, the church has acted as a functionary of the state in marrying and keeping records of marriages. In this country, those functions were separated, so that the state defines and keeps records and churches may or may not act as functionaries. Perhaps the next logical step would be for those functions to be done entirely by the state, perhaps defining all marriages as “civil unions,” and leave it to churches to bless these unions as “marriages’ (or not). That would take care of the need of the state, and also allow freedom of religions to define marriage according to their beliefs. As a pastor, I would prefer that anyway.

  • apspa1

    “The profound religious conservatism of Robscalitomas (my acronym for Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas) probably means four automatic votes against gay marriage as a right guaranteed by the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”Activist judges on the Supreme Court?Oh yea, sure, I remember the Rhenquist Supreme Court using that same “equal protection” clause to select Bush as winner of the presidential election.Republicans call activist judges who support their ideology patriots.

  • malachi33

    This commentary displays the author’s ignorance of the bible. If God’s commandments in Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Exodus and Numbers are to be ignored today as “outmoded morality codes”, what other commandments of God are we to throw out? How about the 7th commandment, “You shall not commit adultery”, the 6th, “You shall not murder”, the 1st: No other “gods” before Me”? God’s commandments are not voluntary initiatives. When an individual chooses to commit a crime (sin) against God, the judgment of God will come upon that individual. When an entire nation sanctions evil of any kind, from greedy misuse of the environment, to exploiting people for profits, to sexual perversion, God’s judgment falls on the entire nation. If we are going to throw out duly-enacted laws because they are based only on “moral disapproval”, I have news for you: almost ALL laws are based on moral disapproval!!!! “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law.” You can make all the claims you want that God’s laws don’t apply to you, but everyone I’ve ever known and whole nations throughout history have paid a terrible price for willfully choosing to live in disobedience to God. God desires that we turn from our evil ways (2 Chronicles 7:14)and turn to Him, receive His Son and become a child of God. “In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.” –Acts 17:30-31. Embracing homosexual “marriage” is not “enlightened” or “progressive”. It is a sign our society is becoming unglued. It is also a sign that God’s judgment is already in our midst. God loves us and commands us to, as Jesus said in Luke 13, REPENT and return to God as the prodigal son did.

  • volkmare

    malachi33 well said… .Mark

  • volkmare

    apspa1 …so do the democrats.the whole system is corrupt.mark

  • Secular

    At the core of all religions are based on one of the prevailing sets of memes meant to nurture and preserve societies. To a very large extent these memes also promoted in-group-morality and out-group-hostility, male dominance and many more vile and sordid practices that most would definitely abhor today. This is true of all the three abrahamic religions and their splintered offshoots. This is replete in all the sacred texts of all these denominations. Among the non-abrahamic religions, off which Hinduism is an important one, the same is true.I opine that the strictures against gay lifestyle was proscribed in Judaism, mainly to ensure that the hebrews were not going to be handicapped in fecundity, in comparison with the Baal worshipers, and other, with whom Judaism was in fierce battle for domination and possible survival. As with any stricture, we see that even today, may be lot difficult to enshrine in law or in rules and regulations. But once in it, it gains currency which is even more difficult to rescind. Hence its wholesale adoption by the other two offshoots, if you will. It is also proscribed in Hinduism, contrary to the objections from the hindus on this forum. However, Hinduism’s death struggles are more of recent origin, just some 1000 years old. So the proscriptions are not viewed with the same reverence as in the rest of the world. Therefore, when the the Delhi high court held the stricture unconstitutional, there wasn’t so much brouhaha. Mind you the law was not overturned by the Indian supreme court, but by the high court of a union territory. What little opposition there was, was quite muted. Astonishingly and to their great credit, even most of the muslim clergy conceded that as a domain of the civil authorities. catholic Church was the most vociferous opponent.Coming back to the good old US of A, the opposition to gay marriage and lifestyle is borne out of total ignorance, and bigotry. Mostly bigotry, of people who better should be living in the biblical times not in 2010 clinging to their musty decrepit, vile (not so sacred) texts. Bigotry of the people in power, who seek to dictate to others and would like to enforce their power on deluded and ignorant many, who do not know better. Insofar as the gang of four in the SC, that Susan mentioned, they are the most disgusting collection of all the pond scum floating in our society.

  • ZZim

    Wrong Susan. The science of biology provides us with an excellent rationale for opposing “gay marriage”. Because men and woman are different and male/female couples are required for the existance of the species, and… well, duh.That having been said, I personally have no objection to the manifestly unnatural coupling of same-sex partners. Nor do I have any objection to them legalizing their unnatural relationship in a “marriage”.Consider me a supporter..

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    I opine that the strictures against gay lifestyle was proscribed in Judaism, mainly to ensure that the hebrews were not going to be handicapped in fecundity, in comparison with the Baal worshipers, and other, with whom Judaism was in fierce battle for domination and possible survival.As you have been previously informed the proscription in the Tanakh was against male rape, usually of conquered soldiers, all the rage in the region. Again, see any Oxford STudy Bible on this.You might also want to look at “The Contending of Horus and Seth,” on the web, which is one of the many texts from which scholars derive the accept view given to you ad nauseum.As stated previously, the relevant passages in the NT, which Christian clerics now use, since they are ambiguous are available to you on the web.What should concern you far more is that “homosexuality” was not legal in India until 2009 and that gays are persecuted far more there than here.So, perhaps, you will “opine” on the roots of this despicable Indian prejudice in sacred texts.Then move on to the Dalit.

  • Susan_Jacoby

    Farnaz–I wasn’t referring specifically to your posts. There were a lot of posts from people who didn’t understand that one’s atatus as a Jew under Jewish law is determined by maternal descent. Of course there is no one Jewish culture, given the many different environments in which Jews have lived (sometimes voluntarily, sometimes not) around the world. And America (yes, even the Upper West Side) has more varied Jewish cultures than most countries. Jewish atheism is one of those cultures. There are also different generational cultures within the American Jewish community, just as there are within other religious and ethnic communities. What a Jew felt growing up in a predominantly Gentile neighborhood in New York int he 1920s, as my father did, is not what a Jew experiences growing up in the same type of neighborhood today.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Susan,Thank you for your reply. I’m familiar with the upper west side. I suppose you could call Jewish atheism a culture, in the sense that Jewish Communism was a culture way back when.Is that what you mean when you say you are culturally Jewish?

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Susan,Addendum: I just realized my question makes no sense.

  • MarkinTX

    malachi33 “This commentary displays the author’s ignorance of the bible. If God’s commandments in Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Exodus and Numbers are to be ignored today as “outmoded morality codes”, what other commandments of God are we to throw out?”Following your thought, this is what you will see. Stay home sundays and hope you dont have a medical emergency. All hospitals, police, gas stations will be closed on Sundays. Anyone foolish to do anything on that holy day that would be considered work shall be put to death. Exodus 35:2 You think the oil spill in the gulf hurt the seafood industry? Wave goodbye to the entire seafood industry across the nation. Because anything without gills is off limits. It is an Abomination!! (Lev 11:10)I hope all men are ready for those itchy beards. Lev 19:27Would touching a football be a unclean act as touching a dead pig? Lev 11:6-8 Having trouble with your daughter? Well instead of boarding school you can sell them into slavery as sanctioned by the bible. Exodus 21:7So you see? Just as you have quoted scripture so have I. So when you state “everyone I’ve ever known and whole nations throughout history have paid a terrible price for willfully choosing to live in disobedience to God” I seriously hope you are looking around where you live and everything you do in life and truly see how far from scripture you are before you start casting stones at others. Or perhaps you like physician heal thyself? Of course since you are so versed on scripture i will leave off the chapter and verse of those because you already know them right?

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    CONTINUED# Jesus will send his angels to gather up “all that offend” and they “shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” 13:41-42, 50# Jesus is criticized by the Pharisees for not washing his hands before eating. He defends himself by attacking them for not killing disobedient children according to the commandment: “He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.” So, does Jesus think that children who curse their parents should be killed? It sure sounds like it. 15:4-7# Jesus advises his followers to mutilate themselves by cutting off their hands and plucking out their eyes. He says it’s better to be “maimed” than to suffer “everlasting fire.” 18:8-9# In the parable of the unforgiving servant, the king threatens to enslave a man and his entire family to pay for a debt. This practice, which was common at the time, seems not to have bothered Jesus very much. The parable ends with this: “So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you.” If you are cruel to others, God will be cruel to you. 18:23-35# “And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors.” 18:34# In the parable of the marriage feast, the king sends his servants to gather everyone they can find, both bad and good, to come to the wedding feast. One guest didn’t have on his wedding garment, so the king tied him up and “cast him into the outer darkness” where “there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 22:12-13# Jesus had no problem with the idea of drowning everyone on earth in the flood. It’ll be just like that when he returns. 24:37# God will come when people least expect him and then he’ll “cut them asunder.” And “there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 24:50-51# The servant who kept and returned his master’s talent was cast into the “outer darkness” where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 25:30# Jesus tells us what he has planned for those that he dislikes. They will be cast into an “everlasting fire.” 25:41# Jesus says the damned will be tormented forever. 25:46Btw., what’s with all the blood, snakebites, and gnashing of teeth? Must have been authored by Bram Stoker.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Before anyone starts NT’ing to justify homophobia, take a gander at this, and I’m just dealing with Mathew in this post:# Those who bear bad fruit will be cut down and burned “with unquenchable fire.” 3:10, 12# Jesus recommends that to avoid sin we cut off our hands and pluck out our eyes. This advice is given immediately after he says that anyone who looks with lust at any women commits adultery. 5:29-30# Jesus says that most people will go to hell. 7:13-14# Those who fail to bear “good fruit” will be “hewn down, and cast into the fire.” 7:19# “The children of the kingdom [the Jews] shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 8:12# Jesus tells a man who had just lost his father: “Let the dead bury the dead.” 8:21# Jesus sends some devils into a herd of pigs, causing them to run off a cliff and drown in the waters below. 8:32# Cities that neither “receive” the disciples nor “hear” their words will be destroyed by God. It will be worse for them than for Sodom and Gomorrah. And you know what God supposedly did to those poor folks. 10:14-15# Families will be torn apart because of Jesus (this is one of the few “prophecies” in the Bible that has actually come true). “Brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.” 10:21# Jesus says that we should fear God who is willing and “able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” 10:28# Jesus says that he has come to destroy families by making family members hate each other. He has “come not to send peace, but a sword.” 10:34-36

  • globalone

    The rate of divorce in America for first marriages is approximately 41%. That means a child has almost a 60% chance of being nurtured and influenced by two separate and distinct sexes.There is a 0% (zilch, zero, nada, nothing) chance that a child growing up in a homosexual family will experience the same benefit. Zero. None.

  • potaboc

    For purpose of self-identification, I am a church-going believing Christian. Having said that, there is no question Ms. Jacoby’s thesis is correct.

  • mishi69

    ZZim -What a bizarre rationale you have. Homosexual marriage must not be allowed because the sperm/ovum thing is required for the survival of the species?We should just assume, therefore, that given the choice, all sorts of folks like you will forsake their superficial heterosexuality and refuse to breed because same-sex marriage is what, just so dang attractive? That people won’t pair up with the opposite gender unless they’re given no other choice? That people choose to be gay, sometimes under murderous strictures, but folks should be forced into heterosexuality? How odd.You really feel that way? Hmmmm…

  • PSolus

    ZZim,”The science of biology provides us with an excellent rationale for opposing “gay marriage”. Because men and woman are different and male/female couples are required for the existance of the species, and… well, duh.”Do you think that if “gay marriage”, all over the world, were made legal, our species would cease to exist?Do you think that if all marriages, all over the world, were made illegal, our species would cease to exist?Do you think that the survival of our species depends on the “correct” definition of marriage?

  • Susan_Jacoby

    I am hardly about to define what I mean by “culturally Jewish” in America. To know what that means requires a reading of the best American Jewish writers–there are so many–in the twentieth century, as well as histories of Jews in America that include, yes, everything from Jewish politics to the role of Jews in the entertainment industry to the influence of Jews on various social movements. Part of being culturally Jewish in America is engaging in endless arguments about what that means. No space or time here.

  • globalone

    Farnaz,Thanks for the Biblical quotes. I thought you were better than that.Next time you (or anyone else) would like to cherry pick scripture, think about this….”I don’t have anything to wear.”Simple enough statement, isn’t it? Would it matter if a woman said it versus a man? You betcha. The meaning is completely difference based on which sex is making the comment.Now let’s layer on the fact that you speak a different language. A language that has no comparable word for “anything” or “wear.”Now add another layer that the word “wear” means something completely different than it did when the author used it.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    globalone,You are wrong to use the Bible to support an argument against same-sex marriage. It’s irrelevant to the issue, but the larger point is it trashes the Bible.Same-sex marriage is not wrong. Discrimination against gay people is wrong. It is WRONG.Why can’t you see that? You seem like a decent enough person.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Susan,I am hardly about to define what I mean by “culturally Jewish” in America. To know what that means requires a reading of the best American Jewish writers–there are so many–in the twentieth century, as well as histories of Jews in America that include, yes, everything from Jewish politics to the role of Jews in the entertainment industry to the influence of Jews on various social movements. Part of being culturally Jewish in America is engaging in endless arguments about what that means. No space or time here. I have friends who wouldn’t know the Tanakh from The Great Gatsby. They are culturally Jewish in ways that are obvious.I’ve seen little evidence of that from you which is why I ask.

  • globalone

    “Society has long been organized to assist the family where one person works and the other stays at home with the children”And how was that determined? Did someone flip a coin and alert the rest of the world? Or did that naturally evolve based on the unique DNA inherent to males and females?

  • globalone

    Farnaz,I don’t believe I have made an argument against gay marriage. And I certainly haven’t used the Bible to promote that opinion.My concern is for the children, who have neither the ability nor the opportunity to question the disadvantages of growing up in a single sex environment.

  • JPDG

    Typical left-wing commentary with nothing new to add to the debate. Of the 30+ states that have been allowed to vote on the issue, all 30+ states have shot it down. A minority, elitist movement who shuts down the voice of America is bracing for a fierce November. Keep discounting the will of the American people and see how far it gets you.

  • timmy2

    Globalone,”My concern is for the children, who have neither the ability nor the opportunity to question the disadvantages of growing up in a single sex environment”No one grows up in a single sex environment even if their parents are of the same sex. In a gay marriage there are brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and grandmas and grandpas and neighbors and fellow students and friends and male and female teachers and doctors…..The only disadvantage for a child growing up in a same sex marriage is the ignorance of those who think there is something wrong or weird about that.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Globalone,My last post was intended for you.

  • timmy2

    JPDG writes “Keep discounting the will of the American people and see how far it gets you”There was a time when it delivered us from slavery. Gotta do what you gotta do when it comes to human rights. No one s forcing gay marriage on anyone. We are trying to stop you from forcing bigotry on the rest of us because of what it says in your god book.Don’t like gay marriage? Don’t get gay married.

  • JPDG

    “Don’t like gay marriage? Don’t get gay married.”Please learn to expand your vocabulary: Calling sodomy “marriage” doesn’t make it marriage. It’s just another incidence of the homosexual community stealing language and killing its meaning.

  • amelia45

    malachi33.If you read the judge’s decision you can see that the basis for the decision is the government view of marriage, not the biblical view. And government is concerned with marriage as a stablizer of society, as an agreement between two people (a contract), as a home for children, as a financial arrangement, etc. Read the decision – it is full of a view of marriage that is the civic view.What is so interesting to me about those who oppose gay marriage is that nothing about allowing gay marriage hurts straight marriage. There are no less privileges, rights, no more duties or obligations. There are over 1000 government laws and regs that give rights to married people that gay people don’t get. This is civil rights – rights of citizens.The rights granted by government to gays don’t deny any rights to straights or religious establishments. No church is required to given the sacrament of marriage to someone. No priest, minister, rabbi is required to marry a gay couple if that is against their conscience. The law certainly doesn’t try to say if someone is committing a sin or not, or try to determine if someone will go to heaven or hell. We need to separate what the church does in marrying someone from what the state does in recognizing a marriage. Sort of the “render unto Caesar” thing. Civic rights are granted by government, religious recognition is given by religions.Your trying to impose Biblical definitions of civic rights is no different than Muslims in Iran, Saudia Arabia, or elsehwere trying to impose sharia on their own people. Except, EXCEPT they don’t have a Bill of Rights and a Constitution drawns up by avowed Christians who deliberately made it impossible for the majority religion to dictate the rights of citizens.

  • globalone

    “No one grows up in a single sex environment even if their parents are of the same sex. In a gay marriage there are brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and grandmas and grandpas and neighbors and fellow students and friends and male and female teachers and doctors…..”Do you realize what an incredibly sad commentary that is? That you can somehow substitute what a devoted father provides to his children with a doctor or teacher? I wonder if your own childhood has shaped this view in some way.And, by the way, how many doctors or teachers will the child have in his or her lifetime? And how many of them will completely contradict themselves? Yes, that’s far better and far easier for a child than having one central and consistent father figure. (Note the heavy sarcasm).I would not argue that the people you mentioned can, ultimately, have a positive impact on a child’s life. But in no meaningful way can they ever come close to the impact that a mom or dad has in shaping a child’s life.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    globalone:Some of your questions are answered in my last post to you. Scroll down.

  • amelia45

    Please learn to expand your vocabulary: I don’t know who started this, so I dont’ know to whom I should address my comment. Sorry.It is interesting to note that we no longer have laws that make adultry, fornication and sodomy a crime. Commission of these acts by a married person may be used as a reason for divorce, but if John Doe goes out and fornicates, commits adultry, or commits sodomy, he cannot be arrested.I point this out as a way of showing how society has changed. No one wears the scarlet letter anymore – well maybe some religious communities would still shun or kick someone out who did, but they don’t go to jail unless there are a whole lot of other criteria that are met, like use of force or sex with an underage person. So, as much as we are a country with lots of people who practice religion, our laws do not reflect Biblical ideas of what constitutes a sexual sin. Just more food for thought on how the civic sphere is different from the religious sphere.

  • Alex511

    fr jpdg:>…Calling sodomy “marriage” doesn’t make it marriage. It’s just another incidence of the homosexual community stealing language and killing its meaning. My wife and I are a same-sex couple. We “stole” NOTHING when we married two years ago in June 2008.Grow UP and get a life. Deal with the FACT that Marriage EQUALITY is going to be in place in all 50 states plus DC. Hopefully soon!

  • timmy2

    Globalone”That you can somehow substitute what a devoted father provides to his children with a doctor or teacher? I wonder if your own childhood has shaped this view in some way”Why did you focus on the doctor and the teacher when I mentioned brothers and sister and aunties and uncles and grandmothers and grandfathers and friends and then I finally got around to adding teachers and doctors and you specifically focused on how the doctor can not replace the father. Are you really unaware that your bias on this made you focus on the doctor when I went through a big long list of other close family members before I tagged on doctors at the very end?Many of the most well adjusted children I have ever met were raised by their grandparents or had their grandparent’s replace a missing father or an very close aunt or uncle. Your statement that the child of a same sex couple lives in a single sex world is out to linch bunk and you know it. That’s why you had to skip over all of my other family examples and focus on doctor.You focus on doctor after that long list of family members outs your hard nosed bias.Your suffering children argument is empty. See my next post for more on this.

  • timmy2

    My wife and I recently moved to a very small community in a remote part of Canada with a population of about 1,700. It’s primarily a fishing village turned nature tourism destination and the surf capital of Canada. So for a town of 1,700, it’s quite a mix of people. Old loggers and fishermen, ecotourism keeners, Sea kayakers, surfers, restaurant owners, artists and artisans. Soon after we moved in we met a lesbian couple living up the road. (feel free to gag, globe, but please read on)They are in their fifties I’d guess, and have a 17 year old son. I don’t know how they got him, but they’ve had him since he was a baby and I don’t think they made him together. Perhaps they got David Crosby to knock one of them up or maybe immaculate conception, but somehow these two lesbians got their hands on a baby boy. Now just imagine this poor child growing up in an all female world. Of course it was nothing like that. Anyway his mom called me today and said that he was doing a bottle drive for some charity thing through his school and could he collect our refundable bottles for the next month or so. I said sure and she sent him over to meet me and sort out the details. He just left. After I showed him where he could collect my bottles, we chatted as he loaded up a wheel barrel full of my bottles. “do you surf?” I asked. That’s always my first question when I meet someone here. “Yes” he said enthusiastically. Then he said something very peculiar for a boy who grew up in a single sex world of women. He said “You learned to surf from girls? You probably won’t see me on the waves that I surf then” and he laughed.Now, Globalone, where on earth did he learn to be jokingly misogynistic? From his lesbian mothers? I highly doubt it. Probably from uncles, grandfathers, friends, but you’re right, probably not from his teacher or his doctor.His laugh at the end let me know that he was joking and then we chatted some more, he thanked me for the bottles and off he went. One of the most well adjusted 17 year-old boys I’ve ever encountered. They’re usually little sh!ts.Your “suffering child” argument is so empty. This is far from an isolated case. Loving parents are loving parents and that’s all that matters.

  • onofrio

    A pigeon (or two) among the cohort of cats:Same-sex marriage between two consenting adults – great! Why not? Got me wondering…why should “marriage” be limited to two?Why not open it up numerically to three, or four, or more? Bride triads, groom tetrarchies, mini-harims, circles of much-more-than-friends…the combinations are kaleidoscopic.If they all really “love” each other, and want a sanctioned, sealed, legal, public union, it’s OK, right?Why, I can see whole platoons, basketball teams, boards of directors, and juries getting hitched for ever, or at least until the thrill is gone. In any case, all you need is “love”!Seriously, what is it about coital “pairs” that attracts our sacralising instincts, becoming the high ground of “true” love? Is it because nature has mapped the pair onto our very bodies? Is the visceral resistance that many feel toward the non-breeding same-sex pair one of those atavistic instincts that must be overcome, like, say, eating one’s own young?Nature – what a tricksy mistress she is. How does one both forsake and embrace her? Foolery for thought…or to be fought.

  • timmy2

    “Nature – what a tricksy mistress she is. How does one both forsake and embrace her?”People who think that nature intended man and woman forget that nature made gay people. I’m pretty sure nurture has been ruled out as the culprit for gayness.As for group marriages or love bungalows or whatever you want to call them, I see no ethical problem. Perhaps the government should get out of the relationship sanctioning ad codifying business altogether. The tax code can be re-worked to accommodate.

  • onofrio

    Calling all Christmongering manglers of love:As in all things Christic, there is a great deal of selectivity at large when it comes to the application of Holy Writ to bodies.Right-thinking Christoerotics heap fulsome praise on the current institution of marriage, even though there will be no marriage in the Perfect Heaven, according to their (unmarried) Jezeus. Well, nothing that is except that of a murdered/murdering Super Lamb to a Rinso-white Bride. But then Jezeus was often a tricksy talker, especially after he resurrected (just ask all those Gnostics). So, it’ll be big sheepy love in the heavenlies, but for angelised eunuch puritans only, in a chaste, mystical G-rated sort of way. No low union of tonk and minge, just lots of … ecstasy. B(l)eatific!St Paul the pseudo-Jew thought marriage a contingency for lust just barely above burning, an encumbrance to be avoided by the Saved in the Last Days (so very close, as ever). Realising he could not turn his converts into celibates like himself (??), Paulus put a sanctimonious Christ-Church gloss on marriage (what a turn-on!) and left it at that. Burn away, and think of Jezeus…One wonders about the exact nature of Paul’s devotion to young Timothy. He really did protesteth too much in Romans, methinks, on the matter of sexual “usage”. Erastes-eromenos?

  • onofrio

    Timmy,Thee:That could be a wise move.

  • onofrio

    Secular,Thee:If history is a dust heap, then what are we but dust? Alchemy and history both needed – alive, kicking, in rude good health.

  • Carstonio

    The issue of whether children do better with opposite-gender parents isn’t relevant to the legality of same-sex marriage. To argue otherwise implies that same-sex couples are going to have children in most instances. When opposite-sex couples marry, we don’t question their right to do so based on their intentions or ability to reproduce.

  • hd1225

    I am praying for you. Blessings.

  • onofrio

    HD1225Passive-aggro preyer.

  • globalone

    “You focus on doctor after that long list of family members outs your hard nosed bias”So I counter an argument YOU MADE and now you’re criticizing me for not addressing each and every statement? Too funny. To be honest, I had neither the time nor the energy to opine on each and every possible family combination that you mentioned. Perhaps I was just hoping that my point would be made more implicitly. Oh well.As an aside, I have two brothers and two sisters (I am the oldest of the siblings). I can say, without question, that my mom and dad provided for me in ways that my brothers and sisters did not. And I would never assume that I could have stood in my dad’s place for my siblings if anything had happened to him when we were growing up.

  • PSolus

    hd1225,”I am praying for you.”Oh, oh, pray for me too, OK?”Blessings.”Spectacles, testicles, wallet, and watch.

  • globalone

    Tim,Nice story. The young man certainly sounds like he has it all together. Thank goodness I didn’t theorize that ALL kids without an XX and XY parent are doomed to failure. I would have been in some trouble! *sigh*Did you know that a 70 year old, lifelong non-smoker has a 33% chance of living to 90? But only a 7% chance if they have been a smoker for most of their life?So your sample size, of one child, while very persuasive, is quite ascinine.My brothers and sisters, of which there are four, have been extremely blessed. Then again, we had a mom and dad for most of our entire lives. A friend of mine, who has one more brother than I do, lost his dad to divorce when he was a freshman in high school. I can say, without question, that his family is the most dysfunctional family I know. Coincidence? Maybe. But I think not. Either way, it’s hardly a representative sample.The fundamental point is this: Men and women are different. Mothers and fathers are different. A woman’s idea of intimacy is vastly different from a man’s. Women desire “love” moreso than “respect.” For men, it’s the other way around. I believe that, in the end, its supposed to be this way.Any further discussion on this topic is useless if we can’t reconcile this fundamental point.(Which is not unlike the health care debate. You either believe it’s a right or a privilege, but either way, the discussion cannot move forward unless there is some sort of agreement on that one point).

  • PSolus

    globalone,Bear in mind that most of the heathens and infidels on this blog were products of heterosexual parents.

  • spidermean2

    Can somebody tell the judge that homosexuality is a DISEASE? If they want to contract the disease, it is up to them but WE CAN’T LEGALIZE A DISEASE.

  • spidermean2

    Jacoby wrote “I was surprised that lay Catholics are just about as likely to favor social acceptance of homosexuality as mainline Protestants.”Those who know that Catholicism and mainline Protestantism are FALSE religions are not surprised.Don’t be surprised if the nukes would only devastate the liberal gay-marrying democrat cities in America.

  • timmy2

    Globe two”Either way, it’s hardly a representative sample”You mean my 17 year old neighbor up the street? I’d bet dollars to donuts he’s typical. I’d bet that most kids of gay couples are quite well adjusted. I’ve seen no evidence otherwise and a lot of evidence in favor of. Certainly we’ve seen zero evidence from you on the troubled lives of the children of gays. “The fundamental point is this: Men and women are different”Agreed. And?”Mothers and fathers are different”Agreed. And?”A woman’s idea of intimacy is vastly different from a man’s”Agreed. And?”Women desire “love” moreso than “respect.” For men, it’s the other way around. I believe that, in the end, its supposed to be this way”Have you forgotten that nature created gay people? So gay people are “supposed” to be here right? Maybe they’re supposed be here to raise children that heteros don’t want or can’t keep. There must be a reason nature created them right? “Any further discussion on this topic is useless if we can’t reconcile this fundamental point”Men and women are different? Who has not reconciled that point? Everyone agrees. So now what? How does that mean that gays can’t marry?”Which is not unlike the health care debate. You either believe it’s a right or a privilege, but either way, the discussion cannot move forward unless there is some sort of agreement on that one point”Massively false dichotomy. You don’t have to believe that it’s a right to be in favor of universal health coverage. You could be in favor of it because you don’t want to be around a lot of sick and poor people all the time for the rest of your life.

  • timmy2

    Globe”So I counter an argument YOU MADE and now you’re criticizing me for not addressing each and every statement?”You did not counter the argument that I made. my argument included that whole list. That list was long enough and powerful enough to not be diminished in the slightest by picking off the weakest link at the very bottom of the list. You in no way countered my argument. “I can say, without question, that my mom and dad provided for me in ways that my brothers and sisters did not”And my brothers and sisters provided for me in ways that my parents could not. Circumstances abound.”Thank goodness I didn’t theorize that ALL kids without an XX and XY parent are doomed to failure”You erroneously theorized that they grow up in single sex environments. That stands debunked. They most certainly do not. “So your sample size, of one child, while very persuasive, is quite ascinine”It was just an random example that happened today while in the middle of this discussion and I thought it quite relevant. I’ve never met a gay couple who wanted children who I didn’t think would make great parents. Most gay couples don’t want kids. The ones that do really want them. If only heterosexual couples decided to have kids only because they really wanted kids as opposed to because it’s expected of all of them to do so. “A friend of mine, who has one more brother than I do, lost his dad to divorce when he was a freshman in high school. I can say, without question, that his family is the most dysfunctional family I know”Sure lets get anecdotal. Here’s mine. My heterosexual parents were divorced when I was five. By the age of seven I was counseling other kids in my class who’s heterosexual parents were getting divorced on how to deal with it. Mostly I played up the up sides which were numerous. More presents at Christmas time. Battles over your affection, in a good way. And you still have two parents but they’re both not around all the time which is kind of awesome for a kid when you get into your teen years. Only one parent at a time to dodge when you’re trying to sneak out late. It wasn’t traumatic at all. I toughened up and got a dose of reality early on with almost no pain at all. In fact I don’t even remember crying once about it. But I’ll bet I would have grown up in a household with more love in it had I been adopted by two lesbian parents who really wanted to raise children together. I’d probably be cooler than i am now. But that would be hard. I’m pretty cool.

  • timmy2

    Spidey”Can somebody tell the judge that homosexuality is a DISEASE?”You wish judges did what people told them to do. Unfortunately judges base there decisions on evidence. So bye bye God arguments.”WE CAN’T LEGALIZE A DISEASE”I agree. Cancer should remain illegal!!!!

  • timmy2

    Globalone”"I believe that, in the end, its supposed to be this way”And some believe that the way it is supposed to be, is in the end. Different strokes.

  • bpai_99

    Ms. Jacoby,I admire your ongoing efforts at tolerance and understanding, which far exceed that which so-called Christians would extend to you.Christianity provides justification for hate and bigotry, witness the posts you receive here. It enabled the Crusades, the Inquisition and the Holocaust. Your noble attempt to find some common ground of decency is hopeless when you are dealing with fanatics. Muslim or Christian, it makes no difference – they are equally intolerant and close-minded.”It is necessary for salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” – Pope Boniface VII

  • spidermean2

    Like cancer, homosexuality is a sickness. You don’t legalize or promote a sickness. We CURE it.Imagine if it is ok to spread tuberculosis in public places.

  • daniel12

    The world seems so boring and technology so intrusive into lives it seems all we have is exercise, sex, travel to where everyone else has already gone…In other words, so much mystery has gone out of life that we can expect not only homosexuality legalized but all sorts of sexual practices become the norm. What really do we expect our children to do but play video games, screw, get some nine to five job and have children? At best they might become scientists or something and really help people, but the majority of people? What are they supposed to with their lives? Being picky about sexual practices will be so archaic in a hundred years. People just move on and find other interests. Really the whole story of human history.

  • spidermean2

    We, the people, therefore make an agreement or law that tuberculosis is good for your health.Like tuberculosis, homosexuality is a disease we can’t promote.Homosexuality is not normal. It’s an abnormal behavior. We can’t legalize ABNORMALITY. Somebody should tell the judge that he is sick.

  • globalone

    “. . . they are equally intolerant and close-minded”Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.Just saying.

  • lepidopteryx

    Relax, Spidey. Homosexuality isn’t a disease, and it isn’t contagious. If the gay couple down the street from you get married, their gayness isn’t going to get into the neighborhood water supply and suddenly make you start putting posters of Chippendale dancers on the ceiling over your bed.

  • areyousaying

    fr jpdg:>…Calling sodomy “marriage” doesn’t make it marriage. —————————–Calling hatred, intolerance and ignorance “God’s will” doesn’t make it Christianity.

  • areyousaying

    Susan, defending your genealogy and beliefs with sidebars makes you look like a weak victim on some two bit soap opera.

  • ZZim

    ZZim –What a bizarre rationale you have. Homosexual marriage must not be allowed because the sperm/ovum thing is required for the survival of the species?You really feel that way? Hmmmm…Posted by: mishi69 =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=No, Mishi, I don’t feel that way. As I said in my post that you FAILED TO READ even though it was right in front of you, “I personally have no objection” to gay marriage. I said it, you failed to read it.I’m just countering Susan’s assertion that there is NO non-religious rationale for opposing gay marriage by pointing out the obvious SECULAR argument that gay marriage is manifestly unnatural and destructive. I don’t personally oppose gay marriage. I think that the human race is sufficiently robust that we can tolerate a few self-destructive minority elements within our midst.So let ‘em do it, I say..

  • globalone

    “And my brothers and sisters provided for me in ways that my parents could not. Circumstances abound.”Agreed. But the greatest and most significant influence on who you become is not your siblings. That responsibility rests with your parents.Again, the basis of my argument is that the best chance for a child to succeed is having a foundation that begins with a committed mother & father. Each bringing unique and complimentary gifts to raising a child. Gifts that cannot be genuinely replicated by members of the opposite sex, siblings, other immediate family members, or friends/coworkers.I hold heterosexual families completely accountable for destroying this opportunity through divorce. Which is why, in my case, my wife and I included the words, “divorce is not an option” in our wedding vows.

  • ZZim

    ZZim,”The science of biology provides us with an excellent rationale for opposing “gay marriage”. Because men and woman are different and male/female couples are required for the existance of the species, and… well, duh.”Do you think that if “gay marriage”, all over the world, were made legal, our species would cease to exist?Posted by: PSolus =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-Not at all, PSolus. As I mentioned to Mishi, the human race is sufficiently robust that we can tolerate a few self-destructive minority elements within our midst.So I’m in FAVOR of a flexible legal regime that allows them to do as they please as long as they promise to be tolerant of the majority’s beliefs.The intent of my original post was simply to point out that there is indeed a perfectly legitimate SECULAR argument for opposing “gay marriage”..

  • ZZim

    Homosexuality isn’t a disease, and it isn’t contagious.Posted by: Carstonio=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-Good point, Carstonio. For nearly everyone, the thought of personally participating in gay sex is nauseating and repulsive. On the other hand, most of us, myself included, simply don’t care what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own homes.Therefore, I have no objection to “gay marriage.”.

  • timmy2

    Globe,”We, the people, therefore make an agreement or law that tuberculosis is good for your health”Allowing gay marriage is not the government saying that it is good for your health any more than allowing the smoking of cigarettes and drinking of alcohol is saying that it is good for your health. Strike 4,923. You were out a long long time ago

  • timmy2

    Ooops, my last post was for Spidey. You’re next Globe.

  • ZZim

    Excellent arguments, Carstonio, as always. As I stated previously, I agree with your first argument that the human race is sufficiently robust that we need not fear harm from the unnatural and sterile couplings of a tiny minority. In fact, from all evidence we got this far with the exact same percentages of homosexuals in the population for all of history and beyond. It’s just not that big a deal. Some 10% of Humans will be southpaws, a (smaller) minority will be gay, no biggie.As to whether or not the continued existence of the Human race is a good thing, I think that’s a topic for another discussion, lol.However, I take issue with your assertion that the “unnatural” argument is religious in nature. In my mind, religion requires an appeal to authority, and that authority must be some sort of deity. The “unnatural” argument IS an appeal to authority, but one based on scientific observation of nature. Nature is not a deity. Therefore, I think that this is in fact a secular argument.Now morality itself is simply a system of rules, derived via some method, that enables us to live in harmony. I think that an absolutist rule that said “homosexuality is unnatural and should be suppressed” is a bad idea because it is in fact totally natural for a small percentage of any given Human population to be homosexual, just like it’s normal for a minority of the population to be left-handed (about 10% I think).The real battle here is because absolutists feel that the majority should suppress minority groups whose practices most people find repulsive. These absolutists feel very strongly about this, and they are willing to fight. On the other hand, the small minority of people who feel suppressed are also highly motivated to NOT be suppressed. So we have this big fight. I can see both sides, and I am not an absolutist. So I think there’s plenty of room to carve out exceptions so we can live and let live..

  • timmy2

    Globe,”Agreed. But the greatest and most significant influence on who you become is not your siblings”It was for me and it is for many kids with absent fathers and mothers or just crappy mothers and fathers. Right there we’re talking about more than half the kids in America. Your statement above is your own personal experience and not “the way it is supposed to be” according to anyone but Bible readers. “That responsibility rests with your parents”Wrong. It rests with whoever raises you. “Again, the basis of my argument is that the best chance for a child to succeed is having a foundation that begins with a committed mother & father”Moot to the issue of whether or not gays should be allowed to marry. This debate is not about whether or not gays should be allowed to have kids, although of course they should, but you are trying to make an argument against the legal coupling of two people who love each other and want to commit for life. You have no argument with this parenting talk. Save it for the “should gays be allowed to have kids” discussion. You make the common mistake of believing the Bible’s version of marriage which is to procreate. That is no longer the main drive behind marriage and hasn’t been for a very long time. “I hold heterosexual families completely accountable for destroying this opportunity through divorce”Why not make divorce illegal like gay marriage then? Same argument. Identical actually. “Which is why, in my case, my wife and I included the words, “divorce is not an option” in our wedding vows”Oh that’s a great one for children. No one can control love. So you fall out of love with your spouse and in fact you can’t stand her anymore, but you made a vow and so now the kids have to grow up in a house of bickering and resentment and hatred?Better to get a divorce. Kids can handle it. I handled it fine from the age of five. 1. The ability to raise children is not a prerequisite for marriage of heterosexuals and so you can not make it a prerequisite for the marriage of heterosexuals. 2. You have presented no evidence of children raised by same sex parents having any serious problems that children from opposite sex marriages don’t have. Zero. Dead argument. Unless you have something new. Everything you’ve cited so far is moot to the gay marriage issue.

  • ZZim

    Allowing gay marriage is not the government saying that it is good for your health any more than allowing the smoking of cigarettes and drinking of alcohol is saying that it is good for your health. Posted by: timmy2 |Excellent point, Timmy. Homosexuality is not contagious, whereas tuberculosis is contagious. Therefore, suppressing tuberculosis is a legitimate activity for the government to engage in.Nearly everyone finds the thought of personally participating in gay sex repulsive. We don’t need government help avoiding gay sex any more than we need government help in avoiding eating earthworms..

  • timmy2

    ZZIM”The “unnatural” argument IS an appeal to authority, but one based on scientific observation of nature”Which has nothing to say about marriage. Gays appear naturally in nature and always have. There is no scientific evidence in favor of heterosexual marriage either. There is no scientific evidence in favor of any marriage. Marriage is not natural, it is an invented human ritual. The laws of nature do not govern it the laws of society do. Although I believe the laws of society should not govern love relationships for anyone.

  • PSolus

    ZZim,”So I’m in FAVOR of a flexible legal regime that allows them to do as they please as long as they promise to be tolerant of the majority’s beliefs.”Are you also in FAVOR of a flexible legal regime that allows non-gays to do as they please as long as they promise to be tolerant of the minority’s beliefs?

  • ZZim

    Are you also in FAVOR of a flexible legal regime that allows non-gays to do as they please as long as they promise to be tolerant of the minority’s beliefs?Posted by: PSolus=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-Well duh..

  • ZZim

    ZZIM”The “unnatural” argument IS an appeal to authority, but one based on scientific observation of nature”Which has nothing to say about marriage…..Marriage is not natural, it is an invented human ritual. Posted by: timmy2=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-I agree 100% Timmy. There’s no reason why law should reflect nature. The purpose of morality is actually to SUPPRESS certain natural behaviors – murder, rape, stealing are good examples. Regarding marriage, I agree that it’s an invented Human ritual, but it should be noted that it’s an invented Human ritual whose purpose is to promote, support, and bolster the critical social activity of male/female pair bonding and family creation, which is the molecular basis for all Human society. Using it to promote gay pair bonding is far outside the purpose for which this Human ritual was invented.On the other hand, marriage provides a host of positive benefits intended to support stable male/female pair bondings. People who are not in male/female pair bonds want those benefits. I personally don’t see any harm in letting them have those benefits. I don’t see how it threatens real marriages in any way..

  • timmy2

    “I see the core idea of religion as the individual contemplating his or her place in the universe”CARSTONIO”I see the core idea of religion as the individual contemplating his or her place in the universe”I see that as the core idea of spirituality, not religion, particularly because of the personal nature and the word “contemplate”.Religion is a conclusion that has been reached after the contemplating. Religion is the codification of spiritual thoughts by a group of people. Perhaps this is nit picky but I see an important distinction.

  • ZZim

    Religion need not involve deities or appeals to such – examples would be Taoism and Confucianism.Posted by: CarstonioHmm, then I don’t consider those to be religions then. I would consider those to be secular ideologies of they’re based on observation of the natural world.If they involve made-up stuff like ancestral spirits, evil demons or the Earth Mother, then they would be religions to me..

  • timmy2

    Statistics show that children brought up by rich parents are more likely to be successful than children brought up by poor parents.Perhaps then there should be minimum income restrictions on couples who want to get married even if their not planning children. You know, just to be safe. Sound good, Globe? It only makes sense doesn’t it?

  • ZZim

    Part of the issue is that “repulsive” is an emotional reaction, and even if the majority of straights have that reaction to homosexuality, that’s no basis for saying that homosexuality is immoral, and it is most definitely not a basis for treating gays differently under the law.Posted by: CarstonioAgreed. I feel that way about tattooed women – eww. But that’s no reason to ban it.Things should be immoral if they are genuinely destructive to society. On the other hand, some things are destructive, but the suppressing them though legal means is actually even more destructive. So the argument really isn’t whether or not gay marriage is destructive and therefore immoral – I believe that it is – it’s just that suppressing it is more destructive than allowing it and tolerating it. (On a side note, marijuana prohibition is a perfect example of this.)So count me as a supporter of “gay marriage”, but not for the Leftist-approved reasons.By the way, Susan elucidates my position in her initial quote “”Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians.” Although I wouldn’t characterize marriage as a “right”..

  • timmy2

    ZZim”Hmm, then I don’t consider those to be religions then. I would consider those to be secular ideologies of they’re based on observation of the natural world”Correct you are.Religionnoun1. a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny;2. institution to express belief in a divine power.Not supernatural = not religion. Unless of course we want to change definitions of words at random.

  • globalone

    “It was for me and it is for many kids with absent fathers and mothers or just crappy mothers and fathers”That’s the point. You can easily substitute any number of people for your mother or father, but it’s not an equal trade. If I lost my mother and father and had no siblings, I would speculate that my closest friends would most likely fill that void. Does that mean I’m made whole? Or am I forever missing out on something that I would have received had I not lost my parents (through death, divorce, etc.)

  • ZZim

    amelia45: “… it sounds like you are saying civil unions are okay but the government can’t call it marriage because the majority want to keep the word “marriage” exclusively for male/female, um, civil unions/marriages? Is that it?”Nah, I don’t care what we call it, I thik arguing the semantics is pointless.amelia45: “… So, let gays marry. Let churches decide if they will confer the sacrament of marriage or bless the union.” Exactly my position. As long as individual churches are free to participate or non-participate, the state can do as it likes..

  • ZZim

    “as long as they promise to be tolerant of the majority’s beliefs.”So I understand your reasoning, why should they bear the burden of being tolerant? Posted by: Carstonio=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-Amelia summed it up far better than I did. The state can call gay marriage / civil unions whatever it likes. As long as individual churches have the freedom to participate, non-participate, or condemn it, I don’t think it hurts anything.I think that forced participation for the majority would be FAR more destructive to society than the current regime of denial for the minority..

  • PSolus

    ZZim,”Are you also in FAVOR of a flexible legal regime that allows non-gays to do as they please as long as they promise to be tolerant of the minority’s beliefs?”"Well duh.”Well spoken; kudos.Is that promise to be inserted into the legal wedding vows?”I promise to love, honor, and obey… [whatever]… and to be tolerant of the minority’s beliefs, till death do I be tolerant.”

  • timmy2

    ZZIM”but it should be noted that it’s an invented Human ritual whose purpose is to promote, support, and bolster the critical social activity of male/female pair bonding and family creation, which is the molecular basis for all Human society”Huh? Marriage was invented by God religions to codify the male female relationship within the religion. It has no secular source such as you cite above. I’m not sure where you got that definition of marriage above from but it does not actually exist. anywhere. I’m pretty sure you made it up as you were typing. There is no such thing as “the molecular basis for all Human society”"Using it to promote gay pair bonding is far outside the purpose for which this Human ritual was invented”Using it anywhere outside of religion is far outside the purpose for which this human ritual was invented. The definition of marriage has changed many many times over the years. Some say it was originally invented to square away inheritance or so that the brides father can get some new goats. There is nothing sacred about this institution. It’s a free for all.

  • ZZim

    Is that promise to be inserted into the legal wedding vows?Posted by: PSolus =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-No, I don’t think that’s necessary. Tolerance is a two-way street. Symmetry is the part of the social contract that makes tolerance possible. .

  • quiensabe

    I’m not sure Christians object to gays marrying any more than non-Christians do. And this judge is making that distinction for us. There is no requirement, as far as I can see, that a man and a woman get married, either by the church or state. Folks seem to think that a marriage contract protects a woman’s rights to property and to establish security for children. That may well be. As a Christian, I am beginning to see less and less need for the state to license the union between a man and a woman. By the same token, gay men and women, who want contractual protections of their relationship should form a limited liability corporation or something similar. That way they could throw their amicus briefs at the foot of the Supreme Court judges much like the feminists did in the 60′s when they burned their bras.

  • ZZim

    There is no such thing as “the molecular basis for all Human society”Posted by: timmy2=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-Sure there is. Male/female pair bonding is the nuclear component of all of society. Male/female pairs create families, related families form clans and tribes, related clans and tribes form nations, etc. It’s the biological basis for the Human race. Without it we don’t exist..

  • globalone

    “Statistics show that children brought up by rich parents are more likely to be successful than children brought up by poor parents. Perhaps then there should be minimum income restrictions on couples who want to get married even if their not planning children.”If your view is that the primary objective of parenting is to ensure wealth and prosperity, then I could see why you would advocate such a restriction.However, my guess is that most people view parenting as something different. I don’t define “success” in terms of status, profession, and make/model of car they drive. I’m more concerned with a term such as “humility”, that doesn’t require a certain income level to obtain.

  • ZZim

    forced participation for the majorityBut no one is proposing such a forced participation. Posted by: Carstonio=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-Sure they are. That’s one of the problems with portraying promotion of gay marriage as a civil rights struggle. If it’s a civil right, then the government must force everyone to go along with it.I think that fear of forced participation is a legitimate concern that religious communities have..

  • ZZim

    How exactly would anyone be forced to participate in a gay marriage? Posted by: lepidopteryx=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-Individuals cannot be forced to participate in gay marriage, but institutions could be. Forcing institutions (meaning churches) to participate in gay marriage against their core values would be destructive to those institutions..

  • lepidopteryx

    ZZIM,

  • PSolus

    ZZim,”Sure they are. That’s one of the problems with portraying promotion of gay marriage as a civil rights struggle. If it’s a civil right, then the government must force everyone to go along with it.”How so?Heterosexual marriage is a civil right, but the government cannot force me to marry.Religious practice is a civil right, but the government cannot force me to practice religion.Gun ownership is a civil right, but the government cannot force me to buy a gun.

  • timmy2

    ZZIM”That’s one of the problems with portraying promotion of gay marriage as a civil rights struggle”No one is promoting gay marriage here. Equal rights is what’s being promoted.

  • timmy2

    ZZIM”No, marriage as an institution far predates “God religions””Sorry, but not even homo erectus predates God religions.”It’s just a formal recognition by society that a specific customary relationship exists between two people, attendant with certain rights and privileges”This would be the new secular definition of marriage but not the original by a country mile. And the definition above works for gay marriages as well.

  • Secular

    Onforio, don’t put words in mouth. “If history is a dust heap, then what are we but dust?”. I did not say that History is dust heap. I said “dust heap of history”, that makes “dust heap” a metaphorical part of history. In short discard them like we had discarded many a inane, superstitious rituals and memes as we realized that those things do not provide any benefit to us. Religions are one of those things, that have never provided anything beneficial. And certainly we now know that they do not really provide any benefit, only misery, physically of mentally. So it behooves us to ignore those things. Once we do that then most of these superstitious, bigoted & vile practices will go away overnight.Besides this nonsense about churches being forced, etc, etc. Is just a red herring. These damned churches also did the same thing some 50 years ago when it was legal for inter-racial marriages. Those inter-racial couples when their churches refused to marry them went somewhere else and got married. It was the bigoted churches, when they realized that they were missing out on the inter-racial marriage booty that they started performing inter-racial marriages. You see, even the bigots have their price. When they saw that the opportunity cost was too high tehy got their damn tails between their stupid legs and started to come begging. That is what, these good for nothing snake oil selling churches are, just crass commercial enterprises that prey on the tender mercies of the people.

  • ZZim

    Sorry, but not even homo erectus predates God religions.Posted by: timmy2=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=Homo Habilis invented God religions?Ahhahhhahahahahah!Good one.

  • ThishowIseeit

    Biblical literalism is now irrational after science has proven the the story of creation in Genesis is completly wrong.

  • timmy2

    ZIMM”Secular, this is untrue and it is a complete statement of bigotry”Bigotry is against people. Secular was talking about religion which is a set of ideas. There is no such thing as bigotry towards ideas or superstition. “Organized religions have been and continue to be enormously beneficial to society”One could make the same case for cigarettes. Everyone who lights up a smoke calms their nerves which is beneficial to society. What you may not be taking into account are the negatives far outweighing the positives resulting in a net negative. Secular’s case against religion is solid in this regard. “but I can see the significant positive influence that religion has had on society through out history and I think it’s important that they be allowed to freely flourish for the good of society”Only because freedom of religion is good for society not because religion is.”Freedom of religion is an extremely important governing principle and we should work hard to protect it”No one here is threatening freedom of religion n the slightest.

  • timmy2

    ZZIM”Homo Habilis invented God religions?”Evidence suggests that homo erectus had religion. Most certainly your statement that marriage predates god religions is false. Coupling may have, but marriage did not. The very first marriage was a religious ritual. No doubt about it. “Timmy, perhaps I should have phrased it “portraying gay marriage,” then you might have understood the sentence better”I understood the sentence fine as written. It referred to the promotion of gay marriage which is not happening. What is being promoted is equal rights. You “portrayed” it as the promotion of gay marriage. I accept your retraction of the term “promotion of gay marriage.” It was indeed erroneous.

  • timmy2

    ZIMM”If marriage is a civil right, and churches have the right to refuse to marry same-sex couples, then we would have a situation of “separate but equal” Which would be unconstitutional.Wrong. Because marriage is a civil right, but marriage in a church is not a civil right. We all have the civil right to open a business too, but churches are allowed to help one person open a business and refuse to help another person open a business. Get it?

  • BlaiseP

    I wonder about these ‘culture’ wars. I query the • Real wages in the US peaked in 1973, working class Americans have seen • Most Americans are heavily in debt with very little chance of escaping. Their houses are worth now something like 20% less than they paid. Think you would use your house to fund your retirement? Think again.• Amongst modern democracies America inequality is unequalled. In fact the US is one of the most unequal societies on earth. Pundits talk about “we’ll turn into a Latin American society”. Guess what? The US is already there! The mix of rich to poor in the US is equivalent to what one finds in Cameroon. In fact, some LatAm societies are And in reponse, what do the good and the great of America offer? They attack the Catholic Church. The Church, which is probably foremost in working towards social justice, the Church which is unparalleled in its work with the poor and wretched of society, the Church which works unceasingly in assimilating the Latinos who are flooding into the US in record numbers.

  • timmy2

    Secular”Onforio, don’t put words in mouth”Might as well ask a bee to stop making honey. Onofrio lives to express other people’s view for them in such a way that any 4 year-old could assail them. But he’s no 4 year old. He is a formidable wordster. He can make people actually think they see a gun in your hands, if they’re not too sharp.

  • timmy2

    Secular”That is what, these good for nothing snake oil selling churches are, just crass commercial enterprises that prey on the tender mercies of the people”So well put, complete with “snake oil salesman”. These “tender mercies of the people” you speak of are innate. I see them in virtually all people I meet, and I feel them coursing through my own veins. Religions hijack that very powerful instinct and manipulate it for institutional gain. But the only thing more damaging than the church are the non-believing religious apologists. They are single handedly halting progress out of the dark ages. They are the reason we still have a third world. Religion would be on a much steeper natural demise today and in it’s place, the supposed “void”, would be filled by individual personal spiritual philosophies and journeys, and a rebirth of the wonder of scientific exploration. The internet will be the final nail in the coffin for religion, with the first nail being the printing press. All it takes is knowledge to get to the people, and religion suffers horribly. Within a decade, or two, the sum of all human knowledge will be available to every man woman and child on the planet for free. It’s just a matter of time after that. This very natural process however will be slowed by a well meaning political correctness. Make no mistake about it I do not question the motives of non-believing religious apologists who defend religion. I know they mean well. To them we are not respecting what others choose to believe. If I thought for one moment that most religious people chose to believe what they believe after thinking about it critically as adults, and looking at all of the evidence available, and they came to a personal decision that this was the belief and religion for them, I would have no choice but to say, “oh well Timmy boy they must be on to something. Even if I don’t believe it I can’t argue with 70% of the world’s population.” But we all know this is not the case. Most religious people do not choose their beliefs as adults with critical thought and a view of all available evidence. The majority of our world population is stuck in a cycle of childhood cult indoctrination. Yes when the child reaches adulthood then she can think for herself and has the free will to part with what her parent taught her. But when the first 18 years of that child’s life starts with it having it’s chubby little baby hands placed into the praying position by it’s parents to pray to the one true god for it’s food before it’s head is even solid, and this continues on to weekly church sermons and community reinforcement, come on. We can safely say that most religious people do not believe what they believe of their own choice and thought. It’s a cult stupid. PS I’m not calling anyone dumb here, I’m just referencing a great Democratic election campaign slogan, Okay bee. Make your honey.

  • amelia45

    “Evidence suggests that homo erectus had religion. Most certainly your statement that marriage predates god religions is false. Coupling may have, but marriage did not. The very first marriage was a religious ritual. No doubt about it.”Where did this come from? Timmy2, was it you?Well, which religion do you think was first to recognize marriage? I think it was some sort of early point when small tribes lived in caves and the religion believed in the gods of the wind and rain. What I really suspect is that tribes started some sort of recognition of a male/female bonding so that it was clear who was responsible for the children. Marriage then existed, whether it was called marriage or had all the other trappings. Then, religions took it over. Well, we will never know.But here are some of the way Mr. Olson said the law has recognized marriage here in the US and as a legal institution (from his closing statement): “Marriage, the Supreme Court has said again and again, is a component of liberty, privacy, association, spirituality and autonomy.. . . It is the right of individuals, not an indulgence dispensed by the State of California, or any state, . . .” Now, rights are given or guarded by laws in societies. If no one guards them, I really believe they can be abused, misused, and could even disappear. So I don’t think governments can do away with marriage.

  • ZZim

    “Organized religions have been and continue to be enormously beneficial to society”What you may not be taking into account are the negatives far outweighing the positives resulting in a net negative. Secular’s case against religion is solid in this regard. Posted by: timmy2You are entitled to your erroneous opinion, Timmy. However, most Americans agree with me on this..

  • ZZim

    “… marriage is a civil right, but marriage in a church is not a civil right.”Posted by: timmy2 =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-Agreed. However, I fear that the current legal process is headed toward establishing marriage in a church of one’s own choosing as a civil right, and that the day may come when gay couples could sue churches that refuse them service, just like people can sue restaurants (like Denny’s) that refuse them service.I think that this would be a bad thing. It appears to me that you agree with me on that..

  • ZZim

    Bigotry is against people. Secular was talking about religion which is a set of ideas. There is no such thing as bigotry towards ideas or superstition.Posted by: timmy2=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-So, in Timmy-world, a statement like “Judaism is a pestilence upon society” would not be considered an expression of bigotry? Timmy-world is an interesting place.Timmy, most religious people identify themselves closely with their religions and when their religion is attacked, they feel attacked. .

  • PSolus

    ZZim,”I suppose some churches will simply stop performing marriages altogether.”That’s one more potential benefit from legalizing gay marriage.

  • amelia45

    BlaiseP: “And in reponse, what do the good and the great of America offer? They attack the Catholic Church. “Is this tongue in cheek? On the subject under discussion concerning gay rights, yeah, I attack all the religions, including Catholics, who want to limit civil rights based on their concept of sin.It is fine with me if the Church, or any faith, does not marry gays. I don’t want them imposing that view on the rest of the world. (And, ZZIM, civil equal rights are not affected by what religions do in their own religion. The law is not about to try to tell the Southern Baptists they have to marry gay people. We only have a problme when the Southern Baptists want civil law to conform to their religious beliefs.)I would much prefer the Catholic Church to take the, what, $5 to $10 million it spent to stop gays from marrying under civil law and spent that on the poor, hungry, the ill and abused.I would much prefer the Church spend that money on a campaign to bring amnesty to illegal immigrants who have been here for a while.I would much prefer our government tax every Church that promoted and supported partiticular legislation or candidates because they have misused their tax expemt status. I think conservative politicians have played to emotional issues, raised them to a level of impossible discourse, just to avoid really dealing with what they need to be dealing with. I dont’ think conservative politicians really want to end abortion, get rid of all illegal immigrations, or see gay marriage go away, because then they would have nothing to talk about. I think conservative tax policies, lack of regulation, lack of enforcement of regulation created the financial meltdown and have decimated the economy. So, no sympathy here. Although, I would love to know where you got those three bullet points on the wages, debt, and the relative inequality of Americans compared to others. Sounds interesting.

  • ZZim

    That’s one more potential benefit from legalizing gay marriage.Posted by: PSolus =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-I see that you would prefer that result, but the vast majority of Americans would be unhappy about that.Many of them would be quite traumatized. I don’t see that as a “benefit”. For many Americans, church marriage is considered a necessary thing.Forgive me for saying this, but to me your response appears spiteful and callous..

  • ZZim

    The law is not about to try to tell the Southern Baptists they have to marry gay people. We only have a problem when the Southern Baptists want civil law to conform to their religious beliefs. Posted by: amelia45=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-Time will tell. I’m usually right about these things. I think that it’s certainly likely enough that the Southern Baptists (and Mormons, Catholics, Muslims, Orthodox Jews, etc.) should be concerned.Slippery slope and all that..

  • timmy2

    Amelia”Well, which religion do you think was first to recognize marriage?One of them.”I think it was some sort of early point when small tribes lived in caves and the religion believed in the gods of the wind and rain”Yes probably. Definitely religious. “What I really suspect is that tribes started some sort of recognition of a male/female bonding so that it was clear who was responsible for the children”We know this is not true. The women of the tribe were responsible for all the children of the tribe. The men did the hunting, and knocking up of the women. Marriage comes from belief in some guiding lord and the idea of moral monogamy. “Then, religions took it over”You mean then new religions took it over. The first “marriage ceremony” was a religious ritual. It’s pretty hard to dispute this since secularism is a relatively new invention. Everything was done for the gods back then. “Well, we will never know”I’m pretty sure we know. “So I don’t think governments can do away with marriage”They don’t have to do away with them. They just have to butt out of them. The right to get married is not the right to have the government perform the ceremony. Whenever I’ve been to a civil marriage ceremony with a justice of the peace presiding, even though I’m happy not to be in a church, I’m even less happy to hear a government official performing a religious ceremony, getting promises of love from strangers and declaring them bonded forever. It’s creepy. It’s not something government should be doing.

  • timmy2

    ZZIM”You are entitled to your erroneous opinion, Timmy. However, most Americans agree with me on this”Most Americans also believe in the magic sky fairy. Do you? It’s as though I said heroin was bad for society, and you said “well most heroin addicts disagree with you Timmy.” “and that the day may come when gay couples could sue churches that refuse them service, just like people can sue restaurants (like Denny’s) that refuse them service”There is no slippery slope here. Your unwarranted fears of what might happen in the future are no reason to deny gays the equal right to civil marriage. “So, in Timmy-world, a statement like “Judaism is a pestilence upon society” would not be considered an expression of bigotry?”By “Timmy-world” do you mean a world where we used dictionary definitions of words? It would be bigotry if the statement were “Jews are a pestilence upon society”. But judaism is a set of superstitious ideas and we can attack those ideas just as we attack republican or Liberal ideas. Bigotry is when you make it personal, not if people take it personal. “Timmy, most religious people identify themselves closely with their religions and when their religion is attacked, they feel attacked”How they feel is irrelevant to the definition of the word Bigotry.

  • timmy2

    ZZIM”For many Americans, church marriage is considered a necessary thing”For many Americans, the end of days is something they believe will occur in their lifetime.You should really try to stop using the numbers game in a country made up of 80% cult members.

  • nothingisnew

    It seems that most of the posting on here has been in favor gay marriage. It’s refreshing to see all the support. Spidermean is just looking for a fight.To the people who are condemning gay marriage, I have a question.Do you have a gay relative? If so, wouldn’t you want them to have the same rights as you?

  • timmy2

    ZZIMSimply put, by using the word “bigotry” against people who criticize religion, what you are doing is offering religious ideas a special cloak of protection against scrutiny and criticism that no other ideas have by attaching them to the person, and saying if you attack that idea you are attacking that person.No ideas should enjoy this extra special taboo against scrutiny and criticism in the arena of free speech. This taboo is the only reason religions are still so popular in such an age of information and knowledge.

  • PSolus

    ZZim,”I see that you would prefer that result, but the vast majority of Americans would be unhappy about that.”Perhaps.”Many of them would be quite traumatized.”That sounds a tad over the top, to me.”I don’t see that as a “benefit”.”Then, we’ll disagree.”For many Americans, church marriage is considered a necessary thing.”Despite that it isn’t.”Forgive me for saying this,…”You are forgiven: In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Santi.”…but to me your response appears spiteful and callous.”I disagree with the “spiteful”, but I will give you the “callous”.Oh, and, everything is a slippery slope.

  • jontomus

    I’m really trying to see here how gays getting married has any effect on my life whatsoever … or on your lives for that matter.People wipe their butt with one hand or the other, depending on some genetic predisposition I suppose. Other than a curiosity about the genetics involved, I really don’t want to know which hand you use, nor who you like to boff.On the other hand, watching the christian effort to suppress, repress, oppress and just plain press the gays into doing as they want … I don’t like coercion.If the gays want to marry, so what? If the christians want to stop them … that’s not so much a so what.

  • jontomus

    I know my gay friends don’t like this opinion, we’ve discussed it I mean — but I think that religion and homosexuality are a similar mental illness.Some infectious meme occurred during the development of the child, something they could not escape, something their sense of who they are, the kind of human life they should live … something went wrong.Since there are far more christians, and other humanis religio for that matter, than homosexuals, sheer numbers and mutual mastur …. ahem, keeps the larger number in power.But you christians, you’re fighting a losing battle here. You’re not only fighting against the pro gay rights people, you’re also fighting against the massive indifference of most of the rest of us. But we aren’t so indifferent to your power grab here. The more hate, the more intolerance, the more outright biblical-justified bigotry you use, the less indifferent we become.I’d much rather have some strange gay people living a quiet life in my neighborhood that live in a part of town where the christian SS has power, that’s a fact.Why don’t you christians pick another fight, some other indefensible position like creationism or abstinence …

  • Carstonio

    For many Americans, church marriage is considered a necessary thing.Too many of them believe it’s necessary for everyone. Some openly claim that people who have civil marriage ceremonies only “aren’t really married.” When some churches argue that they shouldn’t be required to perform same-sex marriages (even when such a requirement hasn’t been proposed), it sounds a LOT like they believe they have the right to decide who should get married. Not just for their own congregations but also for everyone.

  • Carstonio

    Also, while religious doctrines can and should be open to constructive criticism, it’s irresponsible to bash religion in general on this subject. I’ve encountered numerous Christians who believe there’s nothing ungodly or unbiblical about homosexuality, and who support legal marriage for gay couples.

  • Secular

    ZZIM You wrote, “Secular, this is untrue and it is a complete statement of bigotry. You should be ashamed of yourself”. Absolutely not I am actually quite prod of myself that I got rid of that superstitious monkey of my back. My special venom is for the clerics who very knowingly keep dragging the sheeple to just line their pockets.”Organized religions have been and continue to be enormously beneficial to society”.Whatever, comfort religion provides is actually from itself. They first fill your mind with guilt, shame and fear. Then they turn around and feed the false myth again that your mother or dad is in the heaven waiting to reunite, blah blah. Or they tell you everything is going to work out, when they know nothing of that sort.”I am not a member of any religion, nor do I wish to bow my head before anyone’s alleged deity, but I can see the significant positive influence that religion has had on society through out history and I think it’s important that they be allowed to freely flourish for the good of society.”So you are one of those, Dennett calls, one who believes in belief.”Freedom of religion is an extremely important governing principle and we should work hard to protect it”.From freedom of speech comes, freedom from religion and the freedom of religion. Freedom of speech is actually the paramount right, over which the freedom of religion sits. It is only a tertiary right. My exercise of the primary right cannot be compromised for the sake of a tertiary right, that is freedom of religion.

  • Jordan48

    Can we, who have received our sight, be taught by one who chooses to be blind to the truth? That is like putting a living egg under a dead chicken.From the beginning, there have always been those who have rejected the truth of the living God, for they love the darkness, being deceived by the vain imaginations of their minds! They embrace evil and call that which is evil good and that which is good evil. Is it not written: “The wisdom of God is foolishness to men”.They foolishly declare “we are full of knowlege and understanding” and there is no God. It is written that the righteousness of men is as filthy rags in the sight of God. Yet, each man has been given “free will” which was evidenced by the actions of Eve in the Garden of Eden. Satan declared to her that if you eat of the tree of knowlege, you shall not surely die. Satans first lie was in sowing the seed of doubt concerning the truthfullness of the Word of God.If God spared not Satan and his angels, how do you reason that without faith in and obeyance to God that you will escape the wrath of God? Jesus Christ never held a political office, He never wrote a single book during His ministry and life on this earth. He never attended a college or university. He never sought wealth or property, nor was he a writer of articles or opinions for a news paper. He did not accept the concept of relativism. He was not a liberal or a libertarian. Yet, NO MAN has had a more profound impact upon this world than Jesus, the Son of the Living God. Historical writings by both secular historians and by historians converted to Christianity establish, without question, that Jesus lived and taught that which is truth. Josephus declared in his writings as a Roman Historian and citizen, that Christ was the Son of God.Yet many of you, discounting the great numbers of those who bear witness to the fact that Jesus Christ lived and was crucified, choose to dismiss these witnesses as religious zealots, when in your own courts by the testimony of one or two, a man can be cast into prison or deprived of his life.You pervert the gospel of Christ and serve the doctrines of demons, caught in the snares of the devil who desires your destruction. I do not condemn you, for by the words of your mouth you are condemned already.

  • Secular

    ZZIM, you wrote, “So, in Timmy-world, a statement like “Judaism is a pestilence upon society” would not be considered an expression of bigotry? Timmy-world is an interesting place”.It shouldn’t be. It is the arrogance of the religious people that they outright demand respect for their ideas. Class of ideas that go under the rubric of religion are afforded special protection. This is the arrogance that religious people demand and often get it from even the atheists. This has got to stop. When I criticize be it be judaism, or islam, should be treated no differently than when I criticize capitalism, socialism, or 80s Rock music. Why should I afford any special respect to the barbaric practice of Halal or Kosher slaughter of food animals. People better learn to distinguish between criticism of religion from criticism of it’s adherents as group.

  • onofrio

    Jordan48,Thee:The ‘Testimonium Flavianum’ was tinkered with by a Christmongering zealot – just like you. That’s *interpolation* to the informed. Josephus was many things. Christian was not one of them.

  • PSolus

    Jordan48,”Can we, who have received our sight, be taught by one who chooses to be blind to the truth? That is like putting a living egg under a dead chicken.”Oh, yuk!”From the beginning, there have always been those who have rejected the truth of the living God, for they love the darkness, being deceived by the vain imaginations of their minds! They embrace evil and call that which is evil good and that which is good evil. Is it not written: “The wisdom of God is foolishness to men”.”What is it written?”They foolishly declare “we are full of knowlege and understanding” and there is no God. It is written that the righteousness of men is as filthy rags in the sight of God. Yet, each man has been given “free will” which was evidenced by the actions of Eve in the Garden of Eden. Satan declared to her that if you eat of the tree of knowlege, you shall not surely die. Satans first lie was in sowing the seed of doubt concerning the truthfullness of the Word of God.”What was his second lie?”If God spared not Satan and his angels, how do you reason that without faith in and obeyance to God that you will escape the wrath of God? Jesus Christ never held a political office, He never wrote a single book during His ministry and life on this earth. He never attended a college or university.”Did he attend community college?”He never sought wealth or property, nor was he a writer of articles or opinions for a news paper. He did not accept the concept of relativism. He was not a liberal or a libertarian. Yet, NO MAN has had a more profound impact upon this world than Jesus, the Son of the Living God.”Not even Darwin?”Historical writings by both secular historians and by historians converted to Christianity establish, without question, that Jesus lived and taught that which is truth. Josephus declared in his writings as a Roman Historian and citizen, that Christ was the Son of God.”Do tell!”Yet many of you, discounting the great numbers of those who bear witness to the fact that Jesus Christ lived and was crucified, choose to dismiss these witnesses as religious zealots, when in your own courts by the testimony of one or two, a man can be cast into prison or deprived of his life.”Dear me!”You pervert the gospel of Christ and serve the doctrines of demons, caught in the snares of the devil who desires your destruction.”You should see what I’m doing right now.”I do not condemn you, for by the words of your mouth you are condemned already.”Glad I could be of help.

  • lepidopteryx

    ZZIM, churches have the right to refuse to marry anyone whose relationship does not fit their parameters for marriage.Catholic priests cannot be forced to marry divorced people or Protestants (or any other non-Catholics). Divorced people can LEGALLY remarry, but not in the Catholic church. Catholics can LEGALLY marry outside the faith, but not in the Catholic church.

  • onofrio

    Jordan 48,Thee:If you really believed that you’d just shut the f up and let your psychopathic despot of a deity deal – O you of little faith.Your post is brimming with sanctimonious self-regard. There’s not a trace of original thought or expression in it, nor human vitality. It’s just slabs of doctrinal truism and proof text served up cold.If any cleave to “demons”, it is because pompous, prideful, passive-aggressive fulminators like you have monopolised the guise of God. It’s an ugly mask.Look in the mirror, Jordan; the devil is you.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Whatever marriage may have been BCE or in the first century CE, it is something rather different today in the US.It is a contract entailing legal rights and priveleges, also a public declaration of sorts, meaningful to those who make it and to those who hear it.Given what it currently is, I strongly believe that religious institutions of every sort must be removed from the marriage business, immediately. Although the Establishment Clause is forever under fire from the well-armed and moneyed religionists, the day must come when we complete erection of the wall separating “church” and state.Further, I no longer think as I once did that it would be exceptable for religious institutions to conduct some sort of post-matrimonial “blessing ceremony,” thereby deciding whose marriage would and would not be blessed. DISCRIMONATION is not acceptable.If churches wish to discriminate in this way, they should lose nonprofit funding.REally, this has to end at some point. The Roman Catholic Church has not been authorized to legislate health care, which they, themselves, acknowledge they have to power to do. Ain’t no shame in their game. However, as an American, I am much ashamed of what some religious institutions can get away with. The Fundos, the RCC, the Mormons, and to an extent, black churches have been the huge subverters in the efforts to afford full Constitutional rights to gays. However, they are not alone in their disapproval of gay marriage rights. The Muslims, Hindus, other Protestant denominations (several), Orthodox and Haredi Jews, do not approve.Gee, that’s too bad. Wonder what they think of the tan capris I bought yesterday–on sale, I might add.

  • FH1231

    Marriage is not a right, it’s an institution. Institutions by their very nature are necessarily restrictive. An institution open to all is simply meaningless.

  • alance

    Jacoby is in the trenches, busy fighting America’s cultural wars. She is incredibly intolerant and if she had her way – she would ban all religions.Interracial marriage in the United States has been fully legal in all U.S. states since the 1967 Supreme Court decision that deemed anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional. These anti-miscegenation laws were based on racism – not religion.Every evil in the world is due to religion, according to Jacoby. It is true some religions frown on gay marriage. This is probably why our President has appointed two lesbians to the Supreme Court. Gays have made remarkable progress during my life time. Live and let live.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    It would be bigotry if the statement were “Jews are a pestilence upon society”. But judaism is a set of superstitious ideas and we can attack those ideas just as we attack republican or Liberal ideas. Since this bit of Timmy wisdom has been the subject of comment, let me add my two cents as someone of passing familiarity with Judaism.Timmy is not bigoted, necessarily, he is merely a boloviator. He blows from himself continually, thinking that that which he spreads around is as much perfume to the rest of us as it is to him.I suppose Timmy’s remark on Judaism, written to bate me, no matter what he says, could be construed as bigotry, but, above all, they are evidence of the some of the many vacant rooms that constitute the Timmer’s mind.In previous chats, he has made it evident that he knows absolutely nothing, and I do mean nothing about Judaism.I have suggested links, books, articles, so that he might at least know what he was objecting to or criticizing. No luck. Timmy believes he is RATIONAL (he isn’t) and that mere cogitation, sans facts or information of any kind, sprinkled with abuse and accusations, are all he needs.When I mention aspects of Judaism that contradict what he puts forth (blows into the atmosphere), he asserts other “facts,” which must be “must be facts” because of this, that or the other reasoning, but which, in fact, are not.What I’ve found is that most who argue with Timmy ultimately give up, letting Timmy have the last word, but also the final defeat. That is sad, sometimes, because folks whose positions on some issues really are distressing “win,” inevitably, when their addressee is Tim.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    theBump:Re: Your postDefinition of marriage:# the state of being a married couple voluntarily joined for life (or until divorce); “a long and happy marriage”; “God bless this union”Two men, two women, a man and a woman may contract to wed per the definition(s) of marriage.As for “universal,” in Apartheid America, a number of American Indian communities fully accept the naturalness of gayness, exhibit no prejudices against it, and never have. Hostility to gays would be as perplexing to them as hostility toward heterosexuals.And most are familiar with the “NT” (sic) and its apparent proscriptions against men being intimate with men.They also know Tanakh and this: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. I am the LORD.” (LEV).It may be of interest to you to know that in Catholic Spain, gays have the right to marry. The same is true id devoutly Catholic Brazil–since 2004. We are looking increasingly idiotic on this issue, worldwide.

  • timmy2

    Tribal warrior FarnazYour post was all bluster and zero argument on any of the points. Bluster bluster bluster.”I suppose Timmy’s remark on Judaism, written to bate me”You need reading glasses. I didn’t bring up Judaism. ZZim used it as an example, and now is a good time to point out that he chose Judaism for that example and the word “pestilence” because of the extra sensitivities surrounding criticism of Judaism. Christianity or Islam would have been the obvious choices for him to use since we were talking about harsh criticism of religion and most people single out Christianity or Islam, and I’ve never heard anyone call Judaism a pestilence to society. It’s just not common on these blogs or anywhere. Judaism is a pretty innocuous religion in the world these days. But our point was about the definition of the word bigotry so I let it go and moved on, even though his obvious attempt to capitalize on what Hitler did to gain argumentative advantage repulsed me a little. Like I said, what a weird example to use. So I went with his example because it doesn’t matter what religion we are talking about, they are all sets of ideas and open for criticism without it being bigotry. And yes then I did add in the word superstitious, which is my real opinion whether it baits you or not. But for the record, I did not call it a pestilence. Just superstitious. I heard no rebuttal from you on that point. Just a bunch of ad hominem bluster.I know enough about Judaism to know that it is superstitious. My life has been filled with jews. I’ve been to more jewish weddings than Christian weddings, and I have a couple of jewish family members. No right of return for me but my brother is married to a jew and now I am the proud uncle of a full blown jewish niece. I have attended may passover dinners and Hanukah celebrations. I have seen the superstition with my own two eyes. It didn’t bother me at all. But it was superstition that’s for sure.

  • timmy2

    “An institution open to all is simply meaningless”You mean like the law courts?

  • Nymous

    Religion is too often a barrier to reason of all sorts.When you start from the truth that people are presuming to speak for some magic dead guy, well it’s all downhill from there.

  • thebump

    Farnaz,Yes, elites in a handful of mostly tiny, mostly white countries have succeeded in ramming through marriage redefinition. Together they represent less than 4% of the world’s population, and in most cases a majority of the country’s own population dissents. (BTW, Brazil is not among them. Perhaps you mean Argentina, but that is recent, not 2004.)It’s not necessary to repeat my previous post. Virtually all of humanity has a common understanding. Over half is entirely uninfluenced by the Bible.

  • Nymous

    Let us not forget that the Nazi’s fried plenty of Christians and Evangelical types too. They cooked 12 million people, a bit more than half of whom had some passing relationship to Judaism. The rest? Well, that was pretty much everyone else who they didn’t like for one preposterous reason or another. I doubt there were many populated mosques in countries where they set up camps, or hauled people off to them either. It’s not good that we overlook all these other people who died.Fascists are an excellent argument for the 2nd amendment. People who hate over race and religion need to be viewed with suspicion, because to do otherwise lets fascism take root. When that happens, well too much of it and the rest of us end up having to shoot them.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Hi theBump,On gay marriage in Brazil, see Wikipedia: In addition to Spain and Brazil, South Africa, Canada, Belgium, and the Netherlands recognize gay marriage.Recognize civil unions: Denmark (1989)Norway (1993)Israel (1994) Common-law marriages; same-sex couples included.Sweden (1995)Greenland (1996)Hungary (1996)Iceland (1996)France (1999)Portugal (2001)Germany (2001)Finland (2002)Croatia (2003)Luxembourg (2004)Andorra (2005)New Zealand (2005)United Kingdom (2005)Czech Republic (2006)Slovenia (2006) Btw., theBump, consider how many hours most of us spend in bed with our partners and compare them to the number of hours we don’t. Translation: Actual sex is not the biggest part of life. Love is a big part of life. Why you would want to deprive people of loving marriages is difficult for me to understand.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Let us not forget that the Nazi’s fried plenty of Christians and Evangelical types too. They cooked 12 million people, a bit more than half of whom had some passing relationship to Judaism. The rest? Well, that was pretty much everyone else who they didn’t like for one preposterous reason or another. I doubt there were many populated mosques in countries where they set up camps, or hauled people off to them either. It’s not good that we overlook all these other people who died.It is true that the nazis (Catholics/Christians observant or cultural) killed many of their own people. The Catholic Jew haters in Latvia, Lithuania, France, Ukraine, Hungary, the Rumanian Orthodox in Romania, the Croatian Catholics including the Utashe priests were not officially nazis, yet ordinary church-going people did wake up one morning in advance of the nazi occupation and decided it would be a fine day to round up and murder Jews. The 200 Croat priests owned and operated concentration camps, as well.The (Christian/Catholic/Orthodox) nazis and their friends did not go out seeking their co-religionists, did not do to them what they did to “Jews,” etc., etc.Deal with it. Live with it. I say this to all who would tell us it wasn’t uniquely our problem, wasn’t a big deal, etc.It wasn’t uniquely our problem, I agree. It certainly isn’t. After all, we Jews didn’t do it. The Christians/Catholics did, many of them, and all of them need to examine that in ways they never have, need to look at it as the logical outcome of their history, need to recognize that denial of it is one of its symptoms.The mass murder in the former Yugoslavia is no accident.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    theBump,I may not have given you the most recent list. Did the best I could. It’s late. Live and let live. Knock it off, please. Let men and women love one another in marriage.

  • onofrio

    TheBump,Thee, re marriage:Hmm, a *grim area*.Conjuring as an *air gamer*, *I arm rage*… You’re right about the black robe. Works with a blue one, though … and a pinch of salt.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Hi ONofrio,I keep fearing you will disappear again. If you decide to do so for any length of time, could you say farewell?On the matter of same-sex marriage, do you not find it passing strange that no one has brought up the Druid perspective?

  • onofrio

    Farnaz,I’ve been hovering a fair bit of late. Some items of stodge posted, amidst the deliberations of worthies.Your mention of capris set me pondering Tiberius, and from that an extended rant was hatched. But the moment has passed for posting. Keep being splendid; I’m about for the forseeable while.

  • onofrio

    Druid perspectives – scarce, agreed.Christ wore away what Rome left to bleed.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Your mention of capris set me pondering Tiberius, and from that an extended rant was hatched. But the moment has passed for posting.Keep being splendid; I’m about for the forseeable while.Am far from splendid, I, but thanks.Life mate, who is fluent in modern Hebrew translated sections from an Israeli aid group blog, very moving and, at times, hilarious. The focus was the floods in Pakistan and how to help. After all it was reasoned, Israelis had helped in Indonesia and Kosovo, and the former is rather Jew-hating, as it were. How could they stand by now, and watch all this suffering in Pakistan?Suggestions: Obtain Egyptian passports, and fly EgyptairObjection: They could not obtain Egyptian passportsSuggestion: Say they were Israeli but not JewishObjection: They were still IsraeliSuggestion: Say they were Israeli MuslimsObjection: MOst of them didn’t know anything about Islam, and, at all events, the fact that they were Israeli would immediately arouse suspicion, rendering them ineffective.Suggestion: Fly from Mexico, and say they lost their passports on the plane when a window unexpectedly flew open and their passports, which were in their laps, were sucked out.Objection: A lot more than their passports would be have been sucked out.Suggestion: Gather as much cash as possible, and send it to aid workers in other countries, people they trusted, who were going to Pakistan.Objections: None.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Onofrio,Last post was for you.

  • onofrio

    Farnaz,I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. The former wins out, I think.In any case, zesta!

  • onofrio

    I got it :^)BTW, I loved your multicultural anecdote back on the mosque thread. Very sharp, your girl.Now I must cycle home. Rest you.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Onofrio,Thanks for the posts. Yes, my daughter is very sharp. She couldn’t follow the woman’s usage of multiculural as a noun. She also had the same problem I did upon first hearing that the Jews killed Christ. But, which Jews, she asked? WHICH ones? THE Jews?!”Is something wrong with the [IA]?” queried daughter.”Is there anything right?” replied PF.”Mommie?”"Az, sometimes, people are prejudiced, but they are not bad people. Perhaps, we all have prejudices. The IA doesn’t see some things as clearly as we do.”"Does she think that we are not as good as she is? Is that what you mean? Why aren’t we?”"We are better.” PF”Actually, in some ways, we surely are better, Az, but I don’t like to say it. We’re better because we do not think we’re better than anyone else because we are this or that, because we are Iranian or Jewish, because we are anything. Do you understand?”"I think so. The [IA] thinks she is better than we are because she is IA, which means she is not better than we are.”"Yes, exactly. I’d go further, though, thus sparing your aunt the necessity. In the way she thinks about this ONE thing, the IA is not as good as we are, not as smart, not as enlightened.”"But she may be as good as we are in other ways?”"Yes. Maybe, better.”"Huh. Doubtful.” PFIt is heartbreaking, I agree. Also, funny, yes. I particularly liked the Mexico suggestion!

  • thebump

    Farnaz, the topic is same-sex so-called “marriage”, not civil unions. California has civil unions, before and after Prop 8. My point is about misappropriating the word You say: Exactly.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    theBump,Okay, although marriage as officially “defined” does not specify heterosexual unions, would you accept the rights of gays to civil unions, which would offer them all the same rights as marriages, but would not be called marriages?

  • thebump

    Farnaz, yes, but that’s exactly what Judge Walker struck down, and what Jacoby says makes Obama and me Old Testament literalists.

  • ZZim

    “So, in Timmy-world, a statement like “Judaism is a pestilence upon society” would not be considered an expression of bigotry?”By “Timmy-world” do you mean a world where we used dictionary definitions of words? Posted by: timmy2 =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=No, Timmy, I mean a world in which Timmy ignores the dictionary definition of words whenever their real meaning is inconvenient, then, when called on it, asserts that the person correcting him the one who’s making things up.Per Wikipedia:A bigot is a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices. The correct use of the term requires the elements of intolerance, irrationality, and animosity toward those of differing beliefs.The term has evolved to refer to persons hostile to people of differing race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation and religion in modern English usage..

  • ZZim

    ZZIM, you wrote, “So, in Timmy-world, a statement like “Judaism is a pestilence upon society” would not be considered an expression of bigotry? Timmy-world is an interesting place”.It shouldn’t be. It is the arrogance of the religious people that they outright demand respect for their ideas. Class of ideas that go under the rubric of religion are afforded special protection. Posted by: Secular=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=Secular, allow me to direct your attention to the definition of “bigotry” that I found for Timmy on Wikipedia: A bigot is a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices. The correct use of the term requires the elements of intolerance, irrationality, and animosity toward those of differing beliefs.The term has evolved to refer to persons hostile to people of differing race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation and religion in modern English usage.Now, regarding sexual orientation in the above paragraph, the anti-you would probably argue something like: “It is the arrogance of homosexuals that they outright demand respect for their lusts. The class of bodily functions that goes under the rubric of sexual orientation are afforded special protection.”Hmm, it looks exactly the same as what you wrote. I think both statements are equally identifiable as the statement of a bigot..

  • ZZim

    ZZIM, churches have the right to refuse to marry anyone whose relationship does not fit their parameters for marriage.Catholic priests cannot be forced to marry divorced people or Protestants (or any other non-Catholics). Divorced people can LEGALLY remarry, but not in the Catholic church. Catholics can LEGALLY marry outside the faith, but not in the Catholic church.Posted by: lepidopteryxLepi, knock it off. You know as well as I do that the next step is to sue churches for refusing service.Homosexuals are conducting a political and legal campaign that they are portraying as a “civil rights struggle”. I don’t think they’re being disingenuous, I think they really believe that.So the first time the Catholic Church refuses to marry a gay Catholic couple, guess what, they’ll sue. I don’t think gay Americans will perceive it as being any different from a black man suing Denny’s for refusing him service.It’s entirely possible that your argument that the churches will win is correct. On the other hand, it’s also entirely possible that the churches will lose. But even if the churches win, they will be sued again and again. The proponents of gay marriage will never take no for an answer. They haven’t yet, why would they start doing so in the future?This is clearly something that religious groups should be concerned about. .

  • RobertCurleyJacobs

    No I am all for IMPEACHING Roberts, Scalia, Alito, or Thomas but on this issue I think it best that they are Justices.Homosexuality is a disease and a plague. There is AIDS, cancer, and other illnesses that a regarded as problems, but with homosexuality it seems that the general public thinks it is natural and normal. Heck it seems most of the religious nuts against it think it’s natural too and just want to impose their dogma on society.Now of course bad and evil aren’t real, so I am obviously not seeing and hearing things as they really happening. All I get though is that a man goes with a woman in my species. A man with another man is just as deranged as, say, a man a with a dog.Now there are space aliens in this universe. So I am figuring that there is an infinite amount of aliens out there and an infinite amount of different species. Perhaps in some far flung place in the universe there is a species where a ‘woman’ goes with a ‘woman.’ On this planet though I have come to an understanding that the man goes with the woman. I could be wrong.

  • Secular

    ZZIM, you read your own citation carefully I capitalized the important word, “A bigot is a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices. The correct use of the term requires the elements of intolerance, irrationality, and animosity toward THOSE OF DIFFERING BELIEFS”.I speak for myself and probably Tim too, when I say i do not hold animosity towards THOSE OF DIFFERING BELIEFS. I am definitely hostile to their beliefs but not to them. It is similar (don’t take this too far) “hate the sin not the sinner”. An atheist, like me cannot be hating the theists as most of the people near and dear to me are obviously theists. But I do get into raging arguments with them, but about half an hour later we end up sharing a laddu or payasam with them.Some one else on this blog claimed marriage is not a right but some kind of privilege granted by whom, I don’t know. Marriage is a word and government has no business defining words. If two persons declare that they are married, that’s no one else’s business. they should be accorded all the same legal recognitions that any other pair of persons declare they are married, no less no more.Then there was another brilliant person commenting that these gays will never take no for answer. His claim was they will sue churches and synagogues, if they refuse to marry them and will continue to sue then ad nauseum. So this man’s logic goes in order to avoid these speculative law suits, he wants to continue to discriminate against gays. That is bigotry pure and simple – that is nauseating.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Robertcurleyjacobs:A man with another man is just as deranged as, say, a man a with a dog.I have forever been curious about the fascination of heterosexuals with animals, often sheep, but in your case, the cuddly canine. Let me put it this way. Canines are not included in the Constitution, and there is no way that you and Fido will ever marry, although the Church of Latter Day Pups would perform an uncivil union.Good luck with that!

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Secular:I speak for myself and probably Tim too, when I say i do not hold animosity towards THOSE OF DIFFERING BELIEFS. I am definitely hostile to their beliefs but not to them.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    theBump,Farnaz, yes, but that’s exactly what Judge Walker struck down, and what Jacoby says makes Obama and me Old Testament literalists.To the point, okay, glad you will accept civil unions. Problem solved. The word “marriage” is abolished, and both gays and straights who wish to “unite” have civil unions.The End.

  • Secular

    ZZIM I almost forgot, you wrote,”Now, regarding sexual orientation in the above paragraph, the anti-you would probably argue something like: “It is the arrogance of homosexuals that they outright demand respect for their lusts. The class of bodily functions that goes under the rubric of sexual orientation are afforded special protection.”No they are not asking for respect, much less demanding. All they are telling the bigots to mind their own business and leave them alone. By “leaving them alone” they mean don’t pass any laws explicitly directed against them or singling them out. They are demanding they be treated the same as anyone else. is that so hard for you to comprehend. Leave those musty old good for nothing tomes and think for yourself without the help of those bronze age ignoramuses. Then see what conclusions you will come up with.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Zzim,So the first time the Catholic Church refuses to marry a gay Catholic couple, guess what, they’ll sue. I don’t think gay Americans will perceive it as being any different from a black man suing Denny’s for refusing him service.Any institution receiving nonprofit status that discriminates on the basis of sex, creed, national origin, and/or sexual preference should have its nonprofit status revoked.A number of such institutions should have been off the dole from the get go.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Zzim,No, Timmy, I mean a world in which Timmy ignores the dictionary definition of words whenever their real meaning is inconvenient, then, when called on it, asserts that the person correcting him the one who’s making things up.Per Wikipedia:A bigot is a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices. The correct use of the term requires the elements of intolerance, irrationality, and animosity toward those of differing beliefs.The term has evolved to refer to persons hostile to people of differing race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation and religion in modern English usage.

  • amelia45

    edbyronadams: “According to Jefferson in the Declaration rights arise from the “Creator”. Whatever definition of that creator the body politic wants to put on it informs their choices about what rights exist.”Jefferson would be appalled at your statement. One of the other things Jefferson and our founders believed in was the danger of state sponsored religion. That is why there is this “separation of church and state.” The second thing that Jefferson and the founders were concerned with is the tyranny of the majority. That is why it is very hard for a majority to take away a rights from a minority.This whole trial was about civil rights – rights granted under law, like tax breaks and property rights. Churches can keep denying the sacrament of marriage to gays if they want to. No one stops Churches from doing that. But Churches cannot impose their religious view on the civic world – churches cannot say who gets the tax breaks and property rights.Would you want the majority Catholics in New York to be able to say that only Catholics got to marry? Or Southern Baptists in Georgia to say that property rights in marriage only apply to those married in the Southern Baptist faith?Or, nationwide, for all Christians to say that only those married in a Christian church could send their children to public school?All those things that are public law mandated by “holy scripture” is just Sharia by another name.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    amelia45:Agree on Jefferson, for the most part. However, the Establishment Clause is violated here left, right, and center. When the “bishops” get to legislate on health care reform, along with the Fundies legislate “conscience clauses,” that is tantamount to Establishment. The list goes on.I believe, like JFK, in the TOTAL separation of “church” and state. I do not think that any institution that discriminates whether on the basis of sex, national origin, or sexual preference should benefit from nonprofit status. I suspect that Jefferson, slave-owner that he was, would agree that if churches refuse to perform same-sex marriages, they should be removed from the dole.

  • ZZim

    Then there was another brilliant person commenting that these gays will never take no for answer. His claim was they will sue churches and synagogues, if they refuse to marry them and will continue to sue then ad nauseum. So this man’s logic goes in order to avoid these speculative law suits, he wants to continue to discriminate against gays. That is bigotry pure and simple – that is nauseating.Posted by: Secular=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-Actually, Secular, I’m not opposed to gay marriage. I don’t really see how it would impact my life in any way.My point was that religious institutions have a legitimate fear that if gay marriage is legalized under the title of “civil right”, then churches will face an endless series of legal challenges as they attempt to follow your example and “hate the sin but love the sinner”, as you put it..

  • ZZim

    ZZIM Leave those musty old good for nothing tomes and think for yourself without the help of those bronze age ignoramuses. Then see what conclusions you will come up with.Posted by: SecularI’m not religious, Secular. I do not subscribe to any Bronze Age ideologies. My only concern is that those who do subscribe to Bronze Age ideologies should be allowed to practice their religions freely. I think that freedom of religion is an important governing principle of our republic and we should all work together to reach a reasonable compromise that reflects our shared commitment to separation of Church and State..

  • edbyronadams

    The phrase “separation of church and state” appears in no place in the Constitution and restrictions on the right to a marriage contract have no connection to establishment of a state religion. There are a variety of moral traditions that inform members of society that such a restriction is reasonable.Civil rights either arise from the “Creator” or they arise from a consensus of the people. If the former, religious sentiments, from a host of sources, informs the citizen. Taken together they form a consensus. Using the judicial process to create “rights” out of whole cloth is simply wrong and undermines public confidence in our institutions of government.This issue isn’t even about rights. Every citizen has the right to a marriage contract with the previous restrictions. No one was excluded. Those who wish to form a partnership with someone of the same sex had available a contract as similar as the California legislature could make it under a different name. Therefore it was not about injury. It was about a demand that society embrace unions that it was uneasy about. A legislature or a judge cannot force people to change their opinions.

  • newagent99

    “As an aside, those who claimed that African-Americans were responsible for the passage of Proposition 8 are wrong. Because the sheer number of white right-wing evangelicals is so much greater than the total of black fundamentalists, Proposition 8 would have been passed had there been no black voters at all in California”absolutely false.If the AA community had applied the same standard to gays as they apply to themselves , Prop 8 would have Failed.

  • ZZim

    Any institution receiving nonprofit status that discriminates on the basis of sex, creed, national origin, and/or sexual preference should have its nonprofit status revoked.Posted by: farnaz_mansouri2=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-My point exactly, Farnaz. Religious institutions have much to fear from the gay agenda, as you have just pointed out..

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Zzim,My point exactly, Farnaz. Religious institutions have much to fear from the gay agenda, as you have just pointed out.And then there is the problem of discrimination against women.And then there is the messin’ with Congress and legislation.Etc.

  • timmy2

    ZZIM,”Actually, Secular, I’m not opposed to gay marriage. I don’t really see how it would impact my life in any way”Sure you are. You think it infringes on religious freedom and that certainly impacts your life because it harms one of our founding principles. That is the argument you are making.But your thinking is flawed. The legalization of Gay marriage in no way is an infringement on freedom of religion. What you are talking about what you fear might happen next, and your unfounded fears of the future are no reason to continue this discrimination. But when you say you do not oppose gay marriage, are you saying you would vote to make it legal?”My point exactly, Farnaz. Religious institutions have much to fear from the gay agenda, as you have just pointed out.”Farnaz pointed out nothing of the sort. You were talking about religions being forced to perform gay marriages but Farnaz was only talking about taking away the money we give them that we should not be giving them because they are a discriminatory religious organization who should not be receiving tax payer funds in the first place.

  • timmy2

    Ed”There are a variety of moral traditions that inform members of society that such a restriction is reasonable”Name one. And don’t forget that you used the word “reasonable”.

  • timmy2

    FARNAZ and ZZIM, the not so formidable team,”The term has evolved to refer to persons hostile to PEOPLE of differing race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation and religion in modern English usage”Had to capitalize a word there to point out the flaw on your perceived definition of the word bigot. Hostile to PEOPLE not hostile to ideas. As per usual Farnaz, and now ZZIM want religious ideas to be afforded the same protection as PEOPLE.Unfortunately for them, they are wrong, and criticism of religious beliefs is open and fair game and not considered bigotry by definition or in spirit. Farnaz by your definition of Bigot, you are a bigot towards Catholics, plain and simple. We’ve all seen it. But being a tribal warrior, you want Judaism to be afforded the protection of special status in that harsh criticism of it (the kind you lay on Catholicism) is bigoted.But when one looks at your posts on Catholics, one finds much wording that indicates that you are criticizing “Catholics” and not just catholicism. I’d be careful with losey goosey definitions of bigot if I were one who rants on about catholics the way you do.

  • MaxSewell

    Does anybody actually READ Leviticus? It orders stonings, burnings and animal sacrifices.I don’t advocate such things but it does. If the Supreme Court were to legislate strictly according to Leviticus, adulterers and gays would be put to death –something I expect the great majority would disagree with vehemently.It seems to me that some closer examination needs to be made of the bible. Would people in fact choose to use the bible as a legal guide if they took it literally? Would we want to live in a society that did?Forget adulterers and gays for a moment –When’s the last time anyone sacrificed a lamb for their sins (Chapter 5)? –When’s the last time you wanted to?And why does a poor dumb animal have to die for your mistakes?

  • ZZim

    “My point exactly, Farnaz. Religious institutions have much to fear from the gay agenda, as you have just pointed out.”Farnaz pointed out nothing of the sort. Posted by: timmy2Oh, but she did, Timmy. In fact, she replied “I certainly hope so” in the post directly below yours.Not everyone is guilty of twisting words and meaning as you do, Timmy. Most of us mean what we say..

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    The Timmer’s lack of logic on display, yet again, argumentum ad populum and blah. Also, blah, blah, name-calling, and blah.Ugh. Boring.

  • timmy2

    It’s really funny and sad at the same time to watch people try so desperately to bend the definition of the world “bigotry” to include criticism of religious ideas that themselves are clearly bigoted. While SECULAR and I attack the archaic ideas in a set of beliefs, these beliefs themselves attack the very soul of the homosexual. As Bill Maher says “let’s not be so tolerant that we tolerate intolerance.”If you’d like, even though it is stretching the definition of the word “bigot” I will cop to being bigoted towards such intolerance.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Zzim,”My point exactly, Farnaz. Religious institutions have much to fear from the gay agenda, as you have just pointed out.”Farnaz pointed out nothing of the sort.Posted by: timmy2Oh, but she did, Timmy. In fact, she replied “I certainly hope so” in the post directly below yours.Not everyone is guilty of twisting words and meaning as you do, Timmy. Most of us mean what we say.Why not let the churches, synagogues, mosqs, Hindu temples do as they please and simply end the dole?I mean I’d hope some of us would continue to reason with them, but what can you do? I just don’t get this opposition to same-sex marriage. I try, but I can’t understand it. Only good can come of it any way I look at it.

  • ZZim

    But when you say you do not oppose gay marriage, are you saying you would vote to make it legal?Posted by: timmy2=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=I don’t think I would even go to the polls if it came up. If I were already in the voting booth and saw it on the ballot, I might vote either way based on the details of the particular bill. If I wasn’t familiar with it and I was in a hurry, I’d probably just ignore it.I don’t consider gay marriage a real issue, so I can’t really get worked up over it. On the other hand, separation of church and state is a real issue and if I felt the gay marriage bill infringed on that I would probably vote it down and feel good about it. But only if I didn’t have to make a whole extra trip to the voting booth..

  • spidermean2

    Why can’t people just see the ABNORMALITY OF HOMOSEXUALITY?Even among far-flung tribes in the jungle where there is no Bible, homosexuality is seen as an ABNORMAL BEHAVIOR.OPEN YOUR EYES. BLAME YOURSELVES FOR YOUR ABNORMAL BEHAVIOR AND NOT THE BIBLE.

  • globalone

    Max,”Does anybody actually READ Leviticus? It orders stonings, burnings and animal sacrifices.”From a Christian perspective, Leviticus was written at a time and for a people that pre-dated Jesus. That was the only way they could reconcile themselves to God. When Jesus died on the cross for the sins of humanity, he voided, for all intents and purposes, the rules found in Leviticus.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    globalone,Oh God. One day, you’ll have to tell us about all those snakebites, bleeding, self-professed by Jesus confusion, killing, bewitching etc. in the NT.Try this from LEV: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thy love thyself: I am the Lord.Keep off.

  • ZZim

    “The term has evolved to refer to persons hostile to PEOPLE of differing race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation and religion in modern English usage”Had to capitalize a word there to point out the flaw on your perceived definition of the word bigot. Hostile to PEOPLE not hostile to ideas. Posted by: timmy2=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-How about hostile to behavior, Timmy? You have asserted that one can be hateful toward a religion without being considered a bigot toward the people who practice that religion. Can a person be hateful toward behavior without being considered a bigot toward the people who practice that behavior? Let’s use an example, suppose that Secular has asserted that “Consensual gay sex is one of those things that has never provided anything beneficial. And certainly we now know that it does not really provide any benefit, only misery, physically of mentally. So it behooves us to ignore it. Once we do that then most of these vile practices will go away overnight.”Would Timmy consider that a bigoted statement?.

  • spidermean2

    The Bible is a VERY intelligently written book. If you think that there is mistake in the bible, it is probably because you never undertood it at all.It is like a sharp knife. Those who don’t know how to use the knife like a toddler will surely hurt himself. Give it to a surgeon and it will save life.The same is the bible.C Ya

  • MarkDavidovich

    While literal readings of Genesis and Leviticus are important–and possibly the main–reasons for opposition to gay marriage, historically it has not been so. Same sex marriage was outlawed during the late Roman Republic.One should also remember that same-sex marriage does not exist throughout most of the world. Of the countries recognizing it, only Nepal can be classified as historically non-Christian, And while Europe has been historically Christian, and France, in particular, recognizes domestic partners, byt not same-sex marriage, it is hard to see how Biblical religion is responsible for France’s continued holdout.

  • timmy2

    ZZIM”I don’t think I would even go to the polls if it came up”And yet all of this claimed concern about how this might impact our religious freedom, one of the most important ideals we have? How can you claim to be so flippant as to not even got to the polls on something that is threatening the very foundation of our freedom according to you? Which is it? It’s either no big deal or it is a threat to religious freedom?

  • timmy2

    MARKDAVIDOVICH”And while Europe has been historically Christian, and France, in particular, recognizes domestic partners, byt not same-sex marriage, it is hard to see how Biblical religion is responsible for France’s continued holdout”And yet you would not be able to articulate any reason other than biblical religion for it, now would you?But what you said above makes no sense. You said that they were “historically Christian.” So in fact, it is hard to see how Biblical religion is NOT responsible for France’s continued holdout. Religions linger and so do their ideas. But if France’s holdout is not religious based, what is it based on then? Anyone?…. Beuler?

  • ZZim

    ZZIM”I don’t think I would even go to the polls if it came up”And yet all of this claimed concern about how this might impact our religious freedom, one of the most important ideals we have? How can you claim to be so flippant as to not even got to the polls on something that is threatening the very foundation of our freedom according to you? Which is it? It’s either no big deal or it is a threat to religious freedom?Posted by: timmy2=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-Like I said, Timmy, a lot would depend on how the ballot measure was written. If I saw reports in the news that led me to believe that it was indeed a threat to the separation of Church and State, I would probably heave myself up off the couch and trot down to the polling station. On the other hand, if I felt that the proposed bill was written in a way that it did not pose such a threat, I probably wouldn’t go. I think that such a reasonable compromise is certainly possible, should the interested parties be willing to make one..

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    ZZim:i believe it is a civil rights issue–same sex marriage, that is.As for the tax code, read the business about nonprofit status for the “churches.” They are not “regulated” in any sense. The RCC just donated 250,000 to the anti-gay cause. They own billions of dollars in real estate alone.They can pay their own bills. So can all the rest. SEPARATE church and state.

  • PSolus

    “While literal readings of Genesis and Leviticus are important–and possibly the main–reasons for opposition to gay marriage, historically it has not been so. Same sex marriage was outlawed during the late Roman Republic.”Religion is not necessarily the source of superstition; it is simply another form of superstition.There are, and have been, many forms of non-religious superstition in this world.

  • timmy2

    Tribal warrior Farnaz,”The Homophobic Christian’s Justification for Gay-hating derives from the “NT” (sic)”And the NT (sic) derives from the OT (sic)The idea of this one true all powerful punisher God of all morality comes originally from Judaism. It is the mother ship.”If you are a Christian HOmophobe and don’t know this, here is your chance to learn”Bigot!!!!!

  • globalone

    Farnaz,The NT, or the Bible for that matter, is not mine. Please feel free to read and comment as you wish. My conclusions and/or interpretations of the Bible have changed many times throughout my life as I listen and discover what was actually said or, perhaps, what was originally intended.If you disagree, take the time and opportunity to instruct.

  • edbyronadams

    Tim,Religious faith is axiomatic. From those beliefs, reason can lead someone to conclusions that you might find unreasonable. However, organizing society along principles that have no axiomatic foundation looks unreasonable to me.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Hi Psolus,There are, and have been, many forms of non-religious superstition in this world.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    f you disagree, take the time and opportunity to instruct.Posted by: globalone I dislike the use of Tanakh by Christians/Catholics since they use it to justify all sorts of insanity that has nothing to do with it and its history. Bear in mind that the Quoran has corrected the NT. You don’t have to live with this, but I have to live with the “OT” (sic). If so much race-hatred had not derived from same, I wouldn’t care as I’m not much of a believer, not one at all, but this is a cultural issue as well as a religious.See Rosemary Ruether, Faith and FratricideIt is available in any decent library.

  • PSolus

    edbyronadams,”Religious faith is axiomatic.”To you perhaps, but not to me, and not to many others.”From those beliefs, reason can lead someone to conclusions that you might find unreasonable.”Perhaps because they are unreasonable.”However, organizing society along principles that have no axiomatic foundation looks unreasonable to me.”Just as principles that spring from your belief alone look unreasonable to others.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Hi Psolus,There are, and have been, many forms of non-religious superstition in this world.

  • MaxSewell

    “Religious faith is axiomatic. From those beliefs, reason can lead someone to conclusions that you might find unreasonable. However, organizing society along principles that have no axiomatic foundation looks unreasonable to me.”Ed,I’m guessing you’re drawing on the “self-evident truth” definition here. Religious faith has no monopoly on self-evident truths, and in fact where it’s unreasonable, it tends to make a rational person look elsewhere for guidance don’t you think?

  • PSolus

    farnaz_mansouri2,”Okay. Name seven.”Here are ten, in case I dreamt some of these up while on a drunk:1. Knocking on wood protects one from being “jinxed”.2. Opening an umbrella inside of a building brings bad luck.3. Walking under a ladder brings bad luck.4. Placing a hat on a bed brings bad luck.5. Placing your shoes on a table brings bad luck.6. Women on fishing vessels bring bad luck.7. Bringing bananas on a fishing vessel brings bad luck.8. Whistling in an elevator brings bad luck.9. Cleft lips and palates in children are caused by the mother being frightened by a rabbit while pregnant.10. Port-wine birthmarks are caused by the mother drinking wine while pregnant.

  • MaxSewell

    “1. Knocking on wood protects one from being “jinxed”.”PSolus,You may be right, but the first one might have religious origins. The following turned up on a Google search under “Knocking on wood origins”:”Greeks worshipped the oak as it was sacred to Zeus, Celts believed in tree spirits, and both believed touching sacred trees would bring good fortune. Irish lore holds that “touching wood” is a way to thank the leprechauns for a bit of luck. Pagans also held similar beliefs of protective tree spirits. Chinese and Koreans thought the spirits of mothers who died in childbirth remained in nearby trees.Another explanation points to the wooden Christian cross as the origin of “good luck,” although this is likely a Christian adaptation of earlier pagan practices.A Jewish version traces the origin to the Spanish Inquisition of the 15th century. At the time, persecuted Jews fled to synagogues built of wood, and they devised a coded knock to gain admission. Since this practice spared countless lives, it became common to “knock on wood” for good luck.

  • PSolus

    “You may be right, but the first one might have religious origins.”I suspected as much, and probably should have made the connection.Hence ten instead of seven, or five.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Mein Dir Psolus:Danke. However, Maxwell has eliminated one. And the others are not, technically, “forms” of superstition. You have presented only two:Fondly,

  • lepidopteryx

    ZZIM, the idea of suing a church for refusing o marry you is WAY different from suing a restaurant because they refuse to serve you. Most churches have certain doctrines to which an individual must profess belief in order to gain membership. Many chuirches also refuse to perform certain rituals (or refuse permission to participate in certain rituals) for those who are not members of the denomination, not members of the congregation, or otherwse fail to pass doctinal muster. Curley: A man is a consenting human adult with the necessary cognitive faculties to enter into a legally binding agreement with another consenting human adult. A woman is a consenting human adult with the necessary cognitive faculties to enter into a legally binding agreement with another consenting human adult.

  • timmy2

    ZZIM”How about hostile to behavior, Timmy?”Behavior? You mean like murder? Okay, if you want to stretch the definition of bigotry to apply to behaviors and not people, then you may call me bigoted against murder. But it’s not proper use of the word “bigot.”"You have asserted that one can be hateful toward a religion without being considered a bigot toward the people who practice that religion”"Hateful” is your sneaky addition. I said critical. But you can continue to demagogue by inserting words like “hateful” and phrases like “Judaism is a pestilence” if you like, but it makes your argument look weak when you do these things. “Can a person be hateful toward behavior without being considered a bigot toward the people who practice that behavior?”I am critical of alcoholism but I do not hate alcoholics. Get it?”Let’s use an example, suppose that Secular has asserted that “Consensual gay sex is one of those things that has never provided anything beneficial”Since he said nothing of the sort, let’s not use that as an example. You have already accused us of being bigots based on what we said. So why not use those examples. Get out your quotations and lets discuss what was actually said instead of you making stuff up out of thin air like the demagogue you seem to be.”Would Timmy consider that a bigoted statement?”Criticism of behavior is not bigotry because behavior is not people. However a person could be considered bigoted if they were to criticize a certain behavior by one group and not by another. eg. consensual sex is okay for opposite sex partners but not for same sex partners. You see in your example, it was not the behavior itself that was being criticized, but the right to exhibit that behavior for certain individuals. Moreover gay is not a set of chosen ideas. It is a sexual orientation you are born with. It’s like skin color. What you are doing with this attempt to stretch the word bigot, is to give people’s chosen ideas the same kind of protection as skin color. And the church applauds you every time you protect their evil ideas in this way. Congrats. You are doing good work.

  • timmy2

    ZZIMIf the government takes away funding from religious institutions, it will be because they never should have had it in the first place because they are discriminatory organizations, not because of the gay agenda. This is true even if it is the gay marriage issue that calls attention to this oversight in past public policy. So while Farnaz was right to say “I hope so” in response to your statement that the church had reason to fear the gay agenda, it’s not because the gay agenda is going to take down the church, it’s because their own discriminatory practices will cost them public subsidy that they never deserved in the first place.The church will continue to be as free as it always has been to operate and to not marry gays. But they will no longer receive public funding because they are a discriminatory institution and we do not publicly fund such organizations with government money.Gay marriage will not cost the church their public subsidies, their own discriminatory practices will. But yes, the gay marriage issue may be the issue that brings to light these discriminatory factors that eliminate them from the right to public subsidy.

  • Secular

    ZZIM, you wrote,”I’m not religious, Secular”. I really couldn’t tell that from your posts”I do not subscribe to any Bronze Age ideologies. My only concern is that those who do subscribe to Bronze Age ideologies should be allowed to practice their religions freely. I think that freedom of religion is an important governing principle of our republic”Who here is arguing that Bronze agers should be punished for being Bronze agers or that we should stop them from making fools of themselves.”and we should all work together to reach a reasonable compromise that reflects our shared commitment to separation of Church and State”.That does not mean that the LGBT folks should be denied the privileges of full participation in the society. That isnot a compromise, that is down right surrender to the bigots. This one secularist will never raise such a white flag of surrender. If it comes to it I shall always raise the Blood Red flag of defiance, so to speak.

  • ZZim

    ZZIM, you wrote,”I’m not religious, Secular”. I really couldn’t tell that from your posts=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-I know that. That’s why I clarified.You assumed that because I was not an anti-religious bigot, that I must be religious. Anti-religious bigotry is not the only possible way to be non-religious. Narrow-minded people often assume that their own way of looking at the world is the only possible or legitimate way.A good example is that Susan Jacoby cannot imagine ANY possible legitimate counter-argument her pro-gay marriage position..

  • ZZim

    Hi Psolus,Posted by: farnaz_mansouri2=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=Astrology, numerology, phrenology, communism, racism, flat-eartherism, UFO’sHow’s that?

  • ZZim

    “Can a person be hateful toward behavior without being considered a bigot toward the people who practice that behavior?”I am critical of alcoholism but I do not hate alcoholics. Get it?I am critical of religion but I do not hate religious people. Get it?Posted by: timmy2=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-So you don’t think that it would be bigoted for someone to assert that “Consensual gay sex in an abomination, a pestilence and a mortal sin, but I love Homosexuals and hope and pray for their salvation.”Get it? Everyone else does..

  • ZZim

    “Let’s use an example, suppose that Secular has asserted that “Consensual gay sex is one of those things that has never provided anything beneficial”Since he said nothing of the sort, let’s not use that as an example. You have already accused us of being bigots based on what we said. So why not use those examples. Get out your quotations and lets discuss what was actually said instead of you making stuff up out of thin air like the demagogue you seem to be.Posted by: timmy2=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-Heheh. Petard. Hoisted. Timmmy.Secular’s actual quote was “Religions are one of those things, that have never provided anything beneficial.”.

  • Athena4

    “The science of biology provides us with an excellent rationale for opposing “gay marriage”. Because men and woman are different and male/female couples are required for the existance of the species, and… well, duh.”News flash – you do not need a “couple” to make a baby. You need a sperm, an egg, and a woman to carry that fetus. Ever hear of sperm donors? Egg donors? Surrogate mothers? You don’t even need to be married – just look at Bristol Palin. Please join the rest of us in the 21st century.

  • ZZim

    ZZIM, the idea of suing a church for refusing to marry you is WAY different from suing a restaurant because they refuse to serve you. Posted by: lepidopteryx=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-I agree, but I don’t think that many (or even most) gay-rights activists agree with you. That is why religious institutions are concerned..

  • PSolus

    ZZim,”Astrology, numerology, phrenology, communism, racism, flat-eartherism, UFO’sHow’s that?”Not bad; I probably wouldn’t include communism as a superstition though, just a very bad economic theory and system – but perhaps it is partly based on superstitious ideas and thinking.Also, I’d clarify: “The belief that UFOs are extraterrestrial visitations”.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Zzim, Psolus,Astrology, numerology, phrenology, communism, racism, flat-eartherism, UFO’sYou are a puzzlement to me. Given your obvious intelligence, I cannot understand your position on gay marriage. Maybe, I don’t understand it, period. Could you restate it, please?

  • timmy2

    ZZIM”Heheh. Petard. Hoisted. Timmmy”Huh?”Secular’s actual quote was “Religions are one of those things, that have never provided anything beneficial.”Yes I know. How is that similar to saying that sex is fine for one group but not for another?It stands by the definitions of the words in our dictionaries that the above statement by Secular on religions is not bigoted because religions are sets of ideas not people. Nor are religions like skin color, something you are born with and do not choose. You should really give up this desperate attempt to save face. You misused the word bigot as many people do when referring to critics of religion. It is a common mistake. Don’t feel bad. Feel good now that your awareness has been raised to your errors with the english language. And don’t get your petard caught in those hoisting cables.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    I confess I had my doubts about communism, too. However, there were some elements in the materialist Marxist vision that were paradoxically essentialist. So I let communism go.

  • ZZim

    You are a puzzlement to me. Given your obvious intelligence, I cannot understand your position on gay marriage. Maybe, I don’t understand it, period. Posted by: farnaz_mansouri2=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-I don’t care about gay marriage. I think it’s kind of silly. However, it means a lot to some folks and since it doesn’t appear to hurt anything, I say let ‘em have it.I also think the “Defense of Marriage Act” is silly, unnecessary, and based on the false premise that “gay marriage” poses some sort of threat to real marriages.I hope that this tempest in a teapot can be resolved in a way that doesn’t threaten the separation of Church and State, which I believe is a necessary and fundamental governing principle for good government. The best way to do that in my opinion is for the legal state of marriage to become the sole province of civil authorities. Churches can continue to perform their own marriage ceremonies, but these religious rites would have no legal standing..

  • timmy2

    ZZIM”So you don’t think that it would be bigoted for someone to assert that “Consensual gay sex in an abomination, a pestilence and a mortal sin, but I love Homosexuals and hope and pray for their salvation.” “Get it? Everyone else does”Who is everyone else? I saw no poll taken. Are you speaking for “everyone else” here based on your own feelings? I think that is exactly what you are doing. But apparently you still do not get it. Sigh.I have Christian neighbors who I have dinner with once a week. We are good friends. They believe that homosexual acts of sex are abominations, but they do not hate gay people (or I wouldn’t be friends with them). They love gay people and think that they need help and guidance. This is not bigotry, it is erroneous beliefs based on bigoted doctrines. In the case of my very good friends, I think that their belief is bigoted but they themselves are not. This has come about because they are under the spell of a very powerful cult that has taken advantage of their kind hearts. It has made them think that they are doing the right thing by discriminating against gay people. Therefore I criticize the doctrines, not the people who have been brainwashed by them. Get it?It is not the religious person’s fault that they were indoctrinated as children to believe such things so I show no ill will towards them. And yet I have nothing but the harshest criticism for the beliefs themselves, which come not from their heart, but from a book of superstition. Keep trying if you like, but your original accusation of bigotry was erroneous and remains so.

  • timmy2

    ZZIM”I hope that this tempest in a teapot can be resolved in a way that doesn’t threaten the separation of Church and State, which I believe is a necessary and fundamental governing principle for good government. The best way to do that in my opinion is for the legal state of marriage to become the sole province of civil authorities. Churches can continue to perform their own marriage ceremonies, but these religious rites would have no legal standing”Wow, we agree. But what you just said above is seen as threatening to the church and in their eyes, they have something to fear from “the gay agenda”. But we should not base our decisions on what the church fears.

  • timmy2

    ZZIM”Timmy, “not taxing” is not the same thing as “funding”Wow. You call me obtuse? Tax breaks are often used as subsidies which is the same thing as funding. Read some books. “If the government has churches pay income taxes, then the government will become involved in church decisions”Huh? I pay taxes and the government is not involved in my decisions except in the way they are involved in everyone’s decisions through taxes and laws, which we vote in favor of. It is the absence of tax that makes the government a subsidizer because everyone else pays tax as per the law. “If the government were to fund churches by giving them money, then the government would become involved in church decision”The government does give money to this institution by not taking the money that they are supposed to take from all institutions who make money. “I personally would prefer to see the government stay out of the theology business”Then you should be in favor eliminating the funding of churches through tax breaks.

  • timmy2

    Communism is not superstition. Materialism however, is.It’s pretty hard to argue with the fact that there are non-religious superstitions. Just as hard as it is to argue that there exists non-superstitious religions.

  • timmy2

    ” If the government has churches pay income taxes, then the government will become involved in church decisions”Only in the way that they are involved in the decisions of business. By making them subject to the laws of the land. Churches should be subject to these laws including discriminatory behavior and tax codes just like everyone else. No? They shouldn’t? Why?

  • timmy2

    To think that the church is an non-profit organization, one would have to be obtuse.

  • FH1231

    Gay marriage does nothing to serve the state interest of propagating society and, therefore, does not deserve the costly benefits of marriage.It would also further erode the essence and nature of marriage as the principal societal institution that establishes the norms of procreation.

  • jontomus

    You can see why the christians are so against gay marriage if you look at it carefully enough.They are told in their bibles, somewhere it’s said, that homosexuality is a sin. Fine, they believe all sorts of things are sins which are not against the law.Their slavemasters in the church berate them continually about it.So they just *have* to suppress it, they have to be against it, and just what the hell are the rest of us being so casual about it, being indifferent, or horrors of horrors – in support of it!It’s like we don’t care what they believe, in fact it’s like we don’t believe what they believe.Yes, allowing gay marriage is a slippery slope, it’s one of the last gasps of the christian oppressors in our country, their last change to tell anybody else what to do, how to live, who to sleep with, who to love, how to love.They are losing control, and they know it.And I think that’s a good thing :-)Too bad christians, we really don’t need to hear your noise anymore.

  • timmy2

    FH1231Wow. Where to start?”Gay marriage does nothing to serve the state interest of propagating society and, therefore, does not deserve the costly benefits of marriage”A married lesbian couple up the street from me are raising well, a young boy who was given up for adoption by young heterosexual girl who was unable to care for her baby, which no doubt, you would force her to have. I’d say they deserve the costly benefits of marriage for their service to our society. Your main mistake here is assuming that society has a shortage of babies. Our propagation no longer relies on a good supply of babies. Just that the ones who do come about get raised well.”It would also further erode the essence and nature of marriage as the principal societal institution that establishes the norms of procreation”So it says in your holy book. But that’s all just voodoo nonsense. We no longer rule our world by ancient superstition but by pragmatism. Got any pragmatic arguments?

  • jontomus

    FH1231 is engaging in the only non-religious reason the religious can find … find to say that is. They hope it gives them the appearance of rational thinking, unhindered by their normal religious bigotry.And many, I suspect, realize just how ugly a thing it is here in America, the land of live-and-let-live, to tell somebody else what they can and can’t do in an area that is none of their business.It’s even ugly to them .. they have to have a *real* reason to be against it.It is of course indicative of their own trouble with their own silly religious beliefs.

  • timmy2

    Aw poor ZZim. Surrounded by bigots. Is it not okay to be bigoted against bigots?

  • timmy2

    Truth be told, by my own personal philosophy, there are no true bigots. Only those who have been deluded by doctrines of bigotry be they religious or non-religious. Even the inventors of those doctrines were deluded by previous doctrines. So how did it come about originally?Bigotry is a misperception created by ignorance and fear. Neither ignorance nor fear are a person’s fault. But we have enough knowledge now that we can do something about both.

  • FH1231

    Timmy2 Wrote:”A married lesbian couple up the street from me are raising well, a young boy who was given up for adoption by young heterosexual girl who was unable to care for her baby, which no doubt, you would force her to have. I’d say they deserve the costly benefits of marriage for their service to our society”Is that the standard then…any couple/group that has a kid is eligible for marrige? Timmy2 wrote:”So it says in your holy book. But that’s all just voodoo nonsense. We no longer rule our world by ancient superstition but by pragmatism. Got any pragmatic arguments?”What are you talking about? You are clearly obsessed with religion…how does a comment about “the principal societal institution that establishes the norms of procreation” generate a response that mentions the words “voodoo nonsense”. You are clearly too vested in this subject to approach it with anything approaching logic. Talk about pragmatic arguments…where are yours? I’ve seen a lot of name calling from you, but precious little in the way of reasoned debate.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Zzim,You say you hope that same-sex marriage will not interfere with separation of church and state.Item: The “church” is on the dole. Some denominations, eg. the Presbyterians, the RCC, are enormously wealthy. They receive nonprofit status, yet politic in church, and, particularly the RCC and the Fundos, effectively legislate through lobbying and threats. They do mailers, spend hundreds of thousands of tax exempt dollars on campaigns to push through their views. The “bishops” announced that it was only due to the nuns meddling that the current healthcare package remains unsatisfactory church and statewise. What is occurring in this incipient theocracy is, I assure you, hilariously incomprehensible to persons who live under full-blown theocratic regimes.If it is separation of church and state you want, then get the “churches” TF out of the marriage business, once and for all.Then look at the money, honey, and end the lobbying. Yesterday. Poor Tom Jefferson. And poor JFK.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    FH1231:I suspect the norms will remain the same. Some will adhere to them just as they do now.Gay people can adopt. So this is a nonissue. All that same-sex marriage would accomplish in this regard is to provide their children, those who chose to have them or adopt them, with more normalcy, less discrimination, etc.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    On Communism and SuperstitionThe Marxist materialist critique was brilliant. It did not, however, like other offerings, emerge full-blown from Zeus’s head. Superstition resided, arguably, in certain airy notions, some of them, arguably idealist, if not materialist.NB, Timmy: Use google for materialist vs. idealist, so’s you don’t sound quite so err “cogitational.”

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Correction to my last post: Meant to write:Superstition resided, arguably, in certain airy notions, some of them, arguably idealist, if not ESSENTIALIST

  • timmy2

    FarnazMaterialism”In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena (including consciousness) are the result of material interactions”Since there is no evidence to support this belief, I consider it to be superstitious in nature, because it involves believing things for which there is no supporting evidence. Materialism could be true and so could transcendental consciousness. But to believe that either is true is a superstitious belief.That’s just how I look at it. Others can look at it differently. I am open to seeing other lines of thought on this and perhaps will see it differently after new input comes my way. But for now, that’s how I see it.

  • timmy2

    To update, the attempts to argue a secular reason to be against same sex marriage have all suffered from the following flaws.1. Marriage is no longer the driving force behind the procreation of our species. We do not need heterosexual marriage or gay marriage or any kind of marriage. That is an old religious idea. 2. Marriage is not just a baby making factory. It is more about the committed relationship between two people who love each other. And gay people love each other just like heteros love each other. 3. There is no “norm” when it comes to sex. And there is no longer a “norm” when it comes to procreation. Welcome to the new millennium.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Timmy, on materialism vs. idealism, from Capital, vol. I, Afterward (link follows part II)If you are seriously interested, I’ll give you some links that will assist with this, as even a geenyoss of the John Galt type cannot do it alone.Of course the method of presentation must differ in form from that of inquiry. The latter has to appropriate the material in detail, to analyse its different forms of development, to trace out their inner connexion. Only after this work is done, can the actual movement be adequately described. If this is done successfully, if the life of the subject-matter is ideally reflected as in a mirror, then it may appear as if we had before us a mere a priori construction.My dialectic method is not only different from the Hegelian, but is its direct opposite. To Hegel, the life process of the human brain, i.e., the process of thinking, which, under the name of “the Idea,” he even transforms into an independent subject, is the demiurgos of the real world, and the real world is only the external, phenomenal form of “the Idea.” With me, on the contrary, the ideal is nothing else than the material world reflected by the human mind, and translated into forms of thought.CONTINUES BELOW

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    SUSAN, DEAR,Could you please do something about this premature removal of the Main Page link to your essays?It’s a pain to access them via the circuitous route, and some of your many admirers (I’m being quite serious here) do not know how to do this.Thanks in advance–Farnaz

  • timmy2

    Farnaz,”If you are seriously interested, I’ll give you some links that will assist with this, as even a geenyoss of the John Galt type cannot do it alone”I’m always open to learn. When people accuse me of being pig headed or stuck in my beliefs I always cite the number of beliefs and previous misconceptions that have been changed for me since beginning to blog here 4 years ago. There are several regular posters who have informed me and change certain opinions and beliefs that I previously held. You are one of them. I have no doubt you can teach me more and I am a willing student. I present my beliefs the way I do because I want them to be challenged and scrutinized even with a vengeance. It’s a fast way to learn and I am impatient by nature. On this materialism/idealism thing, I have read some Karl, and i read your segment and I will read that link later today. And I will read the other links that you referred to. But it’s a lot of heavy reading and I’d like to know ahead of time to what end?Can you give me a summation of what you think I might learn that I am currently missing? It’s just so much reading, some of which I have probably done before so I want to make sure that I don’t already know the point.I will read the link you provided regardless, I’ve already read what you posted and skimmed the link. And I’m not sure that I’m going to have an “ahha” moment when I’m finished reading it.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Timmy,I have to think this through before I recommend links. There is some stuff you should not have to wade through unless you become seriously interested. Marx was a genius, a seminal thinker, who has influenced more people in more disciplines than I can say. He was not a saint, was the opposite in many ways.What you might begin to think about is the extent to which we are all situated economically, politically, socially, etc., and the extent to which the sites we occupy conditions our thinking. One cannot always escape every limitation of ideology (a heavy term), but becoming aware of how it might limit us, helps us with the blind spots. Marx has an excellent essay on this, as do many postMarxists, neoMarxists.Marx was attempting to look at history as a competition between various competing material interests (see who benefits, follow the money), and he drew on economics, philosophy, etc. to make his breathtaking argument. He considered various forms of idealism, first and foremost religion, tools of mystification, designed to drug, lull the workers into submission. (We have other ways now, but more on that later.)Hegel was a major target, perhaps, THE major target; he was after the Young Hegelians. Hegel’s theory of history concerned culture. Marx argued that culture results from material interests, etc.This is the best I can do right now. Let me know if you think its worth your pursuing, and I’ll try to pull something together.

  • timmy2

    FH1231 and ZZIMIf you don’t like people making the assumption that you are religious, stop saying religious sounding things about “norms” and the institution of marriage having some fundamental relevance to our continued existence and success as a species or even as a society. The nature argument doesn’t work because nature created gay people. There is nothing unnatural about them being here. Rare does not = unnatural. Everything is natural or nothing is.Without religious thinking such as an ultimate standard of morality and “norms”, there is no secular argument. In a secular mindset, it falls under the category of, “it’s no skin off your nose” and in a secular world, that’s really all we care about. I have heard no valid secular arguments made to show how gay marriage will harm anyone.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Secular,Re: Religion and knowing the worldI posted this on the main page, so if you’ve read it already, this atheist apologizes.I saw only excerpts of this film, yet with me still are his joyous expression and body, the sense one had from him that upon each arrival, he experienced the strangers he encountered as friends he had not seen in a long time, deeply grateful that they wee glad to see him.I see this man’s image as I write. It is as if I had just watched the film of that sainted man this morning.Recommend James, The Varieties of Religious Experience

  • FH1231

    Timmy2 Wrote:”1. Marriage is no longer the driving force behind the procreation of our species. We do not need heterosexual marriage or gay marriage or any kind of marriage. That is an old religious idea.”Well, no duh. That fact has never been at issue. The issue revolves around the preferred method for raising well-adjusted children, and how best to achieve that result. Clearly, stable, heterosexual parents meet that criteria more than in any other situation. The State benefits from well-adjusted adult, tax-paying new members.”2. Marriage is not just a baby making factory. It is more about the committed relationship between two people who love each other. And gay people love each other just like heteros love each other.”Ridiculous. What benefit does the State get from two people loving each other…none. Gay people don’t need to be married to be in a committed relationship, loving each other. “3. There is no “norm” when it comes to sex. And there is no longer a “norm” when it comes to procreation.”And we’re all winners, little Johnny…blah, blah, blah.

  • onofrio

    Timmy, Thee, re those earnestly homophobic Christian friends:Love the sinner but hate the sin, right? I suppose you eat with tax-collectors and prostitutes too, in the downtime between lepers… Thee:Deploying *evil enchantment* to explain phenomena is emotive, folkoric, mythical thinking, Timmy. Isn’t that excluded from your supposedly *rational* discourse? (Expecting response like *it’s just a figure of speech* – and there’s the rub! We cannot even speak without invoking spirits.) Thee:…powerful spells constraining people to act against their better, true, good selves. Timmy the village tale-teller spins another potent yarn.Thee:On the previous thread (August 8, 2010 12:14 PM) you wrote: I see dissonance here. On one hand, your good Christian commensals are innocent dupes under the “spell” of a wicked cult, and not culpable for their beliefs – you say “It is not the religious person’s fault that they were indoctrinated as children.”On the other hand (and on the other thread), you contend thatIn other words, holding on to such beliefs IS a fault. So how can your good Christian friends be both innocent, brainwashed dupes, and choosers of their beliefs? In relation to what they believe, how can they have no choice, yet have one? How can they be without fault in this matter, yet at fault enough to be “accountable”? Treat it all as rhetorical, and file under *Demagoguery – Obtuse* ;^)

  • Secular

    Fanaz, appreciate your post for my sake.

  • FH1231

    Timmy2 Wrote:”FH1231 and ZZIMSo, let me get this straight…we can’t talk about “norms”, “society”, “marriage” as it relates to either “society”, or “norms” or “you” may infer that we are super-religious. I’m going to take a few shots of Jack and ponder how to avoid these hot-button buzz-words in our future encounters.

  • themoderate

    Susan,I commented here years ago that the Bible introduced religious intolerance and homophobia; both notably absent in earlier Roman civilization. Glad it only took you a few years to see my point.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Well, it is good to see the MOderate (LOL) speaking in his primary demented voice rather than that of Screwtape (should have been Screw lose, Scrued up, etc.), 5am, etc.Thank God, gods, etc., that Susan Jacoby, nationally respected author and journalist, whose essays are widely anthologized, appear on syllabi across the country, has, after lo, these many years, caught up to Vous.In your dreams. In your perverse, self-enthralled dreams, you might, just might reach the level of her thinking when she was seven. Scratch that. Six.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Btw., Mod, AKA, AKA, ETC.I know I invited you to post as your self, such as it is, but don’t take everything quite so literally. That is a sign of moronitude.

  • onofrio

    Ah, the august peer of Cicero and Seneca has deigned to post.Cincinnatus, roused!Let all mark well, mark well, and hymn the return of nobility, sobriety, and pellucid good sense.

  • themoderate

    “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thy self. I am the LORD. (LEV 9:18)”‘If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” (LEV 20:13)Say what you will, Biblical hatred sucks.

  • timmy2

    FH1231″The issue revolves around the preferred method for raising well-adjusted children, and how best to achieve that result”Who’s preferred method? We have always left that up to the parents of children. Why should it be different with gay parents? We don’t check the qualifications of heterosexuals to be good parents before they get married and many of them are clearly unfit to have children. “Clearly, stable, heterosexual parents meet that criteria more than in any other situation”Clearly? How about this then. Clearly, stable homosexual parents are equally capable of raising well adjusted children. Clearly.”The State benefits from well-adjusted adult, tax-paying new members”Which gay parents are equally capable of raising. Clearly. “Ridiculous. What benefit does the State get from two people loving each other”None. And yet heterosexuals who have no intention of having children are allowed to get married. Even elderly people who can not conceive are allowed to get married and receive the costly benefits. Why are you not up in arms about that? Why the exception for gay people?”Gay people don’t need to be married to be in a committed relationship, loving each other”Neither do heterosexual people.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    MOderate plus Alters,”Say what you will, Biblical hatred sucks.”I guess–”But those mine enemies which would not that I should reign over them, bring them hither and slay them before me” (Luke xix. 27)”And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie; that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thess. ii. 11, 12)Apologies to Aeschylus and G-d.

  • timmy2

    Oh no Frio”Love the sinner but hate the sin, right?”Wrong. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzz “I suppose you eat with tax-collectors and prostitutes too, in the downtime between lepers…”Wrong again. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzz”Deploying *evil enchantment* to explain phenomena is emotive, folkoric, mythical thinking, Timmy.”bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz”(Expecting response like *it’s just a figure of speech* – and there’s the rub! We cannot even speak without invoking spirits.)”bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz”…powerful spells constraining people to act against their better, true, good selves. Timmy the village tale-teller spins another potent yarn”bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.”We are not responsible for our skin color and racial background but we are all responsible for our ideas and cultural practices.”Finally! My own words are put into my own mouth for a change. And so now you get a response. We are responsible. My friends are responsible for their beliefs. And heroin users are responsible for their actions. And people who get addicted to pain killers are responsible for that. And kids who get bullied into gangs are ultimately responsible for that. And young girls who get bulimia are ultimately responsible for that. But we can still see that they are under a spell. They are not thinking straight. They are not being their true selves. In these situations, all of can say there but for the grace of God go I.”I see dissonance here”I see dead people. “you say “It is not the religious person’s fault that they were indoctrinated as children.”It isn’t. “On the other hand (and on the other thread), you contend thatWe are. “So how can your good Christian friends be both innocent, brainwashed dupes, and choosers of their beliefs?”They are dupes, and I hold them responsible for their beliefs. People are responsible for being dupes. And kids are responsible for the gangs they get bullied into.”In relation to what they believe, how can they have no choice, yet have one?”They have a choice now. But they did not have that choice for the first 15 years or so of their life. Think of those first fifteen years as the kid getting hooked on heroin by the pusher. Yes it’s his responsibility. But we know how powerful the coercion of a drug pusher is, and we know how powerful addiction to it is. And so we understand that he is not acting as his true self. “Treat it all as rhetorical, and file under *Demagoguery – Obtuse* ;^)”How about instead I just show you how wrong your thinking is with reasoned argument as I just did. Once you finally got around to actually quoting what I said, of course.

  • onofrio

    Timmy,What is a “true self”? (Your words)

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    From Twelfth Night, Antonio to SebastianANTONIO

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Antonio and Sebastian (Shakespeare)–Hot

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    I love my wife, but oh you kid. Shakespeare to the young, blond man.Sonnet 95: How Sweet And Lovely Dost Thou Make The Shame

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Goodnight, sweet ladies, goodnight

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be; [Was] an attendant lord, one that will do

  • onofrio

    Timmy,I mean, is “true self” another of those figures of speech you seem unable to avoid – like “grace of God” and being “under a spell” – that evoke primitive, irrational beliefs and non-existent entities?Why keep deploying these phantasms to help make your points, if you want others not to believe in them (the phantasms, that is)?

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    When I Heard at the Close of DayFor the one I love most lay sleeping by me–Walt Whitman, American PoetGod bless you,Walt, great poet and great gay man, great lover of the world. Rest easy.

  • timmy2

    Twofrio”That’s not to say there’s no hope for bigots like your friends. They can change their diet. The spell can be broken, if we will admit ourselves magicians, or, even better, cooks”This is misanthropy, or, original sin by it’s other name. I understand where you think you see evidence for this, I see it much differently. Bigotry is misperception caused by ignorance and fear. Neither the fear nor the ignorance are a person’s fault, but we have enough knowledge now to do something about both. Humans evolve, Onofrio. We are not stuck on any meme. And this spell is easily breakable with the knowledge that we have now. We are driven to be loyal to our tribe. Our tribes used to be small. And then they grew larger and larger. So we see how it is possible for us to simply see more and more people as our tribe. There is no reason, especially with the latest scientific evidence about our origins, that we can not train ourselves to see our entire species as one tribe. And then we will protect each other and love each other as we are naturally programmed to do with our own tribe members.Reminds me of a joke by a comic friend of mine. He asks, will we ever get along? Will it ever be like Star trek? What we need, he says, is for an alien life form of higher intelligence to come to earth in peace….. So we can kill it! Yeah, then we’d be one big happy family wouldn’t we? It’d be like “Hey Frenchie nice shot. High five” “Hey Mohammed, when you rifle butted that oversized skull, some of it’s brains flew onto the bald spot on my head. Hey look at that, hair is growing. Ain’t that the dickens. Oh well, Earth rules! Earth rules! Third from the sun, number one! Third from the sun, number one!We can start raising our children now to see all people as the human tribe. We know that our natural instincts are to be ethical and love our own tribe members as family. So it’s like tricking our instincts to see us all as one tribe. But it’s not really tricking them because it’s actually true. We’ve just been without that knowledge until quite recently.

  • timmy2

    Oh no Frio”Simply, those friends you cite are bigots”Yes that is the simple way to look at it. “I respect your tact in not baying that uncomfortable truth directly in their kindly faces”They know how I feel. “I see no distinction between *being a bigot* and *being imbued with bigoted belief by a nasty sect*”Upbringing. Had my friends grown up in my household, they would not be bigots. There’s no question it was their upbringing. This tells me that it is not their true self, but indoctrination. If 80% of Americans believe in the Bible and coincidentally have this one particular bigoted belief in common, by my logic they have all been brainwashed to think that way, and by your logic, there’s some strange phenomenon that makes 80% of people born in America bigots by nature. But just north of the border in Canada, there’s only 40% bigots by nature on this issue. Is it something in the water, Onofrio? Maybe it’s something about the cold? No. It’s a cult, stupid. “We are what we eat”I am pie. “You seem to treat ugly *doctrines* as entities apart from innately good human hearts and minds”I do.”Reminds me of Rousseau”Who cares? Is that a counter argument?”If people were as good as you contend, such evil *spells* would have no hold, no effect. Indeed, they would never have arisen in the first place”Someone needs to study a little about psychiatry.

  • onofrio

    Farnaz,Re – J Alfred:Hey, I’m the obtuse, easy tool round here, dammit!

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Onofrio,Re – J Alfred:Hey, I’m the obtuse, easy tool round here, dammit!

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    A NOISELESS, patient spider,I mark’d, where, on a little promontory, it stood, isolated;And you, O my Soul, where you stand,–Walt Whitman, American Poet

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Word to gay haters. Walt Whitman would have loved you. Aye, there’s the sorrow and the pity of it all.

  • timmy2

    Onofrio”What is a “true self”? (Your words)”You really don’t understand? You sure not just pretending to not understand? I think you are. I feel like you just asked me to define potato. “I mean, is “true self” another of those figures of speech you seem unable to avoid”Why should I avoid it? Most people understand what it means without even having to think much about it. Why are you so confused? I think you;re just pretending to be. I don’t know what anyone else’s true self is, but I can usually spot when they’re not being it. “like “grace of God” and being “under a spell”You don’t care for mythological metaphors? I love them.”Why keep deploying these phantasms to help make your points, if you want others not to believe in them (the phantasms, that is)?”I like using mythical Metaphors. And i think believing that myths are real, is delusion. There’s no contradiction here. Sorry. I know how bad you really wanted to catch me on contradictions tonight. Better luck tomorrow, little bee.

  • timmy2

    Farnaz,”This is the best I can do right now. Let me know if you think its worth your pursuing, and I’ll try to pull something together”Yup.I did read some Marx years ago and I agree, he was a genius. And yet I found myself is disagreement with him on many fundamental points. It’s funny when you know someone is smarter than you and you still disagree with them. In such a case, one has to believe there are different kinds of smarts. But I would love to revisit some Marx and could use a little guidance wading through as you say. I would appreciate any links complete with your set up commentary and notes.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    The “you” in the final line is Everyone, forever, everywhereFrom Song of MyselfLIIThe spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me, he complainsI too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable,The last scud of day holds back for me,I depart as air, I shake my white locks at the runaway sun,I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,–Walt Whitman

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Hi Timmy,Neither of us is smarter than the other. I think the idea of intelligence is problematic. I’ve learned a lot from you, Onofrio, Persiflage, DITLD, COLIN NICHOLAS, SCHAUM, and many others.At any rate, I’ll try to find some decent links. There are a couple I have in mind, but I want to look them over first, with some care. Will get to that in the next couple of days.If I live to be ten thousand, I will never understand why we are even discussing same-sex marriage in the US, in 2010, while war rages in the Middle East, the economy looks grim worldwide, etc., and Walt Whitman is all around us.’Tis passing strange.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    SUSAN,It is an awful thing that the OnFaith Powers that Be (PTB) forever remove the links to your essays prematurely, thereby, forcing the likes of moi to rush around posting the link hither, thither, and, of course, yon, sans salary, recompense of any kind, exhausting myself in the process, but who is complaining.You have devoted followers and opponents, combinations of the two, and the PTB accept that truth of the blogosphere.WE leave it to you to advocate for chimera.Farnaz

  • timmy2

    FarnazIt’s clear we are not in disagreement on gay marriage. To clarify where I am coming from with my take on materialism, I have recently come to a place where I see two positions where others seem to see three. Theist, atheist, agnostic.To me the two positions are theist or agnostic. Which means one either claims knowledge of the ultimate truth to reality or one pleads ignorance. Theists claim such knowledge and agnostics plead ignorance. The third position of “atheist” I see as a rover who can fit into either camp. There are atheists who do not believe in any Gods, but plead ignorance on the ultimate truth behind reality. They are not convinced by any God theories, but offer no alternative theory for the “how we got here and why” type questions.And then there are the atheists who do offer an alternative theory to the God hypothesis. The materialist theory or the determinist theory etc. The “It’s all here just cuz now shut up and enjoy what you’ve got” theory. This to me is the same as saying God did it. Both are attempts at closure whether there is closure to be had or not. For this reason, I put these atheists in the theist category even though that sounds oxymoronish. But both are claiming knowledge of the ultimate truth it seems. I see the belief in God or gods as superstitious because there is no evidence for these beliefs. I find the belief that there is only the material to be similar in that there is no evidence that there is only the material. Just no evidence of anything other than the material. Except thoughts I guess. I mean the synapsis are material, but the thoughts?It might have been a bit of a stretch to call materialism “superstitious” but that is where I was coming from when I said it. I wasn’t really commenting on Marx. But I would still like to see those links when you get around to it. No rush. I would also like to hear your comments on the things I just said.

  • ShorinBJ

    * I did read some Marx years ago and I agree, he was a genius. And yet I found myself is disagreement with him on many fundamental points.Funny you should say that. Marx himself later considered parts of his Communist Manifesto, especially the ten planks, to be antiquated.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Much of neo-marxist political economy has been discredited but it has provided useful political discourse for developing nations.I could be quite wrong, but I haven’t seen or heard of recent economic developments of marxist economics.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    ShorinBJ:LOL, on the ten planks. The extreme right-wing are using these to demonstrate how the “communists” are taking over America.I bookmarked this. Will try to find it.

  • ZZim

    Wow, we agree. But what you just said above is seen as threatening to the church and in their eyes, they have something to fear from “the gay agenda”. But we should not base our decisions on what the church fears. Posted by: timmy2=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=Of course we should take the fears of our fellow citizens into consideration, especially if they are rational fears based on reasonable analysis of the situation.It is entirely reasonable for them to be concerned that if “gay marriage” is established as a civil right, that all churches will face the threat of endless civil rights litigation.You attitude toward Christians is a bit callous condescending, I think..

  • ZZim

    Zzim,If you want to see separation of church and state then the first order of business is to ban lobbyists from Congress. Posted by: farnaz_mansouri2=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-Farnaz, a republic must govern with the advice and consent of the governed. These advisors are called “lobbyists”. Lobbyists are a necessary component of a functioning democracy.If we made churches taxpayers, their incentive to lobby would increase tenfold. If we made churches taxpayers, the legitimacy of those same lobbyists would increase tenfold. Your proposed course of action would therefore have the opposite effect that you desire – times 100.You want to have your cake and eat it too, but you can’t. Entangling churches deeper into the machinery of government is not the best way to go..

  • ZZim

    ZZIMIf you don’t like people making the assumption that you are religious, stop saying religious sounding things about “norms” and the institution of marriage having some fundamental relevance to our continued existence and success as a species or even as a society. The nature argument doesn’t work because nature created gay people. There is nothing unnatural about them being here. Rare does not = unnatural. Everything is natural or nothing is.Without religious thinking such as an ultimate standard of morality and “norms”, there is no secular argument. In a secular mindset, it falls under the category of, “it’s no skin off your nose” and in a secular world, that’s really all we care about. I have heard no valid secular arguments made to show how gay marriage will harm anyone.Posted by: timmy2=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-Timmy, male/female pair bonding is natural and normal for our species. Same-sex pair bondings are natural but abnormal for our species. Most members of our species both naturally and normally find same-sex pair bondings either repulsive or amusing (personally I find them amusing but harmless).The secular argument is we are discussing is that the establishment societal rules is good for society. These societal rules are called “norms”. It is not a coincidence that “norm” and “normal” share the same root. Norms are generally established by codifying what is normal.Some norms, which have arisen entirely via the non-religious process of codifying normal behavior as the preferred behavior, transition into religious rules. For example, when Moses promulgated the Ten Commandments, he was just writing down pre-existing tribal norms and giving them the force of religious justification. These rules existed because they work in accordance with Human nature. People who first encounter these rules in the context of their religious training may be forgiven if they think that they originated with religion. They did not.I think that’s the mistake that Susan is making.Anyway, I agree with you that gay marriage is essentially harmless. We differ because I see that it is abnormal, and you would like to portray it as normal..

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Zzim,I’m not interested in the “incentive” of churches to lobby. I’m interested in making it illegal for them to do so. I’m interested in the Establishment Clause.

  • ZZim

    Zzim,I’m not interested in the “incentive” of churches to lobby. I’m interested in making it illegal for them to do so. I’m interested in the Establishment Clause.Posted by: farnaz_mansouri2=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-I understand your intent, Farnaz. I’m pointing out that your proposed course of action would have the opposite effect from the one you desire.Is it advisable, or even possible, to create a class of taxpayer that is legally barred from participating in government? I don’t think so.If you make churches taxpayers, you will entangle churches and governments in each others’ business to a far greater degree than you see today..

  • ZZim

    It is an awful thing that the OnFaith Powers that Be (PTB) forever remove the links to your essays prematurely, thereby, forcing the likes of moi to rush around posting the link hither, thither, and, of course, yon, sans salary, recompense of any kind, exhausting myself in the process, but who is complaining.Posted by: farnaz_mansouri2=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=Farnaz, just add a link to your favorites menu on your browser. That way you can come back here directly, instead of having to navigate the Post’s treacherous and confusing On Faith menu system.On the plus side, removing the link from the front page discourages random trolls and enables us dedicated debaters to savage one another in relative isolation.;-).

  • timmy2

    ZZIM”Same-sex pair bondings are natural but abnormal for our species”Abnormal? I think you mean rare. I see gay people everywhere I go. There are huge communities of them and they are everywhere. There is nothing abnormal about it. Rare maybe, but not “abnormal.” “Most members of our species both naturally and normally find same-sex pair bondings either repulsive or amusing (personally I find them amusing but harmless)”Children find them amusing too. Then we grow up. I find nothing about same sex pair bondings to be humorous or repulsive. I guess that makes me abnormal according to your “norms”. Perhaps I shouldn’t be allowed get married either. “The secular argument is we are discussing is that the establishment societal rules is good for society”What establishment societal rules? You mean our laws?These societal rules are called “norms”.”Never heard of such a thing except when listening to a preacher. “Norms are generally established by codifying what is normal”Same sex pair bonding is normal.”These rules existed because they work in accordance with Human nature”Clearly not since gays occur regularly in nature. “We differ because I see that it is abnormal, and you would like to portray it as normal”You are confused. You think that rare = abnormal. It does not.

  • ZZim

    Same sex pair bonding is normal.You are confused. You think that rare = abnormal. It does not. Posted by: timmy2=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=“Abnormal:Adjective abnormal (comparative more abnormal, superlative most abnormal)1. Not conforming to rule or system; deviating from the usual or normal type. 2. Of or pertaining to behaviour that deviates from norms of social propriety or accepted standards of mental health.”Rare things are rare because the deviate from the usual or normal type. That’s how we know they are rare.Same-sex pair-bonding is abnormal in that it deviates from the usual or normal type of pair-bonding, which is male/female pair-bonding.It’s still abnormal, harmless in my opinion, but abnormal. Like I said before, if gay couple wants the trappings of normality, like a marriage, then I don’t see anything wrong with letting them have that. It doesn’t hurt anything and provides them with a measure of comfort and security..

  • timmy2

    ZZIM”Rare things are rare because the deviate from the usual or normal type”Funny I’ve never heard anyone refer to gold or diamonds as “abnormal”. Precious maybe, but not abnormal. But how is this “abnormal” or “rare” thing make for a secular case against gay marriage? It’s doesn’t. Which makes Susan correct in her article here. There is only a religious case against gay marriage. Secular arguments are all defeated.

  • ZZim

    But how is this “abnormal” or “rare” thing make for a secular case against gay marriage? It’s doesn’t. Which makes Susan correct in her article here. There is only a religious case against gay marriage. Secular arguments are all defeated. Posted by: timmy2=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=Social norms are a good thing. Society needs rules in order to function. Without rules, we would have chaos. Social rules are basically a codification of “normal”, which doesn’t require a religious gloss in order to exist.It’s a secular argument.Obviously I don’t personally subscribe to this argument because I feel that same-sex relationships are basically harmless, but not everyone is as permissive as I am. Some people view deviance from the norm to be harmful in and of itself, but I believe that deviance is fine as long as – on balance – suppressing that deviance would be more hamrful than allowing it.Once again, no religious justification is required, it’s entirely secular and based on scientifically observable facts..

  • timmy2

    Zimm”Social norms are a good thing. Society needs rules in order to function”This is a secular statement, yes, but not a secular argument against gay marriage. “Without rules, we would have chaos. Social rules are basically a codification of “normal”, which doesn’t require a religious gloss in order to exist”A nice secular statement but not an argument against gay marriage. “It’s a secular argument”Not against gay marriage it isn’t. “but not everyone is as permissive as I am”Because of what it says in their holy book. “Some people view deviance from the norm to be harmful in and of itself”They’ll have to complain to god/nature about that since it was god/nature who did the deviating. Gay people did not decide to deviate. “Once again, no religious justification is required”And no secular argument has been made. You are working your case that it is “abnormal” and “deviant” but even if one grants you that, this is no reason to deny gay people the same rights as others. “it’s entirely secular and based on scientifically observable facts”Not the argument against gay marriage. The scientifically observable facts on that issue are that gay people are born that way and are a regular occurring phenomenon in nature and they love each other in the same way that heterosexual people love each other. These are the scientifically observable facts. You have made several secular statements but you have given no secular argument against gay marriage. Have you?

  • timmy2

    Gay people are not deviating from the norm. They are doing what is normal for them, the way they were created.

  • timmy2

    ZZIMQuite often a child is born with a deformity. Some are born missing limbs or with very mangled limbs and horribly disfigured faces. Although this happens regularly, it is also rare.These are deviations and abnormalities as you would call them. And yet they occur with mathematical regularity.Childish people find these rare occurrences “amusing” and “abnormal” even though they are regular occurrences.Many people find the though of these people having sex to be unimaginable, perhaps even, repulsive. It is not normal to marry someone with a giant goiter sticking out of their neck. Marrying someone with no limbs leads to an abnormal lifestyle for you and your children. My god what about the children? Imagine putting a child through the trauma of having to explain to the kids at school about his legless father. There are better ways for a child to grow up. More normal ways. And normal is better. What we should do to these “abnormalities” is to pile on to the struggle they have in life by denying them equal rights thereby making them feel like the true deviants that they are.This is how you sound to me. There may be a secular argument against gay marriage, but it is an ugly, bigoted one.

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