Gay marriage victories propel cases toward Supreme Court at record speed

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David Gibson, right, and Richard Kiamco of Jersey City make history as they become the first official same-sex couple to be married in Jersey City in a ceremony officiated by Mayor Steve Fulop at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, at City Hall. Seven other gay couples also participated in the ceremony. Photo by Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal - courtesy The Star-Ledger

David Gibson, right, and Richard Kiamco of Jersey City make history as they become the first official same-sex couple to be married in Jersey City in a ceremony officiated by Mayor Steve Fulop at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, at City Hall. Seven other gay couples also participated in the ceremony. Photo by Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal - courtesy The Star-Ledger

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WASHINGTON (RNS) The race to legalize same-sex marriage in the nation’s state and federal courts has become a self-fulfilling prophecy, fueled by an unbroken string of pro-marriage rulings since the Supreme Court first weighed in on the subject last June. As each decision strikes down state bans, it becomes more difficult for judges to ignore […]

  • Mary

    “It’s getting harder to argue why these bans should be upheld.” Well, that’s because you aren’t allowed to make an argument from the Constitution – you have to make an argument according to how the courts interpret the Constitution. It’s important to note that the courts interpret the document apart from a Biblically-informed moral context, as they did under modernism. Now that we are in post-modernism and secular humanism is the prevalent philosophy, gay marriage being the law of the land is inevitable.

  • Larry

    The irony is for all of the moaning the anti-marriage equality people make about “activist judges” and pretending their losses are due to individual biases of the given courts, they are deathly afraid to appeal these matters to the Supreme Court. The typical remedy for people who honestly believe they got a raw deal from the Federal court. (Emphasis on the word “honestly” here).

    Given the lack of rational and secular arguments used to support such bans, it can easily end up with a nationwide equal protection ruling which would put the permanent kibosh on all such things. That is the last thing the marriage equality opponents want.

  • Eric

    Conservative Christians were bemoaning the influence of “secular humanism” long before “postmodernism” was even a word. If equal marriage becomes the law of the land, it will be because we as a nation, including many Christians, have realized it is the moral thing to do.

  • Larry

    What the hell are you talking about?

    There is no such thing as a “Biblically informed moral context” to interpretation of our law and constitution. 1st Amendment, remember? Separation of Church and state means all legal arguments have to be rational and SECULAR in nature. Especially the basis for a given law. You missed the boat on that one in 1789.

    Your “Christian beliefs” were NEVER the rightful basis of our laws or government. They never belonged there. Our system was always secular in nature. Moaning about secularism and modernism is essentially saying you hate democracy and freedom of religion. Something which fits in well with fundamentalist agendas.

    Most of all, the 14th Amendment and “Equal Protection Under the Law” means that laws cannot be used to deliberately promote prejudices and discrimination. Least of all when they are informed by nothing more than religious belief. The 14th Amendment forms the basis of all civil liberties cases pertaining to state laws.

    I don’t even have to go into the idea that there is no such thing as “Biblically informed morals”. There is a contradiction of terms in that phrase.

  • Mary

    Larry, why do the rights of one group trump the need of children to have a mother and father through whom they were brought into the world? The next best thing is for them to have a mother and a father, even if one of them is a step-mom or step-dad. Then, the next after that is other family, if their own mom and dad are not available for some reason.

    There is an order here and it starts with nature’s way of doing things – a man and a woman procreate. Is nature discriminating against any group that deviates from that?

    You can’t say there is no rational argument for recognizing and respecting nature’s order. It just doesn’t work, my friend.

    Now, that doesn’t mean gay couples can’t provide a loving home to kids who would otherwise be in foster care and that gay couple’s loving homes aren’t preferable to foster care. I’m not saying that gay people shouldn’t be allowed to live their lives to the best of their ability and find happiness just like everyone else; nor am I saying they shouldn’t be allowed to adopt under any circumstances. However, we are putting the cart before the horse when we focus on the rights of the gay community with a worldview that is not respectful of nature’s order.

  • Mary

    Larry, I guess you never heard, but the Ten Commandments are the basis for morality. This makes morality Biblically-informed, and there was a time when judges abided by the general morality handed down by the Judeo-Christian tradition, which was respected in modernism. Now, it isn’t.

  • Frank

    There is nothing moral in affirming sinful behavior.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    Please tell us, Mary, just which of the Ten Commandments included God telling you He wants you to try to subvert the United States Constitution’s guarantee of Equal Protection Under the Law.

    And what part of the Ten Commandments say anti-gays may LIE as long as they tell LIES in an attempt to HURT loving, committed same gender couples?

  • CarrotCakeMan

    It’s sad to see Mary has switched over to yet another anti-gay LIE, this time about the millions of American children of same gender couples. It’s painfully obvious Mary wants to use the Ten Commandments as a weapon against LGBT Americans but feels he has a special right to ignore them.

    The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Agency has on its website details of studies of same gender parents and their children going back nearly 30 years. They recommend same gender couples be utilized MORE in adoptions because they proved same gender parents are just as good at raising children as mixed-sex parents. Look it up for yourselves and learn the FACTS about same gender parents.

    “[S]tudies on children dating back 25 years conclude that children raised by gay and lesbian non-adoptive parents fare as well as those reared by heterosexual parents (Breways, Ponjaert, Van Hall, & Golombok, 1997; Chan, Raboy & Patterson, 1998; Golombok, Perry, Burston, Murray, Mooney-Sommer, Stevens, & Golding, 2003; Wainwright, Russell & Patterson, 2004).”

  • CarrotCakeMan

    The New England Journal of Medicine urges government to establish marriage equality for health reasons:

    “Same-sex marriage strengthens access to health insurance for the 220,000 children who are being raised by same-sex parents in the United States. Employers who offer health insurance to dependent children often require that minors be related to the employee by birth, legal marriage, or legal adoption, so children with LGBT parents are left with diminished protections in states that deny legal marriages and adoptions to same-sex couples. As a result, children with same-sex parents are less likely than children with married opposite-sex parents to have private health insurance. These disparities diminish when LGBT families live in states with marriage equality or laws supporting adoptions for same-sex parents.”

  • CarrotCakeMan

    “Where differences were identified between the gay father adoptive families and the heterosexual parent adoptive families, these reflected more positive functioning in the gay father families.”

    Source: Adoptive Gay Father Families: Parent–Child Relationships and Children’s Psychological Adjustment. Child Development Volume 85, Issue 2, pages 456–468, March/April 2014

  • CarrotCakeMan

    “Children deserve to know that their relationships with both of their parents are stable and legally recognized. This applies to all children, whether their parents are of the same or opposite sex. The American Academy of Pediatrics recognizes that a considerable body of professional literature provides evidence that children with parents who are homosexual can have the same advantages and the same expectations for health, adjustment, and development as can children whose parents are heterosexual. When 2 adults participate in parenting a child, they and the child deserve the serenity that comes with legal recognition.”;109/2/339

  • CarrotCakeMan

    “The bulk of evidence to date indicates that children raised by gay and lesbian parents are no more likely to become homosexual than children raised by heterosexuals. As one researcher put it, “If heterosexual parenting is insufficient to ensure that children will also be heterosexual, then there is no reason to conclude that children of homosexuals also will be gay”. 11
    Studies asking the children of gay fathers to express their sexual orientation showed the majority of children to be heterosexual, with the proportion of gay offspring similar to that of a random sample of the population. An assessment of more than 300 children born to gay or lesbian parents in 12 different samples shows no evidence of “significant disturbances of any kind in the development of sexual identity among these individuals”.”

  • CarrotCakeMan

    Americans are standing together to fight the sinful as well as seditious misdeeds of anti-gays:

    “[A] record-high 59 percent say they support same-sex marriage, while 34 percent are opposed, the widest margin tracked in Post-ABC polling. Support for same-sex marriage has changed more rapidly than almost any social issue in the past decade. In a Post-ABC poll in March 2004, 38 percent said same-sex marriage should be legal, while 59 percent said it should not, the same percentage now in favor of allowing gays to marry. Nearly eight in 10 say that gays can parent as well as straight people, up from just below six in 10 in a 1996 Newsweek survey. Sixty-one percent support allowing gays to adopt a child, up from 49 percent in 2006 and 29 percent in a 1992 poll by Time magazine and CNN. More than twice as many people consider being gay as “just the way they are,” rather than something they chose.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    “The objective of this study was to document the psychological adjustment of adolescents who were conceived through donor insemination by lesbian mothers who enrolled before these offspring were born in the largest, longest running, prospective, longitudinal study of same-sex–parented families.

    CONCLUSIONS Adolescents who have been reared in lesbian-mother families since birth demonstrate healthy psychological adjustment. These findings have implications for the clinical care of adolescents and for pediatricians who are consulted on matters that pertain to same-sex parenting.”

  • Mike

    to Mary: you said “Now, that doesn’t mean gay couples ….with a worldview that is not respectful of nature’s order.” You have said in your statement that gays can provide a loving home as if their is some hierarchy to love and caring as if gays are the last on the list to be considered to love and give love. You’re argument is slight shadow in ignorance and bigotry “Natures order?” First there are many species of animals who can reproduce without a mate its is call “parthenogenesis” “your” natures order is a narrow view at best. As far as caring for unwanted children I can show on you on Youtube animals of different species adopting and caring for other animals unlike themselves. If your concern is for the child then you must want the child to have a stable home with all the rights and privileges any married couple can attain. If you ignore gays or put them on the list as the last to love just because they are gay what message are you sending the child and his or her peers. If a child comes from a family whose parents are unhealthy or overweight shouldn’t that child be taken from the parents because they endanger the child’s health? The problem here is not the children or care for the children but your view of gays and lesbians as part of the human race. You consider gays to be substandard to straight people. Simply this is not true. Your view is not the worldview. Your view that gays are not equal to you does more harm than good towards anyone and everyone and that includes the children of gays and lesbians.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    Modern Biblical scholars have proven the Bible was intentionally mistranslated relatively recently in order to provide “Biblical cover” for then-rising levels of homophobia. For example, the word “homosexual” didn’t even exist until 1870. Many major Christian and Jewish denominations condemn misusing the hate-based mistranslations to attack their fellow Americans and are marrying same gender American couples now. About 400 years ago, a group of religious authorities (sanctioned by King James I of England), secretly manipulated the English version of the Bible to reflect their own heterosexual attitude; they opposed the King kissing other men in public. But in revised versions, religious authorities re-defined the Greek word “arsenokoites” of 1 Corinthians 6:9. The most accurate translation, abusers of themselves with mankind [KJV], was pretty vague. Nevertheless, they replaced this vague 5-worded text with the not so vague and purposely targeted 1-word text, “homosexual(s).” Either way you cut it, this text does not describe loving, committed same gender couples. This campaign gave those who were looking for a reason to justify their own homophobia a license to openly express their bigotry.

    Yes, anti-gay poster, we know your Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas doesn’t accept these facts. Please don’t whine here about the fact Christians are rejecting your fake Bible passages now.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    What will be the next LIE that the anti-gay poster will dump here, steaming and stinking? Isn’t it time the anti-gay poster figured out that anyone who can navigate to this web page can find the evidence that debunks their many lies in a web search of less than one second? Isn’t it time the anti-gay poster stopped posting “documentation” that is clearly impeachable?

  • Mary

    I didn’t bring any specific passages up, nor have I Bible-thumped gay people. I didn’t even say I’m against gay civil marriage, so don’t assume I am. You read much more into my comments than what I wrote to justify picking a fight. I won’t give you one. I will say, though, that these “modern” scholars you refer to without naming are likely the ilk of Mr. Funk and his former cronies at the Westar Institute or some “scholar” from the UU.

  • Mary

    The KJV doesn’t speak of homosexuality in 1 Cor. 6:9. The Greek word translated as “effeminate” is malakos. So, you appear to be out in left field, but we already knew that.

  • Mary

    The KJV doesn’t speak of homosexuality in 1 Cor. 6:9. The Greek word that can also be rendered as “sodomites” is rendered as “abusers of themselves with mankind.”

  • Mary

    You are jumping the gun in your zeal to fight. I never said gays are less than straight people. However, nature is hard data – two men cannot give birth to a baby and neither can two women with each other. You can argue all you want, but you cannot get around that fact. Does this make gay people second class or less than in worth. Of course not. Does it make heterosexuality the human standard? Of course it does. So, are gay people less than? No. Their orientation is a deviation, but that doesn’t mean it’s their fault. I believe, personally, that there is a genetic and biological reason for their being gay, so for them, it is normal, but no different than a person with Down Syndrome is normal. That doesn’t change the fact that DS is an abnormality. Does that change the person’s worth? Of course not. So, you’re out of line by saying I am demeaning gay people because I think differently than you do about their orientation. They are more than their orientation, just as any heterosexual person is. Our inherent worth and dignity means more and is how we are to define everyone – gay or straight. That doesn’t mean children don’t need the mother and father that brought them into the world. There is a separation between worth and orientation. You jumped the gun in your zeal to fight by lumping them together, and that was out of line.

  • Larry

    No they aren’t. Not even close.

    Only 3 of them are of any relevance to our laws and the rest have zero basis in a democratic society. The ones which are in every civilization prior to the Bible and since, being that they are intuitively universal (avoiding lying, murder and theft).

    There is no such thing as “Judeo-Christian tradition” either. That is simply fundamentalists trying to take credit for things they had nothing to do with. You could not come up with a rational (non-circular) clear definition of what the term “Judeo-Christian tradition”, means anyway. Its a garbage phrase which indicates ignorance of history, culture and religious concepts.

    At no point is the 10 commandments the basis of anything to do with our Constitution. The misuse of public funds to violate the 1st Amendment for sectarian purposes such as erecting monuments to it, hardly constitutes evidence in your favor. There was NEVER a time when they were taken into consideration for our laws.

    You are not “Biblically-informed”, just simply uninformed, period.

  • Larry

    Because you are making a phony ignorant argument. Children to gay couples do not have this mythical option you are railing for where 2 parents of both genders are available. This is one the stupidest argument marriage equality opponents make.

    You would rather see a child with only 1 parent or none at all than 2 loving ones. For what reason? You just don’t like gay people and don’t respect them as human beings. Evidently you think your prejudices are more important than the rights of others to form families.

    Gay marriage bans do nothing to promote procreation. The two are not related. They do not affect the ability of people to procreate or families to be formed. If anything they prevent the sane formation of families by creating unjustifiable legal hurdles.

    Marriage laws are not based on procreation. They are based on allowing unions unless there are rational and secular reasons not to. You have neither.

    What you are saying about marriage equality is you don’t like it because it keeps you from feeling superior to gay families. Simply your prejudices given color of law.

  • Larry

    The great thing about freedom of religion is that neither or laws nor myself ever have to give a flying crap what you would consider “sinful”.

  • Larry

    “If the only thing keeping a person decent is the expectation of divine reward,” then that person is a piece of sh–“

  • Jayhawk

    If you ask me, Larry, you are flying off the handle here and need to take your medication. If you want to be taken seriously, don’t make perfunctory an baseless statements like “There is no such thing as “Judeo-Christian tradition” either. That is simply fundamentalists trying to take credit for things they had nothing to do with. You could not come up with a rational (non-circular) clear definition of what the term “Judeo-Christian tradition”, means anyway. Its a garbage phrase….”

  • Mary

    Larry, use some logic and reason instead of biased opinion when you make an argument. When you say something as crazy as there is no such thing as the Judeo-Christian tradition, you sound like a conspiracy theorist.

  • Larry

    Maybe people should not be so ignorant or not lie so baldly about our culture, laws and government for a theocratic agenda.

    There IS no such thing as “Judeo-Christian” tradition or anything. There is no actual definition of the term other than circular non-statements. It is merely a way for fundies to take credit for something they had no part of. People use the phrase to pretend that fundamentalist Christian dogma plays a part in modern culture, history and laws.

    It may hurt your delicate sensibilities, but it doesn’t make it less true.

  • Larry

    I am not the one lying about our culture and laws like you are. I am biased against people who make up garbage about our government and laws. Anyone who says our Constitution needs to be “Biblically interpreted” doesn’t know a damn thing about it. Least of all anything regarding the 1st Amendment (or 14th). The only one who seems bereft of reason is yourself.

    People who use the term “Judeo-Christian tradition” are arguing that fundamentalist Christians are entitled to some greater rights and consideration than reality would ever suggest.

    You can’t even come up with what “Judeo-Christian tradition” is supposed to mean. All you are going to do is try to take credit for things having nothing to do with the theology and practice of Christianity.

  • Larry

    Did you facepalm after Mary’s response above?
    “I believe, personally, that there is a genetic and biological reason for their being gay, so for them, it is normal, but no different than a person with Down Syndrome is normal”

    I can’t even be bothered to respond to this weapons-grade silliness.

  • Mary

    If you are so strong on the empirical, PROVE there is no such thing as a judeo-christian tradition, rather than make such an outlandish statement.

    Watch, folks. This should be fun.

  • Larry

    Not my term. I didn’t bring it up. I don’t have to prove something does not exist. Its like asking me to prove leprechauns, unicorns don’t exist.

    It obviously doesn’t exist. Your conduct proves my point. If I wasn’t correct, you would have tried to show me up with an allegedly sensible definition of the term. But you haven’t nor will you.

    Are you done tone trolling and making stuff up?

  • Doc Anthony

    Don’t forget, there is one more Judge keeping track of all this mess.

    He may well be issuing a ruling soon, at the rate things are going.

    And when He does, don’t bother trying to appeal to the Supreme Court.

  • Doc Anthony

    Welcome to the United States of Sodom.

    It had a great beginning, but don’t look for a happy ending.

  • Doc Anthony

    Atheism is nothing more than an abbreviation for “Shift The Burden Of Proof Because Atheism Offers Nothing.”

  • Doc Anthony

    That is a very stark and chilling statistic. 220,000 kids are being raised in the absolute wrong milieu — the homosexual religion. This nation is shooting for a most unhappy ending.

  • larry

    You don’t have a definition of “judeo-christian tradition” either. Oh well. You use the term but can’t tell us what you mean. Typical

  • The Great God Pan

    Jesus told the people he preached to that he’d be returning during their generation.

    He is beyond fashionably late, and I don’t think he’s stuck in traffic. It may be time for the jurors and witnesses to go home. Or maybe Judge Judy can step in and handle the docket for him?

  • Atheist Max

    To abandon dogma
    is to abandon religion.

    Let the dominoes fall.

  • Mainequaker

    Mary, Mary, Mary, where did you ever get the idea that morality is based on the 10 commandments?

    Sorry, madam, but you are misinformed, and the laws of the United States supersede any religion’s rules.

    And hurrah for that!

    People have a choice. They can change with our growing awareness and understanding of humanity, or they can die with their prejudices. In either case, the rest of us will dance in celebration.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    “Doc,” if you HATE America this much, why not emigrate to your “homophobic paradise,” Russia?

    I don’t understand why anti-gays think they will advance their seditious anti-gay agenda by reminding Americans they are disloyal.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    Sorry, Mary. No one is fooled by your obfuscations, certainly not these many denominations that will marry same gender couples in 20 US States and the District of Columbia:

    Affirming Pentecostal Church International
    Alliance of Christian Churches
    Anointed Affirming Independent Ministries
    The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists
    Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
    Community of Christ
    Conservative Judaism
    Ecumenical Catholic Church
    Ecumenical Catholic Communion
    The Episcopal Church
    Evangelical Anglican Church In America
    Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
    Global Alliance of Affirming Apostolic Pentecostals
    Inclusive Orthodox Church
    Metropolitan Community Church
    Old Catholic Church
    Progressive Christian Alliance
    Reconciling Pentecostals International
    Reconstructionist Judaism
    Reform Judaism
    Reformed Anglican Catholic Church
    Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
    Unitarian Universalist Church
    United Church of Christ
    Unity Church

  • CarrotCakeMan

    Mary’s anti-gay Hate Speech is just so typical, Larry. Mary posts those LIES in a failed attempt to demean, demonize and dehumanize LGBT Americans, but he (“Mary” is not a woman) only succeeds in demeaning anti-gays. Anyone who can navigate to this web page can see the facts that debunk his lies in an online search of less than 1 second.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    What’s really sad is Doc doesn’t just want to hurt LGBT Americans, he also wants to hurt our children. What did our children ever do to hurt YOU, Doc?

  • CarrotCakeMan

    Mary, your vicious personal attacks are not advancing your anti-gay agenda.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    While anti-gays have been whining about their many defeats here, anti-gays have suffered more defeats. An anti-gay baker was convicted of his crime in Colorado. President Obama declared June Gay Pride Month. The California State Legislature is moving to eliminate the “gay panic defense” in criminal trials. The 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals is about to establish marriage equality throughout their Circuit.

  • Larry W. Jones

    Let me repeat the title of the original article we are commenting about: “Gay marriage victories propel cases toward Supreme Court at record speed.” It is the Supreme Court’s Constitutional mission to interpret the Constitution and determine whether laws are Constitutional. It has done so in striking down most of the federal law called “DOMA.” In 2015 or 2016, SCOTUS will have to rule on the Appellate Court decisions and either let them stand (whether the decisions are all the same or different by geographic region) or set one standard for civil marriage in the United States of America.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    Thank you for your kindness and support. You are protecting your own Freedom And Equality. Who would anti-gays attack next?

  • CarrotCakeMan

    It’s sad to see Doc is attacking atheists as well. It seems he just hates everyone who doesn’t believe everything he believes or doesn’t live exactly the way Doc wants to force us to live.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    You are correct, but what happened here is anti-gays cannot deal with that simple fact, and so they seek to deflect to what they foolishly think are their “strengths,” something other Americans call “those same old anti-gay lies.”

  • Doc Anthony

    Nobody hates America, CCM. It’s been a great ride.

    I just hate seeing that ride finally come to an end.

    “Death by Gay Marriage”, will be America’s autopsy result.

  • Doc Anthony

    Perhaps the homosexual religion, and all the distortions it brings into adults’ and children’s and families’ lives, is what is hurting our entire nation.

  • Shawnie5

    For what is probably the dozenth time now…

    The essence of the Judeo-Christian worldview is the concept (originating in Judaism and fully developed in Christianity) of the human individual as created in the image of God and of infinite worth to God, and by virtue of such human birth alone possessing inherent and fundamental rights IRRESPECTIVE AND INDEPENDENT OF (this is where you always lose your grasp) familial, tribal and national ties, and deserving of help in time of need regardless of whether or not it has been earned or can be repaid.

    This is why it was only with the Christianization of the Roman Empire that two universals in human civilization–infanticide and slavery–began to die. This is also why the west, and no one else, has been the world’s standard-bearer of human rights. And it is why Nietzsche — the last honest atheist thinker– called for the west to repudiate its sniveling Christian obsession with compassion and return to the “natural” pagan pursuit of power and greatness.

    Cue the usual string of links to atheist echo-chambers…

  • Shawnie5

    That is nonsense. Jesus told the people He preached to that their generation would see the destruction of Jerusalem, which of course they did. He told His disciples that the end, which would culminate in His return, would not come until the gospel had been preached to all the nations of the world — which I’m quite sure they understood could not be accomplished within their lifetimes. Indeed, it has not even been accomplished yet.

  • Larry

    It was bullcrap the first time you made the claim. It continues to be so.

    You do not even have a definition of the term Judeo-Christian that isn’t self-referential and lacking in any kind of objective meaning. Besides, none of it is true. Its all Christian apologist propaganda which is utterly ignorant of history.

    The idea of fundamental human rights being part of Christian theology is utter fiction. Religious views which extol “the kingdom” (not a parliment of heaven mind you) and treat all humans as inherently sinful are very much against the idea of human beings having inherent worth (unless they are of noble birth).

    This is the same religion which extolled slavery and monarchy (dictatorship) for almost its entire existence.

    The only exception being of a few sects who are outliers to the overwhelming majority of Christendom. People whose views are completely different from those use the term “Judeo-Christian tradition” (Anabaptists and newer liberal sects mostly). People who don’t believe as you do. People you have you would never consider, “Christian”.
    As I said before, it is merely a term to take credit for ideas and actions fundamentalists had nothing to do with.

    “This is why it was only with the Christianization of the Roman Empire that two universals in human civilization–infanticide and slavery–began to die. ”

    That is utter bullcrap. Slavery didn’t die until centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire and had nothing to do with moral concerns. Feudalism and serfdom was more economical for nobility than slavery. You had to feed slaves, serfs fed themselves. With noble rank being tied to the ability to serve in the military of a king (and in many instances, overseas conflicts), expending resources for maintenance and upkeep of slaves was prohibitively difficult. Serfdom was easier to keep up. Serfs took care of themselves.

    Infanticide died off for the same reasons. Without the imperial trade networks, The Western World became more decentralized. Populations started to disperse. The depopulation from the Black Death killed any impetus for family/population control for centuries.

    All Christianity did for the Romans was introduce sectarian warfare (the Barbarians were also mostly Christian) and create a competing power structure with the nobility. A competing structure which would not stay put until the rise of nation states.

    If Christianity was such a force for human rights as you claimed, then the Middle Ages, the period when the churches exerted the most political power would have been less brutally feudal. You don’t even see stirrings of talk of human liberties, democracy or the sanctity of life from that era. If anything the church was too busy making money by selling indulgences to warlords.

    It is ironic that you claim that Judeo-Christian views concern, “human birth alone possessing inherent and fundamental rights” and yet it is used as an excuse to deny human rights. So obviously your definition is so worthless that even people who use the term don’t follow it.

  • Larry

    “He preached to that their generation would see the destruction of Jerusalem, which of course they did.”

    As written by people who had already witnessed the destruction of the Temple, long long after the event. A perfect prophesy is one written after the fact. 🙂

  • Larry

    The anti-gay crowd doesn’t dare appeal the matters to SCOTUS. They risk a nationwide ruling against them all at once. It appears their modus operandi is to create a pyhrric victory. To lose slowly and after expending the financial/legal resources of their opponents. This way they can hold on to their bans longer as the cases make their way up to Federal Appeals Courts.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    Why bothering to deny you HATE AMERICA in a post where you repeat that HATRED?

  • CarrotCakeMan

    Just what is that “religion,” Doc? I suppose Doc means he hates and fears the United States Constitution. There’s a kernel of truth in his fearing the Constitution, it is the undoing of his anti-gay agenda.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    Shawnie, it doesn’t matter how many times you demand Americans accept your “daffynition,” we know many American Christians and Jews reject homophobia, and we know many Christian and Jewish denominations are marrying same gender couples now–where they are allowed to practice their faith, that is.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    Shawnie only sometimes wants to follow Jesus, but we know sometimes Shawnie gives Jesus the finger, for example when Jesus affirmed a gay couple. Read Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10. Many of us are familiar with the Gospel story where Jesus healed the servant of a Roman centurion. In the original Greek, the word that the Roman centurion uses in this passage to describe the sick man – pais – is the same word used in ancient Greek to refer to a same-gender partner.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    Anti-gays are trying the same nonsense regarding laws that forbid anti-gay discrimination as well, Larry. Recently, the United States Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of a New Mexico anti-gay photographer who was convicted of a similar crime. That’s after the US Supreme Court has examined many such anti-discrimination laws and found them fully Constitutional.

    But a group of anti-gay lawyers from the so-called “Alliance Defending Freedom Of Faith” just can’t accept this settled law, and are on a fool’s errand trying to get these laws declared unconstitutional. These anti-gays are going around the country looking for anti-gay bakers, photographers, florists, and other wedding industry suppliers to violate these laws, promising to defend them for free and pay any fines involved. Research this and any other of these cases, and you will see these “Alliance” lawyers are involved in ALL these cases.

    As bad as it is for hapless anti-gays to be posting the nonsense rhetoric of the shameful lawyers here, the lawyers themselves are inciting these crimes, and should be investigated, and disbarred in some cases.

  • The Great God Pan

    No. Christ clearly is giving an eschatological prophecy here:

    Matthew 24:
    29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

    30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

    31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

    32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

    33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

    34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

  • Shawnie5

    And that remark was relevant to my comment, how?

  • Shawnie5

    Larry, you never fail to come through with the show just like Old Faithful.

    Um, how is the idea of inherent worth inconsistent with the idea of inherent sinfulness??? The crucifixion itself testifies to both.

    As for serfdom, lords provided food and clothing to serfs just like slave owners did. Serfdom was not more economical, or some civilization throughout the millenia of universal human slavery would have stumbled upon the idea–and slavery would never have made the post-renaissance resurgence that it did. But serfdom WAS infinitely more consistent with the concept of man having inherent rights and worth which the clergy and the early crusaders for abolition worked tirelessly to infuse into what was left of the degenerate pagan culture. Classical slaves had no rights to their families, their consciences, or even their own lives–because they weren’t viewed as human.

    The rest of your comments on slavery are simply spin that demonstrates complete ignorance of the history of Christian abolitionism which goes all the way back to the 4th century and continued on until slavery disappeared from the legal record altogether in Christian Europe (alone among all the world’s civilizations) by the end of the 1100s.

    Claiming that infanticide died off because of low population concerns is one of the most ridiculous claims you’ve made yet. Rome had no concerns about overpopulation — they needed all the Romans they could get–yet the practice continued unabated. But immediately after his own conversion Constantine passed measures which discouraged infanticide (ramping up support for families with children), and less than fifty years later Basil of Caesarea convinced emperor Valentinian to outlaw infanticide altogether–again, alone among the world civilizations with the exception of Egypt. All accomplished quite quickly and neatly under Christianity–but nowhere else of course.

    The barbarians were “mostly Christian?” The ROMANS were the Christians. Barbarians were pagans who became Christian when they overran Rome and took on the religion of the Romans.

    Your confusion notwithstanding, it is great fun to drop the word “Judeo-Christian” from time to time and watch your cyber-veins pop out. Something tells me that actual college history and political science would have put you in an early grave from cerebral hemorrhage, so perhaps it’s healthier that you stick to your spew-sites.

  • Shawnie5

    There is no evidence that the gospels were NOT written before the fact, and considerable evidence that they were. The very fact that the gospels talk about the destruction of Jerusalem is taken by scoffers as evidence of their late dates — but there is nothing else that corroborates this assumption.

  • Shawnie5

    The Mount Olivet discourse, to which you are referring, begins with Jesus’ statement about how the Temple would be razed, and the disciples asked Him when this would happen, and THEN when His return would occur–two different things. Since Jesus went on to state that the end would not come until the gospel had been preached to all the nations of the earth, and it is self-evident that this could not be accomplished within the lifetimes of the disciples, then obviously the “generation” had to be referring to something other than the end of the world — namely the destruction of Jerusalem, the first question. “But of that day and hour no man knows” would be a response to the second question, about the end of the world and the second coming.

    The problem with getting your Bible off of propaganda sites is that no context is ever provided. You have to read the whole thing, and in order, to make sense of it.

  • Shawnie5

    Carrot, foolishness repeated umpteen times is still foolishness. The word “pais” means child or servant and this has been discussed many times. If you are going to insist on the same-sex lover nonsense, then please do explain whose same-sex lover Jairus’ twelve-year-old daughter was–as well as how Jesus and King David would manage the mechanics of being this kind of “pais” of God. Many thanks.

  • larry

    Everything you said is complete fiction. Read a history book, not Christian apologia.

    Serfs were tenant farmers tied to the land. The lords had to do nothing but collect their harvests and keep them from leaving. You are lying. Unlike the Romans, medieval gentry were also the bulk of the military. Slavery tied up resources a noble needed for their obligations to a king. Not one “prohibition” of slavery issued by a church was ever taken seriously. Slavery did not die out until 5 centuries+ after the Roman empire, only to start up again when the New World was colonized. you admitted yourself the church ban obviously mattered little since slavery existed until the 11th century.

    As for the barbarian faith, if you were a 19th century school boy you would think the people who sacked Rome were pagans. It was popular myth, but unrelated to reality. Franks, Vandals and Goths were thoroughly Christianized BEFORE their incorporation into the empire. They were Arianists. A sect wiped out by the Catholic Church by the “Dark Ages”.

    You are lying you posterior off.

    Rome always worried about its population. The city was constantly teetering in the edge of famine without constant plunder and grain from north Africa and Spain. You really have no clue what you saying.

    Any historian outside if the bubble of Christian apologists and 19th century psuedohistorians would laugh at your statements.

    I sincerely doubt “barbarian lives” and “medieval lives” BBC series and companion books are wildly biased sources and even they make your claims look silly.

    BTW political science is not history. Whatever you learned at Liberty U or Oral Roberts U history was probably off by about a century of accumulated knowledge

    Ultimately your definition was crap anyway. The term is not used as you said. It us used to excuse attacks on civil liberties and extol sectarian discrimination. It is telling that every government established church attacked rights of others. If Christianity had such a background in human liberties that would be untrue.

    When have you stopped lying?

  • larry

    Shawnie, are you stupid enough to believe our Constitution is “biblically based” or that our laws are beholden to Christian dogma as Mary claimed?

    Because ultimately that is the point here. Obviously what you consider “judeo-christian tradition” has nothing to do with what people really mean when they use the term.

    We are not a nation which has ever felt beholden to any religious beliefs beyond the concept “to each his own”.

    Carrotcakeman’s point is your views are not the only ones by people calling themselves Christian or religious.

  • larry

    Yet no evidence exists to support such an idea besides wishful thinking and dogmatic belief.

    Josephus recorded Jerusalem’s sack as well as Roman sources ,contemporaneously. No such writings for the Gospels have such mundane objective support.

    Your argument is simply an admission you can’t make the assumption you do. It is simply an article of faith.

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  • Earold D. Gunter

    Mary, Love your use of the word “allow”, as if those that believe as you are the arbiters of all.

  • Shawnie5

    @Larry: I do not believe that the framers of the Constitution considered it to be “biblically-based” in a direct sense. However, the values that underpin it (fundamental and inborn human equality, worth, and rights) are indisuputably Christian in origin. Even Jefferson, the newest demigod of the unbelievers, perceived the difficulty of claiming INALIENABLE individual rights without a transcendent source — and in 18th century America the only transcendent source that most people (including the founders) could conceive of was a God with attributes ascribed to Him by western Christian culture.

    And CCM’s little interjection about “homophobia” and gay marriage WAS irrelevant, as my comment had nothing to do with that. But reading comprehension and logic are not his strong points, so no surprise there.

  • Shawnie5

    Larry, you get more entertaining all the time. “Lies! Lies! Lies!” [foam, choke sputter, cuss, etc.]

    But I’m glad you get some history from TV as well as atheist propaganda sites. LOL! Not remotely academic, but an improvement.

    Re slavery: So slavery did not tie up resources needed for wars and whatnot in EVERY OTHER CIVILIZATION ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH during medieval European serfdom? Come on, even you know better than that. There was more going on there ethically and philosophically than pure economics, as any objective academic, even atheist ones, readily admits–because such academics do not have a visceral fear of ascribing beneficial influences to Christianity (or any other religion). They merely observe trends and events.

    Re “prohibitions” of slavery: So you never heard of the early heroes of Christian abolitionism? Never heard of Gregory of Nyssa, John of Chrysotum, St. Patrick, St. Bathilda, St. Anselm, St. Wulfstan, Agobard of Lyons, Bartolomeo de las Casas, even William the Conqueror himself? f You never heard of the denunciations of slavery and the excommunications of those who practiced it made by popes Eugene IV, Paul III, Pius II, Sixtus IV, Urban VIII, and finally Gregory XVI? Not surprised. And they were all taken seriously enough that slavery gradually and steadily disappeared from the legal record in Europe while it was going gangbusters everywhere else. That it flourished in the Americas had to do with papal influence waning with vast distance.

    Re population and infanticide: Why do you think food was in short supply in Rome? Because of the lack of rural population to farm the land due to conscription of farmers into the military, and the crushing imperial taxation into poverty of those who remained, leading them to abandon farms for the cities — where of course they declined to raise children in poverty. Even as early as the 1st century Rome’s Latin population was in serious decline. Augustus instituted marriage laws full of all kinds of incentives for parenthood in order to reverse this but as Tacitus wrote 100 years later “in spite of everything, childlessness prevails.” Around AD 200 Dio Cassius wrote of the serious shortage of females due to female infanticide — a death blow to any civilization’s population maintenance. I can hardly believe you would undertake to discuss Rome without being aware of all this. Rejection of infanticide played a major role in the spread of Christianity from even a purely numerical standpoint.

    Re barbarians and religion: The barbarians accepted Christianity whenever and wherever, and in whatever form, they found it (some of them encountered Arianism first, yes) because they admired Rome and desired full acceptance and integration into it. But it was not essential to their identity — that was a matter of shared cultural traditions. Arianism was not the big deal it was made out to be. Whether Jesus was co-eternal with God the Father or a slightly lesser God created by God the Father? Meh. Any “sectarian” fighting ostensibly over THAT was no doubt about other issues, with religion as the mere boilerplate.

    Re political science: If you had ever in your life darkened the door of a university, you would know that the study of human rights is a subcategory of the study of political science. I’m surprised you would return to that particularly embarrassing gaffe.

    Finally, the issue is not whether human rights have been attacked or not, and by whom, but where the human rights to be attacked came from in the first place. The ancients would have laughed at this discussion of “rights.” In the east even today they sneer at our obsession with human rights. I’d love to send you back to Rome and have you explain to them your “right” to not be placed on the nearest auction block–or in the arena if you tantrummed too much.

  • Larry

    Wow, what a dodge.

    Those values of human worth did not come from Christianity or any organized form of it. Two thousand years of Christianity has little or nothing to demonstrate such things. Nor does anyone who claims there is a “Judeo-Christian heritage” ever make such claims when using the term. They use the term to attack civil liberties of others. Saying essentially “Jesus tells us we can ignore you”.

    There is no tradition of extolling human rights or liberties coming from centuries of accumulated religious belief in Jesus. You are simply taking credit for people who are outliers from the Christian orthodoxy. History simply is not on your side.

    There would not be a need for the occasional Christian “do-gooders” if the majority and orthodoxy of the faith wasn’t so supportive of dictatorship and oppression. You are simply trying to take credit for people whose ideas you oppose on principle. Kind of like how fundies like to take credit for the Civil Rights movement even though THEIR church opposed, it tooth and nail back in the day.

    [In 40-50 years, the Catholic Church will treat gay marriage like it does divorce and premarital relations, something it pays lip service to but nobody will take seriously]

    The orthodoxy is what you constantly say is the only true form of Christianity. People whose religious views you would never consider valid if describing their views in a modern context, like CCM. Yet you will try to glom from its outsiders to boost the faiths PR standing. Apologetics at its least honest.

    Our Founders had that very much in mind with our 1st Amendment religious rights. Much of the population of the US came from Europe fleeing established churches. EVERY established church discriminated, persecuted and attacked all forms of liberties. For a tradition of allegedly extolling human life and dignity, as you claim,. Christianity has an almost non-existent track record. Every time Christianity was given political power, it used it to attack human dignity and liberties. They still do so today.

    “Even Jefferson, the newest demigod of the unbelievers, perceived the difficulty of claiming INALIENABLE individual rights without a transcendent source”

    And yet Jefferson held Christianity, especially in the form you believe and invoked by people claiming “Judeo-Christian heritage/privillege”, in UTTER CONTEMPT. Whatever source of inalienable rights were to him, it certainly did not come from the Bible. Even his edited purely naturalistic version.

    The closest thing we have to a “Judeo-Christian” heritage is recognition of the work of the Seekers and later Quakers in the formation of our religious freedoms. Especially the Separation of Church and State, an idea put to pen by Roger Williams a century before the Revolution. The bane of people like Mary and those who invoke, “Judeo-Christian tradition”, like yourself.

    Btw there has NEVER been anything from you displaying, “fundamental and inborn human equality, worth, and rights” as a function of your Christian belief. Even you don’t believe what you are telling me now.

  • Larry

    You are saying stuff which is so sublimely wrong and contradicted by EVERY historical source on the subject. The only one using propaganda sites is yourself. Btw you make fun of sources I mentioned, but never reference your own. Never with links.

    ““prohibitions” of slavery: So you never heard of the early heroes of Christian abolitionism? ”

    Most people don’t, because they accomplished little to nothing. So many of them, so obscure and DID absolutely nothing of value. Especially since the Churches overwhelmingly supported slavery whenever the opportunity presented itself such as the Crusades, colonization of the New World and later colonial efforts in Africa and Asia. You are obviously getting your history from apologetics here.

    Slavery was antithetical to feudalism. It died off not for moral reasons but economic ones. Hence it was so easy to pick it up again during various periods. Pre-modern slavery was abolished in many other places in the world for similar reasons (Japan, China, Iceland). Having NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with Christianity.

    In the Spanish and Portuguese Empire slavery waned because the native Americans dropped like flies to easily. Spain had few African territories. The Portuguese kept slavery going much longer. Their slave trade ending with the decline of power in Europe and the inability to keep a slave system functioning. Morality taking an obvious backseat to mundane concerns.

    Ending the British slave trade had a great deal more to do with the Industrial Revolution and loss of the American colonies than moral concerns. It stopped being economically viable. The French dropped it because the British Navy was harassing their ships, waning control in the Caribbean and various government changes. At best Christian appeals on this subject are a footnote. You are simply taking credit for Christianity when more mundane and secular reasons are more plausible.

    As for the barbarians, you are flipflopping here and making assumptions. Now you admit the barbarians were Christian. You are only assuming Christianity was not a major part of their identity. Based on what??? Nothing. You are just making crap up at this point. You also reversed yourself on infanticide. A problem you said the church first addressed actually went back much further to Augustus. You are just contradicting yourself left and right here.

    As for sectarian differences between Roman Catholicism and Arianism, it was a much bigger deal than that. It was what Romans used to separate their Christian belief from the barbarians. For the Empire it was all about not being like “them”.

    “Finally, the issue is not whether human rights have been attacked or not, and by whom, but where the human rights to be attacked came from in the first place.”

    To claim they came from Christianity would be complete fiction. Its like saying a person who breaks your leg but then reimburses you for medical costs years later was such a humanitarian for making the payments. There was obviously nothing inherent to Christianity which extols human rights since the same faith for almost its entire existence was used to attack such rights. In the grand scheme of things the work towards human rights for Christianity is so obscure, so lacking in effect that it can’t be considered much in comparison to the acts of Christianity in oppressing others.

    You are simply taking credit for outliers and outsiders to Christian orthodoxy in order to ignore the role Christianity played in oppression. Hardly “tradition” in any sense of the words.

    Btw a political scientist is not a historian of antiquity. Political scientists only pay lip service to ancient roots of such things and rely on assumptions made by historians. They study modern structures of such things as a living system. Its like calling a doctor, a paleontologist. If you are going to cite antiquity, use sources versed in the period of history.

  • Shawnie5

    “And yet Jefferson held Christianity, especially in the form you believe and invoked by people claiming “Judeo-Christian heritage/privillege”, in UTTER CONTEMPT.”

    So what? He also held women, blacks and homosexuals in utter contempt. The man was no paragon. But he still perceived that nothing compels us to recognize any human rights as inherent without a transcendent source for them. Which is certainly more than today’s cowardly evangelical atheists can get their minds around.

    “Most people don’t, because they accomplished little to nothing. So many of them, so obscure and DID absolutely nothing of value.”

    Most people don’t, because they’re historically ignorant. They think of slavery as something that belongs to 18th and 19th century America and not a universal feature of human civilization up until a VERY specific time in history.

    “Pre-modern slavery was abolished in many other places in the world for similar reasons (Japan, China, Iceland). Having NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with Christianity.”

    Japan did not “abolish” slavery itself. They abolished the enslavement of JAPANESE because they were afraid of losing too much of their limited native population when the Portuguese slave-traders started arriving and doing business. The very same emperor who abolished slavery of his fellow Japanese forcibly imported thousands of Koreans into Japan to use as slave–I mean, “non-free” — labor. China never abolished slavery until 1906. So you’re right that what went on there wrt slavery had nothing to do with Christianity, for sure. And yes, slavery in Iceland died off at about the same time as it disappeared from the rest of Europe — and less than two centuries after its Christianization under King Olaf Tryggvason. Oh my, another coincidence to explain away! Poor Larry!

    “You are only assuming Christianity was not a major part of their identity. Based on what??? ”

    Did the Goths stop being Goths after they converted to Catholicism in the 6th century? Of course not. Their identity was bound up in their historical sagas and mythologies and traditions. Did sectarianism prevent the Catholic Clovis from allying with Arian Burgundians when fighting Visigoths? Of course not. You’re projecting your own preoccupation with “us vs. them” into a context where it doesn’t really belong.

    “You also reversed yourself on infanticide. A problem you said the church first addressed actually went back much further to Augustus. You are just contradicting yourself left and right here.”

    I reverse nothing. Augustus didn’t address infanticde — for some reason it didn’t seem to occur to him (wonder why that was — perhaps the complete foreignness of a concept of inherent human worth, ya think?). What he instituted were laws that required men to be married (and allowing legal marriages with freedwomen and legitimating children with them), increasing taxes upon the unmarried and childless and providing economic awards for marriage and childbearing.

    “You are saying stuff which is so sublimely wrong and contradicted by EVERY historical source on the subject.”

    You are acquainted with NO historical sources on the subject — a fact which you have demonstrated in graphic detail.

    The rest of your diatribe is nothing but “la-la-la-can’t-hear-you.” Get an education, my friend — if your fear and hatred will allow it, which I doubt.

  • larry

    Its funny reading you contradicting yourself and making stuff up out of thin air. You only rely on one measly poli sci paper loaded with historical inaccuracies and then pull stuff out of your posterior. Getting tired shifting those goalposts?

    Jefferson was your example, not mine. Essentially the Goths did stop the Goths during the Dark Ages. They started to form kingdoms and nations. And most of all apes read philosophy, they just don’t understand it (little joke 🙂 )

    The end of slavery in the viking world coincided with the collapse of power in Europe. (They were getting defeated by better organized neighbors). You made a correlation/causation fallacy.

    All you have done is try to glom credit from people outside Christian orthodoxy and claim they were the norm. So dishonest, especially to someone who holds the orthodoxy as the only correct form of the faith.

    You don’t even believe your own statements. Nobody who uses the term “judeo-christian tradition” defines it as you did. Its all an act to claim Christians are entitled to greater privileges than others. Not at all like your “all human beings have inherent worth”

    Read actual history books once in a while. Maybe you wouldn’t have to make so many bad assumptions and guesses in response.

    Most importantly, you dont

  • Shawnie5

    What “measly poly sci paper” would you be talking about? I don’t use papers. And upon what basis does someone with no background on the subject conclude that this source, whatever it is, is loaded with historical inaccuracies?

    “You don’t even believe your own statements. Nobody who uses the term “judeo-christian tradition” defines it as you did. Its all an act to claim Christians are entitled to greater privileges than others. Not at all like your “all human beings have inherent worth””

    In the first place, who would “nobody” be?

    The reason why you think “nobody” defines it in this way is because you are almost completely unschooled in history beyond what snippets you glean from Wikipedia and the internet echo-chambers where evangelical atheists tell you what to think. I’m sure “nobody” in your little bubble defines it this way but that has nothing to do with reality.

    In the second place, exactly what “greater privileges” do I think Christians should be entitled to?

  • larry

    You are not one to talk. Concepts allegedly inherent to Christianity being used to deny the idea of human beings having inherent worth and liberties. Not at all part of your alleged definition of that “Judeo-Christian tradition”.

    You dont even believe your own statements. 🙂

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