God bless America: The top reason religious conservatives oppose same-sex marriage

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"He Has Risen" & "God Bless America" Lawn Ornaments, On Route 31 (Just North Of Beulah, MI)

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“He Has Risen” & “God Bless America” Lawn Ornaments, On Route 31 (Just North Of Beulah, MI)

Guest post by Daniel Bennett

Public support for same-sex marriage has inched past the symbolic fifty-percent mark in most polls. This means that a sizeable segment of society still opposes same-sex marriage.

Some of this opinion is based on morality and values, which is often shaped by one’s personal relationships with LGBT friends.

But this isn’t the whole story. There are many things that people find morally objectionable that do not want to outlaw. What is it that makes people link their religious beliefs to this public policy?

I found an answer to this question last weekend while I was on a panel at the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. Andrew Whitehead, a sociologist at Clemson University, and Samuel Perry of the University of Chicago presented new research on what really drives opposition to same-sex marriage in the United States.

Whitehead and Perry find that the key is a person’s embrace of Christian nationalism. This is the notion that God has chosen the U.S. and that the nation must follow God’s commands to flourish. People who embrace this view are much more likely to oppose same-sex marriage. Those who don’t believe in it are more open to supporting same-sex marriage.

Using data from the most recent Baylor Religion Survey, Whitehead and Perry draw on several questions to capture this notion of Christian nationalism. These questions measured beliefs that the federal government should

  • not enforce a strict separation of church and state,
  • allow prayer in public schools
  • allow religious symbols to be displayed in public spaces,
  • declare the U.S. a Christian nation, and
  • advocate Christian values.

In addition, they also used a question asking about the belief that the U.S. has received special blessings from God. The stronger one’s responses on these questions, the higher one’s support for Christian nationalism.

The effect of Christian nationalism in this study was substantial. Nearly 90 percent of people with the lowest support for Christian nationalism support same-sex marriage, compared to just six percent of people with the highest levels.

Importantly, the impact of Christian nationalism explains opposition to same-sex marriage even when accounting for other well-known factors, such as believing in the inerrancy of scripture and espousing political conservatism.

If you support teacher-led prayer in schools and believe American success is part of God’s plan, you are also likely to oppose same-sex marriage. But even if you’re a conservative, you likely support same-sex marriage if you view the government as a secular institution that should stay away from religious expression.

So, same-sex marriage is about more than morality or ideology. It is about how people view the United States of America.

Daniel Bennett (@bennettdaniel), PhD, researches the conservative legal movement. He is a professor of political science at Eastern Kentucky University.

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  • Greg

    To quote Bob Odenkirk, this is a lot of hooey. Correlation is not causation, and plenty of people who don’t buy into “Christian nationalism” oppose same-sex marriage because they fear it undermines the stable two-parent family and children’s well-being.

  • Daniel B.

    I don’t think this research states otherwise. What matters here is that even after controlling for a variety of significant factors known to drive opposition to gay marriage—political conservatism, espousing Biblical literalism and inerrancy of scripture, etc—Christian nationalism was still a statistically significant predictor of opposition.

  • John McGrath

    Interesting. The Second Congress of the United States (under the then new Constitution) declared unanimously that the United States is not a Christian nation (Treaty of Tripoli). What could they have meant, aside from forgetting to put the word God or Jesus or Christ anywhere in the Constitution.

  • Ben in oakland

    The top reason that conservative Christians oppose marriage equality is none of the above.

    The top reason is that homohatred is a deeply, deeply engrained part of western culture, and has been for 2000 years, intertwined with ignorance, fear, stupidity, self hatred, and dominionist religious belief in our deeply puritanical culture. It is a vicious, ancient, and durable prejudice, very similar to similar prejudices against Jews, black people, and women. It has been given the cover of sincere religious belief for most of that time, to the point a lot of people who ought to know better most assuredly don’t.

    How do we know this?

    First, we know it from the lies, vilifications, slanders, murders, jailings, beatings, sermons, and trash talking, very similar to those employed against others, that have gone on for years, decades, centuries, millennia. We are blamed for every possible social ill, and people who should know better call us the worst sinners committing the worst possible sin.

    There are three things to know about gay people.1) We exist. 2) Some people, especially some people who really hate themselves, really don’t like that fact. 3) some people think that their particular, peculiar version of god agrees with them on the subject.


    Second, we know it from the answer to this simple statement and question. “Why is it that I can say I reject the ENTIRETY of your religious belief, and this bothers no one but the most rabid of fundamentalists? But let me say that I am gay, and reject just this teeny tiny little piece of your religious belief, and suddenly, civilization is endangered and god will destroy us all? And why are all of the statements accompanying your proclamations completely divorced fro the facts, logic, and experience of discourse that are required everywhere else? How is it that my no longer accepting second class status in my own country suddenly oppresses you, victimizing you?”

    An honest answer, not untethered to reality, is revealing. But let the untethered responses begin. You will prove my point for me.

  • Ben in oakland

    I forgot the THIRD part of this. We know it because there exist both homo-hating homos, who hate themselves, and so-called religious people who need someone to look down on, someone to feel superior to, someone whose is committing a pre-determined horrible, worst sin that they have no intention of committing.

    Or in the case of the homohating homo– Ted Haggard, Eddie long, cardinal O’Brien, and Lonnie Latham, to name just a few– committing a sin that they have every intention of committing. WE must be stopped so that they can exorcise– or exercise– their own demons.

    there is NOTHING like saying “I may be a sinner, but at least I’m not one of THEM.” And of course, believing that you are God’s BFFF for opposing this completely imaginary wickedness is quite a high. Not all bigotry is hate, though it certainly makes it easier for bigots to believe that is. A good portion of bigotry is the always present, always assumed, but completely unwarranted belief in your own completely imaginary superiority as a moral person, a so-called Christian, and a human being.

    Well, 1 out of three isn’t so bad.

  • ben in oakland

    “because they fear it undermines the stable two-parent family and children’s well-being.”

    Yes, indeed, they cite this as a “reason”. The key word here is FEAR.

    You know what we call stuff that people pull out of their nether regions of fear, paranoia, stupidity, and ignorance, stuff that is completely untethered from facts, logic, and experience, but is used to harm people anyway?


  • Shawnie5

    Who do you think wrote the Treaty of Tripoli?

  • Doc Anthony

    Well said, Greg. Here is one example of what you said:

    “Moms and dads interact differently with their children. To give kids two moms or two dads is to withhold from them someone whom they desperately need and deserve in order to be whole and happy. It is to permanently etch ‘deprivation’ on their hearts.”

    –Doug Mainwaring, “I’m Gay and I Oppose Gay Marriage”, Public Discourse, March 8, 2013.

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  • Frank

    There goes the fallacious charge of bigotry and homophobia against those who support Gods created design for marriage and sexuality.

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  • Larry

    Not a very good example. Its one of the most boneheaded arguments made by by those opposing marriage equality.

    “To give kids two moms or two dads is to withhold from them someone whom they desperately need”

    The children of gay couples DON’T HAVE AN OPTION OF WHAT GENDER THEIR PARENTS CAN BE. Just because you want parents of both genders raising a child doesn’t mean that is a possible option. In every case the alternative to being a child of a gay couple is is either with single parent or as ward of the state, or in some cases no existence at all. The anti-gay bigots would rather have a kid with 1 or no parents than 2 who care for them.

    Besides, its a bullcrap assertion anyway. Children of gay couples actually thrive more easily. (Gay parents don’t have unexpected or unwanted children so they can devote more resources to fewer people)

  • Larry

    Coward Just own up to your hatred and show that you have the spine to stand up for your beliefs. No matter how offensive to sanity they are.

  • Rev Albert W. Kovacs

    Which Americans knew best of newly won freedom than those who lived under tyranny, and then brought forth a new nation under God. Can the America we know and love survive on a lesser foundation. Listen to the Founders’ words!!! – “Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” –George Washington (Farewell Address, 1796) . . . On the commemoration of the signing of our Declaration of Independence, John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, that the date would “be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. . . . “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” –John Adams, Address to the Military , 1798 . . . The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam, in the whole volume of human nature by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power. – Alexander Hamilton, in The Farmer Refuted, February 23, 1775 . . . Being a Christian … is a character which I prize far above all this world has or can boast. … The Bible is a book worth more than all the other books that were ever printed. … This is all the inheritance I can give to my dear family. The religion of Christ can give them one, which will make them rich indeed. – Patrick Henry: . . . “And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever.” –Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 18, 1781 . . . “The belief in a God All Powerful wise and good, is so essential to the moral order of the world and to the happiness of man, that arguments which enforce it cannot be drawn from too many sources nor adapted with too much solicitude to the different characters and capacities impressed with it.” –James Madison, letter to Frederick Beasley, 1825 . . . “[T]he only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.” –Benjamin Rush, On the Mode of Education Proper in a Republic, 1806 . . . “[T]he only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.” –Benjamin Rush, On the Mode of Education Proper in a Republic, 1806 . . . “The Commander in Chief directs that divine Service be performed every Sunday at 11 oClock in those Brigades to which there are Chaplains; those which have none to attend the places of worship nearest to them. It is expected that Officers of all Ranks will by their attendence set an Example to their men. While we are zealously performing the duties of good Citizens and soldiers we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of Religion. To the distinguished Character of Patriot, it should be our highest Glory to add the more distinguished Character of Christian. The signal Instances of providential Goodness which we have experienced and which have now almost crowned our labours with complete Success, demand from us in a peculiar manner the warmest returns of Gratitude and Piety to the Supreme Author of all Good.” –George Washington, General Orders, (May 2nd, 1778) . . . By removing the Bible from schools we would be wasting so much time and money in punishing criminals and so little pains to prevent crime. Take the Bible out of our schools and there wwould be an explosion in crime. – Benjamin Rush (1745 – 1813), founder of Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA . . . “The blessed Religion revealed in the word of God will remain an eternal and awful monument to prove that the best Institution may be abused by human depravity; and that they may even, in some instances be made subservient to the vilest purposes. Should, hereafter, those incited by the lust of power and prompted by the Supineness or venality of their Constituents, overleap the known barriers of this Constitution and violate the unalienable rights of humanity: it will only serve to shew, that no compact among men (however provident in its construction and sacred in its ratification) can be pronounced everlasting an inviolable, and if I may so express myself, that no Wall of words, that no mound of parchm[en]t can be so formed as to stand against the sweeping torrent of boundless ambition on the one side, aided by the sapping current of corrupted morals on the other.” –George Washington, fragments of the Draft First Inaugural Address, . . . “While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.” –George Washington (1778) . . . When America is no longer built upon these solid Judeo-Christian foundations, it will fall as its leaders draw more lines in the sand.

  • Frank

    Poor Larry. Gets more and more pitiful daily.

  • bruno

    Calm down. I think you hate more than you admit. Live and let live. There really are people, like me, who want marriage to be between a man and a woman. Why should that belief lead you to consider them homophobes and bigots? And if marriage is so essential for the wellbeing for gays, why is State approval not enough. Why must the general church also approve the act? Surely the church is of no consequence in your life, is it?

  • Charles Freeman

    As Daniel B. wrote previously, the Baylor study doesn’t imply causation. It establishes a high positive relationship between having one set of characteristics, termed Christian Nationalism, and another characteristic, opinion on same-sex marriage. If you wish, you may imply a distinct alternate causative force in the dynamic, such as witchcraft, but there is cetainly no rational empirical evidence for doing so. That fact that causation is not implied does not negate the existence of the very strong relationship between Christian Nationalism and opinion on same-sex marriage. Any other rationale you inject is problematic.

  • Ben in oakalnd

    I’m perfectly calm.

    Live and let live you advise me? When you’re not willing to do the same because of your beliefs? Why is it that heterosexuals can get married as often and badly as they wish, and this bothers no one? but my friends who have been together for 40 years cannot? Why is my life disadvantaged by law, and yours is not? Iwould suggest that my love, life, family, faith, children freedom, citizenship, and assets are every bit as important as yours, and as deserving of the legal protections of marriage as yours is.

    If you truly believe that marriage is for only opposite sex people, then don’t marry someone of the same sex. Don’t come to my wedding, and I won’t expect a gift.

    You give your game away with your statement that I want the “general church to approve the act. The push has not been for religious marriage AT ALL, but for a civil marriage license, the same thing that is available to any fornicating, adulterous former republican congressman on his third marriage. But the same question applies. there are plenty of individual christians, ministers, churches and whole denominations that want their parishioners legally married. Why are your religous beliefs more important than theirs?

    I’m not interested in your church’s approval. the approval of my church, if I had one, is all that is important to me. Your belief that I somehow require either your approval or your church’s approval is entirely erroneous, and has no basis in fact.

    The converse question is actually of interest. If your religion is so holy and perfect, and marriage is a religious act, why to you require the approval of the state to make it a fact? Surely, the religious knowledge that you are married in the eyes of your God ahould be sufficient, no?

    We both know the answer to that. and that is why I want legal marriage. My family and my life are every bit as important as yours.

  • David Lloyd-Jones


    I don’t know, but I would imagine it was either the Secretary of State, or maybe the Consul on the spot.

    Who do *you* think wrote it? Al Qaeda? The PR Department of the Marine Corps? Richard Dawkins?


  • Larry

    @Rev Albert W. Kovac

    1. Paragraph breaks please!

    2. Cutting and pasting from dominionist websites is not a sign of making an intelligent argument. Your quotes are probably bullcrap, out of context or altered. Pretty much everyone who uses “Founders Quotes” to pretend America is a Christian nation cites David Barton and ilk. Well established liars.

    3. You can’t tell me with a straight face what “Judeo-Christian foundations” are without making some nonsensical or circular reference.

    4. Christianity is not given any special privilege under our laws nor are its adherents. Freedom of religion means freedom for all faiths, not just yours.

    5. None of this has ANY RELEVANCE WHATSOEVER to the topic other than showing that Christian conservatives have no regard for religious freedoms under the 1st Amendment,

  • Larry

    You are full of crap Bruno. Unlike the Christian conservatives, Ben is not supporting giving animosities and bigotry color of law.

    People who want marriage strictly limited to ban gays are homophobes and bigots because they want to deny a right to others for no rational and secular reasons. Their sole reasons for such bans is based entirely in bigotry and homophobia. The labels are appropriate. You are a bigot and homophobe for wanting marriage limited to just a man and woman. The truth hurts.

    “why is State approval not enough. Why must the general church also approve the act?”

    When gay marriage get full state approval, then you can pose the question. Until then it is a dishonest strawman being posed.

  • Shawnie5

    You would imagine wrong. The Treaty of Tripoli was written in Arabic and very loosely (and poorly) translated by consul-general Joel Barlow and hurriedly ratified in order to stop the privateering which the fledgling US navy was not adequately prepared to deal with. Article 11, which you quote, was not actually part of the treaty but consisted of a letter from the Dey of Algiers to the Pasha of Tripoli. It was a very obscure passage translated very poorly by consul-general Joel Barlow and actually says nothing about whether America is or isn’t a Christian nation.

    Interestingly enough, however, in the other articles of the treaty the United States is lumped in with the other “Christian nations.”

  • ben in oakland

    Mainwaring? Really?

    According to the much touted study by Mark Regnerus, Mainwaring isn’t fit to be a parent. after all, he is a self-professed homosexual in a heterosexual marriage. According to Regnerus’s evidence in his study, Mainwaring represents the worst possible outcome for his children.

  • Larry

    More interestingly enough is that people who pretend the US is allegedly a Christian nation say so in an attempt to shred 1st Amendment religious liberties. Generally to claim that Christianity [implied as only conservative sects] and its adherents are deserving of some status and privilege in our government, society and laws above people of all other faiths and beliefs.

    The use of such rhetoric is to claim things like:
    “Our society doesn’t need to respect your religious beliefs, we are a Christian Nation”.

    “We are a Christian nation, so Christians should be able to do whatever they want to anyone else”

    “We are a Christian nation, the Bible is the only guide our laws require”

  • Shawnie5

    I hardly think that Chief Justice Story, a much more brilliant and distinguished jurist than anything warming the bench today, wrote that “there has never been a period of history in which the common law did not recognize Christianity ss lying at its foundation” did so with the intention of shredding any 1st Amendment liberties.

    I am not even arguing for the correctness of the “christian nation” perspective. I was mainly pointing out the characteristic ignorance of those who reflexively regurgitate evangelical atheist mythology and propaganda into discussions of this sort. An embarrassingly easy task.

  • Jack

    Ben, not a single country or culture in history endorsed gay marriage until less than a generation ago.

    So to pin this on “western culture” is ridiculous. If you wish to be honest, pin it on every culture everywhere.

    And it is not about “bigotry” against gays, because these cultures included Greek, Roman, and Middle East pagan cultures which celebrated homosexuality.

  • Jack

    Based on Larry’s sweeping assertion, every country and culture in history is “homophobic” and “bigoted,” because until less than a generation ago, not one of them even came close to endorsing gay marriage. Moreover, some of these countries and cultures celebrated homosexuality.

  • Jack

    Frank is right, Larry. Your position is beyond absurd. It forces you to call every society in history “bigoted” and “homophobic.” That would include an astonishing diversity of cultures, from puritanical to libertine to everything in between.

    Face it….Gay marriage is a complete joke foisted on society by the same heterosexual radical lefties who for decades were tearing down marriage in general as oppressive, bourgeois, a meaningless formality, a worthless piece of paper, and contrary to human nature. Did these lefties suddenly experience a conversion of sorts? Only a plainly naïve person would believe that.

  • Ben in oakland

    Not a ingle country in the world endorsed female equality with men until about 150 years ago. The argument from tradition is the weakest you can find.

    And ACTUALLY, though the question of marriage in other cultures is somewhat up in the air, until the homo-obsessed Christians started their inroads elsewhere, we know well that a lot of cultures had no problem with homosexuality. You might try googling “love of the cut sleeve”, “comrade loves of the samurai”, “two spirits” the Theban band, and those researches will lead you elsewhere.

    But you won’t, because you’re simply not interested in seeing us as valid human beings with valid live. and certainly, not as your human and moral equals.

    However, your basic homohatred is found in your statement that my marriage is a joke foisted on western culture by radical anti marriage heterosexuals. It shows no understanding of gay people, our families, our friends, liberal religion, and the general arc of history. But that’s ok. we’re used to unrepentant contempt from people who ought to know better.

  • Larry

    “I am not even arguing for the correctness of the “christian nation” perspective.”

    Of course you are, that is why you go through all this. You want to pretend Christianity has an exalted place in our laws.

    “I was mainly pointing out the characteristic ignorance of those who reflexively regurgitate evangelical atheist mythology and propaganda into discussions of this sort.”

    By using reflexive apologetic dominionist mythology propaganda in response.

    You really have to be more careful when you take quotes from Dominionist websites. The Justice Story quote is not helpful to you. The quote was correct but the person you quoted was a nutball. He supported prosecution for blasphemy, Jefferson (and our 1st Amendment) didn’t. Also, Story is hardly known as a particularly distinguished Supreme Court Justice for his acts in the Court. He is primarily noted for his academic interests. Story’s view of the 1st Amendment religious freedom was pretty dim even by the standards of his contemporaries. [Which is why Dominionists like him and you quoted him]

    Story was clearly wrong and took flak for it by Jefferson.
    “that the common law existed while the Anglo-Saxons were yet pagans, at a time when they had never yet heard the name of Christ pronounced, or knew that such a character had ever existed.”.
    -Thomas Jefferson, To Major Cartwright 1824

    Story later qualified his prior statement by weakly asserting it was merely an implication due to Christianity being the established religion of England, where common law came from. Like many a religious apologist, he refused to admit his deliberate mistruth and instead gave a quick revision.

  • Larry

    “Frank is right,”

    A sure sign I am reading the post of an idiot. Frank is a troll. You are no better. Just a little more verbose. If you don’t like being called a bigot, don’t act like one. Just because you can’t stand being called one, it doesn’t make the label untrue. It just means you have thin skin.

    You are not a bigot, yet you went right into a tirade of insulting gays and their position. You are the definition of irony.

  • Larry

    Owning people as chattel property was in every country and culture until a short time ago. So I guess that is right and correct in this day and age. That is what you are saying. That all traditions are OK as long as people did them back in the day and it was widespread.

    Yes Jack you are a bigot and a homophobe. You oppose marriage equality because you despise gays as people. You have made that abundantly clear. All you are telling me is that you are running out pretenses here. When have you stopped being so dishonest about your motivations?

  • Shawnie5

    “Story is hardly known as a particularly distinguished Supreme Court Justice for his acts in the Court.”

    Hee hee…well, certainly not by ignoramuses, of which you prove yourself an ever greater one with every post. Only the educated would know much about the giants of American jurisprudence. The irony of you, of all people, dismissing the mind behind Martin vs. Hunter’s Lessee, is quite delicious. Too bad you will never understand why.

    So “nutball” Justice Story supported prosecution for blasphemy. He also vigorously supported abolitionism, as Jefferson could not be bothered to — since being only an “enlightenment” man rather than a man of faith he could come up with no compelling “natural” reason to oppose it very vigorously and after all, he had numerous debts which he needed his human “collateral” to secure. Let’s see, whose “opposition” was more deleterious — the one opposed to blasphemy or the one opposed to abolition??? Hmmm….

    “Story was clearly wrong and took flak for it by Jefferson.”

    Actually it was Jefferson who was clearly wrong and took flak for it from Story. The particulars of the issue are clearly beyond the capacities of your evangelical atheist overlords from your propaganda sites because they involve matters such as history, language, law and theology, so I won’t go into them unless asked, of course.

    “You want to pretend Christianity has an exalted place in our laws.”

    As long as everyone’s free exercise rights are protected I don’t care how exalted Christianity or any other faith is. But I do care very much about historical ignorance, such as that demonstrated by you and Mr. Lloyd-Jones above, which imprisons ordinary people and leaves them vulnerable to any ridiculous claim by any ridiculous revisionist with an agenda and enough time on his/her hands to spread myths intended to fool the gullible about where their rights and freedoms come from–and how easily they could be lost.

  • Shawnie5

    “If you don’t like being called a bigot, don’t act like one. Just because you can’t stand being called one, it doesn’t make the label untrue. It just means you have thin skin.”

    Actually, Jack appears to care as little about the “bigot” epithet as I do, His comment only demonstrates WHY it has no punch.

    Sometimes trolls get it right, too. I bet you think Max does. 🙂

  • Larry

    Again, complaining about the epithet but not actually refuting its veracity. It seems to have quite a punch given how badly you and the others want to claim it is somehow inappropriate.

  • Larry

    There you go again throwing insults rather than making an intelligent response. Martin vs. Hunter’s Lessee a case so famous it barely merits a sentence of discussion in constitutional law classes nationwide, if is mentioned at all these days. A case entirely on a point considered largely obscure (Federal courts are the ultimate arbiter of federal law). Justice Story upheld the Fugitive Slave Act and struck down a PA law which sheltered runaway slaves. So much for his enlightened views of people as property.

    You claim Jefferson was shown to be wrong by Story, but give nothing to support it besides more poo flinging. If you supported Story’s view of the 1st Amendment, as you claimed, you would hold a view antithetical to free exercise of religion and claim Christianity to be paramount in consideration under the law.

    Lets face it, you saw a quote on a Dominionist website and copied it. Then you tried to backtrack through a little research on the speaker. Now you are just digging a hole deeper and deeper.

  • Shawnie5

    I, at least, am not calling it inappropriate, but meaningless. I actually like to see it — it is a hysterical sputter that signals that the argument has been lost on the merits.

  • Shawnie5

    “Probably bullcrap.” LOL!

    Oh Larry, wouldn’t it be nice to actually KNOW about what you’re attacking? 😀

  • Shawnie5

    Larry, there is no intelligent response to this kind of ignorance other than a belly-laugh: “Martin vs. Hunter’s Lessee a case so famous it barely merits a sentence of discussion in constitutional law classes nationwide, if is mentioned at all these days.”

    “A case entirely on a point considered largely obscure…” Again, only obscure to ignoramuses, as you demonstrate with your non-logic that Story’s personal opposition to slavery should have required him to reach a different result.

    “If you supported Story’s view of the 1st Amendment, as you claimed, you would hold a view antithetical to free exercise of religion and claim Christianity to be paramount in consideration under the law.”

    Nope. Story’s view of the 1st Amendment was largely the framers’ view as well (Story was, after all, appointed by the “Father of the Constitution,” James Madison), as is obvious from their writings – that the 1st Amendment was not intended to silence Christianity altogether but to prevent a sect of it (most of them had Catholicism foremost in mind) from establishing a symbiotic relationship with the civil government in a fashion that would compel everyone to participate in it. Of course today we are all so spoiled to “religious freedom” that we assume that the founders HAD to have meant more than this–that surely the amendment protects us from being “offended” by exposure to religion as well. Yet that is historical ignorance talking; the founders certainly did not find freedom from national “churches” to be anything paltry, as it was precisely this which had created the situations in Europe that the colonists fled.

    BTW, did you ever finish that “koite” assignment?

  • Larry

    Justice Story went under the delusion that the government could declare Christianity the state religion and still maintain free exercise of all faiths. This is why people who oppose 1st Amendment freedoms reference Joseph Story. He is a perfect example of an intelligent person whose religious belief led him to say really ridiculous things.

    It was interesting that his commentaries on the subject deliberately exclude the contribution of the Rhode Island State Charter on the subject, in favor of discussing colonies which had government established churches. Our notion of religious freedoms came directly from the Rhode Island charter and the writings of Roger Williams a century before the Revolution.

    The modern reading of the Establishment Clause does not silence Christianity in the least. Never did. All it does these days is keep anti-democratic Christians from compelling others to follow their religious dogma. The idea that the separation of church and state as it is employed nowadays (as it was always intended) attacks Christianity is a farce. Somehow people being denied the privilege to act obnoxiously to others under color of law allegedly became a part of Christian belief.

    Btw you still can’t understand that koites and coitus are the same word in 2 different but culturally related writing systems?

  • Larry

    “I, at least, am not calling it inappropriate”

    Good then we both agree it is fits the situation.

  • Bruno

    Ben in Oakland. I get it! You have not found a partner yet you would like to marry. That’s what the fury is about, isn’t it? By the way, I thought CA allowed for marriages by way of magistrates, etc. Enlighten me on the States allowing gay marriages.

  • Shawnie5

    Justice Story said no such thing. He never argued for a state religion of any kind; he simply recognized our Christian roots and disapproved of people “acting obnoxiously” as you put it (disturbing the public peace, really) with hateful and blasphemous speech.

    And I know exactly what koite and coitus mean. Did you look up metrokoite, doulokoite, deuterokoite and polukoite– also “onokoite?”. 🙂

  • Shawnie5

    Oh absolutely. No doubt the appropriate time to break out the epithets is when you’re out of facts and logic. That’s when the rest of us know to move on to a fresh topic.

  • ben in oakland

    I’m not sure what it is you think you get. I’m quite happily married.

    Meanwhile, I notice you didn’t actually address my response to your remarks, especially the outright falsehood that we require your church’s permission or participation.

    That’s the whole point, isn’t it. I don’t.

  • ben in oakland

    “By the way, I thought CA allowed for marriages by way of magistrates, etc. Enlighten me on the States allowing gay marriages.”

    Of course it does. Ordained ministers, judges, ship captains (and possibly airliner pilots), county clerks (I’m not 100% sure on who qualifies here) and deputized county clerks (for the purpose of performing a marriage) are all authorized to perform legal marriages, though the couple must have a civil marriage license issued by the state for the marriage to be legal. This is pretty much the same in all states, though details may vary.

    Religion is completely optional. We, for example, were married by a United church of Christ minister who is a friend of ours, even though we are both atheists.

  • Bruno

    Ben in Oakland. Congratulation on your marriage. And thank you for the info on States permitting gay marriages without any problems. So, what’s the beef?
    As for requiring church’s permission or participation to marry, if I read you right, it’s not there. We simply want to do our thing and keep marriage between a man and a woman. If you or secular institutions allow otherwise, what’s the problem? It is not that I want to place my morality on you;, is it your morality you want to impose on me? Churches want the right to do what they have for centuries, marry men and women as a couple. Do you see any danger in that?

  • Ben in oakland

    Not at all. we seem to be in complete agreement. In your church, believe what you wish, do what you wish, act how you wish. I don’t care.

    The argument has only EVER been about obtaining a civil marriage license, with religion completely optional according to the beliefs of the couple and the beliefs of their church, if applicable.

    The beef is that some churches, some religious people, would deny that civil marriage license to a gay couples for no other reason than “oooh! gay! icky! And so does God.” Well, no other reason that they will admit to.

    So we are in agreement.

  • David S.

    Who cares where it came from? What matters is that Congress unanimously ratified it without question. When Congress unanimously approves a treaty or law, the question of its original origins becomes less important; it is now Congressionally enacted.

  • Shawnie5

    What matters is that they unanimously ratified a treaty that said nothing about our country not being founded on the Christian religion, yet DID refer to the US as one of the “Christian nations.” Didn’t you read this thread at all?

  • Peggy Trivilino

    And, of course, one must recognize that said fear is also hooey.