PHOTOS: Gay marriage supporters and opponents on Supreme Court steps

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Joe Capley-Alfano, left, and Frank Capley-Alfano of Oakland, Calif., stand in front of the Supreme Court on April 28, 2015 as justices heard arguments about same-sex marriage. The couple have been together for 15 years and married in 2008 before Proposition 8 halted gay marriage in California until 2013. Religion News Service photo by Adelle M. Banks

Joe Capley-Alfano, left, and Frank Capley-Alfano of Oakland, Calif., stand in front of the Supreme Court on April 28, 2015 as justices heard arguments about same-sex marriage. The couple have been together for 15 years and married in 2008 before Proposition 8 halted gay marriage in California until 2013. Religion News Service photo by Adelle M. Banks

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Supporters of gay marriage easily outnumbered opponents, who were drowned out by shouts of "Love Must Win!" and "Marriage Now!"

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  • Jack

    I guess that’s one of the benefits of not having a real job, business, or profession.

    You get to show up on weekdays outside the Supreme Court and mouth platitudes about “love” against “hate.”

  • Larry

    Not everyone can make a living bilking Anti-gay political groups for major fiees with nonsense amicus briefs that wouldn’t pass muster if done by 1L’s at American Samoa School of Law-Correspondence Division. 🙂

  • bqrq

    It would be helpful if supporters of gay marriage would display more empathy for our legitimate concerns about the risks of sexually transmitted diseases, and perhaps they should also back away from those things which have the appearance of a selfish preoccupation with carnal gratification. Think about it.

  • The Lord Humungous

    So bqrq, who gave you herpes?

  • bqrq

    Dear Humongous,
    Thankfully, I do not have a STD but as you know, there is a high incidence of HIV, AIDS, Syphilis, etc. among sexually active male homosexuals. I have heard reports on television news sources that many gay men are suffering from “condom fatigue” and this has exacerbated the spread of STDs. Safe sex is a very sensitive subject. It would be helpful if supporters of gay marriage would be more supportive of safe sex and encourage the use of latex condoms.

  • James Carr

    Male homosexuals are noted for being highly promiscuous…..even in “committed” relationships. This is another reason marriage is not suited to them. Any couple that agrees on an “open” marriage already denigrates the vows they took,civilly or religiously. Who knows what rules apply to a gay marriage……and yes, rules should be applied equally across the board.

  • Jack

    Bqrq, safe sex is obviously better than unsafe sex, but I’m not sure what that has to do with the matter at hand.

    As these boards indicate, the biggest issue connected to redefining marriage is what happens to people who exercise their First Amendment rights to disagree with those doing the redefining.

    Are we going to come together as free men and women and protect that right to dissent, or are we going to behave like little fascists and try to shut them down?

  • Jack

    It’s ironic how the far left, after having spent the past half century denigrating marriage as oppressive, bourgeois, a meaningless piece of paper, contrary to nature, and one of the worst evils afflicting humanity, is suddenly singing its praises now that its definition is being expanded to including gay unions.

    So based on that logic, is marriage now no longer oppressive, bourgeois, a meaningless piece of paper, contrary to nature and one of the worst evils afflicting humanity?

    Does the fact that it’s now being expanded to include gay unions suddenly transform it from being a hideous wart on human culture to being the most marvelous institution of history?

    Is the left now going to join hands with the rest of humanity and now support marriage as the bedrock institution of every society?

    Don’t bet on it….

  • @JC,

    “highly promiscuous…..even in “committed” relationships.”

    Even if this were true, at what point does it become any of your cotton-pickin’ business?

    Are you pretending you are not interested in a police state to curb such things?
    The drift of the religious impulse is always toward fascism – and against education. For shame.

  • bqrq

    Jack asked;
    “……….Are we going to come together as free men and women and protect that right to dissent, or are we going to behave like little fascists and try to shut them down?…….”

    Dear Jack,
    Given what we are up against, it is difficult to determine exactly what is the “right” approach for protecting our right to dissent (and also protecting our children from predators). While it is doubtful that we can change the overall trajectory of society, we must continue to fight back.

  • Jack,

    Marriage is a contract – gay marriage is about equal protection under the law. Only married people have certain rights.
    To extend those same rights to Gay people is not to endorse marriage. It is to understand that marriage is a conventional legal contract.

    When someone turns 18 they reach the age of consent and have the right to smoke Lucky Strike cigarettes. That is not an endorsement of cigarettes – it is an acknowledgement that citizens must have equal rights.

    As usual, your magic sky leprechaun has no role to play in any of this.

  • Jack

    Bqrq, when it comes to what you’re saying, it has always been a “hearts-and-minds” story…..If you believe the Gospel, you believe that to be human is to be fallen and in need of salvation no matter what your particular way of life is. I believe it and so I definitely see it that way.

    At its base, this hearts-and-minds battle transcends the world of politics and law.

    But the issue of dissent in a free society something quite different. It is all about politics and law….by definition.

    And it’s here that any person who believes in freedom needs to take a stand. It’s here that we find out who is who…..who and what our fellow citizens are about and what they are made of.

    We find out who truly treasures living in a free society and who thinks little of it and is willing to see liberties trampled in order to advance short-run political gain.

  • @Bqrq,

    “..it is difficult to determine exactly what is the “right” approach for protecting our right to dissent (and also protecting our children from predators).”

    WHAT!? GOOD GRIEF!
    YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO DISSENT ALL YOU WANT!

    You can carry any sign you want!
    Complain about how the USA doesn’t follow the teachings of the HUMMINGBIRD WIZARD for all I care!

    But your fascist notion which says everyone must think like you – that is ridiculous.

    MAKE A NOTE:
    If your words are not convincing enough and your argument fails you need to question yourself – not others.
    Don’t try to force your religion into the laws. It won’t work. It’s illegal. And you’re a fascist to even try it.

    Religion encourages cry baby tactics. How embarrassing for you.

  • Julian Penrod

    The fact of the matter is that any presentation or discussion which has taken place in the widest public forums of homosexuality has been based on lies. “Homosexuality is only about love.” The essence of homosexuality is just who you have sex with and absolutely nothing else.” “Homosexuality is completely innocuous and harmless”. On the basis of this, they say, “Homosexual marriage is a completely harmless issue.”
    The truth about homosexuality is, in fact, foul and malignant and demonstrative of massive mental disorder.
    Among other things, homosexuals try to claim it is a form of normalcy. Even homosexuals claim they make up only about 3 percent of the population. Nothing that constitutes only 3 percent of the population can necessarily be said to be a manifestation of normalcy.
    But the fact about homosexuality go far beyond that.

  • Jack

    Ho hum….another day, another attempt by Max to shift the discussion from the matter at hand to his monomaniacal obsession with the deity.

    For a supposedly non-existent being, He is getting an awful lot of attention from you, lad.

  • Julian Penrod

    Such as the constant clandestine homosexual campaign to decriminalize knowingly, therefore willingly, therefore maliciously, transmitting HIV/AIDS to another. In fact, the homosexuals had deliberately and maliciously transmitting HIV/AIDS to another listed only as a misdemeanor, punishable only by a fine, in many states as early as the late Eighties, when it was still considered a death sentence! This indicates the hammer lock the homosexuals have over government. That act is a demonstration of “depraved indifference to human life”, which is a defining quality of homicidal sociopathy. This doesn’t say that wanting to have sex with someone of your own sex is necessarily a mental disease. It seems all homosexuals all have a deeper, more serious mental imbalance which also demonstrates sociopathic contempt for the lives of others. But no group should have the right to demand that society redefine itself to satisfy their whims!

  • Julian Penrod

    But, consider, too, such things as that self loathing and massive drug use, at levels unseen in the heterosexual community, are universal among homosexuals. The self loathing, it seems, is at the base of many if not most homosexual suicides and certainly seems related to their insistence on engaging in unsafe sex far more often than heterosexuals. They claim it is because they are hated, but the early Christians were pursued by the Romans to be killed and they didn’t engage in suicide or drug use.

  • Julian Penrod

    A fundamental facet of the matter, too, is the verified tendency toward obsessive, mindless promiscuity and compulsive infidelity. They are compelled regularly to engage in massively multiple mindless, anonymous sexual contacts. Establishments catering to homosexuals provide areas for these to occur. And they don’t even do it for the pleasure, but, rather, the uncontrollable need to be able to say that they had so many sexual contacts in as short a time as possible! Even in a relationship, both “partners” will still continue to engage in this practice! In fact, it is established that the understanding that both can continue to engage in this obsessive, mindless promiscuous behavior is the glue that keeps homosexual relationships together!

  • Julian Penrod

    But that means the homosexuals do not intend to respect, to even the smallest degree, any of the accepted forms of marriage! It is all a joke to them! They all intend, the night they are “married”, to engage in an orgy of obsessive, mindless promiscuity! They want “marriage” only to cash in on the 1100 or so taxpayer funded financial benefits that government has made certain to acquaint them with, but has worked to withhold from heterosexuals!
    If the Supreme Court does say that homosexuals should be permitted to “marry”, it will mean they have not done their due diligence of examining the matter or that they know about this, but, under the hammer lock that homosexuals have of government, are choosing to betray God, the people and society!

  • Jack

    The problem is that “normalcy” is a relative term. The fact that gays are about 3-5% of the population thus tells us nothing about whether being gay is a good, bad, or neutral thing.

    I enjoy reading and discussing apologetics and using the rules of historical and legal evidence against radical skeptics who don’t understand how these rules work or what constitutes burden of proof regarding them.

    I can safely say that regarding this enjoyment, a lot less than 5% of the population share the same enjoyment on that level.

    Does that make me “abnormal?” From a purely statistical standpoint, sure.

    But so what?

    The bottom line is that the bedrock reason for someone to disagree with homosexual behavior is that it is flatly opposed in the Bible. If we look at all the other reasons offered across the centuries and millennia, they’re all on shaky ground. Some are thought-provoking, sure. But they just don’t hold up in the final analysis.

  • Jack,

    Where in all that contract discussion did I refer to a deity?
    Gay marriage has nothing to do with religion.

  • philip

    And yet again, foolish Ad Hominem Jack gets nailed by another great zinger from Atheist Max!

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  • James Carr

    Great comments, Julian…..and all true, actual studies attest to the general gay sexual behavior.

  • Shawnie5

    And not only that, but suddenly now they can’t raise children “in a sane manner” without same-sex marriage…after a generation of yapping that women and children need men like a fish need a bicycle, and a 40% illegitimacy rate that the government would love to reverse in order to save money but that the rest of us are not supposed to talk about because it’s “judgmental.”

  • Larry

    Jack, I have to wonder who you consider the “far left”. From the nonsense ad hominems and strawman arguments you make, it appears to be anyone who disagrees with you. They are somehow in the radical/commie/far left cabal which all seems to have some kind of unified agenda. One which is whatever nonsense point you want to impute to them. Always something having nothing to do with the subject at hand.

    Is discussion of a subject on its own facts so hard for you?

  • Larry

    So if you are for married couples raising children then you would not support a gay marriage ban. Since obviously, by your reference to the illegitimacy rate that unmarried people raising children does pose problems with raising them in a sane manner. Rationality is not an integral component to the arguments against marriage equality.

    So how do you propose the government reverse the illegitimacy rate without trampling on civil liberties? Right you don’t. Its just excuses for wagging fingers at people and being a malicious inhumane jerk. Short of adopting ISIS brand “moral policing” you are SOL on that front.

  • Kevin Eckstrom

    Let’s keep it civil, folks. Calling someone a “malicious inhumane jerk” strays a little too close to the line.

  • JPenrod,

    “choosing to betray God”

    So they go to Hell. So what? It is none of your business.

  • Michael Glass

    ” They all intend, the night they are “married”, to engage in an orgy of obsessive, mindless promiscuity!”

    Really? Where is your evidence? Or are you just shocked beyond your wildest hopes!

  • Barry the Baptist

    Hey, Eckstrom,

    Is it expressing an opinion about another the only thing that is “too close to the line?”

    Or does inflammatory hate speech without quotations or citations count, as well?

  • Shawnie5

    At this point things are so far gone that the government probably CAN’T reverse the illegitimacy rate at all. But same-sex marriage does certainly does nothing to ameliorate the situation. A family composed of same-sex couples and children is broken by definition, because one of the child’s own natural parents is not present.

  • Larry

    So bringing it up was an irrelevancy on your part. OK. Your definition of a “broken family” would include all couples with adopted children or using surrogacy. The only thing you have to go on is your personal opinion and animosity to gays raising children.

  • Shawnie5

    It wasn’t an irrelevancy at all. It was a demonstration of the irony of leftist insistence on the indispensability of same-sex marriage and the utter expendability of heterosexual marriage, simultaneously.

    Yes, families (whether same-sex or heterosex) built upon surrogacy contracts ARE broken — they are formed at the very outset for the express purpose of separating a child from its natural parent. They are a hop skip and a jump away from human trafficking, which is why they are unrecognized and unenforceable in most places.

    Adoption is different in that it does not purposefully create the broken condition — it is takes what is already a bad situation and makes the best of it, giving an already parentless child a home it would otherwise not have. I have no particular problem with same-sex couples doing this — but of course this does not necessitate redefining the very institution of marriage.

  • Larry

    Whatever, keep spinning your wheels in stipulation and assumptions based on personal prejudices.

    When people revert to “redefinition of marriage” as an argument, it is admission, they have nothing to say. Unless you can show why the old definition must be heterosexual besides “tradition”, it has no reason to stay. Nothing you say is rationally related to why a gay marriage ban is somehow necessary. As I said before, you are far too late to argue why gays need marriage. You now have to justify why they can’t.

  • Larry

    Bb your jealousy about not being invited to the official Gay marriage decision orgies is showing. 🙂

    (I hope you realize I am never going to take what you say seriously)

  • Larry

    “This isn’t about marriage.”

    Really? SCOTUS seems to think otherwise. 🙂

    You are right, its really about removing sectarian prejudices from our laws. Christians do not have a right to give their views color of law without demonstrating some kind of rational and secular purpose to them. Doing otherwise would be establishment of religion by government.

    I don’t give a crap what you think God says and wants for others. I don’t have to. Nobody does. You are free to show the world how much you think God hates others. But it is not license to harm them. Christians who hate gays have no more a right to discriminate in the cause of their faith. It is akin to saying I have a right to sacrifice you in service of the dark lord Cthulhu. Why are you oppressing me by refusing to die as my dark lord commands? 🙂

    Why do you hate democracy so much that you feel the need to trash notions of religious freedom in service of your faith?

  • Larry

    BB, if you hate gays so much, why are you hanging around the Castro district in such a curious fashion?

    Why are you checking out “gay websites” looking for young looking people?

  • @BB,

    “Anti-Christ-Atheist Max”
    Finally – you said something I agree with.

    “Children should know that homosexuality is a natural aberration.”
    No they shouldn’t!
    Besides, What is a natural aberration? Things are either natural or an aberration.
    Furthermore, 10% of all men and women are homosexual – another 25% are at least somewhat bisexual.

    35% of humanity cannot be an ‘aberration’.
    The same percentages existed before Jesus was born and the legends of Jesus have changed nothing – the numbers are the same today even among the religious!

    I am Anti-Christ in the same way I am Anti-Smoking.
    I defend your right to religion – I AM AT THE FRONT OF THAT LINE!
    But don’t expect me to respect your habits.

  • GOD: “THOSE GAYS ARE SO STUBBORN”
    “Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” (Romans 1:32)

    I defend your right to religion just as I defend your right to buy beer.

    But if you don’t take the time to examine what your religion teaches you are helping to spread an ignorant, uncivilized, bigoted and dangerous philosophy – without even thinking about it.

  • I wish you had been in position to see and photograph this exchange between an anti-LGBT protester and the Rev. Dawn Hand, associate pastor of Foundry UMC in Washington: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1480880162134474&set=pcb.1480880275467796&type=1&theater
    Rev. Hand and her fellow clergy roamed the crowd offering communion to all who would receive. A true gesture of Christian love.

  • @Cynthia Astle,

    “A true gesture of Christian love.”

    Yes – it is a true gesture of love. But it is not Christian.

    This is ‘Christian Love’:

    “DO NOT ASSOCIATE WITH ANYONE…IF HE IS GUILTY..”
    (1 Corinthians 5:11)
    “have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.” (2 Thessalonian 3:14)

    “Do not associate with anyone… if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed…not even to eat with such a one.” (1 Corinthians 5:11)

    “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting” (2 John 1:10)

    “Avoid Them” (Romans 16:17)
    “For whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” (2 John 1:11)
    “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault.” (Matthew 18:15)

    Christianity is NOT love.
    Christ is obedience and guilt of debt – a primitive, ignorant form of devotion.
    IT IS NOT LOVE.

  • Jack

    Max acquires new names for himself like Victorian women acquired new hats for themselves.

    Max, if you’re going to do that, at least allow a decent interval of time to cover your tracks.

    And getting back to the topic, neither you nor your pseudonym post dealt with the original point, which is the irony of life-long marriage-haters — people who believe marriage is about as desirable as bone cancer — suddenly seeking its expansion to include gay unions…and not merely seeking it, but devoting copious amounts of time and effort to make it a reality.

  • Jack

    Larry, when we’re discussing politics and ideas and policies, words like left and right and center are ultimately unavoidable. “Far left,” like “far right,” is an attempt to introduce necessary nuance……It’s based on the notion that there are differing views even within ideologies and beliefs.

    I realize you’d prefer that in place of “hard left,” I say “the most wonderful and brilliant people in the world” or “the shining moral beacons of humanity” or “the only people in the world who really, really care about other people,” but I prefer more neutral terms that indicate where they stand on the political spectrum.

    Larry, it’s not my fault that nobody wants to be called “hard left” and that the effect of using such words is marginalization. That’s the fault of the policies and programs associated with that label. They’re mostly unpopular because they wreak serious havoc in the real world.

  • Jack

    Barry, chill out. Larry could have said exactly what he wanted to say without coming close to the line. All of us come close at times and there’s nothing wrong with somebody else pointing it out. We all need an outside check sometimes. I know I do.

  • Jack

    Larry, be real. There is nothing “sectarian” about the traditional definition of marriage — ie including men and women but not men and men or women and women. On the contrary, it has transcended time and place, culture and nation. It is one of the few things that societies of every kind, which otherwise have little in common with each other, have agreed upon.

    The fact of this unanimity across countries and cultures throughout history renders absurd your claim that this was somehow concocted by some lone sectarian group.

    The ancient Greeks and Romans, for example, had about as much in common with “sectarians” as you do.

  • Jack

    Larry reminds me of people who not so long ago argued that there was no such thing as the Mafia. Of course, most of them were lawyers for the Mafia or “made men” themselves. Once most of them were busted by the turn of the century, nobody was making that argument anymore.

    Despite our country’s lazy drift to the left in recent years, the far left are still about as popular in America as a bee hive in a nudist colony and people like Larry who agree with its views know that only too well. They like the policies but hate the label.

  • Jack

    Wouldn’t it be funny if one day, Barry actually became a Baptist?

    Stranger things have happened, and God does have a sense of humor.

    It would be one heck of a testimony.

  • @Jack,

    “Max acquires new names…”

    No. philip is not me. Why on earth would I impersonate myself?

    Address your sock puppet claims to the moderator – don’t assume I am the only atheist around here.

  • Larry

    Julian’s nonsense clearly crosses the line. But gets no comment. Because he didn’t use the word “jerk” like I did. 🙂

    I ignore Julian’s posts anyway. He is a spammer. Its the same, “gays are evil” nonsense all the time. Never responds to people. Not worth getting worked up over.

  • Larry

    Of course there is. Several Christian sects don’t have prohibitions on gay marriage. Traditional definitions are never as set in stone as you would like to claim. They got redefined a lot in light of more equitable situations. But you are not going to acknowledge such obvious things.

    Tradition is a meaningless concept when one is discussing the merits of a law. It has to stand on its own merits in the here and now. Most Christians here seem reluctant to provide the actual merits of a gay marriage ban which would have to be taken seriously under our laws. A lot of talk about “tradition” and “redefinition” but nothing about why anyone needs to preserve such things. Such reluctance bespeaks a lack of substance on your part.

    Fact of the matter is there is no consensus across countries and cultures here on this subject. It is being widely debated among nations which value public debate.

  • Larry

    Jack, you constantly make strawman arguments claiming a given person supports something completely out of nowhere, unrelated to the subject, unrelated to anything the person has mentioned. Characterizing them as “far left” despite nothing remotely resembling a radical position.

    I believe you sincerely have no idea what the term ‘far left’ really means and just like throwing it about.

  • Jack

    Max, I’m not a psychologist, so I don’t know why you acquire screen names at the rate that Imelda Marcos acquired shoes. You should be asking yourself that question.

    All I can do is call attention to the obvious. I’ve caught you red-handed on at least two occasions, so yes, you’ve done it, so denying it is rather senseless.

    One of your comrades is also not shy about doing likewise, but that’s another matter.

  • Jack

    Larry, until less than a generation ago, no society in the history of the world redefined marriage to include same-sex couplings, so your argument that such lack of redefinition is specifically sectarian is transparently absurd. A precocious child can see through such sophistry.

  • Jack

    Here comes the Max Clown Car again, sputtering onto the board. He’s the only one in it, but in the back are life-sized blow-up dolls of Stalin and Mao, Pol Pot and Fidel, Idi Amin and other atheistic luminaries from killing fields past.

    150 million dead, Max.

  • Jack

    Julian, it’s too strong to say that “massive drug use” and “self-loathing” are “universal” among homosexuals. I have known gay people who don’t fit that stereotype.

    However, while you vastly overstated the matter, it is true that levels of emotional and mental illness are higher than the general population. No doubt that a part of it has to do with societal ostracism in most times and places, but it’s unlikely that this is 100% of it.

  • @Jack,

    Yeah. Broken record.
    Your Religious Agricultural Cults are not examples of Atheism.

    Vegetarianism has no intrinsic command “to slay” anyone.
    But if you turn Vegetarianism into fascist movement – “Believe in Vegetarian or be killed” – then you have created RELIGION.

    Atheism is the rejection of religious claims. Stalin was not running his country on Atheism – he was eliminating religions which objected to his own.

    Bow to your real God, Jack.
    It is The US Constitution – An ATHEIST DOCUMENT:

    “Congress shall make no law establishing a religion…”

    Let me put it in words you can understand:
    “Congress SHALL MAKE NO LAW FORCING ANY RELIGIOUS CLAIMS ON ANYONE ELSE!”

    Hence the magic of Atheism! and the superiority of an Atheist document over the head-chopping, infidel burning fascism of Jesus Christ, Mohammed, Allah and any other totalitarian garbage you have sold yourself.

  • @Jack,

    Like I said. Take up your accusations with the moderator. Supposedly they would know when someone is playing such games.

    @Philip: Thanks. I think Jack is more interested in “who” and not “What” – Gay marriage will be the law of the land soon because the religious argument is entirely based on authorities (so called). Not evidence.

  • Shawnie5

    “Your Religious Agricultural Cults are not examples of Atheism.”

    They denied God’s existence. Hence they were atheist. You’re stuck with them. Deal with it.

    No exemplar of what a “real atheist” looks like exists. Anyone who denies God’s existence qualifies–from totalitarian monsters who cheerfully take their lack of belief to its logical conclusion, to innocuous sheeple floating along on the coat-tails of western civilization’s Christian values and blissfully unaware that their lack of belief HAS a logical conclusion.

  • Jack

    In other words, in Max World, all good atheists are atheists and all bad atheists are not really atheists.

    Welcome to the “no-true-Scotsman” fallacy.

  • @Jack,

    “Bad Atheists”

    What a shallow, mindless argument!

    I guess we can’t name anyone Jack then. Because of Jack-the-Ripper!

    That is how shallow your argument is!
    There is nothing about a person’s name which specifically demands they become serial killers – yet because of Jack-the-ripper all people named Jack are clearly on the way to evil.

    Does that make the slightest sense!!!!!???

    Of course not!
    There is NOTHING INHERENTLY EVIL in Atheism. If there were all 3500 members of the National Academy of Science (97% ATHEIST) would be murderers! But instead they are the most civilized members of society!

    YOU HAVE NOT YET DRAWN A SINGLE LINE CONNECTING NON-BELIEF IN GOD TO BAD BEHAVIOR.
    Instead you point to Agrarian Religious Cults like Mao, Pol Pot and Staliin!

    Meanwhile, the entirety of Christian Religion is Fascist.
    “Execute them” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

  • @Shawnie,

    “They denied God’s existence. Hence they were atheist. You’re stuck with them. Deal with it.”

    I’m stuck with no such thing!
    They believed in the Deity they made in EXACTLY the same way you believe in the Deity you made.

    A vegetarian has no reason to murder anyone. Neither does the Atheist.

    But once you have decided toenforce Vegetarianism under threat of death – a RELIGIOUS ACT – you have turned vegetarianism into a HOLY ORDER and those who disobey are slaughtered for non-compliance.

    Your only friend under such circumstances is the THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE!
    Yet your Christian and Muslim religions work tirelessly to destroy the Constitutional protections which would keep you safe!

    You are talking out of both sides of your mouth.
    And you are defeating your best friend in the process!

  • Shawnie5

    “But once you have decided toenforce Vegetarianism under threat of death – a RELIGIOUS ACT – you have turned vegetarianism into a HOLY ORDER and those who disobey are slaughtered for non-compliance.”

    That is not the definition of religion, Max. Religion has to do with the worship of a deity. Your attempt to define re-religion in the manner you demonstrated is a sophistry designed to distance you from the more embarrassing specimens of your compadres. Nobody buys it except the most unthinking of Christopher Hitchen’s fan club.

  • Shawnie5

    Make that “re-define.” Touchscreens!

  • @Shawnie + Jack,

    Religion is COMPULSORY and fascist:

    “REJECT ME and YE SHALL BE JUDGED” – JESUS (JOHN 12:47)
    “Believe or be condemned” – JESUS (Mark 16:16)

    Show me
    where Stalin, Pol Pot, Hirohito, Chairman Mao, Hitler
    DID NOT SAY THE SAME IDENTICAL THING !

    Atheism is not absolutist, fascist or compulsory!
    Atheism is not a religion
    Atheism MAKES NO CLAIMS!

    The fact that the leaders of cults claim to not believe in the same God as you – does not imply they are not religious, nor does it imply anything about the character of Atheists!

    Unlike your religion, Atheism has no compulsory, fascist prerogatives. It is as benign and harmless as Vegetarianism!

  • Shawnie5

    “Atheism MAKES NO CLAIMS!”

    Sure it does. It claims that God does not exist.

    “Atheism is not absolutist, fascist or compulsory!”

    LOL! Why not?

    It is absolutist, fascist or compulsory in the hands of some non-believers in God. It is tolerant and non-coercive in the hands of other non-believers–usually, entirely by coincidence I’m sure ( :-p) ones that have been born and bred in the Christian west.

    Atheism has no secondary characteristcs, neither the ones you are trying to attribute to it nor any others — it is merely the belief that there is no deity.

    Still stuck with your bros, Max. Sorry.

  • Shawnie,

    “Atheism has no secondary characteristics…”

    Right – so why do you keep adding characteristics ?

    Atheism means, “I do not believe you claims about gods.”
    If I say,
    “I do not believe in leprechauns” it does not equal “There are no leprechauns.”

    How many times must this be told to you?

    I don’t claim God does not exist. Atheists are open to any evidence – I repeat again…..Where is your evidence?

    “Believe or be condemned” – JESUS (Mark 16:16)

    That is fascism.
    Show me where Pol Pot, Stalin, Franco, Mussolini, Hitler & Mao DID NOT make their ideology compulsory!
    Each Cult leader had an absolutist conviction about their ideologies. THAT IS RELIGION; David Koresh, Jim Jones, Stalin, Jesus Christ – no difference in these fanatics.

    Religion is the enemy of freedom. Your problem is you talk freedom in one tone of voice and embrace a prison of mind in another tone of voice.

  • Shawnie,

    “Atheism …it is merely the belief that there is no deity.”

    Wrong.
    Atheism is lack of belief in Gods. It is a challenge to your claim that a god exists and nothing more.

    I AM:
    Agnostic = “I do not know if god exists”
    Atheist = “I do not believe a god exists”

    You failed.
    You claim God exists repeatedly yet you have failed to prove it.
    Your claim is groundless.
    Your God is completely in your head, no different from claiming there is gold at the end of every rainbow!

    Prove your god and stop being ridiculous.

  • Shawnie5

    “Atheists are open to any evidence.”

    Some are, some are not.

    “Each Cult leader had an absolutist conviction about their ideologies.”

    Perhaps some did. Perhaps others did not — they simply saw no reason not to wipe out their competitors, since it served their interests to do so. But it makes no difference either way. They were atheist nonetheless.

    “Show me where Pol Pot, Stalin, Franco, Mussolini, Hitler & Mao DID NOT make their ideology compulsory!”

    What difference would that make? They were atheist nonetheless.

    “So why do you keep adding characteristics?”

    I don’t add any secondary characteristics that MUST coexist with atheism. I simply recognize that a lack of belief in God leads quite logically to, well, what it has always led to wherever it has achieved power and numbers: the abandonment of any benchmark of right and wrong other than that which serves the interests of the state at any given moment.

  • Shawnie:

    “lack of belief in God leads quite logically to….the abandonment of any benchmark of right and wrong”

    That is exactly the point YOU HAVE NOT MADE.

    If Christianity leads to knowledge of Right and Wrong:

    Why did Christians – at the DIRECTION OF JESUS – slaughter 45 Million people in the Taiping Rebellion?
    Why did Christians – at the DIRECTION OF JESUS – kill 800,000 Rwandans in the most Catholic country of Africa?
    Why did Christians – at the DIRECTION OF JESUS – slaughter 6 million Jews during the Holocaust?
    Why did Christian Priests – at the GUIDANCE OF JESUS – rape 30,000 little boys in the United States?
    Why did Christians – at the DIRECTION OF JESUS – slaughter thousands of innocent people they called witches?!?

    Where is the knowledge of good and evil in this nonsense?

    Atheism has no EVIL DIRECTIONS!
    RELIGION DOES!

  • Shawnie5

    “You claim God exists repeatedly yet you have failed to prove it”

    Max, I’ve already told you more than once that I have no interest in going round and round the mulberry bush with you about the existence of God. As Jesus told us quite plainly, the natural man can not perceive the things of the Spirit–any more than a baby in the womb could fathom the existence of an entire world of people and things outside of its tiny little sphere of existence until it is thrust out of it. If God has not revealed Himself to you yet then there is little I can do about that — although the vitriol of your posts certainly suggests that your problem is not so much a lack of awareness of God but a repudiation of who He is, which of course He will certainly respect by removing His unwanted presence from you forever if that be your wish.

    In any case, a plea that I prove God to you does nothing to bolster your absurd case that some non-believers in God are not atheists (non-believers in God).

  • @SHAWNIE,

    Compare the evil directions of Jesus
    to Atheism!

    Atheism has no evil directions. No directions of any kind!
    Atheists simply try to be nice and get along with people.

    But Christians are compelled to judge harshly, to hate and act out against the hated ones:

    SHUN THEM, DISCARD THEM, PUNISH THEM, AVOID THEM:
    “DO NOT ASSOCIATE WITH ANYONE…IF HE IS GUILTY..”
    (1 Corinthians 5:11)

    “Bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)
    “Avoid Them” (Romans 16:17)

    “For whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” (2 John 1:11)
    “..go and tell him HIS FAULT.” – JESUS (Matthew 18:15)
    “Let him..be removed from among you.” (1 Corinthians 1:13)

    “have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.” (2 Thessalonian 3:14)

    There is no real Hell, no need for a savior and all this harshness and pain is for nothing. Christianity has brought hell on earth.

  • Shawnie5

    “Atheism has no EVIL DIRECTIONS”

    True that — because atheism, taken to its logical conclusion, recognizes no such concept as evil.

    Nothing you catalogued (very little of it honest, BTW) has any more meaning in a purely atheistic scheme of things than an episode of Animal Planet.

  • SHAWNIE,

    “As Jesus told us quite plainly, the natural man can not perceive the things of the Spirit…”

    Oh, get off it. This is clearly a con job!
    And a parlor trick!

    You have nothing to show for all your claims – yet you keep repeating them. Have you no integrity?

    The existence of mermaids has a better argument!
    What use would a spirit be if it is 100% undetectable? What need would anyone have of something for which cannot participate or interact with humanity in any demonstrable way??!

    And for this phantom nonsense, indefensible from head to toe – you bother to defend a Jesus who you admit is nothing but a figment of your imagination?

    Meanwhile his evil and destructive commands just happen to rhyme withy what you believe is good? You’ve been totally hoodwinked.

  • Shawnie:

    I don’t need a holy book to tell me what is right and wrong.
    Unlike you.

    I know it is wrong to hurt other people because I don’t want to live in a world fully of people who hurt each other! This is not rocket science.

    As for Animal planet – you should learn some things about animals. They only kill when then need to and they only hunt what they can eat. Humans are jerks when they pretend they are not animals.

    We are just animals – like the other animals of this planet.
    We care about our communities – just like other animals do.
    We love our kin and our friends – just like other animals do.
    We must kill certain animals in order to eat – just like animals do.
    We have sex – like animals do.
    We avoid having sex with other species – just like animals do.
    We avoid having sex with members of our families – just like animals do.

    You weigh all the science we know against your ‘unknowable spirit’ and it is knowledge vs. pure ignorance.

  • Shawnie5

    “Atheists simply try to be nice and get along with people.”

    Some do. Others are quite nasty. I’m afraid that is the human condition.

    “Christianity has brought hell on earth.”

    Well, Nietzsche thought the same — that Christianity had ruined western civilization with its miserable obsession with compassion for the weak and unworthy, and removing the natural and healthy will to power which is the only true measure of greatness and nobility.

    But then, he was an educated man and knew his history and philosophy. Not like the feeble whiners we know as “New Atheists” today.

  • @Shawnie:

    “atheism, taken to its logical conclusion, recognizes no such concept as evil.”

    That is the worst Joke in your bag.
    Atheism – taken to its logical conclusion – is an awareness that this life is a great treasure (not a gift) and it is random and extraordinary that we exist at all. Our lives are amazingly short – and we have an enormous amount to do to leave a decent world for our children, a loving community for our parents, a caring society for our wide networks of friends.

    Laws and ethics need to be discussed. Healthcare for the elderly, the needy, the underfed. Food supplies are diminishing in the world – water is limited. Populations need help with parenting and jobs and psychological problems.

    Life is too important to waste it on Zombies (Matthew 27:52) or Executing Jews (Luke 19:27) or burning our daughters alive (Lev 21:9)

    I don’t need Jesus to tell me when to love or forgive! Those things are NATURAL!

  • Shawnie5

    “What need would anyone have of something for which cannot participate or interact with humanity in any demonstrable way??!
    And for this phantom nonsense, indefensible from head to toe – you bother to defend a Jesus who you admit is nothing but a figment of your imagination?”

    Um, Jesus is not a figment of the imagination but a person who lived and was executed during the reign of Tiberius–for the purpose of interacting with humanity in a “demonstrable way” that we could understand.

  • Shawnie5

    “I don’t need a holy book to tell me what is right and wrong.”

    Of course — since you were born into a culture whose ethical system was built upon that holy book. Had you been born into an earlier culture, you would have found it quite in order to hurt others if it suited the purposes of you or your tribe. You would have seen no problem with leaving your newborn infant daughter exposed to be picked apart by animals as in Greece, or leaving victims of plague in the streets to die as in Rome, or torturing your tribe’s captives to death in pre-Colombian America. Do not tell me you would have been the lone hold-out in your culture for “love” and “compassion.” You are not nearly reflective enough for that.

    “Life is too important to waste it.”

    On the contrary — it is not important at all in a purely material world.

    “I don’t need Jesus to tell me when to love or forgive! Those things are NATURAL!”

    Sorry, but history does not demonstrate that. At all.

  • “its miserable obsession with compassion for the weak and unworthy, and removing the natural and healthy will to power”

    There is nothing wrong with compassion for the weak etc.
    Millions of Atheists live compassionate lives every day. I know several Atheist doctors volunteering for Doctors without Borders and 3 of them are in Nepal right now.

    Christianity is not about compassion – that is the evil trick it plays!
    Christ is not about love as we use that word.

    “The Love of Christ” is an incredibly ancient idea that love is expressed through Loyalty, Fear and worship of the powerful leaders – not reciprocation, trust or mutual respect. It is an extremely primitive, masochistic, feudalist kind of love – from societies where supplication, begging and slavery was normative.

    Atheists are not against love! We are spectacularly in favor of REAL love: trust, mutual respect, safety, kindness, forgiveness.

    “be condemned”, said Jesus – that is not love. And that is why!

  • Shawnie5

    And now, Max, I would like to watch a movie with my husband so I must say goodnight. I hope you have someone with whom to do the same, because you’re certainly going nowhere here.

  • “You would have seen no problem with leaving your newborn infant daughter exposed to be picked apart by animals as in Greece……“love” and “compassion.” You are not nearly reflective enough for that.”

    Oh really?
    So Jesus came and eliminated all that evil. Is that what you think?

    Now in Baltimore:
    Entire black population is overwhelmingly Christian. Police force is overwhelmingly Christian. Yet racism, death, guns, injustice…
    EVERYBODY GETTING PICKED APART!
    Yet nobody seems to get the Christian message!? SO EVEN 100% CHRISTIANS CAN’T DO IT RIGHT?

    Which message of Christ are they following?
    “Love thy neighbor” – hmm?

    Or these:
    “Bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)
    “Avoid Them” (Romans 16:17)
    “For whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” (2 John 1:11)

    Jesus is judgmental nonsense.

    Jesus brought nothing but a coin to flip!
    And it is overwhelming weighted to the negative!

  • Larry

    Its called progress Jack.

    Recognizing long standing inequities and addressing them now. Prior to desegregation, societies took it as a given that racial prejudices should have color of law. In the past, treating women as something other than property of a man was unheard of. SFW? Just because an idea is novel doesn’t mean it is without merit.

    Again, if your sole argument is about tradition and redefinition you are missing anything of substance as to why people need to care. You fail to bring up the merits of keeping such things as the status quo.