Have Americans really changed their minds on same-sex marriage? (COMMENTARY)

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Supporters of gay marriage outside the U.S. Supreme Court building wave a pink and red tarps.

Reuters

Supporters of gay marriage rally after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Friday (June 26) that the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

(RNS) What explains the fact that the American people changed their minds so quickly on the question of same-sex marriage? A report from the Pew Research Center indicated that in 2001, Americans opposed same-sex marriage by an overwhelming margin, 57 percent to 35 percent. By 2015 those percentages had nearly reversed, with 55 percent supporting same-sex marriage and only 39 percent opposing it.

Same-sex marriage is now legal in all 50 states because of a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, but that decision came after public opinion had shifted. This is the same shift in public opinion that explains why President Obama famously “evolved” on the issue during the 2012 presidential campaign.

But what explains the shift in public opinion? Hollywood played its part, for sure, sending a barrage of signals through entertainment. The academic and cultural elites did the same, using their influence in colleges and universities and shaping public opinion, especially among younger Americans. Major corporations, the legal system, liberal churches and even the Boy Scouts of America played parts in this moral revolution.

And yet, I wonder if something else explains at least a large part of this shift in public opinion: What if it isn’t real?

What if public opinion has not actually shifted nearly as much as is claimed?


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I am not arguing that pollsters such as Pew stacked the deck or asked misleading questions. It does seem certain that a majority of Americans will tell a researcher that they support same-sex marriage, even if they believed the opposite just a few years before.

But I suspect that the support for same-sex marriage is evidence of what millions of Americans think they are supposed to say, rather than what they really believe. At the very least, their support for same-sex marriage is inconsistent and shallow.

An interesting report recently appeared in The New York Times indicating that boys in disadvantaged families suffer even more than their sisters. According to the article, boys “react more negatively to disadvantage,” and this shows up in patterns that range from higher rates of misbehavior to lower rates of high school graduation and college admissions.

What caught my eye was that disadvantage was defined as “growing up in poverty, in a bad neighborhood or without a father.”

Without a father? To most Americans that is just common sense. Furthermore, a mountain of research and analysis backs it up. Boys do better, not only with two parents in the home, but specifically with a father in the home.


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The courts legalizing same-sex marriage insisted that there was no real evidence that same-sex couples were in any way lacking in the ability to raise children, boys or girls. Two moms or two dads are just as good as a mom and a dad, the elites insisted.

Now a majority of Americans agree? I actually don’t believe so. At the very least, I don’t think they have thought through their position. They are generally saying what they have been told to say — even shamed into saying by Hollywood and the elites.

But if research consistently shows that boys need a dad in the home, we can’t turn around and say that two moms will do just as well.

The legalization of same-sex marriage was pushed by a vast array of cultural influencers and driven by the courts. Public opinion is now for same-sex marriage, and those pushing the moral revolution are ready to move on to their next goal.

But before the rest of the society moves on, we should ask if people really mean what they say when they insist that they fully support same-sex marriage.

There is evidence right in the pages of The New York Times that boys do need a dad. Boys “without a father” are disadvantaged by that absence.

This is the same newspaper that took every editorial opportunity to support same-sex marriage and to claim that the gender of a parent didn’t matter.

Do the editorial writers read their own news sections?

The Rev. R. Albert Mohler Jr. is president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. Photo courtesy of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Albert Mohler Jr. is president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and author of “We Cannot Be Silent: Speaking Truth to a Culture Redefining Sex, Marriage, and the Very Meaning of Right and Wrong.” Photo courtesy of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

I do not doubt that a vast moral revolution is reshaping America, but it is doubtful that most Americans are ready to say that a boy doesn’t need a dad. And, unless they are willing to go that far, they really do not support same-sex marriage as is claimed — or even, as they claim.

(Albert Mohler Jr. is president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and author of  “We Cannot Be Silent: Speaking Truth to a Culture Redefining Sex, Marriage, and the Very Meaning of Right and Wrong.”)

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  • I suspect that the support for same-sex marriage is evidence of what millions of Americans think they are supposed to say, rather than what they really believe. At the very least, their support for same-sex marriage is inconsistent and shallow.

    And I suspect that it is irrelevant. Same-sex marriage is the law of the land. Unless Mr. Mohler can come up with 38 states to ratify a constitutional amendment the issue is settled.

  • Ben in oakland

    Ah, yes. Another subtle appeal to the rightwing, so-called Christian mindset that they are being persecuted and bullied for their sincere religious beliefs. What they really mean is that society has moved beyond their very narrow sectarian agenda in the actual face of their neighbors, family members, colleagues, and friends.

    What the reality is that most people probably don’t care, except when dominionist so-called Christians get them riled up– for money, power, and dominion.

    “What caught my eye was that disadvantage was defined as “growing up in poverty, in a bad neighborhood or without a father.” Of course! Anything that even remotely supports your antigay position will be twisted into saying something it doesn’t.

    What “without a father” means is a single parent household, with the mother, usually paid 2/3 what a man is paid, responsible for raising and supporting the child. It has NOTHING to do with same sex marriage or same sex parenting.

    Bjut you knew that.

  • Larry

    Ah, “might makes right” is the basis for civil liberties in this nation. One does not have freedom to act unless the majority approves of their lives. Oh wait!, that is not how things work here. We all have certain rights which cannot be voted away by the majority fiat.

    “What caught my eye was that disadvantage was defined as “growing up in poverty, in a bad neighborhood or without a father.””

    What a P.O.S., Mohler is here!

    He equatings single parent households with two parents who happen to be gay. Could he be less honest in his support for legalized bigotry? Of course he can.

    If people like Mohler could cough up rational and secular arguments for supporting gay marriage bans, they would not have lost in various Courts.

    Here is the answer to your question, Al:

    The majority of Americans aren’t beholden to the idea of discriminating against gays. Most of them don’t care to oppose marriage equality, because rightfully it didn’t affect them in the slightest.

  • Marco Lux

    Mohler should lose his job for this. What casuistry!

  • “It is doubtful that most Americans are ready to say that a boy doesn’t need a dad.”

    Well, SURE. If you started calling Americans at random and asked, “Does a boy need a dad?”, I’m sure the overwhelming majority of them would say YES. But conflating this with the issue of marriage equality for Gay couples is just silly. Couples do not need to marry to have children, nor is the ability or even desire to have children a requirement for a marriage license. And frankly Mohler’s question just downright insulting to countless single and divorced moms who are raising their sons as best they can.

  • George Nixon Shuler

    The essence of this dreck is “Ha ha, you guys were winning, but, ha ha, you’re really n-o-o–o-t.” In other words Mohler’s shout out to his troops not unlike Sean Hannity claiming on his show before the 2012 election that Romney would take Pennsylvania.

    Signs point that it is likely Houston’s LGBT rights ordinance may be defeated in today’s election. That will be a sadness, but the forces of what is good and right will live on to fight another day.

    An advocate of oppression such as Mohler influences none except those who desire to commit oppression.

  • George Nixon Shuler

    It’s interesting how my grandson who was raised by two moms is so much more respectful of women than Mohler and his ilk are.

  • Garson Abuita

    So can we also conclude that children of a male gay couple will be doubly advantaged? Or am I just deliberately and misleadingly twisting a study on a completely different subject to make a political point?

  • Mason

    Any comment on the 71 year old gay man who was beaten and now has a broken hip by anti-gay thugs? Hate is taught from the pulpit, and you are hateful sir.

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  • I thought about this some more and wrote a piece on the Slowly Boiled Frog. Mohler is being intellectually dishonest.

    What Mohler is doing – what the studies are doing – is comparing boys raised by single moms to boys raised by married couples. It’s Regnerus redux. Which group is going to be less secure and stable?

    Nowhere are outcomes compared to children raised by gay couples. When those are examined, those kids are as healthy, happy and secure as their peers raised by a mom and dad.

  • Richard Rush

    Obviously, God does not agree with Mohler on the issue of children needing both a mom and a dad. Throughout almost all of human history, God killed multitudes of mothers during childbirth. And God allowed multitudes of fathers to be killed in religious wars. And, as if that wasn’t enough, God also killed multitudes of mothers and fathers by inflicting disease on them while their children were still young.

    Within the last ten years on the block where I live, God killed the mother of a 3-year-old daughter, and another mother was killed by Him within six months after giving birth.

    Mohler’s God could have prevented all of this, but either He didn’t have the ability, or just didn’t want to. Or, maybe there is another reason . . . I wonder what it could be.

  • whatarestatistics

    “What caught my eye was that disadvantage was defined as “growing up in poverty, in a bad neighborhood or without a father.”

    That’s because they’re most likely correlating that with being raised by a single mother, genius.

    (Nothing against single mothers. I could never have the fortitude to do what y’all do. But there’s no denying that it’s a tough road, right?)

  • Eric

    “But before the rest of the society moves on, we should ask if people really mean what they say when they insist that they fully support same-sex marriage.”

    Yes, Al, we do mean what we say when we support same-sex marriage. And when we support adoption by same-sex couples. Now peddle your book, and its logic-chopping arguments and tired stereotypes, somewhere else.

  • NC

    “Do they read their news sections?”

    As if news outlets are only legit if they have uniform coordinated doctrine. It’s journalism not Christendom model colonizing seminary.

    Does he know how newspapers work? The difference between reporting and editorials? The fact that bloviating polemic is only “public theology” in the mind of himself and his particular constituency?

  • Albert Mohler says that people who support same-sex marriage have just been brainwashed by “hollywood, the academic and cultural elites, major corporations, the legal system, liberal churches and the Boy Scouts of America.”

    Of course he has floated above outside influences that torture such simple minded sheep. He knows that same-sex marriage supporters don’t really believe what they’re saying, they’re just saying what society has pressured them into thinking they’re supposed to say.

    If those mindless automatons would just say what they believe instead of what they think they’re supposed to say things would be much better………unless of course they’re in church, then by all means they should say what they’re supposed to say not what they actually think.

  • Jon

    Whoa, did you catch that? Mohler said that kids raised without father suffer a disadvantage. So that means that kids raised by *two* fathers would be doubly blessed! I can’t believe my eyes –

    Mohler just PROMOTED boys being raised by gay parents!!

    Hey, what about those blessed polyandrous families too?

    Go Mohler!!

    Everyone can see your hypocrisy, hatred, and overall “sour grapes” denial of reality in this post. You and all of your Baptists should be embarrassed. Perhaps the worst of it is that it’s on the internet now, so it’ll be an embarrassment for a long time. I pity the many who will look back at this and cringe. Heck, I’m sure a lot are cringing today.

    How long will he leave his post up?

  • James Beyer

    What we have here is what I call false meta data extraction. Please consider:

    1) fact boys do not do as well as girls in families without a father.

    meta extraction by Mohler:

    A) The families are lesbian (no foundation)

    B) Two mothers is not as good as one of each (no foundation)

    C) A fiction called, “Biblical Marriage” which simply does not exist, is better. (no foundation.)

    Conclusion, the ultra-right should find a way to reverse the legal decisions.

    Um,,,,, errr,,,,, whatever.

  • Shawnie5

    Actually no, Ben. Step-parenting, on average, produces no improvement in child outcomes over single parenting, despite the addition of more financial resources to such families. Indeed, in research dealing with family structure one often finds single-parent families and stepfamilies lumped together for the purpose of comparison because of their average similarities compared with married biological families.

  • Dominic

    I don’t notice any more conversation or enthusiasm towards gay marriage in the real world, so this position taken by the author may be correct. If anything, the entire subject matter is never broached, as if everyone fears stating any opinion for or against it. It is law, now, but few care at all. The subject is closed, American liberals feel triumphant, and your average Joe just shrugs and follows his or her conscience quietly. Since marriage is no longer the ultimate goal in our society, the gays have won very little actually.

  • Eric

    “I don’t notice any more conversation or enthusiasm towards gay marriage in the real world, so this position taken by the author may be correct.”

    I don’t notice any less conversation or enthusiasm towards gay marriage in the real world, so this position taken by the author may be incorrect.

    I also don’t know the difference between data and anecdotes or opinions and statistics, so my understanding of the real world is just as good as anyone else’s.

  • Richard Rush

    The tired assertion that “every child deserves a mom and a dad” is designed to cause gullible people’s default image to be the idyllic mom/dad family. That’s why the reality of children raised by dysfunctional, impoverished, uneducated, or abusive mom/dads, shuttled between homes of divorced parents, or living in the 20,000,000 single-parent families are all situations that are carefully swept under the rug – as is the reality of nearly 400,000 children languishing in foster care, virtually all of them produce by heterosexuals by the way.

    If Mohler were truly interested in the welfare of children, he and many others wouldn’t be directing virtually all their efforts to demonizing gay people, their marriages, and parenting qualifications. Some variant of “think of the children” has commonly been used in many other quarrels about social issues.

  • Ben in oakland

    I see. Because holy heterosexuals have ceased to value the foundation of society and God’s plan for humanity, what gay people are getting really isn’t worth very much.

    Obviously, you don’t think much of heterosexuals. We know what you think about gay people.

  • Ben in oakland

    Dear Mr. Shimron,
    I have never written to a publication, web- or paper- based before, to tell them that they have done a grave disservice, both to themselves as an ostensible news organization, and to millions of innocent people and their families.

    I must protest your publication of Albert Mohler’s ” Have Americans Really Changed Their Minds on Same-sex Marriage?” It is a blatant piece of propaganda, intended to service a particular political, social, and religious agenda. nearly bereft of fact, logic, and experience. It is by no means a statement of faith; just a statement by a person of faith with a particular political /social agenda.

    The intention of this piece was to do harm: its distortions, omissions, failures of logic, and subtextual innuendo are a clear indication. I hope that you will either remove this from your website, or at least permit someone like myself to respond to it.

    I’m not looking for payment. Rather, I believe that Mr. Mohler and his politica

  • Neon Genesis

    The real question isn’t whether or not most Americans truly support marriage equality which they obviously do. The real question is if Al Mohler is really as horribly bigoted as he pretends to be or if he’s just spouting out all this nonsense so his cult won’t kick him out.

  • Ben in oakland

    political cohorts require a response that is simply not possible with a 1000 character limit. This kind of an attack is simply beyond the pale.

    sincerely, yada yada yada

  • TomInElPaso

    Love has no religion, Hatred has many

  • Greg J

    Dear Mr Mohler
    I don’t watch much TV. I don’t have the kind of brains that do well in academic environments. I’m about your age. I do work for a major corporation, fixing flat tires. I’ve been a member of a SBC my whole life. Never been a Boy Scout. I’m changing my mind. That leaves less than inconsistent and shallow to describe me. Does it not? At the very least you are saying I have not thought this through. I have. Mr Mohler, are children abandoned by fathers left to live in poverty at the core of your heart? Or, is a law concerning marriage a greater issue near to your heart? If 1-man who identifies as homosexual fathers 1-boy and abandons him, leaving him to live a disadvantaged life in poverty, to marry another man. I’m calling that a moral foul. I really don’t think we can lay the problem of abandoned, fatherless boys at the feet of gay men. Do you?
    As southern baptist is there a place for us if we become a part of those pushing for moral revolution? Continue.

  • George Nixon Shuler

    When the gay movement was just beginning, I supported its goals with the exception of the push for same sex marriage. On that I saw no point at all in pushing for same sex marriage. My take then was, gays don’t have to worry about that; they are lucky that there’s no pressure on them to marry, like heterosexual women face. I then believed and still believe marriage is a negative institution in so far as people marry because it is expected of them. Now, I’ve changed my mind. It was non-politicized LGBTs who sought it. I am joyful that they now have it. Now that they do, the other more all-encompassing goals of the movement will be realized.

  • Greg J

    Mr Mohler if we were to sit and discuss many topics we would agree on much. I have a different opinion than yours on this issue. I have a question. As a seminary president do you continue to marginalize someone like myself, claiming my reasons for changing my mind for me. Or is there room in the southern baptist church for the inconsistent and shallow who at the very least don’t think through their positions not agreeing with the non-elites sometimes?
    Mr Mohler, do you hear your words? I truly am a SBC member who cares for his church. More importantly I care for His kingdom to use church speak here. We disagree. But if you are going to try to convince people that they are more important than laws, your gonna need some help. At the very least, think through your position on the causes of child abandonment. Try not to blame EVERYTHING on you know who. It comes across as inconsistent and shallow. Lastly always protect us from academic elitist attitudes toward others. Same team.

  • Doc Anthony

    Vote Albert Mohler for President.

    Do it while this nation is still alive.

  • Doc Anthony

    The issue is “settled” only until God “un-settles” it.

    This sorry nation is surviving on BORROWED TIME.

  • Albert Mohler is being ridiculous again. His argument is that the change in beliefs about same-sex marriage must be the result of pressure from those dastardly Hollywood elites? I’d say that it has been the result of 1. a younger generation largely not sharing the biases of older generations and 2. the diminishing power of people like Albert Mohler to coerce people into saying what he expects them to say about marriage. The part about boys needing fathers is a red herring based on precisely nothing but conjecture – there is research out there on same-sex parenting, and the research shows consistently that kids with same-sex parents do just as well, are actually slightly better adjusted emotionally, than kids in comparable opposite-sex households. Or, to put it Mohler-esque terms, two moms or two dads is clearly more of a benefit than one mom or one dad.

  • Michel Clasquin-Johnson

    “The support for same-sex marriage is evidence of what millions of Americans think they are supposed to say, rather than what they really believe.”

    Yup, of course they do. And twenty years ago, when they said the opposite, they *also* said what they thought they were supposed to say. That’s how polls work. They give you the shallow social trends, not any deep underlying structures. There is absolutely no basis to think that today’s polls give a false reading, but that the polls of yesteryear were profoundly accurate. Polls give answers to the questions asked in the poll. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • Dominic

    You imagine what I think of gay people, you are too biased to be open minded. Gays are part and parcel of humanity…but should not be afforded the status of marriage. Then again, they have achieved that right mainly because the institution of marriage has been diluted enough over 5 decades to mean very little to the majority. In many cases, married heterosexuals act in the manner of the gay lifestyle; multiple dalliances, superficial “love”, and advocates of lust. The nature and meaning of marriage has no relation to the past reverent state it was. It’s new definition gives it almost no meaning.

  • Shawnie5

    There have never been any extensive, unbiased, RCT studies done about same-sex parenting — all data studied to date on this subject have been solicited, self-reported, and extremely scant. However, same-sex-headed families are by definition step-families, and we know from a generation of studies of family structure, done long before SSM was ever a thing, that children raised by their own married biological parents do better on average than children raised in single-parent or step families, or even by their own parents in cohabiting households. It would take vastly more evidence than is currently available (or is ever likely to be available) to convince me that gayness can magically transform a stepfamily into the equal — let alone the superior — of a biological family.

  • Larry

    Nice. You are praying for the destruction of our nation because gays can get married.

    I am still waiting for God to destroy Canada, the UK, France, Ireland, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina….

  • Rod

    Dominic, times have changed. You can keep your mind closed as it is now, or open it to the new reality.

  • Rod

    Equality is not the death of our nation, but rather part of what keeps it alive and one of its strengths.

  • Larry

    So you are admitting all the claims that gay couples raising children being harmful has no basis in fact. They couldn’t prove it was harmful during the Obergfel case either. One of many reasons why a gay marriage ban could not be justified under the law.

    There have been several reputable studies which found they actually thrive in such environments because gay parents generally don’t have more children than they intend and can devote greater % of resources towards their children than other couples. But you are going to gainsay declare them biased. Honest representation of facts is not your strong point.

    Your reference to step families remains an irrelevance here. The facts are too different in nature to make your analogy fit.

  • Simon B

    This guy is just an offesnsive bigot! Hold on. Let me double check if that is what I really think or what I should say. Oh gee, it’s both!

  • Rod

    I think successful parenting comes down to the merits of the parents themselves, no matter the sex of each.

    Nice try at invoking skepticism though. Try applying it to your religious delusion.

  • Shawnie5

    Well, of course, that was the popular opinion that a generation of research into family structure largely debunked. But thanks for weighing in.

  • Shawnie5

    As I stated before, there have been NO extensive, unbiased, RCT studies done on this subject. What part of that did you not understand?

    Step-families are NOT irrelevant here. Same-sex parenting is by definition step-parenting because at least one of the child’s own natural parents is not present. Step-families are not the equal of biological families. It has never been a popular finding, because multitudes of divorced/unmarried heterosexual parents want to believe their personal wants are likewise good for their kids, and now gay parents want to believe the same, but there it is.

  • Michael Glass

    America would not have become an independent country if people hadn’t changed their minds.

    Slavery could not have been abolished unless people changed their minds.

    Prohibition could not have come – and gone – unless people changed their minds.

    As odd as it might seem, people do change their minds, and that includes same sex marriage.

  • Susan Ormison

    Citation please, or withdraw.

  • Susan Ormison

    Citation please, or withdraw your claim re “debunked”.

  • Richard Rush

    Shawnie5,

    As with so many TrueChristians, a mountain of evidence is not nearly enough to validate things you don’t want to believe, but an anthill of evidence is far more than enough to validate your religious beliefs.

  • Shawnie5

    “If the negative effects of single parenthood on child well-being were primarily due to a lack or
    loss of income, one would expect children living with two adults to do as well as those living
    with their married, biological parents. But this is not the case. The research shows that children
    living with two adults (i.e., with cohabiting parents or in a step-family) do not do as well as
    children living with married, biological parents on a number of variables.” http://www.clasp.org/resources-and-publications/states/0086.pdf

    “…although the economic resources available to
    stepfamilies are significantly greater than those available to single parent families, these economic differences do not appear to exert a protective or ameliorative effect on children’s
    outcome.” http://adc.bmj.com/content/73/6/487.full.pdf

    Also see the “Stepfamilies: who benefits? Who does not?” by Alan Booth and Judy Dunn, Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 1994:

    A small sampling of the data out there.

  • Garson Abuita

    You’re right, we don’t care. It’s a non-issue. We likely have friends and associates who are part of same-sex couples, some legally married and some not, some with children and some not. And we don’t see any real difference between their relationships and those of opposite-sex couples. The gay and lesbian community won a major victory. Now that it’s over, everyone is moving on. They can stop talking about it, but you can’t, even to keep asking, why isn’t anyone talking about this anymore??

  • Shawnie5

    See above. It’s surprising that so many people are unaware of all of these findings. They’ve been around for more than 20 years. Only up until now the attacks on them have mostly come feminists who are fine with biomoms swapping out discarded biodads for stepdads. Custodial fathers trying to replace biological mothers with stepmothers, however, is still something of a no-no for them — but they may have to swallow that after all in order to stay cool with their lgbt allies who don’t consider biomoms important.
    😀

  • Garson Abuita

    If two men adopt a child, in your view that makes them step-parents? Are you opposed to heterosexual couples adopting as well? They’re not step-parents. Also, many step-parenting arrangements arise out of divorce, abandonment, non-presence from the beginning, etc. If, as you say, studies show step-parenting to be a disadvantage, wouldn’t any studies of same-sex couples have to correct for this?

  • Shawnie5

    Except in this instance the anthill is yours.

  • Shawnie5

    I am not opposed to adoption because it is about making the best of an already bad situation, i.e., both parents absent due to abandonment, death, termination of parental rights due to gross failure to parent, etc. That is not the same thing as deliberately jettisoning a child’s own natural parent to replace him/her with an unrelated adult, or worse still, deliberately creating a child for the express purpose of separating it from its own natural parent.

    “If, as you say, studies show step-parenting to be a disadvantage, wouldn’t any studies of same-sex couples have to correct for this?”

    The point is, they DON’T. Which is one reason why I’m suspicious (as anyone should be) of any study which in effect amounts to a claim that a same-sex stepfamily is superior to a heterosexual stepfamily.

  • MarkE

    So my two children, adopted into our family from other countries as infants, are not doing well because my wife and I are not their biological parents? Not only absurd, but patently false. BTW, Mr Mohler, your logic kinda backfires – children of gay parents would have twice the fathers – twice the “Success”?

  • MarkE

    The desperate death throes of the conservative Christian struggle against same-gender marriage. It’s not supposed to make sense, it’s supposed to appeal to the “fight or flight” response of your inner brain. The last and only weapon they have – “Be afraid, be very afraid.” It worked in Houston yesterday.

  • Ben in Oakland

    Well, Shawnie, I have to thank you for contradicting Mohler so effectively.

    A penis and a vagina, errrr, a man and a woman, are required to raise children properly, says Mohler. Any other arrangement isn’t as good. A vagina must, in fact, be married to a penis– darned I pad did it again– woman MUST be married to a man– to be effective as a parent.

    Apparently, Mohler is quite, quite wrong. The QUALITY of the parenting must be the prerequisite for effective parenting. And 40 years of studies have shown that gay people, highly motivated to be parents, are effective parents.

    Except for that pesky Regnerus study, bought and paid for by the antigay industry, which claimed that we weren’t, but didn’t study gay parents at all.

    Thanks.

  • Ben in Oakland

    So we’re not really part of humanity.

    And what you believe to be true about gay people is just as good as if it were true.

    Glad to hear there is no bigotry involved.

  • My Man

    Larry, why don’t you keep listing nations? Oh that’s right, its only like 15 or so out of hundreds who have legalized homosexual marriage. Because everyone in the West thinks they’re superior and wiser than those in “lesser” nations.

  • Larry

    Time constraints played a role there. Its 19 countries currently and more coming. Still waiting for God to strike those nations down. …..and waiting….and waiting…. 🙂

    The developed world IS superior than the developing world in most aspects in terms of economy and political freedoms. Not just an opinion, but a fact demonstrated by clear evidence.

    Though its nice that you can lump Mexico and Uruguay with the rest of the “superior west”. I am sure they appreciate the boost.

  • Richard Rush

    Dominic,

    “Gays . . . should not be afforded the status of marriage. . . . In many cases, married heterosexuals act in the manner of the gay lifestyle; multiple dalliances, superficial “love”, and advocates of lust.”

    I noticed that you used the qualifier, “many,” when referring to heterosexuals, but not when referring to the gays where your obviously deceitful intent is to imply ALL. But, disregarding that . . .

    If the characteristics of “multiple dalliances, superficial “love”, and advocates of lust” are enough for you to want marriage denied to gay people, then I assume you want it denied to heterosexuals, as well, since they are the ones who ruined it. Since I believe in equality, I could go along with that – no marriage for anyone.

  • Larry

    1. Adopted children, foster children, IVF, and surrogacy are nobody’s definition of “step children”, except yours. Analogy fail here on your part. The factual differences here are not worth debating. Nobody needs to see how far you can misrepresent facts and split hairs here.

    2. Doubling down on the “every child deserves a mother and father” is beyond silly. It posits that children of gay parents have the option of heterosexual biological parents in the alternative. As opposed to reality, which is usually no parents or not existing.

    3. Has no relevance to marriage rights whatsoever. If it did, then remarriage would be banned for any divorced couples with children because step parentage is so harmful to them. 🙂

  • ELvis

    Yeah…without a God, the words “falsehood” and “evil” lose all meaning.

    If there is no God, than there is no right or wrong or purpose to anything. Thus one can make these constructs up as they go along.

    Funny how atheists hate God but go about living like he’s really there in the way they talk and act each day.

    Sorry for being a jerk–I’m just paraphrasing atheist philosophers….

  • Larry

    “That is not the same thing as deliberately jettisoning a child’s own natural parent to replace him/her with an unrelated adult, or worse still, deliberately creating a child for the express purpose of separating it from its own natural parent.”

    Which is the definition of adoption in most situations in the US. At birth adoption being the most common form domestically. You also have an aversion to IVF and surrogacy as well which appears to be irrationally based on personal distaste. Certainly not an argument for banning such things for anyone else.

    Also none of this is related to a right for gays to marry and raise children. Straight couples have been doing this sort of thing for a while.

    o get all Biblical, Al Mohler was positing that Moses was better off with his biological parents. 😉

  • Ben in Oakland

    It is actually NOT Regenrus redux, though it’s motivation is.

    Regnerus studied almost exclusively heterosexually married people who had, at any time, according to the memories of their adult children, some kind of homosexual experience.

    He didn’t study same sex parents practically at all, but children of allegedly mixed orientation marriages, by definition almost inherently unstable.

    All Regenrus proved is that a penis and a vagina present in heterosexually married bioparents really made no difference at all.

  • Larry

    With God, “falsehood” and “evil” have no meaning because any act or lie can be justified if you are doing so in his name.

    If one acts properly only because God is looking over their shoulder, they are not being moral. They are just exercising self-interest.

    If you required God to tell you that maliciously harming people is bad, you are so far removed from sane humanity that you will never know what morality means.

    We know what is right and what is wrong by how our actions affect others and knowing what it means to have such things done to one’s self. Its called being human living among other humans.

    “Sorry for being a jerk–I’m just paraphrasing atheist philosophers”

    No you aren’t. You are paraphrasing Fundamentalist Christians on an anti-atheist tear. A great example of 1ying for the lord. You feel no shame in such misrepresentation because you think God is OK with it.

  • Jack

    I disagree with Mohler’s view of “a vast moral revolution”.
    Yet the cultural revolution of the 60s and 70s has been halted. We’re not slouching towards Gomorrah. Crime and drug use have plummeted. Kids are graduating high school as virgins for the first time in half a century.

    What has changed is that the elites running our society are no longer from the WW II generation but radicals from the baby boomer generation. These 60s refugees have sought to impose Woodstock morality from the top down. But they have failed.

    As for gay marriage, I think the average America is saying, “Okay, I’m for gay marriage….Now will you leave us alone?” People who are busy doing grown-up things like making a living & raising children have better things to do than ponder gay marriage or agonize over which bathroom transsexuals should use. They’re worried about down-to-earth issues like the economy, ISIS, caring for elderly parents, etc.

  • Jack

    Mark, whenever any Supreme Court ruling is made, it is often followed by discussion over whether it’s the right decision or not. To respond by saying, “well, it’s the law of the land” is to state the obvious and add zero to the discussion.

    It’s like saying a house is a house. It’s true enough, but it’s a pretty worthless statement.

  • Jack

    It’s funny to watch far lefties sanctimoniously refer to “our nation” after having spent the better part of a half century trashing “our nation” on pretty much everything. Now that they have the cultural power and believe they are steering the nation’s course, all of a sudden they talk like flag-waving patriots.

    I for one am suspicious of people on either side who use patriotism in such a tub-thumping way.

  • Larry

    “Kids are graduating high school as virgins for the first time in half a century.”

    Source please?

    The obsessions of religious fundamentalists with “purity” is unhealthy and destructive. Its a great enabler for religious types to engage in sexual abuse and other funny business.
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2012/12/the-real-world-damage-of-the-purity-culture.html

  • Larry

    So who was the person here calling for the destruction of America, by God’s hand no less?

    So one defends their nation by not demanding things like freedom, justice and equality and by avoiding voicing criticism of the government. Stalin and Chairman Mao would agree with you. 🙂

  • Larry

    Not at all. When one is trying to pretend a Supreme Court ruling has no legal effect, the answer is very much, “you are wrong, its the law of the land”. Disagreeing with a SCOTUS opinion does not negate its effect.

    When one claims a SCOTUS decision is based somehow on bias or that they really lacked the power to make a decision, there is no rational discussion to be made. It means the person making the claim is too ignorant to bother to contribute anything worthwhile.

  • Ben in Oakland

    Funny thing about those radicals and those elites.

    Mohler is white, male, presumably heterosexual. He is a high ranking member of a predominantly fundamentalist Christian denomination of vast power, influence, and money. He is the very definition of the very elite elites that he is busy claiming are hoodwinking the poor ignorant masses who are being bullied and/or misled by the forces of rampant radicalism and political correctness.

    But thanks for the dig at Mohler and his obsessions over who is marrying whom and transsexuals using public restrooms. It’s nice to see someone calling his ilk out for what it is,

  • ELvis

    Great points Larry!

    “If one acts properly only because God is looking over their shoulder, they are not being moral. They are just exercising self-interest.”

    -I could not agree more. That’s why God will judge a religious pharisee more harshly than a lawless atheist, who doesn’t really love God, who rather just wants to buy him off. Christians actually try not to tell lies out of appreciation and love towards’ God. As they find him beautiful and worthy of imitation.

    -Regarding your last comments; it sounds like you’re saying that empathy is equivalent to morality. While I think it’s nice to be empathetic, how does this mesh with Darwinistic natural selection? Is it WRONG for an ape to kill a chimpanzee? Furthermore, who determines what “harming” includes? Lol Western Civilization? If human life is arbitrary from a cosmological vista, who cares if one primate kills another?

    -I am 100% espousing Atheist dogma. Go read Nietzsche, Voltaire, and Rosenberg for…

  • Larry

    You do not appear to have a concept of morality. Acting rightly because you fear God’s wrath is not moral thinking at all. Its just looking out for one’s self. Its what amoral people do all the time.

    It appears you lack empathy and understanding of fellow people. A classic definition of a sociopath. Someone removed from understanding people that they will only act in self-interest and care little about the effects of their actions on others. If you have to be told murder, rape and robbery is wrong, people should fear you.

    “-I am 100% espousing Atheist dogma. Go read Nietzsche, Voltaire, and Rosenberg for….”

    You never read those writers anyway.

    You are a 1ying sack of cr@p.

    But since you are doing it for your religious belief it doesn’t really count as bearing false witness. You are spouting typical nonsense what ultra-religious people pretend atheists believe.

  • Larry

    “Without God, what’s to stop me from raping all I want? And my answer is, I do rape all I want, and the amount I want is Zero. And I do murder all I want, and the amount is Zero. The fact that there people think that if they didn’t have this person watching over them that they would go on killing, raping rampages is the most self-damning thing I can imagine. “

    – Penn Jillete, Illusionist, Author and Atheist

  • Ben in oakland

    “LGBT allies who don’t think that bio moms are important.”

    I don’t think anyone thinks that bio moms aren’t important–except when they aren’t, or are vicious and destructive to their children, or are engaging In the popular bio mom past time of divorce and remarriage.

    But thank you for demonstrating your usual denigrating attitude towards us that you insist you don’t have. It must be exhausting to attribute statements and beliefs to us that we don’t actually have.

  • Jack

    “My country, right or wrong” is a dangerous concept, Larry, no matter who utters it. There’s nothing wrong with believing that every nation, ours included, is answerable to a higher set of standards, be they the left-wing standards of critics of Vietnam or Iraq or the right-wing standards of critics of radical cultural change.

    But it’s always whose ox is being gored. You won’t challenge the patriotism of the left-wing critics, Larry, because you’re one of them, but you will think nothing of challenging the patriotism of those critics on the right.

  • Jack

    ELvis, good luck at trying to get the far lefties to understand that obvious problem. It’s like trying to teach trigonometry to a field mouse.

  • Jack

    I’m not aware of anyone saying a Supreme Court ruling has no legal effect. I am aware of many people saying a Supreme Court ruling was wrongly decided. In the case of the latter, stating that it’s the law of the land is a redundancy. Of course it’s the law of the land. Duh.

    You’re seeming to confuse “wrongly decided” with “has no legal effect.” The two are obviously different.

  • Larry

    Mostly because you prefer phony strawman arguments and ad hominem, “your just a lefty who believes …. (usually having nothing to do with anything anyone else actually said)” to addressing issues present. As you have done here. 🙂

  • Jack

    No, Ben, Christians are in some instances being persecuted and bullied for their sincere religious beliefs. Is some of it exaggerated or blown out of proportion? Of course. But the reason some can get away with exaggerations is that there are enough examples of real-deal religious freedom violations to give cover to whining on some matters.

    Example:

    Davis in Kentucky = abject whining.

    But people suffering legal penalties and loss of livelihood for refusing a particular request from a customer (as opposed to refusing to serve a customer, period) = real deal.

  • Larry

    “I’m not aware of anyone saying a Supreme Court ruling has no legal effect.”

    Paging Kim Davis!
    Paging Roy Moore!
    Paging Mat Staver!
    Paging Matt Bevin!

    Your willful ignorance as to such things is duly note.

  • Larry

    “But people suffering legal penalties and loss of livelihood for refusing a particular request from a customer which is identical to requests from every other customer = discrimination”

    Fixed that for you 🙂

  • Larry

    Ad hominem Jack strikes again!

  • Jack

    Yeah, Mason. In an ideal world, whomever did this to the gentleman would be caned in public and then incarcerated. And if that were legal, I would volunteer to do the caning….any time. I would be tempted to kill the bast*ds who did such a thing but would be content with caning.

    But how this is related to opposing gay marriage is anyone’s guess. Maybe you’ve made the connection through some odd process of free association.

  • ELvis

    Larry,

    Personal attacks are great when you have no answers to give.

    But seriously, let’s say you’re right, and I’m a lying sociopath, so what? What’s wrong with that? You can’t condemn it from your own nebulous, subjective moral-less code. Where you play God and deem what is right. Well, I guess to be fair you actually just adopt your morals from Pop-culture and Twitter. I’m sure you weren’t championing homosexual marriage 40 years ago in the public square when it wasn’t “cool”. I guess you’re really just keeping up with the Kardashians or whatever celebrity patsy group is currently en vogue. Good luck with that.

  • Larry

    @ELvis, You were quoting what religious types say about atheists. Not what they actually believe. When someone makes deliberately and patently false statements, as you did, being called a 1iar is to be expected.

    Being an amoral sociopath means one is in no position to discuss the nature of morality to others.

    “I’m sure you weren’t championing homosexual marriage 40 years ago in the public square when it wasn’t “cool”.”

    Of course not. I was still in pre-school back then. 🙂

    Your need to make stuff up as to what I believe goes to the basic misrepresentation in your premise.

    You are not interested in what atheists actually believe and just want to fling p00. The only one making personal attacks with no relevance to the topic discussed here is you.

    You came to attack people on a false premise/accusation. Now you are annoyed about being called out on it. Get bent.

  • Larry

    @ELvis, You were quoting what religious types say about atheists. Not what they actually believe. When someone makes deliberately and patently false statements, being called out for 1ying is to be expected.

    Being an amoral sociopath means one is in no position to discuss the nature of morality to others.

    “I’m sure you weren’t championing homosexual marriage 40 years ago in the public square when it wasn’t “cool”.”

    Of course not. I was still in pre-school back then. 🙂

    Your need to make stuff up as to what I believe goes to the basic misrepresentation in your premise.

    You are not interested in what atheists actually believe and just want to hurl insults and feel smug. You came to attack people on a false premise/accusation. Now you are annoyed about being called out on it. Get bent.

  • Jack

    Sure, Larry, if you take a jackbooted, knuckle-dragging view of religious freedom — ie that there is no such right — then we arrive at your totalitarian conclusion. (With the Internationale booming in background as Larry goosesteps his way across his living room, passing posters of Lenin and Uncle Joe Stalin plastered on wall)

    But the last time I checked, we still lived in a constitutional democracy, where individual rights like religious freedom still matter.

  • Jack

    Let’s see if we can satisfy the supposed curiosity of Mr. Rush:

    Maybe, just maybe, your perspective, being an infintessimal dot in comparison to the universe, is correspondingly miniscule to the One who created the universe….and consequently, maybe this is way over your head and all our heads put together.

    But no, that’s not an option for you, oh great one, is it? Of course not. You are all seeing, all knowing, and all powerful……Your logic and reasoning couldn’t possibly be limited, as are mine and everyone else’s.

    Nah…..you’re just perfect. We’re all dwarfed by the universe as an amoeba is by a thousand galaxies, but we know everything, don’t we….

  • Shawnie5

    No, at birth adoption is not the same thing. The child is conceived by a couple who are unable to care for it and therefore surrendered. A child is not created for the express purpose of depriving it of its natural family.

    “You also have an aversion to IVF and surrogacy as well which appears to be irrationally based on personal distaste.”

    Many states ban surrogacy, including your own. NY, in fact, has some of the nation’s most stringent penalties for facilitating such a transaction. Are all you guys “irrational” for seeing it for the human rights atrocity that it is? Are all of Sweden, Germany, Italy, and most recently France, irrational as well? Is the UN irrational to affirm children’s right to be raised by their parents and forbid the trafficking in children in any form?

    There are good reasons for banning it, since it is a crime against the dignity and rights of a child and presents tremendous opportunity for the exploitation of women.

  • Shawnie5

    You can not simultaneously support the idea of surrogacy for gay males and believe in the importance of biological mothers.

    A child who quite literally enters the world searching for its mother’s scent and for its mother’s breast and for the voices it has heard throughout its entire life in the womb, cares nothing about how much some stranger wants it or how financially well prepared the stranger is to take it away and raise it. It wants its parents, and has a right to them if it is humanly possible.

  • Shawnie5

    “As for gay marriage, I think the average America is saying, “Okay, I’m for gay marriage….Now will you leave us alone?”

    LOL! Reminds me of Adam Carolla’s more crudely phrased statement of the exact same sentiment.

  • Larry

    The ad hominem response is clear proof that your premise is garbage.

    The necessity for you to change and misrepresent facts to fit your “religious persecution” narrative renders your argument entirely in bad faith.

    In all of those cases, the argument of “special requests” was used as a defense. The courts evaluating the facts found such arguments unsupported by evidence presented. So your whole “particular request” is a necessary fiction for you.

    Its just straight up discrimination in open commerce. Denying business normally available to the general public due to personal prejudices of the vendor against the putative customer.

    But who am I kidding? Despite correcting your clear factual misrepresentations, the same nonsense will be trotted out again by you. Useful fiction is good anytime.. 🙂

  • Larry
  • Larry

    What part of, “deliberately jettisoning a child’s own natural parent to replace him/her with an unrelated adult”, does not apply to adoption at birth? That is a pretty clear description of what it is. Albeit in a crass and reductive way

    Way to avoid the elephant in the room of this discussion. Children of gay parents don’t generally have the option of a married heterosexual couple to take them in.

    Nothing you have said here has ANY RELEVANCE WHATSOEVER to the rights of gays to be married. Feel free to continue your little Gish Gallop with other and waste more bandwidth.

  • Shawnie5

    “And 40 years of studies have shown that gay people, highly motivated to be parents, are effective parents.” As already noted, there have not been ANY extensive, unbiased, RCT studies of parenting by same sex couples.

  • Brad

    RCT? Randomised controlled trial? That would require randomly assigning children to a control group (heterosexual married couples) or the experimental group (same-sex married couple). Um, I don’t think that study will ever be done.

  • Shawnie5

    The parents (together) relinquish their already existing child, or have their rights terminated by the state, because they are unable to care for it. Or they die, perhaps. It is not a case of one parent throwing the other aside and purporting to replace him/her with a stranger, or of contracting to create a child for the purpose of selling it to a stranger. You can’t possibly be too dense to grasp that.

  • George Nixon Shuler

    Which ones?

  • Doc Anthony

    Nobody’s praying for the destruction of America, Larry. That’s just another falsehood on your part.

    But you can’t drive your car off a cliff and expect anything other than what awaits you at the bottom of the cliff.

    This nation is now living on borrowed time, And there’s not much left.

  • Shawnie5

    @Brad: I don’t see why not. RCT has been used to countless times to study other kinds of family structure, accompanied by collection of more objective data from schools and doctors as well as direct interviews and observation of the children themselves. Suddenly it is not feasible to study this kind of family as well? I’d say we’d learn more from it than from gay parents solicited to volunteer reports about their own children for the purpose of evaluating the pros/cons of gay marriage — which is all the “current research” (to use the term loosely) amounts to. Of course there could NEVER be any error or bias there…

  • Shawnie5

    @Mark: “So my two children, adopted into our family from other countries as infants, are not doing well because my wife and I are not their biological parents?” Obviously you are unfamiliar with the concept of statistical averages.

    “children of gay parents would have twice the fathers – twice the “Success”?” No, they would have one father and one unrelated adult living in the house. And no natural mother, which produces its own set of disadvantages.

  • Shawnie5

    He stated which ones, George. Of course Larry couldn’t address them because there hasn’t been a movie made about the ideas of Nietzsche, Voltaire and Rosenberg. But I’m familiar with them of course – particularly Nietzsche, who had the intelligence and the intellectual honesty to recognize that it is cowardly to repudiate Christian belief while clinging to the Christian morality (he called it obsession with the poor and weak) that pervades western civilization.and saps it of the supposed vitality of the pagan world which celebrated the entirely natural will to power. This “empathy” which Larry insists on as a basis for morality is unfortunately invisible throughout the millenia of pre-christian civilization, so there is little reason to trust it as a reliable moral basis for a post-christian society, either.

  • Dominic

    Times change, but only fools follow the crowd who change simply to be “progressive”. Your put down is the most over used tactic in belittling those who disagree. It has become laughable.

  • Dominic

    I stated gays are part and parcel of humanity. They just do not have the right to marriage.
    The laws say they do, so okay. Abortion is legal, too..yet repulsive and basically legalized murder. Assisted suicide and legalized drug use for pleasure is gaining strength as civil rights…..so, okay. The country is falling into a hell hole of debauchery under the guise of freedom. It’s a joke, and people are beginning not to even care. Let us destroy ourselves. It’s the natural cycle of Empires.

  • Dominic

    What is marriage? is the question that should be answered today. Is it one thing or many things? Is marriage an interpretive state that any individual can define for themselves? Open marriages are okay if a couple says so? That’s pretty close to polygamy and IS adultery, so it’s a “marriage”?
    What are the boundaries of the marriage definition? Obviously, the basic ingredient of one male/one female has been hastily expanded to include same sex couples, so how pliable is the definition of marriage?
    This is one reason I believe marriage has become meaningless. It has no definition and is prone to inclusiveness that becomes more vulgar everyday.

  • Jack

    Yours is a very odd post, Larry, as it seems to be responding to something, although it’s not clear what that is.

    Perhaps you need a rest, before you do a “Sybil” on us and resume splitting up into new personalities and new names for yourself, as you usually do when distressed.

  • Jack

    No it isn’t Larry. Based on your logic, such that it is, every business would have to accede to every demand by every customer. To say “no” to a particular demand by a customer is hardly the same thing as refusing to do any business with that same customer.

    In LarryLand, the right to religious freedom is microscopic. One would never know it is America’s First Freedom.

  • Jack

    Larry, I will provide it under one condition: You will promise that once I do, you will hold yourself together and resist the urge to split up into multiple personalities and names as you often do when humiliated. It’s pretty scary to watch, because it appears each time that you’re having a breakdown.

    Actually most religious “fundamentalists” aren’t even aware of what I just posted, partly because it ruins their narrative that the entire culture is going to hell in a hand basket. Apparently, you agree with them….I hope you enjoy your strange bedfellows.

  • Jack

    So based on Larry Logic — a contradiction in terms — any person in history who was not on board for gay marriage was a drooling, hateful bigot who couldn’t wait to maim or kill gay people.

    Sounds reasonable — if you’re ingesting hallucinogens.

  • Larry

    What is marriage?:

    A legally recognized union of 2 consenting adults to form a family and create legal default shorthands for privileges and obligations they possess as a single family unit.

    Any other definition is subjective and irrelevant to the question. Nobody has to care how you personally or your church chooses to define it. Religious freedom means nobody has to be compelled to abide by your sectarian religious beliefs.

    “What are the boundaries of the marriage definition? ”

    Usually set by law to ensure the participants are consenting adults and there are no rational and secular objections to a given union.

    Although marriage has no meaning for you, for those who are married or seeking marriage, it has real world meaning and very tangible legal consequences.

  • Larry

    Feel free to falsely deny the role religion plays in violence against gays. Your credibility can’t be any worse than it already is.

    “any person in history who was not on board for gay marriage was a drooling, hateful bigot who couldn’t wait to maim or kill gay people.”

    That is a fairly good, but not flattering, description. Sarcasm is not your strong point. 🙂

    They wanted a legal right to treat gays as less than people under the law. Their reasons are entirely prejudicial (as there are no rational and secular motives for a gay marriage ban) and the people most stumping against gay rights are those who support things like imprisonment and execution go gays.

    So my logic is far more rooted in the real world than your fiction of being a “gentleman bigot”.

  • Larry

    Jack, you made deliberately false factual claims to support your idea of “Christian persecution”. You did it again in your last post. Changing the facts to fit your story.

    “a particular request from a customer which is identical to requests from every other customer”

    Is not even close to.

    “accede to every demand by every customer.”

    The need to make constant misrepresentations destroys any notion of a good faith claim from you.

  • Larry

    Shawnie, you could see my response to ELvis was further downthread. Like many a snarky Christian he decided to make stuff up about what atheists believed rather find out for himself.

    Given your support of legalized discrimination, constant misrepresentation of facts and knowingly spurious arguments in support of your faith, there is no way you can possibly be considered on the subject of morality.

    Nietzsche is a great many things but coherent and of a recognizable philosophy concerning belief/non-belief is not one of them.

    Every culture had its own prohibition on murder, theft and lying with or without the existence of Christianity. Why? Because some ideas are just universal to human existence. Christianity added nothing to it except codified excuses for ignoring such things. There is no immoral position which is unjustifiable in scripture. You prove that constantly.

  • Larry

    No link, don’t care. We can chalk it up to various other fictions you feel like slinging.

  • Jack

    Larry, you posted two quotations. The second is mine and the first is……? Maybe it’s an additional voice in your head.

    The heart of the matter is this:

    If fulfilling a demand for a particular service goes against the central tenets of Christianity as it’s been taught, practiced, and understood from its inception 20 centuries ago, then to coerce that person into fulfilling that demand is to violate that person’s freedom of religion. Religious freedom is a broad, expansive right that is limited neither to one’s home nor to one’s house of worship, but extends to the public square and the economic marketplace.

  • Jack

    So let me get this straight, Larry.

    You are agreeing that “any person in history who was not on board for gay marriage was a drooling, hateful bigot who couldn’t wait to maim or kill gay people.”

    Until a few years ago, that included virtually everyone walking the planet, including Presidents Obama and Clinton. It included every culture and civilization in history, including those that celebrated homosexuality.

    You have no idea how silly you sound.

    Next time, read a post carefully before responding. This way, you will avoid playing the buffoon yet again.

  • Jack

    Of course you don’t care, Larry. There are facts, there is Larry, and never the twain shall meet.

    If you wish to deny what has been reported for years, keep at it.

    As you do, I’m fashioning a dunce cap for you.

    Now go on, Larry, keep digging…….this is going to be lots of fun.

  • Larry

    Appeals to authority are still a fallacy.

    When people are asked for why they opposed marriage equality, the reasons given are entirely prejudicial. So yes, they are bigots. Clinton more than admitted signing DOMA was a political move on his part. Obama stated his views changed. Unlike Al Mohler and yourself, neither of them were proud of their stance against gays. Both admitted their failure in character in this regard.

    There is still no rational and secular argument to be made for banning gay marriage. Your attempt to distance yourself from the obvious bigotry inherent to the anti-gay crowd is not even remotely credible. Since there is no rational and secular argument for the position against gay marriage, bigotry must be assumed as a matter of course.

  • Jack

    I haven’t heard that one, Shawnie, but I’ve seen Carolla and he can be quite funny indeed.

  • Jack

    Ben, you should recall that I’ve often posted that both the far left and a certain kind of evangelical are obsessed with sex. That’s old hat.

    Recall the context, too…..I was noting how this web site has pursued that obsession in the number of articles on issues where politics or religion and sexuality intersect. It’s quite remarkable, given all the religion-based issues in the world that have nothing to do with sex.

  • Larry

    The first was mine (@November 4, 2015 at 3:38 pm). You deliberately misquoted me for your fictional assertion of persecution. Changing requests usually made by every customer to special requests. Misrepresenting facts to fit your fiction.

    You feel the need to make up facts concerning “special requests”, despite courts determining that was never the case and such things if proven true would have been real legal defenses to the vendors.

    You may continue your snark and misrepresentations of fact as usual.

  • Jack

    ELvis, your arguments are in the main basically sound…..I would tweak some aspects of it, but a reasonably open-minded person is quite capable of understanding your point.

    The cardinal moral problem with atheism isn’t that it produces immoral people. I’ve met good atheists and bad theists, so obviously that’s not the heart of the matter.

    It’s that atheism is utterly impotent philosophically in the battle against evil. Individual atheists have stood up on key issues like human rights, and that’s great. But their atheism is worthless in combating, say, the Chinese or North Korean leaders who tell us it’s none of our business what they do to their own people, and that we’re being cultural imperialists to say it is.

    In other words, when tyrants hide behind cultural relativism when excoriated for human rights abuses, atheism has nothing coherent to say in return. It does not because in the end it cannot.

  • Jack

    ELvis, what you’re attempting to say is sailing over Larry’s head. It’s another example of heart hearts begetting soft heads. He thinks you’re saying one thing when you’re saying something quite different.

    He thinks you’re saying that God is the psychological cause for being good — but apparently you’re saying that God is the philosophical grounds for being able to deem a thing good or evil, true or false, and for those words to have objective meaning apart from our own subjective tastes or preferences.

    He’s confusing cause/effect with ground/consequent — the psychological with the philosophical.

  • Shawnie5

    “‘The top 10 reasons gays should marry.’ One: They’re American. Two: They pay taxes. Three through five: So they can shut the **** up.”

    Vulgar, of course, but very expressive of the weariness ordinary people with families to tend and jobs to do feel with professional whiners who will continue to whine for just as much and for just as long as the treats keep dropping from the dispenser.

    Now that SSM is legal I am waiting with interest, popcorn at the ready, for the lgbt parenting issue (which will logically follow) to crash into the woman-firster end of feminism — those women who feel that dads are disposable wallets but a mother is sacred. I predict that the need to be cool and “progressive” will trump even the maternal bond. After all, if you’re good with dismembering a child in the womb, seing it sold to two gay men should be a snap.

  • Jack

    Not so, Larry, I wasn’t aware of that post of yours, which is why I was wondering aloud where that first quote was coming from.

    The bottom line is that you have an obvious problem with freedom of religion as it exists in this country. You neither understand nor appreciate its breadth or its depth, and as I’ve noted, your view on religious freedom resembles the French view as opposed to the American view — a common problem with American leftists, who seem to favor the French Revolution over the American Revolution. That’s why your twisted view of the relationship between religion and democracy is so peculiar to most Americans. It has little to do with American history or experience.

    You really should read Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. Here was a Frenchman from the 1830s, understanding America better back then than you do today.

  • Shawnie5

    “he decided to make stuff up about what atheists believed rather find out for himself.” No he didn’t. He referenced some easily recognizable ideas discussed by atheist thinkers. Just because you aren’t familiar with any of it doesn’t mean he made it up.

    “Nietzsche is a great many things but coherent and of a recognizable philosophy concerning belief/non-belief is not one of them.” A patently dishonest bluff from someone who knows exactly nothing about Nietzsche.

    “Every culture had its own prohibition on murder, theft and lying” Within the tribal group, sure. NOT by virtue of humanity alone. It took Judeo-Christianity to supply that.

    “Because some ideas are just universal to human existence.” So was slavery, infanticide, oppression of women and dehumanization of enemies. Until a specific time when a specific part of the world got an inkling that those “universals” might be wrong…

    Where was this marvelous “empathy” for most of human history?

  • Jack

    LOL….So, Larry, you are going to indict virtually every human being who ever walked the planet for being a “bigot” because in most cases, the idea of gay marriage probably never even crossed their mind, and in the few cases that it did, their gut response was captured by a puzzled look or the simple question, “whatever for?”

    Keep digging, Larry. You are looking ever more foolish.

  • Jack

    Being a history buff, I am picturing a gathering of ancient Greeks and Romans in a city state near Asia Minor. I’m picturing a gathering of well-educated, philosophically minded men, some of them straight and others gay, who are friends with each other. This is a society where homosexuality is considered fine. There is no condemnation of any kind.

    Along comes Larry, transported in time, dumped into their midst.

    Larry then asks them what their view is on gay marriage.

    I can picture each of them, gay and straight, looking at Larry like he is from another galaxy.

    As he presses his case, I can picture the group roaring with laughter.

    I can picture the straight guys turning to one of their gay friends and saying, “okay, Marcus, you want to explain to this fellow what his problem is?”

    I can picture him just looking at Larry and saying, “are you serious, I mean, really serious?” Marcus can barely contain himself.

  • Jack

    Now picture Larry calls this gathering of well-educated, philosophically trained gay and straight men at our hypothetical ancient Greco-Roman city state a bunch of “bigots” for roaring with laughter over his question about gay marriage.

    I imagine at that point they would all be laughing so hard, they would be crying.

  • Larry

    Jack, you have demonstrated how people can masturbate online without use of porn!

  • Jack

    Larry, I posted a reply but apparently it never made it on this board.

    First off, I never read the post to which you refer. That’s exactly why I asked whose quote that was.

    Second, when someone is legally sanctioned for exercising their First Amendment right not to violate a core principles of their religion, yes, I would call that persecution, as would any intellectually honest person who takes core liberties seriously.

    Here in America, religious freedom is a foundational human right, not some plaything to be discarded at will.

  • Jack

    I think you’ve got a particularly bad case of projection, Larry, but that’s an old story.

  • Jack

    I couldn’t agree more about the 1000-character limit. It is absurdly low.

  • Jack

    Actually, Rod, times may have changed in the late 1960s and 1970s, but that was 40 years ago, when people wore bell bottoms, we had presidents named Johnson, Nixon, and Ford, and later on, those infernal leisure suits.

    Moreover, you want it both ways. You are agreeing that the social changes of which you apparently approve include people living together without marriage, yet you are vigorously defending the extension of the supposedly outmoded institution of marriage to gay people.

    You lefties need to be consistent and get your story straight. If marriage is no big deal, and worse, is some horribly oppressive institution devised by dead white guys, why the clamor to extend such an infernal institution to gay people?

  • Jack

    Larry, there is no definition of marriage that isn’t, at least from a human standpoint, seemingly arbitrary. Your limiting it to two people is an obvious example.

  • Jack

    People obviously continue to talk about it, Garson, which is why this particular board has more comments than most of the others put together.

    This is what happens when the Supreme Court acts ahead of a firm or settled consensus. It did the same thing with Roe on abortion, back in 1973. And look what that got us — a never-ending nationalized food fight that distorted our politics for at least two generations….and with it, the rise of politicians on both sides of the aisle who ordinarily wouldn’t have been elected dog-catcher. Nice……NOT.

    In a democracy, process matters as much as substance….it’s not just what is decided, but how it’s decided.

  • Dominic

    Larry, your definition has been formed by yourself, it is not a universally accepted definition. Gays cannot form families in the natural way, they can only add children created by others to act in a family manner. Very different, but not always negative since unwanted children need any good perception of family.
    Religion, valid Religion, only sanctifies what nature has made obvious to us…it does not create definitions to suit its faith, it merely states the obvious. The abominable ideas that people wish to call marriage are unnatural and ultimately failures…for they circumvent the human natural law.
    Obviously, society blames Religion for balking at their demands of marital freedom, but Religion only expresses the natural design of humanity…. which the Church did not create.

  • Jack

    Richard, all things being equal, it is best to be raised by a mother and a father. Of course, in the real world, all things are not equal, and that’s where lots of complexity arises, but please let’s not deny the obvious.

  • Jack

    The real question is whether we can have an intelligent, adult debate on these issues without deploying cheap, childish tactics transparently meant to marginalize or delegitimize those asking probing or disturbing questions.

    The answer appears to be no, unfortunately.

  • Jack

    The problem, Michael, is when people literally can’t make their minds up and it becomes impossible to discern their true wishes….or motives.

    Case in point:

    The same cultural revolution emerging out of the late 1960s and 1970s now supports gay marriage, which contradicts its earlier stance that marriage is outmoded, regressive, oppressive, contrary to human nature, a worthless piece of paper….

    Question: If marriage is so awful and evil, and so utterly worthless and superfluous, why turn around and expend all of one’s energy demanding that it be extended to gay people?

    Or to put it a different way, if the withering away of marriage among heterosexuals is progressive, how in the world would the extension of marriage to homosexuals not be regressive?

  • Jack

    You’re probably right, Shawnie.

    I find it interesting how progressives keep changing their minds about what’s progressive.

    Case in point: marriage.

    Even on this board, we find a few implying, even as they support gay marriage, that marriage is outmoded, outdated, regressive, a thing of the past, and all the rest.

    How many times have you heard progressives say, “We don’t need to get married! The main thing is we love each other! Marriage is just a piece of paper!”

    That’s what progressives have been shouting from the housetops for nearly a half century….just ask Grandma and Grandpa Woodstock.

    But now, marriage, if it’s gay marriage, suddenly means everything. Suddenly, the old message that living together is enough just doesn’t cut it anymore………….unless we’re….talking about….heterosexuals?

    Ah, it must be great to be a progressive….being untroubled by the demands of logic or consistency.

  • Rev Dr Fr. tom Av

    I think this our country leaders worshiping satanic religion and may they not \believe as God exist. This country turning into Godam Gomera . Our Lord thy God will distroy this country if these false faith people practice. It is shame some of our american formed episcopal church clergy believe on evil faith, I do not think they have christian faith and have believe in God nor they believe God exist, I suggeste these believe is from Psychosexual social disorder,. They do not know they are sick. They need theraphy, We do not hate them but sorry for them. I would like to help as a human being as God created them. But never compropmise on their sickness belief and support.
    Come back false believers and clergies. We do not want God punush this country and others as well as you. Jesus christ will come back to receive belivers not the false believrs. Presiding bishop curry declared as he is not christian. He is also psycosocial sexual discorder patient, he needs help.

  • Greg J

    What if we are wrong on the opinion? I pray God redeem my wrong opinion. If not wrong I pray for His same redemption. Personally I don’t have an agenda to change anyone’s mind on the issue. My agenda would be to change the attitude of some toward those who disagree with them. On most things I think that conclusions a person comes to are important, but the why of the conclusion is more important. The character of a person can be hidden in their opinions. The reasons on why they came to the conclusion of their opinion reveals the character of the person. When we don’t think alike in marriage something has to give. If a declaration of damnation is the opinion of what give and take looks like, that might reveal the character of give and take in that marriage. My opinion, declaration of Gods damnation does not leave much room for Gods redemption. Mr. Mohler might be surprised at how much he has in commen with people and pastors he would not share an opinion with.

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  • Shawnie5

    “But now, marriage, if it’s gay marriage, suddenly means everything. Suddenly, the old message that living together is enough just doesn’t cut it anymore………….unless we’re….talking about….heterosexuals?”

    Indeed, Jack. I’m still waiting to hear how many single moms have been told by Larry that they are not raising their children in a “sane” manner.

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