Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore, right, leads a June 9, 2014, panel discussion as David Platt, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's International Mission Board, listens. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

Sexual revolution is destroying families, Russell Moore tells Vatican conference

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Prominent U.S. evangelicals Russell Moore and Rick Warren blasted the sexual revolution at a Vatican conference Tuesday (Nov. 18) and said it is destroying the institution of marriage.

Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore, right, leads a June 9, 2014, panel discussion as David Platt, pastor of the Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., listens. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore, right, leads a June 9, 2014, panel discussion as David Platt, pastor of the Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., listens. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Moore, the public face of the Southern Baptist Convention, said sexual liberation had created “a culture obsessed with sex” that had simply led to a “boredom of sex shorn of mystery.”

“Western culture now celebrates casual sexuality, cohabitation, no-fault divorce, family redefinition and abortion right as part of a sexual revolution that can tear down old patriarchal systems,” Moore told a global gathering of leaders from Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and other faiths as part of the “Complementarity of Man and Woman” conference convened by Pope Francis.

The Southern Baptist ethicist said the sexual revolution appeared to have imposed a new patriarchy that enabled men to “pursue a Darwinian fantasy of the predatory alpha male” for the pursuit of “power, prestige and personal pleasure.”

“Does anyone really believe these things will empower women and children?” he asked. “We see the wreckage of sexuality as self-expression all around us, and we will see more yet.”

Outside the conference hall, he said every congregation he knows is seeing the harm caused by “deadbeat fathers” who abandon their responsibilities post-divorce.

Megachurch pastor Rick Warren took part in a panel on religious liberty sponsored by the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission immediately after speaking at the last session of the SBC’s Pastors’ Conference in Baltimore. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

Megachurch pastor Rick Warren took part in a panel on religious liberty sponsored by the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission immediately after speaking at the last session of the SBC’s Pastors’ Conference in Baltimore. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Megachurch pastor Rick Warren of California’s Saddleback Church said marriage is being “ridiculed, resented, rejected and even redefined” and it is time for the church to be a “proponent of what’s right.”

“The church cannot cower in silence,” Warren told the conference. “There is too much at stake!”

Warren said churches should celebrate successful marriages during services, schedule annual reviews of wedding vows, offer marriage courses and promote marriage via the media.

“The church cannot be salt and light in a crumbling culture if it caves in to the sexual revolution,” he said.

On Monday's opening of the three-day conference, Pope Francis said marriage is in crisis and children deserve to grow up with a family that has a mother and a father.

His speech was overtaken by his official announcement that he would visit the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia next year.

The pope stressed that the “culture of the temporary” has led many people to give up on marriage as a public commitment.

“This revolution in manners and morals has often flown the flag of freedom, but in fact it has brought spiritual and material devastation to countless human beings, especially the poorest and most vulnerable,” he said.

This week’s gathering, sponsored by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and other Vatican bodies, comes only weeks after Francis closed the Bishops’ Synod on the Family, which was meant to welcome nontraditional families.

Despite initial signals of a more welcoming approach to gay and lesbian Catholics, the final synod report scaled back that language and conservative Catholics said any attempt to soften the church’s teaching on homosexuality was a “betrayal.”



  1. Blah blah blah, a few lies, a few more lies, blah blah, we speak for god, blah blah, some more lies, let us control your body, life, and love.


    If these are all of the problems faced by the family, why are you attacking gay people instead of speaking to heterosexuals?

    “The Southern Baptist ethicist said the sexual revolution appeared to have imposed a new patriarchy that enabled men to “pursue a Darwinian fantasy of the predatory alpha-male” for the pursuit of “power, prestige and personal pleasure.” Apparently, “Doctor” moore hasn’t been paying any attention whatsoever to the history of oh, the last 6000 years.

    “Megachurch pastor Rick Warren of California’s Saddleback Church, said marriage was being “ridiculed, resented, rejected and even redefined” and it was time for the church to be a “proponent of what’s right.” Really? Who has been ridiculing it, resenting it, rejecting it? Not gay people. Who is left?

    ““This revolution in manners and morals has often flown the flag of freedom, but in fact it has brought spiritual and material devastation to countless human beings, especially the poorest and most vulnerable,” he said.” As opposed to the war on income equality, the war on population control, the war on birth control, and the economic policies of the Koch brothers. “I’ve got mine. screw you. Meanwhile, look over there!!!! homo’s affirming the value of marriage.”

    “This week’s gathering, sponsored by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and other Vatican bodies…”


  2. Well, THIS is an interesting (and somewhat unexpected) story.

    Certainly not going to see it on the secular 5:30 TV news.

  3. A Religion News story on sexuality that takes a temporary break from gay issues? It’s about time.

  4. Seems to me that same-sex couples could only improve matters — particularly if they are raising children. These folks would like to pretend that gay couples are not raising kids.

    These self-serving religionists are making themselves irrelevant. I was particularly peeved with the rabbi, at the Vatican conference yesterday, who claims that sexual orientation is a “lifestyle choice.”

  5. Children deserve both and a father. Only the selfish would deny this.

  6. “…a new patriarchy that enabled men to ‘pursue a Darwinian fantasy of the predatory alpha male’ for the pursuit of ‘power, prestige and personal pleasure.'”

    Hey, between Rose McGowan attacking the gay rights movement from a feminist perspective and the SBC denouncing the patriarchy, it looks like the Religious Right and the “social justice” movement are finding a lot of common ground these days.

    The “bridge-builders” and lovers of “shared values” must be overjoyed! I smell a Stedman column…

  7. Ben, read the article again. What I liked about it was that it was not focused specifically on gay issues.

    What I also liked was that Moore was not afraid to touch the third rail of American culture — divorce — the way Americans discard their spouses like old shoes or dish rags, even when children are involved. Raising the issue is poking the eye of half the country, conservatives as well as liberals, people of faith as well as people who are secularized.

    Good for Moore.

  8. David, the article was not primarily about gay issues. It was a welcome change from the media’s continued obsession with them.

  9. “The Southern Baptist ethicist said the sexual revolution appeared to have imposed a new patriarchy that enabled men to “pursue a Darwinian fantasy of the predatory alpha male” for the pursuit of “power, prestige and personal pleasure.”
    I don’t understand. That sounds just like the old patriarchy. Theoretically the complimentary nature of marriage between man and women implies a balance of power amid differences, but seldom has it worked out that way because of the strong grip patriarchy has on our culture. Now a system that empowers women scares the daylights out of these men, these patiarchs, and they insist on living in the dark.
    Complimentarianism is a mistake the Church made ages ago and now it threatens to bring Christianity into further disrepute; it ties us to all of evils brought by patriarchy. It needs to be rethought, redefined or abandoned.
    I fear reports coming out of this conference will squander a good portion of the good will Pope Francis has engendered among the young.

  10. Its far worse. Its primarily about lamenting how un-Taliban like our society is. How we lack means of forcing people to be together through force of law and don’t treat a segment of our population like crap (in this case non-marital children). Cry me a river. Then maybe jump in.

    If abortion, no-fault divorce, and lack of penalties for non-marital children are causing your family to come apart, then it probably had no business to be together in the first place. Complaints about the loss of “patriarchal systems” comes off like whining about why women won’t take them seriously anymore. It tells me more about the inadequacies of Christian men who follow these people than it does about American families.

  11. I wouldn’t say it is the media’s obsession when it is clearly the obsession of the religious right. The media reports that.

  12. Conservative religion creates its own problems with divorce. By discouraging sexual experience among couples in favor of marrying young and breeding like rabbits, the situation is ripe for divorce. It burdens couples with heavy economic pressure at times when their education and experience make such situations dicey (money is the #1 cause of marital fights). Add to that cultures which essentially treat women as their husband’s property or blatantly patronizes them and you have a recipe for marital discord.

    You can rail against divorce all you want, but there is absolutely no reason to touch a word of the laws concerning no-fault divorce. If these people don’t want divorces, they are obliged not to get divorced.

  13. I read the article.. It’s not focused specifically on gay issues, but that is always the large lavender elephant in the room whenever the religious right gets together to discuss sex and family. It was certainly warren’s issue.

    we are in agreement on the issue of divorce, but from a totally different perspective. people see marriage as the panacea for the ills in their life, when they are not financially, morally, or psychologically prepared to be married. I was a wedding photographer for 30 years, and easily 1/3 of the people I serviced should Never have married anyone, let alone each other, at least at that stage in their lives.

    These people then bring children into the world, children that they are financially, socially, psychologically, and morally unable to raise, if not actually UNFIT to raise. Some of these children then end up in the foster care system, where gay people who ARE fit parents end up taking care of them, precisely because the heterosexual majority doesn’t want them.

    And despite what the religious right wants to believe, and their willingness to consign these children to the governmental trashcan, we ARE FIT. A multitude of studies shows this. Yet…

    We gay people must surely be unique in the entirety of humanity. We are the only people subjected to parenting studies to determine whether we are fit to raise the cast-off, unwanted products of irresponsible, unconscious heterosexual reproduction. There are multitudes of heterosexuals plagued by dysfunction, abuse, poverty, lack of education, mental illness, unwanted children, religious fanaticism, multiple failed marriages, alcohol/drug addiction, and/or criminal records, but hey! They’re heterosexual, and though Moore and Warren will give a resounding TSK TSK on that subject, WE are the objects of their concerns. The two things they don’t need to be concerned about is being denied a marriage license as a result of a parenting study, and being denied the responsibility of family because some moralizing busybody is obsessed with what they do with their dangly bits.

    Meanwhile, imprisoned mass murderer, Charles Manson (80-years-old), was granted a marriage license on Nov. 7 to marry a 26-year-old woman. A certain fornicating, adulterous, thrice married former republican congressman and leading spokesperson for heterosexual morality can do to wife #3 what he did to wives #2 and #1.

    and get married again tomorrow.

  14. Yet heterosexuals get divorced, have children without marriage.

    Only the homo-obsessed would think that agreeing to take care of someone else’s child and someone else’s problems for 18-20 years is an act of selfishness.

  15. RNS will take a break from it when the homo-obsessed do.

  16. Children deserve both a mother and a father. Anything less is abusive and damaging.

  17. Children deserve a mother and a father. The determination to consider only what a pair of the same sex or a single person want and demand is totally unjust to a child. It makes a child into nothing but a toy or commodity.

  18. That’s right only a man and woman can make a marriage. Even an evil man and a clueless woman.

  19. So how many children have you and your wife adopted?

    Mt friends Caleb and carl have adopted four of the cast-off, unwanted, unloved products of irresponsible heterosexual reproduction. Three of them were the products of crack whores and prison inmates.

  20. Slavery destroyed families too. Thankfully, the SBC in 1995 apologized for supporting slavery.

  21. What a monumentally stupid remark to make. It was stupid when Frank said it, it is even dumber in repetition.

    A child is not a consolation prize nor a punishment. You want parents who can and will take care of a child regardless of their gender. That is if your goal is actual care of children and not pushing some nonsense agenda.

    Children deserve 2 parents. But sometimes that is not in the cards. The stupidity of such a phrase when discussing gay couples is that the children raised by them don’t have the option of parents of the same gender. You would rather see them with only one parent or no parents because you don’t want to consider gays as people.

  22. Way to go Frank, stumping for Charles Manson. A man whose idea of abortion rights was the repeated stabbing of the very pregnant Sharon Tate.

    You really don’t have any sense whatsoever.

  23. From
    63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes.

    [U. S. D.H.H.S. Bureau of the Census]

    90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.
    85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes.
    [Center for Disease Control]

    80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes.
    [Criminal Justice and Behavior, Vol. 14 p. 403-26]

    71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.
    [National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools]

    70% of juveniles in state operated institutions come from fatherless homes
    [U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report, Sept., 1988]

    85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home.
    [Fulton County Georgia Jail Populations and Texas Dept. of Corrections, 1992]

    Nearly 2 of every 5 children in America do not live with their fathers.
    [US News and World Report, February 27, 1995, p.39]

    There are:

    11,268,000 total custodial mothers
    2,907,000 total custodial fathers
    [Current Populations Reports, US Bureau of the Census, Series P-20, No. 458, 1991]

    What does this mean? Children from fatherless homes are:

    4.6 times more likely to commit suicide,

    6.6 times to become teenaged mothers (if they are girls, of course),
    24.3 times more likely to run away,
    15.3 times more likely to have behavioral disorders,
    6.3 times more likely to be in a state-operated institutions,
    10.8 times more likely to commit rape,
    6.6 times more likely to drop out of school,
    15.3 times more likely to end up in prison while a teenager.
    (The calculation of the relative risks shown in the preceding list is based on 27% of children being in the care of single mothers.)

    and — compared to children who are in the care of two biological, married parents — children who are in the care of single mothers are:

    33 times more likely to be seriously abused (so that they will require medical attention), and
    73 times more likely to be killed.

    [“Marriage: The Safest Place for Women and Children”, by Patrick F. Fagan and Kirk A. Johnson, Ph.D. Backgrounder #1535.]

  24. So what is your solution? Forcing couples together through coercion and religious appeals? That is simply a recipe for abusive relations.

    Lets be honest if so many fathers were worth a damn, there would be fewer fatherless children. Religious devotion is part of the problem, not a solution.

    Do you want to know a great way of reducing the number of troubled children, reducing the number of children in families in general. That means supporting things such as birth control and abortion. Encouraging women to be educated and gainfully employed. It means discouraging couples to marry young and produce as many children as possible. All sorts of things conservative christianity frowns upon.

    The problem with religious conferences on family is that they will never acknowledge their role in destroying families. How they encourage conditions which make divorce likely. How they encourage large families without means of support. How they encourage families to be hobbled economically by attacking the ability of women to obtain adequate education and employment. How they turn a blind eye or outright encourage domestic violence and abuse.

  25. The solution Larry is very simple. Don’t make babies until you are married.

  26. and ohm many have you and your wife adopted, frank? I think that’s the Third time I’ve asked you that question.

  27. Ben, your reply that’s like someone stabbing another person and saying the victim had the audacity to run into his knife.

  28. You should tell that to heterosexuals.

    Meanwhile, 40% of the children in this country are born to heterosexual parents who can’t be bothered to get married. This rises to 70% in some vociferously antigay communities, where multiple men father multiple children on multiple women who cannot support them. meanwhile, their so-called pastors obsess over the two white guys getting married up the street.

    did I say two white guys?

    Meanwhile rates for illegitimacy, divorce, teen pregnancies, maternal health, infant mortality are the worst in the most religious states. they are likewise worst in the in the most religious countries in the world. These are, not surprisingly, also the most antigay countries and states.

  29. God created Richard “The Night Stalker” Ramirez and Doreen Lioy, not Adam and Steve.

  30. Do you oppose contraception and abortion too? Because if you do, you are part of the problem as well. Abstinence is not a plan of action, it is avoiding one.

    Being married is no solution either. Marrying young and when one is inexperienced sexually leads to as much trouble as being single. Most of the problem comes from Christian views of sex and marriage which encourage immaturity and lack of sane knowledge.

    Couples which marry young are more likely to end in divorce with children, than those who marry later. Plus marrying later in life usually limits the number of children per family. Generally to a number more capable of being raised with the resources on hand.

    The sexual revolution isn’t destroying families, it reinforced them. It means couples are more likely to marry when they are better equipped at a point in their education and careers to handle the strains of family life. They have fewer children, more intentional children, that they can devote their resources to raising.

    Conservative Christian folk aren’t capable of doing anything to help strengthen families. They are too much of the problem. Their only courses of action lie in ignorance and making nonsense pronouncements of their personal piety to others. S1utshaming may make one feel better, but it does nothing of value.

  31. Larry, I didn’t say I was against no-fault divorce. I have no strong opinion on that issue because I don’t think it matters much either way. I have my doubts that any change in the law will make a sizable impact, although I could be wrong. I’m saying that since they’re in the pulpit, pastors might as well rattle some cages for a change rather than tickling people’s ears.

    Your posts sounds like you’re stuck in a 1950s time warp. Maybe you’re considerably older and that explains it, but this is 2014 and my opinion tries to address real life as it exists today, not 60 years ago.

    You obviously make sense about the wisdom of people marrying when they are older, but your criticism of women being treated as property in the United States is about as useful today as railing against women not having the vote or mourning the Norman invasion of Britain, Attila’s sack of Rome, or Caesar’s defeat of Pompey.

  32. Comparing anything in American history to the Taliban suggests that you know as much about the Taliban and/or American history as I do about advanced astrophysics — which is not a heck of a lot.

    You might as well equate an insect bite to an impaling.

  33. Children do far better when raised by two married biological parents than any other arrangement. The legalization of no-fault divorce, rather than helping children, has hurt them.

  34. And so-called “sexual freedom” only creates dissatisfaction in marriage, which, once again, harms women and children.

    We approach things with different perspectives. Larry views marriage as a box to force people into; I view it as a kite string where families take flight.

  35. I am not the one stuck in a time warp. The SBC, Vatican and AFA are. They are railing against changes in society 2 generations ago.

    Divorce in of itself is not a problem. Simple a means. Some families just cannot function anymore. Staying together for the sake of children is more toxic than divorce. It makes the parents feel like hostages.

    As for women treated like property was a bit of hyperbole but not far off the mark. Lets face it, they are not a group which particularly feels comfortable about women taking a role other than mother.

    Part of the sexual revolution these people are railing against is the access of women to education and career opportunities. Opportunities afforded by things such as contraception and abortion. Part of the spiel for these types is that women are incapable of making personal decisions. That they have to defer to male religious authority for their family planning decisions who supposedly knows better.

  36. Ben, you lost me early in your post because you turned this into a specifically gay issue, when the essence of the article transcended it.

    I was simply responding to the article. If we want to talk about issues other than the article, fine……I’ll do you one non sequitur better:

    I want to know why in much if not most of the country, outside of the New York area, and even as close as Washington, DC, I can’t walk into a pizza shop and order by the slice. Not having that option in a nation that prides itself on consumer choice seems ridiculous.

    Since we’re doing non sequiturs now, you go first, Ben. Why is pizza by the slice not a wall-to-wall American reality?

  37. Ben, this is not a trick question. I’m looking for answers to the surprising dearth of pizza-by-the-slice options.

  38. Very much like the religious right claims that we’re persecuting and bullying them when we stand out to the oppression and hate they’ve been dealing out for 2000 years.

    If the religious right had not been obsessing about homosexuality ever since anita Bryant raised her repitilian snout above a florida swamp 36 years ago, they perhaps could have spent some time on world peace and feeding starving children.

    My statement stands.

  39. you’d have to ask the Koch brothers that one. It seems like the free market should be prevailing.

    But in point of fact, it’s not a non-sequitur. A good portion of this whole conference has been about the Evil Gays and how we want to destroy everything that’s good and holy, especially marriage, family, and complementarity, which is a myth. And Warren’s comment was SPECIFICALLY about the nonsense of redefining marriage; that’s not a hetero-only issue. And the right wing has also been claiming that my quite ordinary, humdrum marriage is an attack on heterosexual marriage, and in facts leads to the breakdown of the heterosexual marriage and family.

    It’s not a non-sequitur at all.

  40. Move to California. you can get gay married AND get pizza by the slice. :o)

  41. Divorce is a problem as well as a symptom of a problem…’s both….It’s partly the result of making wrong choices at wrong times, but it also is itself a choice that can result in real devastation to the next generation.

    Part of being mature adults is realizing that once they bring children into the world, parents have a monumental responsibility not to split up unless circumstances provide no other option. Just because they’ve fallen out of love, the dad has grown a pot belly, or the mom is a bit too critical, is no reason to throw in the towel. Adulthood is about putting other people’s needs first and leaving adolescence behind. Life is not about pleasing self but helping and appreciating others…..and the only truly happy people I’ve met in my life are those who do exactly that. It’s a paradox, but one that wise people in every society instinctively know.

    The idea that staying together for the sake of the children is more toxic than divorce sounds quite right in theory, but in the real world, anything outside of fleeting emotion that keeps parents together has the potential of changing both for the better. Plenty of times, there are cycles in relationships, and if people are willing to endure the down sides of a cycle, they later experience the up side. The truth is that no one knows ahead of time.

    Again, I am not discussing this from the perspective of divorce law. I am assuming the permanence of no-fault divorce as the law. I’m simply saying that pastors and others can and should speak up on divorce and not be afraid at all of being called judgmental or worse — nor losing their jobs over it, because this is one of those issues where they need to stick their necks out if they truly believe what they say. People, including and perhaps especially evangelicals, need their cages rattled over this issue, specifically for the sake of the kids they bring into this world.

  42. Correct, Ben, but you can also find yourself in an earthquake. The big one hasn’t hit for quite some time out there.

  43. Larry, you cite some relevant facts, but your conclusions don’t follow. Marrying young is a recipe for disaster, albeit not quite a guarantee. Contraception allows people to plan so they can have children when they are likely to do the best job raising them. It also limits the number of children they have, meaning each gets more attention and parents aren’t overly burdened.

    All true.

    But abortion is a different matter, for obvious reasons. The problem with every argument for abortion is that it assumes there isn’t another life involved when there is. Some people are pretty good at playing games with themselves on that point and denying the obvious, even to themselves, but I prefer objective reality. Thus I am pro-life.

    But the good news about abortion is that the numbers of abortions are far lower now than they once were in the years after Roe, even though there has been no change in the law. And the reason is clear: The demand for abortion has declined. A big part of the reason is that a much larger percentage of kids today are abstinent as of high school graduation –the numbers are higher than they’ve been since before the late 1960s. Another reason is that the shrinking number of kids who are not abstinent are more likely to use birth control than prior generations of similar sexually active kids. And a third reason is the Internet. Kids are able to go online, look at ultrasounds, and see that fetuses are anything but blobs.

    Put another way, the on-the-ground reality is good news for both sides of the abortion debate…..the only losers are the people who make money off of abortions…..their businesses aren’t nearly as good as before.

    And that’s why abortion is not the big issue it once was. People just aren’t having them the way they once did.

    As to your bigger points, the sexual revolution was pretty good for subcultures in America that were already solid in terms of family and community, but catastrophic for those that weren’t. The left loves to talk about income and wealth inequality, but not so much about real-life factors which drive the inequality. What the sexual revolution did was to help make this inequality worse by plunging much of working-class America into the same patterns of dysfunctional family life that characterized inner-city America. The subsequent spike in single-parent households across working-class America resulted in far more families falling into poverty.

  44. It actually is, Ben, because if we removed any talk for or against gay marriage from the conference discussed, every other issue mentioned would remain relevant. From my reading of the article, nothing would change.

    It wasn’t about gay marriage, Ben…..There really are things in the world that are not about it…..odd though it may appear to you….

  45. Tom, you’re making a mountain out of a mole hill. Whether we call it complementarianism, or mutual marital submission, seemingly opposite concepts, the fact is that in real life, a very large percentage of powerful men are now married to powerful women…and this is true in the evangelical world as it is elsewhere.

    This is what happens when you move up the education ladder. People with college or advanced degrees tend to have marriages that are more or less based on equality.

    When Moore used the word, “patriarchy,” I suspect the context was his criticizing societal acceptance of single-parent families. And it’s a safe bet he wasn’t thinking about upper-middle class single-parent families, where the parent is a professional making a good income, but the vast majority of cases where that is not true at all.

  46. Russell Moore might wish to ask himself why 2/3 of the divorce actions have female plaintiffs and why this imbalance is larger for couples with children. Does he really fancy the fathers slapped with these divorce suits are living some “Darwinian fantasy”?

  47. Larry, the way to a solution is to find out what drove the problem in the first place.

    About a century ago, in the 1920s, about 2% of white kids and a little under 10% of black kids were born out of wedlock. A racial difference, yes, but both numbers were low and the reason for the higher number among black children was probably a legacy of slavery.

    By the mid-1960s, the numbers had risen to 25% for black babies….that’s when Daniel Moynihan released his famous study on how these numbers were driving poverty more than the other way around.

    Today, the numbers are more like 25% to 30% for white babies and 70% for black babies. Note the astronomical rise across the board…..a 10-15 fold rise among whites and a 7-fold rise among blacks since the 1920s.

    What happened to spike the numbers across the board, irrespective of race?

    The most likely answer is the inauguration of government policies which discouraged family formation. Starting in the mid-20th century, society began to change its attitude about poverty and how to fight it. It’s a long story, but to sum up, welfare began to replace breadwinners and government agencies got into the social services business, displacing local, community-based nonprofit poverty fighters. A whole host of foolish assumptions, contrary to human nature and experience, dominated policy making, and the result was bad policy. As a result, as Jack Kemp once said, “we fought a war on poverty, and the poor lost.” From the time of the Great Society until the 1990s, poverty changed little.

    In the 1990s, welfare reform and public-private partnerships that were pro-work, pro-family, and pro-wealth-creation became a bipartisan drive and poverty finally began to plunge. It was one thing that a Democratic president and a Republican Congress could agree upon. More important, in state after states, Republicans and Democrats agreed and worked together on these new policies.

    Unfortunately, today, we are turning back the clock and have been doing so for years — back to the failures of the mid-20th century through the 1970s. Government is crowding out breadwinners and nonprofit poverty fighters and is instituting economic policies that seek to equalize shrinking wealth rather than creating more of it so all may have more.

    The moral of the story is that traditional values, rightly understood, can and do work because they are based on the way the real world works, and utopian attempts to change them under the umbrella of socialism don’t work…but only produce more poverty, more pathology, more dependency, and more human misery. Those of us who come from pretty good backgrounds tend to take traditional values for granted and laugh at those who trumpet them and see them as cornball, but we should not laugh at all. Somewhere in our family trees, somebody talked a lot about them, got them right, and passed them along.

  48. I’ve heard that number before. I’m curious whether it goes up or down as you move up or down the income and educational scales. Also I’m curious where on those scales the biggest jumps are in that number from the past.

    I think I know, but I’m curious to know for sure.

  49. Ben in Oakland,

    I agree with almost everything you have said.

    You speak the truth.

  50. Actually, Ben, what you call “the religious right” — evangelical Christians for the most part — are often the ones who are there for people when real trouble hits and all of the self-styled “progressives” have fled for the hills back to their comfortable abodes. When AIDs patients are dying, when children are struck with disease, when Ebola ravages entire cultures, those who are there ministering in practical ways are disproportionately from the same faith traditions you are caricaturing and disparaging.

    And as their values have spread across the globe, and with them, the benefits of free markets and modern technology, poverty has declined across the world faster than it ever has in history. In India alone, literally hundred of millions of human beings have climbed out of grinding poverty.

    The greatest unreported story of our lifetime is how rapidly poverty has plunged in much of the world.

  51. The moral of the story is you have a very selective view of the facts in question. Nice Gish Gallop.

    Just to address a few of the more ridiculous points:
    1. Abortion rates went down due to increased access to contraception among teens and young adults. There is absolutely no evidence abstinence programs have ever been effective anywhere. That is either wishful thinking or outright fiction on your point.

    2. 30 years of “trickle-down” economics devastated the poorer communities, especially the African American ones. Couple that with the War on Drugs incarcerating huge %’s of black adult males for non-violent offenses. You have the makings of how conservatives created problems they allegedly try to solve by shifting more money to wealthy “job creators” who ship blue collar and industrial work overseas.

    3. “Welfare reform” and “pro-work” programs were riddled with corruption to pocket public money and produce little to nothing of value to get people off welfare in a meaningful way. It was simply a method of demonizing the poor and looking for excuses to keep them poorer.

    4. Traditional values is a cause of the problem. Attacking contraception, abortion, creating arbitrary delays in ending marriages, promoting abusive relations all come from a strong religious background.

  52. Plaintiff is not actually an appropriate term in a divorce action. The overwhelming majority of divorces are not contested but simply deal with issues of division/custody.

  53. So you are essentially incapable of keeping a spouse happy and raising a family effectively unless you can hold everyone together arbitrarily like hostages.

    Children don’t do well in abusive environments nor in households where the parents are hostile to each other. But its not like you would pay attention to that. After all God wants couples to stay together even if a spouse is being terrorized and harmed.

    “Larry views marriage as a box to force people into”

    Actually I don’t, because I don’t oppose no-fault divorce. Married couples stay together because they want to stay together. You are the one who wants to make it a terminal prison sentence. If you find no-fault divorce to be a danger to your marriage, then maybe you should work harder about trying to raise your family and treat your spouse better. Because obviously you need outside help to keep them from bolting

  54. As you move up the education and income ladder, a larger percentage of divorces are initiated by women, but the number of divorces decreases dramatically. The upper-middle to upper class tends to view divorce as not immoral, but very “tacky.”

    Smart people know that divorce is the biggest wealth-destroyer there is. It’s far more advantageous to figure out a way to get along than to liquidate and split up a lifetime’s worth of accumulated assets–and paying for your lawyer’s European vacation to boot.

  55. The Church has been misguided when it makes claims of what is “right” with regards to sexuality rather than what is healthy. These claims become an obsession with what is “wrong” instead of what is “right.” Dysfunctional religious ideas about sexuality become clear when the discussion is framed around a healthy sexuality. Too many religious leaders do not like to talk about what a healthy sexuality looks like, can be, and is.

  56. Bwahahahahahahahahahahahaahahaha!!!

    Whew! Oh, boy! Man, was that fun to read! Just the kind of ridiculous, baseless, mindless conservative apologetics I needed to have a good laugh at the end of a long day. Capitalism saves families! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Stop, stop, you’re killing me!!!

    Thanks, Jack!

  57. Frankie No-Facts at it yet again. Spewing slanders and lies and refusing to answer simple, direct questions of fact? Shocker.

  58. Something tells me Jack that you are not married, nor have any experience being around divorced couples/families. You seem awfully reductive and basically strange ideas how easy divorce is among couples.

    Couples should stay together for the sake of the kids because “things could just get better?”. Suddenly you have become a couple’s counselor? What do you possibly base your opinion here on? It certainly bears little resemblance to how actual people act.

    Attacking divorce and extolling marriage for their own sake is complete garbage. You are merely following an arbitrary standard having zero to do with your individual situation. There is nothing of worth these “family values” types provide to families other than new and interesting ways to assert alleged authority over the lives of others.

  59. The idea that divorce is immoral is a great way to make spousal abuse more acceptable in a marriage.

  60. Far more abuse goes on between unmarried partners than between spouses. Not impressed.

  61. Jack probably has in mind a certain study that followed 645 unhappily married couples and found that two-thirds of unhappy couples who remained together reported their marriages to be happy five years later, based on twelve different measures of psychological well-being, and more depressive symptoms in those who did divorce during that time. Additionally, a study of 2000 divorcees recently came out of the UK which indicates that 50% of divorcees have regrets about their divorces.

    I don’t know what Jack’s experience is but what all this has to do with his individual situation is irrelevant. We’re mostly talking statistics here. I have experience as both a wife who would require something earth-shattering before I would ever contemplate divorce, and as a child of divorce whose mother deeply regretted her decision till the very end of her life. Yet I’m sure you would consider my “individual situation” entirely anecdotal so why would you be interested in Jack’s?

  62. The person who files the action is titled either the plaintiff or the petitioner, depending on the jurisdiction.

  63. A few observations.

    I reject the religious right wing tactic to tie abortion with women being sexually liberated, so therefore promiscuous. Although there may be a extremely small portion of women who use the medical procedure of abortion as a means to rid themselves of an unwanted pregnancy, just so they can irresponsibly have unprotected sex again, this is a fallacy that this is the norm.

    Also, Moore asks about what he calls “the sexual revolution” (strange how obsessed the religious right are with sex, when clearly they are talking not about sex itself, but the relationships between people where sexual activities take place), ““Does anyone really believe these things will empower women and children?”. Well, he should ask the same thing of his religion. Does christianity empower children? Spare the rod spoil the child, take unruly children to the elders to be stoned to death…I don’t think so. How about all the children catholic priests raped? Think that empowered them? How about women? Does christianty empower them? Clearly not, keep silent in church, be submissive to your husband and so forth.
    Rake your own leaves before you start pointing out those of others.

  64. This is based on what? You say so? Don’t think so. Not impressed.

    Unmarried couples don’t have as many legal barriers to leaving an abusive partner.

  65. Which missed Art Deco’s point. He was claiming most divorces are initiated by wives and somehow husbands are not willing participants. Hence his term, “slapped with a divorce suit”

    The overwhelming majority of divorces are not contested. The issues are usually not whether the marriage will end, but how.

  66. Probably not.

    Jack is making wild claims about married couples which has no basis in how actual human beings act. Divorce is not as easy as he thinks it is at least procedurally. Nor can one make categorical statements that staying together is always going to be the most prudent course of action.

    He is not talking statistics. Neither are you for that matter, since you are giving no real reference to the study being claimed here.

  67. As usual no one can refute children deserve both a mother and father.

  68. And now they are being denied the best thing for them, both a mother and a father.

  69. Ben,
    Sorry you know so little, but talk so much.

  70. Me? No, the Department of Justice.

    “Intimate partner violence accounts for 14.6%
    of all violent victimizations. Current or former
    boyfriends or girlfriends (7.8%) commit a greater
    percentage of all violent victimizations than spouses
    (4.7%) and ex-spouses (2.0%).”

    “In 2003–12, most domestic violence against females was
    committed by the victim’s current or former boyfriend
    or girlfriend (39%) or spouse (25%) (figure 6). Similarly,
    most domestic violence against males was committed
    by the victim’s current or former boyfriend or girlfriend
    (30%). Males experienced somewhat similar percentages of
    domestic violence perpetrated by a spouse (13%), sibling
    (14%), or other relative (17%).”

  71. There is no way to “contest” a divorce in the sense of keeping it from happening so there is no way to know how many defendants are or are not unwilling participants. Any divorce that involves any disagreement about children or property is contested.

  72. “Does christianity empower children?”

    Well, it empowered them sufficiently that we now raise them (assuming they survive the womb) instead of leaving them out for the wild animals to eat with the full blessings of family and society, so I guess we’ve made some progress.

    “take unruly children to the elders to be stoned to death…”

    This is a common misrepresentation of the Torah by the scripturally ignorant. The passage did not deal with “unruly children” but adult sons. Josephus described rather thoroughly how this worked, and in light of his account I’d be surprised it it was ever actually invoked.

  73. Still missing the point. Reconciliation is sometimes a goal to a party in a divorce action. It is very very rare, but not entirely unheard of.

    Still Art is mischaracterizing most divorce actions in a rather sexist fashion. You can feel the need to defend him on it or continue with digressions. I don’t really care.

  74. Nice try but it only accounted for reported violence.

    “Family violence accounted for 11% of all reported and unreported violence between 1998 and 2002. Of these roughly 3.5 million violent crimes committed against family members,49% were crimes against spouses”

    “About 22% of murders in 2002 were family murders. Nearly 9% were
    murders of a spouse”

    Offenses reported and non reported between spouse and unmarried partner only differed by about 10% towards spouse for simple assault and about .9% difference in total otherwise. Largely due to the higher prevalence of sexual crimes by unmarried partners. (see the link page 13)

    Jack is still just making crap up for the sake of it.

  75. What an incredible indictment this article is about institutional religion. The Catholic Church with a historically dismal record on ecumenism has suddenly found two sympathetic soul mates in fundamentalist preachers by the name of Russell Moore and Rick Warren.

    If the Vatican was really interested in solidifying the institution of marriage and the family why does it not consult the laity? If the ‘institution of marriage’ appears to going downhill according to the ‘experts’ why was the laity not consulted in preparation for the recent Synod on the Family? If we are indeed living in a culture obsessed with sex then yesterday’s religious experts have failed the laity miserably. And perhaps no one failed more in this area than the institution itself on the matter of sexual abuse of children. Part of the failure must be attributed to the very unhealthy, outdated and damaging teachings on sexuality from the Roman Catholic Church itself. Take for example the teachings on homosexuality, masturbation, inVitro Fertilization, the use of condoms and other means of birth control, celibacy, etc., one would think like St. Augustine, that human sexuality was not a gift from God but from the devil. Why would anyone consult a group of celibate men to describe what sexuality and marriage should mean to a modern family? What about family life itself? Most families today require that both parents work in order to meet the monthly bills to pay for inflated mortgages, transportation costs, while raising children among staggering education costs. What do celibate men know about these daily challenges? Experience is still and only the best teacher.

    Instead of condemning families and their sexual behaviour meet families where they are – not where religious institutions would have them be. For a small minority to hide behind much needed changes on homosexuality (which has long since been identified by ALL major medical institutions as a hormonal issue) is a betrayal upon its victims. While the Bible does offer its readers warnings about sexual deviation it has nothing to say about homosexuality any more then it has to say about inVitro Fertilization.

    Survey after survey suggests that more than 90% of people believe in God. Thus It should be obvious to religious institutions particularly the Roman Catholic Church that the reason why so many have left the church it is because they no longer believe in an institution that does not listen to them.

    Religious leaders have yet to learn not to denounce people from their self appointed empirical position and instead climb down from that misplaced ladder and like Jesus learn to dine with and be with the sinner.

  76. larry, i’ve been reading your comments and frankly i’m surprised that you place the blame for all social ills on traditional Christianity. if you look back in time the period that had the least amount of divorce was before the sexual revolution. i grew up with relatives and friends from that time period and no one ever mentioned feeling oppressed or put down or trapped. imo, there are a myriad of reasons why marriages don’t last; people are more selfish than ever before, they become bored with their partner especially once they start looking older or gaining weight. everyone goes through this but if they stay long enough they start to see that love becomes deeper with time. when society frowned upon divorce people were more likely to stay and try to work things out, regardless of what you see in the movies. also imo, when women became ’empowered’ the whole marriage becomes a power struggle.

    besides, no fault divorce doesn’t mean that people cannot get divorced. plenty of people divorced before no fault came into being; it was just more difficult.

    all the time i hear people who come from broken homes say how growing up without one of their parents -usually a father- affected them all their lives. once you have brought a child into this world their wellbeing should be the overriding priority even if a happy household has to be faked. people should be taught to make good decisions when picking a partner rather than being blinded by sex. people might start doing this if they had to face up to the consequences of their actions instead of simply walking away. this is my female perspective anyway.

  77. trust me, no one is obsessed with you. i am in fact sick to death of the continual discoveries and disclosures of how people choose to have sex. since your community is so eager to share the info i would say that you are being slightly hypocritical.

  78. sure, if you are raising other peoples’ children. you are pushing the false idea that homosexuals are only raising children from broken homes and that is simply not the case.

  79. i can say from experience that most women don’t engage in sex without a hope of further intimacy. waiting to see if he is worthy to be with you, will defend you with his life is a wise endeavour. exploring sex and life together is one of the benefits of a young relationship. many women wish they had waited.

    what culture treat women as their husband’s property? i know you aren’t talking about american culture. this culture couldn’t be much more man hating.

  80. if women made better personal decisions to begin with abortion would not be necessary would it?

  81. i disagree. i am not a man and a man is not me. we both bring unique gifts to the relationship. and yes it did work in the past. there is much history before the 1960’s. women’s power was soft but major. now it’s just in your face.

  82. yes, however you would have Jesus affirm the sinner instead of requiring transformation and repentence. ‘hey guys, keep on prostituting and thieving. it’s all good.’ LOL

    from what i’ve read every teaching has a logical reasoning behind it, and i’m not even catholic. if you are open to it ‘why catholics are right’ would be a good book to read.

    and…it’s not true that droves are leaving the church. it’s actually held steady except in the godless west. i would say that if people are leaving for those superficial reasons their faith was not that strong to begin with.

    what IS true is the slow decline and eventual death of the episcopal church. those many you speak of have not run to my old ‘church’ and after they made all those changes you think are important to remain ‘relevant’ to society.

  83. care to elaborate on what religion teaches about sexuality? there’s a whole section in the bible on healthy sexual desire…

  84. you are clearly writing from a place of ignorance. i can speak from my experience that there are a lot of Christian women out here and we don’t feel oppressed.

    “use the medical procedure of abortion as a means to rid themselves of an unwanted pregnancy, just so they can irresponsibly have unprotected sex again, this is a fallacy that this is the norm.”

    yes, many women do use an abortion to ‘rid themselves’ of their babies which would inconvenience their lives, but i have never heard anything about ‘just so they can have unprotected sex again’. please provide the links that would support this statement as being ‘the norm’.

  85. “(which has long since been identified by ALL major medical institutions as a hormonal issue)”

    No it has most emphatically NOT been so identified.

    Otherwise, we are in agreement.

  86. Far be it from me to laugh at an ignorant man cackling, but Eric, I’ll admit I came close in your case.

    I suppose Eric is a true believer that somehow, somewhere, some day, Marxism will do something remotely useful for humanity.

    Again, I suppress a laugh.

  87. It looks like you’re stuck in a late 1960s and 1970s time warp, Larry. Or maybe you fell asleep in the late 1970s and just awoke from your slumber.

    In response to your hoary old-time-liberal-religion mantras above:

    (1) Every available statistic shows that year after year, a slim majority are graduating high school as virgins for the first time since the JFK years. That is a little-reported but huge change that has affected abortion rates for the same reason that increased contraceptive use among sexually active teens have done likewise: Both actions reduce the demand for abortion.

    (2) Your use of the hoary old term, “trickle-down” economics is quaint but telling. It was used 30 years ago, right before Reagan’s tax and regulatory revolution helped ignite one of the greatest technology boom and wealth creation eras in world history. To ascribe that as a cause of inner-city poverty shows that you know about as much about economics as a medieval monk or a Marxist apparachik. The kind of wealth creation that began in the 80s is exactly what enabled society to begin replacing the welfare state with an opportunity society in the 1990s through public/private partnerships in inner-cities, bringing poverty down, not up.

    (3) Welfare reform did not “demonize the poor.” It liberated the poor from what FDR once warned would become a “narcotic” if it ever became a long-term entitlement. After welfare reform, poverty went down, not up, as did inner-city unemployment and every other pathology. People like you were predicting calamity when it passed, and the ensuing years proved you to be as wrong as can be.

    (4) Traditional values of course are hardly the “cause.” They’re a big part of the solution. If you pay people not to work, not to get married, and to have lots of kids out of wedlock, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to predict the result.

    Larry, you’re not even close to being right on these points….and I find it almost laughable that you actually believe what you just wrote. On issues of wealth and poverty, you have everything backwards…..and a half century of experience, here and around the world, makes that blindingly obvious. You have to have been living in a cave over the past few decades to continue to cling to hard-left nonsense given the mountain of evidence that refutes it at every turn.

  88. Shawnie, you’re correct as usual. The arguments people make on any subject rise or fall on their own merits or lack thereof, not on the characteristics of those making them. And while I was not aware of the particular study you mentioned, I was basing my opinion on my own observations people I’ve met and have come to know over time — observations that fit very nicely with the study results.

  89. I thought so on both counts — as you go up the scale, you find a lower number of divorces but higher percentages of them initiated by women.

    What’s striking is how class plays an increasing role in all of this, and how the way it does represents an almost complete reversal from decades ago. Divorce used to be considered more of an upper-middle-class result while working-class people were more likely to stay married. Now things have reversed. And even beyond divorce, alternative lifestyles also have become “tacky” for upper-middle class people, and far more common among less educated, working-class people.

    The same is true of church attendance, which is why the far left constantly underestimates its ideological opponents on the right. Today, there is increasingly little difference class-wise between activists on both sides. They are overwhelmingly college-educated professionals. The left tends to think their opponents are bumpkins and doesn’t realize that for the most part, they’re of the same generation and class. It is largely a battle of the boomers.

  90. I guess Jonn has never heard of Song of Songs in the Bible.

    This is what biblical illiteracy does to people. It makes them vulnerable to militant atheist myths and superstitions about what is or is not in the Bible.

    It’s far better to read it for yourself than to rely on anti-religious yahoos to tell you.

  91. Right you are, Shawnie.

    There is evidence both in the New Testament and the Talmud that stoning people to death was far from the usual thing in ancient Israel. The NT story of the woman caught in adultery, if we read very carefully Jesus’ response to the men who wanted to stone the woman, is a great example. Jesus was essentially telling the men that if stoning were carried out in every instance for every listed offense, most if not all of them would be already dead. The inference is that stonings were not common.

    The Talmud corroborates this by flatly stating that the death penalty was not widely used.

    That raises the question: Why not, if the Torah prescribed it?

    And the apparent answer is that the same Torah which prescribed the death penalty for many offenses also included a sacrificial system and a yearly Day of Repentance (Yom Kippur) in which sins could be forgiven.

    In other words, God was saying, “Stoning is what you deserve for your sins, but mercy is what you will be given if you repent with a willing heart.”

  92. A large percentage of abortions are repeat abortions, so the facts don’t support your position.

    As for obsession with sex, a cursory scan of articles on this liberal bastion of conformity of a web site shows that the left is at least obsessed with sex as the right is.

    Every other article is gay this and gay that. Reading this site, you would think everybody’s gay and everyone, gay or straight, defines their human identity solely in terms of sex.

    So rather than blaming the obsession with sex on the right alone, you should probably blame it on a pop culture that affects all sides.

    If the Muslim world is stuck in a pre-adolescent state, with the culture characterized by misogynistic men acting like 8-year-olds, the Western word is stuck in an adolescent state, with both men and women acting like they just reached puberty yesterday afternoon.

  93. Exactly. Max likes to post an extensive list of all the offenses that are worthy of death as per the Torah, with the conclusion that “there would be nobody left.” Which is EXACTLY the point of the whole thing–and if the Jews didn’t get it the first time around, the Sermon on the Mount made it unmistakable. Everyone stands condemned under God’s law–even a low-bar standard like the Torah. Everyone is in need of forgiveness.

  94. “Every other article is gay this and gay that. Reading this site, you would think everybody’s gay and everyone, gay or straight, defines their human identity solely in terms of sex.”

    Well jack, you can blame the religious right for that, with their obsession over the Worst Sin Ever (TM). You can blame the republican (mostly) and democrat (too many) politicians who pander to the enemies of freedom, religious and otherwise, in their quest for power, money, and religious dominion. You can blame the uneducated, the fearful, and the homo-hating-homos who battle their own demons by battling what they believe to be mine. (They aren’t).

    It’s not gay people who are defining ourselves by our sexuality, but the anti-gays.

    I wrote this elsewhere, but it applies here as well.

    “By seeing my full humanity, I mean NOT seeing me as a walking sin, defining me as a human being completely by what YOU THINK is my sexuality. I am not a walking sex act, and you (generic) would be outraged if I defined YOU by that– a perversion personified, a corruption of nature, human or otherwise, a human or moral inferior, or a threat. In other words, seeing my full humanity is NOT seeing me as one or more of the many fairy stories that antigay bigots tell themselves must be true. They use these fairy stories to justify what they do to innocent others in the name of what is simply an ancient and vicious prejudice. Sometimes this prejudice is disguised as “sincere religious belief”, as if that were any sort of an excuse. Often, refreshingly, it is admitted for what it is. That’s why I prefer Westborough Baptists to Albert Mohler Baptists.

    Here are a few of my denials of those fairy stories you tell yourselves. I was NEVER heterosexual; like many gay people, I knew I was gay when I was THREE, long before I knew sex even existed. I just didn’t know what to call it, but I KNEW. I’m not broken, theologically or otherwise; I am as fully functional a human being as you are likely to meet. Your desire to have me be a “broken” person, all the while admitting that you are just as awash in sin as I allegedly am, says a lot more about you and homobigotry than it says about me. YOU might be broken, but then, that’s what your theology tells you. And the very fact of your obsession about my sexuality is a very good indicator of how broken you are. Specks and beams, my brothers. Specks and beams.

    I wasn’t molested, nor have I ever molested anyone; I am appalled at people who do, and even more appalled by people who claim that as a gay man, this is what I MUST DO. No, it is NOT what I do. It is a damnable lie, and damns you for repeating it. (Corinthians 6:9-10). You merely give cover to the Jerry Sandusky’s and child raping priests of the world, doing your part to perpetuate these crimes against children, and causing slanderous, reviling harm to my life. I’m not a drug addict, an alcoholic, a sexual compulsive, or suicidal. I’m not unhappy; I have a great life, full of wonderful friends and family, a successful career, and spiritual peace.

    I’m a human being who happens to be gay, a perfectly normal part of humanity. We have always been here, and always will be, not because of a sinful world, but because it’s a fact of existence, and not merely human existence. Read a book called “Biological Exuberance” by Bruce Bagemihl. Unless you’re claiming the dolphins and 500 other species are also tainted by original sin, ya got nothin’. I am citizen, a tax payer, a law abiding and productive member of my community, well liked and respected. I expect to be treated like one. I am not a threat to anything or anybody, except perhaps religious dominionists, their antigay cash cow, and their anti-human agenda.

    Most importantly, I am not in rebellion against your particular, peculiar version of God, who particularly and peculiarly is always in agreement with those who claim to speak for him. Why is my alleged sin so extra special? We’re all doing the backstroke in sin, remember? So shouldn’t you be concentrating on your own sins, rather than mine? Didn’t someone who used to be important have something to say about that? No, I am in rebellion against YOU, and all religious dominionism. It’s no longer considered classy to beat up on Jews, or blacks, or the Heathen Chinee. We’re still considered fair game, and there is a great deal of money to be made and power to be accrued in antigay bigotry. Brian Brown earns $200K each year “protecting” marriage from the horrors of people affirming the value of marriage by getting married.”

    The whole debate on don’t-ask-don’t-tell reduced my friend John’s life to a sex act– and was likewise filled with lies, lies, and more lies about how his private life would destroy the military. (So far, it hasn’t). Then there is the famous Regnerus “study”, which claimed to prove– it only proved that Regnerus would pervert science itself for money– that if someone had EVER had a homosexual experience, that disqualified him or her from parenting.

    I should also mention here the recent Vatican “conference” on complementarity. (I won’t even get into their extended riffs on why gay is horrible, evil, and a threat to humanity). If you boil down all of the rhetoric, all complementarity boils down to is having a penis and a vagina present. Talk about defining ALL men and ALL women by their sexuality.

    No, jack, it isn’t us at all. I can guarantee you that if the religious right dropped the subject, so would we. But they won’t. There is too much power, money, and dominion in it for them. There are too many homo-hating-homos trying to exorcise their demons at the expense of those of us trying to live our lives freely, in the sunshine, rather than in the dark recesses of their fears.

  95. Jack, being able to openly assess and criticize capitalism doesn’t automatically make someone a Marxist. Eric may be an independent mind willing to ask difficult questions, allowing us to fix problems and work for a better society.

    There are different forms of capitalism, collective labor and entrepreneurship which can coexist in a healthy economy.

    The teaching of Jesus, Paul and different Christian churches over the centuries have been critical of mercantilism and capitalism, preferring goods be shared and distributed based on need and/or community affiliation, not ability to contribute. Where does global corporate capitalism leave the children, elderly and disabled in our societies?

    Yes, global corporate capitalism has brought us much materially but it also complicated our inner lives, our relationships to neighbors, our free time to contribute to others and reflect on personal experience. It has fed unnecessary wars, consumed resources that took generations (if not eons) to accumulate and has led to the degradation of natural wonders. What is it if we have gained the whole material world yet lost our humanity, our soul?

  96. Same-sex parenting would be poisoning a child. Our entire culture is depraved and misguided, and homosexuality is not a solution or an improvement. It’s a death knell. The final nail in the coffin.

  97. It’s not an obsession. It’s a clarion call to warn of the danger.

  98. We can’t believe how deluded you are. You’re an enigma to many of us.

  99. The truth is you’re being used for an agenda as a useful idiot. Wake up!

  100. America is “homo-obsessed” for a very good reason: because of one sin among many (homosexuality, see 1 Cor 6:9) that gets publicity and pageantry above others. If a sin like prostitution, murder, adultery, etc., was in the limelight, people would have the same complacency toward that as they do with the gays. Alas, homosexuality isn’t viewed nearly as heinously. Remember, all sin is sin, and is a “stench in God’s nostrils.” That’s why Jesus came, out of God’s LOVE for those who repent.

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