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Top Catholics and evangelicals: Gay marriage worse than divorce or cohabitation

Aaron Huntsman (left) and William Lee Jones (right) are married in Key West, Fla., with the Rev. Steve Torrence officiating, the first couple to marry in the Florida Keys. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Carol Tedesco/Florida Keys News Bureau * Editors: This photo can only be used with RNS-GAY-MARRIAGE, originally transmitted Jan. 28, 2015. * Editors: This photo can only be used with RNS-GAY-MARRIAGE, originally transmitted Jan. 28, 2015.
Aaron Huntsman (left) and William Lee Jones (right) are married in Key West, Fla., with the Rev. Steve Torrence officiating, the first couple ot marry in the Florida Keys. For use with RNS-GAY-MARRIAGE, transmitted Jan. 28, 2015. RNS photo courtesy REUTERS/Carol Tedesco/Florida Keys News Bureau. * Editors: This photo can only be used with RNS-GAY-MARRIAGE, originally transmitted Jan. 28, 2015.

Aaron Huntsman (left) and William Lee Jones (right) are married in Key West, Fla., with the Rev. Steve Torrence officiating, the first couple to marry in the Florida Keys. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Carol Tedesco/Florida Keys News Bureau * Editors: This photo can only be used with RNS-GAY-MARRIAGE, originally transmitted Jan. 28, 2015.

NEW YORK (RNS) A high-profile alliance of conservative Catholics and evangelical Protestants is set to issue a sweeping manifesto against gay marriage that calls same-sex unions “a graver threat” than divorce or cohabitation, one that will lead to a moral dystopia in America and the persecution of traditional believers.

“If the truth about marriage can be displaced by social and political pressure operating through the law, other truths can be set aside as well,” say the nearly 50 signers of the statement, which is to be published in the March edition of the conservative journal First Things.

“And that displacement can lead, in due course, to the coercion and persecution of those who refuse to acknowledge the state’s redefinition of marriage, which is beyond the state’s competence,” they say.

The declaration adds that some people “are already being censured and others have lost their jobs because of their public commitment to marriage as the union of a man and a woman.”

Social conservatives have rallied around a number of cases that they say herald a gloomy future, including the recent dismissal of the fire chief in Atlanta, who had given employees a copy of his book in which he detailed his beliefs, based on his Christian faith, that homosexuality was “vile.”

Other cases include a New Mexico photographer who lost her fight to opt out of taking pictures of a same-sex wedding; bakers and florists who wanted to turn away gay customers; and an Idaho wedding chapel whose Christian owners wanted to conduct only heterosexual weddings.

This latest statement, “The Two Shall Become One Flesh: Reclaiming Marriage,” comes from the group Evangelicals and Catholics Together, a coalition formed in 1994 under the aegis of former Nixon aide Charles Colson, an evangelical, and the Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, a Catholic priest.

One of their goals was to encourage the two Christian communities to overcome their historical suspicions and doctrinal differences in order to battle what they saw as a growing moral laxity in the U.S.

(RNS1-JAN08) The Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, one of the leading conservative theologians in the U.S. Catholic Church, died Jan. 8 at age 72. For use with RNS-NEUHAUS-OBIT, transmitted Jan. 8, 2009. Religion News Service photo courtesy of First Things.

The Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, one of the leading conservative theologians in the U.S. Catholic Church, died Jan. 8 at age 72. Religion News Service photo courtesy of First Things

Neuhaus died in 2009, and Colson in 2012, but the movement has continued and in some ways has become more focused as Christian conservatives have grown increasingly united in their alarm over the sudden and spreading acceptance of gay rights, especially same-sex marriage.

Discussions on a document on same-sex marriage began in June 2013 — the same month the U.S. Supreme Court required the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages — according to Russell Reno, editor of First Things and a member of ECT; Reno provided a copy of the declaration to RNS.

But Reno said the members first had to agree to set aside their differences on the legitimacy of divorce and contraception, for example, and even whether marriage is a sacrament.

That enabled them to focus on the advance of gay marriage, which they say not only betrays religious tradition but, more than any other development, undermines society because “marriage is the primordial human institution, a reality that existed long before the establishment of what we now know as the state.”

“(W)hat the state defines as marriage no longer embodies God’s purposes in creation,” says the 5,000-word statement, which was first reported by Baptist Press. “An easy acceptance of divorce damages marriage; widespread cohabitation devalues marriage. But so-called same-sex marriage is a graver threat, because what is now given the name of marriage in law is a parody of marriage.”

(RNS1-NOV22) Maggie Gallagher, co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage, says religious advocacy groups need political structures to endorse or oppose individual candidates if they want to be effective. For use with RNS-FAITH-LOBBY, transmitted Nov. 22, 2011. RNS photo by David Jolkovski.

Maggie Gallagher, co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage, says religious advocacy groups need political structures to endorse or oppose individual candidates if they want to be effective. RNS photo by David Jolkovski

Signers of the statement include popular megachurch pastor Rick Warren and longtime gay marriage foe Maggie Gallagher, as well as prominent conservative Catholic intellectuals George Weigel and Robert George.

Timothy George, a Southern Baptist and dean of Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School; Mark Galli, editor of the evangelical magazine Christianity Today; and J.I. Packer of Regent University also endorsed the statement.

The signers say they “do not dispute the evident fact of hormonal and chromosomal irregularities, nor of different sexual attractions and desires.” But they say that in legitimating same-sex marriage, “a kind of alchemy is performed, not merely on the institution, but on human nature itself.”

“We are today urged to embrace an abstract conception of human nature that ignores the reality of our bodies. Human beings are no longer to be understood as either male or female,” it says. The result, it says, will undermine society by eliminating any moral compass except that which the state declares to be the norm, to the exclusion of all others.

What effect the document might have is unclear. It reads like a declaration of war, but in a battle that even many conservatives see as a lost cause, or one they see no reason to fight. Increasing numbers of Christians, like the rest of society, are more tolerant and accepting of gays and lesbians, according to several surveys.

The document declares, however, that a “faithful Christian witness cannot accommodate itself to same-sex marriage,” and it suggests that believers who accept gay marriage are no longer fully Christian.

The signers themselves do not offer a detailed plan of action to counter gay marriage, which is now legal in 36 states and the District of Columbia, and pending in several others. Reno said the statement was not intended as a road map for political or judicial action, but more as a rallying cry to Christians and “to disabuse folks of the notion that we can just keep on keeping on as we have been.”

The signers raise the possibility — which has been debated among religious conservatives in recent months — that clergy could refuse to sign state marriage licenses as an act of civil disobedience.

But they conclude simply that “whatever courses of action are deemed necessary, the coming years will require careful discernment.” They say that the best strategy is for Christians themselves and others “of good will” to live lives that are faithful examples of traditional marriage. “On this basis alone can we succeed,” they say.

KRE/MG END GIBSON

About the author

David Gibson

David Gibson is a national reporter for RNS and an award-winning religion journalist, author and filmmaker. He has written several books on Catholic topics. His latest book is on biblical artifacts: "Finding Jesus: Faith. Fact. Forgery," which was also the basis of a popular CNN series.

272 Comments

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  • “The declaration adds that some people “are already being censured and others have lost their jobs because of their public commitment to marriage as the union of a man and a woman.”

    Isn’t there a rule somewhere in their religious beliefs against bearing false witness? I guess not. 🙂

    The self-deception and media distortion efforts are working overtime among these religious leaders. It is politically advantageous to claim that people are being forced out of jobs and business because of their alleged religious views. But the reality is far harsher to those claims.

    Truth of the matter those allegedly “persecuted Christians” were being rebuked for acting in inappropriate, uncivil and in some cases illegal manners. But pretty much any behavior is excused if one claims to be doing it for Jesus. The complaint really is that the privilege these Christians used to unduly exert on society is being called out and criticized. Nothing more pathetic than whining about lost privileges that one never earned in the first place.

  • Their Opinion, one of many. Welcome to America where your can leave or take as much doctrine as you like. I love Smorgasbord Christianity!

  • With all that pearl clutching, one has to wonder if there is any strength left to hold their bibles.

    “as well as prominent conservative Catholic intellectuals George Weigel and Robert George.” And with that, you completely lost me. They aren’t intellectuals, they are propagandists parodying intellectuals. Only a parody of an intellectual could come up with this: ” Human beings are no longer to be understood as either male or female.”

  • It is far, far worse. It is an absolute rejection of Gods created order. It’s an absolute rejection of Gods created family unit. It is a complete rejection of the best interests of children. No doubt divorce and cohabitation is a failure to trust God and is damaging but it doesn’t come close to the damage that gay “marriage” will bring.

  • It would be so cool to be able to look at alternate time lines and contrast the people and arguments made in this one verses one where someone came up with a good word for “the loving commitment between to people to build a life together”. Here we use marriage there something else. My bet is in both you have the same people trying to defend the idea that only relationships like their own matter and that isn’t hate.

    By going for same-sex marriage the LGBT crowd has worked to affirm the importance of marriage, if they were out to destroy it providing a term to represent a union of love after the anti crowd have tried to reduce marriage to church and government endorsed breading would do it.

  • Honestly? The very last opportunity to “counter gay marriage” was the 2012 presidential election.

    By the 2012 election, Mr. Gay-Marriage-In-Chief Obama, had already publicly promised to remove the only remaining barrier to gay marriage (DOMA)> Yet yet evangelicals and Catholics voted for Obama anyway, just like they did in 2008 when Obama quietly signaled that he opposed DOMA.

    So now the legal and political battle IS lost, even if every single Christian votes for the GOP in 2016. It’s too late. Obama did what he promised his gay activist pals (or handlers!), and now there’s nothing left for American Christians except to pay the price — and they (we) will pay it in FULL.

    (And yes, our kids and grandkids will pay up too. The payments are just beginning.)

    That’s why, despite their notable and commendable courage, the “Evangelicals And Catholics Together” didn’t actually offer any legal or political moves “to counter gay marriage.” There AREN’T any.

    So RNS blogger Eliel Cruz and others, and RNS regulars like Larry and Max, and all the other gay marriage supporters don’t even have to post at RNS anymore if they don’t want to. They can just break out the Pringles, snarf some Big Macs, and guzzle some goodly gallons of A & W Root Beer. They’ve already won, thanks to us Christians. No joke, it’s done.

    Except for one thing, of course. 1 Cor 6:9-11. If you can just get the Christians to PUBLICLY agree with their own Bibles and simply affirm out loud that it’s true, then you ARE going to see Jesus keep on producing those pesky Ex-Gays and Ex-Lesbians just like what happened in Corinth.

    Jesus will keep on kidnapping and deprogramming men and women and teenagers out of the Gay Marriage Cult, in the middle of the night when nobody is looking.. He’ll keep on radically changing lives, replacing “gay self-identity” with HIS OWN self-identity, (and yes that means somebody won’t be gay no more, because Jesus and his invincible power ain’t gay.)

    (Jesus has already broken up more than one gay couple, as gay activists are well aware. He ain’t done, not nearly, not nohow.)

    So the Gay Activists have DEFEATED the Christians. We’re done. We’re down. We’re doomed. You won. But let’s see if you can beat JESUS!!!

  • I suspect that the reason they’re still fighting about gay marriage even though it’s now a fait accompli is that they realize the totalitarian nature of their enemy — The same radical left that co-opted the civil rights and feminist movements has co-opted the gay rights movement…..and as we have seen in both cases, the limited, concrete goals of the original civil rights and women’s rights movements have been transformed into a permanent cultural revolution whose goals are not limited to changes in law, but to the totalitarian demand that all dissenters be thoroughly converted in their opinions or see their livelihoods, as well as their freedoms of thought and conscience, religion or belief, destroyed.

    If liberals rather than radicals were still in the saddle, the legal right to gay marriage would be the final goal. But as anyone can see, it is not. The ultimate goal is not just gay marriage, but universal applause for gay marriage. That is by definition a totalitarian goal that goes far beyond recognition of a legal right.

    And ironically, it is precisely because opponents of gay marriage realize that the goals of the radical left are not limited to recognition of a legal right that they feel they have no choice but to fight on. It is this overreach on the part of the radical left that will continue to divide our nation into two dangerously separate camps, politically and ideologically.

  • “I suspect that the reason they’re still fighting about gay marriage even though it’s now a fait accompli is that they realize the totalitarian nature of their enemy”

    How big is your shovel Jack? That is a heaping amount of bovine effluence. Totalitarian enemy? You are talking about people seeking civil liberties under the law using the same democratic principles and methods as their opponents.

    Your entire post is just an ad hominem spew to ascribe a point of view to a group you have arbitrarily labeled and demonized. There might have been a point in that giant word salad, but I doubt it.

    The opponents of marriage equality are a hodgepodge of hysterics and bigots who cannot articulate a purpose behind their position which is rational and secular in nature. Its not the marriage equality people who are looking for sectarian opt-outs of the Civil Rights Act and state versions of it. [In their view such things only apply to Christians, all other faiths need not apply for such exemptions]. It is not the marriage equality supporters who are talking about defying court orders or prosecuting people for doing their job. That heavy handed totalitarian action belongs firmly in your camp.

  • Far be it from me, Larry, to interrupt the conversation you’re having with yourself. Clearly, not a word you’ve just posted responds to a single thought or word I articulated.

    So even though the week is just half over, your post easily wins the periodically bestowed award of Non Sequitur of the Week.

    I believe this is the second time you’ve received it, so congratulations are in order.

    Feel free to post another non sequitur as part of your acceptance remarks.

  • Indeed, Jack.

    So much for the multitude of assurances we’ve all heard over the past decade or so that gay marriage would IN NO WAY affect us or our lives. If that were true, I for one would hardly give a flip about the entire issue.

    I’m reminded of Max assuring us that we have nothing to fear from atheists. Atheists would NEVER interfere with religious freedom or separation of church and state. Oh, no…

  • Why? Gay marriage harms no one. Divorce does: women get kicked. Serial monogomy is in every man’s interest because they can always pick up young chickies whereas women have lock in relationships while they still have their bargaining chips. And cohabitation as a practice is also harmful, because having become socially acceptable it means that women can’t lock men into marriage. Gay marriage? Who cares? And the more locked in relationships to provide security the better. What is harmful is a state of affairs where everyone is insecure, no relationships are locked in, and every one is always endlessly scrounging, ‘working on relationships’ and selling themselves.

  • Oh no Shawnie! You might have to treat gay people like people! Time to clutch the pearls and scream in horror!

    People may no longer be able to get away with maliciously harming gays in the name of religion!

    Yeah, it is going to affect some people. Largely self-important religious bigots who can no longer call upon force of law to attack people.

  • Who wants to attack them? People just don’t want to be forced to participate in their little parties–and the fact that they would want us to at all proves Jack’s point in high definition.

  • @Jack,

    “they realize the totalitarian nature of their enemy…”

    Enemy. Gee, what harm can result from that kind of talk?

    “Homosexuals must surely be stoned to death” – (Leviticus 20:13)

    “the only cure for homosexuals is that they be put to death” – PASTOR Robbie Galaty, Tennessee Megachurch, Sept. 4, 2014

    The world will be so much better once this nonsense is abandoned and Atheism becomes normal.

  • @Thecla,

    “it means that women can’t lock men into marriage.”

    Lock? Ownership is slavery.
    Marriage is teamwork. But teamwork without marriage can still work.

    The problem with religion is that it is too nosy. It cares to much about things which are none of anyone’s business.

  • So does this mean they’ve given up that tired talking point about how “We oppose sin and homosexuality is just a sin, no better or worse than any other sin?” Nobody ever believed it so I’m glad they seem to be throwing it out.

  • “Atheists would NEVER interfere with religious freedom or separation of church and state. Oh, no…”

    I never said that.

    The enemy of freedom is Enforced Dogma.
    All Religious Claims are Dogma.
    The Hard Atheist claim “God does not exist” is a religious claim. When it is enforced it is the enemy of freedom.
    The Christian Claim “God does exist” is a religious claim. When it is enforced it is the enemy of freedom.

    Agnostic Atheism (simple non-belief in Gods) is not a religious claim.
    There is nothing – no dogma to enforce on anyone else.

    The US Constitution is Agnostic and Atheistic:
    “Congress shall make no law establishing a religion or preventing the free exercise thereof.”

    Agnostic Atheism is growing. It is not a dogma. And it works beautifully with laws already in place.

  • Forced to participate…aka to conduct commerce with them for a business open to the public. Yep same old dishonest framing. Still trying to pretend discrimination is not an act of intentional harm.

    It doesn’t matter how you try to restate and reframe the situation. It still amounts to a bigoted business owner saying, “we don’t serve your kind”. Doing so for the specific and uncivil purpose of demeaning the putative customer.

    Their concerns in furthering their bigotry in public and the loss of undue privilege in harming the public at large, is nothing I feel any need to give a crap about.

  • The battle for “Christian marriage” was lost long ago. That happened when divorce was accepted and when civil marriage was allowed. In Australia, 72.5% of all marriages now take place with civil celebrants. Therefore, even though Australia doesn’t have same sex marriage, the marriage rite has become largely secular anyway.

  • Except that separation of church and state is in and of itself a dogma, one that is not any safer in the hands of atheists than anyone else.

  • You’re right of course. It is unsurprising that we have sunk this low, what with the increasingly low esteem in which marriage and family are now held.

  • Oh, I’d gladly serve “their kind” in any other context. I’d even sell them a wedding cake in the same manner in which mine was sold to me — a standard design chosen from a sample book, paid for with a credit card, and delivered to a designated location before anyone was even there. But no, I wouldn’t photograph or decorate or anything that required me to attend. We’re not talking people but events.

    Although I do like Ben’s idea…provision of the demanded service with a contractual provision that a certain percentage of the proceeds would be donated to Focus on the Family or somesuch It would be interesting to see if the fun of forcing a conscience violation on another is worth putting a chunk of moolah into the “homophobes'” pockets.

  • @Shawnie,

    “separation of church and state is in and of itself a dogma”

    Ridiculous.
    Dogma is an Authoritarian declaration of a TRUTH.

    The Establishment Clause of the Constitution
    which embodies the Separation of Church and State
    is a law of LIMITS AGAINST DOGMA.

    Dogma – a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true. It cannot be changed or discarded without affecting the very system’s paradigm, or the ideology itself.

    You complain about non-belief in Gods.
    But your enemy is Enforced Dogma – which is Religion.

  • “We hold these truths to be self-evident…”

    And all the rest flowed from that.

    Max, please think about what you’re writing before you write (or paste) it.

  • It is going to be a great day, once all the old right-wing McCarthian conservatives die off and this country can finally move forward.

  • Shawnie:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident…
    And all the rest flowed from that.”

    You are being ridiculous. That is not dogma. Good grief!
    Next you’ll say that it is ‘dogma’ to propose the water freezes at 32 degrees! (hint: It isn’t!)

    ‘Self-evident truths’ are not dogma FROM AUTHORITY just as ‘scientific truths’ are not dogma FROM AUTHORITY either! Demonstrable evidence is not FROM AUTHORITY.

    However “Jesus is the only way to heaven” has NO evidence – neither subjective evidence nor objective evidence. It can only be claimed or asserted FROM AN AUTHORITY.

    The emphasis on ‘evident’ is what keeps the Establishment Clause from being dogmatic. Any thing contingent on evidence cannot be dogmatic.

    You are an example of why protection of Separation of Church and State is a matter of urgency. Your ignorance about evidence vs. Authority is painfully common among religious people and the price for such ignorance will be the embrace of Authoritarian regimes and the loss of our freedoms! The very thing which you claim to object to!

    Go back to school and study something other than religion for a change. You might learn something.

  • Just like Sodom moved forward, America will move forward too. The destination point will pretty much be the same as well.

  • WE HOLD these truths to be self-evident. If they were actually self-evident in the sense you are insisting upon, there would be no necessity to “hold” them to be so. Fundamental human rights are not a matter of “evidence” (we of course can not scientifically measure and demonstrate that people are born with them) but a matter of values and as such derive from an authority (which of course Jefferson acknowledged in the passage) and are as much “dogma” as anything overt religious is.

    Do you also find it self-evident that our rights are endowed by our Creator, as Jefferson did?

    This is too much fun!

    Do you

  • I find it hilarious how the generation that once did not trust anyone over 30 are now the “old bigots” whose death is now being eagerly awaited by a generation anxious to start making its own messes.

    History is drearily repetitious. It’s a joke the young rarely get.

  • it’s no wonder I’m NO LONGER a Catholic, and have become a Atheist / Humanist….I was rAised Catholic……but now that’s religion is USED as a weapon against people. IM DONE! You do NOT Need ANY KIND of Voodoo to Get Married BY THE (((STATE)))…the STATE, not the church……the STATE!

  • But believing in a magical sky being is “normal”? So you also believe in Santa, the Easter Bunny and unicorns?

    No one is born believing in any of these non-existent entities, you’re taught to do so. That’s not “normal’.

  • Yep those people who claim to be defending marriage really keep the institution in low regard. The make nonsense claims that marriage is solely for procreation. That is probably the most reductive insulting way to describe marriage one can think of.

    These same people want to create legal blocks to couples raising children for no apparent reason. Many even claim such children do not really exist. Christians have sunk pretty low.

  • If your god has such a problem with it, then why doesn’t he/she/it come on down and do something about it? Obviously your god has no problem with divorce, pre-marital sex, single parents, adulterers, or it would have descended from the heavens and shot down the sinners with lightning bolts long ago. Not to mention all the gay people running around the planet without any repercussions. If your god created this order, it ought to be able to enforce it, no?

  • CONTRACTS are not slavery. They make a secure, civilized society possible so that everyone can rest easy. You sign a lease so that your landlord won’t rent out your apartment while you’re still there and kick you out–and in turn agree to forfit your security deposit if you bail. You buy a house and both you and the seller put money into escrow to guarantee that neither of you back out. Marriage is a contract.

  • “God’s CREATED family unit” has always included gay people. Only with corruption of the Church and its assumption of worldly authority were gay people chucked out.

    Try to do unto others, etc., etc., for a change.

  • Surely the Protestants in this organization can rightly be called prominent and influential. By the nature of their jobs, they have authority.

    But the Catholics listed above? I’m sure RNS is accustomed to quoting Gallagher and George Weigel and Robert George, but they’re hardly prominent in the Church. They’re at the top of the list of American Conservative Catholics, along with Bill Donohue and his six-man show and fax machine! But they are nothing to the Church. They don’t hold positions of authority. They’re no widely quoted except by each other. The Catholic Church has a hierarchy. These folks aren’t in it.

  • It seems, so far, conservative anti-LGBT proponents have just two paths–both of which appear to be self-defeating. They can use every opportunity of law and of feigned persecution to enable continued opportunities to discriminate against LGBT couples. This will inevitably fail due to the obvious wolf in sheep’s clothing effect. The more they do it, the more the public will see the meaness of it. Or, they can do as this article indicates…”the best strategy is for Christians themselves and others ‘of good will’ to live lives that are faithful examples of traditional marriage. ‘On this basis alone can we succeed'”
    I agree, but not as they predict. The more people focus on maturity and responsibility in marriage (i.e. ‘faithful examples’) the more they will recognize those aspects, not gonads, are the true markers of genuine marriage. If they can achieve that, then gender will become irrelevant.

  • Thecla:

    “Contracts are not slavery”

    You said ‘LOCK’.
    Locks are slavery.

    You said,
    “And cohabitation as a practice is also harmful, because having become socially acceptable it means that women can’t lock men into marriage.”

    Women have no business locking men up any more than men should lock women up. When love dies the marriage should end.
    I have been married for 30 years – but I have never seen a divorce which should not have happened.

  • @Shawnie,

    Show me the DOGMA in the US Constitution.
    You won’t find any.

    “WE HOLD these truths to be self-evident.”
    Translation: “It appears these things are true and we can demonstrate them and see them with our own senses and through our experience”
    That is NOT Dogma.

    “Fundamental human rights are not a matter of “evidence””
    The hell they aren’t.

    “a matter of values and as such derive from an authority (which of course Jefferson acknowledged in the passage) and are as much “dogma” as anything overt religious is.”
    Wrong.
    ‘Evident’ destroys your argument.

    “Do you also find it self-evident that our rights are endowed by our Creator, as Jefferson did?”
    No. ‘Self-evident’ leaves any commentary about ‘endowed by our creator’ to be ridiculous and superfluous.
    It would be like saying ‘it is self-evident that water freezes at 32 degrees thanks to the powers of a Creator’.
    Just as Jefferson was wrong about slavery he was wrong that a Creator endowed anything.
    If something is self-evident it does not matter where it comes from.

    You complain about Enforced Dogma (religion) while you argue for Religion (Enforced Dogma).

    You should come to your senses.

  • “Do you also find it self-evident that our rights are endowed by our Creator, as Jefferson did?”

    You cannot prove the existence of a Creator – so you cannot prove a damn thing about what the Creator “creates.”

    You do not get to say “such and such comes from a Creator” without backing that up with evidence of a Creator!

    It would be like saying the color Green was invented by Leprechauns – and since Green exists, Leprechauns exist.

    You are being too tiresome.

  • You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    Ezekiel 16:49-50: “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.”

  • Let’s see – Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, David, Solomon – significant Biblical fathers who had multiple wives and concubines. Where is the God-ordained model for the family? It’s not in the Bible. You cannot read anything that construes what a wedding is or a marriage in the Scriptures. It’s a cultural idea that varies by culture. Jesus and others used the cultural models of the day to illustrate theological points, not vice-versa.

  • This whole movement is indicative of the death-throes of the conservative religious industry in our times. The angry old men of the Moral Majority-generation see all of their influence waning and no one paying any attention to their “Get off my lawn” pronouncements. It’ll probably get uglier before it gets better. BUT PLEASE, do not lump all Christians (or religious believers) in with these camera-hogging prima donnas. Many of us are much more tolerant. compassionate, open to knowledge and questions, and interested in serving the common good than these caricatures of faithfulness.

  • Gods created order for a family in man plus woman who then have children.

    Two gay people can never make a marriage or a family.

  • atheistnproud- God gives us free will. Read Romans 1:18-32 and also
    1 Corinthians 6:9-12. God is very real but many people choose to deny
    Him because they love their sin. God wants us all to have a relationship
    with Him but it’s our choice. For you to say that this whole universe came
    into existence by chance is just being blind. If the sun was any closer we
    would burn and any further away we would freeze. Just chance. No way!
    1 Corinthians 6:9-12 lists many sins right along with the homosexuals but
    many in the church don’t want to face their own sin or look at themselves
    so they focus on abortion/gay marriage so their sin doesn’t seem so bad.
    Bible prophecy accuracy such as Psalm 22:16-18 and also Isaiah 53:3-7
    is why we can trust Jesus/the Bible. The Case for Christ is good to read.

  • Oh Max do you ever tire of looking foolish?

    We need vaccines and treatments for disease because sin is in our world.

    Try to understand theology before you attack it otherwise, like now, no one will take you seriously.

  • God created them male and female, be fruitful and multiply.

    God spoken, Jesus affirmed.

    Very clear about Gods created order for sexuality marriage and family. No denying that. No changing that.

  • The importance of marriage is that it is a God designed structure that is between a man and woman. No changing that.

  • 1 Corinthians 6:9-12 lists many sins right along with the homosexuals so all
    sin is bad/ wrong and we all must Repent! God is real but many choose to
    deny Him because they don’t want to be told how to live/they love their sin
    which Romans 1:18-32 makes it very clear. For people to look out into the
    universe and say that this is all just by a random chance where the sun is
    set where we don’t burn or freeze is just being blind. Conscience means
    with knowledge/God gave us our conscience to know between right and
    wrong so man has no excuse on the day of judgment. We all must Repent!

    Bible prophecy accuracy such as Psalm 22:16-18 and also Isaiah 53:3-7
    are why Jesus/Bible can be trusted. The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel is
    a good book to read and also Jesus among other gods by Ravi Zacharias.
    Bible says Repent and believe the Gospel to be saved! We must Repent!

  • Jack, I have to say that of all the very religious posters here, you appear to be one that is rational, and not up to your neck in BS. and then you post something like this. I’m deeply disappointed. It is as fact free and paranoid as anything, though your grammar and spelling are better.

    “The same radical left that co-opted the civil rights and feminist movements has co-opted the gay rights movement.” Really? I’ve been in this fight for over 40 years. I’ve met a few radicals, but they are as far from real power as can be. The vast majority are people just like me. I asked you for names the last time you posted this. you gave me Al Sharpton, a buffoon who makes his money being a left the same way that Tony Perkins and brian brown make it for being far right. How about some names and organizations for these radical gay leftists.

    “but to the totalitarian demand that all dissenters be thoroughly converted in their opinions or see their livelihoods, as well as their freedoms of thought and conscience, religion or belief, destroyed.” Sounds like the anti-ex-gay industry, and the religious right to me. Sodomy laws, don’t ask don’t tell, anti-marriage campaigns, anyone?

    “The ultimate goal is not just gay marriage, but universal applause for gay marriage. That is by definition a totalitarian goal that goes far beyond recognition of a legal right.” THAT IS A FLAT OUT LIE. I’m not interest in your applause. I don’t know anyone who thinks that way, except for the radical right. As I said to doc elsewhere, leave us alone, stop your campaigns of lies and hate, and you’d be surprised at how very uninterested we are in you.

    It is this overreach on the part of the radical left that will continue to divide our nation into two dangerously separate camps, politically and ideologically. Precisely the opposite. It is the demand for religious dominion of the religious right that is dividing our nation. The obsession with homosexuality of the religious right gave us the twin disasters known as the two presidencies of the Great shrub, with their two undeclared wars that have drained our treasury, inflamed and destabilized the middle east, and destroyed our reputation in the world. The republican congress and republican president also gave us the greatest financial meltdown since the great depression. how is your 401k doing?

    Name some names and organizations. give us some facts and examples. This kind of paranoid rhetoric simply doesn’t become you.

  • Watching Max flailing away, trying to defend the indefensible, against Shawnie, is worthy of a few good laughs, even though the outcome is about as predictable as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west.

  • Darn….I just bestowed on Larry the prestigious Non Sequitur of the Week award, thinking nobody could possible exceed his free-association, stream-of-consciousness non-reply to my post — and here comes Atheist Max with a post which does just that…..

    In light of Max’s extraordinary entry, I hope Larry won’t mind sharing his award with Old Max.

    These are indeed Uber Masters of the Non Sequitur and it is only fair that we fully recognize both of them.

  • Jude 1:17

    In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

  • Actually, it IS normal to believe in God. After all, most people in your hometown, already do.

    Do you know why most people in your hometown choose theism? Because atheism is rationally counter-intuitive AND rationally unsupported, that’s why. It’s no good for people who rely on functional neurons.

    Atheism leaves totally unexplained, a vast amount of empirically observed precision engineering and design marvels found within the biological world, including those discovered within humans.

    Nor does atheism explain the fine-tuning of the universe and of fine-tuned physical constants that just somehow happened to be automatically set up for the optimal surviving and thriving of, ummm, HUMANS.

    Therefore, atheism is far less likely to be rationally true than theism. This is why most folks choose theism.

    (Hello, Larry and Max? You guys ready to hook up with some goodly theism today? Fresh outta the oven !!!)

  • Larry, what you call a rebuke others would see clearly as persecution for expressing moral and religious beliefs. One example: the Atlanta fire chief suspended for publishing a book expressing views on homosexuality that the city officials disagree with. Other examples: bakers prosecuted for refusing to bake a cake celebrating a same-sex “wedding” and bed and breakfast owners prosecuted for refusing to accommodate homosexual couples wanting a bedroom.

  • Ummm, you left out verse 50 there. Will you be supplying it soon, or would you prefer ME to post it for you?

  • Ben, I am saying nothing now that I haven’t previously said. And you know it because you have read my prior posts and responded to them. We dialogued about it, quite extensively, in fact. You know my concerns; I have stated them repeatedly.

    If anything, I would have expected exactly the opposite response from you, ie: “Jack, you’ve said that already….I hear you and we just disagree on that. We’re at an impasse on what you’re saying.” Had you responded that way, I’d say, “Ben, you’re correct. I’m just reiterating it because the subject came up again.”

    It should be obvious that I am not posting to impress anyone, nor I assume, are you. We agree on some things. We discussed that, too, and I told you exactly how and why we do agree.

    But on this matter, we apparently disagree profoundly. I draw a very sharp line in the sand between liberalism and illiberalism on a whole host of issues. If you read my posts on other issues, you will see that continuity.

    Clearly, one is about liberty, the other is totalitarian. This goes to the heart of the difference between liberal democracy — including fundamental rights of conscience and expression, religion or belief (including the right of atheists not to believe as well as theists to believe, I may add) — and a totalitarian mindset.

    Part of the difference is that you’re focused mostly on one set of issues — gay rights –whereas I just don’t have that singular focus. Not being gay, I suppose I have the luxury of not having that focus. I’ve been concerned about something completely different — the rise of the radical left against liberalism and its taking legitimate civil rights issues and movements with limited, clearly defined legal aims and replacing them with unlimited cultural aims that betray democracy and freedom.

    This sounds academic to you because you are a hands-on activist concerned about advancing concrete goals. I get it… I am not an activist of any kind but am worried about the future of the big picture. And in order to understand where I’m coming from, you’re going to have to remove your activist hat for a moment — ie the hat of Ben the gay rights activist — and put on some other hats that are equally yours — Ben the American citizen who wants to continue living and thriving in a free society that rightly allows him the freedom to be an activist. And maybe I am wrong, but I believe that if you start wearing those other hats, too, you will see what I’m talking about. You may not agree….and that’s fine. I’m not claiming to know or understand everything. Far from it. But at least you will see where I am coming from.

  • Ted, you’re muddling facts. The Fire Chief was fired not because of his religious beliefs (which are vile-a black bigot? wowowowo), but because he was told he could not write a book that espouses hatred (calling gay sex the same as bestiality) and he could not distribute the book on work premises. He gave it to THREE people who didn’t want it.
    The baker broke the law. He sells wedding cakes. It was illegal in his state to refuse selling his product based on orientation. We will NOT allow bigots to break the law. You really agree that bakers should be able to refuse blacks service because they bear the “Curse of Ham”? NO!

  • Frank, your bigotry blinds you. All studies on gay parenting show they parent as well or BETTER than straight people. ALL of them.

  • Gay Marriage doesn’t affect your life, little girl. Your bigotry is offensive. No church has lost its freedom. No religious person has been jailed for espousing belief. Remember, we are a country of laws-and you will obey them or be punished.

  • Atheism is only achieved after years of study and deprogramming the harmful religious brainwashing most people do to their kids. Remember, all studies show atheists are more knowledgeable about all religion than the most devout.

  • nothing immoral or perverse about gay sex, Frankie. Those verses refer to pedophilia and bestiality only

  • Nice sermon, but what about all the Christians who do believe that God’s plan includes gay, lesbian and transgendered persons? You know, I’m fine with your hate, but there is no way on earth (or in heaven or hell for that matter) that you and your ilk can claim to represent all of Christianity. As a religion it is incredibly heterogenous in belief, liturgy and practice.

  • we just want the bigoted ones like yourself to die. The majority of old timers are cool and accepting

  • He’s right, Frank. You and your kind have been pretty disgusting. But youll be a dead soon and the church’s power will continue to fade in the west. Its pretty great. Praise God!

  • What’s telling, Shawnie, is how that 60s generation, whose silly radicalism was widely mocked and ridiculed by younger people in the 1980s and 1990s, due to policy failures in the real world, is now being embraced by Millennials, who fancy themselves “progressive” while embracing half-century-old radical bromides by Grandma and Grandpa Woodstock.

    It is hilarious in a way. But as usual, the real world intrudes, so don’t count on the Millennials continuing on that path to nowhere.

  • Nathan, the majority of “old timers” are now baby boomers, many of whom are, in their inimitably boomer-like way, “cool and accepting” of any opinion that is identical to their own.

    At least the old bigots from the 1950s were honest enough to admit that it was their way or the highway…..no hypocritical moral posturing about “tolerance” and all the rest.

  • Nathan Amalga-You are loved by Christ. I’m sorry if someone hurt you.
    The Bible is clear that sex is for marriage between a man and woman.
    Read Romans 1:18-32. Sexual immorality of any kind is wrong if it is
    outside of marriage and not between a man and a woman but all sin
    is wrong including being mean/sharp tongues. We all must Repent!
    1 Corinthians 6:9-12 lists many sins with homosexuals so all of the
    sins need to be talked about and confronted. We all must Repent!

  • MarkE, are you really that “tolerant, compassionate, open to knowledge and questions?” The obvious test of tolerance is how you view people who dare to disagree with you on issues you care most about.

    And on that test of tolerance, very, very few people pass the test. I would go so far as to say that none of us would do very well on that.

    It’s one heck of a test….but a fair one.

  • Well Cranmer, let’s deal with your question. What about them, honestly? The fact is that those Christians who disbelieve 1 Cor. 6:9-11 and 1 Cor. 10:13, are in NO position to stop those scriptural events from happening to people, because it’s Christ, (not Christians), who makes those things happen anyway.

    Think about it: If a Christian (of any kind) even happens to publicly affirm “John 3:16 is true”, God might use that affirmation to start somebody (of any flavor) to think about their need for a Savior, and maybe accept Christ as Lord and Savior.

    But then THAT life-changing decision might just result in a supernatural 1 Cor 6:11 or 10:13 event taking place in their lives, and before you know it, that could quietly mean another ex-gay or ex-lesbian popping up, yet again. You’d have yet another living breathing repudiation of gay-self-identity and the homosexual movement, running around. That ain’t MY fault, baby!!

    So no, I’m not too worried about what “Gay Christians” or “Liberal Christians” are doing. Because of the invincible power of Christ and the awesome power of Scripture, it is THOSE Christians who have to carefully watch what they say around people. THEY have to water down what THEY say. THEY have to limit their preaching to what the gay activists permit them to.

    After all, if they share too many Scriptures too enthusiastically, or if they testify too much about God’s power and healing an provision, they just might start some folks thinking that God can do the impossible, that God can “make a way outta no way” just like in the Bible days. THEN they accidentally gonna pop up some MORE pesky Ex-Gays to renounce and repudiate Gay Marriage. Heh!!

  • “What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?” Romans 9.22

    Yes, He is able to enforce His standards. No, He does not choose to do so now. And that is either good for you or bad for you depending on the choices you make with the time you have left.

  • Nathan-Jesus is alive/He rose from the dead just as the Bible predicted
    which is why nobody can find the body and why people who didn’t even
    believe in Jesus/the Romans soldiers lied and said His body was stolen
    because they didn’t want the Bible to be true. Jesus is coming back but
    the antichrist will appear first before the real Jesus and set up a peace
    treaty/unite the world saying all religions are the same to fool people so
    do some research/ study the Bible/ check out all of the Bible prophecy.

  • You mean the very small, very brief, inconclusive study that doesn’t incorporate all the data? That one? It has no meaning.

    Denying a child both a mother and father willing is nothing short of child abuse.

  • It is normal to believe in god? Ok, which one? Zeus? Juptier? Thor? Vishnu? Hopi? The list goes on and on.

    A newborn doesn’t emerge from the womb believing in any god, does does an ant. Out of all life on earth, only humans believe in supernatural beings, now is that “natural”? Self-deluded is more likely.

  • Sorry Nathan you would have to deny the truth to have your fallacious opinion. All go sexual behavior, sexual and romantic is sinful. Best do some more study.

  • Pitiful. Christianity is growing worldwide and in our increasing global interconnected was the influence of Christianity will only grow. You can never stop it.

  • This is *your* understanding and interpretation. You can claim its divinely ordered, but there is no authority to back you up. There are literally thousands of denominations and sects of Christianity in this nation. Some of them are part of the Apostolic Succession and part of Christ’s living body in his One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, while others are simply people who believe but end up worshipping the bible and not Christ.

  • “You’re right of course. It is unsurprising that we have sunk this low, what with the increasingly low esteem in which marriage and family are now held.”

    You can’t help undermining your own position. If marriage and family are now held in low esteem, it is heterosexuals who have been doing it, and conservative religious people who have been promoting it.

    We gay [people do value marriage and family. That is why we are fighting for marriage and fighting for legal protections for our families.

  • Jack, You might as well know that Atheist Max, Larry and other non-believers are speaking for a lot of people (like me) who find religion to be more of a burden than its worth these days. What are you really defending exactly? Bigotry against LGBT individuals who have done no harm to you and who threaten nobody? Stopping love between people who never hurt you?

    I wonder if you have considered the possibility that you and your religion are causing a problem that would not exist otherwise.

    the notion of God is fading away at a time when crime is falling dramatically in the western world (look it up) and wars are at a minimum. I went through my own struggling about whether God exists and I find no reason to support the proposition any more. Lots of people are giving it up. There is probably no afterlife anyway so why bother with all this ruining of other lives of other people.

  • Jack, you said, ‘Not being gay, I suppose I have the luxury of not having that focus.’
    Would you consider that your selfish position is rooted in the philosophy of your religion? Why stop others from living their lives in the name of God who somehow wants you to hate and be bigoted?
    It is really selfish.

  • Cathy Wynn-God/Jesus is very real!! Read Romans 1:18-32. Many
    people deny God because they don’t want to be told how to live so
    they deny Him because they love their sin. Bible prophecy accuracy
    such as Psalm 22:16-18 and Isaiah 53:3-7 are specific about Jesus
    plus why would Roman soliders lie and say the body of Jesus was
    stolen if He was still in the grave plus Saul who wanted to stop the
    Christians said Jesus appeared to Him after He died then became
    Paul/converted to Christianity and preached Jesus/God are real!
    The Roman soliders lied cause they didn’t want the Bible to be true.
    Creation is proof of God because the world didn’t create itself where
    the sun is set perfect so we don’t burn or freeze is not just a random
    chance. Read the book Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. God bless.

  • After calling Shawnie “little girl,” Nathans adds, “your bigotry is offensive.”

    His lack of irony and self-reflection is typical of people who dwell in intellectual ghettos and rarely are challenged by alternative views.

  • atheistnproud believes in the greatest magical trick of all — a wondrously functioning universe, filled with order, complexity, and surprising predictability, capable of being studied scientifically, just coming into being all by its lonesome.

    Just like that…..Poof!

    After all, it happens all the time — Watches and computers, BMWs and skyscrapers, radar systems and CAT-scan machines — all spontaneously arising…..

  • @ Max:

    ROFL!

    “If something is self-evident it does not matter where it comes from.”

    Jefferson did not say that fundamental rights are self-evident. He said that the fact that we are endowed with them by our Creator is self-evident.

    In other words, it appears this is true and we can demonstrate it and see it with our own senses and through our experience.

    There’s your dogma, Max. It is the philosophy which underlies our Constitution and our entire system of government, without which our whole ideology falls apart.

    Additionally, I’d be interested to know what kind of scientific measurement shows the existence of inherent fundamental human rights. Because at the time Jefferson penned these words most of the rest of the world outside of Europe and its colonies were completely out of the loop on this. Certainly no such thing was “self-evident” in Asia, Africa, or among the Native Americans.

    @ Jack: Again, he’s wiped out by his very own argument. The irony is beautiful in its simplicity.

  • Cathy, don’t stereotype. Read each person’s posts and the replies with more diligence and care before leaping to conclusions about what each person is saying.

  • Cathy, read posts fully; don’t skim. And if you don’t understand, find a friend who does. My point has nothing to do with what you’re saying. We are talking about a completely separate issue.

  • It doesn’t affect my own life, no. But it does affect the lives of many who are involved in businesses which celebrate the institution which is now under attack.

    Actually I would advise most of them to get out of the wedding business altogether. Even apart from opportunities it presents to attack people’s rights to free exercise of religion, it has increasingly become an excuse for tasteless display and extravagance even as the meaning of marriage itself has been degraded down to nearly nothing.

    There is nothing new under the sun. Early Christian craftsmen and tradesmen faced these same issues when their faith prevented them from fashioning pagan idols or items for use in their worship. Their choices were far harder, since idolatry permeated every aspect of life, not just weddings. If they can remain faithful so can we.

    @ Jack: Just another peek at that extremely “civil” atheist world that Max envisions. 😀

  • Actually, JP, as the great liberal and anti-McCarthyite, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. once said, McCarthyites are not limited to the far right. The far left is filled with them as well. And that includes people who reserve the label for folks on the right alone.

    (Note to self: Why am I so certain that JP doesn’t know or care who Arthur Schlesinger,Jr was?)

  • Look ahead of you, atheistnproud:

    There’s a Volvo…..appearing out of nowhere….ex nihilo…

    And look to your left — a bicycle — same thing….spontaneously generated…

    Atheistnproud is a man of exceptional faith indeed….

  • I agree absolutely that heterosexuals have done the most damage to marriage. First they extended support and inheritance rights which formerly belonged only within families to people who were not family and had no intention of being so. Then there was no-fault divorce. Then widespread cohabitation. Marriage itself has been degraded down to merely another avenue of personal fulfillment, not a basic building block of society. No wonder we have reached this point.

    “We gay [people do value marriage and family”

    Meh. These unions have been legal in various European countries longer than they have been here and gays have been as lukewarm or more about seeking marriage as heterosexuals. And just as likely (in the case of lesbians, more likely) to split.

    I predict that once the fun of rubbing everyone’s face in it has died down, gays will be as uninterested in marriage as everyone else is. All this ruckus for next to nothing.

  • Yea, actually it is quite normal to believe in a deity…it’s been the norm in every known culture and society in history.

    While that hardly proves there is a deity, it is exactly what you’d expect to find if a deity existed.

  • Truer words never spoken. The word “racist” replaced “communist” and now “bigot” (more general) has replaced “racist.” And now none of the three have much meaning left and we now need new names for the bogeyman under the bed.

    Plus ca change…

  • Hard to predict the future, but you could well be correct, Shawnie.

    An interesting paradox about same-sex marriage is that among the heterosexuals who have been on the forefront of support for over a generation, many are the same people who have been telling fellow heterosexuals for decades that marriage is at best a meaningless piece of paper and at worst an oppressive bourgeois institution that should be consigned to history’s ash heap.

    For the same people to have been on the vanguard of supporting gay marriage as opposed to just living together is very interesting indeed.

    While it neither argues for nor against gay marriage, it does raise interesting question as to the motives of such heterosexuals….

    It raises the obvious question: Why would they urge on gay people precisely the same institution that they themselves have been criticizing since the late 1960s as completely obsolete, intolerably oppressive, and contrary to humanity’s allegedly polygamistic nature?

  • Procreation is not the only reason for marriage, but procreation and the successful rearing and socialization of those offspring IS the primary purpose for which it exists. To deny that is to disregard history, economics and law altogether.

  • True, Shawnie, and it becomes the “boy-who-cried-wolf” problem:

    What happens when the real wolves of racism or bigotry arrive at the door?

    Nobody believes it, because the McCarthyites have been applying those words to anyone or everyone who dares to disagree with their narrow views.

  • Perfect example of the “boy-who-cried-wolf” problem:

    When David Duke, a true-blue racist and bigot, appeared on the old Nightline show with Ted Koppell, and Koppell rightly called him a bigot, Duke said, “that’s what you called Ronald Reagan and every other conservative.”

    Unfortunately, Koppell had no ready answer. For it was true that a generation of newspeople like Koppell had unfortunately done just that.

    Moral of story: Save the racist label for real racists, not simply for ideological adversaries.

  • I’m well aware of our previous discussions. We agree in a large part about the problem. were we don’t agree is the source of the problem.

    ” I draw a very sharp line in the sand between liberalism and illiberalism on a whole host of issues.” And I draw a very sharp line in the sand between conservatism and far-right conservatism on a whole host of issues. Especially the issue of religious dominionism. As I’ve said repeatedly, believe whatever you (generic you) wish. but stop trying to enforce purely theological concerns with secular law on people who don’t share your beliefs.

    “Clearly, one is about liberty, the other is totalitarian.” absolutely. Totalitarian religious belief is still totalitarian. We are not a Christian nation, we are a secular one. Freedom to believe your faith or not for everyone. Conservative Christian obsessions about sex in general and homosexuality in particular are totalitarian when they claim that not only am I a sinner, I am the worst possible sinner, and criminalizing me is a good idea. Not, it is totalitarian. Denying my family legal protections afforded to an thrice married adulterous fornicating former republican congressman is totalitarian. And on and on and on.

    “Part of the difference is that you’re focused mostly on one set of issues — gay rights –whereas I just don’t have that singular focus. Not being gay, I suppose I have the luxury of not having that focus.” absolutely true, as far as it goes. But I have lived that. I have listened to so-called Christians call my marriage a threat to everything good and holy. I have listened to them demand the right to dominion over my life, and the lives of millions of people just like me. I have listened to them lie and defame, revile and slander my life, and call for legal sanctions against me, when I AM HARMING NOTIHNG AND NO ONE, except that I offend them by existing. I am not just concerned about gay rights issues, but the religious freedom which protects ALL of us.

    “Ben the American citizen who wants to continue living and thriving in a free society that rightly allows him the freedom to be an activist.” I do wear those hats, Jack. But until relatively recently, this society did its best to make that impossible. Until 12 years ago, in 13 states, I could be put in prison for my private behavior that affects no one. Today, there are so-called Christians who do and will continue to do everything in their power to deny me participation in society, AS I AM MADE, who wish to harm my family and my marriage, and who will do all they can to make my life as difficult, expensive, unpleasant, and dangerous as possible.

    I am as concerned about the rise of the totalitarian religious right as you are about the totalitarian secular left. The difference is, I have a great deal of evidence, and you have al Sharpton. I’m still waiting for your list of gay rights activists and organizations who represent the totalitarian future you fear.

    Tony Perkins, brian Brown, James Hammond, Scott Lively, Tim wildmon, Sally Kern, Peter Sprig, Matt Barber, Peter laBarbera, Cardinal George, Pope Benedict, Stave Anderson, Kevin Swanson, Anita Bryant, Pat Robertson, Franklin Graham, Yehuda Levin, The Mormon church, the catholic church, Roy Moore, Bob vander plaats, John Stermberger.

    I came up with these names in as long as it took to type them. all of them are theocrats. all wish to use their religious beliefs in secular law to enforce their purely theological concerns about homosexuality on people who don’t share them. All of them claim that I am a threat, and that the only way to prevent my alleged threat is to disadvantage me in law, and give their religions dominion over me.

    whom do you have?

  • Not at all. Its just a silly argument used to deflect obvious bigotry. One of the most overused and stupid arguments used by conservatives these days. Rather than deny the veracity such labels, just getting in a huff over being labeled. A sign of thin skin and an unwillingness to own up to one’s views in an honest fashion.

    How about this for a change, instead of being annoyed about being called a bigot, try showing why it is untrue instead. Nah. Too easy. Too honest.

  • “Procreation is not the only reason for marriage”

    Not according to those political and religious figures seeking to ban marriage equality. It is the only argument they use in mixed company.

    The others are just silly (“slippery slopes”, “redefinition!!”) or useless in legal arguments (“gays are bad”, “god hates gays”).

    “the successful rearing and socialization of those offspring IS the primary purpose for which it exists. ”

    And yet you want to deny certain families the ability to do so in a sane fashion. For no rational and secular purpose whatsoever.

    The people attacking marriage are the ones who are claiming to defend it.

  • “(Hello, Larry and Max? You guys ready to hook up with some goodly theism today? Fresh outta the oven !!!)”

    Doc, you are an obnoxious shrill unpleasant person and a lousy spokesperson for religious belief. Why would I want to share the same views as you? I can’t even pretend to be that big of a jerk.

  • It appears that a larger percentage of the world population today claims to have accepted Christ into their lives than at any prior time.

    And the parts of the world where it’s growing the fastest tend to be ones where people who are not “white imperialists” dwell.

    The “white imperialists” are now the west’s secularistic elites who are tsk, tsking at the sight of the “peons” embracing Jesus as opposed to Marxism, cultural relativism, or other fashionable elite fetishes.

  • In other words, Larry admits to calling wolf many times.

    No need to ‘fess up to the obvious, Larry. Your proclivity was readily apparent from the get-go.

  • @ Jack: Purely anecdontal, but I’ve recently noticed among my kids’ age group that it has become a favorite joke, even for the minorities among them, to call everything negative “racist.” One says something the other doesn’t like, and another blurts out “That’s just RRRRRACIST!” (with a long drawn out R)

    “How is that racist?”

    “I don’t know. It’s just RRRRACIST!”

    And they all dissolve in laughter.

    I try to tell them that the word is really no joking matter, that it represents a very problematic period of our history, but it’s simply impossible for the young to take seriously a word that they’ve heard meaninglessly bandied about for as long as they can remember. I know, because back in the ’80s we used to call each other “Cahmunists” and laugh in exactly the same way.

    Another few years and the kiddos will be calling each other “bigots” and falling down laughing. You watch.

  • Ted, why do you have to lie in order to support your argument?

    Again, doesn’t your religion have rules against bearing false witness or am I just mistaken?

    Since when does religious freedom include the right to maliciously attack others? It never did. Discrimination in business is causing deliberate harm.
    It is the height of stupidity to claim one is being persecuted for being prevented from persecuting others.

    To paraphrase the esteemed justice Antonin Scalia, “religious freedom was never a license to be a law unto one’s self. One must still follow laws of general application” (See Smith v. Employment Division 1990)

    “legitimate claims to the free exercise of religion,’ does not extend to conduct that a State has validly proscribed.”

    Unless you suddenly want to pretend equal protection under the law is just a myth, your claims of religious persecution are dishonest crap.

    The fire chief was fired for handing out his religious tract in the workplace unsolicited and giving the impression that 1) agreement with his views would be pivotal to promotion 2) given the opportunity he would act in a discriminatory manner. All sorts of things which could bring lawsuits upon the department, were a public embarrassment, and a political liability for an appointed position.

    The bakers and B&B’ers were rebuked for refusing to follow laws involving businesses open to the public. They wanted to pretend they were in the Jim Crow South and their customers were “uppity” people of color. They refused to carry out the business normally open to all comers. That is not exercising religious freedom. That is deliberate discriminatory behavior designed to maliciously attack people based on one’s prejudices.

  • @Shawnie,

    “evidence of ….inherent fundamental human rights”

    There appears to be absolutely no god.

    This means, humans have achieved our civilization without a god.
    The entirety of human achievement has happened without a god.

    Human Rights – which we have claimed for ourselves – are entirely godless.

    Humans determined, through means which were entirely secular, that Humans have rights.
    We determined – entirely without the help of a god – that a Constitution should embody those rights.

    There was no god connected with any of it at any step of the way.
    We were not created by a god and there is no god to lay claim to any of our achievements as a species.

    I dismiss your claim of a Creator right out of hand
    as there is no evidence for your claim
    for the existence of or even the fingerprint of a Creator of any kind.

    Your claims about a Creator are as empty as my cleaned out trash bucket.

  • Jesus condemned divorce and remarriage, but never spoke a word against homosexuals during His life. Evangelicals today ignore the teachings of Jesus on divorce and remarriage totally while misusing the teachings of Jesus to deny the civil rights of Americans who happen to be LGBT. The persecutors are using the name of Christ and lying about being the persecuted when they don’t follow federal laws in their businesses. The truth is marriage equality will offer MORE religious liberty in our nation. Finally, moderate and liberal churches will be able to wed all the couples they wish to wed. And conservatives will still be free to falsely claim the name of Christ for their prejudiced choice to not wed same-sex couples.
    The anti-gays will scream about this today, but their grandchildren’s generation is coming to see their views on gays and marriage equality the way most of us see our grandparents’ generation’s views on race and interracial marriage.

  • “Humans determined, through means which were entirely secular, that Humans have rights.”

    Um, no. “Humans” in general did not determine this. Humans who were western Christians determined this, beginning at a very specific and easily identified point in history, via the concept of the Imago Dei, and took the idea to diverse parts of the earth where people had never heard or conceived of “inherent fundamental rights.”

    Even if you COULD claim fundamental human rights as secular in origin,..not everyone agrees with the proposition. Why should your “dogma,” a minority one in the global and historical scheme of things, dominate over others?

  • It looks like we’re talking past each other, Ben, because, again, you’re talking apples and I’m talking oranges. Our focuses are different. You’ve been in the trenches on gay marriage and I am focused on what I see as a bigger issue that impacts multiple issues. From my perspective, you’re looking in the rear view mirror at the opponents of gay marriage; I’m looking up ahead at what comes next, given the rhetoric I am hearing now that gay marriage appears to be a legal reality for the nation (absent something completely unforeseen).

    And what I am hearing and reading sounds a lot like what happened to the national dialogue after the basic legislative goals of racial and gender equality were realized: While most people moved on and began living out that equality and its benefits, a new generation of activists, rather than celebrating their legal victories, seemed angrier than ever. That, to me, was when things crossed over from liberalism to illiberalism.

    I am no conspiracy theorist…..I don’t believe that history is moved by individuals meeting in some back room. I believe history is made when certain ideas win over others. That’s why I focus more on ideas than individual personalities. Sometimes one set of ideas wins over others when power is concentrated in the hands of a few. This is as true of the culture as it is of economics. But that doesn’t mean this person or that person is responsible.

    I have not closely followed the personalities involved on either side of the gay marriage debate. I am, however, aware of the arguments on both sides and read and listen carefully to what’s being said and, what to me is equally important, HOW it’s being said.

    I read with interest your list of people whom you call totalitarians of the right. Some of them I’ve admittedly never heard of…..

    But some I have heard of…..and they are really a mixed bag. Some I would say come thisclose to supporting what I’d consider theocracy, which to me is as bad as secular totalitarianism — two opposite ends of the pole. Yet I would disagree strongly with you that all of them fit that category. I know people who, for example, took Robby George’s class at Princeton who disagreed with him completely and yet said he was the most fair-minded and greatest prof they ever had as undergrads. I fully understand that he is deeply opposed to gay marriage and from what I’ve heard was leading the charge, but if you think that in itself makes him or anyone else a totalitarian, I would disagree strenuously.

    The bottom line might be this:

    The closer we get as a society to same-sex marriage in all 50 states, the angrier the words appear to be on behalf of gay marriage. It should be the opposite, but it’s not. I know that if I win at something that I care about as much as anything in the world, I am happy and optimistic. No matter how hard the fight was, I am glad when it is over and it works out for me.

    That is the way most people respond when such a thing happens to them.

    When they don’t, it is reasonable to infer that they want something beyond what they say they want. It might be something they’re aware of but won’t say, or it may be something they’re completely unaware of. Either way, it’s a curious response that doesn’t fit the circumstances.

  • Divorce and remarriage was a gray area worth in Jesus’ day, and His commentary upon it was specifically asked for. Homosexuality was not. If Jesus was OK with it, He probably would have separated it out of the more general category into which the law placed it (sexual immorality–a term which Jesus himself) for a specific OK, but that didn’t happen.

    But I do agree that the church has grievously erred in countenancing divorce and remarriage. And look where it has lead.

  • Frank: Try to find a religious marriage ceremony in the Old Testament. Good luck. That’s why some Puritans only took secular civil marriages at the beginning of this nation. They could not find any religious marriage ceremonies in the Old Testament. And the only marriage mentioned in the New Testament was the one where Jesus turned water into wine (a problem in its own right for some conservative Christians), but there is no mention even there of a cleric conducting the ceremony.

  • Children raised in a same-sex coupled home are children who have been deprived of a natural mother or father, or both, either deliberately or through tragedy. It is always something less-than.

    BTW, do you routinely go around telling unmarried couples, or single parents, that they are not raising their children in a “sane” manner???

  • How can the 99% of the population that has sex before marriage, along with the nearly half of marriages ending in divorce, be less of a moral concern for the self-proclaimed protectors of traditional marriage than the less than 1% of marriages involving same-sex couples. This is clearly a political attack on the civil rights of Americans than it is anything to do with almost 99% of the population. PS Evangelical researchers at Baylor Christian University in Texas were shocked to find out evangelicals have the highest divorce rates in society – higher than for atheists, gays or any other group. Put your own houses in order instead of lecturing the tiny minority group you refuse to understand…

  • The signers know that all the major evangelical ex-gay ministries closed down forever after the leaders admitted a few years ago nobody changed from homosexual to heterosexual. Catholic LGBT ministries also admit nobody chooses their sexual orientation, but they insist on lifelong celibacy for the entire minority group even though the signers admit sexual orientation is due to innate biological factors (just like race). This is just political backlash for being shown that they were wrong about sexual orientation being a choice in the first place.

  • So, in other words, God sees no need to do anything to stop marriage equality. And Jesus never spoke a single word against gays and lesbians. So, this is just a bunch of phonies claiming God is on their side as they try to deny civil rights to the people they don’t like.

  • Through most timer periods covered in the bible, marriage had nothing to do with love between one man and one woman. A man could have as many wives as he could afford and as many concubines (sex slaves) as his sword could bring him. Women were not equal to men, they were the property of their father until “given” to their husband and he paid for the woman with a dowery of cattle, livestock, etc. Adultery was a property crime like horse stealing. There were no laws against a man beating his wife and children. If the couple divorced, the mother had zero rights to custody or visitation since the kids were the property of the father. You gave us the 1950’s sitcom definition of marriage, not the one found in the bible where King Solomon is praised by God while the bible tells us he hade 700 wives and 300 concubines.

  • Frank, in my church we have 2 warm, wonderful women who’ve loved the Lord and one another for 60 years. They did a great job of raising their kids and spoiling their grandkids. When they finally wed in our church everyone attending agreed it was a blessing from God for them and for all of us. And same-sex couples have been creating marriages and families in many nations and in 36 states, plus DC already.

  • so what you are telling me is that you actually don’t have any real examples, you just have a feeling about it. I do have examples– from 40 years of activism, and from long before I ever thought gay marriage would be a reality. The rhetoric and the intentions have not changed.

    Interesting that you cited Robert George, because I purposefully left him out of the list. George may be a delightful person and a decent professor, but he is absolutely a propagandist, not an intellect. He is also a theocrat, that would like to see conservative catholic dogma enforced on our entire society. Here’s a statement he recently signed on to. It has his personal fingerprints all over.

    ““We are today urged to embrace an abstract conception of human nature that ignores the reality of our bodies. Human beings are no longer to be understood as either male or female,” The document he created goes on ot say that the result, will undermine society by eliminating any moral compass except that which the state declares to be the norm, to the exclusion of all others.

    A lie and a distortion from the very first words, right through to the end. His goal is theocratic, his rhetoric is theocratic nonsense. I will admit he is no Bryan Fischer, which is why I left him off my list. At least he tries to be logical. But he is just as detached from reality as fischer. He just lacks the viciousness and the cray-cray, and probably, the homosexual tendenices. He might be willing to lay off if gay marriage is defeated, but I suspect that will just lead him on to other theocratic positions, such as sodomy laws.

    do I know that for a fact? No. But when someone claims– and he has– that humanity is doing away with male and female, and that it is all gay marriage’s fault, THEN HE IS JUST MAKING STUFF UP.
    And MAKING STUFF UP to justify is purely theological position about the nature of marriage is what THEOCRATS do.

  • Okay, when you said “Cardinal George,” I thought that was a sarcastic reference to the professor named George.

    I would say that Robertson at certain points has come very close in tone and tenor to advocating what I would call dominion theology, which is too close for my comfort to a theocratic view. Ditto for Roy Moore. I would not say that about George, though. I think they’re in very different worlds. Anita Bryant was a bit before my time but I believe she was vociferously against gay rights statutes.

    Again, all these people seem to have in common is opposition to gay marriage….and I don’t believe that position by itself makes anyone a theocrat. It really depends on the person.

    And likewise, among people who support gay marriage, I don’t believe that this position by itself makes one on the totalitarian left. One can easily be one without being the other.

    And anything else I say will just repeat what I’ve already said about my concerns down the road. Tone and tenor tell me a lot, because one of the hallmark distinctions between liberalism and radicalism is some sort of civility. No one is always civil. We’re all human. But when incivility becomes a conscious tactic, it’s a red flag….It goes with an ideology that is fundamentally anti-democratic and anti-freedom.

    But I’ve said that already…..I realize that….

  • How fortunate you are to have found such a wonderful church home. I wish there was a place like that near me. May you and your church continue to witness to God’s love.

  • Larry, be honest….Of course gay marriage involves the “redefinition” of marriage. There’s no question about it. Honesty dictates that you simply acknowledge that and state your obvious opinion that you think the redefinition is overdue. But to deny the obvious is beyond silly.

    And of course the argument that it redefines marriage is a serious one. If no known culture or civilization in history ever included same-sex unions in what it considered marriage, and if the first one out of the box did so no more than a generation ago, then that’s a redefinition and a momentous one.

    And this includes civilizations with an extremely wide array of views on homosexuality, from puritanical ones that put gay people to death to permissive ones like Rome and the Greek city states which celebrated homosexuality.

    Again, that doesn’t mean gay marriage is wrong-headed…..what it does mean is that we are doing something that has never been done before. It’s not “ho hum,” but “oh wow.” And the debate has been over whether the “oh wow” is a good idea or a bad idea.

  • Jack, Shawnie, its only “crying wolf” if it is incorrect or intentionally false. Not the case with you guys or any of the others I call bigots. Try again.

    Rather than refute the label as incorrect, you just whine about being called out on it. I already know honest evaluation of a position is not something expected from either of you guys.

  • “Children raised in a same-sex coupled home are children who have been deprived of a natural mother or father, or both, either deliberately or through tragedy. It is always something less-than”

    @Shawnie

    That has to be the stupidest argument one can make on the subject of marriage equality. I mean, it is completely without any basis in the real world whatsoever.

    Children raised by gay couples have two parents. As opposed to one, none, or not even existing, which would be the case if they were not raising them. Children who are adopted didn’t have parents taking care of them. Children of surrogates would not exist if not for the parents willing to care for them.

    So banning gay marriage prevents gay couples from raising children or automatically gives children two loving parents? This is beyond stupid. I can’t even pretend to consider that an intelligent point being made.

    @Jack unless you have a reason to keep a tradition which is rational and secular, deal with redefinition. Otherwise you are just begging the question. But we both know you don’t.

  • @Shawnie,

    “Um, no. …Humans who were western Christians determined this, beginning at a very specific and easily identified point in history, via the concept of the Imago Dei”

    THE IMAGO DEI IS A MAN MADE FANTASY.
    Zoroaster was a ManGod hundreds of years before Jesus. He is just as fictional and complete fantasy. There is no God now and there was no God then either.

    “Even if you COULD claim fundamental human rights as secular in origin,..”

    YOU HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE!
    It is all secular. The concepts for human rights are entirely man made arguments based on man made theories. For goodness sake! Do you really think it is such Rocket Science for humans to come up with the idea that humans should do stuff that they want to do?
    Without evidence for a God you CANNOT tie anything to a God.

    “not everyone agrees with the proposition.”

    RIGHT AND SOME PEOPLE THINK LEPRECHAUNS AND FAIRIES DID IT.
    You have no choice. The entirety of civilization is built on secular concepts – the ENTIRE BIBLE is a secular construction.

    “Why should your “dogma,” a minority one in the global and historical scheme of things, dominate over others?”

    BECAUSE THERE IS NO SIGN OF A GOD.
    It isn’t a dogma if it is refutable! DOGMA is something which is claimed to be absolutely true and irrefutable – show me a God and then we can determine if it created humanity or not!

    Without evidence of a God it is beyond ridiculous to claim that the God made stuff!
    If you could connect the stuff to a specific God that would be evidence of the SPECIFIC God! But you have no such stuff! And you have no such evidence.

    Dogma = a claim made without evidence that something is true and irrefutably so.

  • “Dogma = a claim made without evidence that something is true and irrefutably so.”

    And that describes to a tee the statement of our fundamental human rights upon which our entire system of law and government is based. It was claimed by Jefferson (and you) to be irrefutably true, and it is based not upon any kind of concrete evidence but upon a value judgment that is religious in nature. Therefore, you are a proponent of enforcing “dogma.”

    Gosh, Max, who’d a thunk you’d turn out to be so “religious?” 😀

    @ Jack: Psst, Jack, do you think I should clue Max in that Jefferson’s original wording of the Declaration’s statement of human rights was not “self-evident” but “sacred and undeniable?” I mean, his poor head might explode and then who would supply the reams of irrelevant and obstructive cut-and-paste to which we have grown accustomed?

  • Larry, I feel just about as compelled to refute that label as my kids do to refute “RRRRRACIST.” It’s a joke. Sorry if I’m being a bit blasphemous about one of your holy words but that’s about the size of it.

    Besides, there are people so odiously rude and hateful that ANY invective from them can only be taken as a compliment. You are such a person. Thank you.

  • Jack, I have to say you are being deliberately blind.

    It is one thing to believe that homosexuality is a sin. It is quite another to claim that gay people are child molesters, threats to society, and cause the downfall of great civilizations. That’s called bigotry, and it is not a sound basis for law.

    It is one thing to oppose gay marriage for religious reasons. It is quite another to call gay marriage a threat to heterosexual marriage, to children, to faith, to family, and to civilization itself. That’s also called bigotry. And it is even more bigoted to conduct political campaigns in which these lies and slanders are intended to harm others. Because they are lies and slanders, motivated by animus, hate, and/or despite.

    It is one thing to oppose gay marriage in your church. It is quite another to oppose sanctified marriage in someone else’s church. That is the very definition of theocracy.

    It is one thing to believe that homosexuality is a sin. It is quite another to claim that you are being persecuted when civil laws intended to prevent religious discrimination are applied to you, and penalize you for religious discrimination that you would not tolerate if it were directed at you. That is also a theocratic tendency. And it is the purest definition of hypocrisy.

    It is one thing to believe that religious marriage is for a man and a woman only. It is quite another thing to claim that civil marriage should not be available to gay couples who have been together for decades for reasons X, Y, and Z, when those reasons are not applied to heterosexual couples who have known each other for three weeks. That’s also hypocrisy. You know what makes it worse? when heterosexual couples with children can get married, but identically situated gay couples with children cannot. Or even worse? to claim it is all about morality, defining gay people as immoral. but then, there is no objection when a fornicating, adulterous, thrice married former republican congressman, also a catholic, can get married in a catholic church, but a faithful, monogamous gay couple together for 40 years cannot in a Unitarian church. That’s the very definition of hypocrisy.

    Are you beginning to see a pattern here? neither theocracy, nor hypocrisy, nor bigotry are good bases for law and public policy. The people we are discussing are assuredly NOT simply people with a set of religious beliefs. They are hypocrites, bigots, dominionists, political operatives, and theocrats.

    You have to decide whether you are going to support that by pretending that sincere religious belief is identical to theocracy, bigotry, and hypocrisy.

  • “So banning gay marriage prevents gay couples from raising children or automatically gives children two loving parents?”

    No, but gay marriage in effect does nothing to serve the purpose of children being raised successfully by their own biological parents, which is the primary purpose behind marriage and behind family law in general. Marriage is not necessary to give a home to an unfortunate child without one. As for surrogacy (except for purely gestational surrogacy), it is an immoral transaction which purposes to deliberately deprive a child of its own parent, and is therefore not recognized or enforced by most states.

    You did not answer my question — do you routinely tell unmarried parents that they are not raising their children in a “sane” manner? I’d very much like to witness that event.

    You’d probably be called a “bigot.” LOL!

  • @Shawnie,

    “…you are a proponent of enforcing “dogma.”

    Wrong. Again.

    self- EVIDENT.
    Evidence is not dogma.

    Why are you being this thick? Religion is lack of evidence.
    Science is evidence.

    It is proven through secular principles that human rights are a valid claim. Evidence supports it.

    NOT Dogma: “Water freezes at 32 degrees”
    Dogma: “Zombies enjoy visiting with townies” – (Matthew 27:52)

  • Or this: in legitimating same-sex marriage, “a kind of alchemy is performed, not merely on the institution, but on human nature itself.” That’s an argument!

  • LOL! Still flailing? What Jefferson said was “evident” (and alternatively “sacred” and “undeniable,” i.e. “irrefutable”) was not the rights themselves but that a Creator endowed us with them and created us equal.

    Jefferson was asserting what is known as a “middle axiom,” in other words, a proposition that, though not self-evident in itself, is accepted as axiomatic (“we hold…”) for the purpose of a particular argument. IOW a “dogma.”

    I mean, it’s right there under glass at the National Archives for everyone to see. Dogma, that you believe in enforcing. Ain’t no way around it, my friend.

  • Well Ben, then we disagree profoundly on that score. I could not disagree more with the contention that every instance of opposition to gay marriage is by definition an endorsement of theocracy. That argument takes us far beyond the issue of gay marriage to places that none of us should want to go.

    Got to run for now, but I want to say and hear a lot more on this……to be continued….this is important.

  • Jack, I decided to add something, even though you have not yet responded, and even though you have yet to provide that list of totalitarian gay people and the organizations they represent.

    Three things from this article.

    1) Evangelicals and conservative Catholics have put aside their differences in order to attack gay people. For a century or so or more, Evangelicals have called the catholic Church the whore of Babylon. Catholics have asserted that only catholics have the true keys to heaven. Interesting that they could put aside all of the enmity in order to attack gay people, who certainly aren’t attacking them.

    2) They have put aside as well all of their theological differences on divorce, contraception, and even whether marriage is a sacrament, in order to attack gay people.

    3e) According to antigay sources– I like to cite them when they can be hoisted on their own petard– gay people comprise less than 1% of the population. (The actual figure is probably closer to 4%, but no matter). Shawnie tells us, without a single citation, that gay people are getting married in tiny numbers. (Nonsense, but no matter). Let us suppose that half of gay people get married– so we’re talking about 1/2 of 1% of the population are gay married.

    Heterosexuals outnumber us 99-1. Heterosexual divorce ranges form 25%-50% of all heterosexuals marriages, depending on who and how you ask. Assuming only even 25% of heterosexuals are getting married, their divorces outnumber our marriages 50-1.

    Yet both Catholics and evangelicals in this group agree that the threat to heterosexual marriage, family, children, and the very nature of humanity itself comes form gay marriage.

    Do you begin to see any thread of hypocrisy here? Because I certainly do. One might begin to suspect that this has absolutely nothing to do with any concern for marriage at all, but in fact is about what it is always about:

    how much the very thought of homosexuality offends, bothers, entices, attracts, obsesses, fascinates, dominates, frightens, and intimidates, a whole bunch of heterosexual people, and, I am increasingly convinced…

    a whole bunch of people who desperately wish they were heterosexual, but aren’t, and never will be.

  • v.50: “And they became haughty and did abomination before Me, and I removed them when I saw.” This just begs the question of what the “abomination” is. To say that it must have been the same referred to in Leviticus 18:22 & 20:13 assumes way too much, especially since the Ezekiel chapter talks about all manner of abominations the Israelites were committing, like idol worship. In any event, haughtiness relates to the previous verse — what does it have to do with sex?

  • Jack, I am most assuredly not saying that every instance of opposition to gay marriage is an endorsement of theocracy. I used the words hypocrisy, dominionism, and bigotry as well.

    My point was that in each of these cases– “I believe homosexuality is a sin.’ and “I am opposed to gay marriage on religious grounds”– the case for denying gay people full equality with heterosexuals is never left at merely “sincere religious belief.” If that’s all there were to it, then there wouldn’t be much of a case being made, and the insistence on dominion would be obvious for what it so clearly is.

    Instead, what we get all the lies, distortions, half truths, revilings, and slanders that flow so easily from the mouths of those people who are claiming they are only trying to follow god’s will. That isn’t about sincere religious belief at all.

    Let me repeat the finale of my vclast posting to you:

    Do you begin to see any thread of hypocrisy here? Because I certainly do. One might begin to suspect that this has absolutely nothing to do with any concern for marriage at all, but in fact is about what it is always about:

    how much the very thought of homosexuality offends, bothers, entices, attracts, obsesses, fascinates, dominates, frightens, and intimidates, a whole bunch of heterosexual people, and, I am increasingly convinced…

    a whole bunch of people who desperately wish they were heterosexual, but aren’t, and never will be.

  • @Shawnie,

    You are simply ridiculous.
    I don’t care how much you ‘LOL’ to yourself.

    EVIDENTIARY conclusions are by definition not dogmatic.
    The MORAL PRINCIPLES which were applied in the Constitution and which make up the argument for human rights are not dogmatic.

    “On the dogmas of religion, as distinguished from moral principles, all mankind, from the beginning of the world to this day, have been quarreling, fighting, burning and torturing one another, for abstractions unintelligible to themselves and to all others, and absolutely beyond the comprehension of the human mind.”
    Thomas Jefferson

    Jefferson required EVIDENCE not Dogma – and agreed with Moral Principles as determined not by gods but by men.

    “I have no fear that the result of our experiment will be that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a master.”
    Thomas Jefferson

    “Our greatest leaders are neither dreamers nor dictators: They are, like Jefferson, those who articulate national aspirations yet master the mechanics of influence and knew to depart from dogma.”
    ― Jon Meacham, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

    There is NO Dogma in the US Constitution.
    I remind you what DOGMA is:

    Dogma – a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true. It cannot be changed or discarded without affecting the very system’s paradigm, or the ideology itself.

    You have demonstrated no evidence of “principles by an AUTHORITY as incontrovertibly true” in the Constitution. As I have pointed out, the Constitution is flexible and allows for countless amendments.

    1. Your Creator is a FICTION.
    2. Moral Principles are not an AUTHORITY.
    3. ‘Evident’ Moral Principles are not incontrovertible – they are flexible and conditional as is morality itself.

    There are no unsubstantiated absolutes in the US Constitution.
    The US Constitution is NOT DOGMA.

    Look for Dogmatic Constitutions
    and you will be directed to the Catholic Church!

    Religion is an ongoing assault on humanity. And you are practicing more of it with your every post.

  • How sad that you mistakenly identify love as some kind of feel good, be a good person thing. You have settled for a cheap imitation just like this women have. There is no love in supporting sinful behavior and all homosexual behavior, romantic or sexual, is a sin and a rejection of God. No changing that ever.

  • No luck needed.

    God created them male and female, be fruitful and multiply.

    Anyone claiming differently is saying “don’t believe what God said.” You know who else said that right?

  • Doc doesn’t believe that abominations include bacon-wrapped shrimp. Ask him, and he’ll explain it all to you.

    Or not.

  • @Ben,

    “I am as concerned about the rise of the totalitarian religious right as you are about the totalitarian secular left.”

    The Secular left is not totalitarian in America.
    It is a vast movement to rebuild Separation of Church and State.

    Secularism is a reaction to the recent decades of over-reach by religion and creeping religious decrees in Federal and State laws which I would be happy to list for you.

    Secularists are reacting to the onslaught of dogmatic religious figures who are spending billions of dollars to sabotage our government and overthrow the Separation of Church and State.

    Consider what would happen if the Pastors won this argument and Separation of Church and State were to go away:

    “the only cure for homosexuals is that they be put to death”

    – Pastor Robbie Galaty, Tennessee Megachurch, Sept 4, 2014

    I do not want to see religion running things! Do you?

    ____
    AM
    For Peace, Civility and The Separation of Church and State
    “Congress shall make no law establishing a religion…”

  • @Jack,

    “to be continued….this is important.”

    Ben from Oakland has destroyed anything left standing in your argument in favor of fascist dogma.

    The “important” thing is to recognize that you – and other religious dogmatists – have no argument.

  • @Ben in Oakland,

    Your argument with Shawnie and Jack
    is like watching two nosy neighbors standing outside your house peeking in your window and telling you what you cannot do in the privacy of your own home.

    Uncivilized, dictatorial nonsense. That is what religious dogma ultimately leads to.

  • Robert George wasted 10 years and about $100 million trying to write his own religious superstitions into the civil laws governing everyone else.

    He utterly failed.

    All of the arguments in his “Reclaiming Marriage” essay were rejected in state and federal courtrooms because religious folklore has no place in civil law. The new term he invented — “hormonal/chromosomal irregularities” — is just amateur science fiction; it has no basis in professional medical science. His claim that legalizing same-gender civil marriage “performs alchemy on human nature itself” is religious superstition run wild; medieval magic spells have no effect upon human nature or anything else. And issuing licenses to millions of same-gender couples over 11 years proved that more same-gender marriages do not cause more mixed-gender divorces. Same-gender civil marriage also doesn’t cause government failure, societal collapse, or human extinction.

    Consequently, 73% of Americans now live in 38 states where same-gender civil marriage was legalized by voters, lawmakers, and/or the courts, and same-gender couples and their children now are equal and safe.

    Robert George’s biggest mistake was to conflate religious wedding ceremonial rites with civil marriage rights. The two are different, they are separate, and they are independent: religious weddings are private, personal matters of faith, whereas civil marriages are government-regulated and bestow a legal status and government benefits. That distinction made it obvious that no one proposes to change religious marriage, and that everyone is entitled to civil marriage. Once society came to that realization, the game was over.

    Religious marriage rites were never up for debate. What the nation has been discussing for 25 years is extending civil marriage rights to every citizen, and ending marriage discrimination against the last 10% of society.

    The steady wave of victories achieved by advocates for equal marriage means that the national debate is now in its last moments.

  • I have far more respect for jack– he at least is trying to understand– than I do for Shawnie, who merely assumes her moral superiority, despite her obvious intelligence and knowledge.

    A few months ago, it took me five tries before she finally admitted that the very same passage with allegedly condemns gay people also condemns the professional liars and bigots. Of course, she and I both knew she didn’t mean it.

    Jack, however, is someone whom I think can be reached. He is also intelligent and knowledgeable, and despite his ideological blinders and his paranoia about the vast left wing totalitarian conspiracy, I don’t think he is so ideologically driven.

    It’s why I bother to engage him, and rarely bother with shawnie. You can look at her responses regarding heterosexual marriage, divorce, cohabitation, and illegitimacy, and see her ideology. She acknowledges them, but Gaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!

  • “….religious folklore has no place in civil law.”

    hear, hear!

    “Robert George wasted 10 years and about $100 million trying to write his own religious superstitions into the civil laws governing everyone else.”

    Unfortunately, there are thousands of such religiously indoctrinated (and wealthy) people working tirelessly to destroy the Separation of Church and State.

    May reason win that battle, too.

  • I certainly hope some religious people are reachable.

    Such is the affliction of indoctrination. It corrupts the ability to think.

    Agnostic Atheists can certainly be bull-headed. I’ve been guilty of it.
    But most of us eventually respond to arguments and evidence if it is provided convincingly. Atheists are willing to re-consider most points of view.

    But religion says, “NO. I cannot consider that particular option.”
    It is scary.

  • Max, you’re all over the place today.

    “‘Evident’ Moral Principles are not incontrovertible”

    Yet that is EXACTLY what Jefferson said this particular principle was. His first choice of words was “sacred and undeniable.” When asked about his revisions later he stated that they were stylistic only and constituted no substantive difference in meaning. He was clearly stating that the concept of fundamental human rights which underlies our government MUST be taken as incontrovertible.

    “It is proven through secular principles that human rights are a valid claim. Evidence supports it.”

    I repeat, by what scientific system of measurement do we determine what rights a human being possesses or does not possess at birth?

    So Max, either you hold fundamental human rights to be indisputable, thereby espousing dogma…or you hold them to be disputable and able to be changed or disposed of altogether upon the initiative and agreement of imperfect people — in which case, exactly as I said, they are not safe in the hands of atheists.

    Bear in mind, Max, I’m just toying with you here. Of course “dogma” is religious in nature and not political. But you have fashioned a little device for yourself (or rather borrowed it) for classifying the works of unattractive atheist governments as “religion” via the idea of “dogma.” Knock yourself out…but if you’re going to do that, you have to be willing to face the implications for your own political views.

  • Aw, guys, my ears are burning! 😀

    Max, what gives you the impression that I care what goes on in Ben’s or anyone else’s bedroom? I would much prefer not to know anything about it at all, but publicly celebrating sexuality of every variety seems to be a cultural mania du jour from which it is rather difficult to escape — what with people being pursued with lawsuits and invective and the like when they try to…

    “Of course, she and I both knew she didn’t mean it.”

    Oh? Are you now joining Larry as a resident clairvoyant?

    “Jack, however, is someone whom I think can be reached. He is also intelligent and knowledgeable,”

    No arguments there, of course. But if you have such a high opinion of Jack, perhaps you’d like to share why you were so deafeningly silent recently when one of our in-house trolls, with all the “civility” that atheists are famous for, was harassing him with fraudulent posts and calling him “nasty.”

  • “Max, what gives you the impression that I care what goes on in Ben’s or anyone else’s bedroom?”

    Oh, I don’t know. Perhaps your acquiescence to and support for laws and policies intend to disadvantage me and my family based upon your religious beliefs about homosexuality. Your claims about “morality” which I don’t share?

    “but publicly celebrating sexuality of every variety seems to be a cultural mania du jour from which it is rather difficult to escape ”

    Kinda contradicts your statement about not caring. In any case, I don’t ask anyone to publicly celebrate my sexuality, or least, not any more than any heterosexual who wears a wedding ring does.

    “Oh? Are you now joining Larry as a resident clairvoyant?” No, I’m not a mind reader. I just know how long it took you, and I’ve read enough of your comments to conclude what your unwavering belief in your inherent superiority probably mean. however, if I’m wrong about it, I apologize. Am I?

    As for the rest, I don’t respond to every posting here. I won’t bother responding to certain religious bigots– we all know who they are, but I won’t be naming nay names– who are not merely religious bigots, but who are also not very bright.

    For the record, I’ll do just what you do. I hereby officially decry people who lack civility and engage in name calling.

    🙂

  • Shawnie, I’ve seen the study. It dates from 2004– a century ago in the fight for same sex marriage. It doesn’t deal with marriage as much as it does with domestic partnership. As was found in France with pactes civiles, heterosexuals gravitated to it far more than did gay people: easier to get into, easier to get out of, and lacking many of the legal strictures placed on marriage.

    a citation from it:

    “Moxness (1993), a Norwegian sociologist, has argued that same-sex marriages have become legalized not so much because homosexuality has become more accepted, but because marriage has become an increasingly empty institution and no longer is seen as a mandatory entrance to adult life, sexual life, and parenthood.”

    marriage is a different matter entirely.

    “The object of our study is registered partnerships in Norway and Sweden. Such a civil status type has nearly the SAME legal consequences as a marriage. This means that registered partners have the same rights and duties as married heterosexual couples in
    relation to each other and to society. The acts are basically the same in all Nordic countries, but differ in the opportunity to adopt children, to have artificial insemination and to solemnize the partnership5. This being said, the legal rights and duties connected to marriage are less critical in Scandinavia than in other countries.”

    Stanley Kurtz tried to pull a sleight of hand in his arguments against marriage equality. He claimed that gay marriage caused hetero marriage failure, and cited scandinavian statistics. Unfortunately, he deliberately dis-included two vital pieces of information. 1) Marriage has been on the decline in all Scandinavian countries since the 70’s, AS THESE AUTHORS NOTE. 2) Relevant marriage statistics in Scandinavia IMPROVED after domestic partnership was introduced.

    If you really want to make this argument, let’s do this. Find the statistics for several countries for MARRIAGE, not DP’s. How many hetero marriages, how many gay ones. Then find relevant divorce statistics. The last two I saw– England and Spain– contradict the idea. sorry, but I don’t have citations.

  • Ben, what exactly do you mean about my “belief in my inherent superiority?” I have no such belief. I’ll admit to frequent frustration and lack of patience with blatant misrepresentations of fact that so often crop up around here, but that is because I am something of a nerdy nut about history, law, language and of course scripture, and am daily dismayed by the extent to which pop culture and mythology has replaced general education–particularly since I have children coming of age in this cultural morass. Yes, intellectual elitism is a sin I struggle with continually. I will not, however, accept a charge that I consider myself morally superior. If I did, of course, I’d hardly have any use for a Savior.

    I guess decrying incivility and name-calling (expressly and with outrage when it’s against your own, and by boilerplate in other cases) is some progress, at least. Thanks for that.

  • @Shawnie,

    JEFFERSON OWNED SLAVES!
    Do you not understand Dogma when you see it!?

    If the Constitution were a DOGMA, slaves would still exist in the United States! Women would not have any rights. And only land owners would still vote!

    Human Rights LAW is a rational, science-based, moving, progressive ENDEAVOR.
    It is not stationary and unchanging! It is a struggle because it faces so many obstructions usually from religion!

    “sacred”
    IS being used in a secular way to describe an ideal objective – NOT a conclusion! Jefferson’s deism won’t help you out of that conclusion.
    In this usage in means, ideal aspiration worthy of utmost respect.
    As in a scientific conclusion based on insight and evidence.
    Not a dogmatic religious usage!

    “Undeniable”
    As in the freezing point of water – science is UNDENIABLE.
    Because of science. Not dogma.
    Human Rights are determined through evidence and science. Not because of a Creator!

    “When asked about ..fundamental human rights..MUST be taken as incontrovertible.”

    An incontrovertible aspiration of human rights and ‘a more perfect’ union is not dogma! The lack of an AUTHORITY DICTATING it is exactly why it is not dogma! The flexibility of the aspiration and its reliance on evidence is exactly what should clue you in.

    “I repeat, by what scientific system of measurement do we determine what rights a human being possesses or does not possess at birth?”

    The Evolution of Direct Reciprocity is a scientifically proven necessity of human life and most of the animal kingdom. Human beings are endowed with the selfish gene which for purely selfish reasons ensure human rights to others. Human Rights are not granted by any philosophy but are biologically endemic to selfish survival of the individual and… by extension… to the species.

    “Max, either you hold fundamental human rights to be indisputable, thereby espousing dogma…or you hold them to be disputable and able to be changed or disposed of altogether upon the initiative and agreement of imperfect people — in which case, exactly as I said, they are not safe in the hands of atheists.”

    Ridiculous. That is a false dichotomy. Besides, who said we can possibly have the option of avoiding the pitfalls of ‘imperfect people’? The US Constitution is the best protection from imperfect people ever devised. Do you really think dictatorial religious tracts clear up human imperfections!? Get help.

    Furthermore, Human Rights are not a dogma – they exist because of biology, and science. In the same way that water freezes at 32 degrees.

    “Bear in mind, Max, I’m just toying with you here.”

    No you are not toying with me.
    You are genuinely uninformed.

    “Of course “dogma” is religious in nature and not political”

    Wrong again.
    Dogma is clearly defined and it fits Religion as well as politics.

    “But you have fashioned a little device for yourself (or rather borrowed it) for classifying the works of unattractive atheist governments as “religion” via the idea of “dogma.”

    Dogmatic Government is exactly the same as Religion.
    You fool yourself that a God exists behind the religion to protect its corruptibility and make it special somehow – too bad for you that you are stuck in that phony box. But don’t think for a minute that Religion is any different from Stalinism or an Islamic Republic.
    It is all secular (since there is no sign of a real god) and it is set up to control human beings through Dogmatic texts written by (guess who!) OTHER HUMANS.
    Religion is Authoritarian and Compulsory – without accountability or flexibility.
    The Bible, The Q’uran, The Book of the Dead…it is all life destroying DOGMA.

    “you have to be willing to face the implications for your own political views.”

    Of course I face them directly.
    Science proves Human Rights.
    The Constitution is NOT Dogma.

  • Revelation 22.11: “Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.”

  • Scripture sets a high bar: human sexuality may be expressed only within the bounds of marriage between a man and a woman. Anything else is sexual immorality. “Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.”

  • “If the Constitution were a DOGMA, slaves would still exist in the United States!”

    It is not the Constitution that is the dogma we are talking about. We are talking about something far more profound — the axioms that underlie our Constitution and our entire system and philosophy of government. The declaration of equality and inherent fundamental rights. That is your “dogma.” Fail.

    “In this usage in means, ideal aspiration worthy of utmost respect.”

    No, it means “sacred.” Particularly as it was positioned less than a dozen words away from “Creator.” Fail.

    “Human Rights are determined through evidence and science. Not because of a Creator!”

    Sorry but that is the exact opposite of what was said — that the rights in question were “endowed by the Creator.” Fail.

    “An incontrovertible aspiration of human rights”

    There is no such thing as an “incotrovertible aspiration.” Fail.

    “The lack of an AUTHORITY DICTATING it is exactly why it is not dogma!”

    The authority dictating it was clearly specified in the statement. Fail.

    “Human Rights are not granted by any philosophy but are biologically endemic to selfish survival of the individual and… by extension… to the species.”

    Human civilization was many millenia old before the idea of fundamental and inherent human rights, independent of any familial, tribal or national ties, ever appeared on the scene. Slavery, infanticide, oppression of women, dehumanization of enemies, prisoners and other outsiders — all were UNIVERSALS in human culture and still are in many places. And the human race survived just fine in this manner. There is no evidence whatsoever, to be observed anywhere in history, that inherent human rights as we understand them are a biological imperative; in fact, the opposite is true. Human rights are something we must vigiliantly guard from our natural inclinations, not something that comes naturally.

    As Jefferson himself observed: “The principles inculcated by the most esteemed of the sects of ancient philosophy or of individuals particularly Pythagoras, Socrates, Epicurus, Cicero, Epictetus Seneca, and Antonius related chiefly to ourselves and to the government of those passions which unrestrained would disturb our tranquillity of mind. In this branch of philosophy they were really great. In developing our duties to others they were short and defective. They embraced indeed the circles of kindred and friends and patriotism or the love of our country in the aggregate as a primary obligation; toward our neighbors and countrymen they taught justice but scarcely viewed them as within the circle of benevolence Still less have they inculcated peace charity and love to fellow men or embraced with benevolence whole family of mankind.”

    However, “His [Jesus’] moral doctrines, relating to kindred & friends, were more pure & perfect than those of the most correct of the philosophers, and greatly more so than those of the Jews; and they went far beyond both in inculcating universal philanthropy, not only to kindred and friends, to neighbors and countrymen, but to all mankind, gathering all into one family, under the bonds of love, charity, peace, common wants and common aids. A development of this head will evince the peculiar superiority of the system of Jesus over all others.”

    In short, fail.

    “No you are not toying with me.”

    I’m afraid I am, both here and on several other threads. It is easier and much more fun than Words With Friends. This is certainly not the first time you have caught yourself in your own web.

  • Shawnie,

    “endowed by the Creator.”

    Nonsense. How many times must I say it?

    1. The ‘Creator’ is man made.
    Any philosophy branching off from the idea of Creator God is by extension a secular construction. The US Constitution is man-made and every bit of its founding and history is secular regardless of what Jefferson or any other person claimed at the time. They had no more evidence of a Creator than you have and so their claim is just as hollow as yours.

    2. Human beings endowed Human Rights to Humanity as soon as we wrested those rights away from clerics and priests during the revolution.
    The Establishment Clause is a permanent slap down of those religious ambitions to seize power and to enforce dogmatic rule.

    Since terms like Creator, sacred, holy are completely man made there is no reason to call any of it anything other than SECULAR.
    I don’t care what words Jefferson used regarding a Creator – I care that the laws he fashioned forbid the Creator from actually creating anything!

    Religion and Dogma are the same man made things.
    The Creator is man made.
    The US Constitution is NOT religion and it is not dogma.

    Get over it.

    You just can’t handle the fact
    that the whole thing works perfectly without a real God!

    Your knickers are all twisted up in a rash.

  • “I don’t care what words Jefferson used regarding a Creator”

    Of course you don’t…because (a) you can not redefine them to fit your ideology and (b) you are unable to grasp the very real philosophical problem that compelled Jefferson to express the idea of fundamental rights in this manner.

    Funnily enough, you’re not the only atheist around here to wrap up a losing argument with a stamp of the foot and an “I don’t care.”

    “I care that the laws he fashioned forbid the Creator from actually creating anything!”

    An absurd statement…but in any case Jefferson did not actually fashion the Constitution but merely provided a formulation of its underlying philosophy. He did, however, author Virginia’s religious freedom statute which echoed the same statement of underlying philosophy–only there he didn’t mention the right to religious freedom as endowed by a “Creator” but by “Almighty God” himself, and that therefore the people would tamper with it at their own peril.

    Dogma everywhere. What’s poor Max to do?

    “Human beings endowed Human Rights to Humanity as soon as we wrested those rights away from clerics and priests during the revolution.”

    Totally inaccurate statement of the history of human rights. The notion of fundamental inherent human worth is far older than the revolution and came into being at a very specific point in history. But still your statement serves the purpose of demonstating why human rights are not safe in the hands of atheists: if fundamental human rights are the creation of man and are endowed by man, then they can just as easily be withdrawn by men who feel that they no longer serve our desired purposes. After all, why should the views of eighteenth-century men dominate over our own?

    And this is exactly what history demonstrates to be true where atheists hold substantial power.

    And this is exactly why John Adams said that our government was completely unsuited to the governance of any but religious people.

    Small wonder that, even in our increasingly corrupt culture, you guys are distrusted the most.

    It’s been fun, Max. Cheers.

  • Shawnie:

    “The notion of fundamental inherent human worth is far older than the revolution and came into being at a very specific point in history.”

    Yup – about a MILLION YEARS older. We don’t need religion to say so.

    Sticking Human Rights to your magic leprechaun isn’t working. And you know it.

    You have no evidence, just secular statements to support supposedly ‘sacred’ claims.

    Shawnie, You demonstrate exactly whey RELIGION
    must never be trusted again to run the world as IT did in the Inquisition, the Crusades, Rwanda, Nazi Europe, Stalin’s Soviet Union, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, Mao’s China and the Dark Ages.

    “Question with boldness the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.”
    -Thomas Jefferson

    James Madison – “Religion debilitates the mind” it is “superstition” and “tyranny” we “need it not”

    Benjamin Franklin – “Faith shuts the eyes of reason”

    Thomas Paine – “All churches… are built to enslave and terrify mankind and monopolize power”

    Thomas Jefferson (DEIST) – “The Preacher” is always “allied with the despots”

    John Adams – “As I understand the Christian religion… most bloody religion that ever existed”

    Alexander Hamilton – “Men are reasoning rather than reasonable animals.”

    I agree with the founding fathers.
    Religion is junk.

    “RELIGION DEBILITATES THE MIND… WE NEED IT NOT!” – JAMES MADISON

    You lost another argument, Shawnie.
    And I’ll add that you and your religion are losing arguments everywhere which is why religion is dying.

    _____
    Atheist Max
    For Peace, Culture and The Separation of Church and State

  • LOL! You produce a list of mangled quotes of the founders (believers in God all) from your cut/paste repetoire and think it somehow “wins” the argument? No rebuttal of the underlying philosophical issues? Not even any RECOGNITION of the underlying philosophical issues?

    Atheism is inimical enough to human liberty all by itself. But uneducated atheism is an unmitigated disaster, and as usual you are Exhibit A (A for Atheist Max! How perfect!).

    But thanks for volunteering to be that exhibit. It’s a stinko job but somebody’s got to do it.

  • “You untrustworthy atheist…..I base my arguments on unfounded claims about Creator Leprechaun, which are not supported by a shred of evidence. I assert – all by myself- the Creator Leprechaun’s existence though it is no more provable than mermaids or Sasquatch.
    “Furthermore, the Creator Leprechaun and his evil sidekick Satanic Mermaid are responsible for all of our freedoms and human rights – we couldn’t do anything without them and Thomas Jefferson even relied on their profound Leprechaunian concepts to form our Constitution.” – Shawnie

    Don’t worry, Shawnie.
    You lost a lot more than this argument.

  • Shawnee, here’s one of those examples, though I will be the FIRST to say it is not perfect.

    “Atheism is inimical enough to human liberty all by itself.”

    And religious dominionism is not? when the Islamists bombed mosques just yesterday, when the catholics and Protestants slaughtered each other, when Christians scream that gay people are immoral sinners that ought to be denied the freedom to live our lives as WE and not THEY see fit…

    All of those are inimical to Liberty?

    Please.

  • “we couldn’t do anything without them…”

    We could do a lot of things, but we couldn’t come up with (and hang on to) a concept of inherent and fundamental human rights without them. History bears that out.

    Keep flailing, Max. Maybe one day you’ll actually hit something by accident.

  • Wow! just found a better one.

    “t doesn’t affect my own life, no. But it does affect the lives of many who are involved in businesses which celebrate the institution which is now under attack.”

    So my marriage attacks YOUR marriage, the institution of marriage, and according to you, the faiths of people who are just to faithful to say, “sorry. I’m booked.”

    We’re getting closer.

  • Sorry. Doesn’t attack YOUR marriage, but does attack the institution of marriage becuase gay people are………

    Immoral sinners? anti faith? What?

    It is one thing to proclaim that your Faith is against same sex marriage. It is a declaration of your moral and spiritual superiority to claim that my quite harmless marriage attacks ANYONE’S marriage, let alone the instituion. Imagine! attacking marriage by the insidious strategy of getting married.

    Have you ever met Newt Gingrich?

  • @Ben: But from whence comes the idea that those things are not OK?

    For almost all of human history, human dignity was acquired, not inherent. It was quite in order to subordinate, or disregard altogether, the rights of the “other.”

    What Max is advocating is for us to abandon the only thing that actually makes fundamental rights “inalienable.” Otherwise they’re simply a matter of human viewpoint which can easily change with the times and who is to say they should not?

    “when Christians scream that gay people are immoral sinners that ought to be denied the freedom to live our lives as WE and not THEY see fit…”

    We do believe that same-sex behavior is sin according to the scriptures (no need to scream about it), And believe it or not I would not oppose your rights to marriage or anything else (I would not vote for it, because I will not vote in favor of sin, but I would not oppose) if it did not at the same time open the door to OUR freedom to live our lives as WE see fit, and have nothing to do with it, being denied–just as we were repeatedly assured it would not be but we always knew it would.

  • Shawnie, if this were a real fight, they’d be carrying Max out on a stretcher after what you did to him rather effortlessly. What I see in Max is a person who believes in things blindly, memorizes them, and then repeats them mantra-like, as a child reciting a catechism. If he is telling us anything like the truth about his being a theist for 40 years before suddenly discovering the world’s injustices as a middle-aged man, which somehow led to atheism, he was just as mindless while being a theist as he is today as an atheist.

    What Max really needs in his life is the ability or will to think critically, so that no matter which position he takes — theism or atheism — it is based on something other than feelings and emotions.

    The other thing he could use is a bit of integrity. I have caught him in a number of lies — he posts mistranslations and when caught red-handed, keeps posting them as though he was never caught.

  • @Shawnie:

    “What Max is advocating is for us to abandon the only thing that actually makes fundamental rights “inalienable.””

    Nonsense. The Magic Leprechaun Creator is not real. There is no magic Leprechaun who somehow made human rights inalienable.

    Further, the illusion of a magic Leprechaun doesn’t fix the fact that a real one doesn’t exist.

    Thomas Jefferson made a reference to a ‘Creator’ – so what? – he could just as easily have referred to the wisdom of Shakespeare, Milton or Socrates!

    He could have picked other gods like the Greek Pantheon, Zoroaster, Zeus or Thor.

    Jefferson could have said: “God has granted us a beautiful day”
    Just as easily and would still to answer for why the day was ever a gift of a god!

    To say “God has granted us human rights” is just as foolish.
    Where is the God? Where is the evidence for a connection to a creator? How did this god accomplish this?

    These are entirely secular conclusions. There is no such thing as ‘sacred’ except as a secular concept.

    The arbitrariness of which illusory god you pick AS YOUR CRUTCH should be enough for you to realize you are arguing in favor of a mirage !!

    Human Rights have been seized and self-proclaimed by a group of wise, practical MATERIALISTS over the objections of the clerics – not granted TO US by the clerics or their leprechauns.

    The God you keep talking about has never shown its face – if it had, we would be talking about Human Rights as evidence for the God who gave them! And it would be indisputable by all parties.

    The inalienable rights were achieved without any Leprechauns.
    The construction of the Constitution is against such dogma.

    The enemy of humanity continues to be this reflexive dead end claim of magic leprechauns!!

    You are arguing in favor of a mirage. It is embarrassing to watch.

  • So if I understand you correctly, Ben, you affirm the right of people to hold a contrary opinion to yours on gay marriage, and even to base that opinion on what they believe their faith teaches them, but they become bigots and theocrats and other nasty things when they act on that opinion in the public square — transforming their personal opposition to gay marriage to public opposition to a gay marriage law.

    They can hold an opinion but they cannot act on it. The very act of civic participation in a democracy somehow becomes an act of theocratic imposition.

    Particularly on the issue of gay marriage, that argument frankly makes little sense to me.

    Since until about a generation ago, no known society or culture in history sought to include same-sex unions in its definition of marriage, you would have to make the argument that every one of them was either theocratic or simply bigoted against gays.

    But there is abundant evidence to the contrary. The ancient Greek city states and Rome are two immediate examples of societies that not only were not bigoted against gays, but celebrated homosexuality.

    And yet, it didn’t seem to occur to them that their matter-of-fact acceptance of homosexuality should have extended to broadening their definition of marriage.

    You might argue that it should have occurred to them, but that’s hardly the point. The point is that we’d be hard-pressed to attribute their failure to theocratic views or to special bigotry against gays, since these societies were quite tolerant religiously and as I said, were anything but rigid in their attitudes toward homosexuality.

    The point is that as a practical matter, the idea that opposing gay marriage requires the importation into our society of some special animus or bigotry or theocratic position is belied by history.

    That for me at least, is an easy-to-forget point in the debate — not over gay marriage, but over the right of people to support or oppose it.

    A lot more to say on this, but I want to make this point first.

  • Well, Ben, I respect your general civility, at least up to this point, and enjoy conversing and listening. I suspect we would be friends if we were neighbors. I suspect that if we were both kids and someone tried to bully you, they would be in real trouble with me and I am speaking from my gut now.

    But at the risk of embarrassing her, there is nobody on this board whose intelligence and integrity and good heart I respect more than Shawnie. She’s flat-out amazing.

    Shawnie is one of those people whom, if I am ever in disagreement with her, I immediately begin questioning myself.

  • Jack,

    “What Max really needs in his life is the ability or will to think critically – The other thing he could use is a bit of integrity. I have caught him in a number of lies”

    I did not lie about Zombies in the Bible.
    ZOMBIE is a perfectly apt description of the walking dead.

    “And many saints came out of their graves…another word for this is ZOMBIES” (Matthew 27:52)

    Jack’s CRITICAL THINKING AND ANALYSIS OF MATTHEW’S ZOMBIES:
    “It is true because the bible tells me so”

    THE INTEGRITY OF PREACHING ABOUT ZOMBIES:
    “I don’t care if it is made up, I am saying it is true anyway”

    This is the problem with religion.
    It is neither critical nor honest.

  • Well, Shawnie, Larry is Larry….he thinks he’s being tactically smart, but if your kids and their friends are mocking the overuse of such words, that’s a leading cultural indicator that such tactics aren’t working very well anymore.

    Larry’s like the old late-1960s refugees we used to make fun of back in the 1980s and early 1990s. They graduated back in the late 1960s and 1970s and just froze in time, like fossils.

    I thought they had succeeded in bamboozling the gullible and conformist Millennials, but the experience of your kids suggests that the generation coming after the Millennials might be a bit less wide-eyed and naïve about the Woodstock geezers who wish to drag us back a half century and call it “progressive.”

  • Atheist Max, me thinks thou doth protest too much……

    Perhaps you’re projecting onto Shawnie and me what might well be a naughty little proclivity of your own.

  • True on all points, Shawnie. It’s interesting how people bash the Bible and call it obsolete or irrelevant while at the same time engaging in all sorts of creative contortions in trying their level best to make it not say what it does say.

    Such is human nature……

  • Yup…..all wealthy people, according to MaxWorld, are conservative evangelical Christians — there’s…..let’s see…..Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and of course, Mr. Conservative himself — George Soros.

    I suspect Max is older than he says…..he thinks it’s still the 1950s, when almost all of the richest people probably were on the conservative side.

  • Actually, Rusty, it depends on how you define the word, “evangelical.” There are large expanses within the country where it’s social death not to be considered evangelical. There are lots of people in those areas who are about as evangelical as you are who nonetheless self-identify through that word.

    Responding to that cultural reality, other researchers have tried to inject some reality into the picture by defining “evangelical” a bit more narrowly. They’ve required affirmation of certain basic beliefs that define evangelical — such as a high view of Scripture, a sola scriptural view in terms of ultimate authority, and some sort of consistent practice like regular churchgoing.

    Once the word “evangelical” is defined through such criteria, the divorce rates plunge. They’re still too high, but they’re considerably lower than if no criteria are applied.

  • “So my marriage attacks YOUR marriage, the institution of marriage, and according to you, the faiths of people who are just to faithful to say, “sorry. I’m booked.””

    I meant under attack in a more general sense, in the undermining of the fundamental purpose of marriage throughout history, which is the procreation and optimal raising of one’s biological children. And gay marriage is not the ONLY expression of that, just the latest — it started long ago, as I said earlier, with easy divorce and with the extension of traditionally familial rights to persons outside the family unit which makes marriage increasingly unnecessary from a legal standpoint.

    Yet even so I would not oppose, if that were the end of the story. There are many immoral things that go on under color of law and this is just one more to be avoided by one who is faithful to Christ. Such is life in Rome, and ever shall be. And there is even a religious freedom issue in this which works in your side’s favor, to which I am reluctantly sympathetic. But of course we all knew it would not end there. It is not enough to enjoy the benefits of marriage that, it was claimed, was all that was desired. It’s also necessary to retaliate against those who do not want to participate and who are honest enough to admit it.

    If it is so easy for a baker/florist/what-have-you to simply lie and say “we’re booked,” why wouldn’t it be just as easy for you to lie and say the product you seek is for you and your prospective wife?

    That’s different, isn’t it?

    And we know it would not end even there…eventually someone hell-bent on retaliation would come up with a “pattern of discrimination” line of argument.

    Or we could all simply respect each others’ consciences and go about our own lives. Gee, what a thought!

  • @Jack,

    You are becoming a human whack-a-mole.

    The Atheist billionaires are trying to save the world by solving real problems:

    Bill Gates is Atheist. His charity spends millions on saving children with vaccines.
    Warren Buffett is Atheist. His charity spends millions on saving children and starving families.
    George Soros is Atheist. His philanthropies spend a fortune on public education, healthcare and hospitals.

    The RELIGIOUS billionaires
    however are up to no absolutely no good at all.
    Their God philosophy motivates coddles their fascist ambitions.

    Pat Robertson has famously donated ZERO dollars charities.
    The Greens and Waltons are fighting to destroy Separation of Church and State to Christianize industry.
    The Koch brothers are bent on Christianizing and de-unionizing the employees worldwide.
    Rupert Murdoch saves nobody and is bent on Christianizing the media to promote fascist right wing agendas – he foments arguments to improve fox ratings.

    Religion spoils everything and turns the world fascist.

  • @Jack: True, Jack. I love how Larry pulls out the word “bigot” like it’s the terrible awful “triple-dog-dare” that is supposed to shut down all discussion in its fearsomeness — and is confused that discussion continues undisturbed.

    Makes you wonder what kind of bubble she lives in.

  • Jack, Shawnie get a room already. The tension between you two is palpable. 🙂

    Yes you are both bigots and do a terrible job at pretending otherwise.

    Your “playing the bigot card” argument is bullcrap. You are annoyed at the label but not refuting its veracity in any way. That just makes you whiners.

    I am not making arguments in favor of discrimination of others based on personal prejudices, under the color of law. I am not pretending that attacking others in a malicious and harmful way is following the dictates of faith.

    That is all you two.

    The point of view of bigots.

    I feel no need to continue with your collective nonsense on this article. So feel free to go do something which usually ends with the phrase “and the horses you rode in on”.

  • “It’s interesting how people bash the Bible and call it obsolete or irrelevant while at the same time engaging in all sorts of creative contortions in trying their level best to make it not say what it does say. Such is human nature……”

    It’s ALSO interesting how people idolize the Bible (bibliolatry) and call it the answer to all questions for all time while at the same time engaging in all sorts of creative contortions in trying their level best to make it not say what it does say. Such is human nature……

    Funny, innit?

    BTW, I will answer your challenge later today.

  • I’m not annoyed, Larry. As I said, I rather appreciate the label when certain people use it. I’d be far more worried if you were telling us how great we were.

  • Jack, you make some interesting points. I’ll answer you later, after my husband has left for work.

  • Shawnie, now I have time to answer.

    I wrote this: “So my marriage attacks YOUR marriage, the institution of marriage, and according to you, the faiths of people who are just too faithful to say, “Sorry. I’m booked.””

    You responded with this: “It doesn’t affect my own life, no. But it does affect the lives of many who are involved in businesses which celebrate the institution which is now under attack.”

    When I questioned you, you said this: “I meant under attack in a more general sense, in the undermining of the fundamental purpose of marriage throughout history, which is the procreation and optimal raising of one’s biological children. And gay marriage is not the ONLY expression of that, just the latest — it started long ago, as I said earlier, with easy divorce and with the extension of traditionally familial rights to persons outside the family unit which makes marriage increasingly unnecessary from a legal standpoint.

    Let’s take it apart.

    First you used the word “attack”, as in “an attack on hetero marriage”– exactly the word so-called Christians of a decidedly antigay and dominionist bent use when describing my quite harmless marriage. From my considerable experience in this area, it also indicates the type of self-defined morally superior person who believes that my participation in society should depend on his or her moral opinion of me and my life.

    You say that’s not you. My point is that I’m not so sure.

    “I meant under attack in a more general sense, in the undermining of the fundamental purpose of marriage throughout history, which is the procreation and optimal raising of one’s biological children.” Of all people, you should be aware that the argument from tradition is quite the weakest one around. One would have to assume that there is no such thing as progress, improvement, and a possibility that we could know and understand more than our remote ancestors, or possibly even be better people. And if we were going to argue from tradition, you, as a woman, should probably just shut up. Because tradition was that women should just shut up, stay home, and raise the kids. They were basically the chattel of men. That’s all changed, hasn’t it?

    And you wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Of course, you walked it back to “undermining of the fundamental purpose of marriage throughout history” But there’s that word, “undermining”. Kind of like “under attack.” How, exactly, does my marriage affect any heterosexual marriage when it doesn’t even affect yours? How does my marriage undermine these purposes, or are gay marriage cooties so strong that heterosexuals are now no longer responsible for their own behavior, especially the transmission of the knowledge of the fundamental purpose of marriage? Is anyone trying to pass laws to prevent heterosexual purposes? And on top of that, there are just massive amounts of heterosexual divorce, heterosexual adultery, heterosexual illegitimacy, heterosexual abuse, and heterosexual cohabitation. All of these undermine the fundamental purpose of marriage throughout history” assuming there is one. Yet, I suspect that all we hear from you is a resounding “tsk, tsk”, another mark of the morally superior. Of course, you acknowledge that these things are problems; l that’s the whole point of this article we’re responding to. But I suspect you’re not putting any more energy into it than the tsk, tsk, same as just about every singer signer of this latest declaration.

    Heterosexuals out number us 24-1, the number of dysfunctional marriages alone outnumbers the totality of gay people. The things they and you are concerned about have been going on for more than a century. But you’re concerned about my marriage. I’m flattered, but I think your concern is vastly misplaced.

    The fundamental purpose of marriage throughout history: Marriage has had a lot of purposes throughout history, not just yours, and not just your church’s. In a good part of the world today, and throughout a good portion of the ancient world, marriage was a business transaction and a transfer of property. Love had nothing to do with it, even as in arranged marriages today. Marriage was a means of legalizing and legitimizing bloodlines, which was also ultimately about a transfer of property, and often a reserving of power. For at least the last 200 years in a good part of the West, marriage has been a civil affair. It has been increasingly about love. For well over 100 years, and probably closer to 150, women have been able to choose their mates—and UNchoose them. Property has not been the issue. For the last 60 years or so, women have ceased being the chattel of men. You may not like or agree with many of these things but they’re true. Moreover, marriage has always has been the establishment of legal next of kin. So your comment about “the extension of traditionally familial rights to persons outside the family unit which makes marriage increasingly unnecessary from a legal standpoint” is simply not true, not for people who want to establish legal next of kin, not for people who want to get married. If heterosexuals have problems with palimony, which is what I assume your referring to, it’s also not our fault. And it never was, not with common law marriage.

    And what is the fundamental purpose of marriage? “Which is the procreation and optimal raising of one’s biological children.” I sometimes wonder whether you’re Maggie Gallagher in disguise. Are you?

    The first question, of course, is: Does my gay marriage prevent any heterosexual from procreating and raising one’s biological children? Nope. Are people I don’t know looking to me for an example of the purpose of marriage? Nope, but several hetero couples we know are looking to us to teach them how to keep their marriage together. Am I somehow preventing their parents and churches from communicating this important truth? Nope. So how do I undermine it? And since there isn’t a jurisdiction in the world, to the best of my knowledge, that requires procreation, let alone optimal child raising, for a marriage to occur or be valid, what does it have to do with anything? In fact, a few of the states will permit heterosexual first cousin marriage ONLY if they cannot reproduce.

    And also, of course, it’s simply a blind. Rush Limbaugh has been married FOUR times, and he has on children. He could get divorced tomorrow, and remarry again. Ditto thousands or millions of couples who don’t get married to have children, don’t want them, may not even like them. Charles Manson, mass murder and immoral as hell, just got married to a foolish woman young enough to be his granddaughter. I doubter he will reproduce. Richard Ramirez, sinner extraordinaire, married a woman he had never met in the same week that Bill Clinton, serial adulterer, signed the offensively sarcastic Defense of Marriage Act. Fornicating, adulterous, sinful Mark Sanders dumped his wife and children for his fornicating, adulterous sinful mistress, and got elected to Congress. And you know about the morals of Congress. And on and on and on.

    AND YOU DON’T CARE. Not really. Oh, yes, your lips will tighten appreciably, just as this gaggle of Catholics and fundamentalists will tighten theirs. And that tsk-tsk usually won’t fail to escape you, but you don’t actually care about it. You wouldn’t dream of interfering in their lives, Rush Limbaugh and every single childless heterosexual couple in the world can get married as often and badly as he wishes and NEVER reproduce. Read Dear Abby, wherein you frequently hear of never married women able to marry the man who is not the father of their children; you’re just happy they’re getting married, but it doesn’t matter whom. What you care about is my gay marriage, and how it “undermines” those alleged purposes. This is where your energy goes. And it’s simply no good to declare that gay marriage is just ONE of the factors that attack or undermine heterosexual marriage. Simply because it doesn’t, and no amount of wishing will make it so, especially not when you simultaneously claim, as you have, that gay people don’t wish to get married. But then, I suspect it’s because you truly believe that any heterosexual is morally superior to any gay person.

    And optimal child raising? Nonsense. There are no legal requirements anywhere about any ability to parent, let alone an optimal one, apart from you should beat your kid too much, and you have to feed him something. The world is full of the children of people who were incapable of raising children: the jails, mental hospitals, jihad armies, rehab programs, and Congress, to name a few. Otherwise, all that is required for parenting is a sperm and an egg; marriage and ANY parenting ability certainly are not. The heterosexual world pays lip service to the idea, but doesn’t require it for marriage. Sexual abuse, alcoholism, physical abuse, mental illness—none of it matters for heterosexual marriage. All you need is penis and a vagina that aren’t all ready married, legally able to consent, and not too closely related.

    But let’s talk about optimal child raising. What about the gay couples with children, whether their own bio-children, or whether they have adopted the cast off, unwanted products of irresponsible heterosexual reproduction? Do those children matter? Should the protection that having legally married parent will give them be denied them? What have they done to you or the signers of this declaration? Are you going to take them away from their parents and their homes? And if you’re not going to do any of this, why aren’t you requiring their parents to marry, instead of trying to prevent it?

    And if we’re going to talk about optimal, let’s talk about the thirty to forty years of valid scientific studies that have shown that gay and lesbian couples make at least as good parents as heterosexuals. (Sorry, Frank, I know you refuse to believe that this could possibly be true. But there you have it. Ignorance, like bigotry, is a choice). This has been contradicted only by one study, Regnerus, who was bought and paid for by some of the very self-same signers of the declaration under discussion. Coincidence? Probably not, because that study has been laughed at of court as a political hit piece; “these are not the words of serious people.” Nor are their concerns about gay people getting married.

    As an aside, if you are really concerned about family stability, you should support gay marriage. LET US MARRY EACH OTHER SO THAT WE DON’T MARRY YOU. That will do wonders for mixed orientation marriages, because there will be far fewer of them. And, as Regnerus proves, because there will be fewer “poorly raised by their own bioparents” children.

    The gay parents with biochildren are fulfilling one of your fundamental purposes of marriages at least in exactly the same way as blended families do. The gay parents of adopted children are fulfilling the fundamental purpose of marriage which the children’s heterosexual parents are failing to do. It’s not our fault; we’re cleaning up the hetero mess. But we should be disallowed marriage. And what was the reason again?

    Could it be that we gay people are just NOT as good as you—meaning generic, heterosexual you—are?

    That’s really all I can write at the moment. I have other things to do. I won’t even get to jack, let alone your claim of the Christian persecution you knew would be coming. It’s a myth, of course. You just want special rights to discriminate on the basis of religious belief. But it has nothing to do with marriage, and as we have discussed several times already, there are perfectly legal and moral ways of discriminating on the basis of religious belief without actually doing so. That will just have to wait, though.

  • Nathan, your problem is that you’re being governed by wishful thinking.

    You wish Jesus had remained a decedent, but all the wishing in the world can’t erase the historical fact of an empty tomb and 2,000 years of hilarious attempts at explaining how exactly that happened absent a resurrection.

    All it would have taken is one — just one – plausible natural explanation and that would have been the end of the Gospel. You could’ve stuck a fork in it.

    Unfortunately for you, no such explanation has surfaced — so the Gospel marches on.

  • Interesting, Ben. I was thinking recently about you and your husband and a thought leaped to mind that probably isn’t going to please either most gay or straight people. But it’s a biblical one and darned interesting (at least to me)…..

    Remind me to get into it one of these days.

  • Larry, just don’t cry wolf anymore until the real wolf comes and we’ll promise to stop laughing at you.

  • Nice dodge, Max….and thanks for making my point about not every uber-rich person being a conservative.

    And what’s a MaxWorld post without an obligatory error or a misstatement of fact?

    Like bread without butter…..

    I found at least one in your above post without even doing any additional research:

    Pat Robertson, of whom I am no fan BTW, actually does give lots to charity. As Commentary Magazine noted many moons ago, Robertson was among the founding donors of….drum roll please…..the United Jewish Appeal. He also founded a relief and development organization which, last time I checked, got pretty high marks in the percentage of donations that went directly to helping the neediest — rather than being eaten up by salaries, as is the case with your beloved Big Government behemoth agencies ensconced in Washington.

    He’s a bit eccentric, but to say he doesn’t give to charity is demonstrably false and thus silly.

  • Jack, unfortunately, I didn’t get to my response to you, but I will try to do it later. My response to shawnie, which contains an portion of my response to you,took a lot longer than I thought.

    I’ll try to get on it tonight.

  • Jack,

    Dodge? Not at all.
    Atheist billionaires are doing good.
    Religious billionaires are doing evil.

    Meanwhile, you claim to agree with all of this:

    Dumb BIBLE LESSONS

    Zombies walked for Jesus (matthew 27:52)
    Raping someone’s wife is a valid way to punish her husband
    The Earth is flat
    The Earth is 6000 years old
    Donkeys can talk

    Bats are a kind of bird

    Snakes can talk

    Shaving should get you killed
    Rainbows did not happen before the days of Noah.
    Eating Lobster is worthy of death
    Wearing some fabrics is worthy of death

    The mustard seed is the smallest seed. 

    People can live inside of fish without air for days

    Women should feel ashamed if they are raped

    Men should cut off their wive’s hands

    Non-jews are dogs


    People should execute God’s enemies

    People should judge others harshly

    People should hate themselves
    
People should hate their parents

    People should kill unruly children

    The laws of Moses should be followed and
    
The laws of Moses should not be followed

    You should pray in public and
    
You should not pray in public
    People who commit adultery should be killed

    “Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery” – JESUS (Luke 16:18)

    So you advocate criminal slaughter every time you say “Praise Jesus”

    And you do this because you think there is a heaven which you can ‘earn’ by practicing all of the above.

    And now you want to go to defend Pat Robertson, too?
    Someday you are going to wonder what on earth you were thinking.
    But right now you are just another delusional theist swinging and striking out.

    Yet another disaster of religion is the way it makes people follow mirages.

  • Shawnie,

    “Divorce and remarriage was a gray area worth in Jesus’ day”

    No it wasn’t.

    “Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery” – JESUS (Luke 16:18)

    And Jesus claimed that Adultery was worthy of death:

    ““For truly…not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law.” (Matthew 5:18-19)
    What Law is Jesus referring to:
    “Anyone who commits adultery must be put to death” (Deuteronomy 22:22).

    It is a good thing we don’t put to death the ridiculous apologists who strut their claims in everyone’s face.

  • @Ben

    Ben, thank you for the time and thought you put into your response. But honestly, I have heard all of this umpteen times before. Look at all the rotten heterosexual parents, look at all the heterosexual couple who don’t have kids, etc etc etc. The exceptions do NOT take anything away from the general rule, which is that marriage as an institution is primarily about the optimal procreation and raising of one’s own biological children–just like schools are intended for education although some children do not in effect receive an actual education there, and hospitals are for healing the sick although many die there. Your marriage does nothing to prevent this purpose of course but neither does it do anything to serve it. In order for you guys to raise biological children you must first remove one biological parent to which a child is rightfully entitled, either through surrogacy or A/I (immoral in and of themselves) or through divorce (and we know that a parent’s remarriage constitutes no benefit to the well-being of children of divorce, even where it brings in additional financial resources). As for orphan adoptions and foster children, in most states there is no obstacle to such adoption that gay marriage would remove.

    It is interesting that you speak of so many “protections” your families are being “denied” when for the last generation our courts and legislators have been busily passing laws making the “protections” of marriage available to the nonmarried and their children, to the extent that over 40% of children in this country are now born to parents who apparently see no need for the “protections of marriage” at all. This, and the notion that marriage is all about “love” (love usually impels us toward marriage formation, but it is not what marriage itself is about) is the true nature of the attack on marriage, and it began long before “gay marriage’ was ever an idea to be taken seriously. But once the rot began, it’s easy to see how we got from there to here.

    “But I suspect you’re not putting any more energy into it [divorce] than the tsk, tsk, same as just about every singer signer of this latest declaration.”

    You might be surprised by how much I oppose divorce…if a bill came up to repeal no-fault I’d favor it. Do you know of one? No? Then why are we talking about it?

    “Read Dear Abby, wherein you frequently hear of never married women able to marry the man who is not the father of their children; you’re just happy they’re getting married, but it doesn’t matter whom.”

    Is that so? What makes you think I’m happy about it? I’m not happy about any child not getting to be with its own married biological parents. That’s what I’d want for myself, consequently that’s what I’d want for others.

    “And if we’re going to talk about optimal, let’s talk about the thirty to forty years of valid scientific studies that have shown that gay and lesbian couples make at least as good parents as heterosexuals.”

    Thirty to forty years of “valid scientfic studies” mostly consisting of self-selected (not random) samples of couples and how THEY report their children’s well-being. I’m instantly reminded of how divorced parents usually say their children have “adjusted well” when the kids themselves (and actual data about them) say something different. The truth is there is not much known about same-sex parenting because relatively speaking there are not many same-sex couples parenting.

    “…as we have discussed several times already, there are perfectly legal and moral ways of discriminating on the basis of religious belief without actually doing so.”

    Who the heck wants a “legal and moral way of discriminating?” I care nothing about that. What I want is for those whose business is weddings to be protected from being bullied into participating in what their consciences forbid. Agree to that protection, and to me it will be immaterial what kind of household you want to form and who rubber-stamps it.

  • I was talking about the Torah, of course. The schools of Hillel and Shammai had different views about divorce and Jesus was asked to weigh in.

    The “former Sunday-school teacher” needs a bit more Bible study.

  • “And you do this because you think there is a heaven which you can ‘earn’ by practicing all of the above.”

    Oh brother…have you ever missed the boat on Christianity!

  • @Shawnie,

    “In Jesus’ day”
    Is the day of the Torah.

    Sunday School teachers such as me were well-versed at indoctrination.
    And brain rot is all it is. It takes absolutely no skill to teach Jesus or Bible nonsense which is why Christians are walking around with a thousand divergent ideas about what is supposed to be true regarding this nonsense. Answer: none of it.

    You pretend there is a ‘proper’ sort of Sunday school teacher as if there were a proper and true Catechism – but there isn’t. It is all BS and I am glad I’m not pumping it into young minds anymore.

    “He is risen”
    Fearful brain rot.

  • Shawnie

    “Oh brother…have you ever missed the boat on Christianity!”

    HA! Show me a Christian who didn’t miss the boat!
    There 50,000 different sects
    of Christianity in the world:

    Evangelical
    Charismatic
    Catholic
    Roman Catholic
    Eastern Orthodox
    Russian Orthodox
    Protestant
    Adventists
    Melkite Catholic
    Maronite
    Mennonite
    Amish
    Albanian Byzantine
    Coptic
    Greek Byzantine
    Greek Charismatic
    Ukranian Greek Catholic
    Ukrainian Orthodox
    Mariavite Christian
    Marcianite
    “True” Catholic Uruauay
    Palmarian Catholic
    Antiochan Christian
    Japanese Orthodox
    Autocephalous Orthodox
    Bulgarian Synod
    Celicia Christian
    Armenian Jerusalem Christian
    Malabar Syrian Coptics
    Assyrian Christian
    Sethianist Christian
    Baptists
    Valentinianist Christians
    Ebionites
    Nazarenes
    Dulcinians
    Bogomilists
    Christian Friends of God Yahweh
    Congregationalists
    Lutherans
    Anglicans
    Puritans
    Methodists
    Shakers
    Calvinists
    Anabaptists
    Pentacostals
    Holiness Movement
    Jews for Jesus
    Jesus for Jews
    Christ Scientist
    Continental Reformed
    Lutheran Aryan
    Lutheran Sweden
    Latvian Evangelical
    Faroe God Movement of the Islands
    Sheng Kung Hui
    Hugeuenot
    United Reformed
    United Church of Jesus
    Presbyterian Universalists
    Presbyterian Reform
    Presbyterian United Free Church
    Cook Islands Fellowship
    Social Brethren
    Schwarzenau Brethren
    Hutterites

    Go ahead Shawnie.
    Tell me which one gets Christianity correctly!!

    THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF RITUALS – most are diametrically opposed and have been to war with each other countless times!

    If one of these Christian rituals is correct
    Nobody would ever know!

    Even so – the other 49,000 sects are absolutely wrong !

    “What if we are worshipping the wrong god? Every Sunday we are just making the real God madder and madder..” – HOMER SIMPSON

    It is all hogwash.

  • Max, I keep wondering when you’re going to get off the Silly Train, but apparently the answer is “never.” As usual, you have no rational or adult answer when caught uttering yet another falsehood.

    You’re really shameless, aren’t you….

  • Karla:
    You are correct; even though gay marriage is repulsive, it should not isolated. Premarital sex, unrepented, will land a soul in hell just as quickly as gay sex. But I believe God is clear that when one not only sins, but also sins against nature itself, then that holds a special place in the ranking of those grave mortal sins, called out in Romans & 1Cor. Let’s look at how the holy Spirit spoke through St. Paul: Romans Chapter 1:26 “For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature. 27 And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error.” So I think we can see here that God sees this type of sin as being especially grievous. And by all means, just because a law somehow made it onto the books at the hands of some radical leftists (e.g., the bakery that was sued), it doesn’t mean that it is NOT religious persecution. Freedom of religion should be just that, Freedom of Religion.

  • Rusty:
    God is Eternal Truth; he never changes. That is why Jesus died on a cross for our sins. God is not just merciful; He IS Mercy; God is not a just God, He IS Justice. So when Jesus died for your sins, Mercy and Justice were brought together: as the psalmist would speak of what was to come: 85:10 “Mercy and truth have met each other: justice and peace have kissed.” That is how God reconciled man’s sinfulness with his justice. Man can tap into God’s mercy, but he can only apply the merits of His Son to you, if you repent (despise the sin), and turn away from it. It is silly to talk of God changing; that would make Him a liar, and Jesus told us who the liar is, and that is the devil: John 8:44. So, no, in this life, we have to try to follow, and Jesus did tell us about what marriage is, just look it up: Matt 19:5.

  • Note Max’s pattern:

    Every time he gets caught in a lie or an inaccurate statement on the facts, he launches into a faux-tantrum about how he hates the Bible — as if that’s his permission slip for lying or being careless about basic facts.

    Maybe Max believes that atheism provides a special dispensation for lying or carelessness, but I suspect that most atheists would disagree with him rather vociferously on that.

  • “God is Eternal Truth; he never changes.”

    That is my problem with him:

    “Homosexuals must be slaughtered” – God (Leviticus 20:13)

    He apparently still feels that way.
    God is an uncivilized fascist monster, and anyone who wants to spend eternity with him in heaven is a nazi.

  • @Jack,

    “Max lies”

    “Zombies walked for Christ” – (Matthew 27:52)

    Not a lie!
    (according to you this really happened).
    Though it was not a fundraiser – it is the best they could do – marketing hadn’t been invented yet.

    Yes, I have paraphrased MATTHEW 27:52.
    I sometimes do that to the most ridiculous texts to emphasize their absurdity. You are the only one who calls it ‘lying’.

    Here is the actual text:

    “The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.” – (Matthew 27:52)

    I understand completely why you are embarrassed about this.
    I understand why you want to call me a liar (better to blame me than your ridiculous religion) and I enjoy repeating it so by all means keep up your crusade.

    I never tire of pointing out that Yahweh is the God of Zombies.

  • Max, none of the feeble mantras you keep posting address your many inaccuracies and outright lies I’ve identified as they’ve arisen, so cut the crap. You’re only fooling yourself.

  • Yeah, he never changes, but it must be just awesome to be in His Presence for all eternity. I like the way Saint Faustina stated it, when she had that riveting vision of the Eternal Father in 1936: “Today I was in heaven, in spirit, and I saw its unconceivable beauties and the happiness that awaits us after death. I saw how all creatures give ceaseless praise and glory to God. I saw how great is happiness in God, which spreads to all creatures, making them happy; and then all the glory and praise which springs from this happiness returns to its source; and they enter into the depths of God, contemplating the inner life of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, whom they will never comprehend or fathom. This source of happiness is unchanging in its essence, but it is always new, gushing forth happiness for all creatures. Now I understand Saint Paul, who said, “Eye has not seen, nor has ear heard, not has it entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for those who love him.” And those who have had these types of visions, are willing to give up any and all pleasures on this earth so to enjoy more fully eternal ecstasy with God. Obviously eternal hell is the exact opposite.

  • I’m not sure why these religious people believe that everyone else in our secular society is obligated to follow their *chosen* doctrine. Does it really need to be said that we aren’t?
    Here’s an idea: Stop trying to control everyone else’s life.

  • It is somewhat pathetic to see this conglomeration of religious “lifestyle choices,” most of which believe the others are morally invalid, banding together to scapegoat an innocent minority group whose only crime is refusal to follow their version of religion. When my mother was being raised in the Catholic Church in the 1940s, she wasn’t allowed to join the Girl Scouts because the local troops all met in unclean heretical Protestant churches. When my parents married in 1962, after my father’s conversion to the One True Church, my uncle was not allowed to be Best Man because he was an unclean heretic and would defile the altar. In the 1970s, our pastor warned us that the Mormons might be trying to recruit us into their “pseudo-Christian cult” through the Donnie and Marie Show (no, I am not making this up). So much religious intolerance against one another for not believing the “right” form of religion – intolerance that led to thousands of deaths in war and pogroms over decades of conflict during the Wars of the Reformation.

    Now all these sects are coming together to attack same-sex marriage, claiming it is worse than divorce or cohabitation, but making no mention of heresy or blasphemy. Are we really to believe that the Catholic Church now thinks it is worse to be gay than to reject God entirely and become a Mormon? When exactly did that theological change happen?

    I believe it is far more likely that this group realizes their cash cow chorus of “stop the dirty gays” is losing steam. They stand to lose not only contributions because they cannot pretend to fight against the mythical boogeyman of homosexuality, but also prestige and importance as the public grow to realize how they have been misled by these people who claim to be of God. So now they see the only route to maintaining any of that prestige and power is to claim the victim status for themselves – “we’re being oppressed because the gays demand to be treated equally.” They clearly have no problem treating the heretics, the blasphemers, adulterers and fornicators equally, but rail against the gays. How lovely.

    I wonder what would happen if the LGBT community decided they had the right to ignore anti-discrimination laws and refuse to serve certain types of “Christians.” Would those “Christians” turn the other cheek and find another vendor, or would they run to their nearest lawyer, screaming about their rights being violated and sue the pants off the dirty queers. Three guesses on which tack they’d take, and the first two don’t count.

  • Now I have time to answer. I’ll try to make it short, as I have more to do.

    “But honestly, I have heard all of this umpteen times before. Look at all the rotten heterosexual parents, look at all the heterosexual couple who don’t have kids, etc etc etc. The exceptions do NOT take anything away from the general rule,”

    NONSENSE. The exceptions are also part of the rule, just not necessarily the majority. In any case, you are willing to excuse the “exceptions” if they are heterosexual, but condemn them if they are homosexual. That’s the whole point. They don’t matter if they are heterosexual.

    “Your marriage does nothing to prevent this purpose of course but neither does it do anything to serve it.” YOUR purpose and your church’s purpose. Where is it written that my life must serve your purpose, or your church’s? And where is it written in state marriage law? No jurisdiction in the world requires this for a legal marriage to be valid. NONE. And how is this to be enforced? Oh, yes, by bringing in the coercive force of the government to govern people’s private lives. At least, that is how it has been so far: sodomy laws, antimarriage laws, anti adoption laws, don’t ask don’t tell, and a whole host of other legal mechanisms to make the lives of gay people difficult, expensive, and unpleasant. All to serve that purpose: YOUR PURPOSE.

    “In order for you guys to raise biological children you must first remove one biological parent to which a child is rightfully entitled,” NONSENSE. You are generalizing without actual data. You ignore all of the situations where the opposite sex parent is in the child’s life. And again, you have no problems with heterosexuals doing whatever the hell they want, but if it’s gay people, then NO.

    “either through surrogacy or A/I (immoral in and of themselves)” Again, YOUR RELIGIOUS OPINION. And another example of incipient dominionism.

    “or through divorce (and we know that a parent’s remarriage constitutes no benefit to the well-being of children of divorce, even where it brings in additional financial resources).” Also, absolute nonsense. Also, excused for heterosexuals.

    “Thirty to forty years of “valid scientific studies” mostly consisting of self-selected (not random) samples of couples and how THEY report their children’s well-being.” Right off the front page of the Witherspoon Institute’s criticisms—the very same Witherspoon that spent $700,000 to fund a propaganda hit-piece by Mark Regnerus that has been laughed out of court. Kinda insincere of them, isn’t it? Do you think they could have spent the same money to do the same kind of study which they decry as non-existent? Would that lack a proper component of hypocrisy so necessary to the moralizing busybodies and their political fellow travelers?

    In any case, virtually every professional scientific, pediatric, medical, and social help organization in the civilized world disagrees with your claim. Quoting from a WaPo article, “…according to a report published by the American Academy of Pediatrics last year that analyzed three decades of data, children raised by gay and lesbian parents showed resilience “with regard to social, psychological and sexual health despite economic and legal disparities and social stigma.”

    “Many studies have demonstrated that children’s well-being is affected much more by their relationships with their parents, their parents’ sense of competence and security, and the presence of social and economic support for the family than by the gender or the sexual orientation of their parents,” said Siegel, co-author of the American Academy of Pediatrics report.

    Amid the last year’s Supreme Court arguments over same-sex marriage, researchers found that the quality of parenting and families’ economic well-being was more important than sexual orientation.

    “I can tell you we’re never going to get the perfect science, but what you have right now is good-enough science,” Siegel said. “The data we have right now are good enough to know what’s good for kids.”

    So, NONSENSE all around. But thank you for confirming what I already knew. This is not about the purpose of marriage, raising children, or any of it. It’s about what it is always about: you’re inability to accept that we are you equals, morally, faithfully, legally, and soon, socially and humanly. You made that very clear. And you don’t like it one bit.

    AND THEN YOU COME TO THIS: You’ve backed away from our “attacks” on marriage, to our “undermining” of marriage, and now on to: THE BIGGEST NONSENSE OF ALL.

    That this is really all about “Who the heck wants a “legal and moral way of discriminating?” I care nothing about that. What I want is for those whose business is weddings to be protected from being bullied into participating in what their consciences forbid. Agree to that protection, and to me it will be immaterial what kind of household you want to form and who rubber-stamps it.”

    So we’ve moved from shoring up vitally important marriage among heterosexuals as the most important thing we could do to civil rights laws. As I have often said, if you don’t like laws which forbid discrimination on the basis of religious belief or sexual orientation, then work to remove them for ALL people, not just the people you don’t like. Claiming a special right to discriminate on the basis of religious belief—a right no other citizen but a certain kind of Christian would claim—merely underlines why we have those laws in the first place.

    It is highly telling that just about the only complaints about refusing to do one’s job because of supposed “religious beliefs” crop up whenever these people have to behave politely or decently, let alone amicably, without animus, to gay people who don’t share their unfounded beliefs about gay people. There have been several hundred thousand same sex weddings in this country since 2004. There have been a handful of so-called Christian so-called business people who have been “bullied into what their consequences forbid.” Actually there have been none. But they did announce their loud-and-clear intentions to break the law.

    Why do they get to break the law, when your own founder and his best buddy, Peter, tells you to “render unto Caesar.” No one else gets to. And as far as I can tell, no one else wants to.

    Why can I as an atheist, completely disbelieve in their god, or as a Hindu worship fall gods, idols, and demons, and this bothers no one? But let me say I am gay, and now their conscience forbids them to treat me the same as anyone else. I know you believe you have answered that, but no, you haven’t. In fact, your elevation of atheism, idol worship, false god worship, rejection of Christ, and the whole megillah, as somehow lesser sins than homosexuality, is why I think that that the problems lies with your unwarranted, completely imaginary superiority as a human being, a Christian, and a moral person. Your backing up from the sanctity of marriage to non-discrimination laws as the “real” issue tells me exactly the same thing. You’ll be GDGTOH damned if we will ever be your equals.

    What I find really interesting is that you are willing for this handful of vendors to be excused:

    1) Excused from being polite and caring to their clientele, even if they don’t want the business. Christians don’t have to be polite and caring, not when they got a whole pile of self-righteousness with cheese sauce to scarf down.

    2) They are excused from obeying the law that all of the rest of us have to obey, because they are conservative, bible believing Christians, and special. No “Rendering unto Caesar for THEM!

    3) They are excused from having even the smallest modicum of business sense, preferring to antagonize not only gay people, but our friends, families, colleagues and neighbors, and get a reputation as someone who is bigoted, bone-headed, and difficult to work with. As a wedding professional, I can tell you that this is about the STUPIDEST thing you could do, short of being a child molester and taking out an ad in the Times. Melissa Sweetcakes got hit with a $200,000 court bill because of her complete lack of sense. Tellingly, she ADMITTED that her business had failed due to boycotts, among other factors. Even if every gay person for 100 miles had boycotted her, it wouldn’t have harmed her business. BUT SHE WAS QUITE WILLING TO HARM IT HERSELF, and equally willing to blame gay people for her stupidity.

    4) They are excused from following the direct orders of Jesus himself, because they don’t really wish to refrain from judging others, and don’t believe in treating others as they would like to be treated. They have assured themselves of the sinless state of all of their customers, or at least, of the only sin that matters. Their oh-so-delicate consciences must not be troubled by treating gay people like all other people. It’s funny about how the sin of homobigotry doesn’t trouble their consciences at all.

    So, no. I don’t buy a word of what you are saying. It’s all intended to make you feel good, and to justify the behavior of people whom I consider to fairly stupid and immoral.

  • How in the WORLD can anyone even listen to these MURDERERS? Are you all mad? They’re worried about what’s worse for you or I – so sinful are we! This is sick, they are NO MORAL authority! They are criminals – MURDERERS; allowed rape, torture, child sex trafficking and MURDER of Native Children! You still refuse to do the right thing! Turn yourself in and then hand over the remains of the thousands of Native children you PLANNED (catholic wrote the decree) to rape, sell, torture and murder! They take you to court and still you refuse to return the bodies of their children!

    http://www.amnestyusa.org/node/87342

    UNREPENTENT: Kevin Annett and Canadas Genocide
    http://youtu.be/0brD50DIv5Q

  • “Are we really to believe that the Catholic Church now thinks it is worse to be gay than to reject God entirely and become a Mormon? When exactly did that theological change happen? ”

    I’ve brought up this point several times. All I get is that it’s just not the same.

  • Jack, now I have time to answer. It has been a surprisingly busy week.

    you wrote: “Well, Ben, I respect your general civility, at least up to this point, and enjoy conversing and listening.” Thanks. I make it a point of pride to be civil, though that doesn’t exclude calling a spade a spade. I made a lot of money on good manners and civility.

    “I suspect we would be friends if we were neighbors.” Thanks. I tend to like everyone.

    “I suspect that if we were both kids and someone tried to bully you, they would be in real trouble with me and I am speaking from my gut now.” Thank you again. I was frequently bullied up until I was about 13. The reason was the obvious one: gay boys make easy targets, until they no longer put up with it.

    “But at the risk of embarrassing her, there is nobody on this board whose intelligence and integrity and good heart I respect more than Shawnie.” She’s very intelligent, and well informed, absolutely. That doesn’t mean she isn’t blinded by her ideology..

  • Jack, you wrote this: “An interesting paradox about same-sex marriage is that among the heterosexuals who have been on the forefront of support for over a generation, many are the same people who have been telling fellow heterosexuals for decades that marriage is at best a meaningless piece of paper and at worst an oppressive bourgeois institution that should be consigned to history’s ash heap.” I think that plural of anecdote isn’t data. This is a meaningless generalization.

    “For the same people to have been on the vanguard of supporting gay marriage as opposed to just living together is very interesting indeed.” SOME of the same people. Some of them not.

    “While it neither argues for nor against gay marriage, it does raise interesting question as to the motives of such heterosexuals….” I couldn’t imagine what those motives might be. Maybe seeing an ancient and vicious prejudice, frequently justified by religious belief, being applied like a whip to the backs of people who have done nothing to deserve it?

    “It raises the obvious question: Why would they urge on gay people precisely the same institution that they themselves have been criticizing since the late 1960s as completely obsolete, intolerably oppressive, and contrary to humanity’s allegedly polygamistic nature?” Again, a gross generalization that sounds good, but doesn’t mean anything, like Huckabee’s Bubble and Bubba-ville. It appeals, but that still doesn’t make it true. You ignore all the voices that have been preaching inclusion for decades in non-evangelical churches.

  • It’s called a civil marriage. It has been the law in the west for over 200 years, and in a lot of places prior to that. It was the law in pre-Christian Rome. The catholic Church didn’t even think of marriage as a sacrament until the 1200’s. Religion is simply optional.

  • Jack, you wrote: “Larry, be honest….Of course gay marriage involves the “redefinition” of marriage.” No it doesn’t, jack. It expands the definition of marriage from just heterosexual to include identically situated gay people. Not one thing changes for heterosexual people, as shawnie admits. Truly, it doesn’t redefine marriage. It redefines GAY PEOPLE: as no longer the cultural, moral, sexual, faithful, civil, social, legal, and religious inferiors of any heterosexual, including my favorite thrice married, fornicating, adulterous former republican congressman.

    “And of course the argument that it redefines marriage is a serious one. If no known culture or civilization in history ever included same-sex unions in what it considered marriage, and if the first one out of the box did so no more than a generation ago, then that’s a redefinition and a momentous one.” This really isn’t quite true, either. You ought to read Boswell’s “Same sex unions in pre-modern Europe” He has actual citations. you could also read saikaku Ihara’s “Comrade Loves of the samurai”, and associated commentary. There is evidence in the history of the Polynesian ‘aikane. There is “Little big Man”, which, though not an historical document by itself, was based upon real anthropology.

    but in any case, the argument from tradition is just the weakest one possible. It presumes that we cannot be superior morally or intellectually to our remote ancestors. We can.

    “Again, that doesn’t mean gay marriage is wrong-headed…..what it does mean is that we are doing something that has never been done before. It’s not “ho hum,” but “oh wow.” And the debate has been over whether the “oh wow” is a good idea or a bad idea.” We might also note that those antagonistic societies are still putting gay people to death, as was done in the west until around 175 years ago. As for it being a good idea or a bad idea, facts, logic, and experience indicate that ending this vicious prejudice is a good idea, as is ending inequality and legalized discrimination. when has it ever been a good idea to enact laws based upon lies, bigotry, hate, and stupidity? And that really is all the antigay forces have. That’s is why they have lost so many court battles.

    It’s a good idea, trust me. Even Shawnie admits that my marriage does not harm her marriage or anyone else’s, except in the most abstract of terms which make gay people responsible for the sins of straight people.

    but then, it’s always been that way.

  • Jack, you wrote:

    “So if I understand you correctly, Ben, you affirm the right of people to hold a contrary opinion to yours on gay marriage, and even to base that opinion on what they believe their faith teaches them, but they become bigots and theocrats and other nasty things when they act on that opinion in the public square — transforming their personal opposition to gay marriage to public opposition to a gay marriage law.”

    No, they become bigots when they engage in lies and slanders to justify their purely theological concerns, when they tell those lies and slanders about gay people in order to keep us down, to harm our families, to deprive our churches of freedom of worship, and to make our lives difficult. As I keep saying, if they left it at “religious belief”, they would have anything much.

    “They can hold an opinion but they cannot act on it. The very act of civic participation in a democracy somehow becomes an act of theocratic imposition.” Again, this is about purely theological concerns. Would you feel fine about if Baptists, with their horror of idols, managed to pass a law outlawing statues in a catholic church? Would you be incensed about the imposition of a purely theological concern on people who don’t share it, by force of law? When that happens, it is called theocracy.

    “Particularly on the issue of gay marriage, that argument frankly makes little sense to me.” No argument against gay marriage makes any sense, except to people who believe that homosexuality is an abomination, the worst sin, a threat, a perversion, or any of the other things they say. They have a simple solution available to them. MIND THEIR OWN BUSINESS. TREAT OTHERS THE SAME. They can go and do whatever they were doing before they declared us the enemy. Their lives won’t change. I won’t invite them to my wedding. I won’t expect a gift. they don’t need to get gay married or attend my church.

    But they won’t, because this isn’t about gay marriage, any more than it has ever been about morality, god’s word, military preparedness, or the decline of civilizations. It is about what it has always been about: how much the very thought that gay people exist frightens, bothers, obsesses, tantalizes, annoys, fascinates, and excites a whole bunch of straight people, and, I am increasingly convinced, a lot of homo-hating homos.

    “Since until about a generation ago, no known society or culture in history sought to include same-sex unions in its definition of marriage, you would have to make the argument that every one of them was either theocratic or simply bigoted against gays.” No, I would argue that it hadn’t occurred to them that homosexuality is a normal variant of human sexuality, it has always existed, that no good has ever come out of the hatred and despite directed at gay people, that being gay harms nothing and no one, that gay people want the same things form life that straight people do, that gay marriage is an obvious conclusion from no longer considering us dangerous, evil, sick, and criminal perverts, that much of antigay prejudice is simply that– prejudice– and that a good deal of the religious arguments against our right to exist are based upon scripture being twisted and perverted to support that prejudice.

    “But there is abundant evidence to the contrary. The ancient Greek city states and Rome are two immediate examples of societies that not only were not bigoted against gays, but celebrated homosexuality. And yet, it didn’t seem to occur to them that their matter-of-fact acceptance of homosexuality should have extended to broadening their definition of marriage. ” It may have occurred to them. We don’t know except for small hints and facts. What we do know, however, is that marriage in those times, and in many places in the world at present, was about property, a propertry exchange between men of their chattel, and legitimizing bloodlines.

    “The point is that as a practical matter, the idea that opposing gay marriage requires the importation into our society of some special animus or bigotry or theocratic position is belied by history. ” no, it’s supported by people claiming to speak for god, who will tell any lie, no matter how vicious, any reviling or slander, if it attacks gay people, our right to exist, and to live free of their animus.

    That’s the reality here. That animus has existed for nearly 2000 years, infected our culture, our laws, and our faiths. Here is just the simplest example: SODOMY LAWS. “Sodomy: that infamous crime against nature, not to be named among Christians.” Violating that law could get you jailed or executed, even if you didn’t know what it was, because THEY COULDN’T DISCUSS IT. Does that sound rational to you? Funny, you can discuss murder, rape, incest, mass murder, the genocide, torture and the gruesome death of jesus in loving detail. But this so-called sin is so heinous that you cannot discuss it at all. In 1986, in the Supreme court decision on Hardwick v. Georgia, the supreme Court cited anti-gay laws in the time of Henry VIII as justification for these gross laws in the 20th century. Imagine this as a legal justification: 500 years of oppression justifies more of the same.

    As I said above, because it bears repeating:

    this isn’t about gay marriage, any more than it has ever been about morality, god’s word, military preparedness, or the decline of civilizations. It is about what it has always been about: how much the very thought that gay people exist frightens, bothers, obsesses, tantalizes, annoys, fascinates, and excites a whole bunch of straight people, and, I am increasingly convinced, a lot of homo-hating homos.

  • Karla, “many in the church don’t want to face their own sin or look at themselves so they focus on abortion/gay marriage so their sin doesn’t seem so bad.”
    You got that right! Starting with your Pope and the Popes before him- sanctioning and hiding the murder of children, rape of children, torture of children, no big deal to Catholics, you are not outraged. Wasn’t YOUR kid! The Pope and the Catholic church approved to have Cardinal Law shipped to the Vatican to avoid prosecution- the lengths you will go to protect your own. 50,000 Native American children were MURDERED at the hands of Catholic Church – the families of these murdered children want their remains back for a proper burial, the Pope refuses to allow it. This is going on TODAY in Canada. Same old, same old – ALWAYS denying, hiding, minimizing the truth.
    All approved by Catholics- YOU collude and you support them. HOW anyone can participate with such a filthy, sick, perverted, murderous, criminal organization is beyond me. Again, no bother to you, NOT YOUR KID!
    UNREPENTANT: Kevin Anett and Canada’s Genocide
    Published on Dec 7, 2013
    http://youtu.be/0brD50DIv5Q

    This award winning documentary reveals Canada’s darkest secret – the deliberate extermination of indigenous (Native American) peoples and the theft of their land under the guise of religion. This never before told history as seen through the eyes of this former minister (Kevin Annett) who blew the whistle on his own church, after he learned of thousands of murders in its Indian Residential Schools.

  • “…Christian conservatives have grown increasingly united in their alarm over the sudden and spreading acceptance of gay rights, especially same-sex marriage.”

    “Sudden,” as in an egalitarian movement that’s more than a half-century in the making? The Stonewall Riots were in 1969, and the movement predates that.

    For instance, ONE Magazine had an edition that was seized in 1953 by the Los Angeles postal authorities. On its cover was: “Homosexual Marriage?”

    (“ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives” on the excessively handy Wikipedia)

  • Of course in Matthew 19, Jesus exalts a sexual minority of men, some of whom are born that way, as exemplars of how to live.

    So, do you live like a eunuch because of the reign of the heavens? Or are you just about denying for a minority group what you allow for yourself?

  • Yet they do it all the time and have been doing it for a long long time.

    The purpose of civil law legislation is to regulate human activities within the populace. Gays do form families, those families require a regulatory framework with which to structure themselves.
    Without a regulatory framework they are excluded and left feral, structuring themselves in potentially unpredictable and non-uniform manners. Without a regulatory framework they are condemned to chaos.
    Civilization is the opposite of chaos. We civilize by regulating.
    In our civilization we regulate rationally through fact, logic, reason & science.

    This issue is not and never has been about the church or about God. It is about the civil governance of civil society.
    If Christianity cannot abide by the accommodation of those who do not conform to its ways, then Christianity has anointed itself the enemy of Civilization.

  • So let me get this straight…You guys all claim to be “pro-family,” but you claim that same-sex marriage, which actually brings families together and gives them greater protections and mutual obligations, is worse than divorce, which actually tears families apart? Not one of the people who signed this statement noticed the obvious inconsistency of this?

    The signers say they “do not dispute the evident fact of hormonal and chromosomal irregularities, nor of different sexual attractions and desires.” But they say that in legitimating same-sex marriage, “a kind of alchemy is performed, not merely on the institution, but on human nature itself.”

    “We are today urged to embrace an abstract conception of human nature that ignores the reality of our bodies. Human beings are no longer to be understood as either male or female,” it says. The result, it says, will undermine society by eliminating any moral compass except that which the state declares to be the norm, to the exclusion of all others.
    Human beings have never been just male or female, though most people fall into those two categories. There are also lots of people who don’t, including those who are transgender and intersex. The overwhelming majority of people will continue to identify as male or female and continue to couple with members of the opposite gender, whether gay people are allowed to get married or not. And to be honest, no one really gives a [expletive deleted] what you think about it. You’re more than welcome to continue to think it’s abnormal, sinful, evil or whatever. You just can’t have those views written into the law. I suspect you will survive that harrowing future and manage to move on with your lives anyway.

    The signers raise the possibility — which has been debated among religious conservatives in recent months — that clergy could refuse to sign state marriage licenses as an act of civil disobedience.
    I think that is an absolutely brilliant idea. It would help break the hammerlock that churches have on the performance of weddings. People will then have to get married by a judge or clerk or some other authorized person. I’m all for that.

  • I am convinced that the church ( and by extension, religion of any stripe) has no business using coercion of any kind. Seems like that’s the way Jesus behaved ( with one notable exception – chasing the money grubbers out of the temple… cleaning his own house, as it were). This does not mean that people of faith have no place participating in secular democracy or advocating for policy, particularly in matters that impact questions of morality.

    The problem inherent in secular democracy is that somebody wins and somebody loses. Discrimination by design. The more diverse we become, the more true this may feel. As we hold less in common, the “tyranny the majority” becomes more and more a challenge, and it cuts both ways. The prevailing party imposes it’s will on the minority.

    The demise of the so called “moral majority”, is perhaps the biggest blessing to befall the church. A more credible position for the church is to make a compelling moral argument -persuasive instead…

  • Sorry, but bullsh1t.

    How can gay marriage be any worse than what Kim Kardassian (piss be apon her) or countless others have done?

    I am watching the news right now that is stating ‘there should be a 4 year contract for marriage….As a believer I demand that we let God be the Judge, jury and executioner. To be any difference does not distinguish us from islamic extremist douchebags.

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