Article

California Prop. 8: Christian Privilege vs. Human Rights

1370l.jpg

Nothing is more basic to human liberty than the ability to designate one’s choice of a partner to be recognized under the law. Nothing is more important for personal freedom than our ability to define our own standards for private behavior. Nothing is more upsetting to religious conservatives than watching people freely doing both.

For this reason, gay marriage rights (previous article) have become the touchstone issue of our time. For humanists and atheists, it could just be the most important legal question of this decade. We’ve seen baby steps forward toward allowance of gay marriage in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Jersey, and now California. But every time a court issues a favorable ruling, "family" organizations can be counted on to rally their troops to slam the door shut–in a bid to "save" traditional marriage from "activist judges" ignoring the "will of the people."

Of all the smear campaigns undertaken by the radical fundamentalist right, their lumping together of the gay and atheist agendas has to be most disingenuous–as if to be atheist is to be automatically gay, and vice versa. But let’s examine this a little further. Atheists, both straight and gay, do tend to almost universally support gay rights. Why are gay rights so important to atheists? For the same reason they’re so deplored by the fanatics: because such rights are diametrically opposed to the acceptance of the concept of sin. Sin, with its accompanying payload of repression (denial), guilt and fear, is the fundamental bludgeon used by all religions to perpetuate their control.

Let’s start with "original sin." Where did it come from? I take the position that whatever its origins, the bible quickly became a political document. Long before press freedom was widely recognized, bibles and other religious tracts were being printed and distributed all over the world at the behest of powerful forces in both church and state. Since resources were scarce and literacy rare, those folks must have deemed it pretty important. So much so that prior to the invention of movable type, endless generations of monks and scribes dedicated themselves to manual copying–hence the word "scripture." This was not unique to the West. To this day, a perfectly hand-copied Quran is the sine qua non of Islam.

At a time of history’s maximum brutality, brought about–remember–by the "divine right of kings," it wasn’t enough to simply force obedience at the point of a spear. The church and state wanted your soul. They wanted you to feel exactly like the peasant you were. You were born that way, it was your lot in life, and you could never escape. What better way to condemn the ignorant peasant folk to a life of servitude than to convince them that all men (and women) were literally conceived in sin? By this logic, before we hapless sinners even exited the birth canal, we were in need of the church’s product: redemption. And it wasn’t the kind of sin that could be "indulged" away for money. It was so heinous that it would condemn us to eternal hell.

Sexual sin could not be justified on any other grounds than something even more fundamental, the survival of the species. Hence the link was established between piety, "legitimate" sex and procreation. If you doubt this, ask yourself why every pope down to Benedict has refused to reconsider the ban on contraceptives–even in the face of plagues such as HIV. In ecclesiastical terms, the possibility of conception (and of course the church-state-centric ritual of marriage) was deemed essential to permissible sex.

Though Protestants are more relaxed on issues of birth control, the die of church-sanctioned sexuality was already cast prior to the Reformation: Conception equaled holiness. (After the Reformation, Protestant priests could marry, but not Catholics). In spite of itself, the pro-conception position was actually a positive thing for the species, and–making a virtue out of necessity–it’s not really optional. Memes that discouraged reproductive behavior died out along with with their celibate adherents. So religions had to strike a bargain with their "devil." If they outlawed sex entirely, they would not survive. Many chaste extremist cults throughout history learned that lesson the hard way, and for the most part we don’t remember their names. The Shakers represent a recent example. In religion and otherwise, the fecund have survived.

But happiness, (brought about through self-actualization) not survival, is the end-all of human existence (top of Maslow’s pyramid). Religions would all have you wait for their peculiar brand of paradise delayed. But whether it’s heaven, Avalon, Eden, Nirvana, the Satya Loka, or whatever, they still all promise you some form of future happiness. This is where atheists sharply differ. We are looking for happiness right here–and right now.

As for survival, humanity is no longer broken up into insular tribes. Population has exploded. There is no need any longer for the human species to madly breed. Since the gay population of the world is somewhere below 10%, their failure to breed represents absolutely no threat to human survival. In fact, they’re doing the rest of us breeders a huge favor by reducing the strain on global resources.

Which brings us back to the shrill rhetoric and repressive policies of the Christian right. They have been so accustomed to having Christian "values" carry the day, they have taken it as some sort of God-given fait accompli. But to paraphrase the Massachusetts Constitution, "we are a nation of laws, not gods [men]." Given our representative democracy, with a large majority of believers, it has been a simple matter through the initiative process for Christians to enshrine their theocratic principles in the law. This is what has led to 39 states adopting some form of "defense of marriage" language either by statute or constitutional amendment. [Incidentally, the threshold in California for getting a constitutional amendment on the ballot is 8% of the turnout in the previous gubernatorial election and as such, it’s among the lowest in the nation. And any amendment deemed "minor" only has to pass by simple majority.]

My question is, what are the amendment proponents defending marriage from? The Supreme Court did not eliminate the benefits of opposite-sex marriage, or change the institution in any way. Yet to hear them whine, it’s as if the very nature of family were under attack:

The Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage did not just overturn the will of California voters; it also redefined marriage for the rest of society, without ever asking the people themselves to accept this decision. This decision has far-reaching consequences. For example, because public schools are already required to teach the role of marriage in society as part of the curriculum, schools will now be required to teach students that gay marriage is the same as traditional marriage, starting with kindergarteners. By saying that a marriage is between “any two persons” rather than between a man and a woman, the Court decision has opened the door to any kind of “marriage.” This undermines the value of marriage altogether at a time when we should be restoring marriage, not undermining it.

There are at least two blatant lies in that paragraph. 1) Marriage has never been redefined for the whole of society. It was only redefined for same-sex couples. The rest of society was left unchanged. 2) No one is required to teach children anything of the sort. Kindergartners are not taught about marriage at all. According to SFGate,

An opponent of Prop. 8, attorney Shannon Minter, who represented same-sex couples in the state Supreme Court case, said California law requires only that students be taught at some point before high school graduation about the legal and financial aspects of marriage. The state Department of Education recommends that marriage be discussed in high school, but each school district designs its own program, with parental input, said Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. "This is a pure fabrication," he said of the Yes on 8 ballot argument. "They are trying to inflame people by making up these falsehoods about kids."

Of all the foul pandering and scare tactics which inevitably precede repression, arguments "for the children" are among the worst. Who could possibly vote against a clear and present danger toward children? Except when it’s not. Countless studies of kids raised with gay parents show no difference in outcome. From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

A number of professional medical organizations — including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychiatric Association — have issued statements claiming that a parent’s sexual orientation is irrelevant to his or her ability to raise a child.

For the most part, the organizations are relying on a relatively small but conclusive body of research — approximately 67 studies — looking at children of gay parents and compiled by the American Psychological Association. In study after study, children in same-sex parent families turned out the same, for better or for worse, as children in heterosexual families.

Moreover, a 2001 meta-analysis of those studies found that the sexual orientation of a parent is irrelevant to the development of a child’s mental health and social development and to the quality of a parent-child relationship.

So when you remove the lies and the smoke screen, what’s left? Two things: scriptural prohibition and the "yuck" factor. That’s what some people are trying to use–right now in 2008–to codify their snobbery and prejudice against gays by taking away vital legal and human rights from a substantial subculture of Americans.

Who are these bigots? The usual suspects. What do they have in common? Their Christianity. Wikipedia lists the sponsors of Prop. 8:

Leading the Proposition 8 initiative is ProtectMarriage.com. This coalition consists of many organized Christian denominations including: Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, Mormons, Presbyterians, and many protestant non-denominational churches as well.[19] Other significant supporters include: National Organization for Marriage, Focus on the Family‘s Dr. James Dobson, Republican State Senator Tom McClintock, and presumptive Republican presidential nominee and U.S. Senator John McCain. Senator McCain released the following statement of support for the proposed constitutional amendment:

I support the efforts of the people of California to recognize marriage as a unique institution between a man and a woman, just as we did in my home state of Arizona. I do not believe judges should be making these decisions.[20]

Maggie Gallagher, nationally syndicated conservative columnist and President of the National Organization for Marriage, states that gay marriage "is not primarily about marriage…. It is about inserting into the law the principle… that sexual orientation should be treated exactly the same way we treat race in law and culture…. The next step will be to use the law to stigmatize, marginalize, and repress those who disagree with the government’s new views on marriage and sexual orientation."[21]

Adding to the fallacies and lies listed above, the National Organization for Marriage pulls out their "sky-is-falling" slippery-slope arguments. Make no mistake, there is no accommodation with these ideologues. It is a make-or-break issue for them and they know it. They are not content to live their heterosexual marriages in peace. They really want to destroy families that don’t fit their narrow definition. It seems to be the only way they can feel good about their own choices. But once the law in an influential state like California goes against them, their ideology will have to either adapt or die.

Some retired religious figures (and others still active) have seen the writing on the wall, and are doing just that. Their drive for mercy and compassion has outweighed their former self-righteousness. Often times it has put them at odds with their church policy and leadership:

More than 80 retired Northern California clergy from the United Methodist Church are offering to perform same-sex marriages, saying they want to help out active ministers who would risk more severe consequences for presiding over these ceremonies.

Church law forbids clergy – both active and retired – from performing gay marriages.

"We’re willing to challenge the injustice and contradictions of this," said the Reverend Don Fado, retired pastor of St Mark’s United Methodist Church in Sacramento.

As California enters its second week of legalised gay marriage, faith leaders are mobilizing to either fight the unions or support them.

During the annual meeting for the California-Nevada conference of United Methodists, 82 ministers agreed to perform same-sex marriages.

If disciplined, the clergy could be defrocked, said Fado. He believes that is unlikely.

With this kind of division and even "clerical disobedience" within their ranks, it’s obvious that organized religion is having its own crisis of confidence. It’s not just the United Methodists who are split, but also the Anglicans and others. But then, isn’t it clear by this dissension that there is no such thing as "God’s law?" There are only human rules and interpretations of (human originated) scripture. Organized religions have at various times opposed interracial marriage, supported slavery, or stoning for adultery, and many other archaic practices. When social mores inevitably evolve, so do the religions. Then they act like it was always that way.

In this sense it does come down to a battle of human rights vs. (largely evangelical) Christian privilege. The more fundamentalist denominations seem to exist solely to perpetuate outmoded rules. And they inject themselves into the political process–often with disastrous effect. The outcome of the 2004 U.S. presidential race was swayed by yet another state ballot initiative on gay marriage–this time in Ohio. We are being forced to choose what kind of a future we want for our country: One ruled by ancient texts and prejudice? Or one ruled by human rights, human pleasure (the pursuit of happiness) and human law as our founders intended. It is a real test of our democracy. Will it succumb to the tyranny of the majority? Or will we stand up, reject prejudice, and demand equal rights, Equality for All:

Our challenge is clear. Those who oppose the dignity of our love and relationships are determined to deny us the fundamental freedom, fairness and equality we have worked so hard to achieve. We must get Californians to vote "No on 8," and it all starts with you.

Click here and sign the pledge. "Vow To Vote No" today!

Gay and lesbian couples are legally marrying in California. Many more are planning weddings and celebrations.

We will defeat this initiative one voter at a time. Stand up and take a public "Vow To Vote No." Click here to sign the pledge now!

A loss in November will dramatically slow, if not halt, progress toward full equality for LGBT Americans.

We cannot let that happen. Please take the "Vow To Vote No" and then forward this message to your friends and family.

We can win this campaign if we all dig deep and contribute what we can. As we have demonstrated time and time again: working together we can ensure fundamental freedom, fairness, and equality for all.

Corporate sponsors such as PG & E are reportedly donating large sums to defeat Prop. 8. The despicable fundie-backed proposition so far is trailing by 9 points. Like countless thousands of jubilant newlywed California gay couples, may it "go down" decisively in November.


Comments (27 comments)

ClintJCL / August 1st, 2008, 2:28 am / #1

Damn good article. I'm going to forward this out.

Kipp / August 1st, 2008, 5:04 am / #2

I disagree wholeheartedly with your arguement. By changing the definition of marriage to 'any two persons' rather than a man and a woman you are changing marriage for the entire society.

It is our responsibility as members of society to encourage behavior that helps our society's goals. I don't think gay marriage will further the goals of our society, at least not the goals important to me.

BlackSun / August 1st, 2008, 5:10 am / #3

Kipp,

By changing the definition of marriage to ‘any two persons’ rather than a man and a woman you are changing marriage for the entire society.

Please provide one example of how allowing gay marriage changes marriage rights for straight couples in any way?

It is our responsibility as members of society to encourage behavior that helps our society’s goals.

And according to our founding documents, those goals are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Stacy / August 1st, 2008, 5:32 am / #4

I pretty much agree with the conclusion that gay marriage doesn't threaten anyone else and is consistent with the Bill of Rights (as opposed to banning gay marriage in the name of Christianity, Islam or anything else) but your discussion of Christianity is rather factually deficient, especially in your implication that it was promoted or even invented by kings as a tool of power. Without writing a book-length comment, the truth is that Jesus was a radical of his time who promoted the rights and dignity of the individual regardless of race, caste or political station. Don't forget the Romans persecuted Christians for decades before Constantine's conversion.

BlackSun / August 1st, 2008, 5:44 am / #5

Stacy,

If he existed, whoever Jesus might have been, we will never know, since the message attributed to him has been selectively edited and changed for 2,000 years. I'm surprised that you seem to be ignorant of the machinations of Constantine. But this stuff has been debated endlessly and no doubt will continue to be for the for the foreseeable future. Which is why I advocate ignoring all scripture and all theology, since it's not really relevant to the modern world.

We should base our ethics on the promotion of human happiness and the reduction of human suffering. We should seek to increase our understanding of innate human nature and the human organism and its needs, rather than looking backward at traditions or upward toward the supernatural.

Louis / August 1st, 2008, 10:32 am / #6

the truth is that Jesus was a radical of his time who promoted the rights and dignity of the individual regardless of race, caste or political station.

Actually Stacy, the truth is still out there…[/cliche'] and when you approach biblical history like a crime scene investigator would, with forensic science…

– A singular Jesus figure will be absent.

-The time frames for events do not form a consistent storyboard across biblical books; penned by different authors at very VERY different times. The discrepancies are very much there.

Stacy, You choose to see the Hippy Love Jesus of Sermon on The Mount. A Jesus for the masses.

You brush over, or completely ignore the Calvinistic Jesus, who frankly was a whole lot more hardass and far less a Jesus for the masses.

Christians use apologetics to try to reconcile these contradictions…

Perhaps they aren't contradictions at all, but completely separate messages, from completely different messianic figures.

Jesus, is a fabrication; a compilation.

The singular Jesus biblical figure you so blindly accept, is completely absent from historical records.

Take a critical look and you will find that the Bible is Bullshit

PsiCop / August 3rd, 2008, 11:31 am / #7

The religionists' problem is that they cannot identify any quantifiable harm that will result from allowing two gays to marry. The ability of hetero couples to marry is not eliminated by this permission. They can only appeal to "tradition" and "decline of values" but this is an ancient appeal to emotion; in fact, pagans in the Greco-Roman era employed it against Christians, Manichaeans, and others. Unfortunately it's no more valid an argument now than it was then. Times change. They always have, and they always will. Religionists who cannot accept that, are simply being immature; by arguing against things like gay marriage, all they're doing is rationalizing their own immaturity.

John Livingstone / October 8th, 2008, 6:34 pm / #8

Marriage is NOT a Christian “thing”. In fact, historically, many societies have a ceremony of marriage which never heard of Jesus until hundreds of years after his death, if even then.

Marriage is NOT a U.S. Constitution “thing”. People were getting married for thousands of years before the U.S. Constitution appeared in a desperate attempt to establish freedom in the face of Brittish tyranny.

No, marriage is a bond and a promise that appears in even the simplest and stupidest of societies for thousands and thousands of years.

It just never occurred to them before now to “marry” two of the same parts together. If you clear the definition of marrying you will notice that it is different from the concept of joining. What the homosexuals are doing is “joining”. What the heterosexuals are doing is “marrying”. One could posit that the homosexuals attempt to “marry” is based on some form of confusion of purpose since they can not procreate but only recruit or in effect, “join”.

One could also detect some animosity towards a very judgmental society and in this marriage effort, an attempt to destroy a institution reserved for others who are interested in “marrying” not just because the love each other but for the future of the human race.

There’s a lot of humor available here and some of it is too biting to be repeated so I forego all of it, instead, despite its poignancy. But, it is safe to say that if humans were all homosexuals, the history of mankind would be one generation long and that point alone supports the concept that there is a special mission in the procreation and propagation of the human race and marriage is the word we use in English to designate that mission. There have been many previous words for it and still are in other languages but that is just history and linguistic lessons.

When science can, or evolution has, modified humans to reproduce regardless of gender then anyone can “marry” because the survival of the human race will be assured. That is not today.

There is the argument that all who marry, cannot or do not, reproduce. True. Maybe if the homosexual community invented and rallied behind “joinage” and the elected lawyers legalized it to the same level of civil rights, this discussion would be over. But there is a bond that occurs when two genetic parents bring a child into this world and defend it with their lives and the English name of that bond is marriage.

Happy&Free: .) / October 8th, 2008, 9:36 pm / #9

Gay ment happy, now it means homosexual – it’s rarly used to mean it’s original use. Who’s to say this won’t be the case for the word Marriage! Nothing in life is set in stone & if it was it’s BREAKABLE!
Dictatorship is Humankinds Problem! Stop bossing society on UNIMPORTANT things! Keep ur values to ur self & the collectve mind u uptight minded individuals belong to!!! Millions of children r homeless & w/ out parents ! AND HETEROSEXUALLITY IS TO BLAME, NOT HOMOSEXUALITY! ! ! ! ! GET FOR REAL! ! SHUT UP ALREADY U heterosexual, selfrightous snobs! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

John Livingstone / October 8th, 2008, 10:42 pm / #10

Dear “Happy&Free”,

It sharply appears that you are neither. Clearly you are not “Happy” as only venom flows from your mind. Unfortunately, you are also not “free”, for the moment you open your mouth with those thoughts, you will be shunned at least and pushed off a bridge at worst.

My condolences for your life as it is. I don’t know if you have already sought psychological help or mental therapy but it sounds like good advice.

Maybe even a trip in the country to relax might be just what you need.

John

AmenAS / H&F: .) / October 9th, 2008, 5:42 am / #11

Louis,

awesome job, thks for adding to my argument about the uselessness of "boxing " in the definition of the word marriage!

As for John Livingston's remaks:

The Forfathers of this Nation were Firey Spirits of Emotion, as I am Happy & Free to Not Be Confined to Standards of etiquette' & conduct in these days, that contradict the nature of "The Boston Tea Party" & "The Revolutionary War"!!! So there goes ur insults to me that I need mental help, so must have the Men & Women Who patricipated, started & engaged in starting thier Radical actions, inorder FOR U TO BE ABLE TO EVEN SAY, WRITE, STATE, UTTER WHAT U DID TO ME!!! Stuck up, self-centered, narccistic, snobs like u don't deserve these United States!!! I AM ABOUT FAIRNESS, U CLEARLY R NOT! U must need mental help ur self ! Allowing children to be negleted because of religious reasons, u will not allow gay couples to marry & therefor not allow them to adopt children who need anyone to care & love them!!!

U didn't even give a significant argument to my piece!

If u felt compeld to respond, atleast do that ! Insults because u know I speak Truth ! ! And Truth

r like knives to the soul cutting out the Lies! U misinterpret my Happines & Freedom Sir!!!

It Gives Me Happiness, Joy & an utter Satisfaction to be able to stand up for truth, dispite the fact that even in this Nation, one can suffer, be murdered or ruined for speaking up or out against anything that would subject them to such harm! The Freedom to do so because I bear no fear of this or ur words, they do not touch me!! So therefor I am HAPPY & FREE !

Kipp / October 9th, 2008, 6:19 am / #12

No need for flaming anyone Amen (or Happy and Free). Calling someone names does not create a good environment for the free exchange of thoughts and ideas.

One thing I wanted to point out is that we both see each other's opinions as illogical. You see my religious beliefs, which are honestly the largest influence on my opinion, as false or at least incorrect. I see your foundation, though logical, based in a world view that is false or at least incorrect.

It's the same context as if either of us was talking to a Muslim extremeist. He (or she) would say that it's completely logical to blow up US trucks carrying soldiers because of their beliefs. We would both disagree with that, but not necessarily because it's illogical. It's just wrong to kill in this way, right?

I think your arguement is logical, I just don't agree with the basis, which makes the outcome of the logic flawed. Your basis is that marriage is a contract, a simple legal agreement, between two people (who hopefully love each other). If that's all it is, then you're argument is absolutely valid. (and I support two people of any combination of genders agreeing to a contract of any type)

My basis, which I'm sure you find incorrect, is that marriage is a holy sacrement given to mankind by God. Part of it is a legal agreement between the spouses, part of it is a physical relationship, but the third part, the part that gay couples lack, is the spiritual connection blessed by God and sacrosanct. It is the blessed joining of two souls in the eyes of God. That is the basis for my arguement and I completely understand why you don't agree.

God is a fact, to me. I have faith in him and all his works, of which you are part. Sometimes things seem completely logical to many people that are evil to God. Logic is neither good nor evil but can be used by both, and I add that is OFTEN used by both.

Just looking at the bigger picture here….

Kipp / October 9th, 2008, 7:04 am / #13

Um, the hetrosexuals who argued against gay marriage in this thread have hardly been snobish. Pointing out the difference between marriage and a civil union, or a ‘joining’ as described by John L. is not being self-righteous or snobish. Perhaps my comment saying that I don’t believe that gay marriage furthers the goals or morality of the society I want to be a part of is snobish. I conceed that point.

I would, however, point out that your post is as self-righteous or more so than mine. Who’s blaming anything on homosexuality (at least here in this thread)? Also, I would prefer not to be lumped in with bad parents and irresponsible people just because we are both heterosexuals. The point of my arguement is that I believe that the age old traditon of marriage, the first sacrament given to mankind from God, is wholly beyond being defined by a minority of society. Please don’t corrupt the meaning of the word, that is my only request.

Louis / October 9th, 2008, 7:14 am / #14

It’s the same context as if either of us was talking to a Muslim extremeist. He (or she) would say that it’s completely logical to blow up US trucks carrying soldiers because of their beliefs. We would both disagree with that, but not necessarily because it’s illogical. It’s just wrong to kill in this way, right?

You do realize that Muslim extremist is basing his motives for taking such action because his religion tells him this is Gods will on the matter.

the part that gay couples lack, is the spiritual connection blessed by God and sacrosanct. It is the blessed joining of two souls in the eyes of God.

I don't think the Muslim extremist will disagree with you there.

Are either you or this Muslim extremist anymore certain of the will of God? Why?

God is a fact, to me.

That Muslim extremist would say the same thing.

Happy&Free: .) / October 9th, 2008, 8:49 am / #15

God IS NOT A FACT! It is an opinion & an unproven exisistance, therefor irrelavent to even be mentioned! I don’t care for anyones adoration of any God! Let alone writting to me about ur desire to establish forcibly ur moral values on everyone! U r part of the dictorial mentality I already made mentioned of ! YES! U R BEING SNOBISH, SELF RIGHTOUS , UNFAIR TO THE REST OF SOCIETY WHO SHOULD BE ABLE TO LIVE IN THE REALITY THEY SO DESIRE, THAT IS NOT PHYSICALY HURTING ANYONE! To surpress a minority shows ur shared dictorial control over those u deem a minority & how u want to treat them! I REPEAT “HOW U WANT TO TREAT THEM”! DO UNTO OTHERS THE WAY U WANT THEM TO DO UNTO U”!
Being the Bible has anything & everthing possible to use for every argument, I won’t be surprised to see a quote to compliment ur position! At the end it’s the Spirit, NOT THE LAW, that the story of Jesus was enlightening the world with! Ur religious belIefs need to be kept in thier proper place, not in U.S. Laws!
And HELLO! REPEAT – GAY DOESN’T MEAN HAPPY ANY MORE, SO WHO IS TO SAY MARRIAGE HAS TO MEAN ONLY THE JOINING OF A MAN & A WOMAN! U STUPID CHRISTIANS HAVE NOT CONCURED EVIL SUCCESFULLY FOR 2000 YRS BECAUSE UR PRIORITIES R ALL OVER THE PLACE! UR FAILURES R BECAUSE OF UR LACK OF FAIRNESS & LOVE IN UR DOCTRINE! THE BIBLE IS A BK OF RIDDLES TO GIVE ONE A HEADACH! AND INDIVIDUALS CLAIMING THEY HAVE THE HOLY SPIRIT TO INTERPRET IT CORRECTLY DOESN’T MEAN SQUAT! SO I DON’T CARE FOR CONTROLING CHRISTIANS’ OPPINION! WASTE OF TIME! Heterosexuals wouldn’t loose anything from allowing gay couples to marry!!!! And saying that children from parents who can’t take care of them r irrisponsible, shows again ur pompouse selfrightous arrogance! U don’t know these couples, what’s behind their unfortunate cicumstances for not being in their poor childrens lives! I was trying to point out (between the lines) that in our world to day w/ this ever increasing old problem, IT IS A “BLESSING” MORE & MORE PEOPLE R GAY AS TO NOT ADD TO THE ORPHANE PROBLEMS OF THE WORLD!!!! The more Gay couples, the merrier, for thier availability to adopt these orphanes on our planet who so very much need to be Loved! It would even be a great out come if these parentless children could find animals to help raise them!!! I believe there is a documented case of a child raised by animals but can’t qoute or make referals, u’ll have to do that research urself.
SO MOVE OUT OF THE WAY, UR ARGUMENT’S SWISS CHEESE!

AmenAS / H&F: .) / October 9th, 2008, 9:33 am / #16

Kipp,
I noticed u didn’t give Blacksun (Sean Prophet) an example. He set forth in real simple one line answers, what I’m trying to say as well. The constitution begines “We the people in order to form a more perfect union” More keeps it from meaning absolutly perfect. We the human race need to create a society that can live peacably, respecting one another. Not controling. Making the meaning of the word marriage, even an issue, as to keep gay marriages catogorised as something else, is such a lie & manipulation of the facts, & reality of what they would be doing when joined! It’s not any different by definition except the sound of the pronunciation of each of these words – joined / married! It is still a UNION by two people!
Come on! There is suffering in this world, focus on solving it ! Gay couples r kept from adopting, & this IS A CRIME AGAINST CHILDREN W/ OUT PARENTS! So the increase in gay individuals to me, is natures way of controling the population. People can’t control themselves, acting like dogs in heat, then well thk goodness for homosexuality! I am grateful for it! Children don’t deserve to be unwanted & unloved!

Louis / October 9th, 2008, 10:28 am / #17

my post is not posting again…

Louis / October 9th, 2008, 10:32 am / #18

gonna try breaing it up… maybe the length is causing the parser to take a shit?

Pointing out the difference between marriage and a civil union, or a ‘joining’ as described by John L. is not being self-righteous or snobish.

Cept for the fact that his point is misleading.

Marriage is the symbolic union of 2 parts. Throughout history that symbolism has taken on many different forms and obligations. It is not the sole property of a man and women (or as in the case of polygamy, many women.) The ritual (in its various forms) proceeded the penning of the first oral traditions that have evolved into todays Bible.

Civil Union is the legal recognition by the state of marriage.

Civil Union isn’t a different kind of marriage; it is state sanctioned marriage.

Louis / October 9th, 2008, 10:34 am / #19

Hmmm, length does seem to be the issue, here is part 2:

The point of my argument is that I believe that the age old tradition of marriage, the first sacrament given to mankind from God.

Uh, can you prove one word of that without using imaginary arguments as precedent?

The Bible was clearly written by men. Any claims that it was God who first spoke to primitive man and thereby all the patents to the ritual, belong to those who profess a belief in such nonsense, are superciliously foolish. By those constrictions, Atheist men and women can’t marry and that is as much a steaming pile of rubbish, as the denial to same sex partners.

Please don’t corrupt the meaning of the word, that is my only request.

Allowing two same sex consenting adults the right to marry is not a corruption of the word. Words often have multiple definitions describing their meaning.

It is no more a corruption, than saying that meaning of Might is…

Might:]
1. physical strength: He swung with all his might.
2. superior power or strength; force: the theory that might makes right.
3. power or ability to do or accomplish; capacity: the might of the ballot box.

or

Might:
1. pt. of may1.
2. (used to express possibility): They might be at the station.
3. (used to express advisability): You might at least thank me.
4. (used in polite requests for permission): Might I speak to you for a moment?

One meaning does not corrupt the word in this case and they are completely different definitions of the same word.

In the case of:

Marriage:
1. the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc.
2. the state, condition, or relationship of being married; wedlock: a happy marriage.
3. the legal or religious ceremony that formalizes the decision of a man and woman to live as husband and wife, including the accompanying social festivities: to officiate at a marriage.
4. a relationship in which two people have pledged themselves to each other in the manner of a husband and wife, without legal sanction: trial marriage; homosexual marriage.
5. any close or intimate association or union: the marriage of words and music in a hit song.
6. a formal agreement between two companies or enterprises to combine operations, resources, etc., for mutual benefit; merger.
7. a blending or matching of different elements or components: The new lipstick is a beautiful marriage of fragrance and texture.
8. Cards. a meld of the king and queen of a suit, as in pinochle. Compare royal marriage.
9. a piece of antique furniture assembled from components of two or more authentic pieces.

Including same sex union does not erase or change existing definition points, they still stand and hold their meaning.

Louis / October 9th, 2008, 10:35 am / #20

and part 3:

I also find the choice of semantics you opt for to argue that this will somehow alter the definition of marriage. You use the word corrupt.

Corrupt:
1. guilty of dishonest practices, as bribery; lacking integrity; crooked: a corrupt judge.
2. debased in character; depraved; perverted; wicked; evil: a corrupt society.
3. made inferior by errors or alterations, as a text.
4. infected; tainted.
5. decayed; putrid.
–verb (used with object)
6. to destroy the integrity of; cause to be dishonest, disloyal, etc., esp. by bribery.
7. to lower morally; pervert: to corrupt youth.
8. to alter (a language, text, etc.) for the worse; debase.
9. to mar; spoil.
10. to infect; taint.
11. to make putrid or putrescent.
12. English Law. to subject (an attainted person) to corruption of blood.

It really shows what you think about 2 consenting adults in love.

8. to alter (a language, text, etc.) for the worse; debase.

How are you going to prove to me that the inclusion of same sex union to the definition actually debases or worsens the definition of marriage?

How is:
1. the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc.
Better?

and
1. the social institution under which a man and woman, (or 2 men, or 2 women) establish their decision to live as husband and wife (or life partners) by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc.
Worse?

Obviously the above could be composed with greater care than what I just plopped onto the page, but the question remains… How is the first one incorrupt and the second one corrupt?

is wholly beyond being defined by a minority of society

Just because a majority of Americans believe in an imaginary being governing all things, doesn’t make that a fact.

The definitions and meaning of words have changed to with time.

What convinces you that including same sex marriage to the definition of marriage is a case of pejoration and not a case of melioration or amelioration?

If you can provide some context that isn’t just bullshit opinion, I’d have to consider your argument.

I’ll refer everyone to a great site with this following quote:

Silly are the goddy tawdry maudlin for they shall christgeewhiz bow down before him: bedead old men, priest and prester, babeling a pitterpatternoster: no word is still the word, but, a loafward has become lord.
Ronald Suffield, “The Tenth Beatitude”

Including same sex marriage, brings the list of definitions for marriage into the 21st century. It makes the term that much more relevant and applicable to the larger populace. That sounds like amelioration to me.

Kipp / October 9th, 2008, 11:42 am / #21

Hello all,

I feel that I’ve expressed my opinion and further argument will not change anyone’s mind. I understand that many people disagree with my opinion. I also know that many people disagree with changing the law to allow two same-sex people to get married. I fall into that second group.

I’m sorry that we can’t agree on this topic but I’m sure there are many other topics that we do agree on. I find that with 99% of the people I’ve met in my life, we have at least some common ground and if there is that common ground, then I can live peacefully alongside you. I will, however, express my beliefs by voting for and electing representatives to the goverment in which I live under. I encourage absolutely everyone else to do the same. Democracy is not dictatorship, though sometimes it feels that way to the minorities.

Change enough minds and you can change the law. Until then, majority rules. (and I have heard the argument about how we’d still have slavery if we didn’t listen to the minority) It’s a good argument, but I don’t equate the two issues.

Louis / October 9th, 2008, 12:01 pm / #22

I find that with 99% of the people I’ve met in my life, we have at least some common ground and if there is that common ground, then I can live peacefully alongside you.

So you can live peacefully beside a gay/lesbian couple. What changes if they are, or get married?

I get that this is your opinion, but frankly, I fail to see how your opinion changes things one bit?

I really want to know, and if you chose to not say anything further, I’ll respect that.

I don’t see debate as bad. After all, how much have you considered your position if you never challenge the assumptions behind it?

AmenAS / H&F: .) / October 9th, 2008, 4:03 pm / #23

The Bigger Picture is, while U r comfortable preventing parentless children to stay w/ out a loving family, who would be a gay couple or individual, because ur stance on the gay marriage issue, more & more children r homeless, negleted & unloved! I’m talking about making The Dream of a Civilised World ! And this cannot happen when religion continues to not to be seperated in National decisions!
My adjectives, what u refered to as name calling, r to refer to, for me, a state of emotion & consciousness, uncomprhendable, when one has the power in thier hands to give the open door to these children the legal avenue to be adopted, loved & cared for, by individuals who want to love them bk, so what that they r homosexual ! Man, the mythology of God let’s Lucifer do as he pleases, even to this day, that is what the belief is to our realities misery!
How in the world do u religious folks think ur way of religion, is suppose rid the misery that religious beliefs actualy have been the very assence to the misery that exists?!
I take all literature as reflection to human psychology, a gentic code of good & evil out playing it’s self. As Shakespear said, we all have our entences & our exists, parts that we play in life. So that says to me, there r individuals destine by genetic designed to be the part of evil or opposition to peace & happiness in life. So, no matter what anyone says or does, these groups at times will stay thier ground. Free will to me is yet to be understood, & therefor a descriptive we think we understand, but don’t.
I was named after the God of life because my biological father didn’t want me. He wanted to abort me the traditional way women have done so for centuries. With the local Witch Doctor. My Mom already did that for him w/ a previous pregnancy. So this time, she had every intention of keeping this one, me, to make up for the first one to God. Amen-Ra, is the complete name of the God of life in Egyption mythology. Amen means So Be It, Let It Be, Give It Life in other words. That is why I honor my name & it challenges the Bible’s ligitimacy. So, yes, I don’t care for abortion, but I wouldn’t dare think of taking a woman’s right to choose. I am also a vegetarian, but I am not taking away society’s addiction to eating animals. I find other avenues to peacably influence, change, argue, convince, protect these living beings, w/ out shoving it in peoples faces. I don’t believe in making any of these illegal. Humans need to naturally evolve & be let to evolve. The story of God & Lucifer reflects a lesson to follow, as cruel & pityful as it is.
Lucifer – bad – rebellious – snobish – stuck up – self centered – narcissistic.
God – goodness – reasonableness – kindness – nice – self less – doesn’t give a damn what others think
Since I don’t believe the Bible is the word of a God or absolute truth, but a reflection of our human minds, my interpretation to this part & the rest of the bk varies. In other words, the story alone of God & Lucifer’s rebelion, has so many interpretations for me, I would get more off topic than I have already. Though I hope it is understood why I brought what I did to light & why. So it is connected. Just made this response way longer than planned!
I don’t hate, just hurt for all the opposition everyone has to face just to be alive & live Happy & Free!

H&F: .) / October 10th, 2008, 6:51 am / #24

Louis, ur piece didn't show up till today in my email & wasn't there when I submitted my piece yesterday? So thats why I'm just now complimenting it. Clap, clap, clap…….very well done Sir! Religious devotees don't hear themselves! How wacked & fanatical, especialy rudely arrogant thier explianations r, to their decisions such as in this one about gay marriage! I didn't even address it, forgot to! Glade u did!

Muslims blowing up something is violent, gay marriage IS NOT an act of violence! I therefor of course cannot accept this example. But when self rightous, surpressing individuals r right, their right, no matter what one says! They don't even realize their being surpressing & self rightous. To themselves, they r doing the will of their God! Bottom line here is gay partners r asking for a right that isn't life threatening to humanity. Again, religion IS NOT suppose to be in a citizens factor to deciding it ! But humans will be true to thier dictorial nature, like the animal kingdom!

I have to add here, the psychology of God in the bible for me isn't always the positives I typed above. Because as the story, mythology is written, Lucifer was, is allowed to roam free doing what he wills to humanity & their children. Read Job's story. To me this reflects evil acts, as being part of our design, for a period of time. And so knowing that, I understand that the evil I see in acton in the world is lifes / deaths relationship out playing itself, not free will. The horrid things people do, not logical to our true nature in characterization from birth. Meaning a childs person is so wanting love, kindness, friendship, companionship, happiness. It's mind boggoling how human children grow up to have the potencial to do horendous crimes of passion, selfishness, hate, morbidity, & religion has been a failure to civilising humanity, with the explaination we have free will. Emotional intelligence says the acts of violence not self defense, r contadictory to our needs for love & happiness! So our free will should always be to that direction but isn't. Like J.L. above so violently put into words what he fanticised he wished he could do to me! And as a person who wanted to be in criminology, I talk or write at times, deliberatly, for that reason. Just to see what comes from a Christian devotee or moralistic person when I communicate that way. Definatly not what Jesus would do. He was compassionite, patient, tolerant, understanding & ready to challenge the Jews where he found them wrong! His characterisation is sophisticated & mature yet caught up in the sillyness of spirits & extreme spiritual beliefs, something some Christian don't even engage in because how embarrassing & silly it feels. Jesus fasting fourty days & nights could have been put in better use! People don't realise how inslaved they become surrendering thier minds to religion as absolute truth, that they cannot make many fair decisions because everything revolves around the religion! One sometimes looses thier fair human relations, when they r religious devotees. It becomes all they understand. Having said this, I should end it here.

Sorry to hurt others w/ just words in my experiment, but if one is truly strong & mature, it would have been irrelevent, & their response reflective of thier wisdom & years.

Peace & Love truly,

Amen Amparo Sigala / Happy & Free = )

H&F: .) / October 10th, 2008, 7:15 am / #25

correcton at the part …religion has been a failure to …fully…civilizing humanity. Should have stated it that way, w/ the word …fully. Religion has contributed to civilizing humanity to a certain degree, but Not fully, how can it, we have free will to do other wise, & it's contridictions to give one a headache & still do other wise!. Religion itself has improved because people have altered it to be more acceptable, religion is always changing to survive. But one day it will be part of history & just study, as the other great mythologies in our time & world.

Love, kindness, manners, courtesy, thoughtfulness, grace……… exsists w/ out religion & is what religion trys to reflect yet fails to do. One does not need religion to be a loving amazing human being. Yes, I'm a lover of the King Arthur story & Cleopatra's.

H&F: .) / October 10th, 2008, 7:22 am / #26

Kipp,

forgot to complement u in how u delt w/ me in this discusion. Very well done!

*Bows & Curtsy*, it's been my pleasure Sir!

John Dillon / May 12th, 2009, 3:45 pm / #27

There is no such thing as gay or homosexual "marriage" regardless of what laws are passed – however there really was no need to work so hard to stop them from fulfilling their wishes to get legally married and spend so much energy on the issue these last ten years (in my opinion) now they get to raise their profile, which is probably what they really wanted, as if you have ever spent time with any homosexuals you know they are in general the most irritating, narcissistic, self-absorbed, smarmy assholes ever invented by nature or god or whoever … there are other phlosophical concerns – now that gays can get married, what about bisexual group marriages, polygamy, bigamy, or even marrying animals (there are millions of people in the world who for some reason believe they are animals born into human bodies) … how will the gay rights movement separate themselves from these even more preposterous issues that are connected to them? Maybe they will never arise, let's hope it ends at gay marriage and that eventually the meagerness of gay-thought, as embodied by the likes of Perez Hilton, gets permanently exposed for what it is – NEUROSIS and CONFUSION.

Post a comment

Comments are closed for this post.