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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act (Page 1)

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Author Topic: The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act
Stephan
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Maryland representatives will be voting on this soon. It stands a good chance of passing. The Republican minority leader actually stepped down because he is in support of it.

The best part is that it addresses the only real complaint religious conservatives have. It states very clearly that religious organizations cannot be made to marry anyone they don't want to.

It is simply beautiful. Even though the constitution protects this right of religious organizations anyways, it spells it out in a great compromise.

Yes, there are other arugments those opposed make. I can't really think of any legitimate ones off the top of my head. But this pretty much confronts the major argument that sways the moderates.

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Darth_Mauve
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Link please?
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AchillesHeel
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What about churches who refuse to marry interracial couples? marriage ceremonies are clearly a service that they provide and are paid for, to refuse service on grounds of race is discrimination.
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kmbboots
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Churches already don't have to marry people they don't want to marry. They don't have to, for example, marry non-members or people who haven't gone through whatever marriage training they require.
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Samprimary
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Maybe, but they already won't marry gay couples, right? We're well past the issue of churches discriminating.

I think it's fine that churches are allowed to discriminate all the live-long day as long as 1. marriage is an option without discrimination provided to all consenting adults via the state, and 2. churches may not avail themselves of public money or special immunities, nor involve or imbed themselves in publicly funded institutions.

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Stephan
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ac/20110128/tr_ac/7722580_samesex_marriage_legislation_introduced_in_maryland_legislature
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Stephan
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
What about churches who refuse to marry interracial couples? marriage ceremonies are clearly a service that they provide and are paid for, to refuse service on grounds of race is discrimination.

I will try to find an example, I remember a case of a church being granted the right to deny interracial couples.
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MattP
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quote:
to refuse service on grounds of race is discrimination.
It's also discrimination to refuse service on grounds of religion, but that's obviously not a problem - no religion is going to be forced to marry non-members if its against their policy to do so. Churches have a lot of leeway when it comes to discrimination.
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kmbboots
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Celebrating a marriage ceremony is not really a service; it is a Sacrament. Churches regularly get to choose who can receive Sacraments.
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Shawshank
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Yes. What kmbboots said.
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Ron Lambert
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Most Seventh-day Adventist pastors have never been willing to marry a church member to a non-member. People can always get married elsewhere. We do offer our churches free of charge for weddings of members. Often we offer church school gymnasiums free of charge for receptions, with volunteer help. Only to members. That is a reasonable benefit and privilege of church membership.

The problem is actually not requiring churches to marry same-sex couples. Nothing forces them to now. The real and only problem Christians have is being required to call same-sex unions "marriage." Marriage is to us a Biblical term, ordained by the Creator. Humans do not have the authority to overrule the Creator. But that is what is attempted when same-sex unions are legally declared to be "marriage." This is a direct defiance of the authority of the Creator, and will force the withdrawal of divine protection from America in much larger measure than we have seen already, because of the sins already tolerated by society.

Whatever inequities may be involved concerning health insurance coverage, permission to visit loved ones in the hospital, etc., can be remedied by law without having to call the union "marriage."

What this all really amounts to is an attempt by "gays" to require all religous people to approve of their lifestyle. This is a violation of the religious liberty of everyone who believes the Bible. We can never, no matter what, approve of something that the Bible clearly teaches is sin. Certainly not the worst sin, but sin nonetheless.

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Samprimary
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quote:
This is a direct defiance of the authority of the Creator, and will force the withdrawal of divine protection from America in much larger measure than we have seen already, because of the sins already tolerated by society.
You're one of those "Dover shall suffer, for they have forsaken god's love" types, huh.

quote:
What this all really amounts to is an attempt by "gays" to require all religous people to approve of their lifestyle. This is a violation of the religious liberty of everyone who believes the Bible.
The absolute worst (best?) part of this is that you've taken an issue which is really a violation of the liberty of homosexuals, and tried to make the other half out to be the ultimate victims of 'violations of their liberty.' Over a word. No. You do not have to approve of their lifestyle. You just don't get to dictate absolutely what permissible ways exist that secular institutions get to use the word "marriage." They can do that just fine on their own, thanks.
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scholarette
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The problem with the fight over marriage is that while marriage may mean a sacrament and God and stuff to YOU, to the government it is a contract made between two people giving them specific rights. The argument is over how a secular government is defining the term, not how God does, or any specific religion or person. So, it is great that a marriage means whatever it does to you, but from the government's viewpoint that shouldn't be relevent to the discussion.
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Destineer
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quote:
This is a direct defiance of the authority of the Creator, and will force the withdrawal of divine protection from America in much larger measure than we have seen already, because of the sins already tolerated by society.
I'm curious why you think this, even assuming a religious perspective like yours. How do you know America has been the beneficiary of divine protection in the first place? God doesn't generally make a habit of rewarding the righteous and punishing the sinful in the mortal world. (Think of Job and all the good believers who die from cancer at a young age.)

And why the collective punishment? For example, suppose a hurricane strikes Maryland as a result of their passing this law. Isn't that unfair to the good Christians who live there, that they be punished along with Maryland's gay population? Wouldn't it be better to inflict the individual sinners with boils or something, rather than indiscriminately punish them along with their innocent countrymen?

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Ron Lambert
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Destineer, you might be surprised when you one day may discover how all the multitudes on an entire street were spared from destruction because of the presence of a mere handful of faithful people.

There are many ways where natural disasters are clearly increasing in severity and frequency, despite what a few biased naysayers try to claim. But let me just point out the fact about meteoroid bombardment of the earth. The late Eugene Shoemaker of the U.S. Geological Survey (and also of Shoemaker-Levy fame) stated in print one time that a meteroid (that's what astrophysicists call them) with sufficient impact power to equal or exceed the power of the Hiroshima atom bomb, strikes the earth every single year. But they fall into the ocean (4/5 of the earth's surface), or else impact in uninhabited wilderness areas (remember the Tunguska blast in Siberia), or for some inexplicable reason detonate in the high reaches of the atmosphere and never reach the surface. Should one of these impacters strike a major city, and hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions would perish. I will declare to you flatly that most of these meteorioids are turned aside or detonated high in the atmosphere by angels of God. These angels dread what they know is coming--the day when they are told that they must stand down. But the Creator cannot in justice continue to defend those who DIRECTLY defy His authority, opposing their official human authority against it.

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Rakeesh
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A God who would lift such protection from His children because they stopped agreeing with Him would be as evil as a parent who turned their child out into a hailstorm for not sharing their politics.
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Destineer
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quote:
Destineer, you might be surprised when you one day may discover how all the multitudes on an entire street were spared from destruction because of the presence of a mere handful of faithful people.
OK. Why does he save the faithful from meteors, but not illness?

quote:
A God who would lift such protection from His children because they stopped agreeing with Him would be as evil as a parent who turned their child out into a hailstorm for not sharing their politics.
That's not even what's happening. It's just that a slightly larger number go against his will. Presumably there will still be some faithful people in Baltimore, even after this law gets past. So God's going to let a meteor hit Baltimore and kill thousands of true believers, just because the ones who've turned against God outnumber the faithful and voted them down?

One would think that, if God were of a mind to save the mortal lives of those who have faith (which obviously he isn't, or else he'd save them from cancer and not just meteors), he would protect them from meteors regardless of how many practicing homosexuals lived in the same city.

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Destineer
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For example, I see you live in Troy. Let's say a meteor was descending upon the greater Detroit area. God decides that because I, a faithless sinner, and so many others like me live in southeastern Michigan, he will withhold his protection and allow the meteor to strike, even though you and your family will die as a result. Would that be fair?
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Dan_Frank
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Ron, out of curiosity: How would you feel if all references to marriage were taken out of American law and replaced by a strictly legal institution? Called... whatever, it doesn't matter. Civil unions. And straights and gays and mens and womens and everybody could enter into them as they saw fit, but the government didn't call any of them marriages?

Then your church could still call what they perform marriages. As could every other church, and none of them would have to agree, and the government wouldn't specifically take sides and define one church as correct and another as incorrect.

How does that sound to you?

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
What about churches who refuse to marry interracial couples? marriage ceremonies are clearly a service that they provide and are paid for, to refuse service on grounds of race is discrimination.

Race discrimination is not strictly illegal in a private business.
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LIGHT
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To me, it doesn't really matter what the political or social bearings are on a particular matter. What matters the most to me is, "What does God say? What should I do about that?"

I believe that God has made males and females for very particular reasons, and that he wants heterosexual marriage to be the institution by which that aspect of life is to be appreciated fully, and not by any other venue.

You can throw civil rights arguments at me, and you can throw libel and slander at me. Yet I will vote according to my conscience anyhow. After all, isn't that what faith is all about? And isn't that what democracy is all about--voting according to your own conscience, not the one that society pressures you to adopt?

Your vote reflects your civil conscience. Don't dirty it up.

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DDDaysh
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
What about churches who refuse to marry interracial couples? marriage ceremonies are clearly a service that they provide and are paid for, to refuse service on grounds of race is discrimination.

I've never seen a "marriage" actually sold as a service. Usually the marriage is "given" and the couple, in turn, gives a donation (sometimes a mandatory donation) back to the church.

And LIGHT, you're going to get back into the realm of whether or not the U.S. is, or was ever intended to be, a "democracy". I think it's pretty clear that we have never allowed a "majority rule" in every aspect of our lives. We have a constitution and a court system to protect outcasts from being stoned just for being different. This is much the same. You can feel that homosexual behavior is wrong, and that's your opinion (which you are allowed to have), but you can't decide to infringe on their rights because of your opinion.

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TomDavidson
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I find the idea that God would stop ordering his angels to bat away meteors if Ron calls a same-sex union a "marriage" to be hysterically amusing.

quote:
What matters the most to me is, "What does God say? What should I do about that?"

And that's precisely why religious beliefs are dangerous. Because, let's face it, you don't actually know the answer to that question, but you're determined as all heck to act like you do.
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Samprimary
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quote:
or for some inexplicable reason detonate in the high reaches of the atmosphere and never reach the surface.
atmospheric impact friction is inexplicable now?
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LIGHT
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quote:
You can feel that homosexual behavior is wrong, and that's your opinion (which you are allowed to have), but you can't decide to infringe on their rights because of your opinion.
Actually, if such a thing is on the ballot, I have every right to vote according to my conscience. So I choose to do so.

I find it funny that you continue to refer to LGBT marriage as a "right". Certainly, it is their right to live their lives with that orientation. They can shack up like just about everyone else out there. But don't try to force me to accept some sort of gross perversion of the meaning of marriage with this argument of "rights". It is well within my "rights" to disagree heavily with that choice of lifestyle and to curb its impact on my life and the community I live in as much as I can. It is my right to reject and fight their lifestyle's influence in my life--an influence that I find profoundly sinful. Sorry.

By the way, I should clarify that I don't despise gay people. All of us are children of God, and deserve the love of God--but I will never tolerate gross sinfulness if I can help it. As in the whole "love the sinner, hate the sin" thing. It is possible, you know. Does that still count as homophobic? I thought that applied to people, not to the lifestyle. If that's used to refer to LGBT people, then I'd deny it. If it's used to refer to the lifestyle, then yes, I am a proud homophobe and will be one until the day I die.

quote:
And that's precisely why religious beliefs are dangerous. Because, let's face it, you don't actually know the answer to that question, but you're determined as all heck to act like you do.
[Laugh]

That's the funniest thing, Tom. I know perfectly well that I am in the right, and what you don't know is how I know, so your ultimate verdict is to dismiss my argument. Works like a charm, every time.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by LIGHT:

You can throw civil rights arguments at me, and you can throw libel and slander at me. Yet I will vote according to my conscience anyhow.

Then you clearly do not believe in what America was founded to be. That's fine- not everybody does. Just don't confuse what you've got for patriotism.
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LIGHT
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Would you please explain to me in your own words, in understandable and explicit form, exactly what you thought America was founded to be? If you defend a straw man of your own devising, it'd be pretty easy to give a spin on America of whatever sort you'd like. Please, tell me what the professional opinion is.

I'll tell you the honest truth. I'm not an expert in this sort of thing. I am not a lawyer, nor a politician, nor a student of history or whatever. But I think I have a clue, and I think that an awful lot of people have become distracted from "what America was founded to be" by a crumbling of the public morality, etc.

Of course, I could be wildly wrong, and I'm interested in finding out what I'm wrong on.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Actually, if such a thing is on the ballot, I have every right to vote according to my conscience. So I choose to do so.
You've got the power, but not the right. *shrug* I'm certainly not going to persuade you, but what you have in this country is the protected civil right to vote your conscience. That doesn't make whatever is in your conscience right when put to a ballot. That's a pretty flawed argument. We've just, as a society, realized that the alternatives to not protecting that right are worse.

quote:


I find it funny that you continue to refer to LGBT marriage as a "right". Certainly, it is their right to live their lives with that orientation. They can shack up like just about everyone else out there. But don't try to force me to accept some sort of gross perversion of the meaning of marriage with this argument of "rights". It is well within my "rights" to disagree heavily with that choice of lifestyle and to curb its impact on my life and the community I live in as much as I can. It is my right to reject and fight their lifestyle's influence in my life--an influence that I find profoundly sinful. Sorry.

Well, let's be clear on a few things here. You say they have the right to live their lives with such orientations, all well and good, and that they can shack up if they like and you won't try and stop them. But that's at odds with some other things you say, especially when you start talking about 'impact on the community and life'.

Would you really support a government and social policy of complete disinterest in the lives of two homosexuals who lived in your neighborhood, 'shacked up' and calling themselves married, for all of their lives, obviously living sexually active cohabiting lives together? How would that be consistent with barring them from marriage?

It simply wouldn't, that's how. Because the impact on the community - not that it's their business in the slightest - would be much the same. Furthermore, you're tolerating gross sinfulness already, and you can help it. Marriage as a sacred, religious institution in this country - at least as far as the government is concerned - is a complete laughingstock, as you must be aware if you have a passing acquaintance with statistics on the subject.

Thus, given that we're a secular nation, why is it acceptable to tolerate this gross sinfulness but not that gross sinfulness? Bearing in mind that 'I get to vote my conscience' isn't an acceptable answer. Well, it is, but only if you're going to use it to hide behind, anyway.

quote:
As in the whole "love the sinner, hate the sin" thing. It is possible, you know.
Sure, it's possible. It's not a very active force motivating major political groups in opposition to legalized SSM in this country, though, no matter how desperately they try to claim it. Or rather it's not the kind of rhetoric that has traditionally been conjured up when it's time to scare votes, so yes, while it's possible, we're not discussing the possible here. Possibly I may win the lottery tomorrow.
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LIGHT
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quote:
Well, let's be clear on a few things here. You say they have the right to live their lives with such orientations, all well and good, and that they can shack up if they like and you won't try and stop them. But that's at odds with some other things you say, especially when you start talking about 'impact on the community and life'.

Would you really support a government and social policy of complete disinterest in the lives of two homosexuals who lived in your neighborhood, 'shacked up' and calling themselves married, for all of their lives, obviously living sexually active cohabiting lives together? How would that be consistent with barring them from marriage?

It simply wouldn't, that's how. Because the impact on the community - not that it's their business in the slightest - would be much the same. Furthermore, you're tolerating gross sinfulness already, and you can help it. Marriage as a sacred, religious institution in this country - at least as far as the government is concerned - is a complete laughingstock, as you must be aware if you have a passing acquaintance with statistics on the subject.

Wow. Okay, let's touch base a little bit here.

Not only am I absolutely disgusted with the whole LGBT movement going on in our country right now, but the whole "shacking up" deal is absolutely disgraceful. It's sickening, really. Do you honestly think, from where I seem to be coming from, that I'd approve of that sort of thing? Really? Come on--I've seen you use some good reasoning before on here, and this falls below that standard.

I said that they can. I didn't say that they should. I think that "shacking up" is a disgrace to our society. The question is, if you paint such a pretty picture of myself tolerating that sort of a government when it is an obviously gross and disgusting thing, why do you support it? To what extent to we tolerate--let alone encourage--immorality? Do you want that sort of society? You call that sort of sanctity of marriage a laughingstock. Are you one of the ones laughing? Don't use ugly pictures of our society against me if you know at heart that that sort of society is wrong. Unless, of course, it would be better to live in Sodom because it would be worse than it would to not let ourselves stoop that far and thus limit our right to destroy ourselves. Really? Is that really what you think?

Or maybe my wording earlier was misconstrued. I apologize if that's the case. I hope it didn't sound like I'm fine with unmarried cohabitation, because I'm quite honestly not okay with it. But I think that's a lost battle... for now. Like Ron was saying earlier, give it some time and see how it goes. Losing the LGBT battle just speeds up the process, anyway.

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MattP
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quote:
an obviously gross and disgusting thing
Pro-tip: If there is broad disagreement on the subject then it is, by definition, not obvious.
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0Megabyte
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"Actually, if such a thing is on the ballot, I have every right to vote according to my conscience. So I choose to do so."

Does one have every right to vote Christianity illegal, if that is what the dictates of their conscience says? I'd say no: Because America is about protecting minorities (which would include Christianity if it ever became one here) as much as about minority rule. That's simply what America is about. And I'd prefer to do to others what I would want done to me. You know, like a certain man you might know once claimed was rather important.

"I find it funny that you continue to refer to LGBT marriage as a "right". Certainly, it is their right to live their lives with that orientation. They can shack up like just about everyone else out there. But don't try to force me to accept some sort of gross perversion of the meaning of marriage with this argument of "rights"."

Then don't accept it as something God recognizes. If you don't care about what they actually do, isn't it better to let them have the same benefits? Do unto others...

"It is well within my "rights" to disagree heavily with that choice of lifestyle and to curb its impact on my life and the community I live in as much as I can."

What impact? Them being allowed to live freely, without people making them go somewhere else? How would you feel, if you lived in a Muslim country and heard people saying the same about Christians? Do unto others...

"It is my right to reject and fight their lifestyle's influence in my life--an influence that I find profoundly sinful. Sorry."

The same as it's the right of Muslims or the Chinese government to reject and fight your lifestyle's influence on their lives? Or should your own fellow believers in China be allowed to practice their beliefs freely? Do unto others...

"By the way, I should clarify that I don't despise gay people."

Actions speak louder than words.

"All of us are children of God, and deserve the love of God--but I will never tolerate gross sinfulness if I can help it."

So what are you doing to be intolerant of adulterers, gamblers, bankers (usurers, remember!), people who eat pork and shellfish(btw, which rules in the Bible are to be followed, and which aren't again? People seem to disagree), people who practice non-Christian religions like Wicca, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc, as well? As long as you're being intolerant, why stop at just gays? I mean, why pick on people who feel love towards each other, instead of people who believe in spirits and pagan gods?

"As in the whole "love the sinner, hate the sin" thing. It is possible, you know. Does that still count as homophobic?"

No, not precisely. But it's used as such a shield, and you aren't actually acting like you are. You'd do to them what you wouldn't want done to you. Where's the love of the sinner in that?

"I thought that applied to people, not to the lifestyle. If that's used to refer to LGBT people, then I'd deny it. If it's used to refer to the lifestyle, then yes, I am a proud homophobe and will be one until the day I die."

Do unto others as you would have done to you. If you were unlucky enough to be born with a preference for the same sex, would you want to be treated as a pariah, whose activities are to be opposed? When all you're doing is living your own life, and loving someone you're actually attracted to?

Because you didn't choose to be straight, anymore than I did. What did they ever do to you? Kill your dog? How are they hurting you? How is them getting married and living happy lives hurting yours? How is them not being told that their entire lives are wrong, right? Would it be right for you to be told that being attracted to people of the opposite sex is wrong? Would it be right to be forced to abstain, or enter into homosexual pairings? How is it any less right to look down on others for feelings you had no more control of in your case than they do?

Where is your humanity?


"Or maybe my wording earlier was misconstrued. I apologize if that's the case. I hope it didn't sound like I'm fine with unmarried cohabitation, because I'm quite honestly not okay with it."

Dang, what do you want of them? If you don't even want them living together, what DO you want? Celibacy? That's not a straw-man, as I'm not going to make an argument based on that idea, instead I'm asking: Is that what you want? If it is, let me be clear: If you were unable to marry the person you loved, or in fact anyone you would even possibly be attracted to, any person of the other sex, for example, and then told it's wrong for you even to live with them, that you couldn't have that basic human companionship we all crave, how would you feel?

Do unto others as you would have done to you.

[ January 31, 2011, 01:59 AM: Message edited by: 0Megabyte ]

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0Megabyte
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"To what extent do we tolerate--let alone encourage--immorality?"

It is not our right to force others to live as we would. Because there's almost certainly a large majority who lives differently than us, and would try to force us to live differently. What do you think the Thirty Years' War was about? That's what happens when you decide you cannot tolerate the "immorality" of the "so-obviously wrong" other people.

Why do you think so many people came to America in the first place? To escape that sort of a mindset, and to be able to live in peace.

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Dan971
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I have a question/observation, sparked by LIGHT, which may be slightly peripheral to this thread.

It seems to me that a lot of people who are opposed to gay marriage / gays in the military / etc. describe homosexuality as a lifestyle.

I'm wondering if LIGHT, or anyone else, would be willing to elaborate on what you mean by this ?

Because the vibe that I often get (apologies if I'm totally off-base and addressing an opinion that doesn't really exist) is that people who describe homosexuality as a lifestyle are imagining something quite hedonistic, a whirl of parties and casual sex. There certainly are gays who live like this, but then there are also straights who live like this. Most gay people I know are considerably more 'boring' than this - for example, I know a gay couple who are a university administrator and an academic. They live in domestic bliss in a small house, with a cat, and their main hobbies are playing board games, reading, and going to the theatre.

My point I suppose is that I imagine that people who hold strong views against homosexuality are unlikely to get to know many gay people. Which in turn makes it easier to hold a simplified picture in your head of what gay people are like, which in turn makes it easier to hold strong views against homosexuality.

I recognise that people who are anti-homosexuality typically believe there is biblical support for their views; I suppose one question I'm throwing out there is whether, if they were more exposed to gay people, and found them to be as much of a mixed bag as the rest of us, this might cause them to reprioritise homosexuality on the scale of magnitude of sin ?

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fugu13
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Two new members posting lengthy posts on a controversial topic? Fascinating.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by LIGHT:
Would you please explain to me in your own words, in understandable and explicit form, exactly what you thought America was founded to be? If you defend a straw man of your own devising, it'd be pretty easy to give a spin on America of whatever sort you'd like. Please, tell me what the professional opinion is.

I'll tell you the honest truth. I'm not an expert in this sort of thing. I am not a lawyer, nor a politician, nor a student of history or whatever. But I think I have a clue, and I think that an awful lot of people have become distracted from "what America was founded to be" by a crumbling of the public morality, etc.

Of course, I could be wildly wrong, and I'm interested in finding out what I'm wrong on.

Your statements give me reason to believe that you support a non-secular Christian theocracy, based upon popular acclamation of religious leadership. If that is not the case, then your statements are particularly odd. Please, I am not attempting to construct a straw man, I am trying to reach the natural extension of the statement you made, which is that you would vote according to your religious beliefs, imposing your morality as law, rather than voting according to the principles of secular democracy, which demand that you make a recognizable distinction between moral and civil law. You make no such distinction in practice.

The reason that you are wrong is quite simply. America and its government were set up with the aim of encouraging a distinction between moral and civil law. They did this both to encourage religious freedom by disentangling government from the practices of religion (a practice responsible for much hardship in the past), and to preserve the functioning of a democracy out of the hands of tyrants or any specifically inherited power base- things that religions tend to create. So, if you vote your religious conscience rather than your civic conscience, or if you refuse to distinguish between "what is right," and what is *a* right, and disregard the careful, long, drawn out process of constitutional law and precedent simply because it is contrary to your religious beliefs, then you support rule by acclamation of religion, and you don't really support the democracy that America was founded on. Because it's a democracy, but it is a democracy with specific and careful limitations in place to balance the rights of individuals against such incursions of moral law in civil matters. You may vote, and you may believe that this is all that is required to be "democratic," but you wrong in this belief.

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LIGHT
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quote:
America and its government were set up with the aim of encouraging a distinction between moral and civil law.
To quote a wise man, "I do not believe in a double standard of morality." I think that sums it up well enough. Or not--more on that below.

quote:
Where is your humanity?
Where is yours? I find homosexual ideals quite inhumane. There is nothing about the lifestyle that contributes to humanity's benefit. It is an utterly selfish, self-centered lifestyle that does nothing except open society's doors to greater and greater immorality.

I think a big part of the problem here is that people are taking homosexuality out of its proper context and focusing on it alone. The problem is that such an approach simply doesn't bear weight. You seem to have forgotten that I stated that I view homosexuality as profoundly sinful. Sin is darkness. It destroys morality and blinds your conscience. It destroys the public good, in case you were wondering. It feeds off of the weaknesses of humanity and distorts your powers of judgment. All sin does this. Homosexuality is just one kind.

I would question my own humanity if, for a single moment, I openly supported by my vote something that generates those kinds of consequences for my fellow men. Like I said earlier, just because we have the right to destroy ourselves doesn't mean that we should use it "because we can". That's the ultimate danger between the false dichotomy of civic/religious morality, that one cannot be the other.

From what I understand, the Constitution was framed with the idea that it would be for a religious people with a moral conscience. If you're going to put that much power into the hands of the common man, he'd better have some bearings on how to use it. It really doesn't work any other way, except to our own detriment and downfall.

To claim that we should exercise a pseudo-"civic morality" when determining the fate of our community is to say that we should set up a society where the best question is, "Is it legal?" rather than "Is it right?" In other words, "What can I get away with?", instead of "What should I do?"

The scariest part about a democracy without actual morality is that the laws change--and as such, your bearings for a "civic morality". Liberal proponents always spout the argument about a slippery slope, and it grates on me every time they do. That slope runs both ways, buddy. I don't want to have to deal with explaining to my kids that homosexuality is absolutely immoral when they're taught it in school. You might as well teach them that pornography is the cool thing to do and that child molestation is just a way to live. "Hey, do you think that those child molesters chose to be that way? They have rights too!" I can see a civil rights movement in the making... give it twenty years or so.

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LIGHT
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quote:
If you were unable to marry the person you loved, or in fact anyone you would even possibly be attracted to, any person of the other sex, for example, and then told it's wrong for you even to live with them, that you couldn't have that basic human companionship we all crave, how would you feel?
That's a good concern. It seems to start off on the basis that you are locked into that sort of orientation for the rest of your life, that you have no choice about it, and that you're essentially doomed to a life of misery. That's kind of harsh. If that really were the case, then I'd say that the moral ideal for homosexuals is pretty bleak.

Fortunately, this is pretty much where the Good News kicks into full gear. The really cool thing is that people can change. The very nature of people can change--if you have faith. Do you have faith? And are you willing to show the evidence of that faith? Faith always leads to action. It leads to genuine change.

Don't box in the homosexuals and say that, if they were to give up homosexuality, they'd be doomed forever to a life without hope. That's one of the grossest lies out there, that we don't change and that we cannot change. The truth is that we change every moment of every day, and that we can choose the direction we move in. All it takes is a little bit of light to point you in the right direction, and then it's up to you to walk that path. Do you think God would consign miserable people to a life of misery and deprive them of a capacity for improvement?

That's why I vote against this sort of thing. It's because it means that we, as a people, would be giving in to our weakness instead of rising above it and learning to change and improve and become better. Change is possible.

As to people that are quite content where they are with the lives they're living, I can tell you right now that a life of sin will never bring real happiness. It might bring pleasure, and it might bring fun, but the sin itself will never expose you to a sense of profound meaning and satisfaction and accomplishment--only through change and growth to overcome it.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by LIGHT:
quote:
America and its government were set up with the aim of encouraging a distinction between moral and civil law.
To quote a wise man, "I do not believe in a double standard of morality." I think that sums it up well enough. Or not--more on that below.

Your lack of concern with this is troubling.


Having read the rest of your post, I conclude that I think you are probably a hateful, vile sort of person. And I don't want to argue with you at all.

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LIGHT
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It's sad when someone standing up for their beliefs yields that kind of response. I'm really not a hateful person--unless you're talking about sin. I really do despise sin. Sinners themselves are cool. I'm a sinner, you're a sinner, we're all sinners together. I simply hope that we learn to change and stop doing those things that are destroying our lives and the lives of those we love.

Sorry if the argument has yielded that sort of conclusion. I hope I haven't been too offensive--I've been known to put things a little bit bluntly. Most people don't like that. I apologize.

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Rakeesh
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LIGHT,

quote:


Not only am I absolutely disgusted with the whole LGBT movement going on in our country right now, but the whole "shacking up" deal is absolutely disgraceful. It's sickening, really. Do you honestly think, from where I seem to be coming from, that I'd approve of that sort of thing? Really? Come on--I've seen you use some good reasoning before on here, and this falls below that standard.

Light, I'm not interested in your approval of my reasoning. Anyway, it was obvious that you wouldn't approve of government/social disinterest in a couple of homosexuals shacking up for all their lives, and it's even more obvious now. Which was my point in the first place. I simply don't trust that someone who can't even make it through an online discussion about the topic without using words like 'disgusting' and 'sickening' really does 'love the sinner', for example, much less that they would really (if left to their own devices) leave the disgusting, sickening parties alone.

quote:
I said that they can. I didn't say that they should. I think that "shacking up" is a disgrace to our society. The question is, if you paint such a pretty picture of myself tolerating that sort of a government when it is an obviously gross and disgusting thing, why do you support it? To what extent to we tolerate--let alone encourage--immorality? Do you want that sort of society? You call that sort of sanctity of marriage a laughingstock. Are you one of the ones laughing? Don't use ugly pictures of our society against me if you know at heart that that sort of society is wrong. Unless, of course, it would be better to live in Sodom because it would be worse than it would to not let ourselves stoop that far and thus limit our right to destroy ourselves. Really? Is that really what you think?
I don't just paint a picture of yourself tolerating that sort of thing, it's a matter of factual record. You do tolerate things which are, by your own admission now, disgraceful, sickening behavior, yet you don't want the force of law banning them...unless homosexuals are involved.

We're not supposed to do that in this country. You know, specifically target a minority group for discrimination just because we don't like them for some pre-existing reason that cannot be proven to have justification? (Note: reasons referencing 'Sodom' don't count, because you have to believe in those reasons first before they're persuasive.)

Also, I didn't call marriage a laughingstock. You don't know what my personal opinion on that institution is. I merely correctly identified what our government's stance is on the sanctity of marriage, and to suggest that the US government views it as sacred is ridiculous.

quote:
Don't use ugly pictures of our society against me if you know at heart that that sort of society is wrong. Unless, of course, it would be better to live in Sodom because it would be worse than it would to not let ourselves stoop that far and thus limit our right to destroy ourselves.
Yes, clearly I must go along with using your Biblical references here in this very secular discussion. Wait...

quote:
Where is yours? I find homosexual ideals quite inhumane. There is nothing about the lifestyle that contributes to humanity's benefit. It is an utterly selfish, self-centered lifestyle that does nothing except open society's doors to greater and greater immorality.
Nonsense. The first nonsense is the notion that homosexuality can actually have ideals, anymore than heterosexuality or bisexuality. It's a sexual preference, not a political belief system! Second, there's nothing inherently in heterosexuality that contributes to humanity either-everything depends on the specific people involved as well, so once again your caricature fails.

quote:
That's a good concern. It seems to start off on the basis that you are locked into that sort of orientation for the rest of your life, that you have no choice about it, and that you're essentially doomed to a life of misery....
And here's some more nonsense: homosexuality =/ life of misery. Your responses to these little problems wherein you attempt to use religious reasoning to bludgeon your way through a secular argument are, by the way, pretty important to determining whether or not I at least am gonna keep talking about this with you. Speaking strictly for myself, I've got no interest in listening to thinly-veiled hellfire talk.

[ January 31, 2011, 10:16 AM: Message edited by: Rakeesh ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I know perfectly well that I am in the right, and what you don't know is how I know...
No, I'm afraid not. You don't get to authoritatively claim that you know the mind of God. You get to believe that you do, but I get to believe you're very, very wrong, and either deluded or lying.

quote:
I find homosexual ideals quite inhumane. There is nothing about the lifestyle that contributes to humanity's benefit. It is an utterly selfish, self-centered lifestyle that does nothing except open society's doors to greater and greater immorality.

But, to clarify, you're cool with those sinning gay people in general, right? Even though their same-sexing "ideals" are inhumane, and nothing about their utterly selfish lifestyle contributes to humanity's benefit?

How do they feel about you?

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by LIGHT:
It's sad when someone standing up for their beliefs yields that kind of response. I'm really not a hateful person--unless you're talking about sin.

It is sad that your beliefs are so vile and twisted. Sad all around.


quote:
I hope I haven't been too offensive--I've been known to put things a little bit bluntly.
You are deluding yourself if you think that your beliefs, properly iterated in nice language, would come off to me as anything but vile and hateful.
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Javert
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I find the idea that God would stop ordering his angels to bat away meteors if Ron calls a same-sex union a "marriage" to be hysterically amusing.

On the plus side, if he's right, we should be able to control disasters with the strategic placement of non-Christians around the world.
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Orincoro
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My God... I think you may be onto something there.
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Orincoro
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BTW, who is "light" an alt for, if it is one? Does anybody recognize a pattern here?
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Geraine
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
BTW, who is "light" an alt for, if it is one? Does anybody recognize a pattern here?

It does seem kind of peculiar, yet doesn't read like someone else's posting style.

Leaving God and religion completely out of it, my concern about gay marriage is far more simple. If you allow gay marriage, you have to allow every other type of marriage. If not aren't you discriminating against people that have other types of alternative lifestyles?

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Tresopax
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quote:
The best part is that it addresses the only real complaint religious conservatives have. It states very clearly that religious organizations cannot be made to marry anyone they don't want to.
The biggest real complaint from religious conservatives is that marriage is defined as between a man and woman which would make it erroneous to call anything else a marriage. I don't think those religious conservatives would consider that complaint to be resolved by this bill.

The complaint about being forced to marry people is a secondary complaint, and I suspect most reasonable people would realize that there's not much liklihood that churches would be forced to marry gay couples if they don't believe in that.

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Dan971
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Light, would you mind telling me why you think homosexuality is 'an utterly selfish, self-centred lifestyle' ? Going back to my earlier point, there are certainly some utterly selfish, self-centred gays, but there are also some utterly selfish, self-centred straights. My gay friends collected parcels from the post office for me when I was away on holiday, and they're planning on adopting/having a child at some point in the future. They don't seem particularly self-centred to me. For me the disconnect is that I don't think there's such a thing as a 'homosexual lifestyle' - homosexuals live as diverse a range of 'lifestyles' as everyone else.


Rakeesh, when Light says
quote:
That's a good concern. It seems to start off on the basis that you are locked into that sort of orientation for the rest of your life, that you have no choice about it, and that you're essentially doomed to a life of misery....
and you reply

quote:
And here's some more nonsense: homosexuality =/ life of misery.
I think there's a misunderstanding. Light's saying that your point of view is that homosexuals, denied the right to marry and love who they want, are doomed to a life of misery because of it, and he's saying he doesn't believe that's the case, because if they try hard enough they can change their sexual orientation, and then have fulfilling relationships with members of the opposite sex.

I don't believe he is correct, and further I don't think there's any reason why gays should have to do this, even if they could, but it seemed worth clarifying.

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kmbboots
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See, "LIGHT", I know* that you are wrong and that your beliefs are contrary to God's will. Far more contrary than a loving relationship between two men or two women ever could be. Since we do have the protection of separation of church and state, however, you are allowed your immoral, ungodly beliefs as long as you don't inflict them on others.

And I will pray for the patience to refrain from hoping you are hit by a meteor.


*What you don't know is how I know.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Geraine:
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
BTW, who is "light" an alt for, if it is one? Does anybody recognize a pattern here?

It does seem kind of peculiar, yet doesn't read like someone else's posting style.

Leaving God and religion completely out of it, my concern about gay marriage is far more simple. If you allow gay marriage, you have to allow every other type of marriage. If not aren't you discriminating against people that have other types of alternative lifestyles?

Geraine, no you don't. You don't, for instance, have to allow anything that is non-consensual. So don't bother trotting out that tired marrying a horse example.
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