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Author Topic: Gay Rights XV: everybody gets gay marriage
Rakeesh
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I very much agree with you, Lyrhawn, about having a brief but powerful imperialist past. We haven't even discussed the various means, many foul, by which we acquired the continental US

Anyway, my objection was based on the absurdity, in fact the pretty clear-cut falsehood, that it's strange and immoral for a liberal who has opposed much historic US foreign policy to oppose DADT, as though only some sort of imperialist monster would *want* to be involved in the military. It's nonsense. His objection doesn't withstand a moment's scrutiny if you take into account he was talking about people *now*, with the *recent* past, no less.

-----

Kmbboots, I have a hard time believing you aren't *very* aware of what specifically I was talking about, and what I wasn't. It's funny how with some people, if you're not constantly and in all discussions making specific mention of *all* of the US's many, many bad and even wicked foreign policy decisions...why, you've just gotta be taken to task for it.

In case you're wondering where this irritation comes from, it stems from your remark, "I know you know about that." Know what *you* know, or should? This discussion isn't about broader historic US foreign policy. It's about whether a modern liberal could oppose DADT, or even wish to join the military as a known homosexual, without being some sort of dreadful hypocrite.

And I'll just go ahead and point out I think it's ridiculous to suggest we intervene to support private corporate interests. That's a claim that is easily rejected, because hey-if that was our motive, we would've said eff the Iraqis, business can be great with Saddam, let's buy oil!

No. The truth is not that simple. What can be truthfully and shamefully said is that our interventions suffer from a lot of self-interested corporate meddling, which helps lead to trouble. But that's not the same thing.

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Foust
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quote:
Likewise everyone also knows that wherever the American military goes, oppression, brutality, and injustice just spread like wildfire. Heh.
Do you think the American military spreads puppy dogs and flowers wherever it goes? Apparently these are the only two options: brutality or puppy dogs.

I said it in my first post, and I'll rephrase here: if you think Abu Ghraib, the intervention in the Russian civil war and My Lai were isolated failures, contingent mistakes or the work of a few bad apples, you are not someone I am arguing with.

quote:
Is there to be no room for fighting for rights that may be abused?
I'm not criticizing the ability of gays to join the military as a right that may be abused. I am claiming this is a contradiction in liberal thinking. I'm not saying "it's a bad idea." It's a contradiction. I thought you of all people, KoM, would understand this.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
I said it in my first post, and I'll rephrase here: if you think Abu Ghraib, the intervention in the Russian civil war and My Lai were isolated failures, contingent mistakes or the work of a few bad apples, you are not someone I am arguing with.
Yes, I can see why you wouldn't be. Makes it easier to avoid difficult questions about over-the-top generalizations, for one thing.

Your picture is neatly, for the sake of argument, incomplete. It has to be, else your case falls flat on its face. Indians shouldn't have attempted equality with Britain before protesting; women in the US shouldn't have worked so long and so hard to be a part of a system that mistreats them; minorities shouldn't...and so on and so forth.

I suppose liberals ought not partake of any institution that isn't already utopian, then. What a silly, smug outlook you're espousing.

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Destineer
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I don't agree with Foust's anti-DADT principle, but I think you guys are operating with a pretty narrow definition of imperialism.

A major function of the US military is to protect our national interest in dealing with entities that exploit foreign people, via the fact that foreign countries have very badly constructed economies. This happens with oil and with foreign labor. I don't think it's a stretch to call some of our policies imperialist in this regard.

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Rakeesh
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I will certainly agree that much, far too much of our foreign policy is geared towards finding ways to help our own interests, and that we make those decisions either before, after, or during tending to other motives.

I disagree that qualifies as imperialism, a word used to describe the behavior of governments that just doesn't very closely align with what I think you're talking about, Destineer. Imperialism was always about more than just having a fat wallet.

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Dogbreath
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quote:
Do you think the American military spreads puppy dogs and flowers wherever it goes?
Sometimes, yes.

There seems to be a fundamental breakdown in logic here, and this is how it goes:
"The U.S. has, at different times and in different places, engaged in unethical and immoral acts. (such as toppling small democracies)" - Put aside the fact these actions were usually done by the CIA, not the military proper, then yes, the U.S. has used it's military poorly in some situations. - "Therefore, anyone who joins the military or is a member thereof must fully support those acts."

The U.S. military is also a tremendous force for peace and stability throughout the world. The amount of humanitarian aid provided, the number of conflicts ended, the number of theoretical conflicts prevented by it's presence and power is overwhelming. Likewise, one of the most common things we do is perform exercises with the militaries of other nations, and by doing so often create cohesion and unity in places formerly susceptible to distrust and hostility. These are a few operations that I have been personally involved in:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Tomodachi
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talisman_sabre
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Enduring_Freedom_%E2%80%93_Philippines

The purpose (and outcome) of each has been to promote stability and increase quality of life in the western Pacific, and each has done so using different means: direct humanitarian aid, building military and diplomatic relations with our allies, and finally, more traditional (i.e, combat) military intervention. The U.S. military is involved in many hundreds of such exercises throughout the world, and while their motivations may not always be altruistic, it's ridiculous to castigate an enormous and intricate organization on the basis of it's absolute worst moments. There's not a single large organization that could stand up to that sort of scrutiny.

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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by Foust:
I'm not criticizing the ability of gays to join the military as a right that may be abused. I am claiming this is a contradiction in liberal thinking. I'm not saying "it's a bad idea." It's a contradiction. I thought you of all people, KoM, would understand this.

Nope, sorry. I don't understand the point you're making. You seem to be arguing against a strawman liberal who believes that the US shouldn't have a military at all. I have never seen anyone suggest this, and even if someone did, they might consistently believe both "The military should be smaller or nonexistent" and "this particular method of restricting the military's size is unjust". There is certainly no contradiction in believing both that the US military is sometimes used unjustly, and that some of its recruiting procedures are unjust, and wanting both of these reformed.
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Foust
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quote:
You seem to be arguing against a strawman liberal who believes that the US shouldn't have a military at all.
No.

I'll make this simpler. There seems to be a substantial overlap between the groups of people who have been claiming that the Iraq war is not just bad policy, but actually evil, and the the groups of people demanding the end of DADT.

The discussion so far has consisted of several people who might be willing to concede that the Iraq war was bad policy telling me that I'm engaged in utopian thinking. Ugh. That's not the topic I'm interested in.

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Dan_Frank
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Then don't respond. We can still read what you say and comment on it if we choose. [Smile]
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Dogbreath
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Foust: you may have a better time of it if you didn't, say, simply refuse to argue with people who don't share your (IMO) unfounded and incorrect views on the military.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
The part I was disputing is that a significant number of evangelicals think that God is punishing America because we are too tolerant of homosexuality.

A significant number do, yes, as at least detailed in the Pew Global Attitudes Project that analyzed people's views on homosexuality. Somewhere around a quarter of living christians believe it in some way, probably more.

This isn't a depressing statistic to me, ultimately, because views like this are rapidly on the decline, vanishing between generations and becoming overwhelmingly ridiculed and forced to change. The people who believe it? Mostly old people, and it is already a sharp reduction from the prevalence of similarly harsh and condemning attitudes on homosexuality from during the AIDS scare, in which it was pretty blatantly preached by many denominations and believed by ever so many that AIDS was a punishment by God upon this country for the wickedness of homosexuals. Many denominations preach very strongly and very clearly that God's protection for your tribe/homestead/nation is absolutely, unarguably contingent upon your avoidance of wickedness, that if you invite wickedness in, you are bringing God's wrath of disapproval upon your home. This is a very, very clearly taught matter that has only now finally begun to abate, but that doesn't affect what the older generations fiercely believe, fire-and-brimstone-and-Romans-1:32-and-Hebrews-13:4, because of how strongly they were taught these things when they were being raised to be good christians in that generation's version of being a good christian.

The SBC, America's largest protestant denomination, hardly shies away from the idea, though they've begun to. Groups like the Pentecostals don't seem to be abating from the idea at all. The ideas that our older generations were raised on haven't disappeared, nor have these older generations themselves.

quote:
I do know that most other churches frequently criticize and disavow any affiliation with Phelps, though, so that's something.
Odd choice to bring up Phelps. Belief that the country will suffer for its permission of wickedness, tolerance of homosexuality, tolerance of sex outside of the bonds of Christian marriage, acceptance of "Darwinism," banning organized prayer in schools, is common. Statements by churches and by powerful religious figures that god will actively punish us for such things are also not at all constrained to a "Fred Phelpsian-style insane bigots" fringe. WBC is so small as to be statistically negligent, and other churches' disavowal of it does not come with a complete rejection of the idea that god will act on his displeasure towards a country for permitting wickedness like gay marriage.

People like Jerry Falwell and the views they have influentially preached are not insignificant fringes. Pat Robertson, Focus on the Family, New Life Church, Pentecostalism, look deep in the heart of American evangelicalism and stuff like this is hardly as fringe as one would like to believe. It's really weird, like watching Jesus Camp and going 'oh right, this is a significant and underlying thing in our country.'

We have even had little mini-lectures here by people of various denominations about this sort of thing. The 'literal angel-based meteor deflection shield' is something I would have never known about without hatrack!

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Rakeesh
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quote:
I'll make this simpler. There seems to be a substantial overlap between the groups of people who have been claiming that the Iraq war is not just bad policy, but actually evil, and the the groups of people demanding the end of DADT.
For the sake of argument, then, let's say the Iraq war was not just badly mistaken but at all stages throughout actually evil, in intent and execution. Quite a lot of problems with that, but still.

Your idea is still nonsense. How large is the US military, Foust? How much of it was active in Iraq, versus elsewhere? You might as well have told a black woman it was hypocritical and strange to have wanted to be able to join the LA police department after Rodney King, if she wanted to, that is.

But go on, insist that there's still a contradiction without, y'know, discussing key objections to that statement.

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Rakeesh
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BlackBkade,

(Meant to get back to you sooner).

I'm afraid I disagree with you that there are really very many people who are legitimately on the fence or waiting to make up their minds on this topic. I say this because the question of whether to accord homosexuals the right to marry adults of their choice isn't one that hinges on, say, a new groundbreaking study that's almost finished, or whose case hasn't been made for and against exhaustively for years in the nation. The decision is out there for people to make, one way or another, and delays come from within it seems to me. There does not exist, for example, a person in the US who has not been 'shown the right way' on this subject, not unless they're unwilling to look.

I would hesitate to label every opponent of SSM a bigot, but I don't see how close-minded doesn't apply. 'God says so' is not in fact a shield from the charge of close-mindedness, in fact it's the reverse. And you can't find a justification for opposition that doesn't rely, at its roots, on that without being transparently flawed or even dishonest. If people have heard 'only the objections', they simply aren't looking. If people have to have the case for SSM evangelized to them, chances are they're not actually on the fence so much as uncomfortable with public gays. If they have to have it proselytized to them, the chances of conversion are likely about the same as other random proselytization attempts-poor.

But, as I said before, what treating the ideas of opposition with scorn *can* do is help to change the direction of public contempt in this country. There are still plenty of racists in our country, of course, but what is the public response should someone say 'black people are lazy'? Laughter for stupidity and outrage at racism. Thus the idea has had to go underground, or become something much more subtle. People aren't comfortable expressing open racism in our society anymore, and even if someone is still a closeted racist, it's not nothing if they shut up about it in public.

As for the idea of greeting intolerance with understanding, compassion, and respect while I can understand the argument that this is a more effective way to handle these kinds of problems, I'm suspicious of it, deeply suspicious, because of the concern it shows over the status quo, the constant acknowledgment that we understand, the unspoken hint that it's OK for someone to oppose say SSM, it's just 'mistaken', there are honest non-prejudiced reasons...

There aren't. While there are plenty of opponents who aren't Fred Phelps, there isn't a one who oppose it out of a belief that gay is bad. And there isn't a person who has a reason to believe that that stands on its own without invoking God.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
... but what is the public response should someone say 'black people are lazy'?

You get to run in the Republican primary? [Wink]
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
... but what is the public response should someone say 'black people are lazy'?

You get to run in the Republican primary? [Wink]
OOOOOHHHHH
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Samprimary
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Rakeesh has pretty eloquently put at length what happens when you make the issue of respect for repressive, discriminatory beliefs an argument of utility in a battle for hearts and minds over the issue. At its core, if you're willing to use it as an intending tactic to change popular attitudes and support for laws, there's excruciatingly minimal benefit in trying to respectfully court older generations away from the entrenched homophobia of their era, and excruciatingly profound benefit in choking the life out of the generational impressibility of these views by treating them as inane, repressive products of fear and ignorance, little different than the core attitudes governing racism and anti-miscegenation laws.

The other unintending problem with saying something along the lines of "when you insult these people's beliefs, you get them to dig in and become harder to convert" is that they're already dug in, and they're not going to be converted by the respect of society, they're going to have their ideas emboldened and preserved by the respect of society. This really isn't an issue of fence-sitters in the way that it was presented. It is an issue of the entrenched ignorance of a bygone era and the degree to which it is permitted to infect new generations.

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Dan_Frank
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Sam: Thanks for responding to me! I appreciate it.

Between you and Rakeesh, you've pretty much convinced me.

I don't generally balk at showing my contempt for the "entrenched ignorance of a bygone era" (nice phrasing) that's infecting new generations in our universities (i.e. leftism), and I shouldn't balk at showing contempt for wrongheaded religious attitudes on homosexuality.

I have one question for you, Sam... what do you think of christians who believe that civil unions which grant all legal rights and privileges are okay, but still don't want to change the definition of marriage because they see marriage as a term with religious meaning? Contempt? A slightly more sympathetic disagreement?

See, I feel some sympathy, but I think that's mainly because these people ought to be able to work with my my preferred solution to the SSM issue. Which is to remove the word marriage from the legal framework entirely, and simply allow any number of consenting individuals to enter into civil unions for whatever reason they wish, with the attendant legal rights. And leave "marriage" to religious and secular institutions that care about the word.

But I think my favored solution is completely untenable by dint of the fact that most gay people and most christians won't like it. Most people, even nonchristians, have a strong irrational attachment to the word marriage, and to having the government recognize their union as such.

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Blayne Bradley
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46% of Republicans polled in Louisiana believe that mix raced couples should not be allowed in their churches.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:

Kmbboots, I have a hard time believing you aren't *very* aware of what specifically I was talking about, and what I wasn't. It's funny how with some people, if you're not constantly and in all discussions making specific mention of *all* of the US's many, many bad and even wicked foreign policy decisions...why, you've just gotta be taken to task for it.

In case you're wondering where this irritation comes from, it stems from your remark, "I know you know about that." Know what *you* know, or should? This discussion isn't about broader historic US foreign policy. It's about whether a modern liberal could oppose DADT, or even wish to join the military as a known homosexual, without being some sort of dreadful hypocrite.

And I'll just go ahead and point out I think it's ridiculous to suggest we intervene to support private corporate interests. That's a claim that is easily rejected, because hey-if that was our motive, we would've said eff the Iraqis, business can be great with Saddam, let's buy oil!

No. The truth is not that simple. What can be truthfully and shamefully said is that our interventions suffer from a lot of self-interested corporate meddling, which helps lead to trouble. But that's not the same thing.

I agreed with you that Faust's point is ridiculous. I told Faust that his point was ridiculous. In fact, that is the first thing that I did.

As for using our military to intervene for the interests of our corporations, of course we do and have since the beginning and we still are. This is not the distant past. And, in fact, we did in essence say, "eff the Iraqis" because business was great with Saddam until he started to work against our corporate interests. Just like we propped up the Shah in Iran because he did business and just like we support various South American dictator.

In case you are wondering where my irritation comes from, it stems from how, on the one hand (or in the one thread) you can decry the massacre of the Kurds (and then abandon that discussion when you have clearly gotten your facts wrong) and on the other hand (or in this thread) claim that the US military isn't used to further corporate interests. I don't know how you can hold both those thoughts at the same time.

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Rakeesh
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You didn't ask me, Dan, but I'll answer: I'd think, man, that's silly, and then just wouldn't care about it anymore than I'd care about the specific methods of communion at a given church, or who could or couldn't be a minister or preacher or priest in another. I might sometimes mention it as an example of close-minded or prejudiced thinking, but if they were truly willing to keep their religion to themselves and let people come to its precepts voluntarily, minus the compulsion of government, great! Different strokes for different folks.

One thing would need to happen for me to think that way, though: 'civil union' would need to be it as far as government-federal, state, and local-is concerned as far as marriage benefits and responsibilities. No one is considered wed in the eyes of the law until they obtain the civil license, period. What happens at church is of importance to believers, but is invisible to government.

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Rakeesh
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Y'know, kmbboots, consider me to have abandoned that discussion if you like, in spite of the fact that it's shifted to technical definitions of totalitarianism. And claim I did so because I got my facts wrong, without being able to, y'know, quote where I've done so.

But as for this discussion, you're welcome to tell me where I have denied our use of military force in service to corporate interest. You won't be able to do that. I'd love to hear what you have to say on the subject if/when you looked at my posts again, trying and failing to find where I've denied the self interested use of our military.

ETA: It's beyond irritation, now. You've said at least once I 'seize on absolute statements' or some such, being too critical when I shouldn't be because you clearly didn't mean that. But I've noticed many times things like this right here: I don't make an absolute statement, and am criticized as though I believed the opposite absolute statement!

I specifically acknowledged our financial self interest in the way our military is used, I only disputed the timing and degree. I said it happens too much, too. But what do I hear from you? That I'm denying a corporate interest or control over how our military is used.

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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
And, in fact, we did in essence say, "eff the Iraqis" because business was great with Saddam until he started to work against our corporate interests.

Was the invasion of Kuwait particularly against US corporate interests? How? I ask in genuine ignorance; I was about 12 at the time.

Then, in 2003, there's certainly an argument that Saddam had done his level best to annoy Bush personally and that this was not a good reason for war, but again, I don't quite see how the corporate interests come into it.

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Rakeesh
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It takes a very odd reading of the Cold War to regard our work with Saddam-and all the other many villainies we perpetrated in that fight- in the 80s as in service to our corporate interests. Was their corporate benefit? Well, sure! Someone somewhere find me a major event in the world that people won't be able to make money from.

That's not the same thing as saying 'we did it for the money'. Just because you made money doesn't mean that's the reason you did it-it can just as likely be *part* of the reason.

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kmbboots
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Rakeesh,

Here.

quote:
Oh, I didn't realize the span of this theme was 'ever'. If I had, I wouldn't have said that (nor have I ever denied-in fact I've been ashamed of-our shall we say spotty record on fostering democracy when we have a direct interest one way or another). I rather thought we were speaking of a generation or two's length of time, and if we are, that accusation becomes much less of a slam dunk and in fact gets positively uncertain.
quote:

And I'll just go ahead and point out I think it's ridiculous to suggest we intervene to support private corporate interests. That's a claim that is easily rejected, because hey-if that was our motive, we would've said eff the Iraqis, business can be great with Saddam, let's buy oil!
KoM, the first Gulf War was rather strange. Saddam all but asked us whether he could invade Kuwait and we all but said that we didn't care. He was dallying with the Soviet Union and Kuwait was a more solid partner.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
It takes a very odd reading of the Cold War to regard our work with Saddam-and all the other many villainies we perpetrated in that fight- in the 80s as in service to our corporate interests. Was their corporate benefit? Well, sure! Someone somewhere find me a major event in the world that people won't be able to make money from.

That's not the same thing as saying 'we did it for the money'. Just because you made money doesn't mean that's the reason you did it-it can just as likely be *part* of the reason.

The main threat of communism was to our corporate interest.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
BlackBkade,

(Meant to get back to you sooner).

I'm afraid I disagree with you that there are really very many people who are legitimately on the fence or waiting to make up their minds on this topic.

If we don't agree here, it pretty much undermines all other points either of us can make on the matter.

quote:
I say this because the question of whether to accord homosexuals the right to marry adults of their choice isn't one that hinges on, say, a new groundbreaking study that's almost finished, or whose case hasn't been made for and against exhaustively for years in the nation. The decision is out there for people to make, one way or another, and delays come from within it seems to me. There does not exist, for example, a person in the US who has not been 'shown the right way' on this subject, not unless they're unwilling to look.
You are not affording nearly enough acceptance that people simply don't know as much about things as you seem to think they should. You also don't seem to realize that for many Christians, attempting to listen to the "other side" is akin to letting the devil make his case. It's better you completely avoid it rather than be seduced by it. And so, yes there can be tons of people who either have not really made up their mind, or would if they were carefully dealt with.

quote:

I would hesitate to label every opponent of SSM a bigot, but I don't see how close-minded doesn't apply. 'God says so' is not in fact a shield from the charge of close-mindedness,

God says so is too much an oversimplification. Or perhaps it does not do justice to how complex a concept "God says so" is to many Christians. God says so can mean anything from "The Universe is this way, but God wants us to act this way." to "God created the universe this way, and so we must adhere to these laws." So for some Christians homosexuality is natural, but so is sadism or pedophilia, hence the constant comparison. The argument is one should subdue their evil nature, not embrace it. Conversely other Christians feel God has literally created a universe where one natural law is that men and women must only have sex with each other within the bounds of marriage. To float this natural law is to invite consequences ranging from God's anger at all of us as a species, to just you yourself being sent to hell.

quote:

If people have to have the case for SSM evangelized to them, chances are they're not actually on the fence so much as uncomfortable with public gays. If they have to have it proselytized to them, the chances of conversion are likely about the same as other random proselytization attempts-poor.

While you are correct, people who are intentionally trying not to have their minds changed will not listen. I certainly learned this principle quite well as a missionary. But convincing people that same sex couples deserve our love, respect, and equal consideration is loads easier than converting somebody from one religion to another.

quote:

But, as I said before, what treating the ideas of opposition with scorn *can* do is help to change the direction of public contempt in this country. There are still plenty of racists in our country, of course, but what is the public response should someone say 'black people are lazy'? Laughter for stupidity and outrage at racism. Thus the idea has had to go underground, or become something much more subtle. People aren't comfortable expressing open racism in our society anymore, and even if someone is still a closeted racist, it's not nothing if they shut up about it in public.

That's like saying it's not nothing that we've managed to intercept the biggest shipment of cocaine coming into the country. While technically true, it still fails to recognize that such busts account for a miniscule portion of the industry, and really does little to actually impact it. During the Civil Rights Movement, some folks like Dr. King marched in Birmingham and refused to move when attacked. Others, like some Hollywood actors, chartered buses, conscripted black people to ride with them, and road through the South in open mockery of the laws. Intentionally getting into fist fights, and other brawls. I don't really approve of the second method, though I approve of their cause.


quote:
As for the idea of greeting intolerance with understanding, compassion, and respect while I can understand the argument that this is a more effective way to handle these kinds of problems, I'm suspicious of it, deeply suspicious, because of the concern it shows over the status quo, the constant acknowledgment that we understand, the unspoken hint that it's OK for someone to oppose say SSM, it's just 'mistaken', there are honest non-prejudiced reasons...
This might be where we are disconnecting. Compassion does not denote acceptance of an incorrect idea. I do not hold my peace when somebody expresses an idea like "gay people are all evil". I confront it, without giving the impression I'm trying to win the argument my opposition's expense, and if they are not willing to actually discuss, I say so, and terminate the conversation, inviting them to discuss with me when they are willing to actually have a conversation. This method has had a huge impact on myself, my family, and others. Which is in large part why I espouse it.

quote:

There aren't. While there are plenty of opponents who aren't Fred Phelps, there isn't a one who oppose it out of a belief that gay is bad. And there isn't a person who has a reason to believe that that stands on its own without invoking God.

Again, God is an important concept for so many people. The vast majority of us identify as believers in God. For some obviously that means less than for others. But what is very important to understand is that for many, they can accept scorn from fellow human beings, but they can't accept scorn from God. Just as you wouldn't necessarily care if a stranger doesn't like you, but if your parents disapprove of you, it can hurt.
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Rakeesh
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Is it not clear to you in that quote that I was rejecting the idea that we invade to *primarily* support corporate interest, as a motive in itself, and not also denying that corporate interest plays a too-large role in our foreign policy? Did I not go on to specifically admit and criticize this aspect of our foreign policy?

It's not enough, it seems, to deplore big chunks of US foreign policy: if one doesn't decry its interventions as primarily self involved, one doesn't just not recognize a problem, one is on the wrong side of it.

quote:
The main threat of communism was to our corporate interest.
Oh for pity's sake nonsense. That was not the primary reason of contention in the Cold War. I mean come on, are you serious? We weren't unhappy with the idea of falling into a submissive posture to an opponent who didn't believe in freedom of speech, press, elections, in the accountability of a government to its people, to...so on and so forth.

(I just can't wait to hear about all the times we haven't as well, as though that changes the point, and be indirectly or directly accused of whitewashing.)

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Rakeesh
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BlackBlade,

quote:
You are not affording nearly enough acceptance that people simply don't know as much about things as you seem to think they should. You also don't seem to realize that for many Christians, attempting to listen to the "other side" is akin to letting the devil make his case. It's better you completely avoid it rather than be seduced by it. And so, yes there can be tons of people who either have not really made up their mind, or would if they were carefully dealt with.
I certainly accept that such people exist. I reject the notion that they're legitimately on the fence: if they fear to hear a contrary argument for fear of evil getting in through the ears, they're not on the fence. They've made up their mind; SSM is from the devil. It's neither compassionate nor respectful to them as human beings, people who believe that sort of thing, to speak as though they didn't. They would be best served by being persuaded as quickly as possible that Satan doesn't enter through the ears or eyes.

quote:
During the Civil Rights Movement, some folks like Dr. King marched in Birmingham and refused to move when attacked.
Would you say Dr. King treated his opponent's beliefs with respect? I wouldn't. I think he scorned them, and urged them in very personal ways by pointing out hypocrisy AND a better path to change their ways. He was nonviolent in protests, but that's not the same thing at all as respecting and being compassionate for racism.

quote:
This might be where we are disconnecting. Compassion does not denote acceptance of an incorrect idea. I do not hold my peace when somebody expresses an idea like "gay people are all evil". I confront it, without giving the impression I'm trying to win the argument my opposition's expense, and if they are not willing to actually discuss, I say so, and terminate the conversation, inviting them to discuss with me when they are willing to actually have a conversation. This method has had a huge impact on myself, my family, and others. Which is in large part why I espouse it.
In person this is similar to my approach, with one difference: if a given 'they' is going to keep discussing an idea, such as gays are evil, even after I've said I would only speak of it with them should they have a real discussion...well, I won't keep my peace then. If they're going to speak up about why SSM or DADT is wrong or right, I am also going to challenge it when I hear it, and heap scorn on it while explaining why to those who really have made up their minds and won't be changing them until, in a generation or two, there is a 'revelation' that it's kosher now.

quote:
Again, God is an important concept for so many people. The vast majority of us identify as believers in God. For some obviously that means less than for others. But what is very important to understand is that for many, they can accept scorn from fellow human beings, but they can't accept scorn from God. Just as you wouldn't necessarily care if a stranger doesn't like you, but if your parents disapprove of you, it can hurt.
This seems to me to be a very cogent, human explanation of how some people come to be close minded.
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BlackBlade
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I'll try to get to your excellent points later Rakeesh. Right now it's pretty hard for me to type anything beyond the superfluous as I am sick, and work is beating me over the head with a stick.
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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
The main threat of communism was to our corporate interest.

I really do not see how this can be the case, unless you have been using 'corporate' in its older sense of 'collective' rather than the sense of 'having to do with companies'. Are you, perhaps, arguing that a Soviet win in the Cold War would have been very bad for those Europeans who ended up in the Gulags, but that the US would have remained independent whatever happened, and thus would have been affected only by the loss of its European markets?

I also did not understand how your answer about the first Gulf War demonstrated anything about corporate interests. There was certainly a diplomatic miscommunication somewhere, but I don't see what corporations have to do with it.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
You didn't ask me, Dan, but I'll answer: I'd think, man, that's silly, and then just wouldn't care about it anymore than I'd care about the specific methods of communion at a given church, or who could or couldn't be a minister or preacher or priest in another. I might sometimes mention it as an example of close-minded or prejudiced thinking, but if they were truly willing to keep their religion to themselves and let people come to its precepts voluntarily, minus the compulsion of government, great! Different strokes for different folks.

One thing would need to happen for me to think that way, though: 'civil union' would need to be it as far as government-federal, state, and local-is concerned as far as marriage benefits and responsibilities. No one is considered wed in the eyes of the law until they obtain the civil license, period. What happens at church is of importance to believers, but is invisible to government.

I was curious about your opinion too, though, so thanks for replying!

I think I completely agree with everything you said here. The only reason I personally like civil unions as the endgame for gay people is that I also like that as the endgame for straight people. Also for platonic people who find it financially sensible to live together and support each other (For example: I have at least one close friend aside from my partner who I would absolutely want to be the one making decisions for me if I were in a coma, rather than most of my actual blood relatives, who I wouldn't trust to make medical decisions for my snake. I'd totally civil union the crap out of him).

Edit: I meant I'd civil union my friend, not that I'd civil union my snake. Although, if we legalize gay marriage, that is the next stop down the slippery slope.

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Samprimary
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quote:
if a given 'they' is going to keep discussing an idea, such as gays are evil, even after I've said I would only speak of it with them should they have a real discussion...well, I won't keep my peace then. If they're going to speak up about why SSM or DADT is wrong or right, I am also going to challenge it when I hear it
In short, they are welcome to continue expressing and advertising their beliefs, and you are at liberty to act upon their subjecting you.
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Lyrhawn
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BlackBlade -

quote:
During the Civil Rights Movement, some folks like Dr. King marched in Birmingham and refused to move when attacked. Others, like some Hollywood actors, chartered buses, conscripted black people to ride with them, and road through the South in open mockery of the laws. Intentionally getting into fist fights, and other brawls. I don't really approve of the second method, though I approve of their cause.
Out of curiosity, what do you really see as the difference between the two? You don't think King was highly cognizant of the fact that Bull Connor with hoses and attack dogs made for every bit as good publicity as the Freedom Riders? Publicity was the greatest weapon the CRM had, and the Freedom Rides were no more provocative than sit-ins or King's marches through Birmingham or Selma. The buses were however highly vulnerable and in a particularly dangerous place when they were attacked.

And the Freedom Riders weren't mocking the law, they were ENFORCING it. The Supreme Court had already ruled that interstate bus facilities and buses had to be desegregated. The Freedom Riders were exercising their rights.

Dan & Rakeesh -

I agree with you two on the whole civil unions thing. It all really boils down to a ridiculous semantic debate anyway, doesn't it? Does anyone really think that if we reduce the government's role to civil unions for all, everyone won't call them marriages anyway? Regardless of where they get civil unioned? The drive in the LGBT community to have a status equal with straight people is just, but if their goal is to have RELIGION recognize their unions as right, then not only are they shouting at the wind, I don't agree with them. The state should not create special classes, and it shouldn't support one religion over another. Some gays might find it offensive that we had to change the entire definition of state-sanctioned coupling just to deny them the right to marry, but the simple fact of the matter is that government has no place enforcing religious doctrine or the concept of marriage in the first place.

Let's all get "civil union" stamped on our licenses and then call it whatever we want in the privacy of our own homes.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
The main threat of communism was to our corporate interest.

I really do not see how this can be the case, unless you have been using 'corporate' in its older sense of 'collective' rather than the sense of 'having to do with companies'. Are you, perhaps, arguing that a Soviet win in the Cold War would have been very bad for those Europeans who ended up in the Gulags, but that the US would have remained independent whatever happened, and thus would have been affected only by the loss of its European markets?

I also did not understand how your answer about the first Gulf War demonstrated anything about corporate interests. There was certainly a diplomatic miscommunication somewhere, but I don't see what corporations have to do with it.

I should have been more clear. I am differentiating between communism as an economic system and the Soviet Union as a military - and imperialist - power.
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King of Men
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Well then, you could reasonably argue that American internal politics were resolved in favour of corporate interests, but the Cold War was very much about the USSR as a military and imperialist power. Czarist Russia, given the same degree of industrialisation, would have fought the same kind of conflict.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
I should have been more clear. I am differentiating between communism as an economic system and the Soviet Union as a military - and imperialist - power.
Well one of those words has a hell of a lot more to do with our engagement in the Cold War than 'our opposition was based on our corporate interest.
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Foust
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quote:
You might as well have told a black woman it was hypocritical and strange to have wanted to be able to join the LA police department after Rodney King, if she wanted to, that is.
The LA police department of the early 90s? Yeah, I would have said the same thing. The LA police department now? I suspect yes, but I'm not really sure. Actually, my opinion would be the same of any police department, but felt much less strongly to the point that I wouldn't say anything.
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kmbboots
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Progress.

quote:
A federal appeals court Tuesday struck down California's ban on same-sex marriage, clearing the way for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on gay marriage as early as next year.

The 2-1 decision by a panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found that Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that limited marriage to one man and one woman, violated the U.S. Constitution. The architects of Prop. 8 have vowed to appeal.

The ruling was narrow and likely to be limited to California.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/02/gay-marriage-prop-8s-ban-ruled-unconstitutional.html

A link to the decision:

http://documents.latimes.com/proposition-8-gay-marriage-unconstitutional/

My favorite bit so far:

quote:
Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples. The Constitution simply does not allow for "laws of this sort".
Damn right, it doesn't.
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Lyrhawn
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I don't think there's any question that 1. This will be appealed to SCOTUS and that 2. SCOTUS won't dodge it. It's been coming for years and they have to be prepared to make a decision by now. It's too hot-button an issue.

But whether they uphold the ruling or overturn it, they still have the option of making this a long or a slow process. For example, they could narrowly construe the ruling to apply only to California, or they could make it national. If they narrowly apply it, it means years of more litigation to get State constitutional amendments overturned on the basis of the decision.

Furthermore, I wonder what legal response anti-gay supporters will try to enact to counteract this. Will there be a serious effort to decouple marriage from state power as a means to deny marriage to gay couples? After all, there is no law that says the state has to approve marriages at all, but if they do it, they have to do it fairly. I've long supported such a move, but I wonder if the reaction to a pro-gay marriage decision might push opponents in the same direction of civil unions for all.

Next year could be interesting, assuming they don't rush it through and decide it later this year, but I highly doubt they'd move on it that fast.

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kmbboots
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Still. A step in the right direction and a small victory.

And I love that they call Prop 8 what it is.

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Xavier
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quote:
Will there be a serious effort to decouple marriage from state power as a means to deny marriage to gay couples?
I don't see this as an actual possibility. I've heard the "get government out of the marriage business entirely" argument many times, but only from people who either already support SSM or are at least ambivalent about the idea.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Furthermore, I wonder what legal response anti-gay supporters will try to enact to counteract this.

I don't know how robust or withered the legal response is going to be. There have been some real pathetic attempted defenses of anti-gay marriage law recently.

Back when this was Perry v. Schwarzenegger, I think the team trying to protect Prop 8 fell flat on their face. Or was that somewhere else?

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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Furthermore, I wonder what legal response anti-gay supporters will try to enact to counteract this.

I don't know how robust or withered the legal response is going to be. There have been some real pathetic attempted defenses of anti-gay marriage law recently.

Back when this was Perry v. Schwarzenegger, I think the team trying to protect Prop 8 fell flat on their face. Or was that somewhere else?

I'll take the straight line. That was them. If I remember correctly, all of the findings of fact went against them, in large part because most "experts" on their side weren't willing to repeat their claims under oath and the few who did were laughable.

It pretty clearly established the campaign for prop 8 as based on ignorance, bigotry, and lies.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
I'll take the straight line. That was them. If I remember correctly, all of the findings of fact went against them, in large part because most "experts" on their side weren't willing to repeat their claims under oath and the few who did were laughable.

It pretty clearly established the campaign for prop 8 as based on ignorance, bigotry, and lies.

I really need to go read up again on their attempted defense of prop 8. I just remembered it was bad, but totally forgot about how and why it was so bad. I need to get that story back, since they got rolled over with a landslide of findings by the judge which are really, really, extremely bad news for the people trying to prevent gay marriage from happening:

quote:
"Sexual orientation is commonly discussed as a characteristic of the individual. Sexual orientation is fundamental to a person's identity and is a distinguishing characteristic that defines gays and lesbians as a discrete group. Proponents' assertion that sexual orientation cannot be defined is contrary to the weight of the evidence."

"Individuals do not generally choose their sexual orientation. No credible evidence supports a finding that an individual may, through conscious decision, therapeutic intervention or any other method, change his or her sexual orientation."

"Same-sex couples are identical to opposite-sex couples in the characteristics relevant to the ability to form successful marital unions. Like opposite-sex couples, same-sex couples have happy, satisfying relationships and form deep emotional bonds and strong commitments to their partners. Standardized measures of relationship satisfaction, relationship adjustment and love do not differ depending on whether a couple is same-sex or opposite-sex."

"Marrying a person of the opposite sex is an unrealistic option for gay and lesbian individuals."

"Same-sex couples receive the same tangible and intangible benefits from marriage that opposite-sex couples receive."

"The availability of domestic partnership does not provide gays and lesbians with a status equivalent to marriage because the cultural meaning of marriage and its associated benefits are intentionally withheld from same-sex couples in domestic partnerships."

"Permitting same-sex couples to marry will not affect the number of opposite-sex couples who marry, divorce, cohabit, have children outside of marriage or otherwise affect the stability of opposite-sex marriages."

Most important: the fact that Prop 8 passed as a voter initiative was irrelevant as "fundamental rights may not be submitted to [a] vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections."


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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Xavier:
quote:
Will there be a serious effort to decouple marriage from state power as a means to deny marriage to gay couples?
I don't see this as an actual possibility. I've heard the "get government out of the marriage business entirely" argument many times, but only from people who either already support SSM or are at least ambivalent about the idea.
Judging by their actions, or better put, those actions which represent their interests in the legal process and in legislation, what conservative Christians want is not "government out of private lives," but rather government involved in private lives, actively advantaging and privileging them, and actively suppressing any challenge to their moral and social superiority. And they want this done while maintaining the image of being "pro-freedom," and particularly "pro-freedom of religion."

I think it was Sam who posted a rather eloquent point by Jon Stewart, something along the lines of: they want preference for their own religious beliefs to remain the baseline, outside of which should be labeled as religious intolerance.

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Samprimary
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Stewart: "I have to say, as someone who is not a Christian, itís hard for me to believe Christians are a persecuted people in America. God willing, maybe one of you one day will even rise up and get to be president of this country ó or maybe forty-four in a row. But thatís my point, is theyíve taken this idea of no establishment as persecution, because they feel entitled, not to equal status, but to greater status."
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BlackBlade
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Lyrhawn: I never responded to this. Allow me to do so now.

quote:
Out of curiosity, what do you really see as the difference between the two? You don't think King was highly cognizant of the fact that Bull Connor with hoses and attack dogs made for every bit as good publicity as the Freedom Riders?
It's not the publicity that bothers me. There's nothing inherently unethical in getting people to notice what you are doing so they are forced to think about it. But in one instance, with King, people are peacefully exercising their right to assemble and voice their grievances. In the other, people are intentionally looking for a conflict so they can get into violent altercations that leave them bloody, bruised, and possibly dead, while also having the chance to crack some skulls.

I don't much like arguing this point, because honestly it was the people boarding the buses and beating up the freedom riders who are the real villains. The mobs who blew up WWII vets homes for being black, and moving into the neighborhood. Who looked for the best and the brightest black men and lynched them, taking their pictures with the body in open defiance of the law. Who institutionalized hate.

But for me, in America, we should protest without our fists. If I were a Syrian, I'd get a gun, and organize.

-----

Rakeesh:
quote:
I certainly accept that such people exist. I reject the notion that they're legitimately on the fence: if they fear to hear a contrary argument for fear of evil getting in through the ears, they're not on the fence. They've made up their mind; SSM is from the devil. It's neither compassionate nor respectful to them as human beings, people who believe that sort of thing, to speak as though they didn't. They would be best served by being persuaded as quickly as possible that Satan doesn't enter through the ears or eyes.

Remember though, that when you change your mind on such an important point, you should not only believe it, you should seek to make the case for that idea in your community when necessary. When I told my parents I was not going to support Prop 8 or the Marriage Ammendment to the Utah constitution, they disagree with me, but they respected me for sticking to my beliefs. For many other people though, they face family members and friends who are all one sided in their opposition to same sex marriage being legitimized in the United States. While they themselves may not be gay, they are being asked to stand against that weight of belief in the other direction, on behalf of what's right. I've certainly been asked, "Why are you defending a sin, you yourself are not gay. Or are you? You're a Mormon, you should be supporting the church in this."

It's easy to hold a belief when you are surrounded by like minded individuals. To an extent, it's good to keep the company of people you believe are honorable folks who share certain core beliefs with you.

quote:
Would you say Dr. King treated his opponent's beliefs with respect? I wouldn't. I think he scorned them, and urged them in very personal ways by pointing out hypocrisy AND a better path to change their ways. He was nonviolent in protests, but that's not the same thing at all as respecting and being compassionate for racism.
Perhaps I am mistaken but did Dr. King ever say anything about people in the South being idiots, or fools, or evil?

quote:
In person this is similar to my approach, with one difference: if a given 'they' is going to keep discussing an idea, such as gays are evil, even after I've said I would only speak of it with them should they have a real discussion...well, I won't keep my peace then. If they're going to speak up about why SSM or DADT is wrong or right, I am also going to challenge it when I hear it, and heap scorn on it while explaining why to those who really have made up their minds and won't be changing them until, in a generation or two, there is a 'revelation' that it's kosher now.

I treat people who are very publicly voicing an opinion I think is very wrong differently, than a person who simply tells me what they think. The former is trying to convince others to join their cause, if I think their cause is morally reprehensible I have an obligation to answer them. In the latter's case I need to establish if the person is looking to have their mind changed before I engage them.

quote:
This seems to me to be a very cogent, human explanation of how some people come to be close minded.
Sure. But in same token nothing opens minds like love.
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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
But whether they uphold the ruling or overturn it, they still have the option of making this a long or a slow process. For example, they could narrowly construe the ruling to apply only to California, or they could make it national. If they narrowly apply it, it means years of more litigation to get State constitutional amendments overturned on the basis of the decision.

I don't know about that. The ruling here was pretty narrow. If it's upheld, I would think it still only applies to California, and any other state that has a very similar sequence of events.

If it's overturned, I think this gets kicked back down to the lower court to reconsider on other grounds.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Xavier:
quote:
Will there be a serious effort to decouple marriage from state power as a means to deny marriage to gay couples?
I don't see this as an actual possibility. I've heard the "get government out of the marriage business entirely" argument many times, but only from people who either already support SSM or are at least ambivalent about the idea.
When SCOTUS ordered schools to desegregate in Brown, Virginia shut down their entire state school system for an entire year rather than integrate.

People have an amazing ability to resist change.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
But whether they uphold the ruling or overturn it, they still have the option of making this a long or a slow process. For example, they could narrowly construe the ruling to apply only to California, or they could make it national. If they narrowly apply it, it means years of more litigation to get State constitutional amendments overturned on the basis of the decision.

I don't know about that. The ruling here was pretty narrow. If it's upheld, I would think it still only applies to California, and any other state that has a very similar sequence of events.

If it's overturned, I think this gets kicked back down to the lower court to reconsider on other grounds.

The Court can order a more wide-ranging decree. But it hardly matters. If they say that it's a constitutional right, then it's really just a matter of gay couples in every state that outlaws gay marriage filing a suit and citing the court case. It's more annoying, but it'll still happen.
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