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» The Ornery American Forum » World Watch » Will same sex marriage really hurt anybody? (Page 3)

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Author Topic: Will same sex marriage really hurt anybody?
Funean
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Wow. Yes, they're certainly on the side of the angels. And so cheesy. Next, they'll be telling you they know where you park.
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Viking_Longship
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
The question asked is whether gay marriage would hurt anyone. The question is not about gay partnerships, and what rights might be conferred on them.

The thing Bible-believing Christians (and probably most Jews as well) object to, and take extreme offense at, is the attempt to call gay partnerships "marriage" in the Biblical sense. This is a violation of our religions, it is direct defiance of God's authority who ordained marriage to be a union between a man and a woman, and as a matter of conscience, we cannot ever, no matter what, respect gay partnership as being the same thing as marriage.

Those pushing for legalization of gay marriage are once again trying to compell churches and believing individuals to go beyond tolerance, and actually accord to homosexuality full approval and respect. As long as the Bible says that homosexual behavior is sinful, that approval and respect can never be given. You will have to burn our Bibles first. And even then, many of us will remember what it says.
[/QUOTE

The separation of Church and State should prevent religous orginizations in the USA from being compelled to perform or recognize gay marriages. This is why we have judicial review.

Interesting the way we as Christians can remember the Bibles teachings on homosexuality but can so easily forget envy, sloth and greed isn't it?

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Jesse
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In all fairness, people who are not part of the No on at "official" Campaign have boycotted business, and published boycott lists.

What they haven't done is try to extort donations from those people, or made threats before hand.

If Yes on 8 had just published a "boycott these people" list, it wouldn't be nearly so shady.

If the Yes on 8 crowd wants to boycott google...good luck.

This is, by the way, exactly what cost Jesse Jackson/PUSH coalition any scrap of respect I ever had for him/them. Same behavior.

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hobsen
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As I recall the No-on-8 people engaged in a boycott of a business founded by a large donor to the Proposition 8 campaign, only to be reminded he had sold his whole interest in the company some years previously. Such mistakes do get made, and it seems unlikely boycotts will have much impact over this issue anyway. At least when the connection is only that someone expressing his political views has an interest in a company; it is possible something like the attempted boycott of Hallmark for providing gay-themed cards may have a minor effect.
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Jesse
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I've got nothing against anyone trying to boycott any business, if they don't like a position that business takes. That's free speech.

When the Fundies tried to boycott Disney a few years back for giving Partnership Benefits to their employees...I just thought it was funny. I mean, what else would their kids watch if not Disney? Non-stop Veggie Tales?

The "we'll boycott you unless you pay us off" thing is shady though, no matter who is doing it. You don't threaten to boycott, you do it.

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jimskater
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I have no problem with boycotts driven by political or moral imperatives--whether they are successful or not. I can remember going without grapes & lettuce for quite some time back when I was a kid--in aid of the UFW. On the other hand, I predicted (in my own little head, not in public) the failure of the So. Baptist boycott of all things Disney. I had visions of legions of small children crying and carrying on: "we want Mickey/Donald/Ariel/Jasmine/Lilo..." Guess who "won"? [Wink]

It's when the "other side" steps over the line that I have issues. I'm originally from Chicago, lived there until I was just shy of 16 (mid-1978). The tactics of the Yes on 8 crowd are exactly the same sort of thing PUSH pulled 30 odd years ago, i.e. if your business doesn't donate to our cause, we're going to call you racist in public. Substitute "anti-family" for "racist", and it's the same thing. It's extortion/blackmail.

A bit of a google search reveals the affiliations of the Exec Comm members who signed the letter:

:: Ron Prentice, campaign chairman--head of the California Family Council, affiliated with Focus on The Family
:: Edward Dolejsi, executive director, California Catholic Conference, political activist
:: Mark Jansson, member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
:: Andrew Pugno, lawyer for ProtectMarriage.com. Also was chief counsel for the Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund and the former chief of staff for the late Pete Knight, the state senator who spearheaded Proposition 22

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Ron Lambert
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TomDavidson: Where do you think the term "marriage" came from?

Jesse, the Hebrew and Greek words for marriage are found in the Bible.

Hebrew:
Exodus 21:10; Psalms 78:63

Greek:
Matthew 22: 2, 4, 9, 30; 24:30; 25:10; Mark 12:25; Luke 17:27; 20:34, 35; John 2:1, 2; 1 Corinthians 7:38; Hebrews 13:4; Revelatgion 19:7, 9.

The origin of marriage is given in Genesis 2:21-24: "And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: 'This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.' Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." (NKJV)

This is the origin of all marriage traditions in all human cultures.

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Ron Lambert
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Jesse, homosexual behavior is clearly identified by the Bible as sinful; but it is no greater a sin than many others. It certainly is not "the unpardonable sin." The problem is when you try to legislate that gay partnerships constitute marriage. That is a direct rebellion against the divine authority of our Creator. All who believe the Bible is the Word of God have to take issue with that. What right do gays have to subvert our religion?

[ October 25, 2008, 02:17 PM: Message edited by: Ron Lambert ]

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scifibum
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Ron, you can't directly rebel against an authority that is officially (constitutionally) considered irrelevant in the context of the act of the so-called "rebellion."

Look at it this way: Burger King might have a policy that it's employees should wear black shoes to work. If Pizza Hut allows brown shoes, are its employees directly rebelling against the Burger King policy when they wear brown shoes?

Whatever God (let's use your God for argumentative purposes) has authorized is officially, constitutionally, 100 percent irrelevant to every single governmental action since our nation was founded. Period.

You seem to think you're living in a different country where what God wants actually has some bearing on public policy.

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Jesse
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"This is the origin of all marriage traditions in all human cultures."

HAHAHAHA. Dude. You're the best.

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DonaldD
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What right do you have to subvert Unitarians' religion, Ron?
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jimskater
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In response to Donald's question: A couple of opinion pieces from Ventura County (I know I saw one of them here on Ornery, but I can't seem to find the link.) Anyhow, they bring up an interesting argument--the Yes on 8 supporters are working to unconstitutionally deny the religious freedoms of churches & people that disagree with them.

This from an attorney who teaches at Lutheran University in Ventura County:

quote:
If someone says, "I believe same-sex marriage is wrong/immoral/sinful, and I urge you to believe it, too," we can politely agree to disagree. What's happening today, however, is something very different.

The campaign to pass Proposition 8 appeals to the public's basest fears with half-truths and innuendo, a tactic that has become all too common in what passes today for political discourse.

It has become too easy for people who are willing to play fast and loose with the truth to get away with it because they find so little resistance from people who are not directly affected by their hate.

A same-sex couple living a peaceful life, raising a family with love, poses no threat to a pluralistic, democratic society and religious freedom. On the other hand, a thinly disguised effort to inject religious doctrine into the constitution of the state of California does, and that threatens us all.

Why I'm Voting No on Prop 8

And from a Rabbi in Oxnard:

quote:
Those who fan the flames of passion to support Proposition 8 are doing so with less than total intellectual honesty. They are calling it a campaign in defense of marriage. I cannot imagine how denying the civil rights of gays to marry threatens my marriage to my wife. The supporters claim that the religious community is united with them in their message. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the supporters of their campaign wish to use the California Constitution to attack the religions that dare to disagree with them.
He concludes with:

quote:
There are literally thousands of clergy who are totally comfortable officiating at gay weddings. We strongly believe that those who disagree with us have the right to refuse to bless the unions of gay couples. By the same token, do not seek to take away our right to teach, preach and practice Scripture as we understand it.

Proposition 8 not only takes away the civil rights of the gay population, it takes away the religious freedom of both clergy and laity in thousands of churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and the like.

Rabbi: No on Prop 8


What do you think, is this too nuanced an argument for the undecided voters in California?

-----
edited to add the opening phrase, close the parentheses in the 1st paragraph & add the second quote from the Rabbi.

[ October 26, 2008, 04:20 PM: Message edited by: jimskater ]

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scifibum
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jim, while many of the claims of the 'Yes on 8' campaign are misleading and just...wrong..., I also think there's something usually missing from the opposing arguments. One of the ones you posted in an example.

"I cannot imagine how denying the civil rights of gays to marry threatens my marriage to my wife."

Now, I think there's an unintentional issue with the wording there, I think he meant to say "upholding" instead of "denying" - meaning that gay marriage does not threaten his own straigt marriage.

But the bigger point is that very few, maybe zero, opponents of gay marriage claim that their own marriage is threatened. The claim is that the social and governmental inertia of straight marriage is threatened - that it will marginalize and/or weaken the institution, leading to fewer or weaker future marriages. I personally don't buy this claim, but that's what it is.

When people respond with "how is your marriage hurt by mine" they miss the point. The question should be "how is the social impetus to form lasting straight pair-bonds weakened by recognizing the gay variety?"

I don't know that it'd actually lead to more satisfying or convincing arguments in the public arena, though. *sigh*

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jimskater
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quote:
When people respond with "how is your marriage hurt by mine" they miss the point. The question should be "how is the social impetus to form lasting straight pair-bonds weakened by recognizing the gay variety?"

You know, scifi, when you're right, you're right.

I've previously made the argument that gays who chose to marry are engaging in a profoundly conservative act by reaching out to embrace one of our society's oldest traditions. When we stood in front of the minister exactly 2 weeks ago, we weren't thinking about insurance, inheritance rights, or even adoption, let alone how gay marriage should or would be taught in the schools. All I really saw was Steve, all I heard was the minister & Steve's voice as we exchanged our vows. All I felt was love. All I knew, after 20 years of waiting, was that we had become legal.

I've started a blog that I hope to keep up with, I call it This Married Life.

I know, I know--not very original. I'm just getting on board with this thing. So give me time.

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cherrypoptart
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Not sure how much it hurts to never exist as when I didn't exist I can't recall much in the way of pain, but assuming that there are a lot of people at various points on the Kinsey scale, and some of them that aren't all the way on the heterosexual side might in a more gay friendly cultural environment choose a life long gay marriage instead of the straight one they would in a different cultural environment have chosen, and that many of these people now won't have the children they otherwise would have had, we have finally found the people it hurts. Who? The grandparents who never become.

I guess we have enough people in the world as it is though, and pathetic wannabe grandparents like these who would rather have grandkids over monogamously married for life gay kids who never produce biological offspring don't much deserve grandkids anyway if they are such simple slaves to their biological imperative to procreate that they let it stand in the way of human harmony and happiness.

---------------------------------------------

It might also hurt when the adherents of the less tolerant religions of the world that still execute gay people over populate the more tolerant ones and put us all to the sword if we don't convert. It might hurt, but the humorous irony of it will make it more than worth it I'm sure.

-------------------------------------------

Needless to say, that's all so speculative that it should have no bearing on our current decisions about our culture. None at all.

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Finvarra
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Purely because I felt like sharing this and not because it has any bearing on the thread, and I didnt want to create an entire new thread, but I just got ordained online, so if anyone in the state of New Jersey needs someone to officiate a non-religious wedding or a civil union anytime soon... let me know [Smile]
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Funean
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One of the reasons I waited till I was half dead to have kids, cherry, was because it wasn't till the last ten years that I felt it was safe to do so without having them taken away from me. It wasn't because being gay magically made my baby-making functions stop working (being old almost did!).

My folks enjoy their grandkids very much, and they'd have been able to enjoy them a lot sooner if I could have gotten married like other people do when they're ready to start a family.

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munga
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Fin!

I did that once, too, but (in case you are serious and you feel totally "ordained" don't let me knock your high) I signed up as the Reverend Mungagungadin, no joke. The religion advertized that it required No Faith, which was a miracle I had to see.

Do tell about your ordination.

[ October 28, 2008, 11:15 AM: Message edited by: munga ]

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cherrypoptart
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Plenty of gay couples have biological children, but playing the odds, it's just more unlikely. I often subscribe to the belief that you can trace the motivations of people back to their animal, biological instincts and imperitives to procreate, and the natural extension of this is to maximize the chances that their offspring will also successfully procreate. Many of the old religions that have survived did this which gave them the edge over religions that were more gay friendly. Often times it is pointed out that the Native Americans were more gay friendly than the Christians. Look what happened to the outnumbered Native Americans.

Many of us have been bred by millions of years of evolution, and then indoctrinated on top of that by religion to not accept homosexuality. That's just the way we are. It's probably the way we were born. Even when our entire society embraces gaydom, there will be individuals with the instinctive inclination to lash out at it in rebellion, and they'll have no more say in the way they feel than gay people have.

Now I'm not talking about right or wrong here, but just the way it is. Probably.

There are ways to push past it, and they involve the forceful imposition of tolerance against biological instinct. It's possible, but it won't be easy. The resistance probably isn't all coming just from culture or religion. Just stating the obvious here. That's all.

[ October 28, 2008, 11:56 AM: Message edited by: cherrypoptart ]

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hobsen
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Chancellor Birgeneau of U.C. Berkeley has observed that universities like Harvard and MIT and Columbia will be asking scholars he is trying to recruit whether they want to live in a state famous for discriminating against minorities. Such a reputation will make it harder for California students to get into college, and make California graduates less likely to be hired. That is the newest argument against Proposition 8 for me.

Otherwise intolerance of gays probably did confer a survival advantage, Cherry, back when so many children died young that everyone had to have as many as possible. But Jared Diamond makes a convincing argument in Guns, Germs and Steel that the Americas lagged in civilization because corn was extremely hard to domesticate, and the Americas had no better grains. The Middle East had fields of the ancestors of wheat and barley growing wild for the harvesting, but the original corn cob was a quarter of an inch long with rock hard kernels. It took imagination to realize that plant could be turned into an agricultural staple providing vast amounts of food, and a long time was needed to make the changes. So it was more likely the lack of an abundant food supply than lower birth rates which led to lower populations on these continents.

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Finvarra
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Munga -

I'm quite proud of my ordination. [Smile] Did you do it at the Universal Life Church? That's what I did. I considered buying the title Shaman or Pope, but decided not enough people would start calling me by my proper title to make it worth it.

My sister and I decided we'd officiate at each other's weddings when the time comes (not for a while) and were pretty excited to see we didn't need any religious affliliation. I will be officiating my first wedding for a friend in December though..

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munga
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Fin,


I really can't remember. But I know it only took a minute and then, I was invited to purchase the special paper certificates for the weddings and baptisms I could perform.

Hope springs eternal for cottage industries. I guess I approve of this a lot more than home-made porn! I find it interesting, in a clinical way, that we sell humanity's most basic cultural items to each other. And we buy it. But via internet it sure is getting cheaper!

[ October 28, 2008, 01:42 PM: Message edited by: munga ]

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RickyB
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Listen, just as Catholics have to live with people being called "married" to their 4th wives, y'all are gonna have to live with this. You don't have to perform it at your church, but you do have to acknowledge it for civilian purposes like you would any other state-sanctioned marriage. i.e., as an employer you have to give benefits and you have to allow John to bring Jason to the picnic, just as you allow Jack to bring Jill. Just as you'd be liable if you told your employee "I'm sorry, but my religion precludes me from accepting that woman as your wife in our corporate forms", you'd be liable for saying same about "that man".

Beyond that, though, I fail to see the coercion.

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hobsen
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Nice summary, RickyB.
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Finvarra
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And just as you don't have a constitutional right in this country to a fourth wife....

Doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it. Does't mean its any less meaningful.. But its still not a constitutional right.

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Finvarra
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I may have confused threads here since both this one and the defending the constitution one are talking about gay marriage.
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jimskater
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All of a sudden, I'm blogging.

Take a peek. It's a work in progress, let me know what you think.

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jimskater
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In 2007, on the 40th anniversary of the Loving vs. Virginia decision, Mildred Loving wrote: "Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don't think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the "wrong kind of person" for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people's religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people's civil rights.

I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard's and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That's what Loving and loving, are all about."

Wikipedia - Loving v. Virginia "Future Implications"

==========

Edited to add 1st paragraph & link

[ October 30, 2008, 11:54 PM: Message edited by: jimskater ]

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Rallan
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
Jesse, homosexual behavior is clearly identified by the Bible as sinful; but it is no greater a sin than many others. It certainly is not "the unpardonable sin." The problem is when you try to legislate that gay partnerships constitute marriage. That is a direct rebellion against the divine authority of our Creator. All who believe the Bible is the Word of God have to take issue with that. What right do gays have to subvert our religion?

They're subverting your whatnow?

The United States of America is not a theocracy, no matter how many nights you spend masturbating and imagining that it is. The United States of America is ran by a secular government, and it has no business looking towards christianity or any other religion for guidance. In fact, one of the first things your government did was change its own Constitution to insulate itself from religion and establish seperation of church and state.

How can a secular organization changing its own rules be a subversion of your religion? More importantly, how can deliberately shaping legislation based on christian law (which seems to be what you want the government to do) be anything but a subversion of the religion of everyone who isn't your denomination?

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Rallan
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quote:
Originally posted by Jesse:
"This is the origin of all marriage traditions in all human cultures."

HAHAHAHA. Dude. You're the best.

You forget that he's a Young Earth Creationist. As far as he's concerned, marriage in "all human cultures" literally stems back to traditions established by various famous old dudes in Genesis [Smile]
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Rallan
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quote:
Originally posted by cherrypoptart:
Not sure how much it hurts to never exist as when I didn't exist I can't recall much in the way of pain, but assuming that there are a lot of people at various points on the Kinsey scale, and some of them that aren't all the way on the heterosexual side might in a more gay friendly cultural environment choose a life long gay marriage instead of the straight one they would in a different cultural environment have chosen, and that many of these people now won't have the children they otherwise would have had, we have finally found the people it hurts. Who? The grandparents who never become.

To be perfectly honest I think the Kinsey Scale is pretty dubious, or at best people tend to seriously exagerate its significance. The vast bulk of humanity are overwhelmingly straight or gay, most bisexuals have a preference towards one gender over the other, and most experimentation by straight or gay people ends with "Yeah it seemed like a good idea at the time, but I don't think this is my thing".

Or in other words, your alarmist fantasy about more people "deciding" to bat for the other team in a gay-friendly society is completely ridiculous. You'll see more people experimenting a bit, or at least more people admitting they experiment, but that's about it. Doesn't matter how much society accepts and supports homosexuals, you aren't going to have guys who get a hard-on from looking at girls suddenly saying "Hey I don't normally swing this way dude, and the sex isn't amazing and you don't turn me on, but I want us to get married".

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Jesse
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I get that Rallan. It's funny [Smile]
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Rallan
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quote:
Originally posted by Jesse:
I get that Rallan. It's funny [Smile]

Yeah it always throws me off a little when Ron states as fact that something or other has a biblical origin, and I have to remind myself that as far as he's concerned half the bible was written two thousand years before the earliest archeological signs that a hebrew culture even existed. And that half the bronze age never happened because the world hadn't been invented yet.

[ October 31, 2008, 01:54 AM: Message edited by: Rallan ]

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Thomas
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quote:
Originally posted by Rallan:
The United States of America is not a theocracy, no matter how many nights you spend masturbating and imagining that it is. The United States of America is ran by a secular government, and it has no business looking towards christianity or any other religion for guidance. In fact, one of the first things your government did was change its own Constitution to insulate itself from religion and establish seperation of church and state.

How can a secular organization changing its own rules be a subversion of your religion? More importantly, how can deliberately shaping legislation based on christian law (which seems to be what you want the government to do) be anything but a subversion of the religion of everyone who isn't your denomination?

The Original 13

Your completely wrong Rallen. Here's what the constitutions of the 13 states said at this nations founding and each time the word religion is used the Framers only accepted biblical Christianity-no other faith:

Much attention is given to examining the Federal Constitution in an effort to learn what the original intent of America's founders was towards religion, yet little attention is given to examining the individual States' Constitutions, which at the time were regarded by citizens living in those States as being more important to their everyday life.

In an effort to shed light on the subject, a few excerpts are included below from the hundreds contained in the new book by William J. Federer, titled: “THE ORIGINAL 13-A Documentary History of Religion in America’s First Thirteen States” (Amerisearch, Inc., 2005, American Minute

CONSTITUTION OF VIRGINIA, June 29, 1776 (written by James Madison and George Mason): BILL OF RIGHTS, SECTION 16. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other.

CONSTITUTION OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, June 15, 1780 (written by John Adams): ARTICLE 3. As the happiness of a people, and the good order and preservation of civil government, essentially depend upon piety, religion and morality; and as these cannot be generally diffused through a community, but by the institution of the public worship of God...Therefore, to promote their happiness and to secure the good order and preservation of their government, the people of this commonwealth have a right to invest their legislature with power to...make suitable provision...for the institution of the public worship of God, and for the support and maintenance of public Protestant teachers of piety, religion and morality...And every denomination of Christians, demeaning themselves peaceably, and as good subjects of the commonwealth, shall be equally under the protection of the law: and no subordination of any one sect or denomination to another shall ever be established by law.

NEW HAMPSHIRE CONSTITUTION, 1784:

PART 2-THE FORM OF GOVERNMENT, SENATE: That no person shall be capable of being elected a senator who is not of the Protestant religion...

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES...Every member of the house of representatives...shall be of the Protestant religion.

CONSTITUTION OF VERMONT July 8, 1777, (claimed by New Hampshire and New York at the time of the Revolution): SECTION 9...And each member, before he takes his seat, shall make and subscribe the following declaration, viz. "I ____ do believe in one God, the Creator and Governor of the Universe, the Rewarder of the good and Punisher of the wicked. And I do acknowledge the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration, and own and profess the Protestant religion."

CONSTITUTION OF MARYLAND, November 11, 1776:

ARTICLE 35. That no other test or qualification ought to be required, on admission to any office of trust or profit, than such oath of support and fidelity to this State, and such oath of office, as shall be directed by this Convention or the Legislature of this State, and a declaration of a belief in the Christian religion.

CONSTITUTION OF NEW JERSEY, 1776:
ARTICLE 19: That there shall be no establishment of any one religious sect in this Province, in preference to another; and that no Protestant inhabitant of this Colony shall be denied the enjoyment of any civil right, merely on account of his religious principles; but that all persons, professing a belief in the faith of any Protestant sect, who shall demean themselves peaceably under the government...shall be capable of being elected into any office of profit or trust.

CONSTITUTION OF PENNSYLVANIA, September 28, 1776 (Signed by Ben Franklin): PLAN OR FRAME OF GOVERNMENT, SECTION 10. And each member, before he takes his seat, shall make and subscribe the following declaration, viz: I do believe in one God, the Creator and Governor of the Universe, the Rewarder of the good and the Punisher of the wicked. And I do acknowledge the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine Inspiration. And no further or other religious test shall ever hereafter be required of any civil officer or magistrate in this State.

CONSTITUTION OF DELAWARE, 1776 (written by George Read and Thomas McKean, both signers of the Declaration of Independence): ARTICLE 22. Every person who shall be chosen a member of either house, or appointed to any office or place of trust, before taking his seat, or entering upon the execution of his office, shall...make and subscribe the following declaration, to wit: "I, A B. do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration."

CONSTITUTION OF NORTH CAROLINA, 1776:

ARTICLE 32. That no person, who shall deny the being of God or the truth of the Protestant religion, or the divine authority either of the Old or New Testaments, or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of the State, shall be capable of holding any office or place of trust or profit in the civil department within this State.

CONSTITUTION OF SOUTH CAROLINA, March 19, 1778:

ARTICLE 12: And that no person shall be eligible to a seat in the said senate unless he be of the Protestant religion, and hath attained the age of thirty years...

CONSTITUTION OF GEORGIA, 1777:

ARTICLE 6: The representatives shall be chosen out of the residents in each county...and they shall be of the Protestant religion.

CONSTITUTION OF CONNECTICUT, 1662 till 1818:

PREAMBLE. The People of this State being by the Providence of God, free and independent, have the sole and exclusive Right of governing themselves as a free, sovereign, and independent State; and having from their ancestors derived a free and excellent Constitution of Government whereby the legislature depends on the free and annual election of the people, they have the best security for the preservation of their civil and religious rights and Liberties. And forasmuch as the free Fruition of such Liberties and Privileges as Humanity, Civility and Christianity call for, as is due to every Man in his Place and Proportion, without impeachment and infringement, hath ever been, and will be the Tranquillity and Stability of Churches and Commonwealths.

CONSTITUTION OF RHODE ISLAND, 1663 till 1842:

That they, pursuing, with peaceable and loyal minces, their sober, serious and religious intentions, of godly edifying themselves, and one another, in the holy Christian faith and worship as they were persuaded...to hold forth a lively experiment, that a most flourishing civil state may stand and best be maintained...with a full liberty in religious concernements; and that true piety rightly grounded upon Gospel principles, will give the best and greatest security to sovereignty...Now know ye, that we being willing...to secure them in the free exercise and enjoyment of all their civil and religious rights...and to preserve unto them that liberty, in the true Christian faith and worship of God...and because some of the people and inhabitants of the same colony cannot, in their private opinions, conforms to the public exercise of religion, according to the liturgy, forms and ceremonies of the Church of England, or take or subscribe the oaths and articles made and established in that behalf; and for that the same, by reason of the remote distances of those places, will (as we hope) be no breach of the unity and uniformity established in this nation.

CONSTITUTION OF NEW YORK, April 20, 1777:

38. And whereas we are required, by the benevolent principles of rational liberty, not only to expel civil tyranny, but also to guard against that spiritual oppression and intolerance wherewith the bigotry and ambition of weak and wicked priests and princes have scourged mankind, this convention doth further, in the name and by the authority of the good people of this State, ordain, determine, and declare, that the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever hereafter be allowed, within this State, to all mankind: Provided, That the liberty of conscience, hereby granted, shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of this State.

[ October 31, 2008, 09:09 AM: Message edited by: Thomas ]

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Fishcicle
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I recall that when Moral Majority & other such groups began organizing conservative Christians politically, a lot of people had problems with that. But they had a perfect legal right to do so, whether we agree with their behavior or not. Similarly, whether or not we agree with the behavior of homosexual rights organizations, they also have a perfect legal right to organize.
One can also make the case that Christians have generally behaved better when being persecuted than when in power--see St. Augustine's defense of forcible conversion.

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Jesse
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Wow, we got our very own Scalia. Lucky us.

Tomas, you are wrong.

The Constitution tells us was our founders thought our Federal Constitution should mean.

uR mindreading is Fail.

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hobsen
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The quotes are interesting. Thanks.
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Rallan
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That's fascinating Thomas. I especially like the way you left out the royal ruckus caused by advocates of various denominations who didn't want someone else to get recognised as America's official religion, and the copious writings of some of America's more famously deist founding fathers, and the First Amendment itself (although apparently I'm supposed to be polite enough not to mention it since you made a throwaway remark at the top of your post to try and understate its importance).

America made the choice to become a secular state. Furthermore, it valued its secular nature highly throughout the 19th century, and saw it as essential to defusing sectarian infighting, be it political squabbles among protestant churches for political influence, or (in its more visible form) violence on the streets between protestants and catholics. America's refusal to interfere in religious matters and its refusal to formally endorse any faith over another is one of a cornerstone of the freedom that you American chaps are so fond of.

If you don't like that and want to live in a country without constitutional seperation of church and state, you may want to consider admitting that the War of Independence was a mistake and moving back to England [Smile]

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TomDavidson
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Thomas is right, actually. While the federal government was very careful about not trying to mandate a given religion, state governments were given substantial rein to do so for many, many years. A very strict reading of the Constitution would permit that interpretation.
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Jesse
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Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. - Thomas Jefferson

Tom -

No, it wouldn't.

For starters, see article six.

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