Why Are Christians Against Love?

A lot of Christians these days use this argument when they rail against homosexuality:

A homosexual struggling against the temptation to act homosexual is no different from anyone else struggling to resist a sinful temptation.

John Shore has a great response to this:

Here is that Big Difference between homosexuality and other sins: There is no sin I can commit that, by virtue of committing it, renders me incapable of loving or being loved. I can commit murder. I can steal. I can rob. I can rape. I can drink myself to death. I can do any terrible thing at all — and no one would ever claim that intrinsic to the condition that gave rise to my doing that terrible thing is that I am, by nature, simply incapable of giving or receiving love.

When you tell a gay person to “resist” being gay, what you are really telling them — what you really mean — is for them to be celibate.

What you are truly and actually saying is that you want them to condemn themselves to a life devoid of love.

Be alone, you’re demanding. Live alone. Don’t hold anyone’s hand. Don’t snuggle on your couch with anyone. Don’t cuddle up with anyone at night before you fall asleep. Don’t have anyone to chat with over coffee in the morning.

Do not bind your life to that of another. Live your whole life without knowing that joy, that sharing, that peace.

Just say “no” to love.

Be alone. Live alone. Die alone.

The “sinful temptation” that Christians are forever urging LGBT people to resist is love.

Being, of course, the one thing Jesus was most clear about wanting his followers to extend to others.

I want to hear a pastor say that in church one weekend.

How any Christian can claim to follow a religion of love and then deny gay people equal rights is incredible.

I’ve said this before with regard to Andrew Marin: It’s not enough to simply apologize for the way the church has treated gay people in the past.

If you’re not out there fighting in favor of marriage equality, against the notion that homosexuality is a choice, against the absurd idea that homosexuality is somehow sinful (or more sinful than anything else you call a “sin”)… if you’re not out there fighting any rule/law that says gay people are inferior to straight people, then you don’t deserve my respect.

  • Jon

    This is….tiring.

    Several points can be inferred from the title of this post alone. There is no need to read the post.

    1) It’s a leading question. “Mr. Smith, Why were you in the mood to kill your wife?”
    2) We already know what the topic of the post is going to be – the hypocrisy of Christians.
    3) By using the words “love” and “Christians” in the same sentence, it is hoped to create some sort of dissonance between the two.

  • ManaCostly

    Nice response, allow my simulated Christain to retort.

    “Homosexuality is not love, it is a sin, it can never be love!”

    I cant wait for them to throw that at me in a discussion. If getting beat in a discussion caused physical injury, hehe.

  • http://www.bigmama247.com Alise

    I absolutely love this piece. I think a lot of Shore’s stuff is really good, but this one just knocked it out of the park for me.

  • John H.

    Good point, and I agree, but when one comes from the perspective that homosexuality is a choice, there are no rights to be extended. As in, for example, committing murder would be a choice. Something that can be avoided.

    Of course, we know being gay (that word ‘being’ sorta says it all) is just how someone is, and this knowledge renders that whole “it’s a choice” thing invalid.

  • Steve

    Those Christians can’t conceive that someone could love a person of the same gender. It’s important to realize that for them it’s all about sex and lust. And thus they can easily equate homosexuality with heterosexual lust. For them, both are things than can be denied and controlled.

  • Aaron

    It is the standard thought.
    You can have whatever color you want, as long as it is black.
    You can be whatever religion you want, as long as it is Christian.
    You can love anyone you want, as long as they are the other sex.
    You are free to do everything I approve of.
    If you do anything I do not approve of, you are violating my rights, even if you do not do it to me.

  • http://captainnomarriage.blogspot.com/ Captain No Marriage

    I understand the equal rights part and have no problem with that. But, I would still advise any man, gay or straight, against marriage.

    There’s a reason marriage has such a high failure rate….it sucks.

  • hb

    The distinction should be made that physical lust and government paperwork in no way equates to love and that the lack of those “rights” does not hinder people from “truly” loving one another.

    Of course, these distinctions apply to heterosexuals as well as homosexuals.

    It’s my opinion, which I don’t tend to convey very thoroughly, that the entire human perception of love needs redefined. It’s romanticized connotations stripped, and a much deeper emphasis on respect enforced. Imparted. Something along those lines, enforced sounds to authoritarian.

  • 10plus

    Looking at his list of other sins- murder, robbery, rape, etc- have you ever noticed that Christians never want to deny marriage rights to people who do all that stuff (i.e. criminals)? Homosexuality is perfectly legal here in America, and becoming more and more accepted as mainstream thankfully, yet because ‘it’s a sin’ then allowing gay folks to marry will somehow degrade marriage as a whole? So why then aren’t Christians protesting when common criminals want to get married? Why aren’t they pushing for mandatory criminal background checks for anyone and everyone planning on getting married? As far as I know, in many places even convicted criminals doing hard time in prison can get married (though I’m sure there’s extra hoops to jump through). Yet you don’t hear the religious right fighting against that, complaining that it will weaken their marriage. So while homosexuality is 100% legal, it’s apparently more heinous than, say, gang rape, or kidnapping. Pretty fucked up. I tend to avoid arguments with the gay marriage bashers (seems futile to me, and I don’t need any more headaches than I’ve already got) but I wish that for the people who do get into debates with them, especially online or public ones, I wish they’d bring this point up more often.

  • Carolyn

    Shore’s entire post is fantastic but one possible reply to this could be that in the Bible it does say that Celibacy > Relationships.

    “For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.” (1 Cor 7:7-9)

    “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.” (Matthew 19:9-12)

    Of course, in these passages it is also acknowledged that not everyone is able resist temptation and remain celibate and in that case they should marry. By Biblical standards, if a Christian gets married they have lost the same “fight against temptation” that they urge homosexuals to overcome. Hrmmm….

  • http://www.bornagainyesterday.com Justin

    The sticking point is this: the Bible is explicitly and unambiguously anti-gay. It couldn’t be more anti-gay if it carried around a big sign that said “being gay is despicable in the eyes of God and is a perversion of nature”… wait. No, hang on. That’s exactly what it says.

    Those who are Christians self-identify as being members of that faith. They make a choice to align themselves with a group whose belief system is allegedly based on the same Bible that clearly hates Gay people.

    Why would anyone choose to associate themselves with a clearly anti-gay, unloving belief system? Either a) they’re not really thinking about the implications of the label they choose for themselves or 2) they don’t care.

    BTW, the prevailing attitude towards homosexuality in Jesus’ day was exactly that expressed by the Bible in other places. Homos were to be killed if caught. Jesus, who had no problem speaking out against the prevailing culture on other issues, never brought this up. Ever.

    So either he 1) didn’t care, or B) well actually I can’t think of another reason he wouldn’t mention this.

    In other words, Mr. Shore is completely wrong about Jesus wanting love extended to the LGBT population. There is no evidence supporting that idea and plenty of reason to think otherwise.

  • jose

    I think Shore’s post is a nice example of how people reinterpret Jesus and the Bible the way they want to better fit changing moral and social values. Everybody can play WWJD. When slavery was ok, they used the bible to justify it, too-not only the old testament, but the new, “loving” testament as well-. I’m sure some people will use the Bible and Jesus to make a case for tax cuts for the top 1% somehow.

    It’s always been the same idea: “I am right in what I say, and my big invisible friend in the sky agrees with me”.

  • cb

    I think that the issue of whether homosexuality is a choice is utterly moot. Don’t we want to allow people to make choices that don’t hurt other people? Isn’t that the point of freedom? I’m tired of hearing “It’s not a choice!” because I think that’s approaching it the entirely wrong way, it’s arguing the point on their terms.

  • Steve

    @Justin
    Actually, same-sex attraction and physical relationships were well accepted in the Roman Empire under certain conditions. Not necessarily between equals, but between masters and slaves and older men and boys for example. The taboo was against a man assuming a passive/female role during sex.

    That only changed after they adopted Christianity and such things were outlawed under Theodosius in the 3rd century. There was for example a law that forbade same-sex marriages. Which wouldn’t have been necessary if that didn’t exist.

  • Miko

    @Justin:

    BTW, the prevailing attitude towards homosexuality in Jesus’ day was exactly that expressed by the Bible in other places. Homos were to be killed if caught. Jesus, who had no problem speaking out against the prevailing culture on other issues, never brought this up. Ever.

    You’re making the mistake of assuming that the Bible is an accurate historical record. Assuming that there was a historical figure corresponding to Jesus and assuming that the anonymous authors of the gospel were attempting to give a factual account of that person’s life (neither of which are assumptions that I think are very likely), you still are stuck with the problem that they very obviously exercised great editorial control over what they chose to report. Perhaps Jesus spoke out against anti-gay hysteria all of the time, but no one bothered to write it down.

  • http://www.correntewire.com chicago dyke

    i hope all you straight folks can see the “just be celibate” argument for what it is: the “logic” of the closet. seriously, if you don’t know what i mean, please rent “Outrage” and listen to the Christian closet cases who explain how it is they live, and justify what they do.

    any anti-gay person screaming “gays aren’t bad, they just need to resist temptation” is pretty much shouting “i’m trying really hard to forget how much i like the same-sex relations i had the other night. i’m not a hypocrite! jeebus will forgive me if i just don’t do it again. even thought i know i probably will the next time i have a few drinks and go cruising at the park for a blow job.”

    the bible back and forth? mostly boring and i agree with the previous comment that anyone can argue anything “based on scripture.” no, anti gay statements like this one are yet another example of the Primary Rule when it comes to christians and republicans: projection. whatever they accuse us of, they are (perhaps not so) secretly doing it themselves.

    please, take my word for it. if you’d been in as many gay bars as i have, and watched republican christian closet cases “sneaking” in like i have, you’d know what i mean. these are the same ones who are in church the sunday morning afterwards. with their wives. raising money for anti-gay causes.

  • Secular Stu

    @Justin:

    BTW, the prevailing attitude towards homosexuality in Jesus’ day was exactly that expressed by the Bible in other places. Homos were to be killed if caught. Jesus, who had no problem speaking out against the prevailing culture on other issues, never brought this up. Ever.

    You’re making the mistake of assuming that the Bible is an accurate historical record. Assuming that there was a historical figure corresponding to Jesus and assuming that the anonymous authors of the gospel were attempting to give a factual account of that person’s life (neither of which are assumptions that I think are very likely), you still are stuck with the problem that they very obviously exercised great editorial control over what they chose to report. Perhaps Jesus spoke out against anti-gay hysteria all of the time, but no one bothered to write it down.

    Well that would make a great argument. “Oh, Jesus loved gays, it’s just the Gospel authors totally lied about it and cut out all his tons of pro-gay speeches and added in anti-gay verses. But the resurrection and whatnot were totally real! Also Jesus Hypothetical Christ predicted global warming, recommended seat belts for horseless chariots, and predicted the outcomes of the first 3 World Series, but that bastard Paul just cut all that out.”

  • Atom Jack

    That old moldy set of sometimes trippy writings from 6000 years ago is so apropos, today. [/sarcasm]

    The religious ought to keep their damned BLUE NOSES out of what the rest of the world does. Meddling fools.

  • StarScream

    I like to keep an eye on what the prominent voices of the religious right say and Al Mohler is probably one of the more palatable ones to read (compared to raging lunatics like Bryan Fischer).

    A few days ago in a blog post he commented on how inconsistent conservative Christians are with regards to homosexuality and divorce. (Here if anyone is inclined to read it.)

    This prompted some thinking on my part. This is a case of wild inconsistency (even for Christians – and the thing Mohler laments).

    I asked myself, what is the difference between the rhetoric and the actuality of this issue when heterosexual divorce is ok but homosexual marriage isn’t? The entire thing is couched in language of “the sacred institutuion of marriage” and “a sanctified institution of God in His Holy Word” etc, ad nauseum – language that refers to all marriage and would also overtly condemn divorce (if divorce hadn’t already been tacitly assumed as an exception). So what gives?

    It’s easy. Heterosexual divorce is something that the majority of conservative Christians take advantage of, or at least like to have as an option.

    Homosexuality is inherently a minority position and thus keeping it classified as “wrong” is sociologically useful – it plays the outgroup.

    Of course, these are probably almost never conscious in the minds of the “defenders of traditional marriage” but it is why.

    Heterosexual divorce is ok to most Christians because they utilize it. Homosexual marriage is not because most of them don’t. It’s a blatant example of how the Bible is used in an ad hoc manner to justify “moral” stances rather than dictating them.

  • http://oscargecko.blogspot.com/ Oscar Gecko

    The phrase I find most interesting is “what you are really telling them — what you really mean — is ….” because it is filling in the blanks. And, that is where the interpretation begins. And that is the point in which facts are no longer used and opinion is the point.

    But, there is one point I cannot get a clear answer from on people who support Marriage Equality. What is the purpose of marriage?

    I often hear something like “All they need is love” or to have what straight people already have. They need a state’s stamp of approval too enter into a lawful contract called marriage? To gain benefits? Almost every benefit of marriage is already available in other legal forms. So then, what is the purpose of marriage?

    The only sensible purpose I can imagine, is to track families and their protect the natural product of that marriage – the children. With this license, we can dictate who should pay child support. It is a legal form to make fathers responsible to their children.

    And, while we are on the matter of children… Same-sex adoption is in the “equality” boat. And, anyone who is against it is probably hateful too. As long as the parents can provide a safe environment… as long as they love the child… what is the harm? I can tell you first hand, that there is some harm to the child. I was raised by a single mother. I cannot tell you how many times there were questions I had growing up that I wished I had a dad to ask because there are just some things you don’t ask a mom. And, there are some things you just don’t ask a dad. And, to have a parent of both sexes makes it possible for a child to get answers they need. Adolescence is hard enough.

    Back to marriage… Should someone be able to marry their pets? Some people love their pets enough to want to marry them. Should this be legal too? Even if they love their pet more than anything? Does this sound crazy? Google the phrase “marry your pet” or check out this site http://www.marryyourpet.com/ . People ought not be able to marry their pets. Is it just as hateful to think that this wrong too? Sorry, not only do I think pet marriage is wrong, but I think it is weird.

    Where do we draw the line with marriage?

  • http://stochasticmutters.blogspot.com/ Aaron

    Almost every benefit of marriage is already available in other legal forms.

    Not all.

    It is a legal form to make fathers responsible to their children.

    Because unmarried men don’t pay child support?

    there are just some things you don’t ask a mom

    Like what?

    Should someone be able to marry their pets?

    Animals aren’t people. It just the same old “homosexuality=bestiality” thing. Is this really the best you have?

    Where do we draw the line with marriage?

    When the line includes all couples equally.

  • http://www.dwasifar.com dwasifar

    Good analysis, though I would find the implied christian hypocrisy a bit more poignant if christianity didn’t do its best to suppress and co-opt a lot of heterosexual love too. Let’s be clear that we’re talking about the kind of love that expresses itself sexually here. The church has always been more or less against recreational sex, even if there’s love involved. Ditto for sex out of wedlock. The catholics go it one further by (on paper at least) regarding divorcees as adulterers.

    Outside of sexual love, they have a different view. Surely you’ve seen the bumper stickers: “Real Men Love Jesus.” That’s not intended to convey a sexual relationship, but some denominations ARE explicit that the relationship with Jesus should be more important to you than the relationship with your spouse. So what they’re against is not love per se, but love that can express itself sexually. They have a problem with that kind of love if it’s not under their control, even if there are not two penises or two vaginas involved.

    As for the “Real Men Love Jesus” stickers, I think it would be fun to print up a bunch of mini stickers that say “In The Ass” and stick them underneath those bumper stickers in parking lots. Sure, you’d be taking your life in your hands, but it’d be great fun… well, until you got caught at it by some christian eager to demonstrate Jesus’ love by kicking the shit out of you on the tarmac.

  • Fundie Troll

    @ Aaron:

    It is the standard thought.
    You can have whatever color you want, as long as it is black.
    You can be whatever religion you want, as long as it is Christian.
    You can love anyone you want, as long as they are the other sex.
    You are free to do everything I approve of.
    If you do anything I do not approve of, you are violating my rights, even if you do not do it to me

    Aaron, I’ve taken the liberty to “update” your post to reflect the attitudes and opinions of the majority of the readers of this blog. Let me know what you think…

    It is the ONLY VALID THOUGHT.
    You can have whatever color you want, as long as it is NOT CHRISTIAN.
    You can be whatever religion you want, as long as it is NOT CHRISTIANITY.
    You can love anyone you want, as long as they are NOT A CHRISTIAN.
    You are free to do everything I approve of (EXCEPT BE A CHRISTIAN).
    If you are a CHRISTIAN, you are violating my rights, PERIOD.

    Ahhh…that’s better, isn’t it? :)

  • noen

    “Why Are Christians Against Love?”

    Strawman argument. Not all Christians are opposed to homosexuality.

    When did you stop beating your wife?

    “I want to hear a pastor say that [express pro gay sentiments] in church one weekend.”

    It seems your knowledge of Christianity is as impoverished as your reasoning abilities. GLBT friendly churches are a dime a dozen in almost any large city.

    ManaCostly Says:
    Nice response, allow my simulated Christain to retort.

    “Homosexuality is not love, it is a sin, it can never be love!”

    Neither Homosexuality nor heterosexuality are “love”. They are sexual orientations. From a reductionist biological materialist viewpoint love does not even exist. The feeling of love that you have is just the little squirt of endorphins your limbic system rewards you with for finding a potential mate. Which is all you’re good for.

    Why are atheists against love?

  • noen

    Justin Says:
    The sticking point is this: the Bible is explicitly and unambiguously anti-gay.

    Only fundamentalists and atheists believe this. The attitude that the Bible or any sacred text must be interpreted literally is a fundamentalist approach to literary criticism. You are a fundamentalist.

    It couldn’t be more anti-gay if it carried around a big sign that said “being gay is despicable in the eyes of God and is a perversion of nature”… wait. No, hang on. That’s exactly what it says.

    Ah, no, it says no such thing at all. The Greek word used by Paul in the New Testament, arsenokoitai, does not refer to homosexuality. Such a concept no more existed then than quantum mechanics did. Paul is referring to court prostitutes, male or female or to abusive pedophiles or hebephiles.

    I am sure we both agree that keeping slave boys for your pleasure is a bad thing.

    Also, the New Testament represents a new covenant and therefore supersedes the OT.

  • MutantJedi

    Most people are cool with gays teaching kids (today)

    Things are getting better.

    But for marriage, as we urbanize more and more, the growing question will be “why bother?” Homosexuality is not a threat to marriage. If anything, the Christian Right should embrace gays as champions in the preservation of this antiquated institution.

  • http://www.harvardhumanist.org Jonathan Figdor

    I love how the “Friendly Atheist” is becoming increasingly combative in his old age. Way to “keep the faith” as it were.

  • Leah

    The big mistake you’re making here is not being able to differentiate between love and romantic love. Christ was celibate, and if we follow your train of thought that “Love” is cuddling and talking over coffee, then Christ never “loved” anyone.

  • MutantJedi

    @noen
    Interesting discussion about arsenokoitai in the link you provided.

    I’m not so impressed with the New/Old Covenant dodge though. Paul understood well the value of changing the old wine skin for something newer in order to market the message to the Gentiles. If something is unpopular with the new market, just spin it out with the “New Covenant.” New converts can eat pig and keep their foreskins. It’s a win/win.

    The Christian Right also has no problem spinning in stuff they want from the Old Covenant such as Leviticus 20:13. The more tolerant Christian will invoke the New Covenant and semantics to spin the message into something more palatable. Wonderful book the Bible, it has something for everybody.

    The problem with the New/Old Covenant dodge is that the Gospel, in its fundamental essence, requires the blood for sin, vengeful, hateful, holy by definition, deity of the Old Testament. Blood of the innocent is the only thing that can wash sin away. Jesus is the perfect blood sacrifice. The foundation of the New Covenant is the Old Covenant. Without the Old Covenant, the New Covenant is meaningless.

    Frankly, I think this is the heart of fundamentalist stupidity like Ken Ham (the list is too long). As the Old Testament crumbles away as bad science, bad history, bad ethics, and bad law, they sense a deep foreboding crisis in their religion. Without the moronic assertion of “original sin” and the equally enlightened blood sacrifice for sin, what is the point of Jesus? What is the point of Christianity?

    Not even the writer of Matthew was eager to supersede the Old Covenant (Matthew 5:17-48).

    A bit off topic, I love the start of ???: ????????????????People at birth/Are naturally good(kind-hearted)/Their natures are similar/(But)their habits make them different (from each other). Not everybody buys into original sin or the inherent fallen nature of man.

  • AxeGrrl

    Jonathan Figdor wrote:

    I love how the “Friendly Atheist” is becoming increasingly combative in his old age.

    Yeah, saying that people who denigrate gay people don’t deserve his respect…

    oooh, yeah, that’s ‘combative’ :)

    Parents, keep this pugilistic curmudgeon from your daughters!

    :)

  • MutantJedi

    Sigh… to the web monkey that set up this blog: ???. No Chinese characters eh

  • JC

    “Be alone, you’re demanding. Live alone. Don’t hold anyone’s hand. Don’t snuggle on your couch with anyone. Don’t cuddle up with anyone at night before you fall asleep. Don’t have anyone to chat with over coffee in the morning”

    – It looks like the only type of “Love” you know is when you receive it or expect something in return… that’s why many people don’t understand the difference of the True Unconditional Love Jesus lived and wanted for us. I’m celibate (AS MUCH AS I CAN at least , he he, nobody is perfect, God only ask you to try) by own conviction since I’m not married yet, and I don’t feel alone, I have family, friends neighbors, people all around me to Love and live with. Oh and GOD to love me, and you even you don’t believe that God exists.

    Having sex is not necessarily to Love the other person. I simply believe that people don’t NEED to have sex to be happy or to MARRY your best friend to love him/her what ever is the case.

  • http://pinkydead.blogspot.com David McNerney

    @neon

    Only fundamentalists and atheists believe this.

    Sorry the bible is clearly anti-gay: Leviticus 18:22, as well you know.

    But…

    There are those that say, as you do, that the NT overrides the OT or that can prove that the bible is pro-gay or that Jesus was gay or that the devil is gay or that gay is gay or that Adam and Eve were gay. Whatever…

    The problem is that the homophobia that comes from (some/many) Christians, while originating from personal bigotry and fear, can easily be justified (and presented as a pithy one liner for the inflamed masses) by the use of the bible. And from this justification springs perpetuation, that in a normal non-biblical environment would be seen for the hateful bigotry that it is.

    It’s a real pity God wrote (inspired) the bible so as to make it look like it was just written by a bunch of neolithic middle eastern nomads.

    BTW you forgot to mention Catholics – like it or not they’re mainstream Christianity and they hate the gays (officially anyway).

  • Vicenta

    My question is: why would any homosexual want to marry in the church? Sweden, for example, permits gay marriage in church.
    And when I see two happy men just married, outside of a church I think “they are traitors”.

    You want to get married – go ahead – but do a secular wedding. Why do you want to get the approval of those who have during millenia spat at you?

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    I’m going to have to say that the Bible isn’t explicitly anti-gay but the common interpretation of the Bible certainly is. The Leviticus verse is rarely read in context and hardly anybody reads it critically or tries to examine the available translations. Nor is the ritualised behaviour of sexual practices ever taken into account. Of course we already know that Christians know there religion less well that we atheists so this is hardly surprising.

    What we can be assured of is that our 21st century understanding of homosexuality is very, very different from what was meant five or six thousand years ago. The word wasn’t even coined until 1869. What I want is them to drop their reliance on their religion and make up their own minds but failing that I’d prefer them to take the good parts of their Scripture and discard the bad parts. Some might call this cherry picking but in this case cherry picking is a good thing. If they need to perform some mental gymnastics to do so then we know that they are already quite adept at that sort of thing.

  • bernerbits

    And, while we are on the matter of children… Same-sex adoption is in the “equality” boat. And, anyone who is against it is probably hateful too. As long as the parents can provide a safe environment… as long as they love the child… what is the harm? I can tell you first hand, that there is some harm to the child. I was raised by a single mother. I cannot tell you how many times there were questions I had growing up that I wished I had a dad to ask because there are just some things you don’t ask a mom. And, there are some things you just don’t ask a dad. And, to have a parent of both sexes makes it possible for a child to get answers they need. Adolescence is hard enough.

    Should single women or men be barred from adopting? Why force a child to grow up in the custody of an institution when a prospective guardian, regardless of marital status or sexual orientation, is willing to take the child in as their own son or daughter? This is what’s baffling to me. The issue of potential harm to the child is irrelevant when the alternative to allowing a same-sex couple to adopt is forcing the child to grow up parentless.

    Yet where I live, even the liberal political candidates claim that it’s better for the child to grow up without a home at all than to grow up with same-sex parents.

  • noen

    David McNerney Says:

    “@neon”

    Please at least try to get my nym correct.

    “Sorry the bible is clearly anti-gay: Leviticus 18:22, as well you know.”

    No, I don’t know any such thing. “The Bible” doesn’t have beliefs or desires, only people do. It is a collection of books written by many authors thousands of years ago. So if we wish to understand the intent of the authors we need to look at what they say in context. If we wish to impose our own political agenda then the best way to go about that is to pull quotes out of context and interpret them literally. Like the fundamentalists do.

    So once again I see atheists and fundamentalists engaged in the exact same behavior.

    Analysis of Leviticus 18:22

    The verse is, unfortunately, incomplete. Its precise meaning is ambiguous. The phrase “lay lyings” has no obvious interpretation. Attempts have been made to make sense out of the original Hebrew by inserting a short phrase into the verse.

    Why do I have to keep referring atheists to Religious Tolerance dot org? Because you are just as intolerant and bigoted as any other absolutist.

    “The problem is that the homophobia that comes from … Christians, while originating from personal bigotry and fear, can easily be justified … by the use of the bible.”

    So? This doesn’t get you what you seem to think it does. Prejudice and bigotry are learned behaviors that then become the filter through which one perceives the world. Homophobia is a gloss which is overlaid onto Biblical interpretation. Once one rids oneself of prejudice one’s perception of prejudice as inherent in the text disappears. It was never present in the text in the first place. You discover that you were just projecting your own prejudice onto the text.

    You believe the Bible is homophobic because you want to believe it is. Because that allows you to reach your predetermined conclusion that “those people” are awful horrible people and that you are pure and good.

  • JustSayin’

    Wow. Where’d all these Xtian apologists come from? It’s almost like there’s a sustained attack going on here…

  • Sackbut

    I am very much in favor of gay marriage, and indeed the right of any consenting adults to enter into a legal contractual relationship, or to have consensual sex. We do ourselves, no favor, though, when we make invalid extrapolations like this one:

    When you tell a gay person to “resist” being gay, what you are really telling them — what you really mean — is for them to be celibate.

    What you are truly and actually saying is that you want them to condemn themselves to a life devoid of love.

    Sorry, no. That’s not what the anti-gay Christians mean.

    Consider the case of a man sexually attracted to children. Telling him to resist his impulses is not telling him to be celibate, to live a live devoid of love. It’s telling him to give his love to a more appropriate partner. The anti-gay contingent see homosexuality as another form of “inappropriate” sexual attraction.

    Consider, too, the case of a man attracted to a woman who is happily married to another man. Telling him to give up on her is, again, not telling him to be celibate, to give up on love. It is, again, telling him to find somebody more “appropriate” to love.

    The anti-gay contingent needs to learn that homosexuality is different from these cases because it involves a relationship between mutually consenting adults, not because homosexuals are somehow less capable than the rest of society at resisting “inappropriate” urges. It’s simply nobody else’s business. It doesn’t matter if that couple walking down the street is in a relationship that differs from the “standard” one in any of a number of ways, including being same sex, being widely different ages, having certain levels of common ancestry, having certain combinations of ethnic or religious backgrounds, or possibly being more than a couple. If they are all consenting adults, if nobody is being abused or betrayed, it’s not the business of outsiders.

  • JustSayin’

    Oscar Gecko said (italics mine):

    I often hear something like “All they need is love” or to have what straight people already have. They need a state’s stamp of approval too enter into a lawful contract called marriage? To gain benefits? Almost every benefit of marriage is already available in other legal forms. So then, what is the purpose of marriage?

    BULL. SHIT.

    Earlier this year Hemant wrote a post asking atheists who don’t support marriage equality to explain their reasoning. In my reponse to a few of the less-informed posters then, I gave several specific examples–all of them both heartbreaking and unjust–of how this claim is clearly not the case.

    Honestly, at this point, I’m sick to death of having to tell often otherwise well-meaning people who make the statement that Oscar Gecko did above that they are way off-base. Below, I have reposted my rebuttal from the previous post. It’s a bit long, but bear with me. Anyone who claims that we gays have anything remotely resembling what straight married couples have is misinformed to the point of complete ignorance.

    You see, it’s a very common misconception that gay couples, if we go through the proper legal channels, can ensure that, should some emergency situation arise, we have some say-so over how our injured or ill partner is treated, should s/he not be in a position to communicate her or his will. The people I’ve mentioned–and others, as I’ve read of many similar cases–did everything they were supposed to, thinking the law would protect them. Unfortunately, all it takes is one bigoted asshole to undo many hours (and often, many thousands of dollars’ worth) of careful planning.

    To use one example, do you have any idea how difficult it can be for same-sex partners to get not only respect, but even basic human decency from healthcare providers and their gatekeepers in emergency situations? There are two very well-documented examples, one in red-state Florida and another in liberal California (please note that the URLs to both stories which I originally provided are now broken), in which lesbians were denied access to their partners, and in BOTH cases all of the supposedly sufficient legal documents were in order. In the Florida example, the ill partner actually died, and her partner was never even permitted to be by her side. Nor were their adopted children. Yes, it’s unbelievable but true. (The surviving partner later sued the hospital, only to have the case dismissed: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/gaysouthflorida/2009/09/court-dismisses-suit-by-lesbian-who-couldnt-see-dying-partner-at-miamis-jackson-memorial-hospital.html

    Now my question to you is simple: Do you honestly think either of these situations would have happened had they involved heterosexual couples? We all know very well that there would be no legal basis for a hospital employee to refuse to let a husband visit his dying or critically ill wife, all other things being equal. Further, who would be so heartless as to try? And failing that, even if someone did indeed try, the hospital wouldn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of having the lawsuit dismissed. So why are we gays at the mercy of everyone else? This is truly tyranny of the majority.

    And I haven’t even begun to discuss the issue of property and inheritance rights, which at present are in no way any more in our favor than are hospital visitation rights. For an example that is heartrending and that should be infuriating to any fair-minded individual, read this: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/texassouthwest/stories/DN-brokeback_05tsw.ART.State.Edition2.3e898b0.html

    The simple fact of the matter is that these protections must be codified, and the only way to do that in a thorough, comprehensive manner is through the granting of marriage rights to same-sex couples. No less will do. The current pastiche of incompatible state-by-state laws does not suffice.

    So while it may be some peripheral non-issue for you, marriage rights for gay couples are far from trivial to us. Unfortunately, it’s you–and the straight majority you evidently represent–who too often (and unconstitutionally so) get to thoughtlessly dismiss us and our concerns at the voting booth while we are left to deal with the very real, sometimes devastating, consequences.

    So please, no more with the “gay-people-can-have-all-the-same-rights as straights” crap. Do some research.

    And one more thing: about the marrying pets bit, who the f*** are you, Rick Santorum? You might as well have provided a link to NAMBLA and suggested that’s where gay marriage will lead. Get a clue.

  • jose

    “Homophobia is a gloss which is overlaid onto Biblical interpretation. Once one rids oneself of prejudice one’s perception of prejudice as inherent in the text disappears. It was never present in the text in the first place. You discover that you were just projecting your own prejudice onto the text.”

    Excuse me:

    “The things I disagree with are a gloss which are overlaid onto Biblical interpretation. Once one rids oneself of prejudice, one’s perception of things I disagree with as inherent in the text disappear. It was never present in the text in the first place. You discover that you were just projecting your own prejudice onto the text.”

    There.

    Christians have been doing that for centuries, and not very surprisingly their interpretations always match their own political and social values.

  • Mike

    If you’re not out there fighting in favor of marriage equality, against the notion that homosexuality is a choice, against the absurd idea that homosexuality is somehow sinful (or more sinful than anything else you call a “sin”)… if you’re not out there fighting any rule/law that says gay people are inferior to straight people, then you don’t deserve my respect.

    Again with the “your part of the solution or part of the problem” false dichotomy. Look, I am in favor of marriage equality, I am in favor of every equal rights for any and every individual regardless of sexual orientation, color, gender, cultural difference, or any other factor you can think of. But if you cannot afford me the LIBERTY of choosing for myself the level of participation I am going to put forth regarding the struggle, or allow me to make my own decision as to whether or not to be “out there fighting,” then you do not deserve MY respect.

  • Secular Stu

    Why do I have to keep referring atheists to Religious Tolerance dot org? Because you are just as intolerant and bigoted as any other absolutist.

    We don’t deny homosexuals their rights.

  • JustSayin’

    Oh, Secular Stu, don’t you get it? By denying them the right to discriminate, you’re discriminating against them! It’s simple (ass-backward) logic!

  • jose

    Here’s something I don’t understand. I’m always hearing the “love the sinner hate the sin” mantra, which means we should hate homosexuality. But why is that? Why should I give a ***k if two persons of the same sex find each other attractive and start a relationship? Right now I honestly just don’t care about what they do.

    Why should I hate what they’re doing? Is any harm done that I’m unaware of?

  • JC

    Why should I hate what they’re doing? Is any harm done that I’m unaware of?

    Well, you have to ask yourself what is the purpose of sex, what is the real purpose of marriage. If you think sex is only for fun and pleasure you might be missing the point most people try to make. If you have it for these sole reasons, then are you expressing love to that other person or are you just satisfying your needs? Isn’t that a selfish thought? If you put it in the context that you are “giving” pleasure, aren’t you becoming a sex object for that other person? The point is that sure there is nothing directly wrong with having sex without the real purpose it is ment for, but I believe that wont make you a better person, happier and can even become that the animal in you has more will than the rational, emotional and loving humans we are.

    It is not about homosexuals or heterosexuals, having sex without the real purpose it was ment for is wrong. That’s why homosexual activity can never bring any good besides vane pleasure and comfort.

    Do you agree?

  • JC

    Right now I honestly just don’t care about what they do.

    I would put that as “I don’t care if they do harm or not to others or themselves”

    What christianity teach us is to care for the other, love them.. ( Not HATE! ) but try to explain that what they do is hurting them or the other more than they can superficially see.

    However, I sadly can say that many people forgets this objective and turn their own rules as judgement to others. We are not to Judge (That’s Gods responsibility), but rather we are to help understanding our actions and become better persons and a greater society.

  • L

    By saying that Christians who ask people experiencing same-sex attraction to remain celibate deny them the chance to be loved, the beginning of this post says that if you can’t have a sexual relationship, you can’t have love. Parents can’t love gay people? Siblings can’t love gay people? Friends can’t love gay people? The sexual expression of love is not love in and of itself. Christians are not denying the right to be loved, they’re denying that people have the right to any kind of sexual expression that’s attractive to them.

  • muggle

    Uh, Hemant, don’t make blanket assumptions of all Christians. There are Christians and churches who would love to wed gay couples but are prevented from legally doing so. Rev. Lynn of Americans United is always remarking that his church is one that allows it and he is not only open to marrying gays, he is and has performed nonreligious weddings for nonbelievers.

    Fundie Troll, you so funny. The expression seeing what you want to see comes to mind. Rev. Lynn, mentioned above, is one of my greatest heros and I’m far from the only Atheist who admires him. Dickens is one of my favorites authors and he infuses one hell of a lot of the Christ this Christ that stuff in his writings. One reason we get on is we share a hatred of hypocrites. Somehow I doubt you get on with Dickens as well as I do. And, of course, I’ve always had Christian friends. Who the hell doesn’t?

    Okay, now I have to qualify the rant I’m about to go off on because I’m deeply offended about the stereotyped assumptions about celibates with the disclaimer that I’m currently celibate by choice with and that’s not what they’re asking of gays and that’s where it’s wrong. They have no right demanding gays live life alone and unmarried. It’s a personal choice.

    While I don’t agree with JC’s reason for ceibacy and do agree with Shore’s point, I too resent the implications about people who are celibate and I’m damned sick and tired of celibacy by choice being maligned.

    Some of us are celibate by choice for perfectly sane reasons rather than the insane gawd frowns on that ones. I like being alone and I too have family and friends and love — though not romantic love. I simply don’t want the complications or risks of a romantic relationship and am not willing to put the work necessary into one. One night stands just aren’t safe plus I’m not a person who can do that sort of thing as I’d have to feel emotionally close to a person though I have no problem with consenting adults who are. Again, that’s a personal choice.

    I’ve been celibate more often than not because I actually prefer the solo life. When I have been romantically involved, my fear of committment always outlasted theirs and I’m tired of it. I’ve never been a person who pines away for a significant other to spend my life with so seriously what do a need with a lover? I’ve already found that much as I love sex, I’m fine with or without it (and, no, people there’s no difference in my personality either way, that too is a stereotype. I was the same bitch when I was having sex daily or more.) How long I’ve been celibate is my own business but I will say this — it’s long enough to know you get horny and whether or not you do anything about it, it passes and the longer you decide not to, the less you get horny. (Sorry if the blunt language disturbs anybody.)

    As for Shore’s assumptions about the celibate life:

    What you are truly and actually saying is that you want them to condemn themselves to a life devoid of love.

    Uh, no. I have every kind of love except romantic love. I have family love, I have the love of good friends, and I love myself. My favorite passions are no less loved because I don’t have a “significant other” (barf) supporting them.

    Be alone, you’re demanding. Live alone. Don’t hold anyone’s hand. Don’t snuggle on your couch with anyone. Don’t cuddle up with anyone at night before you fall asleep. Don’t have anyone to chat with over coffee in the morning.

    I don’t live alone. I live with my daughter and my grandson, thank you very much and miss living alone but am compensated with the benefits of having them there. (I love living alone but I am also loving being an in-house grandma and appreciate, especially with growing disability, the assistance my daughter gives me.) OK, since I know Shore means quite different than holding my grandson’s hand and snuggling on the couch with him, I’ll give him that but also state quite unequivocally that I don’t need that. If I felt need of that, I wouldn’t be celibate.

    And I fall asleep quite well — as I imagine billions of single people do — without someone lying in bed next to me. In fact, it’s rather nice to have the bed and blankets, etc. all to myself. True, I wake up sooner than I used to years ago but that’s from the pain of arthritis as I’m likewise sure lots of people with lovers lying next to them in bed also do. And, yes, there is someone there to chat with over coffee. I often wish there wasn’t. I’m glad daughter and grandson usually wake up later than me since I prefer to read quietly over breakfast and that cup of tea (well, I hate coffee) in the morning. Thank FSM they do so I can get a chance to read undisturbed before the day takes over. I cherish that quiet time.

    Do not bind your life to that of another. Live your whole life without knowing that joy, that sharing, that peace.

    Been there done that and only the sex was all it was cracked up to be. Not worth everything else you have to sacrifice for that live-in, readily available (presumably) sex partner. Like your freedom, first and foremost. No thank you.

    Just say “no” to love.

    Yes, please. Romantic love anyway. I’ll pass, not interested. And it’d be some hell of a dude who’d even get the chance to change my mind.

    Be alone. Live alone. Die alone.

    Stop making assumptions. Not having a sexual partner does not make you alone, does not mean you live alone, does not mean you will die alone.

    /rant Too bad there ain’t enough of us celibate by choice for other than religious reasons to really fight the GD stereotypes about us.

  • muggle

    Look what was posted while I was typing my rant.

    JC, the purpose of sex is to satisfy lust. Yes, it sometimes make babies and is sometimes used to express emotional love. If that was your point, it’s a ridiculous one. Don’t see them outlawing one night stands or sex outside of marriage or even trying.

    They’d have to arrest too many of their leaders and throw them into jail if they did every time they were caught cheating on their wives.

  • muggle

    Don’t see them outlawing one night stands or sex outside of marriage or even trying.

    Or, for that matter, demanding straight couples pledge to have or adopt children when they marry.

  • blueridgelady

    Oscar Gecko-

    Children are not the end-all and be-all of a relationship or marriage! The whole premise of your argument is flawed. Many couples are child-free by choice, including my non-married partner and I after 6 years of being together.
    You also compared a gay couple with a single mom. How is that the same? Do you think it’s easy as pie to adopt in this country?
    There are a lot of questions and inconsistencies that come up. And the whole animal thing is ludicrous. Humans can communicate clearly and give consent. An animal cannot clearly give consent to any contract, for one. I shouldn’t even humor the question, but I can’t resist.

  • Steve

    Humans have long outgrown their biological hardwiring. We don’t instinctively mate to make babies. That was the case even long before reliable contraceptives. We have sex for pleasure. Offspring is just the – sometimes undesired – side effect of that.

    And not just humans. There are primates that have sex for pleasure. Either with others or by masturbation. It’s well documented in Bonbobos for example. In fact sex – including f/f and m/m sex – plays a huge role in the management of their groups.

  • jose

    JC,
    I’m afraid I fail to see the connection between my question and your answer. Why should I hate homosexuality again? Because sex is only for having kids? That’s all I’ve been able to squeeze out of your comment :-/

  • JC

    Jose, my bad on not being clear. You should not hate homosexuality, but rather consider it as not good or that it hurts the soul of the person who practices it. I never attack a homosexual, if he asks me what is my stand point, I just say why I believe is wrong. Otherwise again I’m not to judge anybody.

  • blueridgelady

    Jose-
    I wouldn’t really try to grasp anything logical that user JC is saying. It’s all pretty offensive and misguided. I really don’t even want to respond to it because my post would be unread-ably long.

  • http://captainnomarriage.blogspot.com/ Captain No Marriage

    Most people pick and choose their Christianity like they’re at a Chinese buffet. They agree with the parts that have little or no bearing on their life.

    “Yeah I believe in Jesus and the cross…oh what? No premarital sex??? That’s just a typo!”

  • cat

    “any rule/law that says gay people are inferior to straight people,” See, this is the real crux of the issue, the part about whether or not queer people are inferior. Homophobes start with the assumption that heteros are better and run from there. Religion works great as an excuse to be a bigot, because then you will be less likely to be called out on things like the Appeal to Nature Fallacy when you do them again and again. Seriously, learning about and understanding the Appeal to Nature Fallacy should be mandatory before opening one’s mouth about queer people. “the notion that homosexuality is a choice” Is irrelevant, because it is part of a notion that is really just an Appeal to Nature Fallacy (the argument is that if being queer is a choice it is unnatural and therefore bad, pursuant to the appeal to nature fallacy).

    On the celebacy note, people above are right to point out that for some, celibacy is not a sacrifice and they enjoy it (this is distinct from those who see their celibacy as righteous suffering that makes them superior to others). However, for most people, living a permanently celibate life would invole suffering. Sexual connection and intimacy are very important to many people. Think of sports as an analogy. I myself would not mind at all if I never watched or participated in any sport ever again. However, for the people who like sports, this would be a great sacrifice. Celibacy works for you? Fine, whatever floats your boat. The issue is that this is an attempt to force celibacy onto people who don’t want it under the auspices that doing otherwise makes them evil.

    Oh, an I also needed to mention the ‘what sex is meant for’ thing. Meant for by whom? We are mostly atheists here, we don’t believe in a plan by god for our sex lives, and, this takes us back to ‘homophobic religious teachings’. If you try to take this notion into evolution, it just makes no sense. Any sex act that I can physically perform is within my evolutionary capability (I think there is a Kinsey quote to this effect…). Evolution isn’t some sort of conscious force that gives a rats ass if people have queer sex. Also, we can use our bodies for things that they did not directly evolve for, like, say, typing on a computer, and people do not call this evil…and I am trying to debunk an appeal to nature fallacy again, aren’t I? It always comes back to that…

  • Anna

    And, while we are on the matter of children… Same-sex adoption is in the “equality” boat. And, anyone who is against it is probably hateful too. As long as the parents can provide a safe environment… as long as they love the child… what is the harm? I can tell you first hand, that there is some harm to the child. I was raised by a single mother. I cannot tell you how many times there were questions I had growing up that I wished I had a dad to ask because there are just some things you don’t ask a mom. And, there are some things you just don’t ask a dad. And, to have a parent of both sexes makes it possible for a child to get answers they need. Adolescence is hard enough.

    Excuse me, but there are actual people here who were raised by same-sex parents. I’m one of them. I have two lesbian mothers, and I could not disagree more with your assessment.

    First of all, it is already legal for gay and lesbian people to adopt children (singly, if not jointly) in every state except for Florida, and the Florida ban is on its way out. This has nothing to do with same-sex marriage, and the religious right tries to confuse the two issues all the time. Failure to legalize marriage will not stop lesbians and gay men from adopting children, and it certainly won’t have any effect on them giving birth to children. The gayby boom has been going strong for over two decades now, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

    If you disagree with single women or partnered lesbians having children, you’re free to have your opinion, but please do not pretend that this has anything whatsoever to do with marriage equality. I would also like to point out that over 30 years of research does not support your conclusions of harm being done to children. If you were really interested, you could do some research and look at the 100 or so studies that have been conducted since the 1970s, including the recent longitudinal studies of children born and raised in two-mother families. Here are two places to start.

  • Steve

    The religious right just loves to compare single parents to same-sex parents. They do that all the time simply to confuse their audience and manipulate them.

    All studies show that it’s important to have two parents. The gender isn’t relevant. The children turn out just fine. There are children with gay and (usually) lesbian grandparents these days.

    But the bigots of course want to point to some disadvantages, so they try to tell people that it’s the same as being raised by single parents, which is indeed less than ideal, but has nothing whatsoever to do with the topic at hand.

    It’s also interesting to note that such children in some cases have rather extended families. For example in the early days of the “gayby movement” it wasn’t uncommon for lesbians to raise their children together with a gay man (or couple) who donated the sperm. Or they may have an acquaintance with another couple who used the same anonymous donor. The children may then treat each other as siblings.
    And of course many simply say that they don’t miss a mother or father and that they are happy with their two parents.

  • Samiimas

    If you think homosexuality is a sin, evil, wrong or ‘not good’ *whatever euphemism you use* than you are a bigot and we can thank you for the rash of suicides recently.

    Thanks for this post, it really explains why one of their favorite arguments to try to justify their bigotry, er, ‘beliefs’ is BS.

  • Jack Straw

    To apply blanket statements to all Christians based on the behavior of a few is prejudice. If you think someone is responsible for a rash of suicides because they read the same book that 2 billion other people read, then you are a bigot

  • JC

    Samiimas: Homosexuality is wrong, and not because I say so, Wrong is wrong and good is good.

    Lets start with a premise theist have:
    1.- There is God
    2.- He loves us and wants us to have a meaningful life
    3.- He is like a father that has rules for his house, so we all can live in harmony, and even though we disrespect him he still loves us.

    Believing all of this as True, creates you a set of values and morality based on those premises. I know “Fear of God” you may say, but if you grow spiritually enough it becomes “Love of God”.

    On the contrary, If there was no God, well I could understand that everybody would want to do what ever they pleased. Thank God for the Laws of Men as well, otherwise we would tear each other into pieces, what would happen without these laws for those don’t believe in Divine Justice (fear of God again :P) Sure sure… most atheist appeal to their “rational thinking” as if they had no impulses or feelings.. we are all humans, thinking that we don’t need rules is an utopia.

    I believe that a person is intelligent, but the collective society can behave like animals.

    If there was no God , I would still think that Homosexuality has bad implications.

    I don’t hate any homosexual, I have a cousin, friends, teachers etc.. who are homosexual and I don´t try to punish them, but that does not means that I encourage homosexuality and believe that is good for them.

    I realize now that without having the same premises, there can no be an agreement to the idea is OK or that is wrong Homosexuality, therefore, I just end up expressing my opinion and thinking behind this subject. BY THE WAY ! God Bless you all… I mean it. Oh and I’m not perfect nor you, so don’t hate us for thinking this way.

  • Samiimas

    You don’t hate homosexuals in the exact same way these people don’t hate blacks:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Identity

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    JC, I do not see where in your post you explain why you think that being gay is wrong.

    This is where I come from when I make a moral decision: Does it cause harm? If it does then does the good outweigh the harm. If there is no harm done or the good outweighs the harm done then it is morally permissible. It is a pretty basic rule but I think you’ll agree that it is a sufficient starting point. Given that we don’t want to be hurt you could also look upon it as a variation of the golden rule too.

    With regard to homosexuality can you demonstrate a harm? You see I can and Hemant has explained it in his original post. By denying the equal treatment of gay people we cause harm to them, we restrict their freedoms and deny them the same love that is available to straight people.

    You can’t claim that gay people are breaking a divine law. Surely you don’t need it explained that Leviticus applies not at all to Gentiles because that part of the law was fulfilled in Jesus? Nor do you need it explained that the Leviticus laws are ritual rather social, do you? Furthermore as a Christian surely you are aware of the greatest commandment from Jesus in Matthew 22:36-40. Apply this to your attitude towards gay people. Scripture does not support your position.

    You can’t even claim to be setting them right after they deviate from some moral course because you haven’t demonstrated a moral harm. Homosexual sex is at worse morally neutral. Being gay is entirely morally neutral because not one single moral action comes from simply being something. Gay marriage is actually morally positive because we are extending the same attitudes and social rule systems than straight people enjoy onto a group that has long been discriminated against.

    I think that you and many other Christians have been taught that simply being gay is morally wrong without ever having it explained to you why. I think that you are parroting the justifications that you have been given but that these really aren’t explanations. The logic of your argument simply does not join up. That means that either you have made an assumption and not explained it or that your logic is simply wrong.

  • JC

    Hoverfrog: I think that vane sex is the reason, but I can’t say that I have a PHD on this subject, for that I will deeply study in further both sides of the coin and find a better answer to either stand point. Thank you

    Samiimas: That was not fair, you are calling me some sort of Nazi & racist. but anyway.. May God forgive you.. “I Won’t” hehe just kidding. I see more hate in you towards me or people who is against Homosexuality (NOTE: Never I’ve said to Homosexuals) than me trying to explain my reasoning behind this.

    Thank you all for the mental and spiritual food …

  • Samiimas

    Name one damn way you’re different from them. They can use the exact same BS excuses you can, they can say they can just think it’s ‘sinful’ to be black and that they have nothing against blackness (note black people!).

    You just don’t like having it pointed out that you’re a bigot who considers gay people to be inferior to straight people. Don’t even try to argue you don’t think they’re inferior, you wouldn’t think they were wrong or sinful otherwise. You are responsible for those poor kids being driven to suicide. Bigots like you ruined their lives with your insulting crap about them being ‘sinful’.

  • Steve

    I don’t hate any homosexual, I have a cousin, friends, teachers etc.. who are homosexual

    That excuse doesn’t fly. You don’t need to tell them “I hate you” in their face to make it clear that you don’t respect them as persons.

    I don´t try to punish them

    But you do, and if it’s just by supporting and endorsing people who actively punish and hurt gay people. Like priests that preach against homosexuality in front of gay children or to parents who then teach their children to hate and torment gay children.

    The caller in this video could be you and he is rightfully torn to shreds:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDqZyJxLx0w

    but that does not means that I encourage homosexuality

    Another, absolutely nonsensical statement in same vein as “I don’t agree with homosexuality”. There is nothing to encourage or discourage. Homosexuality isn’t a chosen behavior. It’s a state of being. No matter the way you show and voice your disapproval, it will always be there. You can just make them miserable with your passive-aggressive treatment (and that’s exactly what it is), but that doesn’t make them any less gay.

  • cat

    @JC, all of your premises are false and number three is outright sexist as well. I suspect there is also an underlying hatred of women within your notions as well. “Traditional gender roles” involve oppression and brutality against women. If queer people defy them, this is a good thing.

    “On the contrary, If there was no God, well I could understand that everybody would want to do what ever they pleased.” A common anti-atheist slur and a basic 101 mistake that you should not be making on an atheist blog. Atheists do not commit crime at higher rates, and countries with more atheists actually have lower rates of poverty and violent crime in general.

    “I believe that a person is intelligent, but the collective society can behave like animals” People are intellegent and they are animals. You are adding an unecessary negataive connotation to the term ‘animal’ and assuming animal-like behavior is bad. Animals do a huge variety of things, including caring for infants, grooming, etc.

    “If there was no God , I would still think that Homosexuality has bad implications.” What are these, exactly? If you think I am evil, I would like to hear your reasons.

    “I don’t hate any homosexual” This is patently untrue. You are saying that we are inferior and our lives are immoral, that is hate.

    “I have a cousin, friends, teachers etc.. who are homosexual ” Well, the fact that you defensively mention this is pretty much proof positive that the shit you are saying is hateful. In any conversation about bigotry, when the bigot is called out and responds with “I have gay friends (black friends, etc.”, that pretty much proves they are being a bigoted ass.

    “I don´t try to punish them” Denial of legal rights is punishment, treating people as inferior is punishment, treating us as evil is punishment, repression and oppression are punishment.

  • Robert

    This is an honest question with no meaning to insult anyone. Isn’t it painting with a broad brush that all people are gay by no choice of their own? I am sure that is true for some, but isn’t it possible that some have chosen that lifestyle? Or certainly choose to engage in homosexual practices? As an example, there is plenty of homosexual practices by heterosexual men in prisons.

  • Steve

    But those people in prison aren’t gay. It’s just a sexual release and power mechanics. You can find similar things in other places with strict gender segregation. Saudia Arabia for example. Plenty of same-sex activity among both genders there. But if they have the opportunity to be with someone of the same gender, they take it. In fact, homosexual identity is a new and western concept there. There are more in line with the traditional Roman/Greek view, which survived somewhat in the Arab world.

    Are there people who claim to have chosen being gay? Yes. There are websites about that. But they are a tiny a minority. I think it’s save to say that the vast majority of GLBT people feel that they were born that way and struggled with it.
    If it were just about love and sex – yeah, why not choose to be with someone if it makes you happy or gives you pleasure. But why would anyone choose to be discriminated against in so many ways?

    However, it shouldn’t matter if it’s a choice or not. No one is harmed, so why does it matter why people do it?
    The reason why the choice argument is brought up so often is to refute the Christian right’s claims that it’s bad behavior or that people can be cured. And to refute the idea that it’s unnatural by portraying is a normal facet of sexuality (both in humans and animals). And as reaction, some changed tracks to the celibacy line…

  • muggle

    However, for most people, living a permanently celibate life would invole suffering.

    First, thank you, cat, for stating that it’s a valid choice for some of us. And for adding the above. I fully realize that this wouldn’t work for most people. I am not at all sure it would work for me if I didn’t have a child already. I can definitley remember a time I couldn’t have imagined it.

    What I objected to was all the stereotypes about celibates. They just don’t apply to those of us who are celibate by choice for the reason that it works best for our lives rather than some irrational reason such as it’s a sin outside of marriage. It is perfectly possible to condemn expecting homosexuals (or straight singles for that matter) to be celibate against their wishes without resorting to the stereotypes about celibates that Shore does in the article.

    Rather think you’re also right about the attitude towards women in not just JC but a lot of those protesting marriage equality.

    This is where I come from when I make a moral decision: Does it cause harm? If it does then does the good outweigh the harm. If there is no harm done or the good outweighs the harm done then it is morally permissible.

    Once again appreciating you, hoverfrog! Exactly. As per the constant attacks on single mothers too. (Yes, sometimes they say single parents but more often, it’s single mothers just aren’t as good as two parents.) I call bull on it and I read your words above and said aha, that’s why! Two good parents, yeah, you’ve got twice the energy and usually two incomes but even where there’s only one income, there’s less struggles with day care, housekeeping, etc. which usually winds up saving the family money.

    But if one of the two parent is not a good parent and/or mate, this just isn’t true and it’s better for the child(ren) to have the one overworked, harried parent than the one parent trying to do their best further drained by trying to counter the neglect of another parent just not putting in. In cases where one’s abusive, it’s even more evident. The good of my throwing my husband out after we shared a baby definitely outweighed any potential harm in it. Thank you very much.

    (I grant you in my case most people except the most rabid fundie nut cases agree with because he was abusive but I say that’s even true when the love is merely gone between the two parents. Even when they try to hide it for the kids’ sake, kids are so damned adept at picking up the vibes and it’s not good for them to live in a cold environment where they have the burden of keeping said parents together.)

    Thanks for the link, Steve. I’ve never heard of Michaelangelo before but he was excellent and spot on about his deductions. Definitely. And not just gays — though they’re taking the brunt of it — but the judgmentality of religion on so many people who don’t conform to their standards. People like JC and the caller do not realize what they’re doing. JC, if you haven’t, you should go listen to that You Tube.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    JC, I’m not really sure what you mean by “vane sex” but I’m going to guess that you mean sex as a kind of vanity or sex purely for fun. If that is what you mean then again I’m not sure where the harm is. Assuming that it is all consensual.

  • JC

    Hoverfrog, I don’t think you are inferior on the contrary, I consider you as an equal, since Im not perfect as well. I have my own demons to fight and I apologize if I acted with superiority airs..

    On other point: I do encourage the traditional family concept. I have a loving father that respects my mom, and a mother that took care of us since childs. I’m grateful for that. I know circumstances may call for different approaches but I have this as the ideal family structure.

  • Robert

    Thanks Steve,

    I do think it makes a difference in the debate if it is a choice or not. Most of those in the gay and lesbian community argue that they have no choice and as such they are being discriminated against for who they are, just like those discriminated against based upon race. If on the other hand it is a behavior choice, then they don’t have that argument.

    If the religious community is opposing behavior, it is not opposition based upon bigotry, it is based upon moral choices. Just as they should oppose prostitution or promiscuous sex.

  • Robert

    Hoverfrog,

    What you are describing the classic moral relativism. What you consider having value and not being harmful others may find of no value and harmful to them. In such a case, do you still make the decision in light of opposition to your cost benefit analysis?

    In my opinion there has to be some basis of moral standards that are not subject to the whim of every individual.

  • Anna

    On other point: I do encourage the traditional family concept. I have a loving father that respects my mom, and a mother that took care of us since childs. I’m grateful for that. I know circumstances may call for different approaches but I have this as the ideal family structure.

    You can like and “encourage” your particular family structure without denigrating or discouraging other family structures. I have two loving mothers who respect each other equally and who took take care of us children equally, and I consider that just as ideal as having a “traditional” married mother and father.

    I wouldn’t dream of trying to limit other people’s family options, but members of the religious right don’t treat people with LGBT families with the same respect. They think our families are inferior, and they’re bound and determined to lord their presumed superiority over us and enforce laws that stigmatize and delegitimize our families. Yet they would scream bloody murder if the same thing was done to them. Let’s introduce a bill that would forbid evangelical Christians from adopting children and you’d see how suddenly they’d be all for equal treatment under the law.

  • Samiimas

    *notes that JC did not name one damn way they were different from Christian Identity*

  • JC

    some of the Christian Identity movement’s followers hold that non-Caucasian peoples have no souls, and can therefore never earn God’s favor or be saved.[1] Believers in the theology affirm that Jesus Christ paid only for the sins of the House of Israel and the House of Judah and that salvation must be received through both redemption and race.

    Totally not my philosophy Samiimas nor what a real Christian is about, it contradicts everything that the Catholic church teaches.

  • Samiimas

    Name one argument you’ve used that can’t also be applied to them. They lie and say they don’t hate anyone. They don’t even vote against interracial marriage. By your standards theirs nothing bigoted about them.

  • Samiimas

    Here’s a quote from you: Homosexuality is wrong

    You said that, it’s right up there for everyone to see. Go ahead and Ctrl-F it.

    You’re a bigot who thinks gay people like us are inferior. You admitted it right there. I’m not gonna treat you any different than someone who says “racemixing is wrong” because you aren’t any different.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    JC

    Hoverfrog, I don’t think you are inferior on the contrary, I consider you as an equal, since Im not perfect as well. I have my own demons to fight and I apologize if I acted with superiority airs..

    That’s nice. I’m not sure why you are saying it but I suppose ..um.. thanks.

    On other point: I do encourage the traditional family concept. I have a loving father that respects my mom, and a mother that took care of us since childs. I’m grateful for that. I know circumstances may call for different approaches but I have this as the ideal family structure.

    It may well have been ideal for you but as you say that doesn’t mean it is for everyone. Again I’m not sure why you’ve mentioned this. Is it to juxtapose a family where there are two “dads” who raise children or something?

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    Robert

    What you are describing the classic moral relativism.

    I don’t think I am. I’m saying that there is no harm in simply being gay. I’m not saying that I don’t find it harmful but that it isn’t harmful.

    What you consider having value and not being harmful others may find of no value and harmful to them. In such a case, do you still make the decision in light of opposition to your cost benefit analysis?

    Not necessarily. It is certainly worth listening to advice and that may make me reassess my decisions. In this issue though I’ve just about heard all the arguments. Do you have any new ones?

    In my opinion there has to be some basis of moral standards that are not subject to the whim of every individual.

    Fair enough. What moral standard applies in the case of gay couples being granted equal rights to straight couples? On what basis would equality be denied?

  • AxeGrrl

    Anna wrote:

    You can like and “encourage” your particular family structure without denigrating or discouraging other family structures.

    Exactly :)

    What’s with the need to declare one family type to be the “gold standard” and ‘superior’ to all others?

    Families are all about love and support and commitment ~ those are the essential elements of ‘family’. Whenever those things are present, it should be celebrated and nurtured. It’s as simple as that, as far as I’m concerned.

  • Robert

    Hoverfrog,

    I wasn’t talking directly about the issue of gay marriage. I was referring to your general argument on making moral decisions.

    On the issue of gay marriage I am against it based upon my religious principles. I think it goes against the sanctity of marriage (but then our whole society has lessened the sanctity of marriage).

    There have been rules on who the government says you can marry for years even in heterosexual marriage. When I got my marriage license in Texas they asked if my bride was my cousin. So there is a public policy reason behind it, particularly if it is viewed as a behavior choice. So it could be argued that for public policy reasons the government will not lessen the sanctity of the traditional marriage between a man and a women by allowing gay marriage.

  • p.s.

    Robert:

    On the issue of gay marriage I am against it based upon my religious principles. I think it goes against the sanctity of marriage (but then our whole society has lessened the sanctity of marriage).

    That is a completely unconstitutional reason to ban gay marriage. Do you have any secular reasons why gay marriage should not be allowed?

    There have been rules on who the government says you can marry for years even in heterosexual marriage. When I got my marriage license in Texas they asked if my bride was my cousin.

    Actually, I believe there is only a law against marriage with first cousins, and that’s because of the chance of genetic mutations, not because the government of texas thinks it’s “icky”.

    So there is a public policy reason behind it, particularly if it is viewed as a behavior choice. So it could be argued that for public policy reasons the government will not lessen the sanctity of the traditional marriage between a man and a women by allowing gay marriage.

    public policy? What public policy?

    You need to understand that marriage, to the government, is not sanctimonious at all. It is a legal contract, nothing more. If your church wants to “perserve the sanctity of marriage” by not marrying gays, frowning on divorces, and whatever else it is you think “destroys” marriage, then that’s their prerogative. But please, don’t force your bigotry on the entire country.

  • Mike

    When I got my marriage license in Texas they asked if my bride was my cousin.

    Was she? :D

    Sorry, man. Couldn’t resist. Just kidding!

  • Steve

    As said, it’s forbidden to marry siblings or first cousins, because kids are at a high risk for genetic birth defects if the parents are closely related. So there is a valid, scientific reason to prevent it.

    There is no secular reason to forbid same-sex marriage. All the opposition comes down to religion, which per definition can’t be the basis of a law. Not that it doesn’t happen, but the courts are then free to strike it down.

    Also please learn the difference between civil and religious marriage. Two completely different things. You can get married without any religion involved. You can’t get married without the state being involved. In Europe, that’s even more pronounced. In some countries, you are required to have a secular wedding and the registrar’s office or town hall – the church wedding is entirely optional

  • Baconsbud

    I have been thinking about what JC said about vane sex. I haven’t fully understood what you mean by vane sex but am thinking it means sex for anything other then reproduction or to show your love of your partner. If love for another is an ok reason for sex then homosexual activity would be no different then heterosexual in that regard. if reproduction is all that is proper then do you tell all those loving couples who can no longer have kids to quit having sex?

    JC you also brought up traditional family values. Which of the many different traditions in the bible are you referring to? They had several different styles of marriages and also had concubines. Do you mean the traditions of the 1700′s where the male children were sent to others for training in some field of study? Do you mean the type of family you grew in as a kid or saw others growing up in? Tradition isn’t a good justification for denying anyone the right to be complete.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    Robert

    On the issue of gay marriage I am against it based upon my religious principles.

    A decision that you are entitled to hold. I suggest therefore that you simply don’t marry someone of the same sex. What reason do you have to deny others marriage?

    I think it goes against the sanctity of marriage (but then our whole society has lessened the sanctity of marriage).

    Marriage in some form existed long before religious organisations decided to try to take them over. Again, if you think that gay marriage is against the sanctity of the church then don’t have your gay marriage blessed in a church. You are free to marry without church involvement, why shouldn’t a gay couple?

    There have been rules on who the government says you can marry for years even in heterosexual marriage. So it could be argued that for public policy reasons the government will not lessen the sanctity of the traditional marriage between a man and a women by allowing gay marriage.

    Seriously, allowing gays to marry will destroy traditional marriage? Is that your argument? Easy enough to run a quick check. Scandinavia countries allows same sex marriage and have done for 15 to 20 years. Here is an article that details the impact. The conclusion is ‘Letting gay couples say “I do” does not lead to heterosexuals saying “I don’t.”‘

  • Robert

    I mentioned the rule on cousins as an example of governments making rules regrading who may marry who. These rules are for public policy reasons.

    I understand where you got hung up on the word “sanctity”. That was a bad choice of words on my part. I was trying to convey the traditional family unit of a man and a woman. There is no doubt that there is a strong public policy for supporting and not degrading that union which has for centuries been between a man and a woman. It is the centuries long family structure across the globe, it is the most stable way that children can be brought into a family by their parents, it provides the necessary commitment for support for both parties and their children and it preserves the traditional role of the institution of marriage.

    What arguments are there that it would be good public policy for gay marriage other then gay people want the right to get married. What is wrong with giving gay couples the right to a civil union as opposed to a marriage? Wouldn’t the same arguments being used to support gay marriage equally apply to plural marriages?

  • Robert

    Mike :) no she wasn’t my cousin, but she is beautiful!

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    Robert let me get this straight for you (no pun intended). Your objections are religious based on the teachings of the church that homosexuality is somehow inherently “sinful” and the tradition that marriage is between a man and a woman. That is two traditions by the way so your argument is one of tradition.

    If you look back at your bible and treat it as an historical record of social conventions of the time you’ll see that your “traditional marriage” was somewhat different than it is today. There are plenty of examples. Suffice it to say that society has changed since then. If you go back a little over 500 years the traditional form of marriage wasn’t sanctified by a church at all. If you go back less than a mere 100 years you’ll see that marriage between races wasn’t part of the tradition.

    Traditions change. You don’t have to adapt to them but they’ll change nonetheless. At some point gay marriage will be accepted as mainstream. It will be part of the tradition of marriage just as mixed race marriage is today.

    What arguments are there that it would be good public policy for gay marriage other then gay people want the right to get married.

    Isn’t not having a reason to withhold the equal treatment of gay people enough? Isn’t treating people equally enough? Don’t we want an equal society?

    What is wrong with giving gay couples the right to a civil union as opposed to a marriage?

    What is wrong with giving straight couples the right to form civil unions as opposed to marriage? Personally I’d like to see all marriages to be civil matters but the name is important to people who want to be married for some reason. Can you see why? If a civil partnership is marriage by another name then why not just scrap the name and call it marriage?

    Wouldn’t the same arguments being used to support gay marriage equally apply to plural marriages?

    Sure. If there is no harm to the parties involved and all are consenting adults then allow it. Unless you have a reason to deny equal treatment to a group then don’t deny equal treatment to a group. Of course poly marriages at least have the support of “tradition” in your Bible.

  • p.s.

    hoverfrog said most of it, I just wanted to add a few things:

    I mentioned the rule on cousins as an example of governments making rules regrading who may marry who. These rules are for public policy reasons.

    No. As we said before, it’s because any children they have together are potentially in danger. That isn’t at all the same as gay marriage.

    There is no doubt that there is a strong public policy for supporting and not degrading that union which has for centuries been between a man and a woman. It is the centuries long family structure across the globe, it is the most stable way that children can be brought into a family by their parents, it provides the necessary commitment for support for both parties and their children and it preserves the traditional role of the institution of marriage.

    err… [citation needed]
    This isn’t even true in the states. There are plenty of communities that traditionally have polygamous marriages. Traditionally, girls were married at the age of 10. Traditionally, women provided a dowry and marriages were set up by the families before the couple ever met. You seem to be cherry picking the “tradition” that you like. You do realize then that most marriages in the bible aren’t traditional then, right?
    Also, I would love to see your evidence that children are better adjusted in heterosexual marriages. Every argument I’ve seen is either purposefully misleading or a gross distortion of the facts.

  • Steve

    As for the difference between civil unions and marriage. Watch this (especially the first one):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wnvMSIIiHc
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwBsnklZpwM (from about 10:00 on)

    They are reenactments of the testimony at Prop 8 trial. The real ones were unfortunately withheld from the public. But it’s something that everyone should see. More than that really doesn’t need to be said about the topic. Words have power. And they can mean a lot to some.
    You’ll see that are some people with a more traditional view of relationships, who didn’t fully accept the 15-20 year commitments their children or friends made until they got married. And that video is hardly the only place where I heard/read that. It also shows once more that family means so much more than extremist Christians think. It seems that gay people know a lot more about family than some Christians.

    Or this:
    “separate but equal is inherently unequal”
    Ring a bell? It has been tried before.

    There are also far more tangible reasons. Civil unions with wide-ranging rights were enacted in New Jersey. Not all institutions and companies recognized them. People were still turned away in hospitals and companies still denied benefits. People simply don’t always know what it means legally. That’s all documented in legislative hearings. Even the politicians who enacted the law admitted that it was at best less than ideal and at worst a failure.

    As for polygamy. I really have not much of a problem with it in theory. But in practice, polygamy is pure patriarchy. Show me a group marriage where everyone is equal (the TV show “Caprica” portrays one, but in reality it doesn’t exist. It’s debatable if it could even work given group dynamics). Or a marriage between one woman and several husbands. Even historically, polyandry was extremely rare and usually involved things like one woman and two brothers. So no, it sounds nice, but it isn’t.
    There are also legal problems. What if the husband is ill or dead? Who makes medical decisions? Who inherits? What if there is a dispute among the wives? It just becomes very messy. Contracts between two people on the other hand are relatively simple.

    But in the end, it’s just a slippery slope argument that doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. Even if ironically, “biblical marriage” is exactly what you are arguing against.

  • Robert

    Hoverfrog,

    If we are to talk about equality for the sake of equality, then that gets us to the idea of whether being gay is a choice or not. If in fact it is a choice then it differs from race.

    But isn’t the equality argument from the gay community really just another way of saying let me marry because I want to? If so, then it is their burden to show that what they want would not cause harm to the established norms of society. Norms that have been established to promote what history tells us is best for society, that is a society that promotes and encourages the union of one man and one woman in the institution of marriage. It is not the burden of society to say and prove why not allow it.

    I do think that there is a strong public policy not to erode that traditional institution because once it is a free for all where will it stop. Won’t everyone have the same right to do what they want in the name of equality?

  • Steve

    Let’s not get into this choice nonsense again, ok? That horse has been beaten to death.

    The burden to uphold a discriminatory policy is on those wishing to uphold it. Not one those wishing to abolish it. Your side had the chance to bring forth arguments in court. All they could come up with boiled down to “procreation”. Which is patently absurd and was proven to be so by the judge.

    Tradition can never be an argument for anything. Tradition can’t be continued for its own sake. If we just did things because that’s how we always did things, nothing would ever change. That’s obviously not the case. Society changes ever more rapidly.
    Tradition isn’t always good either. Slavery was common for thousands of years. Or absolutism. We got over that. We got over a lot of other things that weren’t good, but accepted as the normal way of life at one point or another.

    And you have – for the umpteenth time – completely ignored that the nature of marriage has changed countless times over the last three thousand or so years. Modern western marriage is very different from what it was 500 or even 200 years ago. Both the secular and religious aspects of it.

    You don’t even understand equality. It doesn’t mean that everyone can do what they want. It means treating everyone equally. Are you deliberately missing the point or is that really so hard to understand?

  • p.s.

    Robert,
    to make that argument you need to prove that if homosexuality was a choice it is inherently a bad choice.

    If so, then it is their burden to show that what they want would not cause harm to the established norms of society.

    How? how would they harm anyone?? Why do you feel so threatened by someone else’s happiness?
    (also, that argument would have been a good argument for keeping slavery, preventing women’s suffrage, and keeping any potentially harmful status quo. )
    There is nothing wrong with challenging the norm.

  • Mike

    But isn’t the equality argument from the gay community really just another way of saying let me marry because I want to? If so, then it is their burden to show that what they want would not cause harm to the established norms of society.

    No! No, no, no! In an inherantly free society it is not the burden of a subset of that soceity to prove that granting them equal rights would not cause harm to society. “Because I want to” is the DEFAULT position in a free society. Laws are enacted to prevent certain actions because they are shown to cause harm to members of that society.

    Norms that have been established to promote what history tells us is best for society, that is a society that promotes and encourages the union of one man and one woman in the institution of marriage. It is not the burden of society to say and prove why not allow it.

    Norms are not universal across the country. The gay community’s norms are different than your norms. The norms of the Y-Genration are different from the norms of the Baby Boomers. Norms vary across gender, age, class, community and other factors. And I am curious as to what history you are referring to. Clearly the one man, one woman marriage has been the prevalant model in US history, but what evidence is there that tells us that it is “best for society?” And again, yes, in a free society, it is the burden of society to prove why granting equality to a subset is harmful to that society.

  • Robert

    This will be my last response. We are starting to go around in circles. I truly appreciate the discourse.

    Of course the institution of marriage has changed over the years. It is even different in cultures from arranged marriages as the norm in some countries to the notion of romantic marriages here in the West, but until the last few years it has always been between a man and a woman. Societies across the globe have set it up that way, even nonreligious societies or for nonreligious reasons.

    The established institution of marriage between a man and a woman has served our society well. In recent years this institution has lost its importance and there can be no mistaking that alot of our ills stem from this loss. To challenge that that norm even further I believe places the burden on those challenging it to show that it will do no harm. They also must show that there are no other less radical ways to solve the perceived prejudice that they claim exists. For example, during the civil rights debate, those in favor of civil rights were rightfully able to show that there was no separate but equal and and that discrimination did cause great harm. It wasn’t just we want it to be different.

    For example I think that it is unconscionable that loved ones in gay relationships are not allowed to see their partners in the hospital. That is terrible and should be stopped. But gay marriage is not the only way to remedy that harm.

  • Steve

    If we are going in circles it’s because you constantly repeat yourself and don’t answer any questions.

    but until the last few years it has always been between a man and a woman.

    No it hasn’t.

    First off, for much of human history it has has been one man, many women.

    Secondly, there were cultures in the past that had same-sex marriages. Or cultures that were tolerant of some such relationships without necessarily giving them legal rights. Legal same-sex marriages existed in ancient Rome. There were even formal religious rights for it in early Christianity!

    Or look at the two-spirit tradition among native Americans. That wasn’t so much about homosexuality, but about what we would call transgenderism today. Men who took on social female roles and women who took on male roles. In many tribes, those individuals were valued for their unique perspective and were shamans for example. And it wasn’t that uncommon for them take partners of the same gender. It was part of their culture and society until Christianity came along and screwed them up.

    The established institution of marriage between a man and a woman has served our society well.

    Yes. And your point is what exactly? That doesn’t mean that same-sex marriages can’t serve society equally well. Please explain how they have hurt Scandinavian and other European societies (without pointing at numbers that have no causal link to it)

    In recent years this institution has lost its importance

    That trend has been going on since the 60s and 70s. And your point is what exactly?

    and there can be no mistaking that alot of our ills stem from this loss.

    No. Low birth rates are a real problem for some western countries, especially in Europe. But that has been accompanied by an increase in cohabitation and single parenthood. People simply have families without getting married and have less children. The causes for that are very complex and not single-sourced.

    To challenge that that norm even further

    Explain how same-sex marriages directly impact opposite-sex marriages. Explain how straight couples are deterred from marrying. Explain how they are deterred from having children.

    All you people can do is deal in the hypothetical. To quote the famous words of the pro-Pro8 attorney in CA: “We don’t need evidence” and “We don’t know”. (the judge really mocked that in the ruling)

    hey also must show that there are no other less radical ways to solve the perceived prejudice that they claim exists.

    It has been shown. The inequalities between civil unions or domestic partnerships compared to marriages were a significant part of the Prop8 trial in California. Remember that CA has DPs that offer almost the same rights as marriages on a state level. Prop8 was still found unconstitutional in the face of an overwhelming mountain of evidence. Have you read the ruling? It’s a very interesting read.

    It has also been publicly debated and acknowledged in New Jersey. The New Jersey CU law was deemed a failure, even by some of the people who made it.

    And again, you are simply repeating yourself. You didn’t address any of the points raised by others about this.

    For example, during the civil rights debate, those in favor of civil rights were rightfully able to show that there was no separate but equal and and that discrimination did cause great harm.

    So discrimination against the GLBT community causes no harm? Little harm? That has to be proven to you? The harm it causes is staring you in the face. Even mainstream media is picking up on it every single week now. Some of it anyways.

    But gay marriage is not the only way to remedy that harm.

    It’s the only simple and foolproof way. Every other way involves a mountain of small changes to countless laws that won’t trickle down to everyone and inevitable won’t cover everything. Making changes to thousands of regulations bit by bit is not the right way to solve any of these problems.

    And if the solution is to have a law that creates CUs with exactly the same rights and obligations as marriage (which actually is the case in some states like Washington or Oregon), what’s the harm in calling it what it really is: marriage

  • Anna

    What’s with the need to declare one family type to be the “gold standard” and ‘superior’ to all others?

    Families are all about love and support and commitment ~ those are the essential elements of ‘family’. Whenever those things are present, it should be celebrated and nurtured. It’s as simple as that, as far as I’m concerned.

    Yes, this is what really boggles my mind. It’s like anti-gay detractors are a bunch of third graders going “Nyah, nyah, nyah. My dad’s better than your dad.” It’s not a contest. My family having equal rights does not take anything away from their families. It doesn’t make their families suffer in any way.

    Public policy should be in the business of ensuring that people in all family configurations have equal rights and responsibilities. It shouldn’t try to punish people for making “inferior” choices by denying them equal treatment under the law. Perhaps some anti-gay politicians think that if they make our lives difficult enough, LGBT families will cease to exist. But that’s not the case. I don’t think they even really believe that. I think it’s all about punishing “sinners” to them, and they don’t care about the collateral damage. So if children aren’t able to be legally protected, they don’t mind, because they’re so focused on punishing LGBT parents for choosing to create families in the first place.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    Robert, I see that you’ve said that you won’t respond any further so I’ll add my comments for the benefit of silent readers.

    If we are to talk about equality for the sake of equality, then that gets us to the idea of whether being gay is a choice or not. If in fact it is a choice then it differs from race.

    Yeah, who cares? As the Stonewall adverts say: Some people are gay, get over it. It really doesn’t matter if they are gay because they were born gay or whether something in their environment made them gay. There are gay people, we should treat them as equals. You know why? Its because they are.

    But isn’t the equality argument from the gay community really just another way of saying let me marry because I want to?

    Yes it is. Absolutely it is. Two people want to get married. They aren’t hurting anyone. Let them get married. FFS is it that difficult to understand?

    If so, then it is their burden to show that what they want would not cause harm to the established norms of society.

    To be blunt, fuck the norms of society. Do they hurt any people? Do they actually, genuinely cause any harm by loving one another?

    Norms that have been established to promote what history tells us is best for society, that is a society that promotes and encourages the union of one man and one woman in the institution of marriage.

    Just like black people marrying white people you mean? “Society” thought that this was wrong, that it went against tradition, that it wouldn’t be best for any children? Well you’ve got a president who came from a mixed race marriage. The first one in American history. A break from a long line of white only tradition. Get over it.

    It is not the burden of society to say and prove why not allow it.

    Yes it is the burden of society to change. That is what society does from one generation to the next. It adapts and alters its perspective. It says “that was wrong then” and “this is right now”. That is what is beautiful and inspiring about living in a progressive society.

    I do think that there is a strong public policy not to erode that traditional institution because once it is a free for all where will it stopHopefully it won’t ever stop. Who wants to live in a society that has stagnated? That isn’t your argument though is it? Your argument now is that if we allow same sex marriage now then we’re on a slippery slope to allowing people to marry goats and frogs and rocks. This same argument was used for mixed race marriages not that long ago. It was fallacious then and it it fallacious now. All they want is the same as you, to marry the person that they love and have that love recognised. Why is that wrong? Why?

  • http://tinarussell.wordpress.com/ Tina Russell

    As a Christian, I strongly endorse this post. We must fight hate and bigotry in our communities or we are tacitly condoning it.

  • http://hopelessly-romantic-cynic.tumblr.com/ Erica

    Y’know, I don’t even care if it is a choice. I don’t care if they were born gay or something in their enviroment made them gay or if one day they woke & decided, “Hm…I think I’ll be gay today.” I don’t think that’s the point. We have freedom of choice in this country and that right should be respected.
    I don’t think the “Murder is a choice” example is a very good one for why it’s important to understand that homosexuality isn’t a choice. Violence is harmful to society–there are more reasons than “it’s a sin” or “it’s a choice” that it’s illegal. The same cannot be said for homosexuality. Whether it is a choice or whether you are born gay, it does not harm society as a whole or bring non-homophobes unnecessary grief for someone to be gay.
    It is, however, harmful to society to discriminate against any group. People are killing themselves because they’re being bullied for being gay. That’s what’s wrong with society–not the fact that there are people who don’t fit “the norm”.

  • SamuelCornell

    Actually, as a Christian I believe that I am to participate fully in my church and in helping and loving all around me, regardless of race, religion or creed. I do not even vote as I believe that we as Christians should not dictate our morality unto nonbelievers, nor should we have influence on a secular Government. The bible says we are to love those who hate, despise, take advantage of, and kill us. IT also says that we should have faith and trust in God. We are not even promised, or told to guarantee for ourselves religious freedom.

    Personally, as a Christian, I advocate the maximum amount of freedoms and choices for all people as long as it does not create any physical harm outside of the boundaries of your own skin.

    I believe Jesus was for Maximum freedoms for all people as we are called to overcome all forms of evil and carnal primitive desire to walk a path of righteousness.

    I honestly don’t understand why most modern Christians do not see the gospel of unending love and compassion for all humans, without limits. That we are only called to preach the gospel, heal the sick, and help those in need. Beyond that we are risking our salvation. This is especially true when attempting to manipulate legislative code in order to force our beliefs onto all peoples, especially nonbelievers.

    As a Christian, I believe we need to focus on personal righteousness and being held accountable to God, The Church, and ourselves. We need to work tirelessly to be a witness to the nonbelievers instead of trying to eliminate them or limit their freedoms.

    I can only imagine how many millions of people just in the United States that the modern Christian church has, through its actions, turned away from God. And how many more have taken their own lives, the lives of others, or have indirectly lost their life due to the close-minded, hateful, bigotry and intolerance that seems to flow through the modern “body of Christ” in our world today.

    Their Blood is truly on our hands…

  • Brandon

    Obviously there are way too many comments above me to read them all…so I just read the original article/post and skipped down to here, to respond to the original. Here goes:

    Rest assured, I’m making a difference in any way I can. I used to be Christian…now I’ve gone atheist. I went through a homophobic phase, then a phase of bi-curiosity, but after realizing that I really was straight (women are too darn beautiful to me =P) I still supported those who were not. I’ve made an active effort to support the LGBT community, and I’m in a school organization for the anti-bullying efforts of said community. Please, don’t lose hope in us Allies. We are here, we will not be queit, and eventually you and we will laugh at what others said would never happen. Love is love is love, and as long as it is not unhealthy (i.e. spousal abuse…which traditionalist Christian society ignored for many centuries), it is a beautiful thing that I will never fight against…but will always fight for. <3

  • Wutever

    I agree with you. Some christians are not capable of understanding the person their condeming. They don’t want to because they are taught that it is evil to care and try to understand the so called evil doers. Fact is think for a moment and realize this is the only time where you could fall in love, have pain, and learn from all of your experiences that all that matters in life is the people you love. Thats all you got, thats all they have. Do you really want to make more people to suffer because you disagree with the way they love? Is it really Okay to but into someone elses life and tell anyone how to live. The only way you should be against a life style is if they are actually wanting to and destroying lives of others, or taking others free will. God doesn’t do it to them so why should you. Let them have the love and the good in life its short and what ever happens in the end they have those memories of good times and thats truly better than praising some god for eternity. The best things are the shortest lived and the greatest treaser isn’t in a treasure chest but in the heart.  


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