A Christian Speaks Out In Support of Gay Relationships

It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, we ought to celebrate it.

Alise Wright, a Christian and a frequent commenter on this site, has a wonderful post on her site about how she has come to not just “accept” or “tolerate” gay people, but rather affirm their relationships.

If I came to the conclusion that homosexuality was not a sin, there could be a rift in relationships with a number of people –- people who probably thought I believed the way I did on nearly everything else just to be contentious. I didn’t know how to look at a pastor and say, “I think you and most of your colleagues with years of biblical training are wrong about this issue.” I didn’t know how to tell my family, “Add this to the list of thing that I don’t agree with you about.” I didn’t know how to tell my kids, “You’re probably going to be told that homosexuality is a sin, but I don’t think it is.”

What caused her to jump from simply “being nice” to gay people — which so many Christians seem to think is the limit to their tolerance of the GLBT community — to affirming their relationships is her realization that her god is all about love, and why would a loving god condemn two consenting people from having a relationship?

Obviously, that reasoning doesn’t work for me.

But from the viewpoint of all those Christians who go on and on and on and on about how their faith is all about love — and then quickly back off when it comes to supporting same-sex marriage and the equal rights that come with it — at least Alise makes some sense.

The Christian church in this country can only change from within, and it’ll take more people like Alise coming out publicly in support of gay couples to make that happen. I’d love to see other Christians take a cue from her — have the courage to support gay relationships and gay marriage, no matter what the people in your church are going to say.

  • CanadianNihilist

    Yes that’s all very nice. However, as long as fundamentalists are teaching their own children hate and ignorance the chruch will never change from within.
    Most people that realize that gay people are in no way a threat to marriage become anglicans or another offshoot that is accepting.
    I think she’s going to find it very hard to remain where she is if she’s not blindly agreeing with everything she’s told.

  • Jack Blythe

    Whilst I applaud Alise for taking the step and time to use her own powers of thought and reason to come to the understanding that she has with regards to gays she is simply wrong.

    The bible is quite clear about homosexuality being wrong. Therefore if you do not agree with it you are picking and choosing which bits of the bible apply to you. As soon as you do this it is only logical that the bible and its message is meaningless to you.

    Alise’s only option is to start herself a new religion or find a religion that supports her beliefs. She cannot continue being a Christian with “faith” when it is obviously causing such a definite rift in what she knows (as a free thinking person) and what her religion says.

  • L.Long

    And to continue…
    As long as they claim the buyBull is their holey book and the word of g0d then as individuals they may make certain decisions but the general xtians will continue the hate.
    In fact how does SHE reconcile her feelings with her holey book?
    And if she can say truthfully that she feels this is right then SHE is making the moral judgment so why is the buyBull necessary?

  • GregFromCos

    I remember a conversation I had with my mother about this whole issue. This was after the Tyler Clementi situation.

    She told me. The problem is that people just are not tolerant of others. And my response was to point out how thats worked in the past.

    How did tolerance work in the schools after desegregation was instituted? If children were being taught intolerance at home, and were simply told to be tolerant at school. Did it work?

    How about with interracial marriages? Is simply being tolerant enough? The test is always the children. Will they be able to show true tolerance, if it is only skin deep?

    I asked the same thing of the LGBT individuals. Did she honestly think that tolerance was possible while there was such deep seated intolerance of them under the surface? How could you expect children to be tolerant, if it were not honest tolerance. She agreed that it was not really possible.

    I’d like to think it made a difference. She’s certainly never said anything like that again around me.

    But I do think that as more and more young individuals get older, when they are seeing that LGBT individuals are just like the rest of us on TV, they will be less likely to be intolerant under the surface. Especially when they see the true character of those who are most intolerant.

    It’s only a matter of time, and this will go the same way as Civil Rights and Women’s Rights.

  • http://urbanmennoniteblog.com Ryan

    Maybe this is just not as true in the U.S., but in Canada we’ve had entire denominations affirming homosexual relationships since at least the 80’s. I’m pretty sure at least United Church of Christ down there is affirming, and probably lots of others in the Protestant mainline as well. We still have some that don’t affirm in Canada, too, but this post makes it sound like Alise is the only Christian in the world who thinks this way and that is not even close. I’m sure media-bias plays into it, too – it isn’t as news-worthy to talk about the many affirming churches as it is to talk about Westboro Baptist – but I just wanted to point out that Christianity is not as homogeneous as this site often makes it out to be.

  • CanadianNihilist

    It is true that we have it a lot more acceptance in Canada. Sure there will always be bigots but I don’t remember the last time a a prime ministers religion was an issue. I don’t know and I’ve never heard it asked. As far back as I can remember religion has never been successfully used to gain votes either.

  • Danny Wuvs Kittens

    Ryan, keep in mind this is an American website, not Canadian. Where I live, in a small, bible-belt town, people like Alise are EXTREMELY rare. I haven’t met a single person anywhere near as progressive as she in person.

  • Phoebe

    I agree with L.Long.
    I know plenty of Christians who accept homosexuals as regular humans, yet they *claim* to believe that the bible is the “literal word of god and the truth”. How is this possible? Do they not feel the heavy weight of cognitive dissonance? They CANNOT believe that gays are okay AND believe the bible that says gays are an abomination. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to believe gays are an “Okay abomination”.

  • Kayla

    Since I believe in the separation between church and state, even though I am a Christian, I have no problem with gay marriages at all. I don’t see how you can justify discriminating against gays, except via the scriptures and how you interpret them.

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com Anna

    Ryan,

    Maybe this is just not as true in the U.S., but in Canada we’ve had entire denominations affirming homosexual relationships since at least the 80?s. I’m pretty sure at least United Church of Christ down there is affirming, and probably lots of others in the Protestant mainline as well. We still have some that don’t affirm in Canada, too, but this post makes it sound like Alise is the only Christian in the world who thinks this way and that is not even close.

    A lot depends on where you live. There are many affirming churches in the United States, but they tend to be concentrated in liberal areas and are affiliated with progressive or mainline denominations, not the evangelical subculture. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I can step outside my house and find at least six or seven LGBT-affirming churches within a ten-minute drive. For people in rural towns, it may be almost impossible to find a Christian church that affirms LGBT people, let alone one that identifies with the evangelical “Bible-believing” subculture that Alise is part of.

  • Dave

    @ Danny

    “Ryan, keep in mind this is an American website”

    Sorry, did I miss something? When did this become an ‘American’ website? It is run by an American, and has a lot of posts based on American events, but I like that it gives a lot of coverage to international atheism and scepticism, and commenters come from all around the world – not just ‘America’ (which could include Canada, Mexico, … :) ) but from everywhere, including here in NZ.

  • Ibis

    @Phoebe It’s not that difficult to reconcile the two. One strategy is to claim that when the bible declares it to be an abomination it is not referring to consensual, loving partnerships which happen to be homosexual, but temple prostitution or sexual exploitation of youths by older men. Another is to say that it was a prohibition that is no longer relevant or was only in place before the coming of Christ —— like many other abandoned restrictions such as those about diet (shrimp anyone?) or clothing (how about some mixed fibres?). A third is to dismiss as ‘contextual’ or ‘metaphorical’ anything in the bible that doesn’t coincide with modern, enlightenment-derived morality such as gender inequality or slavery. Pretty poor rationalisations, but affirmation of homosexuality is in no way near unique in the cognitive dissonance department.

  • Ibis

    @CanadianNihilist The last instance I can recall was when Paul Martin was pressured by the Catholic Church not to go ahead with legalising gay marriage. He replied that his job as PM was to uphold the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and that was what he was going to do. Some church officials called for his excommunication, but his parish priest backed him up.

    As for successfully gaining votes via religion, I think you’re wrong there. The Conservative Party here is just more subtle about it. The religious have also been somewhat successful at shaping (what passes for) policy in the past few years. Check out Marci Mcdonald’s book The Armageddon Factor.

  • http://www.hillsideslide.blogspot.com TinaC

    @CanadianNihilist- “I think she’s going to find it very hard to remain where she is if she’s not blindly agreeing with everything she’s told.”

    Agreeing w/ everything she’s told is just not Alise. Never has been. In fact, that was made explicitly clear w/in her post. She’s known for voicing her opinion, even when it doesn’t line up with the popular crowd.

    Not sure what causes you to make that assumption about her or her church. Are you cognizant of the variation within Christianity in the US?

  • marylynne

    Did you see the comment from Jackblythe?

    “Hi Alise.

    Why do you need a God to love?

    You came so far in using your ability to reason consider what is right for you. Why does the basis have to be in the Bible. Imagine living a life where you could be free to do what you know is right without having to bend, twist and interpret your bible to make it say what you want it to say. Imagine if the only “faith” you had to have was in your ability to make the best decisions you can about how you live you life.

    If your god exists, a god of only pure love, I am confident that I, as an Atheist, will be judged by my actions, deeds and beliefs rather than whether I had “faith”. If I conduct myself in a way that is intended to not cause harm to others, to try to love my fellow beings as best I can, and to be considerate to others when directing my mind to make decisions in often complex and trying circumstances, why would such a god (of love) choose to punish me?

    You are a brave person for going against what you have been taught, told and threatened with for what you instinctively know is right. Just keep asking yourself why it is that you need to refer to your bible and not just yourself.

    If god is love then what is the need for god? Just love……”

    Fabulous. Alise is responding to comments, I marked it to go back and see what she says. Even those disagreeing with her conclusions are being thoughtful and polite, I hope this tone can continue.

  • mitch

    “being all about love” doesn’t mean you have to let people do whatever they want. It means loving them regardless of what they choose but still believing there is a better way that leads to a fulfilled life. Choosing not to sin is not about what you can’t do it is about how that choice helps your life be better as a whole.

  • http://sassyseminarian.blogspot.com Julie

    Jack Blythe said:

    Whilst I applaud Alise for taking the step and time to use her own powers of thought and reason to come to the understanding that she has with regards to gays she is simply wrong.

    The bible is quite clear about homosexuality being wrong. Therefore if you do not agree with it you are picking and choosing which bits of the bible apply to you. As soon as you do this it is only logical that the bible and its message is meaningless to you.

    Actually, the Bible is pretty unclear about homosexuality, because homosexuality as we know it did not exist in first century Palestine and such surrounding areas. Jesus never said anything about homosexuality, and the verses used against it from the Old Testament aren’t about consenting, same-sex relationships. So it is still possible to be a faithful Christian and not view homosexuality as a sin. We don’t all check our brains at the door and ignore the context in which the Bible was written.

  • Wim

    Even some preachers try…against all hope?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s30ZKjNfRlU

  • http://cheapsignals.blogspot.com/ Gretchen

    My mother is a gay-affirming Christian, and sees no conflict there at all. Her rationale is the same as Alise’s, basically– God wants us to love each other, and gays are capable of loving each other just as much as straight people are, so what’s the problem? If you told her that she was picking and choosing from the Bible, her answer would be “Yes, but so what? Everyone does, whether they admit it or not.” Not every Christian thinks that they have to believe that the entire Bible is true or else their faith is meaningless.

    I first started accepting homosexuality when I was still a Christian, and that was pretty much how I justified it in my mind. I later became an atheist whereas my mother did not, but we both flatly reject homophobia for essentially the same reason. Mine just doesn’t include “God wants” in front of it.

  • http://defendingreason.wordpress.com/ Ben

    I think a few of the earlier responses are being a bit harsh in that they’re not admitting that many, if not most, Christians aren’t biblical literalists. Yes, they pick and choose, as we all know they do. They claim that context is important for many of the rules, and so now some of them are just applying that same rule to homosexuality.

    As a gay man, I actually applaud Alise for taking a stand and applying her belief that God/Jesus is all about love. Too many Christians will only pay lip service and then continue hating.

    Good on you, Alise. One day though, I wonder if you might come to the conclusion that you don’t need any of the Bible in order to be a loving and accepting person.

  • http://www.alise-write.com Alise

    Thanks Hemant for linking over to the site. I appreciate it. And thanks to those who have stopped by and read the piece and to those who commented. I know my story isn’t unique, even among people of faith, but I still hope that it sparks conversations with people who maybe don’t know someone in their own circle who is affirming. And I hope that as more who are affirming speak up, the easier it will be for others who feel that way to ALSO speak up. The tides are turning, even within the church. I’m very happy for that.

  • http://www.loreleiarmstrong.com Lorelei

    I never liked the use of the word “toleration” because it always implies a negative. We’re never asked to tolerate something good. Why should anyone have to tolerate strangers’ marriages? Some of those within your own family maybe…

  • Robert W.

    Despite the perspective of the homosexual community, the Christian faith is not defined by the verses in the Bible that declare homosexual behavior to be a sin. There is so much more to the faith and so many more sinful acts that are treated exactly the same way.

    A person becomes a Christian by placing their trust in Jesus Christ and accepting him as their Lord and savior. After that point, their life changes and they strive to follow Him and His teachings.

    Part of that teaching is to love your neighbor as yourself and to not judge others. However, another part of that teaching is to try to avoid immoral behavior of all sorts, including homosexual behavior, adultery, promiscuous sexual relations outside of marriage, lying, being prideful, etc… The whole idea is to give up your will to the will of Christ and to become more like Him.

    So being a Christian can mean that you can love a person, not judge them, accept them and yet believe that some of their choices are against Biblical teaching. You don’t have to reject Christianity or its teachings to love all just because you don’t affirm homosexual behavior as being a moral choice in line with Biblical teaching.

  • Edmond

    @ Alise: As a gay man, I ‘d like to thank you for your courage to speak out against the dogma in your religion that you can see is obviously wrong. It takes a lot to oppose the established powers and the status quo, even in the name of a good cause. I do have to agree with my fellow atheists, that your ability to rationalize your way to your conclusion demonstrates the problem with scriptural interpretation. Religion’s personal customizability just makes it too unlikely that any religion holds any real truth. But it’s always heartening to see a believer come to the logical conclusion that there’s nothing evil about homosexuality.

    @ Robert W.: And that’s a question that you need to answer. Why do you include homosexuality on your list of “immoral behaviors”? Most of the others make some kind of sense, I can think of a pretty good argument against each of them, but I don’t see the point in including homosexuality. How is it immoral? Why is it a sin? What are god’s standards for choosing what WILL be a sin, and what WON’T be? If someone is attracted to their same gender, why is it SO WRONG for them to pursue that kind of relationship? What crime is being committed? Why is it better for society that those people should be condemned and marginalized, than that they should be accepted for who they are and respected for their differences, as you would expect for yourself?

  • http://criticallyskeptic.blogspot.com Kev Quondam, Kevque Futurum

    @Edmond:

    Just ignore Robert. He’s a fundie troll who always shows up on topics about homosexuality, waffles about for a while, then vanishes when people are able to put up a good defense to his arguments.

  • Robert W.

    Edmond,

    It is my belief that the Bible is clear that homosexual behavior is immoral based upon the overall premise in the Bible that sexual relations is moral only in the context of a marriage between a man and a woman. You of course don’t need to agree with that view.

    Kev,

    I don’t run from the arguments you raise. i will always stand for my beliefs as i suspect you will as well.

  • http://criticallyskeptic.blogspot.com Kev Quondam, Kevque Futurum

    @Robert W:

    It’s fine and dandy that you have that belief. I don’t agree with it, but I would defend your right to have your bigoted beliefs. It’s a part of America, free speech is paramount. But when you don’t defend a person’s right to be married to a person they love, you’re trying to shove your belief down the throat of someone who does not agree with that belief. Would you be incensed if a government official tried to declare bacon illegal because Muslims and Jewish persons think it’s non-kosher? Why is being gay something deserving of the ire of government?

    And as for the last part, you appear to have run away from defending your position on this topic – http://friendlyatheist.com/2011/02/01/illinois-passes-civil-unions-bill/#comments

    I’m sure there are others.

  • Robert W.

    Kev,

    But when you don’t defend a person’s right to be married to a person they love, you’re trying to shove your belief down the throat of someone who does not agree with that belief

    No, I am defending my moral beliefs just as you are promoting yours. As I have said before the secular laws regarding marriage don’t allow everyone to marry who they love. That argument is not exclusive to the same sex marriage issue and is not the reason states regulate marriage.

    As for the other post I will agree that ended abruptly. It certainly wasn’t because I was afraid of the arguments against my position. I will certainly acknowledge when I agree with those that supply solid arguments against my position.

  • Edmond

    @Robert W.: You didn’t answer my question in the least. I’d like to know WHY homosexuality is immoral. I already understand that you BELIEVE that is, based simply on the fact that the bible says so. But why does the bible say so? What is the basis for making this a sin? I’m imagining god, considering the subject, and then saying to himself “No, I’ll have to make homosexuality a sin because _________…”

    I’m having trouble filling in that blank. We don’t kill, or steal, or rape, because those actions would harm someone, and we wouldn’t want to be harmed ourselves, so we extend that same courtesy to others. This is why our secular laws also forbid these things. But secular law does not forbid homosexuality as the bible does. Why the disparity? Why is it that secular law has considered the subject, and found that it should NOT be forbidden?

    If you deem homosexuality immoral simply on the merits of what the bible tells you, then it should follow that you equally abhor haircuts, tattoos, shellfish, polyester, and any number of other such “evils” banned in the bible. You should also be a fan of quarantining menstruating women outside of town, slaughtering children for teasing bald men, and making a quick buck for the sales of your daughters.

    This is obviously sarcasm, but I hope it illustrates that lessons on morality, coming from the bible, might be considered questionable AT BEST by anyone who has researched the book (not to mention the infuriating cherry-picking). Without a clear REASON for banning something, with well-defined examples of HARM, I would be highly suspect of supporting such a ban. We are talking about an act between consenting adults, that does not interfere with anyone else’s freedom to live their lives, including their desire to procreate. The Christians’ blind, baseless motivation for enforcing this ban DOES bring harm and trouble to MY life, and it’s a shock and an insult that they don’t see this and press on with their oppressive efforts.

    If I lived according to the bible’s instruction, I would either live lonely and celibate, longing unfulfilled for a companion, or I would awkwardly and painfully involve some poor woman into a loveless, desireless relationship, where I am likely to cheat on her, possibly exposing her to STD’s. In fact, this happens everyday, due to people believing that their sexuality should be a “certain way” or they will be shunned or hated. But sexuality doesn’t work that way, despite the bible’s wrong-headed attempts to force people into boxes that don’t fit. What the bible asks me to do is to abandon happiness in order to live up to some standard that I neither understand nor agree with. Further, and worse, it has fostered an environment where gay people actually FEAR FOR THEIR LIVES and are subject to some of the very shoddiest treatment, simply because they express their love a little differently. THIS is what is immoral, this encouragment of disparaging and disenfranchising people for something as meaningless and trivial as sexuality.

    This is Pascal’s Wager exposed at it’s very worst. If you are wrong about your religious beliefs, then you participate in the censure of people who do not deserve it.

  • Edmond

    AND, you can give no clearer reason for doing so than that you were told to.

  • http://criticallyskeptic.blogspot.com Kev Quondam, Kevque Futurum

    Robert… Robert… Robert…

    You didn’t think I’d catch it but I did. First off, I don’t think I have to say anything especially impressive because Edmond’s post is basically the gist of everything behind this – so answer him.

    But this part:

    As I have said before the secular laws regarding marriage don’t allow everyone to marry who they love.

    I’m going to assume you mean people can’t marry children, animals, siblings, or multiple people – am I right?

  • Robert W.

    Edmond,

    God’s moral directives are designed by Him for our good. It is clear that his directive tells us that sexual relations between a man and a women in marriage is the ideal and is the best for what inevitably results from this intimacy, children. It is also the natural design for how he designed us for sexual relations and the creation of offspring.

    As for your choices that you describe, there is another one that thousands of people choose and that is to denounce their homosexual behavior and become happy people involved in heterosexual relationships.

    I am sure you will dispute this but I have seen studies that have shown that within the homosexual community there is a much higher instance of promiscuity (as many as 60 sexual partners on the average in one study), a much higher instance of STDS, a shorted lifespan more instances of emotional and physical disease, etc. From what I have seen it is not always a population of happy well adjusted people who are pleased with themselves or living a moral, chaste lifestyle. An honest and sincere question- Is that wrong as an average? I know there will be people that don’t fit those statistics.

    Let me ask you a question- Societies around the globe have, with very few and short lived exceptions, universally shunned homosexual behavior and declared it immoral and in some cases even outlawed it. Most of these societies are not Christian. Why do you think this is?
    Living a moral life means not always giving into our desires. I could change your questions above and say I know that I am just not one to commit so I should be allowed to sleep around, cheat on people etc, because that is my desire. It wouldn’t make it moral.

    I agree with you that homosexual people should not be shunned or fear for their lives. They should be loved just like everyone else. But that doesn’t mean that I need to be told to accept their moral choices or I am a bigot. That is forcing their morals on me which is what they resent having done to them.

    Kev,

    My point was broader then that. The secular laws regulating marriage have never been based upon allowing people to marry who they love. They have always been based upon setting up a community sanctioned institution that is best for children. That means that I cannot marry anyone that I maybe in love with- my cousin, someone who is already married, someone who is underage, as examples.

  • ACN

    Forcing their morals on you would be forcing you to be in a homosexual relationship. Or reversing the current situation in the US and allowing state sanction of marriage only between homosexuals and forcing heterosexuals to fight for their marriage rights.

    If you think that living in a society where the right of civil marriage is extended to homosexuals is somehow oppressive of your rights as a heterosexual, I just don’t know what to tell you.

  • Robert W.

    ACN,

    If you think that living in a society where the right of civil marriage is extended to homosexuals is somehow oppressive of your rights as a heterosexual, I just don’t know what to tell you.

    Don’t confuse the issue. Extending marriage to homosexuals when society feels that it is immoral or not good for society to do so is forcing your moral standards on others.

  • http://criticallyskeptic.blogspot.com Kev Quondam, Kevque Futurum

    Robert:

    Damn your canards to the abyss:

    […] much higher instance of promiscuity […] a shorted lifespan, more instances of emotional and physical disease […]

    Do you think that these possibly are because gay persons are looking for acceptance in a world and society that spits in their face and tells them they deserve to remain lonely and sad their entire lives?

    Do you think that if more people in society gave them equal abilities to love and raise a family and marry and considered them equal that these would possibly shift?

    Do you think that if families accepted their gay sons and daughters, if school bullies weren’t given a slap on the wrist for beating the shit out of a gay classmate, and if gay teenagers were allowed to express and be themselves that there would be less suicide?

    (As per your STD canard – the fastest growing rate of HIV/AIDS infections is in straight females in Africa, the highest rate in America are straight females in Washington DC – not gay people.)

    From what I have seen it is not always a population of happy well adjusted people who are pleased with themselves or living a moral, chaste lifestyle.

    Is this a symptom of homosexuality or of a society that seems hell-bent on making sure gays remain second-class citizens?

    Societies around the globe have, with very few and short lived exceptions, universally shunned homosexual behavior and declared it immoral and in some cases even outlawed it. Most of these societies are not Christian. Why do you think this is?

    Cause the rest of these societies are in other ways religious? Or because these societies were patriarchal? Or because these societies were in other ways backwards? As we get into a more secular, progressive world, isn’t it better to look forward rather than backwards?

    They have always been based upon setting up a community sanctioned institution that is best for children.

    Bull. Shit. Marriage as an institution was about granting ownership privileges and ensuring that a family line continued to live on. People married because they needed children, not because it was best for them.

    Religion co-opted marriage and turned it into a holy sanction, which is fine for the times, but we don’t need religion to define what makes a marriage a marriage.

    That means that I cannot marry anyone that I maybe in love with- my cousin, someone who is already married, someone who is underage, as examples.

    See, I knew you’d do this! No, gay marriage will not lead to pedophilia or incest or polygamy or bestiality. Consenting. Adults. What part of those words do you not understand?

    (And no, I don’t actually have a problem with incestuous or poly- marriages – as long as there is no coercion, why can’t it happen – squicky feelings aside.)

  • Robert W.

    Kev,

    Do you think that these possibly are because gay persons are looking for acceptance in a world and society that spits in their face and tells them they deserve to remain lonely and sad their entire lives?

    What is it about society thinking homosexual behavior is immoral causes a homosexual to become promiscuous, have multiple sexual partners. engage in dangerous sexual practices, etc.?

    Why blame the consequences of these decisions on society? Truth be told, if a heterosexual engages in this same type of risky activity they run the same risks and have the same results yet you can’t blame that on societies perception. It is well documented , even in the homosexual community that this behavior exists.

    (As per your STD canard – the fastest growing rate of HIV/AIDS infections is in straight females in Africa, the highest rate in America are straight females in Washington DC – not gay people.)

    Comparing Africa to the US is not a proper comparison. Also, the rise in AIDS cases in DC is among women who engage in prostitution, not a fair comparison. Please look at this study from the CDC:

    http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/Newsroom/msmpressrelease.html

    Is this a symptom of homosexuality or of a society that seems hell-bent on making sure gays remain second-class citizens?

    Or is it a symptom of a group of people who give in to their desires, despite them being destructive and who have lower moral standards when it comes to sexual behavior?

    See this article for example:

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/2008/sep/08091011

    Cause the rest of these societies are in other ways religious? Or because these societies were patriarchal? Or because these societies were in other ways backwards? As we get into a more secular, progressive world, isn’t it better to look forward rather than backwards?

    Who is to say that a more secular society is a better society? Look at some of the purely secular societies around the globe and see if they are better off. Also, look at the persecution of homosexuals in communist countries- clearly this isn’t the result of religious influence.

    Bull. Shit. Marriage as an institution was about granting ownership privileges and ensuring that a family line continued to live on. People married because they needed children, not because it was best for them.

    Religion co-opted marriage and turned it into a holy sanction, which is fine for the times, but we don’t need religion to define what makes a marriage a marriage.

    Whether it was for ownership, inheritance, or linage it was for children that marriage was set up as a societal institution. Even in our culture where we have more open property laws, marriage as an institution was for the benefit of children- it establishes their parents and who has an obligation over them, it gives them legitimacy, it gives them protection, etc. It was not for who you loved solely. That is the fundamental shift that the same sex supporters want to make.

    See, I knew you’d do this! No, gay marriage will not lead to pedophilia or incest or polygamy or bestiality. Consenting. Adults. What part of those words do you not understand?

    And why not? If we set the standard on marriage as any person you love, then where do we draw the line? Actually you are already seeing some of these effects in Canada. Using that basis groups are trying to overturn the laws regarding polygamy.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28776588/

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com Anna

    I think you guys are beating a dead horse with Robert. I’ve been on this merry-go-round ride before, and he will never go against what he believes his deity wants, period. He will happily defend the concept of hell, argue that biblical slavery was moral, that unequal treatment of women is not sexism, and that treating LGBT people as equals is bad for society.

    Sorry, Robert. But I get tired of hearing bigotry justified. As I may have mentioned in one of our previous discussions, I have two lesbian mothers. They have been together for over 30 years and they raised two children together. There is absolutely no reason to deny them marriage rights. There is no difference between them and a heterosexual couple of a similar age, and I find it disgusting that my family is relegated to second-class status because of what some ancient book says.

  • ACN

    Maybe you can help me understand Robert. Are someone else’s moral standards being forced on you anytime it becomes legal to do something that you find immoral?

    Could you clarify what you mean when you say that “forcing your moral standards on others”? Right now it sounds like we have very different ideas about what this means. I take it to mean something along the lines of “forcing you to commit/engage in a behavior that you find to be immoral”. I cannot figure out what you mean by it.

  • Robert W.

    Anna,

    I know we have had these discussions in the past and I have found you to be an articulate and caring person. Your mothers have raised you well. That being said, it doesn’t change my beliefs on the issue you mention, although I do disagree with your take on some of them.

    ACN,

    Here is what I mean in this context- When it comes to state approval of the institution of same sex marriage, state approval is saying that it is an equivalent moral choice as marriage between a man and a woman. But the argument goes beyond simply secular approval of these unions, the fight is for the affirmation of them as being morally equal in all contexts of society and that those who oppose that behavior are bigots and have no rational basis to do so. As the posts in this thread reveal, it is not enough to simply live and let live, those that support same sex marriage can and do expect others to accept that at being equally morally equivalent and as such they are demanding that we that oppose it accept their view of morality.

  • http://www.alise-write.com Alise

    What is it about society thinking homosexual behavior is immoral causes a homosexual to become promiscuous, have multiple sexual partners. engage in dangerous sexual practices, etc.?

    I admit, it’s hard for me to understand how being told that you’re worthless wouldn’t have a negative affect on your self-worth. How being told that you’re unlovable wouldn’t make you feel as though you have no right to love. How being told that you’re immoral wouldn’t make it more likely that you would choose risky behavior.

    If you’re a person of faith and believe that our words have the power to bring life and death (Proverbs 18:21), how could you not also believe that words about someone would not have some impact on their life?

    And I can’t understand why it would make more sense to translate arsenokoitai as a loving gay relationship when all of the other parts of the passage refer to things that have clear, negative consequences.

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com Anna

    Robert,

    I know we have had these discussions in the past and I have found you to be an articulate and caring person. Your mothers have raised you well. That being said, it doesn’t change my beliefs on the issue you mention, although I do disagree with your take on some of them.

    Well, I don’t expect you to change your beliefs on my account. I was just reflecting on why any discussion with you tends to go around in circles. Simply put, you’re not willing to change your mind. No matter what kind of evidence is presented, your beliefs will remain the same. This is why I believe it’s usually fruitless to debate with fundamentalists. Your opinions are faith-based. They revolve around what you believe your deity said in your holy book, and nothing that happens in the real world can ever change that.

  • http://criticallyskeptic.blogspot.com Kev Quondam, Kevque Futurum

    @Robert: (Apologies for large post)

    What is it about society thinking homosexual behavior is immoral causes […]?

    Having a negative self-image of one’s self could possibly show as needing and wanting to be loved. Some gay persons might closet themselves for acceptance while others may try to find acceptance in the arms of multiple, anonymous partners.

    Why blame the consequences of these decisions on society? […]

    Some heterosexual persons involved in the same risky behavior also do so for similar reasons. While there are those who merely have sex for sex’s sake, I would imagine that you’d find that the numbers of hetero- and homosexual persons involved in risky, promiscuous sex for hedonistic reasons to be about the same.

    […]Please look at this study from the CDC:

    From that study:

    Research shows that a range of complex factors contribute to the high rates of HIV and syphilis among gay and bisexual men. These factors include high prevalence of HIV and other STDs among MSM, which increases the risk of disease exposure, and limited access to prevention services. Other factors are complacency about HIV risk, particularly among young gay and bisexual men; difficulty of consistently maintaining safe behaviors with every sexual encounter over the course of a lifetime; and lack of awareness of syphilis symptoms and how it can be transmitted (e.g., oral sex). Additionally, factors such as homophobia and stigma can prevent MSM from seeking prevention, testing, and treatment services.

    Also it mentions they don’t have accurate estimates for heterosexual men and women and drug users.

    […]
    See this article for example:

    Linking an article to a self-hating gay man from an extremely biased source is hardly evidential.

    Who is to say that a more secular society is a better society? […]Also, look at the persecution of homosexuals in communist countries- […]

    Most secular societies do seem to be better off. Lots of European countries are largely secular, and they sure seem fine off (Sweden is highly secular, and I want to move there.) As far as communism goes – you’re replacing religious worship of gods with the deification of a dictator, it’s very similar.

    […]marriage as an institution was for the benefit of children- it establishes their parents and who has an obligation over them, it gives them legitimacy, it gives them protection, etc. It was not for who you loved solely.

    And why can’t a gay family have the same obligations, legitimacy, and protection? I know that in a traditional way, gay parents can’t have children, but they can adopt, or use surrogates, or in vitro fertilization.

    That is the fundamental shift that the same sex supporters want to make.

    Are you married? Did you marry because you love your wife? Would you marry someone you didn’t love because it was set up that way? I’m going to say you probably wouldn’t, and neither would anyone in any kind of relationship, so again. Bull. Shit. Marriage nowadays is about love.

    And why not? If we set the standard on marriage as any person you love, then where do we draw the line? Actually you are already seeing some of these effects in Canada. Using that basis groups are trying to overturn the laws regarding polygamy.

    CONSENTING. ADULTS. That’s where you draw the line. And as I said above, there is nothing inherently wrong with polygamy or incestuous relationships – would fuck up the books and have some weird estate laws, I’m sure, but that’s an entirely different beast.

  • Steve

    marriage as an institution was for the benefit of children

    BULLSHIT. Complete and utter hogwash.

    The sole purpose or marriage was to keep the family line going. Especially the male family line. For noble families, marriage was a way to both hold onto their own possessions and increase their influence by allying and marrying themselves to other families. That was pretty much the only use they had for daughters.

    This was exactly the reason why the Catholic Church demanded celibacy at some point. They didn’t want to lose their wealth and lands to the children of priests and bishops (the higher up were basically nobility and rulers in their own right in some countries).

    Peasants had so many children not for fun, but because they were a cheap source of labor. And to provide for the parents when they got older.

    In both classes the children existed for the benefit of the parents, not the other way around.

  • Edmond

    @Robert W.

    God’s moral directives are designed by Him for our good. It is clear that his directive tells us that sexual relations between a man and a women in marriage is the ideal and is the best for what inevitably results from this intimacy, children. It is also the natural design for how he designed us for sexual relations and the creation of offspring.

    Well, if he’s up there directing all this, then he’s the one who MADE me gay, and it’s pretty perplexing to think that he doesn’t want me to LIVE this way. If he wanted me to be with a woman, it would have been pretty simple for him to have made me heterosexual instead. Why direct me to this “ideal”, and then ensure that I would have no interest in it? What if I don’t CARE about having any kids? I’ve NEVER wanted any, and yet I don’t have any Christians telling me that THAT’S immoral. I don’t choose to be gay, and yet that’s “immoral”. I don’t choose to have kids, and yet that’s ok. Can you see why I would have a problem with such mixed messages?
    There are often MANY different ways to do something besides what is “ideal”. If I have found love and happiness in my life, then gods (and humans) who tell me I am “wrong” for it are simply wrong themselves. They obviously have other interests in mind besides my happiness.

    As for your choices that you describe, there is another one that thousands of people choose and that is to denounce their homosexual behavior and become happy people involved in heterosexual relationships.

    Well, bully for them for embracing their bisexuality. I am NOT bisexual, I could NOT enter into a heterosexual relationship without making both myself AND my partner miserable. I still see no reason to denounce homosexuality. If you can find happiness in such a relationship, you should pursue it. If you can’t find it, well, straight people don’t always find it either. You just keep looking. If you like men AND women, then your options are that much more open.

    I am sure you will dispute this but I have seen studies that have shown that within the homosexual community there is a much higher instance of promiscuity (as many as 60 sexual partners on the average in one study), a much higher instance of STDS, a shorted lifespan more instances of emotional and physical disease, etc.

    The only thing that I would dispute is your inclusion of the ENTIRE homosexual community in your statistics. If you look again, I think you’ll find that all of these stats only represent the MALES of our community. Lesbians are curiously absent from all these measurements. Does this make lesbians the most moral of all? I doubt you’d concede that. The only thing these statistics demonstrate is that men are promiscuous horn dogs, but I think we all already knew that.

    From what I have seen it is not always a population of happy well adjusted people who are pleased with themselves or living a moral, chaste lifestyle. An honest and sincere question- Is that wrong as an average? I know there will be people that don’t fit those statistics.

    My partner and I don’t fit those statistics, we’ve been happy for 7 years together, and look forward to many more. I know many other gay people just like us. And I know PLENTY of heterosexuals that are NOT happy, well-adjusted people, both married and single. Neither group can claim to be the Ambassadors of Happiness. Maybe you’d have a point if the heterosexual divorce rate wasn’t at 50%.
    And you’ve had enough other people here tell you the results of constant disparagement on someone’s self-esteem. Gay people might be happier, better-adjusted people if it weren’t for the constant browbeating against being gay. Of course, we’ll never know that until the browbeating STOPS.

    Let me ask you a question- Societies around the globe have, with very few and short lived exceptions, universally shunned homosexual behavior and declared it immoral and in some cases even outlawed it. Most of these societies are not Christian. Why do you think this is?

    Because humanity is a backwards, cruel, primitive, superstitious, tribal species. But many of those societies are moving TOWARDS acceptance of homosexuality, with the realization that it is a private act between consenting adults, and that a society that values freedom cannot possibly be so intrusive as to ban it. You don’t convince me that the world would be a better place if we lived as if it were yesterday, or centuries ago. Some of those societies also don’t believe that women have any place of authority in a man’s world, I hope you don’t agree with that, also.

    Living a moral life means not always giving into our desires. I could change your questions above and say I know that I am just not one to commit so I should be allowed to sleep around, cheat on people etc, because that is my desire. It wouldn’t make it moral.

    “Sleeping around” doesn’t have anything to do with morals, as long as you aren’t hurting anyone. In regards to morality, the key word you used was “cheat”, and THAT’S what you should avoid if you want to be moral. But people can be promiscuous without cheating or being dishonest. They can even do it without contracting any STD’s, if they protect themselves.
    Living a moral life means not harming others, no more, no less. Our desires, provided they are NOT about harming others, have nothing to do with morality. If we are fulfilling every single one of our desires, and doing it without causing harm, I don’t see why any gods need to be bothered by it.

    I agree with you that homosexual people should not be shunned or fear for their lives. They should be loved just like everyone else. But that doesn’t mean that I need to be told to accept their moral choices or I am a bigot. That is forcing their morals on me which is what they resent having done to them.

    No, we resent being force to LIVE according to your “morals” (I think what you actually mean is “values”. In fact, in this whole discussion, I think “values” is a better substitute every time you talk about “morals”). Your beliefs about homosexuality often become the basis of LAWS that we must abide. We are trying to craft more equitable laws that are fair for EVERYONE. You will not be “forced” to do ANYTHING. But because of Christian dominionism, my partner and I ARE forced to find other ways to cement our bond and protect our mutual proprietorship.
    But STILL none of this answers why a GOD would decide to make homosexuality immoral. He likes men and women to pair up a certain way? Then why MAKE people gay? He wants us to be loved like everyone else? Then why KNOWINGLY encourage an atmosphere of hate? He can see the future, can’t he? He must’ve known in advance what a world of trouble he was making for gay people.

    I just can’t make any of this add up. God wants us to be happy, but only as long as we live like someone else. God doesn’t want us to be gay because it doesn’t make children, but he doesn’t care if we’re STRAIGHT but don’t make children. God wants us to enter into heterosexual relationships, but makes some of us disinterested, or even disgusted, in the idea. God doesn’t want people to be promiscuous, but he doesn’t want gay people to be able to get married.

    These logical inconsistencies are just more nails in the coffin of theology. As long as I’ve got PEOPLE telling me what god wants (and no god telling me himself), and those “directives” seem to be in direct opposition to my own happiness, while increasing THEIRS, I’m going to be very suspicious of their motives. I see no morality in telling me to avoid what makes me happy in favor of that which makes OTHERS more comfortable.

    Again, if you are WRONG about your religion, then you are HELPING to warp my life and make it more difficult. If you are RIGHT, then my life should be between me and god, and you should focus on your own.

  • http://criticallyskeptic.blogspot.com Kev Quondam, Kevque Futurum

    Edmond… can I have your babies?

  • Robert W.

    Gentlemen and Ladies,

    Alot to respond to. it will have to wait until tomorrow. Have a nice evening.

  • AxeGrrl

    Kev Quondum wrote:

    Edmond… can I have your babies?

    May I get in line after Kev? :)

  • AxeGrrl

    Robert W wrote:

    the argument goes beyond simply secular approval of these unions, the fight is for the affirmation of them as being morally equal in all contexts of society and that those who oppose that behavior are bigots and have no rational basis to do so. As the posts in this thread reveal, it is not enough to simply live and let live…..

    (my emphasis)

    Robert, the problem is that you’re the one who won’t “live and let live” ~ you’re determined to have the gov’t endorse your particular personal morality at the expense of other people. People of the same sex marrying has absolutely NO negative effect on you, but your desire to prevent them from marrying could have a very real and negative effect on their lives.

    See the difference there?

    Why should other people suffer from lack of rights, etc simply because your particular morality (which isn’t shared by as many people that share it) dictates that it’s ‘morally wrong’?

    If you truly cared about ‘live and let live’, you’d have absolutely no agenda to prevent other people from marrying the person they love. But that’s not the case, is it?

    If you suddenly lived in a society whose majority felt that heterosexual marriage was ‘immoral’ and felt that they should be able to legislate that view, what argument would/could you have in response?

    Especially if their ‘reason’ was the same as yours…….”because it’s what we believe” ?

  • AxeGrrl

    Edmond wrote:

    The only thing that I would dispute is your inclusion of the ENTIRE homosexual community in your statistics. If you look again, I think you’ll find that all of these stats only represent the MALES of our community. Lesbians are curiously absent from all these measurements. Does this make lesbians the most moral of all? I doubt you’d concede that. The only thing these statistics demonstrate is that men are promiscuous horn dogs, but I think we all already knew that

    EXACTLY! and thank you so much for making that point. I’m soooooo tired of the anti-gay tribe saying things like “well, just look at the stats, homosexuals have the highest rates of STIs” and not admitting that those stats don’t reflect all gay people…..

    especially when they’re attempting to make the point that ‘higher stats of STIs = greater immorality’ (and I see that a lot).

    Whenever I encounter a believer who spews such disingenuous ‘points’, I make the same point that you just did ~ and then I (mainly facetiously) say “if we come to any conclusion about the stats, it would be that God doesn’t like sex that involves penises, since the sex that doesn’t involve any penis is the ‘safest’

    That’s right Robert, if we’re talking about some kind of correlation between STDs and ‘morality’, God apparently favours lesbianism over heterosexuality :)

  • Robert W.

    Alise and Kev,

    I admit, it’s hard for me to understand how being told that you’re worthless wouldn’t have a negative affect on your self-worth. How being told that you’re unlovable wouldn’t make you feel as though you have no right to love. How being told that you’re immoral wouldn’t make it more likely that you would choose risky behavior.

    Having a negative self-image of one’s self could possibly show as needing and wanting to be loved. Some gay persons might closet themselves for acceptance while others may try to find acceptance in the arms of multiple, anonymous partners.

    The reason people engage in dangerous and promiscuous sexual practices is varied and has multiple causes. I am sure for some it is a sense of negative self worth, both in the heterosexual community and the homosexual community. However, the studies did take that into account in at least one I saw. But that really isn’t the point. The point is that it is well documented within the homosexual community (at least the male homosexual community) that promiscuous sex with multiple partners is the norm and that long lasting monogamous relationships appears to be a rarity.

    These dangerous practices of course leads to health consequences, both mentally and physically. It also goes against what the normal reason for marriage is- a stable, monogamous sexual relationship with one partner for life. (I understand that some people engage in open marriages, etc. But you would have to admit that this is not the norm.)

    Linking an article to a self-hating gay man from an extremely biased source is hardly evidential.

    Please look at who the article was quoting. A homosexual journalist is saying that empty, emotionless sexual relations with multiple partners is the norm in the homosexual community. At least among men.

    Most secular societies do seem to be better off. Lots of European countries are largely secular, and they sure seem fine off (Sweden is highly secular, and I want to move there.) As far as communism goes – you’re replacing religious worship of gods with the deification of a dictator, it’s very similar.

    The jury is still out on these societies. The time frame that they have been highly secular and in fact that they have allowed same sex marriage is very short. There is already some growing evidence on the negative effects of same sex marriage in these countries. In the Netherlands, which was the first country to legalize same sex unions, marriage has all but disappeared.

    And why can’t a gay family have the same obligations, legitimacy, and protection? I know that in a traditional way, gay parents can’t have children, but they can adopt, or use surrogates, or in vitro fertilization.

    I have stated many times that there are in my opinion legitimate secular reasons why the state has an interest in persevering marriage as being between a man and a woman.

    Are you married? Did you marry because you love your wife? Would you marry someone you didn’t love because it was set up that way? I’m going to say you probably wouldn’t, and neither would anyone in any kind of relationship, so again. Bull. Shit. Marriage nowadays is about love.

    CONSENTING. ADULTS. That’s where you draw the line. And as I said above, there is nothing inherently wrong with polygamy or incestuous relationships – would fuck up the books and have some weird estate laws, I’m sure, but that’s an entirely different beast.

    These two comments go together. The reasons two people decide to get married and the states interests in legitimizing that marriage are two different issues. The state has never been concerned with you being allowed to marry who you love as the sole criteria. That is why certain unions were not recognized as legitimate marriages. That is why there are laws against incest and polygamy. That is why there are laws against marrying close relatives. Long ago the state determined that a marriage between one man and one women who was not a relative was in the best interest of society. Nowhere on the marriage license application does it say are you in love.

    Edmond,

    I just can’t make any of this add up. God wants us to be happy, but only as long as we live like someone else. God doesn’t want us to be gay because it doesn’t make children, but he doesn’t care if we’re STRAIGHT but don’t make children. God wants us to enter into heterosexual relationships, but makes some of us disinterested, or even disgusted, in the idea. God doesn’t want people to be promiscuous, but he doesn’t want gay people to be able to get married.

    If you truly want to know what God wants for your life, I would suggest that you read the Bible, pray to Him and seek counsel. God is interested in your salvation as much as he is in your earthly happiness. Both of those come together if you follow his commands.

    Did God make you homosexual? I don’t know but I am fairly certain that he doesn’t concern himself solely with the orientation of who you feel the need to have sexual relations with. The Bible is pretty clear that sexual relations is designed from a Biblical perspective to be between a man and a woman in the context of a monogamous marriage. I’m also fairly certain that God is not saying he wants you to be happy by having sex with whomever you please.

    Axegirl,

    Robert, the problem is that you’re the one who won’t “live and let live” ~ you’re determined to have the gov’t endorse your particular personal morality at the expense of other people. People of the same sex marrying has absolutely NO negative effect on you, but your desire to prevent them from marrying could have a very real and negative effect on their lives.

    My comment was directed to those posts that say that we must affirm the homosexual lifestyle as being equally morally equivalent to a heterosexual one.
    And when it comes to the context of radically changing a societal institution like marriage, then the burden of proof is on those that which to change it to show that it will do no harm.

    EXACTLY! and thank you so much for making that point. I’m soooooo tired of the anti-gay tribe saying things like “well, just look at the stats, homosexuals have the highest rates of STIs” and not admitting that those stats don’t reflect all gay people…..

    Of course those studies are dealing with homosexual men. There are very few studies of stds in the lesbian community. But here is one:

    http://www.healthscout.com/template.asp?page=newsdetail&ap=1&id=501227

  • http://hoverFrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    Robert W.

    You know another group of people who have higher than typical rates of STIs, engage in serial monogamy and casual sex? Yes, young people in the 16 to 25 age group. These deplorable and obviously wicked people should clearly not have the same rights as those of us who are over 25. They are a danger to themselves and others. Frankly I’m surprised that they are allowed out on the streets without a responsible pensioner to look after them.

    /sarcasm

    Who cares if a group of people (any group) has higher instances of something that you think is bad. They are permitted to have sex with who they want. They are permitted to make mistakes and act in a manner to which you may not approve. You and Club Christian don’t have a right to limit the freedoms that others enjoy. You just don’t. If one group is a higher risk than another then I’m sure that insurance adjusters will pick this up and charge them a higher premium as a result. That is about the limit to how they should be treated differently. And that is only if they are statistically likely to present a higher risk to life and limb.

    Your use of these statistics is irrelevant. We don’t grant or withhold freedoms because of probability. We grant freedoms because it is better if people are free. We don’t treat people well because they are statistically more likely to treat us well (although they may be). We treat people well because treating people in a positive way is a good thing in and of itself.

    Isn’t that obvious?

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com Anna
    And why can’t a gay family have the same obligations, legitimacy, and protection? I know that in a traditional way, gay parents can’t have children, but they can adopt, or use surrogates, or in vitro fertilization.

    I have stated many times that there are in my opinion legitimate secular reasons why the state has an interest in persevering marriage as being between a man and a woman.

    Kev, translation: he doesn’t care about us. There are no “legitimate secular reasons” why the state should restrict marriage to heterosexual couples at the expense of LGBT couples and their families. Robert wants the state to promote marriage between heterosexuals. Okay, that’s all fine and dandy, but the state can do that without denying those same rights to a small minority of the population.

    And Robert, all platitudes aside, you think my family is inferior and should be treated as such. You claim that you think my mothers raised me well. I don’t actually care very much what you or other conservative Christians think about my family. Feel free to disapprove. I care about how my family is treated under the law, and the way my family is currently treated under U.S. law is unacceptable to me.

  • Robert W.

    Hoverfrog,

    Who cares if a group of people (any group) has higher instances of something that you think is bad. They are permitted to have sex with who they want. They are permitted to make mistakes and act in a manner to which you may not approve. You and Club Christian don’t have a right to limit the freedoms that others enjoy. You just don’t.

    I will remember this when these same groups want tax dollars to deal with the health effects of their bad behavior,like when Planned Parenthood takes $300 million tax dollars a year. If you don’t think that widespread sexually transmitted diseases or other health hazards from promiscuous behavior is a community wide social health crisis then you are mistaken.

  • Edmond

    Of course those studies are dealing with homosexual men. There are very few studies of stds in the lesbian community. But here is one:
    http://www.healthscout.com/template.asp?page=newsdetail&ap=1&id=501227

    I’m surprised you had the temerity to post this study. I wonder if you were hoping no one would read it. 5 out of 39 is NOT an interesting statistic. Let’s see a study with a sample size of 3900 and THEN it might start to look impressive. Of COURSE lesbians are not 100% free of STD’s. Almost anyone who’s ever had any sex at all is potentially at risk. This study does NOT tell us how many of those 5 women had sex with other women who themselves had sex with men. But even if it did… 5? Really?

    In any case, Hoverfrog dismissed the relevance of ANY of these statistics:

    Who cares if a group of people (any group) has higher instances of something that you think is bad. They are permitted to have sex with who they want. They are permitted to make mistakes and act in a manner to which you may not approve. You and Club Christian don’t have a right to limit the freedoms that others enjoy. You just don’t. If one group is a higher risk than another then I’m sure that insurance adjusters will pick this up and charge them a higher premium as a result. That is about the limit to how they should be treated differently. And that is only if they are statistically likely to present a higher risk to life and limb.

    And Anna summed up what I feel is a VERY important point in this argument:

    There are no “legitimate secular reasons” why the state should restrict marriage to heterosexual couples at the expense of LGBT couples and their families. Robert wants the state to promote marriage between heterosexuals. Okay, that’s all fine and dandy, but the state can do that without denying those same rights to a small minority of the population.

    The state can agree with you about the “ideal” relationship format, but that does NOT also mean that they must BAN ours. There IS room for BOTH. Discrimination should not be a goal of the state. Allowing gay people to participate in marriage will NOT prevent straight people from doing so.

    If you truly want to know what God wants for your life, I would suggest that you read the Bible, pray to Him and seek counsel. God is interested in your salvation as much as he is in your earthly happiness. Both of those come together if you follow his commands.

    If there’s a god who truly wants something for my life, he can tell me himself what it is. He needs to stop sending other humans, because I don’t believe they have their facts right. Being omnipotent, he should already know what I think of the bible. I have no interest in taking “morality” lessons from ancient people who thought that bats were birds, and held conversations with their donkeys. Salvation is an absurd concept, “rescue” from a danger that god himself created? Why even CREATE Hell in the first place, and then create humans that he KNOWS are already destined for Hell? That would be like me writing a novel, knowing full well before I even began that I was going to toss it in the trash when I was done, but then blaming the novel for being bad. The idea that humans NEED salvation from anything is ludicrous, nothing but a blatant mythological scare tactic.

    The only person I need to consult for what is appropriate in my life is ME. If you believe that I should be checking with god first, it’s your freedom to believe that. But don’t call me “immoral” just because I disagree. I believe that morality is about avoiding bringing harm into the world. My actions, my sexuality, do not bring harm to you or anyone else. But the Christian directive to oppose and oppress my life DOES bring harm to me. How am I going to trust the Christian model of morality, if my own experience tells me that it’s immoral? That’s a pretty big gap to bridge.

  • Edmond

    And no, no one will be having my babies. Sorry.

  • Edmond

    I will remember this when these same groups want tax dollars to deal with the health effects of their bad behavior,like when Planned Parenthood takes $300 million tax dollars a year. If you don’t think that widespread sexually transmitted diseases or other health hazards from promiscuous behavior is a community wide social health crisis then you are mistaken.

    I hope, then, that you are prepared to restrict the rights of HETEROSEXUALS who are contributing to the spread of STD’s, AND that you will be giving exemptions to gay people who AREN’T contributing.

  • Edmond

    Besides, if you think that someone is committing “bad behavior” that merits punishment, then the proper response is to fine them or imprison them, not to curtail the rights of the ENTIRE GROUP that those individuals might be a part of. This would be like claiming that ALL Muslims are culpable for the destruction of the WTC, and concluding that ALL Muslims must therefore be forbidden the right to assemble. You can believe that gay people are responsible for any STD epidemics in the country, but it’s quite a stretch to decide that ALL gay people must be punished for it, and no one else.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    Robert W.

    I will remember this when these same groups want tax dollars to deal with the health effects of their bad behavior,like when Planned Parenthood takes $300 million tax dollars a year. If you don’t think that widespread sexually transmitted diseases or other health hazards from promiscuous behavior is a community wide social health crisis then you are mistaken.

    Exactly. It is the spread of sexually transmitted diseases that need to be fought. You must know that at least a proportion of that money goes to educating people about condoms. Condoms are very effective at preventing the spread of STIs. I would think that someone so concerned with the rampant spread of disease would support the spending of a few dollars on a rubber sheath and some leaflets that could save lives. Or would you rather waste millions in trying to limit the rights of gay people in an effort to do nothing at all about sexually transmitted diseases?

    Why can’t you just accept that some people are gay? Gay people are just like straight people except that they are sexually attracted to the same sex rather than the opposite sex. You seem to have built up this vile mythology surrounding gay people that prevents you from just seeing people who are a different than you. Maybe you should be looking at that rather than peddling your bigotry. Your Jesus character had something to say about that in your holy books didn’t he? Something about motes and beams.

  • Robert W.

    Edmond,

    It is true that your attitude and those like you who are god of themselves will never see the true meaning of Christianity. And by your attitude I don’t mean being homosexual. I mean the arrogance of viewing yourself as the answer to all things, expecting God to answer to the way you would want things to be, etc… That is the theme of all atheists that I have run into here, straight or gay and that is why they will never be able to see Christianity for what it is. But you are not alone, even some who profess to believe have a problem giving up themselves and the other gods that they put before God.

    Hoverfrog,

    My comment was a response to yours that society shouldn’t care about others promiscuous lifestyle and that it doesn’t cost us anything. If people were not so promiscuous there would be less disease, there would be less unwanted pregnancies, there would be less abortions, all of which cost tax payers money as the example of the $300 million tax dollars given every year to Planned Parenthood.

    I understand that some people are gay, I understand that some people are very promiscuous. I also understand that at least when it comes to homosexual men those two things go together. What I don’t understand is how society is benefited by promoting a lifestyle that has been shown to have detrimental effects not only on those in it but on others as well through the social concerns that arise from it.

    Is society served by promoting and affirming promiscuity among teenagers?

    Is society served by promoting and affirming promiscuity among adults?

    Is society served by promoting and affirming open marriages, or polygamous marriages or marriages based upon incest?

    I understand that people have the freedom to behave in this way, but freedom for freedom’s sake in a society with no moral limitations is, in my opinion, headed fro trouble.

  • Edmond

    those like you who are god of themselves…the arrogance of viewing yourself as the answer to all things

    You couldn’t have a more incorrect view of atheism. Not believing in gods ALSO means that we don’t believe that WE are gods. We are NOT the answer to all things. We have the ability to recognize when we DON’T have an answer.

    If asked, “where did the universe come from?” YOUR answer is “God did it.” You answer this without even being able to be SURE if you are right. There is no way to test if you are right. There is no way to receive confirmation that can be demonstrated to others. You have simply ASSERTED it, based on an existing mythology.

    Ask an atheist the same question, and we can say “No one knows (yet)!” We say this because it’s TRUE. I don’t know, you don’t know, your pastor doesn’t know, Stephen Hawking couldn’t tell you. Anyone who says they DO know is only speculating.

    Only through observation of the real world can we get answers about it. If you don’t HAVE an answer yet, just leave it blank. Don’t go filling it in with your own personal imaginings about angels and devils.

    The bible does NOT have all the answers, and some of the ones it DOES try to give make the others VERY suspect. Bats are NOT birds. Menstruating women do NOT need to be quarantined. Shellfish and rabbits are NOT unclean to eat. Leprosy can NOT be cured by splashing bird’s blood on yourself or your house. You can NOT get striped baby goats by surrounding their parents with striped sticks while they mate. This NONSENSE and MORE puts the bible squarely into the FICTION section, and I will NOT base my life on it.

    You want me to bow down to a god that I have never seen, never heard, never touched, never experienced in ANY noticable way. But I will bow down to NO entities that you suggest, unless they can be SHOWN to EXIST (and even then I’d have to consider if they MERIT my worship). I will not submit to anyone’s personal description of their gods. How could I know that I am not simply submitting to THEM and what THEY want? HOW? There IS no way to know this. I will not devote myself to something with such potential for fallibility and abuse.

    What I don’t understand is how society is benefited by promoting a lifestyle that has been shown to have detrimental effects not only on those in it but on others as well through the social concerns that arise from it.

    Since neither my partner nor I have any STD’s, you have NOT shown that my “lifestyle” has any detrimental effect. If it’s promiscuity that you loathe, then fight THAT. Don’t just label ALL gay people as promiscuous, because they’re NOT. I’m not a big fan of men beating their wives, but I don’t label ALL men as wife beaters, and I don’t try to ban opposite-sex marriage for it. Punish the CRIME, don’t just punish EVERYONE who has the potential to commit it.

    Society will benefit from ENCOURAGING gay people to get MARRIED and to form committed relationships. If you deter them from that, then you exacerbate the very problem you oppose. Society will NOT benefit from encouraging discrimination, from treating people who are different from the majority as “outsiders”. One of these days YOU might find yourself in a minority, and you will be very GLAD for the freedoms that we are trying to establish.

    No one is trying to make you accept gay people. What we’re trying to do is make you see that it’s UNacceptable to lock them OUT of society. We ALL make up society together, and like it or not you MUST share. It is WRONG for you to create laws that apply to me but not to you. You can disapprove of homosexuality all you like. You just can’t DO anything to me about it.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    Robert W.

    My comment was a response to yours that society shouldn’t care about others promiscuous lifestyle and that it doesn’t cost us anything.

    Way to miss the point. Society cares about public health, but doesn’t prevent people from being promiscuous. Society educates people and informs them of the risks. It does not legislate against promiscuity. Do you see the difference?

    If people were not so promiscuous there would be less disease, there would be less unwanted pregnancies, there would be less abortions, all of which cost tax payers money as the example of the $300 million tax dollars given every year to Planned Parenthood.

    How do you reduce promiscuity? Here’s an idea: Spend money on organisations like Planned Parenthood who provide educational resources to inform people of the consequences of their choices.

    I understand that some people are gay, I understand that some people are very promiscuous.

    Do you understand that the two are not necessarily synonymous?

    I also understand that at least when it comes to homosexual men those two things go together.

    Here’s another idea: Don’t limit the formation of stable, monogamous relationships for gay people. Maybe they’ll settle down when they aren’t being treated as society’s pariahs. Maybe if society promotes gay marriage as a viable institution then gay people will adopt it. Not that I support marriage but we should have a society where a variety of choices and opinions are respected.

    What I don’t understand is how society is benefited by promoting a lifestyle that has been shown to have detrimental effects not only on those in it but on others as well through the social concerns that arise from it.

    You’re missing the point again. Society doesn’t promote any particular lifestyle. What society does is grant people the freedom to live any lifestyle that they want that doesn’t impact the freedoms of others. Any detrimental effects (which I am dubious as to there existence as you’ve not demonstrated any) are taken as the acceptable cost of having a free society. You don’t want these costs? Fine, go and live somewhere where your life’s choices are controlled by the state.

    Is society served by promoting and affirming promiscuity among teenagers?

    I refer you to the answer that I gave some moments ago.

    Is society served by promoting and affirming promiscuity among adults?

    I refer you to the answer that I gave some moments ago.

    Is society served by promoting and affirming open marriages, or polygamous marriages or marriages based upon incest?

    I refer you to the answer that I gave some moments ago. I’d like to add that of these three only open marriages are legal. I have no particular issue with polyamorous marriages being legally recognised and I think that further research could be made into incestuous marriages and so defer my opinion til a later date.

    I understand that people have the freedom to behave in this way, but freedom for freedom’s sake in a society with no moral limitations is, in my opinion, headed fro trouble.

    Whereas a society that actively restricts freedoms is perfect for you? I get it.