Give Gay People a Break

(via The Atheist Pig)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • http://www.theaunicornist.com Mike D

    They DO picket the gluttons… if the gluttons happen to be gay….

    • Mike de Fleuriot

      Don’t think so, from what I have seen of the gay lifestyle, they tend to have healthy informed food intakes. Think about it, when last did you see a fat gay person, and when last did you see a fat theist person? More of one and less of the other I think.

      • Andrew

        That’s called confirmation bias. There are more theists than gays for starters.

      • Michael

        “when last did you see a fat gay person”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bear_(gay_culture)

        Seriously, being gay doesn’t make you fat or thin, it makes you gay.

      • Coyotenose

         Oh geez, no. No no no. Gay people are more likely to move to progressive hubs, and those are areas where any given person is more likely to have a non-mainstream American diet. So there are probably a smidgen more thin gay people than straight by percentage, whatever a smidgen works out to. But it is just a stereotype. Overweight gay people are quite common.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6OE7LEYELE4MZTVXGZUSVTBFUI julie

        Well people tend to gain weight as they age, and I think it’s safe to say that there are more openly gay young people than openly gay older people because it’s slightly more acceptable now.
        Also, unless you see two guys holding hands or if a person tells you they’re gay, you don’t really know for sure. A lot of “metrosexual” or hipster guys might be perceived as gay when they’re really not. Since you’re already assuming that gay people are not overweight, you’ll walk down the street and see some skinny guy in tight pants and assume that he’s gay and that will reinforce the stereotype. But a fat man will walk by in normal clothing and you won’t think twice.
        And for the record, I have seen a decent number of larger gay people.

  • http://chaoskeptic.blogspot.com Rev. Ouabache

     Reminds me of the Ben Folds song All U Can Eat (NSFW).

  • Maat Agnostic

    Because one is an individual act that does not reinvent the very foundation of what many people believe a family is built off..  nor does it undermine the definition of what is acceptable coupling..  it kills the individual..  and plus there are a plethora of government initiated efforts to stop gluttony, being fat etc..  we all except that that is not a good thing.. 

    • Luce

      That’s a little dramatic. It’s not like it’s contagious.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6OE7LEYELE4MZTVXGZUSVTBFUI julie

        Actually, I think they think it is. They think that homosexuality is a sign of how our country has fallen into sin. And since they think that teh gay is a temptation, just like alcoholism, they worry that the more acceptable it becomes, the more people will be exposed to it. That’s why they’re so disgusted by Modern Family and Glee. If people see that being gay is normal and you can be happy, they’ll want to try teh gay out for themselves.

        • Coyotenose

           It’s really bizarre. By saying that homosexuality is a temptation, that it is just lust, they’re implicitly saying that ALL OF THEM are tempted to engage in it.

          • Luce

            I think it’s quite revealing on their behalf, personally.

    • jdm8

      The nation of Israel was founded by a polygamist that owned slaves, so you’re not working from a strong moral foundation with that argument.

      • Maat Agnostic

        It was not a moral point.

        • jdm8

          I’m not sure there is any point to your claims at all.  I don’t think there is anything in your assertions that are valid. they’re all commonly used talking points to stir up fear against the gays. I don’t think there’s a justification for it, nor do I think there is any proof of it.

          • Maat Agnostic

            It wasn’t a claim.  It was an explanation.

    • Patterrssonn

      It does kind of fuck up the whole family dominated by the male patriarch thing. The idea of the family as an institution to serve his needs. So any change to that is a threat to patriarchy period.

      As far as government intervention to reduce obesity saying that’s a bad thing is equivalent to saying government vaccination programs are a bad thing, as they both address a population wide morbidity issue. In other words just some bit of silly libertarian dogma.

      • Maat Agnostic

        Yes, it does.  It also messes up the definition of any family structure based off of woman/man= give birth to child = family no matter the roles.. or the external assistance received..

        Government intervention is acceptable to critique whether we are for or against it.  That’s not libertarian dogma.  It is a convenience of living in a democratic society.  We get to choose what is valuable to us. 

        • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

          It doesn’t matter if society values the man-woman-child family structure. Limiting homosexual relationships remains irrational, because the people affected aren’t going to produce such a family in any case. “Traditional” families are unaffected one way or the other. So what possible justification can there be to prohibit same-sex unions?

          The argument that government has an interest to intervene in personal relationships in order to protect some sort of family structure is a load of crap, and every rational person knows that. It’s nothing more than an attempt by people with irrational opinions to paint their prejudices with some sort of legitimacy… and it doesn’t work.

          • Maat Agnostic

            Valuing homosexual relationships equally with heterosexual was not my point.. Neither whether government should or should not have an interest was my point.. My point was simply that the reason people separate gluttony from homosexuality is that homosexual unions effects more than the individual.. it undermines the definition many citizen’s hold of family and that definition is seen as the foundation of the society itself…  That’s why they do not picket gluttony but do so homosexuality..
             
            Whether you think the judgment from that reality should be negative or positive is a separate discussion, that would not lend itself justice on such a limited forum.

            • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

              Sorry, I don’t see that. Homosexual unions affect only the individual in any quantifiable way. Gluttony, in contrast, has profound, material public impact. Your gluttony costs me real money. Your homosexuality does not.

              A society that sees homosexuality as a more significant public issue than gluttony is operating irrationally.

              • Maat Agnostic

                You disagree andfind  fault with  the value many people place on their definition of family… okay.. 

                I’m not sure if you realize your purpose and point has nothing to do with mine.. 

                I hope you read the last part of my post..  I no longer involve myself with weighing “shoulds” unless I think the forum lends itself to it..  This forum does not.. 

                I was simply expressing “why” from the point of view of those who disagree..  I did not go further to judge or analyze it’s validity, worth etc..

                You would prolly get better traction by putting forth your opposition before the very few, but in existent, Christians who hold the view you oppose..

                None the less, Thanks for sharing your point of view..

                • Maat Agnostic

                  typo- *probably*  not prolly

                • Maat Agnostic

                  *existence*  not existent..  Just ignore typos/grammar errors.. lol

                • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

                  To be clear, I do not generally find fault with the values of others, only with their actions.

                  It does not matter to me if people find homosexuality to be wrong in some way- that’s their business (even if I disagree with them). Where I find fault is in efforts to force others to comply with their beliefs via legislative processes- particularly where no material societal interest can be rationally demonstrated.

                • Luce

                  I really fail to see how traditional families are affected by gay people being allowed to marry. The man and woman don’t love each other any less. They don’t love their children less. They’re not going to raise their children any differently. Nothing about how they feel or what they do in regards to their loved ones would change.
                  Which begs the question, why is it so important for them to have an externally applied definition which encompasses only people like them, i.e. straight people, for what they have, when it has no material influence on how they run their lives? The only reason I can think of is “they’re not good enough to do what I do”. It’s a thinly veiled argument driven by prejudice. It’s as simple as that.

                • Maat Agnostic

                  Because the definition is part of their identity.  Their union is part of their creed and their creed is part of their identity and this part of their identity is believed to set the foundation of their community.  You change that, you change everything.  You change what they once held as sacred and crucial to their stability.  It is no longer a sacred union that continually produces a sacred union.  It is now about an elusive term called “love” that has never evidenced to be a stabilizing factor in a society.

                  You may not agree with that, but I understand why there is such a visceral reaction at least.

        • Patterrssonn

          ” It also messes up the definition of any family structure based off of woman/man= give birth to child = family”

          So does a childless family, I don’t see christians complaining when elderly hets marry. No this is simply an issue of power. Christian churches have a vested interest in maintaining the patriarchal definition of a family which results in their cherry picking the bible to come up with rationals to maintain that structure. Which is the point of the OP, the hypocrisy of the cherry picking.

          “That’s not libertarian dogma”

           Of course its libertarian dogma, it’s libertarianism 101. And if you were just expressing your opinion why did you say “we all except that that is not a good thing.. ” That’s a pretty dogmatic statement.

          • Maat Agnostic

            Whether or not Christians should support homosexuality has nothing to do with my post or my intent..
             
            Saying “all” was a colloquial mistake..  not intended to be dogmatic..  just a lax way of expressing a reality of a lot of people..  forgetting the meticulous nature of my audience.. :-D

          • http://twitter.com/KevinSagui Kevin Sagui

            Funny, I must have missed the day in Libertarianism 101 that said that libertarians are actually anarcho-capitalists and that government shouldn’t exist at all.  Oh, wait, I forgot that we only use reductio ad absurdum for libertarians.

            Seriously, go talk to some actual libertarians.  Most of them won’t have any problems with educational initiatives.

            • Patterrssonn

              Cant see where i said that libertarians believe in the abolition of the government, after all someone must run the police and the military. My apologies for your deliberate misinterpretation driving you to you to reductio absurdum

              Not sure what libertarians your referring to but the libertarian party believes that the government has absolutely no place in education at all and it should only be provided by the “free market” whatever that is. Perhaps they aren’t true libertarians.

            • Stev84

              Not all of them, no. There are many streams of libertarianism. Not all of it is the right-wing insanity popular today. But US star politician Ron Paul is certainly of that ilk. He was never anything but an anarcho-capitalist.

        • amycas

           So, what about families that are woman/man+adopted child=family? Are they not also messing up the traditional definition of family?

          • Maat Agnostic

            No.

            • amycas

               why not?

              • Maat Agnostic

                Because it does not alter the original.  The definition remains the same.

                • amycas

                   The definition you gave was: one man, one woman, give birth to child=family. Obviously, if a couple adopts a child, they did not give birth to a child and thus, are not a family under that definition. If by “give birth to child” you meant any birthing of a child that one day becomes theirs, I could see how adoptive families could fit your definition.

                  But what about other situations? Are childless couples families?
                  That definition would be: one man, one woman=family

                  A single mother/father and a child/children?
                  Definition: one woman/one man, child=family

                  These are all groups that we currently accept as families that don’t fit the narrow definition you provided. Am I to believe that the “traditional” definition was broadened to incorporate these families? Why not broaden it again, to incorporate all kinds of families?

                  Also, gay people creating families is not new. For decades now gay couples have been getting together to make families, many of them with their own biological children, and others adopt children. Where are the detrimental affects of this broadening of the “traditional” family definition? These people have been creating families, contributing to society and raising children for decades (actually, longer than that, but now it’s in the open). Why don’t they deserve to be acknowledged by the government and extended the same benefits that straight couples are? Do you have a reason, other than “traditional” rules grounded in religion?

                • Maat Agnostic

                  The definition of man+woman=birth to child= family is not altered when a  child is adopted.   You are adding restrictions that I did not. 

                • Maat Agnostic

                  To answer the rest of your question are childless couples families?  Yes.

                  Why should gay couples not fit into the diversity of families within heterosexual relationships?  Because homosexuality fundamentally alters the original definition.

                • Maat Agnostic

                  This is not the format for this discussion.  But the heart of your question really is – why is the ability to give birth fundamentally important to marriage to the point of exclusion of all other types or forms of coupling?

                  Let me know if you see that?  and I will try to explain as succinctly as possible although I’m not all too sure that is probable.  Not here.

                • LifeinTraffic

                  So, because I can’t give birth due to a medical condition, I should be excluded from marriage because it’s missing a “fundamentally ” important component? 

                  Well, I suppose there’s at least bonus points for consistency there, though I certainly don’t see any theists out picketing my non-issue producing het union.

                • Maat Agnostic

                  No.  You should read the entire response.

                • LifeinTraffic

                  I did. Hence, the comment. If you feel this isn’t the right forum to address these issues, as you’ve stated, why keep bringing up that you have points to discuss? Go find a forum that is appropriate instead of giving ridiculous arguments that you claim aren’t ridiculous because their is some magical component to them that would make sense, if only this were the right forum in which to discuss it. Which it isn’t for whatever nebulous, vague notion you keep bringing up.
                  In other words, either lay off the “oh, if you only I could tell you” crap and discuss it in full, or shut the hell up about it already.

                  ________________________________
                  From: Disqus
                  To: LifeInTraffic@yahoo.com
                  Sent: Monday, July 9, 2012 1:39 PM
                  Subject: [friendlyatheist1] Re: Give Gay People a Break

                  Maat Agnostic (unregistered) wrote, in response to LifeinTraffic:
                  No.  You should read the entire response.
                  Link to comment

    • Coyotenose

       Gluttony does verifiable harm to animal populations, the environment, the economy, and the individual’s family.  Meanwhile, we have evidence from the experiments of several forward-thinking countries which shows that gay marriage does no harm.

      We also have evidence that homosexuality is inborn, which, combined with the “does no harm” thing, means that opposing it makes exactly as much sense as banning Gingers from marrying one another.

  • hoverFrog

    As if consistency is something that is exhibited by Christians

  • ragarth

    In my experience, the common response to questions like this is that in a world of sin, they must pick and choose their battles.

    • The Other Weirdo

       I was told once that it’s because homosexuality is a sexual sin, while all the others are not. Sexual sins from the OT are still in force, but not the others.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Leithiser/593361421 Chris Leithiser

         The Bible section which lists ONE particular form of homosexual behavior as a sin also lists a dozen or more heterosexual behaviors as sin.  They focus on which one, now? 

        It’s as if their Bibles have had Romans 1:33 surgically removed or something.

        • Gus Snarp

          Um, there is no Romans 1:33.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6OE7LEYELE4MZTVXGZUSVTBFUI julie

        It really bothers me that religions place so much emphasis on sexual sins. And because it was men who wrote these things and men who interpret it today, they equate women with sex, which is why it is apparently so important to control women.

        • Stev84

          It’s really a great way to control people. Asexuals aside, people really have little control over their sexual urges. Suppressing them is a great effort and it messes people. Constantly telling people that they are wrong for feelings things they can’t control wears them down, erodes their self-confidence and makes them easier to manipulate.

          Most importantly, it allows the church to introduce thoughtcrimes, like punishing even having sexual feelings for someone and looking at other people (fundamentalist Protestants are huge about that). Again something everyone does. So the church knows that people will sin, come to the church for the “cure” and then be back soon enough.

  • Gus Snarp

    Made me laugh.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Leithiser/593361421 Chris Leithiser

    Picket themselves?  What a strange notion…

  • observer

    Because it’s not about sin, it was never about sin. “Sin” is just a red herring to convince people that LGBT people are a “religious” issue. It’s really a personal issues they have, but being the Persecuted Christians© that they are, they project it, and treat it like it’s everyone’s problem.

  • Spherical Basterd

    Sunday at Golden Corral = Well dressed hogs at the trough. Same with any Chinese Buffet.

    • rlrose328

      Did someone say Golden Corral?  Where?  I thought they were all gone!!!  ;-)

  • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

    It’s super easy for a heterosexual person to be heterosexual, which I think makes it extra tempting to put such a disproportionately high focus on homosexuality as a sin.  There’s little to no risk a heterosexual might slip up and have gay sex, whereas there’s a pretty high chance they might give in to the temptation to eat three days worth of calories in one sitting at the Golden Trough Buffet.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6OE7LEYELE4MZTVXGZUSVTBFUI julie

      Haha, they might slip up if it’s an “ex-gay” or “person who struggles with homosexuality.” But no, they’re totally heterosexual.

      • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

         LOL.  True, there are people who go all hardcore anti-homosexuality to try to hide the fact that they are homosexual, but I really was referring to actual heterosexuals.

        If there was a line in Deuteronomy that called listening to Hotel California an abomination, I’d be tempted to play that up as one of the worst possible sins.  It’d be really easy for me to comply because I fuckin’ hate the Eagles, man.

        • Mary Ann

           Not liking the Eagles?!!  On this I have no flexibility.   I can’t you into hell for all eternity. 

  • http://twitter.com/Buffy2q Buffy

    Why would they concern themselves with “sins” they themselves commit?  That would mean using religion as a guide for their own lives instead of a weapon against others. 

  • Bigdaddy1988

    I don’t get the whole objection to gay marriage.
    At the heart of the argument is keeping Gays from having sex.
    So let them get married.
    The quickest way to end sex is marriage.
    Ask any married person.

  • LOL

    Because this jackass doesn’t know the definition of gluttony.  

  • Clarissa

    What has a pig in a bath got to do with homosexuality?
    That cartoon is confusing enough without it being on this particular page.
    Thanks.


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