Is every Christian against gay marriage necessarily a bigot?

The call of today’s anti-gay Christians is, “Stop calling us bigots, everyone! Just because we believe what the Bible says about homosexuality does not make us bigots!”

So, let’s think about that.

Pertinent question #1: When does the anti-gay Christian become irrefutably a bigot?

Answer? The moment he or she does anything to restrict the rights of any other person based solely upon the fact that that person is gay.

You, anti-gay Christian, have the God-given freedom and the American right to believe whatever you want, and to worship and congregate with anyone and everyone who shares your beliefs. What sane person would argue that?

For all practical purposes (and for such concerns what else matters?) it is not beliefs that make a bigot. It’s actions.

If you vote against gay marriage or gay rights, you are a bigot—as surely as anyone who voted against civil rights in the 60′s was a bigot. If you preach against gay rights, you are a bigot. If you write against gay rights, you are a bigot. If you give your money or time to any Christian church or ministry that you know in any way actively works to restrict or limit gay rights, you are a bigot. If in private you intimate to your dearest friend that you don’t think gay people should be allowed to get married, you are a bigot.

No one wants to be a bigot, of course: not even the most virulent KKK member will claim that repelling appellation for him or herself. But bigot is as bigot does.

And since it’s impossible for a person to hold a conviction—especially one based on religious beliefs—that they don’t in some way live out, it is, alas, safe to claim that any and every Christian who believes that gay people shouldn’t have every last moral and legal right they claim for themselves is a bigot.

You can’t be in the KKK and claim that you’re not a bigot; you can’t be opposed to LGBT rights and claim that you’re not a bigot. Well, you can, of course. But if you do you are fooling no one, least of all God.

Pertinent question #2: Does the Bible say that being gay is a sin?

Answer? No, it doesn’t. [← That's a link.]


I’m the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question:

unfair-cover-xsmallPaperback. Kindle. NookBook. Signed and inscribed by me according to your direction.

Print Friendly

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • Linda Brown

    Yes the Bible does say if a man sleeps with another man as he would a woman, he is a sinner.

    • BarbaraR

      You didn’t click on the link, did you?
      The question was, “Is every Christian against gay marriage necessarily a bigot?” and obviously you didn’t read that either.

    • Lamont Cranston

      So? Why should I give a rat’s ass what the bible says about anything?

      • Andy

        Because the bible is infallible. How do we know it is? Because some people told us that it says it is, even though that’s not realistically possible given what we know about its history.

        • PoodleSheep

          Not only do we know the bible is infallible because some people tell us that, the book itself tells us that too! Just like we know it’s the truth and god’s divine rules because it says so! Using this tactic, I am the ruler of the multiverse because I say I am. This is irrefutable because I say so.

          • lymis

            Actually, though I may be wrong, I don’t remember the Bible claiming its own infallibility. I do recall Jesus very clearly saying he hadn’t told us everything and would send the Holy Spirit to continue to teach.

          • Andy

            That was my point. Some people have told us that it says it is, though. And even if it did, that’s begging the question, which makes it illogical to rely on.

          • Aquaria

            “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” — Psalm 119:160.

            Yet again, an atheist has to teach a christer what their own hate manual says.

          • lrfcowper

            Yet again an anti-theist shows they do not understand the history or composition of the Bible.

            The Bible didn’t exist when those words were penned, therefore, they do not apply to the collection of works known as the Bible. The idea that Christianity considers the Bible some monolithic, literal, inerrant work comes out of taking a small and very recent sect’s theology and applying it to the whole. Historically and for a majority of Christians worldwide today, the Bible is a collection of different genres that record various people’s encounters with and understanding of the divine. The books within it must be approached and understood within the context of their genre, their time period, their author, their audience, their culture, any stated authorial intent, the language they were written in, and the time period that passed between their original creation and when they were written down with an understanding of oral traditions.

      • Amy

        Because it gives you something to do between NAMBLA meetings?

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          How much more do you guys have to joke about stuff like that to get people to know you don’t care all that much about children? If you found out your (hypothetical) child is gay, are you going to throw him/her/shim to NAMBLA?!!?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I must be missing something here, because I am wearing my confused face.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            Lamont wanted to know from Linda why he should care what the Bible says. In response, Amy accused Lamont of being part of NAMBLA. I don’t think it’s right to even joke about such things (with all the contorted anti-LGBT+ arguments these heterocentrist Christians make, one would think they are pederasy’s, beastialitiy’s, etc’s greatest defenders). I don’t *think* I misinterpreted the situation, but correct me if I am wrong.

          • lrfcowper

            Yeah, I flagged Amy’s comment when it first appeared, but no one took it down. It is kind of a shining example of ignorant bigotry, though.

            As for throwing a gay child to NAMBLA, a lot of “Christian” parents do essentially that. In many large cities, 40% of all homeless youth are LGBT kids. 25% of all LGBT youth in America are or have been homeless at some point. Who knows how many more aren’t living with their parents, but with friends or more distant relatives. Average age of a homeless LGBT kid? 14. (Considering there are plenty of 16- and 17-year-old LGBT kids getting thrown out of their homes, how many 12- and 13-year-olds do you need to make that average?) If you’re lucky, a mission or soup kitchen might feed you. Many missions and shelters are Christian-run and may be insensitive, arbitrary, unsafe, or out-and-out hostile to LGBT kids– especially trans* kids. Ways to get money for your next meal if you’re not lucky? Begging, petty theft, dealing drugs, prostitution.

            And a lot of ministers and family ministries actually advise parents of LGBT kids to kick them out of the house! Then again, a lot of these are the same groups who oppose any inclusion of sexual orientation or gender identity in anti-bullying efforts. These are also the same folks who encouraged folks to pull their child sponsorships from World Vision US when it opened employment to married LGBT people (and then didn’t re-up when WV caved). So, no, they don’t care about children.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            The sooner we get to where Canada is now, the less influence these hucksters will have each passing year. These young people shouldn’t be put on the street for their families’ perceived material gain (immortality, life in a good acid trip, an entire heaven of gold and jewels all sound like a cheap payoff to me for supposedly doing the “right things”).

    • Norman Dostal

      Linda-no, it does NOT. The only passage christians follow is in the NT in PAUL to the Romans. In it, it states, if a man gives up his natural urges and sleep swith another man…read carefully, witch-a gay man’s natural urges are to be attracted to men…so a straight man giving up his natural urges to be with women and instead goes to a man is THE ACTUAL SIN. (insults edited out by moderator)

      • HappyCat

        As Christians, we should be gentle and civil with people. We are to show caring and respect even unto our enemies as Christ taught us. Name-calling is not a good idea. Since when is being a housewife a bad thing? A dumdum? A cow? Seriously the tone of your response makes me ill.

        • Andy

          I laughed at the word “dumdum”.

    • James Walker

      That may appear clear in some of the English translations. The Hebrew words that have been translated in Leviticus don’t actually say “as he would a woman”. The literal translation is “And with a male not to lie down in the bed of a woman, it is unclean”. Whatever that actually meant is lost to history but it seems unlikely that it has any bearing on modern LGBT+ relationships.

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

        Interesting theory James, especially considering the cleanliness laws of the ancient Hebrews. Women were considered culturally unclean for a week during her period, or during any period where there was a discharge of blood. Touching her, or sleeping in the same bed would make a man also considered unclean, and he’d be unclean for a week. Ironically semen was also considered an unclean thing, IF it came into contact with bed clothes, garments, skin. He’ unclean for the rest of the day. Having sex while the woman was on her period, risked them getting tossed out of the community.

        We won’t even get into the post partum uncleanliness rules poor women had to go through. Its a wonder sex even happened with all the “cleanliness” risks.

        • Andy

          Unclean? I’ll bet people didn’t pull out very much.

          Seriously though, I would think that an examination of the old laws tells us, if nothing else, that life was so different back then that their context is entirely relevant to their observance.

    • Michael Smiley Gawthrop

      Fun fact, at the time that verse was written women were considered property… it could be argued that the sin wasn’t homosexuality, but for a man to allow himself to be treated as property.

    • OZ_in_OK

      The Bible also says that women cannot have positions of authority over men – 1 Timothy 2:12. Wait, you say that I’m taking that verse ‘out of context’, because it affects you personally? Hmmm.

    • lrfcowper

      Well, no. It says if a man lies with a male in the beds of a woman, he has committed a taboo. We don’t regard breaking any of the other the to’ebah laws (planting more than one seed in a field, being or touching a woman on her period. cutting the corners of your hair, wearing clothing of mixed fabric, eating pork or seafood) as being sinful. In order to insist that this ONE to’ebah requirement is a) universal and not just applicable to Jews, b) still in force after Christ’s sacrificial life and death, and c) relevant to secular law and justice such that other people’s civil rights and religious freedoms should be curtailed because of your beliefs requires a large burden of proof. Whenever obeying a particular interpretation of a scriptural “law” puts you at odds with the law of love and the golden rule (especially when it is in regards to a “sin” you are not personally likely to commit), it becomes an excuse to justify bigotry, pride, judgmentalism, and hatefulness.

    • anakinmcfly

      Define ‘man’.

      • mojones1

        Why?

        • anakinmcfly

          I’m interested to pinpoint where exactly the objection to homosexuality lies: in the idea of people having non-procreative sex, or the idea of people with the same gender loving each other, or the idea of people who look and behave vaguely alike loving each other, or… I don’t know. Under what criteria would you consider intersex and transgender people to be homosexual, for instance?

          • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

            Hi Anakin,
            Many anti-gay Christians are completely incapable of looking into the lives of gay couples and seeing any virtue. All they’re able to see is “sin”. For them, if they allow themselves to see anything beautiful, they would be disobedient to God. They usually express this thought thusly: “your relationships is abominable to God; there’s nothing virtuous about it.”

          • mojones1

            Thanks. I wonder too, but the antis I have had conversations with haven’t usually thought it out. it is just more of a knee-jerk reaction to the thought of men together. I have also noticed that many men do not have the same reaction to female couples. It is like they consider 2 women together as entertainment for their own gratification. Any way you slice it though, it is disrespectful and unacceptable to objectify other human beings.

  • Norman Dostal

    nicely written and absolutely true. Marriage has always been civil in the USA-yiou may think it is religious, but in reality, it is not. So to deprive others of a legal right is bigotry-no spining allowed!

  • http://coolingtwilight.com/ Dan Wilkinson

    An interesting corollary question is “Is every Christian who refuses to take a stand in favor of gay marriage necessarily a bigot?” I encounter more and more Christians who readily acknowledge that LGBT people deserve love and respect and inclusion in the church…but these same Christians are extraordinarily hesitant to take a public stand in favor of full LGBT rights. Silence in the face of bigotry is still bigotry.

    • Michael Smiley Gawthrop

      And silence won’t help them either.
      “… and when they came for me, no one spoke for me for there was no one else left.”

    • R Vogel

      ‘Silence in the face of bigotry is still bigotry.’

      I find this one a bit less convincing. Moral cowardice, certainly, but bigot by omission seems a bridge too far. Many people have a lot invested in their church relationships, and taking a stand may put those at risk. I grew up in a church where a local business person was ex-communicated (because of something he disclosed in a counseling session no less – there were lawsuits, it got ugly) and he lost his family, his friends, and his business. For many that risk would be too great.

      • BarbaraR

        Silence is tacit agreement. If someone uses a racial or sexual slur and you say nothing, that person has your approval whether you like it or not. To allow bigotry to go unchallenged is more of the same.
        I have little patience with the excuse that churchgoers might “lose everything” if they speak up against prejudice and bigotry. The people who are experiencing the results of bigotry firsthand are already risking their lives and livelihoods.

        • anakinmcfly

          But those people might stand to be able to do more good if they don’t speak up just yet – for instance, a quietly LGBT-affirming pastor in a large church of mostly homophobic congregants would be able to potentially help a gay kid who goes to him seeking help; vs if that pastor were to go public, get fired, and be replaced by a homophobic pastor who might end up causing way more harm.

          • R Vogel

            Great point! There are myriad reasons people may remain silent, some practical, some shameful, to say silence is always tacit agreement is a gross oversimplification of the real world that we inhabit. Was Oskar Schindler in tacit agreement with the final solution because he didn’t publicly denounce the Nazis?

          • anakinmcfly

            I have a family friend who’s in a really high position in the church – similar to a bishop. He’s LGBT-affirming, but hasn’t gone public with it, out of fear of repercussions not for him but for the church and the unity of (still huge-majority homophobic) Christians in my country. But he’s been an invaluable help to me all these years, especially after I came out and my parents went to him for advice on what to do. If not for him, I strongly doubt my family would have been as supportive as they ended up being, and I can’t imagine how much worse everything would be – not for him, but for me and all the other LGBT Christians he’s in contact with – if he had gone public with his views and very likely got booted out and replaced by an acceptably-homophobic person.

        • Garp

          I hear what you are saying, but it can be really difficult sometimes. I actually work for World Vision. I need my job right now. I am trying to figure this out. I hate what happened, and that we hurt gay people with the disaster of the same sex marriage debacle. I believe we were trying to do the right thing by allowing people in same sex marriage to work here, and we should not have capitulated to the far right to reverse that decision. But in the meantime, I have a family to support. Yet, I also want to look my child in the eyes someday as a person of integrity who stood for what is right. It is really painful for me. My coworkers know exactly where I stand. I sin, yet I am allowed to work at WV. (I actually don’t think homosexuality is a sin, personally, but I know many of my coworkers do think that sadly.) Unfortunately the loudest, angriest of our donors and church partners apparently think that it is a sin making my potential coworkers unable to serve God and the poor. I don’t understand it. I am, frankly, hoping that God uses this situation to shine a light on the sin of Christians trying to pick the speck out of their neighbor’s eye while ignoring the plank in their own. Or people may think I am just rationalizing for a paycheck. But I still work here because I know that we are doing the work of God in feeding the poor and offering clean, safe water to the thirsty. This is what I feel is religion purest to God.

          • Guy Norred

            I think at some time or another in some way or another we have all been where you find yourself now and have made an expedient compromise. I for one, can in no good conscience condemn your actions, especially as you say that your co-workers know your position–you are not silent.

          • Garp

            Thank you.

          • R Vogel

            Thanks for sharing this, Garp. Opening yourself up to condemnation from all sides couldn’t have been easy. I think it was C.S. Lewis who said that evil in continually trying to maneuver us into a position where the only way we can save our castle is to lose our bishop!

          • Bones

            Garp, the weird thing is that World Vision around the world employs gay people. No one’s mentioned it in Australia where World Vision has full equality in employment regardless of sexuality.

            It’s an American thing.

          • Andy

            I feel for you. A job is precious, and especially if you have a family, most people can’t afford to go very long without one. Feeling an ethical conflict with the organization you work for has to be awful. I hope you can find peace of mind somehow, whatever road that leads you down.

          • Garp

            Thank you Andy! People are so kind. It is a struggle. But one thing that keeps me going is that it really is a great ministry. The whole reason this whole situation happened, I truly believe, is that they were trying to do the right thing (focus on the real mission of serving the poor rather than focus on excluding a group of Christians) and it just blew up in their face. But what keeps me here, besides a paycheck for my family, is that I really do know it is not just a good mission, but an effective one as well. Children and families are helped immensely. Also, if I leave when the going gets tough, am I any better than the sponsors that abandoned their sponsored children the second we did something that didn’t agree with their prejudices?

  • Owengirl

    Please be civil…stop with the name calling.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      Give me another word for bigot, and I’ll switch it in for every place I’ve used that word in this post.

      • Owengirl

        Sorry John…I was not talking about YOU!

      • Andy

        I thought of a couple, but they’re even less suited for polite company.

  • R Joseph Owles

    It depends on how the question is asked. A church, a Christian, a private group of religious have the right to decide for themselves that homosexuality is sinful, and that they will not allow their private group members, or leaders to opening practice or preach about practicing it. It is another thing to then decide that society should be governed or should follow the decisions of this private group.

    I believe that every Christian who believes that homosexuality is a sin and that same-sex marriage is wrong has the right to that belief, and has the right to assemble with other like minded individuals. I do not believe that they then have the right to block civil rights of others — i.e. getting married — because they do not like it. People have a right to think it is wrong; but that does not give them the right to block it.

    Either marriage is a right or it isn’t. If it is a right, then all people have that right. If all people do not have that right, then it is a privilege — like driving a car. If it is a privilege like driving a car, then it should be monitored like driving. You should get points against your license for being bad at marriage. You should be able to have your marriage license revoked. Maybe even be required to buy Marriage insurance for all the damage you will do.

    • Asher Frost

      They can believe it, yes, the Constitution promises that right. It doesn’t stop them from being bigots, or being called out for that bigotry however. Group size is not a factor, it doesn’t make someone less of a bigot just because they don’t want their own gay child to get married, but have no problem with gay marriage being legal, or because they don’t vote for laws against the LGBT community, but refuse to be in any way around them or allow them to be part of their community or social circles, it’s all still bigotry.

      • R Joseph Owles

        I think half & half is wrong, so I use heavy cream in my coffee. I guess that makes me a bigot against half & half, even though I am only declaring that I think it is wrong for me, and I am not trying to have it banned from stores, or boycotting stores that do not sell heavy cream but only half & half.

        I don’t think someone is a bigot because they oppose something or think something is wrong. I don’t think bigotry has a democratic element where something is not bigoted until a majority of people believe the opposite. A bigot is not simply someone who opposes, but how seeks to limit that which is opposed and seeks to demonize that which is opposed. In your words above, the person is still trying to stop what they think is wrong by having legislation passed through politicians who are manipulating them for their vote.

        My argument was that people have a right to think it is wrong, but in thinking it is wrong, do not have the right to stop others from doing it. Becoming hurtful and hateful in that opposition is where bigotry arises. But hey, I have a whole history of being wrong about stuff. So I have no problem accepting that I could be wrong about this.

        • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

          Can someone be a racist in a non-bigoted way? How about an anti-semite? A mysogynist?

          I generally agree with your comment as it relates to what constitutes bigotry. But I push back with the characterization of traditionalist doctrine as simply “oppos[ing] something”.

          Traditionalist theology says that being gay is a pathology and that gay relationships and the people in them are immoral and inferior. The belief itself diminishes the humanity of people who are gay. The belief itself is objectionable.

        • Asher Frost

          I’m sorry, are you comparing actual human beings, to coffee creamer? Do I really have to explain the difference between people and inanimate objects?

          Refusing to associate with, or in any way be around LGBT people has nothing to do with inanimate objects, it has to do with pre-judging people based on factors out of their control. We’re not talking about ideas at that point, we’re talking about people.

          As I said above, They can believe it, yes, the Constitution promises that right. It doesn’t stop them from being bigots, or being called out for that bigotry however. Bigotry of thought is still bigotry. The racist down the street is still a racist, whether or not he has the power to try and force his hatred of minorities on others, and whether or not he ever actually meets anyone of a different race.

        • PoodleSheep

          I’ll take false equivalence for 500 Alex.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      Marriage insurance. I sure wish I’d had a policy with my first marriage. What a disaster that was. It would have been nice to recoup at least some of the loss

      • Giauz Ragnarock

        I wouldn’t support such a thing. For one, think of all the LGBT+ people socially constrained into entering ultimately disastrous (in many cases at least) heterosexual marriages. Those marriages would put bullets through attempts to restart life on a surer footing.

    • lymis

      It feels to me like you are glossing over a very important distinction – acknowledging that someone has the right to think something is not the same as a positive affirmation that their view is valid.

      Often, when people say, “They have a right to their opinion” what is clearly intended is “Other people have to treat that opinion as equally valid” rather than, “They should not be forcibly prevented from having or expressing the opinion.”

      People have a right to an opinion that constitutes bigotry. The right to hold that opinion makes it no less bigoted.

  • Micki Kennedy

    Apparently if your in a Muslim country you don’t have rights as a Christian or your sexual preference( you will be given a death sentence)..so that is wrong. You can believe what you want in America, why don’t you focus on the Country’s that have not one ounce of freedom to choose ?

    • OZ_in_OK

      Perhaps it is because, in *this* country, it isn’t the Muslims who are pushing to ‘legislate morality’ against LGBT citizens. It isn’t the Muslims who are standing in American court rooms comparing law-abiding LGBT citizens to murderers ,child-molesters and people who have sex with animals. Don’t try to derail the conversation with comparisons to what is happening in *other* countries.

    • BarbaraR

      Straw man argument that has no bearing on this discussion.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      The problem with that theory is that there are many predominanetly Muslim nations that have Christian and Jewish minorities, and have so for many years, and things are pretty peaceful, with the obvious exceptions of nations embroiled in civil war. Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Syria (till all hell broke loose there), Turkey, Pakistan, Chad, Bahrain, all have Christian minorities. Some are more free for their citizens, regardless of faith than others. That has more to do with who’s in charge than religion.

    • lrfcowper

      Hey, look a squirrel!

    • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James Jarvis

      Quite simple really. Freedom is rarely lost all at once, instead it is chipped away in tiny pieces. As Martin Niemöller wrote:

      First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out —

      because I was not a communist;

      Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out —

      because I was not a socialist;

      Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out —

      because I was not a trade unionist;

      Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —

      because I was not a Jew;

      Then they came for me —

      and there was no one left to speak out for me.

    • anakinmcfly

      I’m not in America…

      • Snooterpoot

        And?

  • Nathaniel

    “Is every Christian against gay marriage necessarily a bigot?”

    Yes.

    • Michael James Plezia

      Is everybody who holds a different worldview from yours a bigot? I guess that makes the entire human race us all a bunch of bigots.

      • Matt

        It’s not about having a different worldview, Michael. It’s about denying others the same rights we claim for ourselves, based on their difference (or perceived difference).

        Believe it or not, I will gladly fight for any given person’s right to think that I’m a sinner. I will not, however, tolerate them deciding I don’t deserve fair treatment as a result.

        • Andy

          A subtle distinction too easily forgotten by some.

      • Nathaniel

        Need some wood? Cause that’s a mighty fine cross you put yourself on.

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

        Actually, every one of us is quite capable of being bigots, and quite likely has engaged in bigoted behavior at one time or another. We need to recognize that flaw in our character, how it hurts our interaction with others, and our perception of them as just as adored and valued by God as we are…or just as valued and adored as we feel we deserve…if you want to use a secular viewpoint.

        Recognizing that flaw, seeing the damage it does, should prompt us to feel ashamed for such a horrid mindset, and seek to actively change our views, and our words and actions.

      • Bill Steffenhagen

        In some ways and to varying degrees yes, we all are, but anti-gay religious people are among the worst for this reason: The knowledge of their erroneous thinking is out there literally everywhere and they actively refuse to access it because they know, deep down how wrong they are and they know it will force them to THINK and to re-examine their ignorant prejudice and blind, unthinking “belief”. They have invested so much of their “faith” in the “truth” of this issue that they will lose their certainty of their “faith” which, of course, is not faith, but fear.

        Years ago, at a Lutheran family Easter gathering, we got to talking about me being gay and how I came to be the learned one of my family by reading books on the subject outside of the closed, circular Bible Believer mindset. I probably hold an informal Masters Degree on the subject in my head from my personal library longer than my arm span. I tried to get them to see that they too could gain the same knowledge but they refuse. My sister, at that discussion, blurted out defensively and near tears, “Well, we don’t read those kind of books.” To which I quietly replied, “Well, that makes it easy for you to hold on to your prejudice.” You could have heard a pin drop in the carpeted room.

        My point is that, when the knowledge is out there that will help you understand and know better than to spout bigoted ignorance and you refuse to access it, then unequivocally YES, you are a bigot. And you deserve my contempt.

        • Andy

          I need closure on this. What transpired after you said that?

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            Nothing thus far. I don’t imagine there is any opposing comment possible. Oh, there may be attempts, but there simply is no opposing LOGICAL rationale. Unless, of course, one can convince oneself that unexamined “faith” is logical and rational, something that can only be done without actually THINKING, and by so doing, confirming my point.

          • Andy

            Agreed. And did your sister say anything after you said that?

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            Nope. I nailed her and everyone in the room. What could she have possibly said? I spose she could still have come back with the “Well, God said…..” argument, but I had already wiped that out. The discussion just quietly ended and we all went back to being ever so “family”. I left shortly after that and I don’t recall ever returning to our family gatherings. They, parents (now dead) and three siblings and all the nieces and nephews, have been essentially out of my life for about 15 years. Because I grew up gay and hid from them all during my formative and younger years, I never bonded with them. So now I really just don’t care.

          • Guy Norred

            I understand, but I am still sorry.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            Thank you for your empathy.

          • Snooterpoot

            I think that a religious faith that cannot withstand scrutiny is not worth having.

          • Guy Norred

            I would go further and say it isn’t faith if it cannot withstand scrutiny. That said, I sometimes wonder what exactly it is that people have faith in. Not terribly long ago, someone who I would have thought would know better told me that to question her very traditional view on sexuality would actually be to question her faith in God–like it was some basic and essentially credal tenet of her faith without which, her whole belief system crumbled. While trying to remember that only God knows our hearts, I really wonder how this came to be of such import.

          • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

            I think when we hold orthodoxy too tightly, our faith becomes brittle (and crowds out the Holy Spirit). “If my beliefs about homosexuality are wrong, everything I believe might be wrong.”

            My friend’s Catholic grandmother, after Vatican II, lost her faith entirely. “If they lied to me about fish on Fridays, what else have they lied to me about?”

  • R Vogel

    Thanks for being among the precious few who are willing to tell it like it is.

  • SusieQ

    According to the definition of “bigot,” even having the belief, dislike, or prejudice–whether accompanied by actions or not–makes one a bigot. Meriram-Webter’s definition of “bigot:” “a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc. : a bigoted person; especially : a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group)”

    • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

      Hi Suzanne. LOL, I looked it up, too (as I must have ten times on John’s site.) John makes clear that even as small an act as whispering a racist/anti-Semitic/homophobic/transphobic remark to your best friend is bigoted. I think he draws the line where he does because not everyone comes to terms with their bias overnight. But to actively *allow* others to be free and happy, even the ones we don’t understand just yet, is a start.

      • SusieQ

        HOW DID YOU GET MY E-MAIL ADDRESS????

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          Your email address is not known here. It is something that happens when you comment in forums, Replies to a comment goes to your email address, rather like a notification, so you have the option to reply. As we can comment from a lap top, or hand held device, its a convenience matter.

          • SusieQ

            Thanks. I was hoping that was the case, but I still have no idea how Patheos got it. I have never given it to them nor to Facebook. Kinda irks me, since I can just as easily get a notification via FB. (Not your doing, I know.)

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Disqus which is the software, I think, that runs the comments section, can be persnickety…ok it can be a pain in the tail, for no reason

          • SusieQ

            Actually, what concerns me even more is that somehow my entire name is accompanying my posts. Since I never signed up for an account on this page (signed in via FB), I have no idea how they got my full name nor how to change it. Do you know?

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            I don’t know about FB log in (I keep that separate) but try http://disqus.com/community/ > settings > edit profile. That’s how my name is Elizabeth no last name.

          • SusieQ

            Thanks, Elizabeth. I found a place to change it. Just wish Patheos had given me that opportunity in the first place. I do appreciate your help!

          • anakinmcfly

            If you sign in via FB, it takes that information from your Facebook account.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            All we can see is SusieQ as your name, and the photo that is attached. It can be how you log in to comment. There are a few options,

            I’m thinking you can change how you are viewed in the options section of whatever you use to log in. For example, if you use a google based account, there are some settings you can tweak.

          • SusieQ

            Yes, I found a place to change it, so you are now seeing what I changed it to. Thanks for following up to help me, though.

          • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

            That’s so funny…this is the only site I vist where I don’t receive Disqus email notifications.

          • SusieQ

            Hmm…wonder how I can get on that list. Mostly, I just don’t like them having my address without my consent.

      • SusieQ

        Hi, Elizabeth. Yes, he makes that clear. But what we’re talking about is the meaning of the word “bigot.” What better defines word meaning than a dictionary? I still think he gave too much leeway. But that’s not the real point of the article anyway. The answer is just a plain and simple “yes.” BTW, your reply came to my e-mail. Did you somehow get my address, or is that pathos’s doing?

        • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

          Yes, but it’s unreasonable to expect we, all of us, travel through this world with no preconceived bias. I don’t like dogs, but I like golden retrievers because I knew one. My mother is in no way, shape, or form racist, but she’d never really talked to an African American until I brought a friend home from school. And she had some preconceived notions. It’s how we act that counts. We can’t always control how we feel. (And yeah, I get email updates, too. Pretty freaky. You may be able to change that in settings. I’m a control freak so I like it. :) )

          • Snooterpoot

            It’s a false analogy, Elizabeth. Dogs cannot be hurt by your antipathy toward them. People can be hurt.

            I don’t think it’s accurate to say we cannot control how we feel. We control how we feel by educating ourselves.

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            Well, it may not be my best analogy. Domesticated animals can sense and be hurt by how we treat them and even our moods… which is so not the point.

            We can’t control feelings. We can educate ourselves, you’re right. I hope we do. There’s a lot of room in God’s kingdom. But, for instance, I live in a pretty bad ‘hood. I’m comfortable walking around at night, talking to the dealers and prostitutes and so on. I mean, they’ve met my dad. They ask how he’s doing. It’s no big deal. But most people would hold their heads down, hurry, and look away. They probably don’t hate street people, but they’re scared.

            That’s what we’re dealing with. Conservative Christians fear what welcoming gays would mean to what they’ve been taught, to their core faith. You can’t control fear. You can control your response. Does that make sense?

          • Snooterpoot

            Yes, it does. Thank you for the comment.

          • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

            I think you are spot on. This is fear-driven behavior.

          • Aquaria

            You make it sound like nobody can ever control their fears, when they can. I know this, because I know people control it all the damned time.

            I was scared of public speaking or doing anything even as simple as perform my instrument in front of classmates if I was singled out, even though I could play it, and play it well.

            I had to learn how to control the fear, so that I could overcome it.

            Yes, there are fears that are difficult to control, never mind overcome, like the trauma of rape or torture; however, the ‘fears’ of bigots aren’t based on trauma in the slightest, but on their ignorance and stubborn adherence to it.

        • SusieQ

          I understand what you’re saying, but again, the whole article is about whether certain persons fit the meaning defined by “bigot.” According to the dictionary, they do. There’s also a shade of difference between “bias” and “bigotry.”

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            It is a very fine shade of difference according to our friends at M-W: a tendency to believe that some people, ideas, etc., are better than others that usually results in treating some people unfairly.

            We’re on the same side of this. If you want, dig back and look at some of Ford1968′s comments. He’s a married gay man who has a lot more patience with how slowly Christians accept LGBT rights than I do. He makes me think.

          • SusieQ

            Yes, I know we’re on the same side. Funny…I also looked up M-W before posting that, but I didn’t consult any others. I imagine some other dictionaries note a more defined difference. Nevertheless, shades of meaning–no matter how slight–do matter, just like tone matters in a live conversation. But no matter…we’re picking at piddly little points that really don’t amount to anything in light of the article’s point. I’ve got more important things I need to attend to right now. Nice conversing with you, though.

        • Bill Steffenhagen

          Pathios does that. I get it too.

        • Aquaria

          Dictionaries tells us the meanings of words according to their usage. The words aren’t set in stone. They’re essentially abstractions, which make them fluid and amazingly adaptable, and can even completely change their meaning over time.

          Consider this: In the 1600s, the word ‘bully’ closely matched its meaning in the original Dutch of ‘boel,’ which means darling or sweetie; however, now it means a willfully mean person. The word didn’t change. The usage did, which changed the meaning.

          And dictionaries can get things 1000000000% wrong. Here’s a famous example, from the filth that is the Merriam-Webster dictionary:

          “Atheist: a person who believes that God does not exist”

          Except this is NOT what the vast majority of atheists actually believe, they are quite adamant that they aren’t saying the deity doesn’t exist–they’re saying they can’t buy the evidence of evidence as it’s presented. Even the Evil One himself, Richard Dawkins clearly says that if someone would present him credible evidence of their genocidal filth in the sky, he’d have to believe it was real. This is far–far–different from saying that something definitely doesn’t exist.

          This is why dictionaries aren’t an authority on what things actually are. They’re only records of the usage of words some people use to describe things, and depending on who’s using it, usages can make words mean very different things to very different people.

    • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

      I go with the “undue intolerance” definition. I don’t think that the traditionalist belief is bigotry in and of itself, but when it is held in a morally superior way, it often manifests itself in bigoted ways.

      • SusieQ

        I like that definition. Although those who are anti-gay would claim that the intolerance IS due, based on their own reasoning (however warped it may be).

        • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

          Totally agreed. To bigots, the need to fight what they view as immorality trumps compassion for the humanity of gay people. In their minds and hearts, discrimination against people who are gay is not an injustice, it is a moral imperative.

          • SusieQ

            Yes. And they (fundamentalist Christian bigots, that is) also believe it’s their God-appointed duty to confront those who in their narrow minds they think are guilty of sin.

      • lymis

        I think it comes back to John’s point. It depends on what you DO with that traditionalist view.

        If a person’s answer is some variation on “I have chosen to apply the traditional understanding of marriage to myself, and will only marry someone I love, only in a religious ceremony, and only as virgins who honestly intend to spend the rest of our lives together, and I think that’s the best way to do it.” That’s fine, because they’re applying it to themselves. Even “I feel sorry for people who don’t agree” is fine, if a bit more narrow minded.

        But as soon as that person says other people are wrong, and worse, that it should be illegal or even criminal to make other choices, that other, non-related rights and social basics and privileges, like employment or housing, should be contingent on doing it The One True Way, then it crosses the line.

        • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

          Exactly!

  • tanyam

    Not sure I follow the logic about what makes a bigot. Donald Sterling is a bigot, is he not? But I’m not sure what legislation he would promote or oppose regarding people of color. Some libertarians may not want to oppose gay marriage but their attitudes and treatment of gay people may be horrible. I think we need a clearer vocabulary.

    • Bill Steffenhagen

      I’ve been trying to make that argument for some time. I have a Speech degree and one of my biggest pet peeves is trying to have discussions about a subject for which there are no agreed upon definitions of terms. The current controversy vis-a-vis religion and homosexuality has become a Tower of Babble (pun is deliberate) precisely for that reason. It is futile to have a discussion, let alone an argument when two different languages, the language of “faith” vs the language of reason, are talking AT each other.

  • Clinton

    Nice. So Jesus and the Apostle Paul were bigots. Also, I’m sure black people love it when gay “marriage” advocates compare a lack of gay marriage to black slavery and apartheid.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      whaaaa?

      • Clinton

        I’m not sure where the confusion is. Perhaps I was snarkier than I should have been. What are you unsure about?

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          The entire statement.

          • Clinton

            Okay, well Paul and Jesus affirmed the traditional marriage scheme, and spoke against homoseuxality. Paul in Romans 1 (among other places), and Jesus in Matthew 5, 15, and 19.

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            Paul is, well, Pauline, and his references are about raping slaves , not consensual, loving relationships between grown-ups. In short, Paul and Jesus had no context for homosexuality. It wasn’t a thing. Everyone was straight and sometimes they did the pool boy. And yeah, we should have married sex. All the more reason to allow LGBT to get married, no?

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            Just in case Clinton replies with a, “So Jesus isn’t omniscient?”, or the like, I just want to say that saying people can’t come up with new concepts and contexts that are not known from “the beginning” does not bode well for free will. In case Clinton is a Calvinist, I have no choice in anything I have or will ever say including all my contemplation of how I have no choice and that and that and that and that and…

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            Yeah, Calvin (and Augustine before him, you ever read his Confessions? EPIC) were big fans of predestination. That means you’re basically screwed; what you were born to be is all you can be, and your success and good works illustrate your special status with God.

            I ask you, as a woman directly descended from men thrown out of Scotland for their beliefs (read hardcore Calvinists, they cut tails off cattle in protest of Queen Mary, it’s a long story…)

            … does that seem fair or just? Does that seem like what an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, and omnificent God would do? Yeah, me neither. God lets us choose.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            Well, I don’t have those beliefs anymore. Don’t let peoples’ arsey-ness get ya down.

          • Bones

            Augustine has little to say to us.

            His notion of Original Sin is misguided and his hang ups about his own sexuality formed his own views on sex.

            Calvin? He had Severitus burnt at the stake. I doubt there’s anything he has to say to us either.

          • Bones

            It’s funny.

            When you say Calvin had people burned at the stake it’s like well meh, he was only human.

            If you were to say Calvin had a gay relationship, watch him get disowned.

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            Calvin doesn’t appear to have had much fun, sexual or otherwise. Augustine, by contrast, came to his great epiphany because he really liked sex outside of marriage. 13 years and a kid. That’s what led to his hang up afterwards, which Christians largely adopted. If it weren’t for Augustine, we probably wouldn’t be poking our noses into everyone else’s sex lives at all.

            Fwiw, I’m unfamiliar with Calvin burning people at the stake. He quarreled with the Catholics, who were quite fond of it, which encouraged them to burn Servetus, and he influenced the Puritans (also fans of burning and not much fun.) But I’m not a church history expert.

          • Bones

            From John Calvin

            “If he [Servetus] comes [to Geneva], I shall never let him go out alive if my authority has weight.”
            Written by John Calvin in a letter to Farel Feb. 13, 1546

            Again Calvin writes Farel in a letter dated Aug 20th 1553 where he has Servetus arrested.
            “We have now new business in hand with Servetus. He intended perhaps passing through this city; for it is not yet known with what design he came. But after he had been recognized, I thought that he should be detained. My friend Nicolas summoned him on a capital charge. … I hope that sentence of death will at least be passed upon him”

            “Many people have accused me of such ferocious cruelty that (they allege) I would like to kill again the man I have destroyed. Not only am I indifferent to their comments, but I rejoice in the fact that they spit in my face.”

            “Whoever shall now contend that it is unjust to put heretics and blasphemers to death will knowingly and willingly incur their very guilt.

            http://www.bcbsr.com/topics/servetus.html

            “Let Baudouin abuse me as long as he will, provided that, by the judgment of Melancthon, posterity owe me a debt of gratitude for having purged the church of so pernicious a monster.”

            http://www.forgottenbooks.org/readbook_text/The_Life_of_John_Calvin_1000661708/523

            Calvin, in a letter to Marquis Poet, the high
            chamberlain to the King of Navarre:

            “Honour,
            glory and riches shall be the reward of your pains; but above all, do not fail
            to rid the country of those scoundrels, who stir up the people to revolt
            against us. Such monsters should be exterminated, as I have exterminated
            Michael Servetus the Spaniard.”

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            Dang. Well done.

          • Bones

            The lengths which Calvinists go to excuse John Calvin is bizarre given the vast majority of them can’t or won’t tolerate any ‘sin’ of any kind.

          • Aquaria

            [Rude comment deleted]

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            Well, that IS why God gave them up to degrading passions, because I can’t read.

          • BarbaraR

            Aquaria: cut out the personal attacks.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            You are obviously new here, so let me clue you in on a few home truths.

            1. Pretty much everyone here is quite well versed on what the Bible has to say, and have excellent reading comprehensions skills.

            2. Assuming that just because you see things different, gives you the right to be an ass, is incorrect thinking, AND behaviour.

            3. Continued behavior of such will demonstrate the need to press the big red button, which we do while stroking a large fluffy cat. You don’t want us to press the big red button.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Wrong. Traditional marriage as it is assumed now, did not exist in Jesus’s day. It wasn’t a near equal partnership, but quite unequal, with the one spouse having utter control over the other.

            Romans 1 needs to be read with the beginning of chapter two to realize that Paul isn’t condemning the acts in the list, but rather the bigoted, prideful self righteous mindsets practiced by Christians.

            Try again.

          • lrfcowper

            Actually, Paul in Romans 1-3 is refuting the defining of *all** to’ebah violations as sins. He’s comparing pagan orgiastic same-sex practices, which would be understood by his Jewish readers as an extreme violation of the to’ebah code and for which he says they receive appropriate recompense for their idolatry in their bodies, with violations of the Law of Love, which lead to death. Only a shallow out-of-context surface reading– or a biased one– would suggest Paul is condemning homosexuality (a concept that didn’t even exist in Paul’s (or Jesus’) time).

            As for Jesus, he could no more condemn homosexuality than he could condemn germ theory, autism, Tupperware parties, or the space program. He addressed issues of marriage *as the institute existed in his day* and his words are only applicable to the extent that the two institutions are similar, and no further.

            Both Jesus and Paul opposed the use of religion to justify bigotry within their religious traditions. Paul even stated that in Christ there is no male or female, period. If there’s no male or female, then there’s no basis for judging a relationship based on the genders of those involved, now is there? (At least assuming the people involved are Christians. If they aren’t Christians, then they aren’t under our rules at all.)

            The basis for all Christian morality isn’t trying to mangle teachings on one culture’s institutions to another entirely different culture’s institutions, but the Law of Love. That supposed Christians abandon the Law of Love to try and impose out-of-context teachings on others to violate their civil liberties and religious freedoms is just plain, out-and-out evil. Yes, evil. Wicked. Sinful. Murderous. Vile. Satanic.

            Stop it.

          • Aquaria

            [Nasty comment deleted]

          • Bones

            Can someone show me where Jesus condemns homosexuality cause it ain’t in my Bible?

            Some folks love puttin words in Jesus mouth.

            Like Jesus wouldn’t like refugees.

          • Andy

            I think it’s in Phelps 3:16.

          • Bones

            lol

          • lymis

            The claim is that because Jesus supported heterosexual marriage for heterosexuals, he therefore must have opposed homosexuality for homosexual people.

            You know, just like he condemned eating anything but fish and bread because that’s what he fed the multitudes, and condemned the drinking of water because he changed some to wine.

            The claim is also, apparently that because he condemned adultery as committed by a straight woman who had married multiple men, he obviously intended ONLY heterosexual marriage for everyone, regardless of orientation.

            You know, the stuff that isn’t actually anywhere in any of the Scriptures.

    • BarbaraR

      I’ll second allegro’s whaaaa?

    • Michael James Plezia

      apparently and Moses too.

    • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James Jarvis

      Jesus never said a single thing about marriage equality and never mentioned gays even once. The whole concept of sexual orientation was unknown to Paul and so his comment can not be taken as a condemnation of committed same relationships.

      • Clinton

        Actually, Jesus affirmed the traditional marriage model in at least three places in Scripture. In Matthew 5, Jesus said He didn’t come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it. In Matthew 15, he says that all sexual acts committed outside of marriage defile a human being. And in Matthew 19, he says that marriage as God intended it is the union of one man and one woman for life.

        And this argument regarding sexual orientation not being known to God is just a specious argument. Dr. Michael Brown, a Semitic scholar, in his book Can You be Gay and Christian? has responded to this argument, “Even if it were true, it would mean that until this last generation or so that everyone reading the Bible would absolutely misunderstand it. And that God did not take that into account when He inspired the Scriptures…that is stretching things…There is actually no new information. In other words there is not a scrap of textural, or archeological, or linguist, or interpretive data in any way that has been discovered that should overturn our historic understanding of Scripture. Not one shred of it.”

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          You do realize that in Jesus’s day, jewish women had very little rights. They couldn’t obtain a divorce, but a husband could. They could not testify in court, few owned property on their own. Traditional marriage in that day meant, lots of divorced women, dependent on brothers or fathers, because hubby dear decided he wanted to trade her in.

          Why? She couldn’t have kids, or only birthed daughters, was getting older, had an opinion on her own, she got sick….

          Jesus did the adultery loophole, knowing full well, that husbands were the more likely ones to stray, because they didn’t risk stoning, or being kicked out into the streets. So he was telling men to stop being selfish shitheads.

          For the record, polygamy was still practiced then, but it was falling out of favor.

          • Aquaria

            Funny how an all-powerful deity can only relate to the world in ways that pertain to the culture of the time it’s supposedly written. He’s supposed to show people a new way, but somehow shows them the same old shit that they already know about.

            You know, you christers really need to work on what morality is. Just because someone is a product of his culture isn’t a license to be equally as immoral as the rest of the culture you’re in.

            If you’re an all-powerful deity, zap the new thoughts into people’s heads, or at least give them a solid hint of where they need to head, rather than propping up the same old things that you supposedly know are immoral.

            An all-powerful deity should be powerful enough to convince people that they’re awash in immorality and stupid.

            But not the genocidal triad. Nope, they’ll let people stumble around in the dark and suffer for lack of knowledge.

            That doesn’t speak well of the delusion you worship, you know.

          • BarbaraR

            Fluffy cat? Check.
            Big red button? Check.
            Anonymous person being an ass banned? Check.

        • lrfcowper

          Nope. He answered a question about the marriage that existed in his culture. It wouldn’t have made much sense for him to have addressed some other form of marriage. That “traditional marriage model” bears little resemblance to the marriages of today, so unless your parents arranged your marriage, possibly to someone you didn’t know, and a bride price passed hands, and the wife had no say in the matter and cannot seek a divorce or own property or charge her husband with marital rape but could be stoned to death if she didn’t bleed buckets on her wedding night, you don’t have a traditional marriage.

          And we’re not talking about what God knows or doesn’t know, but what the 1st century crowds of Jesus’ day would have understood, recalled, and recorded. And, no, up until very recently, the word “homosexual” didn’t occur in any translation of the Bible. So it isn’t that up until recently people would have misunderstood the Bible, but that recent translations have inserted ideas that are not and could not have been meant by the writers. The mistranslation of references to same-sex rape, pedophilia, and same-sex pagan sex orgies as referencing homosexuality is what is ahistoric, not more recent attempts to reclaim the original meanings.

        • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James Jarvis

          In Matthew 5 Jesus is referring to “the law and the prophets” and is a reference to the Torah and is a statement that his coming is a fulfillment of scripture. I was not a reference to the laws sent forth in Leviticus. Matthew 15 only mentions sex outside of marriage and as such has nothing to say about marriage equality or homosexuality. Finally, there is nothing in Matthew 19 that forbids marriage equality or supports it for that matter.

          I never said that sexual orientation was unknown to God. I said that Paul would not have understood the concept of sexual orientation and therefore what he said has no bearing on marriage equality.

          • Norman Dostal

            You schooled that silly religious bigot!!

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          The Bible is completely the work of patriarchal men trying to unite a bunch of ancient semitic traditions, and you have to stand on the shoulders of scholars and printing houses and retailers to even be able to read the thing. The Bible is as manufactured as the ancient books of all the other religions you and I have so much “faith” to believe they are false.

    • anakinmcfly

      I’ve never seen anyone compare a lack of gay marriage to black slavery and apartheid. What *does* get compared to that is the active discrimination, the hate crimes, the murders, the teaching that gay people are inferior to straight people, the bullying that people turn a blind eye to, the criminalisation of homosexuality with jail sentences or the death penalty, the ability for businesses to legally fire or refuse service to LGBT people, the hate speech that’s allowed to proliferate unchecked, the way LGBT kids are practically encouraged to kill themselves, the way people are allowed to actively hurt them – sometimes to the point of death – and claim any opposition to be accusations of bigotry.

      p.s. there are black gay people too.

    • Norman Dostal

      Jesus never mentioned gays or gay marriage so id say no to that…Paul was a closeted gay man who never married, never met Jesus and only said one thing about gay sex-that STRAIGHT men shoudlnt do it!! “Natural urges…”

      • lrfcowper

        I don’t think it’s helpful to make the claim that Paul was a closeted gay man based on the fact that he did not enter into– and did not think it good for other Christian men to enter into– an institution that in his day was essentially sexual slavery for women. We do not know whether Paul never married because of ethical objections to the marriage of his day, a spiritual calling to celibacy (even before his conversion Paul was nothing if not passionately devoted to religion), asexuality, homosexuality, financial incapacity, or, in fact, whether he had been married but was now widowed or divorced (Some people theorise in order for him to have been a “Pharisee among Pharisees” Paul would have been married, but his conversion to Christianity left him at odds with his wife and, in keeping with his principles he offered her a divorce and she took it).

        Those who make the claim that his thorn in the flesh is a reference to same-sex desire are theorising based on little evidence. There’s a stronger basis for thinking it may have been failing eyesight, for instance.

        The speculation doesn’t help your point and, in fact, pulls people off-topic unnecessarily.

        The actual point is that Paul didn’t say anything about LGBT people. He had one thing to say about straight men taking part in same-sex pagan temple orgies, but that has no application at all to same-sex committed relationships today because 1) he was talking about idolatrous sex rites, 2) he was talking about straight men, and 3) he didn’t identify even that extreme breech of the to’ebah restrictions as a sin, but merely as an error with a temporary and temporal, rather than eternal, consequence.

    • Bones

      I know Paul didn’t write it but Titus 1:12-13 sounds pretty bigoted

      12 One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true.

      Also how do you read Mark 7:24-29

      24 Jesus got up and went away from there to the region of Tyre. And when He had entered a house, He wanted no one to know of it; yet He could not escape notice. 25 But after hearing of Him, a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately came and fell at His feet. 26 Now the woman was a Gentile, of the Syrophoenician race. And she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 And He was saying to her, “Let the children be satisfied first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 28 But she answered and *said to Him, “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs under the table feed on the children’s crumbs.” 29 And He said to her, “Because of this answer go; the demon has gone out of your daughter.” 30 And going back to her home, she found the child lying on the bed, the demon having left.

  • Lesia E. Smith

    So Preachers are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. A bigot if he preaches against gays and a hypocrite if he doesn’t! A Preacher can’t win so I vote he preaches what God leads him to preach. You don’t think he has that right? You bigot!

    • Thomas Croucher

      What Christians do not understand is that……not every human being on earth is Christian…….just like not every human being is Muslim and should not have to live by Sharia law…..that’s why I’m thankful for being American…..or should I be ashamed of my freedom? If you think your religion is the only true way and you think everyone should believe what you believe…..your stupid :/

      • Lesia E. Smith

        I am not saying everyone should believe as I do. I actually have gay friends. I believe they have a civil right to marry but do not think any church should be required to marry them if it is against their beliefs. Apparently you have a small mind when it comes to your knowledge and belief about Christians. I think that makes you stupid! ;)

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          I doubt anyone is trying to force churches to marry anyone they don’t want to. Thankfully more and more are willing to step up to the plate.

        • lrfcowper

          There is not one piece of legislation anywhere in the nation requiring churches that oppose marriage equality to perform same-sex weddings. Nor are there any pieces of legislation that overturn preachers’ rights to freely practice their religion. They can vomit all the hate speech they want to from the pulpit and the law is firmly behind their rights to do it.

          What the law can’t protect them from is everyone recognising that they’re bigots while they’re doing it. Because they are. And the law permits me to freely say so.

          • Andy

            In fact, a few states have tried to pass laws to the contrary, i.e. that people should not be forced to accept a customer whose “lifestyle” (the idea of which is completely bullshit) they don’t agree with on religious grounds. Seriously, I don’t get this.

            I started to type a hypothetical conversation illustrating how ludicrous a situation would be that necessitates such a law, but it’s even stupider than I thought it would be before I started writing it. Plus, I just did one of those a few minutes ago. But the idea of this is absolutely ridiculous.

          • Guy Norred

            And a few that make it a criminal offense for a member of the clergy to officiate at ANY ceremony, legally recognized or not, that looked anything like a marriage for non-heterosexuals. I am not sure if any have passed, but the fact that such a thing has been tried really points out that there are those who do not really understand the intent of religious freedom.

          • lymis

            Yes, there’s a law on the books in one of the Carolina’s that makes it a civil criminal penalty to officiate at a wedding that isn’t recognized by the state – even if nobody involved is trying to claim that it has any legal meaning. It’s a clear violation of the right of a church to engage in purely religious ceremonies, and is being contested in court.

        • Thomas Croucher

          OK, so we both decide to belittle each other. Now that we are evenly crappy people, maybe we can start to understand our similarities and put away our differences. At least be adult enough to concede the point that our countries laws are not determined by the bible or the Quran or any other religious text. Our laws are to include all people and all beliefs. There are many forms of belief and once you start claiming moral superiority through your belief system than you are leaning toward theocracy or fascism. Maybe we should study how Germany turned into what it did before WW2.

        • Snooterpoot

          And I think your comment here makes you look immature.

        • Norman Dostal

          dont worry your silly little horned head, cow! no church can ever be made to do anything it doenst want to-never

          • lrfcowper

            Please stop with the misogynistic (and body-shaming) insults. There’s a strong streak of anti-feminist, misogynistic patriarchal bigotry among anti-LGBT groups that underlies and informs their disapproval of LGBT people. Whenever you make misogynistic comments or insults, you are piling on yet another layer of confirmation that their worldview that “manly”, woman-sexin’ men are superior to everyone else and, therefore, have ownership of the lives of women and LGBT people.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            The removal of the insulting phrase should serve as your warning.

        • Guy Norred
        • Giauz Ragnarock

          No disagreements here. It seems like as soon as the protests for same-sex marriages began Christian churches got it in their heads that they are a valuable commodity for getting a marriage license. It’s strange how they never feared Jews, Muslims, Shintoists, First Nations spiritists, atheists, etc forcing them to perform their marriage ceremonies (none of those groups fear Christians forcing them to do the same for Christians). It’s all rather contrived and absurd.

    • lrfcowper

      Yes, that’s right. A preacher who preaches against gays, or blacks, or Mexicans, or left-handed people, or people with autism, or people with depression, or dwarfs, or deaf people, or poor people, or women, or interracial marriages, or marriage equality, or businesses having signs in Spanish, or anti-bullying measures in schools is a bigot. He has the right to believe and preach whatever he wants. Doesn’t make him not a bigot.

      And I thoroughly believe that if he’s preaching something that violates the Law of Love (and encourages others toward the same), it wasn’t God that led him to preach it.

      • Andy

        I keep hearing bigots claim the first amendment, as though that should excuse their bigotry. xkcd sums this up rather nicely.

        From the hover text:

        “I can’t remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you’re saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it’s not literally illegal to express.”

    • Snooterpoot

      Sure he has a right to preach “what God leads him to preach.” And we have a right to identify him as a loathsome bigot. The fact that he thinks God is leading him to oppress people who are homosexual does not excuse him from the ramifications of his remarks.

      There is a simple way to avoid identification as a bigot. Don’t be one.

  • Michael James Plezia

    Is there another page missing, I am looking for your argument that the Bible doesn’t say it’s a sin to practice homosexuality. It just seems to be one sentence. Although I would submit for your consideration that gay rights are not the issue for most Christians. Most are all for gay-and every other people’s rights. The problem lays in telling people who, by virtue of their worldview do not recognize homosexual relationships within their own circles, that they must change a core component of who they are. For the Christian, the only acceptable form of sex is between a male and a female for life. Because that is who we are.

    • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

      Here’s what you’re looking for: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/2012/04/the-best-case-for-the-bible-not-condemning-homosexuality/. Those blue letters with the lines under them? They’re called links, and you can click through to another page.

    • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

      Hi Michael –
      I think you would be hard pressed to prove that most conservative Christians are ok with gay rights. There is a strong sentiment in evangelicalism that the “normalization of homosexuality” must be vigorously resisted. In other words, there is a desire to stigmatize and marginalize people who are gay as an act of obedience/ moral disapproval. These folks are definately not OK with legal recognition of couples who are gay.

    • anakinmcfly

      Except that that isn’t who we all are.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      Uhm…I’m a Christian, I have no problem with two consenting adults having sex and being the same gender, no more a problem then if they are of opposite genders. Its sex. Its something people do, on occasion, while in a romantic relationship.

      You don’t have to agree with it, but you do need to think about the why of it. How does it make you look at a gay couple, what thoughts cross your mind, what would you do, if you had control? Those questions are important…very important when determining whether your views are bigoted or not.

    • Bill Steffenhagen

      ****For the Christian, the only acceptable form of sex is between a male and a female for life. Because that is who we are.****

      Hey Michael, I’m gay and I have no problem with that…..until you start to tell me it should be how I feel about it too, or until you vote for a politician who thinks it should be the law of the land or that I should lose my living space or even my right to live because I’m gay.

      THAT IS THE CURRENT PROBLEM…..and we aren’t letting it be so anymore.

    • BarbaraR

      I’m a Christian and that is not who I am. Don’t speak for all of us.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      I made the link in the final words of the piece more clear.

    • http://coolingtwilight.com/ Dan Wilkinson

      “Because that is who we are.” Except we are definitely Not All Like That!

    • lrfcowper

      If gay rights are not an issue for most Christians, why did World Vision lose scads of supporters when they opened employment to married LGBT people (and not get them back when they backpedalled)? Why do so-called Christian organisations oppose housing and employment anti-discrimination measures including LGBT people on the list, and anti-bullying legislation that protects LGBT and perceived-to-be-LGBT children from harassment and assault at school (and there we’re not even talking about gay sex, since the majority of kids protected are under the age of consent and if they’re having gay sex at 7 or 12, someone better be being arrested for child abuse), and support the draconian laws in Russia and the kill/imprison-for-life-all-the-gays bill in Uganda? No one is telling these folks they don’t have the right to believe whatever they want.

      And no, not all Christians would agree with your last two sentences. There are millions of LGBT Christians in the world and millions more who find no scriptural support for bigotry against their LGBT brothers and sisters. It isn’t an either/or Christian vs. gay equation.

      For the Christian, the only acceptable form is sex is that which does not violate the Law of Love. Because that is what Christ taught as the whole and sum total of the law.

    • Snooterpoot

      So, when you think of gay men and lesbians, your mind automatically goes into their bedrooms? Because you did mention sex. So “who we are” allows their imaginations to wonder into the bedrooms of strangers? That’s pretty creepy.

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

        Sex is something people do. Its not what they are.

        • BarbaraR

          But it is easier to objectify and make people into lesser beings if we reduce them to sexual organs and acts. Remove the humanity from the equation, and it is easy to see them as unworthy.

  • mespe

    John, I usually find myself in synch with your train of thought, but this one is a stretch for me.
    Okay – so how about I am conflicted. There are biblical passages that seem to support the “conservative” perspective (I hate labels), and there are others that don’t. My faith is no less deep because I am conflicted than those who are either pro or against. Physically, it appears to me to be against nature, but yet, aren’t emotions and feelings part of nature too? Gee, no clear cut stuff here.

    Webster’s defines bigot as: “a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc. : a bigoted person; especially : a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group)”

    Hmmm. Even if I think that they are wrong, homosexuals are God’s children, as are all of us. Do I think they are wrong? Maybe. Do I hate them or refuse to accept them? No, in fact I don’t even mildly dislike them. But there are some roles in which I think their behaviour is inappropriate. Is my point of view unfair, no because it is not dislike or hate. It may be disagree. If disagreement with something earns me the label of bigot in your mind, you might wish to do a self-test for judgementalism.
    I think that my God is bigger than just focusing on “that sin”; or even more broadly sexual sin. If I am being presumptive, I seriously beg forgiveness, but I believe that God is worried about our human tendency to sin in general. That’s all sin, not just “that” sin.
    Grace, Peace and Love my brother – Mark

    • Matt

      As a matter of simple curiosity, what “behaviour” are you referring to, Mark? That might help clear some things up.

      • Bill Steffenhagen

        Yes, mespe, please describe the behavior you speak of. Yeah, I know you really don’t want to, but how do we carry on a discussion about “behaviors” without behavior definitions? That’s why this discussion goes on so endlessly and futilely. With no nailed down definitions, no one really knows what anyone is talking about.

        So ok, let’s pound some nails. Is two men holding hands ok? It’s common in other parts of the world and raises narry an eyebrow. So I guess that’s ok. Well, then, how about two men sitting on a public bench with an arm of one around the shoulders of the other. Gee, that’s common too…..in other countries. I’ve seen it personally and it’s not, per se, a sexual indicator. So ok, how bout men kissing? Depends on what kinda kiss? Hmmm. Is it a “sexual” kiss? Define “sexual” kiss. Hmmm. So now there’s a dilemma. Is it sexual if it’s too long? How long is ok? How bout if I put my hands around his head and fingers thru his hair as I kiss him? Run my hand down his back and pull him close? Ah, you’re getting nervous now, eh? Is cocksucking per se, sinful? Well, not if a wife does it to her husband? Why is it if two men do it? That’s self-evident, you say? But is it? You can’t just say so. You have to have a rationale for it or it is just mindless prejudice undeserving of consideration. Cause God or the Bible says so? Name the verse! At what point does an affectionate gesture become sexual? And when it does, how is that any of your business? And if it’s not public, how do you even know it happens. Oh, you assume so. So that makes condemnation of a whole class of people (or personal guilt) ok then?

        If a person can’t or won’t define “sexual sin” in a firm, nailed down description, then how can that person be against it? How can something that no one can define, that even the Bible does not, be called a sin?

        You see, religious anti-gay people CHOOSE to not think it thru because deep down, they know they can’t come up with an answer for what they think they know. They have no rationale for their prejudice and they know it. So they fall back on “well, because”….. this or that.

        What’s happening now is this; we aren’t giving anti-gay religious bigots (cause that’s what they are) that choice anymore and their little mindless robot brains are short circuiting.

    • anakinmcfly

      But what is it, exactly, that is objectionable about homosexuality and/or gay sex? If it’s because it’s non-reproductive, then that would make sex with any infertile person a sin, but most homophobes wouldn’t agree. If it’s because of incompatible genitals, then homophobes would be against, say, castrated men having sex with women, which they aren’t, and they would be fine with gay transgender people, which they also aren’t. If it’s because of incompatible levels of masculinity and femininity, then homophobes would be against masculine women dating masculine men and feminine women dating feminine men, which they also aren’t. If it’s because it’s icky, then straight people shouldn’t have sex either.

      So… *what* is it about homosexuality that people are actually against? For all the talk, I have yet to meet someone against homosexuality who has actually thought their position through and knows what it is exactly they’re trying to condemn.

    • lrfcowper

      The “against nature” argument is specious. There’s absolutely nothing unnatural about any sex act that two men or two women undertake when compared to the same act committed by a man and a woman. Not all gay couples do anal sex. A lot of straight couples, however, do. Before widely available birth control (and in areas of the world and among populations where birth control is still relatively rare) it is quite popular. Oral sex? Ditto above. Mutual masturbation? Ditto above. Genital rubbing? Ditto above.

      These sex acts occur throughout human history, across cultures, and in all configurations of relationships. They also occur in the animal kingdom (plus others, like dolphin penis-in-blowhole sex, which, dude…).

      A myriad of studies have found ample evidence that romantic and/or sexual attraction to the same sex is a normal human neurological variation, as natural as being left-handed, autistic, face-blind, schizophrenic, bipolar, a musical prodigy, dyslexic, hyperfocused, or super-intelligent. From a statistical standpoint, none of those things is “normal” but all of them are absolutely 100% natural. So is being LGBT. Neurology is part of physiology. When you claim it is physically “unnatural” you’re saying the brain is not part of the body, which is patently ridiculous.

      And, no, there are no scriptures that condemn consensual, committed same-sex relationships. None. Nada. Ain’t there. Saying the Bible condemns homosexuality because Sodom or Leviticus or Romans is like saying the Bible condemns heterosexuality because it condemns male-on-female rape, pedophilia, incest, and temple prostitution.

      What it comes down to is this– Do you use your beliefs to attempt to curtail or prevent others from freely exercising their civil rights or religious freedoms, to curtail or prevent the legal recognition of the civil rights and religious freedoms of others, to encourage others to do so, or to cause or promote harm to others? Those are all violations of the Law of Love, and make you not only a bigot, but a violator of the one and only law we Christians are told to follow.

      Unless you see someone being harmed or a Christian brother or sister specifically asks for your input, what you believe about the sinfulness of things you aren’t doing has no bearing on anyone but you. You are to be focused on doing the dos– loving your neighbour, feeding the hungry, providing water for the thirsty, giving shelter to the homeless, offering comfort to the sick and injured, visiting the imprisoned, seeking justice for the oppressed, and being a family to those who have lost theirs. That’s Christianity right there. All those don’ts being flung at others? That’s not Christianity. That’s what the Galatians were doing when Paul told them that when they placed themselves and others under the law, they were cursed, and the grace of Christ was rendered powerless to them. Don’t do that to yourself.

      • Andy

        I want to bookmark this comment because it is so awesome.

      • lymis

        And, since just about every species of animals, and most definitely most of the higher forms and all the other primates, include at least some members who engage in same-sex sexual activities, either occasionally or even exclusively, “not natural” takes on an additional level of absurdity.

    • Snooterpoot

      Thinking homosexuality is wrong is like thinking being left handed or having blue eyes is wrong. All three are traits one is born with and are found in a minority of human beings. All three are morally neutral, even though people who are left handed were once shunned and condemned.

      Can you not see how hurtful and damaging it is to tell a person who is homosexual that the very core of his or her being is wrong or sinful? Do you think Christ would have said that when his only commandments were focused on love?

      People are entitled to believe however they wish, but when those beliefs are damaging to other people they need to be held accountable.

  • http://www.CheersandGears.com Oldsmoboi

    More importantly… they are hypocrites.

  • Rob Van Groll

    First, this article incorrectly defines “bigot” as essentially anyone who restricts the rights of another person based upon who they are, when the actual definition according to Merriam-Webster is “a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc.” Obviously, whether or not opposing gay marriage means that one “unfairly” dislikes other people or ideas is a point of debate.

    Second, even if we use this article’s definition of bigot, I would point out that marriage is not a right, it is a vocation, and not everyone is called to it. People who are not religious will not understand the difference or will disagree with me that marriage is a vocation, but that is the point of view of many Christians, and the way in which this article attempts to paint all Christians who are against gay marriage as bigots actually only reveals the utter ignorance of the author.

    • James Walker

      marriage is not a right, it is a vocation, and not everyone is called to it

      were that the case, marriage would be unavailable to anyone outside any faith in which such a “vocation” is defined

      People who are not religious will not understand the difference or will disagree with me that marriage is a vocation

      I’m a Christian and I find no evidence in the Bible for marriage as a “vocation”. That’s a made-up bit of dogma if ever I heard one. Celibacy, now, that’s a vocation that few are called to. Being a pastor is a vocation. Being a monk or a nun, those are vocations. Marriage? Nope. All you need for marriage, according to Paul, is the inability to stave off sexual desire. If you can’t keep it in your pants, he says, better put a ring on it.

      vocation. pheh

    • BarbaraR

      I do not see marriage as a “vocation.” And whether it is or not is beside the point. It is a civil right in this country; civil rights are not defined by whether they meet the definitions set by any religious party.

  • Lew Ayotte

    Are homosexuals who oppose gay marriage, bigots of themselves? http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-22758434

    • James Walker

      did you read the reasons for opposition? the LGBT+ folks who weighed in as being against gay marriage did so for the same reasons that some hetero-normative folks are against marriage period. they are concerned that marriage itself doesn’t work in our society, they are concerned that cohabiting couples aren’t extended the same rights, privileges and protections. they express concerns that there are far more pressing and immediate causes we ought to be facing, such as climate change and extinction events.

      no, they aren’t being “bigots of themselves”.

      • Lew Ayotte

        Yes, my question was intended to be an obvious counter-argument to John Shore’s ridiculous article.

        • James Walker

          well, in that case, I’m afraid you failed because it isn’t obvious and isn’t a counter-argument.

          • Lew Ayotte

            Wasn’t my first failure… won’t be my last. But it is a counter-argument. By Shore’s definition, Some homosexuals would have to be bigots of themselves for doing what the same thing that some Christians are doing (supporting the restrictions of rights of Homosexuals). That is illogical.

          • Guy Norred

            Illogical possibly, but not unique. The same could easily be said for members of any number of oppressed groups. There are well documented cases of people who have always been taught that they were inferior to others finding it difficult to accept the thought that they weren’t. The abolition of slavery and serfdom did not immediately cause everyone on either side of the divide to let go of their understanding of their status in these systems, and one could argue that it might be even harder to overcome in systems with a less defined hierarchy. To the case in point, try checking out Irish drag queen Panti Bliss’ impassioned speech on homophobia.

          • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James Jarvis

            No it is not a counter-argument. Also, by definition a right is something that can only be denied by discriminating against a person or group of people.

          • James Walker

            go back and re-read the article you posted. they aren’t “supporting the restrictions of rights of Homosexuals”.

            being against marriage for everyone isn’t the same as being against LGBT+ marriage in particular. being against extending the rights, responsibilities and protections of marriage to one group when they aren’t extended to all groups isn’t the same as being against LGBT+ marriage in particular. being against focusing on this issue while there are other issues that are arguably more pressing survival of the species concerns isn’t the same as being against LGBT+ marriage.

            I think we can add “reading comprehension” to your list of failures for the day.

          • Snooterpoot

            I have been living openly as a lesbian for more than 40 years, and I have never heard even one person who is GLBT who has no interest in marriage advocate restricting the right to marry for other same-sex couples. That is simply not the case, just like people who are heterosexual and have no interest in marriage for themselves do not advocate denying marriage to others.

            Where do you people come up with this stuff?

          • Lew Ayotte

            Google “Gays against Gay Marriage”… also, as a married heterosexual male, I can firmly say that I advocate abolishing government sanctioned marriage to all people.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Oh!! Its on the internet, so it must be true.

          • Andy
          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            snerk!!

      • Norman Dostal

        no they can be-usually they are just lonely bitter gays who arent partnered-its VERY easy to say we dont need that when you yourself dont have the option!

        • James Walker

          while that’s true (yes, I’ve met a few “bitter queens” in my travels), it doesn’t come across in the article Lew linked in his/her comment above.

        • anakinmcfly

          I’m a lonely bitter gay virgin who is all in favour for gay marriage, and the people I’ve known to be against it tend to have partners and/or be getting laid on a regular basis, so your comment is surprising.

    • BarbaraR

      No one is saying that everyone should get married or want to get married. There are plenty of straight people who oppose marriage for the same reasons outlined in this article.

    • Norman Dostal

      opposing by opinion and actively opposing trhpough action are the dividing factors. Yes, a black can be a bigot against blacks (ie Clarence THomas), just as gays can be bigoted against gays. It usually involves a hypocrisy or a selfishness

      • anakinmcfly

        …alternatively it just involves, you know, being human. If we live in a racist/sexist/homophobic etc world, it’s unreasonable to expect someone not to internalise those beliefs just because they happen to be part of the target group.

    • lymis

      If, in fact, you found someone who was claiming that gay people do not deserve the right to marriage specifically because, as gay people, they are less than straight people, yes, they would be bigots.

      There are some seriously messed up gay people in the world. Some stupid ones, too.

      However, your link supports no such idea, so, well, there’s that.

  • Erik Manning

    Screw reasoned argument and logic. Let’s just assume our position is the right one with a bunch of baseless assertions and call the other side names!

    • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

      “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” That’s The Gospel of John, and John conflates the Son of God, Jesus, with the Greek principle logic or purpose. So… let’s stick with God can understand logic.

  • Tommy Mart

    “when everything becomes marriage, nothing is marriage” – said one intellectual, a college professor, a doctor, and therefore, a highly educated person. Was he a bigot? No, he simply point out what a lot of people fail to see today. Us Christans are often accused to be full of prejudices, failing to see a one of basic bible laws – do not judge. Or maybe better – love everybody, more than you love yourself. Christianity is not being bigot. Homosexuals often say “they are fighting for love”. Well, Christianity is just about different kind of love. Maybe, Bible doesn’t clearly state “being gay is a sin”, but one of 10 testaments forbids lust. Ergo, in Christianity, sex without attention to create a family is a sin, and homosexuality in a eyes of Christian just falls in that category. Does that mean Christians discriminate or should discriminate homosexuals? – Please go back and read “do not judge” in the Bible. Also, does that mean that Christians are bigots if they fight for what they think is rightful to their beliefs? – Please, open a Bible and find definition of marriage. Their “marriage”, in my opinion, homosexuals can call union, love-forever or whatever they want in order to put ring on the finger and share their love. Christianity is not about taking their rights to love, but why are we bigots if we want to protect our way of calling celebration of love – marriage. Cheers!

    • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

      First of all, let’s get this “college professor, a doctor, and therefore, a highly educated person” idea out of the way. I’m the progeny of two, and I promise it doesn’t make them more wise or learned than you or me.

      You’re a bigot if you want to withhold rights from others you, yourself, have. End of story.

      • Tommy Mart

        Please, I’m not trying to withhold rights from anyone. Just trying to point out that Christians have rights – too. What is often forgotten, every time there is a discussion. Being liberal does not mean being pro-gay, pro-abortion and pro-whatever-modern-society-puts-in-front-of-you. Being liberal (non-bigot) means respect others, but also claim respect to rightfully protect your point of you. Even if you get out this “college professor, a doctor, and therefore, a highly educated person” idea out of the way, it still stands that out there are smart, liberal people who see the beginning and the end of problem differently than you. That does not make them bigots.

        • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

          Hi Tommy. I’m only wasting time with you because I think you’re really trying to get it. No one demands you, or anyone else, be pro-gay or pro-women’s rights or pro-purple hedgehogs. They simply want acknowledgement their rights count, too. To my knowledge, that act of kindness doesn’t infringe on Christian rights. Even if you think all the above is wrong, didn’t He welcome the adulteresses and the lepers and tax collectors as complete equals in the eyes of God?

          • Tommy Mart

            Dear Elizabeth, I covered that long ago with “do not judge” part. I have friends who are gay, transsexual, bisexual and all kind of sexual if you want. I’m just trying to present a point that standing by what I think is right, and in the same time RESPECT others, does not make me a bigot.

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            And what is that point you’re standing by, anyway? Synopsize it two sentences. That liberal doesn’t mean pro-gay and pro-abortion, and being Christian doesn’t mean you’re persecuted when other people accept gay people? ‘Cause we’ve all heard the “I have lots of multi-sexual (or black or Jewish) friends,” line. It practically guarantees you’re a bigot.

          • Tommy Mart

            Hahahaha, so if I call my friend Linda, I am anti-Linda? Calling someone multi-sexual, black, Jewish is the same as calling someone skinny, tall, beautiful etc. Those as cultural, sociological and biological facts. Using them doesn’t make me bigot. Personaly, I use African-Americans if you want. Making someone less valuable by those names would make me bigot. Please, read again mine do not judge and love everbody, more then yourself. You are constantly accusing me of something I didn’t say, and that, my friend, is discrimination and being bigot.

          • BarbaraR

            What is your point? You are skirting whatever it is you are trying to say, and mocking other posters is not helping your argument.

          • Tommy Mart

            Not skirting everything, I presented my point in the first paragraph in order to support the argument that “believing what Bible say doesn’t make you bigot”. I used my bible-root beliefs “do not judge” and “love everybody, more than yourself”. This article presented lot of wrong ‘facts’ about us Bible-loving-people, and although I stated few times that 1) I believe gay-people should have EQUAL rights 2) the world is not so black-and-white that everybody who oppose gay-marriage as presented are bigots 3) really important, most-forgotten point that there are other right, not just gay rights = somehow, I ended up being accused of being bigot. Why? Because I have slightly different opinion? That, my friend, means to discriminate.

          • BarbaraR

            *Sigh*
            Yes, people who oppose gay marriage are bigots. The Bible is not protecting you.
            John Shore provided a link at the end of his article above explaining why that nonsense about “what the Bible says” just doesn’t exist.

          • Tommy Mart

            Once, again – I’m not opposing gay-marriage as a union of two people of same sex. Just trying to protect, my right to see a marriage itself, slightly different. Also, it does exist. John Shoe just has different perspective how to look for it, no knowledge how to look for it or – in the worst case – a discriminatory standpoint toward Bible and Christians.Where to find all “nonsense” that he claims “is not in the Bible”, I also explained previously. You just need to know or be willing to know look in right places.

          • Teresa

            This is honestly my favorite argument from uber-conservative Christians. Every time a group that they disagree with gets any measure of equality, they cry discrimination. Christians aren’t being fed to lions, there is no war on Christmas, and unless you’re married to a closeted homosexual your right to your religiously sanctioned marriage won’t change. No church is being required to perform same sex weddings. No pastor will be imprisoned for refusing to do so. Your insistance that the term “marriage” be reserved for straight people because Jesus said so is asinine semantics in our secular society. I’m not Christian, I long ago decided not to procreate, I am ethically non-monogamous, yet I was still allowed to be married. Why should my chuchgoing best friend and her partner who desperately want children not be afforded the same right?

          • lrfcowper

            Whereas I hate arguments like this because the utter stupidity hurts my brain, and people being stupid in Jesus’ name hurts the Kingdom of Christ. Then again, I find the following to all be deeply offensive:

            1) Lying in Jesus’ name and then expecting people to believe Christianity has access to any sort of truth;

            2) Hating people in Jesus’ name and then expecting people to believe Christianity is a religion of love;

            3) Hurting people in Jesus’ name and the expecting people to believe Christianity is a religion of healing;

            4) Taking financial advantage of people in Jesus’ name and then expecting people to believe Christianity is a religion of selflessness;

            5) Oppressing people in Jesus’ name and then expecting people to believe Christianity is a religion of freedom;

            6) Self-aggrandizing in Jesus’ name and then expecting people to believe Christianity is a religion of humility;

            7) Imposing your beliefs on others in Jesus’ name and then expecting people to believe Christianity is a religion of free will;

            8) Judging others in Jesus’ name and then expecting people to believe Christianity is a religion that offers acceptance to all;

            9) Being intentionally ignorant, anti-inetllectual, and obtusely stupid in Jesus’ name and then expecting people to believe Christianity is a religion of reason.

          • Andy

            I think Tommy is suggesting they can get “gay-married”, just not regular “married” as straight people can. I would love to see this. Picture a same-sex couple going into the courthouse to apply for a “gay marriage” license:

            Clerk: “Can I help you?”
            Couple: “Yes, we’d like to get ‘gay-married’.”
            Clerk: “I’m sorry?”
            Couple: “We’d like to get ‘gay-married’. Where is the ‘gay marriage’ license application?”
            Clerk: “I’m sorry, we only have one marriage license application. Here, fill this out.”
            Couple: “Um, no, this is for regular marriage. We want to get ‘gay-married’, which is a different kind of union. Didn’t you hear what that Tommy guy said?”
            Clerk: “Look, I don’t have all day. If you want to get married, fill this out.”
            Couple: “No, we want to get ‘gay-married’. It’s not the same thing.”
            Clerk: “I don’t have time for this. Next.”

          • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James Jarvis

            Sounds a bit like a Monty Python skit.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            That it does.

          • Snooterpoot

            Oh, please. Really? Do you think that no one here has read the Bible? And that “willing to look in right places” comment is patronizing.

            Not all Christians believe that the Bible is the end of what God has to say. Not all of us believe that the Bible is the word of God at all.

            Do you actively promote the right to marriage for same-sex couples? Or is your support kept in the closet like we were for so long?

            Not all Christians believe that same-sex marriage is sinful. I think that fewer and fewer believe that as they come to know people who are GLBT and find that we are really just like everyone else.

          • PoodleSheep

            Marriage has a history of being secular and based on viewing women as property. You’ve already redefined it, so you cannot claim that your space ghost fan club is the origin of marriage. Have you actually read your fairy tale book to see the multiple different definitions of marriage in it?

          • Norman Dostal

            you’re mising something-many religious sheep mis s this-your religion is not an excuse to cloak bigotry-you see, simpleton, religion is essentially anything you make up so it cant be the basis for law in any form-

          • anakinmcfly

            I think you misinterpreted her – she wasn’t referring to the terms you use (which are fine), but referring to you mentioning that you have friends like that.

          • anakinmcfly

            Out of curiosity, who do you think your transsexual friends are allowed to marry and have it be called a marriage?

          • anakinmcfly

            …There are people who are anti-purple hedgehogs? :(

          • lrfcowper

            Yeah, all those poor fan-made purple girl hedgehogs in Sonic fandom get no love at all… ;)

        • BarbaraR

          Your rights are not being taken away from you. No one is demanding that you stop being Christian.
          If someone is opposed to equal rights for a group of people based on their sexuality, then yes, they are bigots.

        • lrfcowper

          I have friends who absolutely, positively believe my marriage is not legitimately sanctified because it was not performed to the expectations and requirements of their faith, though it was performed in a church. Not one of them would propose that the government not legally recognise my marriage, that I be treated as an unrelated stranger to my husband of 26 years, that I not be permitted to make medical decisions if he were unable to do so, that I be unfairly taxed on our mutual property if he were to pass away, that if we wanted to adopt children we would have to each adopt them as individuals or only one of us would have legal guardianship, and thousands of other rights we are legally recognised as having.

          I have friends who absolutely, positively believe my friends A and D’s marriage is not legitimately sanctified because it was not performed to the expectations and requirements of their faith, though it was performed in a church. The state they married in legally recognises their marriage. The state we live in does not because it is a same-sex marriage. Why the different treatment of religious beliefs about my marriage vs. religious beliefs on their marriage? Why does the religious belief that their marriage is not sanctified outweigh their own religious belief that it is?

          Why do the religious beliefs of some portion (less than half in this case) of the population get to dictate the religious practices and civil liberties of the (slightly-more-than-half) rest of the population? Why does my state think it can trod roughshod over people’s religious rights? And why in the world would you– a Christian– think that it’s a good thing to have a precedent that the government has the right to curtail religious practices if some percentage of the population thinks it’s okay?

          From your posts, I suspect English is not your first language, so you may not be American, but the same thought process works for most nations. Why is a precendent that the government can impose on religious expression regarded as a good thing by those who rely on the freedom of religious expression themselves?

          There’s an old expression– “My right to swing my fist ends at your face.” My rights cannot curtail the rights of others. Simple fact is, if not everyone is accorded the same rights, the rights of everyone is in peril. If the rights of the pagan, buddhist, hindu, progressive Christian, progressive Jew, etc., etc. to enter into a religiously sanctified marriage of their choosing (or the atheist or agnostic to enter into a personally significant, but non-religious marriage) can be blocked by the conservative Christian, Jew, Muslim, etc. population, then marriage of any sort can be banned, delegitimised, annulled, or canceled at the whim of changing government or population ratios.

          The best way to protect “traditional” marriage is to stand for the legal recognition of all marriages, whether they are ones you yourself would enter into or not.

          • Tommy Mart

            Once, again – I’m not opposing gay-marriage as a union of two people of same sex. Just trying to protect, my right to see a marriage itself, slightly different. That doesn’t make me bigot.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            And how does gay marriage prevent you from seeing your marriage, whether you are or are not married, as you wish to see it? Please explain how a reality of gay marriage changes how you would see your own?

          • Tommy Mart

            Check my comment that includes why is ‘gay-marriage’ seen as oksimoron for most of Christians.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Most is a stretch. Even in states that have gay marriage bans, the majory of the population are in support of gay marriage. http://www.pewresearch.org/data-trend/domestic-issues/attitudes-on-gay-marriage/

            http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/03/poll-tracks-dramatic-rise-in-support-for-gay-marriage/

          • Bones

            Because that’s what they’ve been told.

            You need to fear the evil gays. It gets preached week in, week out.

            The acceptance of gays is a sign of the degradation of society and God’s judgement will come upon the US. (As opposed to all the other nutbag countries slaughtering their people but don’t have gay marriage)

            Hell Franklin Graham even says gays recruit kids.

          • lrfcowper

            Your right to have an opinion is legally protected. It’s called free speech. Having that right does not free you from the consequences of your belief and expression of it.

            Likewise, I will point out, this is John Shore’s blog. It is like his house. He gets to say what he wants in his own home. You only get a say if he lets you keep talking. You have no inherent right to make yourself a nuisance or be rude to his friends in his private space. I’m not saying you have or haven’t been a nuisance and/or rude, but just forewarning you that John or one of his designees has every right to drop you in the banpile if and when he tires of your arguments and semantic games.

            That said, no one here is suggesting you are a bigot for defending your right to believe whatever you want. No one is suggesting that defending the rights of others to believe whatever they want makes you a bigot. However, defending the rights of others to act on those beliefs in such a way that others are harmed or their rights are inhibited *is* bigotry. This isn’t a game or an impartial debate. This is people’s lives and rights at stake. Treating it casually may or may not be bigotry, but it certainly doesn’t qualify as loving.

            You’ve flapped your big ol’ hairy toe right on that line, made faces, and double-dog dared people to make faces back. There are consequences to that. And one of them is that people get to exercise their right to believe you are a bigot based on what you’ve said and how you’ve treated them and the LGBT men, women, and children’s futures you’ve addressed in your remarks.

          • Norman Dostal

            im afraid it does-youre NOT just seeing it differently-you want the govt that we all pay for to see it differently-that is bigotry-im afraid you lose-here’s your bigot card…in five languages…

        • Norman Dostal

          nope-christian rights-or anyone’s rights-ends where others begin-pretty simple…

    • BarbaraR

      Your way is not threatened and does not need protection. No one is trying to take it away from you.

      • Tommy Mart

        I think a person who got fired “because they do not fully support idea of gay marriage” could see “no need for protection” thing differently

        • BarbaraR

          Who did that happen to?

          • Tommy Mart

            Well, most famous case is definitely Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich, if you must know. Google it.

          • BarbaraR

            He donated money to Prop 8. That is MORE than not supporting gay marriage, that is financing discrimination. Words and actions that promote discrimination have consequences.

          • Tommy Mart

            Well, you call it a discrimination. I believe 51% of voters who actually voted on prop8 would call it democracy. (What doesn’t mean I did, and that I stand by prop8). Just pointing out how is easy discriminate in other direction, and that people who do not support gay marriage are MORE then threatened and do need protection. Still, no one here answered me why should we call “gay-marriage” a marriage. Call it differently, just include actual legal rights that come with marriage. Everybody happy.

          • BarbaraR

            In California, anyone who gets enough signatures to put a proposition on the ballot can do so. However, what people do not understand is that if that prop is passed, it is not necessarily constitutional. Judge Vaughn Walker dissected Prop 8 bit by bit and it was was determined to be unconstitutional. That too is democracy. That ruling has been upheld.

            Why would we call gay marriage anything but marriage? If it’s marriage, it does not need another name. To call it something else reiterates separate laws for a different class of people. And no, not everyone will be happy.

          • Tommy Mart

            Ok, so Brendan Eich supported Prop8 before it got turned down and called un-constitutional, and he definitely deserves to get fired? I didn’t say separate laws, just call it different. You would not hurt Christians who look at marriage differently and I did say EQUAL rights. I believe in the end, two people of the same-sex who love each other wouldn’t care less what is called if they are able to – for example – decide about their loved ones lives in a case of accident etc.

          • BarbaraR

            He financed a discriminatory law. That has ramifications. He cannot effectively run a company with many gay & lesbian employees if they know he was opposed to their civil rights. And it would have a huge impact on Mozilla’s business dealings. Eich was not fired; he resigned.

            The word marriage itself carries with it enormous meaning in all social strata in this country. To deny anyone the right to call themselves married, just because you believe a gay couple wouldn’t care what they are called, is to belittle the struggle for equal rights. If you think people wouldn’t care what it’s called, then start with straight people and tell them you want to rename it and see how far you get.

          • Tommy Mart

            First, he was forced to resign, and that is pretty much same as fired. He financed something call Prop8 what means ‘proposition’ – not a law (check a dictionary for difference). Ergo, not discriminatory law.
            Second, my boss doesn’t support a basic human right of vacation, that doesn’t mean that professional, I’m not able to put my personal feelings on the side, and work for him.
            Third, if you take a rights from Christians to see a marriage according to their constitutional rights, that also isn’t pretty nice.
            And theoretically, if I was born in the world with majority gay-people, and they tell me:”Look, here’s a deal, you’ll get all rights, just call it Porsche”, I would call it Porsche, take my loved one, and be happy.

          • BarbaraR

            I know the difference between a proposition and a law and how one becomes the other. Your reasoning is absurd.

            Comparing vacation with equal rights is spurrious.

            Christians can view marriage however they wish. I have absolutely no idea what you mean by “Christians to see a marriage according to their constitutional rights.” Marriage is a civil right.

            Bully for you that you would be happy to call something by another name. No one else is buying that. It’s obvious that you feel gay people should just accept whatever crumbs are thrown to them and be happy with that. “Hey, you can get married, but you can’t call it marriage because it might upset some Christians… so we’ll call it semi-marriage.”

            I am so done with this discussion.

          • Tommy Mart

            Oh, first, I’m a bigot, and then a bully? It’s really nice to see how all these ‘liberal’ people here are throwing those big words, just because our opinions differ slightly. If you are willing to give someone “all the rights of married person, but different name for their union” comparing “no rights at all”, that is not “whatever crumbs are thrown to them”. That is a diplomatic suggestion that would make definitely MORE people happy, understanding and respectful towards each other then we are at the moment. If that makes me a bigot, proud to be one.

          • BarbaraR

            “Bully” in this context does not mean bullying. It means “Hooray” or “big deal” or “congratulations.” See

            http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bully

          • Tommy Mart

            I speak five languages. Kind of gets out hand, lol

          • Norman Dostal

            if that is true-i doubt it-we all do-then how do you not know where the word marriage comes from? It predates all rleigion by literally THOUSANDS of years..shakes head

          • anakinmcfly

            nah, I believe him on the five languages part; it’s quite possible English isn’t his first (or only first) language, hence the spelling and other mistakes. I know people who speak three or four languages and aren’t perfectly fluent at any, because of that split attention.

          • Norman Dostal

            wow-did you transport here from the 60s??

          • lrfcowper

            Our culture revolves around marriage as a respectable and acceptable institution. Entering into marriage represents inclusion in and agreement with society’s mores. Calling it by another name, even if it has the exact same legal rights within your nation, still implies a lesser importance, respectability, and moral responsibility.

            In nations like Argentina, Portugal, and Sweden where same-sex marriage is legal, civil unions or civil partnerships or other such names are not recognised as marriages, thus imposing legal difficulties for same-sex couples travelling or living abroad.

            If a marriage involves a transgender or intersex person who then transitions and seeks legal recognition of his/her status as person of the opposite gender to that assigned at birth, the legal status of his/her marriage would be suddenly annulled. Likewise, if a person in a legally same-sex civil partnership transitioned, are they suddenly married? Or would you force all those who transition while married/civil partnered to end their relationships and re-enter as civil partnered/married with all the loss of benefits that would entail? What about people who do not fall into the gender binary? What word do they get to use for their covenant relationships?

            If you use a separate term for same-sex marriages, then are those two separate statuses on legal forms like censuses, taxes, surveys, etc.? Not everyone wishes to reveal their sexual orientation to every stranger with an official form to fill out and those in the immediate vicinity. By using separate terms, you force LGBT people to out themselves even in situations where they may not feel safe or comfortable to do so.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            No one is taking Constituional rights from Christians who want to define marriage their way…for the record, marriage is not in the Constitution, not once, never mentioned, nada, Zip.

            Marriage is a broad enough of a term, that all sorts of pairings or groupings can fit under it. Polygamous, common law, same sex, opposite sex, open marriages, marriages of convienence, staying married only for the sake of the kids, or economics, marrying for money, or power, or prestige, political marriages. etc.

          • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James Jarvis

            The intent of Proposition 8 was to pass an amendment that would have forbidden same sex marriage so arguing that a proposition is not a law is splitting hairs. If something is a basic human it should not be denied to anyone. In fact according to Forbes magazine the Us is the only advanced economy that does require an employer to provide paid vacation time. Marriage equality is about the state giving equal rights to same sex couples. The constitution protects the right of religious groups to decide who can be married in their churches. I does not give “Christians” the right to prevent others from marrying. The whole Porsche thing makes no sense what-so ever. If I had to guess you are trying to claim that marriage is word that should be used to refer to heterosexual unions. Finally, the majority is not not always right. In a democracy we must always guard against what Alexis de Tocqueville called the tyranny of the majority.

          • Bones

            What if he supported a move back to segregation or white supremacy movement?

            Would that be grounds to fire him?

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            Eich was fired because his views would cost the shareholders money. They couldn’t afford to alienate the MILLIONS of people who support gay rights, many of whom live in New York or California. You’re confusing capitalism with morality.

          • Tommy Mart

            He got fired becuse they were afraid if will cost company MILLIONS. Dear Elizabeth, you are confusing FEAR (I wonder why there has to be fear), with what actually happened. Also, looking at the last few years of net-explorers, I guarantee you Mozilla lost more money because capitalism and better competition than (according to you) because of Eich. Mozilla is a WORLDWIDE company. Not New York or California. Bunch of people don’t give a damn when they chose a internet explorer. Trust me, I do understand difference between morality and capitalism; usually, capitalism don’t have one.

          • BarbaraR

            Shareholders are in the US and they are the ones who count.

          • Tommy Mart

            Shareholders are not just US-citizen

          • Norman Dostal

            he wasnt fired-thats important :-)

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            He was fired. These days, to keep stock options and media specialists under control, they quit under duress with special circumstances approved by lawyers on both sides.

            Welcome to Wall Street.

          • Andy

            A lot of people think Michael Jordan was secretly suspended instead of retiring for a year and a half. You’ve got to admit, there’s a decent case for it.

          • DonRappe

            Thou shalt not take the name of Michael (Air) Jordan in vain!

          • lrfcowper

            The word “marriage” doesn’t belong to conservative Christians. They don’t get to decide who has the right to use it. There was a time in this nation when a majority of people thought mixed-race marriages were condemned in scripture (and there are still small pocket areas where this remains true) and they, thus, outlawed mixed-race marriages. There was a time in this country where slaves could not marry and the majority of people thought slavery and the associated evils, including no legal recognition of slave marriages, was scripturally supported. There was a time in this nation when it was considered scriptural that women could not vote, that they could not seek a divorce, that they could not charge their husbands with rape, that they did not have access to the same educational opportunities that men had, and a majority agreed with that. There was a time in this country when children were regarded as property, and child abuse was legal, and a majority believed, quite fervently, that it was right and Christian and scriptural.

            Mob rule doesn’t make something moral. That a majority of people think some segment of the population should not share fully in their rights based on their (mis)interpretation of scriptures doesn’t make for good law. The Bill of Rights exists in our Constitution to guarantee that mob rule and the tyranny of the majority doesn’t run roughshod over the minority, the poor, and the oppressed.

            Extending legal rights to others does not take away the rights of those who previously held it. When blacks and women gained the right to vote, white men were not suddenly unable to do so. When mixed race couples could marry, it did not nullify or prevent the marriages of same-race couples. When children were protected from child abuse, it didn’t suddenly make it okay to abuse adults. Extending rights to all actually strengthens and protects the rights of all, including those who enjoyed legal recognition of their rights previously. Taking away and denying rights to some based on mob tyranny weakens and imperils everyone’s rights, including those who still enjoy legal recognition (for now).

            Throughout the course of my 26-year marriage, the recognition of other marriages has been extended in more and more states. Yet my husband and I enjoy the same rights. We haven’t lost a single one. In fact, as more and more courts recognise the religious importance of marriage and its innate nature as a right that the government cannot curtail, we are more secure in the knowledge that the government cannot suddenly annul it.

          • Andy

            Wait, what? You mean marriage isn’t defined as whatever a bunch of uptight old white men say it is?

          • lrfcowper

            Shockingly, no. Which is a good thing, because the old white guys would undoubtedly insist that I need to act more feminine and the hubby needs to man up.

          • Tommy Mart

            Traditional marriage is seen only in one way in the States. Last time I checked, US was democratic country. Check, dictionary for “democracy”.It’s so funny how so much bigot-ism is coming my way, although I stated more than few times, I’m not against same-sex lifetime unions itself. However, it unfortunately seems that Bible-loving people have no RIGHTS to express their respectful, non-judging opinion and in return NOT be judged. Liberalism in its fullest form, I see. *sarcasm*.

          • Andy

            Having beliefs is one thing. Advocating legalized discrimination based on one’s beliefs is another.

          • Tommy Mart

            Once again, I’m not “Advocating legalized discrimination”. Equal rights, just different name would be diplomatic solution for all this “bigot-ism”.

          • anakinmcfly

            Just in English, or in all other languages too?

          • Tommy Mart

            Since, I’m speaking five of them, I’ll say yes. Bre, nemoj da me vredjas :)

          • anakinmcfly

            It feels kind of arbitrary. If a civil union is going to be in every way identical to a marriage except in name, then… what’s the point of calling it something else?

          • Tommy Mart

            To be on respectful term with people who do not see marriage just as a ‘civil union’.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Then the problem lies with the person who doesn’t not see all marriages as a marriage. I understand being respectful to other people’s ideals, but I wonder if we should always set ours aside, just to appease their sentiments.

          • Snooterpoot

            Okay, this made my jaw drop. I refuse to be on respectful terms with people who don’t recognize my marriage as a marriage. No amount of argument will get me to do that because I don’t think their opinions deserve any respect.

          • anakinmcfly

            And what about people who don’t see their ‘civil union’ as just a civil union?

          • Guy Norred

            I’ll second that.

          • Norman Dostal

            sad that you seem educated, but your ignorance makes you stupid…

          • Andy

            Why have a different name, other than to appease a bunch of closed-minded people with archaic ideas?

          • Tommy Mart

            who’s bigot now?

          • Andy

            Not tolerating discrimination doesn’t make someone a bigot. To suggest that it does renders the word basically meaningless. If you have to reduce an argument to semantics in order to find even a modicum of victory, then you’re doing it wrong.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            Actually, several years ago I was kinda thinking the same way, but that’s still a way of saying equal but less equal so it really doesn’t work. In any case, the movement of social change seems to be resolving the argument for us. Marriage it is, in nearly half the states now and it’s only a matter of time for the whole nation. Because there is no rational argument against it. There. Really. Just. Isn’t. One.

          • Bones

            Is it discrimination to tell a racist to stop picking on people because of the colour of their skin?

            Is it discrimination to tell a Nazi to stop picking on Jews?

            You have no idea what discrimination is?

          • anakinmcfly

            ‘Bigotry’, not ‘bigotism’.
            - your friendly neighbourhood grammarnazi.

          • Tommy Mart

            Tnx, but kind of love ‘bigot-ism’. Language’s changing constantly, so why not? It’s not like you didn’t understand me. Otherwise, we would still talk like we just got out Shakespeare’s dramas :) or – God forbids – King James’ Bible

          • anakinmcfly

            “Language’s changing constantly, so why not?”

            In that case, why can’t we expand the definition of marriage from its traditional one?

          • Tommy Mart

            it is not matter of language, but a meaning it has to people. Bigotry or ‘bigot-ism’ (lmao), I did not change a meaning.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            ****it is not matter of language, but a meaning it has to people.*****

            Exactly, and when you have a RATIONAL argument as to why gays should not share in that meaning, please share that with us.

          • Tommy Mart

            I did – without any hate or anger – you just have to find it

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            I said RATIONAL, and there isn’t one. I cannot find what isn’t there.

          • Tommy Mart

            When, I said “I did”, that included RATIONAL. However, when you start reading with a attitude “this person desires to discriminate my because I’m gay”, obviously it is hard to see rational point.Different, but rational.

          • Norman Dostal

            “my god dont agree with dem gays” is not rational, bub…sorry but your time has passed-now kindly die off

          • Andy

            That’s crossing the line. Don’t do it again.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            Hey Norman, I don’t go quite that far as to make that suggestion, but the reality is that THAT is what will finally help to resolve this social controversy.

          • Guy Norred

            Ah, there you have it. The word DOES have great meaning, so to deny it to some is inherently unequal.

          • Andy

            Flawless victory.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            I do not limit your right to express your opinions and even disagree with me. But I insist on MY right to disagree with you. The difference is that YOU and your ilk, if you had your way, would make laws against MY rights and, by opposing gay marriage are doing precisely that, while I am NOT attempting to take anything away from you….except your desire to discriminate. So stop your whining about bigotism aimed at you. Losing the battle of ideas is not the same as being legally, or even socially oppressed, something gays have genuine experience with.

          • Tommy Mart

            Dear Bill, I stated precisely and clearly that I respect everyone’s right to disagree with my opinion, probably as much times as as stated that I’m not interesting making laws AGAINST anyone rights. If you are willing, precisely my religion forbids me to see you as less valuable, so why should I try to make laws that would see you less valuable, for God’s sake?! However, this article is WRONG, DISCRIMINATORY and MISREPRESENTATION for everyone who considers self Christian. My desire to discriminate? Please, where do you, for the God’s sake, in “do not judge” and “love everybody more then yourself” see a desire to discriminate?! Although, I also clearly stated that everyone literary includes EVERYONE?!

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            Sorry Tommy. I believe you are sincere, but you just don’t get it, so I’m done. It’s 3:30am here and I have better things to do than argue with obtuseness….like go to bed.

          • Tommy Mart

            Sorry Bill, if I hurt your feelings. My opinion is just different and is more against the whole article because I consider Christianity and anti-gay in a same sentence oksimoron, too. I respect your right to call it obtuseness, if you wish so, and sincerely wish you – good night.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            You have not hurt my feelings. That hasn’t been possible for many years. But you HAVE challenged my intellect. I think I do understand you now and our difference seems to be only on the word marriage. But what you suggest is viewed by gays as equal but less equal and that is still unacceptable.
            By the way, the correct spelling is oxymoron. Just sayin…..Be well, Tommy.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Thanks Bill. That off spelling of oxymoron was driving me nuts.

          • Bones

            Is it discrimination to tell blokes to stop bashing their wives or who want to take away women’s rights.

          • Leslie Marbach

            Um, for the record, Tommy, it is discriminatory to tell people that only some people can call it marriage and the rest need to call it a civil union or something. What does it hurt you if same sex couples get fully married and call it marriage?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            The article may be wrong for you as a Christian, but It is utterly right for others who also call themselves Christian.

          • Htowndude

            He is a “christian” in name only.

          • Snooterpoot

            Wrong. Your opinion does not represent everyone who is Christian. You don’t get to speak for everyone, Tommy, and it is arrogant for you to presume that you do.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            ****Please, where do you, for the God’s sake, in “do not judge” and “love
            everybody more then yourself” see a desire to discriminate?!*****

            I do not see it in those words. But, you see, that is not all that you are saying. I see it in your obtuse advocacy to make gays less than equal by suggesting we accept “civil unions” as opposed to marriage. In other words, less than equal. By that, you are implicitly judging.

          • Andrew_Mc

            “I’m not interesting making laws AGAINST anyone rights.”

            Uh…didn’t you say that you supported Prop 8, which was a law against a whole group’s rights? But you can carry on with your logical fallacies until you’re blue in the face. The rest of us will gleefully watch as state by state the US comes around to the right side of history.

          • lrfcowper

            Which traditional marriage? The one where a man (or his parents) arrange with a girl’s parents for him to marry her, haggle over a price, pay up, maybe meet before their wedding day but maybe don’t, then he deflowers her and if she doesn’t bleed sufficiently or otherwise come off as being a virgin he can drag her back to her parents and accuse her of being a whore and have her stoned, she owns no property and has no right to sue for divorce, and he can marry as many women as he can afford, but she has to be faithful to him or face being stoned? That traditional marriage?

            Or maybe the one where the woman owns everything, she can sleep with whatever guy she wants, who absolutely does not cohabit with her, and her brothers act in the father role to her kids (and not to theirs)?

            Or the one where a man married a woman (who was generally widely sexually experienced before marriage) and worked hard and if he was seen to be a good husband and she had an unmarried sister, he could marry the sister, too?

            Or the one where men who were close exchanged wives as a sign of their devotion to each other?

            Or the one where a set of brothers would marry a set of sisters and all share one big household?

            Or the one where a young man became a sort of junior husband to his mother’s brother’s wife until he took his own wife?

            Or the one where a man of royal birth was expected to marry his sister?

            Or the one where a man marrying a two-spirit male was regarded as especially holy and respectable?

            Or the “Boston marriage”?

            Or the one where children are married while still in infancy?

            Or temporary and short-term marriages?

            And, last time I checked, over half the population of the US believed same-sex marriages should be legally recognised. I’d suggest checking the dictionary under “democracy” but it doesn’t matter if a majority believes a minority should have equal rights or not. The Bill of Rights extends equal rights to all, regardless of the inclinations of the majority.

            And Bible-(misinterpreting/)loving people have every right to believe whatever they want. They don’t have the right to impose those beliefs on those who believe otherwise. Ever. Period.

            Nor do they have any right not to be called bigots when they act in ways that are bigotted.

            Because I, as a Christ-following person take my responsibility to uphold justice for the oppressed and to speak out against evil and to hold my fellow Christians accountable when they sin against their neighbours. And the harm that has been done to LGBT people is immense– children 12 and 13 and 14 years old kicked out of their homes to live out on the streets relying on theft and petty crime and prostitution to live, people beaten and burned and repeatedly stabbed and strangled and dragged behind cars till they were dead, faithful spouses denied the ability to even attend their beloveds’ funerals because the law saw them as legal strangers, children being physically assaulted in school, people murdering their children and grandchildren because they were worried they might be gay, an entire administration that wouldn’t even speak the words AIDS or HIV let alone invest significant funding to understanding its transmission or treatment or cure until the disease had infected millions worldwide, children driven to despair and drug use and suicide by bullying and family rejection, and on and on and on, a litany of pain and despair and hatred.

            That’s the fruit that this teaching bears. We are told by Christ to judge a teaching by its fruit. This teaching is poisonous. Those who preach it are planting deadly seeds and then taking offense when we object to the venom spreading through our culture and killing our children.

            Enough. You can go be sarcastic with someone who thinks this is a game. I’ve had enough broken children sitting at my dinner table asking me why Christians hate them so much, why *God* hates them so much, and seen the pain in their eyes to know it is not funsies, this isn’t some debate you win or lose or score points with. These are real people. They have lives and loves and families and feelings and hopes and dreams and they are loved, loved, loved by God deeply, powerfully, eternally, and they are dying while people try to score debate points on stupid and groundless accusations.

            The oppressors don’t need your help, they don’t need defending. They’re the ones in charge. They’re the ones hoarding their rights while denying it to others. Either you think LGBT people should be treated equally under the law or you’re standing with the bigots. Pick one. But you don’t get to claim the moral high ground (*I* don’t think gay people should be treated unequally!) while offering excuses and justifications for those who oppose equality.

          • Guy Norred

            I am supposed to be getting ready for work but I keep being distracted by tears. Thank you.

          • Snooterpoot

            I would like this comment 10,000 times if I could. Thank you.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            One of the most eloquent pro-gay arguments I have seen. I posted it on my facebook. Hope you don’t mind.

          • lrfcowper

            Share away! Is it public? Can I peek at the comments to it? (Yeah, I’m bad about being curious of people’s reactions.)

          • DonRappe

            Amen!

          • Leslie Marbach

            I think that too many of who you call “Bible-loving people” need to reevaluate what it means to express opinions in a respectful and non-judging way.

          • Snooterpoot

            The US is not a pure democracy. We are a representative democracy. The founders intended to protect minorities from the tyranny of the majority.

            Your hatred is seething out of your comments now, Tommy. You may be fooling yourself, but you ain’t fooling anyone else.

          • Norman Dostal

            we have never been a dmeocracy, you imbecile. We are a representative republic

          • Andy

            Ostensibly. Practically speaking, we’re basically an oligarchy.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            **** Check, dictionary for “democracy”*****

            Yes, then check it for Republic and compare.
            [The deliberations of the Constitutional
            Convention of 1787 were held in strict secrecy. Consequently, anxious
            citizens gathered outside Independence Hall when the proceedings ended
            in order to learn what had been produced behind closed doors. The answer
            was provided immediately. A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin
            Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”
            With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you
            can keep it.”] http://www.ourrepubliconline.com/Author/21

          • James Walker

            republic just means government by members of the public, as the simplest definition. it was very important for the founders of the US that the government they were establishing be a government made up of the governed and not of the privileged few.

            democracy means government by majority vote (of eligible voters and/or representatives).

            there is an awful lot of common area where a government can be both a democracy and a republic. it is, however, possible to be one but not the other.

            Athens, for example, was a democracy but was not a republic because only the aristocrats were entitled to vote or to participate in government.

            China is a republic but could hardly be described as a democracy despite the semblance of elections and voting in the operation of its government.

          • Toni

            You have the right to express your opinion at any time…

            What you *don’t* have is the right to be free of any and all consequences that may result from you expressing your opinion.

          • Snooterpoot

            So, Tommy. Now we get to the crux of it. You don’t oppose same-sex marriage as long as it is not equal to yours.

            You don’t own the word marriage. Christians do not own the word marriage. This civil unions bullshit (and I rarely use vulgar language) makes me want to puke. And that is what you are proposing even though you haven’t used those words.

            My wife and I were married on our tenth anniversary as a couple. We went to the courthouse in Washington, DC and we got married. We didn’t get civil unioned. We didn’t get same-sex married. We got married, and that hasn’t hurt one damn person in this world.

            You can say you’re not a bigot until you die, but as long as you want to demean other peoples’ marriages by trying to claim the word for yourself and deny it to us, then you are a bigot, and you should be ashamed.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I will call it all marriage. So much simpler that way. I can say my single friends, Angie, Dan, Crystal and Thomas, These friends are dating, Alex and Gene, Cindy and Daniel, Amanda and Lisa. And these are married. Diane and Eddie, Hector and Juan, Abigail and Josephine, who just adopted twins.

          • Norman Dostal

            we have never been a democracy, you imbecile

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            That’s actually true. We are a republic…..yet.

          • Toni

            …because ‘separate but equal’ worked SO well in the past.

          • Andy

            See also “Sterling, Donald”.

          • Tommy Mart

            See also – “Why gay is not new black” by Adam Thompson and a lot of other African-Americans

          • lrfcowper

            Anti-gay forces in the US have worked hard to put black people and LGBT people at odds, but their despicable attempts to turn minorities against each other have been brought into the light. But, you’re right. The struggles of LGBT people for civil rights and legal protection and that of black people for civil rights and legal protection have similarities, but they are not equivalent. And the two categories are not mutually exclusive since there are black LGBT people.

            However, drawing parallels between similar movements with similar discrimination patterns can aid others in understanding. Even Mildred Loving, she of the famous Loving v. Virginia case, recognised the parallels, and supported the use of her own struggles for the legal recognition of her marriage as a tool to understanding the struggles of LGBT people for the legal recognition of their marriages. The fight for marriage equality isn’t a “gay” issue. It’s a human issue.

          • Norman Dostal

            gays do no want to be black-they have enough troubles!! (sic)

          • anakinmcfly

            eh, I know gay black people who would rather not be gay than not black.

          • Andy

            Alright, enough with the name calling. You get one more shot.

          • Norman Dostal

            he wasnt fired, idiot

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          One person resigning for saying derogatory statements about the LGBT community does not make up for the many LGBT employees who are fired or denied employment solely because of who they are.

        • Norman Dostal

          Tommy, no one has been fired for that! Eich QUIT…you silly republitards!! You do realize that most employment is at will by the employer, right? who wants a bigot at its helm? That will hurt business! You do realize we are a capitalistic society, right?

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            Hey Norman! I feel you. And I agree. I work in Silicon Valley, and no one — get me, no one — would’ve tolerated those views. That was just a dumb business move. But can we tame down the insults? ‘Cause in the 21st Century, we all know a CEO doesn’t just “quit”.

    • anakinmcfly

      “Ergo, in Christianity, sex without attention to create a family is a sin”

      This isn’t a common view, though (at least not for Protestants); neither is there any biblical support for the view that any form of non-procreative sex is necessarily lustful (or that all procreative sex is lust-free, for that matter.)

      • Tommy Mart

        There’s a difference in interpretation. I’m not Protestant, so that’s news for me, although I cannot call it right or wrong before I check. But for most Christians (looking overall), interpretation of 6th commandant understands “Ergo, in Christianity, sex without attention to create a family is a sin”. So much, I can guarantee.

        • anakinmcfly

          ah, got it. In that case ok, and yeah – the belief that sex should be solely procreative is a Catholic thing. I’m not sure how the 6th commandment is relevant here; it’s ‘do not commit adultery’, which isn’t about lust but, well, adultery. I’m guessing most people, gay or straight, would agree that adultery is wrong.

          • Tommy Mart

            ‘do not commit adultery’ is a english translation – since you are willing to mock me about language lol. However, in original, oldest version (sorry, english one is not that), 6th commandment is much broader and is talking about – lust. On the other hand, I do not know what you think adultery means but (helpful hint), it literary means extramarital, or outside marriage.

          • anakinmcfly

            from the dictionary: voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person who is not their spouse.

            So if someone is not married, that’s not adultery by definition; it’s fornication.

            How do you define lust?

          • Tommy Mart

            Question: “What is lust? What does the Bible have to say about lust?”

            Answer:The dictionary definition of lust is “1) intense or unrestrained sexual craving, or 2) an overwhelming desire or craving.” The Bible speaks of lust in several ways.Exodus 20:14,17(NLT), “Do not commit adultery. . . Do not covet your neighbor’s house. Do not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else your neighbor owns,” orMatthew 5:28, “But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”Job 31:11-12 (NLT)sums up lust quite nicely: “For lust is a shameful sin, a crime that should be punished. It is a devastating fire that destroys to hell. It would wipe out everything I own.”

            Lust has as its focus pleasing oneself, and it often leads to unwholesome actions to fulfill one’s desires with no regard to the consequences. Lust is about possession and greed. The Christian faith is about selflessness and is marked by holy living (Romans 6:19,12:1-2;1 Corinthians 1:2,30,6:19-20;Ephesians 1:4,4:24;Colossians 3:12;1 Thessalonians 4:3-8,5:23;2 Timothy 1:9;Hebrews 12:14;1 Peter 1:15-16). The goal of each person who has put his/her faith in Jesus Christ is to become more and more like Him each day. This means putting off the old way of life of which sin was in control, and conforming one’s thoughts and actions to the standard put forth in Scripture. Lust is in opposition to this ideal.

            Nobody will ever be perfect or attain sinlessness while still on this earth, yet it is still a goal for which we strive. The Bible makes a very strong statement regarding this in1 Thessalonians 4:7-8, “God has called us to be holy, not to live impure lives. Anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human rules but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.” If lust has not yet gripped your heart and mind, ready yourself through a life lived above reproach to combat the temptations of lust. If you currently struggle with lust, it is time to come clean before God and ask for His intervention in your life, so that holiness can be a mark of your life as well

            Read more:http://www.gotquestions.org/what-is-lust.html#ixzz32EeBwCfU

          • anakinmcfly

            Okay, I agree with that definition. But that doesn’t equate to any non-procreative sex. Regarding selfishness, for instance – if two people love each other and celebrate that love via sex, how is that selfish and greedy?

            (meanwhile, regarding the verse about a (straight or bi) man looking at a woman with lust in his heart etc – I’ve seen it mentioned that the word ‘lust’ there meant something closer to ‘covetousness’, i.e. the mere act of being attracted to that woman wouldn’t be sinful (it’ll just show that one is attracted to women), but once that attraction turns into actively craving said woman, it becomes a sin.)

          • Tommy Mart

            Glad, we got somewhere – The only reason why I wrote my first paragraph was to prove a point that John Shoe isn’t quite right about all “Bible doesn’t state part…”

            Now, let me answer your question, and hopefully many other questions due “if two people love each other and celebrate that love via sex, how is that selfish and greedy?”

            The marriage in Christianity can also be seen as “giving yourself to the fullest – body, soul, in good or bad…” literary no backing up. Sex is seen as a normal part of love life, and in Christian marriage is actually considered sacred. Now, we can go on and on about Christian definition of love. It isn’t just “We met, we feel attracted to each other, oh, lets go have sex…” Don’t get me wrong, my religious believes forbid me to judge, and also, I’m not a saint, but a lot of loves end up after one year, two, seven, eight etc. That is not seen as “giving your self to the fullest”, so that is why is considered “selfish and greedy”, having your “way out if necessary” – and this includes all (straight, gay, bi – no prejudices). In other words, saying yes in front of the altar means putting someone else in front of you, give away greed, “way out”. However, in Cristianity, at least an intention of having kids is a important part of marriage, and it’s included by “giving your self to the fullest”.
            It is not bigotry or bigot-sm. It is a way of believe. Any Christian that clearly understands Bible, nothing of above should see as his/hers right to judge or discriminate. However, going back to my first point, we are often misunderstood – even by people who present themselves as Christians. What leads towards article like this and throwing a mark on us as – bigots.
            When it comes to Christianity, ‘gay-marriage’ is simply seen as oksimoron. That doesn’t mean we want to hate or discriminate gay people. For me, my gay friends are more than just “gay- category”. There are funny, intelligent, and the most important amazing people. Some of them are Christians, too. I’m not gonna treat them different then my straight friends, but the same way I have a slightly different opinion about in what to believe (constitutional right), what to wear, how to walk etc., there is nothing wrong in having slightly different opinion about what marriage should be. Once again – that doesn’t make me bigot.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            So if one of your gay friends asked you, would you attend their wedding, buy them a gift…in general celebrate with them?

          • Htowndude

            I wouldn’t invite him. We wouldn’t even be ‘friends.’
            I don’t know I would accept any gift, even if it was in goodwill.

            Anybody who thinks the rights that come with marriage are for straight people only, are *not* my friends.

          • Norman Dostal

            agreed! and the stuff he’s writing sounds like an insane person! keep that shiit in your church! its creepy!

          • Guy Norred

            If you leave out the issue of procreation for a second, why is it that you believe that it is not possible for anyone but a heterosexual couple to be entering into their marriage just as you say it is to be–giving your self in the fullest with no backing out? I assure you that that is exactly what I knew myself to be doing when I stood before a Christian altar and a Christian priest pledging myself to my husband and I believe that is exactly what my husband was doing as well, yet I keep seeing my marriage given qualifiers and quotation marks. Recently, I found the Spirit convicting my views of some other marriages (for the record of both heterosexual and homosexual couples) that in some outward way do not live up to my understanding of the meaning of the word. I do struggle with this, but I accept the conviction. I know that despite our best intentions, my own marriage has not been perfect–we have both been selfish and blind to the other’s needs and failed each other in any number of ways, big and small. Only God knows our hearts and it is not for me to judge the hearts of others as that would be putting myself in God’s place. Understand that I say this with every intention of giving you the same respect. I accept at face value your assertion that you love and respect gay people and accept them as beloved children of God, which is all the more reason that I ask you open your heart to the possibility that what you see as perfectly clear scriptural intent might not be an interpretation laden with more cultural baggage than you realize. This is not to say that I believe God changes. On the contrary, I believe God absolutely stays the same, and as such, He continues to reveal Himself through the Spirit and we each have a long way to go to finding the fullness of His revelation.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            *****I believe God absolutely stays the same,******
            I agree but the problem is in the fact that too many Christians equate God with his Word (the Bible), which was written my men (not women, which is another issue) and is notable in particular for it’s changes down thru the centuries. God may not change, but the Bible certainly has.

          • Guy Norred

            I agree. I get rather used to “God doesn’t change” being one of the first things people say when anyone suggests that perhaps their traditional understanding of something is not correct and having to clarify that I did not say that He changed at all, but that our understanding of Him does if we don’t close our hearts, souls, and minds and minds to Him the leading of the Spirit. I sometimes wonder if this is one of the nuances of the parable of the talents–knowing God to be “a hard man”, we hold fast to what we are given (our understandings as passed down through scripture and tradition) and don’t invest it to grow into the clearer understanding it is intended to be. When it comes down to it, I flat can’t understand how these people think He never changes, but somehow believe He stopped talking to us somewhere between the 2nd and 4th centuries.

          • lrfcowper

            I like that thought about the talents.

            I will say, though, I don’t think God has stopped talking to us. I mean, here we all are, on the blog of John Shore, a man who had a sudden and inexplicable conversion experience in a closet at work. What he is doing to change the hearts and minds of people and bring us back to the basics of Christian love is so needed right now. And here he is!

          • Guy Norred

            Thanks. Re your second paragraph, I guess I was unclear. I quite agree with you and hope the edit I just did makes that apparent.

          • lrfcowper

            Not to mention the extreme change in culture that makes contextual understanding so difficult. Then there’s the cultural accretion of connotations to words and the very human biases of the translators.

          • anakinmcfly

            “It isn’t just “We met, we feel attracted to each other, oh, lets go have sex…”

            I agree with you there, but have no idea how it’s relevant to gay marriage. For what it’s worth, I’m a gay virgin saving sex for marriage, when I find someone for whom I want to give myself to the fullest, body and soul, in good and bad, and who reciprocates that same love for me.

            “However, in Cristianity, at least an intention of having kids is a important part of marriage, and it’s included by “giving your self to the fullest”. ”

            So you’d consider an infertile couple to be similar to a gay couple in the sense that they’d thus be unable to give of themselves to the fullest, and that they should ideally not get married and/or have sex?

            It seems that you’re basically saying “only married sex is ok, and I don’t think gay people should get married, so any sex they ever have will always be sinful no matter what”.

            And that’s, well, mean. And doesn’t make sense if you claim that you consider gay people your equals if you think that *you* (and other straight people) can get married and have a sexual relationship that’s pleasing to God, even if they can’t have kids, but gay people aren’t allowed to because… they can’t have kids?

          • anakinmcfly

            Also – it seems counterintuitive that if, for instance, two married people have been having sex for years in an attempt to make a kid, and then learn that they’re infertile, they then have to be celibate for the rest of their married lives because any future sex would be inherently lustful and thus a sin. I guess it holds up logically, but it still doesn’t feel right. :/

            Out of curiosity, are Catholics less likely to go for fertility tests, as a result?

            But other than that – at least your reasoning is internally consistent, so I don’t have much to argue there.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            **** it literary means extramarital, or outside marriage.*****
            Yes, BY SOMEONE WHO IS MARRIED…and having sex outside of that marriage. You just didn’t quite finish the definition. Must have been an oversight.

            I am gay and unmarried and I cannot commit adultery with anyone, not even a married man no matter how much sex I enjoy. It is the married man who is, by definition, committing adultery. This loose and, I might add disingenuously loose use of the word reminds me of religious self-righteous types who actually use the word sodomy in reference to lesbians when, between lesbians, it is quite impossible….unless they use toys. I have no obligation to respect such blatantly disingenuous word usage.

          • anakinmcfly

            Playing devil’s advocate, ‘sodomy’ actually used to refer to any form of non-procreative sex, so it could in fact be used for lesbians (and straight people).

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            Agreed, but everyone really does know what it refers to. To use it for any reference other than anal sexual penetration is to render the word meaningless because it can mean anything anyone wants it to, which bolsters my argument for definitions of terms seen elsewhere among comments sections. To use the word so speciously is disingenuous and essentially a lie, turning any discussion of gay issues into a Tower of Babble.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            Incidentally, now that you brought it up, did you know that “playing Devil’s advocate” actually derived from an ancient form of Jewish argumentation called Sa-taan. Look familiar? It should. It is where the word (and the character) Satan comes from. You will find that info in THE ORIGIN OF SATAN by Elaine Pagels.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I need a copy of that book. and *pout* its not at my local library.

          • Bill Steffenhagen
          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Oh I did find it. Print version! That just means I have to put it on hold and then get my lazy butt to the main office, instead of the usual means of downloading it straight to my kindle.

            And Christian book stores are all southern Baptist based around here. There’s never anything there to read that I’m remotely interested in…

          • Norman Dostal

            no, the Hebrew/Aramaic is translated well into the english “no adultery”. Lust is actually covered in the 9th when referring to coveting your neighbors wife/spouse

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            the ninth commandment is about lying. The tenth is about coveting or lust, and the list includes a lot of different things, including possessions. Unless the Catholic Bible alters the arrangements of commandments. Lust/sex is not the same half of a coin.

          • Norman Dostal

            Its not at all-nothing worng with pleasure sex within marriage per catholic doctrine

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Heck, most of the Catholics I know don’t adhere to the sex within marriage only doctrine.

          • anakinmcfly

            But I thought birth control isn’t allowed according to Catholic doctrine for that reason?

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          Hmm.. I had a hysterectomy 7 years ago. I remarried a man nine years my senior. The idea of having sex with the attention to create a family is laughable to us. Hell, we are more worried about which one of our kids we will have to move in with when we retire.
          So are we sinning?

        • Norman Dostal

          Tommy-not true at all-your church really reaches! Thou shalt not commit adultery simply means after you commit to marriage, you cannot cheat with another-pretty straightforward-gay or straight marraige is not mentioned there…

    • R Vogel

      If he uses such silly arguments as a way to deny rights to other people, then yes, he is a bigot. Highly educated people have historically held all sort of bigoted positions. It is not even a valid argument since no one is advocating for ‘everything to become marriage.’ Civil marriage will continue to be a government recognized union of two (for the time being) consenting adults which includes a long list of rights and responsibilities under the law.

    • Bill Steffenhagen

      ******Also, does that mean that Christians are bigots if they fight for what they think is rightful to their beliefs?*******

      YES….because their anti-gay “beliefs” are the ignorant result of interpretive error and if they keep themselves unaware of that and deliberately refuse to educate themselves about the history (political, interpretive, cultural) of their religion for the purpose of holding on to a favored prejudice, they are bigots.

      And that doesn’t even begin to discuss their sin of disobeying Jesus’ first great commandments that they are perfectly aware of and deliberately ignore. What other description is better suited to their behavior? Certainly not Christian.

      • Toni

        Actually, there is a better word to describe them: pharisee.

        Legalistic, following the words of ‘the law’ (OT law) as opposed to the spirit. Sanctimonious, self-righteous, hypocritical.

        Phar·i·see [far-uh-see]
        noun
        1. a member of a Jewish sect that flourished during the 1st century b.c. and 1st century a.d. and thatdiffered from the Sadducees chiefly in its strict observance of religious ceremonies and practices,adherence to oral laws and traditions, and belief in an afterlife and the coming of a Messiah.
        2. ( lowercase ) a sanctimonious, self-righteous, or hypocritical person.

        http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pharisee

        • lrfcowper

          I’d like to point out that the Pharisees are the spiritual fathers of modern Judaism. Among Jewish sects, you had the Sadducees, the Herodians, and the Zealots (as well as smaller sects like the Essenes)– all sects that died out– and the Pharisees that went on to become modern rabbinical Judaism, and the Followers of the Way that became modern Christianity (A lot of historians point to the Christian refusal to take part in the Simon bar Kochba revolt in 132, because he was declared to be the messiah, as the final straw that severed Christianity from Judaism, but there were several events that widened the gap before then). Since it was one of the most dominant sects at the time, there were many Pharisees among the followers of Christ, most notably Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea.

          Judaism is the first century was extremely partisan and competitive. Most of the accounts of the Pharisees or Sadducees coming to “test” Jesus are simply an effort to place him in a particular tradition and partisan camp and debate points of contention among the sects– they’re not just arguing with Jesus, but with each other through their conversations with Jesus.

          Which isn’t to say that the term can’t be useful in some discussions, but it gets thrown around way too much, considering that large swaths of the Jewish Christian church came out of the Pharisee tradition.

  • Livin

    I am bigoted against polyamory,polygamy. I am bigoted against adulterers and/or cheaters yet all were born to need more than one partner and inability to stay
    I define marriage as one couple but it is just as arbitrary a line as one man one woman. As long as gay sex is not illegal not having gay marriage is no more bigoted than not having polygamy.

    • Bones

      Huh.

      Why are you against polygamy?

      It’s in the Bible for crying out loud.

      Who a person wants to spend their life with is none of your business.

      • Livin

        Because marriage is not about making ourselves happy but is for maintaining a orderly society and self. It is also about giving up your whole self to one person as it is impossible to fully give yourself to two or more others without a massive power difference.

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          marriage about maintaining an orderly society and self???
          My first WTF moment of the day.

        • Teresa

          So you’d stay in an utterly miserable marriage for the sake of societal order? Somehow I doubt it.

          It is not in fact impossible to give your whole self to more than one person. Anyone with a spouse and children will agree. I’ll leave power dynamics for another time, as the concept of power exchange may make your head explode, but the point is – how does my choice to not be monogamous harm society in any way? How does my closed, comitted quad have any impact on anything that you do? We’re not spreading disease, we’re not forcing people into our lifestyle, we’re completely 100% honest in our dealings with each other. It’s not cheating if there’s no lying or sneaking around. How is the way 4 consenting adults choose to live their lives impacting you? If you don’t like polyamory/gay marriage/whatever, you don’t have to be involved in that type of relationship. It doesn’t give you the right to tell me that I can’t do it or try to make it illegal.

          Oh, and I can guarantee you that you know at least one open/poly/swinger couple. We’re everywhere.

          • Livin

            Yea been married for 11 years one year of sleeping on the couch during a rough patch but I will never divorce. My relationship is much better now too. Love is not something you have but something you create over time with hard work.

        • Andy

          “Because marriage is not about making ourselves happy but is for maintaining a orderly society and self.”

          That makes absolutely no sense to me. Please elaborate.

          • Livin

            I just lost a huge post typing on a old phone so I am going to type it in brief.

            Monogamy -Best option each spouse gets 100% attention-regular custody cases

            Polygamy- One spouse will get sidelined while others get all the attention(why group love communities do not work out a cult of personality develops) extremely difficult child custody cases,more of a chance of spouse or child abuse that would be hard to detect.(think FLDS)
            Also tax law would be infinately more difficult.

            This is just scratching the surface.

          • Andy

            What does that have to do with marriage not being about making ourselves happy? In days of yore, marriage for reasons other than love was common in some cultures. Today it’s practically unheard of in America and many other countries.

          • Livin

            And look where that has gotten us a huge divorce rate.

          • BarbaraR

            *SMH* You’ll have to do better than that. A small child could shoot holes in that argument.

          • anakinmcfly

            I’m guessing that the current divorce rate would be even higher if people married out of obligation rather than love. The only reason why the divorce rate wasn’t as high in the past was because divorce either wasn’t allowed, or carried a much higher stigma than it currently does.

          • Andy

            The fact that other cultures where the divorce rate is lower or nonexistent have many or all arranged marriages does not mean that in the US in this day and age that arranged marriages would lead to fewer divorces. America today has little in common with a lot of those cultures.

          • lrfcowper

            I had an Indian teacher in high school who had an arranged marriage. The American obsession with falling in love and finding the right person and all that completely mystified him. You made the marriage work and you found the love as you lived your lives together. It was my first glimpse into marriages as they actually were, for the most part, in the Bible and helped a lot in understanding passages like, “Husbands, love your wives.” (I mean, isn’t that kind of a no-brainer? Well, no, not if your marriage was arranged.)

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Good, point, and so many marriages in the ancient world were arranged. Marrying for love is a pretty modern norm.

          • Guy Norred

            I have a few times tried to point out when people say that never in history has a marriage been between two men, that actually through much of history it was, and if he was lucky, one of them might actually have been the groom. Great point, by the way on the “Husbands, love your wives.” I hadn’t thought about that.

          • lrfcowper

            Oh, yeah. Plenty of men married men in history. Otherwise, what in the heck were Constantius II and Constans outlawing in 342? Less common for women to marry women, but that happened, too.

            It’s so common for us to think we know what words like “marriage” and “husband” and “wife” mean that we often completely misunderstand when we read those words in the Bible or other ancient stories. Sometimes I think we should leave them in the original language rather than translating them to remind the reader that they aren’t equivalent words.

          • Guy Norred

            Well, there is that of course also (the ones being outlawed), but I meant it to mean the ones that were a contract between two people, almost certainly men, one of which might be the groom, but just as likely was his father or other family head, the other being the father or other family head of the bride, who was in the scheme of it all little more than part of the goods exchanged to honor the contract. Of course, this is far from an equivalency to what is being put forth today, but a lot of that is kind of the point.

            You have a point on the issue of language. Actually a few years ago I came across an unfamiliar translation that changed some word more directly into a modern equivalent than I had ever seen before. I don’t remember what it was, but I remember thinking “so is that what this has meant all this time?” and after a little research came to the conclusion that it wasn’t too far off but somehow the word I was more used to seeing there (in its strange Biblical archaic quality) seemed a better choice for precisely the reason I think you say–while not easily understood, it at least wasn’t easily misunderstood.

          • lrfcowper

            Yes. I’ve heard some King James-only folks make the argument that the archaic language forces people to take better care with the text that a more modern translation does. I could kinda, sorta see that, but not the rest of their reasons.

            I have a Complete Jewish Bible that uses Jewish names and religious terms, like the various Jewish feasts are called by their Jewish names, Holy Spirit is “Ruach Ha-kodesh”, and Pharisees is “P’rushim”. I love reading it because it forces me to take my time with the text and see the connections between the Old Covenant and the New.

          • Guy Norred

            Interesting. I will look into it.

            It has been driving me nuts all afternoon trying to remember what the word was. Whatever it was it was the same in the RSV and NIV that I was most familiar with and also in any version but this one that I easily found. It occurs to me it must have been longer ago than I was thinking because it was very early internet. In any event, I didn’t even consider it all that important at the time, just some little variation. I hope I would be less flippant about it today.

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            Oh wow. I want a copy of the Complete Jewish Bible. The King James, fwiw, is a masterpiece. It has tons of translation errors and ecumenical compromises, but as an achievement, it’s unparalleled. People just keep approaching it like a cookbook. Read Romans 1:26, stir and add water, and you get to Heaven. :)

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Approaching the Bible like a cookbook. No wonder I’m so unorthodox in my faith. I’m a lousy cook.

          • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James Jarvis

            Still you have to admit that St. Paul’s recipe for double chocolate brownies is to die for.

          • lrfcowper

            Now I suddenly want to write a recipe book using quotes from scripture…

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            I’ll bet it includes a good leg of lamb.

          • Andy

            I only know a few people who’ve had arranged marriages — one of my colleagues a few feet away did, actually (she’s Indian too) — but the ones I do know of have done well. I think there’s a different mentality about it, and I’m glad for them. I think it would have been strange for me personally.

          • Bones

            Polygamy worked in the OT and is still practised by tribal Christians. If ancient cultures practised monogamy they would have died out whenever their men went to war.

            Polygamy is about the survival of the tribe.

            Many wives=more babies.

        • anakinmcfly

          “It is also about giving up your whole self to one person”

          …so why are you against gay marriage, which is about precisely that?

          • Livin

            Where did I say I was against it?

          • anakinmcfly

            Sorry, wrong person. Though you did place gay marriage on the same level as polygamous marriages, which makes no sense. Gay marriage: a person marrying the ONE person they are in love with, which is a right that straight people already have. Polygamous marriage: a person getting to marry a whole bunch of people in addition to that first one, which is not a right that most people have.

      • Livin

        Join the discussion…

      • Livin

        From an NT point of view Jesus the Christ said celibacy first if you can do it or at the very most one male and one female. You could most likely extend this to homosexual couples as they are few in number and one/one relationships are balanced with minimal bad effects on society.

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          Jesus said nothing about celibacy. That was Paul. As his letters were a personal matter, written to friends and congregations, never intended by the man for his work, or work done in his name to be considered canon, such statements were more a matter of personal opinion rather than “from the lips of God”

          • Livin

            Matthew 19 Jesus talks about celibacy.
            L
            10 His disciples said to him, “If this is the case of the man with his wife, it is not expedient to marry.” 11 But he said to them, “Not all men can receive this saying, but those to whom it is given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven’s sake. He who is able to receive it, let him receive it.”

          • lrfcowper

            Jesus is talking about those to whom grace and acceptance should be extended for not matching the Jewish expectation that a man should enter into an opposite-sex marriage and continue his family line– namely gay men, transwomen, asexual men, and other lgbt folks who couldn’t easily enter into the marriage covenant (natural-born eunuchs); castrated and physiologically or psychologically damaged men (those made eunuchs by men); and those whose rare spiritual calling is to celibacy in order to focus on ministry (those who made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of God). Jesus isn’t saying this is better than lifelong commitment, but those who cannot honestly and forthrightly enter into opposite-sex marriages are to accorded the same respect as given to those who honor their marital vows.

            He is, in essence, saying there is no easy out from your duties to your family, which included lifelong opposite-sex marriage

          • lrfcowper

            He is, in essence, saying there is no easy out from your duties to your family, which included lifelong opposite-sex marriage and producing children to assure the continuance of the family line and financial support for his parents in their old age. We don’t have the same family system or the same method of financial suupports for the elderly, so one can’t simply apply this willy-nilly to marriages as the exist today.

          • anakinmcfly

            We actually still have that family system over here in Asia (e.g. people are expected to financially support their parents and continue the family name), but even then I’ve never actually seen it used as an argument against divorce. So that was an interesting bit of history.

          • lrfcowper

            Well, the trick with the verses discussed is that along with the social expectation on men to marry and have kids to continue the family line and provide support to his parents, there was also a limited number of ways women could financially support themselves– in most cases they couldn’t own property and were, in fact, regarded as the property of their husbands, if married, or fathers (or older male relatives if their father was deceased), if unmarried. An unmarried woman was valuable and marriageable if she was a virgin, but was mostly a burden to her birth family if she was not, as she was unlikely to be taken in marriage. A woman who had been married and then divorced was often rejected by her birth family and was thus thrown into extreme poverty with few options to support herself. Since women couldn’t sue for divorce in most cases, their entire future was entirely in the hands of their husbands. He could easily ruin a woman’s life on a callous whim. That’s why Jesus is so adamant about divorce– it was cruel.

            When Jesus spoke against divorcing except in cases of sexual infidelity, the disciples’ reaction is basically a childish, “Well, if I can’t do what I want to with my wife, then I just won’t get married!”

            Jesus responds to that by listing the few instances where ignoring your filial duties would be acceptable.

          • Livin

            Lets see…Jesus agrees it is better not to marry but if able to be single and celibate for the Kingdom’s sake. I like your midrash but the text is clear eunuch one who cannot or in the passage use will not have sex for a specific reason.

          • lrfcowper

            No, he didn’t agree. That’s the point. The disciples said it was better not to marry, and he responded with the few rare conditions in which that was actually true (and also admits that there are those in those cases who cannot accept such a social stigma as not entering into marriage, in which case, they were expected to do right by their financially and socially dependent wives and stay married to them). For everyone else, obedience to your parents’ marriage arrangements, seeing to the financial needs of your parents in the future, and continuing the family lineage, by entering into a lifelong opposite-sex marriage and producing children was the only acceptable choice.

            The thought works like this:

            Should you enter into a lifelong, no-divorce, socially-expected opposite-sex marriage in obedience to your parents, to provide them with financial security and a continuance of the family line in the future?

            Q0: Are you a woman?
            – A0a: No. Proceed to Q1.
            – A0b: Yes. You have no legal right to refuse marriage. You can appeal to your family’s good graces on the basis of the below, but in the end you are bound by whatever they decide.

            Q1: Are you a natural-born eunuch, i.e. a male-bodied person who is unable to perform sexually with a woman or who finds it extremely difficult to do so, or who from birth lacks the necessary sexual organs to engender children?
            – A1a: No. Proceed to Q2.
            – A1b: Yes. Proceed to Q4.

            Q2: Are you a man-made eunuch, i.e. a male-bodied person who mas been rendered unable to perform sexually with a woman or who finds it extremely difficult to do so, or who has lost the necessary sexual organs to engender children?
            – A2a: No. Proceed to Q3.
            – A2b: Yes. Proceed to Q4.

            Q3: Have you received a definite and unmistakable calling to eschew marriage in order to focus on serving others in the Kingdom of God?
            –A3a: No. You should enter into a lifelong, opposite-sex marriage in obedience to your parents’ wishes, in order to provide for their future financial support and continuance of the family line. You are not permitted to divorce your wife, who is financially and socially dependent upon you, except in cases of proven adultery.
            – A3b: Yes. Proceed to Q4.

            Q4: Are you able to bear the social stigma of being an unmarried eunuch without children or grandchildren to support you in your old age?
            – A4a: No. You should enter into a lifelong, opposite-sex marriage in obedience to your parents’ wishes, in order to provide for their future financial support and continuance of the family line. You are not permitted to divorce your wife, who is financially and socially dependent upon you, except in cases of proven adultery.
            – A4b: Yes. You should not enter into a lifelong, opposite-sex marriage at this time and accept the social stigma and future consequences of being an unmarried eunuch without children or grandchildren to support you.

            If your answer to all of the above questions ever changes to “no” you are expected to enter into a lifelong, opposite-sex marriage with no possibility of divorce except in cases of adultery. You don’t get to avoid your social duties simply because you don’t like the idea of being a responsible man who cannot divorce his dependent wife on a whim.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Again, that was Paul that said that about marriage.

          • lrfcowper

            And the disciples, after Jesus told them they couldn’t go divorce wives whenever they felt like it. Their claim is very much presented as a selfish and infantile reaction to Jesus’ teachings on divorce– “If I can’t do what I want with my wife, I just won’t have one, so there!”

            I’ll note that Paul is very, very clear that this is his *opinion* and feelings on the matter, and not a spiritual teaching he received. We need to keep in mind that marriage was hardly the egalitarian, love-based, freely-chosen institution it is today, but was barely more than sexual slavery for women. Paul had every reason to encourage people to avoid it unless they were so passionately incapable of keeping their hands off each other that it was the only right thing to do.

          • Livin

            Nope that was Jesus in Matthew 19 saying be celibate if you can do it. Then he said if you cannot be celibate you were made to be husband and wife and were created for each other as one unit each being a half of a whole. Then Jesus said not to remarry if you get divorced.
            These are some of the counter cultural teachings of Jesus.

          • lrfcowper

            Repeating misinformation that’s already been addressed doesn’t suddenly make it true. The word eunuch in Koine Greek (and saris is OT Hebrew) had a very clear meaning, and it has nothing to do with being celibate, but with being unsuited for opposite-sex marriage as it existed in those cultures. Jesus isn’t using some secret code language here, but using the everyday meanings of everyday words.

          • Livin

            From Strongs Concordance
            eunouchos: a eunuch
            Original Word: εὐνοῦχος, ου, ὁ
            Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine
            Transliteration: eunouchos
            Phonetic Spelling: (yoo-noo’-khos)
            Short Definition: a eunuch, keeper of the bed-chamber
            Definition: (a) a chamberlain, keeper of the bed-chamber of an eastern potentate, eunuch, (b) a eunuch, castrated person, or one who voluntarily abstains from marriage

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Strongs? Sigh. They are not the best translation source. I have never heard eunuch be used in place of celibacy. None of the definitions I quickly looked up and I looked at three, have celibacy mentioned, in their definitions. Strongs is in error, as they are with other words.

          • lrfcowper

            Not even Strongs equates being a eunuch with celibacy. They merely say a eunuch abstains from marriage (which, at the time, was opposite-sex).

            Married =/= having sex
            Not married =/= celibate

            Eunuchs were often prostitutes (both in temples and in regular brothels) and were also often used as sex slaves. In fact, that was one of the main reason for castration of boys– not enough natural-born eunuchs to fill the demand. No one in Jesus’ day would hear “eunuch” and equate it with “celibate”. This is a case of circular reasoning– “I want this passage to be about celibacy, therefore, eunuchs must have been celibate, therefore this passage is about celibacy.

            Simple fact is, Roman law texts don’t agree. A castrated male could not adopt an heir because it was seen as unnatural to create a social relationship he could not have achieved through biological means, but the usual kind of eunuch– a natural-born eunuch– could adopt an heir because he could theoretically have produced one through biological means. A slave purchaser who discovered an undisclosed defect in the slave had the right to return the slave for a full refund– a sort of slave lemon law– but not for minor defects like a slight limp, being crosseyed, a low fever, or a tendency toward laziness. Or being a eunuch. Of course, the dialogue then mentioned that if the eunuch was a man-made eunuch, then that was a defect, but the usual kind of eunuch wasn’t considered defective.

            We see this with the court eunuchs in China, the harem eunuchs in the Quran, and Middle Eastern texts. Even today we see this usage with the hijra of India who were and are referred to as eunuchs, even though many make their living at least partially via prostitution, and castration is actually illegal in India so many hijra don’t opt to have it done.

            “Eunuch” has never been about castration or celibacy, but about male-bodied people who occupy a third gender.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Yeah… Celibacy and castration are the same thing, because they both start with the letter C and involve the male Testicles. As women lack such a thing….well, I guess we are off topic.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            The text may appear “clear” to you, but yours is NOT clear to me. Try some proper sentence structure and punctuation. Discussions like this are muddled enuf by the extrapolative tendencies and interpretive license of “christians” desperately trying to defend their ignorance of their religion. I often wonder why we even engage the brain-dead?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            That is not about celibacy. It could be someone who had impotency issues for biological reasons. Considering how little was known about the human physiology, impotency from birth could have been anything, a genetic defect, a serious illness. For almost everyone else it meant that they had been castrated, which often happened when quite young, for a variety of reasons. These men were essentially neutered. Celibacy is a choice, for the vast majority of eunuchs, it wasn’t.

            Many likely would have liked to have wives or lovers, but that was robbed from them by the wills of others. A eunuch was incapable of sex with females, they had no choice. IT did not prevent them the ability from having sex with males as what happened with some, especially those in servant or slave capacities.

          • James Walker

            Matthew 19 is problematic because we’re very likely missing some important pieces. The discussion of eunuchs in 19:10-12 only makes sense if we’re talking about the rabbinical tradition that permits women to seek a divorce if their husband is impotent. But the preceding passage is clearly talking about men putting away their wives. Something doesn’t add up here.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            That is an admonishment, not a law and obviously not meant to include everyone. Your interpretation, and it is only that, is erroneous.

          • Snooterpoot

            SMH That’s a real stretch, in my opinion.

          • Bones

            Um, eunuchs can still have sex.

            ” Studies have also been done that show with increased stimulation, a castrated man can actually get an erection, have sex, and orgasm (although ejaculate which would be minimal in volume and not contain any sperm).”

            What lowers over time is the level of testosterone.

            Oh and some early Christians actually were castrated to fulfill this verse.

          • Livin

            They were castrated so what? That was their lifestyle choice.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Are you fucking serious? Do you really understand what castration is? Are you remotely aware of the history of this very barbaric act? Do you really understand what it would be like for a grown man to have his testicles physically removed without the benefit of pain kilers, the risk of serious infection/death that would be involved? Having male genitalia hit is bad enough pain to send most to the ground writhing in agony….try upping that pain 100 fold, by slicing most of it off, and see how many line up to volunteer.

          • anakinmcfly

            Wait, so (assuming you are in possession of testicles) you would consider it your ‘lifestyle choice’ if someone were to go up to you right now and castrate you?

          • Andy

            This is all kinds of wrong. All. Kinds.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            Eh….Jesus probably spoke in Aramaic, NOT English, least of all King James’ English. Therefore, this is an interpretation. To suggest that “it is not expedient to marry” means ergo “you should be celibate” is not only a possible mis-interpretation, but worse than that. It is an extrapolation not supported by the actual words.

            This is one example of many of the erroneous thought processes within Christianity; interpretive license, that renders discussions a Tower of Babble.

          • Livin

            While not perfect the King James keeps Greek sentence structure pretty well while being readable in English…..
            But that is a moot point because I was not quoting out of the King James lol

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            It’s really frustrating to try to discuss issues like this with someone who comes at it from this perspective: Jesus=God and God wrote the Bible and so Jesus said everything that’s in the Bible. There is little hope of reaching a person with such a closed mindset.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I know. I never have understood the infallibility of scriptures theory, even though I heard it enough. I just felt there was something off about it, especially seeing how many opposing points of view about what scripture actually means in all those passages. If God literally wrote the Bible, then why did she make it so convuluted? The few convuluted answers I’ve gotten haven’t helped enamour me to the idea.

          • James Walker

            the only real chance you have is to point out that if Jesus literally wrote the Bible, even acting through the “agency” of human writers like Paul taking dictation, as it were, then Jesus is a liar. cite Ephesians 1:1, Philippians 1:1, 1 Peter 1:1, etc. as proof.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            Eh, now you’re making me look em up!

          • James Walker

            I know, I know. making you work for it…

            I suppose I could just copy/paste Bible verses left and right so Andy can gripe at me too… ;)

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Let us not forget the entire book of Philemon

          • lrfcowper

            I’m actually quite enamoured of Philemon because Paul does *such* a guilt trip on Philemon in it. “Of course, you can do what you want. I’m not going to order you to do the right thing. It’s not like you *owe* me or anything…”

        • Cameron Engel

          The New Testament only says that leaders in the church should not be polygamous. (1 Timothy 3:2; 1 Timothy 3:12; Titus 1:6).

    • anakinmcfly

      “yet all were born to need more than one partner and inability to stay ”

      Speak for yourself. That’s not true.

    • Lamont Cranston

      As a patriot I’m bigoted against anti-American filth like you.

    • Giauz Ragnarock

      Jesus finds polygamy objectively correct.

  • R Vogel
    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      I saw that. Mother Jones has a map that shows all states that have passed marriage equality, as well as all states where things are a few steps from that, states that have legal things in the works, and states that are just so far behind. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/05/gay-marriage-states-legal-map

    • Matt

      I almost feel a twinge of sympathy for those “pro-family” organizations. It can’t be easy to face one’s ever-increasing irrelevance.

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

        When it comes to my state getting to this point, I just keep thinking “come on SC, come on SC. Aww, come on SC, move your blooming arse!”

        • BarbaraR

          Wouldn’t it be loverly….

        • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

          Musical theater reference. You really know your audience;). Audrey Hepburn for double bonus points. Well played SDP!

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Helps that its my favorite musical.

        • Bill Steffenhagen

          God, that reminded me of a little skit a female classmate and I did in high school speech class. We thought we were so daring to actually say those words in front of class. My, how times have changed.

          • Guy Norred

            I remember when having to recite a passage from King Lear in high school, picking something because it contained a word I would not ordinarily be allowed to to say and shocking everyone else that the goody-two-shoes preacher’s kid did so when the rest of the class picked much more safe passages. Such silly rebels we were.

      • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

        Love you, Matt. Not a twinge of effing sympathy for them. This was a long time coming, starting before the bloodshed of the Stonewall riots in 1969.

        But proud of the momentum? Proud it’s here? For sure.

        • Matt

          *chuckle* I have the whole “love thine enemy” thing down pat. But I’ll be the first to rejoice when every person is finally free to marry their partner.

    • Giauz Ragnarock

      The comments section is vile with the “it’s a lifestyle choice” crowd, though…

      • R Vogel

        Yeah, imagine what the comments would have looked like if the Loving case happened in the internet age! The more they lose ground the more vile they will get I suspect…

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          As far as written vileness, I have seen it all (ie. the most bat-shit crazy paranoid schizophrenic horse-shit out in the open to the more subtle cloaked versions from people like Michael Brown and WLC, grrh! at both).

  • Livin

    Well John as long as you believe the NT is God’s word and that Christ is part of the Godhead and rised from the dead literally you are still ok with me even if I disagree with you.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      Ah, the use of a qualifier of religious belief to be “ok” with another person.

      • Livin

        Sorry that I love rather than hate people I disagree with and attempt to find common ground with another Christian.

        • lrfcowper

          He’s only ok with you if he meets certain religious qualifications, and you think that’s loving?

          • Livin

            O.k. With him as a Pastor who is suppose to be held to a high standard…yes!

            Either way I love him as a person. :)

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I don’t know about you, but I hold pastors to no higher standards than anyone else. I know they get colds, grumpy and have occasional constipation, just like me. They have opinions, talents and knowledge, just like me. They are right on a lot of things as well as dead wrong, just like me. They just have a particular chosen vocation, just like me. Why should they be held in higher esteem?

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            Well, too many “christians” think clargy have a better connection to God than THEY do, which is essentially to deny their own connection to the Holy Spirit that they at other times tout. It’s all SO inconsistent.

          • Guy Norred

            Yet another nuance to the comment I left to your other one just a few minutes ago.

          • Andy

            Is that not an implicit tenet of Catholicism, what with Papal Infallibility and all?

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            Of course, and it’s supported by the very language used in the relationships of clergy to parishioners; Father, Mother, Excellency, Holiness, Eminence, Papa…..all designed to keep the parishioner relating to the clergy like children to a parent, sometimes almost like children to a god, cutting them off from the realization of their own access to the Holy Spirit and their ability to think for themselves. It’s medieval mind control. I regard it as evil.

      • Livin
    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      What do you disagree with me on, if you don’t mind my asking.

      • Livin

        I believe society has to set arbitrary boundaries to operate and people just disagree on where these boundaries should lay. I believe straight or gay monogamist relationships should be allowed in secular society. Others would allow anything goes. Since we are dealing with a society where there is no truth all lines are arbitrary and someone will always be left out.

        So to the polygamist a gay person who supports monogamy as the best line for society would be a bigot according to the thinking of this blog post. I disagree with that. I think the discussion is more nuanced.

        • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

          wow. that’s … wow.

          moving on ….

        • Bones

          It’s about culture dude.

          If ancient societies practised monogamy they’d be all gone.

          Polygamy was about survival of the tribe.

          Some Christians in parts of Africa still practice polygamy.

          Same with the age of marriage. Children have been married off in Christendom in the past.

          There’s nothing in the Bible about that.

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          “Since we are dealing with a society where there is no truth all lines are arbitrary and someone will always be left out.”

          I’ve never heard of such a society existing outside the bounds of literature. Anyone else?

          • BarbaraR

            If all lines are arbitrary, no one can be left out. Self-canceling phrase.

  • Sam D. Maloney

    Who cares what the Bible says? It endorses slavery repeatedly, says women who have sex outside marriage must be stoned, says women may NEVER hold authority over men, says women must marry their rapists: NO ONE really uses this thing as a moral guide anymore (and we can all be grateful for that) they just use it as a weapon to beat up on people they don’t like.

    Let’s keep in mind that no one is trying to force churches to accept ANYTHING: whatever crazy thing they are into, from protesting soldier’s funerals to playing with snakes is just fine.

    What is NOT fine is trying to use civil laws to force other people not of your faith to live by the laws of your faith: do that, and you are a bigot in my book.

  • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

    John Shore,
    There is no other site on the interwebs where the troll feeding is so entertaining to watch.

    • Scarlet

      By far, this is one of the most entertaining comments section I’ve ever read.

  • Ron Swaren

    It’s not bigotry to disbelieve or reject something that is oxymoronic on its face. The gay hucksters like to portray this issue as one of civil rights. It’s more like a bar that is set at a realistic height and one needs to jump high enough to get over the bar (Using “bar” the way it is used as substantial criteria for proving an allegation in court). Minors can’t get over the bar, Siblings can’t get over it, Parents and adult children can’t get over the bar. And gays by definition can’t get over it. Can they form strong bonds with each other? sure, a lot of other pairs of people can, too. That proves nothing.

    Most people assume, from the time they are children, that a marriage will be between male and female. Gays have no right to impose a contradiction on them. And for those who resent more government intrusion into private lives, recognizing a homosexual union as marriage under law is a huge expansion of government control. And like any radical change, it opens up a Pandora’s box of legal questions. I think it is also troubling to children. When they think of marriage they think of fancy clothes and pretty colors and wedding cakes. The SSM issue forces them to start thinking about sexual relations. It is the sexualization of children’s psyches and forcing them to consider adult issues long before they need to. Just part of the gay agenda to wreck conventional families and inaugurate a demented, immoral society, by which they can exert greater control and influence.

    • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

      Cool. The “same sex marriage is like pedophilia and incest argument” with some legal posturing and government paranoia thrown in. This is so many perfectly enunciated layers of crazy, I’m impressed. I’m going to settle for typing that children should know marriage isn’t about fancy clothes and cake, and my preschool teacher was gay. Amount I was traumatized — amount it even crossed my mind — zero. I didn’t think about male/female sex, either. That’s… all you, dude.

      • Ron Swaren

        No, it is opening up too many legal questions that will lead to erosion of present standards. You’re not going to be swinging your abusive, totalitarian club of imagined victimization at the rest of the world. Suck up your insiduous grievances and try to be an adult.

        • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

          I’m about a 2 on the Kinsey scale, or what I like to call straight-ish, so I don’t really have a club to swing. I’ll probably marry a man and have cake. You do have a way with words, though.

          • Ron Swaren

            I would like to see reasons for accepting homo. marriage, carte blanche. I’ve seen some good reasons, but not enough for the sweeping changes they seem to want. And sorry, I was not responding specifically to your opinion, E. I didn’t know that this blog had a squadron of opinion cops though. I guess I should have known better.

          • James Walker

            squadron of opinion cops

            bwahahahahaha

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            Heh, opinion cop. Oh, I do enjoy the power of it. I earned my badge 20 years ago.

          • BarbaraR

            Oh, I think you knew it. But for your own reasons, you decided to come here anyway and then complain that people are expressing their opinions contrary to yours.

            It doesn’t matter what reasons anyone gives you. After a quick glance at your other comments, it’s quite clear your mind is made up and you’re just trolling for attention.

          • Ron Swaren

            I would like to see why this author insists upon defaming other people?

          • James Walker

            it’s only defamation when it’s 1) not true and 2) told with intent to harm

            John Shore calls you a bigot because he wants people like you to stop hurting people like me.

          • Ron Swaren

            I thought Mr. Shore wanted people like me to stop hurting all queers, not just you. I’m hurt, because I don’t get in on a lot of those same benefits. Waah. And there are lots of other people who also don’t get in on them. What are we going to do about that?

            Even if you think you are some positive example—that doesn’t mean everyone qualifying under new legal definitions would have the same character. But —waaah!—it’s about “justice.” How could I be so blind?

          • mrichardson84

            “Queers”? You son of a bitch. If this were my blog, you’d have been banned by now. You are an evil, twisted, little man who clearly is insecure in his masculinity. You can’t stand for others to have the same rights as you. All you can do is refer to them in sexist, homophobic slurs like the one you just used. May God have mercy on your bigoted, hate-filled soul.

          • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

            I’ll block him. Thanks for the alert.

          • mrichardson84

            Thanks, John. Sorry for using the SOB insult. You can remove it if you want. It’s extremely difficult for me to be the bigger person when dealing with filth like him.

          • Tom

            I agree completely, mrichardson. It is very hard for me to remain civil after dealing with this hateful, ignorant mentality for 47 years.

          • James Walker

            yeah, when I said “people like me”, I included every single God-blessed member of the LGBT+ spectrum. every single one of us has been directly harmed by people who seem to think they’ve got a monopoly on “God’s will” and “God’s plan” and how all of us are somehow “deviants” from that. every single one of us has been “othered” and vilified and, yes, victimized by the privileged majority (that means you, Ron Swaren) who seek to take away our basic human right to have our inside match our outside and to openly and freely love whom we will.

            being called out as a bigot is the least of what you deserve for materially supporting the oppression of people like me.

            oh, waaah! the blogger and his audience called me a name I don’t like!

          • Christopher Toft

            Oh come on let the man speak. If he wants to resort to insults or whatever, let him. Nobody has to agree witth Ron.

          • Guy Norred

            The only defamation on this page, is in your comments. You also are obviously not going to listen to anyone, so I am not sure why I am worrying about pointing this out. I doubt I take the trouble to do more.

          • DonRappe

            See what happens?

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            John’s answer to just about everything anti-homosexual is http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/2012/04/the-best-case-for-the-bible-not-condemning-homosexuality/. Um, I actually find these discussions entertaining. I’ve popped in on my lunch break for years. And you never know. I learn from others’ comments. You might too.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            We are people with opinions. What did you expect soulless minions?

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            Remember when the anti-Christian feminist tweeted we were minions for exactly the opposite reason? Because anyone who believed in God was ipso facto infringing on liberal rights? Good times.

          • James Walker

            I would like to see reasons for accepting homo. marriage, carte blanche. I’ve seen some good reasons, but not enough for the sweeping changes they seem to want

            so now you’re Agrippa? almost thou persuadest me to support LGBT+ marriage?

          • http://mikemoorehome.com/ mike moore

            Rather than “see” reasons, you should make the effort to MEET the reasons: my husband of 28 years who is alive because of my health insurance benefits which were extended to him due to our civil marriage; old people who lost homes, savings, pensions, SS benefits, etc., because they couldn’t marry; partners barred from seeing their hospitalized loved one because they aren’t “family”; people not allowed to entrust their own end of life decisions to the person they most trust; kids denied health insurance because one of their parents is legally recognized as a parent. do I need to go on?

            And the sexualization of kids? Please. You remind me of that whack-a-do Dallas TV morning host, Amy Kushnir, going on and on about Michael Sam’s kissing his BF on ESPN. Like you, she’s so worried about “our children” being exposed and confused to this disgusting sexual behaviour … Amy, the same woman who REALLY enjoyed herself with the half-naked Chippendale models on her morning show. Sexualization? Shut down shows like “The Bachelor” and then let’s talk about whose really harming kids.

            Gays don’t have the right to “impose” anything on anyone.

            We do have the right to live as openly and as freely as you, and if it confuses your kids, then I guess you need to figure out a good way to explain it when a nice married gay couple moves in next door, and, as they head out the door to work each morning, they give each other a big kiss in front of the neighbors kids. (Just like millions of straight people do each day, without a thought.)

          • Tom

            You don’t need to see anything. All you need to do is mind your own business and let other people live their lives. Do you really find it the least bit logical (or realistic) that someone would say, “Oh, I really love my partner, but I mustn’t marry him because this complete stranger named Ron Swaren who will never even know me doesn’t want me to?” Honestly, you narcissistic bigots who think this has anything whatsoever to do with you are going the way of the dinosaurs. And good riddance.

          • anakinmcfly

            We would like to see reasons not to.

          • angellgirl

            Reason 1. They’re human. 2. They’re citizens. 3. They’re taxpayers. 4. There is no decent reason that they can’t determine the course of their own future/family (in fact, who is better suited for that job?) 5. Families are awesome, no reason not to legitimize them. 6. (Really want me to go on?)

          • Trdofaholes

            Reason 6. It’s none of his feckin’ business.

          • angellgirl

            Very very true.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            Are you an opinion cops to us, or are we just saying what we have the right to freely express? You came in making all these criminally depressing assumptions about LGBT+ people, so why are we police for letting you say what you want to say (not without criticism)?

          • DonRappe

            There are also secret opinion police and we are watching you.

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          5 Points for good use of the word insiduous, and for spelling it correctly. Sadly the rest of the statements still have you in the minus column.

        • James Walker

          swinging your abusive, totalitarian club of imagined victimization

          haven’t we seen that in a recent story?

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/2014/03/my-strategy-worked-for-world-vision-just-like-it-did-for-duck-dynasty-says-pr-superstar/

          oh, yeah, the anti-LGBT+ Christians claimed THEY were the ones being victimized and they came out swinging… again…

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            He won’t watch and read it anyway James, and if he does, he won’t get it. His kind are just to obtuse.

        • Trdofaholes

          ” You’re not going to be swinging your abusive, totalitarian club of
          imagined victimization at the rest of the world. Suck up your insiduous
          grievances and try to be an adult.”

          Why are you talking to yourself here? Take your own advice Bubba.

      • Donalbain

        I would like to know why he assumes there would be no lovely clothes at a gay wedding!

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          The most colorful wedding attire I’ve seen is at Hindu weddings. Vibrant satins, loads of flowers and jewels, and the henna art…oh my.

          • Kathy Isaacs

            But… but… they’re not Christian! How can they think of getting married? God said…

            (*joke, joke! Stop hitting me!)

          • DonRappe

            You should be beaten with a stick. But not one thicker than your husbands middle finger.

        • Andy

          At the risk of perpetuating a stereotype, I completely agree.

        • angellgirl

          Or that the fact that kids miiiight think about weddings is a reason to keep adults from marrying. So kids might think about weddings. So what? Kids will expand their definition. Do we think that gay kids never think about what their lives will be? And does it make it easier for gay kids if there are no role models for them?

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      Geez, I my eyes started rolling by the end of the first paragraph.

      • Andy

        My eyes hurt. I’m not even exaggerating.

    • BarbaraR

      I can’t even…. this is so fucking crazy.

    • James Walker

      something that is oxymoronic on its face

      in order for that to be true, there must first be an inherent contradiction in the terms. so, where’s the contradiction exactly? try as you might, you won’t find an actual definition of marriage in the Bible that proves the “one man, one woman” formula. so, where will you turn to demonstrate same-sex marriage to be self-contradictory?

      assume, from the time they are children, that a marriage will be between male and female. Gays have no right to impose a contradiction

      so this is once again about protecting “the children” from some nebulous “harm” they will supposedly suffer if they happen across information about a gay or lesbian marriage ceremony? how is it possible that you have not seen the perfectly non-reaction responses children have made to being informed that their uncle or aunt is marrying another man or woman?

      for those who resent more government intrusion into private lives, recognizing a homosexual union as marriage under law is a huge expansion of government control

      please explain to me in exactly what way permitting LGBT+ marriages extends or expands governmental control over your life at all. use small words. I’m gay, so I’m probably stupid or something.

      When they think of marriage they think of fancy clothes and pretty colors and wedding cakes. The SSM issue forces them to start thinking about sexual relations.

      umm.. nope.

      just nope.

      you know what my nephews thing about marriage? they think it’s when two grown up people are in love with each other and want to live “happily ever after” together. they don’t think about dresses or cakes. only the oldest one (who’s 19) thinks about the sexual bit and that’s because it’s been made abundantly clear to him that he will NOT be having any of that until he finds a nice girl (he’s straight) and marries her. we’ll see how that mandate holds up when he finally clears the nest, but I digress. the youngest (who’s 5, going on 6) doesn’t know thing one about sex and has exactly the level of interest in it appropriate to his age, which is that those bits of the body are icky. so, no, same-sex marriage doesn’t “sexualize” children or “force them to start thinking about sexual relations”. unless, you know, people like YOU insist on making LGBT+ relationships about sex and sex alone and explaining that to children. which makes YOU the one with the problem.

      • Ron Swaren

        Where exactly do you find homo. relations approved of in the Bible? Let’s see some examples. I think the burden of proof is on you, because there is plenty of approval for hetero. despite the fact that they would be odd by today’s standards.

        Re: Government control. Uhhhh..Social Security Benefits, veteran’s benefits to spouses, government paid health benefits. Advocates themselves speak of the 1000+ benefits they are currently missing out on. Those are government benefits and it takes government to administrate them. And then there are the new complications in family court, and probably the rights of surrogate parents will become an issue. Plus, I think that children’s rights should come into the picture. Just my opinion, I wouldn’t want a lot of those gay couples arbitrarily being my “parents” just because they were a little lonesome and wanted some more companions. No way!! Basic revulsion factor!!!! Nature apparently hasn’t picked them to be parents, but damn the torpedos they are going to be anyway!!

        Most of your statements are based upon a short, snapshot of time and recording what YOU THOUGHT was that minor person’s understanding. However, a lot can happen in a child’s mind over the course of eighteen years. If it takes only one or two incidents of hetero. sexual abuse—such as even non penetrative molesting–what happens with a whole childhood experiencing abnormal behavior, including multiple partners? And even if the first generation child of these odd couplings is not affected that doesn’t mean that subsequent ones wouldn’t be.

        “YOU insist on making LGBT+ relationships about sex and sex alone and
        explaining that to children. which makes YOU the one with the problem.
        –This is an unfounded generalization. I think you know that isn’t true. Any human being is made in the image of God (at least according to Biblical religion), my focus is on the particular distortions in their behavior, not their personhood. LGBT people seem to insist on making their worldview about sex—-from all of the sexualized fantasies they display in their celebratory moods. Plus mental distortions are like icebergs–there’s a lot of other distortion going on below the surface.

        • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

          The federal government recently extended benefits to same-sex employee spouses. That ship sailed. It’s only a matter of time. And yeah, don’t abuse kids. Try to set a good example for them and don’t sleep around. I like “mental distortions are like icebergs.” I mean, if the shoe fits…

        • James Walker

          Where exactly do you find homo. relations approved of in the Bible?

          yawn…

          where exactly do you find the 40 hour work week, paid vacation, work that involves sitting in an office using computers and phones, etc. approved of in the Bible?

          Re: Government control.

          none of the items you list here demonstrate how government extending equal rights to LGBT+ couples affects YOU at all. I mean, it’s not as if we don’t pay into Social Security and Medicare too. sheesh.

          every “argument” you list against LGBT+ parentage and adoption could be leveled against opposite-sex parents as well. are you even aware of how many people are raised in “blended” families, how many are raised by single parents, how many are raised by parents who have multiple opposite-sex boyfriends or girlfriends who, for whatever reason, just don’t work out?

          LGBT people seem to insist on making their worldview about sex

          talk about unfounded generalizations…

          you’re taking the most visible example, seen during PRIDE and other events, and extrapolating that to the entire community of LGBT+ people. gee. I suppose we’d get a totally different picture of what opposite-sex relations are all about if we used Fort Lauderdale beach during Spring Break as an example, right?

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            Right, I wish I HAD so much fun!!!!

          • Snooterpoot

            Also, Mardi Gras, which is essentially a Bacchanalian festival of open and inferred sex between opposite sex people.

            Goddamn bigots who mention Gay Pride parades conveniently ignore Mardi Gras.

        • stubbikins

          Who cares what the Bible says? It has nothing to do with our laws.

        • lrfcowper

          If a an opposite-sex couple wants to avoid the government “intrusion” of veteran’s health benefits to spouses, tax benefits, automatic extension of next-of-kin status and so on, they can remain unmarried. If an opposite-sex couple wants those benefits, they can marry. If a same-sex couple wants to avoid government “intrusion” they can remain unmarried. If they want those benefits? Well, by your lights they can’t have them because you want to “protect” them from being able to opt-in. They aren’t children. You don’t need to protect them. Nor do you own them or having any guardianship of them.

          Multiple partners is not a feature of same-sex relationships. It’s a feature of promiscuity. Gay, bi, and straight people run the gamut from promiscuous to serial monogamy to monogamy to celibacy to virginity. Sexual orientation does not determine sexual behaviour. They are two separate things. Before you make legal arguments about a group of people, you should endeavour to cure your ignorance about them. Making the sort of arguments you’ve made is sort of like claiming certain rights shouldn’t be extended to black people because they all come from Asia and are therefore all ninjas.

          As for your earlier request to prove the need for LGBT people to have equality, sorry, but the onus is not on us. Basic civil rights should be extended to everyone unless the state can prove an actual threat to public safety. For instance, the right to bear arms is denied to many convicted felons because there is a threat to public safety. In multiple court cases no one has yet found a credible threat to public safety in legally recognising LGBT people’s marriages, and believe me, the anti-gay bigots have pulled out all the stops and invested millions of dollars in trying to find one. (I’m sure there are no hungry people who need food, thirsty people who need access to clean water, people without adequate clothing who need clothing, sick people who need comfort or research into a cure, imprisoned people who need visited, widows and orphans who need cared for, oppressed people who need justice, or people living in ignorance of God’s love for them who needed some Good News– you know, things Christ actually told Christians to do– so they were free to invest those millions of dollars in such “lofty” pursuits.)

          We don’t need to prove anything to you. LGBT people are innocent until proven guilty, just like everyone else in our society.

        • Tom

          Why do you cherry-pick the parts of the bible that seem to suit your own prejudices? Unless you’re also pro-slavery and think that people who work on “the Sabbath” should be put to death, then kindly shut the hell up. You clearly don’t know what you’re talking about. Furthermore, there are plenty of people who are not Christians (or not religious at all), so your argument is illogical: You don’t have the right to tell others how to live based on your interpretation of something that many of us don’t even believe in. You just don’t.

        • IBChuck

          Who gives a damn what’s in the bible. We’re talking CIVIL rights here. If you’re allowed to have sex, and marry, so should every citizen. If you want to be sanctimonious, go to church with your fellow believers. But keep your holier-than-thou attitude there also.

        • James Walker

          I wouldn’t want a lot of those gay couples arbitrarily being my “parents” just because they were a little lonesome and wanted some more companions

          I know he’s gone so this is just me spitting into the wind, but…

          wow…

          way to completely trivialize the parental urges of an entire group of people, not to mention the needs of children in foster care who just want some loving “forever” parents and don’t really give a damn whether they’re gay, straight or from the planet Zabrox.

        • CharlieAdamsInKY

          “Where exactly do you find homo. relations approved of in the Bible?”

          Who gives a shit, except for faux-”religious” bigots who try to use their religion as an excuse for belittling other CITIZENS? I am not gay; I am also not a Christian. I don’t give a rat’s ass what YOUR religion says I should think about same-sex marriage.

        • anakinmcfly

          “Nature apparently hasn’t picked them to be parents, but damn the torpedos they are going to be anyway!!”

          If it’s actually adoption you’re against, just say so. That’s a wholly different topic from gay marriage.

          “If it takes only one or two incidents of hetero. sexual abuse—such as even non penetrative molesting–what happens with a whole childhood experiencing abnormal behavior, including multiple partners?”

          Pretty horrible things. But I fail to see what that has to do with gay marriage, which for starters would, by definition, mean only one partner, not multiple.

          “LGBT people seem to insist on making their worldview about sex”

          funny, it’s mostly straight people who seem to be doing that, especially when I’m trying so hard to live in a happy sexless bubble and then a random anti-gay straight person jumps in and starts ranting graphically at me about my sexual perversions. I’m a celibate gay virgin who hasn’t jerked off for 55 days*, and practically every straight person I know is having wayyyyy more sex than me.

          *sorry for shoving my sexuality in your face, there. But I’m kind of proud of that.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            *Cu-Cough! HACK!* 55 DAYS?!!!!!?

          • anakinmcfly

            :D The standard challenge is 90 days (check out the NoFap subreddit). I know one guy who made it 5 years, but that was because he was a deeply devout Catholic who believed any form of sexual expression outside marriage was a sin. My previous longest streak was 31 days, which was already a huge difference from the time I could barely make it a single day.

            It’s pretty awesome, actually. I have *way* more energy and time (an extra hour or two a day adds up to a lot), and the past few weeks have been extremely productive as a result. It’s one of the main reasons I do this; sexual activity tends to be a sedative, hence people doing it before bed, and without it I feel like I can take over the world. It also unexpectedly reduced my (previously debilitating) social anxiety by a whole lot, which I discovered is a fairly common bonus when I googled it. Apparently there’s some science to support that bit; it’s related to dopamine receptors in the brain.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            … I may have a problem…

          • Christopher Toft

            Indeed. I’m in a realationship with a guy, utterly monogamous, sex once or twice in two weeks. You could hardly say my homosexual relationship is “about sex”. It’s more about, sharing a cup of coffee

        • Stay Loose

          Thanks for clarifying because you show your true colors in your follow-up. You have a personal revulsion to gays so you use every rationalization, including your religion to justify your bigotry. No it is not on us to prove that the bible approves of same sex marriage. Look around.

          There are a lot of Christians who obviously find no conflict with their religion or scripture about homosexuality, same sex relationships or marriage. You haven’t given the bible a close read, because you are reading a translation that has been reinterpreted, mistranslated and embellished through the ages. Your version of Christianity would be unrecognizable to someone 100 years ago, 500 years ago, 1000 years ago and at the Council of Nicea. You suffer from willful ignorance if you persist in living in the echo chamber of people who believe as you do and disregard the scriptural arguments you refuse to acknowledge.

          It is your burden of proof to take up with the church leaders and believers of those Christian sects. And it is your burden of proof to members of other religions, and those who are not members of a faith. You hold a minority viewpoint, but the politics and media of the day give you and other bigots a big megaphone.

        • Kathy Isaacs

          “Re: Government control. Uhhhh..Social Security Benefits, veteran’s
          benefits to spouses, government paid health benefits. Advocates
          themselves speak of the 1000+ benefits they are currently missing out
          on.”

          Congratulations, Ron – you’ve seen the inequity. Now you just need to take that one step further and realise that *all* citizens are entitled to the same governmental support, whoever they are attracted to, and you’re well on your way to becoming a compassionate human, rather than a distorted, insulated one.

          You can do it man. Take the step.

    • lrfcowper

      I’ve heard of plenty of little girls saying when they grew up they were going to marry their little girl best friend, and little boys similarly of their little boys best friend (as well as little girls declaring they were going to marry their mom and boys their dad). If those little girls and little boys grow up to be lesbians and gay men, who are you to impose a contradiction on them?

      None of these children are thinking about sex when they look at a wedding, whether it be same-sex or opposite-sex. That’s your particular sick obsession, not theirs. Marriage is about establishing a family bond, a commitment, a loving covenant relationship. Like most anti-gay bigots, you’re obsessed with sex, and think the things that make you compulsively think about sex will make other people think about sex– including children. You know who’s nastily exposing children to early sexualisation? Anti-gay rhetoriticians who go to generalised, open-to-children blogs, Facebook pages, and news sites and the like and post graphic comments about anal sex and how much they disapprove of it (and, yes, I’ve seen that several times); “ministers” and “ministries” who talk about it from the pulpit, in their fundraising material, and on their podcasts, television and shows, and websites; and “Christians” who do the same on parenting sites when a parent mentions that their young sons dressed as Daphne from Scooby-Doo for Halloween, or picked out a pair of pink tennis shoes, or has a doll as a favourite toy, or put on their lipstick and high heels. It grosses me out how sex-obsessed you are. Stop imposing your mental problems on others and go get help.

      And, no, the government removing restrictions on its citizens’ rights does not cause more government intrusion into private lives. Legal restrictions result in intrusion. Lack of restrictions result in less intrusion. Just like, ya know, how removing anti-miscegnation laws led to 100% less incidents of police barging into private people’s home in the middle of the night, pulling private citizens from their bed, and arresting them for marrying someone of the wrong race, convicting them of doing so, and offering them a choice of a year in prison each or banishment from the state for decades.

      Marriage to the person of your choosing is a civil right. Period. End of discussion. Doesn’t matter if it makes you think about icky sex-things. You don’t get to blame other people for your problems or make them adjust their behaviour so you don’t have to make the effort to resolve your hang-ups yourself. *You* are responsible for coping with your own issues. The woman with form-fitting clothes is not asking for it. The androgynous person at the bus stop doesn’t need to dress as one gender or the other so you’re not confused. The intersex person doesn’t have to choose to be only male or only female because you don’t like using weird pronouns. And the two guys holding hands while walking down the street don’t have to stop holding hands just because it makes you picture them having sex.

      The world isn’t about you. You do not own the private lives of others. You do not own other people’s bodies and what they can do with them.

      And, for the record, I’d feel much safer leaving my children in the hands of a (same-sex) married LGBT person than in the hands of a sex-obsessed anti-gay bigot.

      • Tom

        Bravo! That was so beautifully said. I have made similar arguments a dozen times, but at the moment I just don’t have the energy. I want to thank you for so eloquently expressing this truth to someone who really needs to hear it.

      • LUPO

        the most epic thing ive read all week. Holy Smokes

      • anakinmcfly

        I think this is the most upvoted comment I’ve ever seen on this site, and it totally deserves it!

      • motherunit

        Awesome comment! If only all those bigots could read this, and understand it. It refutes most of the spurious charges that they make. One of those comments that I wish I had written.

      • Giauz Ragnarock

        I can’t up-vote your good-assery more than just once, *sigh* unfortunately…

    • Howard G Grant

      When you wrote “I think”, you proved yourself to be both intellectually shallow and also a moron.

      • Trdofaholes

        “When you wrote “I think”, you proved yourself to be both intellectually shallow and also a moron.”

        And possibly a liar since no thinking was evident in that entire post.

    • Howard G Grant

      I take my last comment back. I just scrolled down and saw how this group thoroughly handed your ass to you, so I retract my last statement. You’ve lost enough ass today.

    • Tom

      That is absolute rubbish.

    • IBChuck

      Great example of bigotry.

    • Andrew_Mc

      “When they think of marriage they think of fancy clothes and pretty colors and wedding cakes.”

      You’ve obviously never been to a Pride celebration.

      • Snooterpoot

        Ah, the old Pride celebration red herring. Two words for you, Andrew. Mardi Gras.

        • Jeff Preuss

          Methinks Andrew is on the side OF gay people, looking at his other posts and his FB. :)

        • Guy Norred

          I think you may have misunderstood Andrew–I think he was being a little flippant in his snarkiness, but I respectfully suggest you reread Ron’s comment and see if Andrew isn’t making a valid point.

    • LUPO

      WOW!

    • King Fraug

      When I look at a straight couple I don’t think of them having sex or how they have sex or how they interact in bed. I don’t think about any of that either when I see a gay couple. If you look at same sex couples and you’re supposedly “forced” to think about sexual relations, that says more about you than anything else.

    • anakinmcfly

      “The SSM issue forces them to start thinking about sexual relations.”

      …dude, stop projecting. Most – if not all – children are not like you.

    • Donalbain

      This is quite spectacular nonsense, but it is nonsense I have never heard before. Congratulations.
      Perhaps you would like to explain why seeing two women getting married would make children think about sexual relations, while seeing a man and a woman would not.

      • anakinmcfly

        When I first found out what sex was and that it was needed for babies, I would get grossed out every time I saw a (straight) couple with lots of kids; because they’d had sex SO MANY TIMES. As opposed to my parents, who only had two kids and thus obviously only ever had sex twice. If I’d known about gay couples then, I would have assumed they didn’t have sex at all, and found them less gross. kid logic ftw.

        • Bones

          Yes, my brother called my parents disgusting when he learned they were having me.

          He thought it was disgusting his parents were having sex.

    • Giauz Ragnarock

      Holding face in hand *sigh*…

    • Kathy Isaacs

      “Why is Uncle James marrying Tim?”
      “Because he loves him and they want to be together.”
      “Oh. OK. Can I go to the wedding? Can I wear my green dress?”

      Not exactly troubling. Kids are way less disturbed by things they didn’t expect than adults are, and almost always less than the adult would expect.

    • Bones

      Ah the good old mysterious gay agenda.

      Not nearly as sinister than the Christian agenda.

      Look how that went.

  • Elizabeth Kraft

    The answer to this question is…yes.

  • lmoday

    You are right, gays dont have a right to force gay marriage on you tarnishing your ideas of family….and non gays dont have the right to deprive gays of the right to marry and removing their opportunity to stregnthen their ideas of marriage.
    You are a bigot because you claim to hold onto your rights but deny someone of the same.

    • Andy

      Is this in response to the article, or to one of the commenters? It’s not clear to me.

      • lmoday

        both….

    • MsFury

      No one is forcing you to marry someone of your own gender (because that must be what you mean by ‘forcing gay marriage on you.’) thereby ‘tarnishing your ideas of family.’ No one is asking you to change – you go ahead and maintain your bigotry – this article is simply asking you to mind your own damn business.

      • lmoday

        aparently you don’t read the feed before you answer….I was commenting on someone and a the article itself [deleted]

        • Andy

          Please try to refrain from name-calling. We give people a lot of leeway here, but we try to avoid actual name-calling.

        • MsFury

          lol – sorry to tell you this but so was I. This is an old thread.

  • AbbeyRoadkill

    Of course, anyone who denies someone else the rights and privileges of citizenship they enjoy is a bigot. The end.

  • LUPO

    Why do we spend so much time judging each other?

    • lrfcowper

      It’s the old “quickest way to look thinner/taller/prettier is to stand next to someone fatter/shorter/uglier than you are” thing at work– as long as we’re better than somebody, then we don’t have to put any effort into actually bettering ourselves. I don’t have to actually do anything, so long as I’m not a [baby-killing abortionist/Nazi/sex-crazed homosexual pervert/Westboro Baptist Church member/lazy welfare queen/robber baron corporate tycoon/amoral atheist/ignorant worshipper of the great sky fairy].

      • Guest

        So I take it you’re in favour of incestual marriage and polygamous marriage as well?

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          Jesus objectively is!

        • lrfcowper

          Well, both incestuous marriages– Abraham and Sarah, all of Adam and Eve’s kids, Moses’ parents– and polygamous marriages– Abraham again, Jacob, David, Solomon– are in the Bible and were blessed by God. The anti-incest laws in the Bible are almost all related to abuse of power rather than genetic issues (I mean, there’s no genetic threat to marrying your step-mother or both a woman and her daughter, both of which are against the Torah, but there is a higher level of genetic risk in marrying your first cousin, which is perfectly legal in the OT Law). So if you’re wanting to argue some sort of Biblical mandate against them, it isn’t there. In fact, I’d argue they have more precedent as “traditional Biblical marriage” than the egalitarian monogamous nuclear families we have today.

          Incestuous marriages can be problematic from a power abuse standpoint, and, of course, if there are children, there are significantly higher risks of genetic defects popping up. Then, of course, we get into the question of what qualifies as an incestuous marriage. Are first cousins too close? What about double first cousins (where you are cousins through both parents)? Second cousins? First cousins-once-removed? How about genetically unrelated siblings, such as is the case where one or both of them are adopted? I think it’s within reason for the state to claim an interest in not seeing closer-than-second-cousins relatives marry (for both genetic risk and power abuse reasons) and to also disallow step-parents from marrying their step-children (for power abuse reasons).

          As for polygamous marriages, my only issue is that sometimes teenage girls who are old enough to marry with parental consent are coerced into them. I’m of the opinion that as long as everyone is an actual consenting adult (not a minor past the age of consent or with parental permission), then it’s none of my business. Not my thing, but I know some poly people and none of them are sex-crazed monsters. In fact, they put a lot more thought and effort into communicating, meeting their partners’ needs, and just generally maintaining the relationship in good order than I do. Here again, I think the state can claim an interest in not getting too complicated with the tax and inheritance and other such laws and stick to extending them only to couples and not to Joe and his 8 wives or the 7 brides and 7 brothers line marriage. Of course, bigamy or polygamy where the partners are unaware of each other is another matter entirely.

          Why do you ask? Were you expecting to score some sort of debate point when I went, “Ew, ick, no!”?

          And, no, before you ask, I’m not in favour of pedophiliac marriages or marrying animals (or dead people or buildings or other nonsense), because children and animals (and dead people and inanimate objects) cannot give informed consent. Marriage equality isn’t a slippery slope to pedophilia or bestiality. And given that incestuous and/or polygamous marriages have occurred in many cultures throughout history with and without any form of same-sex marriage coexistent, it would be specious to claim same-sex marriage is a slippery slope to widespread occurrence of them.

          I’m happy to discuss marriage traditions and theories, but it’s not really relevant to the question of whether wanting to deny LGBT people’s civil rights makes someone a bigot.

  • Steven Yaniz

    Simple answer here is YES. Unfortunately, Judeo-Christian religions have a long history of hating things while clinging to their beliefs as shields in doing so. Perhaps Christians should set ground rules as to who loves, judges and punishes everyone as opposed to doing so individually. And for the record, GOD didn’t write the bible personally, so maybe someone took a few liberties here and there.

  • Matt Smallwood

    I would say yes, because you can not demonstrate that gay marriage is affecting straight Christians. You dislike someone because of who they love, you are a bigot.

  • Kim Due Vacco

    This reminds me of the Jeff Foxworthy bit – You might be a Redneck if… Hey, [very few] would want to admit it, but if the behavior fits, then so does the moniker.

  • http://jw-thoughts.blogspot.com/ John

    Such a buzzword like homophobic. All designed to tag and stigmatize an individual in order to promote an idea or agenda. Is that America or is it a bully syndrome?

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      I lean bully syndrome. Pick a different culture, there will be different people to pick on and attempt to marginalize. We humans can be our own worst enemy.

      • Matt

        (This particular John is a concern troll.)

      • Trdofaholes

        The bullies are the ones who are denying another person their rights, while sticking their noses where they do not belong in the first place. Simply standing up against a bully does not make one a bully, except to the bully (and other bullies who are seeking to justify their hatefulness by whining that they are being picked on).

    • Giauz Ragnarock

      I myself limit the term to “we all must fear…” statements concerning LGBT+ people (ex: “we all must fear…”: “Gays will force our churches to marry them!”, “Gays will steal children from adopting straight couples!”, “Gays are pedophiles out to recruit children!”). Funnily, none of those homophobic statements are directly derived from what one can interpret from the clobber passages. The statements are no different than the shouts of preachers to “PROTECT YOUR WHITE WOMEN FROM THE CURSED OF HAM BLACK BEASTS!” as justifications out of fear for the Biblical verses that supported segregation and anti-miscegenation laws.

    • Trdofaholes

      So if it’s not a phobia, then they are being hateful, simple minded assholes. Better?

    • anakinmcfly

      I don’t know, maybe it’s Antartica.

  • m1a1ip

    If you are using your personal beliefs to deny others equal rights, you are a bigot. The bible does soeak against homosexuality. In the same book it also says not to eat pork or shellfish, not to wear clothes of two fabrics. The law of Moses, which the anti gay bit is one, contains 612 laws to be followed. they include offering burt offerings to God, keeping your latrines outside of the community, rule about men’s hair and beards, etc. I’m willing to bet the only one any of these ‘Christians cares about is the anti-LGBT. The BBQ and seafood resturants seem to be filled, Most pmen don’t have beards, and I’m sure none of them have latrines outside the settlement. If you don’t want to be callled a bigot follow ALL the laws, don’t just pick the ones which agree with your ignorant hatred.

  • Tolgron

    Question: If same-sex marriage is okay, is incestuous or polygamous marriage also okay, provided they are between consenting adults?

    • Psycho Gecko

      According to the bible, if you were to take it literally, yes (Adam and Eve’s kids, Noah’s family, Lot and his daughters) and yes (polygamy being the standard marriage for Israelites in the Old Testament).

      Were you trying to make some point about secular society instead being so much less moral than that book?

      • Tolgron

        Not at all — while I am a Christian by worldview and morality, I’d like to think I’m not so arrogant as to claim moral superiority over non-Christians or Christians with whom my beliefs do not always coincide. I was genuinely interested to read the responses were I to pose that question. Thank you for taking the time to answer it.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      Question: Do you know what mean-spirited passive-aggressiveness is?

      • Tolgron

        I do, but that was not my intention here, and if it came across that way I do sincerely apologise. I was genuinely interested to see what kind of answers I received.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          You’re cool, man. If you’re going to ask something that could be taken a bad way without including a disclaimer/explanation, go the extra mile to nip misunderstanding in the bud.

          • Psycho Gecko

            That’s the importance of communication. It’s not just a marriage counseling cliche.

    • Giauz Ragnarock

      For what specific reasons can you come up with polygamy and incest not being okay? After all Jesus’ original intent for marriage was incestuous, intergenerational, polygamy (how else would Earth be populated?), which Jesus reaffirmed with the people on the ark and invoked during the debate with the Pharisees about the practice of divorce. Jesus also affirmed polygamy when he cursed Moses’ sister with leprosy because Miriam AND Aaron BOTH criticized Moses for purchasing a second wife. Jesus also says he would have given David more wives than the ones he transferred from Saul (one of which is David’s mother-in-law). In support of incest, Jesus blessed the incestuous marriages of Abraham with his half-sister Sara and their grandson Jacob to his first cousins Leah and her sister Rachel (also Jesus supporting polygamy).

      If Jesus is objective and will never support morals that contradict his blessings listed above, what moral complaints do you have?

      • Psycho Gecko

        I would say the incestuous part couldn’t work in real life just because incest is defined as sex between those too closely related to marry. As for marrying your cousin, that’s already legal. But as long as the polygamy was consensual and of legal age, I personally wouldn’t have a problem if people wanted to go with it.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          Personally, I don’t have strong opinions one way or the other on those issues. If they did come to a head, fundamentalists don’t have any biblical support for objective morality in those cases. Neither do they have objective morality to make a defense against abortion (given Jesus is seen as a sacrifice on the cross and that Jesus= YHWH and the oldest parts of the Tanakh command human sacrifices of ALL ages to YHWH, Jesus finds human sacrifice objectively moral. Therefore Jesus doesn’t value human life all that much).

          • Psycho Gecko

            There’s also all the cases of genocide where god ordered pregnant women to be put to the sword, or how miscarriages were said to be god’s judgment on wicked people, or how he struck King David’s son with an illness as soon as it was born and killed it.

            I’m not actually sure if I have an opinion of the morality of incestuous marriage so long as it’s consenting and doesn’t harm anybody, though. That was more of a legal opinion than anything up there.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            “… all the cases of genocide where god ordered pregnant women to be put to the sword…”

            Read the free online book: ‘Is God a Moral Compromiser?’ by Thom Stark. It’s a wonder so few people realize what “dedicated to destruction” (or there about) meant for all those genocides (from the Christian point of view, Jesus ordered that all those people be sacrificed to himself). Really, that book covers A LOT very thoroughly.

          • anakinmcfly

            But one of the problems with incest is that you can never be sure how consensual it is, due to all the power dynamics at play.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            While this may be a valid concern, I question what stops other marriages from being the results of manipulation. Both marriages my mother was in had manipulative elements that if removed most probably wouldn’t have resulted in the two terrible marriages she has had. Also, as we have seen with same-sex marriage, lack of marriage licenses does not discourage relationships (take Jim “Gomer Pyles” Nabors for an example of someone who has a only recently legally licensed marriage of about 40 years).

          • Bones

            It’s funny.

            If someone said that God told them to kill someone or to kill every man, woman and child in Iran, we’d think they were stark raving bonkers.

            Put it in the bible however…..

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

        Incest used to be very common in the ancient world. The Egyptians long had the practice in their royal families, something that the Ptolemies picked up once they began ruling.

        We find it quite creepy in our modern western culture, not really understanding the reasons behind the practice. The same is true with polygamy.

        • R Vogel

          Ancient world? Try the British aristocracy!! They wanted to keep the wealth and power in the family….

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Well, we cannot discount the royal families. I think most have wised up and opened up their gene pool options, Queen Victoria’s family taught some very important lessons about genetics. Plus monarchy is not what it used to be.

          • R Vogel

            ….still beats working for a living! :))

      • Tolgron

        None, of course. I was just genuinely curious to see what sort of answers I received were I to pose the question. Thank you for taking the time to answer it.

        • Psycho Gecko

          We’re somewhat used to people trying to claim that gay marriage is a slippery slope. That’s why I was surprised you weren’t asking if it would be okay to start marrying pets.

          Not okay, by the way. Remember, contracts have to be signed by people of sound mind. Animals aren’t people, aren’t of sound mind, and have so far not demonstrated an ability to sign a contract.

          • Psycho Gecko

            Log Entry #42, 30 days after the cat uprising:

            WE WERE WRONG! WE WERE SO WRONG! SAVE YOURSELVES!

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            NNNNOOOOOO! Daisy-May! Angel-Soft! I NEVER ASKED FOR THHHHIIIIIIIIIISSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            My cat’s name is Miko, aka Dammitcat. My daughter now has one of my former rescues, is dubbed Chernobyll. Yes we named her after a toxic waste site…because when we first got her, her farts were lethal.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            HI-LARIOUS!

          • Tolgron

            Which is why I did not ask it, nor propose that we allow adults to marry children. Children, being minors, cannot legally enter into contracts.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          Welcome!

      • Christopher Toft

        I have never in all my discussions with people on this issue, been presented with a rational argument against same sex marriage. It seems to me that anti same sex marriage attitudes are therefore irrational. The desire to impose this point of view on everyone who disagrees through the use of law, based purely on irrational ideas is destructive. They are genuine beliefs and I believe people are perfectly entitled to hold these beliefs, However I do think it’s fair to say the attempt to force these beliefs on others is bigoted behaviour. It is wrong to say people are bigots, it is fair to call out bigoted behaviour(Irrational unless proven otherwise attempts to control the behaviours and rights of others.)
        I have no problems with tolerating anti same sex marriage as opinion, I have a problem with your assumption that people saying “No you cannot force us to live by your belief system” is some sort of reverse bigoted behaviour.

        I’m off to work so i’ll check back the evening if you’re interested in discussion.

        • Guest

          Sorry this post was for Peter Tran not Giauz Ragnarock.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            No problem (I was a bit confused until I saw this second post).

    • anakinmcfly

      Do you ask the same of, say, inter-racial marriage?

    • paizlea

      From what I understand, incest is illegal because of the increased chance of birth defects in any potential children. However, that leads me to consider if that means we should deny marriage to anyone who has genetic flaws that might lead to serious medical issues.

      As for polygamous marriage, I’ve never heard a good reason to ban that.

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

        Incest is illegal in the West, and i suspect most developed nations, for that reason, plus it has long been considered a cultural taboo.

        Denying couples the rights to marry because of genetic flaws is to me cruel. It assumes that the marriage is only for the sake of producing children, which is not the case for the majority of couples. If they understand the risks going in, then they should be willing to take responsibility. Then we must consider the many couples where a genetic disposition is hidden, unknown to either, until a child is born.

        • paizlea

          Re-reading my post, I see that I wasn’t clear in my opinion. I see nothing wrong with consensual incest, including incestual marriage. By banning incest, it sets up a double standard for couples who are likely to produce genetically damaged children: whether they are related or not is the only criterion used. This is unfair. If we’re worried about genetic issues, let’s worry about them across the board, not just for lovers who are related.

          Plus, as you stated, it presumes that married couples must be intending to produce children. This is also wrong.

    • R Vogel

      Yes.

  • Peter Tran

    While it is true that there are bigots among those who are against gay
    marriage (I would consider certain members of the 700 club bigoted), it is also
    true that there are bigots among those who are for gay marriage. John Shore’s
    article is a perfect example of a bigoted response from someone who is FOR gay
    marriage.

    Let’s start with the definition of “bigoted” (from Google’s
    dictionary): having
    or revealing an obstinate belief in the superiority of one’s own opinions and a
    prejudiced intolerance of the opinions of others.

    Mr. Shore says:

    “When does the anti-gay Christian become irrefutably a bigot? Answer?
    The moment he or she does anything to restrict the rights of any other
    person based solely upon the fact that that person is gay…..For all practical
    purposes (and for such concerns what else matters?) it is not beliefs
    that make a bigot. It’s actions.”

    Mr. Shore’s assertion that a persons actions make him/her a bigot is not in keeping with the definition
    above. In fact, it is a persons’ obstinate
    belief in the superiority of one’s opinions and
    a prejudiced intolerance of the opinions of others that makes him/her a bigot.

    Mr. Shore says:

    “If you vote against gay marriage or gay rights, you are a bigot—as
    surely as anyone who voted against civil rights in the 60′s was a bigot.
    If you preach against gay rights, you are a bigot. If you write against gay
    rights, you are a bigot.”

    So, Mr.
    Shore is saying that if a person does not agree with his opinion that
    homosexual marriage is, in fact, a marriage (gay marriage), or works in anyway
    to prevent homosexuals from marrying (gay rights), that person is a bigot. In
    other words, if you do not agree with Mr.
    Shore’s opinion on the definition
    of a marriage, then you are a bigot. Additionally, if you do not agree
    that homosexuals can change the definition
    of a marriage, so that they can
    proclaim their relationship a marriage, then you are a bigot. It sounds an
    awful lot like John Shore has an obstinate belief in the superiority of his own
    opinions, and an intolerance of the beliefs of others.

    John Shore says:

    “If you give your money or time to any Christian church or ministry
    that you know in any way actively works to restrict or limit gay rights, you
    are a bigot. If in private you intimate to your dearest friend that you don’t
    think gay people should be allowed to get married, you are a bigot.”

    In other
    words, if a person gives money to a church or ministry which holds the
    belief that the definition of a marriage is between a man and a
    woman, and not two persons of the same sex, then that person is a bigot. If a
    person articulates their beliefs to a friend in private, they are a
    bigot. This sounds a lot like a prejudiced
    intolerance of the opinions of
    others.

    Ironically, Mr. Shore’s article fits the definition of
    “bigoted” better than his own use of the term. In my experience, bigots don’t
    have conversations with those whom they don’t agree with. Instead, bigots end
    the conversation by shaming those who do not agree with them. They shame others
    by calling them “bigots” and dismissing their arguments as “unintelligent.”
    Instead of discussing the other persons’ beliefs with them, bigots write off the
    other persons beliefs with labels like “intolerant”or (as someone has already
    commented) “crazy”.

    It should also be noted that by John Shore’s definition of
    a “bigot,” he would have to count among the bigoted Mother Teresa, Maximilian
    Kolbe, Karol
    Józef Wojtyła, & Francis of Assisi (all who experienced and fought true
    bigotry).

    Interestingly, here is a link to an article by Brandon Ambrosino
    (A gay man for gay marriage) who seems to agree with me: http://m.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/12/being-against-gay-marriage-doesnt-make-you-a-homophobe/282333/

    In the end, I agree with John Shore on at least one point,
    bigot is as bigot does.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      Ah. You signed up for Disqus account just so you could leave me this comment. You shouldn’t have…

      • R Vogel

        I love when people get all serious online and start using the honorific as some sort of foil, MR SHORE! :)

      • Peter Tran

        Well, your article was special. I felt the need to comment, and I couldn’t do so without signing up.

    • Christopher Toft

      I have never in all my discussions with people on this issue, been presented with a rational argument against same sex marriage. It seems to me that anti same sex marriage attitudes are therefore irrational. The desire to impose this point of view on everyone who disagrees through the use of law, based purely on irrational ideas is destructive. They are genuine beliefs and I believe people are perfectly entitled to hold these beliefs, However I do think it’s fair to say the attempt to force these beliefs on others is bigoted behaviour. It is wrong to say people are bigots, it is fair to call out bigoted behaviour(Irrational unless proven otherwise attempts to control the behaviours and rights of others.)
      I have no problems with tolerating anti same sex marriage as opinion, I have a problem with your assumption that people saying “No you cannot force us to live by your belief system” is some sort of reverse bigoted behaviour.

      I’m off to work so i’ll check back the evening if you’re interested in discussion.

      • Peter Tran

        Christopher, thanks for your response. I am very much interested in discussion. I would also agree that it is important to discuss differing viewpoints and call out bigotry when we see encounter said behavior.

        Consider this though, I personally, have not heard a good argument for gay marriage. Now,I have heard RATIONAL arguments but not GOOD arguments for gay marraige. Conversely, I have also heard RATIONAL arguments against gay marriage but not GOOD arguments. But mainly, I have heard a whole lot of screaming, name calling, and sometimes, just purely emotional (not rational) responses.

        I disagree that we shouldn’t (sometimes) impose our beliefs through the use of law. Laws exists to do just that! We impose our belief on the members of NAMBLA (North American Boy Love Association) when we say that it is not okay for them have sexual relations with children, or take pictures and share photos of (nude) children. We impose our point of view against gang members when we say it is unlawful for them to kill each other.

        Moving forward, whether or not you are for or against homosexual marriage, it can be agreed that for most of human history, marriage has been considered an institution between men and women. It is only now, at this point of history, where activist are attempting to change the definition of marriage. As such, it could be argued that the beliefs of the homosexual activist are being pushed on those who do not agree with them.

        What’s my point? I am not just reversing arguments to make an argument. I am saying that the discussion is really about the definition of marriage, and whether or not it should be changed. This discussion directly affects whether or not two persons of the same sex can CALL their relationship a marriage. It is not about the right to be gay, the right of gays to work, the right of gays to live, the right of gays to own land, right of gays to vote, or the right of gays to go to school with straight persons (this is what the civil wars were about). The last I checked, gays already have those rights. Therefore, comparing this discussion with the civil wars or arguing that pro-traditional marriage folks are just irrational (which supposedly lead to control) is a logical fallacy (a straw man argument).

        Anyway, truthfully I won’t be commenting much on this webpage anymore as I do not (usually) have much interest in debating on forums or comment sections of article. But, that does not mean I do not want to continue the conversation.

        Therefore, I invite you, and anybody interested in having this discussion with me, to continue it through email. If you choose to email me, I beg you to be patient for my responses as I have a family and also work odd hours at times. My email address is atran8400@yahoo.com.

        • Mark Cee

          Peter, we as a society impose our beliefs against murder and child molestation because we know that those acts harm their victims. So how does gay marriage harm you or anyone else? I look forward to your response on this, since your anti-gay brethren have been attempting to claim harm for years but have come up woefully short in explaining exactly how that works.

          As for the notion that gay activists are “pushing” their beliefs onto those who don’t agree with them, I’m afraid that argument would only make sense if gay marriage types were trying to ban opposite-sex marriage. Since that’s not the case, it seems to me that it *should* be irrelevant to you that gay people can get married. No one is attempting to curtail your rights under the law, no one is forcing you to get gay-married yourself. Frankly I fail to see how my community’s advocacy of gay marriage affects your life one iota. Can you make the same claim about your community’s advocacy of laws that ban gay marriage and civil unions, make discrimination against GLBT people legal, etc. ?

          As for the rights you believe that gay people have, I’d gently point out that many on your side of the debate have campaigned hard against laws written to protect gay people in any capacity and have even worked to strip or repeal existing protections. Your side has made it clear that you don’t feel GLBT people should have any rights whatsoever.

          • Peter Tran

            See my response to Allegro63

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I am not in the habit of taking a forum based conversation to email. It is too cumbersome a method of conversation, for things like this. Plus I like this format when it comes to an open ended discussion, where everyone can read and give input. It is how we learn from one another.

            To me an emailed tit for tat, just isn’t going to be a productive endeavor.

            Trust me I understand what it is like to be the lone wolf in the group. I’m surrounded every day by people who view life, politics and religion quite differently. Yet I can interact with them, and answer questions without getting my dander up, because I understand that opinions are like belly buttons…uniquely individual, with some similarities but never exactly alike.

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          Oh no. Ain’t taking this one to email.

          About those rights LGBTS already have, so why the big deal stance…..In many states, you can get fired just because you are a LGBT because there are no laws on the books protecting them. In a few others, state employees are protected, but not private.

          In all but 11 states, landlords can deny LGBT renters from housing, because there are no state protections under the law. There is currently no Federal protection for this people group at all in regards to housing.

          If a child is involved, custodial designation is daunting, as most states, including every southern one, denies second parent adoption for same sex couples. It creates a great deal of difficulty for these families that dual sex couples never have to worry about.

          Legal guardianship of an ailing same sex partner is often ignored thanks to state laws that refuse to recognize those guardianship, ripping care decisions from a partner, and granting it to other family members that may be hostile towards the non-ill partner. Something dual sex couples never have to worry about.

          Then end of life and inheritance rights. In several states, that do not recognize gay marriage, a surviving member, is forced to pay inheritance taxes as if they were not a surviving family member, even if they were legally married in another state.

          You see, it really is about rights. Rights that you and I take for granted every single day, because we are straight. I can’t be fired because I’m married to a man or denied housing. My rights as a parent are secure, as are any legal guardianship should my spouse become gravely ill. I”m guaranteed to inherit without unfair estate taxation, because my marriage is recognized worldwide.

          I want things to be fair, and denying a group of people things I take for granted, things that help us all, just because i don’t like who they may or may not sleep with is arrogant, bigoted and very wrong.

          • Peter Tran

            Allegro63, this is the very reason why I want to take this to email. Because those who are reading this blog are likely of “like mind,” and this tends to lead to a mob group up of the one person who has a differing opinion. When it is over email, you can’t piggyback off of another person’s response and emotional reactions. You have to argue and defend your position on your own. This is good for both parties, assuming you are open-minded. As such, I won’t be responding to any more posts here. Judging from the responses so far, I don’t think many of the folks here are willing to discuss the issue with me at all. If YOU are, I will gladly discuss the issue with you, one on one.

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            Hey, Peter, at the risk of intruding (I haven’t been following this exchange) Allegro63 is one of the most fair-minded commenters here. I think if you take a good look, this is a welcoming online community. Yeah, we get excited — we’re talking religion and sex — but we also listen. Asking her to take you on in private is unfair both to her and to the greater community.

          • Christopher Toft

            I’m inclined to agree, it does get all “pitch fork mob”.

        • Guy Norred

          NAMBLA–really?!?!?!?!

          The reason we prohibit sexual relations with children is to protect the children.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            yeah,,,NAMBLA…had about 1000 members and was essentially sued out of existence.

          • Guy Norred

            When I see someone bring up something like this, it is quite obvious that whatever their other words may say, they really are just trying to stir things up and I should have just ignored it, but really how can anyone say that they want a reasoned discussion about marriage and then bring up something as vile as this as an example of “something else we prohibit”. I honestly couldn’t read any further.

          • Peter Tran

            Guy, your attitude towards my response is exactly what I referred to in my response to John Shore. What have I said that is malicious, or gives you the idea that I am here to just “stir things up?” You demonize and shame me without considering or addressing my thoughts. See my response to allegro63 below. Respond to me via email if you wish.

          • Guy Norred

            Why, in this particular context, in a discussion of this particular subject, would you bring up NAMBLA? If you have been paying attention at all to discussions of this topic, which you say you have, you cannot be unaware that some ridiculous fear of homosexuals preying on children drives much of the worst of the rhetoric opposing gay rights. If you truly wanted to discuss this in any real way, this is at best an incredibly unfortunate choice and thus, I find it quite disingenuous of you to suggest you did not intend this to be provocative.

        • Matt

          I can be fired from my job if people find out about me. It’s perfectly legal, and I have no recourse. Only federal employees in my state have any kind of protection. At my last job, I was heavily closeted because I work with vulnerable people.

          My partner and I recently got an apartment together, and officially we are “roommates,” because you just never know. Roommates who share a bed in a one bedroom apartment, but the masquerade is important. Our next door neighbors know about us, in case of an emergency.

          Last year I was in the ER. My partner was let back to see me because of a sympathetic nurse, who was perfectly within her power to refuse access. After all, to the rest of the world we have no connection, just two young people who live together. Our apartment is the first official record of us together, and we’ve been a couple nearly 2 1/2 years through major surgery, the death of my father, and other family tragedies.

          I have no family to support me through college. My partner and my partner’s parents are it. They have written on my behalf to help me get financial aid. It is emotionally difficult to open up my situation to scrutiny by government officials. If we were able to marry, that requirement would evaporate.

          So you will forgive me if I don’t take your posturing about the definition of marriage at face value, alright? This may be 2014, but those rights you talk about that we have? They’re not evenly distributed. If you don’t care that even a single person has fewer rights than you simply for being themselves, then you’ve shown your true colors without saying another word.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Where is the hit like as many times as I want button?

          • Matt

            Thanks, SP. Just had to vent for a second.

          • BarbaraR

            Not a button, but…

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            I will use this every day every day every day.

          • Guy Norred

            I am really sorry about this. It reminds me how lucky I am in my own less than perfect but so much better than this situation. No one should ever be put through this and anyone who flippantly says otherwise just…well I don’t know how they live with themselves. For what it is worth, this is not what many people want for you.

          • Peter Tran

            Matt,

            I am sorry about your position, and what you have had to endure. I can honestly say that I don’t think you should be fired for being a homosexual or treated with any malice. In fact, I would vote for laws to protect you from incidents such you described.

            However, where I live (Silicone Valley, CA) if you fire someone for being homosexual you will be sued and bled dry (Silicon Valley, CA). In fact, where I live, it is the total opposite of what you are talking about. If somebody is shown to have “conservative ideas,” they will be fired and lose their livelihood (google Brandon Eich, for example).

            I care about rights, but I don’t think the issue of “gay marriage” is about that. From my perspective, it is about the definition of marriage, and I haven’t heard of a good argument for why it should be changed or why I have to be forced (through law) to accept that definition. To me, THAT is what this debate is about.

            So let me repeat myself, I don’t believe, Matt, that it is okay for you to be fired for being a homosexual. If you want to visit your partner in a hospital, I don’t think you should be restricted for being a homosexual. If you want to get financial aide for college, I think you should get the support you need and not rejected because you are a homosexual.

            However, I don’t think it is okay to say that I have to believe in someone else’s definition of marriage, especially a definition that has been around for centuries.

          • Guy Norred

            No one says you have to believe in anything. No one says you have to approve of, accept for yourself, or even in the end acknowledge that others have a different understanding. All of this is up to you and you alone. However, you are not the only person in the world.

          • paizlea

            Do you understand that since Matt can’t marry his partner, hospitals have no legal obligation to allow visitation rights? This isn’t about the “definition of marriage”, it’s about allowing homosexuals the same rights as heterosexuals.

          • Matt

            No problem. I’ve gotten my answer.

            However, if you’re going to debate, you may want to get your facts straight. You assumed (as I knew you would) that I’m a “homosexual.” Aside from that term being a red flag for intolerance, it’s not correct in my case.

            I’m male, and transgender. My partner is female, and also transgender. However, we are considered to be a same-sex couple due to some complicated legal stuff. So this question of “gay marriage” affects us, a union of a man and a woman. We most definitely fall under the rainbow flag, and we’re happy and proud that we do. Would that definition that’s “been around for centuries” apply to us, as one man and one woman who wish to commit for life?

            I know you’re not sincere about wanting rights for me because this happens over and over and over again. I simply conceal my partner’s gender when I talk about our lives, and all kinds of assumptions are made right out of the gate. For the record, in real life people assume I’m a lesbian, not a gay man. Bigots (oh yes, I’m pulling that word out) never truly know about what being LGBT is. They’re just reacting to a very static picture of “homosexuals” that they’ve clearly been spoon-fed. So why take what they say seriously?

            You certainly don’t have to believe in anything, Peter. But at least strive to be logically consistent and informed.

          • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James Jarvis

            Your relationship with your partner is precisely the reason I support marriage equality. If two consenting adults wish too marry that is their right as long as both parties enter into the marriage freely and there is no lawful reason that they can not be married. And too be clear I believe that any law that discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation is a violation of a persons fundamental and inalienable rights. The whole I’m only arguing about the definition of the word marriage that some people use is a steaming pile of horse dung. Either you support equal rights for the LGBT community or you do not.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Need to borrow Barbara’s like bazooka for this comment.

          • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James Jarvis

            As a parent there are only two things that I want when one of my children marry. That the person they marry loves them and treats them well. I’ve never met you but from the things you’ve posted you seem like the kind of person who I would be proud to have marry one of my children.

          • Matt

            Thank you, James. That means a great deal to me, and it was very kind of you to say. My partner’s parents are indeed very proud of me. They took me in when I had nowhere else to go and made me feel welcome in their family. They are more than my future in-laws; they are my adopted parents. I consider myself very lucky and blessed.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I concur. Matt is excellent people, who will be an amazing addition to any family

  • Doug

    Peter Tran, I agree with you. By his action of calling all Christians that disagree with his view bigots, Mr. Shore shows himself to be bigoted against any Christian holding a view on this subject different than him. I agree with Mr. Shore’s view that those in the LBGT community deserve equal treatment but resent the way he chooses to close off any disagreement with his view. Tolerance requires us to respect those we disagree with as there is no tolerance in forcing everyone to believe as we do.

    • lrfcowper

      There’s a distinct difference between believing a group of people should not have equal rights (bigotry) and believing people who believe others shouldn’t have equal rights are wrong and bigoted. John isn’t suggesting, proposing, or even believing we should take away anti-gay people’s rights to marry, worship, speak, or anything else. There’s a point at which “tolerance” for divergent views is good, but when those views cause harm or oppression, that time is over. Enough lgbt people have been murdered. Enough lgbt people have been driven to suicide. Enough lgbt people have lost jobs and homes and children. Enough.

      We’ll be tolerant when those beliefs aren’t splattered in blood.

      • Doug

        I very much understand your passion for justice but please don’t lose site of the mercy and love as Christian’s we are to have for all. Take a look at Luke 10: 25- 37 and Matthew 18: 21-35 for Christ’s instructions on how we should deal with all men and women. It tends to be easy for us to love and comfort those we agree with but much harder to do the same for those we disagree with or find offensive. May your journey with Christ be fruitful!

        • anakinmcfly

          I agree that as Christians we are to have love and mercy for all. And that includes standing up against attempts to prevent others from having that same love and mercy. Speaking up against bigotry isn’t a failure of love and mercy; it’s an act of it.

          • Doug

            I agree that speaking up against bigotry Is an act out of love and mercy but as Christiians we are ask to do more
            and something much harder. Please read Matthew 5:44-48.

          • anakinmcfly

            I do do that. ‘Love your enemies’ is pretty much one of the rules I live my life by. But there is nothing inherently unloving about realising that certain people are harming you, even though it took me ages to get to that point. Recognising that and pointing it out doesn’t mean you hate them or don’t care about them.

            So what’s the ‘something much harder’ you refer to here, given that you seem to believe people should do it instead of speaking up against bigotry? What would it look like, in this context? I’m sincerely curious to know.

          • Doug

            The ‘Much Harder’ refers to the showing of our love and forgiveness while in a disagreement. This disagreement tends to look the same in the church as in the secular world. You would hope you could find more compassion within a group,’Christians’, of people that all believe in “loving your neighbor as yourself” as one of the two great commandments. However, I often see people on both sides say harsh and disrespectful words to each other. I would like to see the love of neighbor show up but it is often hard to find except when neighbors share the same view then you can see the Christian compassion and support. Hope you are having a good Memorial Day!

          • anakinmcfly

            I’m also against harsh and disrespectful words, and for the most part don’t utilise them. Disagreement is one thing. I’m ok with disagreement. What I’m less okay with is when people go out of their way to actively cause harm to me or others. That’s far beyond disagreement, and there would be nothing loving in going “oh, you beat up your kid because he’s gay? It’s ok, I still love you and I respect your right to disagree, so carry on.”

          • Sharla Hulsey

            “Love your enemies” doesn’t mean that you have to like them. It doesn’t mean you have to have a warm, cuddly relationship with them. It means you seek the best for them, and that you pray for them. Sometimes you have to do that from a distance, because it sure doesn’t mean you give them another chance to harm you.

    • Snooterpoot

      Pointing out intolerance is not intolerant (which is the very foundation of bigotry). It just means we have risen above the hatred we’ve experienced and we refuse to meekly hide in a closet.

      I’ve heard this argument so many times, and, frankly, that dog won’t hunt.

    • Bones

      So your argument is telling Nazis not to be bigoted is bigoted.

      Is your god bigoted?

      Will it send muslims to hell?

  • Allen

    Christians aren’t just bigots for denying gay people marriage rights. That’s just a branch of bigotry. The source of bigotry goes back to the bible that basically says gays are perverts who should be damned for being gay and having gay thoughts unless they apologize to an unchanged God (who also happens to be Jesus) who said in the OT that it was correct for all gays to be killed and their blood over their heads but now wants to throw them in hell if they don’t stop being gay and having gay thoughts. It all goes back to Christianity itself it. This bigotry for gays didn’t pop out of the sky one day it has been carried out for generations by both conservatives and liberals because of what the Bible says because people have chosen not to think for themselves. Apparently people need a (savoir) to even make decisions on who they shame. John Shore is absolutely right. If you vote against gays and gay marriage you are a bigot but it goes further than that. If you believe in traditional Christian teachings that gays should be punished with death or hell you are also a bigot but even most liberal Christians will pass that bigotry off as (personal beliefs that shouldn’t be touched) .. No those Christian beliefs are bigoted . Just because it comes from a religious text doesn’t mean it can’t be bigoted. There is a difference between disagreeing and bigoted. The Bible doesn’t merely disagree it says gays should be punished with fire or killed and then makes up false negative *facts* about them. That’s why its bigoted and its not just gays it a whole bunch of other people. That’s why i have a hard time trusting any Christian for that matter. You on this page might not necessarily hate gays but given your religion and all the people its against it makes me wonder what other innocent people will have to suffer because of what Christianity says ….

    • BarbaraR

      Allen, you’ve posted here many, many times. Those of us who post/read here regularly have explained over and over and over that what you’re claiming the Bible says just isn’t so. Your anger is so deep that you’re unable to hear anything else anyone says. You’ve painted all Christians with the same brush; no matter what anyone says, you’re continuing to blame all Christians for all injustices done to gays.

      I really don’t know what you want from us.

      • Allen

        And as i been saying several times i want you guys to fix this permanently . I don’t want an apologize because the damaged by Christians to gays and others over generations has been done and an apologize comes off as condescending . I don’t want Christians to latch on at the end of marriage equality trying to push threw because it not genuine. Where were you guys at the beginning? What i want is Christians to fix their problems once and for all and stop doing patch jobs or better focus on yourselves only. I’m sick of Christians doing all types of stuff making lives horrible for people then having aha moments and apologize for all the wrong they do and they get a pass. Why do Christian people get unlimited passes to do all kinds of terrible stuff while others suffer because of Christians? First Christians interpret the Bible a certain way for centuries which destroys all kinds of life then one day they have an aha and change then give an apology then go about their business like nothing happened. What about the people they’ve have hurt? What about all the destruction caused? Non of that matters then Christians go on with new interpretations of the Bible against other people which will cause hardship to a whole another group of people until someone has a ha moment and changes it all. I’m tired of this and Christian keep ignoring this……… i don’t want to start a big argument like in the past I’m just really frustrated that my life is dictated by Christian views,actions, and prejudices . You might not be totally like conservative Christians and regardless of if we agree on this issue of gay rights i still don’t want YOU the Christian dictating my life by the interpretation of your holy book that you see fit. I don’t want Christians controlling my life and making laws based off the Christian God. This issue you are with me on but the next you might try to control my every move and that’s why i don’t trust you…

        • BarbaraR

          So what I am hearing is that you would like all Christians -regardless of denomination, cultural background, age, race, sex, language, physical health, i.q., sexual orientation, education, political stance, economic strata, vocation – you would like all of these people to agree on what “fix this permanently” looks like and then do it, whatever that might mean.

          Maybe instead we could start with something attainable.

          • Allen

            By that same token don’t complain about me voicing my opinion against what Christians have and continue to do. You decided to be a Christian and a proud one. Are you telling me you had no idea all the baggage that comes with being a Christian and the beliefs and things written in the Bible against ones who aren’t ? You want to be proud to call yourself a Christian yet you want to ignore the negative things Christians have and continue to do then pretend you don’t understand why im saying the things that i say or why im angry.

          • BarbaraR

            I understand why you’re angry but you want something that is impossible to achieve. It’s just exploding venom and nonsensical demands.

            I am not complaining about you voicing your opinion, but it’s the same old same old constantly. There is no indication that you are processing any of the information given or that you are willing to try to understand the written words of someone whose faith is anathema to you. No matter what anyone says to you, it isn’t good enough, so there is really no point in anyone attempting to help or explain. Ad hominem attacks on anyone who tries to explain or clarify do not help your case. As I said before, your anger is so deep that you’re unable to hear anything else anyone says.

            You don’t want an apology but you’re complaining about destruction and people hurt. As you say, “an apologize comes off as condescending.”

            Nothing anyone says here will satisfy you. I certainly don’t have the time or inclination to try to communicate with someone who automatically disagrees with anything I say based on what they assume I am like.

          • Allen

            tell me what is the best way to go about my anger?

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            Therapy. Meditation. Prayer. Educating yourself on those you generalize. Taking action in the form of volunteering, voting, and outreach — not playing on the interwebz — to change what angers you.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Anger is a useful emotion, but highly limited. Anger works well as a motivator, but it makes for a poor enforcer. Anger is a good defensive measure, but makes for a poor negotiator. Anger can be justified, but it makes for a poor convincer.

            We are a small cross segment of a very large, diverse body of people, representing a wide spectrum of beliefs, cultures, languages, histories and backgrounds. We cannot as a whole be responsible for the actions of some within that group. Blaming all Christians for the actions of a small segment, is like trying to use your head to put a crack into the Hoover Dam. It is an effort in futility, unless a concussion is your real goal.

            There are those of us who are trying to enact change, but such change is slow to happen. Imagine trying to create a whirlpool in a bowl of milk using a wire whisk, Now imagine doing the same thing, except the bowl is a bathtub. We are more like a bathtub.

            We are only part of what will enact positive change. It will take the non-Christians to decide to get in on the act, so we can work together.

          • Allen

            but its not a small group. Why do you keep saying that? What do you keep downplaying it? It took a majority to do the things to gay people that were done. it wasn’t a small minority. Im a person who wants positive change for everyone but the reason im not on board with you guys 100% is trust. It was a Christian majority that lead to many injustices happening against gays in America. It’s like you want me to ignore that every time single time we talk. I cant trust you guys if you lying in my face to make yourselves seem better or downplay what your religion has done. How can i get on board with people who wont even tell the truth ? It’s not a minority. if it was none of these laws would have gotten passed in the first place. I’m glad that you are taking a stand against homophobia in which the Bible says is a good but i can’t trust you if you can’t be honest with me. Tell it like it is. Stop downplaying. that doesn’t help anything. Without trust and honesty how can we ever move forward?

          • Jill

            Hi Allen, I remember talking with you before. I am not interested in arguing you out of your feelings or your stance. I do not believe anyone talking with you here is interested in that either.

            What do you feel is a fitting solution?

          • Allen

            Everyone keeps saying “it was a small minority
            of Christians who were discriminating. against gays” That is not true inthe US and aboard. The things that were done to gays was done by a Christian majority in the US .aboard it was by both a majority of Muslims and Christians. Christians need to stop trying to change the
            past and even more recent past of the 90′s & 2000′s to make themselves look better. Also remember the Bible says slavery is permissible. This is why whites were ok with and reasoned that it was ok to own slaves because God said slavery was ok and not just indentured
            servitude which is the lame excuse that Christians always go to to maketheir religion look like moral and great. Fast forward to now and in the present day we are still discriminating against people based off “God words”. What i would love for Christians to do is to actually sit
            down and take a good look at their religion. Not past everything off as”God is love or God wouldnt do this ” when it is clear by the book itself this God would. Christians aren’t willing to look at their religion. Either you have folks who take it literally as truth or you have people on this site who look at words that say “God said to kill” and say “Well God couldn’t possibility do that God loves”. it ridiculous and one reason we continue to have problems in this day in age. Each group doesn’t care to look at the morals of this God they either want to do exactly what it says regardless of the injustices it commits or follow it blindly and make excuses for it when it does terrible things. God gets the credit for everything good but when he does something bad its “people’s fault”……

          • Jill

            Thank you for clarifying your point for me, Allen. First off, I haven’t read a comment out here (I could have missed it, I don’t know) that said that the minority of Christians were the ones responsible for gay discrimination. Allegro was saying the Christians who are at this blog, who ARE gay affirming (the “we” in her statement) have been the minority of Christians.

            Allegro, feel free to correct me if I misread you.

            You’re right– no whitewashing of history should be tolerated, no excuse making is acceptable. Human beings have done–continue to do– hideous things in God’s name. Again, no one I know of at this blog denies that either. But allow me to ask you– what do you think of change of heart? I was once a fundamentalist
            Christian. I was raised to believe gay sex was awful and wrong. I didn’t have any choice or education to make a different decision until I grew up and found out for myself what’s real. I get it now that gay sex is just sex, gay
            relationships are just relationships. All expressions of love are good things.

            Do I get a second chance to earn your respect, maybe your trust? If you might consider it, then what about other people who are Christian?

            It sounds to me that you put some respect, maybe regard, maybe fear into what you have referred to as “the book itself”, the Christian Bible. There is much timely research available regarding what the Christian Bible does and does not say about gay relationships which you probably already know. Maybe what people
            wrote down about the fearsome, jealous, contemptuous God in those books isn’t the only true story about God?

            And I do relate with your comments around why people give God all the love and none of the blame. My personal take: give all your blame to God and give all your glory to everything and everyone that you love. But get the blame and anger and hatred out of you so it doesn’t destroy you. (I know what I’m talking about
            here.) And share as much love as you can, and through that I can almost guarantee that Christians, Christianity and the God of their Bible won’t be so taxing and straining on your patience. You might one day not even mind them sharing the same planet with you. :)

          • Allen

            Allegro was very clear “We cannot as a whole be responsible for the actions of some within that
            group. Blaming all Christians for the actions of a *small segment* ” I wasn’t/isn’t a small segment. That’s just wrong!!!. i agree with a lot of what you say but you too aren’t willing to admit to your God’s words while claiming you would. You said”You’re right– no whitewashing of history should be tolerated, no excuse
            making is acceptable. Human beings have done–continue to do– *hideous
            things in God’s name*” i wasn’t just in God’s name it was God himself . You 2 make excuses.. Why would i need to give glory to something that wants me dead? Why would you ask that of me? If you want me live happily how about you stop making excuses for your God that wants to me dead the same one used by others to take my rights away. Why should i have patience with you when i never get patience from Christians? You guys want to go threw your journeys of acceptance. You want gay people to give you time after you hated us for years then want me to give patience after all the suffering you cause? Why do you think you are owed it ? Why the arrogance? im not the one that went out of my way to hate someone because of what a bible told me to do . That was Christians. Have you forgotten that Christians have done the damage not gays? You don’t get rewarded for bad behavior

          • Jill

            Ok, well I believe you have read into Allegro’s words a message she wasn’t sending. I too had to come to a new understanding before I heard what people were really
            saying to me.

            You’re angry and hurt, and I understand some of the reasons why. I wouldn’t claim to know all of it– I’m not walking in your shoes. I haven’t lived through what you
            have.

            But you’re speaking here to a wide group of different people, labeling EVERY Christian as damaging. This is factually inaccurate. The accusations you’ve made are putting me, Allegro, this blog and its readers and commenters in a tightly bound box of belief and judgment. Your words here are doing what others have done to you. Is that helpful?

            I’m not Christian either, so that is another assumption made into my words that wasn’t in there. I make zero excuses for God. You are paraphrasing my words
            incorrectly and then it becomes an unfair conversation. It’s a diatribe, not a dialog.

            No one here or anywhere on the planet can make your pain and hurt disappear. So it becomes a choicepoint: are you here to talk about how to resolve the anger and
            resentment you’re living from or are you here just to condemn and judge Christians as one big groupthink clump of jerks?

          • Psycho Gecko

            Allen, I don’t think you’re doing people with our point of view about deities any favors with all this. I know the bible says what it says, but when you paint all Christians the same way, you sound just as ignorant of them as when they claim we are atheists because we like to sin. Christians pick and choose all the time. Shouldn’t we at least acknowledge when they pick some of the better lessons?

            Yes, we have a lot to be angry about with what religious people have done in the name of their religion in the past. These aren’t those people. I wouldn’t say they’re perfect, but then neither are we. If anything, these are people who want to show others that Christianity doesn’t have to be focused on rejecting gay people.

            If you want to argue with someone, I suggest waiting for one of the inevitable comments from someone who compares homosexuality to necrophilia, then blast them.

          • Allen

            I want you to totally be honest with me here. If someone had an organization called 909……Larry Hurn started a company called 909 and made out a company creed for all his employers to follow. His employees loved him. He was loving and kind but stern. He had his creed that people should follow if they wanted to be a successful employee.He had some great rules that helped workers get along but he also had some eye raising principles as well. He had rules that said child slave labor was ok (which started mid way threw the company but was ended 43 years after it started) and that women were too inferior to work at his company .

            Lets fast forward 78 years to today..Larry is dead .the company doesn’t practice child slave labor any longer but still denies women employment because the creed made by Larry says that women are sick sluts who were inferior to men. Larry’s organization also has this written down in a creed that all employees must follow. Lets also say that while Larry’s company doesn’t practice enslaving children for labor any longer the creed still says it permissible to do so along with the idea that women shouldn’t be hired because they are inferior. Larry’s company has a morphed into a mega corporate monopoly which has brought out almost every store and plot in the US. Any job you get you will be working under Larry’s rules. So either women have to hide that they are women somehow or find work some other way. Now there are some employees who work for the company who don’t feel like the creed is totally correct. They may think that women are inferior but still feel women should be able to work for the company or they just may feel that woman aren’t inferior and should work for the company. As the leader of the company i say no women will ever be hired because Larry’s rules say they are inferior. Let say you are an employee (a man of course)..You are fed up.You make a site saying that not all the employees are like that . You feel that women aren’t inferior and that they should work for the company. You go all around campaigning and finally you did it. I decide that women can join the company openly. You are excited and say that Larry would be proud of the progress. Times have changed and this is a great day for women everywhere. Here is the questions i want to ask

            1.Does it make since to thank Larry for the admission of women into the company he created when he said that women aren’t’ allowed because he felt they were inferior?
            2.Should the women trust the employees who sing the praise of Larry but who also rallied to get them a job?
            3. What should the women do who have been denied a job all their life ? Should they sing the praises of Larry and the company?
            4.Should women be fearful of the company if they decide to work there given that the company creed is still enact but not enforced and people in the company still fell the creed is still correct?
            5. Why would you want to belong to an organization if you knew they were bigoted against women and permitted child labor ?
            6. Should women just forget everything that has happened and move on?
            7. Should Larry be questioned for his bigoted creed against women and children or should we just ignore him and praise him.
            8. Given the creed that says child labor is permissionable and woman are inferior would you fear these things being enforced in the future?

          • DonRappe

            In my opinion, anger is a response to fear. For instance, if you frighten a large bear, it may become angry and kill you. It is a survival mechanism. The bear does not stay angry because once it has killed you, it is no longer afraid. But you stay angry, producing enzymes in your blood that will eventually kill you. Your anger is not a survival mechanism because you do not know what it is you fear and so, can not kill it. If you can figure out what you are afraid of, you will have a better chance. I do not think you are afraid of us.Good luck to you. Do you fear being returned to some previous condition of being abused, not by Christians, but by their beliefs? I have no way of knowing.

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            Hey, I know the baggage. I stopped calling myself Christian for the better part of a decade. Don’t think of it as negating or minimizing what’s been done in the past. Think of it as reclaiming a word owned by awful and/or ignorant people for far too long.

          • Andy

            Just out of curiosity, do you think white people should still be making reparations to black people for slavery 150 years ago?

          • Allen

            No! But if people tried to downplay slavery like they do with gay rights i would have a problem. Everyone keeps saying “it was a small minority of Christians who were discriminating. against gays” That is not true in the US and aboard. The things that were done to gays was done by a Christian majority in the US .aboard it was by both a majority of Muslims and Christians. Christians need to stop trying to change the past and even more recent past of the 90′s & 2000′s to make themselves look better. Also remember the Bible says slavery is permissible. This is why whites were ok with and reasoned that it was ok to own slaves because God said slavery was ok and not just indentured servitude which is the lame excuse that Christians always go to to make their religion look like moral and great. Fast forward to now and in the present day we are still discriminating against people based off “God words”. What i would love for Christians to do is to actually sit down and take a good look at their relligion. Not past everything off as “God is love or God wouldnt do this ” when it is clear by the book itself this God would. Christians aren’t willing to look at their religion. Either you have folks who take it literally as truth or you have people on this site who look at words that say “God said to kill” and say “Well God couldn’t possibility do that God loves”. it ridculious and one reason we continue to have problems in this day in age. Each group doesnt care to look at the morals of this God they either want to do exactly what it says regardless of the injustices it commits or follow it blindly and make excuses for it when it does terrible things. God gets the credit for everything good but when he does something bad its “people’s fault”

          • Andy

            Not everybody thinks that. I realize the logical inconsistency between ascribing successes to God and failures to man. I suspect a lot of us around here do too. Personally I have issues with whether or not I believe God is interventionist, but not having figured that out yet isn’t a dealbreaker for me.

          • Allen

            it’s not only that. When God says something good people praise how great God is but when God says kill everyone and take the virgins that is is explained away as “man twisted God words” or ” that’s a different context” which means that God apparently was bad at some point but got better. The fact is Christians never want to own the bad of God. they explain it away with excuses then expect others who aren’t of the religion to give passes. this is why liberal Christianity tends to fail. Conservatives are going to stick with a literal interpretation while liberals make excuses and pretend the GOD didn’t say that. So when a group like gay people fight against religious bigotry its hard to break threw. The conservative” minority* (i put stars around it because you have to be crazy to think its a minority. At the start of all these battles for rights every time Christians are polled its always a Conservative Christian majority) who says gays are sick while liberals (who are the minority) pretend that God didn’t say those things. How are you suppose to solve a problem when you dont even acknowledge it? YOu can’t stop the injustices being done by the majority of Christians who don’t acknowledge it. That’s why i say liberals tend to be enablers to all the injustices. Why is it you guys have problems admitting that your God isnt always good? WHy shift blame to people when you God says / does something terrible?

          • Andy

            Again, I don’t think I do that.

          • Allen

            So when God say kill all accept the virgins who can have to yourself or kill people who wear the wrong clothing etc. What goes thru your mind?

          • Andy

            I don’t know that God said those things.

          • Allen

            Did God say thou shall not steal?

          • Andy

            I don’t know. I wasn’t there when it was allegedly spoken, or when Exodus was written.

          • Bones

            No.

          • Bones

            God didn’t say it.

            Pretty simple.

          • Allen

            Do you believe God is Christian or Jesus is God etc?

          • Bones

            You still going on with this crap.

            “Conservatives are going to stick with a literal interpretation while liberals make excuses and pretend the GOD didn’t say that. ”

            There’s no pretending.

            God didn’t say it.

            ” That’s why i say liberals tend to be enablers to all the injustices. ”

            Oh yeah this is the dude who thinks MLK is pathetic.

          • Allen

            I was asking if Andy believed that. Andy says he believes in God but not a God that interacts. I was asking him questions. Yes MLK was a Christianity. Christianity says slavery is permissible. The civil rights for blacks was the left over from slavery. Im glad MLK help with blacks rights but using Christianity as a catalysts was pathetic. Yes you could try to guilty trip racist with other lines from the Bible because they were Christians too but Christianity used for black rights should been offensive to black. it was pathetic. Sorry you dont understand that. its also pathetic for people to use Christianity for gay rights or women rights.

          • Bones

            Look up liberation theology.

            Your arguing against one type of Christianity.

            Better still take your assumptions over to Christianity Today or some other conservative Christian forum..

            “Im glad MLK help with blacks rights but using Christianity as a catalysts was pathetic.”

            That’s just stupid.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oehry1JC9Rk

          • Sharla Hulsey

            Should *still* be making reparations? We haven’t made any yet!

            Personally I’m in support of some kind of reparations, although I don’t think giving a specific sum to each African-American in this country is the best way to do it.

            I’d rather see us invest in historically black colleges and make scholarships available for whatever kind of post-secondary education African-Americans might seek. I’d rather see us invest in communities with large percentages of people living in poverty. I’d rather see economic and job opportunities being increased in the inner cities, where many poor African-Americans still live. Things like that could go a long way toward mitigating the legacy of slavery.

            Instead, someone mentions the word “reparations” and the discussion is immediately derailed with “I never had slaves; why should I be forced to apologize for slavery?” or “The black people living in this country today haven’t ever been slaves, so why do we owe them anything?” Well, because there was slavery in this country a lot longer than the 150 years since there hasn’t been, and you can’t just pass a few new laws and say, okay, everybody’s free now, let’s just shake hands and pretend the last 300 years never happened. The post-reconstruction era, in which the sharecropping system Jim Crow laws essentially re-enslaved black people in many areas, demonstrates that. We are not yet free of the legacy of slavery in this country, and every moment we don’t talk about it, more harm is done–not just to African-Americans, but to each one of us and the soul of our nation.

            But that’s not entirely germane to the conversation we’re having here, so I’ll stop now.

        • http://Www.theirishatheist.wordpress.com/ The Irish Atheist

          I’m with you. Christians have a long history, even in living memory, of gleeful persecution and abuse. They have a lot to own up to. And Barbara’s excuse of ‘It would be too hard for our church to start treating people as human beings’ is about as weak of an excuse as I’ve ever heard.

          • BarbaraR

            Hi Irish Atheist. Nice to meet you.

            I don’t know if you are familiar with John Shore or the people who hang out at this blog, but most of the people here HAVE been hurt by the traditional fundamentalist church. Many of them no longer identify as part of a denomination and have parted ways with old friends/ families over their decisions to leave what had become a painful, if not actively abusive, environment. These people are struggling to find their place at the table. They know they no longer fit in and won’t go back to their old church “families.” Quite a few are still trying to heal after a lifetime of spiritual and emotional destruction. This is not the part of the church that hurts others; this is the refuge.

            But we also know that The Church is made up of human beings, each with their own baggage and struggles and desires, and that there is a power structure within each building and denomination that will do whatever it takes to maintain their position. That frequently means keeping the weakest ones too terrified to speak up and the others fearful of losing everything they have tried to attain.

            This is a place for the people who were “hurt beyond hurting, never to forget,”, who firsthand have seen what fundamentalism does in Christ’s name and don’t want any part of it any more. We’re quite aware of the persecution that continues to this day in toxic churches; people here can tell you horrific stories. John’s site is a safe place for those who have been through that victimization.

  • Jason D

    Blanket labeling everyone who opposes gay marriage a bigot is in itself a form of bigotry. A bigot being someone who, as a result of their prejudices, treats or views other people with fear, distrust or hatred.

    When you label everyone who disagrees with you a bigot, you dilute the meaning of the word and causes true bigots to be seen in a more moderate light. Additionally, bigot is used almost exclusively as an insult and pejorative rather than a description of behaviour. And there is never a reasonable excuse for that.

    It’s OK, even important, for people to disagree. Creating an environment where people are attacked for disagreeing, even when they are wrong, is bad for society in general, and tends to stifle change rather than promote it.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      Well, when you realize why most people are opposed to marriage equality, it is consistently for reasons that are attributed to bigotry. You see that gets to motivation, and when you peel away the rhetorical layers, what you uncover is a mindset of bigotry…they fear the gay community, they fear what equality could possibly mean, they distrust the gay community and their allies, and deep down inside they hate, being conditioned to do so.
      So yes, being opposed to gay marriage is bigotry. Its not being hateful towards people who feel that way, its merely stating a fact. Thankfully many hearts and minds are changing away from this very demeaning and destructive mindset. It is because people are standing up and pointing out the roots of the problem…fear, distrust, bad theology, hatred, prejudice.

      • Jason D

        I oppose gay marriage in the US because it would exclude my church (I’m LDS) from federal participation in ways that would severely limit our ability to be involved with social, charitable and relief efforts around the world, 99% of the time in ways that would have nothing to do with our beliefs beyond a desire to help others,

        I have no problem with gay marriage in South Africa (my country). I signed a number of petitions to highlight and attempt to stop what is happening in Uganda and other African countries.

        I have gay friends. Not many, but then I don’t make friends based on sexual orientation, but rather shared interests.

        Would you call me a bigot?

        The LDS church got a lot of negative publicity for prop 8. How much publicity did it get for it’s support of Salt Lake City ordinances aimed at protecting gay and transgender residents from discrimination in housing and employment?

        Yes, there are differences and conflicting ideologies. I, and my church, view homosexual behaviour as sinful(*). And yet there is no fear, distrust or hatred – by definition our actions are not bigoted (unless you have your own personal definition of bigotry).

        It’s possible to disagree without being bigoted.

        (* FYI, We also view unmarried and extra-marital sex as sinful. Failing to show love is also, technically, a sin for us. We don’t fear, distrust or hate sinners. None of us are perfect – we are all sinners. We strive for an ideal that we know we will not achieve. The ideal is there to give us something to strive towards, not to use as a measure to bash people.)

        • BarbaraR

          I have no idea what your first paragraph means.

          • Jason D

            Which part of it do you not understand? It seems pretty straightforward to me…

          • BarbaraR

            How does gay marriage in the US affect the LDS church in any way? They are not obligated to perform any ceremony they don’t want to, same as any other church.

          • Jason D

            No, they are not. But if gay marriage is a federally recognised law, they have to either change their beliefs and doctrine OR stop participating in federally sponsored programs.

            Since changing doctrine and beliefs is not an option, they will stop participating in federal programs. This means that (amongst other things) their Relief Society will no longer be a federally (government) recognised and sponsored relief organisation.

            In this instance, sponsored doesn’t mean they get money from the federal government, it means that they operate under the auspices of the federal government in some instances and situations. The most immediate side effect of this is that the Relief Society they will no longer be allowed to enter emergency and disaster zones until the local government has set up local comms and security, meaning that rather than responding in hours, they will only be able to respond in days.

            Other side effects include decreased ability to negotiate with foreign governments for both their missionary and charitable initiatives, their family services adoption programs, etc…

            So while they will not be obligated to perform ceremonies they don’t want to, they will be at a tangible disadvantage in other endeavors.

            Now, while you or others may not agree that with those endeavors, there is a real threat, not a non-existent perceived threat. And the threat isn’t homosexuality or gays taking over the world, it’s a government bureaucracy.

          • BarbaraR

            Churches change beliefs and doctrine all the time. Whether the LDS wants to or not is up to them.

            It’s nice that they participate in relief efforts, but there are ways to provide those services without being federally recognized. Governments change their requirements and standards all the time; LDS will have to decide whether being opposed to gay rights is more important than providing services to those in crisis.

          • Jason D

            They can not provide the same level of service without federal recognition, and in some instances in some countries they lose protection and safety. Additionally, there are other programs that benefit mostly members that suffer even more. This is not opposition based solely on dogma. There is a real threat here (bureaucracy, not gays in general), not an imagined one. And it has nothing to do with hate, fear or mistrust.

            The church is not opposed to gay rights , it’s opposed to gay marriage in the US. And to the best of my knowledge and understanding that opposition is more because of the unintended bureaucratic side effects I’ve mentioned than fear, mistrust or hatred of gays.

            The church has supported gay rights initiatives relating to employment and residence, are publicly outspoken against gay bashing and bullying, welcomes everyone at meetings and gives leadership positions to anyone who adheres to certain rules (including our law of chastity) without regard for sexual orientation.

            You are welcome to disagree with our beliefs and our doctrine, but labeling the church as bigoted and being opposed to gay rights is unfair and inaccurate.

          • BarbaraR

            *The church is not opposed to gay rights , it’s opposed to gay marriage in the US.”

            The right to marry with all the rights and advantages it encompasses is something straight people take for granted. If someone is opposed to giving someone rights that they themselves enjoy, then yes, I would call that bigoted.

          • Jason D

            “If someone is opposed to giving someone rights that they themselves enjoy, then yes, I would call that bigoted.”

            Bigot: someone who, as a result of their prejudices, treats or views other people with fear, distrust or hatred.
            (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bigotry)

            Bigot: a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc. : a bigoted person; especially : a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group)
            (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bigot)

            Neither of those descriptions match the LDS stance to homosexuality. The word bigot does not fit. If you continue using it you do so purely as a pejorative.

            This is a difficult situation where someone loses rights whichever path you choose. You can no more label the LDS church “opposed to gay rights” than I can label you as “religiously intolerant”. If it was a clear no loss situation for the church I would agree with you. But it isn’t. There is a real, tangible, substantial loss to the church and it’s members. In a situation where someone loses no matter what, they chose a route that allows them to continue doing as much good as they can. You can disagree with that decision, but please at least acknowledge that it is a real problem. Acknowledging someone else’s perspective does not imply that you embrace their perspective or that you agree with it.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            So if a gay couple, who is legally married in their state wishes a position of leadership in one of your wards, would they be allowed? They would not be breaking a law of chastity, they would be legally married, so technically there is no problem.

          • Jason D

            If they honestly believed and accepted our doctrine and were making the same effort to live it as the rest of our members, there wouldn’t be a problem.

            If they didn’t honestly believe and accept our doctrine, then no. But then, if they don’t believe and accept our doctrine, why are they after a leadership position? Why would they even want to be a part of our church?

            Here’s one for you – should a person who opposes gay marriage in the US be allowed to run a large organisation if he has committed himself to not letting his personal beliefs interfere with his job, and has taken steps to ensure transparency in this regard?

            (Just to be open, a person cannot hold a leadership position in the church if their life is not in harmony with church teachings, and the church teaches that marriage is between a man and a woman. But again, why would they want to if they did not believe this to be true?)

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            People like that exist, holding positions of power, acting as CEO’s, pastoring churches.
            As for the answer to my question, you say no. But then you won’t let women hold positions of leadership in your denomination either, not an uncommon thing in Christianity…sadly

          • Jason D

            This has moved from the original discussion of whether all christians who oppose gay marriage should be considered bigots (based on commonly accepted definitions of the word bigot, no they cannot), to an attack on the LDS church specifically and Christianity in general.

            I’d be happy to discuss my faith with you on the condition that you treat my beliefs with the respect you would expect me to treat yours.

          • Bones

            That was a totally relevant comment in the context that you think the LDS is actually tolerant of same sex marriage and is only against it because of ‘government bureaucracy’ or something.

            You are aware that it is ‘church bureaucracy’ which is most discriminative.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I have Mormon family members, so I am pretty familiar with the particulars of your faith. I don’t agree with a good deal of it, but i see some aspects that are quite wonderful. I have no interest in attacking any denomination. I do have an interest in clearing misconceptions and misinformation that may be coming from the hiearchy within your denomination about public policy and the law.
            I am a Christian, and have no problems being honestly critical of the problems obvious within the faith. I would love to see a truly united church, with all factions working together peacefully, and shedding the things which cause discord, like greed, pride, bigotry, sectarianism and backstabbing.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Federally sponsored programs? Like what? And if its not Federally sponsored, all it means…OH! we now get all our funding from the private sector…like we used to for decades and decades. That’s right. you only lose some government subsidies…So that only means that people give more to the Relief Society, or other charitable entities, instead of to the central church office. That whole faith based initiative was a very bad idea.

            As for the being allowed to enter emergency and disaster zones. One’s religious status doesn’t mean a flying fuck, when it comes to warm bodies and needed resources getting there as soon as possible, so that lives are saved, the injured are cared for and people can begin to pick up the pieces. Trust me, a town hit by a tornado, or a flood, or another natural disaster, won’t care if you are Mormon, Hindu, or Rastafarian when you show up. They will be just glad you did, and be very grateful for your willingess to help.

            Working with foreign governments is always a tricky matter, because their morals, their ideals, and their beliefs may be quite different than ours. Its always been that way, and is unlikely to change any time soon. If your group, merely respects the beliefs and the laws of the nations you interact with, then you should do well.

          • Jason D

            OK, it seems Disquss isn’t informing me of all replies…

            Did you read the part where I said “In this instance, sponsored doesn’t mean they get money from the federal government, it means that they operate under the auspices of the federal government”?

            As to entering disaster areas, International law and agreements limit access to disaster areas. Certain organisations are “first responders” and are allowed in to a disaster immediately. Other organisations have to wait until the area has been secured and declared safe.

            The LDS Relief Society can act as a “first responder” getting into disaster areas immediately through it’s relationship with the US government. The US government will only cooperate in this way with organisations that do not discriminate based on federal law. If gay marriage were a federal law this would exclude the church from such participation as they would be seen as discriminating against a federal law.

            It would also limit other church initiatives such as it’s family services adoption programs, and other similar initiatives.

          • Bones

            So then the problem would be your churches.

            They need to make a decision whether to continue their first response or allow gay marriage if that was the case.

            There’s no justification for holding back civil liberties.

          • Jason D

            What about the church members civil liberties? Do they not have a right to participate in their government?

            I’m not saying this isn’t unfair. It is. But it’s unfair no matter which route you take, and that is my point.

            The fact that there is even a discussion is an indication that the church’s actions are motivated by a real problem (governmental bureaucracy) and not a desire to withhold rights from anyone.

            While you may not agree with their actions (and that’s OK), their actions are informed, and not based on unjustified fears or hatred. You can disagree with them, but you cannot in fairness call them bigots.

          • anakinmcfly

            In that case, why not attack the actual target – the US government’s laws? Based on your points, it seems that the issue is that the government won’t cooperate with organisations that don’t adhere to federal laws, and not the fact that gay people should have the right to get married.

          • Jason D

            I don’t know that the church isn’t addressing this with the US government. Given the risk it poses I’d be surprised if they aren’t. But I don’t know one way or the other.

            On that note, though, if they are addressing this with the government it would be a very sensitive and difficult thing to do. They would be asking (before it is an issue for the church directly) for the federal government to allow organisations that discriminate to participate in federal programs. Structuring something like that in a way that allows some organisations (the LDS church, for example) to participate while excluding other organisations (Say Fred Phelps group) would be immensely difficult, and could have unintended consequences.

          • anakinmcfly

            They should take into consideration what that group does or plans to do under their programs, though. Such that even if the WBC simply wants to run, say, a food-donation program, they should be allowed to; but if they want to use that program to tell people that God hates fags, then they shouldn’t be allowed to. i.e. only ban an organisation’s participation if their activities in that specific program directly break federal law, and what they do in their other time shouldn’t be relevant.

          • Bones

            Oh yes, now it’s the civil liberty to discriminate.

            What about organisations which discriminate against say blacks? And their members right to participate in government? Well they do if they get elected.

            I’m sure there are LDS churches in countries that legislate same sex marriage.

            To say that churches actions are motivated by government bureaucracy would be condemned outright by nearly all those who condemn same sex marriage.

            And let’s not forget Mitt Romney pushed for a constitutional change to define marriage as between man and a woman to take away the power of individual states to legislate their own marital laws with regard to same sex marriage.

            He didn’t do that because of ‘government bureaucracy’.

            It just means that your organisation would be on the losing side.

            Discrimination then wouldn’t feel good would it?

          • Jason D

            It is a civil liberty to participate in your government, I believe I made that point in my opening sentence.

            And you have not addressed my points at all. I am not here to defend my beliefs or faith, or to try to convert you. My only goal was to point out that the church’s actions were not motivated by a desire to deprive others of rights, but rather to protect their rights in the only way they could.

            I believe I have made my point. If you wish to discuss aspects of it using more than rhetoric I would be glad to continue the discussion. If you completely fail to understand what I am saying then I am incapable of explaining it better to you.

            Just one thing for you to consider – Mitt Romney is a Mormon. But he is also an individual. He makes his own choices.

          • Bones

            I’m an Aussie.

            You guys choked in the last cricket series against us as usual.

          • Jason D

            Oh, you’re an Aussie. Makes sense now.

          • Bones

            Romney is/was a bishop in the LDS whatever that means and we have

            ‘The Church’s doctrinal position is clear: Sexual activity should only occur between a man and a woman who are married. However, that should never be used as justification for unkindness. Jesus Christ, whom we follow, was clear in His condemnation of sexual immorality, but never cruel. His interest was always to lift the individual, never to tear down.1′

            https://www.lds.org/topics/same-gender-attraction?lang=eng

            So he was following LDS teaching.

            Nothing on the LDS site about ‘government bureaucracy’.

          • Jason D

            I would expect any president to act on his moral beliefs, regardless of where they came from. But it is still his actions, no matter how much they were influenced by his beliefs.

            “Latter-day Saints believe that the separation of church and state is essential in modern societies prior to the Millennium. LDS scriptures teach that civic laws should not interfere with religious practices, nor should religious institutions manipulate governments to their advantage. ”
            http://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Church_and_State

          • Bones

            It’s not rhetoric. Why are you so threatened?

            You failed in your goal because your argument was unconvincing and is proven by checking the LDS stance on homosexuality and gay marriage.

            Yes, churches and religious organisations are having to grapple with the reality of government legalising same sex marriage like in the UK. That has kept the Church of England’s lawyers busy for some time over there.

            Megachurches like Hillsong are grappling with it as well and softening their stance and rhetoric.

            I also didn’t think you were trying to convert anyone.

          • Jason D

            The church as an organisation is opposed to gay marriage. I never claimed it wasn’t. The church as an organisation is also opposed to obesity. Can you imagine if they hated everyone who did things they were opposed to?

            But simply because the church opposes it doesn’t mean that the church hates or fears or mistrusts gays. Church welfare programs help others without regard for sexual orientation.

            I see gay marriage as immoral because that is what my morality says. You may see my attitude as immoral because that’s what your morality says. That doesn’t mean that we can’t cooperate, be friends, or get along.

            The church opposes gay marriage, that was never in question. This discussion was about why it opposes gay marriage in the US so strongly.

          • Bones

            Ok, so it has nothing to do with ‘government bureaucracy’.

            Glad we cleared that up.

            So do you think gay people should live a life of celibacy?

          • Jason D

            You appear to be twisting my words. If you’re not, I apologise, but if you are then shame on you! That kind of behaviour is dishonest and manipulative.

            The LDS church (and by extension it’s members) will lose access to government programs if gay marriage in the US is a federal law because they will be seen as discriminating. They chose a path that protected themselves and their members using the perfectly legitimate avenue of the law.

            Glad we could clear that up.

          • Jason D

            As to your comment on celibacy, well, that depends. I’m not gay, and don’t pretend to be an expert on human sexuality. I also don’t speak on behalf of the church. So please take anything I say now as purely personal opinion.

            The short answer is that I expect them to live the same kind of life I expect any other member of the church to live. If that means celibacy for them, then so be it. Heterosexual members who cannot / do not get married have the same expectation.

            The longer answer is that human relationships, especially between partners, is more about love, respect and intimacy than about sex. Sex definitely helps with all of the above, but is not a requirement.

            Sexual attraction is a help, but is not strictly required, for sexual intercourse. Often times intimacy can act as a perfectly suitable replacement. If a gay man or woman can find someone of the opposite sex who they feel they can build that kind of a bond with, then their life need not be celibate.

            It’s not ideal, but it isn’t the end of the world either. Life is full of challenges. What defines us is how we overcome them.

          • Bones

            You’re all over the place.

            In your first post you stated

            “I oppose gay marriage in the US because it would exclude my church (I’m LDS) from federal participation in ways that would severely limit our ability to be involved with social, charitable and relief efforts around the world, 99% of the time in ways that would have nothing to do with our beliefs beyond a desire to help others,

            I have no problem with gay marriage in South Africa (my country). ”

            Nothing there about needing to be celibate or gay marriage being immoral. Your last comment makes no sense at all when put with your previous post ie

            “I have no problem with gay marriage in South Africa but gay marriage is immoral”

            Then you adopt the official Mormon position on same sex marriage which is what I’d expect.

            Your opposition to ssm has nothing to do with government bureaucracy but perceived immorality.

            As I thought, your initial posts were a disguise and dishonest.

          • Jason D

            For me it’s not supposed immorality, It is actual immorality. What is and is not moral is defined by each individuals morals – there is no universal morality.

            Morality is derived from religion, culture, or a code of beliefs. Since there are numerous religions, cultures and philosophies in the world, morality is different for often different people. Which means that it is perfectly reasonable for one person to see as immoral what another sees as moral.

            I’m going to stop responding to you now. I came to share a specific thought, and have spent most of my time explaining and defining words and ideas that are easily understood by anyone who has even attempted to educate themselves on these matters. Choose to educate yourself, or choose to get angry with what you do not understand. Just remember that I had to explain morality to you. And define bigot for you.

          • Bones

            Next time be honest instead of hiding behind false arguments.

            You think homosexual marriage is immoral. Yet says “I have no problem with gay marriage in South Africa”

            That’s your premise.

            Oh and dishonesty is immoral.

          • Jason D

            Legally, I have no problem with gay marriage anywhere. Morally I consider it wrong. That should have been abundantly clear from everything I said.

            Unless you have no interest in honest and open discussion and are only looking for reasons to attack those who disagree with you. For the record, open discussion is only possible if people do not feel they will be attacked for what they believe.

            It’s having to explain things like this to you that I find annoying. So, you will have the last word because I will no longer respond. You have managed to silence me. You must feel so proud.

          • Bones

            That wasn’t clear from what you said at all and your real motive for not wanting same sex marriage had to be teased out.

            But take your ball and go home if it makes you feel better.

          • Bones

            You didn’t define anything for me dude.

            I know what morality and bigotry is and I didn’t ask for an explanation.

            I wasn’t aware that South Africans would be that worried by what the US does with regards to same sex marriage?

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Re: “Sexual attraction is a help, but is not strictly required, for sexual intercourse. Often times intimacy can act as a perfectly suitable replacement. If a gay man or woman can find someone of the opposite sex who they feel they can build that kind of a bond with, then their life need not be celibate.”

            By your reasoning here it would seem that likewise you should find it perfectly reasonable for a gay man or woman to find someone of the same gender with whom they feel they can build that kind of intimate bond, yet remain celibate.

          • Jason D

            Sure. I would recommend against it for anyone of my faith because it creates a great deal of temptation, but then I would recommend avoiding temptation in any other situation too.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Sex without sexual attraction as a suitable solution. For whom?

          • anakinmcfly

            More to the point, who would want to do that?

          • Guy Norred

            As you said, it “is more about love, respect and intimacy than about sex.” The thing you are not seeing is that gay people are not gay primarily because they have this overwhelming urge to have sex with people of their own gender, but because they have an innate predisposition to fall in love with a person of the same gender. This
            is often something that we understand long before we have any clue that sex (heterosexual or homosexual) even exists. Even when we find out about sex, until fairly recently, it is almost guaranteed that we found out only about heterosexual intercourse. This didn’t change the fact that we still found ourselves attracted to people of our own gender.

            Asto the long tradition of lavender marriages, yes, gay people can and doform bonds of love and respect with people of the opposite gender, but it isn’t the same thing–even excluding any sort of sexual intimacy. It
            also creates the likelihood of some very difficult situations.

            Firstlet us assume that one partner is straight and one is gay. If the straight partner knows about the gay one (and anything less than honesty….), this person is going to consciously aware that they are not being loved as fully as they might be with a straight partner. This is really hardly fair to them. If suddenly, sought out or not, they
            find themselves falling in love with someone else, especially if that person loves them back…well, it is mess to say the least.

            Do the same thing with a gay man and a gay woman and you have just nearly doubled your chances of this happening.

            Atbest, it is building a relationship on much less than ideal
            circumstances. At worst, it is an incredibly selfish thing for a person to do to another. If anything is a sin, this is it.

            I haven’t been following this conversation and admittedly know nothing about you, but am going to assume that either you are in love with a woman, have been so, or at least have an idea what this means. For this purpose, I am going to assume the former. So there is this woman you love deeply, is likely your wife…but you see some other woman and find her attractive–even quite attractive–you still know the difference, right? You know that you are in love with your wife in a way that you are not to this other woman you find attractive. Well, gay people fall in love like that also, but not with people of the opposite gender, and in all likelihood, this predisposition is something that was there at birth–something they were created with. Why would a loving god create people with an enormous capacity to love and then deny them the right to do so?

          • Jason D

            Firstly, I agree with all you have said – there is a great deal that can go wrong.

            To answer your question “Why would a loving god create people with an enormous capacity to love and then deny them the right to do so?”:

            There is no easy answer I can give. Short of a multi page essay, all I can respond with is this: God wants us to understand that love is about more than fulfilling sexual or intimacy needs. To quote a children’s song “Jesus says love everyone, treat them kindly too. When your heart is filled with love, others will love you”. The LDS church teaches that successful marriages are built on love and friendship. We are taught that marriage is important, and that if you can’t find someone you are ‘in love with’, find someone you can love and then make it work(advice given to heterosexual men and women, applies to homosexual men and women too.)

            The greatest gift God gave us is free agency. Free agency means that He has to let things happen to us that hurt us, and that is unfortunate. There is a lot more to it than that, but this is the short version.

            Additionally, and more importantly, I think, pain is necessary to help us grow beyond our comfort zones. The people who are the most ‘empathic’, or intuitively kind and loving, are generally those who have been hurt the most. Perhaps if we saw pain as an opportunity to grow rather than a punishment to be endured, things would seem different. My personal experiences with pain support this idea.

            (You may be wondering why He has to allow us be hurt. Free agency is not only the ability to act independently, it’s also not being rewarded or helped immediately if there is a problem. If the ‘righteous’ never experienced hardship or pain, people would do what they did to avoid pain and not because it was a choice.).

          • Guy Norred

            Well, I agree that through pain we learn (or can and should learn) compassion and love of others. I also agree that friendship is key to successful marriage, but I find quite disturbing the thought that marriage itself is so important that it must happen, is somehow necessary, even if this necessitates going into it aware that the circumstances are far less than ideal (ok–all marriages are in some way less than ideal but…). I find that Paul went a bit too far the other direction, but he is famously not a huge fan of the institution, and Jesus, while honoring and celebrating it, also seems a little ambivalent in his attitude. Don’t get me wrong. My marriage is very important to me, and through it, I am a better person. I do think most of us are made for marriage. But it seems you think it is better to be married to the wrong person than not married.

            In any event–yes, marriage is about many things, and God wants us to understand that but it is in our capacity to love that He gave us the means to fulfill these things. To paraphrase I Corinthians 13, without love, we are nothing, our works are nothing, our marriages are nothing. Love is of many different kinds, and but a marriage without the kind of love that a marriage is meant for, is nothing.

          • Jason D

            I don’t believe that, in marriage, there is a right or wrong person per se. I believe that two people who are committed to making it work can make it work regardless. Indeed, that is the only way any marriage can survive.

            That doesn’t mean that it will be easy. But then, it never really is.

            Our ideas on the meaning of marriage differ and may well be irreconcilable, but I find that the non-sexual intimacy part of my marriage brings more fulfillment that the sexual part, although I will admit that it would not be the same without it.

          • anakinmcfly

            “If a gay man or woman can find someone of the opposite sex who they feel they can build that kind of a bond with, then their life need not be celibate.”

            As a gay man, I’d much rather find someone of the same sex who I feel I can build that kind of a bond with, and be celibate.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Word.

          • BarbaraR

            It’s quite easy to say, “If that means celibacy for them, then so be it,” or “It’s not ideal, but it isn’t the end of the world either” when it’s not your life being discussed.

          • Jason D

            It’s not easy for me to say those things. I understand that you fear and mistrust me, but you have no basis for that statement. I have said in this discussion that I don’t think it is easy. I don’t think it’s fair and I don’t think it’s nice. My morality teaches that it is necessary, not easy. We have a truism in the church: “Jesus didn’t say it would be easy, He only said it would be worth it.” My morality, my faith, requires that I make sacrifices. Some of them big, some of them small. I recognise all too well that some people are required to sacrifice more than I am.

            You don’t share my beliefs. You disagree with me. That doesn’t make you a bad person anymore than me disagreeing with you makes me a bad person. I’m not trying to convert you. Just explaining my position.

          • anakinmcfly

            “We have a truism in the church: “Jesus didn’t say it would be easy, He only said it would be worth it.” ”

            In that case, where are all the single, celibate gay people who claim that their sacrifice of any romantic relationship has been worth it? I mean, there are a few, but they’re far from the majority. Which isn’t the case for, say, people who give up actual sins – also difficult, but actually resulting in a better relationship with God, a more spiritually-whole life and being worth it in the end, not just for themselves but for those they’re in touch with.

          • Jason D

            You have picked a single thing I said from amongst a lot more and highlighted it. It feels like I’m being quoted out of context. I apologise if that was not your intent.

            To answer your question, though, we believe this world is a small part of our total existence. You may not agree with this, but people who share my faith do. They look at all the doctrine and teachings and decide that the sacrifice is, for them, necessary. In essence, they decide that the sacrifice is worth it. For some, perhaps many, the ‘worth it’ part is only confirmed after this life is done – and that applies to more than just out chastity laws. Until then we apply faith and hope.

          • anakinmcfly

            Sorry; I didn’t mean to quote you out of context. It was just the main thing in your comment I wanted to mention.

            Understood. But the problem still lies in how there’s the question of why – why is homosexuality immoral in the first place? If the Bible does say so (which is contested, but a separate discussion), why? For any other sin in the Bible, we can clearly see why it’s immoral – thievery is wrong because it means taking stuff that isn’t yours and hurts others, adultery is wrong because it ends up betraying and hurting your spouse, etc. All those are things that, by their very nature, hurt other people. But the same can’t be said for homosexuality, where the opposite is sometimes true – like in a loving gay relationship, where both partners are blessed rather than harmed by it.

            It just doesn’t fit the pattern of a sin.

          • Jason D

            No offence taken. And the answer to your question is not as simple as it may appear for any LDS.

            DISCLAIMER: I am about to simplify and gloss over a lot of my beliefs in the interest of brevity.

            Without going onto too much doctrine, we do not believe in hell as such, rather we believe in degrees of heaven, with the lowest degree being what most others consider heaven to be (a paradise). We also do not believe that this life is the culmination of our existence, but rather close to the beginning. We believe in continual progression after death.

            So for us, sin does not (generally) mean something that will get you sent to hell. We believe the rules we have (the basis of our morality) are here to help us grow. These rules govern not only how we interact with others, but how we treat ourselves.

            We believe in gender is important, and that each gender has roles (usually supportive and overlapping of each other). For these reasons we believe that a family should consist of a man and a woman at the head, with their children. We believe that a person who denies themselves this is hurting themselves, and as such it is seen as a sin (or immoral, as it were).

          • AtalantaBethulia

            re: “We believe that a person who denies themselves this is hurting themselves, and as such it is seen as a sin (or immoral, as it were)”

            So, this would include singleness and voluntary childlessness. This too, according to this explanation, would mean these people are sinning, hurting themselves and are being immoral. Yes?

            Thus the explanation that it is better to marry someone with whom one can be compatible even if romantic love is not present.

          • Jason D

            According to what we believe, yes.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            This seems to stand in contradiction to what St. Paul wrote about remaining single for the cause of Christ, BUT if one cannot remain single and celibate successfully it is better to marry than to “burn” with sexual desire.

          • Jason D

            According to what we believe, yes.

            But I should point out that we do not believe in absolutes. We believe we will be judged not according to what we did, but what we did in relation to what our capacity was.

            More is expected from some people in some areas, less from others in those areas but more in different areas.

            We also believe that the “judge” is Christ, who has our best interest at heart. We will be held accountable for our actions, both good and bad.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            If I may, and I don’t want to intentionally mischaracterize the Mormon faith… Jason, isn’t marriage and having children – particularly large families – integral to the theology of Mormonism? Such that 1) Staying single and celibate would actually be discourage because 2) marrying someone you may not even be in love with is something you presented here as a viable and laudable option within the church and marrying someone you can commit to rather than someone you love 3) fits with “Jesus didn’t say it would be easy, He only said it would be worth it.”

            And, this emphasis on children – because of church theology and eschatology – would naturally cause homosexuality, singleness, and voluntary childlessness within marriage to be discouraged.

            Is that a fair assessment?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I don’t think large families for the Mormon faith is as commonly held concept as it once was, at least not for all Mormons. My daughter’s husband is Mormon, and she now attends services with him. They have three kids, are done. My son in-laws parents Now divorced (she still practices, he doesn’t) are also Mormon. They just had two children.

            They do place an emphasis on children, but not so much anymore on amount, at least not from what I’ve seen from my perspective, but on that they are valued, precious gifts, to be nurtured, taught and trained to adulthood. Must like more orthodox branches of Christianity.

          • BarbaraR

            I don’t fear or distrust you. I do disagree with you.

            In the US, what might be considered a “moral” issue by some may be considered a civil rights issue. There are plenty of people here who are unwilling to give equal rights to gay people, regardless of the fact that gay people vote, pay equal taxes, hold responsible jobs, obey all laws, and are otherwise upstanding citizens: they just don’t think they should be allowed to marry the people they love because…. they think being gay is immoral.

            We disagree.

          • Jason D

            I disagree with you, but take what you say in good faith because you have not given me sufficient reason to distrust you or your motives.

            But you distrust a lot of what I have said – we have been arguing this for days and you refuse to accept some of the core tenets of my argument without clear reasons to do so. That implies distrust. If I have given you reason to distrust me, then your distrust is justified, and that’s my fault. If you distrust me because I hold a position contrary to yours, and you feel that recognising that I have a point even if you do not subscribe to it is tantamount to agreeing with me, then your mistrust is unwarranted and your attitude is bigotry. If I have given you reason to distrust me, then I apologise.

            To address your point, though, civil rights is a purely moral call. Human rights in general are defined by a specific morality. That is the reason that countries like China have issues that our shared morality requires we call human rights abuses. The dominant morality in China (as defined by their beliefs and philosophies) does not classify a lot of what they do as immoral.

            Now, your morality and mine overlap and agree in calling gay rights a morality issue, and we are both supporters of gay rights. Where we differ, though, is that I do not see marriage (same sex or heterosexual) as a civil right per se. I see the protections marriage confers as being civil rights – (a good list of which can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rights_and_responsibilities_of_marriages_in_the_United_States).

            In short, we may end up agreeing on more than we disagree on. And it’s silly to define our interactions based on our differences rather than our similarities.

          • BarbaraR

            Sorry – it’s 1:30 AM here, I’m seriously dehydrated and tired – *Must*go*to*bed*

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I would have voted for Huntsman in a minute if he’d stayed in the race, and I’m an oddity, a live long southerner who’s left handedness is only exceeded by her left leaning politics. I don’t care if a person in office or a position of leadership hold’s a particular relgious affiliation, in fact that is none of my business and really prefer not to know. In fact I make this policy, a political candidate in matters of faith, will not be getting my vote. I don’t want to know your religious status, I just want to know you can do the damn job.
            The deprivation of other’s rights is at issue here with the Mormon denomination and several others here in the US. Their foray into politics and the public sector with the purpose of hindering the abilities of people, because of religious ideals is an infringement.
            If a group wants to ban the use of contraceptives, or deny LGBT participation or marriage, or to decry abortion, or divorce within their ranks, because of a religious ideal, they have the right to do that as it remains an internal/religious matter for that group. Attempting to make that a policy for everyone, in the form of legistation, regardless of religious connection crosses the line.

            That is where we have issues with.

          • Jason D

            What should the church do if there is an issue that stands to have great impact on their members? Do they act in the interest of their members, or do they fold?

            (This question is based on the fact that federal participiation for many LDS initiatives will end if gay marriage is a federal law in the US)

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            LDS initiatives will not end if gay marriage is a federal law. That is what we’ve been saying all along. Gay marriage does not impact a church directly. No one is going to demand that churches comply with such a civil manner, No church is going to be forced to marry gay couple, allow them participation in church life.

          • Jason D

            They will not end, but their access to federal programs ends. Please research it. Organisations that discriminate against federal law are not allowed to participate in federal programs.

            No on will demand that the church complies with anything. But the church will no longer qualify for participation in federal programs that make non-discrimination a requirement.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Research what? What evidence do you have to such a claim? For the record, gay marriage is a state matter, NOT a federal one, AND its solely a civil matter, NOT a religious one. That is unlikely to change. Marriage is not a federal law. It only shows up in matters of citizenship, identity, tax and inheritence. Even then there are exemptions, such as married filing seperate, married but seperated pending divorce, etc.
            There isn’t any proof to this that you insist on.

          • Andy

            “While you may not agree with their actions (and that’s OK), their actions are informed, and not based on unjustified fears or hatred.”

            I contend that they are, but I still respect the right of you and the LDS church to hold those beliefs.

            “You can disagree with them, but you cannot in fairness call them bigots.”

            I most certainly can.

          • Jason D

            To fairly call them bigots would be to claim that there actions were motivated by fear, hatred or mistrust.

            Do you believe that their actions were motivated by fear, hatred or mistrust?

          • Andy

            You seem to be reading out of a dictionary prescriptively for your definition of the word bigot. Did you know that different dictionaries have different definitions for words? Dictionaries are better when they’re descriptive, not prescriptive.

            No matter, I’ll play your game. Consider this definition of the word “bigot” : a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.

            One need not have a motivation that falls into one of a few categories in order to be a bigot. But I will further indulge you now, and I’ll say that I think some Christians, including some LDS, are indeed bigoted towards gays because of fear, hatred, or mistrust.

          • Jason D

            I chose the ‘fear, hatred, mistrust’ because it is more easily quantifiable, but really any generally accepted definition works. Which definition would you prefer? I’ll accept any well known dictionary.

            The LDS church has come out in support of gay rights in general (public opposition to gay bashing, bullying and calling for love and understanding, supporting laws giving gays equal access to jobs and residence), but opposes it in a single area – gay marriage.

            By your definition they are most certainly not utterly intolerant – their public actions show tolerance (and even support).

            I do agree with you that there are some members who are bigots. I can come up with words a lot stronger than bigot to describe some of the members. And words a lost stronger than saint to describe others.

            BUT.

            This article is about “every christian against gay marriage” being a bigot. My specific contribution was about the church as an organisation.

          • Andy

            I gave you a definition from one of the most well-known dictionaries.

            And while I’m of course happy to see that the LDS — like all decent people — opposes mistreatment and discrimination in general, I contend that there is still more it can do if it opposes gay marriage.

            One little thing I’m curious about, though: can you tell me if the LDS church opposes gay marriage only within the context of their faith, or at all? Do they support it legally but reserve the right to not allow it in the church?

          • Jason D

            I prefer Oxford or Websters. And anything that has similar definitions.

            As to the LDS stance on gay marriage – we support the right to free agency and free choice without supporting any specific rights that we have moral objections to.

            We believe that this free agency was a divine gift (and our primary purpose on earth), and should be respected even when used in ways we disagree with.

          • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James Jarvis

            I’m a huge fan of the LDS Relief Society even though I disagree with many of your churches doctrines. The solution to the problem of government bureaucracy is to amend any laws that would prevent the LDS Relief Society from acting as first responders. As long as there are no First Amendment issues involved and this would seems to be the case, that would be the best solution.

          • Jason D

            I actually responded to a similar question below. Look for it, but the gist is:

            “I don’t know that the church isn’t addressing this with the US government. Given the risk it poses I’d be surprised if they aren’t. But I don’t know one way or the other.”

          • Jason D

            Sorry if you got this, but I’d like to be sure. There are no laws that would prevent the Relief Society from acting as a first responder. The laws prevent organisations from participating in federal programs if they are discriminating as defined by federal law, as the church would if gay marriage were a federal law.

            When the Relief Society enters a disaster area as a first responder they are sponsored by the US government – they enter as a quasi official arm of the government. This relationship would not be possible if the church was discriminating against federal law.

            There are also many other initiatives that would be affected, but these benefit mostly members.

            One that springs to mind is the LDS Family Services program, especially the adoption part of that program. Currently children from members are placed in any home with any religious affiliation or beliefs that are similar to LDS beliefs. A core part of this that the parents should be married, with marriage defined as between a man and a woman. An inability to make use of federal resources (databases, governmental organisations, etc…) means that members using LDS Family Services would have more difficulty in both placing a child for adoption, as well as adopting a child.

            Once again, there are many ways in which the church would be negatively affected.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Bullshit. There are hundreds of faith based adoption agencies that have similar policies. They operate in states that currently allow gay marriage, and gay adoptions, and no one is telling these organization that they must change their criteria for eligible parents.

            I don’t understand a relief organization operating as an arm of the US government. I know of two people who went to assist followng the tsunami just off the shore of India and Sri Lanka. They went as private citizens, assisted by the Southern Baptist relief organization who helped arrange transportation and accomadations. These two men also had to ensure their visas were intact, and to comply with local and international laws, just like the thousands of other workers who went to assist in that awful tragedy.

            The only imput the Feds have is to ensure that they can legally leave and enter the country, and that they will not be taking or bringing back anything that would be considered dangerous to either end of the journey, such as a disease. They even allow people to go to nations where its clearly not safe, such as Nigeria or North Korea, having the stiuplation of “Dude, you are pretty much on your own there, not much we can do to help in case things get dicey for you.”

            I don’t know where you are getting your information, but its off, way off. Please tell me its not from someone like Glenn Beck, who just loves to spout off such nonesense.

          • Jason D

            OK, a number of points.

            1. State Vs. Federal law

            There is a difference between state and federal law. Federal law generally overrules state law. I have made it clear that I am referring only to federal law here.

            2. Adoption

            No-one will tell LDS family services that they have to place children with families they do not want to. But if LDS Family Services has placement criteria that discriminate against gay couples, and gay marriage is a federal law, then, while they can still do as they wish, they can not participate in federal adoption programs (actually, they cannot participate in any federal programs period.) This means that they have to make use of private social workers, communication networks, etc.

            3. Disaster Response

            Your friends were not first responders. Disaster first responders respond before the police and army have cleared the area. First responders have to deal with no communications (they bring their own radios and portable cell towers), looters (they have to have their own armed security), the possibility of additional folow-on disasters (they must be able to look after themselves), no transport (they have to have their own transportation infrastructure, including transport for the team and all resources into and out of the area – there are nop commercial services allowed in during this time. This is to prevent looting, human trafficking, and badly organised grtoups adding to the problems). First responders are the people who provid healthcare, food and shelter to the victims in the gap between the disaster and the area being declared safe for relief organisations. This takes approximately 4 days, but of course differs depending on the disaster and the location of the disaster.

            4. Fed involvement

            The church (and other first responders) makes extensive use of the US army for communication, transportation and security. The US government also ‘sponsors’ the relief team – basically vouching for their abilities and conduct to the nation who has experienced the disaster.

            5. My political affiliation

            I think most republicans are (generally) idiots. I think that most democrats are (generally) not much better. I’m only vaguely aware of who Glenn Beck is, but I can asure yu that he doesn’t provide me with information.

          • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James Jarvis

            I going to try and clarify my position. The LDS Relief Society should be granted first responder status because it is providing disaster relief regardless of the beliefs of the people it is aiding. Since the designation neither privileges the Mormon church or prevents it from the free exercise of its religion. In fact I would go so far as to argue that deigning the LDS Relief Society would violate the First Amendment if the sole reason was the religious beliefs of the Mormon church. On the other hand if LDS Family Services were to discriminate against any persons in ways that are contrary to Federal Law then Establishment Clause would forbid the Federal government from providing government resources. That is to say I would be privileging a religion based solely on religious beliefs.

          • Bones

            So what about countries who have legalised same sex marriage?

            eg (Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom, Uruguay)

            What do you say to them?

            Sorry we can’t follow your laws because someone else might be offended?

            Btw it hasn’t stopped progressive organisations like the Red Cross, UNICEF or Doctors Without Borders from reaching all around the world.

          • Jason D

            Did you read the part where I said I was from South Africa and had no problem with Same Sex marriage here? Did you also read the part where I pointed out a problem with federal laws and governmental cooperation? That part would explain why this is an issue i the US.

            Honestly, if you aren’t going to respond to what I’ve said, what is the point of you responding at all?

          • Bones

            Oh, it’s about money.

            What a surprise!

          • Jason D

            Where did you get the idea that ot’s about money? I quote myself here:

            “In this instance, sponsored doesn’t mean they get money from the federal government, it means that they operate under the auspices of the federal government in some instances and situations.”

            Please actually read what I said and don’t respond to your prejudices.

          • Bones

            Your argument doesn’t stack up.

            None of what you write has anything to do with same sex marriage.

            It would have had no effect at all on World Vision USA (beyond the massive scare campaign)

          • Jason D

            So you’ve researched this and you are positive that there is no substance to my argument?

            Or are you operating on fear and mistrust based on your prejudices?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            There is no substance to your argument. Legally recognized charities exist freely in the US, everything from soup kitchens to groups actively seeking to eradicate anything not fitting in the group’s views on “traditional values” to political action committees to agencies seeking to protect tree frogs. Many of these agencies are faith based are in no danger of losing freedom to operate, as long as they continue to operate within the realm of federal, state or local laws, with the exemptions many already enjoy.

          • Jason D

            Please do not cheery pick from my responses. I never said that charity work would stop. I specifically and in detail said that international disaster first responder work would stop. I can’t remember offhand, but not all that many NGOs worldwide that are disaster first responders (organisations that can respond to disasters immediately without waiting for the area to be secured and managed).

            Not even the Red Cross is a disaster first responder (although their local country subsidiaries occassionally operate as such in their own country).

            Additionally, I have also mentioned other services that benefit members that would also be degraded, mostly relating to LDS family services. (Please note I said degraded, not stopped).

          • AtalantaBethulia

            They won’t be awarded federal NGO contracts and they won’t be certified as federally recognized and endorsed non-governmental organizations.

            They are still free to do good around the world. Not having the certification makes it harder.

            I believe I have stated this accurately to the best of my ability and current knowledge.

            But, it is a false assumption that people will go without because YOUR aid organization isn’t certified as a first responder. It simply means that those contracts and certifications will go to other aid groups who comply with the federal non-discrimination policy.

          • WilmRoget

            “they have to either change their beliefs and doctrine OR stop participating in federally sponsored programs.”

            Stop taking federal money, you mean. The LDS could do the same basic work on its own, without federal funding, regardless of its position on same-sex marriage.

            But you seek to deprive millions of people of the ability to protect their families, so you church can use tax money, including our tax money, instead of its own money, to do ‘good works’ and take credit for doing ‘good works’.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            It doesn’t. Its a house of cards, being used by church leadership, similar to other denominational hierchies to instill fear and distrust on this issue, stating that allowing greater freedoms such as gay marriage will destroy the church…Balderdash.

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          There is nothing in any law in the US that will hinder any denomination or religious order from doing its missionary, or inner denominational work, because of marriage equality. All such equality means, is that a larger pool of people are allowed to marry and to have full legal status and recognition.

          This has nothing to do with religion. If your denomination wants to not recognize gay marriage or allow gay Mormons full inclusion, that is your right, no one is stopping you, or preventing you from believing whatever you want.

          But attempting to allow Mormons or non-Mormons that right, based on religious belief is where the problem lies. Your religious rights should not mandate the rights of anyone, but you.

          • Jason D

            @Allegro63: Please read my post where I highlight the problem. Hint: It’s a governmental bureaucratic one. You can scroll up a bit to see it.

            You’ve jumped into this discussion half way though, without reading the entire discussion, which means you are only partially informed as to the problem I’ve highlighted.

            Please go read what I said. I’ll address any new concerns you have then.

            EDIT: I got confused, it’s actually down a bit.

            EDIT2: Allegro63, my response was a reply to you, did you not see it? Please go read it.

        • Bones

          How’s your church going in places where SSM is legalised like the UK.

          It’s a fictitious scare campaign.

          Btw World Vision (Australia) employs people regardless of sexual orientation and they have no problems fulfilling their missions.

          • Jason D

            @Bones: Please read my post where I highlight the problem. Hint: It’s a governmental bureaucratic one. Just scroll up a bit from here.

          • Bones

            No, your post said:

            “would severely limit our ability to be involved with social, charitable and relief efforts around the world, 99% of the time in ways that would have nothing to do with our beliefs beyond a desire to help others,”

            That’s not true as evidenced by multiple humanitarian organisations who embrace marriage equality.

          • Andy

            Depends on which way your comment feed is sorted. Might be more helpful to say “previously” or “in response to [something or someone]“

        • WilmRoget

          So you are selfish, and would deny a basic human right to millions of people, harming them overtly, because your denomination choose to discriminate. We are to suffer so your wants won’t be impinged upon.

          “Would you call me a bigot?”

          Yes. You impose restrictions on GLBTQ people that you do not impose on yourself.

          “The LDS church got a lot of negative publicity for prop 8. ”

          The LDS Church spent millions of dollars to slander real human beings in public.

          ” And yet there is no fear, distrust or hatred – by definition our actions are not bigoted ”

          Only by a false definition.

          • Jason D

            I was not aware that the church spent money slandering people – please provide me with an example.

            On the other hand, a group claiming to be representative of the LGBT community (but probably acting on their own) published the names, companies and telephone numbers of those who donated money, and suggested that these people be harassed personally, and that their companies be harassed and boycotted. This resulted in death threats and other forms of assault and attack. All because people used their money to act on their conscience. Perhaps next time they will not be so stupid and will act on their fear instead, that’s sure to make for a better world.

          • BarbaraR

            Plenty of examples.

            http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2014/04/04/brendan_eich_supported_prop_8_which_was_worse_than_you_remember.html

            This resulted in death threats and other forms of assault and attack.

            Which is what gay people live in fear of every day. Not to justify the harassment, but it is difficult to feel sorry for people who donated time and money to wage a campaign against a specific group of people who only want equal rights.

            When a campaign is waged against a group of people getting equal rights, did you really think that after the election, everyone would just say, “Hey, no hard feelings! You’re nice enough – but you don’t deserve the same rights as I do. See you at work”?

          • Jason D

            My statement was that it is wrong to blanket label people who are different to you, or who believe differently to you. The problem with blanket labels is that people are labeled based on a fear of what they may represent, not based on who they are.

            The problem with that is that it fosters hate and mistrust. Whether you agree with me or not, I’m generally a good person. But you will not take the time and energy to figure that out because of a label that has been applied to me. It does not matter what I say or do, the label will cloud how you choose to see and interpret my opinions, views and arguments. You cannot see me because of the blanket that clouds your vision.

            You probably disagree with what I’ve said. Now go back and read it as if it was spoken by someone from a group you support. Would you still disagree if it was said by Nelson Mandela? (It holds true for him, by the way – he expressed similar opinions about labeling people) What if it were a statement by Alan Turing? What if it were a statement by Mahatma Gandhi? Would you still disagree with the statement if it had come from someone else?

          • Bones

            You ain’t Nelson Mandela.

            Long time, no see.

            What would you label someone who believed that blacks or Jews shouldn’t have the same rights as everyone else?

            Would you fight for them if it meant losing your funding?

            Come to think of it many churches have sold out their integrity so they can keep getting the state’s coffers.

        • http://mikemoorehome.com/ mike moore

          REALLY? Guess what, dude?

          I HAVE THE SAME EXACT PROBLEM!!

          If I choose to demonize and discriminate against Mormons it would exclude me from federal participation in ways that would severely limit my ability to be involved with social, charitable and relief efforts around the world, 99% of the time in ways that would have nothing to do with my feelings in regards to you and the LDS.

          Don’t misunderstand, it’s not that I have anything against Mormons … I even have Mormon friends. Not many, mind you, as I don’t make friends based on religion, but rather, based on shared interests … like not being dumb-ass bigots.

          So maybe we should simply stay away from the term “bigot” and just say you’re an [redacted]. How’s that?

          You’re the [redacted] who, evidently, believes that legislating marriage and adoption bans here in the U.S., and forcing others’ to live by your own personal code of faith and values, is an OK thing to do.

          You’re the [redacted] whose S.A. churches send a Big Chunk of money back to Salt Lake City HQ, USA. And guess what SLC does? They spend tens of millions of dollars here in the USA to do UNTOLD HARM to the LGBT community in the USA. Why? Because institutionally, LDS believes that its values are not only superior to my community’s, but superior to such an extent that its beliefs should codified into law, negating our civil rights, and FORCING people like ME to live OUR LIVES according to YOUR religious beliefs.

          You’re the [redacted] who thinks you should be patted on the back and thanked for NOT evicting and firing people for reasons that have nothing to do with their being good or bad tenants or employees, respectively. Nice guy.

          You’re the [redacted] who thinks I should give you a big ole hug for having the bravery and humanity (that’s sarcasm, btw) to stand up and say, “uh, excuse me, but it’s not OK to whip, beat, stone, hang, behead, or imprison-hard-labor-for-life, a teenager or adult, just because of whom they love.” You’re a real champ.

          You’re the [redacted] who yells “foul” when guys like me push back and say, “I am not to going to allow you to tell me how to live my life, legislatively or otherwise.”

          And how dare you use the term “BASH.”

          Your church causes children and adults to be denied legally-recognized families. Denies kids loving homes. Denies kids and partners healthcare. Prevents couples from having hospital visitation rights. You take their end-of-life decision-making out of their own hands. Your laws force people — while they are still in grief from the death of a partner — out of their own homes, taking away or freezing their savings/assets, because you denied them the right to inherit their spouse’s property and social security income.

          What I wrote above? That’s how you BASH a person or family, and the LDS is fucking great at it.

          Surprise … reading your words makes me really angry at you and the institution of LDS.

          The people who I think of as real Mormons … the awesome Mormons whom I’ve known and/or crossed paths with throughout my life … are the opposite of you and the old boys in SLC.

          My Mormon friends believe in loving families, whatever the form that family that takes. They would never leave a kid in the child services system if a loving home with same sex parents was ready to embrace and adopt that kid. My Mormon friends are really Good People. Hell or high-water, they’ll be there for you. Is your boyfriend dying of AIDS? They don’t just pop in with delicious food …. no, they stay and help with the dirty work, they reassure you he’ll be safe … just so you could go outside … and just breath for an hour or so.

          They didn’t donate to Prop 8; they didn’t put up lawn signs; they don’t try to destroy love … they just LOVE.
          __________________

          And why do bigots always say, “It’s possible to disagree without being bigoted?”

          You and your church is doing real, measurable, harm to real people. This is not an academic conversation where we can shake hands and agree to disagree, and it’s time you figured that out.

          Excuse me, now. I have to go before my head explodes.

          • Jason D

            Perhaps reread what I have said without the anger and pre-judgement and you will see a different message than what you posted as if it described me. Or not – your choice.

            I don’t think anything I say makes you angry – I think you’re angry with the world and take it out on others. Until you learn to stop being angry with yourself and the world in general you will never stop judging others unfairly (and generally getting it all wrong).

          • BarbaraR

            I have removed a few words from the above post. However, Mike is correct: bigot accurately describes someone who wants to deny civil rights to another party that he himself enjoys without a second thought because his church might lose funding.

          • Jason D

            No, a bigot is someone who discriminates because of unfounded fear, unfounded mistrust, or hatred. That’s how the dictionary defines bigotry. If you are going to use your own definition for bigot then you may as well use the word cactus or hypochondriac.

            Calling someone a bigot because it sounds nice and hurtful rather than because they fit the actual meaning of the word is lazy and leads to miscommunication.

          • BarbaraR

            Have it your way. Merriam-Webster:

            A person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.

            I call discriminating against gays a form of intolerance. I am sure you disagree because you believe “losing the ability to help others” is a higher calling than ending discrimination.

            “I oppose gay marriage in the US because it would exclude my church (I’m LDS) from federal participation in ways that would severely limit our ability to be involved with social, charitable and relief efforts around the world, 99% of the time in ways that would have nothing to do with our beliefs beyond a desire to help others,

            So it’s fine to discriminate against gays in the US, then. “Social, charitable and relief efforts around the world” end when it comes to gay people here.

          • Jason D

            I believe that discrimination is an unfair word to use in this context. I believe that things are not as black and white as you would portray them. I would happily give up heterosexual marriage as legally recognised if some of the more important rights could be provided by a similar social contract (and most can without any laws being changed), and leave marriage as a term with no legal status on it’s own practiced by whomever wanted it.

            Do you believe that same sex marriage (the title – and only the title – marriage, not the rights that are associated with it. The LDS church has fought for LGBT rights independently of marriage) for a few million people in the US is equivalent to food, medicine and shelter for thousands after a disaster? Is it equivalent to access to prosthetic limbs for civilians, fridges for medicine, wheelchairs, communication with family, education on building wells for clean water, and every other lost opportunity?

          • BarbaraR

            Wrap it in a prettier package all you want. It is still discrimination.

            Comparing easily-granted civil liberties to gay rights is meaningless as it is not at all the same thing. It’s as absurd as saying “blacks and whites can’t get married or there will be sick children around the world.” It has nothing to do with disaster relief.

          • Jason D

            If the political consequences from same sex marriage incidentally denies a relief organisation access to resources needed to do their job then it isn’t an unrealistic concern, it’s a real concern. You may disagree with how big a concern, it is, but it’s neither unreasonable or unjustified.

            Back on message, though, blanket calling any group bigots is in itself bigotry. My original point was that you cannot call every christian who opposes gay marriage a bigot.

          • BarbaraR

            Yes, I can and will do so.

          • Jason D

            So you call people you have not met, do not know, and have no idea what their motivation is a bigot simply because you disagree with their opinion? An opinion you have not offered them an opportunity to explain or defend? An opinion you may not even know?

            That fits many of the definitions of bigotry, including this one that you posted:

            A person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.

          • BarbaraR

            Tolerance of intolerance renders tolerance meaningless.

            You aren’t the first person to come here and yell, “You’re all bigots!”: Heard it before.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I’ve called people bigots to their face, based on what they have said directly to me about a person because of their race, religion or orientation. I am unapologetic about that. It makes me sad and angry to see people looked at as less than…less than valuable, less than worthy, less than deserving of the same freedoms I have, only because they are a tad different, in beliefs, skin color, nationality, who they prefer romantically, political leanings, religion.

            I see it every day, and I believe it is wrong. I see the pain that it causes, and the harm it does to our society, our families and our nations. I’ve been on the recieving end of such pain, and I sadly admit to being a willing participant in bigotry before, or at least staying silent in matters where I should have said “wait a minute here, These are human beings, who should matter, who are our neighbors.”

            Where have I personally seen the largest examples of overt and covert bigotry? Christians.

          • Jason D

            It’s not about having it my way. It’s the worldwide standard way of communicating. You are not doing me any favours by using a standard definition of a word.

          • BarbaraR

            I sometimes wish someone would create a document, perhaps a book, that would give the definition of words, and then we could all agree to use the words in the same way to avoid confusion and misunderstandings.

            You are not doing me any favours by using a standard definition of a word.

            Choose one. Don’t try to gaslight me.

          • Jason D

            It’s considered a common courtesy to indicate when you combine comments from two separate posts into one.

            Just imagine how words, ideas and feelings can be twisted if people were to start taking another person’s words and rearranging them with no indication what had been done.

            And I don’t understand what you mean by gaslighting you. Do you mean trying to upset you or get you fired up?

          • BarbaraR

            Really? That’s common courtesy? That’s a brand new one to me. Perhaps manufactured specially for this.

            You seem awfully concerned about people twisting your words around. Since they’re typed out here for the world to see and they are being quoted directly, I can’t see any twisting going on.

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

          • Jason D

            You didn’t know that it was a common courtesy to, when quoting a person from different places, indicate that the quotes came from different places?

            OK, you said:

            Even as I sit here typing, I can hear vague sounds that suggest a small creature is wending his way through the house. I really don’t want to go investigate

            I could tell you their super-secret identities but then I’d have to kill you. Neither of us really wants that, do we?

            That’s how we operate here. There are plenty of places on the internet where such things do not apply and if people can’t abide by the forum standards, they are more than welcome to leave and go elsewhere.

            That is why it’s considered courteous to indicate when you are quoting from different comments.

          • BarbaraR

            Jason, I don’t say this very often, but I think it’s appropriate here:
            Grow the fuck up.

          • Jason D

            [Asshattery deleted]

          • Bones

            Who’s winning?

            I’m going with the mods on this one.

            Hopefully by the time I wake up he still isn’t bitching about who touched his post.

            Must’ve been a ripper of a post, up there with Nelson Mandela.

          • BarbaraR

            He’s done here. He can go elsewhere and complain that his words are being twisted around and that we’re bigots.

          • Bones

            Who’s the bigot?

            Honestly he needs this as a disclaimer:

            ” and if anyone takes away from the words of my post, God will take away their part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in my post”.

            Worked for the other dude.

          • BarbaraR

            Because it’s “unfair” to call it discrimination. *SMH^

          • Jeff Preuss

            I touched his post; it was lumpy.

          • BarbaraR

            Great. Now all I can think of is “Lumpy Gravy.”

          • Jeff Preuss

            And now I’m listening to that.

          • Jeff Preuss

            And, I’m actually kind of enjoying this, in a perverse way. No, I’m not taking the pot – I’ve never done that. I guess I’m naturally baked or something?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            OMG! People with brains as bizarre as mine!

          • Jeff Preuss

            Yup! The number of times that I’ve been accused of being ON something (when I’ve never been on something, except when rarely prescribed, and I hate that) is really astounding. It helps me to realize…I march to the beat of a slightly different drum.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            You don’t get to dictate the rules. When a conversation covers two months worth of time, continuity is often hard to maintain.
            You feel bigotry or discrimination is innapropiate in this context, we disagree. That has been the theme of our communication with you. We’ve explained why. Yes in this forum setting, you’ll get feedback a long time afterwards. It’s the nature of the beast, however the disagreement on views and terminology remains

          • Jason D

            Both replies were from conversations earlier today. Different conversations. Quoted with no indication that they were from different conversations.

            IT’s like me quoting you as saying:

            Oh hell no.

            I met my husband on a dating site.

            That has been the theme of our communication with you. We’ve explained why. Yes in this forum setting, you’ll get feedback a long time afterwards. It’s the nature of the beast, however the disagreement on views and terminology remains

            You said all of those things. But copying and pasting without indicating that they come from different comments can twist the meaning.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Oh good lord. Seriously? That’s your ploy?
            Bottom line…the theme of the article and all our interaction here. If you seek to prevent someone from having the same freedoms you yourself take for granted, if you seek to do so on religious or social/political grounds, considering someone inferiour, or unworthy of full equality in a community, if you use the attempt of a group to obtain rights you get to enjoy every day, as an excuse to consider you or your group the subject of persecution….then that my friend is bigotry and discrimination.
            No one is asking you to agree, but that is how we see it. End of story.

          • Jason D

            My ploy? You responded to a comment where I called BarbaraR out for doing this to me (taking quotes from two different comments I made and combining them into one). I responded to you with an example of it being done to you. You then call it my ploy? How is it my ploy?

            I think you dislike me and are unwilling to consider anything I say. I think you looked at my comment without trying to get the context in which it was made and responded to your misconception and not my statement. That on it’s own makes you closed minded.

            End of story.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I don’t know you well enough to dislike you. I also have excellent reading comprehension skills. Your example of quote combination was just silly and not even related to each other, where as Barbara’s were.
            I simply disagree on your stance, something I’ve been consistent with. I disagree with my family on many things, several of whom are Mormon, others are Southern Baptist or Presbytarian. None of that disagreement causes me to dislike any of them. We simply view things from different lenses.

          • Jason D

            [Snotty personal attack comment deleted]

          • BarbaraR

            Jason D will not be back.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Good. Now I can stop letting him distract me from work.

          • BarbaraR

            So we call you on your defending your church’s organized campaign against equal rights for gays and now “I think you dislike me.”

            You refuse to stick to the subject – which is that the LDS church in the US actively wants to discriminate.

            You are more worried about people “twisting your words.” Write clearly and you will never need be concerned about that.

            To come to a forum that is pro-LGBTQ rights and try to explain how it’s nothing personal, that you actually like gay people but you just don’t want the ones in the US to have equal rights…. and then complain that we don’t understand you…. what was it you wanted here?

          • Jason D

            [Whiny off-topic comment deleted because life's too short]

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            We simply disagree with your position, which we’ve said repeatedly.
            Trust me, I know what it is like to be on the side of everyone disagreeing with me. Try being a liberal, democrate universalist in the upstate of South Carolina. Not even my own family agrees with me in matters of faith, society, or politics. But I don’t go about trying to force my way of thinking upon them, insisting I’m right, trying to trip up others, or dismissing their views as invalid. That would be disrespecting them and the reasons why they feel the way that they do. On the other side, they know how I feel, and care enough about me to not force, coerce or belittle me into their way of thinking.

          • Jason D

            OK, how am I trying to gaslight you? The bulk of that quote wasn’t even in response to you unless you have two accounts you post from…

          • Jason D

            You are also changing what I say to support your distrust of me. This isn’t about losing funding (a point I’ve made abundantly clear) – I do not care about the money and doubt that there is even any real money involved, it’s about losing the ability to help others (primarily those not of our faith – those of our faith are taken care of using different mechanisms) to the best of our ability.

            More importantly, my response was that blanket labeling people was wrong. My story was an example, not the point.

          • Bones

            So you’ve walked away from your false argument.

            How does same sex marriage impact upon you?

            What effect does it have on you do want to deny it to others?

          • http://mikemoorehome.com/ mike moore

            Nice try with the psycho-babble. Problem for you is, no matter how right you might be, you’re wrong about the most important thing:

            I’ve judged you fairly.

            I stand by every word I wrote. Your writing makes me angry. You make me angry. Your church makes me angry. Don’t try to bounce it back.

            You write as if people like you and your church haven’t done, and are not continuing to do, REAL MEASURABLE HARM to me and my community.

            You write as if your desire and ability to do good deeds in the world somehow makes it OK to fuck the LGBT community out of its civil rights and force them to live as second class citizens.

            A decent person could never take the positions you are taking without being entirely ignorant of the devastating damage you’re doing to real people … people who’ve done nothing in their lives to harm you.

            But I think you’re too smart to be that ignorant, which only leaves option 2: you’re a big-time bigot with a very smooth style.

            You – you fucking idiot – breezily write (and rhetorically demand) as if this should be treated as an academic debate, about which we can agree to disagree, and then all smile, and grab a Starbucks together, and hug it out …

            Of course, that works great for you, as you already live in a country where same sex marriage is legal, and you then get to go home and marry who you chose, be covered by your spouse’s health care, know your children are protected within a legally recognized family unit, adopt kids, visit your sick spouse in the hospital, work with your spouse on end-of-life decisions and know they will be honored, have inheritance rights, and not have to jump through fucking hoops to get a fucking family discount on your fucking car insurance policy.

            I, on the other hand, walk away from the “let’s agree to disagree conversation” with …. nothing. Still a second class citizen.

            Don’t pretend for a second that it isn’t your specific letter and comments that triggered this angry rant, and you, Jason D, deserve the full brunt of it.

            But, I’ll not only concede, I will embrace this much: my anger is definitely not limited to you and the LDS institution; it encompasses every ignorant idiotic bigoted person or religion I run across.
            ______________________

            BarbaraR: please do not redact words from my comments. Either delete my comments altogether or leave them as written. This used to be a place where, at least in the past, an idiot could be called out as such. If things got out of hand, John would reel us in, but without censoring our words.

            If that is no longer the case, I’d just as soon not bother to comment.

            John, if I’m out-of-line, we’re good enough friends that I can handle the slap-down.

          • BarbaraR

            Mike: See this part of the “Be Nice” statement.

            Mainly, we don’t like anyone being insulting to anyone else. So sometimes we edit people’s comments accordingly. If we feel, for instance, that half a comment left by someone is a reasonable thing to say, but that the other half of that same comment is too snarky or rude, we’ll delete the part of the comment that’s snarky or rude, and leave the rest.

            I did redact the word “idiot” in order to adhere to this.. I could have deleted the entire comment but I felt it was otherwise excellent.

    • WilmRoget

      “Blanket labeling everyone who opposes gay marriage a bigot is in itself a form of bigotry.”

      No. That would mean that blanket labeling every huge creature with a long trunk, big floppy ears, grey skin and very little hair an elephant is a form of bigotry.

      Correctly identifying something with the accurate descriptor is not bigotry.

      • Jason D

        I sometimes wish someone would create a document, perhaps a book, that would give the definition of words, and then we could all agree to use the words in the same way to avoid confusion and misunderstandings.

        If that were to happen, we could agree that the word bigot applies only to people who view other groups with fear, distrust, prejudice or hatred solely on the basis of ethnicity, race, religion, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or other group characteristics.

        In that ideal world, we could agree that if a person’s actions are not motivated by fear, hatred, distrust or prejudice based on nothing more than group affiliation, then they are not a bigot. Oh, sure, they could still be wrong, stupid, misinformed, any number of things. Just not a bigot.

        If only someone would create this project to standardise the use and definitions of words…

        • Philmonomer

          Do you think a person who is against inter-racial marriage (because that person believes God does not want the races to mix) is a bigot?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I would say yes. It is using God as the scapegoat for the bigotry. I grew up in a church that taught that horrible thing. I had a friend who was bi-racial in that church, She was told by the pasturds (no I didn’t misspell) that because she wasn’t fully white, she couldn’t date white guys only ones of the other half of her racial make-up. I advised her to date whomever she wanted.

          • BarbaraR

            Jason won’t be answering you here, I’m afraid.

  • http://mikemoorehome.com/ mike moore

    To BabaraR, other moderators, and fellow commenters.

    In recent post, I repeatedly called commenter “JasonD” an “idiot.” Merriam-Webster defines an idiot as a “a foolish or stupid person.” From the posts I’ve read, many, if not the majority of you, would agree with me, based on this definition.

    I used “idiot” intentionally, with purpose, meaning it to be cutting and harsh, as I feel JasonD is an idiotic bigot who may often get away with being a idiotic bigot by wrapping his idiotic bigotry in seemingly sincere and intellectualized language, all the while reminding us that his goals are simple and noble and strictly humanitarian, and therefore he couldn’t possibly be a bigoted idiot.

    You guys saw through him, thank you very much, but I still wanted my own shot … to verbally slap the bigoted idiot upside his bigoted idiotic noggin. (If for no reason other than for my own catharsis after reading his annoying words.)

    But the word “idiot” was redacted from my comment, and when I asked about it, this was the response.

    Mike: See this part of the “Be Nice” statement.

    Mainly, we don’t like anyone being insulting to anyone else. So sometimes we edit people’s comments accordingly. If we feel, for instance, that half a comment left by someone is a reasonable thing to say, but that the other half of that same comment is too snarky or rude, we’ll delete the part of the comment that’s snarky or rude, and leave the rest.

    I did redact the word “idiot” in order to adhere to this.. I could have deleted the entire comment but I felt it was otherwise excellent.
    _______________________________________________

    Hmmmmm …. “otherwise excellent”? Uh, thanks, I guess?

    Gang … what I have always loved about John’s blog is he does not suffer fools gladly. He calls them out. He is snarky. He can be rude. One of the reasons God and Jesus and Xenu and I love John so damn much is John exhibits, on special occasions, the immaturity and the delight of a 13yo boy upon hearing a Really Really Good Fart Joke. I have seen John ruthlessly insult people and governments and religions and small fluffy kittens. Just last week, he insulted me on FB (and I loved it.)

    My point … I don’t think we should always “Be Nice.”

    Sometimes, guys like JasonD deserve to be insulted and snarked-at and rudely disrespected. Sometimes, instead of just going around and around and around with idiots, we just need to say, “fuck it,” and slap ‘em upside their head.

    Do I want to be part of school-yard name-calling sessions on a regular basis? No, not really (not usually.) But I’d still prefer to sometimes walk away with skinned knees or bruised knuckles, rather than only operate in moderated “Be Nice” zone.

    And I just needed to say that out loud. Hope it made some sense, as I really have to WORK, ugh.

    (And Barbara, please do not take this too personally … I love your comments, and I lovelove that it was the word “idiot” that bothered you, rather than the word “fucking.” You rock there.)

    (oh, and John, if you disagree with me, please keep your big trap shut.)

    • BarbaraR

      Since last night I have been called Randian, time-out-now-you’re-fucking-crazy, sociopathic teledildonic, and willfully ignorant, among other things.

      You’ll have to do a lot more than that to make it personal.

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

        Randian and teledilconic? Wow, creative trolls for a change.

        • BarbaraR

          Creative but… still a troll.

      • http://mikemoorehome.com/ mike moore

        be careful … that’s the equivalent of, like, a triple-dog-dare! xo

        (btw, what is “teledildonic”? oh, wait … lose the “tele” … lose the “nic” … give me time, I’ll get there on my own. Got it. OK, THAT is just plain mean, I’d never be mean like that.)

        • BarbaraR

          It’s too bad, really. I thought we were having a fair discussion about economic disparity in the UK but suddenly it all went very, very bad, for no apparent reason other (as far as I can see) that I’m American and am willfully ignorant.

          It’s certainly been an interesting 24 hours.

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          Yeah, it sort of reminds me what a 11 year old boy may come up with, thinking themselves quite clever for “sneaking” in a phallic related word in their attempt to insult. They also secretly long for a far machine for their birthdays.

        • BarbaraR

          Oh, that wasn’t half of it. I just picked out the highlights.

    • Bones

      Mike, I like your posts.

      • http://mikemoorehome.com/ mike moore

        thanks!

  • Carolyn Schofield

    I am genuinely confused. By your definition my entire church denomination is bigoted, including anyone who has blessed a gay partnership. I am bigoted for saying I am not sure about gay marriage, though I am in favour of blessings for gay couples. The majority of people I know are bigots. Pretty much all the faith teachers of the past I look up to were bigoted. The apostle Paul was probably a bigot. CS Lewis was also definitely a bigot.

    • BarbaraR

      Did you actually read the article and the link to why being gay is not a sin?

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      Well, make that both of us. I’ve read your comment several times, and I’m just not sure where you stand.

    • anakinmcfly

      “I am bigoted for saying I am not sure about gay marriage”

      The article refers to those against gay marriage, though, not those unsure about it, so technically you don’t fall under that. Meanwhile, there’s the context – the article refers to contemporary Christians operating with the knowledge and scientific evidence of the day.

      Whereas C.S. Lewis for instance lived during a time when it was considered common knowledge that homosexuality was a mental illness, and so he approached the topic from that angle (which even then was surprisingly compassionate). Based on what I know of his writings and approach to theological and moral dilemmas, I think there’s perhaps a 60% chance that if he were around today, he would be on the side of affirmation; and 99% chance that even if he continued to consider homosexuality a sin, he would be one of those calling for a kinder, more understanding approach to LGBT individuals. I really liked how even back then he talked about it not being his place to condemn or even discuss things that he had no individual experience struggling with, because only God knew what that person was going through, which is a position practically unheard nowadays.

  • Carolyn Schofield

    I have read it. I did not say ‘I am confused’ sarcastically, I meant it honestly. I would never judge or condemn anyone for their sexual orientation, and I do not support anyone who does. It hurts to be in this position and still condemned as a bigot. I feel judged.

    • BarbaraR

      Do you support equal rights for all people regardless of their sexual orientation?

  • arkycubbies

    Had a woman proclaim that her preacher’s sermon was that the
    United States was going to be destroyed just as Sodom and Gomorrah was
    destroyed over homosexuality. I was puzzled that she claimed to be a devoted
    Bible reading Christian. I asked her why he had said that and she replied her
    preacher had said because their sin was grievous. They were homosexuals, so God
    destroyed them. I told her that according to Genesis18: 22-32 that was not true
    and your preacher did not preach the real meaning of why these two cities were
    destroyed. These two cities were corrupt, YES, but that’s not why they were
    destroyed. Abraham pleaded with God to not do so and God agreed NOT to destroy
    the two cities because of their sexual immorality (verses 26, 27, 29, 30, 31,
    &32). God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah NOT because of homosexuality, BUT
    because there were not ten righteous men in the two cities! Homosexuality was
    not the cause of destruction; it was the lack of Followers of God failing in
    the redemptive opportunities provided. Two cities and only ten righteous men
    needed to save the cities no matter how much sin there was in those cities!
    They were destroyed by God for the lack of righteousness, not because of the
    sin! We as Christians have a responsibility to be the light and when our light
    goes out, there is only darkness.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      And what was her response?

      • Andy

        I assume it sounded something like this.

    • anakinmcfly

      Yep; not to mention that homosexuality isn’t mentioned even once in the litany of sins ascribed to those two cities. If it were really the root cause of their destruction, as continues to be preached all over the place, one would think they would have given it at least a token mention. Instead we just get lots of verses like:

      “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” – Ezekiel 16:49

  • buzzdixon

    If you want to deny someone something that you enjoy because you think there’s something wrong with them, you are a bigot.

    If you enjoy the rights & privilege of marriage with a spouse you love, how dare you deny that to someone else? If you think being married to a person of the same gender is a sin, don’t marry a person of your own gender. Past that, ain’t none of your blessed business!

    80 some years ago a buncha high-minded religious moralists decided alcohol was bad and refrained from drinking it. Good for them. But then they decided they had to keep everybody else from drinking it.

    As a result, organized crime and political corruption reached new heights (or lows, depending on your POV) from which this country has yet to recover.

    We Christians have done enough damage to this society already with our nosey laws & morality. We need to shut up and listen for a couple of centuries.

  • Carolyn Schofield

    For the record, I am for equal rights for everyone, but I struggle with gay marriage. I am working through what people are saying. The article says ‘If in private you intimate to your dearest friend that you don’t think gay people should be allowed to get married, you are a bigot. ‘
    I think this organisation is doing a fantastic job opposing fundamentalism, which is a travesty of Christianity. I love the way you are working towards an inclusive and loving Christianity. God bless you.

  • Jason D

    @Allegro63 – Sylvie, please check your facebook messages ‘other’ folder. Feel free to delete this afterwards.

    • BarbaraR

      You have been blocked from here so you created another account to get around it.
      When the door is locked, you don’t break a window to get in.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X