2012, the Turning Point for Marriage Equality?

For ages now, proponents of “traditional” marriage have been arguing that any gains in marriage equality were the products of judicial or legislative “activism,” pointing to the fact that every time marriage equality has been put to a popular vote it has been voted down. The people, they said, affirm the importance of “traditional” marriage. Yesterday that changed.

Washington, Maine, and Maryland all voted to approve marriage equality while Minnesota voted down an amendment that would have banned it. This is huge. And at the same time, for the first time ever, national polls this year show that half of Americans support marriage equality.

The tide has turned. We have reached the tipping point.

I am a woman married to a man, but my gay friends remind me daily of the importance of every step toward equal rights for LGBTQ individuals.

The friend whose career path is limited by the fact that she and her partner and their infant son can only live in states that recognize same sex adoption.

The friend whose response to the results last night was “now I can get married in three more states!”

The colleague who watched the returns last night for how they would affect his job search, possibly opening up new states where he can live without being assigned second class status.

The friend in Minnesota who reminded Facebook friends that “that’s MY marriage you’re voting on.”

I realized last night that in twenty years when Sally visits her grandparents, she will get the same vibe Sean got visiting his racist grandparents at that age. The same feeling of people left behind by history, unable to keep up with the progress of equal rights for all.

2012. The tide has turned. It’s about time.

Head over to Temple of the Future to read more about the wages of prejudice and what this means for the Republican Party.

  • HannibalBarca

    Awesome news! I am not gay, but believe this is a fundamental right of all human beings! We have a long trek ahead, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

  • Attackfish

    Sorry, can’t talk right now, too busy jumping for joy!

    On one hand, I don’t think the majority should be voting on the rights of a minority. On the other hand, I love people realize that that other people deserve rights.

  • Ashley

    The victories for marriage equality was the best part of a good night for liberals.

  • Selah

    No matter how many people believe in gay marriage ( oxymoron), and if the percentage in favor continues to rise , God’s word never changes. The election proves that many people are getting sucked in to the Democratic Party’s ” Campaign for Immorality ” led by BHO ,by not following God’s ordinances of a marriage between one man and one woman.
    Libby , take a quick read of Romans Chaptter 1 :18-32 with special emphasis on verse 32 which you and all those who are helping ” turn the tide ” fit nicely here. God’s judgement has already begun on
    N.Y & Maryland for example. The judgment is set and will continue not with a flood that will destroy the entire world ( beautiful rainbow ), but destruction in particular areas. The same-sex marriage is rolling but God’s judgment will continue also.
    Jeremiah cried out to the people to turn from their sins and God is doing the same right now.
    We are pretty good at predicting the weather but are blind to see and hear that the judgment signs of God are upon us. ( Matthew 24:6-8 ) Look up to the sky because He draweth nigh !

    • Karen

      Why should Libby Anne, an atheist, care about what your Bronze Age/ Iron Age special book says?

    • http://AztecQueen2000.blogspot.com AztecQueen2000

      Interesting that the areas hardest hit by the destruction are enclaves of fundamentalist Jews–people who are as anti-gay-marriage as Selah is. So, what does that say about G-d’s wrath?

    • Attackfish

      Better get rid of your cotton-poly blends then.

    • http://dream-wind.livejournal.com Christine

      So what about floods and natural disasters in years past before same-sex marraige was ever an issue? What were we being punished for then?

      • Chervil

        That was for the Mormon polygamists perhaps. I wonder about the wildfires in Texas though, what was that about?

    • Chervil

      Well, hope you’ve tied up all your loose ends then, maybe you’ve found a place to care for your pets, packed your belongings, I mean, you people have only been expecting this for 2000 years, you must be ready by now. Guess God really had it in for southern NJ, eh?

    • Ibis3

      {Looking around for smoldering ruins and descending djinn; listening for gnashing of teeth.}

      Tonight: A few clouds. Low minus 2.
      Thursday: Sunny. High 7.
      Thursday night: Clear. Becoming partly cloudy late in the evening. Low plus 1.

      Sorry, but after over a decade of equal marriage rights here in Canada, your god has yet to present himself, and life is as good as it can be with an asshole in the PM’s seat. You are the judgemental one, even though you like to pretend it’s coming from your mythical sockpuppet.

      • Rae

        Oooh, and West Hollywood! It was in the 70′s or 80′s (F) and sunny for most of the past two weeks!

        Yep, that’s apparently how God feels about a city with a nearly 50% LGBT population.

      • Chervil

        Actually you can tell hurricane sandy isn’t the wrath of god because everyone has reacted by volunteering, donating and doing what they can to help those in need. It’s brought out the best in people, and they’ve really risen to the occasion. Except for fundies of course who can do nothing but offer up their usual spew.

    • Hilary

      Selah

      I’m from Minesota. I’m Jewish, and go to temple sometimes three times a week – choir practice, Shabbat services, Torah (Bible) study. I’m a lesbian in a 10+ year relationship with a woman who converted to Judaism. I grew up with Catholic grandparents – my mother also converted to Judaism.

      Do you know how MN defeated the Marriage Amendment? With People of faith. Religion. Minnesotans United for all Familes, the pro-gay organization here, worked hard to include churches, temples, and even mosques. This was a win for marriage equality and gay rights motivated just as much by religious values as by secular values.

      http://mnunited.org/clergy/

      Every single non-Orthodox Jewish clergy person in MN threw their weight behind it. (All 36 of them) Some churches had very big orange “Vote No – don’t limit the freedom to marry” signs. There were city blocks with four or five orange ‘vote no’ signs on them – block after block after block of them in St. Paul/Minneapolis (aka the Twin Cities)

      Two nights before the election, my mother told me that the amendment would fail. How did she know this? She talked to her boss, who as a very conservative and devout Roman Catholic, who told her he was voting against it. The archbishop here spent 0.65 million dollars defending the amendment, and every priest was given point-blank orders to preach about it and pray for traditional marriage, or else. And yet my mom’s boss told her that every week people would walk out of church fuming mad about the politics of it.

      So don’t talk about ‘Gods will’ as if it was nothing more then your own viseral disgust. Our understanding of scripture changes as we change, grows with us as we grow through life. Speaking as a religious person, it is an ongoinng revelation and relationship between us and G-d, not some static snapshot of where we were 3,000 years ago. (Sorry Atheists, I know the faith-speak doen’t work for you. I’m fine with that. I just couldn’t resist answering this troll on some of his own terms)

      But maybe you are right. Maybe this is G-d’s judgement. Maybe more and more people turning away from institutional, organized religion is G-ds slow but sure punishment for the terrible abuse of such a simple message “Do not oppress the stranger, for you know the heart of the stranger, having been yourself a stranger in the land of Egypt.”

      Or maybe we are both wrong and there is no god, nothing divine beyond human understanding. If that is the case, then when I die and the only thing left to be judged is the actions made in my life, I intend to use my religious traditions to leave a legacy of kindness, generosity, integrity and compassion. To all people of all faiths and non, all races, sexual identites, every possible lable that includes humanity. Can you do the same?

      Hilary

      • lucrezaborgia

        Amazing response!

      • machintelligence

        Well said!

      • Attackfish

        Beatiful!

      • smrnda

        Great response. If anything, the teachings of ‘do not oppress the stranger’ and ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ would seem (to me) to be firmly on the side of allowing same-sex marriage.

      • http://bigweddingsmallbudget.wordpress.com Barbra

        Your comment brought tears to my eyes. So proud of Jews in Minnesota!!!

      • Selah

        Hilary,
        I’m not really impressed by all of your ” religious ” credentials ; temple , choir , Shabbat services, Torah study. These are all fine , but the bottom line is whether you will come to know the Messiah Jeshua and have eternal life when you die. My question to you is : Who do you think Isaiah is speaking about in Chapter 53 ? Let me suggest ( 2 ) recent books by Messianic Jew ( Ron Cantor ). ” IDENTITY THEFT ” and ” LEAVE ME ALONE .I’M JEWISH “.
        I leave you with these scritures dealing with God’s judgments ( there are more ) : Jonah 1: 4; and Isaiah 26: 9. Shalom !

      • Attackfish

        Selah, we don’t believe what you believe, and trying to bully us isn’t going to make us “see the light”. Christians have been trying to force convert us Jews for two millennia, and we are not impressed with your god. As far as I’m concerned, even if I did believe in him and everything you say about him, I would be unable to worship him, and would gladly go to hell in the name of defiance of a cruel, genocidal, capricious, manipulative, totalitarian tyrant, no matter how powerful he may be.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        Rock on, girl! This is the kind of Judaism I was raised with and am still proud to profess–stand up for the vulnerable because that was and could be us. Stand for justice and equality always and speak truth to power. I’m proud to hear that progressive temples fought the good fight in Minnesota!

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        Oh and, OMG, Selah, I’m sure your words will leave Hilary completely flabbergasted, wondering at the nothing that has been her life up until the point she read them! I know that’s how I feel. See, self-righteous Christian bigots don’t EVER try to convert us Jews and this experience is just so NEW and so just…wow…I need to go re-think everything now…

      • pagansister

        Well said, Hilary, well said!

      • Mother

        I am so proud of you.
        Love,
        Mom

      • Mother

        BTW, you seem to have hit a nerve with Ms Sela. I suspect she has no idea how formidable and broad your religious and theological education is after having studied Judaism and gone to a Catholic University. Another of the mitzvot is “Do not put a stumbling block before the blind”. Using the bible to frighten people and encourage them to deny the rights of others qualifies as a creating a stumbling block. PS Sela, honey, you don’t hold a candle to my Hilary as a writer or thinker.
        Mom

    • phantomreader42

      Selah, why should anyone obey the idiotic dictates of your monstrous imaginary friend?

    • http://puddinsilovemylife.blogspot.com/ Tonya Richard

      Selah, thank you for reminding me why I no longer believe in your bronze age god. I used to go to a church that believed just like you do. So thankful that I woke up and saw what a load of crap it all was. I feel so sorry for all of the people still in that bondage, hoping you get free one day.

    • Tracey

      Actually, God’s word changes all throughout the bible. So you failed right off the bat and the rest of your screen went into the bit bucket.

    • pagansister

      Selah, God doesn’t vote in the United States–sorry. Equal rights are equal rights—and that is finally beginning to be realized in the country for same gender couples. This is as important as the Civil Rights movement ,or are you against Black people being allowed to vote, eat in any restaurant they wish, marry a person of another “color”, attend schools with children of another color etc? Allowing same gender marriage really has no effect on you at all, so why would it bother you? Not your affair.

    • http://lanasmusingcorner.wordpress.com Lana Hope

      the Bible never says a state that approves gay marriage will be destroyed. It does say we will be destroyed if we don’t give to the poor.

  • smrnda

    Seriously, if god is going to judge particular areas, he’s a pretty lousy shot. San Francisco is still standing, and it isn’t like folks in the Bible Belt don’t get hit with natural disasters all the time as well. Other nations have legalized gay marriage and have failed to collapse. I’m living in a state with marriage equality and so far, no disasters here. On the judgment signs of god, it’s a pretty inclusive list so that almost anything is a sign.

    I don’t get how anybody can say “god’s word never changes.” It seems to change all the time – apparently slavery is still okay then, right?

    All said, this is not just a triumph of empathy and compassion, but also of reason, since outside of “some holy book says no” there’s no rational reason to deny these benefits to same-sex couples. People thinking for themselves, using reason to determine if something is good or bad based on its consequences has a lot to do with this improvement. The attempts to demonize GLBT people is just failing since enough people aren’t falling for it, realizing that no, GLBT people are not a menace to society.

  • Piera

    I’m not American, but I followed the polls with interest and anticipation.
    That’s great news, I’m so happy for all the people that now can get married! I hope more states, and more countries all over the world, will follow.
    Again, my sincerest congratulations for the victory.

  • Saraquill

    Learning about the votes in favor of same-sex marriage was my favorite part of the election results.

  • Rilian

    Same-sex marriage already exists. Whether other people (govt or not) recognize it doesn’t change that fact.

  • Godlesspanther

    The xtian right is going to lose this battle. No doubt. Just like they lost the battle against inter-racial marriage in ’67, racial segregation in the ’60s, teacher-led school prayer in’63, women’s suffrage in ’20, slavery, and so on.

    Soon there will be a supreme court decision that declares same-sex marriage to be nationally recognized. And they will whine and cry and blame every single unfortunate event on it, like they do with abortion, school prayer, etc.

  • lucrezaborgia

    What the hell IS a traditional marriage? Why do so many people against marriage equality tout that as THE arbiter of arguments? Marriage has evolved ever since its inception and means vastly different things across vastly different cultures.

    • http://thewordsonwhat.wordpress.com/ Rob F

      This post from Mythago answers the question of what “traditional marriage” is.
      The disturbing thing is that I believe that enacting a situation like that invented in the post is exactly the religious wrong’s (and not necessarily the Gallagher-type opponents of same-sex marriage’s) goal.

    • machintelligence

      blockquote>What the hell IS a traditional marriage?/blockquote>
      I think it is one man and up to 700 wives and as many sex slaves (concubines) as you can buy or capture. See David and Solomon for examples. Give me that old time religion!

    • phantomreader42

      A “traditional marriage” is a contract between a man and the father of the virgin woman he wishes to purchase as a sex slave. Anyone who babbles about “traditional marriage” is probably a rapist.

  • Sirrin

    Not a USian! But so, soo happy for you all! Seriously jumping with joy ^^ though there are probably much more work to be done, and more likely than not that this victory is rather short-lived, but for now… so happy :D . It’s like when my country has its first woman President, and we’re all jumping with joy.

    • Paula G V aka Yukimi

      Me too, it makes me hyper happy ^__^b We also had a huge win for gay marriage rights the next day so double win =)

  • Hilary

    A few notes for what happened in MN –

    Two years ago Reps got the house and senate votes to put up an ammendment to the MN constitution that marriage would be only one man/one woman. Minnesotan’s United for all Families (great name!) spent 1.5 years working with various religious organizations/worship places, along with secular groups, to build a coalition to defeat the amendment. In MN, a blank spot on the ballot is counted as a no, and to pass an ammendment needs 50.1% of the total vote, not just the majority of votes cast – so this couldn’t have passed 49% vs 47%. I thought this was going to pass, maybe within 1-2% votes. No matter what support I saw in the Twin Cities, I couldn’t let myself hope too much. Final results:

    No – 51%, 1,507,915 votes
    Yes – 48% 1,402,141 votes
    Blank – 1% 32,332 votes.

    So we did not win on an electoral technicality, this ammendment was truly defeated by a popular vote. Even more amaizingly, the ID ammendment failed – that attempt at voter suppression was voted down. I can’t tell you how many yards had both lawn signs, or one sign saying vote no on both ammendments (Minnesota Nice – vote no twice!) Since photo ID requirements as a voter suppression tactic hits immigrent, low income, non-white communities harder, the fact that defeating one ammendment was so successfully linked with defeating the other will have an interesting playout in the next few years. Thar be some coalition buildin’ in them thar hills by them purty lakes.

    Also, we had a democratic govener, Mark Dayton, and now we have a democratic majority in both state house and senate. So the land of 10,000 lakes just got that much bluer. As for Michelle Bachmann – she barely won against a first time candidate who was vastly outspent, in the most concervative and gerrymandered district in the entire state. I personally think it’s delightfully sweet that she will have to walk into the house and face her fellow tea-partiers, what’s left of them (snicker) as representing the first state to defeat a marriage ammendment by popular vote. We never really were a swing state at the presidential level.

    Hilary

    • Hilary

      Oh crap, it’s amendment with one ‘m.’ Sorry – sometimes I can’t spell for shit. Well if this is the worst mistake I ever make on a blog discussion, I should be so lucky.

      I humbly ask your forgiveness for this unpardonable sin. All I can say in my defence, unworthy though I am, is that I had four hours of sleep last night watching the polls then had to work all day and frankly I’m surprised I could write a coherant sentence. But I like the people who usually post here (hi Smrnda!) and wanted to share the news.

      Hilary

      • Mother

        And your Grandmother was so happy you were there to share it with her.

      • Rosa

        Hilary that was an excellent recap and I share your joy.

        Also now my neighborhood is full of VOTE NO signs with little paper “THANK YOU” notes stuck over them. HOORAY.

    • Chervil

      Thank you, Hilary!!

  • http://jw-thoughts.blogspot.com JW

    One thing I wonder is how far does equality and diversity in the name of progress go in all areas of life? Where are the boundaries of right and wrong? Moral and immoral? America seemed to be founded on a biblical foundation and along the way some things did change for the better such as women being able to vote and the slave issue(which has no biblical grounds as it was done in early America). Then came Abortion and now the issue of homosexuality. These last 2 areas the bible clearly shows is immoral whether declared outright or saying it in principle. Many Americans are throwing the biblical values away for the sake of diversity and equality but how far does this progression go before someone says ‘OK, this is where it end’ Or is there and ending place? Sometimes I see it as a sort of progressive anarchy. There are laws and rules but they gradually get changed and overturned. Soon , it seems to me, that that which was considered very wrong will be considered very right and what used to be very right will be considered very wrong. Many times I see ‘progression’ as an emotional tool to persuade the masses into doing what they believe to be right , if that makes any sense?
    Please enlighten me on this progressive thinkers…….

    • Attackfish

      I hate to tell you, but the US was founded on Enlightenment ideas by men who were in many cases, not very Christian at all but Deists. Thomas Jefferson made his own bible with all the miracles taken out, for God’s sake. Adams signed a treaty saying: “The Government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.” Madison, who had more o do with the Constitution than any other man said about the matter: “What influence in fact have Christian ecclesiastical establishments had on civil society? In many instances they have been upholding the thrones of political tyrrany.”

      The United States is founded on individual liberty for people of all religions and no religion. It is not a Christian country, although it is full of Christians, and you insult fervent patriots like me who are not of your faith and would not love this country half so well were it not for the freedom of conscience it provides us. Equality and freedom are the values on which the United States are founded, and the fact that you fear equality has gone too far means that you don’t understand this country we love at all.

    • jose

      “Soon , it seems to me, that that which was considered very wrong will be considered very right and what used to be very right will be considered very wrong.”

      Indeed that is the case. The cause of those changes is the change in the distribution of power in culture. Check out who acquired political and social power before and after any given change and who lost some of it.

      • Steve

        Like slavery. That was once considered very right as well. Even by the people who founded the country and droned one about liberty and freedom.

    • Chervil

      This country is guided by the constitution, not the bible. Maybe you see treating tax paying gays as second class citizens, but in my mind, why should they pay taxes that enforce laws that hurt them? I see that as unjust and the only reason why it’s there was because it was written in some ancient screed that some people put above the constitution.

    • Anat

      Forget about old holy books. Think whom your actions are helping and whom they are hurting, and in what way they help or hurt. As for what should be legal – think about the good that you seek to achieve with any law, how likely it is actually to happen as you wish, and of the harm that may be caused by the effort to enforce it. Oh, and that good you wish to achieve better be something you can convince others about its goodness.

    • Rosie

      JW, it’s also worth remembering that not everyone interprets your holy book the same way you do. It’s not “clearly” against abortion; there are as many proof-texts to show that god in some cases *mandates* abortion as prohibits it. It’s not “clearly” against homosexuality either, if you believe the new covenant supersedes the old, and Peter’s vision about the unclean animals was a symbol describing the obsolescence of the entire Levitical code and not just what it literally showed. And have you read Romans 14 lately? Might not that also refer to other items in the Levitical code, and not just food? Do you feel the need to make laws against shellfish and mixed fibers? Who are you to judge how somebody else worships? Or, in a country that allows for freedom of religion, how someone else doesn’t worship?

      And to answer your question, our laws are based on actual harm done to others, nothing more, nothing less.

    • Jadehawk

      “America seemed to be founded on a biblical foundation”
      no. America was founded as a strictly secular nation.

      “Many Americans are throwing the biblical values away ”
      a good thing, that.

      ” Soon , it seems to me, that that which was considered very wrong will be considered very right and what used to be very right will be considered very wrong. ”
      and? if this development leads to fewer people being harmed, that’s a good thing.

    • Anat

      One thing I wonder is how far does equality and diversity in the name of progress go in all areas of life?

      Do you realize you have it backwards? It isn’t an abstract ideal of progress that we don’t know how to achieve so we seek equality and diversity as its proxies. Equality is an ideal in itself. All people are human. All people deserve the same rights. Read the preamble to the US Constitution, you can see the beginning of the idea. Though it took a while to realize whom else besides property-owning white men to include in the rights-deserving population.

  • http://thechurchproject.me Tracey

    JW,
    Even if the US had started out with one type of religion, it’s not like we make immigrants pass a religion test. New people arrive and the dynamic changes. That is happening constantly. Part of the draw to the US is the freedom to all believe different things. I think new ideas are really good because they force us to assess our old ideas for sense vs. nonsense.
    As I see it, where we draw the line is based on using our brains to think about our rules, and especially who they are hurting. If you want to drink yourself to death on alcohol, no rule stops you. If you want to drink and get in a car crash potentially killing others, rules prohibit that. If you see gay marriage as hurting someone’s soul (not how I feel but for the sake of argument), it should still be a person’s own business as long as they hurt no one outside the marriage.

    • Attackfish

      And that’s all hypothetical anyway. We’ve never been a nation of only Christians. Aside from the American Indian religions, which we white people usually forget about when it suits us, at the time of the Revolution, there were Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Protestants of all stripes, and Deists, like many of our founding fathers, here already.

  • Hilary

    Selah

    The reason I made a point of what I do is to show that I am a religious person and serious about it. I’m not going to get into a debate about Chrsit as Messiah, Jew v. Christian, here. This is an *Athiest* blog – that argument is about as meaningful to them as arguing about whether or not Harry Potter should have married Hermione rather then Ginny in the end. Probably less meaningful, if they are hard core Potter fans. If you want to know why Jews reject Jesus, google it. I suggest looking up Jews for Judasim, a counter missionary organization.

    http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=374:messiah-the-criteria&catid=68:the-jewish-messiah&Itemid=481

    Also, that debate is not the point of this blog or this post, and I have a lot of respect for Libby Ann and will not derail what she does here.

    But thank you for pointing out something that often gets lost in the J/Ch. bickering about Jesus. As a Jew the most important thing for me is what I do here, now, in this world, not in the hereafter. However different ways we interperate and apply them, Torah (law) and mitzvot (commandments) weren’t given to us to ‘save’ us for heaven and eternity but to make life better here, to make our lives better. But to you the most important thing is eternal life with Jesus, justified by faith.

    To get back on topic, . . . what was the topic again? Oh yeah, marriage equality. There are a lot of religious people who support marriage equality. There are a lot of straight people who support marriage equality. There are a lot of straight, religious people who support marriage equality. Get used to it.

    Hilary

  • http://jw-thoughts.blogspot.com JW

    Explain the inspiration for the references to ‘God’ engraved in some of the buildings around D.C.? Do they not originate from the beginning of this country? For even the Pilgrims came here looking for religious freedom and we find that inspiration all over the beginnings of America. Isn’t it ignorance to say otherwise?
    With my other point, where is the line drawn in regards to right and wrong, moral and immoral? Homosexuality was always seen as immoral but now, through emotional breakdown, it is being more widely accepted. I see a subtle anarchy in which there moral and immoral are only temporary ideas to hold society together until we can give in and give another ‘group’ rights when they shout enough to get society to say ‘YES’ we believe you are right.
    Explain it to me.

    • phantomreader42

      Explain to me why your cult, and ONLY your cult, should be allowed to enforce the will of your monstrous imaginary friend by law. Until you can provide a good reason why your delusions should inflicted on others against their will by the government, all your babbling is worthless.

      And by the way, if christianity is really so pitifully WEAK that it can’t survive without hijacking the government and stealing tax money, why does it deserve such support? Why not just let your impotent death cult rot away?

      • http://jw-thoughts.blogspot.com JW

        phantomreader – you have issues. You are a very angry person inside. What happened to you that you react in such a way? You are speaking through total anger of emotion and I feel your pain on this end of the net. Yet why do you judge me through it? I have gone through alot of pain myself when it comes to religious systems as well.

      • chervil

        Phantomreader has a right to be angry. Why is it that only teabaggers have a right to be angry? Everyone loves an angry teabagger. What’s wrong with anger?

        To sum up, churches are infiltrating our government. Your churches are taking our tax dollars and then playing politics, and in so doing, they are blatantly breaking IRS laws. They take taxes from women, minorities and gays, then lobby for laws that hurt these very people. Churches are not democratic organizations that accept input from all followers, they are top down authoritarian. They are not interested in democracy. It’s not how they operate. They make a living out of demonizing people, sticking their noses in private lives and offer up panty sniffers like Rick Perry as potential leaders of our country. We see what’s going on, when we don’t like it, we speak out against it. That’s why we react this way. Keep the churches out of governance, they really don’t belong there, in a government guided by the constitution, not the bible.

        Sorry you’ve been through a lot, religious systems are tough, I think the struggle is universal.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

        JW – Yes, phantomreader did speak quite harshly, but I want to point out that rather than answering any of his questions you simply called him out for his tone. Also, you conclude based on what phantomreader said that he/she is “very angry inside” but that is simply what you read into his/her words. I’ve seen this happen many times in Christian circles, where someone will diagnose someone else’s inner spiritual struggle based on very little, and it always smacked at attempts at mind reading.

      • phantomreader42

        So, JW, you admit that you don’t actually have an ANSWER. AGAIN, JW, WHY should your cult be allowed to enforce your delusions by law?

    • Steve

      The Pilgrims came to the US because they were crazy, tyrannical, bloodthirsty, murderous religious zealots. They were driven out of Europe because even in a region apart torn by religious strife, they were too nutty. They wanted religious freedom for themselves only. Everyone else they oppressed mercilessly. Some of the early colonies were pure businesses, but Massachusetts Bay Colony among others was nothing but a theocracy. They were particularly noted for banning and executing Quakers. Eventually it became so bad that the English king had to step in, install a governor who answered to him and mandate religious toleration. The first American colony founded explicitly with religious freedom in mind was founded by people who fled from the Pilgrims: Rhode Island.

      But ironically, even the Pilgrims of all people saw marriage as a civil contract. In that they were influenced by the teachings of Martin Luther and John Calvin who saw it as a worldly thing. In a theocracy, they left the legal aspects of marriage with the civil authorities. That’s why there are marriage licenses in the first place.

      • http://jw-thoughts.blogspot.com JW

        So the Pilgrims left one evil empire who persecuted them to come and establish their own evil empire? WOW, I really don’t remember reading it like that in history in school.

      • smrnda

        JW, you can’t honestly just believe, without any skepticism, that the greatly abridged and sanitized history you learned in school told you the whole story?

      • Steve

        Because American schools do such a wonderful job of teaching history or science? Mostly they just teach one-sided, jingioistic propaganda.

        Here is something of what really happened:
        http://mises.org/page/1427
        http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/Americas-True-History-of-Religious-Tolerance.html

        One clarification is that the word “Pilgrims” really refers specifically to the Plymouth Colony. Those were more tolerant and didn’t restrict land ownership and political power based on religion. But the Puritans split from them because they didn’t like that and set up their own colony, which resulted in pure totalitarianism.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

        JW – That’s strange, because that’s not only common historical knowledge but also commonly taught in school. You might try looking up Anne Hutchinson, who was put on trial by the Puritans because she differed theologically, or Roger Williams, who fled Massachusetts Bay Colony to establish a colony based on religious freedom in Rhode Island.

      • Watry

        Libby Anne–Not as strange as you might think. I recall being taught that the Puritans came here for religious freedom, but not the rest.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

        Watry – JW has taken college classes so I suppose I assumed that he had taken a college history class. You are right that high school history curricula often offer a patriotic version of American history with all the rough edges left off and ignored. That’s not the case at the college level (at least, in accredited schools), and it’s increasingly no the case in high schools either (though it varies by region). I do think that patriotic narrative, shorn of religious persecution and of the fact that the Founding Fathers owned slaves, to say nothing of the near-genocide of the Native Americans, or of all of the undemocratic coups we participated in during the Cold War, is a huge problem, because it contributes to cries of “American exceptionalism” and this ridiculous idea that we do everything better than any other country and that everyone should be just like us.

      • Jadehawk

        ” WOW, I really don’t remember reading it like that in history in school.”
        Then your education has failed you, because the Pilgrims run their settlements pretty much as theocracies.

    • Anat

      The pilgrims came to North America so they could do to others what they objected to when done to them in Europe. Some of the founders of the US were religious, some were not. Being somewhat more thoughtful than average, they recognized that religious beliefs were a matter of personal understanding, and therefore included the First Amendment in the US constitution.

      If you want to claim that homosexuality is immoral you need to bring evidence for your claim. What is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. And even if you show it is immoral, you still need to show why allowing two willing homosexual people to marry one another is something the state should object to. (Yes, immorality on its own is insufficient reason to not allow something by law.)

      John Rawls’ ‘veil of ignorance’ is a good guideline for forming social policy. JW, if you were gay yourself, what kind of treatment by society would you have considered as fair and just?

      • http://jw-thoughts.blogspot.com JW

        If you want to claim that homosexuality is immoral you need to bring evidence for your claim. What is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. And even if you show it is immoral, you still need to show why allowing two willing homosexual people to marry one another is something the state should object to. (Yes, immorality on its own is insufficient reason to not allow something by law.)

        This sounds like you are daring me to step over this line and once I do that you back up and dare me to step over another line and keep the game going. Really?
        Do we live by laws created by man which change as the wind blows or do we live by a higher standard. What is your moral compass to decide what is right and wrong? What is the societal moral compass to decided that?

        The homosexual issue is only a reflection of the moral compass and how it changes as the wind. This can extend even into governmental issues of wealth redistribution and whether or not someday it will be ok to go into a rich persons house and still goods because a poor person has need of them. It would be a reflection of morality gone sour but as liberals, and atheists you choose to understand right and wrong, moral and immoral in your own eyes. Those eyes are selfish by nature.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

        JW – I’m at a loss to understand how you can say that it would be wrong to take from a rich person to help a poor person in need and yet claim that we are the selfish ones. Seriously, seriously at a loss. The liberals and progressives I know, myself included, are other-focused, believing in working toward the good of society and of all human beings. I would gladly pay more in taxes if the result would be everyone being covered under a universal healthcare system, for instance. In contrast, when I was a conservative evangelical I was an economic libertarian, which is a very “I’ve got mine, screw you” sort of mentality.

      • Anat

        JW, I’m not ‘daring’ you, I’m pointing out that people outside your particular belief system have no reason to accept your assertions on your say-so.

        So you think there is merit in sticking to antiquated values of some minor tribal society, regardless of whether those values actually had positive effects then or whether they’d have positive effects here and now? Just consistency for its own sake, ’cause not-changing shows character or something?

        Do we live by laws created by man which change as the wind blows or do we live by a higher standard. What is your moral compass to decide what is right and wrong? What is the societal moral compass to decided that?

        Maybe you should study some moral philosophy. And history of constitutional law in the US.

        I already mentioned John Rawls. Look him up. He had a good tool for thinking about how to design a fair and just society. Basically, it comes down to this: JW, you get to design the next version of your society as you wish. With the caveat that you have to live in the society you design, but you don’t know who you are going to be in it. You might end up a man, you might end up a woman. You might end up rich, you might end up poor. You might end up straight or gay, able-bodied or not so, a member of a racial minority, religious minority etc etc. How many of the alternate versions of yourself would think they are being treated fairly in the society you designed?

        As for ‘a higher standard’ which I am to understand does not come from humankind, well, you would have to convince people that it is in fact higher – not by asserting so, but with some kind of evidence. If you think the Bible has a higher standard, and that one of its good attributes is how it doesn’t change – you will have a hard time explaining the superiority of a moral code that approves of slavery, instructs parents to stone rebellious sons to death and promotes lifelong rape of female war captives. I don’t know what you think the damage of allowing people to marry people of the same sex might be, but I find it hard to believe even you can point to effects more harmful than the effects of the biblical policies I mentioned above.

    • Bloke

      I always enjoy it when people claim the Pilgrims went to America looking for religious freedom. It was the exact opposite. They wanted religious conformity, they wanted to run a theocracy in which there was no religious freedom at all.

    • Tracey

      The Pilgrims were tossed out of England as undesirables, and they landed in Massachusetts and promptly began persecuting everyone around them. The original capitol of the USA was Philadelphia, not Washington, and most of the buildings put up in DC post-date the founding of the USA. Have you actually been to DC, or are you just spouting off stuff you read from fundy sites?

      What you call “the homosexual issue” is a reflection of your own fear and loathing and is certainly nothing a reasonable person is afraid of. Jesus himself had nothing to say about gay people and that you see it as a moral issue is your own moral failing.

    • Jadehawk

      “Explain the inspiration for the references to ‘God’ engraved in some of the buildings around D.C.? Do they not originate from the beginning of this country? ”
      no, they’re later creations. so is “god” on your money (1950′s) and in your pledge of allegiance (also 1950′s); at the foundation of your country, there was even sessions of congress during christmas, because christmas was not a holiday.
      “For even the Pilgrims came here looking for religious freedom”
      well no, they came for freedom from persecution, but they persecuted others in return. They’re also not considered founders of American government anyway. And lastly, religious freedom requires legal secularism, otherwise you actually end up with a situation where only one group has religious freedom, and everyone else is oppressed.

      “With my other point, where is the line drawn in regards to right and wrong, moral and immoral?”
      very simple: everything which does not harm innocent bystanders is right, everything that causes non-consensual harm is wrong. and in murky cases, that which does less harm is the better choice.

      ” I see a subtle anarchy in which there moral and immoral are only temporary ideas to hold society together until we can give in and give another ‘group’ rights when they shout enough to get society to say ‘YES’ we believe you are right.”
      and? This is exactly how societies have always operated, bible or no.

  • http://thechurchproject.me Tracey

    First, without knowing the instances of the word ‘God’ exactly, I can offer this thought. God as part of an inspirational/historical quote cannot be construed as requiring belief in God or what you see as God. The quote is in English I suppose, yet I would never think it mean for us all to speak only English.
    Second, if people did come here seeking religious freedom, what makes you think they would then expect others be denied that freedom and forced to think as they thought? I’d expect them to welcome anyone with any variety of religion or no religion. This also includes the variety of thought on exactly who God is and what he wants. There are plenty of Christians who think/know God is ok with homosexuality. I’m not sure what you’re getting at saying ‘emotional breakdown’. There are other ideas bound to religion that we have come to our senses about. Notably, the injustice of slavery. Would that be ‘emotional breakdown’ too and if so, why the problem?

    • Steve

      >”Second, if people did come here seeking religious freedom, what makes you think they would then expect others be denied that freedom and forced to think as they thought?”

      Because that’s exactly what happened. The Pilgrims were famously intolerant of any dissenting religious views and went so far as to execute people of other faiths. It got so bad that the English king was forced to put a stop to it.

      • Tracey

        Right; Rhode Island was founded by a Catholic who fled the Puritans with a death sentence on his head for his faith.

      • Jadehawk

        well yes, but the pilgrims didn’t come here looking for religious freedom, either. the point is that religious freedom requires that no one religion is favored legally (and socially, but that’s harder to enforce); otherwise, it’s not religious freedom. so, IF immigrants had come here looking for religious freedom, THEN they would be looking for a secular nation that deals with religion in a “live and let live” sort of way.

    • http://jw-thoughts.blogspot.com JW

      Tracey
      I like your tone and demeanor in your words.

      Now, I didn’t mean to say that because we find inspiration of God in historical notes and engravings that this means every should believe in God or be made to believe in God. What I am referring to is that it would seem to me that the founders acknowledge God in the beginning of this country for freedom for all people and to deny this is to deny the reality thereof. Would you agree or disagree?
      ————
      “Second, if people did come here seeking religious freedom, what makes you think they would then expect others be denied that freedom and forced to think as they thought? I’d expect them to welcome anyone with any variety of religion or no religion. This also includes the variety of thought on exactly who God is and what he wants. There are plenty of Christians who think/know God is ok with homosexuality”

      I realize there are Christians who say they think/know God is ok with homosexuality yet I believe they decided that from a purely emotional standpoint and not from the standpoint of biblical narrative. There are many who believe God is against the practice of homosexuality so then where do you draw the line as to who is right and who is wrong?

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

        I realize there are Christians who say they think/know God is ok with homosexuality yet I believe they decided that from a purely emotional standpoint and not from the standpoint of biblical narrative. There are many who believe God is against the practice of homosexuality so then where do you draw the line as to who is right and who is wrong?

        Those Christians who believe homosexuality is not immoral would differ greatly with your assertion that they are simply doing it from an “emotional standpoint.” In fact, I have seen Christians argue that opposition to marriage equality and equal rights for LGBTQ people is what is immoral. You believe that you are right and they are wrong. Guess what? They believe that you are right and they are wrong. And yes, they do use the Bible and the moving of the Holy Spirit to back themselves up on this.

        As to your question of who is right and who is wrong, this is why we have separation of church and state. Different religions and different denominations hold different positions on issues like this. The government is not in the habit of deciding theological disputes. It is, however, in the habit of offering its citizens equality under the law.

      • Jadehawk

        ” What I am referring to is that it would seem to me that the founders acknowledge God in the beginning of this country for freedom for all people and to deny this is to deny the reality thereof. ”

        The Founders ctually explicitly made sure to leave God out of the US government they were creating. Plus, again, the DC monuments were all created a very long time after the founding of the US and are therefore not evidence for anything about the founding of the USA.

        ” where do you draw the line as to who is right and who is wrong?”
        the line is where the harm caused outstrips the harm prevented. that which prevents more harm than it causes is right, that which causes more harm than it prevents is wrong

  • http://thechurchproject.me Tracey

    Well ok. I should probably have referenced the constitution instead which builds-in the idea of religious freedom. People coming here now should expect religious freedom as that’s what we decided when we formed the country officially.

    I also never touched on the idea of morality being apart from religion. Some people don’t seem to realize you can separate the two and figure out what things help people vs. harm them without asking God/ needing to believe in God.

  • smrnda

    I think morals progress because people start rationally asking why something is good or bad rather than relying on tradition. It’s using reason to ask what harm would be caused by something or what benefit would be gained by it, and then using reason to evaluate what actions should be taken or policies put into place. People move forward when they decide to actually do the thinking for themselves instead of relying on some ancient papyrus for guidance.

  • Selah

    To my Jewish friends ,
    I am commanded as a believer in Jesus Christ and his Gospel ( John 3:16 ) to reach out to the Jew first and then the Gentile. Certainly I have experienced first hand what Jesus did when John wrote in Chapter 1 : 11; ” Jesus came to His own (nation/ people ) and they received Him not or welcomed Him. ” Jesus also said ; ” They hated me and so they will hate you “. I hope that someday that rejection will change to acceptance of Him. Regardless of what you say about Him , and whatever you throw at Him , He can take the shots to the point of death on the cross. He loves you guys so much more than you can comprehend and even when dying on the cross he ” saved ” one of the criminals hanging along side of Him. Remember : ” Today you will be with Me in Paradise “.
    Must go now , but still would like to know from my Jewish friends as to who Isaiah was speaking about in Chapt . 53 ? and this is in the Tanach not the New Testament !

    • chervil

      “I am commanded as a believer in Jesus Christ and his Gospel ( John 3:16 ) to reach out to the Jew first and then the Gentile”

      Yeah. We know. We get it, we live it. Still supporting gay rights, though.

      Funny, no one here has mentioned thing one about hating Jesus or anything else about Jesus at all on this blog post except you, just now, so nice try. Unless in order to believe in Jesus you have to demonize gays. Don’t recall that Jesus said anything about homosexuality. Had a lot to say about rich people getting into heaven, not so much about gays. But you just had to run right over here when the conversation was about gay rights, didn’t you.

    • Rosie

      Um, Selah, you might want to check out the commenting guidelines. Because I’m pretty sure it says “no proselytizing”, and I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what you’re trying to do with these comments: convert people. It’s impolite, to say the least.

    • Hilary

      Selah, I’ve studed the Tanakh, Gospel, how Christians use the Old Testament, and parts of the Talmud. I’ve studied Jesus, and the Jewish records of the Pharisees. I’ve made my choice – I’m following the Pharisees over Jesus. In particular I follow the words of one of the most famous and beloved Pharisees still studied: Hillel. “What is hateful to yourself, do not do to others. The rest (of the Law) is commentary on this, go and study” If you really need to proselytize to Jews, I sugest you study a little more. I recomend “Judaism and the Christian Predicament” by Ben Zion Bokser. And like I linked to earlier, “Jews for Judaism” webiste.

      The suffering servent of Isaiah 53? It’s Israel. The people of Israel, returning from the Babylonian Exile to Israel after the Persian king Cyrus conqueres Babylon and lets the exiles return home. For which he gets called Mashiach, Annointed One, in Isaiah.

      Now if you have nothing else to say on topic with this post, go away.

      Hilary

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      Selah, I hate to break it you, but we’re not your friends. Take your condescension and stuff it. We are not impressed.

      • Hilary

        Petti-Philo

        Thanks, that was a cool video!

        Hilary

      • Hilary

        Please ignore the comment before this, it’s in the wrong spot.

        But what she said. Libby Ann has an interesting set of Jewish followers here, and we are not your friend.

        Hilary

  • smrnda

    JW, just because someone uses a non-religious standard for deciding what is right or wrong does not mean that it’s inherently selfish. I’m relatively affluent, and I think wealth redistribution is fine. If my taxes go up I’m not complaining because I know based on facts and evidence that my ‘success’ in life has very little to do with my effort or merits, but is mostly just due to luck. I didn’t decide that my parents would have advanced degrees, I didn’t decide I’d grow up in a large, cosmopolitan city or have opportunities to travel and live abroad while I was younger. I didn’t choose to acquire skills that have enabled me to get ahead – I’m simply a product of my environment. True, I could have screwed my life up, but I would have had to go out of my way to make bad choices for that to happen. For people born with less privileges, even if they’d have made the best choices possible, they would have still been at a far larger disadvantage than I would have been if I’d made poor choices.

    I mean, if we’re talking property, how do white people own stuff on this continent anyway? Property is a social construct, it became ‘valid’ after people got successful enough at using violence to establish their property claims over others.

    The standards most people use for morality when they aren’t using religion is a standard of harm or benefit and a standard of fairness. If an action doesn’t have a victim, then it doesn’t cause harm and isn’t unfair to anyone. If you want to make a case that homosexuality is bad, you have to show me a victim.

    To me, moral progress has been pretty consistent in the idea that harm or benefit determines if something is right or wrong. Slavery was OK and people used the Bible to defend it, but our notion of harm, fairness and equality overruled the notion that it was okay for some people to be masters and others slaves. Marriage was basically a man owning a woman as property, and there’s really nothing in the Bible against that, and our concept of fairness and equality between men and women overruled that. We tried prohibition and dismissed it, and now we’re moving to legalize marijuana since we’ve realized that though drugs *can* be harmful they aren’t inherently bad. Society is more accepting of homosexuality since the idea that a loving relationship between two adults can somehow be ‘bad’ because of the nature of the sex acts that might go on no longer has traction.

    • Rosie

      smrnda, you ROCK! You just said what I’ve been trying to articulate for…a long time now.

      • smrnda

        Thanks. It’s just the idea that morals are ‘blowing with the wind’ (except for religious ideals, which always stay the same) just seems like a ludicrous proposition given history. To me, the world has mostly moved towards a standard of morality based on rules justified by objective harm, and fairness and equality for all and away from morality built on authority, tribalism, and arbitrary taboos that have no practical justification.

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      What you are speaking of is “the harm principle,” probably articulated most famously by the 19th century philosopher John Stuart Mill in his book, “On Liberty.” It is this idea, that authority should be exercised to stop an individual from doing something only if that act is harmful to others, has been the basic guiding principle for public policy in the United States. It does not “change with the wind.” You can go read Mill yourself, JW, if you want to understand non-biblical moral systems better, but since if often seems that you can barely be bothered to read through people’s comments comprehensively, I’m guessing you’re not going to get through a book.

  • http://thechurchproject.me Tracey

    JW,
    Yeah a lot of the founders seem to have believed in someone they called God. I don’t know if we can assume that lines up with the description of God in today’s various flavors of Christianity. (I know I keep coming back to defining God- I think it’s an important to point to keep in mind.)
    I also think it speaks volumes that the founders created a document for the new nation that expressly allows us to practice whatever religion we want. I guess I’m not sure what your point is with determining *their* beliefs since they weren’t trying to assign us ours.

    And I agree with Libby that Christians accepting of homosexuality (myself included) generally have well-thought out reasons with biblical backing of their own. If you’re really interested I wrote about this on my own blog, and heck an Internet search would get you even better verse quotes and arguments. But we are still talking here about this nation and ALL it’s people. So you kinda have to think about morality as a separate from (Christian) religion if you are going to appeal to a broader range.

  • Hilary

    “This can extend even into governmental issues of wealth redistribution and whether or not someday it will be ok to go into a rich persons house and still (steal) goods because a poor person has need of them. It would be a reflection of morality gone sour but as liberals, and atheists you choose to understand right and wrong, moral and immoral in your own eyes. Those eyes are selfish by nature.” – JW

    “You are a thief”
    “I stole a loaf of bread!”
    “You robbed a house!”
    “I broke a window pane. My sisters child was close to death, and we were starved . . . ”
    “You will starve again, unless you learn the meaning of the law”
    “I know the meaning of those 19 years, a slave of the law.”
    “Five years, for what you did, the rest because you tried to run, yes, 24601.”
    “My name is Jean Val Jean!”
    “And I am Javert. Do not forget my name. Do not forget me, 24601!”

    From the musical Les Mis, based on the book, about France just before the French Revolution. Do you really want to be Javert? You know he commits suicide in the end when he can’t live with the knowledge that JvJ saved his life? (Apologizes to all with Les Mis earworms now stuck in their heads) Or maybe just the quote about Jesus telling the rich young man to give up everything he has to follow him, that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle then to get to heaven?

    Are you honestly afraid of this – people attacking you and taking what is yours because they need it and think you have to much? (Tone of voice: sincere, not sarcastic) I understand that if you’ve always seen these morals as one piece, don’t steal, don’t murder, don’t lie with a man as you would a woman, ect, and never looked at each one indivually, it can be confusing to figure out why one is now ok but the others still aren’t. But think it out one piece at a time:

    What’s the difference between one man violently killing another man, vs one man vowing to live his life, for better or for worse, in sickness or in health, with another man?

    What’s the difference between a man raping a little girl, vs a man making passionate, joyful love to his wife? That’s the same difference between a man raping a little boy, vs making adult, consentual, joyful love to his husband.

    I could go on, but you get the idea.

    And your comment about ‘eyes being selfish by nature’ that’s a reference to Original Sin, right? I’m just checking, since Jews don’t believe in that so I want to be sure I was picking up in a coded referece correctly. You do seem the Calvinist type, claiming that since we can’t trust ourselves or our instincts and emotions, we’d better trust a book.

    But specifically with regards to gay rights and marriage equality, I think this is the best example of how UNselfish people can be. Think about it: just over 1.5 million people in Minnesota voted no to descriminating against gays in our state constitution, and I garantee you there are not 1.5 million GLBTQ people in MN. Some of the best, most persistant and articulate advocates for GLBTQ people are straight. (Hi mom, dad, D! *waves to parents and MIL*). This is an example of people whose lives, families and marriages are *NOT* on the line yet have the compassion to fight to change laws that don’t affect them, simply because they care about the people whose lives are affected. That’s compassion, not selfishness. And one of the best examples of “Love your neighbor” I can think of.

    Hilary

    • Chervil

      Les Mis was absolutely the first thing that popped into my head when I read JW’s comment!! don’t mind having it stuck in my headcatvall, great post, Hilary.

      • Chervil

        Darned iPad. head. At. All. And again, great post.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        It’s a bit outdated since Tuesday, but you Les Mis fans should DEFINITELY not miss out on this piece of brilliance if you haven’t already seen it. Enjoy! :-P

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WHw32bv9BQ

      • chervil

        I saw that! Beautiful performance.

    • Hilary

      Thanks, that was cool!

      Hilary

    • http://jw-thoughts.blogspot.com JW

      Hilary
      I am a Les Mis fan but I am not responding to your post because as a typical liberal you have spin something I said into something totally, totally, TOTALLY, different. But I will be seeing Les Miserables when that movie comes out. ROCK ON!!!

      • Hilary

        Ok, what exactly did you mean? Could you explain in a bit more detail, so I can respond to your actual intent. I didn’t come here to box at shadows, so if I misunderstood you I apoligize for that. But I honestly don’t get the connection between Penny and I claiming the same legal benefits of a civil marriage that her two brothers share with their wives, and the government literally breaking into your house and taking things. (if that is what you meant)

        I will consider what you reply with honestly and give you the benefit of the doubt to try and understand.

        Hilary

      • Chervil

        JW does this all the time. Digs a hole, can’t get out if it, blames the world, saying “I didn’t ask to be born!!”. I’m very interested to know how this was spun, too, since I read it the way you did, but we’ll never get to find out. Oh well. And he’s shocked that I called him a schmuck on another thread. Like I said, not the first time.

      • Hilary

        JW

        Glad to know you’re a Les Mis fan, it’s nice to know we have something in common like that. I’m also a LORT fan, I can’t wait to see the Pete Jackson Hobbit 12/14/12.

        So what do you think of my statement that straight people voting and campaigning for gay rights is an example of compassion, not selfisness?

        Hilary

      • chervil

        Libby Anne and JW, I apologize, I broke the no name calling rule.

        The other similar incident I recall was a post about a month ago where JW was called out on one of his factless proclamations on a topic related to abortion and who was the primary seekers of them (he said, October 8, 2012 at 9:36 am, “While I don’t have stats I am willing to bet a good majority of abortions for are teens and college aged girls who had a fling and got pregnant. “) and instead of defending his position (although he just admitted he had none) he proceeded to dismiss (you’re angry, you’re hatred is apparent, your opinion is invalid because you are a liberal) and silence (I’m just not going to post anything anymore), and blame (it’s your fault for reading what I wrote and interpret it this way because I didn’t say what I meant, you’re too “angry”, “sad”, “judgmental”).

        Actually, JW, I like you. I don’t know you, and I disagree with just about everything you say, but I find your posts earnest and sincere while also naive and unrealistic. But you do seem to be struggling mightily with something and I admire that.

        But, JW, I will add this, on this, the day before Veterans Day. While you are comfortably sitting at your computer, doing your accounting thing, complaining about your struggles with religion and where o where do you fit in in this world, there are gay people fighting, dying and acting heroically every single day for this country. They’ve been treated horribly and suffered a lot, at great taxpayer expense (enforcing DADT is $$$), for no apparent reason except than it makes other people feel better about themselves.

        It is in light of this actual fact, a couple of lines from an ancient holy book lose all meaning for a lot of people. There have been other times when minority groups have valiantly fought and sacrificed for this country only to come home and be treated as third class citizens. I don’t believe in that kind of “morality” and that’s not justice.

      • phantomreader42

        So, JW has fled in abject terror from the burden of proof, as his ilk always does, because they know that their position is not supportable on merit, but must be improsed by force and fraud.

        AGAIN, JW, why should your cult be allowed to enforce the demands of your imaginary friend by law?

    • Tracey

      @Hilary: “Are you honestly afraid of this – people attacking you and taking what is yours because they need it and think you have too much? ”

      This is what the right-wing noise machine has done; it’s convinced the low-information folks to live in constant terror that they will be attacked. So many of them engage in projection, and it’s natural they project onto others the thing that they would like to do had they the power.

      • Hilary

        I guess. I’ve been reading some of the right wing reactions to the election, and what they say about the liberals is surprising. I didn’t realize we were voting for free stuff from Santa Claus, I must of missed the memo. Maybe it got lost in the spam filter on my email? You would think with a liberal family, liberal temple, and reaing liberal MSM I would have gotten word somehow.

        BTW, I forwarded this to my mom, and she responded to some of what I said earlier in this thread. That is really my mom replying to my earlier posts.

        Hilary

      • chervil

        I don’t see how conservatives can coalesce the “free stuff” and “individual mandate” in their minds, I really don’t.

        Your mom seems way cool. I can’t talk to my parents about anything like this, although they are ultra ultra Reform Jewish, they are highly conservative, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, the works. Hating Clinton was a form of entertainment.

  • Watry

    Libby Anne @66

    My college history classes didn’t touch on the subject. *shrug* That said, anybody who has taken college courses ought to be aware that what we learn in school is so often bunk. And I completely agree with the rest of the comment.

  • Juan Donner

    Isn’t the correct term “sodomic-marriage’? Seems awkward. Maybe sodo-marriage is better? Any other ideas are welcome.