[Dialogue with Two Atheists]
This discussion occurred in the combox of my post, “Forced” Morality & Ubiquitous “Bigotry”. Words of TheAgnosticAtheist will be in blue. Words of Michael will be in green. These guys didn’t call be a bigot as soon as I gave my different opinion, so actual dialogue between thinking human beings was possible (oh, what a rare joy these days!).
So you’re saying that only your religious views have to be accepted? That was the issue that hound was focused on. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not for gay marriage, I’m not even for straight marriage. The government should butt out of personal affairs. But, if one person has a right, does that not mean that everyone should have the same right? To deny someone a right based on your religious views is the exact opposite of freedom. Under certain religious views you should be executed, that doesn’t mean we’re just going to stand back and let you die.
As for restrooms, it should be up to the owner of the establishment to decide on what system he or she or whatever wants to enforce. In my place of business all restrooms are single restrooms that are not gender specific and are all the exact same. Regardless, the main reason people are against the restroom bill is because of rapists and the like. However, is that not the reason why we have laws against it? If a man wanted to walk into a female restroom, what will stop him? Not a damn thing. And there’s no harm in it. If someone assaults/rapes/whatever another person, the law will take care of it.
I said nothing about which views have to be accepted. But if you want to know my opinion: I am in favor of complete freedom of conscience (including religion, atheism, or anything else, unless it is physically harmful to others: like terrorism).
My point was that he wants to argue the typical polemical point that Christians force our morality down everyone’s throats. I replied by showing that the coercion these days is in quite the opposite direction: “gay marriage” and bathroom laws and the slaughter of the innocents, who have no rights and are subjected to someone else’s imaginary “right” to destroy them. All of these things force radically secular, anti-traditional views on Christians and other traditional-minded folks (or force preborn babies to be heartlessly tortured and killed).
My additional point was that, not only has the definition of marriage been suddenly changed, but anyone who dares even object to that is immediately classed as a bigot. No one can disagree with the notion of unbounded homosexual practice without being accused as a hater and “homophobe.” This is beyond absurd: bizarrely ridiculous.
I oppose the practices and redefinition of marriage but don’t have the slightest personal animosity towards any given homosexual person. To the contrary, I’ve always found them quite congenial and amiable and likable.
Can you really not see the difference?
You, personally, do not have to get gay-married.
You, personally, do not have to have an abortion.
You, personally, will never be forced into an opposite-sex bathroom.
Despite the love affair Christianity has with victimhood, you guys aren’t under any actual coercion. You can’t point to something and say, “See, I have lost money/property because of these anti-Christian laws.” Gay people, however, can point to when they couldn’t inherit anything from someone they spent 40 years with. They can point to being denied visitation rights at the hospital while that person died. They can point to *actual* damages, not just perceived ones.
Rights are a shield, not a sword. The Bible says “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” Should the murder of people who practice Wicca be legal? Can your religious right trump through their right to life? Of course not!
How is it any different with (paraphrasing) “Thou shalt not suffer a gay to marry”? Does your religious right overwhelm their right to hospital visitations, inheritances, and all the other standard fare of a marriage? No. It doesn’t. Rights are a shield, not a sword. You can use it to prevent your church from ever having to perform a gay marriage, but you can’t use it to stop gay people from entering into a legal contract.
The most clear reason why religion can’t be used that way is because it is just plain impossible — many religions disagree with each other, so there’s actually no way to respect them all in the law. Your religious rights *have* to end when they force other people (not in your religion) to do something they don’t want to do. Otherwise, other people’s religions would be able to force you to do things you don’t want to do (like get gay-married, or have an abortion, or walk into an opposite-sex bathroom — none of which, I’d like to point out again, are you forced to do.)
The definition of marriage only changed for non-Christians. Christians can still call marriage “between a man and a woman.” Christian churches can still refuse to marry gay people. Literally nothing has changed for the way Christian churches operate, so where is the coercion?
. . . The scenario I had in mind (that I failed to describe adequately) was a married couple, no will, in which 1 person dies. In this situation the law “defaults” to the other person getting everything. Prior to gay marriage, if you had a gay couple in a similar situation (cohabiting for decades even), no such protections existed. The surviving member had no “default” legal claim on their partner’s stuff.
I rendered no opinion about those inheritance scenarios. I might be inclined to agree with much of it. What I protest against is the radical redefinition of marriage itself.
As I stated, the coercion is in being essentially forced to accept these laws, or else be classified en masse as a bigot and hateful person.
Also, as usual in these discussions, you completely miss my point about abortion. It’s not about mothers being forced to abort (as in China), but about the babies being forced to be killed because of a so-called “choice” of the mother. That’s the ultimate coercion.
Secondly, law will be based on some worldview or other, because it has to have a moral base in order to say that “this is wrong and that is wrong and will be punishable by law.”
By and large, but never totally, a vaguely Protestant Christian worldview used to provide that backdrop in America. Now it is a roughly humanist and secularist left-leaning / liberal worldview that is the prevailing presupposition.
But it’s silly to argue as if there is no such chosen background. Whenever law says something is “wrong” or “permissible” it’s inevitably there.
So when Christianity was dominant in law, people protested that it was forcing non-Christians to do stuff or be subjected to things that they didn’t agree with.
Now that secularism reigns triumphant, Christians are bearing the brunt of the coercion against their will and increasingly have rights taken away from them, and have to be subject to mass societal marginalization and demonization.
Insofar as there were wrong things done to secularists in the past (not to mention black people and women, etc.) — as there certainly were –, it doesn’t justify the same being done to Christians today.
Two wrongs don’t make a right.
Refreshingly, the Supreme Court voted unanimously to not take up the case about the nuns, where they were forced to deal with contraceptives: against their religious conscience. Talk about “forced”? There’s a sterling example.
But it was so outrageous and absurd that even the half radically secular Supreme Court saw it as such and refused to take up the case.
So there is hope for at least partial legal sanity.
I do sincerely thank you for not calling me a bigot, simply because I disagree with you and hold a morally traditional Christian view of things.
Gay marriage – This doesn’t really have anything to do with Christians. The fact is that as long as someone is licensed by the government to marry two people it is no longer a religious-only thing. Let’s say they don’t have a federal license, now they can still marry people, but the government wont recognize the marriage. That doesn’t mean the marriage has to be void, just means they’ll have to go to a city hall and register as married. It is the fact that they are federally licensed that prevents them from not turning away gay couples.
bathroom laws – What’s to stop someone from walking in the wrong bathroom if they really wanted to? No one is imposing restrictions on churches or your own homes. Furthermore, where in the bible is this covered?
Abortion – no one is forcing a Christian to get an abortion, so I don’t see how this is forcing anything on Christians.
Now let’s look at the other side of this argument.
Why did it take so long for gay marriage to become a possibility?
Why is prostitution illegal in most states?
What groups are constantly trying to make abortion illegal?
How many christian decorations are put up in government buildings?
I’m not saying your a part of the specific groups of Christians that do this, only that Christians, at least in part, do shove their beliefs down other people’s throats.
You made the same dense reply about abortion that Michael did: utterly ignoring my argument. I stated:
[E]very baby who is legally killed in his or her mother’s womb. . . didn’t ask to come into existence. Now that they are here, the mother’s so-called “right” all of a sudden intrudes into their existence, to the tune of their arms and legs and head being torn off, or their being scalded to death before being murdered.
It is their right to life that is trampled upon. That is the coercion. Got it? But of course, pro-aborts simply fantasize their lives away as not life or not human or not a person, so they can rationalize the daily, massive torture and murder.
The objection to the bathroom nonsense is, of course, that it will be exploited by perverts, pretending to be transgender, so they can see naked women. So that is a violation of the right to privacy of our daughters, mothers, sisters, and wives, and girlfriends and female friends.
Good grief. One would think that the blessed “right to privacy” which was the backdrop of legal abortion, would be honored in terms of having privacy to undress and go to the bathroom. But not in the nutso, wacko, insane society that we now live in.
My wife and daughter have already said that they will never visit a public restroom. The main reply will likely be that we are exaggerating instances of exploitation of the law by perverts and child molesters, etc. Perhaps. Time will tell. But right now, I could say that I feel like I am a woman today and go to a woman’s locker room to watch all the naked women and girls, and according to this insane pseudo-law, no one could do anything about that.
The absurdity is (again) in the radical redefinition of gender, to make it totally subjective, rather than biological and genetic, which is what it is in objective fact.
The ongoing legal / societal insanity is in redefining a person to not be a person (Roe v. Wade in 1973), then marriage to not be what it has always been, and now to redefine gender away from objective genetics to mere subjective preference.
What will be next? I think in 20-30 years, forced sex with children will be the next thing. After all, if we can define away a child in abortion, why not reduce them to sexual objects for our pleasure? Which is worse: murdering them or using them for our own hedonistic sexual thrills? Rape may also be defined away as ‘biological necessity” or what not. Women are reduced to mere objects of pleasure in pornography. The next logical step is to abuse them in person by raping them against their will. The more this happens in practice, the more likely it’ll be made legal.
No one could have imagined legal childkilling, same-sex “marriage” or fluid gender back in the World War II era, so it’s not too far-fetched to conceive that unimaginable things from today’s perspective will be tomorrow’s norms, just as these three things have become today.
The consistent thread through all of the madness is anti-traditionalism, and anti-Christianity.
I do thank you for not calling me a bigot, simply because I disagree with you and hold a morally traditional Christian view of things.
How Legal Same-Sex Unions Came About [12-8-15]
Debates About Homosexuality (Series) [4-13-16]
Meta Description: Dialogue with two atheists about legal coercion concerning abortion, same-sex unions (“marriage”), & transgenders & bathroom laws.
Meta Keywords: Gay marriage, homosexuality, lesbianism, LGBT, Marriage, same-sex marriage, same-sex unions, bathroom laws, abortion, pro-life, pro-choice, pro-abortion, childkilling, right to life, abortion holocaust, legal coercion, force of law, legal presuppositions, legal worldview, conscience, transgender, freedom of conscience, tolerance, persecution, government coercion, laws off of my body, liberalism, progressivism, religious freedom, secularism, secularization, sexual revolution, social darwinism, socialism, freedom of speech, bigotry, racism, homophobe, chauvinism, prejudice