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Poll: What are your views on gay marriage?

It should absolutely be legal. Equal rights! 83 (78%)
I agree there should be a legal union.. but not "marriage".... 11 (10%)
I don't think it's right at all. 7 (7%)
I'm really not sure how I feel about it, honestly. 5 (5%)
   Discussion: What are your views on gay marriage?
Josh Woodward · 17 years, 5 months ago
Legalize it!

Oh wait, we're talking about gay marriage? Ah, legalize that too :)
nate... Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Heh.
Legalization all 'round.
:)
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Let's see...should it be legal? Seeing as I don't believe the government has any right to be involved in the union of two people, then it makes the question of legality moot point.

Now, do I think that gay marriage is "right" or "good"? My personal beliefs are no. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. While I would certainly not interfere in two gay people wanting to live in a union essentially the same as marriage, I do not think it qualifies as marriage.

I think the point is moot now anyways, and is used by the gay community to try and force people to accept their lifestyle. Most private benefits afforded to married couples are also available to gay couples as well, so removing government involvement, there really is no legal need for gay marriage to be established.

Marriage remember is rooted, at least in Western culture, in religious practice. The basis for marriage is one man, one woman. I have no problem with gay people wanting to live in a similar condition, but I don't believe it should be called marriage.
lawrence Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
The basis for marriage is one man, one woman. I have no problem with gay people wanting to live in a similar condition, but I don't believe it should be called marriage.

at that point, why nitpick the language at all? Call it "Fred." don't like it? don't do it. if it is (as it should be) in all ways exactly like a marriage except that the two participants are of the same gender, then it's a marriage.
ChrisChin is Getting Old Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
While I agree that the government should not necessarily be involved in the union of two people, I don't think that is the issue here in supporting of gay civil marriages.

The fact of the matter is that we live under a government that affords certain rights and privileges to married couples. There are several federal and state rights that come with marriage including Social Security Survivor benefits, Medicaid spousal refusal rights, automatic inheritance, IRA continuation rights, (sorry, I work with elderly), and taxation (i.e. giving unlimited gifts to a spouse without being taxed). These rights are not granted to a gay couple who decide that they are "married," in a "union," or whatever they want to call it. If a gay couple have a civil union in Vermont, another state does not have to recognize the union and hence you are denied the same rights that married heterosexual couples would have in that state.

While certain companies in the private sector extend benefits to gay couples, they are not universally required by law to do so. There exists an inequity that fuels the legalization movement. I believe that what most gay couples who want marriage are looking for is recognition from the government that they will be given the same legal rights that heterosexual married couples have. It's about civil marriage.

If this government did not grant these legal marriage rights and privileges, then it would be a moot point, and I don't think gay couples would be such up at arms wanting to get married. But given the institutions that we exist in, there is a need for civil marriages between same sex couples to be recognized.
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
You make very good points, but given my limited government views, I also don't think the government should be doing any of the other things which also happen to have marriage/survivor benefits.

The fact that many private sector companies are extending benefits to same-sex couples just shows there is some social change going on absent of government force. Actually, if you think about it, given the fact that the gay lifestyle has become more established, it makes little economic sense to shun those potential sources of revenue.
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Just what *is* your definition of the "gay lifestyle"?

I mean, my "lifestyle" would be totally at home on an elderly grandmother for the most part.
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
The Homosexual Agenda

6:00 a.m. Gym

8:00 a.m. Breakfast (oatmeal and egg whites)

9:00 a.m. Hair appointment

10:00 a.m. Shopping (preferably at Neiman Marcus or Nordstrom's)

12:00 p.m. Brunch

2:00 p.m. Assume complete control of the U.S. Federal, State, and Local Government, as well as all other national governments, Destroy all healthy marriages.

Replace all school counselors in grades K-12 with militant homosexuals who seek to recruit children for the homosexual lifestyle, Bulldoze all houses of worship, Secure total control of the internet and all mass media, and Be utterly fabulous!

2:30 p.m. Get forty winks of beauty rest to prevent facial wrinkles from the stress of world conquest; aroma therapy

4:00 p.m. Cocktails

6:00 p.m. Light dinner (soup, salad [arugula with balsamic vinegar dressing], Chardonnay)

8:00 p.m. Theatre

10:30 p.m. Cocktails in a charming neighborhood bistro

12:00 a.m. Bed (du jour)
nate... Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
I've always loved that.
Especially the "Bed (du jour)" part.
:D
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

What's the soup du jour?

It's the soup of the day.
Eri Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

please note: bisexuals need only follow half of the agenda.

Mistress Rabean Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Oh, good.  I hate getting up before 9 a.m.  ^_^
Eri Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Me too! Very nice avatar, is that from Whiskers and Rhymes?
Mistress Rabean Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
My icon was created by Liselotte Eriksson, a most fabulous young Swedish artist.  Her web site is here:  http://www.liselotteeriksson.com/
Eri Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
it just looks so much like the illustrations from a book I have at home. I wish I could find you an image from it, but I'm having no luck.
danced with Lazlo Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
*sighofrelief* yeah, 6:00 is *way* too early for me
ChrisChin is Getting Old Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Damn...I can't even finish a casenote in 30 minutes yet alone subvert the world population. I guess I need more gay training. *sigh*
notgivenintoit Back · 17 years, 2 months ago

How can you say such things about yourselves? You give gay men everywhere a very bad rep. I should hope that this is not how you really feel about yourselves. My partner and I have been together going on 50 years and have seen our community come along a vast ways. Please do not joke about such things.

lawrence Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
it's here
lawrence Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
bah, I was 2 minutes late.
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Well, duh. I'm on the Big Gay Mailing List. :-)
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
My bad, a more precise statement would be that homosexuality and homosexual relationships have become more accepted in society.
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Okay. No prob.

So...what do you think is "wrong" about homosexuality and homosexual relationships?

I'm honestly interested. Because excluding religious diatribes, the only answers I've gotten all boiled down to "it's icky."
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
...and I hasten to add that "icky" is not necessarily a bad thing. ;-)
danced with Lazlo Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

*looks back* did he actually say anywhere that he thought it was wrong?

Edit: oh, I see. He says it later. My bad.

danced with Lazlo Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
i notice he never bothered to answer the question.
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
I notice you don't bother to read the whole thread. I will not answer in the forum because I'm sick and tired of people calling me intolerant because I happen to think homosexuality is wrong. I've given my reasons to those who have frumsg'ed me and had a civil discussion with a couple people on the issue.

If you want to know, frumsg me, but I ask that you be courteous if you do.
Erica: movin' to Ohio!! Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
i don't even know what to say here.......maybe one of the points gay couples are trying to make is that they ARE normal, they DO deserve to be married. i don't think love confines itself to couples comprised of one man and one woman. i don't think love confines itself to anything. it just happens. you can deny it all you want, you can label it as gay propaganda being force-fed to hetero society. whatever terminology you like. but regardless of what you or anyone else thinks, it's not about rights or wrongs. it's about two people wanting to live exactly like everyone else in this country is allowed to. but please, do remain in your narrow world. when my girl and i share vows, you won't be invited.
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
What part of "I would never interfere" don't you understand? I'm entitely to my own damn opinion on the matter than you very much. I personally think homosexuality is "wrong". It also has very little to nothing to do with me. You relationship with your girl has no effect on me, so feel free to have your wedding ceremony.

I am not "anti-gay", "homophobic", or anything else. I have several gay friends and get along great with them. I can think a person's personal choices are wrong without actually interfering with my relationship with them.

So, in actuality, I am far more tolerant of other people's choices than some pro-gay people. Some "gay rights" people are very intolerant of anyone who says the gay lifestyle is "wrong". I think it's wrong, but also do not interfere in a gay person's right to conduct their personal affairs however they deem fit.
Bel kjfdxcvuyjh8 Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
It seems as though not many take your point of view.

I'm against it too, if that makes you feel any better.
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Yes, it's sad actually, but people in general seem to want to stick their nose into other people's business quite often, on both sides of the political spectrum.

I also think that many "gay rights" people have blinders on just as much as some relgious right types do. Whenever they here someone saying that homosexuality is "wrong", they cease listening and focus on just the "wrong".

I think nuts in chocolate is wrong too, but I'm not going to hate someone who likes nuts in chocolate. It's all matter of personal choice/preference. If what you are doing does not infringe on my property or rights, then I have no problem with you, regardless what my opinion of what you are doing is.
danced with Lazlo Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

*blink* if you really think that nuts in chocolate is *wrong* and not just distateful to you, then you've got more serious problems to deal with.

As for marriage and its original definition, that's a load of crap. Marriage as it existed in the ancient middle east, the standard upon which our western conception of marriage is based, was a means by which a father (or brother or guardian) sold his daughter (sister, ward) to a man who took her as a wife (primary or otherwise) in exchange for currency or livestock. It was literally about ownership. The fact that our current conception of the institution of marriage is different proves that the institution is able to evolve. As for the institution being based in religion and therefore untouchable, that is similarly a load of crap so long as marriage exists in a civil context. We have this little thing in America called the first amendment which forbids the government from endorsing religion in general and *especially* from endorsing one religion over another. There are religious sects which condone, sanction, and bless same-sex marriages, including two of the movements of Judaism. If you think that there should be no such thing as civil marriage at all, that's fine. But then, all that's left is the various religious institutional understandings of marriage, in which law and government has no place.

stealthlori Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
*applause*
Eri Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Whoa. Has anyone else noticed that this girl is phenomenal?
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Yes! Nuts in chocolate is an abomination! No, I'm not saying it's *wrong*. It was a joking comparison of the effects of my beliefs on homosexuality should have on homosexuals. Who cares if I think it's wrong? It doesn't stop me from being friends with homosexuals, nor standing up for their rights as human beings. I just happen to think that marriage, as it is defined both in the common law and as a religious ceremony is between a man and a woman.
Zach Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
maybe you didn't catch this, but the institution of marriage has changed a LOT over time. It is only a shadow of what it once was, so why is it not acceptable to change it further so as to allow more people to be officially recognized by law as a couple?
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
You're against homosexuality?

How about fog? How about doberman pincers?

Because your opinion is equally as meaningful for all three.
nate... Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
I'm totally against humidity.

renita Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
me too.

humidity is EVIL.
nate... Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
and wrong! Don't forget wrong.

I think bush should make a law against it.
hkath Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Maybe he can ask Jesus to protect us from humidity.
Josh Woodward Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
> I personally think homosexuality is "wrong".

Cound you try to define "wrong"?
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Not without having a ton of people here pile on me for my views.
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
That sounds an awful lot like "I have no basis for my statement and therefore withdraw."

Cheers.
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
No, it does not. It sounds an awful lot like "I'm tired of people mistaking the fact that I think homosexuality is wrong, for intolerance on the issue." Just look at the posts thus far. If you say you think homosexuality is wrong, people jump on you and think you're a bad person.

Why should I want to draw even more of that. If someone wants to have a civil discussion, fine, frumsg me.

So you can take your sanctimonious attitude and shove it Michael.
Samantha Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

major props to thee... i wont invite them either.. I must say, that i cant be classified as "lesbian" or "bisexual.." .. because i'm not either of them.. i'm "label free"... i'm prompted to find love in a PERSON.. not their race,sex,sexual orientation,religion or anything else.. I prefer to keep myself open minded.

you need not call its a "marriage",persay..  i personally HATE the word to begin with.

"legal-bullshit-that-costs-me-more-to-get-out-of-than-it-did-to-get-me-into-this-mess-and-stay-here" is more like it.. a holy union sounds better.

Sure, it is great to have the legal benefits,as Chris mentioned above.. and even so, there is no need to not include gays and lesbians.. they're people too. they just make their different choices. Just because YOU dont like their choice, doesnt mean you need to ostracize them. YOU didnt make the choice..

and a word to all them homophobes out there:1. not EVERY lesbian/gay man is ever gonna hit on you.. 2.what makes you think you're GOOD enough for them? 3. are you afraid you're just the same?

for anyone here who feels the need to flame me, you know where to Früm me.. do it in private.. embarass yourself .. not me..  or even feel free to email me at Lizardqueen8672@aol.com ^_* have a very gay day... -samantha 

Diane Back · 17 years, 3 months ago
My church performs same sex marriages, but cannot provide legal documentation.  Leave religion out of it, no one is forcing a church to marry people that it does not agree with their union.  Again, this is about civil unions.  Yes, most benefits (except taxes) can be granted to same sex partner through other means...if they have expendable income for a ton of lawyers.  AND basically, anything drawn up by a lawyer can be contested...unlike the intent of a couple that was married.  For instance, my children are "willed" to my partner through legal arrangements.  However, if I died and my brother (who is quite homophobic) did not like the arrangement, he can contest it in court.  If he gets the right judge, he could quite likely get custody of our children.  Who would loose?  The children...they don't know him but he could be the preferred parental option.
David Back · 17 years, 2 months ago
If you want everything legalized, I'm sorry to inform you but you're living in the wrong country.  Every American is guaranteed his pursuit of happiness so long as it does not violate someone else's pursuit of happiness.  One action taken by a person may disrupt the pursuit of happiness of a another person's life or vice versa.  Laws must be setup to protect the rights of people from each other.  Therefore, it is in illogical to say that everything should be legalized.  Unfortunately, freedom does come at a cost.  Remember this is not a perfect world.
Jan Klump · 17 years, 5 months ago
Marriage should be an option. It seems to me that we've long promoted promiscuity in the gay community since we don't let them get married. That should be reason enough to legalize it for those concerned with "protecting marriage."
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
I fail to see how me getting hitched to Christian Campbell has any effect at all on the "sanctity of marriage" whatever *that* means...

I mean, sheesh, y'all straight folks have an over 50% divorce rate. Apparently some of y'all didn't get the memo about the sacredness of marriage. ;-)
Agent Scully Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Neither did the actors/actresses of Hollywood.
Jan Klump · 17 years, 5 months ago
Yep. Another good point. And we haven't even gotten in to the history of marriage -- designed so men could own wives. In the olden days it wasn't allowed in church. Now the church thinks it is their thing. First weddings began to be held on church steps until the church finally allowed them inside.
Misch · 17 years, 5 months ago
I'll beat Michael to the joke... married gay couples have every right to be as miserable as married straight couples.
renita · 17 years, 5 months ago
thanks jaci,

yah. I believe that gay marriage should be legalized, but I voted for option 'B'.

Go ahead, legalize the union, call it marriage... whatever.
But marriage in the legal sense of the word only.
Like someone going to the justice of the peace (or getting a friend to perform the ceremony)

rgardless of the history of the church, what it now practices is the sacrament of marriage, and it is now an important part of the identity of the faith.

I believe the church's stance is worng, but that it has a right to it.

And no, I don't think it should have a right to ban all gay marriages... but I would like it stipulated in the legislation that this is a matter of the separartion of church and state, so that no one can try to force the church to perform a marriage it does not approve of.
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Who's talking about forcing the church to do anything? Churches don't have to perform *any* of their sacrements if they don't want to.

What we're arguing about is *civil law*. As to whether God blesses gay marriages, I think the law should stand mute.
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Why should the church get any more protection against lawsuits than any other institution? I mean, if I make an invention that cures cancer, converts water into gasoline, all the while giving off a pleasant loganberry scent, some boob could sue me for something dumb.

That's just the part of the cost of our legal system. If you have suggestions for making it work better, I'm all ears, but most of the suggestions I've heard tip the scale too far in one direction or another.
Zach · 17 years, 5 months ago
Of course! Why wouldn't we want anyone to have a jovial marriage? (badpun)
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Heh. It's an oxymoron...like "swiss cheese"
nate... Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Now now.. just because you haven't seen a happy marriage doesn't mean it can't happen, michael.
:P

My parents are very happy and in love.
Melinda J. Beasi Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Hey I have a happy marriage my very own self! So do my parents. :)
nate... Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
w00t w00t!
:)
Snow In Summer · 17 years, 5 months ago
disclaimer: before i tear off into a spiel, let me just make sure that everyone understands that this is solely my opinion & not the opinion of any one else. if you don't have something constructive to reply, don't clog the forum & just send a frum that i'll delete ;-)
moving on. i'm going to break this down into 2 areas: civil & religious. i have always believed in a separation of church & state in the US. it has not always been upheld because well, many people have their own interpretation of the 1st Amendment. however, it is not the government's responsibility to enforce any religion's acceptance of either hetero- or homosexual unions. each religion has it's own view of what a "marriage" should be, and it is only up to that particular sect's ruling body to determine if they support certain types of unions.
on the civil side of the issue, i completely support the legalization of gay unions. not only would many gay couples feel "legitimized" in the eyes of the state, but it would be a financial boost for the states in the first couple years. think of all the money that would come into the states' budgets from licensing fees. it would also afford certain rights to spouses that perhaps hetero couples take for granted: to get the married couple tax break, the ability to adopt children (yes, unmarried couples can adopt, but it's easier for married couples), the rights as next-of kin in emergencies.
saying that, i would like to see the entire marriage licensing process overhauled. for example, in Pennsylvania, a couple must wait only 3 days after receiving their license, but a no-fault divorce takes 30-120 days to process through the courts. i've always thought the opposite should be true. there would be no more "shotgun weddings" or "Vegas weddings." on the divorce side, i could name dozens who have been separated for years and just do not want to go through the divorce paperwork or the filing fees. they stay legally married until one of the parties wants to get married again.
if states reviewed laws regarding civil unions and the sometimes spurious nature of those unions, i don't see why anyone in a committed relationship* could not legally be married. in due time, most religious sects would follow suit and allow gay marriages in their houses.

* except cousins, that's just icky. :-)

btw, options a & b are pretty much the same & don't mention religion at all. option b suggests that the state call gay unions something other than a marriage. i viewed it as a civil legality issue & not a religious one as nate didn't ask how our respective religions (if any) play into this. so i voted for a.
Jeffs D (a.k.a Devon) Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
good job, dude!! i wholly support your opinions, and if you please, would like to add a few of mine: the deal with gay union confuses me...the dictionary definition of marriage is *the institution whereby men and women are joined in a special kind of social and legal dependence for the purpose of founding and maintaining a family* yet, it also says that marriage is *an intimate or close union*. now, where? is this going? well, apart from the fact that mirriam webster is contradicting itself, the word "marriage" can mean for practically any couple, and as you said "not cousins", well, i argree *ew*. ok, well, *union* is currently the wordfor gay marriage, but i ask, "why is it a different word with the same meaning?" as for the separation of church and state, i have absolutely no idea of what that is. church and state, i know, don't agree with each other, but seemto agree on one thing: gay marriage is improper. ok, well, i've forgotten my piont, if you find it for me, please frum!
Snow In Summer Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
like i said in the disclaimer... it's my opinion & if you met my cousins you would understand :-)

use of marriage v. union: i was using them in a synonymous term as i can't stand people who use the same word repeatedly when there is a synonym for it. see, wedding wouldn't work as that's just the ceremony... and "coupling" (while a great BBC show being mangled by NBC) holds more of a sexual connotation which is exactly what i was trying to avoid.
suggestions?
Jillian Bird Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
I think that we need to change the meaning of the word. (disclaimer of my own: i'm a language student and i might go slightly off topic). You might think that the meaning of word don't or shouldn't change, but the fact is they do. Over long periods of time, the meaning of word change and adapt to suit the society that uses them. The people who write the dictionaries are usually the last ones to conceed that a word means something different now than it did 50 years ago. I think it's only a matter of time before dictionaries acknowledge that the meaning of the word "marriage" can encorporate a union between two people of the same sex, just as long as English speaking society uses that word in that context.

And as for church and state, I don't think that churches should be forced to perform gay marriages if they don't want to (I mean, as it is now, churches are allowed to decide who can marry whom. some churches rufuse to allow people who aren't baptized in that denomination to marry within that church, and that's their choice) But at the same time, there are certain denominations that will bless gay marriages (the united church for example). So, the more "liberal" churches should be allowed to hold gay weddings if they so desire.
Misch Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Right. And you can always have the marriage done by a judge or in some places by town/city clerk officials, or an international justice of the peace. It won't matter so much what the church does.
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
The first amendment has nothing to do with the separation of church and state. All it does is forbid the FEDERAL government for prohibiting or endorsing a religion through laws. As much as some don't like to see it, this country was founded on loosely Judeo-Christian values.
Snow In Summer Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

once again, we're back to interpretation.  you interpret the law differently than i interpret it.  neither of which makes a bit of difference as we are not the ones making those laws.  i stated at the beginning of my original post that it was my opinion & mine alone, right?  i am not making this into a 1st amendment debate.  if you have an issue with my personal stand on civil recognition of homosexual marrigaes, make your point.  otherwise, stop being so *%*( nitpicky.

have a nice day :-)

danced with Lazlo Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

"It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses." --John Adams

"Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law"  --Thomas Jefferson

"When a religion is good, I conceive that it will support itself; and, when it cannot support itself, and God does not take care to support, so that its professors are obliged to call for the help of the civil power, it is a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one."  --Benjamin Franklin

"the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion." --George Washington

I think it's pretty clear what their intentions were.

Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Way to take a bunch of quotes completely out of context. And your last quote isn't even directly attributed to George Washington, but rather a treaty between the US and Barbary, taken IN CONTEXT to mean that the United States was not a Christian theocracy.

Sorry, but in most instances the founding fathers were Christians, and the Declaration of Independence does call on the Christian God, and the term "providence" does refer to Christian beliefs.

The government of the United States was founded upon religious tolerance and religious freedom and the men who founded it were Christian. Not one single place in the founding documents of this country say there should be a "separation of church and state". That phrase is taken from a letter of Thomas Jefferson while he was President. He never meant for it to be interpreted that there can't be an acknowledgement of the Christian God by those in office. The only hold back is that there cannot be any religious test for office, and Congress cannot pass any law prohibiting or endorsing a certain religion.
stealthlori Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Please explain how self-described Deists are Christians. I'd love to know, since it's an 18th-century philosophy closely resembling agnosticism.

Unless you mean they were of Christian heritage and used the language of that heritage and the 18th-century vernacular -- in much the same way we now exclaim "oh my God!" That is another thing entirely from their own statements of belief in the existence, or lack thereof, in a knowable divine principle, Judeo-Christian-Islamic or otherwise. (As a side note to Jonathan's rant, I find it bizarre how many "Christians" leave common Abrahamic roots completely out of their "heritage" invocation.)

Jefferson was "averse
to the communication of my religious tenets to the public because it
would seduce public opinion to erect itself into that inquisition over
the rights of conscience, which the laws have so justly proscribed."

And although he's not a Founding Father, John F. Kennedy's views on religion, and its mutual noninterference with statute, were critical to his being elected in a country that in 1960 viewed with concern the idea that he might be a political puppet of his Church's doctrine. Here's what he had to say:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"It is my firm belief that there should be separation of church
and state as we understand it in the United States -- that is,
that both church and state should be free to operate, without
interference from each other in their respective areas of
jurisdiction. We live in a liberal, democratic society which
embraces wide varieties of belief and disbelief. There is no
doubt in my mind that the pluralism which has developed under our
Constitution, providing as it does a framework within which
diverse opinions can exist side by side and by their interaction
enrich the whole, is the most ideal system yet devised by man. I
cannot conceive of a set of circumstances which would lead me to
a different conclusion." -- letter to Glenn L. Archer, 23
February 1959

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Whatever one's religion in his private life may be, for the
officeholder, nothing takes precedence over his oath to uphold
the Constitution and all its parts -- including the First
Amendment and the strict separation of church and state." --
Interview, Look, 3 March 1959

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"I believe in an America where the separation of church and state
is absolute--where no Catholic prelate would tell the President
(should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister
would tell his parishioners for whom to vote--where no church or
church school is granted any public funds or political
preference--and where no man is denied public office merely
because his religion differs from the President who might appoint
him or the people who might elect him.
"I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic,
Protestant nor Jewish--where no public official either requests
or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the
National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical
source--where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly
or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its
officials--and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an
act against one church is treated as an act against all.
....
"Finally, I believe in an America where religious intolerance
will someday end--where all men and all churches are treated as
equal--where every man has the same right to attend or not attend
the church of his choice--where there is no Catholic vote, no
anti-Catholic vote, no bloc voting of any kind--and where
Catholics, Protestants and Jews, at both the lay and pastoral
level, will refrain from those attitudes of disdain and division
which have so often marred their works in the past, and promote
instead the American ideal of brotherhood.
"That is the kind of America in which I believe. And it
represents the kind of Presidency in which I believe--a great
office that must neither be humbled by making it the instrument
of any one religious group .... I believe in a President whose
religious views are his own private affair, neither imposed by
him upon the nation or imposed by the nation upon him as a
condition to holding that office.
"I would not look with favor upon a President working to subvert
the first amendment's guarantees of religious liberty. Nor would
our system of checks and balances permit him to do so--and
neither do I look with favor upon those who would work to subvert
Article VI of the Constitution by requiring a religious
test--even by indirection--for it. If they disagree with that
safeguard they should be out openly working to repeal it." --
address to the Ministerial Association of Greater Houston, 12
September 1960

Just imagine if today's American pols had the courage -- or the commitment to religious (and nonreligious) freedom -- to act on a belief in that America, and to renounce attempts by the Moral Majority, the Christian Coalition, Focus on the Family, and the Vatican to influence their platforms, campaigns, and bills.
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
The founding fathers were not Diests, that is an erroneous assertion. Adams himself even asserted the formation of the Unite States were based of the basic (not specific) Christian principle:

"The general principles, on which the Fathers achieved independence, were the only Principles in which that beautiful Assembly of young Gentlemen could Unite....And what were these general Principles? I answer, the general Principles of Christianity, in which all these Sects were United: . . . Now I will avow, that I then believe, and now believe, that those general Principles of Christianity, are as eternal and immutable, as the Existence and Attributes of God; and that those Principles of Liberty, are as unalterable as human Nature and our terrestrial, mundane System." - The Adams-Jefferson Letters

There are many more instances showing the founding fathers were Christians, not deists. An official professing their beliefs (which are protected under the Constitution) or hanging a cross up in their office does not establish a religion.
stealthlori Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Are Tom Paine and Ben Franklin not Founding Fathers? Did Paine not write Age of Reason, and The Rights of Man?

Paine, to Sam Adams:

"You form your opinion of God from the account given of him in the Bible; and I form my opinion of the Bible from the wisdom and goodness of God manifested in the structure of the universe, and in all works of Creation. The result in these two cases will be, that you, by taking the Bible for your standard, will have a bad opinion of God; and I, by taking God for my standard, shall have a bad opinion of the Bible.

The Bible represents God to be a changeable, passionate, vindictive Being; making a world and then drowning it, afterwards repenting of what he had done, and promising not to do so again. Setting one nation to cut the throats of another, and stopping the course of the sun till the butchery should be done. But the works of God in the Creation preach to us another doctrine. In that vast volume we see nothing to give us the idea of a changeable, passionate, vindictive God; everything we there behold impresses us with a contrary idea, -- that of unchangeableness and of eternal order, harmony, and goodness. The sun and the seasons return at their appointed time, and everything in the Creation proclaims that God is unchangeable. Now, which am I to believe, a book that any impostor might make and call the 'word of God,' or the Creation itself which none but an Almighty Power could make? For the Bible says one thing, and the Creation says the contrary. The Bible represents God with all the passions of a mortal, and the Creation proclaims him with all the attributes of a God....

"We have to answer to our Creator and not to each other. The key of heaven is not in the keeping of any sect, nor ought the road to it be obstructed by any. Our relation to each other in this World is as Men, and the Man who is a friend to Man and to his rights, let his religious opinions be what they may, is a good citizen, to whom I can give, as I ought to do, and as every other ought, the right hand of fellow-ship...."
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Thomas Paine's Age of Reason was fairly well denounced by most of the "main" founding fathers. Ben Franklin used the term deist must differently than people today use it when they call the founding father's diests.

"

I have read your manuscript with some attention. By the argument it contains against a particular Providence, though you allow a general Providence, you strike at the foundations of all religion. For without the belief of a Providence that takes cognizance of, guards, and guides, and may favor particular persons, there is no motive to worship a Deity, to fear his displeasure, or to pray for his protection. I will not enter into any discussion of your principles, though you seem to desire it. At present I shall only give you my opinion that . . . the consequence of printing this piece will be a great deal of odium drawn upon yourself, mischief to you, and no benefit to others. He that spits into the wind, spits in his own face. But were you to succeed, do you imagine any good would be done by it? . . . [T]hink how great a portion of mankind consists of weak and ignorant men and women and of inexperienced, inconsiderate youth of both sexes who have need of the motives of religion to restrain them from vice, to support their virtue . . . . I would advise you, therefore, not to attempt unchaining the tiger, but to burn this piece before it is seen by any other person . . . . If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be without it? I intend this letter itself as proof of my friendship" - The Works of Benjamin Franklin (letter to Thomas Paine 1790)

"The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue equity and humanity, let the Blackguard [scoundrel, rogue] Paine say what he will." - The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, dairy entry for July 26, 1796

"

[W]hen I heard you had turned your mind to a defence of infidelity, I felt myself much astonished and more grieved that you had attempted a measure so injurious to the feelings and so repugnant to the true interest of so great a part of the citizens of the United States. The people of New England, if you will allow me to use a Scripture phrase, are fast returning to their first love. Will you excite among them the spirit of angry controversy at a time when they are hastening to amity and peace? I am told that some of our newspapers have announced your intention to publish an additional pamphlet upon the principles of your Age of Reason. Do you think your pen, or the pen of any other man, can unchristianize the mass of our citizens, or have you hopes of converting a few of them to assist you in so bad a cause?" - The Life and Public Services of Samuel Adams, letter to Thomas Paine, Nov 30, 1802.
stealthlori Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Deist: One who believes in the existence of a God, but denies revealed religion; a freethinker.

Note: A deist, as denying a revelation, is opposed to a Christian; as, opposed to the denier of a God, whether atheist or pantheist, a deist is generally denominated theist. --Latham.
Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, In

Franklin certainly fits this definition. So for that matter does Paine. Yes, the Adams brothers both defend Biblical Christianity against Paine's writings -- but as injurious to feelings and repugnant to the interest of the citizenry. Nothing in the Adams' or Franklin's words indicates their own adherence to Christian beliefs, so much as a respect for the positive influences it has on society at large -- perfectly in keeping with an 18th-century Deistic, rational, humanist mentality concerned with society's smooth function. To defend some social outcomes of a belief system against a rather brutal attack does not imply adherence to that belief system, or even wholehearted approval of it.

~~~~~~~~~

From Jefferson we have the following: "Fix Reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason than of blindfolded fear. ... Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it end in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise and in the love of others which it will procure for you" (Jefferson's Works, Vol. ii., p. 217).

"Read the Bible as you would Livy or Tacitus. For example, in the book of Joshua we are told the sun stood still for several hours. Were we to read that fact in Livy or Tacitus we should class it with their showers of blood, speaking of their statues, beasts, etc. But it is said that the writer of that book was inspired. Examine, therefore, candidly, what evidence there is of his having been inspired. The pretension is entitled to your inquiry, because millions believe it. On the other hand, you are astronomer enough to know how contrary it is to the law of nature" (Works, Vol. ii., p. 217).

in a letter to John Adams:

"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter" (Works, Vol. iv, p. 365).

On New Testament writings: "If we could believe that he [Jesus] really countenanced the follies, the falsehoods, and the charlatanism which his biographers [Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John,] father on him, and admit the misconstructions, interpolations, and theorizations of the fathers of the early, and the fanatics of the latter ages, the conclusion would be irresistible by every sound mind that he was an impostor" (Works, vol iv, p. 325).

"Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others, again, of so much ignorance, of so much absurdity, so much untruth and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being. I separate, therefore, the gold from the dross, restore to him the former, and leave the latter to the stupidity of some and the roguery of others of his disciples" (Ibid., 320).

on the Disciples and the Apostles: "Of this band of dupes and impostors, Paul was the great Corypheus, and first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus" (Ibid. p. 327).

~~~~~~~~~~

George Washington was circumspect in his religious expressions, but while he attended Episcopal Church services on occasion he never was observed in communion, and made efforts to absent himself on Sacramental Sundays. His own pastors say:

Bishop White: "I do not believe that any degree of recollection will bring to my mind any fact which would prove General Washington to have been a believer in the Christian revelation further than as may be hoped from his constant attendance upon Christian worship, in connection with the general reserve of his character" ("Memoir of Bishop White," p. 193).

Dr. Abercrombie, to Dr. Wilson regarding the Washington's religious views: "Sir, Washington was a Deist."

The Rev. Dr. Ashbel Green, chaplain to Congress during its sitting in Philadelphia, remarked on a plan by clergy to pin down Washington's beliefs. He "dined with the President on special invitation nearly every week; was well acquainted with him, and after he had been dead and gone many years, often said in my hearing, though very sorrowfully, of course, that while Washington was very deferential to religion and its ceremonies, like nearly all the founders of the Republic, he was not a Christian, but a Deist."

and further commented to the Hon. A.B. Bradford "that from his long and intimate acquaintance with Washington he knew it to be the case that while he respectfully conformed to the religious customs of society by generally going to church on Sundays, he had no belief at all in the divine origin of the Bible, or the Jewish-Christian religion." http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/john_remsburg/six_historic_americans/chapter_3.html#2




danced with Lazlo Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

By all means, please, put these quotes in context. I'd like to see what context could possibly change the obvious meaning of these quotes. You've provided nothing to demonstrate such a change so far.

And even *if* the founding fathers were all "Christians" I fail to see what bearing their personal religious convictions have on the development of the United States of America anymore than the election of a Jewish president would suddenly turn the country Jewish (God forbid)... and correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall ever seeing "Jesus" or "Christ" mentioned in any of the founding documents.

Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Why should I correct your erroneous assertions? Go look up the meaning, I've already proven one of yours not only taken out of context, but wrongly attributed.

My point is that people that take "separation of church and state" to mean that no government official anywhere can express their beliefs or that religious displays on public property are to be prohibited are peverting the concept.
danced with Lazlo Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

I fail to see how you have "proven" anything. Your assertion that I have taken these statements out of context and that the context changes the meaning implies that you know the original context. Your assertion that the original context changes the meaning places upon you the responsibility to back up that assertion.

And again, NO ONE is saying that government officials cannot express their own faith. I don't know where you are getting this idea.

danced with Lazlo Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
oh, and as for public property, that should be obvious. If the property is public i.e. governmental, then it is no longer an official expressing his or her own religious conviction but rather the government itself which purports to speak for all of us. The government is not allowed to endorse one religion over another, or over lack thereof. I don't see how that is anything but crystal clear and painfully obvious.
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
I fail to see how putting up a Nativity scene endorses a religion. Nor does it prohibit other religious displays from other religions. And the Constitution does not prohibit the endorsement of a religion via actions or words. It prohibits the making of a law prohibiting or establishing, and bans any form of religious test for office.

I don't see how that is anything but crystal clear and painfully obvious.
danced with Lazlo Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

You don't see how a display depicting the mythical birth of the Christian savior endorses religion?

Using  one's position as an official of the state to institutionalize one's view that America is a Christian nation founded entirely on Christian principles is precisely the kind of thing that is forbidden. Are Christmas presentations treated with preference over other religious displays? Are the tax dollars of all citizens.. including athiests and other nonchristians... being used to pay for a Christian display? That is a step beyond the general expression of cultural displays. Does that mean every display must be forbidden and all reference to religious things of any sort must be erased from public life? Of course not. However, there are times when there is an obvious abuse of position or authority which is entirely about the establishment of religion.

stealthlori Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
So who's paying for this Nativity scene, this Festival of Lights, this public observation of Ramadan or whatever? If government pays for one, they have to pay for all. That's a ridiculous use of tax dollars. Otoh, if individual citizens pay for one, then all other groups have to have equal access to the property so that they can erect at their own expense these celebratory displays. Judge Moore doesn't have exclusive rights to the display area at his courthouse. Maybe he could rotate it with the Wiccan Rede: "An' harm ye none, do what ye will." I'd pay for that. :D

Or, we could just keep overtly religious symbolism, including Scriptural texts, off public property entirely. I'm for that.
danced with Lazlo Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
oh, and you still fail to point out where anyone has said anything about government officials expressing their personal religious convictions.
JÂșnÂȘthÂȘn · 17 years, 5 months ago
I think the point here was civil marriage, not forcing churches to perform religious ones.
nate... Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
That was my intent when I made the poll, yeah.

But I think a lot of people get religion all mixed up in marriage.
nate... Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
lol!
Misch Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
It's doing the backstroke, sir.
renita Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
yes, but discussion of one leads into the other...

because once it's legalized I, like jaci, think it's highly likely that someone will file a discrimination suit.

there are precedents for it here in canada.
nate... Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Discrimination suit?
Based on what?
renita Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
that gay marriage is legal and therefore it is discriminatory that the church will not perform them.

I have actually met someone who would like to push that envelope.

We also have the case of the gay ontario student who was attendign a private catholic high school.
he wanted to bring his boyrfriend to prom.
the school said "no"
he took it to court.

and so this private function at a private instution was told that if there was a prom he had to be allowed to bring his date.

the prom was cancelled.

now granted. I think the school was wrong, it's stupid for them to say he couldn't bring his date.

but I do think they had the right to do so.
nate... Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Yeah, I agree with you... that's ridiculous!!!

They're a private institution, they have the right to make up whatever dumbass rules they want.
renita Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
but this is why I always specify that in legalizing gay marriage that it needs to be legaly a civil action ONLY.

and that it needs to be specificaly stated as such in the legislation.

because given things like this, it would be only too easy to take a case to court.
Melinda J. Beasi Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
The thing is, that's the only kind of marriage the government has ever been able to make laws about to begin with. My marriage, for instance (as you are well aware;) is not recognized specifically by any religious organization. It did not take place in a church, and was presided over, legally, by a Canadian college student (of the utmost caliber, of course). As far as the Catholic church (for instance) is concerned, it is not a real marriage. The Catholic church, in fact, would not have agreed to marry us. We (as in We the People) have never been able to tell churches who they must marry. We haven't ever tried to. Why is this different?
Melinda J. Beasi Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Yeah, I can see your points... I'm just being all cranky about it and stuff. :) I keep wanting the world to be reasonable, and it just isn't, y'know?

*cleans up pieces of jaci's head*

*glues them back together*

How's that?

:)
Eri Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
*sets a hat on top to cover the dried-glue-lines*
Snow In Summer Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
4 words: Boy Scouts of America.
Jillian Bird Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
i think i'm missing what the boy scouts have to do with anything.
nate... Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
They don't allow gays.
nate... Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Funny thing about the athiest thing is that I was a boy scout and I don't recall any religious stuff at ALL being involved.
Mistress Rabean Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

I was a Girl Scout, and I didn't know until I was out of Scouts that Girl/Boy Scouts were Christian organizations.  We didn't do religious things.  We did crafts, had parties, and stuff.

nate... Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Exactly.
I grew up with absolutly no religion... and I don't even recall "god" being mentioned in cub/boy scouts.
JÂșnÂȘthÂȘn Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
you were too busy being "morally straight" to worry about stuff like that!
nate... Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Umm.. huh?

*puzzled look*
Misch Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Ummm... no? Boy Scouts is NOT a Xtian organization. Some troops are chartered to Xtian goups (Example: BSA Troop 440 in the Greater Niagara Frontier Council is chartered to St. Gregory The Great). Many troops are registered to other organizations (BSA Troop 262 in the Greater Niagara Frontier Council is chartered to the Mill Middle School PTA)

Although the Scouting program was chosen to be the offical youth program of the Mormon church, please note that it was not the BSA that chose to be the official program of the Mormon church. It was the Morom church that chose to have the Boy Scouts as its youth program.
stealthlori Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
It's amazing how many Scouters think it's an Xtian organization, however. Sad but true -- they are not well-informed about their own organization, and they perpetuate misinformation.

I've had assorted arguments on the matter with Cubmasters and Scoutmasters who are quite convinced BSA adheres to fundamental Biblical Christianity. They are affiliated with church-based troops in non-diverse communities, and can't imagine a troop sponsored by a nonsectarian community organization, meeting in a public school, wanting to have as members Buddhists, Muslims, Unitarians or *gasp* families with gay parents.
sheryls Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

i didn't realize it until my second year when we started singing religious songs and making crosses out of matchsticks.

my mom was mad and pulled me out. i joined girl scouts again at the Hebrew Academy, where we didn't do any religious activities (not even jewish ones).

stealthlori Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

Holy crap I can't believe I was on vacation for this discussion.

I'm active with Scouting For All, but there's also necis.org -- the Council For Inclusive Scouting.  Both organizations are trying to work within Scouting for change in BSA's relatively new -- and uniquely American -- policy of discriminating against gays, nontheists, and assorted gay-affirming or nondoctrinal religious institutions.  

 Unfortunately, BSA doesn't want to hold discussions or otherwise give any ground, and they don't allow individual troops to follow their own consciences on the matter.  In May they forced the local Philadelphia council to rescind a nondiscrimination policy, and they just kicked out a Venture Crew unit in Sebastopol CA for refusing to revoke its nondiscrimination statement.   As a heavy recipient of taxpayer funding and public-works largesse, they're in violation of assorted municipal and state nondiscrimination statutes across the country, leaving those communities little legal choice but to end their funding until the Scouts adopt a simple and just policy that serves all boys and reflects worldwide Scouting values,  not just those of a couple of conservative American church bodies.

As for Girl Scouts USA, they don't discriminate on sexual orientation, although they do require a belief in some high power .  But there, unlike with BSA, apparently any will do, including the "nontraditional" powers like science, nature, logic, reason or human potential.    

And now, it's time to unpack.  ;) 

Jillian Bird Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Ok, i see where my confusion was.  I was involved in Scouts Canada and (as far as I know) it's not officially anti-gay.  In fact, i heard of a troup in toronto geared specifically for gay/lesbian/bi youth.  and as for the religious thing, according to my training as a leader, we're supposed to promote "spirituality" which can mean anything from being involved in a specific religion to having much more broad-reaching definition
stealthlori Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
As I understand Scouts Canada -- and please correct me if I'm wrong -- it is the largest of several Canadian Scouting organizations, is the largest and most organized, and is the Canadian member of the World Organization of the Scouting Movement (Scouting's international promotional organization, which accepts only one member organization per country.) You are correct that Scouts Canada is nondiscriminatory on the basis of religion and sexual orientation, and leaves membership decisions to its individual units. It also is a co-ed organization.

There are other, smaller "traditional" Scouting organizations in Canada, some of which discriminate on sexual orientation or religious grounds, others which don't. Unlike in the US, these other Canadian organizations are permitted to use the term "Scouts" in their name; in the US, BSA and GS-USA are the only youth organizations permitted, under copyright, to use that word.

BSA in the past couple of decades has become heavily intertwined with several socially conservative churches that sponsor troops and make handsome donations to the national organization's coffers. In light of that, they have increasingly enforced the "duty to God" part of the Scout oath, expelling nontheists from their ranks, and have newly defined "morally straight" and "clean" to mean "heterosexual". Several gay Scouts and leaders have been ousted; some have been aggressively "outed" before their expulsion. In most cases the gay Scouts' troops oppose their ouster, but are overruled by the local Council or the national office. They also have withdrawn recognition of the Unitarian-Universalist's "God and Country" medal for the UU's support of gay rights, and have threatened other denominations with the same nonrecognition -- in essence declaring that BSA is a higher belief system than a Scout's own religious convictions.

As noted earlier, this sort of discrimination would be within BSA's rights if they truly behaved as a private organization. But by meeting in public schools, boasting a Congressional Charter, and accepting ample governmental (and military) benefits they have crossed the private/public line. I don't think it's right to force a church-based troop to accept nonbelievers, or gays if they oppose homosexuality, but I don't think that troop should receive taxpayer funding when it is acting as a private religious organization and not as a public service. As for the national leadership expressly prohibiting progressive-minded, "public"-oriented troops from enacting nondiscrimination policies or keeping their gay and nontheist members, that is simply outrageous.
Misch Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
You are correct. A significant number groups dropped their troop charters after the whole flap began. There are some of us trying to promote change from within.

All said, I still think scouting is a great activity, we just need to change some minds of a few people in the leadership.
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Good. I don't donate to the United Way anymore because they give money to BSA.
wild bill Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Funny, a friend of mine doesn't donate to the united way anymore because the UW was telling the BSA to be more tolerant of gays.

cheers.
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Awesome! My enemy is doing my work for me!

I heartily approve.
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
I stopped giving to them back in high school (my job had the option of giving a percentage of your paycheck to the UW) when their past leadership imbezzled a couple hundred million and went to live somewhere in the tropics. Add to that they are horribly mismanaged and have a cents on the dollar ratio close to most government programs.

Habitat for Humanity, St. Jude's Children's Hospital, Doctor's Without Borders, and a couple local charities here are much better alternatives than the bloated UW.
Misch Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Then make a contribution to the United Way and ear mark it for another organization. You have that choice when you make a donation to them.
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
But giving to the United Way whilst earmarking it for another organization is still tacitly supporting the BSA.  THe United Way will not see any money from me until they stop supporting bigotry based on religion and sexual orientation.
Andrea Krause Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

Yes, if one is going to earmark money for a specific place then why not give directly to that specific place? That both avoids supporting an organization you have a beef with as well as circumvents the possibility of financial scandals that another poster alluded to.

It's been my impression that UW is a place to give money to charity when you don't really know which charity you'd favor but still want to GIVE. If you're sure enough to earmark it for somewhere specific then I'd think you're sure enough to do it without a middleman.

Misch Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
The United Way is a clearinghouse for other charities. Lori is correct in noting that you should just donate to the charity directly. The only thing I can reply to that is saying that a few companies may match donations to certain groups, the United Way being one that they will primarily match.
Andrea Krause Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

I'm glad my company is a little different. It matches anything you give to charity (over $25) if you go through the right process. It doesn't pick and choose which it will match. Yay!

stealthlori Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
This really depends on what your local United Way chapter's policy is on BSA. Some United Ways fund BSA, others do not precisely because of the discrimination issue. (The one in SE PA doesn't.)

That said, I agree with Starfox on this -- I don't trust UW to use my donations wisely because of their notorious past abuses, and by acting as a "middleman" UW applies administrative costs that decrease the value of your contribution before it ever gets to the cause of your choice. You get more bang for your buck if you donate directly to organizations that you know practice fiscal responsibility and uphold your values.
lawrence Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
because once it's legalized I, like jaci, think it's highly likely that someone will file a discrimination suit.

wait, but wouldn't that be like... filing a lawsuit against a Catholic church because they wouldn't perform a Bar Mitzvah? that is, totally ridiculous, because they'd be asking the Church to do something that is not part of their practice.
A girl named Becca Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Yeah, it is totally ridiculous. The American people have, however, demonstrated that they are ready, willing, and in many cases anxious to conduct ridiculous lawsuits against anyone they can think of. So I think it's a good idea for legislators to do their best to word new laws in ways that limit misinterpretations and lawsuits.
lawrence Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
like the guy who sued Pizza Hut for $2 million because they wrote a racial slur on his receipt. true, it was inappropriate, and the employee who did it should be dismissed and they should issue a formal apology, but $2 million?!!
hkath Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
I still don't know what they wrote! i'm dying to know, because when I first read about that it was on Fark, and I assumed they had posted the link because they were making fun of the guy for thinking a Pizza-related term was a racial slur. I'm guessing now I was wrong.
Bel kjfdxcvuyjh8 Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
The scary thing is, a lot of people win the stupid lawsuits.
A girl named Becca Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Indeed. All the more reason to keep those people from thinking they can sue a church for refusing to marry them.
Laura P. · 17 years, 5 months ago
I agree this is two seperate issues : religious and civil. (the argument of what is legal versus what is moral. Those things overlap somethimes, but are not the same thing.)

I am the lone person (so far) who voted for the third option. I almost went with "b" but that sounded a little "pro-union" and I have to say that I'm more union-nuetral. I'm not going to lobby for it, but I'm not going to lay down on the congressional steps in protest either.

Marriage is a loaded word and one affiliated, like it or not, with organized religion. Marriage is defined by most people as some sort of legal/religious union between people of opposite genders. Gays have as much right to marriage as we all do, i.e. they can unite with someone of the opposite gender. "But they don't want to"? well, they have the right not to excersize the right to marry someone of the opposite sex, too.

Anyway, I think its funny whenever talk turns to religion and gay marriage it is always the Christian point of view that is condemned as intolerant. How many religions world-wide approve of gay marriage? I don't have the answer, but it is something to think about.
Eri Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
I think that, as far as the Christian point of view being used as an example, it's because that's the anti-gay-marriage point of view that we see more often. We -know- just from picking up a newspaper, what the Catholic and Anglican churches have had to say on the issue, because it's right there.

As for other religions, I would -assume- that many others are anti-gay-marriage, but I couldn't say for -sure-, so I wouldn't use them as an example.
Jillian Bird Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Just for the record, my Anglican church had a contingient marching in the Gay Pride Parade in 2003 in Toronto
Josh Woodward Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
> How many religions world-wide approve of gay marriage?

I don't care if this or that religion approves. We are not a theocracy (usually). Laws should be passes for the common good, not for religious views. Whether or not the word "religion" is affiliated with religion in the minds of some, they should not be in charge of deciding what it means to others.
A girl named Becca Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Marriage is a loaded word and one affiliated, like it or not, with organized religion. Marriage is defined by most people as some sort of legal/religious union between people of opposite genders.

First of all, I think that "marriage," like a lot of words, has multiple definitions. It can certainly be used to refer to a religious union, but it does not have to be. Even among strictly religious groups, I think you would find few people who refuse to refer to civil ceremonies as "marriages." So the word is affiliated with religion, but not limited to it.

Second, as Jillian said above, the way people define words is subject to change. Many people may think of marriage as being a union of two people of opposite sexes, but one could easily argue that this is because that is the only kind of marriage that is legal in most of the world. If same-sex couples were allowed to marry, it's highly likely that our conception of the word "marriage" would adjust to include that.

Personally, I think marriage is and should be a union of two people who love each other, regardless of sex and regardless of who sanctions the ceremony.
renita Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
marry is also the term used for mixing the contents of two bottles of the same liquor.

for instance, after the luncheon that my organization puts on every year we have multiple open bottles of wine, it's all Brand X Cab sauv. or whatever the white is that we order, anyway. we take all those half bottles and combine them into whole bottles which we then divi up and take home (I know, no class--but hey, free booze--one year I scored three bottles!)

anyhow. off-topic, but only slightly as that process is referred to as marrying.

and the wine is married wine.

etc.
lawrence Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Marriage is a loaded word and one affiliated, like it or not, with organized religion.

in this country, legal and religious definitions should be separate. I saw a couple get married last weekend by a justice of the peace. does that make their union any less valid than one performed by a priest?

Anyway, I think its funny whenever talk turns to religion and gay marriage it is always the Christian point of view that is condemned as intolerant. How many religions world-wide approve of gay marriage? I don't have the answer, but it is something to think about.

honestly, I don't care which religions have that view. it is intolerant, and I'm perfectly willing to condemn all of them - just the points of view, not the religions themselves.
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Why is it intolerant to have an opinion something is wrong? Isn't it intolerant of you not to be accepting of the religious opinions?

Everyone is intolerant and discriminatory in some fashion or another, it is impossible to be otherwise.
Josh Woodward Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
I personally think it's fine that religious institutions oppose gay marriage. According to the bible, homosexuality is a sin. We can't be having marriages for sinners, can we? *cough*

It's a good thing that churches don't get to say who can and can't get married.. I'd never have a chance :)
lawrence Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Why is it intolerant to have an opinion something is wrong? Isn't it intolerant of you not to be accepting of the religious opinions?

so you're saying that I should be accepting of the opinions of racists, too? sorry, but I just can't accept that. there are some opinions that are harmful, and the opposition to homosexuality is harmful, destructive, cruel, and intolerant.
nate... Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Yeah?!
YOUR MOM!
:D
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
I oppose homosexuality. I also will never interfere in what to consenting people wish to do so long as they do not infringe on the rights of others. Is my opposition to homosexuality "harmful, destructive, cruel and intolerant"?

Why are there such things as "gay rights"? or "black rights"? There are no such rights, t here are only one kind of rights "human rights" if you are human, you have the same rights as everyone else, period.

Racists have the right to their opinions so long as they do not infringe on the rights of another person.
nate... Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
You're contradicting yourself.

"if you are human, you have the same rights as everyone else, period. "

So, then, you agree that gay people have the right to marry.

Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
I agree they have to live in a union similar to marriage, but marriage in my opinion is a religious sacrament and defined by one man and one woman. I've already stated I don't think the government has any business dictating to anyone who and who cannot marry.

This issue of gay marriage has less to do with rights and more to do with trying to make people accept a particular lifestyle.
lawrence Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
no, it has everything to do with rights. why does it try to make anyone accept anything? I've known plenty of heterosexual marriages I've thought were a really bad idea, too, and yet they're perfectly legal, and I'm "made to accept them." what's the difference?
Eri Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
So if marriage is a religious sacrament, as someone who is not a member of a religious organization, I can never be married, regardless of the fact that I am one-half of a heterosexual couple?
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
The common form of marriage is religious in nature.

However, people have been getting married for far longer than the Christian church as been around. That's why there is such a thing as common law marriage (which is not just shacking up with someone). Common law marriage is still confined to a man and a woman though since the common law is based on precedent.
Melinda J. Beasi Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
My husband and I were married (legally, in accordance with the laws of the state of Massachusetts) in our apartment by a Canadian college student with no religious figures present (well, except a UCC minister who is a close friend of my family, but he didn't participate). God was not mentioned (or even hinted at) during the ceremony (which we wrote) at any point. We had nothing resembling a religious ceremony and no church had any say in it whatsoever. It also has nothing to do with "common law" marriage.

We have a legal marriage certificate from the state. We are recognized as a married couple by the federal government as well. Whether you (or your church, or anyone's church) thinks our marriage is real (since it was NOT performed in a church and had nothing to do with a sacrament) is irrelevant. We don't care and neither does the government. This is what the government has the power to grant to same-sex couples. This is marriage. No church required. That is what we are talking about.
Melinda J. Beasi Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
AND before you ask... Yes. It is called "Marriage", God or no God. Not "Civil Union" or anything else. From How to Obtain a Marriage License in Massachusetts:

Is it possible for a layperson to solemnize a wedding? Yes, it is possible for a non-minister or non-justice of the peace (such as a relative or family friend) to obtain special one-time permission to perform a marriage. The Governor may designate any other person to solemnize a particular marriage on a particular date and in a particular city or town, and may for cause at any time revoke such designation. Upon application, approval, and receipt of the letter of designation, a registration fee of $25 is then paid to the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, through the Public Records Division, to receive the Certificate of Solemnization. The entire process takes approximately 4 -6 weeks. The bride and groom must then turn in this Certificate of Solemnization with their marriage certificate to their local city/town hall.
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
In most states this is erroneously referred to as common law marriage or informal marriage. It is still a statutory marriage as are ones performed by a priest. If you get a state marraige license, you're getting a statutory privledge and thus is not common law.

Without a license, there is only true common law marriage which may have a religious ceremony or may not (anyone can perform a common law marriage). The common law form of marriage is a man and a woman, and it would take multiple court rulings to establish a new precedent.
Melinda J. Beasi Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
This is not, in Massachusetts, referred to as "common law marriage" or "informal marriage". It is simply referred to as "marriage". That was my point. You said "The common form of marriage is religious in nature." I was pointing out that this is not the case. For many many people it has nothing to do with a church or a sacrament or anything like that at all and we do not want it to. This was what I was trying to say, though your reply makes little sense.

No, that's not true. My real point was:

Keep your religion off of my marriage.

Thanks.
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Who's trying to put my religion on your marriage? There are two valid forms of marriage outside of statutory ones: religious and common law. Both are defined by a man and a woman.

Marriage has been, for centuries about a man and a woman. There have been homosexuals for probably an equal number of centuries. Outside of government granted spousal benefits, there is little need to alter the definition of marraige to include same-sex couples. Since my view on marriage is dependent also on my view of government having no place in the equation, I don't see how I'm trying to force my religion on your marriage.

You have a statutory marriage between you, yourself, and the State. Great, good for you. My statement stating the common form of marriage is religious in nature is still true. Most people have a religious ceremony as their wedding. If you don't want a religious ceremony, then there's common law.
lawrence Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
you know, I don't think it's such a good idea for you to go placing definitions on someone else's marriage. you have absolutely no place to tell people what or who they are or what they are a part of. and I would think that you, as a libertarian, would understand that.

if the person involved in the union calls it marriage, then it's marriage, and you shouldn't be trying to diminish the meaning of their union by calling it anything else.
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
I can tell someone anything I like, you consistently misunderstand what libertarianism is all about. I don't see to enforce what I think on other people.

I'm sorry if you don't understand the legal nature of marriage licenses. It is a *statutory privledge* that is, in effect identical to marriage in all aspects except the legal one. I have never said it was not a marriage. Legally speaking however it is a statutory privledge regulated by the State.

Common law marriage is something different, as is a religious one. Strictly legally speaking.
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Oh. One thing. Not all states recognize common law marriages that have taken place within their borders. Minnesota, for example. If you move from another state that *does* recognize common law marriages will recognize it (because of full faith and credit) but they don't recognize any that originate in MN.

And what the hell does common law have to do with this, anyway?
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
It doesn't matter whether or not the State "recognizes" common law marriage, it has no effect on the validity of the marriage.
Josh Woodward Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
It does when the government gives special incentives and breaks to people who are legally married. The inability of two people to acheive this status due to their sexes means that the government is imposing its morality onto society.
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Exactly, so, end the special incentives and breaks (which are coupled with a whole slew of programs which ought not to be anyways), and you remove the problem.
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
There are two separate systems. There is the *civil* and the *religious*.

There is a bright line between the two. I, as a minister, can perform all the marriages I want. But unless the people involved jump through the statutory hoops, the state ain't recognizing it.

If two people get married by a JP, the church (whatever church, it doesn't matter) is free to not recognize them as actually being married. We agnostics have a phrase for that very case: "so what?"
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
No, *civil* and *religious* marriages, if registered and licensed by the state, are statutory in nature.
lawrence Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Racists have the right to their opinions so long as they do not infringe on the rights of another person.

they have the right to their opinions, but I do not have to accept their opinions. in fact, my normal reaction is to denounce and condemn their opinions.
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Therefore you are intolerant of their opinions.
lawrence Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
and of course intolerance is intolerance and there are no degrees of it or "appropriate" kinds of it. way to generalize there.
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Just illustrating that intolerance is a bad word to use. You use it against those who disagree with your positions and opinions, while not seeing that in doing so, you are being intolerant yourself.

I don't think homosexuality is "right", and you call me intolerant. Seeing as I actually accept homosexual people for who they are even if I don't agree with their lifestyle, I don't see how you can call me intolerant.

Everyone is intolerant and judgemental. It is impossible not to be.
lawrence Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
um, no, I don't "use it against those who disagree with my positions and opinions." on this particular issue, the people who do disagree with me are intolerant. but I don't consider people who, for example, oppose gun control intolerant, even though they disagree with me.

in this context, "intolerant" has a certain meaning. whether or not "not accepting intolerant views" fits the dictionary definition of the word, it certainly does not fit the commonly accepted meaning.
Bel kjfdxcvuyjh8 Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
You people argue about tolerance. I would consider myself intolerant of homosexuality. That probably makes me more intolerant than either of you. So stop fighting.
wild bill · 17 years, 5 months ago
what's next?

women priests?

paying catholic school teachers a living wage?

promoting planned parenthood?

people breaking bread with prostitutes and tax collectors?

loving one's neighbors as yourself?

i prefer my catholic church to be ignorant, hypocritical and intolerant.

better yet, if we all sat around and prayed hard enough, maybe this whole gay thing would go away.

oh and ps. the world is still flat.

renita Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
"oh and ps. the world is still flat. "

they officially accepted the rotundity of the earth about 50 years ago, I think.

"paying catholic school teachers a living wage?"
that's a diocesan issue. here in vancouver it's pretty comparable to a public teachers wage, less, but fair.

"promoting planned parenthood? "
planned parenthood was started by a racist woman, a woman who writings were studied by hitler. a woman who wanted to stop the procreation of lesser races, which also happened to be a large portion of the lower class. so yah. the church is against that.

"people breaking bread with prostitutes and tax collectors? "
the church is also still about that.
however, that prostitute and that tax collector, well. they stopped doing what was "wrong" repented and changed their ways. the church is all about receiving lost sheep back into the fold, once they've learned the error of their ways.

"loving one's neighbors as yourself? "
okay that one. *sigh* I have no response for.


bored, bored, bored.... Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

"loving one's neighbors as yourself? "

But no coveting,,,,I hear you're not allowed to covet. *g* 

We've had a few Gay Marriages here in Vancouver, and wow, I'm still married.   Still heterosexual and still married.  Who knew?

wild bill Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
they officially accepted the rotundity of the earth about 50 years ago, I think.

well, its good to see that they're on top of things. I hope nobody had to be boiled in oil for that pronouncement, right?

that's a diocesan issue. here in vancouver it's pretty comparable to a public teachers wage, less, but fair.

of course it is, its the catholic church's version of passing the buck. its how they justify preaching ("pay a person a living wage") and not practicing it.

planned parenthood was started by a racist woman, a woman who writings were studied by hitler. a woman who wanted to stop the procreation of lesser races, which also happened to be a large portion of the lower class. so yah. the church is against that.

I fail to see your logic here. So if a bad person were to promote .. I dunno, universal health care or environmental protection the church would be against it? For example, Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, I don't think that completely negates all the "useful" things he did in his life. And when I mean planned parenthood, I don't necesarilly mean the organisation.

No what the church should be doing is not promoting safe sex or planned parenthood to despirately poor nations. Infact, what they should do is make using contraception a sin. Because really what more could a third world country need more than disease and more population.

however, that prostitute and that tax collector, well. they stopped doing what was "wrong" repented and changed their ways. the church is all about receiving lost sheep back into the fold, once they've learned the error of their ways.

Did they convert before or after? Jesus was constantly hanging out with the worst sort of people in his day, the pharisees weren't too keen on the whole idea as you might imagine. I doubt Jesus converted every tax collector and prostitue he happened across but who am I to question the memories of people who wrote his story over a hundred years after his death. Personally I find the bible pretty dull so a quick search on google gives me this...

The Pharisees charged that Jesus was "a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners" (Luke 7:34).

Not something you'd accuse someone if their sole purpose in hanging out with those people was to convert them all.

okay that one. *sigh* I have no response for.

you skipped the women priests. i'm surprised. i mean there should be some justifiable reason why only men are deamed worthy enough to molest children.. errr.. guard the flock.

Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Insofar as the Catholic Church is concerned, their handling of the relatively small number of priest who are actually pedophiles has been nothing less than disgraceful, disgusting, and dishonorable. They deserve to be dragged over the coals for how they've handled it.
Agent Scully Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Small number? I think it's bigger than that. It just hasn't made the papers yet.

I would bet that there is one pedophile in every church (which I hate to say it- okay maybe every 2-3 churches).

Funny enough to say that the school/church I went to while in grammar school had a pedophile for a priest (molesting 4 boys) as well as the principal being a pedophile.
A girl named Becca Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
They deserve to be dragged over the coals for how they've handled it.
And they have been, and are being, dragged over the coals. However, most of the casual references I've seen to this issue refer not to the organization and its poor policies on abusive priests, but to priests as child molestors. I have yet to see any of these remarks qualified in any way. A lot of people aren't dragging the Church over the coals, they're dragging priests over the coals. And most priests are innocent on this count.
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Alot of so-called good priests are at best facilitators of the bad ones, and at worst accessories to the fact.
A girl named Becca Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
I'm sure that's true. I still object to the far-too-common implication that they're all guilty.

Lots of racial minority and certain social groups have high rates of violent criminals and high rates of the "facilitators" that go along with violent criminals, but reasonable people don't conclude from that that it's OK to insult or discriminate against blacks, or hispanics, or poor people.
wild bill Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
in my defense...

a) i didn't colour all priests as pedophiles. i have known a great many priests, all of whom i would deem incapable of doing something so destructive and evil.

b) i think the molestation issue has a lot to do with how out of step the catholic church is with the lay people. when the head of the lay orginisation that was charged with helping the church reform steps down saying that church has no desire to reform and is about as helpful as the mob, i think that says a lot. the church has always been an organisation that is about 200 years or so behind the times. i find it difficult to swallow how the church can spend millions of dollars defending and protecting these people but can't pay their teachers a living wage. i also have a hard time swallowing how any organisation that does such practices can preach that they're a moral authority on anything. i also fail to see how it cheapens the argument, considering if you take these things into account and that fact that it is the catholic church which is making the big stink about the sanctity of marriage then the moral authority by which the organisation claims to have should be called into question. or don't you feel that is relevant? i could be completely off base here, but if something or someone was telling me what I was doing was wrong, I'd probably want to figure out whether or not the person accusing me of wrong doing had an inkling of what wrong and right was. besides it was a joke and it wasn't really meant to either add or detract from the argument, although you seemed to not have any issue with me bringing "whether or not the earth was flat" into the debate or women priests or contraception or maybe you did. ;)
A girl named Becca Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Heh...to quote your response to one of my posts on this subject in that LJ thread...

WORD.

Couldn't have said (and didn't, in fact, say) it better myself.
:)
wild bill Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
after my 160-comments-and-counting on this question over on lj, i see red when molestation is thrown into the argument.

well, i guess i'm sorry for bringing up bad stuff, but well, this is a different forum and all, i'm unfortunately able to bring up whatever i feel is relevant, pedofile priests or the inquisition or whatever... i don't normally post to polls but I have browsed to them and IMNOHO this is not a humungous tangent.

to me it cheapens the debate because it isn't arguing the issue. it's saying "yeah, you think we're wrong? well, you're wrong too and besides that your mom is fat".

hardly. its more like this.

[kid 1]: you can't tolerate those people who eat nuts in icecream, nuts in icecream is evil.
[kid 2]: didn't you just murder your parents?
[kid 1]: yes, but you weren't paying attention, the nuts in the icecream, they're evil. so don't think about eating icecream with nuts and don't tolerate anyone that does.
[kid 1]: why should i listen to you?
[kid 2]: because god told me kids that eat iceceam with nuts in it are going to burn in hell.
[kid 1]: umm. okay.

well, okay, maybe not the last bit. but it does seem to me to indicate shaky moral ground on both sides. it comes dangerously close (to me) to saying "yeah, gay marriage is wrong but LOOK! you have bad priests! so who are you to talk?" (does that make sense?)

Sure, that makes a lot of sense if you don't bother to read the clarifying post that you just replied to. I don't see what you mean about the shaky moral ground on both sides though. See, I'm not telling the church how it should practice (well, besides saying that it should practice what it preaches) so really the weight or burden as it were almost solely falls upon the church to "prove" as it were that it is an organisation that has some sort of moral authority beyond the whole "god told us so" angle. because really, any nut can run around and tell people what to do with the excuse that "god told him to tell you", so my argument is why should we follow this group of nuts?

because god told me that you should follow them.

well unfortunately, marriage carries with it a connection with the catholic church because as you pointed out, the pope is trying to make marriage between a man and a woman a *legal* definition (so is our prez). You could certainly separate the two if say the government (the current majority) weren't trying to return us to the "moral, fundimental core". But you'd be hard pressed to come up with a legal argument for the man/woman marriage definition so the argument for it will be moral and not arguing the moral aspects of marriage, I feel is missing a whole lot of the argument.
nate... Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Hey now, I'm sure that he "converted" his fair share of prostitutes....... body of christ, and all.

:D
stealthlori Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
We won't even go into "the disciple Jesus loved". :D

Or, for that matter, the rampant ambiguities on sexuality in Paul, if you read ALL of Corinthians, which apparently is something that few self-proclaimed conservative Christians do. He doesn't have anything to say directly on homosexuality, but man does he seem to view heterosexual relations with revulsion. Hmmm.

For that matter, Christ didn't have a blessed thing to say about homosexuality -- and he's the Jewish guy Christians profess to emulate, after all. Which leaves us with a few passages from what Christians call the "Old Testament" -- Christ's Torah. I wonder if Christians opposed to homosexuality in Christ's name, as a Biblical "abomination", also categorically denounce bbq ribs, shrimp, and football? Or are those just additional examples of those quaint "Judeo-" restrictions?

I like the Rev. Dr. William Sloane Coffin's take on all this: "For Christians, the problem is not how to reconcile homosexuality with the scriptural passages that condemn it, but how to reconcile the rejection and punishment of homosexuals with the love of Christ."
Laura P. Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

I like the Rev. Dr. William Sloane Coffin's take on all this: "For Christians, the problem is not how to reconcile homosexuality with the scriptural passages that condemn it, but how to reconcile the rejection and punishment of homosexuals with the love of Christ."

There is a difference between rejecting homosexuality and rejecting homosexuals. I am not a homophobe, I don't go around lecturing people who are homosexuals (have I ever done that on this site?) anymore than I go around beating-up people who have heterosexual "unions" without marriage.  But, I have a right to believe what I believe.

I think any agument about morals strictly from the Old Testament is on shaky ground, becuase of the Judaic laws that Christians obviously don't follow, and I don't want to get into that. However in Romans (1:26 +27) it says "Because of this God gave them over to their shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandonded natural relations and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, abd recieved in themselves the due penalty for their perversion." This is pretty clear to me.

If the governement wants to institute legal unions for homosexuals, like I said, I'm not going to throw my body on the courthouse steps to oppose it, but neither am I going to endorse it. I believe in the Bible, and I cannot just discard a part of it in the name of political correctness. Sorry.

lawrence Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
There is a difference between rejecting homosexuality and rejecting homosexuals.

no, there really isn't. by openly and vocally rejecting homosexuality, you are placing judgement on people who practice it.

I think any agument about morals strictly from the Old Testament is on shaky ground, becuase of the Judaic laws that Christians obviously don't follow, and I don't want to get into that.

why should the Christian Bible hold any more or less weight than the Jewish one or any other religious text, when it comes to the laws of a secular nation?

or, for that matter, in a discussion where people of many different backgrounds are participating, and not all of them accept the same religious texts?

not only that, but why do people (this is in general, not directed specifically at you) feel that they have to legislate their Bible anyway? where no harm is done, why can't they allow people to "sin" and let them face the consequences you believe they'll face?

after all, if the goal is to make sin illegal, then we'd better make it illegal to covet, worship idols, fail to keep the sabbath, take god's name in vain, etc. and if you (in general) disagree with making those things illegal, why is homosexuality "special?"
stealthlori Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
not directed at Laura OR Lawrence, but ...

> not only that, but why do people (this is in general, not directed specifically at you) feel that they have to legislate their Bible anyway?
where no harm is done, why can't they allow people to "sin" and let them face the consequences you believe they'll face?

heehee. "It's your hell -- you go to it!" :D
lawrence Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
heehee. "It's your hell -- you go to it!" :D

heee! exactly.

not directed at Laura OR Lawrence, but ...

this is getting confusing. Laura, Lawrence, Lori.... anyone else? :)
stealthlori Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
> in Romans (1:26 +27) it says "Because of this God gave them
over to their shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also
abandonded natural relations and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, abd
recieved in themselves the due penalty for their perversion." This is pretty clear to me.

"Because of this" would be key. Go back to Romans 1:18 and read the whole scenario. Paul is talking about Christians in Rome he believes have fallen far from the flock, that have ""exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator".

He is talking about widely-practiced prostitution in cult temples, by both sexes, which -- along with many other practices of the day, such as pederastic enslavement and fornication by all and sundry -- he finds abhorrent and not fitting a follower of Christ. In I Corinthians he only reluctantly recommends marriage (which *at his time* was a contractual arrangement between men for the ownership and maintenance of women), saying: "It is good for a man not to touch a woman, nevertheless, *to avoid fornication* let every man have his own wife ... "(2)

This can hardly be construed as a ringing endorsement of heterosexual marriage, but merely as the lesser of two evils, the greater being the nonmarital excesses he abhorred. ""For I would that all men were even as I myself" (ie, ascetic) "But every man hath his proper gift of God, *one after this manner, and another after that*. It is good for them to abide even as I, but if they cannot have self-control, it is better to marry than to burn". (I Corinthians 7:7-9)

Had the social construct of male/male or female/female marriage existed, he probably would have equated it with male/female marriage on those grounds, since it would have involved sexual relations "with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency." (I Corinthians 7:5)

But no male would have dreamed of submitting to be the property of another, and females couldn't hold property, so we're getting into high speculation here. Furthermore, until recently sexuality was viewed as a range of behaviors, any and all of which were likely to be practiced by any given person as circumstances permitted -- hence the need to regulate those sexual unions that involved and produced "property", or women and children. The concept of an individual's sexual "orientation" or "identity" did not exist until the late nineteenth century; Paul simply viewed marriage as "natural", and fornication of any sort as "the greater of two evils"

Social context is everything.

Laura P. Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

Had the social construct of male/male or female/female marriage existed, he probably would have equated it with male/female marriage on those grounds, since it would have involved sexual relations "with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency." (I Corinthians 7:5)

Maybe this is where the doctrine for homosexual marriage/acceptance in the church (where there is some) came from. I always wondered how it was justified.  You said "probably" and that's just it, its not certain. That's your take on it. But it isn't mine.

There are about a million takes on the same thing (as evidenced by the different denominations of  Christianity). I'm not here to convert anyone, or be converted. I'm also not here to argue theology. My point is, I have a right to my beliefs. If I change those beliefs one day (which I doubt I will) that is also my right. But I should not and will not change them because someone says it isn't politically correct. That's my whole point.  I'm not telling anyone to believe what I do. If they want to, that's great. If not, that's life. However, I'm not going to go through life with my tail between my legs and my head down because of what I believe.

stealthlori Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
> My point is, I have a right to my beliefs. If I change those
beliefs one day (which I doubt I will) that is also my right. But I should not and will not change them because someone says it isn't
politically correct. That's my whole point. I'm not telling anyone to believe what I do.

Bravo! And you're also not telling anyone that law should be based on your religious beliefs -- or mine, or anyone else's. Civil law in the US derives from humanist principles, not religious beliefs, and does not favor any set of beliefs. We're not a theocracy.

I wish you could explain that to many of our politicians. :)
Eri Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Laura - I was looking for a post you'd made earlier and couldn't find it, so I thought I'd say here - your attitude of not agreeing with the issue, but not... erm.. I think you said "laying yourself down on the courthouse steps"? to protest if such a thing were made legal... that is an attitude that I respect quite a great deal. I just wanted to say that.
Laura P. Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

My original post? I know it was around here somewhere....probably buried in the mountain of other posts...

Thank you both so much. My heart was pounding and I fully expected to be frozen out  (or flamed out) when I posted that, but it's great to see that even despite huge differences of opinion there can be mutual respect.

danced with Lazlo Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

K, i'll be honest. I don't respect your opinion. I don't feel that your opinion has any real merit, and I don't think that an opinion should be respected just because it is an opinion or because it is religious in nature. I don't think that religion is untouchable by logic or unchallengable, and I say this as a deeply religious person. You have a right to your opinion, but you do not have the right not to be challenged on it. I'm not sure what you mean by "frozen out" but I have no intention of flaming here. I will, however, continue to challenge opinions which I feel are based on mistaken, erroneous or harmful premises until either that opinion or mine is changed or I feel that the usefulness of the conversation has fizzled.

This isn't meant to be unfriendly, k?

Michael (foof) Maki Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
however, that prostitute and that tax collector, well. they stopped doing what was "wrong" repented and changed their ways. the church is all about receiving lost sheep back into the fold, once they've learned the error of their ways.

Jesus wept.
JÂșnÂȘthÂȘn Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
And Roald Dahl was a horrible anti-semite - didn't stop mom from showing me Charlie and the Chocolate factory. And the VW Beetle started out as a propaganda car for Hitler.

The church isn't against PP for its genesis (no pun intended) - they don't like the idea of reproductive choice.
Mollie Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Renita sez: "promoting planned parenthood? "
planned parenthood was started by a racist woman, a woman who writings were studied by hitler. a woman who wanted to stop the procreation of lesser races, which also happened to be a large portion of the lower class. so yah. the church is against that.
I agree that Margaret Sanger was a eugenicist. I don't think that means that nothing that she accomplished was of any value. I also don't think that Planned Parenthood currently is operating based on eugenicist principles, and I think that using Sanger's eugenicism as a basis of opposition of Planned Parenthood is being obtuse.
I suspect that most of people who oppose Planned Parenthood (including folks from the church) do it because of the abortion issue, and that is their right (to oppose abortion rights.) I respect their right to do so.
danced with Lazlo Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

"planned parenthood was started by a racist woman, a woman who writings were studied by hitler. a woman who wanted to stop the procreation of lesser races, which also happened to be a large portion of the lower class."

Yes, and the League of Nations, upon which the UN is based, was created by a white supremacist. Does that make the UN evil?

oh wait... the UN *is* evil.

Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
> what's next?

People marrying their pets according to nationstates. ;)

> women priests?

Already have that in some sects of Christianity.

> paying catholic school teachers a living wage?

How about paying any teachers a living wage? (Although the teachers at my high school made close to 6 figures in some cases).

> promoting planned parenthood?

Parenthood should always be planned. :)

> people breaking bread with prostitutes and tax collectors?

Prostitutes are far more moral than tax collectors.

> loving one's neighbors as yourself?

Oh f*ck you, you sentimental assclown! Go screw yerself! ;)

> i prefer my catholic church to be ignorant, hypocritical and intolerant.

Let's not forget pedophilic. :)

>better yet, if we all sat around and prayed hard enough, >maybe this whole gay thing would go away.

I'd prefer the ones that do stuff just to shock and draw attention to themselves to go away, but then again, I think that about heterosexual couples who do too much PDA. :)

> oh and ps. the world is still flat.

Depends on what part of the world you in. :)
wild bill Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
I have to say, I'm sorta against pet marriage I'm afraid. Well, I guess as long as it is concentual... (if the dog barks when asked if they want to make the committment).

Yes, there are some women priests and the sky hasn't fallen yet.

How about paying any teachers a living wage? (Although the teachers at my high school made close to 6 figures in some cases).

True, but if you factor in the idea that the average school teachers are underpaid and then realize that catholic school teachers are usually paid *far less* then that.

Prostitutes are far more moral than tax collectors.

Well, i think your views on taxes are well documented ;)

Depends on what part of the world you in. :)

well, yes, true.. from your perspective going north its pretty flat until you hit canada (and even then its still pretty flat).
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
>Prostitutes are far more moral than tax collectors.
>Well, i think your views on taxes are well documented ;)

At least, generally speaking, people enjoy getting screwed by prostitutes.
Bel kjfdxcvuyjh8 Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
LOL!

women preists- I'm Mennonite (big difference between us and the Amish, you know) and we had a female pastor a few years back. Turned out fairly well as I recall.

Actually, though, I'm not sure what would happen if a gay couple wanted to get married in our church. We're pretty laid back but I don't think we have an official position on this issue. Oh yeah- and abortion is wrong too, but I have no problem with birth control.
George E. Nowik Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
>Prostitutes are far more moral than tax collectors.
>Well, i think your views on taxes are well documented ;)

At least, generally speaking, people enjoy getting screwed by prostitutes.

true.  or rather, people are willingly paying to get screwed by prostitutes.  they don't have nearly as much say in the matter regarding the tax colletor. :D

 -= george =-

Songbill Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Tee hee hee!
Agent Scully Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Catholic school teachers in the Western NY area (depending on how poor the church associated with it is) are paid anywhere from $11k - 21K.

I was interviewed with a bunch of different catholic schools and that's the pay range.

NOw how can one make a living on that? Good experience for the teacher. However, I was student teaching in Lancaster, NY and the principal who was on the hiring board stated she would "never" hire a catholic school teacher because they know nothing about public school and how to teach in one. (????)

Public school here is a bit different. Starting salary is around (depends on the district) 29k-31k for a B.S. degree and 35k-40k with a masters.
wild bill Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Catholic school teachers in the Western NY area (depending on how poor the church associated with it is) are paid anywhere from $11k - 21K.

Yup. work for the catholic church in western new york and you're below the poverty level. you probably make more money on welfare.

My sister worked for the catholic church for a year and then transferred into the public system because well, they actually pay a living wage (*shock awe*). The principal of that lancaster school is obviously an idiot, esp since catholic schools typically out perform the public schools even though they're grossly underfunded and their teachers are paid almost enough to be considered poor.

nate... Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Woman priests?!

Are you CRAZY?!!!

It's bad enough that they got equal rights!!!

Next you'll be saying you want black people to have equal rights! Or gays!
JÂșnÂȘthÂȘn Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
I'm still not clear on that whole slavery = bad thing. Bible says it's ok. It also says I shouldn't covet my neighbor's ass.... hmmmm....
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Here's a crazy thing that will probably cause some cognitive dissonance. The 14th Amendment applied only to blacks, not to white people. Read 42 USC 1801 sometime. (That's the Civil Rights Act of 186-something).
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Excuse me, it's 42 USC 1981
JÂșnÂȘthÂȘn Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
As usual, Starfox chimes in with a misinformed opinion.

The text of the neither the 13th or 14th amendments specify race, except Indians who aren't counted for purposes of representation (being sovereign unto themselves, at least in theory).

The section you site, 1981 "Equal rights under the law"

a) All persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall have the same right in every State and Territory to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, give evidence, and to the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of persons and property as is enjoyed by white citizens , and shall be subject to like punishment, pains, penalties, taxes, licenses, and exactions of every kind, and to no other.

So everybody has the same rights as a white person, no more, no less.
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Exactly, why would they have to say "white citizens"? Because there are two classes of citizenship. Citizen of the United States as stated in the original words of the Constitution, i.e. a citizen of one of the many states who have right "imbued by their creator". and citizen of the United States, a construct created by the 14th Amendment to insure the protections of the US Constitution and the rights spelled out in the Civil Rights Act.

So, a citizen of the United States is someone who falls "within the jurisdiction of the United States" (i.e. recently freed blacks), and a Citizen of the United States is an original white citizen.

Read your history. Read the Dred Scott decision very carefully. As well as early decisions on the Civil Rights Act that was passed during the war.
JÂșnÂȘthÂȘn Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
read me ignoring your moronic rants.
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Whatever you do, at least I'm not ignorant like you!
Mollie Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
This argument has hit a new low.
Eri Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
I have to agree. I was surprised to see this.
JÂșnÂȘthÂȘn Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Yeah - I can't believe Starfox called ME ignorant! ME! IGNORANT! ME!

Wait, this was about gay marriage. I'm neither gay nor married. I guess it's not about me after all...

Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Hey, you started it, you just used a different word. Misinformed is pretty synonymous with ignorant, and sorry to say, I've probably read more on the subject and the actual case law from that time period than you have, so I am neither misinformed nor ignorant.

Don't get ticked with me just because I'm more to the point and don't mince words.
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
You should be even more surprised by the profanity laden diatribe I received from him via frumsg.
danced with Lazlo Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Frumessages are between the sender and recipient of the frumessage. Please do not bring that up here.
JÂșnÂȘthÂȘn Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
People who know me would not be the least bit suprised by my profainity. Sorry that your delicate ears can't handle a little invective. And FYI, it wasn't ad hominem argument, I was insulting you, and your parentage.
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
If you go giving the gays equal rights, EVERYONE's going to want them.
nate... Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
I know, right?

Next we'll be lettin them damned chinese have equal rights!

Madness!
JÂșnÂȘthÂȘn Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
I once saw a guy on TV say " I'm not a racist. I wouldn't care if he (the black guy he was accused of running out of town) was a Chinaman."
ChrisChin is Getting Old Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Damned Chinese, huh? Well, we have an old saying from China. Let me see if I can translate it appropriately for the family audience..."Screwww you!" :)
nate... Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
heeeheeee!
:D
Misch Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
No, next is "cats and dogs living together" and "The pope having sex with an underaged goat."
danced with Lazlo Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

"Free love! Yes! The Pope likes free love because I am sheep-fucker!"

"It was a rough year for the Vatican."

Mistress Rabean · 17 years, 5 months ago

I don't see how gay marriage is really going to hurt the "sanctity of marriage" any more than heterosexual marriage does.  What's wrong with letting fellow consenting, adult human beings get married?  If people of the same sex love each other enough to want to be together for the rest of their lives, they should be allowed to do so and get the same benefits (tax breaks, adoption rights, next-of-kin rights, etc.) that heterosexuals get.  Churches, temples, synagogues, et cetera do not have to bless any of these marriages.

I have seen several letters to the editor in the local papers saying how legalizing gay marriage is going to bring about legalization of incest, pedophilia, and marrying pets.  (In other words, legalization of gay marriage is going to bring about Armageddon.  However, I don't recall reading anything about that in Revelations.)  It's ridiculous.  Marrying non-human animals won't be made legal.  We do not understand the language of non-human animals enough to know for certain they love us romantically and are consenting.  Therefore, sex with non-human animals is rape, in my opinion.

Anyway, really that is neither here nor there.  I think people are so afraid of change, of possibilities that they think the worst will happen because of them.  Sometimes they are right, but I don't think they are right in this case.  I have a feeling people thought/said similar things when women and African Americans demanded the same rights given freely to white men.

This is just another step in reaching the equality promised by democracy.

nate... Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
This is just another step in reaching the equality promised by democracy.

That is the bottom line in all of this.

And the point of some of my (very jokingly stated) posts above.

When all is said and done, and marriage is legal for all of us.... we're going to look back on this in much the same way we now look at the movement asking for equal rights for women... or black people... or what have you.

Our kids will be saying, "wow, they were idiots... it's so obvious that everyone deserves to be treated fairly and equally."
Sarah · 17 years, 5 months ago
Please bear with me, I'm very tired.
I am also speaking from the perspective of a Christian American.
I really have to laugh at the concept of separation of Church and State.
Do we still put our right hand on the Bible and say "... so help me God" in courtrooms? YES.
Does our currency acknowledge God? YES.
Do founding documents acknowledge God? YES.
Have we ever had a non-Christian president? NO.
The last may be just coincidence but I do find it interesting. I think all of our presidents have been Protestant also. Maybe one or two Catholics. I can't be sure on that one.
Compare many of our laws to the Ten Comandments...
Other than there not being prayer in school, I don't see all that much separation (aside from a few protests).
Sarah
Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Kennedy was a Catholic.
Paul D. Beasi Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Adams was a Unitarian.
Paul D. Beasi Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
In fact, US Presidents were:

Episcopalian - 11
Presbyterian - 9
Methodist - 4
Baptist - 4
Unitarian - 4
Disciples of Christ - 3
Dutch Reformed - 2
Quaker - 2
Catholic - 1
Congregationalist/United Church of Christ - 1
George E. Nowik Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

protestants.  gah. :D  and one catholic.

where's orthodoxy, damnit?   

 -= george =-

danced with Lazlo Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Well, you see George, Orthodoxy is just crazy, and therefore doesn't count. ;)
George E. Nowik Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

there's nothing wrong with eastern orthodoxy.  we just didn't feel the need for a pope. :D

 -= george =-

danced with Lazlo Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
"pope" is a funny word.
Zach Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

Papa (with different parts of the word accented) means Pope, daddy, and potato in Spanish. I call the pope the potato and I usually refer to potatos as popes.

danced with Lazlo Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

heh... pope-daddy.

Pope sounds like poop... call Zilpha.

Sarah Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
I acknowledged that there was at least one Catholic president. As far as I know, he is the only one. I am also splitting Christian into Catholic and Protestant (meaning non-Catholics)
stealthlori Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
"Protestant" is a honking big category with a lot of disagreement in it; you'd do better to split Christianity into gay-affirming/gay-denouncing, or socially progressive/socially conservative.

Affirming: Society of Friends (those who consider themselves Christian), Unitarian-Universalist (ditto), United Church of Christ, Episcopal Church USA, Metropolitan Community Church, some Presbyterian organizations, some Lutheran organizations, some Mennonite organizations, the Roman Catholic lay group Dignity ... even a Baptist congregation here in Philadelphia.

Christianity, and even Catholicism, is not a monolith on the subject of homosexuality or "family values", no matter how much the Christian right would like to claim a monopoly.
Talcott Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
You can throw a good portion of the Methodist church into the "affirming" group. Heck, half of my family church's population is gay (or at least a thrid)
Of course, the president also claims to be a Methodist, but that would be why I said "good portion" instead of "all" ;-)
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Well. UUs ain't necessarily "Christian," although plenty of them are.
stealthlori Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
that would be the "ditto" part of my statement. :)
nate... Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
oO Jesus loves our president... even though he is a catholic... Oo
Agent Scully Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Does our currency acknowledge God? YES.

When did the currency acknowledge God?

This is the same type of thread that was on LJDrama now it's Fruhead Drama.
JÂșnÂȘthÂȘn Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
"In god we trust" was added when they took off "you can redeem this worthless piece of paper for real gold from the federal reserve" in the 30's.

and I'm waiting for the "all others pay cash" jokes to come rolling in.
Sarah Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
"In God We Trust" is printed at the top of bills and coins. (back of bills and front of coins)
Agent Scully Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
"In God We Trust" is printed at the top of bills and coins. (back of bills and front of coins)

Yes it is. (I want to answer DUH but I'll refrain from that)

When was it added? Was it always there?

God was not added to the Pledge of Allegiance until later on. It was officially there when the plege was written.
JÂșnÂȘthÂȘn Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
This is the point that people like Judge Moore seem to miss: Non-christians in this country are constantly bombarded with messages that they are an outsider, and that the posting of the ten commandments in a courtroom sends the message that a person is being judged on how well he conforms to a christian ideal.

And can I ran't for a second: Dear Christians, on behalf of all reformed Jews, please stop saying "Judeo-Christian" when referring to your own, narrow view of the world. We want no part of it.
stealthlori Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Heck, I'm a Christian (of sorts), and *I* want no part of it either.

Of course, I also sport a bumper sticker that says "Jesus was a liberal." I only wish it said "radical eclectic freethinker" instead. :D
Arbie Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

Do we still put our right hand on the Bible and say "... so help me God" in courtrooms? YES.
Ummm... I was flipping channels and watched a program that was was showing Florida courtroom proceedings (I didn't watch enough to figure out why) but I saw several people asked to raise their right hand and swear to tell the truth. period.

As to the similarity of some laws to the ten commandments, well why not? A good idea is a good idea no matter where it comes from. Far more relevant than any crusty old testament rule is the new testament one, the so called "Golden Rule". I remember hearing (on an old pbs show maybe, I don't remember) that most of the major religions have a similar rule. I don't really care who stole it from whom, it still is the best rule for living presented to us .... so far. And arguably, the least practiced.

As to the topic of the poll, I voted to not call it marriage because I am a pragmatist. There are enough people who believe that there is an "institution of marriage", defined roughly as a hetro. union, and that pragmatically what gays need is equal footing under the law. The easiest way to get that is to leave the word marriage out of it. Just in the legal places, we can all call it marriage among ourselves if we want.

I just want to get this off the (inter)national agenda, so we can get on to other things.

Sarah Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Granted I can not hear every trial ever done, but all the ones I have ever seen on TV have included "so help me God."
As far as laws go, yes, it does make sense. But also, if you look, there are many laws against adultry and even sodomy in many states (including California). While it doesn't go to trial that often (pretty much just rape cases) it is on the books. We're living in a society where sex is considered ok and normal for anyone and there was even someone said that for sports stars to cheat on their wives is "no big deal." If they wanted to be techincal about laws, it is illegal.
I could go on and on about this but I really don't feel that on a music forum, arguing about religion and things like gay marriage is a good idea, I actually think it is a horrible idea and has no place here. But like everyone else, I have my right to voice my opionion. I also respect other people's opinions, even if I don't agree.
Andrea Krause Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Well to be honest, I think a minority of people around here consider this a music forum. This has always been about the fruhead community, not the band and the music. And any community, really, has discussion and interaction that goes well beyond the simple thread that ties them together.
stealthlori Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
> But also, if you look, there are many laws against adultry and even sodomy in many
states (including California)

Well, except that the Supreme Court of the United States just struck down every single sodomy law as unconstitutional in Lawrence v. Texas.
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
The fact that there are stupid, unconstitutional laws on the books doesn't make them any less stupid or unconstitutional
danced with Lazlo Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, I find it interesting how some Christians talk about how we should have greater respect for our judeo-christian roots yet often dont know the first thing about Judaism and tend rather to treat it as some ancient, irrelevant, outdated, and quaint starting point for Christianity... something to be mentioned for its importance in a Christian perspective but little else. *shrug*

And Jonathan, if you are referring to yourself as a Jew of the Reform movement then you are a "Reform" Jew, not "reformed," as the Reform movement considers itself as an ongoing process of reformation rather than a reformed (past tense) version of Judaism. If, however, you are an atheist Jew it would be more accurate to call yourself "non-practicing."

On the other hand, if you are an "ex-Jew"... well then your post would make very little sense.

JÂșnÂȘthÂȘn Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
I'm a non-practicing Reform Jew who can't rant and type at the same time... and I haven't reformed, repented, recanted, rescinded, retracted, reiterated, revoked, redacted, or repealed recently.
danced with Lazlo Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

lol... ok, just so we're straight.

So to speak.

dirty life & times Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
right... & i have problems with "our code of laws is similar to the ten commandments" as well.

firstly.... our (the united states') code of laws is big & long. i wouldn't know it from belgium's if it bit me in the ass. the first most recognizable thing about the ten commandments is that there are ten of them. there are more than ten laws in the u.s. there are also commandments against graven images, coveting, dishonoring ones parents & worshipping other gods. those, as far as i know, are not laws in the u.s. so a code with thousands of laws or more contains maybe six, maybe fewer, laws from another document.

secondly, which ten commandments? there are two versions in the old testament, & at least another two which are considered "the" ten commandments by different sects of christians. in judaism i recall, "i am the lord your god" & "do not have gods before me" are two seperate commandments. & adultery & sodomy are the same commandment (one commandment naming all the people/animals one may not have sex with). the "judeo-christian universal" ten commandment statues read a bit different than mine.

thirdly, a side point, the ten commandments are not the basis of jewish law. before them appear the seven noahide laws which the old testament would like jews & nonjews to follow (these include practising monotheism & being fruitful and multiplying). the ten commandments are meant only for jews, & the jewish bible in total contains 613 commandments for jews (these are also counted differently by different commentators).

i don't know that you all needed to know that, but i'm guessing most bible-thumpers who call christianity "judeo-christianity" don't.
Sarah Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
I personally have no problem with taking PUBLIC/ANNOUNCED prayer out of school for this reason. As a Protestant, I wouldn't want to pray to a Catholic saint, Allah, Buddah or anyone that I don't believe in. And I'm sure that there are others who wouldn't pray to the God I believe in. But, I would be offended if I wasn't allowed to pray to the God I believe in on my own, not bothering others, while I was in school.
JÂșnÂȘthÂȘn Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Um, Allah is the same god you pray to, just as described by a different prophet.
danced with Lazlo Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

Sarah,

The fact that the majority of the population of America is Christian and that many of them both in and out of government don't understand the importance of the "wall of separation between church and state" that Jefferson described, and thus tend to ignore it, does not mean that the separation does not exist... it means that we have to work harder to keep it in place.

The answers to your questions are mostly "Yes, but it shouldn't be that way." The phrase "In God We Trust" being added to the money was, as Jonathan pointed out, a pretty damn recent development and was a part of a nationwide resurgence of (Christian) religion. The "Under God" in the pledge of allegiance was added during the McCarthy era as a way of weeding out Communists who tended to be atheists. The fact that our mostly Christian nation has not yet had the stomach to elect a non-Christian president shows nothing more than the fact that our citizenry has not the stomach for a non-Christian leader, it does not de-legitimize religions other than Christianity in America. There is a reason that we do not live in a direct democracy, and that reason is that it was more important to the framers of the constitution that the minority be granted equality and to stave off mob-rule than was direct dictatorship of the majority (in theroy... and every day we move closer to that ideal). We have also never had a black president, a hispanic president, an asian president, a middle eastern president, or a woman president. That doesn't mean that these people are not truly Americans, nor does it mean that the current state of affairs will continue into perpetuity.

And, maybe you weren't paying attention, but the sodomy laws were recently struck down.

Starfox Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
There is nothing prohibiting government office holders from expressing their faith. They just cannot make laws prohibiting or establishing religion. People take one phrase in a letter from Jefferson pertaining to a tax which was going towards church sponsored activities completely out of context.

danced with Lazlo Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Who ever said anything about office holders expressing their faith? What argument is this? What are you talking about?
wild bill Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
I really have to laugh at the concept of separation of Church and State.

I guess thats because you lack a fundimental understanding of the idea. As has been pointed out here many times, an amorphous reference to "god" does not make for the endorcement of any one particular religion over another. one might make the argument that it does promote religion over say atheism, which is true. but god, is not the sole property of christian religions.

I see little bearing on the religion affliation of the president. Its obvious there isn't an IQ test for the office so I doubt that any other attributes assigned to presidents have any bearing on the high price of rice in china. Besides that, there haven't been any women presidents either, I don't think this says anything about the qualities that no doubt a woman would bring to the office. I don't see how this kind of statement is anything but trivia.

Well, if you don't see the separation of church and state, then you obviously haven't really looked.

So, we'll first go through the 10 commandments.

1. Lord your god, etc etc etc.

I'm an agnostic. Don't see the police coming to beat down my door or burn my feet under the coals, etc.

2. You shall not take the lord's name in vain.

Jesus fucking christ. Nope, haven't been arrested yet.

3. Remember to keep holy the sabbath day.

I can go to the store and get beer on sundays, ibfact, i think i bought beer last sunday (amongst other things).

4. Honor your mother and father.

Ha ha ha ha.

5. Thou shall not kill. (murder)

Hmm.. well, okay this one is inforced, but name me a goverment that encourages the murder of its citizens by other citizens. (in general practice mind you).

6. You shall not commit adultry.

No laws I know enforcing this, I think those kind of went the way of the dodo.

7. You shall not steal.
8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

I think most governments promote some sort of honesty and not institutional false testimony and stealing.

9. you shall not covet your neighor's wife.

Unless they figure out how to make thought crime work, no laws against this.

10. you shall not covet your neighbor's goods.

If they ever figure out how to make laws against this, our entire economic system might collapse.

Besides that.. you don't see the police arresting people for selling meat on fridays during lent. If I'm not mistaken all of these are legal: abortion, homosexual relations, buying, distributing and using contraception, premartial sex, masturbation, eating meat any day of the week, any time of the year, oh i am sure i could go on.
renita Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
"6. You shall not commit adultry.

No laws I know enforcing this, I think those kind of went the way of the dodo. "

sorta kinda.

however, when it comes to divorce procedings, I believe that the non-adulterating partner is highly favoured.

that sort of thing, or if the divorce is underway(but not complete) and it turns out one person has taken a new lover, that can shift the balance as well.

correct me if I'm wrong.

so. it's not legal. BUT. the laws that we have to penalize for it if it comes to litigation.



Michael (foof) Maki Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Maybe. It varies from state to state (and I imagine province to province) but, last I heard, most states had moved to a "no fault" form of divorce.
renita Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
ah okay.

the reason i thought of it was that a girl in a class of mine was in a relationship with an older man, and they were keepign things quiet because he's in the middle of a divorce and didn't want to give her more leverage.

*shrug*

I don't know that much about it though.
danced with Lazlo Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

Well, thing is that adultery is a breach of contract given that the marriage contract tends to stipulate monogamy. It is thus not necessarily adultery specifically that is punished but the breach, same as any other contract breach.

yes?

Michael (foof) Maki Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Compare our laws to the ten commandments?!

Only TWO of them have any equivalent in the law. Thou shalt not steal, and thou shalt not kill.

I am legally free to covet my neighbor's wife or house all I want. Similarly, I'm free to worship a golden calf.

1/5 ain't a good ratio for establishing a basis.
danced with Lazlo Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

what's all this talk of 10 commandments? There are 613 commandments. Those ten that you all are referring to aren't called "the ten commandments" anywhere in the Torah, they are called the 10 "things" or "words."

Jeez.

stealthlori Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
And according to Jefferson, none of the 10 (or "the other 603") have anything to do with US law or the US Constitution, or the Anglo-Saxon Common Law on which they are based.

In a letter to Major John Cartwright: "I was glad to find in your book a formal contradiction at length of the judiciary usurpation of legislative powers; for such the judges have usurped in their repeated decisions, that Christianity is a part of the common law. The proof of the contrary which you have adduced is incontrovertible; to wit, that the common law existed while the Anglo-Saxons were yet Pagans, at a time when they had never yet heard the name of Christ pronounced, or knew that such a character had ever existed. But it may amuse you to show when and by what means they stole the law in upon us..."
wild bill Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Well, since the original post was from the "christian american" perspective there are only 10 commandments.. not 613.
danced with Lazlo Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Bill, the origin of the Christian "10 commandments" is the Torah. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the 10 are not mentioned in the NT, i don't think. From whence comes the idea that there are 10 commandments in Christianity?
wild bill Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Well, in the bible I have the old testiment describes a story of moses coming down from a meeting with god with two tables with a two short of a dozen number of rules on them. How the old testiment and the torah mirror each other I haven't a clue to be honest, more likely than not there are some similarities and some differences. Also, the 10 commandments are actually supplanted by the laws of love from the teachings of jesus which essentially boil down to ...

love your god with all your heart, mind, soul, etc and love your neighbor as yourself.

So, yes, while the commandments themselves may not be mentioned (or they may be mentioned, I don't know the NT that well) in the NT, the teachings of christianity are not limited to what is included in the NT. IMHO the 10 commandments are still taught because, first it allows one to have the background to understand what jesus is talking about when replaces them and second is that while they're replaced, the 10 commandments are a pretty simple moral rule set that that you can teach to kids, while what jesus preaches is more grand in scope (and probably not something a 7 year old might understand completely).

An understanding of the old testiment is typically required to understand a number of the teachings of JC. Examples escape me at the moment, probably because its sunny out, its late on friday before a long weekend and I'm really ready to exit work). The OT (torah) is important as far as background material if you're to understand the underpinnings of the faith.

Anyway, the 10 come from the tablets handed by god to moses, unless of course, god handed moses 613 commandments.
ChrisChin is Getting Old Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Moses: "The Lord Jehovah has given unto you these fifteen..." *CRASH* "...Oy...TEN! Ten Commandments!"
Eri Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Don't forget the one about the Moose.
George E. Nowik Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

it's the one that says thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's ass that ruins me.

):

straight to hell with me.

 -= george =-

Andrea Krause Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

Thou shall not be mean to a moose?

HeeeeeDan

danced with Lazlo Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

Bill, the "Old Testament" as Christians call it is the same as the Torah, plus other Jewish writings. I forget what exactly is included in that which Christians regard as the "Old Testament," but the five books of Moses which constitute the Torah are supposed to be the same for Jews and for Christians. Trouble is, most Christians cannot read Hebrew and therefore don't know that the writings on the tablets brought down from Sinai by Moses are not referred to as commandments at all... and since the NT makes no reference to them (that I am aware of) I still do not see why Christians revere these 10 over the other 603. Frankly, I'd think that in order to truly understand Jesus of Nazareth, one would have to be more than a little familiar with not only all 613 commandments, but the Jewish Bible in its entirety in the original Hebrew as Jesus was himself an observant Jew and a scholar of Judaism, and since most translations take more than a few liberties (such as the words "Sodomy" and "Homosexual" which do not actually exist in the Hebrew bible), not to mention the teachings of Rabbi Hillel who was a major influence in Jesus' own philosophies.

One of the biggest problems with Christianity is its ignorance of its roots. The vast majority of Christians base their faith on false premises, mistranslations and manipulation by clergy. So there.

dirty life & times Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
ack... i didn't get to this part before i replied.

so.... see above.

yeah, the cute christian fundamentalist motto "it's the ten commandments, not the ten suggestions!" always makes me crack up.

no, it's the ten.... things.

:)
Eri Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
Michael, are you coveting your neighbour's wife -again-? Geez.
Nick Collins · 17 years, 5 months ago

I personally find homosexuality to be a completely acceptable lifestyle, many of my friends are homosexual, they eat, sleep, pay taxes, work, just like the rest of us, so why not marry?  I personally do not believe in marriage because it has come to be more political than spiritual, I actually do not believe in marriage, I think it comes to uphold governmental and religious control of the human populace which I am completely against.  Monogomous pleasure all the way!  But, even if Bush succeeded in pasing an anti-gay marriage law, I would suspect most people would ignore it anyway, cause Bush has his head up his ass and has no idea how to run a country, so he does not deserve to be listened to.

lawrence · 17 years, 5 months ago
"Are they gonna MAKE US marry gay? I guess it must be mandatory, because if it isn't, why would anybody care?"

oh how I love the Daily Show.
Josh Woodward Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
That's probably the best thing ever said on the topic. Must-see TV. :)
Yvonne · 17 years, 5 months ago

I wore out my scrolling finger finding the bottom of this one!

Absolutely!  I say it should be legal everywhere as it is here in Ontario.  It gives all couples the same benefits, increases equality, makes people happy, and I see nothing morally wrong with it myself, although my religion thinks quite the opposite (I'm supposedly Catholic).  The church dwells way too much in the past and I don't agree with a lot of other things they think, or have thought, are morally wrong.

I'm quite impressed with the way Canada has been changing lately...although not so much with the pot issue, as smoking it is very bad healthwise...and I think we should keep it up.  Go us!  Legalize gay marriage!  It's about time.

Talcott Back · 17 years, 5 months ago
although not so much with the pot issue, as smoking it is very bad healthwise

It is? How so?
Smoke of any sort in your lungs, yeah, that is bad, but beyond that, how is it bad?
Yvonne Back · 17 years, 5 months ago

According to information on the long term effects of marijuana on Health Canada's website (scroll down to the second chart for the long term effects):

"The respiratory system is damaged by smoking; a single joint of marijuana yields much more tar than a strong cigarette. Tar in cannabis smoke contains higher amounts of cancer-producing agents than tar in tobacco smoke."

This is listed, along with other memory function and child development effects.  This is why legalizing it for everyone scares me.

stealthlori · 17 years, 5 months ago
editorial quote attributed to a practicing nun who removed her name for obvious reasons ... from the LA Times on August 16, in regard to Bishop Gene Robinson.

"The actions taken by the New Hampshire Episcopalians are an
affront to Christians everywhere. I am just thankful that the
church's founder, Henry VIII, and his wife Catherine of
Aragon, his wife Anne Boleyn, his wife Jane Seymour, his wife
Anne of Cleves, his wife Katherine Howard, and his wife
Catherine Parr are no longer here to suffer through this
assault on our 'traditional Christian marriage.'"
bjackson · 16 years, 11 months ago

How can civil marriage be a common good for all?  First, let me try to explain why I ask this question.  Ruling out a religious marriage e.g based on one man and one woman, a civil marriage would be defiined as anyone commiting to share their lives together.. partners.. 50/50.   By allowing civil marriages ...there is the potential to open pandora's box.  I could in essence legally marry my roomate.  What the heck .. we're splitting the rent.....utilities.. and everything else. Might as well jump on the bandwagon and get the same rights as anyone else gets in a civil union.  I have better health care coverage where I'm employed. My roomate on the other hand doesn't.  We can fix that.. civil marriage...  Roomate moves out.. easy to fix,... get a divorce!     I could even .. god forbid .. marry brother or sister!  Yes .. civil rights for everyone.. Why shouldn't I be allowed to marry either of them for that matter. It would be discriminatory to disallow it. 

Would I actually do this .. no ..but someone would.  

And let's not forget  about piligamists?  What about their rights.?

The slippery slope just keeps evolving

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