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Teenage Fundamentalist Can’t Wait to See Atheist’s Face When

May 30, 2006 | 45 Comments

Atlanta, Georgia, May 30, 2006
Special to The Raving Atheist

Short-circuiting an online message board debate over the existence of God, a sixteen-year-old Christian fundamentalist informed his atheist adversary that he “couldn’t wait to see your face when” the atheist died and found out that God was real.

The atheist, Brian Hardin, had just pointed out that no evil could exist in a God-created universe when he was confronted by Wes Ritchie’s see your face comment, accompanied by a frowning emoticon.

Mr. Hardin said he was briefly flustered by the interjection. “I felt a moment of embarrassment when I pictured myself being confronted by God, which passed as soon as I saw that Wes was just assuming the existence of the very being whose burden it was his to prove.”

Hardin drafted part of a lengthy response exposing the logical flaw. He reconsidered, however, when he realized that introducing the phrase “begging the question” could only lead to further confusion.

Instead, Hardin opted for a psychological ploy — suggesting to Ritchie that it was unseemly and unChristian to express such a high degree of anticipatory glee in witnessing the surprise and terror of another. Hardin also wondered, facetiously, whether billions of Christians will be looking at billions of atheist faces all at the same time and for how long.

Although Ritchie’s reply to this failed to post due to a server error, when he discovers the problem next week Hardin will learn that Ritchie meant he would “just be very sad” and will be praying for him even though it is ultimately not for him to judge and will be entirely God’s decision.

Comments

45 Responses to “Teenage Fundamentalist Can’t Wait to See Atheist’s Face When”

  1. Dave
    May 30th, 2006 @ 8:44 am

    When Bertrand Russell was challenged as to what he would do if he found out god really existed said he would simply say, “Lord, you gave us insufficient evidence”.

  2. Thorngod
    May 30th, 2006 @ 9:13 am

    If faithers were not utterly blind, they’d be able to discern the true nature of their God from the nature of his creation. If they are half right, Wes and his fellows are going to wake up dancing on hot coals and wailing “God moves in mysterious ways!”

  3. Buddhamonkeydevil
    May 30th, 2006 @ 1:22 pm

    “How wonderfully god-damn delightful it is to be sure.” Charles Crumb

  4. Kamikaze
    May 30th, 2006 @ 2:32 pm

    So… RA ran out of stuff to write about I guess. Still, beats a post about abortion.

  5. hermesten
    May 30th, 2006 @ 3:51 pm

    “…suggesting to Ritchie that it was unseemly and unChristian to express such a high degree of anticipatory glee in witnessing the surprise and terror of another.”

    “unChristian?” Ha ha ha ha ha. Since when? It actually exemplifies the attitude of contemporary American Christians. I once heard a fundie Christian coworker express his great satisfaction over the heathen earthquake deaths he’d just read about in the paper. I never saw the guy happier. Chritianity is this country’s biggest death cult.

  6. qedpro
    May 30th, 2006 @ 6:05 pm

    I’d like to see Christian faces when they die and find out that they’re standing in front of Allah, and boy is he pissed!!!!

  7. Vile Blasphemer
    May 30th, 2006 @ 6:31 pm

    Qedpro, Allah? What Allah? There is no such thing- ha! It’s unfortunate there will be no way to see Christian faces after death since their personalities, memories, etc will dissolve with the cessation of bioelectric synaptic function. Pity- it would be fun to watch.

  8. Some Guy
    May 31st, 2006 @ 7:11 am

    This is your classic cause of schadenfreuden? Man, and I thought laughing at my friend for landing on ‘go to jail’ in Monopoly was mean.

    Do you think this kind of behavior rationalizes religious belief? You have secularists presenting ideas or evidence that can’t be argued through supernatural or biblical explanations, and maybe this culminates a dislike for secular people. “You’ll see that you were wrong…when you’re burning in hell!!”

    You can even see them justify bad things that happen to people. My friend’s father told me that people in Africa are dying miserable deaths because they have a false God.

  9. hermesten
    May 31st, 2006 @ 10:12 am

    “My friend’s father told me that people in Africa are dying miserable deaths because they have a false God.”

    Nice to know Christians haven’t changed much in the last 1,000 years.

  10. SeldomScene
    May 31st, 2006 @ 4:48 pm

    If, when I die, I find out I was wrong and I meet God face to face, I think we’re both going to be pretty pissed at each other.

  11. athiestinafoxhole
    May 31st, 2006 @ 4:55 pm

    it never fails to surprise me how violently intolerant hardcore believers can be. where is all the forgivness. also as a peacekeeper in an army why am i always going to countries to stop wars between religious fundamentalists. its the true scourge of humanity.

  12. Lily
    June 1st, 2006 @ 8:26 am

    atheist in a foxhole:

    Violence of any kind should not surprise you. The true scourge of humanity is humanity. Is that not the lesson of all of history? Was religion the cause of the violence of say, the French Revolution? You probably remember how violent that was from history class. How about Stalin’s excesses? The real question is; why, since violence seems to be inherent in the human condition, is anyone able to come along and make a compelling case for non-violent solutions to human problems? Why do we take such a one seriously in the light of human history?

    As far as the close correspondence between religious fundamentalists and violence, it seems self-evident to me that what people hold dear, is what they will fight over, if it is attacked. Even today, some of you would take umbrage at your mothers being called whores.

    It seems to me that what so much of the commentary here lacks (and I mean on this site) is any true understanding of human nature. There is, in a funny sort of way, an amazing amount of idealism here that just doesn’t hold up very well in reality, e.g. get rid of religion, all will be well; pass laws permitting gay marriage, polygamy, etc. and all will be very well; pass laws against racism, sexism, ismism and all will be well. All would be well, if it weren’t for religion. …

    Yeah, right.

  13. Thorngod
    June 1st, 2006 @ 9:30 am

    “All would be well, if it weren’t for religion.”
    No; only more honest. Were it not for religion, the human might never have achieved a viable civilization. It isn’t possible to say one way or the other. One thing is certain, Either we would have established a more humane and rational world, or we would have remained beasts. Either possibility would be preferable.

  14. Jahrta
    June 1st, 2006 @ 9:33 am

    Lily

    what do you have against gay marriage?

    for that matter, what do you have against polygamy?

  15. Lily
    June 1st, 2006 @ 10:14 am

    Polygamy is bad for women, period. The evidence is all around us. If men can have as many wives as they want, one needs (and can accomodate) very few males. It was not for nothing that my father had one bull and 40 or 50 cows. So what happens to the other males? We know, because we actually see it happening right now in 2006 in Arizona and Utah– teenage boys and young men being thrown out of their families and communities as useless and potential (or real) troublemakers, hanging ’round the wimmin.

    Now, which males will be able to afford all those wives? Typically wealthy males. Which men are wealthy? Usually those who have lived long enough to accumulate money, i.e. older males. When such men collect their trophy wives, it is rarer than rare that they choose older women.

    It is easy enough to see the young, marriagble women being snapped up by older males who have the power and wealth to indulge in their tastes for young women. So, if we were ever crazy enough to go back to polygamy I confidently predict that we are going to see younger and younger women married off to older, more powerful men. Inevitably that means that they will be less and less educated, and therefore, powerless. Do we really want or need this? Why would we invite the patriarchy back?

    Now some will probably try to argue that women could marry as many men as they want. To which I say, back to Human Nature 101.

    I will deal with gay marriage later. I have another bit of civilization to save first.

  16. Jahrta
    June 1st, 2006 @ 12:45 pm

    Perhaps you misunderstood me – i was under the impression you were trying to say that polygamy and homosexuality were someone on an equal “moral” footing. I do not support polygamists, and view the practice as pathetic and corrupt (not to suggest that rich older men don’t screw around with young uneducated women as it is outside of polygamy – just look no further than anna nicole smith’s ‘marriage’ or to Hugh Heffner and his bevy of brainless wonders).

    I just don’t see how you, or anyone else out there, can honestly claim that they have any business telling homosexuals that they cannot marry. What’s to fear? It’s not like they’re hard at work trying to figure out how to subvert ‘merican culture and makes us all gay. They’re only hard at work picking out fabrics for their new curtains and arranging the furniture they picked up at that darling antique store down the road…you know, the one next to the VFW that has that li’l wire haired terrier named “skip” that follows you around when you look at stuff?

    At any rate, gays aren’t the problem. Even if you could pose some coherent argument why they shouldn’t be “allowed” to marry (as women weren’t “allowed” to vote prior to the suffrage movement, and blacks weren’t “allowed” to share in the public services provided to whites prior to the civil rights movement of the 60’s), any problem brought forth by awarding this priviledge would be absolutely dwarfed by any number of actual, REAL problems which face us today…problems which our current administration readily ignores.

    So please tell me, in your own words, why you don’t think that a gay man or woman should have all the rights inherent in people who fall into the category of “heterosexual.” Are they any less human? Are they “ubermenschen”?

  17. Jahrta
    June 1st, 2006 @ 12:47 pm

    Dammit – i meant “somehow on an equal moral footing,” not “someone”…

  18. Lily
    June 1st, 2006 @ 1:32 pm

    Marriage is not a contract. Marriage is not a privileged state in which people gain certain rights that other people are not allowed to have. Marriage is about one thing only and that is the provision of the most stable (both for the individual couple and for the society in which the couple lives) environment possible for the rearing of children, which includes a commitment “til death do us part” or, at least, until the children are grown and out of the nest. The fact that some couples cannot have or do not want children is wholly irrelevant.

    Government (aka society, the community) does not have any business in your bedroom or mine. But it does have a duty to foster stability and families are the backbone of stable communities. Commitment to family with this understanding is *work*. Going into marriage with the notion that getting out of it will be neither easy nor painless, underscores the seriousness of the enterprise.

    Giving marital status to other kinds of arrangements must necessarily harm marriage. We have already seen the devastation visited on a generation (or more, really) of fatherless children in this country. Are you aware of the marriage statistics in such bastions of sexual paradise as Sweden? What happens to the children of polygamy? The “adopted” children of gay couples, particularly when one is a biological parent and the other isn’t? None of this is theoretical. We have already had a foretaste of the problems this causes for children. For more evidence, take a look at Europe.

    That is my combox answer. You might find a recent Stanley Kurtz article on this subject interesting:

    http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MTU4NDEzNTY5ODNmOWU4M2Y1MGIwMTcyODdjZGQxOTk=

  19. hermesten
    June 1st, 2006 @ 4:27 pm

    “Was religion the cause of the violence of say, the French Revolution? ”

    “The” cause, no. Part of the push-back from centuries of hand-in-hand abuse on the part of the Christian Church and the French aristocracy: absofuckinglutely. In fact, priests were often singled out for extreme violence. This push-back against centuries of chuch depredation is a large part of why France is so “atheistic” today.

  20. Thorngod
    June 1st, 2006 @ 4:53 pm

    The increasing divorce rate and the decline in stable traditional families began well before the recently increased tolerance of homosexual relationships. There are many factors involved, but virtually all are economic and are due to the same forces that have brought about the new tolerance of unwed mothers and the relaxation of moral attitudes toward gambling (lotteries and casinos) etc. Society permits what it can afford! Religion blesses (or at least turns a blind eye to) what the society insists on. There is a considerable lag, of course, between the enrichment of a society and a serious relaxing of its moral and legal strictures. But let us suffer an extended period of economic hardship and watch how fast the churches fill up and the old legal and moral strictures return. And guess who’ll get the blame: Atheists, hedonists, homosexuals, witches and heretics. I read Kurtz’s article. He and the others are seeing only tangential and superficial relationships and are misattributing causes. Marriage among homosexuals cannot affect the relationship between me and my spouse or between us and our children. They are simply made scapegoats for our failure to solve the serious problems of underage mothers, irresponsible fathers, and destitute children.

  21. hermesten
    June 1st, 2006 @ 5:41 pm

    Silly Little Lily: “Marriage is not a contract.”

    Bullshit. Silly Lying Lily is always talking about “reality,” but doesn’t seem to let it intrude into her own personal fantasies and desires. A small number of quotes, out of the many many many refering to marriage as a “contract” from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

    CE: “From all that has been said, it is clear that while marriage, inasmuch as it is an outward sign of grace and also produces interior grace, has the nature common to all the sacraments, still, viewed as an external sign, it is unique and very different from the other sacraments. The external sign is a contract; hence marriage, even as an effective sign or sacrament, has precisely the nature and quality of a contract, its validity depending on the rules for the validity of contracts.”

    CE: “In like manner Leo XIII expresses himself in the Encyclical “Arcanum” quoted above. He says: “It is certain that in Christian marriage the contract is inseparable from the sacrament; and that, for this reason, the contract cannot be true and legitimate without being a sacrament as well. For Christ our Lord added to marriage the dignity of a sacrament; but marriage is the contract itself, whenever that contract is lawfully made. . . .”

    CE: “The view that most correctly explains this is perhaps the one that is generally prevalent to-day; in every contract two elements are to be distinguished, the offering of a right and the acceptance of it; the former is the foundation, the latter is the juridicial completion. The same holds true of the sacramental contract of marriage; in so far, therefore as an offering of the marriage right is contained in the mutual declaration of consent, we have the matter of the sacraments, and, in so far as a mutual acceptance is contained therein, we have the form.

    CE: “The Sacrament of Marriage, on the contrary, follows the nature of a contract in all these matters. It admits conditions not only of the past and present, but also future conditions which delay the production of the sacrament until the conditions are fulfilled. At the moment, these are fulfilled the sacrament and its conferring of grace take place in virtue of the mutual consent previously expressed and still continuing. Only diriment conditions are opposed to the essence of the Sacrament of Marriage, because it consists in an indissoluble contract. Any such conditions, as well as all others that are opposed to the intrinsic nature of marriage, have as a result the invalidity of both the contract and the sacrament.”

    SLL (Silly little Lily): “Marriage is not a privileged state in which people gain certain rights that other people are not allowed to have.”

    Here’s one where SLL apparently didn’t read her RNC talking points. A quick check will demonstrate to anyone interested that the #1 Bible beater talking point is that marriage is a priviledge; and, of course, a priviledge that confers no benefits has no value. But then as I proved not long ago on another thread, SLL is a liar. She can’t be so stupid as to claim that marriage confers no benefits, so, once again, SLL is caught lying –even though she will no doubt Bush-quibble some BS about her use of the word “rights” as opposed to my use of the word “benefits.” Bush-quibbling aside, her intent in this sentence is clear.

    SLL: “Marriage is about one thing only and that is the provision of the most stable (both for the individual couple and for the society in which the couple lives)…”environment possible for the rearing of children.”

    Sorry SLL, but following this nonsense with “The fact that some couples cannot have or do not want children is wholly irrelevant” simply does not make it so. There is no reason for anyone to be married if marriage is “only” about providing a stable envirnoment for children (a silly statement that even your Church clearly does not agree with). And, if marriage is “only” about providing a stable environment for children, there are a host of reasons for not allowing people who cannot have children to be married, such as increasing tax revenue and saving employers money on medical insurance.

    Here’s what Catholicculture.org has to say on the purpose of marriage:

    “Traditionally speaking, the primary purpose of marriage is the generation and nurturing of offspring; the second purpose is the mutual help of spouses, and the third is the remedy for concupiscence.”

    So, SLL, you are apparently either lying again, or you’re so fuckin’ stupid you don’t know your own Church’s position on the purpose of marriage.

  22. Lily
    June 1st, 2006 @ 6:25 pm

    I wonder why the old guy (aka Hoary, Hopeless Hermy) dragged Catholicism into the discussion? We were talking about “marriage” as a natural state around which all societies place all sorts safeguards.

    Well, since the Catholic Encyclopedia makes for mighty good reading on a number of subjects, quoting from it so extensively undoubtedly did HHH good– clearly it didn’t improve his temper or his manners — but maybe intellectually … or so one may presume to hope.

  23. Jahrta
    June 2nd, 2006 @ 8:49 am

    Well I disagreed with just about everything you wrote about marriage, Lily, but I would like to ask you this question:

    Do you think gay men make bad parents, or that their rearing of children, either biologically theirs or adopted, has some sort of negative effect on how those children develop? Do you feel this way because of some propaganda you’ve read, or have you actually seen it in action?

    Do you have any notion what the divorce rate is in this country for heterosexual unions? Last I heard it was over 65%. What do you think that does to children’s psyches?

    I don’t have hard data, and legal unions among gays is a right granted only recently, and in several states, but from what I heard the rate of divorce was much lower among them, and some of those unions were classified as “divorce” because they were married in a state that recognized those unions as marriage, but lived in another that did not.

    Lily, would you consider yourself homophobic? If not, I just wanted you to know that you sometimes come off that way.

  24. Jahrta
    June 2nd, 2006 @ 8:51 am

    Ok, so it was more than one question…

  25. hermesten
    June 2nd, 2006 @ 10:38 am

    SLL: “I wonder why the old guy (aka Hoary, Hopeless Hermy) dragged Catholicism into the discussion? We were talking about “marriage” as a natural state around which all societies place all sorts safeguards.”

    Lily’s verison of: “if the law is against you, pound the facts; if the facts are against you, pound the law; and if the law and facts are against you, pound the table.”

    Except that since Lily doesn’t know the law, even the “law” she professes to believe, and usually gets the facts wrong –either by ignorance or design– all she can do, or ever does, is pound the table.

  26. Lily
    June 2nd, 2006 @ 10:38 am

    Jahrta: You must have a short memory where I am concerned because we have had this conversation before and you consigned me to everlasting perdition for having the “wrong” opinions. Still, I am perfectly willing to answer your questions.

    First of all. I do not care, if I come off as “homophobic”. I am not afraid of homosexuals and count more than a handful among my friends, neighbors and colleagues. Their well-being is as important to me as that of anyone I know. Having said that, my feelings for individuals have precious little to do with what is best for society as a whole. Nor do yours for that matter.

    You asked: Do you think gay men make bad parents… No, not if you mean do I think they could and would love their children. … or that their rearing of children, either biologically theirs or adopted, has some sort of negative effect on how those children develop? Yes, how could it be otherwise? How do gays model healthy heterosexual relationships for their children who will, in all likelihood, be heterosexual? How do they model healthy sexuality to the children they raise?

    But really, all this talk about homosexual marriage is a diversion from what is the real and stated goal of our chattering elites– the abolition of marriage altogether. This has been brought up in any number of public venues in this country, Canada, etc. If arrangements become so flexible that any arrangement is “marriage” then nothing is marriage. That is what concerns me and should concern you.

    Stable marriage is critical to the success of society. The fact that so many marriages fail today is an alarming symptom and we ought to be doing everything possible to strengthen it– not weaken it.

  27. Jahrta
    June 2nd, 2006 @ 11:36 am

    “Jahrta: You must have a short memory where I am concerned because we have had this conversation before and you consigned me to everlasting perdition for having the “wrong” opinions. Still, I am perfectly willing to answer your questions.”

    Do you really want to go down this path with me? I thought we were having a civil conversation. Do you not see how that last sentence there is basically the same as saying “I’ll stoop to your level because I’m the better person”? If not, you would remind me a lot of my mom – she can be remarkably condescending and then claim that it wasn’t intentional. At any rate…on to the actual points I’d like to address:

    “You asked: Do you think gay men make bad parents… No, not if you mean do I think they could and would love their children. … or that their rearing of children, either biologically theirs or adopted, has some sort of negative effect on how those children develop? Yes, how could it be otherwise? How do gays model healthy heterosexual relationships for their children who will, in all likelihood, be heterosexual? How do they model healthy sexuality to the children they raise?”

    There are any number of ways that children learn about the relationships, both sexual and non, that exist in social circles. It is true that children pick up a lot of this information at home, but I would daresay that they pick up more from their peers, the media, their teachers and nowadays, the internet. Saying that we should be against gay marriage on the conceit that they will raise children who have socially-disjointed views of relationships is simply unfounded. These types of relationships haven’t been around long enough in our society where we can gather an acceptable number of children raised within same-sex parentage households to conduct an adequate poll or sampling. All else is empty conjecture or personal bias. I can take your basic argument and just as easily apply it to home-schooling: I am against home-schooling your children (and indeed I am) as I feel (and have observed firsthand) that home-schooled children are ill-equipped to handle social relationships with their peers, and are placed at a distinct disadvantage when developing social skills, not to mention that the quality of their education is woefully inadequate in a the vast majority of cases. Should we deny parents the right to home-school their kids? Should kids who are homeschooled up to the level of a high school senior in Massachusetts be deemed uneducated and be denied the right to apply to a college in any other state? To conclude my point, I know all too many people who were raised in religious, conventional households who turned to sex, drugs and destructive behavior with abandon when they escaped the smothering and repressive influence of their parents. I’m not saying it wouldn’t come without negative side-effects (as in kids on the playground saying stupid shit like “ha ha you don’t have a mommy…your daddies are gay!” and other such witty rejoinders), but that should prevent two loving, socially-responsible adults from receiving the same rights and priviledges as everyone else, simply because of their sexuality. They’re not hurting anyone so their actions should not be policed, regulated or monitored.

    “But really, all this talk about homosexual marriage is a diversion from what is the real and stated goal of our chattering elites– the abolition of marriage altogether. This has been brought up in any number of public venues in this country, Canada, etc. If arrangements become so flexible that any arrangement is “marriage” then nothing is marriage. That is what concerns me and should concern you. ”

    Is this really what you guys are all up-in-arms about? Marriage will never be abolished – too many people have too many romantic notions about that day. There are many multi-billion dollar industries that make the brunt of the profits from marriage (or at least weddings….psychiatrists and divorce lawyers make all their money from marriage but I digress). Someone better warn De Beers, the tuxedo companies, the wedding dress makers, and about a billion other people – they may want to know about this! But c’mon…do you actually think that the sole purpose of marriage is to produce offspring? I think more people produce offspring out of wedlock these days than in. I’m not endorsing it, but that’s the reality. Does it mean more if two people stick together to raise a child out of love than out of some perceived contractual obligation? I was married by a JP – would you view that as invalid, or less valid than a religious ceremony? I don’t have kids…am I not “doing my part for the country”?

    And no, I don’t think that you believe those things – just following points to their conclusions.

  28. hermesten
    June 2nd, 2006 @ 12:03 pm

    Lily: “Having said that, my feelings for individuals have precious little to do with what is best for society as a whole.”

    Lily admits her collectivism. Individuals don’t matter, only the mythical “society as a whole.” The doctrine of totalitarians everywhere. Exactly what Stalin claimed when he collectivized Soviet farms, what Hitler claimed when he slaughtered the Jews, and what Mao claimed for the “cultural revolution.” There is no act of evil that this doctrine cannot justify. This is the primary justification used for every murder committed by every State: the needs of the man. However, I suspect that Lily doesn’t expect this doctrine to be applied to her or her family; sacrificing the individual for the “society” is for the “other” individual.

  29. Lily
    June 2nd, 2006 @ 12:34 pm

    Jahrta:
    I am really perplexed that you took my opening statement as condescending. We were and, I hope, still are having a civil conversation. Frankly, I didn’t want to derail it by readdressing a topic that you had already “blistered my behind” about. It doesn’t hurt my feelings when people disagree with me vehemently but it does tend to close off further conversation, if we can’t find common ground.

    With that prelude, let me respond to a couple of points. I intend to be brief but these are such complex and interesting topics that I make no promises…

    You asked: Is this really what you guys are all up-in-arms about? Marriage will never be abolished – too many people have too many romantic notions about that day I can’t speak for everyone but yes, for those who care about the issue, not just from a parochial point of view but from a (for want of a better term) sociological point of view, this is a very big deal. I am afraid that all the available evidence is against your more hopeful scenario. For instance:

    The Law Commission of Canada published its report, “Beyond Conjugality.” (2001) which explicitly states that gay marriage should be legalized but that marriage itself should be abolished.
    Just a couple of months ago, 2 Canadian government studies recommended decriminalizing and regulating polygamy. Do you not remember the stink that it raised? Martha Bailey who was one of the chief authors of the “Beyond Conjugality” report restated and argued all of this in an article called “Regulation of Cohabitation and Marriage in Canada,” which is online:

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=553255

    Stanley Kurtz, who has become the most prominent of the scholars “crying in the wilderness” about these things has written at least one article about the Canadian situation which got me interested in it but also one about the situation in Sweden which is as funny as it is horrifying:

    http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MWI3ZWMyMGRhN2Q3MjA2Y2U4YmU1MDI4YzM3OGUyODM=

    The polygamists are on the move in this country too (http://www.washingtontimes.com/specialreport/20051211-121113-7195r.htm)

    What this all adds up to is not suddenly “making marriage illegal” but defining it and its legal protections out of existence by recognizing all sorts of other arrangements.

    To address a couple of your other points in no logical order:

    You wrote: Saying that we should be against gay marriage on the conceit that they will raise children who have socially-disjointed views of relationships is simply unfounded. These types of relationships haven’t been around long enough in our society where we can gather an acceptable number of children raised within same-sex parentage households to conduct an adequate poll or sampling. All else is empty conjecture or personal bias.

    Not at all. The evidence is all around us that children are shaped by the environment they are raised in. That is why the children of wife beaters tend to grow up to be wife beaters (or beaten wives). We could multiply those kinds of examples. That is why the crying need is to strengthen marriage and encourage healthy families.

    This has gotten far too long so let me respond to just one more of the interesting things you wrote:

    But c’mon…do you actually think that the sole purpose of marriage is to produce offspring? No the sole purpose of marriage is not (just) to produce offspring. But it usually does.

    I think more people produce offspring out of wedlock these days than in. I’m not endorsing it, but that’s the reality. Does it mean more if two people stick together to raise a child out of love than out of some perceived contractual obligation?

    This is a very idealistic assumption that probably has its origins in your social class. There are millions of fatherless children out there. Some of them are the third and fourth generation (my step mother works for a state welfare agency and works closely with such families). Dad didn’t stick around; neither did Granddad. Are you surprised that the boys in those families expect to have children but have no intention of marrying? Just as the girls intend to have children but have no expectation of having a husband. Maybe middle and upperclass fathers do stick around, although I see precious few such families. Dad always seems to move on, while love seems in mighty short supply.

    Any woman who allows herself to be talked into a relationship with children without the benefit of marriage is a fool. Right from the getgo Mr “Love Will Keep Us Together” has signaled his intention to move on, as soon as she ceases to please him. The “perceived contractual obligation” springs from a committment to the partner and is a much stronger basis upon which to build a family.

    Whew! Have I saved civilization yet?

  30. Jahrta
    June 2nd, 2006 @ 2:27 pm

    Hello again…

    “Jahrta:
    I am really perplexed that you took my opening statement as condescending. We were and, I hope, still are having a civil conversation.”

    It is perhaps possible that I misread your intention. After all we don’t have the luxury of voice inflection here. I suggest my interpretation here is more a product of past conversations and personal experience, although many posters here have noted on multiple occasions that you can adopt a decidedly condescending tone at times. As I noted, my mother does this all the time without realizing it.

    “Frankly, I didn’t want to derail it by readdressing a topic that you had already “blistered my behind” about. It doesn’t hurt my feelings when people disagree with me vehemently but it does tend to close off further conversation, if we can’t find common ground.”

    I can relate…trust me.

    “The Law Commission of Canada published its report, “Beyond Conjugality.” (2001) which explicitly states that gay marriage should be legalized but that marriage itself should be abolished.
    Just a couple of months ago, 2 Canadian government studies recommended decriminalizing and regulating polygamy. Do you not remember the stink that it raised? Martha Bailey who was one of the chief authors of the “Beyond Conjugality” report restated and argued all of this in an article called “Regulation of Cohabitation and Marriage in Canada.”

    I’m not familiar with “The Law Commission of Canada,” but the very fact that it’s in Canada will no doubt conjure a big “so what” from the rest of the world. I am unaware of anyone who takes Canada seriously, save the Canadians themselves. I don’t see Canada as the country that will be responsible for sweeping social reforms on this planet anytime soon. I think the overwhelmingly vast majority of people on this planet – theist and non – don’t wish to abolish or obsfucate the practice of marriage. It would anger me to no end if i were a gay man and in love, and someone told me that if the government was going to grant me the right to a formal and legally binding wedding ceremony, they may as well let goats marry mannequins, and flush the whole damn institution down the drain (my words, not yours, but still…same idea, right?). I don’t think that any of you honestly have anything to worry about. Is this truly what the repulican think-tank centers its energies around? It’s no wonder we have no exit strategy for Iraq, let alone a balanced budget, a grasp on illegal immigrant issues, or a cohesive strategy to restore New Orleans. Even if I were of a mind to agree with you on this and deem gay marriage a threat to the institution of marriage, it wouldn’t even breach the top 1,000 problems this nation faces today.

    ” The evidence is all around us that children are shaped by the environment they are raised in. That is why the children of wife beaters tend to grow up to be wife beaters (or beaten wives). We could multiply those kinds of examples. That is why the crying need is to strengthen marriage and encourage healthy families.”

    I view this as a failed analogy, on a multitude of levels. In order to grant your analogy some credence, I would need to view wife-beaters and gays wishing to marry and raise or adopt children as somehow equal. This may not have been your intention, but it seems to label gay men as inherently wicked. It reminds me of the lawyer who asks the defendant “when did you stop beating your wife, mister smith?” no matter what he answers, the jury is already viewing mr. smith as a wife-beater, even if he never layed a hand on his wife in anger. Furthermore, your analogy asserts that wife beaters often raise sons who are wife beaters, which has been shown to be accurate. Gays, however, cannot and most likely would not raise a child to be gay. Such a thing is ludicrous, as there is a genetic reason for homosexuality and it cannot be forced upon someone. Again, i’m not saying that such is your argument, per se, but these impressions can be damaging to one’s argument.

    “There are millions of fatherless children out there. Some of them are the third and fourth generation (my step mother works for a state welfare agency and works closely with such families). Dad didn’t stick around; neither did Granddad. Are you surprised that the boys in those families expect to have children but have no intention of marrying? Just as the girls intend to have children but have no expectation of having a husband. Maybe middle and upperclass fathers do stick around, although I see precious few such families. Dad always seems to move on, while love seems in mighty short supply.”

    Of course I realize that this does happen, and most often in urban sectors. I don’t necessarily see forcing people to marry as the way to end the cycle, though. There is an underlying cause to this sub-culture of having a child by someone who one refers to as “my baby mama,” and that underlying factor is a lack of maturity, coupled with a lack of a proper education and respect. There is also the prevailing concept in certain circles that the more kids you have by multiple women at a young age, the more of a “playa” it makes you. I find it just about as sickening as you do, but again, marriage isn’t the answer. The tact here is to address the “gangsta” idiocy, which one does through proper parenting and schooling. For depressed communities in urban settings, the answer is more police pressence, better schools and teachers, and the creation of more job opportunities. Marriage doesn’t enter into it.

    “Any woman who allows herself to be talked into a relationship with children without the benefit of marriage is a fool.”

    I don’t know if I’d go that far. There are common law relationships wherein the woman is entitled to continued compensation and support in the event that the marriage is desolved. There are certain reasons for a woman to want to get married, but the ironic thing is that I think a lot of marriages fail because of two reasons: 1.) one of the parties involved is too immature to handle the relationship, and 2.) one of the parties (usually but not always the man) comes to resent their spouse because they feel as if they were emotionally manipulated into the arrangement in the first place.

    “The “perceived contractual obligation” springs from a committment to the partner and is a much stronger basis upon which to build a family.”

    People can have a committment to one another without a tangible document stating as much. You have a committment to your god which you profess to us daily. Papers please? :)

    “Whew! Have I saved civilization yet?”

    Lemme check…*pokes head out window*…no, America is still on a downward slide into the fiery pits of Hell…try again :)

  31. Lily
    June 2nd, 2006 @ 4:02 pm

    Rats! Well, I am out of energy now and will have to try again tomorrow.

    For the time being, I will content myself with a bit of explanation about this:

    I view this as a failed analogy, on a multitude of levels. In order to grant your analogy some credence, I would need to view wife-beaters and gays wishing to marry and raise or adopt children as somehow equal. … . Furthermore, your analogy asserts that wife beaters often raise sons who are wife beaters, which has been shown to be accurate. Gays, however, cannot and most likely would not raise a child to be gay. …

    I didn’t mean for you to take my example as an analogy. Wife beaters don’t raise their children to be wife beaters (or beaten wives). They simply model that behavior and children grow up thinking that that is the way moms and dads relate.

    Likewise, my parents smoked. Yet they were horrified when their kids took it up. Hellooo!!? They modelled the behavior and we assumed it was normal adult behavior (which it rather was at the time).

    It isn’t just learned behavior but the way one’s parents interact and act leaves an imprint that happens on an emotional level so deep, that it can scarcely be made good later. I know something about this because my own parents had a highly dysfunctional, though not physically abusive marriage. I knew from a very early age that I wanted no part of marriage because I didn’t want to live “that way”.

    Later I realized that we had had a really odd upbringing and that what we (my siblings and I) had seen and experienced was not normal. But, equally, I was sure that I could not get past it. My siblings were more optimistic and got married– and each marriage ended in disaster. What children experience in infancy and childhood stays with them forever, even when it can be modified later.

    (By the by, that is what made conversion to Christianity really hard for me– hearing about a loving father, God the father, etc. was hardly a recommendation!)

    So when I say that gays cannot model healthy adult (and heterosexual) relationships for children, that is the sober truth. Whether the children can get past that later, if brought up in a loving environment, I don’t know. But I see no reason to use a generation of children as guinea pigs to find out.

  32. Some Guy
    June 4th, 2006 @ 8:52 pm

    “If, when I die, I find out I was wrong and I meet God face to face, I think we’re both going to be pretty pissed at each other.”

    I’m sure God will try to appease you with a free gift certificate or something.

  33. Square
    June 4th, 2006 @ 10:24 pm

    Lily,

    You just put forth an anecdote about your own parents’ dysfunctionality precluding them from modelling healthy adult behavior and listed it as evidence of the “sober truth” that gay parents couldn’t model healthy adult behavior. In doing so, you commit two logical fallacies: The first being the fact that your parents were not gay (I’m assuming), hence your parents’ behavior is in no way evidence against gays being able to model healthy adult behavior; The second being that even if your parents were gay, you’re relying on an anecdote to prove a rule, which is impossible.

    More importantly, there’s the simple fact that, statistically, children raised by homosexual parents do not become homosexual themselves at a higher rate than children raised by straight parents. You don’t need to use “an entire generation as guinea pigs” to prove this statement–it’s already been shown in studies conducted by previous generations and by our contemporaries, and a few Google searches or a subscription to a psychological journal will convince you of their veracity.

    You speak about using “an entire generation”, presumably this generation, to study homosexuality- as if homosexuality were something new that’s never been studied before. In fact, straight kids being raised by gay parents, and gay kids being born and raised by straight parents, is something that’s been happening since the dawn of our species. You talk quite a bit about basic human nature, but how little of that nature you seem to understand. x_x

  34. Lily
    June 5th, 2006 @ 7:24 am

    I think you might need to review the entire “conversation” (several messages) to understand what I was trying to get at. I said that gays cannot model healthy heterosexual relationships and that is self-evidently true. My anecdotes were just that. Illustrations of what I was trying to convey, not proofs of the truth of the argument.

    So what was I trying to convey? That the models of adult interaction that parents present to their children last a life time. Many of the people who contribute here are quite young– teenagers and young 20s. They have just gone through the phase of separating from their parents entirely and don’t even know how much they are like them in a myriad of ways and always will be.

    What is best for children? Not one or two children of the nice gay couple you know or the polygamous couple down the street but what is best for a generation of children? Millions of children? It is a peculiar sort of myopia that writes off 2000 years of human history for social experiments that cannot be made good for their victims, if the experiement fails.

  35. Jahrta
    June 5th, 2006 @ 10:48 am

    Well I don’t know if gay marriage really has the possiblity of affecting millions of children, Lily. While ten percent of humans identify as “gay,” not all of those people want to get married to their life partners, and I’d wager a guess that a large portion of those who do are fighting for the rights afforded to other married couples (tax benefits, being bundled under a spouse’s healthcare benefits and whatnot). I don’t know how many gay couples would want to adopt, and how many gay parents would win custody of a child who was raised in a traditional household, but I don’t see this becoming the pandemic you apparently do.

    I’m sorry you had a crappy childhood. Mine was virtually idyllic, although my father was taken from us at the age of 59 – he died of pancreatic cancer in 2000, a month after his birthday.

    I see no reason why a gay couple couldn’t teach their children that the traditional family consists of a mother, father, and child. They’d figure it out early on anyway – between school and the media there’d be no way to shield them from the truth. There would be awkward moments, but if anything I think it would just mean that the children would grow up more tolerant of alternative lifestyles. Being gay isn’t a choice – people shouldn’t be penalized for it, or denied the same rights everyone else gets to enjoy.

    Last little brain teaser for you…you are apparently against giving gays the right to marry, for fear of the sanctity of marriage itself, so you have stated…how do you feel about them raising children together outside of the institution of marriage?

  36. Lily
    June 5th, 2006 @ 11:25 am

    I guess I don’t find this a brain teaser. It seems clear to me that I don’t think homosexuals should raise children period. The whole move to make gay marriage legal is a political act to force society into approving “homosexuality”.

    You are absolutely right that a large subset of the gay community does not want to be saddled with children and would not move to adopt them even if they did marry. And, as we know, most gays do not wish to marry. These are the people who find marriage bourgeoise and wish to abolish it altogether. It is easy enough to look at the numbers of gays who have “married” in Vermont and Massachusetts to see how important marriage is to most gays.

    Having said all that I know, as do many other people, individual gay (mostly lesbian) couples who are raising children (I believe in each case the biological child of one of them) and from all appearances doing it well. But hard cases make bad law. The stability of such “marriages” appears to be even worse than heterosexual marriages (the first Vermont “divorces” have already taken place) which is another reason to be very slow to approve gay adoptions.

  37. jahrta
    June 5th, 2006 @ 1:13 pm

    Ok so you’ve stated your position and I can’t fault you for being honest, even though I find your take on the matter to be close-minded. There are millions of children out there who are waiting for adoption, and I don’t think the sexuality of the parent should be a deciding factor in who gets to raise a child and who does not. To deny someone that right simply because you don’t approve of their lifestyle – a lifestyle which is as natural and valid as yours – is simply unconstitutional.

    I find it more than a little disconcerting that you would view the fight of the gay community to make it legal for the state to recognize their unions as “marriage” as just another ploy to gain political power. This is ver batim what anti-abolitionists and those opposed to women’s suffrage had to say on the matter. In fact, I am completely convinced that the only reason why there was never an earnest attempt to deny homosexuals the right to vote in this country or share “heterosexual facilities” is that it is all but impossible to conclusively state who is homosexual, without them telling you (can’t always rely on the lisp and fashionable clothes, after all). I find it laughable that so many staunch conservative republicans are so afraid of homosexuality that they will demonize these people at the expense of sounding ridiculous. Gays aren’t actively attacking the institution of marriage, and I disagree with the articles you presented earlier. I know you don’t count yourself among those who are homophobic or anti-gay, but you should know that that is the impression one gets from reading your posts.

    Do your gay friends know you feel this way? Has the topic ever come up (gay marriage)?

  38. Lily
    June 5th, 2006 @ 3:51 pm

    Sure it has come up. And yes, they know how I feel. What you probably don’t know is that lesbians (at least the ones I know) are almost as down on homosexuals adopting/raising children as many of us straight folks are. And there is a reason for that. Can you guess what it is?

    As a matter of fact, there are not millions of children out there waiting for adoption. There are long waiting lists for babies and children; white, black, biracial, handicapped, etc. The only children who are hard to place are older children and it is unlikely that their fate will improve, if gay adoption is made legal all across the country.

    To deny someone that right simply because you don’t approve of their lifestyle – a lifestyle which is as natural and valid as yours – is simply unconstitutional.

    Balderdash! It is not natural and it is certainly not unconstitutional. Homosexuals have all the rights of any citizen, including the right to marry– a person of the opposite sex. The fact that that does not appeal is neither a constitutional problem nor a social problem.

    Keeping homosexuality from being normalized (in situations like marriage) is not the same sort of thing as race or gender discrimination. It is interesting and predictable that it is mostly the under 40 set that buys into that equation. It was the strategy adopted some 20 years ago and it is paying off. The African American community resents it, as well it might.

    I don’t know ny people who are afraid of or demonize homosexuals. Some of the people I most enjoy being around, both in my professional and in my private life are gay. I think the world of one friend in particular. But as a citizen, I have to take the long view of what is good for society and children who are, after all, the future. I have to do the best I can to think through the implications of the policies I am asked to approve. I do this in the light of history, my knowledge of human nature, etc. I won’t always be right but that is part and parcel of the tragedy of being human.

  39. Jahrta
    June 6th, 2006 @ 9:18 am

    “Sure it has come up. And yes, they know how I feel. What you probably don’t know is that lesbians (at least the ones I know) are almost as down on homosexuals adopting/raising children as many of us straight folks are. And there is a reason for that. Can you guess what it is?”

    I can guess, just like you can guess. I don’t know these people so it’s simple conjecture. There are self-loathing jews, gays, blacks, and every other minority group you can think of. There are jews for jesus, and people who hate themselves so much they’ll cause themselves bodily harm. We are irrational animals. Some of us just possess a more reasoned perspective of the world than others. I don’t think that being gay makes one irresponsible, evil, incapable of acting ethically, or expressing wholesome love for a child. I do not believe that a child raised in a home with two loving and supportive fathers will be “messed up” down the road, or that this same child will not be able to gather from his or her peers, media, and parents how the world works outside of their household.

    “Balderdash! It is not natural and it is certainly not unconstitutional. Homosexuals have all the rights of any citizen, including the right to marry– a person of the opposite sex. The fact that that does not appeal is neither a constitutional problem nor a social problem.”

    Homosexuality is natural, i.e., it occurs on a regular and predictable basis (roughly ten percent of any given population) in nature. It occurs not only in humans, but in other primates. It has also been known to occur in a plethora of warm-blooded creatures. Telling a homosexual they have a right to marry a woman is like me telling a blind man he has the right to watch a laser light show. Denying them the right to express their loving relationship in a legally binding ceremony is a social problem. What you mean is that you don’t consider it a social problem, while many others do. Homosexuals are part of society, therefore any ban precluding them from partaking in rights afforded to heterosexual citizens is very much a social problem. It frankly boggles me that anyone as educated as you cannot see that for themselves, no matter what octogenarian expletives you want to throw into the mix. “Balderdash?” For real?

    “I don’t know ny people who are afraid of or demonize homosexuals. Some of the people I most enjoy being around, both in my professional and in my private life are gay. I think the world of one friend in particular. But as a citizen, I have to take the long view of what is good for society and children who are, after all, the future. I have to do the best I can to think through the implications of the policies I am asked to approve. I do this in the light of history, my knowledge of human nature, etc. I won’t always be right but that is part and parcel of the tragedy of being human.”

    Applying your logic I just as easily say that we should apply a ban on religion and on subjecting children to religious services. I can guarantee you that far more children are abused and violated every day in american churches than you’d ever hear about as products of a gay household. I can guarantee you that the psychological damage brought about not only from this physical abuse, but also from psychological manipulation and indoctrination into the various cult-like organizations which dot our landscape, has and will continue to produce shells of people who only act in a way consistent with what they would perceive as “moral” because they fear some form of eternal punishment.

    I act ethically because I know it is good for society as well as myself and my family. I have no fear of any sort of eternal holy retribution, and I have absolutely no expectation of everlasting reward. I am amazed at those who truly believe the rhetoric, yet rail daily against the rights of good honest people simply because they (or rather their book) can’t accept their lifestyle.

    I would suspect that if your gay friends truly have all the facts on where you stand on the issues, they are only pretending to be your friends so they can keep an eye on you. You know how catty gay men can be.

  40. Thorngod
    June 6th, 2006 @ 3:00 pm

    Damned well said, Jahrta! The only thing I might add to your assessment is “Horsefeathers”!

  41. Jahrta
    June 6th, 2006 @ 3:29 pm

    Thank you :) We also would have accepted “poppycock”

  42. Lily
    June 6th, 2006 @ 6:15 pm

    Here is a report (I have linked to the section that you should read if you don’t have enough time or interest to read the whole) on the nature of marriage. If you look at the signatories, it is a who’s who of well-known scholars and public figures of a more conservative bent, of course.

    If you read it, you will understand the “conservative” argument. You may not agree, but you will understand.

    http://www.princetonprinciples.org/section2.html

  43. Deist_chick
    June 6th, 2006 @ 11:16 pm

    Lily,

    Reading all the posts on this board makes me wonder if there is a bigger issue you are afraid of. Sure the world would turn out to be quite a horrific place if marriage was abolished and everyone roamed the countryside having gay “relations” with everyone they met. The world would end, and there would be no more little precious poop monster babies (solves that overpopulation problem.. but that’s an entirely different topic)… Society would crumble as eventually not one soul would be left. I think this isn’t the problem that is bothering you so..

    Most people that are so violently against something that is only produces happiness for others often are only against it because they see it in themselves but are far to affraid to admit.

    Obviously it is not something that you will come to realize while reading a post and even if it had any truth to you would never admit in this forum. It just makes me wonder.

    Love and true happiness are hard enough to find when you are heterosexual. I cannot imagine how hard it is to find when people look down on you and fight to prevent you from getting the same freedoms as everyone else.

  44. Lily
    June 7th, 2006 @ 1:29 am

    Huh? I am afraid that I haven’t been able to make heads or tails of much your post. It sounds to me like you would find the report I linked to above informative. You might also be interested in the latest article from Stanley Kurtz on the actual nearly total lack of interest in marriage among gays where civil partnerships have been legal the longest:

    http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MDgwMDQ5ZWU1NzUwZmI0NzQwNWQ3MGEwY2JjMWRkM2Y=

    It helps to actually understand the point of view of the people you disagree with. Then you don’t have to play arm chair psychologist and attribute all sorts of ill will, emotional repression and heaven only knows what else to them.

  45. Steve
    June 28th, 2006 @ 5:54 pm

    What are we really discussing when we talk about “marriage?” At its most basic, least arguable level, it’s a contract. Why do we need to debate who can contract with whom? If I sign a document that says, “When I die, Jahrta gets all my stuff,” who is anyone to dispute that? It’s my stuff, and I’ll give it to whomever I please. Anyone who argues that I can’t do so is really arguing that there is no such thing as property rights; the state owns everything, and the state will decide who can give what to whom. This applies to gay marriage, polygamy, estate taxes, the sale of private property, gift-giving, and on and on.

    As for the emotionally charged label, “Defense of Marriage,” answer this: to what degree, and in what manner, does one gay couple threaten the marriage of one straight couple, and at what distance? For example, you may posit, “Each gay couple makes it 0.4% more likely that a straight couple, 2,000 miles away, will eventually divorce.” Find some way to quantify that, then multiply it by the total number of gay couples. Now divide that by the number of straight couples. While you’re at it, it might help if you could describe the mechanism by which that threat is transmitted or effected. NOW we’ve got some data we can work with, people! Oh, wait, I just remembered: we don’t want to make decisions based upon data; we make decisions based upon what “that guy” tells us “his book” says.

    The real truth is, this is just another attempt by one group to force their religion-based views upon others. Fight theocracy. Let’s not become Iran.

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