The Raving Theist

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Isn’t it Romantic? (Updated)

January 11, 2009 | 379 Comments

Over at the snazzily revamped American Atheists site, Robin Murray O’Hair has some practical advice on “wedding the atheist way.” It’s refreshingly logical and utilitarian, unclouded by the sort of irrational emotion that drives so many people to marriage in the first place. After accurately noting that the wedding ring is “the only gift one can be sure of ever receiving from one’s spouse,” Ms. O’Hair cautions young lovers to apply that same sobering skepticism to the remainder of their nasty, brutish and short days together:

The particulars of Atheist weddings cannot be set; there can be no rule book for them, no collection of ABCs, for Atheists are realistic enough to recognize the uniqueness of each relationship. They should also be realistic enough to exclude impossible promises from the exchange of bonds. Atheists should balance their realism with their hope in any wedding. They should avoid such inane promises as to love for “all times” (how could they after death, anyway?), while expressing an optimism for the future of the relationship.

I cannot find the link, but a few years back The Onion had a headline in which a man passionately declared to his lover that “You are the Woman that I Want to Spend the Rest of My Next Three to Five Years With.” Or perhaps it was four to seven. Remember, each relationship is unique, full of highly qualified hopes and conditional promises.

UPDATE: The Onion headline I was trying to locate was actually Darling, will you spend the next six to ten years with me? More romantic that I originally thought. Closing line: “So, please, Julie Bramhall… Say you’ll grow early middle-aged with me.”

Along the same lines: My Beloved, Would You Do Me The Honor Of Becoming The Fourth Mrs. Charles Ballard?

Comments

379 Responses to “Isn’t it Romantic? (Updated)”

  1. Bevy
    January 11th, 2009 @ 6:49 pm

    My question is WHY would she bother even writing about this? Seems rather pointless … I love you quote about the next 3-5 years – that’s CLASSIC!

  2. antitheist
    January 11th, 2009 @ 7:11 pm

    Do whatever pleases you, as long as it harms no-one.

    I agree that 3-5 years may be bleak in the eyes of many romantics, who love the “Happily Ever After” ending. It is however, soberly honest. Most marriages do not last forever and there are many rough spots during the together years. Marriage should be a serious journey, embarked on with full rations. Since I firmly believe my first sentence. If you begin half-baked, you will surely hurt the one you love! Consider them before appeasing yourself.

    No god has ever stopped man from putting a marriage asunder. God, has never done anything at any time. So, it is man that must design the social structure. I believe we have the intelligence to do the right thing. Hell, we were smart enough to create gods!!!

    :)

  3. the Fish
    January 11th, 2009 @ 7:13 pm

    Doesn’t sound like she’d have much truck with Chesterton’s demand for the freedom to bind himself.

  4. Nathanael Snow
    January 11th, 2009 @ 7:18 pm

    I read a good bit of Ayn Rand, a vehement atheist. What she demonstrates about marriage is what Christians often forget, that it is a claim upon the life of the other.
    I, in marriage, offer myself completely to my wife, allowing her to claim rights to my entire self and anything attached to myself.
    In baptism a Christian offers himself completely to the church, allowing the church to claim rights to me and my labors.
    Both are predicated upon the fact that Christ, in His crucifixion, offered Himself completely for humanity, allowing us to make a claim upon the life of God. He has earned the right to my entire life, and I give it to Him. I thus am able to offer myself to the church and my wife unreservedly, not expecting anything in return, but grateful to have Christ.

    What it means to be married apart from this understanding is merely a contract which affords certain legal privileges. Why Christians should even bother with legal marriage except that they also want to enjoy these legal privileges is a mystery to me. Why Christians should feel that the religious marriage they enjoy through Christ’s sacrifice is threatened by extending the legal privilege of marriage to homosexuals is likewise a mystery.
    Maybe I just think about these things differently from most people.

  5. Swk6
    January 11th, 2009 @ 7:20 pm

    It’s rather hypocritical for any theist to have an opinion about this, don’t you think? If at least 85% of the country believes in a supernatural sky daddy, and the divorce rate is somewhere over 50%, then I’m guessing there are many believers that are breaking their vows before said deity. I’m also betting that a good number are….wait for it…..Catholic. So really, whats worse? Breaking a sacred vow to your favorite make believe all powerful deity? Or a little realism in your vows?

  6. UnspeakablyViolentJane
    January 11th, 2009 @ 8:32 pm

    Short and brutish!? That was awesome.

  7. skeptimal
    January 11th, 2009 @ 10:01 pm

    Hmmm… we have the presence of mind to make sarcastic posts about heathen marriage, but we can’t explain our conversion. How odd.

  8. Margaret Catherine
    January 11th, 2009 @ 10:25 pm

    “The particulars of Atheist weddings cannot be set; there can be no rule book for them, no collection of ABCs, for Atheists are realistic enough to recognize the uniqueness of each relationship.”

    The uniqueness of each relationship?

    Every meal you eat is unique (excluding McDonald’s and school cafeterias), but they all involve putting food in your mouth. Every morning you wake up to is unique, but you have to wake up first. Even ‘unique’ items share certain prerequisites…it’s nice to think there’s no rule book, but what good is your dinner to you if you stick it in your ears, or try to eat your soup with a fork?

    Marriage has to have a rule book too – and part of that is the intent to commit for life. Else, it’s indefinable chaos.

  9. Lexington
    January 11th, 2009 @ 10:58 pm

    I do not know…Putting limitations on the terms of marriage seems like holding back oneself, or placing restrictions and doubts upon the union, when the act of wedding is meant to be a total and complete giving of oneself to another.
    If they do so because they fear they will divorce anyway, they are already setting themselves up for failure.

  10. JoAnna
    January 11th, 2009 @ 10:58 pm

    Reminds me of the news story about the people who’ve opted to replace “Until death do us part” with “as long as our love shall last.” Seems to me people like that are just setting themselves up for failure.

  11. JoAnna
    January 11th, 2009 @ 11:01 pm

    skeptimal —

    There’s a difference between “can’t explain” and “has chosen not to explain at this time.” Last time I checked, RT was on no timetable but his own.

    Perhaps it could be that he’s taking the time and effort to write a detailed, well-thought out post that is more of an effort to plan and write than a simple comment about a news story?

  12. michael williams
    January 11th, 2009 @ 11:23 pm

    Alaydians hold that there are no proper ceremonies, buildings, holy persons or rites (believing that Truth itself is God), but anticipate that many will develop over time, each equally appropriate and correct if in accord with basic principles, such as not producing belief by pain, pleasure, spectacle etc. O’Hair is acting like a priest, sadly, and a bad one, proscribing this practice, lauding that one. Alaydianity worships the Truth, including the success rate of marriage, but also respects the truths of love, including love’s power and its potential to create. Truth includes the power of love to bring us to our knees and pledge our lives to our beloved. It is part of Truth, hence part of God.

  13. michael williams
    January 11th, 2009 @ 11:27 pm

    Alaydianity has a blog site here…Debate Alaydianity Many will agree that it puts Atheism to shame.

  14. Joanne
    January 11th, 2009 @ 11:34 pm

    LOL at this thread, but on a serious note, this is crying out for correction:

    “The priest, however, monopolizes the event”

    Actually, it’s the Eucharist that is the source and summit of our Faith, and the focus of our celebrations, always and everywhere.

  15. jordan
    January 12th, 2009 @ 3:45 am

    why exactly would you want to commit yourself to someone by “marraige” if you dont love them! anyone with a brain that works and eyes to look around at normal relationships knows that real love is forever and does not fade…the reason marriages fail is either becuase /they married for the wrong reasons and not for love /they dont care enough to make it work.

  16. mk
    January 12th, 2009 @ 6:42 am

    Irreligious,

    If you here, I have a question (holdover from our previous conversation)…

    For the last 2000 years (give or take 4,000 years… ;)
    we have defined marriage as between one man and one woman.

    I would even tweak that to say between one man and one woman for life.

    Given this post, and our other one, let’s suppose that we were to accept gay marriages.

    What would your definition of marriage be then? Here’s the one we have now…

    A lifelong comittment between one man and one woman.

    Just ammend the bolded words. (if they are bold…it seems that ability to manipulate words has been removed)

  17. Nina
    January 12th, 2009 @ 7:54 am

    Not everyone has defined marriage as one man and one woman for the past 2000 years, or continues to do so even today. Polygamy is still a legal form of marriage in several other countries, and they are religious marriages, not just civil marriages.

    So, define “we”…

    Religious marriage in the United States is still defined as something other than between one man and one woman by some sects/cults and continues to be practiced as such.

    What you mean is American and Western European Christians, don’t you?

    They were the ones running around the world “redefining” marriage for all the non-Christians. And now the Christians are all freaked out because someone ELSE wants to redefine marriage…

    And thank God for that. Thank God for all those who’ve been working towards redefining marriage from all the other definitions Western Christians have imposed on others. Thank God for those who fought to free women and children from being so much livestock for their husbands and fathers to use and misuse as they wished. Thank God for those who fought to prevent the outright theft of property from women by their husbands. Thank God for those who fought for women to be able to have their husbands arrested for beating and raping them.

    Thank God for all those who fight every single day to see that EVERY human being is treated equally under the law, regardless of their ethnicity, religious persuasion, gender, or sexual orientation.

    Civil marriage and Catholic sacramental marriage are no more the same thing than civil marriage and Warren Jeffs-style religious marriage. The state has no business using a religion-based definition of marriage to guide civil marriages. This is EXACTLY what this country was created to stand against — the interference of religion in state matters and the interference of the state in religious matters.

  18. mk
    January 12th, 2009 @ 11:32 am

    Thank you Nina.

    Irreligious?

  19. Irreligious
    January 12th, 2009 @ 11:50 am

    MK,I think we’ve actually exhausted this particular conversation. I don’t say that because I’m tired of it. I am the type of personality that could go on “forever” about these things, which is not always something in my favor, I’m afraid.

    But we’ve hit that brick wall a long time ago.

    It is clear to me that you cannot accept the idea of “marriage” as a secular, civil institution without religion being imposed on it. Isn’t that the bottom line?

  20. Nina
    January 12th, 2009 @ 2:15 pm

    Ah, “mk”, you have your own blog. You are not the author of this one, nor do you pay for the bandwidth. Do not dare to act like you do.

    I wasn’t addressing you. Do not address me.

  21. Christina
    January 12th, 2009 @ 5:38 pm

    Wouldn’t just going to the attorney and signing a domestic partnership contract do the job? Why the ceremony?

  22. mk
    January 12th, 2009 @ 7:30 pm

    Nina,

    I wasn’t addressing you. Do not address me.

    Interesting, considering I posed the question to Irreligious and you answered it…Does that rule of yours only apply to others?

  23. mk
    January 12th, 2009 @ 7:35 pm

    It is clear to me that you cannot accept the idea of “marriage” as a secular, civil institution without religion being imposed on it. Isn’t that the bottom line?

    Perhaps you are right. I had just gotten to thinking and realize that no matter what I think, or how much I protest, just as with the abortion issue, the writing is on the wall. I mean, I’m not naive. The tables will most likely turn and I’m probably fighting a losing battle.

    So then I wondered, what would the definition of marriage be?

  24. Irreligious
    January 13th, 2009 @ 12:23 am

    Christina, just going to an attorney and signing a domestic partnership contract is not generally how most states conduct civil marriage ceremonies.

    And please don’t let the word marriage throw you. A civil marriage is essentially the same thing as a legal domestic partnership agreement.

    I had one 28 years ago at my local city hall. Yes, it was to a woman and no god was invoked during the 5-minute ceremony, which was also entirely free of any pomp and circumstance. Like all legal agreements can be, it was dissolved a few years later by mutual consent of the partners involved– my then wife and I. In common legal parlance, we call that a divorce. It would be no different in the case of a legal male-male or female-female union.

    If I may be frank, there are so many downright unfriendly– basically hostile– connotations to your questions, that I really do have to wonder about their sincerity.

    Why the ceremony, you ask? I would ask you, why do care if it’s not happening in your church and you are not invited to be a participant in the ceremony? Christians who dislike or disapprove of gay people don’t own the concept of having ceremonies.

    Generally, human beings– of all persuasions– like to conduct ceremonies for what they consider to be important occasions. And, even if you don’t like gay people, they’re still unquestionably human. That one would want to take even that away from gay people tells me how much they are despised by some here.

    Personally, I think it’s OK in a secular, pluralistic society to not like what some people are doing. Maybe there are people who also don’t like your choices and what you stand for. I’m sure you expect them to just grin and bear it. Why can’t you when it comes to other people’s choices that have nothing to do with you?

  25. Irreligious
    January 13th, 2009 @ 12:32 am

    MK, what is the defintion of your marriage, as far as the state is concerned?

    It would be no different with a male-male or a female-female union. They would be domestic partners under the law.

    As I said in the other thread, you and your church would still be free to not recognize them as valid. By the way, you church did not recognize my former marriage to a woman, either, since we didn’t get married in the Roman Catholic church and neither of us was Roman Catholic.

    Our marriage nothing to do with that religious institution. It was just a contract that was recognized under the law. Period.

  26. mk
    January 13th, 2009 @ 6:22 am

    Irreligious,

    I understand that. I’m just asking what the definition would be.

    I believe that now, marriage is understood to mean the legal union of one man and one woman for life. That’s how I think most people understand it.

    I am asking what the definition would be if same sex marriages become legal.

  27. Lily
    January 13th, 2009 @ 8:43 am

    mk– As you probably know from your pro-life work, when people don’t want to get it, they don’t get it. So, let’s watch Irreligious ignore this fact again. His marriage to his wife was a valid marriage and recognized as valid by the Catholic Church. Had they converted to Catholicism after it, they would not have had to remarry, nor would the Church have performed another marriage, if they had asked for it.

    Marriage is marriage. It doesn’t matter whether the ceremony is performed in a church, in my backyard, at the local swimming pool or at city hall. Marriages can only be contracted between male and female.

    He and those like him who are wedded to the notion (pun intended) will not listen. They will keep saying the same things over and over. It is critical to those who want to normalize homosexuality to win this battle, no matter what the cost to society. I understand why– this hits them hard and personally but no man is an island and they have a duty to the larger society. We are not a collection of autonomous individuals who can do whatever we want.

    The abolition of marriage is actually the goal of many of the radicals and they are quite open about it. In Canada, two studies (at least– there may be more by now) recommended decrimnalizing polygamy– and one of them was by the Justice Dept. One of the authors of the other study “Beyond Conjugality.” (2001), Martha Bailey, then published an article in 2004, “Regulation of Cohabitation and Marriage in Canada,” which argued that once same sex marriage was legalized, Canadians would then be able to deal with the far more important task of abolishing marriage itself.

    It will be easy, too and Canada is well on the road. They simply intend to define it out of existence. Once any arrangement any combination of men and women (animals, too, I suppose) wants to enter into is legally “marriage”, then marriage has been abolished. Remember the “patriarchy”? Bailey and her ilk are quite clear that the reason marriage must be abolished is to destroy the patriarchy once and for all. Well, though the Canadian government is on board, the people are starting to resist. It may be too late, though. I am no expert on Canada, so I don’t know what the current status of the battle is. But the point is clear. This is where we are headed, too.

  28. mk
    January 13th, 2009 @ 9:00 am

    Lily,

    As you know, it is not the “winning” that is important. It is that we tried. God will not ask us why we didn’t “save” marriage, but he WILL ask us if we were silent or spoke up.

    As I said, I’m pretty sure, we’re fighting a losing battle. Many losing battles, actually. Luckily, as Father Corapi says, we have read the book and know the ending…we might lose some battles, but we have already won the war. ;)

  29. Lily
    January 13th, 2009 @ 10:19 am

    I completely agree with you, mk! But it is still nobler to go down fighting than to give up and sit back.

  30. mk
    January 13th, 2009 @ 11:04 am

    Lily,

    Most definitely…But I’d still like to know how marriage will be defined when we “lose”… ;)

  31. Irreligious
    January 13th, 2009 @ 11:27 am

    MK, the legal definition of marriage would be expanded to include couples that are same-sex. Period.

    And, as I said in my last post, Lily, your church did not recognize my civil marriage. It did not try to prevent me from having a civil marriage, but then that would have taken quite a bit moxie.

    The Roman Catholic church knows when to pick its battles. Interferring in the legal partnership choices of millions upon millions of consenting adult heterosexual couples who are not Roman Catholic would not have been a wise choice.

    Your church also minds its own business when it comes to these people’s legal right to use artificial birth control, of which the church does not approve for its members. However, your church does not have enough partners in the broader Christian world to go after all those “sinners” not under its purview, so it clams up in the public arena on this issue.

    In choosing to target a minority that is already being piled on by other Christians, the Catholic church doesn’t have all that much to lose.

    And don’t fear, Lily. I do hear you; I just disagree with you. You think of me as abnormal, and I don’t have that view of myself.

    Good luck in heaven.

  32. Lily
    January 13th, 2009 @ 12:00 pm

    Weak, Irreligious. Very weak. You are wrong. The Church recognizes all civil marriages. Are you being paid to claim otherwise?

  33. Irreligious
    January 13th, 2009 @ 12:00 pm

    And, MK, I have some questions for you:

    I can sense many of your fears in your last couple of posts. This is crazy stuff to you and you genuinely don’t understand it. I honestly get that.

    My question is, why do you still toil under the illusion that you don’t harbor hatred or, at least, deep suspicions about homosexuals? It’s so blantantly evident to me. If there is one thing I know, it’s when I come across people who don’t like my kind (whether it be folks who don’t really like black people or atheists or gay people).

    Please don’t get defensive, if that’s possible. I, too, struggle with liking certain groups of people. I have a very hard time liking certain kinds of religious people, because I am convinced that their beliefs are a threat to me.

    I don’t want to be controlled by them. Plenty of them will think that means I don’t want to be controlled by their god but, to me, they are one and the same. When I read Lily’s posts, I am thoroughly convinced that it is not a genuine deity she wants others to obey. It’s just Lily if she had the powers of an omnipotent entity. I’m not being cute. I’m serious.

    But I digress. What do you fear will happen if my colleague at work, who is a lesbian, is legally allowed to wed the woman with whom she has been sharing a house for 10 years and with whom she has been raising a son for the past 3 years?

    What unwanted changes do you think that would bring to your life, your marriage or your ability to worship?

    I am earnestly curious.

  34. Lily
    January 13th, 2009 @ 12:02 pm

    You are also wrong on the issue of birth control. Up until 1930, every single church, Protestant or Catholic, rejected birth control. The Catholic Church has never changed its position. The rightness of its stance has never been more evident than it is today.

  35. Irreligious
    January 13th, 2009 @ 12:03 pm

    Lily, are Roman Catholics allowed to opt for a civil marriage ceremony and forgo one that is sanctioned by a priest?

  36. Irreligious
    January 13th, 2009 @ 12:06 pm

    I am not wrong about the Catholic church not having enough partners in the Christian world to help it mount a public campaign to go after all the “sinners” who are using artificial birth control. In 2009, they don’t.

  37. Lily
    January 13th, 2009 @ 12:15 pm

    All marriages are recognized as legal by the Catholic Church. Catholics who do not have a Catholic wedding, with all the preparation that goes with getting ready for that sacrament, have marriages that are legal but not sacramentally valid. If they want to have it “convalidated” later, as it is called, they can.

    Valid and legal are two different concepts entirely.

  38. Irreligious
    January 13th, 2009 @ 12:16 pm

    How are they different?

  39. Irreligious
    January 13th, 2009 @ 12:20 pm

    Basically, you’re telling me that the Roman Catholic church recognizes that people can be legally married outside the Catholic church. What other choice does it have.

    The point is, those marriages are not valid within the church.

  40. Irreligious
    January 13th, 2009 @ 12:21 pm

    They’re not recognized as valid.

  41. Lily
    January 13th, 2009 @ 12:24 pm

    Irreligious, what on earth are you talking about? The position of the Church on birth control is unchanged. It knows perfectly well that the larger culture is completely comfortable with it and accepting of it. The Church does not “go after” sinners. It offers sinners healing and the forgiveness of Christ himself. Catholics who contracept are fooling themselves– they aren’t fooling God.

    Oh and, by the way, hard truths are still truths, no matter who speaks them. This last bit of yours is silly beyond belief:

    “When I read Lily’s posts, I am thoroughly convinced that it is not a genuine deity she wants others to obey. It’s just Lily if she had the powers of an omnipotent entity. I’m not being cute. I’m serious.”

    You got that right. You are not being cute. You are being obtuse. The truth is the truth, whether you like or not. Whether I like it or not.

  42. Irreligious
    January 13th, 2009 @ 12:26 pm

    Furthermore, if homosexuals attain the legal right to marry, the church will have to recognize the legal status of their marriages, too. It certainly won’t consider them valid. And even if my colleague and her partner– both of whom were raised Roman Catholic– should want to rejoin the Catholic church, the church won’t confer any sacramental status on their union, and it doesn’t have to.

  43. Irreligious
    January 13th, 2009 @ 12:30 pm

    Lily, I never said the Catholic church has changed its position on birth control. Never, ever said it. I said, the Catholic church does not have enough partners in the broader Christian world to make a big, public fuss about non Catholic couples using birth control.

    It won’t get any support from Protestant Evangelicals and others on this issue. So it wisely keeps its nose out of those non Catholic people’s business.

  44. Irreligious
    January 13th, 2009 @ 12:34 pm

    Lily, I don’t separate your alleged god from you. You are the same entity to me. That’s a hard truth.

  45. Lily
    January 13th, 2009 @ 12:45 pm

    Validity refers only to Catholic marriage. It is required by canon law that Catholics be married by a priest or a deacon. They can request a dispensation, so that they can be validly married by a minister of another denomination or by a civil authority.

    Marriage in the Catholic Church is the only sacrament that the two married people perform. It is the vow that the couple makes to one another that constitutes the sacrament. The effect of it (and of every sacrament) is an increase in sanctifying grace for the spouses, a participation in the divine life of God Himself.

    Grace helps each spouse advance in holiness and, by being open to new life, they participate in God’s creative act. Sacramental marriage is a symbol of the divine union between Christ, the Bridegroom, and His Church, the Bride.

    Do you get it yet? None of this has anything to do with legal marriage. It has everything to do with a specifically Catholic understanding of what a Christian marriage should be. What has this got to do with those who reject this understanding?

  46. Lily
    January 13th, 2009 @ 12:54 pm

    “Lily, I don’t separate your alleged god from you. You are the same entity to me. That’s a hard truth.”

    Why is that a hard truth? Obviously you mean to be insulting but, frankly, you are cracking me up. If I speak the truth, you would do well to listen. All Christians are required to speak the truth. All who have engaged with you here and in the forum on these matters have done so.

    You can run but you cannot hide from the truth. You have heard it from those who have been conciliatory to the point of driving themselves bananas and you have heard it from me– the one who does not mince words. You must make your decisions about these matters as seems right to you. It is entirely up to you.

  47. Irreligious
    January 13th, 2009 @ 12:57 pm

    Lily, when I married a woman, it was not in your church. Should I choose to marry a man– if it becomes legally possible for me to do so– it will not be in your church.

    So why does any of this matter to you? What are you afraid will happen if my colleague and her female partner are allowed to be legally wed?

  48. Lily
    January 13th, 2009 @ 1:02 pm

    We have been over this a hundred times. I have offered the sociological evidence on the family and marriage repeatedly. Go look at it. And when you are done, we can speak again. It is time for you to do some work and learn why ssm is a bad idea.

  49. Irreligious
    January 13th, 2009 @ 1:02 pm

    I know you are insulted when I say that, to me, you and your god are one and the same, but it’s the truth. That is what I believe.

    I am insulted when you tell me that you think I am abnormal, but that’s what you truly believe. That is the truth as you see it. That’s pretty rough, but there’s not much I can do about that.

  50. Irreligious
    January 13th, 2009 @ 1:03 pm

    I didn’t ask about sociological studies. If I wanted to read those, I know how to do that. I’m asking you, Lily, what are “you” afraid of?

  51. Lily
    January 13th, 2009 @ 1:03 pm

    Ooops– I will even, yet again, put a bibliography together, IF you promise to read it and consider the arguments.

  52. Irreligious
    January 13th, 2009 @ 1:06 pm

    Stop patronizing me, Lily, and quit hiding behind studies. I’m talking to you, one person to another. What is Lily afraid of as it pertains to homosexuals having legal marriage rights?

  53. Lily
    January 13th, 2009 @ 1:10 pm

    I am afraid of a society that further devalues children and the family. Severing sex from procreation and devaluing families are responsible for virtually every social ill that children suffer from. It has been a disaster for women. It can only get worse as we head down that slippery slope.

    How have you missed all this?

  54. Irreligious
    January 13th, 2009 @ 1:16 pm

    So, if I understand you, you think my colleague and her partner being legally married will contribute to the further devaluation of children and harm other families.

    How?

  55. Lily
    January 13th, 2009 @ 1:22 pm

    Round and round and round we go– where it will stop, no one knows.

    We have been over this a hundred times. Maybe a thousand. It stops here.

  56. Irreligious
    January 13th, 2009 @ 1:25 pm

    Other than to point me to studies that I think are extremely biased, you have never broken this down for me from your perspective.

    You have never told me “how” legally married gay couples will bring about the downfall of society.

  57. Jahrta
    January 13th, 2009 @ 2:09 pm

    I’ve been through this with Lily on several occasions, back before TRT bumped his head and became retarded. Here’s what it boils down to: her bible tells her to loathe homosexuals, so she pins her arguments to whatever pseudo-psychological religiously-infused “study” she can find to validate her prejudices. Lily is incapable of thinking for herself. If her church told her to hate blacks I doubt she’d have much of a hard time accepting that equally-irrational argument as well. Religion turns good people into sheep (sometimes evil sheep). The truly sad thing is with all this fingerpointing, she never seems to be able to see all the damage and destruction wrought by the believers all across the world. Lily – homosexuality IS normal – it occurs in roughly 10% of most mammalian species, and many evolutionary biologists have adapted the view that it’s a built-in mechanism for population control. It happens in captivity as well as in the wild, and it is not “a choice” people make. Who the hell would choose persecution over acceptance? It must be hard to see god when you’re always looking down your nose at people.

  58. Lily
    January 13th, 2009 @ 2:22 pm

    Irreligious– you have no reason, none on earth to believe that those studies were biased. You haven’t read them. How is the graduate school at the U of California biased? Tell me which of the four or five studies I pointed to just in the last week biased. What are your criteria for making that decision– I really want to know, since you haven’t read them but can still declare them biased.

    Jahrta. Whatever. Same old, same old.

  59. Jahrta
    January 13th, 2009 @ 2:44 pm

    Exactly, Lily – same old same old. It’s a pity you’ve wasted so much time stacking grains of sand and counting how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, instead of living your life and allowing others to do so in peace, free of your judgement.

  60. Brian Walden
    January 13th, 2009 @ 2:55 pm

    Jahrta, aren’t you judging Lily? If you were to follow your own advice, shouldn’t you just live your own life and let her live her life in peace.

  61. Irreligious
    January 13th, 2009 @ 2:58 pm

    Lily, I am gay. I have lived comfortably with that fact for the past 20 of my 51 years on earth. I know that I have no desire to take anything from you. I know that neither I nor any of my many gay friends is seeking to destroy anyone else’s family or western civilization.

    So I think I have plenty of reason to distrust your studies. Should I believe what you think you know or what I know?

  62. Irreligious
    January 13th, 2009 @ 3:06 pm

    Brian Walden, Jaharta is not seeking to interfer in Lily’s life. She is legally free to be as mean as she wants to be, provided she exacts no physical harm on another, which would be pretty hard to do over the Internet, anyway. No one can take that from her.

    But if she wants to comment on other people’s life choices and points of view, why aren’t they also free to comment on hers? She is free to call me abnormal and I am free to call her vicious and hypocritical. And so is Jaharta, if that what Jaharta truly percieves Lily to be.

  63. mk
    January 13th, 2009 @ 3:27 pm

    Irreligious,

    The difference between Lily and Jharta is that Lily is not calling Jharta something and then doing the same thing herself.

    Jharta accused Lily of looking down her nose at people, while he was looking down his nose at Lily.

    Either way, this is all silly. We really need to move beyond the “who can passively attack the other person least conspicuously” phase of this argument. Leave that to Nina, and let’s just try to discuss this rationally..or have we passed the point of no return?

  64. Brian Walden
    January 13th, 2009 @ 3:37 pm

    But if she wants to comment on other people’s life choices and points of view, why aren’t they also free to comment on hers?

    Jharta is free to comment as she pleases. I just think it’s silly to comment on other people’s life choices and points of view while stating a rule that one should live their own life and allow others to live in peace free of judgment.

  65. Irreligious
    January 13th, 2009 @ 3:44 pm

    MK, just like we cannot see eye-to-eye on your religion or whether or not gay civil unions will harm you and the rest of society, we don’t see eye-to-eye on Lily, either.

    I happen to agree with Jaharta, as strange as that may come across to you. You have been civil to me and I’ve tried my best to be civil with you, but there really is not a whole lot we agree on, unfortunately.

    I don’t know how that can be reconciled unless we can find a way to stay out of each other’s business.

    I know, for my part, I have no desire to interfere in your church business or your right to worship as you please. Outside of exchanges like this on Internet, I am happy to let be. I think that’s about the best we can do.

  66. Irreligious
    January 13th, 2009 @ 3:45 pm

    Happy to let you be, that is.

  67. Irreligious
    January 13th, 2009 @ 3:50 pm

    You think it’s silly to comment on other people’s life choices while admonishing others not to do so, but you just commented on Jaharta’s comment, Brian Walden. Did you notice that?

    Why not be honest and say you don’t like Jaharta’s assessment of Lily or you disagree with it? That’s what it all boils down to, doesn’t it?

  68. mk
    January 13th, 2009 @ 4:09 pm

    No, Irreligious, I do not think that this conversation, or your feelings, or Lily’s feelings, or the points in question are silly. I think they are dead serious. I wasn’t commenting on Jharta’s commenting, I was commenting on his comment.

    What is silly is that we are even discussing this and I realized it halfway through my comment…By this, I mean, discussing each others comments. I’m sorry I started. I said as much. I never meant to imply that the main conversation was silly. It is anything but.

    I certainly don’t have a problem with Jharta not liking Lily or her methods. I was just pointing out that it sounded a bit like the pot calling the kettle black.

    I don’t like when these discussions take a turn for the worse. You and I have been doing pretty well up until now, and I would just hate to see what I perceived as a decent conversation turn into an insult fest. That’s all.

    I’m sorry. I should have stayed out of it. It wasn’t my battle.

    Peace.

  69. Lily
    January 13th, 2009 @ 5:07 pm

    “So I think I have plenty of reason to distrust your studies. Should I believe what you think you know or what I know?”

    There you go again, Irreligious. They are not “my studies”. They are studies conducted by professionals and scholars and published in peer-reviewed, secular, academic journals.

    Do you find yourself giggling when you write this stuff?

  70. Brian Walden
    January 13th, 2009 @ 6:35 pm

    You think it’s silly to comment on other people’s life choices while admonishing others not to do so, but you just commented on Jaharta’s comment, Brian Walden. Did you notice that?

    A comment to the sense of “You’re wrong for judging others” is inherently dishonest. If the person speaking it is an absolutist, he is a hypocrite for not holding himself accountable to the same law he professes. If the person speaking it is a relativist, he has no business determining what’s true for someone other than himself. The statement contains an inherent logical contradiction.

    I do not believe judging others (at least their actions and ideas) is wrong per se. I think it’s good and necessary to judge actions and ideas to the best of our ability – how else will we determine what is right or wrong? I never told anyone not to judge others and I don’t mind if Jahrta judges Lily or me or anyone else, but I called him/her (sorry I just realized I don’t know Jahrta’s gender) out for not doing so honestly.

    Why not be honest and say you don’t like Jaharta’s assessment of Lily or you disagree with it? That’s what it all boils down to, doesn’t it?

    Are there any other words you’d like to put in my mouth or motivations you’d like to project onto me? Yes, I hold the Catholic Church’s position on marriage, but I entered the conversation because Jahrta’s comment was illogical and quite frankly unfair. I don’t think I have anything useful to contribute to the marriage debate at this time.

  71. Irreligious
    January 14th, 2009 @ 12:11 am

    Lily wrote:
    “There you go again, Irreligious. They are not “my studies”. They are studies conducted by professionals and scholars and published in peer-reviewed, secular, academic journals.

    Do you find yourself giggling when you write this stuff?”

    They are the studies of which enamored, which is why I called them “your” studies. As has been pointed out to you several times, you resolutely ignore all the other studies refuting the ones that conveniently match your opinion.

    Anyway, you avoided my question: How are my lesbian colleague and her mate going to harm mk’s family and destroy western civilization in the process.

    You’ve read the studies. Summarize. You can do that, can’t you? I don’t want the end results. You’ve already shared those. I want the “hows.” You up to conquering that one?

  72. Irreligious
    January 14th, 2009 @ 12:12 am

    That should read: They are the studies of which you are enamored.

  73. Irreligious
    January 14th, 2009 @ 12:21 am

    Sorry, mk, I think you are confusing a post that I meant for Brian Walden as having been addressed to you. He was the one who said he thought it was silly for Jaharta to criticize Lily for criticizing others, not you.

    We’re all entitled to our opinions, however harsh. Lily’s are harsh, in my opinion and, apparently, in Jaharta’s. Meanwhile, Brian Walden thinks it’s silly for Jaharta to harshly assess Lily’s harsh assessments. I disagree and you and Brian, no doubt, disagree with me. C’est la vie.

  74. Brian Walden
    January 14th, 2009 @ 1:12 am

    Meanwhile, Brian Walden thinks it’s silly for Jaharta to harshly assess Lily’s harsh assessments.

    Irreligious, even after I explained myself you’re still mischaracterizing me. I never said it was silly for Jahrta to harshly assess Lily’s harsh assessments. Jahrta A) judged Lily and B) admonished Lily for judging others. If every word Jahtra said is true, then he/she is a hypocrite openly judging people while telling them not to judge others. That’s my objection. If Jahrta had done only A and not B, I never would have entered into this thread. I’ve explained myself three times, I don’t know how else to put it.

  75. Louise
    January 14th, 2009 @ 1:23 am

    “You are the Woman that I Want to Spend the Rest of My Next Three to Five Years With.”

    That is hilarious!

    I agree that 3-5 years may be bleak in the eyes of many romantics, who love the “Happily Ever After” ending.

    Except that proponents of something like commitment, do not expect “happily ever after.”

    Most marriages do not last forever and there are many rough spots during the together years.

    The latter is normative for homo sapiens, the former is the result of a broken promise.

    Broken promises are scummy.

  76. Irreligious
    January 14th, 2009 @ 1:26 am

    The way I see it, Jaharta was juding Lily for unfairly and unnecessarily judging others. That’s Jaharta’s view. You are not bound to share that assessment, but how else was Jaharta supposed to make the assessment without making that judgement of Lily?

  77. mk
    January 14th, 2009 @ 6:12 am

    Irreligious,

    Okay, thanks. But you still haven’t answered my question.

    When gay marriages are considered mundane, how will you define “marriage”.

    I define it as one man and one woman uniting legally for life.

    I just want you to rewrite the above replacing the words that need changing.

  78. mk
    January 14th, 2009 @ 7:49 am

    Irreligious,

    Okay, fair enough. But you still haven’t answered the question. If, or maybe I should say when, gay marriages become the norm, what will the definition of “marriage” be.

    I define it now as “a lifelong union between one man and one woman”.

    I realize that not everyone defines it that way, and I realize that they have not always done so in the past.

    I’m asking you to define it, as you think it will be understood if gay marriages become legal across the states.

    Also, you said earlier, that ALL states call it marriage. But it isn’t legal in all states. Did you mean when they are discussing whether or not to make “it” legal, that the “it” they are talking about is marriage? OR that the advocates of gay civil unions refer to it as marriage?

  79. Lily
    January 14th, 2009 @ 11:11 am

    Irreligious: You are still dodging the issue:

    “They are the studies of which enamored, which is why I called them “your” studies. As has been pointed out to you several times, you resolutely ignore all the other studies refuting the ones that conveniently match your opinion.”

    I am not enamored of them. That is another attempt to insult me and demean my ability to think and form a reasonable conclusion from the evidence presented to me.

    I do not ignore the other studies. I have read many of them. That is how I arrived at the position I hold. You cannot say the same. You have not read the scholarly literature on either side of the issue. I have and have made a decision about the side I judge to have the stronger argument.

    Your personal opinion, grounded in nothing other than your subjective experience and the current state of your digestion is worth very little, when trying to draw conclusions about what is best for society.

    But here are some excerpts from the introduction to an argument that looks at some legal issues involved in considering ssm:

    There is a significant difference between the private or individual interests in marriage and the social or public interests in marriage. The difference lies in the perspective from which marriage is viewed; the former focuses on an individual’s or small group’s personal benefits and burdens while the latter views marriage from the perspective of the benefits and burdens flowing from the marital relationship to members of society as a whole. …

    Marriage laws are enacted to secure public, not private, interests. This is true because legal marriage is a public institution, created by law to promote public policy and to further social interests. Thus, marriage law is not (at least, should not be) enacted simply to promote private or personal interests. Rather, marriage law should protect and promote only those individual interests that are shared in common with society as a whole, i.e., social interests. …

    There are several important public interests in and social purposes for traditional marriage. At least eight social interests (or groups of interests, since all of these interests are multifaceted) for marriage can be identified that relate to proposals for legalizing same-sex marriage or domestic partnership. These include (1) safe sexual relations; (2) responsible procreation; (3) optimal child rearing; (4) healthy human development; (5) protecting those who undertake the most vulnerable family roles for the benefit of society, especially wives and mothers; (6) securing the stability and integrity of the basic unit of society; (7) fostering civic virtue, democracy, and social order; and (8) facilitating interjurisdictional compatibility. …(MULTIPLY AND REPLENISH': CONSIDERING SAME-SEX MARRIAGE IN LIGHT OF STATE INTERESTS IN MARITAL PROCREATION. By: Wardle, Lynn D., Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, Summer 2001, Vol. 24, Issue 3 )

    I devoutly hope this cut and paste job does not bring xml garbage with it …

  80. Jahrta
    January 14th, 2009 @ 1:06 pm

    Hi all

    1.) I’m a guy
    2.) I’m staight
    3.) I’m a gay rights advocate
    4.) I judge Lily only to the extent that I find her homophobic, dangerous and remarkably ill-informed. I find her to be a classic example of how an education can go horribly awry. She uses fancy language to try to divert attention from the fact that her positions are all born of stone-aged thinking, fear and superstition. If you find me hypocritical for looking down at her with ridicule, so be it. I make no apologies for mocking her openly, and neither should anyone else. I think you’ll find if you review the older posts between Lily and myself (and every other atheist who has tried to get through to her over the years), that she never learns anything.

  81. Jahrta
    January 14th, 2009 @ 1:10 pm

    Lily wrote: “That is another attempt to insult me and demean my ability to think and form a reasonable conclusion from the evidence presented to me.”

    Seriously? You demean yourself and prove an inability to form a reasonable and rational conclusion from the evidence you have by openly believing that the bible is the word of any god, and not just a bunch of men trying to control other men (and women) by threatening them with hell if they didn’t adopt their religion.

  82. Irreligious
    January 14th, 2009 @ 1:14 pm

    Lily, you’re still avoiding my question. What harm am I going to bring to you if I am allowed to marry another man?

    Name one concrete harm that my marriage would bring to you.

  83. UnspeakablyViolentJane
    January 14th, 2009 @ 1:21 pm

    Some people feel their Lexus is a little less shiny if their neighbor has one.

  84. Jahrta
    January 14th, 2009 @ 1:31 pm

    The best is when she tells people she has gay friends.

  85. Lily
    January 14th, 2009 @ 3:01 pm

    Enough, Irreligious. It is a singularly foolish question and one that you should already know the answer to. Your individual “marriage” would not harm me one iota. Many such “marriages” if legalized would harm society.

    How? Consult the Harvard Law article I just referenced or consult the Princeton Principles (google it) that I have referenced many times. It is long past due for you to inform yourself what the issues really are. They have litte to do with your private wishes.

  86. Irreligious
    January 14th, 2009 @ 3:09 pm

    Lily, stop sending me to these sources and answer my question if you’ve got the guts.

    What concrete harm would come to you if I were legally allowed to marry another man? It’s a simple question.

  87. Lily
    January 14th, 2009 @ 3:11 pm

    So simple that I answered it in my previous message. You can’t even bring yourself to read a short message with the slightest care, can you?

  88. Irreligious
    January 14th, 2009 @ 3:25 pm

    You said my marriage would harm society. Are you not a member of society? Concretes, Lily. That’s all I’m asking for from you.

    You acknowledged that my individual marriage would be of no consequence to you. By extrapolation, am I to infer that the marriage of my lesian colleague and her partner would also have no real impact on your life? And Rosie O’Donnell and her partner getting married wouldn’t affect you, either? If it’s not affecting you, why would it affect others?

    Where is the concrete harm to society? Is the harm that all of our sex lives do not match up with your beliefs that procreation trumps all other means of sexual expression?
    How does that harm you or other members of society, many of whom are already having sex for purposes other than to reproduce?

  89. Lily
    January 14th, 2009 @ 5:35 pm

    Here we go again. It has all been said. All of it. Why must I repeat it? SIGH.

    The arguments you make for ssm can be made for every other arrangement and combination of arrangements. Once marriage becomes nothing more than a legal contract that ratifies our romantic choices, marriage has been abolished. Legal challenges to sanctions on polygamy have already been mounted and are likely to succeed. Anything worse for women than polygamy can hardly be imagined. Its been done. Those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

    What is the harm to society? What is the harm when these disappear:

    (1) safe sexual relations; (2) responsible procreation; (3) optimal child rearing; (4) healthy human development; (5) protecting those who undertake the most vulnerable family roles for the benefit of society, especially wives and mothers; (6) securing the stability and integrity of the basic unit of society; (7) fostering civic virtue, democracy, and social order; and (8) facilitating interjurisdictional compatibility.

    Those, of course, are the words of the Harvard article. The Princeton Principles covers most of the same ground in a bit more detail. How does ssm undermine these? It is all there in both the popular and scholarly literature.

    At some point, you are absolutely responsible for becoming an informed citizen. There is simply no end of information out there. I don’t need to spell it out in the comment box of a blog and I will not. You are on your own now.

  90. Louise
    January 14th, 2009 @ 6:36 pm

    I judge Lily only to the extent that I find her homophobic, dangerous and remarkably ill-informed.

    Oh well, that’s okay then. I judge gay marriage advocates only to the extent that I find them self-centred, dangerous and remarkably ill-informed.

    Lily is right.

  91. mk
    January 14th, 2009 @ 6:47 pm

    I’ve been trying to post all day and while the site was accepting my messages, it wasn’t publishing them. I removed my website and they finally went through! Sheesh! Talk about frustrating.

    Irreligious,

    Everything is cool about that misunderstanding (eons ago/silly conversation).

    But you still haven’t answered my question.

    If/when gay marriage becomes legal, how will you define marriage?

    Right now, I define it as A Lifelong Committment Between One Man and One Woman. Granted that is my personal definition.

    But how will you define it?

  92. Lily
    January 14th, 2009 @ 8:22 pm

    Now you’ve done it, Louise! You are now on the big J’s hit list. :0 I am not worthy of that sacrifice.

    Pray for 10 more feet of snow in his parts. That should bury the state for the next 4 months and give J something more important to shovel than self-righteous, ahem, ovine sh-t. ;)

  93. Swk6
    January 14th, 2009 @ 9:11 pm

    Funny you should use “self righteous” to describe someone else Lily.

    Shocked that Louise commenting on this now Xtian site thinks gay marriage is wrong. Really with “names” like Lily and Louise, I would expect nothing less that old little biddies sitting at home knitting.,….alone.

  94. UnspeakablyViolentJane
    January 14th, 2009 @ 9:18 pm

    Easy does it, Swk6. A lot of people knit.

  95. Swk6
    January 14th, 2009 @ 9:28 pm

    My apolgies to the knitters.

  96. Lily
    January 14th, 2009 @ 9:35 pm

    UVJane: LOL! You have now cracked me up so often that I am placing you officially on my “Really A-OK Atheists” list. Your welcome packet and list of privileges and duties are in the mail.

    Well, there is no disputing taste but the real Lily has been uniformly held to be so beautiful that she deserves her beautiful name. I pity the fool who disses her– she knows how to take care of herself.

    The faux Lily has never succeeded in learning to knit. :(

    I can’t speak for Louise but with her lovely big family, I don’t suppose she has time to sit down, much less knit.

  97. UnspeakablyViolentJane
    January 14th, 2009 @ 9:35 pm

    Thanks.

  98. Swk6
    January 14th, 2009 @ 9:44 pm

    Jane, getting a compliment from Lily is kind of like getting my ass pinched by the ugliest person in school. I mean, it’s nice that someone thinks you’re cute but it still feels rather unwelcome.

  99. UnspeakablyViolentJane
    January 14th, 2009 @ 9:49 pm

    Swk6, whenever someone pisses me off on the internet, I always remember Viola. Were you here then?

  100. Swk6
    January 14th, 2009 @ 9:56 pm

    Yes I was…whatever happened to her?? Wasnt there some sort of controversy??

  101. UnspeakablyViolentJane
    January 14th, 2009 @ 9:57 pm

    She was a 15 year old kid, trolling.

  102. UnspeakablyViolentJane
    January 14th, 2009 @ 9:57 pm

    A boy

  103. UnspeakablyViolentJane
    January 14th, 2009 @ 9:59 pm

    So, what I’m saying is for all we know Lilly and Louise are 50 year old male stock brokers, living in their cars since the crash.

    And the probably crochet, which is disgusting.

  104. Swk6
    January 14th, 2009 @ 10:04 pm

    Now I remember what the controversey was. I had just started reading then.

    Lily and Louise have St Peters??? I suppose anything is possible. I also understand why you wouldnt want to claim them for your gender.

  105. Louise
    January 15th, 2009 @ 12:59 am

    So, what I’m saying is for all we know Lilly and Louise are 50 year old male stock brokers, living in their cars since the crash.

    And the probably crochet, which is disgusting.

    Damn. She’s onto us.

  106. Louise
    January 15th, 2009 @ 1:00 am

    Viola was a 15 yo boy? How Shakespearian!

  107. Irreligious
    January 15th, 2009 @ 2:26 am

    Lily wrote:
    “Once marriage becomes nothing more than a legal contract that ratifies our romantic choices, marriage has been abolished.”

    Lily, if you are earnestly trying to save an institution that resembles your ideal, I would have to say that you are decades too late.

    Look around at all the heterosexual couples who avail themselves to serial marriages, who preside over dysfunctional households, raise angry and neglected children, whose partners cheat on each other and who pay only lip service to being obedient Christians.

    Where are the public campaigns to keep all these people from legally attaining marriage licenses? They’re allowed to “selfishly” pursue their own happiness, even if they never find it.

    Some gay people will, no doubt, join them in that vain pursuit, but others– even if you disapprove of their “private” sexual practices– will seek to remain faithful to each other, practice good ethics and be attentive parents.

    I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but you seem to be saying that gay people are inherently more unethical and less trustworthy than heterosexual people.

    If that is the case, then it’s no wonder you should continually direct me to studies that will tell me I am more sex-obsessed than the average heterosexual man in America, more violent or that I am incapable of being a responsible parent, and that I am a citizen who is inherently lacking a virtue because I’m gay.

    The thing is, I’m certain I know me better than you do.

    The only education you are seeking to introduce me to is what you and those specific sociologists– whom I have never met– think of me. But that is entirely unnecessary. I already know.

  108. Irreligious
    January 15th, 2009 @ 2:50 am

    MK wrote:
    “But you still haven’t answered my question.

    If/when gay marriage becomes legal, how will you define marriage?

    Right now, I define it as A Lifelong Committment Between One Man and One Woman. Granted that is my personal definition.

    But how will you define it?”

    MK, I acknowledge that marriage, “under the law,” is a domestic civil agreement between two partners that confers on the parties certain legal rights and protections, as well as responsibilities to each other and any dependent children under their care.

    Other than that, I have never been in the habit of defining other people’s relationships.

    I have no problem at all with your definition of your marriage but, ultimately, outsdide of acknowledging your right to the legal agreement you entered into with you husband, that is not my business, and how I and my theoretical partner would choose to define our theoretical marriage would not be not yours.

    In short, we would be legal domestic partners like you and your husband, only we would be two males.

    I know I’ve answered this question for you more than once before. It is entirely unacceptable and, perhaps, not even comprehensible to you. I understand. But there is nothing more I can do about that. That is the only answer you’re going to get from me.

    I sincerely hope that didn’t come off as too terse, but that is my honest answer.

  109. mk
    January 15th, 2009 @ 6:27 am

    IR,

    I didn’t realize that that was your “definition”…So, and I’m just making sure that I’m not putting words into your mouth here, that marriage will be defined by whoever is getting married? There will be as many definitions as marriages?

  110. Lily
    January 15th, 2009 @ 8:14 am

    Get over yourself, Irreligious. It is not all about you. It is not all about preventing you or any one else from attaining private happiness. It is about regulating public life in the ways that best suit society.

    The fact that I have told you this repeatedly over the last 2+ years and that you still keep making this issue all about you and what you want (the hell with children, if it hurts them; the hell with women, if redefining marriage hurts them) is why there is simply no reason to continue. I have lost my taste for bashing my head against a brick wall.

  111. Nina
    January 15th, 2009 @ 8:52 am

    How does redefining marriage to include extending the same civil institution to gay couples hurt women…??

    Sounds like there are a whole lotta lazy-ass, whiny, useless, incompetent females out there who think it’s their “right” to sit on their fat asses and have a man support them.

    Civil marriage is defined as a legal union between a man and woman in all states and includes a legal union between two consenting adults in several others. It has not included “lifelong commitment” for eons.

    Religious marriage is defined by whatever religious institution you’re talking about.

    Seems to me like there are some seriously hypocritical Catholic females who CLAIM they believe all this Catholic doctrine, but want the state to enforce it for them because, deep down, in the dim recesses of their small, stupid minds, they know full well they’re not living up to what their Church asks of them.

    Because the only way they can live “Catholic” lives is if there’s never any temptation to do anything else…

    But, since there can be no “virtue” without temptation, that’s just bullshit, through and through. If that drooling cretin, Lily, and her equally mindless cohort, mk, were able to live as their Church tells them they must, it wouldn’t matter one whit what the state defined marriage as. But they can’t. It’s too haaarrrd…it’s not faaaiiir…it’s everyone else’s fault they fail….

    You get over yourself, Lily, you piece of excrement. “It” (whatever the fuck that is) ain’t about you, either. Live your life as you claim everyone else ought to. You and your fellow Catholics get it right before you shove your bullshit down everyone else’s throats.

    Straight, western Christians have succeeded in “redefining” marriage a thousand ways from Sunday since the dawn of time, and they’ve done it to suit themselves each time.

    When you’re perfect, tell everyone else how to live. Until then, mind your own business and work on yourself. Until then, you’re nothing but a great honking hypocrite and every time you open your mouth you do more damage to this precious “Church” of yours than any million gay couples can do.

  112. mk
    January 15th, 2009 @ 8:53 am

    yet another test…

  113. Nina
    January 15th, 2009 @ 9:00 am

    mk, your time would be better spent learning basic subtraction and addition so you can learn to balance a checkbook.

    Any adult female who prides herself on basic financial illiteracy and the inability to properly take care of herself is beyond ridiculous in this world. That you then go on to tell someone else how their marriage is going to destroy society is laughable. Incompetent, ignorant fools like you hurt society infinitely more than two chicks getting married.

  114. mk
    January 15th, 2009 @ 9:28 am

    Well Thank you once again, Nina. Your comments have been duly noted. Always happy to hear different opinions. God Bless You.

  115. Nina
    January 15th, 2009 @ 9:37 am

    That’s not “opinion”, you dumb cunt. It’s fact. Crack open a newspaper and read it already. Or are you also happy and proud of being completely uninformed as well?

    Oh…wait…

  116. mk
    January 15th, 2009 @ 9:42 am

    I stand corrected.

    Thank you once again, Nina. Your grasp of facts, and ability to share them has been duly noted. Always happy to learn new “facts”. God Bless You.

  117. Nina
    January 15th, 2009 @ 9:49 am

    Good. Now don’t you have to do…laundry…or wash a toilet…? Or are you one of those typically slovenly and dirty Catholic housewives who don’t think they have to do anything more than pop out a baby a year like a welfare queen in order to justify the (considerable) space they take up on this planet…?

    Get a job already. Really.

  118. mk
    January 15th, 2009 @ 9:52 am

    Nina,

    Have you been peaking in my windows???? ;)

  119. Nina
    January 15th, 2009 @ 9:56 am

    No. Catholic housewives are notoriously dirty and slovenly. That’s a given. Ask anyone. Dirty floors, dirty bathrooms, dirty kitchens…laundry piled up, more kids than they can properly care for (you already screwed up at least one of yours, by your own admission) or educate…

    Theyr’e personally dirty, too…out of shape, overweight, unhealthy — the kind of people who cost the American taxpayer billions of dollars a year out of their extreme gluttony and sloth.

    You know, kinda like everyone knows gay guys are all inately brilliant interior decorators and hairdressers and have a love for the fine arts and are in touch with their feminine side…

    I’m just waiting for you to tell us how black people love fried chicken and watermelon and can jump but can’t swim…

  120. mk
    January 15th, 2009 @ 10:00 am

    Nina,

    I know exactly what you mean. I’m going to one those “Catholic” homes today. I just hope she has unclogged the toilet and we don’t have to scrape excrement off of her couch this time. The last time was so unpleasant. Tho it was rather fun eating out of cat bowls. Novel, if nothing else.

  121. Nina
    January 15th, 2009 @ 10:02 am

    LOL!

    You just can’t make stupid like that up…

    Not the brightest bulb on the porch, are you, mk?

  122. mk
    January 15th, 2009 @ 10:08 am

    Nina,

    I know, right? You’re not the first one to mention my lack of wattage. Now I have to go an find the front door. I know it’s around here somewhere. Those dang diapers are really a hindrance to a persons vision. I suppose if I only let them pile up to three feet, it wouldn’t be so bad. But alas, I’ve let them reach the ceiling and I fear I’ll have to exit through a window. Now where did I see that window…? BTW, Oust can only do so much. Trust me. I’m thinking of trying Febreeze…any suggestions?

  123. Nina
    January 15th, 2009 @ 10:23 am

    Yes. My original suggestion. Clean up your own house. Get your shit right, along with the rest of the holier-than-thous. Don’t fuck up. That would be a start. And then, when all the straight Christians are living their perfect lives, devoid of promiscuity and infidelity and divorce, get back to the rest of us on how we’re the downfall of society.

    Until then you’re nothing but a bigoted, uninformed, incompetent, hypocritical little ignoramus who hasn’t got a leg to stand on when it comes to pontificating on the downfall of society.

    Now run along and at least pretend to take care of your kids.

  124. mk
    January 15th, 2009 @ 10:26 am

    Nina,

    You forgot slovenly. But I get your drift…

  125. Jahrta
    January 15th, 2009 @ 10:28 am

    Louise – you’re totally right. Gay marriage is an abomination because your book said so. Your book also says pi = 3, and the world is flat, a senior citizen built a boat that could hold two of every animal and sustain them for the duration of a worldwide flood, and we age and die because god let satan into the garden of eden as a talking snake who convinced eve to eat an apple, and the universe is only 6k years old, and dinosaurs aren’t real, and you’re an irredeemably worthless piece of shit. Did I miss anything?

  126. Jahrta
    January 15th, 2009 @ 10:29 am

    Let’s not get into discussions of “all catholics are this” or “all gays are that.” Everyone’s different, and I think you’ll find that if you group people together, you’ll miss out on getting to know all the endearingly personal reasons to hate them on an individual basis.

  127. Margaret Catherine
    January 15th, 2009 @ 10:47 am

    MK – Rejoice and be glad. And step away to read 1st John and 1 Corinthians 13, they’re excellent antidotes.

  128. Nina
    January 15th, 2009 @ 10:53 am

    No, mk, you don’t. That’s the problem with people like you. You don’t get it at all.

    The problem with people like you is you ignore the plank in your own eye while loudly pointing out the mote in someone else’s.

    You claim gay marriage “will be” the break down of society.

    Well, big fat news flash, you dumbass — we’re already there and have been for some time, waaaaay before gay marriage or civil unions were available in any state. And who’s to blame for that? Not gay people, not liberals, not Hollywood, not Berkeley.

    It is the direct fault of every adult who made a conscious choice to do wrong. Every adult who broke his or her marriage vows, every adult who objectified a member of the opposite sex, every adult who sexed-up his or her kid, every adult who willingly and happily purchased a ticket for some morally questionable entertainment event — a dirty movie, a porn magazine, a hate-filled, misogynistic CD, etc.

    That the majority of straight marriages end up in divorce is not the gay community’s fault. It is not anyone else’s fault but the adults involved in each and every one of those marriages.

    Fighting civil gay marriage is merely a red herring. Obsessing about something that has zero effect on you and your marriage whatsoever means you don’t have to be honest about your own sins. You don’t have to be honest about the sins of the person who sits next to you in the pew on Sunday.

    When you people start accepting responsibility for yourselves, then others might be willing to listen, but you’re all the same — you all blame Britney when your husband starts checking out the hotties at the beach, or blame the fashion magazines, or Hollywood, or liberals, but the reality is HE has a choice. HE chooses to ogle underage girls and think disgusting things. Oh, but you can’t blame HIM — that might cost you something. You can’t blame your neighbor who sits up after her husband and kids are asleep and hotchats some other married person, or enters into an emotional affair with him (as bad as fucking the UPS man, IMO, and maybe worse because it’s so fucking delusional) because that might mean you have to be unpopular.

    It is the responsibility of EVERY SINGLE INDIVIDUAL to do the right thing. To choose the right thing to do, even if it’s hard, even if it costs you, even if the rest of the world is doing something else.

    That’s it. That’s all there is to right living. You think honoring vows you made when you got married is the right thing to do? Then do it. And when you fail, don’t try to put the blame on someone who has ZERO to do with YOUR choices.

    That’s the part you don’t get and will never get because you haven’t got what it takes, honey. You haven’t got the fucking backbone.

  129. Irreligious
    January 15th, 2009 @ 12:26 pm

    MK wrote:
    “I didn’t realize that that was your “definition”…So, and I’m just making sure that I’m not putting words into your mouth here, that marriage will be defined by whoever is getting married? There will be as many definitions as marriages?”

    MK, that is the status quo right now. There is both a “legal” definition of marriage that applies to all who are who are married in a particular state, and then there are all those subjective definitions.

    You let the Catholic church define yours and the average Muslim, for example, looks to his/her culture and religious traditions to define a proper Muslim marriage.
    Other than the fact that both of you are in heterosexual relationships, your personal definitions of your respective unions will vary.

    If you are still confused, I would suggest we stop, because you are never going to understand what I am saying. Lily refuses to. She is under the incredible delusion that by keeping people like me from the “legal” institution, she can also regulate the lives of all those heterosexual couples out there who engage in serial marriages, cheat on each other and who otherwise ignore the Roman Catholic teachings on what a proper marriage is supposed to be. She can’t and she knows it.

    Figuratively, I am her scapegoat. She shits all over me and then tells me to get over it. Nice, huh?

  130. Lily
    January 15th, 2009 @ 12:51 pm

    It is impossible to respond to you, Irreligious. I can’t figure out whether you are *merely* dishonest or whether there is serious intellectual deficiency at work. Nobody who has full possession of his natural reason could twist what I say the way you do.

    The delusion you claim that I am laboring under as regards to the effect of homosexual *marriage* are widely shared. I have not the slightest interest in regulating the sex lives of heterosexuals and have never expressed a wish to do so. A sane society does regulate divorce, just as it does marriage law. Our divorce laws, where children are involved, could certain use reviewing.

    You are downright hysterical, and I mean that literally, when you say that you are my scapegoat and that I shit all over you. Martyr complex, anyone? I have told you nothing that wide swathes of the American public and its intelligentsia haven’t told you. You can blame me but I simply don’t wield that kind of influence. If only.

  131. jesuslives
    January 15th, 2009 @ 12:58 pm

    Gay marriage is wrong in every moral instance, the act of homosexuality is immoral, the male body is made up of organs that are meant to reproduce with a woman, It is a choice and only that to be gay. it is a sexual preference not a born instance. it is a chemical imbalance in the mind.

  132. Irreligious
    January 15th, 2009 @ 1:09 pm

    Lily, I know you are proud of your bigotry, just like the southern white supremacist used to be proud of his 50 years ago. Of course, you see yourself as honest and fair, righteous, even. So did he. He also thought disenfranchised black people who complained were incorrigible whiners and claimed that God and a legion of good white folks were on his side and that he was merely trying to maintain a sane society.

    You’re a horrible and deeply dishonst bigot, Lily, and venal to the core. It’s not intellectual dishonesty that leads me to that conclusion; it is my interactions with you. You reveal it in practically every post and then indignantly deny it.

    I believe every word I am saying to you. Every single word. If you think it’s funny, you’re free to laugh your ass off. It’s what I would expect you to do, anyway.

  133. Lily
    January 15th, 2009 @ 1:19 pm

    What utter nonsense. What bigotry? Exactly how am I venal? What information do you have about me beyond the voicing of opinions about homosexual marriage that are widely shared and grounded in reason and in experience? I don’t “indignantly” deny anything.

    I tell you that no matter how loudly you shout, no matter how many unrelated matters you bring into the discussion to sidetrack and derail it, no matter how many off-topic, ugly accusations you try to make about a person you do not know, homosexual marriage is not in society’s interest. The evidence is available to everyone, plain and compelling.

    Nothing you say to me– no combination of vulgarity or obscenity, with or without the help of other atheists, can change anything. The truth is what it is.

    Deal with it.

  134. Irreligious
    January 15th, 2009 @ 1:28 pm

    You’re a bigot. Deal with that.

  135. nkb
    January 15th, 2009 @ 1:29 pm

    Lily,
    In reference to your Harvard Law article, is this the same Lynn D. Wardle that is a professor at Brigham Young University, and who writes for the National Review? There couldn’t possibly be any religious bias in this article, right?
    .
    Let’s examine some of the points you were emphasizing:
    .
    “(1) safe sexual relations;”
    .
    Meaning not homosexual, right? Who defines “safe”? What is inherently unsafe in homosexual relations? That’s called a tautology, as I’m sure you are aware.
    .
    “(2) responsible procreation;”
    .
    How is this affected by gay people marrying each other? Will the number of hetero couples go down? Maybe you could argue that some gay people, who are in a hetero couple, might feel emboldened to finally give up the charade, and come out, but that’s happening anyway (see Irr as a prime example).
    Are you arguing that straight people will be less likely to get married, because teh gays are now doing it too? If so, please explain why.
    .
    So, I think it is a logical assumption that the number of straight couples will not significantly decrease, thereby not decreasing procreation. So, what’s the problem?
    .
    “(3) optimal child rearing;”
    .
    Another ambiguous term, “optimal”. Is a heterosexual couple “optimal” to raise children? Being heterosexual is not even close to a guarantee of being responsible parents, I can think of a slew of other factors that are far more important than sexual orientation.
    .
    “(4) healthy human development;”
    .
    Who defines “healthy”? See point 1, tautology.
    .
    (5) protecting those who undertake the most vulnerable family roles for the benefit of society, especially wives and mothers;”
    .
    Would you care to elaborate on how gays marrying affects this protection? Wouldn’t a stay-at-home parent in a one-income gay couple require the same kind of protection?
    .
    “(6) securing the stability and integrity of the basic unit of society;”
    .
    There we go again, completely subjective. You can call this a tautology, or circular reasoning.
    “We have to secure the stability and integrity of the basic unit of society. Gay couples are not a basic unit of society, therefore they would compromise the security and integrity.”
    .
    “(7) fostering civic virtue, democracy, and social order;”
    .
    In an article I read in the National Review, Wardle actually implies that gay marriage will be the downfall of democracy. I would have laughed more if I didn’t realize that people like this are pretty commonplace.
    .
    “and (8) facilitating interjurisdictional compatibility.”
    .
    Not sure what to do with that one.

  136. nkb
    January 15th, 2009 @ 1:40 pm

    “It is a choice and only that to be gay. it is a sexual preference not a born instance. it is a chemical imbalance in the mind.”
    .
    Make up your mind, jesuslives. Is it a choice, or a chemical imbalance? You can’t have both.
    .
    If it is a choice, could you choose to be sexually attracted to another member of your own sex?

  137. jesuslives
    January 15th, 2009 @ 1:48 pm

    The chemical imbalance is what causes the brain to think that they want to have sex with someone of the same sex, then the individual makes the choice wether or not to do IT. lIKE People who do it with animals, should we allow beastiality marriages and child sodomy to be legal also, because this too is an imbalance and a drive to something immoral and they choose to do it or not.

  138. Jahrta
    January 15th, 2009 @ 1:51 pm

    Jesuslives is either a very good troll or a very dim-witted believer.

    NKB – you read Lily’s article, but not the way she wanted you to. you didn’t really REALLY really read it, and she can’t be bothered to explain it to the likes of you. I can’t believe you’d even ask her to defend her position when it’s right there in black and white, you cur!

  139. Jahrta
    January 15th, 2009 @ 1:52 pm

    Jesuslives – how old are you? what is your take on ancient greek culture? have you ever read a book other than the bible? do you know any gay people? what makes you so funny?

  140. Lily
    January 15th, 2009 @ 1:53 pm

    NKB– I have no idea who Wardle is. I simply searched the EBSCO database (EBSCO provides one of the larger aggregator databases (collections of many hundreds of full-text journals) out in the market place that my university, as well as virtually every other university in the country, subscribes to. Since the journal is peer-reviewed (or says it is), the author’s name was unknown to the reviewers and the article was considered on its merits. Did the reviewers agree with his conclusions? I don’t know. When I have time, I want to look at the later issues to see what, if any, reaction/discussion followed.

  141. Lily
    January 15th, 2009 @ 2:03 pm

    Jahrta: I don’t believe that NKB has stated that he read the article. The way I want(ed) him to is the way I want everyone to read any article they come across– with an open-mind but critically.

    The points enumerated come from the author’s introduction. He doesn’t speak to them there; he states them to introduce the subject of his paper and talks about which of those commonly understood points he is going to argue in his paper. If anyone wants to clarify his position on those points, that person will likely want to read the article.

    If anyone wants to read up on them in general, the Princeton Principles, which can be found online easily, discusses them in 10 very readable pages. It doesn’t make sense to try to discuss them in a comment box, until we have all read one or the other document and have a common basis to start from.

  142. jesuslives
    January 15th, 2009 @ 2:05 pm

    greek culture, the persian war, mythology, I have read some. I am 56 years old. I also study other religions. I research creationism, evolution, astronomy and any other thing that may grab my interest.I do know gay people and am in the middle of researching the physical science behind homosexuality. So far my research is in theory. and I have far more to study in this area . as it is a touchy subject.

  143. Irreligious
    January 15th, 2009 @ 2:15 pm

    The physical science behind homosexuality? A touchy subject? Sounds pretty hands on. Tell us about it, please.

  144. Margaret Catherine
    January 15th, 2009 @ 2:36 pm

    Nina, thank you for what you said in #125. Truly.

  145. Irreligious
    January 15th, 2009 @ 3:08 pm

    Ditto. Nina is one of the most formidable Christians I have encountered on the Internet, hell, even in real life.

    Some Christians here may not understand, but she has earned my respect, for it’s worth.

  146. Irreligious
    January 15th, 2009 @ 3:09 pm

    Fr what it’s worth, that is.

  147. mk
    January 15th, 2009 @ 3:10 pm

    Louise – you’re totally right. Gay marriage is an abomination because your book said so. Your book also says pi = 3, and the world is flat, a senior citizen built a boat that could hold two of every animal and sustain them for the duration of a worldwide flood, and we age and die because god let satan into the garden of eden as a talking snake who convinced eve to eat an apple, and the universe is only 6k years old, and dinosaurs aren’t real, and you’re an irredeemably worthless piece of shit. Did I miss anything?</i.

    Hmmmm…you must have an updated version of “the Book”…where can I get a copy?

  148. Irreligious
    January 15th, 2009 @ 3:18 pm

    And, I’d like to add, if this were a forum of full of self-righteous gay folk blanketly castigating all Roman Catholics as being inherently immoral and questioning their legal right to worship as they please, I would expect Nina to be just as tough. And I’d back her up.

  149. jolly atheist
    January 15th, 2009 @ 3:26 pm

    Why all the fuss? God always comes up creating beings he doesn’t want to create, and then blames the beings for His own mistakes!

  150. mk
    January 15th, 2009 @ 3:48 pm

    Irreligious,

    I’m not Lily, and you’re not Nina. I won’t hold you accountable for Lily aspersions, if you don’t put Lily’s words in my mouth.

    You say that if I can’t understand, you’re done explaining it to me, and I wonder how I will ever understand if that’s the attitude that you and others take.

    I’m really trying to carry on our conversation in spite of the other conversations that are taking place here. It’s hard and they are distracting I know, but try to focus on the fact that I have not insulted you (intentionally) and I am not picking a fight.

    The definition I gave was not the Catholic one. It is my understanding that at this time, the entire country save for a few states, defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. If I am wrong in this understanding, then correct me, and I’ll admit it. I’m not a lawyer nor do I write law. That is just how I, MK, understand the standing definition of marriage.

    I am not asking you to define relationships. That is a whole other ball of wax. I am just interested in knowing what the merriam webster definition of marriage will be when gay marriages are the norm. Not how each couple lives out their wedding vows, but how the state will define the actual “institution” of marriage.

    Now, you have said “MK, that is the status quo right now. There is both a “legal” definition of marriage that applies to all who are who are married in a particular state”

    That is the only definition I am interested in. Put aside religious interpretations.

    There IS a legal definition of marriage. Now. And it, for the most part does not include same sex marriages, because if it did, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. I would have a hard time being convinced that it is only Muslims and Catholics that are keeping marriages between a man and a woman. It would appear, since the California vote, that mainstream America does not favor these unions, and we have no way of knowing what religious affiliation those voters adhered to.

    So for now, and until you show me otherwise, I believe that the legal definition of marriage is a legal union between one man and one woman (with the exception of the Mormon Church). Am I wrong?
    ……………………………………….
    Okay, moving on to your definiton…

    MK, I acknowledge that marriage, “under the law,” is a domestic civil agreement between two partners that confers on the parties certain legal rights and protections, as well as responsibilities to each other and any dependent children under their care.

    You say between two “partners”…so the definition has gone from a man and a woman, to two partners…good so far. Now, how would you feel if a “group” comes forward requesting that the number “two” be changed to any number of individuals that enter into a domestic civil agreement?

    I mean, would you have a problem if 4 men wanted to marry 4 other men? Or how about defining “partners”…is this consenting adults, or consenting “anyones”. Can a 40 year old woman marry a 14 year old boy?

    I guess what I am really asking, is if there is a line that you would draw, or if any definition will work because if all parties agree, it should not be anyones elses business.

    I realize that this might sound snide, but it is not meant to be. I really want to know, what, in your mind would be acceptable and what, if anything, would not? Do you see where I’m coming from?

  151. mk
    January 15th, 2009 @ 3:48 pm

    Sorry, that first line should read “Nina’s aspersions” not Lily’s…

  152. mk
    January 15th, 2009 @ 3:50 pm

    And, I’d like to add, if this were a forum of full of self-righteous gay folk blanketly castigating all Roman Catholics as being inherently immoral and questioning their legal right to worship as they please, I would expect Nina to be just as tough. And I’d back her up.

    Well she definitely has a creative use of the language…I’ll give her that…lol.

  153. Irreligious
    January 15th, 2009 @ 4:20 pm

    MK, right now, the law allows only “two” individuals at a time to enter into a legal, civil marriage contract.

    There may come a time when groups of three or more people might be clamoring for access to the same legal protections. No matter what I do or what you think, they already have a legal right to petition the government for that access.

    Should it be granted to them? I don’t really know. It is not a question with which I have fully grappled. I’d have to hear the arguments for their case. Until then, I can only treat that as a diversion from my own, admittedly self-interested, legal pursuit.

    I’m sorry to sound so impatient with you, MK, but your question about the state definition of marriage should I be allowed access to the institution as a gay man seeking to marry another gay man seems obvious to me. I’ve tried to explain it to you without success.

    In short, the state statues on marriage would not make reference to the gender of the partners. They would just be two domestic partners. They could be a male and female or a male and another male or a female and another female.

    In the first example, as the law stands now, the male partner may be 25 and an African-American atheist, while the female partner could be 62, white and an individual who was raised in the Mormon church.

    If the law was expanded to include male-male and female-female couples, they, too, could be almost any conceiveable combination of legally consenting individuals seeking to engage in a legal domestic partnership.

    You would still have access to your traditional, religiously-sanctioned, Roman Catholic heterosexual marriage. No one can take that away from you. I certainly don’t want to.

  154. Irreligious
    January 15th, 2009 @ 4:25 pm

    state statutes, that should be.

  155. mk
    January 15th, 2009 @ 4:31 pm

    Irreligious,

    You seem to be stuck on the notion that I feel Roman Catholic marriages are in danger of being rendered impotent. I have never said that I thought this was so. I don’t know why you keep bringing it up.

    I’ve asked you to put aside the entire religious part of the discussion and you keep coming back to it. I thought I was the one that was supposed to be fixated on religion.

    I am not asking as a Catholic, but as an American. As a member of the secular population, not the Catholic one. I am asking you if there are any union that you would be opposed to. You say you haven’t thought about more than one party, or underage partners, and I’m telling you that I have not thought through gay marriages either, which is why I have been asking you a thousand questions. You seem to be fighting me every step of the way…and I can’t help but think that you are misunderstanding my motives. I am trying to understand what the ramifications for society as a whole will be when the definition of marriage becomes something other than what it is now. Will it be a slippery slope, or will it stop with same sex “couples”? I think these are fair questions, and I think you should be asking the same ones. The answers will affect you as well as me.

  156. Irreligious
    January 15th, 2009 @ 4:41 pm

    Heterosexual people cannot marry more than one partner at a time. They are legally enjoined from seeking to marry those who are underage. They cannot marry their pets. They’re not allowed to marry corpses.

    Gay people are not seeking any of those rights, either. They’re seeking only to marry each other: Generally, gay men marrying other gay men and lesbians marrying lesbians.

  157. Irreligious
    January 15th, 2009 @ 4:46 pm

    What ramifications are you concerned about MK? Tell me and I might start worrying.

    Are you also concerned about the ramifications of thousands of terrified gay men marrying straight women? Are you concerned about unhappy lesbians marrying straight men?

  158. jolly atheist
    January 15th, 2009 @ 4:52 pm

    May I interfere? MK In a democratic society, the laws change according to demand. Gay marriage is a strong demand now and it is for the lawmaker to adjust his law according to demand. How it should be stated in the law is of secondary importance. England is discussing having sharia law possible for those who want it. In that case, a man may marry many women, should both parties agree to go to sharia court. Why can’t the law say two persons and not a man and a woman. If a day comes when 4 people wish to marry one, and this is a strong demand, then the law has to be changed again.

  159. mk
    January 15th, 2009 @ 5:01 pm

    IR,

    No one claimed that gay men or women were asking for those rights. But someone might. And they will use the same reasoning that you are using. What business is it of mine, if a 50 year old man wants to marry a 14 year old boy? What business is it of mine, or yours, if a 4 men want to marry 4 women and call themselves a civil union. What I am asking you, is if there is a limit to what you would feel comfortable with.

    Right now, I can marry someone of the opposite sex and so can you. I cannot marry someone of the same sex, at least not here in Illinois. You want that changed. 10 years from now a different group of people might want the definition changed to include their particular preference? Is that so inconceivable? Am I crazy to ask these questions?

    I have never asked a gay man to marry a heterosexual woman. I have never asked a gay woman to marry a heterosexual man. If they have done so, it is not due to anything I have done, said, not done, or not said. It was their choice. I will not be held responsible for the choices of grown men and women. That is simply unfair.

    Am I concerned for them? No more or less than I am concerned for any other group of individuals.

    My concern for them is not at issue, unless this conversation has taken a turn somewhere that I am unaware of.

    I have simply asked a fairly straightforward question, an in trying to clarify you answer, you have accused me of everything from forcing gay men to enter into to heterosexual marriages, to not caring about the feelings of people I’ve never met, and accusing homosexuals of wanting to marry corpses.

    Seriously, you really sound like you are on the defensive, when I have not take the offensive. I have tried, really tried, to keep this open and honest, but you seem bound and determined to turn it into something that it simply isn’t.

  160. UnspeakablyViolentJane
    January 15th, 2009 @ 5:02 pm

    Oooh Sharia Law! What a good subject.

    Jolly, will that law apply to ANY religious denomination. That is to say, if Mormon’s wanted plural marriages could they agree to go to Mormon court, for example?

  161. Irreligious
    January 15th, 2009 @ 5:03 pm

    Please allow me to ask you a religiously based question, MK. I am asking it by way of crude analogy.

    There are millions of Christians in this country, all of whom claim Christ as their personal saviors. Yet, you have Roman Catholics who venerate the Virgin Mary, see visions of her and earnestly believe that the host is the literal body of Christ.

    Then there are millions of other Christians who don’t adhere to these specific beliefs. You still include them as members of the broader world of Christendom, even if you never set foot in their houses of worship.

    Other Christians (Mormons) believe a 19th century man was God’s next divine emmissary after Jesus. You don’t believe that, but you manage to get along with them and ferret out common enemies.

    They’re all included in the big happy Christian family? Do you worry about the ramifications of your radically different views on Christian thought? Are you fretting about the possibility that yet another group of Christians with diverging viewpoints will pop up in the future?

    If not, why not?

  162. Irreligious
    January 15th, 2009 @ 5:04 pm

    Of course I am on the defensive, MK. So are you. I warned you this would not be an easy discussion.

  163. Lily
    January 15th, 2009 @ 5:06 pm

    There is not a strong demand for gay marrriage or any redefinition of marriage anywhere in the United States. Every time it has been put to a vote, it has been defeated. In the few places it has been legalized, it has been imposed on the citizens by liberal courts making law, which is a gross and dangerous violation of their role in our system of government.

    If England is mad enough to allow Shari’a law, they will regret it bitterly. Separate is not equal and women under Shari’a give up a boat load of protections that they have under English law. They will not have any option either. We have seen how Muslim men treat uppity women. I pity the woman who tries to refuse to have her issue adjudicated by a Shari’a court, in order to come before an English court.

  164. Irreligious
    January 15th, 2009 @ 5:09 pm

    Anyway, I’ll get back to you later, if you think you can still stomach this contentious conversation. ;)

  165. Irreligious
    January 15th, 2009 @ 5:10 pm

    Er, that was for MK.

  166. Lily
    January 15th, 2009 @ 5:12 pm

    My comment was for Jolly Atheist, in case we are getting confused.

  167. jolly atheist
    January 15th, 2009 @ 5:13 pm

    UVJ: Could they go to Mormon court? I guess so. If they work hard and get their rights. I know that Jews have their court in England and people are now discussing the sharia for muslims. I have seen petitions by those who wish to avoid them. I don’t know the details very well, but these are some sort of secondary courts under the management of state courts. I think everything depends on how much you can voice your demand.

  168. UnspeakablyViolentJane
    January 15th, 2009 @ 5:18 pm

    To Jolly – So this is VERY Muslim specific. WOW! Isn’t that institutionalized ethnocentrism? I am just trying to envision people living next to each other operating under completely different legal systems.

    So what about stonings and raping the village rape victim for the sin of letting herself get raped and all that?

  169. mk
    January 15th, 2009 @ 5:20 pm

    Irreligious,

    Are you fretting about the possibility that yet another group of Christians with diverging viewpoints will pop up in the future?

    All the time. The split in the church was a horrible thing. No offense to my protestant brothers and sisters. We were one, and now we are 34,000 and counting. It has done great damage to us as a whole, and we are ALL working together to find some way back…

    Each and every split, affects the Church as a whole. Every time there is a division the church loses a little more and the faith becomes watered down, til eventually it could be rendered meaningless. We fight this within our own Church as well as with the Christian faith in general. The fight for women priests, contraception, abortion…all of these things weaken what the Church stands for until she will stand for nothing at all, and eventually she will be no different than the population at large.

    A man who stands for everything, really stands for nothing at all.

  170. UnspeakablyViolentJane
    January 15th, 2009 @ 5:21 pm

    It really begs the question “What makes a country, a country?” Is it only the space you occupy?

  171. mk
    January 15th, 2009 @ 5:25 pm

    Irreligious,

    Of course I am on the defensive, MK. So are you. I warned you this would not be an easy discussion.

    That’s not really true. While I am defending an idea, I am not on the “defensive”. I am not attacking you, I am attacking an idea. But you are reacting as if I am attacking you personally. Which I emphatically not. I assume that you do not like my church. I hope that you do not dislike me because I belong to my church. I do not dislike you because you are gay. Maybe you just have a hard time separating the too, which is understandable. But I have never taken the things you say personally, because I understand where they are coming from.

    Nina has had some fairly harsh words for me, but I try to put those words off to the side and hear what she is saying behind the words. I am doing the same with you, albeit your words have not been as harsh.

    I’m not saying that you are attacking me, but I am saying that you are reacting as if I am attacking you, which I just am not.

  172. jolly atheist
    January 15th, 2009 @ 5:32 pm

    UVJ: You can be amazed how the muslims can adjust their scripture to modern usage when they want to. I always argue, ‘Why need the Koran at all, if you can change it so much?’ Stoning is very rare and not applied everywhere. Media exaggurates when there is one. Raping is not in the Koran by any means. Those are just applications of an underdeveloped world and mostly misinterpretation of the religion by uneducated people.

  173. nkb
    January 15th, 2009 @ 5:39 pm

    mk,
    I don’t intend to speak for Irr, but I don’t quite understand the gist of your questions.
    .
    It’s really very simple, as he has already pointed out: If two consenting adults (notice the word adults) want to get married, they should be able to, without restrictions on any person’s gender.
    .
    As far as polygamy, or group marriages, I don’t see a fundamental problem with it, as long as it involves only consenting adults. There is nothing inherently wrong with polygamy, except the baggage it brings from what it meant in the past, namely one man, who controlled multiple, usually non-educated or brainwashed, women. That situation would fail today’s rules just as much as any forced marriage between a man and a woman.
    .
    I believe you when you say that you are not intending to be mean or condescending, but you have been, nontheless. Portraying two adults wanting to get married as the gateway to bestiality and child abuse unions is downright pathetic and insulting. How are they related to the issue under discussion?

  174. Swk6
    January 15th, 2009 @ 6:00 pm

    Hey, it works pretty well on Big Love.

  175. Lily
    January 15th, 2009 @ 6:25 pm

    How can one exaggerate a stoning? It either takes place or it doesn’t. One is barbaric and one is too many. I do know that it isn’t applied everywhere but it is hardly rare. There have been at least three that I have read about in the last couple of years.

    3 men were recently stoned for adultery. I read yesterday that one of the 3 men, who had been left for dead, somehow survived and crawled out from under the rocks. According to the report, this means that he cannot be tried again. I guess this is the modern day equivalent of trial by ordeal.

  176. jolly atheist
    January 15th, 2009 @ 6:42 pm

    Lily: As US still practices death-sentence, then it’s only a matter of how the sentence is realized. May be it’s not done so brutally in US, but it still takes a life away, doesn’t it? I think we should ask whether we can be justified for taking away one’s life for any reason at all.

  177. mk
    January 15th, 2009 @ 7:08 pm

    NKB,

    First, I never mentioned bestiality. Second, we are discussing marriage and the preservation of it as it stands or changing it to fit the needs of a certain group. Even without saying what that group is, it stands to reason that if one group requests the definition to be changed, so would others. There are men that are advocating for marriages between them and boys. I don’t consider this to be pedophilia in the sense that you are using it. In many cultures it is quite normal. We allow 14 year old girls to have abortions without parental consent, why wouldn’t we allow 14 year old girls to get married the same way?

    There are also groups that advocate multiple partners. I’m not saying that this will become the norm. I’m just asking if there are any limits that you would put on redefining marriage. I’m not even making any judgments. You are, but I haven’t. I have only asked questions and I don’t see how that can be insulting.

    I didn’t say “YOU, IRRELIGIOUS would probably be okay with ANY type of marriage!” That would be incitement. Then I would understand you feeling insulted. I only asked if there were any limits to what would be acceptable under the law defining marriage in the future, especially given that there are already groups out there that would like to see their definition of marriage validated also.

  178. Louise
    January 15th, 2009 @ 7:29 pm

    Louise – you’re totally right. Gay marriage is an abomination because your book said so. Your book also says pi = 3, and the world is flat, a senior citizen built a boat that could hold two of every animal and sustain them for the duration of a worldwide flood, and we age and die because god let satan into the garden of eden as a talking snake who convinced eve to eat an apple, and the universe is only 6k years old, and dinosaurs aren’t real, and you’re an irredeemably worthless piece of shit. Did I miss anything?

    Hmmm. Atheist hurling personal abuse at a Christian.

    Must be Friday.

  179. Louise
    January 15th, 2009 @ 7:42 pm

    OK folks, let’s try this on for size.

    “Gay marriage” has never before been in existence in the Western World (or indeed anywhere).

    Now, it is possible that “gay marriage” will not in any way harm the fabric of society, however, those who are advocating it have a responsibility to demonstrate, clearly, that it will not do so.

    I haven’t seen anything like that yet.

    Also, we must consider what marriage is for. It is a complex institution and any thorough study of anthropology and history will show that it exists for a multitude of reasons, but most notably, to provide children with the best possible environment for their upbringing, consisting of both a mother and a father and to ensure the co-operation of men and women in society. All of this is for the common good. Any situation (including divorce and serial polygamy) which is less than this ideal is defective and deserves contempt. Thus the no-fault divorce laws of the West are an abomination.

    The emotional gratification of two individuals who just happen to be “in love” is the least important reason for the existence of marriage.

    The pathetic example of heterosexual married couples these past four decades is no argument for “gay marriage.”

    And there is not a great demand for “gay marriage” amongst gays at all. The demand, such as it is, is mostly from those who simply wish to destroy the family.

  180. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 12:19 am

    MK wrote:
    “That’s not really true. While I am defending an idea, I am not on the “defensive”. I am not attacking you, I am attacking an idea. But you are reacting as if I am attacking you personally. Which I emphatically not. I assume that you do not like my church. I hope that you do not dislike me because I belong to my church. I do not dislike you because you are gay. Maybe you just have a hard time separating the too, which is understandable. But I have never taken the things you say personally, because I understand where they are coming from.

    Nina has had some fairly harsh words for me, but I try to put those words off to the side and hear what she is saying behind the words. I am doing the same with you, albeit your words have not been as harsh.

    I’m not saying that you are attacking me, but I am saying that you are reacting as if I am attacking you, which I just am not.”

    I’m sorry, MK, but you are on the defensive as much as I am. I ask you a question, you get defensive. You ask me a question, and I get defensive. So, please let’s not pretend otherwise.

    It has nothing to do with attacking each other. You have not attacked me and I have not attacked you. You are attacking an idea, and so am I. I take my points of view seriously. You take yours as seriously. You do not have to “assume” that I don’t like your church, because I already told in other posts that I don’t. I have been honest about that.

    You say you don’t dislike me and I believe you. I don’t dislike you, either. I can separate some Catholics from their church. So far, I have appreciated that we have not been reduced to calling each other names. I am not certain, however, that you do understand where I’m coming from. At least, you have not demonstrated that to me.

    Right now, I am struggling to understand where you are coming from. Your point of view is not difficult for me to decipher, but I am not sure I understand what it is you are seeking from me in the way of actually understanding my point of view. I’m not talking agreeing with it, but understanding the principle under which I am operating.

    If you firmly adhere to a position that says civil marriage can only accommodate male-female couples, you have to know that there is no answer I can give that will satisfy you when you ask me how I would “re-define” marriage if same-sex couples are legally availed to the institution. The only reasonable is “it would be defined in a way that you would not approve of.”

    If you are concerned about a slippery slope effect because gays are allowed to marry, there really is nothing I could say to you that would assauge your concerns. You know why you feel the way you do better than I.

    If you are asking me to share those fears, well, I can’t. I don’t have them.

  181. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 12:25 am

    Louise wrote:
    “OK folks, let’s try this on for size.”

    At the risk of incurring your ire (you seem like a very unpleasant person to me), Lily has already beaten you to the punch.

  182. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 1:02 am

    Irreligious wrote:
    “Are you fretting about the possibility that yet another group of Christians with diverging viewpoints will pop up in the future?”

    MK replied:
    “All the time. The split in the church was a horrible thing. No offense to my protestant brothers and sisters. We were one, and now we are 34,000 and counting. It has done great damage to us as a whole, and we are ALL working together to find some way back…

    Each and every split, affects the Church as a whole. Every time there is a division the church loses a little more and the faith becomes watered down, til eventually it could be rendered meaningless. We fight this within our own Church as well as with the Christian faith in general. The fight for women priests, contraception, abortion…all of these things weaken what the Church stands for until she will stand for nothing at all, and eventually she will be no different than the population at large.

    “A man who stands for everything, really stands for nothing at all.”

    I am surprised by this response. It has been hundreds of years since there was “one” Christian Church. I had always thought that us “heathens” and those from other non Christian faith traditions were doing a good job helping Christendom to coalesce. We must be doing something wrong. :lol: (Come on, that’s a little bit of humor to lighten things up a tad).

    Anyway, I do understand where you are coming from on that (as much as an atheist can). The effect of so many different splinter groups has been to water down the faith from what it originally was intended to be, as you said.

    But my point is, you deal with it. As much as you can, you Christians focus on what you share in common and learn to tolerate your differences.

    I would also have to suppose that there is no real motivation on your part to strike that kind of conciliatory stance with secular minorities and others who stray far from the ideals of your faith tradition. At least, not when you’re cock of the walk.

    By the way, I’ve never heard of a man who stands for everything. That doesn’t seem remotely possible to me. However, I do try to tolerate as much as I can for mine and my neighbor’s sake.

  183. Nina
    January 16th, 2009 @ 6:00 am

    –Now, it is possible that “gay marriage” will not in any way harm the fabric of society, however, those who are advocating it have a responsibility to demonstrate, clearly, that it will not do so.–

    Nope. Onus is on those denying gay couples access to a taxpayer-sustained institution available to straight couples.

    Also, by your logic, straight couples have proved beyond ANY doubt that straight marriage isn’t exactly great for society. Why, look at those straights! Divorcing at the drop of a dime! Abandoning children, neglecting them, endangering them right and left! Making seriously irresponsible financial choices based on seriously shallow values! Infidelity everywhere you look! McMansions over children! Glitzy gew-gaws over caring for aging parents! No planning for the future — all abouat living for themselves, in the “now”!

    Right.

    Maybe gay couples could show the straight world a thing or two. Maybe not having gay marriage to whine about and gay people to point their fingers at and use as an excuse might force the straight couples to step up to the plate.

  184. Lily
    January 16th, 2009 @ 8:10 am

    While no one can dispute that the current state of marriage is a mess in many ways, that is an argument that marriage badly needs to be shored up, not diminished further. We have decades of research to show beyond any shadow of a doubt that children of divorce and fatherless children fare far worse on every measure of child well-being than children in intact families with their biological parents.

    I am arguing that we simply cannot ignore this. It isn’t just a private tragedy for the children involved but a societal one, as well. That means it impacts each one of us directly. What we are going to do about it?

  185. Nina
    January 16th, 2009 @ 9:55 am

    We encourage married people — all married people, gay and straight — to behave honorably.

    But words like “honor” and “integrity” don’t mean anything anymore because real honor and real integrity require real sacrifice, real selfless prioritization.

    The religious fuckwits (Lily, mk, e.g.) can’t do this, so it’s easier and more personally and selfishly satisfying for them to point their fingers at the gay community, or the music industry, or the “liberal elite” and play the whiny, crybaby, blame-game.

    Put your own house in order. Then get back to all the people you deem something “other” on how they should live their lives.

  186. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 10:30 am

    I have to wonder: Doesn’t the “quality” of the parents matter in all of this?

    If the male and female heads of household are horrible role models, what difference does it make that they are male and female? Are the children they are raising really better off than the children of the single mom who child-centered and teaches her children good ethics?

    Two dysfunctional gay parents would stink. But why is it a given with some people that two gay parents would have to be dysfunctional?

  187. Lily
    January 16th, 2009 @ 10:32 am

    I think you will find that honor and integrity still mean what they always have to a great many people who struggle mightily to balance competing concerns.

    As for the rest? Your words so remind me of Jesus… “Come unto me, all ye fuckwits and I will give you rest.”

  188. Nina
    January 16th, 2009 @ 10:50 am

    Yeah, see, unlike you, Lily, you terminally retarded bigot, I haven’t deluded myself into thinking I’m Jesus. I don’t use cheesey little icons depicting myself as a plaster saint, either.

    Yes, lots of people from all walks of life work hard to live honorable lives. Gay people, straight people, Jews, Wiccans, Christians, atheists, men, women, Americans, Norwegians. That’s the point.

    It’s what you do, not what label you wear or what label someone else puts on you that matters. It’s who you are — who you show the world you are by your actions.

    My gay neighbors to the left have two sons. They’re great parents, their kids are happy, bright, well-adjusted, cared for, nurtured, loved, etc. Both parents are good, decent, honorable people. They’re good parents, good neighbors, good friends, good citizens, and they have their priorities straight.

    My neighbors to the right are fine, upstanding Christians — in their minds. They wear the “right” clothes, send their kids to the “right” schools, they attend the “right” church, etc. They have three very young kids. She’s from out of town and takes the kids to see her parents a few times a year. You know what he does the second she hits the road? He hits Craig’s List and gets himself a hooker, fires up a fat one, cranks up the music, and has himself a little party for the weekend. Bangs the call girl in the bed he shares with his wife and uses drugs under the same roof his babies sleep under. Nice, huh?

    So which couple is more honorable? Which couple is a better example for young people contemplating getting married and raising a family? Which couple’s kids will grow up with a better model for their own marriages and families?

  189. Lily
    January 16th, 2009 @ 11:00 am

    “Come unto me all ye terminally, retarded bigots, and I will give you rest.”

  190. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 11:13 am

    That’s a transparently convenient way to avoid the substance of Nina’s argument, Lily.

    Show us what you’re made of. Try addressing the substance of what she said. Can you?

  191. Nina
    January 16th, 2009 @ 11:19 am

    Exactly. Lily and her ilk hide behind their Bibles and their priests and their doctrine and refuse to open their eyes to the truth.

    There are dishonorable, philandering, objectifying, sexually immoral people everywhere, and there are honorable, good, decent people everywhere. Ethnicity, religious persuasion, sexual orientation, gender, nationality, whatever, has ZERO to do with where any particular individual falls along the continuum from purely good to purely evil.

    And don’t start with the “we’re all sinners” excuse. Yeah. We’re all sinners. We all fuck up all the time. So what. That just levels the playing field, is all.

    Keep on pretending gay marriage will destroy this world. Anything rather than take responsibility for your own part in the negative aspects we’re seeing in our society…

  192. Brian Walden
    January 16th, 2009 @ 11:33 am

    Ok, you guys are piling on enough.

    Yeah, see, unlike you, Lily, you terminally retarded bigot, I haven’t deluded myself into thinking I’m Jesus. I don’t use cheesey little icons depicting myself as a plaster saint, either.

    Ironically, you are what you hate. When you call someone a terminally retarded bigot you reject their humanness – which is odd because I think the main reason. We can’t know with scientific certainty what the true definition of marriage is, the most we can do is honestly express our beliefs. If you think someone’s ideas are wrong say it – make your case against theirs and for your own – but don’t insult their person.

    I’ve seen no evidence that Lily thinks she’s Jesus or that she her icon is meant to be a depiction of herself? Is Jane, for example, depicting herself as a forest or does she just like the image?

    Yes, lots of people from all walks of life work hard to live honorable lives. Gay people, straight people, Jews, Wiccans, Christians, atheists, men, women, Americans, Norwegians. That’s the point.

    I’m not sure Lily said anything contradicting this. Assuming she’s an orthodox Catholic she agrees with you on this point.

    It’s what you do, not what label you wear or what label someone else puts on you that matters. It’s who you are — who you show the world you are by your actions.

    Again, where has Lily said otherwise? Once more assuming she’s wholly Catholic she agrees with you. Isn’t it great to find out how much you have in common?

    So which couple is more honorable? Which couple is a better example for young people contemplating getting married and raising a family? Which couple’s kids will grow up with a better model for their own marriages and families?

    Objectively none are honorable, we’re all sinners. Relatively speaking, the assumption here is that the homosexual couple is doing what they think is right. The heterosexual father blatantly violates what he knows to be right, and the assumption is that he does so unrepentantly. His actions are reprehensible.

  193. Margaret Catherine
    January 16th, 2009 @ 11:34 am

    Can’t it be a ‘both/and’ situation? We are all sinners, which is no excuse. We all need to get our own houses in order, first and foremost. But we also have responsibilities to each other, and if we wait until we’re perfect – we’ll be dead and of very little earthly use. It’s our common responsibility to help each other stumble along. You recognize the glaring wrongness of what your neighbors are doing, and you rightly condemn it. Why can’t we, with what we in turn see that is wrong? I’m not necessarily talking about gay marriage; I haven’t weighed in on that subject at all, nor will I.

    I”m just tossing this into the ring, and you’re free to shoot it (and me) down. :)

  194. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 11:40 am

    Bian Walden wrote:
    “…We can’t know with scientific certainty what the true definition of marriage …”

    Marriage is not a science, Brian. It is a cultural and legal institution.

    Nina is harsh with Lily. She doesn’t mince words. Lily proudly proclaimed that she, too, is a woman who does not mince words. You reap what you sow, as the Bible says.

    I think it is fair for me to ask Lily to address the substance of Nina’s argument. She doesn’t have to if she doesn’t feel like it, but I can still ask. That’s not piling on anything.

  195. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 11:44 am

    Margaret Catherine wrote:
    “You recognize the glaring wrongness of what your neighbors are doing, and you rightly condemn it. Why can’t we, with what we in turn see that is wrong?”

    Well, Nina is recognizing the “wrongness” of what some her neighbors are doing, too. Isn’t she also allowed to point that out? Doesn’t feel too good when the shoe is on the other foot, does it?

    That’s the problem with judging.

  196. Margaret Catherine
    January 16th, 2009 @ 11:47 am

    Irr – My comment was actually in response to Nina. Sorry; should have specified that.

  197. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 11:50 am

    I understood that your comment wasn’t addressed to me Margaret Catherine. I hope you don’t mind that I responded to it anyway.

  198. Margaret Catherine
    January 16th, 2009 @ 12:10 pm

    Irr – No; I don’t. And yes, the shoe is uncomfortable…and oft-times needs to be. I’m not trying to engage in a debate, I’m too scattershot for that, and frequently wrong in my assumptions anyways. Y’all (you, Nina, UVJ) have said plenty to think about, I’m just raising a couple questions that have sprung from that. I suspect I’m a good bit younger than all of you; it’s the privilege of we young’uns to listen and learn. :)

  199. mk
    January 16th, 2009 @ 12:10 pm

    Nicely said Brian Walden and Margaret Catherine.

    Irreligious,

    No matter how I ask you, you turn my question into an assault. You say I don’t understand where you’re coming from. Perhaps we should start there. I’ll tell you what I think you are saying, if I’m wrong, you correct me. When I finally get it right, then you answer my question. Fair enough?

  200. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 12:13 pm

    Could you please be specific, MK, and tell me which of your questions I have turned into an assault?

  201. Nina
    January 16th, 2009 @ 12:16 pm

    –It’s our common responsibility to help each other stumble along.–

    Exactly, and we can finally agree on something. This is _it_. That’s all there is. This statement IS Christ. End of story. It’s not about winning some medal in the Personal Holiness Olympics. It’s not about gaining some prize for yourself personally. No one “wins” heaven.

    It’s about not thinking for one iota you’re better than anyone because of where you park your car on Sunday or what gender the person whom you’ve committed to for the duration is. It’s about fucking up, getting up again and starting over, and sticking your hand out when the guy next to you fucks up so you can get him on his way again.

    –You recognize the glaring wrongness of what your neighbors are doing, and you rightly condemn it. Why can’t we, with what we in turn see that is wrong?–

    But there is no “glaring wrongness” in being created with a particular sexual orientation and then going on to live an honorable life, including honorably sustaining a physically intimate relationship with another person.

    That’s the problem — this insistance that it is “wrong” to live as the gay person God created you as.

    It’s wrong to cheat, it’s wrong to manipulate, it’s wrong to use sex as a weapon or a means of degrading another person. It’s wrong to use people for sex. It’s wrong to be promiscuous and irresponsible, it is perhaps even wrong to use sex as a means of self destruction (although one’s actual responsibility here is probably in question).

    But that goes for EVERYBODY. And what really bothers me is telling gay people that sex outside marriage is wrong, and then telling gay people they may never marry, so all their sexual relationships are always wrong…

    That’s just…bizarre. And SO obviously coming from a place of bigotry and fear.

  202. Brian Walden
    January 16th, 2009 @ 12:35 pm

    Marriage is not a science, Brian. It is a cultural and legal institution.

    I think everyone agrees marriage is not a science and that it is a cultural and legal (as well as religious) institution. Where we differ is that you think it is merely those things, whereas I think that marriage is just as defined as the lengths of the sides of a right triangle.

    I think that’s where the source of all the heated opinions come from. If marriage is just a cultural institution, the arguments against used to restrict marriage fall apart. If marriage really does have a definition and that definition is limited to a man and a woman, then the arguments used in support of homosexual marriage fall apart.

    Nina is harsh with Lily. She doesn’t mince words. Lily proudly proclaimed that she, too, is a woman who does not mince words. You reap what you sow, as the Bible says.

    Not mincing words is one thing, ad hominems are another.

  203. mk
    January 16th, 2009 @ 12:35 pm

    Irr,

    I have asked you if there is any limit that you would place on the definition of marriage. Is there any combination that would make you uncomfortable. Any marriage that you would deem unacceptable.

  204. Lily
    January 16th, 2009 @ 12:37 pm

    “And what really bothers me is telling gay people that sex outside marriage is wrong, and then telling gay people they may never marry, so all their sexual relationships are always wrong…

    That’s just…bizarre. And SO obviously coming from a place of bigotry and fear.”

    Sex outside of marriage is wrong. That is God’s opinion. I am free to accept or reject it. I am not free to make him change it.

    Irreligious wants me to answer you but he doesn’t tell me how I am supposed to be heard by a woman shouting and hurling abuse. I would love to have a conversation with you. I really would. But how do I approach a woman who has called me a piece of filth, a fuckwit, a bigoted retard, etc? What can I say that would make a conversation possible, instead of merely provoking another storm of vitriol, thus letting you continue to add your mite to the hatred that burdens this weary planet?

    Maybe it doesn’t matter to him, if you hear me or not. Maybe he thinks that you have so thoroughly refuted Christianity that I cannot possibly respond. But of course I can. Should I? Will the result be any sort of progress or will it simply give you a reason to spew more vitriol?

    Tell me, Nina. Would you like me to respond to what you have written?

  205. mk
    January 16th, 2009 @ 12:42 pm

    Oh Lily,

    You are a braver woman than I.

    Irr,

    Margaret Catherine asked why it was okay for Nina to judge her neighbors, but not okay for Lily to do the same, and you responded with it is okay for Lily to judge her neighbors why isn’t it okay for Nina to do the same…

    Hmmmmm…

    Did I miss something?

    I don’t believe Margaret was commenting one way or another on Nina’s assessment of her neighbors behavior. I believe she was commenting on the hypocrisy of doing a thing, and then condemning someone else for doing the same thing.

  206. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 12:45 pm

    The limit that I would personally want place on the definition of civil marriage is that it consist of two consenting adult partners.

    I don’t understand the other part of your question regarding combinations of partners. I thought we already agreed that those the law defines as minors would not be eligible for marriage rights. Animals are not consenting individuals, either.

    But I don’t see the law as being about my personal comfort. It’s about fairness.

    This is an honest response from and not attempt to offend you.

  207. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 12:45 pm

    honest response from me, that is.

  208. Lily
    January 16th, 2009 @ 12:47 pm

    LOL! I’m brave and you are a saint, mk. Seriously. How does it feel to be a role model? :)

  209. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 12:54 pm

    MK wrote:
    “Irr,

    Margaret Catherine asked why it was okay for Nina to judge her neighbors, but not okay for Lily to do the same, and you responded with it is okay for Lily to judge her neighbors why isn’t it okay for Nina to do the same…

    Hmmmmm…

    Did I miss something?

    I don’t believe Margaret was commenting one way or another on Nina’s assessment of her neighbors behavior. I believe she was commenting on the hypocrisy of doing a thing, and then condemning someone else for doing the same thing.”

    Lily judges gays and Lily gets judged. Nina judges Lily and Nina gets judged by you. On and on it goes.

    You don’t judge people, MK? I do. And I get judged, too. It’s what we do.

    I have a whole lotta judgements about your religion. But you know what? I have been saying since I been here, much it ain’t my business. I’d be more than thrilled to stay out of.

    Lily thinks that her religion gives her the right to make my homosexuality is her business. If she’s going to get in my business, you damned right I’m gonna reciprocate and get in her junk. That’s how it works.

  210. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 12:58 pm

    I hope you can decipher that with some of the missing words, MK. I type fast and am a terrible proof-reader.

  211. Brian Walden
    January 16th, 2009 @ 1:00 pm

    That’s just…bizarre. And SO obviously coming from a place of bigotry and fear.

    I used to think contraception, sex before marriage, and homosexual sex were all morally acceptable activities. Now I do not. Maybe my former beliefs were right, maybe my current beliefs are, maybe neither are completely right. Regardless, am I now SO obviously bigoted against and fearful of people who use contraception or fornicate? Do cower in the corner fearful of my friends and family and coworkers?

  212. Lily
    January 16th, 2009 @ 1:01 pm

    No, Irreligious. I don’t think your homosexuality is any of my business and I have never said otherwise. When anybody or any group wants to change marriage laws so that homosexuals can marry, then the subject becomes everyone’s business.

    Do you really not know this?

  213. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 1:04 pm

    You’re in business, Lily. I don’t care how you try to pretty it up. I don’t think you religionis particularly good for society. Others agree with me. For the most part, we let you be. Furthermore, the Constitution compels us to.

  214. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 1:04 pm

    You’re in my business, that is.

  215. Margaret Catherine
    January 16th, 2009 @ 1:07 pm

    Nina, I work in an AIDS hospice. I don’t know how any of the men there contracted AIDS. Probably contaminated needles, but it could have been homosexual activity; they’re certainly both common causes. I haven’t asked; I won’t ask; I don’t care. If I found out for certain, I still would not care. I would think that it was wrong, yes, but it would end there. There would be no difference at all in my care of and concern for that resident: no bigotry, no fear.

    I truly, honestly, do not see why it has to be the either/or of acceptance or bigotry you’ve set up. All of us have things that seem built into us that we must say no to; this is a particularly harsh thing. It’s not turning the person into the “other”; it is simply saying to them what Christ asks (and He will not ask beyond our strength.)

  216. mk
    January 16th, 2009 @ 1:12 pm

    Irr,

    You’re missing the point. Nina judges and then condemns Lily for judging. Lily judges and and gets condemned for judging by someone that just got finished judging.

    It’s not about judging. Everybody judges. But it is hypocritical to judge somebody for judging. Do you not see that?

    Nina has the right to judge. Lily has the right to judge. You have the right to judge. I have the right to judge.

    But it is hypocritical to say that someone is wrong for judging, because that in itself is a judgment.

    No one is saying that Nina can’t judge. Certainly, I’m not. But at least she should acknowledge that that is what she is doing, and leave other people to do the same. Otherwise she loses credibility. *cough*

  217. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 1:26 pm

    I’m a gay man, Margaret Catherine, and I don’t have AIDS. (Yes, I know you’re addressing Nina).

    I’m a grown man, aware of safe sexual practices. I am not promiscuous and I am very discriminating when it comes to being sexually intimate with other people. Personally, I prefer to be in a relationship than engage casual sexual encounters. I’d venture to guess that I have had less sexual partners in my life than the average prototypical red-blooded, God-fearing American man.

    Not all gay men are like me, but many of us share the same ethics.

    Other than what I have shared here for the purposes of elucidation, I just want to know why my sex life is any of your business? You don’t think gay people should have sex. Fine. But why should I care that you think that?

    I think it’s irresponsible for some Catholic couples to produce over a dozen children. Do you really care that I think that? Is it any of my business?

  218. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 1:36 pm

    How esle is it supposed to work, MK?

    The alternative is that Lily is not challenged. That would work fine for Lily (and, perhaps, you– I don’t know), but that is altogether unsatisfactory for the individual (or their surrogate) being judged by Lily.

    I think the essential point that is being challenged here is Lily’s unquestioned right to judge certain actions. I don’t want to speak for Nina, but I think her simple point is Lily is wrong to judge gays for merely being gay.

    Lily continually defends her right to do that and she gets judged for it– harshly by Nina, apparently.

    I keep proposing that some things are not our business. We may not like them or understand them, but what I don’t see is any honest evaluation on the part of Lily and others here who are judging gay people what concrete effects gay people bring to bear on their lives.

    That’s the bottom line for me.

  219. mk
    January 16th, 2009 @ 1:46 pm

    Irr,

    The limit that I would personally want place on the definition of civil marriage is that it consist of two consenting adult partners.

    Okay, now we are getting somewhere.

    I thought we already agreed that those the law defines as minors would not be eligible for marriage rights.

    If I’m understanding correctly what you are saying, minors, by law, are not allowed to enter into marriage.

    But right now it is illegal for 2 men to get married. You are hoping the “law” will change. Am I correct so far?

    There is a group that I am sure you are familiar with called NAMBLA. Right now they are advocating for rights to have sexual relations with consenting minors. Suppose the “law” changes, and they get their wish. The next logical step, would be to advocate for marriage between adult men and consenting “minors”.

    Would this be acceptable to you?

    The Mormon Church as well as the Muslim Faith, would like to see the “law” change, and allow them to marry more than one partner. If they get their wish, and the “law” allows these marriages, what would your reaction be.

    You say you would be uncomfortable, but now I am asking you if you would “voice” your opposition, vote against these marriages, or “mind your own business”.

    It’s an honest question. I also, am not picking a fight. I am asking you how much you would accept without actively taking a stance against or attempting to, prevent these marriages.

  220. mk
    January 16th, 2009 @ 1:49 pm

    We may not like them or understand them, but what I don’t see is any honest evaluation on the part of Lily and others here who are judging gay people what concrete effects gay people bring to bear on their lives.

    I am attempting to do just that, but is slow going here… ;)

    We’ll leave the Nina/Lily thing go for now, as you are not seeming to grasp my point, and it is not really all that important anyway.

    Let’s just stick to the conversation we have been having…

  221. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 1:55 pm

    MK, I don’t me or you “voting” on the rights of others.

    I would not have wanted your parents (I am assuming you are white) to have voted on whether or not my black parents should have been allowed to cast a ballot in Alabama in order to participate in the 1952 general election. Fortunately, they were never asked to.

    The law should be about fairness. What do you see as unfair about same-sex couples having the legal rights and protections that are afforded you and your husband? Do you mind answering that question for me, MK?

  222. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 1:56 pm

    That should read, MK, I don’t want me or you voting on the rights of others.

  223. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 2:01 pm

    Just so we’re clear here, I am one of those people who thinks this is a matter for the courts to decide, not the American people. As I said earlier, my appeal is not to you but to the government.

    And please don’t say: But I am the government. Because I am, too.

  224. nkb
    January 16th, 2009 @ 2:04 pm

    Margaret Catherine: “I don’t know how any of the men there contracted AIDS. Probably contaminated needles, but it could have been homosexual activity; they’re certainly both common causes.”
    .
    Or unprotected heterosexual activity. I hear that’s a pretty common cause too. If only condoms weren’t so vilified by some religious types, we might have less AIDS infections.

  225. nkb
    January 16th, 2009 @ 2:07 pm

    mk,
    Why do you keep coming back to marrying minors. Which part of “consenting adults” did you not understand? Why do you keep bringing up the red herring of children getting married, it’s a completely different topic?

  226. Nina
    January 16th, 2009 @ 2:09 pm

    Margaret Catherine:

    You do realize that AIDS is currently spreading faster among straight people than it is among gay men, right?

    AIDS is an example of why _promiscuity_ is wrong, and nothing else. The AIDS crisis (not necessarily AIDS itself, which, in humans, is just the result of a genetic mutation in a virus, much like the same trajectory we see in flu virus mutations) is the result of sexual promiscuity, not “gayness”, or whatever you’re getting at.

    Was the male gay post-sexual-revolution-pre-AIDS community pretty darned promiscuous in nature? Yes it was. But would it have been had they not been chased underground and had to live their lives in secrecy or duplicity for so long?

    Yeah, promiscuity is not a good thing. People are promiscuous for a lot of reasons, some of which may be sinful, some of which may be tragic, but the result is never good, not for the individual, not for society. So lets find out why people are behaving this way and work the problem from that angle rather than pretending it’s all the gay community’s fault and if we can just stop them from having sex everything will be okay. Believe me, some teenage girl acting out sexually probably isn’t doing it because two gals in Oakland gave each other wedding bands.

    The reason actively working against the normalization of gay marriage is rooted in fear is because it’s based merely on a _belief_ and nothing else. No one can prevent you from holding a particular belief. But when people start to organize around this belief and take action against a particular group because of it, then you’ve got to have more than just belief to back your arguments up. It remains bigotry until you can show that there is a direct causal relationship between normalizing gay marriage and specific negative impact on society.

    Brian Walden:

    –… am I now SO obviously bigoted against and fearful of people who use contraception or fornicate?–

    I don’t know. Are you actively working towards preventing fornicators and contraceptors from being allowed to marry?

  227. Lily
    January 16th, 2009 @ 2:09 pm

    It is not a matter for the courts to decide! The courts do not make laws in this country. It is a gross violation of our constitution and our supposedly republican form of gov’t for them to do so. We have marriage laws in place. They apply to you as equally as they do to me. You have availed yourself of the right to marry.

    Now you wish to change it to cover a situation it has never covered in human history. Even though virtually everyone is willing to see laws rewritten so that homosexual partners can arrange their affairs, as they wish, that is not good enough. Why not?

  228. mk
    January 16th, 2009 @ 2:09 pm

    Irr,

    I think it’s irresponsible for some Catholic couples to produce over a dozen children. Do you really care that I think that? Is it any of my business?

    Nobody has challenged your right to feel that way. You have said it on a public blog, and no one, not me, not Lily, not Margaret Mary, not Brian, not no one, not no how is challenging your right to feel that way. I doubt any of us has even taken offense to it.

    We have also shared our view, that homosexual SEX, not homosexuality, but homosexual SEX (that has been clarified so many times, yet still not understood, that I’m wondering if some people hear have English as their second language) is wrong.

    NO ONE, not a one, has said that we would like to see laws that force you to stop said homosexual SEX. The topic is marriage. That is very, very different than feelings. That is a societal, legal, constitutional, tangible topic.

    You yourself said that you do not consider your feelings reason enough to interfere with anothers life choices. Neither do we. Let me reiterate. NEITHER DO WE.

    The thing we are objecting to, the thing we are threatening to interefere with, is your LEGAL right to MARRY another person of the same sex. Not to be intimate with them. Not to sleep with them. Not to have a relationship with them. But to MARRY them.

    So to keep harping that Lily hates homesexuals is beginning to sound a little nuts to me.

    I don’t believe I have once heard the word hate come out of either of our mouths. I don’t believe any of us has proposed interfering in you private life. Our objection is to your PUBLIC life…ie: a marriage license issued by the government.

    It is NOT just the religious. It is NOT just Catholics. NEVER IN HISTORY, anywhere or at anytime, no matter what the definition of marriage may have been, has a legal marriage between two people of the same sex EVER been recognized. So to ask us to simply agree that it should now, without allowing us to ask questions, to probe, to wonder where this might lead…to insinuate that we are paranoid because we are concerned that it MIGHT lead to the dissolution of the institution of marriage altogether, is, quite frankly, unfair.

    So far the only reason that I have been given for gays to marry is because they want to. Period. And yet I am told that this should not be about emotion, but about rights. Well, I just don’t see where this automatic right comes from. I see that there might be a way to achieve it, but please, think about this for a minute. Isn’t it only common sense to look more closely at something this monumental, this historic, this life changing? I think it is.

  229. nkb
    January 16th, 2009 @ 2:10 pm

    Just for clarification: we have laws against taking advantage of children, because they are generally vulnerable, not mature enough to make weighty decisions about the rest of their life, and have a need to be protected (whether they always agree or not).
    .
    How is this relevant to same sex marriage? Are gays being protected from something, or are they being denied basic rights that everyone else enjoys?

  230. Lily
    January 16th, 2009 @ 2:12 pm

    Gays are not being denied basic rights that everyone else enjoys. Irreligious is exhibit 1. He has been married.

  231. Brian Walden
    January 16th, 2009 @ 2:12 pm

    If only condoms weren’t so vilified by some religious types, we might have less AIDS infections.

    WHAT! That’s the most illogical thing I’ve ever heard. Are you saying that people who have unprotected promiscuous sex don’t listen to their church about not having sex outside of marriage, but somehow once they’ve got their pants down they’re listening about contraception?

  232. mk
    January 16th, 2009 @ 2:13 pm

    nkb,

    Perhaps you are not clear on what the topic is. The topic, for us, is not gays marrying. The topic, for us, is changing the definition of marriage AT ALL.

    If it can change for one group, it could change for other groups.

    Which part of “consenting adults” did you not understand? Why do you keep bringing up the red herring of children getting married, it’s a completely different topic?

    Which part of the LAW changing to include consenting MINORS do you not understand. The point is that the LAW can change. If it changes for one, or some, it must change for all.

    Gays do not hold the right to marriage any more than anyone else, except at this time, for heterosexual “couples” meaning two, 2,.

    I’m not concerned with WHICH group wants to redefine marriage. I am concerned with the redefining of marriage, period.

    What about this are YOU failing to get?

  233. Lily
    January 16th, 2009 @ 2:14 pm

    LOL Brian! If only you knew how many times that has been explained to NKB and others. But no one, absolutely no one, has said it as succinctly as you!

  234. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 2:16 pm

    Lily wrote:
    “It is not a matter for the courts to decide! The courts do not make laws in this country. It is a gross violation of our constitution and our supposedly republican form of gov’t for them to do so. We have marriage laws in place. They apply to you as equally as they do to me. You have availed yourself of the right to marry.

    Now you wish to change it to cover a situation it has never covered in human history. Even though virtually everyone is willing to see laws rewritten so that homosexual partners can arrange their affairs, as they wish, that is not good enough. Why not?”

    1954 Brown v. Board of Education.

    White people were not asked their opinion.

  235. Lily
    January 16th, 2009 @ 2:17 pm

    Category error.

  236. nkb
    January 16th, 2009 @ 2:17 pm

    mk,
    Never before were black people (or women) allowed to vote in this country, yet it was pushed through, not because a majority wanted it, but because it was a case of equal rights.
    .
    There were many that complained, petitioned against, committed violence, because it was going against all of history, tradition, the way things had always been.
    .
    In retrospect, do you think their views were valid? Were their protests justified?

  237. mk
    January 16th, 2009 @ 2:18 pm

    nkb,

    Are gays being protected from something, or are they being denied basic rights that everyone else enjoys?

    Again, which rights are those? Can I marry another woman? I don’t have that right. I do not enjoy that right. I have no rights that a gay person does not have.

    As for protecting minors, this is a law made by people who are JUDGING minors as incapable of making decisions for themselves. They could argue that they think we are wrong and that they are perfectly capable of making these decisions for themselves.

    14 year old girls can have abortions. 14 year old girls can have sex. We seem to think they are mature enough and old enough to make these decisions. Why not marriage. It is only a legal contract that allows to consenting partners to form a domestic union after all. If it doesn’t work out, they get divorced and start over, just like the rest of us. Why shouldn’t they be allowed to get married?

  238. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 2:19 pm

    Lily wrote:
    “Gays are not being denied basic rights that everyone else enjoys. Irreligious is exhibit 1. He has been married.”

    That’s disingenuous and you know it. Are advocating that gay men deliberately marry straight women?

    If you think this is a reasonable alternative to same-sex couples marrying, care to explain why?

  239. nkb
    January 16th, 2009 @ 2:27 pm

    mk: “Perhaps you are not clear on what the topic is. The topic, for us, is not gays marrying. The topic, for us, is changing the definition of marriage AT ALL.”
    .
    And we have already discussed this. Marriage has changed throughout history. Polygamy was acceptable at one point. So, since we have a precedent of change to the definition of marriage, your argument is not valid.
    .
    “If it can change for one group, it could change for other groups.”
    .
    Yes, it could, but that is completely irrelevant. It has nothing to do with arguing about equal rights.
    .
    “Which part of the LAW changing to include consenting MINORS do you not understand. The point is that the LAW can change. If it changes for one, or some, it must change for all.”
    .
    The law that children are not adults is completely off topic. That is a completely different base. Otherwise, you can argue that if we change any law, then murder might become legal (assuming murder lobby groups are strong enough). That is a ridiculous comparison, and, as mentioned, is a red herring.
    .
    Gays do not hold the right to marriage any more than anyone else, except at this time, for heterosexual “couples” meaning two, 2,.
    .
    And that is the gist of the entire argument, that we do not have equal rights for all humans. Thank you for recognizing that.
    .
    “I’m not concerned with WHICH group wants to redefine marriage. I am concerned with the redefining of marriage, period.
    .
    What about this are YOU failing to get?”
    .
    Apparently, I am quite clear on it now. Since the precedent for changing marriage laws exists, your justification for opposing changes is moot.

  240. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 2:27 pm

    MK wrote:
    “Perhaps you are not clear on what the topic is. The topic, for us, is not gays marrying. The topic, for us, is changing the definition of marriage AT ALL.”

    Sorry, MK, but that’s not really a topic I sought to engage you in. I think it’s a diversion from the topic of same-sex marriage rights.

    All that will result in is you coming up with scenarios that you find as repellant as legal unions for gays and seeing if I share them. Once you learn that I am not in favor of, say, a legal dog-man union, then you can go: “A-ha! See, you’re a bigot, too.”

    I don’t really want to play that game.

    Your assumption here is that civil marriage rights for gay couples will open the floodgates. I don’t share that assumption.

    If you believe my marrying a man is a slippery slope, instead asking me questions, maybe you could explain why you think that would necessarily be the case.

  241. mk
    January 16th, 2009 @ 2:31 pm

    nkb,

    There were many that complained, petitioned against, committed violence, because it was going against all of history, tradition, the way things had always been.

    Exactly. Everyone had their say. The argument was carefully weighed. But we didn’t wake up one morning and say hey, yeah, makes sense, let’s do it.

    It was HUGE! It took a war and many states wanting to secede from the nation. It was BIG. Get it? BIG!

    In the case of slavery, it came out on the side of blacks.
    In the case of redefining marriage, the jury is still out.

    But the people have a right to speak their mind.

    You have one thing wrong tho. They didn’t complain because it was going against history…they complained because they’d have to pick their own cotton or pay someone to do it.

    You’d have a better argument if you used a woman’s right to vote. But my counterargument would be the same.

    Neither was decided overnight, and neither was decided without MUCH discussion beforehand.

  242. Lily
    January 16th, 2009 @ 2:33 pm

    No, Irreligious, it is not disingenuous, so no, I don’t know it. I am not advocating that gay men marry any woman straight or gay. I am advocating that we recognize that marriage laws apply equally to you and me. If they should change, you must provide a compelling reason for them to do so. Your personal happiness is not a compelling reason, since marriage does not exist to ratify romantic choices.

  243. mk
    January 16th, 2009 @ 2:34 pm

    Irr,

    “A-ha! See, you’re a bigot, too.”

    I have never called anyone a bigot in my life. I find it is much more pleasant to discuss things without resorting to name calling and fingerpointing.

    I will say “A ha” you see, it is as I have been saying all along. This is not about gay marriage. It is about marriage. That it is gays that are at the forefront in this day and age, is secondary. It wouldn’t matter WHO was trying to change the definition of marriage. My stance would be the same.

    This is something you are not getting.

  244. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 2:38 pm

    MK, why can’t you just say:

    “I don’t like the idea of gays being married. It’s against my religion”

    Tht’s the bottom line, isn’t it?

    All the rest of it is pure subtefuge. I don’t hate you for it. I’m not even asking to examine why feel that way if it is not your desire to do so.

    But this whole conversation is disingenuous if you are firm in your convictions. You don’t really care to understand my point of view, because it’s indefensible to you. You are not the first person I’ve come across who feels the way you do.

    Sincerely, no offense is intended on my part. I just don’t understand what you think is supposed to be the purpose of continuing this conversation.

  245. mk
    January 16th, 2009 @ 2:39 pm

    nkb,

    The law that children are not adults is completely off topic. That is a completely different base. Otherwise, you can argue that if we change any law, then murder might become legal (assuming murder lobby groups are strong enough). That is a ridiculous comparison, and, as mentioned, is a red herring.

    I beg to differ. You are asking to change marriage laws, which would not affect murder laws.

    But if we are talking about changing “Some” murder laws, and that leading to a slippery slope concerning murder, then I think that is exactly what happened when abortion became legal.

    Abortion is the legalized “murder” (I realize that is an oxymoron, but there you have it), if it makes you feel better, abortion is legalized homicide.

    From there, we have moved to Euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, forced starvation and in some countries putting people down like dogs. We kill 90% of unborn children that are diagnosed in utero with down’s syndrome.

    I do NOT call that a red herring. I call that reality.

    .

  246. Lily
    January 16th, 2009 @ 2:42 pm

    Honestly, we go ’round and ’round and ’round. NKB, there is no precedent for changing marriage law in this country. Polygamy is still the norm in much of the world. It is not and never has been in this country nor in most, if not all of the West. It has never been held necessary, until the last few years, to codify in law that marriage is between one man and one woman. That has been taken for granted as self-evident.

    Yet again, just for the pleasure of hearing myself talk, I will repeat: polygamy is still the union of opposite sex partners. It cannot be compared to gay “marriage”.

  247. mk
    January 16th, 2009 @ 2:43 pm

    Irr,

    They are two different issues. I am not denying that I find homosexual SEX immoral. I never have.

    But that has NOTHING to do with why I am against gay marriages. You aren’t willing to believe me when I say it over and over. They are TWO DIFFERENT issues.

    Right now, we are discussing changing the definition of marriage. Are we not? It just so happens that the group that wants to change that defifnition is gay. But you could be ANYBODY. My objections would be the same.

    My concern is that if you change the definition of marriage to appease one group, then you will have to change it to appease all groups.

    Are you denying this? My argument is not with the gay commmunity. It is with ANYONE that wants to change the definition of marriage.

  248. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 2:48 pm

    I have been very scrupulous in avoiding the term “gay marriage,” MK.

    My black parents didn’t have a “black marriage,” either.

    This was supposed to be a discussion about gay couples “attaining legal access” to the rights and protections of civil marriage, the same as heterosexual couples currently enjoy.

    I admit that civil marriage was designed specifically with heterosexual couples in mind, as gay couples were not even fathomed at the time the laws were written.

    So, in short, you are saying to me that gay couples having access to marriage would necessarily change the definition marriage. You are firm on that. If gays are allowed to marry like normal straight people, what’s to stop others miscreants from wanting their perversions recognized by society and the law?

    That’s your position. I’ve understood that from the start. You cannot possibly have thought that by asking me leading questions that I was going somehow end up sharing your point of view, did you?

  249. mk
    January 16th, 2009 @ 2:48 pm

    MK, why can’t you just say:
    *
    “I don’t like the idea of gays being married. It’s against my religion”,/i>

    That is what you are hearing, but it is not what I am saying.

    TWO DIFFERENT THINGS.

    1. I don’t like the idea of gays having sex as it is against my religion, BUT I live in a country where we are free to have sexual relations with whomever we please, and while I do not like it, I do not feel it is any of my business.

    2. I do not like the idea of ANYONE changing the definition of the institution of marriage, because I think marriage means something now, and will mean nothing if the definition gets watered down. I fear that if one group acheives changing the definition to suit them, other groups must be afforded the same rights. Either the definition stands as it is, or it is changed to include EVERYONE’s definition of marriage. This, in my opinion, would render the institution of marriage, impotent. This I believe as an American and not because of my religion.

  250. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 2:57 pm

    Lily wrote:
    “No, Irreligious, it is not disingenuous, so no, I don’t know it. I am not advocating that gay men marry any woman straight or gay. I am advocating that we recognize that marriage laws apply equally to you and me. If they should change, you must provide a compelling reason for them to do so. Your personal happiness is not a compelling reason, since marriage does not exist to ratify romantic choices.”

    I will never get through to a bigot, Lily. That’s all I can really say to you. You’re a bigot. I could spend time arguing with you, but at the end of the day, you’d still seek solace in your comforting bigotry. Wallow in it.

  251. mk
    January 16th, 2009 @ 2:57 pm

    That’s your position. I’ve understood that from the start. You cannot possibly have thought that by asking me leading questions that I was going somehow end up sharing your point of view, did you?

    I have never had expectations of you “sharing” my point of view. But I was hoping you could see the situation through my eyes, and realize that the issue for most of us on this side is not Same Sex Marriage. It is changing the definition of marriage at all.

    We have been discussing three different issues. At times they have overlapped.

    The first issue is the morality or immorality of homosexual sex. For me this is a religious question.

    We have discussed civil unions, NOT called marriages, and I have said that I would not object to those as they do not interfere with the definition of marriage.

    We have discussed changing the definition of marriage to include same sex couples, and this I have objected to because it compromises the very heart of what marriage is understood to be.

    It was a little insulting to both me and your parents to imply that they do not have a black marriage. I’m assuming they weren’t gay. There was no need to change the definition of marriage in order for them to marry. There is a need to change the definition of marriage for same sex couples to marry.

    Three different topics. Three different opinions. One for each topic.

    For religious reasons I think Homosexual SEX is immoral.
    For practical reasons, I think same sex civil unions are acceptable.
    For the good of society, I think changing the definition of marriage for ANY reason, is wrong.

  252. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 2:58 pm

    We’ve hit the wall, MK. Can we just admit that?

  253. mk
    January 16th, 2009 @ 3:03 pm

    I admit that civil marriage was designed specifically with heterosexual couples in mind, as gay couples were not even fathomed at the time the laws were written.

    By admitting this, you are also admitting that the definition would have to be changed to accommodate gay couples. I think it is a falsehood, however to say that gay couples were not even fathomed at the time the laws were written. Gay couples have been around since day one, in all societies. What IS new, is their desire to marry, and legitimaze, put their relationships on equal footing, with the accepted standard. This would require changing those definitions that were designed before this concept was even considered.

    You are correct. On this I am firm.
    The definition of marriage would have to be challenged and changed to meet the needs of a group that has not hitherto been recognized.

  254. Margaret Catherine
    January 16th, 2009 @ 3:03 pm

    Irr – I’ve never said nor suggested that you should care. And I agree with you that your sex life, or that of anyone else, is indeed not my business…again, “I haven’t asked; I won’t ask; I don’t care.” I’m not in on the gay marriage debate; I’m not joining in on it.

    NKB – *l* Was that the third rail I just stepped on? :)

    Nina – In Africa, it is spreading faster among heterosexuals (courtesy of men too proud to admit *they* have *AIDS*), but is that the case in America? I’m asking, I don’t know. This isn’t something I’ve researched very closely, my part of it all involves the damage already done. From what I understand, the nature of homosexual male sex makes the transmission of AIDS easier; hence the higher rate. Thats not to blame the gay community or make any moral judgement at all, it’s just to state what I understand to be medical fact.

  255. mk
    January 16th, 2009 @ 3:08 pm

    We were at the wall, before the conversation even started.

    That’s not the point. I see your view a little better now. I still disagree, but I understand, for the first time that you do not view changing the definition of marriage as a big deal, and that you believe you do not have the same rights that I do. You want to have them, but you feel that you do not.

    I am hoping that you now understand that there are three separate issues and that if we compromise, and do not call same sex legal unions, “marriage, that you could get what you are asking for.

    What I don’t understand is why you want to call it marriage. Why is the word “marriage” important? If not to you, then to any gay couple? Why not let it go and call it a civil union?

    I know why I consider the word “marriage” to be important. But why do you?

  256. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 3:09 pm

    MK wrote:
    “But I was hoping you could see the situation through my eyes, and realize that the issue for most of us on this side is not Same Sex Marriage. It is changing the definition of marriage at all.”
    That was vain hope, MK. I’m sorry, but that is not what I see at all. What I see is what I posted in # 245.

    You are telling me that if the legal definition of marriage is “expanded” to include gay couples it will necessarily “change” the definition of your marriage and the marriages of all heterosexuals. I disagree.

    I am not seeking a separate law that regulates “gay marriages.” That smacks a little too much of 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson, “separate but equal” to me. I don’t like that one as a black man, and, as a gay man, I don’t like what you are proposing. I do not see it as fair under the law.

  257. jolly atheist
    January 16th, 2009 @ 3:14 pm

    Another small interference: MK says: For religious reasons homosexual SEX is immoral. How about presenting your wife to another man for sex? Is this moral or immoral? (Yet, it is in the OT isn’t it?) How about incest? Is it moral or immoral? (Yet, it is how we were created from Adam and Eve, isn’t it? There had to be incestual sex among brothers and sisters; do you have any other explanation?) Why can’t you just dismiss these obsolete morality fixations?

  258. mk
    January 16th, 2009 @ 3:15 pm

    Brian,

    WHAT! That’s the most illogical thing I’ve ever heard. Are you saying that people who have unprotected promiscuous sex don’t listen to their church about not having sex outside of marriage, but somehow once they’ve got their pants down they’re listening about contraception?

    That one has ALWAYS killed me! The Church actually gets accused of promoting aids because they are against condom use. Just kills me!

  259. mk
    January 16th, 2009 @ 3:19 pm

    Irr,

    You are telling me that if the legal definition of marriage is “expanded” to include gay couples it will necessarily “change” the definition of your marriage and the marriages of all heterosexuals. I disagree.

    How in heavens name did you come up with that???? Where have I ever claimed that my marriage would be threatened by same sex marriage????

    What I have said is that if the legal definition of marriage “changed” to include gay couples it will necessarily “Change” what marriage means. It will mean one thing on Tuesday, and something else on Wednesday.

    And in my opinion, it will mean “less” on Wednesday, because it no longer means what it means.

  260. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 3:24 pm

    MK wrote:
    “It was a little insulting to both me and your parents to imply that they do not have a black marriage..”

    I’m not quite sure how I insulted you by telling you that my parents did not have a “black marriage.” They didn’t. They would not be insulted by the fact, either.

    I don’t know if this make any sense to you, but I can’t escape being gay any more than I can escape being black. Sure, I can hide being gay, but I always “know” that’s a part of who I am, just like being black and male and American.

    On another topic– because, this one blows, frankly– the first time I was ever in my life reminded that I was American was when I got the chance to leave the country. For the first time in my life, it trumped nearly everything else about me. It was a weird experience feeling forced to focus on how American I was because others were compelling me to do so. I’m not sure I enjoyed it all that much.

    It’s a silly pipe dream, but I’d much prefer to just be regarded as just another human by other human beings.

  261. mk
    January 16th, 2009 @ 3:25 pm

    Jolly ATheist,

    Either we use the bible as a source, or we don’t. I won’t quote the bible to prove my point, if you don’t quote the bible to prove yours….

    OR conversely, if you insist on quoting the bible to prove your point, then you must allow me the same consideration and allow me to quote the bible to prove mine.

    I have not brought the bible into this discussion. Not once. Why would you feel the need to do so now? Why would you use a book that you obviously believe is fiction to back up your case. Perhaps I will use “Harry Potter” to prove that intermarriage between muggles and witches is immoral.

    When I present statistics to prove a point when debatin abortion, I try to use sources that are acceptable to BOTH parties…I don’t use planned parenthood and I don’t use priests for life.

  262. mk
    January 16th, 2009 @ 3:27 pm

    I’m not quite sure how I insulted you by telling you that my parents did not have a “black marriage.” They didn’t. They would not be insulted by the fact, either.

    It was insulting because it implied that I thought there was something morally unacceptable about being black. There is not and never has been a law saying that a black man and a black woman should not marry.

    The laws did not need to change to allow their marriage, but they will have to change to allow yours.

  263. jolly atheist
    January 16th, 2009 @ 3:30 pm

    MK But you said ‘for religious reasons'; that is a reference to the book, isn’t it?

  264. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 3:30 pm

    MK wrote:
    “How in heavens name did you come up with that???? Where have I ever claimed that my marriage would be threatened by same sex marriage????”

    I am a glutton for punishment, but I just hate being misunderstood, as I am sure you do, too. Maybe I am misunderstanding you, MK.

    It is your claim that the definition of marriage will change if gay couples are allowed to partake of the institution. Correct? Perhaps, you can tell me what is “specific” change in the law that concerns you and why it concerns you.

  265. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 3:33 pm

    MK wrote:
    “It was insulting because it implied that I thought there was something morally unacceptable about being black. There is not and never has been a law saying that a black man and a black woman should not marry.”

    You do realize that you just implied that there is something morally unacceptable about being gay?

    And you are wrong about blacks not being forbidden to marry in this country. Many slaves were not allowed to marry. They were considered property.

  266. mk
    January 16th, 2009 @ 3:33 pm

    Irr,

    I know that feeling. The first time I went to Ireland, I was confused when they asked for my nationality on the customs form. Being American, when asked that question here, people are mostly asking where your ancestors were from.

    I had to stop myself from writing Irish. We just assume the American part.

    Then, when I was in a small town in Cork, I was looking around and couldn’t shake the feeling that something was “off”..it was weird, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

    Then I saw a Korean woman outside the post office and it hit me. EVERYONE in Ireland is IRISH! It was so strange. At home, living in a big city, I would never have noticed the Korean woman, and certainly wouldn’t have thought to myself, Oh Look, A Korean woman. But she stood out like a sore thumb! I was so grateful to be American at that point. Where what nationality you are doesn’t really even register most of the time.

    I love that we’re from EVERYWHERE, and look different, and talk different, but mostly I love that it doesn’t matter!

  267. mk
    January 16th, 2009 @ 3:37 pm

    Jolly Atheist,

    If you’ve been keeping up with the conversation, you’ll know that we never pursued that line of the argument precisely because it WAS for religious reasons. We stuck to the secular arguments. Saying that is for religious reasons is not the same as using a religious argument. I would be lying if I said that my opposition to homosexual sex was for anything but religious reasons.

    And I don’t lie.

  268. mk
    January 16th, 2009 @ 3:41 pm

    Irr,

    I am a glutton for punishment, but I just hate being misunderstood, as I am sure you do, too. Maybe I am misunderstanding you, MK.

    You made me smile! Yes, I hate being misunderstood also. I don’t mind if you disagree with me, as long as you understand what you are disagreeing with.

    “You do realize that you just implied that there is something morally unacceptable about being gay?

    Okay think about that. Your folks are black. They are heterosexual. If they get married they will have sex, and there is nothing immoral there, imo.

    You are gay. If you get married, I can only assume sex will be part of the deal. IMO, there IS something immoral there.

    Hence, there is nothing immoral about being black (and getting married and having sex), while I believe there is something immoral about being gay AND getting married AND having sex)…I didn’t realize I’d have to spell that out, but apparently… ;)

  269. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 3:45 pm

    Also, MK, until recently– when a few states decided to include a specific prohibition against legal gay unions– there were no laws on the books specifically outlawing marriage rights for gays.

    As I said earlier, the concept was not even fathomable. Gays were essentially criminals in most places in this country, with no specific rights to even be gay.

    Acting on being gay– if “the law” found out– could get arrested or placed in a mental institution.

  270. mk
    January 16th, 2009 @ 3:49 pm

    Perhaps, you can tell me what is “specific” change in the law that concerns you and why it concerns you.

    As I have said, I believe that if we change the definition to accommodate one group, we will have to accommodate the definition to accommodate ALL groups.

    It’s the same with religion in public places. If we allow a creche in the public square we must allow a menorah, and the 7 pillars, and diwali lights…so we don’t allow any. Or we try not to.

    Or prayer in school. We either allow prayer representing ALL groups or none.

    If you change the definition of marriage to allow gays to marry, it only follows that you will have to change it to allow marriage for any group that wants it, and then marriage will be virtually meaningless except as a contract. Not a committment,not an institution, but a contract. Between anyone that wants one.

    You get kind of weird when we bring up minors. I think is because you too view this as an unsavory union. But you would have to consider the possibility that it would be allowed, and that it would be directly due to the original change in the definition of marriage.

    I think you get uncomfortable, because you too view marriage as something more valuable than just a contract. And you are uncomfortable with the idea of it demeaning marriage as a whole. If as you say, anyone can get married, then it makes marriage in general less “special”.

    And I believe you think that marriage is “SPECIAL”. IF you didn’t you would be content with calling it a civil union. Which is why I asked you why you find it important to call it marriage…

  271. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 3:51 pm

    There is nothing inherently immoral about me having consentual sex with another man, either.

    Those are “your” values, not mine.

    Our values are very different on some critical points. That was why I said in the beginning that this whole conversation was headed for disaster.

    Your presumptions and mine on this matter are not at all reconcilable. That is where we find oursleves. I keep saying that I’m not out to change your mind, because I can’t. You are free to think how you think. But don’t for one minute think that I intend to be held a prisoner to your personal morality. Yes, I know it’s shared by millions of Roman Catholics, Evangelical Protestants, Mormons and Jehovah’s witnesses, but it’s still a moral position that I and many others in this country do not share.

  272. mk
    January 16th, 2009 @ 3:55 pm

    Acting on being gay– if “the law” found out– could get arrested or placed in a mental institution.

    and herein lies the difficulty in determining the right and wrong of an issue.

    We used to give people lobotomies, and burn witches, and stone adulterers, and own people. We now think those ways of thinking are archaic. But we can’t “prove” that they are.

    Today, we kill our children in the womb. I hold, that one day our society will be looked upon with contempt much the way slave owners are looked at by us today.

    But I can’t prove that it’s wrong.

    It was wrong, in my opinion to punish someone for being gay. It was wrong to own slaves. It is wrong to kill our unborn. It was wrong to starve Terri Schiavo to death.

    But all we can do is talk, and hope to find a place where we can meet and come to some sorts of peaceful compromises.

    Some way of arguing our cases well enough that reason wins out.

    That’s what you and I and countless others are doing right now on the same sex marriage issue.

  273. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 3:56 pm

    MK wrote:
    “You get kind of weird when we bring up minors. I think is because you too view this as an unsavory union. But you would have to consider the possibility that it would be allowed, and that it would be directly due to the original change in the definition of marriage.

    I think you get uncomfortable, because you too view marriage as something more valuable than just a contract. And you are uncomfortable with the idea of it demeaning marriage as a whole. If as you say, anyone can get married, then it makes marriage in general less “special”.

    You are presuming waaay too much about me in this post. I’m not you, MK. From what I can see, we don’t think alike all that much, so all your talk about me, perhaps, secretly viewing marriage through the same lens you do is not at all correct.

  274. mk
    January 16th, 2009 @ 3:59 pm

    Also, MK, until recently– when a few states decided to include a specific prohibition against legal gay unions– there were no laws on the books specifically outlawing marriage rights for gays.</i.

    Laws are made as things come up. There are no laws on the book that specifically outlaw the murdering of midgets, but if there was suddenly a rash of midget murders, we might have to make one.

    This is an argument the church often faces. Someone will say “That wasn’t church LAW until such and such a date”.

    This is because it was accepted until such and such a date. It isn’t until something is challenged that laws need to be written.

    There were no speeding laws until there were cars.

    Now we have men and women advocating for something new. And we must decide what laws should be written to address the situation.

  275. mk
    January 16th, 2009 @ 4:01 pm

    You are presuming waaay too much about me in this post. I’m not you, MK. From what I can see, we don’t think alike all that much, so all your talk about me, perhaps, secretly viewing marriage through the same lens you do is not at all correct.

    That’s fair. I admit I was reading into what you weren’t saying.

    So now tell me. Why is it important to you to call your union a “marriage”? Why must that particular word be used?

  276. mk
    January 16th, 2009 @ 4:04 pm

    Irr,

    I have loved today’s peaceful conversation. Really, it was way enjoyable. But alas, my mother and sister are coming in from Ireland today, and I must go meet them.

    I’ll check back later. Just didn’t want you to think it was because I was upset, or ticked off or anything…

    Later…

  277. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 4:07 pm

    MK, my pointing out that there were no specific laws outlawing legal gay unions was in response to your assertion that unlike gays, blacks were never forbidden to marry.

    I don’t mean to sound harsh, but I don’t need you to tell me why we have laws. I’m 51.

    The reason I even address it is because it was a false analogy on your part. That was the purpose in my bringing it up.

    You said there were no laws in this country forbidding blacks from marrying. That is false.

    You implied that were longstanding laws prohibiting gays from marrying. False. Until recently, the law never even address the idea. It was unfathomable.

  278. Irreligious
    January 16th, 2009 @ 4:09 pm

    Ciao, MK. But, hopefully, we can talk about something else next time. ;)

  279. Nina
    January 16th, 2009 @ 10:28 pm

    –We used to give people lobotomies, and burn witches, and stone adulterers, and own people. We now think those ways of thinking are archaic. But we can’t “prove” that they are.–

    The fuck we can’t…

  280. Louise
    January 16th, 2009 @ 11:21 pm

    Nina said: Onus is on those denying gay couples access to a taxpayer-sustained institution available to straight couples.

    Garbage. In places where gays have been given all the same material rights, the gay advocates (not all the gays) are still clamouring for “marriage.” I addressed this already.

    Also, by your logic, straight couples have proved beyond ANY doubt that straight marriage isn’t exactly great for society.

    The best families have done. Maybe you can’t follow logic.

    I already addressed the problem of broken marriages and the hopeless example of heterosexuals etc.

    Why, look at those straights! Divorcing at the drop of a dime! Abandoning children, neglecting them, endangering them right and left!

    Gays do the same. “Married” one minute (where they can) divorced the next. Permitting their children (however they come by them) to be abused and neglected. Blah blah blah.

    Maybe gay couples could show the straight world a thing or two.

    Hilarious! Well, allowing for the possibility that the best “gay marriages” might be better than the worst real marriages, I cannot see how this is possible. How could a family with two daddies or two mummies (and multiple left-over parents living elsewhere) ever be better than one with one mummy and one daddy?

    Maybe not having gay marriage to whine about and gay people to point their fingers at and use as an excuse might force the straight couples to step up to the plate.

    Real marriages are failing because couples are complaining about gays?

  281. Louise
    January 16th, 2009 @ 11:23 pm

    Irreligious said:

    At the risk of incurring your ire (you seem like a very unpleasant person to me), Lily has already beaten you to the punch.

    Well, I’m sorry I missed it. My ire is now incurred. Am devastated you think I’m unpleasant.

  282. Irreligious
    January 17th, 2009 @ 12:14 am

    Aww, Louise, you seem way too taken with yourself to be devastated by anything I say. But I’m glad you’re not angry. Well, not anymore than usual.

    Why so crabby? What have the gays done to you?

  283. Nina
    January 17th, 2009 @ 2:59 am

    Add Louise to the list of religiously-motivated bigots along with MK, Lily, and Margaret Catherine.

    Yes, you little fuckwit, the onus is indeed on YOU to prove how allowing gay marriage will negatively impact straight marriage, and you need to use specifics. That’s the way it works. That’s how this society protects its members from prejudiced, narrow-minded little haters like you. You want to assert that gay marriage will destroy society and use that pathetic line to deny an entire group of taxpayers benefits extended to the rest of society, then YOU prove HOW gay marriage destroys society. Otherwise, shut the fuck up.

    Everytime one of you natural-born haters is pushed to show how gay marriage hurts anyone, or why being gay is wrong, all you can do is alternate between spewing the most ignorant sort of bigotry and the usual mindless religious pap.

    You can always tell when someone has some kind of sick need to dehumanize and destroy a person or a group when they fall back on “Christ asks each one of us to do something hard, but he never asks us to do anything he doesn’t give us the strength to do”.

    That translates as “I’m going to totally fuck you over but I’m such a fucking chickenshit, two-faced coward, I’m going to hide behind Christ and pretend this is some kind of “cross” Christ is asking you to bear, so if you just let me make you suffer for my personal benefit, you’ll be just like Jesus!”.

    Bull-fucking-shit.

    The religious bully crowd has been using this garbage for eons and it is as evil as evil gets.

    No one person EVER knows what is between God and another person. EVER. To pretend you know and to bully and manipulate and coerce another into suffering so that you get your sick, selfish, hateful way is Satan. That’s Satan in the flesh.

    So, no, Margaret Catherine, God did not create gay people and then insist they give up one of the most essential needs humans require to survive “just because”. There is no point, no reason, no possible answer to WHY God would do this other than that he’s one sick motherfucker. And that’s YOU creating God in YOUR image, not God at all.

  284. Louise
    January 17th, 2009 @ 6:40 am

    Yes, you little fuckwit, the onus is indeed on YOU to prove how allowing gay marriage will negatively impact straight marriage, and you need to use specifics. That’s the way it works. That’s how this society protects its members from prejudiced, narrow-minded little haters like you.

    Atheist being petulant and rude. Must be Saturday.

    No, Nina, it really isn’t up to me to prove that “gay marriage” will be bad for society. This is how things have been since year dot, so you’d better show us why we can all be so happy in Nina Land, where people who think differently from Nina are fuckwits etc.

  285. Louise
    January 17th, 2009 @ 6:43 am

    God did not create gay people and then insist they give up one of the most essential needs humans require to survive “just because”

    Sex is not a need. If sex is a need, then paedophiles should have the right to have sex with children, necrophiliacs with dead people etc.

    Who said God made gay people to be gay? Maybe bad parenting does it. Maybe various types of trauma does it. Maybe it’s just an unfortunate genetic anomaly.

  286. Louise
    January 17th, 2009 @ 6:45 am

    Irreligious, what makes you think I’m crabby?

  287. Nina
    January 17th, 2009 @ 7:37 am

    Louise is so fucking stupid she doesn’t know what an atheist is. Last time I checked, it was someone who didn’t believe in God. That she’s hanging out here and hasn’t quite grasped that fact really shows her for the moron she is.

    No. Sex isn’t a need. But I forget — Catholics don’t understand that sex is more than being rewarded with orgasms for breeding. For some of us, it’s something more.

    Close, physically intimate relationships have been proven to significantly benefit the psychological and physical health of the partners involved.

    That you insist on lumping in healthy, committed, nurturing, loving physical relationships between consenting adults with pedophilia and bestiality speaks volumes about the filthy, disgusting, perverted recesses of your hateful mind, Louise.

    No, bad parenting doesn’t make people gay. Nor does trauma. AAMOF, this has been studied up, down and under, and the only conclusion anyone has been able to reach is that gay people are just gay and there’s no reason to shwo that this isn’t the way it’s meant to be. Gay people are apparently gay for the same reasons straight people are straight.

    I guess a God who created gay people is just not a God that’s good enough for _you_. But that’s what happens when you go around creating God in your own image…

  288. Louise
    January 17th, 2009 @ 8:19 am

    Oh, I’m sorry, Nina. You were behaving like a combox Atheist, so I thought you were one.

    No. Sex isn’t a need.

    We agree, then.

    But I forget — Catholics don’t understand that sex is more than being rewarded with orgasms for breeding.

    It isn’t? How do you know that? Is that in the Bible or something? WHO HAS BEEN KEEPING VITAL KNOWLEDGE FROM ME?

    Close, physically intimate relationships have been proven to significantly benefit the psychological and physical health of the partners involved.

    Wow! Really? No wonder everyone is so obsessed with sex then. To think I’ve had five babies and never knew all this. I feel ripped off.

    Thankyou for enlightening me! Now I too can become a lovely, happy gliberal!

    That you insist on lumping in healthy, committed, nurturing, loving physical relationships between consenting adults with pedophilia and bestiality speaks volumes about the filthy, disgusting, perverted recesses of your hateful mind, Louise.

    Hilarious! You’re a laugh a minute!

    Obviously, to make the point that sex is not a “need” as such, I had to appeal to things we would both likely agree are repulsive.

    Now, I think (and medical studies have stated) that sodomy is bad for your bottom, for example, but since you think gay sex is okay, we can’t use that to demonstrate that sex is not a “need,” now can we?

    AAMOF, this has been studied up, down and under, and the only conclusion anyone has been able to reach is that gay people are just gay and there’s no reason to shwo that this isn’t the way it’s meant to be.

    And in twenty years or less the scientists will be saying, “we *now* know…”

    Gay people are apparently gay for the same reasons straight people are straight.

    So, why are only 1-2% of people gay? And why should we accept that this is normal? And what exactly do you mean when you say “the same reasons straight people are straight”? Which reasons are these? A straight gene/ gay gene?

    I guess a God who created gay people is just not a God that’s good enough for _you_. But that’s what happens when you go around creating God in your own image…

    I guess reasoned argument is not good enough for you. Personal insults are what happen when you go round failing to put up a decent argument.

  289. Nina
    January 17th, 2009 @ 9:01 am

    And your reasoned arguments are exactly what…?

    All I’ve seen from you is halfwitted bigotry and stereotypes.

    Anal intercourse is not the only kind of sex gay people have, nor is it exclusive to gay people. But I guess a hateful old bigot like you can’t quite wrap your limited mind around that, so we’re back to gay sex is bad because it’s all about ass-fucking.

    Yes, that the ONLY way you can justify your insistance that gay relationships are bad and evil is to drag them down the level of unhealthy sex is hilarious and telling and pretty much says it all about you. This is the heart of all bigotry and racism — turning the group you think you’re so superior to into something not quite human. It’s what the Nazis did to the Jews right before they began rounding them up and slaughtering them. It’s what society has done to unborn children before they sold everyone a bill of goods on that score.

    You know what the saddest thing about you is? That you are totally ripped off, and that you did it to yourself. Willful ignorance is tragic.

    Homosexuality runs closer to 10% of the population. That you think just because something occurs in a minority portion of any given population makes it evil is yet one more example of your deep-seated bigotry.

    You’re no stranger to personal insults yourself, you great stinking hypocrite, and you’ve yet to put up one single reasoned argument for anything. All you’ve done is proven over and over again that you are a closed-minded, ignorant, hateful cunt.

  290. Louise
    January 17th, 2009 @ 9:41 am

    Randomly, then:

    Which personal insults, Nina? Do they compare with cunt and fuckwit? You’re a class act!

    Homosexuality runs closer to 10% of the population. That you think just because something occurs in a minority portion of any given population makes it evil is yet one more example of your deep-seated bigotry.

    Homosexuals are nowhere near 10% of the population. I’m saying it’s not normal or normative, that’s all.

    And no, I don’t think gays are evil for being gay. I think some of them wish to do evil things, like stuff up society, but only because they think that what is evil is actually good. IOW, most of them are not trying to do bad things to society in their view.

    I think gay sex is wrong, in the same way that I think fornication and adultery are wrong. Does it follow that I think adulterers and fornictors are inherently evil or that they are less than human? No.

    You know what the saddest thing about you is? That you are totally ripped off, and that you did it to yourself.

    Your irony meter is broken.

    Anal intercourse is not the only kind of sex gay people have, nor is it exclusive to gay people.

    Well, sodomy is bad for everyone’s bottoms, you know, it’s an equal opportunity thing. However, while gays may practice other kinds of sex as well and heterosexuals might practice sodomy, I think we can safely say that heterosexuals can have sexual intercourse without resorting to sodomy and most gay men will engage in it. So, I can’t really see why you’re so upset.

    And you know, just because it’s a free country (where I live) I’m going to repeat myself:

    Gay sex is wrong.

    “Gay marriage” is a really bad idea, so let’s not go there, eh?

    Most gays are not in favour of “gay marriage.”

    And just for something else to talk about:

    Multi-culturalism is a load of old guff. Feminism is a pile of crap. Secularism is an even bigger pile of crap. Euroweenies are dhimmis. Obama is not the Messiah; he’s a politician and is – very soon, thank God – going to prove himself to be a HUGE disappointment to his worshippers. I am going to soak in the schadenfreude of this for the next 4-8 years. Modern art is a big pile of crap.

    Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the World and The Gospel is the best news ever!

    What else do we all want to talk about? Who likes fishing?

  291. Nina
    January 17th, 2009 @ 9:59 am

    Might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb. When I insult, I don’t fuck around. You know what you’re gonna get, and a lot of you seem to like it because you come back practically begging for it. Which is really fucking weird, IMO, but, hey, always happy to oblige…

    Unhealthy sexual relationships are wrong, or perhaps symptomatic of something gone wrong. “Fornication”, promiscuity, etc., can be shown to have a directly negative effect on the individuals involved and on society in general. A nurturing, committed physical relationship between two adults of the same gender cannot be shown to have the same effect on those individuals or on society. You, mk, Margaret Catherine and Lily have been repeatedly asked to give some specifics here and every single time you ignore the requests and go down some ridiculous rabbit trail instead. So here ya go — one more chance to pony up, chica — specifics, please.

    Whether or not a particular sexual practice may or may not be risky or physically unhealthy is neither here nor there. That’s just another rabbit trail. Vaginal sex without proper lubrication can be just as dangerous from a physical health perspective, as can sex with a partner who isn’t acquainted with proper hygiene, and so on. You really need to drop the obsession with butt-fucking. I’m totally cool with the fact you’re a three-input girl, but it’s waaaaay TMI AFAIC.

    See, here’s the thing. No one supporting gay marriage has claimed you can’t hold that belief. No one. It’s when you actively work to deny a group access to taxpayer supported benefits that we have a problem. And, once again, you’ve got to bring more than just your _belief_ to the table when you enter the political arena. Go ahead and provide your documented evidence that legalized gay marriage in all 50 states here in the US will have a negative impact on society.

  292. Lily
    January 17th, 2009 @ 11:20 am

    “Go ahead and provide your documented evidence that legalized gay marriage in all 50 states here in the US will have a negative impact on society.”

    It’s been done, repeatedly. As has the impact of divorce on society been provided. You don’t learn because you don’t want to. It is all out there and readily available.

    Until you quit screaming and get down off your high horse, all you are is exceedingly unpleasant noise. You couldn’t persuade anyone that chocolate might be enjoyable, much less that your opinion on any important subject might be worth hearing. Only two people have shown the slightest desire to interact with you. Doesn’t that tell you something? It is a miracle that mk and Louise have tried. It is far more than you deserve.

    It would be hilarious and amazing at this point to see a post from you that is calm, avoids insults, and actually adds to the topic instead of to the noise around here. I don’t think you can do it.

  293. Swk6
    January 17th, 2009 @ 11:24 am

    Shut the hell up you stupid old douche bag.

    That really is about the only about the only response that the miserable, old, bigoted, cunt Lily deserves.

  294. Irreligious
    January 17th, 2009 @ 11:51 am

    Louise, I probably shouldn’t speak for Nina, but it is apparent to me that she is angry at people, like you, who claim to be one thing and then reveal yourselves to be something else.

    I thought that you are supposed to, by definition, a loving Christian. The fact that you are one who simultaneously hates gate people is, indeed, strange to me. You’ll probably deny that you hate gay people, but you can’t say the things you have posted here and credibly claim otherwise.

    Your claiming to be on a higher plain than I am is huge disconnect for me, because you seem just as grounded in your petty hatreds as the next non Christian person. What makes you better? I don’t mean as mere human being, but what benefits are you accruing as a Christian that would compel me or anyone else to look up to you as such?

    Before you start telling me about how you hate the sin but not the sinner, I have to ask you a question about fairness.

    How are the gay people who are seeking legal marriage rights (not the sacrament in your church), any worse than the heterosexual people who indulge what you might call sex perversions (there are straight people who engage anal sex, too, and plenty of gay men who are not into that), marry multiple times, cheat on their partners, are neglectful parents or who marry fully intending not to have children?

    How are gay people, in your mind, any worse than these heterosexual people?

    Why are you not judging them as harshly and, more importantly, why are you not seeking to proscribe their legal rights? Civil marriage is a legal right, not a sacrament, obviously, or a whole lot of folks would be disqualified from participating in the institution.

  295. Nina
    January 17th, 2009 @ 11:52 am

    They’re all the same — Lily, mk, Margaret Catherine, Louise…

    They don’t see the hate in the bigoted stereotypes they’re parroting in order to score points with their Church.

    For all that they’re so “pro-life”, they don’t give a damn about anything but what they think they can gain for themselves either here in this world by impressing the Catholic blogosphere or in the next by winning some holiness contest they’ve created in their heads.

    Small people, small minds, small lives, small set of experiences, LOTS of fear and ignorance. But what can you do? It’s their own loss in the long run.

  296. Swk6
    January 17th, 2009 @ 11:58 am

    Yes Nina. They really are The Borg.

  297. Lily
    January 17th, 2009 @ 12:06 pm

    Are you done congratulating yourselves on your moral superiority, yet? If so, would you like to address the issues? Telling us that we are crabby, small-minded, etc. may make you feel positively giddy with righteousness but those aren’t exactly arguments, are they?

  298. Swk6
    January 17th, 2009 @ 12:08 pm

    No not yet. I feel like I could call you a worthless douche all day.

  299. Irreligious
    January 17th, 2009 @ 12:11 pm

    Lily, it is you indulging moral superiority. I’m not asking or demanding that you share my morals. You’re the one claiming to be guided by Christ, not me?

    I don’t shit about your sex life. I’ve never judged you for it.

  300. Irreligious
    January 17th, 2009 @ 12:11 pm

    That is, I don’t give a shit about your sex life.

  301. Lily
    January 17th, 2009 @ 12:13 pm

    Oh dear. I am sorry. You weren’t included in my remarks. You haven’t been part of any conversation, much less the one here, and are simply an atheist boor, dripping testosterone-fueled effluvia. Now go back to the forum and report that I finally noticed that you are over here “taunting” me. It is the only way you can get them to take any interest in your posts.

  302. Irreligious
    January 17th, 2009 @ 12:18 pm

    Does believing in Christ compel you to judge others harshly? Because if he does, how are you substantively different from the average Wahabi in Saudi Arabia?

    Yes, you don’t have the authority to kill me– anymore than he would if he were a citizen of the U.S.A– but if you had your own theocracy, do you think you would exercise any more self control than he does? I’m not so sure you would, Lily. That’s not an idle insult. It’s how you come across to me. And not because you don’t agree with me. It is the substance of all that you have shared with me the past two years.

  303. Irreligious
    January 17th, 2009 @ 12:24 pm

    And speaking of substance, Lily, what about the issue of fairness?

    In theory, you disapprove of heterosexuals who fornicate and engage in serial relationships, among other grievances you have with them. What are you doing to keep them from accessing civil marriage rights?

    If you’re not doing anything, why do you think you don’t have to?

  304. Swk6
    January 17th, 2009 @ 12:32 pm

    Lily?…so you’re still over there reading I see. You just really can’t stay away can you? It’s ok, I understand that it must be hard for an older woman like yourself who hasnt had the touch of a man in eons. It must get lonely for you. I mean, what else do you really have to look forward to in this life? Have your tried christiansingles.net? Oh..probably struck out there as well.

    Signed,

    Atheist Boor

  305. Lily
    January 17th, 2009 @ 12:36 pm

    What a string of singularly foolish messages, Irreligious! Even for you, they are amazingly ill-conceived. What is it going to take to make you understand that this issue is simply not all about you? What?

    Why are you incapable of grasping that we are talking about matters of public policy that will, necessarily, have outcomes in ways we can foresee and, worse, in ways we cannot predict. Why, don’t you get this? Why? Are you so ego-centric, so wrapped up in yourself that you cannot acknowledge that marriage is not merely a private institution?

    I will not discuss this issue with you any further. You refuse to grasp what has been explained to you over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. I have said everything I wish to say on the subject. I know everything you have to say on the subject. There is nothing left.

  306. mk
    January 17th, 2009 @ 12:56 pm

    Is there some secret “who has the foulest mouth, can spout the most insults, shake your mane, roar the loudest, prove the size of your…club” that you guys belong too?

    We get accused of scoring points for the pope? Well you guys take the cake for scoring points for the least amount of class.

    Good Lord, get a thesaurus already! If this is the best you can do, maybe I’m in the wrong place. I thought you guys were all brainiacs, members of mensa, the enlightened ones. But it’s sounds more like a bunch a drunk amateurs on frat night.

    This is it? This is the best you’ve got? I’m truly disappointed. I thought this was going to be a challenge, but other than irreligious I’ve not seen one iota of worthy opponent.

    I’ve got a house full of teenagers. If I wanted abuse and sophomoric rhetoric, I could just serve dinner! Are there any adults out there? Hello….anyone with a drivers license? Old enough to vote? with the ability to form a coherent thought that doesn’t contain a “four” letter word?

    Snikey’s!

  307. Margaret Catherine
    January 17th, 2009 @ 1:00 pm

    “For all that they’re so “pro-life”, they don’t give a damn about anything but what they think they can gain for themselves either here in this world by impressing the Catholic blogosphere or in the next by winning some holiness contest they’ve created in their heads.”

    Nina, no. Nothing of the sort. But it does give a neat pair of cubbyholes to stuff everything I say into…if it doesn’t fit one, then, well, try the other.

    We did agree on at least a basis of action. I thought.

  308. Irreligious
    January 17th, 2009 @ 1:07 pm

    Lily, taking that tone is not addressing the substance of the issue. It’s an attempt at bullying, and you should know by now that that does not work with me.

    Telling me that it’s not about me is an attempt at condescension. Or does it escape you that it’s not about you and Roman Catholics and other Christians, either. This is about fairness.

    You have not demonstrated your claims. You have made bold assertions about the alleged negative effects that gays being allowed to civilly marry would have on the public, but you have not offered any evidence for your case.

    The studies you keep directing me to don’t count, because there are plenty of other studies that contradict those studies. What I have been asking you to do is to tell me “in your own words,” and very specifically, what you think those dire effects will be. And you haven’t done that. You have scrupulously avoided doing that.

    Instead, you have addressed me as if I am stupid. To wit:

    “What a string of singularly foolish messages, Irreligious! Even for you, they are amazingly ill-conceived.”

    Aside from pointedly not addressing the issue of fairness, there’s not an ounce of respect in that post, Lily. All I am asking you to do is to support your claims. Can you do that?

  309. Lily
    January 17th, 2009 @ 1:20 pm

    Yes, I can support my claims and have done so for the entire 2+ years that I have had the pleasure of trying to discuss this with you. No, I will not repeat in a comment box, yet again, (I did so above, remember?) all the well-known truths about marriage that you refuse to admit. Like I said, I have said everything I have to say. I know everything you have to say. Enough is enough.

  310. Irreligious
    January 17th, 2009 @ 1:23 pm

    Saying you have and actually doing it are two different things, Lily.

    You still have yet to illustrate one irrefutable ill-effect. Even now, you are avoiding the challenge.

  311. Lily
    January 17th, 2009 @ 2:26 pm

    No. I am avoiding you, Irreligious. There is no getting through to you because you do not want to be gotten through to. You will not grasp the issues because it scares you that we are right and that you cannot have what you want. So you natter on about irrelevancies like “fairness”, as though upending society and further demeaning marriage were not worth a thought or two beyond your personal wishes.

    Reason, commonsense, sociology and anthropology all deomonstrate the absurdity of and the dangers inherent in what you want. Here is one anthopologist on what the study of cultures that have normalized homosexuality in one form or another demonstrate:

    “If America normalizes male homosexuality through gay marriage, our culture is not suddenly going to become exactly like the Etoro, or the Big Nambas of the northern New Hebrides, or other such tribes. Rather, we will follow out the biological and cultural logic of homosexuality in our own fashion. The general results, however, are predictable on the basis of the ethnography: heterosexual marriage will be weakened; the birth rate will decline; the status of women as mothers will further erode; and young boys will be a much greater target of erotic attention by older males. …

    The link between homosexual desire and erotic interest in children is especially contentious. Gay activists and their supporters frequently point out that most child molestation is perpetrated by heterosexual males. And they emphasize that homosexuality has no necessary link to pedophilia: a great many gay men are primarily interested in other adult gay men. I grant both points, but we are also left with the stubborn empirical fact that societies that have indeed institutionalized something akin to “gay marriage” have done so in the form of older men taking adolescent boys as their partners. To imagine that we could have gay marriage in the United States without also giving strong encouragement to this form of eroticism is, in light of the ethnographic evidence, wishful thinking. (http://www.amconmag.com/article/2003/jul/28/00008/)

    Now this is a description written for the general reader published in a popular, not a scholarly, journal. If you wish to contest what this anthropologist says, you will have to read the scholarly anthropological literature. You may not demand that I replicate all these studies (I have no desire to travel to the New Hebrides or to Melanesia, or to New Caledonia to do field work), so that I can make these points in “my own words”. The words of others are just fine, when they are derived from years of reading as widely as possible and coming to an informed point of view.

    My viewpoint is grounded in just such reading of scholarly and popular literature over many years. Yours is grounded in your subjective opinion– at least you have not claimed otherwise. Which one of us, then, has some proving to do?

    I will give you one thing, though. Even though I have no interest in discussing this with you, you do know how to make me respond to you, even when I know it is utterly useless. This reflects some serious talent of a sort I cannot name. It might be worth thinking about a way to use this talent in ways that will bring you pleasure and not aggravation.

  312. Lily
    January 17th, 2009 @ 2:29 pm

    Hell’s bells! Why is the appearance of white space utterly unpredictible??? Why does it appear in short messages and not in long ones where it is badly needed? Why? WHY? WHY?

    And where have bolding, underlining and block quoting gone? Where?

  313. Irreligious
    January 17th, 2009 @ 2:55 pm

    OK, Lily. I guess I have to accept your copious reading over my actual experience being a gay man who has never taken an adolescent lover and never invited you or any unwilling person to share in the intimate details of my personal sex life.

    It should come as no suprise to you that I think what you have posted is propaganda and not a legitimate answer to my question. But let’s not argue about it.

    Anyway, you say that I cannot be reasoned with, and by your definition of what is reasonable, I suppose I can’t be. It is just as fruitless on my end for me to attempt to reason with you, but you also have a talent for aggravating me and getting me to respond. I suppose it is only in that way that we are alike.

    Otherwise, you will continue to see me as someone abnormal and, possibly, evil, who needs to be marginalized if he can’t subdued or vanquished.

    I don’t see any good will in that, but c’est la vie. That is your choice.

  314. Lily
    January 17th, 2009 @ 3:28 pm

    There you go again, Irreligious, putting words in my mouth and ignoring everything I say. You demonize me because you cannot argue on the merits of the subject. What utter rot it is to claim that your subjective experience trumps the experience of millions over a millenium or two and that it trumps the scrutiny of scholars in various disciplines.

    How intellectually dishonest to call an article that you didn’t read propaganda! Of course, you have never read any of the scholarly articles to which I have linked over the years, either.

    Now, to end this nonsense once and for all (on my part. Not yours. You won’t hear me.) — I have never said that you are evil. Never. I have never said that you are abnormal. Never. I have never indicated the slightest wish to see you somehow “marginalized” or subdued. Never. I do recall telling you plainly that love and friendship are positive goods and that I do not fault you for loving whomever you love.

    Marriage, however, is a public act with serious consequences for women and children. I am sorry you don’t get it. I am sorry you won’t take the time to learn what marriage is and why regulating sexual relationships is a societal necessity. But your failure is not my failure. I know what the sociological, political and anthopological arguments are. You don’t. I get that you don’t want to which is why this thread has gone on for what? 250+ messages? And that doesn’t even take into consideration how much cyber ink I have spilled on the subject in the forum over the last two years.

    When will enough be enough? Do you honestly think you can exhaust me and badger me into acquiescence? If it didn’t happen in the forum when you had dozens of vitriol-spewing forum buddies piling on in your defense, can you possibly suppose I am going to budge here?

  315. Irreligious
    January 17th, 2009 @ 3:39 pm

    Lily, I am gay. That is my orientation. Is that not abnormal to you?

    I have acted on my orientation. Is that not an evil to you?

    I seek, in principle, access the legal protections of civil marriage should I be fortunate enough to find a man with whom I’d like to settle in a domestic relationship. Do you not seek to thwart that attempt? If you do, why is that not marginalizing me?

    What else is it then? You can’t stop me from being gay, but you sure as hell aren’t going to stand for me and others elevating it to a status that is recognized by law and, ultimately, normalized by society. Am I right?

    If I am, then what words have I unfairly put in your mouth?

  316. Irreligious
    January 17th, 2009 @ 3:53 pm

    Lily, I am no longer trying to get you see this issue from my side, but can you at least be honest about how you really feel about gay people? That would actually make me go away.

    You can’t have your cake and eat it, too. You can’t tell me I’m abnormal in one post and then take it back. You have laid out your justifications for denying gays access to civil marriage and I have stopped arguing with you about them.

    But please don’t insult me by telling me that that does not marginalize me. That may not be your conscious attempt but, Lily, that is what feels like. I’m not asking you to feel sorry for me. I’m more than used to it. I’m just telling you the truth and you get angry with me. Why?

  317. Lily
    January 17th, 2009 @ 4:19 pm

    Q. I am gay. That is my orientation. Is that not abnormal to you?

    A. Yes. That orientation deviates from the norm. I do believe that is a mathematical observation and a true one.

    Q. I have acted on my orientation. Is that not an evil to you?

    A. The act is evil. So is heterosexual fornication. I was not evil, even though that is a disordered act. You are not evil, even though homosexual acts are also disordered.

    Q. I seek, in principle, access the legal protections of civil marriage … Do you not seek to thwart that attempt?

    A. Yes.

    Q. If you do, why is that not marginalizing me?

    A. You are no more marginalized than the heterosexual who wants to enter into a polygamous marriage is. Or the 39 year old woman who wants to marry her 12 year old lover. Society has no interest in private arrangements to suit the preferences of individuals. Marriage exists to provide the optimum environment for childrearing, protect mothers and keep children connected to their biological parents. (It has, of course, many other benefits for individuals and society.)

    Monogamy has proved to be the most beneficial arrangement for women, which is why I will fight the move to legalize polygamy just as vigorously.

    Q. You can’t stop me from being gay, but you sure as hell aren’t going to stand for me and others elevating it to a status that is recognized by law and, ultimately, normalized by society. Am I right?

    A. You are right.

    Q. If I am [right], what words have I unfairly put in your mouth?

    A. I have not called you evil. I have not called you abnormal.

    I have also never called you crabby, or surly though you have been on more than one occasion, nor have I accused you of wanting to kill anyone. How many times have you plainly stated that you think I would kill you and other homosexuals, if I had the chance and thought I could get away with it. Hmmmm? Those sorts of baseless accusations do tend to annoy me, not because I think anyone will believe them but because they serve one purpose and one purpose only– to put an end to an argument that you are losing, as you must. It can’t be won on the merits.

    So. Have we finally exhausted this subject?

  318. Irreligious
    January 17th, 2009 @ 4:31 pm

    Lily, these are your words from post #26:

    “He and those like him who are wedded to the notion (pun intended) will not listen. They will keep saying the same things over and over. It is critical to those who want to normalize homosexuality to win this battle, no matter what the cost to society. I understand why– this hits them hard and personally but no man is an island and they have a duty to the larger society. We are not a collection of autonomous individuals who can do whatever we want.”

    So there you have it. People like me want to “normalize” homosexuality. If it’s not already abnormal to you, why would you say this?

    And, again, I am no longer arguing the merits of your position regarding gays and civil marriage. That’s done.
    I’ve heard you on that, and you have heard me. We disagree.

    But this is a different topic. Can you honestly still claim that you think gay people are normal and that mutually consenting adults of the same gender having sexual relations is not an evil to you? What’s happened to your convictions?

    And if this is an evil to you, wouldn’t you be compelled to stop this madness from pervading the rest of society? Isn’t that your goal?

    And you thought I wasn’t listening all this time.

  319. Irreligious
    January 17th, 2009 @ 4:42 pm

    I still think you hate homosexuals, Lily, especially if you can’t control them. You can’t be any more insulted by that than I am by what you’re telling me. It’s just another tired variation of hating the sin but loving the sinner. I am not fooled.

    And even on that, we can’t find agreement.

  320. Irreligious
    January 17th, 2009 @ 5:19 pm

    Lily wrote:
    ” have also never called you crabby, or surly though you have been on more than one occasion, nor have I accused you of wanting to kill anyone. How many times have you plainly stated that you think I would kill you and other homosexuals, if I had the chance and thought I could get away with it. Hmmmm?”

    You’re calm now, but you have been known to comment on other people’s dispositions and their intelligence or lack, thereof, as you have perceived them. It’s all over this forum and at the other one for which you have spared no amount of vitriol. So don’t get Mother Teresa on me, please.

    And you continually implying that gays being allowed to legally wed will destroy society as we know it is no less baseless than my suggesting that you might be a little blood thirsty. I mean, what’s the difference, hmmmmm?

  321. Nina
    January 17th, 2009 @ 5:25 pm

    1000 commments from now, Lily, mk, Margaret Catherine and Louise will still feel secure in their position that gay people are something lesser and are to automatically be pre-empted from the joys of an abiding, intimate relationship with another human being.

    To people like them, life just isn’t worth living unless they can find some set of people they can automatically feel better than, feel more loved by God than, feel more entitled to the good things this life has to offer than, and feel more “whole” than.

    And you know why? Because somewhere, deep down, they don’t really like themselves all that much and because they’re terrified of living. They’re self-loathing little cowards who can only manage to feel good by putting someone else down. They enjoy — actively get off on — making someone else feel small or making them suffer.

    They are Catholics. It is what they do and it is what they are.

    1000 posts from now, these people will never change — they don’t have it in them.

    So if those who enjoy this sort of mental masturbation wish to continue, go for it. I’m done. I cannot say enough that every time you challenge these people they prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that they are everything evil under the sun. I don’t want their particular brand of evil touching my life anymore.

  322. Lily
    January 17th, 2009 @ 6:00 pm

    Q. “Can you honestly still claim that you think gay people are normal and that mutually consenting adults of the same gender having sexual relations is not an evil to you?” What’s happened to your convictions?

    A. My convictions are exactly what they always have been. I have stated repeatedly that love and friendship are positive goods. Expressing love in sexually inappropriate ways is sterile, literally and figuratively. It doesn’t hurt me, individually but it does hurt you in ways you will never know, until the day comes, if it ever does, that you understand God’s plan and purpose for sex.

    However, normalizing such relationships by calling them marriage does harm society in very concrete ways.

    Q. And if this is an evil to you, wouldn’t you be compelled to stop this madness from pervading the rest of society? Isn’t that your goal?

    A. Yes. In how many ways; in how many languages do I have to say it? Have I not been saying it for the last two + years? Why do you write as though you had just now figured it out?

    “It’s just another tired variation of hating the sin but loving the sinner.” It isn’t a tired variation. It *is* love the sinner not the sin. That is the appropriate and godly response to those ensnared by sin.

    While it is heartbreaking that you are so ensnared and while I have the greatest sympathy for the very real problems that go with being different, that cannot prevent me from understanding the social cost of normalizing homosexuality. I will not collude in the further erosion of society, no matter how much sympathy I have for your individual plight.

    “And you continually implying that gays being allowed to legally wed will destroy society as we know it is no less baseless than my suggesting that you might be a little blood thirsty. I mean, what’s the difference, hmmmmm?””

    One is true; though as you have stated it, exaggerated. The other is false. Can you guess which is which?

  323. mk
    January 17th, 2009 @ 9:31 pm

    Nina,

    1000 commments from now, Lily, mk, Margaret Catherine and Louise will still feel secure in their position that gay people are something lesser and are to automatically be pre-empted from the joys of an abiding, intimate relationship with another human being.

    honestly, your insight is uncanny. How you can know me so well without having met me…it’s almost scary. I guess you’re just one of those rare people that I can’t fool.

  324. mk
    January 17th, 2009 @ 10:13 pm

    Irreligious,

    I saw the new episode of House last night. Did you see it? I kept thinking about our conversation.

    Why is it that whenever gays are portrayed in movies or television, the stories are tragic or the the “gays” are portrayed as buffoons?

    I’m asking honestly…we were talking about Cider House Rules on my blog this afternoon and someone said they read an article by someone that said, it seems like in order for a “gay” movie to be acceptable, one of the characters must be “sacraficed”. I found that really sad, yet somehow true.

    The episode last night on House, was about 2 lesbians, and they were both tragic…

    Or they go the other way and make them be the clown, like that TV show a few years back. I can’t remember the name of it, and only saw previews for it, but I remember thinking that they did this to blacks and Hispanics for awhile to.

    What do you think? Am I seeing something that isn’t there?

  325. Margaret Catherine
    January 17th, 2009 @ 10:35 pm

    *laugh* I think I remember somebody, somewhere, saying ‘armchair psychology’ was for losers?

    Nah. Couldn’t be. :) Thank you for ending out on a humorous note, Nina.

  326. Irreligious
    January 17th, 2009 @ 10:59 pm

    Lily wrote:
    “One is true; though as you have stated it, exaggerated. The other is false. Can you guess which is which?”

    Yes. The part about you being a bloodthirsty bigot. That’s not hyperbole. I honestly believe that.

  327. Irreligious
    January 17th, 2009 @ 11:23 pm

    MK, why do the writers of some TV shows–especially comedy shows– write Catholics characters who are portrayed as either tragic, evil or buffoonish?

    The simple answer is, because they can. And it resonates with “somebody” out there.

    It’s the same for blacks, Hispanics, Asians, poor white people from the south, Evangelical Protestants, Muslims, “foreigners in general,” etc.

    The more “specific” and “closed-off” from the rest of society the target is, the more pronounced the stereotype.

    And all of us are bound to come across somebody (or several somebodies) who seems to embody the stereotype. Tragically, “they” often become the spokesperson for the entire group.

    At least, that’s the way I see it.

  328. Louise
    January 18th, 2009 @ 2:52 am

    OK, Nina, you’re off the Christmas Card list. Sorry, it had to be done.

    Irreligious, we are obviously just going to have to agree to disagree.

    You say I hate gays. If that’s what you want to believe, fine. I don’t have the time to debate moral issues with people who insist I haate them because I disagree with their lifestyle, I have five kids to raise and better things to do.

    Louise, I probably shouldn’t speak for Nina, but it is apparent to me that she is angry at people, like you, who claim to be one thing and then reveal yourselves to be something else.

    I thought that you are supposed to, by definition, a loving Christian.

    Well, firstly, not properly by definition, no. Christians ought to be loving because that is God’s standard and it’s what He expects of us. Strictly speaking, by definition,a Christian is someone who has been baptised and believes in the creeds. That’s about it.

    Now, I’m sorry, but there is nothing I’ve done here that is particularly unloving (unless I was more heated in defending myself that I ought to have been), but I don’t remember where that was and Nina hasn’t bothered to point it out to me.

    The plain fact is that telling people just what they want to hear is not love. Sorry.

    Gay sex is not good. Sorry you can’t handle that.

    The fact that you are one who simultaneously hates gate people is, indeed, strange to me.

    That’s really odd, because I don’t hate gays. If I did it would just mean that I’m not a perfect Christian yet. Gosh, that’d be unusual!

    You’ll probably deny that you hate gay people, but you can’t say the things you have posted here and credibly claim otherwise.

    Garbage. I don’t have to hate other people to dislike what they do or believe or just to disagree with them. You have an odd understanding of what hate really is.

    Your claiming to be on a higher plain than I am

    Um. No, I’m not. We’re both sinners and that’s all there is to it, really. I’m not claiming to be better.

    The problem with every discussion about morality is that although we’re discussing the various merits or otherwise of particular behaviours, what people invariably hear is that “You are a Bad Person.” In fact, Irreligious, I’m quite prepared to believe that you’re a Good Person (ie not perfect, since none of us are, but someone who might be a good neighbour). I have no real reason to believe otherwise, so far.

    Nina is off the Christmas Card list (see above) since I don’t want the likes of her to be my neighbour.

    How are the gay people who are seeking legal marriage rights (not the sacrament in your church), any worse than the heterosexual people who indulge what you might call sex perversions (there are straight people who engage anal sex, too, and plenty of gay men who are not into that), marry multiple times, cheat on their partners, are neglectful parents or who marry fully intending not to have children?

    Well, the way I see it (and what the Church teaches) you are not any worse than such people. You’re not any worse than me as far as I can tell. Why would you think so? Who has been telling you this stuff?

    Why are you not judging them as harshly and, more importantly, why are you not seeking to proscribe their legal rights?

    I’m not judging anyone harshly, what makes you say so?

    Can you tell me more specifically which legal rights I am supposed to be opposing so we can look carefully at each one?

    Civil marriage is a legal right, not a sacrament, obviously, or a whole lot of folks would be disqualified from participating in the institution.

    Yes. True. Should I be opposing civil marriage? Why?

  329. Louise
    January 18th, 2009 @ 2:55 am

    BTW, Irreligious, I am happy to continue to debate with you, but only if we actually stick to the issues at hand and at least try to come to some kind of understanding. If not, we’ll just have to leave it here.

  330. Irreligious
    January 18th, 2009 @ 3:19 am

    Thank you for your kind offer, Louise. But I already know where a debate with you is headed. We would be operating from entirely different premises. I cannot entertain yours and you are certainly not bound to recognize mine.

  331. Louise
    January 18th, 2009 @ 5:15 am

    Indeed.

  332. mk
    January 18th, 2009 @ 7:15 am

    Louise,

    That was all very well put, and exactly what Margaret Catherine, Lily and I have been trying to say.

    We are ALL “abnormal” (if that term must be used), we are ALL disordered. We are ALL broken. We are ALL falling short, missing the mark, screwed up, better than some, worse than some…ALL OF US.

    This is the part that doesn’t seem to translate well.

    The fact that the homosexual community wants to use their particular “disorder/abnormality” to change a PUBLIC institution is the only reason we mention their particular deviance.

    We don’t mention the indescretions of adulterers because they are not trying to make their particular disorder publicly acceptable.

    THere is a woman (I did a post on her but can’t remember her name right now) that has a greeting card company just for adulterers. And another that advertises men and women that are looking to have affairs.

    She is trying to pawn off adultery as just another viable option. You better believe that we spoke out against it.

    Or the girl that is auctioning off her virginity to pay for college tuition. She has taken something that had it remained private, we wouldn’t even mention it, but since she made it public, we have spoken up.

    We have not taken to the streets to protest homosexual behavior. We are only voicing our opinion publicly, because by asking to sanction homosexual relationships with marriage, it has become a public issue.

    We speak out against the Folsom Street Fair, not because men are having sex with men, or women are having sex with women, but because they are doing so on public streets.

    They actually have a “Sexy Jesus” contest. Now I ask you…who is being hateful here?

    This is a huge difference in the application of our opposition to homosexual marriage. We have tried 16 ways to Sunday, to make sure that it is understood that we are not attacking any ONE, but a THING. Yet, I have seen my faith mocked, ridiculed, spit upon…NO ONE here has even come close to that type of behavior with the exception of she who shall not be named.

    I can only surmise that this particular issue is painful, and pain is blinding IRR to the reality of our words. It’s frustrating, but understandable.

    I, you, we all, have stated hundreds of times, that we can dislike a certain behavior and it doesn’t equal disliking the person that is displaying said behavior.

    If I refused to deal with every person that displays behavior that I don’t care for, I’d be a very, very lonely person.

    And I’m not…

  333. mk
    January 18th, 2009 @ 9:27 am

    Ir,

    Indulge me for a minute or two. Please?

    May I ask you why you hate me? Why do you feel that you have the right to interfere with my life? Why do my personal beliefs have anything to do with you?

    It’s clear to me from many of the things that you have said, that you hate me for who I am. This has been bothering me.

    Can you tell me why? Why you hate me, and why you feel you have the right to regulate how I live my life?

  334. Margaret Catherine
    January 18th, 2009 @ 11:26 am

    Irr, my two cents: just to wrap up with. I thoroughly second everything Louise said. Also – this entire issue, your view of life versus ours…it comes down to whether you say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to Christianity, to Christ. If you do, than all of our claims/assertions/expectations follow; even as hard as they, without question, are. If you don’t – and you do not – they don’t. We can’t and shouldn’t expect them of you.

  335. Irreligious
    January 18th, 2009 @ 11:28 am

    Tell me “how” I’m interfering in your life, MK.

    I am I keeping your from worshipping as you please? Are there any laws on the books that I am keeping from accessing?

  336. Irreligious
    January 18th, 2009 @ 11:34 am

    Margaret Catherine, your argument is the same as the Wahabi in Saudi Arabia. How can anyone argue with his god or yours?

  337. Margaret Catherine
    January 18th, 2009 @ 11:54 am

    With mine? Very easily. :D

  338. Margaret Catherine
    January 18th, 2009 @ 11:55 am

    (With that annoying grin, even more easily.)

  339. Irreligious
    January 18th, 2009 @ 12:07 pm

    Anyway, I should wrap this up on my end. This is a Christian blog now, and I used to tell Lily that I don’t argue with Christians on their forums. Oddly, that is exactly what I have been doing and it was a huge mistake.

    MK, I don’t like hating you. I tried to convince myself that you, in particular, were someone I could get to like and with whom I could possibly find common ground. But you were just stringing me along in totally bad faith. You never cared about my point of view. You were interested only in defending your bigotry. It’s what a lot of you guys here do with a very thin veneer of civility. It’s fake and it’s why a lot of atheists and other Christians who see right through you are so hostile. You’ll never believe that, but it’s true.

    You are firmly convinced that you are good people. I don’t see it in you.

    Your last post (which I find very disingenuous) has finally convinced me that there never was a point to engaging you.

    I still don’t want to take your religion from you, because that’s all you have. You need it. Just know that there are plenty of folks out there who won’t let you run roughshod over them just because you think your god gives you that authority.

  340. mk
    January 18th, 2009 @ 1:54 pm

    Irr,

    I admit it was disingenuous. That why I asked you to indulge me. I figured you know that I wasn’t serious. Truthfully, I didn’t know that you did hate me. I’m sorry to hear that. I was hoping you’d say that you did not hate me, but rather hated what I believed in.

    You see, I DO separate the sin and the sinner. You have just said that you do not. That surprises me.

    I knew you hated the church, but I didn’t know that you hated Catholics. I honestly didn’t. I figured you hated what the church taught, and things she has done in the past, but took the individuals one on one.

    You see, you do interfere with my free expression of the faith. Prayer is not allowed in schools. This could be perceived as “your world” putting it’s beliefs on “my world”…

    I could argue that I am asking for the same rights that you have. You have a belief system, whether you recognize it or not. You believe that there is no God. That is quite different from not believing in God. Agnostics do not believe in God. But they do not believe that there is no God, also. They refrain from believing anything. You DO have a belief. You BELIEVE that God does not exist. Your moniker confirms this.

    And you have been afforded the freedom to express your belief, by having prayer removed from schools. You get to express your beliefs, but I have been kept from expressing mine.

    I don’t want you to have to pray. I only want the same right that you have. The freedom to pray in school, the freedom to practice my religion, as you practice your belief.

    I could also argue that because you think my faith is ridiculous, that you think you are better than me. That you are smarter than me. That you know something that I don’t know and that this makes you somehow, more, than me.

    I just wanted to illustrate to you that you sound to us, the way you say that we sound to you.

    I could say all of those things, but they wouldn’t be true. I don’t think that you think you are better than me. I don’t think that you are a bigot that hates all catholics. I don’t think that you would like to enforce laws that forbid me from practicing my faith. But I could think it, by following the rules that you follow.

    Do you see what I am saying? You say we hate you, because we think that one behavior that you practice is immoral. You say we hate ALL homosexuals, because we hate the idea of same sex activity. You say that we are unfair, because you want the same right that we have and we won’t give it to you, and yet you have taken away our right to say prayer out loud in school…

    I don’t believe that you want to stop me from expressing my faith, PRIVATELY, but that you do draw the line at expressing it PUBLICLY. Which is exactly what we are saying, and yet we are called bigots.

    After all, we are not forcing you to pray. Where is the harm in our praying out loud in school? Will our prayer somehow threaten your atheism? What tangilbe, real, physical harm could possibly come from us saying a Hail Mary in class? How is this a threat to society.

    I suppose you’ll say that if I get to say my prayers, then what about those of other faiths. To which I’ll reply it is a red herring to bring up other faiths (just like it is a red herring to bring up the fact that other groups might want marriage rights), as we are only talking about my group, the Catholics, wanting to pray in school…but there is your slippery slope.

    Do you see?

    BTW, I’m sorry that you think I have been stringing you along. I have not. I have had to do a lot of thinking on this topic since we began our conversation 2 weeks ago. I had not really formed a well thought out argument as to why you should not be able to marry. It is because of this conversation that I am now able to voice my reasons.

    I did not start out with an strong opinion, but have formed it as I have listened to your side of the argument.

    Yes, my opinion has solidified, but I did not start out with it. You yourself stated way in the beginning that you had an ulterior motive for engaging in this debate. So to act surprised that I did not always hold the Catholic view, is to me, disingenuous on your part. I never claimed anything else. What I claimed was to be unfamiliar with both atheism and the homosexual point of view. And I was.

    I did not set out to change your view, but to clarify my own. I’ve said so from the start. You hate my faith, and have now admitted that you hate me because of it, while I do not hate you even tho you practice homosexuality.

    So who is the bigot? I’m really asking. How can I be a bigot, simply because I disagree with you? But you are not a bigot, when you hate an entire group of people because they belong to the Catholic Church? What is a bigot? Maybe I’m unclear on the definition, but disagreeing with certain behaviors is not what I thought bigotry was.

    I am opposed to recreational drug use also, but I don’t hate drug users. Does this make me a bigot also?

  341. mk
    January 18th, 2009 @ 2:55 pm

    Margaret Catherine,

    With mine? Very easily.

    Yes, but dang it, He always wins! (Between you and me, think His deck is stacked and His cards are marked! But He does give us a “handicap”…)

  342. Irreligious
    January 18th, 2009 @ 3:08 pm

    MK. get this straight: I don’t hate all Roman Catholics. Thankfully, I know that they don’t all think the way you do. And I don’t blame them for being so-called cafeteria Catholics, picking what good can be culled from the religion and tossing aside the putrid. There are Catholics like that out there and I don’t dislike them.

    I very specifically hate you. I hate Lily. I’m not proud of that. I don’t like feeling that way, but I’m also not going to deny what I feel. It’ll subside into something else less caustic in time. I hope so, because hate is corrosive.

    But I honestly don’t know how to deal with people like you and Lily. I hate the way you reason. To me, it’s entirely fucked up and wrong. You’ll never understand why I think that, because you argue from a position in which you are certain that a god is on your side. It’s why I have no real desire to keep talking to you. We would always be talking past each other, inching closer and closer to genuine hostility, and as Nina has already pointed out, that’s not healthy.

    Whatever it is you feel for the terrorists who seek to take away our freedoms is what I feel for you.

  343. mk
    January 18th, 2009 @ 4:34 pm

    When did this change in attitude take place? Seriously? What have I said or done that has evoked this “feeling” from you?

    You have the right to your feelings. Feelings truly are the one thing that are subjective and cannot be objective.
    There is no right or wrong there. But it is an act of the will that takes you from frustration to hate.

    I’m sorry. Really, really sorry, that this has happened. First, I never meant to cause you ANY bad feelings. Second, I know what you mean about hate being corrosive. It takes a lot of energy to keep up that level of emotion, so for your sake, I hope you mean you are just feeling really angry right now.

    I apologize if anything, anything at all, has felt like a personal affront to you. As I have said, I do not take your dislike of the Church personally, and it doesn’t anger me, or threaten me, or hurt me. But you aren’t me, and if my views have caused you pain, then I am sincerly, honestly and truly sorry. I didn’t see this coming. I would have stopped earlier if I had known that this was causing you pain. You’re right, we are arguing from different places. I am arguing from the brain, and you are arguing from the heart. Your emotions are involved, and I guess I just didn’t see that.

    Please, don’t waste any more time feeling bad. That would make me feel bad, and then we’d both be miserable.

    As for what I feel for the terrorists…well, I feel bad that they are confused and angry and yes, sure I am frightened by what that fear and anger might do.

    But I was sincere in trying to show you that you are guilty of the same thing you are accusing us of. The secular world does try to regulate where and how we are allowed to practice our faith. You might not be aware of it, because you are not of the faith, just as I am not aware of the depths of pain that society has forced on you, because I am not gay. We do not live in each others worlds and can only glimpse them through each others eyes.

    But ignorance is not the same as contempt. I wish you well, in ALL you do. I hope you find happiness, I hope you find love, I hope you find peace. I hope you don’t waste another minute of your time hating someone as insignificant as me. I’m just not worth it.

    Gosh, I wish I had realized sooner that our “debate” had taken this turn.

    All I can say again, is I’m sorry. I never meant to hurt you.

    MK

  344. Irreligious
    January 18th, 2009 @ 6:42 pm

    MK. when you patronize me by telling me that because you lack anger or visceral feelings that means you are thinking from your brain while I’m just full of emotion, it doesn’t help.

    I am fully aware of why I hate you. More precisely, why I hate what you stand for. I don’t personally know you, but I can see that you are just as capable as I am of being a superficially pleasant person.

    But I don’t have a religion that compels me to think I am above simple human emotions when I perceive that I am being treated unfairly, even in an exchange of hypothetical ideas. Yes, this very personal to me. Even though what we have been discussing is purely hypothetical, it stil translates into our own real world experiences.

    Understand. I really do accept– with resignation– that you have a right to your beliefs (that right is specifically encoded in the First Amendendment to the U.S. Constitution), even if I believe with all my intellectual brain power and emotions that they are dangerous if you are allowed to exercise them unfettered.

    You believe with all of your might and your own reasoning power that my specific aims discussed here in this thread will take something from you and by extension harm society in the aggregate. I guess if I am being honest, I feel exactly the same about your religion. I think some religious values need to be contained to those who wish to adhere to them and not be inflicted on innocent others in a non theocratic society.

    We’ve argued about this ad infinitum and there is no satisfactory resolution for either of us. It is useless to rehash it.

    You hate the sin, but you claim not to hate me. If you had to actually deal with me and my hypothetical male partner having access to the same legal marriage protections as you and your husband, liking me might be a real challenge for you. Maybe not, but that is what all of your posts seem to suggest to me.

    You’ll deny it, but you have, by my inference, compared me to polygamists, pedophiles and other assorted perceived perverts. If I am granted legal rights to what I ask for, naturally it lessens the argument for denying rights to these folks has been a part of your argument. Well, these are folks that I see as having nothing, whatsover, to do with me.

    I have directly compared you to the Islamic terrorists. That’s harsh, but not entirely egregious to me. What you appear to stand for to me is no different that what you may perceive about Osama bin Laden’s religious stance on the proper place for women if he had the power to enact his religious views into law here in the U.S. You may disagree with that analogy, but I’m telling what I see.

    Now, maybe you can pretend to have a measure of Agape for a person who holds views like his, but I can’t.

    Anyway, I see a tiny sliver of hope here. For whatever reason, you still want to engage me, and I can’t seem to stop from wanting you to understand me. But, ultimately, I still think that what I am after is a very fruitless endeavor, since I know where you stand and that you stand firm.

    I accept it, but please don’t ask me to like you for it or submit to it.

  345. mk
    January 18th, 2009 @ 7:38 pm

    Irr,

    Let me see if I can echo back to you what I think you are saying, and then see if I’m missing something, getting something wrong…you know?

    You are a good person. You live by a creed that says pretty much do what you want, but don’t hurt anyone. You happen to be attracted to other men. This is very personal to you.

    You are having a hard time believing that I could believe that you are doing something immoral and still like you.

    You also resent, that because I view your “behavior” as immoral, I am trying to stop you from having what I have. A loving relationship with another human being, that might or might not result in a family unit that contains children. You do not see this as a “harm” either to you, to me, to the children or to society. Therefore you do not understand why I care what you choose to do in your private life.

    You believe that my trying to stop you from having this relationship and calling it a marriage, is evidence that I hate you.

    You believe that I consider myself better than you and more deserving of this institution called marriage because I was created with different needs than you, and these needs make me somehow superior to you.

    You think that I view you vile, and akin to pedophiles, polygamists and other characters that you associate with immoral behavior. You resent being lumped into this group. You see this as more evidence that I hate you.

    You think that by trying to befriend you, I am actually trying to trap you. To prove that you are deviant and despicable. Because, underneath my phony facade, you think that I do think that.

    You say you hate me, but I think you are actually very, very frustrated, because you want me to understand that you are really the same as me, in dignity. You deserve the same things that I have, because while your choices might not be the same as mine, they are equally valid. They are no better, no worse, just different.

    You are just as capable of love, and goodness, and kindness. You are just as capable of honesty, and hard work. The only thing that makes you different is that you are attracted to men.

    When I say that I think you can’t get married because that is not what marriage is, it feels like I am saying that you are not good enough for marriage. You are not worthy of marriage. It feels like I’m saying that you are dirty, and ugly, and sinful.

    You wish that I and other Catholics could just understand. Could just have some compassion. Could just step outside of our small little, bigoted world and realize that we do not own “morality” and that our view is not the world’s view. It is certainly not your view.

    I think it actually saddens you that so much of world doesn’t “get” you. You probably feel cut off, and there is probably a whole lot of the world that you don’t have access too.

    Your greatest enemy is the Catholic Church because they are the last group that won’t accept you and admit that who you are is just as normal as who they are. They are the last vocal group, with the numbers and power to stop you from getting what you want, and because I am a Catholic (and a practicing one at that), I, by extension is also the enemy. And while the Germans and English might have been able to “pause” during world war II to have a football game on Christmas, you do not feel that you can do the same. To call a truce, is to admit defeat.
    To like me, is to concede that I can continue to think the way I do and you are okay with that. You cannot accept that I could accept your feelings about me and the Catholic Church because you don’t see how anyone could overcome what you perceive as hatred.

    Because of this, you feel that this conversation is fruitless because even if you can get me to understand your feelings you cannot get me to accept your lifestyle and feeling the way I do, is irreconcilable to friendship.

    Is that about right?

    And I am not being condescending nor am I trying to placate you. I want to make sure that I DO understand what you are saying, and I want to make sure that I am not inferring something you are not saying.

  346. Irreligious
    January 18th, 2009 @ 9:07 pm

    I’m not battling the Catholic church. You’re not the only Christians interjecting your religious beliefs into what I and others see as a purely legal matter. The Mormons played a bigger part and spent way more money than you guys did to defeat Prop 8.

    And I’m not pining for superficial friendships, MK. I have plenty of real ones. I don’t necessarily seek for you to accept my homosexuality the way I do. Am I gonna defend it when you attack it? Hell, yeah. But do I really care that you don’t get it or it skeeves Jesus? I don’t. That has never been the point of my disagreement with you and others here. I don’t want Christian chairty. All I seek is access to legal protections. I’m not interested in hearing from someone who is no more grown and adult than I am talk to me as if I’m a silly little boy asking to keep a giraffe as a house pet. You guys are not my parents and I’m not living in “your” country. We have to share this place.

    I am as unyielding as you are on where I stand. That’s where we are. We can’t pretend that that’s not a very real gulf between us. I can’t.

    Anyway, I’m out. Finally.

  347. FairyDust
    January 18th, 2009 @ 9:33 pm

    I understand this entire thread…

    I am Gay. I am very happy being Gay! The only difference you would see, if you met me on the street, would be NOT ONE THING. You would have to ask me if I was Gay before you could start hating me. When I go to bed at night, it should not concern anyone but my partner.

    I don’t want to speak for Irreligious, so I won’t, but I understand the NEED to have a partnership validated. There are legal issues, emotional issues, and there is love.

    I had to come out twice! Once as a Gay, and once as an Atheist. Two very hard things to understand for someone who has never had to ‘come out’ at all, ever! Being different is what we all are, in different aspects. Some are tall, some are overweight, some are Gay, some are straight. It’s the diversity that makes us great! Otherwise, we would all be the same and we would all be very boring.

    BTW, I am the happiest now in my life, then I was before I came out. Life is good! Don’t waste your time here Irreligious! I too am looking forward to marriage one day. Good luck to you!

  348. Louise
    January 18th, 2009 @ 9:39 pm

    Irreligious said:

    MK. get this straight: I don’t hate all Roman Catholics.

    Irreligious only hates Catholics (and presumably others) who think differently than him about “gay marriage” etc.

    He likes all the Catholics who agree with him on these matters.

    MK, Lily et al, no wonder “gay marriage” proponents are always accusing us of being hateful, for it is they who hate their opponents and they expect that we do the same.

    Not a lot we can do about that.

  349. Louise
    January 18th, 2009 @ 9:44 pm

    Irreligious said:

    All I seek is access to legal protections.

    And we will see to it that you get what you really do deserve as a right, but not anything else.

    And we do all have to share our culture, which is why Christians get to have as much of a say regarding laws etc as anyone else.

    Your wishing to impose your views into law is no different at all to me wishing to impose mine. That constitutes democracy.

  350. FairyDust
    January 18th, 2009 @ 9:49 pm

    It might be different if the sheep were not told by their elders, that they should indeed scorn the gays and the atheists. What would one expect from a sheep, which has been schooled to hate. Pardon my being straight forward, but this has been the rule rather than the exception. Walk into any church and announce to someone you are gay. I’m serious, give it a shot! Not your church and not in jest. Try the experiment. Walk into a new church that accepts new members and announce to someone, with sincerity, that you are gay. Then come back and let me know how that worked out for you! Never confess that it is only an experiment. Follow it through for at least one month. Then you may know what we go through all our lives. Scorned for no reason other than we are different, as all humans are! Bet you won’t even try, because you already know in your hearts what would happen!

  351. Lily
    January 18th, 2009 @ 9:58 pm

    In fairness to Irreligious, Louise, what we have been talking about is not something like, say, a difference of political opinion or a preference for chocolate over vanilla ice cream. Our sexual natures are very much part of who we are and even for Christian homosexuals, it is a struggle.

    Unfortunately, what Irreligious wants actually is akin to demanding to keep a giraffe as a housepet, as he put it. We have no choice but to say no and accept the consequences of his anger and hatred. I don’t like this outcome and wish it could be otherwise but it is what it is. I think we have something much better to offer and I hope that someday he will take us up on it.

    As far as I am concerned, the door is always open.

  352. Louise
    January 18th, 2009 @ 9:59 pm

    Irrelevant to the question of democracy, Fairy Dust. Secularists of all sexual orientations scorn Christians, so I don’t see why this is relevant to the question of laws etc.

    Now, there is no reason that any Christian *should* shun gay people, so I’m sorry that this happens. It’s not likely to happen with less frequency, however, if gays will insist on trying to undermine the social order by, for example, holding their repulsive gay marches with sex acts being committed in public and pushing for the leglisation of sex in public toilets etc.

    I was more sympathetic towards gays two decades ago than I am now and it’s entirely due to the public behaviour of gays and particularly gay activists.

  353. Louise
    January 18th, 2009 @ 10:03 pm

    Our sexual natures are very much part of who we are and even for Christian homosexuals, it is a struggle.

    I hear you, Lily, but I’m not saying he cannot love other men etc, I’m just saying he cannot force other people to believe that there is such a thing as “gay marriage” even if there can be genuine distributive justice for gays.

  354. Lily
    January 18th, 2009 @ 10:08 pm

    Fairy Dust, what exactly is the experiment you are trying to challenge us to? Are we 1) to go into a church and announce that we are gay and have no intention of practicing chastity like all other unmarried Christians try to? Or, 2) are we to announce that we are gay and would like to conform our lives to the Lord’s will?

    In the first instance, we are announcing that we are not sinners and do not need the healing that Christ offers. Why should the congregants do anything other than shrug in bewilderment? Why are we there, if not to be healed?

    In the second instance we will be embraced, welcomed and offered every sort of possible assistance.

    Which experiment do you have in mind?

  355. mk
    January 18th, 2009 @ 10:12 pm

    I was more sympathetic towards gays two decades ago than I am now and it’s entirely due to the public behaviour of gays and particularly gay activists.

    I admit that I find the public displays exhibited by some gays to be very offensive, BUT, I honestly don’t think (of course I don’t know) that most gays are not like that. I think that is a case of the squeaky wheel getting recognized. There is a situation at the Double Tree Inn in DC this weekend…really turns my stomach…but I think this is like the extremists in any group. I don’t want to be associated with Eric Rudolph because I am pro life, or the Westboro church because I am Christian.

    I think and hope that those in the gay community that think having sex in public is “normal” are not a good representation of the gay community as a whole.

    For the record, I would feel the same way if heterosexuals made a poster mocking the last supper with sex toys, or rode on floats wearing nothing but leather chaps…come to think of it, Mardi Gras and Las Vegas offend me too.

  356. mk
    January 18th, 2009 @ 10:15 pm

    Maybe we could try this….

    What if I said that I had decided to become an Atheist because I wanted to be accepted by the Atheist community.
    I was not going to stop believing in God, I was still going to belong to the Catholic Church and practice my faith, but I was going to be an atheist.

    This would mean that the definition of the word atheist would have to change. In order to accommodate my desire to call myself an atheist, we would have to make atheist mean something different than it does now, or I would have to change my behavior to fit the definition as it is.

  357. mk
    January 18th, 2009 @ 10:17 pm

    BTW, I didn’t mean that as insulting, I wasn’t being snarky.

    I’m just trying to show that it doesn’t really matter who is involved, the conversation is really about whether or not we can change the definition of a word, that the world already accepts to mean one thing, in order to accommodate a group of people that want it to mean something else.

    The focus is on the redefining of the word and not on Atheists or Catholics…

  358. Lily
    January 18th, 2009 @ 10:18 pm

    mk, totally off topic but did you mean to stop linking to your website? I never thought to bookmark it and now I can’t simply click on your name …

    Re the Double Tree Inn business. This is not the first time I have heard of horrors like that. It is hard for me take seriously the continued bleating of so many atheists that they are oppressed by Christian society when such horrors can take place with the blessing of the management of the hotel and with no outcry from the many who do know about it. Yeah, they are real oppressed aren’t they?

  359. mk
    January 18th, 2009 @ 10:22 pm

    2secondsfaster dot com…

    When I put my url in the fields above it sends my comments to spam…Bummer.

    Monday is book club day, so tomorrow there will be a post on Theology of the Body. There is so much to cover that we usually only do a page or two at a time. We started in November and we aren’t even on chapter 3 yet! lol.

    Then Tuesdays are apparition day. Except this Tuesday I will be going to the march so I probably won’t get one up…

    Anyone else going to the march?

  360. mk
    January 18th, 2009 @ 10:29 pm

    Lily,

    I think one of the things that IR doesn’t understand is that if it were totally up to our emotions, we’d (or at least I) would probably be swayed to his line of thinking.

    When I let my emotions come into play, it just about breaks my heart to see the pain that these guys go through. Every bone in my body wants to make it better.

    That’s why I brought up the house episode. I cried. It was so sad to see those two women in pain, and to know that they had so much to offer each other. Or to think of kids out there with special needs that would benefit so much from two stable adults in their lives.

    I think he just doesn’t understand that to us, sacrifice is part of the deal. For me, being gay and living a chaste life is a sacrifice that can be put to so much good. I have my own crosses and I’m so grateful that I get to do my share.

    My husband is reading a book on some saint (either Montefort, Kolbe or Assisi…he’s reading all three and I don’t know which one he told this story about)and the guys walks around all the time crying “MORE CROSSES…SEND ME MORE CROSSES!”

    To be fair, the whole idea of being grateful for our “trials” is foreign to those outside of the faith…

    We really are from different worlds.

    Sheen says “The tragedy in life is not that there is so much suffering. The tragedy is that so much of it is wasted”

  361. Lily
    January 18th, 2009 @ 10:49 pm

    You have expressed my feelings on the subject, exactly, mk. It is what I kept trying to express when I said that love and friendship are (in themselves) positive goods. I understand that perfectly and painfully well. How we express them does get into more complex areas.

  362. Irreligious
    January 19th, 2009 @ 12:39 pm

    Damn it, Louise!

    Louise, I hate you because you’re unfair, not because you disagree with me.

    I loathe you because you actually believe that your religion gives you the right to actively keep legal protections from me, ones that you already possess.

    I despise you because you then disingenuously turn around and tell me– a gay man– that I have the same rights as you and everybody else to marry someone of the opposite sex.

    I feel enmity towards you because you know that when I marry someone of the opposite sex, both she and I will suffer.

    I detest you because you think our needless suffering would be good.

    I am unable to abide you because, even though you have a loving mate, you honestly think I am not entitled one because I am gay.

    I can’t stand Lily because she pretends to have sympathy for my plight when she actually revels it.

    I have contempt for her because she hypocritically says marriage is not about ratifying couples’ romantic choices, then turns around in another thread and tells a touching story about how her prepubescent nephew became distraught when his parents stopped kissing each other, suggesting that even a 6 year-old knows why people marry.

    I am repulsed by how many times I have read a post from you, Lily, MK and Margaret Catherine in which each of you validates the other’s “feelings” on this topic (see the post above mine), but when I express my feelings, I’m accused of not thinking with my brain.

    I have many other reasons to hate you based on what I have read of your postings, and it’s not because you think gay sex is unnatural. Honestly, why would I want validation from someone I don’t respect? I don’t care what you think. I hate you because you think your beliefs give you the right to keep me from openly participating in society the same way you do. That, more than anything, is why I hate you and why I don’t hate all those other Catholics. Hell, most of them probably agree with you that gay sex is icky, but they don’t let that get in the way of adhering to a simple principle of fairness.

    But hate is not good thing, either when it’s naked like mine or deeply camoflauged, like your own. Still, I’m owning mine. I’d have way more respect for you all, if you actually owned and examined your own hatreds.

  363. Lily
    January 19th, 2009 @ 1:09 pm

    You would have more respect for me, Irreligious, if I lied and said I hated you?

    I’m sorry. I don’t hate you. I simply don’t. I understand why it would make you feel better, if I and the others did hate you. But I know how I feel and I am about as positive as it is humanly possible to be, that the others here don’t either.

    Marriage is a red herring. You already have the means to ensure that you and a partner will have all the legal protections of marriage, albeit with somewhat more trouble than you would if you had a marriage license. There is no impediment to your living with anyone you choose to live with right now, for as short or long a period as you like.

    What do you really want? Is it really obtainable?

  364. mk
    January 19th, 2009 @ 9:24 pm

    Irr,

    I’m assuming that you aren’t going to be answering me, as you answered Louise and Lily, but not me. In case you do tho, I won’t be able to answer until Saturday as I’ll be in DC. I just didn’t want you to think I was ignoring you…

    Peace out,
    MK

  365. Irreligious
    January 20th, 2009 @ 1:01 am

    Lily, do you really perceive yourself to be that above simple human emotion? The woman who, in another thread, couldn’t even bear to call our president by his first name, Barack Obama (because it wasn’t subversive enough), but had to snidely refer to him as “B. Hussein Obama?”

    Come on. You’re as human as I am, whoever you are posing behind that psuedonym Lily. We all hate, but it’s what we do with it that counts, how we channel it.

    Now, you don’t know “me.” All I can be to you is a poster named Irreligious. Maybe you don’t hate “him,” but all one need do is read your copious posts to see that you don’t like “the gays.” I don’t mean individual gay people. I mean gay people in the aggregate.

    I told you, MK and Louise the truth. It was harsh and not at all nice. The truth is, I don’t like the poster named Lily. Ninety percent of the views that she expresses are just plain vile to me. I don’t merely disagree with those opinions, I find them practically untenable. The woman behind the pseudonym posting those opinions? I don’t know her, but I do have some insight into her character. I don’t like it.

    The people behind these screen names? We’ve never met and probably never will. Even if we did by chance, it is very unlikely that we would ever engage each the way we do here, so that might not be a barrier to us exchanging pleasantries. I don’t know but, for some reason, I’ve always imagined the three-dimensional “you” had a beautiful garden. I love gardening. Maybe we’d focus on that and never know what mutually hideous things we actually harbored underneath the pleasantries.

  366. mk
    January 20th, 2009 @ 6:34 am

    Irr,

    OHHHH, I love gardening…flowers that is. Don’t do edibles. And dogs. I adore dogs. Collies are my favorite. And camping. Camping anywhere, but especially the Smokey Mountains. And Dean Koontz. And traveling. Especially if I get to camp. And Irish Music. LOVE Christy Moore and Dougie McLean. And William Adolphe Bouguereau. L’Innocence is my favorite painting in the world. And Monk and Psych. Good times, good times.

  367. lily
    January 20th, 2009 @ 7:58 am

    I have long since tired of this “conversation”, so if you want to have the last word (or many more, since mk seems game) that is up to you.

    You have no insight into me at all. You are completely focussed on yourself. The opinions I express and have always expressed are mainstream Christianity. You don’t like it? I am sorry for it but that is completely up to you.

    I don’t hate anyone in the aggregate. Hate is an all-consuming emotion and my energies are better directed elsewhere. Your need to demonize me may be one of the the hideous things hidden below your surface; hatred of anyone is not hiding below mine.

    This sort of armchair psychology may amuse and distract you from the core issues but it is silly and unproductive. I will leave you to it.

    Again, I ask and, like last time, it is a rhetorical question– What do you want? Is it really obtainable?

  368. Irreligious
    January 20th, 2009 @ 11:34 am

    Yes, what I want is obtainable, Lily. Of course it is, just like emancipation for black people was obtained and universal suffrage for women was obtained with time an tempered attitudes. But it won’t happen easily. I know that.

    And, yes, hate is an all-consuming emotion. That’s why I said that I don’t like it in myself and why I asked you to acknowledge yours. Instead, as usual, your shit don’t stink, according to you.

    The fact that your attitudes are supposed to be Christian does not make them beyond reproach. You think others are demonizing you when they tell you what they really think of you and your attitudes. But in your fucked-up logic, you’ret being benevolent when you do the same thing.

    No one can penetrate that kind of bullshit, Lily. So, yeah, it is a waste of time talking to you.

  369. mk
    January 20th, 2009 @ 12:49 pm

    In all fairness Irr,

    I truly don’t think Lily hates homosexuals. I know you can’t understand this. You’re coming from a different place. Maybe there are posts of Lilys that I have missed, but from what I’ve read, I really don’t “hear” that underlying hate.

    The closest things I come to hating are Obama and the Clintons. I can admit that, and I too don’t like the way it makes me feel about myself. But what I feel about homosexuals doesn’t even come close to that. Not in the same ball park, not on the same planet.

    I wish, with all my heart, that there was a way to help you understand where we are coming from. I don’t even hate the sin of homosexuality, tho I probably should. But having been “there” I understand all too well the pull that sex has on a person. It’s all tied up in “love” and pleasure and emotions…it’s hard to separate the “act” from the person. But we do. It’s as simple as that. We simply separate the act from the person. Two different things.

    It pains me to see you angry. I don’t hate the act of homosexuality, but I HATE, HATE, HATE the act of abortion. Yet, I am able to separate the women who have them from the act itself. I don’t hate these women. My heart breaks for them, their children, and the world, but I don’t hate them. It’s the same for all types of sex outside of marriage. Be it sex before marriage, or sex with someone that you aren’t married too. If they wanted to call “living” together with someone “marriage” I’d object to that too. I don’t like common law marriage as the “committment” hasn’t been made. I have to accept that it exists, just as I may one day have to accept that same sex marriage exists, but I will neither hate same sex couples, nor common law couples.

    There truly are things that I come close to hating, but homosexuals just isn’t one of them. I promise, I’d admit it if it were true. If for nothing else, than to give you peace of mind. But I just can’t do it, cuz it ain’t true.

  370. Irreligious
    January 20th, 2009 @ 2:19 pm

    MK, I don’t want you to think that I am egregiously ignoring you. I can see that you are a person who has a low tolerance for conflict. In some ways that is admirable. Conflict can lead to some ugly things.

    Generally, I’m not fond of conflict, either, but I am also incapable of ignoring a rampaging elephant in the room. It’s there. We can’t sing “kumbaya” to it and hope that it falls asleep.

    I could continue to exchange inanities with you and somewhere down the road find out that we both love rocky road ice cream. But even that won’t quell the elephant’s rampaging terror. We do that kind of shit in the nonvirtual world because we have to. We’d probably kill each other if we didn’t.

    But I don’t have a lot of patience for indulging fake pleasantries over the Internet. It’s pointless.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think you’re evil incarnate, nor do I perceive myself as the epitome of virtue. Honestly, it ain’t like that. I’m sure there are are good things about you. You might perceive something good in me, too.

    For the purposes of ending this conversation on a superficially uncontentious note, can we both agree on that?

  371. mk
    January 20th, 2009 @ 2:27 pm

    Irr,

    For the purposes of ending this conversation on a superficially uncontentious note, can we both agree on that?

    Sure. I was just trying to change the subject as I assume you post here regularly. We may not continue this exchange, but surely, other topics will come up and I’d like to be able to discuss other stuff with you, if that’s okay…hence, the “chit-chat”…

  372. Irreligious
    January 20th, 2009 @ 2:42 pm

    You didn’t ask, but my advice to you is to get out and try to get to know a real live gay person. Try as best you can to let it go beyond the superficial. Get to know him or her. It probably won’t change your view, but it might soften it.

    For my part, remember that nun I told you about? I’m going to start working with her next month. That’s right, in the belly of the beast, baby! :lol:

    Peace, MK.

  373. Brian Walden
    January 20th, 2009 @ 3:25 pm

    Irreligious,

    I know your post wasn’t directed at me but I know “a real live gay person,” a couple in fact. When my then girlfriend (now wife) moved to the city we’re in now she met the college roommate of one of her friends from high school and became friends. Eventually I moved down here and he met a boyfriend who he began living with. We’d get together with them about once a month for well over three years. We invited them to our wedding (only one other couple who we had met in the city we’re living in was invited) and even helped them move across town. Anyway, they recently moved across the country.

    At the same time I have many heterosexual friends and family members who commit sexual sins. I commit sexual sins. I don’t hate them or myself, but at the same time I don’t change my opinion of what I think is sinful because they or I have a weakness toward any particular sin. Why would you expect me to treat someone who is gay any differently than someone who isn’t?

  374. Irreligious
    January 20th, 2009 @ 3:38 pm

    We’ve been through this already, Brian Walden. I don’t care about your thoughts on gay people or how many of them are good friends of yours. I have good friends who are Catholic. I don’t hate them, either. That’s not the point.

    If you can read through this entire thread and still not understand where I’m coming from, repeating myself ain’t going to make it any clearer.

    From your perspective, gay people are sinning. I get that. You conveniently forget, I am an atheist. I don’t believe in sin. I believe people can engage good or bad ethics. That’s where the crux of our disagreement lies. But please, let’s not rehash it.

  375. mk
    January 20th, 2009 @ 4:05 pm

    Irr,

    I have to laugh…how does one go about “befriending a gay person”? I keep picturing myself going up to someone and saying, are you gay, you wanna be friends cuz I have this homework assignment… ;)

    But I will be open if the situation arises, I promise. I don’t know how much more I can soften tho, since other than the marriage issue, I wouldn’t really be thinking about their “gayness”. And as I said, the marriage/relationship issue does pain me. I can’t imagine what it would be like to look into the future and know that it didn’t hold any physical “intimacy”. I might feel just like you do. I do have the one friend and we have talked alot about the churches teachings. He doesn’t see it like you tho. For one thing he is a believer, for another he is an addict. Being a part of “the program” he has had to accept a “higher power” and I think he has a better tolerance for the “religious” part.

    Actually, it seems our differences (yours and mine) stem more from the atheist, than the homosexual, viewpoints. If you don’t believe in sin, it would make perfect sense that what we are talking about is much more personal from where you are sitting. It probably sounds really strange to say that something is a “sin” objectively. Reading what you wrote to Brian was an “AHA” moment for me. Hmmmmmm…

    Anywho, I do hope we can still talk about other stuff. Heck, we haven’t even touched the abortion issue! ;) ;) ;)

    I’ll try really hard to stay away from the gay issue. Scouts honor.

  376. Brian Walden
    January 20th, 2009 @ 4:14 pm

    Irreligious,

    What is your point then? It sounds like, at best, you’re saying people who find homosexual acts to be “bad ethics” have superficial ill feelings toward gay people that would go away if only they knew a few of them personally.

    I also have no point of rehashing this conversation, but your assertion is meaningless unless you’re assuming everyone who opposes homosexual acts carries a bias against gays. I don’t get it. In my experiences, people in their 20s and younger (at least where I grew up) generally aren’t biased against race or sexual preference or religion or any of the traditional biases of old. Yet it’s the older generations, the ones who are supposed to be leading the charge against discrimination who accuse everyone of being discriminatory. They harbor so much hatred for the way they’ve been treated or guilt for the way they’ve treated others that they see it in every issue and everyone, even when it’s not there. You did well, you raised the younger generations not to hate. Please find a way to let it go before it consumes you.

  377. Irreligious
    January 21st, 2009 @ 2:12 am

    MK, it was just advice. If it seems silly to you, ignore it, especially if you took it to mean that I was advising you to befriend a drug-addled, self-loathing gay man.

    And I’d sooner eat a live fetus than discuss abortion with you, you scamp ;)

    Brian Walden, what it sounds to you like I said is not even remotely close to what I said. But it doesn’t matter, because we don’t really speak the same language, you and I. That’s why I’m going to take your advice and let it go. Being consumed by what you think and how you think or why you think what you think is dumb, indeed. I have been chastened by this experience.

  378. UnspeakablyViolentJane
    January 23rd, 2009 @ 9:02 am

    Looks like Christians are not of one mind on the Gay issue. Here is a Priest and a Minister saying that being Gay is a gift from God.

    So, back to the discussion about relative morality. Brian? Brian?

  379. Lily
    January 23rd, 2009 @ 10:35 am

    There have always been wolves in sheep’s clothing. That is not new.

    Ed Bacon is an Episcopalian priest and that church has been torn apart by the issue of homosexuality. Most of the orthodox believers have split from the Episcopal Church (the corporation) and have joined up with the “Southern Cone”, that is, they are overseen by African Episcopalian bishops (orthodox Christianity is vibrant in Episcopalian Africa).

    I didn’t wait to see who the other guy is. It doesn’t matter. Their morality is obviously relative. That of the believing church is not.

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