So, has anything been happening lately?
Well, the Supreme Court got a big one right. Marriage equality is now the law of the land, which is a very good thing. There will be pockets of resistance for a while to come, but mostly this news has been met with the yawn it deserves. Of course gay people should have their marriages recognized by the state. Most people have figured that out by now. You can find the text of the decision and the dissents here.
The legal argument seems pretty straightforward to me. Writing at The New Republic, Brian Beutler spells it out:
As both a moral and legal issue, arguing for marriage equality (or, equivalently, for government neutrality on marriage) should be fairly easy: States and the federal government recognize a contractual situation called marriage, and through that recognition flows vague public sanction, manifest through real, tangible, legal preferences. The best constitutional argument for same-sex marriage is that the state can't deny those benefits—conceptual or concrete—to gays and lesbians on the basis of their sexual orientation, or only bequeath them to gays and lesbians who are willing to enter into marriage contracts with people of the opposite sex whom they don’t truly love.
Beutler is very critical of Justice Kennedy for not saying this more clearly in his decision, but I think this is unfair. I suspect Kennedy considered it too obvious to need explicit spelling out. Instead Kennedy spent a large part of his decision arguing, compellingly, that the various state interests promoted by recognizing marriages apply with equal strength to gay couples, and therefore there is no rational reason for this discrimination to exist. Even Justice Roberts, in his dissent, seemed to agree with the basic premise of the equal protection argument. He balked at changing the definition of marriage, but seemed to suggest that a “separate, but equal” framework would suffice to grant homosexual couples the legal benefits of marriage.
Scalia, for his part, went full crazy.
When the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868, every State limited marriage to one man and one woman, and no one doubted the constitutionality of doing so. That resolves these cases. When it comes to determining the meaning of a vague constitutional provision--such as “due process of law” or “equal protection of the laws” it is unquestionable that the People who ratified that provision did not understand it to prohibit a practice that remained both universal and uncontroversial in the years after ratification.
Such is the insanity of originalism, the legal philosophy which holds that the only thing that matters in legal reasoning is the intent of the people who ratified the statute in question. Apparently the job of a judge is to psychoanalyze people who lived in an entirely different era, pretending that they spoke with one voice and carefully considered all the different situations to which their statute might someday be applied. Original intent is very important, but so is the history that unfolded after the statute passed and the practical effects of different interpretations. There is no question that the ratifiers of the fourteenth amendment, along with most people for close to a century afterward, had no problem with the notion of segregated schools. On originalist grounds, Brown v. Board of Ed was wrongly decided. That is enough to show that originalism is inadequate as a legal philosophy. (Scalia has tied himself in knots trying to evade this simple point, but his various arguments are not successful).
Anyway, this sort of thing is mostly just for law school bull sessions. No one cares about the minutiae of legal argument. It has been wisely said that courts produce not justice but finality, and that is the case here. Marriage equality is now the law, like it or not.
I went browsing around some of the right-wing blogs to see how they would react. Most of them admitted defeat on this issue a long time ago, so it was anti-climactic when the Supremes finally weighed in. But if you're in the mood for a bit of schadenfreude I invite you to consider Edward Feser's take on this subject. Bizarrely, he seems to think the Court was adjudicating a question in metaphysics. According to him, believing that marriage rights should extend to homosexuals places you entirely outside the bounds of rational discourse. He argues that defending same-sex marriage is like defending the reality of the matrix:
So, the skeptic's position is ultimately incoherent. But rhetorically he has an advantage. With every move you try to make, he can simply refuse to concede the assumptions you need in order to make it, leaving you constantly scrambling to find new footing. He will in the process be undermining his own position too, because his skepticism is so radical it takes down everything, including what he needs in order to make his position intelligible. But it will be harder to see this at first, because he is playing offense and you are playing defense. It falsely seems that you are the one making all the controversial assumptions whereas he is assuming nothing. Hence, while your position is in fact rationally superior, it is the skeptic's position that will, perversely, appear to be rationally superior. People bizarrely give him the benefit of the doubt and put the burden of proof on you.
This, I submit, is the situation defenders of traditional sexual morality are in vis-à-vis the proponents of “same-sex marriage.” The liberal position is a kind of radical skepticism, a calling into question of something that has always been part of common sense, viz. that marriage is inherently heterosexual. Like belief in the reality of the external world -- or in the reality of the past, or the reality of other minds, or the reality of change, or any other part of common sense that philosophical skeptics have challenged -- what makes the claim in question hard to justify is not that it is unreasonable, but, on the contrary, that it has always been regarded as a paradigm of reasonableness. Belief in the external world (or the past, or other minds, or change, etc.) has always been regarded as partially constitutive of rationality. Hence, when some philosophical skeptic challenges it precisely in the name of rationality, the average person doesn’t know what to make of the challenge. Disoriented, he responds with arguments that seem superficial, question-begging, dogmatic, or otherwise unimpressive. Similarly, heterosexuality has always been regarded as constitutive of marriage. Hence, when someone proposes that there can be such a thing as same-sex marriage, the average person is, in this case too, disoriented, and responds with arguments that appear similarly unimpressive.
Really, go read the whole thing. I especially like the part where he claims that this issue is so subtle and complex that only traditional natural law theorists can think clearly about it. When you get to that part you'll really see what I mean about schadenfreude.
I'm afraid I don't see anything incoherent in the notion that homosexual couples should be granted the same rights as heterosexual couples. Nor do I see how I'm making grand, metaphysical assumptions in noting, following Kennedy, that the state interests promoted by marriage apply just as much to homosexual as to heterosexual couples. For that matter, I would think that you could accept all of Feser's claims about natural law and sexual morality and still think that the law should recognize homosexual unions.
In short, while Feser's doing metaphysics the rest of us are just happy that a great social injustice has been rectified. The case against gay marriage collapsed so quickly because there was never really any serious case in the first place. People needed to have their eyes opened to the harm that was done by denying marriage rights to homosexual couples, just as a previous era needed to have its eyes opened to the absurdity of “separate, but equal” in education. That took some time because it is, indeed, a major break from tradition. But once the shock wore off the moral and practical rightness of gay marriage quickly came to seem obvious to most people. This is very good news, and it is entirely acceptable to smile at the moans coming from the dinosaurs sinking in the tar pits.
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I think, too, a lot of the opposition to gay marriage comes from lack of familiarity with actual homosexual couples. It was fairly uncommon at one time for homosexual couples in many places to openly live together and act as a couple. Of course, this was a rational decision since open homosexuals at one time faced rampant discrimination and even physical violence. It does seem, however, that toleration for open homosexuality began to increase near the turn of the millennium and homosexuals certainly faced a reduced threat of hate crimes and possibly less discrimination. Therefore, it became more the norm for homosexuals to live together as couples.
Just speaking personally, I really hadn't considered the issue of gay marriage to be a particularly important one for a fairly long period of my adult life. I didn't really feel strongly one way or another, but if you had asked me in 1999 or so, I probably would not have wanted to change the definition of marriage. However, the house next door to us was purchased by an openly gay couple in 2003. Since then, I have personally come to realize that there is no inherent difference between gay couples and straight ones. We all face the same challenges in making a life together. Intellectually, of course, I knew that, but the real turning point for me had to wait until I actually became familiar with a real life gay couple. Once I did, any opposition, which as I said was weak to begin with, that I may have had toward gay marriage evaporated. I do think that experiences like mine may well have played a role in the rapid acceptance of gay marriage among the general population as well.
Sounds like he stole the argument from Socrates’ critics.
“Socrates does wrong and is too concerned with inquiring about what’s in the heavens and below the earth and to make the weaker argument appear to be the stronger and to teach these same things to others.”
Another big-but-anti-climactic ruling was the support for state (health care) subsidies. Since this ruling supported the status quo, it didn't really do anything, but a ruling in the other direction would've had a big impact. I imagine that not just democrats but quite a few republican congresscritters also breathed a sigh of relief when SCOTUS issued that one.
Sean T: Mark Twain had something (actually a few things) to say about that. "..nothing so liberalizes a man and expands the kindly instincts that nature put in him as travel and contact with many kinds of people."
People are people - it is time to start treating everyone as equals. I was just in SC when the flag came down from the state capitol and took a fantastic "Gullah Tour" with Alphonso Brown through Charleston. The history of inequality is worth investigating.
Perhaps one reason some people are so opposed is they now have to face a choice - they can actually leave their lie of a heterosexual marriage.....
I agree with others who argued we need only consider gender bias which is settled law. If Bob wishes to marry Lisa, the government will recognize it. If Bob wishes to marry Bill, the state until now would refuse to recognize the union, simply on the basis of Bill's sex.
I don't think "too obvious to need explicit spelling out" is very satisfying. These decisions set precedent, after all. Furthermore, there are a multiple distinct arguments that could be used in favor of same-sex marriage, including the right to marriage argument and the equal protection argument. To the extent that Kennedy was expressing any argument, it was the right to marriage argument, which is bad for people hoping for equal protection.
Re: Feser. Isn't part of the purpose of philosophy to take natural language ideas and break down what they really mean? I think Feser an extraordinarily poor philosopher if he considers the phrase "same-sex marriage" and decides it just doesn't mean anything.
When the Second Amendment was ratified, the only available personal flrearms were single-shot muzzle-loading flintlocks. Such is the silliness of dogmatic originalism.
From the link:
This is something of an own goal, since Feser's analogy would support the conclusion "if that were the case, then as long as the activity didn't cause harm, it should be legal." If that were the case, then it would be fine for private corporations to cater to those consumers. For them to put such consumers in advertisements. For cake bakers to make Imagine the Matrix cakes and photographers to offer to photograph Imagine the Matrix parties. Whether the pro-imaginers and anti-imaginers called each other names would be irrelevant to the legal question or even the free market service offering question.
I also liked this one:
If I looked around and found out that only the stupid people and me thought X, then I would take that as a pretty good reason for me to rethink X. Just sayin'.
@7: the supporters of the 14th also swore up and down that it did not undermine or nullify state bans on interracial marriage. So the anti-SSM folks who cite originalism should be calling for the repeal of Loving too, on the exact same grounds. But they won't. Well, caveat, I wouldn't put it past Scalia to do that, but most other people won't.
Be honest -- does it really matter to you what science says about the origin of same-sex orientation? Is there anything that science could discover that would make you change your views?
Clarence Thomas might have a bit of a problem with that!
This is going to come as a big surprise to the history of philosophy.
"When the Second Amendment was ratified, the only available personal flrearms were single-shot muzzle-loading flintlocks. Such is the silliness of dogmatic originalism."
The object of the game is for the governed to be on equal footing with the governors.
SSM puts the minority governed on equal footing with the majority governors. As did protections of interracial marriage a generation ago.
Here’s a hypothesis:
The story is laughable that homosexuals were seeking marriage equality;
It’s a joke that they so valued marriage - an institution probably unequalled in terms of longevity and tradition and traditional moral values – that they just had to have some. Yum!;
The primary, and perhaps only, reason they sought recognition of their “marriages” was, ultimately, to destroy marriage and everything it stands for;
Gays seek not marriage equality, but rather marriage dissolution.
"SSM puts the minority governed on equal footing with the majority governors. As did protections of interracial marriage a generation ago."
Yeah. It looks like pederasty will have to be the new fad. We don't wan't anyone left out in the societal cold.
Jason, I just want to say that you attract some pretty scary/creepy creationists, e.g. #15 & 16.
Well, I'm surprised John. When you lose track of what is normal, nothing should be scary or creepy. I hope you're not harboring a big pile of prissy Victorian bigotry towards people whose love interests and orientation extends to children, or even animals or dead bodies. Equality Johnny....we can't leave anyone behind just because we don't share their impulses.
More annoying/amusing than scary/creepy. Incidentally, thanks for the bird ident. on the previous post.
SN @15: we don't have to hypothesize, we have data. The Netherlands, Belgium, Massachusetts, Canada, and Mexico have all had gay marriage for over 10 years. There doesn't seem to be any negative impact on their economies, on their prosperity, standard of life, etc...
Phil, is it that you don't understand the concept of informed consent as a basis for marriage law, or is it that you understand but choose to ignore that concept? Because 'informed consent' is what (quite easily) distinguishes SSM from every one of your examples.
Absolutely correct. Informed consent prevents us from legalizing things like bestiality, necrophilia and pedophilia. Phil might have had a stronger argument had he raised the issue of polygamy, since it's perfectly possible for multiple adults to give informed consent to a polygamous marriage. I know polygamy is not widely accepted socially, but I could see it being justified by a legal argument similar to the SSM one. I don't know that such an argument would succeed since society is so generally opposed to the concept of polygamy, but the same could be said for SSM at one time, so you never know.
They're scary/creepy if you either a) try to imagine what's going on inside their heads or b) think about how many people there are just like them.
Re Phil @ #16
Shorter Phil: anal sex is icky.
A funny comic today - so relevant to our two ignorant authoritarians....
This is all about authoritarianism - allowing individuals to make choices different than my choices is anathema. They believe that everyone will run wild - it will be chaos and anarchy - if my God doesn't exist and doesn't tell me what to do. Every day there is a new right-wing oped wanting to roll us back to some time in the past - pre civil rights, pre-women's rights, pre-science, etc. If Adam and Eve hadn't eaten that damn apple - we could be in ignorant bliss all the time.
Even Shorter Phil (and sn): all the people who aren't like us in sexual preference, religion, or race, are icky.
I’ll ignore all the foolishness that precede this and just add my happiness at this very correct ruling by SCOTUS. It’ was long overdue and will harm no one and nothing.
Nice post, Jason. One thing we need to work on as a society is that our schools still operate under de facto separate-but-equal circumstances, with all the predictable negative consequences.
I grew up in a very poor neighborhood and know what it's like to go to a school that has no air conditioning, cockroaches in every room, no bathroom stall doors or toilet paper, etc. The most embarrassing moment of my life happened during a standardized test in elementary school, when I couldn't hold my bowels through the school day as one had to do.
"God Bless America,
Land that I love
Stand beside her, and guide her
Through the night with the Light from above
From the mountains, to the praries,
to the oceans, white with foam,
God Bless America,
My home sweet home."
Dark opening to the 21st century with the forecast getting gloomier with every passing slap in the Light's face.
"Phil, is it that you don’t understand the concept of informed consent as a basis for marriage law, or is it that you understand but choose to ignore that concept? Because ‘informed consent’ is what (quite easily) distinguishes SSM from every one of your examples."
Well, that's the legal aspect, which is arbitrary at best as it about nothing more than a selected birthday.
The fact remains that the other several paraphile categories can only get under the umbrella if their numbers and behavior increase until the culture is sufficiently numbed. They can all still claim, like homosexuals, that they were born into their orientation. Pederasts can also point to the fact that their preference is acceptable behavior in some cultures, and only western prudishness stands between them and normalcy. I'm sure it will eventually catch on under the inclusiveness banner. What do you suppose they will pick for a flag? How much would you fine someone for refusing to bake NAMBLA cakes?
It really is scary that people as ignorant as phil exist.
Phil really doesn't understand consent, does he? I am sure he has problems understanding sexual harassment and rape too.
Lord knows his ability to understand science and history are impaired.
"It really is scary that people as ignorant as phil exist."
Yeah, but in your scumworks of a mind, Alfred Kinsey was doing 'research'. So I'm not surprised that anyone advocating normalcy is scary to you.
What Lord are you referring to Michael? Harry Hay, perhaps?
As I pointed out when you went in your earlier insane rant about kinsey, the first item you posted was completely false, and I didn't bother looking at your second one because, well, everything else you said had been shown to be a lie. That's when you accused me of racism, supporting child abuse and no end of other things your ignorant little mind came up with.
I'm sorry (for society) that people who are as ignorant and dishonest as you exist. It is a shame that you feel such a strong need to lie in your attempts to defend your religion, but them that's all there is for its defense. But takes a special level of scum to insinuate that people who don't agree with your small minded bigotry of endorsing sexual abuse. Each time you comment I become more amazed at how loathsome a person you are.
Thanks for pointing out Feser. I have read a few of his apologetics blog posts in the past and find him quite interesting. As with a few of the more colourful fringe schools of thought in my area of science, I get this through the looking glass into a bizarro alternative universe vibe from reading him.
It is like, yes, if you accept this premise that is totally, obviously, ridiculously unfounded, then the rest follows very logically, and you can build towering edifices of internally consistent ideas. But look... about that premise...
“That’s when you accused me of racism”
Oh, that’s not an accusation. That is an observable fact, well-illustrated by the reality that more black children are aborted in NYC than are born. You, and filth like you, are the people who targeted blacks, and used public funds to coerce them, and anyone else that you could corrupt, to acquire illiteracy, and your dog morals. You could not care less that bastard children are the statistical norm in black communities. And, because you care so much, I’m sure you are all in on the idea of using more public funds to pay to have their unwanted children snuffed. What a hero you is. Maybe when they are hungry, some of them will come and thank you personally for all the help, liberal massah white boy.
Have now fully read Feser's post, and ye gods, it is even worse than I thought it would be.
Argument 1: Everybody who isn't a deontologist and accepts teleology must be a nihilist. There are no other options. Consequentialism? Contractualism? Pragmatism? Rawl's Veil? What's all that? Never heard of it.
Argument 2: Because most people won't immediately have a good answer to radical solipsism, nobody should be expected to provide any argument in favour of 'common sense' notions ever, and especially not in favour of one man one woman marriage. Just leave all the hard thinking to the pros, and to be specific to one school of Medieval Catholic theology that is today synonymous with "a misguided and failed methodology for figuring stuff out".
And towards the end it gets ever more doomy and gloomy. [Proponents of marriage equality], though doomed, can do a hell of lot of damage in the meantime. What damage? That is what I never get. Because nothing else seems to be forthcoming, I can only assume that the damage here is happening at a very abstract level: allowing two people of the same sex to marry IS the calamitous event itself because it violates the (demonstrably false) idea that marriage is only for having children. Dramatically that is a bit of a let-down really.
To eric #20, Sean T #21:
Regarding the supposed impossibility of marriage to children, animals, dead bodies, etc. due to lack of supposed “informed consent”, I think Phil is probably on the right track in saying informed consent is only a “legal aspect, which is arbitrary at best as it about nothing more than a selected birthday.”
And the selected birthdays (or ages) keep getting younger in related contexts:
“A number of Seattle public middle and high schools now offer long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) to their students, free of charge and free of parental consent. Now students as young as sixth grade have ready access to taxpayer-funded birth control, without ever having to tell mom and dad.”
If a 12 year-old can legally get contraceptives from teacher without the parents knowing, why can’t a 12 year-old marry teacher? How about a precocious 10 year-old?
And who says informed consent is required?
The Constitution? The Bible?
They probably don’t, but even if they did, we don’t care about those formerly authoritative sources anymore anyway. Just ask those five Supreme Court justices.
For liberals, any number of things which used to contribute to ordering society and law - things such as maturity or common sense or tradition or even gender – have become so fluid/amorphous as to approach meaninglessness.
If you want to marry your Corvette, how dare anyone stop you. Who ever said its tailpipe was just for exhaust?
Phil will not be joining us any more.
A follow up to my last post:
“At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”
– Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, from the majority opinion for Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which strengthened abortion rights.
For these days, that pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?
By the way, I found this post by the blogger Libby Anne very illuminating on the question why some religious people can't understand (or don't want to accept) that their secular contemporaries can at the same time be in favour of SSM and against, say, bestiality.
Polygamy is the only really interesting issue here, but as some people have already pointed out, it was traditionally not a partnership as we understand marriage today but instead one man owning several women, so a rather asymmetric affair.
And of course, of all the bogeymen trotted out by the religious, concern about polygamy is the weirdest since it is actually endorsed by the bible.
True Tulse. When you hear the "biblical marriage" line trotted out it is difficult to help but wonder about the correct split between wives and concubines. Did king David have the correct ratio?
More seriosuly, it is impossible to understand how anyone can present the "now that thus is legal soon anything will be" stuff. This decision seems to have brought out the worst in the people on the fringes.
Age of marriage laws can be difficult because humans mature at different rates and yet when we build our laws we like bright lines that apply to everyone the exact same way. So this is a case of society trying to fit a distribution of maturity into a binary classification.. Doing that means there will always be misfits on either side of the line (younger people who are mature enough to give informed consent to marry; older people who are not). But that does not mean the line is arbitrary: we can still base the drawing of that line and how we treat hard legal cases based on empirical data of how people act at different ages, based on historical data as to the likely outcomes of our choice, and so on. And we can still develop nuanced law that tries to grapple with some of the most egregious misfits, like not applying statutory rape laws to teenagers of the same age and allowing some kids to emancipate themselves, if they demonstrate sufficient maturity to a court of law.
Furthermore, I would point out two things:
1). Two of Phil's three examples don't involve living humans at all, so these sort of difficulties don't arise. He's simply and IMO blatantly and obviously wrong to ignore informed consent in marriage law as it is applied to animals and objects.
2).However horrible you may think it is to base marriage laws on informed consent, this is far better than appealing to biblical marriage law, in which rape victims can be forced to marry their rapists and men essentially have the power to trade the women in their family as objects. Informed consent is a good principle that is sometimes difficult to apply, but in contrast, OT marriage law is horrible in principle.
You're mixing up two different issues; informed consent for marriage and a social desire to reduce accidental teen STD and pregnancy rates. AFAIK, no liberals are arguing that because some 12-year-olds are having sex they should be allowed to marry.
Ironically, the bible argues that. YOUR side argues that. But secularists and liberals don't argue that. That horrible outcome of preteens marrying that you so desperately want to prevent? You say there is a terrible fate that awaits society if we take source of morality X to its logical conclusion? I have news for you; when it comes to absurdly low age of marriage laws, X is the Old Testament, not the concept of informed consent.
Thanks for the link Alex. I didn't learn anything new but yeah you're right, that's a vey clear and helpful explanation of how people in the two groups may view the problem.
I would actually be interested in SN's feedback on whether he thinks Libby Anne is accurately portraying religious conservative thought, and if not, how he might portray it instead.
Instead of railing against secular governments, religious and non-religious alike should be thanking them for the freedom they afford. Religious conservatives like to rant about the lack of religion in state entities, but it is a rallying point only; they wouldn't want any prayers/theology in schools but their own. One only need read about life in the conservative LDS enclaves that still practice polygamy and patriarchy to see what life might have been like in some of those ancient tribes. Not pretty for females or males without power - throw in slavery and it is a fun fest.
To eric #43:
You’re missing my point.
You seem to be focusing on making the lines “brighter” and less arbitrary by using “empirical data of how people act at different ages, based on historical data as to the likely outcomes of our choice, and so on.”
My point is that any lines that do or did exist are becoming increasingly less bright and more arbitrary. See again Justice Kennedy’s quote above.
Anyway, what does the empirical and historical data show as to the likely outcomes of the choice to engage in the homosexual lifestyle?
How do gays compare to straights for rates of depression, suicide, sexually transmitted diseases, drug addiction?
Gay people suffer depression disproportionately, and by God we need to do everything we can to make sure they continue to suffer.
So, have you made any posts to any websites arguing that it is immoral and bad for society to let men with STDs get straight married? Have you made any posts demanding people in AA not be allowed to marry? No? Color me surprised. Let me guess; the only depressed people you think ought not be allowed to marry are gay depressed people. Straight depressed people - that's okay. Is that right?
I also think your argument fails because it mistakes the cart for the horse. Marriage comes a long time after orientation. It isn't going to cause orientation or any problem you think is associated with orientation.
Totally irrelevant to the issue of marriage equality.
If heterosexuals were not allowed to marry - what would be the consequences for the rates of the above? up or down?
Should we abolish marriage because some people cheat? because some marriages fail?
To eric #49:
Irrelevant, your honor.
YOU are the one making the argument that societal norms and laws, specifically marriage laws, are not arbitrary but are “based on empirical data of how people act at different ages, based on historical data as to the likely outcomes of our choice, and so on.”
So, I asked you the questions:
1) What does the empirical and historical data show as to the likely outcomes of the choice to engage in the homosexual lifestyle?
2) How do gays compare to straights for rates of depression, suicide, sexually transmitted diseases, drug addiction?
And you have not answered.
To Michael Fugate #50:
“If heterosexuals were not allowed to marry – what would be the consequences for the rates of the above? up or down?”
You almost make it sound as if marriage is desirable! As if it's a historical institution to be cherished.
But I don’t think this applies to gays.
I’ll add to what I said above in #15:
I predict that the number of gay “marriages” performed will steadily decrease; 2016’s count will be less than this year’s, and 2017 will be even lower.
S.N. of course also associates these with "belief" in evolution.
What has been conspicuously avoided elsewhere is whether he himself is even married in the first place.
Didn't answer the questions as usual.
SN reminds me of an uncle of mine who said, "we shouldn't let women take driver's ed until they can prove they drive as well as men." Where do you even start with that?
According to the CDC, the safest category in regards HIV infections is most likely a non-IDU FSF.
It shows lesbians are far less likely to contract AIDS and STDs than straight men and women or gay men.
So I guess lesbians should be allowed to marry but straights and gay men should not. Right?
Why not? Do you know their minds better than they do?
In the short term, you're right. That's because right now we have the equivalent of a 'backlog' of gays that want to get married (i.e., all the gays that would have gotten married over the last 50 years if they could have; now they will). As that backlog gets cleared, the rate will drop and then stabilize. This is what happened in the Netherlands and the rate there has stabilized at about 2% of all marriages. Which is fairly close to the estimated percent of gays in a population, which means that once gay marriage becomes a normal and accepted part of society, gays get married in about the same per capita numbers as straight people. Putting the lie to your somewhat insulting generalization quoted first in this post.
In case it wasn't clear from what others have posted, you are making a very serious error when you assert that homosexuality causes the problems that you point out. Correlation is not causation. Don't you think that the problems that are more common among homosexuals might just have something to do with the lack of acceptance that they have experienced, and in many cases continue to experience? Take depression, for example. Suppose you are a homosexual. You have lived your entire life, or at least your adult life, knowing this. You have not told your family because you think that they might not accept you if you do. Suppose now that you're talking to your parents and it's clear that something is wrong. They assure you that whatever it is, you can tell them and they won't be upset. You tell them that you're gay. They freak out and don't want to have anything to do with you anymore. Is it not natural that you'd be at least a little bit inclined toward depression if you experienced something like that?
I am not a homosexual, so I cannot claim to understand all the challenges that homosexuals face, but I can well imagine that scenarios like the one I just mentioned are probably not all that uncommon for homosexuals. I can well imagine how upsetting something like that would be. It's hardly fair, though, to blame someone's sexual orientation for the depression that a scenario like that would cause.
And what if gay men and lesbians were depressed and used drugs because they were not allowed to marry? That may sound flip, but certainly SN would argue for the felicitudes and stability provided by the married state. Married heterosexuals have a lower rate of depression and drug use than unmarried straight people. So actually, if SN is really worried about the poor gays who are suicidal and using drugs, then really SN should be advocating for same sex marriage as a way of alleviating these ills. (Indeed, SN presumably should be arguing that the real problem is merely being unmarried rather than gay, and that everyone should get married to avoid these problems.)
The number of heterosexual marriages has declined over the last half century or so as more couples have opted to just cohabitate rather than get married. What does this say about the value of heterosexual marriage?
Perhaps we should just respect the wishes of homosexuals. The data eric posted on gay marriage rates in the Netherlands shows that gays will marry at about the same rate as straights once things settle into an equilibrium. However, why should that even matter. Suppose that the vast majority of gays choose not to marry. Should that mean that the minority who want to marry should not be allowed to do so? Do we only believe in rights that the majority of people choose to exercise? I would guess that the majority of people will never actually exercise their right to petition the government for redress of grievances. Does that mean that this right should not exist? Suppose that the rate of gun ownership in the US drops to 10%. Should those last 10% be forced to give up their right to bear arms? I fail to see why the number of gays choosing to marry is at all relevant.
To Sean T #59:
“Don’t you think that the problems that are more common among homosexuals might just have something to do with the lack of acceptance that they have experienced, and in many cases continue to experience?”
I think gays’ higher incidence of depression, suicide, sexually transmitted diseases, drug addiction could at least partly be to a lack of acceptance of their lifestyle.
You might see similar results for those engaged in, say, pedophilia, necrophilia, atheism.
Religious believers more depressed than atheists: study.
You were saying...?
To Sean T #60:
“The number of heterosexual marriages has declined over the last half century or so as more couples have opted to just cohabitate rather than get married. What does this say about the value of heterosexual marriage?”
It could be saying one of at least several things:
1)If marriage is a bad thing, then couples are becoming progressively wiser in avoiding it.
2)If marriage is a good thing, then couples are becoming progressively stupider in avoiding it.
Perhaps we should just respect the wishes of the stupider.
So then, we agree. Lack of acceptance for their lifestyle is a very large factor in problems such as drug addiction and depression among homosexuals. It is not homosexuality, per se, causing such problems. (There have been societies where widespread acceptance of homosexuality was the norm and no such problems existed among homosexuals, BTW).
So then, being the compassionate Christian that you are, you should be looking for ways to help homosexuals avoid drug dependence and depression, right? Since the cause of the depression and addiction is the lack of acceptance of homosexuality by society, we should therefore then look to increase societal acceptance of homosexuality, correct? How do we do that? Well, I guess according to you we do that by preventing homosexuals from getting married! Treating homosexuals differently and in a second-class fashion; yeah, that ought to increase acceptance of homosexuals.
Or perhaps we should just allow everyone to do whatever the hell they want regarding marriage. What a novel concept, huh?
To Sean T #65:
“So then, we agree. Lack of acceptance for their lifestyle is a very large factor in problems such as drug addiction and depression among homosexuals. It is not homosexuality, per se, causing such problems.”
No, we do NOT agree.
You say “Lack of acceptance for their lifestyle IS a VERY LARGE factor in problems such as…”,
whereas I said “COULD at least PARTLY be to a lack of acceptance of their lifestyle.”
Perhaps the right question to ask is WHY the lack of acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle throughout virtually all of human history.
Oooh, oooh, can we then ask why the acceptance of slavery throughout virtually all of human history, including in the Biblical era by Yahweh's Chosen People?
Or should we instead decide that popular practice in history isn't always a good guide to current morality?
"Or perhaps we should just allow everyone to do whatever the hell they want regarding marriage. What a novel concept, huh?"
Yes, that would be the decent and intelligent approach. That's why it will never fly with the folks on the moral and intellectual fringe. I'm not sure how long it will take for the overt pushback, with the foolish "next we'll have people marrying cement block" type statements, to go away, but no matter how long it is it will be too long.
"Perhaps we should just respect the wishes of the stupider."
Since the group of "stupider" is inhabited by folks like you, the answer is easily stated: no.
Perhaps, SN, you should consult the writings of Aristotle (who, BTW was a VERY influential thinker in the development of Catholic theology) or Plato about why homosexuality has always been unaccepted. Oh, wait a minute...
I'm also guessing that homosexual men in ancient Greece did not report increased rates of depression or drug addiction.
I really suggest reading the following before making any more stupid and factually incorrect statements about homosexuality being almost universally condemned:
Just a few choice quotes:
The Bedamini people of New Guinea believe that semen is the main source of masculinity and strength. In consequence, the sharing of semen between men, particularly when there is an age gap, is seen as promoting growth throughout nature, while excessive heterosexual activities are seen as leading to decay and death.[
Like the cultures of many ancient civilizations, the Chinese had no concept of homosexuality and heterosexuality, and according to Louis Crompton, there are historical records that tacitly assumed bisexuality as the human norm in China. Many early Chinese emperors are speculated to have had homosexual relationships, accompanied by heterosexual ones.
It was considered natural for a man to be attracted to a beautiful young male, but the bodies of citizen youths were strictly off-limits. Acceptable male partners were slaves, male prostitutes, or others who lacked social standing (the infames). (Regarding Ancient Roman homosexuality)
In Ancient Greece homoerotic practices were widely present, and integrated into the religion, education, philosophy and military culture.
The article also points out that in certain societies, homosexuality was condemned. These were among the Ancient Hebrews, Rome after Christianity became the state religion, Medieval Europe, and Arabia (although only overt homosexuality is condemned; clandestine relationships are accepted).
It certainly seems that it is those who were culturally influenced by the Ancient Hebrews and their religious practice who are the ones condemning homosexuality. Much of the rest of the world historically seems to have had little problem with it.
Just because someone condemned or supported something in the past - or even now - doesn't necessarily make it right or wrong. Given what we know now, marriage equality makes sense.
To Sean T #71:
“I really suggest reading the following before making any more stupid and factually incorrect statements about homosexuality being almost universally condemned…”
So, you’re saying my statement - that the homosexual lifestyle has lacked acceptance throughout VIRTUALLY all of human history - is stupid and factually incorrect?
Do you also think it would be stupid and factually incorrect to say homosexual “marriage” has been non-existent in virtually all of human history?
To Sean T #69:
“Perhaps, SN, you should consult the writings of Aristotle (who, BTW was a VERY influential thinker in the development of Catholic theology)…”
Tonight I consulted some writings on Aristotle. Here’s one excerpt:
“The relationship between virtue and political order is, of course, par excellence, the subject of Aristotle’s works…
For Aristotle, the irreducible core of a polity is the family. Thus, Aristotle begins The Politics not with a single individual, but with a description of a man and a woman together in the family, without which the rest of society cannot exist. As he says in The Politics, “first of all, there must necessarily be a union or pairing of those who cannot exist without one another.” Later, he states that “husband and wife are alike essential parts of the family.” Without the family, there are no villages, which are associations of families, and without villages, there is no polis…
The state does not make marriage possible; marriage makes the state possible. Homosexual marriage would have struck Aristotle as an absurdity since you could not found a polity on its necessarily sterile relations. This is why the state has a legitimate interest in marriage, because, without it, it has no future…
A homosexual household would not make sense to Aristotle since it could not contain parents and all the generational relations that spring from them, which makes the polis possible. What did not make sense then still does not make sense now, and for the same reasons.”
To Michael Fugate #73:
“Just because someone condemned or supported something in the past – or even now – doesn’t necessarily make it right or wrong. Given what we know now, marriage equality makes sense.”
What do “we” know now that causes gay “marriage” to make sense?
(Your “we” certainly doesn’t include me.)
There’s been a lot of noise published on this topic. Let me clear up one point: legal recognition of same-sex marriage is justified by a number of facts:
1. Contrary to the claims of many, sexual orientation is determined by biology, it’s not a choice.
2. Because of #1; homosexuality and transsexuality (aka “transgenderism”) ARE NATURAL.
3. Since homosexuality and transsexuality cause no harm to third persons, there is no rational purpose to punitive or oppressive laws regarding either.
4. Marriage is regarded as a fundamental right belonging to all persons.
5. Religious liberty is regarded as a fundamental right belonging to all persons.
6. Equal protection of the laws is regarded as a fundamental right belonging to all persons.
7. Gays, lesbians, and transsexuals ARE PERSONS.
8. Fundamental rights cannot be denied or infringed without a legitimate governmental purpose.
9. Per #3, there is no legitimate governmental purpose for banning same-sex marriage.
10. THEREFORE Same-sex couples have the same right to marry as inter-faith couples, inter-racial couples, and different-sex couples.
Sean, your comment (and Michael's before you) are obvious to the intelligent person.
Locally (roughly the chunk of Michigan you get by drawing two lines from Grand Rapids, one west to Lake Michigan, the other south to the Indiana border), the extreme anti-same-sex marriage folks offer the following "argument" against same sex marriage hinges on what its opponents assert is the primary purpose of marriage: having children in order to continue a "civilized society". Because of this, before anyone is allowed to marry they should commit to having children. Since same sex couple can't reproduce "naturally" (their words), they should not be granted the right to marry. In response to the obvious comments about how this
a) What about people who don't want to have children? "There is no 100% assurance they won't have children."
b) What about people who are unable to have children due to medical reasons? "Same answer as 'a'"
c) What about people who marry when they are older, past child-bearing age? Answers vary here: possible special allowance, possible special category.
Luckily, even though this area is extremely conservative, this is not taken as a serious argument by the mainstream anti-same-sex marriage folk: they just want it banned because they find it icky (which seems to be the reason for most of the opposition). The interesting feature of this to me is that the proponents of the "marriage = children" idea are fighting against one "redefinition" of marriage (same-sex marriage) by proposing their own redefinition, and they aren't intelligent or honest enough to realize it.
As Justice Ginsberg pointed out in her takedown in the hearing, marriage has been defined and redefined many, many times. To claim that there has been one universal definition since Adam and Eve is a myth.
Michael yes. Whenever I hear the "one man one woman just like the bible" argument I want to ask how that worked for King David.
SN (paraphrasing Aristotle:
Christian conservatives in Oklahoma and Mississippi (and possibly other states) appear to disagree with you. You fundies obviously don't think the state is dependent on marriage given that some of you propose getting rid of marriage altogether.
To sean samis #77:
“1. Contrary to the claims of many, sexual orientation is determined by biology, it’s not a choice.”
That’s news to me.
I must have missed the scientific proof of gay biology.
Who won the Booby Prize or Nobel Prize for this discovery and confirmation?
To eric #81:
“SN (paraphrasing Aristotle:
The state does not make marriage possible; marriage makes the state possible.
Christian conservatives in Oklahoma and Mississippi (and possibly other states) appear to disagree with you.”
No, I’d say they do NOT appear to disagree with me or Aristotle.
“You fundies obviously don’t think the state is dependent on marriage given that some of you propose getting rid of marriage altogether.”
Who’s proposing getting rid of marriage altogether?
Didn't you click on the links?
To Tulse #83:
Me: “I must have missed the scientific proof of gay biology.”
You: “Be honest — does it really matter to you what science says about the origin of same-sex orientation? Is there anything that science could discover that would make you change your views?”
I’m interested in everything real science says about things in its proper purview.
I believe morality is outside of, and different from, biology; morality is more about choices, and not about genes.
But, Tulse, why haven’t you asked sean samis to be honest?
I'm not sure what that implies about your views on this topic -- so if it was determined that same-sex attraction was not a choice, but biologically determined, you'd be ok with it?
And Sam is welcome to answer the original question as well. My own position is that there are not biological facts that are relevant to this issue, since I don't think that homosexuality needs to be "excused" in some way, that is, I don't think it would otherwise be immoral if it weren't biologically determined. As long as others are not harmed, what consenting adults choose to do with their genitals, or any other body parts, for whatever reasons or causes, is fine by me.
To eric #85:
Me: “Who’s proposing getting rid of marriage altogether?”
You: “Didn’t you click on the links?”
Yes, I did.
I didn’t read the articles in their entirety but it seemed to me these folks were not proposing getting rid of marriage altogether. It seemed instead that they were proposing getting the state out of the marriage licensing business altogether. It seemed they were proposing protecting true marriage FROM the state.
And frankly, I think that would be the best solution for all concerned. Let the state manage the legal contract side, and let religions choose to sanctify such contracts or not as they choose.
Of course, religions in the US already have this freedom to pick which unions to sanctify, free of legal strictures from the government, so the only change here is that purely civil unions would not officially get called "marriage" by the government. But I would guess that the popular terminology would still apply the term "marriage" to such purely civil arrangements. And, of course, there are plenty of religions that don't object to same-sex marriage, and would perform official "marriage" ceremonies. So even this terminological solution wouldn't keep gays from being for-realz "married" according to this approach.
Regarding, “That’s news to me..”
Try to keep up.
I must have missed the scientific proof of gay biology.
I don’t believe there is such a thing as “gay biology”; there’s just biology or maybe human biology.
But sexual orientation is more a psychology thing than a biology thing anyway. Maybe that’s why you missed it; looking in all the wrong places.
I’d give you references, but we both know that’s pointless, and besides, there’s Google.
SN: as Tulse notes, religious organizations are already free to host ceremonies and declare people whatever they want - married to each other, married to God, married to corpses or dogs, King of Kings, grand Pooh-Bah, etc. Religions can ceremonially marry people at 2 years old if the want to. Such declarations don't have any force of law. Are you saying those sorts of arrangements is what Aristotle is talking about? Are you saying that's what you want all marriage to be about? Because that doesn't provide any of the sort of economic or legal stability that civil marriage does. It wouldn't prevent a spouse from suddenly leaving or not supporting their kid.
"True" marriage? How does one know which marriage is the "true" one?
As Justice Ginsberg pointed out the marriage of the past is not something most women and certainly no same-sex couple would want. It was based on gender roles - man dominant in all things - woman subservient in all things. I am sure in some male conservative fantasies that form of marriage creates orgasmic ejaculations, but it won't fly today.
Does anyone other than Scalia want to return to a time when a wife could not control property or even her own body - once married - rape and domestic abuse perfectly legal?
Yes. Direct quote: "...her body does belong to her husband." Also "Biblically speaking, there is no such thing as "marital rape."" (Scare quotes in the original.)
AIUI the Dominionist and Quiverfull movements endorse this sort of ideology. Thousands if not tens of thousands of people. Which is why it is so important for the courts to occasionally step up and point out that there can be no religious exceptions for civil rights, because giving them essentially eliminates civil rights.
"I didn’t read the articles in their entirety "
You are consistent in your laziness.
Why this article by Jason Rosenhouse?
And why 95 or more comments? (Yes, 17 are mine, but so what? Who cares what I think?)
You got what you want. It’s now the law of the land.
It’s a done deal.
So why are you spending ANY time here, and not fully elsewhere, on other vital topics?
@95: Why? I thought the first line of the post answered the 'why' question. Because its news.
Secondly, its not quite yet a done deal. The next president will very likely elect a Supreme Court justice or two, and we have several candidates campaigning that they will fight to overturn this. So I expect it will continue to be a simmering political issue until probably Spring or Summer 2016 when the primary season starts coming to an end.
Thirdly, this is Jason's blog. He gets to decide what to post on. You don't like his choices, you can suggest another topic you consider more vital, or simply not comment on the stuff you aren't interested in (remember: the scroll wheel is your friend), or start your own blog discussing what you consider to be the vital topics of the day. If you do the third, then hey, you even get to decide on your policy on how to handle commenter complaints that your choice of what to post on isn't vital enough.
Because people like you won't give up - you will fight this until the day you die. Scott Walker wants a state's right amendment - code word for discrimination. The confederate flag came down in SC this month, but it went up in response to civil rights legislation in the 60s - not to honor the Civil War dead.
The decision will not stop discrimination based on sexual orientation just as civil rights legislation did not stop discrimination based on race. It should have stopped in the 1860s with the passage of the 14th amendment, but it didn't.
The next phase is to protect people from religiously-based discrimination based on sexual orientation. Religious objections to this should mirror those already accorded those whose religion demands discrimination on the basis of race or gender.
Businesses should not have the right to discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. Securing that rule of law is next.
To eric #96:
Well, I guess then we can probably look forward to another 40 years or more of such gay “marriage” articles and commentary. Like with abortion.
"But once the shock wore off the moral and practical rightness of gay marriage quickly came to seem obvious to most people." 'Moral and practical rightness?!' According to whom? When did this occur? How? Morality regardless of what anyone says doesn't change. And if you say it does, I'll go ahead and put the burden of proof on you...prove it Friend. So WHO is deciding what is and is not moral?
Who decided same sex marriage is moral and practical? Did morality somehow evolve? Is this a new concept? I have gone ahead and officially named it for you. Ready? It's a good one. 'Evolutionary Morality,’ you call it that and I'll call it by its true name...adjusting reality to fit a behavior, instead of the other way around.
Maybe we'll get lucky and one day marriage between humans and animals or marriage between humans and random objects will suddenly become moral and practical. The thought of that is completely insane! I can see it now....'Jim, I know it’s been a few months since we've seen each other, but there's a reason for that. Jim...I'd like you to meet my wife...Bessie. Say hi Dear....Moo.' It maybe a little farfetched, but it could happen.
Before anyone attempts to refute my words in the above paragraph, please note that same sex marriage was considered wrong and unlawful 20 years ago....but today it is considered ‘moral and practical.’ Who is to say inter species marriage won't be voted into law in the near future? Don't those attracted to animals or inanimate objects need rights and equality under the law?
It would seem most likely that the next issue to arise will consist of marriage between a man and a man and a woman or vice-versa or marriage (three way marriage) or between an adult and a young child. All people that fall into those categories also require equality under the law. Thankfully, ‘Evolutionary Morality' has come into play...so they'll get their fair shot.
(In reference to 'Evolutionary Morality’: Just because I know someone will probably bring up something along the lines of this issue…I’ll use slavery as an example. Slavery at any period of time is morally wrong. The mindset that was or is held by a society, person or the reasoning used to justify it makes no difference because it’s morally WRONG and makes no difference how it is phrased…wrong is wrong. When slavery was abolished in the United States… it wasn’t suddenly deemed as wrong because morality somehow evolved and people saw the light. It was always morally wrong. )
So either polygamy is still acceptable to your god, or else all those Biblical patriarchs with their multiple wives were sinning. (And we won't even mention all the concubines...)
So you are saying the Bible is not a good source for "true" morality - good to know. If slavery were always morally wrong, why was it encouraged all throughout the Old and New Testaments? Woman as property is that moral?
To Tulse #102:
“So either polygamy is still acceptable to your god, or else all those Biblical patriarchs with their multiple wives were sinning. (And we won’t even mention all the concubines…)”
If you can find an Old Testament verse where God approves of or encourages polygamy I’d like to see it.
I don’t think God EVER found polygamy acceptable.
He didn’t explicitly reject it, He just allowed it. (Maybe He allowed it to teach heart-hardened men a hard lesson? I think the multiple-wives route usually resulted in turmoil and worse. Abram, Sarai, and Hagar come to mind.)
If polygamy was the intended way to go, why didn’t God create multiples of Eve for Adam?
And why does the commandment read “You shall not covet your neighbor's WIFE” (cf. Exodus 20:17), and NOT WIVES?
God ALLOWED polygamy for a time after the Fall. (He also allows, say, prostitution to occur, then and now.)
But from the beginning, before the Fall, it was not so (cf. Mat 19:8).
God progressively reveals His truth through time. By the time of Christ, polygamy was apparently non-existent in Judaism (Maybe they had learned their lesson on their own!), and we find Jesus saying ““Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female”, and said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”?”
Again, WIFE, NOT WIVES.
And speaking of male and female becoming one flesh, it’s worth noting here that Jesus didn’t say male and male or female and female becoming one flesh. While the Jews progressed over time in the acceptance of monogamy alone, there was no similar progression on acceptance of homosexuality. God had explicitly condemned homosexuality in the Old Testament, and He explicitly condemned it in the New (e.g. Mat 19:4-5; Romans 1:26-27). As Drew said, “Morality regardless of what anyone says doesn’t change.”
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” [Mat 24:35]
"7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul 8 And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom" (2 Sam. 12:7-8).
Why is there not a commandment explicitly banning polygamy? You say it was unacceptable to your god, and clearly it was a very widespread practice -- why didn't your god simply explicitly declare it was wrong when handing out the list? Why, if polygamy is so objectionable, is there not any place in the scripture of your religion that explicitly says "Men should not have more than one wife"?
And that gets us to a deeper conundrum, which is how you square
with any notion of immutable, eternal morality. Saying "this behaviour is wrong, but my god didn't tell us then" is pretty much indistinguishable from "this behaviour was ok back then, but is wrong now". Claiming that polygamy is both an abomination, but that your god didn't really worry over it until recently, seems like nothing more than special pleading because your scripture doesn't actually support your position.
Morality has to change a little based on new knowledge. Today it would be immoral to paint the walls of an apartment with lead paint based on what we know about the impact it has had. In retrospect we can say that purveyors and users of lead paint were tragically mistaken or ignorant about its safety, but it's hard to make the case that it was immoral. Moral claims that do not include the context of their application are ambiguous at best.
To Another Matt #104:
“Today it would be immoral to paint the walls of an apartment with lead paint based on what we know about the impact it has had. In retrospect we can say that purveyors and users of lead paint were tragically mistaken or ignorant about its safety…”
And today it would be EVEN MORE immoral to paint homosexual activity as OK based on what we know about the impact it has had with HIV/AIDS and higher rates of promiscuity, depression, suicide, drug addiction. In retrospect we can say that purveyors of homosexual activity were tragically mistaken or ignorant about its safety…etc.
This issue is a spiritual matter before it's a social or legal one, and it 's only worthy of celebration to those eager to suppress truth. The ruling is not "progress" - but just another welcomemat laid down for calamity and disorder. ??
It is impossible to take claims of morality seriously when they are based on legends celebrating mass murder, slavery, endorsement of rape, and treatment of women and children as less than animals, even though we know now those stories were written by men who were simply trying to maintain and justify their power.
It is also insulting to read someone like sn claim to care about morality when he represents those same opinions in the modern world.
That's possible. Though I tihnk its unlikely - there is already more support for SSM in the population than there is for unlimited right to choice, so i would guess this issue will be resolved faster. I think the left's comparisons to Loving are spot on: after a generation or so, opposition will shrink to the periphery and be seen as socially backwards and bigoted, but it won't disappear entirely and we certainly won't be forcing pastors to conduct gay marriages, just as 38 years after Loving we aren't forcing any private churches or pastors to conduct interracial marriages.
In Genesis 16 God sends an angel to Hagar to tell her to return to Abraham and Sara and serve them as a good slave should, and God will bless her son by Abraham. Its a double whammy: you've got an angel sent by God telling a slave to return to her master and endorsing Abraham's sleeping around. Actually the Abraham story is a triple whammy, because he points out in Genesis 20 that Sarah his wife is also his half-sister, and yet God comes to Abraham at least once to tell him his union will be blessed. So Biblical morality also includes at least one instance of God blessing a sister-brother union.
Let's see. Marriage equality is wrong because the Bible says it's wrong, but slavery and polygamy are wrong because the Bible doesn't say they're wrong.
Also the blathering of SN clearly shows that marriage evolved over time and by the time of Jesus polygamy was rare, but not because God ever said don't do it.
Vessel, instead of waving the flag, you might want to read the 14th amendment. You might actually learn something.
Tha slippery slope argument: if recognizing same sex civil matrimony, as required by the 5th and 14th amendment guarantees of substantive due process of law, wil also require us to recognize polygamous marriages between three or more consenting adults, then we'll simply have to bite the bullet and do so.
Denying same sex couples their constitutionally guaranteed rights because we're worried about polygamous marriages sometime in the future simply isn't an option.
Regarding the question of whether or not homosexuality is biologically hard wired and therefore not simply a function of personal choice, I'm sorry but it simply isn't relevant to any discussion of civil recognition of same sex matrimony.
Civil recognition of inter-racial marriage doesn't proceed from the premise that falling in love with, being sexually attacted to and/or wishing to marry a member of a race other than one's own is biologically hardwired, after: it's no less the exercise of free choice as electing to marry someone of the same gender could ever be considered.
The slippery slope argument: if recognizing [opposite] sex civil matrimony, as required by the 5th and 14th amendment guarantees of substantive due process of law, will also require us to recognize polygamous marriages between three or more consenting adults, then we’ll simply have to bite the bullet and do so. After all, most poly relationships are hetero.
Deuteronomy 25: 5-10 directs a man to take his brother's wife as an additional wife should she become a widow, San. If that's not approval of polygamy, I don't know what else would be.
Poverty leads to crime - let's ban poverty!
Lack of educational opportunity leads to poverty which leads to crime - let's make educational access equal for everyone!
Lack of educational opportunity, lack of sex education, and access to birth control leads to teenage pregnancy which leads to even more poverty and so on.
How about junk food and obesity, diabetes and premature death?
To eric #109:
“In Genesis 16 … Its a double whammy: you’ve got an angel sent by God telling a slave to return to her master and endorsing Abraham’s sleeping around.”
First, on the slavery “whammy”:
Not even Jesus condemned slavery. He didn’t encourage it, but He didn’t explicitly condemn it. He condemned mistreating people including slaves. Perhaps in ancient times, for many people, being a servant of a wealthy master was the best option available in terms of not just survival but even of a relatively comfortable standard of living. In fact, sometimes virtually all of the Jews longed to be back in slavery (e.g. Exodus 16:2-3). Perhaps, with the growth of economies through time, fewer people would see servanthood as a desirable option, to the point in later times where slavery/servanthood is appropriately understood to be a wrongful arrangement. God made us for freedom, but sometimes truths such as these are seen progressively. Lastly, I’ll say that it is an objective fact that being a target in the womb is far, far worse than being a slave.
Regarding your second “whammy”, where does God endorse Abram sleeping around?
“… in Genesis 20 that Sarah his wife is also his half-sister, and yet God comes to Abraham at least once to tell him his union will be blessed. So Biblical morality also includes at least one instance of God blessing a sister-brother union.”
I don’t think your third is much of a “whammy” either. Sarai (later renamed Sarah) was not the sister or half-sister of Abram (later renamed Abraham). Abram tells the Egyptian authorities that Sarai is his sister only as a ruse, in hope it will protect the two of them (cf. Genesis 12:11-13).
To Tulse #110:
Me: “If you can find an Old Testament verse where God approves of or encourages polygamy I’d like to see it.”
You: “And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul. And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom” (2 Sam. 12:7-8).
The point of this passage is NOT God’s approval or encouragement of polygamy. The point is God’s condemnation of David’s covetousness and ultimately of his murderous designs. God’s “giving” here is akin to “allowing”. It would be like God saying ‘I gave you great wealth, yet here you have coveted and taken money that was not yours.’ With such words, God would not be approving or encouraging the accumulation of great wealth (and neither would He be condemning it, provided the wealth was fairly gained and didn’t become your idol), but would be condemning covetousness and thievery.
“Why is there not a commandment explicitly banning polygamy?”
See again my thoughts in #103.
Likewise, there is not a commandment explicitly banning slavery. Why? See my thoughts in #119.
“Why, if polygamy is so objectionable, is there not any place in the scripture of your religion that explicitly says “Men should not have more than one wife”?
How about 1 Timothy 3:2,12 ? [“Now a bishop must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, dignified, hospitable, an apt teacher… Let deacons be the husband of one wife, and let them manage their children and their households well”]
Or Titus 1:5-6? [“This is why I left you in Crete, that you might amend what was defective, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you, if any man is blameless, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of being profligate or insubordinate.”]
“And that gets us to a deeper conundrum, which is how you square “God progressively reveals His truth through time” with any notion of immutable, eternal morality. Saying “this behaviour is wrong, but my god didn’t tell us then” is pretty much indistinguishable from “this behaviour was ok back then, but is wrong now”.”
I think I would agree that morality is immutable and eternal. I would also say God’s truth, progressively revealed, never contradicts prior revelations. The later revealed truth, while sometimes seeming completely new, is normally just a development or expansion of earlier revealed truth. It is not a contradiction or overtuning.
Regarding polygamy, I’ll offer some HOPEFULLY FINAL thoughts as a non-theologian and non-Vatican spokesman.
I see polygamy a bit like capital punishment (i.e. the death penalty). Capital punishment is NOT inherently evil. Capital punishment CAN be justified in certain circumstances, although such circumstances are very unlikely in our time. [This is different from, say, abortion, which IS inherently evil (i.e. Evil by its very nature; Always evil.).]
I think polygamy COULD be justified in certain circumstances, although such circumstances would be virtually inconceivable in our time.
For an extreme example, you’re the last guy left on earth after a catastrophic event… but a few gals are spared, as well! If humanity is to survive, it might be advisable to get as many babies started as physically possible. (Poor guy. But, I guess somebody’s gotta do it.) Of course, even in this scenario, the guy would be expected to respect and care for each and every one of his “wives”, and they him. But polygamy is problematic by its very nature - especially given fallen human nature - and far from the ideal of an exclusive one man and one woman union. Only monogamy can provide the divinely-desired qualities of undivided unity and fidelity. So, perhaps God didn’t call polygamy an abomination because it may not be inherently evil.
I don't care about the "point" of the passage, but the effect of the action. Your god here notes that he gave David the wives of Saul. How is that not tacitly approving polygamy? Your god could have commanded something else, such as allowing those women to each marry a single man. Yet they were "given" to David. How is that anything other than approving of polygamy?
You fail to note that all those strictures are for the church leaders -- no where does it say that the rank and file should not be polygamous (and indeed, specifying that bishops and deacons should only have one wife suggests that it is ok for non-leaders to have multiple wives). I presume that you wouldn't argue that, because the Catholic church demands priestly celibacy, this means that the Catholic church thinks everyone should be celibate -- the rules the Bible provides for the early church leaders are precisely the same.
This sounds dangerously like process theology, which as far as I know is essentially heretical according to Catholic dogma. In any case it you're dancing a very fine line -- "truth is immutable and eternal, but progressively revealed" has really no on-the-ground difference from "truth changes over time".
And here you've just given the game away -- if morality is immutable, how could polygamy ever be justified? You're advocating situational ethics here, and completely undercutting your prior position.
And we see the inherent hypocrisy demonstrated by folks like sn. They claim all day that morality has not changed since the days when the bible was written (and rewritten as needed), then twist themselves into knots explaining why the parts of the bible that condone slavery and many other evils really do no such thing.
Isn't lying about what your holy book says wrong?
Right. That's a problem. If your moral guidebook takes the time to call eating shrimp an abomination, but permits slavery, that seriously undermines its credibility as any sort of reasonable moral guide.
Later in Genesis, Abraham reveals that he was basically telling people a half-truth all along; that they were married and siblings and that they would tell strangers they were siblings but not married to protect Sarah. Genesis 20 is where Abraham reveals this: 10 And Abimelek asked Abraham, “What was your reason for doing this?” 11 Abraham replied, “I said to myself, ‘There is surely no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.’ 12 Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not of my mother; and she became my wife. 13 And when God had me wander from my father’s household, I said to her, ‘This is how you can show your love to me: Everywhere we go, say of me, “He is my brother.”’”
So, she really was his sister (we'd call it 'half-sister' today). Those are Abraham's words.
Oops, that should be "...to protect Abraham." The guy was worried about other men killing him so they could then sleep with Sarah. So he lied about being married to her and also told her to lie about being married to him so that he could be safe.
I know this will likely take us dangerously far afield, but why do you think that? As the Catholic church has said that the souls of aborted fetuses likely are saved, and not trapped in Limbo, this means that abortion sends one directly to heaven, and avoids the risk of suffering unimaginable torture for all eternity. Surely that is the best of all possible outcomes? A child who is born can sin, and thus damn their soul, but an unborn child cannot sin (and Catholic dogma now suggests that in such cases Original Sin is no bar to salvation). So it is best to die before being born, as it does not risk Hell. Isn't it better to be guaranteed a place in Heaven than to be a slave on earth and risk eternal damnation?
Folks; I think it’s time to let this rest. Two facts have been established beyond any reasonable doubt:
1. The Bible never condemns polygamy or slavery; at some points it seems to condone or even encourage them.
2. SN would rather eat glass than acknowledge the obvious truth of point 1. above.
Apparently one of those Biblical things that SN thinks is no longer in force is the commandment about not giving false witness. So be it.
Marriage equality is a good and moral thing; a just thing and we can be happy that it is finally a reality.
Next task: securing equality from people who will use their religious beliefs as a pretext to deny others their religious practices. Discrimination on the bases of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation violates the rights and dignity of persons, and should come with significant penalties.
The feeble point about choice versus genetics is really quite laughable, as though it would be fine to deny people rights if they made a choice instead of being "born that way." Think about religion. No people are afforded so many privileges and "rights" as the religious, yet no one presumes that being religious is genetic. People choose religion, unless you want to count being born to uber-religious religious parents and subsequently brainwashed, as being genetic. Yet some religious folks would deny people equal rights because they supposedly "chose" their sexuality. It's hard to keep up with religious hypocrisy.
One of the things we are told is that Jesus was perfect and if we just emulated him then all would be a-ok. As a parent, I find that a bit difficult. For instance look at Luke 2 and tell me that Jesus ditching his parents in Jerusalem at age 12, making them look for him for 3 days, worried sick and then when found reply snarkishly to his mother that if she only had two neurons she would have known where he was. Really that's how children should act?
Then of course there is the remainder of his life - live at home until 30, never marry, leave home and wander as a homeless beggar saying things that piss off the government so they kill you publicly. Not much worse as a parent than having your child die before you. Why didn't God create Jesus whole cloth like Adam - no need to worry a family and he could have been preaching day one?
No morality is not a strong point of the Bible.
To eric #122:
You’re right. Sarah was Abraham’s half-sister.
But similar to what I said about polygamy in #120, I do not think sex between siblings is inherently evil (i.e. Evil by its very nature; Always evil.). Yes, it’s wrong now and has been for thousands of years (cf. Deuteronomy 27:22). But it was REQUIRED in the beginning to fulfill God’s command (cf. Genesis 1:27-28).
So an omnipotent being couldn't come up with a better system than incest (such as, create more than two people)? And in the 20 generations between Adam and Abraham, there were still so few people that Abraham's only option was to have an incestuous sexual relationship with his half-sister?
To Tulse #124:
I disagree with your points, of course.
I won’t belabor them now. Anyway, it’s probably kind of crazy to go back and forth with you on these things. Even if I presented a perfect, incontrovertible Scriptural case for my positions, you’d just reject it by saying you don’t believe in Scripture. And you don’t believe in the Church which formed and interprets what we call Scripture.
For instance, your “In any case it you’re dancing a very fine line — “truth is immutable and eternal, but progressively revealed” has really no on-the-ground difference from “truth changes over time”.”
Oh, I could waste time with you by expounding on verses like
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” [Mat 24:34] or
"I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” [John 16:12-13],
but, as I said, it would be a waste of our times.
That, SN, is at least one true statement you have made. So let's leave it there.
To Tulse #125:
Me: “it is an objective fact that being a target in the womb is far, far worse than being a slave”
You: “I know this will likely take us dangerously far afield, but why do you think that?”
I think a slave is far better off than the target of abortion for several reasons:
1)A slave is valued for his whole live body, not for his dismembered body parts.
2)A slave’s life is valued and cared for, because unless the slave is healthy, he won’t be of much use to his master.
3)As long as a slave is still alive he has the hope of freedom. And that freedom has often been realized in history. (Life allows the possibility of liberty, and liberty then allows the pursuit of happiness.)
As for the rest of your post, well then, I guess if Catholic parents had true and self-sacrificial love for their children, they’d kill all their babies.
Yes, Catholic theology seems to logically imply just that. And sure, it is an absurd conclusion, but can you indicate how that argument is wrong? (See, my take is that it is Catholic theology which is itself absurd, given that it leads to such conclusions.)
To sean samis #126:
“Folks; I think it’s time to let this rest.”
You’re free to think and suggest what you want.
But I’d bet my life that “this”, as long as it exists, will NEVER rest.
“truth is immutable and eternal, but progressively revealed”
That's why it took until the 18th and 19th c. for God to reveal to us that the earth is old, there was no worldwide flood and species all share a common ancestor.
"A slave’s life is valued and cared for,"
Your idiocy is beyond belief.
So is any action required to fulfill God's command therefore moral?
This whole discussion started because in @37 you complained that informed consent was an arbitrary standard (at best) on which to base marriage law. But now it seems to me you've given us a far more arbitrary criteria: whatever God commands. Which can have no humanly discernible rhyme or reason, can be utterly inconsistent from person to person, can have no objective criteria on which to assess whether it meets the criteria. It sometimes includes incest, and sometimes polygamy. It just depends on what God wants for those individuals. Is that correct?
If so, which human or humans function as the SCOTUS of God commands, determining how to interpret them? And how is that GIOTUS (God Interpreters Of The United States) appointed or elected? Are you proposing some sort of theocratic dictatorship over marriage law?
“A slave’s life is valued and cared for,”
"Your idiocy is beyond belief."
Thank you. You put it far better than I could.
SN can correct me if I am wrong.
The worst thing he can think of is being dead. Which is odd since he think he will be in heaven then. Not sure why the disconnect.
The second worst thing is never being born. This is why he is against birth control and masturbation - not realizing that all that sperm gets recycled anyway - it will go down the tubes no matter what you do. And he isn't a woman so could care less about the burdens and risks of pregnancy.
I noticed that he didn't try to defend the modern view of heterosexual marriage over the previous one where women were property and had no rights including giving sexual consent.
Now he's justifying slavery using relativism - sad, very sad.
To eric #138:
“So is any action required to fulfill God’s command therefore moral?”
In a word, Yes.
If the God who created the universe, including the brain that is able to conceive of such a question, says “Do this”, then, it’s best to do it. You can even call it “moral”.
“This whole discussion started because in @37 you complained that informed consent was an arbitrary standard (at best) on which to base marriage law.”
I think informed consent is a good and essential thing for marriage and many other things, like contracts. Informed consent might be a First Principles kind of thing upon which many laws can be rightly made. (That said, informed consent in principle might be easier to agree on than informed consent in practice. Exactly how much information does “informed” require?) Marriage itself might be a First Principles thing. What IS marriage?
I think all man-made laws are an attempt at enforcing someone’s idea of morality. However, virtually all man-made laws have various degrees of unavoidable arbitrariness (e.g. Is 55 mph the right speed limit? Why not 56.5 mph?; Why is the capital gains tax rate 15% and not 18%? Why the cap gains tax at all?)
I think my point was that liberals dismiss as arbitrariness any aspects of law they don’t like, no matter how fundamental. Like, ‘The legal requirement that marriage be between a man and a woman is ARBITRARY! Who says it can’t be guy and guy or two guys and three gals?’ They’ll even twist legitimate principles, like informed consent, into justifications for bizarre things, like euthanasia.
Basically, liberals abide by “the ends justify the means.” They don’t care about the legitimacy of how a law or a tradition is justified (or ignored), just so long as they get what they want. (See, say, Obamacare.)
Hence, in #37 I said “For liberals, any number of things which used to contribute to ordering society and law – things such as maturity or common sense or tradition or even gender – have become so fluid/amorphous as to approach meaninglessness.”
“But now it seems to me you’ve given us a far more arbitrary criteria: whatever God commands. Which can have no humanly discernible rhyme or reason…”
“… can be utterly inconsistent from person to person…”
“… can have no objective criteria on which to assess whether it meets the criteria.”
“It sometimes includes incest, and sometimes polygamy. It just depends on what God wants for those individuals. Is that correct?”
Sometimes it includes suckling at mommy’s breast. Good for baby eric. Not so good for grown eric.
Sometimes mankind grows up too.
“If so, which human or humans function as the SCOTUS of God commands, determining how to interpret them?”
Why do you ask? You already know my answer.
“And how is that GIOTUS (God Interpreters Of The United States) appointed or elected?”
They aren’t. Neither I nor the people of the U.S. want a theocracy or the governmental enforcement of a particular religion. That’s why we have the First Amendment.
But we want, or at least I and many others want, religion to inform government, just as it informs the people government supposedly serves.
To Michael Fugate #140:
“SN can correct me if I am wrong. The worst thing he can think of is being dead.”
OK. You’re wrong.
“The second worst thing is never being born.”
Wrong again. You can’t despair for a human being who never was. (I’m assuming you believe an indeterminate life becomes a human being only when “born.” You can correct me if I’m wrong.)
“This is why he is against birth control and masturbation – not realizing that all that sperm gets recycled anyway – it will go down the tubes no matter what you do.”
Wrong again. (One minor point: A sperm cell is not and never will be a human being.)
“And he isn’t a woman so could care less about the burdens and risks of pregnancy.”
Wrong. (One minor aside: If you’re not currently a soldier, do you automatically not care about the burdens and risks of war?
One more: I guess, then, Barack Hussein Obama couldn’t care less about the burdens and risks of pregnancy. Bad boy, Barack. Or, you're bad BECAUSE you're a boy, Barack.)
To tomh #139:
“Dean answered, “A slave’s life is valued and cared for,” With, “Your idiocy is beyond belief.”
Thank you. You put it far better than I could.”
Darn! I must have had it exactly backward. Here’s my do-over:
‘A slave’s life is NOT valued and NOT cared for.
The slave owner spends money purchasing the slave but has no idea what his slave is worth to him.
Then, the slave owner makes sure his investment (i.e. slave) is not fed, not clothed, not housed, so that his investment dies as quickly as possible, assuring the owner gets no return on the investment he didn’t value anyway.’
Ah, that makes much more sense.
I refuse to believe you are as big an idiot as you make yourself sound here.
One other thought on incest:
If you think about it, the entire human race is a bit incestuous. Science says that all human beings on earth trace their biological heritage to one and the same woman.
Finally a correct statement (notwithstanding the point about incest). The most recent common ancestor is just as likely, and perhaps more likely to be male, though. If it's more likely, it is because polygamy generally gives men who father many children by different women more tickets in the MRCA lottery.
So is any action required to fulfill God’s command therefore moral?” Yes
That makes it awfully difficult to take you seriously when you condemn ISiS, since in their minds they are doing the work of your god.
How is a ban on gay marriage fundamental? Does gay marriage undermine speech or religious rights? Does it prevent people from bearing arms? Does it cause the government to domicile troops in your house or seize your car without due process?
Actually it seems to me that even your side admits that no such fundamental basis exists, at least tacitly. Every time they call for a constitutional amendment to 'protect marriage', they are tacitly admitting no such protection exists in the current constitution.
As far as I can tell, every argument you've cited against gay marriage would apply to some straight people too, but you arbitrarily decide to only apply it to gays. Inability to bear children: applies to older straight couples. Applies to barren/infertile straight couples. Applies to straight people who get vasectomies, tube tying, or even a hysterectomy. But you would allow them to marry, you only use this criteria to forbid gays from marrying. Statistical likelihood of getting/spreading AIDS: lesbians have less of that than straight couples, but you would allow straights to marry yet not lesbians. Depression: again, you don't suggest we prevent straight people on lithium not be allowed to marry. You don't even suggest we test gays for depression, you suggest that the entire cohort be prevented from marrying because of a statistical higher rate among the population. Adultery/number of partners: you don't suggest straight people who sleep around be forbidden from getting married. Only gays. And again, you don't even suggest we limit such a restriction to gays with many partners; you would criminalize all gay marriage - even between celibate or monogamous gay people - simply due to a higher statistical rate of multiple sex partners.
So yes, your reasoning is arbitrary. It is possible to fashion a non-arbitrary marriage criteria using some of these factors, but you haven't done that, because you haven't applied any of your own arguments consistently or logically. Instead, these arguments seem to be one great exercise in confirmation bias; use criteria when they apply to gays, ignore cases where they apply to straights or where they don't apply to gays.
As an addendum, maybe a historical example of what a non-arbitrary criteria would look like is in order, because the US actually had one - involving one of your criteria - in the recent past. In the 30s and 40s, US states started requiring blood tests and tests for syphilis before they would issue marriage licenses. Don't turn your blood test into the clerk, you don't get a license. Do turn it in, you get one. That is what a non-arbitrary anti-disease criteria for marriage looks like. Note how no class of people is forbidden marriage based on statistics, because that would be arbitrary. Instead, each applicant must meet the requirement regardless of race, gender, age, religion, orientation, etc.. and is evaluated based on the actual presence or absence of disease. That is not arbitrary. The US could do something like that for AIDS, and (while I think it would be a terrible idea, it would at least) be a non-arbitrary criteria. Of course, such a rule would prevent some straight people from marrying while allowing some gay couples to marry, precisely because its not based on the arbitrary criteria of orientation but rather based on objective criteria of disease presence/absence.
In any event, that is what an actually non-arbitrary disease-prevention legal criteria looks like. It looks nothing whatsoever like a "no SSM allowed" law.
To eric #148-49:
You emphasize and decry the talk of banning these and those from marriage.
Such talk should be unnecessary, for it arises only because you (and many) don’t know what marriage IS.
It’s almost as silly as talk of banning men from being mothers.
Try to understand what marriage IS to begin with.
marriage is a long-term relationship between two loving adults, regardless of what a bunch of ignorant bigots in some church argue in an attempt to raise money.
@150: the Catholic church is free to use Catholic theology to decide who is married in the eyes of the Catholic church. But I fail to see any reason why the US government should base its marriage law on the Catholic theology your link contains...and I see one very good reason (the first amendment) why it legally cannot.
Your whole link is fine and dandy as an intra-Catholic or maybe even intra-Christian piece. But it fails the first rule of trying to convince non-believers, which is you can't use biblical or papal or generally religious authority to do it, because non-believers almost by definition won't find such appeals to authority to be credible.
And I note you didn't respond at all to my point about arbitrariness. You wanna tell me why you think preventing the spread of AIDS is better accomplished by preventing gays (whether suffering from the disease or not) from marrying while allowing straights (whether suffering from the disease or not) to marry, rather than simply testing people who want licenses?
absolute fidelity, no divorce, and openness to fertility - boy that's got to prevent or dissolve a bunch of marriages right off the bat. Have at it SN - write your congressperson today - get the law changed. How do you deal with 2 in light of 1 and 3? If someone is unfaithful or they decide not to have kids - but you can't divorce - what's the solution? You can't put unfaithfulness back in the bottle. Of course you can be arbitrary like the church and decide post hoc that the couple weren't ever married. Gotta love that one. God married them, but oops, He made a mistake.
No divorce? Not even that fraud mother theresa bought that one.
Of course, since she's not male, sn doesn't take anything she had to say as worthwhile anyway.
Love your neighbor - my ass...
To eric #152:
“And I note you didn’t respond at all to my point about arbitrariness. You wanna tell me why you think preventing the spread of AIDS is better accomplished by preventing gays (whether suffering from the disease or not) from marrying while allowing straights (whether suffering from the disease or not) to marry, rather than simply testing people who want licenses?”
OK, I’ll tell ya.
Being against gay “marriage” has nothing to do with trying to prevent AIDS.
" Being against gay “marriage” has nothing to do with trying to prevent AIDS."
I've read your posts here, and I still don't understand just why you are against same sex marriage. You've claimed that homosexual activity promotes HIV/AIDS and higher rates of promiscuity, depression, suicide, drug addiction, yet none of these have anything to do with marriage. You've claimed being gay is a choice, again unrelated to marriage. You're concerned, as I recall, that same sex marriage will lead people to want to marry dead bodies and such. Surely, that sounds silly even to you. I get it, you think homosexuality is immoral. But what does that have to do with marriage? There are many immoral people already married, I'm sure you realize. As I said, I've read all your posts and I still don't get why you object to same sex marriage.
To tomh #157:
“I’ve read your posts here, and I still don’t understand just why you are against same sex marriage.”
Maybe you’ll find time to reread them then, including #150.
“You’ve claimed that homosexual activity promotes HIV/AIDS and higher rates of promiscuity, depression, suicide, drug addiction, yet none of these have anything to do with marriage.”
Correct for the most part. They have to do with the disordered nature of homosexuality itself. They are frequently symptomatic, but not definitive, of the disorder (i.e. One with a homosexual orientation would still be disordered even if he was not promiscuous, depressed, suicidal, or drug addicted.).
Marriage is, among other things, intended for ordered people (e.g. Mature, sane, heterosexual).
I see that somebody doesn't know the difference between chukkim and mishpatim.
" Marriage is, among other things, intended for ordered people (e.g. Mature, sane, heterosexual)."
Again, you're unclear, to put it mildly. Intended by whom? And I'm sure you're aware that plenty of immature people get married, not to mention there's no sanity test for marriage. You have yet to give coherent reasons why you object to same sex marriage, other than you find homosexuality immoral and disordered, which have nothing to do with marriage. And I'm sorry, referencing some obscure religious tract is not a coherent objection. If you can't enumerate your actual objections clearly, maybe you shouldn't be arguing the case.
By this "logic," man was also intended to have only one ass, ox, servant, etc. You'd also be better off with the redo in Deuteronomy, but that's likely above your pay grade, as is whether everything beyond "you shall not covet" basic
... basically an awful lot to get on a stone tablet.
BTW, haven't you been asked about and pointedly ignored your view of the historicity of Exodus?
But YOU brought up lifestyle and disease rates! Why do that? If you thought depression etc. had nothing to do with the question of whether SSM should be legal, why did YOU bring them up?
So we should only allow straight marriage because marriage is intended for straight people? How...circular. What an incredible logic you've discovered.
What I see here is the big problem that every anti-SSM legal team has faced and never succeeded in overcoming. The court asks a very simple question which they ask of almost anyone demanding some conduct be stopped. "What harm?" And you can't come up with anything related to the institution of marriage (at least: any that don't involve sectarian concepts like "soul damage" or "you'll fry in hell" or "God's gonna get us all if you do that").
"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight" (Isaiah 5:20-21).
Read the 14th amendment yet, Vessel?
"Vessel, instead of waving the flag, you might want to read the 14th amendment. You might actually learn something."
Yes. I complied, Michael.
*State and federal citizenship for all persons regardless of race both born or naturalized in the United States was reaffirmed.
*No state would be allowed to abridge the "privileges and immunities" of citizens.
*No person was allowed to be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.
*No person could be denied "equal protection of the laws."
You can bend this amendment for anything that comes along that is (or was) traditionally/legally/morally illegal. What's next?
To eric #163:
Me: “Being against gay “marriage” has nothing to do with trying to prevent AIDS.”
You: “But YOU brought up lifestyle and disease rates! Why do that? If you thought depression etc. had nothing to do with the question of whether SSM should be legal, why did YOU bring them up?”
Because in the discussion of marriage laws in #43, YOU said “But that does not mean the line is arbitrary: we can still base the drawing of that line and how we treat hard legal cases BASED ON EMPIRICAL DATA OF HOW PEOPLE ACT at different ages, based on HISTORICAL DATA AS TO THE LIKELY OUTCOMES OF OUR CHOICE, and so on.”
Sounded like you were saying laws can be made less arbitrary by basing them on studies of the outcomes of individuals’ choices, right?
So, as a sidebar, out of curiosity, I asked you, a defender of the gay lifestyle, what does the empirical and historical data show as to the likely outcomes of the choice to engage in the homosexual lifestyle, and how do gays compare to straights for rates of depression, suicide, sexually transmitted diseases, drug addiction?
Forget about banning gay marriage. Maybe if the data is bad enough it would be used as a basis for legally banning gay sex itself. (Other countries have precedent for this, and I think the U.S. may have some also.)
Me: “Marriage is, among other things, intended for ordered people (e.g. Mature, sane, heterosexual).”
You: “So we should only allow straight marriage because marriage is intended for straight people? How…circular. What an incredible logic you’ve discovered.”
Sounds crazy to you, doesn’t it?
Crazy like ‘Motherhood is only for females, because only females can be mothers.’
You just can’t comprehend what marriage IS. If you can’t stomach the Catechism, maybe try rereading those words of and about Aristotle in #75.
“What I see here is the big problem that every anti-SSM legal team has faced and never succeeded in overcoming. The court asks a very simple question which they ask of almost anyone demanding some conduct be stopped. “What harm?”
What harm? A couple quickie possibilities come to mind. Recognition of gay “marriage”
1)Harms the gays: By encouraging them to continue in a lifestyle which even they probably feel, perhaps subconsciously, is disordered. So, likely more depression, suicide, sexually transmitted diseases, drug addiction.
2)Harms children: By telling impressionable young minds that homosexuality is OK, making more likely experimentation/exploration into a disordered lifestyle, with all its frequent sick effects.
3)Harms the traditional and sensible concept of marriage: By starting down the slippery slope to polygamy, polyandry, who knows (“At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” - SCOTUS Justice Anthony Kennedy)? Marriage becomes more fluid and more meaningless, is thus devalued, and as a result would likely be entered into even less frequently. Thus,
4)Harms society: By… well, refer again to #75.
That's all begging the question. Here's a quick story. When I graduated from high school, a talented young lady danced a ballet routine at the ceremony. The fundamentalist members of my family were scandalized, and wondered to me how my school could condone something as disgusting as dancing. They claimed that God had forbidden dancing; I asked "why, what's the harm?" Their list was much like yours:
1) Harms the dancers: By encouraging them to continue in a lifestyle which even they probably feel, perhaps subconsciously, is disordered.
2) Harms children: By telling impressionable young minds that dancing is OK, making more likely experimentation/exploration into a disordered lifestyle.
3) Harms society: By starting down the slippery slope to pornography, orgies, prostitution, and demon-worship.
The problem is that you already have to believe that dancing is evil for any of these arguments to be remotely convincing. You can't answer "I'll believe X is bad when you can demonstrate its harm" with "X is harmful because it is bad; therefore it is bad" and expect anyone who doesn't already agree with you to listen to you.
" Maybe if the data is bad enough it would be used as a basis for legally banning gay sex itself. (Other countries have precedent for this"
Indeed they do. Homosexuality is a criminal offense in 76 countries around the world, with penalties ranging from fines to prison to death. This is what you want in America? Maybe we could emulate Saudi Arabia where the penalty is death by public stoning. They call it Sharia, but it sounds very biblical.
Actually I was referring to basing questions of informed consent on empirical observation. Such as "wow, it seems to almost never work out when 12 year olds marry, even when they claim they're giving informed consent. So they probably aren't mature enough to make that decision even if they think they are." I wasn't suggesting and don't agree with restricting marriage to groups based on whether its healthy for them or not. Even if such a negative health-marriage correlation existed (it doesn't; IIRC the correlation is actually the reverse, with married life being more healthy than single life) and even if you could demonstrate marriage was causing the negative health impact, my answer would still be "go ahead and eat that hamburger, drink that beer, get married."
And I responded: STD rates are lower among lesbians than among straight people. So using your logic, we should legally ban all sex involving males, gay or straight, and promote lesbianism.
Here is where your arbitrariness comes in; when the correlation works the way you want it to, you cite it as a potential justification for a ban on gay sex. But when the correlation works the opposite way, you decide its not a good reason to ban straight sex. You apply your arguments selectively and as a matter of convenience, not consistently.
I comprehend your idea of marriage. You don't seem to comprehend that you're making an argument from authority that nobody else finds convincing. "The catechism says marriage is X." Okay, so what? The catechism isn't the Constitution. It isn't SCOTUS. It isn't an elected leader. I don't recognize it as having any legal or moral authority. So why should I give two figs what it opines about marriage? I get that you think its incredibly important. I don't get why I should think that.
Do you really, honestly think that anyone is going to stop being gay if they aren't allowed to get married?
As Matt says, you're begging the question. You can't show SSM is bad by first stating that it's bad and then arguing from that position. Secondly, you're still arguing against lifestyle not the institution of marriage. Kids are going to take impressions from the adults around them regardless of whether they're married or not. Forcing some adult to remain single isn't going to stop him/her from being perceived as a role model; whether people look up to you and try and emulate you is a matter of character and accomplishment, not a question of whether one wears a ring on a certain finger.
More question-begging. Ignores lots of traditional non-monogamous types of marriage. Most importantly, the law exists to protect people, not concepts. The court is asking what harm is done to one or more legal citizens. Concepts and ideologies aren't citizens, so harm to them is not something the courts see as valid. Which is a very good thing, because 'harming' concepts through argument and critique is how we change our minds.
Are you referring again to your Catholic link? If so, sectarian notions of spiritual harm aren't considered by the courts; they aren't a form of harm our secular system of government can recognize, because every sect has different notions of what causes spiritual harm.
So, so far, you've not cited any harm the courts should pay attention to.
Vessel, all one need do is substitute the traditional/legal/immoral of Christians in the US treating Africans and women as property to be bought and sold. Should we still be living in the 1830s?
You really have to wonder just how foolish someone can be to believe that allowing same-sex marriage, unions between consenting, loving, adults, will lead to
a) devaluation of "traditional" marriage (despite there being no such thing)
b) people marrying children
c) people marrying animals or inanimate objects
The smallness of the "intellect" behind those making those arguments is astounding, the willingness to lie about the consequences staggering, and the unbridled bigotry and hatred (implying, for example, that gays and lesbians are somehow damaged or deformed) sad.
It really is white, straight, male patriarchy making another attempt to retain power. If one reads the views of white, straight males during the slavery era, they were making the same arguments that those of African descent were no intelligent enough to self-govern. They simply had to "save" them from themselves. It was an argument used against women as well. Now it against LBGT and non-theists - equality is not something they can fathom.
See Noevo, though the timing is not your fault, its absolutely perverse for you to be calling gays disordered on the same day that this happens. There is only one person in that story who is disordered: the religious fanatic trying to serve his God. Not the parade attendees.
eric, we will see if he responds; I mentioned this yesterday @155. I also wonder what he thinks of all the straight on LBGT violence that is occurring across the world. I also wonder what he thinks of the pedophile priests and their supervisors who covered for them. What does he think should have been done and what should be done now? When one reads of the horrors of theocratic rule in Ireland over the past several centuries, one can easily see why a secular government is a better option.
Which is why nornative values derived from ethics will always be superior to normative values derived from morals.
That's easy--his's convinced his imaginary friend thinks it's icky.
Vessel @ 164, you're speaking as if Isaiah in particular or the bible in general were known to possess some inherent authority. Whatever for?
Apparently, many males can't handle that other males might be gay.....
For the same reason that he asserts a similar group of "correlations" regarding "belief" in evolution:
Cognitively, he's little more than a sophisticated phone tree. I specifically mean by this a Schankian case-based reasoning system, with rudimentary category and rule sets and the learning component more or less exclusively syntactic.
To eric #170:
“And I responded: STD rates are lower among lesbians than among straight people.”
Gee, I wonder why? Maybe it has to do with the exchanging, or lack of exchanging, bodily fluids?
How do STD rates for gay men compare to straight people, eric?
“So using your logic, we should legally ban all sex involving males, gay or straight, and promote lesbianism.”
No, we would not. If we used YOUR twist, we would promote sex among children. The kiddies probably have a pretty low STD rate, after all.
“You don’t seem to comprehend that you’re making an argument from authority that nobody else finds convincing. “The catechism says marriage is X.” Okay, so what? The catechism isn’t the Constitution.”
Skip the Catechism, if you’re dense enough to think it’s nothing but a mindless appeal to authority.
I said if you can’t stomach the Catechism, maybe try rereading those words of and about Aristotle in #75. Aristotle’s is not an argument from authority, it’s an argument from common sense. What do you think of it?
“Do you really, honestly think that anyone is going to stop being gay if they aren’t allowed to get married?”
No, not necessarily. But I think the likelihood of their continuing that gay lifestyle could only increase if society allows/condones gay “marriage.”
Me: “Recognition of gay “marriage” 2) Harms children: By telling impressionable young minds that homosexuality is OK, making more likely experimentation/exploration into a disordered lifestyle, with all its frequent sick effects.”
You: “As Matt says, you’re begging the question. You can’t show SSM is bad by first stating that it’s bad and then arguing from that position.”
First, recognition of gay “marriage” by SCOTUS and certain elements of society obviously would influence impressionable young minds.
Second, there’s no question begging. My side isn’t saying homosexual lifestyle/gay “marriage” is wrong just because it’s disordered, and that it’s disordered because it’s wrong.
We explain WHY it’s disordered.
“Secondly, you’re still arguing against lifestyle not the institution of marriage.”
No. I’m arguing against both. The lifestyle is wrong by itself, and gay “marriage” is wrong by itself.
However, the promotion of gay “marriage” is a double whammy: It attempts indirectly to condone homosexuality itself AND attempts to mangle the meaning of marriage.
Me: “3) Harms the traditional and sensible concept of marriage”
You: “More question-begging. Ignores lots of traditional non-monogamous types of marriage.”
No. Go read some Aristotle, or other non-Catholic defenders of the institution of monogamous marriage. Go read some history (You don’t want to be on the wrong side of history, do you?).
“Most importantly, the law exists to protect people, not concepts.”
I think the law probably exists to protect “people” as in not just the couple but also the couple’s children and the rest of the folks making up society. The law helps protect society, everyone.
Me: “4) Harms society: By… well, refer again to #75.”
You: “Are you referring again to your Catholic link? If so, sectarian notions of spiritual harm aren’t considered by the courts…”
I’m referring to the non-Catholic Aristotle’s views on marriage, which can be sampled in #75.
We explain WHY it’s disordered.
No, all you say is that it is wrong because you find it icky. You've never made an honest, or intelligent, comment concerning it at all. If you don't understand that stomping your foot and saying something harms society simply because you say it does is worthless, there is no hope for anything reasonable from you.
To eric #170:
One more thing.
You say “So, so far, you’ve not cited any harm the courts should pay attention to.”
Given the behavior of the courts and the SCOTUS over the last few decades, I think even if Jefferson and Madison and the other Founders, who made the courts possible to begin with, were to reappear and argue the case, today’s courts wouldn’t pay attention to them either.
To eric #174:
“There is only one person in that story who is disordered: the religious fanatic trying to serve his God. Not the parade attendees.”
No, both the gay parade-ers and their violent attacker are “disordered”, to put it mildly.
Yes, the people pointing out that there us moral or scientific reason to prohibit same sex marriage, or to continue discrimination based on sexual orientation, are the ones in thebwrong, while the person lying about harm and pulling out the "next will be animal and child abuse" and saying certain behaviors should be criminalized because goat herders said it was wrong is the good person.
Wait, that's exactly the opposite of the truth.
As pointed out above sn, if you want to live where laws are based on the bigotry and intolerance of your god there are countries overseas where your ilk would fit right in. Decent people here wouldn't niss you one bit.
Still haven't come up with a single reason why marriage equality is a bad idea - pretty amazing after all this time. Have you compared the STD incidence in monogamous relationships MSF, FSF, and MSM to promiscuous ones? Don't you think - if you do think - that is the important factor?
Oh, dear, it's fallen back on "common sense" again, but with the frosting of unreflective hilarity.
I am curious what SN thinks a "gay" lifestyle is and how he knows this to be the one and only "gay" lifestyle. I would like to see if it matches with the LBGT individuals I have known.
My favorite line from an acquaintance who was often asked "why are you gay/" and his reply was "why are you straight?" That is food for thought - if people are prone to thinking.
I asked a relatively thoughtful conservative forum about this once, and the consensus is that "gay lifestyle" is a euphemism for "any lifestyle which includes gay sex," or sometimes one for the sex itself.
If that is it MSM, then not worth losing sleep over. I know couples who have been married for 30 years - completely faithful deeply in love. Better role models than many MSF or FSM couples I know.
"No, we would not. If we used YOUR twist, we would promote sex among children. The kiddies probably have a pretty low STD rate, after all."
Once again the weakest mind ever to post here cannot grasp simple concepts.
"Gee, I wonder why? Maybe it has to do with the exchanging, or lack of exchanging, bodily fluids?"
Michael, right there we see sn's disgust with the "gay lifestyle". HIs objection isn't with same sex relationships in general: his little imagination about what men in a relationship might do is gross to him. What a surprise (not).
I am pretty sure he thinks that STDs didn't exist before 1980....
I strongly suspect that you didn't realize how revealing this remark is, S.N.
"Vessel @ 164, you’re speaking as if Isaiah in particular or the bible in general were known to possess some inherent authority. Whatever for?"
God, through prophets like Isaiah and ultimately through Jesus has communicated Authority quite effectively through the Bible and it is (therefore) "KNOWN to possess Authority" - despite you and your ilk's rejection of it. For the most part, you inherently recognize the difference between good and evil, and have an innate sense of justice. The only problem is you can't be completely trusted to define these boundaries or hold yourself accountable, as children (not liking authority) often reject Parental guidance/discipline. However, they MUST have it. Now pay attention: "woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight” (Isaiah 5:21).
"Vessel, all one need do is substitute the traditional/legal/immoral of Christians in the US treating Africans and women as property to be bought and sold. Should we still be living in the 1830s?"
No thanks, but we can do better than we're doing in the 2000's. The 21st century has been ass backwards and unholy thus far, provoking a pessimistic view about the future. Not everybody drinks the kool-aid, though.
Women and blacks have historically had it bad in the U.S. (and elsewhere), you're right, but lumping homosexuals in with those groups is a mistake. Women aren't rebelling against God, nature and order by being women - and blacks aren't rebelling against God, nature and order by being black. The homosexual lifestyle and SSM is another story, however. The ENTIRE HISTORY of human governments were not committing an injustice by not allowing men to marry men, or women to marry women. They were simply using good judgement, and governing the issue correctly. It wasn't allowed or considered in previous centuries because it literally defies order, God, and common sense - which speaks volumes about this present generation. But we've been disrupting order since we began - consequently giving birth to the appropriate disorder.
The overall rebellion against ULTIMATE righteousness is exhausting (even to some of you Godless). On some level, I'm like whatever - the world is the world, redefine marriage (if you insist) and let's move on to bigger fish. On another level; Lord help us and have mercy!
"It wasn’t allowed or considered in previous centuries because it literally defies order, God, and common sense"
There's a whole lot of stupid contained in that portion of your statement.
They are higher. So should we base marriage law on STD rates See, or not? Yes or no.
I said if you can’t stomach the Catechism, maybe try rereading those words of and about Aristotle in #75. Aristotle’s is not an argument from authority, it’s an argument from common sense. What do you think of it?
I think doesn't support your banning of SSM at all, for two reasons. First, because the modern nation state is not based on the family, its based on representational democracy. Secondly, your citation doesn't support your argument because allowing SSM doesn't prevent straights from getting married and having stable families.
You've given no credible argument that I've seen. All of the theological arguments for 'disordered' basically reduce the naturalistic fallacy (males and females make babies, therefore any other form of sex is morally represensible). Do you have anything other than that?
Making something legal is not the same as condoning it. Are you claiming that the US government condones Nazi speech? Racist speech? Adultery? 'Your mother' jokes? Because all those things are legal. How about Islam - does the US government condone it because it allows it? Does it thus condone Islam, Christianity, and atheism all at the same time? That's quite a feat!
<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygamy"According to the Ethnographic Atlas, of 1,231 societies noted, 186 were monogamous; 453 had occasional polygyny; 588 had more frequent polygyny; and 4 had polyandry."
Monogamy is certainly the norm in the west and for the last fifteen hundred years. But if you're going with the historic argument, you can't simply ignore the fact that over all history and throughout the world, polygamous societies have outnumbered monogamous ones by about 5 to 1.
You haven't really shown what harm someone else's gay marriage does to you. Note that "encouraging my kid to be gay" is not a harm recognized by the courts for two reasons. First because this begs the question by assuming being gay is harmful. Second, because the first amendment and our constitution's protection of free expression means we recognize no legal harm in somebody's lifestlye "convincing" you to change yours. Someone else's SSM "encouraging" you to indulge in a gay lifestyle is exactly like me gambling, you seeing it, and deciding to gamble. Or me having a beer, you seeing me do it, and deciding to have a beer yourself. Even if gambling and beer-drinking (and getting married) can lead to bad social consequences, I haven't "harmed" you by doing it myself.
Vessel, you are wrong solely because it is not a "lifestyle" it is who you are - just as being non-white is not a "lifestyle" of being female is not a "lifestyle". You can't use the Bible as authority when it comes to marriage equality and disregard it when it comes to women and slavery. Make up your mind.
Also the 21st is no worse than any other century - every old fart has whined that the current generation has turned from God - hell Moses said it too.
Let me just add this question.
Why was it perfectly legal, moral and traditional for 2000 years of Christianity to give women no rights, treat them as intellectually inferior, as property, etc and the same for slavery, and now it isn't? What changed? Why are so sure that you aren't wrong about homosexuality - if your sect was wrong about so much else?
tomh @127 wrote
This is a very valid point. Free Expression (speech or the press) is a choice. Religion is a choice. Freedom of association is a choice. And on and on. Liberty is about protecting choices so long as no one else is harmed. Same-sex marriage causes no actual harm (although many imaginary harms are described).
eric @138 wrote,
This is the Big Problem: unless you hear the Sound of God’s Voice, you are taking your commands from other self-interested humans. Way bad choice.
See Noevo continues to work on his reputation as a Genuine Nut Job.
@129 SN argued that incest was “REQUIRED in the beginning to fulfill God’s command”
Tulse replied well at @131. If God is all-powerful, then He labors under NO REQUIREMENT. If incest was part of His plan, it was because He wanted it FOR ITSELF, not as a means to an end.
@130, SN wrote “I could waste time with you by expounding on verses ... but, as I said, it would be a waste of our times.”
Finally an accidentally true statement! When anyone seeks to justify public policy on religious grounds (as SN and others try) it’s a nonstarter as long as Religious Liberty exists.
@141 SN wrote “If the God who created the universe, including the brain that is able to conceive of such a question, says “Do this”, then, it’s best to do it. You can even call it “moral”.”
... but only if you actually hear God’s voice, and have a chance to ask clarifying questions. If all you have is some human telling you “God Sez”, ignore them; they are untrustworthy.
Then SN wrote: “Neither I nor the people of the U.S. want a theocracy or the governmental enforcement of a particular religion. That’s why we have the First Amendment.”
As often happens, this shows SN does not even understand what he writes; it’s no surprise he does not understand what WE write. This comment above completely GUTS SN’s argument against same-sex marriage! And SN doesn’t even realize it!
But then SN followed up with: “But we want, or at least I and many others want, religion to inform government, just as it informs the people government supposedly serves.”
If government must obey SN’s “information” then Religious Liberty is gone and we have the theocracy SN says he opposes. But the truth is that SN doesn’t want “religion to inform government”, SN wants religion to COMMAND government. The best term for that is Theocracy.
SN’s many comments about “the disordered nature of homosexuality itself” are pure religion. The notion that homosexuality is “disordered” is a religious idea, nothing more. Efforts to make it seem “rational” are a sham.
@181 SN wrote that “We explain WHY it’s disordered.”
No. You explain WHY you THINK it’s disordered, but not why any sane person would not shake their heads in disbelief at your foolishness. No “explanation” can make a falsehood reasonable.
Also @181, SN wrote to eric: “...if you can’t stomach the Catechism, maybe try rereading those words of and about Aristotle in #75. Aristotle’s is not an argument from authority, it’s an argument from common sense. What do you think of it?”
It makes little sense. If what Aristotle said were true, then a marriage between an elderly couple would not make sense to Aristotle, nor a childless marriage. Should we invalidate those because Aristotle couldn’t make sense of them? No.
Aristotle’s views have been overtaken by new information. Should we deny the existence of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto just because Aristotle didn’t know about them? What should we do with the fact that Aristotle thought the Earth was the center of the universe?
We can’t blame Aristotle for being ignorant of all the things humans have learned in the intervening 2500 years. But we can blame SN and others for being that ignorant.
SN wrote in #181: “Go read some Aristotle, or other non-Catholic defenders of the institution of monogamous marriage. Go read some history (You don’t want to be on the wrong side of history, do you?).”
I’ve been married for many years, but I’ve never gotten an email or a postcard, or anything from the Institution of Marriage. Who set them up? Who gave them authority? Where is their web-site? Where are there offices located? Where can I find their charter or an org-chart? Do they publish an FAQ? What’s their phone number?
Of course there’s no answer to those; the institution of marriage is a FICTION. It is a proxy for “tradition”, nothing more. If same-sex marriage changes a tradition, well: so did Emancipation.
Vessel @194 wrote;
I have no knowledge of your God nor any biblical authority. I have no experience of any God, and I know the Christian god exactly as I know any Pagan god: only because some humans told me stories about them. And the Pagan stories make more sense, but not enough sense to regard as true.
As for the effectiveness of your God’s communications, the fact that His followers are willing to kill each other over minor disagreements is evidence that biblical communications are murky at best, and opaque in general.
This cuts both ways: that we inherently recognize the difference between good and evil means it’s natural; no God is required.
If humans cannot be completely trusted to define moral boundaries, neither can their claims about God be trusted. UNLESS YOU HEAR THE COMMANDS DIRECTLY FROM GOD; unless you HEAR GOD'S VOICE; your sources are UNTRUSTWORTHY because they are just humans.
And “woe unto you” who are holy and godly in your own eyes, because the rest of us can see right through your pretense.
... which is why we’re not drinking the kool-aid you peddle.
No, it’s exactly the same story. If God has anything to do with how we are, God makes people gay, lesbian, or transsexual. If the race or gender your God gives us are not blame-worthy, then neither is the sexual orientation.
If one is going to try to use ancient Greece as a stand-in for Aquinas as an argument from authority, there are much more serious problems.
^ To wit:
Let's back up to "as outlined above":
To eric #196:
Me: “How do STD rates for gay men compare to straight people, eric?”
You: “They are higher. So should we base marriage law on STD rates See, or not? Yes or no.”
No. Not for an overall STD rate for a certain demographic. But for the particular individuals seeking marriage, I think the blood test required for the marriage license in many, perhaps all, states tests for STDs. Maybe for drugs, too, I don’t know. And speaking of drugs, how do gay men compare to straights for rates of drug addiction? And for depression and suicide?
“I think [Aristotle] doesn’t support your banning of SSM at all, for two reasons.
First, because the modern nation state is not based on the family, its based on representational democracy.”
Except in modern nation states such as China or Iran.
But what is ANY form of government meant to govern, but people? And where do the people come from? From families headed by a husband and wife (Except in places like many inner cities where 70% of the births are to single mothers, and increasingly, in other places too. Little people coming from broken families or non-existent families. That usually works out well.). But as John Adams said in 1798, "We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made ONLY for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
But perhaps I digress.
“Secondly, your citation doesn’t support your argument because allowing SSM doesn’t prevent straights from getting married and having stable families.”
You’re right. Just because we see fewer and fewer stable families with mom and dad married to each other doesn’t mean that this shrinking segment of society can’t continue to exist and generate more little people. Come to think of it, neither would bestiality and adult-kiddie nuptials. (And yes, such nuptials are possible in this society. “Informed consent” is just one of several traditional characteristics of marriage which can go out the window when the very definition and understanding of marriage becomes malleable.)
“You’ve given no credible argument that I’ve seen.”
For now, forget my arguments, or what you say are my lack thereof.
Why do some gays want their union to be a recognized as a “marriage”? For legal or tax reasons that might be accommodatd by some civil union arrangement?
“Making something legal is not the same as condoning it. Are you claiming that the US government condones Nazi speech? Racist speech? Adultery?”
If the SCOTUS had said they weren’t condoning gay “marriage”, but allowing it only in the sense that they allow Nazi speech or Racist speech or Adultery, perhaps I’d have a little less heartburn with the ruling.
But Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority, said
“There is DIGNITY in the bond between two men or two women who seek to marry and in their autonomy to make such PROFOUND choices…
“Marriage responds to the universal fear that a lonely person might call out only to find no one there. It offers the HOPE of companionship and UNDERSTANDING and assurance that while both still live there will be someone to CARE FOR THE OTHER…
“Marriage remains a BUILDING BLOCK OF OUR NATIONAL COMMUNITY. For that reason, just as a couple vows to support each other, so does SOCIETY PLEDGE TO SUPPORT THE COUPLE, offering symbolic RECOGNITION and MATERIAL BENEFITS to PROTECT and NOURISH the union.”
SCOTUS sounds like it’s not only condoning but even praising gay “marriage”!
(Even I can’t imagine them using such flowery, moving language in supporting the legality of Nazi speech or Racist speech or Adultery.)
Me: “No. Go read some Aristotle, or other non-Catholic defenders of the institution of monogamous marriage. Go read some history (You don’t want to be on the wrong side of history, do you?).”
You: “ref="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygamy“According to the Ethnographic Atlas, of 1,231 societies noted, 186 were monogamous; 453 had occasional polygyny; 588 had more frequent polygyny; and 4 had polyandry.”
Well, perhaps I stand corrected. Here I thought that, through the progression of history, societies (especially the more, shall we say, civilized and advanced) became more and more monogamous. Looks like it’s See Noevo who is, as they say, on the wrong side of history. Darn!
“Monogamy is certainly the norm in the west and for the last fifteen hundred years.”
Whew! I feel better now.
“Note that “encouraging my kid to be gay” is not a harm recognized by the courts for two reasons…”
I fully agree that the courts don’t recognize the harm on this, as well as on other things.
“Someone else’s SSM “encouraging” you to indulge in a gay lifestyle is exactly like me gambling, you seeing it, and deciding to gamble. Or me having a beer, you seeing me do it, and deciding to have a beer yourself.”
There is nothing inherently wrong with gambling or beer drinking.
Thanks for confirming yet again that you live in a fantasy world.
"Come to think of it, neither would bestiality and adult-kiddie nuptials. "
Your continued dismissal of consent displays nothing reality-based except your weakened intellect.
If you support SSM but want everyone tested for disease, then that's a very conservative but not anti-SSM position. Is that your position? Its worth noting that even when most US states did this for syphilis, they didn't prevent anyone from getting married. Simply making potential spouses aware was an effective social control. Is that the sort of policy you're proposing?
From sex. Which straight people will keep having even if SSM is legal. Are you seriously claiming that straights will stop having babies if SSM is legal? Is that empirically true of any state or nation that has had legal SSM for the last decade?
Because our country has a terrible historical record of "separate but equal" solutions. When we try them, they are manifestly not equal and make some of our citizens feel (rightly) that the government is treating them as second class, that they are not getting the full protection of the law the 14th amendment promises them.. So the gay community said no, we will not tolerate 'separate but equal.' We will not have the government allow one named legal contract for straights but not for us. Now, you can chop off your nose to spite your face and say civil unions for everyone (it looks like some conservative lawmakers are proposing that). But I think theirs is a perfectly valid criticism of the idea of 'marriage for straights, civil unions for gays.'
Keep in mind that your religious community is free to call them whatever you want. As a catholic, you can continue to call them not-married just the same way the church probably already considers remarried divorcees to be not-married. The legal issue is what the government calls it, and the government needs to call gay unions whatever it calls straight unions.
Are you sure you want to cite civil trends as a justification for gay rights policy? I think you lose on that count. Civil rights have gotten progressively more liberal over the past hundred years, not just in the US but throughout Europe too. "Look at the arc of history!" is an argument for gay rights, not against it.
There is nothing inherently wrong with gambling or beer drinking.
...and we are back to you begging the question.
"There is nothing inherently wrong with gambling or beer drinking."
Plenty of people disagree with that statement. In fact, if you're so worried about families, those two things have broken up far more families than homosexuality ever has.
"Why do some gays want their union to be a recognized as a “marriage”? For legal or tax reasons that might be accommodatd by some civil union arrangement?"
I have good friends who have been together for 25 years. When they moved south for their jobs six years ago they could have landed in Florida or Alabama. After checking they discovered that in Florida, even with a "civil union", neither would be considered the equivalent of the spouse (not even "next of kin" to use informal language) of the other for medical issues: if one of them were to be hospitalized and be incapable of making her own decisions, the closest blood relative would be contacted: the partner would have no say in any decisions. Amazingly, that wasn't the case in Alabama.
Data point one for why the only people who find "civil unions" a solution to this issue are the bigots.
I am still waiting for something other than my particular religious sect says its wrong - certainly not all Christians. Everything else said has also applied to hetero marriages. Beyond that it is mostly an argument from ignorance - I don't know any LGBT people, I don't know how they live, and on top of that I don't want to know.
To eric #205:
“If you support SSM but want everyone tested for disease, then that’s a very conservative but not anti-SSM position. Is that your position?”
My position is that I do not support SSM and do not support everyone being tested for disease.
“Are you seriously claiming that straights will stop having babies if SSM is legal?”
No. I seriously am not, and did not.
Perhaps you need to re-read #202.
Me: “Why “marriage”?”
You: “Because our country has a terrible historical record of “separate but equal” solutions… that they are not getting the full protection of the law the 14th amendment promises them.”
Given that a citizen of the U.S. can demand equal protection under the law, and many feel the law should allow anything that doesn’t harm anyone, then,
I should be allowed to marry myself.
You would support my right to have my marriage to myself recognized by the government as equal to other marriages, correct?
“Are you sure you want to cite civil trends as a justification for gay rights policy? I think you lose on that count. Civil rights have gotten progressively more liberal over the past hundred years, not just in the US but throughout Europe too." “Look at the arc of history!” is an argument for gay rights, not against it.”
The arc of history is leading to an increase in gay rights.
And not just more gay rights. We’re also seeing more
– extended or perpetual singlehood (i.e. not marrying),
– sexually-transmitted diseases,
– out-of-wedlock births and single mothers,
– abortion and contraception,
– drug addiction,
– depression and dysphoria,
– social isolation/disintegration of community,
– view of Constitution as a “living/fluid” document,
– socialistic government programs
– population decline
It’s one hell of an arc.
See Neovo: Do you have any numbers to back up your claims?
Right. Because only testing gays is not at all discriminatory. Or have you changed your mind and decided nobody should be tested?
It seems to me you brought up disease to imply its a reason gays should not be allowed marriage, but every time I ask you directly whether you're trying to make that implication, you say no. So why do you bring it up?
Exactly what benefit of marriage do you think you're not getting now as a single person? You are already your own legal and medical guardian. You are the legal arbiter of the disposition of your owned goods, and if you were to die and then get revived, all the possessions of the previously dead you would inherited by the revived you. All of the income you receive from multiple jobs, you get to file on a single federal tax form (and the same goes for state income tax). You may combine all your own deductions on that form.
From the government's perspective, your proposal makes no sense because a marriage contract in essence allows a married couple to function as what you already are, a single legal individual. You don't need a legal contract to get these things; you already get them.
Perhaps we should take a look at the conservative position on this: There has indeed quite a bit of divorce and marital infidelity to go around. Clearly, the government-mandated monopoly of heterosexual marriage is weakening the institution. Thankfully the Supreme Court saw the need to deregulate and add much-needed competition to the field of marriage, and remove the government's excess intervention.
Seems to me that a certain book written thousands of years ago outlines all kinds of social ills and proposes all kinds of laws to stop said social ills. Complaining about how "bad" you think it is today is as old as the hills and twice as dusty. It is just not relevant to your argument - then again pretty much everything you have said is irrelevant.
Apparently sn gets his "list of woes" from only right-wing sites that cater to his type of person (the dishonest). A little searching on some items (I got tired of sorting through his crap list)
* Divorce rates have steadily decreased over the last 20 years (and never hit the mythical 50% folks like to spread)
* It isn't clear to me (or to most people) what exactly is a problem with people postponing marriage or not marrying at all (although he's hinted at it, since he's said multiple times he buys the "nasty muslims are going to take over the world by overbreeding" line)
* births do single mothers peaked in 2008 and have declined since. The group with the largest rate is women over the age of 35
* Again, no sane person sees a problem with contraceptive use (it does indicate the idea that women should have a say in when or if they have children, which is probably why sn doesn't like it: if women won't breed what good are they, per the catholic church)
* abortion rates and levels are at their lowest in over 30 years
* drug usage is up slightly (about 8%) - data shows that is due to increased marijuana use: use of other drugs has been flat
I'm sure we can look forward to more misrepresentations of reality from sn in the future.
Haven't we gone through all these things multiple times - showing that SN is just making it all up?
If he read any history - he would know that the US Constitution was meant to be revisited on a regular basis with Constitutional Conventions to rewrite and revise as times changed. The founders were enlightened progressives setting forth an experiment and knew it wouldn't and shouldn't last. It is a document built on compromise - something the new breed of conservative can fathom. Look at what the compromise on slavery did - it almost destroyed the country multiple times. Instead of amendments, it makes more sense to rewrite incorporating changes that are fundamental.
To eric #211:
“Right. Because only testing gays is not at all discriminatory. Or have you changed your mind and decided nobody should be tested?”
I haven’t changed my mind. I think a marriage or contract shouldn’t require a blood-test if the parties to the marriage or contract don’t want one.
“It seems to me you brought up disease to imply its a reason gays should not be allowed marriage, but every time I ask you directly whether you’re trying to make that implication, you say no. So why do you bring it up?”
You asked before and I answered before. You’ve now asked again, and I’ll answer one more time:
In the discussion of whether the lines drawn by laws are arbitrary or not, you said “But that does not mean the line is arbitrary: we can still base the drawing of that line and how we treat hard legal cases BASED ON EMPIRICAL DATA OF HOW PEOPLE ACT at different ages, based on HISTORICAL DATA AS TO THE LIKELY OUTCOMES OF OUR CHOICE, and so on.”
So, it sounded like you were saying laws can be made more just and less arbitrary by basing them on studies of the outcomes of individuals’ choices.
So, as a sidebar, out of curiosity, I asked you, a defender of the gay lifestyle, what the empirical and historical data show as to the likely outcomes of the choice to engage in the homosexual lifestyle, and how do gays compare to straights for rates of depression, suicide, sexually transmitted diseases, drug addiction.
Maybe if the data is bad enough it would be used as a basis for legally banning gay sex itself. (Other countries have precedent for this, and I think the U.S. may have some also.)
But apparently, the government now doesn’t think the data is bad enough to ban it. Neither do you and neither do I.
It’s kind of like with smoking cigarettes, I guess.
Me: “Given that a citizen of the U.S. can demand equal protection under the law, and many feel the law should allow anything that doesn’t harm anyone, then,
I should be allowed to marry myself.
You would support my right to have my marriage to myself recognized by the government as equal to other marriages, correct?”
You: “Exactly what benefit of marriage do you think you’re not getting now as a single person?”
Exactly what makes you think that YOUR assessment of the adequacy of my benefits trumps MY assessment of the adequacy of my benefits?
Justice Kennedy has written “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”
Well, I may define MY meaning to include having whatever dignity and recognition married couples enjoy. It may be important to ME. And how dare the married couples, or you or the government, say a single person can’t have the benefits of married couple-hood. I want them. The married couples make a single person feel like a second-class citizen.
In fact, they may even be guilty of a hate crime against me. I’ll have to talk to my lawyer. Or maybe the lawyer who handled this case ($135K MIGHT help me feel a little less undignified/unrecognized):
“From the government’s perspective, your proposal makes no sense because…”
Well then, the government’s perspective must be wrong. Perspectives change. And the civil trends and the arc of history are in my favor.
So, I should be allowed to marry myself.
You would support my right to have my marriage to myself recognized by the government as equal to other marriages, yes? Common on. Get ahead of the curve.
You're absolutely correct -- you should have the power to make medical decisions for yourself if you are incapacitated. You shouldn't be compelled to testify against yourself. You should be able to inherit your property when you die. If you adopt, you should be automatically named co-parent with yourself.
It is an outrage that you don't have these rights as a single person.
To Tulse #217:
I may or may not care about that other stuff. That’s NOT the issue.
The ISSUE is that I, assuming I was SINGLE, want to be recognized by the government as “MARRIED.”
You’d fight for me, wouldn’t you, Tulse?
SN, you're presumably smart enough to understand that for the government "married" simply is a label for a group of certain legal rights and responsibilities associated with certain types of legal entities, just like "corporation" or "doctor" or "ship". It's not just an empty term, some badge of social approbation. If you want to argue that, as a single person, you should have access to those legal rights, such as survivor benefits to go to you when you die, or for you to get power of attorney when you become incapacitated, well, go right ahead and explain that to a court. You could just as well argue that you should have the right to unload your cargo in recognized ports and the responsibility to discharge your bilge water appropriately, but that wouldn't make you a ship.
You really don't have a rational point about anything do you sn?
My assessment aligns with the reality of the legal benefits you have.
You seem to be arguing that since gays demand the title marriage for their relationship (with all the attendant legal benefits), you want the same title for your non-relationship.
I don't find any logical or philosophical problem with recognizing that marriage is a social/legal contract between two (or more) people. You and I disagree on the definition of it, but this doesn't mean I will accept any definition under the sun. This is just your old slippery slope argument reformulated; you want to argue that if we allow gays to get married to each other, then hey anything should be allowed. No. that doesn't follow. This expansion, like the interracial expansion of the last generation, is because there were pairs of loving responsible adults that weren't allowed to do what other pairs of loving responsible adults were allowed to do, and that was unfair. That's it. That's the limit of the expansion of marriage laws. Nothing else philosophically implied or required.
But frankly if marriage law were up to me, I would go ahead and call your bluff. Sure, go ahead and marry yourself. Fill out the paper work. Pay your fee. Check that box on the federal tax form. Do all these things just to protest against SSM...and when you fall in love with someone, you'll be required to go through divorce proceedings before you can marry them. Better hope you don't live in a state that requires you to live separately from your current spouse (you) for a year before being allowed to get that divorce, that could be a problem.
Remember the Council of Trent?
"If anyone says that the married state excels the state of virginity or celibacy, and that it is better and happier to be united in matrimony than to remain in virginity or celibacy, let him be anathema."
Quite frankly, given your inability to mask your misogyny, I think your tedious repetition of this item is once again unintentionally revealing.
SN, If you want to marry yourself, I, for one, would fight for you to be institutionalized.
Speaking of discrimination, here is a story of what public officials will do to ensure their right to discriminate.
Me: “It wasn’t allowed or considered in previous centuries because it literally defies order, God, and common sense.”
Dean: "There’s a whole lot of stupid contained in that portion of your statement."
Enlighten me, Dean. Were past generations and governments eagerly wanting SSM to be a thing, but accidentally overlooked the pressing need to ensure that men be able to marry men and women marry women? How about homosexuals (of the past) themselves? Has any pre-20th century movement or uprising ever occurred where gays and/or others thought that they should have this particular right? I mean these are "natural" unions - so naturally, there should be a history of SSM advocates sticking their necks out for this injustice. The groundswell is exclusive to our backwards generation because SSM's are backwards and nonsensical at their core.
"Vessel, you are wrong solely because it is not a “lifestyle” it is who you are – just as being non-white is not a “lifestyle” or being female is not a “lifestyle”.
I can get with that in the sense of (spiritual or moral deficiencies) being born a liar, born a sinner, but is there a gay gene or something biological that backs up your assertion? We know about X and Y chromosomes determining our sex, but has some abnormal configuration been discovered that causes you to conclusively say that people are born gay? Or is it just your personal opinion?
"You can’t use the Bible as authority when it comes to marriage equality and disregard it when it comes to women and slavery. Make up your mind."
God can know something bad is going to happen (American slavery, Nazi holocaust), and not prevent it. Since He allowed and delivered His own chosen people through slavery in Moses' day, blacks in America have a reference point and tangible hope that He can (and quite frankly did) see them through their history of oppression into freer times. A previous generation's suffering often buys blessings for future generations, so biblical accounts of slavery are a provision of hope rather than God condoning the abuse of enslaved people:
"We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for SLAVE TRADERS and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine" (1Timothy 1:8-10).
"Also the 21st is no worse than any other century – every old fart has whined that the current generation has turned from God – hell Moses said it too."
True enough. But, as I stated above, this SSM movement is new and unprecedented. As was the holocaust and Hitler, the twin tower attacks and Bin Laden, etc. There has been rebellion against God and consequent dark times throughout the centuries, but the last hundred years have been eye-popping.
"Let me just add this question. Why was it perfectly legal, moral and traditional for 2000 years of Christianity to give women no rights, treat them as intellectually inferior, as property, etc and the same for slavery, and now it isn’t? What changed?"
Jesus revealed His resurrection first to a woman, then to His followers. This indicates that He valued/respected women. The Scripture goes on to say; "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her". The church has increased from a few, to the 2+ billion living souls that make up the body today - as He said; "I tell you the truth, whoever believes in Me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these". We were encouraged, loved, comforted, helped, protected, guided, enlightened, empowered, blessed (not oppressed) and lifted up into our present prosperity. We were INCREASED individually, then collectively. Men have been instructed to do the same for their wives, so any who failed to meet this TALL order, failed God and the woman.
"What's changed", you asked? In the cases of women and slavery, it's Jesus that aided in the liberation of both. Wise man once say:
"The elevated role of women in Western culture traces its roots back to Jesus (women in Jesus' day were considered inferior and virtual nonpersons until his teaching was followed). And slavery was abolished in Britain and America due to Jesus' teaching that each human life is valuable."
It rings true. Men of power bend to His will and affect history. A hundred years from now, however, the "Jesus/God helped" argument won't be made about the SSM movement and it's history. Though, it did receive supernatural help.
"Why are you so sure that you aren’t wrong about homosexuality – if your sect was wrong about so much else?"
My "sect" can be wrong, but God can't be:
"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God."
"Therefore God gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves due penalty (AIDS?) of their error."
Wrong again? Be sure, Michael.
"I have no knowledge of your God nor any biblical authority."
Sure you do, name starts with a J.
"I have no experience of any God"
I wouldn't be so sure. Non-intelligent, non-intentional nothing provided your life and EVERYTHING else? You at some yet to be determined date; "Oh, that was You!?!"
"If humans cannot be completely trusted to define moral boundaries, neither can their claims about God be trusted. UNLESS YOU HEAR THE COMMANDS DIRECTLY FROM GOD; unless you HEAR GOD’S VOICE; your sources are UNTRUSTWORTHY because they are just humans."
I have to agree. Jim Jones was just human and got people to drink the kool-aid. Osama Bin Laden was just human and got followers to believe in "messages from God" that were anything but. Jesus, on the other hand, Someone entirely different having a reputation for being more than just human. Here's hoping you hear DIRECTLY from Him soon - because UNLESS YOU HEAR THE COMMANDS DIRECTLY FROM GOD; unless you HEAR GOD’S VOICE; your sources are UNTRUSTWORTHY.
"And 'woe unto you' who are holy and godly in your own eyes, because the rest of us can see right through your pretense."
Not holy, not Godly in my own eyes, but holy and blameless in God's sight (which is FAR more beneficial). I'm imperfect, but God sees Jesus' sacrifice instead of my crap:
"But now He has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation." (Colossians 1:22)
"… which is why we’re not drinking the kool-aid you peddle."
One batch of kool-aid is laced with Godless poison - the other has life giving, life saving Blood in it. Whatever quenches your thirst.
"No, it’s exactly the same story. If God has anything to do with how we are, God makes people gay, lesbian, or transsexual. If the race or gender your God gives us are not blame-worthy, then neither is the sexual orientation."
You sound pretty certain for someone whose never put together a human being. As I asked Michael; are there any conclusive scientific facts to back that up? Not Bruce Jenner's CHOICE. Not a pair of male monkeys humping each other, or dogs French kissing, but definitive biological evidence for humans being "born gay (or transsexual)"?
Indeed. IIRC my Pinker correctly, murder and rape rates in the western world are down by an order of magnitude - and that's in the US, which has the highest rates of violent crime in the developed world. In Europe, IIRC, violent crime rates are down a hundredfold rather than tenfold. Child mortality is also down a hundredfold. The global life expectancy in the last 100 years has gone from 30 to 67.
If that's what rebellion from God brings, then I frankly can't think of anything better for the human condition than more rebellion against God. A few hundred million more rebels and hey, maybe we'll eliminate polio worldwide and increase global life expectancy above 70!
The problem is, people living today interpret the words of Jesus correctly. How do I, a nonbeliever know who's hearing correctly and who isn't? Let me guess; the way to know whether someone is hearing Jesus directly and correctly is to compare their theology to yours; if they agree with you, that person is hearing Jesus correctly. If they don't agree with you, they aren't. Is that about right?
Err...differently, not correctly.
If being LBGT were the worse thing in today's society, we've got it pretty good. Homicides are down, literacy is up, it is better than ever. I can't imagine a time I would rather be alive.
"“It wasn’t allowed or considered in previous centuries because it literally defies order, God, and common sense.”"
Where is the stupid?
- thinking that the reason gays and lesbians and same - sex relationships were put down in the past is due to anything more than the fact that bigots were in power
- that there is something "order defying" about same sex relationships - that's the same unsubstantiated crap that has been used for centuries
- believing that there is some over-reaching entity (god) that gives guidance and morality (when, if the one you believe in exists, the stories in the bible show it to be a murderous, dishonest, morally bankrupt monster)
The rest of your post, relating bible passages as if there is some external validity to them and they weren't simply written by bible's authors to keep their story going - unless you have some historical, physical evidence for the things related in that book, there is nothing at all to be taken seriously there. There was another kook who kept posting about the "valid prophecies" from the bible - the bits of twisted history, wording, and outright falsehoods he used to "support" his view were astounding. Your gyrations about how it's wrong for your god to tell others to take lives when it isn't wrong for him to endorse slavery, abuse of women, and genocide, indicates you'd be willing to do the same thing.
@228: Yup, divorce is down, abortion rate is down - you have to wonder why the fundamentalists here don't like to mention those items.
Curse the lack of a preview:
Vessel, how exactly has it been factually established that
1) god exists
2) has effectively communicated authority through Jesus and pophets like Isaiah?
I have no information from Jesus at all. Everything I know about Jesus comes from other humans, who are unreliable. So Jesus is no source of knowledge about your God nor biblical authority.
That’s what the evidence says, yes.
Like any rational person, if new evidence is found, I’ll have to reconsider my position; but not until then. You’ve provided no new evidence.
And if your God is hiding from me, if He’s playing “hide the ball”, then your God clearly does not care what I think, so there’s no reason I should worry about it.
But again, everything I know about Jesus comes from unreliable sources. His “reputation” is just what some unreliable humans think. As far as I know, the stories of Jesus are just stories.
So you say, but you are only another of those unreliable humans.
Jim Jones or Bin Ladin, or any other evil leader could have said the exact same words you wrote. I should not heed those words from you just as I should not heed them from others. Words are cheap.
We have no reason to doubt what gays, lesbians, transsexuals, or straight folks say about their own sexual development.
Do you have evidence that sexual orientation is just a choice? No.
When gays or lesbians or transsexuals say that they didn’t choose how they are, do you have evidence that they are lying? No.
Do you have evidence they are wrong? No.
Suppose it is just a choice, so is your religion; do you think your choices are protected by law? Probably.
Is there a reason to protect your choices, but not those of gays, lesbians, or transsexuals? No.
I have no reason to doubt what gays, lesbians, transsexuals, or straight folks say; neither do you.
Just to expand on what sean samis has posted: when did you choose to be straight? What age did you make that choice? How did you come to make the decision?
I strongly suspect that you won't be able to answer that question. I also strongly suspect, although being straight myself I have no personal knowledge, that most homosexuals cannot answer the analogous question about their homosexuality.
Vessel, Why are you straight?
Were you born that way or are you only straight because you think your God will punish you if you aren't?
I am almost convinced of the latter or else why would you care so much? Afraid you are missing out on all the fun?
Then on the other hand, I can't for the life of me figure out why a God would care.
Let me comment on two more things.
Why if Jesus was pro-woman, then why have and still are the biggest opponents to women being equal primarily religious? Why did all those deeply religious men in the GOP debate not call out Trump's misogyny? Why won't they ever? Why do they all want to deny women the ability to control their own bodies?
Second if HIV is God's curse on homosexuality, why do straight people get it? Was Gonorrhea and Syphilis God's curse on heterosexuality or if it was on adultery and fornication, then why do innocent partners suffer? And why didn't any of these things do any thing? Is your God really that cruel?
Regarding Sean T’s question “Vessel, ... when did you choose to be straight? What age did you make that choice? How did you come to make the decision?” which Michael Fugate echoed; I’ve asked a lot of people some form of that question, especially if they thought sexual orientation was a choice. No one has ever given me a date, or age range. Usually you get rapid blinking and a black stare.
I became aware of the same-sex marriage issue in the mid-1980’s, and in the intervening 3 decades, no one has a good answer to this question. Most people simply don’t choose their sexual orientation any more than they pick the size of their feet.
But even if it was a choice; it would still merit legal protections.
“Why did all those deeply religious men in the GOP debate not call out Trump’s misogyny?”
Here’s some more GOP presidential candidate misogyny.
But from a woman!
sn, are you trying to say that people don't believe it is possible for women to be just as ignorant and dishonest about women's issues as you and the rest of the misogynist right wing? You keep pushing the stupid boundary further and further.
And Fiorina is divorced and has no children - doesn't that violate all your principles SN? Should she be married?
Can you quote me chapter and verse on "life begins at conception" and "abortion is murder"? This wasn't the case in Judaism - Or this is just something some pope made up a couple of years ago.
FTFY, but at least learning that Carly Fiorina was a "candidate" gave me the first good laugh that I've had in days.
Wait, why is S.N. trying to change the subject to some random abortion video? (Rhetorical question, of course.)
If one's going to bring up Fiorina, why not stick to the subject?
This story is just too funny to pass up!
My favorite line:
Narad, after Fiorina's comical campaign for Senate in California against Barbara Boxer - no she shouldn't be president.
Michael that story has been all over here in Michigan. At first the "big thinkers" in the tea bagger movement said they should be prayed for but nothing else, but now some are calling for the two to resign, not so much because they did anything wrong, but because of appearances.
The woman in the story was a big name because of her fierce opposition to same sex marriage and support of the two discrimination laws (one against same sex marriage, the other saying religiously affiliated adoption agencies can continue to harm kids by refusing to allow same sex couples, or even gay individuals, their services).
"Indeed. IIRC my Pinker correctly, murder and rape rates in the western world are down by an order of magnitude – and that’s in the US, which has the highest rates of violent crime in the developed world. In Europe, IIRC, violent crime rates are down a hundredfold rather than tenfold. Child mortality is also down a hundredfold. The global life expectancy in the last 100 years has gone from 30 to 67."
EXCELLENT news. We have that innate sense of justice and are intelligent beings gifted at both creating and solving problems. If there's an STD epidemic, we employ condoms to minimize infections and spreading - though condoms wouldn't erase our sin and promiscuity. We increase law enforcement/prisons, decrease crime. Increase protection, decrease STD's, etc. Trends in crime, health, life expectancy mean nothing in the context of eternity or one's own rap sheet. And they don't suggest that we are collectively becoming more righteous.
Now gimme some stats on MASS murders, mass incarceration, terrorism, wars, potential wars, potential apocalypse; weapons of MASS destruction, climate change, natural disasters.
"If that’s what rebellion from God brings, then I frankly can’t think of anything better for the human condition than more rebellion against God."
I doubt you'd wanna be around for a FULL ON rebellion against God. Sounds like hell.
"The problem is, people living today interpret the words of Jesus (differently). How do I, a nonbeliever know who’s hearing correctly and who isn’t?"
Well ideally, you'd seek out Jesus and see about "hearing correctly" from Him because fellow classmates are seldom as good at explaining things as the Teacher. Of course, you'd have to pay attention to the Teacher to learn the (VALUABLE) lesson.
"Let me guess; the way to know whether someone is hearing Jesus directly and correctly is to compare their theology to yours; if they agree with you, that person is hearing Jesus correctly. If they don’t agree with you, they aren’t. Is that about right?"
Ah, no. I'm open to being corrected on interpretations of Jesus' words. The words mean what He meant, not what I want them to mean.
"Homicides are down, literacy is up"
Again, GREAT news.
"... it is better than ever."
Uh uh, tell that to 10 million people who lost their lives just one lifetime ago to a mass murdering anti-Christ. Tell it to random people in buildings doing their jobs, when fully fueled jets flew into their offices. Tell it to kids at school studying, or believers at church studying who were interrupted by a mad gunman. Tell it to the poor, the hungry, the 3rd world countries. Or the soldiers that fought in Vietnam or the Middle East who still can't figure out what they lost limbs and lives over. Recent to current realities that stay lodged in the minds of those who aren't blissfully ignorant about the age we live in.
Be grateful, enjoy your 1st world life, but do try not to be oblivious. I know you're not oblivious, though - because if the topic of this thread were; "Reasons I Hate or Don't Believe In God", the evil in the world would be near the top of your list.
"I can’t imagine a time I would rather be alive."
Imagine there's a heaven
It's easy if you try
Imagine there's no evil
No need to ever cry
Imagine all the people
Living under God, youhoooo
You may say, I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope one day you will join us
And the world... will live in bliss and harmony for all of eternity in the presence of our Creator!
Go ahead, Michael. Imagine a world where EVERYBODY has the character of Jesus Christ. Perpetually loving one another, blessing each other, and whatever other bliss FOREVER. I see it, and it looks a heck of a lot better than what's going on today:
"My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you."
Was He "imagining" or speaking from observational experience? Did He know something that supersedes our finite understanding?
"Vessel, why are you straight?
Were you born that way or are you only straight because you think your God will punish you if you aren’t?"
God made me a man, I like women. Simple as that. Spiritual chemistry, emotional polarity, anatomic compatibility - almost as if we were designed for each other, it's weird. If I were gay, though, I would expect God to discipline me as He has for sleeping with women who I never married. My sin is just as sinny as the next, as judgement is justified for all brands of sexual immorality. The thing is, though, I identify the ways in which I sin and fall short of God's standards, so I can contritely go to Him; "I sinned in this area, Father - please cleanse and forgive me", and Jesus' death accomplishes what it accomplished. But if I myself or society places a halo on my sin, I won't recognize that I'm in need of such a pardon.
"I am almost convinced of the latter or else why would you care so much?"
Men who love God, care about God's will. Men who love God, (should) care about people. I care that people know His goodness and His best. I even want that for you, my fellow man.
"Then on the other hand, I can’t for the life of me figure out why a God would care."
Designers design with purpose, a will and production in mind - and they wouldn't want to see their creation be unproductive. Aside from that; rulers rule, governors govern and law enforcers enforce the law. My house, My rules.
"Vessel, how exactly has it been factually established that 1) god exists"
We've been down this road with nonbelievers a thousand times so forgive my pessimism, but I feel like I know your arguments before you make them. And you probably know mine, so let's start there; do you believe that complex organisms and/or entire interdependent systems emerged without intention or intelligence? Does this verse; "God's invisible qualities--His eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse" penetrate your conscience in any way? If not, we're both talking to brick walls. It's "factually established that God exists" when you observe the intricacy of creation. You likely feel different, so we start at a dead end.
"2) has effectively communicated authority through Jesus and prophets like Isaiah? Be specific."
Strictly on a surface level: The Bible is the most influential and best selling book in history, so that alone qualifies as effective communication. Second, people obey it which demonstrates it's Authority over those who have reverence for the Author. Finally, it's Hero is the most influential and perennially famous person in human history, and His Authority is demonstrated in the (roughly) third of the world's population who pray, repent, role model, follow, worship Him in some fashion. You reject, but you were created and you'll die - at which point you'll realize that He has and always did have authority over you as well. Ensure me I'm not wasting my time and I can "be (more) specific" per your request. No offense either way.
"Just to expand on what sean samis has posted: when did you choose to be straight? What age did you make that choice? How did you come to make the decision? I strongly suspect that you won’t be able to answer that question."
I remember liking the smell of girls hair at around 5, and having my first crush around the same time. Didn't have my first girlfriend until 4th or 5th grade, had more in my teens and it's been on and poppin' ever since. I decided I liked whoever, pursued, and if she decided she liked me back, we had relationship. I remember the interactions being organic and natural.
"I have no information from Jesus at all."
Nonsense. What He taught quantifiably changed and influenced history, so you're living in a world touched and shaped by Jesus (in more ways than one). Information from Jesus is literally coming out of your ears and the fact that you doubt, doesn't change the fact.
"Everything I know about Jesus comes from other humans, who are unreliable."
"I have no reason to doubt what gays, lesbians, transsexuals, or straight folks say; neither do you."
So; "we have no reason to doubt what gays, lesbians, transsexuals, or straight folks (unreliable humans) say about their own SEXUAL DEVELOPMENT", but doubt what Jesus, John, Peter, Paul, MLK, JFK and billions of other redeemed world changers have to say about their own SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT? Consistently confused people we have no reason to doubt - but purposed, great men of wisdom and character with staggering conviction in a higher calling, we doubt. Okay, sounds like a plan.
"Words are cheap."
Until they teach you something or save your life.
"The evidence says that non-intelligent, non-intentional nothing provided you life and EVERYTHING else."
You're literally drunk on the kool-aid.
so vessel, lots of words but no substance from you. No refuting the evil character of your god, no proof that a person named jesus christ ever lived, let alone that the person was the son of god you represent him to be, dismissal of the quality of life now because, well, it isn't clear why you don't like it, unless it is because people you don't think should have rights (minorities, women, those of other faiths) have them, and your non-answer to "when did you choose to be straight?" - the story about your 5 year old self - would be hilarious if it weren't obvious you thought it was an answer. (Love the incredibly stupid comment about the bible being the best selling book of all time, as that is almost impossible to determine. You are likely including the copies distributed free, used as required reading for indoctrination in churches, and so on. The same comments could be made for the quran. Most influential? Again, difficult to argue, but the pain and suffering that has been spread in its name over history is staggering.)
What question did I fail to adequately answer, Dean?
It is difficult to measure the success of the Bible, but if you go to sites they say: "it's WIDELY believed that the Bible is the best selling book in history". We can't google the sales, but the consensus thought is; it's done well.
Wiki: "virtually all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed historically". You're not a respectable scholar, but at least make an attempt.
Sean asked me; "when did I choose to be straight?”, I responded that I "chose" to chase girls in grade school. How is that explaining when I "chose" to be straight?
"dismissal of the quality of life now because, well, it isn’t clear why you don’t like it"
I never said I didn't like the quality of life today. I like technology, advanced medicine and yada yada yada, but I'm AWARE. I spoke on morality, righteousness, problems of the world and not
I'd miss figs.
Do you really believe that we would be better off as a society if we imprisoned LBGT individuals? How about adulterers - like the Tea Party holier than though Republican state senators? How about viewers of pornography? How about those with lustful thoughts? Shouldn't there be a lot of blind, handless Christians running around?
How is that (not) explaining when I “chose” to be straight?
So, following your natural inclinations is the same as choosing?
"How is that (not) explaining when I “chose” to be straight?"
"So, following your natural inclinations is the same as choosing?"
Apparently so, if you're
a) unsure of the meaning of "choose", and
b) have the natural inclinations your "god" wants you to have
"Do you really believe that we would be better off as a society if we imprisoned LBGT individuals? How about adulterers – like the Tea Party holier than though Republican state senators? How about viewers of pornography? How about those with lustful thoughts?"
I'm not suggesting we lock up every sinner or else we'd all be in jail. You, however, proudly promoted crime statistics - so you prefer that law breakers be locked up. You just don't want God making such calls by His own standard of lawbreaking.
"So, following your natural inclinations is the same as choosing?"
I also had a natural inclination to steal bubble gum once upon a time. Later I "chose" not to take what didn't belong to me.
So, in line with your bubble gum analogy, you're saying that your natural inclination was to be attracted to persons of the same sex, yet, in grade school, you chose to chase people of the opposite sex. And you think this choice should be applauded because your god approves. Do I have that right?
"You just don’t want God making such calls by His own standard of lawbreaking."
There are other countries where people are arrested based on what zealots thing your god deems wrong. I doubt you'd want to live there no matter how much their philosophy matches yours.
"So, in line with your bubble gum analogy, you’re saying that your natural inclination was to be attracted to persons of the same sex, yet, in grade school, you chose to chase people of the opposite sex. And you think this choice should be applauded because your god approves. Do I have that right?"
No, tomh. My buddies were never on my chase list. Posters are implying that people are born gay - my bubble gum analogy was to highlight that people are born thieves as well. This doesn't mean that born thieves should spend their lives robbing people - they have a choice. My answer to Sean T's original question seemed to confuse you and Dean so I must have misread it.
"There are other countries where people are arrested based on what zealots thing your god deems wrong. I doubt you’d want to live there no matter how much their philosophy matches yours."
A society where everyone's philosophy matches mine is a nice thought, but I wouldn't want people who didn't share my beliefs to be arrested for it.
"Posters are implying that people are born gay – my bubble gum analogy was to highlight that people are born thieves as well. This doesn’t mean that born thieves should spend their lives robbing people – they have a choice."
It's not just other posters who are saying that, that's exactly what you're saying. You're saying people are born gay, but they should choose not to be. Just as you did. The same way that people are born thieves, but they should choose not to be. Just as you did.
Please tell me where I said people were born gay, tomh. I'm saying people are born sinners in every post.
Now you're just talking in circles. You just said, “Posters are implying that people are born gay – my bubble gum analogy was to highlight that people are born thieves as well." You're saying that people are born thieves as well as being born gay. After that, it's all about choices. Seems plain enough.
I still haven't figured out what's wrong with being LBGT? Christians don't abide by most the OT rules and regulations, why pick that one out of the hundreds available? If you can point to something Jesus said about it, let me know. Your God doesn't like other Gods either, so why do we have freedom of religion? Why aren't you campaigning to get rid of the 1st amendment?
Why don't you just admit this arbitrary and move on.
"Now you’re just talking in circles. You just said, 'Posters are implying that people are born gay – my bubble gum analogy was to highlight that people are born thieves as well.' You’re saying that people are born thieves as well as being born gay. After that, it’s all about choices. Seems plain enough."
We're born sinners, yet we're made in the image of God. We have a natural inclination to steal, and an image of God inclination to be generous/be righteous. When you say "born gay" you're making a biological argument for it (i think), when I say "born sinner" I'm asserting that people are born spiritually (and mentally) rebellious to God as opposed to "born gay" biologically. If one is "born gay" the way you all mean it, there is no choice, it's just the way you are, etc. My definition implies that it is a MORAL choice.
Sorry, you're just becoming more and more convoluted. We're sinners, in God's image, (God is a sinner?), we have an inclination to steal, (God is a thief?), people are born spiritually and physically, etc., etc. Way too convoluted.
"If one is “born gay” the way you all mean it, there is no choice, it’s just the way you are."
There you go. You're starting to get it. Think simple.
But why is it immoral? - you still haven't answered that.
"Sorry, you’re just becoming more and more convoluted."
I tend to do that, but there are some nuggets of wisdom in there as well. Chiefly; we’re made in the image of God. I'll "think simple", you consider that complex truth.
"But why is it immoral? – you still haven’t answered that."
Is; because God said so a sufficient answer? Sin is defined as rebellion against God and homosexuality/SSM qualifies. Moral or immoral by human standards don't mean jack.
Which you apparently require a claim of direct access to, which is the Gnostic heresy. Well done.
Wait, your concept of original sin is just "strict" concupiscence? Is it transmitted by some sort of obscure biological, patrilinear, sado-Paulinian means, or is this going to be a comical Thomist misadventure?
This was a simple question and you messed it up. What the world teaches ABOUT Jesus is not the same as being taught BY Jesus. Information ABOUT Jesus is plentiful and contradictory. Information FROM Jesus is, in my life, nonexistent. To learn FROM Jesus would require me to HEAR HIS VOICE. That’s not happened.
Not really. In the context of this topic, gays, lesbians, transsexuals, and straight persons are talking about themselves, about their personal development.
There’s no reason to doubt their stories. Their stories are consistent with mine (and apparently yours too), and they are not asking me to act on their accounts, they just want to be left alone.
When people talk about Jesus, they are talking about another person, a person whom they never met, a person who died long before they were born.
There’s no reason to trust these Jesus stories. These stories are inconsistent; people tell conflicting stories about Jesus, about what he said and about what he meant. And these story tellers (like you) expect me and others to act on your stories.
What someone says about their own spiritual development, I will not challenge. But that’s not what this is about.
You and others are telling stories about Jesus for the express purpose of affecting the spiritual development OF OTHERS. By all means, in that situation, even the Bible counsels caution; the Bible warns of false prophets.
This was another simple question you messed up. No one asked when you decided to act on your sexual orientation, the question was WHEN DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR SEXUAL ORIENTATION?
But your answer is not surprising: like gays, lesbians, transsexuals, and every other person I’ve ever asked, and like myself, you didn’t choose your sexual orientation. Almost no one does.
You didn’t answer when you chose to be straight, you answered when you chose to act on being straight. Two entirely different things.
Because your answer is not about choosing to be straight, it’s about choosing to act on desire you already had.
The question is not about when you acted on the desire or inclination, it’s about when you CHOSE THE DESIRE OR INCLINATION.
tomh asked, So, following your natural inclinations is the same as choosing?
A valid question. Answer: No. Following your natural inclinations is NOT THE SAME as choosing those inclinations. And that is the question we’ve all been asking: when did you chose the inclination?
But you still didn’t choose that thieving inclination, just as gays, lesbians, transsexuals, and straight folk don’t choose their sexual inclinations. Just as you didn’t nor did I.
And following your sexual inclinations is not a sin so long as you do no harm to others.
And as long as it causes no harm to others, as long as sexual conduct is truly consensual, there’s no MORAL fault in the choices gays, lesbians, transsexuals or straights to engage in sexual conduct according to their inclinations.
“Because God said” is an INsufficient answer UNLESS GOD TELLS YOU HIMSELF, TO YOUR FACE.
If you think something is morally required or forbidden because some human told you that “God said” then you are following a HUMAN STANDARD.
No - unless you know this God's mind and can explain its reasoning , then no.
When did this God say that slavery was immoral? When did this God say women weren't property? Never. Those two are enshrined in the 10 commandments. Why did the US turn against God in 1865 and again in 1920? Why did the founding fathers ignore the 1st commandment and establish freedom of religion? Why aren't Christians campaigning against divorce? Adultery? I laugh every time one of these ultra-pious dickheads worship the graven image of Ronald Reagan - not only violating the 2nd commandment but also for a man who was divorced and an adulterer. Rich.
If you are willing to ignore basic concepts enshrined in the 10 commandments - that women and slaves are property and not equals - then why worry about something not mentioned there or by Jesus? Shouldn't you be taking the log out of your eye first?
I will grant you that we are not becoming more righteous by your way of thinking, if you will concede that the world is getting better - not worse, like you implied - by secular measures such as lifespan, per capita deaths from disease and war, per capita violent crime rates, etc... Do you agree with that?
For war deaths, see War Before Civilization. Those have also gone down in terms of per capita - even when you consider WWI and WWII! Modern warfare typically results in only a few percent of our populations being engaged and at risk (in WWII, casualties reached 3%). In pre-modern times, they could rise to an order of magnitude higher.
For the other stuff, you'll have to research it yourself. Though personally it doesn't make sense to me to say the world has gotten eye-poppingly worse if there are more per capita mass murders yet overall less people per capita die of murder. Which seems to me the excuse you're trying to make.
That does not help. Person A says a verse means one thing, person B says it means something else. What method can I use to determine which one is right? "Read the bible" is not a method, both A and B are doing that. "Pray on it" is also not a method, because both A and B did that and yet they still got different results. If you want us to implement theological rules, you have to tell us how distinguish right theological claims from wrong ones when all the people disagreeing have read the bible for content, all have prayed sincerely for insight, all claim they have spoken directly to Jesus, all claim they have it right, all claim they have looked at the text very carefully, etc. Science has a way to do this: we compare claims to the observable world. But that is impossible to do with theological claims such as 'same sex marriage is a sin,' because you have no sinscope or sinmeter. So how do you propose we, as a society, decide which theological claims to accept as a basis for our laws? Should we just accept some authoritative source of interpretation identified by you? Should we hand vote on it?
That's pure baloney, you obviously don't need society to criminalize something in order to recognize it as a sin, otherwise where would you be on adultery and abortion? On blasphemy and worshipping false gods? Just think through the ten commandments for a moment here, Vessel. Numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 10 are all legal right now in the US. The sins described in 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 in particular have the "halo" of the first amendment around them, with our law not just saying they aren't criminal but actively defending and in many cases celebrating a person's right to do them. But you can still consider blasphemy and worshipping false gods a sin, and many people do. So what stops you or any other Christian from viewing SSM the same way you view blasphemy or worshipping false gods now, as a legal-but-sinful activity?
You clearly don't need the law to agree with your moral judgments in order to make moral judgments. You only need the law to compel other people's behavior, and that is what you really want to do here. You don't oppose SSM because you want to call it a sin; you can do that whether its legal or not. You oppose SSM because you want to compel other people's behavior to be in line with your theology. You want theocracy.
Dates would be a lot creepier.
Go ahead, Michael. Imagine a world where EVERYBODY has the character of Jesus Christ.
Believing in a imminent apocalypse? Telling everyone to sell everything and huddle waiting for the end? Never marrying? Being totally wrong about the future? Be a self-centered self-trighteous prick? Dishonoring your father and mother - even at age 12? No, I am not imagining a world I want to live in.