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At least twice in the two days since a federal judge struck down California’s Proposition 8 that banned same-sex marriage, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins has had a curious message for gays and lesbians: They have every right to get married, just not to other gays or lesbians. From Wednesday, minutes after the ruling […]

29 Comments

  1. The “historic definition” of any word in the English lexicon evolves. I suppose religious fanatic Perkins is still wringing his hands over the evolved definition of the word “gay.” He and his ilk must have accepted it, since I don’t see him saying things like “I’m feeling happy and gay today.”

    Sorry Tony, but just like language, cultural mores evolve. Women can now own property -historically they couldn’t; inter racial couples csan now marry – hstorically they couldn’t; being gay is no longer punishable by death – historically & biblically it was. You’ll get used to gay marriage just like you’ve gotten used to or grudingly accepted these things.

    Better question:
    – why do religionists insist on forcing selected / cherry picked ancient Hebraic admonishments on society?
    – How does the evolution away from these things directly negatively effect their lives, their freedoms?
    – Why don’t they raile against people wearing mixed fibre clothes, or boiling a calf in it’s mother’s milk?

  2. Kevin,

    “Would you want your daughter to marry a gay man? Or, if you had a gay son, would you want him to marry a woman?”

    Yes in both cases, assuming the male in question recognized his desires as unnatural, and hence, unhelpful and harmful, as regards human flourishing, if not primarily in an individual sense, than in a corporate sense. This is simple human reason, and if you say you can’t see it, I humbly suggest that you simply haven’t thought about it enough.

    For more on my views, see this post and my comments here:

    http://doug-johnson.squarespace.com/blue-skunk-blog/2010/7/23/a-heart-felt-column-by-leslie-yoder.html

    Bart:
    “Better question:
    – why do religionists insist on forcing selected / cherry picked ancient Hebraic admonishments on society?
    – How does the evolution away from these things directly negatively effect their lives, their freedoms?
    – Why don’t they raile against people wearing mixed fibre clothes, or boiling a calf in it’s mother’s milk?”

    Your second question is answered in the posts above.

    The passages in Leviticus often quoted about homosexuality are seen as still valid because the Apostle Paul, who follows Jesus (who, obviously, we have no reason to assume would have condoned homosexuality) upholds laws from the N.T. condemning homosexual and other behaviors (i.e. morality). Other laws of the O.T., that helped to “set apart” God’s holy (means “set apart”) people – freely chosen by God – from the pagan world, are null and void in Christ (read Acts and the Epistles of Paul to see how they interpret the ceremonially and other civil laws of the Israelites as simply serving to point people to the coming of Christ). Christians would be wiser to cite Paul then than Moses (although perhaps they feel Moses has the better soundbite) so as not to be misunderstood.

    If you are actually interested in being taken seriously when you argue about the Bible, you should probably better familiarize yourself with the best sources that defend the traditional interpretations (those that would not be quoting Leviticus for example) : )

    I recommend Dr. Robert Gagnon. Here’s a good place to start:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0687022797?ie=UTF8&tag=issetc-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0687022797

    ~Nathan

  3. Kevin,

    First I wasn’t speaking to you. I was ostensibly addressing “Tony.” I was unaware that you are his spokesman.

    Secondly, your first answer is both inane and sophomoric. Since they cannot reproduce in a homosexual union, thus can’t make humans “flourish,” they should not find happiness in their sexual identity and the love of another human being? They should be denied that which does not harm you, or your beliefs? I suppose then that herterosexual celibates shouldn’t be allowed to marry? How about a hetero couple who decide not to have children? How about an infertile couple? Should they all be denied the right to marry?

    Thirdly, Kevin your self serving apologetics and sanctamonious condescention speak volumes. Thanks, but I am rather well read in Biblical criticism, Xtian apologetics, the Bible, and the tact Xtians use to cherry pick preferred old testament admonishments and justify the exclusion of the others. I also know that the three verses in the NT that “some” Xtians interpret as condemnation of homosexuality does not at all address homosexuality per se. But you probably are unaware of that widely accepted scholarly analysis of the Greek text.

    Finally, Introducing pagan beliefs is a nice attempt at derailing the facts of the matter. If you can show me a quote where Jesus says “homosexuality is abomination but all the other laws of the Hebrew text are null and void” then you have a leg to stand on. But he didn’t. On the contrary, he demanded that not ONE of the laws be ignored or changed Matt. 5:17-18, and three other similar admonishments to obey ALL the laws. Thus, a real Xtian.. a “true” Xtian… would be as incensed by a person wearing a linen and wool blend sport coat as he would a gay man walking the streets alive.

    But then again, Many of you so called Xtians are actually not Christians at all. You’re Paulists. It’s so much more convenient.

    If you’re actually interested in being taken seriously as a religious writer first you should read the bible without an apologetics guide at your side. It’s called independent analysis.

    If you want to be taken seriously as a credible and thinking human being, try understanding that homosexuals are as entitled to the happiness of legally recognised marriage union as you are, inspite of the perspective of your ancient mysogenistic book of murder, death, slavery, prophecy historicized, and hatred. The writing is on the wall. It will be legal in all 50 states within the next 5-7 years. You’ll either adapt to changing times or your perspective will simply be rendered as archaic as belief in the biblical firmament, or geo-centric universe, or that a woman’s place is in the home, or that the slavery your god never opposed is just and godgiven.

  4. pS: Anyone who would want their daughter to marry a male homosexual, or gay son to marry a a woman is either not a parent, hates his children, or is patently stupid.

    To have a binding relationship where sexual incompatability is a known; where one member of the union must artificially suppress their sexual identity; is a recipe for failure and misery for both parties. Heterosexual marriages fail at a rate of approx. 50% (usa). Mariages where a homosexual takes a female wife as a cover of their homosexuality, or in an attempt to deny their own sexual preference are destine for failure at a much higher rate.

    That this isn’t obvious to anyone speaks of serious mental deficiency, self delusion, or disengenuous denial.

  5. Bart,

    I think you are confusing me with Kevin. In any case, I realize that you were talking to Tony, and no, I’m not his spokesperson. : )

    “Secondly, your first answer is both inane and sophomoric. Since they cannot reproduce in a homosexual union, thus can’t make humans “flourish,” they should not find happiness in their sexual identity and the love of another human being? “

    I am saying that since it takes a man and woman to create a human being, and generally speaking, raise them well (yes, there are exceptions, but fatherlessness is a great bane, I would argue), that this should *at the very least* given one serious pause about whether something larger than their desires is at play in the situation.

    “They should be denied that which does not harm you, or your beliefs?”

    First of all, I do not think this is the case (see the article by Kerstin referenced in the other blogpost I linked to). Second, I simply do not believe that such relationships should be encouraged or subsidized by the gov’t (see here for more: http://www.aolnews.com/opinion/article/opinion-clearing-away-gay-marriage-myths/19584593 )

    “I suppose then that herterosexual celibates shouldn’t be allowed to marry? “

    If they are planning on remaining deliberately childless for the whole of their lives, I don’t see any reason why their union should be supported, encouraged, or subsidized by the gov’t –that’s all (see the Medved article). A gov’t could support this union, but frankly, I’m not sure whether it would be worth it. If we are talking older adults, their inability to conceive children is a matter of the simple fact of human aging and encroaching death (and in the case of those not able to conceive, disease or improper functioning), and not the fact that, like two persons of the same sex they are fundamentally unable to procreate.

    “I also know that the three verses in the NT that “some” Xtians interpret as condemnation of homosexuality does not at all address homosexuality per se. But you probably are unaware of that widely accepted scholarly analysis of the Greek text.”

    “Widely accepted”? In your circles, perhaps. In any case, I have studied these issues as well, and think that you are incorrect. Gagnon, while housed in the liberal and dying PCUSA, would agree with me, of course.

    “your self serving apologetics and sanctamonious condescention speak volumes”

    That’s one way of looking at it, I suppose. I look at it as speaking the truth in love. Kind of like the dentist pointing out the cavity. I really don’t mean to be like this.

    “If you can show me a quote where Jesus says “homosexuality is abomination but all the other laws of the Hebrew text are null and void” then you have a leg to stand on. But he didn’t. On the contrary, he demanded that not ONE of the laws be ignored or changed Matt. 5:17-18, and three other similar admonishments to obey ALL the laws. Thus, a real Xtian.. a “true” Xtian… would be as incensed by a person wearing a linen and wool blend sport coat as he would a gay man walking the streets alive.”

    In your view, all the church fathers, including the Apostles wrong then. I certainly believe Jesus came to fulfill the law (Rom 10:4) and in that way, not one “jot or tittle” would be ignored, but I think you’d be hardpressed to find many others holding your viewpoint. But maybe you have some ancient sources in mind who pressed for a view similar to yours?

    “If you’re actually interested in being taken seriously as a religious writer first you should read the bible without an apologetics guide at your side. It’s called independent analysis.”

    Actually, I think I did that – I didn’t learn much about apologetics until well into college, after I had read the Bible a few times. When I did discover them, it was a breath of fresh air (I really like the historian Paul Maier). Unfortunately though (from your perspective), I’ll admit I came to the text with preconceived ideas, namely with the idea that what Jesus says about the Scriptures in John 5 and Luke 24 (its all about me) holds true. : ) Seriously, Bart, I say this as kindly as I can, do you think that if Jesus had access to the knowledge that you had, he would not have held to such a high view of the O.T., like many of the rabbis in his day?

    …continued

  6. “inspite of the perspective of your ancient mysogenistic book of murder, death, slavery, prophecy historicized, and hatred. The writing is on the wall. It will be legal in all 50 states within the next 5-7 years. You’ll either adapt to changing times or your perspective will simply be rendered as archaic as belief in the biblical firmament, or geo-centric universe, or that a woman’s place is in the home, or that the slavery your god never opposed is just and godgiven.”

    I appreciate your honesty Bart. I suppose it may come to that, and it’s probably good that people see the full display of your emotion about this here. Of course, I take comfort in what I believe to be the fact that you have really misinterpreted the character of the God who reveals himself in the man Jesus Christ (kind of like this wonderfully produced video: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/07/the_warped_weird_world_of_chri.php ) In spite of what others say, I know the one who loves me. I know that he loves women, slaves, and beyond. I am captivated by his love for all, including his enemies, of which, perhaps, you would count yourself one. I look forward to the greater home He promises, and, call me a simple child, hope that perhaps, I might see you there as well.

    But, I understand that you may, in spite of this my faith, find me to be a hater. I accept that. I do not wish to force my Lord on any man, but only to point them to His great love for sinners, of which I am a great one.

    Re: your P.S., I know of marriages where this works: of course, there needs to be trust in God, that in spite of recurring homosexual desires, that He will not abandon His children who call their sin “sin” and trust in Him. Check these out:

    http://www.kfuoam.org/Issues_ETC/ie_11_11_07.htm (I found this overview of the social science studies/orginal research on ex-gays by a Wheaton scholar incredibly helpful, thoughtful, and profoundly insightful (very careful and nuanced). There is a lot here I don’t think gets heard elsewhere)

    http://www.amazon.com/review/R22HWCKDILVN8H/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt#R22HWCKDILVN8H (I always love Amazon because you can read such a wide range of views on issues).

    http://www.issuesetc.org/podcast/470041610H2S1.mp3 (this pastor does a wonderful job of talking about how the church should react to those with homosexual desires)

    http://www.open2.net/ethicsbites/the-family.html (from a BBC supported site: talking about the importance of parents in one’s identity)

    And just for fun: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/men/article6990013.ece

    In His love,

    Nathan

  7. This archaic belief that marriage is soley for the purpose of promulgating the species is defunct. This focus on governmental support of gay marriage (presumably through the tax code) is a blatant red herring. That you make a distinction between those preferring not to procreate and those who cannot speaks to a religious mindset, not a financial concern. For you to infer otherwise is disengenuous. But then, by my experience, being disengenuous is a veritable Christian sacrament.

    I don’t think the goverment should be supporting religion by providing tax breaks to churches/clergy. The financial implications are far greater there than they ever would be by Federal Income tax benefits to gay couples. My guess is you don’t much care about that particular issue. I can’t imagine why; unless it’s grounded in hypocrisy.

    You know of gay/hetero marriages that work? Really? Frankly, Nathan I think you are lying. But to suggest that there may be a unique case, likely a sexless marriage of convenience, and therefore that it proves that such unions are healthy and viable is tantamount to my saying that all Christians are like Fred Phelps, because Fred Phelps exists. It’s utter nonsense and intentional denial. An exception to the rule does not a case for hetero/gay union make. An honest child would understand that. A parent who would wish such a union on their gay or hetero child is no parent at all, simply a deluded religious fanatic.

    Re observing the OT, you said: “But maybe you have some ancient sources in mind who pressed for a view similar to yours?”

    Which means you’re not well versed. The early Christians were all Jews. They ALL kept the laws of the OT. James, brother of Jesus (you may have heard of him) said that Christians should follow the Torah. This was a primary issue at the Council of Jerusalem. He lost the battle of the expansion politics lead by Paul intended to more easily recruit Gentiles by negating the Hebraic laws and traditions to become Christian. That’s just ONE example.

    But I sense I am casting pearls before a person who is ill educated in Christian history, and whose opinions in the scheme of things will be left in the dust of reason.

    Equal rights for all; the elimination of the religious strangle hold on society; is imminent inspite of organized efforts to stop it by religionist bigots. Religionists are always 100-300 years behind the real world. It took the catholic Church how many centuries to realize they had persecuted Galileo unfairly. That Christians burned books stupidly and people wantonly. That the Inquisition was unjust. That Martin Luther promulgated anti-Semitism.

    One-hundred years from now Christian churches will be apologizing for their homophobic witch hunts, their denial of the role of genetics in human sexuality, and the pain they caused those who did not fit their preferred mould.

  8. PS: Nathan, when in discussion with thinking people (aka non-religious fanatics) over biblical history/criticism; politics; human sexuality; taxation; constitutional interpretation; and personal freedom, peppering your rhetoric with hackneyed religious platitudes and “testamony” does nothing but weaken your case. It implys you lack sufficient secular knowledge necessary to hold an intelligent sociologically rooted discussion and must default to “religious speak” supernaturalism as a fall back.

    You may want to consider that when speaking with a person who places zero value on such nonsensical gibberish. I.E:

    “… the character of the God who reveals himself in the man Jesus Christ…”

    “.. I know the one who loves me. I know that he loves women, slaves, and beyond. I am captivated by his love for all,…”

    “… but only to point them to His great love for sinners, of which I am a great one.”

    “I look forward to the greater home He promises, and, call me a simple child, hope that perhaps, I might see you there as well. ”

    It’s all pap.

    Thanks.

  9. Bart,

    Hello again sir. A pleasure to engage you again.

    “This archaic belief that marriage is soley for the purpose of promulgating the species is defunct. “

    This is not my position. At the same time, promulgating the species is certainly part and parcel of marriage writ large. Read more on my views here (starting with comment 38):

    http://www.britannica.com/blogs/2008/11/banning-same-sex-marriages-have-we-learned-from-our-mistakes/

    “This focus on governmental support of gay marriage (presumably through the tax code) is a blatant red herring. That you make a distinction between those preferring not to procreate and those who cannot speaks to a religious mindset, not a financial concern.”

    Where did I ever say this has anything to do with a financial concern? It has little, if nothing to do with finances, and everything to do with ensuring the optimal conditions for the necessary fruits of marriage – children – and this, for the benefit of all. Further, I may be religious, but my arguments are reasonable enough for even the most irreligious to understand.

    I wrote in post 45 in the link above the following:

    “Keep in mind that the premise you do not accept ultimately has less to do with legalities (and sterile philosophies) and more to do with naturally occurring realities. Or do you think that eventually, all is infinitely malleable? Again, I think that heterosexual couples that *choose by their own will to remain perpetually childless* do not do a service to their fellow (wo)man. I think if anything, governments ought to do everything that we can to discourage such debilitating self-absorption that disrupts the continuity of human community, hopefully short of changing the rules surrounding legal marriages (though I can see this eventually becoming necessary).

    I am not saying marriage is strictly about children, per se – it is about love between two persons, but children are a wonderful, natural fruit of love. Those who would deny this natural result are, quite honestly, foolish and deluding themselves. Further, the institution of marriage, as understood by the governing authorities for the purposes of governing, has always been *the* child-centered institution. We can deny it now I suppose, and pay later, when reality bounces back.

    Children today need more stable and naturally complementary parenting, not less. It is hard for me to think that those who would intentionally engineer the environment to encourage motherless and fatherless unions really have thought long and hard about what is best for children. More “me-centeredness”, I think.”

    “I don’t think the goverment should be supporting religion by providing tax breaks to churches/clergy. The financial implications are far greater there than they ever would be by Federal Income tax benefits to gay couples. My guess is you don’t much care about that particular issue. I can’t imagine why; unless it’s grounded in hypocrisy.”

    That’s fine. Persons in the past thought that religion contributed to the strength of society, and *of course* I think this is true. However, if the people of this nation decide that government support of religious institutions is not a good idea, I am not going to go to the wall about this. Again, you are simply wrong to think that all of this has to do with finances for me (or many others). I *know* it does not.

    “You know of gay/hetero marriages that work? Really? Frankly, Nathan I think you are lying.”

    I have been privileged to read many accounts of persons who struggle with homosexual desires living in good, stable relationships (I did not talk about “sexless” relationships either: that is your addition). I listen to these people, and I trust them when they speak. Have you heard people make similar claims, and would I be right to infer that you do not trust them? On what basis would you discount their personal experiences of God’s grace and healing?

    “A parent who would wish such a union on their gay or hetero child is no parent at all, simply a deluded religious fanatic.”

    Behold the fanatic. : ) No, I do not accept this. Nor do I accept easy divorce (“no-fault” divorce is clearly bad). Nor do I accept that children should be deprived of their natural inheritance. And yes, the fact that adoption ever needs to occur is a tragedy. And no, I am not opposed to gay adoption, although in the case of all other things being equal, I believe that heterosexual couples should always be given preference.

  10. …“James, brother of Jesus (you may have heard of him) said that Christians should follow the Torah. This was a primary issue at the Council of Jerusalem. He lost the battle of the expansion politics lead by Paul intended to more easily recruit Gentiles by negating the Hebraic laws and traditions to become Christian.”

    No – everyone, including James (read Acts 15) agreed that it was faith in Jesus Christ alone that saved and not the works of the law. Acts tells us that James agreed that persons could be recognized as being a part of God’s family through Christ apart from those works. We can assume that this is because James also saw Jesus as fulfilling the Torah, as did Paul. Further, no one told the strict Christian Jews that they could not keep their practices (although the destruction of the Temple put an end to some of these for sure), but that they could not tell the Gentiles that they were not united in Christ Jesus. Hence Gal. 3:28. I think this is pretty basic Christianity 101. The Apostles and many Church Fathers agree with me.

    “But I sense I am casting pearls before a person who is ill educated in Christian history, and whose opinions in the scheme of things will be left in the dust of reason.”

    Well, I don’t mean to be proud, but I at the least would not agree with your assessment here.

    “It took the catholic Church how many centuries to realize they had persecuted Galileo unfairly. That Christians burned books stupidly and people wantonly. That the Inquisition was unjust. That Martin Luther promulgated anti-Semitism.”

    Mea culpa – no excuses (of course some conservatives would be irritated with me confessing the sins of others for them! : ) ). On the other hand, for my own view on the bigger picture of what Christianity has meant for the world, see post #62 in the blog referenced above (it is also quite short, but pretty meaty).

    “One-hundred years from now Christian churches will be apologizing for their homophobic witch hunts, their denial of the role of genetics in human sexuality, and the pain they caused those who did not fit their preferred mould.”

    You may be right. Some who are recognized by society at large as the Christian church may be doing that. But they will not really be the Church, for, barring Christ’s imminent return, there will simply be a smaller flock of those who held firm to the truth, not only attested to by the Word of God, but by nature itself.

    “peppering your rhetoric with hackneyed religious platitudes and “testamony” does nothing but weaken your case. It implys you lack sufficient secular knowledge necessary to hold an intelligent sociologically rooted discussion and must default to “religious speak” supernaturalism as a fall back.

    You may want to consider that when speaking with a person who places zero value on such nonsensical gibberish. I.E…”

    Bart, I understand your desire to speak this way with me. And I understand your fervent unbelief. Quite honestly, I agree with you, and usually, if you examine most of what I have written on this topic in the past, I have stuck with reason pretty firmly – even while acknowledging that yes, I am a Christian (who realizes not all are, and hence desires to, and sees the necessity of, trying to persuade people with evidence that all of us share). That said, I hope that you can understand how you did make it rather personal as well, attacking God as you did. I wanted you to understand that you simply aren’t speaking to me when you speak like you did, even if that would cause you or anyone else to illogically conclude that I am somehow not well-versed in the best of today’s secular thinking (I am, I just think much of it is wrong : ) ). Yes, I know that God has sometimes been quite violent, and I know that even Jesus spoke quite a bit about hard-to-understand things like hell. I have made my peace with this though, and wanted you to see a personal side. No more though – I would encourage you to simply read the Gospels again, to see the crazy mix that is the wild and “cruel” [?] Jesus, side-by-side with the amazingly compassionate Jesus. He is stranger than fiction indeed. But to many, not wholly unbelievable either.

    “All pap.”

    I must admit – given the fact that all of us can’t not take some historical facts for granted that we cannot definitively prove to others – and act confidently in regards to such beliefs – I am always amazed at how persons who have even evidently examined the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ can be so dismissive.

    Finally, let me confess a fantasy. I have imagined myself to be debating the well-known Bart Ehrmann (sp?), but I’m right to think that I have over-imagined my opposition, correct?

    Best regards,

    Nathan

  11. I wanted you to understand that you simply aren’t speaking to me when you speak like you did, even if that would cause you or anyone else to illogically conclude that I am somehow not well-versed in the best of today’s secular thinking

    should say:

    I wanted you to understand that you simply aren’t speaking to me when you speak like you did. ***Also, I understand that my peppering my talk with religious language might cause*** you or anyone else to illogically conclude that I am somehow not well-versed in the best of today’s secular thinking…

  12. if nothing else, at least you cut down on the religious platitudes on your last post.

    You talked about “government support” of marriage. If you are saying you didn’t mean in terms of the tax code, then how does government support my marriage of 40 years?

    If youre so concerned about single parent marriages & broken marriages (again, 50% divorce rate) your focus should be on THAT. But it’s not at all about that because if you cared about it as much as you profess to your irrational fear of expanding the term marriage to homosexual unions would be the least of your concerns.

    The world is already populating at a solid and consistant pace. Having more children doesn’t necessarly improve things from an environmental or resource perspective. Only in the religious mind does this bizarre focus on maximum reproduction make sense.

    If you didn’tunderstand what I wrote about James, brother of Jesus saying that the Torah needed to be retained as part and parcel to Xtianity, it may be because you are unschooled. I didnt say anything about works or faith being the basis for “salvation.” KI didn’t mention salvation.
    I said, plainly, that James adamantly supported the perspective that the laws of the Hebrew Bible, whoich were known to all of the early Chtristians, and followed by them…should be a prerequisit for gentile admittance into the Christian faith. We were discussing Hebraic Law, and the admonisment against homosexuality, and why Xtians cherry pick from the laws ignoring the 612 other Talmudic Laws. Remember? You asked who else in Xtian history shared my “view”?
    Now you know. Someone who knew Jesus before he died; his brother.
    This isn’t something I’m making up. Google “Council of Jeruselem”. Or just Wiki James Brother of Jesus. Learn something more than what you’re fed through apologtics sites.

    No, I am not Bart Ehrman. My book doesn’t sell quite as well as his do.

    I sense we are finished here.

  13. Your question, “Is heterosexual marriage the answer to gays seeking to tie the knot?:

    God is the answer, in His written work in the book of Romans, God says it VERY clearly that same sex relationships are morally and eternally wrong. God heals all! We all need to grow closer to God and many healings will take place in each of our lives.

  14. Nathan…no need. As I said above, I sense we are finished here.

    You see, once a challenge is made to provide evidents of historical Christian positions, and it is paried and answered with definitive fact and corroborated proofs, to have the challenger then ignore and divert the exchange to unasked questions (i.e. qualification for “salvation”,) we know we’ve reached the end of the trail.

    It’s an apologetic tact employed by Christians when they are shown to be lacking in knowledge of Christian history, deficient in debate and faced with the irrefutable. It’s annoying and unproductive.

  15. Personally I don’t understand why gay people want to marry.There really are no more perks or benefits that are denied them in the workplace.So many heterosexuals also live together without being married.Whats wrong with civil unions..are’nt they the same thing?If anything it seems to be an idead started with radicals who want nothing more than to break down the societal structure of the family unit.If one believes in God then you must know of the laws of nature and procreation as the way that societies thrive.Homosexuals cannot procreate and therefore must use articial means in order for societies to continue to thrive.The media today points an ignorant and hateful finger at religious organizations for their stance in opposition to gay marriage.But religions are not anti-gay,nor do they oppose homosexuals..they do however oppose homosexual act.What is a gay person to do? If you truly turned to God for the answere He will point the way.One of the greatest things God treasures in a soul is purity.Religious know this and gladly endure it with Gods help…some fall because aftere all we are human.Perhaps the cross God asks of homosexuals to carry is one of chastity and remaining pure…it is one extremely heavy cross to carry…a burden that cannot be done without His help…you have to ask yourself if you are a believer…do I worship the Creator(GOD)or the created(man,flesh).Before listening to what the media feeds you or radicals with agendas…ask God….pray..it can’t hurt..it can only help.

  16. John,
    Thanks for that genuine religious gibberish. It does ones heart good to see that as reason and intellect advance across the civilized world, folks like you will continue to hold high the torch of delusion and denial.

    When churches contribute millions to overturn Proposition 8, in an effort to deny the right of people to secular marriage, whether you understand why gays want to marry or not, how one deems it “ignorant” of the media to point a finger at the intolerance of religion toward their fellow man is a tad … well, ignorant.

    If god didn’t want gays to be happy in marital union, why not let him speak for himself. Or did he appoint you, the Mormon Church, and Tony perkins his spokespersons because god had a stroke?

  17. Since the completion of the mapping of the human genome, the APA and other orginizations of thet ilk have been doing a back peddle on their previous holdings that homosexuality is a normal human sexual variation. Because a gay gene wasn’t found, their learned opinions were in danger of being exposed as something other than scientificaly factual. Regardless of whether or not there is a genetic or biological reason for somebody to want to live that way, it is none of my business! I do not benefit from their unions in any tangible or intangible way and I’m adverse to being forced to reconize, celebrate, and/or subsidize anything from which I receive no payout. Why do they keep up thepressure to make this my business! Don’t I have a constitutional right to be left alone?

  18. Dewy…
    Tell me, now that they have mapped the human genome, have they found the gene that causes left handedness? Oh, they found a gene that seems to correlate to it (LRRTM1,) but it does not cause left handedness in all the people who have that genetic characteristic; and there are left handed people whpo do not carry that gene.

    But whatever the exact cause does this mean a left handed person choose to be so from birth? Do you remember when you chose to be right or left handed? I know I don’t.

    Whether homosexual trait is nature i.e. anatomical, genetic, endocrinological; or whether it is nuture; or whether it is a combination of the two is still unknown. What we do know is the trait is displayed in many animal species and is not unique to humans.

    If there is a biological reason that left handedness happens, does that mean they “wanted” to be left handed? It used to be that left handed people were forced to become right handed. That’s not done anymore. I wonder why…don’t you?

    Meanwhile, if it doesnt affect you, and it probably doesn’t; and you aren’t being asked to sacrifice anything, and you aren’t; I’m at a loss as to what your concern is and how your life is being impacted. The only time anyone would expect you to overtly recognize or “celebrate” gay marriage is if you were invited to attend one. Then the option for you to attend or not, send a gift or not, would be the biggest “pressure” on you and intrusion into your life. I’m sure you and your constitution rights could absorb that minor inconvenience.

    Personally, Dewy … if you wanted to marry a black, asian, left handed person, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, bisexual, gay, amputee, quadrapalegic, or a dwarf… I won’t feel put upon, I won’t let it bother me, nor will I stand in your way. Live and let live, I say.

  19. Bart,

    Well, I hope you’ll read this, although it will probably be useful for me to do this for myself as well.

    ” You talked about “government support” of marriage. If you are saying you didn’t mean in terms of the tax code, then how does government support my marriage of 40 years?”

    Government should encourage marriage for the good of society primarily by its laws. The law teaches, and stable opposite sex, child-producing and rearing marriages are good for society. The government supports your marriage in 40 years by urging you to stay married and to always recognize the value of supporting your own children’s marriages and their raising of their children. Subsidization should be limited to tax credits for children. In saying this, I am not talking about maximum reproduction of children either.

    “If youre so concerned about single parent marriages & broken marriages (again, 50% divorce rate) your focus should be on THAT.”

    You says it isn’t? How would you know? David Blankenhorn’s focus and specialty is on fatherhood. Jennifer Roback Morse’s is on divorce, and “love and economics” – they only got involved in this issue because they felt they had to. It has not stopped them from being slandered however. (see http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2010/07/07/rich-v-blankenhorn/ and http://www.ruthblog.org/2010/08/11/david-blankenhorn-didnt-mess-up-in-the-prop-8-trial/ )

    “But it’s not at all about that because if you cared about it as much as you profess to your irrational fear of expanding the term marriage to homosexual unions would be the least of your concerns.”

    Bart, with all due respect, it’s amazing how much you think you know about me.

    “I said, plainly, that James adamantly supported the perspective that the laws of the Hebrew Bible, whoich were known to all of the early Chtristians, and followed by them…should be a prerequisit for gentile admittance into the Christian faith.”

  20. …Bart, James did not share your view. From my perspective – and from the perspective of many Christians throughout the ages – saying that adherence to the ceremonial laws in the Torah was necessary prior to admittance into the Christian faith is saying that this is necessary for salvation. The Christian faith is salvation. Christ is salvation. The Church is salvation. To be recognized as a member of the Church, Christ’s body, is to be saved.

    “We were discussing Hebraic Law, and the admonisment against homosexuality, and why Xtians cherry pick from the laws ignoring the 612 other Talmudic Laws.”

    Why they “cherry-pick” is clear from the N.T. It is all quite clear to anyone who looks at it, even non-believers (read my message above again)

    What is “KI”?

    “You see, once a challenge is made to provide evidents of historical Christian positions, and it is paried and answered with definitive fact and corroborated proofs, to have the challenger then ignore and divert the exchange to unasked questions (i.e. qualification for “salvation”,) we know we’ve reached the end of the trail.”

    Or, it could mean that you and I simply think completely differently, and we should be asking each other questions like the following: 1) what do you mean by that? 2) what is your reason for believing that? 3) Have you considered…?

    “It’s an apologetic tact employed by Christians when they are shown to be lacking in knowledge of Christian history, deficient in debate and faced with the irrefutable. It’s annoying and unproductive.”

    Well Bart, I have a little bit better appraisal of my knowledge than you do, I guess. And others who may read our exchange can come to their own evaluations. In any case, if you are convinced that I have shown myself to be so lacking in knowledge and intellectual acumen, I understand if you do not want to continue talking.

    Which may be all for the best though – I probably should do some others things. I will check back though in a week though and perhaps comment again if you desire to talk more.

    Best regards to you,

    Nathan

  21. “Everyone in America–including homosexuals–is free to tie the knot. Our laws simply require them to marry someone of the opposite sex”

    The very idea of compelling people marry people they couldn’t possibly love or feel intimate attraction to does more to break down the meaning of marriage than gay marriage ever could. Its simply not a rational option for gays and lesbians.

    I’m pretty sure Perkins is being facetious, he knows his picture of “equality” intentionally discriminates against gays and lesbians. He’s fully aware that this standard deprives them any realistic chance to marry the people they love at all, stigmatizes gay and lesbian relationships as simply inferior to heteronormal relationships, and is psychologically devastating in the deepest and most personal way imaginable.

    Bart,

    “Whether homosexual trait is nature i.e. anatomical, genetic, endocrinological; or whether it is nuture; or whether it is a combination of the two is still unknown. What we do know is the trait is displayed in many animal species and is not unique to humans.”

    Don’t get remotely side-tracked on this issue. Its already been long settled, and plenty of people much smarter than me have written volumes on the subject.

    The trick is understanding that, regardless of whether homosexuality is natural or not, opposition to gay marriage stems from the belief that homosexuality is immoral, and that legalizing gay marriage is a tacit approval and condoning homosexuality.

    There are no secular reasons to oppose homosexuality, no obvious way to distinguish it in any moral sense from heterosexuality. Even among people who believe morality is subjective or culturally relative, they’ll usually concede that there are good, practical arguments against theft and murder and indulging in a vices like excess gambling, mainly on the basis that those behaviors are demonstrably harmful to people. They’ll even concede that arguments against marrying children are acceptable on the basis that children are not rational enough to make life-changing decisions like consenting to marriage, and in general they can’t enter into legal agreements with adults at all. They’ll concede that incestuous relationships are notorious one-sided and non-consentual (very often in the form fathers sexually abusing their daughters), and barring extraordinarily rare occurences, prohibitions on marrying siblings draws no criticism because there’s no demand for it in the first place.

    The immorality of homosexuality is an odd one, because it doesn’t harm people in any real obvious way — except that it makes bigots really really uncomfortable. Decades of blood libel and scare mongering, particularly the “danger” gays pose to children, have been debunked. So where’s the harm? I’ve asked this question dozens of times to people, and never got an answer. Even religious people will concede that there are no secular arguments which explain why homosexuality is immoral.

    The moral argument homosexuality is religious — and I need to stress its a particular religious view which is far from universal. Plenty of American Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindi, Buddhists, and others are enthusiastically supportive of gay rights and equality. No everyone believes in the same god, and not all people who believe in a common god believes that god wants the same thing, and absolutely no one on the planet who believes god disapproves of homosexuality can explain *why* god disapproves.

    Whatever the case, religious morality evolves over time, and its relative to society people live in. If there was a good reason to oppose homosexuality, it would be obvious, people would give you a straight answer when you asked them.

    You’d think a law which discriminates against people on a basis of sexual orientation would have some pretty compelling reasons behind it. But there isn’t, as made abundantly clear in the prop 8 ruling. Read the ruling yourself (http://www.scribd.com/doc/35374462/Prop-8-Ruling-FINAL), its 137 pages but easily digestable in the space of a few hours — the prop 8 supporters called a grand total of two “expert” witnesses whose credibility was soundly torn to shreds. Either an evil cabal of conspiratorial liberals were representing the Prop 8 supporters with the intent of making them look foolish, or the Prop 8 supporters really had no case in the first place. I’m thinking the latter, what about you?

    — Juliet

  22. Nathan,

    “If they are planning on remaining deliberately childless for the whole of their lives, I don’t see any reason why their union should be supported, encouraged, or subsidized by the gov’t –that’s all”

    Oh my god. Oh my god, do you have even the slightest clue how judgemental that is? How incredibly bigoted, thoughtless and hateful that sounds? How absolutely vindictive and insidious the very thought is that marriage is a contractual obligation with the government to reproduce?

    Your comment doesn’t even merit refutation or polite dismissal. Its bigoted and judgemental, and its exactly those sort of comments that make republicans come across as an extremist party with a stranglehold on sexual politics. What next? Deny birth control to married couples? Fertility tests as a prerequisite to marriage licenses? Start nullifying marriages when couples don’t meet a procreation quota in a certain amount of time? Deny marriage between people too old to procreate? Deny marriage when one partner has had a vasectomy or hysterectomy?

    Its such a horrific politic, and stated with with an enthusiastically and proudly harmful attitude, it more than deserves to be maligned and parodied, and to serve as an example to everyone in the nation how far debased from reality and decency gay marriage opponents are.

    And I say that from the point of view of a voluntarily childless woman and enthusiastic supporter of the child free movement.

    Yours truly,
    Juliet

  23. To Juliet,

    We couldn’t agree more. Nice to see reasoned people actually visit this blog.
    Kudos on your post.
    Bart
    aka Dromedary Hump
    http://atheistcamel.blogspot.com/

  24. Me:

    “If they are planning on remaining deliberately childless for the whole of their lives, I don’t see any reason why their union should be supported, encouraged, or subsidized by the gov’t –that’s all”

    Juliet:

    “Oh my god. Oh my god, do you have even the slightest clue how judgemental that is? How incredibly bigoted, thoughtless and hateful that sounds? How absolutely vindictive and insidious the very thought is that marriage is a contractual obligation with the government to reproduce?”

    Overreacting a wee bit? Marriage is not a contractual obligation with the government to reproduce, it is a gift of God intended to illustrate to mankind the love that God has for His people. It is the Divine Drama in miniature. And this beautiful love produces many fruits and gifts, and foremost of which are children. I am simply saying that from the perspective of the government – which is not as concerned about people’s feelings as it is peace and good order – it makes no sense to subsidize in large parts behavior that does little to contribute to society as a whole.

    “Your comment doesn’t even merit refutation or polite dismissal. Its bigoted and judgemental, and its exactly those sort of comments that make republicans come across as an extremist party with a stranglehold on sexual politics. What next? Deny birth control to married couples? Fertility tests as a prerequisite to marriage licenses? Start nullifying marriages when couples don’t meet a procreation quota in a certain amount of time? Deny marriage between people too old to procreate? Deny marriage when one partner has had a vasectomy or hysterectomy?”

    No.

    “Its such a horrific politic, and stated with with an enthusiastically and proudly harmful attitude, it more than deserves to be maligned and parodied, and to serve as an example to everyone in the nation how far debased from reality and decency gay marriage opponents are.”

    Juliet – I make no apologies for my comments. And really, do you honestly think that if you got to know me you would find me to be the monster you now seem to paint me to be?

    “And I say that from the point of view of a voluntarily childless woman and enthusiastic supporter of the child free movement.”

    Juliet, in my view you are a wonderful person, created in the image of God. I am thankful that you are the fruit of the union between your mother and father – and you – and your heartfelt reaction – are a great gift of God to me, because it helps me to better understand the confusion that has overcome our age. My only point is that if a married couple who are able to reproduce are planning on remaining deliberately childless for the whole of their lives, I see that as profoundly selfish, as it is denying the rest of us the gift of another human being to love and be loved by. Humanity is God’s greatest created gift. I say that personally. From the government perspective, its simply not good governance to subsidize behaviors that do not benefit the society as a whole.

    Will try to check back in a week.

    Regards,
    Nathan

  25. Bart, Juliet,

    By the way, although I think Perkin’s comments make very good sense – and that a good argument can of course be made for this rooted in rational reasons any person can understand – I also should add that I think celibacy is a good option for some persons who do not wish to act on their homosexual inclinations. Although many persons who have struggled with homosexual inclinations do find peace in heterosexual marriages, I acknowledge (see the link above: http://www.kfuoam.org/Issues_ETC/ie_11_11_07.htm )that this may not be the best option for all “ex-gays”.

    Regards,
    Nathan

  26. I said:

    “because it helps me to better understand the confusion that has overcome our age”

    Check it out!:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1303273/Councils-pay-disabled-visit-prostitutes-lap-dancing-clubs.html

    Sex as a human right, I guess. But make sure you de-couple it from the babies!

    ~Nathan

  27. Marriage is a covenant established between God and mankind and made a sacrement by Christ..the purpose..to be fruitful and multiply,to build Gods kingdom on earth,to image God as family bond of Father,Son,Holy Spirit(trinity)..therefore marriage is a religious institution that govt.has no place in re-writing the sacred union between man and wife..as decreed by God.Homosexual unions produce nothing fruitful..they are a mockery of the family and they are un natural…against the laws of nature…for those who believe in God read Romans 1:16-32..for those who don’t believe in God..you are living in times where you will come to believe soon enough…other than that there is nothing anyone can say to you to change your opinion.However once again I will state that religions of any kind except for Islam does not hate gays…it is the act itself..secular media likes to twist the truth on this or they are just as ignorant on the facts..before attacking the viewpoint of religions try learning why we take this stance..it’s too much to explain in a forum like this.