American and rainbow flag blowing in the wind on a suburban porch.

American and rainbow flags blowing in the wind on a suburban porch. Photo courtesy of 719production via Shutterstock

(RNS) A federal judge ruled Tuesday (Jan. 14) that Oklahoma’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution.

Same-sex marriages won’t happen in the state immediately, though, because U.S. District Judge Terence Kern stayed his ruling pending an appeal. After a similar judicial decision last month in Utah, more than 900 same-sex couples got married in that state before the U.S. Supreme Court halted the weddings until the issue is settled.

Oklahoma Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt called Kern’s ruling “a troubling decision” and said the high court had recently noted “it is up to the states to decide how to define marriage, not the federal government.”

In 2004, Oklahoma voters enshrined heterosexual marriage into the state constitution. Two lesbian couples then sued for the right to marry and to have marriages in other states recognized in Oklahoma.

Kern ruled that the 2004 amendment violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution, calling the ban “an arbitrary, irrational exclusion of just one class of Oklahoma citizens from a governmental benefit.”

“Excluding same-sex couples from marriage has done little to keep Oklahoma families together thus far, as Oklahoma consistently has one of the highest divorce rates in the country,” Kern wrote in his 68-page opinion.

He noted that Tulsa residents Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin, one of the two couples who sued, have “been in a loving, committed relationships for many years. They own property together, wish to retire together, wish to make medical decisions for one another, and wish to be recognized as a married couple with all its attendant rights and responsibilities.”

“Equal protection is at the very heart of our legal system and central to our consent to be governed. It is not a scarce commodity to be meted out begrudgingly or in short portions,” Kern wrote. “Therefore, the majority view in Oklahoma must give way to individual constitutional rights.”

Governor Mary Fallin

Gov. Mary Fallin criticized the decision, saying, “The people of Oklahoma have spoken on the issue,” with 75 percent of voters supporting the traditional definition of marriage. photo courtesy of the office of Gov. Mary Fallin


This image is available for Web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Gov. Mary Fallin criticized the decision, saying, “The people of Oklahoma have spoken on the issue,” with 75 percent of voters supporting the traditional definition of marriage.

“I support the right of Oklahoma’s voters to govern themselves on this and other policy matters,” she said in a statement. “I am disappointed in the judge’s ruling and troubled that the will of the people has once again been ignored by the federal government.”

While noting that the Supreme Court has not yet ruled on whether same-sex marriages can be banned, Kern pointed out that the high court “now prohibits states from passing laws that are born of animosity against homosexuals, extends constitutional protection to the moral and sexual choices of homosexuals, and prohibits the federal government from treating opposite-sex marriages and same-sex marriages differently.”

In addition to Oklahoma and Utah, constitutions in 27 other states prohibit same-sex marriages, and lawsuits have been filed in 16 states.

Last week, four same-sex couples in Arizona challenged that state’s definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

(Michael Winter writes for USA Today.)

MG END WINTER

 

 

69 Comments

  1. Adding such things to the state Constitution was a pretty sleazy act to begin with because it requires a supermajority to repeal it. So even if the majority of the state wanted marriage equality, it would have been impossible.

    The Courts are right to strike such bans from state constitutions. It is an abuse of the legislative process for sectarian and partisan ends. If the marriage equality opponents really thought their beliefs were popular and rational, they would not have been messing with the state constitutions to begin with. They would just appeal to voters and the courts to uphold such things.

    Ultimately the marriage equality opponents are in a bind. By appealing the decision, they risk an Equal Protection argument being put in front of the Supreme Court. Something they cannot win. Something which can be turned into a ruling which can be applied to the entire nation. If they do nothing, they have conceded OK.

    • Only one thing wrong with the “equal protection” argument, Larry: For it to be applied logically it requires first an acceptance of terminology as it has always been understood. Redefining the language is not the way to do it.

      According to the traditional definition of marriage, gays are free to marry and the equal protection clause doesn’t apply. They don’t want that.

      This is not to say that people in civil unions should be denied rights. Conservatives don’t want “marriage” to be redefined. They also have a quarrel with libs who redefine “hate” to apply the term to anyone they disagree with.

      Indeed, the court system is going your way. Don’t be so sure, though, that there won’t eventually be sufficient opposition to this, with election results that result in a cleansing of the judiciary and a return of reason to the judicial processes..

      • “Traditional definitions” only are worth preserving if there is a rational (and secular) purpose behind them. There is none for opposing marriage equality. Your distaste for marriage equality is not a compelling argument.

        Your argument is a long ridiculed one when discussing civil liberties
        “Both the rich and poor are equally barred from sleeping under bridges”
        “Both blacks and whites are not allowed to get married to each other”

        “This is not to say that people in civil unions should be denied rights. Conservatives don’t want “marriage” to be redefined. ”

        Separate but somehow equal. Where have we heard this argument before?
        Unless you can cough up a rational reason why it can’t be redefined, there is no reason to keep it. What you oppose is the treatment of a gay couple under the law with the same respect as a straight couple. Discrimination. I am sure there are people who support discrimination without being hateful. I have never seen it. More importantly I have never seen it from you.

        • Leave it to you, Larry, to equate disagreement with your notion of “rights” as being an example of hate. You’ve chosen to redefine hate as well as marriage–and perhaps many other concepts as well in order to suit your preferences.

          A distinction between “separate but equal” as it applies to civil rights and elsewhere: SCOTUS rightly decided that our Constitution gives no support to discriminating against people because of ethnicity or race (we really don’t know what “race” is all about, anyway). Human beings are human beings under our Constitution, period.

          There’s no reason why same-sex couples cannot be afforded the usual protections afforded married people, such as inheriting property, making decisions for one another as needed, etc. This provides them the same benefits that married couples receive.

          What segregation had attempted to do–or actually presupposed–was that there were different classes of humans as humans, which is wrong.

          Your notion that traditional definitions are changeable at whim reflects nothing more than your and your kind’s notion that your own whims take precedence over everything else. Care to redefine every other word in the vocabulary to suit your whims? That, in essence, is what you think you have the power to do. The fact that you and yours can enlist the coersion of the state to effect and enforce your will does not make an argument other than that of “might is right.” That being so, you’ll have no gripe should the tables be turned.

          As for my being anti-gay as you like to presume, without any validation: Perhaps I know and have worked with and for more gays in my lifetime than you actually have ever known. Being the snooty liberal that you are, you are quick to make judgments about everyone who disagrees with you–allthewhile accusing conservatives of being judgmental.

  2. Every Christian who voted for that gay-activist Obama, also voted for this disaster, with more to come.

    Now that Obama has killed the federal Defense Of Marriage Act, it only takes one libbie no-count gay-activist judge, just one, to disenfranchise and dishonor the voters of an entire state.

    That’s why Obama did what he did. He opened the door to this mess.

    But it’s too late to fix anything now. Too late for course corrections via voting for a new president. More states will fall soon. And with each fall, the United States of Sodom will drive faster and faster, straight towards divine judgment and disaster.

    Christians are advised to start mixing preparations with their prayers. Start stocking up, food, water, first-aid kits, flashlights, other items. Don’t wait till it’s too late.

    • Hey Doc, if the anti-marriage equality people in OK trusted the democratic process, they would not have made the constitutional amendment.

      Why do you people like yourself distrust voters so much?

      If you don’t want marriage equality to go national, don’t put the issue in front of the Supreme Court. You guys don’t have a rational, secular argument in defense of your position. Just take your lumps state by state.

      • Voters and families are indeed losing “state by state”, but it doesn’t change the fact that they have every right to vote their own conscience, (be it pro or con), when it comes to a creeping national disaster like legalized gay marriage.

        It is you and the gay activists that fear the American ballot box. You fear rational public debate, and most of all you fear and despise the American voters.

        You guys are totally unable to convince rational voters and families that legalized gay marriage offers anything other than an greasy slimy mess, and an accelerated unraveling of America’s moral, family, and community fabric.

        That is why you employ libbie judges like those in Utah and Oklahoma to do your dirty work. Disenfranchise and disrespect the voters, and the people — that’s what gay activists do. That’s what that gay-activist Obama and his judges do.

        You may be winning, but America is surely losing. Not much time left.

        • “Voting your conscience” to attack the rights of others. I am sure it sounded pious and righteous when repeated often enough, but it doesn’t make it so. I appreciate that you are conceding being on an increasingly losing side to this issue.

          Again, if the legislators in OK trusted the voters to support such views they would not have amended their constitution to keep a majority vote from changing it. Their actions speak louder than your words.

          Public debate has helped show the nation how ugly and hateful people like yourself are. Voters are responding by increasingly choosing to reject such ideas.

          Nobody is being disenfranchised. You are just being a whiny little baby who is bemoaning that the government is not taking your prejudices seriously anymore. Life is getting tougher for people who want to give irrational, malicious ideas the color of law. Oh well.

          Btw if you can show any of the “harm” or “damage” caused by marriage equality in any of the states and nations which have it, you would have arguments which can be taken seriously. Ones which can’t be simply chalked up to thickheaded bigotry. But you don’t. Nor ever will.

        • DOC ANTHONY,

          You prove it in every comment.

          Religion is a fascist enterprise; a man made weapon for pushing people around, telling them how to live and meddling in their private lives.
          May it fade like a morning fog.

    • whether you realize it or not you are echoing the words of various hate groups whose ancestors justified slavery as per the bible and gave us segergation etc

      RAcists like eg tony perkins of the FRC who paid 82000$ to A grand dragon of the kkk, David Duke in 1995 The whole leadership of the FRC are exstremist southern baptists – the peole who justied slavery per the bible and had a ftt when scotus trashed the last 16 states who still had inter-racial marriage bans in 1967

      http://www.americablog.com/2005/06/family-research-council-and-ku-klux.html

    • So is the “Affordable Care Act,” Max, which millions are now finding to be unaffordable. Why not give “equal application” to the term “meddling”? Libs never see the inconsistency of their positions.

      • THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT is a mess.
        But it is the right idea and it will be improved in coming years.

        It is not “meddling” to have taxation with representation.

        It is however invasive and meddling to have an unaccountable authority, an unknowable dictator of divergent, unintelligible and incoherent ‘absolutes’ regarding countless personal matters.

        The idea of a God adds nothing but confusion and misery to human affairs.

        • Max, the very premise on which Obamacare is constructed is NOT the right idea. There are Constitutional issues involved–and, no, the fact that SCOTUS gave the green light does not settle it because the entire culturo/political “war” is premised on demonstrable deviancy from the Constitution and the Founders’ intents.

          You claim not to believe in absolutes. In fact, you do believe in them Your absolute is that there should be governmental power to back up anything you desire, the liberal perspective. For others the absolutes are founded in a sense of natural law. If you don’t accept that, then you have no justification for complaining about murder, theft, and most other crimes.

          That you might not like that some men (they all seem to be men) make claims regarding personal behavior is understandable, but to reject the notion that there are metaphyical principles upon which laws are based will leave you entirely defenseless in an effort to protect yourself as an individual or the populated parts of the planet as a whole.

          • DUANE LAMERSQ,
            You said, “Your absolute is that there should be governmental power to back up anything you desire…”

            No. That is not true. If something is unconstitutional it MUST be thrown out. Our ‘desires’ are balanced with what is good for the commonwealth.

            But if the highest court deems that it is Constitutional – though I might disagree – the only alternative is to keep discussing the problems through the political process to try to improve it or retract it. And that process is what is going to happen. Future voters will make those adjustments.

            Notice that such human law is flexible and can be altered within the framework of the Constitution. The Bible however, is rock hard and a burden every step of the way.

            Strange that you cry out for freedom and deliverance from Government but you can’t wait for the government to control your sex life, your sex habits, who you can marry and who you can’t, what kind of contraceptives will be available and what kind of medicine can be denied to your pregnant wife or your pregnant daughter…etc…

            Some freedom! Religion is fascist nonsense.

  3. “Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State.” — its been the law of the land since 1789. If one state records a couple as married, other states must accept that record.

    • if the conersvatives go to scoutus they risk that the part of Doma that says states dont have to recognize marriages from other states will also get trashed.

      Of course doma only applied to gay people

    • This understanding of Article Four is premised on the notion that the Founders thought it fine and dandy to redefine terms. Only today’s liberals have that notion of the misuse of language.

      The heart of the entire argument rests on the right to redefine language.

      How convenient for “Article Four” to ignore all this.

  4. Religious ideology has no business in the laws of our great nation, and the founding fathers set provisions in our guiding documents to help to insure it never would. Throughout our journey as a nation when religious ideology became involved, it has often resulted in immoral crimes against humanity, such as the ownership of one human by another, or the suppression of the rights of one sex by another.

    In the struggle to replace the injustice of these terrible practices with justice, the peoples of our nation went through turbulent times where differing opinions were voiced, and unfortunately sometimes violently acted upon. Resiliently our democracy moved forward though, ultimately finding its way to justice in both of these morally corrupt practices.

    I think those opposed to slavery, and second class citizenry for women would have sounded very much like those opposed to same sex marriage now. Angered that society as a whole had recognized an injustice, voicing discontent about the change, and spewing hollow warnings the change would somehow herald the start of their Biblical end times.

    But like those Americans who were on the wrong side of justice back then, as history has proven, those who oppose same sex marriage are on the wrong side of justice now, as will be proven in the future. No longer is same sex marriage considered morally wrong by the majority of Americans, even though the majority still claims to believe in their religious text, although usually picking out the parts that fit in with what is understood as moral today, and avoiding the reality that other parts are so obviously void of morality.

    We have come way too far in our journey to become the greatest nation on earth to stop now. And although I may never see it, it is my hope that in the not so distant future every American woman and man will think of each other as sisters and brothers, not in the context of self-delusional doctrine, but rather in humanity.

    Religion destroys everything.

    • You’ve written important things that apply and are worthy to be seriously considered.

      Religion however, namely Christianity, would be better and greater if its adherents would take the high road and follow these few great attitudes about our very lovable LGBT friends —

      1. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way……….Romans 14:13

      2. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God……….Romans 15:7

      3. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love……….Ephesians 4:2

      4. Be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone……….Titus 3:2

      5. Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble………1 Peter 3:8

      6. Man’s ways are of the Lord,………….Proverbs 20:24

      7. You may believe there’s nothing wrong with what you are doing or how you feel about yourself, so keep it between yourself and God.
      BLESSED are those who don’t feel guilty for doing something or thinking of themselves in the way they know is best………..Romans 14:22

      8. All things are allowable, all things are lawful, all things are permissible…….1 Corinthians 6:12…….1 Corinthians 10:23

      Cheer…

      • The best way to take the high road in Christianity is to snip out all the supernatural nonsense of the Bible, eliminate all the stuff about Gods and demons – and keep only those few preaching of Jesus which are positive. There are a few.

        The Jefferson Bible is pretty good.

        Jesus looks better once you eliminate the nonsense of virgin births, resurrections, hell, ‘spirits’ and ‘heavenly father’.

      • Almost all of your quotes from the bible add up to one thing:
        The Golden Rule which requires no Gods.

        “Accept one another”, “Live in harmony”, “be gentle”, “be considerate”…etc.

        This is not rocket science, it is basic moral philosophy and no different from other laws of reciprocity found in the world. It needs no god.

        It is interesting that you had to look in the letters of Paul for your quotes.
        Jesus was not nearly as reciprocative as Paul.

    • Earold, perhaps some ideas to ponder:

      The Decalog has a prominent place in the decoration of the Supreme Court building. Why? Perhaps it isn’t that the Decalog springs from the Bible but that the Decalog actually represents the foundational pillars of natural law.

      Where’s any justification for laws against murder if not for the basis in natural law. If one wants to suggest that the state has the power to make laws against murder in and of itself, then it can also be supposed that a different legislature can undo those same laws.

      This puts us back into the philosophical world of metaphysics, a place where contemporary liberalism is absolutely smothered because it believes in nothing beyond the power and will of the individual–ordered, or course, toward liberalism’s own ends, otherwise to be condemned.

      Today’s liberalism is a religion with its own god and commandments. Your final statement might be more telling than you think: American society and its political machinery are dysfunctional, perhaps because the religion behind it is destroying them.

  5. You are obviously a product of the revisionist American history that has been regurgitated by American “progressive” academia over the past four or five decades. Our founding documents, the numerous writings of our founding fathers and our national monuments are replete with the importance of the Judeo-Christian faith in the formation and sustainability of our nation. To equate the debauchery of homosexuality with the plight of people who were discriminated against due to the color of their skin or their gender, circumstances for which they had no choice, is utterly rediculous and a great offense to most people in those catagories. Marriage is a covenant relationship between one man and one woman created by God for the propagation of the earth and the nurturing of children in the love and admonition of Lord. The homosexual act goes against nature and nature’s God and serves no purpose other than the destruction of families, the perversion of children and the ultimate collapse of decent society. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. Your demogoguery will be resisted on every front because you people are presently living a pipe dream. The vast majority of Americans are honest, hard working, God-fearing patriots who will not hand you the reins of this great nation, indefinitely, without a fight. Incidentally, we HAVE been the greatest, most generous nation on earth for more than 200 years, however you people are dedicated to its systematic decline and ultimate destruction.

    • Usual right wing xtian crap from the people whose forbears justified slavery and segregation per the bible

      BTW re Judeo, both the reform, and even the conservative branches – most rabbis will do gay marriages

      Christians were btw responsible for the holocaust Hitler for example often spoke of god and Providence.

      Try this one……………….

      http://nobeliefs.com/nazis.htm and see how christianity supported the worst madness in modern times. – pcitures mostly from nazi archives

      http://nobeliefs.com/nazis.htm

      • Stan, I suggest you take a good look at the doctrinal positions of the Christian churches as opposed to the evil deeds of some who call themselves Christian. Why would you think that Hitler represents Christianity in any form? Are you that desperate to justify atheism or agnosticism? I can give you good reasons for agnosticism that have absolutely nothing to do with the behavior of a few believers.

        Don’t make the mistake (or continue to make it) of associating segregationist Christians with the Bible. Christianity is founded on the New Testament, not the old. Do you find Jesus speaking up for slavery? Do a bit of reading of the Bible itself rather than the web pages of disgruntled know-nothings.

        No, I’m not proselytizing. I’m saying that reading the rants of people who wouldn’t know a philosophical (metaphysical) concept if it slapped them upside the head is not the way to form a solid conviction, whether that be in favor of or against any formal religious belief.

        In short, ask yourself: What are the actual principles of that religion or sect and on what are they based?

        • DUANE LAMARS,
          You said,
          “Why would you think that Hitler represents Christianity in any form?”

          How about because he was a Christian and built his hatred of Jews from the teachings of Martin Luther?

          “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.” -Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)

          These are not the words of an Atheist or Agnostic.

          • That Hitler was born and raised a Christian has absolutely nothing to do with the substance of Christian belief. Point to a denomination or sect within Christianity that now holds or ever did hold the views Hitler held.

            Are you saying that because Hitler “believed” he was acting . . . , therefore, he was? Really? Do you actually believe what you wrote? I’ll agree that Hitler’s words were not the words of an atheist or agnostic. How about seeing them as the words of absolute evil itself? They are not the words of anyone with even the loosest connection to a belief system.

        • DUANE LAMARS,

          You said, “take a look at the doctrinal positions…as opposed to the evil deeds of some who call themselves Christian.”

          That won’t work. The doctrinal positions are themselves the evil deeds. They are the recipe for disaster! That is what you Christians keep missing.

          If you follow a pie recipe exactly as instructed and it results in a bitter, disgusting dessert you have no choice but to blame the recipe.

          • Max, name a Christian doctrine that is evil. Once you do that, your next question will be: On what basis do you make the judgment about evil at all? If it is simply a personal judgment, then it is nothing but hot air. If it is more than that, you have found yourself venturing into the realm of philosophy, metaphysics and reason where you claim not to want to be.

            Let’s hear from you. If we don’t–well, there will still be something to be said about the emptiness of contemporary liberal “thought.”

        • My argument against Christian doctrine and religion in general are justified.
          I cannot list them all:

          The Bible says: 
”God is love.” (1JOHN 4:16)
          But this cannot be true.

          In Exodus, God commands us to rape women, to kill babies and innocents, enslave our neighbors and kill neighbors for 600 situations in Leviticus.

          The worst thing Jesus preaches is that we are to LOVE this God Yaweh and SHOW IT by following his commands! When Jesus is asked to list which commands must be followed he includes Leviticus (Mark 10:19)(Lev. 19:13).
          Jesus IS God (John 10:30-33)
          Jesus wanted his enemies executed – NOT LOVED.(Luke 19:27)
          Jesus wants us to make slaves of our neighbors.
          (Lev. 25:44-46)

          Jesus hates Gentiles and wants them KILLED.
          (Gal 3:29)(Matthew 15:24)(Jeremiah 48:10)(Luke 19:27)

          Jesus hates unruly children and wants them KILLED.
          (Matthew 15:3)

          Jesus wants innocent babies KILLED
          (Hosea 9:11-16)(Isaiah 13:15)

          Jesus would like it if you got yourself KILLED.
          (Matthew 16:24)

          AND JESUS SAYS HATE your mother, father and children.
          (Luke 14:26)

          You have seen it written where God said:

          “The Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy.” (JAS 5:11)
          
”For his mercy endureth forever.” (1CH 16:34) 

          
”God is love.” (1JO 4:16)

          “I will NOT pity, nor spare, NOR have mercy, but destroy.” (JER 13:14)
          “Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not, but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling.” 1 SAMUEL 15:3

        • DUANE LAMERS,

          The damaging, immoral teachings of Jesus are many.
          I cannot limit it to only one:

          1. The concept of original sin destroys morality. A ‘sin’ without volition destroys the meaning of morality. You are born sick and told to make yourself well – in other words doomed to Hell or else. 
And following Jesus may not be enough to save you if you are not careful! (Gallatians 3:10)

          2. Love He whom you must Fear. (Luke 1:50) This is Stockholm syndrome, a slave/master relationship – the roots of sado-masochism, mental illness and thought control. (Phillipians 2:12-13)

          3. Never plan for tomorrow (Matthew 6:34)(Luke 14:33)

          4. Do not resist evil. Allow evil people to do as they please in all circumstances (Matthew 5:39)

          5. Always submit to authority no matter how perverse they are (1 Peter 2:18)(Mark 12:17)

          6. No matter how evil your deeds and no matter how much pain they inflict on other people the Lord will give you a loophole so you will not be responsible. (1 John 2:1-29)

          7. Reject and abandon confused people (Matthew 10:14)

          8. Surrender your critical faculties. Don’t think for yourself (Matthew 18:3)

          9. Never grow up. Surrender like an infant and appeal to your most childlike understandings of things (Matthew 18:3)

          10. Die for your Lord. It will cure you of the sickness which the Lord gave you when you were born (Matthew 16:24-25)

          11. Hate your mother, father or children if they are confused by any of these preachings of Jesus (Luke 14:26)

          12. God: Love me because I committed suicide for you though you had no say in this matter (1 John 3:16)

          13. Someday I will return to kill everyone who does not understand all of my commands and the world will end (2 Peter 3:10)

          14. Only say you do not want responsibility for your evil crimes – and you are free.(1 Peter 2:24)

          15. Hate your life and cut off your body parts if necessary to follow my commands exactly to the letter. Otherwise you shall be sent to Hell. (Matthew 5:30)

          16. JESUS AND YAHWEH ARE THE SAME. One must attribute all of the Laws of Moses to Jesus as if He were Yahweh. Further, there is no clear commandment to limit the judgement and stoning laws of Leviticus.

          Shall I go on?

        • You asked a good question.
          Where do we ATHEISTS get our MORALITY?

          Just so you know…most Atheists were Christians. It was our pursuit of Jesus, our desire to understand the Bible which led to Atheism.

          Next….consider this:

          Meanwhile take a look at the world of Atheists. Why are they so good? :

          95% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences are Atheists; about 3,000 people.
          55% of the doctors working for Doctors Without Borders are Atheists (22,000 members worldwide working for FREE every day)
          100% of American Association of Atheists (50,000)

          If morality comes from Jesus, God, The Bible or Allah, one would expect these people to be stealing, raping, murdering and deeply hated by their communities.
          Actually, these are the most stable, peaceful, productive, generous individuals in society.

          They are almost never arrested!
          Their numbers in prison are so small that it is statistically zero.
          Atheists almost never end up in jail.

          Atheists are not only good without god. They are statistically the best behaving, most generous members of society.

          Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand are simultaneously the most peaceful and most atheistic countries in the world.

          Now if Morality comes from belief in God, why are the prisons filled with Christians?

        • Where do Atheists get morality?

          Answer: The Golden Rule.
          “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”

          The Golden Rule is an ancient philosophy – IT REQUIRES NO GOD – and it is adequate to cover all the bases of morality.

          This is why I would not enslave someone, rape, steal, kill, injure, defraud….etc.

          I do not need a God to tell me that I do not want to be treated with cruelty! I do not need a God to tell me that kindness begets kindness!
          And neither do you.

    • So in other words, you have no rational or non-religious argument to make on the subject. It is purely framed in sectarian dogma.

      Which means, you have no argument which should ever be taken seriously in our laws. By our Constitution we do not bind people according to the dictates of any given sect’s beliefs.

  6. WILLIAM HUDSON said,
    “our founding fathers ….are replete with the importance of the Judeo-Christian faith”

    THAT IS NONSENSE, Sir, NONSENSE!
    James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson – the original founders of this country – had ONLY CONTEMPT for Christianity, Judaism and Faith in general!

    “What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, NEEDS THEM NOT.” – James Madison – “A Memorial and Remonstrance”, 1785

    “Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.” – James Madison -letter to Wm. Bradford, April 1, 1774

    “The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries.” – JAMES MADISON -1803 letter objecting use of gov. land for churches

    “The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.” – Benjamin Franklin

    “Many a long dispute among divines may be thus abridged:
    It is so; It is not so. It is so; it is not so.” – Benjamin Franklin

    “In every country and in every age, the preacher has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.”
    -Thomas Jefferson

    “It is always better to have no ideas than false ones; to believe nothing, than to believe what is wrong.”
    - Thomas Jefferson

    “To argue with a man who has renounced his reason is like giving medicine to the dead.”
    - Thomas Paine

    “Question with boldness the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.”
    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787

    “As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?” – John Adams, letter to F.A. Van der Kamp, Dec. 27, 1816

    “Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.”
    - Benjamin Franklin

    “The government of the United States is in no sense founded on the Christian Religion.” – George Washington

    “This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it.”
    - John Adams

    “The Bible is not my book, nor Christianity my religion.”
    - Abraham Lincoln

    • Max, you err in your statements regarding the Founders you cite in your second paragraph. To much revisionist reading (or writing) on your part.

      Secondly, “religion” cannot become “established” because the term is an abstraction. There is no “religion” as such; there are only specific religious creeds. The Founders prohibited the establishment of any specific creed as a favored one in this country, although they acknowledged that Christianity (at that time) was the religion of most of the people.

      The First Amendment makes things quite clear. It is the liberals who want to ban any expression of religion in the public square, contrary to the specific words of the amendment.

      One last point that your revisionist ideas have conveniently ignored: During Jefferson’s tenure religious services were held in some federal buildings in the District, including the Capitol. You didn’t know this? Of course!

  7. Anyone, sir, with an ounce of common sense, can separate your Godless drivel from truth. This is the age of information. Everyone can investigate for themselves and come to their own conclusions.

    “While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.”
    -George Washington

    “A watchful eye must be kept on ourselves lest while we are building ideal monuments of Renown and Bliss here we neglect to have our names enrolled in the Annals of Heaven.”
    -James Madison

    “Here is my Creed. I believe in one God, the Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by His Providence. That He ought to be worshipped.
    -Benjamin Franklin

    “I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.”
    -Thomas Jefferson

    The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.
    – John Adams

    “The Scriptures tell us righteousness exalteth a Nation.”
    - Abigail Adams

    “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”
    – Patrick Henry

    I believe that there is one only living and true God, existing in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, the same in substance equal in power and glory.
    -Roger Sherman

    The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts.
    - John Jay

    …that all may bow to the scepter of our Lord Jesus Christ and that the whole Earth may be filled with his glory.
    - John Hancock

    And as it is our duty to extend our wishes to the happiness of the great family of man, I conceive that we cannot better express ourselves than by humbly supplicating the Supreme Ruler of the world that the rod of tyrants may be broken to pieces, and the oppressed made free again; that wars may cease in all the earth, and that the confusions that are and have been among nations may be overruled by promoting and speedily bringing on that holy and happy period when the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ may be everywhere established, and all people everywhere willingly bow to the sceptre of Him who is Prince of Peace.
    -Samuel Adams

    “The hope of a Christian is inseparable from his faith. Whoever believes in the divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures must hope that the religion of Jesus shall prevail throughout the earth. Never since the foundation of the world have the prospects of mankind been more encouraging to that hope than they appear to be at the present time. And may the associated distribution of the Bible proceed and prosper till the Lord shall have made ‘bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God’ (Isaiah 52:10).”
    -John Quincy Adams

    “I do declare to the whole world that we believe the Scriptures to contain a declaration of the mind and will of God in and to those ages in which they were written; being given forth by the Holy Ghost moving in the hearts of holy men of God; that they ought also to be read, believed, and fulfilled in our day; being used for reproof and instruction, that the man of God may be perfect. They are a declaration and testimony of heavenly things themselves, and, as such, we carry a high respect for them. We accept them as the words of God Himself.”
    -William Penn

    “While we give praise to God, the Supreme Disposer of all events, for His interposition on our behalf, let us guard against the dangerous error of trusting in, or boasting of, an arm of flesh … If your cause is just, if your principles are pure, and if your conduct is prudent, you need not fear the multitude of opposing hosts.”
    -John Witherspoon

    and YES, Abraham Lincoln
    “In regard to this Great Book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it.”

    • Bill, your quotes are all phony David Bartonisms. Not one of the quotes you cut and pasted was accurate or put in the honest context. Several of them were outright fabrications.

      Whenever a Christian Fundamentalist tries to invoke the Founding Fathers, in the overwhelming majority of cases, they are full of effluence. David Barton is so prolific in his fictions that many Fundamentalists quote him without realizing it.
      http://candst.tripod.com/boston2.htm

      http://thedailyhatch.org/2012/06/18/did-david-barton-fabricate-quotes-and-attribute-them-to-the-founding-fathers/

      Madison, Washington, Franklin, Jefferson were all contemptuous of mainline Christian practice and beliefs. None of them believed the government should be guided by the principles of faith.

      Did God tell you to lie for him?

      • As I said Larry, everyone should investigate for themselves and come to their own conclusions. No one mentioned mainline Christian practice and beliefs but rather faith in Christ, or at the very least faith in the teachings of Christ, which each of the people on the list that I posted possessed and used as a guide for their public and private lives. No amount of “evidence” from non-believers who, by nature, cannot understand the mysteries of God can ever undermine this fact. You are merely self absorbed, transparent men who deny the truth of devine providence in the formation of our nation and have made yourselves enemies of the Living God which is a precarious state in which to be.

        • William,
          Here’s some of your Christ’s teachings you can investigate. “Judge not, that ye be not judged”
          Mathew 7
          http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%207%20&version=KJV

          You sir, are an excellent example of a Christian. Keep up the good work.

          Religion is poison!

        • Does that mean we have to verify whether you are telling the truth?
          I guess so.

          You are giving a weaselworded, inherently dishonest response. Lying seems to be OK with you if you are doing it on God’s behalf.

          As I said before, your quotes are either fiction or taken out of correct context to give an impression of beliefs not actually attributed to the speakers. Whether they had faith in Christ is purely unfounded conjecture on your part. One not supported by any kind of legitimate honest historical research on the lives of the people quoted.

          People like yourself who claim our nation was founded on “Christian principles” (which are never defined) or that we are a “Christian Nation” (which requires the speaker to lie in public about what they mean), do so by creating fictions about our past. They are liars with a specific anti-democratic political agenda.

          The one thing I will admit, the Separation of Church and State is an idea which came from deeply religious Christians. Ones who understood love of all humanity, regardless of faith. Ones who understood that Christ’s words belong in one’s heart, not ever in one’s government. People whose legacy you proudly trample upon in favor of theocracy.

          One thing is absolutely clear, our nation was not founded in the name of Christ, nor does our government lend credence to purely religious concepts as the basis of its laws. If you cannot support your views with rational and secular reasons, there is no reason for our government to ever take it seriously.

          • That is exactly what I am saying. Everyone should verify for themselves whether or not truth is being told–whether it be by me or whether it be by you. In your post, you attempt to present the idea that I would be in favor of a theocracy. By no means–the First Amendment to the U.S. constitution says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This portion of the First Amendment merely limits CONGRESS’S ability to make law setting any particular religion as our official state religion. Our enitire discussion to this point has not been about the establishment of religion but rather the personal faith in the God of the Bible that our founding fathers definitely possessed. I’m positive that you would have preferred that they had “kept Christ’s words in their hearts” rather than sharing them with there fellow countrymen as Christ commanded (as in free exercise thereof), however the fact is that they were men of faith, not Godless, secular humanists with no rational reason for their own existence.

      • Contemptuous, perhaps, but tolerant. Indeed, they did not want a government tied to any specific creed. Jefferson was most tolerant or he wouldn’t have permitted religious services in federal buildings during his tenure.

    • Liberals, Hudson, have no shame. That is because they begin with the “principle” that there’s no truth other than what they themselves choose to accept. The fallacy of this position becomes clear when we look at the bickering–even killing–that goes on among the liberals when they’ve achieved absolute power and then quarrel among themselves. The “I” in liberalism never concedes to another “I.” Not without a fight. Lenin and company demonstrated this.

      The pracitcal effect of all this on this website is that we find liberals conveniently ignoring well-known and publicized statements by Founders and others and relying, instead, on the websites serving up half the truth and sometimes complete falsehoods. One such poster in the past few days cited a URL that proves absolutely nothing he claimed for it.

      Remember, today’s liberals are not the liberals of a half-century ago. While they cite JFK, for example, as one of their own from their past, you’ll not hear a one of them today quote the most famous passage from JFK’s inaugural address. That’s telling. We know it. They know that we know it. They “move on” to other matters and don’t respond to anyone who brings this–and other inconvenient truths–to their attention. Just follow the dynamics of the discourse on this board and you’ll see what I mean.

    • WILLIAM HUDSON,

      First, we are both Godless. I am simply aware of it, where as you are not.

      Second, you have a bunch of quotes which appear to contradict the ones I chose. My research indicates some of those quotes are very questionable indeed.

      For the record – Deists were considered Atheists in Jefferson’s day. Because they rejected Jesus as God, they rejected Yahweh and they had no specific doctrines or Gods. It was as benign and as ‘godless’ a belief as you could get short of atheism.

      George Washington (ATHEIST)
      James Madison (DEIST)
      Benjamin Franklin (ATHEIST)
      Thomas Paine (ATHEIST)
      Thomas Jefferson (DEIST)
      John Adams (DEIST)
      John Jay (Christian)
      Alexander Hamilton (DEIST)
      Abraham Lincoln (ATHEIST)

      Lincoln refused to align himself with God or the divinity of Jesus Christ, as did Thomas Jefferson who edited the Jefferson Bible which rejected Jesus’ virgin birth, all miracles, resurrection and supernatural divinity.

  8. As I have stated. sir, those who have rejected God have no knowledge of the mysteries of God or the meaning of Holy Scripture. JUDGING, which is the province of God alone, is determing the eternal state of others–who will spend eternity separated from God in hell and who will not. There are many who are presently living in a lost state, but no one must die in that state. Salvation is available to all of us through the shed Blood of Jesus Christ, His death, burial and resurrection, making it possible to be reconciled to God through Christ’s great sacrifice. That is true Love, friend. However, one must put aside his or her puny, ignorant human pride and accept Christ as his or her Savior and Lord of his or her life. Only a foolish person, who understands the complex intricacies of nature or life itself, can deny the existence of the Creator/Designer. One who rejects God, has done so out of this human pride and made himself or herself an enemy of God. And that person will only do himself or herself eternal damage.

    • WILLIAM HUDSON,
      “those who have rejected God have no knowledge of the mysteries of God or the meaning of Holy Scripture.”

      Nonsense. The vast majority of Atheists grew up, as I did, in Christian homes and we know the bible better than most Christians. The Bible is the single greatest creator of Atheists ever known.

      Who can believe this nonsense?
      We once did. But we came to our senses.

      • I suspect that it is not the Bible that has bred atheists. I suspect that it is that old devil in the form of personal pride that is responsible, in this way: An atheist has no more proof of the non-existence of a deity than does a believer have of one. How can an atheist be so positive that there is nothing beyond the physical word that he can see?

        That we can wonder and doubt and not reach a conclusion regarding the existence of a Supreme Being of some sort is a defensible position. People of faith, remember, have no “proof” for their beliefs, either, not in the usual sense of understanding “proof.”

        If you call “coming to our senses” the adoption of a position for which there is no “proof,” then I see this as a good example of the pot calling the kettle black. If you are doing what is comfortable for you, then you must admit that believers are doing much the same thing.

        Existence is a mystery. Has been for as long as people have been able to communicate their thoughts on the subject, from the hyroglyphics forward, and maybe even pre-hyros. I don’t know paleontology in its various forms.

        • DUANE LAMERS,

          You are confused about something. Atheists do not believe in God.
          Atheists make no claim that God does not exist – there may be a God.

          But Atheists see no reason to believe in a god.
          That is not the same thing as saying God is impossible. I have no way to prove such a thing!

        • DUANE LAMERS,

          You said, “Existence is a mystery.”

          Yes. And I’m the one who is wondering about this mystery, not you.

          You claim it isn’t a mystery at all!
          You claim to KNOW that God is somehow the answer to this mystery.

          Than, what is this ‘Supreme Being’ you speak of? Where did it come from? Why MUST it exist? Why is it completely ridiculous to me? How do these mysteries answer anything? Why proclaim it?

          There is no evidence for it. And it is just another mystery why anyone would proclaim such a thing exists!

      • Max, you consider God’s Word nonsense specifically because, in your present state, you have no relationship with God and therefore, no knowledge of the Truth. That is what I meant when I stated that “those who have rejected God have no knowledge of the mysteries of God or the meaning of Holy Scripture”. A relationship with God through Christ involves personal faith and a personal decision to open your heart and mind to the Truth, putting aside human pride. It cannot be inherited from family, and it cannot be obtained through good works, though it will most definitely produce good works. It requires acknowledgement of sin, sincere repentence and acceptance of Christ, who bore a terrible price for your sin, as Lord of your life. I also grew up in a Christian home, read the Bible, heard the Bible taught and attended worship, but not until the age of 32 was I was reborn into the abundant life that Christ promises. With acceptance of Christ I, along with all believers, received the Holy Spirit who brings comfort, confirmation, confidence and understanding of how God works in my life. You claim to know the Bible. I would urge you to read it with an open mind and heart, and I pray that, one day, you will put aside human pride and also seek the Truth so that the veil will be removed from your eyes that you may come into the Light of the Lord.

        • WILLIAM HUDSON,

          Adam & Eve do not appear to have existed and snakes don’t talk.
          Now, what does pride have to do with that?

          Next you’ll tell me the moon is made of cheese and only my pride, my hard heart and my love of sin prevents me from seeing this amazing truth.

          William, facts are not just “an option.”

          Suppose a child put all the wrong answers on a history test.
          Would you blame the teacher for having a ‘hard heart’ or too much ‘pride’?

          No! You would tell the child to do his homework next time.

          Same for people who believe in God. Go read some books and question the Bible. There is no reason to believe any of it.

  9. William Hudson,
    Thanks for the sentiment. But I have to ask.

    You said, “A relationship with God through Christ involves personal faith and a personal decision to open your heart and mind to the Truth, putting aside human pride.”

    How does one do this if one does not believe?
    And IF one does not believe WHY should one seek it?

    I do not believe in Allah either. Do you believe in Allah?
    If you don’t believe in Allah, why don’t you open your heart to that God instead?
    If you don’t open your heart to Allah, and you have good reasons, why should someone seek Yahweh – is there a good reason to?

  10. Max, I believe in the One True Living God, the God of the Bible, Maker of Heaven and Earth, Creator of all things, the God Whose handiwork, itself, cries out to His existence. I do not believe in atheists. Most of those claiming to be atheists, whose posts I have read over the past few years, show a healthy degree of intelligence, so I can only deduce that they value their own intelligence which was given by their Creator more than they value the Creator Himself. In other words, they worship the creation (self) rather than the Creator. No one with intelligence can witness nature and all of its order, complexity and beauty and believe with any amount reason that it all occured by a random occurance. No scientist can view the tiny motors that exist in a single human cell, or the delicate balance required to keep our planet in orbit and decry, with any honesty, the existence of the Creator/Designer. Therefore, the only possible explanation for the atheist claim is human pride, a desire to live ones life uninhibited by anyone, including God, and a desire to proudly demonstrate to the world one’s own human intellect, or there may be one other reason–anger at God. The best reason to seek the One True Living God is to seek truth which is the desire of all of humanity. And that is why I say that the only thing standing between you and truth is human pride. If you are earnestly seeking truth you will not discount any possibility and reach out to God. His Holy Spirit has brought conviction upon all of us at some point in our lives and if heeded will lead one into a relationship with God in Christ. I cannot prove this to you in human terms. God deals with all of us on an individual basis and sometimes drives us to the end of our ropes, as he did me, in order to bring us to a point of submission and entering into His Peace. Once becoming His child, through the shed blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ, His Holy Spirit will give you confirmation through experiences in this life and understanding as you study His Holy Word.

  11. WILLIAM HUDSON,
    You keep asserting things as if they are facts. Assertions are not truths.
    You said, “If you are earnestly seeking truth you will not discount any possibility and reach out to God”

    “Any possibility” can only be “God”? You limit possibilities right there.

    Suppose a child put all the wrong answers on a history test.
    Would you blame the teacher for having a ‘hard heart’ or too much ‘Pride’?
    No! You would tell the child to do his homework better.

    • Max, you go to great pains to avoid Truth. My intent is not to debate the existence of God, who loves you and wants to give you the gift of eternal life in Christ. I only want to share that Good News with you. What you do with it is between you alone and your Creator. As I stated in a previous post, I pray that the veil will, one day, be removed from your eyes, and you will leave the darkness to enter the light of the Lord. I have enjoyed the discourse.

  12. WILLIAM HUDSON,

    I appreciate that you do not want to debate.

    But I can’t let you assert that I “go to great pains to avoid Truth” without a reply. You have decided what ‘the truth’ is and you don’t care to explore whether it is really ‘the truth’ or not.

    You have now agreed that you do not care whether Jesus is really God or not – you simply choose to believe it regardless of what is ‘true’.

    So believe if you wish, but don’t tell me that it is ‘true’ when you have revealed that you don’t care if it is or isn’t.

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