Lisa Cloninger and Kathi Smith, a couple who has been together for more than 10 years, with their pastor the Rev. Nancy Allison, speak during a press conference held Monday morning (April 28) at Holy Covenant United Church of Christ in Charlotte, N.C. Photo by Patrick Schneider, courtesy of United Church of Christ

Lisa Cloninger and Kathi Smith, a couple who has been together for more than 10 years, with their pastor the Rev. Nancy Allison, speak during a press conference held Monday morning (April 28) at Holy Covenant United Church of Christ in Charlotte, N.C. Photo by Patrick Schneider, courtesy of United Church of Christ


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

DURHAM, N.C. (RNS) The United Church of Christ sued the state of North Carolina on Monday (April 28) over its constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, saying the 2012 amendment violates the religious freedom of its clergy.

The liberal denomination of some 1 million members is the first in the country to attack a same-sex marriage ban on religious freedom grounds, taking a cue from religious conservatives who used the same argument over the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act.

In 1972, the UCC was the first denomination in the United States to ordain an openly gay pastor, and in 2005 was the first to endorse the fledgling movement to allow civil marriage for same-sex couples. The Unitarian Universalist Association endorsed the movement in 1996, seven years before Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage.

The suit asks the federal courts in the Western District of North Carolina to strike down the ban, which was passed by state voters. It argues that the ban limits clergy choices and violates the principle of “free exercise of religion” by requiring clergy to minister to one segment of the public.

A dozen non-UCC clergy and same-sex couples joined the suit.

“By preventing our same-sex congregants from forming their own families, the North Carolina ban on same-sex marriage burdens my ability and the ability of my congregation to form a faith community of our choosing consistent with the principles of our faith,” said the Rev. Nancy Petty, pastor of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, who joined the lawsuit.

The Rev. Joe Hoffman, pastor of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Asheville, N.C., said the effect of the state constitutional ban on gay marriage is to deny him the opportunity to perform one function of his job.

The Rev. Joe Hoffman, pastor of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Asheville, N.C., said the effect of the state constitutional ban on gay marriage is to deny him the opportunity to perform one function of his job. Photo courtesy of Amendment Once Challenge


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

As part of the state ban, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor for a minister to perform a marriage ceremony for a couple that hasn’t obtained a civil marriage license. In addition, the law allows anyone to sue the minister who performs a marriage ceremony without a license.

The Rev. Joe Hoffman, pastor of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Asheville, N.C., said the effect of the state constitutional ban on gay marriage is to deny him the opportunity to perform one function of his job.

“It takes away the right I have in my religious tradition to do something important in my faith,” he said –“to marry people.”

 

KRE/AMB END SHIMRON

108 Comments

  1. When speaking about First Amendment issues in regards to marriage equality, it’s always important to remember it isn’t just a matter of those denominations who LIE that they’d be “forced” to perform same gender marriages. The major Christian, Jewish and other denominations that are marrying same gender couples now are being denied their right to practice their religion freely in 32 US States. These denominations will marry same gender couples in 18 US States and the District of Columbia:

    Affirming Pentecostal Church International
    Alliance of Christian Churches
    Anointed Affirming Independent Ministries
    The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists
    Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
    Community of Christ
    Conservative Judaism
    Ecumenical Catholic Church
    Ecumenical Catholic Communion
    The Episcopal Church
    Evangelical Anglican Church In America
    Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
    Global Alliance of Affirming Apostolic Pentecostals
    Inclusive Orthodox Church
    Metropolitan Community Church
    Old Catholic Church
    Progressive Christian Alliance
    Reconciling Pentecostals International
    Reconstructionist Judaism
    Reform Judaism
    Reformed Anglican Catholic Church
    Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
    Unitarian Universalist Church
    United Church of Christ
    Unity Church

    Hopefully, more denominations will join UCC in suing for their Freedom Of Religion soon.

    • The argument recognizing repression of their religious beliefs is probably valid on constitutional grounds.

      The ironic thing about such churches that always confuses me is why people listen to them. I get why people affiliate with liberal positions but this is a list of faith groups that pick and choose what they want from an ancient book and then try to claim some kind of supernatural authority for their position when in fact they have just discounted the whole idea of the supernatural. If it is all just human thinking and decisions why don’t they all just do the intellectually honest thing and become humanist and admit they don’t believe in the book rather than picking and choosing what they like and don’t like. It sounds like hypocrisy to me to say believe me, I speak for God on these matters, oh by the way these verses from our book from God are wrong you don’t have to listen to them. In the end is is just more human opinion shrouded in the supernatural and God talk to get the sheep to follow. Be honest and not hypocritical and I might be more influenced by the views of these so called religious church bodies.

      • John, maybe those sects don’t feel the need to take your views of religion seriously or need someone like you to define their beliefs.

        Hypocrisy is the argument that someone who takes a fundamentalist position isn’t “picking and choosing” like everyone else. They are usually the least literate of the context of their own scripture and usually rely on outside sources to make skewed interpretations for them.

        • James Madison – From his Address To the General Assembly of the State of Virginia, 1778, said: “We have staked the whole future of American Civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it.
          We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity . . . to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” And Dr. Benjamin Franklin (who indeed was a strong believer in his latter years) has said: “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.” Which strongly implies the corollary: “If America’s citizens should renounce and depart from all virtue, then their freedom and liberty will also be removed from their possession.”

          And, please consider these key and defining words from the Scriptures:
          “GOD IS NOT A MAN, THAT HE SHOULD LIE….” [Numbers 23 v 19]
          “For you have magnified Your Word above Your Name.” [Ps. 138 v 2]
          “…the Word of our God shall stand forever.” [Isaiah 40 v 8]

          Furthermore, The Core of Biblical Revelation, distilled to its most basic and irreducible essence, is this: The Fundamental Difference between the Mosaic Covenant (Torah/Old Testament) and the New Covenant (New Testament) is the nature and permanence of the sacrifice that accomplishes the Atonement for our sins. It is not the nature and permanence of the Law of God (which remains unchanged), which requires that there must be a sacrifice to provide the Atonement for our sins. Jesus and His disciples understood this. Sadly, much of the American Church today does not. Jesus had said: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” [NIV Matthew 5 v 17]. And so, we all need to know what that Law is. So far, Messiah has only fulfilled those things that pertained to His first advent, not His second advent. But all of the law that governs the proper conduct of human affairs is yet in force, and is not cancelled or made of none effect. We are all still “born of woman, born under the law” of God – Who is still on His Throne.

          So many church denominations have treated the Bible as a complete dichotomy between the Old Testament and the New Testament regarding the matter of Law and Grace. Actually both concepts are generously depicted throughout both. What changed was the method of achieving needed atonement. So, after dealing with many cultural and social distinctions and contrasts, the Apostle Paul tells all of the believers in the assembly in Corinth (I Corinthians 7) – and through them to us – what the bottom line for them is: “… but keeping the commandments of God is what matters” (v 17b). Unfortunately, some versions of the English Bible are based upon the Nestle-Ulam text, rather than the Masoretic text, and therefore leave out that phrase from that verse. Indeed there exist many deficiencies in the N-U text, upon which many modern version are based (and many small, but key thoughts, are left out of the readers’ understanding of God’s Word). And that has in part led to some of the modern theological revisions of church doctrine over the past century.

          • Your Madison quote is complete bullcrap. David Barton deliberately misquotes founders or fabricates quotes. All done constantly to undermine the notion that our Constitution stands for the notion of separation of church and state and free exercise of religion besides Christianity.

            You took that from one of his sources. My guess is the Franklin quote also is probably phony as well. http://candst.tripod.com/misq1.htm

            Herbert, you are either a liar or too ignorant to tell what is fiction.

            Benjamin Franklin’s religious belief and notions of what constituted virtues was far different than your own. He did not support the entanglement of church and state that fundamentalists love.

            As for the rest of your spiel, the fact that your only argument is purely religious and sectarian in nature is proof positive there is no rational or secular argument presented for supporting the ban. Religious freedom means that our laws are never subject to anyone’s view of what God says.

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhGk6eF65Fo

        John, I post the above link is in response to your comment “…admit they don’t believe in the book rather than picking and choosing what they like and don’t like. It sounds like hypocrisy to me to say believe me, I speak for God on these matters, oh by the way these verses from our book from God are wrong you don’t have to listen to them…”
        Full disclosure: I have been a proud member of the UCC for over 44 years and my father recently retired as a UCC Pastor after 40 years of faithful service. Good day.

        • I get it John. I would like to apologize for the confused state of mind of the christian church. People DO seem to pick and choose what they deem as true and then put their own personal twist on other scriptures to suit their needs so they can escape conviction. Unfortuantely, when people choose to do that, it is called hypocrisy and it not only breaks God’s heart but it also angers Him and it should ANGER ALL TRUE followers of Christ. I have lived my life amongst them. Hypocrites, that is. We all sin, everyone of us. That is why Jesus went to the cross. God addresses the LGTB in His Word. He says It is wrong to change one’s identity. It is wrong for a man to dress as a women and for a woman to dress as a man for the purpose of changing their identity Jesus addresses marriage as being between one man and one woman even bringing into mind scripture from the Old Testament. God addresses the subject of homosexuality in the Old Testament and the Apostle Paul addresses it in the New Testament. It is mind boggling in a sense and then again it is not because God says in His Word that in the end this is what would happen. Only those who stand firm to the Truth , not mine our yours nor anyone elses, but HIS TRUTH and do not give up, will enter into the Kingdom of God. My prayer is that God will not let ME go and because I believe His Word to be true, I can count on that thus He has not done that so far and I have been through a WHOLE lot. One cannot live a lifestyle of sin and expect to live in eternity with a HOLY God. That is truly the bottom line. God does not call us to perfection but rather to maturity which is an ongoing process however, within that process, we are called to live our life in God’s TRUTH not man’s truth., We are called not to be conformed by the world and that is exactly what the majority is doing. I am not going to lie! It is not easy! Carrotcakeman and Kris and many of the rest of you are mightily deceived. Goodness gracious! Simply remember, you are only alive because God has given you mercy to be able to do that. God LOVES EVERYONE! Including the worst of all. Even those who do not believe in Him. He was the One who created you. He was the One who died for you in the person of Jesus Christ. He is the One who desires that you spend eternity with Him. He is the One who gave you freedom to choose. Think about the idea of having a child that you love more than life itself only for that child to walk away from you. It is heartbreaking yet He created you knowing that free will would take many of His children away from Him. There is no greater love than that. HE PAID YOUR SIN DEBT THAT YOU COULD NOT POSSIBLY PAY!!!!!!!! So for people like carrotcakeman, Kris and any other out there who have to rant and rave about not having someone else’s agenda shoved down your throat and wanting your freedom to live the life you want, I say to you. No one is trying to shove their beliefs down your throat and you have the right to live your life in freedom of choice to believe or not. People like me, simply care enough about you to want to share God’s TRUTH with you. That is all. Because in the end, we ALL will stand before God and give an account to Him. Some will spend eternity with Him and Most will spend eternity separated from Him. That is what He says. The choice is yours. Live life as God sees it and eternity is your destination. Live it apart from Him and He will love you enough to give you your desire to live apart from Him eternally. There you go! The freedom to choose. And for those who think you are a christian and yet choose to live life according to your own scriptural understanding? My prayer is that you will find the truth before it is too late.There are a lot of ministers/priests etc that are teaching lies and they will be judged by God with a greater degree of judgment. It hurts because I have a family member who is in that position. Why a greater judgement? Because they are drawing others into sin and sin separates you from Him. We are all held responsible for what we believe. The Holy Spirit is truly the only one who can guide you into truth. Anything I say or someone else says needs to be held up to and tested by His Word. So please do not believe what I say but rather test is by scripture. ASK the HOLY SPIRIT to show you the TRUTH. Be willing to repent and to be sincerely looking for truth. He will be faithful. One last thing. Satan has used LOVE to deceive the minds and hearts of many. Please give God a chance to reveal Himself to you. ASK HIM to DO that He has a plan for everyone. Ever wonder what that might be?

      • I’m really sorry to see you attacking the beliefs of so many Americans, John. They aren’t trying to change your Westboro Baptist Church, can’t you let them have their Freedom Of Religion and butt out of their churches? Rest assured no same gender American couple will ever come to Topeka, Kansas and ask to be married in your church.

        And, when you wrote, “people affiliate with liberal positions,” it sounds to me like you mean Americans.

        Larry is right, no one is concerned with influencing you, too bad you don’t show the same respect for Americans who support Equal Protection Under the Law as well as Freedom Of Religion.

      • John: “admit they don’t believe in the book ”
        Of COURSE members of the UCC “don’t believe in the book”. After all ,they are Christians, not Muslim! Christianity is about a man, not about a book! They believe in God. Obviously, you believe in your interpretation of “the Bible”, not in God, because you are so concerned about “the book”, instead of God.

        BTW, I wouldn’t get too comfortable with that “oh by the way these verses from our book from God are wrong you don’t have to listen to them.” Every denomination does that. After all, in Mark 10 and Matthew 14, Jesus forbids men to divorce except under very special circumstances. Doesn’t your denomination allow men to divorce their wives? Scripture says in plain Hebrew several times that the earth does not move. Yet doesn’t your denomination admit that the earth moves around the sun? Also look up Luke 2:1. In Greek it is clear that the ENTIRE world was enrolled in Caesar’s census, yet does your denomination believe that Zulus, Inuit, and Japanese were enrolled? No, the verse is reinterpretated. So before you throw stones, you might want to be careful of your own glass house.

        Also, there is nothing in your post about their religious freedom. What you are saying is “their religion is ‘wrong’, according to me”. Well, I and Christians certainly view your worship of a book to be wrong, but you are free to keep going to your church and your ministers are free to marry only one man and one woman. How do you justify forcing your religion on someone else?

    • Carrotcakeman,

      If these churches support same sex marriages then I would stay away from them. The First Amendment is not my concern really, its what saith the Lord. In his word its clear how he views same sex marriage. Rev. Nancy Allison is also an issue. She is not a God called Preacher, since the word of God says that to be a bishop you must be the husband of one Wife.

      • The First Amendment is the only concern here anyone has to care about. The religious beliefs of one group are given color of law here while those who disagree on religious grounds are banned from the free exercise of their faith.

        If you are not concerned of such things, you are a fool or don’t really care about religious freedom. The idea that one religion can take away the ability to perform religious rites of another is repugnant to any notion of a modern democracy.

        Whether you think the UCC clergy are following your views of God is always going to be irrelevant personal opinion. Its not like anyone invested you with the authority to determine who is following God’s word and who isn’t. (Even if every Fundamentalist harbors such delusions of grandeur).

  2. Ms. Shimron wrote, “[...] in 2005 was the first to endorse the fledgling movement to allow civil marriage for same-sex couples.”

    Considering the first time the United States Supreme Court looked into the issue of marriage equality was 1972’s “Baker vs. Nelson,” it’s simply inaccurate to call the fight by LGBT Americans for marriage equality “fledgling” in 2005.

  3. Which means NC will have legal gay marriage soon. The state always loses these cases because the bans violate Equal Protection and Establishment of Religion. There is no rational or secular argument for gsy marriage bans.

      • No but it means, you are a fool for asking.

        I can think of about half a dozen secular and rational reasons why polygamy is illegal. You can’t think of any as to why gay marriage should be banned. :)

        • If marriage is based on mutual consent and love then why can’t three (or more) people get married? On what basis do you limit it to two? What is so magical about that number?

          • 1. Marriage is a right conferred by the state.

            2. Polygamy makes all attendant laws relating to marriage a holy mess. (Marriage laws are gender neutral, gay marriage does not affect them)

            3. Polygamy is nothing like gay marriage factually.bringing it up here means you dont actually want to address the given topic

            4. If gay marriage led to polygamy as you fools claim, you would see it in the 18 states and several countries where marriage equality exists. You dont. Its a bullcrap analogy.

          • Larry,
            You said marriage is a right conferred by the state. OK, let’s assume so. How is that an argument against the marriage of 3 or more people? The state can legalize that just as they legalized homosexual marriage. You said P makes all law relating to marriage a mess. I guess we will just have to trust you on this one as you provide no examples or explanation. Is the logic then that if someone causes a mess then it should remain illegal? Seems pretty flimsy to me. Not sure how multiple marriage is any messier than homosexual marriage. Then you say P is nothing like homosexual marriage. Again, no example or explanation. “Because Larry said it, it must be true” appears to be argumentation strategy being utilized here. Finally, there are examples of multiple marriages where homosexual marriage has been legalized, but even if not, the argument is not that A always leads to B. The argument is that the logic used to justify A can also be used to justify B. We know not all laws are logical, and lawmakers certainly are not guided by logic always. So, don’t distort the argument when you know full well what it is. A state can legalize homo marriage and outlaw multiple marriage, but in doing so it is being illogical.

        • Larry, why don’t you answer the questions you are asked? Why do you call everyone who disagrees with you a fool? Why don’t you support your assertions with some, any, evidence. Making statements is easy; proving them to be valid is another thing altogether. Gay “marriage” leads to a variety of other forms of “marriage” by redefining marriage.

          • I did, check my points 1& 2. Marriage is beyond just mutual love, it is a right conferred and controlled by the state. The state sets guidelines for marriage for secular and rational reasons. Or at least it is supposed to do so.

            I will repeat again since you are more interested in crappy analogies than discussing the subject.

            Polygamy wreaks holy hell on existing marriage laws. It is not illegal because of some moral issue with marrying more than one person. It is illegal because it is untenable for laws relating to the rights of marriage. Property rights, child custody, inheritance, financial obligation defaults all of them don’t work in our laws beyond binary marriages. If you can’t figure that out, you are either ignorant or full of crap. Maybe both.

            Better yet just watch the first season of Big Love and then get back to me. You obviously don’t know anything about polygamy either. (Plus it was an amusing show)

            Until polygamists can cough up revisions to existing laws which are both fair and equitable, there is no reason to shoehorn it in. Gay marriage requires zero change to those laws. Laws which are gender neutral anyway. These are rational and secular reasons for a ban on polygamy. Something you do not have for gay marriage.

            What is your excuse for supporting its ban? Your version of God says so? That never flies as a reason for our government to do anything.

            You are a fool because it is an often used argument borne of bad faith. It is meant to derail the discussion since polygamy bears no factual resemblance to gay marriage.

            There are ZERO examples of polygamy being legalized where homosexual marriage has been legalized. You are a liar as well as a fool. If there were you would have used a different argument.

        • Larry, thanks for the lesson in arguing by insult. One of these days I hope you realize that it doesn’t work. Why don’t you try being civil sometime. If you argument against 3 or more people getting married is what it appears to be: that it is too complicated, then it is clear you are grasping for an argument. Each of the examples you mentioned could be worked out. The law and courts deal routinely deal with much more complicated matters than the ones you listed in your message below. You are just desperate to come up with any means to undermine the obvious slippery slope of homosexuals getting “married” to multiple marriages. You keep rejecting the idea that love or commitment is the basis for marriage. Your basis for marriage seems to be the convenience of the state: people can get married as long as their union doesn’t disrupt existing law too much or doesn’t make it too hard to change the law. Is that really your basis for marriage? Repeating that it is a right of the state is not only wrong, it does nothing for your argument. My advice is to stop saying it over and over again. You know, so as not to look foolish (since you like slinging that word around).

          • Grasping nothing, you just don’t want to accept the argument as given and are making a desperate phony appeal to incredulity.

            The complication in shoehorning polygamy in existing laws is cited constantly as the exact reason it is not acceptable here. You may not like the answer, but it is the truth.

            I insult you because the slippery slope argument is not only overused but so inherently ignorant and time-wasting and made in bad faith. If it had an ounce of merit, you would have been able to point to real life examples of it happening since gay marriage is a reality in a number of places. Some for over a decade. But you don’t. Its a bullcrap argument.

            The basis of marriage laws has nothing to do with love and commitment. That is just projection on your part and an attempt at loading the question. Marriage laws are based on the notion that a union will be permitted barring some reason to the contrary. Be that consanguinity, consent, age of majority, or its difficulty in applying civil law default rules to a marriage.

            To bar a marriage type you need secular and rational causes for doing so. All laws in this country need a rational and secular basis to pass muster. You complain about such reasons, but they are exactly the criteria used by the courts when evaluating such things.

            Repeating that marriage is a function of the state is done because it is obviously true and needs no support. Hence marriage being a subject of the court system and not some church discussion. No religious marriage has to be accepted under the law, but all civil ones do. Denying such things is just being thick-headed, ignorant or just dishonest.

            You also lied like a cheap rug when you said you had examples of how gay marriage led to legalized polygamy. Given the inherent lack of honesty on your part, there is no reason to treat you with the respect you desire.

            So do you have an actual reason for why gay marriage should be banned? A real reason and not the bullcrap “slippery slope” one?

          • BJA: You say you don’t appreciate arguing with insults, yet you repeatedly place quote marks around the word marriage when referring to gay families.

            You might not agree with our families, but we exist. Our families are special and unique and as precious to us as your family is to you.

            Just a thought.

          • I’m an adoptive parent. I have 20+ years working with some of the most severely disabled individuals in Iowa. And I’ve never been involved in a single abortion.

            Next time you should ask instead of making assumptions about others.

            But this assumption about my beliefs on abortion actually does not address my earlier comment about disrespecting gay families by using quote marks when referring to us.

          • BJA wrote, “Larry, thanks for the lesson in arguing by insult. One of these days I hope you realize that it doesn’t work.”

            I see I’m not the first poster here to call you out on your hypocrisy.

        • Larry, I really like your condescending statement that my argument against homosexual marriage is “God said so.” That is priceless 1) since I never mentioned God, the Bible, scripture verses or anything remotely Christian in any of my posts, and 2) since last I checked the website we are on is called the Religious News Service. Seems kind of, you know, awkward, to ridicule the notion of doing what God said on the RELIGIOUS News Service.

          • By all means feel insulted. I don’t want to give the impression that you were posing serious questions or dealing with the discussion in an honest fashion.

            Btw show me where in your state’s matrimonial laws are anything related to people being loving and committed. :)

          • OK, so you are sticking with the marriage of three or more people should be illegal because it is too complicated. Well, you might find that to be a convincing argument, but I dare say it is not. It is no more complicated than untangling who has what rights, property, etc. in messy divorce cases. Look, you keep wanting to refer to marriage laws instead of marriage, and it leads you to say stunningly absurd things like love and commitment are completely irrelevant when it comes to the basis of marriage. The question, Larry, is why do societies create and maintain a legal institution of marriage? What is its purpose? You refuse to answer this basis, easy question. You also refuse to answer the question of why people enter into a marriage union? What is the basis for doing so?

          • Jon, I am going to go ahead and guess you are pro-abortion. As such, if I kept saying abortion is murder you might in turn use that same word but put it in quotes, because you don’t recognize it as such. In the same way, I don’t recognize a union of two homosexuals as a true marriage. There is a big difference is saying to someone “I don’t see that the way you do” and, as Larry does, calling people “fools” and generally being insulting.

          • Homosexuals tend to be Leftists and Leftists tend to be pro-abortion. Whether or not this applies to you, Jon, is pure unwarranted speculation on my part. It is also irrelevant to the point I was making. I said it only in an effort to make it more personal. Is it not more effective when you can say to someone “YOU do the same thing you are criticizing me for doing”? Maybe you are not pro-choice, and this does not apply to you. But you can see that it clearly applies to others. Am I wrong about you being pro-abortion?

          • “but I dare say it is not. It is no more complicated than untangling who has what rights, property, etc. in messy divorce cases”

            You may dare say it, but it would be stupid to do so. The issue in those are not the application of the law or the complication of doing so, but the insanity of the parties involved. Marriage laws are all about setting default situations. The laws themselves are simple. Application need not be such.

            ” Look, you keep wanting to refer to marriage laws instead of marriage…”

            Because I don’t give a damn what you think of as the basis of marriage. Its irrelevant to the subject. I care about what our laws do about it.

            Our civil laws which are the subject of this discussion. You are trying to argue what polygamy should be legal, if gay marriage is. That is a discussion of laws. You are intentionally trying to derail a discussion in bad faith.

            “The question, Larry, is why do societies create and maintain a legal institution of marriage? What is its purpose?”

            Actually you never asked the question, but I am happy to oblige. But the purpose of marriage is to create legal defaults concerning the relationship of the people involved. Creating a commitment under the law and recognized as such by the government. To create obligations and rights for a family as a group entity under our laws. Ones which need not be created by contract but serve as a shorthand for those who have to interact with the family. Its not cheery, but it is the purpose of a marriage under the laws pertaining to one.

            As I tell any polygamist, if you can figure out how to draft existing laws to include it which are fair, and equitable for all parties, then go ahead and do so. Then it will be legal. Until then, its too much of a hassle to bother with.

            As I tell any opponent of gay marriage, if you have a secular and rational reason for opposing it, I am all ears. But it is obvious none exists.

          • Jon,
            I see that you, like Larry, don’t like to answer questions either. Like I said, it is irrelevant anyway. I tried to be nice about it, but to no avail. My putting marriage in quotation marks is the equivalent of someone (read: NOT YOU, as I would not want to assume that YOU would do this), let me repeat, SOMEONE, placing the word murder in quotation marks in a discussion about abortion. I know it is not a compliment, but my point is also not the resorting to calling others names as if we are on a middle school playground, which is where Larry apparently thinks we are. Should we tell him we are on the RELIGIOUS News Service? He seems unaware of that fact as well.

          • “there are examples of multiple marriages where homosexual marriage has been legalized”

            Where was the proof of that? I might not consider you such a dishonest piece of crap if you could support this statement. But you won’t.

          • Yes Larry, I am saying multiple marriages should be legal if same sex marriages are, and it is because they are based on the same line of reasoning – the reasoning that homosexuals cited time and time again in support of their cause: that two people who love one another and are committed to one another and want to have the rights and privileges that go along with being married should be able to get married. You can easily replace the “two” with any number. Laws could easily be written to accommodate this. Your argument holds no water. Every argument I have made regarding this matter has been secular and rational. Stop fighting against imagined opponents using phantom arguments you only imagine.

          • “there are examples of multiple marriages where homosexual marriage has been legalized”

            Where was the proof of that? I might not consider you such a dishonest piece of crap if you could support this statement. But you won’t.

            I also said something along the lines of “even if not then” holding out the possibility that I might be mistaken. When I wrote that I had in mind a story I saw recently in which three women were declared to be married to one another and expecting a child. I did not read the article, and don’t know the details. BUT, as I said elsehwere, the argument is NOT that Homo Marriage leads to Polygamy, only that the logic behind homo marriage also supports polygamy.

          • BJA: I’m not sure what I didn’t answer. You’ve told him a few times already that this is a RELIGIOUS news service.

            I still find it condescending to refer to others’ families with quote marks. It might not be name-calling, but it’s still another type of insult.

          • Jon, I cut and pasted my question for you:

            Am I wrong about you being pro-abortion?

            Forgive me if I somehow overlooked your answer.

          • Sorry my answer wasn’t as cut and dry as you seem to require.

            No.

            Hence my support for adoption. Hence my work with kids and adults who others would choose to abort. Hence my lack of involvement with the choice of abortion.

          • Sorry Jon. Saying that you are an adoptive parent and have not been involved an abortion does not automatically translate into “I am pro-life.” Plenty of pro-abortion individuals are adoptive parents and have not been directly involved in a single abortion. So, for the record, do you support reversing Roe v. Wade and outlawing abortion altogether?

          • Seriously???? I’m not running through a litmus test of my pro-life credentials. I’ve answered your questions. Accept it or not because as you note it really doesn’t matter much to this discussion besides a stereotyped assumption about myself.

            My earlier point about disrespect towards gay families through the condescending use of quotes when referencing us stands.

          • What are you talking about? You asked if I was pro-abortion. I said no. Then you keep refining the question and I don’t see the point of continuing.

            Largely because it’s an unrelated digression from my main point in this thread.

      • POLYGAMY, John?????

        Americans ALL know what “polygamy” really means. We learned it during the trial of the leader of the vast majority of the “polygamists” in America, Warren Jeffs, who is now in prison for criminal child sexual assault. Jeffs pretended to “marry” some barely post-pubescent girl. In the morning, after he had his “fun,” he bundled these children off to the welfare office. LEGAL MARRIAGE would have impeded his welfare scam.

        Anti-gays know there is NO real comparison between loving, committed same gender American couples and the crimes of criminal child sexual assault and welfare fraud, they just repeat that LIE again and again in an attempt to demean, demonize and dehumanize loving, committed same gender American couples.

        Fail…

        • This is great – “Anti-gays know there is NO real comparison between loving, committed same gender American couples…” Are you completely ignorant of the fact that more than two people can be loving and committed to one another? If I am wrong about this, then I am all ears. Please explain to me how the phenomenon of love and commitment can only apply to two people, not more. I saw in the news (though only glanced at it) that three women who are “married” are expecting a child. Are you saying they don’t love one another and are not committed to one another?

          • This is great, BJA has no idea how marriage laws work and is making a phony argument based on ignorance and ridiculous canned arguments.

            You are wrong because 2 people are not 3+. Try figuring out how intestacy rules work with polygamy. How about how debts and property obligations are divided among a polygamous couple. How about vicarious liability for children. Is a 2nd wife the legal guardian of the child of a 1st wife? If wife 1 runs up credit card debts, is wife 3 obligated to pay them? Can wife 2 divorce and take custody of children from wife 1? Our laws can’t handle it and don’t want the headache.

            Marriage laws are proof enough that loving one another is not enough for the legal right to marry. One must have a secular and rational reason for preventing such unions. I came up with several for polygamy. If you throw in incest or buggery I can come up with those as well. You have ZERO for banning gay marriage.

          • @BJA,

            “I also said something along the lines of “even if not then” holding out the possibility that I might be mistaken.”

            So you only take back the statement after being called out on it several times. Not very honest on your part. Very foolish if you ask me.

            Your logical argument is also full of crap. You argue by assumption of elements which are untrue or irrelevant. Your argument is so canned, old, and lacking in substance it might as well be called the Hormel position.

            “Are you saying they don’t love one another and are not committed to one another?”

            I am saying I don’t have to care and neither do our laws.

            It is not relevant to the issue of what constitutes our civil marriage laws. There are rational and secular reasons not to have polygamy. You don’t have to like them, but you have to acknowledge they exist. None exist for gay marriage. If rational and secular arguments exist against one form of marriage but not another, then logically they cannot be supported by the same arguments.
            Holes in your argument:
            1. Loving commitment of a couple is not a defining element of what constitutes a legal marriage.

            2. Polygamy is not the same as gay marriage. 2 people instead of 3+ is a material difference because of its relation to existing laws.

            3. Marriage laws are permissive in nature barring rational and secular reasons for certain unions to be barred. Guess what? Love and commitment are never part of the consideration process.

            4. You still have no rational or secular argument against gay marriage. But I have several against polygamy.

          • @BJA

            “You can easily replace the two with any number. Laws could easily be written to accommodate this.”

            No you can’t. You ignorant, lying sack of crap. They don’t work that way.

            The laws are written for “spouse”, singular as a default. Adding more spouses just complicates issues beyond what your tiny brain seems to be able to handle. Debt obligations and child custody issues of a polygamous marriage alone are a minefield of potential rights issues and responsibilities. I gave a clear example of issues between multiple spouses above which would give one pause. You ignored it to make such a patently stupid statement.

            Do me a favor and stop talking about things you know nothing about.

          • BJA, you posted HATE SPEECH here by making that obviously false comparison between same gender couples and Warren Jeffs. Face the fact, BJA, each and every normal, non-homophobic American is all too familiar with this routine anti-gay tactic to demean, demonize and dehumanize LGBT Americans. You’ve failed to promote your anti-gay agenda here.

          • http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/married-lesbian-trio-massachusetts-expecting-child-article-1.1765862

          • So, when CarrotCake Man can’t counter (or apparently follow) an opponent’s arguments CarrotCake Man mischaracterizes said argument and dismisses it as hate speech. I have no idea who the person is that you mentioned and I did not compare gay couples to him. I presume he is a polygamist. I did not compare gay couples to a polygamist, I said the rationale for gay marriage is the same for a marriage between 3 or more people. If you can’t follow or civilly and logically discuss a matter then you might seriously consider focusing on your cakes instead. You contribute nothing by blindly dismissing people.

          • Oooh, “our laws can’t handle it” and its a “minefield.” This is so laughable. Our tax code is 80,000 pages long, we have laws governing every imaginable business partnership, and corporation law, etc., yet your one and only argument against multiple marriages is that we could not possibly figure out how to write a law to figure out how 3 people will divide property????? OK, that is one of the reasons we have judges. Judges have been forced to untangle messes much much much more complicated than how to divide property amongst three people. Do us all a favor and think of another reason why multiple marriages should not be allowed and then get back to us. We won’t hold our breath though.

          • http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/married-lesbian-trio-massachusetts-expecting-child-article-1.1765862

            Their threesome is not legal. Only two of them are married under the law. Nobody is seeking to change the laws banning polygamy for them. It is also dishonest as hell to claim that the gay marriage resulted in a polygamous union. At best it is off the books kinkiness. The kind one sees among heterosexual couples as well.

            Again, the concern is of the laws concerning marriage. Not what people do within its boundaries. Your emphasis on love and commitment ignores the other part of justifying making gay marriage legal. Being that it has zero impact on existing laws concerning the state of marriage. You continue to make a dishonest argument. I can’t even say its borne of ignorance because you are willfully ignoring points made to stick to your canned argument.

          • “yet your one and only argument against multiple marriages is that we could not possibly figure out how to write a law to figure out how 3 people will divide property????? ”

            But tax laws are already written and on the books. People already came up with ways to work them into society. Either cough up legislation to fit polygamy into current laws or shut the hell up. It isn’t on the books yet, so it is not the same thing.

            One way judges deal with complicated situations is by not getting into them in the first place and demanding that the legislature address something. I can’t help it if your knowledge of our laws and how they work is defective.

            But you are essentially arguing something concerning laws. The fact is that you have to take many steps to make polygamy legal. A ton more than what is needed for gay marriage (a simple vote on a bill or striking down an existing ban).

            This means your whole spiel is a load of bovine scatology. The two can never be considered similar in our laws so logically they are not even close to the same. You have wasted our time with a dishonest ignorant argument. Something deserving of being called a fool.

          • Nobody is seeking to change the laws banning polygamy for them. Is that right. Well then you are right I must really be a dumbass. For some strange reason I was thinking people were indeed seeking to change the law banning polygamy. But I guess I just made that up. No one, NOBODY as you put it, is even considering changing such laws. EVERYONE without exception is perfectly happy that marriage is limited to 2 people. I am sure that is true of the Mass. Trio. They have no desire for three of them to be married right? Why can’t you see the obvious fact that when you open traditional marriage to same sex marriage that it leads to people advocating multiple marriages, and that there is no real good reason not to have such marriages – believe me, the proper laws can be written for it.

          • The three women in Massachusetts had a commitment ceremony. Two are legally married. If this was North Carolina, the pastor involved with this commitment ceremony would be subject to criminal and civil penalties because Amendment 1 went beyond defining marriage and criminalized commitment ceremonies.

            Meanwhile, there are Mormons in Utah and nearby states who’ve been holding similar religious ceremonies to create non-legally recognized commitment ceremonies for many decades.

            Here’s my thought on the slippery slope of gay marriage –> polygamy:

            1. Polygamy predates gay marriage. Not the other way around. It’s legal in many cultures. It’s been recognized in several others by religious conservatives. To imply that polygamy will spring from gay marriage ignores that point. It also ignores that most cultures and religions that recognize polygamy are stridently anti-gay.

            2. Gay marriage and polygamy are different issues. The latter introduces many more logistical issues that are very unique to them (including issues of inheritance, divorce, property).

            3. Lastly, if your only argument against gay marriage is that you can’t argue against polygamy if gays are allowed to marry… Well, then you don’t really have much of an argument against either.

          • Jon, no one is saying gay marriage directly produces or leads to polygamy. The point is simply that the rationale behind one (gay marriage) can equally justify the other (polygamy). You can not deny that polygamist and others who desire something other than traditional marriage are now advocating that laws be changed to accommodate their wishes. Finally, this is not my only argument against gay marriage. Remember, this whole thread started when Larry called someone named John a fool for asking a good, valid question about polygamy and the religious freedom argument being utilized by the UCC of NC.

          • Actually, I believe that marriage itself justifies different expressions of marriage.

            Actually, I don’t know too many people who are seeking legal recognition of plural marriage. What I’ve seen are religious conservatives who’ve sought to strike down Utah’s bigamy laws, which (until recently) included cohabitating plural families – even those who actually aren’t seeking plural marriage licenses. But most of those in plural marriages seem to enjoy having one or fewer legal marriage while benefitting through welfare fraud by engaging in multiple spiritual marriages.

            That – the “bleeding the beast” mentality by religious polygamists – is one of the chief reasons why I’m very open to the idea of plural marriages. Get them out of the shadows and allow them to legally marry. Then they will all be legally and financially responsible for each other instead of abusing the local welfare system.

            But the similarity is definitely there when it comes to commitment ceremonies and spiritual marriages. North Carolina’s Amendment 1 went out of its way to criminalize religious communities like the UCC or the MCC from officiating at commitment ceremonies between same-sex couples – even when there is no intent to file for a marriage license by the couple in question. It will be interesting if this overreaching effort will ultimately lead to Amendment 1’s doom.

        • Reasons for gay marriage:

          1. There is no rational or secular reason not to. Marriage laws are permissive absent the presence of a reason to avoid it.

          2. Gays already form families with children. It is just and equitable to permit marriage

          3. It is easy to adapt to current laws

          4. Gays are full members of our society and keeping them from marrying fellow consensual adults attacks their civil liberties.

          In other words I don’t have to show why marriage equality should exist, you need a reason why it shouldn’t.

          Polygamy fails on 1&3

          • Obvious evidence polygamy does not lead to gay marriage or visa versa.

            Nigeria just allowed polygamy, already banned gay marriage and is currently looking to harshly discriminate against gays.

            http://www.religionnews.com/2014/05/01/kenyas-new-polygamy-law-bad-families-christian-leaders-say/

            http://news.sky.com/story/1097873/nigeria-new-law-bans-gay-marriage

            http://www.irinnews.org/report/94207/nigeria-tightening-the-noose-on-gay-rights

            All of which is being touted as supporting “traditional marriage”. The bigots forget that polygamy has far more Biblical support than modern binary marriage.

            So people can take that “slippery slope” and stick it somewhere painful.

  4. Is it possible to excommunicate an entire denomination? I’m sure the UCC won’t mind.

    Perhaps have it arrested on felony charges of Aggravated High Treason Against Christianity?

    • Do you hope to make other, similar attacks on the many other Christian and Jewish denominations who won’t help you subvert the United States Constitution, Doc? Just how far will you go to subvert Equal Protection Under the Law? We already know for a fact anti-gays have committed criminal acts to throw these shameful, unconstitutional Hate Votes. The federal judge who revoked the 2008 California anti-gay H8te Vote had in his possession an email written by Catholic bishops to Mormon leaders in which they both agreed to violate California campaign finance laws to throw the H8te Vote by making secret, illegal cash and in-kind contributions to the H8te Vote. The email serves as proof positive they knew they were breaking the law; the email itself is an act of criminal collusion. Here is documentation about that email:

      latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/01/documents-show-close-links-between-prop-8-campaign-and-mormon-catholic-churches.html#comments

      • Sad as his attack was, Doc provides evidence of the desire anti-gays harbor to deprive all other Americans of our different religious beliefs and practices, as well as the unconstitutional animus that federal courts are increasingly citing as evidence.

      • That constitutes violence, Mr. None. As a Christian, I oppose violence. Besides, all that’s needed is a little excommunication and a little ADX Supermax time.

          • Hey, I made absolutely clear that if the concert audience strictly uses two-week-overripe Cherry tomatoes, not only would the little ploppy critters totally NOT hurt the traitorous can’t-sing-a-dog-lick musical performer, but all the little red tomato stains would blend in perfectly with his weird clothing!

            Now THAT’s a peaceful American religious protest, just the way Grandma used to bake it!

  5. It’s worth clarifying that these UCC folks are stepping up because the state made it explicitly illegal for them to officiate at commitment ceremonies in a North Carolina, even where there was no intent to apply for a marriage license.

    My husband and I had a commitment ceremony here in Iowa way back in 1997. Obviously our state didn’t recognize our marriage back then, but it was important for us to celebrate our union and perform this milestone.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that even though something isn’t legally recognized doesn’t mean that it should be illegal. This aspect of Amendment 1 appears overreaching and in violation of folks’ religious liberties.

    It would be ironic if this overreach by social conservatives ends up tanking the whole amendment.

    • It’s sad you can’t accept that Americans have Freedom Of Religion, Frank. Do you want everyone who disagrees with you rounded up and put in a federal prison like Doc says he wants?

  6. This is just further proof that the conservative notion of religious freedom is an absolute joke.

    These Church Leaders Can’t Officiate Gay Weddings Because Those Church Leaders Want “Religious Freedom”
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2014/04/29/these-church-leaders-cant-officiate-gay-weddings-because-those-church-leaders-want-religious-freedom/

    If it doesn’t involve attacking the civil liberties of gays, denying birth control to employees or violating the Establishment Clause, it just doesn’t count as free exercise of religion for them.

    Of course the rants from bigots like Doc Anthony and John are more proof of that. They can’t even acknowledge that there are other religions and sects which do not share their vitriol. Its nice to see that sort of blatant disregard for religious freedom out in the open, lest people mistake them for understanding the meaning of such things.

  7. I personally do not want to be at the Great White Throne judgment when this “Pastor” and his congregation stand before God. This is an abomination to God, read your Bible, book of Leviticus. Yes it is Old Testament, but God does not change.

      • As children of God we are to love ALL people. At times that can be difficult do. For those of us who are lead by the Holy Spirit we strive on a daily basis to follow in the light that Christ provided for us. The word ALL includes everyone regardless of our differences. All people are welcome in the church i attend. Everyone. I will greet everyone with a smile and a handshake. People can attempt to justify sinful actions by turning to mans legal system or any means that fits their needs, but the bottom line is , whether we choose to accept or not, sin is sin. It’s not my call. It’s not my system. It’s not my Word. It’s Gods infallible, prefect, Holy Word. People open themselves up to much harm when they put their thoughts above Gods thoughts. His ways are the best ways. Always have been, always will be. Like it or not. Same sex marriage is a sin. It as nothing to do with my love towards all people. The only thing in my life that seperates me from sin is Gods grace through Jesus Christ. Nothing else works. There will be no sinners in heaven. Not one. If My name is not in the Book of Life, I’m gone, period. No explaining, no begging, no crying. God has seen fit to provide us with a Bible. You can ignore it, twist it, turn it, argue with it, but it’s still His Word. The choice is yours. God will not force Himself on anyone. He loves us all. All choices we make come with results. Do the right things and you will recieve good results. We all reap what we sow. Thats how it works. Simple. Very simple. I will continue to welcome all people in church. I will pray for all people, but there will never be a same sex marriage performed in the church i “choose” to attend. Thank you for reading this post, I hope it has helped someone. God bless, Gary

        • Gary wrote, “Same sex marriage is a sin.”

          Your homophobic lie is rejected by more major Christian denominations every year. Spare us all your pious platitudes you used to hide your hate speech.

    • Donna: ” This is an abomination to God, read your Bible, book of Leviticus. Yes it is Old Testament, but God does not change.”

      Are you sure? Do you adhere to the dietary laws? Why not? Because Peter had a dream that God HAD changed. Sacrifice any animals lately? Why not? Because God changed His mind, didn’t He? He made the sacrifice of His Son stand for all the other sacrifices. In Mark 10 and Matthew 19 Jesus tells us that at least part of the OT is out and out wrong: Deut 24:1.

      So, yes, God has changed. More importantly, our understanding of God and what He wants also changes. After all, Donna, you are not treated as women were in Biblical times; we have come to learn that God did not want that.

      It’s also possible that the translation of the Hebrew in the OT verses are in error and you are reading them wrong. I suggest you study the pages under this website: http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibl.htm

  8. It’s not only in the “Old Testament” that homosexuality is condemned. It’s also in the Christian scriptures. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) These churches that are changing their stance on gay marriage should be allowed to do so. GOD will judge sinners. All we can do as Christians is stick to the BIBLE, GOD’S WORD. If the church you are going to does not follow the whole of God’s word then find a church that does. I was raised Catholic and I’m glad my mother raised me with a spiritual background. When I became an adult, I realized there were MANY things that the church taught as doctrine that were AGAINST THE BIBLE. So, did I try to show the Catholic church it’s error(s)? NO! That NEVER WORKS OUT…. I just found a congregation (non Catholic) that follows the BIBLE in formulating doctrines and switched over! We have to quit judging people and “other” churches. That’s not our job… also a true Christian would not be “ugly” to others no matter what because GOD will also judge US.

      • And he finds sections of the Bible about not treating people with malice to be inconvenient.

        Ever notice that the people who complain that others “don’t really follow the entire Bible” are the ones who miss the most important messages of it?

        “Do not do what is harmful to others, that is the entirety if the Bible, the rest is commentary”

    • ” All we can do as Christians is stick to the BIBLE, GOD’S WORD.”

      And here I always thought the Word was Jesus, not a book. You sound like a Muslim: stick to the Koran because it is dictated by Allah. The books are there to help us find God and Jesus, not substitute for them. BTW, why are you sticking to the hate passages instead of Jesus’ admonition that all the Law can be distilled to:
      Love God
      Love your neighbor as yourself..

      Where is the love in your “condemned”? Again, those passages may not mean what you think they do. http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibl.htm

  9. Unfortunately, the U. S. Constitution’s First Amendment provisions of “freedom of religion” and “freedom of speech” do not require those exercising them to be truthful and uphold righteousness. Clearly, though, those promoting and advocating sexual immorality (or any sin for that matter) are not true followers of Christ, as they are not in agreement with God’s creative design, will and purpose or His eternal values, principles and morals as revealed through His Holy Word and the example of Jesus Christ. Thus, these so-called “ministers” and “church groups” are not advocating God-honoring life choices, behavior and relationships. What these individuals and groups are actually asking of the judiciary, therefore, is legal permission and protection to promote licentiousness–not to use their God-given freedom to honor Him and hold our society and culture to a high spiritual, moral and legal standard.

    • Whose version of righteousness? Yours?

      Who made you the arbiter of who is a true follower of Christ and who isn’t?

      Why should anyone have to take your views of the religious beliefs of others seriously?

      Why are Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech in “scare quotes”?

      Because you don’t believe in such things.

      You want to act like the word of God doling out his favor to various faiths. You have no respect for freedom of religion. It applies to all faiths not just yours. It is telling your bigotry is so overwhelming that you can’t even acknowledge that religious groups that disagree with you are religious groups. Please spare me the bullcrap the next time you think your religious freedom is being infringed upon, because someone rebuked you for being obnoxious in public.

    • You have to read Romans 1:23-25 to get the context. It has to do with punishing IDOLATRY. God turned the Romans gay because they preferred idols and polytheism to worship of HIM.

      Fundies have such nerve to claim that other people selectively read the Bible for their own benefit.

  10. This is a serious issue, and one I have set back and remained silent. If this same sex marriage is violated by the first amendment, then my first amendment would violate, because marriage should be between One Man and One Woman. Furthermore and more importantly God’s preserved word(KJB) speaks against this. Its against nature and against what the Lord meant for marriage to be. People with beliefs such as me are called out to be haters, I hated no one, I hope all get saved and meet me in heaven. But our culture is going down the drain quick, which leads me to believe the Lord will be back soon. I am happy to live in a State(NC) that will a least back up one Biblical issue such as this. In addition to this, this Lady claims to be a preacher, but the King James Bible makes it clear that one requirement of a bishop, Pastor, Preacher, etc is to be the Husband of one Wife. How can she meet that requirement, the fact is she can’t. Lastly, don’t take this as hate, for I have already made it clear I hate no one or judge no one. When I make bold statements its because the KJB has already made Judgement on these issues.

    • You have no clue what the actual issues are.

      This is what passes for logic among the bigots who lack a rational and secular basis for their opposition to marriage equality.

      The existence of religiously sanctioned gay marriage does not affect the right to believe or practice what your version of God says anything on the subject. However a law which prevents clergy from performing a purely religious rite affects free exercise of religion.

      “Furthermore and more importantly God’s preserved word(KJB) speaks against this.”

      Which means diddly squat for our laws. All laws must have a rational and secular purpose if they are not to run afoul of the Establishment Clause.

      People like yourself ARE haters. You want to discriminate against others with the protection of the law behind you. You actively promote discrimination and attack the ability of others to live in a sane manner. You simply hide behind religion to sanction those views because you are far too cowardly to own up to them as your own opinion.

      “When I make bold statements its because the KJB has already made Judgement on these issues.”

      But nobody has to care about such things. Least of all by compulsion of law. Freedom of religion means that I don’t have to do anything in accordance to your religious views and neither do our laws.

  11. All of america is plagued by the stupid disease and it keeps spreading faster. All people here should know that all people should have the right to live their life as they see fit to make themselves happy. Life liberty and pursuit of happiness!!!!! If we all do not fight always for that right we all have no right but to be victims of those in power over us. As long as what you do does not hurt or stop another persons pursuit of those freedoms shut up! Belief in god or no god or satan as god or chocolate as god effects no one but the believer them self until someone tries to push their belief on you or others. I believe in my God and i can’t wait until my God smashes all who do not understand do not judge others just yourself apart from criminal behavior. Real criminal behavior not crimes against yourself as other dictate.Free choice free belief free country are lies of american witches who control you all as they continue to try to control me. Fight to the death for all freedoms for all or die in a witch’s oven as america is doing daily. All our government is corrupt and money loving weak evil pigs but all i hear is crying over stupid crap.from all those who say they are fighting for something important. Right now most all here are ignorant slaves fight for a bigger dog collar. If we all do not stand together we will die together as fools. The biggest fight should be freedom of oppression and to win we need all elected by votes to be bound before running for office to a life long vow of poverty to keep them honest to their cause under threat of death by stoning for wrong doing in office or jobs of power like judges and cops. All elected should be recorded on video everywhere while in office but at home when off duty with the recording being public record. only truth will set us free people and all of our controllers are rich liars and worse. I am going to change all i can to get these things started if they kill me for it. My children and yours deserve a better world so i ask what are you going to do? So keep boo hooing over who is screwing who cause I know the truth is we are all being screwed daily and mostly by ourselves for being stupid to the truth. Good luck with your
    slap fight of gay rights the government is only laughing while they spend their evil gotten money they robbed in front of us all. I am stevensvarner@yahoo.com if you can debate me on that with better truth but my God says ” ha ha” and i say if you can’t help me don’t worry I got this!!!! My God isn’t a santa claus god….Mine is real and coming to a judgment day near all real soon. I will leave on a sweet note though. FYI…My God will not lose any creature created because God created no one that is not controlled and no enemy that could ever fight the true God! My God has no limits like most church gods. Also I am a brick in the true church yours are just wrongly named buildings and those bank accounts for those churches are My God’s stolen misused money so don’t cry when My God takes it back along with you all but don’t worry too much because hell is just a joke on the fools because NO True Good God would create a creature just to burn it forever. So I suggest most might want to rethink some of that shallow minded stuff before My God gets back home and God is a lot closer to home than you know but no hell doesn’t mean no punishment and forgiveness for sins is not the same as forgiving evil…evil is a deed resulting from sin church people……didn’t see that one did you? Love you all.

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