Proposition 8: a triumph of bigotry

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king-rustin

As some of you know, one of Skeptical Brotha’s longtime contributors has posted that he succumed to the cacophony of lies, hatred, and fear peddled by the homophobic religious right, and voted to ban same sex marriage in California.  In so doing, he defecated on the legacy of many gay and lesbian people who fought for the rights of African Americans and similarly situated people of color for full equality in this country. 

Without community organizers like Bayard Rustin, a gay black man who traveled to India to study and bring back the nonviolent tactics of Mahatma Ghandhi, the civil rights movement would have suffered in this country.  The remarkable thing about the multi-talented Rustin is that he was always upfront about his sexuality, he didn’t hide who he was from anybody.  For a man born nearly one hundred years ago in 1912, that little factoid is a big honkin’ deal.   In addition to his civil rights activism and his methodical planning of the 1963 March on Washington, he was also a dedicated labor organizer.  You remember the March on Washington, right?  I believe Dr. King said somethin’ about a dream–a dream that his only living sibling has said has now been realized with the election of Barack Obama.

The late Mrs. Coretta Scott King was clear in her support for equal rights for all:

I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice… But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King, Jr., said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’ … I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream to make room at the table of brotherhood and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people.”

“…Gays and lesbians stood up for civil rights in Montgomery, Selma, in Albany, Georgia, and St. Augustine, Florida, and many other campaigns of the Civil Rights Movement. Many of these courageous men and women were fighting for my freedom at a time when they could find few voices for their own, and I salute their contributions.

…Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union. A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is a form of gay bashing, and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional marriages.”

If the First Lady of the Civil Rights Movement could be for marriage equality, what is your problem?

117 thoughts on “Proposition 8: a triumph of bigotry

  1. alec,

    I believe in organized religion, I just don’t believe in religious bigotry. I don’t equate a belief in God to religious fanatacism and homophobia and neither should you.

  2. I followed ‘No on 8′ through Andrew Sullivan’s blog. I clicked on every ad that he posted. I never saw ONE that was pointed towards the Black community. If ‘No on 8′ was serious about trying to address the Black community (that they already suspected was going to be FOR Proposition 8), they couldn’t come out with an ad with Black gay folks who wanted to get married? With Black gay folks who wanted to be married and had children? California’s a huge state, and they couldn’t find 2 Black homosexuals and 2 Black lesbians with children who could have made an ad?

    We have to make visible and humanize the gays and lesbians in the Black community. I ask again – why no ads with non-flaming Black gays and lesbians. I know they exist. You’re telling me that NONE of the Black gays and lesbians in California want to get married? That ALL of them are single without children?

    I sort of think kids is the angle as to how to begin to attack this. Show them as FAMILIES.

    This is a RELIGIOUS issue within the Black community. That’s the main reason for it being so intractable. But, as with the Donnie McClurkin situation, we have White folks disrespecting Black religious going people, and no, that’s not the way to win votes.

    Black folk and religion is complicated. Always has been. ‘No on 8’ didn’t even try to reach out to the Black community. Now, am I saying that it would ever be 70/30 the other way? No. But, if they had actually campaigned in the Black community. I think they could have gotten it down to 60/40.

  3. Chi

    I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and this 70% black vote thing is simply bogus! This very suspect poll courtesy of A.P – whose very right leaning biases were exposed this election cycle should be questioned!

    California Pop:
    59.8% – White
    35.9% – Hispanic
    12.3% – Asian
    6.2% – Black
    3.3% – Mixed/Native American/Other

    Rikyrah is right, the No on 8 ads were so weak compared to the powerful if misleading yes on 8 ones-
    The Yes people were super organized and very effective – I got so much mail from them including a huge flyer with pictures and biblical anti prop 8 quotes from black pastors, photos and all…small print said the ad was paid for by the Mormons, Knights of St.columbus (my catholic people) and Focus on the Family.

    Blacks make up 6% of the total population – the smallest racial group in California- about 3% are adults of voting age – A third of these are not eligible to vote for various reasons.

    The point is even if all black voters in California voted for or against this it wouldn’t have made a lick of a difference! Barack Obama did not win California because of huge black voter turnout – the argument the gays are now using.

    According to some websites, gays had concerns early on about the negative impact of a huge black turnout for Obama and had tried to thwart said turnout! Can you believe this?!

    The hateful condescending rhetoric now being spewed by angry white gays betrays long held disdain and an intense dislike of black people – It’s funny many on the blogs are even threatening Barack Obama…Let the projection of all percieved black sin on the man begin!

    To hear them tell it one would think that white and gay were mutually exclusive – A lot of black gay people even in San Francisco complain bitterly of the discrimination and exclusion they suffer within that community-

    And since November 5th, blacks have been subjected to some of the vilest stuff here in the Bay Area you wouldn’t believe it.

    Ironically, this has only served to bolster the argument many blacks continue to make about the analogous use/trivialization of their racial experience –

    Try as one may, it cannot be hidden as evidenced by the fact that many non-black mormons, catholics etc. who voted for this initiative in larger numbers can continue about their business unharassed in complete anonimity unless of course they are waylaid on their way out of their specifically targeted church/temple on sunday-

  4. Brad

    Actually it’s a triumph of morality and social norms. The people of the State have just declared that they don’t want this crap in their back yard. That’s democracy, folks. If you don’t like it, move to Cuba.

    On the other hand, I’m sure you’ll get your way eventually. The courts are in your favor because they love to overthrow the will of the people with all their judicious muscle. After all, in this country, it’s only a democracy until the courts get involved. Then it becomes a legal dictatorship, usually in favor of the left-wing of our country, suppressing the rights of the majority.

  5. It really isn’t about having someone’s way, it’s about treating people fairly and equally. You cannot deny someone’s else rights simply because you are not comfortable with their private lives. The State of California made the decision months ago stating that it’s unconstitutional to have a ban on gay marriage. This is a civil rights issue not a religious issue. So Brad, it’s in your best interest that everyone’s rights are protected and that includes you. I understand your personal beliefs about homosexuality, but it’s a legal issue. Everyone who wishes to marriages needs to a license in order to do so and there are legal implications beyond the license. That means I speak on my spouse’s behalf if I need to do so, if he should die, he family cannot automatically come for his assets. Should he get into an accident or some medical incident to prevent him for speaking himself, then I become his advocate as a spouse. These are practical matters of marriage. Now you may prevent a gay couple from having a ceremony at church that’s religious side, but the legal marriage is a very different. Quite frankly, Brad you should be upset that the state makes you get a marriage license in the first according to your logic because your marriage doesn’t exist until state says so.

  6. There were No on 8 ads that targeted blacks. These ads specifically tied gay marriage to the black civil rights movement. Also, I obviously didn’t do any polling, but when I drive to work in the morning I go through a working class black neighborhood and there were Yes on Prop 8 signs in yards and on churches, and I didn’t see a single No on Prop 8 sign. Again, this was only one working class black neighborhood in the entire state, but if it was a microcosm, there wasn’t any doubt about how many black folks felt about the Proposition. We know that many of our churches preach homophobia. Part of the broader movement of civil rights is equality for everyone. We should understand this more than anyone. I am disgusted that so many of us—and especially our church leaders—-are sanitizing bigotry through Scripture.

  7. TripLBee

    Brad, Brad, Brad,

    My goodness son. Did you skip your civics classes when you were growing up? Don’t you understand that perhaps the most fundamental underpinning of a pluralistic democracy is to protect minorities against a tyranny of the majority? What if the electorate decided to deny marriage rights for men over 6’8″—certainly a minority. Would that be okay as long as a majority of people supported such a law? Come on son, use your head. Your reasoning is preposterous. It makes absolutely no sense.

  8. RisingTide

    Civil Unions for all!

    I love PA, home of the Quaker Marriage — just find a few witnesses, sign a document, and you’re married. It was held up in court, or I’d have been married that way (not a quaker, hence the court stupidity).

  9. SB, I’ve typed and deleted a couple of comments regarding this blog entry and ultimately realized I still don’t have the energy or ability to accurately put into words the incredible sadness I’m STILL feeling after realizing that the majority of my fellow Californians who voted on Prop 8, are people willing to quite easily discriminate and strip away the civil rights (and yes, it’s CIVIL RIGHTS folks!!!) of their neighbors. I’m a straight female who is crushed by this disheartening turn of events, and while I’ve seen firsthand the effect this hateful vote has had on close gay friends of mine, I can never truly know what it must feel like to know that other people–people who don’t even know you!–are telling YOU what rights you can and cannot have. I poured my heart into the time I spent volunteering on the NO on Prop 8 campaign, and will continue to do the same with the new groundswell the movement is experiencing, until each and every person has the right to marry the person they love. So thank, SB, and another HUGE thanks to TripLBee’s awesome comments on this blog and the last.

  10. Cliff

    “According to some websites, gays had concerns early on about the negative impact of a huge black turnout for Obama and had tried to thwart said turnout! Can you believe this?!

    The hateful condescending rhetoric now being spewed by angry white gays betrays long held disdain and an intense dislike of black people – It’s funny many on the blogs are even threatening Barack Obama…Let the projection of all percieved black sin on the man begin!”

    Chi, I can’t believe this. It almost seems like they thought black people are automatically precieved to be included in support of gay rights, tying as to what Trip L Bee said the “gay marriage to the black civil rights movement.”

    Maybe I’m crazy, but I just don’t see how they’ve justified a connection here.

    Plus have they done in campaigning in the black community?

    Plus have they appealed to the black chuch?

    It seems that if we only make up this percentage
    California Pop:

    59.8% – White
    35.9% – Hispanic
    12.3% – Asian
    6.2% – Black

    There is no blame that should be directed at us for the passing of this proposition.

    CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN.

  11. zeitgeist9000

    SB, you never cease to educate us!

    But, I don’t get it.

    Is it the fact that this happened in CA that’s making people so upset?

    Chi’s analysis is excellent. The “No on 8” side had an underserving ground game. And the liberal, Hollywood elites backing the “No” side to the extent they did polarized the electorate by not presenting the ramifications of a “Yes” vote in practical, real-life terms, i.e., showing gay couples, something the “No” side refused to do out of their own fear.

    And let’s face it (even someone I know who refuses to register to vote told me this): the ad with Gavin Newsom barking “Whether You Like It or Not” to a raucous audience when the California Supreme Court originally allowed gay marriage was a devastating ad which galvanized people to realize that the Court was overstepping its boundaries and that the People were being forced to accept something they didn’t ask for.

  12. Chi

    The No ads targeting blacks re: civil rights didn’t play here TripLBee…or maybe I missed them-

    I voted No on this initiative because the Yes ads were chockful of lies and so manipulative; My vote also reflected my outright disavowal of the strongarm tactics employed by my tax exempt church and the inconsistent & ironic message their deceitful, dishonest ads and support sent about the Christian faith they purportedly represent.

    My diocese spent the run-up to the elections pressing the urgent need to correctly “vote our catholic conscience”! Every sunday newsletter had the list of “voting issues important to the catholic…” – abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research, immigration and the obligatory poverty and world hunger component in that exact order. Priests read letters from their bishops reiterating the “non-negotiable moral catholic burden” in exercising our “civic responsibility”. They had several all day “clinics” every saturday for the six weeks preceeding the elections…and went as far as calling a vote for any pro-choice candidate an “accomplice to a homicide”!

    The target audience/coalition was the not very educated immigrant & urban communities and the well-organized outreach to them included lots of free food (as advertised in said bulletins) and carefully crafted culturally sensitive messages designed to appeal to each groups sensibilities.

    An older Filipino couple from church frantically called me 2 days before the 4th. The wife confided that she liked Obama but had been told that “he was muslim” & “she would not be blessed” if she voted for him. I spent time countering these and other truly sad stuff. She then wanted me to clarify the Yes on 8 proposition. Apparently she and her husband wanted to be sure to vote “no on boy & boy…”! But they were confused since the mock-up they’d been given at some group meeting (a printout with all the candidates/propositions and how to vote) had Yes on 8. They’d called their daughter and her white husband who confirmed that the right vote against “boy and boy” was Yes.

    I cannot overstate how poorly run & inneffective the No campaign was. After a 21 month campaign that canvassed every demographic including the confirmed & perceived hostile ones; the Obama campaign left nothing to chance. They knew it was going to be an uphill battle, but they stayed on it. It was that important, and nothing was ever taken for granted. And even with his win, his mandate remains fragile…and he recognizes it – Its a very fickle world afterall…But he earned every single one of those 66+ million votes…The grey hairs and gaunt look are proof positive!

    Some people I know have confided that they left the Yes on 8 ballot blank as they didn’t feel comfortable voting for it either way…a vast majority of this group I believe, could have been persuaded with a more effective campaign.

    To the proponents of No on 8: next time something is this important, it ought to be treated like it is BEFORE & not after the fact…

  13. Chi

    Cliff: Yes, there were attempts to stem black turnout instead of working to get them to vote for their cause. It was indeed sad to hear!

    zeitgeist9000: The Newsom clip absolutely did a lot of damage…Unfortunately his popularity is really confined to San Francisco…and he can really come off as extremely annoying and a real airhead.

    I thought they might have utilized the ever self-serving and egotistic Willie Brown who of course never seems to firmly commit publicly to anything remotely controversial – But Brown already predicted the defeat weeks ago in some weekly column he now does for the chronicle; Tying it to Newsom and discussing the potential fall-out on his potential gubernatorial run – (I think he’s supporting Dianne Feinstein who’s mulling a run too)-

  14. One of the things this ties into is that White Christians don’t always understand the Black Church and vice versa. At some level the questioning of one looks like disrespect. At the moment there is an uncomfortable pause where one side wants to demand of the other, Christian to Christian, what the hell they were thinking.

    As an aside, one of the things I have noticed is that Ruskin is all but redacted from the story of the Civil Rights movement. Years of King Day speeches and Black History Month assemblies and I never once heard his name. It wasn’t until I was in college that I ran into his name, in a generic history of the US written by a white author. I’ve also noticed how little his name has come up in this conversation even though he is the topic of the post.

  15. I spoke to a black, gay male friend of mine the day after the election. He has worked his heart out for the Obama campaign for a year and a half. I thanked him for his efforts and then asked him if the day was bitter sweet because of the results on Prop 8. He said it was more sweet than bitter. He pointed out that Prop 22, a similar anti-gay marriage Proposition, passed by an almost two-thirds margin four years ago. He noted that Prop 8 barely passed. He also said that Obama’s victory might lead to complacency among progressives, but that defeats on core issues such as Prop 8 were a reminder that we must stay vigilant and work hard. In our disappointment over Prop 8 I think it’s important to take my friend’s words to heart. We are making progress. If we stay organized and continue to work hard, this thing is going to go down in flames the next time.

  16. Brad

    TripLBee & Sherri,

    Okay. let’s do it. Let’s protect the rights of all minorities WHO WISH to get married. That will now have to include legalizing unions between consenting cousins, brothers and sisters; men who want five wives; consenting adult father/daughter or mother/son relationships, etc.

    Are you prepared to do that, or are you a little more discriminatory than you’re pretending to be? I’m guessing you’ll argue that the State has good reason to deny the r’ships I just mentioned, and if you don’t, you’re just a little bit sick.

    Up until a few years ago, all States had GOOD REASON to deny civil and religious unions between same-sex couples. They’ve only begun to re-think that because of powerful lobby groups. So what if the Mormons start lobbying hard for the legalization of polygamy. Should we grant them that too?

  17. Al

    “We are making progress….”

    Actually, TripLBee, its REGRESS….. all the way back to the days of Sodom & Gomorrah (which BTW, Jesus said would happen in the days before He returns). Any time you are moving away from God’s Word on moral issues you are not making progress.

  18. RisingTide

    Brad,
    The main reason for the anti-fraternal incest laws was a high degree of inbreeding in early human populations. Put simply, if a brother and sister have a baby, it isn’t dramatically more likely to be born without a head, or with other bad birth defects.

    Preteen pregnancy is an entirely different matter…

    I have my own personal disagreements with the multiple relationship crowd — but they generally do it without the bonds of matrimony, and I’m not sure that they would be better off with them.

    After all, marriage was an economic institution first, and a religious one second.

  19. TripLBee

    Brad,

    Can’t you come up with a more original rationalization for your bigotry? Geez…thie is EXACTLY, word for word, the sort of bullshit defenders of anti-misegenation laws were spewing in the days before Loving v. Virginia. I’m surprised you didn’t throw bestiality in there as well. But since you took the time to pose such a predictable hypothetical, I will take the time to reply. On incest: as RisingTide points out, there is a medical justification behind the banishment of incest. Furthermore, my guess is that brothers and sisters would not be knocking the court house doors down in their rush to the altar, were incest marriages suddenly sanctioned by the state. That is to say, there is no pent up demand for incest. In terms of polygamy, if it is mutually consensual I couldn’t give a damn if a man has 100 wives, a woman 1000 husbands, or a man 10,000 husbands. It’s none of my damn business and it doesn’t hurt me one bit. On social issues I am a libertarian: if it doesn’t hurt me, it’s none of my f&^%ing business. I don’t want people poking around in my bedroom, so I will agree not to poke around in theirs.

  20. TripLBee

    Al,

    It gets tiring responding to thinly veiled bigotry from so called “Christians” who don’t even know their Scriptures. But I will humor you. Let’s be clear here: JESUS NEVER MENTIONED HOMOSEXUALITY!!!!!! NOT EVER! NOT ONCE!!! So please spare me the references to Jesus in your rush to deny equality to gay persons. As for Sodom and Gomorrah, do you think maybe, perhaps God punished that town because it was full of rapists? Do you think maybe it had something to do with the fact that Lot offered up his very own daughters to be raped? Do you think Sodom & Gomorahh has anything at all to do with state (not church) sanctioned marriages between same sex couples who love each other? Also, let’s be clear about the myriad Biblical edicts that you choose to ignore every day. Do you wear synthetic materials? Do you shave? Have you ever touched a woman who is menstruating? If so, you are just as much a sinner as men who engage in homosexuality (nowhere does the Bible condemn same sex relations between women). In fact, there is only one reference in the Bible that specifically condemns homosexuality (unless you reference Paul, who was just as mortal as you or me); that would be in Leviticus. When you have some spare time and some No Doze, read through Leviticus to see the other common behaviors that are condemned by God. If you want to cling to your bigotry, I recommend that you don’t also cling to your ignorance.

  21. Chi

    What “accusations” are you referring to John…?

    I just shared stuff I actually experienced…I live in the Bay Area and I’m a mass going catholic! What sort of evidence would you like…?

  22. zeitgeist9000

    Oh, and SB, you pretty much called me out for something I did that you think was wrong. I appreciate that.

    I’ve never been described, though, as simultaneously succumbing and defecating.

    That’s a new one for me!

    Continue to do what you do, and I will always come back for more….

  23. Al

    TripLBee,

    “JESUS NEVER MENTIONED HOMOSEXUALITY” I never said He did. Go back and read my post again.

    “As for Sodom and Gomorrah, do you think maybe, perhaps God punished that town because it was full of rapists?” Ummmm. Nope. They were asking to have sex with two male visitors. They didn’t beat down Lot’s door. They “politely” asked. No rape involved. They were simply horny homos.

    “Also, let’s be clear about the myriad Biblical edicts that you choose to ignore every day. Do you wear synthetic materials? Do you shave? Have you ever touched a woman who is menstruating?”

    You need to understand the difference between God’s moral law and His ritual law. The moral law is written on man’s heart in the NT covenant, but the jots and tittles of it are fulfilled in Christ so that we aren’t bound to the rituals anymore. So, while the ritual laws have been neutralized, the moral laws are still there. You need to take a Bible course.

    “Nowhere does the Bible condemn same sex relations between women.”

    Romans 1:25-27 == They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, (hmmmm….sounds like you) Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. (oops. there’s the lesbian prohibition). In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. (oops, guess there’s more than the Leviticus reference). Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion (notice the emphasis on PERVERSION).

    If you’re planning to discredit Paul’s writings because he is mortal, then you’d better throw all the writers out (Gospel writers included) because all of them were mortal. Your arguments are silly. You’re just simply refusing to surrender to God’s Word.

    Meanwhile…..go take a proper Bible course.

  24. Dear Brother Al,

    I find it fascinating that so many “Christians” simply toss out the Old Testament. And your quote from Romans does not specifically condemn same sex marriage as one could reasonably argue that a life long love commitment is not an example of being inflamed with lust or submitting to perversion. In any event, since your Bible instructors have given you some self-serving logic for ignoring those Biblical laws that you find so inconvenient, and invoking those that support your own lustful bigotries, you are a rather hopeless case. Truly, why don’t you just admit that you hate gay people and stop perverting your religion in the process of trying to cleanse yourself. By surrendering to your type of bigotry and pointless hatred, as you suggest I must, I would be dishonoring my God. My God created all people and loves all people, including gay people. In fact, my God even loves you. The fact that you hate, as you call them, “horny homos” is evidence not only of your scriptural illiteracy, but of your hard heart. Brother, you are the one who needs to heed God’s word. I will leave you with this famous quote with which I must assume you are familiar: “Judge not lest ye be judged.”

  25. Al

    TripLBee,

    My friend, I don’t hate gay people. In fact, my brother-in-law is gay, and I love him very much. But he’s lost in sin, and he knows it. But like you, he won’t renounce it, because he has found “love” in his same-sex relationships, and has convinced himself that God condones it (as have you).

    God loves you very much, Trip, but He hates your sin (even as He hates my sins). The difference seems to be that I’m willing to admit to some of the sins that He names in His Word, you aren’t. You’d rather change, twist, or ignore God’s Word in order to justify your sin.

    You have been deceived….quite badly I’m afraid. I’ll be praying for you.

  26. Al,

    YOu really do take the cake. I’m not gay. I am simply offended by bigotry, especially when it’s wrapped in the cloak of Godliness. You come from the same tradition that condemned Jews as Christ killers, justified slavery, and finds biblical justification for the prejudice dejure.

  27. akech

    JUDGE NOT AND YOU WILL NOT BE JUDGED;
    CONDEMN NOT AND YOU WILL NOT BE CONDEMNED.

    As a hetrosexual, I do not understand why gay people turn out to be gay. I am sure gay people do not understand why hetrosexual are that way.

    For those who believe in God and his work of Creation, condemning gay people is directly condemning and challenging God’s decision unless they believe the DEVIL has the power to create.

    Self righteous Chritians who are trying to use man made government laws to apply religious values on the being of those humans they do not understand. If they feel gays are evil, they must double their efforts in their work of salvation and try to convert these “evil” people to hetrosexual ways.
    Apparently, these self righteous hetrosexuals have embarked on using the government to inflict emotional injuries the people they have failed to convert.

    Where, in the Bible, does it say that the government force must be used where self righteous religious leaders have failed?

    In any case, not everyone self righteous person will see THE KINGDOM OF GOD, only those who do the will of God.

  28. imhotep

    I’ve considered this issue for a long time. Personally I have nothing against Gay people, at all. For those who love it , do your thing. I just don’t subscribe. When I see other animals doing it in nature, then i will except it as natural, otherwise its confusion. When i see a horse having sex with a dog, then I’ll support beastiality as well. Maybe its my Baptist church upbringing, maybe its my socially conservative parents and Grandparents that have framed my mind on this issue, but I don’t think homosexuality is the norm. No matter how many indulge, or how popular it is, or how promoted it is. But I don’t think people who subscribe to that lifestyle should be treated differently as HUMAN BEINGS, but there is a difference that can’t be ignored. Gays people who decide to spend their lives together is better than rogue homosexuals looking to recruit. Is that politically incorrect? Maybe. I think they should be happy we no longer arrest or persecute them on site. Relatively speaking, they seem to be doing pretty good. But at what point do you draw the line? Is it OK for an Adult take a child as a sexual partner, if both agree? Is it OK for a husband to rape his wife? Is it OK if she doesn’t press charges. What I’m saying here is when is it OK not to be natural? When is OK to allow the unnatural to be equated with the natural?

    My problem really is with the language. A man and a woman get married. Not a horse and a man, not a chicken and squirrel, and not man and a man. Call it something else when you are gay. How about Union? or Manmate? or Dudewife, whatever, but you can’t have the word marriage. Sorry, that’s for heterosexuals. Just like melanin and curly hair is for brown folks, and blonde hair (naturally blonde) is for caucasians, and spandex is for slim folks. Now we’ve all seen sisters with blonde hair, and in some ill advised spandex, but is that natural, or confusion? On the serious tip though, just come up with a word that’s not out of the heterosexual world. Hey they can be creative so why not their own homosexual word for marriage. You can’t have the word. Can’t have kids either. Hey that’s the reality of the union, not my rules. Why? so they can grow up confused or tolerant to the unnatural? Yeah. I know there are messed up heterosexuals with kids, but the problem is not their sexual preferences its their fundamentals in parenting. That can be adjusted, or revoked but it is the natural way. Its not trying to make rain fall upwards, or gazelles run backwards, because you think that’s the way it should be. Arrogance does not make it natural, or the way the creator intended it to be. Yes they’re those I feel may be born gay, but their are many more who choose it. I didn’t choose to be African American so i have to play the cards I’m dealt. But sexuality is a choice for some, and some choices can be wrong, bottom line.

  29. TripLBee

    I apologize in advance for hogging this blog, but I can’t help myself. I am simply astounded by the self-serving hypocrisy and the fake piety that abounds in some of these posts. One of the arguments against homosexuality that bigots often use is that it is not natural. Well, electricity isn’t natural. Neither are television or airplanes. The f@#$ing internet isn’t natural but homophobes feel free to use it to press the message that homosexuality is sinful because it’s not natural. I swear if some of these folks don’t show a shred of originality or critical thinking I’m going to start drinking again.

  30. LOL Trip.

    As you alluded to…only a few short generations ago, the EXACT SAME argument about “the natural order of things” was being used to justify the plantation system. How amazing that some people don’t let that fact register in their mind. Time marches on but some things never change.

  31. TripleB

    Electricity is part of the natural world. All you have to do is stand outside during a storm to see that. Man made things tend to break down over time, that is their nature.If you can give me something other than emotions then maybe I could understand your point better. Sinful is not the same as unnatural. I didn’t say sinful, I said unnatural, big difference. Sinful is between you and your God. Homosexuality depends on Heterosexuality to survive. No babies, no more homosexuals, end of mankind, pretty straight forward.
    Unnatural is a scientific fact. When we go against the nature of things, you can expect certain repercussions.
    A man is not born a slave to another man, not natural, in the end did not stand. I’m talking evolution here. Survival of the fittest. We were slaves because we allowed ourselves to be. We fell for the hype. Indians weren’t slaves, they would rather die. Power determines who is right. If those in power are fond of Homosexuality like they were in Greece and Roman times, then RELAX, it all good. But the repercussions don’t lie. Not natural to have sex with animals either. People have tried but that’s how we got Syphilis, don’t make it natural. Space travel is not natural for human beings. Perhaps we aren’t mature enough to be on another planet before we get our own house in order. Until we evolve into a higher state of understanding perhaps we should stick to natural way and perfect that before we start changing the rules.

  32. Imhotep,

    As long as humans have been recording history, there have been accounts of homosexuality. Therefore, in my opinion, homosexuality is a part of the natural order. Just because something does not exist in a majority of persons, does not make it unnatural.

    By your logic, homosexuality will lead to the extinction of humanity. This is a patently ridiculous notion. First, it assumes that gay persons do not have a reproductive instinct or the desire to raise children. Surely you know that many lesbians have children, many gay men are siring/and or adopting children, and on and on. So we can dispense with your misunderstanding of the role of sexuality and parenting. By your logic INFERTILITY or CHASTITY would lead to human extinction, and are therefore unnatural, since they are the only conditions that would halt human reproduction. Should we therefore, ban marriages between heterosexual persons who are unable or unwilling to produce children? Should we breed people who have taken vows of chastity?

  33. Chesapeake

    A person might not want to separate his spiritual beliefs from his civic, moral, occupational, and relational behaviors. Accordingly, if my spiritual belief is that gay marriage is wrong, given the opportunity to vote on the matter, I will vote (civic behavior) for prop 8 according to my spiritual belief. Conversely, if my spiritual belief is that gay marriage is right, then I will vote against prop 8 according to that belief. … We can intellectually separate church from state, but it is inadvisable to, by any discipline, separate our spirtual beliefs from our behavior, lest we behave without a “center” or integrity.

    It’s interesting that many blame “Christians” for suppression of gay rights. I imagine some Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Hindu, as well as Christians may have voted for prop 8. However, I’ll maintain the sentiment concerning Christianity – please accept the fact that not all “Christians” in Cali voted for prop 8:

    Many “Christians” can point to scriptural bases for opposing gay marriage. When we walk up to the voting machine, we’re armed with scriptural basis that form our spiritual belief on the issue. The fact that we vote in accordance with that belief is not an act of hatred against people. It is an act of judgment – everybody makes judgments constantly – but it is not an act of judgment that a gay couple is going to heaven or hell. It’s an act, right or wrong (God will judge) of reverence to Him (yes, even though we sometimes violate some of His other requirements.)

    By the same token, with spiritual beliefs being the purported guides to my behavior, I, a Christian, disagree that the civil rights for which our ancestors fought (and we fight) are equal to the gay rights battles being waged, now. I say this because I cannot think of a civil right that violates my spiritual beliefs. On the other hand, gay marriage does violate my spritual beliefs.

    So, here’s my rub: can a Christian not simply believe that homosexuality is wrong, and then vote accordingly out of 1.) fear for what he believes God might do; 2.) love and devotion to his beliefs and reverence to God; and/or 3.) simple hatred against what he believes God hates? Further, can he behave in manners consistent with his spiritual beliefs and still love people in heart and demonstration? My answer to both questions is “yes!”

  34. Oh Trip, how optimistic of you to hope for originality or critical thinking skills–I’ve long since given up. So here’s a bandage for you to tend to that “beating your head against a wall” wound (although I admire your persistance, eloquence, and logic!), and here’s a Pacifico (or two) since I think the drinking needs to begin. Sadly, I don’t think even Keith Olbermann’s incredibly heartfelt “Special Comment” regarding Prop 8 this past Monday, could stir the soul or compassion of some who have posted here. (It’s posted on my blog if you haven’t seen it.)

    For those interested in the equal rights of all, please consider taking part in a National Protest of Prop 8 this Saturday, November 15th, 10:30am PST/1:30pm EST. http://jointheimpact.wetpaint.com/

  35. Suzer

    If same-sex marriage is against your personal religious beliefs, by all means, don’t marry someone of the same sex. But why on earth, in a secular society that is NOT ruled by your personal religious beliefs would someone wish to deny that fundamental right to others?

    This never should have come up for a vote in the first place, in any state. It is a national shame. Civil rights should not be up for a vote. I would hope that we had learned that over the years as we struggled with the disgraceful legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, and the long-lasting effects of racism. But apparently, as one minority gets its footing and climbs the ladder out of the history of oppression (and, given the rhetoric heard during the recent campaign, we still have a long row to hoe), the country collectively oppresses another minority. What saddens me is that some who have felt one oppression are seemingly all too happy to take part in oppressing the group below them. Human nature, I guess.

    I won’t get into the religious arguments. Been there, done that. Kudos to TripLBee for even trying. Unfortunately, many people (of many colors and ethnicities) have been taught much untruth when it comes to the issue of GLBT people. I have given up trying to educate them – they must educate themselves, if they will. They are entitled to their religious beliefs and can remain happily homophobic for their whole lives for all I care. The anti-gay lies and slurs are hard to hear, but I can usually understand that as untruth that an individual has been taught. However, when their religious beliefs infringe upon my civil rights, I must draw the line.

    I can’t even say how offensive some of the above comments are to me, a partnered lesbian in a committed monogamous relationship. We plan to get married in MA within the next year. We cannot get married in our church (GLBT friendly, though it is, it does not allow even a blessing of our love), nor in our state. So we will go to a justice of the peace in MA, and we will be “legal” in at least one state. And until our full civil rights are recognized by our country, we will have to carry around our powers of attorney, marriage license, and other legal documents should either of us be injured in an accident or suffer some calamity (God forbid), so that we would be allowed to see one another in the hospital. We’ve already been there, done that with hospitals, and at least the person responsible eventually got reassigned.

    I am saddened, though not shocked, to read some of the comments above. I found this blog only recently, and it’s a very worthy one (thank you, SB). I feel privileged to be “fed” by the offerings here. Even when I disagree with some things, my mind is opened and I am led to think of things in a new way. And while it is disappointing to find some of the more homophobic and anti-gay messages here, c’est la vie. “The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice”, right? I certainly hope so.

  36. ONe final word to Chesapeake: Those of us who are offended by state sanctioned bigotry based upon sexual preference are not contending that your opposition to same sex marriage is inauthentic. No, I believe that you and those who voted Yes on Prop 8 really do believe it is wrong. I also believe that Bull Connor and James Eastland and George Wallace believed that integration was wrong. My father was in Selma, Alabama with a Rev. James Reeb when Reeb was beaten to death by a group of men who were offended by Rev. Reeb’s efforts to knock down Jim Crow. I don’t doubt for a minute that the men who beat Rev. Reeb to death felt they were acting justly. I am certain that they believed in the righteousness of what they were doing. They may have even concocted scriptural justification for the murder they committed. Righteousnes that lords power over other people, however, is simply wrong. You can cut it and dice it any way you wish. It is wrong.

  37. Al

    TripLbee,

    “YOu really do take the cake. I’m not gay. I am simply offended by bigotry, especially when it’s wrapped in the cloak of Godliness.”

    Well, sweetheart, I guess I simply made the same stupid assumption that you made. You assume that because I oppose the sin of homosexuality, I am a homophobe. BAD ASSUMPTION, and I set you straight (no pun intended).

    I assumed that because you argue so strongly for homosexuality, you must be wrestling with that sin yourself. BAD ASSUMPTION, and you set me straight.

    So, hey….now we’re even. Stop assuming I’m a homophobe because I don’t embrace this disgusting perversion, and I will stop assuming that you are gay because you do embrace this disgusting perversion.

    Sound fair?

  38. Karen

    Trip….you said:

    “I apologize in advance for hogging this blog, but I can’t help myself. I am simply astounded by the self-serving hypocrisy and the fake piety that abounds in some of these posts.”

    You know, you really are a bit of a hypocrite. You appear to me to be a very judgmental person. You go around this blog condemning people for being judgmental, all the while passing your own self-righteous judgments on anyone who disagrees with you. You, my dear, are no better than the people you are condemning. You have very little credibility.

    What did Jesus say about the speck and the plank again?

  39. Al

    Suzer, you said: “The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice”, right?

    I agree. Which is why Prop 8 passed. It is only just that the wishes of the majority should dictate the policies of the community. It is NOT JUST that the wishes of a few should overthrow the wishes of the many.

    So long as society continues to see Homosexuality as a perversion, you’re SOL. (and don’t forget that 67% of Californians polled said they believe that homosexuality is wrong).

  40. Karen

    TripLbee, you said:

    “Righteousness that lords power over other people, however, is simply wrong. You can cut it and dice it any way you wish. It is wrong.”

    Are you saying, then, that God has no right (and in fact is wrong) to tell His creation what to do? Are you saying that God had no business giving the Israelites the 10 Commandments? Are you saying that when Christ returns to reign over the earth for a thousand years in righteous splendor, He is evil to do so? (Rev 20) Are you saying then that the MORAL ONE has no right to dictate morals in His own Kingdom?

    Finally, are you basically saying “Hey Christians, get the hell off this planet and take your God with you?”

  41. Al

    “Righteousnes that lords power over other people, however, is simply wrong. You can cut it and dice it any way you wish. It is wrong”

    You could reasonably argue the opposite of that as well: UNRIGHTEOUSNESS that lords power over the majority is simply wrong.

    In America the majority rules. And the vast majority of Americans don’t buy into the gay rhetoric. If you don’t like democracy, go live in Cuba.

  42. Question: when did God appoint any of you as the moral arbiters of the universe? When did God appoint the majority of Americans as the moral arbiters of the universe? I must have missed this.

  43. Deyvette

    “My problem really is with the language. A man and a woman get married. Not a horse and a man, not a chicken and squirrel, and not man and a man. Call it something else when you are gay. How about Union? or Manmate? or Dudewife, whatever, but you can’t have the word marriage.”

    Imhotep- These words must be reiterated. Thank You for your thoughtful words.

    ”Its not trying to make rain fall upwards, or gazelles run backwards, because you think that’s the way it should be.”

    LOL

    I have such deep feelings for my gay friends, but I’ve never considered their lifestyles to be natural though I love them. I would fight for my gay friends, just don’t touch her, no him, no her, no no just don’t touch. That is where I draw the line. I must fight for the mormon’s marriage beliefs or transexuals etc. to be , however. God created a man and man cannot change himself to a woman, nor can a woman be changed into a man. The answer is no, No this behavior cannot be associated with civil rights. And monkeys and dogs even the wonderful canine breed you love so much cannot Not have a social security number and be called human, even though they can communicate with us.
    Prop. 8 vote yes if you don’t want gays to be married. Yes I don’t want that. On the other hand, a man can have female parts now but in the end they cannot procreate, thus it is a waste but that is their Right. I know the difference between a boy and a girl but I will have to teach my children or they will cease to procreate like the honey bees. The children will be so confused, maybe they’ll just give up and just fly away also. Oh but wait, what children?, there won’t be any, so we don’t have to worry about this; nevermind.
    Just give give your union a different name.

  44. Al

    “when did God appoint any of you as the moral arbiters of the universe?”

    Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and TEACHING THEM TO OBEY EVERYTHING I HAVE COMMANDED YOU. (Matthew 28:19,20)

  45. Karen

    “When did God appoint the majority of Americans as the moral arbiters of the universe?”

    When did the Constitution appoint the immoral minority of Americans as the lawmakers of this country?

  46. RisingTide

    imhotep,
    sheep regularly display homosexuality.
    dogs have been known to fuck cats (people take pictures, okay. i don’t, but some do).

    just sayin’

  47. RisingTide

    imhotep,
    bonobos fuck each other, males and females alike. i don’t know if you call that bisexuality, but it really seems like you don’t watch the nature channel much.

  48. RisingTide

    Chesapeake,
    You worship a god who asked Adam to bugger all the animals in the Garden of Eden. To gain carnal knowledge of them so that he might name them. And that was not a sin, because there was no sin in the garden of Eden.

    My faith tells me that the verses on homosexuality were part of a wide and large fence against idolatry (homosexuality was a part of idolatrous rites back then). It does not say that homosexuality is wrong, just that worshipping idols is wrong, and try not to let people think that you are worshipping idols.

  49. RisingTide

    Karen,
    The phrase is do to others as you would wish done to yourself, ain’t it?
    Well, if I was that ignorant about the difference between civil and religious freedom, I’d want someone to set me straight!

    If I was ignorant enough about the bible to have not read it properly (and all who think the Ten Commandments say “Thou shalt not kill” instead of “Thou shalt not murder” need to work on their reading comprehension), I’d want someone to cite me chapter and verse.

  50. RisingTide

    Al,
    This ol’ Jew would have much more respect for you, if you managed to stop eating those pork ribs once in a while😉
    If you’re going to disregard the Torah, that’s fine, but picking and choosing makes you thin like a whip, and just as prone to lashing out.

  51. Rising Tide,

    Buzz, wrong answer, man I live for the History Channel and Discovery Channel and Animal Planet, I grew up on Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. You pick one or 2 species out how many creatures on this planet? Let me tell you something, keep an eye on those bonobos. Yeah, they are living the high life now, but when times get hard, and survival is stressed, we’ll see how long the bonobos hang around, or keep up their lifestyle. A dog having sex with a cat? Really? Is that a trend in dog/cat relations or don’t take me wrong here, some FREAK OCCURRENCE? I mean pets (genetically manipulated over time) don’t count. I’m talking about nature undisturbed by man. The rarity of the homosexual bonding in the natural world is obvious to any rational person. When you inject irrationality then a cow can jump over a moon.

    “sheep regularly display homosexuality” define regularly? define display? is it occasional or on regular cycles like everything else in nature. Once again personally I have nothing against gay people. Believe that! hey more heterosexuals for me as far as I’m concerned, but this equating the homosexual situation with the African-American situation is incorrect. This abnormal behavior is what it is, AB-normal behavior. we know what normal is, do we not? (what the majority of the species do) Then with that understanding we know what ab-normal is. Something happened, whether it be chemical prior to birth or due to the environment some people grew up in or from growing up and identifying with those who performed this activity. Look what happens to people who are incarcerated, incarceration is not a natural state for a human being. Separated from the opposite sex is not a natural state. Under such duress, what was unnatural has become a behavior to deal with the stress of being in unnatural circumstances. I could make strong points on this subject all day. All you got is a freak occurrence, a few gay sheep and bonobo’s which is rare, endangered and the closest primate to man, surprise! (did you know they’ve been known to eat their own kind? Regularly? I doubt, hmmm I wonder if that lifestyle Rising Tide mentioned has anything to do with that?)

    Sorry if i sound uninformed on the homosexual front, not an expert for sure. But heterosexual behavior and nature and cycles of nature and the cosmos. I might have a smidgen of info. One day I’ll get into how the electro-magnetic pulses from the sun can not only increase or decrease fertility amoung women, but also effects your brain wave state to a higher degree than the moon. As we get closer to 2012 the more I’m putting the pieces together. But that’s another conversation. Since homosexual behavior does not promote reproduction of the species, which is the MAIN PURPOSE behind sexual activity. Yes it has other purposes, but the main one is reproduction. Then if your not reproducing, then it is a stress coping activity or entertainment. Hey, nature has provided me coping mechanisms when I can’t get sex. I’m not even saying gays can’t have sex, go to it. My thing is you can’t have the word marriage. That’s it. Come up with another word and you have my blessing. But marriage just like birthing babies is a heterosexual perk. there are always consequences to the choices people make.If you like anal sex you will have a sore butt from time to time, comes with the territory.

  52. RisingTide

    imhotep,
    Dogs will have sex with anything — including your leg. They do it because it feels good.
    Horses have sex with asses, and tigers have sex with lions. Cross species breeding occurs — though it’s far more common in plants, what with them spraying their pollen everywhere.

    Rape is natural, marriage is not — even for human beings. Ever read the Seven Year Itch?

    Homosexual bonding is fairly rare, but homosexual activity is not, in the animal kingdom.

  53. Chesapeake

    Based on the many of the comments, here, the sentiment seems to be that when I have the opportunity to vote or otherwise express my support for or opposition against legal gay marriage, I MUST vote in favor of it so that gay men and women have the right and choice to be legally married rather than vote in accordance with my beliefs. That can’t be right, can it?

    Based on the many of the comments, here, the sentiment seems to be that a Christian is wrong for believing that gay marriage should not be legalized. Are you judging or exercising bigotry against the Christian because I believe what I do and would vote accordingly? Please pinch me and tell me I’m having a nightmare!

    Rising Tide, the god you described is not the God whom I worship. On the other hand, I hear how your faith has led you to interpret the “verses” as exhortations against idolatry rather than homesexuality. I disagree with either 1.) the source of the verses or 2.) the interpretation or 2.) both. I trust, though, that your interpretation of those verses might guide your (voting) behavior.

    Trip, love you bruh (you too, Suzer), but I think you would rather a prop 8 supporter just roll over and allow the prop 8 dissenter to lord over him. Not to get too religious, but on this chess board of life, who is really the king … the arbiter? YOU? Me? … Naah! The majority? … To a limited extent, in theory in the U.S., maybe.

    I dislike being in the minority and losing, but, win or lose, I love being able to pull from my beliefs to choose a side. Don’t you?

  54. Rising Tide your ship is sinking. How many ligers are there? A handful? I don’t believe either (tiger or lion) was homosexual in any case. A hit! Horses have sex with asses, here again I think both are heterosexual. Both situations under human supervision and manipulation. Another hit! Rape is natural? since when? Another hit. I believe I just sank your mental battleship. If you want to float out there basing your whole argument on the secret sex life of plants then the rising tide has just been carried out to sea. I think that’s checkmate, my brotha or sister.

  55. Suzer

    Hi there, Chesapeake. I simply don’t see this as a chess game, or as anyone lording anything over anyone else. In my opinion, a fundamental right protected by the Constitution should not be voted one by anyone, period. It is simply not a matter that should be left up to a potentially biased population. Again, I reiterate, you can see how majority rule and legislation worked throughout times of slavery and Jim Crow, correct? It is simply unconstitutional to abrogate rights in favor of a particular religious viewpoint, even if that viewpoint is a majority. (And, by most polls I’ve seen, that viewpoint has been changing over time with more and more people in favor of granting marriage equality.) Imagine for a moment that GLBT people were the majority — would you like it if they were able to vote on whether or not heterosexuals should be allowed to marry?

    You have the right to your religious opinion, just as I have the right to mine. That is the beauty of freedom of religion. Though I strongly disagree with a religious viewpoint that views homosexuality as a sin, you absolutely have the right to that opinion. It is not bigotry or judgment against you to simply disagree. I do believe, and this is my opinion, that anti-gay hatred has been fueled by misinformation, untruth, and by what I can only term spiritual violence against GLBT people. It is sad, because the Christian community I was raised in was not anti-gay, and beyond that we worked within our community to stand up against racism and anti-Semitism as well.

    Now, I understand many Christians are taught differently than I was, both about homosexuality and about race and other religions in society. Again, that is the great thing about freedom of religion — you are free to hold your beliefs, and I am free to hold mine. However, when a person’s civil rights are abridged by a particular religious viewpoint, that is unconstitutional.

    The way your last comment is stated, it seems as if this is a battle to you, as if you are out to win and no one is going to “lord” anything over you. I’m curious about the way you describe this. To me, this is a matter of equality under the Constitution. To you, it seems it is about not letting someone lord over you.

    Can you explain what you mean by that? What would a committed and faithful married same-sex couple have to lord over you? What potential harm do you fear from marriage equality? I’m looking for a concrete example here, as in the past, in other conversations, no one has ever been able to give me a concrete realistic example of the harm they may suffer if my partner and I are able to enjoy the same marriage benefits all other adult citizen taxpayers do in this country. Could you explain further what leads you to view this issue in that way? How will you be harmed by marriage equality?

  56. Deyvette

    When the two angels came to Sodom that evening, Lot was sitting at the city gate. As soon as he saw them, he got up and went to meet them. (He begged them to come and stay at his home for the night instead of in the city and finally the agreed.) Before the guests went to bed the men of Sodom surrounded the house. All the men of the city, both young and old, were there. ( The men of Sodom wanted to have sex with them. Lot went out to talk with them alone and offered his two virgin daughters, but they replied) “Get out of the way you foreigner! Who are you to tell us what to do? Out of our way or we’ll treat you worse than them.”( The two men pulled lot back into the house and cursed the Sodomites with blindness, and they could not find the door.) The two angels-men told Lot take all of your relatives and leave , because we are going to destroy this place.

    These discussions are redundant and reminds me of the occasions when I tried distracting my parents from the important issues at hand. Let’s focus on the economy lest we awaken to find that we’ve been hit again. Let us not waste our time trying to give sight to the blind.

  57. TripLBee

    Chesapeake,

    I too am a Christian, but I don’t believe in legislating discrimination. I’ll say this to the legions of people in this chat who think they are justified in affording different rights to people based upon sexual preference: it can be inconvenient living in a democracy. Theocracy and totalitarianism are predicated upon the desire to control the thoughts and actions of others. In a healthy, functioning democracy, we mature beyond that point and accept the fact that people are allowed to say and do and believe things with which we disagree. I do not drink alcohol or use drugs, but I don’t believe in legislating away the rights of others to poison themselves. I am personally opposed to abortion, but I think it should be legal. I am completely opposed to the philosophical underpinnings of the Republican Party, but I believe that nit wits like Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin have a right to do what they do. Similarly I am not gay but I am in favor of gay people having the right to marry, raise kids, work where they want to work, live where they want to live, and on and on. As Suzer states, I can’t see what harm will come to any of us who are straight, if gay persons in our community are allowed to marry. I can’t see how I will be affected at all if the lesbian couple that lives next door to me is allowed to marry. But I can see that it will make a difference to them. They will be happier. They will be more proud. They will feel more validated. What harm could possibly come from that? Why on earth would any of us deny them that?

  58. Al

    You’re a liar, TripLbee. I don’t believe any of what you claim to be in your last post. Number one, you’re too judgmental to be a child of God, and #2 no child of God would be favor of legislation that thumbs its nose at His principles.

    Again, let me repeat. You’re a liar!

  59. Al,

    I didn’t bring up this subject so that people like you could turn my blog into a cyber inquisition. If you don’t agree with Trip–fine. If you don’t know how to disagree without being disagreeable, go someplace else. I’ve only got so much patience for your bile. The next time you go after somebody I’ll delete it.

    As for the rest of you who don’t agree with me–I still love all of you.

  60. Al

    Other than calling TripLbee a liar (which she is), what bile are you talking about? I’m not allowed to disagree with opinions on this board? Maybe you didn’t read RisingTide’s posts. Now that vulgarity is bile, my friend. Me thinks you’re just a little jaded here.

  61. I purposely stayed away from this thread in an attempt to protect myself from the angry approach that many take with they find aspects of this particular subject disagreeable. We’ve had many heated discussions here at Skeptical Brotha. But there are few that prompt this heightened level of emotional responses. I suspect it is because we are dealing with concepts and ideas that are close the spiritual identities and practices of many of us. And you know how we are. You can talk about me, my family, my country: and perhaps you might get a rise out of me. But if you talk about my God, then it’s time to throw down.

    All this week, I’ve been discussing this subject with two of my friends, one who is a minister of music at a church and another that is a pastor on staff at a another church. Both of these men are gay and in the closet. In an attempt to protect their self-image, reputation, and even livelyhood, they’ve chosen to lead what I call double lives. (I actually have mixed feelings about their decision to live in the closet, but publically serve in ministries that do not affirm gays.)

    These men were quite upset with the recent decision that came from the poles in Cali. I also was a little shocked that the equality in marriage law was knocked down, especially by Californians. I thought that Cali was a pretty liberal state. Guess not…

    To tell you the truth, it took me a long time to understand and agree that gay couples should have equal access to the protections of marriage. My friends, who hide in the closet, but speak loudly to me their concerns, convinced me that what they want is the opportunity to decree their love and commitment the same way other Americans are able to do. After many discussions, I began to understand that it is a constitutional right. This is why I’m shocked that it was even on the ballot. When did average, uninformed Americans get to start voting on constitutional rights?

    However, I do have some concerns about equal access to marriage. Here’s my concern. If the church’s will be open to law suits because they choose to not marry a gay couple, based on their religious beliefs, I believe that the churches SHOULD NOT be faced with civil rights law suits and denied non-profit status.

    I believe that people should have a right to believe that gay marriage is not wrong, and certainly not a sin. But I also believe that people who believe that gay marriage is wrong should be allowed to not participate in the marriage ceremonies of these individuals.

    Many of my minister friends, who are not gay, have told me that the churches will be under fire, fighting off law suit after law suit if the marriage amendment is passed. But Trip stated that is not true in a previous thread.

    Well, what is the truth? Can someone inform me. Trip, please expound. Skep, do you know? What are the facts?

    Because if the churches will be granted religious amunity, protecting them from law suits that can potentially bankrupt the church, I will be in complete, 100% favor of all Americans right to wed and have a recognized marriage in all 50 states. But if the churches can be harmed because of their beliefs that many feel justified to have based on Biblical interpretation, I think that they amendment needs to be revised until the churches will be protected.

    What good is adjusting a law to protect one group, but put another at risk?

    Now again, I know that the folks on this blog like to come for blood when they disagree on some stuff. But please put down your guns and knives. I’m fam. **wink**

  62. Angie, hope this helps:

    Fiction: Churches could lose their tax-exemption status.

    Fact: The court decision regarding marriage specifically says “no religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples, and no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs.”

  63. Yikes, sorry for multiple postings, SB, but meant to include this excerpt from the letter I just linked to.

    …If Jesus’ ethic, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” means anything to us, wouldn’t we want to do the right thing for others that we want done for ourselves? Imagine this scene: when asked on the day of judgment to give an account of how you treated your lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender sisters and brothers on earth, would you be honestly be proud in saying, “Lord, I changed the constitution to block their right, their pride and their dignity to marry?” And how would you feel when Jesus responds to you with the words from Matthew 25:40: “In as much as you’ve done it unto the least of these members of the family, you’ve done it unto me?”…

  64. Mstate

    I’m a 64 yr. old WASP woman. (The P stands for Protestant, which in my case means Episcopalian, and it also means I’m a Christian.)While Brad, Al and Karen appear to be vying for the title of “Super Christian” they need to remember that there are a whole lot more of us out there of various denominations that also consider ourselves Christians because we follow the teachings of Christ-and man, do we interpret his teaching in different ways! The god I believe in is a loving, forgiving god and not a vengeful, fear-mongering god.

    Like Angie, I’ve been reading this thread since Skep first posted it but I’ve been avoiding making comments so far because it is a very angry thread. I wanted to share an incident that happened to my husband the day after the election. We retired to VT a few years ago and are both currently in a mentoring program at the local elementary school. VT recognizes civil unions for Gays but those unions are not necessarily recognized by any other state. VT is probably one of the whitest states. However, we were the first state to be declared for Obama on election night and that was with 67% of the vote going to him, the second highest state vote.
    The next day my husband was having lunch with his 11 year old mentee in the school lunch room. One of the other boys sitting at the table started talking about the election. My husband’s mentee suddenly said that Obama was going to be assassinated within a year because he was black. Before my husband could say anything, the boy went on to say that Obama was gay. My husband asked him why he’d said that and his mentee said, “it was obvious because Obama is black and ALL GAYS ARE BLACK.” My husband then told his mentee that it was not true and he was very disappointed to be hearing him talk like that.
    My husband sent a note to the school counselor in charge of the mentoring program. She called the mentee in the next day to talk to him. His father had apparently made the “assassination” comment but mentee did not know what the word meant. A neighbor of his in the trailer park where he lives had made the comment that all blacks were gay. He knew what “Gay” means but when the counselor asked him if he knew that Obama was married and had to children, he told her “no.”
    She went on to tell him that to make big comments/generalizations about a group(s)of people was racist, unfair and mean. She said that my husband’s mentee seemed to understand what she was saying, and that he felt badly that he’d upset and disappointed my husband. The mentee’s teacher also had a conversation with him about these issues and the school principal is going around to the different classes to talk about the wider issues that have come up.

    SB-thanks for letting me share.

  65. Mstate

    Whoops, it late. The highlighted statement in my previous post should have read …”that all blacks are gay” and not the other way around. Sorry about that and Good night!

  66. Suzer

    Angie — to answer your question, churches and ministers would NOT be obligated to perform any marriage that they object to. Basically, the separation of church and states protects churches from the state, just as the state is supposed to be protected from church rule.

    Think of it this way — churches are not currently ever forced to marry a couple that they don’t want to, correct? The Roman Catholic church only marries Roman Catholics – – they are not forced to marry, say, a Roman Catholic to a Presbyterian if they don’t want to.

    The law would not change in that regard. Churches will be free to marry whom they wish. The spectre of civil rights lawsuits against churches is simply a lie, and was fueled to further hate and gain support for Prop. 8 (and has been used in other states in the past to pass state constitutional amendments against marriage equality).

    It is frustrating to hear the lies told again and again. Churches will be free to marry or not marry whatever couples they choose. The rights that are being discussed regarding marriage equality are rights in the civil sphere — the right to be recognized by the government as a married couple. Churches are a completely separate entity. I frankly don’t care whether any church recognizes my relationship status. It would be nice, and there are some churches out there that would perform a marriage for me and my partner (the MCC, the UU, and the UCC, to name a few), just as there are some that would not.

    The only way that a church might lose its tax exempt status over this issue is if it takes money (which is given tax exempt), and then uses it to further a political campaign (like the Yes on 8 campaign). Churches are not supposed to be using such funds to influence political campaigns, and the IRS may look into a church’s non-profit status if it finds funds are being used in that way.

    Like some here, I hesitated to even enter this conversation, as passions become so inflamed. It is difficult to be on the receiving end of comments linking homosexuality to “perversion”, called “abnormal” (after all, who can define normal – we are all different) or, even as has been suggested, bestiality. We need not sink to that level. This should not be a place for ad hominem attacks. I suspect everyone, at some point in their lives, has been a part of a minority group in some respect, and perhaps it would be best to remember to treat each other with the respect with which we would like to be treated in return. I have tried to do that. If I failed in that attempt at any point, I apologize.

  67. Al

    Mstate, you said: “The god I believe in is a loving, forgiving god and not a vengeful, fear-mongering god.”

    I agree. God IS loving….very loving and very forgiving. This is why He sent His Son to pay the penalty for our sins. But repentance from sin is very much a part of that package.

    Jesus said: “unless you repent, you too will all perish. Those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13)

    Are gay people more guilty of sin than I am of my sins? NO! But unless they recognise and repent of their sin, they will all “likewise perish”. The most loving thing we can do for homosexuals (and all other stripes of sinners, myself included) is to warn them that their sin will make them perish UNLESS they repent (turn away from) and embrace the love and forgiveness of Christ, and His ability to transform them into holy vessels for His use.

    As for the “fearmongering/vengeful god” part……perhaps you’ve missed these verses along the way:

    “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19)
    “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:18)

    ….and many others like it. God is loving and forgiving, yes, but He also has a day of reckoning for unrepentant sinners, where He will divide the sheep from the goats and cast the goats outside of His Kingdom: “…..the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

    Don’t deceive yourself. God is loving, kind, generous, and forgiving, but He does not excuse sin (He covers it if we repent and believe). Yes, we are to love homosexuals, but that love does not include condoning what they do and coddling them in it. Doing that is a little like bringing a house-warming gift to someone who is trapped in a burning building and refuses to leave. It may make us feel like we’ve been noble, loving, and kind (since, by his choice he is not leaving and asks us to accept that) , but it is certainly not the right thing to do. The props he has put up around him are on fire, and if he doesn’t desert it, he will perish. The most loving thing I can do is badger him to get out of the building before it’s too late.

    If that makes me “bile”, as Skep puts it, so be it. I care too much about gays lost in this sin to let petty remarks like that turn me away from the blazing building.

  68. I’m curious, Al. Since you know so many Bible scriptures and have so much insight into the heart and mind of God, perhaps you can answer a couple of questions for me.

    * If homosexuality is a sin, then how shall that person be “free” of the sin?
    * If they’ve prayed, fasted, received prayer from the elders, participated in counseling from their pastor, and so on and so on, but still have homosexual desires, then what?
    * Is the sexual act involving homosexuals the sin that you speak of?
    * Or is the actual desire for someone of the same sex the sin?
    * If people have done every spiritual thing they can possibly think of to “free” themselves from what is being considered sin, then what should be their response? Should they see themselves as dirty, filthy sinner, not deserving of God’s grace?
    * Is being gay the homosexuals’ fault?
    * Then, whose fault is it?
    * If gay is abnormal, then so is being blind. So, does that make me a throw away in the same way homosexuals are?
    * Is there a boiling lake of fire waiting for the millions of believers of christ that are engaging in “normal” premarrital sex?
    * If the homosexual asks for forgiveness, then does that absolve them of the dirtiness that you imply they are?
    * Do you honestly think that God would eternally punish individuals who have a certain desire and/or experience here on Earth that is innately deposited in them and their personal identities?

    Please take the time to answer these questions.

  69. RisingTide

    imhotep,
    About rape being natural:
    1. Almost no female animal enjoys sex — it is at best an inconvenience, and a safety hazard (much easier to eat an animal making the beast with two backs).

    2. Female animals run away from male animals who want to have sex with them. Sex is uncomfortable for them, and does not produce the rush of hormones that humans get.

    3. In the specific example of cats, the male’s penis is covered in spines, that rip bloody holes in the female’s vagina when exiting, and can’t feel exactly good while going in.

    Sex is rape, in the animal world. Some men behave like animals, and discover that instincts in women cause them to behave like animals — to lie back and be quiet, even if they do not like what is going on, or should be stopping it. That’s still rape by the way, and I do not condone it.

    Al,

    It is not my beloved fault if you REFUSE to read the bible accurately, or notice when your King James bible is translating inaccurately. Do you read it in hebrew, as it was written? I don’t think so. and because of that you get the sunday school version of how it all happened (a RIB? that’s wrong. — i could go on).

    If you say that you as a Christian refuse to worship my god, I call you out as being a blasphemer and heretic. I get that I dont’ accept Jesus, and thus you guys might want to have a bit of a discussion, but don’t you believe in the Old Testament?

    And that may be a bit more confrontational than you wanted, or skep wanted. But what I said earlier was accurate to the best of my ability to understand the Torah. Just because you read a majorly cleaned up version and consider that to be truth… Not my fault.

  70. Angie,

    You unmask one of the great hypocrisies of these so called “Christians.” The numbers of heterosexuals who engage in pre-marital sex and adultery far outweighs the number of sexually active GLBT folks. But you don’t hear the Christian Right inveighing against those sins with nearly the same vigor as they vent their homophobia. I am hesitant to bring up the situation with Sarah Palin’s daughter, since I believe that children shouldn’t be made part of a political campaign, but the Christian Right actually used this young woman as a symbol of virtue. The fact of the matter is that a lot of people, and most obviously right wing religious fanatics of every stripe (evangelical Christians, Orthodox Jews, fundamentalist Muslims, etc.) are particularly repulsed by the thought of two same sex people (and especially two men) having sex. So instead of being consistent in their denunciation of scriptural sin, they raise the anti-gay alarm to levels far out of proportion to what is presented in the Bible. THey rationalize murder (let’s face it, war is murder); they worship idols (how ’bout that sacrosanct AMerican flag?); and they confuse spirituality with political ideology. The most glaring sin in the Bible is worshipping Gods other than Yahweh. Yet we do it all of the time. The most worshipped God in our country—-by far—is the Almighty Dollar. Instead of condemning our particularly American lust for money, right wing Christians often use it as the foundation for their propaganda. Truly, the misinformation and hypocrisy being spewed by these evangelicals and their ilk is striking. I hope for their sake that God really is forgiving.

  71. Al

    Angie,

    Here are my responses to your questions:

    * If homosexuality is a sin, then how shall that person be “free” of the sin?

    In Christ. But we need to understand that a person who is IN CHRIST is not always free from the desires and impulses to sin. Some of those will be with us until the day that we die. But that doesn’t mean that he should act on them. God told Cain: “sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” Gen 4:7

    So we may not be free from our impulses (though God may lessen them too), but we ARE free to resist them and say not go ungodliness and yes to righteousness. Here’s what the Apostle Paul says about it: “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” (Galatians 5:16,17) So, my flesh may still lust within me from time to time (old habits die hard and take time to re-train), but I can have victory over it with the indwelling power of the Spirit. “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, that we might live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.” (Titus 2:11,12)

    Hey, I’m a hetero, but that doesn’t mean that I’m better than the homosexual. I just have a different set of temptations. I’m still tempted from time to time to lust after other women who are not my wife. Was I born this way? Yes. I was born with a predilection toward sin and unrighteousness. But that doesn’t mean I get to indulge it as a Christian. Being free in Christ is not being free from the temptations….it is being given the freedom to learn how to say no to them, something I wasn’t able to do before I became a Christian. “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors–not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Rom 8:12-14

    * If they’ve prayed, fasted, received prayer from the elders, participated in counseling from their pastor, and so on and so on, but still have homosexual desires, then what?

    I’ve already answered that to some degree. The homosexual may always be tempted in this area, just as someone who is hetero may always be tempted to fornicate or commit adultery….or the liar is tempted to lie. But let’s not misunderstand God’s grace. Grace is not God saying, “Oh, go ahead. You can lie. You can cheat. You can fornicate. I understand. I love you anyway.” Paul in Romans 6 says: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”

    God’s grace is when He says: “Because of your faith in what Christ did for you at the cross and resurrection I have forgiven you for your sin nature and the expressions of it. Now let me teach you how to say no to it.” And that’s a process, no doubt about it.

    * Is the sexual act involving homosexuals the sin that you speak of? Or is the actual desire for someone of the same sex the sin?

    Both. Jesus didn’t allow the Pharisees to make a dichotomy out of sin. They argued that it was only sin if you practiced it. Jesus said that it was sin if it was in your heart. “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matt 5:27-29

    It’s a heart issue. “The heart is deceitful above all things,and desperately wicked.” (Jer 17:9) Never trust your heart, God says. But He also promises us help in this area. “I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God. But as for those whose hearts follow the desire for their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their deeds on their own heads,’ says the Lord GOD.” Ezek 11:19-21

    You see, it’s not that we will never have the lust again….I already addressed that from Scripture up above…..but it’s that He will begin to train our spirit and flesh over time to say no to ungodliness and yes to righteousness, even when the old heart “flares up” from time to time.

    * Is being gay the homosexuals’ fault?

    Yes, and no. But it’s the same for all sinners. We could ask the same question of every sinner — is being born a sinner my fault? No. Obviously not. Is practicing the impulses that I have to sin my fault? Yes, because God has still given me a choice (which most of us would fight to the death to keep). If I’m outside of Christ and lost in sin it’s pretty tough to say no to the ungodliness that bounces around in my heart. But in Christ it’s much easier to follow the Spirit and not carry out the desires of my flesh.

    Paul addressed this question in Romans 9: “You will say to me then, ‘Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will? (i.e. I’m born this way) But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why have you made me like this?’ Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?” The implied answer to that is YES HE DOES…..but God also says that He has provided a way to be healed and restored……through forgiveness in Christ and freedom to walk in His Spirit. He will begin to heal and restore the broken and marred pot of clay.

    * If gay is abnormal, then so is being blind. So, does that make me a throw away in the same way homosexuals are?”

    You’re comparing apples and oranges. One is a moral issue, because God has made it a moral issue……the other –your being blind — is not a moral issue. We are not punished by God for being blind, or black, or white, or any of those things. We are punished for being immoral, because God has said that He will punish the immoral. Nowhere does God say “Thou shalt not be black, thou shalt not be blind”. But in many places He has spoken out against heterosexual sins and homosexual sin. “Thou shalt not practice those things, and if you do I will punish you for it.”

    * Is there a boiling lake of fire waiting for the millions of believers of christ that are engaging in “normal” premarrital sex?

    That’s God’s call, not mine. But I know what you’re saying. They are engaging in sexual immorality and are disgracing the God whom they claim to be serving. It’s hypocrisy, no doubt about it. Does God condone this behavior? NO. Does God want them to repent of it? YES. The same holds true for homosexual sin.

    * If the homosexual asks for forgiveness, then does that absolve them of the dirtiness that you imply they are?

    “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” 1 John 1:9-10

    * Do you honestly think that God would eternally punish individuals who have a certain desire and/or experience here on Earth that is innately deposited in them and their personal identities?

    I’ve already answered that, so the answer is yes. Not just for homosexuals, but for all sinners who don’t repent.

  72. Al

    Trip,

    I hear what you’re saying, and as one who is from the conservative spectrum of evangelical Christianity, I DO call out Christians who don’t practice what they preach. Unfortunately for you though, your religion in the States is so caught up in politics and polemics that it seems to be very hard for many American Christians to separate the two.

    I’m a Canadian. We don’t have that problem up here (primarily because only about 6% of Canadians are born again Christians…we’re a pagan country, by and large). Religion doesn’t mix with our politics, so we’re a little freer to look at what the Bible itself says about things, not what Republicans and Democrats say the Bible says.

  73. Suzer

    Hi Al.

    So it sounds like what actually bothers you is something about unrepentant sinners. Might it be better then, across the board, to say that unrepentant sinners as a whole shouldn’t get married? Let’s include both hetero and homosexual sinners in that category.

    Then the question would be, who gets to decide? Who gets to decide who is unrepentant? Who gets to decide who is sinning? Who gets to define sin in the first place?

    I understand that your interpretation of Scripture leads you to believe certain behaviors are sinful. But not every Christian agrees on the definition of sin that you proscribe to. So, just whose version of Christian understanding shall we apply?

    You seem willing, on the one hand, to say “that’s God’s call” in the circumstance of premarital sex (which your interpretation of Scripture leads you to believe is sinful), but you seem unwilling to let God decide in the case of homosexuality. It seems that you are the one who wants to decide for the rest of us.

    And that is the difficulty living in a secular, pluralistic society. You are certainly welcome to your particular religious views. However, those views conflict with other people’s religious views. That is why separation of church and state is so important, because not only is it unfair for one particular religion to decide a particular issue, it is actually impossible, in a practical sense, to determine just whose Scriptural interpretation should take precedence.

    Scripture contains more proscriptions against heterosexuals than it does against homosexuals. So how come the 6 or 7 verses that are typically used against homosexuality are the only ones that most Christians seem concerned with? I say, if you (meaning conservative Christians as a general group) want to deny rights to one group because you consider them “unrepentant sinners”, then you should be fair about it, and deny rights to any and ALL “unrepentant sinners.”

    Of course, the trouble with that proposition, is that’s a pretty large group. Almost all of us have sinned in some way, and not repented for it. So, in this case, there would be very few people who would be pure and perfect enough for marriage.

    Why not, as you give leeway in some situations, let God sort it out? If society says it will recognize marriage equality, let God sort out the “sinful” (or not sinful) repurcussions. There are many things I disagree with in society, things that I believe go against Scripture. However, I’m willing to let God judge that situation in the end. I even understand that I could, possibly, be wrong in my interpretation of Scripture. Who knows, maybe your intepretation is the “correct” one! I just don’t know. I can only do what I understand is right according to my reading of Scripture, and trust in God’s Grace and Mercy in the end to forgive if I am wrong and have done an injustice unto Him. God’s Grace and Mercy are infinite, and Jesus’s death and resurrection proves that to me.

    So, do you think that perhaps, just perhaps, we can say “that’s God’s call” and live out our understandings of Scripture side by side, even while disagreeing with each other. Can’t we still all call one another brother and sister in Christ (for the Christians here), while living peacefully, and not demeaning each other.

    Sorry so long…Just my thoughts, for what they’re worth.

  74. Al

    Suzer, you’ve completely missed the point, but since I’ve interacted with you on other blogs I know that you have a habit of doing that, so I won’t waste time trying to re-calibrate your thinking.

    But I would ask you this: if you’re okay with all of us just living side by side with each other legally and letting God sort out “the mess”, are you then in favor of legalizing bigamy, consensual incest among adults, and those who want to marry their pets (and there are, believe me)? While we’re at it, should we legalize prostitution, stop prosecuting johns, legalize drugs, orgies, etc…..simply because some people enjoy participating in those things, and “hey, who am I hurting?” At what point then do we begin to experience moral and social anarchy…..or would we?

  75. Suzer

    Al – I’m not sure who you are, but you must have a different name here than on other blogs. I haven’t been commenting on other blogs much recently, though — just a couple, and not even often then. I am honest enough to keep the same name on the blogs where I comment, rather than hide my identity. Why does one do that, by the way? Is it fear of something?

    There is no need to “recalibrate” anyone’s thinking. Mine is just fine, thank you. And I do get your point – I’ve seen it over and over again. Just because I disagree with you, doesn’t mean I don’t understand your point. Your attempt to demean me by stating you won’t “waste your time” is telling, though. Do you treat the people you meet in real life this way, face to face?

    Though you neglected to respond to any of my points, I will give you the consideration of responding to your question (even though I find that a “slipperly slope” argument is often used to avoid actually answering a legitimate point about how we can live in a pluralistic society peacefully together). The laws in our society are meant to regulate behavior between consenting adults who are competent to contract with one another. In the case of animals, they are not competent to contract — they can neither speak nor reason, so far as we know, to an extent that would create enough competence to contract. Drugs and prostitution create clear harm to another person — often the harm is physical, as women are beaten into submission, or as drug users become violent with others, or destroy property, etc. I’m not sure there would be a reason to legalize orgies. I’m sure such things happen without any need for legalization – – I thankfully don’t have any knowledge of that. I suppose a group of adults is free to have sex with each other if they want to, even if it is something I would not participate in.

    I suspect the desire for consensual incest among adults is tiny to non-existent in society.

    As for bigamy, though it would personally not be my choice, and though I think it may have some harm inherent if the parties are not equal in the relationship, I think people should be free to contract a relationship as they choose. Whether legalization of polyamorous relationships is possible or practical, I haven’t studied it enough to know. However, I do believe that if several people live together as if married, there should be some legal protections involved, lest one party is left out in the cold by the other two. And, actually, bigamy is quite Biblical, so perhaps it should indeed be legal.

    What you have done here, as I have seen so often, is present a slippery slope of items which you believe will lead to “anarchy.” It is the rally cry of those who opposed interracial marriage, of those who opposed integration, of those who opposed women’s rights to vote.

    You say you are Canadian? Tell me, has anarchy suddenly descended on Canada because it now allows marriage equality? I haven’t heard of any overthrow of government by rampaging homosexuals or anyone else for that matter. I haven’t heard that Canadian society has ground to a halt because of this. In fact, I suspect that all that has happened is that more people are happy and protected by the laws of the State (meaning Canada), have health care, and rights to inherit, etc.

    Finally, it is time for ugly comparisons to end. You have a right to your opinion that homosexuality is “sin.” But to continue to compare it, as I’ve seen you do here and others do elsewhere, to incest, prostitution, orgies, drugs, murder, pedophilia, etc., is simply beyond all decency. I realize that there are “bad” people in all classes, people who do the wrong thing, who are promiscuous — black, white, straight, gay, old, young, and everywhere in between. To continue to compare one class of people — GLBT persons — with certain vices that are sometimes practiced by ALL classes of people is not only not logical, it is prejudicial and discriminatory. That said, I’m quite certain you will continue with such accusations, as it benefits you, apparently, to spread the untruth that you have here. However, I suspect that most people reading this will, because of your invalid insinuations, see your argument as ungrounded and hypocritical, should you continue to propound it here.

  76. Suzer,

    Your points are concise and clear. And they are so iron tight that Al has no intellectual basis for refutation. He’ll call you names because he has no more arrows in his quiver.

  77. Al

    Suzer,

    I believe the Bible means what it says, you apparently don’t. That appears to be the primary difference.

    But if you good folks feel that I lack the intellectual capacity to defend my faith, then by all means feel free to read material by Ravi Zacharias (international Christian philosopher and debater on many campuses) Dallas Willard (former professor of philosophy at USC, UCLA, and University of Colorado), C.S. Lewis, Lee Strobel (lawyer and former journalist with the Chicago Tribune). All these men ably defend conservative Christianity in the face of your objections.

    I’m just a regular shmoe with a lowly Master’s Degree and 20 years of teaching theology. I know hardened hearts when I see them, so I won’t be throwing God’s pearls before swine anymore. Jesus said, “If the people in the town will not welcome you, go outside the town and shake their dust off of your feet. This will be a warning to them.” (Luke 9:5)

    SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE. You have now been officially warned. ;0)

  78. Hey Al,

    While you’re shaking all of that dust off of your feet and playing up your very impressive academic credentials, why don’t you use some of your substantial intellectual prowess to address Suzer’s aforementioned missive.

  79. Al

    Trip,

    You’ll have to dumb down your question for me. Remember, I’m not too bright. What do you mean by those big phrases “substantial intellectual prowess”, and “aforementioned missive”? I’m tho confuthed. My quiver is empty.

  80. Chesapeake

    Suzer @ November 13 at 4:13,

    I’m sorry. I did not read or respond to your questions until this morning because I was away from Thursday until last night. My answers to your question can be summed up this way: When I wrote “lording” and about winning and losing, I was talking about them in the context of voting, democracy, and the concept of democracy or “majority govenment.” I borrowed the phrase “lording over” from Trip’s post.

    I am NOT in a personal battle against GLBT’s and and their rights. I was just recognizing that after Cali’s elected leaders copped out of their duty to legislate, a majority of citizens who voted spoke out for prop 8. Included in the majority are some people who believe as I do that gay marriage is wrong: not all citizens who voted in the majority have a vendetta against GBLT’s.

    I do not suffer any personal harm as a result of a gay couple’s marriage, so I can give you no concrete examples. However, according to my religious beliefs, I have to answer for MY behavior, so, though my record is spotty, I try to behave (vote, even) in manners that I hope will please the Origin of my faith. It is in this vain that I appreciate your and Trip’s argument that the majority made Jim Crow, etc., legal. My only answer to that is that I hope that I have properly applied the basis of my belief to the issue. If have not, and you are right that I have to vote to give homosexuals the choice to marry, then among other violations, I have to answer for violating the scriptures and GLBT’s.

    Ya dig?

  81. TripLBee

    Chesapeake,

    That’s the most reasonable argument I have heard from folks who are using their religious beliefs to rationalize a Yes vote on Prop 8. While I still disagree with you, at least you are offering a basis for discussion. Let’s check in again when this proposition comes up. Peace and blessings.

  82. Suzer

    Thanks for your answer, Chesapeake. I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but did want you to know I appreciate your kind response to my questions above. Peace to you.

  83. thanks for the shout out to B. Rustin, a personal hero. Civil rights do not stop at once person’s door step just because some do not like who that person share’s their home and heart with.

  84. Interesting discussion. Same basic points that always get raised by both sides, but the people discussing them did a good job here.

    I think the discussions between gay rights activists and Christians would benefit from a little less disdain on both sides. Christians shouldn’t disdain individuals we have identified as merely sinners, and homosexuals shouldn’t disdain people who believe that homosexuality is a sin. It doesn’t benefit either group and only leads to hurt feelings.

    Homosexuals cannot deny that the bible speaks clearly (for the Bible at least) on the issue on homosexuality. Christians cannot deny that the bible speaks clearly on the issue of hte equality of all sin.

    So, I think that individuals may make their own decisions about how much of the Bible they adhere to, but both groups cannot deny what it says.

    Homosexuality is wrong, but it’s no more wrong than lying. Each sin is forgivable and all human beings deserve respect.

    If we established those ground rules I think things would be a lot better.

  85. RisingTide

    Big Man,
    Funny how another religion that still reads that same Bible can say that homosexuality isn’t a sin, huh? Homosexuality as leading to idolatry is bad, because idolatry is a BIG sin.😉

    peace, love, and respect.

  86. Rising Tide

    I’m not familiar with the religion you’re referencing. My understanding of Christianity is that there are no big sins and little sins because all sin is simply disobedience to the God’s commandments.

  87. Big Man,

    The Bible rarely mentions homosexuality. The so called “Christian” defense for hatred of homosexuals is weak. If these so called Christians were really interested in addressing the sins most emphasized in the Bible they’d be railing against idolatry, the worship of money, the worship of the American flag, etc. They rail against homosexuality because they are bigots.

  88. Blake

    There are several thousand of us who were sexually exploited by Catholic priests.

    After Prop 8, I am feeling raped by the Catholic clergy all over again. To the hatemongering bishops and priests who promoted this disgusting piece of legislation in order to deflect the public attention from your own misdeeds – have you no decency?

  89. RisingTide

    Big Man,
    As you might have noticed, I’m not Christian. In Judaism, we have the concept of rules that “build fences” around the really serious stuff. So, instead of just saying that you shouldn’t boil a kid in it’s mothers milk, we separate milk and meat entirely. Traditional, you get it?

    But the same idea applies to homosexuality, as it was seen during that timeperiod. Male gay sex (my bible says nothing about lesbian sex) was tied very strongly to idolatry.

    So they banned it.

    Today, a better ban would be to remove posters from teens bedrooms.
    😉

  90. Ahhh, thanks for the clarification Rising Tide.

    TripLBee

    I don’t condone the hypocrisy that is rampant in the movement against homosexuals. You’re right, people are picking and choosing which crimes they get angry about, and they don’t have a rational explanation for their choice.

    However, I don’t get this argument that many people make about how often the Bible mentions homosexuality. What does that have to do with whether it’s a sin or not? The Bible doesn’t talk about serial killing, or child rape that often either. They are still sins if you have a traditional Christian belief system.

    Like I said in my first comment, if Christians would stop trying to convince homosexuals that their lifestyle was wrong, and homosexuals would stop trying to convince Christians that their lifestyle is right, this whole issue would be a lot less charged.

  91. Big Man,

    I think the frequency with which these supposed sins are mentioned is entirely relevant. The fact that homosexuality is very rarely mentioned in the Bible suggests to me that the authors of the Bible were not very concerned with it. They were far more concerned with the supposed sins that are mentioned ad infinitum such as worshipping other gods. The fact that so called Christians make excuses for worshipping idols such as the AMerican flag and have deified money, suggests to me that they don’t actually take Biblical law very seriously. This is why I am utterly convinced that the obsession that many so called Christians have with homosexuality, as opposed to say, the sin of a man trimming his beard, is pure bigotry and has nothing at all to do with scripture.

  92. RisingTide

    I think the whole Christian obsession with sin is kinda silly. In Judaism, the emphasis is on what you do GOOD, not what you do WRONG. 613 Mitzvot — of course you aren’t going to celebrate all of them perfectly all the time!
    But you try.
    And I do believe that gay people are trying to celebrate G-d’s love, as we all are — even the proudest of atheists, celebrating G-d’s gift of free will!

    Big Man,
    I figure you’d get along better with a few homosexuals than most of the Christian Right. Your beliefs may be different from mine, but so long as you’re willing to do the Quaker thing and leave other folks alone, you ain’t gonna get no rash and a shit from me!

  93. Brad

    RT, you said, “I think the whole Christian obsession with sin is kinda silly. In Judaism, the emphasis is on what you do GOOD, not what you do WRONG.”

    REALLY? Did you miss the part about “Thou shalt not”? Did you forget the prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc.)….all railing against the sins of Israel and warning of God’s coming judgment if they didn’t repent? Did you miss these verses along the way:

    Ps 14:2-3; Isaiah 53:1-3
    The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men,
    To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.
    They have all turned aside,
    They have together become corrupt;
    There is none who does good,
    No, not one.

    Eccl 7:20
    For there is not a just man on earth who does good
    And does not sin.

    Isa 64:6
    But we are all like an unclean thing,
    And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;

    Christians simply recognise that we can’t be good enough to please God or earn His favor. We receive His salvation in the shed blood of Jesus Christ as a gift. In Christ we rest from our labors to be good enough for God and man.

  94. Skep: You just insist on teasing us with your presence, and then hiding again. Here’s the problem… I’m starting to get used to you not talking to us. I don’t like that. **smile**
    And what I hate more than you not talking is me begging you to talk. Skep, I don’t get into jocking men too much. And me looking out for you is starting to get too close to that. **wink**
    Come back and play with us. And if you’re leaving the playground for good, then just let your pals know.
    All kidding aside… Are you okay? What’s been up? You know that we are your fam on the web.
    Your sis in more ways than one,
    Angie

  95. RisingTide

    Brad,
    You read anything of the Tanakch that ain’t in your Christian, mangled Bible (by which I mean the bloody King James)??

    Jews do NOT believe in Original Sin.

    This here’s a broken world, sure enough. But it’s our damn world, and with God’s help we’ll fix it.

    It’s that confidence in ourselves, and in God’s plan for us, that I like about my religion.

    And sure enough all of those prophets were crazy fools. And they were right to yell. But balance lives in all things, and moderation is only for most days. We got some crazy folk fool enough to think that they can change government, and those are the people I’m cheering for right now!

    Jesus was a community organizer, y’all.

  96. Befree

    I will be the first to say I don’t care about gay marriage, I wouldn’t lace up my Nikes to march for it or against it. Now,the strategy that WHITE GAYS are using equating it with the Civil Rights Movement is confusing me. I think they have no idea about the movement because if they did it would be the LAST place they would go.

    Here’s why…where did the Civil Rights Movement start?

    Not the Streets

    Not the Park

    Not the Backyard…

    It started in the CHURCH!

    Where did many black folks learn that homosexuality is wrong?

    THE CHURCH…. It’s not possible to separate the two…so why go there. Do they not know that they are PULLING ON A DEEP CHURCH tradition as well as the Civil Rights Movement. In SOME black people minds there is no separation…so when White Gays and some Black gay or supporters bring it up they don’t see the connection?

    It seems it would make sense they would appeal to blacks like any other group RATHER than appealing based on one of the MOST Religious Based movements in world history…

    Jasmine Cannick a Black lesbian activist white has spoken on this backward strategy. just doesn’t make much sense to appeal to blacks based on a movement steeped in religion, the SAME place they get the message that homosexuality is wrong. I would guess that most black people could give two hoots if gays call it a Civil Right to get married, it’s comparisons to the black civil rights movement in the last couple of years that those who don’t go to church and didn’t care about it at all were motivated to vote yes.

    have seen ads and outreach for whites to vote no on prop 8 based on fair treatment and not on the Religious Enlightenment period. It’s a flawed strategy. J. Cannick was on O’Reilly the other night debating the white gay activists. He’s bringing up slavery and all kinds of non issues.

    To me many black gay activists have been marginalized in the push against prop 8 ( and the gay movement in general) by white gays and it came back to bite them. I think a black gay person has more weight to convince, discuss and motivated blacks to change their positions on gay marriage than white gay activists who only shows up for support when they need it or ignore us overall.

    Don’t compare……It’s doesn’t work. Never has. Why? Because it drags it down the road pointing out differences and similarities on both sides. People will spend more time arguing over if the Black Civil Rights Move’t is the same or not rather than the core issue if gays have the right to marry. Groups are very protective of their movements, be it Jews, Hispanics and yes Black Folks….too

    My guess is Black masses do not want want to hear white gays argue that the Gay movement is no different than the Black Civil Rights Movement. They don’t. What they will be more receptive to is fairness and how gay marriage is not about white gays, but your BLACK gay mothers, sisters, brothers, doctors, hairdressers, cousins…ect.

    CRM appealed to whites based on Christian principles of moral suasion. You can’t use the same strategy when the “Christian principle” they are citing is their ONLY point of opposition. It’s doesn’t make sense and to have black gay folks being called the N-Word by white gays only deepens animosity and most likely push blacks to protect black gays (good), but do nothing to change minds.

  97. Befree

    The black civil rights movement started everywhere. The church played a hugely important role, but the movement was not solely religious. As Skeptical Brotha points out in this post, one of MLK’s primary lieutenants, Bayard Rustin, was gay (and a former Communist). Many of MLK’s most important supporters, including his lawyer, were Jews.

    I think that there are obvious parallels between the black civil rights movement and the gay civil rights movement. The restriction of marriage rights, the inability to join the military are the most obvious contemporary parallels between the two.

  98. Befree

    Disgree, it did not play a “played a hugely important role” it was it’s CORE.The civil rights movement fused the political promise of equal votes with the spiritual/ religious doctrine of equal souls.Black religion from the period of slavery through the era of segregation provided theological resources that motivated and sustained preachers and parishioners battling racial oppression. Civil Rights Movement utilized appeals to civil religious rhetoric and the ideals shared by the larger population to advance their cause. It kills me when people try to “de-religion” the Civil Rights Movement when it’s leader was a preacher AND used scripture in his speeches. The Civil Rights Movement is only ONE part of the struggle…there are 400+ years before that. You can’t slice and dice black folks history for fit ANY agenda.

    what people fell to grasp is being black does not preclude one to agree with anything? Because my great grandfather was hit in the head with a billy club for trying to register to vote automacilly mean I should or must support gay marriage. I don’t see the connection. What burns me is people if gay people voted of Obama, than black should have voted no on prop 8? I did not get the memo we had to bargain our vote.

    To try and lay a historical guilt trip on black people is unfair and wrong.

  99. Befree,

    I’m black. My father is a preacher. He got his ass beat in Selma and one of his best friends (Rev. James Reeb) was murdered. He supports gay marriage. He almost had his pastoral license revoked in the 1970s for performing an illegal same sex marriage. The church and gay marriage are not mutually exclusive.

  100. From what I hear from a lot of black folk, which includes myself, is that comparing the gay struggle to the struggles of black folk is offensive on some level. I’ve never seen another group try to piggyback on the historical civil rights era such as they do

    People with disabilities fight all the time for equality in housing, employment, and medical care. And while it is a civil right, folks in wheelchairs, the def, the blind, the learning disabled, do not try to market their fight by bringing up the civil rights fight of black folk. Yes, there are some parallels. But the issues, the concerns, the needs of the communities are different.

    I saw brown folks do this during the heated discussions of the imigration policies. But what’s so crazy is that some of these same brown folks that were bringing up our fight for equality, are some of the same folks that do not speak to black folk, that think they are better. And from what I hear, many white gays still hand out cards of racism to black ays. So, why should they get to conveniently ride on the accomplishments of a fight that we fought, mainly without the support of many other groups?

    Most of the time, white folks don’t even want to reference the struggle of black folks in this country. That’s why it seems a little oddly convenient, perhaps disingenuous to see these white folks show up on television, speaking with so much clarity about the civil rights struggle and how it applies to them and their struggle.

    I believe in marriage equality. But I think that the idea to market this cause in this manner is not a good strategy. They need to rethink the strategy and come up with another way to get people to understand why this is a civil rights issue.

    And again, I think if it was made clear to black folk that their churches would not be held liable for not marrying gays, the black folk would back off and leave this thing alone. But many, many of the black folk I know, even the ones that do not go to church, honestly believe that it is good to fight this initiative, if it is for no other reason than to protect the hurch from being under fire for not agreeing to marry a gay couple.

  101. TripLBee

    Angie,

    I think there are obvious parallels between the black and gay civil rights movements. Gays, like blacks not so long ago, are still barred from military service and certain types of marriages (i.e., anti-miscegenation laws fell in 1967). Also, gays, like blacks, are sometimes the targets of violence only because they are gay. Politicians bash gays—just as they bashed black folks—for cheap political expediency. It is still dangerous in many places for a person to be openly gay. People are frequently expelled from their families and churches for being gay. Gay persons walk around with a virtual scarlet letter on their foreheads, simply because they are gay. If anyone should understand this sort of discrimination and empathize with it, it is people like us: black people who have been treated like dogs. I am actually ashamed of the rank homophobia I have witnessed my whole life in the black community. I think that people who get kicked around should not spend time detailing where their differences lie, and instead focus on the similarity of our struggles.

  102. Trip: Well stated… You certainly opened my eyes with your point.
    You’re always so thoughtful and insightful.
    Thank you.
    I will certainly be sharing this conversation with others.
    Angie

  103. RisingTide

    In the past week, an Ecuadorian immigrant was killed in New York, for walking arm in arm with his brother on the way home from a bar. The people who killed him thought he was gay.
    Just another casuality in the Culture War.

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