Sunday, December 21, 2008

Rick Warren: Pizza-Eating Moron

"Just because I like pizza it doesn’t mean I should marry it. Biologically, I am predisposed to enjoy the immaculate melding of mozzarella cheese, red sauce and thick crust baked to tasty perfection.

"But that doesn’t mean I should enter into a lifelong commitment with Sicilian or plain, nor bed it down, nor bring children into the world and have them have to explain to their classmates why their mom’s crust is not a crisp as it once was.

"Does any child deserve to have their friends tossing Monday 2 for 1 coupons in his face? Not in my world they don’t. Yet, to say that I am against pizza-eaters or gays is absurd. Our Saddleback Church offer more weight-watchers meetings to overeaters than any other evangelical megachurch on the west coast."


This is the kind of sharp thinking typified by evangelicals of Warren's ilk. The above is his defense when asked about his recent gay hating.

I do give Warren credit for the good things he does so let's not go down that stupid rat hole. This is all about his activisim against giving gays equal rights.

89 comments:

G said...

Ok. I'll take the bait on this one.

I don't follow the life and words of Rick Warren. So please tell me about the "recent gay hating" to which you refer.

Is it merely support for the passage of Proposition 8 in California? If so, there is a big difference between hatred and choosing to support a constitutional definition of marriage (in accordance with his convictions).

Also, this issue isn't about being "against giving gays equal rights." They already have equal rights. The law is that anyone at least 18 years old can legally marry any one person of the opposite sex who is also at least 18 years old (and I assume there is a limitation on how close a relative can be). That law applies equally to all people, including homosexuals.

Incidentally, keep in mind that this measure passed in a state that is overwhelmingly liberal (just look at our senators and the state legislature) and gave their presidential electors to Obama by a landslide. This was not an "evangelical" thing or a "conservative" thing. It had pretty broad support.

csm said...

And back before the civil rights movement persons of different races could not marry nor would it ever have passed a popular vote to allow them to... and this is the same damn thing.

Regarding Warren, he is a homophobe and an idiot. He compares gay marriage to incest and pedophilia. This is both hateful and stupid.

He has said that homosexuality is not a natural way of life and thus not a human right and that we shall not tolerate (it). This makes him an intolerant asshole.

Anyone can have any opinion they want to have. When it starts intruding on how other people live their lives in ways that have NO IMPACT on you whatsoever, then you are scum if you try to define how they should live their life just because you happen to not like it. Fuck him and fuck anyone who tries to control others and to limit the rights of other to freely live their lives and pursue happiness.

BAWDYSCOT said...

The government(s) needs to get out of the marriage business. Let religions and sects take care of that and let anyone who wants rights of survivorship, legal status and any other privileges any heterosexual couple would enjoy get civil unions recognized by any and all branches of government. This seems like a win-win situation to me.

All these state referendums also seem to be a little like a back door way to have religious influence injected into our public forum. I am not against public servants being pious and use that piety to inform their decisions(it would be impossible for it not to), but I am against blatant religious reinforcements foisted on the citizenry. Especially when it could have a tendency to lessen certain factions from practising their unalienable rights.

csm said...

Bawdy, your way makes sense, and I'd favor that, but it will never happen. Marriage is too tightly intertwined into everything at this point. For one example, marriage would have to get completely out of the tax law. And what about people who are currently "married" but by the Justice of the Peace, would those be redefined? And what would that cost?

spence said...

Great point Rick. Stop asking everyone to accept your gay lifestyle.

I notice the gays won't touch the 70% of the black population who voted Against gay marriage. Such cowardice. I might be more impressed with their militant behavior if they took on a couple of black churches and attempt to force the gay lifestyle upon them.

They redefined gay now they want to redefine hate and marriage. Please, we want no part of your bedrooms.

coreydbarbarian said...

hey spence, you claim "70% of the black population..voted against gay marriage."
would you care to name your source for this "fact", or did you pull the number outta yer butt?

csm said...

Idiots like spence are amusing, but depress me nonetheless.

"accept your gay lifestyle" - I can't speak for gays, but I doubt they care whether you accept them or not; I think the only thing most gays care about is having the came civil rights as others (and, of course, to be allowed to pursue happiness like anyone else).

"70% of the black population who voted Against gay marriage" - what the fuck does this have to do with anything even if it is true? (and thank to Corey for calling out the lack of ability to back up this "fact")

"hey want to redefine hate and marriage" - Hate? Who is redefining hate? And marriage? That has been redefined over and over throughout history. It started as a property rights transaction, at one point was predominantly polygamous, and only recently (historically speaking) has become what it is today.

"we want no part of your bedrooms" - and I do not think you are invited into any gay bedrooms, so stop worrying you stupid ass clown.

BAWDYSCOT said...

My plan would give everyone already married a grandfathered civil union which would be the only thing any government would recognize.

Homosexuals would be happy because they would be on par with anyone else. There also would be some churches who would marry them so that option would not be totally out of the question(though not recognized by the government).

Heterosexuals would actually have more choice as the non-religious(myself included) would probably just opt for the civil union and never get married in a church. (Actually I have been married twice, the original and a renewal of my vows, both times in Vegas in the same two-bit chapel, but that is another story). These couples could do both, or just get married in a church. Lots of choices. Happiness.

The anti-gay religions would not have the sight of same-sex couples in their churches getting married, so they should be happy, unless of course their real problem is the desire to run other peoples lives for them. That is another matter for which I do not have an answer.

Spence said...

Black voters helped Prop. 8 passage
By Susan Ferriss and Phillip Reese
sferriss@sacbee.com
Published: Friday, Nov. 07, 2008

Cheryl Weston once attended a wedding ceremony for gay friends, but on Election Day, she voted for a constitutional amendment to declare marriage in California as only between a man and a woman.

"It was called a holy union, but I don't know how holy it was," said Weston, a Sacramento barber.

Weston, 44, is one of an overwhelming number – 70 percent – of black voters in California who voted for Proposition 8 and helped secure its passage, according to exit polling conducted by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International.

African Americans, energized by Barack Obama's presidential bid, boosted their numbers at the polls this year to 10 percent of the state's electorate, up from 6 percent in 2004.

"The Obama people were thrilled to turn out high percentages of African Americans, but (Proposition 8) literally wouldn't have passed without those voters," said Gary Dietrich, president of Citizen Voice, a nonpartisan voter awareness organization."


I enjoy putting wipes in their place, I mean c'mon provide a challenge, the numbers have been everywhere. Even Barrack does not support gay marriage because the term is a oxymoron. Its not a right. Marriage is between men & women. Live your life and be happy and have your own ceremonies and stop asking for our vote.

BAWDYSCOT said...

One of the things I am hearing is that some black people have a problem with gays calling this a "civil rights" issue. They feel they went through "the" civil rights issue and feel the gays are confusing things. This, I feel, is where factionalizing hurts this country. Anybody who is not treated equally under the law has a civil rights issue.

Ceroill said...

Bawdy I've heard that too. Makes me wonder how homosexual black people feel about it.

Obama is a politician. He has a lot of things he wants to try to do, with as little friction as possible. So when a very divisive issue comes up he likely will state a position designed to placate the most seemingly hysterical side on the given issue. He's just trying to keep the wheels greased.

csm said...

Very reasonable, Bawdy. For that reason I'm guessing the religious would not like it. Probably because it marginalizes the importance of marriage - or something equally asinine.

csm said...

Thanks for the source, Spence. Still don't agree with your views, but I appreciate you backing up your numbers.

G said...

Bawdy,

In California, they do have equal treatment under the law. Everyone has the same marriage rights. But even if one doesn't accept that argument, California already has a domestic partnership law that gives a legally registered homosexual couple the exact same rights (in the eyes of the state) as a married couple. The only difference is the actual use of the word "marriage."

csm,

It isn't the same as the interracial marriage issue. Men and women are biologically different. But men of all races are biologically the same (as are women of all races). A man and woman, regardless of race, are biologically capable of having children (in most cases). Two men together or two women together are totally incapable of having a child without the biological assistance of a third person of the opposite sex.

In Warren's case, this isn't "homophobia" (a phobia is a fear). He doesn't seem to be afraid of homosexuality. He simply views it in terms of the teachings of the Bible... a sinful, destructive behavior.

Also, it isn't "hating." In all the quotes I've seen from him, none of them indicate hatred of gays.

In any case, even the liberal messiah himself, Barack Obama, has stated that he is opposed to gay marriage (but in favor of domestic partnerships). It is true that he said he was against Prop. 8. But the only reason he gave for that position is that he felt the measure would be divisive.

So is Obama also a homophobe? Is he a gay-hater? Of course not. Neither is Warren.

csm said...

"It isn't the same as the interracial marriage issue. Men and women are biologically different. But men of all races are biologically the same (as are women of all races). A man and woman, regardless of race, are biologically capable of having children (in most cases). Two men together or two women together are totally incapable of having a child without the biological assistance of a third person of the opposite sex."

You contradict yourself in your very reply. By your logic, a man and a woman should have to take tests to ensure that they are capable of reproducing before being allowed to marry.

"In Warren's case, this isn't "homophobia" (a phobia is a fear). He doesn't seem to be afraid of homosexuality. He simply views it in terms of the teachings of the Bible... a sinful, destructive behavior."

Like eating shellfish?

"Also, it isn't "hating." In all the quotes I've seen from him, none of them indicate hatred of gays."

What about hatred of pizza? Or is that a quote that shows his stupidity, not his hatred?

"In any case, even the liberal messiah himself, Barack Obama, has stated that he is opposed to gay marriage (but in favor of domestic partnerships). It is true that he said he was against Prop. 8. But the only reason he gave for that position is that he felt the measure would be divisive."

Irrelevant.

"So is Obama also a homophobe? Is he a gay-hater? Of course not. Neither is Warren."

When Obama compares gays to pizza, incest, and pedophilia, I'll re-consider your idiotic comments.

G said...

"By your logic, a man and a woman should have to take tests to ensure that they are capable of reproducing before being allowed to marry."

Not at all. I didn't say anything about the reasons for marriage. I was merely pointing out one of the obvious differences between the interracial marriage issue and homosexual marriage. You claimed it is the same issue. It is not.

"Like eating shellfish?"

Yes and no. The dietary laws were given exclusively to Israel. If one is not Jewish, then they aren't applicable. The declaration that homosexual behavior is an abomination is repeated in the New Testament.

A better question would have been, "Like adultery?" It is a sin. It is not an unforgivable sin. Nor is it a sin of greater magnitude than others. It is one of many different types of sexual sin, all of which are destructive. I know you disagree. I am just explaining what the Bible teaches.

"What about hatred of pizza? Or is that a quote that shows his stupidity, not his hatred?"

I agree that it is a stupid analogy. My guess is that he was trying to avoid the more obvious analogies (like incest) in order to soften the message and avoid some of the outrage from others.

Obama's view = "Irrelevant"

It is completely relevant. People are outraged that Rick Warren was asked to pray for Obama at the inauguration. The ONLY reason I've heard is his view on gay marriage. But his views on the issue are identical to Obama's.

During the campaign, Obama was quite clear that he is a Christian. Choosing a well-known, popular Christian pastor who treated him very well during their forum as the one to pray for him is a no-brainer. Would people have preferred Jeremiah Wright?

Obama also ran his campaign on the promise that he would "reach across the aisle." Now, in his first effort at doing so, the liberal wing of his supporters are in an uproar. And we aren't even talking about policy here... or even giving a speech. He's going to say a prayer.

I don't see any indication that Rick Warren hates gays or wants to deny them equal rights. As I've already stated, homosexual couples in California can have the exact same standing as a married couple through the domestic partnership laws. So what rights are being denied? The only difference in the two situations is in the eyes of the FEDERAL government.

The real intolerance here is from those who refuse to accept someone with different convictions.

BAWDYSCOT said...

"The real intolerance here is from those who refuse to accept someone with different convictions.

And if governments at all levels were to disregard marriage altogether as a religous rite and not under their jurisdiction of providing liberty and the pursuit of happiness, I believe the intolerance would abate. I realize many religous leaders would probably have a great deal of problems with this, change isn't one of their strong points, but this seems like a reasonable solution out of this box which should make the majority the happiest.

BAWDYSCOT said...

297. (a) Domestic partners are two adults who have chosen to share
one another's lives in an intimate and committed relationship of
mutual caring.
(b) A domestic partnership shall be established in California when
both persons file a Declaration of Domestic Partnership with the
Secretary of State pursuant to this division, and, at the time of
filing, all of the following requirements are met:
(1) Both persons have a common residence.
(2) Neither person is married to someone else or is a member of
another domestic partnership with someone else that has not been
terminated, dissolved, or adjudged a nullity.
(3) The two persons are not related by blood in a way that would
prevent them from being married to each other in this state.
(4) Both persons are at least 18 years of age.
(5) Either of the following:
(A) Both persons are members of the same sex.
(B) One or both of the persons meet the eligibility criteria under
Title II of the Social Security Act as defined in 42 U.S.C. Section
402(a) for old-age insurance benefits or Title XVI of the Social
Security Act as defined in 42 U.S.C. Section 1381 for aged
individuals. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section,
persons of opposite sexes may not constitute a domestic partnership
unless one or both of the persons are over the age of 62.
(6) Both persons are capable of consenting to the domestic
partnership.
(c) "Have a common residence" means that both domestic partners
share the same residence. It is not necessary that the legal right
to possess the common residence be in both of their names. Two
people have a common residence even if one or both have additional
residences. Domestic partners do not cease to have a common
residence if one leaves the common residence but intends to return.

g,

The above is the California Family Code section 297 which defines those domestic partnerships you were talking of. I direct you to section 5 which outlines that it is illegal for members of the opposite sex to join in a domestic partnership unless one or both are over the age of 62. I realize why they have the age requirement, but this is hardly "equality under the law" now is it. This is no equal to marriage because heteros don't even get a chance at one until one lives awhile.

BAWDYSCOT said...

Here is some more of the Family Code:

297.5. (a) Registered domestic partners shall have the same rights,
protections, and benefits, and shall be subject to the same
responsibilities, obligations, and duties under law, whether they
derive from statutes, administrative regulations, court rules,
government policies, common law, or any other provisions or sources
of law, as are granted to and imposed upon spouses.
(b) Former registered domestic partners shall have the same
rights, protections, and benefits, and shall be subject to the same
responsibilities, obligations, and duties under law, whether they
derive from statutes, administrative regulations, court rules,
government policies, common law, or any other provisions or sources
of law, as are granted to and imposed upon former spouses.
(c) A surviving registered domestic partner, following the death
of the other partner, shall have the same rights, protections, and
benefits, and shall be subject to the same responsibilities,
obligations, and duties under law, whether they derive from statutes,
administrative regulations, court rules, government policies, common
law, or any other provisions or sources of law, as are granted to
and imposed upon a widow or a widower.


Sounds a little like "separate but equal" to me.

G said...

Why is it not equity under the law? I didn't say that this situation is equivalent to what you're proposing. The basic idea of the law is that marriage is for opposite sex couples and domestic partnership is for same sex couples. This is just a guess on my part, but I would imagine the extra stuff for those over 62 is something that was pushed by AARP so the elderly don't have to go through the marriage process again. Either that, or maybe it was necessary to add that clause to comply with some federal statute.

In any case, the two members of a domestic partnership have the same rights as a married couple in the eyes of the state... inheritance, medical decision-making, asset division upon dissolving of the partnership, etc. The only difference is in the word "marriage" and in federal rights (like social security benefits to the widowed spouse). And there is nothing the state can do to effect the federal laws. We aren't talking about "separate but equal" like different schools, bathrooms, et al. It is only a different word to define it.

By the way, I think you would get more resistance to your proposed change from the government than from religious organizations. The state rakes in quite a bit of cash each year from marriage licenses and the costs of a civil ceremony.

I can't speak for everyone, of course, but I don't think the state needs to be involved either. Maybe just a simple registration process to prevent polygamy, incest, etc., and to confirm legal rights (like inheritance, etc.) for the partners.

Ceroill said...

Ok, this is not appropot of the subject at hand, but rather of the day and season. In the latest NYT there is a nice editorial (I thought it nice anyway) about celebrating the birthday of Isaac Newton at this time of year. Here's the link:
http://judson.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/23/the-ten-days-of-newton/?th&emc=th

csm said...

LMFAO about "The real intolerance here is from those who refuse to accept someone with different convictions."

Who is trying to overturn Rick Warren's rights? Who is comparing Rick Warren to a pedophile? Where is the lack of "acceptance" of this man? I don't like his positions on this issue (and others) but when is anyone not "accepting" him - like trying to pass laws to exclude him from doing what he does?

G said...

csm,

Are you kidding me? When is anyone not accepting him? Um, maybe the outrage from Obama's supporters who think he shouldn't be allowed to say a prayer at the inauguration?

And he has not tried to pass laws to keep homosexuals from doing what they do. He has not tried to take away any of their "rights". He supported a measure that codified the definition of marriage into the California constitution... the same definition that voters approved by an overwhelming margin a few years ago.

csm said...

Again, LMFAO at the thought process that brings you to those conclusions.

spence said...

Gays have the same rights as every American. Under marriage they can marry a member of the opposite sex just as anyone else can. They choose not to, on occasion. Some actually do. Their lobbying is just a lot of BS in order to change the definitions of words. There is no ban because there has never been "gay marriage". Their militant intimidation of marriage supporters is actually strengthening the traditional cause.

A recommendation here to study festivus and draw from the well of Constanza.

csm said...

Yes, yes, yes, gays have the same rights. Let's see, they can marry someone they are not attracted to. That seems to be nice and fair. Same argument coulda been made back when blacks and whites couldn't marry one another. A black person can marry another person of the same race, just like a white person. How forward thinking and intelligent you are Spence (and, to you too, G, unfortunately, because you are usually wiser).

coreydbarbarian said...

boy, spence sure does sing a familiar song.

something that sticks with me is the idea that gays WERE included in the civil rights movement of the early 70's (homosexuality was removed from the diagnostic & statistical manual as a mental disorder in 1973, for example). gay rights were also a plank in the ORIGINAL human rights campaign, the period of the enlightenment. when researching the enlightenment, i am often struck by how central sexual freedoms were to the movement. that fact gets white-washed by most modern scholars.

BAWDYSCOT said...

Also the fact that gays had to fight against local governments and the police just to exercise their right to associate with each other. The fight homosexuals are fighting is every bit a civil rights fight.

G said...

csm,

Thank you for the complement, backhanded as it is (that I am usually wiser).

When you start into these arguments of being able to marry whomever you are attracted to, you're getting into shaky ground. That is the argument that could also be applied to other types of marriage that are considered unacceptable (polygamy, incest, etc.). I'm not equating homosexuality with incest, but that same argument could easily be made by a brother and sister who are consenting adults and want to get married.

Even if we accept the view that marriage is a "right" (which isn't necessarily true... how many "rights" do we have that require a license), EVERY right has certain limitations. The right to keep and bear arms doesn't allow you to have a nuclear weapon in your garage. Freedom of religion doesn't allow for child sacrifice. Etc.

Even those who are in favor of gay marriage would agree that certain limitations on the definition of marriage are acceptable. They just want the line to be drawn on the other side of what THEY want.

What rights are homosexuals being denied in California? They have the right to marry (one consenting adult of the opposite sex). If they don't want to do so, they can register a "domestic partnership" with one consenting adult of the same sex, which gives them all the same rights and privileges in the State of California as a heterosexual married couple.

And you can keep saying that it's the same as the fight for racial equality, but it isn't. Men and women are biologically different and mutually compatible for procreation. That isn't religion speaking. It's science.

coreydbarbarian said...

science, my butt. blacks and whites are biologically different too, but you don't make that argument.

i guess it all boils down to who gets to boss whom around - is america a puritan-minded construct ruled by right-wing moralism, or is she a pluralistic society governed by a secularist ideology?

i wish you could see the heartlessness in your position. procreation is not the point of marriage .. love is. OTHERWISE, certain heartless catholics and evangelicals i know would be justified in believing that infertile individuals are not fit for a "god-approved" marriage, and we all know that is a bs argument.

i can't help but believe that jesus would hang out with homos, fo sho. all these rightwing haters, i'm not so sure about.

csm said...

The only line that I would draw is that both parties are able and willing to consent to be married. And that both parties do consent to be married.

That means age of consent is required and that non-humans cannot participate.

Ceroill said...

Corey, I don't think it's just bossing someone around, it's also about having the right to describe someone else as Wrong, Bad, Sinful, Unacceptable,Unclean, etc. The ability to feel innately superior (morally, intellectually, biologically, whatever). Many groups, especially some of religious bent, seem to find this necessary to their worldview. They need someone to despise, and as time has gone by and society has progressed and evolved more and more of the despised have been mandated as acceptable by society. To them this means not that society is improving and growing, but rather that society is becoming more dissolute and immoral. So as the unclean types become truly few these groups feel more strongly the need to push back against the perceived tide of iniquity and degradation. Gays are one of the few remaining examples of the societal pariah, and that status is becoming more and more diluted. If this keeps up they won't have anyone left to feel holier than thou about.

G said...

coreyd,

By "biologically different", please see my earlier post. As I previously stated, I'm not saying that procreation is the whole reason for marriage. I am merely using that example to show that the gay marriage issue is not "just like" the interracial marriage issue.

You might very well believe that "love" is the point of marriage (although you would have to define what you mean by "love"). But that belief is by no means universal. But even if we do accept your assertion, then we are led once again to the argument of incest. If 24-year-old Joe wants to marry his 22-year-old sister Mary because they are in love with one another, then what is the argument against that marriage?

When it comes to the government's recognition of marriage, it has nothing to do with "love". It has its basis in the understanding that the stability of a society is strengthened by the stability of families. I guarantee you that the government couldn't care less whether a husband and wife love each other.

I do find it interesting that everyone seems to keep trying to pin this issue with the "religious bigotry" label, refusing to recognize that this law was passed (twice, in fact) in one of the most liberal, Democrat-leaning states in the nation (just look at our congressional makeup)... a state that is seen by many as a leader in implementing liberal causes. The measure passed in an election that went overwhelmingly to the liberal Democratic presidential candidate.

Once again, how is this hateful? The people of the state have simply said, "This is how we define the word 'marriage.' We recognize a similar type of relationship between homosexuals, but it is legally called 'domestic partnership.'"

I am still waiting for someone to point out a single right in marriage that is denied to a legally recognized domestic partnership in the State of California. All this uproar is over the use of a word. It has nothing to do with diminished rights.

coreydbarbarian said...

bob, excellent points.

g, first, let me apologize if i came across as harsh in my last post. i did not intend to be short with you, and looking back, it reads that way. my sincere apologies.

next, let's try a short thought experiment. if folks were to vote to label all groups as human EXCEPT homosexuals, would you consider the meaning of a word to carry more weight?

or how about this: if your state were to barely pass a new law that effectively nullified your legal marriage (and 30,000 other marriages, all obtained and performed legally), would you feel outraged, violated?

at the end of this mess, california did more than redefine a word; she reinstated a 'separate but equal' policy toward gays.

also, let's not forget the significance of this event in terms of the overall culture war that has been waged by the religious right since desegregation was forced (by activist judges, no doubt) on america. finally, imagine how the significance will shift if the california supreme court overturns the new law.

csm said...

I see no problem allowing for incest. Most folks will not opt for that... some will... it does not impact you in the least, so leave them alone...

csm said...

And G, you know full well that persecution of gays and formal opposition to gay marriage is driven by religious bigotry/intolerance... without religion nothing and no one would be driving this issue. IOW if it weren't for the rabid, right wing extemists rabble rousing the gullible christians these measures would not be anywhere on any ballots. Only religious people care enough to make it an issue... and the vast unwashed masses are too ignorant to cast a reasoned, informed vote and instead vote on their biases and fears.

Ceroill said...

Corey, I'd like to propose another thought experiment. Since a number of people are convinced that homosexuality is a choice or an aberration rather than an essential part of one's makeup, let's see how this idea plays out.

Let's imagine that the government passed a law that any member of any voluntarily joined group could only marry other members of that group. Thus, Boyscouts could only marry other Boyscouts, Republicans could only marry other Republicans, Baptists could only marry other Baptists and so on. Noe of these are imperative or involuntary associations. You could only marry outside involuntary associations:Tall and short people could marry for example, or people with differently colored eyes, or American and Canadian perhaps. Of course, male and female work also as in the current law. I dunno, seems a bit absurd to me.

coreydbarbarian said...

those boyscouts would be pretty frustrated, huh?

it's all several layers of absurd, if ya ask me. gotta hit the road now; more later. :)

Ceroill said...

Corey, depends on the boyscout of course, but then those wouldn't be allowed to be scouts anymore, would they? Of course if rumors are true (aren't they all?) a number are that way anyhow and just don't tell.

G said...

Ok. I'm on a bit of a "response overload" right now. I guess that's what I get for not being at my computer for awhile. So let's go one at a time:

coreyd,

On the thought experiment, it's apples and oranges. Your example has to do with redefining what is human. We're talking about the redefinition of a traditional institution. And it isn't those who are opposed to same-sex marriage that are trying to redefine it. As Bawdy's reference to the legal code shows us, it isn't only that homosexual couples can't be called "married". It is also that heterosexuals can't enter into a "domestic partnership". They are simply recognized as different.

Try this "thought experiment". I've decided that legally, I would like to be called "African-American" (I am very white). I could make the argument that it is technically true since the human race has its origins (most likely) in Africa. You see, I'd like to start a business and have it recognized as "minority-owned" so I can get some of those government preferences. Sound good?

As for your argument on the marriages that have already been confirmed by the state, it doesn't hold water. Those marriages only began because of a judicial fiat based on incredibly faulty legal analysis. Those marriages might be recognized in states that DO have same-sex marriage, but not in CA.

Let's have another "thought experiment". Say in a southern state there is a Supreme Court that is stacked with KKK members. Since they can't get around the federal slavery laws, they come up with a judicial decision. In order to ensure the security of his family, a man can voluntarily sell himself as a slave... thereby declaring himself to be chattel. A bunch of men like the idea, so they sell themselves to willing plantation owners for $150,000 each, to be given to their families. The electorate says, "No way", and passes a law forbidding this practice. Will the previous contractual agreements stand? Of course not.

csm,

Then our incoming president must be an intolerant religious bigot as well, since he has stated that he is opposed to gay marriage. I honestly don't know who got the measure on the ballot (either time), but the fact is that a liberal-leaning electorate VOTED for it.

ceroill,

Aside from the sheer silliness of your examples, the major difference here is that it wasn't the government that enacted this law. It was the people. Good luck getting a majority of the people to vote for your example.

And for everyone, this "separate but equal" argument is nonsense. Men and women have to use different restrooms. How horribly "separate but equal" for those men who would prefer to use the ladies' room.

csm said...

G, anyone who gets elected to the office of president has to at least pose as "an intolerant religious bigot" or s/he won't get elected. I'm not so sure what Obama actually "believes" but yes, his public stance on this issue paints him as intolerant on this issue.

Ceroill said...

Hey guys...I just had a thought...what's the big deal about redefining a word anyway? Happens all the time. You know there was a time when 'gay' meant happy and carefree, not homosexual, and likewise 'queer' just meant odd and strange not homosexual. For that matter 'bimbo' originally applied to men, and 'prove' can also mean 'test' (as in 'the exception that proves the rule'). Why is it such a huge deal about this one word?

G said...

I think it gets a little more complicated when the term has been codified in various federal and state statutes. To be honest, I don't think anyone ever really thought about it until the gay-rights lobby started pushing the issue.

csm said...

True 'dat, Bob. We redefine words all the time. Actually, marriage is not firmly defined at all - it is the rabid religiosos who want to define it to their way of thinking. Even in their holy book men had multiple wives all the time, but you don't see folk wanting that definition today (except maybe some extreme Mormons).

coreydbarbarian said...

imo, gay marriage has become the line in the sand for the most zealous on both sides of the issue. (i include myself as zealous, i guess). but in the end, i think it still boils down to equality, on both sides.

many gays are fed up with being treated as non-humans; they are anxious to put that phase of american history in the past. in their view, having their unions recognized as equal to hetero marriages would be sufficient.

the other side? they view homos as immoral, and they don't want to do anything to encourage such "immorality". and they definitely don't want to call gays their equals.

just to add a dose of the personal to this post, let me explain why i'm zealous on the issue.

first, i spent a couple years as a successful drama major in the early 90's. many of the absolute best people i've ever met are gay or lesbian.

second, i have been put in the hospital once, and beaten more than a dozen times, for "being a fag".

FOR THE RECORD: I AM STRAIGHT.

you guys would not believe how often aggressive males confuse mild autism with homosexuality. just last sunday i was accosted by my own neighbor because he assumed i was gay. in his view, i have "destroyed the neighborhood" and "attempted to poison his childrens minds". sprinkle in about 30-odd cusswords in a 60-second span, and you get the idea.

all i could muster was a "god bless you, brother." boy, did that agitate the man!

all that, and i'm not even gay. and i get this a lot, and have for many years. imagine how difficult life can be for many gays & lesbians?

my point (in this post) is that gays are not being treated as equals outside of san francisco, and in their minds, maybe legal gay marriage will be to their movement what brown vs board of education was for blacks. spence (and many others) can speak of militancy, but until he's walked a mile in some of their shoes..

coreydbarbarian said...

oh, don't tell me i killed the thread with my "too much information" post!
man, i always do that...

csm said...

Maybe you didn't kill it, so much as make so much sense that no one dared try to refute the brilliance?

(He says, not actually believing it, but since it is quite late, or so late it is early, he says it anyway.)

coreydbarbarian said...

brilliance? sounds good, let's run with that. ;)

G said...

Don't worry. Your post didn't kill it. Since I'm the only one opposed to gay marriage, I guess it's my fault for not responding.

I do understand your point of view. And any sane person would agree that assault and battery are totally unacceptable. Even "free speech" has a boundary where it becomes abusive and unacceptable.

At the same time, there is a significant difference between demanding justice with a "blind eye" toward sexual orientation and demanding societal acceptance of aberrant sexual practices.

Please understand that I'm using the term "aberrant" in its technical, dictionary sense. It is not meant as a put-down at all. But the simple fact that if only around 3% of the population (as far as I can recall) participate in homosexual sex, then it is clearly not the norm.

I can't speak as to the beliefs and thought processes of all people (or even generalize). But I personally don't know anyone who thinks homosexuals should be considered less than human. But I know that the human tendency is to denigrate and belittle others who are different in order to boost one's own ego. That isn't just a gay-straight thing. It can be any difference, as long as there is someone that the group can ostracize.

However, the simple fact that some people behave that way toward homosexuals does NOT necessarily mean that it is true of society as a whole. I'm quite sure that if a ballot measure were proposed to require castration of homosexual men or legalizing beatings of gays that it would receive a record low percentage of approval.

The problem on this issue is that homosexuals are basically demanding that society recognize their sexual behavior as "normal". They believe this recognition can be accomplished in the institution of marriage. But society has said, time and again, "We DON'T consider your sexual behavior normal."

At first, the argument of the homosexual was that they were being denied legal rights that heterosexual married couples had at their disposal (e.g. medical decisions, inheritance, etc.). So California said, "Very well. Here you go. Under these registered domestic partnerships, you will have every one of those rights." The response was, "Thank you. But that isn't enough. We demand the 'right' to marry. We demand that you declare our relationships MORALLY equivalent to yours."

There's your "line in the sand". One side demands recognition of moral equivalence. The other side says it ISN'T morally equivalent.

Society will ALWAYS have a line that separates moral behavior from immoral. That line might be based on an outside source (like a religious code) or something purely subjective (like the general conscience of the nation). Wherever that line might be, there will ALWAYS be some who get the short end of the stick.

coreydbarbarian said...

g, your argument is a delight. i only wish folks in the middle of our nation utilized logic in the same manner.

it goes without saying that i disagree on some points. but today is not the day for me to refute arguments. ANOTHER ice storm is heading my way, and i want to get a head start on this one.

if this keeps up, i'll be changing my name to coreyd-iceroadtrucker. lol.

however, i am reminded of many cultures that defended the morality of homosexual love, with plato's symposium providing an eloquent defense thereof.

also, an observation: this debate seems to be more about defining american culture than defining the word "marriage."

anywho, thanks for a reasoned and rational response!

csm said...

I find your argument to be less of a "delight" that others. You go on a bit about what is considered "normal" conflating sex with marriage. But I thought we already separated the two? Maybe not.

OK, then, shall we forcibly "divorce" or stop recognizing every marriage in which non-normal sex is a part. Anal, oral, etc. etc. Or do you consider oral sex normal? But perhaps only between a man and a woman. And then we get down to what is normal. I daresay that there is NO CONSENSUS whatsover on what is normal. Your norms are different than mine which are different than someone else's.

Is it "normal" for octogenarians to marry? Certainly not. Few do. So they should be forbidden to marry using your logic.

In the past, it was not "normal" for blacks and whites to marry, and it never would have been had the laws remained on the books.

"Normal" should have NOTHING TO DO with the rights and basic human dignities afforded to our citizens.

Then you go on a rant about what the argument was and what it became and what is "good enough" for a whole class of citizens of which you are not a part. What gives you the fucking right to decide what is good enough for anyone except yourself? This is what is so goddamn irritating about the religious.

I don't hear a lot about "moral equivalence" in the news stories about gay rights and homosexual marriage. It all seems to be something conjured up by the religious right.

The bottom line is that the majority is belittling a minority and refusing them the right to live their lives how they wish. Which is odious because it has ZERO IMPACT on anyone else what two consenting adults decide to do in terms of who they wish to live their lives with.

coreydbarbarian said...

aww, admit it csm .. you took delight in rebutting g's arguments! we may disagree with g on this issue, but at least he states his positions respectfully. that's more than i can find in the midwest!

G said...

csm,

Let's go through this one step at a time:

"...what is considered 'normal' conflating sex with marriage..."

What I said was that homosexuals believe that "marriage" is the means for having their sexual behavior accepted as "normal". THEY are the ones "conflating" the two.

Since your reduction to absurdity is based on this error, I will ignore the nonsense in the three paragraphs that follow.

"'Normal' should have NOTHING TO DO with the rights and basic human dignities afforded to our citizens."

I have yet to see anyone point out a single right that is being denied to homosexual couples in California. If you are going to base your position on "basic human dignities", then you will have to define exactly what is the standard. Who determines what qualifies as a "basic human dignity"? My suspicion is that it is just a vague, altruistic sounding phrase that conveniently avoids the concreteness of discussing well-documented rights.

"What gives you the... right to decide what is good enough for anyone except yourself?"

Very well. What gives you, a Texan, the right to decide what is best for the people of California?

Furthermore, it really doesn't matter what the gay rights groups decide what is "good enough" for them. What matters is that the people of the state have declared how they define "marriage". And it will be up to the courts to determine whether that declaration is "constitutional".

"This is what is so... irritating about the religious."

You can continue to blame "the religious" for this whole issue. But as I have pointed out more than once, the fact is that California is an overwhelmingly liberal state that has passed this measure TWICE. And if you want to eliminate "the religious" from this issue, you will also be eliminating quite a bit of support for the gay marriage side as well. Or is it only the voice of the "conservative" religious that needs to be squelched?

"The bottom line is that the majority is belittling a minority and refusing them the right to live their lives how they wish."

You can keep repeating this argument, but it will not suddenly become true. Homosexual couples have every right to live their lives as they wish. If they choose, they can enter into a Domestic Partnership that will give them all the same rights as a married couple. They can even call their relationship a "marriage" if they so choose. In fact, they could probably easily find a church pastor who would be willing to do a wedding ceremony for them. The ONLY difference is that the STATE does not define their relationship as a "marriage".

"Which is odious because it has ZERO IMPACT on anyone else what two consenting adults decide to do in terms of who they wish to live their lives with."

And it has ZERO IMPACT on anyone else when a state decides to confirm a legal definition like "marriage".

csm said...

G, first of all, you have NO IDEA what homosexuals believe. One, or two, or several may have shared with you what they believe, but that does not mean they all believe that, or anything at all, collectively. So stop saying that, please.

Now, with that out of the way, you can no longer ignore what you call "my reduction to absurdity" - it is well-reasoned, not absurd. Clearly, the only thing absurd was you claiming to know what whole class of people believe.

On to your next craziness: I am not trying to remove rights from people. You, "the people of CA", and any other person or group that decides that they should be able to tell others who they can and cannot marry are the ones who are removing rights from people. Go ahead, lean back on the old right wing nutball statement that "marriage is not a right" or something equally as silly. OK, then, let's take away your "right" to get married... as well as all heterosexuals. Then watch the drolling christocrats run slobbering about how their rights are being trampled.

The bottom line is that you (and millions of others) just don't like homosexuals (or maybe just don't approve or like what they do in bed) so you (and millions of others) want to decide for them what they can and cannot do. That is a basic human right - a basic human dignity - especially when it hurts NO ONE.

And I will keep on blaming the religious because it is the religious crazies who push this nonsense. And the Republican party buys into it and gets it on ballots all over the place. That is how Bush won re-election in 2004, by scaring up the base about gays.

And your last statement is patently absurd. It has a big impact. There is the emotional impact on people who want to be married believing it to be a good thing. And, tell me, can non-married people file their taxes jointly? There are still benefits conferred only onto married people. Until that ends - perhaps with Bawdy's ideal of states not getting into marriage at all (never happen, but that'd be fine) - not allowing gays to marriage is a civil rights atrocity and will be viewed by our descendants as such, they way we view ancestors who withheld rights from people of different races.

coreydbarbarian said...

csm said: "...not allowing gays to (marry) is a civil rights atrocity and will be viewed by our descendants as such, they way we view ancestors who withheld rights from people of different races."

-- i agree 100%.

Anonymous said...

Instead of attempting to redefine marriage, not a right btw, why doesn't the gay community use another term? How about Gay Fusion, or Gay Bond or maybe Homorectus. Why they feel the need to attack churches and little ol ladies like a bunch of crazed homosapiens is beyond me.

If the gument didn't recognize my marriage I could care less, Go find a gay church and have your ceremony and stop attacking buildings and people like a pack of wolves.

G said...

So if I understand this correctly, I can't possibly know enough to speak about what the gay-marriage movement believes. But somehow you are qualified to speak about the emotional impact of this measure on their lives?

I called your argument a reduction to absurdity because that is what it is technically called (or reductio ad absurdum, if you prefer the Latin). And it is not well-reasoned. It is generally considered to be a fallacious argument because it can be applied to almost any position to make it appear absurd. And it can work both ways. If homosexuals deserve the right to marry "whomever they choose", then the law would also have to allow for incest, polygamy, etc. (even pedophilia, with parental consent, would have standing... or marriage to a robot that is programmed to consent).

But I digress. I don't need to answer your proposals because I didn't claim that a "normal" sexual relationship is the sole basis for marriage. I merely used the example of sexual relations to point out one of the obvious differences between heterosexual and homosexual relationships.

Also, I have not argued that marriage is not a right (although technically, it probably isn't). But even if marriage IS considered to be a "right", homosexuals have that same right. Yes, the right has restrictions (just like every other right). I don't know of any "rights" that are considered to be absolute. There are always restrictions on how any particular right can be exercised. As an example that I already pointed out, the right to keep and bear arms does not give a person the right to possess a nuclear weapon.

At the same time, if somebody wants to propose a ballot initiative to eliminate all marriage recognition, they are free to do so. Good luck getting majority support.

This position of mine has nothing to do with not liking homosexuals or not approving what they do in the bedroom. I simply don't consider that relationship a marriage. I am not deciding what they can and can't do. As I explained in my previous post, they can enter into a committed relationship. They can call it a marriage. They can probably find a minister to give them a church wedding, etc. All the state has said is that this is not legally a "marriage", but is instead a "domestic partnership".

Finally, I'm sorry but the emotional impact on people's lives isn't an issue with me. The law
is not created as a form of therapy to make us feel better about our relationships. Can they file taxes together? FEDERAL taxes? I suppose not. But state recognition of marriage wouldn't impact the federal govt's position either way. (By the way, married couples filing jointly usually have a higher tax burden than unmarried couples. So, they're upset because they don't get to pay more?). It is a state issue.

G said...

By the way, with respect to the claim that same-sex marriage has zero impact on anyone else:

Gay Rights, Religious Liberties: A Three-Act Story


That isn't speculation or some "slippery slope" argument. We have real examples here.

csm said...

The NPR article is interesting, but irrelevant. If religious organizations want to own property that is not religious (a pavilion), or conduct activities that are not religious in nature (adoption), then they should be held to a non-religious standard. If the pavilion were converted to be a religious "thing" then they'd (in this case, The Methodists) most likely win the day.

Religions are not allowed to do anything they please just because it is part of their religion. Christians cannot carry out the proscribed penalties for violating the ten commandments because they would be in violation of the country's laws.

So, G, go ahead and keep trying to beat down the gays and lesbians. You are quite certainly not alone in your attempts. As time goes on, and the cloak of bigotry rises, gays will gain their rights. I, for one, though, find it sad that it is going to take so long.

csm said...

Everyone, please read the recent anonymous comment about gays being "a pack of wolves" and how they "attack little old ladies" and how they should not be allowed to marry but should be allowed to "homorectus"...

It is this type of insanity that is ruling the day. Sad...

G said...

It is absolutely relevant. You confidently declared that gay marriage has no impact on others. The article gives examples of how it HAS adversely impacted others. I suppose you think it's fine that a photographer is fined thousands of dollars for politely declining to do a gay commitment ceremony because of her religious convictions?

No, religious organizations can't do whatever they want. But you seem to think that it is ok for the government to force them to do things that are diametrically opposed to their convictions (or alternatively, cease to exist). Where is that "wall of separation" between church and state that you so proudly proclaim? I guess that "wall" is only relevant when it keeps religious expression adequately quashed.

Anonymous said...

"You are cordially invited to attend the homorectus of Fred & Ted this Saturday at 6:00 PM." Sounds reasonable but I doubt they will go for it. Controversy seems to be there main objective.

Follow up on the above comments, not only the government forcing acceptance against religious convictions but we must also accept their attacks on individuals and institutions who find the lifestyle to be offensive. The wall is gone as well as the law. Ironically, this is the same group that preaches tolerance.

coreydbarbarian said...

this anonymous reminds me of a brain damaged version of bill o'reilly. with drool.

BAWDYSCOT said...

All this time I thought this thread was dead.

The one question I keep coming back to is, Why doesn't religion accept my way of thinking(that marriage should be out of the realm of any government)if they want to keep it's "sanctity" and it's set of "rules"? With my solution everybody wins. Homosexuals would have all the freedoms(and terminology, this is in reality a semantic argument, no?) as heterosexuals. Each religious sect would be able to keep it's own set of rules(there are sects which would marry homosexuals). The government would be done with this problem. Libertarians would be proud of the country and the protection of our civil rights while keeping church and state separate. Republicans and Democrats would not have to answer the stupid questions they get asked by the press on this subject.

My guess is that religions and the "religious" either have a problem letting others live their lives as they wish or they don't want to give up their sand-made feelings of superiority, maybe both, I suspect. Religions have a tendency to have problems with the "nanny" state when it affects their own belief systems(teaching creationism in schools), but have no problem when the state aligns with their beliefs, victims be damned.

Until our leaders treat everyone as equals our experiment is not over.

BAWDYSCOT said...

And this leads me to a question for you, g.

How is the domestic partnership/marriage dichotomy different than the "separate, but equal" white and black drinking fountains? With the drinking fountains, blacks were able to quench their thirst, no?

Doesn't dignity stand for something?

G said...

Personally, I wouldn't have a problem with the government getting out of the picture completely. I can't speak for everyone, though. The difficulty I currently see with that solution is that we would somehow have to get all the different states to agree (each state grants their own marital authority). And I'm sure they each bring in a nice chunk of cash each year for marriage licenses. And we all know how hard it is for the govt to give up one of their revenue sources.

I'm sure you are right about the motivations of SOME religious people, but it is not universal by any means. And it is not just the religious who seek to rule others' lives. You get that across the political spectrum in one form or another. The public school issue is a bit different. People typically aren't so much trying to force the schools to teach things according to their beliefs, but are concerned that their tax dollars are being used to indoctrinate their kids into a world view that they don't hold.

As for your question about the difference between this issue and the "separate but equal" racial divisions of the past, it is significant. Things like different drinking fountains, etc. had to do with a person's physical, real-life experience. The current gay marriage issue is nothing more than a technical legal designation. It would be more similar to the way a chiropractor can't put M.D. after his/her name (just as the medical doctor can't use D.C.). Neither one is really less than the other. But they are definitely different.

Another way to look at it is if I chose to go back to school and wanted to apply for scholarships, I couldn't declare myself a "Native American" in order to get some money. I was born and raised in America, but that is not the technical legal description of my race. I am not better or worse than a Native American, but we are definitely racially different.

Let's say you happen to see me walking down the road holding hands with my wife. You would have absolutely no clue that we were married unless we specifically told you. Even then, would anyone think any more or less of us if they found out we weren't married?

If you see two men holding hands as they walk together, you would probably assume they are gay. Would your (or anyone's) attitude toward them change at all if you were told they were married, domestic partners, or just lovers?

Now, I'm sure that most people would have a problem with anyone who wanted to have completely separate facilities for gays. When one has to physically walk into a different restroom in the arena that has a "gays only" sign, there is an unavoidable stigma for some. And we certainly don't have anything like "married people only" facilities in our world. When one establishes a completely separate facility for a certain group to use, it gives a "your filthy/diseased and we aren't" message.

The final difference (and the one that will surely cause someone to jump down my throat) is that race is an immutable genetic trait. A person can't do anything to change his/her racial distinctions. Homosexual relationships (as heterosexual ones) are based on choice and behavior... things that CAN be changed. I know that the usual cry is that "they are BORN that way", but there is really no study that has been done that is even remotely conculsive. Plus, there are MANY people who have changed their sexual orientation (one way or the other) in their lives. The fact is that EVERY relationship is a matter of choice.

BAWDYSCOT said...

g,

I can tell you my brother was gay from the time we were very little, long before he "made" any choices.

It is no secret I am a Libertarian and a libertarian. Most people have no idea what a libertarian is and if they were told, some might find it politically repugnant. Maybe not on par with the repugnance some have for homosexuality, but...

Now with your view, would you tell me I should throw in the towel and just hold my nose and register as a Rep or Dem? I am not the mainstream so I should join it? Now you might say I am comparing sexual orientation with political allegiance, but aren't both an important part of a full life? I will fight as long as I have breath to believe as I do and I do not think a homosexual needs to have a government entity treat it differently than any other, even if it is only ...

"nothing more than a technical legal designation."

It may not be that important to you, but I can see how it is.

"Things like different drinking fountains, etc. had to do with a person's physical, real-life experience. The current gay marriage issue is nothing more than a technical legal designation."

Though I did say this is mainly a semantic argument, I without a doubt know that most homosexuals(mostly men) would consider this a "physical, real-life experience" as they have to worry about, at any given time or circumstance, the same physical harm a black man would suffer by making the error of the wrong fountain.

G said...

It might just be me because it's very late here, but I don't understand what you're trying to say with the Libertarian/libertarian, Republican, Democrat things. So I'll just leave that alone for now.

I understand what you're saying about your brother. Nevertheless, any relationship he gets involved in is a choice he makes (just as it is for a heterosexual). He can't change the color of his skin. But if he is involved in any kind of relationship, it's because he has chosen to do so. And I do understand that most people stick with the same sexual orientation throughout their lives. But it is also a fact that many people have changed at some point in their lives.

I also understand the fears that homosexuals might have of being abused in a number of ways. But a marriage certificate won't change that. The example I mentioned about seeing two guys holding hands, I think, makes that point. If a person has no problem with homosexuality, then he won't care what their relationship is. If a person is repulsed by the idea, he will be repulsed whether they are "married" or merely lovers. If someone behaves violently toward homosexuals, he isn't going to stop to check marital status before assaulting someone.

And to me, whether they consider it important to be designated "married" is irrelevant. As I mentioned in a previous post in response to csm, "The law is not created as a form of therapy to make us feel better about our relationships." (I borrowed those words). I really don't think the purpose of the law is to help people feel better. It is to ensure that all people have equal access, benefit, and protection in the eyes of the State. Once you get to that point, the law has done its job and need go no further.

csm said...

G says: "I suppose you think it's fine that a photographer is fined thousands of dollars for politely declining to do a gay commitment ceremony because of her religious convictions?"

csm replies: Yes, I do. Not only do I think it is fine, I think it is absolutely appropriate. That is what EEOC laws are meant to do.

G says: "No, religious organizations can't do whatever they want. But you seem to think that it is ok for the government to force them to do things that are diametrically opposed to their convictions (or alternatively, cease to exist)."

csm replies: As long as they stick to religion and its practice, then they can do (sort of) what they want to do (in this case, meaning practice their bigotry against gays). If they choose to conduct other business, then they MUST be treated the way other business owner are treated even if it offends their goofball religious notions.

G further says: "Where is that "wall of separation" between church and state that you so proudly proclaim? I guess that "wall" is only relevant when it keeps religious expression adequately quashed.

csm replies: Ah, G, you couldn't see the nose on your face if you looked in the mirror. A photographer is not a religion. Neither is the pavilion. If your religion is that important to you (the global you, not just you) then you shouldn't own such businesses where the law of land my run afoul of your imaginary spiritual beliefs...

coreydbarbarian said...

since when was love a choice?

and..

just because our malleable minds CAN be reprogrammed does not mean that they should.

2cents duly added.

G said...

coreyd,

Love has always been a choice. I'm not talking about mere physical attraction or emotional response (which may or may not be subject to the will). I'm talking about the relationship itself. Regardless of any physical or emotional desire, in order to actually enter a relationship (particularly a committed one) the person must make the decision to do so. People have self-control. They are able to say "yes/no" to their impulses.

csm,

I think your consuming hatred for all things religious has clouded your judgment. When a government has been given legal authority to force its citizens to act in opposition to the dictates of their conscience, that society has moved beyond the basic foundations of totalitarianism to its actual practice and acceptance.

I truly hope that you never have to live in the environment that you find so ideal. It would only be a matter of time before that forced compliance quells the freedoms that Americans take for granted... the very freedoms that allow you to speak and write freely, insulting and denigrating others if you choose, with no repercussions beyond a bit of verbal "quid pro quo".

Aside from your apparent myopic view of personal freedom, you also seem to misunderstand the 1st Amendment's guarantee of the free exercise of religion. The exercise of religious beliefs is not limited, as you seem to imply, to the walls of a church building (or temple, synagogue, etc.). Those who leave their religious conscience at the door as the leave are the ones you typically refer to as hypocrites. True religion (although I really don't like the connotations of that word) is something that permeates every aspect of a person's life. "Free exercise" of religion can't be limited to the confines of a church building any more than "free speech" can be limited to specific locations.

The freedoms upon which the USA was founded were never intended to protect people from being offended or disappointed in their lives. Rather, they were (and are) meant to protect the people from an overbearing government (at any level) that wants to force people to do things that are opposed to the dictates of their conscience (moral, ethical, etc.).

In George Will's most recent article on a different subject (I rarely read his stuff, but just happened upon it today), he clarifies the issue well:

"Time was, rights were defensive. They were to prevent government from doing things to you. Today, rights increasingly are offensive weapons wielded to inflict demands on other people, using state power for private gain."

csm said...

Or G, one could look at it like your loss of brain cells due to an all-consuming belief in the ridiculous has caused you to become a bigot.

csm said...

G: "...government has been given legal authority to force its citizens to act in opposition to the dictates of their conscience"

csm: Oh, you mean like when it forced people to hire blacks as equals?

coreydbarbarian said...

so love is only love once you consciously choose to enter into a relationship, and any emotion that precedes is mere attraction?

we have radically different definitions of love, my friend.

csm said...

Here is some news related to the original content of this post:

The Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop will deliver a prayer at the Lincoln Memorial for Sunday's opening day inaugural event.

The Obama folks say that this was "in the works" before the brouhaha over Rick Warren, but???

BAWDYSCOT said...

g,

I agree with much of your last post, the founding documents were intended to restrict the federal government from running roughshod over our civil rights and the 14th Amendment brings the states into line with kind of thinking.

I guess my disagreement with you is in how much importance I hold in government treating everyone exactly like anyone else. You don't seem to hold that if one person has to go in this direction(domestic partnership)and another gets to go in that direction(marriage) to get the same treatment; that this is a big deal. To me a human is a human and our government, in my opinion, shouldn't discern any differences between the two. And anything governments can do to make these experiences the same will be the right way to go.

G said...

coreyd,

"Love" is one of those words in English that is incredibly vague. We use the word for committed relationships, family, to express our tastes in food, music, etc. I was using the word as it relates to the arguments about marriage. In fact, I was trying to avoid using "love" because of its inherent lack of clarity.

But yes, the love I refer to involves commitment to the other person, which is an act of the will. It is not just feelings.

Bawdy,

I understand what you're saying. I have a couple thoughts.

For one, Americans seem to get a bit testy when someone tries to mess with the traditional, accepted definition of marriage. It happened in the past when Mormons wanted polygamy. And the original measure in California was actually a RESPONSE to the push in other states to legalize same-sex marriage. The people didn't want changes in Massachusetts or Hawaii to be imposed upon them. So they passed the measure codifying the definition of marriage that would be recognized in the state. Since this issue is one about which the US Constitution is silent, I assume you would agree that the people of each state have a right to self-determination. If another state chooses to legalize it, so be it.

And a final thing to keep in mind is that this issue is not something govt has chosen to impose upon the people. It is something the PEOPLE have chosen for themselves. And there is a significant difference.

csm,

You keep going back to equating sexual orientation with race. I have given several reasons why they are not equivalent. If you want to make a cogent argument, I'd be happy to respond.

coreydbarbarian said...

well g, i think you're muddying the waters with the "vagueness" of love's meaning. but that's prolly because your argument breaks down at that level.

here's some fun on the issue.

csm said...

Well, I disagree with you, G. I think the two (race, sexual orientation) are very similar. Both are things that people have no choice over. Both are/were discriminated against. Both set people back. Yes, there are some difference, but none that matter when it comes to bigotry and equal rights.

And regarding your "cogent argument" comment, I don't really care if you respond, but I'm always glad when you do.

csm said...

Oh, and re-reading what I just wrote, clarification may be needed re: the "set people back" comment: I meant it in relation to how other people deal with race/sexual orientation (that is, if you are/were not in the majority position, you are/were treated unfairly, and got/get set back).

csm said...

I enjoyed the video Corey.

G said...

coreyd,

I don't mean to cloud things up. But your previous comment was a little confusing for me. Your statement that we appear to have two different understandings of what constitutes "love" gave me the impression that you are saying that a person can't control whom he/she loves (or something along those lines). I hear that point made often, and I disagree with it. If I misunderstood your view, feel free to correct me.

csm,

I understand that you view the gay rights and racial rights issues as mostly equal. I think the differences are significant. I do understand that gays are subject to discrimination and ridicule.

At the same time, gays never had anything like slavery or Jim Crow laws forced upon them. And I believe that things like EEOC law were instituted in an effort to right those reprehensible wrongs.

I think that you will find that society in general does make a distinction between discrimination based on immutable things like race and behaviors. I realize that you believe that sexual orientation IS an immutable trait. But I don't buy that argument. I haven't seen any scientific evidence that is even remotely compelling. And the fact that many people have switched one way or the other indicates to me that it is largely a matter of choice.

I guess the question that comes to my mind with respect to discrimination is, do you believe that redefining marriage to include same-sex couples would have any positive effect in changing people's attitude toward homosexuals? Personally, I don't think it would.

csm said...

Well, G, I think that allowing gays to marry could have a positive effect in changing people's attitude toward homosexuals. Civil rights take time to acquire. Breaking down unnecessary walls that separate us can have the impact of nibbling away at biases... biases that cause the ridicule and scorn heaped upon gays.

coreydbarbarian said...

i DON'T believe we can choose who we do or don't love. we can brainwash ourselves (or reprogram, if you prefer), but that's not healthy.

also, i really didn't mean to say you were intentionally muddying the waters, only that (imo) your misconception of love is screwin' up your perspective, a faulty premise.

and that's about as much sense as i can make tonight. this iceroad trucker gig wears me out.
g'night, all.

G said...

This last post is why I thought it necessary to mention the vagueness of the word "love". When you say that you don't believe we can choose who we do or don't love, what do you mean by "love"? How do you define it?

I think that anything beyond mere attraction is certainly subject to the will. So unless you're equating love with attraction, then I disagree. I don't mean to confuse things. Maybe I'm just confused by your statement.

coreydbarbarian said...

attraction is certainly a component of romantic love (eros), but does not equal love.

love is simply an emotional state - no will involved. do you will yourself to be happy when a baby coos, or when a dog smiles? no. your happiness is an emotional reaction that bubbles up from your subconscious.

similarly, have you ever "willed" yourself NOT to love a family member (admittedly, a philo-type love, not eros, but still a type of love)?

or, sticking strictly to eros, have you ever been in love with someone and they end the relationship? did you just toss your emotional state in the recycle bin, willing it away? more likely, you spent considerable time nursing hurt feelings and coping with disappointment before moving on with your life. and if you're like most of the people i know, you "carried a torch" for the person for the rest of your life.

to summarize: love is an emotion, and emotions "bubble up" from the subconscious. the human will is more of a conscious tool we use to exert some sort of control over our emotional states, as in "i willed myself to calm down after that jerk ran me off the road."

to be frank, if i had to make a conscious choice to love someone, no one would ever get loved by me - too dangerous. i've got family members that i would very much like to abandon, but the "power of love" won't let me. and, without a doubt, there are ladies that i wish i'd never loved, but no amount of will seems to wash my love away.

do i make sense yet?

BAWDYSCOT said...

Yes, corey, you do.

Signed,
Bawdyisabuttsniffer

G said...

Ok. Now I understand where you're coming from. I don't completely agree, but I'm sure you expected that.

My first point of disagreement is that our emotions are totally beyond our control. In my experience, emotions often FOLLOW the will. For example, my wife and I are in the process of trying to adopt a couple kids. At first, we didn't have any emotional attachment to these particular kids. We simply chose them. By an act of the will, we chose to love them (i.e. set our personal best interests aside in favor of theirs). The emotional affections are now there, but they were not the initiating factor.

Likewise, if our emotional responses to things were totally beyond our control, then something like clinical depression would be incurable.

In your summary, I think you actually help make my point. There are people in your family whom you would like to abandon. But you choose to maintain a relationship with them. Isn't that an act of the will rather than being controlled by an emotional response?

Second, all this discussion has been in the context of gay marriage. And I don't believe emotional love is the primary basis for marriage. Sure, many people start out that way, thinking their marriage will be like a Hollywood love story. But the truth is that emotions come and go over the years. Also, there are still many cultures that have things like arranged marriages. So there is clearly something more foundational to marriage than strong feelings.

In any case, even if we accept your premise that our affections are beyond our control, that doesn't necessarily mean that every affection is good. And we still have the power to choose how to RESPOND to those affections.

As an example, a man can develop strong feelings for someone other than his wife. That doesn't mean he has to act on those feelings. He has made a commitment to his wife, so he chooses to deny those feelings and stick with her.

Does that all make sense? I feel like I rambled a bit.

coreydbarbarian said...

we're getting closer to common ground, my friend.

i'll give you a reasoned response when i get off the road 2morrow evening, or possibly sunday morning if the roads are bad 2morrow.

it IS good to be friends with you all. :)

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bawdy, i wouldn't have you any other way!