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Christian Hate wins in Maine…but…

Once again, the fundies have locked and loaded the only weapons they have, hate and fear, and brought them to bear in Maine, where a marriage equality vote went the wrong way yesterday. Naturally, this is disappointing for those of us who support love and families regardless of such details as race, creed, or sexual preference, and oppose ignorant discrimination based on fearing the wrath of an invisible magic man in the sky.

But I see some encouragement here. Note that the hate vote was only 53%. I think only ten years ago it might have been upwards of 70% or even 80%. Opening hearts and minds to accepting that, first, women, and then blacks and other racial minorities, deserved equality under the law took a huge cultural sea change. (And of course I’m talking across a broad base here, not just the issue of marriage. When you get right down to it, movements like women’s suffrage and the right to have birth control, and the rights of African Americans to sit wherever the fuck they pleased on the bus, are essentially the very same fight as the GLBT marriage fight: it’s about equality, period.) It will take an even bigger sea change for our culture at large to begin to accept gay marriage, primarily because, of all the equality fights down the years, this one is tricky because it’s going against centuries of religious programming that gays and lesbians are the vilest kinds of hellbound sinners alive.

Progress is happening faster than you might think. Remember the article from just a few days back, reporting the rise of secularism among New England states, and the frustration of evangelicals in those states. I suspect that it may just take a generational shift to move more people in the mainstream of America towards the side of marriage equality. After all, one huge factor that has been shown to be alienating younger people today from their parents’ traditional Christian faith is this constant hammering of the “Get The Fags!” drum on the part of Christians just about everywhere. As these older generations pass on, and more open-minded young people grow up and adopt tolerant secular attitudes, things will shift.

So yeah, marriage equality fighters, the downside is that I am suggesting it may not be until the ’20s or ’30s before widespread legalization of gay marriage becomes a reality in America. But really, despite yesterday’s election setback — again, by not nearly as large a margin as it could have been — the momentum is with you. For GLBT marriage equality, it’s only a matter of time. It’ll happen. Not this year. But it will.

Comments

  1. says

    I believe that gay marriage will one day be legal in all parts of this country but I agree with Martin in that we won't see that happen for a good 20 plus years.It's still disheartening however to see fear and hate and ignorance have the type of influence it does over people.

  2. says

    so what's the incentive for people like me who want a society that isn't insane to stick around for 20 years instead of jumping ship to Europe where they're more further along and less work is needed?

  3. says

    Why aren't people using the courts to overturn these bans? The equal protection clause of the 14th amendment seems designed to prevent this kind of crap.

  4. says

    Cheer up, Martin, and listen to Bill in Portland Maine:Final numbers are in from [University of Maine]-Orono campus- 81% No, 19% Yes.A 'No' vote was a vote to keep the same-sex marriage law in place. Look at that: 81 percent No, 19 percent Yes. That's the future of gay rights in America. It's coming. It's on our doorstep. It's just a matter of time. All Schubert-Flint and NOM and the Catholic church did last night was kick the can down the road a bit.

  5. says

    Re: Kazim Re: Bill in Portland Maine – And in 20 years those college students and college area-residents WILL have moved up into the 30-40 age range and voting for gay marriage in heavier numbers. The newer generation will be voting 80% or 90% pro-gay rights and the older generation will be voting 50-50. Time is on our side.

  6. DavidCT says

    Damm! I move out of Maine for a couple of months and see what happens. Actually this particular tug of war has been going on for awhile in Maine and I don't expect this vote to be anything like the final word. Looking at the age of the average active Catholic in Maine it won't be 20 years for change to come to stay. I am now strongly in favor of allowing gay marriage. This was not always the case. When I first heard of the issue my first response was "You have got to be kidding". The argument that same sex couples who love each other should be allowed be allowed to marry like heterosexual couples never had that much appeal for me. It did not seem to be enough of a violation of equal rights to justify new laws redefining marriage.I started changing my mind when I realized that a major concern for a gay couple would be health insurance. Of course I thought that all that could be managed by a change in insurance rules or some sort of civil recognition. Still there was no need to redefine marriage. As a moderate Republican one tends to worry a bit about the tendency of equal rights for special groups evolving into special rights. Maybe an unjustified concern, but as you know we are paranoid.The turning point came with learning about the gross inadequacies of available "civil unions". Because of the years of tradition the laws special to marriage have no civil equivalent. To create one is possible at considerable expense to a gay couple, but there is no guarantee that it would hold up in court. Unlike the laws for marriage there is no similar history of court rulings for civil union agreements. I am now convinced that there is a very real problem with equal rights in this issue.I have written about my change of attitude to let readers of this blog know that there are lots of people like myself who could change their minds. Most heterosexuals are not all that interested in gay issues. It's not that they hate or fear gays. If they had a clearer understanding of why marriage is necessary for equal rights before the law many would become supporters. This might include some Christians who believe in fairness.

  7. says

    Verily I say unto theee, before thou votest for gay marriage, imagineth a big bruiser gay showing up at your door with his large dong in one hand and a marriage license in the other!!If you buy that, you might want to imagine a big rock flattening your house if you don't collect all your money together and mail it to me, a.s.a.p!

  8. says

    On a couple of positive notes:Referendum 71 in WA is projected to pass, which upheld the expansion of domestic partnership laws there. The bigots worded this in the opposite fashion to the ME referendum, in hopes that supporters would vote against it by mistake. Thankfully Dan Savage is a local and worked tirelessly to spread the word.And up there also, Susan Hutchison, former board member of the Discovery Institute, and strangely, former financial controller for Charles Simonyi's charitable foundation (who, if you might remember, founded Dawkins' former chair for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford) lost her bid for King County Executive.Good news for WA. Not so great for ME.

  9. says

    DavidCT: Excellent post. It is always good to hear exactly what previous anti-marriage constituents thought about this issue and what changed their mind. One phrase that stuck out was, "As a moderate Republican one tends to worry a bit about the tendency of equal rights for special groups evolving into special rights. Maybe an unjustified concern, but as you know we are paranoid." This mindset, which hopefully you do not hold anymore, is the epitome of selfish, heterocentricism. To think that is it wrong to elevate a group of people or minority to be EQUAL to your own group confers a double-think dissonance that I could never wrap my mind around. Frankly, it is disgusting that anyone could believe my having IDENTICAL rights is conferring a "special status" upon my group. Yes, having black people drink my white water is giving special rights to thirsty African-Americans. It also uses the SAME model of equal rights to confer marriage, adoption, voting, protection upon citizenry regardless of their particular group status. If straight, white men were being denied any civil, there would never be any talk of "special" rights…ever…

  10. says

    infi: "Good news for WA. Not so great for ME."Ugh, can't you be happy for someone else?. Why does it always have to be about YOU?. &#gt/st00pid> =D

  11. says

    Forgive my ignorance on internal US matters, but am I right in thinking that marriage has Federal consequences (healthcare, unemployment etc.) That being the case, how can the Supreme Court rule that marriage laws should be decided at a State level?Incidentally, I am with Jefferson on this, it should be at a state level and the Federal Government should stay out of any local events that do not impinge upon the Constitution. The Federal Government is way too large and breaks the Constitution all the time – but who can stand up to such a monstrosity?

  12. says

    >>Could anyone tell me why if society sees marriage as a Biblical institution that those who "hate" Christian ideals would want to participate in it?>Now if you say so they can have the same benefits i.e.:legal rights to visit in a hospital, or healthcare, or raising children, or etc etc…>Then why not go for those items that you can legally obtain or do.>>>Why do some want marraige if they could care less about marraige itself?

  13. says

    @HareThe problem with the gay marriage mostly is that "Defense of Marriage Act". Basically the US constitution has what is called the Good Faith and Trust clause that means states have to recognize legal status from other states. Basically if you're married in Texas, New Hampshire has to recognize it; same thing with driver's licenses, etc etc. The Orwellian named Defense of Marriage act basically lets states decide to ignore that bit of the constitution when it comes to the gays. Cause you know…special rights and all.So yes Gays are discriminated against as even when it's a states issue, they're the only group who states can decide NOT to recognize as married just for shits and giggles. Straights, interracial marriage, marriage that violates one states age of consent but not another is all protected by the Faith+Trust, but not gay marriage.

  14. Martin says

    dawkwin: >>Could anyone tell me why if society sees marriage as a Biblical institution that those who "hate" Christian ideals would want to participate in it?Society does not see marriage as a "Biblical institution," only some members of society do. And they're ignorant idiots, because people have been getting married for thousands of years before there ever was a Bible, and will still be getting married thousands of years after the Bible is forgotten in the mists of time. Marriage is a personal commitment between people in love. And by making it official, one has benefits under the law, such as the right to make medical and financial decisions, etc. There is simply no justification to discriminate against any consenting adults who wish to make this choice. The only thing keeping gays and lesbians from enjoying the same marriage rights as straights is hatred and bigotry rooted in religious teachings, and there is no place for this sort of thing in a humane, decent society.>>>Why do some want marraige if they could care less about marraige itself?Well, duh, obviously they do care about marriage, otherwise they wouldn't want it as badly as they do.

  15. DavidCT says

    @ Doom03I was a little worried about saying anything about my concerns about equal rights becoming special rights. What I am particularly concerned about is the phenomenon of unexpected consequences of laws that are written when specific groups are enumerated. I resent being called homophobic because I have concerns about legislation having the intended effect especially when it is written with such enumeration. Gay marriage may be a poor example because the problem is more specific. We have had problems with civil rights legislation when Afro-americans are mentioned and Hispanics and Asians are not. This is not just an American problem. Laws written in Western Europe, especially in Germany and the Netherlands, to accommodate the new Muslim immigrants have been discriminatory against the native population. I am skeptical about special purpose legislation designed to promote social justice. I am not against anybody's equal rights. I worry about the way laws actually work and I don't think that makes me narrow minded.

  16. says

    @DavidCTI never said you were narrow-minded or homophobic. In fact, I was only expressing my disgust at the thought process that led to your previous point of view, which you admitted you no longer hold."What I am particularly concerned about is the phenomenon of unexpected consequences of laws that are written when specific groups are enumerated."You seem to be making a slippery slope argument regarding the introduction of legislation to protect groups discriminated against. Of course, everyone should be observant of unintended consequences, but I have not heard any specific examples of any consequence for equal marriage rights."I have concerns about legislation having the intended effect especially when it is written with such enumeration."Again, these abstractions do not point to any effect or negative consequence, and until I hear otherwise, then I will regard it as post-modern gibberish. Please tell me your concerns, your SPECIFIC concerns, about what direct, precise consequences, any, all, that could possibly be the result of the wording of this legislation."We have had problems with civil rights legislation when Afro-americans are mentioned and Hispanics and Asians are not."This is anti-thetical to your thesis, because this implies that there needed to be more robost inclusion in civil rights legislation, not the lack of any legislation in the first place. Expanding marriage rights to gay couples pretty much covers the spectrum of possible permutations in human pairing. Of course, transgendered marriages have been complicating the issue, but only for the anti-marriage side. If gender roles had been eliminated in the first place, which is what this legislation does, there would never have been a problem in the first place for any one couple."Laws written in Western Europe, especially in Germany and the Netherlands, to accommodate the new Muslim immigrants have been discriminatory against the native population."I do not know what you are talking about, because you are being too vague, but would be interested to hear more.In conclusion, for now, Dave, your alias implies you live in Connecticut. Whether or not that may be the case, I too just moved to Connecticut from California. What was the consequence of Prop 8? I was eliminated my right to get married to someone I have been with for 5 years, while any hetero couple could continue to get married the moment they met. If society has a stake in stable relationships and the family unit, then this is the ultimate hypocritical delusion.And now that I live in Connecticut, what is the consequence of gay marriage being legalized here? I get to buy engagement bands with my husband. I get to file for real marriage at the town hall and not feel like I am getting "less than" for signing a domestic partnership or civil union form. I get to plan a wedding that I do not have to call a "commitment ceremony." I get to tell people that I have a husband and not a "partner" and feel like a moron. I get to plan a wedding. I get to send out wedding invitations. I get to join two families in a REAL celebration and not a phony one. I get to go on a real honeymoon and not a glamorized vacation. even thought the federal government will not recognize my marriage right now. It feels great to be able to do things other people can feel great doing. Maybe if you were lucky enough to be part of a stereotyped minority who is lacking the rights of others, you would have the ability to feel the same way as I do right now. But frankly, I just feel sorry you can't. Enjoy your rights.

  17. says

    "Outrageous! Why doesn't the Court just step in and MANDATE gay marriage?!"Well…(1) Such marriage laws as do exist have been, since the founding of the Republic, the responsibility of State governments. Our States are not merely administrative districts of a unitary legal imperium as in, say, Mexico or France. Ours have real legislative power as an essential part of constitutional federalism. (2) Civil marriage is not a "right" along the lines of worship, protest, assembly, privacy, etc. For example, States can and do establish licensing requirements for marriage. Show me your Speaking License, citizen!3) The Supreme Court has for centuries recognized limits to the Full Faith & Credit clause of Article 4.Informally know as the "public policy exception" it reflects the Court's understanding that if left unchecked FF&C could undo any State law at odds with any other State(s).The end result would be the effective disenfranchisement of the target State's entire voting populace, not to mention the inevitable, accelerating "lowest common denominator" leavening that would all but obviate State legislatures themselves. This doesn't mean States can (or should, or do) have legislative carte blanche, but we must recognize…1) States were never intended to be legislative duplicates of each other nor mere appendages of Washington DC.2) Gay marriage prohibitions are NOT in the same legal category as something like the Jim Crow laws of yore.

  18. says

    MARTIN said:"The only thing keeping gays and lesbians from enjoying the same marriage rights as straights is hatred and bigotry rooted in religious teachings, and there is no place for this sort of thing in a humane, decent society.">>No hate in your tone…ironic but too common.Dawkwin asked:>>>Why do some want marraige if they could care less about marraige itself?Martin responsed:"Well, duh, obviously they do care about marriage, otherwise they wouldn't want it as badly as they do.">>You really think it's all about wanting something so steeped in traditional as marraige that they wouldn't want to just do what they want to do regardless of what anyone thinks?>AGAIN…If it's the legal rights part…go after that.>Why do you think they want traditional Judeo-Christian Marraige entrance?>Don't get mad…just think.

  19. says

    Good luck getting those kind of survey results at any campus here in Kansas. Here we have an amendment to our state constitution banning same-sex marriage that was passed by 70% (that's not easy to undo). And while I can imagine that the younger generation is less anti-equality than that, I think it will be a long time (if ever) before this state becomes something other than a bigoted wasteland. In the mean time, I'm here doing my part.

  20. Martin says

    Dawkwin, when I state that anti-gay bigotry is rooted in Christian beliefs, I am simply, coldly and soberly stating a fact. I imagine you think you're being witheringly sarcastic about my tone, but in this case, no, I was just being factual. The fact that all of the anti-gay groups fighting gay marriage at the ballot box are proudly run by conservative Christian activists ought to give you a clue.But maybe you have brought up a valid point. Do I hate that fact that they hate gays so much? Well, maybe I do, sure. So, is it wrong to hate hate? Is it wrong to be bigoted against bigots, to be prejudiced against prejudice? Should I be tolerant of intolerance? Gosh, what a conundrum!The real irony here is that you're taking me to task for claiming that opponents of gay marriage are motivated by their religious beliefs, only to go on to confirm my statement by offering nothing but a single religious objection to gay marriage yourself. And it's "all too common" you haven't noticed the plank in thine own eye here.As for this statement:>>You really think it's all about wanting something so steeped in traditional as marraige that they wouldn't want to just do what they want to do regardless of what anyone thinks?Your muddled syntax makes it hard to understand quite what you're asking, but I suspect you want to know why gays just don't shut up about the whole marriage thing since "traditional"-minded people are made uncomfortable by it, and why don't they just try to pursue winning all the rights and privileges of marriage without bothering with the institution itself?The obvious answer is, since it's apparently okay with you for them to have the rights and privileges, then, as having all of that would make their relationships marriage in every legal sense, why not just let them get married then and simplify the whole process? Missing from any of your comments so far is any explanation of why you think gays and lesbians should not be married. All you've offered so far is this notion that marriage is somehow a "Judeo-Christian" institution, but I have already explained that this is false, and you're flatly ignoring that. Your problem is that if you continue to hang to that false argument against gay marriage, then, if you want to be consistent, you'd have to take the view that any non-"Judeo-Christian" couples should be denied legal marriage too — Buddhists, atheists, Muslims, Wiccans, etc. — and only have to settle for the "legal rights." So why aren't you asking, "Why do you think they want traditional Judeo-Christian Marraige entrance?"Since you aren't asking that, and are apparently opposed to gay marriage alone, then it appears you are the one who hasn't thought his position through. Again, marriage is not exclusively "Judeo-Christian." It is a cultural tradition that, in our own society, has historically been open to people of every class except gays and lesbians. So the current gay marriage fight is all about removing that last bit of pointless inequality from our cultural landscape.The whole fight is simply about equality. Nothing more and nothing less. And if, in addition to all the legal benefits, gays and lesbians want to be able to walk down the aisle, to read their announcements in the paper, to bask in the spectacle of the whole wedding process…then why shouldn't they have those things too, just like everyone else? Who does this hurt? Bigots think it hurts them, sure, but they have never demonstrated that this is really the case. In those states where gay marriage is legal, I don't think you can point to a single example where any traditional straight marriage has been damaged in any way because of it.So do you actually have anything like a compelling argument that gays and lesbians shouldn't be allowed to marry? Again, to fall back on claiming marriage is "Judeo-Christian" won't work for you, as that claim is false. So what else have you got? Come on, think.

  21. says

    Also, Dawkwin, you can't resort to the old "MARRIAGE IS ABOUT CHILDREN" line because plenty of straight people marry who do not want and will not have kids.And some gay people DO have children, either their own or via adoption or foster parenting.So your task is to explain why straights, childless or not, can have legal marriages while gays cannot WITHOUT simply retreating into the Bible.Can you do it? Can you present and defend ONE reason why, as a matter of civil law, human ethics or societal health gay people should not be allowed to marry?

  22. says

    If Dawkwin responds, my prediction will be a literary whose who of circular logic, begging the question, and appeal to consequences and authority.I'm sorry, but I just don't think he has it in him to even try.I should know, because I for some reason HATE the institution of marriage, am an atheist, yet DEMAND my right to get married by a super priest, because I am gay and DO WHAT I WANT.

  23. says

    With Regard to DavidCT's comment:I became convinced of the necessity of gay marriage for the same reasons that he did. Namely, there are a whole collection of legal rights tied up in marriage that cannot be duplicated through civil union or any other means, and it is preverse to deny such rights to people.But my original objection to gay marriage came from not being anti-gay but anti-marriage. It seemed to me that marriage was retrograde interference of the state on individual relationships that had many features to it that assumed a patriarchal past where the wife was treated as a dependent. This makes sense in a situation where a wife is out of the workforce and caring for dependent children, but did not make sense to me where two adults marry, both working and with no children. Thus, my belief was, absent of dependent children, a law to protect able bodied adults in a relationship was unnecessary.Seeing that there are so many other issues involved: inheritance, visitation rights, insurance, pensions, right to be present at particular events, etc. my initial objection was overcome.Given my position, when I hear the opponents say that they want to 'defend marriage' I am mistified. By allowing gays to marry, the institution of marriage is solidified as the defacto (and dejure) standard for legitimizing families. If they want to narrow the definition of marriage, they would force the wholesale overhaul of laws that currently grant privileges to the married in order to not discriminate against families that are not married.In effect, if you oppose gay marriage, you are undermining the importance of marriage.

  24. says

    Well, if it is left up to the state legislatures than yeah, another 10 or 20 years, but never forget that the supreme court can always throw a curveball to the situation. Right now, there are a few cases that may go to the supreme court over gay marriage.

  25. says

    How do we know all these nice openminded kids aren't going to grow up, become more conservative, and turn into the same kind of bigots as their parents?

  26. says

    I wasn't trying to imply that all conservatives were bigots. Just that in order to switch sides on this particular issue, you'd necessarily have to cross from a socially liberal stance to a socially conservative one.

  27. says

    Epe wrote: "I wasn't trying to imply that all conservatives were bigots. Just that in order to switch sides on this particular issue, you'd necessarily have to cross from a socially liberal stance to a socially conservative one."regarding what Epe wrote earlier: "How do we know all these nice openminded kids aren't going to grow up, become more conservative, and turn into the same kind of bigots as their parents?"'Implying,' hardly. You were plainly saying it.

  28. says

    No, actually; the point was that if someone *were* to become bigoted on this issue, they'd have to first become more socially conservative. Not that becoming conservative necessarily means becoming a bigot. If I was not clear on that point, I apologize, but certainly you do not come to that stance on this issue by remaining socially liberal.

  29. says

    Re: GeorgeFromNY and EpeSilence! You are both putting your own foot in your mouths. It is obvious that both of you must define conservative before continuing this back and forth war of attrition. Epe is really saying socially conservative. I do not know what type of conservative George regards himself to be, but I would guess, that he is socially liberal and politically/fiscally conservative. I could be wrong, but obviously this distinction must be made before either castigates or defends conservatism via its relation to bigotry. That being said, I would say that most gay marriage opponents, the so-called "bigots" tend to be socially conservative.

  30. says

    I noticed that and you did the same at the end of your last comment. In that case I would say the burden is not on you if social conservatism is being defended here. Obviously some other posters to this thread could not come up with any defense of denying my right to get married and thus there is no reason to believe that there is anything wrong with gay marriage.

  31. says

    ""Conservative" is not synonymous with "bigot" any more than "liberal" is."I think you're being a bit disingenuous here. yes conservative doesn't technically imply bigotry, but practically in US politics it does. The Republican party gets this reputation for a) being very unified and homologous fighting as one unit and b) being the party Strum Thurman and his cheer leaders (such as Joe "YOU LIE" Wilson) belong to. I couldn't BE a republican because I cannot tolerate association with a party that would allow people like that as members. I don't think you or a lot of conservatives are necessarily bigoted, but I think you have a problem that a lot of bigots use the label of conservative as cover.

  32. says

    Doom03 said… ""If Dawkwin responds, my prediction will be a literary whose who of circular logic, begging the question, and appeal to consequences and authority.I'm sorry, but I just don't think he has it in him to even try.I should know, because I for some reason HATE the institution of marriage, am an atheist, yet DEMAND my right to get married by a super priest, because I am gay and DO WHAT I WANT."">>Why would I need circular reasoning?>You are going to do what you want either way.>k>God doesn't demand that you not be gay.>He demands that you be perfect morally.>thanks

  33. says

    God demands we be perfect morally, yet he created us as imperfect beings. He may as well have created a circle and demand it have four corners. That being aside from the fact that the Babble does a piss-poor job of defining perfect morality. God is so silly.

  34. says

    Dawkwin says:God doesn't demand that you not be gay.He demands that you be perfect morally.thanksNeat! So what does that have to do with being gay?

  35. says

    @Doomo3"Expanding marriage rights to gay couples pretty much covers the spectrum of possible permutations in human pairing."Hmmm…. no it doesn't. It misses out brothers and sisters who wish to get married. Oh wait, you can't allow that as there may be birth defects, well how about brothers and brothers. It also misses out groups of consenting adults who with to live together in groups larger than a pair and wish access to legal and medical decisions with regards to their spouse(s) and children.Just because the gay marriage battle is just do not consider it the end of the road when it is won. Otherwise you end up like the (minority of) people who fought for inter-racial marriages then where aghast at gay marriage.Dawkwins: The Bible also states that it is an abomination to eat shellfish – go protest a Red Lobster, or to wear clothes made from mixed fibres, or to mark the skin with a tattoo – go protest tattoo parlours.

  36. says

    kopd said… God is so silly.>>k–so you believe in a silly god. Kazim said… "Neat! So what does that have to do with being gay?" >>Biblical Morality? >for as many Atheists that I speak with to claim intelligence you are showing some mighty fine ignorance of the Word of God.>If you don't get it…just say so.>No insult intended to yo. March Hare said… Dawkwins: The Bible also states that it is an abomination to eat shellfish – >and?>love shellfish…either way people do and can get ill from many of these Levitical laws.>If you don't eat shellfish great, if you do great. We are told not to dispute with those who eat some food or abstain from other food.>eat any Ostrich or Osprey lately?>thanks

  37. says

    Dawkwin, I assume you are choosing Leviticus to denounce gay acts, I am simply pointing out that there are plenty of 'rules' in Leviticus that you happilly ignore, such as the shellfish example you admitted to, others:If a man lies with a woman during her sickness and uncovers her nakedness, he has discovered her flow, and she has uncovered the flow of her blood. Both of them shall be cut off from her people.Should a couple really be cut off from their people for the 'sin' of having sex while she's on her period?Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.Are hairstyles are really that important?…do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. Do not wear material woven of two kinds of materialYou are choosing to take a moral ruling from the book of Leviticus that severely impacts up to 10% of the population while harming NO-ONE and not checking on anyone else who may be breaking any of the outdated laws in this book?What is your justification for this that does not resort to simple anti-gay discrimination? Even if I grant you your religous morality, it is still nothing to do with you what two consenting adults wish to do, and since you are ignoring the other rulings in Leviticus you cannot be viewed as anthing other than a hypocite.

  38. says

    "Neat! So what does that have to do with being gay?"Biblical Morality?I know the Bible says that. But what does the Bible have to do with morality?From your other response to March Hare:If you don't eat shellfish great, if you do great. We are told not to dispute with those who eat some food or abstain from other food.So obviously you feel free to ignore what the Bible says is an abomination at your convenience, which means the Bible is not really responsible for your perception of morality. So again, what does being gay have to do with it? Can you explain what it has to do with morality, since your claim that it's because of the Bible was plainly a lie?for as many Atheists that I speak with to claim intelligence you are showing some mighty fine ignorance of the Word of God.Well, that's because there is most likely no God.If you don't get it…just say so.You got me. I don't get it, since most of what you say sounds like fatuous nonsense.No insult intended to yo.Oh, likewise, I'm sure.

  39. says

    "What is your justification for this that does not resort to simple anti-gay discrimination? Even if I grant you your religous morality, it is still nothing to do with you what two consenting adults wish to do, and since you are ignoring the other rulings in Leviticus you cannot be viewed as anthing other than a hypocite.">You know what…you are just as correct as all get out.>Anyone who believes that the Word of God is just a hypocrite even if the food restrictions have been Biblically released based on the New Testament/Covenant.>I haven't found the let adultery and fornication abound verse.>If you are anti or NON God anyway, then don't let my words get you agitated.“It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” Mark 10:5-9>didn't find man joined to man or woman joined to woman or for that matter 3 men joined to 2 women or a woman joined to a cat.>But I know it's kind of like you quoting Tony the Tiger.>but since you seem to be intrenched in a book (partially) that you seem not to believe in, then keep up the good work.

  40. says

    Okay dawkwin, the Sabbath rule was never revoked in the New Testament, so do you wish to invoke the death penalty for anyone who breaks that commandment? Do you lobby your confressman to repeal laws that allow people to work on the Sabbath?And if you're going to take the Commandments seriously, should you not be lobbying for a ban on all non_Christian, or at least non_Abrahimic religions?But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female. Okay, we can stop right there. Anyone who literally believes in Adam and Eve is plainly blind to all evidence and will choose their strange interpretation of the Holy Book over any argument.

  41. says

    @MarchHare"@Doomo3"Expanding marriage rights to gay couples pretty much covers the spectrum of possible permutations in human pairing."""Hmmm…. no it doesn't. It misses out brothers and sisters who wish to get married. Oh wait, you can't allow that as there may be birth defects, well how about brothers and brothers."Do not assume arguments I never made. Siblings getting married is still a pairing and until I say "any couples except disgusting blood-related couples getting married should be legal," there is no sense in bringing that up. As far as my life is concerned, I do not care."It also misses out groups of consenting adults who with to live together in groups larger than a pair and wish access to legal and medical decisions with regards to their spouse(s) and children. Just because the gay marriage battle is just do not consider it the end of the road when it is won. Otherwise you end up like the (minority of) people who fought for inter-racial marriages then where aghast at gay marriage."Do not assume arguments I never made. I chose my words specifically to indicate pairings only, because in as far as the gay marriage question goes, that is what it is dealing with, removing the gender restrictions for when two people want to get married.That is a much bigger hump to get over than polygamous marriages. The support for one is not mutually exclusive for the support for the other. Much like interracial marriage, it is dealing with a different aspect of marriage laws, notably one adjective in each permutation.

  42. says

    @dawkwin"You are going to do what you want either way."Stop being an idiot.Then why are YOU continuing to post to this board?Seriously, you can make the dumb argument that atheists shouldn't get worked up if we don't believe in a god (there is no such thing as an anti-God atheist, to claim there could be shows how much of an idiot you are), but you are the one continually posting on an atheist message board.Maybe if you actually read our responses, you would see that none of us are getting worked up over what your non-existent god said. If we get worked up over a Bible passage, it is because maybe some people get upset when people believe nonsense for the wrong reasons.Are you telling me that if, when you were a little idiot, someone accused your mother of being a witch, and every day in the village people would spit at her, and curse at her, and then at night would throw eggs and shit at your house, your whole family would sit inside and smile, knowing that god was on your side? Bullshit. You would get upset. You would get angry that people thought something of your family that was not true and try to defend yourself, like what we are doing from egg-throwers like you.Meta-commentary: I know you will not reply to any substance of this post. Much like my prediction that every response of yours would be an argumentative fallacy (which you might want to look up), you simply reply in idiotic quips like, "Derr! All I am saying is don't be a sinner! Derr!" or "Just trust in God! He knows the way!"Don't try to tell me that if a Muslim or Buddhist spoke religiously to you as you do to us, such as "Follow the True Word of Allah and the Koran" or "You must end the cycle of death and rebirth and achieve nirvana," that any of these words would spur you, in yourself, to true action. They are as meaningless to you as your words are to us. If you say otherwise, I will know you are an idiot AND a liar.I await your generic response.Love,Doom03

  43. says

    March Hare said… "Okay dawkwin, the Sabbath rule was never revoked in the New Testament, so do you wish to invoke the death penalty for anyone who breaks that commandment? Do you lobby your confressman to repeal laws that allow people to work on the Sabbath?And if you're going to take the Commandments seriously, should you not be lobbying for a ban on all non_Christian, or at least non_Abrahimic religions?But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female. Okay, we can stop right there. Anyone who literally believes in Adam and Eve is plainly blind to all evidence and will choose their strange interpretation of the Holy Book over any argument.">So I should believe everything from nothing…ok not nothing but certainly not anything that we could specifically know.>But scientifically I should trust the missing beginning…the missing links…and the missing purpose.>No thanks, I already have a faith.

  44. says

    I have no clue what Dawkins is saying. His sentences are too fragmented for me to read and the annoying tendency to post things>>like this>>>> or this>>makes it>>hard to get>>what he's trying to say.Seriously, though. Science is a faith because it disagrees with you. Honestly, whatever. The opposite of faith is not also faith, it's observation. Faith==believing in spite of evidence or lack of evidence so the opposite of it would be believing only because of evidence. That hard to get?Anyway if you're arguing the bible morality allows for shellfish etc because Jesus removed dietary laws (according to one interpretation of a verse), how is your morality absolute. God made the laws and then Jesus who is god unmade them. That's not absolute…that's arbitrary.

  45. says

    @Doomo3Apologies for implying that you held any views about incestuous couples, you have said nothing about them and it was simply my intention to preempt most people's rationalisation of their initial disgust reaction.However, when the battle for equality for gay people in marriage (a ludicrous concept) is finally won, as it surely must be, there will still be very small minority sections of society irrationally and immorally barred from it.@Dawkwins, you are bringing a knife to a gun fight here. Believe in a deity so you can get over your something from nothing problem if you wish, but don't think He wrote a book 2000-odd years ago that is the greatest morality tale ever written. Don't think that because you cannot use reason to form your own morality that you have the right to enforce yours onto everyone else when it doesn't affect you. You ignore DNA evidence that proves it is impossible for us to have come from two individuals. The DNA evidence that proves our close relationship with the animals we see around us. The fossils that show us creatures changing over time.You really should try to use the 'god-given' intelligence you have to think critically. There are (weak) arguments for Christianity and a theistic God but you quite obviously do not understand them.As a final query, do you know how the Bible was put together? When most people find this out they get angry or doubt the Bible just that little bit, so here's a link for you:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_NicaeaHave a look and let me know if you think the inerrant word of god really came from a political gathering with untold compromises… If you can understand what went on and still believe in the Trinity etc. then you have insight that must truly be inspired by the holy spirit (or some form of spirit).

  46. says

    Doom03see previous comment…"I know you will not reply to any substance of this post.">>You believe that the majority is correct, as long as it fits your belief, wants, desires.>>whether the vote by America remains true to God's morality or not doesn't change God's morality…just America's.>In other words: You hate the outcome of the recent Maine vote.>So you don't believe in the democratic system…until it goes your way.>Thank you for letting us know who we need to speak with.>You are correct.>Government run schools have definitely contributed to the Hate Speech against the Truth of God's Word and the forced belief in Evolutionary (Macro)Mythology.

  47. says

    Dawkwin: "Government run schools have definitely contributed to the Hate Speech against the Truth of God's Word and the forced belief in Evolutionary (Macro)Mythology."How nice that your little group of Christians knows better than the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church and every major church in Europe AND every reputable biologist about the falsity of evolution.Are there other scientific facts you'd like to share with us, maybe that light comes in discrete packets of energy, or maybe it doesn't, let's check the magic book to find out.Can you maybe tell us the reason we are not to plant two crops in the same field, despite modern farming methods proving that, for certain crops, it increases yields; or why we shouldn't wear clothes woven from two different fibres.And, why doesn't your magic book of answers tell you why certain things should be done, or not, simply that they should? When we tell a child not to go near a fire we don't simply say "because I say so", we explain that the fire is hot and they will be hurt. Where is that explanation in the Bible?

  48. says

    @dawkin"I am dawkin and I cannot respond to anything anyone posts about"In conclusion, hahahahahahaha!Congratulations, you no longer exist, because responding to you elicits no results. In fact, I no longer believe you are really truthful in your claims or your beliefs. If you really believe in god and the bible, you are the laziest proselytizer I have ever encountered. You are pathetic; a sufficiently advanced form of technology could give me better reason to believe than you.I will no longer acknowledge anything you say and I encourage others on this board to follow suit. Your words are meaningless here. This is not blind faith to science, but disappointment in your ability to engage in the simplest form of dialogue.I no longer feel sorry for you and you have given me even more reason to not believe in a god, which makes me all the more content and happy with my life.Goodbye and enjoy your loneliness.

  49. says

    "When we tell a child not to go near a fire we don't simply say "because I say so", we explain that the fire is hot and they will be hurt. Where is that explanation in the Bible?">At a certain age you do.>Do you explain to a 2 year old why they shouldn't climb a book shelf?>No, you must take the authority first, then when they are ready and able to understand, then information detail helps.>When God gave His commands He had His reasons.>If I don't know them all then I may have to wait: kind of like the end of a Scooby-Doo episode.>No harm no foul.>How are things in the UK?

  50. says

    Gentle Jesus, Meek and Mild? It is an apologist canard that Jesus and the NT Gospels somehow "reset" the Covenant between humanity and JHVH and obviate the Leviticus/Mosaic laws.However, in the NT……Matthew 5:17-19 has Jesus explicitly state that he has NOT come to abolish those laws. They are eternal. They do not change….Luke 16:17 restates this; the laws are as fixed as Heaven itself…. 2 Timothy 3:16 declares that all scripture is valid and useful and correct. That would include the laws…. 2 Peter 20-21 makes it clear that scriptures cannot be subject to personal interpretation. They mean what they say. So "kill kids who sass Mom and Dad" means… KILL. RUDE. CHILDREN.(Since this describes pretty much every child who has ever walked the earth, enforcement of this law means the end of the human race.)If anything, Jesus was even more totalitarian and savage than his prophetic forebears when it came to human frailty. You weren't even safe from him in your own mind.Go read Matthew 5:27. So Moses would cut your throat for sleeping with another man's wife? Jesus would have you burn eternally in Hell for even THINKING about it. Orwell called this "Thought Crime."Big Jesus Is Watching You.

  51. says

    You know what…you are just as correct as all get out.Good insight, Dawk! Glad to see you coming around.Anyone who believes that the Word of God is just a hypocrite even if the food restrictions have been Biblically released based on the New Testament/Covenant.Chapter and verse, please. I'd like to see a specific passage saying that your god rescinded the commandment saying that shellfish is an abomination, which doesn't also affect the part in the very same passage that mentioned homosexuality.Because if you don't have such a thing, and yet you continue to eat shellfish, I would think one of two things must be true. Either you are playing with fire, and counting on the fact that your guesses about morality are correct, risking hellfire in the process; or else you don't really take the Bible's moral commands as seriously as you claim you do.I haven't found the let adultery and fornication abound verse.Yes, but I think the question at hand is, who really gives a rat's ass about what the Bible says? It certainly seems to me that you don't.If you are anti or NON God anyway, then don't let my words get you agitated.Just because you are acting like a whiny troll and I am responding to you does not make me agitated. It so happens that I find this fun.didn't find man joined to man or woman joined to woman or for that matter 3 men joined to 2 women or a woman joined to a cat.But I know it's kind of like you quoting Tony the Tiger.Actually, you pretty much nailed it with that comment. Quoting God, as far as I'm concerned, is just quoting a fictional character. The character's opinions about morality are interesting, to be sure, just as an Ayn Rand character or Captain Kirk (see "Star Trek Rule") is worth listening to for curiosity's sake. Just not granted any special status, and anyone can agree or disagree with the character's opinions depending on how persuasive they are when they justify them.But we were talking about where you get your opinions about morality, since you feel like it is so important for us to hear. Again, it obviously has nothing to do with the Bible, whose rules you feel free to accept or ignore at your convenience.but since you seem to be intrenched in a book (partially) that you seem not to believe in, then keep up the good work.You are silly. You showed up and started talking about "Biblical morality." The only reason I wouldn't be talking about the Bible right now is if I decided to ignore you. Is that your preference?

  52. says

    Kazim said:Chapter and verse, please. I'd like to see a specific passage saying that your god rescinded the commandment saying that shellfish is an abomination, which doesn't also affect the part in the very same passage that mentioned homosexuality.(In a later statement of the same comment you reversed.)Actually, you pretty much nailed it with that comment. Quoting God, as far as I'm concerned, is just quoting a fictional character.>But you were curious enought to ask.Romans 141Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters.One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written:“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,‘every knee will bow before me;every tongue will confess to God.’” So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way. As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no foodb is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died. Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall. So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

  53. says

    >>If you just ran by without reading this…not part…all…carefully then if you care to respond great…if not.>>Why won't you read something with the care you would a Star Trek manual?>>I hated and/or didn't believe God existed for many years also.>>So the sarcasm is something I am very familiar.>I am not against gays, homophobics (people who think they can catch gayness like it's transferble like bacteria or DNA),atheists or religious zealots.>I am not against murderers, adulterers, liars, thieves.>On the contrary.>We have all sinned and deserve justice just like the one who plowed into the World Trade Center buildings in 2001.>But God's Mercy is through His Son Jesus Christ and IF we are repulsed by the sin that God already sees as deserving of condemnation and turn from it as He does; THEN we can trust that what Yeshua did for us by paying our fine in His Life's blood then we can be saved from what we deserve and have this eternal life that I pray at least someone who reads this will find.John 3:17"For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world MIGHT be saved through Him.

  54. Martin says

    Dawkwin: Government run schools have definitely contributed to the Hate Speech against the Truth of God's Word and the forced belief in Evolutionary (Macro)Mythology.Schools teach evolution because it is a verifiable (and verified) scientific fact. What you call "God's Word" is merely one set of religious beliefs among many, and, like all the others, without a shred of scientific evidence to support it. I suppose you could, if you really stretched the definition to its breaking point, call proper education "hate speech" against your cherished Bronze Age myths, but it would only be in the same way that education as a process "hates" ignorance in general, and seeks to rectify it by informing people of facts.Anyway, as you demonstrate yourself, education is a thing certain folks gleefully choose to ignore. Now you just need to understand that, if you choose to ignore education, you've given up the right to declare to educated people that your uneducated blatherings are more factual than their knowledge.God doesn't demand that you not be gay.He demands that you be perfect morally.Please clarify: do you believe salvation is by faith or by works?

  55. says

    Dawkwin,Kazim said: Chapter and verse, please. I'd like to see a specific passage saying that your god rescinded the commandment saying that shellfish is an abomination, which doesn't also affect the part in the very same passage that mentioned homosexuality. (In a later statement of the same comment you reversed.) Actually, you pretty much nailed it with that comment. Quoting God, as far as I'm concerned, is just quoting a fictional character.You appear to be claiming a contradiction between these two statements for some reason, but I don't see what you think it is. Asking what a fictional character said in the source material does not make it non-fiction.Romans 141Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters.Stop.If you're going to treat this passage as negating the injunction against eating shellfish, then clearly this also lifts the ban against homosexuality. You want to pretend that the chapter has to do only with the food you eat, but it describes a multitude of behaviors, leading up to the verse that says: "Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another." Since that's the case, why are you still so neurotic about homosexuality? And if you think that the ban on homosexuality is still in effect, why are you playing games with your eternal soul — again, only according to your beliefs, not mine — on the very risky proposition that God no longer disapproves of that other "abomination," shellfish?Why won't you read something with the care you would a Star Trek manual?I've never read a Star Trek manual. How carefully do you read them?I hated and/or didn't believe God existed for many years also.So the sarcasm is something I am very familiar.Which was it? Did you hate God, or not believe in one? You're speaking as if the two are synonymous, which makes no sense. Do you hate Darth Vader? And why do you pretend that you have experience with my opinions, if you can't even grasp this simple point?I am not against gays, homophobics (people who think they can catch gayness like it's transferble like bacteria or DNA),atheists or religious zealots.Sweet! Then I guess you won't be bothered if gay marriage is approved. After all, it used to be a crime against God but, like shellfish, Jesus changed all that.See, we can work out our differences.But God's Mercy is through His Son Jesus Christ and IF we are repulsed by the sin that God already sees as deserving of condemnation and turn from it as He does; THEN we can trust that what Yeshua did for us by paying our fine in His Life's blood then we can be saved from what we deserve and have this eternal life that I pray at least someone who reads this will find.John 3:17"For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world MIGHT be saved through Him.Yes yes, that's all very interesting, but you haven't successfully made a case that any of this is non-fiction. For someone who claims to have been an atheist, you certainly lack a basic understanding of what kind of evidence would be persuasive to somebody.

  56. says

    <– Maine Voter. Voted no. Surprised. Disappointed.I do find our society polarization interesting, though. We think so fundamentally different.I would ask, "Why would issues, such as tradition, 'sanctity' or dictionary definition have any relevance in granting a basic civil right that shouldn't even have been an issue to begin with?".They ask, "Why would we discard tradition, the sanctity of marriage, or modify dictionary definitions, merely to allow a few people from doing something they shouldn't be doing to begin with?".Debate is okay, and good. Stupid argument points aren't. I'm still waiting for any objective argument against it. Even if we "Teach 2nd graders homosexual marriage" – so what?I just can't fathom it.

  57. says

    ":I've never read a Star Trek manual. How carefully do you read them?"You haven't? I still have the manual to my old Toshiba Startrek. I can't get the warp driver to work though and tech support is no good even though they tell me they're giving it all they got.

  58. says

    I'll add that stuff like Star Trek might be better literary wise than the bible.a) it either has one author or is in a short amount time wise that the collaborators get a sense of consistency, rather than the anthology of books the bible does a half ass job editing into a 'narrative'b) it's claims philosophically/ethically are closer to our time and thus are more relevantc) they may have robots, pirates, and/or better sex scenes.d) Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Sammuel Motherfucker L Jackson, Sean Conory and Patrick Stewart, and other greats show up very few times in the bible. In a book that claims to record the works of prophets this is a very drastic oversight. e) Access and use of an editor through the publishing agent in most cases.d)Save for Tolkien most lack long chapters of nothing but boring genealogies

  59. says

    Fortunately, I live in a country where gay marriage per Janyary 1 this year is legal. Furthermore, I am of the opinion that this isn't something that should have to be up for a vote; human rights never should. I'm not naive enough to think that the issue won't be put to a vote, however. Conservatives are calling for the same even here.

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