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Jul 21 2010

Catholics Aren’t Anti-Gay?

We just recieved an e-mail I had to share. It seems that every time we hear from a Christian who wants to help us better understand they’re not as bad as we make them out on the show, I’m left astounded at how blind they are to how horrid or stupid they honestly sound.

Here is the intro:

Hi to whoever reads this. I’ve been watching some of your show for a while now and have noticed a lot of misconceptions held about God and especially religious viewpoints. I understand that many people who call in are well intentioned at explaining the faith, but many are not very equipped or knowledgeable enough to respond to you with answers that are representative of what we believe is the truth about our faith. I, as a Catholic, do not have the authority to speak for anyone else’s viewpoint of a different religion, but I can say that there is certain truths and doctrine that are universally excepted as what we would believe to be truth. Unfortunately many of us have not invested in learning the “why” behind the “what”, and this perhaps inhibits many of us from responding articulately and intelligently to opposing views, and for this I apologize. I would just like to respond very quickly to the view of atheists and even many Christians on the misunderstanding of our view on homosexuality. Because I care so much about it (and them) and have many friends that have same-sex attractions, it is this misunderstanding that bothers me the most. Rather than restate something that I believe can be said more fully and eloquently through the words of the writer of this article, I would like to share with you the real position of the Catholic Church on same-sex attractions. I know you will not agree with much in this article, but my hope for you is that you will understand better our position of love for them as persons. And it is because of this love that we hold the teachings that we do.

I hope you have a nice day!

The intro itself seems mild enough. However, the article provided was atrocious. Due to copyright considerations, I won’t post the entire article that was shared, but I am giving the link. Please read it. You’ll be amazed this is supposed to “clear up” our negative misconceptions of religion as a backward, dehumanizing, irrational belief system:

http://tob.catholicexchange.com/2010/05/17/1959/

It only convinces me further of whatever negative views I held previously about the church’s stance on homosexuals. I don’t believe any further commentary is needed. Once you read it I have confidence you’ll see what I mean.

80 comments

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  1. 1
    Matt D.

    "doctrine that are universally excepted"Probably my favorite typo…and it's so common on this subject that I'm almost always in for a treat.

  2. 2
    Muriel

    Funny, I just had some very similar comments from a Christian in my own blog.He explained to me that the catholic church does not unfairly discriminate against gay people just because it considers their sexuality sinful and will neither condone their marriage nor accept them as priests. He said that this was not unfair because in the eyes of god we all are sinful, so nothing special there, marriage is between a man and a woman, so gay marriage just doesn't make sense, and priests… Well, they have to live in celibate anyway. So you see, everything is just shiny.It wasn't a long discussion, but still quite a frustrating one.

  3. 3
    Ithonicfury

    Mother Teresa objected to the term ‘homosexual’ preferring instead to use the phrase, ‘Friends of Jesus.’Ah, Jesus' special friends, like the 12 sailors he hung around…Suddenly this song seems much more fitting.

  4. 4
    Ithonicfury

    "Scripture states that homosexual unions are sinful. If this is difficult to read or understand, it does not mean that God is unhappy with you, or that you are condemned to living a repressed and lonely life. Living a pure life does not mean you are isolated. Chastity is not a repressive, outdated ideal, but allows a person to love with an undivided heart."So, just because god says your an evil monster doesn't mean that god is unhappy with you. And just because you have to repress who you are and can't be with someone you love doesn't mean your repressed and lonely.Also, maybe my reading comprehension is just failing me cause I'm tired, but to me it doesn't seem like they made any actual points in that article, although its hard to tell in apologist crap.

  5. 5
    Omer

    I had to read that "universally excepted" part couple times until i went… ah not my fault.. they r just dumb.

  6. 6
    Mythnam

    "there is certain truths and doctrine that are universally excepted"That's more than just a typo; that's a case of The Stupid.But yeah, the Catholic position is basically "We love gay people! We just don't want them to do anything that looks or sounds remotely gay!" To which my only response is, "Well, fuck you then. You're not making the rules."

  7. 7
    Michael Nam

    Was a Catholic for too long to buy this horse manure now."God did not design our bodies for promiscuity, whether homosexual or heterosexual. Promiscuity is an empty, vicious cycle." — a) 'God' did not design our bodies 'period'. b) Promiscuity seems pretty prevalent throughout human history, even throughout Medieval "Christendom", so gotta question that statement a little.

  8. 8
    Raymond

    My favourite quote from the article"God invented sex and wants you to think about sex."God – your a mucky pup. Its all your fault

  9. 9
    robert

    Of course, the usual response to the claim about marriage being primarily for procreation is whether they would ban a sterile person from marrying.However, underlying the whole article is the nasty, spiteful inference that a gay couple don't and can't love each other as they're only interested in hedonistic, empty sex. It's why I despise the Catholic Church (and recognise there's no point arguing with them – their infallible interpretation of their infallible book says so which means they can't be wrong)

  10. 10
    BeamStalk

    This made me laugh:But marriage is not a human construction that can be modified and adapted at will. As the Church did not create marriage, nor does it have the authority or power to redefine it.Polygamy is fine, no it's not, yes it is, no it is not. Marrying children is fine, yep fin and dandy, wait not it is not.Plus marriage is older than recorded history, some of the first rules of marriage predate the Bible by centuries. It is part of the code of Hammurabi, which is the basis for the covenant code in the Bible. So much wrong in so little of space.

  11. 11
    JT

    I am unconvinced.

  12. 12
    arensb

    I think that last long paragraph sums it up nicely: buttsecks is nasty (except, presumably, within the sacred confines of marriage), therefore gays are second-class citizens.

  13. 13
    Jeremy S.

    Just stop having sex and pretend you aren't attracted to the same sex and they will accept us completely! Isn't that loving and generous of them? lol.How about they just accept gay people as people that do not believe the same as they do: that gay people are so full of sin it's coming out their ears. I'm pretty sure they think that every other person besides a Catholic is sinful but you don't see them going out and interfering with their lives

  14. 14
    Guillaume

    Well, looking at the Sixtine Chapel the Catholic Church might have once even promoted homosexuality. They were not anti-gay all the time, they certainly paid a number of gay artists to work for them, but try to have them recognise that the pope celebrates mass surrounded by a monument to homoeroticism. And that is the problem: they wouldn't even recognise their lapses of tolerance.

  15. 15
    tracieh

    I just can't believe she can't hear what she sounds like…"No, no. I'm not racist. I just think blacks shouldn't be allowed to marry whites." How do they not HEAR themselves?

  16. 16
    TotallyUnspooled

    Wow. At the risk of (inductive) generalization, Colquhoun's post is illustrative of the kind of convoluted and contradictory reasoning that religious thinking engenders. To wit:"Scripture states that homosexual unions are sinful. If this is difficult to read or understand, it does not mean that God is unhappy with you, or that you are condemned to living a repressed and lonely life."This is patently absurd precisely because it directly contradicts both Catholic teaching and scripture. According to "Catholic Answers" (http://www.catholic.com/library/Homosexuality.asp), homosexual sex is an act of "great depravity." This language is downright tender compared to the scriptural basis the Catholic Church uses to make this analysis, which includes God's obliteration of Sodom and Gomorrah as retribution for "abominable things" and acts of "unnatural lust." Astoundingly, the demand by the men of Sodom that Lot hand over his house guests – angels disguised as men – so that the men of Sodom might "know them" is considered abominable, but Lot's offer to the men of his two virgin daughters as a consolation prize is not. In fact, Lot is praised for his "hospitality," and earns a ticket out of Sodom. So, gay sex? Abominable. Pimping out your virgin daughters to the whole town to protect two strangers? Admirable. Beyond this inscrutable logic, Leviticus stipulates that if a man "lies with a man as one lies with a woman" (among other offenses, including adultery) the penalty is death. The lesser penalty of being "cut off from their people" is also applied to these, as well as a host of other offenses including approaching a woman to have sexual relations during her menstrual period. So, how can Colquhoun (or anyone else) possibly reconcile the notion that "[H]omosexual unions are sinful," but that "it does not mean that God is unhappy with you, or that you are condemned to living a repressed and lonely life" with the threat of being ostracized and/or killed as punishment for that sin? This is just one example of the disconnect between Colquhoun's claims and what the Catholic Church and the Bible both say. To me, the reason religious apologists can construct such absurd and contradictory statements is that religion itself is absurd and contradictory; the mental gymnastics required to reconcile the inconsistencies and contradictions in religious texts and to maintain (and indeed to nourish) a set of such preposterous and irrational beliefs bleeds over into other facets of one's life. Once you can commit yourself not only to belief in a proposition for which there is no evidence, but to the circular reasoning and elaborate justifications required to sustain that belief, manufacturing untenable rationales for more "mundane" assertions is a walk in the park.

  17. 17
    Sean (quantheory)

    What I most despise about propaganda like this is the effect on young gay people and their families when they buy into it. One of the central messages is that what gay people experience is lust and not love (they are incapable of "real" romantic love). This is horribly damaging (and demonstrably false), and it is part of the reason that coming out is such a depressing affair for many people. I personally know a lesbian who is one of the happiest women I've ever met, but she attempted suicide when she was young because she thought that being gay was going to ruin her chance at having a normal life and family.By the way, for a much more skillful and terrible line from the church, look up Marriage: Unique for a Reason, which is an ongoing video series from the Catholic Church attempting to degrade same-sex marriage (by talking about how much better a marriage is when you use it primarily to crank out babies).

  18. 18
    Andy

    The "excepted" is without question the most awesomest typo ever.It's not even a typographical error. It's just plain illiteracy!

  19. 19
    Jeremiah

    Tracie made the analogy with the racist comment and when I read the article that similarity is what first occurred to me. I have known some racist people and they will universally declare that they are not racist and I think they really believe it, but they still have this tendency to make comments that exposes their racist attitudes but they seem completely oblivious to how or why their comments would be taken that way.I see that same thing in this kind of "we don't hate gay people" stuff. They think they are being somehow inclusive or open-minded and are just totally blind to the insults latent in their comments.And the, "they aren't homosexual, they are 'friends of Jesus'" line was solid gold. lol

  20. 20
    shreddakj

    Wow, seriously? Homosexuals are called to chastity? And they think they're not intolerant, bigoted, closed minded homophobes? Yeah right. That whole article reeks of homophobia with a big ribbon tied around it with the words "But we really do love you, we just think you're depraved" written on it.

  21. 21
    Ing

    ""God did not design our bodies for promiscuity, whether homosexual or heterosexual. Promiscuity is an empty, vicious cycle." Any biologist worth their salt is LAUGHING at the idea that humans are not designed for promiscuity. My proportionately large testicles beg to differ.

  22. 22
    Rational Jen

    Wow, where have I heard this line before?“Is there anything that has caused you to turn away from members of the opposite sex?” Childhood upbringing and parental influence are always important.No, nothing caused me to turn away from the opposite sex. And the upbringing that my very heterosexual parents provided did not influence my orientation either. Here's another example of one of the best minds of the 19th century weighing in on what made some of us gay. If only it were still the 19th century, he might have something to contribute…

  23. 23
    ChaosSong

    The really scary part is how the e-mailer views this as a compassionate response to homosexuality.

  24. 24
    maddogdelta

    This isn't directly related, but I think it's applicable to this thread.I found it on the internet, so the quote must be accurate :) But I think it's cute anyway, and if someone has a better source, let me know :)"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit." – Richard Pryor

  25. 25
    ls

    >."No, no. I'm not racist. I just think blacks shouldn't be allowed to marry whites."<Lol, yeah that's was what I loved too…. No, no, no, you don't understand – we're not homophobes. We just think homosexuals are spiritually degenerate half-humans who should be hated and feared by everyone, that's all. No, no, you're misunderstanding us – we're not misogynists, we just hate and fear females and want to control every aspect of their sexual behavior, that's all.No, no, no, we don't hate and fear sex, we just hate and fear sex, that's all… What's wrong with all you people?Lol… I got a kick out of it anyway…LS

  26. 26
    Mike

    Their hang up on anal sex always makes me laugh. I read it and think "And your objection to two women who are attracted to each other and love each other is?.."It just shows that their 'health concerns' are simply a charade to rationalize their prejudicial stance.Also: The Church doesn't hate gays, but they will threaten to stop giving charity to the poor of DC over same sex marriage… Which is a non sequitur so great that even for them it jumps the shark in my opinion.

  27. 27
    Kerri

    If that's not anti-gay, then I must be a man. It's worded all nicey-nicey, but the underlying sword is ready to pounce. Since when is a woman's vagina "adept at repelling disease" or whatever he said like that? There are plenty of diseases gained in that manner by women. And anal sex in and of itself, between whatever partners, doesn't automatically lend itself to disease and death.But one thing that religion is the best at, over anything else, is propagating fear. That is the intent of the above reasoning.Catholics specifically DO hate gays… by telling them they can not be physically close to and unite with another human being, all in the name of God (the being that supposedly created us in love) IS hateful and is designed to isolate and condemn gays. Period. No two ways about it.I've NEVER embraced the "love the sinner, hate the sin" mentality yet that is exactly what my Catholic mother said to me just 2 weeks ago when we discussed this very subject. I don't see a loving relationship, regardless what is done in the bedroom by 2 consenting adults, as a sin, so that phrasing is preposterous to me.

  28. 28
    SaintDL

    "……., and for this I apologize. "Well… It is like saying, there is a universal truth and i accept it and not everyone of us can articulate it well so i apologise for accepting that as the truth.I cannot help but feel some arrogance in this statement. Religion has for 2000 years been unable to be the standard of morality of human beings. Human society give birth to their own morality and it evolves with the changing themes of time and generations. Try as it might, it failed time and again. Also i cannot see why she should apologise for the failure of other people who cannot explain their position well enough.The first few paragraphs of the article sets out to seperate same sex attraction and homosexuality. Because you can be attracted to another human being of the same sex and not have sex with him and be a homosexual. Because homosexuality is a sexual orientation and same sex attraction is not…*Facepalm moment* It clearly sends out a clear message how loathed they are to accept homosexuality for what it is.The middle portion of the article sets out to say homosexuality is only ok if they do not engage in sex. It is ok if they only look to each other with love… and love… but no sex because that will be homosexual orientation… and that sex is a sin… Well… (1) no it isn't. Sex is what gives life. If sex is a sin, following that, all life is a sin and they must go forth and murder and smother any life they encounter.(2)our bodies are designed for promiscuity. go forth and procreate? all that sex and taking of virgins as their wifes? in fact in ancient times, because of the high mortality rate, each family is a clan or House(following ancient greek or roman traditions i think?) and the men's promiscuity is celebrated. because the more women they seed, the more offsprings they have and the stronger the clan or House will become. Even today in the animal kingdom, the success of the male's bloodline will depend on how fast and how much they mate. Promiscuity is nature's way of ensuring that we continue to survive to eventually evolve.That said, i think marriage fidelity is a good idea…unless we can do it like the french does. from what i heard they seem to hold love and sex very differently. a wife can find a mistress for her husband when she's busy but the husband shall not complain when she decides to indulge in a little outside fun. equality at its best.

  29. 29
    Martin

    Just adding my hysterical laughter over the article's dreadful writing to everyone else's: "There has been a very widespread campaign to normalize same sex attraction to pass it off as something normal…"

  30. 30
    March Hare

    "…but many are not very equipped or knowledgeable enough to respond to you with answers that are representative of what we believe is the truth about our faith.""…certain truths and doctrine that are universally excepted as what we would believe to be truth."How perfectly patronising, people are not capable of saying what they believe, but that's ok, he has a link to an article that explains what 'we' (should) believe. Because, you know, as Catholics 'we' all believe the same thing. Like when people criticise the Pope on his stance on contraception they simply do not have the tools to explain what 'we' believe.

  31. 31
    magx01

    Holy shit, the Catholic church has invented time travel. I mean, the grabbed this guy from the 12th century, did they not?Seriously pal, it's 2010, and your statements contradict scientific knowledge. They also lead people to suicide, asshole. MAN this sort of inane, stupid, insidious rhetoric wrapped in pseudo niceities really PISSES me OFF.

  32. 32
    french engineer

    SaintDL said… unless we can do it like the french does. from what i heard they seem to hold love and sex very differently. a wife can find a mistress for her husband when she's busy but the husband shall not complain when she decides to indulge in a little outside fun. equality at its best.Huh, I'm afraid that's a stereotype. We might not vote for people on the basis of what they did with their sexual organs (our opinion, as a people, is that it's none of our business) but in my experience we are not more prone to infidelity than any other nation. Our women are not less jealous, our men not any less possessive.I have seen couples broken by infidelity. It's not pretty.Where does this opinion of France you have come from? I'm really curious.

  33. 33
    Βασίλης Περαντζάκης

    Homosexuality existed and will continue to exist in the future. It is part of the human condition as being left or right handed probably is. Being forced into one or another condition is the problem.I have a few friends of both sexes that are homosexuals. I don't care about that a bit.Some issues however are up for debate and some are not. For example marriage as a religious act should be left to each religion to decide. Civil marriage on the other hand is a matter of the state. The state should have laws that allow same sex marriages that give the same sex couple the same civil rights as heterosexual couples. These I believe are not for debate. They are part of human rights.On the other hand, I think adoption should not be granted to homosexual couples easily unless there is a continuous study on the effects of their "uniqueness" on their child. Now I know this sounds like racism, but I am not concerned with being politically correct. I am only concerned about the children. You can't play with their mental health and growth. Homosexuality does make it harder to adopt but only because we don't know if there is an effect on the child. Unfair? Probably, but who said life is fair?Also, there is no consensus between scientists of the cause of homosexuality. Is it a gene that is active or inactive? Is it a mutation such as having 6 fingers? Is it a mental condition? All of the above? I am not a scientist, so I cannot have my own opinion on this. However I do know that the scientific community does not agree on a cause or an explanation.

  34. 34
    tracieh

    Vassilis:Yes, you do sound like a racist. You might as well say blacks should not be able to adopt until we can prove it doesn't harm children.To strip a person of legal rights we grant to everyone else, we must show some reason why they should be considered less under the law, we don't assume they are less until it's demonstrated otherwise. Show me the harm before I strip anyone of their rights–not the other way around.And for the record, I care about children as much as anyone. I simply can't see the slightest reason to start with an assumption that gay parents would harm a child.

  35. 35
    March Hare

    @Vassilis"The state should have laws that allow same sex marriages that give the same sex couple the same civil rights as heterosexual couples. These I believe are not for debate. They are part of human rights."Then you are wrong.The state should not be involved in marriage at all. Adults should be able to consensually enter into any legal contract they so wish with any other informed adult. That's all marriage should be. Any state benefits provided to married people automatically discriminate against non-married people of every kind. We should not be forced to subsidise married people when we are not willing, or able if you're gay or polygynous/polygamous, to be married ourselves."I think adoption should not be granted to homosexual couples easily unless there is a continuous study on the effects of their "uniqueness" on their child."It's kind of hard to have this study when you won't allow gay couples to adopt. By the same rationale you would remove children from a gay parent? How about we don't ban things that could, potentially be bad and we only ban things that appear obviously harmful or have been proven statistically to be harmful?"However I do know that the scientific community does not agree on a cause or an explanation."Which has what exactly to do with the discussion at hand? However given that homosexuality is prevalent many species in nature it is not likely that it is a mental condition.

  36. 36
    Kazim

    The state should not be involved in marriage at all. Adults should be able to consensually enter into any legal contract they so wish with any other informed adult. *Boggle*If the state isn't involved, then who do you think is recognizing it as a "legal" contract???

  37. 37
    March Hare

    @Kazim: "If the state isn't involved, then who do you think is recognizing it as a "legal" contract???"That's just dumb.Is the state involved when you buy a lawnmower? No. Yet there is a legal contract between the private individual (you) and the private company selling the mower. The state only enforces contracts in the case of disagreement between the parties, otherwise it is not involved.So carry on *Boggling* but at least think about what you write before publishing your comment.

  38. 38
    Kazim

    @Mike: Their hang up on anal sex always makes me laugh.Repeal Of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Paves Way For Gay Sex Right On Battlefield, Opponents Fantasize"We're sending our soldiers out there with a mission, and that mission is to protect this country," said Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), one of many conservative politicians who staunchly oppose the change. "If this is repealed, what's to stop all-night sex romps from breaking out while U.S. servicemen are hiding in a bunker, or crawling around an irrigation ditch bathed only by the light of the moon, or, say, the dozens of other situations I've already thought through in elaborate detail?"

  39. 39
    Ing

    "On the other hand, I think adoption should not be granted to homosexual couples easily unless there is a continuous study on the effects of their "uniqueness" on their child. Now I know this sounds like racism, but I am not concerned with being politically correct. I am only concerned about the children. You can't play with their mental health and growth. Homosexuality does make it harder to adopt but only because we don't know if there is an effect on the child. Unfair? Probably, but who said life is fair?"Good news! We did the studies and it turns out the only problems kids of gay parrents might have is prejudice from people who don't like gays. http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2010-01-21-parentgender21_ST_N.htmhttp://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1907673in fact they may do BETTERhttp://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1994480,00.htmlSince I easily, EASILY, found the research showing gay parents are no worse than straight you either must have some hidden study supporting your view. Or you will naturally do the right thing and recant your mistaken belief.

  40. 40
    AdamTM

    Incidentally, on the last weekend there was the Europride in Warsaw, Poland.This article was the exact same argument the catholic priest used in a "debate" on TV regarding the parade.What was infuriating was that the show host was cutting in whenever the LGBT-Alliance side wanted to say anything or respond to the argument.Media bias is extreme here. Problem is, its not even a bias for an ideology, its a bias for epic drama on television.So the host will sabotage any attempt of conversation and dialogue in favor of shouting, insults and empty phrases.

  41. 41
    Ing

    "Is the state involved when you buy a lawnmower?"Yes, there's a sales tax and in cases of certain large purchases or appliances/equipment a deed of possession. Buying a car transfers the legally recognized document signifying ownership to me. As would a house or piece of construction equipment. Small purchases are just ignored from state control due to simplicity. " No. Yet there is a legal contract between the private individual (you) and the private company selling the mower. The state only enforces contracts in the case of disagreement between the parties, otherwise it is not involved."Yes, that's what the STATE recognizing the contract means. If you write up a contact for me to be your slave and I agree, i can back out and guess what, the state will side with me because the contact is not legally recognized.

  42. 42
    Ing

    "Now I know this sounds like racism, but I am not concerned with being politically correct. I am only concerned about the children. "Good news little orphan Annie! You get to remain unwanted and unloved because Mr. Warbucks is a homosexual and I care so much about you I am fine with being a bigoted jerk to him. Aren't you glad that I, having done no research and jumping to the negative conclusion anyway, care SO much about you?Also, t his really bugs me. No you're comment *IS* politically correct. It has popular support you can say it and get ellected. Being an asshole is not politically incorrect. Saying gay people are second class citizens sadly is not politically incorrect. Standing outside the capital, standing in a bucket of water and waving a giant aluminum pole over your head screaming "ALL GODS ARE LIES" is politically incorrect. You're not politically incorrect, you're an asshole who justifies being an asshole as being principled.

  43. 43
    tracieh

    RE: Lawnmower purchaseHaving been a business owner for some years, I can vouch that the state is involved in every aspect of commerce–at least in the U.S. I couldn't have even sold my services legally without a sales tax ID # from the state of Texas. And I had to report monthly, even if I had no sales for that month (as my business was only a sideline).

  44. 44
    March Hare

    This is getting hideously off topic and missing the point I was trying to make which is that the state should not be involved in offering rewards or punishments for how we elect to organise ourselves.I know they do with punishment taxes on alcohol and tobacco (for our own good?) but they shouldn't. And the way we elect to organise our home lives should not be the business of the government let alone subject to punishment and reward.Two people can live together, have all the legal agreements in place that would be there if they were married but would not receive the same state benefits as a couple who were 'married' even though there is no actual difference.So the state's involvement in subsidising marriage fails on a logical basis and on a fairness one.

  45. 45
    Ing

    The Libertarian class gets a -4 penalty on Knowledge(finances) checks

  46. 46
    Muriel

    Re: LawnmowerFolks, this might be my own problem, but I don't see what you're really arguing about.It seemed to me that March Hare was trying to say that the state should not prescribe a precise concept of marriage but leave people free to organize their love life and their families however they want to.What's wrong with that?

  47. 47
    Βασίλης Περαντζάκης

    traciehI am sorry to say you stopped reading my opinion about gay couple adoption after the first sentence. You cannot take for granted that children will be ok with being adopted by gay couples just because it is a right!!! The gay couple's rights will not protect the children from something you don't know about. I am sure that they wouldn't intentionally hurt them, no more or less than straight couples would if that is what you think I am saying.What I am saying is that we should be careful because of the children. Now if that hurts a few individuals, I am sorry, but the children come first. Otherwise we are ignorant fools who take dogma of human equality for granted. Just like those Christians you talk so much against. I don't know the specifics of adoption laws in your country, but I am sure there are considerations other than the age,health and financial state of prospective parents. Some of those conditions would make a bad candidate, or one who should be checked every now and then. One of those later should be homosexuality. Now if you can show me a scientific consensus to the opposite, I will be glad to agree with you.I am also wondering what is your opinion on other religions. I mean do you know what Muslims do to gay people? At least the Christian church only says they are.. sinners. What do you care since you don't believe in a haven or a hell? Just because they are oppressed by "Christians" (Christians that oppress people are just… bad Christians besides being bad people) in one case or another? Well… boo hoo hoo…. Life isn't fair. I live you with these words of wisdom: People who think they know everything really anger those of us who do know everything.

  48. 48
    Βασίλης Περαντζάκης

    March HareBy civil marriage I mean the state accepted contract. Nothing more and nothing less. So I don't see any difference to what you are saying.On the second point now, not allowing at all, is not the same as allowing very carefully in the beginning, but observing and documenting. I believe I am very clear on that.As for your last point, the human species is so different from other species because we have a mental capacity that can change the instinctual behaviour. Are you saying that homosexuality is not one of those behaviours that can be mentally induced or overcome? Interesting. I would like to see a study on that too.

  49. 49
    tracieh

    Vassilis:>You cannot take for granted that children will be ok with being adopted by gay couples just because it is a right!What do you mean “take for granted”? Where is the evidence of any harm or even the basis for an assumption of harm? What, aside from pure bigotry would make you assume there would be anything about “gay” that could hurt a child? You can’t just make up a concern out of your ass and claim it should be taken as legit without even a reasonable basis for the concern.>What I am saying is that we should be careful because of the children.Careful of WHAT? What exactly do you think “gay” will do to hurt a child? You’ve manufactured a concern out of thin air. How is your “concern” any more legit than a concern that interracial couples could hurt children or white parents adopting black children could cause harm? What is your BASIS for your concern?>People who think they know everything really anger those of us who do know everything.Well, what about people who make things up in the vein of fantasy fears and then expect to be taken seriously?

  50. 50
    tracieh

    Vassilis:Just to sum: No, I wouldn't strip people of their rights based on unfounded bigotted claims of harm that have no basis in fact. If there was ANY legitimate basis for the idiocy that a gay parent would hurt a child, I'd have your back. But just saying you're worried about it, while you can't actually give a decent reason why or any evidence to support that your fantasies of harm have any foundations in reality is ridiculous. I should consider stripping people of their rights because you maintain a fantasy of potential harm?I can't agree.

  51. 51
    Elipson

    The Libertarian class gets a -4 penalty on Knowledge(finances) checksCan I dual class it with the Jester class in order to hide my lack og knowledge? ;)

  52. 52
    March Hare

    Vassilis, you could not be further from my position on the state's involvement in marriage.My point is that it is the state's job to enforce any willingly entered into contract, not to police and limit participants in said contracts.When five people wish to interlink their finances and have equal say in medical treatments should any of them be incapable of saying for themselves (and all the other things spouses get automatically by being married) it is not the state's business to say that only two of them can have that. If two people have been together for a long time and one dies why should the other be denied pension rights etc. simply because they were not 'married' even if they have wills declaring that the pension should go to the other?Even if you agree with civil partnerships you (and this goes for everyone) are still being discriminatory to couples who do not wish to enter that arrangement and singles and people who are polyamorous (who are not allowed to have civil unions let alone be married.)This is what I mean by having the state not involved in marriage. It is not about not enforcing contracts, it is about deciding who is worthy of entering into a contract and rewarding that group when they do. And forcing all other groups to subsidise them.The second point is there is no need to 'carefully monitor' in the beginning unless you have a reason to suspect something may go wrong.cont.

  53. 53
    March Hare

    cont."Are you saying that homosexuality is not one of those behaviours that can be mentally induced or overcome?"No, I am saying that it is irrelevant. If animals are homosexual without such a higher mental function then what justification do you have for even positing that a human might only be gay as a mental problem or inducement. Why would one want to overcome their natural inclination for the same sex when there is no harm in it? Other than to avoid the ridiculous and illogical bigotry faced in daily life.

  54. 54
    tracieh

    >No, I am saying that it is irrelevant.A-freakin'-MEN!!! It's not WRONG or a PROBLEM, so who cares what the cause is? I can't imagine arguing over what causes some people to like brussel sprouts. So what is the issue with "gay"?Additionally, I just keep thinking: If I assert it's detrimental to kids to have parents who are less than 5-feet tall, should we then stop allowing short people to adopt until they prove otherwise?It's painful to me to see a secular person buy into the so-obviously-flawed arguments that religion has propagated that there is actually something to be concerned about with regard to homosexuality.

  55. 55
    Pombolo

    tracieh: It's painful to me to see a secular person buy into the so-obviously-flawed arguments that religion has propagated that there is actually something to be concerned about with regard to homosexuality.A-freakin'-MEN +1 Critical strike X 2 damage!I've noticed the exact same thing amongst those who consider themselves above too sophisticated for religion, yet will happily use the arguments of the religious when they align with their own bigotry/fears/intuition.

  56. 56
    Jeremiah

    Vassillis,You are entirely missing Tracie's point and have what a persons rights are entirely backwards. The point is you don't deny someone a right until you PROVE that there is a valid and good reason to do so. Saying that homosexual parents might have UNKNOWN effects on a child does not constitute proof. Second, as another commenter pointed out, there have been recent studies of the effects of homosexual parenting that have shown no ill effects yet you are simply choosing to ignore them. You are suffering from starting from a conclusion (homosexuals shouldn't be parents) and proceeding backwards trying to find justifications (think of the children). Rational thought goes the other direction, observe the effects then make an evaluation and possible prescriptions.As for Muslims, that is irrelevant. Saying, oh Christians aren't as bad as Muslims on that issue doesn't excuse the behavior. If I break your fingers I can't excuse that away by saying, well at least I didn't cut off your head.

  57. 57
    Seifer Ganon

    @Vassilis:A wise person once said that when you notice that you are digging your own grave, the first step is to stop digging… Oh wait, scratch that. I don't think you've noticed it yet.

  58. 58
    tracieh

    I'm so addicted to Facebook. I keep having the urge to "like" these comments!!!

  59. 59
    Guillaume

    I used to be Catholic, I used to be homophobic, and this explains that quite a lot. It took me a while to get over it, reading The Picture of Dorian Gray and Earthly Powers (its chapter 11 is still one of my favourite bit of literature in all the books I read) contributed to my re-assessing of homosexuality. I don't know if what I am going to say makes sense, but what angers me about the way Catholicism considers the homosexual question is the contempt they show for love. Not only because they say gay love is only lust and sterile, but because they think that chastity or love within the boundaries of the Church is so much better. There is nothing more cold, sterile and downright monstruously against human nature than the "love" preached by the Catholic Church: it asks its adherent to deny their sexual urges to be faithful to an invisible man in the sky or to repress it in the boundaries of a marriage where sex is used solely to make children. And they have the nerve to call THAT love.

  60. 60
    ls

    >On the second point now, not allowing at all, is not the same as allowing very carefully in the beginning, but observing and documenting. I believe I am very clear on that.<What's clear is that you don't understand how civil liberties are assessed and protected in our society, much less have a very good handle on common human decency.In our society, we put the burden of proof squarely on the _bigot_ NOT on the _victim_. We assume the bigot bears the burden of showing that his bigotry is founded on reason and evidence and thus merits a restriction on the civil liberties of others. Until then, no restriction is allowed.We don't define the limits of access to state protection of civil liberties by the bigotry and prejudice of every Tom/Dick/Harry that comes along and starts a shouting match about his homophobia. Instead, we start from the premise that civil liberties apply to _everyone_ _unless/until_ there is presented some compelling reason that those liberties should be withdrawn from or curtailed for some particular person or group.Your conception seems to be the reverse – any bigot can come along and impose his prejudice on anyone he likes in whatever way he likes to start with. Then, only after some demonstration that his bigotry is unfounded will there be a return of civil liberties to the original party.In other words, you want us to take your word on the truth value of your bigotry in the first place; the burden of proof should then go on the _victim_ to show that the bigotry should be rescinded.Sorry, it just doesn't work that way in our society. We treat religion the same way: _everyone_ is free to believe or not believe as they wish _until_ there's some compelling reason to limit those civil liberties.I too am in favor of some kind of preselection process for prospective parents and indeed the attitudes and ideas you've expressed here are at the very top of the list of things I'd want to screen them for. Precisely this type of bigotry is what we _don't_ want being propagated to yet another generation. The mind just boggles at this one!LS

  61. 61
    Βασίλης Περαντζάκης

    March Hare,Civil Marriage is a contract that gives rights to the persons that go in to it. I never said anything different. The state does not "enforce" such a contract. It validates it and provides for the said rights. Tracieh, Jeremiah, that is EXACTLY my point. Children have rights too. And their rigths are more important than the rights of adult people. Simple as that. Do you have proof that there is no harm done to their mental state by being adopted by gay couples? I would be very very glad to hear that. Otherwise…Homosexuality might be a normal state for animals, but humans are not animals. Homosexuality might be a normal human condition but it is not the norm. So, yes, in every other aspect of life, homosexuals should not be treated differently from any other person. And even for adoption, every consideration should be ginen because to dismiss the possibility altogether would be racist, BUT it is not exactly the same as a straight couple. Why? Because as I said, life isn't fair. I prefer to watch out for the rights of the children first. If now there is some scientific evidence… But if there isn't then the rights of the children come FIRST and foremost. In every case.To give you an example, in an ideal world, children wouldn't be harmed by others simply because their parents aren't the norm. However we do not live in an ideal world and such notions only hurt the first ones to try them out if we are not careful. Being careful is the only thing I am talking about. Can't you get that without thinking about Human rights and (admittedly fine and worthy) general ideas

  62. 62
    March Hare

    Vassilis, I have a certain sympathy for the fact that you think people's civil rights should not include their, or other people's, children. You are right on that. However, many parents have been closet gays, many single parents have been gay and many gay couples have children. There is no evidence that I am aware of that a child growing up with one or more gay parents ends up any worse off (with the exception of bigoted kids at school picking on them, but the same could be said of kids with red hair!) so the evidence is there (or rather, isn't), simply remove your prejudiced spectacles and look."Civil Marriage is a contract that gives rights to the persons that go in to it."It gives people in that situation rights that are extra to what every person not in that situation receives. It also provides benefits (less taxes, greater payouts and medical protection) which is the point I have been trying to get across. It shouldn't. It is no business of the government if I choose to marry or not and they have no right to limit which consenting adults are allowed to call themselves married. Civil unions are all well and good until there are more than two people!"Homosexuality might be a normal state for animals, but humans are not animals. Homosexuality might be a normal human condition but it is not the norm."Humans are animals!Left-handedness (sinister people if ever there were any) are not the norm. Should we try to make everyone use their right? Should we ban left-handed people from adoption until they prove to be safe?1 in 10 are left-handed. 1 in 10 are gay. Coincidence? /sarc

  63. 63
    tracieh

    Vassilis:>Do you have proof that there is no harm done to their mental state by being adopted by gay couples? I would be very very glad to hear that. Otherwise…Otherwise WHAT? If I claim people who are left-handed will harm kids if they raise them…you think that’s sufficient to stop left-handed people from adoption? Unfounded accusations are not “reasons” to move forward with treating people differently under the law. The person making the claim must prove the claim: “Gays harm kids.” Nobody should believe an unfounded accusation until it’s been demonstrated. You clearly don’t understand burden of proof. You’re arguing like a theist.>Homosexuality might be a normal state for animals, but humans are not animals.Yes, humans ARE animals. Do you not understand basic biology?>Homosexuality might be a normal human condition but it is not the normIt is normal. It’s uncommon—such as being left handed. Why is that a problem?>So, yes, in every other aspect of life, homosexuals should not be treated differently from any other person.In any aspect of LAW they should be treated equally. We don’t treat people differently under the law for being in a minority. Left-handed, blue-eyed, gay, under 5-feet…it doesn’t matter. We don’t discriminate for irrelevant reasons. Do you think left-handed people are a threat to children?>Why? Because as I said, life isn't fair.Thankfully in the U.S., it is required to be fair in any area under the law. And saying sometimes people are biased and prejudice isn’t any sort of support for claiming it should be endorsed as being so. I can say sometimes people are abused. It surely happens. But I don’t think that’s an argument in support of abusing people.>I prefer to watch out for the rights of the children first.This has NOTHING to do with the safety of children. Please stop pretending that just because no one else on the list is an open bigot that we don’t care if children are harmed. I’m no more harming kids by saying left-handed people should not be discriminated against in adoption courts than gays. You have NO reason to think gay people will be harmful parents. So, saying gays should be treated equally in adoption courts in no way puts kids at risk. The only question is should we prejudicially discriminate against potential adoptive parents for NO reason other than unsupported bigotry. And I would hope the answer would be “no.”>children wouldn't be harmed by others simply because their parents aren't the norm.Now you’re blaming gays for homophobes. Where the homophobe creates the problem, the homophobe should be punished, NOT the victim. Again, it was once the case that interracial couples were treated in a discriminating fashion with regard to adoption—because of racists. True, racists existed and would be rude to kids in interracial homes. But your solution is to punish the couple, not the racists? Educate society not to be assholes—don’t support the assholes.>However we do not live in an ideal worldAgreed. But you would give kids the message that bigotry and prejudice is right. Teaching them that we should bend to the will of racists or homophobes is totally the WRONG message to give to kids.>Being careful is the only thing I am talking about.No, you’re talking about supporting biased, prejudicial, bigoted fear-based irrational social policy.>Can't you get that without thinking about Human rights and (admittedly fine and worthy) general ideasWe had a Civil War in the U.S. After that, we still didn’t “get it.” We then had Civil Rights movements where racists argued exactly as you’re doing now. It was wrong then, it’s wrong now. Asking people to let their rights be UNFAIRLY infringed due to wishing to appease bigots is the WRONG solution.

  64. 64
    ls

    >Do you have proof that there is no harm done to their mental state by being adopted by gay couples? <This question encapsulates exactly the flaw in your entire line of reasoning (AKA the Shifting of the Burden of Proof) – it's based on a completely unfounded presupposition, namely, that gay parenting involves some kind of hazard to the child to begin with. So you're not even asking a coherent question.In fact, were it not the case that your underlying assumptions were simple bigotry your question would be exactly like asking how many angels can dance on the head of a pin or how many bottles would it require to bottle up all the light in your room.We can disregard your question for the same reason we do these others.>Homosexuality might be a normal human condition but it is not the norm….BUT it is not exactly the same as a straight couple.<How do you know these things? By what metrics have you made these determinations? What rigor has your theory here been subjected to? How robust is your result? I think I'll stop reading your comments here because you're already way off in the weeds with a bunch of unsubstantiated claims about gay couples and child rearing.See how it works? Again, we don't just take any Joe Blow's word for it when he starts making a lot of value/moral judgments and claims. We stop there and wait until JB substantiates those claims before we allow any moves to be made against his intended victims.Sorry, but the ball is still in your court.LS

  65. 65
    tracieh

    Vassilis:Also, I neglected to add this:>Do you have proof that there is no harm done to their mental state by being adopted by gay couples? I would be very very glad to hear that.Ing answered this earlier, I assume you missed it:http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2010-01-21-parentgender21_ST_N.htmhttp://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1907673in fact they may do BETTERhttp://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1994480,00.html

  66. 66
    Petr Kudláček

    Vassilis listen to shockofgod and his ridiculous question: "What proof and evidence do you have that atheism is accurate and correct?". That's exactly how you sound.

  67. 67
    Jeremiah

    Um, people are not animals? I sense a chasm growing between our two realities because in mine people are indeed animals.Again, the studies you have asked for showing no harm to the mental state of children has been provided. You just don't seem interested in reading them so I will briefly quote one for you here:"Children raised by same-sex couples appear to do as well as those raised by parents of both sexes, suggests an international research review that challenges the long-ingrained belief that children need male and female parents for healthy adjustment."It's more about the quality of the parenting than the gender of the parents," says Judith Stacey of New York University, co-author of the comprehensive review. It will be published Friday in the Journal of Marriage and Family."Secondly, you keep asking for scientific evidence (which has been provided) but where is your scientific evidence for your blanket assertion that gay parents cause some mental harm? How can you make that claim without any proof? I look forward to you providing the study that shows that kids raised by gay people turn out to be maladjusted sociopaths. You can't say that the rights of those children are being violated unless you can prove that some additional harm is coming to them by virtue of homosexual parents. You make a big deal out of, "oh we got to protect the kids" without ever showing us what the harm is that they need to be protected from. So yeah, children have rights, but you haven't demonstrated that their rights have been compromised in any way by being in a gay household. In the end all you are trying to do is dress up a bias against homosexuals in some faux nobility that you are only looking out for the welfare of the poor undefended kids. It isn't compassion, it is an emotional gimmick.

  68. 68
    durruti

    There are lots of *very* bad parents around straight or otherwise. Any "ill effects of having gay parents" would *certainly* be insignificant compared to statistical noise in parent "quality" in general.The only problem that the kids could have is bigotry by other kids and I really don't think that problems with bigotry will be solved with more bigotry.And anyway, I believe this really is a non-issue in practical terms: if the option is foster care or orphanage(argh!!!) the gay parents would have to be very very nasty for the kid's situation to be any worse – the parents sexual orientation would be totally irrelevant to the nastiness. Continuing on this same line of thought while bigotry is still common, children would be awarded first to "common" couples: gay couples would be chosen to adopt last, until this sort of bigotry is not accepted and therefore even Christians (and other religious people) shouldn't worry too much about this issue.

  69. 69
    Ing

    Can I dual class it with the Jester class in order to hide my lack og knowledge? ;) "Why not, i believe it's what Penn does. *Rim shot*In all seriousness, I joke on him and March I'm that hostile. I just think March picked perhaps a hilariously bad example. Now onto people I DON'T like. "To give you an example, in an ideal world, children wouldn't be harmed by others simply because their parents aren't the norm. However we do not live in an ideal world and such notions only hurt the first ones to try them out if we are not careful. Being careful is the only thing I am talking about. Can't you get that without thinking about Human rights and (admittedly fine and worthy) general ideas"I have a family friend who is close to being like an aunt. She's also a quadriplegic. She has two kids, conceived and raised after she was crippled. You sound a lot like the fuckwits who would take her kids away. My SO was raised by a single mother. You sound like the fuckwits who would have taken her away from a good mother. I think you need to consider and replace gay with "Blind, Handicaped, or crippled" and see if you'd still agree.

  70. 70
    Ing

    "Tracieh, Jeremiah, that is EXACTLY my point. Children have rights too. And their rigths are more important than the rights of adult people. Simple as that. Do you have proof that there is no harm done to their mental state by being adopted by gay couples? I would be very very glad to hear that. Otherwise…"Ok are you blind as well as dumb? It's double posted just a few studies I found using some magic we geeks like to call "google". The fact that I could find the sources and consensus in two seconds shows you don't really CARE about the data. You're a prick and continue to hide your assholeness by pretending not to see the evidence even when its shoved under your nose. Granted I imagine it's hard to see over that shnoz when it's shoved so high in the air. Again let me spell it out for you in bullet points. I'll use small words so you can follow1) You start, by your own admission from Tabula Rosa, blank slate. You know nothing about the subject2) You did NO research. None. Zip3) You conclude that gays have a good chance of being dangerous to kids4) you provide no way that will happen? Lets be honest. You think they'll rape the kids. Don't pretend we all know that bullshit.5) You demand to see the evidence prooving you wrong6) you would use your ignorance as the excuse to take away someone else's rights7) I was going to put "fuck you" here but I promised not to be as big an asshole the last time this topic popped up /huckabeeism8) You claim to have gay friends. I dare you to tell them what you think of them. See how many friends you keep9) You claim to be doing this for the children. Do you really give a shit? Do you volunteer for orphans? Do a big brother program? Work in social services? Seriously? Or is your advocacy of children's limited only to the gay issue?10) Changed my mind, fuck you.continued

  71. 71
    magx01

    Do you have proof that there is no harm done to their mental state by being adopted by gay couples?Fail.Burden shifting. You sound like a theist.

  72. 72
    JT

    Children's rights are more important than adults'?That is so laughably reversed from reality. I would LOVE it if children had first amendment rights. Children then couldn't be forced into a religion by their parents.As an adult, no one can force me into one. The only people who could have the power to do so are restricted by the constitution.Shouldn't children have the right to be free from oppression, have free access to information and public education? Parents have an incredible amount of power of children to effectively ruin their lives – legally.

  73. 73
    March Hare

    @JTI entirely agree about children having fewer rights than adults, and rightly so. Perhaps the point should have been parents (or legal guardians) have fewer rights than the rest of us as they have an added responsibility.

  74. 74
    Ing

    Hey why don't we take away all poor children from their parents and give them to rich parents who can better afford to support them! The children's rights come first and life isn't fair.On a side note, I've found that any time someone says "But life isn't fair" it's often followed by an unspoken "And by damn I'm gonna keep it that way"

  75. 75
    Ing

    MagXo1Careful there, you might get your skeptic card revoked. I know theists who don't sound like him. He sounds not like a theist but like a dogmatic asshole

  76. 76
    magx01

    @ Ing: You're right, that was an unfortunate generalization on my part. Of course I recognize that fact. I was just frustrated, and failed to qualify the statement by prefacing it with the word dogmatic.Who gets to revoke the cards, btw? Is there, like, a governing body? ;)

  77. 77
    Ing

    By his lack of comments I presume that the guy has read the research I found and changed his mind.

  78. 78
    adam

    You know the one thing that always annoys me when the topic of religion/God and homosexuality comes up is this whole BS about sex and marriage being solely for the means of procreation I mean if that’s how they really feel then why is promiscuity bad. Also if sex is only redeemed due to the sole aim of popping out a kid why not remove sex altogether and have couples use artificial insemination to avoid that whole sinful evil sex thing, I wonder how many would go for that and what they would come up with to get out of it?

  79. 79
    magx01

    "By his lack of comments I presume that the guy has read the research I found and changed his mind."Ya, that's the most probable scenario…..*rolls eyes*;)I think we lnow the more likely outcome. "You know the one thing that always annoys me when the topic of religion/God and homosexuality comes up is this whole BS about sex and marriage being solely for the means of procreation."Which is why pope ratface is always speaking out against sterile people marryi- oh, wait..

  80. 80
    Shadeburst

    Tracieh, big pat on the back for your courage in playing the race card against Vassilis. I'm not saying that dirty trick aren't allowed in debate. Usually they're at least half the fun! But when backed up with your act of breathless outrage… I learned some good tactics from you.

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