View Poll Results: Do you support Gay Marriage?

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  • Yes

    108 92.31%
  • No

    5 4.27%
  • Don't care

    4 3.42%
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Thread: Gay Marriage - Yes or No?

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by HisMRS View Post
    ^^ Very well said. A little girl down the street from us actually told my daughter one day "It's against the law for a black man to marry a white woman, because that's what the Bible says". This kid's parents are filling her full of all kinds of rediculous ideas and conceptions because of their "faith" and beliefs. When this girl told my daughter that, I told her "No, that's not true, and just because your mommy and daddy believe it doesn't mean you have to." I got a nice little visit from her mom shortly afterwards, and I told her I didn't want my daughter playing with her daughter until she could stop trying to impose their rediculous beliefs on her. My sister has two children whose fathers are black (we are white), so when this kid told my daughter that she got SO upset and thought her aunt Cassie was gonna go to jail. WTF.
    Yes, WTF.

    But it could have been worse: your daughter probably would have been even more upset if she'd thought her aunt Cassie was gonna go to Hell.

    Or worse even in the past: interracial marriages were actually illegal in the US, the ban was defended on religious grounds, and people could have gone to jail for that.

    To be clear, the vast majority of Christians today do accept interracial marriage, and oppose slavery. But they still support banning, say, abortion, same-gender marriage and sometimes even divorce (i.e., remarry after a divorce), on religious grounds.

    Things are even worse under Islam, in general (as bad as they were long ago under Christianity).

    But my point is more general, against the idea that religion-based political or moral stances shouldn't be criticized, or that faith is a reasonable basis for banning people from acting in one way or another.

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    Scooby Gang BloodyHell's Avatar
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    I think it is fine to critique any viewpoint...including mine. Some viewpoints - especially ones stemming from faith - are not going to make sense unless you share that faith and are looking through those "glasses."

    Also, it is an unfortunate reality that even people who say that they disagree with ________ based on relgious grounds are sometimes going to insert their own prejudices/fears/opinions into a Bible/Koran/Holy book shaped box. So don't assumed that because someone disagrees with something means that REALLY they just don't like it and are hiding behind their religion. There are so many times that I am really disgusted with the misleading image of Christianity that so-called "Christians" are projecting!! From my perspective, I'm familiar with my Bible, so I can instantly spot when someone is just making crap up as they go along. But non-Christians can't, obviously. So they are going to hear "Christians believe interracial marriages are wrong." WHAT?! I mean, are they referring to Jews and Gentiles in the Old Testament?! Otherwise, I have no idea where they made that stuff up, but I can guarantee you it isn't Biblical.

    I got kind of rambly there. My basic point is just that I don't expect you all to go "Oh, I respect your opinion because that is your faith." You don't have to respect my opinion, agree with my opinion, or agree/respect my faith. But it is nice to respect each of our right to an opinion, and the right for it to be very different from your own. Critique is vastly different, IMO, from rude, disrespectful flaming(which so far, I don't think we've come anywhere near on here!)

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    Also, it is an unfortunate reality that even people who say that they disagree with ________ based on relgious grounds are sometimes going to insert their own prejudices/fears/opinions into a Bible/Koran/Holy book shaped box.
    Sure, and the Bible/Quran/whatever may well also inform their prejudices.

    In fact, today's Christianity seems to be, for the most part, less damaging than Christianity used to be, simply because people tend to read some of the worst parts of the Bible through the lenses of a more humane cultural background, thus reducing (though not eliminating) the damage caused by their faith in the Bible. Islam today seems to be worse than Christianity, whereas Judaism is less bad.

    But as an example of what I'm saying, today's Jews do not follow biblical laws such as the following:


    Source: New American Bible. (it's a Catholic Bible, but one can find similar passages in other versions).

    Quote Originally Posted by Leviticus 20

    9

    Anyone who curses his father or mother shall be put to death; since he has cursed his father or mother, he has forfeited his life.

    10

    If a man commits adultery with his neighbor's wife, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death.

    11

    If a man disgraces his father by lying with his father's wife, both the man and his stepmother shall be put to death; they have forfeited their lives.

    12

    If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall be put to death; since they have committed an abhorrent deed, they have forfeited their lives.

    13

    If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives.

    14

    If a man marries a woman and her mother also, the man and the two women as well shall be burned to death for their shameful conduct, so that such shamefulness may not be found among you.

    15

    If a man has carnal relations with an animal, the man shall be put to death, and the animal shall be slain.

    16

    If a woman goes up to any animal to mate with it, the woman and the animal shall be slain; let them both be put to death; their lives are forfeit.


    Quote Originally Posted by Exodus 31
    13
    "You must also tell the Israelites: Take care to keep my sabbaths, for that is to be the token between you and me throughout the generations, to show that it is I, the LORD, who make you holy.
    14
    Therefore, you must keep the sabbath as something sacred. Whoever desecrates it shall be put to death. If anyone does work on that day, he must be rooted out of his people.
    15
    Six days there are for doing work, but the seventh day is the sabbath of complete rest, sacred to the LORD. Anyone who does work on the sabbath day shall be put to death.
    Yes, I know Christians don't believe said commands are still applicable, after Jesus. My point is that most Jews dismiss them as well, and those are biblical commands. They just interpret the law in a way that is much less bad than the Bible itself.

    Christians, and to a lesser extent Muslims, do the same. But their holy books still have serious effects.

    Sure, sometimes it can work the other way: they can come up with an interpretation that is even worse than what the Bible establishes for the case in question.

    Or they'll just try to infer some general principles from the Bible, and then try to apply them to a particular situation - given that the Bible was written by many different people who lived centuries apart and had many different moral beliefs and agendas, it's no surprise that people can come up with the most varied interpretations of what some alleged general principles behind the Bible would be.

    Anyway, none of this is related to my objection to support a ban based on faith, and/or on religion.

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    From my perspective, I'm familiar with my Bible, so I can instantly spot when someone is just making crap up as they go along. But non-Christians can't, obviously.
    I'm afraid you're mistaken. Many non-Christians can, of course. They can even call many Christians on the stuff those Christians make up and call "biblical", even if it's not.

    Many, probably most non-Christians in the West are former Christians, so there is no reason to think they're less familiar with the Bible than Christians.

    In fact, the opposite appears to be the case:

    Source: http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/0...e-study-finds/

    In fact, although the United States is one of the most religious developed countries in the world, most Americans scored 50 percent or less on a quiz measuring knowledge of the Bible, world religions and what the Constitution says about religion in public life.
    The survey is full of surprising findings.
    For example, it's not evangelicals or Catholics who did best - it's atheists and agnostics.
    It's not Bible-belt Southerners who scored highest - they came at the bottom.
    Those who believe the Bible is the literal word of God did slightly worse than average, while those who say it is not the word of God scored slightly better.
    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    So they are going to hear "Christians believe interracial marriages are wrong." WHAT?! I mean, are they referring to Jews and Gentiles in the Old Testament?! Otherwise, I have no idea where they made that stuff up, but I can guarantee you it isn't Biblical.
    As I pointed out, most Christians today have no problem with interracial marriages. And I have no difficulty, of course, realizing that.

    But in the past, their interpretation of the Bible led them to different conclusions.

    By the way, the Bible does regulate slave ownership, at least to some extent, in the OT, and some Christians used the Bible to support slavery as well.

    Of course, I also have no difficulty realizing that nearly all Christians today are against slavery.
    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    My basic point is just that I don't expect you all to go "Oh, I respect your opinion because that is your faith." You don't have to respect my opinion, agree with my opinion, or agree/respect my faith. But it is nice to respect each of our right to an opinion, and the right for it to be very different from your own.
    I'm surely not trying to ban Christians from opining.

    That aside, your reply does not address my contention about the unreasonableness of using a faith as a means of trying to justify an attempt to ban group of people X from engaging in behavior Y.
    Last edited by EvilVampire; 05-12-10 at 03:07 AM.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilVampire View Post
    I'm afraid you're mistaken. Many non-Christians can, of course(...)
    Many, probably most non-Christians in the West are former Christians, so there is no reason to think they're less familiar with the Bible than Christians.
    But most non-Christians, in fact even many Christians have never actually read the Bible all the way through, or not multiple times. So I'm not sure how familiar they really are with it. If they were, some stuff that people said could be dismissed outright.

    As I pointed out, most Christians today have no problem with interracial marriages. And I have no difficulty, of course, realizing that.
    I noticed. You're better informed than many!(or maybe most.)

    By the way, the Bible does regulate slave ownership, at least to some extent, in the OT, and some Christians used the Bible to support slavery as well.
    Yes, some things like that are difficult for me to understand...like, why didn't God just outright ban slavery? Ban polygamous marriage? Some historian-type readers interpret their being "allowed" as protecting those people. As in...women who were married were better taken care of then non-married women, slavery was going to happen so he regulated it?! Yeah...I don't get most of the OT either. I choose to believe that I can't see the whole picture of what was going on at that time, and He could/can.

    Also, throughout history people have taken bits and pieces of their holy books, pointed at them and said "See?! This means *insert deity* condones this action!!" I don't believe this is what has happened with the gay marriage issue, since marriage is clearly described as between a man and a woman Biblically. Skewed interpretation (and willful) was most certainly what happened with slavery. Was regulating slavery condoning it? Some say yes, I say no. *shrugs*

    That aside, your reply does not address my contention about the unreasonableness of using a faith as a means of trying to justify an attempt to ban group of people X from engaging in behavior Y.
    My relationship with Christ is my big #1. I need to put it even above my relationship with my own husband. So trying to understand what He wants of me, what is "OK" by him, etc. seems to be more than enough justification for why I have the opinion that I do. I can't endorse gay marriage without rejecting what I believe He commanded.

    As far as actively trying to stop gay marriage from happening...all I really want is to protect the rights and obligations of Christian leaders. What the state chooses to do is up to them - a reflection of society as it is today - as long as they don't try to force their values onto religious leaders. As in, "you have no right to turn this couple away from your church if they want to be married there."
    Last edited by BloodyHell; 05-12-10 at 03:56 AM.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    But most non-Christians, in fact even many Christians have never actually read the Bible all the way through, or not multiple times. So I'm not sure how familiar they really are with it. If they were, some stuff that people said could be dismissed outright.
    Sure.

    What I'm saying is that what you were saying before was mistaken, since it's not the case that all non-Christians are unfamiliar with the Bible, and atheists and agnostics are, at least in the US, more familiar with the Bible than Christians.

    It's true that the poll is from the US and the situation might be different in other Western countries, but I don't see any particular reason to think the pattern would be different, at least with respect to atheists and agnostics, except perhaps in some countries in which many people are raised as non-theists.

    But I need to correct a point: the poll indicated overall greater knowledge of the Bible on the part of American agnostics and atheists (over Christians), but not non-Christians in general.

    I meant to use the poll data to support the contention that former Christians overall probably are more familiar with the Bible than Christians (and data for atheists and agnostics is in this case a good indication of that), and not that all non-Christians were more familiar with the Bible than Christians.

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    Yes, some things like that are difficult for me to understand...like, why didn't God just outright ban slavery?
    In the context of your religion, that seems difficult for many Christians to explain.

    The real answer is that the people who wrote the Bible were humans, had no contact with any superpowerful creator, and wanted to regulate slavery rather than ban it because they were passing laws for their society, and their society was a society that had slavery. But you need to remove the glasses of your religion to see it.

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    Yes, some things like that are difficult for me to understand...like, why didn't God just outright ban slavery? Ban polygamous marriage? Some historian-type readers interpret their being "allowed" as protecting those people. As in...women who were married were better taken care of then non-married women, slavery was going to happen so he regulated it?! :confused7:
    Slavery was going to happen, so he regulated it?

    First, adultery was going to happen too.

    Why call for the execution of the adulterers, but regulate how slave-takers and slave-owners would trade their slaves?

    Second, gay sex was going to happen, anyway. Why not regulate it?

    Why call for the execution of gay men, but regulate how slave-takers and slave-owners would trade their slaves?

    Third, bestiality was going to happen, anyway.

    Why not regulate it, then?

    Why call for the execution of a man or a woman who has sex with a non-human animal, and for the execution of the animal too!, instead of regulating it?

    And so on.

    He's an omnipotent being issuing commands, and since those people were taking slaves, anyway, he gives them instructions as to how to take slaves and trade them, rather than banning the trade?

    That does not make sense. On the other hand, if we're talking of the leaders of some ancient tribe or group of tribes, passing laws regulating slavery and banning whatever they perceive as a threat to the social order, or whatever they're prejudiced against, the biblical laws are understandable.

    Incidentally, slavery is not an isolated case. The same goes for the other cases:

    For instance, why would God call for the execution of all the people mentioned in the quotes in my previous post, and then later (apparently) change his mind and no longer call for it?

    In Leviticus 20, and Exodus 31, God commands that:

    If a man marries a woman and her daughter, then the man and the two women shall be burned to death (burning people to death for that? And that's supposed to be a good lawmaker?)
    If a man has sex with a (non-human) animal, both the man and the non-human animal shall be slain.
    If a woman has sex with a (non-human) animal, both the woman and the non-human animal shall be slain; their lives are forfeit (it seems that they're punishing the non-human animal too.)
    If a man has sex with another man, both shall be put to death. [there are different interpretations of these passage; not all agree that it refers to all male/male sex, but it's the most commonly held interpretation).
    If a man has sex with his neighbor's wife, both of them shall be put to death.
    If a man curses his mother or father, he shall be put to death
    If a person works on Sabbath, they shall be put to death.


    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    Yeah...I don't get most of the OT either. I choose to believe that I can't see the whole picture of what was going on at that time, and He could/can.
    But don't you see the problem?

    Someone could use that to justify anything, for that matter. For instance, someone could say they have faith in the Quran, and (based on it) call for the execution of adulterers, gay men (and maybe women, depending on interpretation), and people who no longer believe in Islam (for instance, they can call for the execution of someone who converts from Islam to Christianity).

    What argument could you possibly make against the fundamentalist Muslim trying to kill converts, adulterers, and gay people?

    He can say that he chooses to believe that Allah knows what's best, and he has faith – what's your reply?

    You can use examples showing how immoral the entity described in the Quran as “Allah” is, but then, he can always say he chooses to believe Allah is perfectly good and knows better – you can't see the whole picture, so who are you to judge?

    On top of that, the Muslim has the upper hand, since he can say that Allah never changes his mind, so his commands (to execute adulterers, gay men, apostates, etc.) are always valid. The Christian, on the other hand, has to account for God's changing his own law. Not that Islam is reasonable, anyway.

    But generally speaking, can you see the problem?

    Saying “I choose to believe X” is not a reasonable answer to an argument against X. It's the H-bomb of dialogue, as no further dialogue is possible because the person claiming “faith” is not engaging in a discussion, but just asserting what they believe, against any amount of reasoning that the other party may put forth.

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    Also, throughout history people have taken bits and pieces of their holy books, pointed at them and said "See?! This means *insert deity* condones this action!!" I don't believe this is what has happened with the gay marriage issue, since marriage is clearly described as between a man and a woman Biblically.
    Well, no, not exactly.

    It's described as between a man and a woman, or between a man and more than one woman. And it's allowed under conditions that would put the woman in a position of servitude, and even undermining (to say the least) the value of her consent.

    Let me point out some of the OT's regulations on marriage:


    It's true that same-gender marriage was not described in the Bible. But so what?

    The Bible is a book with laws passed by humans who lived many centuries ago, in a pre-scientific era, and many centuries apart from each other, with very different agendas.

    Why would people in today's world live by those rules?


    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    Skewed interpretation (and willful) was most certainly what happened with slavery. Was regulating slavery condoning it? Some say yes, I say no. *shrugs*
    But then, why not condemn it instead of regulating it, while he was calling for the burning to death, stoning, etc., of people for trivialities?

    If God, an omnipotent, was passing laws, forbidding all sorts of behaviors and establishing terrible punishments, like burning people to death, for those behaviors, and then he decided not to condemn but to regulate a specific set of behaviors (slave-owning, slave-taking, etc.), the reasonable conclusion is that God didn't find that slavery deserved to be condemned – of course, the conclusion from reading the Bible is that God didn't have anything to do with it, but that aside.


    Just compare the following commands:

    Quote Originally Posted by Exodus 21
    7 : When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go free as male slaves do.

    20 When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished.
    21
    If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property.
    Quote Originally Posted by Leviticus 20

    14

    If a man marries a woman and her mother also, the man and the two women as well shall be burned to death for their shameful conduct, so that such shamefulness may not be found among you.

    12


    If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall be put to death; since they have committed an abhorrent deed, they have forfeited their lives.
    So, when a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go free, and there is no punishment for the man.

    Also, if a man beats his male or female slave, there is no punishment as long as the slave survives for a day or two, since they are his property.

    On the other hand, if a man marries a woman and her daughter, the three of them shall be burned to death, and if a man has sex with his daughter-in-law, etc., he shall be put to death.




    How is the above remotely consistent with the idea that God finds slavery immoral?

    He's a superpowerful dictator who could easily have banned slavery if he found it immoral. But he didn't (of course, in reality, no such superpowerful dictator exists, but I'm presenting the problems considering the biblical story).

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    My relationship with Christ is my big #1. I need to put it even above my relationship with my own husband. So trying to understand what He wants of me, what is "OK" by him, etc. seems to be more than enough justification for why I have the opinion that I do. I can't endorse gay marriage without rejecting what I believe He commanded.
    But how is that reasonable?

    How is it reasonable to try to ban people from getting married because you just “have faith” that some superpowerful entity commands so. What's your evidence? Why should we obey?

    I really don't know how to make this more clear than in this post, so I'll refer you to it, to avoid repetition.

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    As far as actively trying to stop gay marriage from happening...all I really want is to protect the rights and obligations of Christian leaders. What the state chooses to do is up to them - a reflection of society as it is today - as long as they don't try to force their values onto religious leaders. As in, "you have no right to turn this couple away from your church if they want to be married there."
    No one is proposing such legislation, and it wouldn't pass, anyway (first Amendment and all).

    But what if there was a referendum on same-gender marriage, in the state where you live?

    Would you vote for or against keeping it banned?

  6. #46
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    I personally don't believe in God or the bible or any higher power that isn't science so that doesn't play a role in the slightest on where I stand. I believe it is every person's right to love whomever they want, whenever they want, however they want, so long as no one gets hurt and everyone is a willing participant.

    I won't get into a religious discussion because no disrespect I find religious types to be wishy washy and illogical. I can't debate someone whose viewpoint I can't even begin to understand. It would be a waste of both of our time because I've done it with so many people that I am just over it. We don't agree. We never will. It's pointless.

    So I will say this. Straight people wouldn't like it if you were told who to love and what you could and couldn't do with them. It isn't fair and it's wrong. It's an infringement on our rights as humans to be denied one of the very things that makes us. And that is love.

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    Somehow I take those religions a lot more serious that struggle to actually keep to their own rules, before they try to force them on others.

    For example if people who oppose gay marriage for EVERYONE then go home and eat shrimp (which is for some reason is an abomination to the whiny 4 year old bully that is the old testament god) they are hypocrites. If they don't want to marry same sex for religious reasons (if they are gay that is), I think that's totally fine, it's where they see their personal believe system as something they have to force on nonbelievers where in my opinion fanatism starts.

    The point that I don't understand from the fundamentalist religious POV is where they need to control people, who don't share their believes. No one forces them to marry someone of their own sex or even to perform wedding rituals if they don't want to. Every church makes it's own rules anyway. It's followers abide those rules even if they appear pointless and cruel, but that's ok as long as the followers want to submit to that regime.

    But I have no sympathy whatsoever for religious groups trying to extend their rules over non believers or the state.
    Last edited by Nixennacht; 05-12-10 at 12:15 PM.

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    Scooby Gang BloodyHell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilVampire View Post
    No one is proposing such legislation, and it wouldn't pass, anyway (first Amendment and all).

    But what if there was a referendum on same-gender marriage, in the state where you live? Would you vote for or against keeping it banned?
    On the vote: that would be something in my power to non-violently protest..so I would vote for keeping it banned.

    (About the first part)Well, except that it is in the process of happening...I mentioned it in a earlier post. It is happening in Canada, anyway:

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell View Post
    Am I opposed to gays having the same rights as straight couples? No. But I am VERY afraid of this happening: "This fall, some pastors in Nova Scotia and Manitoba handed in their licenses as marriage registrars after local courts ruled these registrars cannot turn away same-sex couples." (taken from Centre for Faith and the Media). I mean, what?! Even though this is against their relgious beliefs, they cannot turn homosexuals away? This is wrong.
    I'm not going to respond to all your stuff on the OT. For one, you and I have pretty well beat this horse on previous occasions, and we always come to a point of "we will never agree with one another!" Also, I think it is off-topic. I've already admitted that I'm not sure how to interpret parts of the OT. I only know that many of the "old covenant" rules were done away with with the new covenant in the New Testament. So whatever His reasons in the OT, many of the laws in the OT have been removed by Jesus.

    How is it reasonable to try to ban people from getting married because you just “have faith” that some superpowerful entity commands so. What's your evidence? Why should we obey?
    I believe my opinion is justified and reasonable due to my faith. But I don't think that because I believe this, that that means that you all should say "Oh, well since you say it is true, certainly, we'll go along with it!" I'm only stating why I cannot endorse gay marriage. They are my personal reasons, and no one elses. And I don't want to let it pass because of what I mentioned when I quoted my own post. When society accepts gay marriage as the norm, I believe that it will become punishable for religious leaders to turn gay couples away from their doors(not as people attending the church, but as a couple wishing to get married there.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nixennacht
    No one forces them(...) to perform wedding rituals if they don't want to. Every church makes it's own rules anyway.
    Unfortunately, that isn't exactly true. Pastors/priests/ministers/etc. still work within the confines of the law, so when courts decide that it is illegal for them to refuse performing a gay marriage...they either have to do it, or hand in their licenses. And people aren't alright with us keeping our beliefs to ourselves. As various Christian church leaders are fined for stating what they believe, churches are vandalised...that shows me that society will condemn whatever is a minority belief amongst them. What I'm saying is, the attempt to force our beliefs is very much going on on BOTH sides of the issue here.

    I don't want to get into a debate of whether Christianity is logical/horrible/crazy, girls and boys. As Amber said, "I've done it with so many people that I am just over it." You don't get where I'm coming from...that is OK. I accept that.
    Last edited by BloodyHell; 05-12-10 at 01:17 PM.

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    Team Sanity Nixennacht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell View Post
    Unfortunately, that isn't exactly true. Pastors/priests/ministers/etc. still work within the confines of the law, so when courts decide that it is illegal for them to refuse performing a gay marriage...they either have to do it, or hand in their licenses.
    Is there a single case where this is happening? Because as far as I know every single priest of any denomination can decide for himself, if he/she wants to perform a marriage or not. They can refuse to marry the couple if they don't like their noses and be well within their rights.

    It just doesn't mean that the couple wont get married, since they can go to another priest/church or the state.

    Is there any precedent for a priest having to perform marriage on a couple he didn't want to marry (heterosexual or homosexual)?
    For example here it is legal for divorced people to get married again. This is not ok with the catholic church, so they refuse to perform those marriages. End of story.

    And frankly I can't see this strawman as an excuse to try to outlaw gay marriage. If you want to protect a priests right to decide who he wants to pair up, go for it! That's not a reason to oppose gay marriage all together though, since it's easy enough to differentiate between the state not being allowed to discriminate and the churches (who are still allowed to discriminate all over the place in every way they wish).
    Last edited by Nixennacht; 05-12-10 at 04:34 PM.

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    The example that I was using was about a few Nova Scotia and Manitoba pastors who apparently handed in their licenses after courts ruled that they couldn't turn gay couples away. Other than that, I haven't heard much aside from fear that it will come to that. It has been a really active topic on talk radio in my province (Saskatchewan) over the past couple of years, so whether it is all unfounded fear, or a real possibility..I'm not sure.

    I'm still curious about the differences between civil union and marriage. If they have the same rights and privliges(I don't know that they do, I'm asking) why lobby for changing the wording of the meaning of marriage? I thought that marriage was at its core a religious idea(I'm not 100% on this either) and in that case, shouldn't it be up to religious leaders to control what it does or does not include? Is marriage a legal idea, or a religious one? To me, it seems to be a blending of the two. So it is difficult to completely x out the religious aspect to it.

    The topic of "do I think that if gay marriage becomes lawful(everywhere) that it will take away from the sacredness of marriage." or something to that effect. I do want to add that I believe the greatest threat to marriage is actually from heterosexual couples who are unfaithful to their spouses/break their wedding vows. Society is becoming more and more casual about marriage and I think that THAT is the primary threat to the sacredness of marriage. It doesn't carry much weight anymore. And I do think that Christians and the church have made the mistake of elevating what we percieve to be the sin of homosexuality as above and worse than other sins, when Biblically it is not.

    I think that church groups are probably wrong to lobby for the abolition of this and the maintaining of that, when NONE of that is going to attract more followers to Christ. Doesn't mean we have to endorse it(gay marriage). Which is why I am not politically involved myself, and I don't support or go ra-ra-ra behind any of the movements to ban gay marriage etc. But my personal position on the topic remains. That doesn't mean I am going to actively try to stop it from happening, or encourage others to do so. What does it achieve? Banning it doesn't change peoples minds about anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell View Post
    The example that I was using was about a few Nova Scotia and Manitoba pastors who apparently handed in their licenses after courts ruled that they couldn't turn gay couples away. Other than that, I haven't heard much aside from fear that it will come to that. It has been a really active topic on talk radio in my province (Saskatchewan) over the past couple of years, so whether it is all unfounded fear, or a real possibility..I'm not sure.
    Did their churches support same sex marriage? It sounds somewhat curious that there would be no problem with the catholics who'd have to refuse or face excommunication.

    Is a religious wedding legally binding in Canada? Because over here it isn't. Only the state can issue a valid marriage license. You can have a church wedding too, but it wouldn't be recognized by a court if it was the only one (also the catholics don't perform without a state issued license).

    If the religious wedding is legally recognized the priest gets a double function as religious and civil servant. So I guess I'd understand it that a pastor who doesn't want to perform marriages that the state sees as legal would be neglecting his duty as a civil servant and would lose his license (like a bus driver who suddenly decided he's not taking people with red hair).

    The priest would have the option to only sanction the union legally (fullfilling his duty as a civil servant) and withhold any religious blessings (in his function of a priest), wouldn't he?

    Or if he can't see himself doing that he can resign as a civil servant and do only religious ceremonies. To him that is what counts after all.

    I'm still curious about the differences between civil union and marriage. If they have the same rights and privliges(I don't know that they do, I'm asking) why lobby for changing the wording of the meaning of marriage?
    That differs from country to country. Over here civil union does not have the same privileges and as far as I know that's the case in many other countries too. And then of course there are those gay couples, who are religious (and whose religions are fine with being gay) and to whom marriage matters as symbol of connection.

    I thought that marriage was at its core a religious idea(I'm not 100% on this either) and in that case, shouldn't it be up to religious leaders to control what it does or does not include? Is marriage a legal idea, or a religious one? To me, it seems to be a blending of the two. So it is difficult to completely x out the religious aspect to it.
    Marriage stems from a time of theocracy, where religious law was legal law. The concept has been adapted since in secular states with a lot of legal bindings and benefits. So the concept itself is no longer religious.

    Speaking a blessing over a marriage and the spiritual aspect is of course and here I think the churches should do whatever pleases them. It just should not influence the legal side of things.
    Last edited by Nixennacht; 05-12-10 at 08:35 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nixennacht
    The point that I don't understand from the fundamentalist religious POV is where they need to control people, who don't share their believes. No one forces them to marry someone of their own sex or even to perform wedding rituals if they don't want to. Every church makes it's own rules anyway. It's followers abide those rules even if they appear pointless and cruel, but that's ok as long as the followers want to submit to that regime.
    Different fundamentalists have different motivations.

    But a common one, in my experience, is that they believe that it's immoral to have sex with someone one's own gender, and that trying to ban that is actually a moral obligation. Others only believe that their moral obligation is to ban same-gender marriage, not all same-gender sex, and so on.

    And it's not just fundamentalists. Most Christians oppose same-gender marriage, and would vote against allowing it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    On the vote: that would be something in my power to non-violently protest..so I would vote for keeping it banned.
    See, that is a way of actually banning people from doing something, and you do that because of your religion.

    And when I challenge your reasons for having those religious beliefs, you don't present any good counterarguments (in fact, you've not presented any counterarguments at all against what I posted here).

    So, the point remains that you want to ban gay people from getting married with someone their own gender (essentially, you want to ban men from marrying men, and women from marrying women), and yet you haven't presented any good reason in support of your position.

    Again, can't you see the problem?

    Anyway, since you're not presenting objections to my arguments, I have nothing else to add for now.

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    I'm not going to respond to all your stuff on the OT. For one, you and I have pretty well beat this horse on previous occasions, and we always come to a point of "we will never agree with one another!
    Yes, but that's because you don't have anything to refute my arguments, I'm afraid. The question is: what are your reasons not to agree?

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    Also, I think it is off-topic. I've already admitted that I'm not sure how to interpret parts of the OT. I only know that many of the "old covenant" rules were done away with with the new covenant in the New Testament. So whatever His reasons in the OT, many of the laws in the OT have been removed by Jesus.
    But that's not the point.

    It's on-topic because when asked about why you oppose same-gender marriage, your answer is that it's because of their Christian faith.

    So, Christianity is the reason you give. So, challenging Christianity is to challenge your alleged reasons. So, I make arguments against Christianity.

    By the way, saying that the law changed later doesn't help your case – it was still the law, which is what I'm using in that part of my argument.

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    I believe my opinion is justified and reasonable due to my faith.
    But as I explained, faith is not a justification for belief. You can claim it is so, but then, so can the Muslim, and the Hindu, and so on. It's an epistemic nightmare.


    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    But I don't think that because I believe this, that that means that you all should say "Oh, well since you say it is true, certainly, we'll go along with it!"
    Yet, you try to keep same-gender marriage banned because of your faith. So, the question is pertinent. Someone could say: Why should we obey those laws? Why should we not allow same-gender marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    I'm only stating why I cannot endorse gay marriage. They are my personal reasons, and no one elses. And I don't want to let it pass because of what I mentioned when I quoted my own post. When society accepts gay marriage as the norm, I believe that it will become punishable for religious leaders to turn gay couples away from their doors(not as people attending the church, but as a couple wishing to get married there.)
    But then, you should oppose making it punishable for religious leaders to turn couples away from their doors (though that's arguable as well, especially considering that religious marriages tend to be legally binding), not same-gender marriages.

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    Unfortunately, that isn't exactly true. Pastors/priests/ministers/etc. still work within the confines of the law, so when courts decide that it is illegal for them to refuse performing a gay marriage...they either have to do it, or hand in their licenses.
    Well, actually, a good solution is to have civil marriage separated from religious marriage.

    That way, they can marry anyone they want in their churches, but that does not have any legal effect. And they can marry before the law in a different way.

    But that's unfortunately very unlikely to happen any time soon in the US.

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    I don't want to get into a debate of whether Christianity is logical/horrible/crazy, girls and boys. As Amber said, "I've done it with so many people that I am just over it." You don't get where I'm coming from...that is OK. I accept that.
    But you use Christianity as the basis for your position regarding same-gender marriage, so how can I challenge your position regarding same-gender marriage without challenging Christianity as well?

    By the way, I get what you say, but I disagree with it, so I argue against it.
    Last edited by EvilVampire; 05-12-10 at 08:45 PM.

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    But I wasn't trying to start a big discussion of the how's and why's, because they simply will never make complete sense to anyone outside of my faith. The question was asked: Gay marriage - yes or no? My answer was no, and I stated the reasoning behind that answer. Since we know that we won't fully understand one another, because we have completely different perspectives, I can't really present a counterargument that you will consider a counterargument. Which probably sounds confusing. But what I mean is, my reasons sound illogical, unenlightened and without anything seeming to back it up. And that is true...from a non-believers perspective. But they make sense to me in a way that can't be fully explained: as we've discussed in previous threads, my faith and beliefs are only partially based on what I believe to be hard evidence. In the end, at this point in time, Christianity cannot be definitively proven or disproven. In the end, it is going to take a..you guessed it...leap of faith. I choose to believe. And that choice changes the color of the glasses through which I view life. Your lens color is different, meaning we aren't even looking at the "facts" the same way. So we're never really going to be able to argue or counterargue to your satisfaction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    But I wasn't trying to start a big discussion of the how's and why's, because they simply will never make complete sense to anyone outside of my faith.
    You don't see the problem?

    You want to ban people from acting in certain way and you claim faith, and you acknowledge that the argument will not make “complete sense” to anyone outside your faith – which is another way of conceding that they won't agree, and you can only say you have faith.

    But, again, that's the H bomb of discussion. For that matter, anyone could “argue” for any position in the same way. My point here (and which I argue for) is that it's not reasonable to use faith as a basis for banning people from engaging in certain behavior.

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    The question was asked: Gay marriage - yes or no? My answer was no, and I stated the reasoning behind that answer.
    Yes, but the “reasoning” was that it's your belief, essentially (plus the part about churches being force to marry gay couples). I replied to that reasoning.
    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    Since we know that we won't fully understand one another, because we have completely different perspectives, I can't really present a counterargument that you will consider a counterargument.
    I disagree that we don't understand each other. I understand what you're saying. I maintain it's mistaken (which is not the same as not understanding what you're saying), and then I argue for the position that what you're saying is mistaken.

    If you believe that I didn't understand some of what you said, then I'll ask you to please let me know what it is, so that I can read it more carefully.

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    But what I mean is, my reasons sound illogical, unenlightened and without anything seeming to back it up. And that is true...from a non-Christians perspective.
    My position is that that's true, since the Christianity itself is unjustified.

    For that matter, someone could claim that their position that gay men and converts from Islam to Christianity have to be put to death only look bad...from a non-Islamic perspective, or from a wrong interpretation of the Quran, or whatever.

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    But they make sense to me in a way that can't be fully explained: as we've discussed in previous threads, my faith and beliefs are only partially based on what I believe to be hard evidence.
    And what I'm saying (and arguing for) is that religious faith is not a reasonable way of finding reasons for banning people from acting.

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    In the end, at this point in time, Christianity cannot be definitively proven or disproven.
    I strongly disagree with that. I offer a debate on whether Christianity is true.


    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    In the end, it is going to take a..you guessed it...leap of faith.
    And, again, I strongly disagree with that as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    I choose to believe.
    Based on what?

    Can I just choose to believe in Islam, then tell you that a woman's testimony is worth much less than that of a man, that Mohammed is the prophet, that Allah's commands in the Quran are morally good, and that the world is just a few thousand years old?

    How can you even possibly choose to believe, anyway?

    You believe or you don't. But it's not a choice. I don't believe that, say, Odin exists. But it's not my choice whether or not to believe he exists. I just don't (unless, of course, you're using "choose" to mean something like "I analyze the evidence and arguments, and reach the conclusion that Christianity is true"; in that case, I would say we have something to debate about).

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    And that choice changes the color of the glasses through which I view life. Your lens color is different. So we're never really going to be able to argue or counterargue to your satisfaction.
    I'm not putting faith-based glasses on.

    But still, let me ask you this question: do you realize that using “faith” as a basis for banning a behavior could just as well be used for supporting a ban on property ownership by Black people, or interracial marriage, or apostasy from Islam, or same-gender sex, and so on?

    How would you respond, for instance, to the Muslim fundamentalist who wants to execute gay men?

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    Today, more than a 1000 people got married. I'm guessing a lot more. Not one of these marriages had any affect on me or my life. I'm guessing, they didn't have any affect on yours either, BloodyHell.

    I don't care what your religion is. Discrimination is wrong and to use your god to try and justify that is absolutely disgusting. You shouldn't try dictate someone's life BECAUSE OF SOMETHING THAT MAY NOT EVEN EXIST. WHAT IF THERE IS NO GOD? What if? It is faith. Faith doesn't make it true. Faith is believing something to be true. That means you've denied someone happiness because of something that may just be a work of fiction. How is that fair? It's not. If I believe in Pogo, the man god, who's tells me that women shouldn't have any rights. They shouldn't be able to vote or leave the house and they should do EVERYTHING a man says, should we make these apart of our law? MY GOD SAYS IT'S TRUE, SO WHY NOT? Pogo thinks women are second class citizens compared to men. They're second class in the eyes of my god and his followers, well, IT MUST BE TRUE. Because it's my faith, I want the government to make it law.

    I'm not saying you should agree with it. Like, if you don't believe that homosexuals should be able to get married, that's fine. Then feel free to not marry someone of the same sex. If you're invited to a big gay wedding, feel free to decline, but don't pretend it has any affect on your life or you path to righteousness or whatever.

    Honestly, your faith, has more affect on me and my life than two guys getting married. The way Christianity is treated like it is the official rule by the government is disgusting. Our Pledge of Allegiance mentions god, our money mentions god, our marriages are dictated by god. Our school system is dictated by god. I mean, it's currently Hanukkah and these Jewish kids still have school, but in the next two weeks, when Christmas is coming up, SCHOOL IS OUT. Good Friday? SCHOOL IS OUT. Separation of Church and State has become a joke as Christianity has taken over our government. Hell, during the election, the "Barack Obama is a Muslim" thing was thrown around like an insult, implying that there is something wrong with being Muslim or any other non-Christian religion. This is the stuff affecting my life, not two women marrying each other.
    Last edited by Thomas; 06-12-10 at 01:53 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas View Post
    Good Friday? SCHOOL IS OUT.
    There are government schools in the US that observe Good Friday as a holiday? It's not a federal holiday, if it's happening at all it's a state or even local policy.

    Separation of Church and State has become a joke as Christianity has taken over our government.
    No. What? When?

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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilVampire View Post
    But still, let me ask you this question: do you realize that using “faith” as a basis for banning a behavior could just as well be used for supporting a ban on property ownership by Black people, or interracial marriage, or apostasy from Islam, or same-gender sex, and so on?

    How would you respond, for instance, to the Muslim fundamentalist who wants to execute gay men?
    I guess what I've been getting at is that I'm not really into people of faith lobbying in politics. Not that I think it is "wrong" so much as the misdirection of the power of being a witness for God. And I would also point out that I'm not actively doing anything at all to ban gay marriage, or anything else for that matter. I just came on here to express an opinion that is the extent of how far I will take it: expressing it, and leaving it at that. I believe Christians for one(and other religions also) meddle too much in trying to force things down people throats, and as I've stated previously..it doesn't change anyones mind, it doesn't win any followers for Jesus. So you don't need to tell me how bad trying to force beliefs on people is. I agree it doesn't help anyone.

    And I would respond to the Muslim fundamentalist by A) arguing vigorously, and B) if he/she was interested in real action, having the law enforced.
    I could be wrong, but my understanding was that in Canada a civil union DOES have the same rights/privliges as a married couple. If that is the case my opinion really isn't harmful to homosexuals at all, and I am only protecting the Bible's definition of marriage. So I'm not sure how that is comparable to wanting to execute gays, or any of the other things you mentioned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas View Post
    I don't care what your religion is. Discrimination is wrong and to use your god to try and justify that is absolutely disgusting.
    Please don't associate me with every bad thing you have seen/experienced/heard about Christianity. If my gay friends can overlook my "absolutely disgusting" beliefs, I'm sure you can give me a second chance.

    And the only way that gay marriage would personally affect me negatively is if I lied and said I agreed with it. Besides, even if I said "it affects me deeply", isn't that just an opinion, just like saying I disagree with gay marriage?(which you said "is fine")
    Last edited by BloodyHell; 06-12-10 at 03:29 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    I guess what I've been getting at is that I'm not really into people of faith lobbying in politics. Not that I think it is "wrong" so much as the misdirection of the power of being a witness for God. And I would also point out that I'm not actively doing anything at all to ban gay marriage, or anything else for that matter. I just came on here to express an opinion that is the extent of how far I will take it: expressing it, and leaving it at that. I believe Christians for one(and other religions also) meddle too much in trying to force things down people throats, and as I've stated previously..it doesn't change anyones mind, it doesn't win any followers for Jesus. So you don't need to tell me how bad trying to force beliefs on people is. I agree it doesn't help anyone.
    While you're not actively trying to do so, you say you would vote against it if it came to a vote, so my points are pertinent.

    That said, I recognize that your support for civil unions with the same rights and obligations as marriages is certainly an important step forward.

    Just to be clear: if it were put to a vote whether to give same-gender couples civil unions with the same rights and obligations as marriage, both at the state level and (by means of modifying federal laws as required) federal level, would you vote in favor of it?

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    And I would respond to the Muslim fundamentalist by A) arguing vigorously, and B) if he/she was interested in real action, having the law enforced.
    A) Arguing how?

    If he says he has faith that the Quran is true.

    Based on that, he supports the execution of Islam-to-Christianity converts, men who have sex with other men, and adulterers.

    Based on what will you argue against him?

    B) What if he does not support illegal action, but rather, passing laws imposing those punishments, as they have in, say, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Afghanistan, or actually enforcing those laws strictly?

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    I could be wrong, but my understanding was that in Canada a civil union DOES have the same rights/privliges as a married couple. If that is the case my opinion really isn't harmful to homosexuals at all, and I am only protecting the Bible's definition of marriage.
    In most places, civil unions do not carry the same rights and obligations as marriage.

    But in any case, there is clearly a difference: namely, they don't have the right to register it as “marriage”.

    When you say you're just “defending the Bible's definition of 'marriage'”, then:

    First, as I pointed out, the Bible describes several different types of marriages, including polygamous ones.

    Second, the Bible was not written in English, and does not contain the word “marriage” (or "marry", "wife", "husband" etc.) at all.

    The words translated from the original biblical text into English as “marriage”, "marry", "wife", "husband", etc., actually refer to arrangements that were very different from what is now called a marriage in the US.

    So, apart from trying to perpetuate the stigma attached to same-gender relations, I'm not sure why anyone would want to keep the word “marriage” restricted to opposite-gender couples.

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    So I'm not sure how that is comparable to wanting to execute gays, or any of the other things you mentioned. :confused7:
    I never suggested that it's comparable in the sense of “comparable” that means “similarly bad”.

    Obviously, it is not nearly as bad as trying to pass or enforce laws executing men who have sex with men.

    Also, banning same-gender marriage is not nearly as bad as slavery, etc. It seems to me it's more akin to, say, banning Black people from getting married (and instead, instituting a civil union for them, if you accept civil unions for same-gender couples).

    But that's beside the point I was trying to make in this part of my argumentation.

    On the other hand (and this is actually my point here), what you propose is comparable (and actually just the same) to the claims by the Muslim fundamentalist in terms of another feature: namely, it's based on religious faith.

    The point here is that if you claim faith is good enough a justification for the policies you support, how would you deal with the Muslim fundamentalist's claim that his faith justifies the policies he supports?


    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyHell
    And the only way that gay marriage would personally affect me negatively is if I lied and said I agreed with it. Besides, even if I said "it affects me deeply", isn't that just an opinion, just like saying I disagree with gay marriage?(which you said "is fine")
    When you say you “disagree with it”, the only interpretation I can come up with is that you're saying same-gender marriage is immoral.

    Is that interpretation correct?

    If not, what do you mean by “disagree with it”?
    Last edited by EvilVampire; 06-12-10 at 04:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilVampire View Post
    Just to be clear: if it were put to a vote whether to give same-gender couples civil unions with the same rights and obligations as marriage, both at the state level and (by means of modifying federal laws as required) federal level, would you vote in favor of it?
    No, because that would be a form of endorsing it, and I simply can't - or won't - do that.



    As for the Muslim fundamentalist. What can I say other than I disagree with him, and to hope that the he will be shouted out of town by the public? That if he pursues further action than conversation, that he is jailed for being criminally insane? I'm not sure how to answer your question on this fundamentalist, because his desires would require changing many laws in Canada/USA. It would violate peoples freedom of religion, which was quite an important concept when these countries were founded. And because the laws would never pass, if the acts were carried out it would be plain old murder. I would say exactly the same thing if you changed the situation and said that some "Christian" wanted to stone an adultress, or some such thing.

    The point here is that if you claim faith is good enough a justification for the policies you support, how would you deal with the Muslim fundamentalist's claim that his faith justifies the policies he supports?
    I would say that he has a right to that opinion. When he decides to take it further than just an opinion, then I would say that he is going to have to face the law, the courts, and that his policies are more than likely going to go down the drain. But an opinion is just an opinion, and he can justify them to himself and whoever asks about them however he pleases.


    If not, what do you mean by “disagree with it”?
    I mean that I believe it is contrary to what God intended. Therefore I disagree with it on the grounds that He disagrees with it.

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