Protect Biblical Marriage?

Christine at TalkWisdom has started up yet another blog.  This one is called Protect Biblical Marriage.  I’ve been leaving lots of comments over there.  But her latest post made me want to make some comments here.  She puts up some excerpts from an article written by Michael Craven, at the Center for Christ and Culture:  The Teaching Ministry of S. Michael Craven.  I don’t know who this S. Michael Craven is, but his ‘article’ is so poorly put together that I am surprised that anyone will read it (except those who just want to hear the anti-gay message and not think about what Craven is writing).  If you want my opinion, bad sources makes for bad articles.  And in this case, this article is really, really bad. 

First of all it is interesting that he doesn’t believe that it should just be ‘the Bible tells me so’ argument that Christians should use to combat gay marriage. 

So let’s look at some of the sources this guy uses in his ‘defense of marriage’ article (that he wants people to discuss at their dessert and discussion after church).  The first source he uses was written in 1934!  Yes, that is 73 years old (Sex and Culture, London: Oxford University Press written by Joseph Daniel Unwin).  That, right off the bat, makes the alarm bells go off in my head.  I have to ask myself, why is this person using a source for his argument that is that old?  Craven uses that old source to show that civilizations 5000 years old which had a strong ‘sexual ethic’ had a stronger culture.  In Part Two, Craven states right off the bat:

As discussed last week, the noted anthropologist, J. D. Unwin conducted what is arguably the most exhaustive examination of sexual ethics and their affect upon society.

That is total hogwash.  No one would believe this statement–except someone who doesn’t have a clue.  Mr. Craven would be laughed out of any academic conference if he dared say that.  No one who even thinks about cultures would believe that someone writing in 1935 would be an expert, say, on Roman sexual studies.  No one.  That alone should show that this whole ‘article’ is nothing but junk science, much like what Paul Cameron writes.

Mr. Craven continues:

Attempting to promote monogamy among homosexual couples by rearranging marriage ignores the fact that homosexual acts are patently obvious distortions of the human biological design. We are born biologically male or female and as such we are sexually dissimilar but in complimentary ways. The male/female sexual union works, in other words. This is true of every species on earth. Every living organism has a particular way of reproducing and rearing offspring; its anatomy is biologically designed to support that way. If one believes we are products of an evolutionary process, then homosexual acts are a deviation from the procreative design and homosexuality is therefore a genetic defect because it fails to propagate the species. If one holds to the belief that we are created, then it defies the design and intent of the Creator. Either way homosexuality violates the given design.

Wait just a second.  I thought this was supposed to be a biblically based argument for straight marriage?  I wonder if Mr. Craven has actually read Matt. 19:12, where Jesus, his God, states:

Matt. 19:11 "But he said to them, "Not everyone can accept this teaching, but only those to whom it is given.19:12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can."

So God has created people who are eunuchs–that is, men who cannot reproduce.  Craven claims to be a minister, and claims that this is a biblical defense of marriage. But he hasn’t read his Bible.  God made eunuchs.  They cannot reproduce.  So what Craven is implying is that God has created a deviation, since of course eunuchs cannot reproduce.  They don’t propagate the species (in his words).  So what Craven is saying is that God’s own design for creating eunuchs violates what he believes is the ‘given design.’ 

He finishes Part II with this statement:

"Unwin’s research and human history confirms that acceptance of sexual perversion always follows the modification of heterosexual monogamy within marriage."

As I said above, bad sources lead to bad papers.  He is relying on a nearly 75 year old published book to make his conclusions.  As I said, no one would believe that a 75 year old book could tell us very much about ancient societies.  Therefore his conclusions are bad.

And that leads us to Part III, which Craven again quotes from that 73 year old book.  A case in point is what he has to say next:

The Greek, Roman, Babylonian, and Sumerian empires are just a few examples of cultures that began with a strong marriage-centered monogamy and later degenerated into liberal sexual practices (including homosexuality), which, according to the sociological and anthropological evidence, was central to their downfall. 

He clearly is relying on Unwin for this information.  Did the Greeks really start out with monogamy and revert to something else?  No.  All you have to do is read Homer to see some examples of Greek ‘monogamy’ and to see an example of Greek homosexuality (Achilles and Patroclus).  Did the Romans?  No.  And it is unlikely that Unwin knew very much about the Sumerians in 1935.  It wasn’t until the 1940s when there was real movement on understanding the ancient languages used by the Sumerians.  So much for using them to show that cultures started off with monogamy and then "degenerated into liberal sexual practices."

Craven then switches sources.  He moves to Pitirim A. Sorokin, a Russian born sociologist (working at Harvard) who wrote a book in 1956:  The American Sex Revolution).  Again, couldn’t Craven find a more up-to-date study on sexual practices in the U.S.?  It appears that he is only going to look at sources that agree with him, even though they are amazingly out of date.  And Craven does the unthinkable in academics–he uses an out of date source and then extrapolates to what is current.  And in this case it is same sex marriage. 

He continues in Part IV.  From his bad sources he makes bad conclusions:

"Any deviation from this proper relationship for sex (i.e., marriage), as well as its proper biological design (i.e., homosexual), is a perversion of human sexuality; history demonstrates that such deviations will inevitably undo those societal goods associated with marriage and the natural family."

At least to sources that are so outdated they are unusable…

But then Craven uses a source written in 2000–The Case for Marriage: Why Married People are Happier, Healthier, and Better off Financially , by Leslie Waite and Maggie Gallager.  But does he?  No.  He cites a bit from a book review written by Robert Browning.  Now if he were my student, I would send this paper back because no one should be using a book review for a source.  Why didn’t Craven just go to the original source?  He calls Waite the "eminent University of Chicago sociologist" but does Craven really know this?  It looks like he never even read the book…which I find surprising since Maggie Gallagher is the leader of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, an anti-gay group (she was associated with David Benkof–the so-called gay man who was against gay marriage). 

Craven then quotes from a much-used (by the anti-gay crowd) study by Robert S. Hogg et al., “Modeling the Impact of HIV Disease on Mortality in Gay and Bisexual Men,” International Journal of Epidemiology, 26 [1997].  Craven uses the quote:

“Life expectancy at age 20 years for gay and bisexual men is 8 to 20 years less than for all men”

However, the authors of this article state (in their rebuttal to those who are misusing their research):

"In contrast, if we were to repeat this analysis today the life expectancy of gay and bisexual men would be greatly improved. Deaths from HIV infection have declined dramatically in this population since 1996," wrote the study’s authors.
The letter from the researchers continued, "It is essential to note that the life expectancy of any population is a descriptive and not a prescriptive measure. Death is a product of the way a person lives and what physical and environmental hazards he or she faces everyday."
Stated the study authors, "It cannot be attributed solely to their sexual orientation or any other ethnic or social factor. If estimates of an individual gay and bisexual man’s risk of death is truly needed for legal or other purposes, then people making these estimates should use the same actuarial tables that are used for all other males in that population." 

Box Turtle Bulletin has done a good job at looking at the misuse of this article.  In fact, the authors of this study have publicly refuted the use of this study by the anti-gay crowd.  You can read it all here.  The last sentence of this rebuttal makes a clear point that Craven and those who print this article ignore:

Overall, we do not condone the use of our research in a manner that restricts the political or human rights of gay and bisexual men or any other group.

So Craven uses old, old books and misuses a medical study, all to show the sanctity of marriage is good.  Well, so far he isn’t doing such a good job. 

And again Craven uses old statistics to make the point that marriage makes women safer:

According to the National Crime Victimization Survey conducted by the US Department of Justice, of all violent crimes against domestic partners (male/female) that occurred between 1979 and 1987.

Does Craven know what year this is?  Why use 20 year old data?  Hasn’t the National Crime Victimization Survey made any new updates to its research? 

Craven then misuses more statistics.  This time he uses a gay and lesbian resource center.  He writes:

Abuse within male homosexual relationships is as high as 46 percent (“Domestic Violence in Gay and Lesbian Couples,” http://www.psychpage.com/gay/library/gay_lesbian_violence). Among lesbian couples, some research shows that the lifetime prevalence of physical assault among women living with female partners was 35.4 percent. Given that same-sex “marriage” would exist in name only without its essential defining elements, its application to homosexual couples would, most likely, not serve to arrest the high rates of domestic abuse among gays. 

But Craven only reports part of this study.  If you look at the introduction to this website, you will read:

On the one hand, these numbers may not be accurate. For example, some research shows that the lifetime prevalence of physical assault among women living with female partners was 35.4%, compared to 20.4% among women living with male partners. However, looking deeper, women living with female partners were almost three times more likely to report having been victimized by a previous male, rather than a female partner (IPARV, 2002). Thus, some sources carelessly misquote research to support their negative views of gays and lesbians, simply to promote their own agenda.

Craven is guilty of misrepresentation (and notice that he doesn’t mention the 20% of heterosexual females that are abused by their male partners!).   

His next study does not mention the date that it was published.  He just states:

According to studies, couples that cohabitate prior to marriage have substantially higher divorce rates, ranging from 50 to 100 percent higher (Axinn and Thorton, “The Relationship Between Cohabitation and Divorce: Selectivity or Casual Influence?” Demography 29, 357–374).

This was done in 1992.  Why doesn’t he mention the date of publication?  Methinks that Craven doesn’t want people to know.   And when I see a large page range like this, I know that Craven did not read this study.  I see this in my student’s papers all the time.  Why didn’t he give the exact page number to his specific information?  Because he is getting this information from somewhere else (instead of reading the source). 

At the end of Part IV Craven states this:

In regards to homosexual couples, the concept of fidelity is a popular myth. In the book The Male Couple, the author reports that in a study of 156 males in homosexual relationships lasting from one to thirty-seven years, “Only seven couples have a totally exclusive sexual relationship, and these men all have been together for less than five years. Stated another way, all couples with a relationship lasting more than five years have incorporated some provision for outside sexual activity in their relationships” (McWhirter, The Male Couple [Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall] 252, 253).

Want to take a guess when The Male Couple was published?  Just remember that Craven wants you to believe that what he just used is current for the gay male population now, in 2008.  The Male Couple:  How Relationships Develop was published in 1985.  Yes, 22 years ago.  He acts like the data found in this book is applicable to gay men now.  Can’t Craven find some new numbers?  You have to ask yourself why he did not do this.  In my view it is shoddy research. 

And the shoddy research and sources goes on.  Craven then cites a study by Stanley Kurtz, senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute ( a conservative think-tank).  Kurtz writes:

The Swedes have simply drawn the final conclusion: If we’ve come so far without marriage, why marry at all? Our love is what matters, not a piece of paper. Why should children change that? (Stanley Kurtz, “The End of Marriage in Scandinavia: The ‘conservative case’ for same-sex marriage collapses,” The Weekly Standard, 2 February 2004.)

 

Craven then states:

Indeed, in Sweden the out-of-wedlock birthrate is 55 percent, Norway is 50 percent, Iceland is approaching 70 percent, and in Denmark 60 percent of firstborn children are born out of wedlock….And what does this have to do with SSM? All of the Scandinavian countries mentioned embraced de facto same-sex marriage, beginning with Denmark in 1989. The out-of-wedlock birth rates mentioned experienced their most dramatic increases in the decade following the acceptance of SSM in these countries. The separation of marriage from procreation and parenting was already increasing, as it is here; SSM only widened the separation. “In Scandinavia, gay marriage has driven home the message that marriage itself is outdated, and that virtually any family form, including out-of-wedlock parenthood is acceptable” (Kurtz, “The End of Marriage”).

The problem with Kurtz is that his study has been debunked as well.  Craven states:  "All of the Scandinavian countries mentioned embraced de facto same-sex marriage, beginning with Denmark in 1989. The out-of-wedlock birth rates mentioned experienced their most dramatic increases in the decade following the acceptance of SSM in these countries."  However, that is a flat-out lie.  Again, you can read about this lie at Box Turtle Bulletin.  Here is the chart from Norway (taken from Box Turtle Bulletin):

norwegianbirths

 

As you can see yourself, civil unions were enacted in 1993.  The chart shows the rates of birth outside of marriage.  As you can see, the rate goes up slightly after civil unions were enacted, but from 1976 to 1991, BEFORE civil unions, the birthrate outside of marriage skyrocketed.  You could make an argument that civil unions actually stopped the growth of out of wedlock births!  And as it turns out, Kurtz has been questioned about this, but could not give an answer. 

 

Well, so much for the Defense of Marriage in Craven’s article.  As I said in the beginning, if bad sources are used, bad results will come.  And this ‘article’ is bad on all fronts.  Old sources.  Bad sources.  Misrepresented sources.  I would think that those who want to make an argument against gay marriage could come up with something better than Craven.

 

And finally, most of what Craven wrote recently was a rehash of something he had written in 2006

 

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31 Responses to Protect Biblical Marriage?

  1. Cassie says:

    Well…as to that…I was born in 1950 (long before this ever became an issue in the United States) and I was born "out-of-wedlock" as they say—Yes, I know that explains a LOT about my personality—shut up :)—And I wasn\’t the only one. I REALLY don\’t see what that has to do with same-sex marriage—I think it probably has something to do with two young people being horny (and possibly alcohol being in the mix) but SSM wasn\’t even on the radar back then.

  2. Kevin says:

    Hey Cass,
    I totally agree with you.  The two are unrelated.  They are only related in this person\’s head…

  3. Cassie says:

    By the way, Kevin, did you know that these people are now RE-translating the Bible in an attempt to make their case stronger?
     
    In the old King James Version in the 23rd Chapter of Deuteronomy the second verse says THIS: "A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD."
     
    (see, even if I wasn\’t TG I\’m still screwed by the laws of God—ah well…no wonder they tell me God is Love—it\’s a JOKE, obviously).
     
    But the more recent New International Version now states:"No one born of a forbidden marriage nor any of his descendants may enter the assembly of the LORD, even down to the tenth generation."
     
    HOWEVER a footnote says: "Or one of illegitimate birth" 
    Meaning, of course, that the translators are serving their own political agendas again—not accuracy (unless you read the footnotes which give the alternate or (as in this case) the original translation.
    Well, since either way I ain\’t going to heaven can I hang with you guys after we all pass on?
     
    Cass

  4. Cassie says:

    By the way, if anyone can find out how these guys got from a child born out of wedlock to "forbidden marriage" in translating the same Hebrew words (which don\’t refer to marriage) I\’d be obliged.

  5. Cassie says:

    Oh and one more thing–did you read my (filly) posted blog about Focus on the Family saying each and every bit of the Bible is inspired by the same spirit? Gotta say, that\’s one nasty spirit they got there. Outcast unto the tenth generation for THAT? Even were we to agree that being Gay or TG were a CHOICE (it isn\’t but nevermind) how is being illegitimate the CHILD\’S fault? Note to self: Religion freaky.

  6. Robert says:

    If Christine believes in her idea of a "Biblical" Marriage……than she should have one…..however unless we have a Theocracy, her idea of a Biblical Marriage, should not be enforced in Civil Laws.

  7. Kevin says:

    Hey Cass,
    I\’ll have to look into those translations!  One of my friends, Jason BeDuhn, wrote a book on translations.  It is titled Truth in Translation, Accuracy and Bias in English Translations of the New Testament, by Jason David BeDuhn, University Press of America, Lanham, Maryland, 2003. And in case you haven\’t guessed it already, he was attacked by a number of people who didn\’t like it.  The editorial review at Amazon says this:
    "Truth in Translation is a critical study of Biblical translation, assessing the accuracy of nine English versions of the New Testament in wide use today. By looking at passages where theological investment is at a premium, the author demonstrates that many versions deviate from accurate translation under the pressure of theological bias. "
     
    No doubt you can apply Jason\’s findings to the Old Testament as well. 
     
    And I did read your post about Focus on the Family.  That is one screwed up group.  And they are the major donor for the anti-gay marriage initiative here in California.  No big surprise there!
     
    Hey Rob,
    I totally agree.  No one should be forced to live under someone else\’s religious laws. 
     
     

  8. Unknown says:

    Hi Kevin,I noticed that in most cases you did a good job of trashing the sources cited by calling them old, but did not present any more recent studies for counter arguments. Your points would have more validity if you presented some countering facts instead of simply saying the existing sources are bad.BTW – Your analysis of the graph up there is extremely subjective and probably not applicable. Prior to any country enacting civil unions, there would already have been a large amount of cohabitation (defacto same sex marriage) without legal recognition. Not that civil unions are the only, or even dominant factor involved. However, given that there is generally a saturation point for any social trend, the argument that civil unions stopped the skyrocketing out of wedlock birth rate is not worth considering. Basic "after the fact, therefore because of the fact" fallacy.On the subject of misrepresentation, I think you might be doing a bit of that with your Biblical reference. The conclusion you get from the quoted scripture passage: "So God has created people who are eunuchs–that is, men who cannot reproduce. "If you look at the context of the verses leading up to the passages you quote, it says nothing at all about reproduction, but relates the necessity of being steadfast in marriage and avoiding divorce except in cases of adultery.Have a good evening.

  9. Cassie says:

    Hey no name–perhaps an understanding of the word "eunuch" would help. This is from the Encarta Encyclopedia:
     
    Eunuch (Greek eunouchos, “keeping the bed”), castrated human male. From ancient times, in East Asia and the Middle East eunuchs were used to take charge of the women in harems or to serve as chamberlains. They often attained positions of great influence, and in Egypt the term was applied to any court officer whether or not he was castrated. The idea that eunuchs were lacking in courage and intelligence is refuted by the histories of Iran, India, and China, where they were active and effective in public affairs. The employment of eunuchs reached its height in the courts of the Byzantine emperors at Constantinople (present-day İstanbul). Muslim rulers employed eunuchs mainly as harem officials.
    Boys who were castrated in order to keep their soprano voices were known as castrati; the Italian soprano Carlo Broschi Farinelli (1705-1782) was one of the most famous castrati. The practice was widespread in Italy until the accession of Pope Leo XIII in 1878. The voluntary practice of castration for religious celibacy appeared early in Christian history and was most prevalent in the 3rd century, but it was never officially approved by the church and came to be violently denounced.
     

  10. Unknown says:

    Hey Cassandra,
     
    Perhaps an understanding of the word "context" might help. I sure you can find it on Merriamwebster.com. Basically, position and usage of the word trumps standard definition, particularly when dealing with translation of historical texts. So again, while the word can be defined in several ways, the context with the rest of the scripture in the discussion refers to devotion in marriage and how some people are unsuited to it. The context also indicates that refraining from sex is applicable without any surgical procedure. Please go back and read the entire chapter. I\’m sure you\’ll see.
     
    Gary

  11. Cassie says:

    Hey Gary
     
    Ah, I see. Okay, then explain to me the contextual meaning of that portion of the quotation which says "…there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven"  
    Because that seems to fit the "standard definition" which you seem to be objecting to so strenuously. And it also seems to indicate that whoever wrote that wrote it sometime during the 3rd Century AD when (as mentioned in that definition) "the voluntary practice of castration for religious celibacy was most prevalent among the early Christians".
    The Bible (as I have had occasion to mention before—mostly on my own blog) is an amalgamation of writings from various sources (often within the same "book") —so that any idea of a continuous and logical CONTEXT is basically laughable. If according to the tradition of your church you can just discard the meaning of a word anytime you like then that\’s fine…but try not to be too upset at those of us who aren\’t willing to buy into that.
     
    The Bible really isn\’t worth wasting my time on as a subject—I know the book quite well and I have to tell you—it isn\’t the revealed word of any God…it is all too human in origin. And a poor excuse for denying people the right to marry.

  12. Unknown says:

    Hi Cassandra,
     
    In the portion of scripture directly above the one listed, Christ is explaining how divorce should be avoided. His disciples respond by stating if it is that tough, then it is better not to marry. Christ then further expounds on the lesson by saying that not everyone can accept this teaching, and then the discussion in the quoted passage begins. The emphasis is on divorce, marriage, and refraining from sexual intercourse, not physical castration. The Bible is the revealed word of God, despite what secular sources have to say, but that is another discussion.
     
    Also, your argument is self defeating. If any idea of continuity or context is laughable, as you state, then stringing the statements together as Kevin did also has no meaning and neither does your "standard definition."
     
    BTW – When you wrote in another area that God never defined marriage, you have a point. However, as Christ, he did confirm the definition. When the Pharisees asked him about divorce, he pointed them back to the scriptures in Genesis and affirmed the concept of one man/one woman. As a Christian, I accept that as authorative.
     
    I understand that you don\’t, and that\’s fine. Legally, marriage has never been handled as a right. It is a contract between two people, male and female, and the government. The rules for having such a contract have always been governed by the state and consented to by the people with their representatives. The gay marriage movement is trying to short-circuit the system by getting it approved by the judiciary without regard to the proper path through the legislature. In fact, advocates are using every means available (BAMN) in California to keep the people from deciding. You often accuse people of forcing you to live under religious laws. In effect, it is you and people like you that are trying to force people to live under laws not properly instituted. I call that tyranny.
     
    Gary

  13. Cassie says:

    That doesn\’t surprise me, that you would consider an attempt to short circuit bigotry as tyranny. But no one is forcing YOU to marry a person of the same sex—they just want the right to marry the person they love—a right YOU had just by being born into the majority.

  14. Cassie says:

    Oh and one more thing—since, according to you. no word in the Bible means what its definition says it means—but only what it is "interpreted" to mean maybe "divorce" didn\’t really mean divorce either—maybe it meant "getting too frisky with your sheep".

  15. Cassie says:

    I know…ast post was a bit facetious. But let me ask you a quesyion, Gary…
     
    WHY are you posting here? Do you expect to "convert" anyone here? Or is it that you hope we can helo set you free from your Biblical point of view?
    Because if your purpose here

  16. Cassie says:

    Wups! Hit the wrong key there—
    As I was saying—if your purpose here is just to engage in arguments for fun then you are wasting your time and ours.
     
    You say you consider the Bible to be the revealed word of God…I don\’t know how anyone in the 21st Century can actually believe that but I\’ll accept your statement. I might point out that a study of the texts in the original languages might change your opinion—the translations are notably off in many instances. Beginning with the first verse of the first chapter of Genesis. The word translated "God" doesn\’t mean that. The word is "Elohim".
    It is plural. (and, in addition, it imples beings of both genders).

  17. Unknown says:

    So let me get this straight (no pun intended): If a person or group who agrees with you on the matter bypasses the proper legal channels, it is justified. It must be great to be you! So wise and knowing…(lol)I\’m pretty sure that Hitler and most dictators started that way. We are being oppressed by (fill in the blank). For the sake of right we must override the law. Happened in Cuba with Castro. The problem is that by the time you stop applauding and look around, you are living in a dictatorship. I\’m not willing to go there.And again, you speak of marriage as a right. It is not.You might point out that a study of the original texts would change my mind about the word of God, and you would be incorrect. I study often. The difference between us might be that I study looking for wisdom and you study looking for discrepancy.As for why I am here, there are several reasons. I love a vigorous discussion. The idea of "converting" anyone is not on my list of goals, though occassionally I have received correspondence from people saying that I have brought something to their attention to make them think. I consider that a plus. I also find that sites like this become echo chambers, where a lot of times people don\’t seriously consider the arguments being made, they just agree to them. Take for example: A lot of rhetoric going on is that religious people want to "force people to live under religious laws." I haven\’t seen anything of the like. We are not trying to "force" anything. We are attempting to prevent groups from instituting their definition of marriage on the public without the consent of the public. That is all. Gay people are fully entitled to live together, love together, etc. There was a time I remember when supposedly that was what it was all about. Now it has morphed into "You must accept our definition of what a marriage is. You must provide tax support and benefits." In short, you are saying I must become a partner in what I consider an immoral contract. I will resist that by all legal means available.Finally, I feel the need to hold a mirror up to people from time to time, make sure they get a good look at themselves. I read lots of complaints about how hateful religious conservatives, how bigoted. Look at the tenor of a lot of the comments posted here and on similar sites. I would say the fundies hardly have the market cornered. I love to discuss things with relation to law or religion, but a lot of the liberal types try to battle from a standpoint of "moral superiority." I don\’t think it washes with most people, so occassionally I try to remind them.Besides, Kevin went visiting at Talkwisdom. He even encouraged his readers to go over there and post comments. Don\’t you believe in equal opportunity?

  18. Cassie says:

    Sure I do…never said you COULDN\’T post here, just wondering what your agenda might be. So you don\’t believe that the majority can be wrong? You think that African-Americans should still ride in the back of the bus, or go to "separate but equal schools" and live in their OWN sections of the city (or anywhere but next door to YOU, hmmm?) Or maybe they should still be slaves? After all, when Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation it didn\’t have much support in the NORTHERN States—and as for the South…well, you\’ve heard the story.
    Sometimes the Majority CAN be wrong…and sometimes the normal process has to be bypassed or we\’d be living in a country where the rights of the minority were not being protected. And I\’M not willing to go THERE.
     
    As for having a personal axe to grind—I don\’t. I\’m not interested in marrying anybody. But equal treatment under the law should concern everyone. For when it is being denied to any person or any group there is something VERY rotten goig on.
     
    As for why I studied the Bible…I did NOT go looking for discrepancies, as you put it…I was looking for TRUTH.
    I found what was there.
     
    As for Fundamentalists not trying to FORCE anything you really should get out more. The agenda of groups like Focus on the Family  is pretty clear. They want God in the classrooms (their version based on their book interpreted the way THEY interpret it) they want "Creationism" taught as a legitimate scientific theory instead of a mythological text (which is what it is) they would like to see a return to the 1950s and early 60s (a period I remember well) when gays and transgender persons could be clapped into prison or even committed to a psychiatric hospital and forced to undergo electro-shock treatments and even lobotomies to "cure them" of their "perversion".
    And, truth be told, the real problem is that deep down inside they know their faith is B S and they know it will join all the other quaint mythologies men have previously believed in if people are allowed to continue living in a free society where they can think for themselves instead of having to give allegience to some powerful sky god (and, through that, keep the preachers in their fancy cars and fabulous houses and the congregation all able to feel special (they get together every Sunday to tell themselves how special they are) because THEY are not like those sinners out there.
    (Actually, of course, they are JUST like them—only they hide it from themselves and each other—occasionally a Jimmy Swaggart or a Jim Bakker will get caught in their lies—and the truth is seen for a time. Then it disappears again under a cloud of false sanctity.
     
    It\’s safer to believe though—because if they ever stopped what would they have? They would have questions without easily available answers. The answers ARE there, but they take time to find. At 58 I\’m just beginning to find some of them. But the journey—oh, man, that has been a BLAST.
     
    And you know, parts of the truth are all around us….but there is no ONE place that has it all.
     
    And now, my arthritis is beginning to bother me so I\’m going to take a break from all this keyboarding and go and have myself a lie-down.  Maybe someone else can take over my side of the discussion for a day or so.
     
    your friendly neighborhood Auntie Cass

  19. Unknown says:

    Hi again Cassandra,"So you don\’t believe that the majority can be wrong?"I never said that. My implication is that bypassing our representative government system can result in a tyranny of the minority. "You
    think that African-Americans should still ride in the back of the bus,
    or go to "separate but equal schools" and live in their OWN sections of
    the city (or anywhere but next door to YOU, hmmm?)"I just love it when liberals start running out of reasons and switch to ad-hominem attacks and implications. They\’ve gotten so  intellectually lazy over the last few decades. It\’s as though they don\’t even have to have reasons anymore. Just call someone a nazi or racist and you are free to disregard whatever they say, right? I\’m afraid I\’m a little too old-school for that, as in "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." You know absolutely nothing about where I live, who I associate, or even for that matter what race I am. You\’re going pretty much on assumptions right now, which is both disrespectful and arrogant. So it goes. News flash: Truth stands on its own. I could be all that you imply and more, and it makes no difference as to the validity of my argument. I\’ve seen how gently liberals treat minorities that don\’t fit their game plan (look up a few political cartoons of Condi Rice, for example.) The Emancipation Proclamation was a symbolic gesture at best. Continue to follow the history and you will find that slavery was abolished by the legislature using Constitutional procedures. What you are suggesting is the exact opposite of that. "Sometimes
    the Majority CAN be wrong…and sometimes the normal process has to be
    bypassed or we\’d be living in a country where the rights of the
    minority were not being protected. And I\’M not willing to go THERE."You persist in using the term "rights" where none exist. If you want to talk about rights being violated, let\’s talk about the kid sent home during a day of silence for wearing a Bible verse number on his tee-shirt. Freedom of speech and assembly down the toilet to support a non-right. You say that you are not willing to go there? I don\’t know about you personally, but a lot of people with views similar to yours are already going there in schools and universities across the country. Consult your Bill of Rights, please. Speech and religion: Yes. Marriage for all: No."As
    for having a personal axe to grind—I don\’t. I\’m not interested in
    marrying anybody. But equal treatment under the law should concern
    everyone. For when it is being denied to any person or any group there
    is something VERY rotten goig on."And again, people get disparate treatment under law all of the time. I\’m not a farmer, so I don\’t get farm subsidies. That\’s one example. People who volunteer for military service have great restrictions on their freedoms even though they volunteer. If society is going to subsidize a system, it has the right to determine the rules. That\’s another reason, incidently, why everyone should fear government controlled health care.I can tell from reading your comments that you have a lot of antipathy toward religious people. I won\’t deny there are some bad apples out there. It\’s easily demonstrated that, at least for Christianity, the effect has been positive overall. As for abolishing such mythologies, it\’s been tried in a number of cases: Stalinist Russia, Nazi Germany. The result of trying to suppress faith has inevitably led to destructive regimes without basic liberties. "It\’s
    safer to believe though—because if they ever stopped what would they
    have? They would have questions without easily available answers. The
    answers ARE there, but they take time to find."That secular superiority complex I alluded to is showing. You certainly haven\’t shown anything approaching a superior wisdom to me. All that you\’ve really said clearly is that you think religion is foolish and you will support a dictatorship if you agree with it. I\’ve not limited my studies to religious texts. I make my living in a science field. I know the arguments for things like evolution, and compared to the faith required to swallow some of it, Creationists are hard core cynics. As for not easily available answers, it seems to me that your side is the one that has to have only reasons they can grab on to. I\’m well willing to spend time pondering."And you know, parts of the truth are all around us….but there is no ONE place that has it all."Assumption. Speculation. Unprovable. You accept that concept, on faith, because you wish to. That\’s like saying "There can\’t be just one answer to 2+2. Sometimes there is. Have a good lie down. Hope you feel better.Gary

  20. Cassie says:

    Thank you I do feel better.
     
    Now, please don\’t try to confuse the issue further than you already have. There are secular laws governing marriage that apply to all citizens. All consenting adults (age 18 and up most places though the age of consent is lower in some states) have the RIGHT (and, yes I will continue to use that word) to marry. AS long as they do it in conformity with the prejudices of the majority. But I say in this country that right needs to be extended to include same-sex couples. No one is by-passing the representative government. The last time I checked the Judiciary was a part of that—along with the Executive and the Legislative. The main reason homophophobes like you have a problem with it is that you are well-aware that your side will lose when the case is considered on its merits rather than on some emotional or superstitious basis.
     
    As for the African-American comments I am trying to show you that your attitude towards same-sex marriage is the same KIND of prejudice as that that denied the rights inter-racial couples to marry for so many years. And, in case you weren\’t aware of it, the Bible was used to justify THAT attitude as well. Just as it had been used in earlier times to justify slavery.
     
    What I would like to hear from YOU, Gary, is ONE good reason why same-sex couples should NOT be allowed to marry.
    Don\’t give me a bunch of quotes from the Bible–I\’m not interested in a mythology lesson….
     
    I wan to hear one GOOD reason (and I\’d love to hear why the subject should be of concern to anyone but the couple involved) why this should not be entirely legal in every state of the Union.
     
    I\’ll be waiting.
     
    Cass
     
     

  21. Unknown says:

    The issue is very clear. Marriage has never applied to homosexual couples. Neither the judiciary nor the executive branch form part of the legislature, which is the Constitutional method people are to assert their rights. "The
    main reason homophophobes like you have a problem with it is that you
    are well-aware that your side will lose when the case is considered on
    its merits rather than on some emotional or superstitious basis."See, now there you go. You know almost nothing about me and you wish to insult me. There is no "case" to consider. Cases are brought with regard to law, and laws are made by legislatures. As for me being afraid, your side is the one that is working diligently to prevent the issue for coming up for a vote or being  considered in a proper manner. You may feel whatever you like, but if you are not willing to work through the democratic process, that indicates fear to me. "And,
    in case you weren\’t aware of it, the Bible was used to justify THAT
    attitude as well. Just as it had been used in earlier times to justify
    slavery."If you check history, I believe you will find that a great many civilizations kept slaves. Few of them had benefit of the Bible. They found whatever justification was at hand. However, when you look at the history of how slavery was abolished, you will find that Bible believing Christians played a key role. Communists (athiests) continued to keep slaves in work camps well into the 20th century. Slavery is still practiced in lands like Sudan. Not much Bible there. As I said, compare the good and the bad, and you would be in a much worse world without Christianity.Prejudice against African Americans was based on skin color and physical characteristics. There was no inherent moral component of difference, despite arguments made to the contrary. The ban on homosexual marriage is refusal to legitimize activity considered immoral. I am against people lying to me. That doesn\’t make me prejudiced against liars. I am against stealing. That doesn\’t make me prejudiced against thieves. I simply do not wish to legally accept their activity as moral."I
    wan to hear one GOOD reason (and I\’d love to hear why the subject
    should be of concern to anyone but the couple involved) why this should
    not be entirely legal in every state of the Union."Your statement is contradictory. The type of marriage that you are pushing for is a legal function, subject to public record. It is not, therefore, just between the two involved. However, my reasons are:1. Gay marriage is a new legal process, not a continuation of a present one like interracial marriage. If it were not in fact different, then gay people would not be clammoring for it. As such, institution of a new legal procedure requires consent of the electorate. It has not been given. 2. Under the full faith clause of the Constitution, a case will be made that if one state accepts it the entire union must. This is an extension of tyranny.3. Gays and other advocates are often deceptive about the reasons behind the movement. They claim they are being forced to live under religious laws. They are not being forced to do anything. Neither are they being prevented from enjoying a lifetime relationship. They claim it is a private matter when they are fighting to make it public. They claim it is a right when in fact there is no legislative history to support it. 4. Using your writing as an example, gay advocates are more than willing to sacrifice the rights of groups who oppose them to gain their ends. In my opinion, that attitude is a precursor to dictatorship. There are already numerous cases of individuals and groups being denied bonafide rights to support the homosexual agenda. You say you don\’t like emotional arguments? That\’s pretty much all you are giving me. You are very good at voicing what you think "should" be. That\’s not how laws are made and rights are granted. When that happens, they can be taken away in the same manner. Roe v. Wade is a classic example. The abortion movement has been paralyzed at the thought of a conservative court for decades now because they know that what judges give they can take away. Rights, real ones not the ones you claim, are a good deal more durable. People who share your views are working at denying others their rights because you feel that only your version of right is right. Sound familiar? Sounds pretty much like a self-righteous dictator to me. As I said: I like to hold up a mirror to people from time to time. I just have to wonder: So many of your ilk are convinced that people like me are hate-filled just for having a different opinion on a subject. Is it to much for me to ask that you would give me the benefit for some integrity? Isn\’t it possible that I have some genuine principled reasons for opposition? Is it necessary to use word like "homophobe" when as near as I can tell I\’ve shown at least much cordiality as you have in the exchange. And I\’ve done nothing to demonize you the way you have me, and religious Christians in general. While you\’re searching for those answers of yours, why not try to practice some of the tolerance you claim to be asking for?

  22. Cassie says:

    "Marriage has never applied to homosexual couples." So freakin\’ what? Just because something hasn\’t been done in the past is no reason not to do it in the future. Especially, if by doing it one is righting a long-standing wrong.
     
    You say "Gay marriage is a new legal process, not a continuation of a present one like interracial marriage". But interracial marriage was not a continuation of a present policy when it first began happening. It was shocking to the majority of Americans (white and black) actually. And people predicted it would "destroy the sanctity of marriage."
    (I know because I was here). Well, marriage survived,
     
    You said on the other blog that comparingequal rights and freedoms for the gay community with the struggles of the African-American community wa "apples and oranges." No it isn\’t. Condemning a person becaise of their skin color is no different from condemning them for their sexual persuasion.
    NO one "chooses" the color of their skin and they dont CHOOSE to be gay or transgendered (which is what I am) either.
    You are born that way. And parents and others usually do their best to "beat it out of you" one way or another. They tried "Aversion Therapy" on me back in the 60s. I got an aversion, alright. To shrinks with electrodes.
    But  I remained transgendered.
    Kevin or someone will have to weigh in on the gay aspect but as a TG I will admit there WAS a moment when I had a choice. I could either stop lying to myself and others and be Cassandra legally for all the world to see OR I could kill myself.
    Being young at the time I tried suicide first.
    I failed at that so I became Cassandra. 🙂
    It seems to have been the right choice (I don\’t kniw what some of those reading this blog would say) but as soon as I stopped fighting against my TRUE nature I discovered what being happy felt like.
     
    Let\’s see–what else?  You don\’t like being called a homophobe…but what else can I call you? You certainly aren\’t a homo-friend since you want to deny the joys of matrimony to all these nice people. And why?
     
    "The ban on homosexual marriage is refusal to legitimize activity considered immoral."
     
    That word, immoral. That is very hurtful. By and large the GLBTI community are just as moral as any other group. What cause have you (or anyone) to bring such an unwarranted charge against us? Indeed, I would think a person choosing ONE person (and only one) with whom they wish to spend the rest of their lives would be considered as being a pretty moral person.
     
    You say I know almost nothing about you and I admit that is a fair charge. I apologize if I have misjudged you…but when one has been battling against prejudice for the better part of half a century some of one\’s responses to certain stimuli become kinda automatic, you know? You should have had this discussion with me about 30 years ago I was a LOT less impatient then. Of course, I wasn\’t in pain 24/7 and I didn\’t have problems with emphysema and a wonky heart either. Guess I\’m getting to be grouchy. But you do provide a fair amount of provocation. Guess there are some things you didn\’t know about me, too, huh? Did I tell you about the time in Colorado Springs when three guys from the American Family Association (a group I consistantly get confused with Focus on the Family) jumped me in a parking lot and broke my jaw and knocked out all but three of my teeth with a tire iron (and fists)? They were doing it (so they told me) for God.
     
    Well, it IS in the Bible, isn\’t it? Deuteronomy Chapter 22:5 if memory serves (King James Version is the one I memorized as a kid so bear with me here): "A man shall not put on a woman\’s garment, neither shall a woman wear that which pertaineth unto a man, for all that do such are ABOMINATION unto the Lord thy God."
     
    Nothing wrong with half-killing an abomination, is there? The cops didn\’t seem to think there was anyway. I dusted the sand of that place off my feet as a testament against them and went to stay with my Dad in Carson City while my face healed up.
     
    Gary, normally I don\’t go into all that bio stuff—it was all a long time ago now and no one is really interested but I felt I owed you some explanation for some of my less than cordial statements to you.
     
    Well now we have both had our say and that is one of the great things about this country of ours, wouldn\’t you agree?
     
    The Auntie Cass of Minneapolis 🙂

  23. Unknown says:

    Hi Cass,You said that being gay is no different that being born with a different skin color. I have to disagree with that. There is nothing about being born with a different skin color that directly affects behavior to the degree you are talking about. You say that immoral is a hurtful word. I suppose it is, but I\’m kind of stuck with it. Everyone, you included, makes decisions about what is and is not "immoral." I use a standard based on the Bible. I understand that you disagree with that, but that\’s the one that I have adopted. Under that standard, homosexual activity is immoral. So is lying, cheating, stealing, etc. So is heterosexual sex out of wedlock, promiscuity, divorce, and any other number of behaviors that heterosexual people engage in. And that\’s a key point, at least where I am concerned.I am not saying that you are less moral than I am. I am not saying that homosexual people are less moral than heterosexual people. None of us is perfect, and from that standpoint, we are all hopelessly flawed. There is absolutely nothing about homosexuality that is any worse than whatever sins I commit on a regular basis. But if I am determined to do my best to be a good servant of Christ, I cannot stand by and call what he say is evil a good thing. I cannot sit idle while a government supposedly "by the people" railroads a major change that will affect the moral fabric of the nation.You say that your orientation is not something you choose. Suppose I believe you. I have no reason not to. Here is the dilemma I am stuck with: Suppose that theft was an "orientation"? Would that mean that we would have to accept thievery in society? Suppose a group of people were genetically hardwired to kill, would we accept murder. I can\’t tell you how to feel, but I cannot accept the activity as moral or even neutral. I suppose from that standpoint we are both stuck.I object to being classified as a "homophobe" because that implies either fear or hatred. I have neither. I am simply someone who does not what to be partnered with your activities by having the government sanction it and provide benefits that I must contribute to. Live your life and enjoy it. Please. But don\’t require me to call it good. You mentioned mentioned that marriage survived after interracial marriage. I would have expected no less because, as I have stated before, there is no moral or spiritual wrong involved there. Other cases have arisen where we have not been so fortunate. When liberalization of divorce came out, the church said that was a threat. It happened anyway. When attitudes about unmarried cohabitation were liberalized, the church objected. They lost that one too. People still like to claim those were both good things for society. As I look at the state of marriage today, I cannot agree. I think both have had a terrible effect on the value of marriage, and on the stability of society and the family. Some segments of the nation, African American notably, have been very hard hit.Now, before you start jumping all over me as a monster, let me give you some family history. My father was an alcoholic and very physically abusive. My mother put up with it for 27 years (for the sake of us children). And as a result, I basically lived in terror my early life that I would say or do the wrong thing and get smacked into next week. It certainly happened to my siblings enough. By the time she couldn\’t take it any more, and did file for divorce, my mother was all but a wreck, physically weak, emotionally exhausted. I think the day my father moved out was the best of my young life. I didn\’t have to live in fear anymore.So no, I am not advocating a stay together at all costs policy. I am saying that the climate we have created has made it easier to quit than to work things out, and that has left us in sad shape. Another argument I hear is that marriage is in such bad shape that adding more problems won\’t make any difference. To me, that says "give up. Let it fall down completely. You have no right to try to do anything to make it better." I\’m sorry. I can\’t back off and do that.I wish I could express how sorry I am for your earlier run ins. I hope you believe that neither I, nor anyone I associate with, would ever do such a thing. Christ loves us all. He died for us all. Some people are just inclined toward evil. They will take anything good and make it into something bad. A lot of them wear Christian colors, but by no means all. When I was much younger, I was taking a walk in the woods. I was minding my own business when a greatly older man walked up to me, grabbed my groin area, and asked "You want some help with that?" I got out of there as fast as I could. He followed me quite a ways, but eventually gave up.I mention this not as a condemnation of gays in general, merely to point out that none of us are without our bad representatives. As you say, an exchange of views is grand. I got out of the service, but I never renounced my oath to "Protect, preserve, and defend the Constitution." I will stand up for your rights to the end. I am saddened that our disagreement as to what constitutes a "right" has placed us in conflict. Be well, Cass.Gary

  24. Cassie says:

    OK we have agreed to disagree, I guess—which is about the best that could be hoped for considering.
    But let me just say this…being born gay or transgendered, or whatever, does not automatically lead to the sort of behavior you encountered from that older man in the woods. (And, yes, I have heard stories like that from others over the years—but there are heterosexual men who do the same kind of things (and worse) to girls they encounter too.
    Not that I would say this as an indictment of men in general (why, some of my best friends are…) just pointing out that testosterone can have a negative effect on a person\’s social suavity 🙂
     
    But as to the gender orientation/ skin color. eye color/ etc–I believe my point is valid. You don\’t choose any of these attributes–they come with the brain/body package and no one should be denied  the privileges that other tax-paying citizens enjoy just because they are DIFFERENT.
    Oh, and please, Gary, don\’t come back with examples like child molesters and so forth. You know darned well I am talking about consenting adults who are harming no one.
     
    We aren\’t going to agree, I know, but I wanted to clarify my position on this. As for my definitions of immorality…yeah… I have em, like torturing those helpless prisoners at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo, like what was done at My Lai during the Vietnam war, like anyone who harms a child…you see the common thread in my examples. I don\’t begin to judge morality until someone is being hurt. It\’s a saying we have "An it harm none, do what you will"
    Aleister Crowley put it this way: "Do What Thou Wilt Shall be the Whole of the Law" which some have taken as unlimiteds license fogetting that it was tempered by "Love is the Law, Love under Will."
     
    Yes, you Christians have so many laws and you shouldn\’t have been put under any. The Law was for the Chosen People (the Israelites) but the Gentiles were intended to receive all the benefits of Christ\’s crucifixion and resurrection as a free gift in return for their gift of love and devotion to Jesus. And they WOULD have too, had not James and those that were with him forced a showdown with Paul and Peter and Barnabas and demanded that SOME parts of the Law MUST apply. So they compromised and you got stuck. But that wasn\’t what God told either Peter ("What I have declared clean IS clean") nor was it what Christ asked of Paul when he made him the Apostle to the Gentiles. (You can find all this in the 15th Chapter of ACTS).
    Poor old James, the "Faith without works is dead: kid" never quite understood that no flesh can be justified by the law or rules but when the Holy Spirit moves in to an opened heart that person CHANGES, James remained hung up on the old way of doing things under Mosaic Law and it got passed on. But not by God\’s plan. By the weakness (and envy) of men.

  25. Unknown says:

    Cassandra,As you say. You and I have agreed to disagree, and that\’s fine. I am not generalizing the behavior of a single man to a group. I am very familiar with the kind of behavior that all manner of people can and do engage in. I disagree however with your "no harm" assessment of the situation. People are being harmed. I am not implying harm by you, but there are numerous cases of people\’s rights being harmed on behalf of the gay community. We could go on with this for quite a length of time, and I don\’t wish to intrude on Kevin and the rest of the group any longer (I think I have made my relevant points for this topic). If you would like to continue the discussion, you can click on the (no name) below, and that should bring up a link to my email. I will discuss this, or most anything else (such as how you misunderstand my relationship with the law as a Christian) at your leisure. Until then, take care.Gary

  26. Cassie says:

    Yes, well…I\’ll have to think about that truth be told I don\’t have much time for emails I have my own live space to handle I\’m in the middle of a two part blog about war (and can human beings stop wars, I started thinking about the subject when I was adding to a blog at a local radio station and one of the other listeners suggested that wars will not end until after the Second Coming—with which, naturally, I took exception, since I think humans CAN do it—and even if it DID require divine intervention that doesn\’t mean we shouldn\’t try while we\’re waiting, does it?…I\’m sure everyone here enjoyed hearing your point of view just as much as I did–be well.

  27. Cassie says:

    You know, I disdn\’t want to say anything to Gary but I always thought "Biblica Marriage" referred to that the uniting of the Old and New Testaments into a one volume coffee-table edition.

  28. Kevin says:

    Hi everyone,
    As I menioned earlier, I have been out of internet connection.  I do want to quickly comment on a few things:
    "Hi Kevin,I noticed that in most cases you did a good job of trashing the sources cited by calling them old, but did not present any more recent studies for counter arguments. Your points would have more validity if you presented some countering facts instead of simply saying the existing sources are bad."I\’m not sure if you are Gary or not, but it is not my job to provide good sources for a bad paper.  As I said, bad sources give bad papers.  I have a Ph.D. in history, so I know which books are good and which books should not be used to make a point about today. 
    And if you read what I said, the eunuch quote is spot on.  The point made is that this person who wrote the article said that God made man and woman to procreate.  But God also made eunuchs, who certainly do not procreate.  That is a simple point, is it not?
     
    "You said that being gay is no different that being born with a different skin color. I have to disagree with that. There is nothing about being born with a different skin color that directly affects behavior to the degree you are talking about. You say that immoral is a hurtful word."
    Gary, you are injected a Christian morality argument here.  You seem to think that being gay is all about sex (or behaviour as you call it).  Sorry, I am gay and that is who I am.  I am not a behaviour.  I am a person.  Immorality and morality have nothing to do with it.
    "I am not implying harm by you, but there are numerous cases of people\’s rights being harmed on behalf of the gay community."  O.k., give me an example of two of this.  And I want specific examples.
     
     
     

  29. Emproph says:

    Cassandra (bold mine): “We aren\’t going to agree, I know, but I wanted to clarify my position on this. As for my definitions of immorality…yeah… I have em, like torturing those helpless prisoners at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo, like what was done at My Lai during the Vietnam war, like anyone who harms a child…you see the common thread in my examples. I don\’t begin to judge morality until someone is being hurt. It\’s a saying we have "An it harm none, do what you will" Aleister Crowley put it this way: "Do What Thou Wilt Shall be the Whole of the Law" which some have taken as unlimiteds license fogetting that it was tempered by "Love is the Law, Love under Will."
    Gary: “I use a standard based on the Bible. I understand that you disagree with that, but that\’s the one that I have adopted. Under that standard, homosexual activity is immoral. So is lying, cheating, stealing, etc. So is heterosexual sex out of wedlock, promiscuity, divorce, and any other number of behaviors that heterosexual people engage in. And that\’s a key point, at least where I am concerned.
    You say that your orientation is not something you choose. Suppose I believe you. I have no reason not to. Here is the dilemma I am stuck with: Suppose that theft was an "orientation"? Would that mean that we would have to accept thievery in society? Suppose a group of people were genetically hardwired to kill, would we accept murder. I can\’t tell you how to feel, but I cannot accept the activity as moral or even neutral. I suppose from that standpoint we are both stuck.”
    Cassandra’s right with “I don\’t begin to judge morality until someone is being hurt.” But Gary, you’ve equated behaviors that harm people directly, like theft and murder, with sexual behaviors that harm no one – effectively making your definition of “morality,” meaningless. According to your standard of morality, the color green could be “immoral” if the Bible said so. Which means that you aren’t making any decisions about the MEANING of right and wrong, which isn’t morality, it’s amorality.
    So be it, but as you mention, you also feel that premarital sex, promiscuity and divorce (and the adultery of remarriage I assume) are also immoral, at least I can respect the consistency. The problem then comes in with the fact that the ‘Biblically-based anti-gay’ crowd aren’t also attempting to make these things illegal as well. So clearly, at least to the casual, and even the critical observer, some sins are indeed ‘worse than others.’ At which point, to claim that one’s beliefs about homosexuality are “Biblically based,” comes across as a hypocritical load of BS.
    The “hatred” comes into play, not necessarily with the amorality itself of which I speak, but when such amorality is SELECTIVELY used to make something neutral, appear to be something bad or good, as in the case here, with homosexuality.

  30. Cassie says:

    Excellent post, Emproph!
     
    Cass

  31. Cassie says:

    I suppose most of you are aware that after telling us goodbye here Gary just moved to the entry for August 3rd here on Kevin\’s Space and we tackled the subject all over again. Now he\’s said "goodbye" THERE as well, But he left me with a question unanswered, "How is it possible for him to believe that he is NOT prejudiced—but rather that his arguments against"same-sex marriage" all somehow make sense?
    Well, that got me to thinking—and some of the first results of my meditation on this are posted in my blog entry called "The Blind Spot (and how do you know if you have one" which is available here:
    http://cass-of-shadows.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!933F5A04C51C4305!7574.entry
    I\’d love some feedback on that entry if any of you have the time.
     
    Cass

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