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Taking the Long View
November 4, 2004 11:42 AM   Subscribe

Only in 1967 did Loving v. Virginia overturn vigorously-enforced laws against interracial marriage in these 15 states--Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Only in 1964 did the Civil Rights Act overturn laws against equal access to voting, public accommodation, and public education. Only in 1963 did the Equal Pay Act mandate that men and women be paid the same wage for the same work at the same job. History isn't a superhighway, leading us in straight lines toward utopia. We fall back and we move forward, but over the past fifty years, the United States has become considerably more inclusive and equality of access to opportunity has widened. Take a look at this article from the Atlantic Monthly in 1956--1956!--if you don't believe me.
posted by Sidhedevil (190 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Speaking of falling back, are you ready?

Its a coming very soon now!

Its OK, I'll catch you, I promise.
posted by nofundy at 12:03 PM on November 4, 2004


Hey, my ox isn't being gored here--I'm a rich white Mayflower descendant who's married to her first and only husband. And he had a vasectomy.

So my goal is to keep my head down, pay for my godchildren and nephew to go to private schools, and work for change. The revolution will be bittorrented.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:13 PM on November 4, 2004


This sentence makes me burst out laughing every time I reread it:

"Instead of being the hapless victim of unprecedented oppression, it is nearer the truth that the Negro in the United States is by and large the product of friendliness and helpfulness unequaled in any comparable instance in all history."

- from the Atlantic Monthly article
posted by jeffj at 12:22 PM on November 4, 2004


I know, isn't that article just incredible? The guy who wrote it was a very successful novelist and screenwriter, and there was a lot of furore about the article being published in The Atlantic--which was founded as an Abolitionist mag, and had been a bastion of New England "social gospel" centrism for years--because some of its longtime contributors, editors, etc., feared it would be "too convincing".

I should point out that there are other perspectives on the Web on Martin Luther King, Jr. and Joseph McCarthy. But those make the baby Jesus cry.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:32 PM on November 4, 2004


Of course, your point is that gays=blacks.....BULLSHIT.
posted by ParisParamus at 12:33 PM on November 4, 2004


the point is that any group not accorded equal rights=any other group not accorded equal rights.

it's simple. think about it.
posted by amberglow at 12:37 PM on November 4, 2004


it's absurd--think about it. Oh, I forgot. you thought Kerry (and probably Dean) was worthy of the Presidency. Nevermind.
posted by ParisParamus at 12:44 PM on November 4, 2004


and then there are occasional moments of great clarity:

"Hence it is nonsense to say that racial discrimination, the necessary consequence of race preference, is "un-American." Actually it is perhaps the most distinctively American thing there is, the reason why the American people -- meaning the people of the United States -- are what they are. Today when racial discrimination of any kind or degree is instantly denounced as both sinful and stupid, few stop to reflect that this nation is built solidly upon it."

- also from the Atlantic Monthly article
posted by jeffj at 12:46 PM on November 4, 2004


Of course, your point is that gays=blacks.....BULLSHIT.

And maybe this time you'll give an explanation instead of running away like a little chickenshit in the last few threads you piddled over about this.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:52 PM on November 4, 2004


I found the date of some intrest. By 1950 Truman had integrated the military and this article comes 6 years later. The issue of "mixing" is that for a long time it was thought that blood mixed created a bastardization of races; now we know that genes and not blood is central to identity, and that there is no such thing as race in science, and that Hitler et al also believed that blood mixed was "bad."
posted by Postroad at 12:53 PM on November 4, 2004


No, ParisParamus, my point is that, within my lifetime, several forms of legalized discrimination have been done away with, and I expect that overall trend to continue.

I'm encouraging people to take the long view of history.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:54 PM on November 4, 2004


And maybe this time you'll give an explanation instead of running away like a little chickenshit in the last few threads you piddled over about this.

Bush won, thereby justifying everything Paris thinks. Remember.
posted by eatitlive at 12:54 PM on November 4, 2004


Great post. The people who voted for banning gay marriage are of the same mindset as those who opposed desegregation. They will eventually be overcome, too.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 12:55 PM on November 4, 2004


Why is PP allowed here at all? Seriously. Has It ever added anything other than bigotry and hatred to a thread?
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 12:55 PM on November 4, 2004


Postroad, a lot of the "eugenics" theories that were popular in Hitler's regime were developed by the American Eugenics Society.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:56 PM on November 4, 2004


Paris, we appreciate your friendliness and helpfulness, but we're trying to discuss the links here, ok?
posted by jeffj at 12:58 PM on November 4, 2004


Also, presidential elections are not a referendum on personal "worthiness" for sane people--sane people vote for the candidate whose policies and platforms will be, in their opinion, better for the country in the near and long term. In this election, slightly more people agreed with Bush's policies and platforms than agreed with Kerry's. That hardly makes Kerry "unworthy".
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:59 PM on November 4, 2004


Being black is not a behavior. Gay sex is a behavior.

Anybody remember Anne Heche?
posted by konolia at 1:11 PM on November 4, 2004


Anybody remember Michael Jackson?
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 1:13 PM on November 4, 2004


"No, ParisParamus, my point is that, within my lifetime, several forms of legalized discrimination have been done away with, and I expect that overall trend to continue."


Look. Seriously, I salute you, in thinking there should not be discrimination against homosexuals. My problem is viewing marriage (as opposed to civil unions) a form of discrimination. THAT IS THE EXTENT OF MY BEEF (except that, perhaps, focusing on gay marriage as a reason to vote for or against a Presidential candidate is stupid because it's a LOSER strategy).
posted by ParisParamus at 1:14 PM on November 4, 2004


Anybody remember Anne Heche?

Anyone remember the Catholic Church?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:17 PM on November 4, 2004


No one is viewing marriage as a form of discrimination. Not allowing people equal treatment under the law is discrimination.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 1:17 PM on November 4, 2004


"Being black is not a behavior. Gay sex is a behavior. "

Gay sex is a behavior. Black sex is also a behavior.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:19 PM on November 4, 2004


except that, perhaps, focusing on gay marriage as a reason to vote for or against a Presidential candidate is stupid because it's a LOSER strategy

actually, it seems to have been pretty effective.
posted by jeffj at 1:23 PM on November 4, 2004


Gay sex is bad -- but so is sex outside of marriage. Religious people should be doing all they can to lead others away from a life of sin, rather than encouraging wickedness by forcing gay people to have sex outside of the sacred bonds of wedlock.
posted by eatitlive at 1:29 PM on November 4, 2004


Fine. Keep your strategy, and never again see an even centrist President. WAKE UP AND STOP CLUBBING YOURSELF ON THE HEAD!
posted by ParisParamus at 1:29 PM on November 4, 2004


A. If you were clubbing yourself on the head, you would probably already be awake, and would therefore;
B. not need to wake up.

This is how logic works, Paris. Keep trying. I know it is difficult, but you can do it.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 1:32 PM on November 4, 2004


anyway, back to the article:

"A very few years of thoroughly integrated schools would produce large numbers of indoctrinated young Southerners free from all "prejudice" against mixed matings."

...and this is presented as an argument AGAINST integration.

Well, I guess this author would have been relieved to know that prejudice and racial separation weren't going away anytime soon, even with integrated schools...
posted by jeffj at 1:33 PM on November 4, 2004


That Atlantic article hurt my brain. It's like reading corporatist and nazi claptrap from the 1920s and 1930s, or British Colonial rubbish, or theology. It's like, the writer is using language, and words well-constructed according to all the rules of grammar and formalism, but they proceed from a basis of clear nonsense. Ouch! The past really is a foreign country. And the future...
posted by meehawl at 1:46 PM on November 4, 2004


Being gay is not a behavior. Failing to take your anti-psychotic medications is a behavior.
posted by anapestic at 1:47 PM on November 4, 2004


Mormonism is a behavior. But when you have special underwear, you don't have to worry about sex, I guess.
posted by gimonca at 1:48 PM on November 4, 2004


Being black is not a "behavior". Interracial marriage, however, is a behavior. How is outlawing same-sex marriage not like outlawing interracial marriage?
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:48 PM on November 4, 2004


Anybody remember Anne Heche?

Oh yes. In the book, a September release, Heche accused her now dead-of-AIDS and bisexual father, Ohio choir director Don Heche, of sexually abusing her as a child. Her ultra-religious mother, Nancy Heche, ignored the abuse, Heche wrote.

Family values!
posted by Armitage Shanks at 1:53 PM on November 4, 2004


Some truth mixed in with the WTF of the atlantic article:
For the elementary public school is the most critical of those areas of activity where the South must and will at all costs maintain separateness of the races. The South must do this because, although it is a nearly universal instinct, race preference is not active in the very young. Race preference (which the propagandists miscall race prejudice or hate) is one of those instincts which develop gradually as the mind develops and which, if taken in hand early enough, can be prevented from developing at all.

IE: racism is taught and we must take care to teach all the white children.

THERE are other cogent reasons for the white South's stand: the urgent necessity of restoring the Constitution and our federal form of government before they are permanently destroyed by the Court's usurpation of power;

And see even in 1956 they had activist judges.
posted by Mitheral at 1:55 PM on November 4, 2004


I am a white woman. In Kentucky, in 1967, it would have been illegal for me to marry the person I loved if that person was a black man. In Kentucky, in 2004, it will be illegal for me to marry the person I love if that person is a woman of any color.

Again, I am not seeing how these situations are not equivalent.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:04 PM on November 4, 2004


Sidhedevil, because the haters can justify anything.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 2:10 PM on November 4, 2004


No, I really want to know. Konolia? PP?

There is a hell of a lot more language prohibiting divorce in both the Torah/Old Testament and especially in the New Testament than there is prohibiting gay sex.

Yet, somehow, divorce is rampant among Evangelical Protestants. If we're going to have a Christian theocracy in this country, let's at least be consistent about it.

If same-sex marriage is outlawed, the marriage of people who have had a civil divorce should be equally outlawed.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:15 PM on November 4, 2004


Being gay is not a "behavior." Being an ass is a behavior, so I say Mefi passes an ammendment that FreeomParamus can't get married. We don't need those genes to pollute the gene pool, that's for sure.
posted by eustacescrubb at 2:19 PM on November 4, 2004


It's all about division. The powers that be have succeeded in keeping us from uniting against them... (oops, there's that conspiracy theorist in me rearing it's ugly head again!) But seriously, generations have been taught to hate and fear and so it's what they know and act on. The world didn't come to and end when interracial marriages were permitted and won't when same sex marriages are. Patience. It'll happen.
posted by LouReedsSon at 2:27 PM on November 4, 2004


Anne Heche? The bad actress?

On a related note, gay couples don't have the children that might legitimate, over generations, the notion of being gay...
posted by ParisParamus at 2:29 PM on November 4, 2004


Being black is not a behavior. Gay sex is a behavior.

As others have said, there are a great many things that most of us, including conservatives, believe to be fundamental rights that are choices. So it's not a very effective argument on its face.

And, as I've said repeatedly, pushing the genetic determinist argument plays into the hands of cultural conservatives that can then turn the argument around and say, "well, then if a straight person has gay sex, then that can be outlawed, right? Because it's a choice". Or, even more frightening, "then if we can correct the genetic 'flaw', then we wouldn't be violating anyone's right to be as their genes determine they must be, right?"

So, I say: Yeah, Konolia, whether it's genetic or a choice, it is a behavior...and there's nothing wrong with the behavior. And maybe being black or white isn't a choice or behavior...but miscegenation is behavior, it's a choice. Regarding behavior/identity, miscegenation is as vulnerable (or invulnerable) to your argument as gay marriage is. So. Do you think people should or should not have a right to marry people not of their race?

After all, it's a behavior.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:31 PM on November 4, 2004


" Being gay is not a "behavior." Being an ass is a behavior,"

Switch a few words in that sentence and the falacy emerges....
posted by ParisParamus at 2:33 PM on November 4, 2004


On a related note, gay couples don't have the children that might legitimate, over generations, the notion of being gay...

Not today. In a few years they will be able to. Will that change your point of view?

I thought not.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:34 PM on November 4, 2004


there was a lot of furore about the article being published in The Atlantic--which was founded as an Abolitionist mag, and had been a bastion of New England "social gospel"

As in recent times the Atlantic has leapt, for the sake of modish controversy, onto conservative theories like Broken Windows (dissent exempli gratia).

My problem is viewing marriage (as opposed to civil unions) a form of discrimination. THAT IS THE EXTENT OF MY BEEF

This sentiment sounds disingenuous to me, expressed in a country where several states just outlawed civil unions, based on church bulletin inserts (PDF) that, so far from even regarding homosexuals as equal beings, painted them as pedophiles whose agenda is introducing polygamy and polyamory (group sex) as "families."
posted by Zurishaddai at 2:34 PM on November 4, 2004


PP, I know lots of gay people who have children. Hell, Oscar Wilde had two children. Alice Walker has a daughter. Susan Sontag has a son.

And I know married gay couples who have children, too. Lots of them. Legally married gay couples with happy, well-adjusted children.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:35 PM on November 4, 2004


Switch a few words in that sentence and the falacy emerges....

I think you meant "fallacy", asshat. Quit being such a homophobe and learn to spell.
posted by drstrangelove at 2:36 PM on November 4, 2004


Polyamory isn't "group sex", ZH. Polyamory means a lot of things to a lot of people. It might, for example, be a situation like Mamie Eisenhower's knowledge of, and tolerance of, Ike's relationship with Kay Summersby, or Florence Harding's knowledge of, and tolerance of, Warren G. Harding's relationship with Nan Britton (the mother of his child).
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:38 PM on November 4, 2004


Strategery RULES!
posted by ParisParamus at 2:40 PM on November 4, 2004


Bad spelling doesn't make me an asshat--other things, perhaps yes, but not that. Particularly when I'm at the office, trying to do real work!
posted by ParisParamus at 2:41 PM on November 4, 2004


"And I know married gay couples who have children, too. Lots of them. Legally married gay couples with happy, well-adjusted children."

Your perception of "adjusted" may vary.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:42 PM on November 4, 2004


Sidehdevil, I think that attempting to engage those who are irrational in a rational argument may be a bit pointless: in order for a logical argument to succeed, the respondent has to consent to a rational view of the situation. When you are arguing with people who are holding religious convictions which dictate their black and white worldviews, it's probably not going to happen.

I just wanted to thank you for this post, which has cheered my greatly by reminding me that my sense of being trapped in a handbasket on its way to hell may be overemotional.
posted by jokeefe at 2:42 PM on November 4, 2004


PP, I can promise you that every child of a gay person I know is infinitely better-adjusted than you. And, frankly, attacking the putative mental health of children you've never met is astonishingly reprehensible.

Hey, how come you got to get divorced when YHWH clearly said you weren't supposed to? You didn't get a "get", did you?
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:50 PM on November 4, 2004


My husband is part Cherokee. At one time in this country my marriage to him would have been illegal because of that.

I hold that the very definition of marriage precludes such a thing as "gay marriage." Marriage is not simply a contract wherein two people can legally give each other orgasms. Marriage is between one man and one woman, designed as a social construct in order to protect any children born of the union, and also as a representation and type of the union between Christ and his Church.

Are gay people gay from birth? YES- but only in the sense that each and every one of us is born with original sin. In some people this expresses itself in unbiblical divorce and remarriage (the Bible does condone divorce in case of immorality on the part of one of the spouses) in others it may be expressed in a bent toward lust for the same sex.

Before I hear you complain about gay people loving each other-I love a lot of my female friends but do not want to have sex with them, therefore I can certainly understand someone loving a same sex partner that they do have sex with. I still say that the sexual behaviour is out of bounds, just as premarital sex., adulterous sex, incest and pedophilia are out of bounds as well. Would any of us say a pedophile is born that way and therefore his or her behavior is normal? I think not.

And for the record, I am appalled that abusive Catholic priests are not immediately defrocked and cast out of the Catholic Church right into prison. There is no excuse for that whatsoever.

To the gay people on Metafilter and beyond-I care about your eternity much more than I care about you being mad at me right now. YOu may be enraged at me, in fact I expect it, but don't you dare say I hate you , because I don't. If I hated you it would be so much easier to keep my mouth shut. One day I hope you understand.
posted by konolia at 2:51 PM on November 4, 2004


You do know that it's none of your business?
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:57 PM on November 4, 2004


Konolia, your comments, heartfelt though they may be, are utterly irrelevant to a marriage created by a civil ceremony.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 2:58 PM on November 4, 2004


To the gay people on Metafilter and beyond-I care about your eternity much more than I care about you being mad at me right now.

Congrats on supporting giving people a life of hell to pretend it'll earn you an eternity in heaven.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:59 PM on November 4, 2004


Church. State. One of these things is not like the other...
posted by Hildegarde at 3:02 PM on November 4, 2004


To the gay people on Metafilter and beyond-I care about your eternity much more than I care about you being mad at me right now.

This reminds me of Pat Roberson's justification for genocide.

Historically, a belief in imaginary worlds has led to massive human suffering. This, as much as anything, has turned me off to religious faith.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:03 PM on November 4, 2004


Congrats on supporting giving people a life of hell to pretend it'll earn you an eternity in heaven


I don't want anyone to spend an eternity in HELL. It is cruel to pretend that gay marriage is okay with God when it isnt. There are gay people that do believe in God and who have been lied to by those who should know better concerning God condoning what He has already said He hated.
posted by konolia at 3:05 PM on November 4, 2004


Marriage is not simply a contract wherein two people can legally give each other orgasms.

Do you get the impression that some people can't stop thinking about gay sex?

Metafilter: not simply a contract wherein two people can legally give each other orgasms.
posted by Hildegarde at 3:07 PM on November 4, 2004


It is cruel to pretend that gay marriage is okay with God when it isnt.

Is it your contention that the law should be based on that?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 3:10 PM on November 4, 2004


It is cruel to pretend that gay marriage is okay with God when it isnt.

You know what, konolia? I met God. I had a profound religious experience wherein God came to me and stayed with me through a difficult time. And God told me it was a-okay to be gay. In fact, I got the impression that, given that this was probably the only chance I had to ask God a question, I had asked the stupidest possible one. The one with the most obvious answer.

So you can think it's cruel all you like. You can believe what you like. I actually know.
posted by Hildegarde at 3:11 PM on November 4, 2004


Ah, but see, Konolia, I've known people (in the elsewhere mentioned Texas panhandle) that argued that miscegenation is a sin, they had scriptural basis for making that claim, and that miscegenation violated the very definition of marriage. Just as you are saying about homosexual marriage.

Now, are you willing to grant those people that they are fighting against interracial marriage because they are concerned about other people's eternal souls? If they argued that to you, would you have accepted that they were motivated from spiritual love and not bigotry?

Of course in some sense homosexual marriage is not the same thing as miscegenation because, well, they're different things. But you (and others) keep arguing that prima facie they're quite different things, qualitatively different things, vastly different things...and, well, that's not self-evident.

I don't really mind that you choose to draw the line at the place you're choosing to draw the line. I disagree, but that alone doesn't offend me. What bothers me is that you expect me to agree that it's self-evident that the line should be drawn where you say it should be drawn. And the problem with that expectation is that if it were self-evident, it'd be self-evident. But from where I'm standing, I see arguments that look exactly like the arguments against miscegenation, which I know you don't agree with. It doesn't look like a vastly different thing.

The biggest difference I can see is that one of these is now acceptable in American society, and the other isn't. The one that is, very recently wasn't, and was argued against using the exact same language, with scriptural support, you're using now.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:12 PM on November 4, 2004


Your interpretation of God's judgement and ideas about gay people and meaningless (and even blasphemous), konolia--sorry, hon. It's not for you to tell us of God's wishes.

God doesn't hate me--he created me, and you are in no position to tell us what God wants, or what's ok in his eyes/judgement. I realize this election has emboldened you, but we're all God's children, even us gay and lesbian ones.

Leave your ideas of who's a sinner and who's going to hell out of our laws and government--they don't belong there. A civil marriage is not a religious thing at all, and to continually ignore that plain fact is sad.
posted by amberglow at 3:13 PM on November 4, 2004


make that "are meaningless"
posted by amberglow at 3:13 PM on November 4, 2004


Why should atheists care what Evangelical Christians think of their marriage choices any more than Evangelical Christians should care what Orthodox Jews think of their marriage choices?

If someone believes that a certain type of marriage, or a certain type of relationship, is against their religion, then that should inspire them to avoid it for themselves.

I don't see how you get from that to "It's against my religion, therefore it should be illegal for everyone else, even if their religion thinks it's fine." Under that rubric, Joe Lieberman would be introducing Constitutional Amendments to outlaw ham and cheese sandwiches!

And, konolia, isn't it equally cruel to pretend that divorce is okay with {the Christian} God when it isn't? Why don't we start with the 90%+ of people who are heterosexual and save their souls by making civil divorce illegal?
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:15 PM on November 4, 2004


sidhedevil, thank you for this article.

even in this day and age, my fiancee and i get some evil looks when we go out in public.

you write that in your lifetime you've seen several different forms of discrimination be erased or at least greatly reduced, and that's awesome. but i wonder, i really do, if we've hit a rightward wall (by which i mean the mechanism the late stephen jay gould used to explain why we won't ever see baseball players hitting homeruns 5000 ft even though there has been, and continues to be, an increase in the distance balls are hit).

where was i? oh yeah -- i wonder if we've hit the point where the gains we make start decreasing more and more each year. we've gone from 400 ft to 500 ft pretty rapidly, to continue the mangled analogy, but it's going to be very difficult to get from 500 to 550. then even more difficult to get from 550 to 575. then well-nigh impossible to get from 575 to 600...especially when otherwise good-hearted people such as konolia see it as a zero-sum game: every gain for gays, for example, seems to represent a loss of something of hers in her mind.

so in a sense i'm jealous that you've seen so much progress. i'm not likely to, and i doubt my children will see as much as i've seen.

still, thanks! :-)
posted by lord_wolf at 3:17 PM on November 4, 2004


See, konolia, you're condemning all the heterosexuals who get divorced and remarry (without a religious dissolution of that marriage) to HELL already.

There are a lot more of them that you're condemning to HELL than there are of homosexuals you've saved from HELL.

Not very Christian of you, is it? Newt Gingrich needs you to save him from HELL, konolia. He's an adulterer and fornicator. He's been divorced and remarried twice already. Aren't you concerned about HIS immortal soul?
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:18 PM on November 4, 2004


Marriage is between one man and one woman, designed as a social construct in order to protect any children born of the union, and also as a representation and type of the union between Christ and his Church.

So does that mean you are also opposed to atheists being married?
posted by eatitlive at 3:21 PM on November 4, 2004


You'd think some Christians must own real estate in Hell or something--they're so quick to send people down there.
posted by amberglow at 3:21 PM on November 4, 2004


Oh, and--from the 1958 Virginia Superior Court opinion in Loving v. Virginia (the case overturned in 1967 by the US Supreme Court):

Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents… The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.

See, konolia, that judge was just trying to save your soul from HELL because you were offending Almighty God.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:30 PM on November 4, 2004


and also as a representation and type of the union between Christ and his Church.

Does that mean that there were no marriages before the birth of Christ?

Also, I'm not sure who's the husband and who's the wife in the Christ/Church "union."

We know from reading the Bible that Christ and John were lovers, but it doesn't tell us who was the bottom and who was the top, though we can make an informed guess because Paul said in Acts that "It is more blessed to give than to receive." Presumably you think his views are the same as Christ's, since so many of you Christians are so quick to use what he said, rather than what Christ said, to consign the rest of us to hell.
posted by anapestic at 3:30 PM on November 4, 2004


Apparently, konolia's also opposed to Jews being married. Konolia and PP are strange bedfellows on this topic, methinks...
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:30 PM on November 4, 2004


i think konolia is a good-hearted person. i think she could learn to respect the dignity and wishes of gay people given time and exposure, but i think the pile-on seen here actually validates her feelings: if so many sinful people -- as she may see us -- denounce her for what she sees as living true to the words of her god, then that's a sign that she's doing something right.

however, i think if she saw that a lot of gay christians are more christ-like than the hetero christians who hate them so much, she might begin to question her thoughts and feelings.
posted by lord_wolf at 3:35 PM on November 4, 2004


It's all about the bedfellows.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 3:36 PM on November 4, 2004


I totally don't agree with the arguments that amberglow and Sidhevil are making just now.

Christianity (and Islam) is universal in a way that Judaism is not. And, in general, there's nothing inherently invalid or unreasonable about a universal God that says that most of us, or all of us, or just me, is going to hell.

Konolia could believe that everyone, not just believers but everyone, has to have their left hand cut off, against their will if necessary. That's not an invalid belief. I disagree with it, yes. I'd fight her tooth-and-nail to keep her from cutting off my hand, yes.

But unless you can convince me that you guys have some secret knowledge of the universe that konolia lacks, then I don't see how your view of "the rules" should carry any more weight with me than hers does. You're arguing that her argument for a universal morality that should be imposed upon unbelievers is absurd on its face...just as she's arguing that seeing gay marriage as being very similar to interracial marriage is absurd on its face. You're both basically saying that not only is the other person wrong in their belief, but that they're in some sense insane to believe what they believe.

But you're wrong. Both beliefs are reasonable, relatively speaking. Both could be right, both wrong, or one wrong and the other right. Whether they're true or not is a seperate issue than this whole "it's obvious it's true/false" debate. That's a different debate, and it's usually the one that people have with each other. "Surely it's obvious to you that X??" "Surely it's obvious to you that not-X??"
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:37 PM on November 4, 2004


Apparently there are still some people who believe themselves to be trying to save konolia and her husband from going to HELL (and ruining civilization) by their shameless miscegenous marriage:

Liberal ministers have a very difficult time reconciling the holy bible with their crusade to promote interracial marriage. Quite frankly, the Bible demands Segregation of the races.

Acts 17:24-28 says that God made man and hath determined the bounds of their habitation. Genesis 28:1 says that the Canaanites (blacks) were the servants of servants and Isaac called Jacob and said unto him, "thou shalt not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan."
[sic, and sick!]

Interestingly, these folks are also encouraging people to take the long view:

To young people of the late 1990s, it seems inconceivable that all of organized society once actively opposed the mating of Whites with non-Whites. Those few who dared voice support for such an abomination were generally regarded as depraved crackpots. Most states had anti-miscegenation laws that forbade sexual relations between the races. One could be imprisoned for mating outside the White race. This changed with Franklin Roosevelt and the onset of the civil rights era. In 1967, the U.S. supreme court invalidated all state laws forbidding interracial marriage. From that time on, there has been an ever growing campaign in the popular culture to promote and expand this irreversible race-mixing. [sic]

Oh, yes. You know who thinks interracial dating destroys our civilization. Now, konolia, can you explain how you're right and they're wrong?
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:42 PM on November 4, 2004


The Loving case is near and dear to me (and what an appropriate name), as my parents have the same racial makeup. I've always wondered what legal status the offspring of such a union would have in a state where intermarriage is illegal. Fortunately California got rid of its law in 1948. I've never felt that strongly about same sex marriage, one way or the other. However, the arguments used against it make my blood boil, as it does anytime somebody, who is not god, tries to tell me what god wants. Wee bit presumptious, don't you think? I'm surprised at your stance on this Konolia, since that was the same argument used against interacial marriage.
posted by MetalDog at 3:42 PM on November 4, 2004


Eternal Bligh, here is the thing. See if you can follow me.

If homosexual marriage is wrong and should be outlawed because it says so in the Christian Bible, then heterosexual civil divorce and remarriage is wrong and should be outlawed because it says so in the Christian Bible.

Heterosexual civil divorce and remarriage has, in fact, been illegal in many countries until recently--Ireland, for example, just legalized divorce in 1995 through a constitutional amendment that barely passed.

Imagine the pain of Ireland's Protestant, Jewish, and other non-Catholic residents--who make up only 8% of Ireland's total population--suffered by not being permitted to make a decision about marriage which their religion endorsed, just because the majority of the people in the country followed a religion that felt that that decision about marriage was a grievous sin?
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:48 PM on November 4, 2004


Muslims and Hindus should also not be allowed to marry. This Christianity thing really is quite the Occam's Razor, is it not?
posted by botono9 at 3:51 PM on November 4, 2004


Don't forget that gay sex is so good it might just destroy the world.

Good post, Sidhedevil. I've taken my comfort from history for much longer than the past 3 days. Gay marriage isn't the civil right that died in 2004, it's the one that 2004 wasn't ready for. We used to burn atheists and the mentally ill at the stake. The fact that 20% of people are now willing to let gays marry is, I would say, not half bad for a few hundred years work.

It's sad. The more I grow up, the more I realize the world isn't finished yet. But like the blades of grass that turn a mountain of jagged rock into a green, rolling hillside, all we need is time.
posted by scarabic at 3:58 PM on November 4, 2004


Here's the other thing, Ethereal Bligh.

konolia says that same-sex couples should not be allowed to marry because she interprets verses in the Christian Bible as forbidding it.

When introducing the Anti-Miscegenation Amendment of 1912, Congressman Roddenberry said that interracial couples should not be allowed to marry because (among other reasons) he interpreted verses in the Christian Bible as forbidding it.

I point out that there are many more verses in the Christian Bible forbidding secular divorce and remarriage than there are forbidding homosexuality.

Even if I grant konolia's premise that the Christian Bible should be the basis of US law on marriage, it seems obvious to me that those who believe that should first outlaw secular divorce and remarriage as well as interracial marriage, since 90% or more of the US population is in danger of committing these grievous sins and going to hell.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:59 PM on November 4, 2004


And, in general, there's nothing inherently invalid or unreasonable about a universal God that says that most of us, or all of us, or just me, is going to hell.

Konolia could believe that everyone, not just believers but everyone, has to have their left hand cut off, against their will if necessary. That's not an invalid belief. I disagree with it, yes. I'd fight her tooth-and-nail to keep her from cutting off my hand, yes.


She can believe whatever she wants. Her religious beliefs should not become our laws. That is inherently invalid and unreasonable, as history has shown.
posted by amberglow at 4:03 PM on November 4, 2004


Oh, I think things are better with a degree of tolerance. But that's a far different thing than claiming that God agrees with us. Maybe God doesn't.

So. Do you feel the same way about Mormons and polygamy? They are being persecuted by the dominant society that says that polygamy is morally wrong when (till recently, and among many still) their belief said it isn't.

The idea of tolerance that you let other people do things as long as they don't impact others seems pretty sensible until you get to the difficulty of the fact that there's very little we do that doesn't impact others. The barriers between personal and universal morality are not so obvious.

On amberglow's preview: no, history is one long stretch of legislating morality. That's what law is, mostly. You don't just legislate law for those that agree with it. You particularly legislate for the minority that's inclined not to agree with it. Law is an imposition of morality on the unwilling.

On sidhevil's preview: yes, and that's why, for example, even my sister, an evangelical, herself personally can't get worked up about homosexuality and such. Because in her view, a whole bunch of other things that are currently accepted are also sins. Equal sins, like adultery. I agree with you that a good argument can be made that konolia's strictness is much more a function of where the current status quo draws the line than it is what the Bible dictates. But, you know, that only possibly proves that she's inconsistent, not that she's "wrong" to want to impose her view of morality on others.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:11 PM on November 4, 2004


According to the Christian viewpoint, non-Christians are doomed to hell anyway. Why would anyone think that laws preventing gay marriage are going to save anyone from hell?
posted by Foosnark at 4:13 PM on November 4, 2004


Has anyone ever sat down to figure out the Bible's stance on nuclear power? I mean, it's highly probable that you could find "relevant" passages, but the bottom line is that the issue isn't significantly unpacked and addressed in those pages. Homosexuality has always existed, of course, but it was hardly a major, open, public debate at the time. You might find scraps of a stance in there if you really, really look. But nothing conclusive.

Natural resources, economics, and knowledge of the fundamentals of the universe is also vaguely touched on in the Bible, so I want to know: can we split the atom or can't we?

And that's the problem with trying to apply the Bible to modern life. It's no longer relevant. And if you want to talk about its "universal truths of timeless wisdom" then how about you focus on the 75% that says "love each other" and stop harping on the 1% that says "lie not ye men the one like unto his neighbor" or whatever the fuck.

"Beware the man of one book," as someone once said. It may be the Good Book. But it's not that good.
posted by scarabic at 4:16 PM on November 4, 2004


You'd think some Christians must own real estate in Hell or something--they're so quick to send people down there.
posted by amberglow at 6:21 PM EST on November 4


Ding ding ding... We have a winner! :)

Thanks for the laugh A-man!
posted by LouReedsSon at 4:16 PM on November 4, 2004


The more I grow up, the more I realize the world isn't finished yet.

A sidenote: your use of the word "finished" betrays an unconscious (or, hell, possibly conscious) utopianism. And, I think, utopianism is the enemy of the good in the same sense that we tend to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. If you're judging the world by the standard of how you think it should be, you're going to be terribly disapointed. Because, truth told, you have nearly zero chance of seeing all these things that you think are wrong righted before you die.

On the other hand, look back as Sidhedevil has done and see just how far we've come in a short time. We're using the example of civil rights for blacks here. But note, for example, that it was almost fifty years later before women were guaranteed the right to vote in the Consitution. Within living memory. This is why, frankly, there's so much more to do regarding sexism than racism. This is why, frankly, apartheid in South Africa can be a world issue but female slavery in Asia is not.

And ask yourself: if it's only so recently that we even began to recognize the rights of blacks, and even more recently of women, then isn't it sort of miraculous that just within we relatively young people's live's we've seen enormous change with regard to acceptance of homosexuals? I mean, Stonewall was within our lifetimes.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:19 PM on November 4, 2004


You might find scraps of a stance in there if you really, really look. But nothing conclusive.

Well, some liberals claim that. But there's at least two passages, I think, that are pretty unambiguous. Generally speaking, though, you're right. A lot more time is spent on a good number of things (and I'm not talking OT things) that contemporary Christians downplay. I really don't think there's much argument at all that this is more a cultural issue than a religious issue.

But, nevertheless, fundamentalists believe that the Bible is the "inspired word of God" and thus is 100% relevant to our times as it was relevant to when it was first written down. Do I think they're wrong? Yep. Are they necessarily wrong? Nope.

And, frankly, given all the wacky, arbitrary things that every single other religious view holds to, I don't see how this one is that more nutty than any other.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:25 PM on November 4, 2004


konolia's reasoning for why same-sex marriage should be illegal is internally inconsistent, given that other things prohibited in the Christian Bible on more occasions are legal and even practiced widely by many more Americans than would ever be interested in same-sex marriage, including many of those who wish to outlaw same-sex marriage.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:25 PM on November 4, 2004


EB, there are more passages in the Christian Bible that are unambiguously against secular divorce and remarriage than there are passages that are ambiguously or unambiguously against homosexuality.

There are plenty of passages that are ambiguously against interracial marriage as well; and if you don't interpret those passages as being against interracial marriage, then you must interpret them as being against interfaith marriage. Yet interfaith marriage is not illegal.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:28 PM on November 4, 2004


The Bible... That's that book where one of the hero's daughter's got him drunk (a sin) so they could have sex with him (OMG!) and spawn his seed (yikes!), right? Please.

Why do we have such a problem with Arab gov't's ruling with their book but wanna shove ours down each other's throats and ammend our constiution?
posted by LouReedsSon at 4:34 PM on November 4, 2004


"This sentiment sounds disingenuous to me, expressed in a country where several states just outlawed civil unions, based on church bulletin inserts (PDF) that, so far from even regarding homosexuals as equal beings, painted them as pedophiles whose agenda is introducing polygamy and polyamory (group sex) as "families."


Zurishaddai, you have a point. I don't represent all people who are not for gay marriage. I just know what feels right to me, and it's civil unions and/or the government out of the marriage business altogether.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:39 PM on November 4, 2004


Paris must be terrified of homosexuals to take so much time out of his self-proclaimed busy working day to rant about them here.

Arguing about anything religious with Konolia is fruitless: she has been told what to believe by her pastor, and she will not accept that any of you might have an equal or better interpretation or understanding of "the truth."

As for the count of passages in the bible that say one thing or another, the count is irrelevent: push comes to shove, the religionists believe that all the prohibitions have equal weight in god's eye. It's just that they choose to really ride the homosexual hobby horse because, well, it's easy, and it can never, ever actually impact their lives. Whereas, say, divorce might be something they'd want one day.

Prepare for a theocratic government. The judiciary is being loaded for another round of laws based on bible interpretations.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:45 PM on November 4, 2004


Are gay people gay from birth? YES- but only in the sense that each and every one of us is born with original sin.

There's that thing again, theology, words strung together that make syntactic sense but semantic nonsense. Seriously, what the hell is "original sin" anyway? Can I weigh it? Can I collect it in buckets, carbonate it, and sell it? When I read weird stuff like this, I get the same vague flickers of recognition that I get from reading late medieval court poetry, or Beowulf, or abelian categories. It might as well be Latin.
posted by meehawl at 4:47 PM on November 4, 2004


Marriage is between one man and one woman, designed as a social construct in order to protect any children born of the union, and also as a representation and type of the union between Christ and his Church.

So if what you are saying is that your religion and your church don't condone or perform marriages to people of the same sex or people who don't or can't have children I say Great!

This is not to say however that all religions have this same view or that the legal conditions of marriage should not be allowed which your religion may be against.

I respect you and your religion's perspective on the matter and would fight for your right to hold those beliefs just as I fight for the rights of others to hold their own as well.
posted by aaronscool at 4:54 PM on November 4, 2004


By the way, folks, please note that Paris has quite clearly communicated that his issue is not with gays living together, or even with gays having the rights and responsibilities granted upon het married couples: he's upset with the co-opting of the term "marriage" by the government.

Which I can certainly appreciate. It's a real shame that our language loosened-up on the term. Governments should have nothing to do with marriage: that should be the exclusive domain of religious organizations.

The problem, though, is that this change in definition is firmly, deeply, permanently embedded in the language. When one asks a couple if they are married, they'll say "yes" even if they didn't have a religious ceremony, and signed only civil union contracts.

Hell, my wife and I are areligious, have not signed any civil union contracts, and still tell people we are married. Because in today's language, it's the only word that adequately describes the commitment we have shown to each other.

The solution?

Religious organizations need to come up with a new term for their ceremony, and ensure that it is not co-opted. "Sanctified" will do nicely.

And then we can finally have peace: gays will become married by signing a civil contract, while hets can become "sanctified" if they are religious.

all hell breaks loose, of course, when a religious organization decides that homos can become sanctified...
posted by five fresh fish at 5:00 PM on November 4, 2004


...the government out of the marriage business altogether.

This would be such a beautiful, perfect solution to this whole mess.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:00 PM on November 4, 2004


" Paris must be terrified of homosexuals to take so much time out of his self-proclaimed busy working day to rant about them here."

Actually, there's a certain lesbian here in Park Slope I'm trying to convert...so, you are incorrect...
posted by ParisParamus at 5:01 PM on November 4, 2004


" By the way, folks, please note that Paris has quite clearly communicated..."

Yes, and the whole issue doesn't really matter to me. I'm much more fascinated with the Left's complete cluelessness when it comes to understanding how most Americans think.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:05 PM on November 4, 2004


And as usual, the happy fundementalist removes her fingers from her ears just long enough to hear her own lunatic ravings, then quickly puts them back again lest reason seep in.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:09 PM on November 4, 2004


I suppose you figure you're typical of "how most Americans think," Paris...
posted by five fresh fish at 5:14 PM on November 4, 2004


I'm much more fascinated with the Left's complete cluelessness when it comes to understanding how most Americans think.

At this point, that's something to be proud of.
posted by Hildegarde at 5:14 PM on November 4, 2004


I'm much more fascinated with the Left's complete cluelessness when it comes to understanding how most Americans think.

When it comes to these issues, I couldn't care less how most Americans think. I have a clear idea of how things ought to be. I'll express it when I can, and work for it. And I'll accept (on a few rare occasions, sadly) that I don't get final say.

EB, you're bringing up a tricky point: If all views are allowed, what about the view that some views shouldn't be allowed? The answer is: of course, until it's legislatin' time.

I'm a grown man, and if I were gay I could certainly tolerate konolia's rather lugubrious form of caring about my soul. (I'm probably sinner enough that she would take a similar pity if she knew me.) It's not the end of my world. But when it comes to intense social pressure or, worse, government action, konolia and her ilk really need to shut the hell up.

And bigamy; fine. Don't know why it's illegal in the first place.
posted by argybarg at 5:26 PM on November 4, 2004


Hildegarde:

Oh, that's wicked. I feel very very guilty now for looking and enjoying.
posted by argybarg at 5:27 PM on November 4, 2004


It explains a lot, doesn't it. See, our real enemy is the American education system.

Blame the teachers! ;)
posted by Hildegarde at 5:29 PM on November 4, 2004


First off, I read the Bible for myself, having concordances and study helps right here in my own home when needed.

Second, when the Bible taught that Hebrews should not intermarry, that was simply specific to their faith, not their genetics. The problem with intermarriage then was with foreign wives bringing their foreign gods (idols) with them.

Third, Moses married an Ethiopian (second marriage for him) and his brother and sister were in heap big trouble with God when they objected to it.

Fourth, all those racists who liked to use Genesis to support their racism were wrong in their theology in the passages they used. I went back and looked at it myself.

Fifth, if you don't believe in God and have no intention of serving him, you can disregard me and that is fine. But there are people who are deceived into thinking that homosexuality is okay with God and it isn't. You can have homosexuality or you can have God. You cannot have both.

Sixth, God still judges nations. Go grab the history books and figure out what happens to a society once homosexuality is totally accepted into a society longterm. Other people's sin does have an effect on me and mine, and on you and yours.

Seventh, yep, most divorce is sin, and way too many Christians are indulging in it, to the detriment of their own children and to society at large. But there are lots of sins,and we are discussing one.

Eighth, we all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God which is why we need Jesus. But we have to admit where we have sinned, not justify it or expect others to accept it. It is the rejection of God and of his Son's sacrifice that condemns people to hell. Part of rejecting God is rejecting what He says about things.

Finally, there is such a thing as right and wrong, a right and wrong that is eternal and does not change. I cannot call right wrong and wrong right just to make someone else feel better.

I do not judge you. But there is a Judge.
posted by konolia at 5:36 PM on November 4, 2004


Blame ourselves.
posted by LouReedsSon at 5:36 PM on November 4, 2004


I'm deeply sorry for the self-link, but there's some serious MeFi synchronicity going on here: I just finished writing a personal statement about my own marriage that cites Loving v. Virginia.

I hope you enjoy it.

Our Traditional Non-Traditional Wedding
posted by digaman at 5:39 PM on November 4, 2004


Konolia, if you believe that secular divorce is a sin, I want to know why you believe that secular divorce and remarriage should be legal in the United States of America. If you believe that same-sex marriage should be made illegal because homosexuality is a sin, then clearly it is much more important that secular divorce and remarriage be made illegal, as it is a sin in which many more Americans are likely to be involved.

So why don't you believe that secular divorce and remarriage should be made illegal? Don't you want to save Newt Gingrich's soul from HELL?

Now, as for "the racists were wrong in their theology", I think, and I have the support of my church (the Episcopal Church of the USA), that "the homophobes are wrong in their theology". Who are you to say that my church--the very church to which most of the Founding Fathers belonged-- is incorrect in its interpretation?

Also, since you are interpreting those passages formerly used by opponents of interracial marriages as forbidding, instead, interfaith marriages, then do you believe that interfaith marriages should be made illegal? Again, there are many more Americans in interfaith marriages than there are homosexual Americans. Don't you want to save their immortal souls from HELL?
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:45 PM on November 4, 2004


Finally, there is such a thing as right and wrong, a right and wrong that is eternal and does not change. I cannot call right wrong and wrong right just to make someone else feel better.

Konolia, this was exactly what people such as the Virginia judge in Loving v. Virginia said while outlawing your marriage.

I support your right to decide what civil actions you will take, and not take, based on your interpretation of your religion. However, I cannot and will not support your wish to keep others from civil actions that are perfectly in accord with their religious beliefs (or lack of same).
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:49 PM on November 4, 2004


It is cruel to pretend that gay marriage is okay with God when it isnt.

XENU will eat your BONES!
posted by bargle at 5:55 PM on November 4, 2004


The IQ chart linked to by Hildegarde is a well publicized hoax.

This sort of easy smirking superiority is not helping The Cause and really only serves to reinforce negative stereotypes of the American Left. Please have some tiny shred of skepticism when your worst (most cherished) negative thoughts about your fellow citizens are confirmed.

/Voted for Kerry
posted by Voivod at 5:56 PM on November 4, 2004


Voivod, do you feel that the arguments konolia is making are a) logically self-consistent, or b) appropriate for our society?
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:57 PM on November 4, 2004


It's just that they choose to really ride the homosexual hobby horse because, well

...it makes them feel all funny down there? Just guessing.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 6:00 PM on November 4, 2004


But there is a Judge.

How convenient that Its invisible, with absolutely no support in reality for Its existence. Just like leprechauns.
posted by jsonic at 6:02 PM on November 4, 2004


Konolia, if you believe that secular divorce is a sin, I want to know why you believe that secular divorce and remarriage should be legal in the United States of America

Who said I did?

I can remember when divorce was much, much harder to obtain.

I have watched friends divorce and remarry on the rebound. Stupid, stupid, stupid. One does not divorce the problems that cause the first marital breakdown in the first part.

I have been married 21 years. Not all of those years were pleasant. But we did the work and got the counseling and did what we had to do to honor our marriage vows. It was entirely worth it.

a caveat-people in abusive situations should not stay and get beat up. The abuser needs to be held accountable legally just like any other perpetrator. And again the Bible does teach that if there is immorality (if your spouse is screwing around on you or wont put down the internet porn, etc) you are released from the wedding vows-as the offending party has already broken them by his or her actions.


Now if you will excuse me, I have an appointment with Donald Trump and his apprentices.
posted by konolia at 6:02 PM on November 4, 2004


love that, digaman, and mazel tov! : >

hopefully, love will win out against hate, ignorance, and fear.
posted by amberglow at 6:04 PM on November 4, 2004


But, konolia, surely if you think that same-sex marriage should be made illegal to save people from sin, then you should think that secular divorce should be made illegal to save EVEN MORE PEOPLE--AT LEAST NINE TIMES AS MANY PEOPLE from sin.

So why are you wasting your time outlawing same-sex marriage when the greater evil of secular divorce and remarriage is sweeping our land?

I mean, sure, you can keep an exception for religious dissolution of marriages, just to satisfy that "immorality" business. But this 'NO-FAULT' SECULAR DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE epidemic should really concern you, konolia. And since it affects many many more people--especially Evangelical Christians--it should concern you MUCH MORE than same-sex marriage.

Unless you're a hypocrite, that is.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:07 PM on November 4, 2004


(And who else finds it ironic that konolia is going off to watch the Big Sinner Donald Trump (adulterer, remarried twice after secular divorces) instead of trying to defend her hypocritical position?)
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:08 PM on November 4, 2004


Please have some tiny shred of skepticism when your worst (most cherished) negative thoughts about your fellow citizens are confirmed.

My fellow citizens are happily ensconced in Canada, thank you very much.
posted by Hildegarde at 6:14 PM on November 4, 2004


Go grab the history books and figure out what happens to a society once homosexuality is totally accepted into a society longterm. Other people's sin does have an effect on me and mine, and on you and yours.

Like ours, you mean? Same sex couples have been a feature of Saxon cultures since they began writing, and of Graeco-Latin cultures since well before that. And we are still here. What is it about same-sex coupling that seems to offend you? Is it the (presumed) buggering? Do you know that in pre-modern times anal sex between men and women has been a preferred method of contraception? It's quite enlightening to read daybooks and accounts from late medieval and Renaissance het men and women talking about the best methods for anal sex.

Eighth, we all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God which is why we need Jesus. But we have to admit where we have sinned, not justify it or expect others to accept it.

There's that weird talk again. What is this "Glory" and is its relation to "Original Sin" like matter to anti-matter? And what can this "Jesus" do about it exactly? Does he wear a cape? Who is the heel in this story? Seriously, what is it you mean when you talk about "sin"? And I have Hindu friends who I know for a fact have a completely different understanding of what this word "God" means, and they also have tried to explain their version of "sin" to me and to be honest, what I am getting from you seems to have nothing to do with their version.
posted by meehawl at 6:17 PM on November 4, 2004


I think it was Paul who said that only those who were weak in the flesh should marry. The Christian ideal should be to be the bride of Christ regardless of gender and not marry.

I find it a little weird to somewhat agree with PP. Framing the debate is all that matters today. Advocating gay "marriage" is a mistake. Marriage is something that should be the sole domain of the church. There are churches in SF that would happily recognize a gay union before God. A friend of mine got married last year to a, gasp, French woman. They had a civil ceremony at City Hall and later in the year flew to Paris for a church ceremony.

Understanding how "most Americans think" doesn't make you right, it just gets you elected. There is a difference.
posted by whatever at 6:17 PM on November 4, 2004


Sidhedevil: I'm in Atheist living in San Francisco, so... no. :-)

Hildegarde: Well then please do your neighbors to the south a favor and stop spreading that hoax. While it may be what Kerry supporters want to hear right now, it's seriously self destructive.
posted by Voivod at 6:21 PM on November 4, 2004


Polyamory isn't "group sex", ZH

I thought it was obvious that I was directly quoting the Traditional Values Coalition's repugnant, leering, and false characterization of gay people in general.

Here's a whole menu of their church bulletin inserts. I think every citizen of the U.S. should know something about these — it was this very (legally dubious) campaign of political-smear-pamphlets-in-churches that won the election for Bush. These are the notions being poured into so many Heartland ears under the name of "moral values." This is how we have wound up with a man elected to the Senate in order to save Oklahoma from rampant lesbianism.
posted by Zurishaddai at 6:22 PM on November 4, 2004


Thanks, amberglow, I really appreciate it. Basically, with all the current talk about gay marriage sinking the election for Kerry, it occurred to me that no one was hearing from gay people who have actually gotten married. The whole debate has become one abstraction piled on top of another. If anyone feels it's worthy, I'd appreciate it if people spread that link around.
posted by digaman at 6:23 PM on November 4, 2004


Go grab the history books and figure out what happens to a society once homosexuality is totally accepted into a society longterm.

Which history book would that be?

Please, let's see a specific example of an actual book written by an actual historian with an actual degree using actual historical and/or archeological evidence to support the idea that homosexuality contributed to, or even in a circumstantial way could be correlated to, the catastrophic downfall of a nation or society.

History shows us that societies slowly mutate into something else, or are rapidly but not-quite-completely assimilated by invaders. I don't recall any societies that have been destroyed by the wrath of God.
posted by Foosnark at 6:26 PM on November 4, 2004


Finally, there is such a thing as right and wrong, a right and wrong that is eternal and does not change. I cannot call right wrong and wrong right just to make someone else feel better.

Yes, obviously YOU can, because you and yours are doing so right here in this thread. Bigotry directed against those different from you is wrong and adolescent, as is reliance upon some imaginary father substitute to make moral decisions for you.

Using your illogic, one could just as easily say that religious fanatics are born "that way", "in original sin" (ignorance), outside "the norm", and we could all have a hell of a good time preventing them from entering into "the norm's" rituals and civil transactions. Let us know when you think that's a good idea.

Part of rejecting God is rejecting what He says about things.

Nah. We're just rejecting what you and the other homophobes say, because it's obvious you all have no clue whatsoever as to anything the mysterious Mr. God "says." "God's will" was once used to try to justify slavery and racism, and is still being used as justification for bigotry.

Some people, incredibly, think it's much more likely that God mysteriously speaks, hidden from view, to a few specially chosen men....than it is that men merely lie.

So much for critical thinking skills.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 6:56 PM on November 4, 2004


Sorry, ZH! Sometimes my sarcasm meter doesn't work so well.

It was fun finding polyamorous Republican presidents, though.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:05 PM on November 4, 2004


And this thread was posted by Sidhedevil?!

Isn't that special? </Dana Carvey's Church-lady
posted by jaronson at 7:28 PM on November 4, 2004


What a wonderful thread. I'm in awe of the comprehensive, fact-based, inarguable responses to Konolia's claptrap.

While I normally quite like Konolia, it is at times like these that I despise ... well, not her so much as her brain that somehow is built so as to be completely and irrevocably incapable of understanding what you've said.

I don't know if that means she's just generally stupid, or if it is some sort of chemical imbalance analagous to the one that leads me to deep and wholly illogical depression.

Come to think of it, since my depression is alleviated by a pill that restores some sort of normalcy to my brainchemical stew, allowing it to behave like "normal" not-depressed brains behave... well, maybe there's some sort of drug for relieving victims of their religious devotion to irrational thinking.

Man, it would be nice if equality and harmony could be achieved by a pill! This world could actually become a happy place if people just helped each other live an enjoyable life.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:02 PM on November 4, 2004


Since in many states it is apparently okay to tell gay people they aren't wanted and should leave, let me say this: ParisParamus, get the f**k out of my city. There are other places where you are wanted. Not here.

And I know I'm not helping the thread or being nice, but f**k it -- this is a culture WAR, people...get out your weapons.
posted by zaack at 8:05 PM on November 4, 2004


fff, that's hateful.

If you believe in free speech, honor it and listen intently to those whose views you despise.
posted by argybarg at 8:21 PM on November 4, 2004


Yeah, I watch Donald. And I post on Metafilter.

Bible says that if I were to stop associating with "sinners" I would have to go out of the world. Actually the only people I am supposed to avoid , according to the Bible, are people who claim to be Christian yet are committing unrepented blatant sin, e.g. fornication, etc. Point being that association would be seen as giving a bad impression to nonbelievers that such actions are permitted.

Probably some tv preachers I won't be eating dinner with, I guess.
posted by konolia at 8:26 PM on November 4, 2004


what happens to a society once homosexuality is totally accepted into a society longterm

"All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us???"
posted by gimonca at 8:29 PM on November 4, 2004


fff, that's hateful.

If you believe in free speech, honor it and listen intently to those whose views you despise


FWIW, I don't think FFF meant that hatefully. I didn't take it that way.
posted by konolia at 8:30 PM on November 4, 2004


Yep, gimonca...too bad about those barbarians, wasn't it?
posted by konolia at 8:31 PM on November 4, 2004


too bad about those barbarians, wasn't it?

There's a popular name for the era when they turned to Christianity. Usually called the "Dark Ages".
posted by gimonca at 9:03 PM on November 4, 2004


some tv preachers, and our current president, konolia.

Here's some good news, and a disappointing piece of advice from Clinton to Kerry: Kerry refused to take Clinton's antigay advice
posted by amberglow at 9:06 PM on November 4, 2004


Go read "How the Irish Saved Civilization." Cool book.

The Dark Ages' version of Christianity was pretty screwed up, btw.
posted by konolia at 9:07 PM on November 4, 2004


Hateful how, argy?
posted by five fresh fish at 9:07 PM on November 4, 2004


I was under the impression that the Romans, in general, frowned on homosexuality well before Constantine - hence the dislike of Heliogabalus, for example. The Romans were rather prudish for the most part.

How The Irish Saved Civilization is a good book, if memory serves, but I would recommend God Against the Gods.
posted by malpractice at 9:23 PM on November 4, 2004


Kerry refused to take Clinton's antigay advice

It's hardly a surprise that Kerry has more principles than Clinton. I guess it's also hardly a surprise that it made him less electable.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:25 PM on November 4, 2004


I have to commend konolia on that fact about homosexuality ruining societies. Never let the historical significance of Alexander the Great managing to take over a huge amount of the globe before mass transport was available (he was a fan of botty-sex).

Let us not forget the 300 mincing Spartans at Thermopylae who held off an army of nearly half a million Persians interfere with your irrationality. They were man-lovers each and every one. These brave men fought to the death, not for brown love but for the future of Greece and Democracy.

I mean what with the city states of ancient Greece being pretty much the entire basis for Democracy and Republicanism (not the party...) it would seem that evidence is that queers are really rather good at constructing society from barbarism.

caveat - IANAH - The "H" is for historian, not homosexual.
posted by longbaugh at 5:47 AM on November 5, 2004


Good ol' phaoronic Egypt lasted a nice 3500 years and they had no problem with homosexuality.

(Or any kind of sexuality really, that didn't involve children, the unwilling, breach of civil marriage contract, or desecrating temples.)
posted by Foosnark at 7:17 AM on November 5, 2004


fff, if you told me you despised my brain I'd be, well, insulted. But Konolia doesn't seem to mind, so I guess I won't.
posted by argybarg at 7:37 AM on November 5, 2004


Longbaugh: why don't you advocate returning to Greece. I can't think of a better way to turn the Democrats into a 1% party.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:25 AM on November 5, 2004


because PrimaryschoolParamus -

a) I'm not a Greek citizen
b) I'm not a Democrat because...
c) I'm not an American citizen
d) I don't believe in sending people back where they come from if they don't agree with me.
e) You are a complete anus.

Keep on tooling PP. May the country of your birth flower and bloom with the bullshit you spew.
posted by longbaugh at 8:34 AM on November 5, 2004


So Reagan didn't defeat Communism, it was Gorby getting his shit pushed in?

My fiance almost smacked me the other night when I said that I didn't support the government okaying gay marriage. It's a touchy issue that required some explaining. Like a few here, I don't support the government having anything to do with marriage. The government should be there to ensure that a legal bond between two people, gay or straight, is binding and recognized. They should not have to muck around with God or the sacred. Just make sure that my uncle can see his husband if he gets sent to the Emergency Room.

Leave it to the churches to decide if a given union is pleasing in the eyes of God.

This solves the problem for the more secular folks, but not for the more evangelical. To many of them, seeing a person risk their salvation by their behavior is like seeing a kid wander out onto the freeway - it's just something you gotta stop. I just wish that those who wish to save do so with words and understanding, not laws and humiliation. However, I don't think this is possible when one side has an absolute and can't compromise.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:52 AM on November 5, 2004


Christians, what do you think of this?
As the Lord gave his children free will and does not impose his wishes for them upon them, so they should not impose their will upon each other.

A choice made under duress (all choices which are enforced by law) contains no moral content. Being forced by law to avoid a sin does not keep you from that sin in your heart.

As God speaks and advises with love, but does not coerce, so should Christians behave towards their brothers and sisters.
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:44 AM on November 5, 2004


To the gay people on Metafilter and beyond-I care about your eternity much more than I care about you being mad at me right now. YOu may be enraged at me, in fact I expect it, but don't you dare say I hate you , because I don't. If I hated you it would be so much easier to keep my mouth shut. One day I hope you understand.

I understand, and I despair. Your care is far worse than the mindless hate of a thousand rednecks. It is toxic.

However, what I don't understand is why you think your beliefs should be backed by the force of law. If God is the judge, not you, why shouldn't I be allowed to sin? Isn't that the point of God granting me free will? If you deny me the ability to do wrong, what value does God receive when I do right unwillingly and still sin in my heart?
posted by me & my monkey at 10:18 AM on November 5, 2004


I think the one big wake-up call all Christians need is this: Christ practiced what he preached.

One of the things he said and did was abide by the civil laws of man, while living by the religious laws of God. As the son of God, surely he had the ability to ensure that the government made laws that forced the population to do as He said they should do... yet he didn't.

He let the government set the laws that it wanted, and lived his own life without making others live by his faith. His works are the example by which Christians should live: that's why he tells you to remember him.

His works do not include meddling in others' lives. His works do not include forcing people to do what he wants them to do. His works do not involve changing civil law.

So start living a Christian life, you religionists, and quit forcing yourselves on the rest of us. Christ wouldn't do it, and neither should you.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:00 AM on November 5, 2004


Oh crap, I need to spend more time previewing before posting.
posted by me & my monkey at 11:01 AM on November 5, 2004


MonkeyBoy, trying to reason with a cultist is about as productive as teaching a paraplegic how to skip rope. They were brainwashed into thinking the way they do, reason be damned (literally).
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:55 AM on November 5, 2004


Monkey, the point is that people like me and people like you all have the right under our set of laws to influence the laws we are governed by. I act and vote according to my convictions and so do you. Everyone on this thread has asking why my beliefs should trump yours-now I ask you why should I accept your beliefs over mine?

Maybe all us Christians (and other people who do not agree with gay marriage) think that THAT set of beliefs is being shoved down OUR throats.

I saw some statistics somewhere on the Web that 70-80 percent of Americans do not approve of gay marriage.
posted by konolia at 12:18 PM on November 5, 2004


now I ask you why should I accept your beliefs over mine?

No one is saying that at all. Equal rights should be our goal in America--all of us. it's not about one set of beliefs or another, but our shared belief. A belief in equality is not one-sided, and it's sad you don't see that. I will not be denied rights and benefits because you don't approve of me. That is wrong. Just wrong. It was wrong when it was used against interracial couples, and it's wrong now. It was wrong when it was used to deny women the vote, and it's wrong now. It was wrong when it was used to deny blacks full citizenship, and it's wrong now. It is wrong.
posted by amberglow at 12:30 PM on November 5, 2004


"EB, you're bringing up a tricky point: If all views are allowed, what about the view that some views shouldn't be allowed? The answer is: of course, until it's legislatin' time."

Well, I'm not exactly saying that. My defense of konolia's moral universalism was a defense of its validity, not its truth nor its acceptability nor whether it should be "allowed". Which, as I was thinking about this last night, is I suppose a subtle point that is only important to the type of person that thinks the way I do.

In a way I play devil's advocate (haha) against the moral relativists that essentially dictate tolerance. For them, tolerance is, oddly enough, a universal principle that applies to everyone and anyone who isn't tolerant is (effectively, though they don't use this lianguage) "morally wrong". I mean, to my ears, the language they use when they condemn "intolerant" people sounds pretty much exactly like the language the intolerant people use.

From my point of view, tolerance as a principle isn't "leaving other people alone", it is, rather, respecting other people's differing viewpoints. And what I mean by "respecting" is to give people the benefit of the doubt that their differing view—their obnoxious (to one) view—is a view held in good faith (well-intentioned, honest) that is a reasonable view. That doesn't mean accepting that view, or agreeing with it, liking it, or even allowing them to act upon it...it just means respecting their differing view the way that one expects other people to respect one's own views. We each (mostly) believe ourselves to hold our beliefs with good intentions, and honestly, and that our beliefs make sense. And yet, I think, people tend to assume that people that think very different about things do so because they have bad intentions, are dishonest, or they're crazy. You can see every one of these accusation against konolia above, for example.

I have a narrative about the universe that I think makes good sense, and an ethics that derives from it. It is a very different narrative than konolia's. And I'm not in any practical sense a relativist: I think I'm right and she's wrong.

But people believe a lot of different things, and I have to live with those people. It's not just the theists, the evangelicals, the fundamentalists, the islamacists, that I have to live with that I deeply disagree with: I disagree, deeply, with a lot of people that you might expect that I'd agree with. From my perspective, giving my assumption that my beliefs are true, people believe a lot of weird things. Things that are hard for me to take seriously, or to make sense of.

Also, I may be wrong. Konolia may be right.

A problem I have, and I think I've said this before, is that a lot of people argue against konolia's worldview on the basis that it has ugly consequences (like many people going to hell). That argument doesn't make any sense to me because I see no reason at all why the universe should be constrained to be likeable to us. Especially with something as nonrational (as I thik it is) as theism, I see no reason why the metaphysical organization of the universe be something that seems all nice and happy relative to all human sensibilities. As I've said, for all I know, we're all going to Hell. I think that would be sort of funny, really.

So, anyway, my point of view is that konolia's universalism that says that all people—not just believers—should behave a certain way is not an unreasonable point of view. I mean, lots and lots and lots of people throughout history have believed such things. Also, I do agree with the criticism of relativism that it's not as relativistic as it claims to be: there's a deep undercurrent of universalism in it, too, saying how all people should behave. Sure, its contraints on other people's behavior are very limited (mostly, don't tell other people what to do, except to tell them not to tell other people what to do), but still.

To me, tolerance is how I defined it above. I have tolerance for konolia's beliefs in that sense. disagree, I am completely willing to say that I think she's wrong, and I'm both willing and eager to oppose her actions in the public sphere to impose her morality on myself and others. But what I won't do is claim that there's something intrinsically invalid, unacceptable, or whatever in her thinking that she comprehends a universal morality that is her duty to be sure everyone adheres to. Because, as the relativism example demonstrates, we all have at least some idea of a universal morality that we want to impose on everyone, even if it's very limited. But for my part, it's not that terribly limited. I'd like to impose on other people my values of anti-sexism, anti-racism, anti-homophobia, civil rights, etc. If I have an idea of how I think the world should work, and I am trying to see that idea realized, even for those people that don't agree with it, then who am I to claim that konolia's attempt to do the same is invalid? I just say she's wrong and oppose her.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:46 PM on November 5, 2004


Konolia: I think something like 75% of Americans don't approve of gay marriage. On the other hand, something close to 75% of Americans do approve of civil unions. Yet the majority of the people behind the anti-gay-marriage movement, as we see in Ohio, are also against civil unions. So, don't be too confident that everyone shares the Christian conservative view of things.

Also, I've long suspected that a good portion of those 75% that are against gay marriage don't understand what "gay marriage" is. I'd bet you money that at least a third of those people think that the government allowing gay marriage would mean that their church would be forced to recognize gay marriages. Which, of course, isn't true.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:49 PM on November 5, 2004


Amerbglow: do you support the denial of basic rights of, as I've already asked, Mormons to marry whomever (and however many women) they choose? Do you deny the basic rights of children, including enfranchisement, privacy, etc.? My point is that your idea that you are not participating in the legislation of a dominant morality and idea of who has rights and who doesn't against a minority who disagrees is completely false. You yourself are almost certainly not blameless by the same general terms that you are indicting konolia. In various ways, in the public sphere, by your votes or whatever, you're imposing your sense of morality on others.

Maybe your morality is correct and true and rational or whatever and other people's aren't. Fine. I probably agree with that, since yours and my values are probably very similar. But I strongly disagree with the taking of this high-horse position that it's only other, bad, nasty people who try to tell other people how to live their lives. A good portion of the rule of law and civil society is telling other people how to live their lives. Konolia is just drawing her lines in a different place than you are.

Is it the wrong place? I agree, it's the wrong place. But that's a different (and more to the point) criticism.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:55 PM on November 5, 2004


Everyone on this thread has asking why my beliefs should trump yours-now I ask you why should I accept your beliefs over mine?

Why should a rapist have to accept not raping women? Why should we have to accept the belief that there's something wrong with having sex with children? Why should I accept your belief that murder is wrong? Unless you're willing to defend this style of non-logic for every single human being wanting to do any single thing on the planet, you have no right hiding behind it.

Civil rights are about the recognition of that which is already inherent. These are rights endowed upon them by their creator, and I have documents to prove it.

No American has the general right to kill because it contradicts the right to life (and no, I know what you're thinking, let's not go there for now, okay?) No American has the general right to force someone to do something because it contradicts the right to liberty. No American has the general right to dismiss another person as a second-class subhuman, or mandate who they are not allowed to be in love with, because it contradicts the right to the pursuit of happiness.

Your belief that you have the right to believe all men are not created equal contradicts the inalienable right that all men are created equal. It may be your belief, but by the nature of that which is entrusted upon all citizens of this nation by their Creator it is not, can not, and shall not be your right.

God Bless America.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:12 PM on November 5, 2004


Your belief that you have the right to believe all men are not created equal contradicts the inalienable right that all men are created equal.

Ha. The actual history of this country is a long, long battle to get "all men" to mean more than "land-owning white protestant males".

So, if you want to support your position on the basis of the historical battle, the trend, to read "all men" as inclusively as possible, I'll accept that (and applaud it). But you can't claim that it's the essence of America, since it hardly has been, mostly.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:19 PM on November 5, 2004


So, if you want to support your position on the basis of the historical battle, the trend, to read "all men" as inclusively as possible, I'll accept that (and applaud it). But you can't claim that it's the essence of America, since it hardly has been, mostly.

If the constitution wasn't open to re-evaluation, they wouldn't have made amendments. Unlike some other flawed sets of rules, these aren't carved in stone.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:31 PM on November 5, 2004


Yeah, I know. It seems like a quibble. But it's kinda important to me to recognize how little the Bill of Rights actually meant in practice, for a very long time, and how far we've come in the last seventy years. It's been a hard battle.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:41 PM on November 5, 2004


And just because only land-owning white men could vote in early America is no reason to laugh--they themselves wrote for an audience bigger than themselves, knowing that the basic principles set down would guide a growing country.

I deny no one basic rights, unless they're actively harming others. Others, it appears, think it's fine to deny rights to others, thus harming them (and me). This is an imperfect place but getting better, as the links show, and that's no reason to stop striving for justice and equality. Where that bumps into konolia is that she feels perfectly justified in doing exactly that, and in denying others rights she enjoys (for whatever reason--this isn't about religion, so much as it's about rights). That is wrong, according to the principles of this country. In a theocracy that would be fine, but this isn't a theocracy.
posted by amberglow at 2:44 PM on November 5, 2004


Maybe all us Christians (and other people who do not agree with gay marriage) think that THAT set of beliefs is being shoved down OUR throats.

You are being forced into gay marriages? That's an outrage! No wonder you are upset.

EB, why is it so difficult for you to write concisely?
posted by five fresh fish at 3:00 PM on November 5, 2004


"EB, why is it so difficult for you to write concisely?"

That's probably more a criticism than a honest question, but I'll answer it. It's probably because it matters more to me to avoid ambiguity than it does to be concise. I tend to always make my points in two different ways, for example. And all the qualifiers and details and whatnot aren't incidental to me, they're deeply part of my worldview. I greatly distrust oversimplification. Casual discourse tends to great oversimplification for many reasons, lots of them practical. But I've not yet figured out how to have valuable, productive conversations that satisfy my need for expressive clarity and other people's need for concision and accessibility. I'm slowly making improvements, though.

posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:17 PM on November 5, 2004


Monkey, the point is that people like me and people like you all have the right under our set of laws to influence the laws we are governed by. I act and vote according to my convictions and so do you. Everyone on this thread has asking why my beliefs should trump yours-now I ask you why should I accept your beliefs over mine?

Maybe all us Christians (and other people who do not agree with gay marriage) think that THAT set of beliefs is being shoved down OUR throats.


No one is forcing you to accept that homosexuality is not evil. No one is forcing you to get married to a same-sex partner. No one is forcing your church to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies. I'm constantly flabbergasted at how people like you don't see the connection between your freedom to practice your religion and others' freedom not to be bound by your religion.

If you were a member of a Christian minority in a country with an Islamic majority, would you find it acceptable for that country to deny you the rights held by others? I've asked you this specific question here before, but to the best of my knowledge you have never answered it. I suppose you simply assume that you will always be in the majority, so you feel free to impose your will upon the minority.

I'd also like a response to the question posed by others and by me - doesn't the force of law destroy God's gift of free will? Doesn't God want us to choose right over wrong? If you take away my choice, I am no longer a moral agent.
posted by me & my monkey at 3:51 PM on November 5, 2004


me & my monkey: But doesn't it mean something to you that konolia thinks that homosexual behavior is "evil"? I mean, my worldview is such that while I think I'm primarily responsible for myself not acting evil, I also have some responsibility to fight evil I find in the world. And some of that is invariably going to be acts committed by other people who don't agree that their act is "evil". Now, you almost certainly don't use the language of "good" and "evil", but you probably have similar sentiments.

I recognize that the liberal tolerant position tries very hard to differentiate between "wrong" acts that only affect one's self, and "wrong" acts that affect others...and it only is willing to be interventionist in the latter. And, I don't argue that that's a very sensible policy. Nor that it makes sense to say the two things are pretty different. Nevertheless, I've been trying to argue above that there's a bunch of things that are more in the margin between "just affecting one's self" and "affecting others" than we tend to recognize. A liberal, feminst argument against pornography (not necessarily one that I agree with) is that even when the actual women involved are consenting, the very existence of the pornography is hurtful to women in general...and to the women who think they are consenting. Konolia can make a similar argument with regard to a general harm that she thinks comes to society by saying that homosexual behavior is acceptable. The issue isn't as much with whether the people who think otherwise think they're not being hurt, as it is that Konolia and people like her think that, essentially, all of us are being hurt. Now, you and I disagree with that. But I think it's not honest to argue that people like you and I never make similar arguments about what other people can and can't do, because we do. Probably less often, but it's not that we never do. We do.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:01 PM on November 5, 2004


Konolia, don't fucking speak for "all of us Christians"
EVER.

I am a Christian. I am as good a Christian as you are. I am a member of an older church than yours. How dare you co-opt my religion and claim to speak for me.

To everyone who is not a Christian on this board, I certainly hope you do not believe that all Christians are like konolia. In my church, we learn from the revolutionary wisdom and love of Jesus Christ--we don't waste time obsessing about what other people do with their pee-pees.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:03 PM on November 5, 2004


EB, you're not getting my point at all.

Konolia pretends that she's opposed to legal same-sex marriage because the Christian Bible includes some passages that condemn homosexuality (along with other things that aren't made illegal, like eating shellfish, being drunk, and being rageful, but let's let that pass for now).

Under that rubric, it is hypocritical of her not to work for the outlawing of secular divorce and remarriage, as the Christian Bible includes more passages that EXPLICITLY condemn secular divorce (as opposed to religious dissolution in cases of immorality) and remarriage, including one FROM THE LIPS OF JESUS HIMSELF.

Even if we grant Konolia's premise that the Christian Bible should be used as the basis for US marriage law (I don't think it should), her argument falls apart because it ignores the larger, at-least-nine-times-more-common evil of secular divorce and remarriage and focuses on same-sex marriage.

Therefore, the argument is NOT principled, but rather hypocritical special pleading.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:09 PM on November 5, 2004


But doesn't it mean something to you that konolia thinks that homosexual behavior is "evil"?

No, because she cannot demonstrate that my behavior harms her. There is nothing she can point to beyond her own belief system to justify her conclusion. Likewise, as much as I dislike it, I cannot demonstrate that all this sky god talk harms me directly, and thus I cannot justify it being outlawed.

I recognize that the liberal tolerant position tries very hard to differentiate between "wrong" acts that only affect one's self, and "wrong" acts that affect others...and it only is willing to be interventionist in the latter.

This is more than just the "liberal tolerant" position - it is the basis for our democratic state and multicultural society. It is necessary to tolerate what we see as evil in others in order to secure our own freedom, as long as that evil doesn't cause demonstrable harm to others.

Konolia can make a similar argument with regard to a general harm that she thinks comes to society by saying that homosexual behavior is acceptable.

I would think that arguments of general harm would require a higher standard of proof if they are to be enforced by law. As an aside, I think that Mackinnon is full of crap.
posted by me & my monkey at 4:15 PM on November 5, 2004


And, EB, it means fuck-all to me that konolia thinks homosexual behavior is "evil" if she focuses only on that and overlooks another, far more widely practised behavior clearly identified by the Christian Bible as "evil"--secular divorce and remarriage.

Mark 10:2 And the Pharisees came to him [Jesus], and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him.

10:3 And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you?

10:4 And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.

10:5 And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.

10:6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.

10:7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;

10:8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.

10:9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

10:10 And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter.

10:11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.

10:12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

(Matthew 19:9 gives a slightly different account of Jesus's words: "And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery."

Paul clarifies this in 1 Corinthians 7: 11-12: " To the married I give charge, not I but the Lord, that the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, let her remain single or else be reconciled to her husband) --and that the husband should not divorce his wife."

This seems pretty clear, and it was the foundation for the laws against divorce that, for example, were only repealed in Ireland in 1995.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:21 PM on November 5, 2004


Sidhedevil: no, I get that part of your argument. I agree with it, and it was a point I was making against konolia earlier. My recent comments in defense of konolia have been not about whether or not she's being hypocritical, but whether she has a "right", so to speak, to make claims about what other people should and shouldn't do.

me & my monkey: okay, what about statutory rape? Hell, what about seat-belt laws? I recognize that there's a trend here and elsewhere for what we're calling liberal tolerance, but I reject the claim that this tolerance forms the core values of our society now, or historically. Yes, in some very restricted senses American democracy is built around a degree of tolerance of other people's ideas about such sensitive things as universal morality. Even so, why do we have drug laws? I think seat-belt and even drug laws can be rationalized on the basis of a utilitarian cost/benefit analysis relative to an entire society (someone has to pay the medical bills for uninsured seatbelt-less drivers when they're in an accident). But it's dishonest to claim that all these laws protecting people from themselves, all sorts of laws, were all formulated from some rationalist utiltarian cost analysis point of view when, in fact, most of them very closely conform to a traditional protestant Christian view of morality.

So, okay, the world people like you and me are trying to build is one that's organized around the rational and modern liberal principles of tolerance. But throwing this principle around as if it really and truly is the very essence of democracy, American and otherwise, is deeply ahistorical. Well, it's simply not true. And taking that position is a sort of argument from authority: it's like, "Hey, you're violating the values of American democracy you awful person who wants to impose your morality on other people." In fact, to my ears, it sounds not to different from a variety of bible-thumping. In any case, it's neither that hugely true nor fair.

On Preview: please go back and review some of what I wrote much earlier: I agree with you. More than you think, since as I've said repeatedly, my sister, a Christian conservative, evangelical (like konolia) minister and missionary agrees with your point. She has no doubt that homosexual sex is a grave sin, but she's pretty appalled at all the other grave sins that supposed Christians are committing every day that they downplay while they go apeshit over homosexuality. She suspects they're hypocrites. She's right. But I suspect that you don't really approve of her point of view, because her point of view is to try to stop people from comitting all those other grave sins, as well. And I imagine she'd be inclined to support laws for it. You have to understand that other people may not make democracy and tolerance their chief value above all others. They may hold those values, but they may be subordinate to ones they think are more urgent and important. Like, say, what they think God demands.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:33 PM on November 5, 2004


EB, if your sister (or anyone else) wants a consistently Christian theocracy in the US, I oppose her point of view vehemently, but at least I recognize its integrity.

However, I have never seen anyone propose a ban on same-sex marriage as part of an overall "Christian" platform that includes outlawing secular divorce and remarriage, making it illegal to operate businesses on Sunday, and anti-blasphemy laws.

If someone proposes such a platform, then I might listen to their objections to same-sex marriage without dismissing them as hypocrites. I have not heard such a platform.

But don't listen to me. Listen to Lorence Wenke, a devout Evangelical Christian and Republican state legislator from Michigan who leads the Michigan House's bible-study group:

Certainly my No. 1 priority in life is my relationship with God," Wenke said.

At the last State of the State address, his guest of honor was his pastor. And he keeps his business closed on Sunday, pointing to the Bible's Fifth Commandment.

"I'm one of the few dinosaurs that says this should be a day of worship and rest," he said. "Most of my competitors are open on Sunday. Sunday is the second-best shopping day of the week. But I still think this is a commandment that should be kept."

Modern society's blithe acceptance of Sunday as a good day to visit the mall leads him to a larger point -- that devout Christians already have adjusted Biblical teachings to fit their needs, which should allow some slack on the issue of homosexuality.

He offers quotes from the Bible to support his point that the Scripture is even more condemning of divorce than homosexuality. Yet divorced and remarried couples are now welcomed at even fundamentalist churches, he said. Likewise, he said, many denominations, including Christian Reformed, have moved beyond the Biblical teaching against women speaking in church.

While he supports the new role of women in the church and greater acceptance of divorce, he said, it shows how "we Christians have decided that parts of the Bible don't apply to us anymore."

"So if we can put aside the teachings on women, on divorce, on the Sabbath -- and those are all things that we choose -- then why not on homosexuality, when we don't choose our sexual orientation?" Wenke said.

"Why can't we be as kind and generous in interpreting the Bible for homosexuals as we are for ourselves?"


I think Wenke is a man of great honor and integrity. He seems to have taken to heart one of Jesus's most poignant calls to action:

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. (Matthew 7:3-5)
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:17 PM on November 5, 2004


I think Wenke is letting the world force him into its own mold.


Homosexual sex is sin. It is a perversion. The bible states that it is a direct RESULT (not cause, result) of rebellion against God.(See the first chapter of Romans.) As a Christian, I will never agree with something God hates.

He also hates divorce, as do I. I have seen too many of my friends experience it, and it is hell. But we are talking about a specific sin here, not all the possible ways mankind can find to go its own way without God.

AND YET I care about people like Amberglow and others both here on the filter and in my offline life. Do you think it makes me happy to think of them not having a relationship with God? Do you think it thrills me to think of my unsaved friends and acquaintances facing an eternity without Christ? It hurts me to my core. I LIKE these people.

Jesus DIED for them. What they do with that fact is up to them.

I would like nothing better than to know I'd be seeing them in eternity with me. But that will only happen if they are reconciled to God.
posted by konolia at 5:28 PM on November 5, 2004


Hon, I have a relationship with God. Don't worry about me. I'm fine. (and no one died for me, but that's a subject for another day.) : >

You can care all you want. Just don't turn that caring into laws that affect almost 300 million people, some of whom don't share your religion, or outlook. That's it. It's simple. It's also extremely counterproductive--you don't hurt the people you care for. Actually, none of us shouldn't be hurting anyone, and these laws and amendments are doing just that--deeply.

For Christians now to be acting like Romans back then is kinda appalling, when you stop to think about it.
posted by amberglow at 5:59 PM on November 5, 2004


(oh, and you have company, konolia, in the digaman thread)
posted by amberglow at 6:14 PM on November 5, 2004


Hey konolia, here's a tip to you and your God friends.

Mind your own fucking business.

Seems so simple, right? Here, look at me: I don't give a rat's ass who or what you worship. Doesn't bug me at all. Do what you like with your poop chute. Doesn't bug me. You wanna believe some guy parted the seas, then walked on them, then turned it into wine? Fine. Pray for your own fucking soul and leave the rest of us out of it.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:28 PM on November 5, 2004


EB, conciseness forces clarity. Use it as a tool for more effective communication. Also, you should read Ain't Nobodies Business If You Do. It's available for free on the web; you can also get it at the library.
Konolia is picking the low-hanging fruit: it's easy to keep queers from having the civil rights and responsibilities of marriage. In the future, should the fight be ended by banning homosexual marriage irrevocably, she'll surely move on to fighting for a ban on divorce. She's not being hypocritical, she's being practical: changing what she can most easily change, first.

Of course, if I'm wrong, and she thinks divorce is okey-dokey and isn't working to end it, then I'll have to side with you...

Do you think it makes me happy to think of them not having a relationship with God? Do you think it thrills me to think of my unsaved friends and acquaintances facing an eternity without Christ? It hurts me to my core. I LIKE these people.

Konolia, my dear, I have the exact same feelings. It makes me quite unhappy to see that you are blinded by foolish religiousity. It's all the more hurtful when it is so obvious that you are a deeply caring person who could do so much more good if she were free of her religious brainwashing.

It's not that I feel you need to give up believing in God and Christ, either: it's that I see how your inability to support others in living their lives as they see fit causes you to hurt them. You can live a Christian life and not coerce others into behaving as you believe they should behave.

You, too, would do well to read Ain't Nobodies Business. It's the foundation on which we can achieve a peaceful, prosperous, happy world.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:44 PM on November 5, 2004


Jesus DIED for them. What they do with that fact is

BZZZZZZZZZZZZZT. Sorry. Your consolation prize is a dictionary, which you can use to look up the word "fact" and get back to us. Thanks for playing.

You're allowed to have whatever personal opinions you want, konolia. But this is a shining example of why your concept of rationale is devoid of credibility.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:37 PM on November 5, 2004


I was under the impression that the Romans, in general, frowned on homosexuality well before Constantine - hence the dislike of Heliogabalus, for example. The Romans were rather prudish for the most part.

You've obviously never read Catullus (or his contemporaries...)

Elagabalus was flakey in general, controlled by his mother (the Romans *were* pretty sexist by our standards), and spent too much time promoting Syrian cults--there were plenty of reasons for the palace guards to tire of him. The counter-example would be Hadrian, who led the Romans at the peak of their civilization.

Anyway, the points being discussed were:

--supposedly, homosexuality leads to the downfall of civilizations, and

--turning to Jehovah saves civilizations

the Roman example speaks against both.

Homosexuality in world cultures doesn't seem to help or hurt or correlate with much of anything--it just "is".

Jehovah has a pretty spotty record of support--plenty of abandonments out there on his record.
posted by gimonca at 8:52 PM on November 5, 2004


The Dark Ages' version of Christianity was pretty screwed up, btw.

That's like the arguments you get from the Trotskyist cells around your nearby college campus: "Gee, Communism is just great! Too bad nobody's ever really tried it..."
posted by gimonca at 8:57 PM on November 5, 2004


As a Christian, I will never agree with something God hates

No one is asking for your agreement. We're simply asking you to extend the same courtesy that is given to you - the freedom to decide for yourself how to live.

Again, I call your attention to the two unanswered questions I asked earlier. I would honestly appreciate your answers, instead of your simple, constant regurgitation of your unwanted care for us lost souls.
posted by me & my monkey at 9:04 PM on November 5, 2004


me & my monkey: okay, what about statutory rape? Hell, what about seat-belt laws? I recognize that there's a trend here and elsewhere for what we're calling liberal tolerance, but I reject the claim that this tolerance forms the core values of our society now, or historically. Yes, in some very restricted senses American democracy is built around a degree of tolerance of other people's ideas about such sensitive things as universal morality. Even so, why do we have drug laws? I think seat-belt and even drug laws can be rationalized on the basis of a utilitarian cost/benefit analysis relative to an entire society (someone has to pay the medical bills for uninsured seatbelt-less drivers when they're in an accident). But it's dishonest to claim that all these laws protecting people from themselves, all sorts of laws, were all formulated from some rationalist utiltarian cost analysis point of view when, in fact, most of them very closely conform to a traditional protestant Christian view of morality.

I love the way you answer your own questions. I think that seat belt laws are pretty clearly based on self-interest rather than Christian morality. As for the other examples, I'll just say I oppose most of them too.

I think that the one core American value is the idea that each of us are free to pursue the good life as we see it. I agree that this value has often been overlooked, but it is the seed from which all else grows.
posted by me & my monkey at 10:06 PM on November 5, 2004


Seat belts are needed to keep the driver at the controls during extreme events. This serves to improve the chances of everyone else near the car in question. That's why it's not just a matter of "personal choice."

Helmet laws have no such justification, though.
posted by NortonDC at 9:13 AM on November 7, 2004


The only good justifications for helmet laws is that some people are so effing stupid that we have to protect them from themselves.

I'm not sure why, though. People that stupid should be eliminated from the gene pool as rapidly as possible.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:57 AM on November 7, 2004


No, I think a good justification for them is that because health care costs are spread around, even with a private system like the US's with insurance, then other people are paying a premium for the unhelmented person's desire to not wear a helment. Just so with seat-belts. And with many other things.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:17 AM on November 7, 2004


Repeat of message:

Christ was not an interventionist.

He did not force people to believe.

He did not force people to behave a certain way.

He did not try to change civil law. (He spoke against that.)

He led by example and freely accepted any and all who freely wished to learn of and from his teachings.

Christ was all about looking within and making personal change.

He was never about forcing others to change.

Attempting to change civil law in order to force others to change is the anti-thesis of Christian living.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:28 AM on November 7, 2004


EB: not true. Helmet-wearers are more likely to require long-term health care in event of an accident than not-wearers, who tend to end up more dead than anything.

Additionally, there are innumerable other activities which are as hazardous to one's health that are completely unregulated. Alpine skiing, for instance: endless broken bones, concussions, and injuries, yet not regulations other than those demanded by the ski hill operator's insurers.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:30 AM on November 7, 2004


That's a good point about helmet-wearers. You're right. I'd guess you'd need to simply look at total health costs. 'Cause I'd still expect a good portion of the surviving non-helmet wearers would have very high bills.

True that skiing isn't regulated in that manner (it's not completely unregulated, of course). But I think it's a nice example where the affected demographic has disproportionate political power and is able to oppose attempts to regulate. Other high-risk behaviors do not have as favorable demographics.

Anyway, my argument wasn't that these things are regulated, just that there's a rational justification for regulating them. People think many high-risk behaviors only affect them, but that's not true.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:52 AM on November 7, 2004


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