by Goldy, 06/19/2005, 8:40 AM

Seattle Times science reporter Sandi Doughton has an in depth piece today on the growing body of science that shows sexual orientation to be strongly influenced by genetics and/or prenatal conditions. ["Born gay? How biology may drive orentation."]

“It’s pretty definitive that biological factors play a role in determining a person’s sexual orientation.”

If science proves homosexuality is innate, is there any basis to deny gays equal treatment — including the right to marry?

Hmm. If this were simply a legal question, science would play an important role in determining the answer. But let me rephrase the question into a moral and ethical context.

Marriage is about love and commitment. How is this ever a bad thing?

66 Responses to “Love and commitment”

1. arnold spews:

a. A joke to think Seattle times has a real science reporter
b. Marriage between man and woman is love and committment; between brother and sister or man and man or man and dog is all bad.

2. mark spews:

it is weird how many stupid people (see above) read this smart blog.

3. Goldy spews:

Mark… in all modesty, it’s weird how many people read this blog, period.

4. Zorg spews:

@1 says, Marriage between man and woman is love and committment (sic);”
Really? Marriage between a man and woman has a divorce rate better than 50% across most of the nation. Marriages between a man and a woman have problems with domestic violence and other nastiness. Doesn’t sound to me like equating marriage between a man and a woman with love and commitment has a very firm basis.

What’s this crap about between brother and sister or … man and dog?” Read this next sentence closely and let me know if there are words you don’t understand and I’ll try to explain them to you. The topic isn’t incest, and it isn’t bestiality. It is homosexuality, nothing more and nothing less.

I’ve found this sort of bait and switch garbage, deliberately confusing homosexuality with incest and bestiality, to come most often from the religious folks who think that homosexuality is a sin. I’m surprised you left out pedophilia. Equating that with homosexuality is another common distortion from the religious right.

5. Dave spews:

Arnold @ #1..
Now Jim, (oops) I mean Arnold, be careful. Look what happened last time you let your fingers do the talking.

6. Nindid spews:

One of the funny things about this whole debate around gay marriage is that it mirrors some of the arguments among early Christians regarding what was the definition of marriage.

To keep things really short and simple, they divided into two camps –
1. Those that believed marriage was essentially about sex. (i.e. procreation and a crutch for those too weak to abstain altogether. Sex = bad.)

2. Those who held that marriage was essentially about consent, companionship, and partnership. In essence it is a contractual relationship between two people.

Catholic Church’s teachings today are split between these two traditions. And if nothing else they are intellectually honest in the sense that they ban birth control, oral sex, and regard not wanting to have children as a reason to annul an otherwise valid marriage.

By this logic, any marriage that is not meant to reproduce is not a marriage at all – this causes folks to try to do intellectual back flips to explain why infertile couples and/or the elderly are still married, but it generally falls into something like God could provide a miracle if he wanted. People who believe marriage is about reproductive sex follow this line

Now the second understanding of marriage also shows up in ancient Christian thinkers in the sense that consent is the ultimate prerequisite for a marriage. For those who believe marriage is more about two people devoting their lives to each other and sex is secondary, the idea of non-procreative marriage is not nearly so much of a theological problem.

Now I have my own religious views on the subject, but quite frankly they are beside the point. I don’t know anyone who is in favor of forcing some church or another to marry homosexual couples if they don’t want to, but by the same token there is no good reason why we should allow certain church’s theology to keep the state from recognizing and encouraging two people to commit their lives together.

7. arnold spews:

Thought article was about biology, etc.

Nindid; you falsely layout early teachings.

8. Dave spews:

How about we just change the law, call them civil unions and be done with it. Then nobody “should” be offended since we’re not using the “M” word and gay couples (whether two women or two men) can be recognized as a legal union if they so choose. I think in this day and age we have many more important things to ponder and find solutions to than what two people do behind closed doors.
While it’s the two people, not a piece of paper that holds the relationship together this can’t help but make peoples lives better for those who want it and it’s hard to see how it hurts anyone. You would think the IRS would like it for tax revenue reasons and states/cities would like it for the revenue “Civil Union” licenses would bring in.

9. another Sock Puppet with Dons hand in my butt spews:

Stupid! Quit trying so hard. If loud mouths like Rosie O’Donnell, Ellen Degenerate and Kevin Tealy would just shut up no one would care. Being the exibitionists that these radicals are it just makes their situation worse. Attention is all these drama queens are after.

10. arnold spews:

dave; if you write into the law that no religious institution shall lose its tax satus or be discrimnated against because it retains prohibitions against same sex marriage

will you let Ken Hutch marry only men and women in his rented chruch at the high school? Will the state still allow all ministirers to wed couples or only those pro gay. Can a catholic hospital proceed as it currently does (guess so)

Most on thei right woudl give you this but history shows intolerance by the left on this

11. zip spews:

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_25/b3938093_mz016.htm?chan=tc

says: “Harry Thomason, a Hollywood director and longtime friend of Bill Clinton’s, confirmed to BusinessWeek that Clear Channel has had talks with the former President about his own show.”

I’d love to hear you lefties spin it if ex-Pres. Clinton signs with the “Wal-Mart of radio”. Money talks guys. If AAR was going places Clinton would be talking to them and not Clear Channel.

12. zip spews:

#11 above was meant for the Air America comments.

13. rujax206 spews:

Zippy the Pinhead-

As usual you are just pulling crap out of your ass. The Big Dog, on Ed Schultz’ show said he was WAY too busy to do a regular radio show. He wants to be President of the U.N. anyway (oh I can just smell what’s coming from the peabrain gallery).

Arnold-

7) How did NinDid get whatever it was wrong…or do you even know?

10) WTF are you talking about. Are you drunk?

14. arnold spews:

rujax; his thesis 1 vs 2 are just made up; the prohibition comes from the bible, old, new test. He’s playing revisionist historian (i recognize it as episc theology, made up on the fly)

sober

15. headless lucy spews:

re 14: Isn’t there a biblical prohibition against killing in the bible?
Now I’ve opened the door to a million arguments about how what the bible says isn’t what it really means, and chapter and verse about how the prohibition against killing is God’s holy word except there are a multitude of proveable exceptions and we should not doubt either the prohibition OR the exceptions because God’s word is a multifaceted genious thing that we must assiduously follow even though it makes not a damn bit of sense.

16. Nindid spews:

Arnie @14 and above

Nope, I actually don’t know what Episcopalians believe… I am Catholic if you must know and I am refering to a set of disputes that were flying around between the 2nd and 6th centuries. This is the stuff of Augustine, Jerome, Ambrose and the like. True, they referenced the NT a lot, but as is the case now, the good book does not always give us nice and tidy answers to the questions we want. Or perhaps it gives us too many answers to be conveinent. In any case, there was just as much debate then and now about what exactly the bible meant and how exactly we were supposed to live our lives in response.

This isn’t the place to give you a full play by play – that is the thing very thick books are made of – but if you are actually interested in more than scoring points on a blog comment line by insulting my integrity I can give you some places to start reading. Let me know….

17. David spews:

arnold asked Dave (N.B. not me) @ 10: if the state were to recognize (and presumably require equal treatment for) marriages of same-sex couples:

will you let Ken Hutch marry only men and women in his rented chruch at the high school? Will the state still allow all ministirers to wed couples or only those pro gay.

Simple question. Yes, Ken Hutcherson can still marry only men and women, and the state will not require ministers to marry any couples that they don’t want to. The government cannot interfere with religion like that. If Hutcherson won’t marry a gay couple (duh), they can either go to a minister who will marry them, or go to a judge. The judge, acting on behalf of the state, would have to marry them (regardless of personal religious beliefs, naturally). Religious marriage requires civil marriage, but civil marriage does not require religious marriage.

Most on thei right woudl give you this but history shows intolerance by the left on this

You’d like to believe that, wouldn’t you? I think you have it backward.

18. dj spews:

arnold @ 7

“Nindid; you falsely layout early teachings.”

Nindid was not exactly discussing “early teachings;” he said he was discussing “arguments among early Christians.”

I believe he was referring to the adoption in the 4th century by some churches (i.e. Roman Catholic Church of the philosophy of sex put forth by Saint Augustine of Hippo in the 4th century. Augustine promoted a philosophy by which human sexuality was perverted as a result of the sins of Adam and Eve—this philosophy was not universally received. If I recall correctly this debate played a small role in the split between the Roman Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Church in the 5th century (hence, the Oriental Orthodox Church allows priests to be married).

19. David spews:

Nindid @ 6 hits the nail on the head:

I don’t know anyone who is in favor of forcing some church or another to marry homosexual couples if they don’t want to, but by the same token there is no good reason why we should allow certain [churches'] theology to keep the state from recognizing and encouraging two people to commit their lives together.

religion and your religious leader find marriages of homosexual couples abhorrent, fine. Don’t marry those couples in your churches! Devote every Sunday sermon to vilifying the practice, if it offends you so much! But please stop telling people of different faiths that your religious beliefs should trump theirs. If their religious leaders see the benefit of encouraging and recognizing committed, loving same-sex relationships, it’s not your place to interfere. We live in a religiously diverse nation, remember?

And if the state recognizes the benefit of approving those marriages, that still doesn’t require your religion or your religious institution to do so. So if marriages of same-sex couples become legal in Washington state, you can relax and deal with it; it doesn’t hurt you at all.

Dave (N.B. not “David”) @ 8 has an idea:

How about we just change the law, call them civil unions and be done with it.

m here is it makes too much sense to have any chance of becoming law. That, and the fact that there are too many interested parties who want the state’s imprimatur on “marriage,” not “civil union.” But if so many people are concerned about semantics, it makes eminent sense to call civil marriage something else (like “unions”) and let religions “marry” people according to their beliefs. Maybe without so much of the verbal baggage, state unions of same-sex couples wouldn’t be quite as controversial. Of course, then you have to figure out what to do with all the laws that refer to “married” couples (e.g., the tax code).

I think in this day and age we have many more important things to ponder and find solutions to than what two people do behind closed doors.

to trump the emotional titillation of sex, politics and religion.

20. David spews:

What the heck? Three of my paragraphs (following the blockquotes) are missing their first 15 characters. They should read:

Bingo! If your religion and your religious leader . . .
See, the problem here is it makes too much sense . . .
But it’s hard to trump the emotional titillation . . .

Weird. It’s after midnight . . . must be gremlins. :)

21. DamnageD spews:

Ahhh-nold,

You sure have some strong opinions. Idea for ya there, skippy…BACK EM UP WITH SOME DISCUSSION! kinda like this…

Who do you think you are? Going around all high and mighty WHEN YOU CAN EVEN EXECUTE A BASIC SENTANCE??? Example @10…Please, it’s embarrasing to read and take any thing said seriously! And considering you state your sober, then you are either a)still in grade school, or b) suffering from oxygen depravation due to your head being compressed by your colon!

22. David spews:

DamnageD: Pot. Kettle. Black.

(Or else you’re acting like a schmuck on purpose, which is just being petty. We can all see poor spelling and poor reasoning for what it is, without your generous help.)

Bring something more substantive next time.

23. arnold spews:

Headless; the prohibition is against murder, which is different than killing. Nice try

24. headless lucy spews:

Thanks for proving my point you hairsplitting bunghole! “Thou shalt not kill.” actually is talking about murder? Couldn’t God have simply told his holy hoard of stenographers that is was MURDER not KILL? You are a dope, Arnold.

25. Nindid spews:

Lucy@ 24

This has actually been a matter of some debate over the past generation or so and many recent translations of the passage do indeed translate it as ‘murder’ instead of ‘kill’. Off the top of my head I am not sure if it is an actual difference in how to translate the word from the original or if it is an attempt to harmonize the text to get rid of the nasty little problem of the apparent pacifism of Christ and the governments desire to have good Christian soldiers blow people up.

I’ll check and see if I can figure out which it is later in the day….

26. Nindid spews:

Crap… now David is going to have to come by and clean up my grammar again!

Thanks for the lack of an edit Goldy!!! ;) Damn you for exposing my poor editing like this!

27. Mark spews:

Just wondering… Which of you ACLU-card-carrying Lefties is going stand up and defend a church when a gay couple decides they want to make a point and sue the church for discrimination for not marrying them?

You may not think it’ll happen, but when it comes to lawsuits and “making a statement,” someone somewhere is going to try it.

[And, just for the record, I have nothing against civil unions or even churches who wish to marry non M/F couples. BUT no church should be forced to take actions or recognize status that is against church beliefs, either.]

28. Nindid spews:

Mark @27 – As I said upthread, I have follow this issue pretty closely and I have NEVER heard anyone actually suggest that churches will be forced to marry people. That is up to the church.

The only people who have ever suggested such a thing could even be possible are right-wing propagandists. Think about this for half a second and I think you will realize how silly the idea is. Does the government regulate whether a church should believe in transubstantiation or consubstantiation? Of course not…

If two Catholics get a divorce, the Catholic Church will not recognize it and any remarriage would be invalid and prohibit them from being a part of the Catholic Church. Looking at the rates of divorces/remarriages among Catholics and the very few who bother to get an annulment, there are a lot of Catholics who are being ‘discriminated’ against by not being accepted into the Catholic Church for something that is legal under the law. Hear of any suits being filed?

Bottom line is that while I am not a lawyer, I suppose someone could try and file such a suit but it would be laughed out of court. And in any case, if the ACLU believes in protecting the Constitution enough to support KKK rights to freedom of speech and association, I think 1st Baptist would get their support.

C’mon over, being on the side of reality is much easier…

29. righton spews:

What if I’m a catholic hospital and refuse to recognize “gay couples” (e.g. don’t invite “spouse” to parties, don’t give sick days off for “spouse help” or whatever.

Its when the religious groups offer a public benefit, or get some use of public facilities when you guys will nail them.

Do church schools (say Notre Dame or others) have to provide “married student housing” to gay couples?

30. Nindid spews:

Right @ 30 –

Well, shouldn’t there be a difference between how we treat public and private actions? If not, what is to stop a police officer pulling over only non-whites if it conforms to his beliefs? How about the fireman who refuses to put out the fire in someone’s home because he disagrees with his or her beliefs? Maybe they are Jews, maybe they are black, maybe they are a certain sect of Christianity that you don’t like… whatever the case you have to shelve your own views and serve the public or get out of the job.

Same goes with organizations… To use the extreme example from before, the KKK has a right to hold their beliefs but can not terrorize others in the public sphere. There is a clear distinction between private organizations and public ones. As a Catholic myself, I am very proud of the public service my church does. But most Catholics also realize that this is not a Catholic country and so that means when you step out into the public sphere you will be dealing with a lot of non-Catholics who hold very different views and you have to respect that, even if you disagree.

There also is a choice to be made for religious organizations in whether or not you want to form partnerships with government. If you do, then you have to play by the rules of the community which seek to have an open society. If you can’t handle that, then they can go about their merry way with their own beliefs. America is a great country, lets keep it that way.

31. Husky1993 spews:

Gays need to forget about marriage and use other methods to get marriage-like rights and protections. The worst thing they could have done is what happened in San Francisco and Oregon. Talk about backlash.

I don’t think it is reasonable to expect that the cultural and legal traditions of marriage will match the needs of gay couples or the State w.r.t. gay couples.
It will be very unwieldy to graft the special needs of gay couples (whatever they may be) onto the existing body of marriage law. Thus, today, we see most courts reluctant to go there.

Gays should work to get civil union-type laws established. Then society can start building a cultural and legal tradition for gay relationships.

32. Mark spews:

Nindid @ 28: …I have NEVER heard anyone actually suggest that churches will be forced to marry people. The only people who have ever suggested such a thing could even be possible are right-wing propagandists.

I take offense that you indirectly label me as a right-wing propagandist. The fact is that people in the US are sue-happy — especially if it will get them money and/or fame and/or will make a public statement. And if you’ve never heard anyone suggest such a thing, they’re either naive or just haven’t thought it through thoroughly. You don’t think public policy is made without considering ramifications??

The fact that the ACLU will defend NAMBLA and Nazis means that they could come down on either side of the issue. If it is such a silly notion, you should have no trouble saying, “to sue a church to force a gay marriage is wrong and such a case should be thrown out.”

33. Aexia spews:

In the end, *every* *single* anti-gay marriage argument was one of the EXACT SAME ones that were trotted out 50 years ago when interracial marraige was being legalized. They’re the EXACT SAME arguments that were trotted out decades before that when interfaith marriage was the issue. And time and time again, it’s conservatives standing in the way of fairness and equality.

Mark @32
The fact that the ACLU will defend NAMBLA and Nazis means that they could come down on either side of the issue. If it is such a silly notion, you should have no trouble saying, “to sue a church to force a gay marriage is wrong and such a case should be thrown out.”

Have you ever heard of the ACLU suing a church because they wouldn’t marry an interracial couple? Race is a protected category in United States anti-discrimination laws, unlike sexual orientation. Have you ever heard of the ACLU suing the Catholic Church because they wouldn’t marry two Protestants? Again, religion is a protected category.

But suddenly, in your bizarre universe, the ACLU will take up a suit against the church for discriminating against a category of people that aren’t even protected by law?

Do you people even think through what you post?

34. Mark spews:

Aexia @ 33

So, you’re saying with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY that nobody will try to sue a church over gay marriage? If so, then why do you dance around the idea of simply stating that suing a church to force gay marriage would be wrong and should be thrown out. Just say it. If you don’t think it would ever happen, then it is a moot point anyway. As I said before, I’m not against civil unions and the legislation establishing such PROVIDED that there is explicit language protecting every church from: a) being forced to perform said ceremony and b) being forced to recognize such a union performed elsewhere.

AEXIA: “But suddenly, in your bizarre universe, the ACLU will take up a suit… for discriminating…?”

That isn’t the Bizarro World. The ACLU takes on all kinds of wacko suits — including defending pedophiles.

35. DamnageD spews:

David @ 22

Maybe you’re new here…if so, let me be the first to tell you to GO FUCK YOURSELF!

Being a “schmuck” or “petty” is all part of the detritus called HA. Pointing out the “obvious” flaws in peoples reasoning is WHAT MAKES A BLOG. For fucks sake…you call me black?

Maybe you’d like me to introduce you to some of our more, uh, colorful members?

Don’t like my comment? Go start your own blog …then you can censor all ya want! Hell, I bet Shark will give ya lessons.

36. David spews:

Hey, DamnageD, if you get off on being witless and/or petty, well, I suppose that’s great for you.

Maybe you’re new here…
Nope.

GO FUCK YOURSELF!
Yawn.

Being a “schmuck” or “petty” is all part of the detritus called HA.
Addressing the substance of wingers’ posts (rather than their grammar) is what makes blog comments INTERESTING.

For fucks sake…you call me black?
Oh, for crying out loud.

37. David spews:

Mark @ 27:
Which of you ACLU-card-carrying Lefties is going stand up and defend a church when a gay couple decides they want to make a point and sue the church for discrimination for not marrying them?

I will.

and @ 32:
you should have no trouble saying, “to sue a church to force a gay marriage is wrong and such a case should be thrown out.”

To sue a church to force a gay marriage is wrong and such a case should be thrown out.

38. David spews:

righton @ 29:
What if I’m a catholic hospital and refuse to recognize “gay couples” (e.g. don’t invite “spouse” to parties, don’t give sick days off for “spouse help” or whatever.

They can do whatever they want as long as they’re a private religious institution, not taking public money etc. Religious groups are entitled to discriminate according to their beliefs, within their own activities. (Nindid’s got it right @ 30.)

39. David spews:

“Husky”1993 (not a UW fan, though) says @ 31:
I don’t think it is reasonable to expect that the cultural and legal traditions of marriage will match the needs of gay couples or the State w.r.t. gay couples.
It will be very unwieldy to graft the special needs of gay couples (whatever they may be) onto the existing body of marriage law.

I don’t think this paragraph makes much sense. Same-sex couples don’t have “special needs” with respect to marriage! Those who want to be married just want to have the same rights and responsibilities as every heterosexual married couple. As in, “’til death do us part.”

Admittedly, gay marriage isn’t culturally or legally traditional! But the cultural and legal traditions of marriage are exactly what same-sex couples are asking for. No change necessary, other than to allow them to participate. Incidentally, allowing gay and lesbian couples to be married wouldn’t require much legal change beyond repealing the Defense of Marriage Act (e.g., statutory references to “husband” or “wife” could be changed to “spouse,” if necessary.)

As far as society building cultural and legal traditions that encompass gay marriage, note that some churches are (and have been) willing to perform marriages of same-sex couples, both in places where it’s legally allowed and in places where it’s just symbolic. Having gay couples be married couples isn’t going to upend our society at all.

40. Righton spews:

david; the nuance is a lot of very good religious group institutions will also get soem federal funds (i’m guessing w/ some memory that some Catholic hospitals or schools get some federal funds, and once they get say 1% from feds, the feds can override their religious exemption. They could of course go fully cold turkey, but my point is having even a sliver of fed funds means now the feds can tell them all sorts of secular things they must abide by.

Will church groups that visit fed lands (e.g. the nat’l parks have on site church services) be allowed if they continue to include passages from Leviticus, Romans, etc?

41. Nindid spews:

Mark @

“I take offense that you indirectly label me as a right-wing propagandist. The fact is that people in the US are sue-happy – especially if it will get them money and/or fame and/or will make a public statement. And if you’ve never heard anyone suggest such a thing, they’re either naive or just haven’t thought it through thoroughly. You don’t think public policy is made without considering ramifications?”

Ugh… I did not mean to say you were a propagandist, though I can see how you got there from the way I wrote the sentence. Sorry if you took it personally…

The Republican propagandists I was referring to were the kind that came up with the whole idea that Democrats want to ban the bible, which was widely publicized in the 2004 campaign. That the charge is ridiculous on its face and that if anyone of any party ever suggested it they would be laughed out of the room doesn’t matter. It makes ‘sense’ in the context of conservative’s carefully nurtured persecution complex and the desire to turn their opponents into inhuman creatures.

And yes, I have heard these types run around saying all sorts of horrible things that would result from civil unions/gay marriage but it is basically on a level with the banning the bible charge. No one could prevail in such a suit and neither myself, anyone I know, nor the ACLU would ever support the idea if they tried.

If you continued down through the rest of my post – and I can understand if you didn’t as you were offended – you would have seen that I agreed that someone might even get to the point where they want to sue, but it is highly unlikely that any court would even allow them to file or on what grounds they could possibly prevail if they did.

You can sue a church if a priest/pastor molested you as a child and then the organization covered it up. Fine. But you can’t sue them because they will not recognize your divorce if they don’t believe in it, or don’t want to marry you if they don’t like. It doesn’t make sense in reality – though what reality has to do with current political debate I don’t know.

42. David spews:

Righton (why is it sometimes capitalized? using two computers?): Federal money (state money too) comes with strings attached. That’s a fact. No religious group has to take it; but if they do, they have to play by the rules. That’s why Catholic Family Services is a separately incorporated 501(c)3 organization: It gets government funding (no establishment clause problem, because it’s not a church) and has to follow, e.g., federal anti-discrimination laws.

Bush’s push for “charitable choice” (i.e., letting federal dollars flow directly to churches and other religious groups) is problematic for the reasons you described.

But visiting a federal park (open to anyone) is not enough to create a government entanglement; they can certainly hold religious services at their campground.

43. Nindid spews:

“Will church groups that visit fed lands (e.g. the nat’l parks have on site church services) be allowed if they continue to include passages from Leviticus, Romans, etc?”

As long as this group pays like anyone else and isn’t firebombing the two buddies sharing a tent next campsite over because they might be gay then how could there be a problem here?

44. DamnageD spews:

Dearest David,

No appoligies here. I’ve been a participant on this blog since its beginning, big deal, I know. But before this little tirade, you might notice the primary comment I made was first directed not to you, but to Arnold and focused on the fact he was blathering (read, not offering anything valid to respond to). So to see if he’d understand my point, I sank to his level.

Considering you decided to harrass me for harrassing another poster, your no better in the witless/petty department.I find it iornic (read; mornic) that you suggest I bring more substance, when that was the message I was sending to Ah-nold.

I would consider having a discussion with you, if I really gave two shakes to your position and statements after displaying such antagonistic views. But alas, this will get nowhere. If your familiar with this site, you’d notice I do participate often and without malice. Poor laungage, granted..but in this forum who cares?

I’m tempted to list out this discussion board and who offered “substance” and how often before ya got on my case…but i’m not going to waste my (and everybody elses) time. I’m just going to remember that your a self rightous hyprocrit for trying to bring me out and leave it at that.

cheers!

45. Mark spews:

David @ 37

Thank you.

Nindid @ 41

After reading your post, I did a quick ‘net search. You’re right about (at least major) gay activist groups saying they won’t sue the church. HOWEVER, I did run across two things. First, more than one website did address the question of “so, can we sue the church?” This indicates that even they believe that some individuals may try it, though they admit such a case would be likely lost. Second, it appeared that they have instead *considered* the strategy of attacking the tax exempt status of any church that doesn’t perform gay marriage.

I don’t think that there is much else to argue along this line. I appreciate that it is recognized that suing the church would be wrong and/or would at least fail. Maybe both sides should just leave one another alone instead of poking each other in the ribs in the back seat of the family car.

46. righton spews:

David and Nindid;

I’m talking about organized religious services offered at the parks. (as an example of our fear).

Parks allow certain churches to offer services, on park land, and its published in the pamphlets you get when you enter (typically a big campground inside the park). Or parks also allow for their workers, organized services. Some are by evangelical group.

I would think you all would at some point say, “we can’t have these divisive types in our areas, surely there is some denomination that can preach that is more “centered”

47. David spews:

“I would think you all would at some point say, “we can’t have these divisive types in our areas, surely there is some denomination that can preach that is more ‘centered’”

That’s just silly. Or maybe paranoid. Religious groups of all stripes can have their campground services, if they reserve the campground on equal terms as anyone else (no religious preference or obstacle). Doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of the religious groups that are there, or what groups (religious or non-) someone might wish were there instead. That’s religious freedom for ya.

And of course the government can’t step in and prefer one faith to another; the establishment clause forbids that kind of thing entirely.

48. Nindid spews:

Right guy @46 As I said before, I have no problem with churches – whether I agree with their theology/politics or not – doing their thing as long as they are treated like everyone else (open access or charged the same fees) and they are not bothering other campers.

Are there limits? Sure. If some church wants to attack a hispanic guy and a white girl holding hands on a trail because they believe God hates interracial couples then we should file charges and boot them out of the park.

I know that you have this idea in your head that anyone who is to the left of Karl Rove must hate all Christians but it is just not reality. Not that it seems reality matters much to conservatives anymore, but I just thought I would point that out.

49. righton spews:

David; you are missing my example. Go to Yosemite. Some church preaches on the property every Sunday. Not as campers but rather as amenity to the people visiting. A way to allow them to worship, without building a church on the property. But since the Park service can pick who is the church preaching (again they pick just 1), will Baptists say be able to preach or will you lock it down to left wingers favoring gay marriages?

50. David spews:

Damnaged @ 44, you are taking things all out of proportion. I know you’re a long-time poster here on HA, and I know you can bring solid reasoning (and a sharp tongue) to the table. But I saw you stooping to badly-spelled, content-free invective back at 21. Stuff I’d expect of wingers—I figured it might turn this thread into another stupid insult-fest. If you like those, fine, have your fun. But I expect a little more—I like to actually exchange ideas with people who don’t see things the same way.

“he was blathering (read, not offering anything valid to respond to).”
Funny, I had already responded to him at 17. Guess you missed something.

“So to see if he’d understand my point, I sank to his level.”
There was your mistake…you sank below him. Oops.

“I find it iornic (read; mornic)”
Okay, I found this mildly ironic, too. :)

“you suggest I bring more substance, when that was the message I was sending to Ah-nold.”
Okay, it was a bit meta.

“after displaying such antagonistic views “
Give me a break. There’s no antagonism, and you just pointed out the irony that we were asking for the same thing.

“Poor laungage, granted..but in this forum who cares?”
Nobody. Thus the “yawn” above.

“your a self rightous hyprocrit for trying to bring me out”
No, just an idealist. To be a hypocrite, I’d have to have thrown a bunch of insults at you.

“cheers!”
Cheers.

51. David spews:

righton @ 49, if the Park Service is choosing one church that can officially lead prayers in Yosemite Park on Sundays—and excluding others—then they are pretty obviously acting contrary to the First Amendment. According to your facts, they are preferring one religion over others and establishing it as the religion provided on this federal land. Big no-no.

“will Baptists say be able to preach or will you lock it down to left wingers favoring gay marriages?”
Man, what reality are you living in? Please come back to ours.

52. righton spews:

dave; living in seattle; What if Hutch was leading Sunday services at Mt Rainer; you guys get wind of it, suddenly park picks nice wishy washy Episc to preach instead (one who marries gays)

53. David spews:

righton, how can you be so stubbornly missing the point that Nindid and I keep making? The park can’t pick anybody to preach.

P.S.: What’s with insulting Episcopalians? You have a problem with religious diversity?

P.P.S.: In today’s political and religious climate, I think it’s much more likely that the opposite would occur; i.e., “you guys” would get wind of some religious moderate (giving a public benediction, running as a candidate, whatever) and apply pressure to replace him/her with someone in the Ken Hutcherson mold. So keeping government and religion unentangled is a good thing from our perspective, too.

54. righton spews:

David; I don’t use the word diversity. Its a propaganda word you guys own.

And you guys are too dense to understand that parks, or maybe airport chapels indeed have limited slots and end up making some selections. Point is the gov’t will do things to favor one religious group over another.

55. Mark spews:

Slightly OT…

What I don’t understand is why faith-based charities seem to do a much more efficient and effective job of providing social services than public agencies. I don’t think we’d even have the discussion of gov’t. funds to faith-based agencies if public agencies had to meet standards such as ECFA (www.ecfa.org) — obviously not including the faith issues, but definitely the finance and “clear mission” standards. What they list as a Donor’s Bill of Rights should be posted on every government agency’s wall as a “Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.” But I digress…

56. Nindid spews:

David @53 It is hard for me to tell sometimes whether conservatives really believe their own persecution complexes or just use them as debating points. Is righton really as dense as he seems or does he just do it to try and limit debate to a narrow enough frame where he might take one individual point and declare himself victorious in his own mind?

BTW, I ended up doing a little checking on Catholic hospitals and it turns out that about 90% or more of the funds from the big Catholic hospital groups come from federal programs. And incidentally, 9/10 of the largest hospital groups are Catholic. If anything, righton’s hypotheticals are exactly backwards.

57. Nindid spews:

righon@ 54 – I have worked in parks and at my park they did indeed have limited slots, but rotated them among all the churches that were interested. They did this to be fair and not violate the Constitution. Are you saying that Rainer is picking one denomination to run religious services in the park?

The better point of debate is not if gov’t favors certain religous groups, but should they? Are you actually arguing that the gov’t SHOULD favor one denomination over another?

58. Mark spews:

Nindid @ 56

I think what many to the right of Far Left, including myself, are concerned about is the Law of Unintended Consequences — something that politicians and activists like to deny exists.

59. David spews:

righton @ 54:
“I don’t use the word diversity. Its a propaganda word you guys own.”
Oh, that’s rich. If we’re not a religiously “diverse” nation, what would you call it?

“Point is the gov’t will do things to favor one religious group over another.”
No, only in your imagination. Government will bend over backward NOT to favor one religious group over another. If it doesn’t, the disfavored group has a Constitutional claim.

60. David spews:

Mark @ 58: What unintended consequences (of what action) are you referring to?

61. righton spews:

david;
i’m old school; prefer the melting pot to the salad bowl or the whatever diversity analogy there is. Worked pretty good in assimilating lots of diverse folks.

Try hanging a cross with your family photos at work, or try holding a bible study at high school. Used to be just fine to do those theings before you guys started the jihad to strip society of religion

62. David spews:

righton: the melting pot metaphor is not applicable to religion. To culture, yes; to language, yes; but America is not about taking all religions and “assimilating” them, melting them into one “American” religion. Frankly, that’s insulting.

Oh, and your imagination is still fully active, I see. There is no “jihad” (interesting choice of words) to “strip society of religion.” It just doesn’t exist (except as a straw man for right wing agitation). You are welcome to hang a cross with your family photos at work (i.e., in your cubicle or office) whether you work for a private employer like Microsoft or a public entity like the City of Seattle. But if you’re a teacher, you can’t hang a cross in the classroom. I bet you can figure out why.

Bible study is allowed to meet after school (or before, or at lunch) just like other school groups.

Yes, it used to be fine to do those things. And it still is. Quit whining about your imaginary persecution.

63. Mark spews:

David @ 60: “What unintended consequences (of what action) are you referring to?”

I was responding to Nindid’s comment about “persecution complexes” (and previous commenter’s views that any concerns a “right winger” might have are purely paranoia, etc.).

Are you familiar with the Law of Unintended Consequences?

Basically, it says that almost all people’s actions — especially things like government regulations — have consequences that are either totally unexpected or to which the people or government turned a blind eye because they wanted the legislation so badly.

A good overview can be found here:
http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/UnintendedConsequences.html

64. Smokey spews:

Zorg Wrote:

“@1 says, Marriage between man and woman is love and committment (sic);”
Really? Marriage between a man and woman has a divorce rate better than 50% across most of the nation. Marriages between a man and a woman have problems with domestic violence and other nastiness. Doesn’t sound to me like equating marriage between a man and a woman with love and commitment has a very firm basis.”

First, check on your divorce stats…they are a bit high. It’s not anywhere near 50% for first marrages. People that marry five and six times skew the numbers.

Also, if you look at domestic violence, many studies that look at domestic partnerships and marrages find that a woman is more likely to be abused by a female lover then by a man she is married to or living with.

Further, most studies do show a genetic/biological reason for males being homosexual. Not for females. There is very little evidence that lesbians are genetically/biologically pre-disposed to being lesbian. Most studies find environmental reasons for women becoming lesbian. I was shocked to first learn this from a very feminist anthropology professor in college.

65. DamnageD spews:

David @ 50

All right, all right! I was wrong! Maybe I had something in my craw; it was past the witching hour after all. I wasn’t trying to make this an insult-a-plooza, just trying to drive out Ahhh-nolds point. Looks like I failed miserably.

Everybody’s capable of being a greater ass than they know. Looking back, I see I was being just that. I’ll try to behave a TAD better in the future…

…but I’m bound to revert back to my asshole self occasionally.

66. Nindid spews:

Mark @63

“I was responding to Nindid’s comment about “persecution complexes” (and previous commenter’s views that any concerns a “right winger” might have are purely paranoia, etc.).”

I didn’t say ‘any concerns’ I listed specific concerns raised in this thread. And I would think that the prevelant idea among the right wing that there is some liberal jihad to take away religon and ban the bible is just that. There are two factual examples – on from two posts up – that are simply crazy paranoid delusions.

You guys have to resort to made up scenarios to come up with the horror stories that you can they rail against mythical liberals for. Do you read righton’s posts where he is all upset by some mythical crusade to destroy religon? Doesn’t that strike you as a bit paranoid? Gets right in there with the ban the bible stuff no?

I appreciate your caution on unintended consequences, but there is a major problem with that. Unless you can actually spell out what consequences you have in mind regarding gay marriage/civil unions they hold no weight. How could anyone do anything if they were always paralyzed by what might happen? If you have legitimate concerns lets hear them?

And it really is a silly argument for conservatives considering the events of the past few years. Tax cuts were supposed to kick start the economy – uhm, nope. Record deficits and talk of a new recession. Well, I suppose the top 1% are doing great but I never liked the idea of someone above me ‘trickling down’ on me anyway. How about that whole quick, easy, and cheap Iraq War? How did that play out?