I’m coming out.

Howdy folks! Katy Faust here. I am the big bad author of this blog.  I, KATY FAUST, am the official friendly neighborhood bigot. “The Bigot.”

If you have read all of the material here you will know that I began this blog becausespace needle many gay marriage supporters painted all opponents to gay marriage as bigots.

As haters.

No credence was given to the truth that many opponents have a deep love for the gay people in their life. Never was the notion entertained that it is from a place of love for children and their well-being. That children have a natural right to be known and loved by their mother and father.  All of that nonsense is completely ignored to serve the narrative. To oppose gay marriage makes you an un-evolved troglodyte hater. That’s it. End of debate.

I had hoped and prayed (and prayed and prayed) that this here forum would be a place where cooler heads would prevail. Where I could foster understanding and wrestle through with my fellow Christians how to navigate the rocky shores of scripture crashing against our current culture. I had this glorious idea that I could create a place where we could attack issues. Issues, not people.  And much of the time, we have succeeded. Thanks to some very thoughtful, respectful and mature contributors. I am so deeply grateful for this.

There exists, however, a contingent of gay marriage supporters who are not satisfied with this elevated level of dialogue.  They hunt as a pack, they name call, insult and intimidate others throughout the threads on my posts.  I have allowed them to comment, nevertheless, because someone has to risk having real dialogue despite the dissenting voices. Further, I believe that people really reveal themselves, sadly to everyone but themselves, when they feel they have a justified hatred.

But for these trolls (their words not mine) that’s not enough.  They write smear pieces on me (samplings here and here). Because their position is flawed they take only segments of my posts in order to twist it to fit their narrative. The one that I am a bigot.  Then in classic bullying behavior, all of their cohorts get to join the sport and kick the stupid Christian around too. Right. Just typing this I am saddened for these people. I think they might actually believe that I, me, am the hater.

But that’s not all folks!! This kind of personal attack simply won’t suffice.  They mine the inter webs and discover my husband’s blog.  They tell him that they know who his wife is.  They share my name within the pack.  They reveal it on each other’s blogs, for the purpose of intimidation. Because we disagree. Can anyone else smell the implied threat here?

This is a good time methinks to do a refresher for all of you dear readers. What is a bigot?

Bigot: a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially: one who regards or treats the members of a group with hatred and intolerance.

Interesting that. No?

So. Dearest Pink, Ark, Violet and Clare:

This is my prayer for each of you. I pray that you “come to Jesus.”  I pray that where you have needs, God would meet them.  When you hunger, you would be filled.  When you are lonely, that you would find sweet friendship.  When you stumble, that someone strong would be there to pick you up.  When you are hurt, you would be healed.  I wish you well.  All of you.

Amen.

 

219 thoughts on “I’m coming out.

  1. I’m your friend Katy. I love you. I appreciate your ministry and your heart. I see your anguish to love Jesus and love his creation well too…. even when they hurl insults. What good is it for a man to love only those who love him? No, surely, true love is loving those who hate you. And I see, in order to give a whole post to them… you love them. You wouldn’t waste your breath on someone you hated. It’s not your way. Maybe someday, they’ll see your love but if not — God sees. He’s holding the words on this top of His tongue to lavish upon you “Well done, thy good and faithful servant.”

    I firmly believe if a Christian walks an easy life without persecution of some kind…. they weren’t sharing Jesus with the lost. They hated Him. And He is in us.

    Hold your head high. Tell your husband and children to rejoice in the trial for it means Jesus is being proclaimed and they are building treasure in Heaven. It’s what is unseen that has the final victory. You have friends standing in the gap, on their knees in prayer for all of you, loving you close and from a distance, rejoicing in the suffering with you and asking God to keep strengthening you to press toward the prize.

    Don’t lose heart. Don’t quit. You matter and your ministry is helping Christians learn to love well.

    • “I firmly believe if a Christian walks an easy life without persecution of some kind…. they weren’t sharing Jesus with the lost. They hated Him. And He is in us.”

      This is worth putting on the frog. Thanks! ;-)

    • Kayla, thank you for your faithfulness and encouragement to me. Jesus was so wise to send them out two by two. I’ve never met you, but having you stand with me and others here is a great honor and blessing. Many many thanks.

      • There’s nothing like encouragement to a cheating, lying, con-artist. Unashamed of her fraud, questionable practices and opportunism.
        Funny no one ever mentioned Kayla was part of your circle.

          • Certainly: You hid your identity. You concealed the fact commenters had been solicited by you. You concealed the fact some were members of your personal circle.
            You attempted to create the false impression of an organic movement. And you live off of the hate and disdain you perpetuate. If you want more detail, I describe it here:
            http://pinkagendist.wordpress.com/2014/04/06/zero-sum-game-the-perverse-pseudo-morality-promoted-by-grace-church-seattle-the-fausts-other-anti-gay-groups/#comment-11162

          • Again, can you cite where I have lied, cheated or conned? And if blogging under a pseudonym is unacceptable, I look forward to you uncovering and exposing your pal Violetwisp’s indentity.

            No one has been “solicited” by me. Hewho is my editor’s husband, as he has repeatedly told you. I am very open about the involvement of my editor and have even dedicated a post to how she shapes my writing. If anyone is “perpetuating” a “movement” in terms of driving traffic to my site, it’s you and Ark. Of my most recent comments, I authored 261, Ark has 78, Tisha (not even in my timezone) has 60, you have 52. Your friend John Zande is pushing 45 and Hewho is lagging in the background with 34. My husband has 51, and that was almost all accounted for in one long discussion (200+ comments) between he and Ark after my gay wedding post.

            Pink, if anyone is driving traffic to my small-time blog, it’s you and your chums.

          • Indeed! I’m happy to drive tons of people to you! It’s a good example of how scams operate.
            If you recall, when I mentioned the IP issue you dissimulated as did Hewho.
            You could have come clean, and yet you didn’t.
            How did people who know you personally and live within your vicinity end up on your blog? Did they guess at its existence? Did the man who heard you on the radio and knew your name have a revelation that told him how to find your website?

          • Pink. You are the self-proclaimed king of discovering details about people using their IP and seem to find no ethical problem in doing so. You obviously have the time and motivation. Clare itemized all the commentors on my most recent post (because this is really really important to you entire pack, it seems) so maybe you can scour the internet and let us know what you find. (http://clareflourish.wordpress.com/2014/04/03/i-dont-want-to-be-moved/) Unfortunately if you do, you will discover that your whole theory of this being a “sham” filled with people who have been “solicited” is utter lunacy. Though I think you already know that. But writing smear peices, and accusing innocents of wrongdoing and obsessing over those who disagree seems to be deeply satisfying for you. So i understand why you will not be reporting those findings.

            Oh, and the guy who interviewed me on the radio was my friend. The one who recommended anonymity in the first place because he was concerned that some might not only disagree with me, but take steps to personally attack me or those I love. Thanks for proving his point.

          • Darling,
            Every time a person comments on wordpress the blog owner gets an email with the commenter’s IP. There’s no rocket science or archeology involved. Ask whomever set-up your blog, and I’m sure they’ll explain it to you.

          • Of course I see them. But those who comment deserve my respect and I see it as deeply unethical to mine their details for personal gain. Obviously, we do not agree about this.

          • Ditto, no? You feel free to not just abuse but justify and rationalize your abuses. Then you use your husband to disseminate false information.
            Did you tell him I was ‘anonymous’, or was that an honest mistake he made?

        • I’m sure you’ve looked into Kayla’s IP address, in an altruistic attempt to uncover “fraud”. Does she live near me?

          • Well, what was “wrong” was that I chose to write under a pseudonym I guess. By all means hurry back with Violetwisp’s identity too. She should be outed in the name of “love” and “tolerance”. Wouldn’t you agree?

          • He won’t as he knows that is inappropriate and also for the moment he does not hate her, again for the moment. Also when he can’t respond or argue the point he goes to ground only to return latter with new and improved false accusations, usually ones he is actually guilty of himself. That is his proven MO. Note he demands answers from others but doesn’t do so well providing any….at least any that are lucid.

        • She prayed your needs will be fulfilled. I pray the same. You don’t have to find Christ; Christ is looking for you, and when you look up from your navel, you will see him, arms outstretched, loving you so much he would die for you to be happy and fulfilled. Take a deep breath. Look up if you dare.

          • I hear there’s a Muslim saying Allah is waiting for you and hoping you correct your ways and start wearing a veil.
            Let’s just all cross our fingers he doesn’t communicate that to you when he’s sitting next to you on an airplane…

          • I’m suggesting your god isn’t the first, nor will it be the last, used to push exclusivism.
            In direct regard to Islam, it’s the #1 religion today that fosters terrorism. I’m not sure your righteousness is any consolation to the families of the many victims of their ideology.

          • My God does not push exclusivism. Rather, as the creator of all that is, seen and unseen, he loves his creation and has shown us how to live in harmony with it. When God states his guide for life, he is telling us how to live most contentedly and happily in the world as it really is. He teaches us to know and live by truth rather than by the limitations of our own experience and imaginations. As the creator, he shows us how to live. If someone tried to tell you that 2+2 did not equal 4, you would know that this person was out of touch with reality. If someone tried to disprove the fact of gravitational attraction by walking off a building in the belief that he would not fall to the ground, you would know that he had lost touch with truth. It is the same with regard to human life. God doesn’t push exclusivism. God teaches us what we were created to be, and the union of contrasting, complementary gender, the union of a man and a woman, is not an exclusivist agenda; it is the fulfillment of created purpose.
            I completely agree that terrorism is a powerful force being used by adherents of Islam. I nevertheless contend that to belittle Allah as you did is evidence that you do not actually believe that you have an obligation to be tolerant and inclusive. You appear to believe that others must not only tolerate you, no matter what you have as your agenda, but they must also support and advocate for your agenda. At the same time, you appear to believe that you have no reciprocal obligation to be respectful of others.
            Do I have that part straight?

          • You’ve obviously got nothing clear. My proposition is people can apply religious tenets to their own lives- never to those of another free citizen.
            In fact I can’t stand the word tolerance. Being an equal citizen, , it’s not my position to ‘tolerate’ anyone. They get to choose their own way. All I’m permitted to do is illustrate my position without presuming anyone should be bound by it.

          • I responded to your accusation that God pushes exclusivism. I drew a logical conclusion about your attitudes based on your own statements.
            I think I got it all very clear.
            I don’t much like the word “tolerance” either.

          • So you believe that you have the prerogative to be disrespectful of mindsets with which you disagree, but you take offense if anyone is disrespectful of your mindset? Have I got that right? Is that why you don’t like the word “tolerance?” I don’t like it, because I think it is a destructive attitude. Can you answer my two questions, please, so I understand your mindset better?

          • That’s interesting. Are you saying that you don’t care if I respect your right to your opinion? I could make fun of you with impunity and you would laugh right along with me? As long as I use facts I can prove with verifiable evidence? Do you really mean it?

          • Make fun, as in pointlessly? That’s not quite what we were talking about.
            I linke Islam and terrorism. That’s not ‘making fun’ of anyone. Al Qaeda is not a Hari-Krishna phenomena. The Northern Irish troubles weren’t about Buddhism.
            As for me, personally, you’re welcomed to point out anything you like pertaining to my existence if you find it relevant to the debate we’re having.

  2. “If you have read all of the material here you will know that I began this blog because many gay marriage supporters painted all opponents to gay marriage as bigots.”

    And just as many opponents painted all gay marriage supporters or those indifferent as biblically wrong and in need of salvation.

    As I have already proved to you, one must be very careful how you use the bible. Ruth was not racially a moabite and the scripture you attributed to Jesus most likely was never spoken by him. This is not about winning or losing with me. It’s about jumping to conclusions (from both sides) and escalating a problem which really should be a private matter.

    • “And just as many opponents painted all gay marriage supporters or those indifferent as biblically wrong and in need of salvation.”

      Be honest. The Christians on this blog have also “painted” themselves as often wrong, sometimes biblically, and definitely in need of salvation. The fact that we don’t cave into the do-whatever-it-takes pressure to support gay marriage is what seems to really bother the intolerant of the Tolerance Movement. Tolerance only extends to those who agree with their support of gay marriage. Otherwise, it’s no-holds-barred on the “Chrisian bigots”. It’s as hypocritical a position as Christian’s are accused of holding. The big difference is that the Christians on this blog have often admitted when they spoke in haste or sarcasm. They have turned the other cheek when they were slapped down. They have offered apology for offense and continued to engage in a respectful manner. The gay marriage supporters……well, they have not. And THAT, my friends, speaks volumes.

    • It is a very private matter until you attempt to reshape the culture in your own image. It is very private until you demand the right to take people to court if they don’t want you to talk about your private matter in front of children. Keep it private. You can keep it private from us, but not from God. However, that is God’s business not ours. As for God’s book, God has guarded his book for thousands of years, gathering writers and editors and publishers and protectors. What is says is what he wants said.

  3. I have hoped the same thing as you in the past and had many failed experiences with it. They sometimes admit their hatred but say that they are justified because they believe they are standing up for the mistreated. I believe the young kids these days like to say, haters gonna hate.

    Also, you were partially outed on that radio show you did awhile back. He said he was going to try to refer to you only as askme, but he flubbed and called you Katy at one point.

    • Indeed, Henry. But then they found my last name. Now “the pack” has taken things to a whole new level, such as digging up articles in the hopes of unearthing scandal at my church and making it known to my husband that they know my identity- a (veiled?) threat. You are absolutely right- that there is justification because they see their position as the only loving one. The ends justify the means in their minds, I suppose?

      Thanks for reading and commenting, friend.

      • I have seen some of these posts and they are typical tactics of gay activists. Fortuneately the only ones who take them seriously are those who hate God, and anyone associated with His name.

  4. Katy, you are standing for The Truth and that is never comfortable or easy. In doing so, you are teaching us all how to do the same. Thank you for your thoughtful, loving, and honest answers to hard questions. Most of the time I cringe when I hear people on TV or in the media trying to defend the Christian perspective on these issues. They always come off as dogmatic or judgemental or unloving. You are none of these things. In the short time I have followed you, your example has taught me so much! You verbalize what I have in my heart.

    • Susie, coming from you those words are like gold to me. As a fellow sister committed to “grace and truth” your encouragement is balm to my soul.

  5. The bottom line explanation for the apparent hypocrisy of the gay apologists is that, in spite of the moral relativism they may otherwise express and the allergy to dogmatism they often exhibit, they actually believe that they are absolutely right and we are absolutely wrong. And not just a garden variety wrong, but an evil kind of wrong — a kind of wrong that doesn’t warrant toleration and which could only be explained as hate and bigotry because, you know, there’s no other possible justification for standing against what’s so plainly right to them. And, as they say, all’s fair in love and war. Normal rules of courtesy, integrity, and reason must yield to the socially just goal of progress toward the liberal ideal, which is their True and Good and the Beautiful. If only us Christians could be so dogmatic.

    • “they are absolutely right and we are absolutely wrong. And not just a garden variety wrong, but an evil kind of wrong…”

      Pruett, thank you for putting that so succinctly. Indeed, that is the reasoning. It has been argued that tolerating me and my position is the equivalent of tolerating someone who supports slavery. And you cannot tolerate something/someone like that.

      Also, many thanks for your comments with John. It is always an education to watch someone else engage in a non-emotional, linear, and logical fashion. I have much to learn.

  6. An honest question: Do you seriously think your particular god will punish two people for loving each other, but celebrate you hating people you’ve never met?

    • Does “love” require sodomy? Who gets to define love? If God, then so long as people are exercising love by His definition, then the answer is no. If we get to define it for ourselves, then I guess the incestual love between a father and daughter must be acceptable to God as well. And why just “two” people anyway?

      • I’m sorry, but I don’t understand you answer. Does your “no” mean you don’t think your god will punish people for loving each other?

        • If God gets to define what love is, then so long as people are exercising love by His definition, then the answer is no (to the question, will He punish two people for loving each other).

          It should be noted that the question of how we are made acceptable to God and avoid punishment is far deeper than this. Christians do not believe that they are going to heaven simply because they are doing all the right things, or are better than anyone else.

          • So if your particular Middle Eastern god won’t punish two people for loving each other, and will no doubt be furious with you for hating people you’ve never met, then why persist hating people you’ve never met?

          • Again, you are depending upon your own definition of “love.” My “Middle Eastern god” does not require me to sodomize a man as the greatest expression of my “love” for him. In fact, He would much rather I reserve my sexual expressions for the gender that I have been physically designed to complement. Also, you make two false presumptions. 1) that my objection to homosexuality is born of (or equivalent to) hate. I am against smoking, but I don’t hate smokers. 2) that I have not met any homosexuals. You seem to be against Christianity, but I do not presume that you have never met any.

          • I am only “preoccupied” with it (among other things I’ve blogged on for years outside of WordPress) because it is an issue advocated like very few others in our culture, and which will have consequence for those of us who do not likewise celebrate it, and to the children who will be raised in households intentionally deprived of one of their natural parents and one of the genders.

            I did not always have an issue with homosexuality. Those were in the days when I really didn’t care much at all about social, political, or sexual issues. It was easy to be “tolerant” when I was morally apathetic. Things changed about 15 years ago, and I actually started to think about these things and apply principles to my beliefs. Two relevant principles for me are 1) men and women are designed in a socio-physiological way to be complementary to each other, and 2) there is a Designer who did this on purpose.

          • By reason alone I conclude that there is a designer to the cosmos and to life. I would then conclude that such a designer would not make life idly nor craft the intricacies of sexuality and reproduction without reason. Beyond that I happen to believe that that the God of Scripture, as finally manifest in Jesus, is the knowledge of that God.

          • I’m not Jewish; I believe that Jesus is the prophesied Messiah. So, I would look at the old covenants through the lens of the new.

          • The “designer” you are talking about is, though, the god of the Pentateuch, correct? That god doesn’t change from Judaism to Christianity, or for that to Islam. It’s the god of Abraham and Moses. This is where you’re getting your religious guidance regarding homosexuals, right?

          • First, I do not accept that Muhammad’s revelations were actually from this God, so I do not have to reconcile anything within Islamic theology.

            Second, God’s character and will do not change, but the execution of His plans or His reaction to the current state of human affairs might be perceived as such. Even as humans we can see this. I was the same person when my child was young as when she was grown. The fact that I did not allow her to drive my car earlier but later did allow it does not mean that I changed. Also, the fact that we let a man be free in society vs. locking him up in a cage could be explained by circumstances (he committed murdered) rather than that society had changed. Christians understand things like the ceremonial, sacrificial, dietary, and judicial laws of the covenant with Israel in a certain context, but take the basic moral laws to still apply.

          • I don’t often argue against it from Scripture, since that is not a source of authority for many of those who support it. I generally stick with more general arguments of teleology, that is, the design of the sexes (whether by nature or god) and what is suggested as normal/natural/intentional/healthy by the complementary nature of it.

            In appealing to Scripture I would start with the principle, supported therein, that God is an intentional and purposeful designer, and that He made the sexes for each other. As Jesus reaffirms, the man and woman should be joined as one flesh. 1 + 1 (of the same thing) does not make 1, but 2 different and incomplete things can make 1.

            To make a more explicit case from Scripture I could appeal to the moral law in the Old Testament, but that would take me a number of paragraphs in order to short circuit the rebuttal that I would anticipate you to make. For that reason it’s best to stick with the N.T. I find, as stasis includes, that Romans 1 is the clearest on this issue. Unlike 1 Cor 6, which is often dismissed by way of linguistic gymnastics, Romans 1 is unquestionably talking about the rejection of the opposite sex in favor of the same sex. It talks about both men and women who abandon/reject the natural function of the opposite sex in favor of their passion for those of the same sex. I’m not sure how I could phrase it more clearly myself.

          • OK, I can get that. Just quickly to your first point regarding a designer; are you aware that homosexuality has been observed in over 1,500 species? This fact either doesn’t speak too highly of the designer’s skills and competence, or conversely, does actually speak to the designers’ intent. But to your larger point: A man in the 1st Century CE wrote some letters which you think were the inspired words of the god of the Pentateuch. I’m genuinely interested in hearing 1) why you think these letters have any relevance, and 2) what motivates you to go out of your way to interfere with people who are not interfering with you, or threaten you in any way. What do you gain from it?

          • Okay, now we’re past the preamble and into the deeper questions, and several of them at that. I’ve got obligations today, so please allow me some time to get you a response. I’ll just part by saying that, yes, I’ve heard the claim that homosexuality has been observed in animals, and I had planned to blog on this at some point. It is both overstated and irrelevant. I’ll explain why later. Till then…

          • Okay, John, here’s why I think the animal “homosexuality” claim is overstated.

            First of all, it should be understood that many of the cases of “homosexuality” in animals are merely the expression of some typical mating behaviors, which are sometimes seen to be exhibited between members of the same gender, e.g., rubbing necks, briefly mounting, etc. This is seen in various species even while those performing it continue to pair heterosexually. It is not uncommon for males to mount another male as an expression of dominance, competition or greeting, but this does not suggest an orientation — at best, only bisexuality.

            Second, we can’t easily know what an animal’s preference and mental state is (and we can never know what they are thinking); we can only observe patterns of behaviors. And in the wild it is difficult to determine why some animals may come to exhibit those patterns unless they are carefully observed over the entire course of their lives. Behaviors in captivity are, by definition, not the natural and ideal environment, and even in the wild there can be adverse circumstances that can affect animal health and behavior. Animals, too, can suffer mental and physical health issues that modify behavior. It is instructive that there are so many cases where homosexual behavior is observed in a species in captivity but had not yet, or only rarely is, observed in the wild. There have also been many studies done that show abnormal hormonal differences in those animals exhibiting the homosexual behaviors. Neither of these facts suggest homosexual behavior to be normative/healthy in these populations.

            Additionally, the general mating instincts in animals is often misdirected, and does not suggest “preference” relating to the a sexual surrogate. They are not reasoning and discerning creatures, only urge-driven. For instance, when a dog humps your leg it does not indicate a preference for human legs, only that it is a convenient outlet for an immediate urge. And if their instincts can be misdirected toward something so unlike the female of their species as a leg, then it is no surprise that they could be sexually distracted by the male of their own species. In many cases of apparent homosexuality in captivity, when a female was introduced the males were very happy to receive them.

            Of the cases where two animals do show (or possibly could show) a preference to the same sex, this can be explained by misdirected bonding instincts. Birds and other animals (I saw this in my pet raccoons) can form a birth bond with a human in the absence of the actual mother. This does not mean that they prefer humans as “parents”, only that circumstances caused their instincts to become displaced. If parent/child instincts can be misdirected across species boundaries, then it is no stretch to imagine that mating instincts could be misdirected within the species, and once bonds are formed they are hard to break.

            Let me close by quoting the homosexual scientist Simon LeVay:

            “Although homosexual *behavior* is very common in the animal world, it seems to be very uncommon that individual animals have a long-lasting predisposition to engage in such behavior to the exclusion of heterosexual activities. Thus, a homosexual *orientation*, if one can speak of such thing in animals, seems to be a rarity.”

            And now here’s why I think that even if homosexuality existed in animals that it’s irrelevant.

            Unspoken in this claim is that if homosexuality can be found in nature (in animals), then it must be normal and natural, ergo morally acceptable. Right out of the gate there’s a problem, because animals also exihibit behaviors such as rape, infanticide, cannibalism, male domination, and picking on their peers who exhibit “homosexual” behaviors. So, are we to presume that all these are morally acceptable as well?

            Further, why even appeal to what animals do as what’s “natural?” Aren’t humans part of the animal world? Consequently, couldn’t we simply say that whatever humans do is ipso facto natural as well? By definition, this makes *anything* that humans are found to do to be natural and acceptable; there is, then, no way to define anything as wrong or psychologically aberrant.

            Pointing to behaviors in the animal world to justify morality (or pointing to existing behavior anywhere, for that matter) proves too much. One might wonder why seemingly immoral behavior exists in the animal world, which humans find out of bounds, but that seems more a problem for the materialist than the Christian. This is because in a materialistic accounting of the world (and many other non-Christian worldviews) there is no categorical distinction between animals and people: we are just “smarter” animals. This makes it hard to segregate morality, i.e., why something should be right for animals but not for humans. One has to first affirm some meaningful (dare I say, “transcendent”) human distinction in order to partition human morality from the animal world.

            According to Christian theology man is distinct from the animal kingdom in that man, alone, has been invested with the “image” of God. Man is a moral creature with unique value, purpose, and expectations. Appealing to the animal world to justify morality is to put humans and animals onto a level playing field that Christianity never proposed. So, moral extrapolations from the animal kingdom have limited value. It is no more relevant to say that human sexuality is justified by same-sex play in the animal world than it is to say that it would be normal for humans to lay eggs because birds do.

            Now, on to your two question.

            “1) why do you think these letters have any relevance?”

            I don’t know if you are asking about only Paul’s letters alone, or about the entire canon. I’ll presume Paul’s letter to the Romans, since that is what I primarily referenced. The short answer is that I think it has “relevance” because Paul is speaking with knowledge and authority. His testimony of the visitation and calling by Jesus is accepted by the Apostles. And as to the orthodoxy of his teaching, Paul was offered the “right hand of fellowship” by that same community. Paul is held to be the Apostle to the Gentiles (me), and given that he is a representative of Jesus, whom I take to be the very image of God, it is only natural that I should think Paul’s writings relevant. Whether or not they contain mistakes or his own personal speculations at any point still makes them superior to my own idle speculations about the nature of God.

            “2) what motivates you to go out of your way to interfere with people who are not interfering with you, or threaten you in any way. What do you gain from it?”

            If it were true that homosexuals were simply off in their own private enclaves, then it might make more sense for you to wonder why I would care to “interfere” with them. It is no longer a private matter for them; it has become a public matter of social re-engineering.

            Some examples:

            * Pushing for hate crime laws with the aim to encroach into speech and thought itself
            * Advancing pro-homosexual school curriculum on our children, in some cases at an age so young that they don’t even understand sexual issues in general
            * Saturating the media with pro-gay messaging with the goal of de-legitimizing those who differ
            * Attempting to shut down businesses that don’t cater to homosexuals or their agenda
            * Pushing for policy changes for the Boy Scouts, foster care, adoption, etc., which impacts children
            * Having people fired, or denied tenure, for holding traditional views on sexuality
            * Trying to interfere with psychiatrists and patients that actually (horror of horrors) WANT to participate in therapies for the condition
            * Fostering cultural shame and squelching dialog on the issue by the use of labels like “homophobe” and “haters”
            * Performing acts of sabotage on non-compliant businesses, churches, and political campaigns
            * Pushing for changes in legislation to redefine the very nature of marriage and family
            * Normalizing sexual behaviors that have demonstrable health risks, which indirectly (at minimum) affects others, e.g., health costs

            All this in one way or another affects those like me who do not find homosexuality to be just another benign lifestyle. You may think me wrong about my belief, but it doesn’t change the fact that we are at a point of friction for those who believe like me. Gay advocacy is rising to a level that will eventually demand full acceptance, and most certainly “interfere” with our right to say what we want, believe what we want, and raise our children how we want.

            Beyond these things, is it impossible to understand that if we believe homosexuality to be contrary to God’s design, a hindrance to the health and happiness of those who practice it, and even a stumbling block to salvation, that Christians should care about this issue even beyond what we have to personally gain from critiquing it? Sexual slavery, poverty, and breast cancer do not threaten all people or gain them anything to fight, yet people not directly affected do indeed fight against these things, for the sake of the affected.

          • I see you’ve thought a lot about gay animals, as well as gay men. In fact, by a rough estimate, I’m guessing you put as much time into thinking about gay men and gay sex in one single day then I have so far in my entire life. That’s quite impressive.

            To your points

            Those letters might be relevant to you, but not to others, or to the secular society you live in. Your religion affords you no special rights or privileges, nor does it matter one bit in shaping the laws of the land. As I said to Tisha below, you don’t live in a theocracy, and you should be thankful for it. That is, of course, unless you’d like the America envisioned by the likes of Gary North and his Dominion Theology brethren who want to re-instate religiously ordered stoning of children (and others) in American public squares?

            From Gary North’s book, The Sinai Strategy: Economics and the Ten Commandments:

            “When people [children] curse their parents, it unquestionably is a capital crime. The son or daughter is under the lawful jurisdiction of the family. The integrity of the family must be maintained by the threat of death.”

            “Why stoning? There are many reasons. First, the implements of execution are available to everyone at virtually no cost. Second, no one blow can be traced to any person. In other words, no one citizen can regard himself as “the executioner,” the sole cause of another man’s death. Psychologically, this is important; it relieves potential guilt problems in the mind of a sensitive person. Those who abstain from the “dirty business” of enforcing God’s law have a tendency to elevate their behavior as being more moral than the executioner’s, where in point of fact such abstention is itself immoral. Executions are community projects–not with spectators who watch a professional executioner do `his’ duty, but rather with actual participants.”

            “That modern Christians never consider the possibility of the re-introduction of stoning for capital crimes indicates how thoroughly humanistic concepts of punishment have influenced the thinking of Christians. If humanistic concepts of punishment have persuaded Christians that there was something sinister about the Old Testament’s specified mode of execution, then we should not be surprised to discover that humanistic concepts of justice, including economic justice, have also become influential in the thinking of Christians. Christians have voluntarily transferred their allegiance from the infallible Old Testament to contemporary God-hating and God-denying criminologists and economists.”

            Is this the type of America you want to live in, where the religious have their way? I haven’t followed this blog, but I understand from other comments that many of Katy’s church members are divorced adults. That doesn’t bother me in the slightest. People fall out of love, circumstances and interests change. It happens, and people separate. In Gary North’s mind all these people should be stoned, to death, in the public square.

            Nice, huh?

            “Private enclaves”? I do hope you understand how repulsive that sounds to sensible ears. The rest of your examples sound like a wild Glenn Beck monologue, and I suspect there is about as much truth to it all as well. I’m sorry to say, but the religious right wing (especially in the US) has no credibility, so when one hears such elaborately dressed up warnings of impending doom it’s certain to be trumped up nonsense.

            You mention “God’s design.” Again, I remind you, that means nothing. You’re certainly free to believe whatever you like, worship a talking house brick named Errol if it makes you feel good, but your personal thoughts on Errol’s infallible “design” are entirely meaningless outside your house and church.

          • John, I’ve not thought any more about gay men and animals than I have issues like Intelligent Design, epistemology, cosmology, moral theory, embryonic stem cell research, abortion, theological liberalism, and any number of other things. Don’t mistake a reasonable and detailed reply for an obsession.

            I perfectly understand that our Scripture means nothing to you. As you may remember, I earlier said that “I don’t often argue against it from Scripture, since that is not a source of authority for many of those who support it.” I included Scripture in this discussion originally because you started by bringing God into the discussion, and more recently asked why *I* think Paul’s writings have any relevance. Perhaps you should have asked why I thought they had any relevance for *you*.

            As far as rights and privileges, there do seem to be certain rights associated with belief in America, e.g., tax laws, conscientious objection, workplace discrimination, etc. It is true, though, that secularism is eroding whatever rights have existed. I’m not sure what relevance this has to our conversation, though. Christians still cared about the culture even in the first couple of centuries when it was not even legal to be a Christian.

            The claim that Christians are looking for a theocracy is simply alarmist talk. Most conservative Christians want no more than what the American Founders envisioned. I’m no more religious than the majority of them, and they had the power and votes to establish a theocracy if that’s what they wanted. Objecting to moral and economic decay does not equate to the desire for a theocracy. Gary North is a bit of a fringe thinker, whom I am aware of, but most Christians wouldn’t know his name or have ever heard of terms like “theonomy.” I don’t accept his conclusions, but he does raise some interesting psychological points in the text you quote.

            In any case, Christians have just as many “rights” in the culture as secularists. We can field political candidates, lobby, debate, blog, protest, and vote. We have just as much right to try to steer culture wherever we see fit as anyone else. This wouldn’t be such a matter of concern if there weren’t actually so many of us.

            I don’t expect you to believe the examples of agressive gay advocacy that I list. The fact that you probably could not muster any sympathy, even if true, probably colors your skepticism. I would offer examples to back up my list, but I’m not sure that it is relevant. Again, you asked what motivates *me* and why *I* should feel threatened. My list includes things that I see and am concerned about. You won’t allay my concerns by merely brushing them aside as a “Glenn Beck monolog”; ridicule is not rebuttal. And I don’t need to appeal to fear and imagination to see where some of these things are going. I need only observe countries that are already ahead of us on this path.

            About “God’s design,” again, you have been asking about my beliefs and concerns. If you’d like, we could talk about “nature’s design,” and I could argue within your own ballpark and challenge you to justify your own values in the context of your secularism. Rejection of theism comes with some rather untidy rational baggage that we can unpack if you like.

          • You have to admit, you do spend an awful lot of time thinking about gay men. I don’t. I like women. And that was sort of what I was implying with my “Paul’s relevance” question: relevance to anyone, even Christians. There are, of course, over 40,000 Christian sects, and no two agree with the other.

            Yes, tax breaks… the big ugly scam. Don’t get me started ;) Conscientious objection is open to anyone, and workplace discrimination is also a universal… Nothing to do specifically with religion, at least as far as I’m aware. I am not an American, so I might be wrong on this regarding your experience there.

            “In any case, Christians have just as many “rights” in the culture as secularists. We can field political candidates, lobby, debate, blog, protest, and vote.”

            -Yep, same rights as vegetarians, stamp collectors, and Star Trek fans. These rights were bestowed on all by secularists, not theocrats. And you can of course petition for whatever changes you think best. Once again, this is the result of enlightened secular thinking. Petitioning change, though, based on bigotry and mythology is not acceptable in civilised societies. You’re free to do it, you’re free to voice whatever irrational opinion you care to voice, but don’t then complain (and cry “discrimination!”) when you meet rational opposition.

          • Let’s just be adults and move on past your innuendo and your fascination with how much time you imagine that I spend thinking about this. It in no way offers “rational opposition” to anything I’ve said.

            Regarding 40,000 Christian sects, first it should be pointed out what a “sect” actually is. Applied to Christianity, a “sect” is different than a “denomination.” Denominations share essential beliefs, but differ in non-essentials (e.g., Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Lutheran). In general, they hold the other denominations to be legitimate expressions of Christianity, and the differences are due to preferences or conclusions on things not explicitly covered in Scripture. A sect is a group that tends also to share most essential beliefs, but adds some distinctives that they think essential and/or think of themselves as the pure church (e.g., Seventh Day Adventists). Additionally, there are “cults.” These are groups that deny one or more essentials held by all these other groups, usually due to the teachings of some “prophetic” leader, and which usually think of themselves as the true, restored church where others have gone astray (e.g., Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses).

            I say all this to emphasize the fact that there is actually much in common between most of these groups, and those that differ tend to do so not so much because of an honest difference in understanding of church history and Scripture, but because of some other authority that they have added to it which they hold in higher regard, e.g., Joseph Smith’s alleged revelations, Mary Baker Eddy’s “Key to the Scriptures.”

            Even while Christian theologians love to split hairs, between Protestants, Roman Catholics, and the Orthodox Church there is agreement on virtually all of the main doctrine (the historicity of Scripture, the creation, the fall, the virgin birth, the divinity & messiahship of Jesus, His miracles, His perfection, His crucifixion, His bodily resurrection, His necessity in salvation, the general resurrection, the judgment, hell, heaven, etc.). What they agree on is what divides them from every other religion (and non-religion), and what they disagree on is held to be an in-house debate.

            It is primarily the liberal Christians within each of the denominations that disagree with these essentials. A liberal Methodist and a conservative Methodist have less in common than a conservative Methodist and a conservative Orthodox Christian. I should know, I have people from both of these traditions in my family, I have friends and coworkers in numerous denominations, and I enjoy church hopping myself.

            What I defend is not liberal Christianity (whose beliefs are all over the map given that they are not anchored by Scripture), or any of the sects or cults (given that they have self-consciously untethered themselves from mainline Christianity), but what C.S. Lewis called “Mere Christianity” — those things we hold in common.

            You said: “[Christians have the] same rights as vegetarians, stamp collectors, and Star Trek fans.”

            I don’t really think I’ve tried to argue from some position of political privilege, as though that automatically makes our every pronouncement law, but nor would the lack of it falsify anything I’ve said. My only point is that we have as much grounds for advocating our causes as anyone, and on a secular accounting there’s really no justification for objecting if we happen to win culture wars and political battles in our favor.

            And now we get to the fun part. You say that our rights have been bestowed by “enlightened secular thinking.” At this point I could mention where the US founders thought rights came from, or point out John Locke’s worldview, or point to some of the nastiness associated with secular movements that dwarfs the sum total of all the real and imagined atrocities of “Christendom.” But let’s not go there. You’ve made a claim and let’s look at it closer.

            Please tell me where these “rights” come from that you speak of, and how you know what they include. I’d be interested to know if you think they are something other than whatever any given State happens to decide they are at any given time, which can be granted, changed, or revoked at a whim.

          • “Please tell me where these “rights” come from that you speak of, and how you know what they include. I’d be interested to know if you think they are something other than whatever any given State happens to decide they are at any given time, which can be granted, changed, or revoked at a whim.”

            Of course. The modern political state emerged following the goals as laid out by the Enlightenment: the idea that humans can take responsibility for, and solve our own problems through ration investigation and dialogue, free from mythology and superstition. The Enlightenment, of course, wrestled power from the church/state relationship which had seen the stagnation of western civilisation for nearly 1,000 years: otherwise referred to (correctly, i might add) the Dark Ages. Of course, we can go back to the Magna Carta as perhaps the greatest document ever penned, but it took a while for its objectives to be fully realised.

            Rational states, free from mythology and superstition, accept the social construct will shift as new information to light. That’s its genius.

            Why, do you think rights and societal laws are bestowed by some magic being?

          • Ah yes, the Enlightenment, when unicorns and rainbows first came to earth to drive away the uniform evil and darkness of religion. Historical redaction is such fun sport, and it’s so much easier to teach students popular caricatures than the stereotype-defying nuances of real history.

            Historians do not typically use the term “Dark Ages,” and they know enough not to characterize all of Christendom as one monolithic thing given that it existed well beyond the boundaries of Medieval Europe. See this for more: http://pspruett.blogspot.com/2006/01/shedding-light-on-dark-ages.html

            And are you referring to the Magna Carta, whose preamble is saturated in God talk, and that is based upon the principle that there is a law higher than the State (Monarchy) to which it is accountable, and which is thought to have been written by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and signed by as many bishops and abbots as by anyone else, and whose very first clause appeals to the freedom of religion? That Magna Carta?

            History is not so simple as you seem to imagine, nor so rosy for the secularists. There’s plenty of “Dark” that has been produced in the wake of secularism. Nihilist philosophy, eugenics, communist purges, and the crimes of many garden-variety atheists are but some examples. In fact, slavery curiously re-emerged in the West during the “enlightenment.”

            The problem with atheism is that it comes with no playbook, even in principle, to constrain, guide, or correct it. You say it can be guided by “rational states, free of mythology and superstition.” (Funny, in our increasingly secular culture, our cable channels seem to be increasingly filled with shows about ghosts, ancient aliens, and mediums.)

            Reason doesn’t suddenly become infallible and efficient once un-tethered from the drag of religion. It’s not like a sports car that finally gets off the dirt road. However, it *is* like a car in a way. A car is just a tool that gets you places efficiently, and reason is just a tool to aid in considering ideas. Like a car, it doesn’t determine the destination, the motive for going there, or the strategy for getting there. These things come from presuppositions and preferences that precede reason.

            Some of the biggest serial killers have employed reason to great effect in order to satisfy the demands of their preferences. If one’s presupposition is that humans are just pawns in the meaningless game of life to satisfy one’s own desires, then this will certainly guide the employment of reason to that end.

            Atheists are not free of presuppositions and preferences, but which ones is the question. As I said, the problem with atheism is that there is no atheist “orthodoxy.” The atheist prostitute, the atheist dictator, and the atheist philanthropist all have equal justification for calling themselves a “proper” atheist. So long as they don’t appeal to “mythology and superstition” it’s all good.

            This makes secular “rights” talk kind of a grab-bag. Besides there being no room for transcendent, unique value to human beings in a purposeless and material world (thus making problematic the idea of *equal* rights), there is the problem of getting all these little islands of self-autonomy to agree upon the values and goals that they propose to share as law. And anything that the majority may happen to agree upon certainly cannot be elevated to the level of some objective moral principle that transcends all time and cultures; it’s just what that one group happens to personally value in common at that particular time and place. Tomorrow they may change their mind in… most unfortunate ways.

            Again, I’d be interested to know if you think “rights” are something other than whatever any given State happens to decide they are at any given time, which can be granted, changed, or revoked at a whim. If you want to own the concept of secular rights and values as merely subjective “social contracts,” fine. But then don’t insist that your subjective values are any better than my values, no matter where mine come from.

            At this point, it doesn’t matter so much why I think rights may come from God, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. What I think is important to point out is that if there is nothing greater than humanity, then rights and morality distill down to nothing more than personal and joint *preferences*. Given that history is riddled with powerful persons and groups having rather unfortunate preferences, I don’t find secular “enlightenment” to be a very comforting hedge against repeat performances. It seems to have, in principle, nothing concrete to offer.

          • Don’t really like being on the defense, huh? Skepticism doesn’t leave one free of justification and crafting a coherent secular humanist worldview is not without challenges.

            The ironic thing is, that in a (supposedly) purposeless universe, where we are merely biochemical freaks of nature that evolution has fooled into thinking are meaningful, truth-seeking beings, it really doesn’t matter what our justifications are for anything at all. What obligation do we have to reason or truth anyway? It certainly isn’t “vital.” Works out nice for you, but then don’t expect to impose objectivity on me.

            It is the very intuition that there is something more than this — that truth, reason, and morality are not just “an illusion fobbed off on us by our genes” (to quote Michael Ruse) — that opens the way for theism in my thinking. This and a number of other psychological, scientific, historical, and personal things.

          • Who’s on the defense?

            Why didn’t you answer my question? Why do *you* think a magic creature created rights? Also, which magic creature are we actually talking about here? Is it the Middle Eastern god of the Pentateuch?

          • I pushed back and asked questions, you deferred. Seems I’m not entitled to anything until some undefined point in the conversation.

            Take a closer look at my last paragraph. I don’t think “rights” even make sense outside of a theistic framework, unless you’re satisfied to call them “wants” or just whatever the State happens to grant. At this point it doesn’t even matter what those rights are or what the deity is.

          • I think it matters a great deal as it is this deity which you’re saying is the author (and gifter, I’m presuming) of the rights you’re talking about. Could you name this deity, and how you know anything, including “rights,” came from it? That’s to say, what are you basing this belief upon?

            Me? I don’t see anything magical in it. Humans have experimented with many systems, and the one thing we can see is a progression of those systems over time toward the orgnaisation and refinement of rules which enhance the well-being of members. Two steps forward, one step back… Sometime more. No perfect system has been found, I don’t think a perfect system can be found for just as long as we’re trapped on this rock falling through space in a straight line over curved space. Maybe, just maybe if we ever do get off the surface and into space in a serious way (interstellar exploration and colonisation) then we might be able to move nearer our deepest Humanist goals. Who knows? It’s something our species can strive toward, wouldn’t you agree? I mean, if we don’t get off this rock and out into space then our species will perish here, sooner rather than later, especially considering the way we’re currently headed.

          • John, the last two days have been busy, so I’ve not finished a reply. Still here at work after 13 hours :-( Perhaps more time this weekend.

          • Why I believe in a deity, and which specific one, is a long and winding road for me. When you ask why I believe, I don’t know if you are asking for my personal story or for a rational accounting that will not be satisfactory until I have unloaded an apologetic arsenal upon you and you have either converted or dismissed it all. This isn’t the time or place for that epic. The end of my story is that I came to believe that Jesus was indeed God incarnate, but prior to that I started as a liberal Christian youth, moved to a rather new age period, then an agnostic/secular period, and finally a theistic period. Key factors in my evolution include certain unusual experiences, scientific evidences, ethical & philosophical issues, psychological/social observations, and finally, time spent with a committed Christian who was also intellectual.

            I find that most things that I debate with non-theists do not require appeal to the specifics of theism. Jews, Muslims, and Hindus often share apologetic arguments against atheism (though refuting any one religion does not invalidate all of theism). Inside the camp of theism comes a whole different set of debates, but it hardly seems important to have that debate with someone entirely outside the camp of theism.

            Issues of rights and morality are some of the things that are entirely relevant to debate with atheists, since theism affords certain philosophical options for which atheism has no warrant. And that is the entire point I’m trying to make with you. In a universe where man is autonomous and makes his/her own values, there is no place for something like “good” or “evil” or a “right” that is objective and transcends all times and cultures, and which should apply to any sentient alien civilization that may happen to exist elsewhere.

            You speak of “progress” and “taking steps forward” and “perfection.” In this you imply that there is a goal toward which we are moving (or should move), and by which we could judge other cultures of today or yesterday as wrong, or, dare I say, evil. Tell me, did that goal exist in the barbarian past? Did it exist before man entered the scene, as some Platonic essence? If the ideal existed even when there were none to accept it, then exactly what held it in suspension until that magical day when the first human came to aprehend it?

            By an atheist accounting, there is no principled distinction between us and the animals. Many animals live lives quite distinct from the mythical ideal you probably envision. Aren’t we all supposedly creatures of evolution, and where could we derive anything if not from nature? Even our much vaunted “minds” must be the product and whim of nature’s forces (chance and chemistry); there can be nothing that transcends whatever arbitrary programming nature saw fit to invest our meat computers (brains) with.

            But what does evolution care about (if it can be said to care at all)?

            Evolution is concerned only with your reproduction and the survival of your children until they can do likewise. It does not care about world peace or even national harmony. It could be argued to “care” about some measure of tribal stability in order to insure survival of the individual breeders within, but there are any number of ways that may be accomplished — some of which might seem horrifying to modern sensibilities, e.g., enslaving the women and eating the weak. To evolution it is all the same. In fact, caring for our elderly and disabled is generally thought humane and noble, but it is actually counterproductive by evolutionary standards.

            The eugenicists of the last century understood these things well and dared to act upon it — the Nazis most thoroughly, but a review of American science textbooks of the time proves that we were of the same mind. Germany believed they were applying Darwinian theory consistently and deserved to subjugate the world as the “master race,” just like a bacteria with a positive mutation could dominate its peers in a warm little pond. It is noteworthy that at the Nuremberg trials, when the accused appealed to cultural relativism and “just following orders,” the prosecution ultimately responded that they were guilty according to some higher standard that they had violated. We all intuitively know that there was something wrong with Nazi Germany (which was quite successful by materialist standards until they decided to press too far too fast), but how could we hope to judge them unless it is true that there is indeed an objective standard by which we may be measured, even if there are no countries that recognize it or are obedient to it?

            This is the dilemma of atheism, and it is why many atheist philosophers have accepted moral relativism. It is also one of a number of reasons I reject atheism. The fact that relativists so often slip into the language of moral objectivism is also testimony against them. I find that the way the world is and the way that we speak and behave in our unguarded lives is made most coherent by theism. I believe in theism because of the incoherence of atheism (as the late Greg Bahnsen said, “the impossibility of the contrary”). I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist.

            Regarding rights, I think you are correct that it would make a difference to know which God we are talking about and have some revelation from him/her/it/them to get a specific list. In the Christian context I don’t actually think there is justification for the idea of “rights” per se. It is more of a derived thing, which might be equally derived from generic theism. We derive these things from a conception of human value/equality and moral obligation. Some of that same morality that you intuitively understand (but which you ground on subjective vapor) suggests certain treatment of our fellow persons. The flip side of these duties can be called “rights.” For instance, the moral evil of murder becomes a right to life.

            Consequently, for me it is not so much about defining rights as it is about defining morality. In that realm I believe that those secular philosophers who affirm moral relativism are being the most consistent with their own worldview. With that in mind, I do not believe it’s warranted to have a conversation over the nature of the Author of morality and the included moral principles when it is questionable whether we share (or can share) the presupposition that objective morality exists at all. It’s a bit like you asking me for the life story of the sculptor of the Queen’s Head rock formation and entirely bypassing the question of whether it is a real carving of a queen by a person in the first place.

          • Hi pspruett

            Apologies, not much time to respond, but I enjoyed reading your thoughts. Just a quick delve:

            You say: “In a universe where man is autonomous and makes his/her own values, there is no place for something like “good” or “evil” or a “right” that is objective and transcends all times and cultures, and which should apply to any sentient alien civilization that may happen to exist elsewhere.”

            -That is a huge statement which simply isn’t mirrored in reality. Man is perfectly capable of determining right from wrong, although these terms are ill-equipped to capture the heart of what we’re talking about. Well-being is a better term.

            You said: “You speak of “progress” and “taking steps forward” and “perfection.” In this you imply that there is a goal toward which we are moving (or should move), and by which we could judge other cultures of today or yesterday as wrong, or, dare I say, evil. Tell me, did that goal exist in the barbarian past? Did it exist before man entered the scene, as some Platonic essence? If the ideal existed even when there were none to accept it, then exactly what held it in suspension until that magical day when the first human came to aprehend it?”

            -Interesting question. I think it was felt, but it was contained inside tribalism. As groups have gotten bigger we’ve managed to only recently talk about our “species,” as opposed to our “tribe/country.” This is the heart of Humanism.

            You said: “By an atheist accounting, there is no principled distinction between us and the animals”

            -well, you’re dead wrong there, and I think you know you are. With enough processing power animals achieve the capacity of prediction, and prediction enables empathy. Empathy is the root of morality. We can predict the consequences of our actions better than any creature. That comes with a greater responsibility for our actions. We are, as Shakespeare said, the paragon of animals.

            You talk about evolution being mindless, and in all respects it is. What is interesting, though, is the universes compulsion to increasing complexity. We are the universe made conscious. We are atoms studying atoms. We are, in truth, the universe trying to understand itself.

          • You said: “Man is perfectly capable of determining right from wrong, although these terms are ill-equipped to capture the heart of what we’re talking about. Well-being is a better term.”

            In one sense I believe that atheists can indeed perceive right and wrong, in principle even if not in the specifics. This is because I believe we are all created by the same god with the same moral intuitions. But the problem for atheism is grounding the idea of morality in the first place. What the heck do those terms (right & wrong) mean, and where do they come from? You suggest “well-being” as a criteria, but that is merely your own idea. Someone else may say “happiness” (according to their own definition of that term), or they may not even care about morality at all and just advocate a minimalist ethic (I won’t bash you in the head if you don’t bash me). If our urges toward values are bestowed upon us by evolution, then the qualifier would seem to be “survival and reproduction” quite apart from whether we are subjectively pleased with the means by which that is accomplished.

            I asked about where this seemingly transcendent ideal of “perfection” came from. You say it was “felt” within tribalism and that we’ve managed to properly extend it to the entire species. Are you suggesting that there is indeed an ideal that transcends and is *a priori* to humanity that humans simply have managed to tune in to? Is it in the metaphysical fabric of the universe?

            I said there could be no principled distinction between us and the animals on an atheist accounting, and you said I was wrong. In a purely material model, we are the same thing as animals, and we came from them — they are our kin. We simply have different properties from some of them. You mention intelligence, which you seem to subjectively value very highly, but it is only a *different* tool for surviving and breeding, not a *better* one. Nature does not care one way or the other, and in fact seems to favor the tools of algae, which has outsurvived most every other species. Complexity adds nothing to the equation, only more things that can malfunction.

            You suggest “empathy” as the root of morality, but again, you are simply asserting your own preference upon a concept (morality) that is etherial to begin with. This begs the question, why “empathy” as well as the questions, where did that come from and why we should dance to its tune. And there is certainly no “responsibility” for our actions. Responsibility implies duty. Responsibility to who or what? Atheist ethics distill to “what I like” and is under the illusion that its preferences are meaningful because it finds that certain other people share many of the same preferences. Community consensus is hardly an objective grounding for anything.

            I like your final paragraph. I have made the point myself that it is an odd thing (on a material accounting) that the universe should produce self-awareness that could introspect upon its own nature, and, indeed, comprehend it. Many a physicist and mathematician have remarked on the curious fact that our minds are constructed in such a way as to understand the abstractions of science and that nature has seen fit to offer us a language to describe it (mathematics, which is discovered, not invented). Why this should be so is a mystery for atheism, but not theism, which suggest that consciousness is prior to matter. The mystery of order and complexity has caused many an agnostic scientist to postulate things like “self-organizing” principles or infinite universes in which we are just a lucky jackpot winner of freak coincidences. These things are certainly not arguments *in favor* of atheism, in any case, only theories to explain the remarkable observations of nature.

          • John, a 3rd principle would be that our desires and attractions can sometimes be wrong, unhealthy, or due to something physically or psychological broken.

          • Right! Only God gets to define what love is. He told us, too, exactly what love is and isn’t:

            Love is patient, love is kind. Love is not jealous or puffed up. Love is not rude and love has no pride. Love doesn’t think about evil. Love does not do the wrong things. Love never thinks of itself. Love is not easily angered. Love does not keep a record of wrongs. Love is not happy with sin, but love rejoices in the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes for all things…. (1 Corinthinans 13:4-7)

            It is not love to rejoice in what God deems as wrong. As long as we are part of this world, we will hear the distortion of God’s Word over and over. You can’t make up your own description of love, for our Creator already told us what it is.

            If we are not following the Corinthians version of love, then we are not walking in love at all.

            Askme, as far as I’ve seen, has done nothing but walk in Love. May God bless her.

          • Hi John, I can’t get enough of constructive conversation today. You said of homosexual behavior observed in nature:

            “This fact either doesn’t speak too highly of the designer’s skills and competence, or conversely, does actually speak to the designers’ intent.”

            You’re right on the second part. For an objective telos, all observed facts speak toward the designer’s intent. But the observation of natural behavior does not equate to moral behavior. Lions kill the cubs of their rivals when they pair with a new lioness. What kind of moral fact would permit you to draw any moral inferences from individual behavior in other species?

          • John to quote you again:

            ““This fact either doesn’t speak too highly of the designer’s skills and competence, or conversely, does actually speak to the designers’ intent.”

            By moral fact I am referring to the possible intent you might derive from a designer having permitted a world to come into being with what you describe as 1500 species observed in homosexual behavior.

            What do you find to be the intent of a hypothetical designer given the animal behavior you described?

          • I don’t prescribe any intent. I don’t believe in a designer. It is you, i’m afraid to say, who has to wrestle with that awkward nugget.

      • Duck, same-sex couples can already have private ceremonies, make vows to each other, and live together. You might want to clarify what you mean by “marriage.”

      • Sure. Don’t you? Does not a person, any adult living in an enlightened society, have the right to love who they chose, and therefore express that love through some recognised bond or ceremony, if they so choose?

        • Yes, John, I agree. As long as no harm done in a free society, live and let live. Do you think a person has the right to have their loving relationship recognized by the government?

          • John, in virtue of what principle do people have a right to have government endorse their loving relationship through legal recognition? What is the good being promoted by such a move?

          • This, from the master of dancing around! I will put some chips on the table. Please reciprocate if you are doing anything more than poking holes in arguments for traditional marriage.

            All the time, adults are treated disparately on the basis of facts pertaining to them. More to the point, I haven’t seen you provide any reason why government endorsement of any loving relationships between adults should be a right.

            But there are good reasons for government to recognize marriage between a man and woman. As a group, as a rule, and by nature, human cultures have recognized the long term pairing of a man and woman as the unique institution that produces the next generation of civilization. This is the most relevant consideration in who should be granted the privilege and, yes, legal burden of marriage.

            The question for you is, why enlist government to recognize any relationships as marriage for reasons other than this?

          • Duck. Thank you for taking the time to engage here. I am so grateful for the MANY supporters of natural marriage who choose to comment and discus with civility. I learn much from you, Pruett and Stasis. Looking forward to hearing John’s response to your question.

          • I would imagine a government recognising a union between two consenting adults was perfectly clear. As it seems it isn’t, then let me explain: property rights, visitation rights, taxation and other legal matters which afford married couples certain benefits and recognition as a partnership.

            Seems your knowledge of history might be a little wanting. No civilisation has ever required a couple to be married to have children. Pieces of paper don’t make a baby. Pieces of paper, though, do ensure rights; rights you seem determined to deny others, yet have not provided a valid or coherent reason for.

            Can you present a valid and coherent argument for denying consenting, loving adults the rights afforded to other consenting, loving adults? If your position is religiously inspired, then could you explain why this has any relevance in a secular society?

          • John, thank you for taking your time to spell out what had seemed obvious to you. Being thorough and clear yields more benefit and less chaos.

            Let me address property rights and taxation. Recall the US Supreme Court settling Windsor v US in 2013 (5-4 striking down of DOMA). The lesbian widow reaped an inheritance tax break of $363,053.(!) I am all for everyone receiving what is rightly theirs. But why conflate a marriage with a civil union? Wouldn’t it be more beneficial, less chaotic, and more equitable to equalize the tax in all circumstances? That way, even a single person bearing no “loving relationship” to the deceased can inherit all she has a right to. As it is, hetero and same sex married couples get a tax break over her. Property taxation is its own issue, not bearing a necessary connection to raising the next generation. No rights are being denied between two consenting adults on my view.

            You are right, pieces of paper can confer rights. This breaks in favor of the existence of an ontological category beyond matter, but that’s another story.

            To return your observation, your grasp on history seems to be incomplete also. But let’s combine our facts to get a fuller picture. Have you heard of a shotgun wedding? That past practice was civilization making de jure what was de facto: assigning a stable if imperfect family for the child. Sometimes, it even had nothing to do with loving relationship between the biological parents of the child.

            Even today, there are pairings of men and women who voluntarily enter into a marriage contract with the expectation that, should children arise from their union, then the time and material cost of litigating a divorce will keep them together, as strong as their social and personal incentives to remain together may appear on the day of their wedding.

            Government grants this class of relationship distinct recognition because it is in civilization’s interest, as a rule and as a group, for a child to be raised by her biological parents. By nature, it is the default legal relationship between the two biological parents. They have a responsibility to their child and society.

            Why dillute this beneficial distinction by allowing other arrangements of adults to lay claim to it as well, when property and visitation rights are already afforded by another kind of contract? No social creature benefits from chaos.

          • You want to make marriage about conferring tax breaks to people, among other things. That’s a dilution of its legal purpose. That is chaos. Just tell us why you really want government to redefine marriage.

            Do you think marriage entails any legal responsibilities or obligations for those who contract into it?

          • Please don’t avoid the questions.

            Why would gay marriage bring about chaos? What possible consequence at all is there to two loving adults marrying?

          • John, you just said:

            “Please don’t avoid the questions.

            Why would gay marriage bring about chaos?”

            You will find the answer already spelled in my last response. It appears you are repeating yourself. But because you have an eerily Orwellian tendency to filter out terms and concepts inconvenient to you, I will condense my answer into one sentence:

            When same sex marriage is undertaken for the purpose of securing property tax rights, the personal responsibility component of marriage is dilluted, begetting chaos in public understanding of what marriage is.

            Now answer me: historically, and generally speaking, has marriage entailed any legal responsiblities with it? Yes/no will suffice. You can always qualify later, and I you know I will engage that qualification as appropriate.

          • Oh I saw your answer, i just don’t see that as “chaos.” Could you perhaps explain it further how true chaos will unfold if two loving people marry. If we get through this i can then answer your question.

          • I’m not the one using the word chaos, you are. I would assume you’re familiar with the word, considering you’re using it.

            cha•os
            ˈkāˌäs
            noun
            1.complete disorder and confusion.
            synonyms: disorder, disarray, disorganization, confusion, mayhem, bedlam, pandemonium, havoc, turmoil, tumult, commotion, disruption, upheaval, uproar, maelstrom.

            Given this standard definition, and as you seem focused on taxation issues, i fail to see how the tax-free transfer of property between spouses (including on death) and exemption from “due-on-sale” clauses will result in societal mayhem and the collapse of ordered civilisation

            That might just be me, of course. You, perhaps, have information I am not privy to.

          • John, I suspect you are aware I am attempting to take your elsewhere stated guiding maxim, “No social creature benefits from chaos” seriously. But I have yet to succeed in establishing a common vocabulary of imperative or value with you.

            Suffice to say, your interpretation of my last response is inaccurate. It remains the case that you don’t have a good reason why government should legally recognize marriage for anyone at all. Now I may have those reasons, but I will refer you to the scroll button to see what I have previously said.

          • I’m all ears, Duck: how is it inaccurate? How does Veteran’s pensions, indemnity compensation for service-connected deaths, medical care, and nursing home care, right to burial in veterans’ cemeteries, educational assistance, and housing threaten society? How does joint filing of bankruptcy lead to cultural mayhem? How does access to “family only” services bring about an upheaval in human civilization? How does funeral and bereavement leave beget pandemonium in the orderly functioning of the commonwealth?

    • john: Please, could you cite for me where AskMe or the other regular Christian bloggers have stated they “hate” people they do not know, in this case gays?. Or, alternatively, can you cite for me the numerous times where they have made their anti-hate feelings known? Love is not, or at least doesn’t have to be, defined by celebrating someone’s actions. Love is making the Truth to gain eternal peace with Christ clear. Hate isn’t, or doesn’t have to be, defined by telling someone they’re actions are dangerous. Hate is hoping to shame or mislead a person away from Truth. When I read through the comments on this blog, it is very clear to me who is speaking the Truth in love and who is wanting to shame someone through mocking, baiting, ad hominem attacks and insults”.

      • Hi Tisha. I did reply to you earlier, but it seems my comment has disappeared.

        I’m curious: do you not find publicly exercising intolerance to others a genuinely hate-filled activity?

        • John, can you define in detail what you mean by publicly exercising intolerance and exactly how that leads one to the conclusion that it is a hate filled activity?

          • Sure. Actively campaigning against equal rights for homosexuals. You are identifying a group as not-worthy of the rights you enjoy. Why have you identified them, and not, say, vegetarians, or stamp collectors? You have singled these people out not because they threaten you, but rather because they are different in some small way to you. For this difference you are deliberately trying to deny them the benefits afforded to other adults. As history informs us, this is nothing but cheap tribalism, which functions by hating the “other.”

            May I ask you: why are you so preoccupied with gays? Why do you spend so much time thinking about homosexual love? I’m not gay, I’m however not bothered by homosexuals, and certainly don’t spend my days obsessing over homosexual love.

          • John, What right are you referencing? All individuals, including homosexuals have the ability to marry under current law in all US states, and I’m pretty sure most other countries as well. Note I say most, not all. If I am mistaken, please tell me one right or even privilege I have that a homosexual does not?

            What is my preoccupation with homosexuals? Speaking only for myself I do not have a preoccupation with homosexuals, I do have a preoccupation with those who do not understand rights, and act on that misunderstanding,thereby threatening them for all.
            So when homosexuals attempt to further an agenda that degrades or alters peoples perception of rights to a view that is erroneous and therefore detrimental to all, then I have a problem with them but specific to that area of their thinking.
            When the Stamp collectors of the world begin to advocate for a right to enslave others (right to adoption, my primary objection to the homosexual agenda) then I will have a problem with the stamp collectors. You should have an issue with this part of the homosexual agenda, frankly all homosexuals should have an issue with this part of their agenda.

          • John, If we have no other male female couples who meet the requirements and wish to adopt and there are same sex couples who meet the requirements, then fine. The goal of adoption is to find the best home for children who do not have a home. Not sure all agree but that is my position. Gay couples do not however have a RIGHT to another human, neither do mixed sex couples. There are differences between rights and privileges, and very important ones at that.

            I have expressed in detail why the mixed sex couple, as a structure, should be the ideal on other blogs you frequent. Please feel free to bring those blogs more traffic and read my comments.

          • :) I’ll be sure to.

            You and I completely agree on adoption being mandated by the best possible home. There’s nothing, however, to say that the best possible home is limited to heterosexual couples. Stability, love, means must be the principle guiding lights.

          • John, Correct, except you are missing a key factor. Male and female parents are what is best to provide a balanced upbringing. They can both be gay but they should be a mixed sex pair. Again as the ideal structure. I am not saying all mixed sex couple make ideal parents by the very nature of their differing sex alone. If not available then yes same sex couples that meet all other requirements I believe should adopt. I believe in the interest of the child there is a hierarchy that should be observed, same sex couples are not in the top position in that hierarchy.

          • Thanks for that. Just a hypothetical. Let’s say we have two healthy couples who are equal in all respects except means. The gay couple are fabulously wealthy, but not ostentatious. They have no public profile, are independently successful businessmen/women, and own houses around the world. They can afford (and will provide) the very best education, the very best healthcare, and unparalleled access to the arts and sciences. Would this couple trump the healthy, loving, but less financially fortunate couple in your mind?

            This is not a trick question. I’m not setting anything up here. I’d just like to hear your answer.

          • John, In short no. Money is not the end-all-be-all solver of problems and provider of a life of quality and fulfillment. If however the mixed sex couple had NO means, I would ask them what the hell they were thinking.

            Now, what is your problem with the ostentatious?

        • John: Thank you for the reply, even if it didn’t post.

          “publicly exercising intolerance to others a genuinely hate-filled activity”

          John, one of the problems you are having in communicating your position effectively is that you have appointed yourself the Daniel Webster of the blog….ironic, given that it isn’t your blog. You obviously view AskMe’s (and others’) position as intolerant while remaining either blissfully ignorant of the intolerance of your own position or feeling justified in hating the hater.

          Askme and the others who have commented in favor of traditional marriage have not publicly exercised intolerance. They have not only exercised their right to free speech (as we all have), but have used that right to pray for and to reach out to others in an attempt to even better love those in their lives who are certainly beloved but heading down a dangerous path. This is not only NOT intolerance, it just about DEFINES tolerance.

          My question to you is: why do you yoursef publically exercise intolerance to others?

          • I don’t hate you, or anyone else expressing this position of intolerance. I’ll admit i can’t understand your position and find your rationale generally extremely weak, but i don’t hate you. I am, however, immensely curious as to why you’re so motivated to interfere in other peoples lives who aren’t interfering in yours, or threaten you in any way. I think it’s a fair and justified curiosity as you are exercising this intolerance in the public square.

            May I enquire as to what intolerance i’m exercising?

      • I have spoken to many gays on the web who make it very clear that they absolutely hate God, and anyone who believes the Bible. They will call you every sort of deplorable;e name and curse you. Yet these are the people that are constantly beating the ‘we hate gays drum’ all the time.

          • Frankly I’m not. However I do believe that reasonable objections need to be raised against the radical gay activist agenda since the media has for the most part caved to their agenda.

          • John I will summarize the radical gay agenda in the following ways.

            1. To viciously attack anyone who does not completely endorse the gay lifestyle. Notice how pro athletes in the past few years have been threatened if they object to homosexuality as just one example.

            You will also notice that people like Katy have been attacked on the web because she dares to raise any objection to homosexuality.

            2. Gay activist were behind the passage of the recent hate crimes legislation because their ultimate goal is to make it a crime to speak out against homosexuality. This is exactly what happened in Canada and now it is illegal to object to homosexuality as a minister.

            3. Gay activists want the gay lifestyle firmly embeded in the public schools of America from K-12th grade. They want kids taught that the gay lifestyle is perfectly as normal as heterosexuality.

            4. Gay activists want gay marriage legalized because then it gives them judicial leverage to force people into accepting the gay lifestyle even though they may object to it on moral grounds.

          • Thanks, Know. I respect the fact that you tried. I’m sure these 4 points mean something to you, but I’m, of course, going to counter them.

            1. I think you’re seriously confusing rational opposition to unjustified, irrational, religiously-inspired bigotry to being “attacked.” You are not being “victimised,” so do please refrain from trying to imply that you are. Glenn Beck-type rants are hilarious up until a point.

            2. Do you object to left-handed people, too? This is, of course, identical to objecting to people who were born gay. Or, are you going to try and say it’s a “choice”? If so, please detail the precise moment when you choose to be straight.

            3. If you’re referring to sex education, then great. Kids should learn being gay is perfectly fine, as well as learning about contraception. They should learn that mythology and superstition has no bearing (or influence) whatsoever in or over our secular societies, and that all people are equal under the Law.

            4. No, I’d say they want their marriages recognised so they can do ordinary things like enjoy tax-free transfer of property between spouses (including on death) and exemption from “due-on-sale” clauses. You know, the things other married couples enjoy.

          • Thanks for your civility John, I really appreciate it. I will respond as well.

            1. I don’t see opposition to gay marriage as religiously inspired bigotry. I simply do not believe that people are born gay. I believe that people become gay as a result of a confused or distorted view of either their masculinity or femininity. This is often the result of a lack of a good relationship with a mother or father, or the result of some sort of trauma such as being molested as a child.

            1a. As a Bible believing Christian I object to homosexuality just as I object to heterosexuals who engage in any sort of extramarital sexual relationships. (I realize that homosexuality is not all about sex as well). This is not bigotry, it is a moral objection to behavior.

            2. I think I get the sarcasm of your point about left handed people. John, I don’t have to think of the very moment that I was straight any more than a cow would have to think of the moment they were a cow.

            3. Sorry, but I disagree. Morality has always been a factor in what is taught to children. I do not want my children taught that being gay is normal because I simply do not believe that it is. I am not trying to offend you John, but realize that this statement is offensive to gay people. I have three sons, and they have never been confused about who they are as men because I have a good relationship with them and they have learned what being a man is from my example.

            4. I understand that you want society to legitimize gay marriage, but I believe that doing so is a grave mistake. I have spoken with many gays who want to ignore this point, but I believe that if gay marriage is recognized as legitimate under law, then any and every other form of marriage must be given equal status. There is no going back once this Pandora’s box is opened.

            While we disagree John I have very little doubts that the Supreme Court will do to gay marriage as they did with abortion. I amuse that you are gay and am not trying to offend you, but I believe that we are sinking into moral decay as a result of our continued rejection of God.

    • God is love. Loving each other is not the point. God wants all of us to love each other. However, he does have some standards for our behavior that may require any of us at any time to sacrifice our whims and urges in favor of serving him. That is what “Deny self” means.

      • Hi Katherine

        You seem to be contradicting yourself rather horrendously there. Regardless, you haven’t actually answered my question:

        Do you seriously think your particular god will punish two people for loving each other, but celebrate you hating people you’ve never met?

        • The answer is that loving is one thing. God is love and he teaches love. God would not punish someone for loving someone. He isn’t my particular God. He the one God who is for everyone.
          Marriage is a different thing. God’s definition of marriage is the union of one man and one woman, per Genesis, per Jesus. Human beings create all sorts of other unions, but none of them is a marriage. Only the union of one man and one woman is a marriage.
          Jesus died because we are all sinful, and some of us sin by perverting God’s plan for marriage.
          Some of us sin in other ways. All of us sin by worshiping ourselves. None of us is perfect. Jesus loves all of us and died for our redemption.
          I don’t hate anybody, so that subject is a non-subject.

          • Well, no, it is in fact your “particular” god. There are tens of thousands of them, and neither your Middle Eastern god, nor any other god has any relevance in shaping laws in any advanced, enlightened 21st Century society. You’re certainly entitled to believe in any god you choose, but your belief doesn’t grant you any special privileges.

            Now, if I read you correctly, you’ve only answered half of the question. You say your particular god wouldn’t punish two people for loving each other. That’s great. I’m pleased you think that, but you failed to answer if it’d be happy with you for practicing bigotry.

          • I don’t practice bigotry, so that question is not relevant. I don’t hate anyone. I don’t make fun of anyone. I don’t scorn anyone. However, I do disagree with some people. I think that is part of the natural state of human relationships. It isn’t bigotry to disagree.

          • I campaign against calling the union of two men or two women a marriage. I don’t campaign to harm anybody. I stand for the values I speak about. If you campaign for what you believe in, that is your prerogative. It is my prerogative to campaign for what I believe in. It is not bigotry for you to campaign for your beliefs, and it is not bigotry for me to campaign for my beliefs. Our Constitution protects our right to have this conversation.

          • You’re campaigning to deny loving people their due rights… basic rights enjoyed by other couples such as tax-free transfer of property between spouses, funeral and bereavement leave, and joint filing of bankruptcy. That is bigotry.

            Again, you’re certainly entitled to believe whatever you want and hold whatever irrational opinions you want to hold, but you are not entitled to demand the ostracism and denial of rights to any human being. Doing so makes you a bigot.

            I hope that is clear.

          • There are all sorts of combinations of loving people. No rights accrue to any couple as a consequence of loving one another. A marriage union is granted rights in all cultures which are not granted to any other relationship because of the unique contribution to human society made by marriage, the union of a man and a woman.
            Your opinion is very clear, and I respect your right to see things that way. However, human culture since the very beginning has recognized marriage as the union of one man and one woman. No other combination is a marriage. To preserve that definition denies nobody anything. There are many other ways for two people of any gender combination to transfer property and to support one another in life and in death. Cultures around the world have honored marriage in unique ways, because a marriage preserves the culture and also produces and nurtures children. The definition of marriage is the foundation of a strong society.
            I am not campaigning to deny anyone any rights. I am campaigning for clear language and for the preservation of human society. The rights and privileges granted to a marriage recognize the unique value of a marriage, the committed union o a man and a woman, to the society. The rights and privileges you wish for two people in other sorts of unions can be arranged if you wish to do so. The fundamental difference between you and me is the definition of marriage legally, morally, and culturally. Neither of us wishes to do harm to anybody.
            I consider the definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman to be non-negotiable for a healthy society. You think otherwise. We won’t both achieve our objectives. If my position prevails, I don’t plan to attempt to have you removed from the work that provides your livelihood. I don’t think this discussion has any bearing on your right to hold a job. I trust you feel the same way about me.

          • Your reasoning is unsound. People can have children out of wedlock. People do have children out of wedlock. Marriage is a ritual for the recognition of a loving partnership. Nothing more. Nothing less. And with all due respect, your appeal to the maintenance of society is absurd. Tell me, how does the tax-free transfer of property between spouses threaten the orderly functioning of the commonwealth?

          • My reply stated that I have no objection to the tax-free transfer of property between two people. I’m for tax-free transfer of property at all times and in all places. ( Just a note. When you use the word “spouse” then you speak of the marriage relationship, which is a relationship between a man and a woman. In other relationships, the word “spouse” does not apply.)
            The fact that people do bad things does not make the bad things good. Or right.
            Marriage is not a ritual. Marriage is a committed relationship between a man and a woman. The fact that some breach the relationship virtually or actually does not invalidate the truth of the relationship or the definition that describes it.
            A marriage is not defined as a loving partnership. A marriage is a committed relationship between a man and a woman.
            In fact, if love is part of this conversation we need to start defining that word, too. It has lots of definitions, and none of them sets a marriage in place. Is that where you would like to go next?

  7. My comment above kind of got out of place, sorry about that.

    I also wanted to congratulate Katy for “coming out”. Hi Katy – love your work!

    I too, pray for those who do not see the truth about Jesus Christ. I pray that their eyes are opened and that they will seek Him with all of their hearts. Amen.

  8. Katy I have really appreciated your posts. I think they has served as a rational and well stated objection to the gay agenda. Unfortunately gay activists are predominantly completely intolerant of anyone who opposes their behavior. These people absolutely loath Christians because it is the light of truth that they hate. While we need to love people who are gay, I think it is very apparent that these people hate the light because their deeds are evil, (John 3:19). In a Postmodern world the narrow way of truth is unacceptable because people want to live with absolutely no moral restraints other than what they hand pick to suit themselves. I think that we need to just accept the fact that the preaching of the gospel comes with persecution. Once we embrace the cross of persecution then Christians will stop feeling guilty for offending those who find the truth offensive. It is time for the true church to stand up and hold forth the light of the truth in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. They will hate us for it, but if we are to be God pleasers we must stop concerning ourselves with what a world lost in darkness thinks or says about us. Phillipian 2:15 That you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world. Thank you Katy for standing fast and holding forth the truth, you please God so who cares if you please those who hate God.

    • Thank you, Tim. Philippians 2:14-16 is one of my favorites. And you are right- that we must embrace the cross. That way, the temptation to avoid obedience in the name of comfort will weaken.

      I am glad that you made the distinction about the “gay activists which are predominantly completely intolerant of anyone who opposes their behavior.” Because “the pack” that I refer to in the post certainly fall into that category. But most of my gay friends and family do not. Not only are they dear to me, but I am dear to them as well. Unfortunately, your “run of the mill” (is there such a thing? because every person is completely unique) gay man or lesbian isn’t running the Huffington Post, GLAAD, or overriding the frenzy around Mozilla’s now resigned CEO.

      Thank you thank you for your comments and encouragement, friend. Thank you for standing with me.

  9. John:

    “Actively campaigning against equal rights for homosexuals”
    So, I don’t have the right to “campaign” against any position I choose to without incurring harassment of myself and my family? If I were to campaign against something we all stand behind such as, say, equal pay and benefits for all working adults, regardless of race or ethnicity, would it be okay to stalk me with nasty notes or insults for my position? Would it be okay to harass or threaten my husband? My children? Are they “acceptable losses” in the war on tolerance? If I were campaigning against, say, the right to free speech itself would it be okay to stalk my kids at school? To search through public records to see if you could stop by my husband’s job to tell him you don’t like his wife’s position? AskMe’s post is referencing the lengths to which those who disagree with her are willing to go to apply pressure on her to change her position. This is not only intolerant, it is evidence of a mentality that wishes to cause harm or at least discomfort to people not even directly involved in the exchange between themselves and their “opponent”. IMO, it is reprehensible and displays a significant lack of integrity, not to mention desperation to suppress the “opponent” because they have not been successful in the attempts they have used heretofore.

    “I am, however, immensely curious as to why you’re so motivated to interfere in other peoples lives who aren’t interfering in yours, or threaten you in any way”

    And yet, you are here, choosing to spend your time responding to a blog that does not interfere in your life or threaten you in any way. My guess would be that you do so because you believe that you have a socially important position to present. AskMe is blogging and I am responding, as are other posters, because we believe the same about our position.

    “May I enquire as to what intolerance i’m exercising? ”

    1. ” punish two people for loving each other, but celebrate you hating people you’ve never met?”
    – in this case, you are twisting the Christian principle expressed on this blog. AskMe and others have repeatedly stated that not only is loving one another a good thing, we are REQUIRED by God to love. The difference between your position and ours, as I believe you well know, is that your definition of “loving” is one you have decided on and her definition of “loving” is the one she believes (knows) is given by God. By using your (man made) definition in place of God’s (deity inspired) definition, you are misrepresenting our position. Further, the juxtaposition of “punish/loving” and “celebrate/hating” gives the implication that this is how God as we have represented Him, operates. And that is not true…it is stating a misrepresentation as a fact. Had you said “I believe homosexual sex expresses love and is therefore good and appropriate”, that would have been an open and honest (tolerant) communication about the issue, not a misrepresentation using sensational language manipulated to put the believer of said misinterpretation in a bad light. Your statement, as it stands, represents intolerance. The statement I suggested represents at least the willingness to try to understand the grounds on which another has based their decision. Then, you are free to say “I agree……” or “I disagree……”.

    2. “Seems your knowledge of history might be a little wanting”

    This is a clear put down….also known as an insult, slap down, dis. It doesn’t have any place in the discourse of someone who is shouting for tolerance for others. Had you said “History shows…..”, “History is clear on….” or “Throughout history…..”, you could have made your point with tolerance.

    3. “nothing but cheap tribalism”

    Again, you are misrepresenting the position and then presenting the misrepresentation as a fact. You appear to have no intention of listening respectfully to a response; you have made the decision….your “opponent” ‘s argument is “nothing” and “cheap”. Had you said “this reminds me of”, “this is comparable to”, “this seems like”, then you give the other the respect of not misrepresenting their position, as well as the opportunity to clarify their position, should they choose.

    We all get carried away when debating at times. We all want to look like the “winner”. We all think we are witty and educated in our subtle (and not so subtle) put downs of others. It has happened to me. It has happened to AskMe and it has happened to other Christian posters on this blog. They have apologized. They have evidenced their intention to not insult, mock, bait, harass or drag innocent people into the muck-slinging. As I’ve stated before….that says a LOT about who is tolerant and who isn’t.

    Tolerance ISN’T supporting the politically correct and justifying the ill treatment of the politically incorrect.

    • So, Tisha, what motivates you to campaign against homosexual marriage? That’s a serious question, and your honest, straightforward answer help me understand your position a little better. How do you justify it in your head, and on what grounds do you believe you have a legitimate reason? Ultimately, what do you hope to gain from this effort? By this i mean, do you think the Middle Eastern god Christians worship will be happy with you for your efforts? Do you think you’ll be rewarded for it?

  10. John: for someone who insists on honest and straightforward answers, you are working hard to avoid the questions that are put to you. Am I on trial that I only answer your questions, yet you do not answer mine in kind?. I ask you again: Is it “okay” to use any tactic, including veiled or open threats against others or their family, to force them to suppress their speech in support of a position you don’t like?

    “what motivates you to campaign against homosexual marriage”
    I believe that a. homosexual marriage is not a healthy environment for a child to grow up in b. that the legal recognition of homosexual “marriage” is deliberately sought so that homosexual partners will have the “right” to a child (because having the “same rights” as heterosexual marriage spouses share is the litmus test of homesexual “equality”) and c. that this leads to the objectification of children as a commodity, as a “right” to “own”. This is uncomfortably close to human trafficking. Of having a child to meet YOUR needs; not of having a child to meet HIS needs.

    “How do you justify it in your head”

    I “justify” it, in your words, by knowing that by their very nature homosexual relations and heterosexual relations might both have the same desire (i.e. marriage), but are coming at that desire with very different compositions for fulfilling that state in life. How do I justify that I, as a diabetic, have to tell myself “no” to sugar yet my husband, who isn’t diabetic, can say “yes” within reason? It’s because he and I are two different compositions approaching the same desire. In our case, a desire for sugar. My friends and family don’t bait and belittle my husband, or curse him, or issue veiled threats to my MIL because he says “no” (actually, he’s not stupid…..he finds a much more diplomatic way to deny my request, lol
    ) when I want sugar. They don’t call him intolerant when he tells me that he loves me too much and needs me too much to lose me to death as a result of my desire. He also knows that studies show that sugar for a diabetic is harmful. He knows there are those that disagree…..those that say it’s not sugar but something else that is so harmful to diabetics , that they know a diabetic who ate 200 bags of MandM’s a year and never had a blood sugar about 90, those that say “but how about this study and that and the other one”. My husband is a good man and a polite one, in general. He listens to them and takes their words under consideration, but at the end of the day, he hears each side, researches on his own and makes his decision. And whether the whole world agrees with him or no one agrees with him, he’s going to do his best for the woman he loves. So, too, I strive to achieve in my position regarding my homosexual brothers and sisters.

    “on what grounds do you believe you have a legitimate reason”
    I believe I have a legitimate reason on grounds both moral and logical….these have been expressed fairly thoroughly in other posts I have written and through the posts of others within this blog.

    “hope to gain from this effort”
    I hope to gain what I pray for, both privately and publically, as well as what others like AskMe and HeWhoShall and others who have posted here all seem to hope/pray for: that the homosexuals in my life and in theirs would know how deeply we love them, how much we want them in our lives and are blessed by them and how that we will always speak up and warn them when we see approaching danger.

    “Middle Eastern god”
    John, I’m going to make an observation here. I hope you will receive in the spirit in which it is intended. You seem to believe, that if you repeat your definitions and impressions often enough and long enough, that somehow those things will either be reality or will convince others that they are reality. My God is not a Middle Eastern god or a Western god or a Polynesian god or any other god. This appears to be what you are attempting to convey with your classification. Your contempt for just one more insignificant, incompetent idol among many, as it were. My God is The God. He is The God who you could not even gaze on without annihilation, Who has Love for you individually that is incomprehensible. He is The God who created your earth and everything on it with joy and can destroy it in anger as easily as He created it. He is perfect Mercy and perfect Justice. He is every need you have every had filled and every mystery you were unable to solve. THAT, my friend is my God.

    “Do you think you’ll be rewarded for it?”
    You really don’t understand even the most basic Christian dogma if you can ask that question. Christians love others (which includes the difficulty task of discussing homosexual marriage) through love for one another and love for God. You cannot start to understand God, begin to scratch the surface of God, without understanding His most overwhelming LOVE for you and for every other human. When you see them through your own eyes they may have many negative qualities. When you see another human, no matter who it is, through the eyes of God you see a beloved, worthy, yearned for and precious soul who is deeply, passionately and selflessly desired. To answer the question, I don’t love my fellow man for myself….I do it for love of God and love of that person’s intrinsic worth as a soul created by God. I do not have a “reward”, as you call it. I have a place in eternal life with Him. And I have that place, not because of my actions, but rather because He freely paid the price for me to be able to obtain it.

    So, this is long but thank you for the opportunity to explain my position!

    I would like to ask you the same questions as well as the one I originally asked. To recap: in keeping with the impetus for the original post, is it “okay” to use any tactic, including veiled or open threats against others or their family, to force them to suppress their speech in support of a position you don’t like? Additionally, these questions: What motivates you to join a group of people as described above in the op. How do you justify it in your head, and on what grounds do you believe you have a legitimate reason? Ultimately, what do you hope to gain from this effort? By this i mean, do you think the radical homosexual activists will be happy with you for your efforts? Do you think you’ll be recognized as “uber-tolerant” for it?

    • Apologies, Tish, I didn’t see that question. To answer: of course not. That is not acceptable behaviour. Any person is free to hold any opinion on any subject. Holding an opinion, and imposing that opinion on others are two completely different things, though. That said, violence (passive or aggressive) is not acceptable in any circumstance.

      OK, thanks for answering my questions. So your objection to marriage equality all boils down adoption. You have no problems with gay couples enjoying the same rights and privileges afforded to hetro couples. Is this correct? It would seem your objections, though, are based on opinion. Is there any study which supports your position?

      I’m not sure I understand your second point regarding justification. You are forcing your beliefs on people who don’t want your beliefs forced on them. Am I to assume you’re doing this with a religious motivation?

      Regarding legitimacy, I fail to see how you think denying someone their rights is morally correct. Where, specifically, are you getting this moral benchmark from? The Bible?

      What “danger” are you referring to? I would certainly agree that warning someone of impending danger is the right thing to do, but I don’t understand what danger you are actually talking about. Could you explain, please?

      I’m sorry if you don’t like my classification of your particular god as the Middle Eastern god of the Pentateuch, but that is what it is. Temporally speaking, the god of the Pentateuch is entirely absent from all but the last 1.25% of human history, and even after its literary debut in the 6th Century BCE failed to register as anything other than a minor Middle Eastern artistic anomaly that was envisaged by no other culture on the planet. It didn’t materialise independently in mainland Europe, emerge unassisted on the British Isles, or rouse a single word across the entire Far East. It inspired no one in any of the 30,000 islands of the South Pacific, energised nothing across the African continent, stirred naught in North America, and didn’t move anything or anyone in Central or South America. No one across the vast Indian Great Plains or Russian steppes ever heard of it. No Azorean fisherman suddenly spoke of it, no Scandinavian shipwright carved its name in a stone, no Japanese mother ever thought she’d heard it speak in whispered tones, and no Australian aborigine ever dreamed of it. Outside the pages of the bible there is positively nothing in the natural or anthropological landscape which might even remotely lead a person blissfully ignorant of the claims made in bible to suspect that that particular Middle Eastern god has ever inspired anything except the imaginations of a few linguistically specific Iron Age Canaanite hill tribes looking to add a little supernatural spice to their otherwise perfectly terrestrial lives.

  11. “I didn’t see that question”

    John: No problem, there’s a lot of responses on this post to sift through.

    “Holding an opinion, and imposing that opinion on others are two completely different things, though.”

    Okay, I hear you. I even agree with you. Would you then agree that insisting all members of society (let’s call them group X) legally recognize a homosexual relationship through the law (let’s call them group Z) and compel all groups to either accept them fully, and accept them QUIETLY (no differing views, please) or face the mocking, insults and (hardly) veiled threats such as AskMe has referenced in her post. Additionally, should the members of group X be forced through their job to serve group Z, despite the fact that the members of group X, under their federally protected (supposedly) right to freedom of religion oppose the legally enforced marriage, even though service to this group was never mentioned to them as a job requirement at the time they trained for/built/opened that business? Seems like an imposition to me.

    “OK, thanks for answering my questions. So your objection to marriage equality all boils down adoption”‘

    I’m curious as to why you feel the need to minimize my position to a single “objection”. Why is this?

    “supports your position”
    Again as with the above quote, I feel as if you are trying to herd me into a corner where I must state
    the entirety of my beliefs and knowledge, without exception, and with supporting documentation from an accredited source. This isn’t my graduate thesis, john. If only it were “just” an academic milestone to hurdle. This is a working opinion on a unbelievably complex social and religious issue with heavy legal and political implications.

    To answer your question though, sure, there’s plenty of “supporting documentation” as it were. You are capable enough to do your own research, but there’s support for “my” position. Tune into EWTN sometime, it’s a great channel. Google “support for traditional marriage” and read even the first few hits. Tune into the blogs of those who were raised by gay parents….I particularly recommend AsktheBigot :) Read some of the commentary by Robert Oscar Lopez, also raised by gay parents. Follow some of the blogs by those who are gay AND oppose gay marriage. We’re Gay and We Support Traditional Marriage is one that springs to mind. AskMe has referenced several others in some of her previous posts. Research child health periodicals…they publish studies that support “my” position, as well. Don’t expect it to be easy, though. The type of gay marriage supporters that are referenced in the original post have deep roots in the media and have thrown considerable weight into threatening those who would reveal conclusions that support traditional marriage supporters….similar to the pressure being exerted on AskMe.

    Which brings me back to my previous post. I had asked you more than one question, yet you only answered one. To re-cap: “What motivates you to join a group of people as described above in the op. How do you justify it in your head, and on what grounds do you believe you have a legitimate reason? Ultimately, what do you hope to gain from this effort? By this I mean, do you think the radical homosexual activists will be happy with you for your efforts? Do you think you’ll be recognized as “uber-tolerant” for it?”

    “I’m not sure I understand your second point regarding justification. You are forcing your beliefs on people who don’t want your beliefs forced on them. Am I to assume you’re doing this with a religious motivation?

    Well, I’d say you’ve made more than enough “assumptions” about me as it is. Read my comments in this post and others to find out my religious beliefs. As far as forcing my beliefs on people, please reference my response to your “imposition” question.

    “Regarding legitimacy, I fail to see how you think denying someone their rights is morally correct. Where, specifically, are you getting this moral benchmark from? The Bible? ”

    Gay people have the same rights to marry as I do. Even given that, getting married is not a right, it is a privilege just as having children is not a right but a privilege. Traditional marriage serves, among other “less important, religious” things, a purpose to society. It serves to allow a child to know and be reared by their biological parents, which is a basic human need.

    “What “danger” are you referring to?”
    The danger of living to fulfill one’s own needs and of using others to justify them. The danger of walking out of sync with God as you focus on meeting your own needs instead of allowing Him to meet yours. The danger of living out of sync with the natural purposes of your body.

    “I’m sorry if you don’t like my classification of your particular god as the Middle Eastern god of the Pentateuch, but that is what it is”

    Call it what you like. It doesn’t change the Truth of Him.

    • I’m sorry, but once again you’re simply stating a personal opinion here, and personal opinions have no currency. You’re entitled to have your opinion, no one should ever interfere with that, but don’t try and say it has any bearing on anyone else. It doesn’t. Change “homosexual” to “Vegetarian” and then re-read your statement. Does it sound correct now?

      If I recall, it was you who said adoption was the principle thing you objected to. I’m sorry if I made an erroneous assumption, but that was how I read your original answer.

      No, i’m not trying to herd you into any corner, rather asking if you have any actual evidence to support your position. Evidence is not opinions. Evidence has data. Such data might exist. I don’t know, that’s why I was asking you. However, as you asked, I Googled “support for traditional marriage” and the first five listings were a facebook page, a wikihow (written by Christians), a Mozilla article, and two articles from the Examiner. These are all opinions.

      What are the “heavy legal and political implications”? Seriously, I’m having a simultaneously discussion with Duck about this, and I have no idea whatsoever what your fear is all about.

      What group am I in? I don’t represent anyone. I was made aware of this post through another that linked to it. I justify my stance on the matter of equality because it’s right, and I know it’s right because equality (reduced discrimination and unjustified tribalism) increases the well-being of others, and therefore society.

      How is that a valid “danger” to people who simply don’t believe in the same particular god as you, or accept your personal brand of hermeneutics? The threat of Voodoo is not a valid or coherent danger, and cannot be taken seriously in any civilised, enlightened society.

      Now, if I may demonstrate something to you. Here I am assuming you’re anti-choice. If you’re not then I apologise in advance. You, from what I understand, think the Bible justifies your anti-homosexual, pro-discrimination stance, correct? That’s fine. There are some verses which do indeed make this point. That doesn’t make that stance right or valid, but you can point to these few passages to support your position. That’s fine. I accept that. There are, however, many, many more verses which far more specifically support abortion.

      Now, nowhere in the bible does it outlaw abortion. In fact, if you actually read the bible you’d see that the Middle Eastern god Christians worship is quite definitively pro-abortion, personally and passionately performing many terminations and ordering countless more.

      In Hosea 9:11-16, the son of Beeri prays for his god to intervene in earthly affairs and wreak havoc on the unborn of an entire population. “Give them, 0 Lord: what wilt thou give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts… Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit: yea though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb.” To paraphrase, Hosea pleads that the people of Ephraim can no longer have children, to which the Christian god dutifully obeys and makes all their unborn children miscarry. Now, terminating a pregnancy unnaturally is unmistakably what we today call an abortion.

      In Hosea 13:16 the Christian god is utterly diabolical as he dashes to “pieces” the infants of Samaria and orders “their pregnant women [to be] ripped open by swords.” This, self-evidently, describes mass abortions of such barbarity that it’s hard to even fathom.

      In Numbers 5:11-21 a bizarre and abusive ritual is described which is to be performed by a priest on any woman suspected of adultery; a ritual which results in an abortion. In the text a potion is mixed and the accused woman is brought before the priest who says, “If no other man has had sexual relations with you and you have not gone astray and become impure while married to your husband, may this bitter water that brings a curse not harm you. But if you have gone astray while married to your husband and you have made yourself impure by having sexual relations with a man other than your husband may the Lord cause you to become a curseamong your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell.” As clear as day this is a definitive description of an induced abortion; an act where poison is forcibly given to ruin the foetus and rid a woman of another man’s child.

      In Numbers 31:17 Moses commands “Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every women that hath known man by lying with him.” In other words, kill all women that are or could be pregnant, which is plainly abortion for the foetus.

      In 2 Kings 15:16 the Christian god again orders pregnant women to be “ripped open,” which is both abortion and homicide on a mass scale. “At that time Menahem destroyed the town of Tappuah and all the surrounding countryside as far as Tirzah, because its citizens refused to surrender. He killed the entire population and ripped open the pregnant women.”

      In total there are in fact twenty-six separate instances where this Middle Eastern god performs abortions on demand, conducts infanticide (the intentional killing of newborns), and murders toddlers en masse; acts recounted from 1 Samuel 15:3 to Isaiah 13:15-18 where this god not only smashes babies to death but also orders the rape of their mothers. In a word the Christian god is a heinous baby-killing, foetus-destroying monster, and as it turns out his son is also no friend of the unborn. In the Gospel of the Egyptians Jesus not only demands total abstinence but preaches for the outright separation of the sexes, stating that “sorrow” and what he repeatedly calls “error” will remain with man for just “As long as women bear children.” The statement is quite explicit: don’t ever get pregnant, and if you do then abortion is better than birth.

      Now, I ask you: does this staggeringly explicit biblical evidence support the pro-choice stance on women’s health? Would someone be honestly justified to use this scripture to support their pro-choice beliefs? How would you feel if someone got before a microphone and started quoting these passages of scripture to back-up their position as the self-evident will of god? Would you, Trisha, now publically speak out against anti-abortion activists, citing these biblical passages and the clear intent of the god you worship?

      Would this be justified, or would it be sheer and utter lunacy?

      • John, the case against abortion can be logically argued. The short version being this. Either we are killing a human or we are not. As we do not know conclusively due to the limits of our knowledge and understanding at this time the question is a simple one, and it is this. Do we err on the side of caution and in support of the highest value for all living entities, life, or do we err on the side of convenience and to prevent an unproven, unknown, and assumed, negitive future? Logic would dictate we err on the side of life. It really is that simple.

        • In actuality we know an awful lot, and are by no means having to err on any side. Simply put, something cannot be considered “alive” until it can “die.” Defined human life begins at the moment its twin, death, also springs into existence. Without death there is no life. The former begets the latter. The latter assigns meaning to the former. One delineates the other, and fortunately the definition of death is not in dispute. Death is when electroencephalography (EEG) activity ceases. That’s it. That’s death. It follows quite naturally therefore that the onset of defined human life is when foetal brain activity begins to exhibit regular and sustained wave patterns, and that occurs consistently around week 25 of pregnancy. Only after something can die can it be considered alive, and to argue anything to the contrary is patently absurd.

          Further, violent Pro Life activists (who, like Muslim extremists, have murdered numerous people in their efforts to impose their beliefs on others) like to talk about life beginning at conception. This is simply in error. “Life” never emerges in the foetus. Life began on earth 3.8 billion years ago and hasn’t been interrupted since. “Life” does not magically spring forth at conception, or at any phase through the foetuses development. The egg and the sperm are already parts of the living system; a system that began 3.8 billion years ago. A foetus was never inorganic and suddenly becomes organic.

          I wasn’t, however, arguing from the position of facts, rather religious inspiration. The Bible is quite clear on this matter: abortion is fine, god sanctions it. God, in fact, performs many abortions himself. If I am to follow the Middle Eastern Christians god’s example I should also, then, support abortion. I don’t believe in this Middle Eastern god, but you and Tisha do, so I’m guessing by your use of the bible to justify your anti-homosexual positions that you would also therefore be pro-abortion, like your god.

          • John, while I have studied the bible, I am not a bible expert nor a Christian so I will defer to others regarding it’s approval or condemnation of abortion.

            As to your point, The state is vastly different between an adult human, upon which the current EEG definition of death is based, and a developing child in the womb. Given the observable facts I don’t think we can apply, with absolute confidence in it being correct to do so, the same standard of “life begins when death is possible” defined in terms that may not apply. thus the ‘as we do not know for sure’ part of my argument.

            The definition, medically and legally accepted, of death has changed several times in the last two centuries alone. This year alone we discovered an entire new code withing the code in DNA. We discovered a new state of mater this year. Although the last two examples do not directly relate to the “when Life?” question they are examples of how what we know changes dramatically and quickly all the time. You have an opinion on when life begins, I think we should just prove all that out a bit more considering the stakes. I’m wrong millions have been inconvenienced, some greatly and tragically so I’m sure.You’re wrong Millions of humans have been killed for convenience of others.

          • No, I don’t have an “opinion” and the life-death dichotomy. I am merely citing the agreed upon scientific methods of distinction. And yes, the definition has been refined over the years. In 1979, the Conference of the Medical Royal Colleges, “Diagnosis of death” declared: “brain death represents the stage at which a patient becomes truly dead.”

            This was updated in the 1980s and 1990s to state that brainstem death, as diagnosed by UK criteria, is the point at which “all functions of the brain have permanently and irreversibly ceased.”

            Further still updated in 1995 (to present), “It is suggested that ‘irreversible loss of the capacity for consciousness, combined with irreversible loss of the capacity to breathe’ should be regarded as the definition of death’

            In each of these evolving definitions the principle measure is sustained brain activity. EEG activity is, therefore, our measure for when one may determine the onset of human life. That is around week 25. Again, two points: 1) something cannot be considered “alive” until it can “dies,” and 2) the foetus was never inorganic and suddenly becomes organic.

            If, however, you have some other way to define the onset of what we can consider human life then I’d be happy to hear it. It’s hard to imagine you’d be able to argue against the life-death dichotomy though. In fact, the only way you could faithfully construct any coherent argument would be to produce evidence for the human soul… something the Templeton Foundation has spent over a billion dollars and 25 years trying to do, only to fail at every turn.

            Regardless, this is not a post on abortion. My point in even raising the subject was, as stated, whether or not an individual would be justified using scripture to support their position. On the subject the Bible the very clear: the Middle Eastern Christian god is pro-abortion. He performs many terminations personally, and orders countless more. There is even a specific example of a forced religious abortion ritual. I find this horrendous, but there it is, in black and white. The god of Christianity supports abortion. So, as Tisha believes the Bible supports her anti-homosexual position, then I’m naturally assuming Tisha in-turn would also supports abortion.

            The question, which perhaps you’d let Tisha answer, is would using scripture here be justified, or would it be sheer and utter lunacy?

          • John, I do not “argue against the life-death dichotomy”, I’m not sure anyone does. Life has one alternative I think all agree with that. What may or may not be outside the realm of observable reality I leave to others.
            I simply do not find determining life begins with EEG waves in a developing child in vitro valid and reliable simply as the cessation of those waves in adults means death. There is not enough study on the subject to make me feel comfortable. And much of the study has been motivated by the politics and ideology of the two sides of this argument, not empirical science.

            As to an argument for human soul, clearly you have never heard James Brown or any Van Morrison (prior to 1978). Debate finished.

          • No, there has actually been a tremendous amount of research done into it, hence the clear medical and legal definitions we have.

            Touche on Brown and Morrison!

          • John:

            http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2013/s3794616.htm–Mark Newton and his Australian partner, Peter Truong
            http://connecticut.cbslocal.com/2011/12/15/adopted-boys-alleged-glastonbury-abuse-detailed/–George Harasz and his partner, Doug Wirth
            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1522158/Gay-couple-jailed-for-abusing-their-foster-children.html–Ian Wathey and his partner Craig Faunch,
            http://www.lukesarmy.com/content/gay-couple-allowed-sexually-abuse-adopted-son–Cannon and Scarfe

            I’m “tolerant” enough to know and to state that abuse on this scale is not the norm for gay parenting. Are you “tolerant” enough to state that your example was evocative and misrepresentative of the average “religious” biological parent?

          • Hi Tisha.

            Out of interest, don’t you people ever let the other answer? Do you all always have to play “blocker”?

            Sorry, but not a single one of those three links worked. I don’t, however, doubt they do reference real cases. People go bad. That’s a fact of life. Unfortunately, fundamentalist Christians go bad far, far, far more often. It’s the empirical truth.

            I only listed a few cases. I could fill pages, and you know I could. Pages filled with cases like Christians, Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz, who beat their adoptive 7 year old child, Lydia, to death for mispronouncing a biblical word, and hospitalising her 11-year-old sister, Zariah, with injuries so bad she was on life-support for weeks. These children were tortured for hours, every day.

            I could list the dozens upon dozens of cases of severe injury and murder of children by Christian parents using Michael and Debi Pearl’s “To Train Up a Child”? It’s a nice Christian book that notes some discipline techniques to include:

            • Using plastic plumbing tubing to beat children
            • Wearing the plastic tubing around the parent’s neck as a constant reminder to obey
            • “Swatting” babies as young as six months old with instruments such as “a 12-inch willowy branch,” thinner plastic tubing or a wooden spoon
            • “Blanket training” babies by hitting them with an instrument if they try to crawl off a blanket on the floor
            • Beating older children with rulers, paddles, belts and larger tree branches
            • “Training” children with pain before they even disobey, in order to teach total obedience
            • Giving cold water baths, putting children outside in cold weather and withholding meals as discipline
            • Hosing off children who have potty training accidents
            • Inflicting punishment until a child is “without breath to complain”

            I remind you: this is a Christian “parenting” book.

            I could cite the National Crime Agency’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) that severely criticises the role of religious parents and groups in protecting children from abuse.

            Or showcase Gary North and his demented Christian thinking which insists children should be stoned to death in public squares. Just so you know, one of Gary North’s businesses operates children’s day care centers. Would send your child to one of his centers?

            I don’t have up-to-date figures on-hand, but a 1998 study conducted by pediatrician Seth Asser and by the founder of Children’s Healthcare is a Legal Duty (CHILD), Rita Swan, shows that over a 20 year period 172 children died in the US after their parents withheld medical care on religious grounds.

            Read that number again… One Hundred and Seventy Two murders by Christian parents.

            Now, do you seriously want to get into a fact match with me over this? I’ll happily do the research, and I’ll detail every sordid case if you like. I’m stubborn like that.

            Now, to put this all in perspective. I was responding to Askme’s rather tardy comment; a comment that needed to be met with some actual facts. Obviously, she doesn’t have the courage to actually answer, so she got you to. Whereas I respect your point, and ordinarily wouldn’t even raise this ugly statistic, I felt compelled to reply to her and set her straight.

          • John:

            “Out of interest, don’t you people ever let the other answer? Do you all always have to play “blocker”?”
            LOL, John, this from the person who says there’s nothing more to say and then jumps in on my response to arbourist. It wasn’t the first time from “you people”, either. You seem to have a pot and kettle problem going on, here.

            “links”
            I think that the reason the links didn’t work was because I included the names of the partners involved. Sorry, technology is not my forte, as evidenced by the “reply” issue. It was four couples, they sexually abused their adopted children and in at least one case, loaned out the child for sodomy with other grown men. They are referenced below, found easily with a Google search.

            Mark Newton and his Australian partner, Peter Truong
            George Harasz and his partner, Doug Wirth
            Ian Wathey and his partner Craig Faunch,
            Cannon and Scarfe

            As regards your “empirical truth” regarding Christians, I sincerely doubt it. There are also serious problems with your arbitrary method of listing Christians who have been prosecuted for horrific crimes against their biological children and not listing gay parents who have been prosecuted for horrific crimes against their adopted children and smugly calling it “proof” of the superiority of gay parenting.

            There are approximately 2.1 billion Christians in the world. If you accept the popular claim that between 5% and 8% of the worlds population is gay and that there are approx. 7 billion people on the planet, then there are approximately 350-550 million gays in the world. These numbers are rough and estimates certainly vary, but it’s pretty clear that the population of Christians is far greater than the population of gays. Add in the fact that Christian couples almost always have children whereas gay couples may or may not, then the number of abusive Christian parents as compared to abusive gay parents evidences an even larger number gap. This means that the total number of abuse cases seen in Christian parenting versus that seen in gay parenting is going to, de facto, be considerably higher, even if the percentage of abuse is similar or even if it were lower for Christians, given the disparity in size of the two groups. When comparing two groups, the variables need to be controlled as much as possible. The more uncontrolled variables, the less accurate or efficient the comparison is. And that is a pretty big variable!

            Besides the issue of size, there is the issue of media bias and that fact that there is a significant slant in the media favoring SSM, despite the fact that opinion polls show Americans remain more evenly divided on the debate. Gotta give full disclosure on those uncontrolled variables.

            Additionally, how are you identifying “gay parents”…the concept hasn’t even really been around for that long. Gay adoptions haven’t even been legal for that long, so, the issue of direct and aggressive abuse aside, how can any long-term study or comparison be made?

            “Now, do you seriously want to get into a fact match with me over this? I’ll happily do the research, and I’ll detail every sordid case if you like. I’m stubborn like that. ”

            LOL, john….threaten me with your stubbornness all you like. I’m pretty stubborn, too. You can ask my family if you want to know how I deal with people who try to bully me into silence with threats of “revealing the sordid details”. My points are valid and they stand.

            “Obviously, she doesn’t have the courage to actually answer, so she got you to.”

            To be honest, it sounds like you are fraying around the edges and becoming a little defensive and paranoid. AskMe has shown no lack of bravery and courage in this and any of her other posts, so you fail there. Further, AskMe and I had no conversation at all about answering your posts, don’t flatter yourself. I had time put away for one (two?) replies to posts tonight and yours contains such blatant misrepresentations and ridiculous bias that I chose yours to tackle first.

            “Whereas I respect your point, and ordinarily wouldn’t even raise this ugly statistic, I felt compelled to reply to her and set her straight.”

            Let ME get this straight….when you see a post AskMe wrote NOT to you, you are virtuously “compelled” to set the record straight. When I see a post you wrote NOT to me and I respond, I am blocking, not letting another answer and coming in as backup. You crack me up, john. You, my friend, are a hypocrite.

            Which brings me to this: I do not accept your statement that if gay couples do it, shrug, people go bad but if Christians do it, it’s (gasp!) an “ugly statistic”. Of course, from this callous and ignorant statement, you conclude that Christian parents abuse more than gay parents. Seriously, all laughing aside, you have some serious bias and hatred going on there, bro. Even as you call others biased and haters. Kettles and pots, my friend, kettles and pots.

          • Tell me Tisha, can you produce any literature published by gays that details how to torture and murder children?

            I can produce published Christian documents that detail how to torture and murder children.

            I think that says enough.

          • John:

            It’s quite telling that you pick and choose what you will respond to in my posts. I’m wondering why you choose to ignore the parts where you are called out on biased, hypocritical or illogical behavior and attempt to re-direct the conversation to a point where you feel you have the “stronger” position. To simply say “I agree” or “I disagree” is evidence of an honest desire to dialogue. To ignore and attempt to shift focus away from valid points is not.

            “Tell me Tisha, can you produce any literature published by gays that details how to torture and murder children?

            I can produce published Christian documents that detail how to torture and murder children.

            I think that says enough”

            1. How many gays have self-identified as parenting experts in the last, say 25 years? How recent are these published documents? Are they consistent with other opinions with other, non-Christian authors? Are there Christian authors with differing opinions? What is the ratio of “pro torture” Christian authors to “anti-torture” Christian authors?

            2. If there are no “manuals” on how to torture children written by gay parenting authors, yet there is evidence that this situation exists among gay parents, then how does it matter that they did it but didn’t write about it?

          • So you “can’t” produce any material published by gays which details how to torture and murder children… yet I “can” produce materials published by Christians which detail how to torture and murder children, like “Inflicting punishment until a child is “without breath to complain”.”

            As I said, that says it all.

          • John:

            To quote you, “please don’t evade the question(s)”. For your reference, they are numbers 1 and 2 in my last posted response to you.

          • 1. How many gays have self-identified as parenting experts in the last, say 25 years? How recent are these published documents? Are they consistent with other opinions with other, non-Christian authors? Are there Christian authors with differing opinions? What is the ratio of “pro torture” Christian authors to “anti-torture” Christian authors?
            No idea. The very fact that there is pro-torture/murder Christian manuals out there seem to make a point though, wouldn’t you say? I mean, actually publishing books on how to murder and torture children is astoundingly horrendous, yes?
            2. If there are no “manuals” on how to torture children written by gay parenting authors, yet there is evidence that this situation exists among gay parents, then how does it matter that they did it but didn’t write about it?

            There is very little evidence. A total of three cases. These are these are just “some” of the children murdered by fundamentalist Christians in the US in the last 20 years. There are more, I’m certain, but this is a five-minute Google search. Also, this doesn’t list the injured and mained, which I’m guessing runs into the hundreds, if not thousands.

            Faith Lovemore, 6 weeks old
            Scott Wesley Buchholtz-Sanchez, 3 weeks old
            Norell Harris, aged 1
            Zyana Harris, aged 2
            Antonio Lopez, aged 9
            Erik Lopez, aged 2
            Margaret Schlosser, 10 months old
            Joshua Keith Laney, aged 8
            Luke Allen Laney, aged 6
            Samantha Mae Martin, aged 6
            Noah Yates, aged 7
            John Yates, aged 5
            Paul Yates, aged 3
            Luke Yates, aged 2
            Mary Yates, 6 months
            Nicholas Lemak, aged 7
            Emily Lemak, aged 6
            Thomas Lemak, aged 3
            Kouaeai Hang, aged 11
            Samson Hang, aged 9
            Nali Hang, aged 8
            Tang Lung Hang, aged 7
            Aee Hang, aged 6
            Tung Hang, aged 5
            Justin Thomas Riggs, aged 5
            Shelby Alexis Riggs, aged 2
            Christina Gindorf, 23 months oldsanchez
            Jason Gindorf, 3 months old

            And let’s not forget the ONE-HUNDRED AND SEVENTY TWO cases (in just the 20 years to 1998 only, in the US) of Christian parents murdering their children by denying them healthcare. 172 murders of children by Christian parents who denied their little ones healthcare simply because of their “Christian faith.” Again, this is a number that doesn’t reflect actual reality. As numerous reports say, the true numbers must be higher as many fundamentalist Christians never report their crimes.

            Ghastly stuff.

            But I guess your total of “three” (non-fatal) cases trumps all this.

            Tisha, you never did answer me: would you send your child to one of Gary North’s Christian childcare centers? Gary North, who demands that children should be stoned to death in American public squares.

          • john:

            “1. How many gays have self-identified as parenting experts in the last, say 25 years? How recent are these published documents? Are they consistent with other opinions with other, non-Christian authors? Are there Christian authors with differing opinions? What is the ratio of “pro torture” Christian authors to “anti-torture” Christian authors?
            No idea”

            You haven’t controlled for the legitimate variables.

            1. Gay parenting has been a phenomenon for how long? You want to look at evidence over a 20 year period for Christian parenting when gay parenting can’t even BE looked at for the last 20 years. UNEQUAL COMPARISON.

            2. Christian parents represent a much, much larger group of couples than do gay parents. You have to factor in the difference in size, which you have failed to do. UNEQUAL COMPARISON.

            3. Additional variable you haven’t factored in: there is a notable bias in the media, heavily reporting on Christian cases while supporting gay parenting and suppressing or poorly covering gay abuse cases. UNEQUAL COMPARISON.

            “the true numbers must be higher as many fundamentalist Christians never report their crimes.”

            Right. Because gay couples are just lining up waiting to report themselves as abusive parents.

            John, I’m sorry, but this is covering your eyes and chanting “I have proof, I have proof, I have proof” without honestly disclosing the inequities of your case is, again, misrepresentative. A case is made by controlling as best as you can for variables so that you are making an equal comparison since unequal comparisons are inaccurate. You have not done that. In fact, you’ve avoided it as much as possible.

            As regards Gary North, I don’t know who he is and haven’t seen him or heard of him, therefore I obviously haven’t signed up any children to attend his daycare. Additionally, having a friend who runs a daycare center, I know first hand that, regardless of your own thoughts on discipline style, a daycare abides by state rules when disciplining children in their care and that amounts to passively containing damage to themselves or others. The word of mouth alone of abuse such as you cite would close the business in a hurry.

            As far as his philosophy of child rearing goes, that’s not something that is really relevant to me. He can call himself a Christian all he wants but advocating child abuse means he is not acting in a Christian manner. If your neighbor called himself an atheist and wrote a manual on how to stalk and kill women, does that mean all atheists are killers?

            In our society, we have examples of “people gone bad” across every ethnic, religious, cultural, political, educational and income level. To equate what some do (particularly in a large group) as representative of the whole is ridiculous. If that were so, nobody would send their kids to school, no woman would marry a politician, nobody would attend religious services, the Army would be devoid of soldiers, we would never elect another President, people would refuse to have a next-door neighbor and society would pretty much grind to a halt.

            As I said previously, I’m honest enough to admit that bad behavior on the part of a few homosexual couples is not reason to label gay parenting. You, however, want to ignore the evidence of abusive parenting among gay couples but highlight it among Christian parents. Dishonest.

          • You could only cite “three” (3) examples of sexual abuse, and none in the US. I cited HUNDREDS of murders and torture in the US alone.

            Your single biggest sticking point for railing against gay marriage was, as you said, adoption. I used a clear example to demonstrate that your single fear was entirely unjustified, as the greater threat to children is clearly fundamentalist Christians, who have a history of viciously murdering their children; adoptive and natural…. religiously-inspired murders.

            Alas, your adoption fears are unjustified.

          • John:

            We’ve been over this, my friend. Adoption is one of my “sticking points” for gay marriage. It is the one that many secular friends share with me but it is not my only “sticking point”. As I said, you are trying to boil down a very complex issue into one point that you can contemptuously dismiss. This is not an exchange of views…..this is an attempt to ridicule someone into changing a position that they hold. It is the antithesis of the freedom you say everyone should enjoy.

            No, john, you haven’t proven anything. What you’ve done is dredge up sensational stories on people whose views regarding child rearing would be largely opposed within the mixing pot that is Christianity. You are, again, misrepresenting the views of broader Christianity with the actions of a self-admittedly fundamentalist few. This I have previously pointed out to you on numerous occasions.

            You can keep chanting the “I’m right” mantra over and over, but it doesn’t make it so.

          • Far from me to chant the “i’m right” mantra. Having read my comments i’m merely presenting the case that its patently ludicrous to try and state gays are bad for children while fundamentalist Christians are good.

            I agree with you: there are many loving fundamentalist parents. I personally feel they are abusing their children if they teach them creationism (because they’re setting that child up to fail in the real world), but generally speaking they are loving people. Most people are. I just wish your church would actually exercise a little more love, rather than promoting the blanked ostracism of left-handed people ;)

          • I just saw this.

            Gay rights: SCOTUS announced that it would not take up the highly charged case that began when a New Mexico wedding photographer refused to do the honors for a same-sex commitment ceremony, Politico reports. New Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that this amounted to illegal discrimination.

          • “Far from me to chant the “i’m right” mantra”

            Yet you continue to insist that simply listing Christians accused of parenting crimes proves your point while you refuse to address what I feel are legitimate issues. Specifically:

            1. How are you controlling for the variables when you are comparing these two disparate groups?
            2. Why are you comparing on a case to case basis when you have such a large difference in population numbers?
            3. Why are you equating all Christians with “fundamentalist” Christians?
            4. why have you ignored the issues of media bias and the problems with a group that self-identifies?
            5. Further, why are you limiting abuse problems to just gays and Christians? Child abuse is a human problem, not a sexual orientation problem or a religion problem. It exists, as I said, across literally every category you can think of.

            “Having read my comments i’m merely presenting the case that its patently ludicrous to try and state gays are bad for children while fundamentalist Christians are good. ”

            I disagree, but in any case, you are twisting my words. I didn’t say that gays are bad for children. I said that gay parenting, de facto, results in the loss of a biological parent for the child. That does not mean that the people who raise the child are not loving or are “bad” people.

            “I personally feel they are abusing their children if they teach them creationism (because they’re setting that child up to fail in the real world), ”

            How so? I was taught creationism and I have a Master’s degree plus an additional competency certificate in my field, I am married and have a happy and healthy family, I have more friends that I can keep in touch with and I enjoy a good relationship with all of these people. I am a committed pet lover and owner. I have an active religious faith. I scrape to pay bills at the end of the month like everyone, but I earn money enough to own a home and save for retirement. The people I respect also respect me. How am I failing?

            “I just wish your church would actually exercise a little more love, rather than promoting the blanked ostracism of left-handed people;”

            Yes, you will find bigots in my church who do not love as they should. That is sad and I hope we can somehow, someway find a plan to “fix” that. Are you honest enough to admit that there are bigots in your “group”, too?

          • What’s my group? Humanism? Of course. Actually, I’m not sure about “bigots,” per say, but there was a sexual abuse case recently involving Michael Shermer, and sexism raised its ugly head in the States, too. Neither are good reflections on my “group.”

          • “What’s my group? Humanism? Of course. Actually, I’m not sure about “bigots,” per say, but there was a sexual abuse case recently involving Michael Shermer, and sexism raised its ugly head in the States, too. Neither are good reflections on my “group.””

            Bigotry, sexism, sexual abuse are, in general, human problems. There are not specific to humanism, to Christianity, to teachers, to policemen or to the other groups people form. They existed before any of these “groups” existed and they will continue to the end of time. All we can do is fight them. It’s particularly disturbing that people who claim to be inspired by Christ exhibit these problems, but it’s not surprising. The Church pulls her members from society, not from the angels or the saints. The problems of humanity will follow them into whatever group they chose to join.

  12. I commend you for your courage in coming out. Unfortunately things can get heated on the internet and there is a nasty tendency to try and expose people, to out their on-line identities and match them up with their real life names. It is flat out bullying and bigotry. It is the out of control behavior of mean girls in junior high school. It is the politics of personal destruction.

    I too have been outed a couple of times. In a kind of amusing twist, I am so grateful I am not rich and famous. Somebody once threatened to “ruin my reputation” and I was able to quite honestly say, “wait,.. what reputation??”

    So, hello Katy! I’m Gabrielle. Peace be upon you.

    • Gabrielle, thanks for your comments. Personal destruction is right. It is textbook bullying. Amazing that some who may have experienced pain from bullying in relation to their sexual attractions would justify it’s use when it suits their end. One of the “pack” literally told me that it was “vital” to expose my identity because my views are “harmful” though she admitted that she would be unsettled if someone did the same to her. Another commentor on this post put it exactly right: they view my position as not just wrong but as evil. So any means to silence me is not only justified but noble.

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

      • “One of the “pack” literally told me that it was “vital” to expose my identity because my views are “harmful” though she admitted that she would be unsettled if someone did the same to her.”

        Just to clarify here, I said it was ‘vital’ that people being sucked in by your seemingly ‘random’ Christian message were aware that your husband heads a church with an actively prejudicial policy, that excludes all practicing gay and trans people from membership, while accepting divorced and remarried people. Is that correct? That would make it a cherry-pick your sexual sin operation. This is more than relevant to your position. I was also concerned that members of your husband’s church, who sign a covenant of submission to him, were the main source of supportive comments, although you have since told me this is not the case. It’s just your editor’s husband and your own husband who were posting as random bystanders.

        I never said I would be ‘unsettled’ if someone exposed my identity. I said it would be ‘weird’ because there’s nothing to find. I blog anonymously because my mother is a practicing Christian (who doesn’t share any of your harmful and discriminatory beliefs I might add) and I don’t think it would be pleasant for her to read just how critical of her faith I am. Thanks for goading Pink into giving it a go though, that was very sweet of you. ;)

        • Violet, will you forgive me for using “unsettled” instead of “weird”? I guess for you it could be weird without being unsettling. But if it was your friends whose names, address, and pictures were being slathered all over an angry blogger’s website because you had been “outed” I would bet that you would use stronger language. Again, if there is any decency in you (which I believe there is), I expect you to acknowledge your part in this and offer an apology.

          So… your justification in participating in this witch hunt is so that people would know that my husband is a pastor of a church that COMPLETELY AGREES WITH EVERYTHING I WRITE ON MY BLOG. And that is supposed to be some kind of shock or revelation, that deems it “vital” to out my identity? What would be shocking is if I attended a church/was married to someone who completely disagreed with me. Now, that would be newsworthy (but for the ethically grounded not cause to expose their family and friends to hate and harm as your “pack” has.) Thanks for you “concern.” I’ll covey it to the families in our church whose pictures and addresses, in violation of copy write laws and every logical standard of ethic, are now being paraded around the internet. Ten points for the “love and tolerance” team!

          If Pink is willing to be consistent-because he finds it unacceptable to blog under a pseudonym- I expect him to hunt down your identity. Though obviously he will not. It’s only the “intolerant” that deserve that kind of underhanded, unjust, harmful treatment. Right?

          In scripture, there are exceptions for divorce, though it is never prescribed. There are people in our church who were divorced before they were Christians and have come to Christ and remarried. There are some in our church who were divorced because their spouse was unfaithful to them and then remarried. (And many others who have struggled with unfaithfulness or sexual addictions or pornography but who have chosen to work it out even though they had a biblical “out.”) And we have had people leave because my husband would not marry them, instead directing them to return to their wife and be reconciled. You will call it “cherry picking” only if you do a superficial examination of the issue in scripture. But I guess you know what is “relevant” for my readers to know about my friends and church. Except that I have already stated these truths in my posts. But, you know, whatever assuages your conscience, my dear. ;)

          I understand why you don’t choose to blog using your own name. I hope for your sake that someone doesn’t decide that they know what’s best for you and your mom and your readership. If you are concerned about that, I would recommend finding new friends.

          • If you think it’s okay for people to campaign behind masks for traditionally persecuted minority groups to have basic human rights removed from them (rights of employment, rights of service and rights to parenthood) then that’s your opinion. If you think there’s anything wrong with information in the public domain being publicised then that’s your opinion.

          • So, a summary of your position is:

            Because I believe that children have a right to be known, loved, and raised by their biological parents and this truth should be reflected in public policy, that qualifies as “persecution of minorities” in your mind.

            And because of that “persecution,” bringing harm to me and my friends is justified.

            Did I get that right?

          • Do you think children deserve religious “biological parents” like Dena Schlosser who while listening to church hymns in 2004 cut off the arms of her 11 month year old baby girl because she claimed God had wanted her to do it as “an offering” before the apocalypse? Or what about Deanna Lajune LeNay who in 2003 bludgeoned her two boys to death because “God was testing her faith”? How about Andrea Yates who in 2001 drowned her five children because “Satan had possessed her” and she wanted to “save them from Hell”? Or Otty Sanchez who in May, 2012, beheaded her three week old son and ate part of his brain because Satan told her to? What about religious fanatic, Jullia Lovemore, who murdered her 6 week old daughter by shoving pages of the bible down her throat because the wanted the child to absorb the books “message of love”?

            Quick, can you show me a single case of a gay couple doing anything even remotely similar to this to their adopted child.

          • Thanks. So, let me get this straight: you can produce a total of “three” cases of sexual abuse by gay adoptive parents (in the UK), whereas i can produce literally dozens of monstrous, religiously inspired (Christian only, mind you) murders (in the US) in just the last 20 years. Here’s the result of a five minute Google search for this time period, although I’m certain there are many more:

            Faith Lovemore, 6 weeks old
            Scott Wesley Buchholtz-Sanchez, 3 weeks old
            Norell Harris, aged 1
            Zyana Harris, aged 2
            Hana Williams, 13 years old
            Lydia Schatz, aged 7
            Antonio Lopez, aged 9
            Erik Lopez, aged 2
            Margaret Schlosser, 10 months old
            Joshua Keith Laney, aged 8
            Luke Allen Laney, aged 6
            Samantha Mae Martin, aged 6
            Noah Yates, aged 7
            John Yates, aged 5
            Paul Yates, aged 3
            Luke Yates, aged 2
            Mary Yates, 6 months
            Nicholas Lemak, aged 7
            Emily Lemak, aged 6
            Thomas Lemak, aged 3
            Kouaeai Hang, aged 11
            Samson Hang, aged 9
            Nali Hang, aged 8
            Tang Lung Hang, aged 7
            Aee Hang, aged 6
            Tung Hang, aged 5
            Justin Thomas Riggs, aged 5
            Shelby Alexis Riggs, aged 2
            Christina Gindorf, 23 months oldsanchez
            Jason Gindorf, 3 months old

            Shall I also list the gruesome accounts of the torture and sexual abuse of 84 children adopted by Christians Diane and Dennis Nason, which resulted in the death of three; an infant girl, Jason, 2, and Jodi, 4.

            I can also produce a sickening, detailed list of children tortured and murdered by Christian parents using “Christian parenting manuals,” produce publish Christian literature which states the case for stoning children to death in American public squares, as well as cite ONE-HUNDRED AND SEVENTY TWO cases (in just the 20 years to 1998 only, in the US) of religious parents murdering their children by denying them healthcare.

            That number again: 172 murders of children by Christian parents who denied their little ones healthcare simply because of their “Christian faith.”

            Well done.

            I see you have a very strong and thoroughly convincing case that gays are more dangerous to children than fundamentalist Christian parents.

          • I’ll let you have the last word on this. I just hope that one day you and your husband’s church will realise that excluding people from churches, from marriage, from relationships, from florists or from employers, because you interpret a holy book to say their sexual orientation is somehow ‘bad’, is not a way to improve the lives of others. I wish you well on your journey.

  13. John:

    Given that I have asked some specific questions that you have not directly answered, I am going to try, for the sake of clarity, to bring your attention to these questions by numbering them. I would ask that you answer them, as you have asked of me, directly and honestly.

    “You’re entitled to have your opinion, no one should ever interfere with that, but don’t try and say it has any bearing on anyone else. It doesn’t”

    1. So, then, would you agree that the person who lives a homosexual lifestyle has the right to live that lifestyle, no one should ever interfere with that, but they shouldn’t say it has any bearing on anyone else (such as legally forcing others to recognize and serve that lifestyle), because it doesn’t?

    “If I recall, it was you who said adoption was the principle thing you objected to. I’m sorry if I made an erroneous assumption, but that was how I read your original answer. ”

    In re-reading my response to your question re: objection, I realize that you had solid reason to believe it was my only objection. My apologies for that, I wasn’t as clear in writing as I was in what I was thinking. I do, however, feel as though you are trying to “boil down” my reasoning into a simple, single, misrepresented fact in order to “slay” it with your superior logic. I understand your desire to make the “opposition just go away”, but as I stated before, this is more than something that is easily “boiled down”.

    “Evidence has data”

    It would be nice if it was as simple as that. Yes, evidence has data, but data can, and is, manipulated (on both sides of this issue) to make it say what the interpreter of the data wants it to say. A comparison: studies show that African-American men are more likely than Caucasian men to abandon their families, participate in serious crimes and spend significant amounts of time incarcerated. Those are the facts, that is the precious “data”. Clearly, African-American men do not have the same strength of character and integrity than the white man has. Or do they? The study may be perfect in terms of methodology and execution, however it fails to take other factors, widely known, into account, such as social class, history of bias/prejudice, opportunity, etc. The studies on both sides of this gay marriage debate have their “data”, interpreted through their own eyes. You will say “my study shows x”. I will say “my study shows y’. You will say, “your study is wrong because yada, yada”. I will say “this other study also shows y”. You will say “my study is more recent and we are more evolved now, so my study is superior to yours.” And so on. Objective studies, perfectly controlled are rare and, when found, study aspects of the issue but rarely the entire whole of the issue. So, I can provide you with the “data” you ask for, but wonder 2. what does it show?

    “heavy legal and political implications”

    It is no secret that the issue of gay marriage is heavily politicized and carries with it legal ramifications. It is a very complex issue, involving issues such as the interpretation of right to free speech, right to freedom of religion, right to refuse service based on religious or philosophical beliefs. These issues are both legal and political….I cannot see how you would say otherwise. Which brings me to another question I have repeatedly asked and you have not answered.

    4. How is homosexuality a “private” matter that “affects no one other than the individual couple” when certain segments of the society are compelled legally to serve homosexual “marriages”, despite their religious and/or philosophical beliefs?

    5. To help you better understand the “fear”, I ask you this: You are an entertainer. You organize the musical entertainment of various functions…weddings, graduations, birthdays, etc. A man comes into your store. He explains to you that he is a religious jihadist from Pakistan who celebrates the Muslim religion. He has American citizenship. He has been working hard in an underground movement, despite many obstacles to his success by people intolerant of his lifestyle, to complete training in how to best destroy American society (it is the antithesis of his beliefs) while remaining within the letter of the law in order to avoid prosecution and be able to continue, indefinitely, his attack on American society. He has finally completed his training and is sparing no expense in throwing a huge party to celebrate this success. He has heard you offer the best entertainment package in the area and has selected you to head the musical celebration of this event. Should you be compelled to serve him?

    “I know it’s right because equality (reduced discrimination and unjustified tribalism) increases the well-being of others, and therefore society. ”

    6. Do you believe you should be legally forced, through your employment, to serve an Evangelical n Christian conference on Traditional Marriage Support? Do you believe an Orthodox Jew should be forced to handle, prepare and serve pickled pigs feet in his restaurant? Do you believe a Muslim should be forced to sell bikinis in his clothing store? Do you believe a Christian music store owner should be forced to sell songs and albums celebrating Satanic rituals? By refusing to provide these services, aren’t you discriminating against Evangelical Christians and exhibiting “unjustified tribalism”?

    “valid danger”

    It is a valid danger because I can see what the other person refuses to see. If my sister were walking backwards toward an unseen cliff edge, laughing at my fears, I would do whatever I had to tackle her down and show her the danger. After that, should she voluntarily choose the danger, it would be up to her, although I doubt I could be expected not to grieve her decision and would continue to beg her to re-consider.

    John, you have a seriously flawed understanding of the Bible. It does not condone either homosexuality, nor does it permit abortion under any circumstance, much less encourage it. In order to explain to you where your egregious error lies, I need to start with this question

    7. Have you read the Bible as a whole? By that I mean, have you started with the first verse of Genesis through to the last verse of Revelation?
    Once I understand what your exposure and study of the Bible has been, I can better explain to you where your misunderstanding has occurred.

    • Tisha, could you please try to use the “reply” option. I do not get notifications that you’ve responded, and I really shouldn’t have to troll through the comments to find your entries. It would be appreciated. Thanks.

      To your questions:

      1. What is a homosexual “lifestyle,” and how does it interfere with you? Do gays proselytize in your neighbourhood? Do they seek to have school curriculums changed? Some examples would be helpful.

      2. As I previously stated, I don’t know what studies have been conducted, if any. I’m actually not that interested in this subject, so if you can produce some peer-reviewed studies then I’d be happy to look them over.

      3. There is no question #3, and as 4, 5 & 6 all seem to be asking the same question I’ll answer them collectively.

      People are within their rights to deny service to others under certain legal conditions. A bar tender, for example, can legally refuse to serve a drunk. This law exists for health and liability reasons. A shop owner can refuse to serve a 16 year old alcohol. This law exists for health reasons. Refusing service to anyone based on religiously inspired bigotry is not considered a coherent or valid reason in civilised societies. Of course, you may freely travel to Saudi Arabia or Yemen and your religiously inspired bigotry would be fully supported.

      6. I know the bible very well. My question to you was quite simple. The Bible the very clear on the matter of abortion. The Middle Eastern Christian god is pro-abortion. He personally performs many terminations, and orders countless more. There is even a specific example of a forced religious abortion ritual. The god of Christianity supports abortion. So, as you believe the Bible supports your anti-homosexual position, then I’m naturally assuming you in-turn would also support abortion. Do you? Or, would you think it unmitigated lunacy for someone to get before a microphone and quote scripture to support abortion?

      • John:

        Yes, I will use the reply button should it be present under your post to me. I will use letters in this post to identify my questions to you. Thanks.

        1. The homosexual lifestyle is exactly that. A same-sex couple, living together in a sexual relationship. It does not interfere with my life at all and I support their free choice to do so. That is, until they want a legal recognition that a. presents them as equally suitable as parents for children and b. forces me or other members of society to serve them regardless of religious or ideological beliefs.

        Adoption is only possible via artificial insemination, surrogacy, adoption, or choosing NOT to cohabitate with the male/female who is the biological parent of their own biological child. Religious views aside, which is a whole other issue, the homosexual lifestyle by necessity involves the loss of one or both biological parents in the home with the child. This is not equally comparable to a biological home in which both biological parents are present, involved and engaged with each other and the child.

        Of additional, but no less significant, concern is the increase in sex trafficking which is linked to surrogacy demands and the child trafficking which hides behind the label of “adoption”. Nope, no proselytizing in my neighborhood, although there are more fanatical factions of the lifestyle who attack the houses, threaten the family and try to intimidate those who exercise their freedom of speech to oppose gay marriage. Most certainly, yes, they do seek to have school curriculums changed to include homosexual sexuality in sex education classes as well as to promote gay parenting as an equal parenting “choice”.

        Another concern is the forcing, through fines and/or arrest, of members of the community to serve said lifestyle or be punished. This lifestyle is chosen, unlike race, and is not comparable to the laws regarding discrimination based on race. The homosexual lifestyle is not recognized as a religion, but if it were, then there may be grounds for a religious discrimination charge. But again, we then have to ask why Kosher businesses are free to decline business from Christian customers or why Muslim clothing owners don’t have to include bikinis in their merchandise or why Protestant religious shop owners don’t have to sell rosaries.

        If a shop owner is willing to lose business over an issue, then that is his or her right.

        2. Without the benefit of tone and body language, this might sound cranky, but I mean it sincerely and not in a snippy way. You are the one who needs the peer reviewed studies (for a topic you are “not interested” in, but more below)…they are not strictly necessary for me for the reasons previously stated…so you do the work to find them. A good place to start would be pediatric health journals, Loren Marks of Louisiana State University and Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas at Austin. Which brings me to this question:

        A. “I’m actually not that interested in this subject”. This seems rather disingenuous considering the amount of information you have requested regarding it and your insistence that I am a bigot because of my position regarding said subject. If you are not interested in the issue, why are you asking for the information? Why are you pushing for “justification”? Why argue or debate over a topic which holds no interest to you? I find that interesting (since we are communicating within the graphic mode and you do not have the benefit of facial or body language, I will add that this is not sarcasm) and possibly indicative of a bit of deceit on your part.

        Additionally, you are free to peruse whatever peer-reviewed articles that you find and I will respectfully consider your opinion on them, as is proper, however, I do not require your expertise to develop my position on this subject. Thank you anyway.

        3,4,5,6. Oops! Sorry, missed #3…oh well, I wear more than the hat of “blog poster”, so you are probably going to have to forgive a few more missed numbers, lol!

        Anyway, in response: You have made a general statement, you have not answered the questions. Let’s rephrase with the ones below:

        B. Is it a health issue for a Kosher deli owner to handle pig feet? Is he discriminating against his customers for not serving pig’s feet in his restaurant and, if he is, why is he not arrested or fined? Is the Christian entertainer discriminating against the subversive Muslim? Is there a health issue here? Is he discriminating against the Muslim by refusing his business? If yes, why is he not arrested or fined? Do YOU believe you should be forced through your employment to serve those who hold positions antithetical to yours? If not, why should others have to do such? Please answer these questions directly as you have asked me to do for you. Which brings me to the next question.

        C. It appears to me as if you have provided me with very general responses to some of my questions. An answer, if you will, but an indirect answer, one that avoids much of the point of what is being asked. Why is that?

        7. ” Of course, you may freely travel to Saudi Arabia or Yemen and your religiously inspired bigotry would be fully supported.”

        I would say true if I believed I was a bigot, but that’s your term to sling, not mine. Of course, it is equally true that gays can move to various states in America as well as abroad and their ideologically inspired behavior would be fully supported.

        8. “I know the Bible very well”. Good. That makes my post a little shorter :)

        D. So you have read the Bible from Genesis 1 to Revelations 20? You are aware of the concept of piece-whole interpretation of text? You really didn’t answer that question specifically and it is, of course, not possible to accurately interpret the Bible otherwise.

        E. As a student of the Bible, then, which approach do you use in the interpretation of text? Personally, I usually reference the four senses approach, but I admit, I’m curious as to why you have interpreted the passages as you have. Can you explain a little further which approach you follow and how it informed your interpretation of the texts you have selected as support (for your claim that the God of the Bible is pro-abortion?)

        F Since you are a student of the Bible, I don’t understand your question about my support of abortion? Why would I even consider it?

        • Thanks. Much better.

          Tisha, your religious views mean nothing, absolutely nothing in the secular society in which you live, and, I hope, enjoy. You do understand this, don’t you? You don’t live in a theocracy. You’re free to worship what you want, but that’s it. Your religion affords you no special privileges. You have no “rights” for being a Christian. None. If you hate me for being a Humanist and striving to improve the well-being of others (by decreasing tribalism) then so be it, you hate me. I’m not offended, but even if I were it wouldn’t mean anything in the larger societal context.

          Now, when I say I’m “not particularly interested,” I’m meaning there is nothing interesting to debate here. Bigotry is a patently straightforward topic: it’s wrong. As I said, it’s cheap tribalism.

          The Kosher deli owner is not practicing any outward bigotry to anyone. Does KFC serve duck? Does a florist sell cars?

          Unless I would be breaking a law I would have to serve whoever came to my counter. Again, your religion affords you NO special privileges. I really don’t know why you seem to think it does. It doesn’t. Period.

          Gay is an ideology? Really? Do you know what ideology means?

          I read the Bible as written. I do not practice any particular brand of
          Hermeneutics as I am not an apologist and do not need to dream up excuses for awkward passages of scripture.

          Did you read the scriptures I posted? Which part of “their pregnant women [to be] ripped open by swords” don’t you understand? How do you interpret the abortion ritual in Numbers 5:11-21? How do you interpret Hosea 9:11-16 where the Middle Eastern god makes pregnant women unnaturally miscarry, which is abortion?

          You can’t dodge these passages. They’re as clear as day: The Christian god personally performs abortions, and orders countless more. Therefore, as abortion is clearly sanctioned in the bible why then aren’t you pro-abortion? You god is for it, why aren’t you?

          My question, however, was: would a person be justified, in your mind, to stand behind a microphone and quote these scriptures to support their pro-abortion stance? Would they be acting rationally, and should they be taken seriously?

          It’s an honest question, particularly considering your use of scripture to support your anti-homosexual stance? If anti-homosexual, then why not pro-abortion… especially because there are many, many more passages supporting abortion than those lambasting gays.

          • It is the beginning of a busy week…as wife, mother, worker and home runner, my time will be limited, as it is this morning. To start answering your question, I suggest you research the issue of historicity and genres of the Bible. You are reading the Bible as a literal piece of evidence and therein lies your misunderstanding. Reference the following explanation:


            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7y5lTBIGsU

            I don’t interpret the Koran for Muslims because, although I can certainly read it, I am not Muslim…I do not have the background necessary to interpret it in context. And if I can’t do that, then I can’t interpret it correctly. Your hostility to the religion means you insist that it must be interpreted in a way it wasn’t written. I’m sure you can see the problem therein.

            Until later.

          • Come on, Tisha, it was a very simple question. Please don’t evade answering.

            Would a person be justified, in your mind, to stand behind a microphone and quote these pro-abortion scripture passages to support their pro-choice stance? Would they be acting rationally, and should they be taken seriously?

          • @Tisha

            JZ said:

            “My question, however, was: would a person be justified, in your mind, to stand behind a microphone and quote these scriptures to support their pro-abortion stance? Would they be acting rationally, and should they be taken seriously?

            It’s an honest question, particularly considering your use of scripture to support your anti-homosexual stance? If anti-homosexual, then why not pro-abortion… especially because there are many, many more passages supporting abortion than those lambasting gays.”

            John has clear question Tisha. It would be good if you answered it, because if the question of abortion is so nuanced and unclear, even with passages that possess remarkable clarity, then necessarily the question of homosexuality must also be unclear.

            So without retreating into mysticism and unfathomable nuance why is one issue so amazing clear and the other needs so much interpretation to be ‘properly’ understood.

            Tisha said:

            To start answering your question, I suggest you research the issue [...]

            Err…no. The onus is on you to explain your position, because right now it looks like you’re using the ‘inscrutable bible’ as way to avoid answering questions and avoiding the idea that you’ve chosen the favourable bible bits that support the idea that discriminating against others is all happy fun time.

            I am not Muslim…I do not have the background necessary to interpret it in context. And if I can’t do that, then I can’t interpret it correctly.

            Another dodge. Funny how it become a problem of interpretation when it doesn’t agree with the views you hold. It must be nice to be on the inside circle with god, what else is he in favour of that you seem to have personal knowledge of?

            Your hostility to the religion means you insist that it must be interpreted in a way it wasn’t written.

            Wow, full marks for not answering the question. Illuminate us on how interpretation changes what this means:

            JZ: In Hosea 13:16 the Christian god is utterly diabolical as he dashes to “pieces” the infants of Samaria and orders “their pregnant women [to be] ripped open by swords.” This, self-evidently, describes mass abortions of such barbarity that it’s hard to even fathom.

            Interpret this for us and show us how your nuanced view of the bible can get around what the passages are saying. Don’t handwave it away, don’t put the burden of explanation on us, don’t say because we’re not believers it wouldn’t make sense.

            More importantly, show us how John’s quoted passages of the bible are any less correct that yours, and if so by what criteria are they not as correct as yours. This is your particular magic tomb of choice and it looks like, when analyzed, it is most definitely pro-abortion.

    • @Tisha

      “You’re entitled to have your opinion, no one should ever interfere with that, but don’t try and say it has any bearing on anyone else. It doesn’t”

      1. So, then, would you agree that the person who lives a homosexual lifestyle has the right to live that lifestyle, no one should ever interfere with that, but they shouldn’t say it has any bearing on anyone else (such as legally forcing others to recognize and serve that lifestyle), because it doesn’t?

      Well that is conflating the personal and political. Expressing opinions and being treated as full member of society are very different ideas and should not be correlated.

      Two consenting adults are making a decision to marry, what naughy-bits they have and if they match or don’t, isn’t particularly relevant.

      “Evidence has data”

      2. It would be nice if it was as simple as that. Yes, evidence has data, but data can, and is, manipulated (on both sides of this issue) to make it say what the interpreter of the data wants it to say.

      Critical thinking and evaluating evidence is hard. It is not a reason to dismiss it.

      So, I can provide you with the “data” you ask for,

      So do so. Show us the peer reviewed evidence that clearly and unambiguously shows that same sex marriages are corrosive to society. Perhaps start with Google Scholar? Or provide the citations you claim to have at hand, as the burden of proof lies on those who are making the positive claim.

      Take your time on this one.

      [3.] It is no secret that the issue of gay marriage is heavily politicized and carries with it legal ramifications. It is a very complex issue, involving issues such as the interpretation of right to free speech, right to freedom of religion, right to refuse service based on religious or philosophical beliefs. These issues are both legal and political….

      So, should people who happen to see a Jehovah’s Witness Doctor not allowed to get blood transfusions? Just curious now because once you let the magic into secular society it takes a good long time to banish it once again.

      Mixing belief with reality distorts professional judgment and ethics, therefore it should be avoided.

      4. How is homosexuality a “private” matter that “affects no one other than the individual couple” when certain segments of the society are compelled legally to serve homosexual “marriages”, despite their religious and/or philosophical beliefs? .

      Treating married consenting adults the same under the law shouldn’t be such a problem. Certain segments in secular society need to get over the fact that their unsubstantiated beliefs are meaningful only to themselves and not the rest of rational, secular society.

      5. [...]

      The analogy fails completely as the government is not a private institution nor are the services it provides to it citizens (under most circumstances) able to be revoked.

      Do you believe you should be legally forced, through your employment, [...]

      Yes. If those standards are being upheld in the rest of secular society and if your employer is the government, yes absolutely.

      7. Once I understand what your exposure and study of the Bible has been, I can better explain to you where your misunderstanding has occurred.

      I can already imagine the response – this is where you justify your particular cherry-picking of the bible and why it is better than JZ’s. That would fall into the realm of mere opinion. So, to avoid this conclusion please deal with the quoted material as is and explain how god isn’t saying what he’s saying and why.

  14. @ arbourist:

    “Well that is conflating the personal and political. Expressing opinions and being treated as full member of society are very different ideas and should not be correlated. ”

    For whatever it’s worth, I believe gays can be treated as full members of society within the same restrictions as I have. They can have the same access to legal, speech and religious rights. They can have the same right to vote for the candidate of their choice. They have the same right to pay taxes (gotta love that one!). They can have the same right to live safely and without fear of physical harm, up to and including death. They can have the same right to marry a person of the opposite sex. They can have the same right to divorce as I have, since, although I choose not to exercise it and don’t recommend it, it is still my right. They have the same right to pursue happiness in the manner of their choice with the same restriction of it not harming or infringing on the rights of others.

    “Two consenting adults are making a decision to marry, what naughy-bits they have and if they match or don’t, isn’t particularly relevant”

    Marriage is not a right. It is a privilege. A widely granted privilege to be sure, but not a right.

    “Critical thinking and evaluating evidence is hard. It is not a reason to dismiss it. ”

    You are twisting my words. I never said we shouldn’t do it and I never said I don’t use it as part of my decision making process. I said I don’t base the totality of my position on published studies and preferred not to reference them. I find them to be subject to interpretation bias and methodological flaws, turning it into a “It says this”, “No, it doesn’t”, “Well, it’s wrong because the sponsors of the study have a bias”, “Do not”, “Do, too” and it pretty much goes downhill from there.

    “So do so. Show us the peer reviewed evidence that clearly and unambiguously shows that same sex marriages are corrosive to society. Perhaps start with Google Scholar? Or provide the citations you claim to have at hand, as the burden of proof lies on those who are making the positive claim”

    Good grief! Can you explain why you feel I have a burden of proof to you? This is a discussion, not a graduate thesis in front of hostile professors who have the power of pass/fail over me or even a demand from the government that I say such and such a thing or my family will be slaughtered. I certainly don’t know you and you are not in a position of authority, religious or otherwise, over me, that I should feel compelled to either prove or retract. The worse that will happen is you will go on considering opponents of gay marriage wrong. Okay (shrug) so you think I’m wrong . So what? Further that, it is not my job to make you or anyone else convert to what I know as Truth. In my strong opinion, it is my Christian duty to proclaim to others the Truth I know, to extend the information necessary to walk with God and have eternal rest with Him. It is the responsibility of those who choose to listen to decide what path to take. I have done my part in a. making the information available to you b. answering questions in order to do my best to give full account of what and why I believe as I do and c. done my best to refrain from hostility, anger or insults as my God would have me do. That’s my part done. They, and you, will do as you do and I will go on as I am.

    “So, should people who happen to see a Jehovah’s Witness Doctor not allowed to get blood transfusions? Just curious now because once you let the magic into secular society it takes a good long time to banish it once again.”

    Are there no other doctors in the area to which the patient can get a blood transfusion? Are there no other doctors in the area to which the patient can switch? How far does the average resident of the area travel to receive specialized care and is it congruent with what the patient would have to travel? If the answer to these questions is no, then you have a legitimate case in which to ask for the doctor to be forced to perform a blood transfusion. Even then, you would have to prove it is necessary for continued life. You also can offer reasonable wage to a non-JW doctor to come to your area and set up practice. However, even should you be able to force a JW doctor to perform a blood transfusion, I fail to see how that impacts gay marriage. No one is going to die because they don’t have a legal marriage.

    “Certain segments in secular society need to get over the fact that their unsubstantiated beliefs are meaningful only to themselves and not the rest of rational, secular society. ”

    Totally your opinion. You can hold to it for as long as you choose.

    “The analogy fails completely as the government is not a private institution nor are the services it provides to it citizens (under most circumstances) able to be revoked. ”

    Are you referencing the entertainer analogy? It’s not clear to me.

    “Yes. If those standards are being upheld in the rest of secular society and if your employer is the government, yes absolutely”

    So, then, you believe that a private, NOT government-employed, Christian entertainer can decline business at a the “wedding” of a gay couple? If so, then I agree with you.

    “I can already imagine the response – this is where you justify your particular cherry-picking of the bible and why it is better than JZ’s. That would fall into the realm of mere opinion. So, to avoid this conclusion please deal with the quoted material as is and explain how god isn’t saying what he’s saying and why.”

    As explained prior, I have no obligation to communicate with you or any other person in the way you dictate or to your arbitrary satisfaction. As a person with strong religious convictions, I use the Bible as part of my understanding of His Word. John made a claim about His Word. We need to have a common vocabulary and understanding of textual interpretation in order to be able to discuss the same point. Otherwise, he is talking about apples and I’m talking about oranges and that is simply a waste of time. This is my position, which is my choice. Your choice is to like it or not like it.

    • @Tisha

      They have the same right to pursue happiness in the manner of their choice with the same restriction of it not harming or infringing on the rights of others.

      Oh I’m glad we agree on this part as it goes along with the piece that pharmacists and doctors must dispense contraception so as not to infringe on the rights of others despite what they believe. I’m glad we’re together on that point, because it often seems that the infringing is only a problem when it is perceived to be going against a particular group.

      Marriage is not a right. It is a privilege. A widely granted privilege to be sure, but not a right.

      Agreed, and in secular society that privilege requires two consenting adults.

      Good grief! Can you explain why you feel I have a burden of proof to you?

      When you make claims and expect them to be taken seriously, having evidence that the claim is not just opinion is a good thing.

      [...] They, and you, will do as you do and I will go on as I am.

      It’s okay to say that you don’t have any reasonable evidence for what you claim is true – it would have saved many keystrokes and much tortured rationlization.

      However, even should you be able to force a JW doctor to perform a blood transfusion, I fail to see how that impacts gay marriage.

      The analogy was to illustrate if you base your decision making process on goofy beliefs rather than the best available knowledge, you get terrible results with regards to a rational secular society. Because if we give *your* particular beliefs the power to trump evidence based decision making then it would be pretty much “anything goes”. Christian Science, voodoo, laying of hands, prayer healing – all that bunk would be acceptable practice despite the fact that its all bullcookies.

      “Anything goes” in terms of medicine and healthcare is not a outcome that will be good for anyone and therefore it must be based on reality, not mythology.

      • abrourist:

        “John has clear question Tisha”

        Relax, arbourist. I was not evading a question; I missed it as I was shuffling between writing plans, doing housework, feeding and cleaning up after my child and writing responses to both you and John. If you are going to be so impatient with my responses, then perhaps your questions would be better answered by someone who has the time to devote to re-reading responses. Answering your questions is important, but not more important than other people or responsibilities in my life. If you want respect, please give it. I won’t communicate with you without it.

        “why is one issue so amazing clear and the other needs so much interpretation to be ‘properly’ understood. ”

        For the same reason that there are genres in ALL of literature, as the Bible is. Additionally, why would you apply modern interpretation to a document written 2,000 through 6,000 years ago? The Bible is a teaching tool and, as such, imparts information (orally) in ways common to the times in which it was written. It was by no means unusual for people to teach through allegory. Reference the videos I supplied and Father Barron will walk you through the different genres, four senses of scripture and how to interpret the Bible from within the environment in which it was written.

        “The onus is on you to explain your position”
        Or what?

        “Another dodge”
        Lol, if you want to see it as a dodge, knock yourself out, arbourist. I’ve already explained why interpretation within the context and environment of Biblical times is necessary.

        “Illuminate us on how interpretation changes what this means:

        “JZ: In Hosea 13:16 the Christian god is utterly diabolical as he dashes to “pieces” the infants of Samaria and orders “their pregnant women [to be] ripped open by swords.” This, self-evidently, describes mass abortions of such barbarity that it’s hard to even fathom”

        Look, even in the bible the judge gave into the pain in the neck woman and ruled in her favor, so here you go: The book of Hosea is written as a metaphor to the annihilation of evil. God gives the command to all who follow Him to utterly destroy evil. Destroy it down to the ground and rip out the root so it cannot grow. Destroy what is precious to evil and make sure it cannot rise up again. If you rip the pregnant woman (the representation of evil and it’s exponential nature) open by swords, the evil and it’s progeny will be destroyed and have no way to reproduce. You have defeated evil and it will not return. Which is exactly what He has promised….that in following Him we will reach a place of peace, where evil cannot take root and will not threaten us again. Reference the above posted videos for more information on the historicity of the Bible and the style of writing that was common at the time of the writing of the books.

        “More importantly, show us how John’s quoted passages of the bible are any less correct that yours, and if so by what criteria are they not as correct as yours. This is your particular magic tomb of choice and it looks like, when analyzed, it is most definitely pro-abortion.”

        Look, this is not that hard. It seems clear to me that you are looking for an argument where there really isn’t one. It’s not about my interpretation being superior to John’s, it’s about the Bible was written IN the Church FOR the Church. You are, by your own admission, not only not a member of the Church, but you are hostile to it which makes you liable to bias and therefore not a good choice to get accurate information from. I AM a member of said Church and, while I certainly wouldn’t call myself an expert by any means, my information comes from studying with those who ARE in a position to accurately interpret the text of their organization.

        “the piece that pharmacists and doctors must dispense contraception so as not to infringe on the rights of others despite what they believe”

        What piece? Of what documentation? Are you referencing your local pharmacist or pharmaceutical law or provision under Obamacare? You seem to be rambling a bit and more specific details would help me understand what you’re getting at.

        As far as contraception goes, anyone can buy contraception in this country. It is a free choice. I choose not to. And?

        “Agreed, and in secular society that privilege requires two consenting adults”
        Technically, it can be more than two in some states. So, brother and sister can marry? Mother and son? Uncle and neice? There are limitations on who can marry whom. They are few because it is in society’s best interest to promote marriage as that is what produces offspring and offspring are what keeps a society running. And you should also be honest enough here to point out that “two consenting adults” has historically from the beginning of society meant two adults, free to chose, of opposite sex. There has never been a world-wide push for gay marriage prior to this, so even the term “consenting adults” was not coined with gays in mind. This is new ground.

        “When you make claims and expect them to be taken seriously, having evidence that the claim is not just opinion is a good thing. ”
        Or what? Why should I care if you take me seriously? What happens if you don’t take me seriously?

        ” It’s okay to say that you don’t have any reasonable evidence for what you claim is true – it would have saved many keystrokes and much tortured rationalization”

        Your conclusion is not logical. Just because I don’t bow to your hostile and disrespectful snap of the fingers doesn’t mean I don’t have the information or that the information isn’t readily available to you. You are going to have to do your own work because I choose not to spend my time helping you research the issue. You have not given me reason to feel generous toward you as well as you have given me solid reason to wish not to do your work for you.

        “The analogy was to illustrate if you base your decision making process on goofy beliefs rather than the best available knowledge, you get terrible results with regards to a rational secular society. ”

        I don’t accept your analogy because I don’t believe it is directly comparable to gay marriage. A doctor, regardless of religious preference, provides medical services to people who would die otherwise. Gay people who live in an area where no one will marry them won’t die….it’s not a matter of life and death. Remember, no one is saying they should be forced to live apart, even if you COULD die of a broken heart, as the more dramatic may assert. Additonally, the rights gays are seeking through marriage are available through legally recognized unions.

        • If I may jump in briefly. Tisha, picking on one while ignoring the others is being a little disingenuous. Hosea is indeed believed to be allegorical, but this does not alter the fact that the Middle Eastern god Christians worship uses abortion: ripping foetus’ from wombs, and causing them to shrivel. However, in 2 Kings 15:16 (an allegedly historical book) the same abortion method is used. And of course in Numbers, Moses, following orders from the same god, directly commands the killing of all pregnant women… which is clearly abortion for the foetus. Further still, Numbers 5:11-21 is a direct “How To” for abortion. It is a complete ritual, with prayer and potion that will cause an abortion. The simple fact is there are more passages promoting abortion than passages denouncing homosexuality.

          To your credit, you did say earlier that a person would not be acting rationally to use these scriptural passages to support their pro-choice position in the 21st Century. The point being, its not rational for anyone to use mythology to shape their positions on any 21st Century subject… for abortion or, as is the case here, how people treat others.

          • John:

            Look, this is a non-issue for me at this point. You know as well as I do that all of these issues are centuries old and have been refuted and explained over and over and over again. Nobody interprets literature, particularly ancient, religious or complex literature without a guide. The Bible is no different. Your desire to read the Bible, which you claim has no authority, to authoritatively state that Christians have to believe in abortion is a logic fail. It just doesn’t work.

            Besides that, the original post was about a. gay marriage and b. pro gay marriage supporters who are willing to do anything, up to and including harm to an entire group of people, including children, in order to silence their opposition. The abortion issue is a tangential and unnecessary.

          • Yes, it was about gays. It was about intolerance which was being justified by scripture. i demonstrated to you that it was not rational to use scripture in the 21st Century. You agreed. I jumped in here because you dismissed Hosea, a dismissal i don’t accept BTW, while very conveniently ignoring the other passages, which were allegedly “historical.” You do believe Moses was a real person, don’t you?

            Do remember, i showed you an actual religious abortion ritual, complete with prayers and abortion poison, which you did not address.

          • John:
            “Yes, it was about gays. It was about intolerance which was being justified by scripture.”

            The abortion issue is an attempt to derail by saying that this is your “proof” that the Scriptures aren’t reliable. Which is ironic, since you are using them to make your point, not to mention that your are reading a document written IN the Church For the Church that you don’t belong to. The fact is, John, that you cannot read the Bible outside of Church, just like you cannot read a letter from a father to his child without being sure of what is understood between the pair outside the writing of that letter. Nevertheless, this appears to be a real sticking point for you. If AskMe can put aside other issues to engage with Pink as she is, I can engage with you on this, I guess.

            Reference this commentary on the chapter of Numbers, taken from http://www.easyenglish.info/bible-commentary/numbers-1-10-lbw.htm

            “Husbands who suspect that their wives have been *unfaithful – Numbers 5:11-31

            v11 Then the *LORD said to Moses, v12-14 ‘Speak to the *Israelites. Tell them to follow these instructions if a husband suspects his wife. Perhaps she has been *unfaithful to him, or perhaps she has not been *unfaithful. Perhaps she has had sex with another man. But her husband cannot be certain. He does not have any evidence.

            v15 The husband must take his wife to the priest. He must bring one *kilogram of barley flour with him. (Barley was a type of cheap grain – see note below). This is an *offering to discover if his wife is guilty. He must not put oil or *incense on the *offering. v16 The priest must make the woman stand in front of the *altar. v17 He must pour some holy water into a bowl. He must take some dust from the floor of *God’s Tent. He must put this dust into the bowl with the water. This makes the water become bitter.

            v18 Then the priest must untie the woman’s hair. He must put into her hands the *offering of flour. The priest must hold the bowl that contains the bitter water. The bitter water brings a *curse. v19 Then the priest must make the woman agree to the special promise that he speaks. He must say, “This water brings a *curse. If you have not been *unfaithful, it will not hurt you. v20 But if you have been *unfaithful, v21-22 it will bring the *LORD’s *curse on you. You will not be able to have babies that live. Your people will *curse you.” The woman must reply, “I agree. Let this happen.”

            v23 The priest must write this *curse on special paper. Then he must wash off the words into the bitter water. v24 He must make the woman drink the bitter water. This water that brings a *curse will enter her body. It may cause her to suffer. v25 But first, the priest must take the *offering of flour from her hands. He must lift it up in front of the *LORD. Then he must put it on the *altar. v26 He must burn a part of it as a *sacrifice. After that, the woman must drink the bitter water.

            v27 If the woman has been *unfaithful, the water will cause her to suffer. She will not be able to have babies. People will *curse her. v28 However, if she is innocent, the water will not hurt her. She will be able to have babies.

            v29-30 When a husband suspects his wife, you must do this. This is the law. The priest must make the woman stand in front of my *altar. He must follow these instructions. v31 If the woman is innocent, you must not punish her husband. But if the woman is guilty, you must punish her.’

            Verses 11-14 Families were very important to the *Israelites. They kept records of their *ancestors. If a man’s wife had sex with another man, this was a serious crime. Her husband could not be certain that he was the father of her children. God’s *Law warns husbands and wives that they must never be *unfaithful to each other (Exodus 20:14).

            The punishment for this crime was death. But there had to be evidence. The husband had to prove that his wife was guilty. If the husband had no evidence, he could follow the instructions in this passage. And then God would act as the judge.

            It is likely that many innocent women carried out this *ritual. Because they were innocent, they would not be afraid to follow the *ritual. God would protect them. But if a woman was guilty, she would be very afraid of God’s judgement. So probably she would tell her husband that she was guilty first. And she would hope that he would forgive her. Or she might run away.

            However, if a woman was not guilty of *adultery, this *ritual proved this fact to her husband and everyone else. Her husband would not be able to punish her. He had to take her back to live with him as his wife again. So, this *ritual provided God’s protection for innocent women.

            The passage includes many details about this ancient *ritual. It records the words that the people had to say. The husband and wife went to the priest with an *offering. Barley was a type of cheap grain. The man did not add oil or *incense to the *offering. So it was like a poor man’s *offering, for when someone was *unclean (Leviticus 5:11-13).

            ‘Holy water’ (verse 17) was water that the priests kept in *God’s Tent. The priest mixed it with dust. Also, he mixed it with the ink that he had used to write the *curses. This was not magic. The water and the dust were *symbols. Perhaps the dust reminded people that the *unclean snake ate dust (Genesis 3:14). Perhaps it reminded them also that God had made people from dust (Genesis 2:7). However, we cannot be certain, because the passage does not explain the meaning.

            ‘Then the priest must untie the woman’s hair’ (verse 18). This showed that the woman was *unclean. People who had diseases of the skin had to untie their hair.

            ‘The bitter water brings a *curse’ (verse 18). The water was not just bitter because it tasted bad. It was bitter because it could cause bad things to happen. If the woman was guilty, she would not be able have babies. In the *Israelites’ society, this was a bad thing to happen to a woman. A woman who was not able to have babies felt very sad.

            But if the woman were not guilty, the water would not hurt her. It proved that she was innocent.

            This passage reminds us that *adultery is a serious *sin. God does not want husbands or wives to be *unfaithful. *Adultery hurts people and destroys families. But also we need to remember that God forgives *sins if people are sorry. Jesus forgave a woman who had been *unfaithful (John 8:2-11). He did not punish her. However, he told her that she must not *sin again.

            Also, Paul warned people that they must not continue to *sin in this way. If they did continue, they could not belong to the *church (1 Corinthians 5:11-13).

            God’s people must not be *unfaithful to their husbands or wives. Also, it is bad for a husband to suspect his wife without evidence. It can destroy his love for her. It can destroy her love for him. Husbands must be able to trust their wives. Wives must be able to trust their husbands.

            By means of this *ritual, God showed everyone whether a woman was guilty or innocent. ”

            As is stated in the Bible, this was a test for unfaithful wives, not an abortion ritual. The ingredients mentioned and the method used would make a possibly unpleasant drink, but are not known abortifacients. This test was in place to keep women safe from false accusations of adultery; made by those who would wish her harm.

            The book of Numbers is written as part of a set of laws given to the Israelites to keep them in God’s Word, which was their safety in this very early time in their relationship with Him. The laws were designed to keep the people from falling into chaos and perpetrating harm on each other. To represent this protection as an abortion ritual is a pretty long stretch.

            “i demonstrated to you that it was not rational to use scripture in the 21st Century. You agreed”
            If I recall correctly, what I said was you cannot use 21st century understanding/values to critique a 2000-6000 year old piece of literature.

            “which were allegedly “historical.”
            Had you viewed the videos for which I provided links, you would have known that the Bible is a description of the relationship between God and His people…first, the Jews and, later, all mankind (Gentiles). It is not a history book and it was never intended to be used as such. If my cook book contains a passage on the history of baking at the time of the French Revolution, I’m not going to list it as a reference in my term paper even if it touches on some of the major events. Because that’s not the purpose of the book. Some books of the Bible touch on historical events, but still not in the way we think of “historical” in the 21st century.

          • “But if the woman were not guilty, the water would not hurt her. It proved that she was innocent.”

            Ah, so you saying the *poison* used in the *abortion ritual* won’t actually result in an abortion if the woman was true. You’re saying “magic” will stop the foetus-destroying poison. I see…. So, abortion is fine if the woman had been unfaithful then? Interesting perspective… Would you consume it?

            Honestly, would you?

            Now, Numbers 31:17 is not a Law. Moses commands “Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every women that hath known man by lying with him.” In other words, kill all women that are or could be pregnant, which is plainly abortion for the foetus.

            Abortion.

            In 2 Kings 15:16 the Christian god again orders pregnant women to be “ripped open,” which is both abortion and homicide on a mass scale. “At that time Menahem destroyed the town of Tappuah and all the surrounding countryside as far as Tirzah, because its citizens refused to surrender. He killed the entire population and ripped open the pregnant women.”

            Abortion.

            Not sure if i follow you last bit. Are you admitting Moses wasn’t a historical character?

            Also, you never did say if you’d happily hand your child over to Gary North. Would you, yes or no?

          • “But if the woman were not guilty, the water would not hurt her. It proved that she was innocent.”

            Ah, so you saying the *poison* used in the *abortion ritual* won’t actually result in an abortion if the woman was true. You’re saying “magic” will stop the foetus-destroying poison. I see…. So, abortion is fine if the woman had been unfaithful then? Interesting perspective… Would you consume it?

            No, I’m saying that this was a ritual that was used to determine if a woman was guilty of infidelity in the absence of a confession or being caught in the act. It was a very serious crime punishable by death. To even be accused was to risk death. But in that culture, as in this, evidence beyond a reasonable doubt must be brought forward before the death penalty can be applied. Because the death of anyone (man, woman, child out of the womb or child within the womb) is precious, women must have a way to defend themselves against malicious accusations of infidelity since it’s a great way to hurt or get rid of an enemy. This was a ritual used to prevent the abuse or death of a woman falsely accused or accused without evidence.

            The ingredients in this ritual were not abortifacients. Women, and plenty of men, know what abortifacients are. This was a public way for a man to express suspicion of his wife and a public way for that wife to keep status quo until/unless proper, legally admissible evidence was presented.”

            “Honestly, would you?”

            Yes, of course I would, particularly if I were not guilty and had children who needed me in a culture with no social net. If I were guilty, the evidence would come out eventually and I would need time to make arrangements to make sure my children were as well cared for as I could. What’s your criticism of that?

            “ripped open the pregnant women”

            This is an example of hyperbole that was used to reference the ferocity with which the Israelite armies were to approach their enemy, not as a literal reference to committing forced abortion.

            “Not sure if i follow you last bit. Are you admitting Moses wasn’t a historical character?”

            Reference this article that gives good insight into the issue of both Moses specifically and to the idea of “historical fact” in general.

            http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/moses-exodus.html

            “Also, you never did say if you’d happily hand your child over to Gary North. Would you, yes or no? ”

            Yes, I did. I addressed this in a previous post.

        • @Tisha

          it’s about the Bible was written IN the Church FOR the Church.

          You see right that is crux of the matter right there. If it stayed in church and then only in church it was discussed, that would be great. I’m all for that. The problem is said beliefs ooze out into the rest of society and then, in that larger context, the expectation is for society to somehow take them seriously.

          So no, you don’t get to use the argument they are “in the church and for the church”

          but you are hostile to it which makes you liable to bias and therefore not a good choice to get accurate information from.

          So tell me then, how do you avoid bias when you stick to sources that are all saying the same thing?

          “Agreed, and in secular society that privilege requires two consenting adults”
          Technically, it can be more than two in some states. So, brother and sister can marry? Mother and son? Uncle and neice?

          You forgot marriage between man and a goat, that is how that particular, fallacious, slippery slope argument goes.

          There are limitations on who can marry whom.

          Yes, and we’re talking about your opposition to same sex marriage, that so far has been argued without a basis in empirical reality.

          And you should also be honest enough here to point out that “two consenting adults” has historically from the beginning of society meant two adults, free to chose, of opposite sex.

          We, in society, periodically redefine terms when they become obsolete. For instance, we now consider women to be people now instead of property, also we consider black people to also have human status. So, historically speaking, you don’t have a point here.

          There has never been a world-wide push for gay marriage prior to this,

          How could there have been when societies were dominated by people who thought (think) it is okay to oppress homosexuals because of what is written in their magic book? Thankfully that time has passed (is passing), and we can continue with the secular evolution of our society.

          so even the term “consenting adults” was not coined with gays in mind.

          The term “human being” is now associated with women and people of colour, so “consenting adults” is now being associated with all adult human beings, regardless of their sexual orientation.

          Your conclusion is not logical. Just because I don’t bow to your hostile and disrespectful snap of the fingers doesn’t mean I don’t have the information or that the information isn’t readily available to you.

          Actually it is precisely logical. People who put forth a positive claim are expected to provide evidence for that claim. Evidence that is apparent and can be checked by the other party to ensure its veracity. Claims without evidence can safely be dismissed.

          You are going to have to do your own work because I choose not to spend my time helping you research the issue.

          It is not my responsibility to prove your points.

          You have not given me reason to feel generous toward you as well as you have given me solid reason to wish not to do your work for you.

          I do not require your generosity. I require a cogent argument that has more weight that “because I said so” behind it.

          A doctor, regardless of religious preference, provides medical services to people who would die otherwise.

          Including abortion and contraception I’m sure.

          Remember, no one is saying they should be forced to live apart,

          No they are just saying,”because my magic book says important stuff you two adults can’t get married”. That is what is being said.

          Additonally, the rights gays are seeking through marriage are available through legally recognized unions.

          Not quite the same though, almost like one has stigma attached to it and it would be something you could use to discriminate against people with civil unions. Not a good solution. Better solution, treat them like people and let them marry.

    • @Tisha and Thread.

      As a person with strong religious convictions, I use the Bible as part of my understanding of His Word.

      As a person with strong humanitarian convictions I use rationality and surprisingly, Dan Savage, to round out this fine discussion.

      Ta ta folks. :)

  15. @john:

    no reply button under your response, so it’s back to scrolling.

    “Come on, Tisha, it was a very simple question. Please don’t evade answering.”
    Oh, please John, you know as well as I do that I’m not evading the question. And you know that you have evaded many questions I’ve asked as evidenced by the number of times I’ve had to repeat myself and my current method of numbering/lettering my questions to you. Calm down a little.

    “Would a person be justified, in your mind, to stand behind a microphone and quote these pro-abortion scripture passages to support their pro-choice stance? Would they be acting rationally, and should they be taken seriously?”

    No. No. No.

    • Thanks Tisha. The Reply option is actually the last one you see on the thread. It’ll automatically log your response in the appropriate place.

      If I didn’t answer any questions it was simply because I didn’t see them as questions. Sorry, I’d certainly not shy away from answering anything.

      You say: No. No. No.

      So, this is No, they wouldn’t be justified; No, it wouldn’t be rational; and No, they shouldn’t be taken seriously.

      Thanks for your honesty. There’s really nothing else to say, except for perhaps a quite hope that you’ll meditate on your answer here, and one day, perhaps, apply it to the way you interact with society.

      Take care.
      J

      • “”The Reply option is actually the last one you see on the thread. It’ll automatically log your response in the appropriate place”

        Thanks, that’s helpful, I didn’t realize that.

        “If I didn’t answer any questions it was simply because I didn’t see them as questions. Sorry, I’d certainly not shy away from answering anything. ”

        No problem, ditto to what you said above.

        “So, this is No, they wouldn’t be justified; No, it wouldn’t be rational; and No, they shouldn’t be taken seriously. ”

        Correct

        “Thanks for your honesty.”

        Your welcome; your honesty was refreshing, as well.

        “There’s really nothing else to say, except for perhaps a quite hope that you’ll meditate on your answer here, and one day, perhaps, apply it to the way you interact with society. ”

        Agreed. I have a quiet hope for you, too. Whether or not we agree on the issues above, I think we both know it can be a harsh world out there in bunches of ways…take care of yourself. :)

  16. Pingback: What did the Christian and the Gay say? Part 1 | asktheBigot

  17. I suppose that on a politicized and current subject, we are dealing with the totalitarian Left that demonizes any dissent it can’t squash. Homosexual people are one subject; marriage is another. Honest folk deal with them separately; the totalitarians, don’t. Thus we know them for what they are …

    • @Jack Curtis

      Wow, way to say nothing. Thank you for not adding anything important to the conversation, but dropping your very important opinions not unlike bear-scat, into the thread.

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