Sunday, May 18, 2008

Homosexual Marriage

Grandpa took me to the monthly town hall meeting one evening. He usually just sat there quietly as he listened to others rant and rave about a particular peeve they had with certain departments of government. Nevertheless, this night he had something to say and at the end when time was about up he stood up sought permission to speak. Given permission this is what he spoke of,

“California has just joined those states in declaring it unconstitutional to prohibit homosexuals from marrying. But, have they really? There was no law that I know of that prevented a homosexual from marrying. In fact, as far as I knew the laws were gender based not sexually based. In fact, there are many cases where it was reported that a homosexual was married and the father or mother of children. Therefore, the reasoning for it can’t be based on the fact that it was against the law for a homosexual to marry.

Equality? If everyone has the equal opportunity to marry and that includes homosexuals, then where is inequality at, even at the class level? What the Supreme Court has done is make marriage a sexually based relationship rather than a gender based one as accepted on a universal basis. Equality is sexually based now rather than gender based in regards to this issue. Sodomy has been given the status of equality with sexual intercourse.

Some will argue that there are benefits to marriage that homosexuals cannot take advantage of without the right to marry. This is a poor argument also. First, no person who is not married can take advantage of those benefits including heterosexuals either. Second, most of those benefits they are claiming to seek can be designated. There is no law that declares only the spouse enjoys any of those benefits and that includes any decision-making necessary by another person.

As for those laws that do specifically designate the spouse as beneficiary, I have only one thing to say about them, change those laws. There is no need to change the laws of marriage for them. By changing those laws instead of the laws of marriage, all the people benefit not just the few. By changing the laws of marriage, you have created a sense of inequality by allowing the homosexual to participate in society in the capacity of two worlds, the heterosexual world and the homosexual world.

Upon marriage two persons accept the responsibility of two new roles in life, that of husband and wife. Furthermore, it is of marriage that gives meaning and purpose to these new roles. Without marriage these roles are non-existent and without meaning or purpose to any person.

The word spouse is often used as a substitute for the words husband or wife but should only be understood in terms that the person in question took the vows of marriage. It should never be used as an identifying term of the role. The word spouse is closely linked to the words bride and groom not to husband and wife.

Giving homosexuals the right to marry based of preference of sex destroys the total meaning and purpose of marriage. It no longer values the intricacies of the relationship that is involved. A two-man or two-woman relationship is an entirely different type of relationship than a relationship involving a man and woman.

Family is the recognized foundation of any society. Dilute the meaning of family and you weaken the foundation. Marriage is an integral part of the meaning of family. Over the years and within my own lifetime I have seen the meaning of family practically dissolved of its meaning and intent. In addition, with this dissolution I have seen another phenomena, greater dependence on government to provide for the needs of the family.

In closing, I do not ask you all here tonight to judge whether it is wrong or right. I only ask that you think on it as you go home and look at your families and then determine just how important that family is to you”

With this he looked down to me and said “Let’s go home, boy. Your grandmother awaits our return”

71 comments:

The Griper said...

Anonymous,
apparently you can't read. it very clearly declares that anonymous comments would not be published.

Fallen' Angel said...

Your Grandpappy is one heck of a smart man...and I believe that is the finest gift of your inheritance. Being raised by parents born in the late 1920's, I see the family of today, many of them, as unrecognizable in their dynamics. While I do not mean to imply that same sex marriage is to blame, I see it as yet another crack in the foundation of it's values. And as we all know, foundation repair is not an uncomplicated, inexpensive venture.

The Griper said...

same sex marriage only widens the cracks of the foundation. the cracks were already there. the crack began when feelings overrode vows taken

Lista said...

You're Grandpa is right, Griper, that this issue is not about rights. It never has been. It is about receiving a stamp of approval on their distorted and unnatural behavior.

Isn't it already possible to write up a will that states anything at all that we want it to? And isn't it already possible to write up a contract between any two people that states anything at all that the parties involved what it to? So where is the mistreatment?

"Over the years and within my own lifetime, I have seen the meaning of family practically dissolved of its meaning and intent. In addition, with this dissolution, I have seen another phenomena; greater dependence on government to provide for the needs of the family."

That's an interesting statement and what's scary is that the acceptance of Homosexuality has been associated with the down fall of governments. Consider, for example, the fall of the Roman Empire.

Actually, Griper, there was something that started the cracks even before "feelings overrode vows taken". Here is a verse that describes the downward trend. It actually starts with the suppression of truth, followed by failure to recognize and give the proper glory and credit to God and after that the rest is history.

“18) The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19) since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20) For since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. 21) For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22) Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23) and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. 24) Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25) They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen. 26) Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27) In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. 28) Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29) They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30) slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil. They disobey their parents. 31) They are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32) Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” (Romans 1:18-32, NIV)

BB-Idaho said...

Pretty much agree; not sure where
'civil unions' fit into the legal scheme of things. In considering society's view of family, as well as government aid, ran across this in LA times 2001:
"According to law enforcement officials and others familiar with how plural marriage operates, the problems usually associated with polygamy include:

High levels of incest, child abuse and wife battering. But the crimes are rarely reported because of the secrecy surrounding polygamous communities, law enforcement officials say.

Widespread reliance on welfare. In the tiny town of Hildale, for example, along the Utah-Arizona border, as many as 50% of the residents are on public assistance, according to state and federal records. The fraud occurs when plural wives claim they don't know the whereabouts of their children's father."
..I guess this would fall into the 'gender' area, perhaps with
a 'multiple' thrown in. Since this is sanctioned by their religion, 1st Amendment applies, sort of the opposite of the case of homosexuals. Polygamy & homosexuality have both been around a long time and various cultures deal with them differently. I won't even go into the obvious conundrum of one husband married to 8 other husbands...:)

tweetey30 said...

Wow. Great man Griper. But I wish life was that simple for me since my MIL is in that category of woman living with woman... yes my MIL is gay. Its so hard to explain to the girls why grandma prefers girls over boys. Esp our oldest. She questions lots of stuff and if she doesnt like the answer she keeps pushing for the right one.

I know quite a few gay people and its not right but hey we cant stop them from being the way they are. Sure we can take things from them like not letting them get married and taking away the right of medical care choices by there partners and such. Its not an easy choice to be the way they are.

The Griper said...

lista,
yes you can sit down, write out your wishes for preferences in regards to any situation, get it notorized and it is a legal document that the government is bound to abide by. this does not mean it can't be challenged in court and many are but if done properly it will hold up.

and in this sue happy world every man and woman should do exactly that including married persons. it leaves nothing to assumptions then where a person's care and desires are the concern.

bb and lista,
this is just another case of judicial activeism as far as i'm concerned. it is a case of creating equality where equality never existed before. and the Constitution does not allow for that.

it is also a case that exemplifies the application of one of the two theories of interpretations of the Constitution, the theory that it is a living document.

The Griper said...

tweety,

people have accused me many times of have a cold heart in respect to some of my stances. but if we are to live by principles there are times when the head must rule the heart, in my opinion. and this is one of those times.

remember this, you cannot take something away from a person they never had in the first place. homosexuals never had the right to marry anywhere as far as my research has taken me. it has only recently been given to them.

as for the kids and mil just remember also that there are some things words cannot explain and that in time they each will understand.

in a way your mil is a blessing too for the kids will grow up with a greater tolerence of homosexuality than most kids. and that is what is needed. all you need to do now is to remind them of the love she has for them and the love they have for her.

last thing is to remember you are not alone in a situation like this. in fact this would be grounds to celebrate the fact you live in a country such as ours. remember if you were a citizen of a middle eastern country this would be grounds for an honor killing.

Karen said...

EXCELLENT, Griper! Very well put reasoning.

Karen said...

EXCELLENT, Griper! Very well put reasoning.

Gayle said...

Good morning, Griper.

I read all the comments and yes... in a mid-eastern country homosexuals are often murdered in cold blood. Their tolerance level over there is extremely low!

I don't understand why four judges overruled the will of the people of California and made homosexual marriages legal. That is clearly telling the majority of the people that they have no voice! Doesn't that fall under the catagory of tyranny?

repsac3 said...

I s'pose I don't need to say I disagree with ya here...

Marriage shouldn't be bound by law at all, but by the church. (It is a sacrament, after all.) I'd much rather see civil unions (any legally-based union between two people including--but not limited to--the sacrament of marriage) governed by state/federal law, and marriage itself governed by the church one attends.

I'd like to see the word "marriage" replaced by "civil union" in all federal/state law, giving every two folks who're united either by the church or by a judge the same rights and responsibilities. That allows the church to maintain the sacrament, and the government to maintain law, which is as it should be, in my opinion...

With divorce so common and families disintegrating, I don't agree that any union between two consenting adults ought to be discouraged by law, particularly since I believe that a two parent household--even a homosexual one--is more beneficial than a single parent one. While it's good to want to encourage the "best" situations for children via law, we ought to be consistent and base our decisions on what other situations encourage &/or outlaw based on the rest of that same scale. If one cannot have a traditional family situation, what's the second best situation for raising children? What's the third? Is a two parent household lead by homosexuals really less beneficial than a single parent household? And if (as I suspect) it is better for children to have two parents--even if they are two gay parents--why are we as a society not doing more to discourage divorce via law, rather than gay marriage?

Makes me wonder...

DD2 aka Debonair Dude said...

Brook Benton and Dinah Washington, now thats what I call music

And you can add Billy Eckstein and Sarah Vaughn to that list, throw in Billy Holiday and we have it made!

The Griper said...

gayle,

"I don't understand why four judges overruled the will of the people of California and made homosexual marriages legal. That is clearly telling the majority of the people that they have no voice! Doesn't that fall under the catagory of tyranny?"

this assumes that the people cannot pass laws which are unconstitutional and that is false. we are a nation bound by a Constitution not the will of the people. if we were a nation bound by the will of the people there would be no need for a Constitution.

Repsac,
"I s'pose I don't need to say I disagree with ya here..."

i see nothing in your rebuttal that would indicate disagreement with my post. if there be one it is so subtle i can't see it. as i read you it indicates greater agreement with me than anything.

The Griper said...

dd,
take a gander at my other site also. you'll find the addy on my "Personal links" called "music of my youth" or just paste this addy in,
http://music-of-my-youth.blogspot.com/

Lista said...

Rapsac3,
I don't think that a two person house hold is necessarily preferable to a single parent one. What children need is good role models; heterosexual ones.

Why? Because if a person/child is capable of choosing heterosexuality, it is by far the better choice. HIV is really prevalent among Homosexuals and the average life span is actually quite a bit lower than the rest of the population.

Griper,
I don't think that the Constitution says anything specific about Homosexual marriage. The issue is the definition of marriage, not anything clear in the Constitution. The will of the people should be heard in this matter.

If you agree with Repsac, I better reread your post.

The Griper said...

lista,
it is not my post you need to reread, it is repsac's rebuttal and my comment to him that you need to reread. i never said anything about agreeing with him. i commented that his rebuttal was more in agreement with me.

if you look at his rebuttal he went off on another tangent by declaring he advocated a separation of unions. one state and one church.

my post says nothing about civil unions. my post was strictly of marriage and how it would be effected and the consequences that results.

Layla said...

Great music. Now I agree with your grandfather.


There is nothing sacred or holy about this-it is demonic. Pervert the Word of G-d to live a disgustingly anti-Bible - anti-G-d lifestyle.

Pathetic.

tweetey30 said...

Griper thanks. Yes they will have more tolerance and I am glad of that. You are right about the honor killings though too so yes I am very happy to be in a country where we dont have to worry about that.

Lista said...

I want to be more involved in this conversation than I am, but it appears that at the moment, I am involved in too many conversations on too many blogs as so often seems to happen. Oh well.

The Griper said...

lista,
don't fret. the post will always be here to comment on.

Lista said...

Well, I said that I wanted to "be more involved in this conversation" on Thursday, the 22nd, 5 days ago, and here I finally am. I hope there are at least a few people still connected to this page who will hear what I have to say.

As I read through this post again, I'm not sure that I agree with the idea of changing the laws about the spouse being a beneficiary. Why would we want to do that? It's not necessary. If homosexuals want to add this to their contract, all they have to do is write up a will, but why take away something that's already established for married couples?

I guess medical care and insurance issues are interesting, for a married person can insure their spouse through their insurance at work.

I guess the tolerance idea is at least one of the issues that I wanted to come back to this page and talk about. I don't like the term "tolerance" because it implies that we agree that homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle, yet God does not approve of it. I'm not saying that homosexuals should be killed as is done in mid-eastern countries, yet neither should we kill those who commit adultery, though most would agree that adultery is sin. Homosexuality is no longer considered a sin in our society and this is where Christians disagree with the norm.

Aside from the scripture that I quoted in an earlier comment above, Romans 1:18-32, here are a few more…

"Do not lie with a man, as one lies with a woman. That is detestable." Leviticus 18:22 (NIV) "If a man lies with a man, as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable." Leviticus 20:13 (NIV) and "9) Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders, 10) nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NIV)

In Revelations, the prophet, John, is told "18) To the angel of the church in Thyatira write; 'These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. 19) I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. 20) Nevertheless, I have this against you; You TOLERATE that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. 21) I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling." (Revelation 2:18-21)

Interestingly, the word “Tolerate” is used to describe something that the Lord does not approve of us doing in some cases. The actual Greek word that this is translated from is "eao", which means to permit or leave alone.

The key concept that needs to be understood when it comes to love is that we are to love the sinner, but not the sin. The "Tolerance" idea calls us to love the sin and that is something that God has never asked us to do.

Ok; Now it's time to take another look at Repsac3's comment. You guys appear to be in agreement about marriage not being bound by law. There is one benefit, though, that I don't think should be messed with and that is the benefits that employers give to their employee's spouses. There are also laws that relate to divorce and this can be a whether complicated legal matter in which the presence of a few laws can be quite helpful. I don't know that every married couple should have the additional legal burden placed on them of hiring a lawyer to write up a contract because of the absence of marriage laws. Currently, anyone has the right to write up such a contract, yet if there were no marriage laws, this would no longer be just a right, but a necessity and as I think this through, I realize that I don't agree that such should be imposed on married couples.

Removing laws from marriage is in a sense taking away something from married people, whether than giving something to Homosexuals. Just as I have already stated in my previous comment, Homosexuality is less healthy because of HIV and the statistics indicating that they have a shorter average life span. Why, therefore, should we take something away from those who are living according to the more healthy and natural of the two life styles? That doesn't make sense.

If you had any disagreement with Repsac3, Griper, you did not express it, but I very much disagree with him, just as I have expressed in my previous comment and now this one.

I very much do agree with Gayle, though, about the will of the people being heard on this matter.

It's too bad that I was so late in getting around to posting this comment. I'm bothered that there may be fewer people listening because of the delay and this is an issue that does matter to me. Oh well.

repsac3 said...

No worries, Lista... Most of us are still here.

Speaking for myself, I'd prefer we not base laws on religious conviction alone. "Sin" and "illegal" is not the same thing, nor should they necessarily be. While murder is both, I wouldn't want there to be legal consequences for not honoring one's parents, or misusing the name of God, for instance. The sacred is the sacred, and that's fine. But the sacred should not bind the secular to its will.

In the same way, I do not wish to see "separate but equal" govern the legal union of two people. Yes, there are other ways to get most of the benefits of a union, and yes, anyone can write anyone else into a will. But when two people in love come before the state (or any agent of the state, which in this case includes religious celebrants) to unite themselves to one another legally, they should receive the same benefits as everyone else who does so, on that basis alone.

Marriage is a religious sacrament. To the extent that there is any question about what constitutes a marriage, one should look to his/her faith to answer it.

But as a legal matter, the religious definition and specific rites of marriage need hold no sway, though I'm fine with recognizing a religiously based union as one way of entering into a legal union. But just as I wouldn't want to enact a law stating that one can only be legally united in a place of worship, I would prefer that religious conviction not be the be the final arbiter of who may & may not enter a legally recognized union, with all of the benefits & responsibilities that entails.

I can appreciate your not wanting to tolerate anything your faith teaches is a sin. But we in America do not all share your faith, and American law should not be based on your faith, either. While I was a big fan of "blue laws," and--being in retail-- miss having that time set aside for my faith & my family, much of America rejected having laws requiring us all to keep the catholic Sabbath. Still, I'm sure many Catholics still honor it, and refrain from frequenting those businesses and institutions that choose to break God's law... ...on the Sabbath, at least. While it may be a sin to conduct business on a Sunday, laws forbidding it are all but gone and, while we don't have to like it (& can each make the choice as to whether to commit a sin by working / shopping on the Sabbath) we do have to accept that not everyone in America chooses to keep the Sabbath, and it's very unlikely that those laws enforcing it are ever coming back.

Biblical references are always tricky. Going back to the last few paragraphs, it appears that we retail folks would be in real trouble should too many Americans follow the bible too closely (Exodus 35:2) While it's likely you may've already seen it, I include the mythical Letter to Dr. Laura (or "even though touching the skin of a dead pig is unclean, (Lev 11:6-8) may I still play football if I wear gloves?") in reply.

I disagree that tolerance calls on one to love the sin. It merely asks one to recognize that not everyone shares your faith, or it's particular view of what is/isn't sinful. You may certainly still disapprove of the sinful behavior...

To be clear... I am not saying that there should be no law regarding legal unions. In fact, I believe there should be. I would just prefer to see the word "marriage" replaced by "civil union" in every law currently on the books, and view the religious sacrament of marriage as but one path to a civil union.

That keeps the sacred institution of marriage safe from defilement by the state, and allows those who are not united by a priest in a church to obtain all of the benefits & responsibilities that come with that legal, moral, and emotional commitment.

Finally, the will of the people argument. For that, I turn to Glen Greenwald:

California's marriage ruling -- what it means and what it doesn't mean - Glenn Greenwald - Salon.com: "Equally misinformed will be anyone arguing that this is some sort of an example of judges 'overriding' the democratic will of the people. The people of California, through their representatives in the State legislature, twice approved a bill to provide for the inclusion of same-sex couples in their 'marriage' laws, but both times, the bill was vetoed by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who said when he vetoed it that he believed 'it is up to the state Supreme Court' to decide the issue.

Polls have found substantial support for gay marriage in California, with dramatic trends toward favoring gay marriage. While there was a referendum passed in 2000 limiting marriage only to opposite-sex couples, five years later (in 2005), California's state legislature became the first in the country to enact a same-sex marriage law without a court order compelling them to do so. Thus, even leaving aside constitutional guarantees (which, in a constitutional republic, trump public opinion), today's ruling is consistent with that state's democratic processes and public opinion, not a subversion of it."

I tried to highlight the line that does it for me in the paragraph above, but here it is again, just in case: "constitutional guarantees trump public opinion in a constitutional republic. "

Glenn addressed it again in more detail a week later:

The California marriage decision and basic civics - Glenn Greenwald - Salon.com: "That a law invalidated by a court is supported by a large majority is not an argument supporting the conclusion that the court's decision was wrong. Central to our system of government is the premise that there are laws that even the largest majorities are prohibited from enacting because such laws violate the constitutional rights of minorities. Thus, the percentage of people who support the law in question, and how lengthy and painstaking the process was that led to the law's enactment, is totally irrelevant in assessing the propriety of a court decision striking down that law on constitutional grounds."

"...a court striking down a law supported by large majorities is not antithetical to our system of government. Such a judicial act is central to our system of government. That's because, strictly speaking, the U.S. is not a "democracy" as much as it a "constitutional republic," precisely because constitutional guarantees trump democratic majorities. This is all just seventh-grade civics, something that the Brookings scholar and those condemning the California court's decision on similar grounds seem to have forgotten."

Sorry for the length, Griper...

The Griper said...

repac,
no need to be apologetic for length of comment. sometimes it is necessary and i'd say this issue is one that almost requires lengthy comments for there are many aspects of it to consider.

as to the idea of renaming it for secular purposes i will only quote shakespere, "a rose by any other name is still a rose."

and all laws are based upon religious conviction of right and wrong. though it would take some depth of understanding to see the religious basis in some laws. it is that some of the most grievious of legal wrongs are apparent as religious wrongs also, like murder, stealing, etc...

lista,
tolerence by definition is not a word of agreement. it only is a word of acceptence of its existence. it is tolerence that allows so many religions to exist side by side in this country. it is intolerence that leads to persecution.

Lista said...

Hi Repac,
I really am glad that you're still here, since you are the main person that I'm going to be having this debate with.

I agree with Griper that there is no need for apologies for the length of a comment. I am long winded myself, yet what I usually tell people on my own blog is that long winded commenters need to do so with patience because longer comments take me longer to respond to. As of yet, I haven't even read your comment, but I will by the end of the evening. Hopefully I'll have a response for you within the next 24 hours, so just hang in there and stay connected.

Griper,
Your response to Repac sounds really good. I look forward to responding as well.

As to the definition of tolerance, I'm going to say something to you that I have often said to my dad (another word and dictionary lover) and that is “Words do not mean, people do.”

Sometimes when I say this, I am saying that I meant what I meant, whether I used the words correctly or not, yet in the case of tolerance, I am more concerned about the fact that the people who most often use the word mean what they mean and it doesn't always fit with the correct definition of the word.

Misused and misinterpreted words have a tendency to become emotionally charged words. If I could be sure when ever I heard the word tolerance that the person speaking meant nothing more by it than Webster's original definition and that all who are listening are understanding it exactly the same way, than I would be able to remain silent on the issue, yet unfortunately, I'm afraid that I do not trust the understanding of most of those who use the term.

The Griper said...

lista,
"If I could be sure when ever I heard the word tolerance that the person speaking meant nothing more by it than Webster's original definition and that all who are listening are understanding it exactly the same way, than I would be able to remain silent on the issue,..."

you can be sure. that is what questions are meant to do, give you assurance on things. if there is doubt of how someone is using the word, ask them. that way the answer will tell you how they mean it.

if not used right you can correct them then ask for further explanation. that way you are sure of what they mean.

Lista said...

What you are saying, Griper, is more true when talking to an individual, than when talking to a crowd. Whenever we write on a blog, we are always talking to a crowd, for we never know who it is that is listening.

repsac3 said...

"as to the idea of renaming it for secular purposes i will only quote shakespere, "a rose by any other name is still a rose."'

But I'm suggesting that we're talking about two different "flowers" here. The terms "Marriage" and "civil union" have different meanings. I'm not suggesting calling the rose "marriage" something else, but recognizing that the rose of "matrimony" is but one kind of flower in the garden and that, while a rose has certain unique characteristics, many of the rules of botany apply to other flowers, as well.

"and all laws are based upon religious conviction of right and wrong."

You'll note that I never said otherwise. (In fact, I pointed to murder as an example of an action that is both an illegal act & a sin.) But murder isn't an illegal act because it's a sin, and that's the difference. (If it were otherwise, there would be laws against being disrespectful to mom, and almost every teenager in America would be incarcerated.)

Some sinful acts are also illegal acts, but that does not mean that every act deemed sinful by one denomination or another need be illegal.

(As an aside, we might explore whether the concepts of "right & wrong" are strictly religious convictions or, more broadly, moral ones where religion plays a part for those who believe, and not so much for those who don't, as well as the religious implications of the law against making a right on red, but we can save both for another time.)

I like the idea that meanings are contained in people, but also believe words and correct definitions must play their part, if we humans intend on finding common ground & solving common problems. (And while someone recently suggested that folks on the left are anti-semantic, the fact is, some of my best friends are meaningful.)

tolerance - OneLook Dictionary Search:
(Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary, 10th Edition) - sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own b: the act of allowing something
(Webster's Revised Unabridged, 1913 Edition) - The endurance of the presence or actions of objectionable persons, or of the expression of offensive opinions; toleration.

All together there are 23 general dictionary definitions at this site (along with several medical, business, & other "special" definitions). I only chose the Websters, but if another definition suits the meaning of anyone here better, we can explore further.

Put me down as aligning myself with this one: Tolerance.org: What Is 'Tolerance'?:

"The word "tolerance" is surely imperfect, yet the English language offers no single word that embraces the broad range of skills we need to live together peacefully.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. used the Greek term "agape" to describe a universal love that "discovers the neighbor in every man it meets." The various disciplines concerned with human behavior have also offered a variety of adjectives: "pro-social," "democratic," "affiliative."

In its Declaration on the Principles of Tolerance, UNESCO offers a definition of tolerance that most closely matches our philosophical use of the word:

Tolerance is respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world's cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human. Tolerance is harmony in difference.

We view tolerance as a way of thinking and feeling — but most importantly, of acting — that gives us peace in our individuality, respect for those unlike us, the wisdom to discern humane values and the courage to act upon them."

repsac3 said...

Declaration of Principles on Tolerance

There was a broken link to the rest of document embedded in the Tolerance.org definition I just posted. I intended to ignore it, until I googled the document & started reading. Here is the whole of the section from the "What is Tolerance?" link:

===================
Article 1 - Meaning of tolerance

1.1 Tolerance is respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world's cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human. It is fostered by knowledge, openness, communication, and freedom of thought, conscience and belief. Tolerance is harmony in difference. It is not only a moral duty; it is also a political and legal requirement. Tolerance, the virtue that makes peace possible, contributes to the replacement of the culture of war by a culture of peace.

1.2 Tolerance is not concession, condescension or indulgence. Tolerance is, above all, an active attitude prompted by recognition of the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms of others. In no circumstance can it be used to justify infringements of these fundamental values. Tolerance is to be exercised by individuals, groups and States.

1.3 Tolerance is the responsibility that upholds human rights, pluralism (including cultural pluralism), democracy and the rule of law. It involves the rejection of dogmatism and absolutism and affirms the standards set out in international human rights instruments.

1.4 Consistent with respect for human rights, the practice of tolerance does not mean toleration of social injustice or the abandonment or weakening of one's convictions. It means that one is free to adhere to one's own convictions and accepts that others adhere to theirs. It means accepting the fact that human beings, naturally diverse in their appearance, situation, speech, behaviour and values, have the right to live in peace and to be as they are. It also means that one's views are not to be imposed on others.
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The Griper said...

lista,
"Whenever we write on a blog, we are always talking to a crowd, for we never know who it is that is listening."

you're right, in a sense. but that crowd never responds, only individuals do. and it is the individual you hear use the word, not the crowd.

and why think the worse of those who do not speak out? if someone comes to our blogs and disagrees with what we write but never comments how are we to know they disagree?

whether we want to or not no one can write something in a blog expecting that everyone will agree with it nor can we expect to write something so convincing that we will convert those who do disagree.

the best we can hope for is to write something well enough so that those who read it will want to comment, both in agreement and in disagreement.

i say this because it is in comments that something may come up that you never took into consideration in regards to the issue. and once this happens it forces you to think deeper in regards to your own position on the issue. and it is this we should always strive for.

The Griper said...

repsac,
"But I'm suggesting that we're talking about two different "flowers" here. The terms "Marriage" and "civil union" have different meanings."

ok, what are the the differences in meanings? the fact we are are talking about a union between same sexes does not change the meaning. it only expands it to include those that were not included previously. and the right to marry is the stated goal of the homosexual community not a civil union.

and marriage performed by a civil servant of the government has always been defined as a civil union. in fact some religions don't even recognize it as a marriage but society does. and government treats them both as the same.

repsac3 said...

"ok, what are the the differences in meanings?"

You answered your own question is in your post:

"and marriage performed by a civil servant of the government has always been defined as a civil union. in fact some religions don't even recognize it as a marriage but society does. and government treats them both as the same."

Marriage is a sacred rite uniting two people in love according to the traditions of the faith.

Civil union is essentially a legal contract between two people in love, governed by local, state, & federal law.

What I say is, the government has no place in determining religious tradition, nor should they be bound by any particular (or even "the vast majority of") religious traditions in this country when crafting secular law. Legally, almost ALL marriages (as I defined the terms) are civil unions, but there are plenty of civil unions that are not marriages, as defined by many churches.

I was "united" to my wife by a judge, meaning there are religions who don't see me as being any more married than Adam & Steve or Adina & Lisa in NH. I can tolerate that, but still believe that the laws of NY give me the same rights & responsibilities to & with my wife as they would if I were married n my local Roman Catholic church.

Marriage is marriage; one of several ways to enter into a civil union with another person. But "marriage" & "civil union" are not synonymous, any more than "rose" and "flower" are.

repsac3 said...

Again, I left out one more point I intended to make.

My religious tradition--Unitarian Universalist--WILL perform a marriage ceremony for homosexuals. Our creed allows it. In this case, the couple is married in the eyes of our faith, but not civilly united according to the government.

Marriages and civil unions are different, one one can have either one without the other, in some cases.

repsac3 said...

"the right to marry is the stated goal of the homosexual community not a civil union."

This is because many (& perhaps most) local, state & federal laws are written with the word "marriage" not "civil union" in them.

But if you ask them, I'm willing to bet my last dollar that the vast majority of the homosexual community seeking the right to marry are looking for the legal rights, not the religious rites, and striking the word "marriage," & replacing it with "civil union" in the laws would suit them just fine, without hurting heterosexual unions (be they marriages like yours, or civil unions like mine) in any way.

(And for the record, I would never support anyone's effort to demand that any given church be compelled by law to marry anyone that their faith says are not a suitable couple. I suppose there are a few gay or human rights activists who might...)

The Griper said...

repsac,
as for your comment on tolerance, i have no argument against it. you have just expanded my defintion to a greater degree than i did. the only place i might find fault in is this statement,

" It means accepting the fact that human beings, naturally diverse in their appearance, situation, speech, behaviour and values, have the right to live in peace and to be as they are. It also means that one's views are not to be imposed on others."

when one emigrates out of a society and immigrates to another the views of that society are imposed upon the individual or group. one glaring issue that comes to mind is how "honor" is treated. another one is polygamy.

also, if tolerance.org practiced what it preached then it would be intolerant of all of those who did not abide by their definition of tolerance which contradict what they stand for.

tolerance is very limited too. for in order to be tolerant one must not take truth into consideration. in fact it is falsehoods that require tolerance not truth. for truth never needs to be tolerated except by those who hold to falsehoods. and those who hold to falsehoods have a belief that those falsehoods are the truth.

The Griper said...

repsac,
as to your last paragraph that would be agreed on by all for that would go against the 1st amendment.

as for the rest that is what we are speaking of, state recognition, not religious recognition. and the state has already defined the union as a union of marriage.

the only reason it is defined as a civil union is the recognition of the person performing the ceremony, a civil servant rather than a minister of religion.

thus if a civil servant performs the same ceremony but calls one a civil union but calls another a marriage it is the same flower.

and if you are right in regards to their attitude then changing the other laws will serve the same purpose without the controversy.

why change laws creating division instead of changing laws that result in unity?

The Griper said...

repsac,
and i would add that changing the other laws are more beneficial because it gives the people the right to choice in those matters not government. and you are the one who is always advocating for the right of people making the choice in matters, aren't you?

in other words, my solution is beneficial to everyone not just a few as your solution would be.

Lista said...

Hi Repsac,
I read your above comments starting with the long one you wrote yesterday at 5:19 AM. I agree that laws should not be based on religious conviction alone, generally what makes a sin become a law is when the sin has a significant negative affect on society. It worries me greatly, though, that there is a correlation between the acceptance of the practice of Homosexuality in a society and the down fall of governments.

I guess you left a couple of links that I really should read in regards to "California’s Marriage Ruling". In your more recent comments, you left additional links as well.

Griper,
You know what? After reading Repsac’s comment and than reading again your statement "A rose by any other name is still a rose.", I realized that Marriage and Civil Union are not actually the same flower, just as Repsac has said. Though Marriage could be considered a Civil Union, not all Civil Unions are Marriages, for Marriage is only that which takes place between a man and a woman. If Marriage is the Rose in question, than the Civil Union idea includes other flowers besides Roses, so the real question is whether or not all Civil Unions should be give the same rights as the Rose.

Repsac,
You may not be suggesting that we call Marriage something else, yet there are some that do what to redefine it to include "Same Sex Marriage". Many of us find the redefining of this sacred term offensive, as you, yourself, have also called it sacred.

I agree that "Words and correct definitions must play their part", yet we do need to be careful whenever throwing words around that for what ever reason have become emotionally charged and/or have been frequently misinterpreted and misunderstood.

After reading your definition of "Tolerance", I feel like also stating that we can "Respect, Accept and Appreciate" a person, while not "Respecting, Accepting and Appreciating" that person’s sin.

I admit that there are times in which Christians can become quite emotional and because of it, they don’t always take the time to listen as completely as they should to what those of different beliefs are trying to say. In fact, some of them are even judgmental and intolerant in ways that I would agree are incorrect and uncaring. I prefer the word "Agape’" because that is the term that is used in the Bible. Perhaps if we used a word such as this, some of these Intolerant Christians would not so easily debate the issue. Why insist on continually using a word that with many Christians has become Emotionally Charged?

Griper,
If the crowd was sitting in the chairs of a church building, or auditorium, wouldn't you be concerned about how your message was being received by all of those who were sitting there and not just those who took the time to talk to you?

In a crowded room, it is not unrealistic at all to assume that at least one with "the worst" of the opposing opinions might possibly be present and anyway, when addressing a group, there is really no reason for any one individual in that group to take offense.

I think what I think because of what has been happening politically. There are Liberals out there that have been pushing the idea that even the slightest disapproval of Homosexuality spoken in public should be considered "Hate Speech". This is an infringement on freedom of speech and shows me that there are Liberals out there who want quite a bit more than just tolerance.

Tolerance goes both ways, you know. Liberals also need to tolerate us and allow us to speak freely.

Another thought is that if those who blog and read blogs are the more intelligent ones in our society, which I am beginning to think is so, than these are the ones who may have the ability to persuade those in their own party, whether it be Republican or Democrat, that are less intelligent and take positions that are more extreme and foolish. Perhaps I’d like to tell someone like Repsac, "Look, this is what bothers me about some of those on your side of this issue. Do you think you could help me talk some sense into them?" This is why I think it is Ok to discuss those who are being extreme and ridiculous, even if the one who we are actually talking to is a little more rational.

Well, I didn’t really think that I was going to impose on myself a length limit, yet to be honest, when I’m on my word processor and am beginning to move on to the second page, I began to think that I’ve said quite a lot. I’ve only responded to the comments up to Griper’s comment, submitted at 8:15 AM this morning and now that I’m finally returning to the web to submit my comment, I see that there are six more comments that have been submitted sense the last one that I am now responding to. I’m tired, though, and this is the second paragraph on page 2 in my word processor, so I think I’ll close now.

You guys take care and maybe I’ll say a little more tomorrow morning.

Lista said...

Hmmm. I wonder if I should just try and finish my thoughts tonight and than not worry about it tomorrow.

Repsac,
I think I addressed the subject of what Marriage and Civil Unions are in my previous comment. You stress Marriage as a Sacred Rite and Civil Union as a Legal Contract. Most of what you said in the first of your last three comments sounds similar to what I said in my last comment, which though submitted later than your comments, was actually written off line prior to seeing your comments. Your "Rose" and "Flower" analogy fits the situation quite nicely.

I guess my problem is that I take offense to the use of the word Marriage to describe a Civil Union between Homosexuals. Sense according to the Scripture, Homosexuality is sin, it is not right to add sin to something that you, yourself, have called Sacred.

Personally, I think "striking the word 'Marriage' and replacing it with 'Civil Union' in the laws" in question would be a preferred approach. I wonder why they are so reluctant to do it this way.

Hi Griper,
I think I'm almost done. Your comment about immigration was interesting and I liked your "practice what it preached" statement as well. Actually, I liked most of what you said with the exception of the insistence that Marriages and Civil Unions are the same, for I understand what Repsac is saying in this regard.

You lost me, Griper, in your last comment. I'm not sure exactly which laws you wish to change.

repsac3 said...

"when one emigrates out of a society and immigrates to another the views of that society are imposed upon the individual or group. one glaring issue that comes to mind is how "honor" is treated. another one is polygamy."

I believe in mentioning "honor," you're referring to the murders of Amina & Sarah Said, and it is true that polygamy is practiced in some religious cultures (including a few here in the US), but both examples you offer are covered by the UNESCO discussion of tolerance here:

"Consistent with respect for human rights, the practice of tolerance does not mean toleration of social injustice or the abandonment or weakening of one's convictions."

Honor killings are not consistent with human rights. They are a social injustice. Polygamy can also be considered a social injustice here in the US, as it is against US law.

When one emigrates to another place, one willingly chooses to live according to the rules and traditions of that society, by implication, anyway... (...though I agree, some do try to bring a few traditions with them that butt up against the traditions of their adopted society.) For the most part though, one has some idea of what one is getting and giving up by emigrating to a new place, and very little imposition is necessary...

"also, if tolerance.org practiced what it preached then it would be intolerant of all of those who did not abide by their definition of tolerance which contradict what they stand for."

So, you're saying they're intolerant of intolerance... Yeah, I guess you're correct about that... I can do no more than to refer you back to that quote above, again... Tolerance is not absolute; there are words and deeds that do not warrant receiving any.

"tolerance is very limited too. for in order to be tolerant one must not take truth into consideration. in fact it is falsehoods that require tolerance not truth. for truth never needs to be tolerated except by those who hold to falsehoods. and those who hold to falsehoods have a belief that those falsehoods are the truth."

I think I'm going to need a real world example to understand what you mean by truth & falsehood, here... (Given the greater conversation, my first thought was religious--kind of a "my heavenly Father can beat up your false idol" sorta thing--but I'm hoping not, & I'd really prefer not to guess, anyway.) Please be more specific.

(If'n I answer 'em all at once, this comment'd get "intolerably" long--see what I did there?--so I'll go comment by comment or two...)

repsac3 said...

"as for the rest that is what we are speaking of, state recognition, not religious recognition. and the state has already defined the union as a union of marriage."

Not for my fellow Unitarians... I've been to two homosexual weddings. According to my church and my faith, these folks are married. According to the state, they're not.

If you agree (as Lista does) that marriage is a religious rite governed by the church rather than the state, and that my church has recognized and performed marriage ceremonies for same sex couples, than the state hasn't "recognized & defined the union as a union of marriage." That is... unless you believe that the state can dictate the terms of religious rites.

"the only reason it is defined as a civil union is the recognition of the person performing the ceremony, a civil servant rather than a minister of religion."

So all those folks who go to city hall are not really married, then... They are united in the eyes of the state, but not in the eyes of God. That's consistent with my position in saying marriage & civil union are not the same, and that the law has no place in legislating the sacred rite of marriage, and should instead legislate the legal rights involved in civil unions, and include the sacred rite of marriage as one way to become civilly (legally) united.

"and if you are right in regards to their attitude then changing the other laws will serve the same purpose without the controversy.

why change laws creating division instead of changing laws that result in unity?"

I think the primary controversy is in redefining marriage. Not only does my proposal not do that, it actually makes marriage more sacred, by only including those who are united in a ceremony of faith, rather than a secular ceremony of law.

If my ceremony by a family court judge (friend of the family), in the outdoor court of a beauteous hotel, followed by darn near the best reception anyone's ever been too (Not too gaudy, not too cheap, simple good food & live music) means I'm not married to my wife of 8 years come this September, I'm pretty sure Adam & Steve or Adina & Stephanie can be not married as happily as my bride & I are. (...aren't?... Whichever... You get my meaning...)

I can see where many will find in "controversial" to discover that they are not really married, but that's only because the wrong word was used in laws in the first place. The law calls my union a marriage, but calling it that doesn't make it so. My church calls a union of two souls--whatever bodies they're housed in--a marriage, but that doesn't make it a legal union.

The second controversy involves tolerating homosexuality. Perhaps those who view it as a sin or otherwise immoral don't want the government to sanction or condone it by giving homosexuality legal recognition. To the extent that's true, your solution does no better than mine because, either way, the government is recognizing homosexuality as a valid lifestyle, sanctioned by state and federal law.

If you believe I'm misstating or overlooking something here, please let me know... But the way I see it, these are the controversies...

"and i would add that changing the other laws are more beneficial because it gives the people the right to choice in those matters not government. and you are the one who is always advocating for the right of people making the choice in matters, aren't you?

in other words, my solution is beneficial to everyone not just a few as your solution would be."

I believe that we are the folks who make up our government, so it's the people making the choices & speaking about them, regardless...

But I still don't see how my suggestion benefits only a few, or why yours benefits many...

The ability to make legal provisions stipulating legal & financial arrangements is law, already (though I understand that there are places where laws need tweaking to make them better or more fair).

But because those arrangements are automatic by virtue of a legal union (called marriage), it still treats some citizens who enter into said unions (like Adam & Steve, "married" at a Unitarian Fellowship) second class citizens, because those benefits are not automatically given to them, the way they were to you and I when you got married, and I got "married." Our unions (two of them marriages by religious rites, and one a "marriage" without those rites) are not treated equally under law.

Why should Adam & Steve have to see a lawyer to get what we get by virtue of our unions. Religiously, your union & theirs are both sanctioned by faith. While some of the specific traditions in my church are different than the ones in yours, the UU ceremony they had would be just like the one you & your wife or me & mine could've had at that church. The only difference is, at the end of our ceremonies, the state would recognize our marriages and hand over the legal goodies automatically, while Adam & Steve need to see a lawyer to get what we get by virtue of being men united with (married to) women.

If the laws on wills, medical decision-making, child custody, and the rest are sufficient, why grant these things automatically to some unions, and not others? Why shouldn't you & I have to see the lawyers to set these things up for our spouses, too? The answer, I think, is that they are not sufficient. A union is a union is a union. And every union deserves the same consideration under law.

repsac3 said...

Looking at Lista's comments, and then at the time, my unclean house, and finally my work schedule, I'm going to have to get back to you folks later as regards the rest... 8>)

(It looks like Lista & I may be seeing some common ground here... If you happen to be commenting further, Lista, I'd be curious what you think of my "sanctioning & condoning" argument from your perspective... Apart from the use of the word "marriage," is that "condoning the behavior" thing as much of an issue for those opposed as I think it is?)

I'll give the rest of the comments my full attention & response when next I'm able... Meanwhile, have a great day!!

The Griper said...

lista and repsac,
first of all i apologize for allowing this debate to get off subject of the post.

my post dealt with marriage as defined by the state. it had nothing to do with church or religion.

the people of the state of california expressed their will, by inititive, by enacting a law declaring that marriage was to be only between a man and woman. the Supreme Court of California defied the will of the people by declaring that law unconstitutional. so, any reference to the idea of marriage being a sacrament of the church is irrelevant because my post was not comparing the two types of marriage only the one, marriage as a legal bond as defined by the state.

Lista said...

Repsac,
Christianity does not condone Homosexuality. I'm short on time too, so I'll finish that thought later.

Griper,
If you insist that we rap the "off subject" part of this discussion up than I'll try and do so, but give us a just one more minute. Please! Thanks.

The Griper said...

repsac,
"If the laws on wills, medical decision-making, child custody, and the rest are sufficient, why grant these things automatically to some unions, and not others? Why shouldn't you & I have to see the lawyers to set these things up for our spouses, too?"

you are only repeating what i was advocating before. changing the laws in those regards that declare it is not an automatic decision. take the right to make those decisions out of the hands of the state and give them to the people. once that is done the laws of marriage need not change in order for all to have the same rights which you said is all that homosexuals want in the first place.

The Griper said...

repsac,
tolerance is about living side by side with those who do not agree with you. if those persons agreed with you there is no need for tolerance. and people agree because they feel that agreement is the truth. and they, in agreement, will see anyone who disagrees is one who is holding a falsehood.

and religions are good examples of this, which is why religions are usually referenced in definition of the word tolerance. for each religion believes they hold the truth

Lista said...

Hello again you guys.

Repsac,
Wow! You've already wrote more than I thought. Earlier this morning, I scrolled to the bottom of the page and saw your 7:03 AM comment and that was it. I didn't see all that you had written above that. I guess I was in a hurry. Oh well.

Anyway,
There are immigrates that impose their views on us, especially in relation to "butting up against the traditions" of Christianity and this is highly annoying.

"So, you're saying they're intolerant of intolerance?"

Actually, I think what Griper was saying is that they are too tolerant of the misuse of the word tolerance, in using the term to further their agenda in ways that go beyond the definition of tolerance. I agree with Griper's statement here.

Actually, Repsac, marriage is both a religious rite and a legal contract and I'm not sure that it is governed by the church as much as it is by God. I really don't think that the religious side of it has to do with laws, but simply with always doing the right thing before God in love. Right or wrong, the church doesn't usually get involved in legal matters such as divorce. That's been left up to the secular courts. Is this for the best? I don't know. Let me think on that awhile.

You are right, Repsac, that "The primary controversy is in redefining marriage." and also in that "Those who view it as a sin....don't want the government to sanction or condone it by giving homosexuality legal recognition." Sounds to me like you understand your opposition rather well. And I would very much prefer it if Homosexual unions were not called Marriage. That devalues the term and makes it less sacred.

I never realized that Civil Unions between same sex couples were treated differently by law than Marriages preformed in churches. I guess there is a hole in my knowledge.

The only problem with your argument, though, Repsac, is that it requires the state to "recognize these marriages", even the Homosexual ones.

Christianity does not sanction or condon Homosexuality, Repsac, and most of us would prefer that the state didn't either.

You are actually the one who said in your response to Griper "Either way, the government is recognizing homosexuality as a valid lifestyle." and also "recognize our marriages and hand over the legal goodies automatically". I was actually surprised to hear you say that. Since you are fighting for the homosexual side of the issue, you probably should have waited for your opponent to say that, whether than stating it yourself.

Is "handing over legal goodies" synonymous to "recognizing a union as a marriage"? Is it? I don't know. If I was you, though, I would stop saying it that way, because if I personally was forced into some sort of a compromise, I prefer what your suggesting to what is currently being legally pushed on us now. I'm a little more moderate than some of my friends, but you don't have to persuade everyone, just enough to make a majority.

"I guess I really shouldn't be helping you. Shame on me for that.", she says with a smile. "I tell you what. Just don't tell anyone I said that." ;)

Griper,
I thought I submitted a short response to your 11:57 AM comment earlier and yet I don't see it. Are you sure we're off topic, though? We're sort of talking about "marriage as defined by the state" in our discussion of whether we should redefine Marriage, or just give more rights to those who have joined in Civil Unions.

The reason why the idea of marriage being a sacrament of the church is relevant to the issue is because it
explains the reason why so many Christians do not want marriage redefined.

Forgive me, Griper, but I actually like Repsac's solution to the dilemma. I'd prefer it if Heterosexual couples were not forced to get lawyers and write up contracts when we have never had to do that before. Once again, I ask, why take something away from the Heterosexual community in order to appease those who insist on uniting in ways that are less healthy?

repsac3 said...

"my post dealt with marriage as defined by the state. it had nothing to do with church or religion."

Marriage always has to do with religion, and the state has no business defining it.

"the people of the state of california expressed their will, by inititive, by enacting a law declaring that marriage was to be only between a man and woman. the Supreme Court of California defied the will of the people by declaring that law unconstitutional."

I believe this "will of the people" idea was covered quite well above. Please follow the Glenn Greenwald links found in othis post, or just read what this wise soul said on the subject.: "this assumes that the people cannot pass laws which are unconstitutional and that is false. we are a nation bound by a Constitution not the will of the people. if we were a nation bound by the will of the people there would be no need for a Constitution." If you're looking for the original comment from whence that came, it appears here.

"so, any reference to the idea of marriage being a sacrament of the church is irrelevant because my post was not comparing the two types of marriage only the one, marriage as a legal bond as defined by the state."

Well, it is your original post, but I believe the religiosity of marriage is central to any discussion on the subject, be it heterosexual marriage or the issue of homosexual marriage. In my eyes, the legal bond is incidental to marriage, and certainly cannot be used to define the term.

Aside that, it is the religiosity of the term marriage that creates much of the controversy you do seem to wish to talk about. I just don't believe you can take the religion out of a discussion of marriage & homosexuality any more than you can take religion out of a discussion of Christmas.

I really hope you allow Lista & I to continue our "off topic" discussion here, as I'm enjoying it immensely and learning alot (& suspect that Lista feels the same.)

If not, I hope you won't mind my extending an invitation to all who wish, to continue discussing this same topic on my blog, should Griper not want it to continue here... (One caveat: Neither of my blogs is necessarily "naughty word" free or moderated in any way, and I prefer them that way... You may be exposed to words or pictures that may offend... While *I* can't think of anything on there currently that I would classify as offensive, others may differ. You have been warned...)

repsac3 said...

Tired, so I'll try to be brief...

Changing the laws so that no one gets benefits?
That would be making everyone equal under the law, but I'd prefer to give more folks more rights, not take stuff away from folks who've already gotten the benefits of marriage. But you are correct. Either would work...

Tolerance:

Is this the reply to my "my heavenly Father can beat up your false idol" question?

And if so, are you answering yes, you do see your religion's beliefs as truth, and those of other folks in other traditions as falsehoods?

I'm sorry, but I did ask you to be specific... I much prefer those who say what's on their mind to those who only hint at it...
I'm a really bad guesser, and think some issues are too important to leave to chance... Thanks!!

Off to bed... Have a grand night, all!!

The Griper said...

repsac,
"Changing the laws so that no one gets benefits?"
i never said that nor did i imply that. i said.
"take the right to make those decisions out of the hands of the state and give them to the people."

in other words, let the people decide who gets the benefits not the state. benefits are still recieved but the beneficiary is determined by the person who is actually handing over the benefit by some act of his own, not the state. and it does not need a lawyer to do that.
remember repsac, married persons receive and give benefits that not only homosexuals cannot give or receive but also any other single person cannot either. a heterosexual couple shacking up have the same problem.

my solution would be beneficial to both groups while yours would only benefit one group and leave the other out.

as for you not being married to your wife, i'm sorry, i don't buy into that. for you to convince me that you do not think you are married in every sense of the word you'd have to tell me that you are not the husband of your wife and that she is not your wife for one thing. for those identities are the exclusive property of marriage whether it be legal or in God's eyes.

the next thing you would need to do is convince me that you did not ask your wife to "marry" you and mean it in every sense of the word, that is if it was you that asked.

third you'd have to convince me that when that civil servant performed the ceremony you did not feel you actually married the girl but felt that it was only a cicil union.

thirdly when you fill out that income tax form you feel like you're lying when you mark the space "married filing jointly"

fourthly when you went down to the court house and bought that marriage licence it wasn't for the purpose of getting married. and you do not have a "Marriage certificate"

when someone asks if you are married you say no because you feel you are not married but only civilly united.

you go to your wife and tell her that you ae not married and she agrees with you without question.

before the controversy there was no such definition of a civil union, a marriage was a marriage regardless of who performed the ceremony and everyone recognized that when you sought and received a divorce that you were dissolving a marriage. if it were not so bigamy would not be a criminal offense. if marriage was not recognized as a legal bond as well as a religious bond a person could marry one person then enter into a civil union with another and not commit bigamy.

that is all i have to say on the issue. if you and lista want to continue, that is fine with me.

repsac3 said...

"There are immigrates that impose their views on us, especially in relation to "butting up against the traditions" of Christianity and this is highly annoying."

There are some immigrants who try, yes... They don't realize that Christianity is a more equal religion in this country than the rest, by virtue of the fact that the majority of citizens here are Christian. (I'm not sure Christianity should have the higher platform it does; not when one reads all that founding stuff about religious freedom, equality, and respect for diversity, but it is what it is... Christianity has the numbers...)

"So, you're saying they're intolerant of intolerance?"

"Actually, I think what Griper was saying is that they are too tolerant of the misuse of the word tolerance, in using the term to further their agenda in ways that go beyond the definition of tolerance. I agree with Griper's statement here."

OK... lemme read it again:

""also, if tolerance.org practiced what it preached then it would be intolerant of all of those who did not abide by their definition of tolerance which contradict what they stand for.""

OK... On second reading, my new reply would be "How do you know they're not intolerant of those who misuse the definition of tolerance for their own ends? I don't see tolerance.org or UNESCO defending the rights of folks who don't deserve it, but perhaps I'm not looking hard enough..."

"Actually, Repsac, marriage is both a religious rite and a legal contract and I'm not sure that it is governed by the church as much as it is by God. I really don't think that the religious side of it has to do with laws, but simply with always doing the right thing before God in love. Right or wrong, the church doesn't usually get involved in legal matters such as divorce. That's been left up to the secular courts."

I see marriage as being the religious component, and civil union as the legal component, and the fact that those writing secular laws incorrectly used the word "marriage" in those laws as the primary problem here.

In almost all churches (that is, according to the version of God worshiped in most churches), homosexuals cannot marry. Leaving my faith (& a few others, I think) aside, there is no such thing as homosexual marriage.

(That my church worships a God that allows homosexual marriage while most churches worship a God that does not, is where that tolerance thing comes in. While we each believe that the God we worship is offering "truth," while the other is offering "falsehood," we accept that different faiths believe different things, give each other some space, and hope that one day the other will come to a better (that is "our own") understanding of God.)

For the most part, I don't even believe that those fighting for "homosexual marriage" WANT marriage. They want the rights that come with the legal union. (They call what they want "marriage" for the same reason we are here; wrong word in the law.) If it were otherwise, there would be a whole lot more picketing of churches, and a whole lot less picketing of politicians. I think I once heard one gay rights activist talking about changing the rules of the church. Aside that one guy (& I'll grant that he may have a few friends), it's really all about the laws and about equal protection under those laws, and that really isn't about marriage...

The church doesn't often get involved in legal matters, & I'm not suggesting they are here, either. But the reverse is also generally true. The law doesn't often get involved in church matters... But in using a sacred term as a definition in a secular law, the law is treading in space they're not meant to inhabit, and causing all this commotion. Folks are up in arms over the redefinition of marriage, when no one is really trying to redefine marriage at all. The redefinition is of what constitutes a legal union, not a sacred one. Marriage is safe.

"The only problem with your argument, though, Repsac, is that it requires the state to "recognize these marriages", even the Homosexual ones."

That is what I believe & where I'm headed (except for changing the word "marriages" to "unions"), but if you look back, I've never actually said so in this thread... Changing "marriage" to "civil union" in the law does not require a given state (or "the state") to offer civil unions to same gender couples. All it does is decouple the sacred right of marriage, as defined by God & over which the church--not the state--holds sway, from the argument. It makes the argument over same sex unions what it really is; a discussion of rights, equality, and law. The recognition of those unions, if/when there is to be any, comes later.

"Christianity does not sanction or condone Homosexuality, Repsac, and most of us would prefer that the state didn't either."

Leaving aside the issue of Christianity, I can appreciate that you feel that way... I disagree with you.

I wonder whom you mean by "most of us"? Most Christians? Most Americans? They (we?) are welcome to have their say, but as Griper said above, the US & state Constitutions trump even the will of the majority, sometimes... If a law goes against the Constitution, the law falls, at least until the Constitution is amended in such a way as to allow the law to stand. Protection of the minority from the will of the majority is one of the hallmarks of a constitutional republic.

"You are actually the one who said in your response to Griper "Either way, the government is recognizing homosexuality as a valid lifestyle." and also "recognize our marriages and hand over the legal goodies automatically". I was actually surprised to hear you say that. Since you are fighting for the homosexual side of the issue, you probably should have waited for your opponent to say that, whether than stating it yourself."

You have me on the first quote. (But to my way of thinkin', the first step to resolution is being honest about the issue to be resolved. Were I trying to beat you in an argument, I may act differently... I view this as more of a discussion in hopes of finding common ground. [& when we solve this thing & send our brilliant answer off to Washington, they can name the new law after us... It's a sweet deal all around... 8>) ]

On the second quote though, I was talking about my union with my wife, and his union with his, both of which are recognized by the state as marriages under current law... My contention was, if you & I decided to go to my church & have a double ceremony with Adam & Steve -- (I know... It's so sudden... It seems like just yesterday we were but two strangers talking on the internet, and then... 8>) -- both you & I and Adam & Steve would be before the same celebrant in the same church, hearing & speaking the same words of love & fidelity just moments apart, but at the end of that ceremony, only you & I would be legally united and afforded all the rights & privileges that entails, according to the state. It doesn't seem just, to me.

"Is "handing over legal goodies" synonymous to "recognizing a union as a marriage"?"

Only in so much as the law uses the term "marriage," currently. What I prefer is that the state recognizes a union as a union, and treats every legal union with the equality that this country prides itself on offering its citizens.

Every union is not a marriage, and I do not believe every union should be recognized as a marriage, either. That's why I object to the state using the word marriage in the law. They're muddying the waters by confounding the sacred with the secular... (You'll hear me repeat that--alot, probably--when I get around to answering Griper's post below regarding my saying I'm not married... (Short answer: Wasn't me making that claim exactly, but anyone who believes that marriage is a religious sacrament, not a legal contract.) I think he's concerned because the word marriage is (incorrectly) used in law, and therefore I am married because the law says so. To me, THAT'S a redefinition of marriage more great than anything I've heard gay activists (except that one guy I mentioned earlier) suggesting. Marriage is not a legal concept, but a sacred one, and the state cannot change that by using the term in law.

Off to the 3-year-old nephew's birthday party... I'll return this eve for more, more'n'likely... Have a great day!!

Dora said...

If all the benefits of marriage can be recreated, one by one, through notarized contracts, what's the diff? why not allow same-sex marriage, then?

Also, as to the argument that heterosexuality is the better choice because gays are more likely to have HIV/AIDS, that only applies to male gays, not female gays. So is female homosexuality an okay choice then?

Why is that the religious only care about male gays...

Lista said...

Hi Dora,
Marriage is sacred and according to the Bible, homosexuality is sin. Most Christians feel that the state should not give homosexuality it's stamp of approval by allowing them to marry. If they are continued to be called Civil Unions, whether than Marriages, this is a little better in my opinion.

The HIV/AIDS argument is only one of the arguments. The Bible refers to the homosexuality of both sexes as sin, so "the religious" care about both.

Griper and Repsac,
You are submitting comments at a rate and length that is hard to keep up with and I'm feeling quite tired. I'd love to keep going, but the length of the comments is sort of beginning to get to me. Are you aware, Repsac, that your last comment was more than 2 pages long on my word processor? That wouldn't be so bad if it was the only comment, yet between you a Griper, there have been 4 1/2 pages submitted since I last left a comment. I can't keep up. I need a break. I'm sorry.

repsac3 said...

"in other words, let the people decide who gets the benefits not the state. benefits are still received but the beneficiary is determined by the person who is actually handing over the benefit by some act of his own, not the state. and it does not need a lawyer to do that."

I'm still not quite sure how you propose that would work, especially given this litigious society. While one can write out one's wishes regarding health care, child custody, and disposition of property after death on a piece of notebook paper, no one is obliged to follow those wishes under law, and even when lawyers are involved and the proper forms are filled out & every signature notarized, such things are frequently challenged in court by well meaning & not so well meaning family members alike.

If you wish me to understand, you'll have to be more specific, using real world examples.

"remember repsac, married persons receive and give benefits that not only homosexuals cannot give or receive but also any other single person cannot either. a heterosexual couple shacking up have the same problem."

Again, I'm not sure I understand your meaning... Are you wishing to make it easy for any two people (heterosexual couples living together, homosexual couples, parents/adult children, close friends) the ability to bestow on each other all the rights & privileges afforded legally united couples, or are you saying that couples united by law share a unique bond, and thus deserve special consideration as regards these rights & privileges?

Personally, I go with the latter. (I agree there ought to be another way for one person to give another each & every one of the rights afforded united couples, but not that it ought to be a simple process that one can do capriciously.)

"as for you not being married to your wife, i'm sorry, i don't buy into that."

You'll have to take that up with the churches & religions you cited here.:

"and marriage performed by a civil servant of the government has always been defined as a civil union. in fact some religions don't even recognize it as a marriage but society does."

Marriage is a sacred rite.
Marriage is not a legal contract or obligation.
As a religious rite, marriage can only be performed according to religious tradition, and I know of no religion that allows government functionaries to perform sacred rites.
God and the church determine who can participate and who can officiate, and the law has no role to play in those decisions.

Civil union is not a religious rite.
Civil union is a legal contract / obligation.
While the law may choose to recognize unions performed by religious officials, it must do so equally if it is to do so at all.
The law determines who can participate and who can officiate, and God & the church have no role to play in those decisions.

If Lista & I go to city hall to tie the knot, we're civilly united. (Though the church may choose to recognize that as a marriage... Some do, some don't.)
If Lista & I go to her church or mine to tie the knot, we're married. (The law chooses to recognize this as a civil union, as well. But it's not obligated to do so.)

If you & I go to city hall to tie the knot, we get turned down, except in a few select places. In those places, we're civilly united. With a few exceptions, no church chooses to recognize that union as a marriage, and they are not obligated to do so.

If you & I go to my church to tie the knot, we're married. But the law chooses not to recognize that marriage as a civil union.

Sure, any of us can call any of those ceremonies and the subsequent day to day life resulting from them a marriage (or a civil union) but saying it doesn't make it so... Both marriage & civil union have specific definitions that don't change because people (including me, sometimes) use the words incorrectly or imprecisely. Marriage has come to be used as shorthand for any civil union, in the same way that Coke, Xerox, & Frigidaire represents all cola, any copier (or copies, or the act of duplicating) and all refrigerators. That's all well & good, but it doesn't mean plenty of folks who use those terms don't then take an RC out of their Maytag, and drink it while making color copies on their Brother copier.

What we or others call it isn't always what it is, and I think that should answer all of your concerns about my "marriage".

"before the controversy there was no such definition of a civil union, a marriage was a marriage regardless of who performed the ceremony and everyone recognized that when you sought and received a divorce that you were dissolving a marriage."

Change is constant, Griper... Once upon a time, folks didn't talk much about homosexuality (or racial issues, or gender equality, or child abuse, or ...) but the fact that polite society preferred not to discuss 'em never meant these issues didn't exist.

The good old days were frequently not as good as folks remember 'em...

Dora said...

Lista, as far as I understand it, the US does not have an established state religion, and is prohibited from doing so. Religious reasons, therefore, are not an adequate basis for laws. This is not a theocracy.

And no, the religious do not seem to care about both kinds of homosexuality, in practice. They obsess over men having sex with men, anal sex, etc. Lesbians licking each other? No one seems to care.

Lista said...

Dora,
My concern is that there appears to be a connection between the acceptance of homosexuality by a society and the down fall of governments.

The Bible addresses both forms of homosexuality, not just that which involves the men. If you have observed "the religious" obsessing over one more than the other, than this is not in accordance with scripture and I don't have an explanation.

What I'd really like to do eventually is reread some of the previous comments, yet I don't know if I'm going to ever get that done or not, especially if this comment thread keeps growing at the rate of pages per. day. Over time, it has been causing me fatigue. Perhaps Repsac will eventually realize that I'm basically ignoring him and slow down on his comments.

repsac3 said...

"Perhaps Repsac will eventually realize that I'm basically ignoring him and slow down on his comments."

Every comment I make is a response to someone else's words, Lista... But I'm in no rush at all... Read & reply at whatever rate is comfortable for you... I'll get an e-mail alert whenever you post--even if it's a week from now--& reply to you then...

I think I'm currently up to date on replies--& if I'm not mistaken, Griper has said his piece on this topic, and doesn't intend to reply further--so I won't be posting again until after you do... ...that is, unless someone new joins the fray, anyway...

Take your time, m'dear... It isn't a race, and I promise I won't lose interest in the topic...

Dora said...

Lista: "My concern is that there appears to be a connection between the acceptance of homosexuality by a society and the down fall of governments."

Can you give some examples of what you mean? I doubt this is actually a historical trend.

In the alternative, even if it is a historical trend, are you sure it's a causal relationship, and not a correlative one?

Lista said...

I'm sorry Repsac,
I hope you'll forgive me for my remark. I've just been feeling some fatigue and I stopped reading your comments after the comment I submitted on the evening of the 30th. I started to read some of it and yet something made me feel like maybe we were beginning to talk in circles and I was feeling tired and stopped reading.

I've also been feeling some growing pains in relation to some other issues in my life and this has distracted my mind from this topic.

Without taking the time to read the above comments, I just feel now like talking to you from my heart. In response to the the issue of Abortion, the Christian community has done quite a bit in the area of helping pregnant girls, but they have not done near enough in relation to the issue of Homosexuality. As a representative of the Christian community, I extend my apologies, for Homosexuality is not an easy subject.

Though it has not been proven that "they are born with it", even so, it is a very stubborn stronghold that is not easy to shake off. You simply can not ask a Homosexual to snap their fingers and stop being that way. It's just not that simple.

I've done some thinking about the fact that there might be certain language on your blog that you have not censored and decided that that is not necessarily going to keep me away, yet on certain subjects, people really don't come to understandings about things until they can speak from the heart.

This type of communication is a little risky and listening to cuss words in the midst of such expression can be quite a distraction and can even increase the aching in ones heart over emotional topics. The result is that we begin to talk to each other in a calloused, whether than open sort of way and this does not lead to true heart felt understanding.

I understand the need to vent anger, which is basically what people are doing when they use such language, yet there has to come a time in which the anger can be set a side and we can sit and talk rationally with each other. If we can not do this, than we will never connect and understand the real reasons why people hold the opposite point of view.

My take on the frustration/anger thing is...Ok, go ahead and vent and do what you need to in order to get it out of your system and as soon as you're done, I'll talk to you, but not until then.

repsac3 said...

Lista:

Not sure I understand your comment about language & my blog.

First off, there really isn't all that much offensiveness there to start with. While I allow folks to express whatever opinions they like using whatever language they choose, there are really not all that many bad words (or offensive opinions, even) on my site.

My only point in bringin' up the language thing at all is because both you & Griper have policies on your blogs that prohibit certain words, and I wanted to let you know that my policy is not to remove much of anything folks post. (Except commercial spam. I do dislike spam, and will remove it on sight.)

While I respect that other folks--in this case, you folks--have different opinions on how to run a blog, I prefer not to vet the messages on mine prior to their being posted (I think it slows the conversation too much, and find it unnecessary, besides), and allow those who comment to use any language and express any opinion they like. (I believe that the language someone uses and/or the opinion one offers is a reflection of that person, rather than the blog owner, and as such, I prefer that comments appear as written. It's not my job to protect the reputation of someone who's foul-mouthed or a racist by hiding their words/ideas. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. Better they're showing themselves than attacking from the shadows... And, while some hold bloggers responsible for every offensive word or idea of every last person who comments on their blog, I believe that's silly. Each writer is responsible for their own words, not those of every person who visits & posts there.)

I'm not so sure that anger & frustration plays so big a part in one's choice to use "offensive" language as you think. For some, words are words, and using those you find offensive is as natural as using the ones that appear in this comment.

Bottom line is, I can only extend an invitation. You're welcome to accept or decline, as you see fit. I do think you ought to check it out a little before writing it off as offensive (or even just angry & frustrated) though... It's nowhere near as offensive as it could be, and probably a whole lot less offensive than you think...

Dora said...

Lista -- i think it's pretty hilarious that you're offended by "cuss words" but not offended by some of the policies you yourself support.

repsac3 said...

Wow...

When I read my last comment in total, it comes off very differently than I intended...

I do know that you weren't accusing me of anything...

I'm not even sure you were saying you would/wouldn't visit my blog over language, at all...

Might be best if you just ignore that post... I was makin' a point, but you weren't really the person to whom I intended to be makin' it... I just got caught up in what I was sayin', & stopped paying attention to what you actually wrote...

Lista said...

You know, I don't get much bad language either and have posted just about everything that has come in.

Interestingly, the main ones that I haven't posted are actually private notes from people who want to tell me something that they do not want posted. I hadn't even thought about that possibility until it started happening and yet once it did, I thought it was really sort of cool.

It's also interesting that you mentioned the fact that Comment Moderation "slows the conversation too much". I actually like this side effect because I'm a little slow and get overwhelmed quite easily.

Life moves way too quickly and there is hardly enough time to stop and think when entire conversations take place in my absence. Sometimes I think that this may be my primary reason for Comment Moderation, much more so than censorship, for just as you've also stated, for the most part, people who blog are pretty polite and non-offensive.

I found your comment that "Sunlight is the best disinfectant." interesting. There appears to be a lot people who share your view on this. So much so, that I'm considering added some explanation to my decision on my blog somewhere.

I haven't written your blog off, Repsac, I just have trouble taking the time to visit all the blogs that I'd like to, but I will be by. I promise.

You may find my blog too spiritual for your liking, yet I'd like you to come by as well, because I write about both the Spiritual and the Political and you can chose which one of the two you prefer reading.

Lista said...

Hi Dora,
Oophs! I'm really not ignoring you. I'm sorry.

Though I've heard it said several times from several sources, unfortunately, I have not actually read the actual research about Homosexuality affecting the down fall of governments. When I hear something several times, though, I feel certain that it must be based on something besides just the wind. The most obvious example that comes to mind is the fall of the Roman Empire.

Repsac,
I guess I mentioned that the Christian community has not done near enough in relation to the issue of Homosexuality, yet I asked around a little and a friend of mine informed me of two such resources that I was not aware of. They are "Exodus International" and "Love Breaks Through". I have not checked either of these out yet, but eventually I will.

I'm rereading my own comment to you again, Repsac, and I guess that I did say that offensive language on your blog "is not necessarily going to keep me away".

I do realize, Repsac, that anger and frustration do not always play such big a part in one's choice in the use of offensive language as we sometimes think. For example, there are personality types that have gotten in the habit of cussing and swearing in almost every other word, whether they are angry or not. It's just how they talk. I have a brother-in-law that is like that, yet when he visits his mother, it becomes quite obvious that he is capable of talking more respectably when he has too.

repsac3 said...

Rereading your message again, I took note of your comparison of the Christian response to homosexuality to the Christian response to abortion.

While I think I understand your intent, the message of that comes off poorly, in my opinion. While christians may look on each as a sin, they are dissimilar in so many other ways as to make the comparison ineffective.

One has an abortion.
One is a homosexual.

Almost no one wants to have an abortion, enjoys the experience, or wishes to do it again.
Many homosexuals are perfectly happy being homosexuals and continue living as homosexuals throughout their lives.

I happen to believe that some are born with a preference for same gender relationships, and others develop that preference through life experience.

I see homosexuality as being closer in some ways to one's "choice of" religion than one's choice of a controversial medical procedure.

Both are lifestyles that people use to define themselves and others.
Both lifestyles are viewed as controversial or wrong to some outsiders, and members are asked to give up their bad ways in favor of better ones.
Both are happy to receive new people who wish to live the same lifestyle, but reluctant to lose anybody.

Nature or nurture is kind of beside the point, in my opinion. to some folks, asking someone who is gay to renounce their "bad" lifestyle (or treat it as a medical condition or mental /physical illness that can be "cured") is as insensitive and offensive to one's fellow man as it would be if we substituted the word "christian" for the word "gay" in this sentence.

Just another thing to consider, from the guy with too many words... 8>)

Lista said...

Hi Repsac,
The point I was making about the Christian response to abortion and homosexuality was made because whenever we ask someone not to do something, it is only fair that we are willing to offer assistance in helping people to meet that request.

If the Christian asks someone not to have an abortion, than it is right and appropriate for them to offer assistance to Pregnant Teens who have decided to either keep the child or place the child for adoption. Likewise, if the Christian asks someone to not practice homosexuality, than we need to also offer assistance to anyone who has decided to try and meet that request.

The fact that homosexuality often results in Aids and greatly reduces the person's life span, should be reason enough to desire to change if at all possible.

I guess it shouldn't surprise me that before this discussion is over with, you are going to make me explain every aspect of this issue.

I was sort of avoiding the "They are born that way." issue, but when you said that "One is a homosexual", I realized that I'm going to have to deal with this part of the issue as well.

Homosexuality may be a tendency towards a temptation and behavior, yet the decision to act on it is a behavior.

Also, most people do not realize that the statement that "They are born that way." has not been proved, yet the truth is that it has not and just because you "happen to believe" doesn't verify anything.

I once knew a family with two homosexual boys in it. Both of them swore that they were born that way, yet the mother knows very well that both of them have been sexually abused by her ex-husband. She knows the real cause, even though neither of her boys were willing to admit it. One of these boys died of Aids while still in his early 20s. The other is HIV positive, yet so far, it has not yet turned to Aids. I believe that he is in his early 40s.

Believe it or not, there has been found genetic tendencies to both alcoholism and even criminal behavior. This genetic tendency is not a guarantee that such behavior will happen. Even with this tendency, people still do have a choice and not all will become Alcoholics.

As to the criminal behavior, an extra Y chromosome is actually found is some violent criminals. And then there is always the strong willed child that if raised right has the potential to become a leader, yet if raised wrong, has the potential to become a criminal. The strong will is a genetic trait, but the upbringing is not.

Sense there are genetic factors, shouldn't we just leave alcoholics and violent criminals alone and call these things alternate life styles? In spite any genetic tendencies that are found, though, alcoholism is considered a disease and criminals are put in jail.

"Almost no one wants to have an abortion, enjoys the experience, or wishes to do it again."

Yes, but they do enjoy the activity that got them in the situation in the first place.

Did I mention that homosexuality contributes to Aids? You mean, you don't consider that a problem? The decision to be a Christian does not result in shortened life span or poor health. As a matter of fact, it results in just the opposite.

repsac3 said...

I'm sorry, Lista, but if one is going to use the possibility of bodily injury or death as a reason to avoid being a certain thing, I'd think you'd be advocating folks to give up their cars & avoid working in the timber industry (just to name two situations that kill a larger percentage of the folks that engage in a particular activity) long before you'd get to homosexuals. Besides, for women, it'd mean giving up sex entirely, as 69% of hiv/AIDS in that community comes from heterosexual contact.

I'm still trying to find reliable numbers to share, but the percentage of homosexuals (or even homosexual men) in America who contract Hiv/AIDS seems to be pretty low. Yes, a large percentage of those men who contract AIDS do so through homosexual contact, but the percentage of all homosexual men who contract AIDS these days isn't all that large, statistically. Driving, obesity, smoking, and certain occupations kill far more people, in actual numbers (for all but the occupations) and statistically, in all cases.

I agree that those who want to help curb an activity or lifestyle ought to do what they can to help those who wish to change to do so. I can even understand folks aggressively trying to save the lives or souls of others. But some are still going to be offended when you tell them that their way of life can be cured, just as you would be if a contingent of some other religion told you they have a program to save you from the pitfalls of being the religion/denomination you are.

I think I said that I do not know (i.e.: have no proof) whether homosexuality is nature, nurture, or a little of both. (I have as little proof that heterosexuality is the result of one, the other, or both, but I have an opinion on that, too.) My intent in expressing my opinion wasn't to have anyone believe what I believe, but to say I don't think it matters, whatever the answer. Gay folks exist, however it happens.

In saying "one is a homosexual," I was only saying it isn't a behavior, but a lifestyle and a part of one's identity, like one's job or religion, and I objected to your equating homosexuality with abortion (a single behavior with almost universally negative connotations) on that basis.

I happen to believe one discovers/chooses one's sexuality (homo or hetero) through nature and nurture together, but I'm not saying anyone need believe what I believe. One can find just about an equal number of scientific studies that find whatever position on this issue one wishes to find, which suggests to me that the science is inconclusive.

In discussing genetics, you're equating homosexuality with alcoholism & criminality. In discussing nurture, you imply a causation (or at least correlation) between sexual abuse as a child & homosexuality as an adult. Many people don't see homosexuality as being the religious & social negative that you do, and would probably find these comparisons offensive, as well.

Time to went. I look forward to your reply.

Lista said...

It feels like we're getting closer to the agree to disagree point, but I am going to leave one more comment. It's just that I'm tired tonight, so I'm going to do it tomorrow.

Lista said...

Repsac,
The answer for HIV/AIDS, as well as other STDs, is abstinence until marriage. This has been called old fashioned, but it works and people do still do it.

I sort of doubt your numbers, but unfortunately, I can't back that up because I don't have the numbers either. I only know that the numbers are high enough that it lowers the average life span of Homosexuals in comparison to the rest of the population.

As for driving, obesity, smoking, etc., percentages mean more than actual numbers because Homosexuals make up a much smaller group than those who drive, are fat or smoke. And when I say percentages, I do not mean percentages of the population as a whole. I mean percentages of Homosexuals, drivers, fat people, smokers, etc.

Alcoholics are offended all the time when you tell them that you want to help them stop drinking. That's just human nature.

Alcoholics also "exist, however it happens".

Lifestyle and behavior are the same thing, for lifestyles are made up of behaviors. I guess it could be argued that an attraction to young children that results in the sexual abuse of children is also a part of the pedophile's identity. Yet no one questions the destructiveness of this behavior and lifestyle other than possibly the actual pedophile.

There is a correlation between sexual abuse and homosexuality. That has been studied and documented. The fact that people are offended doesn't prove a thing. Truth offends all the time.

Oh and BTW, Dora,
I’m not really that offended by cuss words, but they do hinder deeper conversations. Cuss words are really shallow and don’t establish anything. I like conversations that are deeper than that. I’ve developed pretty tough skin over the years. There’s really not all that much that offends me any more.

repsac3 said...

"I only know that the numbers are high enough that it lowers the average life span of Homosexuals in comparison to the rest of the population."

The numbers I find say the following: "Among all adult men who are behaviorally gay or bisexual, HIV/AIDS reduces life expectancy by 1.2 years. (Among African American men who have sex with men, however, life expectancy drops 7.7 years.)" - Are Homosexual Men’s Lives 20 Years Shorter? No, Says Exgays’ Source | Ex-Gay Watch

"I do not mean percentages of the population as a whole. I mean percentages of Homosexuals, drivers, fat people, smokers, etc. "

I was speaking the same way... X% of the people who work as a lumberjack die as a result of choosing that profession. X% of all smokers die from diseases directly related to smoking.

If life is the goal, preventing smoking & lumberjacking (& smoking lumberjacks, of course) will save more lives than preventing make homosexuality.

"Alcoholics are offended all the time when you tell them that you want to help them stop drinking. That's just human nature.

Alcoholics also "exist, however it happens"."


This is an area where we must disagree, I fear. I do not see homosexuality as a disease, or a devious, sinful or illegal lifestyle that needs to be stopped. Therefore, I see as little need to cure homosexuals as I do the need to cure black people of their dark skin or Christians of their belief in God. To me, being homosexual is far more in tune with being black (if one believes you're born gay or straight) or Christianity (if one believes that one learns or is persuaded by life experience to be homosexual). I find the idea that it's ok to offend them for their own good, well, offensive. If I believed I was saving their life or their soul, perhaps I'd feel differently.

I can find no sourced studies confirming or dispelling the idea that victims of sexual abuse become homosexuals, or that homosexuals commit more sexual abuse than straight people. It seems that writers on each side say there are studies proving what they wish to prove, but no one ever seems to cite them.

One need also be careful that one does not confuse correlation with causation.
(!00% of serial killers spent time breathing just before every murder.. It's a fact.)

Not every fact or every coincidence is significant...

Lista said...

I remember hearing once that the average life expectancy of a practicing Homosexual is either 40 something or 50 something. I don't even remember the exact number. I only remember that it was really low. One of these days I need to do the research. The main reason that I haven't done a post on this subject is because I do not have these numbers.

I have never implied that Homosexuality should be illegal and do not know anyone who is saying that. That is not the issue. The issue is that Homosexuals want all the perks of married couples.

I see it as sin because I believe in the authority of the scriptures and if God says it is sin, than it is sin. If the Bible offends, than maybe we need to take that matter up with God, not each other, but of course you have the right to believe otherwise.

I've read about studies on sexual abuse and homosexuality, yet unfortunately, the reason why we are at the agree to disagree point in this discussion is because I do not currently have at my finger tips the information needed to back up all that I'm saying. For now, I'm just going by memory. I'll do the research later.

I am very familiar with the correlation vs. causation problem and was even prepared to admit something, if that was brought up, in relating the homosexuality/the down fall of governments correlation, for actually when ever the acceptance of homosexuality is present, other sexual sins are present as well, such as adultery and sex before marriage. The "old fashioned" idea of Abstinence until marriage contributes to higher levels of respect and trust, as well as self-control and discipline, which are issues of character that contribute to stronger, more stable marriages; which contributes to stronger, more stable people; which contributes to stronger, more stable economies and governments. Perhaps it is the Abstinence issue that is more key.

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