beware the gay lynch mobs

Apparently, they’ve released all the names of individuals who made financial contributions to Proposition 8 – the campaign in California to prohibit same-sex marriage. You can find them all laid out on a map here. I was just reading through the comments left about this initiative on Metafilter, and enjoying the back and forth between those who see this transparency as a good thing, and those who don’t, when I came across the following comment, left by someone calling him or herself Dee Xtrovert, and I thought that I’d share it here.

…I’m not American by birth, so to be embarrassingly honest, I didn’t know the ins-and-outs of donating to these sorts of initiatives and how the public record aspect of it all functions.

Of course, I’m one of those pesky foreigners who came here believing in the American love of justice, fairness and tolerance… and I’m still a little disturbed when something like Prop 8 comes along and legitimizes a point of view that seems something other than “American” – not to mention the actual constraints on free expression that the proposition allows to happen.

So out of curiosity, I clicked on some of the names. I was really bothered when I saw teachers and charity organizers and people in positions where dealing with the public is an important part of their job support what is fundamentally hate legislation. One such person was a realtor. Now, you’d think in a city as proud of its gay-friendliness as SF that realtors wouldn’t spit in the eyes of such a large percentage of the population. I googled this realtor, and was interested to see that there was already a little review forum on her, with three negative reviews “outting” her as a Prop 8 supporter. You can see it here. As my clicking on her name was entirely random, I’m sure others who supported Prop 8 have been similarly outed.

This openness about records didn’t exist when I was living in Sarajevo. So that same neighbor who smiled at me and said hello might have been one of the same people plotting to kill me and my family and donating large sums to genocidal political parties. This may sound a bit hysterical, but when the war ended, some of the big local war criminals ended up being people friendly to my parents (in one small bit of happiness, my parents were killed before having to suffer from this knowledge.) The shock of learning the truth about people was (and remains) in many ways much worse than the deaths of family and friends, the physical wounds and scarring and the other lingering psychological effects of the war.

So it’s with great pride that I’ve now discovered that people in America who materially support good or bad legislation with their dollars must have their names attached to the causes, and that they will be publicly revealed. Perhaps, when business drops off – when buyers no longer buy or even walk-through houses listed by Ms. Mazzei and her ilk – she will have to think about her position, and I hope then (because I am an optimist) that she will see the folly of her belief in this matter.

I’m proud to live in a country with this level of transparency. I know America’s faults as well as anyone, but this is something that the USA has that many countries don’t.

To be honest with you, I’m conflicted about this. Sure, in this case, I like that people who put up their thousands of dollars to ensure that marriages between loving same-sex partners would be invalidated were exposed, but I can see how such disclosures could bring about unwelcome consequences. What if, for instance, the names of families who donated to organizations fighting against segregation in the American South, had been released during the early days of that movement? Might the knowledge that your name and address would be made public make it less likely that you would contribute to a worthy, but unpopular cause? I’m not concerned in this particular instance that gays will form lynch mobs and take to the street at night as perhaps the KKK would, but who’s to say that the next group will be as forgiving…. And, like I said, I don’t even know that this isn’t the best possible scenario. Maybe the up-side of transparency is better than the up-side of anonymity. It’s an interesting thing to puzzle over for someone like me who cares a great deal about the eroding right to privacy that we enjoy in this country.

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127 Comments

  1. ol' e cross
    Posted January 13, 2009 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    I think there’s a few risks with Dee’s statement, which may not be a lynching, but does seem like a witch hunt. The first, is that Dee needs to realize that this knife will cut both ways. If folks in SanFran are to fear opposing gay rights, how much more will folks in more conservative communities have to fear supporting them. Imagine a group of concerned citizens promoting gay rights in a small town and being subject to the kind of identification and economic ostracization that Dee seems anxious for.

    I realize boycotts can be a powerful tool for social movement, but there also seems to be some harm in essentially blackmailing people, in any context, into conformity. My related concern is in labeling. In one community the label is bigot, in another, it’s pervert. Anything that reduces us to a pejorative reduces our humanity and legitimatizes inhumane treatment. Nazis weren’t monsters, they were people who did monstrous things.

    Living in peace with those in deep opposition to you is not easy. I think it’s poetically cautionary that Dee’s story starts in the former Yugoslavia. Dee is happy that his/her parents died before they realized their friends were actually criminals. This hints at Dee’s black/white either/or. I’d propose, that when we find out who the criminals are, we preserve their humanity, and continue to call them friends.

  2. Brackache
    Posted January 14, 2009 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    Kinda destroys the whole point of the secret ballot, doesn’t it? Most humans, I believe, will eventually (or at some point in their lives) compromise their principles if enough social pressure is applied, not excepting me. Hence privacy and the secret ballot. Is no right sacred?

  3. wingken8
    Posted January 14, 2009 at 5:06 am | Permalink

    Such kind of knowledge and health forum for us LGBT should be more published in life. We LGBT should know more about it. we often talk about this issure online togehter with like-minded persons as those at BiMingle.com to improve our special life, we also wanna have a happy and healthy life as you all do.

  4. Chelsea
    Posted January 14, 2009 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    M,

    The privacy genie is, as they say, out of the bottle. Dee’s letter was exceptionally well written and thoughtful. This might sound a little stupid, but…a lot of people–I mean, a lot–share names. As you, Mark Maynard, well know.

  5. EOS
    Posted January 14, 2009 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    If people want to contribute large sums of money to effect the outcome of any election their names and contributions should be made public. The homosexual activists in California have used this information to target mega-churches, the Mormon church, and African Americans with disruption of religious services and threats of violence. However disappointed the homosexual activists may be as a result of free elections, they should be arrested and charged when their protests cross the line and violate existing laws. I’ve yet to read about “gay lynch mobs” but have heard of multiple occasions where homosexuals run through a church during services throwing blood at persons in attendance.

  6. Posted January 14, 2009 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    EoS, I’m sure that you would advocate “rehabilitation” programs for homosexuals since you believe that it’s a curable “disease”.

  7. Posted January 14, 2009 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    What’s wrong with having lists of people that donate to specific political causes? If someone is donating to David Duke, I won’t do business with them. That’s perfectly American. I have a choice as to where to put my money, I’d rather it go to like minded people.

  8. Brackache
    Posted January 14, 2009 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    “Why should I care, I’ve got nothing to hide.”

    — Neocons responding to Patriot Act privacy violations.

  9. kjc
    Posted January 14, 2009 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    “I’ve yet to read about “gay lynch mobs” but have heard of multiple occasions where homosexuals run through a church during services throwing blood at persons in attendance.”

    This is almost making me laugh. But not.

    And yeah you’ve yet to read about gay lynch mobs cuz they don’t exist. Except in the titles of blog posts.

  10. Paw
    Posted January 14, 2009 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    I seldom leave my home, fearful that I might come up against a mob of angry gays. And, when I do dare to leave, I’m always sure to dress fashionably, so as to avoid their detection/wrath.If they had it their way, we’d all be eliminated.

  11. Posted January 14, 2009 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    I was able to find much about protest, but nothing about the throwing of blood on parishoners.

    Perhaps it’s in the Bible.

  12. Paw
    Posted January 14, 2009 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    No, you just aren’t looking hard enough. Gays are always throwing blood in peoples’ eyes. They love it. It’s like sport to them. They also jab children with dirty needles and have satanic rituals in the woods.

  13. Dirtgrain
    Posted January 14, 2009 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    “I’d propose, that when we find out who the criminals are, we preserve their humanity, and continue to call them friends.”

    Word.

  14. Robert
    Posted January 14, 2009 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    The gay male gangs I’ve encountered have all been deep in denial. They were also quite friendly right up until the point when I said or did something to out them. It’s been just the opposite with the female gangs.

    Seriously though, I think Ol’E Cross summed things up well right away. I hate that. He should wait to be the last commenter. His thoughtfulness, clear thinking and intelligence are a real mood killer. I think we miss out on a lot of really stupid (but funny) comments because of his impatience.

  15. Posted January 14, 2009 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know Mark – It’s common sense: If you don’t want people to know you’re a bigot, you might want to avoid doing things that will clue people in.

    Lots of people have lots of bizarre views. Some are benign, and others aren’t. It think it stands to reason that if you’ve got a business, and your patrons might not like anti-gay bigots, you might want to keep it under the radar. And if you don’t, you’ve got nobody to blame but yourself, no?

  16. Posted January 14, 2009 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    I’m not implying you’re a bigot, Mark. I use the term ‘you’ in the general sense.

  17. mark
    Posted January 14, 2009 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    I’ve got lots of faults, but being anti-gay isn’t one of them. And I apologize if anyone got a different impression from the post. What I meant to say was that, in this case, I like that the names and addresses of the bigoted assholes who funded Prop 8 were made public. I think that they probably deserve a bit of ridicule. I was just saying that I can also foresee instances where a system like this could work against progressive causes, exposing people in the minority working to change unjust laws and the like. And, as I mentioned at the end, then there’s that thing about privacy rights… I’m really conflicted about this.

    And thanks for the clarification, Cam.

  18. mark
    Posted January 14, 2009 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    And I love this story about gay people going crazy and dousing people in blood as they pray in church. That totally sounds like something that my gay friends would do.

  19. ol' e cross
    Posted January 15, 2009 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    I don’t know Mark – It’s common sense: If you don’t want people to know you’re a pervert, you might want to avoid doing things that will clue people in.

    Lots of people have lots of bizarre views. Some are benign, and others aren’t. It think it stands to reason that if you’ve got a business, and your patrons might not like anti-marriage perverts, you might want to keep it under the radar. And if you don’t, you’ve got nobody to blame but yourself, no?

    Welcome to Sarajevo.

  20. ol' e cross
    Posted January 15, 2009 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    I’m not implying you’re a pervert, Mark. I use the term ‘you’ in the general sense.

  21. Posted January 15, 2009 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    bigot
    One entry found.

    Main Entry: big ot
    Function: noun
    Etymology: French, hypocrite, bigot
    Date: 1660

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

    : one who will not purchase real estate from someone with opinions or prejudices differing from one’s own

    : one who ridicules

  22. Posted January 15, 2009 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    OEC, no, that’s totally wrong. I think most would recognize the difference between the freedoms we enjoy here the focus on the rights of individuals, as opposed to the oppressions in Sarajevo and the gov’t imposed sacrifice of individual rights, particularly of days gone by.

    The two are not comparable.

  23. ol' e cross
    Posted January 16, 2009 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    TG. I was making reference to a movie, and wasn’t speaking of gov. as much as neighbors defining each other strictly in terms of pejoratives, be they ethnically or socially construed. Serb vs. Croat, Bigot vs. Perv. etc. An exaggeration of our current climate, sure.

    “If you don’t want folks to know you’re a (insert pejorative),” seems to imply that you can be known/identified by whatever you insert. I don’t think any human should be simplified to being a singular “a” anything, as if our identity is neatly summarized in the best or worst or us, be it “hero” or “molester.”

    On a totally different note, I recently spoke with an expert in international languages who, while reading this post, laughed, spontaneously and repeatedly, out loud at the notion that Dee Xtrovert was anything approaching a recent immigrant. To quote, “Maybe if they came here when they were two…” they’d be using terms/phrases like “ilk” and “a bit hysterical” along with perfect grammar. From this professional opinion either DX:
    -came to the US at a very young age (and should be as aware of the “ins and outs” as much as anyone),
    -had a very accomplished native speaker as an editor, or
    -was bullshitting a bit about his/her background…

    That doesn’t change the meaning of the post; I just found this person’s response to DX’s claims of origin interesting.

  24. Posted January 17, 2009 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Ah – guess I’m a little slow on the uptake. Thx for the clarification.

    I hear your message that people ought not be defined based on one attribute or a pejorative, and I would tend to agree, but speaking for myself, if I were to find out, for example, that my mechanic is an avid supporter of the Aryan Nation, I would stop taking my car there, no matter how good he may be at fixing cars or how wonderful a person he might be otherwise. Though I think it is generally important to entertain opposing viewpoints, life’s too short to be spending time debating obviously ignorant and destructive views or engaging in economic conduct that supports them.

    Discrimination against gays, coupled with a desire to deprive them of the same rights and privileges that heteros have, based solely or primarily on an immutable trait, is in my view sufficiently ignorant and destructive to cause me to avoid economic interactions with those who favor it. I don’t think it defines “them” so to speak, but it certainly is relevant to defining my willingness to economically interact with them when there are plenty of others to interact with who don’t hold ignorant and destructive views.

    This is a very interesting issue, of whether people can be separated from their views, particularly when one view they have is especially egregious. Back in my conservatory days, I can remember that there were people who would not listen to Wagner even though he is long dead, based on his anti-Semitic advocacy during his lifetime. Their view was that you can’t separate the art from its creator.

  25. EoS
    Posted January 17, 2009 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Trusty –

    If I think the institution of marriage has been a benefit to society as it has existed since the beginning of time and do not support altering its definition then you would consider me an anti-gay bigot and refuse to do business with me? I doesn’t make any sense. If I adopted your point of view, I should now start discriminating against homosexuals merely because they advocate a redefinition of marriage? Why can’t I just continue to remain friends with individuals who vote differently on this issue? How can you or any business remain profitable if you refuse service to 60 – 70% of your customers?

  26. Posted January 17, 2009 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    We already know that you are an anti-gay bigot.

  27. Mark H.
    Posted January 17, 2009 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    EoS — you repeat a common misconception, the totally mistaken idea that the institution of marriage hasn’t changed over time. Marriage has changed tremendously over time, it’s evolved and been radically redefined, over the millenia, over the centuries, and even in recent decades.

    Let me present a few historical facts about how marriage has been redefined countless times: Wives used to be purchased by men. Men used to have multiple wives (yes, that’s still done in much of the world, but not in “the West”), marrying for love used to be regarded as terribly unwise and selfish and now marrying for reasons other than love are looked down on as motives not worthy of a loving relationship. Marriages used to be commonly arranged by parents, and that’s very rarely done now. Marriage used to, in the West and in America, be based on a definition of wifely subordination to the husband, rather than on any idea of a marriage of different but equal partners; and it used to be assumed that sexual fulfillment within marriage was a duty the wife owed the husband, not something that she too would have an interest in (women being thought of as basically lacking sexual desiree). Marriage used to be primarily thought of as an alliance between families and a merging of property, but rarely now are those chief motivators for marriage in American society. Marriages were once defined as being constructed only or mainly for purposes of reproduction, but that’s not true any more. Likewise, children born outside of marriage were long derided and purposefully shunned in life, yet today few people in America think children born outside of marriage should be made to suffer for choices made by their parents. Until the last 50 years, marriage in America was almost always a permanent union – divorces being exceedingly rare and hard to get. Now of course divorce is rather easy and many, many marriages are rather temporary; this is a rather profound change in the definition of marriage, isn’t it, EoS? Probably no American couple at the alter today expects their marriage not to last for the rest of their lives — but they all know that many marriages do end with divorce.

    The teachings of Christian pastors have of course changed over time on all the points I’ve made here about the history of marriage. The sometimes competing civil and religious definitions of marriage and its purposes also provide further evidence of how much change over time marriage has gone thru.

    The changes that the institution of marriage has gone thru are numerous and wonderful to behold; without having changed, marriage could not possibly have survived as long as it has.

    Fifty years ago, almost half of the states in the USA defined marriage to exclude inter-racial marriage. That restriction on who can marry who was overturned by the civil rights revolution and the famous and aptly named LOVING decision of June 1967, by the US Supreme Court.

    George W. has claimed that he opposes gay marriage because the institution hasn’t changed since the beginning of time. No evidence whatsoever supports that absurdly simplistic claim. It’s an ideological belief, not a historical fact. Marriage will continue to evolve, and i think that by 2025 most Americans will find it uncontroversial that loving same sex couples should be as able to marry as anyone else. Of course, the future is uncertain. What’s not is that the history of marriage is more complex than the false teachings of ideologues of the right.

  28. Posted January 18, 2009 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    EoS thinks that the world is only 10 years old. So, when he or she says “the beginning of time”, s/he is referring to 1998.

  29. ol' e cross
    Posted January 18, 2009 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    TG,

    The bigger issue, of how we interact with folks who deeply differ with us, is immensely conflicting for me. And, this blog is Exhibit A that I don’t always respond as well as I’d like. Where do you draw the line? I know I have a line, but I’m not sure I can defend it. I think of two examples I’m trying to take as informative:

    1) Jesus and the whole good Samaritan thing. To understand the historical animosity J was playing on, it would be like if Rev. Fred Phelps was ill and was passed by by an evangelical and republican senator, and a gay man stopped and saved his life. Who is your neighbor? Who should you be a neighbor to?

    2) Barack Obama and the whole talk to Iran and inauguration thing. He favors engagement and respect with those we count as enemies. He’s having the first Episcopal gay bishop and an anti-gay Evangelical pray at his ceremony. He’s giving respect and dignity to opposition. And, he’s taking shit from both sides. Using the pejoratives again, he’s having a pervert and a bigot pray for him. Seems like he’s being a good neighbor. Maybe we did vote for change…

    For all practical purposes, I’m straight and white. It may be too easy for me to take the high road on this. But, I’m really less concerned with boycotts than how we view our opposition. Vindictiveness isn’t useful. And, as I’ve said, neither is reducing complex people, who do good and love, to being bigots, racists or perverts. When we’re prepared to do violence against another human being (and, I’d suggest depriving them of the ability to provide for their families is violence) we should at least pause before pulling the trigger. We should have tried all forms of local diplomacy before the grabbing the easy, self-affirming broad brush. I think we can be principled without being “obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices.” At least I think we should try.

  30. EoS
    Posted January 18, 2009 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Mark H.,

    You are distorting reality with your revisionist history. Marriage was instituted as a lifelong union between one man and one woman and any culture or historical period that has strayed from this model has suffered consequences. A wife is subordinate to her husband and both husband and wife have an obligation to provide sexual fulfillment to their partner. Marriage is an alliance between two families and prospective marriage partners who don’t acknowledge this and deal with the issue will experience hardships. Marriage remains primarily for the purposes of reproduction, while those who can’t have children or don’t desire to, are partnered as well, as man and wife, for the stability of society and all other marriages. Children born outside of wedlock or raised by single parents because of divorce or other reasons, do suffer because of the choices made by their parents – both economically and developmentally. Because civil laws have changed in the last 50 years, divorce has become easier and more prevalent. I doubt few would argue that widespread divorce has improved our society and many are working today to reverse these changes.

    The Netherlands have experimented with same-sex marriage. Since gay marriage has become legal, a small percentage of gays have married. However, 70% of children in that country are now born out of wedlock. Most heterosexuals in the Netherlands now see the institution as meaningless. They cohabitate and give birth to children outside of marriage and fathers are less likely to remain a part of the family after a few years. Single women now raise the majority of children on a single paycheck or government handout.

    Whether or not you choose to believe, God designed the two sexes to be suited for a compatible lifelong partnership. When man attempts to evolve away from a God-ordained union it is destructive for both the individuals and the culture at large. That there are false religions and ideologies that teach otherwise does not alter the truth.

  31. Mark H.
    Posted January 18, 2009 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    EoS, since you present yourself as an expert on what God intended marriage to be, how can you reconcile biblical accounts of men having more than one wife with your presentation of God’s will and the history of marriage? Your claims are ideological and/or theological, but they are not supported by the historical record – revisionist or not. Revisionism that fits the historical facts is useful – but ahistorical claims about the past that ignore the relevant facts is not so useful except as a vehicle for a priori ideological claims.

    Your own claim that “Marriage was instituted as a lifelong union between one man and one woman and any culture or historical period that has strayed from this model has suffered consequences” is entirely ahistorical and circular in its logic: What fits your theory is the correct history, all else is a deviation from God’s plan — even though the majority of human experience has not fitted into your theory of marriage. When do you think marriage was so instituted, and what were the first cultures to practice it in the way you define it?

    Ronald Reagan is one of the many Americans who thought more liberal divorcee laws did a lot of good for the society: Perpetuating loveless, unhappy marriages do not make for happy homes, or good enviornments for raising children.

    Notably, EoS, your rejourner to my previous comment ignores the issue of love being the basis today, but not during most of the history of marriage, for selecting marriage partners. That you affirm that wives are subordinate to husbands, due to God’s will, shows how firmly and willfully blind you are to the actual facts of marriage and how it has changed over time.

    Would the revival of the practice of buying wives also be OK with you, EoS? Or of securing wives thru warfare? Would that be OK, just so men only had one wife at a time and wives were subordinate?

  32. Posted January 18, 2009 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    EoS believes that if a man dies before having children with his wife, then his brother must marry her and get to some baby making.

  33. Brackache
    Posted January 18, 2009 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    I fail to see why anybody’s marriage is the government’s business in the first place.

  34. Brackache
    Posted January 18, 2009 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    I was offended that I had to get a marriage liscense at all, as a straight guy. Talk about illigitimate, overbearing, intrusive authority! How is that a state issue over a church/conscience issue?

  35. Posted January 18, 2009 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Brackache, it’s a matter of taxation and parental rights, but you are right in that it shouldn’t matter to the IRS nor to Child Protective Services who gets married to whom.

  36. Brackache
    Posted January 18, 2009 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    I know why. I was trying to lead folks to the conclusion that changing the intrusive tax code and shrinking Government is the solution, without being wrongly percieved as a jackass for a change.

    I doubt it worked.

  37. Posted January 18, 2009 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Personally, I like the tax break and don’t feel intruded upon since I get much of it back.

    Property tax, however, has nothing to do with my marital status and truly pisses me off since I get not shit for the money I pay.

  38. Posted January 18, 2009 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Incidentally, I always find it interesting that people get so upset about their federal taxes and don’t say shit about their local property taxes. Property tax in Michigan is a fucking crime.

  39. Posted January 18, 2009 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    EOS and OEC: First of all, sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt any feelings – I guess this morphed into a more emotional issue than I anticipated. My comments were academic and were limited to the concept of economic activity with people who have discriminatory views and who actively and vocally support them. I’m not really suggesting that anyone do what I do, and I don’t mean to be self-righteous about it — do whatever you think is right.

    With regard to most other people, I realize I’m in a tiny minority here, and probably well over 90% of Americans simply buy the things they buy much of the time without spending an iota of time or energy thinking where those things came from or where the money will go after it’s handed over to the cashier.

    Yea, I know, I’m weird that way.

    Friendships and social acquaintances are different from economic enterprises. God knows that I have a wide and diverse range of flaws that many of my friends and acquaintances are generous enough to overlook, and I have many friends who have a wide and diverse range of flaws that I pay little or no attention to. I know that I have many acquaintances who favor depriving gay people of the very same rights and benefits they and their families enjoy. They know where I stand, and I know where they stand. It’s not like we can’t carry on a social conversation because we see the world in starkly different ways. Though I remain skeptical of the merits of their conclusions, I presume they (just as I presume you) have thought diligently about the issue and have good reasons for reaching the conclusions they (or you) have reached. Just ’cause I can’t relate to it is no reason to treat people poorly. It’s simply a topic of discussion that is probably best left alone, particularly while having a beer at the b-day party of somebody’s child.

    So, what I’m getting at in a very long-winded fashion is that it’s one thing to have a view, and it’s another thing entirely to contribute to institutionalizing it or helping to foist it on others. I don’t really want to get into a debate on the merits, because I’m not going to change my mind. You probably won’t either. I don’t see the point.

    But what it comes down to is that I, personally and all by myself, don’t knowingly give my money out to people or businesses who will use it to discriminate. If other people think I’m nuts, fine. You are not alone. If you want to give money out with little or no regard for how it may be used – go ahead. I’m not going to judge you for it, and if I were inclined to, I don’t see how that would be a reflection on you so much as it would be a reflection on me.

  40. EOS
    Posted January 18, 2009 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    Mark H.

    “… since you present yourself as an expert on what God intended marriage to be, how can you reconcile biblical accounts of men having more than one wife with your presentation of God’s will and the history of marriage?”

    I’ve never presented myself as an expert on God’s views – I merely read the Bible and comprehend some of what God has written on the subject. The Bible is an historical account. It is a record of events that have happened. To say that God approves of all the deeds that the Bible records would be wrong. Lot had sex with both his daughters, yet no one claims that the Bible endorses inces*.

    Abraham had a concubine and Jacob had two wives. And the Bible teaches us what comes of this: marital discord, jealousy, abandonment and sibling rivalry carried to murderous extremes. Because Abraham and Sarah didn’t trust in God’s promise, the father of the Jewish people consorted with Hagar, Sarah’s servant. From this union came a millennia of conflict between the Children of Israel and the descendants of Ishmael.

    David had an affair with Bathsheba and got her pregnant while her husband was away. To cover up his sin, he had Uriah killed. After Bathsheba gave birth, God caused the child to die.

    Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. The Bible records that this was evil in the sight of God, and because Solomon broke God’s covenant, he had the kingdom stripped away from his line.

    “When do you think marriage was so instituted, and what were the first cultures to practice it in the way you define it?”

    Marriage was instituted as part of the very order of creation. God created one male and one female and the entire human race is descended from that first pairing. God revealed to man his need for a wife (Gen 2:18) and a woman’s need for a husband (Gen 3:16). He created woman for man and man for woman at the very beginning. (Gen 1:26 – 27). From the start man realized that it was God’s will that he have one wife, (Gen 2:23 – 24), and to love and cherish her as his very own.

    You are the individual who is choosing to be willfully blind.

  41. Posted January 18, 2009 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    I think Cain was doing Eve.

  42. ol' e cross
    Posted January 18, 2009 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Trusty,

    Wouldn’t try to speak for EoS, but no offense taken. For the record, I support the right of gay folk to marry. My concern is for how we view folks that differ in opinion. Your example of friends who differ is more along the lines of what I aim for. I’m more comfortable with saying someone has some bigoted views, than categorizing them as nothing more than a bigot.

    Would it make a difference if we knew that DeeX’s realtor also contributed to shelter’s for battered women, for example? (Probably not the case, I’m just suggesting people and positions are often more complex than Dude would lead us to believe.)

    It’s very tempting for me to look at the list of donors for local political causes that I was opposed to and shop accordingly. I still frequent establishments that opposed my political preferences. As I said, I also have a line, and I respect that we draw may it in different places. (There is one local business I no longer support based on how they treat employees.)

    Today, I read a quote from our future President (while eating nachos off one of his commemorative plates) in that stalwart of in-depth journalism and celebrity gossip, Parade:

    “And I want us to push our own human boundaries to reach beyond the divides of race and region, gender and religion that keep us from seeing the best of each other.”

    -Barack Obama

    (Yah. It’s a cheesy quote. But ever since my daughter was born even fucking car commercials can make me cry.)

  43. Devil's Advocate
    Posted January 18, 2009 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    Mark H.,

    Your history lesson would seem to suggest that morality, at least marriage and sexuality, is a social construct. One thing is deemed moral in one time, something quite contrary in another. Morality is defined (bound and gagged) by culture.

    As such, I think it’s fair to ask, would the revival of the practice of buying wives also be OK with you? Why or why not? What practices of marriage would you support or oppose, on what grounds? (Please try not respond solely with some freedom and individuality based American moral construct.)

    Dude. Although I expect a far less thoughtful response, I’ll ask the same question, but will put it in terms you’ll more likely relate to: Mind if I fuck your girlfriend?

  44. Brackache
    Posted January 19, 2009 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    D.A. — I’d always assumed that baby boomers invented morality. And reality.

  45. Hamburger Helper
    Posted January 19, 2009 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    The devil and the dude.

  46. Posted January 19, 2009 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Yes, I would mind, although the Bible says that it’s ok that my brother fucks my wife after I die, as long as we have had no children. Since God said it, it must be true.

    The more pertinent question, however, is something that has bothered me since childhood. If Eve and Adam were the only two people on earth before they begat Cain and Abel, who the hell was Cain fucking? I decided that it must be Eve. I wonder if Adam, Eve and Cain had a threeway together?

  47. Brackache
    Posted January 19, 2009 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    According to the story, Adam and Eve had other sons and daughters. I believe it says that shortly after the Cain/Abel incident. So he was fucking his sister/s.

  48. Posted January 19, 2009 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Oh, good. Then it’s OK for me to marry my sister in case she and my brother don’t have kids.

  49. Brackache
    Posted January 19, 2009 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Assuming no other humans exist, yes.

  50. Posted January 19, 2009 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Is that stipulation made? How far would I have to to travel to obtain a wife? If I don’t have a brother and my wife/sister is unable to produce children, am I allowed to stone her to death?

  51. Brackache
    Posted January 19, 2009 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Allowed by whom?

  52. Posted January 19, 2009 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    By God, Jesus or the Holy Ghost. Personally, I would rather go through the Holy Ghost.

  53. Glen S.
    Posted January 19, 2009 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    I find it fascinating that whenever the issue of civil marriage equality is debated, it invariably seems to devolve into tug-of-war over various interpretations of “God’s will” as derived from various Biblical perspectives.

    Those who use such arguments to deny their fellow citizens their equal rights always seem to make two crucial mistakes. One, they assume that everyone is, like them, a Christian, and therefore beholden to that particular religious dogma; and Two, they assume that the Bible should determine civil law.

    Whether or not God — through interpretations of the Bible (or the Torah, or the Koran, or any other holy book) — “approves” or “disapproves” is a topic worthy of consideration among theologians and believers. And, of course, individual religious denominations should be guaranteed the right to choose whether or not to bless such unions.

    But, as a purely legal matter, these opinions are completely irrelevant to the question of whether everyone is entitled to equality in terms of the more than 1,400 benefits (including inheritance, immigration, hospital visitation, tax benefits, etc.) that, in the U.S., come with civil marriage.

    So, please, let the theological debate continue … but in my view, the definitive statement on the question of civil marriage equality lies is right there in 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees ALL citizens equal protection under the law. Period.

  54. Posted January 19, 2009 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Since Jesus never married, I assume that he must have been gay. Maybe he was doing Judas. Maybe all the disciples were gay and it was a steambath party for all.

  55. Mark H.
    Posted January 19, 2009 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Devil’s Avocate — I am against buying of wives, now or ever. Why? Because I think the practice is a huge violation of human rights, whenever or wherever it may be practiced. It’s just plain wrong.

    EoS – sorry if my saying you presented yourself as an expert on God’s will seemed offensive to you. Didn’t mean it to be. I was just trying to make reference to your supreme confidence that your own views are the same as those of the Supreme Being. Your self confidence is striking, at least as you present your views on this blog. Most believers, Christian and in other faiths, I think have more humility. Most of the Christian faithful, I think, understand their faith as part of a journey, a searching, rather than a set of clear cut answers. I’m not saying one is right or wrong, just noting a contrast. The Bible has been read for centuries – even just in the centuries since the King James translation was produced – and interpreted quite differently than your interpretation of it. I won’t agree that your reading alone is correct. Indeed, it’s bee read to endorse polygamy, and wife buying, and slave owning. The morals of the Bible all lie in the act of interpretation.

    Your rejoiner to my post of course illustrates the kind of supreme confidence in your own knowledge of God’s will that I was noting earlier. Further, it’s clear that your view of the human experience is not based on historical change over time, but rather based on faith and ideas unprovable; which is fine, but it’s not history in the usual sense of studying the causes and results of change over time; your account starts with all the answers known in advance, known at least by you and those who share your version of Christianity. That’s fine with me, but it’s not relevant to studying or learning about actual history. It’s an exercise in turning the bible into a rule book and then applying those rules. Sounds boring and irrelevant to me, but to each their own.

    Your confidence in the accuracy of what you know God wants could be debated – but I will not, aside from noting that Christianity past and present is filled with sharp divisions on every point you take as certain and clear cut. Your views have not been shared by most Christians.

    Make any assumptions you want about me, EoS, but know that you make them without knowing me or my faith.

    Judge not that you be not judged. Walk humbly before the Lord.

  56. Posted January 19, 2009 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Christians have been burning and stoning people and preaching unmoving dogma for centuries. I think that EoS is pretty typical.

    All that being said, it appears that there are people who believe that Jesus was gay.

    http://www.salon.com/feature/1998/04/cov_10feature.html

    http://jesusinlove.org/

  57. Brackache
    Posted January 19, 2009 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    To tie into Glen S.’s comment, dude, you don’t believe in God in the first place, so the question of what he allows his people to do or not to do is not your problem.

    The apostle Paul says that we (Christians) are not to judge (specifically discipline by shunning in the context) those outside of the collective believers.

    The Torah, too, if I’m not mistaken, was meant for the tribes of ancient Israel, not for the gentile tribes/nations. Even for them (at least I believe) the Torah was given to both provide a sketch of the coming work of the Messiah and keep an accounting of / increase sin, so that the Messiah’s grace in his self-sacrifice would abound.

    Are you a Christian or an ancient Israelite? No? Then why are you splitting hairs over the Torah? Just to be a rude dick?

  58. Posted January 19, 2009 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Glen: Amen, brother (yes, that’s a really lame pun). I can appreciate the God’s will arguments and such, but we operate according to our Constitution and by rule of the majority. So, when it comes to supporting political causes, I’m sticking with those that, as Glen points out, support equal protection as opposed to those that want to repeal it.

    OEC: I hear you. I don’t really seek out donation info, but when I learn of it, it does affect my conduct. Would it matter if I learned that the offender contributed to a woman’s shelter? Probably not. I don’t think giving to a good cause balances out giving to a cause that favors discrimination. And I can always give to good causes myself.

  59. Posted January 19, 2009 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    “To tie into Glen S.’s comment, dude, you don’t believe in God in the first place, so the question of what he allows his people to do or not to do is not your problem.”

    Who said I didn’t believe in God? I’m worried that my brother will move into my house after I die. I can’t imagine anything worse. God’s will most certainly is my problem.

    Also, I’m intrigued by this gay Jesus concept. It makes a lot of sense. There are plenty of gay priests who hide out under a vow of celibacy, I bet Jesus was just covering up for his hidden homosexuality.

  60. Posted January 19, 2009 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Thankfully, the Bible says that I can take multiple wives as long as one of them is a sex slave:

    When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

    Whew.

  61. Brackache
    Posted January 19, 2009 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Seems pretty obvious you’re just being trolly on the subject, but since you claim you believe in God and have a question regarding how you or your family will obey the Torah, I’m going to have to refer you to your family’s Rabbi.

  62. Posted January 19, 2009 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    I thought you were a Rabbi?

  63. Brackache
    Posted January 19, 2009 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Geni. Honest mistake.

  64. applejack
    Posted January 19, 2009 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    obviously jesus and judas were gay lovers. jesus asked judas to betray him to the authorities because he was the only apostle he could trust with the important task. and the kiss in the garden gethsemane was a goodbye kiss, before the soldiers carried jesus away.

    if this isn’t a novel already then dan brown or somebody should get to writing it.

  65. EOS
    Posted January 19, 2009 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Glen –

    The 14th Amendment to the Constitution, guarantees ALL citizens equal protection under the law. Nobody denies homosexuals the right to get married – that is, the right to marry an individual of the opposite sex. If you prefer not to get married, that’s your choice.

    The constitution also prohibits restrictions on the free exercise of religion. When the vast majority of the electorate are Christian, the result is that Christian moral values are codified as civil law. That’s why Judeo-Christian values will always permeate our culture and the majority of citizens.

    Maybe you and Mark H. would prefer the Netherlands?

  66. Posted January 19, 2009 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Slavery is a Judeo-Christian value, yet it is against the law.

  67. EOS
    Posted January 19, 2009 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    The message of the Bible is clear for those who will read it for the purpose to seek its meaning. You need to read each sentence, in its context, rather than cherry picking isolated sentences. The problems arise when people bring their preconceived notions to the Bible and attempt to make the Word fit their preconceived ideas. This is not the fault of the Bible, but of the persons who want to force the Bible to say whatever they want it to say.

    The great majority of Bible readers of all denominations have no problem with agreement on the central teachings of the Bible. Even those who don’t believe the Bible to be true have no difficulty whatsoever discerning the main messages. Contrary to what Mark H. would like you to believe, there are no respected theologians who would interpret the passages I cited any differently. The concepts are explicitly stated and nothing is interpreted or inferred.

    Mark H. would have us believe that faith is a journey, where each individual, personally, finds a unique path to their own truth. The Bible says Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The Bible also warns not to be deceived by persons who come along later and preach a different form of the gospel than what Jesus preached.

    The history professor doesn’t want you to know that the facts in the Bible have been extensively studied and documented in an enormous amount of secular historical works as well as evidenced by countless archeological artifacts. In fact, there has not been a single artifact found that discredits any of the history written about in the Bible.

    Don’t be fooled into drinking his Kool-aid and don’t put on your Nike’s and track suit with quarters in the pocket, waiting for the mothership to emerge from behind the comet.

  68. Robert
    Posted January 19, 2009 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    EOS, it’s good to see you got the “big O” finally.

  69. Posted January 19, 2009 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    “In fact, there has not been a single artifact found that discredits any of the history written about in the Bible.”

    The earth is not 6000 years old. I walk on that evidence ever single day.

    Slavery is still a Judeo-Christian value. Jesus said so.

  70. Posted January 19, 2009 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Like it or not, EOS, our country is of the people, by the people and for the people. God doesn’t get to make the decisions for us, and the Constitution forbids our gov’t from making choices solely because they are endorsed by a particular religion.

    Your equal protection argument is irrational. When a man wants to get married and he chooses a woman (who consents), the gov’t says it’s okay. When the same man wants to get married and chooses a man (who consents), the gov’t says no. That, my friend, is the government discriminating on the basis of gender. There’s just no way around it.

  71. EOS
    Posted January 19, 2009 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    TG-

    The people have decided, since the inception of our form of government, that marriage is between two people, male and female, man and wife. The people chose to put it to a vote in California last year, and again, they decided, one man – one woman. God didn’t vote. That a person might be influenced by their religious beliefs is not a valid reason to exclude them from the voting booth, just as a person who might be influenced by their sexual proclivities cannot be excluded from the voting booth.

    Men can’t choose to marry other men. It’s against the law, which has been enacted by the consent of the majority. It’s analogous to saying that I choose to pay taxes and then I define taxes as $50 a year. Laws apply to everyone and are not subject to redefinition by a minority view.

    By your own words, you choose to discriminate on the basis of ideology. Persons who hold different points of view are labeled with pejorative terms. That’s irrational, bigoted, and intolerant behavior. I’m glad you are no longer on the school board, subjecting innocent children to your discriminatory bias.

  72. Posted January 19, 2009 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    “Men can’t choose to marry other men. It’s against the law, which has been enacted by the consent of the majority.”

    Not in Mass. and Conn. you moron.

    There are also several states which have same sex civil unions on the books.

    You truly are stupid.

  73. EOS
    Posted January 19, 2009 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Dudette-

    Laws in Mass. and Conn. were struck down by isolated judges without the consent of the majority. It’s a form of tyranny.

  74. Brackache
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    Tyranny of the majority is also a form of tyranny.

  75. kjc
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    “The problems arise when people bring their preconceived notions to the Bible and attempt to make the Word fit their preconceived ideas. This is not the fault of the Bible, but of the persons who want to force the Bible to say whatever they want it to say.”

    Exactly.

    And we don’t need a history professor to counter your simpleminded theology. Plenty of thinking people can see right through it.

    I find your logic utterly foul and disgusting. And of course it’s no surprise that you can’t get the Christian out of the gay thread. Like a moth to the flame.

  76. Posted January 20, 2009 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    EOS: First of all, you’re completely wrong in asserting that gay marriage is illegal. It’s only currently illegal in some states, not in others, and the trend is toward legalizing or providing civil union benefits to avoid discriminating against gays. You are also missing the fundamental principles that underlie a constitutional democracy. Judges are required to strike down an act of the majority when it conflicts with the constitution. Unconsitutional acts by the majority against minorities is commonly referred to, interestingly, as the “tyranny of the majority.” Also interestingly, legislature can overturn most rulings of judges, and their failure to do so implicitly endorses the ruling. There’s nothing tyrannical about it.

    Second, history is no basis for supporting discrimination. There once was a time in our country when whites could marry only whites, and blacks could marry only blacks. Back then, as the people of our great country began to recognize how wrong that was, discrimination began to abate. Interestingly, under your twisted logic, limiting whites to marry only whites and limiting blacks to marry only blacks would be okay, as whites and blacks would be treated the same, limited to marrying only those who are considered members of their race.

    Prohibitions on gay marriage violate equal protection. If you take two groups of people that are separated on the basis of gender, and you let the women marry men but not the men marry men, then you are limiting potential partners for one group and not the other based solely on a gender classification. There is no way around this problem. This is precisely why state Supreme Courts around the country have invalidated prohibitions on gay marriage or required that civil unions be created. When they set aside their historical and other biases, they realize there is no way around this problem, other than, of course, to repeal equal protection, which they don’t want to do.

    Finally, I don’t discriminate against you or your beliefs because they are religious, or because of your religion. I criticize the fact that you attempt to logically support a faith-based conclusion that in and of itself is not compatible with the legal concept of equal protection. If you simply wanted to repeal equal protection, that would be easy to understand, but that’s not your position. You want to keep equal protection and distinguish a situation that is not distinguishable so you can pretend your position is based on a logical analysis and valid conclusions, which it is not. It is based on your faith, plain and simple. You are entitled to it. However, pretending that it’s something other than based solely on your faith is the height of intellectual dishonesty, in my view.

  77. Mark H.
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    EOS’s point of view has been sagely critiqued above, but I do want to add some observations.

    First, one of the great achievements of American culture a couple of centuries ago was the invention of religious tolerance and pluralism; this in part arose from an American disgust at the religious wars of Europe, in which Christians slaughtered one another over the “correct” meaning of Christianity. This is relevant to EOS’s absurd claim that all readers of the bible who read each sentence carefully will reach the same conclusion. Which sides of each religious war among Chrstians had the truth, EOS? Such self confidence in their own monopoly of God’s truth was possessed by those who put dissenters to death by burning them at the stake and other wise slaughtered or hung or dismembered Christians whose Christianity wasn’t quite the right kind. Not a pretty record, and not one the faithful today can ignore without, in my view, committing the sin of arrogance.

    Second, EOS wrote “The history professor doesn’t want you to know that the facts in the Bible have been extensively studied and documented in an enormous amount of secular historical works as well as evidenced by countless archeological artifacts….Don’t be fooled into drinking his Kool-aid and don’t put on your Nike’s and track suit with quarters in the pocket, waiting for the mothership to emerge from behind the comet.” This, in my view, is crazy talk of the worst kind, and I don’t want to dignify it with much debate; but I do want to make clear that I believe in no “mothership” hidden by a comet, and I have no association with religious cults, and I don’t discourage anyone from reading the Bible. Far from it! Nor do i try to tell anyone what their faith should be. It is disturbing that EOS or anyone would take a few mildly worded common sense observations about Christianity – namely, that Christians don’t agree with themselves on all points – as cause to accuse me of promoting Kool-Aid and suicidal religious cults. Is disagreeing with EOS and taking him to task in a rational discourse equivalent to urging people to commit suicide as a way to reach a cult’s mothership idea of heaven?

    To me, the Bible will always be “The Good Book,” but each reader of it will find their own value in it, despite the dogmatic claim that the Bible is the sole truth and that only EOS’s version of that truth is valid. Ultimate truth is not for mere mortals to judge, in my view. Most crucially, the Founding Fathers understood that no religious idea can be given state sanction without jeopardizing all religious freedoms, and this was one of the reasons why they established protections for the rights of minorities. As Trusty wisely has explained above, a majority cannot trample on the rights of minorities without threatening democratic governance.

    Lastly, quickly, yeah of course the Bible has been studied by scholars; I am not one of them, but I’m not so foolish to claim, as does EOS, that such biblical scholarship stands united in support of his religious viewpoint.

    Sorry to go on so long here. Let freedom ring! Man was born free, yet every where man is enslaved — didn’t Thomas Jefferson say that?

  78. Posted January 20, 2009 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Yo, Mark, the mothership will be over at my place around 9 to take us behind the comet and then over to the Corner Brewery for beers. You in?

  79. Posted January 20, 2009 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Most likely, there are too many big words here for EoS’ simple thinking.

  80. Mark H.
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Trusty —

    I very much like this idea of beers at the Corner tonight – but can the mothership you speak of carry people like me who don’t believe in motherships? Can I walk instead? See you there!

  81. Posted January 20, 2009 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Usually, right after a person achieves “the big O” they are much less disagreeable than EOS has been. Either its affect is too fleeting in this case or it is much delayed.

  82. EOS
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Robert –

    Have I ever been agreeable, Big “O” or no?

    Mark does a great job. An attention grabbing title, a thought provoking article, and then some agitation to get things started. 81 posts later there’s 4 or 5 people engaged in a real exchange of ideas. I’m not offended by differences of opinion, but am fascinated by the thought processes that different individual’s undergo to reach a conclusion. You can’t debate unless someone has a different opinion and I do find it very entertaining and educational “to watch the shit hit the fan.” I don’t really set out and try to be disagreeable – I actually do have strongly held beliefs that run counter to most posts on this site.

  83. ol' e cross
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    First, a shout out to Glen S who I think phrased things well, among others.

    In lieu of recent events, and somewhat back to my point, is that if Obama had to select three commenters on this blog to pray for him today, Glen S., EOS and Mark H. would likely all be tapped for supplication.

    Those among us who toss out simplistic, inflammatory single sentence responses would be brushed aside.

  84. Luke Bison
    Posted January 21, 2009 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    Obama and Jesus sitting in a tree, F-U-C-K-I-N-G.

    Brush that bitch.

  85. Devil's Advocate
    Posted January 21, 2009 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    Mark H.

    Perhaps I should be more direct, “Your history lesson would seem to suggest that morality, at least marriage and sexuality, is a social construct.” Can you respond, directly? Or, more historically, can you explain how if you, specifically, were born and raised in a different time and place you wouldn’t be likely to defend the moral right of “buying of wives” instead of declaring, now, rather unpersuasively that “it’s just plain wrong.”

    Dude. Too late. (It’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission. For the record, I’m not asking for either.)

    Face it. Morality is a social construct. Nothing more. Do what you want. Do what you can get away with. Die happy.

    By whose account is something “just plain wrong”? If you have some special channel to universal, eon encompassing morality, by all means, let us know that we may follow.

    Dude.

  86. Posted January 21, 2009 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Too late for what?

  87. amused1
    Posted January 21, 2009 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Other than those states and districts which recognize common law marriage, a couple wishing to marry in the US are considered married only after the proper legal documents are signed and witnessed. One of the signatures must be that of a person with the authority of the government to officiate this act. No religious ceremony by itself confers upon a couple any of the legal rights and privileges of marriage.

    The state has the right to refuse or reject an application for marriage. For example, the state may deny an application for marriage if it feels that one or both parties are not mentally capable. This is usually judged as the ability to understand and enter into a contract.

    Depending upon a church’s teachings, beliefs and canon, a legally recognized marriage may not be recognized by the church. This in no way invalidates the legal standing of the marriage.

  88. EOS
    Posted January 21, 2009 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    TG-

    “Prohibitions on gay marriage violate equal protection. …Judges are required to strike down an act of the majority when it conflicts with the constitution.”

    I agree with you that history alone is an insufficient basis for supporting discrimination. However, I ask you, what has changed? Why have all the legal minds in more than 230 years history of our country never before interpreted marriage as a violation of equal protection or in conflict with our constitution? And why stop at only homosexual marriage? What is the legal basis for discriminating against polygamy or age-based restrictions on marriage?

    “You want to keep equal protection and distinguish a situation that is not distinguishable so you can pretend your position is based on a logical analysis and valid conclusions, which it is not. It is based on your faith, plain and simple.”

    Do you believe that faith and logic are exclusive, or is it possible that a person can have valid, logical reasons to support their faith?

    I think there is a lot of evidence to show that some forms of homosexual male sex acts can be damaging to a person’s health. Anal sex deposits foreign proteins in a body cavity that was not designed for such purposes. The physical act often tears the thin tissue of the intestinal wall and allows bacteria to invade the abdominal cavity, resulting in chronic, systemic infections. Ignoring all person’s who contract AIDS, the average gay male’s lifespan is 25 years shorter than the average heterosexual. Is it reasonable to encourage loved ones to avoid engaging in behaviors that could be harmful to their health?

    You mentioned earlier that you thought homosexuality was an immutable trait. I’ve read that polls have shown that the majority of parents would choose to abort their child if they discovered prenatally that they had the/a “gay gene”. Should scientists continue to pursue the discovery of a “gay gene”?

  89. Posted January 21, 2009 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Healed of hemorrhoids

    I had suffered from hemorrhoids since I was about 25 years old; I am now 36.

    About two to three years ago, I got a very large hemorrhoid that felt like the size of a large walnut and was very painful. I work full-time at a computer, and the medical profession tells you not to sit for prolonged periods of time.

    How was I going to do that?

    At that time, I did not know the benefits the Lord had died on the cross to give to them who believe.

    I was an unbeliever. I ordered all the worldly remedies: Preparation H, oils, pills, etc. I ordered the oils and had to put them on daily, two times a day and watch carefully what I ate to keep my bowel movements soft. I never visited a doctor, for fear of surgery as a recommendation. I finally got something that worked, in a pill that told you to take 10 -12 at one time to maximize the effectiveness, but could take more if needed. I was in so much pain that I took 15-18 or so at once. Over the course of about a week or two, the hemorrhoid went away; although I still had others, the big one was gone. I was thankful to be mostly free from pain.

    About three months ago, I received another one. This one was not quite as large as the one mentioned above, but was painful, as well. At this time, I had been walking in the promises of God for about six months. Seeing my son healed by God of eczema, I decided I was going to believe God for my healing and not take any medicine, even though I had some of the medicine that “worked” the first time, but did not totally rid me of them.

    While sitting in the bathroom, I commanded the hemorrhoids to be healed in Jesus’ Name, as I was not under the curse and was delivered from all disease and sickness at the cross, so they had no power over me.

    It was about four to five days later, while taking a shower and washing, that I noticed that not only was the hemorrhoid gone, but my rectum was completely smooth, without any “swelling” or hemorrhoids whatsoever. It had not been like this since I was a young man, just out of high school! I was very excited and shared with the local brethren.

    Even though this is a very personal matter that most people would not share, I felt the Lord wanted me to share with all of you, that it may encourage, as the Lord can heal completely, where the world cannot. I had read a lot on the subject of hemorrhoid treatment, as a result of the one I had two to three years ago, as an unbeliever, and saw the world’s methods and it was not pretty — many people mentioning that after surgery the hemorrhoids came back worse than before and that they were never rid of them. Most also saying if they had known what they know now, they would not have had surgery; they would have lived with the pain.

    Praise the Lord that He is faithful to His Word and is no respecter of persons, so what He has done for me, He will do for you.

    Repent and believe exactly what the Lord says in His Word and you shall be healed!

  90. amused1
    Posted January 21, 2009 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Sigh
    I was waiting for the classic marrying children, polygamy argument to show up. I applaud EOS for not throwing in marrying animals. In the US, the minimum age to marry without parental consent is 18. This rule tends to follow the basic requirement of entering into a contract, along with mental capacity, etc. The age rule, along with the prohibition of polygamy, applies to legal marriage regardless of religious doctrines that may or may not have a minimum age or single spouse requirement.

    Personally, I have no issue with polygamy. Leaving physical relations aside, polygamy is simply another form of the extended family household. Until the rise of the nuclear family, the three generation version of the extended family model was rather commonplace. Given our current economic climate, I suspect the extended family model will again become rather commonplace as more and more families combine households.

    And just for the record, required mental capacity rules out marrying animals.

  91. Posted January 21, 2009 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Polygamy subjugates women and reduces them to mere property rather than human beings. Sure, there’s testimonials out there from women saying that “its the best thing that ever happened to me” but then, I’ve talked to drug addicts that say that heroin is the best thing that’s ever happened to them. Treating humans like cattle is wrong and it goes on far more than it should.

  92. amused1
    Posted January 21, 2009 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Dude, your statement seems to assume that polygamy consists only of multiple wives. Polygamy is the state of having multiple spouses.

  93. Posted January 21, 2009 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Exactly. How many polygamous families do you know that have multiple husbands?

  94. Posted January 21, 2009 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    So you are going to say “But they do it in Nepal!”. So fucking what. There are lots of things that are done all around the world that we don’t do legally sanction here.

    Polygamy subjugates a woman’s power to choose how to live.

  95. Posted January 21, 2009 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Trusty Getto and Mark H, our ‘Mothership’ HAS arrived!

    http://www.btbpartybus.com

  96. Posted January 21, 2009 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Just as was prophesied, it runs on taco grease and randomly hauls a pile of drunk coeds around 24/7.

  97. Glen S.
    Posted January 21, 2009 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    EoS asks: “Why have all the legal minds in more than 230 years history of our country never before interpreted marriage as a violation of equal protection or in conflict with our constitution?”

    In the 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court decided unanimously in the case of Loving vs. Virginia that laws preventing persons of different races from marrying did indeed violate the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause. In their decision, they wrote:

    “Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival…. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.”

    So, basically, if replace “race” with “gender” or “same sex,” the same precedent would apply.

  98. EOS
    Posted January 21, 2009 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Loving v. Virginia does not set a precedent. Had the justices thought race and sexual orientation to be similar, they would have stated it in the decision, and same sex marriages would have resulted. The Federal government does not consider sexual orientation to be a protected class at all.

    Sorry Glen – that’s an incorrect application of the case.

  99. Posted January 21, 2009 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Just let it be known, that I am much more concerned that God heal my hemarrhoids. Did I even spell that correctly?

  100. Glen S.
    Posted January 21, 2009 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    EoS: You’re right, the Loving vs. Virginia decision is not a precedent for allowing same-sex civil marriage. Yet.

    Inevitably, however, a case testing this will end up before the Supreme Court (probably sooner rather than later), and when it does – the Court will have to decide whether continuing to deny any single, competent adult the right to willingly enter into a civil marriage with another single, competent adult constitutes a violation 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause.

    In doing so, the Court will likely also be forced to consider their own 1996 Romer vs. Evans decision – which struck down a State of Colorado Constitutional amendment that was specifically designed to deny some Colorado citizens their fundamental civil rights purely on the basis of sexual orientation.

    Together these two rulings seem to provide a more than sufficient legal “roadmap” for the eventual establishment of civil marriage equality.

  101. Posted January 21, 2009 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    EOS: Your ongoing comments display why I stated early on in this thread that it is pointless to debate this. Yes, 230 years of legal minds have been wrong. Obviously. Just like they were all wrong about inter-racial marriage. Just like they were all wrong about segregation and separate-but-equal. Just like they were all wrong with slavery. Just like they were all wrong depriving women of the right to vote. You can recycle the same tired arguments and pretend nobody has ever heard them before, but I think we all know better.

    What is clear is that no matter what I say, what Glen says, what anyone says, you do not have any intention of releasing your white-knuckled grip on your position. It is rooted in faith, and your faith is the premise for your argument. So, there’s no way to get here from there. We all get that. Which is why I said before, fine – you are entitled to your opinion. It’s a free country. Feel free to promulgate it as you wish, no matter how ignorant, hateful, mean, unenlightened and self-righteous it may be, and no matter how devastating the effects on others who are deserving of much better treatment than your faith purports to offer.

  102. degutails
    Posted January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    concerning the average life span of someone who is gay:
    http://www.slate.com/id/2098/
    (and what about bisexuals? do they get the average of the two averages, eos?)

    as for the remark about parents being especially willing to abort a gay fetus, and the “gay gene,” all i have to say is that while i understand that people tend to be attracted to one gender or the other, or both, from an early age, i personally cannot wait for the time when gay activists can stop having to argue that this is something people are born with and just explain that, if it’s a choice, it’s a perfectly fine one to make. it’s normal and it’s natural.

    meredith

  103. Posted January 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if bigots like EoS ever stop to think that the lower lifespan of gay men might have anything to do with living in a culture where people hate and fear them?

    This has been shown to be true for various ethnic minorities in a variety of countries, I don’t see why the same would not be true of sexual minorities.

  104. Posted January 21, 2009 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    I must say, however, that I do not put much faith in EoS 43 number.

    Historically, EoS just pulls lame information of biased Xtian site and throws numbers around like monkeys do with feces.

    Reading this Slate article, I find this guy’s methodology for calculating the death of gay men to be statistically infantile, if this is really how it was calculated.

  105. Glen S.
    Posted January 21, 2009 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Actually, I find EoS’s claim that the average gay man’s life span is only 43 years to be a sort of welcome relief — since I now realize I can stop wasting so much time and effort trying to eat healthier, exercise more and lose weight. After all, according to EoS, I probably don’t have much time left … so I might as well live it up, right?

    Goodbye tofu, brown rice and organic veggies. Hello bacon double-cheeseburger with a side of chili-fries!

  106. Brackache
    Posted January 21, 2009 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think EoS’s political opinion is rooted in faith.

    I probably share EoS’s faith view on the morality of homosexuality, but I don’t believe I have the authority or right to push my faith-based view of personal consentual conduct (that violates no one’s rights, property, or contract)on others via the sword (coercion) of the State.

    On the contrary, my faith dictates that I not judge unbelievers for their personal conduct — the furthest my scriptural authority extends even to sinning believers I’m close with is verbal rebuke, and finally personal disassociation, which violates no one’s rights.

    I believe what EoS’s political view is rooted in, instead, is the belief that it is the duty of the State to uphold the moral character of individuals via legislation, even if no violations of rights, property, or contract have taken place.

    This political belief is known as interventionism.

    It is most likely based on the fear that God will judge us as a collective based on political boundaries and legislation rather than either as individuals, or as spiritual collectives (spiritual Israel vs. political/familial Israel, for instance).

    I believe the U.S. will reap what our government has sown based more on our government’s fraudulent, coercive monetary policy, excessive spending, and rebellion against their oaths and Constitutional limits on their authority, rather than on whether they punish or sanction homosexuality via legislation… a power not granted (to the feds, at least) by the Constitution, and therefore forbidden it by the 9th and 10th Ammendments, even if they hide it in the tax code.

    I think I’ve got all my ducks in a row there… hopefully I didn’t offend anyone. Not my intent.

  107. ytown
    Posted January 21, 2009 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    dude, your hemorrhoids are probably from you getting nailed in the ass too often!

  108. Glen S.
    Posted January 21, 2009 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Frankly, in light of yesterday’s extraordinary and historic events, I’m finding this kind of “debate” to be even stranger than I usually do.

    Among many things, the inaugural celebration was a powerful and moving testament to America’s inexorable (albeit uneven) march toward more fully realizing the equality of all individuals and to expanding the circle of who we consider “us” (vs. “them”) to include an ever-wider and more complete picture of who we really are as a nation.

    As President Obama said yesterday:

    “On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

    We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.”

    I don’t know, but somehow, following that … continuing a blog debate about whether some citizens are, or are not, entitled to equal rights suddenly just seems so awkwardly retrograde and pointless.

  109. Posted January 21, 2009 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Brackache, do you really believe that God gives a shit about the Constitution?

  110. Brackache
    Posted January 21, 2009 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Dude, I think he gives a shit about people breaking their oaths to him. But I was more addressing the concept of reaping what you sow. If I max out all my credit cards, have no savings, and cut my productivity, I will go bankrupt. That’s reaping what you sow. My meaning is that EoS should be more worried about that happening to America than God sending the Babylonians to conquer us for not using Government force to forbid homosexuality.

  111. Posted January 21, 2009 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    I agree with you. EoS trying to marginalize sexual minorities and ban public transportation is small beans compared to some of the heinous shit we all take part in every day by merely paying taxes.

    However, I just don’t understand why individually we have to bear the spiritual burden of the greater group.

  112. Brackache
    Posted January 21, 2009 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    However, I just don’t understand why individually we have to bear the spiritual burden of the greater group.

    I guess I don’t understand what the question is in regards to.

  113. Posted January 21, 2009 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    I’m sorry, maybe I have misunderstood you. It’s not uncommon.

    Nix that.

  114. Mark H.
    Posted January 21, 2009 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Loving v. Virginia (1967) can be precedent for whatever a majority of the US Supreme Court holds that it is precedent for.

  115. Posted January 21, 2009 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Amen?

  116. ol' e cross
    Posted January 21, 2009 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    Amen.

  117. amused1
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    In the early 80’s a series of European studies found that left handed people had a measurably shorter average lifespan than right handed people. I suppose they deserve this shorter lifespan for choosing to live a left handed lifestyle. After all, Catholic schools trained lefties to write right handed for years. That makes it a choice, right?

  118. Posted January 22, 2009 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Left handed people are of the devil.

  119. Posted January 22, 2009 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    True, Dude. The last five Presidents have all been left handed.

    We have seen the barriers of race lifted. When will the ban on right-handed presidents be overcome? Viva la Right-Handed!

  120. Robert
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    NORTHPAWS, RISE-UP!!!

  121. amused1
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    In 2007 a gene was linked to increased odds of being left handed. That same gene is also linked to a slightly raised risk for mental illness such as schizophrenia. Sorta makes you wonder.

  122. Robert
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Oh, and Mark H, please don’t feel your relavant and intelligent posts are going completely unnoticed in this sea of stupidity we call markmaynard.com. I’m sure somebody who actually gives a shit about our legal syatem and this democracy of ours will stumble across this site one day.

    As far as Loving v. Virginia goes, isn’t Virginia FOR Loving? I know loving won that case, and in my book “loving” always wins….awwwww.

  123. Robert
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Is anyone keeping count of ytown’s references to anal sex? We’ll need that for the inevitable criminal investigation.

  124. Posted January 22, 2009 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    That’s great OEC! Oooooh-bama! Amen, Amen!

  125. ytown
    Posted January 23, 2009 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    I may be commenting on dudes sore ass, but maybe I should be concerned for mark and his aquarium heater. btw, how is your ass Robert?

  126. Robert
    Posted January 23, 2009 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Add one more to the ytown anal sex reference tabulator. What are we up to, 48?

  127. EB Dunkirk
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    I read that at Beware Gay Lunch Slobs.

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