North Carolina Amendment 1 – Revisited

Posted: April 8, 2012 in Discrimination, Government, Political, States
Tags: , , ,

Well, we are about 30 day out from the public referendum on the proposed North Carolina Amendment 1, also known as ‘Same-Sex Marriage Amendment’.  I Previously wrote about this a couple of months ago in “North Carolina Amendment 1”.  This proposed amendment to the state constitution  walks the perilous ground between conservative religious ideology and the denying of rights to all persons who are citizens of the state.  NC already has a law on the books that bans marriage between any people who are not man and woman; public passing of this referendum would not only be a redundancy but also could deny valuable assistance and legal protections to couples of varying gender groups because of the wording of the amendment.  The amendment would essentially decree that the only state recognized marriage would be that as performed by a member of the church so authorized to do so.  Couples like me and wife would possibly fall into jeopardy as we were married in what NJ considers a civil ceremony when we were married almost 17 years ago.

NC Representative Rick Glazier, a strong proponent for opposition to the amendment wrote an OP-ED to the Fayetteville Observer Times this weekend outlining some of the potential consequences that his peers in the state legislature would rather not be defined for the public.  They would rather keep the potential consequences private for it may sway the lemmings among their constituency to actually think for themselves and vote against the amendment, rather than as the politicians who brought this before the public want them to.  Rep. Glazier does a fine job of breaking from the pack with this OP-ED in what I believe is the hope people will make up their own minds and do what is truly right rather than vote along ideological or political lines.  Please read Representative Glaziers opinion on the matter here: http://fayobserver.com/articles/2012/04/08/1168504

Among the potential effects this amendment may have as identified by Rep. Glazier are:

Legal recognition of joint parenting rights.

Legal recognition of a child’s relationship to her parents.

Eligibility for public housing and housing subsidies.

Potentially, access to employer-based health and other benefits by partners as well as nonbiological, not-jointly-adopted children.

Access to Medicaid and Medicare benefits.

The ability to enroll nonbiologically related children in public schools or to authorize emergency medical care for them.

The ability to make health care decisions for incapacitated partners or even visit them in certain hospitals.

The ability to obtain life insurance.

Many deeds, trusts and wills.

The unintended consequences from this could roll back a host of laws across the spectrum in the state of North Carolina.  Domestic violence protections could be stricken, children born out of wedlock may not be eligible for certain benefits and protections as they would if they had “traditionally” married parents, and things such as living wills and DNRs may be protested by relatives who oppose the significant others, simply because they do not like them and have a no “biological” or “legal” connection to the individual.

North Carolina has one of the most diverse populations in the country.  The long-term family connections and roots are embedded in the religious ideology that keeps NC as a staunch and long lasting member of the “Bible Belt”  The many and well supported colleges and universities both supported by the state and private organizations have a make-up of complete diversity.  The University of North Carolina has both a “traditionally black” campus in Fayetteville State University and also an American Indian campus in UNC Pembroke.  The remainig UNC campuses, NC State, ECU and numerous private colleges and universities derive a vastly diverse population base, much of which is based upon a more “liberal” make-up than the more rural and steadfast population of the rest of the state.  It is quite possible that a side-effect of Amendment 1 would be the ranks of college students, who are the least likely to influence local political agendas, may swing the vote on the proposed amendment towards failure.  After all they are the future leaders of not only this state, but the nation as well.  As the next crop of adults responsible for bringing the state forward, they would also be charged with changing the perception that such a backwards move would cause in the rest of the nation.

In this day and age, the passing of such an amendment would be the equivalent to moving NC back to the middle of the 20th century when there was segregation based on race and it was illegal for persons of different races to wed, never mind the other benefits that come with marriage.  The antiquated thoughts of our leaders in the state legislature need be replaced with progressive ideals.  Government of any level has no right to intrude on the individual happiness of one or of a couple.  They should be allowed to decide on their own what their relationship status is and what rights and protections they wish to afford each other.  Non-standard couples as they are seen now are more commonplace than they were just a couple years ago.  It is not uncommon to see un-married men and women raising families and paying for the things they need to, the same rights should be afforded couple of any make-up.  The pursuit of happiness is something we are guaranteed, if two people find that happiness together, they should be allowed to enjoy it, no matter what their composition may be or your personal beliefs are about it.

Contacting your representative at this point would be moot as it is already destined for public vote.  The only way to insure this amendment does not pass is to get out and vote NO on May 8th 2012.  See the link at the side for more information on NC Amendment 1.

 

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Comments
  1. jjmil03 says:

    Just a couple comments:

    1) “Government of any level has no right to intrude on the individual happiness of one or of a couple.”

    Nor does the government, at any level, have to recognize something. Marriage is not a “right”, it is a privilege, and is so because of the expected outcome of marriage – kids – i.e. more tax revenue in the future. Gays and lesbians cannot conceive, and therefore there is not benefit to extending the privilege to them. Nor should they be allowed to adopt, because training our youth that homosexuality is OK, or morally correct is wrong at that level of their development. This is a decision that ADULTS must make, after careful reflection and studying the facts, their religious beliefs, or anything else they feel is material at the time. Not for a 4 year old. That causes me to have to explain to my child that “Amy’s parents” are gay, and that whole ball of wax. Not to mention the mound of studies that suggest that a 2 parent (1 of each sex) is best for the child…but I’m sure there is a lot of confliction on that point.

    2) Your point on NC diversity is well played, however being gay is a “choice”, not an ethnicity. If you choose that lifestyle, you choose everything that goes with it. Ethnicity or gender is NOT a choice, and there for no one should be discriminated based on that. However, if you choose to be gay, you must accept the consequences of that decision. It isn’t discrimination. It’s almost like a fat guy getting pissed because he has to pay twice as much for insurance. He CHOSE to be fat, and must live with that decision.

    3) Easy fix for the domestic violence issue – just change the definition to read “anyone living under the same roof will be subject to domestic violence proceedings” Done deal. That way it encompasses gays, straights, unwed people living together, and even roommates.

    4) 50 states = 50 different ways to live. If NC chooses this path, then no problem. Gay people, you don’t like it? Leave. Go somewhere where you will be accepted, like the northeast, or California. If the law doesn’t pass and all the straight people out there are pissed? Leave! Go somewhere where your values are better reflected. This is the way it was meant to be in the first place; different people could come together and live the way they want to live, the way their community decided to live. And if they didn’t like it, they were free to leave. That is what the Mormans did way back when, the Puritians, and even the Quakers and Amish. It’s a free country; live where you choose, just don’t be pissed if you run across a state that isn’t accepting of your “alternative” lifestyle.

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    • “Nor does the government, at any level, have to recognize something.”

      You are absolutely correct in this regard, I 100% agree with you actually. The state of North Carolina on the other hand has actually decided to recognize the institution of marriage as not only a right, but limiting the circumstances in which you can actually be married. They did this simply by making it a decision of government. You cannot have a public referendum without the Legislature placing it before the people of the state. One of the sponsors of the amendment actually stated that if it does pass that he expected it to be repealed within a couple of years because the environment just will not withstand the divisiveness. There is already a law on the books banning gay marriage in NC, but there has always been a flexible stance on how that applies to benefits, end of life decisions and parental obligations/decision making. The attempt at applying an amendment to the state constitution is not the stance of a state which resides in a nation of laws, it is the stance of a state trying to apply archaic, dogmatic doctrine to the rule of law.

      “If you choose that lifestyle, you choose everything that goes with it. Ethnicity or gender is NOT a choice, and there for no one should be discriminated based on that. However, if you choose to be gay, you must accept the consequences of that decision. It isn’t discrimination. It’s almost like a fat guy getting pissed because he has to pay twice as much for insurance. He CHOSE to be fat, and must live with that decision.”

      Again, I agree, there are many choices we make that are strictly our own and we must own up to the outcome, after all free-will is a heavy responsibility. Being gay or alternative or any other personal life decision is the responsibility of the one who lives the lifestyle. Should one decide to convert to Islam be at any more odds with society than a Jew or Hindu or a satanist? No those are protected freedoms as per the United States Constitution and try to infringe upon them and you have the might of a great lobbying base to fall down upon thee. But all that said, it is still a choice, you are not born a Muslim or a Christian or a Hindu or a Satanist or whatever, it is a personal choice. I advocate neither for nor against someone’s sexuality and the choices they make, I just feel there is no reason for the government to step in and say what is okay and what is not. If two people of any gender decide they wish to spend their lives together, whether it be married, civilly unioned or together in sin, they should have a say as to the how they support each other, provide for each other and how they invest end of life decisions to each other.

      The domestic violence issue is not such an easy fix. The state of Ohio found out the hard way that the law of unintended consequences is a bitch. As a system of laws with a basis of strength in a constitution, laws and amendments must worded correctly from the start. Once the cat is out of the bag, you cannot put it back in jail. The wording of the amendment does not recognize civil unions, from any state. My marriage would therefore be null and void in the state of North Carolina as my wife and I were married by the Mayor of a city back home. Even though he is duly recognized to perform such actions by the state of NJ, and it is fully binding and legal there, it would not be so here as it is written as a civil union.

      Much of your stance reminds me of a discussion we were having at work recently in regards to the new Sergeant Major of the Army’s stance on how to straighten things out and what he intended to do in regards to hair cuts, piercings, visible tattoos, etc. Your argument was that he had no authority and that us as senior Non-Commissioned Officers had no authority to confront someone we knew in public that was in violation of the laws. My argument was that we used to be able to do it, and some of us still do when the situation reflects poorly upon the Army. your stance was that things change and now there is a difference between on duty and in uniform and what someone does while off duty. Just another case of the man getting involved where he does not belong. Piercings, tattoos, use of language, clubs we join, all personal choices, all of which have been covered by regulations even if those regulations have been unenforced in order to keep personnel numbers up, but we do not have the authority to make corrections or follow it up even further should the situation dictate the offender needs personal attention by his chain of command?

      Choice is choice and it is personal, even when made under duress. I do not pretend to try and convince anyone to choose on which side they should vote, that is up to each and every person who casts a ballot and their conscious. I would just like people to realize this proposal does not take into consideration the unintended consequences. They need to look at their individual situations and try to imagine all the ways it can affect them and their personal relationship situation. A few simple words can have drastic consequences in the fine balance of laws and rights.

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      • jjmil03 says:

        “If two people of any gender decide they wish to spend their lives together, whether it be married, civilly unioned or together in sin, they should have a say as to the how they support each other, provide for each other and how they invest end of life decisions to each other.”

        No one is saying they can’t choose to live this way, but I do think the government has the power to recognize the one that benefits the society, and to incentive it accordingly, while the other does harm, or at the very least, does no good for the future of the society. Homosexuality, separate from the argument of whether its moral or not, is not in keeping with the law of nature. I think everyone can agree to that; man cannot procreate with man. So if we give an incentive for it, we encourage abnormal behavior. I’m all for live and let live, but not for helping push something that is detrimental to civilization as a whole.

        I disagree with enforcing the law as it pertains to domestic violence…can you not charge that person with a felony assault, even attempt murder, and get the same result as if you charged them with domestic violence? It’s just another law change, and they could have built it into the law in the first place to offer that protection.

        To your point on marriage, marriage wasn’t created by the government, it was established in religion. Government lends credence to it by right of pro-creation and the benefit to society that children give in terms of future tax payers, inventors, and in short, the future of society as a whole. It is an act that is encouraged because of its place in society. Homosexual marriage changes the dynamic from the whole point of marriage, pro-creation, to something else. I’m all for gay couples being able to see each other in hospitals and all that, but that can be handled in a power of attorney. I’m also quite sure that other states honor most every traditional marriage, and I’m sure there will be an exception to that if it is needed. A more critical reviewing of the law would be needed for that. But the other benefits, i.e. medicare, etc, are benefits given to married couples because of the good that they will provide to society by way of children. Homosexuals can’t provide this to society, EVEN if they were able to adopt. Adopting is a whole other issue, in that they will be training future generations that this sort of behavior is acceptable, which in our society, it is NOT.

        Worst case, I say do away with governmental sponsorship of marriage completely. Then they can do what they want. So long as adoption agencies are only allowed to place kids into traditional families (1 man 1 woman), I’m fine with that.

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  2. geriweaver says:

    @JJ

    First of all, homosexuality is a diagnosis which (at one time) was thought of as a mental illness. Scientific research has shown that not only is being gay, lesbian, bisexual NOT a mental illness but it is also NOT something you choose to be. Ask any GLBT person and they will tell you they would not have chosen a lifestyle where they are constantly bullied and discriminated against. People CAN choose to fight their sexual tendancies, but they cannot change who they are. That’s like saying I could marry an ugly man and try to be attracted to him, but I can’t change my instinctual non-attraction towards him.

    As for the argument that marriage is reserved for those who can reporoduce, then all people past the reproductive age should have their marriages nulified because it is no longer useful for them. Older couples past the point of having kids can’t get married. Those who choose (GASP!) not to have children do not have the right to marry. And those poor souls who have problems of infertility should have their marriages voided too.

    As for your problem with explaining to your 4 year old that “Amy” has two moms/dads, that is YOUR PROBLEM. Keep your child in a cave and never let them out in the real world and you will never have to worry about how they handle diversity. You’d be amazed how accepting children can be if they are not taught to hate others. Loving parents are best for children, regardless of their sexual preference (what “mounds of evidence” are you citing?). And as somebody who has worked extensively with abused/neglected children in the court system I can say that I have NEVER encountered GLBT parents who are the perpetrators. Same-sex couples can’t adopt? So in your opinion a child is better left without a family than with loving gay or lesbian couples. You obviously have no clue how many children have been discarded by or taken from their opposite-sex parents who would want more than anything to have a loving family and permanent home. How many unwanted children are you willing to take in? We do not have to “train” our children that homosexualtiy is OK; but we should certainly NOT train our children to descriminate and hate. Don’t like gay marriage? Don’t have one.

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  3. Schmuckleigh says:

    @JJ. You’ve fallen prey to the naturalistic fallacy. “Homosexuality, separate from the argument of whether its moral or not, is not in keeping with the law of nature.” Being natural doesn’t make automatically make something desirable or helpful. Great examples: disease, bites from venomous animals, natural disasters, etc. And homosexuality does in fact occur in nature. Quite often, actually.

    Secondly, if marriage is defined by one’s ability to procreate, then by your logic infertile people should be banned from marrying. As a childfree person who never wants children, I shouldn’t be able to marry.
    And as long as marriage confers civil, medical, and tax benefits, it’s not just a religious designation. Next, what evidence do you have that homosexual couples will produce more homosexual/bisexual/transgendered children than straight couples? I also hate to break it to you, but homosexuals can have their own biological children, and many do. Just because one is not attracted to the opposite sex doesn’t mean they can’t use a surrogate, in vitro, or even reproduce the old fashioned way.

    As a bisexual woman active in the LGBT community, I am truly outraged by your unfounded assertions that we are somehow harmful to society. New studies are showing that gay parents may actually be the best parents for children. Those children who have negative outcomes may actually experience those because of outside bigotry, not any failing on the part of the parents. Does it ever occur to you that maybe these couples actually fight to have children because they want to be parents more than other people do?

    And the medical establishment hasn’t classified homosexuality as a pathological behavior since the 1970s. Good to know you’re 40 years behind the times.

    I just want you to know that your attitude truly hurts. It hurts me and people I care about. Being gay, bisexual, lesbian, transgendered, or queer does not make one a bad person. If this amendment passes, then people I know and love will suffer. It’s so deeply unfair, I could literally cry. : (

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  4. jjmil03 says:

    I guess I’ll reply to Schmuckleigh first. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. I’m not a “vengeful” person or anything like that, and I certainly don’t hate gay people. However, as much as it may pain you, I will stand beside what I have said above (though I didn’t say they are “bad people”, I can see how you inferred it). So let me clarify a few comments above.

    1) Like I said, I don’t hate gay people. If fact, my sister says she is a lesbian. I love her very much, but at the same time, I do not accept it, and I will not support her when it comes to that facet of her life. That is more of a religious standpoint on my part. When she makes specific comments about being lesbian (especially when it pertains to our religion), I correct her, and I let her know how I feel. Separate of that, I would support her in any other way. Now, that could be construed as hurtful, and I couldn’t argue with that, but sometimes being truthful hurts, as much as we would like it not to. If you truly believe that killing is wrong, and your sister was doing it, you would try and convince her to stop, would you not?

    Also, I never said that homosexuality was a pathological behavior; I would however say that it is an abnormal behavior, not consistent with normal sexual practices. Personally, I feel it is immoral, but that argument is of no use if you are discussing it with someone with a different belief/value system. So I try not to bring it into the argument, unless it turns down the road of religion, as it often does with my sister (and I’m Catholic, so you probably already know where that would lead…)

    Now the one that really stuck out – outraged that I feel it is harmful to society. I absolutely believe that, and I’m sorry that we will have to agree to disagree. How would our society fair if EVERYONE was gay? We’d last one more generation, right? How fair is it to my family that I have to explain to a child about this sort of thing? How fair is it that PUBLIC school systems are teaching that this behavior is perfectly acceptable in society, and that we should openly support it like one would support baseball or basketball? Especially when I am teaching my family, that the behavior they see is morally wrong, and at the same time, that you should respect others, and if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything. That is also unfair, and it outrages me as much as my comments may outrage you. But you should also understand that for the course of history, homosexual behavior has been looked on as such. Mainly for religious reasons, but all the same, it has been unacceptable for as long as anyone can really remember. Now all of a sudden, you expect us to just drop those moral, religious, or common sense feelings because now you say its OK? That isn’t any more fair to me than I have been to you. The only difference is my opinions are (mostly) of the norm. I feel like you are getting upset at comments that I would say the majority of people agree with in some way shape or form.

    As for the second part of the statements, focused around the procreation aspects of my argument, I think it is a perfect example of trying to nit-pick something. A man and a woman can procreate; a man and another man cannot. It’s as common-sense as that, and we shouldn’t be trying to “what-if” it, like, “What if the guy can’t make sperm” or “The woman is sterile”. As for adoption, I, for religious reasons, can’t digest a gay couple adopting a child. From religious reasons, I feel like it is setting up that child for failure; not that the gay couple would ever harm or injure a child, or anything like that. It also introduces a child into an environment that they have a hard time comprehending; i.e. why do I have two daddies, why am I the only one, and especially with the child being exposed to a religion (I don’t know a single primary religion that supports homosexuality, short a sect of one of the Christian religions who don’t get along with the rest of Christianity) and having to be explained how their parents sexuality fits into that religious mold. Maybe the mothers and fathers of those children should be held accountable, and we would have far less adoption issues.

    Miss Geri, we choose what we want to be. I chose to do well in school, I chose to join up, and I chose to date ladies. It is a choice. We all have urges I’m sure, and that we cannot control, but end the end, it is a choice that we make.

    As far as the children are concerned, I do feel it is right to “train” them that while we respect everyone, there are behaviors that are immoral. Your argument is paramount to saying I shouldn’t teach my child a religion, because religion creates standards, and to live that life you must follow them. Those standards may claim that certain behavior is wrong. That is no more wrong than training a child how to hold a fork, or how to say “Yes Sir.” My religion says that homosexuality is a sin. It also says to love your neighbor, and to not throw the first stone. I think we can all get along in the end, but those values don’t change because someone says they are no longer politically correct.

    This is a very good debate. I feel like we should talk more about these issues. My opinions are no more wrong or right then yours, it’s all on your point of view on the subject. I hope I hit all the main points in both of your arguments, I was trying to read through all of them and I may have missed one or two here and there. I know the blogger here doesn’t agree, but I still believe that this nation was founded, and is rooted, in religion, so a lot of what the gay community is trying to achieve is very, very difficult for people to accept. And you can see that in the variety of rulings over the years. Neither party in this can accept “No” as an answer, but eventually, one side will have to.

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  5. geriweaver says:

    JJ, your knowledge of ancient history is way off. “Homosexuality” as you continue to call it was not viewed as immoral or unnatural. In fact, monogamy between opposite-sex couples was not normal at all. My bible-thumpin baptist ancient history professor made the point perfectly clear, and there is plenty of proof out there (just look at ancient art, and you will find it). Also, the idea that this country was founded on religious ideology is also incorrect; we came her to escape a theocracy, not recreate one. And the fact that you believe your views are “normal” because the majority of people think as you do is no excuse for imposing your “morals” on others – there was a time when the majority of American thought slavery was perfectly OK, and they used your bible to support it, and they were just as wrong as you are now. You have a right to your opinion, as bigoted as it is, but you have no right to tell others what their rights can be. If you are so afraid of how difficult it will be to explain to your children the “immorality” of the GLBT population, I suggest you never have kids because the “norm” is changing whether you like it or not. I myself have difficulty explaining people like you, who sit in judgement of others and want our SECULAR laws to reflect your religious upbringing. The scientific proof that same-sex attraction is not a choice is there if you care to look for it. Now, if you continue to use your Catholic upbringing as defense of your “morals”, then I have to assume that you are still a virgin (cuz you’re not married), you don’t wear clothing made out of different fibers, you don’t trim ANY hair, you have no tattoos, and you don’t eat seafood or ham, right?

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    • comments2003 says:

      I guess that is the difference between the people in this country that have religious-based values, and those that do not. I don’t believe that its apples to apples when comparing homosexuality VS gender/ethnic discrimination AT ALL. As for being a bigot, its defined as “a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices, especially one who exhibits intolerance or animosity toward members of a group.” I do have opinions, but I have no animosity towards them, and my reasoning is based on something firm, not just because “I hate gay people” or something like that. If that is the case though and I am a “bigot”, then we are both bigots because you feel that way towards my value system as well, do you not? Your opinions are intolerant of my belief system, are they not? That is a loaded term to use right out of the gate, and a poor attack method for your cause, and too much of that is occurring today. Next I’ll be a bigot because I don’t want to give poor people all my money to sit in government provided houses and smoke pot, because it’s their “right” to do so.

      We ARE based in a Judeo-Christian belief system; that is self-denial on your part. Read the Federalists Papers, or Madison, Jefferson, or Washington and you will see that religion was a HUGE part of our country before it was a country. Freedom “of” religion is much different than freedom “from” religion. Even FDR prayed as the nation listened during WWII. As a matter of fact, it was religious people that decried slavery, even as early as the 1700’s. Maybe you need to check your history as well…

      You can say the norm is changing, but then again, they said the same thing about abortion, yet more and more people are standing up for Pro Life values. Norms have a way of fluxing, and at last check 70ish percent of Americans identify with a Judeo-Christian faith, and as such, there is a large majority of Americans against what you are speaking about. Are they ALL bigots?

      As for the personal stuff you brought up, no one is perfect. I have NO CLUE where you got the not eating seafood! Jesus ate fish last I checked…but that aside, no one is perfect and I certainly am not one of them. I try though, just like the next guy. I would like kids though, and they will be raised to tolerate everyone, but tolerance is MUCH difference than approving of it, and they will know the difference. Tolerance isn’t giving in to your beliefs however. Just a question, should we shutter all the Catholic adoption agencies that are taking care of a lot of unwanted children because they won’t give children to same-sex couples? Would that really be beneficial to society? Just wonder what you think on that issue…

      In the end, we are just on separate wavelengths. I think there is a lot we would agree on, just not this, and that is OK to me. We each get a vote, and that is what it is all about. Throwing around labels such as “bigot” though is unhelpful, and could really be applied to anyone firm in their belief about something that someone else doesn’t like. It hurts the dialog and causes anger. In my posts, I never referred to the lady above as a “fag”, or “queer” or any of that. I’m sure she is a great person, and someone I could get along with; I just wouldn’t discuss that subject with her unless she really wanted to. I respectfully disagreed, and I had reasons for my opinions, however intolerable they were to you, or to her. And I don’t see anything wrong with that.

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  6. geriweaver says:

    JJ… You can’t claim tolerance when you want to have the power to vote against giving others the same rights you enjoy. The very act of voting for Amendment 1 is an act of intolerance. Calling you a bigot wasn’t a slur… it was an observation. It’s not like ‘fag’ or ‘queer’; if I called you a retard THAT would be a slur and an insult to the developmentally challenged.

    I am not intolerant against your belief system, only that you want the power to infect our laws with your belief system. You can judge others all you want and back it up with your bible as good cause, but that doesn’t make it right.

    I’m still waiting on the “mounds of evidence” that proves m/f couples are better suited to raise children. While I’m waiting I can give you mountains of proof that those who are homophobic are most likely gay people who claim to be straight but hate themselves for being gay. Here you go: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57411822-10391704/homophobia-may-reveal-denial-of-own-same-sex-attraction-study-suggests/ And while this expansive round of studies is new, it confirms a similar study conducted in 1996.

    Here’s your slavery lesson: http://www.ushistory.org/us/27f.asp Can you provide me with proof that Christians were against slavery?

    As for seafood, I stand corrected… it’s just shellfish. I don’t eat any seafood so it’s all the same for me, but your bible says anything from the sea unless it lacks scales… so no lobster for you. Would you vote for an amendment that outlawed consumption of lobster, crabs, shrimp…?

    I guess what most ticks me off about you is that you believe you deserve more rights that others, and you back it up with a book that you don’t completely follow like that somehow makes it right. This is the same book that elevates men above women, and allows stoning as discipline to a disobedient child. I am intolerant against intolerance, no matter what the defense is. I take no issue with people of faith – if it serves a purpose for them and harms no one, then have at it! Believe the earth is flat, and the mountains hold up the sky, and millions of animals fit on a boat, and snakes can talk… but don’t use that crap to justify your judgement against other people.

    As for what our country/laws are founded on… wow… no constitution?
    Here’s some Jefferson for you (and only a small sampling) :

    The whole history of these books [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills.
    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, January 24, 1814

    Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.
    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

    In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.
    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814

    … Washington:
    If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.
    — George Washington, letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia, May 1789, in Anson Phelps Stokes, Church and State in the United States, Vol 1. p. 495, quoted from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

    … Madison:
    Every new & successful example of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters is of importance.
    — James Madison, letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822

    And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.
    — James Madison, letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822, in Saul K Padover, ed, The Complete Madison: His Basic Writings (1953), also; from Jack N Rakove, ed, James Madison: Writings, (1999), p. 789, quoted from Ed and Michael Buckner, “Quotations that Support the Separation of State and Church”

    The civil government … functions with complete success … by the total separation of the Church from the State.
    — James Madison, 1819, Writings, 8:432, quoted from Gene Garman, “Essays In Addition to America’s Real Religion”

    Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion & Govt in the Constitution of the United States the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history.
    — James Madison, “Monopolies. Perpetuities. Corporations. Ecclesiastical Endowments,” in Elizabeth Fleet, “Madison’s Detatched Memoranda,” William & Mary Quarterly, Third series: Vol. III, No. 4 (October, 1946) p. 555.

    I must admit moreover that it may not be easy, in every possible case, to trace the line of separation between the rights of religion and the Civil authority with such distinctness as to avoid collisions and doubts on unessential points. The tendency of a usurpation on one side or the other, or to a corrupting coalition or alliance between them, will be best guarded by an entire abstinence of the Government from interference in any way whatever, beyond the necessity of preserving public order, and protecting each sect against trespass on its legal rights by others.
    — James Madison, letter to Reverend Adams, in Robert L Maddox, Separation of Church and State: Guarantor of Religious Freedom (1987) p. 39, quoted from Ed and Michael Buckner, “Quotations that Support the Separation of State and Church”

    As for Catholic Charities… they gave me to a “good catholic couple” who beat me until the state stepped in. They are a PRIVATE organization and can do as they please. Same with private schools teaching creationism/”intelligent design”. However, public = secular. That’s what our constitution is supposed to uphold, and that’s why Amendment 1 is nothing more than legalized discrimination.

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    • jjmil03 says:

      Wow I should have came here first to read this than in my email! At least here there are spaces…not so in email.

      Let’s start by the easiest of the above to debunk:

      1) Slaves were told by Paul the Apostle in his first Corinthian Epistle that they were to seek or purchase their freedom whenever possible. (I Corinthians 7:21 KJV). So I’d say that the Apostle Paul was certainly against the idea. Also, in 1965 the Second Vatican Council declared without qualification that slavery was an “infamy” that dishonored the Creator and was a poison in society. The first American movement to abolish slavery came in April 1688 when German and Dutch Quakers of Mennonite descent in Germantown, Pennsylvania (now part of Philadelphia) wrote a two-page condemnation of the practice and sent it to the governing bodies of their Quaker church, the Society of Friends. So Christians as early as 1688 were against it. This continued throughout the 18th and 19th centuries until the end of the civil war. Pope Gregory XVI in his bull In Supremo Apostolatus issued in 1839 condemned slavery as well. In 1842, the Archbishop of New York denounced it as well. To say that there was not a religious affront to slavery is to ignore the good things that religion has done over the years. Is this sufficient evidence?
      2) I would not be for a law banning lobster, lol. A lot of the religious quotes you have, concerning shellfish and the like, are based on Old Testament readings (stoning children, not eating meat or shellfish, actively encouraging slavery once you take over a society, an eye for an eye, etc.). While the Old Testament is relevant in certain cases, the New Testamant “trumps” Old Testament laws. Jesus lifted the prohibition against certain foods, namely pork. Jesus also said love your neighbor, as I recall. As for the woman parts that you quote, I believe that in most cases, if you read the following line, it also has an instruction for the male as well. I believe that men and women have to work together in life, in a marriage, and if that doesn’t happen, it falls apart rather quickly. A man is a natural provider, and a women is a natural supporter. Women have things that totally complement a man; as does a man. Together they are one. One of the most celebrated women in all of history was Mary, the mother of Jesus. Catholics everywhere honor her and what she did for us, willingly choosing to be the Mother of our Savior, and understanding the suffering that would come with watching her own son die on the cross. Countless women Saints have been honored by the Catholic Church, so to say that religion hates women or debases them just isn’t true. Sometimes people take bible statements completely out of context (now here comes your 50 quotes from a feminist website that explores the bibles “troubling” history with women). Especially those who are just itching for something inflammatory, such as you are (no offense meant by this). Once you find all of those nasty, nasty quotes, flip on over and find the Catholic Catechism, and check out how the Church explains the passages. One of the great things about being Catholic is that you have a whole bunch of really smart people who understand the context, language, and message that the specific verse you are quoting, unlike many other Christian religions who just “guess” or determine on their own limited understanding of the Bible and what it really means. God forbid we say a man should provide for his family now adays, or the crazies will come out and hit me with a shoe for being a male shovinest.
      3) For every story about a “bad” Catholic couple, I can give you 4 more of a good couple, or at the very least, a similar story about a different couple that has no religion or a different type. This is prevalent in all religious, non-religious, gay, and whatever “other” situation you can imagine. All I was trying to say is that the Church is at least “trying” to care for those children. To not let them do it would cause much more harm than good. It’s a red-herring.

      4) There is not such “right” as marriage. Show it to me in the Constitution! Where is it? If it were really up to me, I would allow civil unions to the effect that they get the same tax benefits as married people, and whatever other benefits that come with it (Medicare, visitation at hospitals, etc.). The primary reasoning being to shut people up so we can fix the real issues that hamper this country down. I care less about this issue than I do about the economy to be honest. The ONLY thing that I would be against is 1) Adoption of children, and 2) It called a “marriage”. That is it, and like I have continued to express above, we are just going to have to civily disagree on this point.
      5) Now a hard one to talk about, LGBT parenting. All of the statistics that I have seen online do seem to give credence to your points. The only problem I have with it, and will continue to have with it, is the morality point of view, and that of common sense. You can call me whatever you want, but the bottom line is that a one man one woman household is far better than ANY alternative short of homelessness. The child gets the full package, a mother, and a father. Men cannot teach what women know and vice versa. In any ideal situation, you would have the mother and the father of the child raising him/her. Any other combination raises questions when the child comes of age. “Why do I have two daddies?” for example. You miss a key ingredient by failing to have that mother or father figure in that child’s life. Now would a two father household be better than a child living on the street – yes. Is it ideal – absolutely not. Further (onto religion), it teaches the child values that I am uncomfortable teaching – that homosexuality is acceptable. That is just me. If you gave me the choice between a child living on the street and a two daddy household, I’d choose the latter, but I wouldn’t be happy about the situation, short of the kid being provided for, which is a good thing.
      6) You are a very intelligent person. I have a lot of respect for you, and I enjoy this dialog very much. What I don’t really get is some of your more “personal” comments. For example, you say “I guess what most ticks me off about you is that you believe you deserve more rights that others, and you back it up with a book that you don’t completely follow like that somehow makes it right.” And “Believe the earth is flat, and the mountains hold up the sky, and millions of animals fit on a boat, and snakes can talk… but don’t use that crap to justify your judgment against other people.” How insensitive is that? You are guilty of exactly the same thing you are accusing me of; intolerance. I’m not saying anything of the sort to you. I have tried to reply to all of your statements in the previous posts with dignity, respect, and as much right answers as I can scrounge up on my personal time when I’m not fixing a computer at work. You can be upset at what I believe, just as I do pertaining to your beliefs. My belief system is the FOUNDATION of this country. Period, it isn’t a discussion or argument to be had about it. Short Ben Franklin, every other founding father was Christain, some were even preachers. You can’t tell me in all seriousness that their beliefs didn’t seep through into those documents that you and I both love.
      I know I will never change how you feel, but I like the dialog because to me, it shows that intelligent people on both sides of an issue can debate it, and we are both better off for it. But when you simplify my belief system, change things that ought not to be taken as literal and make them literal, or otherwise contort it into the worst possible meaning that you can conjure up, is hard for me to take and not address it. NO ONE follows their belief system to a “T”. Not you, not me, not anyone. Everyone is a hypocrite. What matters is that we TRY. We do our best, and try to be better than we can me. We are human after all, and we all fail.
      7) “The very act of voting for Amendment 1 is an act of intolerance.” That is YOUR opinion. To others, it is quite possibly an act to protect something sacred, an act to protect children from being raised in a less-than-optimun household, and an act to protect society from bending to the will of less than 1% who believe that they should be able to do whatever they want to do, whenever they want to do it. When does it end? Should we legalize heroin next? How bout we let people murder each other because they claim it’s part of their “lifestyle”. I have a question for you, when is it acceptable to say NO? Where is the line on anything? I contend that the line is based on our country’s morality; a morality that is steeped in Judeo-Christian values. Like I tell all the hippies that I run into, “If you don’t like it, LEAVE.” If people have a problem with the law, they have the FREEDOM to LEAVE.
      As for founding father quotes, here are some more for you below. I don’t expect you to read every one, but the jist of it to me is that religion was fundamental in the writings of the constitution, and there isn’t anything wrong with that. People need to accept that we are based in that value system. Whether that is a good thing or not can and should be argued. One of the quotes that struck me was “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. ” That was John Adams, a key founding father! They truly believed that God was an intimate part of our revolution, and our continued existence. If they believed this to their core, how could they not have written the constitution to be aligned with the value system of Christianity? I by no means am saying we should all be Christian; we have the freedom of religion here. But that value system is still there, so to push such things as abortion or civil unions on people is very difficult.
      Finally, if public = secular, fine. But those secularists should NEVER bother religious organizations for anything ever again. So don’t come to us for adoption, money help (Red Cross), food (food banks), or any other charity type thing that we do…oh wait, that’s right, we’ll come to you anyway, ready to help. We’ll get that homosexual with AIDS a clean blanket and some food…AND tell them that we care about him, when all of his buddies have left him to die. We’ll help that single and pregnant 16 year old, and we’ll feed the homeless on the street. We’ll take care of the deserted and weak and poor of spirit, and anyone who simply asks for help, and get bashed all the while we do it, with a smile on our faces, even as we are getting told that PUBLIC=SECULAR. Just sayin…
      (QUOTES)
      George Washington
      1st U.S. President

      “While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.”
      –The Writings of Washington, pp. 342-343.

      John Adams
      2nd U.S. President and Signer of the Declaration of Independence

      “Suppose a nation in some distant Region should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God … What a Eutopia, what a Paradise would this region be.”
      –Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, Vol. III, p. 9.

      “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”
      –Adams wrote this on June 28, 1813, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson.

      “The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever.”
      –Adams wrote this in a letter to his wife, Abigail, on July 3, 1776.

      Thomas Jefferson
      3rd U.S. President, Drafter and Signer of the Declaration of Independence

      “God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever; That a revolution of the wheel of fortune, a change of situation, is among possible events; that it may become probable by Supernatural influence! The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in that event.”
      –Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVIII, p. 237.

      “I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.”
      –The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, p. 385.

      John Hancock
      1st Signer of the Declaration of Independence

      “Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual. … Continue steadfast and, with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us.”

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  7. geriweaver says:

    JJ… I don’t need somebody’s “interpretation” of the bible to help me understand what it’s supposed to mean. If your god wanted people to treat the bible as sacred law, then it should require no interpretation. That’s the problem with religion having ANY influence on government – too much room for interpretation, which is why our Constitution does not allow it.

    The quotes I provided to you are specifically about how religion was meant to be kept out of our laws. Just as I am not concerned with what your personal beliefs are, I care not what the religious beliefs of our founders were because those beliefs were not used to form the Constitution.

    But… the New Testament ‘trumps’ the old one and the old one is only relevant in certain situations????? And who is to decide which are relevant and which are not? People who choose to eat lobster but want to condemn gays? Please tell me where in the new testament Jesus determines that being gay or lesbian is wrong? If it wasn’t important enough for Jesus to discount it (like the all important eating of pork) then I guess that means it doesn’t apply… according to your standard. Sorry, you cannot rely on a book to justify your judgement of others and then discount the same book for things you are not willing to abide by. It has been may years since my catholic school days, but I remember clearly that if you know something is a sin and you continue to do it, forgiveness is not possible. I also remember that Jesus was pretty pissed off that people were not following the laws of Moses.

    As for religion groups helping people, hell yes they do! And there are also many that hurt people… but I won’t even go there because that would take me hours to give you the many examples I have researched. I guess you are not aware that our government gives religious groups special privileges… so while they may be ‘giving’ to the people OF THEIR CHOOSING they are getting from our government.

    Your proof that christians were against slavery is weak. The bible is no method of proof, unless you can say that everything in the bible (old and new) is proof. Popes… REALLY? How long did they go on covering up for all the pedophile priests. While there may be some christians who were against slavery, it is a fact that christians used the bible to support their rights to have slaves. And similarly, just like you choose to use the bible to justify your opinion of gays, there are plenty of christians who do not agree with you and who would say that you are abusing their religion.

    And children are better off with a gay parent then living on the street, but you don’t want them to be able to legally adopt? Pretty contradictory. As for marriage itself, it is LEGAL CONTRACT and does not just apply to believers. I had a CIVIL ceremony. I have a CIVIL UNION, yet the IRS says legally I am married. And you compare the right to for all people to marry to legalizing heroine? Marriage is not “sacred’ in the laws of the land, it is a contract. How does legalizing a commitment between people who love each other harm anyone? That “what’s next” argument was thrown around when women wanted the right to vote, people wanted to marry others of another race… the what’s next is that more laws will be made to abolish legal discrimination, that’s what. You live in a fishbowl if you think only 1% of Americans don’t think like you do – this whole “we are the majority and we will make it hard for anybody who doesn’t think like us” is beginning challenged by a huge percentage of the American population. Like it our not, your children (if/when you have any) will grow up in a society that welcomes same-sex unions, because this particular discrimination is loosing to the will of the people. You an either embrace it, or leave… because you will be in the minority sooner than you “believe”.

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  8. ZachKale says:

    The lunacy that is perpetuated here is asinine. Where to start with you, JJ? Well, let’s just take it from the top.

    You clearly are a bigot and I will tell you why. You claim to not have a prejudice against gays; however, you CLEARLY do not want them to experience the same rights and privileges that come with marriage. You are afforded those, why should they not be afforded them as well? The ONLY reason, in your argument, is that they are gay. You can rationalize why you feel this way all you want, but at the end of the day, it is what it is. You are bigoted towards them to the extent of not wanting them to have equal rights and privileges when it comes to marriage.

    To argue that it’s “bad” for kids is simply moronic. I grew up knowing plenty of gay people. I know a gay couple who has two little boys. Those boys are taken care of and loved by their parents. They have no issue with their parents being lesbians and neither does anybody else who ISN’T a bigot (since bigotry is a requirement for there to be an issue). I have never heard of a gay couple killing their children because the bible says that sparing the rod spoils the child, but I know hetero couples via the news that do this plenty. You clearly do not have a grasp on reality if you suggest that for one second ALL straight couples are better suited for child rearing than ANY gay couple.

    As far as this country being founded on Judeo-Christian principles, you’re wrong. We’re founded on the US Constitution. Show me where in the Constitution it says that we are founded on Judeo-Christian principles (since you demanded that Geri point out to you where it says in the Constitution that marriage is a right). I’ll save you some time, you cannot do it, because it is not there.

    As far as your bible interpretations…lol. 1) I don’t think it’s accurate. 2) It does not matter if it is or isn’t, because it is irrelevant. Your religious dogma does not get to dictate the laws of this country. Pure and simple. Separation of church and state exists. Taking away rights from people based on sex, origin, creed, religion, or any other criteria of the sort is unlawful and morally wrong to anybody with a good system of morality. Yours is flawed, as it is based on a book written by unintelligent men from the Bronze Age who believed the earth to be flat, that the earth was the center of the universe, and that bats were birds (per your bible on all accounts).

    You claim that being gay is a choice. When did you choose a heterosexual lifestyle? When did you choose that you did not like penis? When did you choose that? To say that anybody would choose to lose their freedoms, rights, and in most cases, happiness in favor of being gay is stupid. I never chose to be straight, I just am. I am attracted to females naturally. Homosexuality occurs in various species on this planet. We are just another species and this does occur naturally in some of us. Choosing to be straight when you are naturally gay is like water convincing itself that it isn’t wet. Even if it is a choice, it effects noone except for the people involved. If you were against oral sex, would you think a law that banned it would be a good, fair idea? Just because you may not be comfortable due to your bigoted, homophobic tendencies does not mean that you can then ban people from being gay, choice or not. If being gay is “offensive” to you, then get over it. You don’t have the right to not be offended. You don’t get to legislate love and relationships. There are thousands of children in terrible orphanages. You mean to tell me you’d rather them sit in that terrible situation rather than letting gay couples adopt and give them a happy home? If that is the case, you are immoral.

    This country, as Geri pointed out, was founded on the idea of escaping religious rule. Our founding fathers did not come here to recreate the same situation that oppressed them. Being gay, whether you believe it a choice or not, does NOT effect you or anybody else outside of the couple. Teaching kids to be tolerant of this FACT and the FACT that being gay is natural and something that some people are NATURALLY attracted to is a good thing, because it cuts down on ignorant bigots such as yourself. Your bible does not rule here. Your bible, god, and religion had their time to rule; it was called The Dark Ages.

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  9. ZachKale says:

    Also, I want to add to that ramble that you “correcting” your sister on her being a lesbian is simply pathetic and insulting. She may not show it (I don’t know if she does or not) but it has to bother her that her own family does not accept nor support her for who she is (you can say you do, but you’re lying, as you clearly stated you do not support her in that facet, and that facet is a big part of who she is as a human). You’re morally bankrupt on this issue and it is beyond obvious. Step away from your big book of bigotry and hate and actually think about how your actions, words, and beliefs effect people. And yes, your beliefs DO effect others, as your beliefs inform your actions. Once you can honestly do this, you will see what I am saying to you in terms of you being an immoral bigot.

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  10. Note from the moderator of this blog.

    I love the comments that areflowing in on this topic. To me it demonstrates the overall devisiveness of the proposed amendment and it does my heart good to know that there is discourse on the topic. I can only imagine how this is playing out in blogs and other outlets that are covering the proposal.

    I am start to see some language that is beginning to concern me. I have no issue with commentors stating their opinions, I love the references provided and I can see some movement on the debate of it. I will not tolerate name calling or any other perceived lack of civility in this forum. The key to proper debate and argument is to provide your position in a professional and courteous manner. Anything less will be deleted from the comments and the commentor blocked from future posting.

    I appreciate the passion that each side presents in their position but it will be done in a manner that provides civil discourse.

    Thank You,
    Mark

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  11. ZachKale says:

    Duly noted, Mark. My mistake (I am assuming that was at least in part directed at me).

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    • @ZacKale No problem, I have needed a little warning in how I presented an argument in my time. I do appreciate the comments, please pass it on and keep coming back.

      I love a debate that is full of passion, but as a wise person once told me, attack the position not the person.

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  12. jjmil03 says:

    Thanks moderator! Hopefully this post will fall into line 🙂

    I’ll make this my last post since I’m beginning to wonder if the scroll bar will quickly become too small to find! And as much as I like to discuss this with both of you, the “Bottom Line Up Front” (BLUF) is that we are arguing based on two very different set of moral standards. If you would like to continue the discussion via email, let me know and I will get it to you…or maybe you guys hate me so much you would rather not. Either way, at least we won’t foul up this blog anymore, and eventually find something we both agree on!

    You believe that you are right, as do I. I seriously doubt that we will change each other’s opinions, though your citations have proven to be an interesting read, as it has been to find equally refuting evidence on my side as well. I wish I had more time to fully research every little debate point. It’s actually fun to read why you guys are for this, why you don’t like what I have to say, and even how you feel about what my opinions are. It is just going to come down to the voters in the end. As you guys have said, the country is becoming more and more supportive towards this movement. I think otherwise ( I feel we have flatlined actually), but only time will tell. I think the end state is that you will have a 40-40-10 split, 40 who are for, 40 against, and 10 that don’t care at all and just want a job.

    ZacKale – Bigotry works both ways. If I am a bigot, than your view on my value system, since I am a member of a group that you do not tolerate, and more so, express a hint of hatred towards, is also bigoted. You wish to restrict my viewpoint on how this country should be governed. You want to restrict my freedom to say how I feel by calling my a bigot, or prejudice, or “morally bankrupt”; in essence, trying to guilt me out of what I feel, even though I have good reason to feel that way. That is what Democrats do when they discuss the tax system or health care – if you aren’t with them than you don’t care about poor people and you want old people to die. I choose to restrict privileges, not rights, and if need be, we can do away with the whole government sponsorship of marriage, and then everyone can do as they like cuz it wouldn’t matter then anyway, right? We are complaining about marriage rights for gay people only because there is a “reward” for being married, right? So take away every instance of reward that is built into the system and then lets see where it goes from there? Then, when a gay person says they are married, folks who disagree would just laugh and say “yeah, sure you are” and then go about their merry ways with either side none the wiser. Instead, if gay marriage were to pass, it would be recognized as a marriage by the federal government, which is paramount to saying the UNITED STATES supports it, when in fact, only a minority really do. Once they are defined by this country in a constitutional amendment as RIGHTS, then you will have a stronger argument, and in all reality the argument will be over. Until then, it’s your opinion, and nothing more. Further, I don’t use the word bigot because 1) I believe to be truly bigoted, there is a certain requirement for hatred, of which I have none of, and 2) it is disrespectful and is often used wildly to try and gain an upper hand in a discussion. It’s half the reason we can’t have an honest conversation on affirmative action, civil rights, health care, or the progressive tax code (I like a flat tax, no deductions, and no getting back more than what you paid in, and everyone pays something). While you may be right that this country will eventually allow all sorts of “gay rights” freedoms in the future, this issue in particular is so sensitive because it affects deeply held moral convictions of well over half of the country (I use that number based on the number of Christians, Jews, and Muslims), and their counterparts, secular Americans seeking a change in the value system that this county has held for over two centuries.

    I’ve come to notice that especially in this forum, there is a definitive feel of overt anti-religion, which is all well and good. You have your opinions, and they are well informed, based in facts, and you are strong in your beliefs. Mine are equally strong, and whats more, there are millions more out there who believe roughly the same thing. So much so that even California can’t pass a pro civil union amendment, and are having to backdoor their own constitution to allow it to take place. Both of you need to seriously think about that – if your viewpoint is so pervasive, than why do majority of NC residents approve the aforementioned bill? Are they really all cold hearted bigots? Or do they just have a different belief system that you happen to disagree with?

    Both your comments on religion are so misinformed, prejudicial, incorrect, and venomous that it made me glad that the moderator said something earlier, and I know that even he isn’t a fan of religion in general. While both of you may have been prior Christians, somehow your views have been so overtly changed towards the negative that you can’t even begin to argue it on this forum without it supplanting the primary focus of it. Or, you had an absolutely horrible experience within your respective churches that fall well short of what Christianity is all about, which is just horrible and I’m sorry you had that experience. In short, you are as intolerant of my religion as you accuse me of being towards homosexuality, and yet you feel as if you have the moral high ground somehow. I have a belief, I want to express it without anger, and yet I am a horrible person for feeling how many others feel.

    My sister knows what our family believes; she was raised in the same house I was for going on 20ish years. While we still love her, we disagree completely with her lifestyle. We have said our individual “peaces” about the subject, and we just don’t talk about it any more. Deep down we all pray that she will come out of it one day. If she overtly brings it up (which she has only done once to me), a discussion ensues. One of those discussions was enough to convince both of us to just not talk about it. Until then, we don’t talk about it, we are cordial to her girlfriend, and we let it be. The plain fact is that if you had a family member that was doing something that you view as incredibly wrong or destructive (say they sell drugs, or they join a cult, or fill in the blank), would you just be the supportive person and tell her “Go for it!”, or would you stand up for what you believe in and say something? Your belief system will dictate what you will tolerate, and what you won’t, as did mine.

    As far as this country being founded on Judeo-Christian principles, you’re indeed right. We’re founded on the US Constitution, which was framed with a view towards religion. It is simply asinine to suggest otherwise when you can trace the amount of times they cite God or religion in general in their letters to other people. “We are endowed by our CREATOR is in the beginning of the Declaration of Independance. The first official act in the First Continental Congress was to open in Christian prayer, which ended in these words: “…the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Savior. Amen”. It’s why most every state had a copy of the ten commandments outside of their courthouses. How can we ignore these facts, these actions? Do you think they just said that prayer and then shut God out of the process after that completely? You would be hard pressed to convince anyone of that. While they did want freedom of religion, their main point in that was to prevent the state from establishing a STATE religion that everyone must adhere to, not to create laws, some based in religion, others based simply on common sense.

    Further, what else should we open up now? Is drug sales OK now, if a group of people came forward and said that we were violating their right to smoke pot? How about polygamy? NAMBLA? These are obviously inflated cases, but where is the line? Where would you place the line in your value system? Is it OK to let transgender people adopt kids? How about to let teenagers become transgenders without parental consent at 14…or 12? How about what we teach our children in school…is it OK to give out condoms to 5th graders? 2nd graders? Is it OK to do that and NOT teach abstinence, or to say its better if you wait til your married? What about sex with animals? Can we let people marry animals now? What about a three way marriage between a man, woman, and animal, is that acceptable? What about marrying machines next? How about leaving an estate to a beloved cat? or goat? To these distinct groups get protection by the government for being a minority group? How do we deal with that…do hiring procedures change? How do we fill out a W-4 when we are married to a machine and man at the same time, claim a dog, a goat, and a 14 year old transgender daughter as a dependant, and then sue the company for failing a drug test because we are discriminated against because I am a member of “Americans for Heroin”, a non-profit minority group that want the free use of heroin throughout all 50 states?

    It gets out of hand very quickly; all I am asking is, where is the line drawn? Because in the end, to the people who what the craziness I have described above even in relatively small doses, you are limiting their supposed FREEDOM to do this, and as an effect, you are a bigot towards them if you disagree. My line has been drawn. Yours may be farther down the line than mine is. Either way, everyone has a line…will you accept being called a bigot once someone reaches yours?

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  13. geriweaver says:

    Ahhh… after working for far too many hours on a policy paper about The Respect for Marriage Act (the opposite of DOMA), and coming away with an overwhelming feeling of hope for the progress we as a nation have made in respecting civil liberties, I come here and my bubble nearly burst. You are right, we can’t change your opinion on who should have rights and who shouldn’t and why. (Marriage is a right if you deny it to a group of people but allow it for others). Your ‘what’s next’ commentary is so insulting – “if we allow THOSE people equal rigthts, what will they want next… to marry a goat?”. That is truly ignorant (note to moderator, I’m calling his viewpoint ignorant, not JJ himself). But I am still overwhelmingly hopefull for the evolution of our society towards changing social norms. Do the research on H.R. 1116 (the respect for marriage act), and you will see just how accepting the VAST majority of americans are to have same-sex unions be legal and recognized. And that includes religious groups – not the wacky ones like those pesky mormons – but groups like Catholics for Equality (a major supporter with a huge campaign effort). Over $3million has been given to house members in support of the bill, while only $129,465 has come from the very wealthy religious right. Money talks. That’s progress. My thoughts go out to your sister… it’s hard enough to live in a world where people make moral judgements against you because they don’t like who you are… but for your family to openly disapprove is truly sad.

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  14. ZachKale says:

    JJ, you literally said next to nothing in your long reply except that you have your opinion. Yes, you do. And you’re entitled to it. However, opinions can be objectively wrong. In this case, yours is. I don’t hate your beliefs. I don’t care what you believe. What I hate is the fact that you think your beliefs and the beliefs of those like you have the right to impose that belief on the rest of us. The ONLY argument you have is “the bible says it is wrong”.

    All your other arguments fall flat on their faces. Now, you’re resulting to “we’re the majority”, which is yet another logical fallacy in an appeals to popularity. I don’t care that the Christians are the majority in this country. I don’t care if gays are the minority. If you’re going to go with a slippery slope fallacy, let me ask you this. Since we’re not accepting THIS minority’s rights, why don’t we just go ahead and strip away black people of their rights? What about hispanics? Why don’t we go back to 1920 and stop women from EVER getting rights? They’re minorities, what does it matter, right? Sure, they can all say they’re “equal”, and you and I can nod at each other and say, “yeah, sure you are.”

    Take away ALL the benefits of marriage and then its just the title of “married”. I highly doubt gays would care for the “title” because it is pointless. The point of being married today, in America specifically, is all of the benefits legally, financially, etc. You fall in love, get married, you get these things. You’re telling gay people they fall in love, they aren’t allowed these things SIMPLY because they’re gay. Moderator, I am not about to call him, as a person, a bigot. But that view IS bigoted. Saying that a group of people DON’T deserve rights OR privileges (since you insist on the difference here) based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, origin, etc. IS a bigoted act, by definition. I am just calling it like I see it.

    It is tiring to think that you actually believe everything you type, because you clearly have a thing against gays or minorities in general (hard to tell, based on your response). I hope one day you wake up and realize that EVERYBODY does equal treatment under the law and that we should all love each other (which is sad that I’m proposing that, since Christians love claiming that’s what Jesus wanted).

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  15. ZachKale says:

    I also failed to point this out. I am not trying to restrict your viewpoint. You can have it. I am explaining, in plain text, where you are objectively wrong and trying to draw parallels for you that are easy to see. You can have your views. I just find them morally reprehensable and ignorant (not saying YOU are ignorant, it is merely my opinion on your arguments and rationalizations). I am not “bigoted” towards your views. If I discriminated against you based on that, then yeah, I’d be a bigot. Which is what you’re proposing. You’re proposing that we discriminate against gays and deny them the right to get married.

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  16. Susan Miller says:

    I applaud the majority of people who replied to this with respect to human decency. We are talking about human beings. No human being should be subjected to discrimination by others no matter what their proclivities. Let alone have it added to a constitutional document. As to jjmil03. I feel sorry about how narrow minded you and the “Christians” are in this state. Would you like to bring back slavery while you are at it! Jesus would have been saddened by how we treat our fellow human beings.

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    • Thanks for your reply Susan. I have not seen you comment here before and just wanted to say welcome. I try to post a couple times each weekend and during the week when time allows. Hope you come back again and pass it on to friends.

      Look forward to seeing you again,
      -Mark

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  17. Susan Miller says:

    Thank you Mark for the warm welcome. I just came across your blog. Great information for those who truly want to be informed about the issues at hand. I have passed on your link regarding this critical matter to all of my friends who live in NC. They will be voting in droves. Hope it is enough to not let this particular amendment pass.

    Kindest Regards,

    Susan

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  18. Jordan says:

    This article was very helpful, thanks to the writer. I just wanted to put my viewpoint out there. I am a gay male, raised by a Christian family. I can tell you that it WAS NOT a choice. I have been baptised, I have talked to our pastor and I have been turned away by their church. My parents are even using this amendment to hurt me, as they have put out 5 picket signs in their yard lobbying for this amendment to be passed or changed. This saddens and sickens me that we as tax paying citizens of the state are being singled out in this way. We deserve some kind of recognition at least. I have a partner whom I love more than myself. I hope that someday people can realize that a human being is a human being. I am truly disappointed in the people around me right now and the fact that they cannot love me regardless of the ONE THING that makes me different from them.

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    • @Jordan Thank you for taking the time to reply. My sympathies for your treatment by those around you who should care the most, regardless of their opinions on your lifestyle. I am ashamed that in this day and age, we as Americans, are exclusionary and so disillusioned by our ideologies that we can still see discriminatory acts such as this at the state level. It speaks volumes of either the people we choose to represent us or that we as citizens are not clear headed enough to put people in power that can not only serve our wishes, but see beyond the excesses and make the hard decisions for the people.

      My sincere hope is this proposal is squashed and the people of NC can speak out at their dismay of a continuation of antiquated practices disguised as public need.

      Best of luck to you and I hope your family recognizes one day what they have lost by their blindness. Please visit again and pass us on, I hope to address other topics like this as they pop up.
      Mark

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  19. geriweaver says:

    @Jordan… are you located in NC? If so I have resources for you of Christian fellowships that are accepting and inclusive. I was very touched by your contribution to this blog. If this amendment is enacted, it will be a sad day for not just NC, but our entire nation. I do believe that our federal government is working to overrule legalized discrimination contained in individual state constitutions. Here’s hoping anyway…

    Like

  20. Susan Miller says:

    Jordan I can honestly say that you have the support of many strangers gay and straight even though you do not have the support of your own family. My husband and I are included. I have many gay friends who have had partners longer than I have been married (19 years). My husband and I support anyone’s right to love whom they chose with all the legalities involved. Call it marriage, partnership, civil union, call it something and recognize it NC!

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