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Old 08-03-2008, 07:49 PM   #346
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They still cost you money in defending yourself.
And when they get thrown out of court, that's accompanied by an award for costs.
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Old 08-03-2008, 08:31 PM   #347
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That's true, I don't. There's always email?
You don't have to be premium to send and receive PMs now, though the saved message capacity is small (25 messages). I'm not sure if it's still possible to disable one's PM capacity entirely; it probably is, but unless you're having stalking/harassment issues (which should be reported of course), I can say the mods, at least, would strongly appreciate it if people didn't do that, since it's much faster and easier for us to interact with members when needed via PM rather than email--that way, we know the address is current, we get reply notices automatically upon logging in here (and don't have to pick them out from a thicket of spam), and any issues either party might be having with their email account unbeknownst to the other (this happened to me last month ) won't be a factor.
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I know this is from a few weeks ago, but what a load of shite.

The above is horrible, personalised, offensive, nonsense that should not be tolerated.

Why is it ok for the extreme left wing on FYM to go tossing around accusations of misogyny, racism, homophobia, etc at anyone that doesn't share their take on things?

Why is it ok that the left-wing on FYM get away with this crap ALL THE TIME?

This person Martha obviously does not have a lot of faith in her own ability to argue a point if she posts the above extremist, offensive, bigoted nonsense every time she is challenged.
Why didn't you report the post at the time, rather than (incorrectly) assuming any mods had read it, then follow up with a PM if you found the response inadequate? Do you honestly think your post here is any improvement at all on the very same tone you're complaining about?
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I feel like you want to paint people who hold racist worldviews in this brush of virulent hatred and it's not that way. In the same way those who hold homophobic views aren't all virulent gay-haters either. It's not that simple, and yet the views are still hurtful and problematic even those who hold them "dont' mean" for them to be.
There's certainly a good way and a bad way to go about making a case for racist/homophobic/etc. biases being present in someone's argument--"I think there's some unexamined racism underlying your thinking here" has a much better chance of getting someone to consider the merits of that claim than "What a fucking, pathetic heap of racist bullshit!!"--but I agree, I don't think it's reasonable at all to deem the diagnosis itself beyond the pale. I've been told myself before (not necessarily in here that I can think of, but certainly in real life) that there was racism or sexism in my thinking on some particular issue, and I don't explode with indignation and assume the person meant to morally equate me to some sort of violent despot when that happens; I ask them to explain their reasoning, think about it, then say why I agree or disagree. That's a necessary conversation to be able to have. It is true, though, that making such claims hatefully puts you in the position of being guilty of some of the very same things you're railing against; I think one can be sensitive to and realistic about the fact that tensions run high on certain issues, especially among those who've suffered considerable personal pain on account of it, without losing sight of that point.
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We have laws against racial discrimination so if they are equal then why not take away the tax-exempt status of religious organizations that refuse to recognize same-sex marriage. Catholic charities in Massachusetts got out of child adoption services because that state held their beliefs against gay adoption to be discriminatory, so they just got out of the business rather than face lawsuits. Someone, somewhere, would challenge the First Amendment rights of a church to refuse to marry people of the same-sex.
They could try, but the case wouldn't go anywhere. Churches can and do refuse to marry interfaith couples all the time, for example, despite such couples having full legal rights to marry, and those churches are well within their rights to do so--a religious wedding ceremony at a church of one's choosing isn't a protected right at all. The adoption process is not a religious ceremony and so is not analogous.
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The Bible in all legal sense shouldn't have anything to do with the federal courts, so actually he may be making a brilliant move to prove a point and shut some people up.
May or may not be his exact motive, but I agree, the case has 'filed-expressly-to-make-a-point' written all over it. (Fowler is representing himself because, unsuprisingly, he couldn't get a lawyer to take the case, and no, he isn't a lawyer himself.)
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Old 08-03-2008, 08:43 PM   #348
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I feel like you want to paint people who hold racist worldviews in this brush of virulent hatred and it's not that way. In the same way those who hold homophobic views aren't all virulent gay-haters either. It's not that simple, and yet the views are still hurtful and problematic even those who hold them "dont' mean" for them to be.

Now couldn't it be possible--just possible--that the same might be true of those who oppose gay marriage?
I understand your point, yet you say
Quote:
those who hold homophobic views aren't all virulent gay-haters either.
As if any failure to fully condone all homosexual lifestyle choices is a symptom of a phobia on my part.
It's not my place to condemn or judge people in their private lives as I certainly wouldn't want mine judged. But we all have the right to withhold our condoning or sanctioning of something we feel is not, in our judgement, in the best interests of society. I happen to feel that way about same-sex marriage. I also feel that way about race-based affirmative action, does that automatically make me anti-black? Some would say so rather than argue the merits. I could list all kind of things and so could you I'm sure, some we might even agree on.
But I don't feel my wishing to maintain the normative ways of forming a family -- recognizing the unique qualities that only a man and a women can bring -- makes me mentally ill. Old-fashioned maybe.
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Old 08-03-2008, 08:52 PM   #349
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Legitimate question (for real): Have religious organizations who refuse to recognize mixed marriages (Catholic churches for example) lost their tax-exempt status? Have churches who refuse to recognize racially mixed marriages lost theirs as well?


Your arguments are always based on a fear of what may happen. Living in fear is no way to live.
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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Church Loses Tax Exemption Over Civil Unions

A Methodist church group that refuses to allow gay couples to hold civil unions in a board walk pavilion has lost its state property tax exemption. The state Department of Environmental Protection dropped the exemption for the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. "It's clear the pavilion is not open to all persons on an equal basis," said DEP Commissioner Lisa Jackson. It's not clear how much money is involved. It is clear to get the exemption, property has to be equally available to everyone. And while this particular group does not approve of gay unions on religion grounds, such unions are legal in New Jersey. The tax exemption is allowed for the rest of the boardwalk and beachfront property owned by the association. The decision means that the association would have to pay property taxes on the pavilion and the land on which it sits for 2006 through 2008. The state's action then is more symbolic than monetary. And it's not over. The Division of Civil Rights is investigating complaints by two lesbian couples they were denied use of the pavilion. That investigation prompted a federal lawsuit saying the state investigation infringes on the association's speech and religion rights.
Threat of lawsuits is certainly not a justification to withhold equal protection if it does indeed apply to same-sex marriages. But it's hardly living in fear to imagine some very real 1st Amendment ramifications.
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Old 08-03-2008, 09:11 PM   #350
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Does that Methodist Church rent that property out to other non-Methodist individuals and organizations? The way that article reads, it wasn't a lawsuit trying to force the Methodist church group to perform a civil union; it was trying to use the property to do so. Imagine a church arguing that they didn't want to rent out their property to blacks? That is not allowed, no matter what someone's personal beliefs about blacks are.

Without more information, however, I cannot tell if this was the case; but it doesn't appear at all that it is about forcing a church's minister to perform a ceremony against his will.
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Old 08-03-2008, 09:18 PM   #351
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Ocean Grove, New Jersey - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Scott Hoffman, the Chief Administrative Officer of the Camp Meeting Association, was quoted as saying that the association considers the Pavilion to be as much of a religious structure as the Tabernacle or the Youth Temple and that it would not permit same-sex civil union ceremonies to be conducted there, arguing that this was the position of the United Methodist Church.

A local advocacy group, Ocean Grove United, disputes this, contending that the issue involves public, not religious, property [source: Asbury Park Press, June 21 2007]. They contend that the beach and Boardwalk Pavilion are open to the public and that the Camp Meeting Association has accepted public funds for their maintenance and repairs. They also cite the Association's application to the State of New Jersey for monies under the state's "Green Acres Program", which encourages the use of private property for public recreation and provides a $500,000 annual property tax exemption. In their application for these funds, the Camp Meeting Association reportedly stated that the disputed areas were open to the public. U.S. Representative Frank Pallone, Jr. (Democrat), in whose Congressional district Ocean Grove is located, stated "they've taken state, federal and local funds by representing that they are open to the public."
.........................................................................
Brian Raum, counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian conservative legal organization representing the Camp Meeting Association, argued that "disaster relief is available to anyone" in defending the use of public funds to repair the Great Auditorium when it was damaged in an hurricane. He said that the Methodist association had never represented itself as anything but a religious organization.

Complicating matters further is that the Camp Meeting Association gave up a degree of property ownership rights for the boardwalk and beach in the 19th century to avoid taxation:

" OCEAN GROVE, June 4.--By a decision of the Monmouth County Board of Taxation handed down today Ocean Grove's $3,000,000 beach front, the property of the Camp Meeting Association, is to escape taxation. It was shown to the board by the association's legal representative, Samuel A. Patterson, that the valuable strip of land, with its board walk, had been dedicated years ago by the association as a public highway, and not therefore subject to taxation. ---The New York Times, June 5, 1908 "
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Old 08-03-2008, 09:47 PM   #352
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Without more information, however, I cannot tell if this was the case; but it doesn't appear at all that it is about forcing a church's minister to perform a ceremony against his will.
That's not really my fear.
This case is much like several Boy Scout cases. An organization under legal attack for it's views on homosexuality in many parts of the country.

Should same-sex education become legal would religious schools, for example, be able to teach that homosexuality is a sin if that is their belief and still receive charters from the state. Would sermons be allowed to be broadcast over TV or radio if they contained language that some communities might begin to list as "hate-speech"?

And of coarse we had a thread a few months ago about the San Diego fertility clinic that was sued because of their religious objections to providing services for a lesbian couple.
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:22 PM   #353
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That's not really my fear.
This case is much like several Boy Scout cases. An organization under legal attack for it's views on homosexuality in many parts of the country.
The Boy Scouts aren't under "legal attack," except in cases where, as a "private organization," they wish to be treated like a "public organization" and get special favors from state and local governments that only public organizations get under normal circumstances.

Non-discrimination laws aren't going away, and, in a civilized, modern society, nor should they. If these churches, in their non-religious capacities, wish to discriminate against people, they must accept that they can only do so as a private organization, which means losing special favors and some tax exempt statuses that only public organizations receive on a normal basis.

After all, as an extreme example, there is nothing that stops the KKK from discriminating against anyone they like, in terms of who they wish to admit into their organization. And, as a private organization that entertains no illusions about being a public organization whatsoever, they're left alone to do what they want.

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Should same-sex education become legal would religious schools, for example, be able to teach that homosexuality is a sin if that is their belief and still receive charters from the state. Would sermons be allowed to be broadcast over TV or radio if they contained language that some communities might begin to list as "hate-speech"?
Religious schools already have religious education courses that are wholly unregulated by the state, and are still accredited. They're free to preach what they want. Now if those beliefs translate into bad educational practices on traditional subjects, like science, for instance, then I'm guessing that their accreditation will be in trouble regardless of what they say about homosexuality. As it stands, most religious schools, except Catholic schools, seem to have trouble with this concept, and aren't accredited anyway.

As for your worries about "hate speech," we have no hate speech laws. If we did, then AM radio would have been shut down en masse 30 years ago. Much of what is spouted on that medium is already hateful nonsense, and there's no threat of it ever going away.

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And of coarse we had a thread a few months ago about the San Diego fertility clinic that was sued because of their religious objections to providing services for a lesbian couple.
And what does this have to do with religion? A business is not given latitude to violate anti-discrimination laws, unlike churches. If that same fertility clinic denied access to blacks or fundamentalist Christians, because they happened to have "religious objections" to them, then they'd get equally in trouble.

So why all this support for discriminating against gays? Because you don't like them and aren't one of them? Well, isn't that just self-serving and short-sighted, because, as far as I see it, most of your stances could easily be seen as support for the right to discriminate against anyone you don't like--including discrimination against Christians.
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Old 08-03-2008, 11:34 PM   #354
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I understand your point, yet you say
As if any failure to fully condone all homosexual lifestyle choices is a symptom of a phobia on my part.

could you please tell me what are the specific "homosexual lifestyle choices" i've made and continue to make? i've been dying to know.
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Old 08-03-2008, 11:42 PM   #355
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And of coarse we had a thread a few months ago about the San Diego fertility clinic that was sued because of their religious objections to providing services for a lesbian couple.

so should pharmacists be allowed to deny birth control to unmarried women if it's in accordance with their religious beliefs? the morning after pill? or, even more outlandish, deny Viagra to unmarried men?

these are all heterosexual lifestyle choices, no? don't my religious beliefs ultimately trump said heterosexual lifestyle issues and choices?
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Old 08-03-2008, 11:50 PM   #356
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so should pharmacists be allowed to deny birth control to unmarried women if it's in accordance with their religious beliefs? the morning after pill? or, even more outlandish, deny Viagra to unmarried men?
Why stop with "unmarried"? The Catholic Church is against birth control for all, married or unmarried.

When we start allowing exceptions to anti-discrimination, we open the door to a flood of it. And there's nothing at all that says that, someday, liberals couldn't start developing "religious beliefs" that forbid them to do business with conservatives.

Basically, those who trumpet the right to discriminate the most are those who think that only "other people" get discriminated against.
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Old 08-04-2008, 03:47 AM   #357
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I understand your point, yet you say
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those who hold homophobic views aren't all virulent gay-haters either
As if any failure to fully condone all homosexual lifestyle choices is a symptom of a phobia on my part.
I think, though, that explaining how someone could reasonably consider that a possibility was precisely his point:
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These people are not raving, foaming-at-the-mouth racists. They wouldn't support a lynching or legal segragation. They have black (or white as the case may be) friends. They just think it's "not right" for blacks and whites to marry, and they are sincere in their belief.

That doesn't change the fact that their belief still represents a racist worldview.
I.e., a person can be comfortable with certain elements of the 'interracial lifestyle,' yet still show "symptoms" of racist views, like assuming that interracial marriages inevitably mean emotionally messed-up children, or that an interracial couple couldn't possibly have the same depth of love and understanding for each other that two people of the same racial background could, etc. Of course that doesn't mean said person must necessarily be some sort of cartoon-stereotype, slur-spewing redneck. But a couple in, say, the position Sean and his wife were in should be able to state forthrightly that such views are prejudicial, deeply hurtful and even dehumanizing to them; they shouldn't have to stick solely to reciting talking points about how mixed-race children are no more likely to be messed up than other children, or that mixed-race couples love each other just as much as same-race couples do, etc. Appealing to another's moral imagination and empathy is a very different mode of argument from debating the logistics of how a situation might unfold in practice. Again, I do think there are good and bad ways to go about doing this, and I do understand that conveyed in a certain way, a diagnosis of prejudice in someone's thinking can come across as suggesting all the person really wants is to scream at you, not to get you to acknowledge their points. And of course you can always disagree with them--but they have no more obligation to automatically accept that self-justification than you do to agree with them.
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the unique qualities that only a man and a women can bring
I still don't think you've explained what these unique qualities are with reference to a romantic relationship--and I guess also to childrearing?--other than the tautological ones, i.e. that males aren't females and vice versa. What is a gay man intrinsically doomed never to get from his relationship with his partner that a straight man is intrinsically guaranteed to get from his wife (again, other than the blindingly obvious...dudes don't have vaginas) and why is that critical to a successful marriage? What are gay, or lesbian, parents terminally incapable of giving any children they have that straight parents are guaranteed to be capable of providing, and why is that critical to a child's health and happiness?
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Old 08-04-2008, 09:44 AM   #358
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Are the "unique qualities" that only men and women can bring just the fact that they are different in makeup-due to socialization or other factors?

Why can't two men or two women be just as different in makeup? People are different in so many ways other than gender. I think it's always the unique qualities that two people can bring and how and why they work with each other. I don't see how that necessitates a male and female.
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Old 08-04-2008, 01:54 PM   #359
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could you please tell me what are the specific "homosexual lifestyle choices" i've made and continue to make? i've been dying to know.

I realize that's a bit cliché and clunky and I almost said "political" because that's what I really think should be fair to criticize or not agree with; political and public expressions of homosexuality (like redefining marriage). Just as you should be able to question the policies of a Christian Church or heterosexual public expressions without being called a God-hater or heterophobic (interestingly, a word that doesn't even exist on my spell-check). And aren't we having a similar problem in this years presidential election? The deep suspicion, not completely unjustified, that much of the opposition to Barack Obama is really rooted in his race.
But anyway I went for private because sometimes, like in the mid 80's, as we learned more about AIDS and it's transmission methods it should have been ok to bring into question the private sexual practices of promiscuity or gay bath-houses without being label as homophobic. Right? Now I'm old enough to remember the 80's and in hindsight that reaction or say the practices of ACTUP are somewhat understandable as there was a time when the suffering and death in the gay community was, shamefully, largely ignored by society and much of the medical community.

However, by the 90's, it should have been fair to point out that government AIDS spending had become grossly disproportional in relationship to other much more common diseases like stroke, diabetes or lung disease. Or point out how hurtful the brutal public mockery of especially the Catholic Church had become. Or point out how ridiculous and almost fascist the whole "AIDS ribbon" situation had become -- without being label anti-gay. Right?

Discrimination and bigotry do exist, and it is often is directed towards homosexuals. But marriage and family is at the foundation of civilization so if we are going to change our very notion of what those words mean then isn't it ok for some to say "hey wait a minute, let's think about this"? The same "hey wait a minute, let's think about this" we all wish the White House had entertained prior to invading Iraq. The same "hey wait a minute" that should be part of any public policy discussion.

Same-sex marriage should become a reality on it's merits should it not? Because it is the right and worthy thing to do; a natural progression on the road to equal rights for all. Publicly debated with it's existence depending upon the weight of it's proponents arguments. Not by judicial fiat, against the will of the majority, with objections summarily dismissed as bigotry and opponents labeled as homophobes.
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Old 08-04-2008, 01:58 PM   #360
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Same-sex marriage should become a reality on it's merits should it not? Because it is the right and worthy thing to do; a natural progression on the road to equal rights for all. Publicly debated with it's existence depending upon the weight of it's proponents arguments. Not by judicial fiat, against the will of the majority, with objections summarily dismissed as bigotry and opponents labeled as homophobes.
How long do you suppose African Americans should have politely waited in line for the will of the majority to afford them their rights? And how long should the women's suffrage movement have waited before the will of the male majority thought it fit to allow them to vote, go to work, and attend schools?
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