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Old 11-14-2009, 06:17 PM   #931
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really?
Politicians don't lead. Politicians follow the winds of change. Good sign for gay marriage.
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Old 11-14-2009, 06:39 PM   #932
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In grade school, I don't recall hearing anything negative about these two president's at all.

As a college student taking history - of all the knocks against FDR, I usually heard more about his handling of the Depression and the delayed entry into WWII. The negatives on JFK were Vietnam escalation and Bay of Pigs (and personal life).

I really have not read or heard too many negative comments about their civil rights track records. If such criticism is around - it doesn't seem to have made it to the top of the list.

And please correct me if I'm wrong - wasn't Clinton also seen as a civil rights president? Didn't people refer to him as the nation's "first black president?"
I'm guessing your history courses were likely quite traditional--and, as such, would have been geared toward how each president furthered hegemonic goals. Such topics as to how presidents' policies affected minorities are usually the vanguard of revisionist historians. Frankly, I actually have a preference for reading traditional history, so that's not a slam unto itself, but it is wise to understand each discipline's benefits and limitations.

Nonetheless, it is noted that it was Eleanor Roosevelt who was much more liberal when it came to civil rights legislation, and it has been noted that she would often advocate legislation further than what FDR had been comfortable with, as his reticence was mainly due to fears of popular backlash. And JFK was ultimately the same, in terms of reticence, and Obama's current inaction is being compared to him. LBJ did take a giant calculated risk in doing the right thing, but noted that, by advancing civil rights, he believed that the Democratic Party would lose the South for generations to come. How sad, really, that he was correct, and--like it or not--the Democratic Party's failures in the South can very much be traced to the enacting of civil rights legislation. Likewise, I'm guessing that Obama and the current Democratic Party's inaction is out of fear of history repeating itself.
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Old 11-14-2009, 06:45 PM   #933
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And Melon? Yours?
Very simple. Write a law that replaces all current legislation that makes reference to marriage as "a man and a woman" and replace it with "two people."

All related state concerns regarding marriage ages, the permitted degree of cousin marriages, polygamy, etc. etc. etc. are already addressed in other laws, so by merely amending the basic marriage law to be gender neutral, no further cans of worms are opened. If future generations wish to alter laws to contract or expand how close of a cousin you can be or to even legalize polygamy across the board, for instance, then they would have to amend those laws specifically at a later time and would cover everyone equally across the board. Gender discrimination in marriage, however, is increasingly unacceptable in light of contemporary revelation.
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Old 11-14-2009, 06:55 PM   #934
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No, I don't think they have concurred. It seems their view is that Catholic Church is actively refusing to make the necessary changes to earn the certificate - and the Catholic Church believes the city is actively forcing them to change their stance on homosexuality by mandating the certificate.
The Catholic Church, unfortunately, has a pattern of histrionic behaviour to further political aims. I would ask the Church as to whether they refuse to hire or serve non-Catholics, as, officially, their salvation is in doubt by not accepting papal authority. And does the Church refuse to hire and provide benefits for divorcées, as divorce is prohibited? Do they turn away homeless women or fire female employees who get pregnant while unmarried?

Perhaps this is a greater argument in favour of national health care. The private sector cannot be counted on to serve the public interest without discrimination.
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Old 11-14-2009, 07:13 PM   #935
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On a related note, which one of these science fair projects is publicly acceptable?



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Old 11-14-2009, 07:13 PM   #936
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Oh good Lord.
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Old 11-14-2009, 07:27 PM   #937
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The insert is mine. I hope you are beginning to see which organization is putting conditions on the funding. You just said it yourself - "all the church has to do is..."

That, by definition, is conditional.
But they don't do this every day for divorced people?
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Old 11-14-2009, 07:30 PM   #938
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I don't think Catholicism permits such disagreements and considers you a Catholic in good standing. Other denominations do - but I am fairly certain the Catholic Church requires you accept/follow the catechism to consider yourself Catholic.

I could be wrong.
Catholicism is, unofficially, as much as broad culture as, say, the varied sects of Judaism. That's not to say that the Vatican accepts this, but it is as much to say that the church belongs to the people as much as it does the hierarchy. Why there aren't, say, "Orthodox," "Conservative" and "Reform" Catholics probably has much to do with the nature of Catholicism in that you're brought up from a very early age to believe that there are no other "true churches" than them. And, I believe, that makes disaffected Catholics finding a home at other churches a far more difficult proposition than, say, deciding to go from Methodist to Southern Baptist.

Personally, I've debated whether it would be worthwhile for me to become Anglican, as here in Toronto there are a good number of gay friendly Anglican churches, including those of the Anglo-Catholic rite. In fact, one of them is probably more "Catholic" in ritual than modern Catholicism is in itself. Still, as much of an independently-minded Christian as I have become, I still find it to be a difficult proposition, although I can really no longer sit in the pews and pretend that all is swell within the Catholic Church anymore.
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Old 11-14-2009, 08:04 PM   #939
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Very simple. Write a law that replaces all current legislation that makes reference to marriage as "a man and a woman" and replace it with "two people."

All related state concerns regarding marriage ages, the permitted degree of cousin marriages, polygamy, etc. etc. etc. are already addressed in other laws, so by merely amending the basic marriage law to be gender neutral, no further cans of worms are opened. If future generations wish to alter laws to contract or expand how close of a cousin you can be or to even legalize polygamy across the board, for instance, then they would have to amend those laws specifically at a later time and would cover everyone equally across the board. Gender discrimination in marriage, however, is increasingly unacceptable in light of contemporary revelation.
I certainly appreciate your view - and I obviously agree with you on the number count (as well as the others that have responded above). However, why should society accept our opinion of marriage over those that DO wish a higher number count? Why put this burden on future generations to change when - in theory - you could make this change now? Also, how easy or difficult would you make marriage and divorce? And the point you made about altering the meaning of marriage even further down the line is a good one.

One of the reasons I oppose gay marriage is that it will simply empty the institution of marriage of its meaning. You are essentially asserting that marriage should now be some sort of legal contract between any two adults (possibly more in the future) that want to enter this contract at any given time for any given means.

In my view, the Bible does offer a model for marriage and explains why it is an essential social and biological component - as well as a mechanism for individual spiritual growth. This does not mean we all perfectly achieve it, but it is the goal – the model exists. Like so many other teachings in the Bible – I believe this model is what is best for society as a whole. And what of the non-Christians (or those that don’t subscribe to this)? What model do you propose and by what authority should people/society accept your model? Also, the point still remains – the continued loosening of the definition will eventually lead to an utterly meaningless word - especially if there is no longer a model to base the definition.

There is also the concern that legalizing gay marriage will eventually lead to the government enforcing this view on the religious institutions that teach that homosexual behavior is wrong and that marriage is between a man and a woman. That is why the issue between DC and the Catholic Church is worth looking at – because there will always be the threat of a government system imposing it’s idea of right and wrong on the churches idea of right and wrong. Is it rational to suspect that the government will use every opportunity to enforce its arbitrary views of right and wrong in any way it can? Is it only a matter of time before sermons teaching that homosexual behavior is a sin become hate crimes? I think it is, and so do many others.
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Old 11-14-2009, 08:27 PM   #940
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... because there will always be the threat of a government system imposing it’s idea of right and wrong on the churches idea of right and wrong.
But why should a church's idea of right and wrong dictate the norm? Why should the views of some churches be enforced on whole sectors of people, regardless of what their own beliefs might be?
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Old 11-14-2009, 08:30 PM   #941
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One of the reasons I oppose gay marriage is that it will simply empty the institution of marriage of its meaning.
I don't understand this. I just can't. Two adults who love and commit to each other as a couple don't "redefine" anything. There are gay couples who have been couples longer than you have been alive. They nurture each other, provide the spiritual framework for growth for each other, all the things my husband and I do for each other. How are they "emptying" marriage of anything? What an insult to them and their love and commitment to each other.




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There is also the concern that legalizing gay marriage will eventually lead to the government enforcing this view on the religious institutions that teach that homosexual behavior is wrong and that marriage is between a man and a woman. ..... Is it only a matter of time before sermons teaching that homosexual behavior is a sin become hate crimes?
Please provide a real instance of this happening after interracial marriage, which was also a sin, was legalized.

Hypotheticals make you justify your position, but they don't make you any more right or honorable.
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Old 11-14-2009, 08:37 PM   #942
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You are essentially asserting that marriage should now be some sort of legal contract between any two adults (possibly more in the future) that want to enter this contract at any given time for any given means.
How is that any different than what marriage is right now?
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Old 11-14-2009, 08:41 PM   #943
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But why should a church's idea of right and wrong dictate the norm? Why should the views of some churches be enforced on whole sectors of people, regardless of what their own beliefs might be?

Oh come now. This works just fine in Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. And a few other places.
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Old 11-14-2009, 08:48 PM   #944
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I certainly appreciate your view - and I obviously agree with you on the number count (as well as the others that have responded above). However, why should society accept our opinion of marriage over those that DO wish a higher number count? Why put this burden on future generations to change when - in theory - you could make this change now? Also, how easy or difficult would you make marriage and divorce? And the point you made about altering the meaning of marriage even further down the line is a good one.

One of the reasons I oppose gay marriage is that it will simply empty the institution of marriage of its meaning. You are essentially asserting that marriage should now be some sort of legal contract between any two adults (possibly more in the future) that want to enter this contract at any given time for any given means.
Marriage and divorce, for heterosexuals, is unburdened by counselling requirements, waiting periods, or any other restrictions, as far as I know, and I see no compelling reason to put extra burdens on gay marriage. Nonetheless, if society were to deem this prudent, I see no reason why it cannot be applied across the board, without discrimination. In other words, this line of argumentation has nothing to do with gay marriage, and it tends to further a stereotype that gays are neither capable of forming stable relationships nor do they possess morality. And, as someone who has both a six year, stable monogamous relationship and a strong sense of morality, you might be surprised that these are interests of mine, as well.

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One of the reasons I oppose gay marriage is that it will simply empty the institution of marriage of its meaning. You are essentially asserting that marriage should now be some sort of legal contract between any two adults (possibly more in the future) that want to enter this contract at any given time for any given means.

In my view, the Bible does offer a model for marriage and explains why it is an essential social and biological component - as well as a mechanism for individual spiritual growth. This does not mean we all perfectly achieve it, but it is the goal – the model exists. Like so many other teachings in the Bible – I believe this model is what is best for society as a whole. And what of the non-Christians (or those that don’t subscribe to this)? What model do you propose and by what authority should people/society accept your model? Also, the point still remains – the continued loosening of the definition will eventually lead to an utterly meaningless word if there is no longer a model to base the definition.
The practice of religion is, for the most part, the ritualization of a given culture's values. Look no further, for instance, than how Christianity is presently practised differently around the world. Likewise, this also has a historical and philosophical component, and "marriage," until the mid-19th century, was mainly a loveless business contract between two families. We would not, under any circumstances, advocate the return of arranged marriages in Western Civilization, where two families negotiate the marriage of their children before they are even able to walk or talk, let alone think for themselves. In addition, we also do not expect wives to be slavishly obedient, while their husbands abuse them emotionally and/or physically. Marriage, in the West, reflects the modern cultural values of egalitarianism, mutual love, respect and responsibility much as marriage in medieval Europe reflected an authoritarian hierarchy of obedience.

The reality is that how you define "Biblical values" is inextricably tied to your culture and how your culture taught you to understand these values. And I do not see this as a bad thing, as the Christian tradition allows for continuing revelation. How fortunate we are to have the tools at our disposal to be able to critically understand our past, and be able to make informed decisions about our future. It is my view that we are actually living in the most "moral" time up to the present, as we take greater pains to do the right thing more than anyone before us. Beforehand, one's actions would merely be determined out of traditional tribal and other social status considerations--that is, for example, medieval chivalry certainly prescribed an ethical treatment amongst warriors, but it was only amongst fellow nobility. They didn't think twice about slaughtering villages full of commoners. And it is a wonderful thing that most of us would never see that as acceptable today. We're not perfect as a civilization, but we are better than we give ourselves credit for.

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There is also the concern that legalizing gay marriage will eventually lead to the government enforcing this view on the religious institutions that teach that homosexual behavior is wrong and that marriage is between a man and a woman. That is why the issue between DC and the Catholic Church is worth looking at – because there will always be the threat of a government system imposing it’s idea of right and wrong on the churches idea of right and wrong. Is it rational to suspect that the government will use every opportunity to enforce its arbitrary views of right and wrong in any way it can? Is it only a matter of time before sermons teaching that homosexual behavior is a sin? I think it is, and so do many others.
Religious liberty is not under threat in the U.S. In fact, let's be reminded that, while the law prohibits discrimination based on skin colour, there is nothing that compels religions to follow suit. Members of the KKK often have their own churches that teach any amount of hatred and inferiority of blacks, and there is nothing the government can do to prevent them from believing this. There is, however, no compulsion on the part of the government to encourage such beliefs, such as by granting tax dollars to charities run by religious organizations. The Boy Scouts of America are fully permitted to discriminate against whomever they wish. The public is fully permitted to say that it's wrong. Government is fully permitted to deny public funding and privilege to such organizations. But if you fear that government will make certain beliefs illegal, do understand that there is already ample precedent as to why that will not occur. Religions will always maintain the right to discriminate, as long as they are not receiving public funds or performing a public service. The latter is worth noting, because while churches are protected, I would argue that their charities are not necessarily. There is no constitutional right for a church to have state permission run an adoption agency, for instance, and the public goal to ensure that children are placed in the best possible home trumps religious prejudices in certain circumstances.

As you stated earlier, it is a reminder of how prudent the separation of church and state is.
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Old 11-14-2009, 09:29 PM   #945
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The last few pages of this thread make me question the vote I made in Maine.
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