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Old 08-18-2012, 01:00 AM   #316
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Originally Posted by nathan1977 View Post
I think there are people who decide to get married in church because that's what you do or it's a nice building or Mom wants us to get married at St. Stephen's, while missing the larger spiritual connotation. It's not a judgment call on anyone; I was simply pointing out that there is a religious connection (whether real or implied, intentional or not) by choosing to be married in a church.
To be fair to Nathan, this is how I interpreted that part of his post, too.

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For me, the primary issues underlying this debate are principles. How do we, as a secular nation, follow through on our commitment to the principle that all men are created equal, and subject to equal representation under the law? And how do we, as a secular nation, provide for the safe, free practice of all religious people? And how do we hold both those principles true at the same time, without sacrificing either, particularly when the government has muddied the water by gotten into the business of blessing marriage (a religious institution)?
See, this is why we need to make a decision across the board right now: Either we call all non-religious unions, gay AND straight, civil unions, and leave the marriage stuff to the church. Or if the government recognizes straight marriages as such, whether they're religious in nature or not, then we do the same for gay couples. We can't keep on having one labeled one thing and the other labeled something else.

Each church has the right to decide whom it will and will not accept, whose marriages it will and will not recognize. That's a personal thing, if I don't agree with the church I'm free to leave and find another one.

But the government shouldn't be in the business of discriminating like that.

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The liberals on this forum are so aggressively insulting and dismissive against anyone that doesn't share their ideological viewpoint that I'm almost tempted to re-examine my pro-gay marriage stance.
I agree that sometimes the left can be really aggressive about certain things, but on this issue, can you blame us? No, I wouldn't say that everyone who's against gay marriage "hates" gay people, so to speak. I think some of the opposition is borne out of lack of proper understanding. Again, I refer to my grandparents here and the comparison to blacks and interracial marriage. They were disgusted by the KKK and groups of that ilk. They never threatened black people. But that doesn't mean their views were any less questionable. My maternal grandmother was known to say a woman was "pretty for a black girl". And she opposed interracial marriage because of "what it'd do to the children". My paternal grandmother went around closing the blinds one day when my dad brought home a black friend from school. Thankfully, my parents rejected those mindsets.

And as has been noted many, many times here, some people oppose gay marriage because they're opposed to marriage across the board. Some gay people don't support gay marriage, for their own set of reasons.

But for those who are supportive of marriage EXCEPT when it includes gay people, you may not hate gay people, but I can't figure out what other reason there would be for your opposition than some sort of unsettled reaction against homosexuality and all that goes with it. If it's not the fact that they're gay, then what is it? All the arguments that have been brought up against gay marriage have been shot down time and time again. So pardon us for getting frustrated-we've seen gay people get married in many places in recent years and none of the horrible things that supposedly were going to happen should gay marriage be legal have happened. Life's gone on about as good or bad as it did before.

So what are people still so worried about? WHY do people think they have the right to dictate and govern other people's love lives? I have asked the second question quite a few times in this thread and the last one recently and I still have yet to receive an answer, or at least, one that makes any sort of sense. We feel like we're going in circles on an issue that should've been done and decided a long time ago.

Besides that, listen to Irvine on this issue. I can't imagine how bizarre it'd be to sit here and listen to people make decisions about my personal life for me based on how it makes them feel. Who cares about what you think? Who cares about what I think? How about focusing on what Irvine and others like him think for once? He's the one who's the most directly affected by all this nonsense.

I like to believe I'm usually pretty good at looking at the other side of an issue and trying to understand where they're coming from. I'm pro-choice, but I certainly do understand where the pro-life side comes from. I'm anti-death penalty, but again, when I hear of a horrific sicko's crimes, I get the anger and the "to hell with him" attitude. I despise guns, but I also am aware that people do know how to be responsible with them, and don't think it's fair to punish them for what a nutcase does.

But this is perhaps the one issue I just cannot understand the other side of. There's nothing about being against gay marriage that I can make sense of. They're not bothering anyone. They're in love. They're of legal age. They're consenting. Leave them alone.

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Perhaps one of the reasons why America doesn't have gay marriage yet is that some of its advocates present their arguments in such an unappealing manner. Some of their advocacy seems at times to be almost designed to alienate Middle America.
Middle American right here.
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Old 08-18-2012, 09:20 AM   #317
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I think there are people who decide to get married in church because that's what you do or it's a nice building or Mom wants us to get married at St. Stephen's, while missing the larger spiritual connotation. It's not a judgment call on anyone; I was simply pointing out that there is a religious connection (whether real or implied, intentional or not) by choosing to be married in a church.

And for me personally that's a fraud, that makes me very judgmental I know. Standing in a church when there's no meaning or intent behind it, it's like you said-the larger spiritual connotation. Two people can stand in the middle of the woods and share deep spiritual beliefs, religious beliefs-whatever you want to call them. Two people can stand in a church and have none of that and be doing that because Mom wants it or it can hold the most people or it will impress people the most. That to me is the polar opposite of marriage being religious. The people involved make it so-not the building. Not the rules, not the institution. To me, without a doubt, the people in the woods have a marriage that is blessed by God. In the way that I personally interpret that.

My senior citizen Mom is old school in some ways. In others she's very "modern". I consider her to be a deeply religious person. To me she is in the best ways possible. She supports gay marriage. We've talked about it enough for sure, but I don't think she has ever once used that exact phrase out loud. I get exactly why that's difficult for her, and I don't think any less of her for it. I know all about her religious education and life growing up, she comes from a different era. The only thing she has ever really been vocal to me about is that she doesn't think it should take place in a church. As I explain to her, no one is forcing that. The govt isn't. I understand her completely and I don't think that makes her any less compassionate or any kind of a "hater". I know her heart and that's all that matters to me. I try to go by that, and unfortunately that's very difficult to get over an internet forum. This is about discussing things, and mostly that kind of things disappears. For many different reasons. Sometimes looking for it is like looking for a needle in the woods, but that's a different matter. I have zero hostility towards you and I'm sorry if it ever came across differently. I'm just trying to better understand what you're saying.
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Old 08-18-2012, 10:26 AM   #318
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I don't get how marriage can be considered to be strictly a religious institution when

1. Not everyone who gets married is religious-in any way that anyone defines what it means to be religious. I believe in defining that for yourself, that no one else can define that for you.

2. Not everyone who gets married is married in a place of religious worship, by a minister, rabbi, etc, in a religious ceremony. Someone who is legally authorized can just declare you legally married when you stand in front of them.

I consider myself to be a religious person, in the ways that I define that. But I don't define marriage as being strictly a religious institution. That somehow excludes people who believe differently than I do. If you do define it that way don't you have to then say that anyone married under other circumstances somehow has a different or less than marriage?
and there we go. i too consider myself to be a religious person but i also got married by a justice of the peace and it sure as hell wasn't in a church. i don't think my marriage is any less valid than my parents' who did get married in a church by a minister. and if i'm not married in god's eyes because i didn't get married in a church, then i guess i'm wrong about god. if i can pray at home and meet with people elsewhere and it mean the same as doing the same things in a religious building, a wedding should be the same. not to mention some people really don't care if god "recognises" the wedding or not.

so basically yeah, i'm all for same sex marriage. it doesn't make my marriage any less valid or change anything about mine, so what does it matter? if two men or two women who love each other want to get married, then they should be able to.
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Old 08-18-2012, 12:40 PM   #319
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One just needs to throw a rock in the air to find stories of questionable tactics and bullying from the non-equal rights side. For some to be so blind is baffling to me.

And no one is bullying or railroading anyone out of this forum, that's just ridiculous.
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Old 08-18-2012, 04:24 PM   #320
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i too consider myself to be a religious person but i also got married by a justice of the peace and it sure as hell wasn't in a church. i don't think my marriage is any less valid than my parents' who did get married in a church by a minister. and if i'm not married in god's eyes because i didn't get married in a church, then i guess i'm wrong about god.
Totally agree. I also think that it's none of anyone else's business how or where a couple elects to get married. Church, no church, island, city hall, etc. Who cares? You worry about your wedding/marriage and everyone else can worry about theirs.
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Old 08-18-2012, 05:29 PM   #321
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There has been plenty of "bullying" here in FYM in terms of sexist comments, and personally directed comments that I have felt were out of line. I dealt with it, if it bothered me that much I would have left a long time ago.

I've also had my Christian beliefs openly questioned by at least one person on the "other side" as not being really Christian , and by some people who are supposedly in my "group think" here. There are stereotypes held by both sides. Like I've said here before honestly I don't care about any of those opinions, I know myself and my beliefs and that's all that matters.

If anyone here leaves because they feel bullied about their opinions well it's their decision to leave.
There are mods here too. But to act like it only happens from one side is just not true.

All you need to do is visit the rest of the forum to see "group think" vs the "outsiders". It's all over the place, as is stuff you could call bullying. Not saying that makes it right but just that it exists.
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Old 08-18-2012, 08:06 PM   #322
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Wow, this thread's moved fast over the last 24 hours!

P.S. Sean, PFan--you guys rock. Thank you.
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But at the same time, I was damn conflicted. I was conflicted because of people who look down their self-righteous nose and snivel at everyone who doesn't agree with them. I was conflicted because of people who can't fathom anyone who thinks differently and who might want to live out their Constitutionally-protected right to freedom of speech and freedom of religion without being harassed or berated or mocked or stalked or derided. I was conflicted because I can't label who thinks differently from me a "hater."
I understand declining to publically participate, even informally, in a cause or movement when you feel the path many of its supporters are taking dishonors the cause itself. I've done that, not on this issue but on others. I have a harder time, though, imagining myself feeling conflicted about how to vote for that reason--after all, it's my one sure chance to speak as myself alone. And if/when I do decide, in such circumstances, to venture into publically voicing some concerns with how the cause is being pursued, I signal from the outset what my fundamental position is, because I figure it's unreasonable otherwise to expect to be taken as I'd wish to be taken--as someone whose concern for where the movement is headed comes from belief in its aims, rather than as someone likely looking for reasons to discredit it. But I do understand feeling deeply alienated by the approaches of a movement whose aims you fundamentally believe in, particularly when you feel some strong social and cultural affinities with the opposition's rank and file.

I've always valued and admired your thoughtfulness and grace under fire around here.
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When you are black, or Jewish, or Asian ... chances are, so is your family.

When you are gay, usually, you are on your own.
I was just thinking yesterday about the irony that most of my gay friends (most of them 35ish-to-55ish and in longterm relationships, some raising children) in fact grew up in stable two-parent families, with mothers and fathers who although imperfect--usually most of all with their gay child, sadly--loved each other and their children and clearly got most of the fundamentals of parenthood right, as evinced by having raised caring, responsible, upstanding people with so much to offer their communities. Which is to say, these friends were raised with precisely the kind of sound basic blueprint for how to love and support a spouse and children that's supposedly at stake here. And it's not like they were raised from infancy being told, "Oh, you're gay, so of course you shouldn't expect to ever have this. We'll send you to Future Gay Citizens Of America Camp so you can learn about the kinds of households it's morally appropriate for you to be part of." Why shouldn't they look forward to sharing with someone else what their parents shared? Why shouldn't they imagine themselves one day sharing with their own child the love and guidance their parents shared with them? Why shouldn't they see themselves going with their families to church picnics or block parties or the beach and socializing with other parents while the kids play, just like their families did?

You're right that in some sense most gay children will always be on their own, in that their relationships and families won't look or function precisely like those of their parents or siblings (one more reason why as I said earlier, I think every parent should aim to provide a diverse network of potential mentor figures for their kids). But I look forward to a time when that distinction won't be nearly as cruelly hard-edged as it still largely is now.
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Old 08-18-2012, 09:14 PM   #323
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Let me chime in and say that I also feel the hostility towards nathan1977 is unwarranted.
I agree. I have no issues with Nathan, and he seems genuinely engaged into how others feel most of the time. The fact that he is conflicted on the issue says to me that he has put thought into it.

I come from a religious background, so I always understand how difficult it can be to reconcile that with the ever-changing landscape of views on these subjects. That's why I enjoy the debate so much. I feel like getting people to talk out their thoughts allows them to have a better perspective on how they came to believe certain things, how those beliefs are being perceived, and why some people would question certain logical conclusions.
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Old 08-18-2012, 09:20 PM   #324
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The liberals on this forum are so aggressively insulting and dismissive against anyone that doesn't share their ideological viewpoint that I'm almost tempted to re-examine my pro-gay marriage stance.
I'm sorry that you find some people who disagree with you to be too aggressive and patronizing, and I wish that they were not just as much as you do. But to threaten changing sides on an issue that means a great deal to a lot of people because you think some people are assholes in how they deal with others is sort of petty.

I mean, this is the Internet. We are anonymous posters on a forum. It's not going to be as civil as people sitting on a circle in folding chairs having a debate, you know? I'm not apologizing for it at all. But can you be surprised that people are less polite when they're arguing much more about ideas than they are about personal issues? That's sort of what makes this different. Because we are using aliases and communicating solely through text, it's different.

And part of the issue is that the conservatives on this forum are outnumbered. At times I'm sure it seems that it's piling on. That can't help the perception of what is occurring.

But again, throwing your issues up into the air where they can be blown onto either side of the fence by something as ridiculous as the politeness of a political forum on a U2 message board is kind of crazy, don't you think?
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Old 08-18-2012, 11:40 PM   #325
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I'm sorry that you find some people who disagree with you to be too aggressive and patronizing, and I wish that they were not just as much as you do. But to threaten changing sides on an issue that means a great deal to a lot of people because you think some people are assholes in how they deal with others is sort of petty.

I mean, this is the Internet. We are anonymous posters on a forum. It's not going to be as civil as people sitting on a circle in folding chairs having a debate, you know? I'm not apologizing for it at all. But can you be surprised that people are less polite when they're arguing much more about ideas than they are about personal issues? That's sort of what makes this different. Because we are using aliases and communicating solely through text, it's different.

And part of the issue is that the conservatives on this forum are outnumbered. At times I'm sure it seems that it's piling on. That can't help the perception of what is occurring.

But again, throwing your issues up into the air where they can be blown onto either side of the fence by something as ridiculous as the politeness of a political forum on a U2 message board is kind of crazy, don't you think?
I specifically said I didn't change my mind. What I did say was that I find the attitudes and tactics of the US gay lobby and their allies increasingly unattractive, offputting and counterproductive - and I stand by that. The attention devoted to one issue that effects a relatively small section of society in one country on this forum is really disproportionate, particularly seeing as 80% of the regular posters agree with SSM - and those that didn't haven't changed their views - so really there's nothing to debate, nothing much to talk about - except for the shrieks of faux-outrage whenever Indy500 posts in the thread.
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Old 08-18-2012, 11:41 PM   #326
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It blows my mind as well.
Aren't you even slightly embarassed by how your prejudices regarding another poster were shown up?

Genuine question.
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Old 08-19-2012, 01:01 AM   #327
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The attention devoted to one issue that effects a relatively small section of society in one country on this forum is really disproportionate, particularly seeing as 80% of the regular posters agree with SSM - and those that didn't haven't changed their views - so really there's nothing to debate, nothing much to talk about
Like it or not, it's still a big issue in this country. We have one party that constantly tries to use it as a scapegoat for all the moral failings of our nation and tries to bring up talk of trying to bring us back to "good Christian family values" every single election cycle to rile up its base. Fortunately, I think more and more people are starting to tune out such ludicrous beliefs, especially younger generations, but we still have people trying to make policy to stop gay rights from advancing any further. And then we have another party who has more people showing support, but whom don't do much about their support. The people directly affected may not be a majority of the population, but that doesn't make what they're going through suck any less.

So, yeah, it's going to be something we'll talk about as a result. And there's still plenty to debate and discuss-the suicides, the support politicians have given "gay therapy" groups, how a policy/law will affect people, etc. Just because most of us here agree it should be legal doesn't mean that that in and of itself is enough.

And you never know. Sometimes people can change their minds. I remember a poster a few years back coming back here and apologizing for the anti-gay attitudes they used to have, noting that it was because of the discussion here that they thought about their viewpoint and changed their mind.

I don't expect to force people to change their minds-ultimately that is up to them to decide such a thing. But I'm certainly going to lay my argument out nonetheless. If you agree, fantastic. If you don't, well, then you don't-but if you at least take it into consideration, I consider that worth the effort.

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except for the shrieks of faux-outrage whenever Indy500 posts in the thread.
Seem pretty genuine to me, but hey.
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Old 08-19-2012, 01:13 AM   #328
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I specifically said I didn't change my mind. What I did say was that I find the attitudes and tactics of the US gay lobby and their allies increasingly unattractive, offputting and counterproductive - and I stand by that. The attention devoted to one issue that effects a relatively small section of society in one country on this forum is really disproportionate, particularly seeing as 80% of the regular posters agree with SSM - and those that didn't haven't changed their views - so really there's nothing to debate, nothing much to talk about - except for the shrieks of faux-outrage whenever Indy500 posts in the thread.


Certain issues are hot, and they are going to occupy a great deal of space.

I'd guess there are more gay people reading this forum than there are people who have had abortions. Yet, god help us wen someone starts an abortion thread.

I will not apologize for advocating for my issues, nor do I need or want your approval, and really, if your support is based upon how pleasant you deem someone's desire for equal treatment to be, then I'm not sure how much I want that support. I think people regularly forget how much this really is about real lives, and these are not privileges to be granted by a majority that may or may not deem me worthy of the very rights they were born to exercise.

As an exercise, read through these threads only replace the word "gay" with "Irish."
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Old 08-19-2012, 01:25 AM   #329
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Why shouldn't they look forward to sharing with someone else what their parents shared? Why shouldn't they imagine themselves one day sharing with their own child the love and guidance their parents shared with them? Why shouldn't they see themselves going with their families to church picnics or block parties or the beach and socializing with other parents while the kids play, just like their families did?
why?

Because I can't. Because I can't do any of these thi gs without it being inherently political. If I get married, it's political. If I have kids, it's political. I've heard, in here no less, people speak passionately about their god-given rights to denounce me, or at least cherish their right to denounce me should their moral conscience move them to do so for doing the very things you just outlined. And then, the flip side, they bestow upon me the largess of their struggles, after prayer and study, they've decided that, well, it is ok that you participate, and look at how expansive my worldview and generosity of spirit. Your worth, homosexual, remains up for me to decide, AND I AM SO PROUD OF MYSELF FOR BEING TOTALLY COMFORTABLE AROUND YOU.

I'm always contested. My social worth isn't assumed, it's granted.

Yet I know that it's not. And I know I don't need anything from anyone. And yet I can't escape any of this.
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Old 08-19-2012, 02:18 AM   #330
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I just feel like I want to give you a hug right now, Irvine .
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