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Old 06-05-2010, 06:26 AM   #226
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The main problem with the bible is that as a basis for a consistent world view goes it's a mess. Literally the book is all over the place, and the way it is interpreted is also inconsistent. Stuff from the old testament is conveniently ignored because it's silly to modern eyes yet passages on the same page used to support homophobia etc. The Gospels are the closest to an consistent message but letters and sections after the gospels again veer wildly all over the place (probably as they were written by people trying to make sense of what had recently happened). Yet in some Christian circles the book is taken at face value.
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Old 06-05-2010, 03:17 PM   #227
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Indeed. My dad once told me about when he went to a Baptist church as a child. He found it quite scary as it was, with the "fire and brimstone" preachers telling people about hell and all that sort of stuff. But his views on religion were firmly clenched when a Baptist preacher said, "The difference between us and the other faiths is that they interpret the Bible, whereas we follow its literal translation".

"...based on your interpretation", my dad remembers thinking. I really don't understand why some people don't get that-everybody, when reading the Bible, is interpreting it. I don't get why some people think that their particular reading is above everyone else's and holds the key to answering all life's problems.

And that is precisely why it should never be used when it comes to lawmaking. I don't care whether the Bible is for or against gay marriage, it's not relevant in terms of making laws about the issue. We should make laws based on what is fair and just for the nation's people, not on everyone's wildly differing views about a book written by people who all claimed to have God's ear at one point.

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Old 06-06-2010, 02:09 AM   #228
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on a very practical level, Memphis and i are very good friends with a couple who lives over in Alexandria, and one part in this couple got very, very sick recently. we spent Memorial Day with them, and they told us numerous stories about spending over a month in the hospital in NoVA, and how the staff was great, but the staff would tell them just how limited they were by the laws in Virginia compared to the laws in DC and in Maryland. they'd say things like, "well, if this were DC, you could do this, but since this is VA, we can only do this ..." so these were highly sympathetic nurses and doctors who were hamstrung by the laws in the state of VA. by contrast, when i was hospitalized for a week, i was in the state of MD and Memphis had no problems seeing me and whatever, no questions were ever asked.

needless to say, we're moving back into the district, or at worst MD, next year. which, in some ways sucks, because Arlington and Alexandria are great places to live.

so fuck you, Virginia, and you're refusal to hang on to gay talent. you certainly rake in the dough from our state taxes given what we pull in.
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Old 06-06-2010, 08:07 AM   #229
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I'm waiting for the sympathetic clucking from our pro- "civil unions" friends, explaining that their second-tier status for you and Memphis would solve all these problems without having to sully their own status as married people.
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Old 06-06-2010, 09:01 AM   #230
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Irvine, your lack of respect for states right knows no bounds (unlike the human rights you seem so fond of).
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Old 06-06-2010, 11:24 AM   #231
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this is at least interesting ...


Quote:
A Gay Catholic Voice Against Same-Sex Marriage
By MARK OPPENHEIMER

WASHINGTON — “I spent the summer before college reading Shakespeare and staring out the window and occasionally being a roadie for my friend’s band,” says Eve Tushnet, the celibate, gay, conservative, Catholic writer. That was all good fun, she says upon meeting in Union Station, but she was ready for more, although she knew not what. “I was hoping for something very different in college.”

It is common, this freshman urge for self-invention. The football player tries his hand at poetry; the classical violinist fiddles in a bluegrass band. But Ms. Tushnet — whose parents, Mark Tushnet and Elizabeth Alexander, are a well-known liberal Harvard law professor and a former American Civil Liberties Union lawyer, respectively — did not imagine that she would become a Roman Catholic, nor that 10 years after graduation, her voice, on her blog and in numerous articles, would be one of the most surprising raised against same-sex marriage.

As the hundred or so daily readers of eve-tushnet.blogspot.com, and a larger audience for her magazine writing, know by now, Ms. Tushnet can seem a paradox: fervently Catholic, proudly gay, happily celibate. She does not see herself as disordered; she does not struggle to be straight, but she insists that her religion forbids her a sex life.

“The sacrifices you want to make aren’t always the only sacrifices God wants,” Ms. Tushnet wrote in a 2007 essay for Commonweal. While gay sex should not be criminalized, she said, gay men and lesbians should abstain. They might instead have passionate friendships, or sublimate their urges into other pursuits. “It turns out I happen to be very good at sublimating,” she says, while acknowledging that that is a lot to ask of others.

Marriage should be reserved for heterosexuals, whose “relationships can be either uniquely dangerous or uniquely fruitful,” she explained in an e-mail message. “Thus it makes sense to have an institution dedicated to structuring and channeling them.”

But same-sex marriage, she wrote in The New York Post in 2007, “can bring one of three outcomes: A two-tiered marriage culture, where heterosexual couples are asked to do the hard things (sex only within marriage, marriage for life in most circumstances) and homosexual couples work out their own marriage norms; reshape marriage into an optional, individualized institution, ignoring the creative and destructive potentials of ‘straight’ sex; or encourage all couples to restrict sex to marriage and marry for life, and hope that gay couples accept norms designed to meet heterosexual needs.”

Ms. Tushnet entered Yale in 1996 a happy lesbian, out since age 13 or 14 (she can’t quite remember). Her father, a nonobservant Jew, and her mother, a Unitarian, both belonged to progressive traditions, tolerant of her sexuality.

When, as a freshman, she attended a meeting of the Party of the Right, a conservative group affiliated with the Yale Political Union, it was “specifically to laugh at them, to see the zoo animals,” she says.

“But I was really impressed, not only by the weird arguments but the degree to which it was clear that the people making them lived as if what they were saying had actual consequences for their lives, that had required them to make sacrifices.”

In Ms. Tushnet’s time, as in mine — I was four years ahead of her at Yale — the Party of the Right had a benignantly cultish quality. “Have you read ‘The Secret History?’ ” she asks, referring to Donna Tartt’s 1992 novel about a secretive student clique obsessed with Greek literature. “It was like that.”

But she found the Party of the Right students compassionate, intellectual and not terribly exercised about her homosexuality. She was drawn to the Catholics among them, who corrected her misimpression that the existence of sin “means you are bad.” It means “precisely the opposite,” they taught her. “It means you have a chance to come back and repent and be saved,” she says. She began reading books like St. Anselm’s “Why God Became Man.” She began attending church. Her sophomore year, she was baptized.

“By the time it was real enough to be threatening,” she says of her conversion, “things had gone too far. I didn’t see it coming.”

After college, Ms. Tushnet worked briefly at the National Catholic Register, a weekly magazine, but since 2002 she has made a meager living through writing, computer programming and freelance research. She lives in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of downtown Washington and volunteers two hours a week at a Christian pregnancy-counseling center. She writes for liberal Catholic publications like Commonweal, and for conservative secular magazines like The Weekly Standard.

But it is on her blog that a small but presumably learned readership finds her most ambitious writing: lengthy, often obscure, for gay love, against same-sex marriage, and serious about Scripture, saints and medieval philosophy. She writes about obscure Hungarian fiction (“Janos Nyiri’s ‘Battlefields and Playgrounds’ is one of the best novels I’ve read in a long time.”) and struggles in print with St. Anselm’s “ontological proof” of the existence of God.

It is not simple to embrace both traditional Catholicism and unrepentant, if sex-free, gayness. For example, Ms. Tushnet finds it difficult to interest fellow Catholics in their church’s theology of friendship, as articulated in books like St. Aelred’s “On Spiritual Friendship.” She says that when she talks to people about the religious importance of same-sex closeness, “they look at you like you’re trying to get married in the church.” And few of her friends share both her theology and her predilections for Edmund White, Jean Genet and the Smiths.

She may befuddle others, but for her, life is joyful. She takes obvious pleasure in being an eccentric in a tradition with no shortage of odd heroes, visionaries and saints. “You can be really quite strange, and the Catholic church will canonize you eventually,” she says. She loves eating the flesh and blood of Christ in the Eucharist, which she believes is a carnivorous meal, not a metaphor. She loves gay synth-pop bands.

“I really think the most important thing is, I really like being gay and I really like being Catholic,” she says. “If nobody ever calls me self-hating again, it will be too soon.

“Nothing is quite as great as getting up in the morning, listening to the Pet Shop Boys and going to church.”
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Old 06-06-2010, 01:06 PM   #232
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Very unusual viewpoint indeed. If that's how she wants to live her life, that's entirely up to her, more power to her. I don't see her logic in suggesting all other gay people follow her lead, though. I don't see how she comes up with the idea of those three outcomes being the result should same-sex marriage be legalized all over, either. That confused me.

Angela
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Old 06-06-2010, 05:02 PM   #233
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Originally Posted by Irvine511 View Post
this is at least interesting ...
not very

just an odd ball

that will fuel the "love the sinner, hate the sin" argument.
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Old 06-06-2010, 06:37 PM   #234
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Frankly, I think that gay people that voluntarily remain in a church that officially hates them ("homosexuality is an ideology of evil" is official church policy) need their heads examined.

Quote:
“Nothing is quite as great as getting up in the morning, listening to the Pet Shop Boys and going to church.”
Random piece of trivia. Neil Tennant, the singer in the Pet Shop Boys, was raised Roman Catholic and once considered entering the priesthood.
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Old 06-07-2010, 11:35 AM   #235
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hmmm ... clearly, gay marriage is good for the children (of lesbians at least):


Quote:
Monday, Jun. 07, 2010
Study: Children of Lesbians May Do Better Than Their Peers
By Alice Park

The teen years are never the easiest for any family to navigate. But could they be even more challenging for children and parents in households headed by gay parents?

That is the question researchers explored in the first study ever to track children raised by lesbian parents, from birth to adolescence. Although previous studies have indicated that children with same-sex parents show no significant differences compared with children in heterosexual homes when it comes to social development and adjustment, many of these investigations involved children who were born to women in heterosexual marriages, who later divorced and came out as lesbians.

For their new study, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, researchers Nanette Gartrell, a professor of psychiatry at University of California, San Francisco (and a law professor at University of California, Los Angeles), and Henry Bos, a behavioral scientist at University of Amsterdam, focused on what they call planned lesbian families — households in which the mothers identified themselves as lesbian at the time of artificial insemination.

Data on such families are sparse, but they are important for establishing whether a child's environment in a home with same-sex parents would be any more or less nurturing than one with a heterosexual couple.

The authors found that children raised by lesbian mothers — whether the mother was partnered or single — scored very similarly to children raised by heterosexual parents on measures of development and social behavior. These findings were expected, the authors said; however, they were surprised to discover that children in lesbian homes scored higher than kids in straight families on some psychological measures of self-esteem and confidence, did better academically and were less likely to have behavioral problems, such as rule-breaking and aggression.

"We simply expected to find no difference in psychological adjustment between adolescents reared in lesbian families and the normative sample of age-matched controls," says Gartrell. "I was surprised to find that on some measures we found higher levels of [psychological] competency and lower levels of behavioral problems. It wasn't something I anticipated."

In addition, children in same-sex-parent families whose mothers ended up separating, did as well as children in lesbian families in which the moms stayed together.

The data that Gartrell and Bos analyzed came from the U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS), begun in 1986. The authors included 154 women in 84 families who underwent artificial insemination to start a family; the parents agreed to answer questions about their children's social skills, academic performance and behavior at five follow-up times over the 17-year study period. Children in the families were also interviewed by researchers at age 10, and were then asked at age 17 to complete an online questionnaire, which included queries about the teens' activities, their social lives, feelings of anxiety or depression and behavior.

Not surprisingly, the researchers found that 41% of children reported having endured some teasing, ostracism or discrimination related to their being raised by same-sex parents. But Gartrell and Bos could find no differences on psychological adjustment tests between these children and those in a group of matched controls. At age 10, children reporting discrimination did exhibit more signs of psychological stress than their peers, but by age 17, these feelings had dissipated. "Obviously there are some factors that may include family support and changes in education about appreciation for diversity that may be helping young people to come to a better place despite these experiences," says Gartrell.

It's not clear exactly why children of lesbian mothers tend to do better than those in heterosexual families on certain measures. But after studying gay and lesbian families for 24 years, Gartrell has some theories. "They are very involved in their children's lives," she says of the lesbian parents. "And that is a great recipe for healthy outcomes for children. Being present, having good communication, being there in their schools, finding out what is going on in their schools and various aspects of the children's lives is very, very important."

Although such active involvement isn't unique to lesbian households, Gartrell notes that same-sex mothers tend to make that kind of parenting more of a priority. Because their children are more likely to experience discrimination and stigmatization as a result of their family circumstances, these mothers can be more likely to broach complicated topics, such as sexuality and diversity and tolerance, with their children early on. Having such a foundation may help to give these children more confidence and maturity in dealing with social differences and prejudices as they get older.

Because the research is ongoing, Gartrell hopes to test some of these theories with additional studies. She is also hoping to collect more data on gay father households; gay fatherhood is less common than lesbian motherhood because of the high costs — of surrogacy or adoption — that gay couples necessarily face in order to start a family.
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Old 06-07-2010, 02:02 PM   #236
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Cool Ad Watch - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Quote:
Meet Devin & Glenn--two gents who met, fell in love, got married, and then had to deal with the consequences of that decision. From obnoxious in-laws (Tom Arnold) to passive aggressive fights over dinner, Devin & Glenn have the same problems that most married couples deal with--and that's the point. The folks behind this video wanted to show that marriage is marriage regardless of the sexuality of its inhabitants.

Money quote from the creators:

"If you disagree with the homosexual lifestyle, why not overturn prop8 and make them get married, like the rest of us?"

It reminds me of a Crossfire debate I once had with Patrick Buchanan, back in 1873 or something. I asked him: "Why do you not want to impose your values on us?" The unspoken answer: because we don't think you're really human.
I think this pretty much sums up why conservatives often contradict their earlier statements and bend over backwards to ensure that, no matter what, gays get nothing. Just remember that fact the next time they try to wrap their homophobia up in smiles.
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Old 06-07-2010, 02:40 PM   #237
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here's the video. it's a scream, and some of it is NSFW:


YouTube - Devin & Glenn
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Old 06-07-2010, 08:10 PM   #238
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LOL! what a great clip! hahaha poor guys. I hope my marriage doesn't turn out like that! blergh.
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Old 06-07-2010, 10:33 PM   #239
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Nice. The Lady Gaga song choice was inspired. And I loved the toilet bit ! What a brilliant ad .

Also, call me dumb, but what does "NSFW" mean?

Angela
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Old 06-07-2010, 10:36 PM   #240
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here's the video. it's a scream, and some of it is NSFW:


YouTube - Devin & Glenn
that was quite good. One of the actors was on the Amazing Race with his father a few seasons back and I seem to recall his dad is gay.
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