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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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Old 11-14-2009, 09:46 PM   #946
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The last few pages of this thread make me question the vote I made in Maine.
Mind elaborating a bit? I'd enjoy hearing your thoughts.
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Old 11-14-2009, 10:07 PM   #947
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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.
What meaning does it have now, when anyone can get meet tonight and get married by Elvis an hour later?

What meaning does it have when 50+- ends in divorce?

What meaning does it have now, that can possibly be taken away from even more?

The only meaning it has, is between you and your wife and what you make it, outside of that all it is legal rights.

Please tell me how I'm wrong?
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Old 11-14-2009, 10:13 PM   #948
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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.
Actually, this is pretty much the civil de facto of straight marriage right now as phillyfan noted.
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Old 11-14-2009, 10:35 PM   #949
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Originally Posted by melon View Post
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.



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.



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.
this is an excellent, excellent post, melon. kudos.
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Old 11-14-2009, 11:45 PM   #950
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Marriage and divorce, for heterosexuals, is unburdened by counseling 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
You make several great points here, Melon. I always find your posts educational and enlightening. I appreciate that you have a strong sense of morality and are on the Christian walk. I am not someone that would question your walk with God or your relationship with Christ. We have discussed at length in the past what the Bible teaches about homosexuality – and you have made many astute observations. However, in the end, we have had to agree to disagree.

You made an interesting comment above. You said “if society deems this prudent” – is that a general allowance or specific to this point about divorce?

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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.
If this is true – wouldn’t that reinforce the argument against gay marriage here in America? If religion is a “ritualization” of the culture’s values – and religion forbids gay marriage – then the cultures’ values are against gay marriage. And if Christianity is practiced differently around the world, and all those practices are valid – then doesn’t that make our version of Christianity also valid?

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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.
Is this statement descriptive or prescriptive? Are you saying that marriage should reflect the cultural values or just happens to follow the cultural values? Either way, great point. I think you can see why people are choosing gay marriage as the “battleground” so to speak. If marriage is representative of the culture’s values – then allowing gay marriage is a reflection that the culture has accepted homosexual behavior as nothing inappropriate. If gay marriage remains as it is – then the culture has still not completely accepted homosexual behavior as appropriate. Interesting…

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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
I agree with this to a point – I think it is more like a two way street – they both influence each other. The only problem with “your culture taught you to understand these values” is that many people of the same culture do in fact disagree. And let’s say for argument’s sake they do agree, then the culture is actually telling you today that it does not value gay marriage (as evident by the failure after failure on the ballots).
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Old 11-14-2009, 11:53 PM   #951
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On a related note, which one of these science fair projects is publicly acceptable?

not even getting into how i feel about this, this is just factually incorrect. and she's got something around her neck, did she actually win a medal for this?
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:04 AM   #952
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If marriage is representative of the culture’s values – then allowing gay marriage is a reflection that the culture has accepted homosexual behavior as nothing inappropriate. If gay marriage remains as it is – then the culture has still not completely accepted homosexual behavior as appropriate. Interesting…

i am not a behavior.
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:15 AM   #953
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It's all just such a dance, waltzing around the real problem, not addressing the real and actual harm caused by the sincere belief that gays and lesbians somehow aren't deserving of the same thing I get to have. I can't hear the tune, thank God. I don't know the dance of "justification" or "honor" I guess.

I just don't know how anybody who thinks that way can really, truly think that it's the right thing to exclude people that way. It must make them feel incredibly good about themselves.
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:17 AM   #954
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the real problem is the inability to see gay people as people, rather than sex acts.

hence, the issue isn't so much bigotry as ignorance.
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:18 AM   #955
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On a related note, which one of these science fair projects is publicly acceptable?



This is who we need to be banning from marriage.
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:21 AM   #956
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the real problem is the inability to see gay people as people, rather than sex acts.
This must be it. It has to be. Why else would it be such an obsession and so vigorously argued against?
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:22 AM   #957
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This is who we need to be banning from marriage.
I'd sign that petition.
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:22 AM   #958
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There's good news for...well...someone. Man on horse sex is still acceptable.
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:30 AM   #959
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See?? It's a slippery slope!!1!!!!!
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:34 AM   #960
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This is who we need to be banning from marriage.
These pictures are ridiculous. I certainly hope it isn't implied that I am a proponent of such teaching/thinking.
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