Same-Sex Marriage and the Sacred Right to Refuse Service

“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty.
Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel…”

–Patrick Henry

A bill currently pending in the New Hampshire State legislature would allow business owners to turn away customers on the basis of “conscience or religious faith.” Introduced by Rep. Frank Sapareto, HB1264 aims to protect Christian wedding vendors from being forced to provide services for homosexual couples.

The fear that conscience rights may be violated in the Granite State is hardly far-fetched: many U.S. small-business owners have already faced lawsuits for refusing to host or perform same-sex marriage ceremonies. In January, a New Jersey judge ruled against a Christian retreat house that refused to allow a same-sex civil union ceremony to be conducted on its premises, ruling that the Constitution allows “some intrusion into religious freedom to balance other important societal goals.” Last November, Christian cake-baker Victoria Childress of Des Moines was threatened with legal action by a lesbian couple that had hoped to commission her to design their wedding cake. In September, a gay couple filed suit against two Illinois institutions that refused to host their civil union. Christian “Bed and Breakfast” establishments, which are often family-owned businesses, are especially targeted by homosexual rights activists for this type of harassment.

The new bill, which was scheduled to come up for a vote last month but has been pushed back to February, would prevent such suits from coming before New Hampshire courts by ensuring that individuals will be legally permitted to “choose not to provide accommodations, goods, or services for a marriage if doing so would violate his or her conscience or religious faith.” Needless to say, the bill has been roundly attacked by homosexual rights activists and mainstream media networks. New Hampshire Governor John Lynch has promised to veto it.

So, just what’s so repugnant about the idea of allowing business owners to make their own decisions about who they want to work with? Probably this aversion to freedom in the marketplace is due in large part to a common misconception about the nature of the business world. There is a popular myth that permitting private vendors to express opposition to aspects of their society by refusing service to customers will somehow foster attitudes of intolerance and cultivate so-called “haters.”

Proponents of this view, however, have put forward a proposition based on laughably fallacious reasoning. Passing laws that force businesses to perform actions which are prohibited by their convictions doesn’t alter the mindsets of business owners and certainly doesn’t make for a content citizenry.  On the contrary, it is counterproductive and wrong to attempt to change the thought patterns of a culture by forcing its people to engage in and endorse activities they believe to be immoral. Additionally, such legislation promotes division and stifles individuality in a population. Unless businesses are engaging in activities that directly harm others, these heavy-handed methods to coerce them are totalitarian and must not be endured by a free and thoughtful people.

Let us illustrate this premise with a simple example: suppose a white business owner in a southern state in the 1920’s decides to refuse service to Ku Klux Klan members. The business owner finds the KKK’s racist beliefs despicable and doesn’t want to associate with its members. Surely most modern people would agree that the business owner has every right to make this decision. After all, his business is his property, and a transaction made with a customer is a form of contract. Can there be a truly free society that forces people to enter into contracts against their will?

What many homosexual rights activists do not seem to understand is that opposition to their lifestyle is, in many cases, at least as strong as any southern business owner’s opposition to the KKK might have been a century ago. While they try to paint their opposition as an insignificant minority, 2011 polls showed that 46% of Americans opposed same-sex marriage, while only 45% favored it. The Bible teaches that homosexual acts are not only a sin but an abomination. In a nation that identifies itself as predominantly Christian, is it any wonder that a significant portion of the population is horrified by the idea of being involved in a same-sex wedding?  Is it really fair for government to take sides on an issue that has the nation split into a cultural divide? Does an individual’s right to be served by a private business overrule the property rights of the business owner?

When government doesn’t interfere in the workplace, the free market tends to right itself.  If a business begins to annoy potential customers as a result of its discriminatory practices, the boycott system comes into play and the owner begins to lose money. If the convictions held by the business owner are strong enough, he or she will be willing to take the loss. If not, monetary distress will force the owner to alter his or her policies. If no consensus can be established between two opposing camps of ideas, the nation can at least agree to disagree. It’s called free trade, and it’s how civilized adults handle their differences. When government gets involved in such a conflict, it only short-circuits the efficiency and precision of a perfectly functional natural process. It also serves to warn a people that they are not free; that they are, in fact, considered unfit to rule themselves and to do business in the way that seems best to them. Rather, they must do their business in the way that seems best to their leaders.

Lovers of freedom in the great state of New Hampshire: might you take just a few minutes out of your day to give your senators and representatives a call.  You are the only ones who can defend liberty in the Granite State.

Live free or die.

Find your New Hampshire state representative

Find your New Hampshire state senator

Bryana Johnson :: Texas A&M University :: Dallas, Texas :: @HighTideJournal

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Comments

  1. “Is it really fair for government to take sides on an issue that has the nation split into a cultural divide?”

    Yes, it should. And they should be on the side that doesn’t support bigotry, whether that bigotry is religiously based or not.

  2. Although I morally oppose gay marriage, it is the government that created the marriage institution – certificates, licenses, etc. But, this article foreshadows the one reason I am opposed to gay marriage – eventually churches would be forced to perform gay marriages. And if they’ll sue private business owners who have the right to refuse service, why would they stop there?

  3. Did you just compare the subject of hate crimes (gays) to a group that committs hate crimes (kkk)?

    A better comparison would be business refusing blacks service – but you won’t write that since it’s race, right?

  4. @Michelle, Her using the KKK show that the sword cuts both ways! The KKK is a small group of people just as gays are!

  5. Michelle, perhaps I am a little slow. Would you please explain to me how this article relates to hate crimes (gays)? Are you saying that refusing service to gays, such as not letting them commission you to bake a cake for their wedding, is a hate crime? I thought hate crimes involved some action. How can refusing to be involved with them be considered an action against them?
    Thank you.

  6. Let me play devil’s advocate here. I just realized that we are not supposed to descriminate in our hiring practices on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, or sex. Does this extend to who we do business with? And should we include in this list sexual preference? I wonder. Where do we draw the line with these types of restrictions? I am glad blacks no longer are supposed to face the descrimination they always did face ever since slavery. I am also glad the women are supposed to be afforded the same rights as men (if truth be told, some of their rights should go beyond those of men, but the law requires equality). But how far do we go, and what is right to require of everyone? How can we legislate morality, or tell others how to feel? Why are these problems just now coming to light? Haven’t there always been gays?

  7. Interesting subject. Whose liberty is more important? The customer’s liberty to shop anywhere they want, or the business owner’s liberty to serve anyone or refuse service to anyone they want? I have often seen the posting in a store: we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. Is this unconstitutional?

  8. @Keith the point is that the KKK is usually composed of members of the majority (white dudes). Gays are a minority. (And this is related to socoligical rather than numbers, thanks).

    Gays are a minority that shop owners are being bigot towards. The KKK is a violent group that kills people. There is no comparison between a shop owner refusing service to someone who committs a crime vs refusing based on bigotry.

    That is why subing blacks in for gays in this article would have been a similar comparison. But she didn’t do that – because supporting shop owners against refusing service to blacks would clearly be racist.

    I personally don’t care who privately business refuse service to but don’t try to paint it as non bigotry by comparing it to a hate group, ok?

  9. Please also be aware of the bill currently in the New Hampshire legislature to repeal the gay “marriage” law that was imposed on the state in such a corrupt manner before the last election. Information on the bill can be found at http://nhmarriage.org/

    In case you weren’t aware of it, the New Hampshire Senate was predominately Democrat before the last election. One of their committees hearing their gay “marriage” bill was supposed to be made up of both Republicans and Democrats, and the decision on the bill had to be unanimous in order to pass to the full Senate. But when the one Republican on the committee refused to vote for the bill, he was booted off the committee, and they went ahead and voted without him, allowing the bill to finally be passed. There was also the lie Governor Lynch told the voters when he said that he would not vote for such a bill, but then suddenly “changed his mind” after being lobbied by the HRC and other gay activist groups.

    The point is that the voters were never allowed to be heard on this issue. They were silenced by a corrupt legislature and two-faced Governor, and their next move was to give the legislature the veto-proof Republican majority to repeal it. This bill needs our support to pass because, even though the voters gave New Hampshire that veto-proof Republican majority, these legislators are being more than a little cowardly about passing the repeal bill. They need to know that the voters of New Hampshire want to be heard on this issue, and resent this law having been imposed on them without their being able to vote on it. If you live or know anyone in New Hampshire please ask them to call their legislators to support repealing the gay “marriage” law that was so outrageously imposed on them.

  10. kelly kafir says:

    Where are you dolts getting anything from this article about “hate crimes?” I see nothing in this article to suggest that this has anything to do with hate crimes. This article is about allowing business owners to make decisions about WHO they will or will not do business with.

    She is making the point that under some of the SSM laws, a business can be sued for discrimination if they decide they don’t want to make a cake or do the flowers for Betty Birkenstock and Mary Mullet’s wedding!

    You people just jumped all over the KKK reference without actually understanding the POINT she was trying to make. (Typical of well indoctrinated college liberals)

    And like it or not, whatever you think you know, “bigotry” is not against the law for individuals. I can choose to like or NOT like whoever I want and so can you (which you already displayed by jumping all over this writer).

  11. kelly kafir says:

    And Michele, what the hell is “socoligical?” Ah, publik edukaashun….

  12. It’s one thing to refuse service because you do not want to serve the person for reasons not covered under the federal civil rights acts, but in the Iowa incident with the cake seller, there was a law that prevented discrimination on the basis of sexuality, iirc, so she was breaking a law.

    It is not so farfetched to extend civil rights protection to people on the basis of their sexuality, since it is something as core to a person’s identity as their race, ethnicity, or religion, even if one technically chooses the last one. And even if homosexuality is somehow a choice, which is unlikely to a great extent, then, like religion as a personal aspect of identity, should be protected from someone refusing to serve them. If you could find some other compelling reason to refuse service to a gay or lesbian couple, perhaps it would be permissible, but it’s not unlike refusing to hire a teacher because they aren’t the majority religion or happen to be gay, the former of which is definitely illegal and the latter of which skirts the boundary.

    Refusing service is not absolute and that’s already on the books by federal law. Liberty is not always a positive thing that we can claim for ourselves. Sometimes we must relinquish some of these positive freedoms to protect those that are more valuable. Therefore, negation of liberty can advance positive liberties in the same motion. If the party discriminated against files charges, it may not always be for the right reason, but you shouldn’t let people set a precedent for discrimination on the basis of personal freedom in contrast with other people’s freedoms to be treated fairly in this country.

  13. It is insulting and oppressive to have a business owner refuse to accept you as a customer because of any reason that you feel degrades you. Whether they think you are too gay, too fat, too poor, too religious, too secular, too this race, too that race, too old, too stupid, too liberal, too conservative, too annoying, too dull, too dirty or too smelly. It never feels good and will consistently depress and/or anger the would-be customer.

    It is insulting and oppressive to have the government tell you that you must do business with someone in a way that violates your conscience. Whether that person is too gay, too fat, too poor, too religious, too secular, too this race, too that race, too old, too stupid, too liberal, too conservative, too annoying, too dull, too dirty or too smelly. It never feels good and will consistently depress and/or anger the business owner.

    Either way, it is unjust and the problem is not solved. Those who imagine that government can change hearts and minds by threatening people’s person or properties if they do not conform are fools.

  14. Karen Grube says:

    What a crock! I’m sorry, but there should be absolutely NO legal protections based on sexual proclivity! We are all, with the exception of rare birth abnormalities, born male and female. We are NOT born gay or lesbian. No study has EVER found a “gay gene.” Ever. Being born of a particular race or gender is something over which we have no control. The same is true of disability and age. To grant any group rights based on their choice of sexual lifestyle is something the founders of this country and the framers of the Constitution would NEVER have thought was acceptable, under any circumstances. They often spoke of morality being the foundation for a civil society, and so on. Let’s get real here, and admit that this very concept is more than stretching the meaning of the words liberty and freedom and equal protection completely beyond all recognition. On the other hand, they were absolutely clear about our right the free exercise of religion. There is no right to gay “marriage” in the Constitution. None whatsoever. But there is a right to the free exercise of faith, within the bounds of other rights (like the right to life, the right to a speedy trial, etc.)

  15. No one claimed every sexual proclivity should be protected. Paraphilias can be understandably dangerous and homosexuality was removed from that list because it is not outside normal bounds of human sexuality in the basic sense of intimacy and relationship.

    No one said there was a gay gene either. At most, there is the hypothesis that there are multiple gay genes that work in tandem in some sense, but it’s admittedly still hypothetical at this point.

    You’re confusing gender and biological sex. The first is between your ears, a construct based on society’s expectations and general ideas of what constitutes being masculine or feminine. The second is between your legs, it is what determines your sexual identity in terms of reproductive capabilities as well as sexual practice, though part of this is psychological and neurological as well, so the interaction between gender and sex is not something to be skirted over in such a simple bifurcation.

    If gay people choose to be attracted to the same sex, then straight people choose to be attracted to the opposite sex. You can’t have it one way and then make special claims about another. You have made no argument to suggest people choose to be gay in contrast to the majority expectation of society to be straight. That’d be like me choosing to be straight in a society where everyone is expected to be gay. Why would you choose something that knowingly brings suffering upon you?

    Religion is a choice and yet that has been protected the same as race and sex since the 60s, gender since the 70s. Even if homosexuality and heterosexuality were choices, they are basic sexual orientations that are key to a person’s identity the same as religious beliefs chosen.

    There is a right to marriage in a civil context. No one is forcing you to marry gay people in churches, that is the right of an entirely private group to do. Restaurants and such are public accommodations and are not afforded the same protection to discriminate as they wish to federally protected groups. Your church can be bigoted all it wants and claim sincerity of religion, but you can’t do the same thing in a place of business that is open to the public by its nature.

  16. How does it violate your conscience to do business with a person who simply has characteristics that are aesthetically displeasing? Homosexuality is one thing, but there is a reasonable consideration that if the person is being belligerent, you can call them on that before you would ever call them out on being gay.

    The wedding incident is another thing entirely and there may need to be particular protections involved because of the religious aspect of marriage involved with the business even if the ceremony is done by a federal official of some sort. But the same situation with restaurants would not fly because of the extension of gay and lesbian sexual orientation from gender.

  17. Sorry, but there is still no constitutional right to gay “marriage.” It doesn’t exist. And we protect traditional marriage because it actually provides a benefit to society: it connects parents to their children and to each other. Marriage isn’t only about the adults in the room, which is what gay activists try to make about: the so-called “civil rights” or the “pursuit of happiness” of two consenting adults. That’s just wrong. Marriage is ALWAYS also about the children couples can bear and raise. To be clear; only the union of one man and one woman can produce a child without outside interference (a surrogate, IVF, a sperm donor), so it is that union we – that is, society as a whole – protect. NO, it doesn’t matter if a particular couple can have children. It is still only the union of one man and one woman who can create a child naturally. We’re talking about the law and constitutional authority here, which doesn’t deal with individual situations. We’re talking about a government that has a legitimate right to support and even incentivise (with tax breaks, inheritance laws, etc.) that institution (marriage) that gives it the benefit of a stable, fruitful, and productive society.

    And we’re not even talking here about the fact that this push for gay “marriage” has very little to do with marriage, and everything to do with forcing the acceptance of homosexual behavior and the gay lifestyle on everyone by silencing and ridiculing objections to it, and by forcing acceptance where it simply will not be accepted, like the ladies’ dressing room at Macy’s. This is REALLY all about things like telling kids they can pick whatever sex they want to be, and teaching them about gay sex in school without telling their parents under the guise of “health education.” This is REALLY all about letting little boys play on the girl’s basketball team because they “feel like a girl” or always “thought they were a girl” despite the physiological evidence to the contrary. This is REALLY all about demeaning religious values and minimizing the real message of Christ’s love for everyone, though not the sin in which they are living. It’s REALLY all about pushing the law even further to allow multiple marriages and child marriage. It’s all about so much more than just two people who want to get “married” it’s not even funny. But Democrats don’t want you to see the bigger picture. They want to give you this myopic, narrow view that it’s all just about THIS couple who want’s to “marry.” Don’t believe it. Thankfully, most of us don’t, and don’t let them lie to you that isn’t true any longer. Voters ALWAYS reject gay “marriage” at the ballot box.

  18. If marriage is such an important institution, how will it harm you to allow same sex marriage when it is such a small percentage of total marriages, many of which are straight marriages that end in divorce inevitably anyway because people focus on the aspects of marital sex as opposed to marital intimacy and compatibility, which are far more important in the long run?

    If a couple chooses not to have children, does that make their marriage less important, less traditional? Or is it purely about the appearance, in which case the whole institution of marriage is damaging to anyone pushed into it or even pressured into making the decision for social conformity? If I get married, it is not because I want to please my parents or anyone: it is because I love someone. And if we choose to not have children, so be it. Children are part of marriage, but they should not be exploited to discriminate against people that can raise children just as much as straight people can. Adoption, IVF, surrogacy, etc are used that much more by gay couples, but this doesn’t mean they don’t value that aspect of marriage that you emphasize, childrearing. Nor do they lack an appreciation for fidelity, contrary to any sort of ridiculous idea that gays are more promiscuous, based on inflated numbers or selective studies of gay bars instead of all gay people, some of which are afraid to be open about it because of the stigma associated with it.

    If the government shouldn’t do anything involved with marriage, then you seem to suggest it’s purely a matter of a religion’s authority? Or do you think the government should simply stop at authorizing marriages and not involve economics in it, even though marriage demonstrably has effects on people’s economic standing in comparison to single people? The former is ridiculous and you know it, and the latter is a bit too isolationist and focused on individual states’ rights on an issue that affects everyone across the country in a universal sense, not simply like gambling or the like.

    Children are not so cut and dry in terms of sexual development and if we suppress even the possibility that they might be gay, it can be psychologically damaging to them, far more than any psychological problems they might have in feeling discriminated against and eventually realizing that people’s opinions about their personal life are of no concern when they are hurting no one in being who they are.

    Stop putting a moral pretense on this issue. If you think they are wrong, don’t marry them, don’t participate, but you have no right to tell them they cannot get married simply because it makes you uncomfortable. You think I oppose people getting religious funerals in my family just because I’m an atheist? Even at my own grandfather’s funeral, where a cousin of mine spoke as a minister and called atheists sad people, I did not speak up, if only to respect my grandpa. But your disagreement with someone’s sexual orientation and raising a child in terms of gender neutrality or gender inclusivity does not give you any right or justification to say that child is less adjusted than someone raised to resent and patronize someone that is different than them and has virtually no recourse or reason to change that part of them.

    Popular vote and majority rule don’t always hold authority in terms of issues that are of more significance than the religious saturation of a culture in moralizing an issue that is the new scapegoat for the faults of the world when the real issue is bad education in one form or another. Gay people haven’t made me more or less gay in my talking with them, sharing time with them or any such thing. I honestly consider myself straight, or at the very most 90/10 straight/gay bisexual. But this was not because I engaged with gay people on the issues and felt their struggle, but because it is something I cannot do away with, as a part of my identity as much as my atheism, as my race or my gender.

    People rejecting gay marriage at the ballot does not make it wrong or something the people should not have an option for regardless. Calling it same sex marriage stigmatizes it all the more by emphasizing the difference. It is marriage, it is a partnership between two people who love each other and can choose or reject the notions of society that they have to raise a child. Most people will, and gay people can contribute to that. How does that harm you? You’re afraid of children hearing a different side more than you’re afraid of gender confusion, seems to me.

  19. And the parallel to child marriage is especially ridiculous, since the law already mandates that children, in particular under 12, cannot consent to such things and you’d have to have compelling evidence for children over 12 to be involved in marriage, which is more complicated and involved than sex or an abortion, for instance.

    Multiple marriage, I have no personal objection to, though I can see the complexities involved. If anything, it would require more specifications on the division of property in terms of probate as well as other things, such as the marriage procedure itself, signing the license, etc. It would be even less likely than gay marriage, especially because tradition would obviously buck at this, considering there are multiple partners. Gay marriage, on the other hand, just two people who love each other and vow to be faithful to each other, just like straight couple.

    Ironic that the Bible many pundits throw around as the source of traditional marriage has the founder of Judaism and Christianity with multiple wives, not to mention David and Solomon from what I recall, especially Solomon. Is multiple marriage really that farfetched when you have multiple examples in the sacred texts the institution supposedly has support in for the partnership of just two people?

  20. Jared, I gave you a list of the ways that gay “marriage” affects society and, therefore, affects me, so I refuse to go over the list again. Asking me to repeat myself and waste time, along with several of the specific questions you’ve asked, are straight out of the gay activist’s playbook, and they’re getting really old. I see them repeated all over on conservative or pro-traditional-marriage sites and they are normally meant as a means of harassment. So I’d appreciate it if you would find something original to ask.

    The fact that you say you have no problem with multiple marriages pretty much encapsulates your attitude. Thankfully, the voters of this country disagree. The problem, though, is that you’re not getting it. The Church and the voters of this country wish no one ill. WE are the ones under attack by those who, like you, are trying to diminish and discard the core values on which this country was founded.

    More than that, I already explained why the definition of “marriage” CANNOT be solely about two people who “love” each other. Aside from the whole idea that marriage is about real families, not just two people, it is simply NOT true that most gay couples even want to be monogamous. In fact, several studies have shown that most (not all) gay relationships are predicated on knowing that one or both parties will have multiple partners, and do so openly, and that this is absolutely okay with them. But this is absolutely not the kind of unstable setting children need to grow into healthy adults. I also already explained that the laws on marriage aren’t about specific cases like a couple that cannot conceive, but that it is about the general, simple truth that only the union of one man and one woman can create children naturally.

    In California, there was a bill to change the law to allow an adult to enter into a domestic partnership with a teenager with parental consent. How much closer to child marriage do you want to get? Guess what, this bill was sponsored by Mark Leno, an openly gay member of the state legislature, and got the approval of this state’s liberal Democrat legislature. So, it should be pretty clear that, for these legislators, this really is about much more than gay “marriage.” It’s about accepting their lifestyle and letting them do whatever they want, and changing the rules of the game so only they can win. I simply won’t stand for that nonsense any longer.

    I do thank you for continuing the discussion. And I do wish the best for you. Like it or not, you will be in my prayers.

  21. I would have problems with any type of marriage not properly maintained and structured with limits to it, just as legal prostitution, which, as I recall in Nevada, has fairly strict limitations, even if it is in a basic sense, paying another person for sex. It’s safer, better regulated and that is what makes it permissible, even if there is a disagreement with it on moral principles, it is certainly not irresponsible by the facts you could find on it.

    The church and voters who happen to attend church have no reason to make religion the sole basis of their voting platform. Morals and ethics can be separated in at least some sense from religious convictions and can be considered without recourse to revelation or the like to find them valid and applicable to people who don’t believe in the revelation with reasoned out arguments. You’re making this a personal matter and I am insulted that you’d lower this discussion to saying that I’m trying to stomp out your values. And even if I was, the values I’d want to stomp out are stuck in the 18th century. Get uncomfortable, change happens. If you resist it, it’s not always because it has any imminent threat to you, but because you don’t want to adjust your comfort zone.

    I’d like to see your studies in some depth instead of just seeing you throw out that you’ve heard of them. And even if that were true, it does not show that gays are being promiscuous without using protection. Open relationships are a whole other matter and you’re trying to take studies that don’t necessarily represent the gay community as it is coming into the 21st century and apply them to issues that cut across sexuality. Straight people have open relationships and with the same justification as gay people. They don’t think marriage is necessarily about monogamy, but about fidelity to vows they make in that they won’t violate each others’ trust.

    The natural cause of children is hardly the only healthy environment a child can grow up in. If a gay couple wants to have an open relationship, they can do it before they have children and agree that they will have to be monogamous when they raise children. Or they can manage it in such a way that the child understands that there are constraints on their parents’ multiple partners as they grow up. A child needs role models of either gender, either sex; as long as they are responsible and not damaging to the child’s moral character by abuse or the like, then I see no reason to make this a fallacious appeal to the children as showing how marriage would be ruined with gay marriage. As if it isn’t already terrible on its own. People have taken it for granted since the no fault divorce laws got passed, which I have a problem with as an atheist on the grounds that it makes marriage too casual.

    Parental consent was part of the domestic partnership with a child, so it was hardly a matter of saying that the child could consent. You’re oversimplifying that bill without considering that there were limits on it that made it safer for the minor involved. You keep making correlations without supporting any claim of causation. Gay people are not necessarily “liberal” in the modern political sense of the term, and there may very well be a good percentage of gays that hold conservative values on fiscal policy, even if not on social issues. But can you expect them to hold traditional social values when they are fairly convinced by their own experience and science to an extent that they cannot change their homosexuality without terrible consequences for their psychology, including depression and thoughts of suicide.

    Even liberals have basic limitations on behavior in terms of social issues. They certainly don’t believe you can do whatever you want, but they think people should be left to their own devices as long as they understand that they should be responsible. Murder and theft are not okay even by a more liberal perspective in politics. Marriage to minors (likely above 12), multiple marriage, and gay marriage are all minorities, but they should not be excluded merely because they are a minority or uncommon if they are done with the predetermination that they should be done with responsibility.

  22. I’ve read about enough of this back and forth between a God-loving individual and a self-proclaimed (at least twice) atheist. The atheist already has shown that his beliefs are not natural, by not believing in God. Natural meaning following logic also accepted by the majority. One will never get anywhere “discussing” a topic with one of these people, as they think their views are always better than someone’s who has the audacity to believe in God.
    Atheism is a direct result of devil worship, because to deny the existence of God is to go against Him. Jesus said if you are not with Me, you are against Me. I have never heard an atheist deny the existence of satan. And, even satan has the good sense to believe in God. Of course, satan has seen Him and knows firsthand His power.
    Atheists show up all over the net in discussions relating to many topics where God-loving people have strong feelings. They never end with the atheist changing his beliefs, as he so desperately tries to encourage in his opponents. It’s disgusting.
    Opening myself up to the wrath of another atheist is not a concern for me. I enjoy fighting the good fight, and there is none better than standing up for God in an immoral and sick society. Those of you who may disagree with this stance, that is your right. But remember, there are 78 Verses in Proverbs that include the word “fool.” The Book admonishes those who would strive with fools, because even if you win, what have you got?
    Prv:27:22: Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.
    Prv:29:9: If a wise man contendeth with a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, there is no rest.
    Bring it on, but don’t expect me play nice.

  23. Jared, I’m glad I live in a country where we don’t have to check our faith or our values at the voting booth curtain. But even then, let’s make something clear: The voters of this country reject gay “marriage” at the ballot box for a wide variety of reasons, not all of them religious.

    Some look at our bodies and see we were all created as male or female and conclude that we were created that way for a reason. In other words, it’s simple biology to them.

    Others look at millennia of social history and get it that the only truly successful societies throughout recorded history have been those that held the traditional family at the center of their lives and their values, and whose traditions revolved around strenghtening and honoring that union.

    Some look at the negative consequences that ssm has already had in states like Massachusetts on schools, companies and families who disagree, and don’t want that coming to their state. I’m talking about faith-based adoption agencies having to close, parents not being able to opt their kids out of gay indoctrination programs, etc.

    Some don’t like the corrupt way ssm is being forced through legislatures by wealthy gay activists with power and influence, against the wishes of the voters like it was in New York and New Hampshire.

    Others look at the financial consequences of adding the burden of increased taxation and benefits and don’t think that ssm provides near the financial benefit to justify the negatives.

    Others look at their own families and understand that the roles of mothers and fathers in raising children are different, that men and women by the simple virtue of their gender are different when it comes to their interaction with children, and both are necessary to a child’s happiness; that being raised by two people of the same sex leaves out a whole part of a child’s upbringing in that they never get to see how adults of the opposite sex interact with each other in the most intimate setting possible, the family home.

    And yes, others base their vote on what the Bible or their faith says about marriage, the family, and homosexuality. Thank God we live in a country where we are absolutely free to base our votes on our faith. Not everyone votes that way, but most of us have consistently agreed as voters that legalizing ssm is something we reject.

    Since this discussion began with talk about New Hampshire, I’d like to add a small reminder to everyone from that area or with contacts there to encourage them to ask the legislature to pass the repeal bill currently pending there.

  24. If natural means following logic accepted by the majority in terms of every discipline, then call me unnatural. The arguments for your god’s existence are flawed on their face and serve only to reinforce slightly uncertain believers with affirmations that have no basis in reality or make special pleas for the deity they believe in.

    I never worshipped the devil in my transition to atheism. I stopped worshipping a god, yes, but that doesn’t equate to worshipping some other “god”, so to speak. I vehemently deny the existence of Satan/Diabolos/Shaytan, whatever you want to call it. Just because one doesn’t explicitly say what supernatural entities they don’t believe in doesn’t mean they believe in them. I don’t say I disbelieve in Thor, but that hardly means I believe in him.

    I won’t touch on the whole Satan thing beyond a notion I’ve found more simple and reasonable: Satan is not God’s enemy, but merely God’s henchman in terms of visiting temptation upon believers. It makes God that much more consistent in having sovereignty (yes, I’ve read theology, I imagine you’re stunned) and makes Satan still a threat without being something that was derived from Iranian dualism and Zoroastrianism to an extent

    The word fool in Hebrew doesn’t automatically imply lack of intelligence, I hope you realize that. It speaks to someone being morally evil in some sense more often, especially in the context of Psalm 14:1, which is something I’m surprised you didn’t bring up. At least you’re moderately original in going straight to Proverbs, where it’s possible they use the 4 other words in Hebrew that mean fool, pethiy, eviyl,keciyl and luwts, along with nabal used in Psalms 14:1

    I have no wrath against the simple and ignorant, but I’m always trying to exercise compassion in the face of people not being educated on their own text in cultural context as well as the fragmented theology that’s come from that scripture. I have disappointment to those that are willfully ignorant, but not wrath, for ultimately what lies at the base of their willful ignorance is either fear or more ignorance, so it cannot be solved with hatred.

    I’ve already contended with one of your ilk, I’m not intimidated by another one, especially in a context where I can confront each of you specifically instead of being potentially bullied.

  25. No one’s asking you to absolutely relinquish your faith or values at the voting curtain. Of course your values are going to determine how you vote, but those values can be separated from religion to an extent, can they not?

    Anal sex is not something unique to homosexuals; in fact, I believe we have evidence from Jewish scholars that anal rape was used by otherwise straight people to humble the enemy. But the distinction here is nonconsensual and consensual sex. There’s a reason we have prophylactics and that is because there admittedly is danger in any sexual act, even vaginal, when we consider the prevalence of STDs.

    What defines a traditional family? The woman didn’t have much of any rights in terms of the family for millenia. She was basically property and even the bible speaks to this. A virgin not betrothed to a man who is raped is given in marriage to her rapist as long as he pays her father a dowry. Deuteronomy 22:28-29. The traditional family is a dynamic state only rooted in patriarchal notions of spreading your seed, which is far too simplistic a notion. That’s why women were treated like crap if they weren’t virgins, because you couldn’t be sure she wasn’t sleeping around and thus you couldn’t be certain that your children were actually yours. Successful is somewhat relative when you consider that even America, supposed bastion of traditional marriage, has had its share of problems, ranging from the Great Depression to the attack on Pearl Harbor to name just two out of many other tragedies we’ve had.

    You’d have to bring evidence of these supposed indoctrination programs. Just informing children that there are gay people and that they should treat them with respect is hardly part of some “gay agenda”. If you were forcing the children to want to be gay or something like that, I’d have concerns, but that’s unlikely to be the case

    Faith based adoption agencies don’t have to stay in one place. They can move elsewhere, that’s the beauty of the free market. If they willingly stay knowing they have less business than they’d have elsewhere, they’re digging themselves into a bigger hole.

    Marriage is hardly the same as issues that shouldn’t be forced on people, like state sponsored gambling or the like. Marriage is an institution that is not so simple as: one man + one woman, especially with the overall virtues you’ve already enumerated that marriage constitutes, such as childrearing and fidelity, which was at least implied.

    If same sex marriage doesn’t provide the financial benefit to justify taxation, then why tax straight married couples, regardless of if they have children or not? How many gay couples desperately want to adopt children or adopt through surrogacy? You’re oversimplifying this now based on fiscal concerns, which is neglecting that marriage isn’t always about that, even if admittedly it’s probably been that way for longer than it’s been about love and faithfulness. Women being property as I noted before.

    There can be single parents, do you think those children are suffering that much more even if they have a strong male or female role model that happens to not be related to them or is not their biological mother or father? Come on, you’re constantly oversimplifying this issue without considering how multifaceted the family is today. It will not always be a man and a woman and this is not just because of gay marriage, but divorce as well, especially no fault divorce, which I personally have a pragmatic concern about independent of any religious beliefs I’d have on the subject, which I don’t. If there are more straight than gay couples, I think it’s far more likely that the child will eventually understand through interaction with other classmates about how a man and a woman interact on an intimate level. Many things will be the same: they hug, they kiss, they sit with each other, they hold hands. The only difference is superficial and you keep ignoring that to maintain some ridiculous status quo.

    You’re free to have your faith influence your vote, I won’t deny that, but there’s a cut off point when you try to give your faith special treatment, which is explicitly against the constitution, and you know it.

    Oh yes, because that tiny percentage of 5-10% of gays getting married will ruin the institution of marriage more than it already has ruined itself with no fault divorce laws and focus on premarital sex as a motivator to get married quicker so you can bump uglies that much sooner and not feel guilty. Around 50% divorce rate, not caused by gay marriage in the slightest. Spousal abuse, that existed before even the supposed traditional family that existed in the 20th century, probably in greater severity as well. Any of the ills of marriage are not because we accepted gays as equals or even thought of giving them the opportunity to get married. It’s because we’re imperfect as a species and imperfect in terms of interpersonal relationships.

  26. Amy Miller says:

    …TLDR.

  27. Karen Grube says:

    Okay, I’ve had it Jared. I’ve already answered your questions. I’ve already stated my position clearly. You simply don’t like it. Marriage is and always will be ONLY the union of one man and one woman, in large part because THAT is what the voters of this country have chosen, for whatever their reasons. That’s a simple fact with which you cannot argue. This vote – the initiative or referendum process – is allowed by law in most states. This is also a simple fact with which you cannot argue. The only states where gay “marriage” is allowed is where it was imposed on them by their legislature or courts. This is another simple fact with which you CANNOT argue. They did that in New Hampshire, and now they’re working on repealing it. They’re trying to ijmpose it on Washington, but thankfully the voters will be allowed to vote on this issue. I’m sure they’ll get more than enough signatures to put it on the ballot. You also cannot argue the fact that all of the Republican presidential candidates except Paul have pledged to support an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and that there are more than enough states with constitutional provisions or laws to pass it once it gets to them. You also cannot argue the fact that there are two more states where the voters will be allowed to vote on defining marriage as one man/one woman this year. North Carolina and Minnesota. I trust the voters will pass these bans. There may also be a vote in Maine. Of course, Maine already had it’s people’s veto of gay “marriage” so we’ll have to see how that goes. In New Jersey, Governor Christie has said he will NOT sign a bill allowing gay “marriage” that doesn’t allow the voters to decide, and there aren’t enough votes in the legislature to overturn his veto.

    In other words: a lot is going on in this country regarding this issue. Lobby however you want, but I don’t think you’re likely to change any minds here. To be clear, this election, to mangle James Carville’s infamous line, “isn’t ALL about the economy, stupid.” Many of us vote our values, not our pocketbook. I’m one of them.

  28. Don’t you patronize me and suggest that I’m voting on this because I’m getting paid for it. My values are what guides me here and contrary to the so called popular opinion you tout as the source of law, sometimes laws are based on something beyond an ochlocracy that you seem to be advocating at least in part and specifically when it comes to social issues, if not all issues.

    The government has already negated that claim of voter power on the grounds that even if the majority of a population holds that they believe something to be wrong, sometimes the government has a responsibility to force something onto people, which included desegregation and emancipation of slaves (nominally, not technically). I have to wonder if you don’t agree with Paul’s position of letting the states individually manage gay marriage as an issue? Or do you agree with what is an ironic government intervention from so called conservatives on a moral issue that is not so simple as “protect the majority’s rights and damn the minority’s”

    The process of voting works both ways. If you try to take away people’s basic right to marriage because they are not straight, then there will be those that will vote to repeal the amendment, if not through votes than through judicial review or the like. The majority does not rule in all circumstances, especially when it is only maintaining inclusive standards that benefit only those already in power and further stigmatize those who are virtually powerless.

    I guess if you can sleep at night knowing that you protected the straight status quo, I certainly can’t fault you, except that I can. Being straight doesn’t mean you don’t treat gay people unequally and that’s exactly what you’re doing.

  29. Wow, where did you come up with this? I never stated nor even implied that your vote was being bought. What I said was that, despite the current attempt to focus on economic issue by candidates, many of us are values voters and are at least equally if not more concerned about their stands on social issues. Not sure how that got so misinterpreted. YOU, it seems anyway, are one of those more concerned about social issues than the economy, though on the other side of these issues.

    To be clear, however, with rare exception, the majority does always rule in this country. We elect our representatives by majority vote, and we remove them from office the same way if they lie to us about where they stand on issues and do things we DID NOT elect them to do. We expect our elected officials to represent our intent in electing them, not misrepresent it. We absolutely do have a representative democracy, elected by the majority of voters. The “ironic government intervention” you mention is when these so-called legislators decide they can disrespect the voters who elected them by imposing on them legislation they KNOW has been rejected by voters everywhere else and that has no real constitutional support since there is unquestionably no right to same-sex “marriage” in the U.S. Constitution; legislation that is of such monumental significance to our society that to deny them a voice is both outrageous and reprehensible. I’m willing to let the voters speak on such a major issue. I trust them to make this decision. Why don’t you? Oh, I get it; because they don’t see things your way.

  30. Perhaps I’m not as well versed in economics, but this doesn’t mean I’m not concerned about fiscal policy as well as issues of social import. There was another article on how marijuana is supposedly not an option for tax purposes because people would make more money selling it illegally. Seems to me the same argument might’ve applied to alcohol until we legalized it. Maintaining restrictions and perhaps making it prescription only in terms of medicinal marijuana are starts, but outright illegalizing it is another thing

    Majority vote only goes so far, as any right or procedure in this country. If it is done with the intent to disparage the rights of the minority, it is no longer just.

    Is there a right to marriage in the constitution? If there is no right to marriage, then this is a non issue and there is no reason to put forward an amendment for it. It would be someone enforcing something unconstitutional on multiple grounds, not to mention the least of which being that it’s not justified by the constitution, but also that it is discriminating against someone based on a characteristic that they have virtually no control over any more than I as a primarily straight man have any control over being attracted to women. I certainly didn’t choose it anymore than my best friend who is gay, chose to like women.

    If there is a right to marriage, how does it not extend to same sex couples that would do all the same things a normal couple would, but would be superficially different in interactions based on society’s ideas of what constitutes normal?

    I don’t think this should come to a vote because the majority of this country is still stuck in a tradition that has no basis for enforcing itself on everyone else. If marriage is sacred, and sacrality is based in a religious position, then the marriage amendment claiming marriage is between a man and a woman based on religious principles, it is unconstitutional on its face. This isn’t even an endorsement issue, it’s about congress passing an amendment respecting an establishment of religion and its position on marriage, which makes it illegal at face value.

  31. Here’s what I have a problem with, Jared:
    “If there is a right to marriage, how does it not extend to same sex couples that would do all the same things a normal couple would, but would be superficially different in interactions based on society’s ideas of what constitutes normal?”
    Same sex couples do NONE of the same things a normal (hetero) couple would. They play at being male and female, with one taking the dominant position (male), and the other pretending to be female. Don’t you see? Even in their sexual encounters, they are acting like a man and a woman, while not having the female (or the male, in the case of lesbian) equipment to carry it out. That is why it is sick, on the order of psychotic. It carries the farce even further for them to assume they can demand the same protections and advantages afforded to regular male and female couples joined together in HOLY matrimony. Same sex unions are not holy, they are misguided. They should never try to get the same normality as hetero couples enjoy, because THEY ARE NOT NORMAL.
    Society does not make me write the above. It does not take a genius to see that male and female fit together, their propensity for divorce notwithstanding. Same sex couples don’t fit, neither morally nor physically. They will never be able to call marriage between themselves right or otherwise deserving of a tax break or any other breaks or advantages that hetero couples enjoy by their lawful marriages.
    BTW, why do you study the Bible if you don’t believe in God? And how can you say satan does not exist? Have you not studied those parts? Satan is a wonderful Bible scholar too, evidenced by his taunting Jesus in the desert with his great knowledge of Bible Verses.
    Don’t you see this is the greatest weapon satan has against us? He can more freely influence those who would be influenced when they think he does not exist, because they won’t protect themselves against satan. They will think they don’t need to wear the gospel armor and satan’s fiery darts will pierce unobstructed.
    Most of the arguments I’ve read by atheists exhibit great knowledge in many areas, but always lack the genuine conviction of one who freely admits knowledge of his Creator. It is sad that he assumes he got to this point all on his own, without his origin in the mind of God. Some of the greatest thinking minds that have ever existed believed in a higher power, a Creator if you will, and were not afraid to admit it, although for some it took some time.
    The Christian Religion and the Human Goal …
    “The highest principles for our aspirations and judgments are given to us in the Jewish-Christian religious tradition. It is a very high goal which, with our weak powers, we can reach only very inadequately, but which gives a sure foundation to our aspirations and valuations. If one were to take that goal out of its religious form and look merely at its purely human side, one might state it perhaps thus: free and responsible development of the individual, so that he may place his powers freely and gladly in the service of all mankind. … it is only to the individual that a soul is given. And the high destiny of the individual is to serve rather than to rule, or to impose himself in any other way.”
    Albert Einstein

  32. The superficial differences do not negate the love that exists between the two people in the coupling. They are utilizing gender roles they identify with, which is technically what occurs when a biological male and female are in a heterosexual relationship. The difference is very much superficial and not a matter of whether the people are sane in one context and insane in another. Male and female is not what makes a marriage, it is two people who love each other and pledge to be faithful. They don’t have to have children, they don’t have to meet some narrowminded idea of what a couple must be. They must consent and be responsible, that is all anyone should ask of them.

    Like a family, the traditional idea of marriage hardly applies anymore. That’s not to say it doesn’t exist, but a family and a marriage are not so cut and dry that you can exclude people based on not meeting criteria that are not so old in the basic sense of equality of the man and woman. AS I’ve said before, the Bible hardly brings up an equal partnership of the man and woman even by those cultural contexts. The woman is a source of the man’s spreading his seed and little more. Oh, she stays at home, but could she ever have any career outside of that? No, she’s too delicate. Bollocks on that.

    Matrimony is only holy if you believe it to be. It is definitely something to be valued, but not to be worshipped or held in veneration as something that comes from a supernatural source. If it was from such a perfect origin, one has to wonder how it screwed up so bad. And what do you invoke to solve the problem? A talking snake and the idea of a sin nature we cannot escape but by surrendering any sense of autonomy.

    Normality is not what determines the lawfulness of a practice, it is whether it conforms to the restrictions and maintenance that the law requires. Consent, responsibility, fidelity, these are the key points that come to mind. No one is asking you to call them moral, but give them secular and legal protections by the government. Your church has no reason to get involved. No one is forcing them to marry gay couples if they refuse. They can let the government marry people, since they have just as much right as you do and without the trappings of supposed piety to a divinity.

    I can say Satan does not exist for the same reason I say God, Thor, fairies and other supernatural bits of nonsense don’t exist, they are impractical and unfounded by any sort of evidence and unsupported by any sort of argument.

    I study the Bible because it is part of the American culture and a culture I continue to interact with. Evangelical cousins who think this is a Christian nation in intent of law and who apparently think anything but Protestant Christianity is wickedness are just a few examples.

    Satan in the Bible may have existed as a human given power by God to tempt humans. That Satan serves as an adversary to Jesus, to Job, etc. does not automatically make that character an antagonist, but an anti hero, someone who does less than heroic things for a heroic purpose.

    Why protect myself against something that I have no evidence or reason to believe exists or has any interest in me? Your rhetoric is charming, but ineffective against someone who already sees that you have presuppositions that are resistant to any sort of reasoned argument outside those boundaries you’ve set for yourself. If there are gods or spirits, clearly they don’t care about us enough to let us know they exist in any significant or preternatural fashion.

    I have no Creator, nor does the human race or any organism that exists on this planet require your so called intelligent design or divine intervention in any sense. I did not get to any point in my life on my own, but involving a Creator or supernatural origin is complicating what is already a fairly puzzling existence on its own. I had help from teachers, from friends, from family. Your God wasn’t there and I see no reason to believe it ever was or ever will be.

    Einstein believed in a ground of existence, if nothing else, but he certainly didn’t believe in your God or the God of Judaism, for that matter. His God was discerned through a mind that was in awe of the world by scientific investigation, not religious devotion or superstitious fear of retribution for so called sin. He didn’t believe in a personal God in any sense and he said it himself. Throwing around one man as a proof or demonstration of God being believed in by otherwise rational and intelligent people is not convincing or compelling to me. Try again, except without logical fallacies next time.

  33. Superficial differences? Are you seriously calling gender a “superficial difference?” You have GOT to be JOKING! As my niece would say, “How dumb is that?” Did you never take biology or anatomy and physiology in college? Give me a break! You just wiped out any semblance of credibility you might have had. I suggest you not dig yourself in any deeper. It’s ludicrous statements like that that make it difficult to take you seriously

  34. Jared, if you are not even gay why on earth do you spend so much time and effort in this discussion about ssm? It makes no sense.
    I’m sorry my arguments don’t hold water for you. And for you, God and satan don’t exist. You say you have no proof and why not? This material life is short, Jared, and one day soon enough you will have your proof. The eternal life of the soul is incomparable to the short wink of a life we have in this flesh body. One day you will see.
    I’ll leave you with this one thought: I would rather believe in God and find out later He did not exist than not believe in Him and find out later that He did. Do you see my point? Believing in God, trying to live a good life whereby dying for one’s friends is the highest honor, loving good over evil, these things I live for. I KNOW God exists, and no matter what you or anyone else like you says, you can’t negate the experiences I have had in my life that convince me of this fact. Sleep well my friend.

  35. To Karen, perhaps I failed in qualifying that I meant superficial in terms of that these are two people in love. Just because they don’t fit your overly narrow idea of what love should be does not invalidate their love and desire to participate in the basic aspects of marriage, which can include childrearing

    To Keith. I don’t have to be gay to want to support gay friends or family members. My best friend is lesbian and she has gotten flack from her own mother about this. At least her sister and brother are remotely supportive of her. She’s the black sheep of the family enough as a Wiccan, but being lesbian just compounds it and makes it so she can’t even get hired as a teacher in Tennessee, where she lives, because of the bigotry against both her religion and her sexual orientation. Is that right? Is that just? Is that even remotely fair, assuming she is otherwise qualified to be a teacher in that context? No, I tell you

    Life is short and that’s why I appreciate it. I don’t look forward to eternity, I accept with resignation that I will not be here eventually, though it will hopefully be at least another 70 years before that happens, maybe 60.

    You want to patronize me with these veiled threats that you’ll be vindicated in the end? Go ahead, be passive aggressive, see if I care. You’re only hurting yourself. If you’re that insecure, have a little conversation with your bruised ego at the very thought that someone could reject your grandiose father figure in the sky.

    You wouldn’t figure out God doesn’t exist, you foppish git. You’d be dead. You’re throwing around Pascal’s wager like it’s so sophisticated when it’s quite the contrary. It’s one of the most lazy and fear based lines of argument for why one should believe in God. I’d rather be a practical atheist than a practical theist. And you wanna know why? Because I get things done here, I help people, I make a difference because I have a self ordained goal, not something mandated to me by a tyrannical deity who thinks it deserves worship merely because it exists without cause and can do nothing else but exist.

    I can do all the things you do without hope of any reward in an afterlife. Good is preferable to evil, sacrifice for one’s friends is indeed admirable and I live to advance the good for myself and others. I can’t deny your experiences, but I don’t give them credence, since that would mean I’d give my own experiences of a scary monster under the bed, behind the closet door or outside my window as much credence as you feeling warm and fuzzy when you pray to your imaginary friend.

  36. Well I just wrote a rambling collection of thoughts to you, and then lost them, so I better take that as a sign that God is telling me to just let it go. Good bye my friend.

  37. If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him.
    Voltaire

    The very impossibility in which I find myself to prove that God is not, discovers to me his existence.
    Voltaire

    The world embarrasses me, and I cannot dream that this watch exists and has no watchmaker.
    Voltaire

    To believe in God is impossible not to believe in Him is absurd.
    Voltaire

    http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/v/voltaire.html

  38. I’d prefer to be absurd, rather than believe the impossible. The absurd is what colors our everyday life already, the impossible is what we eliminate by using our reason, the absurd is what we accept when reason fails us, not faith.

  39. The simple fact that billions of people DO believe in a Creator proves that the belief is not impossible for them. What is impossible for a person is relative. While it is impossible for me to shoot a good game of basketball, I could do it with enough practice, perhaps. But as far as rebuilding a carburetor, for me that is impossible (now). To remove a brain tumor for me is impossible, but not totally out of the realm of possibilities. It’s the same with most things, they are or seem impossible until we accomplish the training or reeducation to do them or believe them. You would think a two-headed frog was impossible, until you saw one for yourself. We are conditioned from birth to believe we can’t do certain things, when nothing is really unattainable.
    My point is nothing is really impossible, to him that believeth, just as Jesus said. This quote is repeated in several ways throughout literature, as all things are possible to him that believeth, as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he, etc. Are all these people just misguided nincompoops, as you would suggest, who don’t have a clue?
    The difficult we do immediately, the impossible takes a little longer. Kissinger said something like this. What is impossible today becomes common knowledge tomorrow, proved over and over again by our relentless search for knowledge. No one can keep up with this onslaught of information, perhaps that is impossible, because it is constantly changing, to double every two years. But one can stay abreast of the newest developments, if he doesn’t spend too much time reading about each one. But what’s the point? Nothing is truly impossible, except to those who give up. You don’t ever fail unless you give up, you know. As long as you continue to get back up and fight, you don’t lose, because the game is not over. When someone tells me something is impossible, I know she is not really trying to believe, research, understand or train. That’s a cop out for those who would limit our broad capabilities. Nothing is impossible, perhaps not even an end to our discussion! :)

  40. The mere possibility of believing in a creator does not give the belief itself any more credence than people believing that there are underpants gnomes or jinni or the like. The mere possibility of something does not make it necessary even if you construct the thing believed in to be necessary, which is the flaw in the ontological argument spoken of so highly when it’s been fairly trounced philosophically.

    Did I say those people were fools? No. Misguided, perhaps, miseducated, perhaps, but not lacking in intelligence for the times they were in.

    The impossible is different from the unlikely or improbable. Impossible is not even in the realm of possibility, such as square circles or something being hot and cold at the same time. A being that is absolutely necessary and then has free will in any sense is an impossibility, as well as a contradiction, which is where we’d derive the impossibility from.

    An obvious end to the discussion is possible, such as when one of us expires for whatever reason. But until such time as that occurs, there is indeed possibility for near endless continuance.

  41. The times they were in come all the way down to now. Many people promote the idea of positive thinking, which is basically what this boils down to. And I would submit that Jesus was in no way lacking in anything, being the Son of God. In other words, and I summarize greatly, God the Creator put His Holy Spirit into the body of Jesus of Nazareth, allowed His plan of salvation to be carried out, then exited the scene to return to the heavenly realm. Not understanding every detail of something does not negate the possibilities of it being true. I don’t fully understand how the Sun produces helium 3 as it burns hydrogen, but I know it does. I don’t understand how a ball of energy such as the Sun can exist, but I know it does, I feel its heat.

    Square circles? How about a Chinese square hole drill bit?

    Life is so much more than what we can ascertain by our feeble faculties of discernment. If one has no faith in something, anything, then that person is living a very limited and basically sad experience, in my viewpoint. Everyone does have faith, however. Even if it is only faith that the Sun will rise tomorrow, that is still faith. All our actions would be nil without faith that life will continue beyond the present moment. Why get an education if you don’t have faith that life will continue, for instance.

    Gaining knowledge is like opening a door to a room, only to find it has two doors on the opposite wall. It never ends. The realm of possibilities is infinite. The realm of dimensions stretches to infinity, the number of universes rises above my level of comprehension.

    I’ll leave you with another gem from one of my heroes:
    The difference between what the least learned man knows and what the most learned man knows is insignificant compared to what is unknown. Albert Einstein

  42. I don’t want absolute knowledge, but I’d prefer to not make extraordinary claims about the universe or where it came from beyond evidence.

    Faith that the sun will come up is very much justified by prior experience and evidence, so it is hardly faith in the sense of believing in spite of little to no evidence

    You want a gem about knowledge and wisdom? I’ll go back further to Socrates

    “I know one thing, that I know nothing,”

  43. Karen Grube says:

    That’s simply not true Jared. We know much more than we are consciously aware of. Besides that, stick to the point. You’re reverting back to the idea that people ONLY object to same-sex marriage on religious grounds, which simply isn’t true. Get real. This isn’t an argument you can win by dismissing faith. There are waaaaayy too many other reasons people vote no on this issue. What part of NO do you not understand? You can’t win this argument with logic, so all you can do is go back to bashing religion and get into these emotional pleas that any two people who are in love should be able to marry. I’m sorry, but that’s a poor argument on which to base a so-called “civil right.” Show me the science that being gay is immutable like gender and race and age, and THEN come back here and argue your case. On the other hand, logic dictates a certain preference for traditional marriage because it is only the union of one man and one woman that can produce children naturally, without third-party interference. You may not like the “procreation” argument, but it is very real and it is the central point of why we were created the way we are, male and female. There is absolutley NO comparison between race, gender, and age, for example, and sexual attraction. We do not – I repeat DO NOT and SHOULD NOT – base our laws on a sexual lifestyle choice. At the very least, we should not take away the right of the voters to make this decision, which this New Hampshire legislature did.

  44. Hi Karen. Fighting the good fight, aren’t we?
    There is one thing you said that has been nagging me. While I may not be able to back up my belief on this with hard scientific evidence, I am convinced of its veracity.
    Sexual identity is inborn, as are the chemicals that make you up. Hormones and brain chemicals are responsible for how we feel inside. While it’s true a person’s sexual BEHAVIOR is a choice, whether or not they are turned on by the opposite sex or by the same sex is not. I am speaking from personal experience when I say what turns me on is not my decision, women always have and the thoughts of a male trying to come on to me turn me off. That is how I know I am not gay. Believe me, they have tried. :)
    A person would be a fool to choose to be gay or lesbian, given the problems caused by societal perception of these aberrations. Even if it was totally acceptable, as in some ancient cultures, how can a person choose what turns her on? The “turn on” is a chemical process brought on by stimulation of the senses, first the brain (make love to my mind), then the genitals or other erogenous zones of the body. All sexual stimulation is nil without a corresponding desire for it in the brain. It’s this desire for same sex that makes a person gay or lesbian, and this desire is not something one can choose.

  45. Karen Grube says:

    None of which has absolutely anything to do with the law or how we legally define marriage. Again, stick to the point!

  46. What I said relates to the point. Saying a gay person chooses to be gay makes any case for confirming same sex marriage much less relevant. If you can submit that she chooses to be lesbian, it lessens the need for society to let them get married. But if they have no choice over their sexual desires, then the question of ssm becomes more relevant. I think they should do whatever turns them on, but stay out of the public light with it. They have no right to force churches to marry them, for instance, or to make any business owner submit to their needs. The time will come for them to pay for their behavior, and as long as they choose to openly flaunt God’s laws, God will send the spirit of delusion to them.
    Is:66:4:
    I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.

  47. Karen Grube says:

    Nope, it doesn’t relate at all. All you’re doing is bashing religion, not dealing with the other reasons people reject ssm (simple biology, the nagging “procreation” argument, the meaning of family and what we know to be best for children, legal ramifications, social ramifications, historical precedence, the lack of constitutional support for it, the lack of popular support among voters, etc.) Conservatives reject ssm because there is simply no constitutional right to it in the Constitution. None whatsoever. So, come up with something new, or if you can’t, quit spouting off here just to bash other people’s faith.

  48. Karen, first off, I think you’re confusing Keith with me. We both seem to agree that homosexuality and heterosexuality are inborn desires, but disagree on whether acting on those desires are good. But he gave a fairly good argument from basic biology. How can we choose to be attracted to the same sex if we had no disposition towards it? Not to mention if homosexuality is a choice, it’s not a far cry to claim that heterosexuality is a choice as well, unless you’re making a special plea.

    Socrates was not talking about knowledge in the conventional sense, he was talking about knowledge in the absolute sense. We cannot be absolutely and unwaveringly certain of our knowledge of anything, but we can be fairly confident about a great many things without suggesting that our knowledge might be mistaken in some sense, even if it is minor.

    Two people who are in love, willing to commit to one another and have the potential to raise a child, even if it isn’t biologically theirs, are traits that apply to both straight and gay couples. Just because there is a natural way to have children for the straight couple does not mean that their pairing is superior to the gay couple in terms of child rearing.

    And homosexuality is hardly a sexual lifestyle choice. What you refer to is closer to stuff like sadomasochism or other fetish practices for sexual gratification. No one is arguing those should be protected because they are more complex than simple same sex attraction. But if there is evidence to consider that sexual attraction and orientation are inborn and not malleable in any significant sense, then there is reason to consider them much like race or biological sex, which is not the same as gender technically as I said before.

  49. And you’re confusing me with someone who cares anything about what people do in private or about people’s personal feelings. I care about the law and the Constitution in relation to this argument regarding the definition of marriage, and I care about what has proven over millennia to be best for the future of our society. I also care that gay activist groups are acting like bullies to manipulate these laws through legislatures without regard for the wishes of the voters. It’s kind of like not appreciating how the unions are acting in Wisconsin. And when you have a definitive study that shows proof of a gay “gene,” say so. Can you imagine an in-utereo test for the gay gene? Scary thought.

  50. Karen, again, no one said anything about one gay gene. Sexuality is a bit more complicated than one gene, as any geneticist could probably explain. It’s like genetics as relates to other things, there are multiple genes working in tandem with each other.

    Marriage has not been absolutely the same over millennia, unless you count women being treated like property even if they were raped. Your own bible has specifics about what you do with a woman who is not betrothed to a man and is raped. She’s given over to her rapist after he pays her father 50 shekels. And why? Because he “humbled” her. Is that fair? Is that what marriage should be? Even as we got out of that barbaric custom, the idea of strict monogamy evolved later, not in the Bible times, especially Old Testament. New Testament, perhaps, but the notion of polygamy has presence in the Bible enough for it to have been apparently acceptable enough. Abraham had what might constitute a second wife in Hagar, though you’d observe that God made Abraham send her away. Seems a bit convenient: have a child with a concubine and then send her away when she becomes an inconvenience.

    And then we have the notion in Jewish practice of the brother of a man marrying his dead brother’s wife so that he can make an heir if his brother was unable to do so with his wife. Marriage, like many cultural practices, including the family itself, are not static, but change with the times and various contexts that arise. Single parent homes, children raised by aunts and uncles when their parents are killed, children raised by adoptive parents. It isn’t such a stretch to think two men or two women who love each other and show the virtue of fidelity in marriage that you no doubt value could raise a child to be an upstanding citizen.

    And don’t even start that ridiculous idea that children raised by gay couples are more likely to be gay, since there’s no study to even remotely support such a notion. The more kids you have, supposedly there is more likelihood one of those children will be gay because of how the hormones work, though I don’t pretend to be an expert on that. My own friend is the middle child of 3 and she is a lesbian, while her older sibling is straight and her younger sibling is straight as well. Is it so unlikely that 1 out of 3 children in a family might be genetically and biologically gay?

  51. On your notion of an in utero gay gene test: why would you care, if you’re pro life? That sort of line of argumentation is intended to criticize eugenics, but no eugenicist these days would probably consider gay children something undesirable, unless they buy into your notion of what constitutes good society. You wouldn’t abort your child even if we had incontrovertible evidence they would grow up to be gay, would you? But what would you do with such a child that you would have no way to force them to be straight? Celibacy? Electro shock therapy? The potential abuses frighten me even just imagining them

  52. Irrelevant. Again, let’s focus on the law and the Constitution. Do you have any answer to the other reasons that people oppose gay “marriage?”

  53. How about they’re focusing on the letter of the law instead of the spirit, or intent, of the law? Marriage was not meant to be something that disparaged people that were different even if they also conformed to the ideals of marriage, which were fidelity and family. that’s the issue at hand. Even history doesn’t support strictly one man and one woman and even that match up is imperfect by the nature of people focusing so much on the sexual aspects of it instead of simple emotional intimacy and openness, which doesn’t require sex in the slightest by necessity.

  54. Karen Grube says:

    So, you can’t come up with any answers to the other reasons. Got it. I didn’t think so.

  55. The other reasons are still not supported by the intent and spirit of marriage in general. You can say marriage is one thing, but history suggests otherwise. The monolithic idea you have about marriage is neglecting all the flaws of that idea as it was slowly tempered into what it is today, which transcends gender and focuses on love and commitment. Are those not values you hold as important to society? You’re letting your prejudice against those who differ from your idealized notion of marriage blind you from seeing that the law is not absolutely cut and dry, it is not so impartial as to neglect context of circumstances.

  56. Karen Grube says:

    1. Do you even understand the other arguments? Do you even know what they are?
    2. HISTORY absolutely supports traditional marriage, or we wouldn’t HAVE much a history!
    3. If all you have is emotion to fixate on, you’ve lost this argument, as will the plaintiffs in the Prop 8 case, because that’s all they have.

  57. On the biology argument: Some people are created by your God as intersexed or hermaphrodite. What does that say about the master plan of your so called perfect deity? Biology is not that simple and especially so in terms of gender, not that biological sex is always simple as I already brought up. Not that I believe we were created, but even granting that ludicrous claim, it’s still suspect

    What traditional family? There are plenty of societies that didn’t value the traditional family absolutely and they survived. No society’s perfect, not even the U.S., so you can’t claim some form of exceptionalism when we’ve gone through a depression and are in a recession at the moment. Society can accept other forms of commitment and relationship without necessarily spitting in the face of the majority of monogamous opposite sex couples. This argument is one of the most simplistic ones. History is far more complex than either of us could discover in various societies across time.

    Freedom is not always free. Sometimes we must surrender certain freedoms to protect those more important. How important is it for faith based groups to get their way all the time? Not nearly as important as things like a free market of ideas or a free market economy, both of which I’d imagine you’d appreciate even if you don’t like some of the information you get through that free market or the results of socioeconomic status due to a free market economy that might exist in some part, even if there are also corporatist undertones to our economy as well. People don’t have a right to be offended, they will be offended by gay marriage and either do something about it or get over it. The former is somewhat wasteful of time when marriage is not so disrespected by gay people getting the same title, considering people evidently don’t take marriage seriously enough anyway with straight marriages as I’ve already pointed out.

    I already confronted your argument of alleged government misconduct with the obvious example of the government declaring slavery illegal back in the 19th century, eventually negating separate but equal racial segregation almost 100 years after that amendment. Discriminating against gay people by not giving them a title that is not explicitly religious in nature, but has a secular aspect as well and doesn’t even require the church to be involved is unconstitutional by the 14th amendment.

    You’ve failed to present the alleged financial negatives of gay people getting married. Wouldn’t it give the state more money in giving out marriage licenses? Bring forth your evidence before dismissing any counter claims without any support from your side.

    Masculine and feminine gender roles and role models by association don’t have to be the father and mother of the child in question. Some fathers who give their sperm choose not to be involved with their children. Does that somehow contribute to the breakdown of the family as well? If a child has good role models, male and female, related or not, that should suffice, should it not? Parents contribute a role of nurturing, but they should not be the only masculine and feminine role models the child has in their life. Males are not strictly masculine and females are not strictly feminine.

    Biological sex does not absolutely determine gendered behavior. I’ve been observed to act somewhat female, particularly when doing my crossplay (cross dressing cosplay) recently, but clearly I’m not perfect. I still have masculine aspects to my personality even as many people would find me effeminate in other aspects of my behavior. And the idea that children raised in a same sex couple environment will absolutely never see an opposite sex couple interact like their same sex parents is ridiculous when you yourself would bring up that most couples are heterosexual couples anyway. It’s just basic probability.

    All of these arguments are far too simplistic and don’t bring up detailed accounts of how there are negative consequences for accepting gay marriage, which is such a minority it would only be recognized by people who are seemingly insecure about their own marriages, what with the divorce rate being about 50% allegedly in the U.S.

  58. You can’t claim God created the misfits. The chemicals in our environment did. Anyone who is familiar with the studies of amphibians changing sex would agree. The overuse of soybean oil also makes female characteristics in males prevalent. God can’t be blamed for the environmental damage we have done with the tens of thousands of man-made chemicals we’ve introduced into our environment, that have shown up in the blood of infants and others as well. This is why so many hormones are screwed up, it’s nothing God has done. He created the drawing board, and we have nearly destroyed it.

  59. Karen Grube says:

    What are you rambling on about, Jared? I DID cite at least one example of financial consequences: increased costs of benefits to states and companies.

    I DID cite government misconduct in that elected officials are being either bullied or influenced by power and money into going against the wishes of the voters to the extent that they even break their own legislative regulations to pass gay “marriage” legislation they KNOW their constituents would NEVER vote for. Bloomberg promised all kinds of money to support the Republican candidates who supported gay “marriage” in New York. In New Hampshire, they violated their own rules by removing the only Republican committee member so he couldn’t vote against it.

    I DID cite social consequences like religious social service agencies being forced to stop foster or adoptive placements because they believe children should have both a mom and a dad. Men and women parent differently. , and like it or not, children need both in their lives. Every child deserves a mom and dad. At the very least, our laws shouldn’t intentnionally deprive a child of that relationship, which is precisely what ssm does. It is simply not true that “any two will do.” No, parents aren’t our only role models, just the first and most significant in our lives, for well or ill.

    The simple truth that you seem to dismiss so readily is that we are born male and female, with an extremely tiny number of genetic abnormalities. The other simple truth that you seem to dismiss is that it still takes at least one man and one woman to create a child naturally. These are not debatable, Jared.

    Again, there is absolutely no right to same-sex marriage in the Constitution. It doesn’t exist, and the Constitution truly cannot be twisted so unrecognizably to make it say there is. The Supreme Court will get this right, I have absolutely no doubt. Or Congress and the President, and eventually the states, will define marriage within the Constitution as the union of one man and one woman.

  60. If God creates all things, good and evil, at least in some sense of good and evil, peace and calamity, then God is at least responsible in some sense. The most obvious sense in which God has any significance in this situation if God exists is that God willingly created a flawed creation with the foreknowledge that it would mess up, so it is vicariously held in contempt as a negligent deity.

    Amphibians are hardly comparable to humans in changing biological sex. That’s part of their physiology, somewhat like snails being hermaphrodites, for instance.

    Even if God is not directly responsible, God willfully declares such things to be evil and punishes people for something they cannot change themselves, being attracted to the same sex.

  61. Karen Grube says:

    Right, Jared. Instead of taking responsibility for your own behavior and your actions, blame them on God. Brilliant! No one has any responsibility then! How about “God made me attracted to 9-year old little boys, so he must have wanted me to abuse them.” Give me a break!

    God gave us free will, Jared. WE decide what we do with our lives. The main thing about that is that people can and do change. That is what being Conservative is all about! Part of that is taking on the responsibility we have in a Representative Democracy, to vote and to tell our legislators that we expect them NOT to trash our values and NOT to impose on us decisions we should make for ourselves.

  62. If you think it burdens the government to pay marriage benefits, why do it at all? If it’s about the government being inconvenienced, then why don’t we just cut off all government benefits to people that are just in a bad situation and can leech off other people like the church? They’re so willing to help them, so why not make them contribute in a situation where the government is being so affected by one extra segment of people asking for marriage benefits?

    Even if it takes one man and one woman now, it may not in the future. There’s already research, from what I understand, to derive a sperm cell from a woman’s egg and fertilize her partner’s egg to make a child without any male involvement. One could do something similar for males.

    All of this must make you uncomfortable, but how is it any worse than two people who happen to be the same sex who are also biologically wired to a certain extent to be attracted to the same sex being affectionate in public? If you don’t like it, don’t watch. Such a common thing for conservatives to do with government endorsement of religion, but when it comes to the family, it’s just so horrible you have to censor everything for maintaining the status quo. Reprehensible.

    If there is no right to same sex marriage, by all means tell me where there is a right to straight marriage specifically in the constitution. You repeat it as if it’s a fact, but you’ve presented no evidence, so forgive me if I’m skeptical of these incredulous claims.

    No one is forcing adoption agencies to adopt these children, though technically adoption is primarily a matter of the state, not the church, so religious sensibilities have no place in such an issue. If you’re privately funded, that’s another thing, but adoption is a secular matter, so the government gets involved understandably in regulating it. If you don’t want gays to adopt, why don’t you? Is it that hard to take on a responsibility plenty of gay parents want to, but can’t? More hypocrisy, it makes me almost physically ill to think of this kind of disgusting bigotry against people who have had no evidence presented against them to suggest they choose to be this way, including my own friend.

    But it’s also illegal. Civil Rights Act of 74 extended protection based on gender, it is not unreasonable to extend that by association to sexual orientation based on masculinity as a gender quality consisting of attraction to females. Thus lesbians have a gender quality of masculinity that is protected by the federal government.

    You can define things in your narrowminded sense all you want, but it doesn’t make it right and it never should. Impartiality is part of the law, is it not? Apply it to yourself, and get over this dependence on government favoritism.

  63. First off, don’t patronize me and try to speak for what I believe in. I don’t blame your God, I blame humanity, but I don’t blame what has no evidence to support the claims of. There is no evidence that gay people just spontaneously appeared because of so called hormonal imbalances. You have no evidence for this.

    I’m speaking in terms of reducing your claims to absurdity. If your God did this and your God is sovereign, your God is the one to blame ultimately, even if humans have any shred of free will, which I am terribly skeptical of with the qualities you assign to your God, most particularly omniscience.

    People have far more responsibility when they’re the ones that have primary moral agency. If you don’t answer to a mysterious god who mandates ethics based on fear and reverence to its power, then you answer to a conscience you have before you even think of the God concept. Don’t you dare start claiming I’m advocating that you protect pedophiles in abusing children. And don’t you even start to intimate that gay people are anything like pedophiles. They are abusing no one. There is consent, there are adults involved, there are not children involved. Pedophilia is considered a paraphilia because it causes distress to multiple parties that we can explicitly prove. Homosexuality creates an ick factor amongst you fundamentalist types, but it does not hurt anyone if people have responsible sex, same as straight people with HIV or AIDS (because it is not a gay disease).

    The government doesn’t always respect your narrowminded or bigoted values. They only respect your right to affirm them to the extent you do not infringe upon other people’s rights. You cannot take away what is a basic right to marriage in general. If there is a right to marriage under the principle of a right to the pursuit of happiness, then there is a right to same sex marriage with regulations and specific restrictions just as one would have with straight marriage. If you are abusing your spouse or children, you should not continue to be married or be a parent until you can prove you are not someone who does that anymore. Is it unconstitutional? Perhaps, but sometimes it is not what the law says that matters, but what the law meant.

  64. Karen Grube says:

    Oh, terrific. Resort to calling people who disagree with you “narrow minded” or “bigoted,” and “you fundmentalist types.” Quit making this about religion. It’s about the Constitution. You are absolutly correct; the Constitution makes no mention of marriage whatsoever. This is one of those items left to the states. The Supreme Court did, however, label marriage as a fundamental right. But they didn’t specify any particular kind of “marriage.” That was unfortunate. What the law actually says does matter. Who would have thought defining marriage was EVER going to be necessary in the U.S. Constitution? Certainly not the framers of the Consitution. Well, apparently it is now, which is why we’re going to ask Congress and the states and our new President to pass an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, to put a stop to this nonsense.

    Really, Jared? Do you really believe there will EVER be a time when two men can create a baby or two women on their own, naturally? I’m sorry, but that’s just not going to happen.

  65. The science for this, Karen, is fairly old, and is getting more refined all the time.
    You can read the full stories from this website:
    http://www.kurzweilai.net/?s=human+egg+sperm+cells&this_exact_wording_or_phrase=&these_words_0=&these_words_1=&these_words_2=&date=anytime&any_of_these_unwanted_words=&v=a
    [ News ] Stem Cells Changed Into Precursors For Sperm, Eggs
    October 29, 2009
    .ScienceDailly — Oct 29, 2009 | Stanford University School of Medicine. researchers have devised a way to efficiently coax human embryonic stem cells to become human germ cells — the precursors of egg and sperm cells — in the laboratory.
    Unlike previous research, which yielded primarily immature germ cells, the cells in…
    Read original article
    Topics: Biotech

    ..[ News ] The Future of Babies: Artificial Wombs and Pregnant Grandmas
    July 28, 2008
    .LiveScience — Jul 16, 2008 | In a special Nature report, “Making Babies: The Next 30 Years,” scientists predict that artificial wombs and experiments on human embryos grown in the lab will be commonplace (and no big deal ethically) in 30 years, human embryos will be made from sperm and egg cells derived…
    Read original article
    Topics: Biomed/Longevity | Singularity/Futures | Social/Ethical/Legal

    ..[ News ] ‘Virgin birth’ stem cells bypass ethical objections
    July 4, 2006
    .NewScientist.com news service — Jul 2, 2006 | “Virgin-birth” embryos have given rise to human embryonic stem cells capable of differentiating into neurons.
    The embryos were produced by parthenogenesis, a form of asexual reproduction in which eggs can develop into embryos without being fertilised by sperm. The technique could lead to a…
    Read original article
    Topics: Biotech

    ..[ News ] Further steps towards artificial eggs and sperm
    June 20, 2005
    .Mercury News — Jun 20, 2005 | Human embryonic stem cells have been coaxed in the lab to develop into the early forms of cells which eventually become eggs or sperm, UK researchers reveal.
    It might one day be to allow people who cannot produce eggs or sperm to have children, by…
    Read original article
    Topics: Biotech | Internet/Telecom

    ..[ News ] Human eggs divide without sperm
    December 3, 2004
    .New Scientist — Dec 1, 2004 | Researchers have developed a method to make human eggs divide as if they have been fertilized, creating a potential source of embryonic stem cells that sidesteps ethical objections to existing techniques.
    The University of Wales researchers made the eggs devide by injecting phospholipase C-zeta (PLC-zeta),…
    Read original article
    Topics: Biomed/Longevity

    ..[ News ] ‘Virgin birth’ mammal rewrites rules of biology
    April 22, 2004
    .NewScientist.com News — Apr 21, 2004 | A mammal that is the daughter of two female parents has been created for the first time.
    It was created by combining the genetic material of two egg cells, circumventing the “imprinting” barrier in mammals (certain genes necessary for embryo development are shut down in…
    Read original article
    Topics: Biotech

    There’s more at the site.

  66. The science for this, Karen, is fairly old, and you can read the stories from this website:
    http://www.kurzweilai.net/?s=human+egg+sperm+cells&this_exact_wording_or_phrase=&these_words_0=&these_words_1=&these_words_2=&date=anytime&any_of_these_unwanted_words=&v=a

    [ News ] Stem Cells Changed Into Precursors For Sperm, Eggs
    October 29, 2009
    .ScienceDailly — Oct 29, 2009 | Stanford University School of Medicine. researchers have devised a way to efficiently coax human embryonic stem cells to become human germ cells — the precursors of egg and sperm cells — in the laboratory.
    Unlike previous research, which yielded primarily immature germ cells, the cells in…
    Read original article
    Topics: Biotech

    There are more stories, each one older than the last.

  67. I didn’t resort to it, you demonstrated it fairly obviously. You are opposed to this primarily on religious grounds. Any secular arguments are faulty, fallacious or otherwise oversimplifying the issue to fit in your little tiny myopic perspective to make you feel comfortable.

    The courts have no obligation to cave into populism and ochlocracy. Democracy and such are by the people as a whole, not just the majority. You keep insisting the majority has all the power, they don’t. They have power only until they infringe on the rights of others and if marriage is a fundamental right as we both would agree, then you are being discriminatory and unfair to deny that fundamental right to a group of people that would be imperceptible in terms of statistics for marriage, especially in the formal sense. Common law marriage is a whole other thing, and honestly, I’d personally prefer it to all the pomp and circumstance associated with straight marriage, which is what I will have, even if I have some bisexuality that I don’t really act on or contemplate. If you want to represent people fairly, you aren’t doing it by denying this right to marriage because this group of people is different.

    Separate but equal my eye. That’s what you’d pull on them. Civil union, domestic partnerships. How about we just call it marriage when you get bonded in holy matrimony in a place of worship? And then we can just call all the secular ones domestic partnerships or civil unions. Would that make you feel better? You get the religious feeling of marriage and you don’t have to feel all persecuted, which you’re not, just because gay people can get the exact same status as straight people in this country when they want to be a couple who shares things, who are committed to each other and can raise children, biologically theirs or not.

    You really are pushing it when you put words in my mouth. I never said it was a natural process, it is science, just like IVF or the like. That doesn’t make it wrong. If it happens, so be it. It can be used for other purposes as Keith observed with the medical articles he posted.

  68. Karen Grube says:

    And what I have been saying consistently is that the union of one man and one woman is the only union that will produce a child NATURALLY WITHOUT OUTSIDE INTERFERENCE! What part of this was unclear? This will not change. And no, it does absolutely NOT matter if science can create children out of cells. It is still NOT human reproduction.

    Sorry, you guys, if you don’t like it that the voters of this country reject same-sex “marriage” for their own reasons, not all of which are religious, every time they are allowed to vote on this issue. They just do. And, yes, that absolutely SHOULD make it clear to our legislators that we do not want them imposing it on us by legislative or judicial fiat. We will make it clear to them with our votes that this is unacceptable, and we will remove those from office who do not listen. Along the way, we’ll elect a President who has pledged to promote and support a marriage definition amendment to the U.S. Constition. In the meantime, the Supreme Court will reject any attempts to prevent states from passing their own gay “marriage” bans. Two more will go into place at the end of the year (Minnesota and North Carolina.) The vote in New Hampshire on their gay “marriage” repeal should be taking place in their legislature in the next week or so. We’ll all just have to wait and see how things go. Voters in Maine may be allowed to vote on this issue, though they’ve already rejected it once. New Jersey’s Governor Christie will not be signing into law their gay “marriage” law and there isn’t enough votes in the legislature to override his veto. There is a court challenge to the corrupt way gay “marriage” was imposed on New York that I believe is still pending. If the Washington State House approves their gay “marraige” bill, it will wind up being a referrendum on the November ballot, which the voters will likely reject. A lot of this is going on now because everyone knows how dramatically things will change after the next election, when we have a Republican House, Senate, and President. We certainly do live in interesting times.

  69. Yeah, it’s easy to be confident when you’re in the majority. Populism is the opposite of the what the constitution advocated. Just because most citizens want to be discriminatory against a class of people like this doesn’t make it just or even democratic. It makes it rule by the mob and it could just as easily turn against you. That’s where impartiality starts. Not favoritism.

  70. “Sorry, you guys, if you don’t like it that the voters of this country reject same-sex “marriage” for their own reasons, not all of which are religious, every time they are allowed to vote on this issue.”
    What is your problem? Are you so blinded by me saying your assertion that gays aren’t born that way was wrong that you now can’t see the rest of my contribution to this 50+ comments section of this topic? I don’t appreciate it. You were wrong, and as far as I am concerned, your carrying this topic into history as the most commented topic on TCC hasn’t done it any justice. You are no farther along now than you were when you started, and you obviously can’t see past your blind rage that nothing you say will change Jared’s mind. Give it up. You’re not helping our cause.

  71. Outwardly go along
    With the flow,
    While inwardly keeping
    Your true nature.
    Then your eyes and ears
    Will not be dazzled,
    Your thoughts will not
    Be confused,
    While the spirit within you
    Will expand greatly to roam
    In the realm of absolute purity.

    – Huai-nan-tzu

  72. “Sorry, you guys, if you don’t like it that the voters of this country reject same-sex “marriage” for their own reasons, not all of which are religious, every time they are allowed to vote on this issue.”

    Except they don’t – same sex marriage is legal is various states.

    And yes, its still awful and terrible writing to compare refusing service to gay people as the same thing as refusing service to KKK members. Using the proper comparison of gays = blacks would point out how completely wrong this all is though.

  73. Karen Grube says:

    Michelle, I’m referring to every state in which the voters have been allowed to vote on this issue at the ballot box and have their voices heard. They have ALWAYS rejected ssm, wherever they have been allowed to make that choice. The only states where ssm is allowed are where it was imposed on them by judicial or legislative fiat, effectively silencing the voices of the voters. These are simple facts.

  74. Well putting aside that elected officals represent their voters and if their voters didn’t want it, lets see if the people of the states wouldn’t have voted for it:

    Connecticut:
    A September 2011 Public Policy Polling survey found that 55% of Connecticut voters thought that same-sex marriage should be legal, while 32% thought it should be illegal and 13% were not sure.

    Massachusetts:
    A September 2011 Public Policy Polling survey found that 60% of Massachusetts voters thought same-sex marriage should be legal, while 30% thought it should be illegal and 10% were not sure.

    New Hampshire:
    A July 2011 Public Policy Polling survey found that 51% of New Hampshire voters thought that same-sex marriage should be legal, while 38% thought it should be illegal and 11% were not sure.

    Vermont:
    A July 2011 Public Policy Polling survey found that 58% of Vermont voters thought same-sex marriage should be legal, while only 33% thought it should be illegal and 9% were not sure.

    I haven’t found anything on DC, Iwoa is the only place where the majority oppose it and NY is about 50/50 on any given day. So yea, I would wager that if gay marriage was on any of the above listed, it would of passed, considering how blue those states usually are.

    So yes, while you’re correct that when its on a ballot, people vote no. However, you’re miss using the fact – our elected officals represent us. Opinion polls overwhemling support them.

    Oh and by the way? Inter-racial marriage is only legal nation wide because the Supreme Court passed it.

  75. Karen Grube says:

    Michelle, the only poll that counts is the one at the ballot box. And PUHLEESE stop the pathetic comparison of race to sexual lifestyle choice. They really aren’t the same. You can control your behavior; you can’t control your race, your gender, or your age.

  76. Kevin Miller says:

    No cleric,business owner or church should be forced to serve the wishes of same sex partners who wish to “marry”! There is something Good to be said of these folks with Good Moral Principles. Such people shouldn’t be considered as bigotted
    as the kkk or even neo-nazis! The REAL Bigots and even Bullies are the groups that feel the need to force GOD Loving people to go against their wills just because these folks refuse to have a part in their Unnatural union! And the
    Constitution says NOTHING about businesses or anyone having to bow to the whims of same sex people. And refusing to service these demented partners
    is NOT the same thing as refusing to service people for natural reasons(Race,
    Color,even Sex)!

  77. Opinion polls matter in terms of reflecting what the public’s sentiment is, even if it isn’t in terms of legislation. Legislation and popular opinion are ironically similar in your perspective you’ve presented to me. Majority rules in one case and the popular opinion is what matters in terms of what should be legal, far as you’ve indicated in your rhetoric.

    And sexual behavior is not what we are advocating should be protected, since that would logically protect rape, which would create a contradiction in jurisprudence. Gender is not the same thing as biological sex, which I’ve told you at least two times. Gender are characteristics that are not necessarily identical with those that determine biological “gender”/sex. If a man behaves in a way that is feminine and feels comfortable with that, it constitutes a gender identity, not his biological sex. The only way that would be changed even superficially is through a sex change operation, which is fairly complex even with the preliminary points of living as the opposite sex for a year before the procedure.

    Sexual orientation is something you cannot change any more than sex, though it is more complex in discerning than the more obvious qualities of the male and female sex organs and physiological differences. This does not mean there is not a great deal of sexual orientation that is biologically determined through hormones, chemicals, etc. This makes it fairly similar to sex and race, biologically speaking.

  78. Karen, if being gay was a choice, you wouldn’t have so many people killing themselves over it. There would be no need for the It Gets Better Campagin.

    Once upon a time, Americans thought it was abnormal for a black man and a white woman to be in love. The supreme court rightfully said that bigtory is not consituational.

    I subspect that you’re pro-life as well and probably have used the agruement that the majority of Americans are against abortion to support your view.

    Be a bigot Karen, just own it.

  79. No one will try to force a cleric or church to marry and serve in that capacity same sex couples or individuals. Business owners are not so protected and the fact that you’re trying to hide behind the notion of a right to refuse service for any reason is both ignorant and despicable. You can’t refuse service for absolutely any reason and the law explicitly says so in terms of religion, race, ethnicity, sex, disability, gender

    Who compared people who oppose same sex marriage on personal grounds, but do not advocate violence against them to the KKK or Neo Nazis, who, from what I understand, do? Not me, and not Michelle either. They are bigoted, but not to the same degree as the KKK or Neo Nazis.

    Forcing the state to recognize a legitimate marriage in the implicit eyes of the law is not illegal, nor is it forcing it on people based in their religious convictions and the religious and sacred aspects of marriage that exist alongside, but also separate from technically, the secular and civic practice of marriage.

    The Constitution is not the only source of our laws, nor do we refer to it in every instance of violation of laws. Some laws are instituted by states individually or some laws are put in place by Congress or the Supreme Court in terms of precedents for Constitutional interpretation. One of those laws was the Civil Rights Act of 1866, protecting the civil rights of African Americans. It has been altered slightly over many versions up to 1988 to include protection from discrimination by business and public accommodations to religion, ethnicity, disability, gender, and families with children.

    The fact that you believe homosexuality is not natural does not render it unnatural, either in terms of human genetics, physiology or biology, nor in terms of non human animal behavior, such as penguins and baboons, among many other examples. As much as you may hate to admit it or even consider it, we are animals biologically speaking. This doesn’t make us absolutely equal to nonhuman animals, but we aren’t so above them that we have gotten over our baser instincts, which include xenophobia.

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