Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Talking Turkey for Thanksgiving

Am about to head out "over the river and through the hills" to my brother's for Thanksgiving. But before I do, wanted to share with you this great piece that came to me from my friend and colleague, Rabbi Denise Eger -- who is one of the things I'm most thankful for this year!

The Great Thanksgiving Conversation:
Let’s talk all the way through the Holidays.

This Thanksgiving many of us will be leaving our families of choice and spending time with our families of origin. At these dinner tables thousands of conversations will be had. As you are thinking about the conversation around your family dinner table this Thanksgiving and Holiday Season, it is a great opportunity to talk to them about human rights and equality for members of the family who are LGBT. Many of us will encounter “mixed” family tables – with family members who voted on both sides of Prop 8.

Inevitably talk will turn to events of this important election, including the meaning of the passage of Proposition 8 in California.

Become a community organizer and help educate your family on marriage equality and the truth about Prop 8. This is one social justice activity you can engage in that will help all of us in the future, whether the courts overturn Prop 8 or we face another ballot measure.Proposition 8, and its approval, make it lawful to discriminate in California and is just the beginning. It will have serious implications for minorities around our country.

It is important that we continue the conversation, especially with our friends and family in to win the hearts and minds of our friends/family. Many of them will likely use the same arguments that have been used since the election - that they like their gay/lesbian friends but voted for Proposition 8 because their faith/tradition told them to do so.

We are encouraging you to have a conversation with your friends and family this Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season. In order to get the conversation started we have included some “conversation starters” as well as some facts to counter some of the arguments that are being used in defense of passing Proposition 8 in California.

Here are the key messages that confused and convinced good Californians to vote YES on 8, and the truth about them:

1. YES ON 8 MESSAGE: “Without Proposition 8, Churches would be forced to marry gay people even if it conflicts with their ideas, and they could lose their non-profit status.”

Proposition 8 unfairly blurred the boundaries between the separation of church and state, and the Yes on 8 Campaign outright lied when it said that churches would be forced to officiate at the marriage of gay men or lesbians. In fact, page 117 of the Supreme Court’s original decision last May guaranteed protections for churches to follow their faith’s teaching on the matter and to NOT officiate if that is their teaching. The YES on 8 campaign further blurred the boundary between church and state when it said that it would cause churches to lose their non-profit status. Nothing could be further from the truth. Churches would still be protected as affirmed again by the Supreme Court.The misinformation and outright lies of the Mormon and Catholic and Evangelic Christians communities caused confusion and pain among many. The state constitution should never promote one religion over another.

2. YES ON 8 MESSAGE: “Only the church can say who is married.”

This is absolutely false. As long as couples must get a marriage license from the state for their marriage to be recognized—then you can’t deny citizens from equality. The state issues licenses and you do not have to go to a rabbi, priest or minister or imam to get married. As long as there is civil marriage then it must be open to everyone. It is discrimination to do otherwise.

3. YES ON 8 MESSAGE: “Gay people don’t have civil right; they belong to African Americans.”

In America we have fought for equality for all citizens regardless of race, creed or color and in California that equality is extended to those of different sexual orientation. We have the equal protection clause that says all groups must be treated equally under the law. We are sensitive to the particular history and struggle – and sense of ownership that African Americans have over the phrase “civil rights”. However, they are called “civil rights”, “equal rights,” or “human rights” -- this bundle of rights confers dignity to all people, including gay people. Even those who go to church can understand the phrase, “Love your neighbor as yourself”. The constitution should not be used to deny or retract rights, and that is what Prop 8 did. If you start with gay people—who will be next? Blacks? Latinos? Jews? Blond haired people? Those without a college degree? Catholic?Prop 8 crossed a dangerous line by imposing the tyranny of the barely-a-majority on one group.

4. YES ON 8 MESSAGE: “Why do you need to use the term marriage? Isn’t domestic partnership or civil unions good enough?”

Separate but equal is never good enough. It didn’t work before in the United States with drinking fountains or education or in the Jim Crow era of South Africa. Marriage holds unique and special dignity for the couple and their children. Our society is not built on civil unions but is built on the idea of marriage which takes two unrelated people and makes them next of kin. There are differences in domestic partnership and marriage. The most notable difference is in the reactions of others. Everyone understands when a couple says they are married. Most do not understand when you say your partner, they misinterpret regularly. Also there is a profound difference for those who are married. Their families are accorded the proper dignity and respect in the world and there are some benefits from one’s employer that are available to married spouses that are not available to domestic partners.

5. YES on 8 MESSAGE: “The people had their say and the vote of the people should be honored.”

It is never okay for the majority to impose its will if it eliminates the rights of a minority. Our constitution and the judiciary exist to protect the minority voice from the tyranny of the majority. This is not an “activist” court. This is a conservative court – a majority is Republican -- that interpreted the Constitution and in May of 2008 declared that gay and lesbian people were protected by the equal protection clause. Now the legal case before the Supreme Court will examine whether or not the Prop 8 vote, garnered through an expensive campaign of lies and misinformation, was proper. There have been other instances in California when a ballot initiative was declared improper and/or unconstitutional including Prop. 187 (that would have denied illegal immigrants services).

6. POST-ELECTION MESSAGE: “Gay people should just get over it. It’s just not a big deal.”

One can never get over completely the wounds of oppression and discrimination. The passage of Proposition 8 hurt gay people in California – and lots of their straight friends and family, too. For a few short months gay people knew full and complete marriage equality as never before. 18,000 gay and lesbian couples got legally married. And then in an instant that equality was taken away. This is a deep wound. When justice and equality are denied, people are moved to express their cry for freedom through their first amendment rights to free speech, through protest. Engaging in peaceful rallies and marches to voice our concern is an American tradition, and helps lead to change.

These talking points ought to help you move our cause forward in your family.

Here are some additional actions you might want to take:
• Think about wearing a button that states how many months/years you and your partner have been together.
• Keep your Vote NO on Prop 8 bumper sticker on your car
• (Re)Introduce your partner as your husband/wife
• Talk about a rally or your personal participation in the No on Prop 8 campaign
• Take some wedding cake home for desert
• Take pictures to share of your family
• Ask what they think about what California did with the passing of Proposition 8
• Talk about a wedding (same-sex or opposite-sex) that your attended over the summer

We wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving….Keep the conversation going through the Holidays!
Rabbi Denise L. Eger
Rev. Neil Thomas
Torie Osborn
Rodney Scott
.

26 comments:

susankay said...

And, possibly: If straight, you might (re)introduce your spouse as your partner.

I have always felt that partner is SERIOUSLY different -- my first thought is that the "partners" are fanatic bridge players -- hardly the same as a married couple.

FranIAm said...

Brilliant! One of my dearest friends is a member of Kol Ami and I hear about Denise a lot. She sounds amazing.

Happy Thanksgiving.

RonF said...

the Yes on 8 Campaign outright lied when it said that churches would be forced to officiate at the marriage of gay men or lesbians. In fact, page 117 of the Supreme Court’s original decision last May guaranteed protections for churches to follow their faith’s teaching on the matter and to NOT officiate if that is their teaching. The YES on 8 campaign further blurred the boundary between church and state when it said that it would cause churches to lose their non-profit status.

What they Yes on 8 campaign said with regard to these issues is at variance with the law. However, given the kinds of decisions we've seen out of the courts these days (starting with Roe vs. Wade and extending through numerous others), people no longer trust the courts to interpret the plain intent of the law or even to keep to representations they've previously made. They figure that once the courts impose gay "marriage" regardless of the language of the law or the expressed will of the voters, they'll simply ignore the statements they've made or provisions of the law, declare them unconstitutional as well, and impose the kinds of things that Yes on 8 stated.

You're right about the law. Can't argue with you there. But given what people have seen out of the courts these days they just don't believe that the courts will keep to the law.

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

RonF ... meanwhile, the rights of a minority of American citizens are subject to oppression by a majority who believe that for some reason they are less "endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights."

Sorry ... in that case "the law" becomes the mob rule of the majority and "the expressed will of the voters" doesn't pass constitutional muster -- which is why we have AN INDEPENDENT JUDICIARY -- whether you like it or not.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Paul B said...

Susan, the issue of churches being forced to perform gay marriages is a good point, and your refusal to acknowledge Ron's point is very close minded.

What we can see is this:

1. Parish halls can not be rented for heterosexual wedding receptions if they are not open to homosexual receptions when the plaintiffs show systematic discrimination. Churches will lose their tax exempt status or be forced to rent to all people, or to no people.

2. Since marriage really is a civil thing ("By the authority vested in me by the State of..."), pastors can be forced to not exhibit systematic discrimination against a group of people. Individual states or counties will simply not allow clergy to be licensed to perform marriages because they discriminate against gay couples, even of their own faith (which removes the freedom of religion angle).

People can see this as a plausible scenario. You self-righteously refuse to try to convince anybody of anything, or address actual concerns. That is your right. But, you would certainly gain some additional supporters if you would actually engage in conversation.

Happy Thanksgiving

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

Sorry, Paul. Doesn't work.

See, there's something called "The First Amendment" -- which includes the free exercise of religion.

It works like this:

Roman Catholic priests are free NOT to marry divorced couples -- even though we recognize civil divorce & remarriage in the secular world.

Orthodox rabbis are free not to marry inter-faith couples -- although they can get a marriage license at the county courthouse.

And everybody who voted Yes on 8 is free not to marry same sex couples. And will continue to be --no matter how much they try to smoke-screnn this one.

It is a totally BS, fear-based argument and those making it know it is.

Which doesn't stop them because, as we've seen, when you have sole possession of the Captial-A-Absolute Captial-T-Truth then you don't have to be bothered with pesky little things like "facts."

So I say "bravo/a" to the authors of this letter -- who are giving us the tools we need to set the record straight (so to speak!) -- one turkey at a time!

Paul B said...

Susan, I have to say, if your talking points are so darn great, why are RonF and I disagreeing with them? That's my point to you on a personal level - if you want to persuade people, use arguments that are persuasive to them, not to you.

I think you would probably agree with me that courts do not always do what is expected, and elected officials sometimes have an agenda of their own. My point is that neither you nor I know what will happen in the coming years as conservatism wanes and liberalism grows in power.

I can see a Clerk of the Court somewhere refusing Catholic clergy the license to marry people due to their systemic discrimination of a protected class of people. They would advance the argument that it was discrimination and not religious practice. This is similar to what Gavin Newsome did in SF when he ordered gay marriages against the law of California and the California constitution, which states that elected officials that disagree with the law can not refuse to enforce it.

Instead of using talking points that preach to the choir, I think you have to, as distasteful as you consider it, actually address the concerns of the other side.

Oh, and I'm sure you are aware of the pavilion in Ocean Grove, NJ that the Methodists own that they lost their tax exempt status on because they rented to the public but refused to rent to gay couples due to religious belief.

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

Paul, bless your heart, you're not the market share for my arguments. Neither is Ron.

My market share are those who believed the lies by the Yes on 8 campaign ... and post-election poll numbers are now telling us that 8% of those who voted yes would vote no if the election was held today -- based on what they know now that they didn't know then.

Our bad for letting the other side frame the debate and not refuting their disinformation.

The arguments you're trotting out are the same category we saw after the Brown v. Board of Education court decision. History has proved those "activist judges" right -- the California Supreme Court will be proved the same.

(PS - Check the facts on the NJ case ... it wasn't about protecting the religious freedom to perform marriages ... apples and oranges again! From:

http://www.mormonsformarriage.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/mat-responses-to-six-consequences-if-prop-8-fails-rev-1-1.pdf

This false “consequence” is based on the misrepresentation of a case in New Jersey involving an association affiliated with the Methodist Church. In considering that case, it is important to remember that New Jersey does not permit gay marriage, so that case had nothing to do with Proposition 8.

What was the New Jersey case about? The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association (OGCMA), a Methodist organization, had taken advantage of a New Jersey law granting a state property tax exemption for a pavilion in the seaside town of Ocean Grove that was dedicated for public use.

The property in!question!was!a!boardwalk!pavilion!open!to!the!public. It!was!also!available!to!be!reserved!for! marriage!ceremonies!by!people!of!any!faith.!Nevertheless,!the!OGCMA!wanted!to!prohibit!a!gay!commitment!ceremony!(not!a!marriage!ceremony)!from!being!held!in!the!pavilion.

The!New!Jersey!real!estate!commission!ruled!that!if!OGCMA!intended!to!claim!a!property!tax!exemption!for!a!building!open!to!the!public,!they!could!not!discriminate.!!Seen!in!this!light,!it!was!a!sensible!ruling.!!

Implicit!in!the!ruling!is!that!
the!group!could!discriminate!if!they!ceased!to!claim!a!property!tax!exemption!for!a!public!facility.!It!is!important!to!note!that!this!ruling!pertained!only!to!the!pavilion, which!constituted!a!mere!one!percent!of!the!property!the!OGCMA!owned

This!case!has!nothing!at!all!to!do!with!any!Mormon,!Catholic!or!any!other!church’s chapel!or!sanctuary!that!is!used!for!religious!purposes.!!It!has!nothing!to!do!with!any church’s!income!tax!exemption

The!California!Supreme!Court!ruling!on!gay!marriage!cannot!have!any!federal!tax consequences,!and!the!Court!so!noted!explicitly!in!its!decision.

The!Supreme!Court also!noted!that!its!ruling!would!not!require!any!priest,!rabbi!or!minister!to!perform gay!marriages,!which!should!be!self"evident!because!of!the!First!Amendment’s!guarantee!of!freedom!of!religion.

Paul B said...

Susan,

I obviously believe at least some of the Prop 8 arguments. But, whatever.

I understand the public use aspect of the NJ case. However, all it takes for it to become precedent in NJ is for a court to find that a parish hall rented for receptions for weddings not performed at the church is actually a public accommodation.

As you have said in the past, courts expand rights in favor of minorities. That's the fear here.

Oh, well. Have a Happy Thanksgiving. My dad is visiting, and I need to pay attention to the conversation, and get off this darn computer thing.

MarkBrunson said...

Susan, I have to say, if your talking points are so darn great, why are RonF and I disagreeing with them?

Perhaps because you are being irrational? You are living in a fear-based fantasy?

All it takes is a precedent . . . to do anything to anyone, PaulB. There is a real slippery slope in that you can use the majority - the mob - to treat anyone anyway you like. Just whip up enough fear and hate, and you can justify anything.

The best solution would be to remove any legal recognition and benefit from the religious practice, and apply it only to state unions.

Paul B said...

The best solution would be to remove any legal recognition and benefit from the religious practice, and apply it only to state unions.

Great! In that case, let's consider marriage a societal construct. Being something built by society, then society can decide what marriage is. Let's vote on it.

And, by characterizing all of your opponents as hateful and fearful, you will never sway a one of them. You just cause them to be more firmly entrenched in their views, even those who are not hateful and fearful.

Until you treat your opponents as human beings that are good people with real feelings and complex motivations (just like most people) you will never understand them and will be unable to change their minds.

I am able to see you that way - why are you unable to see me that way?

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

Paul ... respecting the dignity of every human being -- with real feelings and complex emotions -- is absolutely what we are called to live into by virture of our baptism and our call to love our neighbors as Our Lord has loved us.

Respecting you as a person and allowing you to write discrimination into our constitution is another matter.

We hear a lot about "love the sinner, hate the sin" -- I'm ready to launch a "love the ignorant, hate the ignorance" campaign. Thinking you have the authority to rewrite the constitution because you can spend millions of dollars waging a campaign of misinformation to convince a bare majority of underinformed voters to elminate fundamental rights from some Californians is like thinking you have foreign policy experience because you can see Russia from your house.

Here's my final comment before I turn this off and go stuff turkeys and peel potatoes:

There is a fundamental difference between feeling excluded because you're disagreed with -- which is your experience on this blog -- and BEING excluded because of who you are -- which is the experience of same sex couples in California.

uffda51 said...

(Note to self-you swore you wouldn’t use the computer today).

Paul, do you ever read your posts out loud before posting them?

The notion that someday a gay couple might want to rent a parish hall for a wedding reception, after forcing a priest who abhors them and their “manner of life” to marry them, is beyond ludicrous.

And this possibility worries you, Paul?

“Courts expand rights in favor of minorities. That’s the fear here.”

This is not my “characterization” of your views. These are your words.

We should do unto others as we would have them do unto us – unless they are minorities? All Men are Created Equal – unless they are minorities?

“Engage in conversation?” Is it possible to engage in conversation with Fred Phelps? James Dobson will have you arrested you if try to talk with him.

These are the “concerns of the other side” WE need to address?

Are there some other pesky minorities out there we should be watching out for, Paul? And if (I know you can’t imagine this, but try) you one day found yourself in the minority, would you want your faith community and the courts to stand up for your rights?

You have stated that, based on religious tradition, we should continue to discriminate against the LGBT community, but that you are not a homophobe. You then admit that you have a fear of minorities having too many rights and use an irrational example about parish halls to buttress your point. “Fear” and “irrational.” Together. Hmm.

If every gay couple in America could marry tomorrow, other than a boon to catering and floral businesses, the only difference going forward would be that each couple would have one more piece of paper in their safe deposit box. Of the things I fear, this is not in the top gazillion.

A church being threatened by the government with the loss of tax-exempt status for daring to speak about the Iraq war during a presidential campaign is a far bigger concern. A citizen being placed on a government terrorist watch list for attending a meeting of an anti-death penalty group is a far bigger concern. A gun being sold to a convicted felon with restraining order against him is a bigger concern. The loss of another Matthew Shepard is a bigger concern, perhaps because all of these things are really happening in America today. The possible rental of a parish hall? Not so much.

Paul B said...

uffda51 - Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you and your family are well.

Do you really think that I wake up in the morning and feel energized about another day discriminating against gay people? I don't. Discrimination is wrong.

We disagree on the fundamental definition of marriage. That is all. That's it. Where our lives meet, that is the only issue.

My belief is my belief. I do not hold it to be discriminatory. My people (Irish Catholics) were discriminated against for centuries, in Ireland and then here in the US.

My fear is not of you or any other gay person. As a group, however, there are militants that would seek to have 100% affirmation from society, something that I disagree with.

You have to agree that there are gay people who hate Christians. Maybe for some of them that feeling is warranted. BUT, I do see some of those people wanting to use the event of their wedding or union to create test cases and expand the rights of gay people and at the same time injure the people who they feel have been discriminating against them.

You might not agree, but I am not a flaming, ranting, anti-gay troglodyte. Over the past year, I have been giving a lot of thought and prayer to this subject. I read this blog because I want to know how you think, and get facts from all sides.

And yes, there are many things of more immediate importance, such as the war in Iraq, the economy, and the killing of millions of innocent unborn babies.

MarkBrunson said...

Great! In that case, let's consider marriage a societal construct. Being something built by society, then society can decide what marriage is. Let's vote on it.

And, by characterizing all of your opponents as hateful and fearful, you will never sway a one of them. You just cause them to be more firmly entrenched in their views, even those who are not hateful and fearful.

Until you treat your opponents as human beings that are good people with real feelings and complex motivations (just like most people) you will never understand them and will be unable to change their minds.

I am able to see you that way - why are you unable to see me that way?


A bit over the top, Paul.

Do you think you'll change minds with this sort of lashing out?

Is fear not a real feeling? Is hate not a real feeling? Did I use the word hateful? I characterized your stated concerns as a "fear-based fantasy" because that is exactly what you have presented to us.

No, I don't see you as "good." This is because Jesus said call no man good. People are a mixture, and that includes evil intentions. Complex enough for you, Paul?

I see you as a human. Mistaken, like humans often are, and misled by your fear, as humans quite often are.

You misunderstand my point on marriage - if it is a social contract, then it should be just that, "marriage" would be an entirely religious term. The state would only recognize a relationship between two people for financial and legal purposes. That is what social stability is based on, not elaborate pseudo-sociology about the nuclear family. There is now an absolute lack of stability in relationships between people, because couples, who will always be homosexual and have at least as good a track record at staying together as heterosexuals, are denied the legal protections that make that stability possible. Prop 8 and others increase rather than decrease stability and order.

And, yes, I get your little dig, that it has been voted on. The system of checks and balances allows a challenge to the vote, which prevents the electorate from being merely "the mob," driven by every wind of fear and manipulation that money can buy.

That is not a cruel stereotype, Paul, it is the fact of the complexities of human nature.

Finally, the hallmark of a thoughtful human being is being able to self-examine, so, if your talking points are so great, why are only you and RonF being convinced by them here?

uffda51 said...

"My fear is not of you or any other gay person.”

Just for the record, Paul, I’m not gay. I’m a middle-aged married white guy, raised Lutheran, and now an Episcopalian.

“I read this blog because I want to know how you think, and get facts from all sides.”

I can appreciate that attitude very much. Best wishes for the rest of your Thanksgiving weekend.

Paul B said...

Mark, if only people weren't evil and motivated by fear, they would agree with you? These poor, mistaken people just need to agree with you, and all will be right with you AND with them? Come on.

Finally, the hallmark of a thoughtful human being is being able to self-examine, so, if your talking points are so great, why are only you and RonF being convinced by them here?

That's a good question. I think that's because a lot of people here are close minded on the issue. They have formed an entire life, and life's mission, around the acceptance of all things gay, including gay marriage. To change the mind of those people, one would need to get them to repudiate everything they stand for.

That's going to take a little time.

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

"They have formed an entire life, and life's mission, around the acceptance of all things gay .."

Where are those people, Paul? I know people who have formed an entire life's mission around liberty and justice for all ... and who include LGBT citizens in that "all."

I know people who have formed an entire life's mission around the Good News of a God who loved us enough to become one of us to teach us how to love our neighbors as ourselves -- ALL our neighbors ... even the LGBT ones.

Some of the same people who marched in Selma in the 60's and were accused of having a "narrow civil rights agenda" were movers behind efforts to pass the Equal Rights Amendment and were charged then with having a "narrow feminist agenda" are now supposedly pushing a "narrow gay agenda."

We believe we're on the right side of history on this one ... and to "change our minds" on gay marriage you'd have to change our minds on segregation, women's suffrage and a host of other issues that have changed the face of this nation and this church to a time when +Jefferts Schori can be the Presiding Bishop and +Obama the president elect.

The good news is that the voices of patriarchy jumping up and down on the margins insisting "but we've always done it this way" will soon be speaking to a majority of those who NEVER did it "that way" -- who can't remember when there weren't women clergy, African American political leaders, "out" LGBT folks.

We're not there yet, but Marching to Zion is the background music and we're well down the road.

Paul B said...

Wow, Susan, even I could hear the stirring music in the background!

I reflect on what is right. I think of patriarchy. I remember when my second son was born (the first had many problems and died when he was three) and I was filled with hope for this white male who was born in the US. Is that patriarchal?

I think of my daughters, who can basically do anything they want, anything they set their minds to. I try to let them spread their wings and fly, but at the same time feel a desperate need to keep them safe. Is that patriarchal?

I think of growing up in the south, with the "colored only" drinking fountain at the train station visible from US1 well into the 70s (although it wasn't used). I wonder what I would have done if I was 20 years older. Would I have been overtly racist?

I think of myself now, almost 50, a middle aged white guy in a world that hates me for being a middle aged white guy. How do I respond to God's call to love my neighbor? The charity part is easy, taking care of those that are less fortunate than I am.

How do I respond to being a Christian in the post-modern era? Right now, my dad has been here for six days. I'm starting to get why "Honor your father and mother" is a commandment - God never tells us to do something that is easy or comes naturally!

In Romans 12 Paul says: "Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect." That must be because conforming oneself to the time you live in must be the natural inclination - an inclination that we must resist.

I don't know. Racist? Patriarchal? Sexist? I ask God every day.

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

Paul, the sad truth is as a middle aged white male American you operate from a place of privilege -- unexamined privilege is the issue and patriarchy is a system invested in protecting a hierarchy that privileges being "male" over being "human."

It's a lovely Sunday evening at the end of a long Thanksgiving weekend so that's really all I have the juice to say about this at this point.

But tomorrow is another day and I may take some time to put together some remedial reading suggestions on this topic. But now it's back to some football and maybe just ONE more piece of that leftover pie.

Later, alligator!

MarkBrunson said...

Mark, if only people weren't evil and motivated by fear, they would agree with you? These poor, mistaken people just need to agree with you, and all will be right with you AND with them? Come on.

If you don't wish to engage in real conversation, please don't respond.

You insist on saying something I didn't say. "Evil?" I didn't use this word. The fact that you hear that word in what I say may be telling you something about what you are saying.

Finally, the hallmark of a thoughtful human being is being able to self-examine, so, if your talking points are so great, why are only you and RonF being convinced by them here?

That's a good question. I think that's because a lot of people here are close minded on the issue.


And what are you?

They have formed an entire life, and life's mission, around the acceptance of all things gay, including gay marriage.

Nonsense. I'm sorry, but I've heard this spurious "argument" too many times to have any goodwill left toward it as mere ignorance. I have no interest in sex, marriage, or your goodwill. I could care less whether or not you "accept" me - or anyone. The fact is I don't approve of your lifestyle and beliefs and certainly don't accept them, however I allow them because they seem to have some meaning and value to you. I have to wonder about those who will not extend the same courtesy.

To change the mind of those people, one would need to get them to repudiate everything they stand for.

That's going to take a little time.


This sounds like a variation on the more direct and honest statement that "gays are from the Devil and trying to destroy Christianity."

Is this an insight into the heterosexual mind, Paul, that "everything you stand for" is sex?

If it sounds like I'm angry, I am. You have addressed none of the valid issues raised by those who had the courtesy to address you, instead wallowing in self-pity about how misunderstood you "good" people are.

You took one comment and tried to work it to emotional advantage - "You're all so close-minded!" - while ignoring:

You misunderstand my point on marriage - if it is a social contract, then it should be just that, "marriage" would be an entirely religious term. The state would only recognize a relationship between two people for financial and legal purposes. That is what social stability is based on, not elaborate pseudo-sociology about the nuclear family. There is now an absolute lack of stability in relationships between people, because couples, who will always be homosexual and have at least as good a track record at staying together as heterosexuals, are denied the legal protections that make that stability possible. Prop 8 and others increase rather than decrease stability and order.

I suspect, because you can't answer it.

Now, Susan is painfully polite, so you may never see this post, but I am beginning to suspect you came here to confirm your prejudices, and will now retreat crying about how cruel, unfair, and wicked we are. You will make no effort to answer hard questions. It's why you can convince no one who isn't already biased to your point of view.

I would like it if you proved me wrong, but the track record and monotonous sameness of all these anti-gay arguments stand against you.

JCF said...

My belief is my belief. I do not hold it to be discriminatory. My people (Irish Catholics) were discriminated against for centuries, in Ireland and then here in the US.

My fear is not of you or any other gay person. As a group, however, there are militants that would seek to have 100% affirmation from society, something that I disagree with.


Yeah, and some Irish-Americans think the Irish "saved civilization", something that I disagree with. But I don't get to discriminate against ALL Irish-Americans, or any subset thereof, for the errors of a few.

PaulB, your monomania for this group that "disagrees" with you, has blinded you to flagrant errors of logic. Fallacies, left and right (e.g., your "I disagree, so Susan you must be wrong" fallacy. Your paranoid slippery-slope fallacies)

Do you really think that I wake up in the morning and feel energized about another day discriminating against gay people?

The evidence from your posts here (and more recently at Friends-of-Jake) strongly suggests "Yes".

Irony: the very thing that likely cost us LGBTs the election (our losing our rights, through Prop H8's win), was our complacency. The fact that we DID go back to just living our lives---sans any anger or militancy---when we had our equal rights.

If you really don't want to see angry, militant queers in your face (and the faces of those BIGOTS you call "Archbishop" or "Cardinal"), then just let us have our equal rights, and leave us alone?

By denying us our rights, you've GUARANTEED the very (unpleasant) exchanges you say you'd like to avoid.

Most illogical.

Paul B said...

Mark, if Susan allows, I'll start from the bottom and work my way up. I'm not sure of my motivation for being here. Partly because I'm tired of all these blogs with one single view. Partly because I really am thinking about this.

If "marriage" should be only a social contract, then who gets to decide the rules of this social contract? What are the labels for the social contract? Marriage? Civil Union? California has that now, only the labels are different.

You misunderstood the "everything you stand for" statement. My point was that, for example, for me to be open minded about heterosexuality being wrong, I would have to be willing to leave my wife and somehow make provisions for the children. I have been living with this woman for 25 years, so, to leave, would be to repudiate everything my life has been in the past 25 years. That was my point.

To turn to the present subject, I could change my mind on gay marriage, and nothing in my life would change. So, open minded.

The first comment was over the top, but I think it is pretty accurate.

Paul B said...

JCF:

Monomania:

1 : mental illness especially when limited in expression to one idea or area of thought
2 : excessive concentration on a single object or idea

Neither of these apply to me. Do you think a few posts a day on the internet constitutes "excessive concentration"? I guess it's the thought that counts. Thanks.

I am thinking about the subject, though, because I have been challenged.

And, yes, isn't it ironic. By denying us our rights, you've GUARANTEED the very (unpleasant) exchanges you say you'd like to avoid.

MarkBrunson said...

I have been living with this woman for 25 years, so, to leave, would be to repudiate everything my life has been in the past 25 years. That was my point.

So, it's fine to demand it of gays, just not you.

Please, don't insult me by saying you're open-minded when you try to put your words in my mouth . . . heterosexuality wrong, indeed! Don't talk to me, talk to St. Paul, who said marriage is second best for those who can't control themselves.

I'm saying that if you really are so concerned, so morally committed to gay marriage being wrong, then no price would be too much for you to pay to make a difference. You lack that committment.

And you still haven't answered any objections, just talked about yourself ad nauseam.

MarkBrunson said...

And, to address your first question, the label must be the same for all. If you don't object to civil unions for gays, you shouldn't object to it for you. What you call it personally or in a religious context is irrelevant. "Separate but equal" relies on an angelism, a belief in the basic decency of humanity, which simply doesn't exist.