December 30, 2007

"What one's sin is, means it's missing the mark. It's missing the bull's eye, the perfect point."

Mike Huckabee explains what he means when he says that gay people who do not abstain from sex are sinners. From today's "Meet the Press":
MR. RUSSERT: This, this is what you did say about homosexuality: "I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural and sinful lifestyle." That's millions of Americans.

GOV. HUCKABEE: Tim, understand, when a Christian speaks of sin, a Christian says all of us are sinners. I'm a sinner, everybody's a sinner. What one's sin is, means it's missing the mark. It's missing the bull's eye, the perfect point. I miss it every day; we all do. The perfection of God is seen in a marriage in which one man, one woman live together as a couple committed to each other as life partners. Now, even married couples don't do that perfectly, so sin is not some act of equating people with being murderers or rapists...

MR. RUSSERT: But when you say aberrant or unnatural, do you believe you're born gay or you choose to be gay?

GOV. HUCKABEE: I don't know whether people are born that way. People who are gay say that they're born that way. But one thing I know, that the behavior one practices is a choice. We may have certain tendencies, but how we behave and how we carry out our behavior--but the important issue that I want to address, because I think when you bring up the faith question, Tim, I've been asked more about my faith than any person running for president. I'm OK with that. I hope I've answered these questions very candidly and very honestly. I think it's important for us to talk about it. But the most important thing is to find out, does our faith influence our public policy and how? I've never tried to rewrite science textbooks. I've never tried to come out with some way of imposing a doctrinaire Christian perspective in a way that is really against the Constitution. I've never done that.

MR. RUSSERT: But you said you would ban all abortions.

GOV. HUCKABEE: Well, that's not just because I'm a Christian, that's because I'm an American. Our founding fathers said that we're all created equal. I think every person has intrinsic worth and value...

MR. RUSSERT: But many Americans believe that that would be, that would be you imposing your faith belief...

GOV. HUCKABEE: But, no. It's not a faith belief. It's deeper than that. It's a human belief. It goes to the heart of who we are as a civilization....
If he's really not going to import his religious beliefs into law — and you may not be willing to believe that, but assuming he's not — do you really care if the President thinks you're a sinner? I mean, assuming he's kindly and mellow about it. I wouldn't want a President who seethed and obsessed about it inordinately, mainly because I prefer an unnutty President. But don't most religious folk perceive lots of sin out there in the world? Why pick on Huckabee for being honest about it? At least we get to see more of how he feels about sin and sinners, and it looks kindly and mellow enough to me.

ADDED: Video removed, but you can watch it here.

93 comments:

Simon said...

"[D]o you really care if the President thinks you're a sinner? I mean, assuming he's kindly and mellow about it. I wouldn't want a President who seethed and obsessed about it inordinately, mainly because I prefer an unnutty President. But don't most religious folk perceive lots of sin out there in the world? Why pick on Huckabee for being honest about it?"

Well, exactly. A President that thinks that everyone including himself is a sinner doesn't sem threatening - in fact, if anything, it seems far less so than various peddlers of secular sin forever looking for something to feell guilty about. The former - he who acknowledges that we all fall short of the standard and that salvation can't come from anything of this world - seems less likely than the latter to lash out and do harm to others with vindictive policies.

Paul Snively said...

I also appreciated his putting to rest the tiresome canard that being pro-life is only, necessarily, a Christian position, as if there weren't perfectly good Constitutional and civil rights arguments supporting the pro-life position.

hdhouse said...

Oh you missed the good part when he spoke so condescendingly about women and abortions and "doing it because of inconvenience" or the like..as if women who choose abortion just go out for a milk shake and some fries afterwards and talk about boys to the girls.

It was nauseating. My wife, daughter and daughter-in-law and two of their local friends were in the room. He lost 5 votes instantly.

Simon said...

I agree with Paul except for the sidenote about the Constitution supporting the pro-life cause - the Constitution at most only gets you as far as overruling Roe which is a necessary but not sufficient part of the pro-life agenda. The Constitution only says that states can ban abortion; it doesn't say that they must or that they can't permit it. It's agnostic. Even post-Roe, Pro-lifers still have to persuade the public on the policy merits of banning abortion.

hdhouse said...
"It was nauseating. My wife, daughter and daughter-in-law and two of their local friends were in the room. He lost 5 votes instantly."

Were your wife, daughter and daughter-in-law and two of their local friends considering voting for Huckabee? Which other GOP candidate will they transfer their vote to?

George said...

Jesustalk weirds people out. It's going to dog Huck, 'cuz he's a preacher.

He'll do fine in rural areas, but that's it.

On the other hand, we have Fred....."Baptized in the Church of Christ...he gained his values from "sitting around the kitchen table" and said he did not plan to speak about his religious beliefs on the stump. "I know that I'm right with God and the people I love," he said, according to Bloomberg News Service. "It's "just the way I am not to talk about some of these things."

"Kitchen Table Values"...you can sell that slogan.

Except to people who eat out all the time.

They're going to Hell.

ricpic said...

Titus missed the mark
And hit the wrong hole,
He forgot to chalk
And slipped his pole.

Palladian said...

This man is unqualified to be the President of the United States, not least because he doesn't "believe" in biological evolution. I'd vote for Dennis Kucinich before I'd vote for this shyster.

JCooperNYC said...

The problem is he wears his religion on his sleeve and has already begged the question as to Mitt Romney right to be called a Christian. In my mind his religious dogma will filter into his decision making.

Synova said...

"...as if women who choose abortion just go out for a milk shake and some fries afterwards and talk about boys to the girls."

Are you saying that the woman who got an abortion "because I don't want to be fat in the summer" doesn't exist?

Or that the parents who dragged their 17 year old off for an illegal late 2nd trimester abortion didn't do it because it would be socially embarrassing to have an illegitimate grandchild?

Honesty would require admitting that a whole heck of a lot of abortions are for convenience and nothing much more than that.

That some abortions are for far more weighty reasons doesn't change that a bit. Not a bit.

Bruce Hayden said...

I am not sure what I think of him right here. For me, "all men are sinners" is not that far from "live and let live". But somehow, I don't see that Huckabee is saying that. Rather, it seems like he is using "all men are sinners" as a facile way of getting out of condemning a homosexual life style.

John Stodder said...

This type of conversation is obviously Huckabee's sweet spot. If I went to a Baptist church, I'd want Huckabee as my minister. He is obviously a Christian who is not full of hate for sinners, and his explanation for his position on gays is plausible, articulate and compassionate.

I still have problems with his kind of discourse because while the speaker might be coming from a nuanced and compassionate position, his listeners often tend to erase the gray areas and think it's their job -- not God's -- to consign folks to hell.

Huckabee's real problem, however, is when he talks about anything else (well, maybe except for dieting), he sounds like an fool. He is so clearly in over his head, his candidacy is a dangerous joke. There's shooting from the hip, and then there's Huckabee, wandering like a drunk through the fields of public policy.

Simon said...

Bruce Hayden said...
"I am not sure what I think of him right here. For me, "all men are sinners" is not that far from "live and let live". But somehow, I don't see that Huckabee is saying that. Rather, it seems like he is using "all men are sinners" as a facile way of getting out of condemning a homosexual life style."

That isn't the point at all. I mean, I'm not a Christian, so perhaps someone who is - Pastor Jeff? - wants to express this more eloquently, but the point of "everyone is a sinner" is that everyone needs salvation not that sin is okay.

Middle Class Guy said...

It is the honesty that is refreshing. He makes no bones about his beliefs. Though I would not vote for him, I admire his stright forward responses to questions.

Middle Class Guy said...

The Constitution only says that states can ban abortion; it doesn't say that they must or that they can't permit it.
**********************************

Simon,
I went to look at the Constitution and I find no mention of abortion. Could you please cite the Article where it is mentioned?

Alan said...

I'm more concerned, as President, he'll role play as a pivotal character in a Christian end of the world epic fantasy. But then I have that worry with most of the Republican candidates.

Simon said...

Middle Class Guy: The tenth Amendment. "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." You're precisely correct that the Constitution says nothing about abortion, and where the Constitution is silent (as the Tenth Amendment makes explicitly clear), the matter is reserved for decision at the state level.

chuck b. said...

Insofar as religion goes, Patti Davis articulated something I want from my president here: http://www.newsweek.com/id/82384
(via realclearpolitics.com)

Simon said...

To clarify, that doesn't mean that the Tenth Amendment positively delegates any authority on any matter to the states, it clarifies that the existence of the federal Constitution doesn't displace the pre-existing powers of the State governments on anything other than the subjects the federal Constitution sweeps into the federal sphere.

Trooper York said...

Peter: If you could be stranded on a desert island with any woman in the world, who would it be?
Quagmire: Taylor Hanson.
Joe Swanson: Taylor Hanson is a guy.
Quagmire: [Laughs] You guys are yankin' me. "Hey, let's put one over on Quagmire."
Peter: No, he's actually a guy, Quagmire.
Quagmire: What? That's insane. That's impossible.
[Pause]
Quagmire: Oh God. Oh my God. I've got all these magazines. Oh God.
(The Family Guy, 2007)

Trooper York said...

Rock Hudson: Look, I don't know what's bothering you, but don't take your bedroom problems out on me.
Doris Day: I have no bedroom problems. There's nothing in my bedroom that bothers me.
Rock Hudson: Oh-h-h-h. That's too bad.
(Pillow Talk, 1959)

Paul Zrimsek said...

If "aberrant, unnatural, and sinful" is mellow, whatever must harshness sound like? And if Huckabee meant only that gays are sinners in the same sense that everyone else is a sinner, why single them out for special mention in the first place? The only thing this bit of bafflegab tells me is that Huckabee is not just a bigot but a coward as well.

Jim said...

I don't see how the "we're all sinners" argument gets him off the hook for being anti-gay.

Yes, Christians believe that we're all sinners. But Huckabee believes that gays are sinners specifically because they have sex with the people they love. He does not believe it's a sin for him to have sex with the woman he loves, because they're married.

It's a double standard, and that's pretty much the definition of bigotry.

The anti-gay bigots in his audience get his message loud and clear. Why can't you, Ann?

colalawyer26 said...

To my mind, the biggest problem with Huckabee's comments are that they seem incorrect theologically. Paul the Apostle quite plainly establishes that living celibate and single is perfectly appropriate and, arguably, preferable.

I agree with Huckabee that homosexuality itself is sinful. I disagree, however, that one who has homosexual urges should necessarily go find a member of the opposite sex and marry. If heterosexual sex doesn't float your boat, I find nothing in the Bible that suggests its sinful to remain single and celibate.

colalawyer26 said...

Jim,

Based on your definition of bigotry as articulated in your previous post, it seems to me you are bigoted against religious people who believe homosexuality is sinful.

Windbag said...

Can anyone imagine the lunacy of a Huckabee/Romney or Romney/Huckabee ticket? The press wouldn't know which one to mock.

Huckabee's theology is just that-his spiritual musings. His politics are what disqualify him from the Presidency.

The idea that man is inherently evil (sinful), rather than inherently good, isn't new. I think that the difference in perspective on this crucial point is what separates most liberals and conservatives. Liberals are Anne Franks. Conservatives are not.

PJ said...

I thought nothing could get me to vote for the Hildebeast -- then this moron showed up. If the choice came to that, I'd hold my nose and vote for her -- but the stench would be overwhelming. Huckabee's basic problem is that he is confusing the job of minister, which he is, with President, which hopefully he will never be. One is supposed to talk about "sin" the other isn't.

Kirk Parker said...

I dunno, Palladian; Kucinich is about the only Democrat I wouldn't vote for over Huckabee. As a sorta-conservative/sorta-libertarian person, I'm not concerned that the Huckster might ban abortion; plus, I'm smart enough to know that the President can't just unilaterally dictate stuff like that. What does put him beyond the pale for me is knowing that he'd probably sign every big-government program the D's managed to pass.

Harry said...

Huckabee troubles me in that he does not demonstrate much ability to govern. I fully expect that a minister to have ideas formed by his life experience, just as I would expect the same of an engineer or a lawyer. How a person thinks is a consideration that I will take into account when I vote. However, Huckabee seems to get lost in these discussions about what he believes, and he does not explain how that will help, or hinder, his ability to govern. I find that Huckabee has a remarkable inability to communicate, considering he is a minister. I suspect that he is used to talking the talk with people who are already converted and has not learned how to make his thoughts understood to those who are not insiders.

Synova said...

"The idea that man is inherently evil (sinful), rather than inherently good, isn't new. I think that the difference in perspective on this crucial point is what separates most liberals and conservatives. Liberals are Anne Franks. Conservatives are not."

Anne Frank thought everyone was inherently good?

At any rate, I think you're right. I just see no actual real world evidence to think that people are inherently good, or born good or anything else.

Babies are inherently *selfish*. Their world exists of their own self, or even as an extension of their own self. Small children have to be taught to share, taught not to have tantrums, taught not to bite or hit. They need to be *taught* to consider other people.

The practical problem with the philosophical concept of people as inherently "good" is that you must then determine the source of all the bad stuff. Where does it come from?

Well, if it doesn't come from inside people, then it comes from outside of them.

Thus, rather than civilization and society being civilizing and socializing forces they become the reason for the bad stuff, the force that pushes people to criminality or strife. The State of Nature becomes idealized.

On a personal level, then, I'm not encouraged to look to my own self as the source of my problems, but to others or to the state. Fixing those problems then involves fixing other people or fixing the state.

This doesn't work.

And the reason it doesn't work is that, actually in real life for REAL, people are inherently NOT good. They are born with all the inherent urges to take what they want, disregard others, to survive through force or tyranny or deception. Which, quite frankly, is what survival entails in marginal environments. I can't say our human natures don't have a purpose. I can say that even in situations that aren't marginal the original "sin" remains.

M. Simon said...

Huck's biggest sin is running for President.

Harry said...

Good comment, synova.

Ultimately, if you accept the concept that people are inherently good, you have to ask, Where are all the perfect people? To say that people are inherently good is to say that they by nature will always do the right thing, even under pressure. Even if a person were to hold a gun to your head to force you to commit some evil act, you would resist because you are in your most essential being a good person. The truth of the matter is that people are not good by nature. This also raises the question of where do good people come from if humans are by nature evil.

rhhardin said...

My own favorite preacher was obsessed with women wearing long pants.

Every sermon was set up the same way, with a woman wearing long pants, and a guy gets distracted, and fatal catastrophe ensues for the guy, typically involving truck violence.

Then he went straight to hell.

cardeblu said...

George: "On the other hand, we have Fred.....'Baptized in the Church of Christ...he gained his values from "sitting around the kitchen table" and said he did not plan to speak about his religious beliefs on the stump. "I know that I'm right with God and the people I love," he said, according to Bloomberg News Service. "It's "just the way I am not to talk about some of these things."' (emphasis mine)

And God bless him for it. That honest answer more or less sealed it. He's the one for me (Rudy close 2nd).

Simon said...

rhhardin said...
" My own favorite preacher was obsessed with women wearing long pants.

Was this guy a pentecostal, by any chance? The pentecostals around here have the same weird obession, this idea - I'm not just being rude, I genuinely find this idea absolutely bewildering - that women wearing pants is "insufficiently demure."

Harry said...

I know quite a few preachers that get obsessed about many different things.

Perhaps one reason why wisdom is appreciated is because it is so rare.

Harry said...

I wasn't planning on hanging out here tonight, but your comments are interesting.

I am leaning heavily towards Fred also. He would really have to do something catastrophic to ruin it for me.

I think Fred brings balance to politics. He seems capable of letting people know that there are limits. I am perfectly happy with that. We need someone who brings leadership to the position.

I also think that he is acting intelligently in challenging the MSM. He needs to control his message and not let it be controlled by others.

Laika's Last Woof said...

Alan Keyes deja vu.

Robert said...

Paul Zrimsek said: "And if Huckabee meant only that gays are sinners in the same sense that everyone else is a sinner, why single them out for special mention in the first place?"

I don't think Huckabee usually starts it. I think he answers because members of the press themselves relentlessly single out this issue, and they do that because how a person thinks about homosexuality, especially if that person is an orthodox Christian, and especially especially if that person happens to be running for high office, adds up to one of the main litmus tests of political correctness. Huckabee could just say, "None of your business. That's a matter of private religious opinion." That'd be an interesting answer, wouldn't it?

Harry said: "However, Huckabee seems to get lost in these discussions about what he believes, and he does not explain how that will help, or hinder, his ability to govern."

It won't have any impact on his ability to govern. That is for two reasons.
Number one: This and questions like it are utterly irrelevant to how he might govern. They don't even necessarily reveal anything about Huckabee's actual convictions. They may just be the moralesque meanderings of a nice Christian kinda politician guy, or they may be the blackest, most insincere pandering. Who knows? For example, the guy's opposed to stem cell research, AND he accepts speaking fees from Novo Nordisk. Whatever he says, what he really believes is open to speculation.
Number two: This has nothing to do with his Christian faith and everything to do with the incontestable fact that he's not in any way fit to be POTUS: this guys's unelectable. He will not be doing any governing. Not at the presidential level.

Harry said...

Robert,

I agree with you. The reason I said what you quoted was because I believe that Huckabee is way over his head. He does not seem to know how to make the conversation move toward what he would do as President, which suggests that he may not know what he wants to do as President.

Steven said...

Humans are inherently a species of great ape. Great apes in the wild are documented as regularly committing murder, rape, infanticide, robbery, and battery. To claim humans are inherently good requires a denial of evolution.

Simon said...

Harry, if I understand the theological justification for it correct, it's not just unwise, it's misogyny, deriving from the same premise that Islamists derive the requirement for the veil - viz. men are lustful, but instead of demanding men deal with that and modify their behavior, which would lose them adherents, it instead allows them to exercise domain over women by forcing them to modify that behavior. So they mandate women to wear only demure clothes so as not to inflame lust in the men. Plus, that way you can say that if you do sin, it was only because that woman in the hot pants inflamed you, so who's really the sinner. It's bullshit misogyny dressed up in an ill-fitting theological suit.

SteveR said...

I agree with John Stodder's comment above. Huckabee isn't good enough in all the important areas to be president, no matter how you view his religion.

SteveR said...

I agree with John Stodder's comment above. Huckabee isn't good enough in all the important areas to be president, no matter how you view his religion.

kermit said...

Ann, please tell me you are using your secret Ann-powers to just make him go away. He's too dumb to ignore but too dumb to argue with. Ok you don't have to tell me, but just don't let me down.

Fen said...

he spoke so condescendingly about women and abortions and "doing it because of inconvenience" or the like

I don't care for Huckabee, but he's right. A pro-abortion group did a survey a few years back: more than 70% of respondents chose "convenience" as the primary reason for the abortion, ie. not ready to raise a child while attending college or advancing up the career ladder, not wanting their body to change with the pregnancy, not wanting to give up a partyng lifestyle, etc. More than half of respondents were on their 2nd abortion. Of course, the pro-abortion group shelved the study and never went there again.

Here's what I don't get re "choice": You know birth control is not 100% effective, you know there is a risk of getting pregnant, yet you go ahead and accept that risk anyway, then dodge responsibility for it anyway. Choice?

But I guess abstinence is now too foreign for our culture to embrace. Hell, even I'm pro-choice: I NEED sex so bad that I'm willing to kill a fetus for it.

Harry said...

Simon,

I hope professor Althouse does not mind our using her thread for this discussion. If so, I could open up a thread on my little used blog.

A person who says that anyone is inherently good in the end is taking responsibility from that person and placing it on external factors in order to explain the lack of goodness (as was mentioned previously). A person that recognizes that the human is not inherently good forces that person to take responsibility for his own life. He must restrain violent impulses, provide for the common good. etc.

The Muslim approach is to place blame elsewhere, much like the person who believes in the essential goodness of mankind. In the example that you mentioned, if a man lusts after a woman, it is not because the man can not control himself. It is because the woman offered herself up as bait, so to speak. The man does not have to take responsibility for himself. This is wrong on many levels. For example, women are not valued as human beings.

Islam deserves much criticism on this point. Specifically, Islam as a religion does not produce a better person.

Fen said...

It's a double standard, and that's pretty much the definition of bigotry.

Double standard != Bigotry

Quite a stretch to define it that way. I think Christians are against homosexual acts, not the homosexuals themselves.

We are still allowed to be intolerant of behavior we find to be immoral, yes?

Ann Althouse said...

Harry, the discussion of abortion is fine here.

Jim said...

colalawyer26: "Based on your definition of bigotry as articulated in your previous post, it seems to me you are bigoted against religious people who believe homosexuality is sinful."

Sure -- in the same sense that I'm bigoted against white supremacists and others whose views I find abhorrent.

Fen: "I think Christians are against homosexual acts, not the homosexuals themselves."

Which is a fairly meaningless distinction, in my opinion. It would be like me saying "I don't hate Christians, just people who pray to Jesus."

"We are still allowed to be intolerant of behavior we find to be immoral, yes?"

You're "allowed" to hold whatever views you like. I'm entitled to criticize those views. Did I suggest otherwise?

Harry said...

Simon,

I forgot to address your point. Yes, attacking women for wearing pantsuits is mysogyny. Also, it is ridiculous, which is why I mentioned wisdom. Wisdom allows you to see through the misuse of theology.

I guess when you mentioned the Muslims I got all excited. I have a lot of people ask me about Islam practically all the time nowadays.

Seneca the Younger said...

Actually, his description of sin being "missing the point" or "missing perfection" is quite the best definition I've heazrd out of a Christian opining about theology. (Not that it's particularly original to Huckabee, but hell, we all have to get these things from somewhere.)

Paddy O. said...

"It's bullshit misogyny dressed up in an ill-fitting theological suit."

Spot on. And it's totally missing the mark of good Christian theology to boot, making such misogyny a sin in and of itself.

An 11th century monk wrote:

"If your soul is allured by comeliness of body and usurped by the passion-imbued thoughts that it seems to evoke, do not assume that such comeliness is the cause of your agitated and impassioned state. The cause lies hidden in your soul, and it is your soul's passionate disposition and evil habits that, as a magnet attracts iron, attracts to itself such impurity from the beauty it perceives. For all things are created by God and all, as He Himself says, are 'wholly good and beautiful' (Gen. 1:31), providing no ground at all for impugning His creation.


"Just as seasickness is due, not to the sea's nature, but to the already existing disorder of the body's humors, so the soul's confusion and turmoil are due, not to the beauty of countenance in the person that it perceives, but to its pre-existing evil disposition."

Revenant said...

At this point Huckabee could change his platform to "I will do whatever Revenant tells me to do" and I still wouldn't vote for the son of a bitch.

So let's say I'm past caring if he thinks I'm a "sinner".

Windbag said...

Synova asked: "Anne Frank thought everyone was inherently good?"

Anne Frank wrote: "Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart."

Semantics aside, that's the spirit of what she wrote.

Jim wrote in response to Fen:

Fen: "I think Christians are against homosexual acts, not the homosexuals themselves."

Which is a fairly meaningless distinction, in my opinion. It would be like me saying "I don't hate Christians, just people who pray to Jesus."

That's not the same thing. To make the same comparison you attempted to make, it would be correct to say "I don't hate Christians, just their praying to Jesus." It's easy to conflate the two, but to do so leads to gross misunderstanding of the position actually advocated.

vader said...

"Can anyone imagine the lunacy of a Huckabee/Romney or Romney/Huckabee ticket?"

I am of the opinion that Huckabee may very well believe that Romney is literally the Antichrist.

I don't think there's any possibility whatsoever of the one taking on the other as a running mate, even if one of them is nominated.

Beth said...

Kindly and mellow? Sweet Jesus, no. I think you're being taken in by his chuckly, amiable personality, Ann. As several others have pointed out, he's not saying anything that we don't hear over and over from the religious right -- they love the sinner but hate the sin. His marriage, his making love with his wife, is not a sin. He throws a little curve ball in to say that people don't act perfectly in their marriages, so sin might be part of marriage. But my loving my partner, and acting to express that love, is sinful. He's just trying to be a slippery bigot, but he's still a bigot. And as for how he'd govern based on his faith? No, I'm not willing to believe that his dogma won't be part of his presidency.

Jim said...

Windbag: "That's not the same thing. To make the same comparison you attempted to make, it would be correct to say "I don't hate Christians, just their praying to Jesus." It's easy to conflate the two, but to do so leads to gross misunderstanding of the position actually advocated."

I don't think "love the sinner, hate the sin" is a meaningful distinction in this context. (I have my doubts about it generally.)

Let's go with your version, with one clarification. If I said "I don't hate Christians, just their praying to Jesus, even if it's in the privacy of their own homes," would you trust me to be fair toward Christians, or would you infer that I'm likely to behave in a prejudiced way?

Similarly, the fact that Huckabee claims he doesn't hate homosexuals, only their sex acts, still leads me to infer that he's bigoted against gays and would behave accordingly (to the extent the President has much opportunity to do so, which is a different issue).

former law student said...

Don't confuse church and state (and render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, etc.) I think that anyone making this statement in a strictly religious context is fine: gay people who do not abstain from sex are sinners. I was taught that any sex outside of marriage was a sin, that marriage was only between a man and a woman, and that marriage endured until the death of one of the spouses. So, for me, a remarried divorced man like Ronald Reagan was exactly as much a sinner as Liberace, and for the same reason. But hopefully neither I nor Huckabee will seek to criminalize either remarriage or gay sex.

hdhouse said...

simon..they were considering it as an alternative only because he seems a nice a decent guy. wrong.

also...in one of your comments you go through the Roe v. Wade litany of not explicitely in the constitution is therefore a matter of the state(s) or the individuals.

Roe may be a stretch according to that reasoning but the fact is that it landed in the supreme court and they heard the case and decided. i haven't seen a law the prohibits the supreme court from hearing a case nor do i suppose one could be enacted anyway or should it be.

in matters of universal interest - education for instance which is NOT mentioned in the constitution, the federal government has taken strong stands and passed countless legislation in to equalize education as best it can. What then, Simon, differentiates no child left behind from roe v. wade? is it just the legislation enacting the "no child left behind" while there is none that is the basis for roe(directly that is)?

can't the argument be made that the court keeps striking down pro-life local laws without reliance on an over-riding national law? then how does this square with your observation? a distinction without a difference?

I've always been confused by this and when Huckleberry says the things he did this morning i worry that if he got in he would not resolve the issue but force it into even more confrontation.

JAM said...

Ah, but can Huckabee satisfy each and every one of us the way Jimmy Carter could?

Blake said...

Right now, I can only see myself voting for Fred. (Be the first time ever for me voting for a Rep for Pres.)

If Huckabee were to get the nomination, I would vote for the Dem. (Been a long time since I've done that either.)

He won't get the nom, and if he gets the nom, he won't win. And if he wins--I don't know, insert Howard Dean style YEARGH here.

Simon said...

hdhouse said...
"simon ... in one of your comments you go through the Roe v. Wade litany of not explicitely in the constitution is therefore a matter of the state(s) or the individuals."

I wouldn't put it quite like that - I'd go back to the language of the Tenth Amendment, that "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." There are certainly powers implicitly delegated to the United States, and there may even be powers implicitly prohibited to the states - we're talking at a very abstract level, and I don't want to get into a situation where someone comes back and says "aha, but what about X." But the relevant question in the debate over whether states can ban abortion is this: is the power to regulate abortion delegated to the United States or prohibited to the states individually by the Federal Constitution? Because my answer is no (as MCG said above, the Constitution says nothing at all about abortion), my view is that it's a purely state issue, for better or worse. (There's also the paranthetical question of whether the federal government can regulate abortion, and in abstracto, my answer to that is no, although I must note that Ann disagrees).


"Roe may be a stretch according to that reasoning but the fact is that it landed in the supreme court and they heard the case and decided."

Sure, but they got it wrong. ;) And funnily enough, as I mentioned earlier in the year, the fact that its defenders keep producing new rationales makes it seem even more dubious an enterprise (cf. Vieth v. Jubelirer, 541 U.S. 267, 292 (2004) ("the mere fact that these four dissenters come up with three different standards – all of them different from the two proposed in Bandemer and the one proposed here by appellants – goes a long way to establishing that there is no constitutionally discernible standard").

"i haven't seen a law the prohibits the supreme court from hearing a case nor do i suppose one could be enacted anyway or should it be."

You occaisionally get people bringing up jurisdiction-stripping bills, usually people on my side of the aisle alas, and I think they're both bad policy and of dubious constitutionality.

"[I]n matters of universal interest - education for instance which is NOT mentioned in the constitution, the federal government has taken strong stands and passed countless legislation in to equalize education as best it can. What then, Simon, differentiates no child left behind from roe v. wade? is it just the legislation enacting the "no child left behind" while there is none that is the basis for roe(directly that is)?"

You seem to be assuming I think that NCLB is constitutionally-sound. ;) My view is that "our Constitution is one where Our Congress has a limited sphere, and a need does not create a power to act"; your reference to "matters of universal interest" is quite reminiscent of the Larsonite view that I reject: that "if a job has to be done to meet the needs of the people, and no one else can do it, then it is a proper function of the federal government." As I see it, NCLB is double-flawed in that it's not only ultra vires, according to every teacher I've asked about it it's dreadful education policy.

"can't the argument be made that the court keeps striking down pro-life local laws without reliance on an over-riding national law? then how does this square with your observation? a distinction without a difference?"

I guess the only thing to say to that is that from the perspective of the courts that strike down such laws, there is an "over-riding national law" that forbids it - the federal Constitution as construed by the Supreme Court. I mean, ultimatley, that's what the Constitution is - a law. Just a very important one that's been misconstrued. ;)

On second glance, that may not answer any of your questions, but it sketches a response. ;)

SteveR said...

Jim, I still think you are missing the point, at least as I would understand it but as to whether Huckabee would treat homosexuals different from other sinners (meaning everyone else), I would not disagree with someone who was suspicious.

As a general rule, this is the kind of issue which make me leery of having "clergy" in politics.

amba said...

I'm more concerned, as President, he'll role play as a pivotal character in a Christian end of the world epic fantasy.

No, I think he is that American paradox, a this- worldly Christian. He's done some prosperity-gospel stuff with Kenneth Copeland, as reader_iam pointed out to me. (I still have to find time to watch the videos.) While that may be heretical from a strict point of view, and while a lot of those ministers use it as a kind of spiritual-financial pyramid scheme to get rich by promising hapless followers they will (by giving the televangelist their money to show that they trust in God), at least you probably don't have to fear them blowing up this world they're so heretically lapping up.

Synova said...

"Humans are inherently a species of great ape. Great apes in the wild are documented as regularly committing murder, rape, infanticide, robbery, and battery. To claim humans are inherently good requires a denial of evolution."

Oh, I like that.

It probably goes a long way to explain all the insistence over the years that animals did none of those things. People really badly want to believe that animals are pure and innocent.

This was such a strong need that it was utterly shocking when researchers found out that dolphins, creatures some think may be intelligent in nearly a human-like way, murdered young dolphins of their own species. They also have "courting" practices that amount to more than one male working together and forcing a female against her will.

It probably also explains why so many people were so very excited about the bonobos (or whatever the heck they're called.) Free sex. The way we're *supposed* to be.

Which brings me long way round all the way back to the homosexuality and morality question.

Singling out homosexuality as opposed to other sexual sins (fornication, adultery) is uncalled for and really ought not be a central concern for preachers or anyone else who is trying to teach a doctrine of sexual purity. When it comes down to it, it's the heterosexual sins that are going to be a problem for most of their flock.

But lets be fair, too, from the other end of it. This is not a conflict between heterosexual monogamy and homosexual monogamy. It's a conflict between supposed sexually repressed prudes who are ashamed of their bodies and want everyone else to forgo free-love and those who want us to accept our sexuality no matter what it is.

Seriously. It's not hetero on one side and homosexual on the other but hetero on one side and homosexual and Bi and polyamory (polyamoury?) on the other. And clergy and others trying to stem that tide would do well to recognize it and insist on framing the discussion for what it is.

In a book by one of my favorite authors two characters have this conversation. "He's bisexual, you know." "Was bisexual. Now he's monogamous." It was very funny and the point was just that one character thought it was shocking and the other thought it was very ordinary.

Nevertheless, it's a good point to consider.

Someone might prefer men, or prefer women, or not have a preference either way, but what we're really supposed to accept isn't a person's choice of lifelong mate, but promiscuity.

Kev said...

In a book by one of my favorite authors two characters have this conversation. "He's bisexual, you know." "Was bisexual. Now he's monogamous."

This reminds me of a co-worker of mine in college who was taking a human sexuality class one summer. He said that they had a guest speaker who started out as a heterosexual male, but eventually turned gay. He then decided to have a sex-change operation, which made her (seeing as how she was still attracted to men) a heterosexual woman. By the time she spoke to my friend's class, however, she had become a lesbian! I've never before or since heard of one person running the entire gamut of orientations like that.

Synova said...

That's pretty funny.

It sort of gets at what I was getting at, too.

Feeling like having sex is not an "orientation" it's the human condition.

The idea that we're subordinate to our sexual desires is the thing that is socially destructive. It puts those desires over children or commitments or common sense. Well here's a clue bat; Your gonads (male *or* female version) don't *care* if you're married or have kids or if you love someone.

Obeying your gonads as though this is intelligent... isn't.

Sheepman said...

Huckabee on abortion:It's not a faith belief. It's deeper than that.
How can a devout Christian say that anything is deeper than their faith?

Freder Frederson said...

Someone might prefer men, or prefer women, or not have a preference either way, but what we're really supposed to accept isn't a person's choice of lifelong mate, but promiscuity.

You seem to have a rather extreme view of people's sexuality and relationships. In your world, people are either chaste, moral, monogamous, Madonnas who meet their soul mates at the age of sixteen, get married upon graduation from college, have mind-blowing sex for the first time (in fact the first time they have done anything more than hold hands and give eachother a closed mouth goodnight kiss goodnight) and remain faithful for their entire lives until they die seventy-five years later. Or they are whoring, nasty, beasts who cruise for anyone and anything to screw, jumping from one meaningless tryst to another, spreading disease and having abortions like decent people get fillings.

Well, guess what? The vast majority of people in this country (and most western countries) fall somewhere in between. They have complicated lives. And while they may not be virgins when they get married, the vast majority of sexual experience comes during committed relationships. Sure people do things they regret or wish they hadn't, but most people are good, caring people.

Beth said...

In your world, people are either chaste, moral, monogamous, Madonnas...

Freder, let's be fair; you mis-paraphrase Synova. If you re-read the post of 11:36, you'll see it should be "In your world, people are either heterosexual chaste, moral, monogamous, Madonnas..."

Freder Frederson said...

Beth,

I went back and reread it. Is Synovia really saying that you are either have sex with one person inside the confines of marriage or you are a rutting, degenerate beast who will screw anything on two, four or six legs?

Incredible. Just incredible.

Synova said...

And thus proves why we can't have a conversation and why any attempt to have a conversation ends up with.. "You hate gay people."

I don't expect more from Freder.

I do expect more from Beth.

Freder Frederson said...

Well no Synovia, I think what stunned Beth--and when I reread what you wrote--is that you apparently think anyone who does not accept your dour Victorian morality (sex with one person of the opposite sex after the wedding and lifelong monogamy. I assume divorce is also an anathema. I hope you have no problem with widows/widowers remarrying), is a libertine slut who is out trolling the bars every night for new anonymous sex with anyone and everyone who is willing.

Freder Frederson said...

I mean, ultimatley, that's what the Constitution is - a law. Just a very important one that's been misconstrued. ;)

So says the leading Constitutional Computer Programmer in the country.

Simon, you must stay at Holiday Inn Express a whole lot.

Freder Frederson said...

"You hate gay people."

When did I ever say this? Your issues with sex and sexuality go way beyond simply objecting to gay sex. Apparently, you find the whole concept of sex distasteful.

Synova said...

You haven't the first clue what I think of sexuality. Distasteful? I never said anything even implying that.

How do you get "distasteful" from statements that we ought not be ruled by our gonads? If sex weren't fun or important we wouldn't have to practice self-control or fidelity.

I don't know from Victorian (particularly as I'm not going to advocate any sort of double standard) but it's not *complicated* to describe what Christian morality requires of sexual behavior. It's *simple*. You seem to be saying "screw fidelity."

Really?

Is promoting fidelity really so very horrible to you?

And is your wanker really more important to you than your responsibility to your children if you've got any? Not libertine slut behavior just "falling in love with someone else, sorry dear, suck it up and be happy for me." The kids can be shuttled back and forth every weekend, won't hurt them a bit to be unsettled for their childhood. Suck it up kids, this isn't about you, it's about ME ME ME.

What has that got to do with sex or attitudes about sex? Sex is fun. Sex is good.

Letting it rule your life is stupid.

The really funny thing, Freder, is that many homosexuals want that traditional committed relationship, the white picket fence and the dog in the yard, and many heterosexuals are throwing it away.

Because it's hard.

Fen said...

Fen: "I think Christians are against homosexual acts, not the homosexuals themselves."

Which is a fairly meaningless distinction, in my opinion. It would be like me saying "I don't hate Christians, just people who pray to Jesus."

No, because you left out the cause: "intolerance for immoral behavior". You also set up a strawman: Chirstians don't hate people who do "x", they hate "x".

Placing the strawman aside, if you thought praying to Jesus was immoral, then you might have made your point. But you need to supply your motive: Is it becuase you are bigoted towards people who wear beards, or towards people who preach, or towards religions that pervert the word of God for earthly pursuits. Get it?

Fen: "We are still allowed to be intolerant of behavior we find to be immoral, yes?"

You're "allowed" to hold whatever views you like. I'm entitled to criticize those views. Did I suggest otherwise?

The one I responded to did - equating intolerance of immoral behavior to bigotry. Do you also hold to that "logic"?

Fen said...

It's a conflict between supposed sexually repressed prudes who are ashamed of their bodies and want everyone else to forgo free-love and those who want us to accept our sexuality no matter what it is.

Echo. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, its one thing to argue where the boundries should be, quite another to argue there should be no boundries at all.

He also had some wisdom re "appetites" that would be lost on some here.

Fen said...

Freder: Apparently, you find the whole concept of sex distasteful

Eloquent surrender Freder. As you are incapable of understanding her arguments re sexuality and countering them, it *must* be because she's a repressed prude. How typical. How pathetic.

Simon said...

Freder Frederson said...
"[Simon said 'ultimatley, that's what the Constitution is - a law. Just a very important one that's been misconstrued.'] So says the leading Constitutional Computer Programmer in the country."

I assume you're not stupid enough to serious challenge any of the three assertions bound bound up in the bit of my comment that you quoted (that the Constitution is law, that it's important, and that it's from time to time been misconstrued), which leaves the conclusion that you're just engaging in more futile obstructionism and distraction in the hope that someone will mistake snark for intellect. Here's a hint: you're not fooling anyone.

Omaha1 said...

I appreciate all of the thoughtful comments here on Christianity and sexual morality. Though I believe Freder’s depiction of Synova’s views is a false dichotomy, there IS a bright line that defines sinful sexual behavior, and virtually all have crossed it. Those who engage in sexual immorality are not especially evil, but merely sinners, like everyone else. The gift of God is salvation, received by faith in the sufficiency of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, which in itself was an acknowledgement that none are capable of living in obedience to God’s will. Jesus himself equated lustful thoughts with adultery, yet forgave adulterers. Who among us is not guilty of lustful thoughts?

In real life, many Christians are poor representatives of Christ. We claim a righteousness we have not earned, and attempt to elevate our own spiritual status by pointing out the sins of others. However, the Bible speaks clearly about what constitutes sin, and those who object to “our” definition of sin are also wrong to insist that we not only tolerate, but celebrate, their lifestyles.

My view is that it is correct to define homosexual acts as sinful, but at the same time, to accept homosexuals as fellow sinners who deserve the full measure of God’s grace and forgiveness, should they choose to accept it without reservation.

Synova said...

;-)

My view is that we shouldn't worry nearly so much about what someone else is doing as we should worry about what we are doing.

And also that I can respect and tolerate an orientation but see no reason at all to respect or tolerate a lifestyle.

That said, a friend who was a polyamorist was more concerned about morality and its affect on others than most people I've known who would have been appalled by the notion of polyamory. Most of those people would happily go from one "exclusive" relationship to another and never think about what that meant.

People are also appalled by the notion that we should expect teenagers to practice self-control and abstain from sex. Why is that so appalling?

The answer is simply that it seems *unfair* to ask teenagers to do what adults are absolutely unwilling to do, *even* when they are in a relationship and can have sex with reasonable frequency.

It's not that teens are teens and have little self-control, it's that adults have decided that it's a virtue to be honest (or some such stupidity) and not deny the flesh. Oh, don't be a *slut*, but love only means fidelity for as long as you feel like it and if you fall in "love" with someone else then it would be wrong not to act on that.

Adults can't ask teenagers to control their sex drives because how would that look when teenagers *can* and adults have made a virtue out of not being responsible?

And also made a virtue out of abandoning commitments because feelings have changed.

Worrying about homosexuality is a pointless distraction.

Beth said...


I do expect more from Beth.


Synova, in your view, there's heterosexual monogamy and everything else. I wish I could expect better from you than to toss my 15-year, monogamous, devoted relationship over on the "and everything else" category, along with what, bestiality? polyamory? I know you think there's some meaningful distinction between orientation and behavior, but really, that's ludicrous. So long as you think you have some right to expect me to be abstinent, you should also expect me to respond with a hearty, mocking laugh.

Synova said...

And where did I say any of that?

Freder made up whatever he thinks I meant and you seem to have as well.

I honestly don't care what you do or who you do it with, but I do care that our culture has embraced sexual license as a god given right. We have created an elaborate fantasy world where there are no consequences to behavior and have decided that anyone concerned that the emperor has no clothes is a repressed prude.

"Apparently, you find the whole concept of sex distasteful."

That's Freder. Because, you know, it's not that I look at our culture and see the harm caused in real people's lives by the notion that we ought not *repress* ourselves, or stay faithful to a spouse, or put our children's well being before what is between our legs, it's that I DON'T LIKE SEX and find it DISTASTEFUL.

That is so much horse sh*t and I DO expect YOU, Beth, to be able to be honest about what I've said or not said.

I think homosexuals should be able to marry, or otherwise have the same options as heterosexual couples because I think that committed relationships and domestic cooperation are good for society.

So EXCUSE ME if I actually, you know, think that committed relationships and domestic cooperation are actually, you know, good for society.

And excuse me sooooo very much for pointing out that the "me first" and the I have to go with my feelings if I FEEL like having sex with someone else now priorities of the vast majority of adult heterosexual people in this country is NOT good for society.

And if you want to slam me for sleeping exclusively with the same person at least bother to get it right... it's 22 years.

I just watch OTHER people's lives fall apart around me.

Excuse the heck out of me for caring.

Synova said...

Heck, I'm probably less repressed than most because I don't get the vapors if someone mentions polyamory. It's a reasonably frequent domestic variation in History, after all.

My only objection to polyamory is that it needlessly complicates relationships and I think that people who think that doesn't matter are naive. I think that's why polygamy seem to be associated with cultures or situations where the social standing and legal rights of women are subordinate to men. Polyandry seems a bit different, happening more often in marginal or survival situations and not seeming to demand so great a difference of status between men and women.

And I still think that polyamory is more honest than telling one's self that having one relationship at a time isn't what it is.

Synova said...

*Sigh* sorry... misread you. I apologize, it is my bad. Very much so. I'm very very sorry.

I'm glad you're in an exclusive committed relationship. It's a good thing. I would promote that if I could. It's good for all of us no matter our orientation. It's good for communities and it's good for individuals.

It's *lifestyle* that gets my panties wadded. Not homosexual sex, but *lifestyle*. It's "hooking up" in college or pretending that a condom protects from disease even if everyone agrees that it's not adequate protection against pregnancy or it's the idea that teenagers simply *are* going to have sex and then culturally pushing off acceptable marriage ages (can I say *again* that I think homosexuals should be able to marry) way *way* past the period in our biological development that would suggest it's time to find a mate.

It's a high school girl being so emotionally needy that she asks me for advice if she should have sex with a boy she doesn't even like because he'll dump her if she won't. (Not that any high school girl would ask an old lady a question like that, but I was in college at the time.)

Telling people that having sex has no consequences just so long as a condom is used treats the act like something entirely unconnected to your own self. If it didn't have consequences people wouldn't need it so badly.

But sometimes I just want to shake people and tell them that god gave them two hands for a reason and if they want to masturbate it's better to use those hands and not to use another human being.

And I want to slap my neighbor upside the head every time I see her cheerful face and congratulate her for her wonderful new independence and the new apartment and the new boyfriend. And then I want to slap her up the other side of her head and reassure her that her kids are going to be just fine.

Blake said...

It always seems to me like the issues could be easily handled, for the most part, if everyone dialed down a notch. (Sorry, practicing my "forbidden phrases for 2008".)

Why not just operate under a definition of "normal", and then not have hysterics over things that don't fit that definition?

Society can be geared toward the fact that boys generally like violence and sports and girls, without falling to pieces because a girl likes violence, sports and/or girls, I think.

Society can generally encourage monogamous male/female relationships without collapsing because some prefer different combinations. And it can encourage fidelity, even if the combinations are homosexual (or even polyamorous).

It's as though centuries of repression have resulted in a reverse repression: It's no longer enough to be free to do what we want, we need society's imprimatur on everything.

Reminds me of the whole "Freedom from Religion" thing. It's not enough that you're not required to believe in God (or gods) or worship at some altar, you refuse to have any space where you might actually see someone doing so.

Beth said...

Synova,

I find your comment of 11:36 (a full day back?) extremely confusing, apparently.

You say there "It's not hetero on one side and homosexual on the other but hetero on one side and homosexual and Bi and polyamory (polyamoury?) on the other." A while later (the 3:53 post) you write "And also that I can respect and tolerate an orientation but see no reason at all to respect or tolerate a lifestyle."

Those remarks seem pretty clear to me in juxtaposing heterosexuality against a list of lifestyles, including homosexuality. Your latest comments seem to clarify that you are juxtaposing monogamy (gay or straight) against non-monogamy. If that's the case, then I misread your earlier remarks; I just don't find your point clearly stated in them, as I do in this most recent comment.

We've failed to communicate; I apologize for my part in that.

Synova said...

I was thinking about that and realizing that I did really badly in explaining what I meant. If you read it and saw what you expected it's only ever so slightly your fault and a whole lot of my fault, I think.

What I was trying for (and now watch me mess up again) was to present my impression of the pro-homosexual argument as it's usually made by other people. That's recursive a couple of times and confusing but I want to try because I think it's important.

Yes, many people believe homosexuality is a sin, and to be honest, I don't know. I just don't think it's useful to worry about that particular question for someone else.

When I said that heterosexual was on one side and everything else on the other I meant that when arguments are made all that other stuff is "bundled". (Except polyamory, I admit, everyone tries real hard not to include polyamory.) I figure that it shouldn't be. People who believe homosexuality is wrong aren't asked to accept homosexuality, but the whole bundle which includes "lifestyle" elements that a whole lot of people have problems with.

For example I was reading once about the emotional needs of teenagers who believed they might be gay. Now, I figure that's a big deal whether they are oriented that way or if they are just confused because they happened to find someone of the same sex attractive and are freaking out over it. But the *assumption* of the article was that teenagers need to *explore* their sexuality. And by explore they most certainly didn't mean contemplation. The meant *try stuff*.

It's bundled.

"Trying stuff" is not compatible with chastity or general christian sexual morality as it's understood. Also, I think that most sexual persons understand that humans are pretty much equal-opportunity to include even various inanimate objects. Yes, Victorians had weird ideas and worrying about girls being titillated by descriptions of the sexual reproduction of plants is beyond silly... except for the fact that humans really *are* that easy.

The Victorians didn't have very good answers on what to do about that but I don't think our modern answers are much better.

Synova said...

See, I screw up...

"Now, I figure that's a big deal FOR THEM whether they are oriented that way or if they are just confused..."

Not a big deal which it is, but *important* and something deserving our attention.

I think it's way past my bed time.

Freder Frederson said...

Synovia, I jumped all over you because you implicitly criticized my lifestyle and as much as called me a whoremonger and libertine.

It is wonderful that you have been married to the same man for 22 years. But real life in the 21st century means that not everyone can have the fairy tale life you have. And that is a good thing. For better or worse, and I think mostly for the better, people, especially women, can now get out of bad, sometimes horribly abusive, marriages, with little of the social stigma and financial devastation that once accompanied divorce. Likewise, young people are not forced into marriage just because they knocked up their high school girlfriend.

I am divorced and remarried and I had sex out of wedlock. So what, most people in this country have been. I have never cheated on either of my wives and would never even consider. I think I am a good moral Christian person. To imply that all sex outside of marriage (and I will agree with you on adultry) is wrong or somehow has led to the collapse of society is just ridiculous. There was a lot wrong with society 50 years ago (just ask an 75 year old black person who grew up in the south if you don't believe me); they were just moral issues that were much more important than how many partners or of what sex those partners were.

And you do have issues with sex. You don't think that sex is permissable or acceptable outside the bonds of marriage. You also apparently believe in marrying young and once (even though marrying young, more than any other factor, is the best predictor of divorce). You dodge Beth's protestations because while you insists you think homosexual marriages should be permitted, I'm sure your church would never recognize them and until they are legal you would want Beth not to have sex with her partner.

Synova said...

"To imply that all sex outside of marriage (and I will agree with you on adultry) is wrong or somehow has led to the collapse of society is just ridiculous."

So what *does* lead to the collapse of society, Freder? Gays?

If all us hetero types are free from responsibility for the decline of morality or the many children raised in unstable situations, then who is to blame? If it's not *us* then it must be *them*.

But it's not the sex or the kid who has a baby at 17 or the fact that people who need to can get divorced, it's that you don't *need* a reason to get divorced anymore, and the sex outside of marriage is *expected* and that it's not about helping someone through a bad time it's about redefining the "bad time" as something good.

It's accepting attitudes toward heterosexual immorality and infidelity and the need, somehow, to make sure that no one "feels bad" so that we all agree to pretend that growing up with a single mother isn't even a special challenge but just exactly like growing up with two parents and that if your parents get divorced and remarried it's like, bonus dude!, because you have double.

It's *safer* for preachers to get up and preach against some people over there in San Francisco. But it *is* actually, the acceptance of sexual immorality and public standards that attach no shame whatsoever to "no fault" divorce that are the forces tearing apart families.

I would never want to see a situation where people couldn't divorce because abuse happens and abandonment happens and people need to be able to go on from where they are.

But you know how many people I know who have a divorce because of abandonment or abuse compared to how many people I know who got a divorce when there was no abuse, violent or otherwise, or abandonment or even adultery?

Yes, Freder, I think that has led to the "collapse of society."

Synova said...

And Freder, my church my not marry gay couples but there are most certainly churches that *do* marry gay couples.

Yet, considering how meaningless a marriage ceremony has become, I don't really see the ceremony as particularly relevant as a "hey, you can now kiss the bride" sort of permission. I'd far rather see people in relationships that involve real commitment even if they never got a certificate and a party.

And, you know, when you screw up you go on. And you try not to screw up again. But not screwing up again is hard if you insist that you never screwed up to start with.