December 22, 2009

The D.C. mayor signed the same-sex marriage bill in a church.

In a church!
Two weeks after giving the measure preliminary approval, the Washington, DC, City Council on December 15 adopted a marriage equality law. The 11-2 vote in support of the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009 was identical to the first-round tally on December 1.

Three days later, in a ceremony at All Souls Unitarian Church in the city’s Mount Pleasant section, Democratic Mayor Adrian Fenty signed the measure, with his parents, Phil and Jan Fenty, an interracial couple looking on....
In a church???
Mayor Adrian M. Fenty['s...] staff scrambled to find the perfect location....

Would it be All Souls Unitarian Church, a Northwest house of worship known for its diversity, liberalism and welcoming of same-sex couples? Would it be Covenant Baptist Church...?...

[The Rev. Robert Hardies, All Souls' senior pastor] said Fenty's decision to sign the bill in a church was telling. "This is symbolic of the strong religious support for this bill in D.C.," he said, noting that more than 100 clergy members had signed a declaration in support of same-sex marriage.

The measure was opposed by other religious leaders. The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington has strongly opposed the bill, saying that its charitable arm might have to cancel its contract with the city to deliver social services.
What a shameful and embarrassing display! Here you are, purporting to extend rights to people, and flouting the fundamental principle of keeping government separate from religion. The perfect location? Yes, it was the perfect location to show your lack of respect for constitutional limitations on government.

213 comments:

1 – 200 of 213   Newer›   Newest»
Sofa King said...

It was the perfect location to give a big old middle finger to churchgoers who don't want a part of this. Because it's not enought that the minority lose the policy argument, they must be shamed and intimidated; otherwise, they might try to oppose you again in the future.

Seneca the Younger said...

Well, to be fair, it wasn't a real church.

(Religion: Catholics believe in the Apostle's Creed and the infallibility of the Pope; Baptists believe in the inerrancy of the bible and in independence of individual congregations; and Unitarians believe in coffee and doughnuts on Sunday morning.)

(And btw I learned that joke in a unitarian church.)

Pogo said...

There no longer remains any constitutional limitations on government.

The Constitution has become merely a museum piece, honored only in the breach.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

From your law professor perspective, you are right.

But from a moral viewpoint, the mayor did something both right and wonderful. The so-called conservatives in this country have, for a very long time, used religion as a cover for bigotry. Remember when slavery was justified as the will of God? Or, not so long ago, segregation was nicely couched in religious terms?

From a religious point-of-view, the bigotry toward gay people demonstrates the corruption of Christianity, most notably the lack of compassion. A true follower of Jesus would take a compassionate attitude toward others, and not a militantly destructive one like the people on the right do.

Also, people on the right started this whole mix of religion and politics. They have no justification to complain when those on the left do it to.

The Crack Emcee said...

Man, these people are confuuuusssed.

I mean the mayor, not you and your commentors, Ann.

Pogo said...

Glad to know Julius knows exactly how Jesus would approach gay marriage.

You got a secret decoder ring or sumpin'?

The Crack Emcee said...

Julius,

"From a religious point-of-view, the bigotry toward gay people demonstrates the corruption of Christianity, most notably the lack of compassion. A true follower of Jesus would take a compassionate attitude toward others, and not a militantly destructive one like the people on the right do."

I'm an atheist, but I'll have to remember that when I was in the foster homes and gay people were crawling in my bed at night, uninvited, and when I was getting divorced and gay friends started hitting on me, because they sensed I was broke-down, I should've relied on "compassion" to get me out of those situations.

What a maroon.

When people start talking about gay culture realistically - as it is, warts and all, without this bullshit Will & Grace all-positive cover - then, and only then, will I decide to engage the conversation on gays as anything less than the cultural subversion that it is.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

Some finger-wagging for those on the right:

Remember all those tricks you guys pulled when you were in charge? When the folks on your side mixed religion and politics and you refused to speak up against it? When the photos of Abu Ghraib came out and you poo-pooed their moral significance? When your government started torturing people and you brought out your "Just War" theory to condone it? When you decided to pursue the "culture wars" and thereby attempt to marginalize a large set of your fellow Americans? When you argued, essentially, that those in government can do what they want, regardless of the constitution or the traditions of law?

Well, the left has been in charge for almost a year now. And you can expect that as things get tough for them, they will turn to the same bag of tricks that you guys used.

Consider it a teachable moment!

Nomilk said...

Also, people on the right started this whole mix of religion and politics. They have no justification to complain when those on the left do it to.

Oh, that's right: the Abolitionists, the Progressives, the Prohibitionists, the Civil Rights supporters, they were all part of the vast right-wing religious conspiracy.

Go back to your porn, you silly boy.

Almost Ali said...

As the S.S. Althouse drifts ponderously toward the port of constitutional health care. A dangerous voyage, no doubt, but one that must be taken - the men kissing on deck, the women cohabiting on shore.

vbspurs said...

As long as I have lived, the entire message of left-leaning politics has always been -- "It's wrong, but when we're in power, we are going to do it."

E.G.s:

We were discriminated against. But when we reach power, we will discriminate based on gender, sex, race, politics, etc.

We are against church and State mixing. But when we reach power, we will mix church and State.

We hate sexists. But when we get powerful, we will treat women abominably, tearing them down, lobbing misogynists epithets at them.

They told me that liberals are idealists. That is one of the greatest lies ever told by man, in the history of mankind.

Cheers,
Victoria

Sofa King said...

Well, the left has been in charge for almost a year now. And you can expect that as things get tough for them, they will turn to the same bag of tricks that you guys used.

Well, okay. But we'll complain about it just as much as you did, too, and if that finds traction with voters like it did for you, well you asked for it!

Nomilk said...

Well, to be fair, it wasn't a real church.


Unitarianism : Christianity :: SSM : real marriage

traditionalguy said...

The Unitarians will explain to you that they are a church that meets on Sundays in a congregation of educated, upper-middle class folks that do not like believing in God at all. It is like an October Fest serving non-alcoholic beer only. Go figure.

The Crack Emcee said...

Hey Julius,

When Obama got in, the Left was saying it was the end of the Right - forever (remember that?) Well, this is the first time, in about two decades, you guys have held power.

Now we're coming back, and you know what? I think, after all the B.S. you guys are pulling, I think you're toast, too.

By the way:

That last comment of yours, very "compassionate".

Hypocrite.

The Crack Emcee said...

TG,

LOL!!!

edutcher said...

Ann said...

"Yes, it was the perfect location to show your lack of respect for constitutional limitations on government."

Ann, the Demos haven't given a damn about the Constitution since Woody Wilson.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

From your law professor perspective, you are right.

From a religious point-of-view, the bigotry toward gay people demonstrates the corruption of Christianity, most notably the lack of compassion. A true follower of Jesus would take a compassionate attitude toward others, and not a militantly destructive one like the people on the right do


My God, what Leftist, Alinskyite drivel! The concept of marriage as a political institution is for the protection of the wife and children. The only time same-sex marriage has been raised in Western society is after AIDS raised its ugly head. The partner who was ill wanted to partake of the healthy partner's benefits and, since the Demos made homosexuals one of the protected voting blocs, they had a platform to try to get it.

Moreover, I can't recall Christ rescinding what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah, in fact this has been the dodge of the Left since the Sixties - everything is OK because Christ preached Love. Obviously not, since he took a cat o' nine tails to the money changers and told people, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's". In fact, nothing in the New Testament overrides what is in the Old. The Jewish religion regarded sex and children as an extremely important part of the faith, witness The Song of Solomon, and saw homosexuality as a danger to it.

Most societies have made the same distinction and those that began to see differently were often those in decline. That's not religion, that's history - Rome, Attic Greece, etc.

Remember all those tricks you guys pulled when you were in charge? When the folks on your side mixed religion and politics and you refused to speak up against it? When the photos of Abu Ghraib came out and you poo-pooed their moral significance? When your government started torturing people and you brought out your "Just War" theory to condone it? When you decided to pursue the "culture wars" and thereby attempt to marginalize a large set of your fellow Americans? When you argued, essentially, that those in government can do what they want, regardless of the constitution or the traditions of law?

Our government? You mean you're one those people who's only an American when a Leftist is President?

In case you haven't heard, it was the US Army that discovered the abuses at Abu Ghraib and prosecuted them, not Congress or the media. As for the nonsense of torture, let me again remind everyone that any candidate going through BUD/S is waterboarded, and I'm pretty sure those at Key West get it, too. Your "torture" is only what the despicable Democrats wanted to make it for a political point - like A-stan being the "real war on terrorism". And, as for Just War, the only one who has used that phrase as President, The Zero.

As for mixing religion and politics, that was your friends in the Democrat Party, through slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, lynching, and including race hustlers like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian said...

Julius said:
Consider it a teachable moment!


Vbspurs was more eloquent than I in her response, but I'll add my 2 cents.

This teachable moment taught me that it wasn't that the right was wrong in it's tactics -- that it's method was mean & awful in the way it did things. Because you're basically saying it's perfectly OK to do the same things to get the result you want. The ends justifies the means.

There is no principle here other than might makes right. I don't know what church you learned that in, but that's not what I learned. God help us if moral standards are set by whoever happens to be in charge at the moment.

Harsh Pencil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

"From a religious point-of-view, the bigotry toward gay people demonstrates the corruption of Christianity, most notably the lack of compassion. A true follower of Jesus would take a compassionate attitude toward others, and not a militantly destructive one like the people on the right do."

I do enjoy how Mr. Hoffman in particular and how the left more generally assumes that its position is not only to attack Christianity but to seek to teach it to others.

Mr. Hoffman, of course, is just that arrogant. Is Mr. Hoffman familiar with scripture? Has he read the Bible? Does he know anything of Christ beyond the idea that he was a "nice guy"? Very doubtful. Yet he wishes to teach others and claim that he and only those who think like him are the true Christians.

It is impossible to fathom such arrogance.

As a Christian, I have never thought it my duty to go and tell Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, Sikhs, or anyone else what they really believe. And yet, Mr. Hoffman, and many of his associates, whose understanding of Christianity is at a juvenile level at best, presumes to not only teach me my own faith, but to further discern who the true believers are. I'm not sure whether I should laugh or cry.

One assumes that Mr. Hoffman is unfamiliar with the first chapter of the Epistle of Paul to the Romans. One also assumes that Mr. Hoffman has no intent to remedy his ignorance. It's far easier to pass judgment on others' devotion to a faith which he neither believes in nor comprehends on a basic level.

Harsh Pencil said...

Pogo writes "Glad to know Julius knows exactly how Jesus would approach gay marriage. You got a secret decoder ring or sumpin'?"

I think I know how Jesus would approach gay marriage, and the secret decoder ring is how he approached a different transgression of Jewish rules regarding sexuality - adultery.

Suppose two gay men were about to be stoned by a crowd. Jesus would instruct the crowd that he who is without sin should cast the first stone.

And then after the crowd sulked away, he would turn to the two men and say " go and sin no more."

garage mahal said...

What would Jesus think of a gay person He created? Hmm. "Dad?"

Scott said...

(broccoli Scott here)

Practically since its creation, D.C. government has always been a zoo. I wish I could muster some dudgeon about this but I can't.

Fred4Pres said...

Well it was a Unitarian Church, does that even count? I mean a ball park is more sacred than a Unitarian Church.

the wolf said...

Why was it germane to note that the mayor's parents are an interracial couple? Seems like a lame attempt to draw an equivalence between interracial marriage and homosexual marriage.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

Oh fuck I just got bannerized and I deleted that thing because I didn't think my personal political identity was Althouse-worthy...

I promise you, Ann, next time I write something as witty as that, I won't succumb to my pings of self-doubt!

Michael Hasenstab said...

Julius Ray Hoffman = nom du jour of one of the usual trolls. Ever notice how the trolls have three names? Dead giveaway.

Anyhow, the Unitarian Church is nontrinitine in its beliefs, so a threesome was totally ruled out.

And signing that bill in a church? Just plain stupid.

Pogo said...

"he would turn to the two men and say " go and sin no more.""

And their sin was....?

edutcher said...

garage mahal said...

What would Jesus think of a gay person He created? Hmm. "Dad?"

God doesn't create anyone "gay". Sigmund Freud thought most homosexuality was a mental issue (and made a good case for thinking so. The APA agreed until they were Alinskyized by ACTUP, and then caved - not unlike the AMA on BambiCare).

If we go by the experience of Lot, they need to stop "practicing". The Catholics teach that intellect and free will will lead to repentance. Take your pick.

What fascinates me is that the Lefties only want the "gays" around when they need a vote or they want to destroy something, otherwise, they could care less.

TMink said...

Julius wrote: "From a religious point-of-view, the bigotry toward gay people demonstrates the corruption of Christianity, most notably the lack of compassion."

Julius, it is the people who read and follow the Bible that oppose same sex unions, not the corrupt, it is the part of Christianity who take it seriously.

Religious bigotry does not equal opposing gay marriage, these are different things entirely that you are conflating in error or in an attempt to misrepresent serious followers of Christ.

Read the first two chapters of Romans then tell me how people who seek to follow scripture can support gay marriage.

Trey

Ann Althouse said...

@Julius I hope this inspires you to greater -- and undeleted -- comments in the future.

Scott said...

God doesn't create anyone "gay".

If you believe that God created us at all, there's no reason to believe that He wouldn't create someone gay if He wanted to. God creates people with Down Syndrome and birth defects. That's His will too, isn't it? So why is sexual preference somehow at the water's edge for God's volition?

I never understood Unitarianism. It has something to do with the metric system, right?

TMink said...

garage asked "What would Jesus think of a gay person He created?"

A wonderful question. He would (does actually) love them wholeheartedly and want them to stop any behaviors that He said were sinful.

He holds exactly the same relational approach to me, a confirmed breeder.

And He holds exactly the same approach toward you garage. Merry Christmas!

Trey

Michael Hasenstab said...

Is it just me, or does it seem like as Christmas approaches there are a greater number of opportunities provided here for those who wish to bash Christianity and Christians?

Salamandyr said...

"What would Jesus think of a gay person He created? Hmm. "Dad?""

Garage, I'm not sure you have thought this argument completely. If you believe that God (the Christian one or other) has created us (and for the record, I do not), then you have to accept that he created some of us gay, some of us straight, some with a disposition for violence, some with a tendency to molest children.

Should we absolve pedophiles, or serial killers because they have an inclination that way?

A Christian would argue that sin is in the heart of all people, though it takes different forms. Simply because that sin is a fundamental part of you does not absolve you of the responsibility to reject it.

Scott said...

Perhaps, Michael, it's that every year provides some of us new opportunities to play the victim.

Iapetus said...

The signing should have been in a mosque. Now that would have provided a real teaching moment.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Scott - Please re-read my comment. There is not even a wisp of victimhood in it. It asks a question, plain and simple.

That you might dislike that question is another matter.

Maguro said...

It wasn't a church church.

Rialby said...

I am shocked that the African-American community which makes up such a large percentage of DC's population has not raised their voice more about this. They are notoriously anti-SSM, as much if not more so than Mormons.

Chip Ahoy said...

Confession.

Every now and then I'm impressed with a construct obvious in its labor, a careful and practiced assemblage, and yet shot through with error and fragile because it has relied on its own set of biases and projections for the adhesion to hold together the chunks that cannot fit even when wrangled, distorted, forced and welded. The whole thing tumbles when flicked with a finger. A carefully logical deconstruction would be an equally useless effort. I'm compelled to view the profile of the writer so I can see for myself who would think such things, so far as to express them in writing. I'm fond of the bizarre. Strangeness is my friend. And I find there's nothing there, not a trace of creativity beyond the construction itself, and I end up disappointed.

garage mahal said...

God doesn't create anyone "gay". .

Then he creates everyone specifically straight?

garage mahal said...

And He holds exactly the same approach toward you garage. Merry Christmas!

Back at ya T.

mccullough said...

Why isn't Barney Frank married?

He's from Massachusetts and lives in DC.

Joe M. said...

First of all, it's a Unitarian church. They hardly count. (And they certainly don't for the purpose of the same-sex marriage debate).

Second, does anyone remember Rick Perry's stunt from a few years back? It's no better when the other side does it.

Ick.

Shanna said...

From a religious point-of-view, the bigotry toward gay people demonstrates the corruption of Christianity, most notably the lack of compassion.

I think you make a mistake in equating the dislike of gay marriage as public policy with “bigotry” and in asserting that those who oppose it lack all compassion. Some do, of course, but there are others who think it is bad law or against their religion who have plenty of love and compassion for individuals. I disagree with them on policy, but I don’t think it’s fair to lump them in with those supporting slavery. Honestly.

Since when do we sign laws in church? For real, that’s ridiculous.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Garage:

I suppose some disagree, but most Christians believe God creates people through the agency of this created world, which is fallen and subject to all manner of problems. Some of them are genetic, some of them have to do with the family and environment in which someone grows up. I am not up on the science, but I feel safe in saying no one really knows exactly how sexual orientation becomes fixed. It is not clear that it becomes fixed in everyone, or the same way, in those in whom it does become fixed.

So to answer your question, I don't know how meaningful it is to say God "creates" anyone gay or straight.

But setting that aside, let us say he "creates folks gay"...

So what? If this is an argument that Christianity is wrong to teach homosexual behavior is immoral, it's not much of an argument.

By the same argument, God creates everyone with whatever sexual proclivities and attractions they experience. That fact rebuts all moral sanction against all such sexual behavior?

But if this is about how Jesus is too nice to expect the gay people he created not to have sex with each other...remember he told everyone to take up your cross and follow behind him to be crucified.

I find it hard to infer, from that, that he'd be concerned some people can't have the kind of sex they want.

Kirby Olson said...

Unitarians are to churches what water is to spirits.

Joe M. said...

Oh, and as a conservative, I'm glad to see another area supporting equality in civil marriage. And I'm especially glad that DC went through the legislature rather than the courts to get this enacted. That's the way it should be.

AllenS said...

There are seven Mosques in Washington, DC. I dare you to try that shit in anyone of them. Let's let Islam handle the homo bullshit.

Youngblood said...

"Read the first two chapters of Romans then tell me how people who seek to follow scripture can support gay marriage."

OK. Cool.

Now please turn to Mark 12:18-27, which references Deuteronomy 25:5-6.

If a husband and wife are unable to conceive before the husband dies, the wife is forbidden to marry anyone but the husband's brother. Scripture is crystal clear on this point.

Do you believe that it's necessary for someone who seeks to follow scripture to follow this rule which is stated plainly and in clear and simple language? If not, why not?

DADvocate said...

This says about Unitarians as much as it does about the mayor. Neither have respect for the Constitution or separation of church and state.

militantly destructive one

Of course, we never see this from the left, if you don't look at health care reform, attacks on tea partiers, or the Unitarians I know (my daughter and her kids) who regularly say they hate Christianity. (But, never refuse Christmas presents.) Your comment is nothing but a intellectualization to justify destructive action of which you approve, i.e. blurring church and state, Julius.

Big Mike said...

As others have pointed out, it was a Unitarian church, but more than that it was All Souls Unitarian Church on 16th Street, NW. If it's trendy and it's liberal, expect it -- whatever it is -- to be embraced by the congregation.

As a former Unitarian who once or twice attended services in All Souls, I assure you that any correlation between All Souls and a Christian church is purely coincidental.

PatCA said...

The core principle of leftism, per Julius: revenge.

Youngblood said...

Also, going back and hitting the ol' Good Book, I came across this gem from Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 14:34-35):

"34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. 35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church."

Once again, the language is crystal clear: women must keep their mouths shut in church. Is this prohibition observed by those who seek to follow scripture? If not, why not?

hdhouse said...

it may be a "middle finger" but what of the "bend over and kiss it" from the archdiocese? break a contract with the city for social services? break a contract should have brought out the lawyer in this board..but what of the signing of the bill in a church?

what of it? would you have preferred the metro station or a gay bar? i'm surprised that so little distinction is made between a civil wedding and one sanctified by a church. the church does both in most states you know...for convenience marries people in accordance with a valid license from the municipality and then blesses the marriage giving it standing under God. These are two separate acts and not all one big swooosh.

So don't confuse things and try and pick a fight for the right reasons ...and ignorance ain't one of them.

garage mahal said...

By the same argument, God creates everyone with whatever sexual proclivities and attractions they experience. That fact rebuts all moral sanction against all such sexual behavior?

It just isn't a logical that any creator would create an imperfect being and demand it be perfect - in the strangest and most cruelest ways imaginable - and then making the Rules utterly vague and ambiguous open to multitude of interpretations.

jeff said...

"Remember when slavery was justified as the will of God? "
Actually no. Do you? How old are you?

hdhouse said...

Michael Hasenstab said...
"Is it just me, or does it seem like as Christmas approaches there are a greater number of opportunities provided here for those who wish to bash Christianity and Christians?"

Nawwww..its just you. and O'Reilly of course. Why do you want to be in the same canoe with mr. lupha?

Where was the Christian bashing here? Point to it! (no no no...that's your ass...I meant point to the bashing not from where you draw your inspiration.)

Rialby said...

Totally off topic but I have to ask... I have seen a number of articles about this theft of the "Work Will Make You Free" sign from Auschwitz. In each, I see that they mention the number of men and the ages of men arrested but never the names. I also saw today that they think this was directed by someone outside of Poland. Why are they being so reticent with the details?

Shanna said...

Oh, and as a conservative, I'm glad to see another area supporting equality in civil marriage. And I'm especially glad that DC went through the legislature rather than the courts to get this enacted. That's the way it should be.

Cheers to that, especially the later part. Put it up for a vote and I'll vote for it, but I don't think it should be done by the courts.

Shanna said...

Once again, the language is crystal clear: women must keep their mouths shut in church. Is this prohibition observed by those who seek to follow scripture? If not, why not?

I’ve heard that passage explained as referring to a specific congregation (I guess the Corinthians) and not meant to be extrapolated to a wider audience.

AllenS said...

I don't think that God (pick a religion) creates situational deviancies from the norm, but everyone's God, creates a set of parameters to handle those deviancies.

WV: yerse

Eric said...

It just isn't a logical that any creator would create an imperfect being and demand it be perfect - in the strangest and most cruelest ways imaginable - and then making the Rules utterly vague and ambiguous open to multitude of interpretations.

The rebuttal to that argument is "so what?". God, if he exists and is all powerful, can do whatever he wants by his own logic. It doesn't have to make sense to us.

Since when did life make sense? To make any sense out of our existence you'd have to know why we're here. And nobody does.

jayne_cobb said...

Regarding Corinthians:

The way it was explained to me was that the Corinthians (at least some of them) believed that the Kingdom of God had already arrived and as such were of the mind that anything went.

So Paul's admonitions in First Corinthians were, as Shanna suggested, more of a rebuke against the abandonment of traditional practices by the congregation there than the establishment of any particular doctrine.

If you would like doctrinal letters then you should probably stick to Romans as the rest of the accepted epistles tend to be targeted at particular matters.

And on a side note, only 7 of the Pauline epistles are universally accepted as having been written by Paul:

I and II Corinthians (although II may be several letters)
Galatians
Romans
Philippians
1st Thessalonians
Philemon

d-day said...

Perfect demonstration that Leftists care don't actually care about the mixing of church and state, they are simply at war with traditional Christian values.

Youngblood said...

Shanna wrote:

"I’ve heard that passage explained as referring to a specific congregation (I guess the Corinthians) and not meant to be extrapolated to a wider audience."

Yes. I've seen and heard a bunch of arguments myself, but from what I understand, the modification of "women" with "your" is a later addition that is not present in the Greek text, which reads, "Let women keep silence in the churches."

So, what you're saying seems to be a latter-day rationalization to explain away this particular passage because it is convenient to do so. This happens with many passages that those who claim to follow scripture find inconvenient or uncomfortable.

For example, in the beginning of Mark 10 (I think Mark 10: 1-12), Jesus himself flatly states in plain language that divorce is unacceptable except in cases of adultery. Yet this is waved away as convenient, even by Bible-believing scripture-following Christians.

The point that I was getting at was that many people who claim to follow scripture do so only when it is convenient for them to do so. Therefore clear restrictions and laws are ignored with all manner of rationalizations.

hdhouse said...

d-day said...
Perfect demonstration that Leftists care don't actually care about the mixing of church and state, they are simply at war with traditional Christian values."

Hezakiah 4:4....thou shall not piss in the lake.

It must have hurt a lot to typle that sentence...with your knuckles dragging all the time...they must be sore.

David said...

Unitarians don't have to think to know what to believe. If it's liberal and trendy, they will believe it. (Just liberal or trendy won't do--it has to be both.)

I went to a Unitarian church for a while because I could not then (and still can not now) come to believe in the divinity of Christ. It seemed a group of nice earnest people. But when I attended a holiday pageant my children were in and it turned out to be a half an hour of mocking Christian beliefs, I politely complained at a church open meeting. I said the pageant seemed rather intolerant and disrespectful for a church that professed respect and tolerance.

Nobody seconded my position. Nobody--and I mean nobody--came to my defense when I was harshly told to butt out by the adults who had written and directed the performance.

This was an important moment in my withdrawal from being a liberal.

hdhouse said...

AllenS said...
"I dare you to try that shit in anyone of them. Let's let Islam handle the homo bullshit."

Dare who butthead? What is it with the right wing on here? Not a thoughtful phrase among you. Just bullshit slogans and fear du jour.

Shanna said...

So, what you're saying seems to be a latter-day rationalization to explain away this particular passage because it is convenient to do so.

I’m no theologian, I’m just saying that seems to be a popular theory. Another popular theory? Paul was a jerk : )

Matt Eckert said...

I do hope they pass a law against gay snowball fights.

Matt Eckert said...

I mean they always end up with the balls hitting them in the face.

Thats dangerous.

Fr Martin Fox said...

I said:

"By the same argument, God creates everyone with whatever sexual proclivities and attractions they experience. That fact rebuts all moral sanction against all such sexual behavior?"

Garage responded:

"It just isn't a logical that any creator would create an imperfect being and demand it be perfect - in the strangest and most cruelest ways imaginable - and then making the Rules utterly vague and ambiguous open to multitude of interpretations."

You seem a smart person, so this argument is unworthy of you. How does not-having-sex equate to demanding gay people be perfect--let alone "in the strangest and most cruelest ways imaginable"? If you think not having sex is the cruelest thing you can imagine, you have been blessed to be spared some really awful realities. And maybe there's something wrong when having sex becomes so supremely important.

And how are "the Rules" "utterly vague"? Do you really find, you can marry and have sex with the opposite sex, but not the same sex, "utterly vague"?

Now, it happens to be true that Christians believe God does demand us to be perfect, but he offers us help to do it--which we call grace--and , and that perfection is what we work at in this life--and we have purgatory in the next (admittedly not all Christians believe in purgatory).

But all right, supposing you are right. Does it make more sense that God would create beings who are subject to moral imperfection, and then leave them in that condition forever? Set aside the question of gay/straight. What about anyone who lusts? Anyone who lies, steals, cheats, hates, is greedy, lazy, selfish, etc. If there is no grace to change us, then let us hope we don't remain so for eternity.

Or, might you be arguing against a Creator in the first place?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

This post and the response to it illustrate perfectly the stupidity of those who are antagonistic to gay marriage.

Instead of fighting a war with the government and the rest of secular society, you're now turning this into an internecine religious war. Unitarians aren't a legitimate religion, you say? Ok. Well, here's just one more reason for you to hate them. They not going to go with this stupid anti-gay marriage argument (and they're not the only denomination to do so). They have a right to push for civil recognition of gay relationships - the same way many churches (despite other hold-outs in that day) stood at the forefront of civil rights.

This is not a religion versus the government thing. And it doesn't have to be a religion versus religion thing, either. But because of the idiotic position taken in the original post, the commentariat are forced to treat it as such.

Divide et impera, Fools!

Youngblood said...

"I’m no theologian, I’m just saying that seems to be a popular theory. Another popular theory? Paul was a jerk : )"

I can get behind that theory, yeah. However, by modern standards, pretty much everybody associated with the Bible were jerks, stoning people for sleeping with their wives who were on the rag and all of that good stuff.

Nonetheless, there's this tendency for people to cite the fact that they follow scripture as the reason for their opposition or support of a particular political program. In practical terms, however, it usually seems as though they pick and choose from scripture to support their already existing view of the world.

That, I guess, is what I am more concerned with here.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Youngblood:

Arguing from this or that Scripture passage as you are isn't terribly effective as an argument against all those who rely on the Bible as an authority, because all you are really doing is discrediting those particular folks who approach Scripture--from a "conservative" point of view--with as sloppy an a-contextual method as you are using.

In short, it's (mostly) a Straw Man.

Youngblood said...

Jayne Cobb wrote:

"So Paul's admonitions in First Corinthians were, as Shanna suggested, more of a rebuke against the abandonment of traditional practices by the congregation there than the establishment of any particular doctrine."

Oh, Paul most certainly was rebuking the Corinthians. In 1 Corinthians 14: 34-35, he is specifically rebuking the Corinthians for disobeying Mosaic Law by allowing women to speak in Church.

The rebuke is the whole point. Paul is saying, basically, "You let women talk in church, this is wrong and shameful, so stop it already."

It doesn't change my point. This particular passage is disregarded by scripture-following Christians regularly, as is the passage that I pointed to earlier where Mosaic law lays out the conditions for a certain sort of marital succession, which Jesus himself later confirms.

Paddy O. said...

Back from a week long road trip to Oregon in-laws. Beautiful there in Northern Oregon!

I'll add my two bits about the religious stuff.

Shanna is right, though this is a debated point. The Greek word is translatable as either 'wife' or 'woman' which makes it somewhat unclear. What is more clear is that in other passages Paul commends women as leaders/teachers. One of these is Priscilla, who we read about in Acts 18. So, when someone commends a woman as teaching/leading in some passages then writes something seemingly prohibitive in other passages, we need to assume there's a contextual issue at hand.

As far as Jesus' teaching. He was a conservative, Jewish 1st century man. So, except when he makes specific notes about differences, it is best to assume his ethics were in keeping with his culture. Indeed, his ethics in sexuality tends to be more, rather than less, strict.

The Romans 1 passage is always an odd one to use, though, because Paul's point is to tell his Christian readers not to be judgmental because they're doing the same sorts of ethical lapses. In other words, don't be a hypocrite, look to your own sins.

But, that is with the assumption that the earliest Christians maintained a very conservative ethic on sexuality. The Christian error in this regard for many centuries wasn't being too open, but being far too severe and restrictive.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael McNeil said...

I never understood Unitarianism.

Unitarianism is pretty similar to Deism, which was a dominant faith among elites in 18th century America, such people as many of the Founding Fathers, including the first three Presidents of the United States along with Benjamin Franklin.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

How does not-having-sex equate to demanding gay people be perfect--let alone "in the strangest and most cruelest ways imaginable"? If you think not having sex is the cruelest thing you can imagine, you have been blessed to be spared some really awful realities. And maybe there's something wrong when having sex becomes so supremely important.

I don't think there's anything wrong with believing there are more important things than sex. But to assume there aren't more important things than never having sex, even once in one's life, and pursuing lifelong celibacy, isn't the most natural suggestion. One might as well go through life never seeing, or without tastebuds. Sure, there is virtue in occasionally holding back from certain aesthetic, sensory, physical or emotional pursuits, or in not considering them the most important thing. But that is different from assuming that there is virtue in celebrating such deprivations for the entirety of a lifetime.

I'm sure you made your choice for a most virtuous reason. But there are many good theological and non-theological reasons for not encouraging lifelong celibacy as a virtue.

I hope this doesn't offend you, but you seem to be honestly seeking a debate with garage on celibacy as if it were exclusively a virtue or a neutral thing, and I think there are many lines of argumentation he could pursue in the other direction - some of which I've outlined above.

Michael McNeil said...

Do you believe that it's necessary for someone who seeks to follow scripture to follow this rule which is stated plainly and in clear and simple language? If not, why not?

Even for strict Christians (as opposed to Unitarians, or Deists) the strictures of the Old Testament (Old Covenant with God) have been superseded by the New Covenant (New Testament). Thus Christians typically do not object to visual representations of Christ or of God, despite what the Ten Commandments command.

Michael McNeil said...

But, that is with the assumption that the earliest Christians maintained a very conservative ethic on sexuality. The Christian error in this regard for many centuries wasn't being too open, but being far too severe and restrictive.

The Pagans of the time (contrary to modern myth) were just as severe and restrictive with regard to sexuality.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

The Pagans of the time (contrary to modern myth) were just as severe and restrictive with regard to sexuality.

Not the Romans. And not the Greeks. And collectively they're one half of modern Western ("Judeo-Christian") civilization. For good reason.

If strictures existed absent a willingness to explore life and understand it in secular, empirical and aesthetic terms, we would stagnate.

Cue Einstein re: religion and science about blindness and lameness.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Yes, it was the perfect location to show your lack of respect for constitutional limitations on government.

But the intention wasn't to mingle church and state; it was to rub what was happening in the face of political opponents. Governing for people in general isn't done anymore; everybody isn't supposed to win. Elected officials use their power to take things from one group and give them to another. It's more and more about revenge and petty little disputes.

Lem said...

What a shameful and embarrassing display!

The display is designed to humiliate and embarrass the opposition – the church itself.
It’s like when our forces at the beginning of the invasion of Iraq stayed at Saddam’s palaces while he was cowering on the run.
It’s meant as a show of defiance; we are more powerful than you, look what we can do.
A show of force.....

Michael McNeil said...

“The Pagans of the time (contrary to modern myth) were just as severe and restrictive with regard to sexuality.”

Not the Romans. And not the Greeks.


Wrong. As Paul Veyne writes in A History of Private Life, Volume I: From Pagan Rome to Byzantium, “[I]ncoherences and baffling limitations are found in every century. In Greco-Roman culture we find them associated with another pleasure: love. If any aspect of ancient life has been distorted by legend, this is it. It is widely but mistakenly believed that antiquity was a Garden of Eden from which repression was banished, Christianity having yet to insinuate the worm of sin into the forbidden fruit. Actually, the pagans were paralyzed by prohibitions.”

One can read more about that here.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Sorry McNeil, I see you said the pagans "of the time". I don't think that's such a clean generalization. While the first Roman emperor instituted specific family laws, I'm not sure there was a cultural precedent for them, that they were adhered to by other cultures, or that they were as restrictive as subsequent mores. I'm not even sure they stuck. Caligula did follow after Augustus, after all. But I digress. Augustus was addressing a number of things in what was legislated, but I don't think you can generalize them very well beyond a specific time, place, and reason - some of them likely personal.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Ritmo:

"I hope this doesn't offend you, but you seem to be honestly seeking a debate with garage on celibacy as if it were exclusively a virtue or a neutral thing, and I think there are many lines of argumentation he could pursue in the other direction - some of which I've outlined above."

Not offended. And I wasn't aiming to debate celibacy with Garage, but rather to contest his seeming claim that God telling gays not to have sex is cruel in the extreme.

You're correct in saying celibacy is a difficult thing, and in some ways, not natural--but that isn't the same as saying it's cruel, let alone impossible.

And in any case, Christ said "take up your cross"--now that is pretty cruel. My point being, you can't understand Christian morality apart from the Lord's invitation to embrace the cross.

Michael McNeil said...

What you think is different from what historians, such as Paul Veyne, write. I suggest you follow the link I provided.

My father had a saying: “you know what Thought did? He messed his pants and thought he didn't.”

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

So you're saying that the pagans of the late Roman republic were proscribed against experiencing love, or something similarly "effeminate". I wouldn't argue against that. But I see that as a different argument. Should I not?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Clever anecdote about bowel control. But you really want to convey such confidence on the basis of a single excerpt? What historian (or student of history) ever does something like that?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

History, like so many other things, almost always comes down to interpretation, and the infinite arrays in which it can be parsed down to the most detailed of levels. Rarely does it ever make such a very restrictive, definitive and conclusory decision about anything.

ricpic said...

Since women are incapable of showing respect, for anything, Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians is spot on.

chuck b. said...

Trey said,

"He would (does actually) love them wholeheartedly and want them to stop any behaviors that He said were sinful.

He holds exactly the same relational approach to me, a confirmed breeder."


What sinful behaviors do you really want to commit? What are some examples of things that you would like to be doing, that the Bible tells you not to.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

You're correct in saying celibacy is a difficult thing, and in some ways, not natural--but that isn't the same as saying it's cruel, let alone impossible.

And in any case, Christ said "take up your cross"--now that is pretty cruel. My point being, you can't understand Christian morality apart from the Lord's invitation to embrace the cross.


Do gays then not have a right, in conjunction with the most advanced findings of science and secular ethics, to not see their natural inclination toward others of the same sex as a burden? To not see it as, at the least, a necessary inconvenience that they did not choose? As a cross to bear? We're talking about a few chance neuronal quirks somewhere in the hypothalamus or thereabouts.

Lem said...

But the intention wasn't to mingle church and state; it was to rub what was happening in the face of political opponents.

Great minds Jason ;)

Michael McNeil said...

Clever anecdote about bowel control. But you really want to convey such confidence on the basis of a single excerpt? What historian (or student of history) ever does something like that?

Two more excerpts are pointed to at the end of that piece. I also have a fourth, lengthier excerpt I haven't posted yet (as “Sex in Antiquity IV”).

There's also this, from late Roman times (written by a Christian):

“And paganism never shewed itself to greater advantage than during its last years of heroic but unavailing struggle [with Christianity]. Its leaders, whether in the Schools of Athens or among the Senatorial party at Rome, were for the most part men of pure lives with a high moral standard of conduct — men who commanded esteem and respect. Immorality abounded, but the pagan standard had become much higher. Christians and heathen were full of mutual esteem for each other.”

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Depending on how late it was -- (i.e. if it was closer to the conversion of Constantine) -- then I'm not surprised by the quote. Especially coming from a witness who would have been biased in favor of changing Roman minds toward that assessment. But I apologize if the other notes were from different authors. The formatting led me to assume they were from the same author's work.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

And for what it's worth, I'm not surprised at an existing social stratification between "pure" behavior and the prevailing norms. I think that mitigates the argument, however, as it should have been assumed. Roman senators weren't orgy goers, or brothel owners (or actors). But then, a stronger boundary delineating a certain social stratification was a given at the time.

Michael McNeil said...

A History of Private Life is by multiple authors, different for each chapter. As for my last posting above, I should have said “concerning late Roman times,” not “from late Roman times” — the quoted text is about a century old.

wv: didit

Youngblood said...

"Arguing from this or that Scripture passage as you are isn't terribly effective as an argument against all those who rely on the Bible as an authority, because all you are really doing is discrediting those particular folks who approach Scripture--from a 'conservative' point of view--with as sloppy an a-contextual method as you are using.

"In short, it's (mostly) a Straw Man."

This assumes that my intent is to argue against "all those who rely on the Bible as an authority". That's not my intent.

There are many ways in which scripture can serve as an authority. One approach, Biblical literalism, is the one that I am taking issue with, specifically.

d-day said...

hdhouse said...

It must have hurt a lot to typle that sentence...with your knuckles dragging all the time...they must be sore.

lol, dude - not as much as it hurt to read that sentence!

Damn leftist lake-pisser.

Youngblood said...

Ritmo wrote:

"Instead of fighting a war with the government and the rest of secular society, you're now turning this into an internecine religious war."

Um... Ritmo?

All Souls Church is a Unitarian Universalist congregation. You do know what Unitarian Universalism is, right? (I doubt it. Otherwise, you wouldn't have used the term "internecine".)

Matt Eckert said...

Let's be fair.

The only thing hdhouse pisses in is his depends.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Doesn't matter, man. Da Prof posits this act as an attack on "religion", writ large. Da Prof is da one who perceives a singular, theologically uniform community that is now under attack as a whole by da evil gummint. Not me.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

The way I see it, the churches who do recognize same-sex couples would see this is the government refusing to intervene in their religious norms by proscribing them in law or relegating them to lesser status.

The argument works both ways.

But however you look at it, the only meaningful conclusion still comes down to the obvious:

Divide et impera

Penny said...

Our country has lost its way in what was initially, well intended, anti-discrimination legislation. That legislation has grown so broad, and so all-inclusive, that it has now become part a rallying cry for something as amorphous as "EQUALITY".

The masses can jump on this bandwagon easily, because, after all, in America..."All men are created equal" is THE best-known phrase from any American political document.

The problem is that one group jumps on the shoulders of the next and the next...and the one after that. Because this phrase is so routinely misunderstood, you can bet your ass, there will be other "groups" behind gays.

The reason this DC change got it's traction in the first place, is that those who opposed it were denied the ability to do so "legislatively". They were denied because of the DC Human Rights Act.

What's the problem with this? The problem is that it will NEVER end. The "equality" tentacles are long and intertwined, not to mention poorly defined and ill-conceived for our long term best interests as a country.

Are YOU feeling "equal" yet?

Lem said...

The DC mayor is a snowball of evil ;)

Jason said...

If the Unitarian Universalist congregation in question had an ounce of integrity, they would have said "no, you do not use our holy places to sign secular laws. You will not defile our altar to make a political point... even one we disagree with, because another ruler may one day use our holy place in order to rescind that very same legislation some day."

They would have said "We shall render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar. But we expect Caesar to respect as God's what belongs to God."

But they're too much a bunch of well-meaning muddle-heads who couldn't think their way through a McDonald's line for a cup of coffee.

Irene said...

The Madison Unitarian Fellowship is in Shorewood Hills.

Elliott A said...

Basketball should be banned. It discriminates against short people. Only games where size doesn't matter should be played. Women definitely shouldn't be allowed to see men naked. Smart people shouldn't be allowed to take competitive exams. Bloggers should not be able to marry one commenter and leave the others unrequited. The lunatics have taken over the asylum!

pst314 said...

"All Souls Church is a Unitarian Universalist congregation. You do know what Unitarian Universalism is, right?"

Let me add that the Unitarians I know are pretty hostile to Christianity. (But they make an exception for anyone who supports socialism, etc.)

pst314 said...

"But they're too much a bunch of well-meaning muddle-heads who couldn't think their way through a McDonald's line for a cup of coffee."

heh.

Cedarford said...

Julius Ray Hoffman - The so-called conservatives in this country have, for a very long time, used religion as a cover for bigotry. Remember when slavery was justified as the will of God? Or, not so long ago, segregation was nicely couched in religious terms?

From a religious point-of-view, the bigotry toward gay people demonstrates the corruption of Christianity, most notably the lack of compassion. A true follower of Jesus would take a compassionate attitude toward others, and not a militantly destructive one like the people on the right do.


1. No, I don't remember slavery. But reading of the times, I note that some of the most passionate abolitionists were religious figures, so the debate is more balanced by religious factions than Hoffman says.

2. Even today, blacks tend to self-segregate in schools and religious. Even more than marrying a bossy dark-skinned woman, half black Obama did nothing as important as joining a segregated all black church to prove his racial "authenticity".

3. Like many Christian bashers, Hoffman ignores Islamic, Hindi, and Jewish and atheist Leftist intolerance. Christianity was formed around an act of Jewish intolerance. Jewish powers (the Sanhedrin) angry that Christ disrupted money-making activities at the Temple, found him guilty of heresy and dragged him to the Romans saying he was condemned and needed to be crucified under Rule Of Law.

4. The worst democides of history, aside from Islamoid ones, have tended to be by non-religious Asians, Germans, Soviet ethnic Russians and Soviet ethnic Jews.

=================
I think the general reaction in DC will be that blacks beholden to Ruling Elites shoved gay marriage down the populace's throats and actual attitudes in the masses will remain unchanged.
Blacks on the "down low" are still to be regarded as disease spreaders, still leading a sinful life, and the new gay marriage law pushed out of Georgetown and Capital Hill neighborhoods will not resonate with people in Anacostia or with black preachers and black imams.

Joan of Argghh! said...

Why no clamoring for the State to recognize Baptism? or Holy Orders? or Last Rites?

Marriage is a Sacrament instituted by the Church.

I swear, we may as well worship fire as to have the government mandate what a church can perform in its reasonable adherence to faith and practice.

somefeller said...

Marriage is a Sacrament instituted by the Church. I swear, we may as well worship fire as to have the government mandate what a church can perform in its reasonable adherence to faith and practice.

Marriage is also a bundle of rights and a legal status recognized by the State. The legal recognition of gay marriage does not require any religious organization to perform or recognize such marriages. For example, a church may, in this day and age, choose not to perform or recognize interracial marriages, regardless of what the civil rights laws say. The idea that legalization of gay marriage will require churches to perform gay marriages is a red herring at best. However, since so many people seem to be confused about such concepts, the prudent thing to do is to legalize gay civil unions (which are marriages in all but name) and leave it at that for now.

somefeller said...

By the way, with all the Unitarian-bashing going on here, I'm wondering if this place has suddenly filled up with Garrison Keillor fans or something.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I bet you I could program a spam-bot generator of predictably Ceferdord posts by making sure it spat out these words in the following proportions:

20% of the words: "Jews"
15% of the words: "blacks"
15% of the words: "Soviet"

10% of the remainder shall be split between whichever ethnic group is figured into his fevered mind. Apparently today it's "Hindi" (sic) and "Islamoid" (sic - a take on "mongoloid", perhaps?). Tomorrow it could be anything else. But not white European. Never that. Asian? Ok.

The rest of the post will consist of whatever words sound foreboding enough to further speculation on whichever race-based or ethnic conspiracy theory is responsible for the grievance of the moment. "Elites" and "populist" are good buzz words and should be sprinkled liberally throughout the remark in order to reinforce that today's conspiracy can from either on high, the unwashed rabble, or a conspiracy between them.

Ceferdord is not a commenter so much as he's an anthropological style.

Lem said...

BTW – I was not impressed with the interstate 95 work done in DC.

The serpentine ramps slowed us down.

They should have copied what was done in the holy city of Boston.

An express tunnel.

Matt Eckert said...

Well whatever you think of it, Cedarford said a mouthful.

Which basically sums up gay marriage.

Paddy O. said...

Michael, some religions and philosophies of the 1st century were indeed as severe or more. But, it's not right to say "Pagans" were, as there was no such thing as that.

There were many religions, and state supported religions had varying levels of sexual ethics. And, as today, within those religions were varying levels of conformity.

The society in general was, like today, a pretty big mixture of ethics with there not really needing to be a religious motivation for sexual adventurousness.

However, especially in Corinth, this would be a religious issue as well as there was a tradition of Aphrodite worship which included sex with the sacred priestess's as part of the worship rite.

Different philosophies, religions, or the lack there of made for a very wide range of acceptable practices--which is why the early Christians made sure to say what was expected within their communities.

David said...

The Unitarians were leaders in the fight against slavery in this country. They were a powerful force in the nation, as was the Episcopal Church.

Neither institution counts for much anymore. Kind of sad, really.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

The following is a parody:

Jews Soviet black shoved down the populace's throat a democide of Christianity that was sinful, approaching that perpetuated by the worst Islamoid elites. A bossy dark-skinned woman, Barack Obama, segregated the powerful Jewish money-lenders from the Romans, (who, I think, were neutral), and instituted sinful lives of disease spreading, all in the name of "authenticity".

The phrasing is interchangeable. As long as you get the right words in and a float your themes upon a sufficiently paranoid tribal conspiracy, it can pass for Cefardord.

There should be experts in the field of Cefardord authenticity. Like gemologists and art appraisers, his work is so easily copied that he will soon require a field of experts to verify that any xenophobic bullshit is authentically "Cefardord-certifiable". Or "Certifiably Cefardord".

I imagine that inside his head are a bunch of cracked walnuts.

Penny said...

Ritmo, both you and Cedarford are among our best minds here at Althouse. The fact that you often disagree with each other logically, gives me "hope".

When the two of you start to discuss what you can agree about, I would consider that to be the beginning of "change".

somefeller said...

The Unitarians were leaders in the fight against slavery in this country. They were a powerful force in the nation, as was the Episcopal Church. Neither institution counts for much anymore. Kind of sad, really.

Neither church may be large in numbers, but don't kid yourself, the demographics of both churches make both of them influential in society. You'll still find more than a few community leaders of any given city sitting in the pews of Episcopalian or Unitarian churches on any given Sunday. That's one of the reasons why social conservatives get so hot and bothered about them.

vbspurs said...

Ritmo, both you and Cedarford are among our best minds here at Althouse.

That tells you all you need to know about Penny.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I dunno. Irrational xenophobia is about as hefty an impediment to logical agreement as anything.

I'll even admit to the guilty pleasure of (very occasionally) getting a kick out of his writing as well. But I'd like to think that any of my pet peeves, should they come across as irrational, are at least amenable to some persuasion.

master cylinder said...

What? Are no people on the "right" for gay marriage?

This is being framed by the commenters as right-left?

"....our country has lost it's way..."
!!!!!!!???????

What is the median age here? I'm guessing 70?

vbspurs said...

I don't know if God created gays, but I do know Barney's decorator created the White House christmas tree -- complete with Mao and trannies.

Mao, one of the greatest monsters of the 20th century. It's not Ike Eisenhower's Christmas tree.

Cheers,
Victoria

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Awww... come now, Ms. Spurs. You can't get off the hook that easily! Surely that snobby Tory elitism of yours - that you try to hide so well - is at least a bit sympathetic to Cefardord's xenophobia.

Or maybe you just treat those who you love the worst.

Methadras said...

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

From your law professor perspective, you are right.

But from a moral viewpoint, the mayor did something both right and wonderful.


Which moral viewpoint? Yours? The mayor and his staff gave a big fuck you to those that oppose homosexual marriage in any form. Not because he had to, but because he wanted to. That isn't moral, that is spiteful and if that's your view of moral viewpoint, then yes, it is right and wonderful isn't it?

The so-called conservatives in this country have, for a very long time, used religion as a cover for bigotry.

Bullshit. First of all, who are these so-called conservatives? Second of all, religious institutions nearly universally look down upon homosexuality as not only a life-style or way of life, but the moral turpitude and degradation that it brings and promotes within its own cultural framework. I'll give you two examples, Pride parades and the more infamous Folsom Street Fair.

There is no cover going on at all, but you would like to think that this is all a covert, secret, conspiratorial operation of bigotry going on, when in reality, religious institutions and religious people have opposed homosexuality and it's sundry, vacuous nonsense for a long, long time.

?Remember when slavery was justified as the will of God? Or, not so long ago, segregation was nicely couched in religious terms?

Oh dear, trying to equate the struggle of homosexual marriage as a function of your interpretation of God's will towards slavery even though slavery had long existed before the Birth of Christ. Do you just pretend to make shit up or are you really this stupid. Who the hell would even believe or make this argument outside of trying to glom homosexual marriage with the struggle and abolition of slavery or segregation. Both were based on race and the perception of inferiority. The opposition of homosexual marriage isn't based on that, so therefore they are not morally equivalent, nor are they synonymous or relevant.

From a religious point-of-view, the bigotry toward gay people demonstrates the corruption of Christianity, most notably the lack of compassion.

So now not liking homosexuality is a demonstrative lack of compassion as a function of the corruption of Christianity? Are you fucking serious with this nonsense? Who told you this? Where is this even a pretext of the whole of Christendom? I think you are confusing lack of compassion as a couch against judgment.

A true follower of Jesus would take a compassionate attitude toward others, and not a militantly destructive one like the people on the right do.

More petulant, egregious bullshit. Christs compassion was towards the forgiveness of sins, not to be compassionate to those that are willfully sinful. Infidelity is condemned in both the old and new testament, illicit fornication, and so is homosexuality. Not homosexuals, because the homosexual can, through Christ be washed of his/her sins. That is the distinction and you are making a plea for a new morality that is not based on the teachings of Christ, or what is biblical.

Also, people on the right started this whole mix of religion and politics. They have no justification to complain when those on the left do it to.

How does a human being come to such moronic conclusions with this utter pablum. Really, are you truly this stupid?

Methadras said...

Penny said...

Ritmo, both you and Cedarford are among our best minds here at Althouse. The fact that you often disagree with each other logically, gives me "hope".

When the two of you start to discuss what you can agree about, I would consider that to be the beginning of "change".


Is that the sound of Kum-baya I hear in the background. Oh no, it's just someone vomiting from the sheer maudlin saccharine that Penny just heaved.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Of course, to someone as uncouth as Methadras, vomiting sounds the same as singing.

And I won't even try to touch "sheer maudlin saccharine". What? Did you just take a Creative Writing for Mechanical Engineers class?

Penny said...

Ritmo, characterizing Cedarford's "nature", as seen through your glasses, offers neither hope, nor change.

That, my friend, is a pity, and I know, that YOU know that to be true as well.

Advance the dialogue...

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I won't be trying to advance any dialog through xenophobia, or any other sad excuse for obsessively essentialist nonsense.

Alex said...

Ok, Ann we get it - you hate gays.

Pogo said...

RB, did that last sentence mean anything at all?
Seriously.
It's like a random sentence generator thingy.

Ooooh, I see.
Grad school.

Pogo said...

Oh, Alex-Titus, shut up, I explained.

Alex said...

Ritmo - all these people know is their hate.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

No. Just familiarity with three words that you didn't like hearing together.

Obsessively.

Essentialist.

Nonsense.

I take it the second word is the one that threw you off. And that's because you scoff at the study of philosophy. (Or anything else that distracts people from the "truthiness" of it all).

I could parody you by simply watching a few too many Stephen Colbert skits. For all anyone knows, you probably see eye to eye with his character - and wish it were a real-life person.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Of course, no one should ever study philosophy. And that's because EVERYONE (except for the left, or so Pogo would have everyone believe) knows what THE TRUTH is.

It's whatever comes out of this guy's mouth.

Right, Pogo?

Penny said...

Victoria and Methadras?

Two more great minds.

Advance the dialog...

You BOTH know better than to make this about whether you like me, or agree with me, even if that feels good to either of you tonight.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

When I think of Pogo's America, I imagine it being described by this guy.

I imagine Pogo intently studying the television, transfixed, as this guy comes on and lays down upon America a whole big, fat, heaving, whopping lump of TRUTH.

If it were possible to bathe in Stephen Colbert's words, Pogo would lather up and soak for days.

Penny said...

"The lunatics have taken over the asylum!"

ElliotA, too true! lol

I resemble that!

But now that we're all here and accounted for? Let's see if we can make some sense of it all.

Our futures depend on it.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Oh!

Pogo's favorite book!

Thank you. Thank you. Good night, everyone. Thank you.

elHombre said...

Ritzy Brassiere wrote (9:24): Of course, no one should ever study philosophy. And that's because EVERYONE (except for the left, or so Pogo would have everyone believe) knows what THE TRUTH is.

Sir Karl Popper said: I think so badly of philosophy that I don't like to talk about it...I do not want to say anything bad about my dear colleagues, but the profession of teacher of philosophy is a ridiculous one. We don't need a thousand of trained, and badly trained, philosophers--it is very silly. Actually most of them have nothing to say.

As Penny might say: "Two of the best minds in agreement."

Or not. ROTFL

Lem said...

Penny said
Ritmo, both you and Cedarford are among our best minds here at Althouse.

My dear Victoria responded..
That tells you all you need to know about Penny..

If this is true, I’m very disappointed with you Penny. Very disappointed.

I think you need to reassess what side you are on..

Youngblood said...

Ritmo wrote:

"Doesn't matter, man. Da Prof posits this act as an attack on 'religion', writ large. Da Prof is da one who perceives a singular, theologically uniform community that is now under attack as a whole by da evil gummint. Not me."

No, she didn't write anything remotely like that.

What she actually wrote was that politicians shouldn't go around "flouting the fundamental principle of keeping government separate from religion" by signing bills in churches.

Nowhere does she write anything to suggest that she believes a "theologically uniform community" is under attack by anybody.

What she wrote is so different from what you claim she wrote as to make it clear that you're incapable of basic reading comprehension, you're simply making shit up, or both.

(For what it's worth, I agree: elected officials shouldn't have bill-signing ceremonies in churches, mosques, cathedrals, synagogues, sacred Wiccan groves, etc.)

Ritmo also wrote:

"But however you look at it, the only meaningful conclusion still comes down to the obvious:

"Divide et impera"

You've mentioned this whole "divide and conquer" thing twice now. The first time was what prompted me to ask you if you know what Unitarian Universalism actually is.

It's apparent that you don't, because if you did, what you keep saying over and over again wouldn't be "obvious", it would make no fucking sense.

Allow me to educate you:

Unitarian Universalism has been "divided" from Christianity for just about fifty years now. That was when the American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of America combined to form the Unitarian Universalism Association of Congregations, an explicitly non-creedal and non-Christian religious denomination. Those Universalist and Unitarian congregations that decided that they were still Christian either became independent or joined other allied organizations.

This isn't a question of similar denominations battling it out over doctrinal differences. Unitarian Universalism is, in fact, a completely different religion.

As a hypothetical, imagine that a legislative body passed a bill that was in line with Muslim teachings and, when it came time to sign that bill into law, the executive chose a mosque to demonstrate that there was religious support for this law.

It would be pure dumbfuckery to go around saying "divide et impera" if Christians objected to this because everybody knows that Christians and Muslims aren't actually unified in any meaningful way.

They're entirely different religions, just like Christianity and Unitarian Universalism, and they are in no way unified.

elHombre said...

But wait, Ritzy aka Pompous Montanus, "xenophobia" is a "sad excuse for obsessively essentialist nonsense"? (9:13)

Really? Better have your English and philosophy profs give that one a look.

WV "slyze" = Cleverness in the US Senate.

Lem said...

Uno dos tres probando.. uno dos?

hay alguien vivo?.. responda.

earth to althouse..

Palladian said...

You know, I'm a faggot and all I have to say to the fucking lefties and fucking righties is: get your filthy politics off my dick. I don't want to be your little diversity pawn and I don't want to be your bogeyman. The lefties, especially the straight lefties, who have been leeching off of our "cause" for far too many years now can go and take a flying fuck at themselves. I don't exist to help you with your petty political struggles. You cannot bestow or rescind my right to marry whomever I choose. The State does not and should not pretend to have that power. The State should not be in the business of sanctioning (in the positive or negative sense of that word) ANY kind of marriage at all. The decision to marry a couple or not should be at the discretion of churches not the State.

"Gay marriage" is not a victory, it's yet another usurpation of human freedom by the government, another false positive right that isn't the governments to give or take. As the lefties are fond of putting things: GOVERNMENT OUT OF MARRIAGE NOW!

Thank you.

Methadras said...

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Of course, to someone as uncouth as Methadras, vomiting sounds the same as singing.

And I won't even try to touch "sheer maudlin saccharine". What? Did you just take a Creative Writing for Mechanical Engineers class?


And so the paragon of couthy-ness, which is a close cousin to his obvious truthiness doth protest to much. No Ritmo, I don't need a creative writing class when it's obvious that my vocabulary clearly exceeds anything you can bring forth to bear. I'm educated in things that have value, meaning, and substance. And you? Small minds like yours tend to do that thing where they point out something like this:

"Of course, to someone as uncouth as Methadras, vomiting sounds the same as singing."

as their only means of retort. Have none, therefore, vacillate.

Lem said...

coño.. me tiraron una biblioteca!

Youngblood said...

pst314 wrote:

"Let me add that the Unitarians I know are pretty hostile to Christianity. (But they make an exception for anyone who supports socialism, etc.)"

Yep. And anybody who has the faintest inkling of what Unitarian Universalism is knows this. Consider as well the fact that Catholics suffered genuine oppression in Massachussets and those areas of New York where Puritanism, the long-ago forerunner of Unitarian Universalism, was the state religion. And, of course, the Unitarians and Universalists both played a significant role in the nativist and anti-Catholic movements of the 18th and 19th centuries.

I can't imagine why that fussy Catholic Church would get all up in a snit over Mayor Fenty's tone-deaf move, beyond the fact that its official position is opposition to the legislation.

Methadras said...

Penny said...

Victoria and Methadras?

Two more great minds.

Advance the dialog...

You BOTH know better than to make this about whether you like me, or agree with me, even if that feels good to either of you tonight.


Honestly, I don't know you to like or dislike you. I gauge your words, the tone and inflection that I interpret here as to whether or not you are right or not. So far, I don't see it. Forwarding dialogue for the sheer sake of instigating communication without value is a meaningless exercise. Action must follow otherwise you are simply a waste of oxygen or what you say is anyway.

Lem said...

coño.. me tiraron una biblioteca!

I meant Youngblood

somefeller said...

The lefties, especially the straight lefties, who have been leeching off of our "cause" for far too many years now can go and take a flying fuck at themselves. I don't exist to help you with your petty political struggles. You cannot bestow or rescind my right to marry whomever I choose. The State does not and should not pretend to have that power. The State should not be in the business of sanctioning (in the positive or negative sense of that word) ANY kind of marriage at all. The decision to marry a couple or not should be at the discretion of churches not the State.

Actually, the State does have that power. You may not like the fact that it has the power to define what is or isn't a legally recognized marriage, but the fact is, it does have that power. That is not a pretense, that is a brute fact of life, and as someone once said, facts are stubborn things. As far as whether or not the State should be in that business, well, we're probably a few millenia too far down the road to move towards a more libertarian/contractual approach to this issue. And in any case, that wouldn't get the State out of it, because contractual relations only exist to the extent there is a State mechanism to back them up. And how is this your "cause" if you don't want a part of any political activism for or against it?

Youngblood said...

Lem,

The tl;dr version is:

Ritmo, you don't know what the hell you're talking about. Althouse didn't say what you claim she said and the whole "divide and conquer" think that you keep trying to push makes no sense because Unitarian Universalists aren't Christians.

Oh, and also, elected officials shouldn't sign bills in places of worship.

somefeller said...

To follow on my previous point, one may claim one is married to whomever one wants, but if you actually want that to have real-world implications and benefits (like with regard to inheritance, hospital visitations, taxation, etc.), the approval of the State is necessary. So while it's all good and fun to talk about how the State should get out of the marriage business, that's really just libertarian dorm-room bull-session stuff, and in many ways more of a radical suggestion than simply expanding the current marriage regime to include same-sex individuals.

Youngblood said...

Before I go back to shampooing my carpets, I'll note that Somefeller hit the nail on the head as far as I'm concerned.

Good night, you zany Althouse kids!

Lem said...

And how is this your "cause" if you don't want a part of any political activism for or against it?

Does anybody have the right to be left alone? or is that a fantasy too?

somefeller said...

Does anybody have the right to be left alone? or is that a fantasy too?

Of course people have such a right. But the issue of whether or not gay partnerships should be legally recognized as marriages, civil unions or otherwise isn't just a "leave me alone" issue, and that appeared to be the "cause" being discussed. Also, most of the people who are trying to get into gay people's business (such as, by opposing laws that forbid firing them because of their sexual preference, singling them out as some sort of Fifth Column causing America to slouch towards Gomorrah or supporting laws that actually criminalize their behavior - see, e.g. Texas Governor Rick Perry, who supported the anti-sodomy law in Lawrence v. Texas and signed anti-gay legislation in a church, as cited above) tend to be on the social conservative end of the spectrum, so the idea that liberals are the ones preventing gay people from just being themselves is an absurd one.

somefeller said...

Does anybody have the right to be left alone? or is that a fantasy too?

Of course people have such a right. But the issue of whether or not gay partnerships should be legally recognized as marriages, civil unions or otherwise isn't just a "leave me alone" issue, and that appeared to be the "cause" being discussed. Also, most of the people who are trying to get into gay people's business (such as, by opposing laws that forbid firing them because of their sexual preference, singling them out as some sort of Fifth Column causing America to slouch towards Gomorrah or supporting laws that actually criminalize their behavior - see, e.g. Texas Governor Rick Perry, who supported the anti-sodomy law in Lawrence v. Texas and signed anti-gay legislation in a church, as cited above) tend to be on the social conservative end of the spectrum, so the idea that liberals are the ones preventing gay people from just being themselves is an absurd one.

somefeller said...

Well, that comment was so nice that Blogger posted it twice.

Lem said...

...tend to be on the social conservative end of the spectrum, so the idea that liberals are the ones preventing gay people from just being themselves is an absurd one.

If the spectrum is more important than the idea or the principle … then I don’t care to join either.
Once you get your act together you can find me in Palladians Kitchen ;)

Cedarford said...

Ritmo -

Facts are facts.

1. NOTHING advanced Obama's "black authenticity" more on the South Side than his joining a black segregated church.

2. The role of non-religious Asians, Germans, Soviet Russians and Soviet Jews in the worst democides of the 20th century is historically well-documented.

3. Jews are as capable of intolerance as anyone else, and did history's most famous single act of intolerance. The Romans did not care about CHrist one way or the other. He was brought to them to be dispatched by his Jewish prosecutors. The Romans just did what the Brits did in the Raj when a condemned was handed over to them after trial by Hindis or Muslims for execution. They checked if local rules and customs were honored. If so, they then fitted the guy with a noose. (the Brits followed the Roman custom...local wogs could try local wogs...but capital sentence was the prerogative of the Rulers, only)

4. The phrase Islamoid tends to piss off Islamoids...but they have no central doctrinal authority like the Christians do, so calling them by strict schools of thought - Sufi, Salafi, Black Muslim, Sunni Fundies, mystical Shia, mainstream Shiite, nationalist Jihadis, Takfiris in the West.
Islamoid - "of Islam" - is sometimes more accurate than trying to make sense of a Muslim who is of the Sunni Cairo school but who picks and chooses elements of Wahhabism AND Sufism in daily life.

el polacko said...

i would prefer that this issue, in particular, be kept solely in the purview of the state..but
since it is 'religious beliefs' that are the basis, if not the whole, of the argument against legally equal marriage rights (as even evidenced, to my suprise,in the comments here) there is a certain poetic justice in signing this legislation in a church that does not practice discrimination. gay people did not become an issue (for certain christians) until they began to agitate for and acquire some political clout. these objections to equality under the law have little to do with any biblical injunctions but rather the deep-seated prejudices held by those adherents to a particular brand of religion who use their interpretation of 'god's will' as a cover for their bigotry. it doesnt hurt to remind them that not all religious people share their belief in the inherent inferiority of some citizens...but everyone should be reminded that marriage licenses are issued by the STATE..no religious ceremony required.

Rolph said...

This was neither "stupid" nor shameful.

It makes the point that governments should not be recogniziing religious institutions - like marriage - in the first place.

The only thing "shameful" about this is the veiled anti-gay rhetoric of Althouse. Other than that, it was a perfect location to make the point that religion is not the place of government and government should not be recognizing "marriages" in the first place.

Rolph said...

Crackhead Emcee Said:

"When people start talking about gay culture realistically - as it is, warts and all, without this bullshit Will & Grace all-positive cover - then, and only then, will I decide to engage the conversation on gays as anything less than the cultural subversion that it is."

And later went on to call other people "confuuuusssed."

Irony is one of my favorite forms of humor, but I just don't get the joke when it is simply revealing the bigotry of someone like Crackhead.

Synova said...

What the mayor DID in an official capacity was identify and ENDORSE those religions that are acceptable and held them up as an example to those faiths that are not acceptable.

See here on one side we've got the religions with the correct views.

See there on the other side we've got the religions with the incorrect views.

The city government has clearly indicated which is which and the Mayor chose his venue carefully to make sure the message got across.

Anyone who thinks that Althouse is peeved because someone slammed religion is delusional.

reader_iam said...

Hm.
LOL.
(Eyebrows raised in wonder and in 360-degree mode [but strictly from the outside {aside from this one, single comment}].)

Palladian said...

"The only thing "shameful" about this is the veiled anti-gay rhetoric of Althouse. "

I wonder if Althouse wears her veil when her gay son Chris comes home to visit, so's he isn't offended by all the anti-gay rhetoric under there.

What dark rhetoric hides itself beneath that piece of black crape, beneath that horrible black veil?

Synova said...

As for the Corinthians.

At the time Paul wrote to them I don't think there were Christian churches except in homes so the instructions would have likely been about behavior in the synagogue. Paul lauded the influential women who held churches in their homes, but his admonition to women to be submissive to their own husbands (and both to each other) as well as the passage saying they should not speak in church, or warnings about young women becoming too involved in constant activity but instead ought to accept teaching from older women... we bristle and fuss about them, and try to explain how they don't really mean what we don't want them to mean but near as I can tell, one of the most destructive things that can happen in church and has been happening for many years now is a feminization of the whole business in a way that does not meet the needs of boys or men. Faith has become something that boys grow out of, like short pants, when they sever their mother's apron strings, and spiritual responsibility is something men avoid as more and more "church-going-families" consist of mom and the kids, even when dad is at home and the family unit is intact.

As near as I can tell, what Paul advocates is more separation... not some old male preacher lecturing women on how to submit, or perhaps worse - a woman making herself subservient to a male religious leader (how is it that cult leaders seem to surround themselves so often with women?), but rather men teaching men how to be holy and women teaching women how to be holy, with the ceremony and formal worship led primarily by men.

Honestly, I don't think much of the whine and fuss about how women not getting to conduct the ceremonial parts of worship means men are *better* than women... I'm protestant and although some protestant churches seem to demand that God provide them with priests, my doctrinal upbringing rejects the notion that the person conducting those ceremonies is in any way superior to any member of the congregation before God. There simply is no *there* there. There is no inherent or even implied superiority.

And if having male pastors and elders conduct ceremonies and if having male pastors provides boys and men with a necessary *masculine* context for the faith they learned, as Timothy did, from their mothers.

It seems spiteful to me, to care more about the projection of my own worth, just for the "right" to stand at a pulpit and preach to the men on Sunday mornings.

Synova said...

"And if having male pastors and elders conduct ceremonies and if having male pastors provides boys and men with a necessary *masculine* context for the faith they learned, as Timothy did, from their mothers."

Try again...

And if having male pastors conduct worship and ceremonies provides boys and men with a necessary *masculone* context for the faith they learned, as Timothy did, from their mothers, then we've thrown away through ignorance a good thing that God provided for us.

Synova said...

masuline

(note to self... never issue corrections after midnight)

Synova said...

see?

masculine

egad

Michael McNeil said...

Paddy O. sez:
Michael, some religions and philosophies of the 1st century were indeed as severe or more. But, it's not right to say “Pagans” were, as there was no such thing as that.

Since I quoted French archaeologist and historian Paul Veyne earlier, himself a specialist in ancient Rome, who wrote of what “the pagans” of ancient “Greco-Roman culture” believed and did, I suggest that you correspond with him and inform him that he's oh-so ignorant in such matters (I'm certainly no expert myself).

Moreover, while to my knowledge there was more diversity in ancient paganism during earlier times (such as the 1st century AD and before), by late Roman times (specifically the 3rd and 4th centuries), the penetrating influence of Greek philosophy had brought ancient Greco-Roman paganism a considerable distance towards a more uniform set of beliefs and principles, to indeed an essentially monotheistic worldview, which bore many similarities in fact with the Christianity of the time.

In this regard, I'll point once again to a posting of mine from some years back, entitled “Monotheistic Paganism – Or, just what was it that Christianity fought and faced?” — together with the following text (a chapter by T.M. Lindsay from the very well respected Cambridge Medieval History) — which states, for instance:

“All those religions, whatever their special form of teaching or variety of cult, brought with them thoughts foreign to the old official worships of Greece and Rome; though not altogether strange to the Mysteries which had for long been the real people's religion in Greece nor to the cult of Dionysos which in various forms had preserved its vitality.

“They taught (or perhaps it would be more correct to say that the action of the subtle Greek intellect, playing upon the crude ideas which these Oriental religions presented to it, evolved from them) a series of religious conceptions foreign to the old paganism, and these became common parts of the newer non-Christian intelligence which was powerful in the third and fourth centuries. […]

“At all events it was held that true religion really implied a detachment from the world, and included a strict discipline of soul and body while life lasted.

“Such a paganism was very different from the polytheism with its furred, feathered and scaly deities which first confronted Christianity and was attacked by the early Christian apologists. […]

“It had, in spite of its external multiformity, a natural cohesion in virtue of the circle of common thoughts above described. It hardly deserves the name of polytheism; for its idea of one abstract divinity, separate from the world of matter, made it monotheism of a kind; and evidence shews that its votaries regarded Isis, Cybele and the rest more as the representatives and impersonations of the one godhead than as individual deities.

“Inscriptions from tombstones reveal that worshippers did not attach themselves to one cult exclusively. The varying forms of initiation were all separate methods of attaining to union with the one divinity, the different ceremonies of purification were all ways of reaching the same end, and, as one might succeed where another failed, they could be all tried impartially. […]

“This multiform and yet homogeneous paganism had the further support of a system of philosophy expounded and enforced by the greatest non-Christian thinkers of the age.”

“The new paganism can be represented to be the collected flower and fruit of all the older faiths presented and ready to satisfy the deeper desires of the spirit of man. Neoplatonism could present itself as a naturalistic, rational polytheism, retaining all the old structures of tradition, of thought and of social organisation.”

Michael McNeil said...

Continuing…

“The ‘common man’ was not asked to forsake the deities he was wont to reverence. The Roman was not required to despise the gods who, as his forefathers believed, had led them to the conquest of the world. The cultured Hellenist was taught to overstep, without disturbing, creeds which for him were worn out and to seek and find communion with the Divine which lies behind all gods. […]

“What Neoplatonism did theoretically the force of circumstances accomplished on the practical side. The Oriental creeds had not merely gained multitudes of private worshippers; they had forced their way among the public deities of Rome. Isis, Mithras, Sol Invictus, Dea Syra, the Great Mother, took their places alongside of Jupiter, Venus, Mars, etc., and the Sacra peregrina appeared on the calendar of public festivals.

“Such was the paganism which faced Christianity in the fourth century — a marvellous mixture of philosophy and religion, not without grandeur and nobility of thought, feeling keenly the unity of nature, the essential kinship of man with the Divine, and knowing something of the yearning in man's heart for redemption and for communion with God. It was able to fascinate and enthral many of the keenest intellects and loftiest natures of the time.”

Methadras said...

Rolph said...

Irony is one of my favorite forms of humor, but I just don't get the joke when it is simply revealing the bigotry of someone like Crackhead.


Too bad you don't exercise it well. If you don't like bigotry then you don't live in the real world. Go to other parts of the world and let's see how your little 'i don't like bigotry' shtick stands. Yeah, down with bigotry, put your skinny fist in the air and wave it like I don't fucking care.

MrBuddwing said...

If you don't like bigotry then you don't live in the real world.

Conversely ...?

MadisonMan said...

Presumably, the leaders of the church where the bill was signed invited the Mayor to do the signing there. Or, somewhat less good, agreed to the Mayor's request.

I'm not sure I get the antipathy towards the Mayor's action. Maybe I should track down Annie Laurie and ask her.

jag said...

Signing the bill in a church demonstrates the conservative impluse behind the gay marriage movement. So, while I agree that it was lousy Con Law, I find it interesting that gay people are willing to fight for marriage while straight people show disdain for married life at every turn.

The Anti-Michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carl Johnson said...

How come the Corinthians never wrote back to Paul?

Shanna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fr Martin Fox said...

It's late in the thread, but...

There is a notion out there that marriage-as-heterosexual is essentially a religious value--as if religion, somewhere, coined this idea and perpetuated it.

But this is not so. Those who say it is so, I ask: which religion? Is it there position that Judaism or Christianity presented this concept to a world that previously was some sort of tabula rasa on the subject?

On the contrary, marriage-as-heterosexual long predates the origins of the two Biblical religions. I cannot speak to those religions that predated Judaism, but I rather suspect the same.

Every once in a while, someone claims a pre- or extra-Christian culture as allowing for same-sex marriage, but the evidence is rather slim and the argument bogus.

For example, ancient Greek and Roman cultures are often cited in this context. However, this is sloppy, because: while it is true that there is evidence of tolerance of homosexual relationships (and this evidence is thin, and pressed farther than it really should be), that is not the same as evidence of same-sex marriage; in fact, it tells against it.

It is precisely in a culture that is claimed to be tolerant about such things that you would most likely find marriage viewed as either opposite-sex or same-sex. Yet where is the practice of same-sex marriage in ancient Greece, for example?

If you believe the long, anthropological and sociological tradition of marriage-as-heterosexual is due for revision, that's one thing. But please don't rewrite history.

Marriage-as-heterosexual is a natural, sociological institution arising out of human cultures worldwide.

Now, what can be argued better as arising from Jewish--and even more, Christian--religious values is monogamy and permanence. These were not universal aspects of marriage, and still aren't. That our laws enshrine marriage as just two (even where it's same-sex marriage)--and historically, but not so much anymore, tended to enforce permanence--derive from the influence of Christianity.

So we have a curiosity: those who are objecting to, or marginalizing, the influence of Christianity, in their argument against marriage being intrinsically heterosexual, are generally in favor of perpetuating the one decisive contribution Christianity made to our cultural definition of marriage, which is monogamy.

Nomilk said...

I find it interesting that gay people are willing to fight for marriage while straight people show disdain for married life at every turn.


You're mixing two very different ideas here--one of which is a lie.

(1) Homosexuals have virtually no interest in marriage (see SSM rates in Massachusetts). They have, however, latched on to the issue as a club with which to beat back disapproval. They're cynically willing to distort if not destroy the fundamental cell of human society as a way to pulverize opposition to their life style. (There's also a theological issue here, less immediately relevant, but real nonetheless. SSM is the ultimate form of atheism. It says there is no God, and all things are permitted.)

(2) There is no doubt many heterosexual people have abused marriage. Of course, it is only because marriage is so weak that SSM is even thinkable let alone possible. It's like Obama complaining about the terrible economy Bush left him. Hey, Barry, you only got elected because the economy was terrible! Deal with it.

pst314 said...

"From a religious point-of-view, the bigotry toward gay people demonstrates the corruption of Christianity, most notably the lack of compassion. A true follower of Jesus would take a compassionate attitude toward others"

Jesus would say "go and sin no more". This is a point of view that many conservative Christians hold. I'm sure that you welcome the "go" part but are infuriated by "sin no more", as although you speak of "compassion" what you really demand is absolute approval.

Methadras said...

MrBuddwing said...

If you don't like bigotry then you don't live in the real world.

Conversely ...?


No.

Alan said...

The government doesn't own the language, and thus does not have the authority to change words' meanings.

The left should have taken the route of extending to cohabiting nonmarrieds (perhaps even platonic cohabiting nonmarrieds?) legal privileges normally reserved to marrieds. Instead, it took the obnoxious Newspeak route.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

People who speak English don't have a problem with using an adjective to modify a noun, or with using an adverb to modify that adjective.

Do you need to go back to sentence diagramming, Masturbatorius? Or do such activities detract from the "truthiness" of a more informal study of grammar?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Oh, right. Divide et impera applies exclusively to Christians, because they are the only "real" religious community. Do I understand you correctly, Youngblood?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Oh, and also, elected officials shouldn't sign bills in places of worship.

After decades of watching the right shamelessly court evangelicals and forming explicitly political alliances with countless televangelists, culminating in James Dobson, this exhortation is supposed to have any meaning.

Nice try! Reap what you've sown!

Palladian said...

"People who speak English don't have a problem with using an adjective to modify a noun, or with using an adverb to modify that adjective."

People who get good head occasionally feel little need to be pedantic about grammar.

But I did peg you as a prescriptive grammarian, with all its pencil-dicked, casuistic needling. All mechanics and no style. The perfect statist butt-boy.

Synova said...

Ritmo... what law was signed in a place of worship by Republicans? Name one. What Christian denomination was officially favored over another by Republicans?

Also, in case you didn't notice when politicians speak in churches during campaigns they are Democrats. In 2004 Kerry "gave the message" in church on Sunday morning on at least one occasion during the presidential campaign. His Republican opponent did not do this.

The "it doesn't count when Democrats do it because we all know they are lying" defense is typically lame, but typically assumed.

Because we KNOW that the Republicans try to push religion. We know this because the Democrats tell us so over and over.

But now! "Nice try! Reap what you've sown!"

This seem to be a proclamation that no longer do we have to try to avoid promoting one religion or denomination over another or hold to the Constitution as a standard. Now all we have to do is hold to the standard of our political opponents. And all future ability to fuss over the twining of religion and state is gone forever.

And you're up with that?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Really, Palladian. A dick-measuring contest? A pissing contest? And do you think I always lack for style? I thought my comment about the Village People in the last thread was pretty funny. Hey, I'm just defending myself from that idiot elHombre (talk about an unoriginal name), who never has an original thought ever. I mean, sometimes I think he must have a mancrush on me the way he never chimes in except to say something to me or about me. He does seem like a pretty lonely retiree.

And don't my Cedarford Mad Libs earn any points in your book?

Anyways, getting back to the genitalia thing, women like my dick - both the size, shape and what I do with it. And I have to do vaginas (although that sounds like a chore, it's not. trust me. I'm just making a point.), which tend to be a little bigger and looser than assholes (although sometimes those are fun to do, too). So I'm sure my dick is a nice size - even by any gay guy's standards. Shit! You could even get a gay guy to examine and opine on it, if you want. I don't care. Let's choose a neutral observer and set something up - If that's what it takes to settle the issue for you.

Come on, Palladian. Not all of us can be as constantly clever as you. Or as god damn cynical. As it should be.

Palladian said...

Just to finish this thread I want to say that I hate everyone on both sides of this important issue, and still hold to my apparently naive and unrealistic (according to somefeller) beliefs that the government has no right nor authority to regulate the institution of marriage. That it continues to do so, or try to do so, constitute a usurpation of the freedom of association, contract and religion and to me, represent everything hateful and tyrannical about governments in general. You may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.

Now let's all go and have some hot sex, gay or otherwise.

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 213   Newer› Newest»