At the risk of…

 

Hi everyone – Wow!  Comments are coming too fast for me to keep up with.  Sorry they aren’t all getting the attention they deserve.

I had to cringe when John asked for context and jesurgiac gave it.  I haven’t been able to read through all the back-and-forth yet, but allow me to share some thoughts.  My arguments for prop8 have evolved quite a bit during the process of writing them out.  This is what happens when I let this blog act more like a journal than a research paper.   Knee-jerk reactions are put into black and white, soapboxes are pounded, feelings shared though not entirely bullet-proof.  Thank goodness I haven’t run across any one truly malicious yet, because I know many of the cases I’ve presented wouldn’t hold up in court.  Thanks to everyone for their understanding and good nature.

I’ll readily admit that “because God says so” is probably not the most convincing of arguments – especially for those who don’t believe in Him, and especially when debating Prop8.  What I believe is what I believe.  It may remain my bottom line, but I recognize it doesn’t hold water for many people.

Let’s take a small moment to acknowledge that the 10 commandments were the foundation of laws in America to begin with, and that “Because God says so” is not a bad motivation for someone in their personal and family life, however politically “uncorrect” it may be today.

Advertisements

29 Responses to At the risk of…

  1. jesurgislac says:

    I had to cringe when John asked for context and jesurgiac gave it. I haven’t been able to read through all the back-and-forth yet, but allow me to share some thoughts. My arguments for prop8 have evolved quite a bit during the process of writing them out. This is what happens when I let this blog act more like a journal than a research paper. Knee-jerk reactions are put into black and white, soapboxes are pounded, feelings shared though not entirely bullet-proof. Thank goodness I haven’t run across any one truly malicious yet, because I know many of the cases I’ve presented wouldn’t hold up in court. Thanks to everyone for their understanding and good nature.

    Don’t cringe!

    Rather admit that if this is your key reason for opposing same-sex marriage, it ought to remain in the realm of religious, personal opposition – exemplified by, for example, leaving your blog on google software and moving to a different blog – and ought not, out of respect for religious freedom, ever be part of the law of the land.

    Let’s take a small moment to acknowledge that the 10 commandments were the foundation of laws in America to begin with

    The foundation of laws in the US to begin with was English common law as established by the 17th century in England.

    English common law was never based on the 10 commandments; it was made by judges sitting in courts. While the oldest decisions from English common law that are still the law of the land today date back only to the 13th century, the system itself quite literally predates Christianity in England.

  2. Husband John says:

    Jesurgislac, et al—

    Although you’ve identified some factually correct items (such as the foundation of America’s jurisprudence on the “common law” system), you’ve nonetheless disregarded the foundational elements of both common law and freedom. I don’t fault you – such is the state of our educational system and country’s morals.

    Reader beware: brevity is unfortunately not a talent I posses. The topic is clearly too grandiose to document thoroughly in a blog; however, I’ve endeavored to be specific enough that the unbiased, analytical, and truly-interested individuals can discern fact from fiction. I encourage independent empirical research by the reader, as the historicity and factuality of the below will be self-evident.

    — Short Answer: how can religion provide a foundational response to something like Prop8? —

    Virtue and morality, the core elements of pure religion, are in fact foundational elements of a “free” nation. Not only “can” Christian faith and freedom go together, they must; without one, the other cannot long exist. Without Christian virtues, freedom will disappear and likewise the converse.

    I posit the following two statements and discuss them each, “briefly,” in the long answer below: (1) religious belief and its associated values are conceptually indispensable to a regime of freedom, and (2) as a matter of historical fact, America’s institutions of free government were developed on the basis of religious precept. Considered either way, the evidence shows that freedom is coterminous with faith—precisely as the Founding fathers, along with individuals such as Burke and de Tocqueville, so frequently contended.

    Western freedom, which we enjoy in The United States of America, is the product of “Western” faith (Christianity), and the precepts of that faith (Christianity) are essential to its survival. Accordingly, since I value and cherish our Western freedoms, which are dependent on virtues foundational to Western, Christian faith, I cannot support the legalization of same-sex marriage. To do so would be at the expense of our freedom, as such freedom is inseparable from its foundational faith.

    John Adams said a free government “is only to be supported by pure religion or austere morals. Public virtue cannot last in a nation without private, and public virtue is the only foundation of republics.”

    — Long Answer —

    I define freedom in the “classical liberal” viewpoint: the absence of coercion, to the extent that this is feasible in organized society. Note the natural and implied proviso that liberty to act on one’s own behalf must be fenced off by the equal liberty of others, such that freedom for one individual does not become oppression for a second. Thus the government’s basic and fundamental responsibility is to maintain the equal liberty of the people by preventing various species of aggression (simultaneously, the government must itself be precluded from violating freedoms).

    Perhaps surprisingly, no such concepts were expressed, much less practiced, in the ancient world, which includes Babylon, Egypt, Imperial Rome, the Persian Monarch, or Asiatic kingdoms. The closest ancient system occurred in Athens and Republican Rome, but even then the notions of personal liberty and the limited state were missing. Perhaps more surprisingly, examples of free government are sparse in the modern historical record, too.

    As opposed to the totalitarians of the past, though, the 20th century norm has been anything but libertarian. Since WWII, supposedly an age of democracy and freedom, most of the Orient, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East have lived under some species of repression, mostly revolutionary despots and military strongmen.

    Accordingly, when we look for ideas of freedom, as defined above, it’s found in a very narrow range of times and venues: the continent of Europe, before and after the totalitarians; the UK and its dominions; and the United States. All of these entities are commonly aggregated as “the West.” In more recent years, some parts of Latin America and the Pacific Rim, and a state or two of Africa are included; that’s it. From the dawn of recorded history, that’s the extent of freedom as defined above.

    The natural question, then, is why? Why is freedom, the absence of coercion, so rare, even today, in such an “enlightened” and “progressive” global society?

    As was correctly identified, American jurisprudence originates with the “common law” system – the concepts and institutions of freedom that are European in origin. Interestingly, it’s also in Europe that we find other attributes of free societies—economic progress and expansion, the application of new technologies, the development of systematic science. All are aspects of the modern outlook that tend to go with freedom, and all came to the fore in Europe.

    So, if this is where freedom and related notions come from, then obviously we need to know the reason. Why should such conceptions emerge from Europe, rather than the otherwise impressive culture of Confucian China, for instance? Why did these things take root in one particular civilization, but not in others? Note, this is not an argument for the “superiority” of the European culture. The point isn’t “better or worse” but that European culture is different, and one way in which it is strikingly different is in its concept of personal freedom.

    Any serious consideration of these issues must bring us back, eventually, to the topic of religion. Every culture reflects the influence of religious precepts of one kind or another, and this is decidedly the case with Europe. As all authorities on the subject are agreed, the entity known as “Europe” was chiefly a product of Christianity—so much so that Europe and its offspring were once described as “Christendom.” As the church for many ages was the only universal institution, this should not be surprising.

    In a society divided by language, custom, ethnic background, and territorial ambition, it was religion that supplied the elements of unity: an accepted matrix of belief and value, art and symbol, the administrative mechanisms of the church, and—in the clerical and official use of Latin—a common argot that bridged the linguistic differences of the region. Christopher Dawson states, “Without Christianity, there would no doubt have been some kind of civilization in the West, but it would have been quite a different civilization from that which we know; for it was only in Christendom—the society of Christian people—that the tribes and people and nations of the West acquired a common consciousness and sense of cultural and spiritual unity. . .” (Christopher Dawson, The Historic Reality of Christian Culture (Harper, 1965), p. 35.

    Granted that many other elements such as Teutonic custom and Roman legal practice were folded into the final product (not always in beneficial fashion), it was religion that suffused the whole with a common outlook and gave to Europe its distinctive view of statecraft.

    Even when this religious unity was fractured at the Reformation, the power of Christian doctrine in molding European institutions continued. Though Catholics and Protestants battled fiercely among themselves, the political and cultural notions of the modern European states still received the imprint of Christian teaching, albeit in several different guises. It was on this ground of underlying unity that the Protestant Burke sprang to the defense of Catholic France against the secularism and atheism of the Jacobins—arguing that the civilization of the West was “virtually one great state having the same basis of general law,” founded chiefly on the precepts of religion.

    That biblical teaching was the formative influence in the creation of Europe, and that Europe was the nursery of freedom as we know it, are both established facts of record. Taken separately, these are prosaic statements of common knowledge, hardly worth the trouble of assertion. “Modern liberalism” seeks to suggest that instead of liberty and freedom, Christian doctrine induces oppression and tyranny. If such is the case, and modern liberalists are thus correct, then the historical record should provide ample corroborative evidence: liberty ought to flourish when Christianity has the smallest degree of influence.

    That a general survey prima facie says the opposite suggests that something in conventional thinking of “modern liberalism” and history, that Christianity equals inequality and oppression, is mistaken. The correlation of Christianity with the rise of freedom is, in fact, anything but accidental.

    In actuality, the precepts of Christian religion provided the conceptual building blocks for the free societies of the West—including the very idea of liberty as we know it: limits on the power of the state and institutions that gave these practical expressions. St. Aquinas outlines the central tenet of libertarian theory, through discussion of what is voluntary and what is not. Additionally, along with its emphasis on volition, there arose in Christian thought a reciprocal concept of limits on the state, again elucidated by Aquinas and St. Augustine.

    The notion of limits on state compulsion is obviously integral to a free society. It is distinctly biblical in origin, and was pervasive in the medieval era—and not merely as a concept. During Aquinas’ life, limits on political power were the norm in Europe. Representative institutions during that period were vigorous and growing, and the power of kings accordingly constrained—up to and including ideas of popular sovereignty, social contract, and resistance to tyrannical rulers. At the high noon of the Middle Ages, the córtes in Spain, Estates General in France, Reichstag in Germany, and Parliament in England were wielding powers of taxation and otherwise sharing in state decisions—the prototype of free government as we know it.

    Generally speaking, in point of act, the Middle Ages were a time of waxing freedom—growing protection for private rights, expanding urban liberties, and increasing commerce. The elective principle was pervasive, from aldermen and mayors to the conduct of the papacy and empire. Rule by unilateral edict was unknown. All of this was in keeping with the precepts of the church, which taught that earthly power should be subject to a higher law, and also held accountable to the governed.

    From an American standpoint, what is most relevant about the medieval period is the experience of England, since this was the proximate source of our ideas and institutions (such as the “common law” system identified). English and continental politics of the Middle Ages had much in common, but differed sharply at the outset of the modern era. On the continent, far from advancing the cause of freedom, Renaissance ideas of kingship and related institutional changes almost destroyed it. In France and Spain, the chiefly German “Holy Roman Empire” and the city-states of Italy, neopagan concepts of absolute authority came to the forefront, denying the medieval view that there were, or should be, limits on the secular power. In England alone, the struggle would produce the opposite verdict: freedom.

    We are used to thinking of England as the home of representative government; less familiar is the idea that England enjoyed free institutions at the on-set of the modern age because it had retained them from the preceding era. While Renaissance notions were triumphing on the continent, the English experienced, in Maitland’s phrase, “a marvelous resuscitation of the medieval law” (F.W. Maitland, Selected Historical Essays (Beacon, 1957), p. 112.

    That they did so was in large measure, again, the making of the church, which in Britain produced a remarkable series of statesmen/clerics—from Becket and John of Salisbury in the reign of Henry II to Langton, Grosseteste and Bracton in the century to follow. The doctrine that they imprinted on English constitutional theory was that the “king is under God—and under the law,” and not entitled to rule by personal edict. This was the essence of Christian teaching about the state and it became the guiding precept of England’s common lawyers.

    By far the greatest challenge to this doctrine was the conflict between the Stuarts and the Parliaments of the early 1600s, which sealed the English verdict against divine-right kingship. In this context, religious motives were again conspicuous, as opposition to the Stuarts was led by intransigent Puritan squires, zealous believers in the higher law who conceded little to the power of kings. They were, as James I correctly noted, “ever discontented with the . . . government, and impatient to suffer any superiority.” Should they have their way, he said, “I know what would become of my supremacy.”

    James is often described as a foolish king, but on this point he obviously knew whereof he spoke. These religious-political quarrels indeed destroyed the supremacy of the Stuarts, and had other historic consequences, also. Most notably, they led to the first substantial emigration of Englishmen to America, and thus to the creation of our country. The people who came over in the 1600s were among the most devoted partisans of the Puritan interest, adherents to Christian doctrines of the higher law and consensual authority. They accordingly planted the medieval view of limited, constitutional government in the colonies from the outset. The significance for our institutions may be glimpsed in the statement of John Cotton, chief theologian of early Massachusetts:

    “Let all the world learn to give mortal men no greater power than they are content they shall use, for use it they will . . . It is . . . most wholesome for magistrates and officers in church and commonwealth never to affect more liberty and authority than will do them good, and the people good; for whatever transcendent power is given will certainly overrun those that receive it . . . It is necessary, therefore, that all power that is on earth be limited, church power or other . . . It is counted a matter of danger to the state to limit prerogatives; but it is a further danger, not to have them limited” (Perry Miller and Thomas Johnson, eds, The Puritans (Harper, 1963), pg. 212-213.

    It was on the basis of such doctrine that the Puritans established their church and civic institutions, thereby creating many practices of free government with which Americans are familiar. Our indebtedness to these religious sources for numerous features of our statecraft is one of the most remarkable aspects of the record (though it’s a debt disparaged or ignored in “modern liberalism”). The Founders of the eighteenth century, it is said, were philosophes and secularists, and created our republic on this basis; phooey, says I.

    If we consult the record of the revolutionary/constitutional era, however, once more we see a different picture. In the early history of the republic, the dominant thesis was that free government depended, precisely, on the teaching of religion. Though brevity requires that I forego many details, we may nonetheless note some of the general attitudes of our Founders, in which ideas of personal liberty and free government were routinely grounded on religious value. Here, for instance, is Washington’s formulation of the subject:

    “Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports . . . The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them . . . Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. ‘Tis substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government . . . Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?” (Saul Padover, ed., The Washington Papers (Harper, 1955), pg. 318-319.

    Washington made many other statements to this effect throughout his long career in public life—urging his troops, “to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier.” Nor were his opinions in this matter unusual in the founding era. John Adams remarked, for instance, that America was established on “the general principles of Christianity,” as well as on the “general principles of English and American liberty.” As he put it on the eve of independence, a free government “is only to be supported by pure religion or austere morals. Public virtue cannot last in a nation without private, and public virtue is the only foundation of republics” (Commager and Morris, eds., The Spirit of Seventy-Six (Harper, 1967), pg. 379.

    Similar views were held by other Founders, from stalwart Puritans such as Samuel Adams and Roger Sherman to arch-Federalists like Jay and Hamilton. Indeed, the hardest thing to discover in the annals of our founding is the type of hostility toward Christian faith that would prevail in revolutionary France! Even Jefferson, often cited as a philosophe and secularist, believed that freedom was grounded in religion. “Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure,” he asked, “when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of people that these liberties are the gift of God?” (Koch and Peden, eds., The Life and Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Modern Library, 1944), pg. 278.

    The reasoning of the Founders in this regard was identical to that provided by Burke contemporaneously in England: Self-government required observance of the moral law, respect for the rights of others, restraint upon the passions. Virtue was thus a necessary precondition to a regime of freedom, and a nation that lost its religious moorings was considered ripe for tyranny. Conversely, since religious belief and ethical conduct were matters of volition, the Founders also believed that liberty was integral to ideas of virtue. While they did not hold strictly “separationist” views about this subject, they believed that the political state was incompetent to deal with spiritual concerns, and should tend chiefly to the job of keeping order.

    From what we know about the founding era, the ideas expressed by such as Washington, Adams, and other leading men reflected common opinion in the country. Americans generally were raised on Scripture, accustomed to institutions that embodied Christian precept, and instructed by pastors attentive to the political meaning of religious doctrine. Throughout the founding epoch, the emphasis was on the unity, not the opposition, of faith and freedom, and this remained a feature of our statecraft for many years thereafter.

    “There is no country in the world,” de Tocqueville would write in 1835, “where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America . . . Religion in America takes no direct part in the government of society, but it must be regarded as the first of their political institutions; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates the use of it . . . I do not know whether all Americans have a sincere faith in their religion—for who can search the human heart?—but I am certain that they hold it indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions” (Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (Vintage, 1955), Vol I, pg. 316.

    We thus note a recurring pattern, completely different from the usual teaching of “modern liberalism.” Rather than finding political freedom rising in opposition to the religious values of the West, we see exactly the reverse: ideas of personal liberty and free government emerging in Christian Europe; institutional development of such ideas in the Middle Ages; vigorous defense of these in England on the basis of medieval doctrine; the translation of such ideas and institutions to America by a religious people, and the persistence of this connection in our life and thought long past the founding era.

    If religion is the enemy of freedom, how are these matters to be explained?

    As stated in the short answer above, not only “can” faith and freedom go together, they must. Western freedom is the product of Western faith (Christianity), and the precepts of that faith are essential to its survival.

  3. Husband John says:

    Oh, and by the way, this merely addresses the question raised about how, on “religious” grounds, it’s natural and appropriate to not be permissive of same-sex marriage. I didn’t even touch on other other half-dozen “non-religious” reasons. I don’t think I’ll have opportunity to document those before the election, unfortunately, so the above explanation will likely need to suffice (as it covers the broadest rejection of prop8 by opponents, that of religion, anyway).

  4. Husband John says:

    I woke up this morning and discovered (a) this is still on my mind – I feel strongly enough about it that I decided to get up and write some more things, at ~5:30am, only to discover, (b) today is when DST kicks in and we “fall” back an hour. So, it’s really 4:30am, and the one day a year of possible “extra” sleep is the day I wake up early with something pressing in my mind. Ugh.

    I realized that readers are unlikely to read my entire previous comment. This is an internet generation– we want soundbites and a quick synopsis. This is an effort to summarize my lengthy comment into a few key points – for more detail read the longer post:

    (0) Freedom, as Americans recognize, define, and enjoy it, is the natural effect of Christianity. One does not long exist without the other. The extent to which a nation allows, and adheres to, Christian precepts is the extent to which that nation enjoys freedom. Conversely, to the extent a nation disallows, or doesn’t follow, Christian precepts is the extent to which it becomes less free. A casual, and detailed, review of the historical record will prove such is true; http://scriptures.lds.org/en/2_cor/3/17#17.
    (1) England’s “common law” system is in fact built on Christian underpinnings;
    (2) The U.S. adopted English “common law” and is thus likewise built on Christian underpinnings;
    (3) America’s framing documents (i.e. The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitutuon) are likewise built upon Christian underpinnings;
    (4) The framers were Christians – not merely Deists;
    (5) The framers did not eradicate all references to God in their speech, administrations, institutions or the like. To demand that today’s government require such, when clearly it was not the intent — or those who enacted the very foundational laws we purport to follow would have done it — is madness and antithetical to freedom.
    (6) It’s incumbent on all who love freedom to strenuously oppose anything that will subvert those freedoms;
    (7) Those freedoms are inseperable from Christian principles taught, and lived;
    (8) Ergo, to retain freedom, same-sex marriage must not be permitted or accepted; and,
    (9) As America’s morals deterioriate and she fails to adhere to her foundational Christian principles, so too will her freedoms erode.

  5. Husband John says:

    Some useful “sound” bites:

    “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” — John Adams

    “Only a virtuous people are capable of freeedom. As a nation becomes corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” — Benjamin Franklin

    “To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people is a chimerical idea.” — James Madison

    “The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy the gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people; then shall we both deserve and enjoy it. While, on the other hand, if we are universally vicious and debauched in our manners, though the form of our Constitution carries the face of the most exalted freedom, we shall in reality be the most abject slaves.” — Samuel Adams

    “It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in [the Constitution] a finger of that Almighty hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in the critical stages of the revolution.” — James Madison

    “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the dutues of men and citizens. . . . Let it simply be asked, where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education . . . reason and experience both both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” — George Washington

    “I am sure there never was a people, who had more reason to acknowledge a divine interposition in their affairs, than those of the United States; and I should be pained to believe, that they have forgotten that agency, which was so often manifested during our revolution, or that they failed to consider the omnipotence of that God, who is alone able to protect them.” — George Washington

    “We may with a kind of pious and grateful exultation, trace the fingers of Providence through those dark and mysterious events which first induced the states to appoint a general convention, and then led them one after another . . . into an adoption of the system recommended by that general convention, thereby, in all human probability, laying a lasting foundation for tranquility and happiness, when we had but too much reason to fear that confusion and misery were coming rapidly upon us. That same good Providence may still continue to protect us, and prevent us from dashing the cup of national felicity just as it has been lifted to our lips, is [my] earnest prayer.” — George Washington

    “I regard [the Constitution] as the work of the purest patriots and wisest statesmen that ever existed, aided by the smiles of a benign Providence; it almost appears a ‘Divine interposition in our behalf’ . . . the hand that destroys our Constitution rends our Union asunder forever.” — Daniel Webster

  6. Husband John says:

    A non-religious response to Prop8 opponents — Author: Craig A. Huey

    Many voters who are for same-sex marriage—or don’t care either way—are joining forces with those who believe in protecting traditional marriage to vote “yes” on Proposition 8. Why? Because Proposition 8 restores individual freedom and protects free speech. A “no” vote destroys liberty, empowers judicial activists and creates a climate of lawsuits and coercion.

    What happened?

    By a 4–3 decision, the California Supreme Court voted to force “same-sex marriage” on California. This decision overturned Proposition 22, which states that marriage is between a man and a woman only. In 2000, an overwhelming 61.4% of California voters passed Proposition 22. This court ruling overturning the California voters’ decision is history in the making.

    A civil right?

    Marriage is being “redefined” as a civil right; this new definition will radically change our society. That’s the problem—and that’s why gays, heterosexuals, Christians and Jews, Democrats and Republicans are joining together to vote “yes” on Proposition 8.
    No other political decision to change American society (as we’ve known it for more than 200 years) even comes close to this one.

    The three dissenting votes rightly pointed out that this is not a civil rights issue, it’s an issue of choice. The four judges who voted for “same-sex marriage” did so based on a distorted view of “civil liberties.” The four judges said, just as you can’t discriminate against people based on their race, you also can’t discriminate against people based on their “sexual orientation.” But choosing one’s personal sexual behavior isn’t the same as what defines one’s race.

    Confusion and danger

    Redesigning society based on this confusion—that a chosen sexual “orientation” is no different from the unchosen, unchangeable characteristic of race—is based on faulty and dangerous reasoning. There are some things we don’t choose. No one can choose his or her race or height—any more than he or she can choose any gene.

    Whom we enter into a relationship with, however, is voluntary—it’s a matter of free will.
    Homosexual behavior is a choice, not a civil right. Race is not a choice, and is a civil right.

    Why real rights are in danger

    Now, because of the court’s decision based on newly created “civil rights,” our religious liberty and freedom of speech are in danger. If Proposition 8 isn’t passed, watch for costly lawsuits to mount against churches if they don’t allow homosexual “weddings.”

    Last year in New Jersey, a lesbian couple sued the Methodist Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association after it refused, for religious reasons, to let the “couple” hold a ceremony on the camp’s property. The camp has lost part of its tax-exempt status and expects more court challenges.

    Stifling freedom of speech

    Watch out for more churches, religious organizations and pastors to grow increasingly reluctant to speak out against what they call the sin of homosexuality for fear of accusations of “hate speech,” “discrimination” and “violating civil rights.”

    Canadian Evangelical Pastor Stephen Boisson was recently banned from expressing his opposition to homosexuality, ordered to pay $5,000 for damages for “pain and suffering” and to apologize to a homosexual activist for writing in a newspaper it was wrong to teach 5- and 6-year-olds that homosexuality is acceptable behavior. Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family has to edit references to homosexuality out of his radio broadcasts in Canada so he doesn’t get prosecuted for “hate speech.”

    Stifling freedom of conscience

    Religious employees, Christian schools and bookstores, photographers, wedding-cake bakers, rental agencies and other businesses—all of them could be targets of ruinous lawsuits.

    In New Mexico, Elaine Huguenin, a professional wedding photographer, was fined and found guilty for not wanting to photograph a lesbian wedding.

    And just last month, the California Supreme Court found guilty two doctors in San Diego who refused to inseminate a lesbian woman. They referred her to another doctor. After she had the child, she sued, winning her “civil rights” case that would force the doctors to act against their own freedom of conscience. They will be potentially subjected to paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorney fees to the lesbian.

    Proposition 8 is easy. Whether you agree with same-sex marriage or not, Proposition 8 is needed to protect freedom of speech and freedom of conscience. Voting “no” on 8 is voting against freedom of religion and opening the door to lawsuits and harassment of those who disagree with homosexuality.

    Voting YES is protecting the American dream and stopping the erosion of liberty.

  7. Husband John says:

    Another non-religious reason — Author: Mike Spence

    If Proposition 8 fails, my school district will teach gay marriage and Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell knows it!

    Of course, school board members like me, some teachers, and some parents will resist this type of instruction. But like the Borg in the Star Trek Series, the law, education code, judges and pro-gay marriage groups will eventually force their ‘tolerant’ view of gay marriage on all children in public schools.

    This is how it will work in California public schools:

    Education Code section 51933 makes it clear that schools that teach ‘comprehensive sex education’ have to teach, ‘respect for marriage and committed relationships’. This is something no school district can get around.

    It is the choice of school districts whether or not they teach sex education. This is why the Anti- Proposition 8 campaign and Jack O’Connell say there is no requirement to teach about marriage. What Jack O’Connell knows but doesn’t say is that 96% of school districts teach comprehensive sex education. Those numbers are from O’Connell’s California Department of Education. 96% must teach respect for marriage.

    The only way out is to end sex education programs in all these school districts. That is something that just won’t happen. Look at the outcry that takes place when boards try to emphasize more abstinence. The same groups against Proposition 8 strongly support sex education in our schools. As does O’Connell. They along with the education establishment that created sex education will fight anyone that tries to abolish it.

    As you can see, Jack O’Connell saying that Proposition 8 doesn’t affect children in schools is like saying the Governor’s proposed sales tax hike won’t affect people, because there is no mandate that they buy products covered by the sales tax.

    But it isn’t just sex education that’s affected. Look at last year’s California Association of Teachers of English Conference. One workshop was entitled ‘Reading and Writing Beyond the Closet: LGBTQ Inclusion in the English Classroom’. (For those new to the acronyms it is Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Trans-gendered, and Questioning). The 2009 conference has a whole strand on the topic.

    Teen fiction, elementary school reading books, and history are all fair game. Over ten years ago, the leaders of the West Covina teachers union sued me because I tried to stop a workshop for middle school teachers called ‘Out of The Closet, Into The Classroom’.

    Passage of SB 777, which expanded discrimination law to include ANYTHING that might discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, or a classification in hate crime statutes, also impacts every aspect of educational activities.

    This was before the debate about Proposition 8.

    In their decision on the marriage case, the State Supreme Court found that by its very nature, limiting marriage to that between a man and a woman is discrimination based on sexual orientation.

    How is a teacher, parent, or school board member going to overcome the Supreme Court, State law, and the educational establishment?

    That brings us to opt-out provisions in California law. The very fact that Anti-Proposition 8 folks cite the opt-out provision should be a wake-up call that gay marriage will be taught and they know it. Otherwise, why bring up opt-out provisions?

    The opt-out provision is very narrow in California and is limited to ‘sexually explicit content’ that describes the functions of reproductive organs. That’s it. Some have pointed out that two children from the infamous first grade class field trip to a same-sex marriage didn’t go. They didn’t go because it was an off-campus trip and permission is needed to leave campus. Had the marriage been done on the school campus, parents would not need to be notified nor allowed to opt-out.

    You don’t have to believe me. Believe the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR). NCLR has given $300,000 to the No on Prop 8 campaign and its Executive Director is on the No on 8 Steering Committee. Their legal analysis, LGBT Legal Issues for School Attorneys, says:

    ‘State law explicitly provides that ‘instruction or materials that discuss gender, sexual orientation, or family life and do not discuss human reproductive organs and their functions’ is not subject to the parental notice and opt-out laws. California Education Code § 51932(b).’ (Pg.31)

    There is no opt-out for gay marriage and the legal and educational establishment is dedicated to using existing law to force it on public schools.

    When you see the advertisements with Jack O’Connell saying that Proposition 8 is not going to lead to gay marriage being taught in schools, he is either a fool or trying to fool you and that is shameful.

  8. jesurgislac says:

    you’ve nonetheless disregarded the foundational elements of both common law and freedom.,

    Well, factually, historically, no. The principles of English common law and English democracy existed in England before England became a Christian country, and derive fairly clearly from even older Scandinavian traditions which may well predate Christianity and certainly predate the arrival of Christianity in the Scandinavian countries. What I am disregarding is the mythos that many Christians have set up that freedom is an essentially Christian concept. I don’t disagree that many people have used Christianity as their inspiration to fight for freedom and against discrimination. Many people have used Christianity as an excuse to oppose freedom and impose discrimination.

    Proposition 8 is a perfect example: many people of faith do oppose it, inspired by their belief that God says discrimination and oppression is wrong. Many people of faith support it, inspired by their belief that God wants them to discriminate against LGBT people.

    You’re commented at great length here, and I have read your comments, but let me (in my next comment) pick out some examples to respond to.

  9. jesurgislac says:

    Marriage is being “redefined” as a civil right; this new definition will radically change our society.

    Marriage has been defined as a civil right in the US since June 12, 1967: Loving vs. Virginia. In 1958, a Virginian judge ruled that “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.” Nine years later, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned that ruling, a landmark decision in a radical change to society – the freedom to marry had become recognised a civil right, regardless of the religious opinions of others on the validity of your marriage. You are over 41 years too late to regret and fight that change.

    The four judges said, just as you can’t discriminate against people based on their race, you also can’t discriminate against people based on their “sexual orientation.” But choosing one’s personal sexual behavior isn’t the same as what defines one’s race.

    So, when did you (and your wife) decide that you were going to be heterosexual? If your view is that a person can simply decide on their personal sexual behavior, you must presumably be basing this on your personal experience – when did you, personally, decide you were no longer going to be sexually attracted to men, but were going to feel sexual attraction only to women? I think if you’re honest (assuming that you are heterosexual, of course) you’ll admit that there never was a time when you made that “choice” – a person’s sexual orientation is what it is, and there’s nothing they can do about it.

    Of course a person may decide they want to live a celibate life in the belief that this will be pleasing to God – and while I support a person’s free choice to do so, most people are not drawn towards celibacy as a vocation: it’s normal and human to want to be with someone you love, someone you feel attracted to, someone you can make a lifetime commitment to. To argue that lesbian and gay people ought not to be allowed to get married is – in fact – as straightforward a civil rights issue as that of Mildred and Richard Loving, who were also told that God did not want them to get married.

    Last year in New Jersey, a lesbian couple sued the Methodist Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association after it refused, for religious reasons, to let the “couple” hold a ceremony on the camp’s property. The camp has lost part of its tax-exempt status and expects more court challenges.

    Yes. The Methodist Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association owned most of a small town called Ocean Grove. The couple were not seeking to have a civil ceremony in a Methodist church, but in Ocean Grove Boardwalk Pavilion, a structure open to the general public and indeed supported by taxpayer’s money. cite The notion that two of the people who were expected by the association to support the pavilion with their taxes should not be allowed to have a civil ceremony in this public structure is profoundly unAmerican. No taxation without representation: if the Association wanted to keep the pavillion private, the should have refrained from taking public money to support it. If they no longer want to keep the pavillion open to the general public, justly, they lose their right to take public money for it. What is your problem with this? Don’t you believe in separation of

    Religious employees, Christian schools and bookstores, photographers, wedding-cake bakers, rental agencies and other businesses—all of them could be targets of ruinous lawsuits.

    Only if they insist on using their religion as an excuse to discriminate against lesbian and gay people. Why would you want them to do that? Do you want people to perceive Christians as generally hateful, discriminatory people? This is what troubles me about these arguments against Proposition 8 – they are based on the argument that the central tenet of Christianity, the one thing all Christians must practice, is homophobia. I no longer define myself as a Christian, but I had a Christian upbringing, and I do not recognise the Christianity I was taught as a child in this argument.

    The idea that a wedding photographer should have been allowed to refuse to photograph two Jews getting married because she was anti-Semitic, or that a doctor should have been allowed to refuse fertility services to an interracial couple? Is just as wrong as arguing that such people ought to be allowed to discriminate because the people who have asked for their professional services are lesbian or gay in sexual orientation.

    Proposition 8 is easy. Whether you agree with same-sex marriage or not, Proposition 8 is needed to protect freedom of speech and freedom of conscience.

    Exactly the reverse. Proposition 8 is about enshrining religious discrimination on grounds on sexual orientation in the state Constitution of California. You have a right to believe that same-sex couples ought not to marry. if you genuinely believe in freedom of speech and freedom of conscience, you would not be supporting a constitutional amendment that bans freedom of religion. After Proposition 8 fails, you will remain free to say and to think that you disagree with same-sex couples getting married – but same-sex couples will remain free to marry. That’s freedom. Proposition 8 is about enforcing your religious beliefs on others: it is a foul erosion of liberty.

  10. jesurgislac says:

    Mike Spence’s article (which, as you did not write it, I’ll not respond to in detail) seems to me to rest on the assumption that it’s good and appropriate for schoolchildren to bullied, harrassed, and made to feel disgusting and abnormal: that parents who are homophobic ought to expect the public school system to join them in enforcing their hateful beliefs not onl on their children, but also on other people’s children. I disapprove of bullying and I thoroughly disapprove of a school system that enforces hatred and discrimination on children.

  11. John's brother says:

    jesurgislac, I have no idea who you are but I’m glad you’re here!

  12. John's brother says:

    Don’t know who you are, jesurgislac, but I like the way you think!

  13. why are my comments not showing up? or is it just me and I’m making a fool of myself? LOL

  14. Big Brother says:

    Testing 123

  15. Big Brother says:

    Apparently you can’t have an apostrophe in your name…. crappy blog software.

    Anyway, I am John’s older brother, which makes Anita my sister in law. I don’t have nearly the time (or interest) that John and jesurgislac seem to have put into this discussion, but I am a CA resident and voted NO on prop 8 — so there!

  16. […] to believe – or not believe – what they choose. (I’ve just been discussing on another blog (to John at Have I Told You Lately?) why I think everyone in California who supports religious freedom ought to oppose Proposition 8, […]

  17. anitanap says:

    Hey Big Brother — I have to login and “approve” your comments before they show up. Jes & Hubby have apparently been approved enough that they bipass that check. At least, that’s my theory.

    At any rate, the blog software is okay with your appostraphe, and I greatly appreciated some comedic relief here, so I posted all your funny testing, testing, what-the…? comments. 🙂

    Love ya!
    ~Anita

  18. anitanap says:

    And know what’s scary? I just figured out that I can open up these comments and EDIT them! Like, the text! Crazy.

    (So beware, any posters with inclinations towards 4-letter-words. They will be edited!)

    And no, I’m not going to login to jes’s and fake a change of heart. Tempting, true, but not honest. Any change-of-mind postings from jes are all hers.

    LOL!!!!!

  19. Husband John says:

    Jesurgislac, Big Bro, et al —

    I noticed you used http markup, so hopefully mine will work and not come through as tags indicative of failed idiocy — some would say I’ve got enough of that already! ;p

    Tyranny, Anarchy, and Middle Ground

    The Framers had just come from tyrannical rule. The Declaration of Independence, in fact, is a laundry list of offenses by the monarchy to which the colonies took offense and subsequently affirmed their independence. The Articles of Confederation (AoF, the original national Constitution) proved too close to anarchy; Washington, and others of the day, cite the AoF as having nearly lost the Revolutionary War, as the national government had inssuficient power to provide munitions, food, clothing, etc, to the soldiers.

    The Framers were thus forced to seek the middle ground between anarchy and tyranny, what they called the “balanced center.” In lieu of “Ruler’s Law” (tyranny) or “no law” (anarchy), they desired to establish “People’s Law” — a system in which the government is kept under the control of the people and the political power is maintained at the balanced center with enough government to maintain security, justic, and good order, but not enough government to abuse the people.

    Hopefully we’re in agreement thus far! 😀

    Jefferson, in particular, verbalized the institutes of freedom envisioned under “People’s Law” as originally practiced among the Anglo-Saxons. As one authority of Jefferson points out: “Jefferson’s great ambition at that time [1776] was to promote a renaissance of Anglo-Saxon primitive institutions on the new continent. Thus presented, the American Revolution was nothing but the reclamation of the Anglo-Saxon birthright of which the colonists had been deprived by a ‘long trend of abuses.’ Nor does it appear that there was anything in this theory which surprised or shocked his contemporaries; Adams apparently did not disapprove of it, and it would be easy to bring in many similar expressions of the same idea in documents of the time” (Gilbert Chinard, Thomas Jefferson: The Apostle of Americanism, 2nd ed. rev. (The University of Michigan Press, 1975), pg. 86-87.

    Anglo-Saxon Common Law: “People’s Law”

    0) They considered themselves a commonwealth of freemen.
    1) All decisions and the selection of leaders had to be with the consent of the people, preferably by full consensus, not just a majority.
    2) The laws by which they were governed were considered natural laws given by divine dispensation, and were so well known by the people they did not have to be written down.
    3) Power was dispersed among the people and never allowed to concentrate in any one person or group. Even intime of war, the authority granted to the leaders was temporary and the power of the people to remove them was direct and simple.
    4) Primary responsibility for resolving problems rested first of all with the individual, then the family, then the tribe or community, then the region, and finally the nation.
    5) They were organized into small, manageable groups where every adult had a voice and a vote. They divided the people into units of ten families who elected a leader; then fifty families who elected a leader; then a hundred families who elected a leader’ and then a thousand families who elected a leader.
    6) They believed the rights of the individual were considered unalienable and could not be violated without risking the wrath of divine justice as well as civil retribution by the people’s judges.
    7) The system of justice was structured on the basis of severe punishment unless there was complete reparation to the person who had been wronged. There were only four “crimes” or offenses against the whole people: (i) treason, by betrarying their own people; (ii) cowardice, by refusing to fight or failing to fight courageously; (iii) desertion; and, (iv) homosexuality. These were considered capital offenses. All other offenses required reparation to the person who had been wronged.
    8) They always attempted to solve problems on the level where the problem originated. If this was impossible, they went no higher than was absolutely necessary to get a remedy. Usually only the most complex problems involving the welfare of the whole people, or a large segment of the people, ever went to the leaders for solution.

    As opposed to “Ruler’s Law” in which power flowed from the top down, “People’s Law” flowed from the people to the top: from an individual, to a family, to the municipal, to the provincial-state, and finally to a national power.

    Does that sound familar?

    Given your Christian upbringing, it should; it’s strictly Biblical.

    Perhaps you thought it resembles the U.S. federal government, and in many ways you’d be right. But that doesn’t speak to “People’s Law’s” origin, only its future. For its origin we must examine Ancient Israel.

    The “People’s Law” that formed the foundation of common law, as inherited by England and the U.S. down the road, is a reproduction of Ancient Israel’s “People’s Law” as given by Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament (which Latter-days Saint theology teaches to be the same person as the God of the New Testament – Jesus Christ).

    As the Founders studied the record of the ancient Israelites they were intrigued by the fact that they also operated under a system of laws remarkably similar to those ofthe Anglo-Saxons. The two systems were similar both in precept and operational structure. In fact, the Reverend Thomas Hooker wrote the “Fundamental Orders of Connecticut” based on the principles recorded by Moses in the first chapter of Deuteronomy. These “Fundamental Orders” were adopted in 1639 and constituted the first written constitution in modern times. This constitutional charter operated so successfully that it was adopted by Rhode Island. When the English colonies were converted over to independent states, these were the only two states which had constitutional documents which readily adapted themselves to the new order of self-government. All ofthe other states had to write new constitutions.

    Ancient Israel and the birth of “People’s Law”

    Here’s the principal characteristics of the “People’s Law” of Ancient Israel:
    0) They were set up as a commonwealth of freemen. A basic tenet was: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof” (Leviticus 25:10). This inscription appears on the American Liberty Bell, in fact. Whenever the Israelites fell into the temptation to have slaves or bond-servants, they were reprimanded. Around 600 B.C., a divine reprimand was given through the Prophet Jeremiah: “Ye have not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbor: behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 34:17).
    1) All the people were organized into small manageable units where the representative of each family had a voice and a voite. This organizing process was launched after Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, saw him trying to govern the people under “Ruler’s Law” (Exodus 18:13-26). When the structure was complete, the Israelites were structured from the bottom up, from more than 600 thousand families (3 million+ people) with power to govern themselves, to 60,000 groups of 10 families, to 12,000 groups of 50 families, to 6,000 groups of 100 families, to 600 groups of 1,000 families, to elected representatives (i.e. congress), to a council of seventy (i.e. senate), to Aaron and Joshua (VP over Internal Affairs and VP over the military, respectively), and then to Moses, the President. Numbers are based off the census in Numbers 1.
    2) There was specific emphasis on strong, local self-government. Problems were resolved to the greatest possible extent on the level where they originated (see Exodus 18:26).
    3) The entire code of justice was based primarily on reparation to the victim rather than fines and punishment by the commonwealth (see Exodus 21 & 22). The one crime for which no “satisfaction” could be given was first-degree murder, for which the penalty was death (Numbers 35:31).
    4) Leaders were elected and new laws were approved by the common consent of the people (see 2 Samuel 2:4; 1 Chr. 29:22; for the rejection of a leader, see 2 Chr. 10:16; for the approval of new leaders, see Exodus 19:8).
    5) Accused persons were presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. Evidence had to be strong enough to remove any question of doubt as to guilt. Borderline cases were decided in favor of the accused and he was released. It was felt that if he were actually guilty, his punishment could be left to the judgment of God in the future life.

    As an interesting sidenote, but which I think applicable and reflective of America’s foundation of (a) freedom, (b) jurisprudence, and (c) religion, consider:

    Anglo-Saxons and Ancient Israel as U.S. Seal?

    Because of the monumental importance of these two influences, the latter of which was “coincidentally” yet strikingly similar to the much earlier, the Founders’ original intent was to have both the Israelites and Anglo-Saxons represented on the official seal of the United States (yet further clear evidence that the Founders’ intent was never to preclude religion and government’s interaction or firm “separation”). The committee members were Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin.

    They recommended that one side of the seal show the profiles of two Anglo-Saxons representing Hengist and Horsa (brothers that were the first Anglo-Saxons to bring their people to England around 450 A.D. and introduced “People’s Law” into the British Isles). On the other side of the seal the committee recommended that there be a portrayal of ancient Israel going through the wilderness led by God’s pillar of fire. In this way the Founders hoped to memorialize the two ancient peoples who had practiced People’s Law and from whom the Founders had acquired many of their basic ideas for their new common-wealth of freedom (Gilbert Chinard, Jefferson, pg. 86).

    Unfortunately, the proposed seal was too complex for a small seal in the late 1700s, and a simpler design was utilized in its stead. It’s of course interesting, though saddening, to consider what social ills may have been prevented through a seal with such obvious approval of both Church and State and their intertwining. 😐

    So what?

    0) The foundation of freedom is inextricably intertwined with virtue and morality, which are themselves fundamentally interwoven with pure religion (the purer the religion [i.e. greater truth], the purer the virtue and morality), as Benjamin Franklin and others have said far more eloquently, and concisely;
    1) Those virtues, morals, and purity are the basis of Christianity, as exemplified by Jesus Christ’s example and teachings;
    2) Evidence suggests that items #1 and #2 are factually and historically accurate; and,
    3) Because same-sex marriage fails items #1, #2, and #3, it is by definition antithetical to freedom and should not be permitted.

    A successful counter-argument to #3 must disprove items #0, #1, and #2.

  20. jesurgislac says:

    I don’t have nearly the time (or interest) that John and jesurgislac seem to have put into this discussion, but I am a CA resident and voted NO on prop 8 — so there!

    YAY! 😀

    Since this seems to have gone offtopic – what I do on my blog is keep first-time posters on moderation, so that if spambots (or abusive idiots, but I haven’t had many of those) get through the WordPress filter, I can delete them before anyone but me sees them.

    Everyone who isn’t abusive or isn’t a spambot gets approved, regardless of their views: and once approved, anyone can comment freely (though I reserve the right to delete them if they turn abusive – this hasn’t happened yet…) Spam is the curse of the Internet.

  21. jesurgislac says:

    Because same-sex marriage fails items #1, #2, and #3, it is by definition antithetical to freedom and should not be permitted. A successful counter-argument to #3 must disprove items #0, #1, and #2.

    Since I am a lesbian, and therefore by your argument incapable of virtue and morality, clearly nothing I could say would persuade you of anything.

  22. Husband John says:

    Don’t be absurdly sanctimonious, Jes. My comments did not infer nor imply that homosexuals are incapable of virtue or morality. Such an argument would imply that any sinful person (all of us, Christ excluded) would thereafter be utterly incapable of morality or virtue. Clearly that wasn’t my argument.

  23. Husband John says:

    Sorry if that was harsh. Sincerely, I didn’t mean to imply that you’re incapable of mortality or virtue, nor anyone else irrespective of behavior. Passionate, yes; inconsiderate jerk, no.

    Remember in a previous comment I mentioned brevity isn’t a talent I possess? Neither is tact. ;p

  24. jesurgislac says:

    Sorry if that was harsh.

    I don’t care for “sorry if” apologies. If you’re sorry, just apologise. Here’s how: How to say you’re sorry: A refresher course

    Sincerely, I didn’t mean to imply that you’re incapable of mortality or virtue, nor anyone else irrespective of behavior. Passionate, yes; inconsiderate jerk, no.

    I am perfectly capable of mortality, thank you. The notion that someone who is arguing that groups of people should be denied basic civil rights has any right to lecture others on their behavior…

  25. jesurgislac says:

    Okay, let’s run through this again: I accept, despite your behavior, that you didn’t intend to be irredeemably offensive, and some day you may even learn to craft a decent apology.

    0) The foundation of freedom is inextricably intertwined with virtue and morality, which are themselves fundamentally interwoven with pure religion (the purer the religion [i.e. greater truth], the purer the virtue and morality), as Benjamin Franklin and others have said far more eloquently, and concisely;

    Here is where your argument falls over, at root: you assert that virtue and morality are inextricable from religion, which is patently untrue. To use an extreme example: everyone who knew Oskar Schindler agrees that he was a profoundly irreligious man, while any senior members of the Nazi Party were devout Christians, who took their inspiration for their anti-Semitic beliefs directly from Christianity. Yet Schindler saved over a thousand Jews, and said, only “I knew the people who worked for me… When you know people, you have to behave toward them like human beings.” Many Christians – though not the present Pope, and not Pius XII – took their inspiration to work against the Nazis from Christianity – but we know how many German Christians stood aside and washed their hands as gays, gypsies, and Jews were sent to the concentration camps to die. We know that during the centuries of slavery in the US, American Christians used the Bible to justify their buying and selling of other human beings. We know that during the Jim Crow years, white Christians used the Bible to justify discriminating against black Americans. Even today, there are all-white churches where black people are denied membership. Yes, the reverse is true too – Christians like Martin Luther King or Demond Tutu – but historically, factually, it’s impossible to claim that religion was a source only of virtue.

    1) Those virtues, morals, and purity are the basis of Christianity, as exemplified by Jesus Christ’s example and teachings;

    Not at all. See above. Jesus Christ’s example and teachings have inspired people to good, to evil, and to indifference in the face of evil. Despite the fact that Jesus never said a word about homosexuality, but a great deal about hypocrisy and people who judge their neighbors, you actually get homophobes arguing that because of Jesus’s example and teachings, lesbian and gay couples can’t be allowed to marry.

    2) Evidence suggests that items #1 and #2 are factually and historically accurate; and,

    You’re absolutely wrong about this – just as your wife was absolutely wrong to claim “the 10 commandments” as the foundation of American law. See above.

    3) Because same-sex marriage fails items #1, #2, and #3, it is by definition antithetical to freedom and should not be permitted.

    This is just purely offensive, does not follow by any logic #0, #1, or #2, and claiming it “fails” #3 suggests you cannot read or follow your own lists.

    We have already established, have we not, that claiming gay marriage is against Christianity and therefore ought to be banned by law is a straightforward attack on religious freedom. You are merely trying to reverse this argument without any logic to support it.

  26. Husband John says:

    The refresher course doesn’t work for me (it’s not a clickable link for me).

    A phrase like “irredeemably offensive” is clear indication my behavior is inconsistent with the principles I believe; I am thus appropriately rebuked and I apologize.

    Given that I find myself in disagreement with nearly every counter-argument you’ve said, both in summation of my argument, and their refutation, I think we must do as Big Bro. and I do when such topics arise: merely agree that we’re in disagreement.

    As I told my wife last night, I hope that if you’re in SLC sometime you’ll consider having lunch with us (or my wife, anyway, gven my irredeem-iability). 😀

  27. jesurgislac says:

    A phrase like “irredeemably offensive” is clear indication my behavior is inconsistent with the principles I believe; I am thus appropriately rebuked and I apologize.

    I accept your apology.

    The link I was trying to leave is here:
    http://archive.salon.com/people/feature/2001/08/23/sorry_if/index.html

    Given that I find myself in disagreement with nearly every counter-argument you’ve said, both in summation of my argument, and their refutation, I think we must do as Big Bro. and I do when such topics arise: merely agree that we’re in disagreement.

    Fair enough.

    As I told my wife last night, I hope that if you’re in SLC sometime you’ll consider having lunch with us (or my wife, anyway, gven my irredeem-iability).

    Thanks for the offer: I think it unlikely that I will, but if I am, lunch is lunch, and always consistent with my political principles. 😉

  28. anitanap says:

    🙂 Lol! I just knew there was some political principle we shared. Let us all rejoice in the fantastic experience that is going out to lunch.

  29. anitanap says:

    Just want to make a note here for the benefit of a few recent attempted-comments.

    Those who immediately into name calling and personal attacks on myself or family, do not get their comments published here. I respect your right to your opinion, and I will defend your right to express it — but I feel no inclination to let you do so on *my* blog. Sorry for any offense this policy causes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: