Posted by Charity on March 24th, 2009

Who would have thought that it would be the same-sex marriage proponents that would be the ones to make me rethink my tacit approval of legalizing the practice?

I just have to say, first, I hate this issue.  I wish it would just go away – and it would, if the left didn’t want to keep it around to scare people into voting against the scary Republicans.*

That said, my core beliefs, which are more libertarian conservative than traditionalist conservative, keep me from supporting laws that favor the moral values of one group over another, unless the law is needed to protect the rights of others.

My husband and I have had this debate over and over, where I say, laws should not be based on my moral beliefs, and he reminds me that all laws are based on someone’s moral beliefs.  Why shouldn’t we fight for ours?

Well, because two wrongs don’t make a right.

At the same time, I end up living under laws that reflect someone else’s forced morality.

And those people are a bunch of intolerant bigots, guided by fear, if I could borrow their language for a moment.

Merriam-Webster defines bigot as: a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices: one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.

I would say that this reflects the attitudes coming from the left regarding conservative Christians, no?

The problem with being libertarian these days is that no one else is, not enough people to prevent our rights from being trampled, anyway.

So, I realize that, even though I believe in the biblical definition of marriage, not everyone does, but everyone deserves the same legal protections.

In return, Vermont is one step closer to silencing Bible-believing Christians and forcing them to violate their religious beliefs – and they are giddy about it.

Over at my favorite blog of tolerance, Green Mountain Daily, people were spouting off about the idiot-bigot-moron opposition to same-sex marriage, because, of course, anyone who disagrees with them has no good argument, where someone said that no one has been harmed by same-sex marriage.

I pointed out that the Catholic Charities of Boston was forced to adopt children to gay couples after Massachusetts passed a gay marriage law, so they closed their doors.  I would consider that harm.  The state should not force a religious organization to violate its beliefs.  Then there are all of the children who were harmed by the closing of an organization known for finding homes for difficult-to-adopt children.

But Freedom of Religion is just one of those unimportant little freedoms that was merely listed in the First Amendment.  It’s not like the Freedom to Marry, which is made up, or the Freedom from Intolerance, which is a farce.

Besides,

That’s not being negatively affected by same sex marriage, that’s being negatively affected by bigotry.

Ah, the magical B-word that shuts down all disagreement as invalid.  If they just agreed with me, they wouldn’t have had their rights violated.

Then there’s this,

To me, this is an example of the problem with Church structure.  The staff and board of Catholic Charities recognized that gay people often make great adoptive parents.  Yet their experience and judgment is not respected because in the Catholic Church power flows one way from the top down, and not much common sense flows with it.

See!  It’s not the rights-violating actions of a state that refuses to recognize the freedom of religion we are supposed to have in this country; it’s that pesky church!  If only it would use some common sense and abandon its centuries-old beliefs.

At least there are some straight shooters, who are willing to lay it all out,

Here’s the problem: religious beliefs, if granted unconditional freedom, will inevitably be used as a justification to infringe the freedoms of those who do not share them.

I see, so let’s just beat them to the punch and infringe on religious freedom.

That gem was accompanied by this enlightening quote, “Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.”  Beautiful.

So this is what we face.  I guess that’s what I get for supporting other people’s rights, huh?  I get a nice big, thanks, but now we have to continue on with our war against your beliefs.

Let me bottom line this rant, no one has a right to be accepted.  You just don’t.  The law should not be used to force people to approve of your lifestyle, even if you claim you were born that way.

Live and let live needs to work both ways.

Frankly, I am pretty pissed about this.  I am sick and tired of the left going on about freedom, when all the while they have no respect for freedom; they just want their way.  But when it comes to someone else’s freedom, they couldn’t care less about protecting it.  In fact, they want to restrict it.

My only consolation is knowing that there will be a lot more people lining up to fight back, including me.  We might have supported your pursuit of legal rights, but we are not on your side in your crusade to suppress religious freedom.

.
*The Democrats – who control Congress, and have – could make civil unions federally recognized and force gently persuade the states, by threatening to withhold money, to offer civil unions.  With equal legal protection, gay marriage would be wholly unnecessary.  This is a compromise that would give both sides most of what they want.

24 Responses to “Bigotry Abounds”

  1. Let me get this straight. You don’t believe in laws based on morality. Essentially you believe murder should be legal, larceny OK, and rape acceptable. You would prefer anarchy because every law is someone’s morality.

    Also…the left wants to “restrict freedom”. Now I don’t usually defend the left, but this is a ridiculous statement. You must have been really flustered while posting this. I am sure you don’t believe that all the democrats out there just walk around thinking, “How will I keep someone from exercising their freedoms today?”

  2. You would prefer anarchy because every law is someone’s morality.

    Third paragraph : “unless the law is needed to protect the rights of others

    I would say murder, larceny, and rape fall under that.

    Reading comprehension, people, reading comprehension.

    Don’t mischaracterize and twist my words. I have little tolerance for that.

    And, just to head off the inevitable, I mean Constitutional rights, not made up rights, like the right to not have your feelings hurt or the right to force people to give you free health care at their expense.

    You must have been really flustered while posting this.

    Why? Are there a lot of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors?

    I am sure you don’t believe that all the democrats out there just walk around thinking, “How will I keep someone from exercising their freedoms today?”

    I don’t think anyone is walking around thinking about how they can take a way freedoms, at least not like that. They think, “how can we make the world look the way we want, using laws to punish people who don’t do (what we think is) the right thing?” giving little-to-no regard to the rights it violates.

  3. Dear James,

    I hope you don’t mind if I answer part of your challenge to Ms. Tensel. I do this because she has said something I have often said, namely, that the left is very much against freedom. They just don’t realize it. And Ms. Tensel, who describes herself as libertarian, is all about the state getting out of the way of people living freely.

    The highest ideal to all (OK, most) liberals is NOT freedom. Freedom scares them; liberals turn instantly into anti-Darwinists the moment freedom trumps their highest ideal, because freedom means competition, struggle, difficulty, and arduousness.

    What liberals seek to protect, and impose, is the wondrous ideal of equality. By this they don’t just mean equality under the law. That would be too easy, and rather conservative: everyone believes that any person, no matter his or her socio-ethnic or economic standing, deserves equal treatment by the law. What liberals believe, perhaps accidentally, is that we are all intrinsically equal; that there are no essential differences between people. Hence, liberals support tax legislation that tamps down the rich who are leaving the poor behind; liberals believe in laws that make heteros equal to gays, and so on. To rip off Garrison Keillor, to liberals everyone “is above average,” deserving a trophy not for accomplishment, but for simply being.

    But the only way the egalitarians can have their way is to limit freedom. Freedom is too messy, too risky. It makes for too many imbalances, particularly between the haves and the have-nots. The ultimate force behind egalitarianism is envy in all its complexities; and where there is true freedom, the potential for envy to really explode is too much for liberals to bear. Ironically liberals give lip service to Darwinism: they abhor social Darwinism, or the idea that society should evolve strictly according to “survival of the fittest” rules. But liberals are engaged in a reverse social Darwinism, stamping out inequalities — the very machinery of Darwin’s natural selection — at every turn. And they do this in a way conservatives do not: by constantly creating legislation that limits behavior and speech. (Conservatives turn to legislation, too, but with different motives and not nearly as frequently.)

    Lastly, it is important to point out that the most egalitarian places on the planet are prisons and concentration camps. Egalitarianism can ONLY happen if freedom is limited.

    Peace.

    Bill Gnade

  4. Dear Ms. Tensel,

    How I enjoy your passion and the clarity with which you express it! Good for you.

    Here’s a thought. If it is true that liberals are at war with Darwinism (which I think is true); if it is true that liberals hate the inequalities inherent to nature (which I think is also true), then it stands to reason that they would hate traditional religion.

    If nature is fraught with inequalities and the competitiveness that such equalities naturally stimulate, then nature is hierarchical: there is some creature that is “king of the jungle,” so to speak. Any thinking person accepts this if he or she accepts Darwinism: nature may be filled with symbiotic relations, but no one thinks (except for a few overly-cautious Buddhists, perhaps) that all things in such relations are equal. “Natural selection” and “survival of the fittest” disprove equality. This is anathema to liberals.

    Western religion, particularly Christianity, is essentially hierarchical; it is built on a foundation of inequality. God exists, and the moment we admit this we admit to the universal truth that there is no equality in the cosmos. God is king of the jungle; God is king overall. This also is anathema to (many) liberals.

    A hierarchical view of the world fundamentally jeopardizes liberalism’s penchant for egalitarianism. The Catholic Church, the most hierarchical faith on the planet (Hinduism is actually egalitarian at its core), is obviously a huge obstacle to liberalism, and that is why it is the object of vilification and scorn.

    What is curious to me is how many western liberals, if they are religious at all, claim affinity to Buddhism or some such vague eastern religion. Eastern religion, as you know, is remarkably devoid of hierarchy (though some, like the Dalai Lama, are more “advanced” than others). Obviously atheism is attractive because nothingness is the supreme equalizer. And liberal Christianity, if one can call it that, ultimately devolves into a few quaint moral platitudes (common to all ethical systems) that do not “rock the boat” of egalitarianism (Unitarianism is the perfect end of a Christianity without orthodoxy’s hierarchical bent).

    Peace to you,

    BG

  5. Ms. Tensel,

    Forgive me. I see we cross-posted.

    Bliss!

    Gnade

  6. …people were spouting off about the idiot-bigot-moron opposition to same-sex marriage, because, of course, anyone who disagrees with them has no good argument, where someone said that no one has been harmed by same-sex marriage.

    Have you considered that very real possibility that the “arguments” against same-sex marriage are, in fact, rooted in ignorance and bigotry? I have yet to hear good arguments against same-sex marriage. In fact, the vast majority of arguments against have been quite ignorant and bigoted. This is not simply because I “disagree” with their arguments (which I do, and I’d hardly call them “arguments”).
    Did you listen to the testimonies over the last week in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee? Did you go to the public hearings and listen to some of the things that were said? Forgive me for being a little angry that here, in 2009, we need to sit and listen to this crap and get up and ask for our equal rights. I won’t give it credibility by repeating some of the things that were said, but you can find recordings of it if you want to double-check that I’m not exaggerating.

  7. Charity,

    You said, “I just have to say, first, I hate this issue. I wish it would just go away – and it would, if the left didn’t want to keep it around to scare people into voting against the scary Republicans.”

    Please stop and realize that this feeling you have is a bigoted feeling. At least it feels that way to me. I fear that what you really mean is, “I hate that gay people are daring to impose a request that their own government recognize them as entitled to equal treatment under the law (as promised in every constitution) because they are making me notice them. They are daring not to be invisible. They are making me feel uncomfortable. This state/ country/world belongs to heterosexuals and if I tolerate them that should be enough. I shouldn’t have to think about them. I wish the marriage issue and gay people would just go away and be invisible again so I don’t have to think about them.”

    And by suggesting that the marriage equality “issue” is kept around for political reasons it sounds to me like you are denying or at least discounting the actual needs and aspirations of gay people.

    I seek the freedom to marry because I want to marry my partner of 8 years –for the same reasons you wanted to marry your husband. No more and no less. The marriage issue has been hijacked by the right and the left for political gain. But please don’t confuse that with the substance of the issue.

  8. Charity,

    You also said, “Let me bottom line this rant, no one has a right to be accepted. You just don’t. The law should not be used to force people to approve of your lifestyle, even if you claim you were born that way.”

    There is no requirement that you accept me, but our government must treat me equally (or explain why I am not entitled to be treated equally under the law).

    You seem to be thinking that the laws belong to heterosexuals, and not to gay people. They belong to us too. The whole idea of equality is that we are treated the same. You don’t have any more right to question the right of gay people to marry than I have the right to question the right of straight people to marry. If the government is passing out marriage licenses, then they have to treat us the same absent a compelling state interest in treating us differently. What has happened is that as people have come to realize that gay people are just like everyone else, it’s become obvious that there is no compelling state interest in denying gay people equal access to marriage.

    I don’t really care whether you think sexual orientation is a choice or not. Religion is a choice, and yet we recognize the importance of freedom of religion. I don’t believe sexual orientation is a choice. But even if it is for some people, that doesn’t negate the fact that free people have a right to make the very private decision about who they choose to marry.

  9. Charity,

    One more thing. Doesn’t it mean anything to you that many people of faith believe that gay people should be allowed to marry? The Episcopal church ordained a gay bishop. And Episcopal priests were among the 120 (if I remember right – you can get the actual number via google) clergy who have said they support marriage equality in Vermont. The same is true for the United Church of Christ and other mainstream denominations. Most denominations are struggling internally over this issue. Wouldn’t freedom of religion suggest that they should have the freedom to struggle with this issue and make the decision about which civil marriages to solemnize or not solemnize? Why should the government be making this decision for them?

    You can’t pretend that recognizing marriage equality for gay people is an infringement on freedom of religion, because no church is required to perform marriages for same-sex couples. But denying gay people of faith who feel called to marriage access to marriage is an infringement of our freedom of religion. And denying churches the right to marry same-sex couples if called by their faith to do that also is an infringement on freedom of religion.

    I feel called to be married. I want to be married in my church, the Catholic church. But they have the freedom to refuse to solemnize my marriage. Since this is not an option for me, I would like my partner’s father, a Seventh Day Adventist minister, to marry us. Currently, Vermont law prevents him from marrying us even though he feels spiritually called to do so. Meanwhile, he will be solemnizing the marriage between my partner’s brother and his girlfriend at the end of May.

    When we were visiting them out of state recently, my partner’s father lead the family in prayer. He asked that God bless his sons, and their partners. He thanked God that both of his sons had found good people to love and share their lives with. And he prayed that Vermont pass a marriage bill, so that both his sons would be able to be married.

    It’s been interesting to see how people have treated my partner’s brother’s fiance in comparison to me. I have been with my partner almost nine years. His brother has been with his fiance for two or three years. But because of the power of the language of marriage, once they announced that they were getting married, she suddenly had a new and more important status (even as compared to her status the day before they announce their engagement). Now, their relationship is much more celebrated, and treated as much more significant by most people than our equally committed relationship.

  10. Please stop and realize that this feeling you have is a bigoted feeling.

    I understand that, for you, this is an emotional issue and it is hard for you to examine it with an open mind. I also understand that you have had to endure horrible things being said about you, but for heaven’s sake take the time to read my posts before you judge my views. How bigoted!

    I do not oppose equal rights. I said that. I have not been an opponent of gay marriage.

    And I am not afraid of being called a bigot, so don’t bother. It does not make me afraid to speak my mind.

    I wish this issue would go away because Democrats use it to twist the words and views of conservatives and paint us all with a broad brush.

    If this isn’t kept around for political reasons (1) why wasn’t it dealt with sooner by Dems in VT who have been in power for years, and (2) why haven’t the Dems on the federal level passed legislation to create federally recognized civil unions? They can, you know? If the Democratic Party was so tolerant, this issue would have been dealt with years ago.

    There is no requirement that you accept me, but our government must treat me equally (or explain why I am not entitled to be treated equally under the law).

    You are preaching to the choir. I already said, in this post,

    “So, I realize that, even though I believe in the biblical definition of marriage, not everyone does, but everyone deserves the same legal protections.”

    and,

    “my core beliefs, which are more libertarian conservative than traditionalist conservative, keep me from supporting laws that favor the moral values of one group over another”

    and, right before the line you quoted in your second comment,

    “guess that’s what I get for supporting other people’s rights, huh? I get a nice big, thanks, but now we have to continue on with our war against your beliefs.”

    Again, I know that this is emotional for you, but you are highly judgmental about what you think I believe, even contrary to what I am saying. Try and be a little more open-minded.

    Doesn’t it mean anything to you that many people of faith believe that gay people should be allowed to marry?

    No. Many people of faith believe different things than I do.

    I do not seek the truth from what’s popular. If I did, I would not have gotten married myself. We would have just moved in together, like everyone else does these days, instead of dating for years, then getting married, before living together.

    I appreciate you sharing your story and I understand that it is important to you to get married. It looks like you will be able to, soon. Honestly, on a personal level, I am happy for you and your partner and others who find happiness.

    But, make no mistake about it, there are people who are fighting against conservative Christianity. That is what this post was about. Those people will use this law to find ways to seek legal action against those institutions.

    I know that Vermont’s law does not force anyone to perform marriages against their beliefs. I think that is a good protection, but the case with the Catholic Charities of Boston was not about performing marriages. The believed that children should be raised by a mom and dad. So do I. I was raised by two women for years of my life and it is not the same as having a father. Men and women bring different attributes into a parenting relationship. The optimum situation is to have both. But the state would not allow them to have this view, even though religious views are supposed to be protected by law.

    That fight was not about a couple wanting a child. There are many other agencies they could have gotten a child from. This was an assault on traditional religious values.

    One last thing, I think that a lot of things are sinful, but I don’t hate people who do them. I would have to hate myself for the sins I have committed! But, I am not going to call something the Bible says is sin okay. I understand it doesn’t feel good, and I am sorry for that. I can relate. When I was a single mom, I used to listen to Dr. Laura Schlessinger on the radio. I felt pretty crappy when she talked about shacking up, premarital sex, having kids out of wedlock – all things I had done – and how they were immoral. It felt awful. But she was right. And I am a better woman today for having realized it. And my kids are better off that I never lived with another man after their father left, until I was married.

    I am not trying to make anyone feel bad, and I am not trying to deny anyone their legal rights. But I do have a right to believe what I believe.

  11. Hey, I support Gay Marriage cause I wanna go to all the receptions–free food and drink!

  12. Dear Bradley Holt,

    Very interesting comment, I must say.

    I pray candor is accepted here, for I have to admit that I have not seen one — not one! — decent argument in favor of gay marriage. Apparently that places us at an impasse (and proves that I am an incredibly ignorant, irrational and bigoted soul).

    Please permit me to make an even more audacious admission: It is the arguments in FAVOR of gay marriage that are not only rooted in, but even the very source of, homophobia. Have a try at this “argument”. Hopefully you can respond to it without resorting to straw man fallacies.

    Good luck.

    Bill Gnade

  13. Actually, Bradley, I have just had such an amazing epiphany — the scales have fallen from my eyes like Saul of Tarsus — that I have shut off the link provided above. Forgive me.

    Everyone, I bid you all the best.

    Peace and mirth,

    BG

  14. Bill Gnade,

    I will take you at face value and assume you speak the truth when you say that you have not seen one decent argument in favor of marriage equality. I do, however, find it very hard to believe that anyone paying any attention to this issue could have missed the reasons why marriage equality is important.

    First of all, it is important to understand that the argument is for civil, not religious, marriage. Separation of church and state gives religious institutions the right to refuse to honor/perform any marriage they choose to for religious reasons.

    Civil marriage is a legal contract that is entered into by two adults who love one another and want the government to recognize that they have made a commitment to one another. All sorts of legal things happen by default as a result of a civil marriage such as joint ownership of property and survivorship rights. The list of benefits to marriage is lengthy and taken for granted by most heterosexual couples.

    To deny these same civil benefits to a loving couple on the basis of their gender and sexual orientation is nothing short of homophobic, sexist, and – dare I say – bigoted. To say that recognizing these civil rights somehow takes away anyone else’s rights is quite a stretch. My marriage will not in any away make your marriage less valuable. My marriage will not restrict anyone’s freedom of religion. In fact, the freedom of religion argument can be made for marriage equality in that many churches want to recognize same-sex marriages (which they can now, just as other churches will be able to not recognize same-sex marriages when/if it is recognized by the state).

    How dare we ask for equal rights? How dare we demand to be treated equally in the eyes of the law? How dare we force others to confront their own homophobia (or not, like when Catholic Charities closed their doors)! If only we’d be quiet and not speak out, things could go back to “normal.” Yes, we should just go back into the closet and be quiet. Yes, we should feel “lucky” that it’s relatively safe to be “out” – that it’s not as likely these days as it was a few years ago that we’ll be met with violence for just being ourselves. We should be happy with what we’ve got and how far we’ve come! How dare we ask for full equality under the laws of the state of which we are citizens!

  15. Charity, I’m afraid I have to disagree with your point of harm: Catholic Charities was the who decided that discrimination was worth more than finding families to love and cherish children in need. It was not the gay marriage law – they were discriminating before it existed. As for it being a requirement of their religious faith, there are many organizations who in the name of the Catholic Church seem to be able to give help without discrimination and still live within their faith. Why couldn’t Catholic Charities?

    With that said, I’m not sure what was written in the GMD, but your position on the marriage bill was very clear in your earlier posts, and any bigotry against your faith or others is not acceptable.

    Why people can’t just live by the simple rule: treat others as you’d have them treat you, I don’t know…Humph!

  16. It really bothers me that wanting children to be raised by two, opposite sex parents is seen as bigoted and discriminatory. When did the feelings of adults become more important than the well being of children?

    Yes, children can be raised by single parents or same-sex couples. And, yes, they can turn out okay. But, there is a real benefit to a child having a male and female parent. They bring different attributes to the relationship and the child benefits from having both a male and female parent in the home.

    Men and women are by nature different. If they were not, we wouldn’t have gay or straight – there would be no difference in who we are attracted to. But, there is a difference.

    I can see the difference between the way my sons act with men and women.

    There is nothing wrong with wanting the optimum home environment for children who are being placed for adoption. They already have enough issues to overcome.

  17. “Essentially you believe murder should be legal, larceny OK, and rape acceptable.”

    I don’t think that’s what Charity said at all. Morals are very relative…what’s moral to one person isn’t to another.

    Honestly, I’ve still yet to hear any argument as to why same-sex marriages at the state level are absolutely necessary. This, of course, is beyond the argument that claims (whether it’s true or not I still don’t know) that same-sex couples will somehow get access to the same set of rights as heterosexual married couples under a state gay marriage law.

    It’s too bad that Gov. Jimmy D. has bent over backwards to try & satisfy his most “conservative” supporters by saying that he will veto the VT gay marriage bill. The reality of about *both* gay marriage & civil union laws is that the sky really doesn’t fall after they are passed, and there’s plenty of evidence in New England on that to go around. Civil marriage & religious marriage have almost nothing to do with one another at this point.

    “why haven’t the Dems on the federal level passed legislation to create federally recognized civil unions?”

    Honestly, the votes just aren’t there, period.

    “The believed that children should be raised by a mom and dad”

    …which is contary to the law in MA, period.

  18. Charity, I’d like to untangle the religious and social aspects of this. Obviously the state does stuff every day that violates the tenets of some faith. Does regulating the conditions under which animals are slaughtered and the meat sold constitute some kind of pogrom against Jains? Of course not, even though it may offend their sensibilities.

    You buttress your position with a social argument: it is extremely important for children to have two parents–one (straight, presumably) female and one (ditto) male. You appear to hold this view very strongly.

    Here’s my question. Do you believe that the state should have a policy of awarding children in custody disputes–these are cases in which the state *has* to intervene in a non-theocracy–to those parents who remarry? How about those who immediately take up living out of wedlock?

  19. This is not just a matter of offending sensibilities, this is about forcing Christians (or any religions) to themselves act in a way that goes against their beliefs.

    I do not believe that courts should award custody to the parent who remarries based solely on that factor, but the stability of the home should be considered.

    Look, there is no way to ensure a child will have a great home life, but if a religious adoption agency believes that children do best in stable homes with two married parents – one male, one female – then they should be able to carry out that mission.

    By the same token, if someone wants to start an adoption agency that only places children with gay couples, they should not be forced to adopt to opposite sex couples.

    If someone wants to start an adoption agency that only adopts children to loving atheist homes, they should be allowed to do that, too.

    My reason for buttressing my position with a social argument was to illustrate that this is not merely a bigoted religious belief, but a position that has non-religious support.

  20. Forcing practitioners of a religion to act in a way that goes against their beliefs? May I assume, then, then that you are whole-heartedly in support of those religious pacifists, mainly Christians, who refuse to pay that portion of their income tax which goes toward military expenditures in the national budget and that you feel that it is unconscionable bigotry to penalize them in any way, let alone take them to court, seize their assets, jail them, etc.?

    I’m not playing gotcha but trying to point out that you have a pick and choose attitude toward the state and religion, just like some “Bible-believing” Christians do toward various Old Testament passages, like the gay-baiting Leviticus-quoters who wolf down shrimp scampi without a second thought.

    One other question. Your social argument is based on children’s developmental interests being best served by having two parents of the same gender. Why then do you specify “married” twice in your comment above? Is there something about the state recognition of marriage that confers on a heterosexual couple specially qualifications to raise kids or is only the sacramental version?

    Finally, on adoption. If a mother wishes to ensure that a son or daughter she cannot or does not wish to raise herself is raised by adoptive parents of a particular faith, she is free to try to arrange that. She can also try based on skin color, lifestyle and a bunch of other factors.

    But if the government in its capacity as the guarantor of the well-being of children is involved in the process, by licensing, funding, etc., they have no right to discriminate on behalf of parents, and much less on behalf of unrelated adults who are involved in the adoption process.

    Let me ask you to make a mental leap. Imagine that you are an infertile Roman Catholic residing not in New England but in a rural “Bible Belt” area where the religious majority fervently holds that the Vatican is the “Synagogue of Satan” and most adoptions are handled by 501-c-3s affiliated with such fundamentalist churches, with legal or informal state sanction. Should you have to sacrifice your felt need to adopt a child?

    Folks there might argue that if you don’t like it, you should move. Maybe so. And if lesbians and gays wishing to adopt don’t like being shut out from adoptive parenting in such areas, until such unconstitutional discrimination ceases, I am damn happy that they can as a last resort move to more civilized venues, like Connecticut, Massachusetts and, one hopes, Vermont.

  21. May I assume, then, then that you are whole-heartedly in support of those religious pacifists, mainly Christians, who refuse to pay that portion of their income tax which goes toward military expenditures

    I didn’t realize it was a tenet of Christianity to not pay taxes when you disagree with the government. You know that whole give to Caesar what is Caesar’s thing?

    I think it would be tough to make a case that it is part of the religion to not pay your taxes. It didn’t work for Kent Hovind.

    Is there something about the state recognition of marriage that confers on a heterosexual couple specially qualifications to raise kids or is only the sacramental version?

    I am not sure what you are asking here. The fact that men and women are different is what makes two opposite sex parents the ideal. Kids benefit from both the male and female influence. I’m not saying that should be legislated though.

    But if the government in its capacity as the guarantor of the well-being of children is involved in the process, by licensing, funding, etc., they have no right to discriminate on behalf of parents, and much less on behalf of unrelated adults who are involved in the adoption process.

    I disagree. I don’t think the government should discriminate, but I do believe that organizations such as religion-affiliated adoption agencies have the right to decide what constitutes a good home for children.

    Should you have to sacrifice your felt need to adopt a child?

    There are other ways to adopt a child, whether it be through another agency or a private arrangement.

    Being discriminated against sucks. Having people judge you sucks. But, that’s no reason to take people’s freedom away.

  22. Well, Charity, I think the evidence that needs to be agreed on is whether you accept the Constitution as amendable, which is says it is, and gives us the process, and whether you think that democracy supercedes skygod morality for governance purposes.

    I don’t mind people acting on their beliefs in their own personal lives, but when people feel they need to tell others to behave according to skygod law, I find that a complete misunderstanding of how governance works.

    On the issue: bonding, partnership, union, commitment are issues the state has taken a stand on. Like you, I think that marriage is a religious action. TO THE EXTENT IT IS, THE STATE SHOULD BUTT OUT.

    But when religion butts into the province of the state, it’s time for the religious ones to pull in their evangelistic horns. That’s because popular governance does not JUST inflict the will of the majority on the minority, but also, in order to have a workable democracy, must not infringe on the rights of the minority, or the government will fail from continuous infighting.

    In this sense, I find both Muslims and Christians to be obnoxiously theocratic. End of story. If you don’t understand it, instead of thinking about God, think about successful stable governance, cognitive science, cultural anthropology, because once you admit to more than one belief in the supernatural, they’re all subject to governance on earth.

    That what the famous Jewish philosopher said: “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and unto God that which is God’s” but like a good politician, he didn’t what belong to either. That’s decided on earth, by votes and laws and shrewd observation of how people work.

    Who knows how god works. If at all.

  23. “if a religious adoption agency believes that children do best in stable homes with two married parents – one male, one female – then they should be able to carry out that mission”

    …unless it violates the law. One’s religious beliefs do not trump our legal system.

    “if someone wants to start an adoption agency that only places children with gay couples, they should not be forced to adopt to opposite sex couples”

    …unless that system is against the law.

    “If someone wants to start an adoption agency that only adopts children to loving atheist homes, they should be allowed to do that, too.”

    LOL…this will NEVER be legal in this country…

  24. “One’s religious beliefs do not trump our legal system.”

    What happened to the First Amendment? I thought that was supposed to protect religious freedom. Are you saying the government should be able to make laws that require a person to act against their beliefs?