Thursday, January 8, 2009

Canada Prosecuting Polygamists

CNN reports on the landmark case in British Columbia Canada in which the government has decided to go after the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or FLDS.

Two leaders of a Canadian polygamist sect were arrested Wednesday and charged with polygamy in what could be a landmark case, said Wally Oppal, attorney general of British Columbia.

Winston Blackmore, 52, and James Oler, 44, were taken into custody in Bountiful, a western town of about 1,000 residents, Oppal said.

Blackmore has married 19 women and Oler married five, the official said.

The men are members of the polygamist sect known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or FLDS church, he added.


The immediate reaction on the part of many, myself included, is this is too much government interference. It's not so much that I buy into that "religious freedom" argument, as much as I just don't feel comfortable with the federal government butting into people's private lives.

However, in discussing the famous case of Warren Jeffs a few months ago, I came to a conclusion. Perhaps it shouldn't have taken me so long; my only excuse is my deep distrust of the Feds.

I believe these are, in many cases, middle aged men who are hiding behind the facade of church and religion to act out their lustful pleasures. Warren Jeffs married a twelve-year-old. I'd be interested to hear the ages at the time of marriage of the 19 wives of Mr. Blackmore.

What's your opinion? The pro-Mormon site, Messenger and Advocate made a big deal about the fact that Canada supports gay marriage but opposes polygamy. Do you think that's a valid comparison? I believe their idea is that homosexuality is an abomination, while polygamy practiced within their church is blessed. How does that work for you?

Please feel free to comment. The commenting policy on this blog is very easy to live with.

55 comments:

  1. I'm against the misuse of marriage to hide pedophilia, otherwise if all parties are consenting adults of sound mind, I don't give a shit.

    Also I do see the comparison of polygamy to gay marriage somewhat valid, in that if a man can marry a woman is totally cool...but toss another man or another woman into the mix suddenly it becomes icky, despite no other variables being changed?

    Now Jeffs DID change other variables, and that's where the problem lies, not in polygamy.

    BTW, Personally I think ONE wife is trouble enough, and so polygamists are NUTS, but just for being gluttons for punishment.

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  2. at the risk of making an unproductive comment, i'd like to second everything Weerd just said.

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  3. If it violates BC laws, then either the laws need to be changed or the 'church' members ought to find a location that accepts polygamy.

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  4. Polygamy is unfair to women growing up in it --the religion --or rather, the religious leader, may tell them they have to marry some old gink --that God so wills it. It is unfair to the boys growing up in it, in that the men find some excuse, infraction committed, to kick the adolescent males out of the cult to eliminate them as competition for the young girls' affections. This is fact --resulting in a lot of homeless young men from those cults in the southwest USA. Though I imagine they would keep some around for labor.

    Moreover, polygamists in the US have relied on welfare and foodstamps to supplement their incomes for their huge families. One man cannot typically afford more than one wife and her children. He will claim one wife under the law --and the others will claim to be single to qualify for benefits.

    I'm highly suspicious --like Weer'dBeard --that the whole motivation behind Joseph Smith's and the fundamentalist mormons' plan is the idea of a legalized brothel for each man --with pedophilic interests for some. It's all about sex in the guise of religion.

    the women are told to stay "sweet" --to resist all temptation to jealousy and selfishness --sainthood is required of them --while the randy old men hop from bed to bed --and tell the world what a sobering religious burden it all is --poor dears.

    It runs counter to the Golden Rule for women.

    No question some women would rather share a man than have no man (take mistresses, e.g.), but that doesn't make sharing a man a good thing for women. It's an inequality that America does not historically believe in. We outlawed it once and need to understand WHY.

    From the Christian worldview--the Bible teaches the ideal of one man for one woman --from creation --from the words of Christ --from the New Testament instruction to leaders of the Christian church. It talks of husband and wife (singluar) in Biblical marital instructions.

    If legalized along with gay marriage --we may as well stop involving the gov't with marriage law at all. Women and children will have no protection--or the lawyers will just have an endless supply of cases at tax payer expense--which we already have too much of with our promiscuity and divorce rate. One of the main organizers of civilized society --the family with hetero couple as heads --will be shot worse than now for lack of a sexually moral/healthy definition. when anything goes, everything will go to heck.

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  5. If legalized along with gay marriage

    The homophobic door just opened. Watch out!

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  6. About your comment policy--I, too, have been criticized for not always checking a source or citing one --but I say I'm chatting --like in a living room--and don't feel I should have to cite chapter and verse for my recollections of what I've read in the news, etc.

    I am not a research source for somebody's termpaper. I may not PROVE that I got something from a source other than my head --but if I say I heard it, read it --be sure, I did. I aim to be honest.

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  7. relationships are messy a business to analyze, but I think that most western occurences of polygamy involve something more than a freely consensual relationship.
    The concept of polygamy involves a psychological mindset of subservience which is caused by conditioning, one way or another.
    Not that I haven't seen polygamous relationships exist in some sort of harmonious balance...but they never seem to involve any sense of permanence and there has always been a pecking order.

    I would challenge you to show me a polygamous relationship that wasn't based on some kind dominant control that unhealthy in the long run.

    I. myself, do not see the connection between gay relationships and polygamy except they are both types of relationships that exist outside the bounds of conservative christian morality.

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  8. Seems to me, the connection is this: if gay marriage is endorsed by law, polygamists think their arrangement is no less queer or immoral (as stated in Mike's article.) If gays can marry, then why can't we have as many spouses as we consenting adults want?

    Granted Microdot's point about dominant control. Still, in the polygamist cult, the women say they like it.

    Both lifestyles have been taboo in western culture; homosexuality has been the MOST tabooed throughout all known history --yes it has always existed, like polygamy--but polygamy has been more common and condoned throughout the ages than has same-sex marriage.

    After those two are made legal, other ideas will emerge. Two gay brothers can ask to marry each other because they don't have the public health risk of birth defects in their offspring. Fathers may seek to marry daughters if they get vasectomies to eliminate the public health caution.

    Who are we to say that any human can't marry any other living creature? once we start to make legal the formally taboo arrangements --taboo for many good practical reasons --not just religious.

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  9. Microdot, You reminded me of this one.


    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=1Aej9wmoQ7M


    Oh, the good old days.

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  10. mike, the youtube address you gave isn't complete or something...I couldn't get it to open.
    Give me a himt!

    If you are referring to the post I did last night of Love's 7+7 is, can I say this about that?
    When I was a 116 year old kid and that piece of music played over my tinny little transistor radio, I felt that my little radio had been transformed into a hand grenade!

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  11. Not in anyway condoning any other practice (besides consensual gay and polygamous marriage of course) and just to stir the pot:
    "Two gay brothers can ask to marry each other because they don't have the public health risk of birth defects in their offspring. Fathers may seek to marry daughters if they get vasectomies to eliminate the public health caution."

    That the public health risk of bad genetic mutations that are well documented in highly inbred royal families and isolated communities,
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_II_of_Spain fun read here!) is minimal in the instance of just a single sibling union or a single back-cross union. And the mutations that might occur aren't ones that are unlikely to occur from non-related crosses.

    All inbreeding does is isolate traits in a given genome and wash away genetic variation. Really the hairy bad shit only starts popping up after several generations without new genetic influx.

    Just stirring the pot! : ]

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  12. There you have it --WB gives a rationale for why incest isn't even NECESSARILY harmful in the first generation? It's a slippery slope....

    RU sure the chances of defect don't go up a lot in the first generation? I thought that's how society learned that maybe marrying first cousins wasn't a good idea --or siblings --or your children. Because they figured this out long before they understood genes. Besides the fact that the Bible said not to.

    Of course, I figure siblings and cousins married in the first family--because they were genetically perfect before the Fall of Man and they also reportedly attained great ages.

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  13. ...sure, but the Bible says...

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  14. incest is "icky" largely because we're biologically programmed against it, as a way to prevent the long-term genetic dangers it represents.

    (this is one of the times i actually agree with genetic adaptationism; i don't necessarily always, i think it gets overplayed a lot. just because some trait is common, or exists, doesn't mean it serves or has served any specific, clear-cut evolutionary purpose. a lot of traits are plain random.)

    but to oppose all incest only because it risks genetic defects is morally dangerous, because that way lies eugenics. there's any number of people around who carry harmful, or potentially harmful, genes that they've got through no incest at all; should we force anybody who wants kids to go through genetic screening first? that would be tyrannous.

    in the end, ethics and morals don't necessarily work that way. we don't need biological, or even pragmatic, reasons to keep (or to discard!) social taboos. society doesn't, and shouldn't, need to reflect biology (or physics, or chemistry, or...) that way.

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  15. Nomen, I think I agree --that we don't need to have bio reasons for our taboos.

    Some things are just wrong --and yes, icky. And why? I say by Divine plan. We are to have sex only with a spouse of the opposite sex --the Bible says no same sex, no bestiality, no adultery, no sex with close relatives. It doesn't really speak to the issue of ages as in pedophilia --but they protected young girls' virginity until marriage --so pedophilia outside marriage would obviously be out --though I don't know that 13 year olds couldn't marry 30 year olds. Some think that may have been the case with mary and Joseph. I'm not sure we have a historical route for knowing this.

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  16. Mohammad took a 9 year old bride --but seems I read he didn't consummate this relationship until later --this bride became a real asset to him politically, as I recall and was devoted to him.

    I'm not condoning the practice.

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  17. Microdot, It was supposed to be a link to the great Airplane tune "Triad" written by David Crosby. I know you know it. Your comments about relationships made me think of it.

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  18. Ah, the Mary and Joseph tale. Interesting 'spin' about this affair among the Christian apologists. All of the bobbing-and-weaving about this very young, unmarried pregnant teen girl and her much-older 'spouse' is most humorous to those of us on the outside looking in.

    I note that our local Religious Policewoman continues to castigate gays in each of her comments in this thread on polygamy/pedophilia.

    What the hell does homosexuality have to do with this thread?

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  19. Well, Mudrake, if you'd actually read people's blogs instead of just opening mouth to insert foot, you'd know that Mike wrote the following on this blog topic:

    What's your opinion? The pro-Mormon site, Messenger and Advocate made a big deal about the fact that Canada supports gay marriage but opposes polygamy. Do you think that's a valid comparison? I believe their idea is that homosexuality is an abomination, while polygamy practiced within their church is blessed. How does that work for you?

    Why don't you answer his question? How do you feel about legalzing BOTH gay marriage and polygamy? I'm agin both--as you so often point out about the one.

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  20. I'm certainly not defending May-december romances involving teen girls (or boys for that matter) --but I don't think the Bible speaks to that issue while it does teach virginity before and fidelity during marriage.

    It is often said that Joseph was probably older and Mary a teen. Middle eastern culture may have been that way--but you couldn't prove it by me --nor by anything written in scripture about ages of married. Jesus does say that whoever would harm a little one will find his punishment worse than being cast into the sea with a millstone hung about his neck. I imagine that girls were elegible to marry when they became capable of motherhood physiologically.

    What about this do you find so amusing, Mudrake, --as you "look in"? Weird sense of humor...

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  21. for some odd reason i'm in a feeding-the-grist-mill mood of late. i must be reading Bob's comments too closely, or something.

    this is about an incest case from last March, out of Germany:

    http://scienceblogs.com/aardvarchaeology/2008/03/german_incest_case.php

    my feelings? that particular couple should not have reproduced (although there are some hints they didn't know they were siblings at the time), but given that they had, the state should not be throwing one of them in prison over it; their children's best interests are to have both parents, since their marriage seems a stable one.

    more generally, incest between consenting adults (i think that's the less common part in these scenarios!) should be tolerated, because their "crime" is a purely victimless one, but such couples should be somehow strongly encouraged not to have children. just how exactly, i can't decide myself on.

    i disapprove of having victimless crimes on the books in general. if noone is hurt by the behavior, legalize it. this obviously means polygamy (again, so long as it remains between consenting adults only, and no coercion gets involved --- not the common scenario today, i think) and most obviously same-sex marriage should be no crimes at all. fortunately, at least the latter seems to be slowly becoming understood as a harmless, normal thing, likely to soon(ish) be legal.

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  22. Barb never needs a 'reason' to bring up her homophobic agenda: it is always in the background of every comment, much like space noise. One mention of the word generally results in a several-hundred word essay on the topic.

    I believe their idea is that homosexuality is an abomination... is a true statement for the FLDS as well as the Free Methodist church which barb attends.

    Both grab onto the 'abominations' listed in the Jewish Bible, especially concentrated in Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

    Interestingly, though, fundamentalists like the smorgasbord-variety of 'abominations' and pick and choose those which serve their purpose.

    It's humorous to watch them bob-and-weave through the list, discarding some while illuminating others.

    Of course, the word abomination itself ought to be examined because there are a variety of inferences as to the meaning of the term.

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  23. Mudrake, it's wrong to lie and it's wrong to murder. That doesn't mean that saying they are both "wrong" is saying they are wrong to the same degree. Homosexuality under the old testament law is an abomination and so is eating shrimp. But that doesn't put them on the same footing.

    As for picking and choosing, the fact is, the Christian approach to the old testament has to be a nuanced and thought out one because as Christians, we are not under the old testament law but we are directed to the law for the purposes of understanding God's intentions for us. It's not exactly clear why shellfish were prohibited though one might cite health reasons. More reasons had to do with separating the Jews, God's people, from the gentiles in terms of a disciplined way of life. There was also the possibility that such purity laws ingrained in to them the orderliness of life and importance of boundaries (viewed with other purity laws, this view makes more sense but I don't fully know everything about it). These concerns are not the same for us under the new covenant, but the issue with homosexuality is more basic to humanity since in Genesis 1, God makes it clear that sexuality is an intrinsic reflection of God's image in man.


    Nomen,

    Your statement against victimless crimes on the books only makes sense to us because we exalt personal liberties above everything else. What if personal liberties aren't the most sacred values that we have?

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  24. the Christian approach to the old testament has to be a nuanced and thought out one because

    ...the old testament is full of barbaric, bronze-age superstitious nonsense we could not hope to live with any longer, yet christians are not willing to just chuck out for some silly reason. there, fixed it for ya.

    Your statement against victimless crimes on the books only makes sense to us because we exalt personal liberties above everything else.

    no, actually, it makes sense because nearly everybody follows a mostly consequentialist school of ethics. we assign moral values to actions based on what the consequences of those actions are; almost noone, any longer, agrees with (e.g.) Kant that the motivations for an act should be the primary source of its moral value.

    as a result of this, victimless crime laws tend to get viewed as outmoded, silly laws that we'd be better off without. same with most religiously inspired "blue laws", such as laws against stores selling booze on sundays, and so on.

    (let's ignore for a moment that this cause-effect chain blurs the difference between ethics and law. it's a problematic confusion, but regrettably common, and often at play in lawmaking.)

    me, i'm not an entirely convinced consequentialist, but i do lean heavily towards this line of arguing. if your intention is to immanentize the eschaton, but what you actually do harms noone, i'm willing to call you insane but not evil.

    What if personal liberties aren't the most sacred values that we have?

    they aren't. we couldn't run a society without cooperation, which requires relinquishing some degree of personal liberty in return for mutual assistance. that's how social contracts work; we couldn't, for instance, carry out criminal prosecutions or enforce sentences if we didn't to some extent value peaceful society over individual liberty. we always have, and we always will.

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  25. Homosexuality under the old testament law is an abomination and so is eating shrimp. But that doesn't put them on the same footing.

    Are we to assume that there are degrees of 'abominations' such as 1st degree, 2nd degree and so on?

    Just what IS an abomination anyway, Rob R.?

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  26. Barb never needs a 'reason' to bring up her homophobic agenda: it is always in the background of every comment, much like space noise. One mention of the word generally results in a several-hundred word essay on the topic. says Mudrake.

    Mudrake never needs a 'reason' to bring up his fundy-phobic, pro-gay agenda: it is always in the background of his every comment, much like space noise. One mention of the word (homosexuality) generally results in a several-hundred word fundy-phobic essay by Muckspreader on the topic --or just short ad hominem attacks about Barb, Rob R., and anyone who believes as they do --typically called fundamentalist bigots by him.

    Obviously, some things are more hated (abominated) by God than others. Because there are NO harmful consequences from pork and shrimp today --if not over-indulged, if cared for properly --they are not forbidden in the New Testament or in Judeo-christendom. IN the OT, people probably died from salmonella and trichinosis --common to pork --and shell-fish allergy --and both are high in cholesterol -- so perhaps, realizing the consequence, the Lord through rabbis included it in the purity laws --which purpose also had to do with Jews being people of Law and order and separate from the lawless pagans surrounding them.

    Homosexuality is different from dietary laws in that it fundamentally contradicts creation plan and nature's design, the words of Genesis and the words of Jesus and Paul. It does tend to be promiscuous and addictive in nature, and harmful. Certain practices are unsanitary and life threatening.

    On the other hand, Parenting and marriage and celibate single-hood are maturing, disciplining experiences, which God ordained in His Word. The overall Word of God forbids and condemns homosexuality as sin and other sins like adultery, murder, lying, theft, arrogance, selfishness, cruelty to each other, etc. The foods are lifted from curse-status by teachings of Christ and Peter's vision (Jesus said it's not what we put into our mouths that defiles us but what comes out of our mouths --or our hearts). Homosexuality is not lifted from sin status by either the Word or common sense.

    The Word is consistent and clear that the only sexual arrangement condoned by our Creator is the natural one between man and wife. Jesus Himself affirmed that teaching. A recent study did find that traditionally married religious folks report having the most happiness.

    I really believe that people can reject gay ideation when it first occurs to them, same as they can reject thoughts of adultery, rape, incest, pedophilia and bestiality, use of porn and prostitutes. I believe these sexual temptations can be resisted -and should be.

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  27. The BTK murderer, Rader, was featured again on MSNBC last night --probably a Dateline re-run? He was a Lutheran church officer and no one suspected him of wanting to murder women to get a sexual high. He murdered 10 people as a serial killer before being caught. He had no regard for anyone --just his kicks. A cold, calculating, self-absorbed killer, he still feels more sorry for himself than his victims --evidenced in interviews. He talks as though his fixation was "normal" and unavoidable --no remorse for victims just for himself. Somewhere in childhood he started fantasizing and getting a sexual turn-on at the thought of sadistic torture and rape of women.

    I believe we CAN have enough fear of God and Self-control from the Holy spirit, if not from common sense,to avoid wallowing in such deviant thinking. He entertained the thoughts addictively and felt compelled to find sexual release through cruelty to others. No one who knew him suspected.

    Evil has a face which we can recognize and avoid --and that includes all sexual deviancy --and indulgence of gender identity confusion and the resulting abnormal desires. Anyone who wants to be the opposite sex is NOT yielding to the Lord's plan and control for his life.

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  28. "abomination", noun: neurolinguistic conceptual primer used in religion. its purpose is to trigger an instinctive reaction of taboo; "that is an abomination" equates roughly to "you ought to consider that to be bad, repulsive, and untouchable", even if the speaker cannot or will not produce any explanation or reason as to why.

    religion abounds with such conceptual primers, incidentally. their purpose is almost always to trigger instinctive, knee-jerk reactions so as to bypass (or prevent) critical thought about the reasons or purposes of those same reactions.

    i glossed over a similar primer in my previous comment. "sacred", which i silently reinterpreted as meaning "most highly valued", is more often used as a conceptual antonym of "abomination"; it is used to trigger the reaction of "accept this as true, valuable, and worthy of obeisance, without questioning why". it's a conceptual synonym of "holy", more or less.

    exercise for the diligent reader: what concept(s) are triggered by the word "soul"? how might that word be defined, if we use nothing but the reactions of religious people to its usage as a guide?

    (spoiler-ful hint for the less diligent reader: the answer has to do with the near-universal human fear of death, and with how that fear might be manipulated.)

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  29. So what, Nomen? Maybe some things ARE sacred and some ARe abominations and maybe there IS an eternal soul and a Heaven to gain and a Hell to shun?

    Maybe there IS a Creator we call God who really has communicated to mankind about sin vs. righteousness and the necessity of repentance for a 2nd chance at immortality --a chance given because of a sacrificed Jew named Jesus.

    You can reason it away as myth and fiction --but I believe the Bible is true.

    Your soul --perhaps is that part of you that most of us hope is eternal --your consciousness/awareness of your self, inner being. If it is eternal, why is it and who can keep it going? if not a being beyond and greater than ourselves.

    If you had met Jesus and saw His miracles and saw Him alive after seeing Him dead and buried, and knew him to be sinless as far as you could judge--would you not believe Him when He said He came from the God of your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the only son begotten of a heavenly Father?

    I simply believe the story. Why do you not?

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  30. Oh, barb, you are so shallow, so very deceptive as well.

    How many 'abominations' are found in the OT?

    How many are dietary restrictions?

    One might incorrectly conclude from your comment that there are only two classifications of 'abominations': dietary and 'homosexual.'

    So sad that your attempt to deceive us is so obvious.

    Let me help out with some data.

    How many 'abominations' in the OT? 67

    How many 'abominations' in the NT? 2

    How many of the sixty-seven OT abominations could refer to homosexuality? 2

    How many of the sixty-seven deal with dietary restrictions? 8 including this interesting abomination: whatever goes on all fours Looks like beef is out along with pork.

    67-2-8 = 57. There are still 57 more abominations that Bible thumpers need to adhere to.

    Examples:

    • incense is an abomination [Catholics and Eastern Orthodox are going to Hell!]

    • every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians.

    • a woman who has been defiled is an abomination before the LORD

    • it is an abomination to wear blended fabrics

    • charging or paying interest are abominations

    • haughty eyes are an abomination

    • trimming your beard is an abomination

    • everyone who acts unjustly is an abomination to the LORD your God

    • what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

    • if you have in your bag two kinds of weights, a large and a small, that is an abomination.

    • a woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man for that is an abomination

    • a lying tongue and a heart that devises wicked plans are abominations to the LORD.

    • one who is arrogant is an abomination to the LORD

    • thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD

    • devising of folly is sin, and the scoffer is an abomination to men

    • Sacrificing a blemished sheep or goat is an abomination to the LORD

    • That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God

    • If a man lies with a woman during her sickness both of them shall be cut off from her people

    OK, barb and son Rob, which of these 'abominations' is 1st degree? Which 2nd degree?

    Funny stuff, isn't it.

    I'm going to be very careful that, for the remainder of my life, I never introduce a shepherd to my Egyptian doctor! For that is an abomination to the LORD!!

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  31. Nomen wrotewe couldn't, for instance, carry out criminal prosecutions or enforce sentences if we didn't to some extent value peaceful society over individual liberty. we always have, and we always will.

    Who values peaceful society to that extent? Palestinians? Somalians? Hindus and Muslims killing Christians? They value neither peaceful society nor individual liberty enough to attain either for their people. You seem to think peaceful living is a natural societal evolvement --but we still don't have it. Look at the highly evolved, educated Germany and how they decided to live peacefully by exterminating the Jews and warring with their neighbors.

    As for you, Mudrake, a German yourself, (as are some of my ancestors) always nipping at my heels...mired in your vast deep muck, you seem to be ignorant, despite your catholic education, of the fact that the Christians are not bound by the laws of the OT --except for those carried over to the NT defined as sin. Incense was used in idol worship, BTW --therein lies that abomination. Perhaps it was associated with altered states of consciousness in mystical religions, also.

    I don't believe I brought up the abomination term here; you did. The OT does say homosexuality is abominable along with lesser infractions of devine or rabbi will. Purity laws are also called rabbinical laws, I believe. I don't know if everything attributed to God in the OT was His will/His direct word through the rabbis or not --Biblical inerrantists will try to understand what God's intention was everytime the OT says the Lord has spoken.

    The NT says homosexual conduct is a result of exchanging truth for a lie about God. The lie is that God doesn't exist --doesn't care what we do with our sexuality -- created some people to be gay. 3 lies there.

    CLEARLY, the Bible as a whole, condones the Creation model of woman being created FOR man, a helpmeet suitable/complementary, a completer, his other half; together they are ONE, the Bible says --in the image of God created He them, male and female He created them. They are capable of making children in the sex act, guaranteeing the future of life. Jesus reaffirms that man is to leave parents and cleave to a wife.

    Other sex acts are substitutes and barren, joining the male to male or female to female in ways that are unseemly, basically distasteful, substitutionary for their design purpose, and yes, queer/odd/abnormal/ --and often the lifestyle is promiscuous with strangers and high risk for disease--like a john with a prostitute only even more frequent by their own self-reporting of 2 stranger encounters a week --during the height of the AIDS epidemic in the US gay community. The lifestyle has seemed to be less about relationship than orgasm and lust for people of one's own sex --and complete disinterest in the opposite sex --though many manage to make children with the opposite sex nonetheless --obviously able to be aroused for normal sex acts. Many self-report bi-sexual experience within months of the research reports. So it's clearly a sexual preference indulged, rather than an inevitability or inability to perform normally. Society has no benefit to encouraging this barren, abnormal preference. (And don't bother to start up the worn-out issue of hetero-couples marrying who choose not or cannot procreate --it's irrelevant to the discussion of what a civilized and moral society should encourage by legalization--hetero relationships which are normal-- whether or not they are barren by choice or disability --which is nobody's business.)

    BTW, some of those other abominations you listed make sense:
    if you lie with a woman who is sick, perhaps contagious --both of you are cut off from the people --i.e. quarantined?

    Men do highly esteem things that God detests -- Mapplethorpe artwork, e.g.

    Why shouldn't God detest people who act unjustly?

    An abomination to the Egyptians wouldn't necessarily be an abomination to God, now, would it? apparently Egyptians had something against shepherds?

    He's saying we ought to lend without usury. Jesus, however, does favorably use an illustration of investment to multiply money as being a wise thing to do when entrusted with money by one's master/boss --while also saying we should lend without hope of return --so both are legit ways to do --One for personal relationships; one for business relationships. Although, when Jesus talks about the Parable of the Talents, he is not really talking about money but using it as an illustration.

    Being haughty and looking haughty ---God doesn't like it. What's your beef?

    A lying tongue and heart with wicked planning? You defend this, do you?

    There is MUCH wisdom in the OT even if there are some things that don't make sense to us today, like the dietary laws.

    If the OT had been a perfect revelation of God to man, Jesus would not have had to say a Word --just come and die for our sins. Jesus IS the brighter light. We worship the Incarnate Word, not the written Word. The Bible says the world is in darkness until He comes --but the Jews and their laws and writinging, their belief in a Holy God who revealed Himself to Biblical patriarchs and prophets, were forerunners to the Light of the World.

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  32. quit being such a paranoid racist, barb. the palestinians and somalis may be war-torn peoples, but they're not subhuman beasts howling "fee-fi-fo-fum" for your christian blood.

    in fact, war-torn societies tend to make even better examples of how little we value individual liberty than peaceful ones do. the members of a society at war are typically expected to sacrifice wealth, labor, civil liberties, and even their lives in support of the war effort. people who refuse to make such sacrifices are often labelled "deserters" or "traitors", and punished severely, because their individual liberty to opt out of warfighting is not considered legitimate. the needs of their society are judged as more important than their individual needs.

    we're a social species. that means we, almost all of us at almost all times, do in fact value the group over the individual. just exactly what that valuation means and what its consequences should look like in practice --- how far that valuation should be allowed to intrude on our individual lives --- is the great social debate, about forms of governance and the limits of civil rights, that's been going on essentially forever.

    the rights of the individual have been ascendant (comparatively, anyway) in the industrialized, "western" world these past few centuries, but that's a relatively new development and there's no shortage of reactionary scoundrels around trying to turn the clock back to the dark ages.

    also, which might perhaps be news to you, the sun tends to rise in the east in the mornings. is there anything else you should have learned from your grade school teacher you'd like for me to inform you of...?

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  33. is there anything else you should have learned from your grade school teacher you'd like for me to inform you of...?

    Funny stuff, but it is a dead-end statement because, from my 'dealings' with the lady, all she needs to know she learned inside of the Bible.

    Astonishingly, barb says:

    I don't know if everything attributed to God in the OT was His will/His direct word through the rabbis or not

    WOW!

    What a revelation from a Bible literalist! Barb- do you actually admit that some things written in the OD are not 'the word of God'? If so, you have come a long way.

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  34. I am loathe to double comment, but I shall.

    barb- after reading your latest rambling comment that included ancestry, Muslims, the Old Testament and your most favorite topic, homosexuality, I didn't see that you answered my challenge- or was that because you could not?

    I said, OK, barb and son Rob, which of these 'abominations' is 1st degree? Which 2nd degree?

    Let me simplify it for you. If you could copy/paste the set of biblical 'abominations' from my listing, wold you rank/order these 'abominations' for us, using 1 as 1st class [very important] 2 as 2nd class [important] 3 as 3rd class [so-so] and 4 as not an important 'abomination.'

    Thanks in advance.

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  35. ...the old testament is full of barbaric, bronze-age superstitious nonsense we could not hope to live with any longer, yet christians are not willing to just chuck out for some silly reason. there, fixed it for ya.

    Why would this be a Christian approach to the old testament? I know you saw an opportunity for a silly cheap shot but you are ignoring the intellectual responsibility to the views you don't share in dialogue. If you want to deal with a view effectively, you deal with it on it's best terms and you deal with it as it is held. Anything else is irrelevant and pointless. What good do the cheap shots do? I'll tell you what, it will sure contribute to the all to common pointless discussions on the internet that never go anywhere.

    no, actually, it makes sense because nearly everybody follows a mostly consequentialist school of ethics.

    So with homosexuality and incest, you face the consequences of alienating yourself from others, disease, genetic disease, and though there are ways to reduce these risks, though not all risks can be eliminated thoroughly.

    Amongst the popular way of thinking, I hear the argument that as long as the two homosexuals are consenting (thus excersizing their personal liberty), then who are we to judge what they do. Regardless of whether they are hurting themselves or not, it's no one else's business as to how they exercise their personal liberty. Again, in America, its FREEDOM!!! YEAH!!! and no doubt most of the west.

    they aren't. we couldn't run a society without cooperation,

    right, we limit personal liberties, why? so everyone can have the maximal number of personal liberties without impinging on anyone else's

    Of course I would note, that it seems you treated my discussion as a complete description of the commonly held ethical system. It wasn't. For so many people, even many Christians I'm sure, hold this value amongst the most important. I place a high value on personal liberties, but I recognize that there are more important things and it isn't the heaviest in weighing ethical concerns. I'm sure you can exalt personal liberties to the highest levels and be a consequentialist as you describe. limiting personal liberties is just one of those consequences we should avoid.

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  36. mudrake,


    I said, OK, barb and son Rob, which of these 'abominations' is 1st degree? Which 2nd degree?

    Why? I don't get why this challenge matters. Most people would recognize, that it's self evident that different morally relevent actions come in different degrees. Just about anyone would agree that saving a baby from a burning building is of a greater degree of goodness than helping an old lady across the street. Anyone would agree that raping is a much higher degree of evil than trolling internet blogs. Do we need to quantify these claims to demonstrate their coherence? Not in the slightest. Maybe they can be so quantified, but it doesn't matter for the veracity of the claim.

    Of course for many of your claims, supposedly some or all of them come from the old testament (not as if they'd all matter considering whether the egyptians felt shepards where abominable has nothing to do with the truth claims of the old testament since the egyptians were portrayed as the villains). But the fact is, which ever odd ones you faithfully brought out of the old testament in terms of context (which I'm skeptical about) I'd have to admit that I don't understand them all. But I don't need to either. I know I'm finite. Is that the best answer? not always given explanatory power is important in weighing paradigms. But anyone who is honest has to admit that as much as they understand, they can't extend their understanding indefinitely. We're finite. We don't know everything. It's a matter of humility to admit this. But of course, many of these obscure rules don't weigh highly in our view because WE ARE NOT UNDER THE OLD LAW. That's is necessary and basic Christianity.

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  37. I know you saw an opportunity for a silly cheap shot but you are ignoring the intellectual responsibility to the views you don't share in dialogue. If you want to deal with a view effectively, you deal with it on it's best terms and you deal with it as it is held.

    concern troll is concerned, i see. rob, you don't get to tell me how to approach your position. i approach it with derision and cheap shots because that is what i feel it deserves. that you feel it deserves better goes without saying, but puts no obligation upon me.

    but if we are to play that game, i can legitimately ask you to approach my words with more intellectual honesty. i already noted quite explicitly i think incestuous couples should not reproduce, and that i want them (at very least) strongly encouraged not to; for you to claim i'm courting genetic illnesses that way is deceitful.

    for you to claim that my treating homosexuals like decent human beings, and wanting them treated that way by the law, is to invite "alienation from others" --- i should hope so; i want no truck with homophobic bigots. let them alienate themselves from me, the sooner the better! no decent, compassionate human being would do so, however.

    right, we limit personal liberties, why?

    in the modern, post-enlightenment, world we do it to prevent clear harm to the liberties and lives of others. the old judge said it best; your freedom to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose.

    we also do it to encourage cooperation in building and supporting a useful society. your liberty to refuse to pay taxes decreases as your tax liability increases, simply because roads need building, teachers need paying, and firemen need equipping. there is an ongoing, and quite heated, debate on just how far this aspect of our limiting should be allowed to stretch; as a socialist i'm willing to let it stretch further than most, but not just however far.

    we do not do it simply because "that seems icky to me" --- not any longer. we have some holdover legacy laws still on the books that were made for that reason, but they're anachronisms now. the notion of civil liberty and individual privacy have rendered that mode of legislating obsolete, and thank goodness.

    we must not do it because "that's against my religion", because that way lies holy war. whenever religion has been allowed free reign to dictate the rules of any society for long enough, slaughter has followed. we (us "westerners") stopped allowing religion such reign around the end of the thirty years war, and if you wonder why, then you don't know what the thirty years war was. a little while later came the enlightemnent and put the final nail in that coffin; the USA was born partly out of enlightenment philosophies, hence our separation of church and state.

    Of course I would note, that it seems you treated my discussion as a complete description of the commonly held ethical system.

    by no means. you weren't talking ethics at all, that i noticed. you were talking religion, which is a different subject.

    I'm sure you can exalt personal liberties to the highest levels and be a consequentialist as you describe.

    i also notice you weren't reading a thing i wrote, or you'd have understood that i do not "exalt personal liberties to the highest levels". i even explicitly mentioned i do not. rob --- your term for the day is either one of "intellectual honesty" or "reading comprehension", take your pick.

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  38. Rob- when did you realize that you were a homophobe? Do you give your mother credit for molding you into one?

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  39. I say individual freedom is important. Women should be allowed to have abortions if they choose; everyone should be allowed to express their sexual orientation as they wish. I would personally practice this laissez faire attitude as far as possible.

    It bothers me when people judge others severely while claiming to be adhering to the Divine Law, or the civic law for that matter as with convicted killers. I believe taking these harsh attitudes is to fail in charity and generosity and kindness. Aren't those the true divine qualities?

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  40. quit being such a paranoid racist, barb. the palestinians and somalis may be war-torn peoples, but they're not subhuman beasts howling "fee-fi-fo-fum" for your christian blood.

    Where've you been, Nomen? Go to the Voice of the Martyrs website and see if there aren't some subhuman beasts howling fee fi fo fum for Christian blood --and other blood as well. Even Palestinian mothers danced in the streets in joy over 9/11 --and defend the chronic warring against Israel--want to annhilate Israel as Iran wants, celebrate their kids becoming suicide bombers--as a pursuit of justice against Israel.

    I don't really perceive such people as subhuman, however--but as people God loves and wants to save with the knowledge of Jesus having come to the earth to teach and to save. Christian martyrs give their lives to spread the Good News of God visiting the planet as Christ and offering salvation to all who believe --salvation from sin and eternal death--or from immortality in a dreaded state.

    Granted, it's the warlike haters who make the news in warring nations---just as it is the Bush haters in Iraq who make the news --despite the fact that intelligent soldiers return from there telling us of the desire for western liberty and the appreciation for our troops' accomplishments among the Iraqi people there who do not make the headlines. One man approached our guys and said sincerely, "Thank Mr. Bush for me." We did not bring violence to Iraq; they already had it and were a tortured people without freedom or the prosperity of their nation's oil.

    How do YOU defend those who would stone a rape victim as justice? 50 men against one 13 year old buried up to her chin in a stadium with 1000 observers --Somalia. They are dwelling in darkness and need the light of the Gospel. Instead, their Muslims are tormenting their Christian people there as in every Muslim country.

    In Iran and North Korea, Christians are beaten to their death for their religion. Baghdad Christians did have to flee the area last year for violence against them. But the Kurds gave our church land.

    Christianity is the religion that says faith is a voluntary matter --not to be forced --CAN not be forced since it's one's own will that must "choose this day whom you will serve....as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." We are not commanded to convert by the sword --Muslims have done that. We are to convert by preaching the Gospel about Jesus Christ. Granted, Catholics have dark periods in history as they ignored the Bible and made up their own traditions.

    Catholics see the light on the abortion issue, however. The abortion choice would be legit as a choice if it only affected the woman's body--but it does indeed end a human life, a separate, tiny, innocent sweet baby, in its first year of existance. That's why it isn't properly just a woman's choice. Her choice was before the pregnancy. If she was raped, do the rape kit right away.

    Sure, it's an inequity in nature (but a designed one and a privilege for both sexes) that the man doesn't have to bear the baby--but a good man will support and protect the baby and its mother for the rest of their lives and marry the woman. Men want abortion for their OWN convenience, their own loophole.

    Sexual orientation gets expressed promiscuously and the whole society pays for the diseases and the unwanted pregnancies, the mental health treatments and the family breakdown and poverty and under Obama, we will also pay for 1.6 million abortions a year if he has his way.

    Gay marriage won't clean up a lifestyle based on quickie orgasms in public parks and rest rooms --which that famous gay singer, Geo. Michael?, got arrested for doing --even though he had a live-in "common law" boyfried. The first gay couple to marry in the US said marriage did not mean fidelity and monogamy to them --and are now "divorced." Though I don't see how you can divorce by man what God never put together in the first place.

    this is truth talking, not hatred. I call for no bad manners, name-calling toward homosexuals nor bashing/cruelty. But I trust you would not condone pedophilia or bestiality as performed with horses in Tijujuana, Mexico--the last taboos? --but if you condone all the other taboos, you will not like the societal result when all sexual taboos and perversions are permitted and condoned and pursued by our kids --the influence on the next generation, especially if our sons all decide it's amusing for them to find their niche among peers superciliously critiquing fashions at the Globe Awards--or taking a dozen wives and giving you 150 grandkids and all those daughters-in-law. Do you want such a man for a son in law?

    It's one thing to be tolerant; do you really want to encourage a society to abandon normal procreative marital monogamous hetero relations for the abnormal, promiscuous, irresponsible, impulsive and diseased? Do you want all the boys with a weak masculine self-image to conclude they must be gay? Do you want people indulging in every bizarro sexual thought and following up with bizarro behaviors? Is every body orifice really designed to receive penetration by men? No. Unequivocally, NO.

    In Christendom, we have a song, "Have thine own way, Lord, Have thine own way, thou are the potter, I am the clay." This kind of submission to the God who is there, and HIS design plan for our lives, reaps eternal and temporal reward.

    Liberty is good; licentiousness destructive.

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  41. barb --- when you dedicate better than five kilobytes of text to nothing but uttering hatred and lies, it does not help you to state once or twice, right in the middle of your verbal midden, that "this is not hatred". sticking a hand-painted sign in a dungheap that reads "gold mine" doesn't mean the shit isn't still shit.

    we can all see that what you're spewing is hatred. claiming otherwise merely makes you a liar and a hypocrite, as well.

    mike, my apologies for helping to drag this thread out to such an unproductive extent here on your otherwise excellent blog. still, remember a few months ago when we were discussing the pledge of allegiance and i was ranting at length about religion, using some rather intemperate language? as i recall, one of the points i made back then was that --- in everyday American society --- religious people routinely get away with using just as intemperate and intolerant language, and worse on top, without ever being called out on it.

    case in point, barb. well, okay, you've called her out on it to some extent. but can you honestly claim to have been anywhere near as offended with her, or to have expressed your offendedness in nearly as clear tones, as you were and did with me back then?

    please don't believe i'm blaming you personally, either, mike. i'm trying to express that this sort of double standard is commonplace and routine in society; religion is normally granted all manner of leeway to spread intolerance and hatred, yet secularists and atheists (and gay/trans rights activists, come to think of it) are held on a short leash. this is hypocritical, and hypocrisy is one of the USA's greatest weaknesses and most public failings. it was one of the first things i noticed as a common trait in American society when i came to this country, and since then i've only ever been proven right about it.

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  42. Mike, there is a history thousands of years old of prophets/truth-proclaimers being hated by their audience.

    Truth from God tends to come from voices crying in the wilderness --the masses often crucified these prophets, hated their message, the limit to their liberties imposed from a God in Heaven --so they did away with the prophets, crucified Christ, e.g. --and today we think we can do away with God.

    Only, the evidence for God is still abundant in all that He has made.

    As it says in Paul's letter to the Christians at Rome in the 1st Century A.D. --

    Romans 1: 18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

    21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

    24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

    26Because of this, God gave them over to [gave them up to] shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
    [What might that penalty be? STD's?]

    28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

    Paul says sin merits death--but this is not a call for us to implement a death penalty for all sin--because God has already done that and "Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord." God's Grace (undeserved favor/mercy) is in the fact that we have a chance to avoid the death penalty, because Jesus paid for our sins on the cross --but He also said, "Repent." He didn't condone our sin. We are called to repentance and eternal salvation. The consequences are peace, inner contentment, and joy --knowing that we are sheep of the shepherd who tenderly loves us who call Him Lord --even if we stray. He will pursue the lost sheep though He has 99 others safe in the fold.

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  43. Nomen, the typical liberal response to biblical teaching on sexuality, is to hate the Bible-believer and call him/her a hater --as Mudrake does consistently. he calls me the bigot as you and Mike HAVE done here--but he hates me far more than I hate anyone, gay or straight. I don't hate him at all, but I do find him annoying and pathetic --sort of a Gollum following me around --lest you don't agree with him and join with him in denouncing me and my views. He exists on the blogs to slither behind me, to talk about me, and not the issues. He wants me banned from liberal blogs --as he bans me from his.

    Oddly enough, he can't leave me alone, so obsessed is he with the defense of homosexuality --and the fear that I might prevail in debate on this issue and persuade anyone to see it as I do. Granted, I have taken him on at his blog --which he censors --though i do not censor him off my blog just for slithering there. he gets censored when he lists names and addresses of me and other bloggers on my blog, or posts spam on OCD, or uses foul language.

    But he has company, in that I find that those of you who discredit Judeo-chrsitian scriptures all think alike --believing that gays and those with gender identity problems (and ultimately non-procreative incestors and polygamists) should be encouraged, celebrated and allowed to "marry" with their abnormal, harmful proclivities, in the name of personal liberty.

    If, however, the Bible is truth from God --OT rabinnical laws understood and valid or not -- then there is one purpose and place for sexual intimacy--in monogamous hetero marriage. All else leads to societal trouble and disadvantages children who get sidetracked before experiencing God's ideal --hetero marriage for which He created and designed us. All else displeases the God of the Bible and is called "sin." Sin is to be repented of if we would gain Heaven.

    It's really not complicated --and it is not hateful. It is what it is, God's plan for our redemption. A provision for our eternal life in a better state than now --after we die. It is a great hope for the future that Jesus promised. The love is unconditional toward every person --but we choose our destiny and there ARE black holes in the universe --there are fearsome possibilities for one's soul. Jesus said so --and He is the Resurrected One.

    It boils down to faith in Christ --did He come from God and rise from the dead or not? You probably say not. I believe He did --and that faith makes me heed and proclaim His warnings that we need to "repent." And believe that a man is to leave parents and cleave to His wife because that's the creation plan described in Genesis --to which Christ Himself alluded in Mark 10:

    6But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. 7For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.

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  44. there is a history thousands of years old of prophets/truth-proclaimers being hated by their audience.

    hey, i know how to become a prophet --- i'll hop on over to barb's blog and start calling christianity evil and its adherents deluded nutcases. if i go on long enough, eventually she's bound to start hating me for the disruptiveness, and then we'll know for sure that what i say is truth!

    some truth-tellers have indeed been strongly disliked, yes. but so have an awful big lot of disruptive, hateful maniacs who never spoke a truthful word. if you think that the surest and best sign of your being right is that everybody else thinks that you're wrong --- you've failed to understand a lot of rather important little details concerning logic and truth.

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  45. barb --- when you dedicate better than five kilobytes of text to nothing but uttering hatred and lies, it does not help you to state once or twice, right in the middle of your verbal midden, that "this is not hatred". sticking a hand-painted sign in a dungheap that reads "gold mine" doesn't mean the shit isn't still shit.

    PRICELESS!!!!

    It didn't take you too very long to come to the same conclusion of all other bloggers who have had to deal with her mountainous dung heap.

    By the way, just to help better understand [if possible] where her thoughts vis a vis Palestinians emanate, she is a self-declared Zionist.

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  46. What do you think a Zionist is, Mudrake? a dirty word? You sound REALLY bigoted against Jews here, you know. Like you share the racism of your German ancestors?

    ZIONISM a worldwide Jewish movement that resulted in the establishment and development of the state of Israel.

    A Jewish movement that arose in the late 19th century in response to growing anti-Semitism and sought to reestablish a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Modern Zionism is concerned with the support and development of the state of Israel.

    1.noun-a Jewish supporter of Zionism

    Yes, I'm a Zionist (as is the US and UN in policy) by those definitions--except I am not Jewish --not born into that family. I'm a follower of the Jewish Messiah, however, and a member of the new "chosen ones" or "elect" --because "to those who believe on Jesus name [even the Gentiles], gave He the right to be called the "Children of God."

    Where you err typically, Mudrake, is when you say I want to see a last battle in Israel (as prophesied) in order to be raptured with the Church --leaving Jews and everyone else behind.

    NOt so. I don't look forward to "end times" at all --and am not sure about "rapture theology" as in the Left Behind series. Jesus' words interpreted as the Rapture of the Church merely affirm to us that there is going to be a division of believers from non-believers for Eternity --two will be plowing, and one will be taken and one left, etc.... He also spoke of separating the sheep from the goats. He is "the Good shepherd --who cares for His sheep." A good mid-east analogy.

    Nomen --you may come to my blog and denounce away --or rather, ARGUE or DEBATE. Don't just slither and snipe and mock and scorn like a Muck-dweller. Defend your views. Denunciation is not particularly enlightening no matter who does it.

    Yes, call yourself a prophet if it pleases you, but those who preach the Bible as the Word of God come from a long line of people with the same basic message about the God of Creation, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (and Ishmael), the God of the Jews throughout their checkered history, the God of Jesus Christ, the God of the Early Church --the God of Christendom throughout its checkered history in Catholicism and the subsequent church splits, and the God of Christianity today.

    The Word of God, the basic definitions of good and evil, have not changed. We have the Holy Spirit in the Church today to enlighten us and reconcile the Word with culturally influenced values --that are of little consequence. But the foundation of sexuality and family life has to do with divine design and purpose. We have no license to mess with it. Just as we have no license to abort babies.

    God's Word is very clear on these matters. Personal liberty is not the highest value.

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  47. Personal liberty is not the highest value.

    i keep saying as much, but neither one of you two seem to be taking notice. why is that?

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  48. rob, you don't get to tell me how to approach your position.

    sure I do. I just did. whether you can recognize good advice is beyond my control.

    i approach it with derision and cheap shots because that is what i feel it deserves. that you feel it deserves better goes without saying, but puts no obligation upon me.


    right, you feel a certain way therefore the cheap shots have more to do with emotionalism than well thought out informed reason. (I'm sorry but that's what it seems I'm left to conclude). If you don't deal with a view on it's best terms or at least how it is viewed, then your criticisms simply aren't well informed and thus they have little to no value. This is the way of productive discussion amongst people who disagree. How can it be any other way? In essence, to reject what I said is to admit that you are happy to attack straw men. But what does that have to do with a real and fruitful conversation?

    but if we are to play that game, i can legitimately ask you to approach my words with more intellectual honesty.

    Go ahead. I don't think I was being intellectually dishonest as I'll explain below. BUT YOU CAN ALWAYS TELL ME TO RECONSIDER WHAT YOU SAID UNDER A DIFFERENT LIGHT OR WITH BETTER UNDERSTANDING. I'm not threatened by that at all and I'm happy to extend a courtesy to you similar to the one you refuse to people of my perspective. Why would you say this is a game? I value understanding and I value understanding differing and opposing view points whether I like them or not. Why don’t you?


    i already noted quite explicitly i think incestuous couples should not reproduce, and that i want them (at very least) strongly encouraged not to; for you to claim i'm courting genetic illnesses that way is deceitful.

    No, to allow incestuous couples is to court the possibility of genetic disease since few temporary birth control methods are infallible (or should we perform mandatory hysterectomies on the women in such relationships). I assume you were against the illegal status of such couplings. If I'm wrong about what I perceive to be your position, then I'm happy to be corrected on that. Is there any other way to do this?

    for you to claim that my treating homosexuals like decent human beings, and wanting them treated that way by the law, is to invite "alienation from others"

    So a rigorous consequentialism just doesn't cut it. I agree. That was my point.

    Of course I agree that homosexuals should be treated like decent human beings, to the same extent as anyone else with a habit or mental disorder of some sort. (and that’s not hateful, unless you believe that people with habits or disorders are to be hated) For so many of them, it's not like they choose to be attracted to the same sex after all (or perhaps that they directly choose it in the immediate situation).

    in the modern, post-enlightenment, world we do it to prevent clear harm to the liberties and lives of others. the old judge said it best; your freedom to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose.

    Sure, that's one such reason, right up there with maximizing personal liberties to the extent that it hurts no one else.

    we also do it to encourage cooperation in building and supporting a useful society. your liberty to refuse to pay taxes decreases as your tax liability increases, simply because roads need building, teachers need paying, and firemen need equipping.

    right, unrestrained rampant personal liberties will eventually lead to a degradation of personal liberties. What you say doesn't necessarily contradict my claim.

    the notion of civil liberty and individual privacy have rendered that mode of legislating obsolete, and thank goodness

    EXACTLY! THIS IS THE WAY OUR SOCIETY THINKS.

    we must not do it because "that's against my religion", because that way lies holy war.

    How many Holy wars have we had in the US where we have had plenty of laws inspired by religious concerns?

    But seems to me that laws against incest and potential laws against homosexual marriage need not be there just for strictly religious reasons. We already noted the genetic risks but there is also the issue of the emotional problems that would not be cohesive for the "[encouragement of] cooperation in building and supporting a useful society."

    To my knowledge, there is little controversy over the potential of emotional damage of incest and the wreckage is plenty evident. Of course, the debate over homosexuality to that extent is not over, despite what many politically motivated social scientists might claim.

    whenever religion has been allowed free reign to dictate the rules of any society for long enough, slaughter has followed.

    I know, just look at those communities of the Amish sure are violent (to my knowledge I believe they are self governing, I'm not sure that they are citizens given that they don't pay taxes).

    And look at how well those anti-religious governments like China, the USSR and North Korea have treated citizens. No violent bloodshed there. Clearly, the common thread of violence and bloodshed is religion. The enlightenment inspired French revolution is clearly another gem.

    the USA was born partly out of enlightenment philosophies, hence our separation of church and state.

    yes, a mix of enlightenment philosophies and it's puritan and protestant background, where they didn't confuse a prohibition of congress to make laws to promoting specific religious perspectives and governing church bodies and rules with an absolutism on separation of church and state that forbids any laws that arise from among other things, a religiously informed conscience.

    by no means. you weren't talking ethics at all, that i noticed. you were talking religion, which is a different subject.

    Then were you being irrelevant on those grounds as well when you discussed ethics? Regardless of the varieties of ethical theories, religiously motivated ones are part of that discussion.

    i also notice you weren't reading a thing i wrote, or you'd have understood that i do not "exalt personal liberties to the highest levels".

    I apologize for implying something so insulting and terrible. Clearly that's a worse accusation that calling one a racist. And when I say "I'm sure you can exalt personal liberties to the highest levels and be a consequentialist." I don't necessarily mean YOU meaning specifically you than when I said WE exalt personal liberties to the highest level, I am speaking of myself specifically, since I'm challenging. I was speaking to the fact that it's not an either or case with the exaltation of personal liberties vs. consequentialism.

    Alright, so you don't or you don't believe you do (though I quoted you above where you said something highly coherent with the exaltation of personal liberties). I'm not going to twist your arm and so YES YOU DO YES YOU DO!!! But we actually aren't explicitly, immediately and consciously aware of every aspect of our own belief systems. We do have intuitions, beliefs which we don't know the reason for. ergo we have reasons we aren't aware of. (of course different people have different intuitions, some are very powerful and some, not so important). But regardless of whether you do or not, as I mentioned we as a society exalt personal liberty to the highest degree generally tempering it so that everyone can also have as much as possible (and so it is balanced with egalitarianism, which is something that should be valued in the highest degree as well).

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  49. you're offended that i approach religion --- the prototypical anti-reason subject! --- without the measure of logic and reason you would prefer i apply to it? gee, why am i not surprised.

    rob, religion kills reason and sense. always has, always will. the delusions it peddles could not survive a week otherwise. why on earth should i not get emotional about that?

    So a rigorous consequentialism just doesn't cut it.

    "cut" what? how do you think it fails, at what task? i'll note i already stated i'm not an all-out, full-bore consequentialist, but you're not one to listen or comprehend your debate opponents' words, as has been demonstrated.

    the hateful thing you're saying is your implication that a harmless sexual orientation is "disordered", or that something so fundamental to a personality is any mere "habit". i would be stretching logic (and politeness, come to that) far less severely if i were to claim your religion was a disorder, or a deleterious self-harming habit you ought to give up. religions, after all, are demonstrably chosen and changeable!

    unrestrained rampant personal liberties will eventually lead to a degradation of personal liberties.

    ...say what? you're either attempting to emulate Nostradamus --- badly --- or you're just spouting nonsensical gibberish there.

    (of course, a good emulation of Nostradamus would be indistinguishable from nonsensical gibberish anyway... but yours isn't a good one, because it isn't in any obscure verse form. so there!)

    ...rob, rob, rob. some day you might grow up and have an actual relationship with an actual member of the appropriate sex, and then i'm afraid you'll find out a hard, cold fact of life: ANY AND ALL relationships run the risk of landing you with serious emotional problems. love will break your heart, no matter what kind of love it is. i don't imagine incestuous or homosexual relationships are at all immune to this, because no real relationship is!

    but until you grow up and learn how to debate like an actual adult --- which, at a minimum, includes knowing how to read your opponents' words for content and take their arguments seriously --- we're done.

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  50. Reading your last post was a demonstration of the pot calling the ivory black. And at that, you are right that it isn't productive carrying on the conversation except for the exact opposite reason you cite. Good day and God bless!

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  51. Good day and God bless!

    God bless [fill in the blank] is one of those trite and meaningless phrases that assumes that a deity would actually suspend what he/she/it were doing, like managing the universes, and utter some magic words which would change the course of the history that the deity already designed.

    I guess we might call that the pro-active deity, one who messes around with characters of the play, altering the plot, the scenes, and the final act in response to the pleas of the cast members.

    Delusional but nonetheless interesting philosophical musings to distract us from the realities of life and death.

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  52. I have to agree with Nomen that much of what Barb and Rob have to say about gays is hateful. And, as I've mentioned before, I feel the way Muslims are spoken of and generalized about is also hateful. I can't fathom how Christian people can espouse such attitudes. To me they seem absoluteley incompatible with the doctrine.

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  53. Yes, Mike, I think Muslims have a problem--their religion, its angel source. I Corinthians: 4And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.

    If they take their Koran to heart, it enables them to justify the chronic war and hatred of Israel, their killing of those who convert from Islam, the beheadings and stonings of alleged sinners or non-Muslims, the persecution of any who would proclaim another religion.

    This is not so of the Bible --just because something bad was done in the OT doesn't mean it is justified by Christ, the Son, or God, the Father, for the Church of JEsus Christ. We are told specifically NOT to murder and told to beware of judging others harshly, lest we receive the same judgment.

    I'll say it again--and Rob said it --Christians who believe the Bible's moral teachings feel sorry for anyone with the sexual disorder called gender identity disorder --and the one called homosexuality. I feel sorry for people who are consumed with abnormal sexual thoughts and desires such that they feel compelled to act them out. this includes the sex-addicted who frequent prostitutes, use porn, are obsessed with sexual thoughts toward children or family members, are turned off to the opposite sex in exclusive preference for persons of the same sex though there is nothing natural or normal they can do together, who find themselves in love or in lust with other people's spouses, or who, like the BTK killer, can't seem to get a sexual thrill without torturing and killing a woman.

    I feel sorry for those with such compulsions --but not sorry enough to condone what they want to do as though it were normal or good for them or society in general.

    I want children to be influenced toward normalcy and not be victims of a media campaign to encourage them to question and explore their sexuality. I want them to know the fruit of the Spirit, self-control, so they may live morally and become spouses and parents in families ordained and designed by God.

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  54. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  55. the above post was deleted for typos.

    I have to agree with Nomen that much of what Barb and Rob have to say about gays is hateful.

    Do you care who is hateful or not? Reading through this thread, there's no love fest here from Nomen or mudrake and what they expressed is nothing short of hateful (All I expect is civility). Why the double standard?

    But what about that standard? Mike, you don't know who we may have as friends or family, loved ones who may or may not be gay, and the fact is, we have em. We have friends who are similar to us in these opinions who have gay children, one woman who's son died of AIDS (they had a reconciliation on his death bed which included his repentence). They love their kids because they don't live in a simplistic world where love and hate are reduced to the concepts of tolerance and disapproval.

    I've had group discussions with a pastor who takes the opposite point of view that I do, believing homosexualuality is a natural expression of God's creation in humanity. But he tells this story of one of his seminary proffesors who challenged his thinking on the issue. He of course was of your mind, assuming anyone who thinks of homosexuality is a sin is an ignorant bigot, and when the topic came up in one of his seminary classes, he started to write off a particular seminary prof who articulated the traditional view. But this prof told a story about when he was a chaplain at a hospital, when the AIDS crisis was beginning. At this point, they weren't exactly sure how the disease spread (except that gay men contracted it). So many of the victims of AIDS were put in isolation tents of some sort to minimize the possibility of an airborn infection. As they'd start to die off, the chaplain became discouraged. One day, as one man was starting to die, the chaplain couldn't take it any longer and he unzipped the tent and crawled inside to hold the man so he wouldn't be alone in death. AFter words, he did this over and over again.

    The pastor who lead this discussion who, again, supports the gay movement admitted that his prof had down more for the homosexual community than he had ever done.

    So no, mike, the view that there is something wrong with homosexuality, even that it is a mental disorder, is NOT neceesarily the view of someone who is hateful, and in fact, many of those people who actually DO hate homosexuals probably care less as to whether it is a mental disorder and.

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