It's Not Always Gay Bashing ...

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OK, the posting 'Ugh' From-On-High is linking pedophilia with homosexuality in a ham fisted way; but is that gay bashing? Critical discussion of the possible impact of one’s life-style choices upon the society about you can venture into negative comparisons without being hateful. Some, however 'Jonathon', David, and marshmallow), resort to killing the messenger in effigy. 'Gay bashing' and 'bigot' are wonderfully unsupported, slanderous statements made in regard to Sophrosyne. I love seeing an electronic lynching carried out before my eyes. Piling on and parroting what your fellow traveler says does not add weight to your arguments. It only shows those who read your words that you are an unthinking lemming running off the cliff. BANZAI!

So stop hyperventilating. I think the point that Sophrosyne was trying to make by using From On High’s posting is that the traditional sexual mores did provide some measure of sexual protection for those who really needed to be protected. In this case they were autistic boys. Furthermore, in times past in our society, predators such as Phillip Distasio never got the insane idea that what they did was natural or good in any way.

Not too long ago, all sex outside of traditional marriage was labeled as sin; adultery, fornication, masturbation, homosexual liaison, pedophilia, incest, and bestiality were all lumped together in the 'sin pile.’ There were 'blue' laws that punished such activity; the capriciousness of the enforcement of such laws not withstanding.

Today we no longer punish the first four from the above list (adultery, fornication, masturbation, homosexual liaison) but continue to disavow or punish the last three (pedophilia, incest, and bestiality). All this predator is doing is moving the line a little further down the list. Which begs the question: "What determines the proper place to put that line?"

He can try to move the line with impunity because we have chased 'morality' from the sexual arena. The result is that today we permit the breaking of the old mores with respect to much of the practiced sexual deviancy. That is not gay bashing -- it is a fact of life. As a society, we have divorced sex from procreation and love. The rampant growth in pornography available for consumption in our modern society is clear, irrefutable evidence of this divorce. Without children and love of one another as the chief aim, sex has become simply an exercise in self gratification.

Procreation and love are both intimately tied to the process of raising children. In 'nature' or 'under God,’ creating and nurturing the next generation is the fundamental outcome of sex. Self-gratification was a happy byproduct of the act. The sexual act creates the children and simultaneously strengthens the bond between the couple. This bond is necessary to maintain the family; the family that is the life support for the children. Whereas sexual self-gratification to the exclusion of all else is utter selfishness masquerading as love.

Please note that in my arguments above I have not singled out any of the nontraditional, extramarital sexual activities in particular. All have the same drawback of not being linked to procreation and child rearing. Children may issue from some of these activities; love of your partner may spring from others. But none of these extramarital sexual encounters starts that way, and some can never fulfill both of the traditional marriage hallmarks.

Several examples: the pedophilic rape of a 5 year old will never yield children or love; the incestuous use of one’s daughter destroys love, the daughter, and the family; homosexual intercourse is barren of children; an adulterous affair betrays love. All fail to satisfy the original, fundamental purpose of sex. Although children may be conceived in adultery or fornication, those acts still fail to meet the totality of the fundamental purpose, because in these illicit encounters, the proper family environment for raising the child will be absent. However, in all four examples, the act does serve as a conduit for achieving what was originally the byproduct of sex.

Only under the covenant of traditional marriage is the goal de jure love of another and creation. This is in stark contrast to the other forms of sexual union where the de facto goal is self-gratification. Some are more destructive than others; still, all are exercises in self-gratification and as such, all are ultimately futile exercises in selfish behavior. Is this gay bashing?

I will freely acknowledge that this missive is not flattering to the gay life style, for through the lens of the Bible, homosexual acts are sins, as are adultery, fornication, etc. This missive is also not flattering of the free love pop culture either. Would you three care to engage in some discussion, or, is someone else going to turn off his brain and meanly shout 'bigot'?

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46 Comments

Hmm, this could be an interesting starting point for discussion, I imagine.

I'd like to point out I know Jacob personally and he's seemed more on the libertarian side of "social issues" than anyone else writing here - more of a Jane Galt type. At least that was my perception. So I recommend reading his post as a coming from an analytical standpoint, prior to going ballistic about it.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

I never said bigot. I did, however, already respond to the issues you raise:

"well, the assumption seems to be that if you aren't opposed to gay marriage, you must therefore have no concept of morality. This assumption is incorrect.

OK, one cannot call something immoral without referring to morality. F. on H. says, "To proscribe sex with children and to forbid sex with non-consenting partners gets you real close to where my morality is based."
...that's nice, I think it's pretty close to where all of our moral ideas lie. Who wants to explain how it follows that gay marriage is a bad idea?

does the logic go like this:

1: in order to say that pedophilia is wrong, one must have a moral code.
2: If one has a moral code, they will come to the conclusion that gay is wrong.

This seems like an oversimplification, but I guess we're all making straw man arguments at this point."

and

"Let's not remove morality, let's address the question which has been asked repeatedly by the folks Sophie likes to call, "anti-marriage" : WHAT'S IMMORAL ABOUT GAY MARRIAGE?

but really, this isn't about morality, it's about beliefs. ...Why are gays immoral? Something about Sodom and Gomorrah? Some unnamed passages from the new testament? Something St. Paul jotted down 1700 years ago, perhaps? Don't tell me that this notion of gay immorality doesn't stem from a holy book.

We all have our beliefs. A diversity of beliefs are America's strength, but they aren't the proper bases of legislation. If our legal code was based purely on biblical notions of morality, we wouldn't need a legal code at all, we already have Deuteronomy.

"but our country and our culture is founded on judeo-christian morals"

maybe, but our founding fathers were philosophers and revolutionaries, not religious zealots, and this country was also founded on an idea of individual freedom and responsibility, and a healthy skepticism in the government's ability to legislate the way people live their lives."

what? marriage is for procreation? as if every marriage occurs for the sake of reproduction (hat's that crazy super model's name?) Sure marriage is a good thing for the children, and it's nice to encourage people who intend to have children to be married. That's who SHOULD be married, but it doesn't address the question of why other people SHOULDN'T get married.

I like how yous guys insisted that someone address F on H's "challenge" without thinking that you were in any way obliged to back up his claimed. By posting a link to his post, and than daring people to address his challenge, you (silent sophie) set yourself up as proxies. don't act so surprised...

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

also, how does classifying homosexuality as immoral protect any children? Pedophilia is immoral, that didn't stop this guy? You think he wouldn't have done it if pedophilia AND homosexuality were immoral? Like, maybe he was willing to violate one social norm, but two would have been too much for him to stomach? is that what you're getting at?

And what about the fact that 1 in 4 girls are sexually molested by the time they're teenagers?

http://www.nytimes.com/specials/women/warchive/971001_758.html

maybe in order to protect more children from abuse we need to consider heterosexually a sin, too. It seems like that's where the bigger problem lies...


/_\
o

That's a little bell, ring it when the absurdity of your reasoning dawns on you

charles said:

You know, the first comment in the "ugh" discussion was from someone making the suggestion that this man would go to prison where his life wouldn't be happy, probably a reference to the probability he would be raped by other men.

And when Ken Lay died, some real journalists wrote that it was unfair, that he deserved to go to prison where he would be raped by other men.

Which makes me wonder two things.

First, why are men in prison practicing gay sex? Are they all gay, or could it be that gay sex is something ANYBODY could be attracted to if it was the only thing they could get?

Second, why isn't the gay community up in arms about all these people suggesting that gay sex is some form of punishment?

David said:

You know, this all just makes me think that you don't have a very high level understanding of morality, if all that it's based on is the idea that sex is for making babies.

This is supposed to regulate human moral behavior?

I have a much better idea. Why don't we base how we treat each other on something more useful. We could use as our criterion whether or not we are harming another person, or coercing them.

That works very well with regard to sexual behavior. Using that rule, you would have no rape, you would have no sex with children or other beings who cannot give consent, and you would have no social engineering that tries to force all of God's children to be exactly the same.

What you are proposing does harm to people, and is therefore not moral.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

Charles,

you think Ken Lay, the man who made a career out of "faking it", is dead?! He faked his death, and right now he's chillin' on his private tropical island, smokin' indo, sippin' on gin & juice, laid back, with his mind on his money and his money on his mind.

the man had nothing to loose! but it's only a matter of time before someone spots his beach villa on google earth!

charles said:

I'm not big on conspiracy theories.

If his plane had "dissappeared" and he was "presumed dead", I would entertain the notion.

But we have the body, and the idea of his "faking it" was immediately raised and therefore unlikely to NOT have been investigated.

So yes, I "believe" he is dead.

charles said:

Oh, and just to weigh in on the main point, I think I understand the argument that would "link" pedophilia to homosexuality, but I don't agree with it.

I do believe that the obliteration of the foundations of moral standards makes it more likely for humans to commit immoral acts, but I don't think that people who commit acts that are currently considered immoral are driven largely by the failure to enforce moral standards.

I do fear that the erosion of morality WILL lead to society deciding that pedophilia and beastiality are NOT immoral, but so long as society thinks they ARE immoral I think it's easier just to blame the basic evil nature of man for man's immorality.

Of course, I also believe that God does imprint a moral code on mankind, and that most humans have some capacity to know at a base level that they are behaving "wrong". And I believe that much of what we see trying to "justify" actions that are in fact "legal" at this point but still not well-accepted is an indication that humanity still feels the "wrongness" of actions, but doesn't like it and is trying to justify ignoring it.

A lot of people sin, and most christians who sin do so privately, respecting other's morality and probably believing in it themselves.

The big battles occur not because people behave immorally, it's because some people want to force the rest of us to accept their immoral behavior, and even subsidize it, teach it to our children as proper behavior, and punish those who think it is immoral.

David said:

I also believe that God does imprint a moral code on mankind, and that most humans have some capacity to know at a base level that they are behaving "wrong".

We agree. That sums up my theory about why some of you object when it's pointed out that you are anti-gay.

Jacob Ash said:

Marshmellow,
I will try to respond point by point ...

1. You wrote: I never said bigot.

I respond: True. When I listed bigot and gay bashing, I also grouped you with the rest, one of whom did call sophie a bigot. It was not you. If that offends you personally, I am sorry.

2. You wrote: the assumption seems to be that if you aren't opposed to gay marriage, you must therefore have no concept of morality. This assumption is incorrect.
I respond: I never said that. Please re-read the article Marshmallow. I am not being nasty. Seriously, the point regarding sex and morality revolves around all sex outside of traditional marriage, not just gay relationships. The immorality of fornication and gay relationships are equal in this calculus.

3. You wrote: F. on H. says, "To proscribe sex with children and to forbid sex with non-consenting partners gets you real close to where my morality is based." ...that's nice, I think it's pretty close to where all of our moral ideas lie.
I respond:
b. OK so you agree with F. on H. here. This makes total sense considering which side of the debate you are on. I am making the assertion that this ‘morality code’ you live by is insufficient (not complete), and, is why I made the post I did.

However, no, it is not 'pretty close' to where 'all' of our morals lie. In many ways THIS is the crux of our disagreement. I want pursue this further, but I am constrained to answer your other comments first. We can return to this later. Actually I will even if you won’t. Come to think of it; you’ll join in because you won’t be able to help yourself. ;-)

4. You wrote:
does the logic go like this:

1: in order to say that pedophilia is wrong, one must have a moral code.
2: If one has a moral code, they will come to the conclusion that gay is wrong.

This seems like an oversimplification, but I guess we're all making straw man arguments at this point."

I respond: You’ve oversimplified to the point of having stripped out the original meaning, or, you just skimmed through the article, for if this is what you think I wrote, you missed the mark.

However, nice straw man you put together. And you knocked him down by calling him a straw man! Kewel.

5. You yelled: WHAT'S IMMORAL ABOUT GAY MARRIAGE?
I respond: If an informal gay relationship is immoral, what does a ceremony do to make it moral? Don’t blow you top here. You asked the question, would prefer I lied to you and suddenly said “I think its okey dokey”?

6. You wrote: but really, this isn't about morality, it's about beliefs. ...Why are gays immoral?
I respond:
a. Beliefs cannot be divorced from morality, which is part of our disagreement. What you and society believe to be true better be a basis for the morality and law we live under or we have NO basis for logically determining anything about what is right and wrong. This certainly is the second bone of contention between us.

One point for clarity. 'Being gay' is not immoral. Gay sexual acts are another matter.

7. You wrote: Don't tell me that this notion of gay immorality doesn't stem from a holy book.
I respond: I never mentioned it. However, if you are implying that there would be something that would invalidate the argument if I did use a holy book, then you on a glide path into some serious bigotry of your own. Steer clear pal, we live in a society were this kind of discussion is possible. Keep that in mind let’s celebrate/honor that freedom by not engaging in new forms of narrow mindedness.

8. You Wrote: We all have our beliefs. A diversity of beliefs are America's strength, but they aren't the proper bases of legislation.
I respond: Then what IS the proper basis for legislation?

9 You wrote: If our legal code was based purely on biblical notions of morality, we wouldn't need a legal code at all, we already have Deuteronomy.
I respond: Remember the blue laws? I think they were silly, but, they were older than this country and cannot as such be dismissed out of hand. Furthermore some of Deuteronomy actually still is in there; for instance you shall not steal from, murder or bear false witness against you neighbor. We never tried to legislate any of the 'coveting' things. That falls under thought crimes. Face it most colleges and tutored education in Europe were steeped in the Biblical teachings, it is a historical fact, like it or not.

10. You wrote: "but our country and our culture is founded on judeo-christian morals"
maybe, but our founding fathers were philosophers and revolutionaries, not religious zealots, and this country was also founded on an idea of individual freedom and responsibility, and a healthy skepticism in the government's ability to legislate the way people live their lives."
I respond: I totally agree with your sentiment here. But in what way does the above statement further your argument? Those who wish to give gays the right to marriage are using the courts, which is just another branch of the government, to further their aims. Those who do not are using the legislature. This is as it ought to be, because the alternative involves firearms.

11. You wrote: What? marriage is for procreation? as if every marriage occurs for the sake of reproduction (hat's that crazy super model's name?) Sure marriage is a good thing for the children, and it's nice to encourage people who intend to have children to be married. That's who SHOULD be married, but it doesn't address the question of why other people SHOULDN'T get married.
I respond: In every culture, on every continent, marriage was about procreation, not sex. The children that were the result of the union were perforce acknowledged by the father. This was in many ways an economic settlement as well.

Even in society’s were homosexual liaison was perfectly respectable (like ancient Greece). The gay relationships were not pulled into the legal or religious arena and formalized. So why start now? If you are so suspicious of the government, why do you seek legal affirmation?

12. You wrote: I like how yous guys insisted that someone address F on H's "challenge" without thinking that you were in any way obliged to back up his claimed. By posting a link to his post, and than daring people to address his challenge, you (silent sophie) set yourself up as proxies. don't act so surprised...
I respond: I conceded that F. On. H.’s post was half baked at best. But the kernel was and still is that when the sexual arena has been opened up to as much ‘free interpretation’ as it has been in our society in the past 40 years you will get the likes of Phillip Distasio defending his actions as ‘perfectly natural’. Does that ring a bell? Who is surprised, I am just tired (disgusted?) of see the tired clichés of ‘gay bashing’ and ‘bigot’ every time someone from this side of the ideological fence has something to say or point out on the matter.

13. You wrote: also, how does classifying homosexuality as immoral protect any children?
I respond: I never said it did.

14. You wrote: Pedophilia is immoral, that didn't stop this guy? You think he wouldn't have done it if pedophilia AND homosexuality were immoral? Like, maybe he was willing to violate one social norm, but two would have been too much for him to stomach? is that what you're getting at?
I respond: Making something moral or immoral will not stop some people from doing anything. You are completely off the mark here.

The point here is where do we stop? How do we draw a line in the sand? You and I can agree now that pedophilia is immoral. So what? Based on the ‘it’s natural’ argument and some drum beating, we as a society can talk ourselves into moralizing pedophilia in another 40 years. Is fornication moral? It’s sure as hell natural! Both adults are consenting. The argument you are making comes down to “If it feels good, do it.” It felt good to Phil, so are we then just biased?

15. You wrote: And what about the fact that 1 in 4 girls are sexually molested by the time they're teenagers?

http://www.nytimes.com/specials/women/warchive/971001_758.html

maybe in order to protect more children from abuse we need to consider heterosexually a sin, too. It seems like that's where the bigger problem lies...
I respond: Total red herring.

16. You wrote: That's a little bell, ring it when the absurdity of your reasoning dawns on you
I respond: Pathetic graphic and personal attack. Get a grip back on yourself. You are showing you ass here and it is pitiful. You really worked yourself into a lather, take a cold shower. I will be happy to continue a civil discussion.

-JA

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

I'd like to see your ASCII bell, mister man.

and by the way, apparently it's yet to go off in your head. exhibit A:

---
"the traditional sexual mores did provide some measure of sexual protection for those who really needed to be protected. In this case they were autistic boys. "

Posted by Jacob Ash on August 4, 2006 03:41 PM

---

then

---
"13. You wrote: also, how does classifying homosexuality as immoral protect any children?
I respond: I never said it did."

Posted by: Jacob Ash | August 5, 2006 09:37 PM

---

so just what are you saying, friend?

0
|/?

0
|/&

wanna know what that is? it's a fisherman baiting his hook and then switching it! get it?

and what? pointing out that girls are victims of sex abuse more often than boys is a red herring, but the F on H post (the Genesis of this conversation) isn't? You say that the kernel of what he was saying was good. Maybe you could explain just what your understanding of that kernel is. Oh right, it's that traditional sexual mores protected disabled children, which, of course, you never said.

still want more he-said-she-said? good:

I said, "the assumption seems to be..." than you said, "I never said that"
now I'm saying, "I never said you said that. I said the assumption seems to be..."

you're tired of the word "bigot" being used against people who are anti-gay? I'm tired of you-types accusing everyone who disagrees with them of being "immoral"

or maybe these words aren't just cheap attacks. maybe they're sincere. in your eyes, the ‘morality code’ [I] live by is insufficient (not complete), and in my eyes you're a bigot. Of course, I would never say that to you in a post because it's rude (although not immoral). that brings us to our final point:

the difference between morality and belief:

what are laws based on, you ask? rational, I say. by "beliefs," I mean *arbitrary* beliefs. Like how, according to Deuteronomy it's bad for a woman to wear pants, or for anyone to touch the skin of a dead pig (football?). these actions are, as the good book puts it, "abominations in the eyes of the Lord."

is fornication immoral? sex between consenting adults is only immoral because a holy book says it is. this is what I mean by an arbitrary belief. (other holy books have different sets of arbitrary beliefs, and we refer to those who would enforce those beliefs as "Islamo-fascists")
For other things, such as rape and murder, we don't need a book to tell us it's wrong. these are wrong because they are violations of a person's will. This is why slavery is seen as wrong, despite any biblical condemnation.

The acts of rape, murder, and enslavement produce victims. Where are the victims of homosexual sex? Who are the victims of 'fornication'? You? Society? (I'm not saying you would give such answers, but if you were to, I would say, "That's BS.")

I would say the biggest victims of homosexuality are homosexuals, because they have to deal with people like you, good sir. (please understand that this is meant as a fact and not a personal attack)

Jacob Ash said:

Marshmellow,
Thankyou for responces. I mean that. Now, Since this format appears to keep things reasonably straight (no pun intended) I shall continue using it …

1. You wrote: I'd like to see your ASCII bell, mister man.
I respond: I do not have one. Can I have yours?

2. You wrote:
exhibit A:

"the traditional sexual mores did provide some measure of sexual protection for those who really needed to be protected. In this case they were autistic boys. "

then

"13. You wrote: also, how does classifying homosexuality as immoral protect any children?
I respond: I never said it did."

so just what are you saying, friend?

I respond: The mores protected us from all such license. Your analysis is completely self-centered. For example: When “free love” was espoused as liberation no one thought about the consequences. The porn industry is one such consequence. You cannot tell me that the vast majority of the people, in front of the camera, involved in that industry are not victims. Some have done well but the vast majority are used up and spat out, like so much bubble gum.

3. You wrote: and what? pointing out that girls are victims of sex abuse more often than boys is a red herring,
I respond: It’s beside the point. All that happens of that nature is a travesty. Abuse of children is despicable, we both agree on that. But how does it disprove F on H’s point that a cavalier if not hostile attitude towards the traditional views on sex and marriage bring about perceived license in other venues of the sexual arena?

4. You wrote: Oh right, it's that traditional sexual mores protected disabled children, which, of course, you never said.
I respond: Point taken. I said it did, I said it both ways. My bad there, you are correct here with regard to my having it both ways. I will address this later, OK?

5. You wrote: still want more he-said-she-said? good:
I reply: you betchya.

6. You wrote: I said, "the assumption seems to be..." than you said, "I never said that"
now I'm saying, "I never said you said that. I said the assumption seems to be..."
I reply: huh?

7. You wrote: you're tired of the word "bigot" being used against people who are anti-gay? I'm tired of you-types accusing everyone who disagrees with them of being "immoral"
I reply: You claim to want to live in a world that is pluralistic in outlook, but you cannot abide someone who does not endorse your choices. Your words decry all who dare to openly disagree with you. When someone criticizes your life choices you in particular cried ‘gay bashing’. A fellow travelor of yours said ‘bigot’. I have made my choices. I get funny looks from my family for them. I get grief for them, especially when I voice them (as now). I don’t look for others approval of them. I certainly don’t demand them, nor do I wallow in self pity because someone does not approve (I am referencing you last paragraph below).

8 You wrote: or maybe these words aren't just cheap attacks. maybe they're sincere. in your eyes, the ‘morality code’ [I] live by is insufficient (not complete), and in my eyes you're a bigot. Of course, I would never say that to you in a post because it's rude (although not immoral).
I respond: Unless you are making a joke then you do realize you are making my point for me here. Sorry you feel the need to call me bigot. If it makes you feel better go ahead. I do not hate, which is the hallmark of a bigot, but that is miles away from approval. You ought not to be hated, but you also have no right to demand approval. Live and let live sure. Applause? Forget it.

9. You wrote: that brings us to our final point: the difference between morality and belief:
what are laws based on, you ask? rational, I say. by "beliefs," I mean *arbitrary* beliefs.
I reply: I assume when you say ‘rational’ you mean rational thought. Dude, rational thought is based on facts. Many facts are simply beliefs. For example, “democratic values” or “equality” cannot be touched smelt or tasted, they are to be believed ‘in’, or not. There are many in the world who do not believe in ‘democracy’. Our good friends in the PRC for instance feel it necessary to ‘lead’ the people (Lenin); or that lunatic in the hills of Pakistan or Afghanistan feels democracy is against the Koran. Our beliefs are the basis of what is true, a society constructs its rational for its laws based on its beliefs.

10. You wrote: is fornication immoral? sex between consenting adults is only immoral because a holy book says itis. this is what I mean by an arbitrary belief. (other holy books have different sets of arbitrary beliefs, and we refer to those who would enforce those beliefs as "Islamo-fascists")
For other things, such as rape and murder, we don't need a book to tell us it's wrong. these are wrong because they are violations of a person's will. This is why slavery is seen as wrong, despite any biblical condemnation.
I respond: Hey, now we are getting somewhere. You state explicitly here that violation of another person’s will appears to be the primary discriminator in what makes something right or wrong. Is that correct? Please respond.

11. You wrote: The acts of rape, murder, and enslavement produce victims. Where are the victims of homosexual sex? Who are the victims of 'fornication'? You? Society? (I'm not saying you would give such answers, but if you were to, I would say, "That's BS.")
I respond: You do not live in a bubble, hint: this is your que to say, “BS”. Nor do those who fornicate or commit adultery (remember, two consenting adults so its OK right?) More “BS” I suppose huh? Please recall my statements regarding the sex industry. Recall the kids who get sucked into it. I have seen porn on the web break up marriages. No doubt the guy had it in him to begin with, but it certainly does make it easy don’t it. I am telling you that neither of us can see all the impact of our actions. We are not omniscient.

12. You wrote: I would say the biggest victims of homosexuality are homosexuals, because they have to deal with people like you, good sir. (please understand that this is meant as a fact and not a personal attack)
I respond: Dealing with people like me does not destroy you therefore it only serves to make you stronger. (Nietzsche). Please recall my comments regarding a pluralistic society above. An opposing world view does not by default spell hate.

Keep in mind Marshmallow though I do not agree with what you say above, I would defend to the death your right to say it. Some real smart French guy came up with that one. Same thing actually goes for your life choices. I would try to talk you out of them, but I would never force you out of them. But I also won’t rearrange my world view to suite you either. Is that gay bashing?

-JA

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:


enough with the line-by-line already!
Of course, I see many problems with your responses, but am I going to give a line-by-line critique of your line-by-line critique of my original post? no. This conversation always ebbs toward the insanely complicated until everyone starts quoting Hobbs and the whole thing falls apart. Luckily, I will save us from the Hobbs-quoting by responding to a few of your 'points' as simply as possible, and in no particular order...

-yes, it was meant as a joke

-You seem to have come to the conclusion that I am gay. (see your "wallowing in self-pity" line) I'm not, although I am still morally bankrupt, as I live in sin with my gf. But after that Voltaire quote, I'm sure you can understand my defending gay rights without being gay myself.
(Voltaire, wasn't he a deist?)

-we will not talk ourselves into moralizing pedophilia, it creates victims.

Gays don't create victims, except for poor minorities who get priced out of their neighborhoods after gentrification.

-there are no victims of the porn industry. People may make bad professional choices which lead them into that industry. Making a bad choice and being a victim are two different things, I think. And I do not think we should have laws to protect us from making bad choices. I think you agree with this, because you said, "I would try to talk you out of [life choices], but I would never force you out of them." It follows from this particular statement that you ought to be opposed to prohibiting gays from marrying.

-you said, "You state explicitly here that violation of another person’s will appears to be the primary discriminator in what makes something right or wrong. Is that correct? Please respond."

I say to you, yea, that is what I said. What have you got up your sleeve?

My guess is that somehow you feel that allowing gays to have legal recognition of their relationships would somehow be a violation of your free will. I guess this because you said,

"You claim to want to live in a world that is pluralistic in outlook, but you cannot abide someone who does not endorse your choices."

Which seems an ironic statement coming from you. You would prohibit someone from making a choice about their own life because you hold an arbitrary belief that it's immoral, and now you're going to lecture me about living in a pluralistic society? humph.
you're right about not living in a bubble, so it seems the best way is to adopt a live and let live policy which only intervenes to make sure people aren't being victimized or abusing their power.

with the same logic, one could argue that, as a Christian they believe that Jesus is the truth, the way, and the light, and that the constitutional freedom of religion forces them to accept other religions which they believe to be false, and therefore is a violation of their free will, and that, by encouraging everyone to be tolerant, they are actually harming the pluralistic nature of society by taking away people's right to be intolerance.

but that's just silly, and paradoxical, isn't it?

and as far as needing your approval, no one is asking for you to approve of anything, only that you ought to mind your own business. You should have, and do have, the freedom to disapprove of anything you want to. The point is that your disapproval shouldn't effect other people's lives. For instance, your disapproval of gay marriage isn't a good reason to prohibit gays from marrying, in other words, disapproval is also a weak basis for legislation.

it is interesting that we both make appeals to individual choice and free will to back up our points of view. I argue that in a free and pluralistic society, people need to be free to make their own choices, so long as no one is being victimized. You seem to feel that official endorsement of a gay lifestyle would violate your free will by forcing you to accept something you disapprove of.

the difference is that my reasoning is clear and straightforward, whereas yours is twisted and convoluted. : )

zimzo said:

It's interesting to me that people on the right often try to claim that to accuse something someone says of bigotry is to give up thinking and resort to ad hominem attacks. Would you then agree that to accuse Mel Gibson of bigotry and anti-Semitism for his remarks was also wrong? And please stop pretending that it is only liberals who make this claim. Do a Google search of the phrase "anti-Christian bigotry" and you get 47,900 hits. Just this week prominent right-wing blogger Hugh Hewitt called Andrew Sullivan a "bigot":
http://hughhewitt.townhall.com/g/f00239bd-029d-45d4-b721-e58170b0bfd0

Webster's defines "bigot" as " a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance " The reason Sophrosyne's post crossed the line over to bigotry is that she raised the issue of one of the oldest and most mendacious attacks against homosexuality, the idea that gays are pedophiles who represent a danger to our children. The fact that 90% of child molesters are men molesting young girls doesn't seem to deter this lie, just as the "blood libel" against the Jews persisted for centuries in Europe, that is that Jews kidnapped Christian children to use them in blood sacrifices, despite no evidence that this was true. So if some people are a little "thin-skinned" about this linkage it is certainly understandable.

And if anyone believes these crude ideas don't represent the mainstream of right-wing thought, here is an even more gross example of how the right-wing attacks those who disagree with them, a piece on the venerable Townhall site called "Why Liberals Love Pedophiles." It's a truly vile rant:

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/column.aspx?UrlTitle=why_liberals_love_pedophiles&ns=KevinMcCullough&dt=08/06/2006&page=1


Of all the major flaws in this whole argument is the supposition that morality has somehow been removed from sexuality. That is completely ridiculous. Just because your particular moral system is not as popular as it once was does not denote that morality is nonexistent only that it has evolved over time. For example, under your supposedly more moral system, women who were raped were often considered to be as guilty as the perpetrator, somehow responsible for encouraging the crime. That idea, thank goodness, is not so widely accepted (although it is in many Muslim countries where your ideas about morality would be very welcome). In fact, there are other examples where sexual morality has become more stringent not less. With regards to pedophilia for example, the age of consent laws have actually trended upward, although in that regrard, oddly the Bible Belt has been behind the rest of the country. The idea that woman could be raped by her husband is also a fairly modern one. If you truly wanted to return to "traditional mores" then you would return to the days when women were actually considered chattle of their husbands and a woman would be unable to bring a charge of rape against her husband.

I wonder how "moral" it is to spew lies and hatred against gay people. There was a time when gay people were driven from their jobs for who they were, or even driven to suicide. Even today the number of gay teens who committ suicide, suffer from depression or resort to drugs and alcohol is higher than for straight teens, usually because they are harassed by schoolmates or parents or are in the closet and unable to accept who they are because they are bombarded with messages that there is something wrong with being gay. I'm not sure I see how attacking gays is "moral." But then, that's my point: there are many different moral systems and to disagree with your moral system is not to say I don't have one.

Finally, the idea that the "purpose" of sex is to procreate is one that is rejected by the vast majority of people in this country, though you are free to hold on to it if you desire, though I am sure most people would prefer that you did not try to impose it on them. And yet we see a growing movement of many people on the right, the same ones pushing these anti-gay-and-straight civil union amendments, attempting to take away people's rights to birth control. You might also want to ban marriages between infertile couples and senior citizens while you're at it. Many people have pointed out that this effort to "save" marriage does not address the real problem affecting marriage which is divorce. But you know that would be unpopular so instead you fight on this issue in public while waging a stealth campaign to take away people's rights to birth control and divorce, once the ground has been softened.

What was so revealing about Sophrosyne's post and your defense of it was that it revealed the extremism behind your positions, that this is just the first of many battles to try to revert Virginia and the rest of the country back to a time the majority of citizens would not care to live. Hopefully, most Virginians will see that the people behind this amendment do not represent the mainstream of thought and they will not let them impose their backward "morality" on others.

"This conversation always ebbs toward the insanely complicated until everyone starts quoting Hobbs and the whole thing falls apart."

Great line.

My Internet access is extremely limited this week but it appears everyone is doing just fine without me.

Sorry in advance for any appearance of unresponsiveness on my part. Until Sunday I can only check in every 36 hours or so for brief intervals. The decline in quantity could well result in an increase in quality... but maybe not because access to decent wine and cold Coronas is, as it turns out, unlimited.

zimzo said:

Here's some more food for thought: Andrew Sullivan calls Virginia "The most anti-gay state in the union."

http://time.blogs.com/daily_dish/2006/08/virginia_is_for.html

You all should be very proud.

Jack said:

Puffy said, "sex between consenting adults is only immoral because a holy book says it is. This is what I mean by an arbitrary belief."

"Arbitrary," Puffy, means "not fixed by rules, but left to one's judgement or choice." Since those rules are in the Bible, they cannot be arbitrary. Deciding that fornication is NOT a sin, according to your own judgement, is, by definition, arbitrary.

Your "innate" moral code, "do not hurt other people," is fine on its face. However, we have seen in the past, and present, how easy it is to dehumanize others for our own convenience. Jews all over the world and in all times have been dehumanized. Aborigines everywhere have been dehumanized by the colonial powers. Every race on the planet has been guilty of it. Now, we dehumanize and slaughter unborn children. The mentally incapacitated follow quickly -- after all, have they have not lost whatever humanity they might have had?

Millions of people were sacrificed to "the greater good" in the last century by the likes of Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao, and others. Do you think these leaders, and the people who carried out their orders, believed themselves to be evil? Or did they believe they were killing to bring about a greater good?

Divorce has run rampant with the rise of your personal morality. I have seen the harm divorce has done in my family, as have others I know on this blog.

MORE people were murdered on 9/11 in their mother's wombs than in the terrorist attacks. This is where personal morality has brought us.

Personal morality has brought a wave of STDs, because fornication has no victims. Never mind the children born out of wedlock. Never mind that birth control fails. (My own father-in-law was conceived when his mom had an IUD.) Oh, never mind, we can just murder them now.

Gay sex has no victims, either, so why do we have to pay so much for AIDS research? Per patient, we spend more for AIDS research than for any other disease, and that includes lumping all cancer research under one disease. AND WE KNOW HOW TO STOP AIDS!! JUST STOP BUGGERING EACH OTHER!! (Here's another idea -- test everyone for AIDS, as Washington, D.C., is proposing, and when an infection is confirment, tattoo a scarlet "A" right on the mons pubis. No one will see it unless they are in the danger zone.)

One last comment: Is there any way to make this comment window wider? 27 characters just doesn't cut it.

jacob said:

Zim,
I disagree with much of what you say. I appreciate some of what you say. I will not answer it en mass as I did with Marshmallow. I will start with what I consider to be the most objectionable and move on from there. OK?

Please explain how 'under my system' a woman who is assulted and raped is guilty of ANYTHING. Please do so. I await this explanation with rapt facination.

-JA

zimzo said:

My point was that your claim that "traditional sexual mores" are superior to today's sexual mores is not necessarily true. For example, in colonial America rape by white men was rarely prosecuted (such prosecutions, however, were more common of black men). You can read an interesting article about rape in colonial America here:

http://e3.uci.edu/faculty/losh/transfer/clearlypassing.html

The article sites two examples where rapists were not prosecuted because women were thought to have borne some of the blame. The accusation of rape by a woman named Martha Richardson was not believed because she became pregnant and the court rules "a woman who was raped- who had no delight in the act- could not conceive." A servant named Goodwife Fancy was told by her husband not to report a rape by several men for two years and when she finally did a court ordered that both she and her husband should be whipped for concealing the crime while the accused rapists got off.

And by the way, the age of consent in Virginia during the colonial era was 10 years old so a man who had sex with an 11-year-old girl could not be charged with statutory rape.

Those convicted of rape, who were more often than not black men, were subject to the death penalty, as were those convicted of engaging in homosexual acts.

Maybe you think the sexual mores of the past were superior to those of today and you would prefer to return us to that time, but I think the majority of proplr would disagree with you.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

Jack,

I not going to pretend to have a rational discussion with someone who still believes that AIDS is a gay plague, and who suggests tattooing scarlet A's to people with AIDS.

suffice it to say that your idea that biblical laws aren't arbitrary simply because they were written down is weak, and as to your idea of 'dehumanization,' I'm not sure what you're getting at, but you forgot some things. People used the bible to justify slavery, "We're helping the savages by bringing them out of their godless land and showing them Jesus"
What about the crusades? it was OK to slaughter the Muslims because there were of a different god.
In his famous sermon which sparked the 1st crusade, Pope Urban II urged Christians "to destroy that vile race from the lands"

read it here! :
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/urban2-5vers.html

What about the Old Testament, which is full of justifications for the destruction of villages and the slaughtering of innocents because they were guilty of worshiping Baal or some such nonsense. Read the very book that your "laws" are written, look at the past and present movements which have spun off of those "laws", and than talk to me about dehumanization.

Jack said:

Puffy:

You said, "I not going to pretend to have a rational discussion." Don't worry, I would never expect you to, since you do not even know the meaning of the work "arbitrary."

Now, AIDS in the US was primarily propogated in the homosexual community. It is now in the hetrosexual community, but still to a much lesser degree. Its presence in the hetro community is the result of fornication. Both homosexual sex and fornication are sins, by the Book. Thus the disease is propagated by sinful behavior. Thankfully, the blood supply is pretty well screened now. But how many innocent people died from blood transfusions because of your "victimless" crimes? So tell me, what's wrong with a scarlet "A" tattoo where no-one can see it unless they are in danger?

As I remember my history, the crusades were to retake lands the Muslims had invaded (and done a bit of slaughtering of their own). Spain and Jerusalem come to mind. Muslim society has not progressed since then. Before Islam, those people were the at the height of science, math, and medicine in the Western world. We still call them "arabic numerals." But then Islam came, and destroyed it all. Is it any wonder the Christian fought it?

As for Baal, weren't children sacrificed to him? I'm sure that's just the victors version, so you feel justified ignoring it.

Since we cannot get good history so far back, let's look to more recent history. I'd be interested to know what present Christian movements have spawned the likes of the (godless) Communist purges in the USSR, China, Cambodia, and Viet Nam. Is that the kind of godless society you would prefer?

Gnossis said:

This new learning amazes me, Jack. Explain again how sheep's bladders may be employed to prevent earthquakes.

And let's go ahead and bring back the Inquisition while we're at it. You could lead it. You seem to have the necessary armaments: fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope, and nice red uniforms (though maybe not the uniforms...yet). Might I also suggest some nice soft cushions for poking the scarlet letter wearers and comfy chairs in which to make them sit?

Oh how I long for the day that I can pledge allegiance to the flag of the USA and to the theocracy, for which it stands...

Jacob Ash said:

Zim,
You seek to support the statement ‘"traditional sexual mores" are superior to today's sexual mores is not necessarily true’ by citing an article by one Elizabeth Losh. I do not see the article supporting the above statement made by you. This article falls short on two points.

My first objection is as follows:
The article begins by addressing how two court cases left women ‘feeling’ back in colonial times. I have no reference to refute such a statement. However I also do not see how the source she cites can also delve into the feeling of people who lived 400 years ago. In short I am skeptical of Losh’s ability to expound definitively upon one’s intangible feelings.

She makes other sweeping statements regarding the prosecution of cases of incest and delves into other issues of how white males promulgated various and sundry atrocities upon their fellow men and woman with apparent impunity. So many sweeping characterizations requires more than the odd anecdotal vignette.

The facts cited by Losh may all be true. As a matter of fact I am more than willing to concede that just about every recorded outrage cited in Losh’s references did happen. Why? Men (white and otherwise) behave as animals. No argument from me in that regard.

If the article were to compare statistically the following:
- the percentage women raped today verse then
- the percentage of cases prosecuted successfully today verses then
- the percentage of cases in which the acquittal came by trashing the virtue of the woman, today verses then

Then if the numbers show that women are safer today (an objective standard), the article would go a longer way to demonstrating support for your argument. I presume your argument is that if the court en mass condoned rape by white guys then it is reasonable to assert that this was a reflection of the prevailing morality/ethic of the day. Yes, we could argue over the manner in which the statistics were compiled but that is another can of worms.

Instead, the author, and by extension you, cite outrageous circumstances and hail them as the agreed upon norm. To paraphrase somewhat the article does states, ‘rape was condoned, if the guy is white’. However, it does not prove that statement.

Your use of this article in our discussion does imply directly that you believe that rape was socially acceptable back then because justice was not meted out by the courts in the cases cited by Losh. Is that what you are saying?

To put it into sharper perspective, let us try the following thought experiment …
Take a quick trip back to those dreadful colonial times. Knock on a man’s door and ask the question ‘Do you condone rape?’ What do you think the answer will be?

My second objection:
The manner in which an ideal is served does not reflect upon its quality. The morals one lives buy are ones ideals. If we fail to live up to our ideals is not cause/license to eschew those ideals. We all fall short of our ideals. It is imperative we keep striving to achieve those ideals and not to abandon them for something easier.

Now, beyond the article:
If the majority of people agree or disagree with my stand is another matter. Should I care? If I believe I am correct in my assertion that the older mores are superior to the new, why should I follow the crowd? I am NOT saying that I am totally impervious to peer-pressure we all are to some degree or another; to say otherwise would be insufferably arrogant, but, we all do take a stand as well.

As for my alleged minority status in this matter, I do not know how big a majority would agree with you. I find it interesting that some slobs will go to a topless bar and stare at the girls, but mention said slob’s 18 year old finding employment there and you may be in for a knuckle sandwich. I see such behavior is typical. As for broaching the subject of fornicating with said slob’s daughter, I recommend a good health insurance policy. The social more he is operating under with respect to his daughter is traditional. Someone else’s daughter is another matter.

-JA

zimzo said:

First you say you will ignore most of my argument until I answer one question: "Please explain how 'under my system' a woman who is assulted and raped is guilty of ANYTHING." I then presented you with actual historical examples of women who were considered to be guilty when they were raped. Then you change your argument and claim that 1) This was not the norm (a claim I never made but which you make based on no evidence whatsoever) and 2) that the way a moral value is enforced is somehow less important than whether it existed or not. In fact, rape was considered wrong back then, but it was so narrowly defined and laws against it were so difficult to enforce (at least against white men) because they required a corroborating witness other than the woman, that this moral value was rendered practically meaningless.

In your attempt to pick apart the specific examples, which I presented at your request, you have completely ignored my larger argument, which is that the past was not necessarily more moral than the present and that are values do not necessarily represent the lowering of moral standards.

You seemed incredulous at the idea that attitudes about rape, for example, might have been different in the past. There are plenty of scholarly texts on the issue; the one I cited was merely one that happened to be accessible on the Internet. Perhaps before you go on expounding about the virtues of the past, you should read a little history first. Two of the issues on which I believe we have progressed in modern times, and most would agree with me, racism and mysogyny, were inextricably tied to attitudes about rape in the past as I have already discussed. I think we have actually progressed morally from those times.

On the issue of homosexuality, which started all this, you claim that acceptance of homosexuality constitutes a loss of moral values, while I believe just the opposite, and at this point and increasingly most Americans already agree with me. Do you actually believe that executing gay people, which was the law in most states in the 18th and 19th century is actually more moral than allowing two people who love each other to express their love without fear? If you do, you might feel more comfortable in a place like Iran, which last year publicly executed two teenagers for being gay.

So, please don't try to claim that old-fashioned moral values are superior to the values that most people hold today. You might think that the past with its racism, mysogyny and homophobia, is morally superior and you may not care if most people disagree with you, but I can guarantee you that most people don't want you imposing your moral values on them.

Jack said:

Zim:

I am certain that Jacob was referring to the system of moral code as written given to us in the Bible. Please show us how under THAT system (with reference to the Bible, please), "a woman who is assulted and raped is guilty of ANYTHING."

Thanks.

-Jack
That many people and societies in the past did not live up to that ideal, he has granted.

zimzo said:

Tell that to the women of Jabeshgilead (Judges 21:12). Tell that to the women of Midian (Numbers 31). Tell that to Lot's daughters. Tell that to the women raped under the laws of Deuteronomy 22:23-24 and 22:29.

Have you actually read the Bible, Jack?

Jack said:

Zimo:

Thank you. I shall take your answers seriatim. Quotations are from the New King James Version.

Judges 21: By God's direct command, the tribe of Benjamin was destroyed. For the remnants, the other tribes tried to procure wives for the Benjamites. I see nothing there that indicates that procurement was commanded by God or by His laws. No reference to a raped woman's being guilty of anything.

Numbers 31: God tells Israel to "Take vengeance on the Midianites for the children of Israel." All the Midianite males are killed, as are the non-virgin women. The virgins, Moses tells the Israelite warriors to keep for themselves. The Midianites were enemies if Israel, by God's order, and they took their vengance, by God's order. Nothing there about raped women's being guity of a crime.

Deut22: "If a young woman who is a virgin is betrothed to a husband, and a man finds her in the city and lies with her, 24 then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry out in the city, and the man because he humbled his neighbor’s wife; so you shall put away the evil from among you."

She was NOT raped, else she would have screamed.

Deut22:"28 If a man finds a young woman who is a virgin, who is not betrothed, and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are found out, 29 then the man who lay with her shall give to the young woman’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife because he has humbled her; he shall not be permitted to divorce her all his days."

In this case, rape cannot be proven. There is only the young woman's word against the man's. Again, SHE is not said to be guilty of anything.

Would you care to try again?

-Jack

P.S. I have indeed read the Bible. Several times.

zimzo said:

How interesting that if someone came into your house, killed you and took your wife and daughters as there wives, you would not consider that being forced to have sex with these invaders would be consdered rape. How interesting that you believe a woman must cry out in order to be considered to have been raped. How interesting that you believe forcing a woman to marry her rapist is a good policy. I guess this is just an example of the "old" morality versus the "new" morality.

Gnossis said:

Speaking of Deuteronomy, Jack, what are your feelings on implementing (in this country) other rules/laws contained there in?

A few to wit:
-The comprehensive list of critters we should/should not make our victuals.

-Stoning to death a rebellious son

-Stoning adulterers

-Prohibiting eunuchs from entering the church

-Wearing clothes of mixed linens

Jack said:

Zimzo:

Whether we call it rape or not is irrelevant, but I will take the assumption in ALL of these cases that a rape occurred. Now, the question was, paraphrased, "How, in the moral code outlined by the Bible, is a woman who is assulted and raped guilty of ANYTHING?"

Try again. Third time's a charm.

-Jack

zimzo said:

In those particular instances she was guilty of being a member of a tribe that opposed Israel. But why don't any of you answer the larger question I posed. How are these examples of moral codes from the past superior the the moral codes of the present?

Jack said:

Yes, the women in Numbers and Judges were guilty of being in a tribe that opposed Israel. However, their "rape" (captured to be wives) was not a factor in that guilt, so the rape did not make them guilty of it.

In Deuteronomy, we were discussing Israelite women. How is such a woman, when raped, guilty of anything?

Now, I would like to answer your question, but I cannot find any moral codes of the present to which the Christian code might be compared. Please provide one, and I will show you how the Christian moral code is superior.

(You will have to be quick. I am going on vacation for a week starting tomorrow morning. Perhaps Jacob can take the field for me in my absense.)

-Jack

Jack said:

Gnossis:

-The comprehensive list of critters we should/should not make our victuals.

Well, I'm allergic to shellfish, so no big deal there. Anyhow, I am not a biblical scholar, but those who are have stated unequivocally that the dietary laws no longer apply. I honestly have not researched the position, but I know of no major Christian sect that rejects the logic.

-Stoning to death a rebellious son

Of course, we just kill them before birth now, but you have to admit you'd be more likely to get the kid to cut the grass if you could say, "Remember Jimmy across the street? His dad had him stoned to death when HE wouldn't cut the lawn." You'd think if you can kill a kid before he gets out, you'd be allowed to kill him after you find out he's growing up to be a Liberal.

-Stoning adulterers

"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." (I guess that applies to the kids in the above section, too.) Still, I've heard that in the great state of Texas, a man is allowed to shoot the man he catches with his wife, if said adulterer is dead within 24 hours. That's gotta be some deterrent.

-Prohibiting eunuchs from entering the church

I don't know about this one. The Castrati WERE very good singers. They would really improve the choir. However, I don't think we have eunuchs anymore....

-Wearing clothes of mixed linens

Somehow this got scrapped from the Christian moral code, too, but I do not know why, or even when. I'll bet even the priests stoles are a polyesther blend these days.

-Jack

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

"you do not even know the meaning of the word "arbitrary"

what, are you 8 years old?

from m-w.com:

"arbitrary
One entry found for arbitrary.
Main Entry: ar·bi·trary
Pronunciation: 'är-b&-"trer-E, -"tre-rE
Function: adjective
1 : depending on individual discretion (as of a judge) and not fixed by law
2 a : not restrained or limited in the exercise of power : ruling by absolute authority b : marked by or resulting from the unrestrained and often tyrannical exercise of power
3 a : based on or determined by individual preference or convenience rather than by necessity or the intrinsic nature of something b : existing or coming about seemingly at random or by chance or as a capricious and unreasonable act of will "

therefore, "by god's direct command" is, by definition, an arbitrary reason to do something like destroying a people, Jack.

as to your history, ancient Arabic culture and learning reached it's peak in Baghdad (the Abbasid dynasty, I believe) well after the Islamic invasion of the 'holy land.' not that this has anything to do with gay marriage, although it is indicative of your tendency to be wrong.

"-Wearing clothes of mixed linens

Somehow this got scrapped from the Christian moral code"

well, that's convenient, isn't it? it's OK to scrap that one, it makes life a little easier for a man of the cloth. If you happen to be gay, forget about it!

why are all of your comments so frustratingly worthless?!?


Jacob, do you seriously think accurate statistics were kept in pre-revolutionary America, several hundred years before the advent of statistical methods of analysis??

but I've had about enough of this nonsense. go ahead and make your quixotic stand. I'm going to go find anti-semitic references in "the passion of the christ".

Jack said:

Puffy:

Nice to see you found a dictionary. So my moral code is found in the Bible. A written code, and thus not arbitrary. (And it does tell us to obey God.) How is your moral code not arbitrary?

I will admit that my knowledge of the Middle East in the Middle Ages is not what I would want it to be, but I cannot recall what mathematical or scientific advances were made by the Muslims after the Islamic revolution. Please inform me.

Now about the mixed linen, convenient or not, I did not make that decision, nor am I familiar with the reasoning, so I will not try to defend it. (I suspect that if the law were still in effect it would not be inconvenient, as the market would be compelled to provide clothing so made, just as the market provides us with Hebrew National hot dogs.) As with the dietary laws, however, the relaxation of that rule is accepted by every major Christian sect. Can you say the same for the sexual conduct laws you want relaxed? In fact, is there ANY major world religion that accepts homosexual sex as normal and wholesome, and that blesses homosexual unions?

-Jack

Gnossis said:

And the Mallow Man did spake, saying: why are all of your comments so frustratingly worthless?!?

I think Jack went off the high-dive into the large pool of Kool-aid long ago.

Besides, the rapture is just around the corner, so we heathens can just need to be patient...

And Jack did spake, saying:
In fact, is there ANY major world religion that accepts homosexual sex as normal and wholesome, and that blesses homosexual unions?

Looks like you need to take some Windex to the inside of your bubble there, Jack. The (American) Episcopalian church approved a gay bishop (Gene Robinson) 3 years ago, and there are a good number of gay and lesbian Episcopal priests. Or maybe Episcopals aren't a "major Christian sect" in your eyes? Ok, so they didn't outright come out and say "gay sex is great and blessed!" but I think you'd agree that putting a gay man in such a prominent position within the church can be interpreted as pretty "accepting" of homosexuality, no?

Consider also that the Anglican church, in 1991, passed a resolution declaring stable same-sex relationships acceptable. The Prebyterian church also has official, though limited, ceremonies in which same-sex couples are blessed.

Why not do a little research instead of asking ignorant questions? You won't even have to leave your keyboard.

Jack said:

Gnossis:

In fact, I am a member of the Episcopal Church, and I have been since birth. ECUSA still does not have a blessing for same-sex marriages. If Bishop Vicki Gene Robinson were so accepted, would ECUSA now be fragmenting? Would it be losing members so fast? Would the greater Anglican Communion be looking at expelling ECUSA? Furthermore, ECUSA is NOT a "major world religion." It is that part of the Anglican Communion in the United States, thus the USA at the end.


WHAT Anglican church passed that resolution? The Anglican Communion? I don't think so. I am sure no-one in the Southern Cone approved it, and I am sure there are no rites to bless a same-sex union were approved by the Bishop of Canterbury.

The Presbyterian Church USA also did not create such rites. However, the church council DID vote not to ban such rites. According to the San Francisco Chronical, "Presbyterian Church law still limits 'marriage' to heterosexuals and forbids the ordination of gay and lesbian clergy." Furthermore, it was the PCUSA, not the PCWorld, that so voted. So again, NOT a major WORLD religion.

Nice try, though.

-Jack

P.S.: You don't use 'did' with 'spake.'

Jack said:

Thanks all. It's been fun. I am flying to Nova Scotia in the morning to see my mum, so I have to get up at 4:30AM to catch my plane. I do not know whether I will have internet access there.

I'll write when I get back!!

-Jack

Gnossis said:

If Bishop Vicki Gene Robinson were so accepted, would ECUSA now be fragmenting?

You asked about a "major world" religion conferring some sort of recognition/acceptance of homosexuals, not whether or not there was controversy over the fact within the congregation. And nice classy touch there with the "Vicki."

What standard(s) must a religion meet to be considered "major"?

P.S.: You don't use 'did' with 'spake.'

I certainly do (and did), though maybe you don't :-P

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

I just can't seem to get away. I ask you, what sort of complete moral code could ever approve of such an addictive vice at religio-political blogging?

I hope everyone else can appreciate the EVOLUTION of this discussion from pedophilia, to secular morality, touching on 9/11, skipping past Pol Pot, tipping it's hat to the wrath of god (the OT god, not the new revised version), and pondering ethics in colonial America, before arriving at medieval Islamic history. I'll bite.

the short answer to the question, "what mathematical or scientific advances were made by the Muslims after the Islamic revolution"? is: all of them.

for more info:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abbasids#Learning_under_the_Abbasid_dynasty

- & -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_ibn_Musa_al-Khwarizmi

also, technically all advances made by Muslims came after the "Islamic revolution", because before that there weren't any Muslims. (assuming that by "Islamic revolution" you mean the expansion of territory under Islamic control into the lands to the north and west of the Arabian peninsula during the reign of Caliph Omar et al., and not to the rise of the current Islamist movement)

jacob said:

Zim,
I am still at work and have till now stayed away from the blog because I have a deadline that is consuming me.

I did thought I did answer your braoder question within the context of addressing miss Losh's article. Let me reiterate ...

1. An anecdote proves nothing.

2. The morality were sex outside of marriage is wrong does not condemn woman any more than the modern one in which all sorts of activities are OK. Please note the recent case where the Duke lacrose player's defense revolved largely around trashing the womans reputation. We now both can point to ancdotes that 'support' our respective arguments. Now what?

3. How well someone lives up to their professed code of ethics in NO WAY reflects upon the ethics themselves.

Does that answer your broader question(s)?

-JA

jacob said:

Marshmallow,

Statistics as we know them were invented by Gauss. He did not invent them form whole clothed he too stood on the shouldersof previous giants. I think Gauss was born in the 18th Century.

One can compile the statistic NOW by looking at the number of reported events from the past. This has been done with respect to lifespan, number of children per family etc.

Enjoy finding the anti-semitic references. Whe you do, please post them.

-JA

zimzo said:

No, Jacob, it does not. This discussion started with an article that implied that acceptance of homosexuality represented a lack of a moral system when it comes to sexuality. The author claimed that once you strip away morality from sexuality that then you invariably must accept pedophilia. I pointed out that acceptance of homosexuality in fact did not represent a stripping away of morality but a different moral system, then gave some examples of how ideas of morality and definitions of what is moral and immoral have transformed over the centuries to demonstrate that what is considered to be "traditional" mores were not superior at all to present day mores.

For exanple, in the past it was considered "immoral" for two people of a different race to get married and this "moral" was enshrined in Virginia law until 1967. Although pedophilia is considered immoral today as it was in the past, the definition of what constitutes pedophilia has changed over the years. At one time in Virginia the age of consent was 10 years old, so intercourse with an 11-year-old was not considered pedophilia. While the idea that rape is immoral has not changed over time, the idea of what constitutes rape has changed. In the past a married woman could not be considered raped if her husband was the perpetrator. A woman was not considered to be raped if she "enjoyed" the rape in some way. Evidence that she "enjoyed" the included, for example, becoming pregnant from the rape because it was believed back then that a woman could not become pregnant if she did not "enjoy" the act of sexual intercourse. Because fornication was considered immoral, a woman who "enjoyed" sexual intercourse outside of marriage was considered guilty of fornication even if she claimed she was raped. Finally, on the issue of homosexuality, in the past two people of the same sex expressing their love for one another could result in getting the death penalty. In other words, in the past it was considered more "moral" for a society to kill gay people than for them to express love for one another.

These were just a few examples of how morality of the past was different from morality of the present. You and the author of that article claim that this moral system of the past is superior to one we have now. In fact, the author of the article makes the absurd claim that we have no moral system now. I pointed out that not only do we have a moral system now, in cases such as rape and pedophilia it is much more stringent than it was in the past. Abandoning such moral values as the condemnation of homosexuality and interracial marriage does represent an abandonment of morality as a whole but in fact is a more moral response to relationships that do not harm other people at all.

So my question to you, Jacob, which you can't or won't answer, is why do you think the traditional mores in which homosexuality and interracial marriage were condemned, in which a person could marry an 11-year-old and in which a woman by definition could not be raped by her husband are superior to the mores of today? Why are the mores of the past, steeped as they are in racism, mysogyny and homophobia superior to the mores of today in which these attitudes are largely considered immoral?

I suspect the reason you ignore huge parts of my argument and nitpick at others is that you don't have an answer for those questions.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

well, still no response to those questions. It's been three long days of nothing but crickets from the defense-of-marriage crowd, and now this discussion isn't even on the main page anymore. I'm sticking a flag in this thread

o
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Victory!

Jack said:

Gnossis:

"Vicki Gene Robinson" is his name. His parents gave it to him, not I. (I have seen the spelling as Vicky, and the middle name as Imogene, but that is hardly relevent.)

Puffy:

I'm afraid I've been out of the country for the past week. I'll try to answer the questions as best I can.

"Why do you think the traditional mores in which homosexuality and interracial marriage were condemned, in which a person could marry an 11-year-old and in which a woman by definition could not be raped by her husband are superior to the mores of today?"

First, I, and Jacob too, I suspect, are speaking of BIBLICAL morality, not simple 1800's morality. I cannot say that any age of consent is mentioned in the Bible. However, my understanding is that Mary was very young, perhaps as young as 13, when Jesus was born. It was not unusual then for women to marry so young, when one could not expect to live past 30. Young people were more mature then, of necessity. It is our idea of where that point of maturity should be assumed that we have changed. Oddly enough, many liberals do not believe that a 13-year-old girl can consent to marriage, even with parental permission, but she can get an abortion without parental permission. Can you explain that, please?

I'll answer the homosexuality and interratial marriage parts with the next question.


"Why are the mores of the past, steeped as they are in racism, mysogyny and homophobia superior to the mores of today in which these attitudes are largely considered immoral?"

Again, BIBLICAL morals do not have such overtones. As for racism, there is no Jew or Gentile, all are equal. It is not mysogyny to recognize that men and women are different, and that they are created differently for different roles. That the husband is the head of the family, as Christ is the head of the Church, does not make the wife's role unimportant. Both are necessary for a healthy family. If St. Peter's words on the roles of husband and wife are taken at face value, clearly raping one's wife cannot be condoned.

Last is homophobia. The Bible does not teach hate, except to hate sin. It is not the sinners we hate, it is what they do, and what they advocate.

Love and Peace.

-Jack

Jack said:

Gnossis:

Sorry, I missed one of your questions. I consider a "major world religion" to be one NOT confined to a single country, and consisting of 5% or more of the world's population.

-Jack

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