The Cognitive Dissonance Here Is Appalling July 27, 2012

The Cognitive Dissonance Here Is Appalling

From a Christianity Today editorial:

We believe gays and lesbians should not be denied fundamental rights granted to every other American…

Same editorial, one sentence later:

… we continue to believe that marriage should be defined in our nation as a moral and legal bond between a man and a woman.

*Facepalm*


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  • Why not support the traditional Biblical view of marriage – y’know, a dozen wives and a few hundred concubines? 

  • Gordon Duffy

    One Man, his Sister, and a succession of unsuspecting Kings?

  • I see we’ve both seen the same epic video.

  • Stev84

    But gay people have then same right to marry someone of the opposite sex!

    See? Problem solved.

    P.S.: this was sarcasm

  • The holy book of the majority should dictate the secular laws for everyone else. That’s why divorce is illegal and the icky gays are required to entertain us every time they try to file jointly their taxes.

    This is “a new era of McCarthyism,” I tell you. Where is the love for the bigots who get called bigots?

    Thanks Cracked.com.

  •  Sadly, folks like Bryan Fischer of the AFA use this “argument” seriously: https://twitter.com/BryanJFischer/status/228846088541589504

  • Overall, that article was surprisingly intelligent for being written by an (unnamed) conservative.  In the paragraph following the material cited above, the author writes that “the state has already done plenty to undermine traditional
    marriage—no-fault divorce law being perhaps the most egregious example.
    Since its advent in 1970, this policy has destabilized marriage like no
    other.” Too bad he or she didn’t go on to discuss the fact that many Christians currently have “revolving door” marriages.

    He/she goes on: “Nor do we think that the future of marriage or the American experiment
    hinges on how we as a nation decide the gay marriage debate . . . Far more than the protection of the legal definition of marriage, what our society needs is a fresh understanding of marriage.”

    Exactly. It’s almost as if this writer WANTS to believe that the sky won’t fall or that a plague of locusts won’t descend on America if gays are allowed (oh, that nasty little word, “allowed”) to get married, but just can’t go all the way. But then s/he resorts to the communism argument and it all goes to hell, proving again that faith makes people irrational. What all of this and the anti-gay movement comes down to is that gays make Jesus want to throw up. And that’s why they shouldn’t be allowed to get married.

  • ahahaha just like women before were allowed to vote for as long as they weren’t women!
    :even more sarcasm:

  • guest

    It’s “CHRISTIANITY TODAY.”  Did you really expect anything that smacks of consistency and logic there?

  • As Betty Bowers put it: “[Marriage] is between one man and his sister, and her rapist, kitchen condiment, gal who’s kidnapped and raped, three more women, an adulterer, and a pack of raped whores! 700 wives, 300 concubines, and the help, and a son who has murdered his brother. But it is NOT between one man and another man, well, because that would be immoral.”

  • 3lemenope

    Translation: They know that being bigoted is no longer culturally acceptable, but they wanna be anyway. It’s approximately two steps removed from “…but I have a gay friend.”

  • Ronlawhouston

    I’m actually curious about this one – if the law gives the same rights and privileges to everyone but doesn’t call it “marriage” will people find that acceptable?  Or is the failure to use the same word for everybody still a slap in the face and a form of discrimination? 

    I think a number of progressive but Biblical Christians want the law to treat everyone fairly but to reserve the use of the term “marriage” for one man and one woman.

    Yes, it’s a matter of semantics but if it gets society over the impediments to fair treatment for everybody it is worth it? 

  • Perhaps the “fundamental rights” they are referring to is the right of the dominant religions to dictate and control civil law related to something as personal as who you can love and make commitments with to spend the rest of your life.  But that sounds more like the assumed rights of religious institutions…  not individual rights.

  • This post gave me Cancer.

  • I’ll answer in the same spirit as you asked.

    It’s not just a matter of semantics. It’s a matter of treating everyone equally, in action AND in words. For example, if women are granted the right to vote along with all of the legal rights and responsibilities associated with that, but they have to accept this right being called “Enfranchising” instead of “Voting”, you’ve created a group of people that can be labelled as “Other.”

    Human rights apply to ALL people, gay, female, trans, straight, brown, whatever. Using language that segregates just to keep some bigots happy is NOT conducive to egalitarianism.

  • newavocation

    The real problem with gays is they don’t eat enough chicken!

  • I think Mike D is right and there isn’t a consistent ‘biblical view’ of marriage. I think it’s interesting when so much time is spent on enforcing traditional orthodoxy as secular law and nothing spent on the major issues that Jesus seemed to of spent his life focusing on. Like taking care of the sick and those in need. And David gays don’t make Jesus throw up, he never mentions anything about homosexuality in whats recorded. I enjoy the blog Hemant, I am a student of the way of Jesus as I like to phrase it and I was just curious what everyone commenting here gathers is the point of Christianity? Whats at the heart of it? What do you gather from everything you here out of camps of Christianity? I ask not in an attempt to turn it around and try to get everyone to be a Christian that’s not near my aim. Its an honest question.

  •  Good point.

  • The Christian majority in North Carolina recently changed their state constitution to outlaw even civil unions. Some Christians there (although a minority) want to build concentration camps for people with same-sex attraction. There are real problems within Christendom.

  • Stev84

    Using different names is also a legal issue and not only semantics. Why have unnecessary duplication in the law books? There is also the rather large problem that when DOMA is declared unconstitutional, domestic partnerships and civil unions probably still won’t be eligible for federal benefits. At the very least it’s an open question that will require further clarification by the government and/or courts.

  • I don’t think there is any cognitive dissonance here at all. I believe their statement that they believe gays should have the same rights as others is a lie- a conscious, deliberate lie stated because it is no longer possible in today’s social climate to argue for what they actually believe, that gays are sinners who they’d like to see punished. So they lie about what rights they think gays should have, while at the same time advancing actual policies that contradict that lie.

  • Jacques, I think the ostensible point of Christianity is to love one another. That means being forgiving, kind, understanding, compassionate and supportive. Unfortunately, many followers of Christ do the exact opposite, particularly to anyone whom they deem “not one of them.*” They condemn, are cruel, are judgmental, and seek to vilify and ostracize.

    The trouble I think most atheists have with all of this is that not only do one’s religious beliefs inform one’s choices, one’s religious beliefs also seem to grant license to act like dicks to other human beings, justified by very careful twisting, spinning and cherry-picking out of an old text that has inexplicably been given moral authority over the entire world. Rather than asking oneself, “If I do X, am I being a dick?”, many theists simply do ‘X’ and if dickishness is part of X, that’s okay because Holy Text said it was.

    *This could be defined in various ways other than religious affiliation: skin colour, gender, politics, etc.

  • Thin-ice

    Ahh, Christianity Today. They love to appear all moderate and “in-tune” with today’s culture, and the face of “intelligent” evangelicalism. But however hard they try, they’re still handcuffed to the Bible and it’s undeniable primitive cultural norms.

  • Thin-ice

    Hey, don’t tease! Are you referring to a real video, like on Youtube?
    Link please . . .

  • Edmond

    It’s still a slap in the face.  What is the purpose of having TWO identical institutions, which do exactly the same job, operating parallel to each other, OTHER than segregation?  If we ALL use the same process for the same result, then we can all use the same name.

  • Stev84

    It’s more likely that they have a very idea about what “fundamental rights” are. Until rather recently “gay rights” mostly meant anti-discrimination laws, like not being fired from a job for being gay. It didn’t necessarily include the right to have one’s relationships legally recognized.

  • No. I think they dislike gays, at a gut level. Many hate gays. And I think they are deliberately lying when they say they support any kind of rights for gay. Given they choice, I think they’d happily see them thrown in prison.

  • TCC

    I would love to ask any Christian with this opinion whether or not they would object to a law that prohibits people of the same religion from marrying. After all, if you really want to get married, you could always just convert. Who says it’s a fundamental right to marry someone of the same religion?

    [edited for clarity]

  • Or taken behind the chemical shed and shot.

    The real wingnuts in the Dominionist camp would like nothing more than to exterminate ‘The Other.’

  • Baby_Raptor

    Remember “Separate but Equal”? 

    Same thing. 

    Your religion has no right to dictate how the secular law can use words. Especially when it comes to basic human rights.

  • “Separate but equal” is not a concept that has held up well in civil rights law, nor in the eyes of of most people.

    In some respects, “separate but equal” is more insulting than just “separate”.

  • OverlappingMagisteria

     To you this is sarcasm, but I have honestly heard this argument.

  • I used to think so.  Until I saw Bill Moyers talk to Olsen and Boies about it
    http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/2010/06/whats_next_in_the_marriage_war.html 

    If you’ve got the time and interest, I highly recommend it.

  • johnee

     If one looks at all the polls of self identified evangelical Christians, the number of them that want to see anti-sodomy laws back on the books  (and enforced) is stunning. If it it’s narrowed  down a little further to fundamentalists,  the number becomes a large percentage. Every poll bears this out.

    I expect that for a large  percentage of  North Carolina  religious right fudies that say they don’t want to put gays in concentration camps, it’s just a difference of degree.  I bet if those same people were asked if anti-sodomy laws  should be back on the books, they would answer with a resounding “yes”!

  • Stev84

    I know. Some Christian commenters use it here now and then. I’ve replied to it before.

  • johnee

     As well as being reflected in all the polls, right wing fundies make no bones about wanting to bring back anti-sodomy laws. I live in Texas, and your average blue collar religious right whack job has no problem telling you that to your face.

  • As Dan Savage wrote about in his blog article “When Do We Get to Meet Elizabeth Santorum’s Imaginary Gay Friends?”, we really ought to be pinning these people to the wall and getting the names and numbers of these so-called gay friends instead of just taking their word for it. I’m wondering who they are too, because I don’t know any gays who would remain friends with Maggie Gallagher (that Vogon of Vogons), Rick Santorum or Michele Bachmann…

  • Gunstargreen

    They don’t understand what’s wrong with what they’re saying. I’ve heard it argued many times by Christians that gays aren’t denied any rights because they can marry the opposite sex like anyone else. The people who said this to me were being sincere.

  • We believe gays and lesbians should not be denied fundamental rights granted to every other American…  … we continue to believe that marriage should be defined in our nation as a moral and legal bond between a man and a woman.

    We also believe that

    Black is white, left is right,
    Up is down, square is round,
    Short is long, right is wrong,
    Hot is cold, lead is gold,
    Hawk is dove, hate is love,
    One is two , and false is true.

    We believe these things all day;
    Our Magic Book makes lies okay.

  • An anti-sodomy law that, I am sure, would only be wielded against gays. I think it’s pretty reasonable to assume that social conservative men are shoving their wangs up their girlfriends’/wives’ asses for the occasional change of pace. Also blowjobs (assuming ‘sodomy’ covers any non-penis-to-vagina sex).

  • johnee

    Excuse me not a “large percentage” but a large MAJORITY.

  • And up their boyfriends’ asses as well. They just have to be a bit more covert about it than non-hypocrites.

  • I was just curious what everyone commenting here gathers is the point of Christianity? Whats at the heart of it? What do you gather from everything you here out of camps of Christianity? I ask not in an attempt to turn it around and try to get everyone to be a Christian that’s not near my aim. Its an honest question.

    I always assumed the heart of Christianity is the belief that human beings and the world we live in are inherently bad or broken in some way, and that only the Christian deity is perfect. This goes along with people needing to apologize for being unworthy so that they can get to a positive afterlife where everything is supposed to be wonderful. Frankly, I don’t see anything of value in this line of thinking, certainly not for people who don’t already buy into its assumptions. I don’t find much to admire in the character of Jesus, either.

  • Not sure. Some of them claim they have “equal rights” to marry anyone of the opposite gender just like everyone else. When presented with the argument that that’s not really equal and just happens to coincide with their prejudices, they just blink and act confused.

  • I’m pretty sure what they mean by “the same rights” is that every person has the right to marry someone of the opposite sex, even gays. So a gay man can marry a woman, and a gay woman can marry a man. Etc. 

    In short, they’re being asshats.

  • Stev84

    So true. I’ve yet to read even one remotely sensible article there. Even though they’re not complete lunatics they’re still a bunch of idiots

  • I could see it being useful as a temporary solution. Civil unions will inevitably segue into marriage once people become more comfortable with the idea and see that the world hasn’t fallen apart. In the meantime, such a law would give same-sex partners and their families much-needed protection.

    I think a number of progressive but Biblical Christians want the law to treat everyone fairly but to reserve the use of the term “marriage” for one man and one woman.

    I think I’d disagree here. Progressive evangelicals, maybe, but the vast majority of anti-gay conservatives are very much in opposition to any sort of recognition of same-sex relationships. Even in states where marriage is not on the ballot, they aggressively go after the LGBT community: trying to outlaw civil unions, ban second-parent adoptions, etc.

  • johnee

    Yeah it’s the most idiotic thing. Santorum goes on record on numerous TV and public appearances saying that the f****** sex police should be able to arrest adults in their own houses for private consensual  behavior. Then he turns around and says HE HAS FRIENDS AMONG THE VERY PEOPLE THAT HE WANTS ARRESTED!  Unbelievable.

    Then that SNL alumni dipshit shoots of her mouth about how disgusting it was that the gay character kissed another guy on the “Glee” TV show. Then towards the end of the interview she yells out that she has gay friends  . Do these people know how stupid they sound when they talk out of both sides of their mouths (often in the same interview)?

  • johnee

    LOL!!

  • To be clear, I think that cognitive dissonance is the rule in the sheep. I think it’s the bloggers, and pastors, and politicians who are deliberately lying. The sheep suck it up without much thought, and that’s why they can’t respond when critically challenged.

  • Stev84

    That about sums it up. The foundations of Christianity are guilt, shame and self-hatred.

    Which is no surprise when you learn a bit about Augustine of Hippo, who hated himself and his sexuality and came up with Original Sin.

  • Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black.

    — Henry Ford

  • Now now, let’s not insult the Vogons by associating them with that nasty old cow.

  • AxeGrrl

    Somone used it in earnest here, just a day or two ago!  (In one of the Chick-Fil-A posts, I think)

  • AxeGrrl

    Then that SNL alumni dipshit shoots of her mouth about how disgusting it was that the gay character kissed another guy on the “Glee” TV show

    Hmm, let me take a wild guess here…….loopster Victoria Jackson, by chance?

  • AxeGrrl

    I think a number of progressive but Biblical Christians want the law to treat everyone fairly but to reserve the use of the term “marriage” for one man and one woman.

    Who the F cares what some “progressive but Biblical Christians” want when it comes to civil marriage??

    When are they going to get it through their collectively thick skull that they are not the arbiters of civil marriage, nor do they ‘own’ it?  You make this statement as though they have some special ‘say’ or veto power in this whole thing……they don’t.

    So, it would be nice if they recognized this and stopped acting as though they should get some kind of ‘final say’ on the matter. 

    It’s utterly ridiculous, and frankly, getting reeeeeeally tiresome to hear.
    + d            

  • AxeGrrl

    The Christian majority in North Carolina recently changed their state constitution to outlaw even civil unions.

    And let’s not forget about wonderful Virginia, where not only have they outlawed same sex marriage and civil unions, but have gone even further to specifically not allow ANY kind of legal relationship that attempts to offer anything approaching marriage-like protections for people.

  • johnee

    Yeah, they need to get over being offended when they are told to mind their own goddamn business and that they don’t have a say in the matter when it comes to other people’s personal lives…..’cause that’s the answer that THEY would give if we said that their lifestyle is offensive to us and their gaudy monstrosity of a church is an eyesore. 

    They can disagree with someone’s personal choices till the cow’s come home but, as you say, they don’t have any special rights or powers to say yay or nay to anything when it comes to other folk’s life choices.

  • Heidi

    ^^ This SO much. I’m really tired of Christians expecting special privilege for their religious beliefs to be enshrined as law.

  • Randomfactor

    And until Loving v. Virginia, they believed that every black and white person had equal rights to marry someone of the same color.  

  • Ronlawhouston

     The only reason to care what people want is the dichotomy between political and legal solutions.  If you can achieve a given result (i.e. equality) through political means by using different terminology isn’t that progress?  The legal solutions have been won only in very small increments and ultimately are in danger due to the conservative majority on the Supreme Court. 

    Right now the political winds are somewhat favorable to creating equality.  I’m not so certain that the same could be said for the legal winds.

  • Randomfactor

     Here’s how you do it:    Both forms of the union have exactly equal legal benefits.  The gays get to pick which gets which name goes with which.  How will the Christians react?

    It’s called the “one kid cuts the cake, the other chooses” rule.  It’s amazingly useful for cutting through either cake, or bullshit.

  • Cheepak Dopra

    There is no contradiction here. A gay man has the same right to marry a woman as a straight man does. A lesbian woman has the same right to marry a man as a straight woman does.

  • Try reading all the comments that address this fallacy before spouting off your bigoted nonsense.

  • Ronlawhouston

     I’ll add some to my comment.  First of all, I don’t get the fixation on having “marriage.”  Many people choose today to live together rather than formalize their relationship because of the problems created by terminating marriage. 

    I often say that many people will wonder what they were thinking for pushing to have a “gay marriage” when they are forced to pay “gay alimony.” 

    I suppose some of the answers to my questions depend on how highly you hold the “institution” of marriage. 

  • Ronlawhouston

     It’s not so much a matter of religion dictating how you use a word.  We’re talking about the legal system.

    I say that if it waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck, and has a bill does it matter much what you call it? 

  •  *sigh* See C Peterson’s comment below about “separate but equal”.

  • If the Free Exercise Clause was revoked, would it be okay if the government made Buddhism the only allowable religion?  Everybody would have the same right to be Buddhist!

  • Cheepak Dopra

    I never said I agreed with them. I was just explaining their point of view.

  • jose

     Hole crap that’s a new level of disingenuous. It’s like illegalizing all political parties except one, and then you complain and they tell you “I don’t understand, you can vote for The Party like everyone else!”

  • Nice backpedal. Then their point of view is ridiculous, and is bigoted nonsense.

  • It would be a serious deviation in character from Cheepak’s other comments on this blog.  I think poorly presented satire.  It happens to me on here.

  • Rick

     Yes Christianity Today tries to appear oh-so-moderate  unlike their cousin Charisma magazine which is batshit crazy right-wing.  But underneith it all they still adhere to the Bible as the unerring word of God.

  • Mehman

    Marriage is a religious tradition, and any involvement of government in trying to define ‘marriage’
    would go directly against the basic principles of separation of church and
    state.

    That’s my copypasted opinion from http://harmful.cat-v.org/society/gay_marriage

  • Marriage is a legally-binding civil contract between two consenting adults, affording the couple numerous rights under Federal law.

    Allowing religious nut-jobs to exclude consenting adults from this contract based on bronze-age mythology DOES go against the basic principle of, not only the separation of church and state, but also violates the Fourteenth Amendment, as marriage was determined to be a basic civil right in Loving v. Virginia.

  • Feline256

    “Friends” may very well just mean, “I smiled at them and didn’t insult them to their face and I didn’t quite want to throw up afterwards!”

  • Stev84

    We’re talking about the legal system being based on religious dogma. That’s a big no-no.

    If you give someone the same rights, but call it something else, that’s a huge red flag indicating that the reason is only animus. What other reason could there for that but the intent to stigmatize that group and make it less than?

  • Stev84

    The Romans already had entirely secular marriages and marriage is a legal contract today again. Religious institutions merely perform a superfluous and optional ceremony.

    The Catholic Church didn’t even get involved in the marriage business until some time around the 12th or 13th  century. Before that it mostly kept Roman family law. Priests weren’t required to perform a marriage for it to be legal and common law marriage was the norm.

  • Stev84

     The Supremes called it a fundamental right 14 times:

    http://www.afer.org/blog/14-supreme-court-cases-marriage-is-a-fundamental-right/

  •  Thanks for the response Silo. I think everything you said is pretty much right on. What I find pretty interesting, or sad I guess. Is that what Christianity early on was doing was attempting to unite two people groups that had been strictly divided in the past. There is even a point in a letter Paul may or may not have written that says the purpose of Jesus was to make the two one. It was a uniting movement, not a dividing one. I think if you took that early framework and applied it today it would be a much different picture where Christians might be trying to unite themselves and others and celebrate differences within that unity. But somehow, in many of the ways you mention, it has become an overtly divisive movement, with serious ‘in’ or ‘out’ rhetoric.

  •  I think you’ll find a lot of Christians to read this and be like yup right on. I think at the heart of it is closer to what Silo said above. However I do think there is a brokenness to humanity as a whole, i think its hard to deny this in  a quick observation of the world. However you want to translate it brokeness, flaw, evil, dickishness. But I don’t think this means it out to be something when generate serious amounts of shame about and apply it to people so they can accept this belief and make it to a fancy afterlife. The afterlife is a traditional creation. I think, my best guess, is that Jesus saw heaven as more of a way of life that he was attempting to bring to the people he was teaching. A restorative movement, doing things such as raising money for people in need like you all and Hemant are doing for the vandalized churches.

  •  Thats a bit post foundational, as is Augustine.

  • Frank

    Sounds right!

  • Stev84

    Not really. Christianity as we know it today was invented out of almost nothing in the 3rd and 4th centuries. Before that there were different sects with often radically differing beliefs that would be unrecognizable as Christian today. Some of them doubted the divinity of Jesus for example and only saw him a man. Unfortunately, the god-people won and they were declared heretics.

  • Sonorus

    There’s no cognitive dissonance here.  This is just the latest form of the “I’m for equal rights but not special rights” line.  They don’t believe in equal rights at all but they are aware that saying so sounds bad.  The same sorts of things are said about racial and gender equality as well.  It sounds bad to say you are sexist or racist, so great pains are taken to take sexist and racist positions that allow the audience to believe that they aren’t sexist or racist.

  • Sonorus

    The Texas anti-sodomy statute only applied to gays.  The law had already been altered so it didn’t apply to gender-discordant couples before the SCOTUS decision.

  • Sonorus

    What it means is that gay people who had to work with her were nice to her because she was a star and they didn’t want to get fired.  I also seriously doubt that she was saying things this batshit crazy while she was still pursuing a performing career.  Friends?  Yes, in the way that we all have hundreds of friends on facebook.  Of course Mary Matalin also claims to be good friends with a gay couple but she hasn’t mentioned them since she worked on Bush’s 2004 election campaign.  Something tells me they told her where she should shove her party platform.

  • However I do think there is a brokenness to humanity as a whole, i think its hard to deny this in  a quick observation of the world. However you want to translate it brokeness, flaw, evil, dickishness.

    Well, I would disagree strongly. I do not think humanity is broken. We are not perfect. Nothing is perfect, but there is no fundamental flaw within us. When people have their basic needs met, when children are raised in loving and secure homes and societies, then humanity is, for the most part, fundamentally decent. War, poverty, and abuse are not the result of something wrong within us. They are most often the result of people struggling to survive in terrible conditions. I don’t think those people are “born bad.” They are usually reacting to things beyond their control. Many people are born into oppressive, violent situations. But given a choice, people want stable, peaceful lives. They want safe homes and safe communities.

    And that is the problem with Christianity, as I see it. Christians think there is something wrong with us. That the world is fallen and broken, and that “heaven” (assumed to be an actual place) is the only thing that’s perfect. I think it’s tragic that so many people ignore or discount life on earth, in favor of what I see as an imaginary afterlife. This world is all we have, and slamming it as inferior and broken bothers me. It leads to complacency. Why bother working for justice and equality if this life doesn’t matter, and everyone goes to a perfect afterlife when they die?

    If you don’t believe in an afterlife and want to work to make “heaven on earth,” I do support your efforts, but I think it makes you very unusual among Christians. The vast majority seem to believe their afterlife is literal, not metaphorical.

  • amycas

     If it weren’t for the thousands of extra benefits (in taxes and in other areas) people get from the state and federal government, I wouldn’t get married. But, as long as those benefits are offered, I want to get married eventually.

  • kaydenpat

    Perhaps they don’t believe that marriage is a fundamental right.  That’s the only way those sentences make sense together.

  • Russ M

    Silo wrote: ” …one’s religious beliefs also seem to grant license to act like dicks to other human beings.” 

    Spot on, Silo!  You have captured most of the fundamentalist mindset perfectly.  While I was reading your post I was thinking of my own father, who is a deluxe dick and a longtime deacon of a Baptist church. 

    My father’s philosophy of life:  Because I believe and accept everything in the Bible (even though it’s batshit crazy and defies logic) and because I’m “saved,” I can be a dick to everyone.  It makes no difference what I do because since I’m always saved and I’m still going to Heaven. I just have to believe all of the nonsense in the Holy Babble…

    I have had better luck arguing with a brick wall than I have with my father.  It’s a hopeless cause. 
     

  •  Right, Augustine and the third and fourth centuries are foundational to orthodox Christianity, but not the Jesus movement. The Jesus movement was alive and well and I think it was its strength that it was diverse and believed in different things because the point wasn’t the doctrinal codes but living the way of love.

  •  I agree with and it is my biggest issue with Christianity when people focus on an afterlife and think nothing of this world. I don’t think that is the way heaven was ever talked about by Jesus, but he saw it as a reality focused around love that could be brought here. Too I think perfect is a word that means incomplete so when you say it is not perfect I think we are saying the same thing. I’m not saying the world is unrepairable but all the things you discusses shows us that something is very wrong. How did we get to the point where people are born into such oppressive and violent situations if not for the dickishness of some. And you cant say that there aren’t people who are born into wonderfully loving homes having everything they need and turn out to be dicks oppressing other people. I’m not saying its inherent in babies, but I’m just saying somethings wrong, and its visible by all the bad situations mentioned, but that doesn’t mean their not fixable. I think that is what Jesus was doing when he was around was attempting to restore lives.

  • No, I don’t think something is very wrong. You seem to be assuming that the world is supposed to be perfect. It’s not perfect, it was never perfect, and there is no perfect species. Human beings are mammals like any other. When they have their basic needs met and are raised in stable families and communities, then crime is generally low. The vast majority of people don’t commit crimes for no reason.

    How did we get to the point where people are born into such oppressive and violent situations if not for the dickishness of some.

    There was never a time when people weren’t born into those situations. It’s not like there’s a perfect time in history that we need to get back to. Actually, things have only improved. Read Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature to see how violence has declined over time.

    And you cant say that there aren’t people who are born into wonderfully loving homes having everything they need and turn out to be dicks oppressing other people.

    Very few. The vast majority of people don’t commit crimes for fun. There may be some people who are born with brain damage or mental instability that leads to violence, but most children who are raised in loving and secure situations develop a sense of empathy for others. Crime generally results from poverty, abuse, addiction, or other situations in which a person’s sense of right and wrong is blunted by harsh circumstances.

  • The_L1985

     Don’t forget about Jacob:  One man, his second cousin, and her hot sister. 😛

  • JenL

    Yes, it’s a matter of semantics but if it gets society over the impediments to fair treatment for everybody it is worth it?

    But *could* it truly get everybody over the impediments as efficiently as using the understood word?

    Seems to me that if we have “marriage” and we have “partnerships” or “unions”, then we still have room for schools to ask for a higher standard of proof that a stepparent can pick up a child from school – after all, the parents aren’t “married”, they have a “union”.

    Would the various state and federal agencies promptly put “marriage” means “marriage or union” into all the affected regulations and policies?  Or would some things lag? 

    Would hospitals and nursing homes and funeral homes really treat a “partner” as a spouse, with no quibbling over whether the partner or the (possibly anti-gay) parents get the final word? 

    One of very many problems today is that despite claims that couples can cobble together an approximation of marriage rights by drawing up powers of attorney, medical powers of attorney, wills, etc. – those documents simply aren’t always honored when they are needed.  It’s terribly sad to read of situations where a couple drew up medical powers of attorney specifically so that, if necessary, they could make medical decisions for each other, but when one of them collapsed and was taken to the hospital, the hospital blatantly ignored the legal documents, excluded the healthy partner from all decisions, and didn’t even allow the healthy partner into the room (only family members, after all!).

  • The_L1985

     I don’t think they fully grasp that civil marriage and a religious marriage ceremony are not the same thing.

  • JenL

    I say that if it waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck, and has a bill does it matter much what you call it? 

    It matters when the average American (or anyone else) hears “duck” and thinks “Daffy” but hears “duck-like waterfowl” and thinks of the noisy flocks flying overhead in a V.  They may or may not have all the same parts, but … 

    The observer has a pretty good notion of what rights come with “marriage”, and may have a whole different set of assumptions (correct or otherwise) about what rights come with “union”.

  • The_L1985

     What I get from progressive Christians:  Love one another, give to the poor, and treat everyone fairly regardless of whether or not you like certain traits of theirs.

    What I get from the extremely vocal minority of Christians (who, in the South, are the majority):  If you aren’t strongly against abortion, homosexuality, environmentalism, and evolutionary science, then you are not a real Christian.

    As an ex-Christian, I have to make a deliberate effort to hear any of the former, but drown in a deluge of the latter.  It’s one of the reasons why I read the Slacktivist blog on a daily basis.

  • The_L1985

     I think some people are lying, and others have a warped idea of “equal rights.”  Neither one is universal against the anti-GLBT camp.