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The W - Current Events & Politics - Canada: Same sex law passed 158-133
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Oliver
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.08
Perfect timing...right after Pride weekend, too.

    Originally posted by the CBC Article (on cbc.ca)
    The Liberals' controversial same-sex marriage legislation has passed final reading in the House of Commons, sailing through in a 158-133 vote.

    Supported by most members of the Liberals, the Bloc Qubcois and the NDP, the legislation passed easily, making Canada only the third country in the world, after the Netherlands and Belgium, to officially recognize same-sex marriage.

    But the passage of Bill C-38, once again, came with a political price tag for the government. Joe Comuzzi, resigned from the cabinet so he could vote against the bill an open rebuke of the government legislation.

    Comuzzi was the minister responsible for Northern Ontario.

    Although he was the only cabinet minister to break ranks with Prime Minister Paul Martin over the controversial plan to legalize the marriage of gays and lesbians, it highlighted the divisions within Canada and within the Liberal party, pitting supporters of equality rights against those who are defending religious freedoms.

    For Comuzzi, the decision to resign meant putting principles ahead of the privileges of cabinet. "In 2004, during the election, I promised faithfully to the people of Thunder Bay-Superior North, that I would defend the definition of marriage," he said, explaining his move.

    The prime minister said he regretted the decision of a man he called an "old friend," but accepts it because the government must speak with one voice on same-sex marriage.

    The "vote is about the Charter of Rights," said Martin. "We're a nation of minorities and in a nation of minorities you don't cherry-pick rights."

    The government has moved over the last few months to appease critics both within Liberal ranks and among Canadians at large. Amendments were introduced to ensure no religious group or charitable organization would be forced to accept same-sex marriage. But in spite of those amendments some groups remain unconvinced.

    Same-sex marriage remains one of the most difficult issues ever to confront Canadian politicians. In large part passage of the bill is the reason the parliamentary session was extended for the first time in 17 years.


    Prime Minister Paul Martin, left, with MP Joe Comuzzi, who quit his junior cabinet position Tuesday. (CP photo)
    But while Tuesday night's vote closes off the debate in the Commons, the Conservatives insist there is no closure for Canadians who believe marriage should continue to be defined as the union of a man and a woman, to the exclusion of all others.

    Conservative Leader Stephen Harper says if his party forms the next government, the law will be revisited.

    Harper made the promise one day after suggesting the adoption of the law lacked legitimacy because it relied on the support of the separatist Bloc Qubcois. Harper said he believes Bloc MPs are the legitimate representatives of Quebec voters. But he argues most Canadians aren't buying it as a final decision since most federalist MPs are opposed to same-sex marriage.

    Harper says a Conservative government would hold a free vote for all MPs on the matter, rather than forcing cabinet ministers to vote with the government.



(edited by SOK on 29.6.05 0923)

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DrOp
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.00
Well, I personally think this is a very cool thing. There was a documentary on the other night called Same Sex America which chronicled the experiences of 5 couples when went to Massachussettes to marry. Fascinating stuff.

I understand religious objections--people may believe what they choose to believe. I just I have never understood how two men/women being married somehow threatens me or my marriage (or my children for that matter).



tarnish
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.03
This is one of those things that makes me proud to be Canadian. The key quote to me is, "[The] vote is about the Charter of Rights. We're a nation of minorities and in a nation of minorities you don't cherry-pick rights."

Damn straight.

(pardon the pun )

I was talking to a friend I haven't spoken to since high school recently who has come out since then. His take, and it's one I've heard before many times, is along the lines of, "Why does this even need to be a big deal? Why should it matter to anyone else?"

I just don't understand how allowing same-sex marriages undermines anyone else's values. There are plenty of dangerous, stupid, and socially-irresponsible behaviors in the world that I don't agree with and that I will try to keep my kids clear from, but homosexuality isn't one of them.

Also, anyone else been watching Global's new show, "My Fabulous Gay Wedding" hosted by Scott Thompson (of Kids in the Hall fame)? It's my fiancee's new favorite show (yes, she's a woman, and yes, I'm a man); it's so much better than any of the wedding shows on TLC or Discovery or whatever...maybe because the camp is intentional and self-aware. Info can be found here (www.canada.com).



/tarnish...

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Stilton
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Since: 7.2.04
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.59
    Originally posted by tarnish
    This is one of those things that makes me proud to be Canadian. The key quote to me is, "[The] vote is about the Charter of Rights. We're a nation of minorities and in a nation of minorities you don't cherry-pick rights."


Exactly. This is a proud day for Canada. And hey, we're only 16 years behind Denmark!


    Originally posted by tarnish
    I just don't understand how allowing same-sex marriages undermines anyone else's values.


Because some people will only be comfortable in their own skins the day everyone else shares their own beliefs, because some people get very angry whenever anyone else believes differently than they do, because some people hate and fear people who do not share their beliefs... people like the Saudi royal family, the late Ayatollah Khomeini, and the followers of Usama bin Ladin, the Ku Klux Klan, and Jerry Falwell.

I for one am glad that rational ethics can still prevail in a climate of world-wide religious zealotry, that only appears to be getting worse as time goes by. This is a glimmer of hope for humanity.


(edited by Stilton on 29.6.05 1304)

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vsp
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
    Originally posted by tarnish
    I just don't understand how allowing same-sex marriages undermines anyone else's values. There are plenty of dangerous, stupid, and socially-irresponsible behaviors in the world that I don't agree with and that I will try to keep my kids clear from, but homosexuality isn't one of them.


Well said.

If someone says "Same-sex marriage offends my (religious beliefs | morality | upbringing | patriotic fervor | voices screaming in my head | deity), and thus _I_ will never take part in a same-sex marriage or approve of anyone who does," that's fine. I'm down with that. That's an expression of opinion.

If someone says "Same-sex marriage offends me (yadda yadda), and therefore _no one_ should ever be legally permitted to take part in one," well, they'd better bring more to the table than "Because it's offensive to me" or "Because _my_ god says 'No'" as to why it should be banned for everyone, including people who are not offended or whose religious beliefs are different.

EDIT: Proactive statement that I'm aware that this thread could roll downhill quickly and that I'm not consciously going to push it there. Honest and for true.

(edited by vsp on 29.6.05 1413)

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DrOp
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.74
Yeah, I keep personally waiting for God to tell me what to do and it doesn't really seem to happen.

In other news, the NY Times Magazine did a cover story on the fight against Gay Marriage in the US.

What's Their REAL Problem with Gay Marriage? It's the Gay Part

Use Bugmenot to gain access to the article.



CRZ
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.44
    Originally posted by Stilton
    Because some people will only be comfortable in their own skins the day everyone else shares their own beliefs, because some people get very angry whenever anyone else believes differently than they do, because some people hate and fear people who do not share their beliefs... people like the Saudi royal family, the late Ayatollah Khomeini, and the followers of Usama bin Ladin, the Ku Klux Klan, and Jerry Falwell.
And Idi Amin! And HITLER!

    I for one am glad that rational ethics can still prevail in a climate of world-wide religious zealotry, that only appears to be getting worse as time goes by. This is a glimmer of hope for humanity.
I might be reading this wrong (and since I'm not sure what "rational ethics" are, this is a distinct possibility), but are you saying that up to now, you had no hope for humanity... until the Canadian government said it was okay with them if two gays wanted to marry and then you got a glimmer of hope? ... That seems....excessively pessimistic.

Also... my own personal experience talking here, so feel free to take it with a grain of salt, but there are PLENTY of "religious" people on the planet who PROBABLY don't fall under the "zealot" brush you're so broadly using. I would even go so far as to say a majority of religious people aren't zealots....not that I'm as convinced that the world would be an awful place if there were more zealots; it just depends HOW they're zealots.

EDIT:
    Originally posted by DrOp
    Yeah, I keep personally waiting for God to tell me what to do and it doesn't really seem to happen.
Maybe you're not listening! Maybe you don't WANT to listen! Maybe maybe maybe!
    Originally posted by DrOp
    In other news, the NY Times Magazine did a cover story on the fight against Gay Marriage in the US. ... Use Bugmenot to gain access to the article.
I think it drops out of the archive after seven days 'cause I couldn't figure out how to read it for free. Especially with the combination of the words "New York Times" and a wonderful headline like "What's Their REAL Problem with Gay Marriage? It's the Gay Part," I was really looking forward to what was undoubtedly a sober and impartial view... ;-)


(edited by CRZ on 29.6.05 1245)

CRZ
Torchslasher
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Since: 17.1.02
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.75


    Because some people will only be comfortable in their own skins the day everyone else shares their own beliefs, because some people get very angry whenever anyone else believes differently than they do, because some people hate and fear people who do not share their beliefs... people like the Saudi royal family, the late Ayatollah Khomeini, and the followers of Usama bin Ladin, the Ku Klux Klan, and Jerry Falwell.



Your inclusion of Jerry Falwell in this list is not only wrong, but offensively wrong. But after reading many of your posts in the Politics forum, I would have had to expect that you would feel this way. Most Christians do not hate or fear people who do not share their beliefs, and I have never heard Rev. Falwell say that he hates anyone.

I'm guessing that you don't enjoy the "Hate the sin, love the sinner" belief, but I assure you that it is a very real belief.



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messenoir
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Since: 20.2.02
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.26
The quotes following are not examples of loving the sinner and hating the sin. They are personal attacks and a clear example of spiritual violence. When Falwell is saying we should not stop AIDS because homosexuals deserve to be punished (and die, if we take the logical conclusion), that is a personal attack and is hate speech.

When Falwell says thousands of people dying in the twin towers has happened because God is angry at homosexuals, that is a horrible, personal, disgusting personal attack. It is spiritual violence, it is the equivalent of saying women deserve to be raped because of the way they dress and it has no place in any accepted circle of faith or society.

/Edited out because I'm a moron and was confusing Billy Graham and Falwell.

He is a zealot in the worst sense of the word.

"Someone must not be afriad to say, 'moral perversion is wrong.' If we do not act now, homosexuals will 'own' America!...If you and I do not speak up now, this homosexual steamroller will leterally crush all decent men, women, and children who get in its way...and our nation will pay a terrible price!" - People for the American Way, "Hostile Climate," 1997, p.15.

AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals.
-- Jerry Falwell (attributed: source unknown)

AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the Red Sea to save one of Pharoah's chariotters.
-- Rev. Jerry Falwell (attributed: source unknown)

God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve.
-- Rev. Jerry Falwell, blaming civil libertarians, feminists, homosexuals, and abortion rights supporters for the terrorist attacks of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, to which Rev. Pat Robertson agreed, quoted from John F. Harris, "God Gave U.S. 'What We Deserve,' Falwell Says," The Washington Post (September 14, 2001)

And, I know that I'll hear from them for this. But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say, "You helped this happen."
-- Rev. Jerry Falwell, blaming civil libertarians, feminists, homosexuals, and abortion rights supporters for the terrorist attacks of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, quoted from John F. Harris, "God Gave U.S. 'What We Deserve,' Falwell Says," The Washington Post (September 14, 2001)

The ACLU is to Christians what the American Nazi party is to Jews.
-- Rev. Jerry Falwell (attributed: source unknown)



(edited by messenoir on 29.6.05 1835)

(edited by messenoir on 29.6.05 1937)

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Torchslasher
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Since: 17.1.02
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.75
I still see it as hating what he sees as "sins," and what these sins have wrought.

I don't agree AT ALL with his views on God being the force and source of 9/11 (which is one of your few examples that aren't from "source unknown"). Saying that God is still an Old-Testament parent who smacks his kids is not what I believe.

Point is, I have never heard that Jerry Falwell killed someone because of their beliefs (which isn't true of more ardent followers of Osama). I have never heard that Falwell has killed people of African-American descent (not true of KKK members).

Falwell may have views that don't fall in line with most people, but imo, he can't be lumped in with murderers and he can't be called "fearful."



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Since: 23.7.04
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.90
Torchslaher, while I disagree with your feelings on the motives and attitude of Falwell (though I do agree that it was hyperbolic to lump him in with the KKK and Bin Laden) you brought up an excellent point when you said


    Most Christians do not hate or fear people who do not share their beliefs


I think that many people who are not Christian tend to look at the opposition of many Christians to Gay Marriage as bigoted when that is simply not the case most of the time. It's certainly true of some people, but most Christians that I know, even if they are against gay marriage, do not hate gays or wish harm on them.



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vsp
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Since: 3.1.02
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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
    Originally posted by BigSteve
    I think that many people who are not Christian tend to look at the opposition of many Christians to Gay Marriage as bigoted when that is simply not the case most of the time. It's certainly true of some people, but most Christians that I know, even if they are against gay marriage, do not hate gays or wish harm on them.


Bigotry, like most other things in life, is not objectively measurable. Who gets to set the standard as to what is bigotry and what is not? (And thus begins the next round of Absolutist vs. Relativist Family Feud.)

What is the definition of bigotry? According to most dictionaries, it's an unreasonable prejudice and intolerance towards beliefs that differ from one's own. Who gets to dictate when intolerance is justifiable and when it's unreasonable?

Is "love the sinner but hate the sin" supposed to be comforting to someone on the receiving end, if that someone does not agree that the actions are sinful or that the concept of sin itself is at all relevant to the argument? Should religious morality be incorporated into law and thus binding over the religious and non-religious alike?

If I lobby _for_ gay marriage, am I crusading for civil rights and equality, or am I intentionally thumbing my nose at the religious beliefs that millions in this country hold? Depends on from what perspective you're looking at it.

If I lobby _against_ gay marriage, am I standing up for tradition and my religious beliefs, or am I actively discriminating against those who have different or no religious beliefs? Depends on from what perspective you're looking at it.

For _my_ money, it comes down to this: if I am lobbying for gay marriage, I am lobbying to increase the number of behavioral options for myself and my fellow citizens. A person opposed to gay marriage is not obligated in any way to either participate or approve of it; instead, I am looking to open the door for those who have no moral objections to practice it. I an attempting to maximize the number of differing moral and value systems that can feel free to exercise their beliefs in our society.

If I am lobbying _against_ gay marriage, I am lobbying to _close off_ certain behavioral options for myself and my fellow citizens. I am stating that traditional, status-quo morality is good enough for everyone and that "traditional morality's" take on marriage should be enforced by law. I am attempting to prevent certain differing moral and value systems from being free to exercise their beliefs in our society.

In the former case, both those in favor (who may marry same-gender partners) and those opposed (who may abstain and publically disapprove of the practice) may act on their beliefs. In the latter, those opposed may act on their beliefs (by having the practice banned), but those in favor are restricted solely because those who are opposed want it that way.

Can you see how many might consider that to be bigotry, regardless of the motivation?

EDIT:
    Originally posted by DrOp
    Now--can someone please explain to me how allowing gays and lesbians to marry will kill our society? Don't we want to PROMOTE monogamy?


THAT is one of the most confusing things about the entire backlash to me.

What's a popular stereotype surrounding homosexuals, primarily gay males? Rampant promiscuity. Anonymous bathhouse orgies. Disease-spreading bed-hopping. A cavalier attitude towards monogamy and a non-stop parade of buggery.

So, many same-sex couples come forward and say "Hey, we're not like that. We want to live as monogamous, faithful couples just like hetero couples, to love each other, and maybe raise a couple of adopted kids. We want to get married, with all of the legal commitments and obligations that come with that, and fit into traditional society's relationship roles as best we can."

And the response from conservative/religious America, those who hold up traditional, monogamous, loving families as the backbone of American society, was a massive and resounding "NO!"

Hah?

(edited by vsp on 30.6.05 1150)

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.74
Very nice post, vsp.

I was raised as a Baptist and can not, for the life of me, reconcile my personal views with what the church teaches. I will not comform to anything I see as discirminatory or exclusionary.

The NY Times Magazine article summarized the religious opposition as thus: Some of the Christian sector do not see homosexuality as a genetically based phenomena, and therefore, don't see it as a civil rights issue, but a moral one.

In the Same Sex America documentary--there was a political rally. On one side was a gay woman; on the other side were her parents. It was fascinating to watch her ask "Did God not make me in His image as well?"

The "Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner" stance sounds great and all, except that I remember one of my first Sunday School lessons being about how it wasn't/isn't man's place to judge, but rather, God's. There are plenty of other sins that aren't legislated against (my understanding is that there are over 600 sins mentioned in the Bible). Why do we feel so deeply threatened as to need to legislated this one?

I personally remain wary legislating from a Biblical standpoint when this same Bible has been used throughout history to start wars, constrain women's liberties, and keep slaves from being educated.

One of the crucial reasons America was founded was freedom from religious oppression and persecution. Supposedly, not even a majority opinion should be able to creat legislation that would discriminate against a minority group (think women's suffrage, civil rights, etc). I have no problem with the church not recognizing gay marriage (because one does not HAVE to attend a church) as much as the government doing the same.

Now--can someone please explain to me how allowing gays and lesbians to marry will kill our society? Don't we want to PROMOTE monogamy?



CRZ
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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.44
    Originally posted by vsp
    In the former case, both those in favor (who may marry same-gender partners) and those opposed (who may abstain and publically disapprove of the practice) may act on their beliefs. In the latter, those opposed may act on their beliefs (by having the practice banned), but those in favor are restricted solely because those who are opposed want it that way.
One could take the above paragraph and replace "marry same-gender partners" with ANY concept and make this argument - "burn the flag," "drink absinthe," "drive over 100mph when you're the only car on the highway," "say 'fuck' on over-the-air television," "smoke marijuana," and so on and so on. You're not making a case for allowing same-sex marriage so much as demonstrating that there are a lot of arbitrary, bullshit laws out there. I would suggest this doesn't come as much of a shock to most people.
    Originally posted by DrOp
    I will not comform to anything I see as discirminatory or exclusionary.
ANYTHING?? I mean, I'm a Libertarian and all, but even *I* can think of at least half a dozen things that need to be excluded right off the bat.



CRZ
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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
    Originally posted by CRZ
    One could take the above paragraph and replace "marry same-gender partners" with ANY concept and make this argument - "burn the flag," "drink absinthe," "drive over 100mph when you're the only car on the highway," "say 'fuck' on over-the-air television," "smoke marijuana," and so on and so on. You're not making a case for allowing same-sex marriage so much as demonstrating that there are a lot of arbitrary, bullshit laws out there. I would suggest this doesn't come as much of a shock to most people.


I'd agree with you there. I nearly ventured into tying in the flag-burning issue -- i.e. "I want it banned because it OFFENDS me, isn't that enough?" applies to both -- but didn't feel like opening that can of worms myself.

That said, I'd use the same argument against any such arbitrary law: what actual harm is prevented by banning the item/practice? Flag burning doesn't hurt anything but the flag, if open-flame laws are obeyed. It's hard to justify banning absinthe and marijuana for health reasons without also staring hard at other liquor and tobacco, and THOSE aren't going away any time soon. "Fuck" is just a word.

Driving 100+, well, there is _something_ of a public-health argument to be made -- bad wrecks if a tire blows out, a deer wanders onto the road, pedestrian or other car comes out of nowhere, etc., but that's somewhat situational.

But the point remains, yes, we have arbitrary laws on the books. Do we need more? Is it more rational to oppose new arbitrary laws and support repeal of those that exist, or to grandstand for _more_ arbitrary laws banning same-sex marriage AND to elevate it to the level of a Bullshit Constitutional Amendment?




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Since: 20.2.02
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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.26
CRZ, I'm not sure if you personally are making the argument that since there are already arbitrary rules on the book, why change the homosexuality rule, or that we should get rid of all arbitrary rules.

But I have heard the former argument quite a bit. It's the "since my house is dirty, it's okay to make it dirtier" thought rather then saying "since my house is dirty, I should clean it." There are quite a few arbitrary rules that need to be changed, regardless on personal views on the issues.

For example, I am a 100% opposed to the use of marijuana and find it harmful and a waste of gifts given to us by God, but I also don't feel it's my place to order someone not to use it. I can state my opinion, say I find marijuana use disgusting, and be sure to leave any place where marijuana is being used. But then, it should be up to people themselves whether they want to harm themself.

In the same vein, they shouldn't be forcing their marijuana use on other people and they should be partaking of it in private where the smoke isn't harming other people.

Homosexuality is the same thing. You can find it disgusting and thus choose not to interact with homosexuals, and you can even state your opinion, but that doesn't mean homosexuality is wrong, just that it's not a lifestyle you agree with.

An even closer analogy would be this: I've worked in health for a little bit and took part in some obesity studies as well as working at fast food restaurants. I saw the close correlation between obesity and overconsumption, and as such find obesity personally disturbing and somewhat disgusting. People have a genetic tendency to be obese, but there is still choice involved, much like homosexuality.

But that doesn't mean I think obese people shouldn't have the same rights as me or shouldn't be allowed to marry. It is not my place to make that decision for someone else. I can state my opinion, why I think obesity is not a healthy lifestyle, and then end it there.



Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
BigSteve
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Since: 23.7.04
From: Baltimore, MD

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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.91
People have brought up quite a few interesting points so far. Personally, I think that here in the US, gay marriage ought to be left up to individual states to contemplate. I don't think that judges should decide this issue because I really don't see why we must have gay marriages in this country (as I generally think that marriage is for procreation; yes, I am aware that not all married people have children). I also don't think that there should be a constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage because I don't see why we absolutely must not have them in this country. Anyway..

    Originally posted by vsp
    For _my_ money, it comes down to this: if I am lobbying for gay marriage, I am lobbying to increase the number of behavioral options for myself and my fellow citizens. A person opposed to gay marriage is not obligated in any way to either participate or approve of it; instead, I am looking to open the door for those who have no moral objections to practice it. I an attempting to maximize the number of differing moral and value systems that can feel free to exercise their beliefs in our society.

    If I am lobbying _against_ gay marriage, I am lobbying to _close off_ certain behavioral options for myself and my fellow citizens. I am stating that traditional, status-quo morality is good enough for everyone and that "traditional morality's" take on marriage should be enforced by law. I am attempting to prevent certain differing moral and value systems from being free to exercise their beliefs in our society.

    In the former case, both those in favor (who may marry same-gender partners) and those opposed (who may abstain and publically disapprove of the practice) may act on their beliefs. In the latter, those opposed may act on their beliefs (by having the practice banned), but those in favor are restricted solely because those who are opposed want it that way.


But this isn't a case about restricting or allowing certain behaviors. That would only occur if the government were to prohibit homosexuals from actually having sex with one another.

The argument for prohibiting gay marriage is something like this: "I object to this practice on moral grounds. I don't disagree with people's right to do with other consenting adults what they wish to in the privacy of their own homes. However, I do have a problem with the government sanctioning this particular type of behavior. I do not think that we as a society should accept it."

Now, I personally don't feel that way because I don't think that homosexuality is so odious a practice that it will lead to the downfall of American society, however some feel that it is not good for the government to encourage this type of behavior. Obviously that is just the opinion of those people and others will have different opinions, but should this view be excluded from all discourse on the issue?

    Originally posted by DrOp
    The "Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner" stance sounds great and all, except that I remember one of my first Sunday School lessons being about how it wasn't/isn't man's place to judge, but rather, God's. There are plenty of other sins that aren't legislated against (my understanding is that there are over 600 sins mentioned in the Bible). Why do we feel so deeply threatened as to need to legislated this one?


I don't know how exactly Baptism and Catholicism differ in ways such as this, so you may be correct. However, I see it differently. If a person where to say, "Person X is a sinner and surely he is going to hell for all eternity" that would be judging a person which is God's job. However, my understanding of my own religion is that a person should not sit idly by while other sin, but rather should work to lead others to do what is right.


    I personally remain wary legislating from a Biblical standpoint when this same Bible has been used throughout history to start wars, constrain women's liberties, and keep slaves from being educated.


So have many other things. It's not because of the nature of religion that it causes these things, but rather because people consciously or unconsciously twist it to mean what they want it to mean.

    Originally posted by messenoir
    Homosexuality is the same thing. You can find it disgusting and thus choose not to interact with homosexuals, and you can even state your opinion, but that doesn't mean homosexuality is wrong, just that it's not a lifestyle you agree with.


As I said before (I think I said it), I'm not really on board with the "being gay is horrible and a very bad thing" bandwagon, but the reason that we as a society make laws against things is because we feel they are wrong and should not be accepted in our society. You can make that argument about anything, so long as there are people that disagree with the prevailing view. For instance if you replaced homosexuality with pedophilia (I'm not comparing the two), you would have the same argument about it just not being a lifestyle that people agree with, which in my own humble opinion, is a weak argument against something.



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Since: 7.2.04
From: Canada

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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.55
    Originally posted by CRZ
    I might be reading this wrong (and since I'm not sure what "rational ethics" are, this is a distinct possibility), but are you saying that up to now, you had no hope for humanity... until the Canadian government said it was okay with them if two gays wanted to marry and then you got a glimmer of hope? ... That seems....excessively pessimistic.

    Also... my own personal experience talking here, so feel free to take it with a grain of salt, but there are PLENTY of "religious" people on the planet who PROBABLY don't fall under the "zealot" brush you're so broadly using. I would even go so far as to say a majority of religious people aren't zealots....


I would define 'rational ethics' as an ethics based on unbiased, empirical, rational thought and not on archaic religious dogma.

I agree that the vast majority of religious people are not zealots, but it's the zealots who seem to be getting all the airtime lately. And it's the zealots who are dangerous to other people's freedoms. I would define a zealot as anyone who would like force his or her political or religious opinions on a society that should otherwise be perfectly free to reject or differ from said opinions. In a secular society, where all people are perfectly free to practice any religion they choose to (or not), basing any public policy on a religious opinion is, by rational standards, the work of such zealotry.



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Since: 23.7.04
From: Baltimore, MD

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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.91

    I would define 'rational ethics' as an ethics based on unbiased, empirical, rational thought and not on archaic religious dogma.


How can you be unbiased when you're being asked to take a position on a certain issue? Isn't that sort of impossible?


    I would define a zealot as anyone who would like force his or her political or religious opinions on a society that should otherwise be perfectly free to reject or differ from said opinions.


Uh, so then Congress (or perhaps Canadian Parliament) is full of zealots because they all want to force their beliefs on me, even those I may disagree with them? Or is there something I'm missing here?


    In a secular society, where all people are perfectly free to practice any religion they choose to (or not), basing any public policy on a religious opinion is, by rational standards, the work of such zealotry.


Why? Because you disagree? Because no matter what, these people will hold their opinions. Should they be excluded from the public discourse because of the reason that they feel a certain way?

Anyway, it isn't supposed to be secular society in the sense that you portray it. Freedom of religion was designed so that people can be free to follow whatever religion they choose or none at all without coercion from the government to do otherwise. It doesn't mean that religion must never meet society other than the time you are in you're Church/Synagogue/Mosque. It isn't a secular society in that religion isn't supposed to be excluded.



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Since: 22.4.02
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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.29
Anyway, it isn't supposed to be secular society in the sense that you portray it. Freedom of religion was designed so that people can be free to follow whatever religion they choose or none at all without coercion from the government to do otherwise. It doesn't mean that religion must never meet society other than the time you are in you're Church/Synagogue/Mosque. It isn't a secular society in that religion isn't supposed to be excluded.

While it's all well and good to say that in a vacuum, the problem is when "religion isn't supposed to be excluded" gets turned into "a very specific brand of one denomination should be used to fuel one party's base, as long as the party throws the adherents a bone that only the adherents actively want every now and then".

Stupid long-winded descriptions.



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