Thursday, September 25, 2008

An incredible waste of time and money


If you had $17.3 million and couldn't spend it on yourself, what might you do with the money? Build a youth center for your community? Help people who are losing their homes to foreclosure? If you're the religious right, you use that money in an effort to prevent gay people in California from having the same rights as heterosexuals. A coalition of the usual suspects - the Mormons, the Roman Catholics, the Baptists, Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, etc. - has thus far raised that ungodly amount for a group called Yes on 8, which is trying to win passage of Proposition 8, a ballot issue that would rescind California's approval of gay marriage. A recent AP story said hundreds of pastors in California are calling on their congregants to fast and pray in support of the proposition. Some preachers are suggesting that people go without solid food for as long as 40 days "in the biblical tradition." Hey, if you're really serious, why not go for 100? The gallant Knights of Columbus have led the fundraising charge, piling up $1.3 million for the effort. And individual Mormons, at the strong urging of the central church, reportedly have anted up $6.4 million of the total. Bill May, who leads a group known as Catholics for Protection of Marriage, said, "The sense is that this is the last chance to restore the definition of marriage, and if unsuccessful, it is going to have serious ramifications for California and across the country." Really, Bill? Would it mean that people who love one another would be allowed to exchange vows? No wonder you see Armageddon right around the corner. At Mormon church services, they've been trying to rally the troops with a 1995 proclamation that warns: "The disintegration of the family will bring ... the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets." Do you mean charlatan prophets like Joseph Smith? Just wondering. Here's the crux of the matter: These people are trying to impose their version of morality on all of us. Gay marriages have no effect on their marriages. Gay marriages have no effect on them in ANY way. Nobody is going to "join the gay team" just because a fabulous wedding reception might be in the offing. Yet these folks want to stick their noses into other people's business and relegate them to second-class citizenship. It's not like gay people, if they are denied the right to marry, are suddenly going to turn heterosexual and start marrying people of the opposite sex. And I'm still waiting for someone, anyone, to give me a single, tangible negative effect that gay marriage would have, or provide a reasoning for their opposition that goes beyond "It's just not right" or "It's in the Bible." There are talking snakes and bushes in the Bible, too, and I have yet to see one of those in modern life. The supporters of this proposition are, in a nutshell, trying to deny the rights of gays and lesbians to equal rights. They are bigots. Let me repeat that: BIGOTS! There is some good news here. The latest poll shows the "Vote for Hate" proposition is opposed by 55 percent of likely voters.

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21 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The thing that's funny about people who oppose gay rights is they sometimes say they don't approve of the "homosexual lifestyle," with the implication that the "lifestyle" includes rampant promiscuity, drug use, leather and Abba, Judy Garland and Village People CDs cranked up to 11.

But here we have gay people who want to get married -- who are longing for the commitment, domesticity and, yes, boredom, that comes with marriage, and the anti-gay rights crowd still opposes it.

In 50 years, they'll look silly...

--Brad Hundt

September 25, 2008 at 3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marriage due to the roman common law was to establish legitimate heirs to the family name and fortune. Given that there cannot be a legitimate heir from a homosexual union (obviously discounting adoption), there is no reason for marriage. That does not end the idea of a civil union that would allow different benefits. The religious arguments dilute the stronger case of why homosexual marriage does not make sense.
Also, do you believe that religious institutions should be forced to recognize and forced this marriages? It is one thing to argue in favor of gay marriage, but it is quite another to argue that religious institutions are discriminating by refusing to accept or perform such ceremonies.
Also it is not bigotry to oppose such unions from a matter of faith. Some people are opposed based on their religious tenets and not any anger or hatred against homosexuality.

September 26, 2008 at 2:50 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Anonymous... Two things:

1) Many MANY marriages occur in which the participants have no intention of producing children.

2) No. Religious institutions would not be forced to do anything. Hell, don't marry them if you don't want... you don't need a priest or minister or whatever to perform a marriage.

-ellipses

September 26, 2008 at 6:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ellipses, the point was the purpose of the existence of the law and where it originated.
Marriage was historically never for the purposes of:
Love
eternal union
it was about legitimacy
The church changed that way of thinking over time along with the growth of the concept of romance. But neither unhinges or destroys the original meaning of the institution.

September 26, 2008 at 8:15 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

But that original meaning is irrelevant as it is primarily a legal institution. If it was intended as a construct for bearing offspring and producing heirs, why are 80 year old men and women allowed to marry?

-ellipses

September 26, 2008 at 8:26 AM  
Anonymous ohmy said...

It's interesting that heterosexual politicians, wearing their christian badges, make the decisions for all. They get these badges from the church. What would happen if the roles were reversed? Hmm? All tax-paying individuals should be entitled the SAME rights and privileges across the board. Are we all considered equal? Where's the caveat in the Declaration of Independence? Another hmm? Regarding gay marriage, it most certainly IS bigotry to oppose such unions from a matter of faith. The church is the catalyst for this bigotry and always was. I'm sad to say that a close relative was a Methodist minister and his views were right in line with most bible-thumping decision-makers. Procreation: good. Male to female union: good. Everything else that doesn't comply with white, heterosexual, christian "values": bad. Come on!

September 26, 2008 at 9:40 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

And that is why I am amazed that Obama is holding about 50% in the polls... I mean, c'mon! Black, Muslim, AND gay?! Whew! The man is a miracle worker!

-ellipses... no particular reason for that, but it made me smile on the inside

September 26, 2008 at 10:06 AM  
Anonymous Steelerfan43 said...

I don't see why anyone cares whether homosexual couples marry or not. It doesn't bother me in the least bit.

One of the issues the religious individuals have with this is because it will ruin the sanctity of marriage. Well don't heterosexual people do that now when the commit adultery or decide to become part of their neighborhood swingers club? You are not denying these people the right to marry.

I also find it hilarious that the Mormons would be spending time raising money to block gays from marrying when they have issues of their own with the psychos who have decided to distance themselves from their religion to continue polygamy and the marrying of 12 year old little girls to their cousins and uncles. Shouldn't they be donating that money to abolishing that cause and getting these people some serious therapy. Maybe even opening their own psych ward for these sick ass individuals that are in Texas and Nevada.

Gay people are just that people. So why in the hell shouldn't they be allowed to cover their significant other under their health insurance, or be able to make health decisions for them if something terrible should happen or to even be able to have the same rights as heterosexual married people. This country is screwed up and we really need to start to think about what is truly important before we all go down the drain and it won't be because we allowed gays to marry it will be because of our own selfish, pig headed, racist, bigoted ways.

September 26, 2008 at 10:43 AM  
Blogger Roger said...

ohmy said, ...

... They get these badges from the church. ....Regarding gay marriage, it most certainly IS bigotry to oppose such unions from a matter of faith. The church is the catalyst for this bigotry and always was. ...

Your perception is the "church" is the source of the matter. Do you know the constitution of the church? Do you know the source of truth for the church?

If you wish to take objection, and you certainly have the right to do so, take up the matter with the words of the Bible. You are placing a burden on an organism that is governed by another authority. Take your objection to the source of the origins of the issue, the Bible. Your fight is not against the church, rather the words of God Himself.

All the discussion about benefits afforded married couples is a discussion of recent origins. The institution of marriage has been around for millenniums, whereas the notion of benefits is something only very recently introduced into a heterosexual relationship. Perhaps if you want benefits to be changed, the place to start is with the benefits side of the equation, rather than trying to tinker with a definition and cultural understanding that has existed many, many times longer than the benefits idea. To make a change in the definition of marriage doesn't make it so. Let's see, something about lipstick ... sorry, forgot the rest of the image.

To suggest bigotry because of a stance based upon a belief system is a real stretch. I think the problem with this suggestion is the advocates have such a loose belief system, they don't know what they believe and why. For the advocates, nothing is immoral, if it is OK in the mind of the holder. But, to ask for a logical basis for such a position, the conversation goes silent. Decisions and choices are made with the "finger in the wind" approach. Perhaps most of these advocates are afraid to embrace a belief system, and be willing to stand for what it says, and the foundation of the system. It is much easier to stand on the sidelines and chastise others for having principles and guidelines (yes, even commands and exhortations) by which they make choices and decisions. By "floating in the air" they feel free to be above the fray and are not in any kind of bondage or control. Feeling "I know best" only goes so far, because the "I" in the phrase is mutable, and unreliable.

Just so there is no question, homosexuality is living a lifestyle by choice. Choosing to live a homosexual lifestyle is nothing new, contrary to what some would want us to believe. I have no reason to think that some will continue to choose a homosexual lifestyle. It was wrong, is now wrong, and will be wrong.

Studies can report about some certain psychological makeup, others will report some difference in gene composition, and other kinds of studies will continue to search for some reason why people choose to live in homosexuality. All this rhetoric is an attempt to justify the choice. If it is natural, and "made that way" there should be no reason to use any studies to attempt to justify the choice.

All we need to do is look at reality. People are out/in, in/out of the homosexual lifestyle. Consider some high profile names: Ann Heche and Ellen DeGeneres (sp?). I think Heche retreated from her choice of a homosexual relationship with DeGeneres, married a man, and started a family. Consider the NJ Governor, married for many years, and then decided to choose a homosexual lifestyle. The statistics for entering freshmen woman in college is that one-quarter of them have a homosexual encounter during their first two years of college, and then return to heterosexual relationships. This is a small smattering of the in/out, out/in of this abnormal, deviate lifestyle. There is nothing in these examples that indicates "made that way," "in my genes," or other similar explanations.

On a very practical matter, to answer the question, "why should anybody care?" the answer is pretty simple. I pay for these choices too. I believe the lifespan of a male, engaged in a homosexual lifestyle is about 20 years less than the average. Each year, millions of my tax money is spent attempting to find a "cure" for the STDs that come from those living homosexual lifestyles. How to cure many of these diseases? Just get out of the lifestyle. But, rather than complaining that the government (read: my tax money) isn't doing enough for AIDs research, HIV infections, etc, the advocates would rather continue their practices. There is no secret here. There is no blue ribbon panel required, no congressional hearings, no telethons, no fund raisers, no quilting bees, ... nothing needed. The answer to the question is very simple.

September 26, 2008 at 8:55 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Roger,
We often agree. On this we do not. I'll have more to say later about why I disagree with your take on this (need more time than I have right now), but I have always said that your posts, whether I agree with them or not, are always most welcome here. And after I tell you why I think you're wrong, I'll welcome your rebuttal. Cheers.

September 27, 2008 at 1:26 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

I wanted to add a little here, but I'll be brief (at least for me). Came down with a hellacious head cold, just in time for the weekend. I'm not suggesting that churches be forced to perform gay marriages. That should be their choice, as private organizations, although the issue of the treatment of gay people is tearing churches apart nationwide. I was married twice, once by a judge and once by a mayor, and those unions were just as valid as any performed by a priest, preacher or imam. I do think churches should worry about their own people and quit trying to impose their views on "state" matters. Separation, remember? That means not only the right to practice whatever religion we wish, but the right to be protected FROM religion. The issue where we really diverge is on whether homosexuality is a choice. You clearly believe it is. I couldn't disagree more. Most folks now accept that people are born either gay or straight. It's not a "lifestyle choice." Who would choose a "lifestyle" that might subject them to being shunned by their friends, family and a goodly portion of the world at large? My gay friends all say that they knew early in their lives that they were different. It wasn't a choice. It's what they are. There are, surely, some people who flit back and forth between gay and straight relationships. I'm sure that if there was a story on TV that Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton were drinking battery acid, some young girls and women would be yanking the Die-Hard out of grandpa's Buick, but these sorts of people are in the minority. As for health care, there are plenty of STDs circulating in the heterosexual community. Are we not to treat those ailments because the people were "asking for it"? There are some gay people, mainly gay men, who live reckless, promiscuous lives, but the vast majority don't. Finally, I am not a religious person, but I do try to accept and love people as they are, no matter who it is that they love.

September 27, 2008 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Brant,
Regarding the STD rates and promiscuity among homosexual males...

I believe that a lot of that is due largely to them being marginalized in society. They have a basic, primal urge that they, for the most part, cannot sate without the threat of severe social backlash. I say turn the tables... imagine if you, being a straight, red-blooded man... felt ashamed of your attraction to women... felt that you couldn't tell your family, friends and coworkers that you are attracted to women... saw people holding signs saying you are an abomination and a freak for being attracted to women...

Would you be likely to engage in "safe" relationships... open, loving, fulfilling relationships where the sexual urges were satisfied as a function of a loving, nuclear union (married or otherwise)? Or would you be sneaking off to truckstops, porno shops, or down to old mexico (a la Brokeback Mountatin) to quench that thirst while putting on a front in your public life? I attribute the high rates of STDs directly to the fact that society pushes it underground, thus forcing participants to engage in risky behaviors because of the anonymity it affords.

-ellipses... apparently, neither black nor gay :-)

September 27, 2008 at 11:48 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

Good point. I think another reason for the lower life expectancy, if that is, in fact, accurate, of gay men, is the number who may turn to substance abuse, whether illegal drugs or the prescription variety or good, old-fashioned booze, to sate the pain they are feeling in their marginalized lives. Just a theory.

September 27, 2008 at 1:44 PM  
Anonymous ohmy said...

Dear Roger-
Oh my fine-feathered friend. You have so much to learn about the world. Obviously, your 40 paragraph rebuttal is driven by narcissism and a desperate need to be right. My wife and I are laughing that you mention dysfunctional Hollywood individuals as your "role-model" of gay individuals. One does not "choose" to be gay, straight, black, white, short, etc. If you have the super-power to change any of these on a whim please share this skill. You will make a lot of money. However, one does choose to hate. As a physician, I know better. Your views are a refusal to truly educate yourself on this topic and lead to the endless cycle of hate, bigotry and discrimination. Yikes...I would hate to see what you serve your guests for dinner. A dark cloud must hover over your entire existence. Please come back for a healthy debate when you shake off your "inner" hatred and Sarah Palin (ahem!) "values".

September 27, 2008 at 2:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, anyone who disagrees with Brant and his cronies is a bigot.

There are plenty of bigots out there, of all types. Look in the mirror before you go after others. A person who so abhors people of faith is as much a bigot as those they chastize.

As far as the money, the amount raised is nothing compared to what the homosexual agenda has spent making their positions seem "normal". As long as Hollywood and the media continue to shape morality for the mindless masses who cannot think for themselves, this is the road we are on.

September 28, 2008 at 1:51 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

The difference is that Brant isn't trying to infringe on the rights of religious people...

-ellipses

September 28, 2008 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

My wife and most of my friends are people of faith. Fortunately, they're people of faith who are open to the views of others and embrace, rather than try to legislate against, those who might be different from them.

September 28, 2008 at 3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ohmy, I think I love you.

Open-mind, open-heart.

September 28, 2008 at 8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

California essentially legislated a new social "norm" with the approval of gay marraige. This group is simply trying to restore the norm to what it was prior to a new morality being forced upon the people.

California employers are forced to cover gay "spouses" under health insurance plans, etc. This does impact everyone. Employees are being forced to contribute to health coverage for other people's gay partner.

I do not see this as legislating against anyone, only behaviors.

cgr

September 29, 2008 at 7:01 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Is that a problem? Covering spouses under health plans?

How would I be received if I wanted to restore social norms back to circa 1955... you know, the good ole' days when the "coloreds" had their own fountains, their own bathrooms, their own schools, their own lunch counters... You know... those days before employers were "forced" to cover a white man's black wife under his health insurance...

c'mon now!

-ellipses

September 29, 2008 at 8:05 AM  
Anonymous Steelerfan43 said...

Ellipses you are hilarious. Anyway, I would like to say that just because some of us agree with Brant does not make us his cronies or his mindless sheep. We are just people who live with open minds and refuse to let others tell us what is right and wrong. I would also like to say that in my opinion people are born straight, gay, bi-sexual, black, white, Asian etc. My brother graduated with a guy who we knew was gay at 5-years old, when he was out in the outfield during T-ball games picking daisies. He used to skip to the outfield and cry when it was his turn to bat. Please tell me how a 5-year old made the decision that when he turns 15 years old that he would come out to his friends and family (as if they didn't already know). He didn't. A 5-year old doesn't know what it means to be gay, nor do they know what the slang definition is for the word gay. He did not choose to be homosexual he was born homosexual. As I mentioned before, I don't know why in the hell it matters to the religious community whether someone is gay or straight. If your church does not want to worship with a gay person, fine, don't. If they do not want to perform gay marriages, fine, don't. No one is forcing their hands. These gay couples can just as easily have a Judge or Mayor perform their nuptials. The religious community acts as if straight, heterosexual couples don't ruin the sanctity of marriage with their lying, cheating, spouse swapping ways. As if being married three or more times is not casting a dark tornadic cloud over the sanctity of marriage. You are only truly suppose to marry one time and that is for life (til death do us part). What we as a nation needs to do is worry about things that are more important right now, such as people going hungry, people being homeless and jobless. War & terrorism (Afghanistan, not Iraq). We need to worry about allowing politicians to sail us down the river with their greed and stupidity. There are more pressing things to worry about than whether some gay couple wants to marry because they want to feel what they believe to be normal instead of being ashamed and hiding who they were born to be.

September 29, 2008 at 2:30 PM  

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