People want to say that not having the right to marry whomever you love isn’t hurting anyone. Here is the proof that it is.
From the front page of LGBTQ Nation, Minnesota has legalized same-sex marriage! Governor Mark Dayton signed the bill less than 24 hours after the Minnesota Senate approved the measure in a 39-30 vote.
The bill was signed in an outdoor ceremony with supporters in front of the state capitol cheering on the governor. Estimates put their numbers at around 6000 or so.
In the span of less than two weeks, three states have legalized same-sex marriage, them being Delaware, Rhode Island, and now Minnesota. Minnesota’s law would go into effect on August 1st, giving plenty of gay couples the time to plan for their wedding ceremonies.
We can only imagine how much Rep. Michele Bachmann is freaking out right now.
She is one of those women that is so adamantly anti-gay that she just might actually leave the state of Minnesota, as was claimed in many satirical sites. I don’t know though, obviously. It’s just fun to think about how Michele Bachmann would react to this kind of news.
I imagine much of her concern will be that her husband, who is obviously not gay, will leave her for another man, because that’s what gay marriage does. It destroys the healthy marriages of god-fearing people and causes them to turn to shameful lusts and away from God.
I really want to know how a state that can legalize gay marriage can also elect a person like Michele Bachmann. That boggles my mind. Then I remember what gerry-mandering is.
Over the past few years, the gay rights movement has made tremendous strides. With the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the ever increasing number of states, most recently being Delaware, that are legalising same-sex marriage and outlawing anti-LGBT discrimination, and the overall acceptance that is being shown towards the LGBT community, it is only a matter of time before we are fully accepted into American society. As someone who is LGBT, namely those last two, I can say that I am very proud of my country.
As someone who is an atheist though, I can say that our country still needs a lot of work.
It is not that we are fighting for the right to be able to legally love whom we want or that we are fighting for the right to vote. We already have those rights, unless we’re also LGBT. We are fighting for something much more basic, something the LGBT community was all too familiar with at one point in time. The right to exist and freely express who and what we are.
For the longest time in American history, atheists have been legally discriminated against. Several states still have on the books, even if they cannot be enforced, the laws that keep atheists from running for public office or having their testimony counted in court.
The stigma that is associated with atheists makes us the most distrusted and hated minority in the country. Nearly half of this country would not vote for an atheist candidate. Nearly half of this country would not want their child dating or marrying an atheist. Nearly half of this country thinks atheists share their vision of America the least. In all of these categories, atheists are more hated than gays, Muslims, and every single other group mentioned.
But the LGBT community did something we can learn from. They stood up. They came out of their proverbial closet. They came out and were proud of who they were and were unapologetic about it.
Now, when someone comes out as gay, it’s not that big of a deal anymore. It’s usually very positive too, except for the hate that usually comes from homophobes on the religious right. Sure, there are still cases of people being cut off from family and friends from it, but that is becoming less and less of an occurrence. And yes, it’s sometimes a kind of big deal when a public figure of some kind comes out, but less so nowadays.
That was the greatest tool implemented by the LGBT community. They came out so much that once they did, people had to accept the fact that there were more gays out there than they thought and that at least one of their close friends or family was probably LGBT. They came out in such great numbers that people were forced to accept that it was normal.
Atheists aren’t doing that. They aren’t standing up.
Either they live in an area that is already so secular that they don’t feel the need to come out or be active, or they live in an area where they are afraid to come out for fear of losing their friends, family, jobs, or even lives.
If you fear that, don’t. I lost some friends and family over it. They weren’t my real friends. That’s what I learned from that experience. If someone is going to not be my friend simply because I am no longer convinced by the claims made in the Bible, then they were not a true friend.
Coming out will make things better for you the sooner you do it. When you come out, sooner or later your friends, family, and colleagues will no longer have an issue with it. Sure, they might think you’re wrong, but it will become normal to them and no longer this scary thing.
Not only will you coming out help yourself, but it will also help others who are too afraid to come out themselves. If they see more and more people are coming out as atheists, then they will be more willing to do it themselves. You can be a pebble that starts an avalanche (yes, that was a Lord of the Rings reference; shoot me).
That’s what the LGBT movement did. They came out, and homosexuality is being accepted as normal, because they have been doing it for so long and in such huge numbers. That’s what we need to do with atheism.
With all of the positive media attention about Jason Collins coming out, as well as Delaware State Senator Karen Peterson, Nevada State Senator Kelvin Atkinson, and recently Amini Fonua, an athlete from Texas A&M University, the question I have to ask is: where is our Jason Collins? Where is our Ellen DeGeneres? Where is our Barney Frank? Where is our Harvey Milk? That can be you.
We need to come out and be proud. No more hiding the fact that we don’t believe in their gods. Will the atheists please stand up? Will you stand up?
A Facebook page called LGBT Libertarians recently posted this photo in response to the Supreme Court listening to oral arguments in the Prop. 8, which banned same-sex marriage in the state of California, and Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which does not allow for federal recognition of any marriages that are not between one man and one woman, cases.
This is what they had to say:
I do NOT support “marriage equality” and neither should you and I’ll tell you why. “I support Marriage Equality” is just a euphemism for, “I believe the state is the proper authority on who can and cannot get married, so as such I believe the state should approve gay marriage”. I say FUCK THIS. Everyone no matter if you’re black, white, transgendered, queer, asexual, heterosexual, polyamorous, or monogamous has the RIGHT to enter into whatever legal arrangement he/she wants to with anyone else via voluntary private contracts.
So in conclusion don’t ASK the State to recognize Gay Marriage, rather DEMAND that it stay out of the institution of marriage altogether!
I agree with the part of the sentiment that the government shouldn’t have a say on which marriages it recognizes, but my contention is with the claim that the government should stay completely out of marriage.
There are many legal benefits that come with marriage, including, and probably most importantly, the right of attorney. If the state doesn’t recognise any marriage or union, who is to say that the person(s) you are with have the right to say to the doctors, “Pull the plug” or “I want them to get this procedure,” etc.?
Concerned Women for America: Supporting gay rights will lead to discrimination towards heterosexuals
I don’t like Starbucks. I don’t like coffee, in general really. I don’t like the smell, the taste, nor the sight of coffee. Starbucks is like the epitome of everything I hate. Overpriced shit.
Concerned Women for America seems to agree with me. Yesterday, CWA’s Chelsen Vicari wrote on their blog about how Starbuck’s policy of non-discrimination towards LGBT people will lead to discrimination towards heterosexuals and conservatives.
What’s next, Starbucks? Two separate drinking fountains for liberals and conservatives or “now hiring” signs reading, “Heterosexuals Need Not Apply”?
She cites a Gallup poll that shows that 40% of Americans identify as conservatives while only 21% of Americans identify as liberals and less than 2% of Americans identify as gay. This is supposed to scare Starbucks, I guess, since they might lose business.
Well, good. Starbucks should lose business.
I fucking hate seeing Starbucks every-fucking-where I turn. I hate people and their pretentious behaviour while they hold a Starbucks cup, as if that somehow makes them sophisticated intellectuals with valuable opinions.
I’m not a homophobe (obviously), but I support Concerned Women for America and their campaign to end Starbucks!
Bring it down!
Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) became the first sitting Congressman to enter into a same-sex marriage on Saturday with his partner James Ready.
Rep. Frank is known for his vocal support of gay rights and financial reform, as he was a key proponent in the Dodd-Frank bill that was signed by President Obama in 2010 and rejoiced when a federal appeals court in Boston ruled the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which makes it so that the federal government does not recognise same-sex unions of any kind, unconstitutional.
The ceremony was attended by many important politicians, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Rep. Al Green (D-TX), Senatorial Candidate Elizabeth Warren, who is campaigning against Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, and was officiated by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.
The press were not allowed to view the ceremony.
Maybe there is some hope for America. Maybe we can move forward to a better world. A more tolerant world. A more loving world. Maybe just some more hopeless optimism from a bleeding heart liberal who likes it when people can be happy and show their love for one another.
During the most recent episode of Dogma Debate, we had on John Christy, a Christian listener of the show, for David Smalley and the rest of us to converse with. The segment was supposed to be only about twenty minutes long, maybe forty at the most, but we ended up talking to him for over an hour and a half. A reason for that is because 1) we had a lot to talk about, and 2) he takes forever to say anything.
He was a nice guy. I am not trying to hate on John. I like him as a person. I am not a bigot against Christians, as much as Christians (and some atheists) would like to think I am. I do not like his beliefs. I do not like what he stands for. I do not like the source he claims is his moral compass. There’s a difference. If the Christian can say, “Hate the sin, love the sinner,” then we can say, “Hate the beliefs, not the believer,” which is how I felt about John.
A very big problem I did have with him during the show was how when asked very specific and direct questions, he would employ how it takes forever for him to say anything, which derails the conversation to avoid actually answering the question. While the show was going on, I got comments from listeners who were saying exactly that. When repeatedly asked the same question because he was avoiding it, he just continued to ramble on as if he did not hear a thing (which maybe he honestly didn’t because he was calling in on Skype).
Getting onto some specific points from the discussion.
John claimed that Jesus was breaking the Mosaic Laws, such as when he broke the Sabbath, and this is why we shouldn’t follow those laws anymore. The problem here is that it’s not biblically accurate, which is funny, because John kept saying that we weren’t being biblically accurate, neither was the North Carolina pastor who wanted every gay to be put into a giant concentration camp for them to die off in.
The reason John is not biblically accurate is because Jesus was angered by the Pharisees for not following the Laws of Moses, as is clear in Mark 7:9-13.
And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)—then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother.Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”
Jesus is clearly mad that people are not following the Old Testament laws, especially the hypocrites who claimed he was not. Jesus wants us to follow the Old Testament laws of Moses. Jesus wants disobedient children to be executed. It’s right there in black and white.
In response to when I pressured him about this, John claimed that Jesus was a law-breaker, that he broke the Sabbath repeatedly. This is partially true. Jesus was accused of working the Sabbath by the Pharisees, because he ate grain on the Sabbath, which required work. Also, the Pharisees accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath by healing the sick. However, according to an apologetics site, Jesus was not sinning when he worked on the Sabbath.
When Jesus healed on the Sabbath, He was not breaking the Sabbath, but fulfilling it, because one is not at rest when afflicted, oppressed and bound by disease or infirmity. As many scriptures show, God delights in redeeming and restoring the afflicted, and giving them the rest exemplified by His Sabbath. God “hears the cry of the afflicted. When he gives quietness [rest], who then can make trouble?” (Job 34:28–29).
I’m not saying that I agree with the either John or the apologetics site, but it’s funny to see how Christians disagree with each other so much with their interpretations of who Jesus was, what he did, what he taught, and how we should live our lives according to his teachings.
Now the reason John brought this up was because he was saying that the coming of Jesus, that his time here on Earth, was him creating a new covenant and getting rid of the Mosaic Laws, such as stoning gays, disobedient children, people of other faiths, people who work on the Sabbath, and other people for what today would be considered barbaric and for arbitrary reasons. Well, that same article on Jesus breaking the Sabbath has this to say on that.
Had Jesus Christ actually broken the Sabbath, He would have been sinning. But the Scripture says that He “committed no sin” (1 Peter 2:22). Had He sinned, He could not be our Savior. But He, being undefiled and separate from sinners, offered Himself without spot and without blemish to God for our redemption (Hebrews 7:26; 9:14; 1 Peter 1:18–19).
Breaking the Sabbath, according to these Christians, is a sin even today. John did not say that Jesus did not break the Sabbath because he was doing God’s will or because it was a matter of life or death, only that Jesus broke the Sabbath, because he was creating a new covenant for people to live by. I, if I were a Christian, would spin this to say that the new covenant had already been made, so Jesus was still perfect and had not sinned, therefore he could still be sacrificed to God (who is himself…but is also his father…but is also a part of him…who is still separate…and then there’s that Holy Ghost thing…what?) for the sins that he let happen.
Speaking of, Smalley also tried to get an answer out of John on this one. Jesus was a sacrifice to God for the sins that God was fully aware were going to happen. God knew that Adam and Eve were going to sin by eating from the Tree of Knowledge. John responded to this by going around the question and speaking for a really long time without really saying anything that had anything to do with the question.
Here is the difference between Christians and atheists. Christians, when faced with the tough questions, will make excuses and/or go around the question itself. Atheists will straight up answer that question.
Another thing he claimed was that Christianity does not command the murder of people for things such as homosexuality, fornication, adultery, working on the Sabbath, etc. This is why he thought, when we played the audio of it, that the North Carolina pastor was being biblically inaccurate for what he said. However, nowhere in the New Testament does Jesus, or anyone for that matter, say that the laws of Moses have been voided, and it is all the more clear that Jesus himself wants us to follow those laws with how he quoted them himself. If he did not want us to follow these laws, then it would be just another contradiction added to the mountain of contradictions found in the Bible.
My favourite part of the interview, the part where you just want to facepalm so badly, is when John said this.
I’m not even allowed now to have my own opinion to myself. I don’t go out and attack homosexuals. I disagree with the Westboro Baptist Church, you know. But I can’t even just think that it’s sin in my own life. Now I have to conform to what society believes, otherwise, I’m gonna be in trouble. I’m gonna lose my friends…
Bigots should be ostracised. Why is the KKK ostracised? Why is it considered a hate group? Because it is! Soon NOM and other anti-gay groups and people will be seen as the same, and they should be. Persecuting others for their sexuality or their gender or their race is not acceptable. Thinking that they are inferior, that they are going to hell, that they are going to be eternally punished because of something that they can’t control should be frowned upon for so many reasons.
However, Christians are not persecuted in America. Christians are not banned from holding public office in several states. Christians are not misrepresented in the media. Christians are not told that less than half of all Americans would vote for them. Christians are not legally allowed to be discriminated against in the workplace. Atheists are. Gays are. No Christian can say they feel persecuted in a country where 80% of the population are Christian.
As most people are aware, President Barack Obama recently said this during an interview with ABC on Wednesday:
I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or Marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.
Gay rights activists and other supporters of gay marriage have been going completely insane over this. When the news first broke of this, I could not find anything in my feed on Facebook or Twitter for about two hours that was not about the president’s endorsement (or so it seemed) of gay marriage. The news was particularly shocking in light of North Carolina’s move on Tuesday to make a constitutional ban against same-sex marriage and Vice President Joe Biden’s recent interview on Meet the Press where he said that he is “absolutely comfortable” with same-sex couples receiving the same rights as straight couples.
The problem with this is that he has not actually said or promised to do really anything. Okay, he thinks that gays should be allowed to get married. Great. He has not said anything about trying to actively repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), although his administration says that they will not defend it in the courts, and he has not said anything about any new federal policy that would allow for gay marriage at the federal level. An aide to the president said that while President Obama feels that gays should have the right to be married, he also believes that the states should be the ones who ultimately decide if they want gay marriage or not.
The interview seemed to be carefully worded so that if he never does anything to repeal DOMA or try to bring a federal law recognising same-sex couples, he can say that he never promised such a thing. It all appears to be empty election politics so as to stir gay voters who may have been thinking of not voting for him come November (not that they would vote for Mitt Romney, who has stayed consistent, for once, on the issue of gay marriage and how he is against it).
Now despite this, President Obama’s words are encouraging. He has said that his position on the issue has been “evolving,” and maybe he will try to repeal DOMA someday. President Obama does not seem to realise this, but the position of the presidency does have a lot of influence with how the public feels and talks about certain issues, especially since he is a black man and black people and other minorities, while supportive of the Democratic Party, are not as supportive of gay rights as we would hope. Him coming out in favour of gay marriage by fully repealing DOMA and recognising same-sex couples would possibly put this issue in its dying days.
President Obama has done amazing things for gay rights, such as ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT), and although this does seem like nothing more than election rhetoric to get liberals to the voting booths, the idealist in me hopes that someday (soon hopefully) we can all look back on this like we look back today at the people who opposed women’s rights and black rights and think to ourselves, “Those people were fucking stupid.”