Wednesday, March 5, 2008

God talk only OK for liberals?

Is there a double standard in how the media react to religious talk from conservative or liberal candidates? Jacques Berlinerblau says yes, based on the silence that greeted Barack Obama's speech to Latino Evangelical and Catholic clerics in Brownsville, Texas.

Among the Obama quotes he pulls out: "And during the course of that sermon, I was introduced to someone named Jesus Christ. I learned that my sins could be redeemed and that if I placed my trust in Christ, He could set me on the path to eternal life."

Berlinerblau, author of "The Secular Bible: Why Nonbelievers Must Take Religion Seriously," writes: "These pious musings have not aroused as much as a peep of protest from nonbelievers and Church-State separatists. (Compare this to the former governor of Arkansas who enraged Secular America when he suggested that we amend the Constitution to God’s standards). This absence of outrage goes a long way in demonstrating how thoroughly secularism in this country is entwined with, and supportive of, political liberalism."

He raises a good point in that former preacher Mike Huckabee did receive a lot more media grief about his outspoken Christianity. Then again, perhaps Obama was given more leeway to proclaim his faith because he had to do so to counter those scurrilous and false rumors that he is a secret Muslim.

What do you think?

155 comments:

Anonymous said...

The difference is Obama is not going to try to impose his religious beliefs on the rest iof us. Hucabee esentially said he would.

Anonymous said...

I think it has more to do with religion/spirituality being 'owned' by the Republicans. When a Democrat brings up Christianity/faith/belief, it's almost viewed as pandering, as if these indivuals have to give the appearance of having religious values.

Danbo59 said...

"...secularism in this country is entwined with, and supportive of, political liberalism."

Absolutely, positively correct!

As for the comment that Huckabee was trying to impose his Christianity on us, that is a cheap and oft-used trick of the liberal left to label any conservative and/or Republican candidate of religious faith an "evangelical Christian" -- as if the words should connote pure evil.

But when the left speaks of religion it is tolerated and applauded. The candidate is touted as one of moral character and a person of conviction. As stated, secularism has nothing to do with "religion" and everything to do with liberalism.

It's the same with NOW and the militant feminists like Gloria Steinem. They were all over Justice Clarence Thomas when Anita Hill came forward with her unsubstantiated accusations, but where was the voice of feminism when Paula Jones came forward with regards to President Clinton? Militant feminism is not about women's rights, it's about liberalism.

If Ann Coulter had made the speech that Gloria Steinem had made last week in support of Clinton (and in abasement of McCain), noting how differently John McCain would be treated if he were Joan McCain, the feminists would have been all over her like white on rice, like cold on ice, like dots on dice.

Danbo59 said...

Anonymous bravely wrote, "...impose his religious beliefs on the rest iof [sic] us. Hucabee [sic] esentially [sic] said he would."

Essentially said he would???? I'd like to see proof of that, please.

Anonymous said...

I think the reason is that liberals dislike conservatives so much that, no matter what a conservative says or does they are against it.

This is not to say that conservatives don't act the same way sometimes, but when a conservative Christian speaks about his/her views, there is a huge media uproar.

Huckabee may have been wrong in saying he wanted to change the constitution, but that is his belief and he is man enough to stand up and say what he believes.
If every candidate would say what they believe, maybe it wouldn't be so hard to pick someone to vote for.

If the media would all get together and start telling the truth instead of trying bring people to their side, then we could all make our choices on facts.

One fact that we need to remember is that the president has no power to do anything without consent or approval of congress.

JED1013

Danbo59 said...

JED1013 stated, "One fact that we need to remember is that the president has no power to do anything without consent or approval of congress."

I think Article II of the United States Constitution says otherwise.

JayCee said...

The 10:52 a.m. comment by Anonymous (at the top of these responses) hits the nail square on the head.

Put a Huckabee Christian in charge of government, and you’ll eventually have persecution and bloodshed, because conservative evangelicals can’t separate God and the secular world. (See the History of Western Civilization). They can’t fathom the notion that one can be a Christian (or a Jew or a Muslim) in the religious realm, and at the same time be an American in the secular God-neutral realm. Their perception of God is that He must lead, control and dominate every aspect of life. (Apparently they missed the instructions from Jesus about when and why to render unto the secular government.)

After awhile their interference leaps from small restraints like Blue Laws and Prohibition to witch hunts and cracking down on any deviation from their religious viewpoint (i.e- a woman’s freedom to choose, a homosexual’s right to have equal rights).

They put their kids into public schools paid for by taxpayers of all faiths and non-faiths, and attended by other kids from other faiths and non-faiths, then insist that because “Jesus is Lord” there must be prayers and Bible readings. Why? Because, according to them God is everywhere (always immanent- all the time). And of course it will be their choice of scripture and prayers.

This country unfortunately started that nonsense in the early 1800s, when state legislatures dominated by Protestants ordered daily prayers and readings in public schools based on the King James Bible, which is not recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, much less by Jews and Muslims. It took 120 years for the United States Supreme Court to straighten out that injustice and make secular, public schools not godless, but god-neutral.

Put an Obama in charge of government, and Christians (or Jews or Muslims) will still be free in their churches, homes and private organizations to worship, love or hate as they please, and believe in whatever they desire. Obama obviously supports a secular realm – the workplace, public events, public gatherings, government – where all are free to believe or not believe as they wish.

So, you can vote for (1) an America that is a strictly one-facted Christian realm with Christian laws and attitudes,or (2) an America with freedom of religion (religious realm) and freedom from religion (secular world). Should be obvious which one allows the most breathing room, and protects you and me from those who like to force their religion upon others.

Danbo59 said...

JayCee said, "...cracking down on any deviation from their religious viewpoint (i.e., a woman’s freedom to choose,...."

Hey, JayCee, where do you stand on the secular (vis-a-vis, legal) viewpoint of the human and civil rights of the unborn child? Let's leave religion out of it for the moment.

Anonymous said...

The problem with conservatives is that they seem to have forgotten the whole seperation of church and state. One reason people came to this country was because of religious persecution. I completely agree with the first poster:

The difference is, they don't impose their beliefs on everyone. If you can't understand why that is a bad thing, then you need help.

Danbo59 said...

Anonymous said [of liberal religious candidates], "The difference is, they don't impose their beliefs on everyone."

You mean like wanting to impose their belief that I should pay a higher tax rate because I work harder than the person who sits back on welfare and decides to have seven kids while spending my tax money on cable, mobile phones, DVD players, wide-screen TVs, designer sneakers and clothes, alcohol and tobacco?

Are those the beliefs they [the liberal religious candidates] don't want to impose upon me?

Priceless!

Anonymous said...

Losing one argument so starting another I see Danbo. Typical of a baseless conservative. If you want to live in a place where religion and government are in perfect harmony, Tehran and Riyadh are merely a plane ride away. Luckily, Huckabee has pulled out of the race. Even McCain has said the religious right is a thorn in the side of the republican party. Typical republican mantra, "Less goevrnment...unless it conveniently caters to my narrow views, then more is OK."

Danbo59 said...

Anonymous said, "Losing one argument so starting another I see Danbo. Typical of a baseless conservative."

Ummmm, where you been, anonymous? For that matter, who are you?

It was not I who "started" the discussion of "forcing one's beliefs on others." Or don't you read weel?

Throwing stones from behind the facade of "anaonymous" is a very cowardly thing to do. Why not at least establish a forum name so we can "get to know you?" Until then there is no way to piece your posts together to get any idea of whether or not you know what you are talking about. My guess is...."not."

Anonymous said...

Tell us your real name danbo, and maybe I'll think about it. In the meantime, we'll continue to call you out on your typical christofasciest beliefs.

Gamecock said...

Of course, as to double standards of the msm re democrats and republicans on most all issues, especially including religion, the answer is an emphatic yes.

I don't think the media's behavior on this matter is in any way related to the muslim rumors as the context of Obama's comments had nothing to do with same.

Moreover, given the nature of the sermons regularly delivered at his Christian church, I'm sure the media will try and avoid bringing up the subject to protect Obama from the question of how he could sit in the pews their and still claim to want to unify the nation while his pastor is all about separatism and giving awards to possibly the #1 racist in America, i.e. as Obama calls him with deference "Minister" Farrakhan.

Democrats never accused of being muslim, have long selectively cited Jesus as authority for taxing the rich to give to the poor. John Kerry did so in 2004 and was never accused of wanting to "impose" his beliefs.

Such allegations of "imposing" are quite ridiculous anyway since all laws impose someone's beliefs, but at least conservatives seek to do so via votes by we the people and not via judges inventing laws and re-writing the constitution.

Danbo59 said...

Anonymous wrote, "Tell us your real name danbo, and maybe I'll think about it. In the meantime, we'll continue to call you out on your typical christofasciest beliefs."

You can spin your wheels to your heart's content. The truth of God cannot be silenced, try as you may. So, have at it, dear boy.

By the way, learn how to spell Cristo-fascist.

John said...

For many years now, if Catholic priests, for example, get in the pulpit and encourage their flocks to vote for candidates who oppose abortion (which Church doctrine teaches is murder), there are liberals who try to attack their tax-exempt status on those grounds.

Yet during that same time it has become almost standard practice for Democratic candidates to actively campaign in (usually black) churches without anyone saying a thing.

One is a church, speaking out on an issue that violates it's religious beliefs, the other is actual partisan political activity.

That doesn't just suggest bias, it proves it!

John said...

Jaycee,

You said "Put a Huckabee Christian in charge of government, and you’ll eventually have persecution and bloodshed, because conservative evangelicals can’t separate God and the secular world."

In 1960, they said that putting John Kennedy into the White House would make the United States subserviant to the Vatican. Didn't happen.

Who do you say is sowing hate? Your own comments seem pretty harsh and judgemental. But then, that's another typical trait among liberals... they claim to be so tolerant that they label and "hate" anyone who disagrees with them.

John said...

"Anonymous" said: "Tell us your real name danbo, and maybe I'll think about it. In the meantime, we'll continue to call you out on your typical christofasciest beliefs."

ROTFL, do you even realize how silly that sounds coming from someone who listed themselves as "anonymous"?

You have GOT to be kidding!

JayCee said...

Hey Danbo,

I agree with the Supreme Court’s secular interpretation of the human and civil rights of the MOTHER who is bearing that UNBORN child. (See Roe vs. Wade) At that point it’s her child and her decision, not God’s, and definitely not yours.

If a woman feels that her religious beliefs and God are the deciding factors, no one’s forcing her to have an abortion, Danbo. On the other hand, if a woman feels otherwise, she should be allowed to do as her conscience dictates. It’s called freedom of choice. It doesn’t get any fairer than that. Solomon would have envied that decision.

If the Roman Catholic Church, like that one on Park Road near Old Reid Road that puts up all those little crosses to decry abortions, had devoted as much time in the past to promoting religious freedom as it did to burning at the stake those who disagreed with “The Church”, what a better world we would have had by now.

Of course now that we have so many conservative Roman Catholics on the Supreme Court, we all need to pray that they’ll have enough sense to keep church and state separate to preserve everybody’s freedoms.

John said...

"The problem with conservatives is that they seem to have forgotten the whole seperation of church and state. One reason people came to this country was because of religious persecution. I completely agree with the first poster:

The difference is, they don't impose their beliefs on everyone. If you can't understand why that is a bad thing, then you need help."

The problem with liberals is that they completely miss the point that whatever "seperation" that was intended between Church and State (and that doesn't appear in the any official documents of the time, only in a private letter that also acknowledged the concept as unrealistic) was supposed to be there to protect the church from the state, not the other way around. Read the first amendment again and note there is no period between "establish a religion" and "or restrict the free excercise thereof..."

John said...

Jaycee wrote:
"On the other hand, if a woman feels otherwise, she should be allowed to do as her conscience dictates. It’s called freedom of choice."

What about all those who's "conscience" dictates that it is OK for them to walk into a college dorm and start shooting?

Those babies are just as dead.

The purpose of government is to protect those who cannot protect themselves. The 4th amendment was used to pass Roe v. Wade... it was intended to prevent illegal search and seizure, not to justify the killing of unborn babies.

John said...

Roe v. Wade has created state-sponsored murder on a scale that was previously only matched by that of Nazi Germany. Killing shouldn't be a "choice".

JayCee said...

Hey Huck…er…John, whatever your name is.

There’s quite a difference between JFK and the Huckster.

JFK was NOT an outspoken, fundamentalist evangelical Christian. He was a Christian, for sure, but one who understood the importance of church-state separation in a free democracy. He told everyone before the election, as you noted, that he WOULD NOT impose his Christian views upon his fellow countrymen as the leader of our secular government. He kept church and state separate, as they should be.

Mike Huckabee, on the other hand, is an outspoken, fundamentalist evangelical Christian. As Jane noted in her original posting, he suggested that the Constitution be amended to “God’s standards”. In other words, he has flat out said before this election that he won’t keep church and state separate. He’ll use any opportunity he can to impose his religious views of right and wrong upon his fellow Americans. He is incapable of separating church from state.

I’m not sowing hate; just telling it like it is. It’s the “conservatives” who spew the hate. (See the late Strom Thurmond and his racist Dixiecrats heirs who now control the South’s GOP as "Conservatives"). You call those who want to move civilization forward “liberals”. I call them “progressives”.

Matt Privett said...

As if Democrat politicians believe in the separation of church and state come election season. If a conservative were to go into a church and campaign the way liberals do every four years they would be hung in effigy by the ACLU, People for the American Way, not to mention the mainstream media.

Matt Privett said...

jaycee said,

"JFK was NOT an outspoken, fundamentalist evangelical Christian. He was a Christian, for sure, but one who understood the importance of church-state separation in a free democracy. He told everyone before the election, as you noted, that he WOULD NOT impose his Christian views upon his fellow countrymen as the leader of our secular government. He kept church and state separate, as they should be."

I wasn't supporting Huckabee when he was running, but don't we want candidates to be real. Huckabee wasn't going to impose anything on anybody, but he would have argued and campaigned for what he believed in. That's what you do in a democratic republic. President Bush professes faith in Jesus Christ. Be honest, now. Has he imposed his faith on you. Surely not. Did Huckabee impose his beliefs on the state of Arkansas when he was governor for 10 years? Certainly not.

And who is sowing hate here? Throw all conservatives under the bus and call them racists, why don't you?

The separation of church and state is not in the Constitution. The term originated in correspondence between Baptists and President Thomas Jefferson. Do your homework and you'll find that the Constitution and the original meaning of the phrase "separation of church and state" was designed to protect the freedom of religion FROM the state, and not prohibit the expression of religion IN the state. We are a nation of freely religious people and no one person is going to change that. I'm more concerned with what nine people have done in the last half of the 20th century.

Anonymous said...

"But then, that's another typical trait among liberals... they claim to be so tolerant that they label and "hate" anyone who disagrees with them."


Why should anyone be tolerant of an intolerant person (aka most conservatives)?

Danbo59 said...

JayCee wrote, "Of course now that we have so many conservative Roman Catholics on the Supreme Court, we all need to pray that they’ll have enough sense to keep church and state separate to preserve everybody’s freedoms."

Oh, we're praying, too, JayCee, for just the opposite.

It's only a matter of time before enlightened minds come to grips with the fact that a woman's choice occurs before conception -- not after. Once a child is conceived, it has rights just like everyone else.

Oh, and by the way, 1) atheists don't pray and 2) anyone who considers themselves a believer of God is out of their mind if they pray to God to allow the continued murder of children.

The days of Roe v. Wade are numbered, my dear boy.

JayCee said...

John, I bet your Mom could kick herself now.

John said...

Anonymous said:
"Why should anyone be tolerant of an intolerant person (aka most conservatives)?"

The problem is how you define people as "intolerant". If I speak up for the rights of unborn children, you define me as "intolerant".

Disagreement is NOT intolerance. It's free thought. Something liberals proclaim, but seem to oppose in practice.

John said...

Jaycee said:
"John, I bet your Mom could kick herself now."

Thank you, you just proved my point more eloquently than the greatest public speaker ever could.

Nice job!

John said...

Fundamental rule of debate, once you start attacking the person, rather than the position... you've lost.

JayCee said...

Matt,

The reason it's the FIRST AMENDMENT is because separation of church and state was so important to those who had experienced the heavy foot of the dominant religion in colonial days. (See Roger Williams, Anne Hutchinson, William Penn and others.)

Without a guarantee, those individual colonies weren't going to join Big Brother’s Religion Club. If it hadn’t been stated up front and agreed that you wouldn’t be imposing your religion on me, there would be no need for a second, third or fourth amendment, because a majority wouldn’t have voted for a closer knit federal government headed by someone else's definition of God.

Oh, and President Bush? Yeah, he's the wonderful Christian guy who did everything he could to ban stem cell research, which would have literally meant life for tens of thousands of Americans who have since died. And he has done everything he can to prevent homosexual couples from getting the same legal, social and tax benefits of heterosexual couples.

What a wonderful, loving, compassionate Conservative Republican. At least the Huckster said what he’d do if he held the office. Bush just kind of sneaked his true religion mania into the White House.

And Danbo. Roe vs. Wade was decided when, about 35 years ago? Let’s see, this would be about Day 12,775 of that decision. Tomorrow will be Day 12,776. Ongoing, I’ll help you keep counting the days of freedom.

John said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

For the purpose of this one post, I am going to go as "anonymous", not because I have anything to hide but to make a point.

I am a conservative Republican... but I bet I don't fit your box.

I'm 50 years old, was born and raised in Indiana and never knew a segregated school. Our church cemetary held graves of soldiers who fought on both sides of the civil war.

I served 6 years in the Air Force, where I met my wife, a clinical social worker by trade. I was raised a Protestant (in the United Church of Christ, the same denomination as Obama), but after my marriage became a Catholic because attending mass with my wife, I found a richness there that I hadn't encountered before.

For most of the last 20 years, my wife has worked for non-profit social service agencies where she actually serves the very poor that liberals claim to champion, but most of the funding comes not from government, not from liberal celebs, but from the rank and file church going people who some of these posters routinely put down.

I drive an SUV (oh horror!), not because I want to instill fear as I drive down the road but simply because I need the room that it offers. However, I also take the trouble to recycle, save water, wear sweaters and use ceiling fans etc... to reduce energy usage. Unlike liberals, I don't try to tell people what cars to drive, what light bulbs to use (compact flourescents are highly toxic by the way) or build 4,000 square foot houses while telling others to conserve.

I oppose abortion, and genuinely try to struggle with wanting to oppose capital punishment... unfortunately, it seems like every time I come close somebody opens fire for no reason in a Wendy's or kills a young hiker or mother of three... or a 13 year old kid on her way home from school and it makes it that much harder.

I struggle with trying to help and support an adopted daughter whose mental illness has led to repeated false allegations of abuse. Betrayed and wounded I continue to love her and fight for her best care.

You call us fascist because we don't agree with you. You claim we try to impose our beliefs on you... but the reality is that most conservatives only start speaking up when the attacks become outragious.

You don't know us at all.

John said...
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John said...
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John said...
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Anonymous said...

"Hey, JayCee, where do you stand on the secular (vis-a-vis, legal) viewpoint of the human and civil rights of the unborn child?"

At what point one becomes an unborn child?

Is zygote one?

Is morula one?

Is blastocyst one?

Is embryo one?

Is fetus one?

Please elaborate why at one point this particular developmental state is considered "unborn child"?

Danbo59 said...

JayCee said, " Ongoing, I’ll help you keep counting the days of freedom."

It's too bad millions of children never got to experience that freedom, but you do. If a woman's right to choose is so important, what about the women who've been aborted? Did they get to choose?

The time for choice is before conception, not after. You can't choose to ignore or run away from the natural consequences of an act of free will without making matters worse. That's called cowardice. In the case of abortion, it's also called murder.

A fertilized ova becomes a person -- it has the DNA blueprint of a unique living human being. Aside from the spark of divinity which God implants in it at the moment of conception, it is a living breathing person.

It's mind-boggling that those who consider unborn children not to be real people are the same who push for two counts of murder when someone murders a pregnant woman.

Let's face it -- abortion is either a) the cowardly act of a person who hasn't the moral fortitude to face the consequences of an adult act or b) an act of despair of a woman who feels abandoned, alone and afraid (which somewhat mitigates their responsibility).

"Pro-Choice" is a coward's mantra.

Anonymous said...

Another PASTOR got caught queering off in a park again ; This is why I have trouble going to CHURCH anymore; But RELIGION should kept to thyself like REAGAN did ; He went to CHURCH and we knew it but we dont want any RELIGION to influence like it did in NAZI GERMANY and many other places; Im a DEMOCRAT and like attributes of HUCKLBEE but I dont want WASHINGTON D.C. who was built on HUMANISM and not really RELIGION to become something of a SHRINE. If you look at the SUPREME COURT limestone carved moldings inside It has every Religion accounted for by BHUDDA, MOhomed, Jesus and many others throughout HISTORY. ARABS and CHINESE have been in this Country since its beginings.

Anonymous said...

When you combine RELIGION with POLITICS Religion will become defiled and impure ; Politics is all about selling the 'potential' and not the reality; Three Hundred Years ago in the British Empire the CHurches were part of the GOVERNMENT and no one trusted either of them anymore; We cant destroy our Government by letting in anyones personal Religion.

JayCee said...

Danbo59 said: "The time for choice is before conception, not after. You can't choose to ignore or run away from the natural consequences of an act of free will without making matters worse. That's called cowardice. In the case of abortion, it's also called murder."

Your religious law may dictate that, but the law of this land in Roe vs. Wade says otherwise, so here you go again trying to force religious law onto a secular public government. Next you’ll be asking that we reinstate Prohibition because demon rum is evil. I hadn’t thought about it, but are you posting to this blog from some other nation that is a church-state, or from this one? Or maybe you just want to live in Iran or turn back the clock to Medieval Europe?

Again, we have your single-faceted viewpoint that the laws of your religion must be obeyed by all an in every aspect of public life, especially by those who aren't of your religious viewpoint.

Then we have me, who feels religious laws should hold sway in the religious realm of church, home and privacy, while secular laws hold sway in the secular, all-inclusive public realm. In fact, that’s how things were intended to be in this country. Unfortunately those who love freedom have to keep up a never-ending battle to defend human rights.

If you feel abortion is an anathema, don’t do it. If you feel otherwise, do as your conscience dictates. Separation of church (religious) and state (secular) ensures EVERYONE’S freedom, not just yours. By the way, a friend has a cancerous mole on her wrist that’s growing. Is it okay with you if she has that living thing removed? Of course you’re going to respond that the mole isn’t human, and that therefore God says it’s removal has His and your blessing. Well, that may fly in the religious world, but there’s a different set of rules and criteria in the secular.

Vote for Danbo (or a Huckabee, or a Bush wannabe) if you are keen about having ultra-conservative reactionary religious viewpoints forced on you for another eight years!

Your logic may be flawed, but I'll give you credit for one thing: You are really great at name-calling, throwing the first stone and attempts at intimidation in this blog. Is that part of your religious tradition, too?

Anonymous said...

When will everyone grasp the fact that, all politicians force their values and beliefs upon us. Some may be religious, some may be atheist, some may be agnostic and some nothing at all.

The point is, they are all trying to force you and me to see things their way. Some of them tell you upfront what they want to do and the others don't say anything and just do it. They even change the laws to make us fall in line with their way of thinking and then say, it's the best thing for the people.

Even on this board we fight and argue about who's right and who's wrong. When someone of faith posts their beliefs they are called haters, liars, bigots, mindless ect... Sometimes when a faithless person posts a coment they are blasted as well.

If we don't want others to force their beliefs on us, then we are living on the wrong planet. Other people will always try to make you see things their way.

That's why I love God so much. He let's me choose what to believe. If my choice is wrong, I only have to answer to Him.

JED1013

Danbo59 said...

JayCee, I can honestly say "I haven't the faintest idea what you are talking about."

And that makes me feel pretty good.

You make lots of accusations. It'd be nice if you had facts to back them up.

God bless you!

Danbo59 said...

Thinking of JayCee or Iztok, I recall, "...If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray? And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray." -- Matthew 18:12-13

Imagine the celebration when two return to the flock! Praise to our God, the Almighty Father!

JayCee said...

If an embryo is the product of in vitro fertilization, and is implanted into the uterus of a different woman, what happens when the resulting child is baptized? Does God decide not to mark him as His own because “Church” law was violated?

If the baptizing priest has knowledge of this beforehand, does he refuse that sacrament? If he finds out afterward, does he deny any future sacraments to the child or to the parent(s)? What if other embros were discarded? What if they were frozen?

That malignant mole on my friend’s wrist – mentioned earlier – is part of human tissue, so isn’t it human also? What if it is discarded by the dermalologist or frozen? Has either broken “the law” by their contempt for human life?

So many ridiculous religious rules; so little time to impose them on everyone else.

I think if Jesus decided to post to this blog, He’d advise the Pharisees among us to keep their noses out of everyone else’s religious and secular life.

Danbo59 said...

JayCee offered, "If...?"

I have never heard such pointless, inane questions in my whole life. They're not worthy of response.

Danbo59 said...

We should all read "Mass reminds us of abilities we all possess" by
MARY C. CURTIS in today's Charlotte.com/Charlotte Observer.

Who asked for a miracle?

http://www.charlotte.com/333/story/523792.html

JayCee said...

Hooray! Day 12,776 of religous freedom in this nation!

D.J. said...

I've stayed out for a while (much of the recent discussion has gotten downright nasty, which saddens me), but had to wade back in to make a point.

JayCee said...
"If you feel abortion is an anathema, don’t do it. If you feel otherwise, do as your conscience dictates. Separation of church (religious) and state (secular) ensures EVERYONE’S freedom, not just yours."

Lets try this...
"If you feel murder is an anathema, don’t do it. If you feel otherwise, do as your conscience dictates. Separation of church (religious) and state (secular) ensures EVERYONE’S freedom, not just yours."

You made the first statement, but I would bet good money you would disagree with the second - surely you believe that murder should be illegal. I'd be curious to know why.

Also, this one's long gone, but I can't resist...

"Why should anyone be tolerant of an intolerant person (aka most conservatives)?"

Did anyone else pick up on the abject lunacy of that statement? The only thing we won't tolerate is intolerance! (which we are engaging in by definition by not tolerating).

Soli Deo Gloria

JayCee said...

Danbo59 said in regard to Jaycee's posting: "I have never heard such pointless, inane questions in my whole life. They're not worthy of response."

Don't recall addressing that post to you. So this is further confirmation of what I said earlier about you: "You are really great at name-calling, throwing the first stone and attempts at intimidation in this blog. Is that part of your religious tradition, too?"

JayCee said...

D.J.

Nice try, but murder is outlawed by the secular laws of this nation, some forms of abortion aren't. You are comparing apples to oranges.

Danbo59 said...

Let us pray....

Since 1973, about 46,000,000 (that's 46 million) children have been murdered in the USA by men and women who value their own "choice" above the life of their own children.

Today in the USA, another 3,552 children were murdered by their parents.

[Source - http://www.prolifeaction.org/faq/abortion.htm#total]

Diary of an Unborn Child
-------------------------

October 5 -- Today my life began. My parents do not know it yet, I am as small as a seed of an apple, but it is I already. And I am to be a girl. I shall have blonde hair and blue eyes. Just about everything is settled though, even the fact that I shall love flowers.

October 19 -- Some say that I am not a real person yet, that only my mother exists. But I am a real person, just as a small crumb of bread is yet truly bread. My mother 'Is' and I am also.

October 25 -- My mouth is beginning to open now. Just think, in a year or so I shall be laughing and later talking. I know what my first word will be "MAMA" My heart began to beat today all by itself. From now on it shall gently beat for the rest of my life without ever stopping to rest! After many years it will tire. It will stop, and then I shall die.

November 2 -- I am growing a bit every day. My arms and legs are beginning to take shape. But I have to wait a long time yet before those legs will raise me to my Mother's arms ,before these little arms will be able to gather flowers and embrace my Father.

November 12 -- My tiny fingers are beginning to form on my hands. Funny how small they are! I'll be able to stroke my Mom's hair with them.

November 20 -- It wasn't until today that the Doctor told Mom that I am alive and living right here under her heart. Oh , how happy she must be! Are you happy Mom?

November 25 -- My Mom and Dad are probably thinking about a name for me. But they don't even know yet that I am to be their little girl. I want to be called LoriAnn. I am getting so big already.

December 10 -- My hair is already growing. It is smooth and bright and shiny. I wonder that kind of hair my Mom has.

December 13 -- I am just about able to see. It is dark around me. When mom brings me into the world it will be full of sunshine and flowers. But what I want more than anything else is to see my Mom.

December 24 -- I wonder if Mom hears the whispering of my heart? Some children come into the world a little sick. But my heart beats strong and healthy. It beats so evenly: tup-tup, tup-tup... You'll have a healthy little daughter, Mom.

December 28 -- Today my mom killed me.

-----

Of this, JayCee is proud!

Danbo59 said...

JayCee wrote, "You are really great at name-calling, throwing the first stone and attempts at intimidation in this blog."

An example would help. Knock yourself out.

JayCee wrote, "Is that part of your religious tradition, too?"

I've never heard such ridiculous, inane questions in my life. They're not worthy of a response.

JayCee said...

Danbo,

Just because you think abortion is murder, doesn't mean it is. Unless of course you have somehow gained control of law making in this nation's secular realm in the last hour or so.

Fortunately that hasn't happened.

D.J. said...

JayCee said…
“Nice try, but murder is outlawed by the secular laws of this nation, some forms of abortion aren't. You are comparing apples to oranges.”

Actually, I’m not. Here’s my point – by your line of logic, why should murder be outlawed? If you think its wrong, by all means, don’t do it, but don’t impose that belief on others. Who are you to tell the Omaha mall shooter that what he did was wrong? That’s intolerant.

It’s the exact same argument you make concerning abortion.

Soli Deo Gloria

Danbo59 said...

Your right, JayCee! Abortion isn't murder just because I say so.

It is, though, murder whether or not I say it is.

Thanks for the assist.

JayCee said...

October 5 -- Today the Roman Catholic priest and other Inquisitioners threw me into prison because I dared voice an alternative view of God.

Later October 5 – Had my trial, if you can call it that. Wasn’t allowed to say anything in rebuttal. They don’t like it when the truth is told. Tortured me on the rack for eight hours because I wouldn’t recant.

Even Later October 5 -- My mouth is beginning to smoke as the fire reaches my face. They tied me to a stake and piled wood all around. Offered to garrote me to “save me some of the pain”, but I said no because I just want to spit in their ignorant, ultra-conservative, reactionary faces.

Late, Late Show, October 5 – Today the Church killed me. I pray that somewhere, sometime in the future, there will be rational men and women who will form a nation which will put these hypocrites in their place and separate them from the rest of us freedom loving folks.

Barney Frank Rules said...

Danbo earlier said...

"You mean like wanting to impose their belief that I should pay a higher tax rate because I work harder than the person who sits back on welfare and decides to have seven kids"

Then says later...

"Since 1973, about 46,000,000 (that's 46 million) children have been murdered in the USA by men and women who value their own "choice" above the life of their own children."

Barney Frank was so right when he said, "Republicans believe life begins at conception and ends at birth."

Oh how true he was.

JayCee said...

Golly, Solly Deo Glorioski.

You need to go back and read my posts carefully rather than trying to lead us down the old garden path.

Danbo59 said...

To Barney Frank Rules --

The point (if you were sharp enough to get it) was that 1) people who have seven kids need to get off their arses and work to support them or 2) people who don't want to work should stop having sex unless they're willing to get off their arses and work shoukld they have children.

I didn't know I needed to dumb it down.

danimal said...

Let's get back to the task at hand and away from abortion alone. I will stand by Danbo and other Republicans when they truly promote "less government intervention" and religious imposition. That means not restricting alcohol sales, not censoring what can be said on the TV or radio, not imposing public school prayer where not all kids are some narrow band of Christianity, not restricting what two consenting adults do in their bedroom, shall I keep going? And I will accept their mantra of 'states' rights' when they recognize the rights of Massachusetts, Vermont and New York as much as they like to recognize South Carolina and Alabama.

Anonymous said...

"Imagine the celebration when two return to the flock!"

Sorry, I never was a member of the flock so no return is possible or needed. I value free thinking too much to be associated with the flock.

Sincerely,
Iztok

Danbo59 said...

Danimal wrote, "...promote "less government intervention" and religious imposition."

Agree.

Danimal wrote, "That means not restricting alcohol sales,..."

Agree.

Danimal wrote, "...not censoring what can be said on the TV or radio,..."

Agreed, but with guidelines to protect children from being exposed to profanity and pornography.

Danimal wrote, "...not imposing public school prayer where not all kids are some narrow band of Christianity,..."

Agreed.

Danimal wrote, "...not restricting what two consenting adults do in their bedroom,..."

Agreed.

Danimal wrote, "...shall I keep going?"

Nah....you did fine.

Danimal wrote, "...and I will accept their mantra of 'states' rights' when they recognize the rights of Massachusetts, Vermont and New York as much as they like to recognize South Carolina and Alabama."

Start accepting! :)

Danbo59 said...

"Sorry, I never was a member of the flock so no return is possible or needed."

All the more reason -- the need is greater!

"I value free thinking too much...."

Translation -- I am the center of my universe.

D.J. said...

Jaycee Said…
“Golly, Solly Deo Glorioski.

You need to go back and read my posts carefully rather than trying to lead us down the old garden path.”

Is the condescending name-calling really necessary?

I have read every one of your posts on this thread and am attempting to thoughtfully interact with them. I would appreciate it if you would interact with what I wrote rather than giving a dismissive non-answer.

Soli Deo Gloria

Anonymous said...

Danbo: ""I value free thinking too much...."

Translation -- I am the center of my universe."

Nope. Just saying that there is no such thing as center of the universe at all. (That includes anything outside me and me.)

Sincerely,
Iztok

Danimal said...

Danimal wrote, "...not censoring what can be said on the TV or radio,..."

Agreed, but with guidelines to protect children from being exposed to profanity and pornography.

So, as a adult, my viewing and listening options should be restricted to "safe" G-rated fare so little johnny doesn't get exposed to an f-bomb or a breast? There I disagree. It's time we take a stand against Kevin Martin and his agenda with the FCC that panders to the Family Research Council and their ilk. This is a primary example of where religious conservatives are imposing their views on the rest of us. If it takes a new figure in the White House to put a stop to this, so be it.

Jane Pope said...

I removed the comment by a poster using another poster's name, and the follow-ups to that comment. Please, let's be grown-ups here. Name-calling only undermines your own arguments.

Also, keep in mind that the purpose of this blog is NOT to convert anyone else to your belief system (religious or secular) or your political outlook. Have a lively discussion, but focus on your own beliefs rather than tearing down someone else's statements.

A little respect and gentleness would be appreciated.

Anonymous said...

God says there is no such thing as an atheist. That includes you. This means you don't exist.

D.J. said...

???

Soli Deo Gloria

Mary Magdala said...

For you folks just joining us this evening, welcome to the domineering Catholic Hour!

Chris said...

Well, the reason was given early on but it seems to be ignored. The Left seems to want to treat religion as a private matter or at least not get government involved. The Religious Right's rhetoric indicates that they want to impose the Christian values on everybody and change the Constitution and make other laws to do that. Some examples include overturning Roe v Wade, gay right amendment, school prayer, etc..

I don't want religion in government. As an Atheist I don't really like the idea of religion, quite honestly, but I realize that we're kind of stuck with it for a while. Laws should be made on the basis of rational thinking to help promote an efficient, safe society, not to impose a specific set of moral beliefs.

JayCee said...

Well said, Chris.

You're right. The reason was given early on, like in the very first post.

It's not just atheists who want religion and government kept separate, or who realize how important that conceptis to basic freedoms. So do many Christians, Jews and Muslims.

Anonymous said...

"Today in the USA, another 3,552 children were murdered by their parents."

Let as look on how people like Danbo do when it comes to already born children.

In February 2007, 11,436 North Carolina children were in foster care.

Only 4% of children age 10 or older get adopted.

Consider this in conjunction with:

NC has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates! (Thanks to "abstinence only" policy.)

Divorce rates of conservative Christians are significantly higher then other faith groups and much higher then atheists and agnostics.

It all makes sense.

Thousands of already born kids seem to be little to no concern.

"Researchers examined outcomes for 659 young adults placed in foster care or group homes as children. They found that 20 percent were unemployed, 33 percent lived at or below the poverty rate, 33 percent had no health insurance, and 22 percent had been homeless for at least one night."

So tell me Danbo, what have you done lately for any of these thousands of kids? Or is your only concern for the zygots?

Sincerely,
Iztok

Danbo59 said...

Idiocy of the day -- "NC has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates! (Thanks to "abstinence only" policy.)"

No, NC has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates because of teens having sex. Abstinence only policies don't make babies. I suggest the author of the above read a basic book on human reproduction.

Danbo59 said...

Unsubstantiated fact of the day -- "Divorce rates of conservative Christians are significantly higher then other faith groups and much higher then atheists and agnostics."

Source, please!

JayCee said...

Danbo,

How come the ridiculous statement "Today in the USA, another 3,552 children were murdered by their parents" doesn't merit your scrutiny?

Gee, I wish I had that crystal ball. Or maybe we're to believe that those who can't support the laws of our nation were somehow scattered around at each and every clinic yesterday, or the day before, etc., and made a tally. Duh, sure.

Wait, how about: Physicians, nurses and administrators have chosen to violate HIPPA and release all medical information to anyone. Yeah, that's the ticket!

Day 12,777 of freedom of and from relgion. Hooray!

JayCee said...

Wait, Danbo, I think I understand. You earlier said:

"Since 1973, about 46,000,000 (that's 46 million) children have been murdered in the USA by men and women who value their own "choice" above the life of their own children.

Today in the USA, another 3,552 children were murdered by their parents."

It is you who is spreading this nonsense, which you attributed to some pro-life website. Oh sure, like we're going to believe a "neutral" organization like that.

Those tally takers must have gotten mighty tired out logging 46 million procedures. Were they there? So tell me, how did they hear about them?

Danbo59 said...

It would be nice if this board could be used to discuss faith as opposed to having it hijacked by a select few who want to turn it into a board about faithlessness. Why don't they just start their own blog?

Those who could enhance this board's content with insights into their faith are being hampered with wasting their time "defending" the faith and the very existence of God.

This board presupposes that God exists. Deal with it.

JayCee said...

Oh, how pious we become when the heat is turned up.

Folks, go back through ALL the posts since Jane began this blog last year and see how often “danbo59” appears in relation to others.

See who is always quick to criticize someone else’s musing when it doesn’t mesh with his own beliefs.

My understanding is that no one has a lock on faith or lack thereof. The truly faithful shouldn’t fear those who lack their zealousness.

Danbo, I thought you had your own blog. (Folks, click on “danbo59”, scroll to the bottom of the resulting web page, and click on his blog “The Mind of a Roman Catholic”. I’m sure he would especially like responses from those who share his views.)

Maybe Jane needs to get the Observer’s tech support crew to set up her blog so we all only get one post – or a limited number – per blog topic. That way we’d have to give it our best shot without dominating the discussion, straying off subject, or contending with intimidation. It may even encourage more folks to participate.

D.J. said...

JayCee said...
"Those tally takers must have gotten mighty tired out logging 46 million procedures. Were they there? So tell me, how did they hear about them?"

Actually, the Center for Disease Control (among other groups, but I mention the CDC since you can hardly claim that they are biased) does track abortion statistics, which are reported by the clinics themselves. These are readily available to the public. Danbo's stats are substantiated.

BTW: JayCee, still waiting for you to interact with my discussion of your previous post.

Soli Deo Gloria

Anonymous said...

"Unsubstantiated fact of the day -- "Divorce rates of conservative Christians are significantly higher then other faith groups and much higher then atheists and agnostics."

Source, please!"

Barna Research Group, 1999: Dec.21


"No, NC has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates because of teens having sex. Abstinence only policies don't make babies. I suggest the author of the above read a basic book on human reproduction."

You mean because of teens having unprotected sex? If we would educate them about protection the rates would drop.

Sincerely,
Iztok

JayCee said...

D.J.

Here are the words you tried to put in my mouth:

”Lets try this...
If you feel murder is an anathema, don’t do it. If you feel otherwise, do as your conscience dictates.”

Abortions may be murder in your RELIGIOUS realm. In my SECULAR realm, the highest court of the land said certain abortions are not. Like many, you proclaim a “He’s Everywhere! He’s Everywhere!” view of your definition of God. Sorry, there are TWO realms. The secular one is made up of folks of all types of beliefs and non-beliefs. Your view of God and your feeling that all abortions are murder doesn’t hold sway there. The Constitution does.

This is briefly the ruling of the highest court of the land:
“The Court said that the Texas (abortion) law violated the due process clause of the 14th Amendment. Justice Harry Blackmun, writing for the majority, argued that a woman's decision to end her pregnancy is protected by a broad right of privacy, which though not explicitly laid out in the Constitution, previously had been found by the court to exist within the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth and 14th Amendments, as well as the penumbras, or shadows, of the Bill of Rights.”

If the highest secular court says certain types of abortion are legal, then how could they be illegal and deemed as “murder” in the secular realm? They may be murder in your personal religious realm. I don’t live there.

The problem is that fundamentalist evangelical Christians – and your bio says you are a youth minister at a Baptist Church in Louisville – can’t separate their personal religious realm from the public secular realm. They believe there’s only one realm, and God (their God) rules it based on the beliefs they’ve concocted over the years. To them there’s no Constitution. (We don’t need no stinking secular laws, just the laws we perceive to be God’s).

If you believe that life begins at conception and that God is responsible for life, and that it’s religious murder when an abortion is performed, regardless of the circumstances – I respect your beliefs. So does the Supreme Court. No one’s forcing anyone to change their beliefs and get an abortion, or go against their God.

But I don’t believe in your God or your beliefs. Neither do a heck of a lot of American women based on the CDC reports. And we’re citizens of this country, too. What the Court did was to look at the rules of the SECULAR realm, the one that protects us from your zealousness, and rule that if you want to have certain types of abortions, you may do so. It’s your choice. And it’s not secular murder.

So D.J., now it’s your turn to answer me this: Who is trying to force what onto whom? Is it the atheists and those who have a more liberal religiosity, or is it the conservatives who want to turn back the clock and prohibit the non-religious from exercising their rights under our national laws? I haven’t forced your side to accept abortions, But you are sure trying to force my side to give up our rights.

Anonymous said...

"If you believe that life begins at conception and that God is responsible for life, and that it’s religious murder when an abortion is performed, regardless of the circumstances – I respect your beliefs."

Most miscarriages occur very early in pregnancy. In most cases, they occur so early in the pregnancy that the woman is not even aware that she was pregnant.

# In women ages 15 to 35, the incidence of miscarriage is 10% to 12%.
# Between ages 35 to 39, it rises to 18%.
# For women ages 40 to 44, the incidence is 33%.
# Over the age of 45, the incidence of miscarriage exceeds 50%.

So if abortion is murder, who is responsible for murdering huge amount of "babies" that are result of miscarriage? God?

Sincerely,
Iztok

Danbo59 said...

Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance????? Are you joking me? That's laughable. Their mission statement --

"We are a multi-faith group. As of 2008-FEB, we consist of one Atheist, Agnostic, Christian, Wiccan and Zen Buddhist. Thus, the OCRT staff lack agreement on almost all theological matters, such as belief in a supreme being, the nature of God, interpretation of the Bible and other holy texts, whether life after death exists, what form the afterlife may take, etc."

In other words, these five people don't know if they're coming or going. And they want us to believe they know how to conduct a scientific survey?!

Nice try, though!

Danbo59 said...

The intelligence of conversation on this board would be elevated immeasurably if not for statements such as, "So if abortion is murder, who is responsible for murdering huge amount of "babies" that are result of miscarriage? God?

Anonymous said...

Danbo, that is a question not a statement.

You were asked at one point do you consider that life begins:

At what point one becomes an unborn child?

Is zygote one?

Is morula one?

Is blastocyst one?

Is embryo one?

Is fetus one?

Please elaborate why at one point this particular developmental state is considered "unborn child"?

You didn't answer the question.

Basically we are trying to determine when the "murder" is starting to occur in your opinion. So once we nail that down we can then talk about those 10-50% of murdered where mothers were not responsible for the murder and figure out who murders more (those who abort or being responsible for the rest).

Sincerely,
Iztok

JayCee said...

So many ridiculous religious rules; so little time to impose them on the secular world.

D.J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
D.J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
D.J. said...

JayCee said…
“Abortions may be murder in your RELIGIOUS realm. In my SECULAR realm, the highest court of the land said certain abortions are not.”

Let me try to clarify my point. Obviously, abortion is not considered murder legally in the secular realm. We’re not debating what is, we’re debating what we believe should be. Obviously, my belief is that abortion should be illegal, and unborn children should be given legal protection under the law. You countered this by saying that women should choose whether or not they want to have an abortion, and that I am wrong for wanting the law to say that they can’t make that choice. You contend, “If you don’t like abortion, don’t have one, but don’t try to tell others what they can and can’t do (I think that is a fair representation of your belief, correct me if I am wrong).” My purpose in bringing up murder is to apply your ethical logic in approaching abortion to murder and ask the question, “Why do you think murder should be illegal?” I assume you agree that murder should be illegal, and not left up to individual choice. I’m sure you would never say, “If you think murder is wrong, don’t commit murder, but don’t try to tell others what they can and can’t do. Nobody is forcing you to commit murder.” When you apply your “follow your own morality but don’t impose it on others” logic to a different situation, namely murder, you arrive at a conclusion that I’m fairly certain you wouldn’t be comfortable with. I’m challenging the consistency of your ethic. I would be very interested to hear you explain why you feel that murder should be illegal, but abortion should be legal. After all, the statement “murder is wrong” is every bit as much a moral statement as the statement “abortion is wrong.” Why do you feel one should be legislated and not the other?

“The problem is that fundamentalist evangelical Christians – and your bio says you are a youth minister at a Baptist Church in Louisville – can’t separate their personal religious realm from the public secular realm.”

Yes, I am a youth minister at a Baptist Church in Louisville, and could not be happier than to be so. Yet I think you assume too much, and make generalizations about me from that fact that are quite unwarranted. Don’t judge a book by its cover, JayCee. I’ll wear the ‘evangelical’ moniker (though that term really doesn’t mean much anymore), but I quite dislike fundamentalism (I have little respect for the late Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and many others that term conjures up). I’m also quite capable of logically separating the religious and the secular as far as law is concerned. The separation of church and state has long been a foundational hallmark of Baptist thought (see Roger Williams), since that marriage always ends badly for the church. I’m actually quite prepared to argue against abortion from a completely secular perspective. You’ll notice I’ve not once quoted Scripture or made an expressly religious argument (and those who have interacted with me on this blog in the past know full well that I have an extremely high view of Scripture). My faith undergirds and drives my convictions, but I believe that outlawing abortion is every bit as seclularly feasible and defensible as outlawing murder. If you will address my above questions about why you believe murder should be outlawed, I believe we will be able to progress that discussion.

A sidenote…

Iztok said…
“So if abortion is murder, who is responsible for murdering huge amount of "babies" that are result of miscarriage? God?”

I’ve actually discussed this exact topic with you in the past, Iztok. Applying the term “murder” to a miscarriage makes as much logical sense as applying it to a heart attack.

Soli Deo Gloria

March 7, 2008 3:23 PM

D.J. said...

My apologies for clogging the works with deleted comments - found a very important typo in my post that I needed to correct, and then I proceeded to screw even that up.

Soli Deo Gloria

Anonymous said...

"I’ve actually discussed this exact topic with you in the past, Iztok. Applying the term “murder” to a miscarriage makes as much logical sense as applying it to a heart attack."

And I agree, but if you contribute having a baby to any degree to God's will they you need to attribute miscarriage as well.

Please clarify at what stage you consider abortion being a murder in your belief? Or in other words when (and more importantly why at that point) one classifies to be murdered?

Sincerely,
Iztok

JayCee said...

D.J.

Thank you for a more detailed and therefore revealing post. I’m glad to see that we actually do have some things in common.

But you say “If you will address my above questions about why you believe murder should be outlawed, I believe we will be able to progress that discussion.”

I agree murder should be outlawed. It think it already is. But as I’ve already explained, the types of abortion approved by the Supreme Court are not murders. If they were murders, the Supreme Court wouldn’t have ruled the way they did. So there’s my answer. How much longer are you going to be a dead horse?

But you still haven’t answered my questions: Who is trying to force what onto whom? Is it the atheists and those who have a more liberal religiosity, or is it the conservatives who want to turn back the clock and prohibit the non-religious from exercising their rights under our national laws? I haven’t forced your side to accept abortions, but you are sure trying to force my side to give up our rights. That’s related to the topic of Jane’s latest blog, yet you keep trying to dodge it by crying “bloody murder”.

Here’s the way democracy works: The Supreme Court – part of the checks and balance safeguards that prevents “the moral majority” from burning the minority at the stake, has examined our laws and made its decision. Certain types of abortion are allowable because they are not murder. Whether you like it or not, you’re bound to respect that decision and abide by it.

Similarly, you’re entitled to try and get it overturned. And if that happens, and the law of the land says it is murder, then I’m bound to respect and abide by the decision. But that hasn’t happened.

Again, it’s okay for your beliefs to be promulgated across both realms; it’s not okay for me to have mine anywhere. You and Mike Huckabee have made that clear.

I think we all see who the aggressor really is.

It’s Friday evening. It’s getting dark. Have a great weekend!

D.J. said...

JayCee,

Enjoy your weekend, friend. I hear the weather is much better back in Charlotte than it is here in Louisville, where we're expecting over a foot of snow overnight, so live it up. When you return Monday, a couple of thoughts to continue our discussion...

"Certain types of abortion are allowable because they are not murder."

Actually, I'm not aware of any type of abortion that is illegal save partial-birth abortion, and that was only made illegal a couple years ago.

"But you still haven’t answered my questions: Who is trying to force what onto whom?...I haven’t forced your side to accept abortions, but you are sure trying to force my side to give up our rights."

Here's the kicker - my primary concern in abortion is with the rights of the unborn children being killed. Since I believe that abortion is murder (and I believe that this is a secularly defensible position), it follows that I believe that the "right" I am trying to force you to give up is the right to murder, which I do not believe you should have in the first place. So, I try to get the law changed, as you acknowledged (corretctly) that I have every right to do in a free republic. To illustrate the problematic nature of your statement, let's use another example of a practice that was formerly legal in this country, was seen as a personal right, but in fact infringed on the rights of others and was eventually overturned - slavery. What if a slave owner said to one who sought to abolish slavery, "I haven’t forced your side to accept slavery (by making you own slaves), but you are sure trying to force my side to give up our rights (to own slaves)." Yes, the abolitionists were indeed trying to force slaveowners to give up that "right," but they did so because that "right" infringed on the constitutional rights of the slaves, who were being denied a fundamental constitutional right - liberty. I believe that abortion infringes on the constitutional rights of the unborn human children who's lives are ended by it - they are denied the most fundamental of our rights - life. Thus, yes, I will say unashamedly that I want to force you to give up your "right" to an abortion in order to safeguard the constitutional rights of the unborn.

"If they were murders, the Supreme Court wouldn’t have ruled the way they did. So there’s my answer. How much longer are you going to be a dead horse?"

You really didn't answer my direct question, which was and is - "Why, from a secular perspective, do you believe that murder should be illegal?" I know that it is illegal, but I want to know why you think it should be this way. I'm not beating a dead horse, since you still have not answered that question. Please trust me that it is fundamentally important to the discussion we're having. You've accused me of trying to impose religious beliefs in the secular realm. I'm telling you that I'm not - my lobbying against abortion can be justified from a purely secular perspective. To illustrate this, I'd like you to explain to me how you explain your opposition to murder from a purely secular perspective. It's a simple and polite request. Once you do that, I'll be able to more fully explain my position.

And a note for Iztok -

Iztok said...
"Please clarify at what stage you consider abortion being a murder in your belief? Or in other words when (and more importantly why at that point) one classifies to be murdered?"

Sure. I believe that any intentional taking of innocent human life is murder. Thus I believe that abortion at any stage is murder, since at conception a unique human organism is formed with it's own unique DNA. To put any other developmental requirements on human personhood carries many ethical implications that lead to frightening conclusions (see the work of Princeton's Peter Singer, whose ethical ideas are absolutely abhorrent, but I have to applaud him for intellectual and logical consistency).

Have a good weekend, all.

Soli Deo Gloria

Anonymous said...

"Thus I believe that abortion at any stage is murder, since at conception a unique human organism is formed with it's own unique DNA."

So since science now can produce an offspring from human mother alone this wouldn't generate it's own unique DNA. Is one allowed to do abortion then? What about cloned (thus same DNA) embryos?

On top of that, up to 50% of fertilized eggs (zygots) are spontaneously aborted. To whom/what do you attribute this? Is one supposed to have a funeral for dead zygots, fetuses etc..? Since you consider them beings with rights as you mentioned?

Sincerely,
Iztok

D.J. said...

Iztok said...
"So since science now can produce an offspring from human mother alone this wouldn't generate it's own unique DNA. Is one allowed to do abortion then? What about cloned (thus same DNA) embryos?"

I think you're taking my words a bit too far, Iztok. For one, I'm against human cloning (another discussion for another day), but I would not support the abortion of a cloned embryo - it may have the same DNA of its mother but it is still a separate human organism. Twins have the same DNA but that does not make their life of less value. I probably should have been more clear in my words, but really, come on.

"On top of that, up to 50% of fertilized eggs (zygots) are spontaneously aborted. To whom/what do you attribute this? Is one supposed to have a funeral for dead zygots, fetuses etc..? Since you consider them beings with rights as you mentioned?"

You use the term "aborted" in a very misleading way here - as if an embryo dying of natural causes is the same as an embryo being deliberately killed by another human being. Should one have a funeral? How one deals with the loss of an unborn child is up to the parents. Several families, close friends of mine, in my church have had miscarriages in the last few months, and I've witnessed firsthand the great pain and loss that comes with that. These friends have not had funerals, but make no mistake - they have grieved over the loss of a child - just one they never got to meet. What you discuss as a silly hypothetical, I have seen with my own eyes. To what do we attribute this? Death - a sad consequence of the fallen world in which we live. Praise God for the cross of Christ which triumphs over death.

Soli Deo Gloria

Anonymous said...

"Death - a sad consequence of the fallen world in which we live. Praise God for the cross of Christ which triumphs over death."

So you attribute death to fallen world yet attribute life to something else? Hardly logical.

"You use the term "aborted" in a very misleading way here - as if an embryo dying of natural causes is the same as an embryo being deliberately killed by another human being."

Abortion can be spontaneous or not. So term is correct. Plus it is hardly fair for any apologetic to accuse others of twisting terms, don't you think? It is you in general who try to twist what words like "theory", "selfish" etc... are when it comes to (biology) science.

Since majority of abortions is spontaneous and a lot of times even before woman is aware of it there is something serious to consider. Those "babies" (I wouldn't use term for zygots but you guys seems to) die. Most of guys like you claim such thing is either:

1. God's will.

2. Result of fallen world (due to Adam and Eve's actions?)

In either case there is no escape that for wast majority of these "murders" (again I wouldn't use the term murder when it comes to zygote but you do) it is either God's direct responsibility or result of punishment for something neither mom neither zygot had anything to do with - Adam and Eve's sin. All boils down that in your case God would be responsible to daily mass murders of babies that really didn't do nothing to deserve it. (How can a single cell be held responsible and pay for sins? It can't even remotely think or have capability of any form of sinning at this point!)

I know you probably find this weird (and frankly I agree with you) but this is direct result from you calling abortion of zygots a murder and other claims you make about life and your deity.

So something has to change in premises in order to not have such a logical result, you tell me what (either you can't call abortion of zygot murder or you can't attribute certain things to your deity).

Sincerely,
Iztok

Anonymous said...

I'm always amused by those who call themselves "Christian" but place the secular constitution above their holy scripture.I mean, if they really believe that Christ is god, then why don't they put their loyalties with Him?
No wonder Christianity is dying in America. The American Christian doens't even take it seriously.

Anonymous said...

yeah, the christians do seem to respect the secular constitution more than their bible.
Show me a liberal christian, and i'll show you an atheist.

Anonymous said...

Istok,
You are ignorant of Christianity. Sin is inherited. You make it sound as though only Adam and Eve are guilty.
We all sin because of our inherited sin. It's not God's fault. In fact, the death and resurrection of His beloved Son on the cross is the permanent cure for a temporary (sinful) life.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, so whose fault is that large amount of zygotes are aborted then? Are you saying that something so innocent as a single cell is sinful? You just don't have a leg to stand on to explain this (w/o some inheritance, which just means one is responsible for sins of ancestors, which is not moral at all. So your God has no problems taking life of zygote for someone else's sin it inherited w/o any option to have free will at that point? Some justice.

Sincerely,
Iztok

Danbo59 said...

Such two-dimensional thinking.

pornstudent said...

Interesting comment, Iztok. Some Christians think zygotes, which obviously have no free will, have inherited sin from Adam and Eve. Do these Christians think there are billions of zygotes in Hell? or, are they in Heaven? I think they are flushed into the sewer and eaten by frogs.

About Jane's original post. Christians like Huckabee want a theocracy, Obama doesn't. Big difference.

Danbo59 said...

Now we're down to one-dimensional thinking.

Larry said...

I want a leader who can run this country, not save my soul. I fear a fanatical christian far more than any secularist.

D.J. said...

Pornstudent said...
"Christians like Huckabee want a theocracy, Obama doesn't. Big difference."

Could you show me one specific example of Huckabee enacting theocratic policies in his 10+ years as Arkansas governor? I'd say that's a pretty good sized body of work to judge what kind of chief executive a person would be.

Soli Deo Gloria

pornstudent said...

DJ,
I don't know what he did as governor. As a presidential candidate Huckabee said, "We need to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards ..." Sounds like the beginning of a theocracy.

D.J. said...

Pornstudent said...
"As a presidential candidate Huckabee said, "We need to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards ..." Sounds like the beginning of a theocracy."

I'd be curious to know what issue he was addressing when he made that comment. After all, if a 19th century Christian abolitionist made that same comment about the constitution concerning slavery, I don't think that would be problematic. Context is everything. Plus, perhaps a look at his decade as governor would be helpful to get a fuller picture of what he means before one rushes to judgment based on a sentence yanked from the context of a man's life.

Soli Deo Gloria

D.J. said...

Pornstudent,

BTW, perhaps your linked video gives the context, I don't know, but I am unable to check it out right now.

Soli Deo Gloria

pornstudent said...

Believers in Freedom want a government of, by and for the people, not a government according to what somebody thinks is the word of God. Whether the changes Huckabee wants to make to the Constitution are good or bad is a subject for another post. As far as getting "a fuller picture of what he means," if he didn't mean what he said, then he shouldn't have said it.

D.J. said...

Pornstudent said...
"Believers in Freedom want a government of, by and for the people, not a government according to what somebody thinks is the word of God. Whether the changes Huckabee wants to make to the Constitution are good or bad is a subject for another post."

I couldn't disagree more. For one to be driven by religious convictions to make positive change is a historic hallmark of American society. Whether Huck's specific ideas are good or bad have everything to do with the discussion at hand. Are you really prepared to say that even if Huckabee's ideas are good, they are automatically disqualified because his motivation is to see God honored? For that matter, is it not likely that many of Obama's ideas and policies to help the poor are motivated by his professed Christian faith? Does that make him a theocrat?

Soli Deo Gloria

Moshe said...

Huckabee's "Constitution" comments were made on the eve of the Michigan primary. There are plenty of videos of the MSNBC newscast of the pertinent part of his speech. You can Google "YouTube Mike Huckabee Constitution" and find them, or paste this URL:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D08Dq_iNMRk

It seems clear to me what he means. I agree with Pornstudent.

In his own mind he may have good intentions, but he appears to be one of those who thinks God, not the Constitution, is in charge of our secular lives.

Marla said...

There are a lot of things to like about Huckabee, even if you are politically liberal:

“In April 1994, Huckabee withdrew from a speaking engagement before the Council of Conservative Citizens. Huckabee commented, ‘I will not participate in any program that has racist overtones. I've spent a lifetime fighting racism and anti-Semitism.’”

There are a lot of things to dislike about him, even if you are a die-hard conservative:

“On December 26, 2007, the conservative organization Judicial Watch announced that Mike Huckabee was named to its list of Washington’s "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians" for 2007. They state that Huckabee, as governor, was the subject of ‘14 ethics complaints and a volley of questions about his integrity.’”

But what has turned off many Americans is his insistence on mixing his religious views with his Constituional views:

“Huckabee supported a 2005 bill by Arkansas State Representative Joyce Elliott to make some illegal immigrants eligible for scholarships and in-state college tuition, while vehemently opposing a bill sponsored by Arkansas State Senator Jim Holt which would deny state benefits to illegal immigrants, calling it ‘un-Christian.’”

“At a Michigan primary campaign appearance on January 14, 2008, Huckabee said ‘I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution.” (Those who do not favor a Constituional Amendment to ban gay marriages and/or civil unions). “But I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God. And that's what we need to do -- to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view.’"

Even conservative television pundit Joe Scarborough commented that while he believes ‘evangelicals should be able to talk politics ... some might find that statement very troubling, that we're going to change the Constitution to be in line with the Bible.’”

Apparently a lot of voters feel that Huckabee’s frequent interjection of his religion into his political beliefs is troubling, based on the fewer than 300 delegates he’s picked up in the primaries.

Obama said his belief in Jesus Christ has changed his life. He’s entitled to those beliefs under the Consitution. He didn’t say anything to encroach upon others, like that his belief should change your life as well Constitutionally.

At the opposite end, Huckabee says his religious beliefs must be reflected in a changed Constitution.

According to the Associated Press, on NBC’s Meet The Press on December 31, 2007, Huckabee "stood by" a 1998 comment in which he said, "I hope we answer the alarm clock and take this nation back for Christ."

D.J. said...

I think it should be stated that if we're going to say that religious motivations should never impact the Constitution, then to be fair we need to scrap the whole thing and start over.

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other” – John Adams

“Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the Foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of the human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?” – John Adams

Soli Deo Gloria

Anonymous said...

I don’t think anyone would disagree that religious motivations can’t impact the Constitution. They have and will continue to do so, as have purely rational motivations.

But we need to be wary of those from either extreme whose intent is to restrict individual freedoms as guaranteed by the Constitution and by judicial interpretations of that framework.

Fortunately, freedom has progressed a long ways from John Adam’s rather restrictive comment that “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.” Maybe John didn’t feel it was also made for atheists, agnostics, non-Christians and secular humanists. But I’ll fight to the death to protect the right of John Adams, Mike Huckabee or any other politician to say those things, as contrary as they may be to freedom.

pornstudent said...

Jane - "Huckabee did receive a lot more [than Obama] media grief about his outspoken Christianity."

I think this is because he talked about changing the Constitution to match what he thinks God wants, not God talk per se.

I don't know much about John Adams and the beginning of our country. But I know that what I love most about America is our freedom. Making the Constitution conform to what the Bible says lessens our freedom. So, I'm glad Huckabee's speech was criticized from conservatives such as Scarborough along with every other freedom loving American.

D.J. said...

Pornstudent said...
"But I know that what I love most about America is our freedom. Making the Constitution conform to what the Bible says lessens our freedom."

I also love the freedom that we have in this country. Yet freedom in and of itself is not necessarily a good thing. After all, we outlaw murder in this country - that is a restriction and a lessening of our freedom. You say bringing Biblical principles to the constitution lessens our freedom and this is bad. John Adams (and many other men who drafted the Constitution in the first place) would have disagreed. 19th century Christian abolishionists would have disagreed. I think it would be more helpful to evaluate whether or not specific Biblical principles should be integrated into the Constitution (some I would support, some I would not, not because I don't believe in and practice those principles, but because of the intended scope and context of those principles) rather than saying simply Bible+Constitution=bad.

Soli Deo Gloria

Anonymous said...

I don’t think freedom to murder is a Constitutional right. But I guess it depends on what someone’s definition of murder is. We can only rely on what has been interpreted as being a “right” under the Constitution, not on what we wish it were.

The Constitution appears to be flexible enough to move forward. Going back to Huckabee, he and his particular brand of religion don’t seem to want to move forward. They give me the impression they want to move backward, which means taking some already granted rights with them.

John Adams was a great patriot, but his thinking hasn’t kept pace either.

D.J. said...

Anonymous said...
"I don’t think freedom to murder is a Constitutional right."

I never said it was. I simply used it to illustrate the fact that not every restriction of freedom (i.e. we're not free to murder) is a necessarily bad thing.

Soli Deo Gloria

pornstudent said...

Huckabee wants us to obey the commandments of his lord as he thinks they are communicated in the Bible. This isn't government of, by and for the people. The idea of subjugating Americans to the will of a king should be strongly criticized by those who love freedom.

Chris said...

I don't think there is complete alignment with secular laws and imposing Christian principles as based on the Bible like some may like. We don't want to go down the road and for good reason.

Which Christian values are we imposing? Some 'sects' don't even allow the use of caffeine, I guess we start shutting down Starbucks? The Bible says to kill non-believers, so I guess we start ferreting out Atheists and lining them up for th camps? Yeah, I'm exaggerating but it's a slippery slope from stopping abortion and maybe having a bit of school prayer to all that other stuff.

There are places in the world where religious law rules - the Middle East. Do we want that here? I don't want my wife treated like second-class citizen. I don't want my daughter given a clitordectomy. I want to be able to drink a beer and watch football on a Sunday afternoon. Again, an exaggeration but not by a whole lot, I think.

As long as we're free to practice our beliefs in private, I think we can all be relatively happy. We have laws that are (mostly) based on logic and reason that serve us relatively well.

D.J. said...

Chris said...
"Which Christian values are we imposing? Some 'sects' don't even allow the use of caffeine, I guess we start shutting down Starbucks?"

Which is why I already said...
"I think it would be more helpful to evaluate whether or not specific Biblical principles should be integrated into the Constitution (some I would support, some I would not, not because I don't believe in and practice those principles, but because of the intended scope and context of those principles) rather than saying simply Bible+Constitution=bad."

BTW, shutting down Starbucks would be a sin :)

Soli Deo Gloria

Anonymous said...

There is a huge difference between proclaiming one's faith in Jesus and testifying about how that faith has transformed you, and proposing that we forget all about separation of church and state and amend the constitution to support the religious beliefs of one segment of society.

Having said that, I see no evidence that God talk is more tolerated from 'liberals'. Spirituality and faith have nothing to do with politics or these worldly labels. I for one am glad that moderates, and those to the left of moderates, are being more outspoken about their spirituality. For too long they (we) have let the 'far right' 'own' religion and define what it means to be a 'Christian'.

Danbo59 said...

Anonymous wrote, "For too long they (we) have let the 'far right' 'own' religion and define what it means to be a 'Christian'."

Define what it means to be a Christian?!!!! It's too late to try to redefine it. It's already defined. You are or you are not!

A Christian is a person who a) believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God -- that He is God incarnate; that he suffered, died, was buried and rose from the dead to redeem us from our sins and make possible for us the rewards of eternal life and b) lives and spreads the Good News of the Gospel by thought, word and deed. There are different sects of Christianity, for sure, but they all accept Christ as God and Savior.

Trying to "redefine" what a Christian is; that's like trying to redefine "marriage." It isn't going to happen.

Iztok said...

"lives and spreads the Good News of the Gospel by thought, word and deed."

OK, so why are then so many considering themselves Christians in US? they certainly don't qualify with their deeds to be one.

Anonymous said...

Danbo59 said:

"Trying to 'redefine' what a Christian is; that's like trying to redefine 'marriage.' It isn't going to happen."

Try telling that to the people of Massachusetts.

Say, wasn't John Adams from that state?

Danbo59 said...

Iztok asked, "OK, so why are then so many considering themselves Christians in US? they certainly don't qualify with their deeds to be one."

That, of course, is between them and God. Christianity teaches me not to judge people. Even so, sometimes I fail and must ask God for forgiveness.

Does atheism lend itself to the same instruction? Or is that dependant upon the individual?

Iztok said...

"Does atheism lend itself to the same instruction? Or is that dependant upon the individual?"

Are you referring to judging people? We all do it. We form an opinion of other people based on our consideration. I don't see anything wring with forming an opinion after consideration. That is what humans do on a daily basis.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the ideas, beliefs or principles that become Constitutional law: Isn’t the Constitution a secular document? Or is it recited Sunday morning right after the Nicene Creed?

It’s not so much from where Constitutional amendments spring – religious origins or rational/secular origins – that bothers me. It’s the intent, which is usually manifested in the result. The Bible is big on stating things like “you can’t do this because God says so”. The Constitution says things like “shall not be construed to deny or disparage” and “the right of the people”. As someone pointed out earlier, who really is the aggressor?

If the Huckabee crowd succeeds in getting an amendment passed to ban gay marriages, what have they gained other than to deny homosexuals equal protection of the law? Where’s the religious good, much less the secular, public benefit in that?

If the secular pro-gay crowd get an amendment passed that permits same-sex “marriages”, how is that bad? Would it infringe upon the rights of heterosexuals? How?

Seems to me like there’s a heck of a lot more interest in inequality than in equality by those who share Huckabee’s religious fervor. Maybe that’s why Obama and Clinton are not as closely scrutinized – they haven’t expressed any interest in taking away or prohibiting rights.

Are we supposed to believe that faith-based religious laws, which have influenced the thinking (and voting) of religious citizens, are all good? Are we to believe, based on some of the arguments expressed in this blog, that the Christian right now makes purely rational decisions?

Iztok said...

I wish NC would allow same sex marriage. I would w/o hesitation perform such wedding (being ordained gives me the option to marry people).

D.J. said...

Anonymous said...
"Are we supposed to believe that faith-based religious laws, which have influenced the thinking (and voting) of religious citizens, are all good?"

And again, I already said...
"I think it would be more helpful to evaluate whether or not specific Biblical principles should be integrated into the Constitution (some I would support, some I would not, not because I don't believe in and practice those principles, but because of the intended scope and context of those principles) rather than saying simply Bible+Constitution=bad."

In other words, for the third time, no. But they're not all bad, either.

Anonymous said...
"If the Huckabee crowd succeeds in getting an amendment passed to ban gay marriages, what have they gained other than to deny homosexuals equal protection of the law?"

Homosexuals already have the right to marry - marriage has always been defined as a relationship between a man and woman. Homosexuals have the right to enter into marriage - they simply choose not to. What's being discussed is whether we should redefine marriage to accomodate homosexual relationships - which is, to be fair, another discussion for another day. I do not favor "gay marriage." I have Biblical reasons, and also societal and sociological reasons (I guess you could call those secular). This belief is not simply me crusading to take away people's rights. That is a straw man, period.

Soli Deo Gloria

Iztok said...

"Homosexuals already have the right to marry - marriage has always been defined as a relationship between a man and woman."

That is not true. Even in the Bible you see a different definition. So what you define now was not "always been".

Anonymous said...

Put your bible in the closet where it belongs.

D.J. said...

Iztok said...
"That is not true. Even in the Bible you see a different definition."

Show me one prescriptive passage in Scripture that backs up that claim.

Anonymous said...
"Put your bible in the closet where it belongs."

Always nice to have intelligent conversation. :)

Soli Deo Gloria

Seed of the Serpent said...

"Homosexuals already have the right to marry - marriage has always been defined as a relationship between a man and woman. Homosexuals have the right to enter into marriage - they simply choose not to."

That's the most circuitous bunch of illogical horse hockey I've read in this blog. Then again, if anyone knows what they talking about when they're talking about homosexuality, maybe it's you.

Iztok said...

"Scripture that backs up that claim."

You know well that Bible is full of polygamy examples. So marriage wasn't "always been between man and woman"

At one point it was between man and women.

Settle difference but to show you that things do change.

D.J. said...

Seed of the Serpent said...
"That's the most circuitous bunch of illogical horse hockey I've read in this blog."

Care to explain why?

Iztok said...
"You know well that Bible is full of polygamy examples. So marriage wasn't "always been between man and woman""

As I said, show me one example of a prescriptive passage in Scripture that sets up polygamy as a God-ordained alternative. Just because its described in Scripture doesn't mean its approved by Scripture. I'd challenge you to show me a prescriptive, not descriptive, passage.

Soli Deo Gloria

Iztok said...

DJ, you said "marriage has always been defined as a relationship between a man and woman."

I don't need to look at prescriptive to show you that it is obvious that marriage at one point was also between man and women. Deuteronomy 21:15 is a good example of prescriptive passage on what man ought to do in case he has two wives. (But I don't need to point to a prescriptive article in order to point out that "has always been" claim is invalid.

Danbo59 said...

Iztok wrote, "I wish NC would allow same sex marriage. I would w/o hesitation perform such wedding (being ordained gives me the option to marry people)."

Your "ordination" carries as much weight as that of Kathy Griffith's.

pornstudent said...

Iztok,
Thanks for your reference to Deuteronomy 21:15 showing how the definition of marriage as defined by the Bible has changed. God changes his "standards" with the times, doesn't he? Christians would be doing good if they did the same.

D.J. said...

Iztok and pornstudent...

I'm curious - what is the prescriptive ethic for marriage from Deuteronomy 21:15? Looks more like an instruction for how to treat heirs in a poor family situation. I think you'll find that polygamy is the assumed circumstance, not the prescribed ethic. You might as well try and use the passage to say that God says it's okay to not love your wife.

Soli Deo Gloria

pornstudent said...

"If a man has two wives, the one loved and the other unloved..." - Deuteronomy 21:15

Moses says this without mentioning having two wives is wrong. He never gives a hint that marriage is only allowed between one man and one woman. He mentions a man having two wives as if it were very normal and accepted.

David was married to more than one woman at a time. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines.

Considering the many details of Mosaic Law and polygamy not being forbidden, I think we can assume that the God of the Old Testament thought polygamy was OK.

Anyway, as Iztok said, we don't need to point to a prescriptive verse in order to see that the definition of marriage hasn't always been the same.

Iztok said...

"Your "ordination" carries as much weight as that of Kathy Griffith's."

I don't know about Kathy Griffit's but I am legal to perform marriage in the state of NC. That is all I really wanted to achieve with it.

Iztok said...

"Looks more like an instruction for how to treat heirs in a poor family situation."

OK, so you do accept that family can have more then one wife and heirs from them?

Because no matter how you describe it with "poor" or any other adjectives Bible clearly describes family where man is married to more then one wife and prescribes how he should treat heirs in such family setting.

D.J. said...

pornstudent said...
"Moses says this without mentioning having two wives is wrong. He never gives a hint that marriage is only allowed between one man and one woman. He mentions a man having two wives as if it were very normal and accepted."

Iztok said...
"Because no matter how you describe it with "poor" or any other adjectives Bible clearly describes family where man is married to more then one wife and prescribes how he should treat heirs in such family setting."

Moses also says this without mentioning that not loving one's wife is wrong, while other parts of Scripture clearly say otherwise. That is the danger in taking a descriptive passage (which, on the subject of polygamy, Deut. 21:15 is) and trying to say that it is prescriptive.

pornstudent said...
"Anyway, as Iztok said, we don't need to point to a prescriptive verse in order to see that the definition of marriage hasn't always been the same."

You do need a prescriptive verse to say (as you did in a recent post) that there is proof that God's standards have changed. Has the civil standard changed? Yes, I'll concede that I argued and articulated that point poorly, kudos to you two for calling me on it - ancient cultures defined marriage as being between a man and multiple women, but even that definition confined marriage as being between a man and a woman. Even that doesn't change my point that to institute "gay marriage" is not to recognize rights, but is to redefine what civil marriage has always been.

Soli Deo Gloria

Iztok said...

"Even that doesn't change my point that to institute "gay marriage" is not to recognize rights, but is to redefine what civil marriage has always been."

So what? What does it HURT you if it is redefined? Does it change anything in your life? Will your life be any less if such marriage is redefined?

Will this redefinition cause you any pain or any undue harsh?

From my point of view allowing such marriage will not change anything in my life so I see no need to object it. In fact this recognition of gay marriage doesn't touch me in any way, shape or form.

So tell us how exactly will such change in definition of marriage to allow homosexual marriage impact your life?

D.J. said...

Iztok said…
“So what? What does it HURT you if it is redefined? Does it change anything in your life? Will your life be any less if such marriage is redefined?”

Okay, since we have agreed that the crux of the debate is whether or not we should redefine civil marriage, I need to address two aspects of your argument…

1. One should not oppose something that doesn’t directly affect them (“From my point of view allowing such marriage will not change anything in my life so I see no need to object it”).

2. The redefinition of marriage would not have any negative implications (“Will this redefinition cause you any pain or any undue harsh?”).

Here’s my response…

1. This idea is simply untenable. Something does not have to affect an individual for that individual to fight against it. There were many Americans in the north whose lives were unaffected by slavery, yet they (rightly) saw fit to oppose it. There were many Germans living during the holocaust whose lives weren’t negatively impacted by what was happening to the Jews, but some like Dietrich Bonheoffer stood up (rightly) against it, at the cost of their lives. Just because it doesn’t impact me doesn’t mean I should be unconcerned about the others it does impact.

2. Here is the big issue – are there any negative implications to redefining civil marriage to incorporate homosexual relationships? Obviously the force driving my personal convictions is the fact that Scripture teaches that homosexual behavior is sinful. But what about in the secular realm? Are there any secular or societal reasons that redefining marriage in this way is a bad idea? I believe there are.

First and foremost, I am concerned for the most fundamental structure of society – the family. Children are best served by having the influence of a mother and a father in their life. I would say that this is how we were designed to function by God, you would probably be more comfortable with me saying that this is the natural means by which our species has sustained itself. Am I saying that kids can’t develop into solid, functional, productive (or even exemplary) members of society without a mom and a dad? No way, experience proves that false. But I am saying that a two-parent, mother/father home is the best situation for a kid to be raised in. My belief in God’s design dictates that, but I also believe that the natural order demonstrates it as well. Thus, I believe that as a society we should encourage that ideal by giving marriage a privileged place in our law. As Ron Paul said on the campaign trail a few months back, “If you subsidize something, you tend to get more of it.” I believe that as a society we should encourage marriage (as currently defined) by giving it privileged treatment in law because it is foundational to the building of a strong society.

On a secondary note, I am concerned with the precedent that we set when we redefine marriage to accommodate a particular practice. The exact same arguments that are made for redefining marriage to include homosexual relationships could be made for redefining marriage to include polygamy – but I guarantee that would make many people very uncomfortable, even those who lobby for gay marriage. I don’t think that many people have thought through the implications of the logic they employ in making this case.

So there you go, I have attempted to state clearly and rationally my reasoning for opposing gay marriage – both because of my religious convictions but also for secular and societal concerns. My belief is prompted and driven by my faith, no doubt – but I believe that my reasoning is also completely defensible from a purely secular perspective, and thus should be welcome at your table of discussion – no Bible thumping needed. :)

Hope that helps.

Soli Deo Gloria

pornstudent said...

More polygamy in the Old Testament:
Exodus 21:10, 2 Samuel 5:13, 1 Chronicles 14:3, 1 Kings 11:3 and 2 Chronicles 11:21

Polygamy was common and accepted practice in the Old Testament, yet it was not forbidden in the Ten Commandments nor in any other Mosaic Law. These laws are detailed and are considered by Christians and Jews to be given by God. Either God still sees nothing wrong with polygamy or he has changed his standards.

I can't recall Jesus saying we can't be polygamous. There actually are some polygamous Christian evangelicals (see Mark Henkel Interview.)

According to Mark 10:11-12, Jesus did say, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."

Christians aren't allowed to marry again after they divorce. So, would it be OK to marry again if we don't divorce?

Christians sometimes focus on the Old Testament God, sometimes on the New. They'd more often quote the Old Testament when pointing out God's holiness, jealousy, justice and wrath; the New is about love and forgiveness. The Old Testament God would have the Israelites murder the mothers and children of their enemies; the New Testament God would have us turn the other cheek. The Old Testament God told Solomon not to have too many wives so as not to distract him; the New Testament God didn't say you can't have more than one wife, just don't divorce any of them.

Imagine what God might think of marriage 2000 years after Jesus told us not to divorce. Did he continue to become more loving? Is he still more concerned about treating our spouses with compassion than in how many spouses we have? Is divorce OK now that we pay alimony and child support? In this age of democracy, would he have us decide for ourselves how we want to live?

D.J. said...

pornstudent said...
"More polygamy in the Old Testament:
Exodus 21:10, 2 Samuel 5:13, 1 Chronicles 14:3, 1 Kings 11:3 and 2 Chronicles 11:21"

Of all the polygamy passages you point out, Exodus 21:10 is the only one that isn’t merely describing, “So and so had many wives.” Just because something is described by Scripture doesn’t mean it is approved by Scripture. Thus I have stressed the difference between prescriptive and descriptive passages. Exodus 21:10 is not a seal of approval of polygamy, but a law that protects the well-being of someone who was often neglected and oppressed in ancient society. I’ll say it again – every prescriptive passage in Scripture concerning marriage dictates a relationship between one man and one woman. By the way, you said that the NT never negatively addresses polygamy – you might want to check out 1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:6.

pornstudent said...
"Christians sometimes focus on the Old Testament God, sometimes on the New. They'd more often quote the Old Testament when pointing out God's holiness, jealousy, justice and wrath; the New is about love and forgiveness. The Old Testament God would have the Israelites murder the mothers and children of their enemies; the New Testament God would have us turn the other cheek. The Old Testament God told Solomon not to have too many wives so as not to distract him; the New Testament God didn't say you can't have more than one wife, just don't divorce any of them."

To make the sweeping generalization that OT God=holiness, wrath, etc. and NT God=love, forgiveness, etc., as if they are two different Gods, displays an ignorance of the Biblical text. Would you like to put forth one attribute of God that is present in one Testament but completely absent in the other? If you’re going to make that generalization, I think it’s important that you’re able to back it up from the texts themselves.

Soli Deo Gloria

Iztok said...

DJ,

1. slavery and things... this does negatively impact someone so tat is fine. You can't say the same for gay marriage. Allowing gay marriage doesn't adversely affect anyone.

2. Gay marriage and kids. Obviously they can't get kids by natural means hence their only option is adoption. So what does that mean? That choice for the kid is either grow up in foster care, as an orphan in group home or be adopted by someone. Considering there are now over 10 thousand kids (long time ago I was told it was over 3 thousand but recent info I've got has this at much higher number) in foster care in North Carolina alone their chances are slim to none to get adopted by heterosexual couple (chances for a kid age of 10 or older to get adopted is 4%!). So it is my claim that kids are better off being adopted by homosexual couple then not being adopted at all.

You need to know that there is more likely for kids to not get adopted if we don't allow homosexual marriage and adoption by them. Simple as this.

So while your ideals seem great, reality is different.

So tell me what do you think is better for kids to be adopted by homosexual married couple or not get adopted at all (obvious choice of being adopted by heterosexual couple is not working in real life the way we want as there are more kids then parents available)?

Here is another thing to contemplate. Right now single homosexual parent can adopt a child (living with a partner). Yet if something happens to non-adoptive parent (partner of adoptive parent) child doesn't have same protection as it would have otherwise.

I am not talking ideals here, I am talking reality.

pornstudent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pornstudent said...

Polygamy in the Old Testament is common and the God of the Old Testament never said it was wrong. God had plenty of laws about many details of the Israelites lives, but he never said, "Men shall have only one wife." Polygamy didn't matter to him.

Christians often point out the differences between the God of the Old and New Testaments. I think it's obvious why. The God of the Old Testament would have destroyed Rome as he did Sodom (even after Abraham begged him not to.) He would have killed Roman babies as he did Egyptian babies.

The Old Testament God would have favored Huckabee and the replacing of our Constitution with religious commandments. The New Testament God lets us have our democracy.

Anonymous said...

You cannot believe the Bible as truth and be a liberal. Notice I didn't say Democrat.