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Austin Cline

Jim Garlow: Same-Sex Marriage Worse than Radical Islam

By October 11, 2008

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Christians opposed to equal rights for gays are ramping up their anti-gay and anti-equality rhetoric in California. They are slightly behind in polls about people's opinions on whether equal marriage rights should be taken away from gays so they need to work harder in order to achieve their authoritarian goals. Unfortunately, when the extreme right "works harder," they often descend into absurdity and madness.

Case in point here comes from Jim Garlow, pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in La Mesa. He recently led a conference call sponsored by Concerned Women for America in which he used militaristic language in order to describe his commitment to undermining equality and then compared same-sex marriage to radical Islam — but in a way that made radical Islam look better and more peaceful!

Assuming the story is true, it should be noted that Jim Garlow is not the origin of this idea that equal marriage rights for gays is worse than radical Islam, but at the same time he appears to agree with it whole-heartedly and is fine spreading it around as part of the effort to take away equal rights from gays. So, I think it's more than reasonable to hold him personally accountable for this opinion.

“None of us really want to be doing this” Garlow said. “I could have been sitting on the beach. But I didn’t volunteer, God drafted me. I don’t have a choice. And God drafted you too, or you wouldn’t be in the CWA.” Pastor Garlow said he would refer to the CWA women campaigning for Proposition 8 not as mere volunteers but as “draftees.”

This militaristic-type rhetoric continued throughout the call. Garlow continued with a story emphasizing why CWA women needed to fight for Proposition 8.

“When I find myself up past the midnight hour,” he said, “asking ‘why am I doing this?’ I think of the conversation that took place in Cairo, Egypt, between an Egyptian Christian pastor who has been severely persecuted by Islam and a man named Lou Engle” (Engle is the theocracy-minded founder of The Call, a fundamentalist youth movement, who is leading a 40-day fast to pass Proposition 8.)

“When Lou was in Cairo, Egypt,” Garlow continued, “this pastor said to him, as a pastor that suffers at the hands of radical Islam, he said, ‘The eyes of the world are on California. We’re watching California and the vote on marriage. Because if you fail there to stop it, if you fail to stop it, what will be unleashed across the world will be a spirit worse than radical Islam.’”

Source: Americans United

I guess in Jim Garlow's world, gay marriage advocates are flying planes into skyscrapers while radical Islamists are merely kissing each other in public. Gay marriage advocates are becoming suicide bombers, blowing themselves and innocent victims up in places like public markets, while radical Islamists merely hold "Islam Pride Parades" full of people wearing conservative Muslim clothing. Gay marriage advocates are involved in a gay-had and hope to eliminate straight relationships by forcing everyone to convert to homosexuality or go under the sword. Radical Islamists, in the meantime, are just looking for their religion to not be treated as politically or socially inferior.

Isn't it far-right conservative Christians who are the loudest voices in the chorus of fear over the threat posted by "radical Islam" and the need to pursue the "(Endless) War on Terror" for as long as necessary? Funny how the allegedly existential threat posed by radical Islam is dropped like a hot potato as soon as it becomes politically necessary to paint another scapegoat as even blacker. Then again, radical Christians like Jim Garlow share an awful lot of political and social views in common with radical Islamists. The religious categories may differ, but too many of the social and political goals are identical to ignore.

Comments
October 11, 2008 at 2:16 pm
(1) Leon says:

“Because if you fail there to stop it, if you fail to stop it, what will be unleashed across the world will be a spirit worse than radical Islam.”

I am sorry to let you know, but you are too late. Equal marriage rights to same-sex couples already exist in six countries and eighteen countries extend partial marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples.

October 11, 2008 at 2:35 pm
(2) mobathome says:

And now in Connecticut!

October 11, 2008 at 11:01 pm
(3) Paul Buchman says:

As far as I can tell, there are no objections to same-sex marriage other than religious ones. That means Prop. 8 is an attempt to force its supporters’ religious views on everyone in CA. That is a powerful reason to oppose Prop. 8. Mixing religion and government is dangerous. Theocracies are not noted for their devotion to civil liberties.

October 12, 2008 at 1:08 am
(4) Leon says:

Paul,

You hit the nail on the head.

I am familiar with the situation in Belgium, since that is where I was born and raised before moving to the US.

The “official” Belgian marriage, i.e., the ceremony that allows a couple to receive specific rights from the government, is performed by a competent civil servant. Only marriages celebrated by this official in due and legal form are valid.

A religious ceremony may be performed later at the option of the contracting parties. The optional religious wedding is purely symbolic as far as the government is concerned.

October 12, 2008 at 11:39 am
(5) deegee says:

Paul, I second that. There are no secular reasons to oppose same-sex marriage. Therefore, attempts to ban it are equivalent to having some people impose their religous beliefs on others using the power of government. And that is wrong. And that is scary.

October 12, 2008 at 1:44 pm
(6) Andrew says:

There are atheists who oppose SSM, I’m not one of them but I can tell you they do exist.

I don’t know how such a statement, that SSM is worse than radical Islam, can be taken as anything other than pure hyperbole.

I respect the opinions of those who oppose SSM, I disagree but I think many of them are well meaning. But really, worse than radical Islam, how can that be taken seriously?

October 13, 2008 at 3:57 pm
(7) fauxrs says:

As a californian I agree with the previous response that this is really an issue of religious belief being foisted upon everyone.

The rhetoric being used to defeat this proposed amendment is largely fear-based however.

Ads proclaim that “supporters of traditional marriage will be sued over their personal beliefs”, that “churches opposed to same-sex marriage could lose their tax exemptions” and that “gay marriage will be taught in public schools”

All of this is complete codswallop of course, but fear sells in politics…just look at our Presidential campaigns past and present…

Its by no means a foregone conclusion how this will go…

November 13, 2008 at 3:40 am
(8) john says:

well, you’re too late. It passed. MOST of California voted YES. Get over it.

November 14, 2008 at 6:08 pm
(9) DaveTheWave says:

MOST of Californians then are IGNORANT of basic civics. In a democratic republic, majorities can’t vote away the rights of minorities. The courts will fix it and maybe the MORON church will suffer serious backlash, along with the rest of the self-righteous religious hypocrites. So stick your bible where the sun don’t shine. When Jeebus comes, will you spit or swallow?

PS it passed by a VERY small margin, so there is hope for civilized folk in California after all.

November 14, 2008 at 10:54 pm
(10) Michael says:

I’m watching Jim Garlow on Larry King Live. This guy is an idiot! He claims that wherever gays have been granted the right to marry, religious freedoms and rights have been stripped. He claims he can give examples. Hey, nutjob… how about this example: Canada. I live in Canada, where gays can legally marry, and none of Garlow’s doom and gloom prophecies have come to pass.

November 15, 2008 at 8:26 pm
(11) Methow says:

Thank GOD for Jim Garlow sticking up for Christian values and God’s definition of marriage taken straight from the bible.

Homosexuals have shown their true intolerance and contempt for our democracy with their physical and legal attacks on people who oppose their lifestyle choice and the democratic process as well as those who voted them down.

Not only is it disingenuous for gays to proclaim the traditional definition of marriage as a “civil right” – but it is also a demonstration of their reckless disregard for human rights on a different level. True civil rights are reserved for civil people. How telling it is for the nasty, hateful comments and tactics they have employed. Continued attacks on those who oppose them only speaks to their bankrupt moral disintegration and will work against them as the American people will not accept the tyranny of bullyism.

In California, activist judges have tried to hijack the democratic process by over ruling the electorate. If gays want a union, let them define it by a different standard – but not by the standard of marriage. This is not an indictment of homosexuals, it is an indictment of their methods of bullying the electorate when by vote, the electorate has spoken…

Methow

Regardless

November 15, 2008 at 9:23 pm
(12) Austin Cline says:

Thank GOD for Jim Garlow sticking up for Christian values and God’s definition of marriage taken straight from the bible.

Feel free to explain why you think civil, secular marriage should be defined by your religion standards.

Homosexuals have shown their true intolerance and contempt for our democracy with their physical and legal attacks on people who oppose their lifestyle choice and the democratic process as well as those who voted them down.

I’m guessing you’re ignoring the decades of physical and legal attacks made by Christians against gays.

Not only is it disingenuous for gays to proclaim the traditional definition of marriage as a “civil right” – but it is also a demonstration of their reckless disregard for human rights on a different level.

Traditional definition of marriage… would that be the definition which precluded women from owning property, or the definition that prohibited interracial marraige?

True civil rights are reserved for civil people.

Funny, I don’t remember reading that in the Constitution.

While you’re looking up support for your claim, you might want to consider the fact that the centuries of incivility of Christians towards non-Christians would preclude them from being eligible for civil rights under your “explanation” here.

Continued attacks on those who oppose them only speaks to their bankrupt moral disintegration and will work against them as the American people will not accept the tyranny of bullyism.

So, when Civil Rights activists made verbal attacks on White Supremacists, was that a demonstration of the “bankrupt moral disintegration” of people who believed in racial equality?

In California, activist judges have tried to hijack the democratic process by over ruling the electorate.

Kind of like how activist judges forced Christians to accept miscegenation, right?

If gays want a union, let them define it by a different standard – but not by the standard of marriage.

Like interracial couples were forced to do, right?

This is not an indictment of homosexuals, it is an indictment of their methods of bullying the electorate when by vote, the electorate has spoken…

No, it’s an indictment of Christianity as a system which produces hated, bigotry, and immorality.

November 15, 2008 at 10:43 pm
(13) Methow says:

Kind of like how activist judges forced Christians to accept miscegenation, right?

No – where did you get the idea that Christians opposed interracial marriage?

You’re creating an argument where none exists for your own purposes…

If gays want a union, let them define it by a different standard – but not by the standard of marriage.

Like interracial couples were forced to do, right?

No again – If gays want a union then let them define it, but it is NOT marriage and the electorate has spoken about what defines marriage.

This is not an indictment of homosexuals, it is an indictment of their methods of bullying the electorate when by vote, the electorate has spoken…

No, it’s an indictment of Christianity as a system which produces hated, bigotry, and immorality.

Well there you go again – who has demonstrated the hatred and the bigotry here? Who has sent the “white powder” to the Mormon church? Who has attacked their neighbors with physical attacks? Who has “sued” to overturn what the voters have approved?.

This is an atheist website so it is reasonable to assume that atheists are posting. I assume you are as well, thus the bible has no meaning for you. So be it, that is your choice. Jesus was all about what God said in the bible – he was not about condemnation, bigotry, or hatred. Those words are your words about people who hold God’s Word sacred. It doesn’t go the other way, and if it appears to, then it doesn’t come from Christians.

The bigger issue is tactics. By calling the opposition hateful, you think you accomplish your goal to paint the argument one of “civil rights” when it is not. And you paint the argument as being opposed by hatred and bigotry when it is not – strictly for your own purposes because that is the only way to gain sympathy for your issue.

It speaks to your motivation and tactics rather than the truth, because truth be known, you’re pulling out all the stops to win this one, including whatever emotional hot buttons you can think of. It is desperation at its worst and I hope your “win at all costs” strategy is a failure.

November 15, 2008 at 10:49 pm
(14) Austin Cline says:

No – where did you get the idea that Christians opposed interracial marriage?

History. If you read the history, you’ll find white Christians making religious arguments against interracial marriage.

If gays want a union then let them define it, but it is NOT marriage and the electorate has spoken about what defines marriage.

Marriage is defined by society and that definition changes. Are trying to argue that it can now never change anymore?

The bigger issue is tactics. By calling the opposition hateful, you think you accomplish your goal to paint the argument one of “civil rights” when it is not.

I hate to break the news to you, but marriage is a civil right. A fundamental right, according to the Supreme Court.

November 16, 2008 at 12:41 pm
(15) Lisa says:

Marriage is a civil right based on the Judeo/Christian heritage of our country — our Founding Fathers who never dreamed that the definition of marriage could become so mis-construed. I hate to break it to *you*, but marriage at it’s very core is a biblical concept. One man, one woman. Period.

Where is the tolerance and acceptance towards the beliefs of those of us who hold the Bible as sacred? It seems to me that Christians are the one accepted group to hate. And as a Bible Believing, Christ-follower, I do not hate anyone. I love all of my gay brothers & sisters, whether they are Christian or not. I fear that the same cannot be said for the No on 8 side. The fight is getting ugly and it doesn’t look like it will get better any time soon.

The fact is that until this country wakes-up and recognizes the sad path we’re on then our moral, spiritual and financial decline will continue. If God doesn’t judge us as a country soon, then He will have to apologize for Sodom & Gomorrah. And our God doesn’t make mistakes.

Lord have mercy on us all.

November 16, 2008 at 2:20 pm
(16) Austin Cline says:

Marriage is a civil right based on the Judeo/Christian heritage of our country

Well, there are court cases which establish that marriage is a civil right. Can you quote where they say that this right is based on religion in any way?

I hate to break it to *you*, but marriage at it’s very core is a biblical concept. One man, one woman. Period.

Sorry, but marriage existed before your Bible and in societies where your Bible never had any authority. Marriage has nothing to do with your Bible or your religion.

Where is the tolerance and acceptance towards the beliefs of those of us who hold the Bible as sacred?

No one tries to prevent you from having a marriage based on what your Bible tells you about marriage. That’s where the tolerance and acceptance is.

It seems to me that Christians are the one accepted group to hate.

What you call “hate” is really just disagreement and criticism.

The fact is that until this country wakes-up and recognizes the sad path we’re on then our moral, spiritual and financial decline will continue.

When you assert that the presence of gays and/or equality for them is in any way responsible for moral, spiritual, or financial problems in America, you are promoting hatred towards gays.

November 16, 2008 at 11:41 pm
(17) Lisa says:

Actually, what I’m promoting is hatred towards sin. It doesn’t matter what sin you’re engaged in. Lying, cheating, gossiping, beating your wife/husband/children, adultery, pornography, alcohol/drug abuse. It’s all sin. Including homosexuality. There are many who would take issue with homosexuality being listed as a sin. I get that. However, the Bible is clear. Sex outside of marriage is a sin. Homosexuality cannot be ordained as marriage. Sex between any persons (man/woman, woman/woman, man/man, man/child, woman/child etc. etc.) is strictly prohibited outside of the bonds of marriage.

I fear that what we’re missing at the root of this discussion (and I’ve reviewed some of the previous posts on other articles) is the most important aspect of self & pride. Accepting that there is a God and that He sent His Son to die for us is more than hyperbole. Fundamentally, to believe this, it requires a setting aside of self. Checking pride & ego at the door. Believing that Christ sits on the throne of your heart & life and that He alone reigns supreme. Unless you’re willing to do that, to give the power, glory and decision-making of your life to God, then you can’t call yourself a true follower of Jesus — a Christian.

We Christians have at times done a poor job of articulating this. We come across as angry, prideful and self-righteous. The Jesus of the Bible was all-loving, all-knowing and perfect. And because we are fleshly, sinful creatures, we fall short in articulating and displaying Jesus’ love. God is love. It’s trite, but true. He is also righteous, just and holy. This is why He sent His Son, Jesus, for us. Without whom there is no bridge to cover the gap between His Holiness and our broken, fallen, sinful hearts. Pride will keep you from realizing the truth that an all-knowing, all loving God would humble himself to the point of death on the cross. And that is who we are to emulate. Jesus. The God/Man who laid His life down for you. And me. That is the God that I believe in. The God that I worship and love. The God of my Bible.

I’d be interested, Austin, to understand where marriage existed before the Bible. Please educate me. I’ll bet that most Americans would believe and stipulate that the Bible is the foundation for our country’s beliefs about marriage.

November 17, 2008 at 7:26 am
(18) Austin Cline says:

Actually, what I’m promoting is hatred towards sin.

The concept of “sin” has no place in civil marriage laws.

I’d be interested, Austin, to understand where marriage existed before the Bible.  

Every society ever studied has had marriage.

I’ve reviewed several books about the history of marriage, if you want to start there, but general books about ancient history – especially ancient Egypt and China – would be appropriate.

I’ll bet that most Americans would believe and stipulate that the Bible is the foundation for our country’s beliefs about marriage.

Feel free to point out where in marriage law the Bible is mentioned.

November 18, 2008 at 5:47 pm
(19) Lisa says:

Well, marriage was actually created by God. Adam & Eve being the first. Of course, quoting Scripture isn’t going to win me any arguments with you.

But again, you must concede that one man/one woman and procreation is a solid argument for marriage as a definition. Otherwise, how does humankind procreate? Our civil rights were written at a time where The Bible was used as a foundation for our country and it’s beliefs. Since our Founding Fathers had no crystal ball, they couldn’t imagine a time where petri dishes could be substituted and accepted as normal for making babies. So while it’s not specifically called out, the intent is certainly clear.

As for the concept of “sin” and it’s rightful place, how then do we remain a law-abiding, moral society? Murder, theft etc. These are all Biblical principles and key to our success as a society. Without them, we would have no compass. Again, our rules, laws, constitution are all based on Biblical principles and truths.

November 18, 2008 at 6:09 pm
(20) Austin Cline says:

But again, you must concede that one man/one woman and procreation is a solid argument for marriage as a definition.

No, I’ve refuted both.

Our civil rights were written at a time where The Bible was used as a foundation for our country and it’s beliefs.

Our civil rights were written without any references to the Bible or Christianity.

Since our Founding Fathers had no crystal ball, they couldn’t imagine a time where petri dishes could be substituted and accepted as normal for making babies. So while it’s not specifically called out, the intent is certainly clear.

Sorry, I don’t see the intent you ascribe to the Constitution. Feel free to explain further.

As for the concept of “sin” and it’s rightful place, how then do we remain a law-abiding, moral society?

Non-Christian societies have never had a problem doing so without the Christian conception of sin. Our secular laws make no mention of “sin” and seem to don fine as well.

Murder, theft etc. These are all Biblical principles and key to our success as a society.

The Bible has never been necessary to deal with murder and theft.

Again, our rules, laws, constitution are all based on Biblical principles and truths.

Prove it.

November 18, 2008 at 10:20 pm
(21) Lisa says:

Let’s see . . ..

John Adams – Christian
Sam Adams – Christian
Ben Franklin – Diest (believing in one God, albeit remote)
Alexander Hamilton – Christian
Patrick Henry – Christian
Thomas Jefferson – Diest
George Washington – sometimes professed belief in a higher power, sometimes not

Clearly, our Founding Fathers were overwhelmingly Believers. This was the key influence in the framing of the constitution. Therefore, I stand by my prior statements. Our laws, the traditional practice of marriage etc. are in fact based on The Bible.

And clearly, the majority of Californians, Arizonans & Floridians agree.

November 19, 2008 at 7:26 am
(22) Austin Cline says:

Clearly, our Founding Fathers were overwhelmingly Believers.  

But did they believe as you do?

This was the key influence in the framing of the constitution.  Therefore, I stand by my prior statements.  Our laws, the traditional practice of marriage etc. are in fact based on The Bible.

Feel free to explain how you get from the premise that a group of people are Christians of some sort to the conclusion that something they write — and laws which they don’t write (marriage isn’t in the Constitution) — are based on the Bible.

November 20, 2008 at 5:25 pm
(23) Lisa says:

Prayer in the public square.
Ten commandments and swearing on the Bible in our courtrooms.
In God We Trust on our money.
Sanctity of human life (pre-Roe v. Wade)

All of these (and more) were original tenants of our country’s framework built by our God-fearing, Bible believing Founding Fathers. Whatever denomination, it doesn’t really matter. The definition of “Christian” is simple — do you accept that God loves you? Do you believe that you are a sinner? Do you understand that sin separates you from your Heavenly Father? And if so, that Jesus is the bridge to reconciliation back to God? Then you are a Christian. That’s why our Founding Fathers left the ‘old country’ and came here. So that whatever and however else they wanted to worship and live out their faith, they could.

November 20, 2008 at 5:57 pm
(24) Austin Cline says:

Prayer in the public square.
Ten commandments and swearing on the Bible in our courtrooms.
In God We Trust on our money.
Sanctity of human life (pre-Roe v. Wade)

All of these (and more) were original tenants of our country’s framework built by our God-fearing, Bible believing Founding Fathers.

You have been misinformed about American history.

The first is still as common as Christians want it. With the second, swearing on the Bible is still common; the Ten Commandments never was. The third didn’t start until the Civil War. The fourth: abortion has always been common and was never considered murder.

None of them are part of the Constitution, though, and are therefore not part of the nation’s legal framework.

Whatever denomination, it doesn’t really matter.

So, non-Christians are inferior?

That’s why our Founding Fathers left the ‘old country’ and came here. So that whatever and however else they wanted to worship and live out their faith, they could.

Christians still can.

However, so can others. And people can’t not worship at all. Everyone is equal; the government can’t favor any religion, religious belief, or religious group.

November 21, 2008 at 3:46 pm
(25) Todd says:

“Well, marriage was actually created by God. Adam & Eve being the first.”

1) This is a lie. Marriage was created by MEN (just like God), to transfer property and titles from father to son, and to secure alliances between powerful men. If Bob’s daughter marries Jeff’s son, Bob and Jeff won’t go to war against each other. Religion had NOTHING to do with it, neither did love. Marriage for love is a new concept, that formed within living memory.

2) Prove your “god” exist, and why the hundreds of others don’t, and maybe i’ll reconsider. Ever notice that when your god says something it is humans doing all the talking? That’s not an accident or a limitation of divine entities. It’s because divine entities don’t exist. People made up gods, spirits, chi and demons to explain what they didn’t understand, and later to gain power over each other.

If your god doesn’t want people to be happy, he’s not worth worshiping.

November 21, 2008 at 3:54 pm
(26) MrMarkAZ says:

Lisa @ #19:

He will have to apologize for Sodom & Gomorrah. And our God doesn’t make mistakes.

You’re right. God doesn’t make mistakes. When God kills, he does so with intent and full knowledge of the moral implications of his acts.

We don’t have words to define the scope of his crimes or the depths of his depravity, let alone laws to address them. The best we can do is ignore him and the deluded perverts who follow Biblical codes and values.

November 21, 2008 at 3:57 pm
(27) MrMarkAZ says:

“Gay-had”

Hee hee.

November 21, 2008 at 4:05 pm
(28) Mark Thomas says:

Lisa, Methow, and any other Christians,

There is nowhere in the bible that clearly states “one man and one woman” or “monogamy” or any words to that effect, but references to abstinence and polygamy are plentiful. Even the mythical Jesus character referred to ten virgins for the bridegroom (Matthew 25:1).

For more, see:
http://www.godlessgeeks.com/LINKS/BiblicalMarriage.htm
http://www.godlessgeeks.com/LINKS/BibleQuotes.htm#marriage
http://www.godlessgeeks.com/LINKS/BibleQuotes.htm#polygamy

Also, our Constitutiona and laws are not based on the supposed “Judeo/Christian heritage of our country.” They are based on English law, which was based on Roman law, which existed well before any stories were told about Jesus.

November 21, 2008 at 7:33 pm
(29) Drew says:

My marriage has nothing to do with any effing religion. It is civil. Full stop. It is a bond between my wife and I. Full stop. Attention all religionists – my marriage has NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR RELIGION, and marriage existed thousands of years before your religion was invented.

This poster Lisa, like far too many Americans, seems to think that the USA represents the entire breadth of human experience. Here’s a little tip, Lisa: pull your head out of your arse and find out about countries other than your own. Do you have any idea how stupid you sound, not being aware that civilisation existed before your religion? Are you actually unaware that people lived in Europe and the US BEFORE Christianity? Are you not aware that most of the world, today, is NOT Christian? You are an embarrassment to your countrymen on this site. Such extreme stupidity and ignorance suggests that the opinions you state can only be based upon, well, stupidity and ignorance.

And I’m normally in favour of trying to be polite with theists when they come here.

November 21, 2008 at 8:04 pm
(30) Carolina Woods says:

Some of the posters here might be interested in “The Godless Constitution” by Isaac Kramnick & R.Laurence Moore, which does a great job of explaining the history of why god was (rightfully) left out of the Constitution.

With all the war and hate in the world, I just cannot fathom why anyone cares who loves each other. We should be paying attention to who hates each other and why, and work on solutions to remedy those situations. If we spent as much time making peace as we do quibbling over this kind of issue, the world would be a much better place.

Lisa, there is absolutely nothing in the Bible about lesbians. For those deluded people who think God created AIDS to punish gays: lesbians must be God’s chosen people, because the incidence of AIDS among lesbians is lower than any other group.

Lisa, your idea of sin is subjective. According to the Bible you should kill disobedient children; eating lobster is as much of an abomination as being gay. Religious people pick and choose which parts of their particular holy book to believe and which to ignore. Religious zealots choose “hot button” issues to solicit donations & gain publicity & followers. If the gay marriage issue goes away, they will pick on something else to stir up the hornet’s nest.

I have gay friends who have been partners for longer than I have been married (25 yrs). They truly love each other and have strong stable relationships, which are very much like common law marriages. What they don’t have is the legal rights that married people do. If they choose to marry, I support them.

I’m all for more love, less hate.

November 21, 2008 at 11:04 pm
(31) Tom Edgar says:

When a de-facto union is seen in the eyes of the law as a legitimate marital situation I fail to see why a SS union can’t receive the same recognition.

Now I married a Catholic in a civil ceremony,
I had offered to go to the church but the Priest wouldn’t give me a civil service and a Catholic for my bride. Soon after she came to her senses and became a Quaker. which lasted for the rest of our married life, 46 years. Most European countries are as the earlier entry on Belgium. A marriage can only be legal in a civil ceremony, the religious bit is up to you. In most other countries the Priest/Pastor/ Padre are LICENSED to perform the ceremony and the union is actually not legitimised until it is registered with the civil authorities. Now that really does muck things about. If the Union takes place on a Saturday, the majority, and the registration takes place on the following Monday?? Oh dear!! Consummated out of legitimated wedlock. What a farce this whole argument is.

tomedgar@halenet.com.au

November 22, 2008 at 8:47 pm
(32) Joan says:

Most people posting here have pretty well addressed Lisa’s misconceptions. As far as categorizing legal unions, I think, for “legal” sake, they should all be civil unions. Marriage, per se, should be a religious term and ceremony.
Another thing Lisa mentioned. Something about christians being a group we all love to hate. When did this supposed war against christians begin?! I don’t understand why some of them say they are being discriminated against. Nobody that I have ever heard of has tried to deny christians their rights to practice their religions. But we DO draw the line at them trying to impose it on everyone else, ie, mandated christian prayer in schools. I guess it’s true that the best defense is a good offense. Call christians on their violation of church/state boundaries and all we hear is how we have declared war on them! Give me a break!

November 23, 2008 at 3:53 am
(33) Tom Edgar says:

Lissa you are not much of a Christian if you uphold swearing oaths on the Bible when Jesus Christ himself is quoted in that book as banning the swearing of ALL oaths.

tomedgar@halenet.com.au

November 28, 2008 at 5:10 pm
(34) CharlieB3iiis says:

Lisa, According to the bible…. Jesus was the son of Mary and was conceived out of wedlock since Joseph, Mary’s husband, was not jesus’s father. That makes Mary an adulterer and Jesus a bastard. Where is the one man, one woman, relationship since it was between 2 different species? god is not human. There are very clear definitions of these terms in the bible and the punishment associated with the adulterer action and how to treat a bastard(duet. 23-1). If the word of god in the bible is so important, why is it ok for god to break it’s own laws? Some example huh? god does make mistakes, created male/female animals and procreation then created adam from dirt and then well after the fact, realized that adam needed a woman? and then created the woman from a rib? Why didn’t it do the same with animals? Oh Ya, Thank god for genocide…. How cruel, sick and sadistic do you have to be to kill an entire planet because they don’t agree with your opinion?

November 30, 2008 at 8:15 pm
(35) CarolinaWoods says:

I read that the Mormans donated over $15 million in support of Proposition 8. I don’t have other figures, but assuming other religious groups donated money, plus all the people who gave money to oppose Prop 8, at a very minimum, I would guess $30 million (probably much more) was spent on denying people who love each other the “right to pursue happiness” or to prevent that from happening.

With that money, just think what we could have done. How many Meals on Wheels dinners could we have given to seniors? How many jobs could have been created?. How many families could have had a turkey dinner? How many people could have health care? We could have provided heat to thousands of homes. We could have built a school, provided vaccinations or AIDS medications for children in 3rd world countries. We could have sent thousands of Peace Corps Volunteers abroad. We could fund libraries or museums. How many text books would that money buy? How many students could attend college? How many people could start small businesses? We could have even given the money to the government to pay down a small fraction of our national debt or slightly boost the Social Security system.

And all because some people want to impose their own religious views on the rest of us. What a waste.

December 1, 2008 at 2:04 pm
(36) Lisa says:

Lots of feedback! Wow. Lots of anger too. I feel sad that this topic gets so misconstrued, misunderstood and emotional. In the end, there’s really no convincing anyone that doesn’t believe that The Bible is the inspired Word of God. Many of the quotes that have been posted here are taken out of context. The New Testament supercedes the Old Testament. That’s the whole point. God is Righteous and Holy. He asked His people to follow His laws. They couldn’t. Hence, Jesus was sent to bridge the gap.

I’m not going to even try to legitimize the crass comments made by some who claim Jesus to be a bastard. It’s just rude that one would take that position knowing the importance of Jesus to millions of people around this country and the world. Even if you don’t believe what we do, why would you make such an inflammatory statement? And for those who would liken that statement to the Christian’s view on homosexuality, I submit to you that we view ALL sin as bad. Lying, stealing, gossiping, adultery. It’s all the same at the foot of the cross.

AIDS is a consequence of sin. That’s why there’s disease in the world. And wars. And violence. The Gay Community is not any more scandalous and sinful than any other person who chooses to live life based on their own wishes. I choose to humble myself to the Creator of the Universe and try to live a holy life. Do I blow it? Daily. I’m no different from my Gay brothers & sisters except that I happen to believe that God calls me to follow His rules, His laws.

Scripture does state that marriage is one man, one woman in Matthew 19:4-6

…at the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

And Hebrews 13:4 says that, “marriage is honorable among all and the bed undefiled; but fornicators & adulterers God will judge.”

Carolina – I agree that the monies spent on this issue are outrageous. The most EVER spent on any initiative nationwide. I pray for a day when we stop fighting and unite as one country, Under God, indivisible. But until that time, we all should be blessed to live in a place where we can have different opinions, different views and voice those. I treasure this gift as I’m sure you do too. And I will keep defending my right to live in a country that values Biblical views, as the Founding Fathers originally intended.

Marriage is sacred. One man, one woman.

December 1, 2008 at 3:30 pm
(37) Lisa says:

A special note for Drew, #29 -

Where did I say anything about the Bible being about the US only? Or that civilization didn’t exist before our country? If you were reading accurately, you’d note that the convo b-tween Austin and me related to the beginnings of this country — not the world. Again, you’re taking my comments out of context (as other posters have done when quoting the Bible etc.) and you’re making assumptions. The Bible was written thousands and thousands of years ago. And while you won’t agree with that statement, that means that it has been around as long as man and Europe etc. So while it might make you feel temporarily superior to negate my assertions as ignorant and stupid, I believe it just makes you sound angry and bitter.

God is real. He is alive and well and desires to have an intimate relationship with you. He loves you. And that’s a fact. I know this because He works in and through my life everyday in tangible ways. And He can do the same for you.

December 1, 2008 at 7:07 pm
(38) Tom Edgar says:

Lisa.

You wrote that the Bible having been around thousands of years has been around as long as man and Europe.

I am afraid you have displayed an appalling lack of education or reluctance for exactitude and veracity.

The first man is, almost certainly, dated from 7 MILLION years ago. (Chad)

The Bible as a collection of books, which is what the name means, was written over a considerable period with many books, for political and ideological reasons, being added or left out was actually collated several hundred years ago not thousands. Indeed The King James version, the generally accepted one in use by Protestants of all denominations, only dates from four HUNDRED years ago. John Wycliffe’s version predates it by a few hundred years and there were thousands of writers and different versions
predating the “Christian” era.

Even at its oldest source it is but a babe in arms compared to the age of the first humans.

God is real? Only in the minds of the gullible
or clinically schizoid.

You wish to believe in a being that cannot be seen, touched, smelt,then that is your misfortune or choice. Do not be so arrogant as to wish imposition of your particular hang ups on others who are not so inclined.

Further more your arrogance is displayed when imagining for one moment that North America only began with the arrival of Europeans.
For tens of thousands of years the North American Aborigines, and the Central and Southern Americans too, not only managed quite well without your particular God, but seemed to have marriages also.

The Romany people had their marriage ceremonies as did the Indian Sub continent population, All the “Far Eastern” people, long before western religion, also had wedding ceremonies. Some cultures had polygamy and others polyandry, still do, they seem to manage without the hang ups that prevail in the Bible Belt mentality of the proselytising evangelicals of the U S A.

If you wish to present an argument please do so, but be prepared to research, and then maybe you will not be so adamant that you are the one who is right and we are wrong.

tomedgar@halenet.com.au

December 1, 2008 at 10:21 pm
(39) Lisa says:

There is an equal amount of historical evidence that supports my view that the Bible is real, true & accurate. Here are some facts.

Tom says in #37: “You wrote that the Bible having been around thousands of years has been around as long as man and Europe.
I am afraid you have displayed an appalling lack of education or reluctance for exactitude and veracity.”

The New Testament when analyzed as historical text was originally written in the Greek language between 50 and 100 A.D. Although we dont have the original autographs, there are presently some 5,000 Greek manuscripts in existence, with as many as 25,000 more copies. Just as amazing is the fact that the earliest manuscripts can be dated back as far as 120 A.D.

The discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls in 1946 authenticated the OT as these writings compared to the manuscripts were virtually identical. The fact that many men wrote The Bible over thousands of years and that the books all work together as a beautiful tapestry (with over 600+ prophecies coming to fruition between the OT & NT) further proves the validity of the text. How could so many men over so many generations write so accurately? Because God inspired these writings.

“Further more your arrogance is displayed when imagining for one moment that North America only began with the arrival of Europeans.”

Helloooo??!! I did not say this. Again, you’re taking my comments out of context. Duh. Of course there were people groups here in NA, SA etc. They knew of marriage because GOD ordains it!! It’s in our DNA! Just as the need for God is written in all of our hearts (yes, yours included) because we were created by a loving, caring God who wants to have communion with us. He doesn’t *force* anyone to be His — it’s by free will that you can decide. Scripture says that even the rocks cry out to the glory of God. His hand is evident everywhere — even if you were a Native American living hundreds of years ago never seeing/reading a Bible, you would know who God is.

I still don’t get the hostility. Why does what I say bother you so much? What do you care what I think or what I believe to the point that you call me ignorant and stupid? I could say that you’re arrogant too in your tone and manner. You think you’re right. I think I’m right. Great. Interesting that if I’m such a nut-job that you keep trying to convice me that I’m wrong. Maybe it’s cuz God is speaking to you and trying to show the Truth of who He is.

December 2, 2008 at 5:55 pm
(40) Tom Edgar says:

Lisa..

By thine own words you stand condemned.

You accuse me of taking you out of context then
quote tests thousands of years old, which I had actually stated, the thousbnads that is.

December 2, 2008 at 6:31 pm
(41) Drew says:

Hello Lisa,

The Bible was created by committee, under the direction of Constantine to unify all the various Jesus-worship traditions into one. The literalists won, and the gnostics (whose Jesus was an allegory) lost. Christians ever since then have been trying to effect a cover-up. The Council of Nicea was in 325. The Greek civilisation existed for a thousand years before the re-invention of Judaism as Christianity, and they are just one of the groups of humans living on that continent of Europe circa CE 1. My Celtic ancestors were another. So no, Lisa, “Europe” existed and was called that long before the Buy Bull, and long before Christianity. The Torah – the part of the Bible that Christians all claim no longer applies to them – is older, I agree. Do you really want to claim that that is Christianity, since “Christ” isn’t in it? All that polygamy, stoning people to death, infanticide, etc? As for your claim that the Bible has been around as long as “man” – well, no, humans have been around for hundreds of thousands of years before any currently practiced religion was invented. So let’s get our facts straight.

“Where did I say anything about the Bible being about the US only? Or that civilization didn’t exist before our country?”

Okay, fair enough. Here’s what I read from you:

“I’d be interested, Austin, to understand where marriage existed before the Bible. Please educate me.”

Anyone who doesn’t know that marriage exists today in ALL non-Christian societies seems to me to be ignorant of the world in a way I cannot even fathom. Anyone who does not know that ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and China pre-date the complete Bible by thousands of years is still fairly ignorant, though, sadly, fairly common.

“Again, you’re taking my comments out of context (as other posters have done when quoting the Bible etc.)”

If that’s the case, then I stand corrected, and apologise. Having explained what I was reading, maybe you can see why I considered these statements to staggeringly ignorant of world history.

“So while it might make you feel temporarily superior to negate my assertions as ignorant and stupid, I believe it just makes you sound angry and bitter.”

Well, no, I refute religious claims that are staggeringly incorrect, because religion is such a powerfully negative and evil force. However, it is very common for the religious to demonise the non-religious with the passive-aggressive “angry and bitter” line, because they don’t really have any coherent or rational response to critics of their beliefs. A means of changing the subject from the way in which there are no rational reasons for god-belief, other than parental and societal indoctrination and the human fear of death.

“God is real. He is alive and well and desires to have an intimate relationship with you. He loves you. And that’s a fact. I know this because He works in and through my life everyday in tangible ways. And He can do the same for you.”

Which god? Yahweh, or Jesus? I’m always amazed that women, who are most oppressed by religion, are the most willing creators of their own shackles. I’m also concerned for my anal integrity if any religious male wants to have an intimate relationship with me, thanks very much. I’m not looking for the master/slave relationship that religious “love” consists of, though it’s clearly important to many others. When you say “tangible” as if the word were synonymous with “utterly nonexistent”, it merely reinforces how untterly unnecessary god-worship and belief are to those of us who have already figured out it’s bogus. You “don’t get the hostility”? People disagreeing with nonsense is not “hostility” Lisa, it’s disagreement with nonsense. Why do the religious think that their passive-aggressive statements fool anyone?

December 2, 2008 at 6:56 pm
(42) Tom Edgar says:

There must be a God I had this finished when it magically shot off the screen somewhere..

Lisa.

You accuse me of taking things out of context then do precisely the same to me and ignore that which you cannot answer.

You speak of texts thousands of years old this I acknowledged and only mentioned the accepted revised versions in current use which were several hundred years old.
You initially used these “Thousands” in support of your statement and I quote verbatim.”That it has been around as long as man and Europe.” I pointed out man had been around for 7 MILLION years and I think that, as much as you may wish to ignore it, is a darn sight longer than either the Bible’s or for that matter Europe’s existence.

Earlier I wrote to you that you aren’t much of a Christian when you uphold the “Oath Taking.” when it is specifically banned by Christ himself. You ignore, once again that which you find unanswerable.

Finding marriage and a God in our DNA is a new one. I’ll have to get a more powerful electron microscope.

I daresay the Hindu Gita contains as many aged documents proving their thousand odd gods are just as real as your three headed one.

Well known and publicised is the North American aborigine’s affinity for their particular deities. Not so well known is that many Australian “Aboriginals” Had NO concept of a God the “Dreamtime.” yep but personal God. Nope.

You speak of arrogance. Maybe in this matter I am, I don’t think so. After all I do not go to your Churches and try to convert. So many Christian ill mannered sects do just that when visiting , uninvited, my home.
You visit this “Atheist” site with the expressed intention of conversion and denigration. You expect to be welcomed with love and adulation?

There is so much said by myself and others which you choose to ignore when inconvenient.

I never called you ignorant nor stupid, lacking in education,or a reluctance for veracity and exactitude is not that. You are not lacking in education, your writing proves that, but education in what? your reluctance in veracity and exactitude you demonstrate in the same writing when ignoring points, and distorting the truths that you falsely attribute to others.

Arrogance? What do we care what you think? You seem to care what we think or why visit?
Why should we care. Well for starters. The “Special” position “Believers” have abrogated to themselves special privileges e,g, Government subsidies and taxing advantages not given to non believers. In many parts of the U S A, thankfully not Australia, employment would not be forthcoming and ostracism would, unless the person was of the right belief.

I would add more but my son wants the machine.
As Dave Allen would say. May your Gods go with you.

tomedgar@halenet.com.au

December 2, 2008 at 9:46 pm
(43) -J says:

Seems to me that it takes more faith to believe in a 7 MILLION YEAR OLD pile of bones was a human than it does to believe there is a creator to our universe.

Is there some objective proof that can show that life was created from non-living molecules as would be required for evolution?

Are you saying that there is an adequate fossil record such that there are sufficient transitional intermediates between the 7 MILLION YEAR OLD fossil and modern man?

“King-Kong ain’t my grandpa!”

December 2, 2008 at 10:00 pm
(44) Lisa says:

Drew #41 – I wasn’t necessarily trying to cherry pick my responses based on an ability (or not) to refute your allegations. I didn’t have the time to respond to each one separately, so I picked a couple and went with those. The 7 million old “Chad”ster is interesting tho. So I could tackle that one. Altho, I don’t think any response I’m going to give you isn’t something that you’re already familiar with.

I appreciate the points made about the anger/bitterness factor by both Drew & Tom. You’re right, this is an Atheist site, and I’m the one visiting your site, sharing my Christian view. I’m enjoying the debate and like to practice defending my faith. So thank you for allowing me the opportunity to do that.

December 2, 2008 at 10:02 pm
(45) Austin Cline says:

Seems to me that it takes more faith to believe in a 7 MILLION YEAR OLD pile of bones was a human than it does to believe there is a creator to our universe.

Why?

Is there some objective proof that can show that life was created from non-living molecules as would be required for evolution?

Feel free to point to the exact portion of the theory of evolution which stipulates that “life was created from non-living molecules.”

Are you saying that there is an adequate fossil record such that there are sufficient transitional intermediates between the 7 MILLION YEAR OLD fossil and modern man?

We have a very good record of the development of homo sapiens over the course of millions of years. Feel free to consult a biology text.

December 3, 2008 at 12:16 am
(46) Tom Edgar says:

-J

King Kong not your grandpa? I have a lot of respect for the macro simian so I certainly hope not.

Just that silly sentence alone shows that you are of the Ozarkian mentality in reference to evolution; that is you have no knowledge whatsoever.

Neither Darwin nor any other evolutionist has ever said man descended from the apes. the only people to maintain this idiotic interpretation are the “Fundies”, and illiterates. Sometimes I do wonder at the difference when confronted by childish poorly educated remarks such as this.

Evolutionists say we descended from a COMMON ANCESTOR. Now I think, on a broad & cynical interpretation, even Religionists would agree that, according to their beliefs, everything descended from God, their common progenitor.

If you are going to debate with intelligent people I suggest you do some educated research before making fallacious statements, check the facts.

Yes there are ways to verify the age of those 7 million year old bones. Even, often or not, to be able to isolate their diseases. So yes
I do give more credibilty to the evidence from bones than “Believers” should give to an imaginary being from no evidence whatsoever, not even bones.

As I have said to others and been denied an answer. Show me verifiable evidence of a God
or of an act of creation. A single sighting from a sane person would help.

You believe in something you can’t see, touch, taste nor smell. That no one has ever seen, and those that tell you it exists, also say it cannot be looked at.Then I’m expected to give credence, to my mind, superstitious fairy stories??

tomedgar@halenet.com.au

December 3, 2008 at 4:31 pm
(47) Jeff says:

Tom,

So, your “Ozarkian mentality” comment must be a big stretch for a guy on an island settled by convicts….

To start our conversation off correctly, are you saying that you agree with the following statement: “Millions of years ago lifeless matter, acted upon by natural forces, gave origin to one or more minute living organisms which have since evolved into all living and extinct plants and animals including man.”?

I will assume you agree with it.

I will for the record agree with the statement that there are changes in humans over time that are verifible i.e. “microevolution” but I do not believe in (note the reference here tom…) Macroevolution which needs changes in a population that lead to a completely new species that has genetic information that did not exist in any of the parents.

So, I believe that all humans have descended from the first Human…Adam. Just like I believe all dogs have micro-evolved from the first dog created by god.

It seems to me that so far you believe in Adam….but that can’t be right.

Are you telling me that some “intermediate fossils” have been found establishing transitions from one specis to another in the evolutionary chain? Or are you, like Darwin, hoping that some show up?

It isn’t enough to say that all those fossils must have been destroyed. Since BILLIONS of fossils have been discovered since Darwin’s theory was put forth…shouldn’t we expect to see a step by step progression from a common (simple) anscestor to animals and Man today?

It could be that the fossil record supports a Creationist point of view more readily than an Evolutionary one.

“Reason is the natural order of truth; but imagination is the organ of meaning.”
-C. S. Lewis

-J

December 4, 2008 at 4:35 am
(48) Tom Edgar says:

Ooh! Education you do need.

My Island, as you put it is about as big as your mainland U S A. AND was peopled,provably, by the Australian Aborigines for at least 140,000 years. Which is a damned sight longer than the fairy story of Adam and Eve is supposed to have been along with the other childish superstitious
claptrap of Gods making universes from nothing
and then sorting out this one little planet
for special mention from the billions in this Milky Way and all the billions of other Milky Way systems.

Well the dog seems to have come along way in evolutionary parlance from canis lupis to all the different breeds, and that is in the space of only a few millenia.

Once again like all those who do not want address that which they can’t answer and wish to stick to those Tennessee Hill Billy remarks about a subject of which they have no
knowledge. You ignore salient points to introduce irrelevancies.

The only question I DID ask is to give verifiable evidence of a Gods existence and for the proof of Creation. Neither you nor any other has ever done so, yet you believe in what you can’t see, touch, smell,taste.Furthermore you believe this
unknowable thing created the universes and as the Bible says there was NOTHING except God. So it must have produced itself from nothing.
Now you explain that with verifiable proof and you may have a convert

I would add, to your snide remark about convicts in Australia’s past,that your own country has the highest, pro rata, number of convicts in the “Western World” RIGHT NOW. Your violent crime rate in a single city is greater than in our whole country. Your Bible bashing apology for a President I would list amongst the worst of the criminals, along with our toady of an ex (Christian) Prime Minister,who collaborated in the murder of millions.You can brag about Christianity. I would sooner have integrity.

Most of the early convicts to Australia were sent for stealing a loaf of bread or similar misdemeanors. Add to that the vast majority of present day Australians are less than two generations old, and I am, proudly, one of them.

tomedgar@halenet.com.au

December 6, 2008 at 1:21 am
(49) Eric (4tunate1) says:

Jeff,

Your division of evolutionary processes between so-called “microevolution” and “macroevolution is a common mistake made by creationists who don’t understand evolutionary theory. Your concept of microevolution is faulty because it supposes that there is some magical boundary that keeps organisms from changing beyond a certain point in relation to their remote ancestors. There has never been any credible evidence to support such a premise while there are mountains of evidence to the contrary. Neither does your concept of macroevolution bear any relation to what the theory of evolution describes. According to the ToE, new species don’t suddenly appear in the space of a few generations nor do offspring have “genetic information that did not exist in the parents”. You are arguing against a strawman.

Furthermore your question about so-called “intermediate fossils” betrays a severe lack of understanding on the suject as well. Every fossil that has ever been found is an “intermediate fossil” (though the term is quite silly, since by contrast it implies the existance of species that are not in a state of change).

December 29, 2008 at 7:19 pm
(50) Josephine says:

Interestingly, the Arab Christians in the Middle East, who live under persecution from jihadist and radical Islamic clerics, were watching the election closely. In their opinion, if Prop 8 failed, the impact on Western culture would be worse than any other threat.

Now, they could be wrong, but they live under the threat of radical Islam day in and day out, so if they fear the deconstruction of marriage over and above the threat of radical Islam, I think it is worth considering.

December 29, 2008 at 7:28 pm
(51) Josephine says:

Also, Michael (comment 10) you may want to check with Bishop Henry of Alberta if you think that religious liberties have not been lost because of same-sex marriage in Canada.

I live in SF. It is a witchhunt if a person opposes same-sex marriage. The lack of tolerance for people who oppose same-sex marriage is unreal. It is emerging as a civil rights issue however from my perspective here at ground zero, the proponents of same-sex marriage are the people who are resorting to thuggery and intimidation not those who supported Prop 8.

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