Progressive Christianity

I’m convinced the liberal left is working on a new tactic – to claim christianity for themselves. That’s right, if you believe in the right to have an abortion, they’re working on scripture interpretation to support it. Gay marriage? They push a “God is Love” approach that allows homosexuality and completely skip over the “homosexuality is bad” scripture. Whatever you want to do, they will say God approves it.

These new “progressive Christians” are insisting that it’s the liberal left that has a claim on Christianity, and any claim by the religious right is in error. From a link at Jesus Politics comes this article, The lame joke of progressive Christianity.

Are you a proponent of abortion and gay rights? Want to get in touch with your inner-sodomite, but can’t reconcile it with those bigoted Bible lessons you were taught in Sunday school? No problem, there is a place for you among a free-thinking community of leftists where, indeed, it is possible to advocate such practices and still call yourself a faithful follower of Christ. Adherents of this new, enlightened form of Christianity are sure to take the Bible “seriously but not literally.” That is, they respect the holy book but are by no means bound by what it actually says, or even what it implies. Like our Constitution, I guess one could say that the Bible has become a living document to be twisted and manipulated at will.

The “progressive” christians are for higher taxes under the umbrella of “economic justice for all” and criticize conservative fiscal policies as being incompatible with scripture. Take it from the rich give it to the poor by excessive taxation is their motto. Does that fulfill Christian scripture? The New Testamament is about giving willingly, not taking it from others by law and distributing it, but the “progressive” see it differently.

Moreover, long subjugated by the “powerful political machine” of right-wingers, Christians on the left are finally speaking out about what they see as a “clash of competing Christian values.” Yes, that’s right — abortionists, socialists, and sodomites are now in a perceived tug-of-war with fundamentalist conservatives for the heart of Christianity.

That’s right, don’t resist whatever sin you face – embrace it publically for all the world to see! Dang blasted conservative christians always telling people to repent – what’s up with that?

Don’t be fooled. This is a Christianity rooted not in the Scriptural truths of God, but in the personal predilections of Man. It is no alternative to salvation. The simple fact is that the “narrow gate” is narrow by design and every one of us has a particular cross to bear on our way through it — some admittedly heavier and more burdensome than others. Nonetheless, we are all called with equal ardor to the house of brotherhood and grace.

John Kerry bumbled this attempt during the 2004 election, but Hillary Clinton is perfecting her message now to be able to twist scripture in a way to promote radical feminism, environmentalism, gay marriage, whatever liberals want. She’ll have it ready by 2008.

Want to see an example of this progressive Christianity in action? Check out this Bill McKibben article The Christian Paradox in yesterday’s Harper’s online magazine – while under the guise of stirring Christians into action, the article spends most of its energy bashing the religious right for failing in their attempts or for not having done enough – when it’s “progressives” like the author that oppose the agenda of the religious right. They oppose the religious right’s teaching of abstinence in school, then complain teenage pregnancy is up. They complain about the divorce rate rising yet are silent on the numbers of people that choose to cohabitate without getting married. They complain about poverty yet oppose faith based initiatives.

Update: Christian CADRE has a lengthy response to the Christian Paradox article that’s well worth reading from a conservative Christian apologetics viewpoint.

2 Timothy 3:2-5
Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

Matthew 7:15-16
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.

I wonder if progressive christians realize their viewpoint is almost identical to the non-christians?

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41 thoughts on “Progressive Christianity

  1. Thanks for the link.

    I was hoping to start an actual dialogue on the issues of what it means to be a Christian and “remember” the poor, but I fear that the divide is too great. Responses from “liberal” Christians so far have not been encouraging.

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  2. Oh (and I really should learn to read all the way through before typing; I keep forgetting this isn’t interactive) teen pregnancy is down, not up.

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  3. Jo,

    Who doesn’t believe in criminalizing immoral acts like rape, murder, and theft? Arguments against “legislating morality” are usually just arguments against legislating another person’s morality. Most people are quite happy to legislate their own. McKibben, for example, is quite happy to legislate his moralistic views on “charitable” giving through taxation, government foreign aid and social welfare programs.

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  4. I believe in criminalizing acts that infringe on other’s rights. I see no point in criminalizing acts that don’t. I also see no point in criminalizing acts solely with the intent of trying to save someone else from behaving immorally.

    I seriously doubt that there are people who aren’t having gay sex just because they can’t have married gay sex. People who make moral choices aren’t swayed by law; adultery isn’t immoral but I’m not going to cheat on my husband just because it’s legal. Those who are swayed by law aren’t making a moral choice, so their souls aren’t in any better shape than if the law didn’t exist.

    You do have it right that people are more likely to argue against legislating someone else’s morality. I doubt many Christians would be lobbying to make it illegal not to pray towards Mecca five times a day. Which should give Christians pause when they start thinking it’s a good idea to legislate their own morals; it puts them exactly the hypocritical camp you’re talking about.

    Legality should be a matter of practicality, not morality.

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  5. “I believe in criminalizing acts that infringe on other’s rights. I see no point in criminalizing acts that don’t. I also see no point in criminalizing acts solely with the intent of trying to save someone else from behaving immorally.”

    But you are still enforcing your own moral code on others while saying other’s cannot enforce their moral code. It’s simply a point you cannot escape. Besides there are plenty of laws that I suspect liberals support that have nothing to do with violating another’s rights, such as laws against animal cruelty, endangered species laws, anti-drug laws, anti-gambling laws, and driving in your car without your seat belt.

    And its notoriously difficult to claim that certain behaviours do not harm others. No man is an Island and what we do affects others. If we get addicted to gambling, addicted to drugs, cause the break up of our marraiges, etc., we are harming others.

    “I seriously doubt that there are people who aren’t having gay sex just because they can’t have married gay sex. People who make moral choices aren’t swayed by law; adultery isn’t immoral but I’m not going to cheat on my husband just because it’s legal. Those who are swayed by law aren’t making a moral choice, so their souls aren’t in any better shape than if the law didn’t exist.”

    I’m confused. How is not redefining marriage criminalizing “gay sex”? You seem to be insisting that the law adopt your moral views on what marriage is even if others do not agree.

    If you are saying that “gay sex” shouldn’t be illegal, I actually agree with you.

    “You do have it right that people are more likely to argue against legislating someone else’s morality. I doubt many Christians would be lobbying to make it illegal not to pray towards Mecca five times a day. Which should give Christians pause when they start thinking it’s a good idea to legislate their own morals; it puts them exactly the hypocritical camp you’re talking about.”

    Obviously legislating morality cannot violate other constitutional rights, such as Freedeom of Religion for example. I just think too many people believe that legislating morality is inherently constitutional.

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  6. “But you are still enforcing your own moral code on others while saying other’s cannot enforce their moral code.”

    In what way? I’m afraid simply making the statement isn’t illustrating your point. What I’ve said is that I believe laws should exist for practical reasons, not moral ones. We could have a society with no laws at all, but those don’t tend to last very long.

    “Besides there are plenty of laws that I suspect liberals support that have nothing to do with violating another’s rights, such as laws against animal cruelty, endangered species laws, anti-drug laws, anti-gambling laws, and driving in your car without your seat belt.”

    I’m sorry, where did I say anything about liberals? And is it your opinion that conservatives oppose those laws? Are you trying to say it’s impossible to be liberal and Christian at the same time? That it’s impossible to be conservative and think one oughtn’t to torture animals? As you pointed out in your own post, drug use isn’t a victimless crime – so anti-drug laws would certainly fall under the practical umbrella rather than the moral one, as you seem to be saying.

    “I’m confused. How is not redefining marriage criminalizing “gay sex”?”

    Yes, you are very confused, because “redefining marriage” is exactly what those who are trying to create laws making it illegal for gays to marry are trying to do. If marriage were already defined as heterosexual only, we wouldn’t need any new legislation to make homosexual marriage illegal.

    And I never said that banning gay marriage would criminalize gay sex – I said that criminalizing gay marriage would not prevent gay sex. So what’s the point? It’s not preventing immoral behavior.

    Legal marriage is about property. What reason is there to prevent gays from marrying under the law? It’s not forcing anyone who doesn’t want to marry someone of the same sex to enter into a homosexual marriage, and it isn’t forcing any religion to recognize or sanctify it. Gay marriages do no more to erode the “sanctity” of marriage than any couple who divorces, or any person who cheats on their spouse. So unless divorce and adultery on the list of “things that ought to be illegal because they erode the sanctity of marriage” there’s no reason for homosexual marriage to be on it, either.

    “Obviously legislating morality cannot violate other constitutional rights, such as Freedeom of Religion for example.”

    What if someone’s religion says they are free to marry someone of the same sex? We certainly have laws that don’t allow those whose religions practice bigamy freely practice that particular aspect. Not sure why you’re bringing up freedom of religion here – are you trying to say that allowing gay marriage will somehow prevent heterosexuals from practicing the religion of their choice? What about the Pursuit of Happiness? Isn’t that a constitutional right? Isn’t preventing someone from marrying the person they love violating that right? Isn’t that the reason laws banning inter-ratial marriage were struck down?

    In any case, I don’t believe that legislating morality is unconstitutional, and never said so. I believe it’s pointless and dangerous. I’ve lived in a country where majority religion and government were synonymous, and it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Especially if you don’t happen to be in the majority.

    What I’m wondering is, where did Jesus say “Majority rules”? I think it would behoove many Christians to remember that when Jesus stopped the stoning of the woman at the well, he didn’t say, “Let ye who are without the exact same sin this woman comitted cast the first stone.” We’re all sinners. We all fall short of the mark. None of us are worthy of His love, yet we all have it. My sin is no more nor less than anyone else’s in His eyes, so why should I spend any time trying to pass legislation in the attempt to keep someone else from sinning? Especially since it won’t.

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  7. To say that the law should prevent people from impeding the rights of others is a moral statement. Why should the law do that? Because it is wrong to impede the rights of others. That you want to call this “practical” does not change the fact at all.

    “I’m sorry, where did I say anything about liberals? And is it your opinion that conservatives oppose those laws? Are you trying to say it’s impossible to be liberal and Christian at the same time? That it’s impossible to be conservative and think one oughtn’t to torture animals? As you pointed out in your own post, drug use isn’t a victimless crime – so anti-drug laws would certainly fall under the practical umbrella rather than the moral one, as you seem to be saying.”

    You are being irrational. I said nothing, nothing at all, that could be construed as even implying that liberals cannot be Christians. I was merely appealing to joint ground to show that liberals, who are usually the ones claiming you cannot legislate morality, in fact legislate their versions of morality.

    I am glad you agree that drug use is not a victemless crime. But it makes me wonder just what you think a victimless crime is. Is adultery victimless? Prostitution? Who is the victim when I fail to wear my seatbelt? Just which laws to you think the religious right wants to pass that are victimless? Once you concede that actions that do not directly harm another can have victims, you’ve given the game away. Then the argument becomes which actions have bad social effects.

    “Yes, you are very confused, because “redefining marriage” is exactly what those who are trying to create laws making it illegal for gays to marry are trying to do. If marriage were already defined as heterosexual only, we wouldn’t need any new legislation to make homosexual marriage illegal.

    And I never said that banning gay marriage would criminalize gay sex – I said that criminalizing gay marriage would not prevent gay sex. So what’s the point? It’s not preventing immoral behavior.”

    I can tell you are not a lawyer. Until the Massachusets Supreme Court redefined marriage, no state had ever issues a valud marriage license to a same sex couple. Most of the “legislation” to which you are referring are constitutional amendments intended to keep other courts from doing the same thing. These courts are being activist and taking on themselves to say that present laws that restrict marriage to one man and one woman are inavlid. You have this all backwards.

    Gay marriage is not “criminalized,” they are just not recognized. Gays are not thrown in prison for calling each other married couples or for living together or for having “gay sex” with each other. There is no criminalization, there is simply recognition that a marriage is between a man and a wife.

    “Legal marriage is about property.”

    If that’s all you think marriage is about then we have a fundamental disagreement about the meaning of marriage.

    “What reason is there to prevent gays from marrying under the law? It’s not forcing anyone who doesn’t want to marry someone of the same sex to enter into a homosexual marriage, and it isn’t forcing any religion to recognize or sanctify it. Gay marriages do no more to erode the “sanctity” of marriage than any couple who divorces, or any person who cheats on their spouse. So unless divorce and adultery on the list of “things that ought to be illegal because they erode the sanctity of marriage” there’s no reason for homosexual marriage to be on it, either.”

    Redefining marriage forces all of us who have moral objections to such a definition to accept the “marriage” as genuine. What’s more, it forces all of us who have moral opposition to such “marriages” to subsidize it through our taxes and provision of services and benefits. And yes, I think that redefining marriage in such a fundamental way does decrease its uniqueness and santicity in which society holds it.

    “What if someone’s religion says they are free to marry someone of the same sex? We certainly have laws that don’t allow those whose religions practice bigamy freely practice that particular aspect.”

    Laws of general applicability do not infringe on the freedom of religion. This is basic constitutional law. If a religion required human sacrifice, the government would not have to make an exception for that religion so it could murder other people.

    “Not sure why you’re bringing up freedom of religion here – are you trying to say that allowing gay marriage will somehow prevent heterosexuals from practicing the religion of their choice?”

    Umm, no. Again you are being irrational. I was responding to your argument about being able to legislate morality and pointing out that being able to legislate morality does not mean being able to legislate in ways that violate the Constitution. Freedom of religion was YOUR example, not mine.

    “What about the Pursuit of Happiness? Isn’t that a constitutional right?”

    No.

    “Isn’t preventing someone from marrying the person they love violating that right? Isn’t that the reason laws banning inter-ratial marriage were struck down?”

    No, those laws were struck down because they were discrimonatory on the basis of race. Racial discrimination is subject to the highest scrutinty under the constitution.

    “In any case, I don’t believe that legislating morality is unconstitutional, and never said so. I believe it’s pointless and dangerous.”

    Glad to hear the former, but since you believe in legislating your own morality I can’t take your latter point seriously.

    “I’ve lived in a country where majority religion and government were synonymous, and it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Especially if you don’t happen to be in the majority”

    I suspect that said country did not have a Constitutoin and the Rule of Law like ours does.

    “What I’m wondering is, where did Jesus say “Majority rules”? I think it would behoove many Christians to remember that when Jesus stopped the stoning of the woman at the well, he didn’t say, “Let ye who are without the exact same sin this woman comitted cast the first stone.” We’re all sinners. We all fall short of the mark. None of us are worthy of His love, yet we all have it. My sin is no more nor less than anyone else’s in His eyes, so why should I spend any time trying to pass legislation in the attempt to keep someone else from sinning? Especially since it won’t.”

    I don’t recall Jesus saying that adultery was fine and that she shouldn’t worry about what other people thought and she should pursue her own happiness and commit as much adultery as possible if that made her happy. I seem to recall that Jesus said, “Go and sin no more.”

    And again, I’m unclear on just what you think we conservative Christians are so intent on legislating that you find objectionable.

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  8. Goodness. That’ll teach me to go to sleep after introducing a topic like this. 😛

    – Jo, of course it’s the government’s place to criminalize immoral acts. That’s what laws do – they define a cultural morality and then enforce it. When you say, “I believe in criminalizing acts that infringe on other’s rights,” then what you’re saying is that your morality is the one that should be enforced. I have a viewpoint that I’ve reached about the topic of gays – the behavior is immoral but I do not think it’s prudent or advisable to futilely attempt to outlaw it, but I oppose any attempt to legitimize it and so I oppose gay marriage. I believe my viewpoint is fair and moral, and so that’s what I want legitimized by law. If you have a different opinion, then you want your opinion to govern how the law is written.

    – Jo, radical feminisim is a branch of feminism that views men and society as the root cause of women’s oppression. Among other things, the bible calls for women to submit to their husbands, and while this isn’t the thread to discuss all the implications and related scripture, blaming men for women’s problems certainly isn’t biblical.

    – Sean, let’s not leave Layman dangling. He doesn’t know how tenacious Jo can be when opposing conservative Christianity. I don’t know why she doesn’t spend an equal amount of energy arguing for Christians to follow the bible closer, but Layman is going to need help. 😛

    – Jo, If marriage were already defined as heterosexual only, we wouldn’t need any new legislation to make homosexual marriage illegal isn’t quite true. Marriage is currently defined as between a man and a woman – and yes, those words “man and woman” are used in almost every state. Massachussetts defined it as between “man and woman” and their Supreme Court struck it down, even though the Defense of Marriage Act signed by Clinton also defines marriage that way. It’s the gays and lesbians that are attempting to redefine marriage in an attempt to legitimize their lifestyle. If it’s law, it must be moral, right?

    – Jo, Jesus didn’t say “majority rules,” but Paul does say that we are called to obey our government which is put in place to serve God’s purposes. In the U.S., it’s majority rules, and we’re fortunate enough to have the freedom to participate.

    – Jo, you can take that “cast the first stone passage” and apply just that, but that’s exactly what’s wrong with progressive Christianity. When you quote scripture, are you also not implying you believe the passages that say she should go and sin no more, homosexuality is immoral and that we should hold our brothers and sisters accountable?

    – Layman, I’m with you on the definition of marriage, legal or otherwise. Property is owned by individuals, pairs, trios, corporations. You can do away with marriage completely and property laws will be unaffected. Marriage is about the union.

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  9. Mike marriage is about the procreation process jointly shared by the couple and God for the act of procreation. It’s natural purpose is to create families for raising the next generation of people. (It also keeps the likes of us men civilized, as we know that bachelors in their natural state are little more than bears with furniture). Women have the supreme role of civilizing both us and the young. Men aren’t that good at it. (IMHO).

    Other species do it differently. Spiders for instance create thousands of young and leave them to fend for themselves. Scorpions create fewer offspring and the mom (dad?) carries them around on her back until they can fend for themselves. Humans create 1-2 offspring and they take a lot of training for inculturation, self sufficiency, etc. About 15 years, minimum. It’s a lot of work (as you well know, single dad). 😉

    Layman, hang in there – I like the thought behind your answers. Do I detect a rationally trained mind? What is your professional background?

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  10. “To say that the law should prevent people from impeding the rights of others is a moral statement. Why should the law do that? Because it is wrong to impede the rights of others.”

    No, the law should do that because 1) Our government was formed under the assumption that citizens would have specific rights, and 2) The purpose of Law is to create and enforce social order. Take away point 1, and you still have point 2. If law was truly about morality, why are there so few laws that don’t address property and the fundamental right to life and liberty encoded into our governmental system?

    “You are being irrational.”

    Really? And here I thought I was asking questions. Are questions irrational? By the way, that’s not a rhetorical question, and neither were any of the ones in my previous post. If you’d like to answer them instead of assuming they are declarative rather than interrogative, perhaps we can actually have a dialog. As an aside, I’ve often found those who can’t defend their position claim the other side is being “irrational”. You might want to avoid saying that so often; it weakens your credibility.

    “But it makes me wonder just what you think a victimless crime is.”

    A victimless crime is one without a victim other than the perpetrator.

    “Is adultery victimless?”

    Currently adultery is not a crime. Do you believe it should be?

    “Prostitution?”

    It can be, but most of the time it is not, which is why I’m not in favor of legalizing it.

    “Who is the victim when I fail to wear my seatbelt?”

    That would depend on the outcome of you not wearing it. Have I said how I feel about seatbelt laws in any way? Is there a “Christian” viewpoint on them?

    “Just which laws to you think the religious right wants to pass that are victimless?”

    Who is the victim in legalizing gay marriage?

    “Once you concede that actions that do not directly harm another can have victims, you’ve given the game away.”

    I have no idea what this means.

    “Then the argument becomes which actions have bad social effects.”

    I believe I said from the beginning that laws should be socially practical and not based on morality. Are you trying to make my argument for me now?

    “Until the Massachusets Supreme Court redefined marriage, no state had ever issues a valud marriage license to a same sex couple.”

    Which has nothing to do with whether the law supported that fact. Which is exactly what the Massachusets Supreme Court pointed out. They didn’t redefine the law, they upheld it.

    “If that’s all you think marriage is about then we have a fundamental disagreement about the meaning of marriage.”

    You have to read every word, not just pick and choose. I said LEGAL marriage is about property. The law couldn’t give a rat’s patootie if you love, honor, cherish, and remain faithful to your spouse. The law doesn’t care if you call it quits, as long as you legally dissolve the marriage contract. The problem with those who want to ban homosexual marriage is they want the law to redefine legal marriage to care about moral issues, and the law simply doesn’t. Nor should it.

    “Redefining marriage forces all of us who have moral objections to such a definition to accept the “marriage” as genuine.”

    No, it doesn’t. It forces you to regonize the marriage as legal. Using your logic, someone who believes it’s immoral to marry after divorce is currently forced to accept second, third, and even forced marriages as genuine. Why is this any different?

    “What’s more, it forces all of us who have moral opposition to such “marriages” to subsidize it through our taxes and provision of services and benefits.”

    Tough luck. People are forced to subsidize all sorts of activities they feel are immoral through taxes and provision of services and benefits. Fundamental Christians don’t get a “get of paying taxes to support things we don’t like free” card.

    “And yes, I think that redefining marriage in such a fundamental way does decrease its uniqueness and santicity in which society holds it.”

    If you think society holds marriage in any sort of uniqueness and sanctity, you’re not paying attention. You are absolutely free to hold marriage in any sort of regard you like.

    “Freedom of religion was YOUR example, not mine.”

    No, it was yours. In post 10 – you said, “Obviously legislating morality cannot violate other constitutional rights, such as Freedeom of Religion for example.”

    “Glad to hear the former, but since you believe in legislating your own morality I can’t take your latter point seriously.”

    Where have I said I believe in legislating my morality? Where have I even said what my morality is? And why do you think your morality is more worthy of being legislated than anyone else’s?

    “I suspect that said country did not have a Constitutoin and the Rule of Law like ours does. ”

    I suspect you’re missing the point. I can’t help but wonder if you’re doing it on purpose.

    “I don’t recall Jesus saying that adultery was fine and that she shouldn’t worry about what other people thought and she should pursue her own happiness and commit as much adultery as possible if that made her happy. I seem to recall that Jesus said, “Go and sin no more.” ”

    And he did NOT say to the crowd – “Go and pass laws preventing her from committing adultery.” In fact, he was telling them to IGNORE the law sentencing her to death for her immoral behavior.

    I do have a question for you – where in the constitution does it give the Federal government any authority over how a state defines marriage?

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  11. Mike – I’m not buying the whole morality thing. The difference between us is that I draw a line between goverment and God, and you don’t. As for radical feminsim, I’ve always wondered why anti-feminists are so quick to throw out the “wives, submit to your husbands” line without the equally important admonishment to husbands. In any case, I’m relieved that I’ve never met a radical feminist.

    And I would appreciate you (again) not talking about me as if I’m not here. If you have a question to ask me, ask me – don’t ask Sean. I can ask you a question – why do you spend so much time talking about other people’s immorality? Why do you ignore in this forum all the parts of the bible that are about compassion and humility and concerning ourselves with our own shortcomings?

    “If it’s law, it must be moral, right?” Not even close. That’s my point, and where you go horribly wrong in your thinking.

    The U.S. is NOT “majority rules” – our government is specifically set up to discourage majority rule. It’s another place where your thinking is horribly wrong.

    “When you quote scripture, are you also not implying you believe the passages that say she should go and sin no more, homosexuality is immoral and that we should hold our brothers and sisters accountable?”

    When I quoted that particular scripture, it was to illustrate that Jesus was clearly drawing a line when it comes to legislating and judging other people’s sin. He told the woman to work on her own sin, and he told everyone else to bugger off. I tend to pay more attention to what Jesus actually said than what other people said about what he said, or what they think he said, or what think he ought to have said, or what they think he might have been thinking when he did or didn’t say something.

    As for marriage, I believe it’s bigger than the law. But part of my marriage is inside the law of the government, and part of it is inside the law of God. Atheists marry all the time. That’s a legal union. What I feel marriage should be in God’s eyes is separate from what I believe marriage should be in the law’s eyes. If we did away with marriage tomorrow, property laws WOULD be affected, because part of what law does in marriage is assign property rights according to marriage. Those of us who have been divorced should have first-hand appreciation of that fact.

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  12. “Layman, hang in there – I like the thought behind your answers. Do I detect a rationally trained mind? What is your professional background?”

    I am a lawyer and much too busy to keep answering questions and accusations that are based on an irrational reading of what I am writing.

    “Take away point 1, and you still have point 2. If law was truly about morality, why are there so few laws that don’t address property and the fundamental right to life and liberty encoded into our governmental system?”

    Umm, those laws themselves are based on morality. It is considered immoral to violate the rights of another. So we pass laws to help protect those rights.

    “Really? And here I thought I was asking questions. Are questions irrational?”

    Again you are being irrational. Sure, some questions can be irrational. You asked me if I was saying that liberals cannot be Christians when I said nothing that would suggest to any rational person that I was saying any such thing. Your inference, I hesitate to even call it that, had no basis and I can only suspect that it was a rhetorical strategy to put me on the defensive or came from a mind so steeped in its own propoganda that it reacts a certain way no matter what is said.

    And demanding that I answer your questions when you do not answer mind is rather hypocritical isn’t it? I asked you if adultery was victimless. You refused to answer. Obviously the answer is that it is not victimless. The spouse is harmed and often the children are harmed. Moreover, marriage itself his harmed. All of which together harms society. Does that mean I would outlaw it? Nope, for a number of reasons. Do I think that the Constitution provides a right to adultery? Nope.

    I also asked you what laws you think we are trying to pass that are based only on morality and are victimless? You again refuse to answer. Instead you ask your own question, which is again irrational. Marriage law is not criminal law, it is civil law. Stopping activist courts from redefining marriage is not criminalizing anything. Yet it does protect society from the further erosion of the specialness of marriage in our society. And it protects those who view such “marriages” as immoral from being forced to subsidize such behavior.

    The notion that the Massachussets courts were defending the law as it is is ridiculous. Massachusets had never allowed “gay marriage” for any of its more than 200 years of history. What they did is expan their interpretation of their constitution to invalidate the marriage laws as they were. No one had previously interpreted the law in that manner. It was activism pure and simple. A self-righteous unelected handful of people telling millions of citizens and their elected representatives that the way the law had been since the establishment of Massachussets was now, suddenly, wrong.

    “No, it doesn’t. It forces you to regonize the marriage as legal. Using your logic, someone who believes it’s immoral to marry after divorce is currently forced to accept second, third, and even forced marriages as genuine. Why is this any different?”

    No, using my logic if enough people who think it is immoral to marry after a divorce got enough votes to change the law, they could do so. But there are not nearly enough votes for that. The vast majority of Americans, however, do not want to be forced to subsidize “gay marriage.” If that changes, then I lose and will be forced to subsidize something I oppose. Does that make it right to force me to do so? Not at all.

    “Tough luck. People are forced to subsidize all sorts of activities they feel are immoral through taxes and provision of services and benefits. Fundamental Christians don’t get a “get of paying taxes to support things we don’t like free” card.”

    Yet your point was that I shouldn’t be able to oppose gay marriage because it has no affect on me. I have shown that it does have an affect on me. And therefore I have reason to oppose gay marriage for reasons that directly bear on me. That I might lose that fight in the democractic process is one of the results of living in a democracy. That I might lose that fight because of judicial activism is a shame and undemocratic.

    See how you shift from one argument to another without actually addressing the argument that was being refuted? You need to discipline your mind in these discussions and stay on track.

    “If you think society holds marriage in any sort of uniqueness and sanctity, you’re not paying attention. You are absolutely free to hold marriage in any sort of regard you like.”

    By any measure our society does. The government subsidizes it, the churches and temples preach it, and Americans are the most marrying people on the planet. The American marriage rate is the highest in the world: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/peo_mar_rat

    “No, it was yours. In post 10 – you said, “Obviously legislating morality cannot violate other constitutional rights, such as Freedeom of Religion for example.””

    Again, discipline yourself. Read back futher. Post 8 I believe it is in which you said, “I doubt many Christians would be lobbying to make it illegal not to pray towards Mecca five times a day.”

    “Where have I said I believe in legislating my morality? Where have I even said what my morality is? And why do you think your morality is more worthy of being legislated than anyone else’s?”

    When you said you favor legislation that forces people to respect the rights of others. That’s a moral position. As for my morality being more worthy, you show a startling misunderstanding of democracy. My ability to enforce my morality, to the extent such is unconstitutional and advisable, depends entirely on my ability to gather enough support among the population to elect or pressure elected representatives who will then pass the laws I favor. My morality does not get any special standing as a basis for legislation over anyone else’s. It’s entitled to one vote and the persuasive speech I can amass in support of it. Nothing more, but nothing less. It is unelected judges, like the ones in Massachussets, who think that THEIR morality is so superior to ours that they get to enforce it on us no matter what we think.

    “And he did NOT say to the crowd – “Go and pass laws preventing her from committing adultery.” In fact, he was telling them to IGNORE the law sentencing her to death for her immoral behavior.” Jesus was speaking to a mob, not the goverment. I also oppose vigilantism and hypocrisy.

    “I do have a question for you – where in the constitution does it give the Federal government any authority over how a state defines marriage?”

    Article V, which explains how to Amend the Constitution. There is no limit on what you can Amend the Constitution to say, so long as you follow Article V. If you are asking whether as the Constitution stands does the federal government have the right to define marriage FOR the states, the answer is no, not at all. And it has not done so. Instead, the Protection of Marriage Act defines marriage for the federal government and its purposes, and protects the rights of states to define marriage as they see fit. It does not require any state to adopt a specific meaning of marriage.

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  13. 2) The purpose of Law is to create and enforce social order.

    And morality is part of social order.

    As an aside, I’ve often found those who
    can’t defend their position claim the other side is being “irrational”.

    I think that’s funny. You have labeled people in the past as “ignorant” and defended it when the recipients objected to it as offensive.

    I believe we are having a dialog, one that you don’t like any of the answers you are receiving. Layman’s responses are very rational.

    Currently adultery is not a crime. Do you believe it should be?

    You’ve phrased a question again that wasn’t asked. I don’t believe conservative christians are currently arguing to make gay sex illegal, just resisting all efforts to legitimize gay marriages. The difference is that adulters aren’t organizing “Adultery Pride” Parades and trying to get the definition of marriage changed to include bigamy.

    There’s not a Christian viewpoint on seatbelts here. Layman was pointing out examples liberal victimless laws, laws that you support. In other words, your morality imposed upon society is ok, but your opposition to Christians morality is hypocritical.

    I have no idea what this means.

    Yeah, I know. Layman’s response was rational and properly constructed; I got it, and no doubt Sean did, too. The point was you only want laws that protect individuals from directly harming others, but that’s your morality that you want enforced, and yet your morality doesn’t protect individuals from directly harming others. What you want as law doesn’t meet its own criteria.

    Which has nothing to do with whether the law supported that fact. Which is exactly what the Massachusets Supreme Court pointed out. They didn’t redefine the law, they upheld it.

    Incorrect. In a 4-3 decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court struck out the words “legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife” and replaced them with “the voluntary union of two persons as spouses, to the exclusion of all others.” In other words, marriage was redefined. Your argument originally was that heterosexuals were attempting to redfeine marriage, yet this clearly shows it was the homosexuals that redefined it.

    I said LEGAL marriage is about property. The law couldn’t give a rat’s patootie if you love, honor, cherish, and remain faithful to your spouse.

    Pfft. You know this isn’t a battle for property rights. People do not have to be married to gain legal property rights. I could buy a farm jointly with my brother. I could buy an office building with 2 women. Everytime I open a bank account, investment account, IRA, or life insurance policy, I’m asked for the name of a beneficiary, and marriage doesn’t affect that one bit. This entire battle is about whether gay relationships ought to be recognized as moral by our society.

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  14. Mike – I’m not buying the whole morality thing. The difference between us is that I draw a line between goverment and God, and you don’t.

    Government enforces protection and social order. Marriage defines our social order. I oppose attempts to redefine the social order that leads to degredation of society and immoral behavior. You make it sound like somehow I’m pushing for some sort of change, but instead I’m trying to maintain the status quo. I don’t think government should enforce morals, but neither do I think the government should promote immoral behavior.

    I don’t believe I’m anti-feminist. I admonish a *lot* more men on a one-to-one basis that before they start demanding that their wives submit that they need to learn what “treat your wife as part of your own body” means.

    why do you spend so much time talking about other people’s immorality?

    Live your life anyway you wish. I oppose changing legislation to promote immoral behavior because it affects what my children see as normal when they grow up and affects the ability to share the gospel (homosexual behavior doesn’t occur in a vacuum, they entice a 2nd person that could be saved someday.) Why do you defend immoral behavior?

    Why do you ignore in this forum all the parts of the bible that are about compassion and humility and concerning ourselves with our own shortcomings?

    I don’t ignore them, but compassion comes with discipline. The bible is protective for our own good. Loving my brother means trying to protect them from what is bad, not encouraging them. The bible doesn’t tell me to concern myself with only my own shortcomings, only that before I spend time rebuking my brother that I’m not hypocritical with a plank in my own eye, and use accountability partners to make sure I’m not hypocritical. Why do you disregard the parts about discipline and sin?

    [Jesus] told the woman to work on her own sin, and he told everyone else to bugger off.

    Then I suppose Jesus went to the Romans and asked them to pass laws saying adultery is not only allowed but also should be promoted as a healthy lifestyle?

    What I feel marriage should be in God’s eyes is separate from what I believe marriage should be in the law’s eyes.

    While you accuse me of joining government and God together, I will point out that you are one person, not two. If you are a person of God, you are a person of God 100% of the time, not compartmentalized into religious, legal, and social beings. Holding two different opposing views of marriage is hypocritical. If you’re only worried about legal property rights, then perhaps instead of getting married, homosexuals should just enter into “S” Corporations, LLC.

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  15. Layman – I had an answer ready to post, but I deleted it because I have no desire to engage in attempted character assassination disguised as debate, on either side. Suffice it to say that we simply fundamentally disagree on the origin and purpose of law and the role of the government. Peace be with you and yours.

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  16. Jo,

    I do not know enough about your character to laud it or assissnate it. Nor have I suggested your character is flawed. I have noted that you tend to demand answers while you avoid giving them yourself, and that you should be more disciplined in your responses to others. But it was you who started accusing me of being dishonest (“I suspect you’re missing the point. I can’t help but wonder if you’re doing it on purpose.”).

    All the best,

    Chris

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  17. Mike – I haven’t defended any behavior. I simply separate law from morality. There are immoral things that are legal, and there are legal things that are immoral. I make sure my children understand my beliefs, regardless of what laws are in place.

    If you notice, Jesus pretty much stayed out of government business. He didn’t lobby to change laws one way or the other; I suspect because He was too busy trying to teach us that we choose our own path and need to pay attention to where we’re placing our feet. By the way, that’s an allegory – something the bible is full of, which is why I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I hear people say there’s something wrong with not taking the bible literally.

    I am one person bound by two laws – the laws of my government and the laws of God. Recognizing the difference between those does not make me two people, nor a hypocrite. When I married my husband, it wasn’t God who declared our income community property split a specific way. It wasn’t God who gave me the right to sign consent forms on my husband’s behalf. It wasn’t God who decided I get his social security benefits if he dies, or gave him legal rights to our children, or any of the other legal benefits of marriage. Neither would entering into an LLC, by the way.

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  18. Layman, my discipline is just fine. We speak different languages. If our paths cross in the future, I will be careful to be more literal in an attempt to improve our communication.

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  19. Michael: As an outsider looking in, it would appear that the reason Jo may not “spend more energy arguing for Christians to follow the bible closer” is because Jo hasn’t accepted Christ and died to self. If your a born again Christian you uphold the teaching of the Bible and you are called to share it with others. The Bible tells us to proclaim His word and that all scripture is God inspired and useful in teaching and rebuking others. If Christians just sit back and watch the secular world and liberals do as they wish, and not as God intends, then this world is really going to spiral out of control.

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  20. I simply separate law from morality.

    The law is supposed to be just; “just” is an interpetation of morality. All laws dictate morals in one form or another, an attempt to force society to do what is right. Even something as simple as, say, property taxes is an attempt to force people to pay their fair share. Laws against jaywalking prevent people from risking themselves. Criminal law and civil law is all an attempt to force society’s viewpoint on society. There is no separation of law and morality – without morals, why have any laws at all?

    Jesus pretty much stayed out of government business.

    Except for that whole “dying under Roman law” thing he voluntarily subjected Himself to.

    I suspect because He was too busy trying to teach us that we choose our own path and need to pay attention to where we’re placing our feet.

    Many things in the bible can be taken too far if taken out of context; that why the bible often provides a contrary, yet complimentary lesson. Jesus did not tell us to “choose our own path” to the exclusion of others; He also tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Should I stand by as my neighbor sticks his finger into an electrical socket? Or should I warn him? If he’s about to cause harm to himself spiritually, should I warn him? The bible also speaks clearly that Christians should be good citizens and to cooperate with government. Since we live in a country that allows us to participate, we do not have to sit idly by while the government changes civil law to promote a harmful lifestyle; as a good citizen, I can participate to make sure the laws are just and moral. I owe it to my brother to resist harmful changes in the law. Most of Jesus’s teachings were about compassion for His fellow man and exhorted His fellow man not to sin. Jesus most certainly did not say, “don’t worry about your brother, let him fend for himself.”

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  21. Layman – I always say exactly what I mean. Why can’t you accept that we simply use language in different ways? You’re obviously a linear and literal thinker, which is understandable – most men are the first and a good many people are the second. I’m sure it suits you well in your profession. I’m curious, are you a trial lawyer? I ask because of your insistance that my refusal to stick to the path you want me to is “irrational”. It would also be a logical explanation of why you posted your link about marriage without also posting this one: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/peo_div_rat – trying to manage the direction of a discussion instead of exploring it in full would be the smart thing to do at a trial.

    Outside observer – feel free to speak to me directly if you have any questions about me. I freely admit that I am not a ‘fundamental’ bible-literalist Christian. I freely admit I think those who are, are sadly missing out on the best of Jesus’ lessons. I also think if you are truly a born again Christian, you should know better than to assume anything about someone else’s walk. The ironical thing about Michael’s question is that we are both spending energy arguing for Christians to follow the bible more closely. We just have different beleifs about what that means.

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  22. Michael – you’re getting tripped up in a circular definition. Laws are moral only if one is defining morality as an established code of behavior with a given society. But if that is the case, then the law defines what is moral, and that isn’t a true statement. Law is one type of morality, but it is not the sum of morality. If you truly believe there is no separation of law and morality, then do you believe that all things allowable under the law are moral? If not, where is the distinction?

    I’m sorry you misinterpreted my allegory. Must be contagious. I certainly have never once said that everyone should fend for themselves, and you know me well enough to know I don’t believe it, so I’m disappointed that you’re saying it here. I expected better.

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  23. No circular reasoning intended. Wording it as “complying with the law is moral behavior” would have been better word choice. For a Christian, moral behavior is defined by God’s Word and the Holy Spirit, and God’s Word tells us to comply with the law so long as it does not contradict God’s Word.

    Laws should not contradict what is moral; laws should support what is moral and in some cases like murder and incest mandate it.

    Don’t be disappointed in me for misunderstanding you, and I won’t be disappointed in you for not making your point clear. The “I expected better” is derogatory; I expected better. If you don’t think our neighbor should fend for themselves and you do think we ought to try and stop them from doing something harmful, why do you oppose efforts to do exactly that?

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  24. “Layman – I always say exactly what I mean. Why can’t you accept that we simply use language in different ways? You’re obviously a linear and literal thinker, which is understandable – most men are the first and a good many people are the second. I’m sure it suits you well in your profession. I’m curious, are you a trial lawyer?”

    I really have no idea what you mean by being a “linear and literal thinker.” I do try to answer questions that are asked and employ logic in discussions. If you are using circuluar and metaphorical thinking in your discussions I can see why we have a problem.

    “It would also be a logical explanation of why you posted your link about marriage without also posting this one: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/peo_div_rat – trying to manage the direction of a discussion instead of exploring it in full would be the smart thing to do at a trial.”

    Yeah, I hid it in plain site. If you had read my post on McKibben’s article you would see that I agree that the high divorce rate is the best piece of evidence he has and one of the largest failings of American Christianity. But you first have to believe in marriage to ever have the opportunity to get a divorce. And those people who get remarried are even more likely to get divorce. In other words, Americans, despite all the hurdles, think marriage is something worth pursuing.

    Yes, I am a trial lawyer.

    “I also think if you are truly a born again Christian, you should know better than to assume anything about someone else’s walk.”

    Funny how you attack my belief (“truly”!) when I have not attacked yours. I have no idea what you walk is like, only that your arguments are poor.

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  25. Michael – Here’s the problem in a nutshell – it makes not one whit of difference if homosexual marriage is legalized or not. There is not a single person in the world who is going to reason, “Gosh, I really wanted to be homosexual, but if I can’t enter into a homosexual marriage I’ll just be heterosexual instead.” I honestly don’t care one way or the other if gay marriage is legal or not – I simply haven’t heard a compelling argument as to why it shouldn’t be, and in fact I believe Christians who expend ANY energy in that direction are doing themselves more spiritual damage than good. It’s completely self-serving, which is NOT what Christianity is about. You are not helping your brothers and sisters by opposing gay marriage, because in doing so you are doing nothing to turn them from sin. You just get to feel rightous and fuzzy about stamping out evil even though in reality you’re doing nothing of the sort.

    “I expected better” is not derrogatory, it’s an expression of disappointment. (But the fact that you think it is begs the question of why you feel it’s OK to say it to me when it’s not OK I say it to you) I’m disappointed because I am having to learn once again that unless I agree 100% with your approach to politics, your assumption is that I’m just not a Christian. Heck, if I’m not willing to write my congressman demanding he do something that I think will do absolutely nothing to help anyone, I might as well be out back sacrificing goats in a pentagram.

    Layman – your constant jabs are boring me, but I think you’re starting to see the light. Metaphorical language is not the antithesis of logic – if you can get past that, we may have a chance of communicating. And unless you were tryng to make your argument look stronger by pretending to be someone else and attacking me, the other commment was not directed at you. And it wasn’t an attack on anyone’s belief, it was a comment on their manners. Once again, you have missed the point, tried to assign meaning to something, and gotten it wrong. At least when your rhetoric confused me I asked for clarification instead of assuming the worst of you.

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  26. There is not a single person in the world who is going to reason, “Gosh, I really wanted to be homosexual, but if I can’t enter into a homosexual marriage I’ll just be heterosexual instead.”

    There may be a person so tempted by sin such as homosexuality that he ever accepts Christ. You’re willing to accept that, apparently. I’m not. It’s not self-serving; I gain nothing for myself. And you’re not helping your brothers and sisters resist temptation by arguing *for* changing statutes to promote sin.

    The “I expected better” was supposed to illustrate that your “I expected better” was derogatory. It wasn’t supposed to be insulting, but I apologize for my words.

    I said nothing about whether you were a Christian. It is not for me to determine your salvation; that’s for Christ. Howver, it is my duty as a Christian brother to rebuke another Christian if I feel they are not following biblical principles. If I am incorrect, I am always happy to learn; show me. So far, though, when I raise scripture dealing with discipline and sin, you don’t even acknowledge I said anything. We don’t let our children do anything they want because it spoils them and makes them incorrigible. God disciplines us, too. He also tells us to resist all forms of sin. I can’t fathom any Christian argument that would promote homosexuality under the guise of Christian love without ignoring chunks of the bible.

    I understand Layman just fine; he already has “a chance at communicating.” If you don’t think you’re ever going to agree with him, perhaps you could just say so without denigrating his communication skills. Sometimes when a lamp won’t turn on, it’s the plug. Other times it’s the light bulb.

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  27. Michael – Great words, but they don’t adress anything I said. Could you explain how you get from me saying “banning gay marriage will not be effective in turning anyone from sin” to you saying I’m willing to accept the risk that someone might turn to sin? Because I’m not seeing the connection.

    I have no doubt you understand Layman; I didn’t say HE didn’t have a chance of communicating, I said WE, as in he and I communicating with each other. It was really sweet of you to attempt to stick up for him when you thought I was attacking his communication skills. Too bad you didn’t extend me the same courtesy when he actually DID attack my communication skills time and again.

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  28. I understand metaphor when properly communicated. But I don’t understand why that means you get to ignore my questions while you demand I answer yours. Or why I raised the issue of religious freedon you mentioned the subject first. Or why it is conservatives who are “changing” the law by trying to enforce the laws that have been on the books for 200 years. Or why I am the one “assasinating” your character when you are the one doubting whether I am “truly” born again.

    I have become convinced though that to the extent we cannot communicate with each other, I have been spared a heavy burden.

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  29. Layman – at least you’re consistant. Once more, with feeling – I did not demand you answer my questions. I said nothing at all about doubting if anyone was truly born again, least of all you, whom I was not adressing with that comment.

    Since no one is forcing you to attempt any interaction with me at all, you can spare yourself any burden you feel may ensue by the attempt or success of such communication.

    Michael – are you paying attention here?

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  30. Michael – Great words, but they don’t adress anything I said. Could you explain how you get from me saying “banning gay marriage will not be effective in turning anyone from sin” to you saying I’m willing to accept the risk that someone might turn to sin? Because I’m not seeing the connection.

    The more one is participating in “fleshly” sins, the harder it is to share the word of God. It would be easier to share the gospel with someone who is not a prostitute that with someone who is. Same with homosexuality. My opinion.

    Changing the laws to promote homosexuality, then, work against sharing God’s Word.

    I’m paying attention, Jo. I agree with Layman, and from my perspective it seem you’re not listening to him.

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  31. Michael – “It would be easier to share the gospel with someone who is not a prostitute that with someone who is.” That may be true, but it still doesn’t address what I’ve said. The problem I have is not with your different perspective regarding the danger of legalizing homosexual marriage; it’s with your conclusion that because we have a different perspective of the danger that I simply don’t care. It’s not that I don’t care about the risk, it’s that I don’t agree the risk is there to begin with. That is a huge difference and I am not going to sit idly by and let you misrepresent my position without attempting to clarify it, as many times as it takes.

    And I know what Layman is saying. He’s saying the same thing you said, which is why you’re cheering him on. And which is I suppose why you’re accusing me of doing what he is doing, and supporting him for doing it while admonishing me. Or did you think he was being complimentary when he said he was being “spared a heavy burden” by not being able to communicate with me? And why you looked the other way not once but twice when he accused me of attacking him when my comment was clearly directed towards someone else. And why my saying “we are speaking different languages” is an attack on HIS communication skills but him saying I need to “dicipline my mind”, telling me no less than six times that I’m “irrational”, that communicating with me would be a “burden”, and that I’m using “cirucular and metaphorical thinking” is not.

    Oh, by the way, I didn’t address one of your posts, and I apologize, so here’s the response:

    You: “As an aside, I’ve often found those who can’t defend their position claim the other side is being “irrational”.

    I think that’s funny. You have labeled people in the past as “ignorant” and defended it when the recipients objected to it as offensive.

    Me: I didn’t complain that it was offensive. I pointed out that in my experience, people who toss that word about use it as a deflective tactic, meant to discredit the speaker rather than what they are saying. It was my first tip-off that Layman is a trial lawyer. However, there is a huge difference between “ignorant” and “irrational”. Ignorance is simply a lack of knowledge. Irrationality indicates a lack of ability, either in reasoning or communicating.

    You: There’s not a Christian viewpoint on seatbelts here. Layman was pointing out examples liberal victimless laws, laws that you support.

    Me: That would have been great, only I never said squat about what “liberal victimless laws” I support. He was attempting to trip me up in words he was putting in my mouth. I refused to play along.

    You: “I have no idea what this means.”

    Yeah, I know. Layman’s response was rational and properly constructed; I got it, and no doubt Sean did, too. The point was you only want laws that protect individuals from directly harming others, but that’s your morality that you want enforced, and yet your morality doesn’t protect individuals from directly harming others. What you want as law doesn’t meet its own criteria.”

    Me: The statement I was referring to was this: “Once you concede that actions that do not directly harm another can have victims, you’ve given the game away.”

    I don’t know what “game” he’s referring to. The reason I didn’t (and still don’t) is because he followed up that statement with this one: “Then the argument becomes which actions have bad social effects.”

    Which was exactly the point I was making to begin with, that he was trying to debate against. You may have a valid point when you say that “what I want as law doesn’t meet its own criteria” (I happen to disagree because as I said above, I don’t share your opinion regarding the potential risk) but it in no way supports HIS argument that all laws are based on morality and what I want is to enforce my own morality through law.

    And back to misstatement of my position – I never said that I ONLY want laws which protect individuals from directly harming others. I made a response to his post listing very specific examples of laws protecting people from being harmed by others in which he claimed those laws were based on morality. Of course, then he turned around and made the comment about “actions with bad social effects” which takes us right back to the “moral vs. legal” semantic divide.

    What I actually said was this: “I also see no point in criminalizing acts solely with the intent of trying to save someone else from behaving immorally.” To me, that’s the difference between the law being the sum of morality and a subset of morality. And yes, I KNOW YOU DISAGREE. I’ve never said (as Layman insists) that you ought to view things differently, or that you ought not be able to lobby for whatever laws you want passed. What I’ve done is offer my opinon, as my opinion, and for that I’ve been accused of holding viewpoints I don’t hold, supporting laws I’ve never said I supported, accusing people of things I’ve never accused them of, and saying things I’ve never said.

    And now, I’m done. For good.

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  32. The bottom line is that changing statues in a way that does not improve society is a bad thing. I think changing those statues by judicial activism is an especially deterimental thing to do. I don’t believe we’ve spoken of making homosexual activity illegal, just refusing to pass laws that promote it.

    The 2008 election will be interesting. Liberals are already realizing the middle of America can be persuaded by using half the bible to make their point and ignore the rest.

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