Third Party & Independents Archives

Farewell Falwell - No Farewell Iraq

The Rev. Jerry Falwell is dead. Amen, say many. Some of my liberal friends are saying the world will be better off. One of my Republican friends is lamenting his passing. My take is he was the closest thing to PT Barnum the Evangelical world ever saw. He was a master at knowing his audience’s prejudices, preferences, and audience likes and dislikes, and he played to them as a master showman. Saying it would be better to vote for the Devil than Hillary, he knew how to turn his following’s passions on.

And for those who needed his ministering, he was a good and great man. He gave them voice in a land that had largely left their values and beliefs rusting, with the passing of the industrial age. He brought their values and beliefs back into the mainstream of politics raising them up as high and venerated as the U.S. Constitution itself.

For those who saw the tearing down of the 'wall' between church and state as pulling cornerstones out from underneath our Constitution, his passing marks the end, hopefully, of that movement. For those who never wanted to see religion be a litmus test for public office, his passing marks the end of cloudy skies and the sun shining through again.

But, neither camp's passions about the man accurately reflects the importance of the man in America's evolution. Dr. Jerry Falwell, regardless of one's passions for or against him, was a man of his time with his message on the pulse of issues America must wrestle through before she can find solidarity and unity, if indeed, she ever can again. America made Jerry Falwell just as certainly as Jerry Falwell made the Fundamentalist Right Evangelical Christians a front and center constituency to be dealt with.

May he rest in peace.

Iraq will not see peace for decades. That seems to be the consensus of the Iraqi government, the U.S. government, and most leaders of other nations. Polls are beginning to show America is very divided and factional about varying courses of action. There is no majority for a complete pullout in light of the prospect of al-Queda spreading its roots there. There is no majority for the U.S. to continue as occupier and policeman over the Iraqi sectarian warfare.

This lack of consensus plagues the U.S. Senate as well, as the linked article above demonstrates. In the absence of a clear course of action backed by consensus, it is most probable we will stay the course. We will adjust our troop levels and logistics, and we may even redefine America's mission in Iraq after September when Gen. Petraeus is due to report on the effectiveness of the surge policy and likely, the progress of the Iraqi government to stand on its own two feet and manage its internal affairs and problems. But, it appears clear that America will be in Iraq as our 2008 elections unfold.

For all the word war over Rep. John Murtha's plan to redeploy our troops out of the sectarian war, but, remain involved in stabilizing Iraq's borders, training Iraqi forces, and attacking al-Queda strongholds in conjunction with Iraqi forces, it appears Rep. John Murtha had the only plan that will prevail with, or without, public consensus.

The Buzz in D.C. is that Congressional Republicans are giving Pres. Bush an ultimatum to clearly change course in Iraq come September or, they will have to compromise with the Democrats in the latter half of this year to change the course themselves by overriding the President's vetoes. One political reality appears to be motivating this unprecedented split between the President and Congressional Republicans, the potential slaughter of Republicans at the polls in 2008 if there is no change in the status of the Iraq situation.

If only Rev. Falwell would have a sit down with his new neighbor, the Lord, and explain why the Lord needs to smite Iraq off the face of the earth, so Republicans can return to power and save all the American unborn babies, our Iraqi situation could be solved. I personally think the Lord will turn a deaf ear, politics is not really his province. And trading Iraqi unborn babies for American unborn babies may not be the Lord's idea of a moral bargain.

And that means we Americans are going to have to find our own solution to the Iraq situation. In the end, I believe Rep. John Murtha will own the authorship of the Iraq solution. And that means America will be divided over the Iraq question for many years to come, as a limited presence of American soldiers in Iraq endures for the foreseeable future.

Posted by David R. Remer at May 15, 2007 02:08 PM
Comments
Comment #220464

David,

Could it be the President is secretly meeting with Republicans to have them “stay the course” so that he can bring the troops home in September, not 2007, but 2008, having the Iraqi government deliberately stand down, until such time that it is politically convenient, then rising up and declaring an end to sectarian violence and taking overwhelming control of Iraq around, say, July 4, 2008? Wouldn’t that be an interesting turn of events. Maybe there is more politics in the President’s stance, and the Iraq story than the Democrats see coming?

JD

Posted by: JD at May 15, 2007 08:14 PM
Comment #220469

And of course our soldiers in Iraq will remain hostage to Bush’s politics until then?

Posted by: Rocky at May 15, 2007 08:58 PM
Comment #220474

JD, I don’t think the Iraqi government is into shooting themselves in the foot just so Bush can improve his party’s standing at the 08 elections.

I have listened to the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq, they aren’t playing games, contrary to some opinions around here.

That said, there are arrangements made between the Bush and al-Maliki government that we don’t know about, that is for certain. So, one person’s speculation is as good as another’s at this point, and who knows. The Iraqi government definitely does not want to see a complete withdrawal of U.S. forces.

Though I believe the Deputy said they look forward to see the U.S. end this surge in Baghdad and let them handle it. Appeared to me he was subtly implying that our forces there are creating more violence than would otherwise be the case, saying a redeployment may allow Iraqis to get control of the Baghdad situation. He didn’t however specify a time frame, so I can’t be sure if he was talking about now, or, in September.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 15, 2007 09:58 PM
Comment #220486

Like him or not, Falwell is an icon. And there will always be those that will follow his brand of Religious politics.
While I didn’t hate him, I think he was wrong most the time in the way he did things.
The most important thing he forgot is ya can’t force folks to believe the way you do.

JD.
Ya just night be right. Bush might be sitting back waiting until the 11th hour to pull our troops out of Iraq and save the election for the Republicans. But the question is will the Iraqi government step up and take control?
It hasn’t so far. And I’m not looking for it to anytime soon.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 15, 2007 11:53 PM
Comment #220487

Jerry Falwell was an utter charlatan who callously and calculatedly inflamed the passions of stupid Christians (note that means Christians who also happened to be stupid, not to say that ALL Christians are stupid) with his demagoguery, and grew fat off the pecuniary benefits he could reap by defaming, advocating the disenfranchisement of, and endangering entire segments of the population.

Falwell claimed it was better to vote for the Devil than for Hillary. If there is any justice in the afterlife, right now he’s finding out how the Devil felt about that characterization.

While I was working out this morning, the gym’s TV was on Anderson Cooper’s CNN show, and Christopher Hitchens was positively reaming Falwell. It was excellent — I encourage others to check it out.

Posted by: Yossarian at May 16, 2007 01:03 AM
Comment #220526

Yossarian, I am always dismayed when those on the left and right demonstrate such disprespect and disdain for American political leaders who give voice to the people.

I don’t think there is a word that came out of Falwell’s mouth, that I could agreed with. But, the man was a leader and voice for millions of law abiding American citizens. It is passionate disdain and even hate that your comments demonstrate that assasinated Martin Luther King, that murdered those 3 little girls in the church bombing in the 1960’s, that killed Robert F. Kennedy.

We should not allow our political disagreements to take on such vile and venomous dimensions or control of our passions. To do so, is to act in contradiction to the principles of our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and the very concept of our democratic republic.

It takes a special person to become a voice for the people, whether we agree with them or not. We should respect their role as representative of millions of American citizens in our democracy, regardless of whether we agree with their perspectives or not.

Falwell died in a middle class home, and while he raised 100’s of millions of dollars in his lifetime, he did not become an inordinately wealthy man. He raised the money for the benefit of others and their beliefs. That is worthy of respect regardless of whether you agree with his politics or not.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 16, 2007 01:56 PM
Comment #220547

David,

You beat me to the punch.

I do believe that if George Soros died tomorrow, I would have to at least give him credit for doing what he believed in and giving voice to millions who would otherwise feel left out of the political process.

Posted by: Jim T at May 16, 2007 03:36 PM
Comment #220556

David,

Philanthropy aside, Rev. Falwell helped to breed and then foster the ignorance, hate, intolerance, bigotry, and polarization that America suffers from.

From the recent “TeleTubbies” and post Sept. 11th screed, tolerance just wasn’t in this man’s heart.

You may praise him for his charity work, but that will never excuse the havoc he has wrought in God’s name.

Posted by: Rocky at May 16, 2007 05:04 PM
Comment #220560

Oh, and by the way,

Which ever direction he takes, may he rest in peace.

Posted by: Rocky at May 16, 2007 05:36 PM
Comment #220580

Rocky, you couldn’t be more wrong. You see, the ignorance, hate, intolerance, bigotry, and polarization that America suffers from existed in the hearts and minds of American citizens before Falwell was known. He simply tapped into it, successfully, and gave it political voice and respectability cloaking it in the wraps of Christianity.

But, this is a good thing if you take the long view. We could not address all those attributes when they were a silent minority. Now they are in the open and identifiable, and debate and educational evolution can take place.

The moral majority is on the wane. They gave it their best shot from the Reagan Years through this Bush, and failed to garner a majority support from the American people. Over the next 2 decades, they will evolve and alter their platform and agenda, having failed to make significant headway with the last one.

In a free society, we don’t force people’s beliefs. In a free society, we allow those less evolved to progress generation after generation at their own pace. That is what a free society is about.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 16, 2007 08:10 PM
Comment #220609

Mr. Remer,

I am similarly dismayed when people believe that simply because a person does a few good things in their life, that other people are no longer entitled to accurately characterize what they did with the bulk of their time, especially when it was so overwhelmingly negative.

You are correct in recognizing that hate and bigotry was something that likely already existed in the people that cleaved to Falwell’s message. However, he expounded upon it, amplified it, turned its hypothetical and potential properties into political reality, and profited handsomely from it.

Nowhere did I say he had no right to say what he did, only that he was a terrible human being. Nowhere did I advocate his assassination.

If you are willing to inaccurately ascribe to my type of disdain for the man such acts of murder and terror as political assassinations, let me repay you in kind. If giving voice to the political will of law abiding citizens is a good regardless of the content of that will, then people like Slobodan Milosevic are equally laudable according so that somewhat facile argument.

I can imagine that you’ll say that Falwell’s message never resulted in the kind of horrors the world witnessed in Yugoslavia, but you would be correct only in degree. His message DID affect millions, DOES shape the policy that allows the continuing denial of basic rights to homosexuals, DID encourage anti-Semitism, and DOES continue to infect the Christian population and turn them away from Christ’s true teachings and into a hate- and war-mongering throng concerned more with tax breaks than caring for the poor.

C’mon. I understand that I’m being mean, but some people deserve it. Arguably my comments were in poor taste considering that the man just died, and when it comes to matters of taste, at times I gleefully flout convention. But nothing I said was wrong.

Posted by: Yossarian at May 17, 2007 12:56 AM
Comment #220612

Yossarian,

This is what happens when two liberals disagree. What were you expecting… a compromise of ideas? You can’t be more intelligent than him and vice-versa.

And of course millions of people are so much more stupid than you to actually miss his voice. Perfect by the book lib.

Posted by: andy at May 17, 2007 01:33 AM
Comment #220637

David,

While these things you speak of were in existence long before Falwell, theoretically he was a man of God, and therefore it was his duty to lead Christians out of that hateful wilderness, not to revel in it.
For all of his posturing, nothing has improved during his reign with the (im)moral majority.
Point of fact, they have statistically gotten steadily worse.
Falwell, the man was a politically savvy, self righteous blowhard, who did nothing to raise the consciousness of his flock while he lead them back into that wilderness of hate.

This man was not in the least “Christ like”.

Hopefully the wives tale of “things getting worse before they get better” applies here.

I think exposing this man for the bozo he was will do more by example to change things for the better.

Posted by: Rocky at May 17, 2007 11:09 AM
Comment #220639

I find it very interesting that the same folks that like to demonize Falwell put up with the likes of Jackson and Sharpton. Reckon it might be because of the side of the spectrum they’re on?
While Falwell was divisive in some of the things he pulled. Sharpton and Jackson are divisive in everything they do.
But I reckon it’s not PC to point that out. But then I aint never been onto that PC crap anyway.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 17, 2007 12:20 PM
Comment #220652

I’m pretty sure Falwell was an athiest.

He made a ton of money being VERY un-Christian like. I’m very sure Jesus would not have blamed homosexual and liberals for the destruction of the World Trade Center.

Posted by: Marysdude at May 17, 2007 01:49 PM
Comment #220677

Ron Brown,

“I find it very interesting that the same folks that like to demonize Falwell put up with the likes of Jackson and Sharpton.”

You won’t hear support for these two from me.

Posted by: Rocky at May 17, 2007 09:43 PM
Comment #220682

It’s a funny thing, most of the comments being directed at Falwell were similar to those which were leveled at Christ.

ignorance- I think the Sadducees and Pharisees of Jesus’ day tried numerous times to characterize Him as nothing more than a “dumb carpenter’s son”.

hate and bigotry- Wasn’t it Jesus who said, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”

And again to the woman begging for her demon-tortured daughter, “It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.

Though the woman’s test of faith, resulted in her daughter’s healing, it would have been easy for those around Jesus to consider Him hateful and bigoted that did not understand His message.

intolerance- Was it not Jesus who criticized the leaders of His day and threw out the thieves and idolators from the temple. Was not Falwell intent on doing the same? How could Jesus do such an intolerant thing?

polarization- It is certainly conceivable that at His trial before the Jewish Sanhedrin and Pilate, the people were probably split nearly down the middle on whether to release Him or crucify Him which speaks of His incredible powers of polarization. He Himself stated, “Think not that I have come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
For I am come to set a man at variance against His father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.”

It is very easy to belittle a man and call him names after his death by using examples of his life which many do not understand nor appreciate. Such is the life of the person who tries to do something that he believes in these days. Perhaps that is why there are so few who attempt to make a difference. Ignore the message and kill the messenger! Not much has changed in the last 2000 years.

JD

Posted by: JD at May 17, 2007 10:23 PM
Comment #220692

JD

I think the Sadducees and Pharisees of Jesus’ day tried numerous times to characterize Him as nothing more than a “dumb carpenter’s son”.

They did worse than that. Some called him the Devil.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 17, 2007 11:43 PM
Comment #220719

JD said: “Was it not Jesus who criticized the leaders of His day and threw out the thieves and idolators from the temple. Was not Falwell intent on doing the same? How could Jesus do such an intolerant thing?”

Minor correction: Falwell was trying to replace secular government with the Church as governing. He advocated the government proclaim the U.S. a Christian nation. He advocated religion be put into politics. He advocated against the separation of church and state doctrine and the Constitution’s prohibition against establishment of a national religion. Quite the opposite of Jesus, who tried to remove the state from the temples, which is what our separation of church and state doctrine attempts to do as well.

If the religion is to be instilled in government, then government has every right to tax the churches, and demand other payments from them as deemed appropriate. That was the fatal flaw to Falwell’s advocacy. He failed to see that removing separation would make religion subject to the will of the government, just as government became subject to the will of the religion. Jesus said, render unto Ceasar that which is Ceasar’s. The kingdom of God does not lie in the realm of this physical world (of Ceasar), but, in the heart and soul of the faithful and repentant.

Falwell was NOT following the action of Christ in this matter at all.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 18, 2007 10:31 AM
Comment #220778

David:
“Yossarian, I am always dismayed when those on the left and right demonstrate such disprespect and disdain for American political leaders who give voice to the people.”

You’ve got to be kidding here, David. Please tell me you are. Falwell demonstrated so much disrespect and distain as a political leader for extraordinarily large groups of people in America, yet now because that hate-filled fraud finally croaked, we’re all supposed to play nice and act like he wasn’t a total fascist?

For instance, Fallwell attacked the congregation of a gay community church by saying they were: “brute beasts” that were “part of a vile and satanic system [that] will one day be utterly annihilated.”

Falwell said:
“God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew.”
Falwell later backtracked on this after he got on board with the rest of the Radical Relious Right in pimping the Zionist Jewish cause to America so that the Neocons would have a better chance of making America willing and ready to fight in the Middle East.

After 9/11 Falwell declared that:
“the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians — who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle — the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say, ‘You helped this happen.’”

A small sampling of his hate. Some of the things he said he later would deny having said, even when people showed him the tapes of him saying them! But now you’re dismayed that anyone would disrespect Falwell, and simply because he was a leader? All I can think is: Yeah, and so was Hitler.

“But, the man was a leader and voice for millions of law abiding American citizens.”

Fascist Leader. Just as Hitler was for lots of fascist Germans.

“It is passionate disdain and even hate that your comments demonstrate that assasinated Martin Luther King, that murdered those 3 little girls in the church bombing in the 1960’s, that killed Robert F. Kennedy.”

So, you’re saying that respect is due to fascists? Sorry, I can’t agree. I hate fascists, even ones who have the first amendment protecting their ability to spread hatred far and wide, and I’m not going to apologize for it.

“We should not allow our political disagreements to take on such vile and venomous dimensions or control of our passions.”

Yeah well, unfortunately now that Falwell’s finally dead, you can’t direct that pearl of wisdom to him, but you might send that over to the Liberty Corporation that was just inherited by his kids. Or to the other fraudulent Christian fascists such as Dobson, Robertson, et al.

“To do so, is to act in contradiction to the principles of our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and the very concept of our democratic republic.”

The Rabid Religious Right has no respect for those things. That’s why Falwell proclaimed that “We must never allow our children to forget that this is a Christian nation. We must take back what is rightfully ours.”

“It takes a special person to become a voice for the people, whether we agree with them or not.”

“Special” as in nutcase in this instance.

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Iniquity. The definition of that word: gross injustice and wickedness. Falwell preached iniquity toward anyone who wasn’t on board with his religion, and his politcal goals for the country.

“We should respect their role as representative of millions of American citizens in our democracy, regardless of whether we agree with their perspectives or not.”

No. Respect is earned. Falwell never earned any in my view.

“Falwell died in a middle class home, and while he raised 100’s of millions of dollars in his lifetime, he did not become an inordinately wealthy man. He raised the money for the benefit of others and their beliefs. That is worthy of respect regardless of whether you agree with his politics or not.”

Wrong. Falwell was a rich man. Now his kids have inherited the wealthy corporation he built. All of these fraudulent Christian leaders defy the bible in believing that they can “serve God and mammon”.

The truth is, had any of these men been doing the real work of God, we should never have known their names at all, either as “Christian Preaching” Stars, or Rightwing Political Activists the way we do — the work of their organizations or churches, perhaps, but not they themselves.

Matthew 6

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 18, 2007 07:07 PM
Comment #220797

Some of you are sure to find this highly entertaining (I know I did!): Christopher Hitchens scathingly eulogizing Falwell and his “legacy”, ripping into Hannity as well as Colmes in his singularly snooty British way, and then finishing off the segment by openly mocking Ralph Reed for being a fraudulent Christian/Abramoff criminal crony.
S’funny!

Btw, at one point Reed calls Falwell “Doctor” even though he wasn’t. The Fascist Falwell only had a few honorary doctorates given to him. Also, it sounded for a moment like Hitchens was going to have a chance to go into how big of a crook Falwell was with his finances, but unfortunately Hannity was being such a motor-mouth shouting him down he wasn’t really able to.
So allow me just give a bit of what I’ve heard over the years: It has been estimated that Falwell, the man David called a “not inordinately wealthy man” was a multi-billionaire. (8-9 billion being what I’ve seen floated most often.) And much like with Kenny Boy Lay’s convenient demise, Falwell was being investigated for illegal political campaign contributions to Republicans at the time of his death. I say convenient because now it’s not too likely we’ll ever know just how big of a crook he was.
This “good Christian preacher” has taken many, many millions in funding for his half-assed Liberty University from another total nutcase — this one happens to believe he himself is the Messiah ever since he supposedly took a meeting with Jesus in Korea back in the 1930’s. I’m talking of course, about the “Rev.” Sun Myung Moon — who as you may have heard has an enormous operation that competes for, and receives, government contracts worth millions of dollars (naturally, because ordinary American business simply can’t compete with the laughably low cost of Moonie slave labor.) Like Falwell, Moon’s fortunes and power were assured, and grew exponentially during the Reagan administration. (This, because both Reagan and Moon fell in love over their shared hatred of of all things Communist, no doubt the way Falwell and Moon fell in love because they were both tax evaders.) Moon, like his buddy Falwell at Liberty University, gives millions of dollars to the Republicans. In fact, the paid speakers at his Family Federation for “World Peace” read exactly like they do at Liberty University, including “Good Christians” like George Bush, and Ralph Reed and Jack Kemp, and William Bennett, and oh, so many others.
Yes, we’ve just got to all give it up for the Radical Religious Right and their well greased ‘n’ pious leadership. It’d be so crass not to show the proper respect…

Posted by: Adrienne at May 18, 2007 11:09 PM
Comment #220806

Adrienne, your comments are living proof that vile intolerance and contempt for leaders who don’t see it your way is not a unique trait to the Republican Party but, Democratic as well.

I never agreed with a word he said. But, he was a leader of, in your words, an extraordinarily large group of people and he led them to take political action, and in this country we call that democracy in action. You cannot reject his life without rejecting the democratic role he held for the people who supported him and gave his voice political meaning. To do so, is to admit the people who made him a political voice don’t belong here, or, should never have had a voice.

This is America. Everyone should have a voice and the right to choose and support the leaders who represent them. Falwell was such a leader, in fact. Love democracy and accept his leadership as valid or reject democracy out of hand as failing to support your view as dictatorship of the land.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 18, 2007 11:44 PM
Comment #220819

David:
“Adrienne, your comments are living proof that vile intolerance and contempt for leaders who don’t see it your way is not a unique trait to the Republican Party but, Democratic as well.”

What BS. According to you, Falwell’s vile intolerance and contempt for people who didn’t agree with his radical religious views and political agenda should be viewed as “leadership” we should all have respect for, while my calling Falwell what he was: a Fascist, is horribly “disrespectful”, and “vile” and “intolerant” and “comtemptuous”?

Yeah, right. Cry me a river.

“But, he was a leader of, in your words, an extraordinarily large group of people”

No, actually I said: Falwell demonstrated so much disrespect and disdain as a political leader for extraordinarily large groups of people in America.

Btw, I found it rather ironic the way you used Martin Luther King’s assassination as an example in your reply to Yossarian, because Falwell was a staunch segregationist who called the Black Civil Rights Movement the “civil wrongs movement.”
As for King himself, this is what Falwell said about him in the 1960’s:
“I do question the sincerity and non-violent intentions of some civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mr. James Farmer, and others, who are known to have left wing associations.”

A bit before that, he was making quotes like these in his sermons back in the late 1950’s:

Referring to Brown vs. The Board of Education decision: “If Chief Justice Warren and his associates had known God’s Word, I am quite confident that the 1954 decision would never have been made.”
“The true Negro does not want integration. He realizes his potential is far better among his own race. It will destroy our race eventually… In one northern city, a pastor friend of mine tells me that a couple of opposite race live next door to his church as man and wife. It boils down to whether we are going to take God’s Word as final.”

“You cannot reject his life without rejecting the democratic role he held for the people who supported him and gave his voice political meaning.”

Yes, I reject fascists and racists utterly. And I reject the fact that Falwell’s “democratic” role and voice was/is used to in order to take democracy, justice and liberty away from other Americans.

“To do so, is to admit the people who made him a political voice don’t belong here, or, should never have had a voice.”

Right. Just like I wish that Hitler had never had a voice.

“This is America.”

It is. And America is supposed to stands for life liberty and the pursuit of happiness for Everyone. Falwell and his followers clearly don’t believe that. Our Constitution tells us that we should form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, but tax exempt Falwell and his ilk want to rip our Union in half, demolish justice, insure domestic chaos, neglect the the general welfare, and withhold the blessings of liberty from some Americans — namely tax-paying gay and lesbian Americans. (It used to be black Americans as well, but they well and truly lost that fight because of people like Dr. King.)
Our First Amendment tells us that Congress should make no laws respecting the establishment of religion, but establishing Christianity as America’s official religion through Congress has always been Falwell and his followers goal.
It’s not me that has the problem here. I respect their first amendment rights to say whatever they want, and the fact that our government cannot and should never prohibit the free exercise of any religion, I just don’t feel that religion should ever have the power to take rights and liberties away from any American citizen.
Just my opinion.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 19, 2007 12:47 AM
Comment #220825

“No, actually I said: Falwell demonstrated so much disrespect and disdain as a political leader for extraordinarily large groups of people in America.”
Posted by: Adrienne at May 19, 2007 12:47 AM

No, Adrienne, Falwell showed contempt and disrespect for what he believed is sin, and for those that tried and continue to try to promote it openly.

“Btw, I found it rather ironic the way you used Martin Luther King’s assassination as an example in your reply to Yossarian, because Falwell was a staunch segregationist who called the Black Civil Rights Movement the “civil wrongs movement.”
As for King himself, this is what Falwell said about him in the 1960’s:”
“I do question the sincerity and non-violent intentions of some civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mr. James Farmer, and others, who are known to have left wing associations.”
Posted by: Adrienne at May 19, 2007 12:47 AM

Many had doubts about the sincerity of King mainly due to the other nut cases like Malcolm X and the Black Panthers that promoted violence and engaged in it throughout the sixties. Falwell was not alone in that, including many from the Democratic side. Furthermore, Falwell had the foresight and vision to see what the Democrats would do with the civil rights movement to try to demonize everyone as racists who disagreed with the massive new tax and spend programs of the War on Poverty which would eventually bankrupt the Federal Government. This is exactly what happened for the most in the late seventies. Had it not been for “Reagan’s tax cut revival” who knows where this country would be right now. Unfortunately, the Democrats in Congress were not willing to cut any spending during the Reagan years, and the deficits soared to fund their welfare and other social programs in which people were enrolling in record numbers throughout the seventies and eighties. Though Democrats villified the military and said Reagan’s military spending was crippling the government, much like they do today, the chunk of governmental spending for social programs was well over 65% of the total governmental receipts, just as it continues to be today, actually nearing 70%.
This is why even Clinton admitted we needed welfare reform in the nineties and signed the Republican legislation which slowed the downward spiral but has not eliminated it.
Even prominent Black speakers admit that the civil rights movement has over-stayed its welcome, and many would probably agree with Falwell that the movement today is very much what Falwell warned that it would become way back in the sixties, a left wing political extortion and vote herding group using claims of racism to demonize all opposition.

JD


Posted by: JD at May 19, 2007 11:15 AM
Comment #220832

JD:
“Falwell showed contempt and disrespect for what he believed is sin, and for those that tried and continue to try to promote it openly.”

Yeah, that’s it exactly. Thus, gay people who want to attend a church where they’ll be welcome despite of trying to be true to who they actually are, are “brute beasts” which are “part of a vile and satanic system [that] will one day be utterly annihilated.” It’s why “God Almighty doesn’t hear the prayers of a Jew”, and why liberal “secularists made 9/11 happen”.
It’s really all about the sinning, and has nothing to do with an overall intolerance and hatred of anyone who doesn’t believe what he believes, or do what he wants them to do.

“Many had doubts about the sincerity of King mainly due to the other nut cases like Malcolm X and the Black Panthers that promoted violence and engaged in it throughout the sixties.”

Oh well, there’s one stab at an excuse for Falwell’s anti-segregationist racism: Because King’s message sounded so damn much like The Black Panther’s message.

As for the rest, thanks for the rightwing talking points.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 19, 2007 12:27 PM
Comment #220834

Correction: that should read Falwell’s Pro-segregationist racism.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 19, 2007 12:36 PM
Comment #220843

Adrienne, only in a regime like China, Russia, or Nazi Germany would a dissenting voice like Falwell’s NOT have a voice. It is obvious your comments don’t reflect any love of democracy - but a thinly veiled desired to have an authoritarian government in which the authority keeps all other dissenting voices quiet.

Thank you for your comments. They were quite revealing.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 19, 2007 03:22 PM
Comment #220845

Its funny that someone like Larry Flint is being gracious in Falwell’s death, but people who were never personally affected by him are spitting. I guess it depends on what effect you think his comments had on others, and what effect they didn’t have, which is your interpretation. Some people have overblown interpretations though. Falwell may have been stupid and misguided; but America needed Falwells to counter Larry Flints. It would have been just as likely that someone who hated him poisoned him, because of the vitriol in the political debate that he was only on one side of, and which he didn’t start. One of the reasons Falwell was so powerful was because he gave the media high ratings, but Christians were embarassed of him because he was a liability. Who is the enemy, him, or the media that made him a star? I’m not sad, or happy, at his death.

As for his particular words on issues, and how they reflect on his movement, as stupid as they may have been, they’re misrepresented. He thought gays were immoral but he always said God loves everyone; and never called for violence against them or anyone. The religious right’s belief that ‘God punishes gays’ was to them similar to the idea of karma, that violating nature would always bring consequences. Their language was incendiary, disrespectful, zealous, and could appear hateful, but they never called for violence or hatred.

And the fact also remains that people like Falwell existed because of people like Larry Flynt. The religious right did not start the fight, they came about as a response to railroading of policy on issues by people with opposite politics.

Anyone thinks of themselves as in the center should understand that the enemy isn’t particularly Falwell, but also the culture that made him a star, and which made extremists on the side of environmentalism and sexual liberation equally stars. The way out of this is not to demonize people who raise issues in the political culture by representing some constituency, but to forge a political culture that is more even minded.

To me, Falwell was just another talking head. As much as Christopher Hitchens sees it different, he’s promoting equal hate by publishing a book attacking religion. The fact that he is using more wit and subtlety, doesn’t change the fact that he’s patronizing a large amount of people, and the fact that he’s intelligent doesn’t change that he’s saying something stupid by suggesting its necessary or desirable or possible for religion or religion in politics to go away. Abolitionism was led by religious zeal as well. Christopher Hitchens is just another talking head, with another flawed political message.

Posted by: Brian Shapiro at May 19, 2007 05:11 PM
Comment #220849

David:
“Adrienne, only in a regime like China, Russia, or Nazi Germany would a dissenting voice like Falwell’s NOT have a voice.”

WHERE did I say he couldn’t or shouldn’t have a voice? I said I WISHED he’d never had a voice — one that happens to speak to and for so many hate-filled people. People who are so intolerant, they simply cannot live with their own choices and allow others live with their own. Instead, these control freaks feel the need to dictate to others, try to legislate rights and liberties away from other people, and fraudulently claim that only they know God.

“It is obvious your comments don’t reflect any love of democracy - but a thinly veiled desired to have an authoritarian government in which the authority keeps all other dissenting voices quiet.”

Oh Bullshit. What’s more, you know this.
I’m not the one pushing for ANY authoritarian agenda, or someone who believes in dismantling the Constitution. They are.

Let’s face it, you’re just unhappy that I’m not in agreement with the idea that everyone should shed crocodile tears of respect over Fascist Falwell’s “work” now that he’s kicked the bucket.

“Thank you for your comments. They were quite revealing.”

You’re quite welcome. So were yours.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 19, 2007 06:33 PM
Comment #220850

Brian, I’m not interested in reading Hitchen’s book, because it’s likely an attack on all religion. I did however read a book called “American Fascists - The Christian Right And The War On America’ by a guy named Chris Hedges (he graduated from the seminary at Harvard Divinity School). I highly recommend the book to anyone who is uncomfortable and alarmed by the tactics of the radical “Christian” right.
They say that knowledge is power, so we should seek to educate ourselves about these groups and how they operate.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 19, 2007 06:48 PM
Comment #220851

Adrienne,

There are just as many attacks on leftists as having a fascist agenda. And I’m not saying that its not true for either case, but usually the argument is inflated by political disagreement. For instance, in the issue of gay marriage, I think the political disagreement is legitimate. (And that the issue of the status of gays, within religion, is legitimate). People in the religious right are offended by the attempts of some to reshape public education to override parents moral teaching, as much as people on the left are offended by preaching hate. Abortion is also another legitimate political disagreement. But on the furthest extreme, one side wants no abortion at all, and one side wants abortion available until birth (and in some cases, and people exist who say this, after birth).

In any case, both extremes have fringe political support in politics, and only gain influence at all where they do because the debate honestly, truly divides people, and divides people who have moderate positions in the mainstream. Its true that if Falwell were able to dictate US policy it would be a disaster, but he never had a chance to do that, and no, I don’t see Bush as a mouthpiece for that ideology just because he uses the word ‘God’ in his speeches.

I see Falwell as a divisive loudmouth, but not as the leader of a fascist movement, at least no more than a lot of his extreme political opponents, which is supposing a lot about our political process.

Posted by: Brian Shapiro at May 19, 2007 07:07 PM
Comment #220864

Brian:
“There are just as many attacks on leftists as having a fascist agenda.”

Live and let live is a fascist agenda? Since when?

“And I’m not saying that its not true for either case, but usually the argument is inflated by political disagreement.”

For the left to have as you claim “a fascist agenda”, wouldn’t we need to see the left begin dictating to others what they should believe? That isn’t happening. Wouldn’t we need to see the left stating that the government should have a say in what can be said or done in Churches, Temples and Mosques? That isn’t happening. Wouldn’t we need to see the left calling for the tax exempt status of churches to be revoked? That isn’t happening.
I see no strong-arming tactics, or the kind of insidious techniques that I equate with fascism being used by the left. Perhaps you could list the ways you feel a fascist agenda from the left is being forced on American citizens.

Btw, the fact that the left believes that laws and civil liberties should apply equally to every and all American citizen, doesn’t count.

“For instance, in the issue of gay marriage, I think the political disagreement is legitimate.”

Marriage is a legal distinction in the eyes of our government. It is in no way religious. That’s why the people who marry other people announce that: by the power vested in them by the state of [fill in the blank] they now declare the couple joined in matrimony.
I don’t think religions should have the power or the ability to force issues of personal religious morality upon such a legal distinction. Just because some will be offended by these marriages doesn’t mean they should have the right to deny them. Just as it is no longer legal to deny marriage to people because of race, despite the fact that some people are still going to be offended by those marriages.

(And that the issue of the status of gays, within religion, is legitimate).

As far as I know, no one is trying to force gay marriage, or the acceptance of homosexuality upon Churches, Temples or Mosques. If they were, it would be a violation of the first amendment’s free exercise clause. This issue is purely a legal one in the eyes of the law and the government and I think it is ridiculous to suggest that it is anything other than that.

“People in the religious right are offended by the attempts of some to reshape public education to override parents moral teaching, as much as people on the left are offended by preaching hate.”

Yes, many on the left are offended by people on the religious right attempting to force religion into the public schools, including me. In my opinion the best thing we could do is to leave out the morality struggles all together, and go back to teaching Civics in America. Basic principles of being a good citizen that most everyone can agree with. When it comes to science, those on the religious right should be allowed to have their kids exempted from the study of evolution.

“Abortion is also another legitimate political disagreement.”

I don’t think it is legitimate at all. This is supposed to be a free country and as such, I think what a woman does at her doctors office is her business alone. What happens there should have to do with what she and her doctor think is best, and should have nothing to do with what other people think is moral and best for them.
That being said, religious people should every right to believe it is wrong for THEM, and have the freedom to preach that it is wrong to anyone who cares to listen. However, they SHOULD NOT have the power or the ability to make abortion illegal, or allow woman who seek them out to be branded and incarcerated as criminals. Abortion’s illegality never did not stop abortions in the past, it only made them much more unsanitary and dangerous to a womans health.

“But on the furthest extreme, one side wants no abortion at all, and one side wants abortion available until birth (and in some cases, and people exist who say this, after birth).”

The vast majority of people who want abortion to remain safe and legal realize that late term abortions are extremely dangerous, and that they are usually only done when a womans life is hanging in the balance. The recent law just passed takes saving the life of the mother completely out of the question for doctors, and now only protects the child. It is the government dictating to families and doctors who should live and who should die. This is wrong.

“divides people who have moderate positions in the mainstream.”

If you would be so kind, please define “moderate positions in the mainstream” as it applies to these topics you brought up.

“Its true that if Falwell were able to dictate US policy it would be a disaster, but he never had a chance to do that, and no, I don’t see Bush as a mouthpiece for that ideology just because he uses the word ‘God’ in his speeches.”

I think you’re wrong. Falwell had the ear of this president and met with him often. Bush chose Supreme Court Justices that would do the bidding of the religious right for many, many years to come. The architecture of Christian Fascism is slowly being cemented into place all over our country, attempting to take the place of the wall of separation between church and state.
This is why I am no longer so willing to be tolerant of the intolerant (and this is exactly what I feel that David is asking all of us to do in his article). In my view, we must all stand firm against the Religious Right, because both now and in the future it could mean the difference between freedom and tyranny.

“I see Falwell as a divisive loudmouth, but not as the leader of a fascist movement,”

I see Falwell as part of a large and growing fascist movement in this country that includes religious figures, and government figures, and media figures. It is filled with hate and intolerance, it is patriarcal, arrogant and violent, it is apocalyptic, and it is virulently hostile towards honest intellectual inquiry.
When you boil it all down, Fascism is the total opposite of Freedom. Completely Un-American. So, just like we defeated Foreign Fascism back in WWII because we believed in freedom, I believe we now have to defeat domestic, homegrown Religious Fascism on behalf of freedom.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 19, 2007 10:23 PM
Comment #220869

Adrienne, I could argue some of the issues you raised, but its also clear that you’re taking a decidedly left, and not moderate stand on the issues, given that you say that theres no legitimacy to differences of opinions on abortion, including late term abortion, which you imply most people want legal, which is not the case. I’m not basing my definition of moderate on anything other than the fact that even when Roe v Wade was ruled, it was controversial, and its still controversial today. Anyone who views a movement that pushed through absolute reversals in law (and tries to continue to extend the changes) as ‘moderate’, that have been opposed since, will have a hard time defending themselves. I think someone who suggests that before 1973 it would be correct to say the US was a fascist theocracy, because abortion was illegal many places, doesn’t have an even view of politics. And your whole argument seems to rest on views like the idea that wanting to limit abortion makes you linked to fundamentalist and fascist ideologies. If you want to see arguments against ‘leftist fascism’ all you have to do is go to Amazon.com and you’ll find as many books as you want that can educate you as much any book on ‘rightist fascism’ can educate me.

Posted by: Brian Shapiro at May 19, 2007 10:43 PM
Comment #220886

Brian,

Nobody that I know wants to see abortion as a form of birth control. My feeling is that abortion is, and should be the hardest decision that a woman can ever make.

However, a woman and her doctor should be the only ones to make that decision.

Falwell is another kettle of fish.
I personally don’t have a problem that Falwell believed as he did. What I have a problem with is that as a self proclaimed Christian, and a minister Falwell had the power to sway the weaker among us.
David has argued that Falwell brought together a political movement. I would argue that those folks had the power themselves to change America all along.
It’s called a vote, and they shouldn’t have needed Falwell to tell them to go out and use it.

Yes, hatred and bigotry existed long before Falwell, and it will still be around now that he is gone.
My argument against Falwell is that, as a Christian leader with a political voice, he did nothing to further his followers Christian consciousness beyond that of hate and bigotry.
You could say that Falwell fought for what he believed in.
You could also say that of Osama Bin Laden.

Brian, fascism is fascism, it matters little if it comes from the left or the right.

It’s like comparing horseshit and bullshit. It may come from two entirely different species, but still stinks and it’s still shit.

Posted by: Rocky at May 20, 2007 01:39 AM
Comment #220888

Brian:
“Adrienne, I could argue some of the issues you raised, but”

But you won’t, or perhaps, can’t?

“its also clear that you’re taking a decidedly left, and not moderate stand on the issues,”

Well, that’s probably because I’m a liberal that stands on the left. I’m not ashamed of the fact that I argue from that position.
BTW, you still haven’t defined what the moderate stances on these issues are.

“given that you say that theres no legitimacy to differences of opinions on abortion,”

Actually, the legitimacy of differences of opinion among individuals was my entire argument. I suggested that those who want abortions should be able to have them legally, while those who disapprove and think they’re horrible shouldn’t feel any pressure to have them, and that they should have the freedom to speak out as much as they like against them. My point was about autonomy and freedom. About how the government or religious groups shouldn’t be the one who makes such a decision, but the individual.

“including late term abortion, which you imply most people want legal, which is not the case.”

You’re saying here that you don’t think that people want late term abortions to be legal when it comes to saving the life of the mother? If so, I think you couldn’t be more wrong. It’s just like with the Terri Schiavo case. Most people want the freedom to choose these things for themselves — to see their own wishes carried out, rather than allow the government decide for them, or allow some other group of people to decide what is right or wrong, or who lives or dies.

“I’m not basing my definition of moderate”

But you’ve given me no definition of moderate, nor have you spelled out the stances you feel that moderates take on any of the issues in your previous post. Now, you’re focusing on abortion. Why am I not surprised? How come it always seems to boil down to that topic alone?

“the fact that even when Roe v Wade was ruled, it was controversial, and its still controversial today.”

Abortion has been medically safe and legal for the past thirty four years. The fact that some people now want it to be made illegal again (for whatever reason) is utterly absurd. Are we to incarcerate every woman who is found to have had an an abortion after the passage of this New Prohibition? Are all you folks really that comfortable with the idea of sending women back into the dark ages and in hiding over this issue? Comfortable with forcing women to attempt dangerous, unsanitary coat hanger abortions, or trying other often deadly at-home methods because safe and sanitary abortions performed by doctors are no longer available and have been outlawed by the government?

I think that’s crazy.

“Anyone who views a movement that pushed through absolute reversals in law (and tries to continue to extend the changes) as ‘moderate’, that have been opposed since, will have a hard time defending themselves.”

Anyone who views abortion as a “movement” is looking at this issue in a very, very twisted way — and likely doesn’t have much respect for women at all. This is a personal, private, and often painful individual decision, and wanting to have a safe and sanitary abortion if that is the decision a woman makes is only to be expected from a sane person.

“I think someone who suggests that before 1973 it would be correct to say the US was a fascist theocracy,”

Huh? That must have been an argument you had with someone else in another thread, since I never said anything at all about the the country being a fascist theocracy before Roe vs. Wade. What I said was that I feared that the US was marching toward fascism right now — due to the hate, intolerance, and relentlessly overwrought propaganda being pushed by the Radical Religious right.

“abortion was illegal many places,”

Yeah it was, but not so much any more. Now it’s an extremely safe and sanitary medical procedure offered in most well developed countries. The real question is why would any FREE country wish to deny it to women? Especially knowing full well that women are going to have them regardless of whether they’re legal, or dangerous — just as they’ve always done when the opportunity existed and they didn’t want to have a child. Most well developed countries are too smart and forward-thinking to want to send women back to the bad old days.
Let’s hope America doesn’t choose this backward route on behalf of religion, or for any other reason.

“And your whole argument seems to rest on views like the idea that wanting to limit abortion makes you linked to fundamentalist and fascist ideologies.”

I guess there may be other groups out there screaming about abortion, but if there are, they certainly aren’t screaming as loudly or as bug-crazily as the Radical Religious Right has been.

“If you want to see arguments against ‘leftist fascism’ all you have to do is go to Amazon.com and you’ll find as many books as you want that can educate you as much any book on ‘rightist fascism’ can educate me.”

No thanks. I’m sure I’d have to wade through piles of wacked out, poorly written, vitriolic trash by the likes of Ann Coulter, or David Horowitz, or the like. Besides, I don’t see why I should go on a long Amazon fishing expedition when you yourself couldn’t even list the ways you personally feel that a fascist agenda from the left is being foisted upon America.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 20, 2007 02:02 AM
Comment #220892

Adrienne,

Perhaps Brian “won’t” argue some of the issues you raised because he considers it pointless with you. However, as a Christian, I feel that nobody is completely and hopelessly lost, so here goes:

This is just point number one, more to come:

“For the left to have as you claim “a fascist agenda”, wouldn’t we need to see the left begin dictating to others what they should believe? That isn’t happening. Wouldn’t we need to see the left stating that the government should have a say in what can be said or done in Churches, Temples and Mosques? That isn’t happening. Wouldn’t we need to see the left calling for the tax exempt status of churches to be revoked? That isn’t happening.
I see no strong-arming tactics, or the kind of insidious techniques that I equate with fascism being used by the left. Perhaps you could list the ways you feel a fascist agenda from the left is being forced on American citizens.”
Posted by: Adrienne at May 19, 2007 10:23 PM

In Chicago, New Line Cinema, the studio behind “The Nativity Story,” was dropped as a sponsor of “Christkindlmarket,” a public Christmas festival that takes place at Daley Plaza in Chicago. In an official statement, Jim Law, executive director of Mayor Richard M. Daley’s Office of Special Events, said “th[e] very prominently placed advertisement of the movie would not only be insensitive to the many people of different faiths who come to enjoy the market for its food and unique gifts, but also it would be contrary to acceptable advertising standards suggested to the many festivals holding events on Daley Plaza.” FOX News, 2006

“The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), specializing in constitutional law, today called on the City of Chicago and festival organizers to reverse a decision and permit “The Nativity Story” movie to be a sponsor of a downtown Christmas festival. City officials pressured festival organizers to remove the movie as a sponsor because it said the movie about the birth of Jesus Christ might be offensive. The ACLJ said it will send a letter to city officials and festival organizers urging them to end their discriminatory practices and to permit the movie to serve as a sponsor for the festival.”
American Center for Law and Justice

“(AgapePress 2005) - Government officials have told a Louisiana church that its members can go back to sharing the gospel after providing free barbecues for residents of several post-Hurricane Katrina trailer communities. Representatives of the Keta Group, a company that manages five separate trailer communities near the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport, originally told the church that FEMA had decided to put an end to the Christian messages and Bible studies.
Feeling their rights were being violated, Calvary Baton Rouge’s pastor and members sought legal assistance from the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a legal organization that defends religious freedom and other constitutional rights. Jeremy Tedesco, a litigation counsel with ADF, sent a letter to the Keta Group explaining the First Amendment rights of the church and its pastor.
Second-class treatment of Christians who wish to help people in need is “simply not tolerable, and in this case, it was not legal either,” Tedesco insists. “It was a First Amendment rights violation, as clear-cut as they come,” he says. He points out that no one is ever forced to listen to the church’s evangelical messages or to attend its Bible studies; these were offered to hurricane victims on a voluntary basis.
Not long after KETA received the letter outlining the church members’ rights, FEMA responded by saying the Calvary Baton Rouge could continue its activities at the trailer communities as before.” Agape Press, 2005

“IRS Harrassment:
It all began in 1954 when then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson sought political retribution against an opponent who was assisted in his campaign by two non-profit organizations. As a bill to revise the tax code was being debated on the floor of the Senate, LBJ pushed a little-noticed amendment that barred all tax-exempt groups – including churches –from participating in political activity. The penalty: loss of tax-exempt status. A heavy price to pay for exercising their free speech rights.
The law is a disaster. It violates the First Amendment rights of people of faith. Further, the IRS is selective in its enforcement – often ignoring political involvement from liberals, but targeting conservative churches and ministers like the Church at Pierce Creek in New York that had its tax-exempt status revoked after the pastor placed newspaper advertisements in 1992 calling attention to then-Presidential candidate Bill Clinton’s position on critical moral issues like abortion and sexual abstinence outside of marriage.
The bias and discriminatory treatment of the IRS has been acknowledged by even those who have worked at the regulatory agency. In an interview with Insight magazine, former IRS commissioner Don Alexander said: “I think there was selective enforcement during the Clinton years, when a church against Clinton was audited and its exemption revoked.
American Center for Law and Justice

City News Service - Mt. Soledad Cross Supporters Celebrate Legal Victory
February 22, 2007
By City News Service
San Diego — Those seeking to preserve the Mount Soledad cross in La Jolla savored a legal victory today as the state Supreme Court announced it will not hear an appeal challenging the constitutionality of the voter- approved transfer of the La Jolla memorial to the federal government.
James McElroy, the attorney for atheist Philip Paulson, who brought the original lawsuit in 1989, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Paulson, a Vietnam veteran, sued the city to try to force the removal of the cross, contending that having a Christian symbol on public land represented unconstitutional preference for a religion.
In 1991, U.S. District Court Judge Gordon Thompson Jr. ruled in Paulson’s favor. A series of appeals followed, but the decision was upheld.
In May, Thompson gave the city 90 days to remove the cross or face a $5,000 per day fine. That ruling was put on hold by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and is now before the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Paulson died Oct. 25 of liver cancer but added a friend, Steven Trunk, to the lawsuit so it could continue.
San Diego voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition A in 2005, which allowed the city to transfer the land the cross sits on to the National Park Service to be designated a national war memorial.
Superior Court Judge Patricia Yim Cowett later ruled that the transfer was invalid and unenforceable, but that decision was overturned in November by a 4th District Court of Appeal panel.
The only litigation remaining involves a federal lawsuit challenging legislation signed into law by President Bush last August which transferred control of the memorial to the federal government, according to the ACLJ.” American Center for Law and Justice

“Gentala versus City of Tucson:
After six years of litigation, the ACLJ was successful in protecting the constitutional rights of a group of citizens who applied to use a public park in Arizona for a National Day of Prayer Event. After the Supreme Court issued a decision in a separate, unrelated case, the high court vacated an appeals court ruling against our client – ordering the trial court to reconsider the case based on the Supreme Court’s decision in the Good News Club case. The trial court finally held that the city of Tucson’s discriminatory treatment of our client must end – ruling that the city’s action infringed upon our client’s right to equal access to a public park.” American Center for Law and Justice, 2003

“Operation Rescue versus NOW 2002:
The Supreme Court determined that the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations statute (RICO) – a federal statute targeting drug dealers and organized crime – could not be used against pro-life demonstrators. Jay Sekulow served as counsel of record for Operation Rescue in this case. The Supreme Court concluded that pro-life demonstrators were not racketeers engaged in extortion and that the RICO statute could not be used against them.” American Center for Law and Justice, 2002

“Lamb’s Chapel versus Center Moriches School District:
The facts in the Lamb’s Chapel case were straightforward. An evangelical church desired to rent a school facility for an evening showing of a film series produced by Dr. James Dobson’s Focus on the Family ministry. The film series, entitled “Turn Your Heart Toward Home,” dealt with contemporary family issues from a biblical perspective. The church’s request for use was denied by school administrators because it was “church related.” Although the school facilities were available to community groups for social, civic, and recreational purposes, the rules and regulations specifically prohibited any religious use. The Supreme Court ruled against this prohibition, stating that the religious exclusion was unconstitutional“. American Center for Law and Justice,1993

It is not what ministers and laypersons are allowed to say in the church, mosques, and synagogues that is the issue of the day, but rather what they are allowed to say and do outside of the walls which folks like you seem to find so offensive.
Do you think Blacks should only be allowed to discuss or demostrate regarding Black issues at their NAACP meetings, but be forbidden in a public forum to do so? Should women only be allowed to discuss women’s issues within the confines of their NOW meetings, and be forbidden to take those issues before their political leaders? There goes Oprah’s fortune! I have given you some prime examples of the left trying to force their beliefs upon others, revoking tax exempt status for political reasons, and strong-arm tactics especially by the Pro-Abortion crowd to silence peaceful protesters, (make that all protesters with opposing opinions).

Wake up and smell the coffee Adrienne!!!

JD

Posted by: JD at May 20, 2007 02:38 AM
Comment #220898

JD’s info is lifted from Pat Robertson’s ‘American Center for Law and Justice’ website. I guess I’m supposed to be surprised and impressed by it all.
I’m not.
Hating the American Civil Liberties Union, Robertson started the organization because he automatically assumes that everyone who doesn’t think like him and his followers is “hostile to traditional American values”.
Maybe those who goose-step along with the Radical Rightwing Religious crowd will find JD’s info interesting — it may also help feed that overwhelming urge to paint themselves as being relentlessly persecuted by “the secularists who made 9/11 happen.”

“Wake up and smell the coffee Adrienne!!!”

Ugh. JD, I’m afraid I’ve never been one who cares for the endlessly stirred-up and brewed-up scent of fire and brimstone.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 20, 2007 03:57 AM
Comment #220906

Gingrich gave the commencement speech at “Liberty” University this year, and Falwell’s son, Jerry Falwell Jr., addressed them as the new chancellor.

I believe that Gingrich is very likely to be the Authoritarian “Christian” Right’s candidate for president in ‘08 — so that they can continue to tear down the wall of separation between church and state, and keep waging their culture war against liberalism, freedom, gay rights, and legal abortions.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 20, 2007 12:15 PM
Comment #220932

No, Adrienne.

Once again you let your radical left-wing hatred of Christians over-ride your ability to reason.

The above cases are actual cases from Federal and State courts that were “won” for the most part by the ACLJ. These cases were brought to court by individuals and groups who felt that they were being discriminated against by the radical left, such as (Mayor Daley’s) City of Chicago, anti-Christian radicals within FEMA who do not know the guidelines for religious discrimination, the IRS which attacked religious organizations under Clinton, atheists who are trying to remove all religious symbols from public discourse, the NOW and other (abortion anytime and all the time) groups characterizing Christians as racketeers, and public schools that refuse to allow Christians equal access under the law.

It matters not who presided over the cases or who the attorneys were. You were the one who claimed these things never happen. By the way, these were simply a quick handful of cases off one legal website. You should feel fortunate that I didn’t research it even more in-depth, perhaps using the legal cases listed under the NSBA (National School Board Association). However, I do not like to embarrass those who have a different point of view, but rather only seek to correct them!

JD

Posted by: JD at May 20, 2007 08:58 PM
Comment #220942

“Marriage is a legal distinction in the eyes of our government. It is in no way religious. That’s why the people who marry other people announce that: by the power vested in them by the state of [fill in the blank] they now declare the couple joined in matrimony.
I don’t think religions should have the power or the ability to force issues of personal religious morality upon such a legal distinction. Just because some will be offended by these marriages doesn’t mean they should have the right to deny them. Just as it is no longer legal to deny marriage to people because of race, despite the fact that some people are still going to be offended by those marriages.”
Posted by: Adrienne at May 19, 2007 10:23 PM

Adrienne,

You are right that marriage is a legal distinction in the eyes of our government. However, you do greatly error when you say that marriage is in no way religious. It is considered a very religious act to most people. That is why most women dream of having a big church wedding with all of their friends and relatives there, signifying a sacred and joyous union between them and the man that they love. That is also why they spend exorbitant sums of money on the wedding as well, because they see it as a once in a lifetime proclamation and covenant before God and those present, a once in a life-time event.
Getting back to the government, however, the government’s laws, through which the eyes of our government see, are determined by the majority of the people. It is, therefore, up to the people to elect those that see marriage in the context that they see marriage, and up to the electorate to pass laws that represent the majority of the people for whom they serve. I don’t believe most people would have a problem with their states proposing a vote on the legality of homosexual marriage, or the creating the legal definition for marriage as a law of the State. However, this is vehemently opposed by the left in states where they know homosexual marriage would not be passed, and Man / Woman definitions of marriage would. This is why there have been so many challenges when this has happened. You seem to make everything a religious issue, but there are those who don’t consider themselves particularly religious, yet, think it is wrong for men to marry men and women to marry women. In most states, legalized homosexual marriage would not pass, but definitions of marriage between a man and a woman would. So, who is the small percentage of people imposing their views on the rest of us?

Posted by: JD at May 21, 2007 12:20 AM
Comment #220945

JD,

Let’s see how simple I can make this for you, when it comes to views being imposed on people.

In the case of the right-wing fundamentalists, their political efforts robs a segment of the population, namely homosexuals, of a constitutional right granted to others. Stated another way, the fundamentalists would prevent gay people from exercising a right that others enjoy, a right that the Supreme Court has upheld in a variety of decisions as being one of constitutional vintage.

Left-wingers like myself and my ideological soul mate Adrienne, recognize that homosexuals should have the right to engage in the same constitutionally protected activities as anybody else. If we should one day win the political debate, and gay people be given the right to marry, how would the practice of gay marriage deny a constitutional right to everyone else?

So how are we coercing people again? I’ll save you the suspense: there is no constitutionally protected right to exclude others from marrying who they want.

So you guys are just wrong. So sorry.

Next issue.

Posted by: Yossarian at May 21, 2007 12:51 AM
Comment #220946

Also, JD.

Your discussion of the political likelihood of passage of same-sex unions is interesting, but irrelevant. When the question is one of constitutional rights, it doesn’t matter how unpopular or popular a measure is — if it’s somebody’s right under the Constitution, popular will is largely irrelevant, unless the will is so great that a constitutional amendment can be passed.

To elucidate this point, just let me say that immediately after the Civil War, virtually none of the states would have had the popular support to pass laws allowing black people the right to vote, including the northern states. Does that mean black people should have been kept from voting? Of course not, it’s a constitutional right that extends to all people, regardless of its popularity or unpopularity.

Posted by: Yossarian at May 21, 2007 12:57 AM
Comment #220959

Well said, Yossarian.

JD:
“Once again you let your radical left-wing hatred of Christians over-ride your ability to reason.”

My ability to reason is fine, thanks. And I don’t hate Christians — only the Utterly False Christian Control Freaks that comprise the Radical Right.
Look at that list gleaned from False Christian Control Freak Pat Robertson’s website. What is the message being given there? That “All Men Are” NOT “Created Equal” due to the belief that Christians are superior and should be in control of this entire country. They want to invade the public squares, tear down the wall of separation between Church and State, take over the government and shove their False Christianity down everyones throats.
I can only assume that the day there is no longer a separation between Church and State, that will that be the day it will be acceptable to begin erecting statues of Krisha dancing with Aphrodite while the Devil plays the violin directly on the front lawns of churches across America. Indeed, since church land will imediately become public land, we can begin using it for anything — and we can even use tax dollars to pay for our many and varied observances of belief and faith. Oh no, that’s right, only the False Christians will be running the show and only they will be allowed to dictate the ways things will be.
I’m sure the Devil just loves the one about how FEMA is now just an empty agency used to rip off tax dollars and give no aid to people in emergencies. This, so that the Religious Right can force and coerce people in need, such as starving Katrina victims, to listen to scripture in order to get something to eat. It’s got to be the Devil being served there, since it bears absolutely no relation to what Jesus preached about the spirit of alms-giving in the Sermon on the Mount.

Not allowing gay people to get married or share the same Constitutional rights and liberties as straight Americans — again it’s the idea that “All Men Are” NOT “Created Equal”.
Not allowing women to have medically safe and legal abortions — “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” doesn’t apply. Only Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness as defined and circumscribed by the False Christian Control Freaks of the Radical Right.

People like me, and Yossarian, and many many others will fight you tooth and nail, because like our founders, we know that religion running countries is always the total opposite of Freedom. We also realize that if we continue to tolerate your intolerance all will be lost, because tearing down the wall of separation between Church and State is an entirely Un-American goal.

Enough said.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 21, 2007 02:43 PM
Comment #220977

I have no problem with the likes of you and Yossarian fighting against me tooth and nail. My problem is when you demonize good, God-fearing people for simply following the Bible. Reread your hateful rhetoric throughout this blog directed toward Christians.
Then, you vow to fight Christians to the end. Well, I just have a problem when you think that we as Christians have to accept everything you say and can not fight back because it is somehow deemed unChristian-like in your eyes.
Sorry, Adrienne, I do not let the intimidators on the left keep me silent when their goal is to force the acceptance of, and reward for, sin as the norm when it is not. For those reading this blog, I ask you to look into your own conscience. Do you honestly think homosexual marriages are right? How would you feel if your son came home from college and when you met him at the door he introduced a new friend stating, “Hi Dad, this is my boyfriend, Steve. He will be staying with us over the summer, and sharing my room. I hope you don’t mind”?
The left always tries to make people feel guilty for standing up to immorality, by claiming that those who oppose immorality are trying to impose their beliefs on someone else.
Don’t fall for it. Immorality is immoral regardless of who commits the act. Whether you teach your children to walk upright, or stand up to immorality elsewhere, you do not need to be ashamed for doing what is right.
The left tries to make people feel ashamed for being an active Christian participant in his faith.
The left tries to make people feel ashamed for being wealthy, unless they give more than forty percent of their income to the government in taxes.
The left tries to make people feel ashamed for supporting their country, their troops, and for being patriotic.
The left tries to make people feel ashamed for wanting to have a say in what their children are taught in the public schools.
The left tries to make people feel ashamed for wanting to force illegal aliens to follow the immigration laws of the United States.
The left tries to force people to feel ashamed for using God in the Pledge of Allegiance.
The left tries to make people feel ashamed for using more than three sheets of toilet paper each day.
The left tries to make people feel ashamed for having children who excel when so many other kids are failing school, so we end up spending more on the dropouts and low-achievers than the good students who want to learn.
I could go on and on.

Don’t fall for their rhetoric trying to make you feel ashamed for standing up for what is simply right. Especially when it comes to defining marriage as not only a physical, but also an emotional and spiritual union between a man and a woman, because there is still right and wrong in this world, regardless of how the left wishes to paint the world an ever-depressing gray.

JD

Posted by: JD at May 21, 2007 09:06 PM
Comment #220984

JD,

“How would you feel if your son came home from college and when you met him at the door he introduced a new friend stating, “Hi Dad, this is my boyfriend, Steve. He will be staying with us over the summer, and sharing my room. I hope you don’t mind”?”

And you’re making an assumption based on what?

How would you feel if your daughter came home from college and when you met her at the door she introduced a new friend stating, “Hi Dad, this is my boyfriend, Steve. He will be staying with us over the summer, and sharing my room. I hope you don’t mind”?

From the way you talk, this obviously wouldn’t be a problem for you.

Right?

Posted by: Rocky at May 21, 2007 10:01 PM
Comment #220991

Is that what I said, Rocky? Funny how the left reads so much into my words. My daughter would know better than to bring a boyfriend home to share her room. Try again, Rocky. You’ll have to better than that!

JD

Posted by: JD at May 21, 2007 10:35 PM
Comment #220995

“To elucidate this point, just let me say that immediately after the Civil War, virtually none of the states would have had the popular support to pass laws allowing black people the right to vote, including the northern states. Does that mean black people should have been kept from voting? Of course not, it’s a constitutional right that extends to all people, regardless of its popularity or unpopularity.”
Posted by: Yossarian at May 21, 2007 12:57 AM

There goes the left again comparing the plight of immoral homosexuality with being Black. There is nothing immoral about being Black, and if I were a Black Christian, I would be offended.
After the Civil War, an Amendment to the Constitution of the United States gave Blacks the right to vote. Therefore, the people of the full United States had to agree to abide by the Amendment passed by a 2/3 majority.
However, an Amendment passed even by a 2/3 majority of the people defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman would be utterly mocked and ridiculed and deemed hate legislation by the left. Where in the Constitutional Amendments is the guaranteed right to a homosexual marriage? There is no such thing!

JD

Posted by: JD at May 21, 2007 10:54 PM
Comment #221000

JD,

“There goes the left again comparing the plight of immoral homosexuality with being Black. There is nothing immoral about being Black, and if I were a Black Christian, I would be offended.”

When this country was founded a black person wasn’t even considered a whole person, moral or not.

“Funny how the left reads so much into my words. My daughter would know better than to bring a boyfriend home to share her room.”

Yet you assume that because Adrienne is a liberal, if she had a son that was gay he would think differently than your daughter.

You also assume that I am a liberal, but then again, everybody is to the left from where you stand. Right?

You seem to make a lot of assumptions not based in fact.

Posted by: Rocky at May 21, 2007 11:39 PM
Comment #221003

JD,

Actually, amendments have been ratified by the actual citizenry a negligible amount of times. Most amendments, including the 13th, were ratified by State legislatures.

However, it is widely agreed by historians, as well as demonstrated by things like the draft riots in New York in which many black people were lynched to show a lack of support for Lincoln’s war effort and a dislike of the notion of absolute legal equality, that had the Reconstruction amendments been submitted to people for a direct popular vote, they would have failed by wide margins.

And that ultimately was your point, wasn’t it? That States couldn’t muster the popular votes to support gay marriage?

As to your other point, since being gay is “immoral”, in your view, what precisely is immoral about it? Under what moral theory is it considered wrong? I have yet to understand how homosexuality harms anyone except homophobes who are scared of and emotionally distressed by their own homosexual impulses.

And I’ll tell you in advance that, “the Bible says so” isn’t quite the sophisticated moral justification that such an unconstitutional policy as the denial of rights to a large group of people is going to require. So think hard.

Posted by: Yossarian at May 22, 2007 12:07 AM
Comment #221004

JD:
“because there is still right and wrong in this world”

Yes, right and wrong as defined and circumscribed by the Radical Religious Right only, of course.

The problem with this is that it tends to create a lot people who are extremely sick freaks who sneak around doing perverted things on the sly.

Here’s one such sick freak who claimed to be pushing the God agenda throughout his entire political career who just made the news today:
Former State Representative for South Dakota, Ted Klaudt, Republican.
The charges: Eight counts of rape, two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, two counts of witness tampering, sexual contact with a person under 16, and stalking.
Seems this “good evangelical” politician was playing doctor with kids at a foster home that he himself has been running — abusing and molesting his own foster daughters, as well as 2 state legislative pages.

Let’s take a look at all the legislation this “pious” man worked on:
A bill: to “support free religious expression in public schools.” (This was about teaching creationism.)
A bill to deny gay marriage through an amendment to the South Dakota state constitution.
A bill to establish a task force to study abortion. (Klaut the child rapist was one of those who was bug-crazy in his belief that abortion is immoral.) Couple more bills: “to “prohibit the performance of abortions, except to save the life of the mother, and to provide a penalty therefor and to provide for a delayed effective date.”
A bill to revise certain provisions regarding the performance of abortions on unemancipated minors and those found to be incompetent. (Revolting isn’t it? A child rapist who was abusing kids under his own foster care making laws about minors not being able to have abortions.)
A bill to honor “Valerie Melmer for her outstanding commitment and dedication to the state legislative page program.” (I wonder if she was one of the two pages he was raping?)

Yes, Klaudt can join the long list of hypocritical sick freaks of the Radical Religious Right. A list which includes gay, alcoholic, child stalker of House pages, Mark Foley. And gay hooker ‘n’ crystal meth loving evangelical minister, Ted Haggard. And hooker loving, abstinence-based AIDS prevention advocate, Deputy Secretary of State, Randal Tobias. And oh, so many, many, more.

How did that go again? Oh yeah:

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 22, 2007 12:55 AM
Comment #221064

“Yet you assume that because Adrienne is a liberal, if she had a son that was gay he would think differently than your daughter.”
Posted by: Rocky at May 21, 2007 11:39 PM

My question did not assume anything regarding a supposed gay son of Adrienne’s. Where do you get this stuff?
My question was very “straight” forward to those regarding what they believe to be right in their own conscience for them and their children. Why are you so hung up on that?

“You also assume that I am a liberal, but then again, everybody is to the left from where you stand. Right?”
Posted by: Rocky at May 21, 2007 11:39 PM

Actually, Rocky, I think I’m much more in line with the centrist majority of Americans than you, Adrienne, and Yossarian are on the issue of homosexual marriage.

“As to your other point, since being gay is “immoral”, in your view, what precisely is immoral about it? Under what moral theory is it considered wrong? I have yet to understand how homosexuality harms anyone except homophobes who are scared of and emotionally distressed by their own homosexual impulses.”
Posted by: Yossarian at May 22, 2007 12:07 AM

“Here’s one such sick freak who claimed to be pushing the God agenda throughout his entire political career who just made the news today:
Former State Representative for South Dakota, Ted Klaudt, Republican.
The charges: Eight counts of rape, two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, two counts of witness tampering, sexual contact with a person under 16, and stalking.
Seems this “good evangelical” politician was playing doctor with kids at a foster home that he himself has been running — abusing and molesting his own foster daughters, as well as 2 state legislative pages.”
Posted by: Adrienne at May 22, 2007 12:55 AM

Yossarian, why not ask by what authority Adrienne thinks rape, sexual exploitation of a minor, sexual contact with a person under sixteen, and stalking are wrong? When Adrienne reveals by what authority or moral code she uses to thinks these things are wrong, perhaps I will reveal why I think homosexuality is wrong.
However, it is commendable, and about time that Adrienne is beginning to stand up against those things that are sexually immoral. If more people would do so we would have a better world. Using your logic though, Yossarian, could it be that Adrienne is “emotionally distressed by her own impulses”? Those are your words not mine!!

JD

Posted by: JD at May 22, 2007 10:36 PM
Comment #221065

Adrienne,

Do not read into my words above. I was making a point regarding Yossarian’s extremely fallible logic. Just a point, no personal attack!!

JD

Posted by: JD at May 22, 2007 10:40 PM
Comment #221077

Adrienne, that is a shocking story! Beware the righteous who career it. The career often is a mask to hide their human and unrighteous foibles.

If more people understood cognitive dissonance and denial as common place psychological defense mechanisms, they would be far less trusting of those who erect facades of perfection and righteousness.

Our founding fathers never intended the American people to trust their politicians. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 22, 2007 11:36 PM
Comment #221082

JD,

“Yossarian, why not ask by what authority Adrienne thinks rape, sexual exploitation of a minor, sexual contact with a person under sixteen, and stalking are wrong?”

I don’t pretend to speak for Adrienne, but gee, it wouldn’t be because they are, for the most part non-consensual acts perpetrated on humans that don’t know any better, would it?
Oh, and those acts are illegal.

Homosexuality isn’t illegal.

“My question did not assume anything regarding a supposed gay son of Adrienne’s. Where do you get this stuff?
My question was very “straight” forward to those regarding what they believe to be right in their own conscience for them and their children. Why are you so hung up on that?”

You ask a loaded, open ended question, and then plead innocence?
Typical.

“How would you feel if your son came home from college and when you met him at the door he introduced a new friend stating, “Hi Dad, this is my boyfriend, Steve. He will be staying with us over the summer, and sharing my room. I hope you don’t mind”?

Those are your exact words.

Gay children aren’t raised any different than straight children, and if they were raised by parents that actually gave a rat’s ass, they are raised to have respect.
Personally, when I brought my then girlfriend (now wife of 27 years), home to meet my parents we slept in separate bedrooms out of respect for my parents.
I know plenty of gays of both sexes that, other than their sexual preferences, are no different than you or I, and some are church going Christians.
Contrary to what some would have you believe, most gays aren’t out cruising every night, and a goodly percentage are in a committed loving “monogamous” relationship. Just like “straight” people.

JD, you won’t get cooties from gays, and they’re not out to “recruit” your children.
What they do behind closed doors is none of your damn business.
I would think that you would support anyone that wanted to announce their committed relationship.
Especially since the divorce rate, even among Christians, is so high.

Posted by: Rocky at May 22, 2007 11:56 PM
Comment #221087

“Our founding fathers never intended the American people to trust their politicians. Quite the opposite, in fact.”
Posted by: David R. Remer at May 22, 2007 11:36 PM

How true, David!

That is precisely my point. It is much better to learn to trust conscience based upon accepted morality. Politicians try to paint everything a blandest gray in an attempt to confuse the electorate. This waters down morality to the point where rights no longer hold responsibilities. For example, Yossarian’s implication that right and wrong should simply be viewed in the context of who gets hurt.
A teenager can drive 90 miles per hour down a freeway and perhaps nobody will get hurt. That is until the time that he loses control and harms another person or himself. Was the teenager then right up until the point that someone was killed? Societal responsibility says no, he was not.

JD

Posted by: JD at May 23, 2007 12:06 AM
Comment #221094

“How would you feel if your son came home from college and when you met him at the door he introduced a new friend stating, “Hi Dad, this is my boyfriend, Steve. He will be staying with us over the summer, and sharing my room. I hope you don’t mind”?

“Those are your exact words.”
Posted by: Rocky at May 22, 2007 11:56 PM

You are correct. Those are my words. They are not open-ended at all. It was a straight forward question for those reading this blog to review what they believe in their own conscience and heart toward themselves and their children. I in no way tried to influence their own answers to this question. However, I notice that no one who is disagreeing with me on the left in the last five responses has answered honestly the question that I posed. I wonder why?

“I would think that you would support anyone that wanted to announce their committed relationship.
Especially since the divorce rate, even among Christians, is so high.”
Posted by: Rocky at May 22, 2007 11:56 PM

Actually, Rocky, I would not support anyone that announced that they were committed to an immoral relationship. Sorry, it is just not within me.
And yes, the divorce rate has taken a massive nose dive in the last fifty years since people have become much more liberal in their views and the sanctity of, and spitrituality of, marriage has been so vehemently ridiculed and reviled by the left. In fact, one can scarcely find a relationship depicted on television today in which a married couple actually love each other rather than some outsider. You can scarcely find a relationship depicted from the liberal Hollywood left where a married couple doesn’t actually despise each other.
On the flip side, you can scarcely find even a family oriented show on TV today that does not depict a homosexual relationship in it. Just a part of the Hollywood left-wing agenda attempting to destroy the idea of a loving, emotional, and spiritual heterosexual marriage while promoting the homosexual, or excuse me, (alternative) lifestyle!

JD

Posted by: JD at May 23, 2007 12:40 AM
Comment #221095

JD,

Nice dodge. You are unable to substantiate your claims of homosexuality as being “immoral”, so you assume that the same is true of Adrienne’s condemnations of sexual violence on behalf of a conservative nutjob.

Rocky already did a fine job of summing up why rape and sexual exploitation of a minor are wrong, but if you have difficulty understanding his rather rhetorical way of stating it, the difference is simply this:

Homosexual sexual behavior, insofar as it involves two consenting, sexually mature people, is morally defensible because it harms no one.

Rape, on the other hand, involves one person doing physical and mental harm to another person.

Easy.

Your example of speeding is wrongheaded. In law, there are two categories of crime: malum in se, and malum prohibitum. Malum in se covers those crimes that are wrong in and of themselves, i.e. morally wrong, usually because they harm others. Examples are murder, rape, arson, larceny, etc.

Malum prohibitum are things that are not morally wrong, but are criminal simply because the lawmakers have decided to make them criminal, usually because they are risky, and lawmakers are seeking to minimize that risk. Examples are speeding, riding a bike without a helmet, not wearing your safety belt, etc. Speeding is not “wrong” per se, but it does demonstrate a disregard for safety that is perilous for other drivers and for the speeder, himself.

Once again, however, if you’re going to make the case that homosexual behavior is perilous in ways that heterosexual behavior is not, I ask you to cite some reason why that is so. I doubt you can do it, and I fully expect you do dodge this question as well, but I sincerely hope you’ll give it a go, since I feel pity watching your rhetorical contortions and dodges when asked simple questions.

My point before was not that, in the case of any behavior that people seek to prohibit, they secretly wish to commit that behavior. What a facile and silly interpretation of what I said! My point before was that, when there is no other justifiable reason for condemning a kind of behavior, it is reasonable to suppose that it is motivated by the irrational fear of that behavior, and the fear of one’s own predisposition toward that behavior. And this seems especially true in the case of homosexuality — as in the example Adrienne cited, the louder the denunciations of gay people, the more likely it is that the denouncer has homosexual impulses that he seeks to repress.

Needless to say, you have yet to demonstrate a justifiable reason for condemning homosexuality.

Posted by: Yossarian at May 23, 2007 12:44 AM
Comment #221096

Oh, and JD:

I’ll bite. I would not allow a child of mine to live in my house for an extended period of time with any significant other, gay, straight or otherwise.

Now how exactly does that further your argument?

Oh, right. It doesn’t. Care to answer any of the questions YOU’VE been ignoring, now? You know, the ones that will actually move this debate forward?

Posted by: Yossarian at May 23, 2007 12:48 AM
Comment #221117

JD:
“Yossarian, why not ask by what authority Adrienne thinks rape, sexual exploitation of a minor, sexual contact with a person under sixteen, and stalking are wrong?”

Yossarian:
“I don’t pretend to speak for Adrienne, but gee, it wouldn’t be because they are, for the most part non-consensual acts perpetrated on humans that don’t know any better, would it?”

Bingo! Give that man a cigar! And I don’t mind a bit if you speak for me (or Rocky for that matter) since we seem to be on the same page here.

If I had an adult son or daughter that was gay I would love them. If they wanted to visit with me in my home I would give them a room together. I don’t think love and commitment and sex between two consenting adults is in any way immoral.
Instead, I think that bigotry, prejudice, arbitrary hatred, and talking about sex as though it were something shameful and dirty IS immoral.

David:
“Adrienne, that is a shocking story!”

It is, but it seems to be all too common a theme among the Radical Religious Right.

“Beware the righteous who career it. The career often is a mask to hide their human and unrighteous foibles.”

Indeed. I’ve come to the conclusion that the religious fanatics who scream the loudest are almost always hiding something awful and disgusting.

“If more people understood cognitive dissonance and denial as common place psychological defense mechanisms, they would be far less trusting of those who erect facades of perfection and righteousness.”

Yes. In the attempt to erect facades of perfection and righteousness, peoples minds and natural impulses become totally twisted, subverted and perverted.

“Our founding fathers never intended the American people to trust their politicians. Quite the opposite, in fact.”

Agree completely.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 23, 2007 11:17 AM
Comment #221120

Btw, have any of you heard about how a Liberty University student was arrested for trying to bring napalm bombs to Falwell’s funeral? Seems that he intended to lob them at those who showed up to protest Falwell and his followers narrowminded, hate-filled agenda.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 23, 2007 11:26 AM
Comment #221132

JD, I agree with you on responsibility. But, not based on such a nebulous term as moral conscience. Morality is born of religious social orders, and thus varies widely across religions as to specifics. Burka’s in Middle Eastern societies backed by severe punishment for infractions is moral in their society because it removes wanton and designed temptation.

Ethics on the other hand has some very basic assumptions and if they are accepted, then the conclusions resulting from them are valid for those who accept them. Here is a simple one accepted by most peoples of western societies. Individual freedom is of very high value. Societies are made up of individuals. Social order is of high value. Anarchy is harmful to both individual freedoms and society. Therefore, individual freedom should be the rule up to the point that its exercise endangers the well being of others in the society.

It is a simple and elegant definition for lawmaking. Not that there aren’t many gray areas that fall into a balancing act between the good of society and the individual. But, it is a starting point and yardstick for lawmaking that is sound, and appeals to most persons of western society. Indeed, it appeals to most people’s sense of reason in most societies, not just Western.

If taxes, criminal and civil law, and policy of government were anchored to this principle, we would see many changes in the laws that now exist. For example:

  • Recreational ingestible items would not be outlawed. Addictive ingestible items would.
  • Religious freedom would be protected, but, government would protect all religions and favor none over another.
  • Education would be free and of equal quality to all who respected the learning process and environment of other students, and denied to those who consistently injured the learning process or environment for others.
  • Artistic expression would be protected, but, defacing of public constructions would be a severe crime.
  • Taxes would be levied ONLY as needed to maintain and protect the well being of society and individual freedoms.

This is considerably different from a standard based on moral conscience which would prescribe dos and don’t’s based more on historical religious paradigms, as well as, the interpretation by religious leaders as to what THEY think is in the welfare and interest of society and individuals, regardless of what those of other religions or differing philosophical camps may consider best for them and society.

A society must have a standard which the vast majority can agree upon regardless of race, religion, creed, or national origin. This is where the secular ethical paradigm has tremendous strength and durability over moral paradigms. Fortunately, in America, moral paradigms have a large overlap with ethical paradigms making them indistinguishable on a large range of issues, like murder, rape, theft, and deceit. Which leaves Americans squabbling over a small set of issues in which ethical and moral paradigms diverge: abortion, sovereignty of citizenship, and freedom of expression where such expression contributes to a diminishing of respect for one’s fellow citizens or, human beings.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 23, 2007 02:47 PM
Comment #221143

How true again, David, and deep as well. However, there is no such thing as responsibilty for the most part without moral conscience. You say that moral conscience is derived from religious social orders. This is one of my arguments. Those on the left always vehemently condemn conservative Christians as trying to impose their beliefs upon everyone else, however, the majority of individuals are heterosexual and hope and pray that their children will grow up to choose heterosexual relationships, as well, primarily because they do not believe homosexuality is right based upon conscience, whether religious or otherwise. This is not a far-right view at all, but if the left can demonize it enough they will actually force people to “accept” that which they personally find offensive for themselves and their children. Why are Christians demonized for expressing what the majority of people actually feel and believe? This should throw a significant “red flag” up for those who might be tempted to vote for radical left-wingers in the Democratic Party. If they constantly demonize those that for the most part think like the majority of Americans, just so they can push a radical homosexual agenda like the left does, what will be the treatment of dissenters upon the next radical issue push that they try to impose upon the rest of society?
Maybe because the left knows that if they can intimidate individuals enough to silence them then there will be no moral conscience, and therefore, no responsibility. You are right, there is a wide range in levels of acceptance in the religions of the world, however, there are none that I know of that have a pro-homosexuality as one of their “ten commandments”, so to speak. Most religions are in agreement about homosexuality, just like most Americans. Why is it deemed so hateful by the left for someone to point that out?

JD

Posted by: JD at May 23, 2007 07:24 PM
Comment #221145

JD,

“Those on the left always vehemently condemn conservative Christians as trying to impose their beliefs upon everyone else, however, the majority of individuals are heterosexual and hope and pray that their children will grow up to choose heterosexual relationships, as well, primarily because they do not believe homosexuality is right based upon conscience, whether religious or otherwise.”

So, after all of that dancing around, we finally come to the crux of the issue.

Why would you believe that being gay is an irresponsible “choice”?
Why would anyone choose to be gay, and subject themselves to the daily abuse, and second class citizenship?

Most folks that proclaim to be “Christian” see the word homosexual, and don’t get past the “sexual” part. You only see one part of the whole being. You seem to think that sexual is all there is to being a homosexual.

How moral is that?

Posted by: Rocky at May 23, 2007 07:56 PM
Comment #221147

Oh, and BTW,

If as I said you Christians can only see a single part of a homosexual’s life, how is that different than the struggle that blacks faced in this country?

Posted by: Rocky at May 23, 2007 08:42 PM
Comment #221155

Rocky,

Of course, practicing homosexuality is irresponsible. All sin and immorality is irresponsible.

“Why would anyone choose to be gay, and subject themselves to the daily abuse, and second class citizenship?”
Posted by: Rocky at May 23, 2007 07:56 PM

It doesn’t have anything to do with to what homosexuals subject themselves by choosing to commit homosexual acts. Why do liberals have to paint them as victims? Homosexuals overall are some of the richest people in America. There are certainly many among the most filthy rich in Hollywood U.S.A.! Where is all the so-called poor, unfortunate homosexual victims of which you speak?
So, who is the one seeing only the sexual in homosexual? It is more likely for someone practicing religion to be a victim of a hate crime or just plain intolerance than for a homosexual to be such. The hate crime figures of the Justice Department prove this. Look them up for yourself.
Wake up out of your dream world of pretending that homosexuals are constantly victimized by some right wing hate-mongering Christian who controls our government, our economy, etc.! There is no evidence of it. It is just another myth of the far-left attempting to demonize deeply religious people and promote the radical homosexual agenda.

JD

Posted by: JD at May 23, 2007 10:49 PM
Comment #221156

“I’ll bite. I would not allow a child of mine to live in my house for an extended period of time with any significant other, gay, straight or otherwise.”
Posted by: Yossarian at May 23, 2007 12:48 AM

Good for you and your children, Yossarian. Your good works will not go unrewarded.

However, that was not exactly the “subject” of the question that I asked.

JD

Posted by: JD at May 23, 2007 11:04 PM
Comment #221158

JD,

“It is more likely for someone practicing religion to be a victim of a hate crime or just plain intolerance than for a homosexual to be such. The hate crime figures of the Justice Department prove this. Look them up for yourself.”

I did, and in 2004 the only groups that faced more hate crimes were Blacks and Jews.

“It is just another myth of the far-left attempting to demonize deeply religious people and promote the radical homosexual agenda.”

Plese tell that to Matthew Shepard,
or Bandon Teena,
or Danny Overstreet,
or PFC Barry Winchell,
or Billy Gaither,
or Trya Hunter.

These “people” were sentenced to a very painful death. Their only crime was that they were gay.

Tell it to J.R. Warren. Double infractions, he was black and gay.

“So, who is the one seeing only the sexual in homosexual?”

I am 54 years old ,and of my many friends and aquaintences that are gay, they are people first and formost, and always have been.
They would be my friends regardless of their sexual orientation, because I judge people by who they are, and not by what they are.

Posted by: Rocky at May 23, 2007 11:31 PM
Comment #221161

JD,

“You are right, there is a wide range in levels of acceptance in the religions of the world, however, there are none that I know of that have a pro-homosexuality as one of their “ten commandments”, so to speak. Most religions are in agreement about homosexuality, just like most Americans.”

Of the four most populous “mainstream” Religions on this planet, only two, Christianity, and Islam, have issues with homosexuality.

Buddhism, and Hinduism are ambivalent on the subject.

Posted by: Rocky at May 23, 2007 11:52 PM
Comment #221162

Rocky, that is exactly what I said. The truth is that those who practice religion, Jewish, Christian, or Islamic, are more likely to be victims of hate crimes in the U.S. than homosexuals. Yet the constant battle cry of the left is to attack the deeply religious people to advance the homosexual agenda. The Jewish faith, Christianity, and Islam all do not believe it is moral to practice homosexuality, if that is, they hold true to their religious teaching. Religious groups are targeted for intimidation and violence more than homosexuals in the U.S.! That is a fact;
a fact that the left does not want known!

JD

Posted by: JD at May 23, 2007 11:58 PM
Comment #221163

JD,

“The truth is that those who practice religion, Jewish, Christian, or Islamic, are more likely to be victims of hate crimes in the U.S. than homosexuals.”

The truth is, you’re wrong.

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0004885.html

In 2004, except for Judaism, gay males were victims of hate crimes more often than all of the other religions combined.

Only Blacks and Jews, were victimized more than gay males.

BTW, Judaism only accounts for 0.22% of the world’s believers.
Christianity 33%
Islam 21%
Hinduism 14%
Buddhism 6%

http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html

Posted by: Rocky at May 24, 2007 12:40 AM
Comment #221164

Sorry,
“Only Blacks and Jews, were victimized more than gay males.”

That should read;
“Only Blacks and Jews, and whites were victimized more than gay males.

Posted by: Rocky at May 24, 2007 12:50 AM
Comment #221174

Buddhism:

“In practice, Theravada Buddhist countries are not terribly open to homosexual practice. This has much to do with cultural norms, as well as the notion of karma, which remains strong in countries such as Thailand. From this viewpoint, a person’s characteristics and situations are a result of past sins or good deeds. Homosexuality and other alternative forms of sexuality are often seen as karmic punishments for heterosexual misconduct in a past life. Thus far, the gay rights movement has not had great success in Theravada Buddhist countries.”
Buddhist View International, July, 2005

“The Dalai Lama was more specific in a meeting with Buddhist leaders and human rights activists in San Francisco in 1997, where he commented that all forms of sex other than penile-vaginal sex are prohibited for Buddhists, whether between heterosexuals or homosexuals. At a press conference the day before the meeting, he said, “From a Buddhist point of view, [gay sex] is generally considered sexual misconduct.”
San Francisco, June 19, 1997

“In particular, homosexual conduct and gender variance are seen as obstacles to spiritual progress in most schools of Buddhism. Others, however, have positively valued homosexuality; notably Japanese Shingon Buddhism where relationships between male priests and young male acolytes were the norm, especially during the Edo period.”


Though no stand is expressed conclusively in Buddhist teaching, homosexuality is not encouraged, but discouraged among most Buddhists. That is, unless you happen to be a priest that enjoys young men.


Hinduism:

“Homosexuality is also a complex matter in Hinduism because of the many types of religious life. In general, “twice-born” Hindus are prohibited from homosexual acts (maithunam pumsi), such as in Manusmrti 11:174, which mentions both men and women.”

“There are great differences amongst Hindus as to whether homosexuality is acceptable behavior. The debate takes place against the background of Hinduism’s teachings on love, sex, and marriage.”

Homosexuality is not encouraged among the Hindus and there is division within their beliefs.


Islam:

“While there is a consensus that same-sex intercourse is in violation of Islamic law, there are differences of opinion within Islamic scholarship about punishment, reformation, and what standards of proof are required before physical punishment becomes lawful.”

“Of all the creatures in the world, will ye approach males, And leave those whom Allah has created for you to be your mates? Nay, ye are a people transgressing (all limits)! They said: “If thou desist not, O Lut! thou wilt assuredly be cast out!” He said: “I do detest your doings:” “O my Lord! deliver me and my family from such things as they do!” So We delivered him and his family,- all Except an old woman who lingered behind. But the rest We destroyed utterly. We rained down on them a shower (of brimstone): and evil was the shower on those who were admonished (but heeded not)! Verily in this is a Sign: but most of them do not believe. And verily thy Lord is He, the Exalted in Might, Most Merciful.” (Qur’an 26:165-175)

Homosexuality is certainly not encouraged in Islam. In many Islamic countries the practice of homosexuality is actually punishable by death.
And you think the U.S. is intolerant because we simply define marriage as between a man and a woman? Geez!


Christianity:

“They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.” (Romans 1:25-27)

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders.” (1 Corinthians 6:9)

Christianity forbids homosexuality.


Judaism:

“Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” (Leviticus 18:22)

“If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” (Leviticus 20:13)

Jewish law forbids homosexuality.


Taoism:

“Taoism stresses the relationship between yin and yang: two opposing forces which maintain harmony through balance. The Taoist tradition holds that males need the energies of females, and vice versa, in order to bring about balance, completion and transformation. Heterosexuality is seen as the physical and emotional embodiment of the harmonious balance between yin and yang. Homosexuality on the other hand is often seen as the union of two yins or two yangs, and therefore unbalanced. People in same-sex relationships or people who engage in same-sex sexual behaviour are thought to be susceptible to illness.[28] However, homosexuality is not explicitly forbidden by the Taoist Holy Books, the Tao Te Ching and the Zhuangzi.”


Jainism:

“Chastity is one of the five virtues in the fundamental ethical code of Jainism. For laypersons, the only appropriate avenue for sexuality is within marriage, and homosexuality is believed to lead to negative karma. Jain author, Duli Chandra Jain, wrote in 2004 that homosexuality and transvestitism “stain one’s thoughts and feelings.”


Sikhism:

“Sikhism has no written view on the matter, but Sikh (Punjabi) society is generally ultra-masculine and conservative; toleration of any homosexual behavior or orientation is bound to meet outrage or strong disapproval. However, other Sikhs believe that Guru Nanak’s emphasis on universal equality and brotherhood is fundamentally in support of homosexuals’ human rights.
In 2005, the world’s highest Sikh religious authority described homosexuality as “against the Sikh religion and the Sikh code of conduct and totally against the laws of nature,” and called on Sikhs to support laws against gay marriage.”


Scientology:

“The sexual pervert (and by this term Dianetics, to be brief, includes any and all forms of deviation in dynamic two such as homosexuality, lesbianism [sic], sexual sadism, etc., and all down the catalog of Ellis and Krafft-Ebing) is actually quite ill physically.”

“Hubbard created a “tone scale” which classifies individuals and human behavior. The scale runs from -3 to +4. He apparently rated gay and lesbian behavior at a 1.1. — between “fear” (1.0) and “anger” (1.5). On this scale, -3 means death and +4 is the most positive rating attainable. At 1.1 on the tone scale, we enter the area of the most vicious reversal of the second dynamic. Here we have promiscuity, perversion, sadism and irregular practices. This presumably includes homosexuality. In Book One, Chapter 27, Page 163, he writes: From 1.3 down to 0.6 we have the general area of the subversive, who promises a people freedom and equality and gives them a slaughter of their best minds and cultural institutions, to the end of a totalitarian dominance.”

These are the views of L.Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. Later, Hubbard recanted those views, and some claim there is no definitive stand for or against homosexuality in Scientology.

The point is that being against gay marriage is not a far-right view at all. In fact, believing in a man / woman definition of marriage is widely accepted by all faiths world wide. So, why all the Christian bashing by the left when Christian views are hardly different from most other widely accepted religions? Could it be that the left-wingers in the U.S. find Christianity and Christians in general to be their most vocal opposition? Thus, we have the intimidation measures of the left to try to silence Christians and demonize them in order to give the false representation that they are not in agreement with the majority of Americans and the rest of the world, including the world’s religions.

Posted by: JD at May 24, 2007 02:41 AM
Comment #221196

JD,

Now If you want to really impress me with your research, name, or better yet, link your sources of information, so we can all be impressed.

BTW, L. Ron Hubbard was a passable science fiction writer. His data is questionable.

Posted by: Rocky at May 24, 2007 11:26 AM
Comment #221225

JD, Jesus taught love over hate. Tolerance over rejection. Forgiveness over vendetta. The religious Right have every right to not engage in homosexual conduct. No one, including the far Left, is trying to force anyone into gay relationships.

The opposite of course, is NOT true. The Right is trying to use the political system to force those who find love in gay relationships to discontinue that love. It is inherently in contradiction to Jesus’ teachings. Jesus did not distinguish - love thy neighbor as thyself.

Also, let’s not forget that homosexuality was widely tolerated and accepted by the Holy Roman Church even amongst the clergy, and that Martin Luther’s revolution against the Catholicism was in a large part, and revolution against homosexuality and the Roman Church’s political manipulations of the institution of marriage. The ten commandments contain no prohibition against homosexuals.

In other words, today’s Christian Right’s position on homosexual relations was a 16th century invention founded by Martin Luther and other protestants. Does Martin Luther speak for God or Christ? Many on the Right act as if he did. But, the historical fact is admonishments against homosexual partnerships was a social and political decision, not a Christ inspired one, and therefore, not Christian in any true sense.

Christianity teaches love is a window on God’s grace. Christ considered prostitution a sin, and by its context, a sin because it sought self-gratification without the compassion, commitment, and responsibility for another soul within another of God’s created human beings. Gay marriages have all the potential for the kind of love Christ promoted, and promiscuity by either gays or straights, was sinful for its absence of appreciation and love of the divinely inspired soul of another.

I am not saying Christ advocated homosexual marriage. But, neither did he condemn it or prohibit it. Love of the divine in another human being was what Christ inspired and indeed, Christ himself found great love and respect for his disciples, and forgiveness for the prostitute asking her not to debase divine love with mere physical gratification henceforth.

There is a difference between the scriptures of most of the major religions and their religious Order’s prescriptions. In nearly all of the major religions, one will not find a prohibition against homosexuality. That is the province of the priests in their own social orders, and not a prescription of the divinely inspired prophet founders of the religion.

Hence, the prescriptions against homosexuality are political inventions, not religious in nature. Martin Luther’s rejection of celibacy of the Holy Roman Church was in part, nothing more than his creating license for himself to marry a nun, and have many children of his own.

Just as today, the Christian Right have no teachings of Christ containing a commandment against homosexual marriage or bonding. What they have is their political view on it which they are trying to force upon others of a different belief through the use of Ceasar’s laws. They are not acting religious here, they are acting politically, as Martin Luther did in the Reformation.

The Christian Right is entitled to their views on homosexuality because they live in a secular democratic republic. But, you see, that is the double edge of this sword. That same secular democratic republic also protects and defends the rights of gays to their views.

And the ethical paradigm prohibits either group from denying the other, the right to their personal beliefs, as it should be under our Constitution that prohibits any religious group from dictating or mandating through force of law, their views upon other groups of differing perspectives.

Moral conscience is dictated by the religious group one affiliates oneself with. Ethical conscience has a far wider appeal, and favors not one group’s view over another, but, as I outlined earlier, protecting individual liberty up to the point that it injures the liberties of others. The act of engaging in a homosexual union does not injure the liberty of others to choose heterosexual unions for themselves.

There is no getting around this fundamental difference between the Christian Right’s seeking to limit personal liberty of gays, while the Left seeks to protect the personal liberty of both gays and straights to decide for themselves what relationships will be most fulfilling in their ‘pursuit of happiness.’

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 24, 2007 03:34 PM
Comment #221233

Well said David.

Posted by: Rocky at May 24, 2007 04:14 PM
Comment #221257

David,

I gave at least four scriptures condemning homosexuality as sin for both Christians and Jews, and yet, you still believe there is no scriptural authority or Jewish law supporting such Christian and Jewish beliefs. What more do you need, a visit from Christ on the Road to Damascus, or perhaps, a fiery bush that does not burn?
I also gave quotes from the Quran for Muslims, from the Dalai Lama, recognized as a supreme Buddhist, quotes from the founder of Jainism, quotes from the highest Sikh religious authority, and quotes from L. Ron Hubbard, one of the founders of Scientology.

Perhaps you also were not aware that the scientific world and heads of psychology taught that homosexuals had a mental illness into the late sixties, until the sexual revolution of that period broke out in America that was fueled and propagated primarily with the illegal drug use prevalent at that time.
Due to the epidemics of Aids and other sexually, and intraveinously, transmitted diseases, many in America have been recognizing once again the value of traditional marriage and monogamous heterosexual relationships, even though the Hollywood left has continually tried to push their forced acceptance of the homosexual (alternative) lifestyle, and drugs as well for that matter, through TV and movies.
Again I say that standing up against the radical homosexual movement in the United States is not a far-right issue. It is as mainstrem as baseball and apple pie. Nearly all religions do not encourage homosexuality. And most discourage it or condemn it outright. There is nothing far-right about their views! Why all the Christian bashing? Do you have to single Christians out because you know you can’t take on all the religions of the world who disagree with the homosexual lifestyle? It certainly says a lot about the hatred that the left has for Christianity!

JD

Posted by: JD at May 24, 2007 11:01 PM
Comment #221261

JD,

“It certainly says a lot about the hatred that the left has for Christianity!”

Why is it that you take a simple disagreement in philosophy as hatred?
You are entitled to your opinion, I am just as entitled to disagree with it.
Do you assume that all gays lead a hedonistic lifestyle?
Nothing could be further from the truth.

I personally never said that I hated Christians, I do however disagree wholeheartedly with your stand against gays.
There is no “gay” lifestyle. Most gays are not hairdressers or interior designers.
They are doctors, lawyers, engineers and firemen. In every walk of life, gays work side by side with the rest of us and for the most part we are none the wiser.

Would you have them wear a red “G” on their lapel?

Most gays just want to be left alone to live their lives just like the rest of us.
Furthermore, most gays are monogamous, just like most heterosexuals.

This “radical homosexual agenda” is a figment of some one’s over active imagination.

Posted by: Rocky at May 24, 2007 11:29 PM
Comment #221269

“Do you assume that all gays lead a hedonistic lifestyle?”
Posted by: Rocky at May 24, 2007 11:29 PM

Rocky,

Here are the definitions for hedonism.
It is a view that morality, or right and wrong are based upon the principles of pleasure versus pain. Or, “something must be right if nobody gets hurt.” See below:

1 : the doctrine that pleasure or happiness is the sole or chief good in life
2 : a way of life based on or suggesting the principles of hedonism
Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary

Definition of Terms
The term “Hedonism” is derived from the Greek word “hedoné” which means “pleasure.”
Hedonism denotes the creed or philosophy that pleasure is or should be the sole end and
aim of human action or conduct. [Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, James Hastings,
ed., Vol. VI, p. 567, 1913]. In other words, hedonism is the philosophy that states pleasure determines that which is good. Consequently, anything that increases the sum of pleasure is considered good, and conversely, anything that increases pain is wrong.”

Here are some of the justifications used for homosexuality / homosexual marriage in statements made above. Please, read carefully:

“As to your other point, since being gay is “immoral”, in your view, what precisely is immoral about it? Under what moral theory is it considered wrong? I have yet to understand how homosexuality harms anyone except homophobes who are scared of and emotionally distressed by their own homosexual impulses.”

“Homosexual sexual behavior, insofar as it involves two consenting, sexually mature people, is morally defensible because it harms no one.”
Both posted by: Yossarian

“Therefore, individual freedom should be the rule up to the point that its exercise endangers the well being of others in the society.”
Posted by David Remer

I would conclude that, yes, the justification of homosexuality is based to much extent on the definitions of hedonism in context to the posts above. Since the justifications for homosexuality / homosexual marriage in the posts above are based upon the principles of percent of pleasure and percent of hurt. However, Yossarian and David Remer were not the only ones to fall prey to the magnetism of hedonism.

In your own words:

Why would you believe that being gay is an irresponsible “choice”?
Why would anyone choose to be gay, and subject themselves to the daily abuse, and second class citizenship?
Posted by: Rocky at May 23, 2007 07:56 PM

In the context of hedonism, then homosexuality would be wrong in your view, since it subjects them to such hurt, right?

JD

Posted by: JD at May 25, 2007 01:06 AM
Comment #221271

JD,

You’re conflating hedonism, which is simple pleasure-seeking, with utilitarianism, which posits that the best moral law is the one which creates for society the most good and the least harm. The quotes you took from David and I arguably reflect the latter, not the former.

And I’m still waiting on those answers. Why is homosexuality immoral again? And again, we’re going to need something more than religious texts, here.

Posted by: Yossarian at May 25, 2007 01:23 AM
Comment #221282

JD,

I used the word hedonistic, an adjective.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/hedonistic

“Pursuit of or devotion to pleasure, especially to the pleasures of the senses.”

My point was that you, and those like you, seem to think that gays are loose, that they are promiscuous, that they are indeed only about the sex.

And that, is where you are very wrong.

Oh, and BTW,

You still haven’t answered the question of why you think I hate Christians.

Posted by: Rocky at May 25, 2007 10:02 AM
Comment #221321

JD: “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.”

Detestable is not a sin. I detest waste, but, it is not a sin to create it, we all create it. Detestable is personal opinion. Many Democrats detest Republicans and vice versa. Doesn’t make Democrats or Republicans immoral. C’mon, man.

You said: “Homosexuality and other alternative forms of sexuality are often seen as karmic punishments for heterosexual misconduct in a past life.”

If homosexuality is a punishment for past lives, then, it is beyond the individual’s control that they are homosexual. Ergo, being a homosexual cannot be immoral for one to be what fate has dictated one to be. To be immoral, one must make an immoral decision.

Your quotes provide few authorities and logically don’t make a case for immorality of homosexuality. And your quotes highlight significant differences in views on this topic from religion to religion, which supports my argument that the secular ethical standard is far superior to a moral one, since moral standards differ from one religious congregation to another. Just a little over one hundred years ago, many White Christians held that Black people were immoral by their very nature of being born Black. I believe that adequately supports my point historically, speaking regarding the lack of consensus regarding morality from one religious group to another.

Is what the Bible says literally true, or metaphorically true? There is great disagreement amongst Christian denominations in America regarding this question. So, trying to make the case based on the Bible does not even meet the consensus test amongst Christians, let alone some universal morality true for all religions.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 25, 2007 10:31 PM
Comment #221362

David,

So, your justification for homosexuality is that it is OK to do the detestable in the eyes of God. That’s certainly one I have not heard before.

What the argument has come down to is shall we use the accepted traditional definitions of marriage, morality, and immorality based upon a widely accepted higher authority throughout nearly all religions, or shall we choose to define marriage, morality, and immorality in a manner which is based mainly upon the principles of hedonism? My argument is we should let the people decide which method we should use based upon their own moral conscience before changing the entire definition and concept of marriage for approximately two percent of the population by means of the Federal Courts.

A nation-wide study was done in 2002 called the National Survey of Family Growth, wihich surveyed over 120,000 Americans. The findings concluded that about 11 percent of women and 6 percent of men had engaged in same-sex sexual activity at some point in their lives. However, of those that engaged in those activities, only 2.3 percent of men and 1.3 percnet of women considered themselves homosexual.

Of those that engaged in same-sex sexual activity, only 2.9 percent of males had done so within the twelve months before the survey, and only 4.4 percent of females.

For the most part, the same-sex acts are simply something that was done in the past for those 6 percent of men and 11 percent of women, and they chose not to pursue homosexuality or call themselves homosexual.

It makes no sense to me whatsoever to change all societal norms of marriage and family based upon 2 percent of the population. That is just ludicrous.

JD

Posted by: JD at May 26, 2007 12:21 PM
Comment #221474

JD said: “So, your justification for homosexuality is that it is OK to do the detestable in the eyes of God.”

You have the eyes of God to see what he sees, do you, JD? I should introduce you to GW Bush, he says he has a direct line to God as well. Coming from an educational background in psychology and work in psychiatric hospitals, my experience tells me those who say they know what God sees, thinks, and feels need help.

BTW, it is highly debatable that God has eyes at all. If one believes God has eyes, one must believe he has a schlong as well. Which begs the question, where is Mrs. God, or his harem. Or are parts of God useless and just leftover evolutionary artifacts like a human appendix? :-)

In the eyes of GOD, indeed.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 28, 2007 06:15 PM
Comment #221506

Oh, David, you seem to think that God is created in our image rather than the latter. Your remarks certainly reveal a lack of understanding about God.

There is no need for a harem or even sexual relationships at all with God, or for us in the next life, due to the fact that there is no purpose for procreation, which in fact, most religions agree that this is the purpose for sexual relations. God can create with nothing more than the power of a word, or give life with nothing more than the rush of his breath.

Even in science and psychology it is widely accepted that the primary purpose of sexual relations is in fact procreation, or would you dispute that as well.

But rather, in the next life, many religions believe that it is eternal. Therefore, there is no reason for procreation.

Regarding the eyes of God, He reveals to others that which He chooses to reveal for His purpose. I don’t pretend to know everything about God, as one can not know everything about God in this life. However, He has revealed enough about Himself that those who truly wish to know Him can certainly do so if they are open-minded enough.

JD

Posted by: JD at May 28, 2007 09:45 PM
Comment #221605

JD, it was not I who professed to see what lies in the eyes of God. You did. To see what God sees presumes one has the capacity of God. I would never venture to say what God finds detestable nor desirable. Passions like detesting and desire lead to behaviors of temptation. Those are attributes I would ascribe to myself, not God, as you did.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 29, 2007 08:52 PM
Comment #221622

But, God is a passionate God, and a jealous God when people turn away from Him and choose the path of sin. God also has desires and most of all expectations for us. Anyone can continually say, I’m sorry, God, if you love me, let me make amends”, and yet, go on sinning. The difficulty is in obedience. Obedience is better than sacrifice. Only by knowing God and seeking to know Him better, can one learn obedience. Though this conversation is religious in nature, it is also very much political. Because that which one seeks out in life determines those things one will believe, which determines the political views of an individual in matters relating to morality and social issues. That is just the way it is. Are you suggesting that those who are non-believers regarding religion make better politicians or decision-makers? That is a very intolerant view.
One can not seek to be obedient, and then abandon one’s faith for political reasons. One’s political views should be in line with the teachings of their faith, if they are a true believer. There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, the demanding for someone to strip himself of his religious beliefs for the sake of politics shows extreme intolerance on the part of his opposition.

JD

Posted by: JD at May 29, 2007 10:30 PM
Comment #221642

JD,

You are talking about words, theoretically inspired by “God, but written by men.

I do not question your faith, but I don’t share it, and I doubt that the vast majority of people in this country share your particular zeal in your faith.
While American law may share some precepts that are sometimes attributed to Christianity, this is still a secular country, and as such must fill the needs of all that live here.
While you are entitled to your beliefs, you seem to label anyone that disagrees with your beliefs as a “Christian hater”, and nothing could be further from the truth.
I was raised a Christian, and I do adhere to Christian concepts, but people like Falwell pushed me away from Christianity with their intolerance and bigotry.

I refuse to be identified with folks like that.

Posted by: Rocky at May 30, 2007 08:14 AM
Comment #221901

Rocky, your experience and view pretty much mirrors mine. Any person could make a good political leader, regardless of whether they believe in a religion or not. Leadership, representation, and problem solving, the three fundamental aspects of being a politician, do not require religion to excel in those aspects of the job.

I found those times when I erred and was NOT forgiven for them, to have been the most memorable and motivating to not err in that way again. The psychological result of believing that any and all sins can be forgiven is a fundamental flaw in both Christianity and American Politics, which allows errant politicians like La.’s Jefferson or GW Bush to get reelected so they can go forth and err some more.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 1, 2007 04:12 PM
Comment #222002

David,

I have learned that living an “ethical” life, and living a “moral” life, depending on who you talk to, can have two entirely different meanings.

I believe I am an ethical person. I treat people as I want to be treated.

I guess that just isn’t good enough for some folks.

While it may be unethical to treat gays as “subhumans” it appears that it isn’t immoral.

Go figure.

Posted by: Rocky at June 2, 2007 02:06 PM
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