Thursday, November 24, 2011


Everybody's got their Thanksgiving blog posts about how thankful they are. I'm here to tell you how unthankful I am. Last night I watched a wonderful movie, Amish Grace. It is based on the true story of an Amish community that was devastated by a mass murder, and of how they forgave their killer. I highly recommend this movie, and rate it 3 Kleenex.

There was a point in the movie where the father of one of the slain little girls explains something that struck me hard. He says "God gave us our little girl. he has every right to call her back." We're so busy today saying how thankful we are for our friends and families, but how many look deeply into the fact that every second of every life is a gift that surpasses our wildest expectations. How many of us hold onto that thankfulness though loss and tragedy, like the gentleman portrayed in the movie.

I know that I, for one, and a pretty unthankful fellow.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bigot (Part 4)

This is the fourth, and I believe final installment of my series on the attempts to redefine marriage. In the original post, Bigot, I spoke about the lack of a reason to redefine marriage. There is no right being denied homosexuals, other than the "right" to force others to call them married. Whenever the subject is brought up by individuals, the conversation focuses on "why shouldn't two people who love each other be allowed to marry?" The answer, of course, is the nature of that love. Should parents be allowed to marry their children? Should currently married people be allowed to marry?

But this argument is divorced (pun intended) form the legal arguments for redefining marriage. For instance, Google, Microsoft and Starbucks, along with over 60 other businesses and firms, filed a brief to uphold a circuit court decision to strike down part of DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law which defines marriage as between one man and one women). They claim that homosexuals are discriminated against by having to pay tax on money paid for benefits for their partner.

Now, that would truly be discrimination if those couples were married (e.g. if the definition of marriage were already changed). So the reasoning is circular. If we take the opposing stance, that the definition of marriage is not relevant to the claim of discrimination, the same claim of "discrimination" could be made of anyone who wants to pay for another person's benefits, whether they be a parent, friend, or a cohabiting heterosexual couple. Yet the brief seeks only a remedy for homosexuals. In other words, it in fact discriminate against the cases above.

But the main point is that legal arguments don't involve the "love" of homosexuals, but are all about one of two things; money or religious liberty. In the case of the brief mentioned above, the article itself notes "Essentially, the companies are asking the federal government to help them save money."

In Bigot Part 2, I discussed what marriage is, and why it is harmful to make it what it is not. Marriage is ordered towards strengthening families, and notwithstanding Disney movies which attempt to redefine a family as any group of individuals who work together towards a goal, family means children and their parents. Marriage is designed to give children a mother and a father, both of which have an important role.

Redefining homosexual relationships as marriage is harmful to the institution of marriage and to children. The reason is the redefinition of mother and father into a concept of "parent". Because two men or two women can't have a child by themselves, in each and every case of a homosexual couple "having" child, there is at least one (possibly 2) real biological parent who is separated from that child. So rather than being the institution that ensures a child has a right to both its parents, marriage becomes the means by which a child is separated from its parents. This also commoditizes children in that the in each case there would be a contract, and presumably money changing hands, so parentage becomes a financial transaction, not an act of love.

In Bigot Part 3, I discussed the negative effects of redefining marriage. Whether by intention or not, the redefinition of marriage does not and cannot allow for the religious rights of Christians, Jews, Muslims, and just about any other person of faith. All religions that have some claim on morality include sexual morality and that morality universally recognizes the principle that the purpose of sexuality is procreation.

We live in a society and despite claims that "what I do is none of your business" when "what I do" becomes a matter of law it affects everyone. Redefining marriage to include homosexual relationships is incompatible with moral teaching. When a force meets and object something has to give. In countries where marriage has been redefined we see an erosion of religious rights, followed by an erosion of civil rights of religious believers. At first, there are conscience clauses and exceptions for religious reasons. But those exceptions can't last, because the concepts involved are fundamentally incompatible.

In the UK, it started out by a denial that redefining marriage harmed children. This led to religious organizations that disagreed being denied the ability to run adoption services. This is the state of things in the US right now, in places like Illinois. In the UK things have progressed along their natural course to the point where the High Court has officially ruled that people of religious conviction cannot adopt or foster children if their religion claims that homosexual acts are sinful. As I speculated, the logical conclusion to this is either to outlaw the religion, or to outlaw contact with children for any such believers (including keeping their own children).

Nor is the OK the only place where this is happening; they are merely the first to take this step. In Germany, parents are being jailed for teaching their children Christian beliefs about homosexual acts. In Canada, there is a court case pending involving people who were fined or jailed for reading the Bible in a public place.

In fact, throughout most of the western world religious freedom is being taken away in the name of redefining marriage. This redefinition does not convey any rights to homosexuals, but deprives children of their rights to a mother and father, and deprives people of their rights to practice their faith. For all of these reasons I can definitively say that I am not a bigot. I think that name belongs more accurately to those who cannot let Christians live in peace, without forcing them to approve of sin.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Bigot (Part 3)

This is the third in a series on the attempts to redefine marriage. In the first post, Bigot, I spoke about the rights that are supposedly being infringed by the definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman for the benefit and education of children. I was unable to find any. People are free to live together, have sex, and accomplish all the benefits of marriage without the title regardless of gender. The only "rights" are made up ones (like the "right" to marry). In fact, redefining marriage infringes on the rights of children and on religious liberty.

In Bigot Part 2 I spoke about what what marriage is and isn't. The purpose of marriage is primarily to ensure that children have the benefit of two parents to raise them. Numerous studies have confirmed that physically, mentally, and spiritually it is a benefit to children and to society for them to be raised by their father and mother. Redefining marriage would make it into an institution that would separate children from their natural parents. It would also restrict the rights of traditional Jews, Christians and Muslims from being able to practice their religion freely, and marginalize them in society.

In this post I'd like to expand on that and speak about the consequences of redefining marriage. Since there are countries more "progressive" than America, where marriage has already been redefined, we have an excellent look at what is likely to happen here in a few years.

First off, let's look at what has happened in the name of "tolerance" close to home. Despite the claims that Catholics are haters and homosexual advocates are more tolerant, the reverse seems to be the case on looking at evidence. Let's consider California's proposition 8 debacle. Proposition 8 was a ballot initiative in California to explicitly define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Note that this was merely confirming federal law as specified by DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act, which says that that "the word 'marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word 'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.").

Many groups supported Proposition 8, while homosexual advocacy groups opposed it. Christians and Mormons were the primary targets of many violent acts perpetrated in the name of tolerance. These include death threats against people who supported it, theft and vandalism of "Yes on 8" signs, beating of people (including an elderly couple) trying to put signs on their property, shooting out windows, slashing of tires, and spray painting the word "BIGOT" on cars, buildings and other property.

Proposition 8 passed, but the story doesn't end there. It was challenged legally, and the California Supreme Court upheld its constitutionality. However, the federal court stepped in and overturned it. The case is controversial (BTW this is a good example of subtle bias in Wikipedia, which makes no mention of this in its article on Proposition 8) in that the judge who overturned it, Vaughn Walker, is himself a homosexual in a long term relationship. An argument was made that the judge should have recused himself based on the fact that he had a personal interest in the outcome of the case. That argument was rejected by judge James Ware who based his decision on the argument that sexual orientation shouldn't disqualify someone from hearing a case. It remains a controversy because the issue was not the judge's sexual orientation, but the fact that he had a personal interest in the outcome of the case. Proposition 8 challenges are still going on, and it remains to be seen what the final outcome will be. The point may be moot if the federal government repeals DOMA, which it is in the process of doing, and then enacts legislation to reverse DOMA, which it is likely to do.

There are other examples anti-Christian and anti-family intolerance due to the marriage issue. In Illinois Catholic Charities was told it had to place children with same sex couples in order to be allowed to continue its adoption services. No matter that other adoption services would serve same sex couples, Catholics had to do it too, in violation of their religion. A Sangamon County judge has stopped the action for now, but it remains an issue.

Recently in Illinois, a Christian school was vandalized for holding a pro-family award ceremony. A New Jersey teacher is under attack for saying on Facebook that she believes homosexual acts are wrong. In Texas a student was suspended for saying he believed homosexual acts are wrong (the school eventually apologized). Paypal has suspended accounts and frozen assets of organizations and individuals who uphold traditional marriage. Apple has removed and banned software on its devices which supports marriage or offers alternatives to homosexual behavior. In Canada, sports anchor Damian Goddard was fired over a tweet supporting marriage. William Whatcott was fined $17,500 and ordered to stop speaking about homosexuality. The "Human Rights Tribunal" declared that reading the Bible (specifically the letters of St. Paul) was "hate speech". The issue is currently going through Canada's legal system. Various businesses, such as Bed and Breakfasts, photographers, and a Christian retreat center are being sued because of their religious beliefs. It is not enough to tolerate what other people do, you must approve and participate in their acts, even if it violates your own beliefs.

The result of redefining marriage is that not only must Christians place foster children with homosexual couples, but eventually will be unable to care for children themselves. This sounds absurd, but it is a natural consequence of this doublespeak version of tolerance. In 2008, a couple in the UK was denied a foster child because they were Christian. This ruling was upheld by the UK High Court, who later claimed that the ruling wasn't anti-religion because it dealt with beliefs about morality, not directly about God.

Let's get this straight, because it is important. As a direct result of defending the redefinition of marriage, the UK High Court has declared that the state is the arbiter of morality, and that religion has no place doing so. Christians are only free to participate in society if they reject the parts of the Gospel that do not conform to government defined morality.

The next step is obvious. If it is "harmful to children" for foster parents to be Christians, to the extent that children should not be placed in such a household, then the natural children of Christians are being "harmed" and should be "rescued" by taking them away. In fact, a more economical and natural solution is to have Christians sterilized so that they cannot harm children.

There are many more examples I could give about families being destroyed and religious rights being denied, but I think the UK foster parent case above makes the point succinctly. Just understand that it is not a mistake or a one-off - it is the goal and direct consequence of redefining marriage.

Next, see the last installment, Bigot, part 4.