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Such passages include Matthew 10:34, Luke 12:49–53, and Luke 22:35-38 that use violent rhetoric against non-believers. In addition, the entire Book of Revelations speaks of great violence done against those who don't ascribe to Christianity. That said, the New Testament is by far more tame and peaceful than the Old Testament or the Quran. But the rhetoric is still there and if a Christian were so inclined, they could use these passages to justify violence against non-believers.
The fact you won't even give a slight thought to the arguments I've made speaks volumes for you as well.
Ken, if you won't even allow yourself to think about this issue, then you are lost. And that's not something to be proud of.
Johnny, the difference between a straight man and a homosexual man (or woman for that matter) is that prior to this ruling, the homosexual man couldn't marry the consenting adult he or she wanted. This same argument was used in the Loving v. Virginia case for inter-racial marriage and the court didn't buy it. As for youth, history has shown that young people tend to reject the overly conservative values of their elders. They hear them disparaging homosexuals and preaching religiously-motivated hatred. It just doesn't appeal to them and they move against it. So in this respect, I think the religious crowd have no one to blame but themselves for losing the youth vote on this issue.
Freedom to exercise religion doesn't mean having the right to discriminate and disparage others under the law. You can hate anybody you want. You can insult them all you want. But you can't use the law to deny them basic equal protections. There are countries that do this, but they're free countries. Issues involving hate speech and what constitutes public/private space are a separate matter. But when it comes to your personal religion, same-sex marriage isn't going to change or criminalize it.
Ken, how is marriage being redefined? Permitting same-sex marriage does not impact heterosexual marriage in any way. Yet it's denied to same-sex couples? Why? Here's a thought experiment. Picture two couples. One consists of two homosexuals who have been together for over 20 years. They love each other, they're faithful to one another, and they're productive members of society. The other couple consists of a man and a woman. They meet in a bar in Las Vegas. They don't know each other. They're not even in a clear state of mind. However, they can walk across the street and get legally married without a second thought. And the state deems that relationship worthy of recognition, but not the other. Do you see the problem here?
Do you respect their rights, Ken? Do you respect their right to be treated equally under the law and to live and prosper as every other citizen?
No religion is being stamped out. It's just not legal to use your religion to justify discrimination against homosexuals. Permitting same-sex marriage will not change anybody's religion or criminalize it. It'll only make it so it can't be used as an excuse to disparage people. That's part of what it means to live in a secular country ruled by law.
Maher is not going to apologize to Christianity and Judaism. He just isn't. He's made his anti-religious views very clear and shows no intention of changing them. However, I notice he has shifted some of his criticisms towards Islam more recently. And I think it's a criticism that warrants discussion. One issue that I think he and Sam Harris missed is that while Islam and the Quran do preach severe intolerance towards non-believers, the bible has a lot of those same teachings. If you read over certain sections of the Old Testament and even some in the New (although not quite as many), you'll find plenty of passages that encourage violence and death against non-believers. It also contains passages that encourage irrational thinking and states as fact things that we know are wrong. The difference is that Christianity and Judaism went through a reformation period where people stopped taking some of these passages so literally. Things like the enlightenment and the scientific revolution helped change perceptions on how to handle these outdated and barbaric values. Islam has not had such a reformation and it would actually be much harder. While Christians believe that the bible was inspired by God, Islam takes it a step further. It preaches that the Quran is absolutely perfect and is not subject to interpretation. It cannot be translated. It cannot be revised. It is never to be questioned. And it's that strict value of never questioning that restrains Islam from adopting more modern values. The Muslims that do eventually reform are mainly those who don't take it seriously. But I think it is telling that Christians and Jews do not demand death upon people like Bill Maher or shows like South Park, who repeatedly criticize religion. But Muslims actually have mullahs and state officials who issue edicts against cartoonists and authors like Salmine Rushdie. This sort of behavior is not conducive to values of compassion and tolerance. There are radical sects of Christianity and Judaism, just as there are with any religion. But the radical sects of Islam are the ones waging war right now. They're the ones that deserve the most criticism and by scoffing at the notion, calling it "racist" like Affleck did, is just preventing people from saying things about religion that needs to be said.
Until the Supreme Court rules on same-sex marriage or until every ban is overturned, there will continue to be confusion. I think the Supreme Court is avoiding this issue because of political pressure. There's an election coming up and their rulings could have a significant impact. I believe that the tide of history remains in favor of equality and justice. Just as inter-racial marriage bans faded, bans against same-sex marriage will do the same. An entire generation of young people is emerging who have been turned off by the attitudes against homosexuals. And that generation is going to be what ensures that same-sex marriage becomes legal. And I think that day can't some soon enough in a country built on the principles of equality under the law.
Well what words would you have them use for those who seek to deny others their equal rights under the law? And what words would you use for others who rely on their religious convictions to denigrate minorities?
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