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In response to:

Why ‘Gay Marriage’ is Evil

HeraldOfGalactus Wrote: Jan 26, 2015 11:16 AM
There's nothing brave about posting an article online for which he never has to answer for. There's nothing brave about repeating the same hateful arguments that he's been repeating for years now on this site. And there's nothing brave about making broad generalizations against an entire minority. That's not brave. That's just asinine and misguided. God never said homosexuality was a sin. The people who wrote the bible said it. These were flawed, ignorant people who were driven by intense tribalistic attitudes that have no place in a modern society. And Matt Barber's love of this pre-modern hate is illogical in and of itself.
In response to:

Why ‘Gay Marriage’ is Evil

HeraldOfGalactus Wrote: Jan 26, 2015 11:13 AM
So you don't think that the dozens upon dozens of benefits conferred to married couples had nothing to do with homosexuals wanting the right to marry? How is that logical? Can you read the mind of EVERY homosexual? How can you be so sure of their intentions? If you can't answer these questions, then there's nothing about your position that's logical.
In response to:

Why ‘Gay Marriage’ is Evil

HeraldOfGalactus Wrote: Jan 26, 2015 11:08 AM
WJF, copying and pasting text from the bible is a non-sequiter. The bible is a book. It isn't God. It isn't Jesus personified. It's a book. Treating it as anything beyond that is missing the point of the message. It's also not logical.
In response to:

Why ‘Gay Marriage’ is Evil

HeraldOfGalactus Wrote: Jan 26, 2015 10:47 AM
I don't know what definition Mr. Barber used of logic, but he needs to get a new dictionary. Jesus did not invent logic. He never claimed to invent it. So using Jesus as a starting point for logic makes no sense. He was a holy man, not a scientist. Can most Christians agree on that at least? Also, there was marriage before the time of Christ. Marriage has existed as far back as Ancient Egypt, Ancient Mesopotamia, and Ancient China. And in many cases, those marriages were not monogamous. They were one man and many women. They had to be because women died in childbirth so often. Would those marriages be considered "evil" as well by Mr. Barber's perverse logic? Right off the bat, Mr. Barber's starting point is demonstrably wrong. There is also no biological function called "marriage." There is a biological function for reproduction and pair-bonding that's measurable. But the concept of "marriage" is and always has been a man-made creation. This is historic fact. It only clashes with those who take an obscenely literal interpretation of the bible, which NOT God or Jesus. It's a book. Taking its words, which come from a pre-modern age in multiple languages that nobody even speaks anymore, is inherently illogical. Mr. Barber's rigid concept of Christianity is a perversion of the message of Christianity. Christ's main message had nothing to do with who married who or what marriage even was. Christ taught his followers the value of compassion, love, and forgiveness. To construe this as an argument against same-sex marriage also defies logic. It's this poor concept of Christianity that gives Christians a bad name. It covers the love behind Christ's message with hate and intolerance. It's nothing more than a convenient excuse for Mr. Barber to make a sweeping generalization about people he doesn't know and who don't affect his life in any way. He doesn't like same-sex marriage. That's fine. He doesn't have to participate in one. But calling it evil is just illogical and short-sighted. Homosexuality has been present in every single culture, no matter how many Matt Barbers that culture had. And no matter how much homosexuals are despised, they are human beings. They deserve the same respect and dignity as everyone else. To do otherwise isn't just illogical. It's downright heartless.
The absurd lengths that Congress will go to continue this utterly failed policy on drugs never ceases to astound me. How does continuing a failed policy benefit anyone? Has making marijuana illegal really improved the lives of those affected by it? The research is fairly conclusive at this point. Throwing non-violent drug offenders into prison is not good for society. Hopefully, more states will follow the lead of Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. At some point, the absurdity will become too much, even for Congress.
Freedom cuts both ways. In the same way religious people seek productions, those against certain religions must be offered those same protections in a free society. Without protections on both sides, then one side will become a tyranny. We've seen that in history many times before. We see it today in the Middle East, Africa, and South America. I think the problem with both cases is that the focus is on religious freedom when the laws at work here are anti-discrimination laws. Some states do have them. If this baker was operating out of another state, then it wouldn't be an issue. Colorado does have these anti-discrimination laws on the books where sexual orientation is listed as a protected class, along with race. If someone wants to address these issues, these laws must be confronted. To ignore them only reduces the justice system to being petty.
In response to:

Erring on the Side of Life

HeraldOfGalactus Wrote: Jan 21, 2015 11:22 AM
I can respect Mr. Conner's opinion. What he says about our ignorance of the human body is true. We have gone through a long and at times torturous process to understand it. There are still many parts we don't understand, but medical science is making progress. And when it comes to those in a vegetative state, the science is not settled. It's difficult to imagine being in such a state. For some, it's a torment that they would rather not suffer. For others, they seek to fight. Stephen Hawkings has felt his body deteriorate around him for 30 years. He's had his last rights read to him more than once and he was told he would have only three years to live at one point. That was nearly 30 years ago. But not everybody is Stephen Hawkings. I think if someone wishes to not endure being in a vegetative state, those wishes should be honored. If someone signs a DNR paper, it should be upheld. But when the wishes of the person aren't known and the extent of their suffering is not known, I think erring on the side of life is logical. It also should give us more incentive to expand our knowledge in this field to ensure that nobody has to endure such suffering.
I think this was a reasonable ruling. The First Amendment preserves the free exercise of religion and that freedom should not evaporate behind the walls of a prison. Prisoners are still human beings and they deserve some measure of rights during incarceration. And forcing someone to trim their beard does not preserve a compelling government interest so it should have been ruled unconstitutional. And it was. It's a good ruling by the Supreme Court at a time when they can't say they've made many.
This issue was eventually going to reach the Supreme Court. It was bound to the moment one state legalized same-sex marriage because, for better or for worse, marriage is a civil institution. It has been since the beginning of this country. That's not to say marriage has always been a civil institution. That phenomenon is actually somewhat recent in the grand scope of history. But the fact remains that the federal government and the state governments grant benefits to married couples. And under the 14th and 5th Amendment, they cannot discriminate which couples can get married. The rules have to apply equally. This is why the Loving v. Virginia case ruled as it did. The opponents of inter-racial marriage failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that prohibiting inter-racial marriage served a compelling government interest. To date, no opponent of same-sex marriage has been able to do the same. There have been numerous chances in numerous venues. In every case, the court has ruled against them. And unless that changes, the Supreme Court will rule that same-sex marriage cannot be prohibited. Opponents like Bill Murchison can complain about it all they want. Marriage is not a strictly Christian institution in this country. It never has been. And not all Christians even agree on the issue of same-sex marriage. Some denominations do actually endorse it. This very division within the faith shows that his arguments have no depth. And still, he did not make a single reasonable argument beyond a reasonable doubt that gives the government a compelling reason to ban same-sex marriage. If nobody can make that argument, then there's no case to be argued. Same-sex marriage will be legal. It won't change the institution of marriage for heterosexual couples in any way. It hasn't in any of the states that permit same-sex marriage and I live in one. And by clinging to these religiously motivated arguments, the Bill Murchisons of the world are only destroying their own credibility to others and future generations.
"Fight to elect a real commander in chief in 2016 who can restore America and its standing in the world." I agree with some of the items on Mr. Norris' list, but I have a big problem with this one. Whenever I hear this from liberals or conservatives, I take it to mean "A President who agrees with everything I believe and will do whatever I want him to do." That may not be the intent of the message, but that is the subtext. We have to understand that we live in a country where not everybody agrees. We also have to understand that there's a difference between what we believe and what is real. President Obama does not control everything, nor does the government. And regardless of his actions or inaction, things are getting better by and large. There is far less violence in the world today compared to 50 or 100 years ago. Crime is at all-time lows. People are living longer than ever before. Millions are being lifted out of poverty all over the world. The poorest people today can still expect to live better than even the richest people lived a mere 150 years ago. It's all about perspective. The world is getting better and we should acknowledge progress while not losing sight of the challenges before us.
I've seen some of these statistics as well and I'm already familiar with them, such as the stats on campus rape and false accusations. I'm glad Mr. Hawkins presented them because it's important to maintain a certain perspective for these issues. That said, there are two fallacies to keep in mind when reviewing studies and they can best be summed up by two rules: Correlation does not equal causation Everybody lies (which I like to call the Dr. House rule) These two rules should cast doubt on the marijuana study done in Australia. It should also cast doubt on the survey about homosexuality. Also, there's the sample size issue, but that's an issue in every survey. It's a bit easier to track the flow of money and crime rates. But drawing conclusions from more complex research will always be more challenging and less clear.
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