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I think you rightly point out that there are 'rational' forms of discrimination that are even enshrined in law. Insurance companies can charge some groups of people higher premiums because of the group they belong to. They are higher risk. Men cannot join some female only health clubs, etc. I think where you error is in discounting the rational government public interest that the government has in supporting marital unions that are made up of one man and one woman and where there is the potential for offspring. It's a red-herring to say 'well, some people are incapable of biological children.' Bottom line is, they still male and female. If these types of couples were the only ones getting married, society would likely be in a perilous position because where would future populations come from? co-habituating couples? couples using surrogates or in-vitrio fertilization? It has been largely established that children are best raised in a functional (versus dysfunctional) nuclear family made of a male father and a female mother. Recent 'studies' claiming otherwise are highly questionable and have even been questioned by some social scientists such as Robert Lopez who themselves are bisexual and who were raised by same sex 'parents.' Because a lot of heterosexuals have failed at marriage is no reason to redefine something that until the last 20 years or so has always involved opposite sex union. Many heterosexuals have not failed at marriage and have raised healthy children. Not perfectly, but well enough to leave a foundation for future generations. They should not be ignored as if they don't exist.
Also, one source has stated: Incidentally, even the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that the European Convention on Human Rights does not require nations to recognize same-sex marriage. One source states that "One reason the European Court said it reached its decision was based on the fact that there is no ‘European consensus’ regarding same-sex marriage. Ten countries recognize it, while 37 European nations do not, and the Court concluded that the debate should continue..."
In the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron, spearheaded the passage of the Marriage Act, that legalized SSM in Britain, this in spite of the following: -There was no commitment to redefining marriage in the 2010 Conservative manifesto, so voters had no reason to expect it. -The Bill was never included in the Queen's speech. -Over 650,000 people signed a petition against re-defining marriage. -A majority of Conservative MPs voted against the bill. -A series of amendments to protect conscience were rejected. -The initial consultation suggested that same-sex 'weddings' in religious services would not be allowed - but this was later relaxed. -In judging the response to its consultation, the government effectively ignored those who signed the Coalition for Marriage petition (despite earlier assurances that they would be taken into account) but at the same time included bulk responses that were pro-same-sex 'marriage' - leading to huge distortion. -If all petitions had been included, 83% would have been against the redefinition of marriage. -If all petitions had been excluded, 64% of consultation responses would have been against. But by excluding petition responses which were against redefinition, while including those that were for re-definition, the government managed to produce a figure that suggested 53% were in favor of same-sex 'marriage'! So the result for Cameron doing what he said was the 'conservative' thing to do and support SSM? Former grassroots members have left the Conservative Party because David Cameron pushed the same-sex 'marriage' law through parliament, according to leading party activists. The fall in subscriptions has led to a major loss of income for the Conservative Party. I think it is a fiction to think that people will flock to the Republican parties in droves because the 'social issue' of SSM is 'off the table.' This is likely what Cameron thought would happen in the UK, and it has backfired on him, with people leaving in droves to support the UKIP party.
Ashley, years ago, the LA Times, believe it or not, of all newspapers, wrote that many students attending schools in the California UC system were being hurt because of the pervasive left wing bias that existed on campus and within the classrooms. Students attending any college campus are done a tremendous disservice when the professors and university officials refuse to be fair minded and balanced in the presentation of any subject. It amounts to being indoctrination in a leftist, 'progressive' worldview versus being a healthy safe environment where different and opposing viewpoints are given an equal chance to be expressed and heard.
Several years ago, in Sweden, militant atheists attempted to force hotel chains there to get rid of the Gideon bibles that many of the hotels had in their rooms. Ironically, the public outcry over this was so loud that the militant atheists backed down. Now this is in Sweden of all places, which similar to France and Denmark, probably has one of the highest percentage of atheists and agnostics in Europe, but somehow, even this society realized how outrageous it was to try and force hotels from simply having the Bibles in the hotel rooms for guest if they wanted to look at them. From a reasonable person on the street perspective, removal of these bibles because it amounts to 'an endorsement of a particular religion' really is just anti-Christian bigotry acting out.
Again, as I said, I wasn't trying to change your mind, I think 'proof' is a loaded word, as it exist in different forms. Mathematics, law, etc. People who believe or don't believe in 'string theory' would each argue that they each have 'proof' for their position. I actually don't totally disagree with what you described as natural selection because I think it can correspond to some aspects of what many consider to be micro-evolution, or variation within species. I don't believe in one species morphing into another and don't believe that the fossil record truly bears this out and that their is more 'faith' in that certain things took place than there is truly incontrovertible evidence for. Biologists like Dawkins seem to be the most rabid about defending this but when you get into the other scientific disciplines, you get people who have doubts. It's ok to have doubts. Science should not be a closed system that will tolerate no dissent from the 'consensus'. But that's besides my original point that I stand by: public education is NOT values neutral and anyone claiming it is misinformed,
By natural selection, I don't know exactly what you are referring to? Micro-evolution with variation within species or the Darwinian idea of all life forms evolving through unguided processes and having one common ancestor? If its the latter, there are many, though I understand not the majority, of scientists who have serious doubts about that hypothesis, that doesn't mean they have a 'better explanation' but they do have serious reservations that have nothing to do with religion, but I doubt these people would ever be given an opportunity to air this in the controlled academic setting where they could risk losing access to grants, tenure, etc. The orthodoxy would not accept it. But if you are convinced of it, nothing I can say will change your mind about it, that's not really my intent anyway. The point I am making is that we should not make the pretense that public education is 'values neutral' because it is not. A materialistic worldview pervades it undergirded by a type of philosophical naturalism. To be intellectually honest and consistent, drawing a 'hard line' would require expunging the pervading worldview in public education now, or being open minded enough and allowing courses to be taught that allow for discussion of viewpoints that differ from the 'consensus' view in social or even the hard sciences, which would not even reference religion. Even Richard Dawkins said once that he did not dismiss the idea of ID, only that he believed if it ever did take place it was not a deity but a form of extra-terrestrial life form that would have been responsible.
The thing is school districts know, or should reasonably be expected to know (and likely do but simply do not care) that the strong promotion of LGBT that they take is an affront to the religious sensibilities of at least half of their stakeholders, parents who have religious beliefs and who are trying to inculcate those in their children, and who do not have the resources to send their kids to private school or to home school. Bullying of any kind is wrong (Bullying of short kids, overweight kids, special needs kids, etc) yet I don't see the special campaigns made to raise awareness of that type of bullying. The strong line you advocate is a slippery slope because it could be argued that public schools are really teaching a form of materialistic naturalism which itself is hardly neutral on many issues. Example: 'According to the Wall Street Journal , researchers are currently trying to find ways to eradicate the belief young children have in intelligent design. These researchers are gravely concerned because "by elementary-school age, children start to invoke an ultimate God-like designer to explain the complexity of the world around them—even children brought up as atheists"! Wishing to debunk this belief as a myth, the researchers are developing picture books to teach kids that biology is the result of unguided natural selection. Their idea is to "reach children with the right theory before the wrong one is too firmly in place." In other words, they want to brainwash our kids into a materialist worldview—at taxpayer expense.' also, 'At the same time, the religion-bashing and wildly inaccurate TV series Cosmos was recently honored with 12 Emmy nominations. With that kind of recognition, the series (just out on DVD) seems destined to end up as a staple in public school science instruction. " So, the 'hard line' you advocate is really just another way of supporting the militant atheists, whose ideas and actions on this I think are both misguided and unnecessary
Well, in many urban school districts tax money is used to actively promote LGBT activities, including special activities on days like "Harvey Milk day", 'coming out day' , 'Gay pride month' etc. And people paying taxes to fund these activities are unfortunately not able to opt out of having to subsidize that.
This is the tactic of choice of militant atheist groups: Attempt to intimidate government entities with threats of litigation over alleged breaches of the establishment clause. These groups do not care about true legal compliance or adherence, their true and real agenda is to try and obliterate any reference to religion whatsoever in the public square, because, in reality, they are not neutral, they are hostile to religion generally and Christianity specifically. They keep using this tactic because it has been successful for them, either because entities are intimidated by them, or because some within the organizations they threaten to sue sympathize with their agenda.
I have a couple of thoughts in this issue, while not an Obama supporter in the least, two things come to mind when I read the WSJ article. One, at least the Yazidi's are what you would call true refugees versus calling the influx of people from Central America refugees for political purposes, and secondly, sadly and predictably, I saw nothing said about providing refugee status or protections to the Christians being persecuted and killed under IS in Iraq.
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