Reflections from the pastoral ministry of an Evangelical Catholic Priest.
No, just that subset of the Christians who persist in maintaing that a certain subset of the population is inherently immoral purely by virtue of their nature. They are free to have such beliefs, but the state should not sanction this officially by having them act on their behalf.
Boo hooooo!!So anti-gay bigots have consequences for their views. I suspect racists also suffer consequences as a result of their views. Any abomination can be grounded in a religious view. We are not obligated to treat every vile view as morally equivalent just because someone claims it is based on their subjective interpretation of religious doctrine, scripture, interpretation, or special divine revelation. If we did, anyone would be able to subject anyone to any unjust discrimination with impunity.Lastly, even Christians are not unanimous in their disapproval of homosexuality. This article perpetuates the canard that all Christians are anti-gay. They are not!Please...cry me a river. No one would take any white supremacist seriously if they were rejected as a foster parent - even if that white supremacist claimed their bigotry was motivated by sincere religious belief. So why should we take this couple seriously?Cheers...Martin
Martin: How do you like it now that you have almost finished becoming that which you detest? 50 years ago homosexuality was condemned by the courts, government and society. Yes? 'Gay rights' didn't exist, the state used its power to oppress and arrest people for participating in acts and beliefs that ran counter to the mainstream.Now, Christians are feeling the same. Oh, not nearly to the degree that gays had to deal with but ever so slowly we are getting to a point where those holding and practicing Christian beliefs will be similarly oppressed. That is why this couple was refused: not for teaching bigotry but for holding and practicing Christian values. They were not promoting white supremacy, they were practicing Christians. It is for THIS REASON that the court ruled them 'unfit' even though they had successfully fosters kids for yours.So, how does it feel to be the oppressor? You seem very satisfied with the court decision so you're well on the way to becoming that which not long ago you hated.My only hope? It's that eventually good people like you will realize that you are becoming that which you abhor and will try to strike a different balance between these differing rights.TimP.S. If there's any extra warm air down in TO, would you please consider sending it north? We're freezing up here!!
Utter. Complete. Nonsense.You write: "That is why this couple was refused: not for teaching bigotry but for holding and practicing Christian values."Wrong. They were rejected as foster parents because they refused to refrain from teaching that homosexuality is unacceptable to the children under their care. There is nothing wrong with a homosexual orientation - it is as valid as a heterosexual orientation.There is absolutely nothing essentially "Christian" about anti-gay bigotry. If there is, are you telling us that the United Church, the Universalist Unitarian Church, and the Metropolitan Community Church etc...are not really "Christian"? Why does your interpretation of Christianity get to ride rough shod over these other denominations' views? Who is really being intolerant here Tim? What makes you the official arbiter of what is "truly Christian".Lastly - you do not address my broader point about how unjust discrimination can (and does) find a basis in some religious doctrine or other. For example racisim, genocide, mysogony, polygamy, incest etc... all find a safe harbour in someone's religious doctrine.What is your rationale for carving out a special justification for "true Christians" being able to discriminate against homosexuals only? Why pick on just the fags? How about blacks? How about women? How about Jews? Where do you draw the line? Think about it Tim. What this couple is asking for is the thin edge of the wedge that will legitmize religously motivated discrimination against any vulnerable minority. You might agree that this is all right when it comes to "teh gays", but once the precedent is set, the exception can be easily broadened by the courts to include any minority.The British courts had no real option but to reject this couple's request. What is truly sad is that the religious, anti-gay lobby wasted tax payers' money pushing this silly challenge through the courts. Do you folks not have better things to do with your money and everyone elses? How about tackling poverty, hunger, ignorance, or lack of medical care?How about tending to a problem that all Christians can sign on to and that actually might make the world a better place for all of us? Cheers...Martin
Martin: You're missing my point. Thanks to the patience of good people like you, I have come to agree that gays merit possessing all the same rights as anyone else. I'm still a little 'iffy' with calling same sex unions 'marriage', but so long as are discussing the legal use of the word, I have no problem.However, look at it from a process point of view:1. 'A' is an value that society does not accept and therefore uses legal sanction to prohibit it.2. The believers in 'A' self-identify as a persecuted/discriminated group and organize to change societies stance so that 'A' is considered acceptable.This is I think a fairly accurate description of how the gay rights movement attained the status they have now. Correct? It was a movement geared towards inclusivity. Right?Now the shoe is being put on the other foot.Now those who hold to values different from 'A' are being told that their values and beliefs are inappropriate. The power of the state is now being wielded to oppress the expression of their beliefs. This is clearly the situation here in this case. Am I not correct?What's fascinating is to see those who were previously oppressed now doing the same thing to those who were previously the oppressors. You seem to take as much comfort in the suppression of their right to believe as they do as they may have taken when the shoe was on the other foot.This is the point I am trying to make.As to the balance of your post (about addressing other issues), I think I'm doing a pretty fair job of ensuring that they are also represented on this blog.So, my question to you is: why do you assume that because I post articles like this one that I am trying to resist or oppress gay rights or homosexuals in general? Do you think that my heart is so oriented to oppression? I would have hoped that you would know me better than that.Tim
No Christians are being arrested and no Christians are being imprisoned in Canada for holding anti homosexual views. It is not illegal to hold anti-homosexual views in this country. It is just not socially acceptable anymore.As to the weather, it supposed to warm up, but I hope not too much as I'm taking my son's scout troop out for winter camping this weekend.
1. 'A' is an value that society does not accept and therefore uses legal sanction to prohibit it.2. The believers in 'A' self-identify as a persecuted/discriminated group and organize to change societies stance so that 'A' is considered acceptable.For "A" substitute atheism and you will have another valid comparison.These people are free to hold what ever religiously inspired judgemental opinion they want, just not on the tax payers' dime.I would oppose a couple of rapidly anti-Catholic Ian Paisly supporters zealots as well.
Michael: 'YET'! No Christian has been imprisoned in Canada YET... But make no mistake... the trend indicates that it may not be long before this becomes a reality.IF you don't believe me, think of this. 50 years ago when I was a kid, it was unthinkable that gays would be allowed to marry, that babies would be legally killed in the womb for the crime of being unwanted, and euthanasia was thought of as meaning kids in China. It is AMAZING to see the swiftness with which these traditional values were swept aside. My old buddy RJN once wrote that "that which is now permitted will always soon become obligatory." In this case we see how this is coming true as now the courts are saying it is inappropriate to hold and teach traditional Christian teaching to children. The House of Commons even passed a law which states that if I were to read the passages of the Bible dealing with the prohibition of homosexuality from the front of my church, I could be convicted of propagating 'hate literature'.Now, the days of tribulation have not yet arrived... but it's coming!Fr. Tim
Michael: Actually I am wrong! I forgot about Linda Gibbons who has spent over 700 consecutive days in prison for standing outside an abortion clinic, doing nothing more than holding a sign and quietly praying.So, at least when it comes to abortion rights, Christians are already experiencing the full sanctions of the state.Fr. Tim
Michael: I see your point about atheism. Yes, it too works quite well to illustrate my point. Previously (hundreds of years ago mind you) one could be sanctioned by the state for not believing in God. Thankfully those days are now far behind us.Yet, as the Linda Gibbons case demonstrates, you can now be sanctioned for stating in the public square (which her tax dollars help to pay for) her Christian beliefs.Thanks for helping to demonstrate the point I'm trying to make.Fr. Tim
As to the abortion clinic, I assume she disobeyed a court order to stay a certain distance from the clinic. Whether the order was appropriate or not is another issue, but she probably was in contempt of court. As to reading the Bible in public. If you were to preach for instance "A man or a woman who acts as a medium or fortuneteller shall be put to death by stoning; they have no one but themselves to blame for their death." (Leviticus 20:27 NAB) you would be censored. The fact that a passage comes from the Bible does not make it sacrosanct.
Tim writes:"However, look at it from a process point of view:1. 'A' is an value that society does not accept and therefore uses legal sanction to prohibit it.2. The believers in 'A' self-identify as a persecuted/discriminated group and organize to change societies stance so that 'A' is considered acceptable.Reply: I do not argue that society's norms can change, and that these norms are enforced through a number of formal and informal mechanisms. We are agreed on that much.What I assert is that religion is an insufficient basis upon which to permit discrimination. Listen carefully, Tim - I am not advocating for the repression of any religious view, I am simply saying that religion is an insufficient basis upon which one may take disciminatory actions against vulnerable minorities. If you have a proposal that is logical, fair, consistent, and that allows religiously motivated discrimination while simultaneously protecting all vulnerable minorities from harm, then I am all ears. If you do not, then I suggest you concede my point.Catholic Online is trying to portray this couple as victims - and by extension - to paint all Christians as victims of the "homosexual agenda" (whatever that it is). This case is not about that, but it is about society's obligation to protect vulnerable minorities from harm - even if the justification for that harm flows from a sincerely held religious belief. Grant this couple that the exception they ask for, and I guarantee you will have some Muslims lobbying for the right to discriminate against women or Jews, or some white supremacists arguing for the right to mistreat blacks. Cheers...Martin
Ananymous - Freedom of religion allows religious people to discriminate within their religious organization on the basis of what ever they want. The only exception being hate speech that promotes violence (i.e kill homosexuals, kill witches, etc.)They can't however expect to have those prejudices automatically accepted or sanctioned on the public stage.
Tim writes: "In this case we see how this is coming true as now the courts are saying it is inappropriate to hold and teach traditional Christian teaching to children."Reply: What you seem to be mourning is your loss of "Christian Privilege" - not the dawn of some new "Christian persecution". Yes, there was once a time when some Christian denominations held sway over most of our institutitions. Yes, there was once a time when prelates were automatically granted respect and shown deference just because of their ecclesial office. So you have lost your priviliege, Tim. There are a whole host of reasons for that (some your own fault and many others not), but really, so what? Why should I care that your religious privilege is now in tatters?And yes, changing social norms mean that homosexuals may now stand equal under the law to their heteorosexual brethern. The stigma of being a homosexual is diminishing - but not gone. Once gay rights were enshrined in law, it inevitably meant that some past discriminatory practices would be illegal. Why should this surprise anyone?Just as the passage of emancipation laws meant that slave owners would no longer be able to mistreat blacks, so too, the emancipation of homosexuals has meant that anti-gay bigots are no longer free to discriminate (even if they do so out of religious conviction). I believe the slave owners also chaffed at their loss of privilege...and some of them based their right to enslave others in your Bible.Seriously - should the state pay a foster parent to emotionally mistreat LGBT youth? Why should LGBT people be indoctrinated at the expense of the public purse to believe that they are lesser human beings and objectively disordered?Remember - LGBT youth are the most vulnerable group of all. At least a black youth, or youth from an ethnic minority, has parents and a community that shares their "blackness" or "ethnicity". Not so with LGBT youth. In fact, many LGBT youth are rejected by their natural families and end up in foster care explicity because they are gay. To then subject them at this very vulnerable time in their lives to damaging "Christian" propaganda is immoral.Are you seriously suggesting that LGBT youth should be subjected to such abuse just to assuage your sense of wounded "Christian Privilege"?Cheers...Martin
Change the circumstances. I was just out at lunch and saw a young girl (going by the height) clothed to a niqab (the one with only the eye slits). Would the state feel justified in denying placing a young girl with a Muslim family who would immediately dress her as they feel their religion demands or would they feel justified in saying the state should not sanction through foster parenting such a treatment of women? Do religious rights prevail in this situation?
Martin: I 'listened carefully' to you. Please offer now the same to me. I am NOT saying that YOU are trying to deny any religious rights to believers. Alas I am not entirely representative of believers nor you for atheists. Others from both our camps will be responsible for what I believe happened in the past or is still to come. I am arguing that society rarely if ever gets the balance right and given the way the pendulum is swinging, it's going to be believers turn to get the short end of the stick.Now to your points specific to the couple in question: no social worker would place a LGBT youth in a strong christian home. Part of the job is to find the appropriate resource for the child in need. In my years of working with the Children's Aid Society in the Ottawa Valley, we were obliged by legislation to respect religious, cultural and ethnic values in placing any child. There would never be an occasion where a foster child would be abused in the manner you suggest.Still, I believe that we agree on more than we disagree on this matter. I hope that gives both of us some comfort.Tim
Re: the religious privilege question: This is a straw man argument. The couple were not asking for any privilege. They are being discriminated against for simply being evangelical christians. How is that any different than gays being discriminated against for holding their views? You cannot discriminate against someone as a potential foster parent based upon their sexual orientation, why can the courts do so based upon ones religious convictions?You are in fact demanding that any reference or description of homosexuality as being 'sinful' must be wiped from the public square. You are in danger of being guilty of the same 'offense' that victimized gays 50+ years ago.That is the point I was initially trying to make to you.Tim
Hi Tim,I hear your point. You are suggesting that the state could pre-screen LGBT youth and match them with accepting foster parents.A reasonable compromise - as far as it goes. Your suggestion, however, makes two unwarranted assumptions:a) that all youth coming into foster care will be aware of, and able to articulate their sexual orientation at the time of placement;b) that straight youth are not negatively impacted by anti-gay propaganda. Where do you think the next generation of anti-gay bullies comes from? How is marginalizing and demonizing LGBT people going to mend the social fabric so that LGBT citizens are accepted as equals?Given the above complications, I am afraid the risks of exposing foster children (both gay and straight) to "Christian anti-gay rhetoric" would preclude the John's from acting as appropriate foster parents.I am absolutely unapologetic that the John's (or anyone else) will experience consequences as a result of their anti-gay bigotry. Let me draw a parallel - I may be entitled to disagree with modern germ theory. I may even stand on the street corner and rave with impunity about the falsity and deceit of modern germ theory. Why not - after all it is only a "theory" and I have freedom of speech? Nevertheless, no one should be surprised when the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons refuses me a licence to practice medicine. If I do not accept modern germ theory, then I am unfit to practice medicine. That is the consequence of my sincerely held belief.Why should the John's be treated any differently?Cheers...Martin
Hi Tim,No Tim. The couple is not being discriminated against because they are "simply evangelical christians". The Johns completed a survey and indicated to the government that they would not treat homosexual orientation as equivalent to heterosexual orientation in their interactions with foster children. This survey was administered to all foster parents. The Johns have not denied this fact in their court case. The Johns have asked the court to excuse them from following the law (i.e. be granted a priviliege) becuase their anti-gay bigotry is the result of a sincerely held belief in their version of christianity. I am not demanding that the concept of sin be wiped from the public square. Unfortunatley, I am entirely resigned to having to listen to the inane ramblimgs of the "elected" and the "saved" babble on about the evil of homos.I am simply saying that religous doctrine is not an appropriate basis to justify discrimination against LGBT folks, or anyone else for that matter.What absolutely amazes me about the religious right is their childish insistance that anyone who opposes intolerance is "intolerant" and therefore a hypocrite. What silliness. Like you, I do not support unjust discrimination. Discrimination based solely upon sexual orientation is always unjust. Discrimination based solely on religious affiliation is always unjust.Again - the Johns were not discriminated against because they are "christians" - they were discriinated against because of how they proposed to treat the children under their care. Big difference.Cheers...MartinHow is that any different than gays being discriminated against for holding their views? You cannot discriminate against someone as a potential foster parent based upon their sexual orientation, why can the courts do so based upon ones religious convictions?You are in fact demanding that any reference or description of homosexuality as being 'sinful' must be wiped from the public square. You are in danger of being guilty of the same 'offense' that victimized gays 50+ years ago.
What's ironic in all of this is that this couple is a evangelical Pentecostal Protestant couple. There's a good chance they view Catholics with the same condemnation that they view homosexuals.
Michael writes: "There's a good chance they view Catholics with the same condemnation that they view homosexuals."Good point Michael. It seems the only thing that unites many religious tranditions is their animus towards "teh gays". When "teh gays" held World Pride in Jerusalem, the only thing Jewish, Muslim and Christian leaders could agree upon was a joint condemnation of queers. The 3 great monotheistic faiths got together on only one thing in the last thousand years - and that was to jointly agree that World Pride represented "spirutal rape of the city". Find the link here: http://www.christiantoday.com/article/christian.jewish.muslim.leaders.unite.in.campaign.to.halt.jerusalem.gay.festival/2457.htmIn other news, the 3 great monotheistic faiths still cannot manage a get together on any other topic important to humanity - you know...minor things - like war, famine, terrorism, genocide, AIDS etc....Cheers...Martin
Martin: You are making my point for me! The animus you speak of is almost universal, throughout various religions, cultures and countries. It is about as close to a consensus opinion on one topic as you can find.It is a LONG, HARD, DIFFICULT journey to get to a point where the majority hold a contrary opinion. It has reached this point (more or less) in western democracies. Prior to this time, sexual licentiousness and homosexuality were held to be signs of civilizational decay, not progress.To demand that every social agency, government and service to the general public must put aside such a deeply rooted belief may be necessary from your perspective, but it is not going to be easy ride. There a a lot of people to convince.Tim
Tim is correct and they've crossed the line with this ruling. Having a prejudice or moral objection does not automatically equate to hate though I understand the desire of individuals to paint it as such to score points against their opponent.Do they screen atheist evangelizers looking for a child because of their negative views on religion and the people that practice it? What about parents that take issue with immigration or are staunch environmentalist, unionists or animal rights activists. Any of these views can create a violent radical.Have prospective parents been probed and prejudiced based on their views of obesity, skinny kids, handycapped or the mentally challenged and refused a child based on that? From what I've seen, you'd have fared out no worst being a homosexual than one of these in a school setting or many work environments.If the shoe were on the other foot, would the court deny a gay couple a child based on the fact that they think Christians are immoral? Of course not.Michael mentioned they're probably anti-catholic being Pentecostals, which raises the question, why are they not denying them a child based on that view? If we dug deep enough into any candidate for adoption, you could find a group they oppose or have moral objection with, that could be argued will create a child that shares those prejudices and maybe even acts out violently upon it. If this couples rejection of homosexuality was expressed through violence we'd have something to talk about. However there are countless people out there that share this view yet spend their lives helping treat aids victims or destitute homosexuals. Its simply naive or malevolent to automatically brand someone that rejects homosexuality as a hater yet thats what we see all the time. CheersPaulCheersPaul
Hi Tim,I have not made your point for you. In fact, you have not even rationally defended your own point (or refuted mine). Yes Tim, there is animus towards LGBT citizens (often shamefully inspired by religious dogma with no basis in fact), which is precisely why LGBT folks need protection under anti-discrimination laws. If "religious exemptions" were granted, then anti-discrimination laws would be meaningless for "teh gays" and quite frankly, for any other vulnerable target group. Hence my utter lack of sympathy for the Johns and the propagandists at Catholic Online.When I am feeling charitable, I sometimes chuckle about what a wonderful fundraising cause homos have been for the religions of hate. Literally billions of dollars have been raised on the backs of LGBT citizens, and in many cases, generously subsidized by "charitable" tax breaks. If the religions of hate did not have the homos, they would have had to invent something very much like them to whip up so much fear, and animus to drive those donor levels up. I do not expect that appealing to the better natures of people will ever be "an easy ride". Hate and "fear of the other" have always been a much easier sell - as anyone with even a brief acquaintance with human history can attest to. Personally, I would rather spend my limited time appealing to people's better natures. The 3 "great" monotheistic fatihs are invited to join people of goodwill in that grand endeavour - but I am not holding my breath waiting until it happens.If I were you, I would take no pride in Christianity's solidarity with Islam and ultra orthodox Judaism on matters of hate.Cheers...Martin
Hi Paul,Your arguments (as usual) are not cogent.Cheers...Martin
Martin: I don't take any joy in this common position of the big three faiths. I'm only saying that you object whenever some government agency/power doesn't uphold the values you believe vis a vis GLBT issues. Since the overwhelming majority of people in the world hold to a different set of values, you are in for a rough ride if you expect them to change.I'm not commenting one way or the other about the validity of your concerns. I'm only trying to point out just how much work still stands in front of those promoting GLBT issues.I meant it as an expression of empathy, not of condemnation or judgment. Sorry if I didn't make that clear.Tim
"To demand that every social agency, government and service to the general public must put aside such a deeply rooted belief may be necessary from your perspective, but it is not going to be easy ride. There a a lot of people to convince."That's why we have secular ethics to help society become more just for all and to show where religious ethics may have ethical blinders from past practices.
Martin & Michael: You both believe that religion is an insufficient foundation upon which to base social ethics. Correct? Why not? It has worked to bring us to the status of most developed people in history. As a guideline for society, it may not have been perfect but it has been very successful. I would think that this point is beyond dispute?Upon what should we found our ethics if not in religion. From whence shall come this 'secular ethics' that you refer to? Why would it be superior to religion?NOTE: I am NOT being confrontational. I am not saying that either of you are wrong. I'm just curious as to what you would propose in lieu of religion.Thanks!Fr. Tim
I never said religion was insufficient, just subject to ethical blinders primarily based upon adherence to inherited teaching based upon ancient scripture. There is no doubt that Church teachings on a variety of subjects have changed (or evolved is one wants to put a more positive slant on it). Secular ethics have done the same, it's not shame to change (or evolve).Where do ethics come from? Not Scripture as one needs to know what passages treat seriously (Thou shall not kill) and what to ignore (Thou shall not suffer a witch to live)? From tradition? A bit but must be constantly challeneged. From authority? Only if it derives ultimate authority from the people it has authority over. From personal revelation? Let's hope not.Ethics comes from reason, experience and society (and perhaps if one accepts Sam Harris' "Moral Landscape" from neuroscience).
Martin I'll try make my point easier for you to comprehend.If their rejection of homosexuality is grounds to judge them unfit parents, why would you be a fit candidate for adoption with your exclusively negative views of religion? A child in your care could be just as easily grow up to be a hater as this couples. The only difference is their child could hate gays while your child could hate Christians.CheersPaul
Believe it or not (no irony intended) most atheists do not teach their children atheisms. They teach them critical thinking, science, philosophy, the importance of evidence and how to make their own decisions. After that they're free to make their own decisions to believe or not to believe.
Hi Paul,While you have not posed a cogent argument on this topic yet, you have at least asked a reasonable question: "If their rejection of homosexuality is grounds to judge them unfit parents, why would you be a fit candidate for adoption with your exclusively negative views of religion?"Reply: The Johns were not rejected because they had a negative view on homosexuality, they were rejected because they refused to support a child's homosexual orientation. In fact, had you bothered to read the court's ruling (instead of relying on propaganda from Catholic Online) you would know that the Johns had past difficulties with a child in their care who has a homosexual orientation.Let's assume that I have a negative view on religion. This fact alone would not preclude me from acting as a foster parent, provided I was willling to support the child in their desire to explore their religious feelings.This ruling is not a blanket ban on "orthodox" Christians as foster parents - despite the spin Catholic Online is putting on the story and you and Tim are only too willing to believe. I completely understand that the points expressed are subtle, and you have an overwhelming anti-gay bias, and you are relying on inaccurate information to form your point of view, but if you adjust for these factors, you may in fact "get it".I live in hope.Cheers...Martin
Hi MichaelIf we're being honest, you have to admit there are some pretty hateful atheists as I would have to admit there are some pretty hateful people professing to be Christian. Not every atheist fits your idealistic description above. CheersPaul
"...Linda Gibbons who has spent over 700 consecutive days in prison for standing outside an abortion clinic, doing nothing more than holding a sign and quietly praying."Wrong, Tim. That's not why she was arrested, and it's not the offense with which she was charged. She was in direct and deliberate contempt of court. And she refuses to apologize and promise not to do it again. THAT's why she's in jail! As for the Johns', I wouldn't placer a foster kid with them, either, or consider them for adoption. And not because they call themselves Christians, but because they cannot bring themselves to be neutral about personal and private traits that are perfectly legal.I would not want anyone teaching children that homosexuality is either "right" or "wrong." It has nothing to do with "right" or "wrong." It just is.
"Let's assume that I have a negative view on religion."I think we're beyond assumptions at this point."This ruling is not a blanket ban on "orthodox" Christians as foster parents - despite the spin Catholic Online is putting on the story and you and Tim are only too willing to believe. "Technically no... but yeah it is."Lord Justice Munby and Mr Justice Beatson ruled that social workers were right to take the couple’s religious views into account. Under the current rules on fostering, introduced by the Labour government, councils and fostering agencies should ensure that children “are provided with foster care services which value diversity and promote equality”.Translation: If you think homosexual sex is sinful or unnatural you're not fit to foster children.Maybe you have a better understanding of that statement and would like to enlighten us as to how orthodox Christians will be considered when they honestly answer questions about their beliefs regarding homosexuality? I didn't see any mention of this only applying to fostering children with "gay orientation" either. CheersPaul
Unfortuantely Paul - you have been unable to move beyond regurgitating propaganda or to let go of your anti-gay animus.No cogent argument once again - just your spin. I will not reward bad behaviour with a response.Cheers...Martin
MartinUnfortunately Martin - you've been unable to back up your statement that orthodox Christians will still be able to adopt. You've been unable to move beyond your anti-christian animus and only regurgitate your own brand of propaganda. Spare me the lectures on cogent arguments when you can't make one yourself. You can't even defend your own statements. You're simply resorting to the "shoot the messenger" strategy since you've been caught in your own spin.CheersPaulCheersPaulCheersPaul
No, just that subset of the Christians who persist in maintaing that a certain subset of the population is inherently immoral purely by virtue of their nature. They are free to have such beliefs, but the state should not sanction this officially by having them act on their behalf.Hi MichaelBy Virtue of their Nature? Applying the principles of logic and reason and having a comprehensive understanding of human biology, I don't think you can make a very strong case that homosexuality is anything close to being "natural". If you can I'd be interested to hear it.CheersPaul
Very mature Paul - "I do not! You do!"You sound like my four year old.Yawn. We are still waiting for a cogent response.Cheers....Martin
I'm obviously not going to get an answer out of Martin, just more bluster. I'll stop asking him to back his own statement since he's obviously having extreme difficulty doing so.CheersPaul
Well Paul...we would first have to define what it means to be an "orthodox" christian. No doubt, your defintion would likely involve active discrimination against gays. I would point out that beliefs and actions are separate and distinct and that when one is operating in the public sphere, then some actions are necessarily restricted - regardless of their religious underpinning.I am not interested in playing words games with you. Until you make a cogent argument - there is nothing to which I can really reply.Let me help you out my sweet little Pauly - FIRST, get your dictionary out. Look up the word "cogent" - you will find it after animus, bigot but way before propaganda. While you have your dictionary out, why don't you look up all 4 words. You seem to have a comprehension deficit around most of what I have already written.Then we will chat about "teh gays". OK? Now be a good lad.Cheers...Martin
Hey...you guys wanna get a room or somethin'?
Anonymous - Homosexual behaviours occurs naturally in human populations as well as in many animal populations. Unless your point is that homosexuality isn't natural because it's counter to the evolutionary process I don't follow.