Breaking the Wall

June 19, 2019

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Location:

Orem,UT,United States

Member Since:

Jan 27, 1986

Gender:

Male

Goal Type:

Olympic Trials Qualifier

Running Accomplishments:

Best marathon: 2:23:57 (2007, St. George). Won the Top of Utah Marathon twice (2003,2004). Won the USATF LDR circuit in Utah in 2006.

Draper Days 5 K 15:37 (2004)

Did not know this until June 2012, but it turned out that I've been running with spina bifida occulta in L-4 vertebra my entire life, which explains the odd looking form, struggles with the top end speed, and the poor running economy (cannot break 16:00 in 5 K without pushing the VO2 max past 75).  

 

Short-Term Running Goals:

Qualify for the US Olympic Trials. With the standard of 2:19 on courses with the elevation drop not exceeding 450 feet this is impossible unless I find an uncanny way to compensate for the L-4 defect with my muscles. But I believe in miracles.

Long-Term Running Goals:

2:08 in the marathon. Become a world-class marathoner. This is impossible unless I find a way to fill the hole in L-4 and make it act healthy either by growing the bone or by inserting something artificial that is as good as the bone without breaking anything important around it. Science does not know how to do that yet, so it will take a miracle. But I believe in miracles.

Personal:

I was born in 1973. Grew up in Moscow, Russia. Started running in 1984 and so far have never missed more than 3 consecutive days. Joined the LDS Church in 1992, and came to Provo, Utah in 1993 to attend BYU. Served an LDS mission from 1994-96 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Got married soon after I got back. My wife Sarah and I are parents of eleven children: Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, William, Stephen, Matthew,  Mary,  Bella.  and Leigha. We home school our children.

I am a software engineer/computer programmer/hacker whatever you want to call it, and I am currently working for RedX. Aside from the Fast Running Blog, I have another project to create a device that is a good friend for a fast runner. I called it Fast Running Friend.

Favorite Quote:

...if we are to have faith like Enoch and Elijah we must believe what they believed, know what they knew, and live as they lived.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie

 

Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 140.21 Year: 1796.64
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 120.59
Navy Crocs Lifetime Miles: 2133.34
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 694.13
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.000.000.000.0013.00

A.M. Easy 10, first 7 with Jeff. Total time 1:21:11. Of all things discussed civil unions. My argument is that if we do allow civil unions with benefits, then two or more people living together should not have to engage in the "alternative behavior" described by Leviticus 18:22 in order to form the union and receive the benefits. E.g. two guys finish running for college and decide to try to run professionally. One year one trains full-time, the other works and trains when he can, then they trade. They share an apartment and kitchen duties to save costs. One should be able to put the other on his health insurance.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:26. 2 with Benjamin in 18:00. Jenny ran the first 1.5 in 13:23. 200 with Jacob in 1:52.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments
From Matt on Thu, Nov 13, 2008 at 15:11:19

I think that is well enough put. But I don't feel like many people are even arguing about those types of unions. There is really only concern about the types spoken of in Lev. 18:22. It appears most of the country is quickly moving to the idea that marriage is ordained of Country and God is an afterthought. I can't agree with that.

From The Howling Commando on Thu, Nov 13, 2008 at 15:15:59

I think that gay couples should still be afforded the same rights as married couples, but that is because they are making a commitment to staying together. To me, two college guys even if they live together seem to be doing that just for the benefits. I find it hard to justify medical benefits for a friend. Would this mean that I could put Emma's mom on my insurance if mine were better just because I was living in her house for a while while we saved up to by a new house?

As for gay marriage, I feel strongly against it, only because I was always taught marriage is a religious bonding of a man and woman. Though I have issues too about this as there are no many people not faithful to any religion that go way overboard trying to prepare a blowout wedding. Wedding is about the sacraments and the promises you are pledging, not about how much $$ you spend to be a bridezilla.

From The Howling Commando on Thu, Nov 13, 2008 at 15:24:24

I guess it just raises so many questions, especially as it seems our country is going down an increasingly diverse path. Things are more accepted now. Just look at how fast Eastern religions are growing you know?

I think that people should be afforded certain rights if they make efforts to procure them but circumstances will not allow it (i.e. your two runners in your example).

What can we do to voice our opinions? Write to newspapers, maybe write our congressmen and women? I just feel like I can't really do much about anything.

Should marriage be a religious thing though in this country now that we have so many peoples of so many faiths? It just seems prejudiced to keep people from marrying I guess. So maybe if those runners decide to tie the knot they can get those benefits?

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Nov 13, 2008 at 17:46:28

Benn:

The two runners are sure no less committed than two gays. Isn't it a more honorable expression of commitment to sacrifice a good portion of your income for your friend's success than to just get in bed with him? Yet the bed is being used as the standard in the California law (I checked). I wish we could find a lawyer that would want to pursue this matter. I think all it would take is two males in California to get denied a civil union on the basis that they are straight, and then sue.

From Matt on Thu, Nov 13, 2008 at 23:14:54

So if I follow the reasoning for benefits, it would seem plausible that one could enter multiple civil unions. I think the thing that chaps my hide the most is, that like so many arguments, this really is an argument about definition of terms. I word like marriage has existed since the beginning of time but now for a special interest group it seems like the term discriminates against them. We want to be part of the good word so let us change what the word means. Then as far as we our concerned when we explain our marriage down the road we need to mention that we are in heterosexual marriages. So in the end it is those that are in the traditional marriage that are blighted so that the homosexual relationship can say they to are in a marriage and were wed on a certain day.

Unfortunately the law has already given civil unions the same rights as married unions as far as tax advantages, insurance, estate rights. All of which I would personally disagree with. I feel now the government has to be involved in the origin and disolvment of these unions with no advantage for government or society. At least in a traditional marriage stability is added to society along with opportunity to provide more tax payers and growth through posterity.

Rather then treat the disease we foster it. As Alexander Pope’s classic “essay on man” reads Vice is a monster of so frightful mien As to be hated needs but to be seen;

Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace. Mankind or at least the United States of Americas government will eventually embrace this sinister plot but God will never accept this lustful relationship.

From Shanti on Sat, Nov 15, 2008 at 10:27:11

"Rather then treat the disease we foster it. As Alexander Pope’s classic “essay on man” reads Vice is a monster of so frightful mien As to be hated needs but to be seen;"

That is an interesting statement, making the assumption that gay is a disease, pretty classic argument that has been shown to have no merit or science behind it. Gay is not something that can caught or transmitted or even passed on. I know of no one who would be willing subject themselves to ridicule, harassment, abandonment by family, and violence just for choice. Ask yourself, would you be willing to give up your family, friends, and a career for a Choice on sexuality?

The bottom line is equality: to deny rights to one is to deny rights to all. It was not all that long ago that color and gender were used as the same guideline to deny rights. It was not too long ago, 1967, that is was illegal for races to intermarry. We are setting the standard to say that it is ok to deny the rights to someone because they are different.

To the other point; marriage is a religious bond between a a man and a woman. Are we saying that only heterosexual couples experience religion and do not have strong values rooted in their own faith, an ignorant statement. I have many gay friends who are as fiercely involved in their faiths as my heterosexual friends. Marriage is a contract between the State and a couple, any religious meaning attached to it is ultimately up to the couple engaging in it.

We should all be terrified that sexual preference is being used as a tool to deny the rights of people. Until we realize we are all the same, we are all humans, we will continue to create bitter divisions that serve no purpose other than to harm one another. For all of you who believe in Christ, do you really think He would be so quick to shun those who believed or acted differently, does that not go against his very core belief?

From Mire on Sat, Nov 15, 2008 at 11:03:36

Wow!! Maybe the answer is nationalized health care! Then everyone would have access to health care, regardless of marital status. So the 2 runners living together would not have to have a civil union or marriage to get the health care every person deserves. As the saying goes, the healthier your neighbor is, the healthier you and your children will be.

Another thing, I think we are too hung up on trying to define what marriage is, it's different for everybody, heterosexual, or homosexual! And because over 50% of marriages end in divorce, you cannot make the argument that heterosexual marriages keep society stable!! I think the divorce rate in Utah is even higher!

From Matt on Sat, Nov 15, 2008 at 13:25:40

Shanti & Mire,

Wow just because a loud minority says they are not diseased (mentally not some virus) doesn't mean it is not the case. Many mentally diseased people claim they have no problem but that can often be because of a chemical imbalance which medication can help or because of severe trauma. Pedophiles claim that there behavior is completely normal as well I am sure that given enough time we will have a larger movement to give pedophiles additional rights after all they can’t help it. Interestingly enough Homosexual men tend have about a 4 times more likely right to commit an act of child molestation. They seem like great citizens.

Most individuals who turn to homosexuality do so for two main reasons. Homosexual women tend to have had childhood trauma and (usually molestation but often times violent acts as well) these acts are typically perpetrated against them by male role models. They become untrusting of men and really who can blame them and eventually turn to other women for companionship and sexual fulfillment. Generally they are fulfilled more by companionship then libido.

On the other hand Gay men around the age of maturation usually begin experimenting sexual. They may be recruited or are just open to more sexual experimentation. The Libido is very high. Arousal for men is obviously very high and again they make a choice to have a relationship with a gay partner. Gay men are not remotely as faithful as gay women. Mostly because they are in the relationship not for companionship but for lustful desires. These stereotypes are huge generalizations but more often then not seem to be the case for both groups that categorically put them selves in these groups. My gay next door neighbor of the last eight years fits nicely into this category as does my youngest sister. I have only had close interpersonal relationship with about a dozen different self proclaimed homosexuals and upon getting to know them all they have all fit into similar categories.

The fact of the matter remains as far marriage is concerned, which existed long before any country and is God ordained not country, self proclaimed homosexuals have just as much right to marriage as you and me, or any republican democrat vegetarian or carnivore. It is just that marriage is between a man and a woman. As far as religion is concerned all people have right to religion. Let them worship how, who or what they may. But as far as orthodox Christianity is concerned the bible is quite clear on the fact that man will not lie with man as man lies with woman. These aren’t my words they are Gods prophets.

Lastly, I will decide what arguments I will make and yes I will state that marriages make society stable and homosexual relationship deteriorate society. If the entire world were homosexuals society would die out end of game. Heterosexual relationships propagate the species and the circle of life. Duh

As far as nationalized healthcare is concerned I think that could be a great thing especially for those 18 and under of course it needs to be done right.

From Mire on Sun, Nov 16, 2008 at 11:17:46

There is absolutely no connection between pedophilia and homosexuality. www.psychology.usdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_molestation.html

Pedophilia is defined "as a psychological disorder in which an adult experiences a sexual preference for prepubescent children". It is not even close to what we are discussing..2 consenting adults of the same gender wanting to spend their lives together in a committed relationship. To make the claim that pedophiles will get additional rights is ridiculous!I have no idea where you are getting your false information, but homosexual men are NOT 4 times as likely to commit sexual acts against children. Your trite generalizations against your neighbor and your sister are laughable.

To say the entire world will be homosexual or wiped out due to homosexuality is a absurd--"The exact proportion of the population that is homosexual is difficult to estimate reliably,[3] but most recent studies place it at 2–7%." At least we agree on nationalized health care. LOL!!!!

From montelepsy on Sun, Nov 16, 2008 at 11:54:58

Marriage should be between two people that love each other, regardless of their gender. If Rachel were a man, I'd marry her. Or him. We could share the same wardrobe, too.

And Matt, not everyone turns gay. Some are born that way.

And if sex is the only thing that keeps gay men together, why are there old gay couples? They don't get tax breaks or other civil benefits. They stay together because they love one another.

From Mire on Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 08:10:18

Beautifully stated montelepsy!!!

Thank you!!!!

From Matt on Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 12:42:00

Love alone doesn't determine marriagability. I love my children. Regardless, the choice belongs to the individual. People choose to act the way they do. I choose oatmeal for breakfast as humans we make choices. It is what separates us from animals. We can choose to live the laws of man or God or both but in the final analysis we are the choices we make. If someone chooses homosexuality they reap there reward. If they choose adultery they reap a similar reward. Under the current laws if people want marriage it only exists between a man and a woman.

I am sure as time moves on in the USA eventually homosexual marriage will be legalized. Many things will continue to destroy our country from within. This happens to all great empires until the point of revolution. But that still doesn't excuse this degenerative behavior. Basking in once personal lustful behaviors does nothing to increase mankind as a whole or Gods will. As for evidences to alternative reasons older homosexual men stay together. I haven't meet a lot of older homosexual couples. Maybe that is because of the high suicide rate the low life expentacy due to disease the overall general depression they tend to feel and or guilt. I have found quite the opposite in that realationship for men tend to be short lived. But in longer realationships they obviously eventually reach the point where they want & need companionship and less libdo fullfillment. I find the ucdavis link very humorous.

The argument is again essentially one of semantics. The two terms are mutually exclusive as far pedophilia and homosexuality are concerned you can't be both because if you are gay one day a pedophile the next you are no longer gay. Biased movements tend to come up with lots of studies to explain away simple reason or gloss over unfourtunate blights. The next thing I know you're going to be telling me we are causing global warming.

Again if you want to argue the difference between diseased and possesing a psychological disorder I will give in as the term is semantics.

the fact of the matter is I love a lot of homosexual people but that doesn't change the fact that there behavior is wrongful and destructive and morally apprehensible. I Will also take your argument on only 2 to 7 percent of our country choosing homosexuality as your admitance to the fact that homosexual behavior takes away from the progress of man since it is destructive to our progression. I am glad to see we can still agree on national healthcare though but to me it is no laughing matter.

please forgive my typos I am responding from my palm while I am away on business.

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 19:04:14

I completely agree with Matt on all points except one. I have a hope that we'll be able to hold on to the traditional definition of marriage in the United States. However, if we can't, Genesis 18 and 19 give us very stern warnings regarding what we might expect. Abraham had a discussion with the Lord asking him what it would take to spare Sodom and Gomorrah. The Lord agreed to spare it if ten righteous people could be found. Then the Lord sent angels to Sodom to take Lot and his family out of it. The Sodomites, apparently tired of each other, demanded of Lot to let them in so they could "know" the angels (Genesis 19:4-5). Lot must have been quite intimidated by his neighbors. Instead of just plain telling them to get lost, he offered them to "know" one of his daughters instead (Genesis 19:8). Yet in spite of this hesitation the Lord was still merciful towards Lot and his family, and had the angels pull them out of the city before it was destroyed.

The prophets of the Old Testament frequently referenced Sodom later on as the ultimate example of sin. In the New Testament the Saviour himself (in Matthew 10:15) references Sodom with no stamp of approval: "It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city". Later on, Peter, one of His apostles explains one of the purposes of the destruction: "And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly" (2 Peter 2:6).

At this point I have to say that one would have to completely disbelieve the Bible as any kind of an authoritative source of truth to say that intimate relations between two men is not a sin. Unfortunately, relatively few people today read the Bible at all, even fewer read it enough to grasp its message, and even fewer actually believe what it says.

As if the Bible were not enough, the Lord in his mercy has sent us additional witnesses. Prophets of Biblical caliber and authority were restored in 1820 beginning with Joseph Smith. The modern day prophets have confirmed and re-enforced the teachings of the Bible on this subject. From the Proclamation on the Family issued in 1995 (see http://www.lds.org/library/display/0,4945,161-1-11-1,FF.html):

"...we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets"

I believe the above statement to be true, and hope that our country will be sane enough to avoid the above mention disintegration and its consequences.

From Mire on Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 22:46:27

Matt your logic is absolutely hysterical! The vast majority of the population knows that love between 2 adults in a committed relationship is totally, & completely different than the love you have for your children, or your siblings, your parents or your animals.....I HOPE!!!

You choose oatmeal for breakfast, however some people hate oatmeal and choose eggs & sausage for reasons that can't be explained. For thousands & thousands & thousands of years homosexuality has been a part of the human race, and believe me, it has not and will not be responsible for the destruction of mankind!

Greed, hatred, power, intolerance, fear and subjugation will lead to the destruction of the human race!

~~~Thanks for the great discussion!!

~~~~~Health Care for all!!!

From Matt on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 02:34:45

Mire,

Thank you for your response. I believe that you are correct in that most of the world does know that love is between two adults a man and a woman when a man and woman share this love and want to take it too a higher level the instituion that is offered is called marriage. I only explain this because as you put it the vast majority of people understand this but yet here we are having this discussion.

Again I choose oatmeal and for the first 32 years of my life I hated oatmeal but a few years back as part of a diet I ate it every day for a few months. I learned to like it, I began to crave it and now as in most decisions I choose to partake of it. lastly, as to the orgin of homosexuality I will not debate. obviously it has exsited for some time. In parallel I would like to point out that I believe murder has exsited since the time of Cain & Able. If murder were legalized and promoted you can certianly see how destructive that would be. certainly tenure alone doesn't determine the goodness or evil of an act.

Sasha I certainly appreciate your support & optimism and pray that you are right and hope that I am wrong.

Mire have you ever considered the Greed, hatred, power, intolerance, fear and subjugation that the current homosexual campaign is fighting against the tradtional marriage. obviously this was not your intention but as a defender of the tradtional marriage I feel very hated. I see the greed of wanting what I have but not willing to do what I do. I watch the intolerance towards tradtional values and the subjective nature of how I am victimized to have them taken away. I hear about the rocks thrown through churches and the graffiti spray painted and all the laws being broken and that all seems pretty destructive to me. So again is the power hungry group the one that attacks or defends. As I stated before I love my homosexual friends and realatives. I help them I serve them, I mow there lawns, bring them goodies, have them over for dinner, counsel them, lift them up when they are feeling down. It is just very discouraging seeing anyone engage in self destructive behavior.

Oh well, here's to world peace.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 14:06:13

Regarding Matt's comment about trainable ability to like one way or the other. If you study the subject of Soviet army recruit hazing you will learn that a promiscuous male that normally likes women in the absence of women for a long time and combined with the lack of a properly enforced law will take what he can have - a man. It was the realization that I could be forced to be that man if I did not take some action that greatly accelerated the process of learning English for me - I went from looking up the word "we" in a dictionary at the age of 16 to scoring 720 out of 800 (99th percentile) at the age of 19.

But, personal history aside, and as gross as it is, I am very well aware of the fact that a guy has a switch that can go both ways, and in some circumstances can flip. I do not buy the argument that a guy is born to like guys and cannot retrain himself.

From montelepsy on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 14:24:06

Men will rape each other in prison. It doesn't mean they're homosexual. It means they're deprived and criminal. Homosexuals don't choose to like the same sex because of a lack of the opposite sex, so I don't get the analogy.

Also, homosexuality is more than sex.

I don't see how homosexuality is a self-destructive behavior. A lot of society may condone it, but it doesn't stop the gay community from making contributions. Paying taxes, fighting fires, decorating, whatever. Making children isn't the only way to contribute.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 15:22:41

montelepsy - the two men in prison are not inherently gay. Yet in certain circumstances they retrain their attractions. This means the type of attraction can be retrained, which to me proves wrong the argument that somebody is born gay and there is nothing he can do about it.

A guy that is not in prison physically may have put himself in a virtual prison of sorts by building a wall against women in his mind. But he still has to deal with his drive. Most men will just swallow what they have against women and deal with it. But some can't, but they cannot deal with their drive either, so they direct it towards men. I would call that a disorder rather than a preference.

People may put the discussion of the above tendency in noble words, but if we stop to think, we will have to admit that the deep underlying true nature of males is very unflattering. Each has a beast inside. Ugly things happen when they choose not to control that beast. The difference between a noble and a less noble man is in the extent to which they control that beast, not in the size or strength of the beast. My advice for a woman evaluating a possible future husband - number one thing is to pay attention to how well he can tame his beast.

From kungfublonde on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 15:33:51

Rape is an act of violence, not an expression of love. It has nothing to do with sexual orientation, no matter who is raping who.

When it comes to family, decide what you believe and raise your children accordingly. And leave others free to make that same choice. Sharing your rights with others in no way takes away from your own rights. Gay marriage is a civil rights issue. It's that simple. If you disagree with homosexuality for any reason, that is your right. But you are overstepping when you decide to take away the rights of others to make life choices for themselves. How many years ago was it that Mike and I wouldn't have been allowed to marry because interracial marriage was considered immoral? Not many.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChanTFSmqao

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 16:08:01

Kungfublonde - not only is it an act of violence, but it is also an act of lust. The man does not see a way to gratify his lust without violence, but at the same time chooses not to control it.

In our current society we condemn violence but we fail to condemn lust. Instead we glorify it and call it love.

We have been correcting some of the wrongs in the social standards of the past such as the unfair treatment of blacks and women. But as it often happens, when you get too zealous about fixing something and lose a vision of balance, you end up breaking something else. We have embraced the paradigm that because some of the restrictions of the past were bad, others must be bad as well. We are like a driver on two-lane highway that skidded to the right shoulder, over-corrects, and is now in the opposite lane of traffic.

From kungfublonde on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 16:26:03

Rape is not an act of lust, it is an act of violence. Plain and simple.

Allowing for civil rights for all is not overzealous. It isn't anarchy nor is it a free-for-all. This issue is simply allowing two people to get married. Nothing special or extra over what anyone else has.

Homosexuality cannot be reduced to an act of lust. Neither can homosexuality. Being straight or gay cannot be reduced to who you want to have sex with. it is about who you are in love with. At our church there is an elderly lesbian couple. They aren't expressing lust. They are expressing everything in their relationship that any other committed couple expresses; respect, devotion and love, among other things. It's unrealistic to reduce marriage or relationships to sex.

There is sexually deviant behavior of every orientation. But that should be condemned equally, not moreso when it is gay.

And if you believe that being gay is in and of itself deviant, then don't engage in it and teach your children accordingly. If it truly is wrong, there is someone who will handle that and it isn't any of us. In the meantime, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

That's my perspective on the whole issue.

From kungfublonde on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 16:29:30

The "edit" button doesn't work for me, despite being logged on...

I wanted to correct and say that neither homosexualy or heterosexualty can be reduced to lust.

I'll proof read better next time.

From montelepsy on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 16:30:18

Marriage is not an act of just lust. It's a decision to be committed to one another. It's legal for gays to lust after one another. If being homosexual was just a matter of lust, then they would have what they need and not have to push for marriage.

The fact that they want to be marriaged proves that it's not all about lust.

From kungfublonde on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 16:32:01

Oh, well said Montelepsy. That's a good point. :)

From montelepsy on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 16:33:47

Hey hon,

We think alike. I didn't read yours before I typed mine.

Hmmm... You think and type much faster than I do.

From Matt on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 16:34:32

Sasha I really appreciate your thoughtful well thought out comments.

Mire,

Men will rape each other in prison. It doesn't mean they're homosexual. It means they're deprived and criminal. That seems to be very convenient definition. Should we just say they are opportunists or bisexual or as you put it criminals. To take that a step further are pedophils sexual deprived as well and if so is depravtion an excuse for bad behavior?

Next, Homosexuals don't choose to like the same sex because of a lack of the opposite sex, so I don't get the analogy. well I would have to agree with that for the most part they make the choice for other reasons.

Lastly you explain, homosexuality is more than sex.

I don't see how homosexuality is a self-destructive behavior. A lot of society may condone it, but it doesn't stop the gay community from making contributions. Paying taxes, fighting fires, decorating, whatever. Making children isn't the only way to contribute. To I would say many criminals have paid taxes and been constructive with there lives for the most part only to commit certain whoredoms, murders, and violent acts that call into question there entire exsitence.

I think the worth of every homosexual soul is great but in case we argue as on whether there acts are physically harmful to themselves if not others (and my doctor would say it is absolutely physically harmful)I make no comprise. But even if that point is mute. I believe it is morally destructive to their soul.

From montelepsy on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 16:36:37

Shanti, Mire,

Do you guys run? What are you doing advocating gay rights on a running blog :)

From kungfublonde on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 16:38:19

I think and type faster, but you run faster. So combined we are just a whole bunch of fast-ness! :)

From montelepsy on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 16:54:43

Matt,

I never said depravity was an excuse for rape. They are deprived and criminal. Not deprived or criminal.

My point in saying that was to counter what Sasha was saying about training. I was saying, criminals will rape each other because the can't control their desires and they don't care about their victims. I believe most rapes in male prisons are done by straight men who lack the opportunity to rape women.

There's no excuse for pedophilia.

Some criminals pay taxes. Some gays pay taxes. The gays who don't pay taxes are criminals. Crime definitely has a negative impact, but what about being gay negatively impacts us?

I won't argue with your sense of morality. I'll respect it. Mine just differs.

Mine tells me that love is finding your soul mate. It tells me love trancends gender. It tells me to accepts those who differ.

From Matt on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 17:01:36

I don't know if the comment was souley directed at Shanti and Mire but I do run I just loged 10 miles two hours ago but I am in LA at a very boring conference which is allowing me text from my trio. I keep losing info though.

From kungfublonde on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 17:03:44

Shanti and Mire have blogs we can't see I think was Mike's point, whereas Matt's (and the rest of ours) is public.

From montelepsy on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 17:06:10

Matt,

Your name is blue, but when I click on it, it goes to the fastrunningblog homepage. What gives?

From kungfublonde on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 17:08:09

It was doing that for me too, on the first posting by Matt. But I scrolled down and clicked on a hyperlink to "Matt" and I got his page. He runs a lot :)

From Matt on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 17:09:18

Montelepsey,

I appreciate the mutual respect but I am still wonder about this statement. Criminals will rape each other because the can't control their desires. To restate that do you believe they can't or they won't?

From kungfublonde on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 17:11:08

My response to that is that most won't and some can't.

From montelepsy on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 17:16:00

Ditto Rachel's response.

From TylerS on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 17:26:03

Sasha maybe if I discussed the same topic on a 13 mile training run I could hit the same time that you did. That is only 2 minutes slower than my best half marathon. I agree with montelepsy, this is a running blog so why are we talking about gay rights?

From Matt on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 17:28:16

sorry about the link that always bugs me. Its tough with me doing this from the palm though.

I wrote a post and it didn't send so here goes again.

kungfublond,

Not to sound to redundant but I believe in our country every one does have the right to marry just as you and I have. Marriage is of course between two members of the opposite sex. virtually everyone has equal access under the law. As far as homosexuals are concerned for right or wrong they can use the civil unions to show commitment. even Elton John said that was good enough for him. I feel however that the gay rights activist want special treatment under the law and want to change the tradtional defention of marriage to meet their agenda and unfortunately this further errods the standard family unit.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 17:31:27

Regarding man's the freedom to define morality.

Under the US law a consensual relationship with an individual under 18 is a crime. Not so under the Dutch law. Their age of consent is 12. Most people in the US find that disgusting. Like it or not, this is how they define morality in Netherlands.

After the Communists came to power in the Russia, they began to define their own morality based completely on man's reasoning and with no effort to appeal to some source above. For a while they seemed to be doing OK. In 20 years they converted the country from an agrarian economy to industrial. The Soviet Union conquered the Nazis. It was the first country to send a man into the outer space. The fruits of the godless morality were to be reaped much later. Russia is still reaping them. It will be reaping them for a while.

Interestingly enough, the Russian national anthem now has a reference to God, and the government is starting to make a conscious effort to rebuild the institution of a family. A woman gets a grant from the government when her child turns three if he is still with her.

Changing the subject - the reason Matt's blog link does not work is that he keeps putting www. in front of his blog URL, and I have not yet fixed up the code to handle it.

Kungfublonde - I need more info on the Edit button issue. Which browser are you using? Does the Edit button appear for you at all? What exactly is happening when it does not work?

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 17:37:03

TylerS - this was a 10 mile run, not 13. My nervous system is fairly weak so I cannot discuss anything of significance once the pace is faster than 7:20 per mile due to the need to focus.

The Fast Running Blog is open to discussion of anything that runners find important enough to discuss as long as they stay civil, avoid profanity, personal attacks, etc, and are being otherwise good.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 17:42:45

The Edit button has just worked fine for me using Firefox. One possibly confusing part is that the Edit is done in the comment box at the bottom. I know this is not the most elegant user interface solution but the alternative would have required a whole lot more coding and we are undermanned.

From Shanti on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 18:09:21

I love a good discussion, and this has been a great one!! To answer the question, do I run, I have been known to run a step or two and have relatively decent accomplishments in running. At some point I will set up an account, but I love reading what other's have to say. Sasha is always well spoken, even though I don't always agree with his point of view. This discussion, for me, was far more than about gay rights, it is about civil rights. Our history is filled with antiquated laws that excluded people for many reasons including: being a woman, a black, a native american, Chinese, Irish and almost any other race religion or creed. Most of these laws have been repealed, but the prejudice still exists. It is time to stop finding a reason to exclude people who believe differently then ourselves, and no I am not talking about murderers and pedophiles, a little common sense please. Two people who love one another should be guaranteed the same rights under law regardless of gender.

From Matt on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 18:49:10

Shanti,

Obviously you and I disagree on this issue being civil liberties which I totally support and gay rights which I oppose as a defender of the tradtional marriage. With that being said I assume that as you have stated if two people love each they should be allowed to marry that you must by default be a supporter of polygamy rights as well?

I am also curious to know as Sasha points out the legal age to consent varies from country to country. That being said at what age does pedophilia end and marriage begin. As one of my old Dutch friends points out if you think there laws are liberal you should see what is legal in Thailand. For me I believe I will make up my own moral guidelines regardless of country.

From kungfublonde on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 18:54:57

Ok, when I hit "edit" I get taken to the top of the blog again, and when I scroll down to my post that I want to edit, I don't have the option.

I have tried it in firefox, internet explorer and even aol. I have tried it on my pc as well as my laptop. Am I just not seeing it? It's not a huge deal, I can just post my corrections in a separate response if I need to. I'm happy with the blog and have no complaints, just giving you some feedback.

As for marriage, I believe it should be between any two people, excluding none. I'm glad Elton John is happy, but he does not represent all gay people, just as Paris Hilton does not represent me as a heterosexual woman.

Set up a blog, Shanti!

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 18:57:17

Shanti:

Our history is all full of laws and customs that keep the society going. There is no such thing as an antiquated law. There is only a law that is contrary to the will of God. We have had our fair share of those, and we've gotten rid of some of them. Unfortunately we have replaced them with others that are just as wrong.

And in the process of restructuring we are beginning to challenge what has been obvious to many generations before us. Just because they did not have cars, airplanes, and computers does not mean they had it all wrong. In many ways they had more common sense than we do now. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, (who can argue with how God has set it up in the area of the choice-consequence delay time window?) only our children or perhaps grandchildren will know in this life that our ancestors were right and we were wrong if we continue to think the way our society does. But at least they will have a chance to change. We, on the other hand, will be viewing them in deep regret from the spirit world being unable to reverse our mistakes.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 18:59:24

Kungfublonde - scroll down all the way to the bottom after you click on Edit.

From sasha on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 19:40:43

I tried it and it worked that time, in firefox. Thanks :)

From Burt on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 19:45:44

Mike and Rachel - Don't let the following comments get in the way of our new found friendship. I totally disagree with you on most everything you said. Marriage is not about two people that love each other regardless of gender. And homosexuality is nothing more than lustful sex. Older gay couples that are still together may have developed a love for one another, but that love developed out of what once was lustful and unnatural desires. Over the years they've convinced themselves that there was nothing wrong with them to begin with. And to say that allowing people of the same sex to get married does not hurt anyone else is sooo wrong. What of a child that is born into a society where it is okay for a man to marry a man? They may think it is all right even if they are taught differently. This will plant seeds of curiosity that will bloom into actions of debauchery and other unsafe practices. Think of the children!

From kungfublonde on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 19:48:26

um... i'm an idiot. I was going to write TO Sasha, but instead I typed Sasha as my name. ... and now I can't edit it because I'm not Sasha! :)

So feel free to delete that one, Sasha. Or leave it up as evidence of me being a total dope.

From kungfublonde on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 19:55:55

All I think about is my children, Burt. And we can totally disagree on everything you just said and I can still think you are one of the funniest, nicest guys on the blog.

Mike and I grew up around gay people and neither of us has ever considered being gay. I don't get it when people say it can be influenced or they can choose it. Really? You can? Because man, if I was told I HAVE to marry a woman, I'd stay single. I love my best friend very much. I could never be her wife. I don't have that switch. I grew up knowing about homosexuality, and was even taught that "to each his own" and have never had a single moment of confusion.

My children have known a few gay couples in their lives. Teaching them to accept people of different ethnicities, different cultures and different sexual orientations has only made them better people.

From Shanti on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 20:53:41

Matt, I am curious to know how you get Polygamy out of two people who love each other... Poly means many, generally considered to mean more than two. I am not a proponent of polygamy, I am a proponent of two committed people being afforded the same rights under the law. I will state my original argument - marriage is simply a contract between two people and the State. If you believe there is a spiritual component to it than that is between you and your faith. When you marry in your church, you are making a commitment to each other under the rules governing your faith, those rules are different than the marriage license you sign between you and the State. The rules of one faith should not be allowed to govern the State.

In regards to the will of God, or God's law, I find that to be an interesting point. Spiritual law has been as flexible as civil law. In the LDS faith alone, the spiritual laws have changed to eliminate polygamy. The church founders practiced and preached polygamy and only after pressure from the Federal government did spiritual law change. It is not different than blacks and the priesthood, the law changed when pressured from the State governing body. New religions are formed when spiritual laws are not agreed upon and new laws are written. Henry VIII was instrumental in changing spiritual law to allow divorce. My question is, what will happen if gay marriage is made the law of the land, will churches ultimately adopt new laws and accept the new positions as they have in the past?

From Matt on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 21:01:59

I object I don't think you are a dope at all. I think you are very well thought out articulate woman.

I know you don't agree with some of the logic here but take a step back to the beginning and one of the things I mentioned was that there is a deep routed fundamental difference between men and women. Sasha spoke of the beast and taming it. As a man I think that is a very pliable definition defention but men and women are quite diiferent. Usually women have learned hatred or distrust towards men through abuse (sexual, physical, or emotional). They turn to homosexuality for companionship gratification tends to be more of an after thought. On a more personal not my my mother died at the age of 13 my father remarried and my youngest sister was born when I was 18. Two years later my father passed away and Katie was raised soley by her mother. My step mother has a very diverse family and my little sister was raised with many bad role models close by. My step mother although generally I good person is very inactive physically and the labors of child rearing frequently but her out. Katie grew to be quite obease about 300 pounds. She lacked general parenting and was left to her own. She experienced with drugs and promoscuity. After failed realationships largely due to poor role modeling she has now turned to homosexuality. she is in so much need of love and grasps at all the wrong things to find it. In her example I feel confident that it was excepting the behavior that eventually lead to her experimentation and now her qualifying herself as gay.

Rachel you of course and your daughters are beautiful women. I am sure at times you have experienced rejection but not to the extent that most likely she has. Now that being said I agree we shouldn't be unaccepting of people because of race, religion, ethnic culture, even sexual orientation. My caviate being we love the person not the behavior. I believe people can change and repent. I make many mistakes every day and pray I will be judged but what I am striving to become and not by my shortfalls.

From Matt on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 21:28:15

Shanti,

In countries in the middle east that allow poloygamy the contract is between two people the man and woman. Later on if that man enters another contract he does so again with another woman. The first wife has no say in the matter. so by your own defintion this appears to be marriage. I assumed for that reason you would support such behaviors. I however do not. I find it interesting however that my definition you except this but in practical reality you don't. That seems mighty convenient.

Moving on I wrote four papers in college on poloygamy in mormonism and there union was usally only permitted after all parties excepted. There are a few notable exceptions.

Summing up though in LDS and old testament philosophy I don't claim to be an expert even though I have studied both but the Lord sees fit to do things in his own timetables not mans. As far as blacks in the priesthood in early church history blacks had the priesthood then lost it most likely due to slavery issues and and had it restored again in modern times. But gay realationships the scriptures are quite clear about. It may seem convenient in old testament times we have seen poloygamy ordained and taken away. likewise we have seen the Lords unwillingness to give his fullness to an inslaved people.

From Shanti on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 21:59:18

I appreciate the response. Many middle east countries also completely suppress the rights of women, and women have no legal standing. I do not support polygamy under any definition, especially when one party is only recognized as property. Randal Robinson accurately quotes, "If you cannot deny consent, you cannot give it."

Many of the middle eastern countries you refer to are examples of when the predominant faith are used to repress and subvert the rights of individuals. People should have the right to practice the faith they choose and enter under covenants of marriage for their choice of faith. The same religious covenants should not be extended between individuals and the State. I certainly respect your opinion, I just happen to disagree with it, and I am happy to have the right and ability to do so.

Your time line on blacks seem contradictory. They did not have the priesthood when they were slaves, they were slaves when the church was founded - no priesthood. The slaves were freed in the 1860's. They were given the priesthood after the civil rights movement in the 1960's. What happened to the 100 years they were free?

I must state emphatically that I have no issue with the LDS faith or any faith for that matter, many of my dearest friends are Mormon, but an acknowledgment of the accurate history and behaviors of the early church cannot be ignored and should be reconciled.

From Burt on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 22:06:53

Rachel - your husband is way funnier than I am. Almost every time I read one of his entries I start laughing so hard that my chicken fat starts bouncing up and down. Anyway, I think if someone started having ideas planted in their minds, which is really easy to do even now with things that can be found on the internet, then it could be all the more easy for them to decide to have a homosexual experience.

Shanti - what happens if more than two people say they love each other and that they are commited to living together as a happy trio?

From Shanti on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 22:28:29

I am not sure how I can be more clear, I am not talking about polygamy. In my last post, I stated clearly, I am opposed to polygamy. Marriage is a contract between the state and two people, I believe regardless of gender. How is it that every time I talk about this issue the first thing people talk about is the introduction of polygamy, please tell me where this comes from? The only time in US history polygamy was an issue was when the LDS church introduced it in the 1830's. The Federal government put an end to with a series of legislation. Statehood was only granted after the LDS church agreed to end the practice.

But, back to the point, we are talking about a marriage between just two, count them, two people regardless of gender!

From air darkhorse on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 22:46:20

I wonder, Should I be able to marry my parrot? We have a committed relatonship also.. What a stupid conversation and a waste of time in my opinion. There are more important things to worry about.

From Burt on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 23:06:14

I know you said you are opposed to polygamy. But by the same logic you are using about gay rights, as you clearly stated, "Two people who love one another should be guaranteed the same rights under law regardless of gender.", why couldn't more than two people use that same argument? If the definition of marriage is coming into question, who is to say that it has to be just two people, let alone of different sexes? You see, the point is if we state that marriage is the union of two people regardless of gender, someone else is going to say that marriage is the union of an uspecified amount of people regardless of gender. And then Air Darkhorse is going to marry his parrot. Where does it end? By the way, Darkhorse, (can I call you that?), if you thought this was a dumb conversation, you probably shouldn't have read through all 50 comments and posted on it because now you'll be getting then other 50 in your email inbox.

From Burt on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 23:11:40

Sorry, *'the' other 50 in your email inbox.* (Including the ones like this where we have to apologize for our typos.)

From Matt on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 23:33:22

Shanti,

I know that neither you nor I agree with poloygamy but when you use the same agruements it seems a little hypocritical that you would be so opposed to the other view point. that is why I point it out and hope you will consider the ramifications of one argument in realtion to another.

From mikemac on Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 01:11:28

I know that this is not my conversation but if I may... The problems lies with what pleases me. I want,I believe,I think,I,I,I.The sulotion is simple, follow the creator's(GOD)word that has been left for us to pattern our lives by,no more ,no less.Throughout the old testament GOD showed how he delt with people who did'nt follow his laws.We all will have to answer for the way that we live our lives on judgment day.It is true that times (man) has changed,but GODS word is still the same.

From kungfublonde on Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 01:53:43

I agree about whose responsibility it is to judge. I made that point early on. As a voter, I also have a point of view on the topic that is valid and worthwhile. I never would have imagined I'd be drawn into a conversation about it on a running blog, though :)

To those of you who took the time to explain your positions thoughtfully and respectfully, I appreciate your arguments and that you took the time to express yourselves here. My position hasn't changed, but there were some good points raised I had not considered before. On both sides, in fact. I always appreciate having my views on relevant topics challenged. I personally can agree to disagree.

From The Howling Commando on Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 07:53:47

Oh boy. What did I start? I apologize for starting this forest fire on Sasha's thread! I was gone three days and boom! I start another "hot" thread I didn't know about :)

From montelepsy on Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 11:23:38

Burt,

I don't buy the slippery slope argument that allowing gays to marry will lead to man-chipmunk, women-appliance, man-woman-woman to the nth, etc.

Blacks and women were rightly given suffrage. No one has pushed to allow animals to vote.

No worries about the friendship thing, I'm too liberal to not like someone who disagrees with me.

From Burt on Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 12:07:18

Well, back when blacks and women didn't have the right to vote there were probably people that thought it wasn't morally right for them to. We now know that that is ludicrous. However, it is morally wrong for two people of the same gender to be together. I believe that. And even if society changes its viewpoint, I will still continue to believe that.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 12:13:57

I would like to throw a new challenge to those who have argued that marriage should be defined as a union of two committed people regardless of gender. I have not yet seen anything said about why the number should be limited to two. I want to see a logical reason as to why two is a special number. I can construct some solid logical arguments why that upper bound number should be higher. E.g. it would reduce the number of love triangle related violent crimes, it would reduce the divorce rate if all three or more individuals involved did not view the relationship as being exclusive, etc. In fact, if somebody brought those arguments to me, my only defense would be that it is against God's will.

Again, in case somebody missed that, I want to see LOGICAL arguments with no appeal to religion, tradition, or personal sense of taste (e.g "it's gross" does not work). I will act as the devil's advocate, which is easy for me to do due to my upbringing in the Soviet culture and not having the regular moral inhibitions of the American society natively implanted into me.

From Shanti on Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 12:15:19

Interesting, there are are still people who hold prejudice towards blacks and women, you need only to look at the desparity in poverty rates among blacks and whites, not to mention women still earn significantly less than men in the same position. Talk about a slippery slope, it is easy to find ways to disciminate against others, moral high ground seems to be the most prominent.

From kungfublonde on Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 12:28:19

All stigmas of polyogamy aside (women being oppressed or forced into it, it being cult-like or oppressive), the only reason I have against it is that the committment of marriage includes the promise to "forsake all others." You promise your life to ONE person, that's what makes it marriage. That's the only logical, non-judgemental reason I see.

I have heard arguments along the lines of it will place a burden on insurance to cover 3 spouses, so rates will go up and impact everyone else. You have to be careful deciding where people's rights start to place an undue burden on the rest of society.

Since this is purely hypothetical and not an issue that is impacting so many Americans right now, it's easy to toss around theories. Gay rights are real, they are relevant and they are happening right now. If polygamists are feeling oppressed, they need to speak up and make their case. Just like millions of homosexuals and civil rights activists are.

From Burt on Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 12:28:27

Sasha - I'm glad to see that you still are commenting on your own topic. I was beginning to think that we were taking over and becoming an annoyance to you. After all, some of the goofs that kept Walter's thread going for 345 comments have contributed to this discussion. I also like how you are playing devil's advocate and coming up with your own arguments against yourself. I'm curious to know what other arguments could be given, too.

From Matt on Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 12:36:00

Shanti,

You bring up a good point but my question would what is to be done of it. We can't legislate againist free will very effectively. We know that by affirmative action you further the prejudice for one group againist another. It is unfortunate I agree but what is the solution. There are also vast culture differences between the races and educational differences that cause one race to think differently then another. Case in point on the prop 8 movement in CA blacks voted for prop 8 by nearly 2 to 1. This seems a little curious if you really believe it was a civil rights movement because those people who had most recently had to fight for civil liberties would seem to be the most supportative. Also the blacks voted for Obama by close to 90 percent which shows the deep divide on this polotical issue.

It is noteworthy that with the prejudices that do exist that during the last election a black man and woman were both on the presidential tickets. I again however I concur it is unfortunate that prejudices are still in America.

From Matt on Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 12:53:13

kungfublond,

Just an FYI poloygamist in UT, AZ, & CO have been support of gay marriage because they know it hitches there wagon to rights as well. I believe modern day poloygamy is wrong because it is so controlling and as I have meet women who have escaped its clutches I have been informed of the many evils made and free agency lost. of course there are women who are very happy in these unions as well. If it were legal I think that would open doors but also tend to condone the behavior. I make no reservations that I am against this instituion but I gave up on logic for many of my ethics long ago.

From Shanti on Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 13:33:03

Alright Sasha, I will bite. Logic more or less goes out the window when religion is brought into an argument so let me start by asking you the question; keeping God,faith and religion out the equation, why did you choose to have just one wife, why a woman for that matter?

In regards to your logic on why to cap marriage at just two: Domestic violence rates actually go up in relationships involving more people even if it is consentual. There is plenty of evidence to support multi-party relationships are wrought with far more problems and violence than couple based relationships.

Divorce would not be simple matter by any means, say one person wants out, what then? Property division becomes a bigger problem along with division of assets and so on.

What about children? Marriage defines children to be the property of all parties in a marriage, biology does not have anything to do with it. If the marriage completely dissolves and you have 5 parties and 25 children what then?

These are just simple arguments to keep marriage as a commitment between just two people.

From Matt on Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 13:56:41

Shanti,

In response to your comment last night I have responded three times and my trio keeps blowing it so I believe this time I will break it up and I hope my history will be as clear.

In early mormonism blacks were baptized and given the priesthood. I wrote two papers on this in the sam class I wrote the poloygamy paper. in fact if memory serves me correctly (the class was nearly 20 years ago) I believe Joseph Smith himself ordained at least one of them he also housed blacks and treated them the same as he did other saints. more to follow.

From Matt on Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 14:07:58

As the church migrated from the Northeast into Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri, slavery became more of an issue and my personal research would indicate that blacks stopped receiving the priesthood because of political oppression and because they were no longer free. It is difficult to give the priesthood of the Lord to someone who is not free and thusly not accountable for his actions. For example many atrocities were waged againist slaves including forced sexual realationships for breeding purposes. Obviously, you wouldn't make someone accountable for the Lords priesthood when the can't be accountable for there own acts. more to come.

From Matt on Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 14:20:18

Over 95 percent of orthdox mormons have no idea of this history ask 10 lds bishops and you will be lucky if one has any knowledge of this history. Now in 1861 slavery was ended but it wasn't until 1865 that slaves were freed. Even then they weren't treated fairly and even statements by President Lincoln would lead you to believe he though they were second class. As by evidence of the civil rights movement blacks were not trully free until the 1960's. I make no apolgies for the bad behavior that went on during this era I am just restatinf the history. more to come.

From Matt on Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 14:41:36

If you want to fault the LDS for anything. It should be for the time it took from the end of the civil rights era until 1979 suffice it for me to say that I walk by faith and if my black LDS friends can except this so can I. I don't always undertand the Lords timetables. One of my dear LDS friends is Eugene Orr he joined the church during the civil rights movement and was a member of the Genesis ward (the first all black congregation) in Salt Lake City. The ward was presided over by Gordon B. Hinckley, Thomas S. Monson, and Boyd K. Packer some very noteworthy names in LDS leadership. He told me of the compasion of this men. He also told me of the violence he experienced in visiting his childhood home in Florida when he visited the local LDS congregations. but even after being beaten by ignorant mormon bullies. He sat through Sunday service. Eugen is one of my civil rights heros and think about the stories he has told me still brings tears to my eyes. He was one of the first blacks to receive the priesthood and more to come.

From Matt on Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 14:55:06

In the modern era and if he can hold no ill judgement against his oppresors neither can I and believe although I have reasons to be judgemental I realize judgement is the Lords and I am commanded. Please forgive me if it just seems hard. Anyway that is the history which usally goes untold. If anyone tells you that mormons believe

blacks are cursed tell them to get some good info there are still a lot of urban legends out there and ignorance. As a high priest in the LDS faith I apologize for members ignorance but not the churches stance. In your own words shanti if you can not give consent you cannot deny it might very well be the main reason why blacks we denied the priesthood for so long. not near as elaquent as the second time I wrote it but you get the story. Peace.

From Mire on Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 16:01:22

The Mormon religion is full of contradictions. The leader/founder of the Mormon faith practiced polygamy..It's a well known fact Joseph Smith had at least 27 wives. Ten of them already married to other men. Also about a third of Joseph Smith's plural wives were teenagers, including two fourteen-year-old girls. So one could say that Mormons follow the teachings of...I think the definition, as US law defines it, a pedophile. Also as part of his plural marriages, were 2 sisters.

Another point..who's God/Lord are we talking about? There are over 38,000 different versions of Christianity alone, all of whom vehemently claim their version is God's law.

From Shanti on Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 16:10:35

“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.” MLK

We all have an obligation to speak against injustice.

In regards to protection of individual rights and government, I leave you with a quote by Ayn Rand:

“Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual).”

From Matt on Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 17:44:50

Mire,

Wow that is a mouthful. I am hoping on a plane in LA now can you give me the source of where you heard the 27 wives. I have heard it before but I am just wondering where you got this well known fact as you call it. After I get that maybe we can address some of the other common misconception. By the way have you ever read the The Book of Mormon or do you just get your info from those who hate mormonism?

From fly on the wall on Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 18:39:07

I thought it was 33.

http://www.signaturebooks.com/insacred.htm

From kungfublonde on Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 18:43:53

Shanti, that was your best post. It sums up the entirety of this issue for me.

Fly, welcome to the discussion:)

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 19:02:00

Matt:

Mire most likely got it out of Wikipedia article on Joseph Smith which references as the source Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith, Rough Stone Rolling, p. 437. Richard Bushman is a historian and active member of the church. He still remained active and faithful after examining whatever historical evidence for the claim above but he felt obligated to publish it as a historian.

Shanti - I have studied math and computer science enough to know how faulty human logic can get, especially my own. I have won math olympiads, passed hard top-level university tests, graduated with a degree in computer science, have successfully programmed for a living, and authored two computer books. That takes above average logical unit in the brain. But yet early on in my life I realized that I was not obtaining truth with my logical unit. It was coming from some unknown invisible source, it felt clean and pure, and I just saw it. Then I used logic to solidify my understanding of what I had just seen and to prove to others that I really understood the matter. And along with that I have continually observed the faulty nature of my logical unit - how prone it is to error, and how quickly it overheats.

This realization eventually led me to acquiring faith in God. I finally understood the source of the pure knowledge. So I rely on faith first to obtain the knowledge of what is true, and then use logic only to solidify in my mind and to share it with others who may not have access to the same gift.

When Sarah and I got married I knew she was the right woman through faith. I did not act logically at all. I got back from my mission, called her the same day, we went for a walk near the Provo Temple and I proposed with no ring. She said yes two weeks later after I had clumsily but still successfully changed her niece's diaper, and we were married within 2.5 months. I am thankful I had the wisdom to disable my logical unit and enable and fine tune my faith unit at the time.

From Matt on Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 22:01:25

Shanti,

Beautiful quotes. I don't feel any conflicts with either thought and my thought process though. “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”

For Satan to succedd all that is needed is for good men to do nothing that is why I stand for Virtue and fight obscenity.

Ayn Rand might be my favorite atheist author and Atlas Shrugged is probaly my very favoriteis probably one of my top ten most influential books in my life. She is probaly one of the biggest reasons that I feel compeled to speak against injustice and inequality.

But when we speak of individual rights it is important to view how the rights of the individual don't over step the rights of the group or other individuals. For instance if one indvidual chooses to worship Satan and wants to commit blood sacrfice we must protect the indvidual or maybe closer to home if one individual wants to display pornographic images on their front lawn and takes forces others to view the obscene we shouldn't stand for that.

“Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual).”

Couldn't agree more.

From fly on the wall on Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 12:27:52

I submit for consideration:

"We believe that religion is instituted of God; and that men are amenable to him, and to him only, for the exercise of it, UNLESS their religious opinions prompt them to infringe upon the rights and liberties of others; ...that the civil magistrate should restrain crime, but never control conscience; should punish guilt, but never suppress the freedom of the soul."

Respectfully, a gentile in Zion

From Jamck on Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 18:01:27

To say that Mormons follow the teachings of a pedophile is a bit absurd. To apply current laws and definitions that have changed through the years (which is how this discussion got started) is not really logical. A lot of people are getting married for their first time. I'm sure that it wouldn't be difficult to find a culture somewhere back in time where they called all people in their thirties "DEAD" and clearly dead people can't reproduce, so our new culture couldn't last - in their opinion. Again, not very logical.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 18:25:00

Regarding women earning less even when doing the same job. I will not speak for the entire economy, but I can say something about my sector - computer programming. First, I would question the method of defining the "same job". Without examining the actual work you cannot possibly tell if they are doing the same job. Both could have the title of Software Engineer on books, and one could be a lot more skillful and productive than the other by a wide margin. Thus the difference in compensation. E.g I saw a job posting recently that offered a salary range of 70K-100K. I have an idea of how they're going to decide if it is going to be 70K or 100K - ask the applicant to submit some sample code, or give him a test of some kind in the interview. But regardless of the result, the title will be the same.

Throughout my life I have observed a number of men and women working in the area. There is a clear gender difference between how they approach problems. A woman wants things to fit into a pattern, does not like surprises very much, gets concerned when she is being taken for a wild ride. A man is more tolerant of surprises, and will go for wild ride just for fun. Additionally, he has this quality that I would describe as the calm death grip that I've never seen in a female programmer.

Computer work often involves a wild ride and cannot be done effectively without a death grip. The grim reality of the free market makes it difficult for those who do not have those qualities to compete. It is the very nature of the job, not any kind of prejudice that discriminates against women. In fact, many larger companies are desperate for female programmers, and if anything will discriminate the other way preferring a less qualified woman over a man.

The fact that many such jobs exist should not be a surprise. Consider the job of a professional runner except add to that the business reality aspect that you can only pay for how fast the runner covers the distance and that's it. No gender separation, we are only concerned about pure performance. This would make life miserable for women, runners like Paula Radcliffe would be reduced to picking crumbs trying to win $2000 in the Richmond marathon. Things would be a lot worse if we did this in professional boxing or wrestling.

Or imagine living in a free market agrarian/hunting economy where your physical strength and muscle coordination is the number one driver of your ability to produce. Men would be getting better paying jobs. Women would have to rely on the mercy of men to survive. Which is what has happened for years.

Our economy today is not quite that bad for women, or at least it appears to be. However, there are many high paying office jobs where it may just as well be a physical strength job due to the natural differences between men and women. Yet we send women out in the wild to do those jobs and expect them to compete with men for survival. And we think it increases women's rights. Anybody who would suggest otherwise (like me) runs a serious risk of being accused of bigotry and prejudice.

We are concerned that if we were to admit the gender difference, this would somehow belittle the woman. Yet in running, even though we recognize the natural gender handicap, most women do not feel belittled. In fact, they would loudly protest, and rightfully so, if we removed that recognition.

Why is it different in business? First, the performance is difficult to measure as accurately as you would in a sport. Second, free market is not conducive to giving women the privilege of competing for a certain reward only against women.

What should we do about it?

The current solution is to stick your head in the sand, scream there is no gender difference, and vilify everybody who dares disagree. This hurts the economy as a whole, and women most of all. The Economic Boston Qualifier does not discriminate against gender, so a woman now has to run 3:10 instead of 3:40 to make it. Nor does the winning prize - Paula now has to race Haile to get her world-record paycheck.

Better solution. Recognize the handicap . Teach and require men to be gentlemen. Every able man must provide for a woman to some degree. He can marry, he can find a woman he will support that he knows, or he can support a woman he does not know through taxes. She can work for fun if she wants to, see how many guys she can "chick", but she should not have to compete against men in the job market just to survive.

From Jamck on Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 19:02:52

If our society paid people for their performance in raising the next generation, women would outperform men nearly all the time. Of course, a man and a women working as a team could outperform many women. So it is, that history has developed a pattern where the best combination for the team is to have the women do what they do best and the men do what they do best. It's not sexist, it's just a win-win situation. Of course, our society doesn't pay for you to raise children, but if you do a good job, it will pay huge dividends later.

In this situation, should men push for the opportunity to not have a "glass ceiling" when parenting while their spouse works? Certainly not, you'll most likely find out years or just months later that they can't really compete...

From Shanti on Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 21:15:29

Words spoken like a true patriarchal white male. To deny gender bias really exists in the workplace is obsurb, and using sport to make the point is a poor example. Gender bias does exist in sport as much or more than any other industry. Name one female athlete in mainstream sport that earns what a male earns? Basketball, soccer, cycling, baseball, golf, skiing, the list goes on and on. Physiology dictates women will not perform most sports as well as men, but the money pay out for women's sport does not even come close to men's.

Every year the US government puts out reports on the gender gap in the workplace, and although it has narrowed, women still make significantly less money then men for performing the same job titles. I will not argue skill set on the job, the bias is set before the applicant even enters the door.

Take your head out of the sand and acknowledge the reality that gender bias exists and it has nothing to do with level of skill.

From Burt on Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 21:44:36

Using an argument against an argument that there is gender bias in sport is absurd. Of course men make more in sports. Tens and thousands of people go to watch them perform. You don't get the same turn out at a women's sporting event. Why not? Level of skill.

From kungfublonde on Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 22:10:48

What has happened to this discussion? I missed te part where it logically morphed into being about gender equality in the workplace...

From Shanti on Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 23:16:32

Kungfublonde: Logic has been lost in this argument long ago. Rationality tends to go out the window when your defense of a position relies on abstract concepts of faith and not fact. Viewpoints here have been presented through the window of one branch of the Christian Faith, believing soley their's holds all the answers. Blind Faith is just that, Blind! The unwillingness to look at the issue as a civil issue or through the lens of anyone else's concept of faith is not only short sighted, it is ignorant. The lack of respect for other positions whether based on civil rights or other religious teachings is what continues to breed such bitter resentment and intolerance.

I stand by my original statements: the issue is about civil rights and equality. It seems everyone here is blind to fact that the inequities we are talking about all stemmed from discrimination at some point. When you discriminate for any reason you create prejudice, which lasts for generations. I will use Burt's quote to illustrate the point:

"However, it is morally wrong for two people of the same gender to be together. I believe that. And even if society changes its viewpoint, I will still continue to believe that."

The prejudice will continue through his generation and likely that of his children.

It is sad for me to see the venomous attitudes displayed and it dims my hopes that we can actually come together as one people and love each other for our own humanity.

From Jason McK on Fri, Nov 21, 2008 at 00:30:28

Shanti: It's good to see that you have no prejudices (well, except for "Words spoken like a true patriarchal white male.")

As far as the gender bias in the workplace, I've been trying to work through this one for years, as I think that how a person performs a job is what should matter...negotiation skills will play a part in pay, but if everything else is equal, men and women should make the same amount of money for the same job, not the same job title but the same job.

If women get payed less for doing the exact same job, and the purpose of a business it to make money (profits) by selling goods and services and paying as little as possible to do this, then surely, if men and women actually do the same job and women gets paid less, then surely, anyone who is starting their second or third business would know that they should only hire women - reducing the bottom line, enabling them to sell the same goods and services cheaper than anyone else and taking over the entire market. Where is that business?

From Jason McK on Fri, Nov 21, 2008 at 00:37:40

Shanti: Again, you are not much different than any one else (neither am I.) You quote Burt to say that the prejudice will continue for generations because of his belief - regardless of what society believes. You are the same - you believe that gender bias exists and regardless of what anyone else says, you will not change your belief either.

From Shanti on Fri, Nov 21, 2008 at 11:04:06

Jason, your logic is as flawed as the rest. Gender bias is not a prejudice, it is a reality based on fact and supported by actual data. To deny that women are being paid less then men in the US workforce, for the same job, is to turn a blind eye to the facts. There are numerous examples of companies that hire women so they can pay less. Let's talk Walmart for example. Walmart's hourly employees are made up of approximately 67% women who make on average $1100 per year less then the men - same job. As far as advancement, only 33% of salaried management are women, paid an average of $5200 less per year for the same jobs. The higher level the job, the lower the percentage of women and the higher the gap in salary. This is just one company, one that many model their businesses after, and the gender gap exists at ALL levels of employment. I hold no prejudice against gender, I just happen to see the reality of early held prejudices against women still being played out today, and I have the facts to support it.

Prejudice is defined:

injury or damage resulting from some judgment or action of another in disregard of one's rights ; especially : detriment to one's legal rights or claims

From Burt on Fri, Nov 21, 2008 at 11:40:07

What? Women aren't being damaged due to the action or disregard to their legal right to make the same amount as men? Now you don't make any sense. But that's fine. You already discredited anything you had to say when you made a disgusting inuendo about a parrot and a broom stick.

Homosexuality is immoral and wrong just as engaging in sexual activities outside the bonds of marriage is immoral and wrong. My atheist friend said it best, "These people are perverts." I'm done.

From kungfublonde on Fri, Nov 21, 2008 at 11:58:51

It's too bad this topic got so convoluted and even brought in some unnecessary attacks. I know it's one many of us feel strongly about, but how can you bring about any change or understanding if you can't stay focused?

Fly and Shanti brought in the best quotes to support my perspective. You don't have to like homosexuality or think it's ok for your life. I just don't think anyone has the moral or ethical right to tell another person what they can do with their heart or in their bedroom with another consenting adult. It's weird to me that anyone thinks that's their business. Really, why do you care? Seriously. It is totally none of your business.

To quote a man I admire, Paul Newman,

"I'm a supporter of gay rights. And not a closet supporter either. From the time I was a kid, I have never been able to understand attacks upon the gay community. There are so many qualities that make up a human being... by the time I get through with all the things that I really admire about people, what they do with their private parts is probably so low on the list that it is irrelevant."

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Nov 21, 2008 at 13:02:36

Shanti:

Have you done a thorough audit of Walmart to make sure that the less paid women perform on par with men? I imagine it would be difficult to do unless you have worked closely in the company at that level. As I mentioned earlier, in my experience I've seen a lot of performance variations among the positions that would appear the same to a casual outside observer.

My thoughts are with Jason. We have a very free market. US businesses that succeed are very very money smart. They will do what it takes to do things for less. They will outsource their operations to a third-world country if they can to cut their costs. It seems to me that a business like Walmart would be hiring women for management positions to take advantage of them just like it hires Latinos for the entry level jobs if they could give the same performance for less.

I think we have a fundamental misunderstanding about jobs in our culture. We often think of a job as some form of entitlement, some glorified form of welfare, some bounty bestowed by the powers above, rather than a burden of responsibility that requires skill, natural ability, creativity, patience, and commitment. We think "I want the job" more than "It is good for the business, the economy, and our country for me to have this job". With that mindset, the only way you'll have financial equality between men and women is if you pay women the same as men regardless of performance. Which we try to do, but we can only afford that much. It is hard to legislate against natural laws.

Much better to legislate with nature than against it. Recognize that men on average have a better natural ability to provide the necessities of life, and thus are responsible to provide for themselves and for the women as well.

Running is one area where rules are set up to achieve a true honest equality of men and women. It is all fair and square. Top women get paid the same as top men. How is that accomplished, and what can we learn from it?

The nature of the sport forces us to recognize the natural gender handicap. So we do not pretend it does not exist, but rather adjust the rules so that a woman can get as much fulfillment as a runner as a man. We face the reality and deal with it, and thus are able to meet our goal.

The same thing needs to be done in business. We cannot afford to have women-only jobs in a competitive market. But we can have laws that require men to somehow compensate women for the natural gender handicap. I believe that is the only way we will ever accomplish true honest equality to the satisfaction of both genders.

From Matt on Fri, Nov 21, 2008 at 14:40:03

Wow again, I come back from my trip decide the argument is winding down I check in and you all have continued to slam. My first impulse was to do nothing at all but as I thought about it my name is all over this thread so I figure if I do nothing people will assume my position on the matter. When I started reading the email post somehow I didn’t see Sasha’s until now and again I marvel at the way you articulate your position. I would feel inclined to agree with Shanti on quite a few points but for considerably different reasons then the arguments you make. I would agree that your slam on patriarchal white males seems to be a bit personal and prejudicial.

Nevertheless, gender bias does exist and in some instances. I am not sure anyone is arguing that it does not. Some will say that is bad and some will say that its good and I will straddle the fence and say it is both. It is unfortunate and fortunate that we are different but it doesn’t stop at the sexes. It is true of races, age, culture, and individuals. Diversity is what makes the world great. If we were all equally adept at the same things how terrible would that be. Back to sports I think Paula Radcliff is the best long distance runner on the planet bar none( I also wouldn’t be surprised if her purse were the largest over the last five years of any runner male or female but I have no idea and won’t waste the time to research it). I say that knowing that men (generally speaking stereotype) are better runners but when you compare her to her field and the handicap for sex I would be willing to debate otherwise (I know that sports debates are incredible argumentative so I usually stay clear). I also know that most sports professionals make more money than most school teachers but that is capitalism and for that matter socialism at work. In capitalist society we consume more of the product and supply and demand determines pay. In socialism the top athlete glorifies the country and is pampered to compete.

This last sports season I have spent far more time watching one of my favorite college girl’s soccer teams then I have any male franchise during the same time period. I realize I am in the minority but it is what interests me. I also feel like the free market gives us the option.

I think it would be great if everyone were paid for their value but a question may exist in how we determine value. Sasha brought up lots of good points let me toss out a few more. I have been at my company 14 years one of my female coworkers 2 and ½. This last year she has beat me big time in sales should she make more? When we travel to trade shows I set her free she is more attractive than me men will come and talk to her initially, she has loads of great contacts. She is younger than me she works harder. We both make money for the company but it doesn’t seem fair that she should make less. Of course I don’t know if I should get a reduction. In the past I helped build the company to what it is. My face is recognized as one of the key faces to the company. I provide stability, leadership years of industry wisdom and other strengths. I also provide uninterrupted tenure. I told my boss to hire her or else he was an idiot. I think I have other strengths and going forward she has made no qualms about the fact she will be getting pregnant and wanting to stay at home.

Other examples may be different but there are similarities men tend to work nonstop through adult hood. Sasha pointed out some weaknesses women have and I believe there are quite a few more strengths but needless to say there are strengths and weaknesses. I think women tend to be more creative. Women are more attractive especially in youthful late 20’s to late 40’s. Female sales people in b2b tend to better at that age while men do better from their mid 30’s to mid 50’s. After that age discrimination sets in and both appear to be out of touch. Not from a company perspective but from a prospective discriminatory view. I can’t force people not to make judgments. Women tend to communicate better, they have a better eye for fashion, and they are less domineering. The list could go on.

I choose to accept these differences. Diversity makes us great occasionally we need somebody who doesn’t write quite as good of code but brings other insights to a project. Is it bad or just who we are. If a checker at Wal-Mart scans 854 items an hour and another averages 712 do we pay one more then another. May be the lesser has worked longer and the other will quit before offsetting training time. Maybe one takes more smoke breaks. Maybe one get more complaints from customers maybe one is so dang cute customers keep coming back. There could be an endless list of reasons why. Equality in pay is a nice idea but it is so hard to measure.

As the primary bread winner for my family I would love to stay home and be with the kids and clean house. I clean toilets as well as any man I know, I do dishes every night I do laundry I coach three soccer teams and work in the nursery at church but school teaching doesn’t pay as well as my sales and analysis skills so I work why my wife stays home. Not all people are that fortunate nor should they be forced to. It is unfortunate that money has become so important to people that they are tempted to forsake family duties to earn additional money. I wish I could more easily work from home and I am disappointed when women choose to enter the work place there isn’t more economic equality but I don’t believe it is totally prejudiced and I feel the free market is slowly correcting it and government should attempt to stay out. My definition of prejudice would be “having incorrect preconceived notions about a person based off of race, religion, sex, culture, age, or appearance. That leads impartial favoritism for good or bad. If we look up the word we can find considerable definitions and not all prejudice would be bad it is usually just unfair. If we show prejudice towards a situation rather than a person some might say that is just is good reasoning. Anyway that is my view. Individuals will always be different and if that is not destructive to the general public we should try to interfere as little as possible.

As far as this relates to discrimination it is hard to know. Discrimination will always exists because we can‘t control thinking. The races are different look at blacks in the NFL and whites in Hockey. Look further to how few Asians we see. We vote differently and think differently. I use to want to be a standup comic the industry is dominated by blacks (and I don’t care what anyone says my black friends are funnier as a group then white friends) you could also point out that Asians do better on IQ tests certain races are better than others in SAT and ACT testing. Kenyans make great distance runners Nigerians are better sprinters, US whites have fewer children then US Hispanics. The list could go on so also could the exceptions. I apologize when it happens unfairly and if you fell I do it I will try to correct it. I really strive for equality in my decision making. Now I am driving to the Northwest for Thanksgiving please forgive me if I try to quit commenting (on this subject) but my in-laws think I don’t like them as it is and the fact is I really do love them. So I will try to push myself from the computer and get some good running in. Hopefully ya’ll don’t say something so inflammatory I feel compelled to write back.

“Call me a rebel call me what you will, say I’m old fashion say I’m over the hill, today’s …”

With all the cool quotes I just didn’t want to be left out. Peace.

From Jason McK on Fri, Nov 21, 2008 at 15:18:35

Shanti: I appreciate your statistic in the Wal-mart case. I really enjoy statistics but take them with a grain of salt. You've stated % of employees that are women and the pay differences between the sexes. However, you have offered no reason for the differences except gender bias. Is it possible that there are other influences for the individual differences in pay grade and advancement? For example, I suspect that one is more likely to advance the longer they are there. However antiquated it may be, many families still look to the husband for incomes - is it possible that of the 67% women making $1100 less per year that their average time with the company has been less, so they have received less raises? Which also influenced promotion - surely someone who has worked for 5 consecutive years will be seen as less risky to promote than someone who has only a 3 year history. Regardless of what people want to have happen, if a couple decided to have a baby, the women will be giving birth and probably take some time off after that (maybe even before.) If one of my children needs to come home from school, my wife goes to get them. I realize this is an on going circle, but she goes to get them because she doesn't want to affect my income since I make more, which makes it possible for me to keep making more.

I'm not denying that gender bias exists, I'm just saying that physical anatomy isn't the only reason for the gender bias, some of it has to do with life choices made by people with different physical anatomies.

From Shanti on Fri, Nov 21, 2008 at 17:36:35

This data was compiled for a class action lawsuit against walmart for gender bias:

http://www.walmartclass.com/staticdata/reports/r2.pdf

From Matt on Fri, Nov 21, 2008 at 18:08:55

who won the lawsuit?

From Jason McK on Fri, Nov 21, 2008 at 19:01:12

This information is impressive. So, like Matt said, who won? It's clear from the report that there is a gender bias. Point well made.

I'm still left a question - the report says:

70. "The results for hourly employees show that women are still paid at

least 4.5% less than similarly situated men in each year."

While this seems significant, if the average female works 40 hours and the average male works 41.2 (the last 1.2 being overtime) then the 4.5% is exactly what is expected. Or if the average female works 45 hours and the average male works 46.425, then 4.5% increase in pay is expected. I'm not saying this is where it comes from, I'm just questioning why the report doesn't mention hours worked - only that at least 45 weeks were worked by year end.

I have a couple other reserves about the report and missing pieces of information, but I have to conclude that there is a gender bias at Wal-mart. So, is it Wal-mart - the company - who is at fault, or is it the individuals hiring from within the company that are at fault? I also wonder if the male managers are more likely to promote males, do the female managers also promote males? That would be interesting to see if even women have a gender bias towards men...

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Nov 21, 2008 at 19:03:58

Looks like it is not yet done:

http://www.walmartclass.com/walmartclass_casedevelopments.html

The data is just raw data. It does show that men get paid more at Walmart but does not explain why. Some legitimate possibilities: Walmart tries hard to push you down when negotiating pay, and women are intimidated more easily; for entry level jobs - when offered too little men say no because they can work construction or some other no-skill job that requires heavy lifting, women do not have that option and have to say yes; the store needs to have men around for heavy lifting and how much they lift a day does not count towards their performance score.

Even if the discrimination is purely prejudice based - work place is not welfare, a job is not an entitlement. Private businesses should be able hire whoever they want and pay them whatever they want. They should even be able to offer gender biased discounts to customers if they feel so inclined - if the owner likes women, they get 20% off. If he likes men, 20% off for men. That is part of his freedom of expression. If you do not like it, set up a competing business and express yourself through it as you like.

Messing with the free market via lawsuits only makes it worse for everybody else driving the prices up. I wish I could file a class action lawsuit against whoever is involved in the Walmart lawsuit for increasing my Walmart bill.

From fly on the wall on Fri, Nov 21, 2008 at 19:41:05

I just love the fact that right now at the bottom of my screen is a Google add for the movie, MILK. How ironic! Or was it placed there specifically?

Since I'm still on the same topic (by myself?)... To those who seem to have argued that sexual preference is a matter of choice, something that can be changed at will, influenced by society, etc.; perhaps sexual preference or at least the degree of it, is more of a continuum than black and white. And, consider this if you will:

BYU "Professor claims scientific evidence of homosexuality"

http://newsnet.byu.edu/story.cfm/49488

Not that it should matter in the eyes of the law. If you can flip on your gay switch, choose to marry, and can live happily ever after; it is not the governments business. "Civil magistrate should... never control conscience... never suppress the freedom of the soul." I'm assuming y'all know this quote (also given in a previous post) is from D&C 134:4.

Respectfully, Fly on the Wall

From Mire on Fri, Nov 21, 2008 at 20:21:54

Thank you Fly on the Wall!

From Matt on Fri, Nov 21, 2008 at 23:09:56

Fly,

I saw the movie add as well and thought it was extremely ironic and humors at the same time.

Regarding the quote I thought I had seen it before but had to do a search. That being said and I was meaning to make a post I still don't have a problem with the quote and my previous stance.

From Matt on Fri, Nov 21, 2008 at 23:23:08

Sasha,

I agree with a lot of what your saying and maybe it is just the attornies son in me but no lawsuits?

The free market has shown the need to have regulation on some level. As an employee of the mortgage industry and a real estate investor I can state for positive that we wouldn't have half our current financial problems if government had done its job think of all the huge banks that have gone under where was the antitrust lawsuits then. Is keep prices low the only value we are interested in?

also if they are prejudcial in hiring and of thing you give adequate ammunition as to why they most likely are not does the public have a right to know simply so they can decide to support the business and cause or not. I could accept price discounts on some cause or mission statement or membership but to do so underhandedly seems a little unfair.

From Shanti on Sun, Nov 23, 2008 at 13:29:45

I debated whether or not I should open a blog account due to the strong differences I hold regarding social and political issues many bloggers have demonstrated, but dialog is good and often constructive.

As I will log my running, I will strongly encourage anyone interested in discussing political and social issues to post comments on my blog. I will post topics and links that are of interest to me and welcome ALL opinions whether in support or disagreement. I am not easily offended and am always interested in discussing almost any topic.

By the way, I am not done commenting on the issue of same gender marriage, and am confounded by views supported by religions whose past is blighted with obviously deviant behavior.

From fly on the wall on Sun, Nov 23, 2008 at 14:52:36

"whose past is blighted with obviously deviant behavior." Is there a group whose past is not blighted?

From Shanti on Sun, Nov 23, 2008 at 15:18:21

There is probably no group whose past is not blighted with deviant behavior, but don't deny the history. Having a history of multiple wives and then declaring the sanctity of marriage between "one man and one woman," is to deny the past you came from.

From kungfublonde on Sun, Nov 23, 2008 at 15:26:18

I have to disagree on that particular point. That's kind of like saying, "you can't come from a past of having enslaved people then say that racism is bad." There's a reason that those behaviors are in the PAST.

From Jason mck on Sun, Nov 23, 2008 at 16:47:38

yeah. That's like saying you are for adultery if any of your ancestors was born out of wedlock. You are not responsible for others action and do not have to embrace it just because it is linked to your past.

From Shanti on Sun, Nov 23, 2008 at 16:55:07

I think you misunderstand what I am saying. We don't deny our past, we acknowledge there was slavery., we own that. Own your history, don't deny the fact the LDS religion was founded by a polygamist. Polygamy now as it was then, is deemed sexual deviance. It is ironic you deem two people of the same gender getting married sexual deviants and the founder of a major faith practiced what some would call sexually deviant behavior.

I am fighting for gay rights in this country, in this decade, just as my parents fought for interracial marriage rights in the 1960's.

From Shanti on Sun, Nov 23, 2008 at 17:06:26

I feel we have completely gotten off topic on this. The only point I am trying to make is this is an issue of individual rights. Marriage is a contract between the State and the two consenting adults regardless of gender, any religious meaning should be between the couple and their church. I will offer up this solution, require all couples to get a civil union and allow marriage to be religious institution with no effect on civil law.

From Bonnie on Sun, Nov 23, 2008 at 17:24:52

Shanti,

I agree with you wholeheartedly on your last point. I see the whole argument to be less of an issue of civil rights and more of an issue of the separation of church and state. Churches can feel free to make whatever restrictions (or not) they choose on the definition of "marriage". However, the "contract" (that is technically what is being asked for in California) is between those individuals and the State and this should have no religious symbolism attached to it.

My two cents.

From montelepsy on Sun, Nov 23, 2008 at 17:35:13

How will would you define civil union?

From Shanti on Sun, Nov 23, 2008 at 17:42:39

Thank you Bonnie, that is exactly what I have been trying to state this whole time.

Montelepsy, a civil union is all the rights afforded married couples by the State currently. ie: property rights, probate, taxes etc...

All marriages would require a civil union, not all civil unions would require a marriage. Marriage is just the religious component.

From Bonnie on Sun, Nov 23, 2008 at 17:46:48

Legal contract between two individuals. It actually seems more like what California is fighting for when they say "marriage", since many of the couples that are currently on the verge to losing their status were married at the courthouse (civil ceremony). It is a semantic argument - however it is more than that because without the piece of paper from the state no matter where you get married (temple, church, synagogue)and what religious ceremony you attend you are not married.

From montelepsy on Sun, Nov 23, 2008 at 17:51:28

What happened to your blog, Shanti? Did you delete it right after setting it up?

I should have been more specific with my question. Who would be allowed in a civic union? Anyone who is of legal age and not related? Then the straight two male professional runners could game the system. How would we prevent that from happening or do we keep that door open?

From fly on the wall on Sun, Nov 23, 2008 at 23:02:49

"Then the straight two male professional runners could game the system. How would we prevent that from happening or do we keep that door open?"

Isn't that door currently open to two runners if they happen to be a gay male and a lesbian female? I believe a similar thing happens with marriages to keep an alien resident in the country legally. In such cases the citizen gets paid for the service but never consummates the marriage. But I digress.

From jeffmc on Mon, Nov 24, 2008 at 01:44:34

correct me if I am wrong, but isn't it true that civil unions are already legal for gay couples in California, and that they provide them the same rights and privileges that any couple married in the traditional sense can receive? If this is true, then this is not a civil rights issue at all. As far as the two straight runners are concerned, I believe that Sasha already looked into the civil union law in California and it prohibits the practice.

From kungfublonde on Mon, Nov 24, 2008 at 02:32:28

It is a civil rights issue. Yes, civil unions are legal for gay couples. Marriage was also legal for gay couples until recently when prop 8 changed that.

"Seperate but equal" was deemed a civil rights violation years ago. Having something different but almost as good is still discriminatory. If you can't discriminate on age, race, gender or sexual orientation for other issues, then the same should apply to marriage.

Plain and simple, it is discriminatory and a civil right violation to say that you can't have the same rights as everyone else just because you are different in some way.

I agree that is is a matter of separation of church and state. Your church doesn't have to marry gay couples. But the churches that do should be allowed to. Not all churches are opposed to gay marriage. Why is it right for some churches to decide what is legal for all Americans?

From Matt on Mon, Nov 24, 2008 at 16:06:38

Rachel,

I read your comment before I went running this morning and I couldn’t help but think about it all morning. So thanks for helping me break up the boredom. First I totally agree with the Brown vs. Board of Education decision. I studied this one in law class in college. We (the US governments and many school districts) segregated and bused kids to different schools. We took a person in a natural environment and because of race sent them to a place out of locality and claimed separate but equal. It was all a farce and completely wrong.

For good or bad, the government still does this on many different levels based off of gender discrimination, age discrimination, social economic discrimination and discrimination based on ability. You can see example of this access to colleges, draft rights, tax structures, military access, retirement benefits, death rights, affirmative action, Medicare, rights to hold political office, right to vote, to drink, to live in certain communities.

But to cry Separate but Equal for homosexual rights just isn’t true. In fact what it does is reverse the Equality and creates a state of “Special and Different”. Everyone under the law has equal access to the instution of marriage. Any man or woman on the planet has the same opportunity and rights to wed. But what you’re arguing is the standard arrangement is not good enough for some and that group wants Different rights for a Special arrangement. That is not only not equality is inequality.

This is so fundamental in many of the arguments that special interest groups make. It kills me when the homosexual community says do you really think we choose to do be this way and yet they want everyone to choose to have full inclusion for the homosexual community. If they really think it is such an unconventional relationship that they have chosen why should everyone else be forced to choose inclusion and a special and different set of rules. Why would they hope to adopt and raise children in something they already argue is not a preferred set of circumstances? Special and Different rules are not Equality.

From jeffmc on Mon, Nov 24, 2008 at 17:10:27

kungfublonde

I don't think you really answered my question. I was simply asking if it was true that civil unions provided the same rights that marriage provides. If that is true then I do not believe that any discrimination exists.

If rights are being taken away, what rights have been taken? Also, in what way is marriage a right? As far as I know, the constitution guarantees us the rights of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In what ways might prop 8 deny these rights, or in what ways does it uphold these rights?

I am asking these questions not to argue, but because I am interested in what you and others think, although you can probably assume my stance on the issue.

From kungfublonde on Mon, Nov 24, 2008 at 17:12:59

Gay people don't have the right to marry the person they choose. That isn't the same as the right you and I have.

What specifically is special or different about gay marriage?

Allowing gay people to marry (or continue being married, as the case may be) doesn't force anything on anyone. You still get to live the exact same life you've always been free to live. It's simply a matter or extending those very same rights to include everyone.

From kungfublonde on Mon, Nov 24, 2008 at 17:24:32

The right that isn't granted is the recognition that comes with the institution of marriage. And the respect. I didn't marry Mike for medical insurance. To say they have access to everything marriage provides insults marriage. Is it really simply a system arranged for access to benefit? Marriage is a commitment of love that is recognized worldwide. Civil unions are recognized as a consolation prize awarded to gay people.

How is denying a group of people the right to marry not discriminatory?

Gay marriage was legal. Prop 8 took it away.

I don't mind the discussion. I have raised several points throughout this conversation that no one has touched.

From Shanti on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 13:14:35

Well said, kungfublonde. I was thinking the same thing, gay marriage was legal, the vote was to change the definition of marriage to take the right away from gay couples. If the law in Utah was allowed to stand prior to amendment three, gay marriage would be legal here too, but marriage was redefined to exclude a group of people.

From fly on the wall on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 13:19:33

"The constitution guarantees us the rights of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness." My marriage of 11 years, which was not performed in or sanctioned by any church or religious institution, is part of my pursuit of happiness. My marriage does not infringe upon anyone else rights to life liberty or the pursuit of happiness (I think my mother-in-law would even agree with that). My marriage is recognized by the state of Utah. If the majority of our population voted to make my marriage a "civil union" that was different from other marriages, I'd be fighting mad. If they voted to make all marriages, "civil unions" and make "church marriages" a religious institution with no legal status, so be it. (Did that make any sense?)

If religious belief and dogma are used to determine what marriage is legally, I think there are regions of this country that would not recognize "Mormon" marriages. And, I'd be fighting mad about that.

Respectfully, Mr. on the Wall

From Matt on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 16:15:36

Gay Marriage was Illegal it was redefined by the judiciary to make it Legal. It was then redefined by the people to make it Illegal. When the people have spoken they have been steadfast. Do you feel we live in a country that is not allowed to change or can only change when it represents your opinion?

As I have stated in previous posts I expect this law to be changed at some point in the future. It may be ten or twenty years but I think it will change. When it does there will be a serious change between the beliefs of most church attenders and the state. The war will then be on to destroy the churches and the morals which they stand for. They government will be able to do this by taking away tax exempt status, defining religious groups as discriminatory. In time they will try to take away the churches freedom of speech to speak against state instuted behavior and classify it ungodly. This will in turn be deemed as a hate crime. Where will the separation from church and state be then? Where will the freedom of speech be then? When my Grand children attend public schools and say they believe that Gay Marriage is wrong and they are expelled for speaking the truth will people say in that day that God worship is evil and vile? Will men call evil good and good evil.

"Who’s on the Lords side? Who? Now is the time to Show."

Gay rights activists have the same rights as anyone to marry as the law reads. They just want special and different rules then everyone else.

From Burt on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 16:22:01

Amen to that, brother. You're just what the Lord needs. That's why I speak my beliefs. You see, the Lord needs valiant servants to do his work in the latter days, to follow the teachings of Jesus, and serve his people in a loving way. I will be his servant and keep my covenants valiantly. I'll stand for truth. I'll stand for right. The Lord can depend on me.

From Matt on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 16:33:48

Thanks Burt. Amen to that.

From kungfublonde on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 16:41:27

Wow, that is just a whole bunch of stuff I disagree with and see as unrealistic.

No one has ever said any church HAS to perform gay marriage or even support it. But you are saying that because SOME churches are opposed to it, churches who support it aren't allowed to...? My church performs gay marriages, and so do many others here. Or did, until (as Shanti explained perfectly), prop 8 changed the definition of marriage and took that right away.

You have the freedom to make those choices for yourself, but want to refuse that freedom to others.

You have yet to explain how gay marriage is special or different, or how it takes away from anything anyone else has.

it is wildly unrealistic to say any child would be kicked out of school for saying they disagree with homosexuality. In fact, gay-bashing is still the social norm, and saying "that's so gay" is considered a perfectly acceptable insult, even on he playground.

Bonnie and Fly and Shanti recently posted arguments that clearly addressed the points you just brought up. Including the point that marriage is a legal contract. You can have a legal marriage without the church, but you can't have a legal marriage with the church alone. Therefore it is not a religious issue. Period.

As I have stated repeatedly, YOU decide what is right for YOU and raise your children accordingly. And respect others enough to allow them that same freedom.

Would you force someone to attend your churches? I'm sure the answer is no. Then why force your religion into the law? It doesn't belong there.

52% of the people voted for prop 8, to redefine marriage to specifically exclude gay couples. 48% opposed it. And I will argue that a good portion of the "yes" votes were duped into voting for it by misleading and flat out dishonest propaganda that scared people into voting for something they didn't really understand. That aside, let's pretend the full 52% wholeheartedly wanted to make gay marriage unconstitutional. ...52%. That is not a result that represents the people.

Tell me, I ask you again, what is special or different? What will they have that is any different than any other American?

From Burt on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 16:53:59

Blondy - Check out this link. (I googled it to find it. It's not a site that frequent.)

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-9519.html

From Jason McKe on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 17:19:40

It may be true that no church has had to perform a gay marriage that didn't want to, but as more and more things become "protected classes", churches will lose rights to make decisions. While I'm not saying that any church would be justified in not marrying two people of different races, they can't discriminate based on race - it's against the law. As more people push for gay right, eventually, sexual orientation could become a "protected class" and a church that refuses to perform a ceremony may lose it's right to congregate.

Just because something doesn't immediately affect your rights doesn't make it right.

Quoting Kungfu, "You have yet to explain how gay marriage is special or different" As though it isn't clearly special or different. If it were so obviously the same (as you make it seem) then why have 30 states so far already said "No way, not in my state!"? Again, I'm not saying they are correct, only that it's ridiculous that you act like it's nothing strange, meanwhile going on for days about it. Obviously it is special or different.

From kungfublonde on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 17:25:46

The problem with this argument is that we are trying to refute faith with logic, and that is unreasonable. I don't question your faith or your religion in any way. I have never argued against that line of reasoning. If your faith tells you homosexuality is wrong, I respect that, no matter how much I disagree (backed by my own faith). Our religious beliefs aren't up for debate.

...which means we really aren't going to get anywhere with this discussion.

Once again I will agree to disagree and be done with this discussion in this particular forum (You did too, Burt. What happened? I just can't quit you, gay topic blog!!)

Ok, I'll go check the link now, Burt. Then I'll see you back where I'm most comfortable; in nonsense-land :)

From kungfublonde on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 17:36:53

Jason, I guess we were posting at the same time because I didn't see yours. Didn't mean to ignore it so I will address it.

People opposing it doesn't validate it as wrong. Historically that hasn't held up well. 98% of the population voted against giving blacks the right to vote when the supreme court extended the right. We'll just have to see if this pans out the same, right? And in this case it isn't even CLOSE to a 98% opposition.

Refusing rights to some people just because it might at some point in the future cause problems doesn't sound very justified. However I do see that being a concern. Instead of working to refuse them their rights, what about working to institute legislation that protects churches? I think we could all agree on that.

And finally, I don't think you last point makes sense, or else you misunderstood my point every time I made it. What would be special or different about a gay marriage from a straight marriage? It has been stated repeatedly that it would be giving special privileges or rights to gay people. I don't see how. Maybe you misunderstand what gay people are asking for? Simply the same right every straight American has- the right to marry the person they want to spend their life with.

Sorry, I'll stop "going on for days" about it now so you won't be forced to read it anymore. :)

From Jason McK on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 17:44:09

Actually, our religious beliefs are up for debate, everyday. That's why this is such a heated battle. If this didn't have anything to do with beliefs, no one would have a problem with a gay marriage. But, whether or not people subscribe to a religion with a name, people generally don't believe that gays should have the same rights as non gays, like the right to adopt, for example. Society as a whole can't see that it could possibly do any good. It's the same with people arguing for and against abortion. Some believe it's not just your body, there's another life. Others believe differently. But we all want to say what everyone else can and can't do with children.

From Jason McK on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 17:50:30

I don't mind the "going on for days", I quite enjoy the conversation. Living in my sheltered local, often times I don't get the opportunity to debate with intelligent people who think differently. Most people don't really like to debate and a high percentage that do enjoy it have no idea what they're talking about - they just repeat what a commercial on TV said.

From Shanti on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 18:30:28

Wow, some pretty interesting opinions!!

Matt, you could not possible agree with Ayn Rand's quotes. The majority clearly just voted away the rights of the minority.

When the churches chose to intervene in civil law they put their tax exempt status at risk.

Most frightening quote of the debate:

"Amen to that, brother. You're just what the Lord needs. That's why I speak my beliefs. You see, the Lord needs valiant servants to do his work in the latter days, to follow the teachings of Jesus, and serve his people in a loving way. I will be his servant and keep my covenants valiantly. I'll stand for truth. I'll stand for right. The Lord can depend on me."

More harm and devastation has come from mankind using this same rationalization. If you are prepared to use religion as the tool for argument, and use quotes out of the Bible, you better be prepared to use all of the Bible. You cannot pick and choose only those passages which support your argument. This whole debate started with Leviticus 8:22, man shall not lay with man..., you seem to support that part of it. But, what about Leviticus 8:13, "

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."

Would you then support the extermination of gays, because it clearly states death is the penalty.

There are also statements to support the killings and stoning of adulterers, non virgins, and children who disobey their parents. The list goes on and on.

I will have the audacity to question your faith because you have stated you are willing to do the Lord's work, which work and how do you choose which passages you will enforce and which you will not?

You do not need to look too far around the world to see what happens when strict adherence to religious teaching is used as a guide for civil law. Women are being put to death because they were raped, imprisoned for walking without the escort of a man, and whipped for showing their face.

You claim your faith should be used to create law, why? As Mire pointed out, there are 38,000 different views on Christianity alone, all believing they are as right as you are.

Religion and faith have their place and it is not in denying the rights of minorities and creating civil law. I would suspect if you looked hard enough in the Bible you might even find some passages that support protecting minority rights. It seems to me that the LDS church is operating by a double standard. Its own doctrine states that it is unjust for a church to get involved in the civil government.

D&C 134 vs 9, a key piece of mormon scripture - states: "we don not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, and citizens, denied."

I stand by my statement, this is a civil rights matter and a blatant example of discrimination.

Definition:

Discrimination:

"treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit."

From Burt on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 19:01:40

Hmmm...I thought my quote was actually one of the funniest on this thread, not scariest. While I will admit the most bloody wars in history are due to religious differences (holy wars if you will), there is absolutely nothing wrong with me standing for truth. What makes us different is exactly that - truth. If you don't believe in God, then I urge you to exercise a little faith, plant a seed, call upon his name, pray unto Him for enlightenment. Knock and it shall be opened unto you. I promise you that God exists and he is our loving Father in Heaven. If you do believe in God, I urge you to pray for enlightenment about truth; that his son Jesus Christ is our Savior, that the gospel has been restored in these days, and that there is a prophet on the Earth today.

I'm not for certain, but I think the 'putting to death' of homosexuals may have been part of the law of Moses, which law was fulfilled with the atonement of the Savior. Many of the strict Mosaic laws are no longer in practice.

From Jason McK on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 19:03:03

If discrimination is "treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit" then denying gays the right to marry would be discriminating, if for the sole fact that they are gay, we don't allow them to marry. However, they aren't being denied the right to marry, since marriage is defined (commonly) as being between and a man and a woman. They are being denied the right to change the definition of marriage for everyone to include "between a man and a man" or "between a woman and a woman".

From fly on the wall on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 19:14:24

Interracial marriage "was Illegal it was redefined by the judiciary to make it Legal..."

I agree that the current California law will change at some point in the future. Whether this will lead to war against churches and the end of days scenario presented, or will lead to churches changing as society has, only time will tell. There is precedent for such change in churches:

"Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 10, p.110, 1863

"...We have the definite word of the Lord himself that He placed a dark skin upon them as a curse -- as a sign to all others. He forbade inter-marriage with them under threat of extension of the curse (2 Nephi 5:21)..." "Now what is our policy in regard to intermarriage? As to the Negro, of course, there is only one possible answer. We must not intermarry with the Negro." Apostle Mark E. Petersen, Race Problems - As They Affect The Church, Address delivered at Brigham Young University, August 27, 1954

From Matt on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 19:23:46

Well put Jason and Burt I was about to give the same response but you beat me to it.

From Shanti on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 19:23:54

Burt, if the law of Moses is no longer in practice, then you cannot use Leviticus 8:22 either. Again, picking and choosing which passages are still relevant and which are not does not work.

Jason,

If the definition of marriage really meant just between a man and a woman you would not see constitutional amendments asking for specific language. Gays were being allowed to marry under existing law, the language has been changed to exclude them.

Kungfublonde said it best:

"Maybe you misunderstand what gay people are asking for? Simply the same right every straight American has- the right to marry the person they want to spend their life with."

From Matt on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 19:30:51

Shanti,

I am not sure of your knowledge of Christianity it appears to be rather extensive. I am also not sure why you feel the need to tell people what they can and cannot believe.

The fact remains that Christ suffered through blood atonement so the penalties under the Law of Moses would be fulfilled. The sin still remains but now we need only repent of our sins and promise to commit them no more or else we suffer to crucify Christ anew. Adultery is still wrong, so is disrespecting your parents adultery and stealing. The new law is basically summed up in the new commandments that we love God and love our fellow men. The new law is the hire law because now we are accountable for our actions and our thoughts. Peace.

From Burt on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 19:34:41

No, Shanti. It's still a sin. Sasha made reference to 2 Peter 2:6 previously. Clearly that was written after the law had been fulfilled. It's just the earthly penalty is not as harsh.

From Burt on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 19:39:11

You could make your points all day about how you think we're wrong, and then we could rebuttle with what our actual beliefs are, and it will get us no where because in your mind already we are wrong. So I urge you again; if you want to know the truth of the matter, go to the source - Heavenly Father. If you ask Him with an open heart and a willingness to follow and accept the truth, it will be made known unto you.

Sorry Rachel. I tried to quit. Honestly I did. It's just too addicting. Maybe this will be my last post.

From fly on the wall on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 19:49:03

"If you ask Him with an open heart and a willingness to follow and accept the truth, it will be made known unto you." But it seems different truths are made known to different true believers. Which truth is the true truth?

(I apologize for my blasphemy.)

With respect, Fly

From Shanti on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 20:00:33

I take offense to the statement I am telling people what they can and cant believe. Believe what you want, I have stated that throughout my argument. As a matter of record I would fight vehemently for your right to practice your faith of choice, but do not try to use only scripture you find relevant to support your argument.

I will not debate the semantics of each individual faith, it is not relevant to the argument. What is relevant is: religion should not be used to direct civil law. If you believe gay marriage to be wrong, don't engage in it. According to your faith, those who do engage in gay marriage will have to be accountable for their own actions.

I will restate D&C 134 v9:

"we do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, and citizens, denied."

Practice your faith diligently, just don't make it the law of the land, and deny other's the right to practice as they choose.

From Matt on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 20:05:13

Shanti,

You just did it again.

First you tell me I can't use Lev. and I can. Now you tell me Don't deny other's the right to practice as they choose.

From kungfublonde on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 20:16:34

I came back to correct a misrepresentation in my last post and there is all this good stuff!! I don't have time to compose a response at the moment but I probably will come back and try because now I really WANT to! Just when I think I'm tired of it, it gets all interesting again!!

Ok, Jason I think some people would still and currently still fight against gay rights simply because homosexuality is different. There are people who can't get past the fact that gay sex grosses them out. No other consideration for the human beings involved. Plenty of athiests are offended by homosexuality. It isn't just an issue of what the bible says or who Jesus loves (I prayed Burt, and the answer I got was "everybody!")

The error I came to correct was when I said 98% of the population voted against allowing blacks to vote. The correction is that 98% of the VOTING population, white men, were opposed to the change. (not to start a whole thing about "the man," just correcting a misrepresentation in my earlier statement)

I skimmed too fast. I gotta come back to this when I have time to sink my teeth into it again :)

From Shanti on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 20:17:07

You misunderstand what I am saying. Philosophically you are basing the argument on a book, the Bible, but are only taking the parts out that support what you are saying. I could take almost any book, pull out sentences that support my argument, even if the theme of the book in its entirety, is diametrically opposed to my actual argument.

From Shanti on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 20:22:33

Kungfungblonde reminded me of this quote, I found it appropriate regarding her last post:

My own belief is that there is hardly anyone whose sexual life, if it were broadcast, would not fill the world at large with surprise and horror. ~W. Somerset Maugham

From kungfublonde on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 22:03:51

Shanti, that goes back to my earlier post about how it isn't any of anyone's business. I find it incredibly strange how free some people feel to dictate the intimate lives of others. That is not public jurisdiction.

From Jason McK on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 22:21:31

In response to "If the definition of marriage really meant just between a man and a woman you would not see constitutional amendments asking for specific language. Gays were being allowed to marry under existing law, the language has been changed to exclude them."

The only reason there is any amendment to any constitution is to further explain right of the people or clarify original intents. Apparently, the founding fathers didn't even think marriage needed to be mentioned at all. I suspect that if they had mentioned it, it would have said nothing regarding gay marriage. If we now interpreted "the right to bear arms" to include firing ammunition into crowds of people and enough people thought it was OK, there would be a change to explain what "the right to bear arms" means, but that doesn't mean we had the right all along.

From Lucia on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 22:58:35

Wow, I'm glad I didn't see this discussion earlier or I wouldn't have gotten any work done this week... in any case it would've been unnecessary, Mike and Rachel are doing a much better job expressing my views on the issue than I could have!

Thank you for allowing such interesting discussions in your blog, Sasha!

From Shanti on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 00:30:36

Jason, that makes no sense. The first amendment of the constitution implies the right to and From religion. The very point being made here is that religion should not be used to create civil legislation. There have been many laws created in history to further clarify other unjust laws. They were eventually overturned by the US Supreme Court because they took rights away from people. Plessy v Ferguson stated segregation was legal, separate but equal. This was devastating legislation and the very same arguments are still being used to create a separate class. Plessy lasted sixty years before being overturned by Brown v Board of Education. You would not support a separate but equal law for anyone of color or gender, but somehow it is ok for gays. This issue will probably come before the US Supreme court and there is a very strong likelyhood the State amendments will be overturned in violation of the US constitution.

From kungfublonde on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 04:31:19

I think everything I wanted to say was already said very well.

Gay marriage wasn't actually prohibited by the constitution. Some people are working to change that so that it will be. They will have small successes, but not for long. Prop 8 is unconstitutional, and I don't see it being upheld. A year? Maybe 2?

No war is on the horizon. Gay people don't want to bring down your church, or any church. And isolated examples of crimes by angry activists no more represent the homosexual population than the crimes committed by angry people claiming religious affiliation represent their churches. Do the Christian kids who tortured and killed a boy for being gay represent Christianity?

If a group of people are denied a fundamental right because it might cause some churches some problems at some point in the future... that is unconscionable. Instead of putting so much time and energy into fighting against people who actually have nothing to do with you or your religion, why not channel that same energy into pushing for protective legislation for churches? If you truly feel the church is facing a "war" brought on by social changes, work positively to secure what you feel is at risk. You don't have to hold anybody down to do it.

Also, how are churches doing in Canada?

I think that your church and every church are safe and sound. People will always need faith, and church should be a sanctuary.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 08:41:01

Shanti - I fully agree with Maugham's quote. Unfortunately, I am in a minority in the US and western culture. Other people, particularly men, appear to differ. If not in a frequently expressed public opinion, then at least in their behavior. Such broadcasts are extremely popular and collect billions of dollars of revenue.

I find it interesting that there is not one country in recent history that has come to accepting homosexuality without accepting and embracing pornography first. Can you think of an exception? I cannot.

And if so, I find it hard, nearly impossible, to believe that the relationship is merely coincidental.

From Jason McK on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 09:52:20

If sexual preference becomes recognized as a protected class, I'll willingly submit to the idea that they deserve all rights and privileges afforded others under the constitution. And, while I don't need anything to be a protected class in order to love and appreciate all people, I don't currently hold the belief that having a sexual preference other than standard is something that needs to be afforded privileges. I believe that the ability to procreate (have sex, not just make a baby) is a God-given right, but the privilege to do so was meant for a man and a women (who are married) to use. I realize that these are my religious beliefs, but...

If man has any rights at all, they are either God-given, or given by men. The Founding fathers recognized God (what they called him is hardly relevant, though they seem to have called him "God".) If the rights are God-given, then the government of any place should be set up to protect those rights, as ours seems to do and anyone who attempts to take these away will have to answer for it (at least later.) If the rights are granted by men, then men can also take them away.

To attempt to grant any right that is not God-given, if God exists, is wrong. If God does not exist, and all rights are bestowed by men, then we really have no rights at all, but are subject to the whims of the people around us. People who attempt to do things that aren't normal (at this time, gay-marriage) are subject to peoples beliefs (religion) or practices (customs) of the majority. Anyone can argue that it's unconstitutional, but the constitution attempts to form our lives and protect others, it does not form our thoughts. And to say that anyone who doesn't think according to the constitution is wrong may seem accurate to constitutional thinkers, but to religious thinkers, the constitution is an attempt to portray religious rights, so anyone who doesn't think religiously is missing something also. You could say that this country's governing document is the constitution, but you could also say that the worlds governing body is God.

So right or wrong, sadly, right now, gay people are at the mercy of the religious or the majority.

From Shanti on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 09:59:26

I am not sure the stats support your argument regarding pornography and acceptance of homosexual behavior. The stats I could find seem to show no correlation between acceptance of homosexual behavior and heavy use of pornography. Usuage of porn is actually highest in countries which do not permit gay marriage, or even embrace homosexual behavior. I understand stats can be intrpreted in different ways, but I thought this site did a pretty good job.

http://www.editmymovies.com/pornography_statistics.html

I also find it interesting that corporations like Marriott are padding their bottom lines to the tune of millions of dollars by selling pornography. I am not just singling out Marriott, but he is a well known member of the LDS church, and is profiting from the sale of porn. It is apparently ok to profit from porn as long as you do not view it. I would like to see some ethics! If, personally you do not agree with pornograohy, your company should reflect those values.

I think porn is a terrible problem nd creates a wide array of social problems and not nearly enough is being done to limit access to consenting adults.

From Shanti on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 10:02:30

Just saw your post Jason, finally something we agree on!!!!!

"So right or wrong, sadly, right now, gay people are at the mercy of the religious or the majority."

From Jason McK on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 10:05:44

Shanti: I have to agree with your statement about reflecting your personal values in your company. People think that business is just business - it's about money. But if your beliefs are only your beliefs when you're not doing business, then they're not beliefs, they're just conveniences.

I'm curious though, how do you answer this one: If Marriott should practice what he preaches in business, should he also do the same when it comes to voting?

From Mat on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 11:00:50

I think I will play devils advocate today.

Why limit porn to consenting adults whats good for one is good for all.

From Matt on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 11:13:42

I know two sets of Brothers the first set I knew growing up they were three years apart at about the age of 24 he decided heterosexuality was wrong for him his little brother who I was friends with and attended church with had decided on this about six years prior. The decided on relations together and from what their sister has informed me of they are still together. The other set of brothers are men I have meet in adulthood. They are 42 years old and almost laughable born on April 1st. They started experimenting in adolescence. But have obviously been together for years. Anytime I bring these stories up in a group of 4 or 5 more people I hear other stories that are similar plights. I understand that both sets of brothers are excited for legal unions. Supposedly my friends from childhood are planning on moving to California.

From Shanti on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 11:14:11

Jason,

A person's vote should reflect what most closely represents their values, morally, fiscally, and politically. Not all candidates will represent everything you want.

From Lucia on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 11:53:04

Freedom of sexual preference should be accepted just like freedom of religion is. Growing up in a Catholic Argentine family, homosexuality was not accepted in my environment. I did not like or trust gay people at all in Buenos Aires, they were weird, not normal, "yucky". In 1999 I moved to San Francisco. Attending City College, I met a couple of very nice Argentine girls. Later I learned they were a lesbian couple and they were living in the U.S. illegaly: they were very well educated and could do well in Argentina if they wanted to, but they prefered to live in a city where they could be gay, even though they couldn't have good jobs or make good money and had to hide from the law than having to pretend to be heterosexual in Argentina while being better off economically. That was the turning point for me. People like me, in my country, were making these good people's lives so unbearable that they prefered to leave and live and work illegally someplace else. It's not fair.

To me it's a matter of discrimination. I'm not sure if you'll see the similarity, but when I was moving to Utah to go to school, my mom was really worried. She said "That's where all the Mormons live. You sure you want to go there? THEY'RE DANGEROUS". !!! My mom, an educated Catholic woman, was telling me that people of the Mormon religion were "dangerous" - she was discriminating against people for their religion without really knowing what she was talking about, obviously. I think she thought they'd brainwash me or something, honestly. After living in Utah for almost 3 years, I came to profoundly respect the LDS religion for their family values, commitment, sense of community, and many other things, and my mom learned a lesson through me too. Argentina is now more accepting of non-catholics and homosexuals, and a better place because of that, I believe.

In my humble opinion, adults of all religions and sexual orientations should have the same rights - marriage included...

From kungfublonde on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 11:58:56

Jason, and Shanti too, a person's vote should reflect their values- absolutely.

A person's right to choose who to marry should never be on a ballot.

From kungfublonde on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 12:04:08

Lucia-

Well said, and welcome!

So my decision to take a break from this conversation lasted... almost 10 minutes?? :)

From Bonnie on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 12:04:38

Matt - I am actually quite offended by your recent post. Yes, the scenario you present is offensive, however, to me, so is the point you are trying to make. I have tried to stay out of the religious discussion set forth, because I don't believe it is germane to the argument (though I respect your right to feel that it is). However, I do feel compelled to tell a counter "story".

I don't know of any brothers (or sisters) that decided to have a sexual or long term relationship with each other and are now for legal unions or rights to marry. But I did know a man whose first few sexual "relations" were with his sister. I have heard (and read about in the paper) about many stories of fathers who not only have sex with their daughters for long periods of time, but they also father children by them. Ergo, hetersexuals are obviously morally deviant by nature (note I am being sarcastic). I am pretty sure none of these people care one iota about legal unions. Using one set of deviate behaviors to characterize an entire population of people is simply not fair.

Christians do not have a monopoly on morality, nor do one set (sect) have the monopoly over another. In my heart I know that these messages are NOT the ones that were set forth by God or Jesus.

From kungfublonde on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 12:17:10

Are you proposing that making gay marriage legal will mean incest is also legal? There is no logic in that.

From Jason McK on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 12:49:53

According to the 10th Amendment, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." I suspect that this means that until a new amendment is proposed (which has to be ratified by 75% of the states legislatures) the supreme court won't be ruling on what the states have decided, since the constitution allows the states to decide these things.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 12:56:09

Shanti:

For some things, asking the older generation what they remember beats searching the web. Anybody 50 or older who has watched TV will tell you that the amount of sex on TV has dramatically increased in the US in the last 30 years.

As far as US porn viewing stats - until recently Quantcast did not censor their top sites listing. And when they did not, I saw a good number of sites with 4 million uniques a month with a very obvious name, audience primarily male. For a comparison, Google gets about 130 million uniques a month.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 13:13:46

Speaking of prominent and not so prominent LDS business people - I wish more of them stood up for what they believe in their business practices. No excuse to profit from the sales of what you consider immoral. The fact that one member of the Church fails to follow his beliefs, regardless how famous or rich he might be, does not make the beliefs wrong, nor does it establish the policy of the Church on what is wrong and what is right.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 13:22:46

Some of the comments have overstepped the boundaries of family safe, so I removed them.

From Matt on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 14:05:35

The two sets of brothers I tell of are very real. I know of no sisters.

Are you stating that you are against this behavior and if so what gives you the moral highground.

From Shanti on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 15:03:14

Jason,

A US constitutional amendment will not be necessary. The 10th amendment gives the right to the states to make their own law so long as it does not violate the US constitution. Prop 8, or other state amendments will be challenged in court, and the US Supreme court will rule on the legality of the amendment. It is likely you will see this issue before the US Supreme court in the next couple years.

Sasha,

I will not disagree with the fact that there is more sex on television, whether I am talking to people or pulling stats online, there is no disputing this. I would argue that there is more openness toward homosexuality, that does not mean there are actually more gay people. Most of what I can find indicate that 2-7% of the human race in gay. Those numbers seem to be consistent for very long periods of time. There was a point, not too long ago when it was not possible to talk openly about homosexuality, but times have changed and it has become acceptable.

In regards to business, I am not singling out Marriott, it was just an easy example. I believe people should conduct business in a manner that reflects their personal values, and we all know that is certainly not the case.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 15:09:48

Shanti:

So then do you agree with the essence of my point - no country has arrived at accepting homosexuality without accepting sexually explicit media first?

From Shanti on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 16:57:18

The question I pose is: when did homosexuality become an unacceptable behavior?

Homosexuality has been around a lot longer than sexually explicit mass media. In ancient Rome, homosexuality was generally accepted, with Nero, a Roman emperor, marrying a man. Greek history is filled with tolerated homosexual behavior as well as China and some Native American cultures.

I would offer this, the increase in sexually explicit media is a direct result of consumer demand. If consumers were not watching and more importantly purchasing the goods from advertisers, you would not see sexually explicit material on television. Corporations would not keep dumping money into television shows where nobody was watching, it would not generate an increase in sales.

Likewise, if you, the consumer, stopped purchasing goods from companies that advertise on shows containing material you object to, you would see a change. I would challenge you to stop purchasing any products from any company that supports sexually explicit material regardless of the type of media. Powerade is a subsidiary of Coca Cola, and they are a huge supporter of sexually explicit media. That also includes retailers that support such programming, and yes Walmart supports these programs!! It means even if you do not watch or read this media you would not purchase their products or services.

This is Capitalism, if you want to see a change, cut off the flow of money.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 17:23:25

Shanti:

For the purpose of simplicity, let's lay Rome and Greece aside and focus on the last 100 years of history. Can you think of any modern-day country that has seriously considered the possibility of gay marriage where nudity on TV is as unacceptable as it was in the US in the 70s?

From Shanti on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 18:19:09

I cannot answer the question with any certainty, I am not familiar with television history in other nations. What is the relevance?

I refer you back to my previous argument, sexually explicit media is market driven, you don't want to see it, launch a campaign against those companies sponsoring it.

From Jason McK on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 18:26:10

Shanti - you don't really want to know when homosexuality became an unaccepted behavior. You don't like religion to dictate anything, nor the majority. But in any case, since there was a majority, or a religion, homosexuality has generally been an unaccepted behavior. The fact that Nero married a man hardly proves it was generally accepted. If it were generally accepted anytime in the history of the United States, why is it suddenly an issue?

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 18:40:50

Shanti:

From your comment on television and reliance on the Internet search to learn its history, sounds like you belong to a younger generation. I would say you were born after 1980, correct?

Also, you do not talk much to the older folks about what life was like when they were younger, correct?

The relevance of the above is that to understand my argument you would need to have a feel for what it was like 30-40 years ago that is deeper than a few internet searches can produce.

From Shanti on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 18:49:56

Jason, your world history is weak at best. Religion has been around long before Christianity, just because it did not include Christ does not mean there was no religion. Ancient Greeks and Romans both had belief in higher powers, and in both societies homosexuality was an accepted part of their societies. There are even accounts of accepted homosexual behavior in ancient Egypt (they had religion too.) Some Native American cultures also accepted homosexual behavior and had strong religious societies.

You are just saying since Christianity has been around it has not been accepted, Christianity is not and has not been the only religion on earth.

You are right on one point, I do not believe any one religion should dictate civil rights or civil law. I will restate my original argument, the majority has no right to take away the rights of the minority.

From Matt on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 18:59:24

Shanti,

So you agree then the brothers are in.

From kungfublonde on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 19:04:18

Shanti brought us back to the topic with that last statement. I don't see why it keeps going off into tangent arguments. I mean, it's just not the way I argue a point- I like to stick with one thing and see it through to a logical conclusion. I know people approach things differently, though.

I think it has come full circle (a couple of times by now), as every argument against gay marriage has been addressed. And there is no conclusion in sight :)

From Matt on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 20:02:28

Rachel, I am not sure why you call it a tangent when it hits on the very heart of the matter you repeated yourself many times that you want everyone to have the opportunity to marry who they love. No matter what sex they are. If the brothers love each other are they any different and in your own words how is that any different then Mike and I. Shanti has said repeatedly that majority has no right to take away the rights of the minority. If this is truly a civil right movement on what grounds would you deny the two sets of brothers. To deny them there rights would be unconstitutional. You see philosophically it is difficult to state your reasoning but then not follow it through on the exact same logic on the exact same argument. Maybe you misunderstand what gay brothers are asking for? Simply the same right every straight American has- the right to marry the person they want to spend their life with. There is nothing special or different about what they are asking for they are the same. You don't have to like homosexuality or think it's ok for your life. I just don't think anyone has the moral or ethical right to tell another person what they can do with their heart or in their bedroom with another consenting adult. It's weird to me that anyone thinks that's their business. Really, why do you care? Seriously, It is totally none of your business. “Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual).”

I hope no one feels like I am going for the juggler because I am using your own words. It is just I follow your logic through and this is one of the many destinations I arrive out. Remember I am the one that is friends with these brothers I believe there behavior is wrong just like I believe all sin is wrong but I don’t stone them. I love them. I have helped them and served them. I love the sinner and hate the sin.

From Jason McK on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 20:46:16

Shanti - I can't argue with that, my world history is weak, at best. Nice job on Wiki though, I should have checked there before generalizing about history. But while we're at it, if history is a reason to do, or not do something, then what can be said for cannibalism and polygamy. They've each happened in the past, but nobody is arguing that we should continue those practices... Somewhere up above (a hundred posts or so ago) someone mentioned a prophet who had deviant sexual practices. If your current argument justifies homosexuality and it's acceptance, then it justifies his practice also.

From Jason McK on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 21:20:15

And if the majority has no right to take away the rights of the minority, then what's the foundation for not allowing polygamy?

Coincidentally (or not) - Polygamy is against the constitution of UTAH. The Utah Constitution mentions marriage twice - once regarding that polygamy shall never be legal, and once regarding the fact that a woman's property before marriage is still her property after marriage and isn't subject to her husband's "obligations."

From Shanti on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 21:21:54

Matt,

Incest is a seperate issue and your story should offend anyone reading it, I am actually surprised it was not the post pulled. Sex within immediate family goes beyond all acceptable lines. I do not feel you have gone for the juggler, you have a weak argument that is not supported by facts, and you will not address the basics of civil rights and stated doctrine by your own institution that prohibits intervention of church in civil policy. Comparing gay marriage to incest is detestable by any standards.

Jason,

You make poor assumptions about my sources, I will use wiki to support some arguments, but only if I can find supporting evidence from credible sources. I have based my arguments on facts that are well supported by documentation including statements from the LDS church (those were obtained through the LDS church.) I have not argued homosexuality to be sexually deviant behavior, I have argued for civil rights.

From Shanti on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 21:23:51

Jason,

Arguments were already made to discredit polygamy, I will not address them again.

From Jason McK on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 21:42:12

Shanti - You're right, you haven't argued homosexuality to be a deviant behavior but the only argument to discredit polygamy was that it was considered then and now to be deviant. If civil rights are justification for homosexuality practices, then how does that not apply to polygamy? I'm not arguing for polygamy to be justified or accepted, I just don't see how one can be a right and not the other.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 22:06:20

Shanti:

I was not offended by Matt's post at all. At least not any more than by the fact that this has become a hot political subject. The example is not pretty, but this whole subject is not pretty.

Do you get his point? The traditional argument against incest is that it runs the risk of health problems for posterity conceived this way. But the brothers do not conceive, so the traditional argument does not work. And without it there is no other argument I am aware of.

On the scale of perverseness in my book the brothers do not score any higher that if they were not related.

From Matt on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 22:15:58

wow shanti that sounds mighty pious. I glad you decided that incest homesexuailty between adults is wrong now I don't have any thinking to do for myself on the matter. anything other points I need to worrie about not touching. oh yea can you let me know inadvance when your logic is going to be hypocritical and when its not. I know youh have found the need to explain to me how to live my beliefs I am just wonder when you apply yous.

From Jason McK on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 22:34:37

Shanti - I must admit, you lost me on the offensiveness... I thought that the premise of your argument was that it didn't matter what anyone else thought, they don't get to decide what others do. In the case of brothers and brother, or brothers and sisters, if the only question is the health of the offspring, well brothers can't reproduce, and a lot of people use birth control.

However ill-conceived Matt's argument appears to be to you, it's every bit as valid as yours regarding civil rights. If incest is out because you're sickened by it, then other civil rights are out of the question also.

From montelepsy on Thu, Nov 27, 2008 at 00:15:23

How is incest a point here?

Incest violates someone else's rights. Someone ends up emotionally scarred.

People who engage in incest aren't normal. Every culture has incest taboos. There are biological, emotional and psychological consequences.

Homosexuality between consenting adults does not end up in emotional scarring.

Incestuous parents will always hurt their children. Homosexual parents will not hurt them anymore than hetrosexual parents.

If incest were on the ballot, an overwhelming vote against it would be cast, not 52 v 48, like prop 8.

The brothers in your example are not a representation of homosexuality. Homosexuals aren't incestuous, though some can be, just as hetrosexuals can be.

From Jason McK on Thu, Nov 27, 2008 at 00:21:37

Incest has more than one meaning. Most think of adults with children, but it is better defined as

incest ( ) n. Sexual relations between persons who are so closely related that their marriage is illegal or forbidden by custom.

Incest with minorities isn't the topic here. In Matt's example, it is two closely related people that would make marriage illegal, or forbidden by custom. These relationships are choices, just like homosexual relationships, entered into by choice just the same.

From montelepsy on Thu, Nov 27, 2008 at 01:14:36

When you say, "If incest is out because you're sickened by it, then other civil rights are out of the question also."

You are saying that incest is a civil right. I tried to argue that it isn't.

I'm against two gay grown consenting brothers marrying. I'm also against constenting adult brothers and sisters marrying. Ditto with mothers or fathers marrying their own grown children.

From Jason McK on Thu, Nov 27, 2008 at 13:16:21

Mont - you're doing a good job of driving Matt's point home. If people who are for allowing gays to marry because a majority has no right to deny a minority their pursuit of happiness, then why do the same people think that they can determine what a different minority can do. Just because you find incest repulsive is no reason for you to limit the rights of two consenting adults by denying them the 'right' to profess their love for one another in a civil ceremony called marriage.

From Mire on Thu, Nov 27, 2008 at 13:42:30

Jason, you defeated your own argument by defining incest:

incest ( ) n. Sexual relations between persons who are so closely related that their marriage is illegal or forbidden by custom.

The law forbids two people closely related to be married. You might want o actually try thinking before posting.

From Cheryl on Thu, Nov 27, 2008 at 13:55:01

Mire--The law right now forbids two people of the same sex from being married. That is besides the point. I thought the point here was to defend gay marriages. I think those against gay marriages are saying if you allow them, then what is to keep you from allowing two brothers to marry, five people from marrying each other or any group of people from marrying any other group. If you start opening it to one group, how can you keep it from any group who wants to marry? What's the standard? Right now the standard is that two people who can potentially reproduce and keep the species going can marry--the state has an interest in protecting that relationship. What's the standard if we start allowing gay marriage? And let's keep the snide comments out, it doesn't help the discussion.

From Jason McK on Thu, Nov 27, 2008 at 14:05:53

Mire - nice try. This discussion is about laws and rights. As long as we are attempting to define laws that give rights, then we are attempting to modify the laws. That means that if the law were to change, what we currently consider incest would no longer be incest - even though it would still offend people.

From montelepsy on Thu, Nov 27, 2008 at 15:54:48

Jason,

Incest is not a civil right because it has victims, so you cannot compare it to homosexuality. Incest is a crime. Homosexuality is not. That's my point.

Allowing gay marriage won't lead to incestuous marriage, just like interracial marriage did not, because they are not related to incest.

I'm sure opponents of interracial marriage had the same arguments, but after 40 years the world hasn't ended nor has incest run rampant.

The issue remains, why should we deny the rights of homosexuals to marry.

Cheryl,

If procreation is the standard for marriage, should married couples who cannot produce children be separated? Should we say no to people past the age of fertility from exchanging vows?

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Nov 27, 2008 at 18:08:35

Montelepsy - in the brothers' example, who would be the victims?

From Cheryl on Thu, Nov 27, 2008 at 20:02:56

Montelepsy--the state defines marriage as between a man and a woman because of the potential of offspring--in every single case there won't be offspring, but the state isn't going to look into every single case, that would get ridiculous. What is the state's interest in protecting homosexual marriage? How does homosexual marriage benefit the species? And remember, any argument you make for homosexual marriage, any other group (polygamists particularly) could make the same argument, so how do we keep from opening the floodgates once gay marriage is legalized? Will somebody please answer that question: once gay marriage is legalized, what is to keep every other form of relationship from being legalized and defined as "marriage?"

From Jason McK on Fri, Nov 28, 2008 at 01:17:40

Montelepsy,

I gave the definition of incest to point out that it is the law and custom that show that most people think it is wrong. I agree that it is wrong and in many cases has a victim. Another point in giving the definition was to point out that when someone uses the word, they don't necessarily mean an adult with a minor, but relatives, meaning no victim. I have no intention of proving that homosexuality is related, by cause or effect, to incest. But if two consenting gay adults want to be married, and those for gay marriage say that being gay shouldn't disqualify them to the rights, then two consenting adults should be able to be married, straight, gay, bi, old, middle-aged, male, female, brother, sister, mother, father... None of these matter. But incest is repulsive to you, so you say "no way." Sounds hypocritical, doesn't it?

From Montelepsy on Fri, Nov 28, 2008 at 08:46:32

Sasha,

I don't see a victim in that case, unless you take into account the issues they have to get them to that point. Let's appeal to your logic unit. Is the case of sibling-sibling marriage numerically significant to contribute to this issue? It's too far-reaching in my book.

Cheryl,

Why should marriage be about furthering the humuan species?

If that's the concern, letting gays marry would not stunt that, because there are plenty of non-married people having children. If gays weren't married, they wouldn't be producing children together anyway. So I don't see that as a strong argument to deny our neighbors same-sex marriages.

Contributing to society is another matter. Rather than just producing children, gay couples can adopt and raise them. Psychological studies have shown it's love and parental involvement not parental gender that contributes to a stable childhood.

Fortune 500 companies realize the benefit of recognizing same sex partnerships, in terms of attracting and retaining talent. Happy employees are good employees. The same can be said for citizens.

As far as polygamy, bestiality and incest, we can hypothesize until we're blue in the face. Why don't we make it easy and look at at a test case. What has happened to countries that do allow gays to marry. The Netherlands (2001) and Belgium (2002), for example. They don't have a problem with the above. It's a slippery slope argument.

Letting women and blacks vote did not open the floodgates to letting animals vote.

Jason,

What is hypocritical about supporting a gay couple and not supporting a incestuous couple?

In your case, just because you support hetrosexual marriage does not mean you are a hypocrite for not supporting hetrosexual incestuous marriage between a father and daughter.

I'm not for murderers, or molesters getting married, but they are still allowed to. Let's team up and go after them instead.

Bottom line:

Your vote for gay marriage doesn't mean you have to participate in one. It means someone else who has found their soulmate does.

Let God be the judge and turn folks into pillars of salt when the time comes. In the meantime, love thy neighbor. Even if your neighbor's gay.

From montelepsy on Fri, Nov 28, 2008 at 08:53:11

Please find it in your hearts to forgive the typos and lack of appropriate punctuation.

From Jason McK on Fri, Nov 28, 2008 at 11:14:28

Mont,

What is hypocritical about supporting gay marriage is that if your basis for allowing it includes the following reasons:

It doesn't affect anyone else.

The majority can't limit the rights of the minority.

Marriage is a civil right (pursuit of happiness.)

Then why do you think that right doesn't apply to everyone, equally. If you don't allow the right to apply to all people for the same reasons, that's hypocritical.

In my case, I don't think that marriage is a 'right' given by the constitution. Each state has set up their own laws to govern it. The laws have been dictated by the majority since the founding of the USA. True, it was set up to protect the right of all, but decency has always been determined by the majority. Our culture values and protects children. If it didn't, then we wouldn't have laws to protect them. Our culture has typically frowned upon: homosexuality, polygomy, prostitution, bestiality, pornography, adultery/fornications, etc. Since the majority didn't/doesn't find these things OK, there are laws against them. Times have changed, and there are many laws on the books that aren't enforced, but in many states, adultery is still illegal, as is homosexuality. But the public, in protecting their offspring does apply standards, morals, rules of conduct, and decency to law.

From Cheryl on Fri, Nov 28, 2008 at 12:02:55

I'm all for loving my neighbor, no matter who or what he or she is. This isn't about that. This issue is: what relationships should the government promote and foster? Taking out all moral and religious issues, if you're setting up a society, what is the best relationship for the betterment of society? I think everyone would agree that the ideal situation is a man and woman in a relationship. Why? Because that is the only relationship where the human race can continue on. Even if only 50% of heterosexual couples reproduce, that's still much better than 0% of gay couples that can reproduce. Gay relationships might be ok and almost on par with heterosexual relationships, but they are not "ideal," and because they can't keep the human race going, they are not on par and equal to heterosexual relationships. Does anyone disagree with that?

Also, in our ideal society, where is it better for a child to be raised? All things being equal, you have a man and woman who love each other and are committed to each other and are both good people, and then you have two men or two women who love each other and are committed to each other and are good people, in which of those is it better for a child to be raised? I think even the most liberal, open-minded person has to agree that all things being equal, it is better for a child to be raised by both a man and a woman. It might be ok and even great to be raised by two men or two women, but it is better (in the ideal situation) for that child to be raised by a man and woman. Therefore, the government is looking to protect the most ideal situation for a society, which has to be heterosexual marriage. Gays can be protected in other ways, but to demand that they be given the exact same protection and promotion in a society as heterosexual relationships seems wrong to me because the two institutions are not equal. One can keep the species going, one is better for children, therefore it has to be given more protection. This seems only common sense to me. Am I missing something?

If you disagree with me on the issue of where is it better for children to be raised, I want to know if anyone on this blog, if you had an unwanted pregnancy and had a female baby, would you be just as willing to adopt it out to a two men to raise it as you would a man and a woman to raise it, if all things are equal--the two parties love each other just as much and they are all good, moral people. Can anyone honestly say it would be just as healthy and good for that female baby to be raised by two men as it would to be raised by a man and a woman? It might be almost just as good to be raised by two men, but it isn't as good. That is why in my opinion heterosexual relationships must be given more protection than gay relationships and should be the only relationship where the word "marriage" is attached.

From habeebe on Fri, Nov 28, 2008 at 17:06:09

You do not need to fear same gender relationships. We share the same love, commitment and companionship that heterosexual relationships share. We have a lot more in common than you think.

You need not be afraid.. Fear leads to hate and violence.

You also need not fear to allow women into the priesthood. Open your hearts and your minds and love truly love equally.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Nov 28, 2008 at 17:31:22

Our church is a church of God. We do not decide who we give the priesthood to, God does. If men started to decide such issues, we would not have a church. Period.

Thus, we do not take back-seat driver advice on what we should or should not do. God speaks through his prophet. We hear the message. We pray about it and find out for ourselves if the prophet indeed speaks for God. Then we sustain him and follow his guidance. This is not something open to debate.

The above is a fundamental principle of our church. It is very foreign to somebody raised in the Western culture of democratic government, but it is a true principle, as we are committed to it as a church, and as individuals.

From Cheryl on Fri, Nov 28, 2008 at 18:08:00

Habeebe--this is the same tired argument we hear a lot--if we disagree with you, it is because of fear or hate. Fear and hate have nothing to do with it. If you're going to respond, how about explaining how gay marriages are just as good for society as heterosexual marriages. Not almost as good, but equally beneficial. I would like to hear those arguments.

From Matt on Fri, Nov 28, 2008 at 18:51:13

Montelepsy,

If people aren't going to forgive for typos and punctuation I was screwed a long time ago. I wish we could all be as eloquent as Sasha and Lucia. I think my last post was so riddled with typos and left out words that it makes hardly any sense at all. By the way Shanti I should probably apologize for my tone in the text. I hope you will find it in your heart to forgive me if I offended you. Writing on my Palm in a room full of people didn't help my debate experience in high school and college was always in spoken form.

From Krishnimarti on Fri, Nov 28, 2008 at 20:50:18

Cheryl,

Heterosexual marriages end in divorce over 50% of the time, tell me how that benefits society. Children are almost always the ones who suffer in failed marriages leading to a number of social disorders. I agree with Habeebee, fear is what creates hate and intolerance. Giving equal access, for two loving consenting non-related couples, to the same state and federal protections of the institute of marriage harms no one.

Who are you to say gay marriage are not"ideal," gay couples can adopt or use invitro to produce children. There is absolutely no evidence to support heterosexual couples are better for children, children need a loving secure environment to thrive. I can tell you honestly I would give my baby to a gay couple long before I would give her to many heterosexual couples, I have no fear of how she would be raised. Your argument is based on feeling and emotion, you have presented nothing to support denying civil rights. You cannot make the argument gay couples make worse parents, you have no evidence to support that statement. The government has more reasons to support marriage than just the continuation of species. There are 1409 federal rights provided by the institution of marriage, most of which have nothing to do with procreation.

From kungfublonde on Fri, Nov 28, 2008 at 21:35:54

Wow, I haven't been back since my last post. It's all over the place again. The topic I addressed was gay marriage. All the other topics have nothing to do with it.

I see it was brought back around to the slippery slope argument again. If you allow gay marriage, here is a laundry list of all kinds of horrible things that can happen. Therefore, their right is denied. That is one of the worst reasons to deny a civil right. In America, we deal with people's rights on a case by case basis. Gay marriage will be legal. If another group tries to use that as an "in" for the right to marry as well, then so be it. We'll deal with that for exactly what it is: a different issue. Lumping it all together isn't realistic and it's not how our legal system works.

Matt, how did you "go for the jugular" exactly? Cut and pasting my sound arguments and then applying them to a different issue... I'm not sure what your point was. Those were still good points made in support of gay marriage. You didn't refute a single one. If you would like to have another discussion on another topic, email me again.

If you love the sinner but not the sin, exactly how do you love the sinner? With oppression? I agree, you don't have to like or participate in the sin (I support gay rights but do not participate in homosexuality). But is it your job to interfere in their lives?

I have never argued with any of your faith-based reasons or attacked your religion. But as I stated, that leaves us at an impasse. You seem determined to prove us wrong. All you can do is prove us different.

Cheryl, it is my belief that marriage between two people who love each other and want to commit their lives to each other offers the same to society whether it is heterosexual or homosexual. Everyone does not agree that heterosexual marriage is best. I am a heterosexual, married woman with children, and not the most liberal person. But I disagree with all the points you said you are sure everyone would agree with. I know a lot of gay and straight people. There are straight couples I won't even let babysit for me. I know two gay couples specifically who would and do make better parents than many straight people I know. One of those couples has two adopted children, and they have a solid, wholesome family that sets the bar high for other families.

It's what's in your heart that makes the person, Not the gender of the person you are intimate with.

Churches marry elderly people, and obviously that's not for procreation. What for then? Is it enough for them to marry for love, for companionship, for friendship, for happiness? Or do you only need those things if you are straight?

From kungfublonde on Fri, Nov 28, 2008 at 21:48:13

Mike, I just read your last post. I liked it. And not just because I am totally in love with you :)

Also (everyone else), I want to clarify that I am not trying to come across with an angry or attacking tone. That can be misinterpreted in text, and I know I am blunt. I hope you understand that is not the tone I intend to convey.

From Krishnimarti on Fri, Nov 28, 2008 at 22:55:17

I would ask you this, what is more destructive to the family unit, divorce or gay marriage?

Divorce is considered to be one of the most destructive elements to the family unit, and the divorce rate is right around 50%. Think about this, in the state of Utah alone, there were almost 9000 divorces last year, 55,000 in New York. Unfortunately California's divorce numbers are not available, but you could argue that it probably somewhere between 70 and 100 thousand.

Gay marriage would at most make up 2% of all marriages (data complied from other nations who allow gay marriage). That means of the 22,000 marriages performed in Utah last year, 440 would be gay. Contrast that with 9000 divorces, what has the most potential for damage to the family. In California, there have only been 18,000 gay marriages performed, contrast that with nearly 100,000 divorces.

If want to argue that marriage is the foundation of society, I would think far greater resources would be devoted to educating couples on how to have a successful long term relationship. Marriage licenses would only be granted after both parties fully understand the magnitude of their commitment and the consequences of failure.

I stand by my earlier convictions, marriage is a right between two consenting unrelated adults, but education on the consequences of divorce seems to a better use of resources. Just food for thought!

From Cheryl on Sat, Nov 29, 2008 at 00:56:45

Kungfublonde--Just answer this question: if you had a female baby and needed to adopt it out for whatever reason, and if there were a heterosexual couple that was strong, moral, firmly committed, and a gay male couple who was strong, moral, firmly committed, who would you want most to adopt that child? Is there any reputable child development expert anywhere that would say the gay couple would be just as good as the heterosexual couple? I highly doubt that. Show me one who says both are equal and just as good for the health and development of the child. No matter how loving and good the gay couple is, most child development experts I've read say for optimal development, a child needs both a mother and father. Do you believe that two fathers or two mothers are just as good? If so, please tell me why. I would really be curious to know your reasoning. And please don't use the "I know bad heterosexual people and great gay people" argument. The way I've set it up, both couples are equal in character. (And by the way, I know gay couples who I wouldn't want anywhere near my children. Despite that, in my opinion that is not a good argument for or against gay marriage. You can always find good and bad people in whatever group you look at.)

From Matt on Sat, Nov 29, 2008 at 01:02:01

First do Krishinmarti or Habeebe run? It seems like we have more people blog on this topic who have no running blog then just about any topic I have ever seen before. Not that there is anything wrong with that I am just curious.

I am starting to feel over and over that the topic is at in impasse. One side says it is constitutional and another side says it is not. One group claims it is a civil right and the other side says it is not. One Group talks about failed marriages and the other group talks about the failed institution of homosexuality. One group points out that there are weird heterosexuals and the other side feels homosexuality is equally abhorrent. In my example of the brothers Sasha asked who the victims were and I am still curious because if it is the individual or the society it would seem that the victims are the same for homosexuality that really was the point and yes the brothers are real. The fact is I respect them as much as I respect all my homosexual friends and my adulterous friends. I find all those acts and a few more equally abhorrent and although I might continue to associate with them because I love them I do not endorse any of the conduct. I can also say they do not garner the same respect that many of my other friends do but I don’t hate them, I love them. I might hate the act but I love all people.

Also the recent question that Cheryl posed is a very good one and if all things being equal if you choose a homosexual couple over a heterosexual couple to raise your child or any child that only goes to show that you have a homosexual agenda. That is not to say that a homosexual couple might not do a better job then a particular heterosexual couple they key point is all other factors being equal. To answer the question what is better for the family unit divorce or homosexual marriage the answer is quite simple, NEITHER.

From Cheryl on Sat, Nov 29, 2008 at 01:07:00

Krishnimarti--I would ask you the same question: show me one reputable child development expert who says two fathers or two mothers is just as good as a mother and father for raising a child. I don't care how loving and great the gay couple is, just by the nature of the beast, they cannot give everything a heterosexual couple can give. They can't give the child the experience of being brought up by both a male and female. And I think that is very important in the development of a child. Or maybe the creator got it wrong, maybe we don't need two sexes, since according to some there is no difference.

From kungfublonde on Sat, Nov 29, 2008 at 03:19:32

Cheryl, you speak in broad, over-sweeping generals. First you bet there was no person like me who would disagree with you. But there is me. And there are millions like me. Now it's, "find one single reputable child development expert..." Cheryl, there are countless child development experts who would disagree with you. I know one personally; she taught child development at a university here and recently moved to Ohio to teach it and do counseling there. She's not the only one.

You say not to use the example of knowing specific good people, when it directly and specifically addresses your question. Your claim is that having one male and one female parent in the home is an ideal environment. No matter the man or the woman, it is just inherently better. Simply having a male and female parent present does NOT make it a wholesome or healthy or nurturing environment.

I have two daughters. If something were to happen to me and Mike, I would trust Barry and Paul to raise my girls to be the amazing, strong women they are on the path to becoming. I have every confidence they would continue to excel academically and athletically, and would be raised to be good Christians with loving hearts. Just like Mike and I are raising them.

But yet again we digress. The issue is gay marriage. Not gay parenting. They are not synonymous. Gay couples are already raising children together. You will not stop gay parenting by refusing to allow those families to have married parents.

From Jason McK on Sat, Nov 29, 2008 at 09:51:35

I want to know why those debating for gay marriage have now thrown "unrelated" into the mix.

In the beginning it was "Marriage should be between two people that love each other" and those for gay marriage have done fairly well at showing that there is nothing reasonable to stop gay marriage except peoples beliefs, which shouldn't matter. If that is the case, then why are you now throwing in the word 'unrelated'? If beliefs shouldn't matter, then why do they when they're your beliefs? And if your beliefs matter when it comes to related individuals matter, why don't my beliefs matter when it comes to gay marriage?

As far as the health of the child argument goes...I know of know law that prohibits any two people from procreating, regardless of the disease or genetic defect that they may pass to their child. So, other than your beliefs, what is the reasoning behind denying related people from being married?

Kunkfu said "If you allow gay marriage, here is a laundry list of all kinds of horrible things that can happen. Therefore, their right is denied. That is one of the worst reasons to deny a civil right. In America, we deal with people's rights on a case by case basis. Gay marriage will be legal. If another group tries to use that as an "in" for the right to marry as well, then so be it. We'll deal with that for exactly what it is: a different issue. Lumping it all together isn't realistic and it's not how our legal system works."

This is a sort of truth and it case by case that the foundation is built for the next debate. That is exactly the point of the argument. In reality, rights are granted in sweeping wholes. All religions, races, ages, etc are protected, not just some religions, races... If sexual orientation becomes a protected class, then how are you going to define orientation? Is it only male/female? Or will it be unrelated male/female? Or older than 18 male/female?

I don't think that anyone falls in love with their cousin because it's their cousin, anymore than anyone else falls in love with a man or woman just because they are a man or woman. They fall in love with whoever they fall in love with, just like homosexuals and heterosexuals. What is the basis for denying them the right to marry?

From kungfublonde on Sat, Nov 29, 2008 at 14:07:58

Jason, I have said over and over on this blog that your beliefs DO matter and I won't argue with them. I have never attacked or questioned faith-based reasoning. It's the logic I've debated.

There are issues that have to do with gay marriage, and issues that don't. Incest isn't one of them. There is no logic flow or reasoning that takes you from marriage to incest. The reason that line or discussion is completely pointless is because it only serves as a distraction here and because it isn't relevant in the real world right now. It isn't on my ballot. I don't know of millions of incestuous couples who are rallying for their rights. In fact I have never in my life known or heard of anyone who practices incest. It's a waste of time (to me) to play the "what if" game for things that are so far fetched.

Back to the slippery slope once again, things don't spiral wildly out of control when a civil right is granted. There is not mass confusion and mayhem.

it sounds like we agree on a lot, overall, Jason. if our only difference is from a religious standpoint, then let's just respectfully shake hands and walk away. :)

From Cheryl on Sat, Nov 29, 2008 at 14:47:05

Kungfu: First of all, I never said any man and woman raising a child is better than any gay couple. I would much rather have a decent gay couple raise my children than Charles Manson and one of his women. My question was directly if you had a choice, all things being equal, the love is the same, the character is the same, would you choose a heterosexual couple or a gay couple to raise your newborn that you needed to put up for adoption. You seem unwilling to answer that question directly. Maybe your unwillingness to answer directly tells me the answer.

In any event, I've stated my piece. If we can't even agree that it is better for children to be raised by a man and a woman than two men or two women, everything else being equal, than we are so far apart that it seems useless to continue the discussion. We need to agree to disagree. I am all for civil rights and everyone being treated decently. I don't agree with anyone being treated poorly or with fear or hate or whatever you want to call it. I just don't agree that a gay relationship and heterosexual relationship are absolutely the same and need to be promoted and encouraged equally in our society. Fortunately, I feel most people still agree with that. If you want to open marriage up to gays based on their love for each other, then it seems to me you must open it up to anyone who claims to love any other person or persons. What makes gays any more special than polygamists? I guess in the future anything could be called a marriage as long as love is involved. If that's the society you want, so be it. I'm done and now it's back to the one thing that will always bring happiness and love, running!!

From kungfublonde on Sat, Nov 29, 2008 at 18:32:04

Cheryl, I'm cracking up. Not answer it directly? I named the gay men I would let raise my own two daughters! That's as direct as it gets. ALL things being equal, (maybe that's the part I was clear enough about), I don't feel a hetero couple has an edge, no.

You brought up things that were addressed much earlier in the blog, so I stick with all my same responses that still apply.

And again, I agreed to disagree quite a while ago. I like the part where we agree best.

From Cheryl on Sat, Nov 29, 2008 at 20:15:09

Kungfublonde: I just have to make sure I understand. If something were to happen to you and your husband, and your choice to raise your girls was Barry and Paul or a hypothetical heterosexual couple we'll call Joe and Mary, who you like just as much as Barry and Paul, who you think are just as good as the men, who would you choose to raise your girls? Would you flip a coin? How would you decide? Do your girls benefit from both a male and female perspective in your marriage, or are two male perspectives just as good? Does your "femaleness" add anything to your girls' lives? Do you feel they even need a mother? Are two men just as good? In other words, can you be replaced by a man and things would be just as good for your girls? Just wondering.

If your answers to all this is still that the men would be just as good as the other couple, please explain to me why whoever created life made two different sexes who are different in some significant ways if it doesn't really matter who raises kids. Is there a reason life can only be created by a male and female, not two males or two females, or is all of that irrelevant? Kids are just as healthy with whatever combination of sexes raises them. I wonder then why the creator didn't just make us all unisex if that is the case. I guess it's just one of those grand mysteries of the universe.

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Nov 29, 2008 at 21:06:34

I feel the need to address the issue as to why 50% of marriages end in divorce. 40 years ago it was not the case. What happened since?

In once sentence - we used to have a culture centered around responsibilities, and now the focus has shifted to rights. As this mentality is projected into marriage, people put their own right to satisfaction above their duty to their children and society.

Some food for thought - can anybody find a culture that accepts same-gender marriage that has stable traditional marriages going in parallel?

Regarding the argument that nothing bad has yet happened in Netherlands. Just be patient, it will. The Russians rejected God in 1917. Some reaped the fruit around 1937. But they were still strong enough to win the war. They won the space race. Their Generation X did not fully form until around 1970. And then it all collapsed, and they are still collecting the pieces. Trouble takes time to ripen up.

From Burt on Sat, Nov 29, 2008 at 21:38:40

Rachel - Barry and Paul are real people??? Hahahahahaha. Now I'm cracking up. I was wondering why you didn't use the typical hypothetical gay couple of Adam and Steve.

And Sasha - I couldn't agree more. History is doomed to repeat itself. Contrary to popular belief that some of the stories of the old testament are myth; Sodom and Gomorrah were very real. It may be a while, but we'll see the consequences. (And lucky for us we'll have this wonderful record to look back on so someone can say, "See? I told you so.")

From Krishnimarti on Sat, Nov 29, 2008 at 21:57:42

Actually divorce rates are at there lowest level since 1970. The higher the education of women, the lower the divorce rate. Countries that allow gay marriage have a lower divorce rate than the the US, have not seen an increase in divorce, and are seeing higher rates of heterosexual marriages.

From Krishnimarti on Sat, Nov 29, 2008 at 22:03:47

Just one more note, Russia, who you claim has not found God, has a lower rate of divorce than the US.

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Nov 29, 2008 at 22:26:44

Krishnimarti - if a Google search brings up a page that says the sky is pink, take a look at the sky before you believe it, or at least ask somebody who can tell colors. I am from Russia, I lived there for the first 19 years of my life, I still talk to people who are there. I am fluent in the language, and unlike some "experts" I can actually read the Russian media and get a feel of the situation. I have an idea of what I am talking about. As unstable as American marriages are, Russian are much worse.

I will ask somebody who runs in the master's division and is old enough to remember to address the subject of divorce trends in the US in the last 40 years.

From Krishnimarti on Sat, Nov 29, 2008 at 22:45:14

The stats are available in many different places, you can go to various government sites, commercial sites, or even academia sites.

I am just addressing the issues you bring up with logical, fact, and data supported information. I am completely open to new data and facts.

You make poor assumptions about the people you write to, you have no demographic data on who I am or what demographics I have access to. You say you base your arguments of facts, yet you need to talk to people to get the "feel" for how things were, I am just basing my arguments on the facts and data that support it, not feeling.

From Matt on Sun, Nov 30, 2008 at 02:19:46

Krishnimarti,

I found a little different data. US divorce rates are lower then Russia by a nominal amount. That be said divorce rates are coming down almost everywhere. When people quote the 50% divorce rate it simply isn't trueanymore. I am sure education is part of the reason but I think the biggest reason is because abortion is legal. Sounds crazy coming from a pro lifer but lots of time good results come from terrible things and as Sasha points out sometimes it takes generations to realize the results.

From Cheryl on Sun, Nov 30, 2008 at 09:41:52

Yes, it doesn't seem to me that people have totally thought thru the reprecussions of pushing for legalization of gay marriage. It sounds good to say you are tolerant and for the civil rights of others. But where do those supposed "rights" lead? Once gay marriage is legalized and is totally equal with heterosexual marriages, what is next? Of course, then gay couples are going to want to adopt. What are we going to say, no, they can't adopt? That wouldn't be full equality with straight marriages, so of course they are going to be allowed to adopt. I can see a situation where an adoption agency will be required, for every infant they adopt out to a heterosexual couple, they must adopt one to a gay couple. So a large number of infants will be placed in homes where they either don't have a mother or a father. Does that sound in the best interest of children, depriving them of mothers or fathers? Can you imagine placing a female child in a home with two males, depriving her of having a mother? Or depriving a male of having a father? Or depriving either sex of having both a mother and a father. I don't know about you, but I agree with the line in Peter Pan, "Every child needs a mother," and by extension, every child needs a father also. It doesn't always happen and children are raised in all sorts of environments, but the best, in my opinion, is for all children to have a mother and father. I can see the legalization of gay marriage threatening that situation.

And despite what others say, I agree with Sasha, Burt and Matt, down the road, if gay marriages are legalized, just wait to see what other relationships based on "love" get legalized. Think thru the total reprecussions and I don't think the legalization of gay marriages is such a great thing. Civil unions will give gays all the civil rights they need but will prevent some of the negative effects. Push for that instead.

From Sasha Pachev on Sun, Nov 30, 2008 at 11:30:09

To end the "US marriage stability due to education improvement" sky-is-pink nonsense:

http://www.bsos.umd.edu/socy/vanneman/socy441/trends/divorce.html

http://www.bsos.umd.edu/socy/vanneman/socy441/trends/marriage.html

http://www.bsos.umd.edu/socy/vanneman/socy441/trends/femhh.html

http://www.bsos.umd.edu/socy/vanneman/socy441/trends/fertunm.html

Compared to 1970 the marriage rate is drastically down, divorce rate is drastically up, out-of-wedlock births are drastically up, and single-parent households are drastically up.

Have not bothered to look up the stats on Russia, but a word of caution on those - you have to be very careful to make sure they represent what is really going on. E.g during the Soviet era couples would frequently split up without getting a legal divorce, so they never would should up in the stats.

From kungfublonde on Sun, Nov 30, 2008 at 12:00:52

Um, Cheryl? Gay people (couples and single) already adopt and have been doing so for years. Working in an adoption agency and having an adoptions social worker in my immediate family keeps me pretty well informed on that subject.

Also, you refuse to hear my points. I have addressed everything you have said. Of course I would choose the real people I know very well and respect over a hypothetical couple. Where did the coin toss come in? How is that random? I would choose them because they are good people who I think would do an exceptional job.

The creator made two people to create people. Where it goes from there is not set in stone. You present you scenario like there is a loving, wholesome married couple waiting for every available child. There isn't. Not even close. And not every child is adopted at birth. There are literally millions of children orphaned in foster care. You'd rather keep them there than let a loving home take them in just because the parents would be gay? Very often that is the only option, and there are so many agencies that turn gay adoptive parents away and let those children be shuffled from foster home to foster home instead. THIS is not hypothetical.

Burt, yeah, they're real. The fiesta isn't though :)

Sasha, that data is almost 10 years old. And what country is it representing? I'm not arguing your point, I think your claims are reasonable about which rates are up and down. Sheer number of the population growth alone would lend itself to that trend (but would obviously not be the sole cause). I just think there has to be better data to support it.

From Cheryl on Sun, Nov 30, 2008 at 16:47:18

Kungfublonde--You just won't answer my questions directly, but that's ok, whatever. I see your beautiful girls on your website and from what you say they are very accomplished and wonderful. I'm sure your mothering had a lot to do with that. I don't think if it really came down to it, if you had the choice of giving an infant girl child to a heterosexual couple or a gay male couple, all things being equal (remember that part), I don't believe you would deprive that child of a mother.

It's infant adoptions I would object to for gay couples if there's a willing and able heterosexual couple who would take them in, because I believe all children, if possible, should be raised by a mother and father. Difficult to adopt children is a different story.

From Mire on Sun, Nov 30, 2008 at 22:59:30

Cheryl-what are you talking about Kungfublonde has answered your questions directly. And how can you be sure her "mothering" is responsible for her wonderful children. I would say from her posts, it's her incredible bubbly personality! I don't know her, but it seems her beautiful heart and soul burst through every word of every post! She is an amazingly bright, thoughtful, extremely intelligent person, with an incredible zest for life. Her children are amazing because she is a very caring, loving, committed, strong, present parent who obviously loves her children.

Cheryl gender does not matter! Study after study shows, it's strong, committed, loving, caring parents that children need.. It's the personalities of the parents, not the gender.

In fact if we as a society care about kids--real kids, not just rhetorical children used as a weapon in a culture war--then we have to acknowledge same sex couples do have children and those children, as it follows have gay parents Those kids, too, deserve protection and security. It simply makes no sense to, on the one hand say, “We care about children,” and then on the other hand punish some kids for having the “wrong parents,” by denying their families marriage, and it's many benefits.

From Shanti on Sun, Nov 30, 2008 at 23:05:46

We are rolling off the central issue of gay marriage, civil rights. There is nothing to support gay marriage will increase the rate of divorce or threaten traditional marriage in anyway. The idea that gay marriage creates a separate protected class is just not the case. Gay couple are asking to become members of the protected class you belong to, one they are currently excluded from.

Matt,

The number of abortions performed in this country are actually declining, that would not support a direct correlation in divorce rates. Abortion rates, according to the CDC, have been declining for the last 20 years.

Seems to me this issue is more about money. If gay marriage becomes legal, churches will be forced to perform these unions or face charges of discrimination. Denying the marriage will open churches up to suit, and they will lose. It is no different then a church denying a black couple or interracial couple the right to marriage. How to solve the problem?

Create civil unions for straight and gay couples. Marriage becomes an institution of religious institutions without a tie to civil law. If marriages are no longer tied to civil law, churches can then perform marriages based on their own criteria without violating civil rights.

From Cheryl on Sun, Nov 30, 2008 at 23:59:56

Mire--We have a fundamental disagreement. You say gender does not matter. I say it does. Why did God make two sexes if gender doesn't matter? He could have made one sex if he didn't think it was important for the offspring to be raised by both a male and female. You know, with God, anything is possible. I think there is a reason He made two sexes. So I think gender fundamentally matters.

Males and females bring different things that are important to a child's development. No matter how loving a man is, he is not a woman, so how can two gay men who are raising a female child totally relate to her issues? They might relate pretty well, but I still say a mother would relate better. And a mother and a father working together would relate the best.

I will agree with you that gay couples can make wonderful, loving parents. But two fathers or two mothers, no matter how loving they are, in my opinion, do not equal having both a loving mother and father in a child's life.

I'd bet that if you were to take a poll of children and ask them which of these environments they would most like to be brought up in: two fathers, two mothers, or a mother and a father--that the mother and father would win by a landslide.

And I support civil unions that will give gay couples and their children all the rights and protections they need. But I can't agree to legalizing gay marriages and saying they are totally equal to heterosexual marriages, because I think that can have some very negative consequences. See my prior posts for my thoughts on that.

Sasha, thank you for letting us "hijack" your blog to discuss these very interesting issues.

From Shanti on Mon, Dec 01, 2008 at 00:14:09

Cheryl,

Exactly which of the 1409 rights afforded heterosexual couples would you exclude for gay couples?

Keep in mind gay couples can legally adopt children already.

From air darkhorse on Mon, Dec 01, 2008 at 00:54:41

Good point Cheryl, Maybe you can lay this to rest so we can get back to what this blog was meant for. Then again maybe not.. People like Shanti obviously have nothing better to do than to stir up contention.

From Cheryl on Mon, Dec 01, 2008 at 01:06:51

Shanti--Please list the 1409 rights afforded heterosexual couples and I will be able to answer that question.

I believe adoption laws are on a state by state basis. I know some states do not allow it. So to say gay couples can legally adopt children already is not totally accurate. I need to read the adoption laws before I can answer your question. Please tell me in which states it is legal and in which states it is not legal, and then I can address that issue more fully.

From Cheryl on Mon, Dec 01, 2008 at 01:19:34

Yeah, Steve, it's going to take me a long time to read all the 1409 rights afforded heterosexual couples, plus all the adoption laws, so I'll be so busy studying I won't be able to post anymore. I'm sure everyone will be glad for that.

By the way, I don't mind discussing this, but I worry it may be wearisome to Sasha and others, so if anybody wants to come to my blog and continue the discussion, feel free.

From Shanti on Mon, Dec 01, 2008 at 01:27:53

Marriage rights:

http://www.gao.gov/archive/1997/og97016.pdf

I found a couple sites with brief descriptions of gay adoption laws, this was simple to read.

http://gaylife.about.com/od/gayparentingadoption/a/gaycoupleadopt.htm

Air Darkhorse

Glad to see you back in the discussion, any thoughts you would like to add on this issue?

By the way, I only take time to "stir up contention" when issues like discrimination and subjugation are used to create law.

From kobyhud on Mon, Dec 01, 2008 at 01:34:39

Woohoo! My first post on a controversial issue on this blog. Yes I am a runner and yes I need to be more faithful in my running. Now that is out of the way....

All,

I have read through this entire blog of posts because there are valuable opinions to be heard from both sides on all of the issues brought up. Please realize that everyone has experiences that we can build upon. (A rising tide lifts all boats) The worst part about seeing debates like this is how people attempt to belittle others. The classic example is people calling other people ignorant (uninformed). Please, Please, realize that everyone is the sum total of their experiences and that most of us would come to the same conclusions as someone else given their experiences. NO one has the right to discount another person's feelings or experiences, but each of us can only learn from someone else if we are willing to put ourselves in another's shoes. That is at the very definition of Charity and Christianity.

I only wish that this world were full of only black and white decisions, but each of our lives has tainted our perceptions to some shade of gray, our hope is that collectively we can come to what has been termed "truth". Along the way both sides are likely to claim absolutes that either they don't really believe or can't substantiate. That is just part of debate.

There have been a few too many snide religious comments from the Christian camp. There have also been many snide comments from the other side as well. Everyone cut it out! :)

Also, those of you who are not religious have attacked those people who are religious because of their "blind" faith. I hope you understand that if you ask us to remove our faith from our decision making processes it is like asking us to not use on of our senses to drive. IE. just close your eyes and drive. To those of us who believe in divine guidance you have just asked us to ignore something that we have come to rely upon to help us make decisions. As I mentioned earlier we (through our experiences) have come to very strong conclusions about the existence of divine aid, if others had similar experiences in their lives they would likely believe as well.

Shanti,

"Seems to me this issue is more about money. If gay marriage becomes legal, churches will be forced to perform these unions or face charges of discrimination. Denying the marriage will open churches up to suit, and they will lose. It is no different then a church denying a black couple or interracial couple the right to marriage."

I think what you are hearing is that people are generally afraid of anybody telling them what to do. I think given the past performance of our government in society this fear is justifiable (especially considering the treatment of Mormons over the past few hundred years, they have good reason to suspect our government of trying to pull a fast on them). I think everyone here agrees that we should all be able to respect each other. But given the way that the pendulum of society generally swings too far one way then too far the other way as it tries to find equilibrium, people are just stating their fears of it swinging too far. Hey, I am a little concerned that we have such a huge majority of Republicans in Utah legislature, and I am equally worried that we now have a huge majority of Democrats at the national level. I am not certain exactly how money enters in to this though, please explain what you meant by that in further detail.

I hope this somewhat helps to explain why people are bringing up things like polygamy and incest. I agree they are separate issues. But people are just expressing their fear of that pendulum swinging too far. Some of this fear is justified, some of it is not. It would be naive of all of us to neglect the to consider the ways in which a new law or amendment could be abused as we go about creating it. However, it is very unlikely we will get a law/amendment just right on the first shot either.

At the Adoption/placement issue,

There are an abundance of people looking for less than 1 year old children to adopt. But due to emotional scarring (and other baggage) people are far more leery of adopting older children. In this case there is a shortage of adopters. A great deal of this also goes with the current laws granting far too many rights to irresponsible birth parents well after their children have been placed. My wife was a birth mother case worker for a private company for the last several years and saw a ton of the problems (and successes) with these laws. It's a truly mixed bag. Things are generally just simpler with the babies than with the older children. A scary though true fact is that it costs almost as much as twice the money to adopt a Caucasian baby when compared to an African baby. Similar demonstrations of supply and demand are found in adopting older children as well. There are a lot of reasons why there aren't perfect families for every child in foster care. All that aside I personally would choose a loving stable homosexual couple over a pair of drug addicts for my children any day. Though I can think of quite a few people I would trust my children to first if it came to that.

Kungfublonde,

I think you it was you that mentioned this anyway. I have inappropriately used the phrase "that's gay" or "that is so gay". I am going to make an effort to change that right now. Thank you for pointing this out. I find it amazing how vernacular society can mangle good words or phrases. Each of us should analyze our bad conversation habits and try to correct them.

From kungfublonde on Mon, Dec 01, 2008 at 01:36:55

Cheryl, it is impossible to respond to a question more directly than I have to yours. Just because you don't like my answer doesn't mean I didn't answer you.

You ignored all my points that refuted your arguments. The slippery slope argument is weak and not a valid one for denying a civil right.

It is totally accurate to say that gay people already have the right to adopt. I didn't say in every state. You argued that legalizing gay marriage will mean those couples will START to adopt. They already are.

You are now saying that gay people can make loving parents. I am glad to hear you say that. You believe they will be better, all things being equal, than a heterosexual couple. I simply disagree. Does this in some way imply that I think my own children don't need me? What kind of a thing is that to suggest?

The majority of adoptions are "hard to place" children, from ages birth to 17. Your speculations about who children would be raised by in a perfect world are pointless, as hundreds of thousands of those children can tell you. You want to poll them? Ask those children how many would rather be adopted than left in foster care.

Gay parenting still has nothing to do with gay marriage.

And thank you Mire, for your incredibly kind words. :)

From kungfublonde on Mon, Dec 01, 2008 at 01:41:01

Kobyhud, I appreciate your post. That was very well put. And yes, it was me who addressed the use of that expression. I'm happy to know that my statement has inspired you to be more mindful of your words. It's something that is important to me, and I do work hard to practice what I preach.

From Matt on Mon, Dec 01, 2008 at 17:00:51

Shanti,

Thanks for helping me prove my point once again. Of course the numbers of abortions are declining. This is mostly because perspective clients were killed off years ago. Abortion becomes legal nationally around 1973 it was legal in various us cities before that for close to 5 years. It really doesn’t get fully vamped up until about 1977. In 1990 abortion numbers in the US hits an all time high and starts to drop. Why does it drop? The children that would have been born into unwanted pregnancies, shotgun weddings, single parents, broken homes, and of course parents with high probability of divorce were never born at all. The fact that they weren’t born means 15 to 25 years later they aren’t likely having an abortion because they don’t exist.

We can also look at how after abortion was legalized 20 years later politicians are patting themselves on the back saying look at how my policies have curbed back crime, lowered teen pregnancy, and increased high school graduations rates. Now without the unwanted child many girls (of those left remaining) are more likely to go to college, which means more are likely to graduate from college. Education means postponing marriage, postponing marriage means postponing child berth postponing total years of marriage means the years to be able to divorce are more limited and since children aren’t born into broken homes are fewer so is the potential for divorce. So abortion is the cause or if we want to take it back a step as Sasha puts it so correctly yet again. “People put their own right to satisfaction above their duty to their children and society.” In other words selfishness is the cause.

Selfishness lead to fornication, selfishness lead to the abortion, selfishness on at least one person part leads to divorce. Typically, homosexuality was preceded by selfishness as were the pornography, the alcoholism, murder and most other problems that exist in society. So while it might be easy to say that education is making things better and it is the reason more people are educated is because the percentage that are educated would have tended to been educated anyway the other portion has just been killed off as if there were a war going on. The states with lower abortion numbers do tend to have higher divorce rates because they are left with a pool of marriages that are created due the opposition to abortion. California aborts close to 5 times the pregnancies per 1000 women that Utah does. African Americans are 6 times more likely to abort pregnancies than whites. There are many African American ministers that have stated that abortion is practical genocide on the black race as almost 1 abortion occurs to every baby born whereas nationally only 24% of Pregnancy’s end in abortion. Russia is a little bit more interesting study because abortion has been legal for close to 100 years with the exception of the Stalin regime when it was illegal from 1936 to 1954 approx.

So as Sasha points out selfishness and turning from God can take a long time to ripen and rear its head but it does happen maybe my original quote that irked you so much is truer then you realize

“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien As to be hated needs but to be seen; Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”

Over time and without guarding against such behavior it seems that all people reduce themselves to selfishness. Serving others and selfless sacrifice are the best defense against this. Although individual free agency most always be respected and protected institutionalizing selfish behavior needs to be opposed. Lastly, I will restate for the record again I am a prolife advocate and feel that abortion does far more harm to society then it ever does good.

From Cheryl on Mon, Dec 01, 2008 at 18:24:27

Ok, sparring partners, if Sasha doesn't mind, let's go at it again. And just think, Sasha, no one will ever probably match your number of comments.

I have reviewed the comments of Kungfublonde, Shanti, and Mire. This is where I am:

I acknowledge that same sex couples do have children and that those children deserve protection and security.

I concede that there is not a loving, wholesome married couple waiting for every available child.

I concede that there are millions of children orphaned in child care. I agree that it is better for them to go to a loving gay home than stay in foster care.

I don't know the adoption laws, but I will concede, for the sake of argument, that gay couples can adopt.

I have always agreed that gay couples can make very loving parents.

I concede that if you took a poll, the results would be that children would rather be adopted than left in foster care.

I believe that gay parenting does have something to do with the issues of legalizing gay marriages, but I don't care to debate that anymore.

I do not concede that the slippery slope argument is weak and not valid, but I've said my piece on that and don't know what else to add.

The one issue I would still like to discuss, because I don't feel that anyone has tackled it head on, is the issue of whether it is best for children, all things being equal, to have both a male and female influence in their home. In other words, is it best for a child to have a mother and father, or is having two fathers or two mothers just as good? That is the question I'd like answered.

Kungfu accuses me of being hypothetical, so I will bring it into reality. I believe my husband, by virtue of being a male and for no other reason, brings something into my boys' lives that a female, no matter how loving, how kind, how great, could replace. Mire says gender does not matter, personality does. I don't believe I could replace my husband with a female, no matter how great her personality is. I think my boys' lives would not be as complete without having a male role model in the home. Now if you disagree with that and feel I could raise my boys with another female and their lives would be just as good as if they had a father in the home, please explain why. Why is having two females perspective on life just as good for boys as having a male and female perspective?

Now, again, I understand that there is not always a loving, married couple to take in all children, I have conceded that point. I understand that we don't live in an ideal world, that there are many, many problems out there. I would just like having the question answered as posed without changing it in any way. Am I sounding like a lawyer, or what?

I know this is probably getting tiresome to some, but I just feel nobody has answered that question head on, we always get diverted to other issues.

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Dec 01, 2008 at 18:34:33

Matt -

In spite of abortion and delayed marriage, we are still at around 34% rate of children raised by a single parent vs I think around 13% in 1970. I do not know what the stats are on day-care raised children of the remaining 66% that have both parents, but a little bit of common sense tells me the rate is higher now than in 1970.

Does anybody still want to argue that the family structure is not drastically less stable now than it was in 1970?

Regarding Russia - I do not want to hear any Google-discovered stats from "reputable agencies" followed by any conclusions from anybody who cannot explain the meaning of the word расписаться as it related to marriage, give some usage examples, do word-part analysis, and explain what attitude towards marriage it would implant in the minds of a married couple whose first language is Russian.

Why word part analysis? Russians, even little kids, habitually break words down into parts to try to figure out what other words they are related to, and thus establish associations in a way that a foreigner will not capture by just checking a dictionary. It affects they way they think, and results in attitudes, and eventually behaviors consequent to the nature of the associations.

From montelepsy on Mon, Dec 01, 2008 at 19:01:13

I believe that any couple who could model a committed loving relationship would benefit a child, but I agree with you Cheryl, that there's a difference. And if all things were equal, having a mother and a father is a great benefit, because I believe a mother can relate to a daughter on a level that a father cannot and vice versa.

It's not a reason to oppose gay marriage though.

And thank you for your compliments of our daughters.

From fly on the wall on Mon, Dec 01, 2008 at 19:39:01

"...the issue of whether it is best for children, all things being equal, to have both a male and female influence in their home..." "...but I just feel nobody has answered that question head on..."

I want to answer yes, head on, but I can't because when I look at my own childhood, I cherish and am thankful for what it was. I was not raised in a nuclear family. My father was not a male influence in my home.

My mother found the strength and courage to divorce my father and raise me as a single mother. This happened when I was 7.

I harbor no ill feelings towards my father. He was in my life but not our home. He did the best he could to be a good father. He succeeded in some regards but in many ways he fell short. Do I in any way wish my parents would have stayed married? Absolutely not! Their divorce was a good thing for everyone involved. (When I hear stats about divorce rates, I wonder how many of those divorces were a good thing.)

Do I wish I was raised in a happy nuclear family home? Might as well ask if I wish I was raised by June and Ward Cleaver or Mr. and Mrs. Clause. It's a moot point, but the answer to all of those questions is NO. I did have positive male role models but they were not in my home. I am a happy, well adjusted adult who contributes to society not 'despite what wasn't' but 'because of what was.'

Perhaps the question should not be, "is it best for children, all things being equal, to have both a male and female influence in their home?" but rather "do all children need to be raised with a mother and father living at home?" To the latter, I believe the answer is no. I would even add that not all children should be raised in a traditional family. Diversity can enrich each of us individually and all of us collectively. That said, I do believe my ideas and ideals are outside the mainstream.

So there you are. The question was side steeped yet again, but what does this theoretical question have to do with gay marriage?

With respect,

A Bastard Child who is now raising kids in a nuclear family.

From montelepsy on Mon, Dec 01, 2008 at 19:45:16

Well said Fly.

From Matt on Mon, Dec 01, 2008 at 20:07:44

Fly,

I think you relish being the wild card in this discussion. As previously stated I was raised until the age of 13 in a nuclear family. I can admit adversity made me strong in ways I don’t know. I believe like you I try to provide for my family even better (and I fail a good amount of the time to because I am human) because of things I missed out on. However, if I could I would keep things June & Ward Clever. After 24 years not a day goes by that I don’t think about my mother. Can’t say the same about my father for the last 17 years and he was a pretty great guy to. All that said diversity does make us strong sometimes we can foster a little but it usually occurs naturally. I can see why if a father was abusive physically, sexually, mentally or emotionally one might be happy for life’s experience that came from the divorce, and your right divorce sometimes is better than the alternative. I love Jews and yet I wonder how the world would be different for better and worse had the holocaust never occurred. I think I better leave Pandora’s Box alone on past events though. I most likely would have never met my wife Suzanne if my mother didn’t die when she did. All that going forward I know I would and you would and Rachel, Sasha, Jason, Cheryl, Steve or anyone who has contributed to this thread would choose to take themselves out of the lives of their children but if I could see the future maybe I would.

Mike Thanks for your honesty.

Sasha, your right on with the single parent raising, I think this would add further fuel to why many delay marriage and divorce rates go down. I think it would also add fuel to the selfishness of what has gotten people into the mess and as you point out now we expect day care and public schools to teach our children morals. I know you and I don’t but when I say we I am referring to society in general.

From fly on the wall on Tue, Dec 02, 2008 at 11:03:29

Hi Matt, I have not carefully read all of these posts. I've perused them when I've had the time and posted when something has inspired me to do so. Because of this I missed your post about your mother, sorry. I will go back and look for it.

You said that this adversity made you stronger in ways you don't know. To me it is a sad truth that adversity can make one stronger but unfortunately it doesn't always work that way.

But adversity and diversity are not the same. I was trying to address the latter. My father's death was adversity that I feel gave me empathy but not strength. My childhood in a non-nuclear family was a form of diversity that I am thankful for.

Respectfully, Fly on the Wall

From Cheryl on Tue, Dec 02, 2008 at 14:03:29

Thank you for responses to my last post.

Some of you have asked what my question of parenting has to do with the issue of legalizing gay marriage. Let me try to explain.

Why do people who supported measures such as Proposition 8 in California want marriage defined as between a man and a woman? Why do they resist legalizing gay marriage? The way I see it, there are two main reasons, which are:

1. They feel that, based on their understanding of scripture, homosexuality violates God's laws.

2. They feel that children are best served by being raised by a male and a female, that every child, if possible, should have a mother and a father. They see the legalization of gay marriage as threatening that. They wonder if gays are going to be allowed to adopt children that could go to heterosexual families if gay marriage is on the same legal plain as heterosexual marriages.

There are other issues, of course, but those are the two main obstacles that I think need to be overcome if gay marriage is ever to be supported by the majority of Americans. That's why I think the issue about where it is best to raise children is central to this debate.

Having said that, I hope I have never left the impression that I think gays are any less loving, kind, caring, or anything else as compared to heterosexuals. Anyone who will take in hard to place children or children in foster homes and give them a loving home are my heroes, and I have the utmost respect for them.

Anybody see any way to compromise on this issue so that both sides are somewhat happy? What do you think of civil unions?

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Dec 02, 2008 at 14:20:13

Fly:

An amputated leg is better than dying of cancer. But a whole leg by a long shot is better than either of the above.

A prosthetic leg is better than no leg. But it is a long shot behind having a whole leg instead.

Let us set our sights clearly and unmistakably on having whole legs, both right and left, not one leg, not left and left, or right and right, but two legs of each type united in balance. We need them to run.

From Jason McK on Tue, Dec 02, 2008 at 18:32:15

It looks like this thread is running out of steam. I thought that I would shed a little light on the light that has been shed for me.

Walmart has a gender bias.

Apparently they are one of the few business to capitalize (in a big way) on the fact that women make less doing the same job.

Gay marriage will be allowed in all states in a few years because marriage is a civil right.

This right won't apply to people who are related by no choice of their own.

Anyone can raise children.

Many who are not able to reproduce can be amazing parents.

Many who are able to reproduce have no business raising children.

Nobody grew up in a perfect world (but that's no reason to perpetuate an imperfect world).

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but most people don't like your religion to influence their lives.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but most people don't like your lack of religion to influence their lives.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but most people don't like yours.

From Bonnie on Tue, Dec 02, 2008 at 18:33:50

Nicely done Jason -- one of the best posts ever.

From Matt on Tue, Dec 02, 2008 at 19:11:02

Bravo Jason!

Although, I do have an appointment with my Russian neighbor to talk about the origin of расписаться. She fled with her 2 year old son 14 years ago and she is 39 so I am hoping she can shed some light on this but I have a hunch on what it means.

From fly on the wall on Tue, Dec 02, 2008 at 23:49:29

Cheryl, If homosexuals are prohibited from marriage but allowed civil union because they might adopt a child that would otherwise go to more ideal parents, then should old people be prohibited from marriage for the same reason? (Say a couple is in their 60s, there is a decent chance that at least one of them will not live long enough to raise the child to adulthood, thus less desirable....) Is age a protected class? If so do old people adopt children who otherwise might have gone to more ideal parents? (I really don't know how adoptions for sought after babies are awarded.)

Jason, Is it time to stop beating this dead horse?

From Cheryl on Wed, Dec 03, 2008 at 00:01:50

Fly--that's a great question. I really have no idea how to answer it. I don't really understand adoption laws too well, I think they're different in every state.

From fly on the wall on Wed, Dec 03, 2008 at 12:27:52

Cheryl, If adoption is the concern, why are these state constitutional amendments about marriage? How is a constitutional marriage ban appropriate rather than a statue on adoption preference?

I think Utah is the only state with laws giving a preference to married couples in adoption. I think some other states even make it illegal to give preference to married couples in adoption(someone please correct me if I'm wrong). Utah excluded, if adoption agencies aren't required or are forbidden to give preference to married couples, then how is gay marriage relevant to adoption?

I don't know, perhaps the churches (and their congregations/members) that backed Prop 8 have a master plan to ban gay marriage and then lobby for laws that give adoption preference to married couples? But is there a reason they wouldn't just lobby for adoption laws that give preference to heterosexual couples? Or is adoption not really the reason to lobbying for Prop 8 (see reason #1 in you post above)?

I have rambled on and my ideas are largely off the cuff. Thus they are likely to be logically flawed. Hmmm... have I just taped a big "kick me" sign on my own back?

Pleading for clemency, Fly

From Cheryl on Wed, Dec 03, 2008 at 14:39:26

Fly--your comments are great and make sense to me. None of us are absolutely sure our ideas make total logical sense. We're just throwing them out to the group to see what responses we get. The responses help crystalize our thinking, I think. Two or more heads or better than one, right?

Anyway, to your question. I am certainly no expert on adoption laws. I do know that gay adoption is illegal in some states right now (at least that's what I heard Barbara Walters say on the View, so if that's wrong, blame her--though I've never known her to be wrong when she states a fact. Opinions maybe, facts no. And please, nobody accuse me of getting most of my ideas from the View.) Anyway, it just seems to me that, if gay marriages are legalized, you can't say that gay marriages are absolutely equal with heterosexual marriages, on the same legal plain, and then pass a law giving adoption preference to heterosexual couples. That would seem discriminatory. Either the two marriages are equal in every way or they are not.

That is why I think civil unions are the way to go. They give gays all the legal protection they have asked for without affecting other situations, like adoption laws or forcing churches to marry them when churches don't agree with those type of marriages.

I think we need to see all the ramifications that the legalization of gay marriages will cause before we enact it into law. In my opinion, it is more than an issue of civil rights. And rights go more than one way, right? How will gay rights affect everyone else's rights? More debate is needed.

And you are probably right, reason #1 is the main reason that many people oppose gay marriages. Many people believe what somebody wrote in a letter to the editor in the Deseret News today, that "same-sex marriage goes against nature." There are many out there who will never get past that.

Contrary opinions?

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Dec 03, 2008 at 15:26:26

It sure does go against nature, and I will never get past that. However, to be fair, so do many other things. But this one goes quite a bit more than others. Thus the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah once they were ripe. Those who disagree have the freedom to disagree, but once the consequences start pouring down you can disagree all you want, you still get the consequences. I know the consequences will come. Unfortunately, my ability to prove that I know to others is limited. But I do know it as well as I know the facts of the basic math, and I add my voice of warning to that of others. Some people call this hate. I call it an act of love - those who have been warned must warn their neighbor rather than just sit, point fingers, and say - look at this dummy, his house is just about to burn and he is too dense to notice.

From Burt on Wed, Dec 03, 2008 at 16:11:22

Cheyl - I've never known anyone to be wrong when they state a fact.

From Cheryl on Wed, Dec 03, 2008 at 16:27:59

Sasha--I absolutely agree with you. You are brave enough to state it. I'm a little shy to say it because I don't want to be labeled intolerant, hate-filled, uncompassionate, etc., etc., all the character assassination terms that are used in this debate (talking about the debate in society, not the debate on this blog, that has been very cordial.) I wish we could just have a discussion on our opinions and facts, and leave the labels alone. I admire you for your courage.

Burt--that is an excellent point; thanks for pointing it out. I'll make sure never to talk about true or untrue facts again.

From Lucia on Wed, Dec 03, 2008 at 16:35:58

Sasha, how and who defines what is "against nature"? It seems to me it depends on the time and place. Years ago, interracial marriages were forbidden by law because some people considered them to be against nature, and the Mormon church embraced poligamy as being natural... how can we know for sure that years from now we're going to realize what we once thought as being against nature was actually not so?

From Burt on Wed, Dec 03, 2008 at 16:44:27

Just giving you a hard time, Cheryl. :)

Rocket - has anyone ever given you the birds and the bees talk? I can't do it right now without having my comment deleted. Let's just say, boys have special anatomical parts and so do girls.

From Jason McK on Wed, Dec 03, 2008 at 17:05:29

Lucia, good point. I think that certain things will bear out in the future. I'm sure that there are plenty of things that happen in nature, but the general population would still call them against nature.

For example, some sharks and frogs can produce offspring without a mate. Black widows eat their partner, hence the name. Salmon swim up the river to spawn and die. Lemmings just run off cliffs...

I suppose that the fact something happens in nature is not what people are talking about when they say something is 'against nature' or 'not natural.' I guess that what they mean is that they don't accept it as natural. But there are things that are natural that we don't accept. For example - survival of the fittest. As humans, we've gotten over natural selection and protect the weakest among us - premature babies, people with disabilities, both mental and physical, etc. We even allow those at the shallow end of the gene pool to reproduce (I'm not saying that I'm in the deep end, I'm only pointing out that there is no requirement of physical or intellectual ability or ability to provide for offspring that must be demonstrated before society 'allows' someone to reproduce, I'm not pointing fingers at any person or group of people as being in the shallow end of the gene pool.)

But going against what one believes are God's natural laws could also be construed as 'against nature.' In this case if God changes his revelation to us, then nature changes, and while I can't predict what God will reveal, I believe the following to be revelation from God: http://www.lds.org/library/display/0,4945,161-1-11-1,00.html

From air darkhorse on Wed, Dec 03, 2008 at 18:57:17

Has anyone ever heard of common sense?

You can come up with the most elaborate rationale and it still will not make it so..

Marriage is defined as a union between man and woman. ie-Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.

It is what it is.. No form of twisted logic or corrupt thinking can ever change that. Homosexuality is an unnatural, wicked practice and is not ordained by the Creator. It is counterproductive to the advancement of the human race in all aspects.

You can call me a bigot, homophobe, whatever I don't care.

It is still WRONG!

From air darkhorse on Wed, Dec 03, 2008 at 19:00:23

By the way I thought this was a blog for running, not a platform for social and religious debate.

From Cheryl on Wed, Dec 03, 2008 at 19:03:04

Right on, Steve! I've been waiting for a comment like that from you. I like people who don't beat around the bush, that's why all of us in our group liked running and talking with you.

Jason McK and Burt--I'd liked your comments also. I just know Air Darkhorse and really appreciated hearing from him.

From Cheryl on Wed, Dec 03, 2008 at 19:04:00

Come on, Sasha says we can talk about whatever we want. Hasn't this been a fun discussion?

From air darkhorse on Wed, Dec 03, 2008 at 19:09:33

Yes, But it is getting tired and worn out.

Nice to hear from you Cheryl! I miss you girls.

From Cheryl on Wed, Dec 03, 2008 at 19:14:22

Well, then just delete the comments without reading them.:) I still like to hear people's opinions. We miss you too, Steve. Maybe we can plan a run together sometime.

From Matt on Wed, Dec 03, 2008 at 19:17:55

I think the opposition has left the building. I would love to Ditto Jason, Burt, Sasha, Cheryl, and Steve’s last comments. On a running related matter Steve I love reading your come back highlights. I am also wondering has anyone seen Corbin Talley at any races recently?

From air darkhorse on Wed, Dec 03, 2008 at 19:28:24

Cheryl- Get back to you on that soon.

Matt- I live two doors from Corbin and I never see him. I do know that he runs with the high school kids he coaches however.

The reason why I held back for so long is because I don't like to argue or contend. Don't get me wrong, I would never deny a gay person their individual rights or treat them differently in any sense from any other person. But I will never accept their lifestyle as being correct.

From Matt on Wed, Dec 03, 2008 at 19:37:24

I haven't seen him since the Summer of 2006 and a bunch of guys I work with went to High school with him and ran track with. They are always asking me about him. The last time I talked to him he said he wasn't training as much and told me the same thing about the high school kids keeping him busy.

Thanks for the info.

From Shanti on Wed, Dec 03, 2008 at 20:24:31

"Don't get me wrong, I would never deny a gay person their individual rights or treat them differently in any sense from any other person."

LOL!! Just the right to marry and have the same rights as everyone else. LOL!

Matt,

The oppositition is still here, I am just waiting for Cheryl, or anyone, else to tell which rights she exclude from the gay couple who ends up with the civil union. Seperate but equal is never equal.

I offered my solution, a civil union for everyone, and marriage as a religious institution that binds two people between themselves and their faith.

From Cheryl on Wed, Dec 03, 2008 at 20:39:50

See, Steve, now you're involved in the argument and contention.

Shanti--I think I've explained how I feel about the issue. How the legalization of gay marriage would affect adoption laws is my hang up to supporting gay marriage. Did you read my posts? Convince me that children aren't going to be deprived of having both a mother and father and maybe I could support it. (I guess I still have to get over the "unnatural" aspect of gay marriages, but that's another issue.)

My problem is I don't believe that gay and heterosexual relationships are "equal" as I've tried to explain in my many posts. Therefore I would be afraid of treating them absolutely equally in the eyes of the law. Too many unknown ramifications to that. I am for equal treatmeht in things like inheritance laws, employment, things like that. In other things, just because of the biological difference between males and females, I can't support total equality.

Your solution is interesting, I don't know if I totally understand it or all the legal ramifications involved, so I can't comment on it right now. Maybe somebody else has ideas.

From fly on the wall on Wed, Dec 03, 2008 at 22:23:56

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."

Sincerely, a Gentile

From air darkhorse on Wed, Dec 03, 2008 at 22:59:55

Sorry fly, You can not compromise with evil.

Shanti- I'll state this again, your logic is so full of holes. Just like the idea of marriage between man and beast.. I got you between the eyes and you know it.

From Shanti on Wed, Dec 03, 2008 at 23:48:04

Ok Darkhorse:

In detail, please explain how you got me between the eyes. Your total of two posts are missing some information.

From kungfublonde on Thu, Dec 04, 2008 at 01:31:02

Again, I go away for a few days and it takes off again.

All my reponses to all of this were stated earlier, and I know I don't want to scroll back though 300 posts to find them! It still comes down to faith and we simply disagree. A healthy discussion doesn't have to come to a kumbaya conclusion.

I'm not sure why Shanti is taking blame or being attacked. Especially why he is being singled out. It isn't warranted or reasonable. He's speaking his mind and making his points just like everyone else in this discussion. Turning it from a conversation into an attack doesn't need to happen.

I second Fly's last post (and all his other posts, for that matter).

I'm going to go ice my knee and my foot, and catch up on my blogging. :)

From air darkhorse on Thu, Dec 04, 2008 at 02:42:02

Shanti-Do you believe in God?

From Shanti on Thu, Dec 04, 2008 at 08:49:40

Air Darkhorse,

It is an irrelevant question, the 1st amendment of the Constitution protects might right to and against religious belief.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Dec 04, 2008 at 12:23:59

Shanti - I do not accept your interpretation of the 1st Constitutional amendment as the absolute truth any more than you accept the existence of God and the Biblical standards of morality. To me your argument is just as irrelevant.

I would vote in favor of a constitutional amendment that will clarify that while no one church should control the laws of the state, we acknowledge the existence of God, our dependence on him, and thus when major religious practiced in the country agree on a principle, it should be expressed in the law. Like it or not, I vote this way, I teach my children to vote this way, I encourage everybody in my sphere of influence to vote this way.

From Matt on Thu, Dec 04, 2008 at 13:05:33

Great Point Sasha, this country was founded on religious freedom and our Pledge, Money, and early founding documents make wide reference to God. I think that we still don't infringe on Non Christian, or Judaism values and we allow all men and women the right to worship how, who or what they may or may not. This is of course is only true as long as it doesn't infringe on others values.

Shanti,

I believe the reason that Dark Horse asks his question of your believe is because one would pursue a different line of reasoning with an atheist as opposed to a believer. That being said I would say that you are a believer in spirituality but no with an allegiance to one particular faith. Is it fair to say you would consider yourself somewhat of a free thinker?

Early on in our discussion (I believe it was in one of my first 4 posts) I said that this seemed to be mostly an argument of semantics. I later stated that considerably farther down the line that marriage was ordained of God since the beginning of time and only later on was ordained and endorsed by country. I am wondering now with your last couple posts on.

How to solve the problem?

Create civil unions for straight and gay couples. Marriage becomes an institution of religious institutions without a tie to civil law. If marriages are no longer tied to civil law, churches can then perform marriages based on their own criteria without violating civil rights.

How do you feel this is different than what the country already offers, since in most states anyone could be civilly united heterosexual or homosexual? Additionally do you see this as being contrary to what I have said before directly pertaining to this matter? I am not attempting to be litigious I am just trying to clarify. I realize that neither you nor I except one another’s position but it would appear we may have some common ground.

From kungfublonde on Thu, Dec 04, 2008 at 13:21:30

Sasha;

To clarify, you want the constitution of the United States to acknowledge the existence of God and you want major religions to have a controlling say in the law? Above and beyond just the voting of the citizens, that is?

I'm trying to understand what you mean by;

"thus when major religious practiced in the country agree on a principle, it should be expressed in the law."

The way I read your post, it sounds like you want to end religious freedom in America. I'm assuming that's not what you mean, but can you state it a different way to help me see your point?

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Dec 04, 2008 at 14:31:11

You can call it ending religious freedom in America if you want, but I will still vote for it. I do not call what we have today a religious freedom. I have been threatened with a lawsuit when I have expressed my religious beliefs, and I would have had no practical way to defend myself against it without going bankrupt had the person carried out the threat. I have had to quit a job because I felt my religious beliefs were being infringed on. I do not own a cable TV or go to movie theaters because I know the shows will offend my beliefs, and no, it is not going to be a Mormon-bashing Baptist sermon, I could handle that a lot better.

What we have is a farce that we tout as a religious freedom. And then we have the gall to go after other countries that see that the king has no clothes and refuse to buy our kings wardrobe.

From kungfublonde on Thu, Dec 04, 2008 at 14:43:22

Without knowing the specifics of the threats against you, I can't really respond to that example.

Religious freedom is the right to choose how you worship, and it means the government can't mandate certain beliefs. It doesn't mean society can't ever offend you. I'm sure we are offended by many of the same things. We also don't have any television in our home and I don't take my kids to half the movies their friends get to see. I'd still rather live in America than any other country.

As for the hypocrisy of going after other countries, again we agree.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Dec 04, 2008 at 15:42:15

I do not know of a country in the world today that mandates beliefs, where they ask you a question "Do you believe this way?", and if you say no you are somehow punished. All countries, however, create laws based on certain absolute beliefs, and most of those beliefs either come from or at least are supported by a consensus of well established religions. Most of the time, when somebody is punished by the law of any country, he acted against some well-established principle that can be traced back to some religion.

In my observation Americans are overhyped about the separation of church and state. To suggest that you could use some consensus of the Bible and Koran as a basis for some law in legal circles is considered blasphemy, probably greater blasphemy that it was to suggest in the Soviet Union that Lenin could have been wrong. Yet countries like Finland have been able to thrive without the holy cow of the American version of separation of church and state.

From Jason McK on Thu, Dec 04, 2008 at 18:10:40

I would say that the laws of any location are determined by the general beliefs of those in charge of making the laws. In a dictatorship, the dictator determines them. In a democracy, the people determine them. In a republic, the representatives determine them. And in a democratic republic, the representatives that the people chose determine them. If we the people elect people who think the way we think, then what we believe will become the laws. On a small scale, it is more likely that our views will be represented better if we are surrounded by people who think like we do. On a large scale, we are less likely to be surrounded by people who think like we do.

However, as the majority of our ancestors are of European descent (where if I'm not mistaken, Christianity is the predominant belief system) then our laws are more likely to attempt to reflect Christian beliefs. Many could rightfully argue that Christianity really isn't too far different in beliefs from many other world religions so people could be equally (or almost equally) protected who believe a different way.

However, beliefs that aren't close to mainstream Christianity may not be protected quite as well. For instance, those who believe that cows are sacred animals may find the majority of restaurants to be offensive. We do not protect those beliefs. As a people, we believe that all men are free, so we actively fight countries that deny freedoms to their people (at least that's what we're told and so most of us are OK with it).

I think that in the United States, we do have somewhat of a separation of church and state, but we do not have a separation of belief and state. That's impossible and contradictory in a democratic republic. We the people determine what is decent and we protect that.

Up until the early 70's, all states had laws against sodomy. Since then, many states have repealed them, then in 2003, a Supreme court decision invalidated the state laws. Clearly the belief system of the United States wasn't ready for such a change prior to the 70's as all states had laws on the books. As the USA becomes less religious, the general public's idea of decency is 'degrading' to those who still hold 'traditional' religious morals. I say 'traditional' meaning Christianity because the percentage of American adults who identify themselves as Christians dropped from 86% in 1990 to 77% in 2001 - based on one study, many show similar trends... And I say 'degrading' because those who are of the traditional religion tend to think that the changes taking place in society aren't positive.

I could be crazy, but this makes sense in my head.

From kungfublonde on Thu, Dec 04, 2008 at 18:13:58

You're not crazy :)

From Jason McK on Thu, Dec 04, 2008 at 18:18:57

By the way, I did find the following on Wiki to be a bit interesting...

"In the study, sociologists Penny Edgell, Joseph Gerties and Douglas Hartmann conducted a survey of American public opinion on attitudes towards different groups. Forty percent of respondents characterized atheists as a group that "does not at all agree with my vision of American society", putting atheists well ahead of every other group, with the next highest being Muslims (26 percent) and homosexuals (23 percent)."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrimination_against_atheists#United_States

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Dec 04, 2008 at 19:09:01

So an interesting thought. Question for our LDS readers. Suppose we got to a point where we had large and very religiously active Muslim and Hindi populations. Would you support restrictions on the sales of pork and cow meat for their sake if they supported restrictions on the sales of alcohol, tobacco, and caffeinated drinks for your sake?

The answer to this particular one is easy for me because I have nothing to lose - I do not eat pork or beef anyway. But even if they restricted bananas instead, I would still support it. Getting rid of alcohol and tobacco is important enough for me to where I'd be willing to eat another fruit if I had to.

From Jason McK on Thu, Dec 04, 2008 at 19:26:01

No, that sounds too much like "I'll sign your bill into law if you include $40 million for a bridge for my constituents." You get what you want, I get what I want and still everyone loses...

From Shanti on Thu, Dec 04, 2008 at 19:30:45

I am interested in the interpretation of the following passage:

http://scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/134

From Jason McK on Thu, Dec 04, 2008 at 19:31:16

Besides that, other than excessive amounts of alcohol and tobacco smoke, those items being available for others doesn't bother me on moral grounds. They can be consumed (in moderation) without really affecting others. I would rather get rid of pornography - I can't think of a legitimate religion that contends that pornography (even in moderation) doesn't affect others.

From Matt on Thu, Dec 04, 2008 at 19:35:48

Sasha,

I had no idea you didn’t eat Beef or Pork, I am assuming you eat Fish and Chicken how about Lamb? I knew you ate very healthy (I have checked out Sarah’s recipes) but I think that is awesome. I also avoid Beef and Pork a week before races if I can but I am not near as committed as you.

I don’t drink caffeinated beverages or soda much at all and would be happy if they disappeared all together for general health benefits of the nation if not for religious reasons. Although, I usually take some type of caffeine energy drink before races as well as Imodium, pseudoephedrine & N. O. explode with creatine. I have never used tobacco for body or anything else. Although, I know people that have used tobacco for medical purposes. I have never knowingly consumed alcohol. I tend to think all these things are vices and the world would be better off without them. Although, I cook with alcohol and have always hypothesized that if the world did away with wine we would make more and different types of grape juices. That being said I think I would be willing to give up Beef and Pork if it was reciprocated by tobacco, caffeine and alcohol. I would have to have fish and chicken though I tried the vegetarian thing before and it doesn’t work very well for me.

So since you feel no sacrifice let me throw it back your way. If you lived in a Jewish dominated community and as a matter of Sabbath day observance no races took place from Sun Down Friday to Sun Down Saturday which meant virtually all non holiday races were run on Sunday how would you respond?

Jason

I would give my left arm if the world could rid itself of the Porn.

From Jason McK on Thu, Dec 04, 2008 at 19:49:08

Shanti, I suspect that the verse you wonder most about is "9 We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied."

At the risk of appearing ignorant, my interpretation takes into account verse "1 We believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society."

Meaning, IMHO, that one religion shouldn't be favored over another religion, but that all religions seek guidance from Him who created us. But recognizing God as our creator, all (or the great majority of) religions subscribe to a similar set of morals and beliefs, though the details may vary.

In light of the current thread and the topic of gay marriage, I'm not sure which religions, professing revelation from God, support the idea that God wants any participating in the 'act of procreation' except for legally married man and wife.

I don't know exactly what gets classified as 'religion' but I'm thinking that according to the passage, it is those who believe in God and know that they are accountable to Him and try to do His will...

From Shanti on Thu, Dec 04, 2008 at 20:43:51

Jason,

Thank you for your answer.

Sasha,

Are you for a theocracy?

From adamr on Thu, Dec 04, 2008 at 22:48:13

To "tolerate the intolerable," ..., is not a virtue but a vice. For to do so is to obliterate moral distinctions and thus morality itself.

Take from this what you will...I think it is a exceptional statement.

Sasha I think you would like Ben Stein's movie "Expelled" on teaching/writing about intelligent design in Universities. You can still get it at redbox, I think. Comparison of Berlin Wall, etc to current higher education practices.

From Jon on Fri, Dec 05, 2008 at 13:21:18

Sasha- why are you so quick to restrict/eliminate people's freedoms (i.e. pork, cow, caffeinated beverages)? I think we too quickly impose our views/beliefs on others. I'm not even talking moral issues here, but using your example of food choices.

D&C 134:

vs 2- "secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience"

vs 4- "never control conscience"

When you say "thus when major religious practiced in the country agree on a principle, it should be expressed in the law" appears to me to contradict D&C 134 vs 9. I believe if something is not a moral issue and does not impose on other people's life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness, then we should leave them to do what they want. Let them eat bananas. http://scriptures.lds.org/en/tg/a/75

My 2 cents.

From Jason McK on Fri, Dec 05, 2008 at 14:03:57

Jon, I agree with your point about something not being a moral issue and imposing on life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness...

But I do wonder about things that don't seem to be so clear cut. For example, abortion to those that are against it have to do with protecting life of another being, but to those that are pro-choice, it is about their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. I think the life of an unborn child is generally regarded as more sacred than the life of a cow or pig, but to many, the unborn child is just a collection of cells. I may be wrong, but I'm willing to bet that people who hold cows as sacred also don't practice abortion.

So on moral grounds, if abortion is allowed, then I certainly should have the right to kill my cows (I don't have any). But, if abortion isn't allowed based on peoples' beliefs, then cows should also be protected if a large percentage strongly believe that they are sacred...

From Matt on Fri, Dec 05, 2008 at 14:41:51

I think Jason brings up several good points. I also think there is good reason that the church attempts to not take a stand on political parties and candidates and rarely takes a stand on political issues. I have many good LDS friends who voted for every candidate across the board according to the dictates of their own conscious. The reason I have never joined a political party is because I can’t accept the whole platform. I vote for candidates who I think will most represent my views even though I know they won’t all the time. I don’t even think I represent my views from two years ago and the person I will be in two years is probably not represented by what I believe today. I think most politicians get into politics for noble reasons and tend to change over time but still try to do their best. There are many ways to arrive at a solution to a particular problem.

I also am a big advocate of man’s free agency. It is a gift from God and we all have the opportunity to use it. We may use are free agency to make life more restrictive for ourselves and the world around us. Likewise, we may try to make the world less restrictive allowing for more choices, responsibility, and potential for problems. Both philosophies have different strengths and weaknesses and to varying degrees we accept this line of thinking on different levels on different issues. Like it or not all of us have expressed views on this thread that would both increase and decrease free agency on the main issue at hand. I think one of the greatest tests of our free agency is how we use it. Essential there are only two reasons why we are on this earth, to gain a body and to be tested. If we truly believe that we were created in the image of God and have the potential to be like him, how could we possibly expect such a great reward without a thorough testing ground? There is a reason why life has to be hard and tough.

From Rob Murphy on Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 19:24:51 from 24.10.249.165

Wow!

I just read this whole thing. These days the FRB is mostly about running.

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