I would like to try this again but first can I just let you know that I am an atheist who is trying to understand the religious point of view. This is not the same thing agreeing with them but I truly am trying to see it from their angle. I want to step into their shoes and I want to feel it the way they feel it and in that way, hopefully try to solve problems with them instead of against them. This is empathy. This is peace.
About the name I use - Evangelia is my Mothers name and the English version of that is Angela. It makes me happy to see my mothers name. David is a biblical name to but that doesnt mean people named David are religious.
When you ASSUME you make an ASS out of U and ME
@ Diane - I am referring to those self appointed leaders and teachers. People like those in the two blue links at the end. Those that assume they have authority over people’s minds and lives because of how they read their bronze aged books. I have absolutely no problem with “ordinary” Theists. I have zero tolerance for the hierarchies of any religion. I don’t really distinguish between them if they are waving a book about to command respect or obedience. An Imam last week ordered a 14 year old girl to get 100 lashes for allowing herself to be raped by a grown man. She died. He is a murderer. Will Pope Frank permit his flock in Africa to use condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS? Catholics think AIDS is bad but using condoms is worse. But even Ken Ham and his anti-evolution teachings that fill young minds with BS in the name of his version of Christianity or other pond life like him are repulsive to me and I believe they are bad for mankind. They do nothing to advance us as people. Like Hitchens said once (sorry no reference so paraphrasing) “I am your enemy – I don’t expect or want you to love me – I am intent on shutting you down.”
It may sound grandiose on my part but I am a full time Atheist. I can and often do, do this all day. I have helped to de-convert a lot of different cult members, even Catholics (I am Irish so it’s an insider job!!) I am only interested in helping people to get free of the shackles – which they often don’t realise they have – and allowing them to become Free Thinkers. I am doing this for over 30 years and I still love the individual person but I am full of “rage against the machine”. I will be the full force in your face Atheist who wants to FUBAR your chucrh and I make no apologies for it. I want it gone. So I will do my part like thousands of others to see it happen. No, I am not angry. My energy is not wasted on that.
Rage on, man! I am not in a position to be a full-time atheist, but I am in my heart.
@Robert – the issue is not that gay people want a religious marriage. They want to be allowed a civil marriage that gives them the same RIGHTS as other members of society. In some countries a partner of (say) 20 years has no inheritance rights or cannot visit a dying partner in hospital because he or she is not considered to be “family”. The laws that prevent this were all written by Catholics and it is proving difficult to change because of the resistance they put up which is also funded by the church.
How dare they assume they have any political authority! What makes it worse are the morally weak politicians that put up with this because of their Catholic conscience. That is they too are homophobic. Anyway the point is that they are not looking for equality because they are gay. They are looking for equality because it is their human right to have it like everyone else does.
The Catholic Church is always and has always meddled in civil affairs. It is constantly making global pronouncements. On whose authority is it allowed to dictate what the law of the land should be? If Catholics don’t want gay marriage then they don’t have to get married. For anyone else that is not a Catholic it should be none of their business.
For the record and not that it makes any difference I am not gay but I don’t really see it as just a “gay rights” issue. It concerns human rights. If is was not for the Catholic Church(and others) there would be no debate. The debate only arises because of the Churches stance on homosexuality over the centuries. They alone are the cause of this problem. ~They alone are to blame for the suicides of young people because of the homophobia their dogmatic utterances engender in the minds of people. J’accuse. There would be no debate if they got off the stage.
Here is a very good debate between two Catholics and two Atheists that does the matter more justice than I do it and with some more eloquence.
Why thank you very much Strega. Neat graphic.!
"In some countries a partner of (say) 20 years has no inheritance rights or cannot visit a dying partner in hospital because he or she is not considered to be “family”
Does anyone personally know anyone that this has happened to and why couldnt an inheritance be simply stated in a will?
Inheritance can of course be stated in a will, and medical decisions can be delegated in a health care power of attorney. Sadly, not everyone is proactive about writing these things before they need them. That is when the state applies whatever "default" probate rules it has, which of course generally reflect the expectations of the local culture (in the case of a democracy).
The concern, which I think is valid, is that the local culture may be onerous to a minority. There does need to be a "default" case, though, absent other provisions. I'm not sure it's worth getting hugely angry about so long as the law allows for easy and effective equivalent alternatives.
The problem is that not all alternatives are equivalent. For example, inheritance passes to a spouse tax-free, but to someone else it may, depending on the circumstances, be taxed.
I would still suggest that "marriage" is too loaded a word. It generates too much passion in the religious community for whom the word connotes a special sacrament within our religion that has a particular meaning. If the issue were legal equivalence for civil partnerships, that is much easier to support, and indeed Catholic teaching in many cases would suggest that Catholics may be morally obligated to support such legislation.
"Sadly, not everyone is proactive about writing these things before they need them"
I think thats true for the mainstream, but I think that homosexuals wanting to enter into a union, are aware and proactive about these things and that they do go about arranging those things to suit their own lifestyles.
I have had two long term relationships but never married. I grew up in a culture that viewed women as domestic appliances and I saw my two older sister go through arranged marriages so, bride girl was never a fantasy of mine.
I have also had to set my future up differently to those who have traditional marriages.
so long as the law allows for easy and effective equivalent alternatives
Well, now wouldn't that be a treat?
I agree that the word “marriage” can mean different things to different people. For some it has a religious significance while for others it is just required for legal reasons and/or as a public declaration of love or partnership. Some Christians have the ridiculous idea that two men or two women could not raise a child without “making it gay”.
Bear with me – Would the church object to two gay people getting married if one was a man and the other a woman. If one partner was a child psychologist and the other a school teacher who had won the lotto should they be “allowed” to adopt a seven year old orphan whose parents were ones brother and the others sister? (ok I am making it up as I go along). Assuming that they will never have sex because they are gay and are only getting married to adopt the child they have always known and loved and to ensure his/her future should they die too.
Why would Christians say no to this and demand that state law says it too?
'because they are gay and are only getting married to adopt the child they have always known and loved and to ensure his/her future should they die too."
Shhhh - I wont tell if you dont .... Nobody else has to know the reasons.
Everyone knows they are gay.....