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Obama: "I believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry."

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1prosfilaes
May 10, 2012, 7:21am Top

So Obama has come out clearly on the side of same-sex marriage. That intrigues me, because even if he sincerely deeply believes that, he wouldn't say it now unless he thought it would afford him a political advantage over Romney*, that either people will go vote for Obama (and not for Romney) because of this who wouldn't have otherwise, or people who would vote will switch sides. So are there a bunch of people who would have voted for Romney but would switch because of this? I suppose it could be part of trying to move the election from the economy and use Romney's socially-conservative base against him.

* A president who believed he was a lame duck might do such a thing, but I think that no one, especially Obama, believes that the race is effectively over and Obama has lost.

2richardbsmith
May 10, 2012, 7:54am Top

The President cannot be wishy washy on this. Not after the VP's statement. I think he was forced by the circumstances, and will likely turn out to give be a plus for the President in the electorate.

Romney will also be forced to provide a clear position. He is in a much tougher position should he decide to support same sex marriage, or even not oppose it.

I do not know on what grounds the government can restrict marriage to male and female.

3prosfilaes
May 10, 2012, 7:59am Top

#2: Not after the VP's statement.

What did the VP say?

4richardbsmith
May 10, 2012, 8:09am Top

I was referring to Biden's statements over the weekend in his interview with Meet the Press.

5theoria
May 10, 2012, 11:20am Top

There are no rational reasons for opposition to same-sex marriage. Hence, Obama's previous reticence on the matter seemed purely strategic. However, given Biden's interview and North Carolina's passage of legislation banning same-sex marriage, there was a felicitous confluence of events which, on ethical and political grounds, made it advantageous for the President to make his "evolved" position public.

6BruceCoulson
May 10, 2012, 11:24am Top

It's clearly a vote-getting (or vote-denying) move; since legal changes to marriage are done by states, the most Obama could do would be to push for same-sex benefits within the Federal Government. (Which wouldn't be a bad thing.)

7theoria
May 10, 2012, 11:32am Top

6> On the political level, I view this much as I viewed Reagan's opposition to Roe v Wade and his support of a pro-life Constitutional amendment. Reagan spoke against abortion but didn't lift a finger to do anything about it during his Presidency. Similarly Obama cannot effect a federal "equal marriage rights" law because he'll never achieve the votes for it in Congress. If re-elected, I doubt he would act any more vigorously on behalf of same-sex marriage than Reagan did on behalf of a pro-life amendment.

However, I also think the positions held by Obama and Reagan reflect sincere ethical standpoints.

8lriley
May 10, 2012, 11:49am Top

Romney doesn't have a choice really. However he really feels about it his party more than generally is dead set against it. I don't know about anyone else here but if I had to go on TV or speak before a large crowd and say something along the lines of 'Marriage is a gift from God and meant only to be between a man and a woman'--(thinking at the same time--'aren't we supposedly the party of personal freedoms') I'd feel like an imbecile. It's just so stupid trying to tell people who they should be sexually attracted to.

9barney67
May 10, 2012, 11:51am Top

"There are no rational reasons for opposition to same-sex marriage."

Oh, brother…

10jjwilson61
May 10, 2012, 12:19pm Top

Similarly Obama cannot effect a federal "equal marriage rights" law because he'll never achieve the votes for it in Congress.

His Justice Dept. is refusing to fight for the Defense Of Marriage Act in the courts though. So he is doing something to overturn it, even if he can't pass a law through Congress to repeal it.

11BruceCoulson
May 10, 2012, 12:46pm Top

Obama, like Romney, can't afford sincere ethical standpoints. Like any salesman, they have to advocate what most people want to hear.

12lriley
May 10, 2012, 1:09pm Top

#9--you could help us out by giving us some rational reasons then.

13ABVR
Edited: May 10, 2012, 1:18pm Top

Looking at this just from the standpoint of electoral politics, it's hard not to see this announcement as beneficial to Obama.

Voters firmly committed to gay marriage now have (even if they see this as election-year expediency) renewed reason to support him (e.g. to turn out when they might otherwise have said "meh") and voters firmly opposed to it were unlikely to have gone to him in November anyway, so there's a (potential) marginal gain there, set against little or no loss.

Meanwhile, he's almost certainly forced Romney to take a firm stand in opposition to gay marriage (in order to insulate himself from lingering suspicions about his social-conservative credentials) and so declare himself to be on the wrong side (statistically speaking) of trending public opinion, which increasingly favors gay marriage. Then, too, Obama's also forced Romney to -- potentially -- alienate voters who, even if they don't see a full-court press for the legalization of gay marriage as a major issue, are uncomfortable with the civil-rights implications of the federal government maintaining an a priori ban like the Defense of Marriage Act, which Romney now has no chance to sidle away from.

The social-conservative wing of the Republican Party would, I think, do well to not make a major issue of this, and to present their criticism of it in calm, modulated, legalistic terms. Recent history, though, suggests that they'll do nothing of the sort . . . and that it's only a matter of time before Republican candidates start making over-the-top declarations that will make their press secretaries cringe.

If this is "just" election-year strategy -- and I'm not convinced it is -- it's an uncommonly deftly executed one.

14barney67
May 10, 2012, 1:24pm Top

Over half the states have voted against gay marriage, so I don't think this is an issue limited to social conservatives.

15catarina1
May 10, 2012, 1:41pm Top

Did you see what years these state initiatives were voted in? The Pennsylvania initiative was 1996. That qualifies are the dark ages.

16BruceCoulson
May 10, 2012, 2:29pm Top

""There are no rational reasons for opposition to same-sex marriage."

Oh, brother…"

I fail to see where the voting records of the vox populi somehow constitute a 'rational reason'. In fact, a very good argument could be made that the voting public is generally stirred towards irrational responses on any matter that does not DIRECTLY concern them, and on several matters that do directly concern their welfare.

17Amtep
May 10, 2012, 3:57pm Top

#6:

It seems that Obama has been implementing such changes all along, just not very loudly. Here's a list: Accomplishments by the Administration and Congress on LGBT Equality. Not all of those can be attributed to the executive branch, but the support is clear.

18prosfilaes
May 10, 2012, 4:00pm Top

#6: Constitutionally, that full faith and credit clause should mean that other states can't not accept a marriage from another state. If the Federal Government took the position that that was law, it would be harder for the states to challenge it. Naturally, it would be down to the judiciary, but it seems ludicrous (though not unprecedented) to interpret the full faith and credit clause any other way. Should Jerry Lee Lewis really have gone from married to single depending on which state he was in that night?

19prosfilaes
May 10, 2012, 4:03pm Top

#9: What an overwhelming argument! All points about gay marriages being at least as stable as straight marriage, and at least as competent at raising children, as well as hopefully taking children out of the foster care system that might have never escaped the system otherwise, all those points are blown away by the argument "Oh, brother".

20timspalding
Edited: May 10, 2012, 4:59pm Top

Oh, brother…

I have to agree. I am in favor of gay marriage, but "no rational reasons"? "Rational" is a low bar. Throwing "rational" around as if it meant something else, like "good" or "of which I agree", is… well, it might not be irrational, but it shows a singular disrespect for the meaning of words and, one may justly assume, for others.

21Bretzky1
May 10, 2012, 5:14pm Top

#18

Constitutionally, that full faith and credit clause should mean that other states can't not accept a marriage from another state. If the Federal Government took the position that that was law, it would be harder for the states to challenge it. Naturally, it would be down to the judiciary, but it seems ludicrous (though not unprecedented) to interpret the full faith and credit clause any other way. Should Jerry Lee Lewis really have gone from married to single depending on which state he was in that night?

There is actually quite a bit of uncertainty as to whether or not marriage records are covered by the Full Faith and Credit Clause.

The Supreme Court recognizes a public policy exception to the Full Faith and Credit Clause. The primary purposes of the Full Faith and Credit Clause are: 1) to ensure that the judgments of one state are virtually automatically recognized by the courts of every other state and 2) to ensure that the governmental records of one state are admissible as evidence in judicial proceedings of every other state to the extent that the state's own governmental records are admissible.

Unlike a driver's license, a marriage license--which is in essence the governmental record at issue--has a lot of public policy tied up into it. One could make the argument that a marriage license is more akin to a license to practice medicine or law, which are not covered by the Full Faith and Credit Clause because of the state's power to regulate the practice of medicine and law within its borders.

I'm not sure where I come down on the issue of whether the Full Faith and Credit Clause applies, but it is a close one.

22BruceCoulson
May 10, 2012, 5:26pm Top

Precedent would seem to indicate that the FF & CC does apply to marriage, since that was the case in inter-racial marriages. (Obviously those states which banned miscegenation never dreamed (initially) of prohibiting same-sex marriage; the idea was (literally) unthinkable.)

But since states did recognize inter-racial marriages performed in other regions, even if they prohibited such unions themselves, they're on shaky grounds to suddenly try and deny same-sex marriages on the FF & CC not applying.

23prosfilaes
May 10, 2012, 6:47pm Top

#21: I asked a question at the end of that paragraph; let me repeat it, in hopes that you answer it. Should Jerry Lee Lewis* really have gone from married to single depending on which state he was in that night?

Unlike a driver's license, a marriage license--which is in essence the governmental record at issue--has a lot of public policy tied up into it. One could make the argument that a marriage license is more akin to a license to practice medicine or law, which are not covered by the Full Faith and Credit Clause because of the state's power to regulate the practice of medicine and law within its borders.

You can walk in and turn in your driver's license or your license to practice medicine or law at any time. The whole point of marriage is to combine many things that aren't trivial to separate and take the powers of a court to do so. Divorces aren't trivial, but you're basically saying that all it should take to get a divorce is cross the right state line. Don't want to pay alimony? Just cross the right state line and get an alimony-free divorce. Can your partner still get a divorce in the state you got married in, and will the new state accept the alimony the court in the original state ordered? What about custody? If you marry someone of the same sex, and then go to a state that doesn't recognize that, and marry someone of a different sex, is that bigamy? What about if you go back to the original state? Texas is fighting about whether to let people in gay marriages divorce; that could get pretty nasty legally, having a marriage unrecognized in some states that you can't effectively get out of.

There's all sorts of legal questions divorce courts cover; letting states summarily ignore marriage licenses leaves those questions open all over the place.

Personally, I find it disturbing that all those people crying for family would want to give states the ability to summarily and silently annul marriages. That has the potential to be hugely destructive to families, especially at their worst moments. Imagine your partner going on a business trip, falling into a coma, and you rushing to their side, only to be told the state doesn't recognize your marriage so you get no say in her treatment or even get to see her. Oh, and if you brought the kids, the state's going to take them into custody because they were her kids, not yours.

* If you're wondering why I invoke him, he was married to his 13-year-old first cousin once removed, likely to be banned by many states.

#20: "Rational" is a low bar.

Rational is a tremendously high bar, that people rarely meet. You scratch about any supposedly "rational" argument, you'll find emotions and anecdote and predecisions behind it. The number of rational arguments in this debate are minimal; they require a model of human sociology that few of the debaters have, and I wonder if even the field of sociology itself is able to supply.

And nothing makes the case for your argument actually being "rational" like the words "oh, brother".

24Jesse_wiedinmyer
May 10, 2012, 6:58pm Top

Rational is a tremendously high bar,

In jurisprudence, not so much.

25AsYouKnow_Bob
Edited: May 10, 2012, 7:29pm Top

"There are no rational reasons for opposition to same-sex marriage."

Oh, brother…


We're still waiting for somebody to put forth a reason that at root isn't "My preacher says that Jesus wouldn't like it." I have yet to see a reason that wasn't at root derived from religious bigotry.

Here's the thing : the overlap set between "People who are bigoted against gays" and "People who would never ever vote for Obama" is just about 100%.

So there may be very little political cost for Obama to actually come out in favor of marriage equality.

(The problem being that people who really hate gays are highly motivated to come out and vote; people who believe in equal rights are less zealous; so this might hurt Obama in tightly contested states.)

26Jesse_wiedinmyer
May 10, 2012, 7:30pm Top

Actually, the "enthusiasm gap" on the issue is narrowed.

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/09/support-for-gay-marriage-out...

27Jesse_wiedinmyer
May 10, 2012, 7:32pm Top

The pertinent quote -

an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll in March found that 32 percent of Americans said they strongly favored same-sex marriage, while 31 percent strongly opposed it.

28AsYouKnow_Bob
Edited: May 10, 2012, 8:25pm Top

Yeah, the polls show that public opinion is changing fast: off the top of my head, it was like 41/49 against roughly two-and-a-half years ago, and today it's shifted to about 49/41 in favor. An 8-point shift in 30 months, with 6 months until Election Day.

Rmoney (...my new typo for the presumptive GOP candidate, I think I'll keep it...) seems to have picked the side that's dying off. Given that it's entirely likely to be 50/40 by ED, shouting "We must continue to deprive people of equal protection under the law because we think gays are icky" could very well prove to be the losing side.

Edited to add: the top story on Google news right now is from Politico:
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0512/76190.html
on how the GOP leadership is not playing this up, presumably because they realize that they've picked the losing side of the issue.

29timspalding
May 10, 2012, 7:51pm Top

I have yet to see a reason that wasn't at root derived from religious bigotry.

Which is why it's illegal in most countries of the world, including those that prohibit religion outright, like North Korea. It's why gay marriage is illegal in most of Europe, which is less religious than any state of the United States, including those that have approved gay marriage. I see no explanation for such a weird view of the issue, so at odds with an average, layman's understanding of the facts, other than anti-religious bigotry.

30AsYouKnow_Bob
Edited: May 10, 2012, 8:14pm Top

Tim at #20: I have to agree. I am in favor of gay marriage, but "no rational reasons"?

Well, I've been having this argument with my conservative pal for about a decade, and yeah, "no rational reasons".

"It will destroy the Sacred Institution of Marriage"
"How exactly does that work? I live in a state with marriage equality, my marriage remains undestroyed."
"It just will."

If the reasons against equal rights under the law were "rational", then people could point to the terrible consequences. Marriage equality has been legal for 11 years in Holland, and Holland remains ...just fine.

Where are the terrible consequences that are ("rationally"...) supposed to follow? Tim, deniro, anybody? Can you propose any?

Every reason I've heard devolves to either, "Well, I just think it's icky" or "My God forbids it". Neither of these reasons is "rational".

31AsYouKnow_Bob
Edited: May 10, 2012, 8:31pm Top

And no, my being in favor of equal rights under law does not derive from my alleged "anti-religious bigotry".

Being against people who want to impose their religious bigotry upon civil society makes me an American, not an "anti-religious bigot".

Mayor Bloomberg - nominally, a Republican - has it about right:
“This is a major turning point in the history of American civil rights. No American president has ever supported a major expansion of civil rights that has not ultimately been adopted by the American people – and I have no doubt that this will be no exception.
The march of freedom that has sustained our country since the Revolution of 1776 continues, and no matter what setbacks may occur in a given state, freedom will triumph over fear, and equality will prevail over exclusion. Today’s announcement is a testament to the President’s convictions, and it builds on the courageous stands that so many Americans have taken over the years on behalf of equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans, stretching back to the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village.”


32Bretzky1
May 10, 2012, 9:40pm Top

#23

I asked a question at the end of that paragraph; let me repeat it, in hopes that you answer it. Should Jerry Lee Lewis* really have gone from married to single depending on which state he was in that night?

No, he shouldn't have. But could have and should have are two different questions. Just because a state can do something doesn't mean that it should do something. But the question is: does the Full Faith and Credit Clause mandate the recognition of same-sex marriages in all states? The answer is: maybe not.

Amazingly the Clause has never been invoked to contest the refusal of a state to recognize a same-sex marriage or an inter-racial marriage before Loving v. Virginia or a plural marriage when they were (briefly) legal in certain territories of the western US.

See this article by Yale Law Professor Lea Brilmayer that briefly addresses the issue of the Full Faith and Credit Clause as it relates to marriages. She was called to testify before Congress on the effects of the Goodridge decision that made same-sex marriage a constitutional right in Massachusetts.

33prosfilaes
May 10, 2012, 10:15pm Top

#32: But I think that negates the argument that it's like a medical license or a law license. I'd make the argument that it's like an extradition warrant; what they did may not have been illegal in your state, you may not approve of the punishment, but if officers of the state are handed a valid extradition warrant, they have to turn over the person. Any other solution is too hairy to be supported.

See this article by Yale Law Professor Lea Brilmayer that briefly addresses the issue of the Full Faith and Credit Clause as it relates to marriages.

Briefly, yes. It does not offer us any citations, nor does it deal with the consequences we're seeing right now; e.g people sort of being married and unable to be divorced. I suspect part of the reason it has worked to the extent it has is because people married to first cousins or too young for the state are unlikely to be detected. Interracial couples either weren't stupid enough to live places they weren't tolerated, or didn't have a long life expectancy if they did.

34theoria
Edited: May 10, 2012, 10:49pm Top

25> We're still waiting for somebody to put forth a reason that at root isn't "My preacher says that Jesus wouldn't like it."

We are likely to wait a long time.

35Bretzky1
May 10, 2012, 11:39pm Top

Briefly, yes. It does not offer us any citations, nor does it deal with the consequences we're seeing right now

There are all kinds of negative consequences that stem from the application of laws, including those derived directly from the Constitution. But, of course, just because something is constitutional does not necessarily mean that it's good policy.

I think the best way for a state to deal with these issues while still refusing to recognize same-sex marriage would be to apply the law of the state in which the people were married. If you are a same-sex couple who was married in Iowa and now live in Nebraska, you could get a divorce from Nebraska's courts, but under Iowa law. While the best option would be universal same-sex marriage, that at least seems to be a reasonable compromise to me.

36Canadian_Down_Under
May 11, 2012, 12:23am Top

The argument that drives me crazy is "It's always been that way". Here, in Australia, we have a female prime minister. It wasn't that many years ago that not only could she not run for office, she couldn't vote. Aborigines, for many years, were not considered to be citizens of their own country. Societies change over time. We see injustices and we correct them. I hope the time is now here for correcting the injustices against our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community.

37timspalding
Edited: May 11, 2012, 12:51am Top

And no, my being in favor of equal rights under law does not derive from my alleged "anti-religious bigotry".

Purposeful shifting of ground. I didn't say that your support for equal rights derived from anti-religious bigotry. Your motives in saying I did are unclear to me; perhaps it is just sloppiness. Rather, I said that your contention that there are no reasons—rational or irrational—not "at root derived from religious bigotry" is anti-religious bigotry. You admit as much when you note that some people's reason is merely "ick!" (This is, perhaps, why societies that forbid all religious worship also forbid gay marriage, but who knows what your thinking is.)

On the topic of rationality, we have a basic problem of trying to shift "rational" into "things I disagree with." It is rational to believe that gay marriage will lead to this that and the other bad thing. Rational does not mean "morally right" or even factually correct. For example, I think your desire to make all anti-gay prejudice about others' religion is rational. I merely think it's factually wrong and morally objectionable. Though it is surely not pleasant to be told you got your facts wrong, and you're doing wrong, it's quite another thing to run to "you're a crazy loon!" That's what the misuse of "irrational" does.

38AsYouKnow_Bob
May 11, 2012, 12:49am Top

Your motives in saying I did are unclear to me; perhaps it is just sloppiness.

Perhaps I'm just tired of various Spaldings calling me a bigot.

39AsYouKnow_Bob
Edited: May 11, 2012, 12:55am Top

Look, there are plenty of Americans who don't think that gays should have equal rights.
These people are bigots.
Most bigots now realize that bigotry is now socially unacceptable.
Some bigots now cloak their bigotry in religion, thinking that this will add add an air of sanctity to their bigotry.

What "cloaking bigotry in religion" actually does, though, is to bring religion into disrepute.
The bigots are the ones bringing religion into disrepute.

Pointing out the simple reality that religion is being used to justify bigotry does not make ME an "anti-religious bigot".

And falling back on religious justifications is just about the only arrow they have in their quiver.

You've been asked several times: What then IS a "rational" reason for opposing marriage equality?
Can YOU think of any that don't reduce to claiming "My religion says its wrong"?

40timspalding
May 11, 2012, 12:53am Top

Can I get a ruling on this? Are all reasons for being against gay marriage derived from religious bigotry or not? You seem to say one thing one place, and another another. I think that opinion is a bigoted one. Am I wrong in my description of your view, or in my description of its moral content?

41timspalding
Edited: May 11, 2012, 12:59am Top

>39 AsYouKnow_Bob:

I agree with your basic assessment. While I don't like calling people bigots based on one opinion of uncertain origin, preferring to call the opinion bigotry, it certainly is bigotry. At best, perhaps, it is ignorance. I'll cut some elderly grandmothers some slack there, perhaps. But overall, bigotry.

I also agree that religion is used to justify bigotry, and on a not-trivial scale, and that this is a serious charge against religion. Insofar as the religious attack is affirmatively made—not just ignorance and social stasis—it is more culpable.

Where I get off the bus is in seeing all anti-gay sentiment as fundamentally religious in nature. I see ample evidence that this is not the case, and wonder why someone would make such a claim. And I make a distinction between opinions and facts I disagree with, and a lack of rationality.

42Jesse_wiedinmyer
Edited: May 11, 2012, 1:01am Top

Can you offer a few examples of anti-gay sentiment that aren't, at base, a religious argument? That might do well to counter the claim.

43AsYouKnow_Bob
Edited: May 11, 2012, 1:12am Top

I said above at #30: Every reason I've heard devolves to either, "Well, I just think it's icky" or "My God forbids it". Neither of these reasons is "rational".

Bigots know that the first reason no longer carries much weight; so they try to cloak bigotry in the sanctity of religion. It's still bigotry.

Edited to add: And several of us have asked (and are still waiting) for the purported "rational" reasons against equal treatment under law.

44Lunar
Edited: May 11, 2012, 1:26am Top

#35: If you are a same-sex couple who was married in Iowa and now live in Nebraska, you could get a divorce from Nebraska's courts, but under Iowa law.

Thank you for mentioning divorce. Divorce hell is one of the major reasons why marriage is an oppressive institution. And while the leverage each party has has become more even across gender lines in recent decades... it's still legal hell. Obviously the government shouldn't discriminate against people who consider themselves married to eachother, but legal entanglements have made it so that it's disproportionately harder to get out of a marriage that it is to get into one. Marry at your own peril.

45timspalding
Edited: May 11, 2012, 1:37am Top

Can you offer a few examples of anti-gay sentiment that aren't, at base, a religious argument? That might do well to counter the claim.

I don't particularly want to serve as a mouthpiece for anti-gay views. I don't want someone to misread me as agreeing with them, and given how my words are twisted over and over again above, I worry about intentional misreading.

But, since you ask, these sorts of opinions are not religious in nature. Not a few of them were written by atheists.

"Homosexuality is unnatural"
"Homosexuality is asocial"
"Homosexuality is a psychiatric disease" (the DSMV said so into the 1980s, and the DSMV was hardly a religiously inspired document; similarly Communist Chinese manuals removed it only a decade ago)
"Homosexuality is a physical disease"
"Homosexuality is a genetic disease"
"Homosexuality is an arrest of normal sexual development" (Freud)
"Homosexuals want to bugger my child"
"Homosexuals make bad parents"
"Homosexuals spread AIDS"
"Homosexuality is revolting"
"Homosexuality is a bourgeoisie, capitalist degeneracy"
"Homosexuality is bad for population growth"
"Homosexuality is 'morally deteriorated', 'abominable', 'loathsome' and 'degrading'" (Engels)

These are all wrong six ways from Sunday, but they are not religious opinions.

There is, obviously, a growing link between religion and anti-gay views. I submit that this is largely because non-religious opinions are easier to combat with facts, experience and so forth. The atheist thirty years ago who thought that gays were all secret pedophiles whose received too much attention from their mother knows better now. The Baptist who thinks the various Bible passages are determinative does not.

46AsYouKnow_Bob
Edited: May 11, 2012, 1:39am Top

Right - all of those views have been pretty well refuted. Some of them are centuries-old thinking.
And we agree that the opposition is bigoted.

We even agree that There is, obviously, a growing link between religion and anti-gay views, because non-religious opinions are easier to combat with facts, experience and so forth. (Except when *I* say it, that seems to make *me* an anti-religious bigot....)

So we have a bunch of old ideas, long since refuted. What's left on the table?

We're left with your proposed explanation

- At best, perhaps, it is ignorance.

and my two proposed explanations

- "Well, I just think it's icky"
and
- "My God forbids it"

AND
- the hypothesized "rational" reasons THAT DON'T ACTUALLY EXIST.

47timspalding
Edited: May 11, 2012, 1:47am Top

We're still waiting for somebody to put forth a reason that at root isn't "My preacher says that Jesus wouldn't like it." I have yet to see a reason that wasn't at root derived from religious bigotry.

That is the overreaching nonsense I was attempting to refute. I have solidly refuted it. That is all I cared to do. I think that ignoring all the non-religious arguments people have and continue to use, in favor of bashing religion (again), is offensive. We will have to disagree on the meaning of "rational" as against other criticisms of an opinion.

48AsYouKnow_Bob
May 11, 2012, 1:50am Top

OK.

But I was in the gallery of the NYS Assembly the first time Marriage Equality came up for a vote.
None of the opponents actually quoted Engels or Freud.

49timspalding
May 11, 2012, 1:57am Top

All their arguments were religious, right?

50AsYouKnow_Bob
Edited: May 11, 2012, 2:10am Top

The opponents generally had no actual arguments; only a few took their allotted time on the floor (...to make basically religious arguments: "My district is heavily RC, I'm RC, I can't in good conscience support this", etc.).

Most of the opponents generally just voted "No" when called.

The impassioned (...and time-consuming...) speeches came from the advocates for tolerance and equality.

51theoria
Edited: May 11, 2012, 2:34am Top

Franklin Graham believes God is grieving:
“On Tuesday my state of North Carolina became the 31st state to approve a constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between a man and a woman. While the move to pass amendments defining marriage is relatively new, the definition of marriage is 8,000 years old and was defined not by man, but by God Himself.

In changing his position from that of Senator/candidate Obama, President Obama has, in my view, shaken his fist at the same God who created and defined marriage. It grieves me that our president would now affirm same-sex marriage, though I believe it grieves God even more.

The institution of marriage should not be defined by presidents or polls, governors or the media. The definition was set long ago and changing legislation or policy will never change God’s definition. This is a sad day for America. May God help us.” http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/05/10/3231371/franklin-graham-obama-shakin...

Cardinal Dolan is saddened:
"Cardinal Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, described the president’s endorsement as “deeply saddening.”

The bishops “cannot be silent in the face of words or actions that would undermine the institution of marriage, the very cornerstone of our society,” he said in a May 9 statement. “The people of this country, especially our children, deserve better.”

Cardinal Dolan said that the announcement was “not surprising” based on the Obama administration’s previous actions, which “erode or ignore the unique meaning of marriage.”

He called for prayer and efforts to “promote and protect marriage” in order to “serve the true good of all persons.” http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/cardinal-dolan-obamas-gay-marriage-suppor...

Bristol Palin opines that teenagers have been persuaded that same-sex marriage is OK by too many viewings of "Glee" http://www.patheos.com/blogs/bristolpalin/

52lriley
May 11, 2012, 7:26am Top

Not just people who are religious fighting against gay rights but it's led by religious institutions and their representatives. In this respect many of the same religions should be looked as the generators of anti-gay viewpoints and especially considering that the readings and interpretations of their holy books and/or subsequent supportive writings are used precisely in a way to attack this particular sector of our society--one can to me very easily point to anti-gay bigotry as emanating from these same religious institutions notwithstanding just the oddball haters who don't particularly follow any religion.

53richardbsmith
May 11, 2012, 8:28am Top

Some people who are against extending marriage rights to homosexual couples are not bigots. Some just think marriage should be between a man and a woman.

I am not sure the reason bigotry must be cited as the cause. Name calling adds little to the discussion.

And religion does have something to say about marriage, just not about the state rules for marriage which must govern the general population, including those outside a particular religious tradition.

54prosfilaes
May 11, 2012, 8:33am Top

Wow, Bristol Palin is so insightful!

Let’s pause for just one second. When Christian women run for high office, people inevitably bring up the question of submission. Once, Michele Bachmann, for example, was asked during a debate, “As president, would you be submissive to your husband?”

In other news, Michele Bachmann said “My husband said, ‘now you need to go and get a post-doctorate degree in tax law.’ Tax law? I hate taxes. Why should I go into something like that? But the Lord says, be submissive. Wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands.”

People automatically assume that a Christian female President isn’t capable of making decisions without her spouse’s stamp of approval. (I should add female Republican candidates –liberal women don’t get the same kind of questions.)

Actually, we assume that someone who claims that she lets someone else order her around lets someone else order her around, and are concerned about electing her to president. Liberal women don't say things like that, and I doubt female politicians who can just say "No." to that and have no previous statements contradicting that get that question much.

Liberals everywhere are applauding him for his bravery and his wisdom.

I find considering this directly motivated by anything other then election year politics a little gullible, but whatever.

it’s a problem if my mom listened too much to my dad, but it’s a heroic act if the President made a massive change in a policy position that could affect the entire nation after consulting with his teenage daughters?

No, it's a problem if the president lets someone else run the country; the president consulting people is fine. How much a president should be of his time is an open question, but I think he was pretty clear about consulting the zeitgeist of the time, not just his daughters.

Sometimes dads should lead their family in the right ways of thinking.

Perhaps he was, or, in deference to Palin's position, perhaps he was leading them in the ways of thinking he thought was right.

merely reflecting what many teenagers think after one too many episodes of Glee.

Or reflecting what many adults think after actually having known gay people.

55prosfilaes
May 11, 2012, 9:24am Top

#53: And religion does have something to say about marriage, just not about the state rules for marriage which must govern the general population, including those outside a particular religious tradition.

There's a lot of things tied up into marriage; my impulse as a computer programmer (unlike Tim's? (-: ) is that this need more fine-grained user options. What marriage means and who can get married is a complex social question, and in a secular society, religion can't be excluded from discussions on complex social questions. Unlike many in this discussion, I don't see this as a simple question of rights; civil marriage is part of the way government shapes society, part of the way society tries to encourage its better parts and discourage its worse parts.

56CharlesBoyd
May 11, 2012, 11:36am Top

Gays are going at the issue the wrong way. Polls consistantly show that younger people are fine with gay rights, gay marriage. Gays should just shoot for civil unions, or whatever the current term is, and not call it marriage which is the big sticking point for many people. That would be more likely to be achieved. People for gay marriage would still call it "marriage," those who oppose it never would. But, in a few decades, pretty much everyone would call it "marriage," and eventually someone would ask "Why don't we make it offical, call civil unions "marrage?" It would likely be an easy sell then.

57prosfilaes
May 11, 2012, 12:45pm Top

Gays are going at the issue the wrong way.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. If they get it all in the next few years, that will be pretty solid argument that they were right.

Personally, I think they should strike when the iron is hot. It's like civil rights; both after Restoration and after the 20th century's Civil Rights Era, society stopped wanting to hear about civil rights, and a lot of the gains blacks had made were lost. But the legal grounding that had been put into place was never completely undermined. You get a bunch of constitutional amendments on the state level and it would take more then apathy to roll them back. Civil unions, OTOH, faced with societal apathy and strong religious dislike, could be rolled back to virtually non-entities pretty easily. And I suspect that's what's going to happen; society is going to change, and gays are going to lose some of what they fought for. Better grab as much as they can while the getting's good.

58CharlesBoyd
May 11, 2012, 12:51pm Top

57> "The proof of the pudding is in the eating. If they get it all in the next few years, that will be pretty solid argument that they were right."

True

59southernbooklady
May 11, 2012, 12:51pm Top

Gays should just shoot for civil unions, or whatever the current term is, and not call it marriage which is the big sticking point for many people.

"Marriage" is the term used in civic and legal parlance. If two people have a civil ceremony, they are legally married even if it was by a judge, not a priest. Somehow, I don't think that heterosexual couples married by civil ceremony would appreciate being told that it wasn't really a marriage, just a "civil union."

60timspalding
May 11, 2012, 1:04pm Top

>56 CharlesBoyd:

Maybe. There'll be a dynamic change once all the easy states switch, and gay marriage amendments need to be rolled back. But I think the people who are directing strategy—to the extent it's directed—have been pretty effective so far.

61krolik
May 11, 2012, 1:12pm Top

>54 prosfilaes:

You forgot to mention Bristol's problem with possessive apostrophe.

62AsYouKnow_Bob
Edited: May 11, 2012, 3:36pm Top

1) Who the hell asked Bristol Palin for her opinion on MARRIAGE?!?
(As in: she clearly has no basis for understanding the issue. She's one of the least qualified people in America to tell other people who should and should not marry.)

(For that matter, if she had her way and America had actually retained the Old Testament standards and definitions, then Jehovah commands the men of Wasila to stone her to death on her father's doorstep. The harlot. Ah, but she thinks that the old-fashioned religious strictures shouldn't be applied to her, no. Just other people.)

2) Thinking about last night's conversation:

Tim - who I know is on the progressive side of this question - was challenged a couple of times to provide "rational" reasons why somebody would oppose same-sex marriage.

And he rose to the challenge; but if you look at the list he provided at #45, those are "rational" reasons why somebody might view homosexuals as "abnormal" or even "inferior". Those aren't "rational reasons" for opposing same-sex marriage. Nothing on that list necessarily applies to the question of marriage equality.

In fact, you could use all of that list to argue the converse: that same-sex marriage SHOULD be legal.

(Under the Carlyle Principle: "How very good of God to let Carlyle and Mrs. Carlyle marry one another, and so make only two people miserable instead of four.”)

63Jesse_wiedinmyer
May 11, 2012, 6:08pm Top

Holy batshit, Batman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

64timspalding
Edited: May 11, 2012, 9:33pm Top

>62 AsYouKnow_Bob:

Actually, my point—stated explicitly in words, in the English language—was to provide reasons (1) for anti-gay bias that (2) were non-religious.

See the part where I was responding to:
"Can you offer a few examples of anti-gay sentiment that aren't, at base, a religious argument? That might do well to counter the claim."
I put that quote above what I said for a reason.

I don't know what to do. I can't say X without you attacking me for saying Y. No matter how clearly I express myself, no matter how closely I respond to a short, simple quote written in the English language… bah. I predicted you'd misrepresent what I said. And you did.

65richardbsmith
Edited: May 11, 2012, 9:47pm Top

>63 Jesse_wiedinmyer:

There you go - 5 minutes full of rational argument against same sex marriage.

Any questions?

Case closed. No more orgiers.

66AsYouKnow_Bob
Edited: May 11, 2012, 10:25pm Top

Re #64:
No, no, no -
Tim, I'm not trying to misrepresent you, and I'm not attacking you (...jeez, pal, you're the one who's called ME a bigot...) -
I'm merely noting that YES, you responded to Jesse's request for examples of non-religious "anti-gay sentiment" - and that the request for non-religious reasons against marriage equality STILL has not been answered.

67timspalding
Edited: May 11, 2012, 10:50pm Top

>66 AsYouKnow_Bob:

Well, obviously, the anti-gay sentiment ones are also anti-marriage equality ones, at least if you're not a libertarian. If you think the state has marriage to advance virtue and other social goals, and you believe gays are asocial, pathological and so forth, you're not going to support gay marriage. Would it be accurate to say that what you're really looking for are "rational" arguments?

To that, as I said before, we disagree on what "rational" means. I think it means "rational" not "factually correct," "morally correct" or "in line with American notions of freedom." At the simplest, it is rational to believe that gay marriage will mainline homosexuality further. Granted certain—wrong, evil but rational—views, that alone would be reason enough.

Incidentally, I would surface a few arguments I have sympathy with, and which I don't think are "irrational." On balance, I have decided are overbalanced by arguments on the other side.

1. Gay marriage perpetuates the notion that the state gives you and your relationships value and meaning. Equality under law is sufficient. The state should get out of the business of deciding who gets to apply the label, rather than extending it further.

2. Gay marriage should not be passed, except as part of a larger extension to polygamous families. If we think it's a shame that gay people can't visit their dying loved ones in the hospital—to cite the simple, powerful example often given for gay marriage—we should get over our disgust and allow a muslim or a mormon to do the same. Many gay-marriage advocates have fallen over themselves to emphasize that they don't support, well, creepy mormons and their child brides. I see little difference between those stereotypes and ones leveled against gays. If we are talking about equality, we should be consistent.

Now, I'm still in favor of gay marriage. (I'm f-ing phone-banking for them on Tuesday!) But I don't think either of those arguments are "irrational." I'm sure you disagree with them—we have different political principles. But differences in political theory are not a matter of rationality.

68AsYouKnow_Bob
May 11, 2012, 10:56pm Top

OK. The thing about "rational" argument - -
for years, I've been having these conversations, and opponents make claims like "it will destroy the institution (or, occasionally: "the SACRED Institution") of marriage."

And you push back on this claim... and they've got nothing.
"How does someone else getting married destroy marriage?"
"It just WILL."
"No, really: what does that mean?"
etc.

And here's an argument that I've heard and can even sympathize with, as at least it's not crazy:
3) that we shouldn't move to marriage equality on pure Burke-ian grounds. That we need to move slowly on social change, as change is inherently full of unintended consequences.

It's not a position I agree with, but it's at least rational. Too bad I only rarely hear opponents actually use it.

69timspalding
May 11, 2012, 11:09pm Top

>68 AsYouKnow_Bob:

So, I think the argument is exactly opposite—I think it will strengthen the institutional of marriage. Having X% of Americans outside a system that supports social cohesion, weakens it and thus society. But I find it hard to be dogmatic about predictions. I think there's a case to be made for gay marriage strengthening a move away from marriages in religious settings. Insofar as religions have rules about marriage—not just moral statements but, for example, to get married in the Catholic or Episcopal church you need to rack up quite a few hours of relationship counseling!—that secondary effect is troubling. And that's leaving aside whether removing religion from yet another aspect of human society is itself a negative.

70AsYouKnow_Bob
May 11, 2012, 11:54pm Top

I think it will strengthen the institutional of marriage.

I've had a conversation with an opponent where they put forward the "idea" that
"Gays are too wildly promiscuous to be allowed to marry."

Uh, what?

71timspalding
Edited: May 12, 2012, 12:23am Top

>70 AsYouKnow_Bob:

You kidding me? Want less gay sex? Marriage is the answer! Oh, and kids.

Changing topic, has anyone seen data on how much "pleasing" there is in the poll numbers? 50% of Americans say they approve of Obama's move. A majority say they approve of gay marriage. But there's got to be falsity in the numbers. There have to be people who don't want to tell some random stranger on the telephone that they don't think gays should marry.

72AsYouKnow_Bob
May 12, 2012, 12:31am Top

The term of art is "giving the 'socially acceptable response'."

73Lunar
May 12, 2012, 2:14am Top

#65: Five minutes? I had to pull out after 30 seconds!

And no, there is no rational argument against marriage equality. Plenty against marriage. Just not against equality. You'd think the Left would understand the whole "separation of bedroom and state" thing, but no, they're as hopeless and the Right.

74richardbsmith
May 12, 2012, 6:28am Top

Well I actually think you have to watch the entire 5 minutes to understand the full import of her argument.

75Jesse_wiedinmyer
May 12, 2012, 6:53am Top

I'm swayed. I rescind all previously stated support for the rights of gays to marry the people of their choosing.

76AsYouKnow_Bob
Edited: May 12, 2012, 8:43am Top

Tim at #69:
So, I think the argument is exactly opposite...


And there's the crux of our 'disagreement' :

if the opponents' proposed outcome is likely to be exactly opposite of their wished-for outcome, is it fair to say that their argument is not "rational"?

77lawecon
May 12, 2012, 10:04am Top

~64

"I don't know what to do. I can't say X without you attacking me for saying Y. No matter how clearly I express myself, no matter how closely I respond to a short, simple quote written in the English language… bah. I predicted you'd misrepresent what I said. And you did."

Yes, it is amazing how many times your arguments are totally misunderstood and people attack you for no reason. Of course, it is you that they are attacking, rather than the evident English meaning of what you say.

78lawecon
May 12, 2012, 10:15am Top

~67 and 69

So you think that marriage is an institution that the state created and supports to promote public morality? I see.

So the state is an institution in the business of promoting public morality? That must be why politicians and bureaucrats are generally recognized as paragons of virtue and morality. After all, Paul advised us that "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God." (Romans 13:1) and there are many analogous doctrines http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Davison/Roy/Allen/1940/men.html So it must be true.

And marriage, of course, is a state created institution, despite those katubahs, that one might mistake for contracts.

But I am undoubtedly misinterpreting what you have said and attacking you in pointing out those seeming incongruities.

79Jesse_wiedinmyer
May 12, 2012, 10:16am Top

So the state is an institution in the business of promoting public morality? That must be why politicians and bureaucrats are generally recognized as paragons of virtue and morality.

Non-sequitur.

80lawecon
May 12, 2012, 10:18am Top

~79

Brilliant. I hadn't noticed.

81Jesse_wiedinmyer
May 12, 2012, 10:19am Top

That doesn't surprise me.

82lawecon
May 12, 2012, 10:21am Top

~81

Yes, I thought that a counterfactual always followed from a false premise. It is good to be corrected.

83Jesse_wiedinmyer
May 12, 2012, 10:25am Top

Which part of the claim do you wish to examine?

84AsYouKnow_Bob
May 12, 2012, 12:32pm Top

Well, maybe people misunderstand each other because this is not a formal debate: it's only chat on the internet.

85krolik
May 12, 2012, 1:22pm Top

It's nice to chat. Really nice.

86lawecon
May 12, 2012, 1:44pm Top

~84

Yes, I know. You're a great advocate of chatter on the internet, Bob. Except, of course, when some one says you are - then you deny having ever said such a thing.

87krolik
May 12, 2012, 4:45pm Top

But, lawecon (correct me if I'm wrong) you're quite the old chatterbox, here on jolly old Librarything? The feel of the wind in your whiskers? You be a pirate o'chat, n'est-ce pas, dude?

88AsYouKnow_Bob
May 12, 2012, 5:13pm Top

86: Cite, please?

Otherwise, you're telling an untruth.

89Bretzky1
Edited: May 12, 2012, 5:22pm Top

Andrew Sullivan has a rather amazing memo from Jan van Lohuizen sent to "various leading Republican operatives" on the topic of gay marriage.

90richardbsmith
May 12, 2012, 5:53pm Top

I consider myself a conservative and a Christian (I am not sure though that I am a conservative Christian). I cannot think of a reason that the government should exclude any rights from anyone, short of punishment for a crime.

Thanks for sharing that memo.

It is time to move on.

91lawecon
May 12, 2012, 7:51pm Top

~88

Actually, Bob, before I spend 10 minutes looking up your posts on this topic, I'd like you to deny that you've done exactly what I say you've done. Then when I do look it up there will be no ambiguity about who is "telling an untruth."

92lawecon
Edited: May 12, 2012, 7:53pm Top

~87

Yes, I post almost as much as you do. And, of course, according to Bob, a post to these Forums is or should be chatter. So I guess if you put those two together, with the presumption that the latter is true..........

(Would you like to seriously discuss TOS again?)

93RidgewayGirl
May 13, 2012, 3:29pm Top

This isn't a "rational" argument against gay marriage, but an attempt at an explanation about why this is such an emotive issue in the Evangelical world. I do want to point out that I agree strongly with the view that it's unjust to deny equal rights to any group.

At least where I am, many live in a bubble where everyone shares the same set of beliefs. They attend church filled with white people exactly like them, their children attend church schools and even when they venture out into the "world", it's to safe places. Among those assumptions is that only Republicans are "real" Christians, that abortion is murder and that homosexuality is an abomination. No one has to question or defend these beliefs in any substantive way. Which can mean that when these topics are brought up, some people can feel threatened in ways that appear over-blown to outsiders. It's so wrapped up in identity that it takes an act of will to separate cultural beliefs from their core religious beliefs.

I suspect that in a few decades this will cease to be an issue. Of course, asking people to live without the rights routinely given to those around them because it makes some people uncomfortable is silly.

94AsYouKnow_Bob
Edited: May 13, 2012, 7:25pm Top

At 91, lawecon admitted that he's lying. He's got nothing.

LT "Talk" is obviously, trivially, just people chatting on the internet. It's something I've said before, and it's something I said again yesterday. Why on earth would I ever choose to deny it?

Shorter lawecon: "I'm so obsessed by this topic that I just make up lies about people."

95theoria
May 13, 2012, 7:09pm Top

93> That sounds about right. It's a matter of lifestyle/identity.

96timspalding
Edited: May 13, 2012, 8:31pm Top

>93 RidgewayGirl:

There may be some truth in what you say, but it's too easy to make this a problem of white evangelicals. Minorities are far more anti-gay marriage than white people. And evangelicals are—at most—25% nationally.

To take a specific case, focusing on evangelicals can't explain the Maine vote against gay marriage either. Maine doesn't have very many evangelicals—15% is the estimate. And you can be damn sure it's not blacks—they make up only 1.2% of our population. Indeed, you can't even blame religion—gallup classifies more Mainers as "non-religious" than "very" or "moderately" religious, the third-lowest state(1). Even so, Mainers took away gay marriage by a six percent margin. There's no way to slice the numbers that doesn't involve lots of non-religious white people voting it down.

I'd like to change that. I'm hoping it does change when the issue is retried. But it's a good example of how evangelicals aren't the problem.


1. To that, you can add that Maine is a relative hotbed of mainline, pro-gay-marriage Protestants, so being "religious" in Maine is no guarantee of being anti-gay marriage.

97AsYouKnow_Bob
Edited: May 13, 2012, 10:34pm Top

And evangelicals are—at most—25% nationally.

Well, see the recent poll Jesse cites at #26-27:

an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll in March found that 32 percent of Americans said they strongly favored same-sex marriage, while 31 percent strongly opposed it.

~25%/31% = 80%

Add in conservatives from various non-evangelical traditions, and it's equally fair to say that the "strong" opposition is almost entirely religious.

98timspalding
May 13, 2012, 11:01pm Top

Yes, I suspect it's mostly so. I would also suspect that the lying and pleasing factors are not the evangelicals.

99barney67
Edited: May 14, 2012, 11:05am Top

Tim, how do you square your Catholicism with your support for homosexual behavior? Does someone close to you want to get married, a staff member maybe?

By the way, how can you square Catholicism with running a web site that includes LGBT and BDSM behavior. It was because of this site that I learned what those acronyms mean, and I wasn't happy.

100BruceCoulson
May 14, 2012, 11:45am Top

The real explanation for not supporting gay marriage is very simple, and is connected with religion, but not linked to it.

Change is scary.

That's it. For a very long time, gays haven't been allowed to marry. It's only been for a short time that the existence of homosexuals as a significant percentage of the population has been acknowledged, and even a shorter time for gays to not be considered deviants by medical authorities.

That's a lot of change in a short time, socially. People don't like change. It's scary, and it threatens them because if 'x' can change, what about 'y'? What else might suddenly turn to water under their feet and vanish?

What those against gay marriage really want is for gays to disappear. They don't want to actually do bad things to gays, mind you; they just want all the change and controversy to go away, and things to go back to what they were before.

And they're willing to go to a lot of effort to prevent any further change.

Unfortunately, this will probably only be resolved in another generation or two, when those people come into power and wonder what all the fuss was about. For the younger generation, it's not change; it's already happened.

101prosfilaes
May 14, 2012, 11:53am Top

#99: I'm not going to speak for Tim, but here in the real world, businessmen frequently find that trying to impose their morality on their customers is not profitable. I suspect he's got a number of customers here who would leave if he started putting such tight limits on talk that you didn't have to find out what LGBT and BDSM mean. And a lot more would leave if he started censoring which books people could add, including a lot who didn't add such books.

You really learned what LGBT and BDSM was here? I don't even understand why LGBT would upset you; it's simply an acronym for something you surely knew existed. Is BDSM prohibited by canon law or something? Assuming a husband is tying up his wife in a consensual manner, I don't recall anything in the Bible mentioning it. (And spare me the emotional response; yes, it's creepy, but I know of no moral system where creepy = immoral.)

102BruceCoulson
May 14, 2012, 12:08pm Top

#99

I also don't see any conflict between Tim being catholic and running a website that has members and literature that disagree with/contradict Catholic teachings. He's not required to agree with those views or own those books, just because the website has them. Would devout Catholics be forbidden to work in a secular library simply because it had books that advocated atheism? I don't believe so...

103timspalding
Edited: May 14, 2012, 2:31pm Top

>99 barney67:

No, the person you're speaking about so unpleasantly is already married. If we're speaking about business, however, it's already come up as an impediment to hiring in Maine.

For "running a web site that includes LGBT and BDSM behavior" I have to laugh. Only so much "behavior" can be done on a website, unless I'm doing it wrong. Nor am I responsible for your lack of knowledge, of acronyms or otherwise, or your displeasure at learning a new one.

On the question of Catholicism, I'd say this. I think it's clearly a fairly well grounded, long-term teaching of the church that homosexual sex is immoral. While I question that, it is not my authority (literally) to change it. Questioning church teaching as a matter of conscience is hardly unique in Catholic history. Similar disagreements surrounded topics like slavery, the scope of salvation, the role of church and state, and the culpability of the Jews. Eventually the "pilgrim church" progressed, and those who disagreed found their arguments taken up by the teaching authority. In the mean time those who disagreed generally remained Catholics. They were not ejected and they did not seek to split the church. The latter is critical. There is a big difference between disagreeing with the hierarchy of the church and starting your own.

As regards whether Catholics must vote against allowing gay civil marriage between non-Catholics, the case is immeasurably weaker. And as for whether Catholics may own a web forum where people sometimes go against Catholic teaching, that question is so ignorant, I don't think it deserves a real answer.

104fuzzi
May 14, 2012, 12:41pm Top

105lawecon
May 14, 2012, 1:25pm Top

~94

"At 91, lawecon admitted that he's lying. He's got nothing."

You know, it is amazing Bob, you have such contempt for the other contributors to this Forum that you not only think that what they say is chatter, but you also blatantly lie about what is available for them to read. Such contempt, such arrogance.

106Jesse_wiedinmyer
May 14, 2012, 2:38pm Top

how can you square Catholicism

Because his Catholicism actually displays catholicism?

107Jesse_wiedinmyer
May 14, 2012, 2:39pm Top

And if it took LT to reveal to you what LGBT means, I have to shake my head in wonder...

108timspalding
May 14, 2012, 2:39pm Top

And roundness!

109Jesse_wiedinmyer
May 14, 2012, 2:40pm Top

You're a veritable Cromwell, Spalding.

110Jesse_wiedinmyer
May 14, 2012, 3:30pm Top

The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!

http://www.ashidakim.com/zenkoans/45rightandwrong.html

111richardbsmith
May 14, 2012, 3:51pm Top

That is my next big question. What is meant by Son of Man? Stay tuned.

112SimonW11
May 14, 2012, 4:15pm Top

Interesting article on same sex unions in the catholic church here http://anthropologist.livejournal.com/1314574.html

113barney67
May 14, 2012, 6:44pm Top

103 -- I should've said, or meant to say, "running a web site that includes LGBT and BDSM material" not behavior. Of course, I never meant to say that you control people's behavior. Nor did I ever say you were responsible for my learning what the acronyms mean. It's not so unusual. I bet there are a lot of people who don't know what they mean. Perhaps it is because you live in New England and are used to a certain leftward way of thinking and living that you find my ignorance so amusing. I'm glad I didn't know. I already know what's in a sewer, but I don't have to go into one to prove it.

I guess laughing at me and putting me down is one way of answering a serious question. I admit I expect more from the owner of this business, or any business.

You are trying to put me in the minority, that I should be against such things, and yet your own state has come out against gay marriage, as have 30 other states. That would suggest to me that the momentum and the majority of views are on my side, not yours. I remember you quoted a poll in another thread about how young people were for gay marriage. You felt that, because they are the future, the future means gay marriage.

While it is true that they are the future, we don't know how they will vote in the future. Young people are dumb. God willing, they get smarter with age. When a state as liberal as California comes out against gay marriage, maybe you should consider that you are the one in the minority and paddling "against history." I don't believe that history is run by impersonal forces. I think it is composed of the end results of the choices of individuals. To say "things must change" or are "inevitable" is to misunderstand how history works.

It is clever how you have weaseled your way through a sort of loophole in Catholicism. I don't see how you can call yourself Catholic and still hold the views that you do. Surely there are other religions that feel the way you do and that would welcome you. One doesn't ask to join a club, then avoid living by the club's rules or try to change them.

114timspalding
Edited: May 14, 2012, 7:20pm Top

Interesting article on same sex unions in the catholic church here

FWIW, most late antique/medieval historians do not think Boswell's Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe is right, but that he has misinterpreted the evidence, especially a rite for ending hostilities between warring families. His theory is the kind that people want to believe, and, I haven't looked at the evidence personally, but that's the academic feeling. We can, perhaps, cue another LT member for his view that all representation of scholarly consensus is bollocks, but that's how it is.

laughing at me and putting me down

I think parts of your post were pretty funny. It may be ungenerous of me to be amused at it, but I don't think it was unfair.

As for "web site that includes LGBT and BDSM material" I'm not sure what you mean, exactly. There are some conversations of that nature although, in truth, neither are very active here. Is your objection to the fact that we allow people to catalog such books?

That would suggest to me that the momentum and the majority of views are on my side, not yours. … To say "things must change" or are "inevitable" is to misunderstand how history works.

I am sympathetic to the inclination here. Lots of things seem like destiny to some people at some time. When we were a good deal younger, a lot of American leftists believed that Communism was the future, and imagined that "revolution" was inevitable. Even so, I think the evidence for the shift toward acceptance of homosexuality, socially and legally, has wholly different sort of inevitability behind it, and strong, long-running and wide-ranging evidence to back that up. It's peculiar to cite California and Maine without also noting the persistent change in voter and polls numbers. In any case, there is continuum of confidence along which we can array predictions. I'd put this up there with "worldwide internet use will grow" not "applejack will overtake beer." I don't suppose we're likely to agree here.

One doesn't ask to join a club, then avoid living by the club's rules or try to change them.

Protestants think they're in some sort of "club," Catholics do not. "If you don't like something about your church, why not just leave it?" is why there are thousands of Protestant churches. They split and split. Put most charitably, Protestants think that, while churches may split, there is a "church" of all believing Christians that somehow transcends all churches and is none of them. The Catholic church does not see things that way, and that, not an absolute refusal to disagree within a tradition, is why there are precious few Catholic schisms.

115prosfilaes
May 14, 2012, 7:22pm Top

#113: I bet there are a lot of people who don't know what they mean. Perhaps it is because you live in New England and are used to a certain leftward way of thinking and living that you find my ignorance so amusing.

Anyone who watched crime shows on TV would know. CSI, Law and Order, Law and Order: SVU, all have covered this territory several times.

I admit I expect more from the owner of this business, or any business.

When you start questioning someone's religion, we're beyond the bounds of business-customer relations, IMO.

That would suggest to me that the momentum and the majority of views are on my side, not yours.

If you check the links that have been offered in this thread, the majority of view and the direction of change is away from you. Like it or not, consider it a temporary aberration or not, that's facts and needs to be addressed with other facts, not personal feelings.

Young people are dumb.

The solution that is not to roll your eyes, and say "oh, brother". It's not to claim the majority position so long as that majority position is on your side, and then disdain it when it's not. Fifty years ago, segregationists tried the same thing; it didn't work then, either.

Young people are not going to change their mind because you want them to. They're going to change their mind because someone makes good arguments. Go ahead and make those arguments, because young people are noticing that you aren't, and it's not dumb to think that someone who isn't arguing the issue can't.

116BruceCoulson
May 15, 2012, 11:02am Top

Calling people 'dumb' may be personally satisfying, but it's rarely an effective way to persuade them that you're right and they're wrong.

And you seem to imply that opposing gay marriage is the smart thing to do. Again, simply because the vox populi support a position does not make it smart, correct, or just. Most of the posters (and many of the educated younger generation) want factual reasons why gay marriage is wrong; not emotional responses or because a majority of the people who bother to vote (many of whom are from an older generation) oppose such unions.

And yes, history is governed by 'impersonal forces'. People's decisions as to how to respond to those forces have an impact; but denying the existence of those forces, and the fact that people and nations had to make decisions and respond to those forces, seems hubristic to me.

117StormRaven
May 15, 2012, 11:22am Top

"By the way, how can you square Catholicism with running a web site that includes LGBT and BDSM behavior. It was because of this site that I learned what those acronyms mean, and I wasn't happy."

I guess this does confirm that ignorance is a conservative virtue.

119Jesse_wiedinmyer
May 15, 2012, 4:30pm Top

I still have to say I'm rather awed by the fact that deniro didn't learn what LGBT meant until 2006 or so.

120CharlesBoyd
May 15, 2012, 4:36pm Top

To all of us, myself included:

Some people will never learn anything, for this reason, because they understand everything too soon. ~Alexander Pope

122theoria
May 15, 2012, 5:36pm Top

God ‏ @TheTweetOfGod
Bigotry is a sacred relationship between a man and a Bible.

123weener
May 15, 2012, 8:49pm Top

>104 fuzzi:

What about James Buchanan, Newsweek?

124Lunar
May 16, 2012, 3:35am Top

#122: Bigotry is a sacred relationship between a man and a Bible.

Or between man and convenient excuses. The Bible is just a prominent source.

125CharlesBoyd
May 16, 2012, 6:57pm Top

Bottom line, people are programmed to be wary of those different than themselves, whether the programing is by some sort of supreme being, evolution, DNA, whatever. Is that good or bad? Whatever, it's just the way it is and always has been. Look at human history.

126prosfilaes
May 16, 2012, 8:07pm Top

#125: What? Being natural doesn't mean something's good. There is simply no way for a country of 300 million people to exist without some serious stomping on that programming. Whenever the counter-programming fail, people die; 100,000 in Yugoslavia because the forces stopping people from treating the others as non-humans failed.

127CharlesBoyd
Edited: May 16, 2012, 8:14pm Top

126: I clearly said and only said that the programing is there; I did not touch on whether it's a good thing or a bad thing.

As far as people dying because people tend to be that way, that's something that no person who is compassionate is happy with, and I believe it's a better world when people work to combat that programming. But to deny the programming exists would be a form of self delusion.

128prosfilaes
May 16, 2012, 8:20pm Top

#127: You said "Is that good or bad? Whatever". I'm saying, no, not whatever, this is bad, and something that we actively do and have to act against.

129timspalding
May 16, 2012, 10:23pm Top

But to deny the programming exists would be a form of self delusion

Programmo ergo sum.

130Lunar
May 17, 2012, 4:39am Top

#128: Oh, God, please tell me we're not invading another country to act against all the bad bad bad that interventionists never stop bitching about.

131Jesse_wiedinmyer
May 17, 2012, 5:20pm Top

Google Books NGram of the variants
http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=LGBT%2CGLBT%2C+LGBTQ&year_start...>

This is actually something of an eye-opening experience for me. Or a reverse eye-opening experience for me (meaning it goes to show me that there are people that have wildly, wildly, vastly different experience sets than I have.)

When I was in high school back in the beginning of the '90's, there was at least one openly, out gay person in school. Along with what was, for that time, a normal amount of homophobia. When I was hanging around on campus, I'd actually ended up giving one of my better friends amnesia (long story short, minor car accident where he bumped his head.) I spent the better part of 6 hours walking Dennis in circles around the block having the same conversations every five minutes. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Later in the week, we'd ended up in a rather odd discussion where he let it be known that he'd spent the previous week in abject horror that he'd let it slip out that he had feelings for me. As it was, they weren't necessarily feelings I could reciprocate. But regardless of that, he was still the same pretty kick ass person I'd known prior to that. And it made me stop and wonder, what, if anything at all had changed about what I thought of him. And the only answer I could come up with was pretty much nothing at all.

Having openly gay friends, acquaintances, and co-workers has been such a part of my life (and that aspect of their lives has had so little bearing on my own or my feelings towards them) that it's a constant revelation to me that it's actually an issue for other people.

132BruceCoulson
May 17, 2012, 6:12pm Top

I never actually knew anyone who was gay (at least, that I was aware of) until my 50s.

My reaction to being told (somewhat nervously) by an younger acquaintence that he was gay was 'huh'. (Or something equally intelligent.)

Sadly, my lack of reaction was (pleasantly) surprising to him; he'd assumed because of my age and stated positions on other matters that I'd be appalled.

133timspalding
Edited: May 17, 2012, 10:02pm Top

And the only answer I could come up with was pretty much nothing at all.

I wonder if the gender issue didn't blind you to the, um, feelings issue. My best friend in college declared her love for me and I didn't love her. Sure, she was still a kick-ass person, but it basically ended things even so. I'm just not sure you can be normal friends with someone who has unreciprocated feelings for you. Maybe I'm wrong on this, though. What do you think?

134SimonW11
May 18, 2012, 2:01am Top

i do not think that declaring feelings is the same as declaring love. I certainly have not had cut off all relationships with women who I have told I found uh, attractive.

135Jesse_wiedinmyer
May 18, 2012, 3:01am Top

I'm just not sure you can be normal friends with someone who has unreciprocated feelings for you.

Not even sure.

136LesMiserables
May 18, 2012, 3:21am Top

> 1

All of these decisions are political.

You have an openly Christian President coming out and supporting gay marriage.

In Australia, we have an openly Atheistic Prime Minister, slamming gay marriage.

Sheesh.

137CharlesBoyd
May 18, 2012, 9:37am Top

128> We agree that the "programing" is a bad thing and needs to be fought. My "whatever" only meant that whether or not it is a good or bad thing doesn't affect the fact that the programing is there.

138lawecon
May 18, 2012, 11:48pm Top

~133

Since speculating what "Tim means" seems to be the sport of the week: Let me speculate that "not... being normal friends" with someone does not mean the same thing as "cutting off all relationships" in his dictionary.

Neither does it mean that in my dictionary. "Friends," to me, means someone that you want to be around - probably a lot. They are at least a lot more interesting than most other people and you seem to have a degree of mutual understanding as to things like what is desirable, what is undesirable, what is admirable, what is repulsive, etc.

Love is different and acquaintances are different. Love is basically infatuation to start with and a "growing together" over time. Acquaintances are those who you can put up with and are not repulsive - but whose company you probably wouldn't actively seek out.

139lawecon
May 18, 2012, 11:49pm Top

~136

"You have an openly Christian President coming out and supporting gay marriage.

In Australia, we have an openly Atheistic Prime Minister, slamming gay marriage.

Sheesh."

Odd old world, isn't it? But it would probably be a lot more boring if it wasn't so odd.

140LesMiserables
May 19, 2012, 2:53am Top

> 139

Yes true. I suppose gay people are extremely bored too at having people tell them that they cannot be afforded the same rights as others.

To be honest, between Gillard and Obama, there is not a lot going on other than spin.

As long as they are keeping the wars going and supporting anything right of centre - they will be happy.

Depressing.

141lawecon
May 19, 2012, 10:10am Top

~140

"Yes true. I suppose gay people are extremely bored too at having people tell them that they cannot be afforded the same rights as others."

That is an interesting comment, because it seems to presume a great deal about the nature of marriage.

If one views marriage as something like a contract of partnership, then I would think that your comment makes sense. (That is, in fact, the view of Rabbinical Judaism - where a Katubah is signed concerning the duties and property of the parties.) In most Anglo derived societies, the freedom to contract is broadly acknowledged.

If one views marriage as a religious rite, then, of course, your comment makes no sense. No one has "a right" to have the state dictate the doctrines of a religion. (Conversely, of course, there is a certain Darwinian effect for religions that forbid too much, and thus end up with a very stupid group of parishioners.)

So you may want to think about the distinctions here a bit more before jumping to conclusions regarding what is "obvious."

142southernbooklady
May 19, 2012, 11:22am Top

>141 lawecon: If one views marriage as something like a contract of partnership, then I would think that your comment makes sense.

Marriage has at least as long a history as a contractual arrangement as it does a religious rite. But even so, it's a moot point since in the United States "marriage" is the term used for both civil and religious ceremonies and the marital status of a citizen is always taken into account in the application of laws and the distribution of services.

In my state of North Carolina, I would apply to the government for a marriage license, regardless of what kind of ceremony I was having. Except, of course, that now I am specifically barred from doing so.

143lawecon
May 19, 2012, 3:11pm Top

~142

While I think that your comment about marriage licenses makes some sense, it is not quite exhaustive of the legal possibilities. "Common law marriage" is recognized in many states as binding and vesting the same rights and duties as certificated marriage.

And I am curious - say that a recognized Reform Rabbi married you and your significant other, and applied for a marriage license. Is the state of North Carolina then not going to issue that license? If so, I would think that he and you would have a very interesting lawsuit for a writ of mandamus. (Incidentally, it is usually the presiding practioneer who applies for the licences, not the parties being married.)

144southernbooklady
Edited: May 19, 2012, 3:17pm Top

North Carolina just passed an amendment to its state constitution that specifically states "Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State." So no, the state of North Carolina can not issue that license.

ETA: Of course, even prior to the passing of the amendment, gay marriage was illegal in the state.

145RidgewayGirl
May 19, 2012, 5:22pm Top

And an interesting result of the wording of this amendment is that there are no longer civil partnerships or civil unions or any other legal relationship possible in NC now outside of marriage as they choose to define it.

146fuzzi
May 19, 2012, 6:47pm Top

People will continue to live together as they did before the amendment, it won't stop anything.

Way back when sodomy was against the law, people still 'did it'.

147theoria
Edited: May 19, 2012, 6:51pm Top

146> Presumably, you're capable of distinguishing "living together" from "married."

148StormRaven
May 19, 2012, 7:18pm Top

146: Yes, way back in 2003 before Lawrence v. Texas.

In addition to being blatantly homophobic, the North Carolina provision appears to prohibit the legal recognition of any kind of domestic arrangement other than "traditional" (which isn't really that traditional) marriage. This could potentially have some fairly negative consequences for a lot of heterosexual couples.

149LesMiserables
May 19, 2012, 8:10pm Top

141 So you may want to think about the distinctions here a bit more before jumping to conclusions regarding what is "obvious."

It would probably best if you tempered your responses unless of course you are out to cause a flame war.

I do not jump to anything. My response about marriage is wholly contractual and based on a free and equal legally binding agreement between two consenting adults and equitable in fiscal and civil law regardless of the gender make-up of the partners.

Religion is sectarian and prejudiced and is a poor base for grounding marriage on. Marriage, to be fair and reasonable to all, should be based on secular fundamentals and should one want to have it 'blessed' by a particular faith then that is fine, but secondary.

150SimonW11
Edited: May 19, 2012, 8:46pm Top

145> nods a friend from NC tells me she had to provide evidence of her "traditional" marriage to her insureres this week.

151southernbooklady
May 19, 2012, 9:38pm Top

Some city councils have already begun to start the process of discontinuing benefits to same sex couples.

152timspalding
May 19, 2012, 10:54pm Top

I think NC might be less of a problem for gay-marriage long-term than some other states. The rules for amendment state constitutions are all over the map, but NC has a relatively low bar—60% majority in state and senate once, and a 50% popular vote.

153lawecon
May 19, 2012, 11:44pm Top

~145

Yes, well, as Eddie Murphy opined at the end of The Golden Child, some deserve "it" good and hard. Indeed, some end up administering such treatment to themselves - a result that has always delighted me.

154lawecon
May 19, 2012, 11:46pm Top

~149

"Religion is sectarian and prejudiced and is a poor base for grounding marriage on. Marriage, to be fair and reasonable to all, should be based on secular fundamentals and should one want to have it 'blessed' by a particular faith then that is fine, but secondary."

Yes, well it is a good thing that you're so open minded and nonimpositional. Very impressive.

155southernbooklady
May 19, 2012, 11:54pm Top

>152 timspalding: one of the people who sponsored the bill is on record as saying that it would be repealed in 20 years anyway. The other guy who sponsored it apparently didn't vote for it because the final amendment was so poorly worded.

But twenty years is a long time to someone who has to live with it.

156timspalding
May 20, 2012, 12:03am Top

No, I hear you. But part of the point of these amendments is to put in a bulwark stronger than law, so when the majority feeling shifts, the amendment stands. In some states, that's a much very strong bulwark. It's not as high in North Carolina. I bet its sooner than 20, but it won't be 5.

As a good-government question, I think amendments should be hard to make. They ought to enshrine basic things--rights, structures, legal norms. If a 60% legislative and 51% popular majority can do this in NC, they could do many other bad things.

157LesMiserables
Edited: May 20, 2012, 12:16am Top

154 > Yes, well it is a good thing that you're so open minded and nonimpositional. Very impressive.

Impressive? Well just obvious.

Even the most devout believer of 'x' religion would agree that that religion is a sect of a faith: therefore it is sectarian, and their world views are sectarian by default.

I don't see why you would baulk at my use of the word prejudiced either. Prejudice means having preconceived ideas; in this case the preconceived ideas are written into the ethical code of the religion in question - ie preconceived (Canon Law, Sharia Law etc etc)

Thus, only the most narrow minded and insular person would disagree that religion is both sectarian and prejudiced.

The big difference of course is that well functioning secular societies should aim to tolerate a diverse population without favouring any particular group - through a Legal Code, not a Faith code.

158CharlesBoyd
Edited: May 20, 2012, 12:50am Top

"Religion is sectarian and prejudiced and is a poor base for grounding marriage on. Marriage, to be fair and reasonable to all, should be based on secular fundamentals and should one want to have it 'blessed' by a particular faith then that is fine, but secondary."

This is pretty funny. interficio totally ignores that most of what he calls "secular fundamentals" (i.e. non-religious fundamentals) are based in this country on judeochristian values. As a non-believer, at least in organized religious beliefs, I still have to laugh at atheists who ponticifate "What, you're saying we don't, won't have any morals, any values without religion?" Again, ignoring that most of their values, morals were absorbed in a country that has been since its inception, a judeochristian country. (Yes, that is undergoing some changes, but that is still the origin.)

159lawecon
May 20, 2012, 12:50am Top

~157

"Thus, only the most narrow minded and insular person would disagree that religion is both sectarian and prejudiced."

Yes, only such a person......

160CharlesBoyd
May 20, 2012, 12:53am Top

158> I didn't disagree that religion is both sectarian and prejudiced. You somehow came up with that idea from my post based on your own prejudices. I merely pointed out that basic morals and values in this country came from its judeochristian beginnings.

161CharlesBoyd
May 20, 2012, 12:53am Top

Make that "came mostly"

162LesMiserables
May 20, 2012, 12:57am Top

> 158

I am not trying to ignore or overwrite the historical roots of the US. It is obvious that the immigrants were European Christians by and large.

I do take issue though with your swipe at the morality of atheists.

Atheists do note base their reason on judeochristian values/faith. They scrutinize and are sceptical of those things.

Call me a purist but in a country that has been since its inception, a judeochristian country.
that statement sums up all what is wrong with the US; blindly writing off pre immigration American society as if it never existed. In the main, bar a smattering of lip service, Australians have been doing the same thing.

163LesMiserables
May 20, 2012, 1:01am Top

> 160 I didn't disagree that religion is both sectarian and prejudiced. You somehow came up with that idea from my post based on your own prejudices. I merely pointed out that basic morals and values in this country came from its judeochristian beginnings

I think you need to re-read the last few posts. I was not referring to you in this case, but to lawecon. Thanks.

164timspalding
May 20, 2012, 1:32am Top

I'd like the put a little pinprick into the "judeochristian" part. Actually, to the extent that's true, the background was not judeochristian but simply Christian, and specifically protestant. As discussed on previous threads, Jews were a marginal force in late colonial/early federal life. Washington's letter to the synagogue at Newport—the largest community of Jews then in America—is important, and deserves its due. But lest anyone take it to mean more than it did, Jews in Rhode Island were not legally eligible to vote or hold office for another 52 years! (1842). Ditto Catholics.

Obviously, much that is Christian is based in Judaism, and Catholics are Christians. But I think the phrase implies more than would really be accurate, and for modern reasons.

165jjwilson61
May 20, 2012, 1:33am Top

This is pretty funny. interficio totally ignores that most of what he calls "secular fundamentals" (i.e. non-religious fundamentals) are based in this country on judeochristian values.

I don't believe That Shalt Not Kill was really original to the 10 Commandments.

166Lunar
Edited: May 20, 2012, 2:39am Top

#162: Atheists do note base their reason on judeochristian values/faith. They scrutinize and are sceptical of those things.

Yes, but only when those values take the form of religion. In all other areas atheists only apply scepticism when it suits them. They are not immune to ethnocentrism. There are many irrational aspects of western "judeo-christian" society that atheists do not treat with scepticism because it occupies the secular sphere instead of the religious sphere. In some circles it used to be fashionable to question even the secular institution of marriage, though the recent gay marriage debate seems to have stalled that train of thought for the time being.

167LesMiserables
May 20, 2012, 2:40am Top

>166 Lunar: Yes, but only when those values take the form of religion

Well, yes. The giveaway is atheism

168Lunar
May 20, 2012, 2:52am Top

#167: Well, yes. Just one less superstition than the Christian folks have. Both groups tend to overstate the difference between their legal codes and religious codes.

169MMcM
May 20, 2012, 3:04am Top

> 164

This history of Rhode Island is particularly complicated: that's how it was as a state, but not as a colony. The Charter from Charles in 1662 uniquely established religious freedom. And the Charter stood in lieu of a constitution until 1842 after Dorr's Rebellion, just as you say. In 1665, voting rights were explicitly granted to “all men of competent estates.” Without any religious qualification. But then, somewhere between 1705 and when a Digest was first printed in 1719, the words, “professing Christianity” and “Roman Catholics only excepted” were inserted. Presumably as a reflection of anti-Catholic sentiment in England at that time.

170lawecon
May 20, 2012, 9:15am Top

~162

You know, interficio, maybe you need to go a bit lighter on reading prejudices that generally don't exist into other posters and contending that you have none of your own (when you say prejudiced things in virtually every post).

171lawecon
Edited: May 20, 2012, 9:23am Top

~164

Well, yes and no.

Yes, Jews were certainly a marginal presence in North America at this time - strangely enough, they were more dominate in South America as secret refugees from the Inquisition.

However, many of the people who ended up being key to the foundation of the nation were strong Calvinists. (Some were also Anglicans, Quakers and Baptists, but I think it is fair to contend that the Calvinists tended to dominate theologically and politically.)

Calvinists have always emphasized the "OT." Much more so than Catholics or most other types of Christians. (That they also consider doctrines such as predestination as very very important simply demonstrates that Christianity is not based on Judaism - although certain forms of Christianity may be strongly influenced by Judaism in certain ways.J

172faceinbook
May 20, 2012, 1:17pm Top

>104 fuzzi:
How does supporting gay marriage make one "gay" ? and why would anyone give this credence ?
My brother is gay....was gay since the day he was born. Would swear that on a STACK of Bibles. Obama is NOT gay...would swear on a stack to that as well !

>147 theoria:
I don't think it was the "living together" part that was so disturbing as the "doing it" part ! The Bible has strict rules regarding "doing it" !



A doctor just made the claim that homosexual marriage would lead to all kinds of things. If a man decided he loved his dog...well then he would marry his dog, if he decided he loved ice cream, he would marry ice cream.
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/05/10/1090335/-Jon-Stewart-rips-North-Carolin...
YES...he said that...and he was not laughed off the stage. People actually clapped. As long as these individuals feel comfortable talking in such a way, the battle will be uphill.

173timspalding
Edited: May 20, 2012, 1:25pm Top

>169 MMcM:

Thanks. I was looking for more exact information. It's remarkable, as is the fact that it was mentioned in either the synagogues' letter to Washington or his reply. (It's also interesting that Washington's most famous phrases aren't his, but the gentleman who wrote him, and Washington picked them up.)

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Letter_to_Touro_Synagogue

>172 faceinbook:

The title is supposed to echo Toni Morrison's party-humorous declaration that Clinton was America's first black president. It's an allusion and a joke, and therefore you can count on most people to miss it. No doubt Newsweek was hoping that too.

174fuzzi
May 20, 2012, 1:38pm Top

(147) theoria, NC had a "common law marriage" statute, that if you lived together with someone for 6 months, you were considered man and wife.

I believe that statute was removed with the amendment's passage.

But people will still do whatever they want to do, despite the amendment.

175StormRaven
May 20, 2012, 1:48pm Top

174: "But people will still do whatever they want to do, despite the amendment."

Yes. People often arrange their lives without regard to the law. But the amendment prevents legal recognition of any other kind of domestic living arrangement than "traditional" marriage. This obviously affects same sex couples, but it also affects any heterosexual couple who are living in a manner that is not "traditional" marriage.

176southernbooklady
May 20, 2012, 2:39pm Top

Opponents of Amendment One largely ceded the gay rights issue as an opposition strategy in the weeks leading up to the vote, and concentrated instead on the many unintended consequences the poor wording of the amendment could have--including denying hospital visitation rights, losing custody of children, even potentially setting people who had been imprisoned for domestic abuse free since the relationship might not now be legally recognized.

Supporters of the Amendment tended to scoff at such claims as hyperbole and paranoia, although I think some repercussions are already being felt. But while all of those things may indeed be true, they mask what is fundamentally wrong with Amendment One: It is a statement of exclusion, not inclusion.

As Tim said above, constitutions should be very hard to change. They are, at their heart, statements of the fundamental rights of full citizens of the state. You don't use them to list things specific groups of people don't get, or to define the groups of people for whom the rights don't apply. That's what laws are for: if you don't want people who committed a felony to be able to practice law or be police officers, you define that via legislation.

There was already legislation on the books in NC prohibiting same sex marriage. By adding Amendment One the people basically codified that homosexuals do not enjoy the rights of full citizenship in the state. It is now a guiding principle for all future legislation.

177StormRaven
May 20, 2012, 2:51pm Top

I am offended that this amendment prohibits traditional Biblical marriages such as the one I want that involves me, my seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines.

178timspalding
May 20, 2012, 3:01pm Top

>176 southernbooklady:

I sympathize with the "hyperbole and paranoia." I've found that in some gay-marriage claims of this sort. It's weak and not really honest. And it has a ready response, "So we'll pass a law against that." I think people sniff that out. Then again, it probably doesn't matter, if 60% in NC are really against gay marriage, you probably can't change that number with this or that rhetorical tweak. You'll just have to wait for opinions to change which, if the past is any guide, is coming relatively soon.

And, since I'm being disagreeable, I don't agree that Constitutions are simply about enshrining this or that right and are about inclusion, and that, therefore, one shouldn't put any "take-aways" in the Constitution. Constitutions set up basic conditions of all sorts, both inclusive and exclusive. There are many "take-aways." It's true that most of the "take aways" are take-aways of government power, or relate directly to office—for example, that you don't have the right to run for president at 30, and can't be president three times. But I could certainly see defining the right to bear arms in such a way that it had a loophole for felons and so forth. By their nature laws don't trump constitutions, so if you want to take away a right enshrined in a Constitution, you can't just use a law.(1)

Also, putting it in the constitution ensures that no NC court can declare the law to be at variance with the NC Constitution. Assuming NC has clauses about fairness and equality, that would be a real danger. The federal constitution and federal law trumps state constitutions, however.

1. From the first courts have recognized certain basic exceptions to open-worded rights. The right to free speech, for example, can be infringed for prisoners under some circumstances.

179prosfilaes
May 20, 2012, 3:25pm Top

#175: But the amendment prevents legal recognition of any other kind of domestic living arrangement than "traditional" marriage.

Right. A friend of mine just showed me her new insurance card, which was basically the reason she got legally married. (I say legally, because I never knew they weren't married until she told me she was getting married.) The other couple that just got engaged would have to leave the state to get legally married, and even then would have questionable legal status here in Nevada. (Which is an interesting win of politics over capitalism; the Marriage State should have been one of the first to permit gay marriage. Could still be. Who wants to go to freezing Massachusetts when you can come to sunny Las Vegas and get married?)

180timspalding
May 20, 2012, 3:40pm Top

>179 prosfilaes:

Because one prefers authentic beauty to fabricated beauty, in a desert? :)

181southernbooklady
May 20, 2012, 4:20pm Top

>178 timspalding: I don't agree that Constitutions are simply about enshrining this or that right and are about inclusion, and that, therefore, one shouldn't put any "take-aways" in the Constitution. Constitutions set up basic conditions of all sorts, both inclusive and exclusive.

Well, my understanding about the (US) Constitution is that it has generally been amended in such a way to be more explicitly inclusive, not exclusive, of the people it protects. For example, Amendments have been passed that basically confirm the right to vote to an ever-expanding group of people: giving blacks the right to vote, requiring equal protection, giving women the right to vote, doing away with poll tax, etc. I don't suppose constitutions are "simply about" any one thing or another--but the trend, nationally, has been towards explicit inclusion, not explicit exclusion.

One of the arguments often advanced against initiatives to include anti-discrimination wording like "may not discriminate based on sexual orientation" in laws or constitutional amendments has been that such wording is unnecessary, since every man or woman is already protected by the law just by virtue of being a citizen of the state. But Amendment One institutionalizes that discrimination, doing away with the need for the argument at all. And since this culture assigns such a high importance to marital status--taking it into account in everything from what you pay for insurance to what you can claim on your taxes to who can inherit property or be awarded custody of children, codifying marriage to specifically exclude gay people is a profound statement of exclusion from equal protection under the law.

Not the kind of thing you'd think you'd want enshrined in a constitution.

Then again, it probably doesn't matter, if 60% in NC are really against gay marriage, you probably can't change that number with this or that rhetorical tweak. You'll just have to wait for opinions to change which, if the past is any guide, is coming relatively soon.

Right. 20 years, according to the Republican who sponsored the bill. Of course it could be nullified even before that if something equivalent to Loving v. Virginia hits the Supreme Court and the Justices happen to go in that direction.

182prosfilaes
Edited: May 20, 2012, 4:35pm Top

#180: I personally have my heart set on the Unitarian church in Harvard Square. But if you're going to a state just to get married, Nevada is a lot better set up for it then Massachusetts. No 3 day wait, for one. I also suspect that bureaucrats that see their job as moving money into the state are less likely to be picky or hostile to your marriage to bureaucrats who see their job as service to the state and the people of that state.

And deserts? Deserts are awesome. There is nothing like the beauty of the stark, austere mountains rising out of the Mojave desert.

183faceinbook
May 20, 2012, 5:46pm Top

>174 fuzzi:
"But people will still do whatever they want to do, despite the amendment."

Maybe they do this because they resent bigger government ?

>179 prosfilaes:
"A friend of mine just showed me her new insurance card, which was basically the reason she got legally married."

Was the main reason I got married. Was considered "uninsurable." My choices were, to have my self declared disabled so as to be insured by the state, or get married.

One of my brothers lives in Minnesota. He is concerned about all of the talk about amending the state constitution for this or that. Again this chatter is being engaged in by the Republicans in that state. How is adding amendments making government less intrusive ?
How long before the Conservative party is seen as the "big government" party and the Librals as the less intrusive ?

184Bookmarque
May 20, 2012, 7:31pm Top

I got married for insurance, too. We always said we'd get married for money only. We already loved each other and were committed for years. Paper and a ceremony wouldn't change it it. But damn, without insurance I'd be dead, so...

185timspalding
May 20, 2012, 7:41pm Top

I personally have my heart set on the Unitarian church in Harvard Square.

Cool. I know it well. Impending?

186prosfilaes
May 20, 2012, 9:03pm Top

#185: Impending?

No, not even on the horizon somewhere.

187timspalding
May 20, 2012, 10:10pm Top

:)

188theoria
May 23, 2012, 2:09pm Top

Obama effect?

"The Washington Post and ABC News offer the latest look into Americans' attitude on same-sex marriage: The big takeaway from their new poll is that more than half say same-sex should be legal, and that for the first time ever gay marriage advocates are winning the battle among those who have the strongest feelings about the issue.

The top-line numbers: 53 percent of respondents said they think same-sex marriage should be legal, compared to 39 percent who think it should be illegal, a new low in the survey." http://slatest.slate.com/posts/2012/05/23/washington_post_abc_news_gay_marriage_...

189timspalding
May 23, 2012, 2:45pm Top

>188 theoria:

Probably. But I worry that his intervention will harden the issue, reducing the willingness of Republicans to change their mind to agree with a president they still dislike.

190BruceCoulson
May 23, 2012, 5:11pm Top

# 189

I'm not sure that anything could make the Republicans any crazier than they already are.

Although I suppose anything's possible.

191Arctic-Stranger
May 23, 2012, 5:33pm Top

#189 Yes, because they have been so reasonable to work with so far.

192faceinbook
May 23, 2012, 5:59pm Top

>189 timspalding:
" But I worry that his intervention will harden the issue, reducing the willingness of Republicans to change their mind to agree with a president they still dislike.."

http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/21/opinion/zelizer-congress-polarization/index.html?e...

Obama can't say much of anything about anything. If we are really worried about hardening the issues I think Obama needs to resign cause short of that, we just keep watching the game go on. These gentlemen are ruthless, which is normal for politicians, but this time around they appear to have lost their filters. Governing by not governing seems to work and they are power drunk now ! The most powerful man in the country is Grover Norquist.

193BruceCoulson
May 23, 2012, 6:47pm Top

In the bad old days, there was a general understanding that, minority or majority, Congress HAD to do certain things, and doing those things required some level of cooperation. You didn't have to like the guys on the other side of the room; and you didn't have to agree with them. But like all the rest of us who have to work with unlikeable or simply wrong co-workers, Representatives and Senators felt an obligation to get the work of government done.

With the success of obstructionism (which is the mature way of saying, throwing tantrums) it's clear that enough Congress people don't feel that way anymore. Nor, unfortunately, do a lot of the voters. They're gambling that the other side (which is EVIL) will eventually flinch (just like the mother before Solomon) and they can get their way.

And the idea that the other side might not flinch and give way; because many of them are starting to feel that the opposition is not just wrong, but EVIL; doesn't seem be a concern for those on the minority side. Or, at least, not enough of them.

I'm afraid it's going to take a catastrophic failure, where the blame can't be assigned anywhere EXCEPT Congress; to change that.

194krolik
May 23, 2012, 7:15pm Top

>189 timspalding:

I worry that his intervention will harden the issue, reducing the willingness of Republicans to change their mind to agree with a president they still dislike.

Maybe. But I remember arguing with you a couple of years ago when the Iowa Supreme Court --those hippies!-- intervened on this question. Has opinion hardened? Polls suggest (modestly) the contrary...

195faceinbook
May 23, 2012, 8:32pm Top

>189 timspalding:
One could argue based on the lack of work done by the current Congress, that what the people of this country want (those whose opinions form the statistics of the polls) doesn't really much matter.
When Obama came into office 70% of the people wanted a single payer health care system, many of them Republican. That hardened into something rather unpleasant ! Seems the Congress, rather than accomplishing what the majority wants done, feels that the job at hand is to demonize everything and anything until no one can remember what it is they wanted or why.

Perhaps on this issue they will trip themselves up ? Homosexuals have become far more comfortable with an "open" lifestyle. Republicans (or perhaps I should say The Tea Party members) are no different than Democrats in that they have loved ones who are gay. Standing firm on this issue could back fire.

196timspalding
Edited: May 23, 2012, 9:35pm Top

When Obama came into office 70% of the people wanted a single payer health care system

Back that up?

Michael Moore once said a majority wanted it. Politifact rated that claim false. (See http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2009/oct/01/michael-moore/mic...). A more honest number would be that, in 2008, 32% favored a single-payer system.

197lawecon
May 23, 2012, 9:48pm Top

~196

Help me out here, Tim. What difference does it make for any of the issues in this thread whether the correct number is 70% or 32%?

198timspalding
May 23, 2012, 9:57pm Top

No, you're right. I think this is only the most obvious distortion in faceinbook's analysis of the political landscape, and outrageous misstatements of fact in the service of political partisanship deserve to be called out, but it's not strictly relevant to gay marriage.

199SimonW11
May 24, 2012, 12:34am Top

I think most people just wanted a health system.

200lawecon
Edited: May 24, 2012, 12:44am Top

~198

If I can say so for once without accumulating a dozen red flags, faceinbook tends to throw a whole lot of different things against the wall in most of her posts. As she and I have discussed extensively, she believes in intuition as a discovery method.

Some of us, to the contrary, believe in sticking more or less to a given topic and trying to marshall evidence and argument on that topic. Not a popular approach, particularly when we have been advised that the venue is a chat room, but it sometimes helps move our mutual understandings along a bit.

But as you can see from post ~199 there is evidence for the chat room thesis, e.g.,

"BN is for solving the Middle East problem by evicting all Arabs from Israel.

"BN, oh, the guy who always wears gray suits.

"No, I think that his suits are more of a light blue.

Light blue suits don't look very good on blonds.

"Well, it depends on the color of neckwear that blonds wear with them.

"I like red ties.

Red ties are nice, but only if they are bow ties."

Chatter, chatter.

201SimonW11
May 24, 2012, 1:08am Top

I think most people just wanted a universal health system.

202Lunar
Edited: May 24, 2012, 3:05am Top

I think most people just didn't want the corrupt healthcare system that exists now and were willing to latch onto most any new scheme on the TV box that purported to "fix" it. But you'll never see a candidate run on an anti-corruption platform when snake oil is such an easy sell.

203faceinbook
May 24, 2012, 8:28am Top

http://www.healthcare-now.org/another-poll-shows-majority-support-for-single-pay...
http://www.wpasinglepayer.org/PollResults.html
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/05/18-10
http://www.pnhp.org/facts/single-payer-faq

Also found your statitics

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/healthcar...

>136 LesMiserables:
Tim,
Perhaps I mispoke on that.....more like 70% of the country wanted somethind DONE about our health care system.
Single payer, medicare for all, universal health......only those who have government jobs or are lucky enough to be insured by the few remaining cadillac plans are happy with our current system.

Problem is that the status quo is NOT working and the Republican party seems to think that somehow magically if the top has enough money, things will straighten out. What we have now is a watered down version of a health care plan that typically has everyone paying MORE and those who are raking in the top dollars are doing fine.

I think if we approach the problem with the mindset that protecting the freedoms and rights of the masses may take away some rights of those with priviledge and wealth (those with the wherewithall to use the system to their advantage) we may find a solution.

204faceinbook
May 24, 2012, 8:30am Top

>200 lawecon:
Yep.....sounds like my book groups.

205lawecon
May 24, 2012, 8:34am Top

There may be a reason for that.......

206faceinbook
May 24, 2012, 8:54am Top

>205 lawecon:

Yes, you are correct. My job is to refocuse to the material. Not the best person to be in charge of that !

However, have found that some of our most interesting discussions take place when we have a hard time remembering how we even got there.

207faceinbook
May 24, 2012, 8:57am Top

>200 lawecon:
"Red ties are nice, but only if they are bow ties."

Have you noticed that Tucker Carlson has never worn a bow tie since Jon Stewart made fun of him for doing so ?

(Chatter at it's finest)

208CharlesBoyd
May 24, 2012, 11:52am Top

Re 32% or 70% of Americans wanting a single payer system: What the percentage it was then is rather irrelevant. What it is now is what is relevant, and everything I've read in the last six months or more is that Americans that are against the Affordable Health Care Act are way in the majority now. One can argue that they've been duped or that they just took a hard look at it and realized it's a bad plan, but that's still the prevailing opinion on the system.

Personally, I've no doubt the Supreme Court will strike down the individual mandate. StormRaven, you're a lawer, what's your opinion on that?

209StormRaven
May 24, 2012, 12:09pm Top

Personally, I've no doubt the Supreme Court will strike down the individual mandate. StormRaven, you're a lawer, what's your opinion on that?

I think is is likely the Supreme Court will strike down the individual mandate, although I think it is not a foregone conclusion. I think it is highly unlikely that they will strike down the AHCA in toto.

210faceinbook
May 24, 2012, 12:30pm Top

We will have a universal health care plan eventually. It is just a matter of time. Still enough money in the system to float the boat but like everything else in the economy.....when those on the top are the only ones who can afford medical care or health insurance the system will have to change. Insuring one's self was originally a Republican idea based on the premise that since one was likely to use the health care system at some point in time, the self sufficient thing to do was to carry a health insurance plan. I believe this idea was conceived prior to the giant leap in health care insurance premiums....now it is often beyond the means of many individuals to purchase a premium. We all pay for that if we need to see a doctor for anything.
If we have a mortgage we have to insure our homes, if we drive a car, we need to carry auto insurance....what is so
difficult about this ?

I find it a very socialistic attitude to expect those who can still scrape together enough to pay a premium to pay for those who can not or will not buy one.

This subject gives me a giant headache ! Until one watches everything they've worked for being eaten up by healthcare clinics, pharmacutical companies and health insurance companies.....I don't think they have a clue !

It is payment for owning and running a small business. Won't have any of those small businesses the politicians are yammering on about until we fix the healthcare issue !

211CharlesBoyd
May 24, 2012, 12:44pm Top

faceinbook: Doesn't it trouble you that the USA is on the virge of bankruptcy and AHCA is likely to push us ever closer, possibly over the cliff? The government agency (What's the alpahbet soup name? BOA?? Something like that.) was reported by the Associated Press recently to have came to the conclusion that the AHCA is going to cost quite a bit more than originally projected.

I'm in sympathy with those who have no health insurance--I have two adult sons who didn't have any for a few years, only acquiring health insurance in the last year or so--but if the USA goes bankrupt, that helps no one.

212BruceCoulson
May 24, 2012, 12:57pm Top

I'm more troubled by the idea that this is a hand-out to medical insurance companies.

213AmyBedessem
May 24, 2012, 1:01pm Top

Why is this topic even on a book site like this??? This is not a political blog. Let's stay with books, please!!

214StormRaven
May 24, 2012, 1:03pm Top

Doesn't it trouble you that the USA is on the virge of bankruptcy and AHCA is likely to push us ever closer, possibly over the cliff?

When it comes to whether the U.S. will go bankrupt the AHCA is a trivial issue.

215StormRaven
May 24, 2012, 1:04pm Top

213: You appear to be unaware of the reason for the Pro and Con group.

216prosfilaes
May 24, 2012, 1:11pm Top

#213: Library Thing has many forums, including this one, Pro and Con, which is dedicated to discussion of political matters. If you're not interested in political discussions, you can stay in the forums that don't have them.

217faceinbook
May 24, 2012, 1:19pm Top

>211 CharlesBoyd:
There is enough money in the healthcare system to care for every citizen in this country. It is not appropriated properly. Unfortunately, the measures needed to fix this are restrictive to what we call capitalism and free enterprise.
If we go bankrupt it will not be because of the healthcare system, it will be because we spend our money foolishly in this country.
Would suggest that we take a look at the foolishness first as I feel that the healthcare of our citizens in an important issue in many ways, not to mention national security.

>212 BruceCoulson:
Doesn't surprise me. One can only hope that President Obama is moving the system towards total collapse. Don't think he is a stupid man....if it breaks it has to be fixed and personally, I think he knows this. Hence we are going to get worse before we see changes for the better.

218CharlesBoyd
May 24, 2012, 3:19pm Top

>217 faceinbook: Wow. I truly don't mean to give offense, but isn't your reply to >212 BruceCoulson: amazingly Pollyanna-ish?

219faceinbook
May 24, 2012, 4:06pm Top

>218 CharlesBoyd:
Pollyanna-ish ? Rash maybe. Foolish perhaps. Risky no doubt. But Pollyanna-ish ? To me Pollyanna-ish would be going on with the same old same old and thinking that somehow things will fix themselves if we only have enough hope. Been nonworking on this issue for 60 years in this country. First step and half the country is up in arms.

What do you suggest we do about our healthcare crisis ? What about the under paid twenty somethings, the over 50 under 67 year olds who are either laid off or underpaid ? How do you suggest that we even out the burden of their healhcare cost if they can not afford it ?
You didn't offend me in the least....but attacking someone's effort to fix such a huge problem without having any workable plans of one's own seems rather nonproductive. Hm-m-m-m trying to think of another example of this....on the tip of my brain. I KNOW I've seen it recently and it didn't have anything to do with healthcare. Oh well, I'm sure it will come back to me soon.

We will have a universal health plan.

220StormRaven
Edited: May 24, 2012, 5:03pm Top

218: The problem with claiming that something like the AHCA is going to bankrupt the U.S. is that it is based upon estimates of future medical costs, and those costs will be paid anyway. Health care costs aren't going away, whether there is a government system in place to deal with them or not. If the AHCA will bankrupt the U.S., then the U.S. is going to go bankrupt in one way or another due to medical costs regardless of whether the AHCA is in force or not.

221prosfilaes
May 24, 2012, 4:47pm Top

#217: There is enough money in the healthcare system to care for every citizen in this country.

The thing that scares me is that I don't think there is. I think we're coming up on a point where our healthcare system is not theoretically supportable, where the aging population demands more healthcare then we can by any measure provide.

222faceinbook
May 24, 2012, 5:10pm Top

>221 prosfilaes:
Not if the costs weren't so high. The money that goes into the health care system is like any other business, being channeled to the top. The pay at the top is far greater than at the bottom. Our medication costs are outrageous....I can get my pills from Canada at one third the cost. They get their supply from an American drug company AND make a profit. Can't get started on this...makes me nuts.

My daughter is an xray tech....last week she did a mamogram on a 91 yr old woman who was so crippled from arthritis that she cried during the whole procedure, she was in pain and my daughter was only making things worse for her. Medicare paid for that mamogrom. If they had found any cancer they could not have done anything anyway. The woman's health was such that she would not survive surgery or chemo. Not sure whether this was the doctor's bright idea or the woman's family but we need to start using a little common sense (I know...haven't used that for a while...bound to stir up someone) There is a big difference between a fairly healthy 91 yr old and a woman whose spine can no longer straighten making the procedure hell for both her and the tech. Some times these patients are so frightened and confused they get combative or start screaming.
My daughter does these useless xrays all of the time....someone has to pay for them ! My daughter's mantra WASTE WASTE WASTE !!

Not to mention our failure to take care of ourselves till we find ourselves in the doctor's office with multiple problems. Problems which often qualify one to go on disability and then the cost of your care is someone else's headache. At that point, what does the patient care what the cost is ? What is the incentive to "fix" themselves ?

SO much is wrong with a "for profit" system. The only way to fix it is to break it !

Medical mini rant !

I have absolutely no respect for the existing system. AND it is NOT the "best in the world" Some of it is good especially if you have money, but a lot of it kind of sucks !

223CharlesBoyd
Edited: May 25, 2012, 8:49pm Top

faceinbook: Re the 91 year old woman: My mother-in-law, Anna, died when she was 75 or so in the early '90's. Many older people are probably like her in that in older generations there's often a mindset that you don't question the doctor, you do what he/she tells you. When told she had cancer and it had metastisized (sic) Anna very humbly, tearfully, asked the doctor if she had to do radiation, chemo, and the like. It was clear that she was prepared to do what she was told. When he replied that she didn't have to, she declined any further treatment and died a few months later. Died in a very calm and brave manner, I might add.

"but attacking someone's effort to fix such a huge problem without having any workable plans of one's own seems rather nonproductive." A valid point, but to replace a system with one that is worse is even less productive. It scared me when Pelosi? Reid? said we should just pass the thing, then find out what's in it.

StormRaven: " The problem with claiming that something like the AHCA is going to bankrupt the U.S. is that it is based upon estimates of future medical costs, and those costs will be paid anyway." That's not for certain. A large group of people will just go without, will just die. Obviously that's a horrible thing, but could be a reality. Yes, courts have decided that people coming into emergency rooms have to be helped, but once those people are released and are better, but their conditions are still with them, they will continue to spiral downward. Here in Arizona, a number of people were kicked off our version of public health assistance, a part that would pay for transplants. Many of them died until funding was found. I'm not entirely sure of the status of that part of the system now.

224faceinbook
May 25, 2012, 9:02pm Top

>223 CharlesBoyd:
What would our health care system be like if you were to change it ?

225CharlesBoyd
May 26, 2012, 5:30pm Top

>224 faceinbook: I admit I don't have the answer, but tort reform seems like a good idea, letting people buy health insurance from other states should drive the cost of health insurance. On NPR, a few months ago I heard that in some European country (France? Not sure, it's been awhile) people have an incrypted health card that they take to the doctor, hospital. This card has all their info, so there's no need to have the doctors and hospitals keep records, they just add new info to the card when the person is treated. And, of course, making "our" elected officals have the same health care as the rest of us would probably work wonders.

226LesMiserables
May 26, 2012, 6:24pm Top

> 222

Great post.

As you know, the patient does not come first, it is the profit.
Someone needs and they don't get whilst down the road someone doesn't need and they get it anyway.

The health care system (ALL of it) should not be touched by private companies.

227faceinbook
Edited: May 26, 2012, 8:13pm Top

>225 CharlesBoyd:
Sadly I think most of your ideas are bandaides to a gaping wound. The idea of an incrypted health card is a good idea regardless of what type of system is used. Not too sure that our elected officials have it any better than those who are fortunate enough to still have the "cadillac" health care insurance plans, however they have insurance for life.

It isn't that hard to figure out. If there is money to be made off of sick people, what is the incentive to have a healthy society ?
How vunerable is someone when they are ill ? Now take a system in which all entities invovled, the hospital, doctor, pharmacutical co. and medical equipment supplier, are constantly striving to raise their profit levels. How is that EVER going to work ? NOT !

Went over a hospital bill years back....paid $32 for a mucus recovery system. Didn't recall any "mucus recovery system" being used when I was inpatient. I called to question the charge. Was a box of Kleenex.....the system is broken in so many ways that bandaides are not going to do a thing. Any thing we can come up with to try to keep cost under control, the big players have all ready mapped out a "work around". Most facilities have people hired specifically to do this. They did it when Obama's plan was in the works. Wanted to insure that nothing passed as law would interfer with profits. (and they are making BIG money)

You mentioned a woman who decided not to go through expensive treatment....both my parents did the same. Both died of cancer. However, both of my parents were able to make that determination. many of the patients my daughter xrays are not even aware of what is happening to them. They are no longer capable of making decisions. If a doctor is receiving bonus checks based on the dollars he generates for a clinic, he is going to make sure he generates plenty of money. Due to the fact that many drug companies pay doctors incentive checks based on the amount of drugs they perscribe...doctors are going to be handing out pills like candy. Many doctors have investments in the companies that make the drugs. They are paid by the company to promote this pill or that medication.

The system is crappy ....top to bottom !

228LesMiserables
May 26, 2012, 9:30pm Top

> 227

the system is broken in so many ways that bandaides are not going to do a thing.

Exactly. It goes so far beyond health though. It is the way we live in general.

You have off the radar greed and corruption with despotic wealth, whilst people die from malnutrition, drought and starvation.

Capitalism is seen as the only show in town. In fact the general public can't imagine anything esle (hardly surprising considering the Capitalists control the media)

Band-aides don't work.

It won't change either until we have catastrophic failure of power or climate. Only from the ashes will people be able to build a society built on the 'social' and not the 'individual.'

229timspalding
Edited: May 26, 2012, 10:13pm Top

The system is crappy ....top to bottom !

This is my feeling. George Will once said that Israel wasn't a problem, it was a mess. I feel the same about health care. You can imagine various ways to fix it, but it's too complex, too screwy and simply large—almost 20% of GDP!—to imagine you can really fix it. Systems like that are different; muck with one part and the system will adapt to continue to satisfy the same political and financial interests it used to.

You can, perhaps, get more care, cheaper care or more universal care, but this isn't a "pick two" situation; it's a "pick one" and expect the other two to go in the other direction. So, for example, Obama cut a deal with the a number of medical industries, especially the pharmaceutical industry, to buy their acquiescence to his bills (see PBS's Frontline show The Deal). So we got more universal care, and costs will go the other direction. The system is too complicated and the stakes too large to expect anything better.

I'm a small-government guy, but I'll say one thing for honest-to-God socialized medicine—it's simpler. Getting rid of government involvement in the health care industry would also be simpler. I suspect both extremes would yield concrete results. Neither is remotely likely to happen.

230CharlesBoyd
Edited: May 27, 2012, 8:11am Top

Tim: How do you have socialized medecine without the government?

faceinbook: You make a good case for a need to get the health care system in the USA from a profit making system to a non-profit making system. But how do you do that?

231faceinbook
May 27, 2012, 8:29am Top

>230 CharlesBoyd:
I don't think that was what Tim said...not Tim but as I understood it, he said that it was a case of having socialized government or NO government involvement what so ever. The two are different.

Quote from a doctor back in the day. He ran a small clinic in the same town as the hospital I used to work for....(this clinic has now sold out to the biggest health care provider in the state of Wisconsin. That same doctor made Millions of dollars on the sell out) "Just because we are nonprofit does not mean we can not make money"
So in answer to your question about nonprofit vs profit ? Get rid of greed. Sound attainable to you ? It is my belief that other countries have already figured out the answer to this question. The answer may not be the best for some but is probably the most fair to the majority.

232lawecon
May 27, 2012, 10:18am Top

It does truly amaze me that you never (never, never) hear in the debate over "socialized medicine" the simple fact that medicine has been one of the most cartelized professions in the US since the 1880s. There seems to be this crazy and totally inaccurate presumption that there is a current choice between "free enterprise" medicine and socialized medicine.

What the true current debate is about is whether a cartel will or will not be faced by a completely monopsonistic buyer (the "single payer plan"). This "solution" was first hinted at by medicare and medicaid, but has not yet been completed.

There is never mentioned the possibility that the AMA/County Medical Board cartel could simply be dissolved, that a few years after that happened routine medical care would cost a small fraction of what it does today, and that this whole mess would disappear. No, impossible, HOW ABOUT THE QUAKES. (Like the ones that run the current establishment and lobby for "tort reform.")

Benito Mussolini would be proud. See, he won after all.

233faceinbook
May 27, 2012, 10:44am Top

>232 lawecon:
"There is never mentioned the possibility that the AMA/County Medical Board cartel could simply be dissolved, that a few years after that happened routine medical care would cost a small fraction of what it does today"

Perhaps there is a reason for that ?

234RidgewayGirl
May 27, 2012, 10:48am Top

Excellent conspiracy theory, lawecon.

235jjwilson61
May 27, 2012, 3:03pm Top

...or the people have in interest in making sure that Doctors are at least minimally competent. Is that so far-fetched?

236lawecon
Edited: May 27, 2012, 5:58pm Top

~233

A reason for why prices fall when an established cartel is dissolved and replaced by competition. Yes, there is a reason for that, would you like a reference or are you capable of consulting an introductory Economics text on your own?

237timspalding
May 27, 2012, 5:54pm Top

Tim: How do you have socialized medecine without the government?

I don't think I was understood.

238lawecon
Edited: May 27, 2012, 5:59pm Top

~234

Conspiracy theory, huh. Let's see. The AMA controls the accreditation of all medical schools and regularly requires that a large proportion of qualified applicants are turned away. The AMA controls the accreditation of hospitals where internships must be served and mandates the conditions of those internships - things like 48 hour shifts - because, ah, because such is "necessary." The AMA in conjunction with the county medical boards controls the licensing of physicians. They limit the number of specialists and surgeons per county. You don't have a license, you get thrown in jail for practicing medicine.

Yes, it does look like a conspiracy against the public interest, doesn't it?

239lawecon
Edited: May 27, 2012, 11:10pm Top

~235

It is not at all far fetched that you believe that the reason to establish a professional cartel is to assure that the professionals running the cartel want to assure "minimal competence." I would expect you to believe something like that. It is far fetched that you think that those are the facts.

240Lunar
Edited: May 27, 2012, 10:07pm Top

#239: I don't think you realize the preferability of wasteful government spending over business profits. For example, if faceinbook were given the choice to stop propping up the pharmeceutical cartel by removing government patent protections and the years of costly FDA hoops to jump through that no small business can afford, she wouldn't take that choice because wasteful spending is preferable to a situation where people profit from providing goods and services at competitive rates. It's certainly not about cost because she'd happily tax them and increase their costs ever more no matter who'd end up paying the price. It's the self-gratification she doesn't like. Someone who "profits," no matter how many patients benefit, is guilty of self-pleasuring. "Profit" is the onanism of the modern puritanical progressive.

241lawecon
Edited: May 27, 2012, 11:09pm Top

~240

What amuses me is that there are still people "out there" who believe that cartel rules are there "to protect them." That physicians are the only ones who can prescribe a vast spectrum of medications and that the pharmacist who dispenses any of those medications without a licensed physicians prescription on file will go to jail (without passing "go") is "for the public good."

That the number of practicing physicians in the US is (to guess) about half what it would be without the cartel is "to protect me from the quacks." The same is, of course, true of beauticians, morticians, lawyers and taxi drivers. What would we do without the self-regulated cartels that exist for those services in most states? The same cartels that regularly do everything they can to hide and minimize the misdeeds of their members, but let's not talk about that........

242faceinbook
May 28, 2012, 8:19am Top

>240 Lunar:

"What amuses me is that there are still people "out there" who believe that cartel rules are there "to protect them." That physicians are the only ones who can prescribe a vast spectrum of medications and that the pharmacist who dispenses any of those medications without a licensed physicians prescription on file will go to jail (without passing "go") is "for the public good."

Want to discuss the "counter fit drugs" that are now on the market ? Even with protection in place ? Care to hear what happens when a thyroid patient thinks they are taking the doctor prescribed medication and instead, for three months, on a daily basis, they are swallowing pure compressed baby powder. We can start with the physical symptoms or we can cover the cost of the ambulance, hospital stay and doctor visits required to reregulate the medication (it is a long touchy process)

This crap happens when we have some type of over sight.....would hate to see what happens when we don't. Saving grace ? Laws in place to prosecute the jerks who think that "playing" with medications for profit is a good idea !

You have far more trust in your fellow man than I do ! Must be either young, extremely healthy or have lived a very sheltered life.

243lawecon
May 28, 2012, 8:28am Top

"This crap happens when we have some type of over sight.....would hate to see what happens when we don't. Saving grace ? Laws in place to prosecute the jerks who think that "playing" with medications for profit is a good idea "

Isn't that odd. The regulations ARE in place TO PROTECT YOU, but "this sort of crap happens." It is almost as if the regulations and the protection have nothing to do with one another, isn't it? Indeed, there is so much malpractice in the present self-regulated medical industry that doctors MUST HAVE tort reform or they would be run out of business by the jury awards for the damage they do to their patients.

But you must be right, since I regularly see pharmacists poisioning their patients "for the profit" of doing so. That is why pharmacists want tort reform. (Oh, no, wait, they don't, do they?)

244faceinbook
May 28, 2012, 8:46am Top

>243 lawecon:
Don't know that it was a pharmacist that produced the fake drugs....suspect not. Those who are doing so are very sophisticated in that the pills, bottles and labels are an exact match to the real thing. A pharmacist wouldn't necessarly recognize. But then again, could be....who knows. It will take an envasive, expensive investigation to trace the drugs, pull them off the market and prosecute whoever is responsible. We all pay for this.

"Isn't that odd. The regulations ARE in place TO PROTECT YOU, but "this sort of crap happens." I don't find it odd so much as sad.

Tort reform sounds like a good idea but unfortuantely should we manage to pass such a measure those who make the fake drugs, or carry out their medical practices in a slip shod manner or those who out and out harm patients are bound to figure the set amount, a person is legally bound to pay out, as an operating expense.
On the other hand....seeking millions of dollars for a MISTAKE (doctors are not God, they do make errors, the medical practice is called "a practice" for a reason) is not doing much to solve the problem either.
Like most everything we are our own worst enemy......no matter which side of an issue we find ourselves on.

245lawecon
May 28, 2012, 8:54am Top

"On the other hand....seeking millions of dollars for a MISTAKE (doctors are not God, they do make errors, the medical practice is called "a practice" for a reason) is not doing much to solve the problem either."

I see. So we have a cartel in medicine to protect us, but it doesn't really protect us, because "doctors.... do make errors." Would you say that they make more or less errors under conditions where their industry representative lobbies for limits on the damages that can be awarded to those who are injured by their errors?

And how about those errors committed by practioners in other professions? Is tort reform appropriate there too? After all, those practioners are also "merely human" and make errors. (I am sure, as with doctors, lack of attention to particular patients or incompetence has nothing to do with it.)

246faceinbook
May 28, 2012, 9:33am Top

>245 lawecon:
I didn't advocate for tort reform....not sure who you are arguing with other than perhaps yourself.

MY WORDS :

" Tort reform sounds like a good idea but unfortuantely should we manage to pass such a measure those who make the fake drugs, or carry out their medical practices in a slip shod manner or those who out and out harm patients are bound to figure the set amount, a person is legally bound to pay out, as an operating expense. "



Can see both sides of the issue for torte reform. Also believe that there is a difference between making a mistake and being negligent. Unfortunately that seems to be a lost perspective in today's society, there are no accidents. Every thing is assigned blame and conseqently someone has to pay !

The fear of consequences for mistakes would make anyone more careful in regards as to how they perform. That is common sense ! We use consequences for children from the time they are born. If we don't, well we've seen the results when there are none and those results are pretty dismal.

How do you read my posts ? Seems I say something and you twist it to the opposite, look at it as an attack on what you believe (not that any of us are privy to what your belief system is...if we did it would serve to eliminate some of the surprise factor when your attack presents itself) and get all kinds of snarky ?
This "art", if you will, of interpretation is one of the phenomenons of the LT threads. Not that I am suggesting that you stop....it is entertaining.

247jjwilson61
May 28, 2012, 11:10am Top

Since this is thread is already so off topic...there's a real problem in the way that experts are handled in our court system. Both sides trot out their experts and the one most believable to a lay person wins. Both sides ensure that anyone with actual knowledge of the subject area are excluded from the jury. I'm not sure what should replace it, but the current system isn't working.

248RidgewayGirl
May 28, 2012, 11:23am Top

And experts are purchased by the side with the most money, so indigent defendants receive a lesser defense than the wealthy. Money buys justice.

249faceinbook
May 28, 2012, 1:17pm Top

>245 lawecon:
Just figured it out !!!

No matter what we post it will be questioned, distorted and or confronted in regards to. A trick, if you will, to make people doubt what they know and what they've said.

The whole world is a courtroom and we are merely wittnesses.

250prosfilaes
May 28, 2012, 3:20pm Top

#241: the number of practicing physicians in the US is (to guess) about half what it would be without the cartel

I think that exemplifies your argument; that is, not an argument, but a set of utopian suppositions. Much simpler when you don't need evidence.

#243: The regulations ARE in place TO PROTECT YOU, but "this sort of crap happens."

Yes, crap happens. It turns out, however, that we happen to have evidence of what an unregulated pharmaceutical system would look like, as herbal supplements have been left out of FDA control, and it turns out instead of the occasional counterfeit, herbal supplements frequently don't have what they say on the label, and often even include powerful drugs without any warning label.

there is so much malpractice in the present self-regulated medical industry that doctors MUST HAVE tort reform or they would be run out of business by the jury awards for the damage they do to their patients.

And the way to solve that is to make sure that no doctor needs worry about being run out of business, because they can just put up a shingle somewhere else under a different name. A series of limited-liability corporations, and nothing can stop him from doing surgery untrained and drunk. In reality of course, our litigious society combine with the inherent danger of medicine so that even a perfect doctor can't avoid lawsuits, and possibly not even losing lawsuits.

251lawecon
May 29, 2012, 12:05am Top

~250

Ah yes, the classical line (now rejected by all Economists and Lawyers not in pay of the state): "We can't have competitive markets because they result in shoddy products, conmen, etc. Thank G-d for the saints in government who PROTECT us from such abuses." From the people who brought you Congress (the Saints in assembly), the Federal Communications Commission, the Interstate Commerce Commission, the County Morticians Board, the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Securities And Exchange Commission, etc., etc. - all of which control the economy today with which you are so very happy.

"And the way to solve that is to make sure that no doctor needs worry about being run out of business, because they can just put up a shingle somewhere else under a different name. A series of limited-liability corporations, and nothing can stop him from doing surgery untrained and drunk."

Well, I guess if you want to be treated by an LLC, you're free to do so. Probably someone who has read as extensively as you have on these topics would consider that choice.

252Lunar
May 29, 2012, 3:46am Top

#244: Like most everything we are our own worst enemy......no matter which side of an issue we find ourselves on.

While I'm sure that it must alleviate your sense of personal responsibility when you make statements like the above that collectivize guilt, you can count me out of that "we." I don't support the prohibitionist nonsense that results in the grey market pharmeceuticals you're pretending to be so livid about. It's so odd how leftists who'd ordinarily understand that drug quality is the victim of prohibition when it comes to recreational drugs can have the exact opposite attitude when it comes to medical drugs. It's like they take marching orders from someone else instead of thinking it through themselves. The doublethink just doesn't stop.

253faceinbook
May 29, 2012, 8:56am Top

>252 Lunar:
There are counterfit drugs because opportunists exist.....no different than computer hackers or identity thieves or any one else who does crap to mess with others......legalizing recreational drugs is not going to change the nature of those who make a living off of scaming others.
By the way, I don't care what they legalize. Don't give a rip !

What has a medication called Synthroid have to do with a recreational drug. And why on earth do you think legalizing drugs like pot would stop any one from making fake thyroid drugs, or heart medication or diabetese meds ? People who do this are making a profit...OR not, some individuals put crap into Tylenol just to see what happens. I suppose if they had smoked a legal joint or two they may have lacked the ambition to carry out such a boneheaded thing but unfortunately, pot is still illegal and the idiots, scammers and sadists are free to operate on all cylindars.

Not thinking things through doesn't seem to be specific to one position or another.

254faceinbook
May 29, 2012, 9:03am Top

Of course each and every criminal action mentioned in post 253 is the result of the "big bad" government ! Not sure how as I seem to have a block when it comes to "thinking things through". For those less challenged, I'm pretty sure it can all be tied in to government and the foolishness of trying to form a society that protects the masses from the idiots.

255SimonW11
May 29, 2012, 5:16pm Top

I gave up on arguing with Lunar when he told me fly tippers do not tip on private land only common land.

256JGL53
May 29, 2012, 6:14pm Top

> 255

Yes, indeed.

The horrible truth is that Lunar seems to be a classical anarchist.

Which gives the lie to those who think he has no class.

I think one deigns to debate him at the risk of one's own sanity.

I have great interest in maintaining the integrity of my brain.

Others may be more risk prone.

257Lunar
Edited: May 30, 2012, 2:04am Top

#253: ... legalizing recreational drugs is not going to change the nature of those who make a living off of scaming others.

I realize that this is a difficult concept for prohibitionists like yourself who fashion themselves as not being prohibitionists, but there are policies you support that increase the vulnerability of people to such scams. I'm not talking about scamming magically disappearing but about minimizing the opportunity for such scams and transparency is the greatest way to do that, not government favors to your legalized drug cartels. In the olden days to get around your corporate buddies the only thing a person could do was hook up with a secret vendor somewhere whose reputation was as shrouded as the business itself thanks to your prohibitionist tendencies driving them underground. But now people can go to places online like The Silk Road where a vendor's reputation for selling the real deal doesn't have to be as anonymous as the vendor itself has to be. And it certainly helps that they use an anonymous digital currency so that financial transactions don't have to be backed up by a ruffian packing a semi.

In any case, you can whine all you want about the opportunities you and your government create for criminals. Just know that doublethinkers like you are on the wrong side of history.

#255: I can see the tragedy of the commons still eludes you. How sad for you.

258rolandperkins
May 30, 2012, 2:33am Top

"The President cannot be wishy-washy on (the issue of same-sex marriage) " (2)

History hasnʻt shown a wishy-washy position on the issue of abortiion always to fail. In the two cases I remember. one in my state of residence, and one in my native state, a governor and a candidate for governor (both Democrats) said, in effect: "Iʻm against it, but, as governor I would sign, not veto, a bill allowing it -- because Iʻm governor of ALL the people. What could be more controversial than abortion wonce was? And what could be
more wishy-washy than the above st ance>--an a t attempt to say "Iʻm a governor who is AGAINST abortion, and at the same time a governor with such
concern for the supporters of it (who possibly outnumber my side!) that I would never refuse to sign for it and would never veto it!
Well, it worked for the Hawaiʻi governor,* and didnʻt work for the Massachusetts candidate#

*John A. Burns (D, HI) He was re-elected easily.
Hawaiʻi, b t w, was the first state to legaly allow abortiion.

#John R. Silber (D, MA). One of the N eo-COnservatives who, however r emained a Democrat, he surprisingly defeated the Atty. General for the nomination (something which seems to happen a lot in Massachusetts) and then lost the November election to William Weld a moderate, some would say even a Liberal Republican.

259prosfilaes
May 30, 2012, 4:54am Top

#251: I bet you believe that bees can't fly, either. Some of us aren't impressed when you respond to our facts by thumping on your own personal Holy Writ.

260Arctic-Stranger
May 30, 2012, 1:20pm Top

224 I admit I don't have the answer, but tort reform seems like a good idea, letting people buy health insurance from other states should drive the cost of health insurance.

As to inter-state insurance, if we had that, no one would sell insurance in Alaska. We only have a few providers, and if they had the excuse of begging out because "they can buy it anywhere now" we would not have any carriers.

Tort reform? Maybe, but the fact is, doctors' do screw up. A friend of mine has a daughter that can basically breath and make noise....that is it. After she was born, the pediatrician begged him to sue the OB. "I am tired of seeing his mistakes," he said. The settlement pays a fraction of they have to pay to care for the child. Oh, and how much of that does insurance cover? Not much.

261margd
Jun 2, 2012, 9:33am Top

I was surprised by NAACP's speedy support for gay marriage after the President's move. Apparently it all comes down to race?

It All Comes Down to Race
Your opinions on health care reform, taxes, and even the president’s dog come down to racial bias.
By Sasha Issenberg|Posted Friday, June 1, 2012, at 11:03 AM ET
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/victory_lab/2012/06/racicalizati...

"The wishful scenario many Republicans envisioned after Barack Obama’s change of heart this month on gay marriage—the president’s African-American base, far less supportive of expanding marriage than other parts of his coalition, becomes demobilized or even defects as a result of Obama’s stance—already seems unlikely to be realized. Last Thursday, Public Policy Polling revealed a 36-point swing in black support for gay marriage among Maryland voters, who will have the chance to legalize the practice in a November referendum, since PPP’s last poll on the subject in March. Then, 56 percent had been opposed to the new marriage law and 39 percent supported it. In May, PPP found the numbers nearly reversed: 55 percent supported, and 36 opposed. By all indications, black voters weren’t abandoning Obama over an issue on which they disagreed, but adjusting their opinions to match his."

"That notion—that our views toward Obama are stable and everything else is changing around them—has been at the core of Michael Tesler’s groundbreaking survey research throughout the Obama era. Last week, as PPP tracked opinion in Maryland, the Brown University political scientist was reviewing his own national polls conducted since Obama’s switch, which helped moor the movement on gay marriage in a broader, deeper set of attitudes. Not only was Obama’s support pulling blacks toward his position, it was also pushing a segment of whites whom Tesler categorized as “racial conservatives” away from his position. In other words, Obama had such sway over race-conscious voters that they adjusted their positions on gay marriage because of him..."

262lawecon
Edited: Jun 2, 2012, 9:59am Top

~256

"Yes, indeed.

The horrible truth is that Lunar seems to be a classical anarchist.

I think one deigns to debate him at the risk of one's own sanity.

I have great interest in maintaining the integrity of my brain."

Yes, indeed.

The horrible truth is that JGL seems to be a compulsive fundamentalist.

That he was raised as a religious fundamental and has now replaced that with knee jerk collectivist atheist fundamentalism really makes no difference.

The cast of mind, the inability to think outside of slogans, the classification of others into categories, and vituperations haven't changed a bit from his religious days.

You can't "debate" him because all there is to respond to is a series of Fox News-like slogans about how crazy and depraved (damned to eternal hell fire in his previous vocabulary) his latest imagined "enemies" are.

That is what he calls a brain.

(Incidentally, you will note that there were no flags on post ~256. We all know why that is, don't we?)

263RidgewayGirl
Jun 2, 2012, 10:38am Top

261 - so the bigots now hate gays, too? And they were all tolerant until the Kenyan Socialist spoke? Seriously?

On the other side, I can see the President's statement opening a lot of conversations and causing many to reexamine their views and to discuss the issue openly.

264faceinbook
Jun 2, 2012, 12:07pm Top

>262 lawecon:
Certainly if we are looking for flags, Lunar would have gotten a few on some of his posts aimed in my direction ? If you are using post #256 as an example.
Not sure, as I've never flagged anyone nor have I "ignored" them.

>263 RidgewayGirl:
Rather blatant don't you think ?
Yes, discussion is good. Although I read some of the comments on Yahoo following the news story about the commercial put out by J.C. Penny's in which two children had two fathers. Horrible stuff is said ! People are disgusting ! Makes one sad to be a part of the whole dang deal !
Suggested that they get as outraged by the news story of the MAN, standing next to a WOMAN (as it should be) and putting a child in a washing machine. Guess we save the out rage to direct at kindness, love and respect that is not directed in the "proper" direction rather than the acts commited, on a daily basise, by "proper couples" that defy human decency.

265SimonW11
Edited: Jun 2, 2012, 5:14pm Top

well no I don't think Lunar is a classical anarchist,his belief in "a free market" has blinded him to the other forms of negotiation. or even recognising that economic pressure drive decisions even when the market is not commoditized. Anarchists are rather the reverse of this.

If you will excuse me i don't want to be drawn into that morass again.

266Lunar
Jun 2, 2012, 9:30pm Top

#265: well no I don't think Lunar is a classical anarchist,his belief in "a free market" has blinded him to the other forms of negotiation."

Naturally, those "other forms of negotiation" that separate me from the traditional lefty anarchists are of the violent variety like with those idiots who fell for the FBI entrapment scheme to get them to try to blow up the Cleveland bridge. Apologies for my blind aversion to murder, theft, and vandalism.

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