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September 29th, 2011
11:09 AM ET

My Take: 'Hate' is too big a word to be used with such little restraint

Editor's Note: Jim Daly is president of Focus on the Family and author of Stronger: Trading Brokenness for Unbreakable Strength (David C. Cook, 2010).

By Jim Daly, Special to CNN

(CNN)– We all know the old saying about falsely yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. It's a metaphor designed to explain that while free speech is protected in our country, speaking with reckless disregard for the truth and inciting panic is, at best, irresponsibly dangerous, and, at worst, beyond the covering of the First Amendment.

The phrase has its roots in a 1919 opinion by Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, but there's a version of it growing increasingly common today: Falsely yelling "hate" in a crowded public square.

A New York Times story over the weekend chronicled how some individuals and organizations eager to see same-sex marriage legalized have stopped trying to win others to their point of view through reasoned argument and have turned, instead, to emotional epithets as their main rhetorical tool.

The most recent campaign is against the Charity Give Back Group (CGBG), an online shopping service that allows consumers to donate a portion of their purchase from a variety of retailers to the nonprofit group of their choice. Gay activists, primarily through online petitions, have pressured several retailers to pull out of CGBG, alleging that the stores are helping fund "hate."

Similar efforts have been launched in recent months against Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS shoes, for speaking at a Focus on the Family event; and Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, for agreeing to appear at a leadership conference sponsored by another Christian group, the Willow Creek Association.

These events are a chilling snapshot of what's become of civil discourse in our culture.

The simple truth is, "hate" is far too big a word to be thrown around with such little discretion. It imputes a sinister motive to what, in this case, is a widely and deeply held belief that God's design for human sexuality lies within the lifelong context of one-man, one-woman marriage.

Does Focus on the Family advocate for that definition of marriage to be upheld as the law of the land? Unapologetically. But do we, as Webster's defines "hate," feel "intense hostility and aversion" to gays and lesbians? Do we regard them with "extreme dislike or antipathy"? Unequivocally not.

That is not to say, of course, that there aren't people and groups who do "hate" gays and lesbians.

There are also people and groups who "hate" Christians. But they do not represent the wide swath of either side of the discussion about same-sex marriage.

For the overwhelming majority of those who see the issue as we do, it is a public-policy matter we approach informed by our faith and motivated by what we feel is best for society.

Study after study has indicated the best environment for children to be raised  and nurtured  is the home of their married, biological parents. Same-sex marriage, by definition, creates homes that deprive a child of either a mother or a father.

Those of us who hold these views on homosexuality and same-sex marriage are certainly accustomed to having our beliefs challenged, even vehemently, and often in our own families.

We pray we speak on these subjects in a way that upholds God's truth while demonstrating Christ's heart and love for all people. However, if this effort to intimidate those who hold our views - and even those who may not hold our views but associate with us - continues, it's possible we won't be able to speak about it at all.

In many ways the environment we find ourselves in is not unlike that surrounding Sen. Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s. Certainly at that point in our history, the threat of communism to our nation was real.

It was right and proper, as most on the left and right agree, that those who did seek to subvert the laws and security of the United States be exposed and brought to justice. But the way McCarthy pursued his anti-communism campaign was, as the Times said in a 1998 editorial, "a menace to the body politic."

He leveled very loud charges very publicly, often with no evidence to support his accusations. Still, the smears stuck even to those he targeted unfairly, who for the rest of their lives bore a stain not caused by their actions, but by his words.

We were a better country than that then, and we're a better country than that now. Ours is a long tradition of turning disagreements into debates, not denigration. Let's keep that tradition going by putting out a real fire – the one caused by overheated, overreaching rhetoric.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Jim Daly.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Gay rights • United States

soundoff (302 Responses)
  1. TheNitwon

    I have to agree with the author on this one. Just because someone has religious objections to a certain lifestyle doesn't mean they're hateful. I have some Christian friends who abhor gay marriage/relationships but would take a bullet for a gay person. Using the word "hateful" to describe someone with objections to gay marriage is a useless ad hominem attack that doesn't do anything but stigmatize a point of view. And just to be clear, I'm Jewish and my views on gay marriage are a bit more liberal than the authors'.

    September 29, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • a

      They needn't take a bullet for me; minding their business and leaving MY relationship, however "abhorrent" they may find it, alone is more than enough.

      September 29, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • a

      In fact, I ~abhor~ their abhorrence- so there!

      September 29, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  2. William Demuth

    Again folks, I completely SUPPORT GAY MARRIAGE. My devils advocacy is to prove a point.

    I support gay marriage for the same reason I support polygamy, incest, 80 year olds marrying 16 year olds and ANY permutation you can come up with.

    I do it because, It really is none of your or my business! Freedom trumps all of your rationales.

    I am QUITE surprised that so many get the Atheism but miss the Anarchism.

    What other people do with their bodies is up to them, NOT you. It's about freedom. and you can't give it to the gays and continue to deny it to others. By many of your rationales, fat people shouldn’t be allowed to breed due to the risk of obesity!

    Stop being so exclusionary, and MAYBE you might stop being excluded.

    September 29, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • Serioulsly

      Wow is your brain dense or what. We've already answered your pathetic attempt to justify your personal prejudices.

      September 29, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Serioulsly

      You really are slow aint ya!

      How many gay weddings YOU been to? Perhaps your own, but no others I assume.

      September 29, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Serioulsly

      "How many gay weddings YOU been to? Perhaps your own, but no others I assume."

      I am not gay you moron but I have attended 5 gay weddings, their love and commitment is just the same as others. Only prejudice bigots can't see that.

      September 29, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Serioulsly

      You will get your shot.

      Someone special will come along, just be patient!

      Anarchy means hating everyone equally!

      September 29, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Seriously

      "Anarchy means hating everyone equally!"

      Keep showing your stupidity it's really funny! LMAO! Run chicken little RUN!!!

      September 29, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Nonimus

      I do agree with much of your argument, but some prohibitions, I think, are rational and justified. Primarily incest, because of genetic and psychological issues with such relationships.

      "I am QUITE surprised that so many get the Atheism but miss the Anarchism."
      Unless you consider Atheism to be spiritual anarchy, which I would disagree with, I don't see the connect between the two.

      September 29, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • Libertarian

      @William Demuth:
      "It's about freedom. and you can't give it to the gays and continue to deny it to others. ... Stop being so exclusionary, and MAYBE you might stop being excluded."

      My issue with allowing gay marriage is that it is still discriminatory. After all, what we're talking about is really the legal (as opposed to civil) definition of marriage and the implications that come with it (economic or otherwise). Even in a broadened definition of marriage in which any two consenting adults may enter such a legal contract, those who are in such a contract are still treated differently than those who are not. Essentially, this discriminates against singles, and the Equal Protection Clause that's cited to support gay marriage could just as easily be cited here to argue for the abolition of marriage as a legal construct in favor of fairness to everyone (whether they're "married" in the civil/cultural definition or not).

      September 29, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  3. AmazingSteve

    I suggest everyone try replacing all instances and variations of the phrase "same-s.ex" with "inter-r.acial", and all instances and variations of "g.ay", "h.omos.exual", or "LGBT" with "b.lack" and see how the article reads. Gives an interesting perspective.

    September 29, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • William Demuth

      I like it.

      It seems we fight for the freedom of one group at a time.

      Perhaps we ALL need to be freed at once?

      September 29, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  4. MarkinFL

    Bottom line seems to be that at the end of the day there is no actual valid argument against gay marriage so the bigots once again reverts to sowing Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. FUD.

    September 29, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • J.W

      What does fud stand for

      September 29, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Fear Uncertainty and Doubt.

      Its a marketing method used in politics.

      Usually by Republicans, but it has been used by all.

      September 29, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  5. a

    So over anti-gays thinking their beliefs are more important than my life. They aren't. You may not have sinister hostile feelings toward us (though, when one devotes ones life work to defaming an entire segment of people and keeping rights from them, that seems a tad hostile), but what you do affects our lives in a massively negative way.

    September 29, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  6. William Demuth

    I have enjoyed the debate, NOW I have many of you facing a question.

    Why shouldn't lesbian sister be permitted to marry?

    There is NO scientific reason to ban it, ONLY a moral or philosophical one.

    I look forward to that one being on Nacy Grace.

    Does anyone want to explain WHY it should be illegal when lesbian relationships are acceptable?

    September 29, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      No, do you?

      September 29, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • Serioulsly

      Wow you're excuses for your prejudices are priceless. Incest is a statutory crime, often classified as a felony. The purpose of incest statutes is to prevent sexual intercourse between individuals related within the degrees set forth, for the furtherance of the public policy in favor of domestic peace. The prohibition of intermarriage is also based upon genetic considerations, since when excessive inbreeding takes place, undesirable recessive genes become expressed and genetic defects and disease are more readily perpetuated.

      AND for the big duh of the day – gay sex isn't a crime moron!

      September 29, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      BTW, is this like a sleeper issue I've missed? Is this something people are actually worried about? Or is it simply another straw man argument created purely for its FUD value?

      Does anyone wish to explain why it is not?

      September 29, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • William Demuth

      MarkinFL

      No, with the possible exception of a FINANCIAL one.

      In my office I have a young lady with two older sisters, one with 17 children and one with 11.

      If they marry, and insurance company in NY State must insure the Primary, the Spouse, and the Children under one policy.

      Thats 30 people.

      What do you think that does to the rate of the sigle parent with one child? the ratio is 10 to 1,.

      September 29, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Serioulsly

      Neither is incest dippy! Hasn'tt been in NYC for 30 years.

      My point is MARRIAGE is broken. If you want to fix it FIX it.

      I STRONGLY support it, but the dialouge is critical.

      September 29, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      More FUD,

      The odds of two woman with that many children both being lesbian and falling in love and wanting to marry is approximately 0. And even if it did it would be such a rare occurrence as to have approximately 0 impact on our economy.

      This says more about runaway hetero marriages. Sounds like a GREAT argument for gay marriage. To have that many kids in this day and age is practically insane.

      September 29, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      "Fixing" marriage is only related to this argument at all because they both involve marriage. Otherwise, how is it relevant to whether gays should be able to marry?

      September 29, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • William Demuth

      MarkinFL

      Yah make me laugh dude!

      My point is FRAUD. People manipulating the system to get insurance on the cheap.

      Please don't tell me your so innocent as to believe it dosen't happen.

      Wait till DOMA goes and all the GI Joes marry civilian Joes and send the bill to the pentagon!

      More mooches looking for a free lunch on the taxpayers back.

      September 29, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @William,

      I don't understand what the number of offspring and the insurance company have to do with this discussion. What does this have to do with gay marriage?

      September 29, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      More FUD,

      Straight couples can and do marry fraudulently. What's the difference?

      September 29, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • Dave N

      Keep in mind that this is not so much about government "allowing" certain people to marry. It's really about whether government will recognize certain kinds of marriage by granting the benefits, rights, and protections currently afforded to straight, married (unrelated) couples ... and the degree to which individuals are fundamentally excluded from entering into a healthy, successful marriage so recognized by the state. I don't believe there are many, if any, people who are innately able to enter into a healthy, successful marriage ONLY with siblings. People who are strongly hom.ose.xual, on the other hand, ARE able to enter into healthy marriages but ONLY with people of the same gender. So current traditionalist marriage laws discriminate against hom.ose.xuals in a much more fundamental sense than they do against people choosing to engage in inc.est. Under current laws, hom.ose.xuals can't enter into a healthy, government-recognized marriage with anyone, ever. In that sense, the argument for same-gender marriage is even stronger than the one for interracial marriage ever was.

      September 29, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Serioulsly

      "Serioulsly

      Neither is incest dippy! Hasn'tt been in NYC for 30 years."

      Really? Here copy and paste. LOL!

      http://search.nycourts.gov/search?q=incest&entqr=0&ud=1&sort=date%3AD%3AL%3Ad1&output=xml_no_dtd&oe=UTF-8&ie=UTF-8&client=main_frontend&proxystylesheet=main_frontend&site=Main&btnG.x=0&btnG.y=0

      September 29, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Serioulsly

      Any incestuous couple of adult age can not be prosecuted without the testimony of the other.

      Less than seven father child patrimony cases have come to trial that I am aware of, and I am unaware of any convictions.

      Basicaly if brothers and sisters do what they want the state is, and always has been powerless to stop it.

      September 29, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Seriously

      "Less than seven father child patrimony cases have come to trial that I am aware of, and I am unaware of any convictions.

      Basicaly if brothers and sisters do what they want the state is, and always has been powerless to stop it."

      The point is moron it's still illegal, which is why they will never get the right to marry. Gay sex isn't illegal anymore, which is why the marriage debate is now happening, especially since being gay is not a mental illness, etc...etc…etc….

      I am not a lawyer so I don't know the conviction rate but based on the lies you've been telling on this blog I don't believe the crap you're spewing on here.

      September 29, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  7. MaybeAgnosticMaybeNot

    These arguments are getting old. They keep throwing statistics around about "which type of household is best for a child", but the law has nothing to do with that. Allowing gays to marry does not equal allowing them to adopt. If the issue was actually how to get kids into the best households, that would expand way beyond gay parents.

    September 29, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Its part of the kitchen sink type of argument. An attempt to spread FUD.

      September 29, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  8. Misconceptions

    Research indicates that many lesbians and gay men want and have committed relationships.

    Stereotypes about lesbian, gay, and bisexual people have persisted, even though studies have found them to be misleading. For instance, one stereotype is that the relationships of lesbians and gay men are dysfunctional and unhappy. However, studies have found same-sex and heterosexual couples to be equivalent to each other on measures of relationship satisfaction and commitment.

    A second stereotype is that the relationships of lesbians, gay men and bisexual people are unstable. However, despite social hostility toward same-sex relationships, research shows that many lesbians and gay men form durable relationships. For example, survey data indicate that between 18% and 28% of gay couples and between 8% and 21% of lesbian couples have lived together 10 or more years. It is also reasonable to suggest that the stability of same-sex couples might be enhanced if partners from same-sex couples enjoyed the same levels of support and recognition for their relationships as heterosexual couples do, i.e., legal rights and responsibilities associated with marriage.

    A third common misconception is that the goals and values of lesbian and gay couples are different from those of heterosexual couples. In fact, research has found that the factors that influence relationship satisfaction, commitment, and stability are remarkably similar for both same-sex cohabiting couples and heterosexual married couples.

    September 29, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
  9. William Demuth

    For all those who want to be HONEST, here is a simple question.

    If a 70 year old man can marry an 80 year old man, why can't a 70 year old man marry his 80 year old sisiter.

    Because it is taboo.

    There is NO other reason why.

    September 29, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • huh

      "If a 70 year old man can marry an 80 year old man, why can't a 70 year old man marry his 80 year old sisiter."

      Well it's how humanity started based on creationist. LOL!

      September 29, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • tom

      Hostly, if they are consenting adults. As uncomfortable as it seems why shouldn't we let an 80 year old man marry his 70 year old sister. Why is it our business.

      September 29, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @WIlliam Demuth
      You are correct in this respect.
      Given that they are incapable to reproducing and are indeed unlikely to be se.xually active, there is no practical reason why they shouldnt' be married.
      Nobody would raise an eyebrow if they cohabitated, and since they are all ready family they can all ready make medical decisions for each other (like pulling the plug on the ol' iron lung) so a marriage contract would be kind of redundant...
      But semantically, your argument is sound.

      September 29, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Real Deal

      William Demuth,

      "If a 70 year old man can marry an 80 year old man, why can't a 70 year old man marry his 80 year old sisiter.
      Because it is taboo."

      True. Plus, there would not be too much of a reason for them to marry, as they are already legally accorded all of the benefits of next-of-kin.

      September 29, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Real Deal

      Doc,
      What goes up the chimney? 😉

      September 29, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      I certainly do not have an argument against it. Will the world stop turning if it happens? nope.

      September 29, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • Nonimus

      As long as the sister at 20, didn't abuse the 10 year old brother to such an extent that at 80 she still had undue influence over the younger sibling, then I don't see any technical problems. But how would you ever be sure?

      September 29, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  10. William Demuth

    DamianKnight

    Malarcky my freind

    Incest is a RELIGIOUS taboo. Genetics as a rational to reject it is an absurd position (and YES I do know the subject).

    The genetic damage is FAR greater from inbred COMMUNITES like Mormons or the Amish of the Hassidic, but political correctness denies us the ability to be honest. Individual inbreeding would only be significant if HUGE amounts of people engaged in it.

    Individual inbreeds are in fact the root of MOST of our genetic material, but they are culled when other mix into the lineage.

    September 29, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      Read. The. Words. I said it increased the probability. I didn't say definitiely.

      It's basically playing Russian Roulette with genetics.

      September 29, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Point is, that gay marriage does not increase the chance of a negative outcome. There are good logical health based reasons to avoid marrying to close to home. Even then it is already legal to marry a cousin in most states.

      September 29, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @WIlliam
      I call MALARKY on you, sir.
      Please see Doc V's lesson in genetics at the bottom of the page.
      Inbreeding = vastly increased chances of negative genetic reinforcement.

      September 29, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  11. myweightinpoo

    G@ys are some weird mofos.

    September 29, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • William Demuth

      I completely agree

      September 29, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Fake William Demuth

      We know you're Chrisitian, so we KNOW you hate Gays. And Jews. And Blacks, and Your Parents!

      If you are so comfortable with hating, why do you hide?

      September 29, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  12. myweightinpoo

    G@ys are obnoxious.

    September 29, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Seriously

      Prove it.

      September 29, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  13. when

    @ Tallulah 13 "I think it's entirely immoral for people to use their religion to disciminate against others." Evolution and Atheisim are both belief systems and each require much faith to believe. They are religions. Your posts are many times, if not always, discriminatory against Christians. Get the picture?

    September 29, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      A post is not discrimination. For something to be discrimination it must impact the person being discriminated against.

      Like, not being allowed to shop in a certain store.
      Like, not being allowed to sit anywhere on the bus
      Like, not being allowed to marry the person you love.

      Get the picture?

      September 29, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Atheism is a negative statement that says only what one does NOT believe.
      It does not imply any behaviours, morals, or characteristics whatsoever.
      Evolution is not a faith – it is a scietific theory. Before you conflate theories with laws, there are 5 laws in the theory of evolution.
      Both a scientific theory and a scientific law are accepted to be true by the scientific community as a whole. Both are used to make predictions of events. Both are used to advance technology.
      Do you think that Newtonian physics is a religion?

      September 29, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • I'm The Best!

      How does evolution and atheism require much faith to believe in? They are both the most logical thing to belive in when compared to anything else.

      September 29, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      To paraphrase:

      We are ALL atheists. I just happen to believe in one less god than you do.

      Think about why you do not believe in other gods (like zeus, etc.) and you will understand how I feel about yours.

      I also do not believe in Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny. Are those beliefs also religions? Ehat kind of "Faith" do they require? A faith in the real world I suppose.

      September 29, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • when

      @ myweightinwords. Discrimination is the prejudicial treatment of an individual based on their membership in a certain group or category. The process by which two stimuli differing in some aspect are responded to differently. Now read the way Christians, believers, people of faith, and anyone in general who is not an athiest or evolutionist are mocked, insulted, called filthy names, and over-all hated on these blogs......then take your blinders off and perhaps you will get the picture.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Hey WHEN, reverend phelps who is the worst offender of all is protected as well.

      No one here is asking for special protection, only you. Gays do not expect people to be forced to like who they are but you seem to think that people calling you names is as bad as you trying to withhold equal rights. Sorry, that does not pass any test of logic or smell.

      You are free to express your beliefs about anyone you want and others are allowed to do the same back. BUT we are not free to try to exclude you from civil society.

      September 30, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • tallulah13

      That is utter nonsense. Evolution is a scientific fact. Atheism is simply the disbelief in any god. Neither take any faith to believe. The fossil record shows the existence of evolution. You have no proof of your gods existence, no proof that the bible is anything more than bronze age mythology, yet you use your personal "faith" to support discrimination against people who do you no harm.

      When I tell christians that they have no proof of their god, that is not discrimination. That is fact.

      September 30, 2011 at 10:25 am |
  14. Colin

    "Study after study has indicated the best environment for children to be raised and nurtured is the home of their married, biological parents. Same-$ex marriage, by definition, creates homes that deprive a child of either a mother or a father."

    Do such studies compare homes with married, biological parents to single parent homes or to gay, two parent homes? Most likely the former, which renders them much less relevant. Even if true, however, that would be an argument against gay parenting, not against gay marriage.

    I however, have 10 Reasons why gay marriage is wrong

    01) Gay marriage will encourage straight people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make short people tall.

    02) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets, because gays marrying will alter the fundamental $ex drive of others.

    03) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

    04) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed. My parents in Texas ran screaming to the court to get a divorce, the minute they heard that a gay couple married in Vermont.

    05) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.

    06) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

    07) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. We really want people who, in the 21st Century, still believe in sky-gods and evil ground-devils, based on 2,000 year-old Palestinian mythology, setting social policy.

    08) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

    09) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

    10) It will lead to social disorder. I constantly hear of large groups of gays protesting against the rights of Christians to marry and committing acts of violence against Christians.

    September 29, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      Hahahahaha! This is actually really funny!

      September 29, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  15. Lee

    He could have just summed it up by saying "I use my religion as justifcation for hatred of gay people, but don't like the use of the word hate, so I'll try to redefine it"

    'Do we regard them with "extreme dislike or antipathy"? Unequivocally not." Bull.

    September 29, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
  16. Dave N

    The only statement in the article that makes a non-religious argument against same-gender marriage is: "Study after study has indicated the best environment for children to be raised and nurtured is the home of their married, biological parents." That is an intentionally misleading statement because it confuses statistical correlation with causation. If you break kids into two groups - those with married, biological parents on the one hand, and everyone else on the other - you do find that the first group fares better. But that is because the latter group is dominated statistically by kids from broken homes, or homes (often lower-income) where a single parent is raising a child. But you can't draw any conclusions about any particular subgroup (like those raised by same-gender parents) unless the study actually allows statistics about the specific subgroup to be tabulated. And in studies that have actually looked at how children of same-gender parents fare, they actually do just fine ... and maybe even a bit better than average. Daly's comment is deceptive in exactly the same way another Focus on the Family executive's testimony before Congress was in July. Why do they keep trying to recycle the same bogus argument? (Maybe it's because it's the best they've got??)

    September 29, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
  17. Doc Vestibule

    1. Those than toss around 1 Corinthians 6:9 as justification for bigotry need to look at different translations of the Bible (of which there are MANY).
    In the original Greek, the terms used in Corinthian's list of vices that are sometimes translated as "hom-ose.xual" are 'malakoi' and 'ar.senkoitai'.
    AR.SENKOTAI – Has been translated as "abusers of themselves with mankind" (KJV), "se.xual per.verts" (RSV), "sodo.mites" (NKJV, NAB, JB, NRSV), those "who are guilty of hom.ose.xual per.version" (NEB), "men who lie with males" (Lamsa), "behaves like a hom.ose.xual" (CEV), "men who have se.xual relations with other men" (NCV), and "ho.mose.xual offenders" (NIV). The New American Bible (Roman Catholic) translated ar.senokoitai as "practicing hom.ose.xuals". After much protest, the editors agreed to delete this term and replace it with "sodo.mites" in subsequent editions.
    'Ar.senokoitai' referred to male prosti.tutes for Paul and Christians until the 4th century.
    MALAKOI – Literally means "soft" or "males who are soft". This word has been translated as "ef.feminate" (KJV), "hom.ose.xuals" (NKJV), "corrupt" (Lamsa), "per.verts" (CEV), "catamites" which means call boys (JB), "those who are male prosti.tutes" (NCV), and "male prost.itutes." (NIV, NRSV). Until the Reformation in the 16th century and in Roman Catholicism until the 20th century, malakoi was thought to mean "mas.turb.ators." Only in the 20th century has it been understood as a reference to hom.ose.xuality.
    So does God condemn gays in the New Testament?
    It all depends on what translation you're reading.

    September 29, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • J.W

      I have read that ars.entakoi or whatever literally meant men who sle.ep with boys, like pe.dophilia

      September 29, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • Dave N

      Interestingly (ironically?), if you go to the website of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, go to their online NAB translation for 1 Corinthians 6, and look at the 3rd footnote, even they acknowledge that all of Paul's passages on hom.ose.xua.lity were probably referring to things like pe.dera.sty. ( http://www.usccb.org/bible/1corinthians/6/ ) Lest people think you are only drawing from liberal, pro-gay, or anti-Catholic sources when you raise these translation issues.

      September 29, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  18. Colin

    "Hate" "bigot" and "stereotype" must be the three most over-used words in any discussion of religious or social topics. It is a bit like when somebody compares a person to Hitler, once you hear the accusation in an argument that somebody is a biggot, is sterotyping or "hates" somebebody or something, you preety mush know that the accuser is struggling.

    September 29, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Not necessarily. It can also mean the "accuser" is too close to the argument, has a serious persecution complex that they can not think their way out of, or many other reasons. It can also be the product of someone who has been seriously hurt.

      For example, I know someone who is a Male to Female transgendered. She is currently post op. In her pre-op days, she was ra.ped and beaten by men, not once, but twice. During both instances, she was out in public, dressed as a female. In both instances the men involved knew that she was male. In both attacks, she was called names and told that this was happening because they hated her for what she was, that she was a freak and evil, etc.

      She is now post op and has been living as a woman for the better part of ten years, however, to this day, any slight against her, any word said that indicates a dislike of anything she does, says or is part of, or any disagreement with any transgendered person, she can not see it as anything other than hate and trans-phobia. It doesn't matter how many times you explain it to her, how rational you make the argument. She can't see it. All she can see is the hatred and fear from those men who hurt her.

      September 29, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      On the other hand if a person is specifically trying to withhold a civil right based on your orientation its pretty safe to say that that is what they are doing. Your analogy does not hold at all.

      And to address the original poster. I am vehemently against this type of discrimination. It is pure bigotry based on personal belief and nothing more. The same with racial bigotry. It is what it is and the names are appropriate.

      Signed,
      Straight married white male with children with no personal experience of suffering from prejudice or bigotry.

      Some people can just plain recognize a bigot when they see, hear or read one.

      September 29, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Mark, My point was, she jumps to the use of the words hate and bigot because she can't see past her own experience. She isn't always right. Sometimes it's just a disagreement. Sometimes it's not even that.

      We're living in a time period where we knee-jerk react to every sound bite, every snippet of news without fully understanding a situation, and we take things so far out of proportion that everything is hatred or bigotry.

      Now, mind you, I'm a bis.e.xual, polyamorous Pagan who was once a seriously right wing conservative Christian. Trust me when I tell you I have seen hatred and bigotry. I know it exists. I just also happen to believe that we will live in fear and perpetual that hatred if we keep slapping labels where they don't actually apply.

      September 29, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      I really did understand your point. I'm just suggesting it is not relevant when referring to people who want to withhold a civil right from an entire class of people based upon their personal feelings. That is pretty much bigotry by any standard. I agree that "hate" is too strong to use automatically. However, the hate is evident from many foes of equal civil rights. And I understand when a victim of bigotry sees anyone practicing it as hateful.
      It is one thing to not like the fact that some people are gay. It is an entirely different thing to work hard to punish them for it.

      September 29, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Mark, I agree with you. I might take it a step farther and even say that some who we might see as bigots, based on the way that they use their beliefs to withhold basic rights, honestly do not see themselves as a bigot, and thus the reaction to the word is so strong. However, the reaction itself will often blind the person from examining the situation and continue to blindly deny the word, which then begins to look like hate to those on the other side, and the cycle perpetuates.

      September 29, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      myweight,
      Agree completely.

      September 29, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  19. J.W

    If one person against gay marriage would just tell me what harm gay marriage would do to the non-gay community I would be totally against gay marriage. But gay marriage would not affect anybody else at all.

    September 29, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      The harm to the bigots is strictly emotional, thus not important legally and actually quite enjoyable.

      September 29, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • William Demuth

      It will have the SAME negative impact as regular marriage, which costs the tax payer tens of billions of dollars when they are forced to intervene,

      It will damage children as well, once the high wears off, and the unions collapse.

      It is BACKWARDS progress at best.

      Lets make it contract law and enforce it as such.

      September 29, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Robert

      "It will damage children as well, once the high wears off, and the unions collapse."

      Divorce regardless of your sexual orientation will impact the children.

      September 29, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      William,
      How does making it "contract law" change ANYTHING you mentioned? The only impact of that is to give a few conservatives room to pretend the world hasn't changed. Meanwhile you want to create a whole new legal construct with the associated costs?
      We already have a government recognized contract called marriage. It is a purely civil matter and the religious aspect is strictly up to the individual. How is that any different than what you suggest?

      September 29, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      And Robert addresses the other point. William the only logical place to go with your argument is to ban ALL marriage. If its a good enough reason to ban gay marriage, then it is a good enough reason to ban straight marriage.

      September 29, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • William Demuth

      MarkinFL

      Because knowing a bit about contract law, I can ASSURE you that now the definition will morph.

      Health care alone will have BILLIONS of dollars of costs associated with it.

      I support ANYONE marrying ANYONE, as long as society is sparred the cost of cleaning up the mess. You can marry an ardvark for all I care, I just don't want to pay for it.

      If the exit is agreed upon BEFORE the entry I am fine. EVERYONE needs a prenup before, so when the fad passes we don't have to lay out billions.

      September 29, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Mark.

      All that is needed is secular reality.

      Most marriages fail. If we REQUIRE a means to end it formally BEFORE it begins, we wont have half the kids due child support not ever getting a dime.

      Theholy unending union is obsolete. We need to be practical.

      September 29, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      There you go bringing in aardvarks, etc. again. We are simply talking about some fellow citizens that have been frozen out of an otherwise available to all option.
      The problems you mention are already endemic to the system, but that is a poor excuse for restricting one group of consenting adults from having a go at it. If there turns out to be a much larger failure rate than in straight marriages, you you MIGHT at least have a small argument against it. On the other hand there are a number of factors that predict marriage failure from the start that could also be addressed as well. Problem becomes WHO decides who gets to get married?

      September 29, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • glenn stanton

      Here are just a few J.W:

      1) As Mr. Daly said in this piece, it denies children either their mother or father, by definition. Quite serious.
      2) It declares that male and female are merely sentimental for marriage and family.
      3) It has limited my religious freedoms, as this article and other real life examples demonstrate.
      4) It will and has cut away at the value – through gay male marriages – that monogamy is a fundamental virtue of marriage.

      There are others, but that is a good start for you.

      September 29, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @William Demuth
      You think that hom.ose.xuality is a fad?
      We have gay marriage here in Canada and the country hasn't yet collapsed.
      In the world of health care, it has simply meant that one's long term partner can now make mediacal decisions on one' s behalf, regardless of gender.
      I have a gay aunt who has been in a relationship with the same woman for 15 years.
      Her brother, who married his first cousin, refuses to speak to her because of her "unnatural" relationship.
      Gotta love catholic families!

      September 29, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      @glenn stanton

      "1) As Mr. Daly said in this piece, it denies children either their mother or father, by definition. Quite serious."

      Divorce already does that. At least, in a same gender marriage, the work required to have children will mean that both parents actually want them. Studies have indicated that children raised in homes with same-gender parents are mentally and emotionally equivalent to those raised in homes with hetero parents.

      "2) It declares that male and female are merely sentimental for marriage and family."

      What does this even mean? If anything it says "love is good" which is a message we should be sending.

      "3) It has limited my religious freedoms, as this article and other real life examples demonstrate."

      How? How does my marrying someone I love limit your religious freedom to believe that I shouldn't marry that person? It doesn't. Don't believe same-gender folks should be married? Don't marry someone of the same gender. Simple.

      "4) It will and has cut away at the value – through gay male marriages – that monogamy is a fundamental virtue of marriage."

      Again, how? Most of the gay men I know who are married are monogamous. For that matter, most of the gay men and women I know, regardless of whether or not they are married, are monogamous. I can't say the same for the straight people I know. There, it's about fifty/fifty.

      "There are others, but that is a good start for you."

      Try again. These don't hold up.

      September 29, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      1) As Mr. Daly said in this piece, it denies children either their mother or father, by definition
      So do bitter divorces.
      I take it this means that you would be OK with a gay couple adopting an orphan, since that child would otherwise have NO parent.
      2) It declares that male and female are merely sentimental for marriage and family.
      It declares no such thing. It declares that families are comprised of people who are dedicated to each other's welfare.
      3) It has limited my religious freedoms, as this article and other real life examples demonstrate.
      It limits nobody's religious freedoms. Nobody is trying to force any religion to perform gay marriage ceremonies.
      4) It will and has cut away at the value – through gay male marriages – that monogamy is a fundamental virtue of marriage.
      Gay people in committed relationships are no more or less monogamous than straight people.
      The number one reason for straight, Christian people divorcing is infidelity.

      September 29, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • J.W

      I would like to see the studies of the harm it did to children. Otherwise the rest is just opinion.

      September 29, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      1) As Mr. Daly said in this piece, it denies children either their mother or father, by definition. Quite serious.
      – Is it? I have yet to see the study that compares same se.x parents to two opposite s.ex parents. Comparing to a single parent is clearly not relevant. Divorce on the other hand DOES by definition do what you say. We should ban divorce long before same s.ex parents!
      2) It declares that male and female are merely sentimental for marriage and family.
      Yes, yes it does. So what? What is the legal argument here?
      3) It has limited my religious freedoms, as this article and other real life examples demonstrate.
      B.-S. Show me ONE way in which it limits your religious freedom?
      4) It will and has cut away at the value – through gay male marriages – that monogamy is a fundamental virtue of marriage.
      Bullhockey. – simply that, Bull
      I would say that the behavior of straight individuals in marriages has shown that for a very long time. The gays that want to get married are the committed ones and they have NO other reason to make a commitment. Straights have many pressures to marry even when it is not what both partners really want. Gays have no such pressure. Quite the opposite. It may well prove out in time that gays have longer marriages than straights.

      What a ridiculous list of arguments!

      September 29, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  20. William Demuth

    Damian

    The SOLE reason you object is on religious grounds. The whole birth defects argument is from the same idiots that thought blacks were inferior and the moon was made of green cheese.

    If you REALLY cared about genetic issues, you would make Mormonisim, Judaisim and similar "closed community" religions illegal.

    September 29, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • J.W

      So you do not think incest would bring about any harm at all? Besides the moral issue of it?

      September 29, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      I was kind of lost trying to figure out his point as well.
      Any slippery slope argument is so laughable in this case that people have to make all kinds of illogical and irrational statements hoping one will make an emotional strike while the brain is disengaged.

      September 29, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • William Demuth

      J.W

      None whatsoever.

      Religious inbreeding in closed communities is a FAR greater risk. Tay Sachs is a CLASSIC example.

      September 29, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • J.W

      But doesnt any inbreeding cause birth defects? I have never known anyone who was imbred. Maybe this is a myth I dunno. I have always thought it was true.

      September 29, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      A far greater risk than what? You are not being real clear as to exactly what points you are arguing. Please elucidate.

      September 29, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Incest/Inbreeding in isolated instances does not increasing birth defects and other health issues. What does is when the inbreeding limits the gene pool, such as when the same families intermarry repeatedly over generations, as I have been given to understand it.

      The single case of brother and sister having children together is not going to result in children with health issues.

      Regardless, same-gender marriage and even polyamorous marriage (as opposed to simply polygamy) has absolutely no bearing on incest, pedophilia or marrying inanimate objects or animals.

      September 29, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @William,

      What? Are you serious? Do you know anything about genetics? Inbreeding greatly increases the probability of congenital birth defects.

      Why are you so concerned about legalizing incest? Is your sister -that- hot that even family members can't resist?

      September 29, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Mendel must be turning in his grave.
      Here's a quick, junior high level lesson in genetics.
      Two siblings are 50% related. This means that for any given gene there is a 1 in 4 chance that they have the same copy of a given gene as each other.
      Say their dad (but not their mom) is a carrier for a harmful disease such as cystic fibrosis (CF). So dad has one broken copy of CFTR, the CF gene. This means that the brother and sister have a 25% chance of both also being carriers.
      If the brother and sister are both carriers and have a child together, then each of their children would have a 1 in 4 chance of ending up with CF by getting a disease copy of CFTR from each parent. So the odds of this brother and sister having a child with the disease is (1/4)(1/4) or 1 in 16.
      Now imagine that dad is a carrier but that his kids go on to have children with unrelated people. What are the odds that these grandkids will have CF? Around 1 in 240.

      September 29, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      Thank you for providing that succinct explanation of basic genetics, Doc.

      September 29, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Doc Vestibule

      You avoid my point.

      Are closed religious communities basicaly incestuous from a genetic perspective?

      Of course they are.

      A closed group of a hundred that interbreeds does FAR more damage than one in 100 breeding with his sibling.

      September 29, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      William,
      So, what is your point?
      Besides you are not comparing apples to apples. You are comparing the result of multi-generational inbreeding to single instants of inbreeding. Now take your off-spring and have them inter-breed the same way and lets compare those communities in a few generations. Want to bet which one is faring worse?

      September 29, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @William Demuth
      What you are referring to is know as The Founder Effect and if the population is limited, it can indeed lead to serious problems.
      A good example is the number of deaf people from Martha's Vineyard.
      As a rule of thumb, a population of 70 genetically distinct breeding pairs is optimal.

      September 29, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @William,

      Like Mark said. A closed group of 100 will eventually die out because the genetic code will not spread far enough -but- we can assume that there will be a few generations that will not be specifically inbred. BUT, you are also not generally talking about direct siblings mating when you're looking at this. Will they be related? Probably. You'll have cousins and the like marrying. The difference is between people marrying relatives, like cousins and two people who are siblings.

      Stop trying to use your bigoted hatred of religion to justify incest.

      September 29, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • William Demuth

      DamianKnight

      Have you ever spoken to a Hassidic? You make me laugh!

      September 29, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.