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November 28th, 2012
05:49 AM ET

Rick Warren on gay marriage

American evangelical Christian pastor Rick Warren discusses homosexuality and gay marriage with CNN's Piers Morgan.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Gay marriage • Homosexuality

soundoff (945 Responses)
  1. Help me Help you

    Where is the GAY gene?

    Need scientific proof.

    November 28, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Erik

      "Where is the GAY gene?

      Need scientific proof."

      It's called a phenotype. The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.

      On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"

      Many of these reparative "therapists" are basing this concept on a random Bible verse or two. When you hold those up against the mountain of scientific research that has been conducted, peer-reviewed, and then peer-reviewed again, it absolutely holds no water. A person's sexuality – whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual – is a very deep biological piece of who that person is as an individual.

      The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.

      Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).

      There are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.

      Whether or not something is a choice is not a suitable criterion for whether someone should have equal rights and protections. Religion is indisputably a choice, but that fact is a not a valid argument for discriminating against a particular religion.

      November 28, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Huebert

      Se.xual orientation is not determined by a single gene. Asking where is the "gay" gene is like asking where is the "likes opera" gene.

      November 28, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Help me Help you

      @Huebert.

      Bingo. You have it right. It is a choice, not a genetic trait.

      Thank you many times over!

      Goodnight everyone.

      Case closed.

      November 28, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Huebert

      It is not a choice it is an orientation. There isn't a gene for height either but that does not mean that your height is a choice.

      November 28, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Bingo. You have it right. It is a choice, not a genetic trait. "

      LOL! No, you just proved you have really bad reading comprehension skills. ;-P

      November 28, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      s.ex lives and dies in mind.

      November 28, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "s.ex lives and dies in mind."

      Sexual orientation doesn't.

      November 28, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Saraswati

      The fact that you're looking for a "gay gene" indicates you haven't read the literature. Even though it is believed that se xua lity is mostly determined at birth, it is almost certainly defined more by the environment provided by the mother than by the genes, and, as others have pointed out, even the genetic component isn't a single gene.

      November 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  2. Emilee

    I desire chocolate ice cream. Doesn't mean I act on that desire. pfftt he's awful

    November 28, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • YeahRight

      Gays and lesbians deserve to have loving long term relationships. The experts in this country have proven that being gay is normal, it's not a choice and it's not a mental illness.

      Heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

      Like their heterosexual counterparts, many gay and lesbian people want to form stable, long-lasting, committed relationships. Indeed, many of them do and that large proportions are currently involved in such a relationship and that a substantial number of those couples have been together 10 or more years.

      Research demonstrates that the psychological and social aspects of committed relationships between same-sex partners closely resemble those of heterosexual partnerships. Like heterosexual couples, same-sex couples form deep emotional attachments and commitments. Heterosexual and same-sex couples alike face similar issues concerning intimacy, love, equity, loyalty, and stability, and they go through similar processes to address those issues. Research examining the quality of intimate relationships also shows that gay and lesbian couples have levels of relationship satisfaction similar to or higher than those of heterosexual couples.

      A large number of gay and lesbian couples raise children. Children and teenagers whose parents provide loving guidance in the context of secure home environments are more likely to flourish – and this is just as true for children of same-sex parents as it is for children of opposite-sex parents. Based on research findings, mental health professionals have also reached a consensus that the quality of relationships among significant adults in a child’s or adolescent’s life is associated with adjustment. When relationships between parents are characterized by love, warmth, cooperation, security, and mutual support, children and adolescents are more likely to show positive adjustment. In contrast, when relationships between parents are conflict-ridden and acrimonious, the adjustment of children and adolescents is likely to be less favorable. These correlations are just as true for children of same-sex parents as for children of opposite-sex parents.

      Assertions that heterosexual couples are inherently better parents than same sex couples, or that the children of lesbian or gay parents fare worse than children of heterosexual parents, have no support in the scientific research literature. On the contrary, the scientific research that has directly compared outcomes for children with gay and lesbian parents with outcomes for children with heterosexual parents has consistently shown that the former are as fit and capable as the latter and that their children are as psychologically healthy and well adjusted as children reared by heterosexual parents.

      November 28, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Huebert

      And judging by the look of him, he does act on that desire.

      November 28, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  3. Erik

    "(the Gay Science)"

    Being gay is not a choice science, in fact, is actually not in dispute on this matter.

    All major medical professional organizations concur that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and Medical Associations all agree with this, as does the World Health Organization and the medical organizations of Japan, China, and most recently, Thailand. Furthermore, attempts to change one's sexual orientation can be psychologically damaging, and cause great inner turmoil and depression, especially for Christian gays and lesbians.

    Reparative therapy, also called conversion therapy or reorientation therapy, "counsels" LGBT persons to pray fervently and study Bible verses, often utilizing 12-step techniques that are used to treat sexual addictions or trauma. Such Christian councilors are pathologizing homosexuality, which is not a pathology but is a sexual orientation. Psychologically, that's very dangerous territory to tread on. All of the above-mentioned medical professional organizations, in addition to the American and European Counseling Associations, stand strongly opposed to any form of reparative therapy.

    In my home country, Norway, reparative therapy is officially considered to be ethical malpractice. But there are many countries that do not regulate the practice, and many others that remain largely silent and even passively supportive of it (such as the Philippines). Groups that operate such "therapy" in the Philippines are the Evangelical Bagong Pag-asa, and the Catholic Courage Philippines.

    The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.

    On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"

    Take this interesting paragraph I found on an Evangelical website: "The attempt to prove that homosexuality is determined biologically has been dealt a knockout punch. An American Psychological Association publication includes an admission that there's no homosexual "gene" – meaning it's not likely that homosexuals are 'born that way.'"

    But that's not at all what it means, and it seems Evangelicals are plucking out stand-alone phrases from scientific reports and removing them from their context. This is known in academia as the fallacy of suppressed evidence. Interestingly, this is also what they have a habit of doing with verses from the Bible.

    This idea of sexuality being a choice is such a bizarre notion to me as a man of science. Many of these reparative "therapists" are basing this concept on a random Bible verse or two. When you hold those up against the mountain of scientific research that has been conducted, peer-reviewed, and then peer-reviewed again, it absolutely holds no water. A person's sexuality – whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual – is a very deep biological piece of who that person is as an individual.

    The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.

    Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).

    Furthermore, there are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.

    Having said that, in the realm of legal rights, partnership rights, and anti-discrimination protections, the gay gene vs. choice debate is actually quite irrelevant. Whether or not something is a choice is not a suitable criterion for whether someone should have equal rights and protections. Religion is indisputably a choice, but that fact is a not a valid argument for discriminating against a particular religion.

    November 28, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • John

      Erik... Chad can and will dispute everything that does not agre with Judeo-Christian beliefs, as a christian apologist that is his mission. With 2000 years of christian apologetics, begining withe the apostle paul who got the scam up and running, Chad can provide chapter and verse of BS to prove or disprove anything.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Erik

      Your facts are reasonably accurate, but your interpretation fails.

      Many traits, be they genetic, elective or environmental, are regulated by culture.

      As an example, many (I suspect the majority) of all children born are born are of a woman that would be considered a child in the Northeast of the United States.

      Whether this conception is legal, socially acceptable, continuable or terminable are all controlled by law and culture

      A twenty year old conceiving with a twelve year old is perceived differently depending on where this occurs, and not because of some inherent right or wrong.

      The issue is a cultural one, and all cultures reserve the right to regulate behaviors.

      In that context it is both ego-centric, and silly to claim “the gay gene vs. choice debate is actually quite irrelevant”.

      In fact from a cultural perspective it may in fact be the ONLY thing that is relevant.

      If it is a choice, society has the option to make it illegal, as it does with millions of other self-expressive choices.

      November 28, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "If it is a choice, society has the option to make it illegal, as it does with millions of other self-expressive choices."

      Heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

      November 28, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Brenda

      William being gay is not a choice. Being ho.mopho.bic is.

      November 28, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  4. Evangelical

    I don't know why the ho.mos.exuals have trouble understanding that it is not the orientation that is sinful but the behavior. And behavior is always a choice. It is not against the law to have an attraction to young children, but if you act on that inclination, you will rightfully have the book thrown at you.

    November 28, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "And behavior is always a choice. It is not against the law to have an attraction to young children, but if you act on that inclination, you will rightfully have the book thrown at you."

      Well – DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Idiot because it's harmful to the child. A loving long term gay relationship is totally different.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Huebert

      Provided that the attraction is reciprocated, why is it wrong to act on attraction toward another adult?

      November 28, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • sam

      It's about consent. Someone should throw a lot of books at you.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Again, a gay person, who is celibate, is still gay. Just like a straight person, who is celibate, is still straight. And celibate people have just as many "sèx" thoughts as non-celibate folks. And your god says that this is just as bad as actually "doing the nasty".

      What you want is for gay folks to be physically or chemically castrated, so there is no possibility of sèxual ideation at all.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • niknak

      Preferably science based books.
      Maybe one will open up, and you might learn that your godmyth hypothesis has been totally smashed.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • The Truth

      A child, by definition in our society, does not have the right to consent. An adult gay person however does. That is the simple distinction that creates a gulf the size of the pacific between your two points. But alas, I have no hope that you would be able to understand even this simple principle.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Evangelical

      Even if a child could consent, it is still vile and disgusting behavior. Gays are no better than filthy animals.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Huebert

      Evan

      Your nothing more than a disgusting bigot.

      November 28, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • The Truth

      "Even if a child could consent, it is still vile and disgusting behavior." It is vile and disgusting BECAUSE they cannot consent and are generally accpted as being to young and immature to make those decisions for themselves. However, in some states you can get married at 15 with parental consent, does that make it automaticly not "disgusting behavior"?

      "Gays are no better than filthy animals." Ah, now we get to the real issue, your opinion. I am glad that your opinion is worth less than a bucket of warm spit, soooooo, go fvck yourself.

      November 28, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Gays are no better than filthy animals."

      Christians use to say the same thing about Native Americans and African Americans and we all know now just how morally wrong they were.

      November 28, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      Evangelical writes "Gays are no better than filthy animals."

      "You know you've won the debate when the potty-mouths come out." my Evangelical friend, these were your own words, yesterday, forgetting fast ehh! lol!!

      November 28, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Ben Rast

      I don't get why evangelicals don't understand that their religious beliefs are not the basis of law in this country

      November 28, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
  5. Russ

    @ saraswati: so you have a degree in philosophy. do you agree with Nietzsche's assessment/criticism when he said "it is still a metaphysical faith that underlies our faith in science"? (the Gay Science) that's driving at the heart of the problem with Piers' argument here.

    November 28, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Primewonk

      What the fuck is "gay science"?

      November 28, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • sam

      You are eventually going to try and make sense, right?

      November 28, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Yes, I agree with Nietzsche. No, I don't think it is a problem with his point because I don't think he's saying anything quite that strong, but I actually don't think he was very coherent. Warren made the point early on that he agreed ho mos ex ual ity might be a birth state and Piers acted as though he hadn't already conceded it. I think Warren is wrong on a number of issues, but he actually came off better in this particular interview and handled well being hammered by someone who didn't even bother to figure out or address his position.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Primewonk, "Die fröhliche Wissenschaft".

      November 28, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  6. Ron T

    To much information is not it sometimes. Humans and all else on earth are different and accommodating. Gay and lesbian marriages are what they are. People are born different! Wake up, realize this. Get a life of our own and do unto others and we have them do unto us. Wish all the best! Enough for now – Ron T

    November 28, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • niknak

      Were you quoting from some book you yourself wrote?
      Or were you just quoting yourself of what you had just wrote?

      November 28, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  7. Rick Warren

    Russ, let's come out together.

    November 28, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • John

      You mean Chad, right?

      November 28, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Russ

      Let's call Chad and we can all mass debate our gayness together in a little circle in my basement. My mom won't be home from Bingo for hours and I have a pack of winecoolers in my mini-fridge...

      November 28, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Chad

      I'll bring the condoms!!

      November 28, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Pete

      That is a fake Chad, the real Chad would be against birth control because it is a sin.

      November 28, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  8. Chad

    Is it not societies right to determine if the state sanction of marriage should be extended beyond its current definition?

    November 28, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Brent

      The term “traditional marriage” is a term employed by anti-gay religious groups and individuals to promote bigotry, prejudice, hostility and discrimination toward gay and lesbian citizens.

      The term is used to justify a social injustice both in terms of denying gay and lesbian individuals equal treatment guaranteed by our Constitution and also denying them human dignity. The use of the term is an action that promotes constitutional unfairness and human indignity and therefore one which is morally wrong.

      If a person of faith agrees that a practice that promotes looking upon a segment of society as inferior, unworthy and undeserving of that which we find as good in our lives, the use of the term “traditional marriage” therefore also must be sinful.

      Regardless of their particular faith, the person would be hard-pressed to say that love, compassion and wanting what is best in our lives for others around us are not the core principles of most religions. When a person of faith stands opposed to those principles, their attitude and actions stand opposed to the principles which they strive to uphold in the everyday interactions with those around them.

      There is also deceit involved in the use of the term “traditional marriage” because those who employ the term attempt to perpetrate an untruth and ulterior motives of hostility and prejudice.

      The untruth comes when “traditional marriage” is offered up as a term that defines a religious concept of a God-blessed union of a young man and woman who fall in love, get married with no prior sexual experience, have children and remain together into old age. They are implying that this is how God ordains marriage.

      If it is, it took him until just 50 years ago to arrive at that conclusion.

      The tradition of marriage in Old Testament times meant the man and his wife could have the same father.

      In the Bible, the patriarch of the Hebrew people, Abraham, and his wife, Sarah, couldn’t have children so Sarah put forth her slave Hagar for Abraham to have children by.

      In Old Testament times, it was normal, sometimes even required for a man to take multiple wives. A man having multiple wives was accepted by the church as late as the 5th Century, 500 years after the teachings set forth in the New Testament. The church for a very long time apparently did not interpret biblical teaching as an edict for one-man, one-woman marriage.

      The tradition of marital unions in the 1700s and 1800s in America doesn’t seem to measure up to God-ordained – especially from the female perspective.

      One third of brides were pregnant at the altar in Concord, Massachusetts during the 20 years prior to the American Revolution.

      In this quote from a wedding couple in 1855, we see that the church had no problem blessing a legal marriage that was considered by many – including this couple – as a violation of the woman’s dignity and civil rights:

      “We believe that personal independence and equal human rights can never be forfeited, except for crime; that marriage should be an equal and permanent partnership, and so recognized by law; that until it is so recognized, married partners should provide against the radical injustice of present laws, by every means in their power…”

      So we can look back and see that religious teachings which uphold the ideals of love, dignity, compassion and respect for each person within marital unions throughout history has taken a back seat.

      In other words, the definition of a God-ordained tradition of marriage has never been constant rather it has evolved.

      History shows us it’s the marital union that should be uplifted…not the evolving traditions of a social institution. In other words, it’s not about how we come together but why.

      Rev. Mark Gallagher, a Unitarian minister, in 2004 asked “what about a marriage could have that quality of spiritual beauty? What makes for sacredness in a marriage?” He names four things.

      “First and foremost, mutual love. A feeling of heightened affection, respect, concern, and appreciation between marital partners. It gives a certain sparkle to the time spent together, and potentially to the entire experience of life. The presence of love makes a marriage sacred.

      “Fidelity contributes to the sacredness of a marriage. Commitments fulfilled. Coming through. Hanging in. Placing the integrity of the relationship over personal preference and convenience. It builds a powerful trust. Fidelity makes a marriage sacred.

      “Intimacy brings sacredness in a marriage. When two people reveal themselves to one another over time, they cannot help but gain acquaintance with the deep regions of the human experience. They get to know one another, of course. But more importantly, they get to know themselves.

      Through relating intimately over time, deeper honesty and authenticity become possible. This is the spiritual journey to know and be known, behind the public charade, however subtle or crude that may be.

      “And forgiveness generates sacredness in a marriage. We all make mistakes and need forgiveness. Our spiritual liberation requires that we become masters of forgiveness letting go of resentment for slights and injuries. The prolonged togetherness of marriage will present myriad opportunities for the practice of forgiveness. When forgiveness flows freely, there is a palpable quality of gentleness and compassion.”

      Does the heterosexual couple uniting in marriage today lift up the union as characterized by love, fidelity, intimacy and forgiveness. We expect they do and we suspect those characteristics as Gallagher concluded in his sermon are what exude sacredness.

      We also know that gay and lesbian couples uphold those same characteristics for their unions. Why would they not? Why would a parent of a gay son or daughter not want their child to enjoy the happiness derived from a lifelong devotion to those characteristics? Why would a brother or sister with a gay sibling not want their brother or sister to enjoy the happiness derived from a lifelong devotion to those characteristics?

      Why would a person of faith not want the gay or lesbian individual to enjoy the happiness derived from the pursuit of marriage sanctity?

      Why would we as Americans not want our government and its laws to recognize that same marriage sanctity for gay and lesbian individuals in their pursuit of liberty and happiness?

      There can be only one reason and that is because many of us have been conditioned by years of misguided church teaching to look upon gay and lesbian individuals as morally inferior, unworthy and therefore undeserving of that which we uphold as good and sanctified in our lives.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • John

      Is it not the states right to have any religious influence expunged from any lawful decision it makes? Roe vs Wade ie.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • niknak

      Which brings up the question Brent as to how this Warrens guy can be both gay and a preacher.
      Most religious people have been conditioned since birth to accept the notion that being gay is a lifechoice, one that automatically condemns you to hell.
      So how can they listen to this gay preacher since he is assured of being not let into heaven when he dies?

      I know heaps of fundies, as I work with them. They are as ho_mo_fo_bic as they come. They hate them as much as they hate black people, which is a lot. (or course, I suspect more then one of them is in fact gay himself).

      Why do people who claim they follow jeebus' uncondtional love so full of hate?

      November 28, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Do you mean legal right or moral right. If you mean moral right you need to define where you think "rights" come from. If, like me, you are primarly utilitarian they are basic rules that help foster the greatest happieness for the greatest number by simplifying the need to make calculations on every action. In this context the question is whether letting this "right" reside with society is likely to bring about the greatest happiness. Your answer would rest on just how smart you think society is.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      No, it is not societies right to make that determination in a country based on the rights of the individual.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Loving v. Virginia

      Game. Set. Match

      Next.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • John

      The answer to all of the Chad's statements ends up with belief in the Abrahamic Judeo-Christian god. Chad knows his end point, it wll never change, so any amount of BS leading to that conclusion is fine with the Chad, any type of fraud is justifiable

      November 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Chad

      I guess that somehow you all missed my question, which is: Is it not societies right to determine if the state sanction of marriage should be extended beyond its current definition?

      November 28, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • John

      No Chad you missed the answers, as always. Besides, since you never answer a question directly, why should anyone else? Intresting that you only play a game if you can make up the rules as you go, not today.

      November 28, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Is it not societies right to determine if the state sanction of marriage should be extended beyond its current definition?"

      Marriage was defined by the US Supreme Court as a civil right. Recognized federal civil rights law in the United States is grounded in the U.S. Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court. By this standard, marriage has long been established as a civil right.

      The operative constitutional text is section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which was ratified in 1868. The relevant passages read as follows:

      No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws

      A federal appeals court on May 31st ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional because it denies equal rights for legally married same-sex couples, making it likely that the Supreme Court will consider the politically divisive issue for the first time in its next term. This most likely will be decided in the courts and since most courts keep ruling in gays favor they should be able to over turn all the unconstitutional laws prejudice bigots have been trying to pass.

      November 28, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Huebert

      Some issues can not be ethically determined by a democratic process. Particularly issues concerning the oppression of a minority group. That is why we have a doc.ument, the const.itution, that supersedes the democratic process. The const.itution gauntness rights above and beyond the will of society.

      November 28, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Chad

      @Huebert "Some issues can not be ethically determined by a democratic process."

      I like Huebert, he just comes right out and says it.. "when the self righteous minority feels that some behavior should be endorsed, we must acquiesce!! We the self righteous minority get to decide what is right and wrong (even though we dont really believe in right and wrong, because we dont believe in absolute standards.. but we'll tell you what's right and wrong, just ask us."

      and the answer is, no.. sorry, you dont get to subvert the democratic process when you feel like it.

      November 28, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      "Is it not societies right to determine if the state sanction of marriage should be extended beyond its current definition?"

      Seems like the states of Maryland and Washington thought so.

      November 28, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Chad

      @GOPer "Seems like the states of Maryland and Washington thought so..."
      @Chad " I vehemently disagree with their decision, however marriage is sanctioned by the state and it is within the states right to do so (as long as it is done by ballot).

      November 28, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "(as long as it is done by ballot)."

      Are you really this dumb? Do you know how many rights came about because of the court systems because prejudice people will always try to block the minority of their rights. Duh...it's what this country is founded on protecting the minority from the majority bigots. If we used your model then bi-racial couples would have never been allowed to get married .

      November 28, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Huebert

      If by "self-righteous minority" you mean the consti.tution and the SCOTUS the yes, Otherwise read my whole post before you respond.

      As.sume that belief blog is a pure democracy. I move that the person known as Chad must mail all other belief blog commenter a dollar before he is able to post. This motion could very well pass a democratic vote, but it would be unjust, because it is the majority using it's collective clout to oppress the minority, in this case you Chad. This is why there must be some set of rules above the democratic process, to protect the minority, otherwise you end up with tyranny of the majority. Our founding fathers realized this, that is why they created the Bill of rights and the SCOTUS. Sorry Chad, the democratic process cannot be used to oppress the minority.

      November 28, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Actually, the question of equal protection of civil rights are not up to democratic proccesses in this country.

      November 28, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Chad

      Marriage between a man and a woman is a civil right. Marriage between anything else (adult-child, adult-multiple adults, adult-adult same sex), , is NOT a civil right.

      Sorry Huebert and Yeah Right: you dont get to place your self on the "whatever I deem to be right is right" podium. That's what a democracy is for, you're thinking longingly of communism, socialism, monarchy..

      November 28, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      And where is the federal law that defines marriage as only man and woman?

      November 28, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Marriage between a man and a woman is a civil right. Marriage between anything else (adult-child, adult-multiple adults, adult-adult same sex), , is NOT a civil right."

      It doesn't matter what you think Chad. DOMA has been loosing in the appeal courts – 8 so far- it's being ruled unconstitutional. The gay community has the experts behind them which has shown that being gay is normal, is not a choice, it's not a mental illness and they have families just like straights that need to be protected. It's why it's headed to the U S Supreme court.

      November 28, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Huebert

      Chad

      Loving v. Virginia determined marriage between consenting adults is a civil right, the court did not specify any other restrictions. Once the SCOTUS is back in session they will strike down DOMA, possibly citing Loving v. Virginia as a president. Your side is going to lose this one Chad, and I can't wait. :D

      November 28, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Chad

      Loving v. Virginia defined marriage (which is defined as union between Man and Woman) as a civil right.

      November 28, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • John

      Chad cite that specific law or a link to it that defines it exactly as that.

      November 28, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • Huebert

      Chad

      DOMA defined marriage as between a man and a woman. DOMA has been struck down every time it has been challenged. Soon, next year, it will come before the SCOTUS and they will strike it down. Welcome to the new world Chad, try not to get left behind.

      November 28, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Poor Chad can't cite where it is laid out, in law, that marriage is defined as man and woman, and when this supposed definition was put into law. Loving v. Virginia is a case that defines marriage as a civil right.

      November 28, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Chad

      @Huebert "DOMA defined marriage as between a man and a woman. DOMA has been struck down every time it has been challenged."
      @Chad "nonsense... You never heard of google?

      Numerous plaintiffs have challenged DOMA. Cases from the middle of the first decade of the 21st century upheld the law:
      In re Kandu, a same-s.ex couple in the state of Washington, who had married in Canada, attempted to file a joint bankruptcy pet.ition, but were not allowed to do so.[66][67]
      Wilson v. Ake, an unsuccessful attempt by a Florida same-s.ex couple, married in Ma.ssachusetts, to have their marriage license accepted in Florida.[n 4]

      =========
      @hawaiiguest "Poor Chad can't cite where it is laid out, in law, that marriage is defined as man and woman, and when this supposed definition was put into law. Loving v. Virginia is a case that defines marriage as a civil right."
      @Chad "lol on both accounts
      A. If it was not an accepted fact that the current definition of marriage is man-woman, why would states be attempting to pas.s legislation allowing g.ay marriage? You dont need legislation making something legal, if it already is ;-)
      B Loving v. Virginia defines marriage (defined as 1 man 1 woman) as a civil right.

      November 28, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Wow that's even more moronic than usual for you. If something is already defined a certain way, then that would exclude same sex marriage already, and no additional laws would be necessary. The fact that people are attempting to pass laws against same sex marriage means that it is not defined as only between a man and woman.
      But you still can't cite the law I see. Well just continue your idiocy, I'm sure those that already agree with you are cheering, but anyone with even a modicum of rational thought can see your dishonest bullshit pretty easily.

      November 29, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Robert

      "B Loving v. Virginia defines marriage (defined as 1 man 1 woman) as a civil right."

      Hawii, Chad is to dumb to understand law because they twist everything to try to make themselves appear right. Most legal experts will tell you that the idea that marriage is the union of one male and one female has been thought to be so basic that it is not ordinarily specifically expressed by statute, which is why DOMA came about it the first place. It's also why DOMA has lost in 8 appellate courts for being unconstitutional and why the U.S. Supreme court will likely take the case.

      November 29, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  9. The Truth

    Rick Warren proves you can be a non-practicing gay. Every day he see's men at his Church or in the media that he has to shake hands with that he just wants to jump on and gobble their cox, but he's say's "No!" to his gay side like every heII fearing Christian should. All those tight butts he stares at, all those muscles and pec's he has to oggle with his handsome wire frame glasses and well trimmed facial hair... he's like the Katrina flood's waiting to burst through the city of gay but his levee is holding strong!! You go Rick!!

    November 28, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • lol??

      Burp,burp.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Funny

      Funny!!!

      November 28, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  10. Sane Person

    I guess freedom from religion means nothing when you live in a democratic society where the majority are religious and want to force their beliefs on everyone else.

    November 28, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • lol??

      You are a what temple?

      November 28, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • niknak

      They want to force you to believe not for you, but for them.
      See, when one takes a position that is contradicted by overwhelming fact to be false, then that person has one of two options;
      Admit they were wrong.
      Or try to make everyone else believe as they do.

      So the religious force their views on you, and if you don't go along with it, they will kill you.
      This is what happened in the old days of most religions, and is still happening in strict islamic countries.
      But now is Western societies, secular laws are upheld and the religious can't just go out and kill anymore (as much as they would like to).
      So instead they try to pass laws making the rest of us non believers have to go along with. ie prayer in schools, god inserted into the pledge of allegience, god on our money, tax exempt status for their religion, xmas tree at the capital, nativity scenes paid by taxpeyers, 10 commandments posted everywhere etc.

      And all of it based on nothing more then a 2000 year old fable that was ripped off from previously discarded religions and then retooled by illiterate goat herders.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Sane Person

      Yes

      November 28, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  11. teavangelist

    Person 1: I hit other people and act crazy but dont punish me.

    Person 2 : I am a klepomaniac and steal thingz I dont need for the high all the time. but dont punish me

    why?

    above 2 persons were born this way

    November 28, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Are you a poe or not? This seems too moronic even for people like Ray Comfort or Kent Hovind.

      November 28, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Both your examples are about one person harming another person directly, now you have to show being gay does direct harm to another person or your argument is fallacious.

      November 28, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      @teavangelist

      If person number hits you, he has affected your life in a negative way.
      If person number two steals from you, he has affected your life in a negative way.

      If a homosexual marries another homosexual, how does this affect you?

      November 28, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @teavangelist, no one is saying people should be allowed to do anything they have an inherent disposition to do. That's your straw man invented so you don't have to address our actual arguments. Rather what most of us are saying is that people should be allowed to do anything which as a general practice increases societal welfare more than it decreases it. In the case of ho mos exu ality the fact that evidence indicates people are "born that way" is used to support the argument that more harm would be done by depriving people born gay of a same se x partner than is done to the poor fundamentalist to has to watch this couple pass on the street.

      November 28, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • lol??

      Beast Approved, FCC gets moolah from TBN.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  12. lol??

    Enslave your children, bam, bam. Enslave your children, bam, bam. Enslave your children, bam, bam. Latino flavor!

    November 28, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Enslaving children (along with murdering them) is a biblical value, not an American value.

      November 28, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • lol??

      Wonk, how can you be so 180 out of it? MUST BE A SPIRITUAL THANG.

      November 28, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  13. teavangelist

    If you allow g@y then its only a matter of time before "man w/ goat" become legal

    November 28, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • prwizdom

      I'm sorry, you'll have to leave this thread, there is an IQ quote and you simply don't meet CNN standards. Bye now.

      November 28, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Can a goat give consent and enter a contract? Are you really this fucking stupid?

      November 28, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Do you just get every talking point you have from your preacher? Man that's just completely stupid.

      November 28, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "If you allow communion (symbolic cannibalism) it is only matter of time before you are actually eating people...."

      makes just as much sense.

      November 28, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Saraswati

      If you allow 18 year olds to vote it's only a matter of time before you allow 2 year olds to vote.
      If you allow people to carry handguns it's only a matter of time before you're allowing personal nuclear weapons in everyone's back yard.
      If you allow people to drive at 30 miles an hour in town its only a matter of time before the speed limit is 500 mph.

      Do you gethow silly that argument is?

      November 28, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Akira

      When that goat can verbally consent and sign a legal doc ument, it may well be legal.
      What a tired analogy.

      November 28, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • The Truth

      If you allow jelly filled donuts then its only a matter of time before people start selling poop filled donuts...

      November 28, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Truth, "If you allow jelly filled donuts then its only a matter of time before people start selling poop filled donuts..."

      I think that's my favorite.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • The Truth

      Hey! It's a slippery slope to poop filled donuts you know!! Be careful what you wish for!!

      November 28, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • hinduism by Judaism self center ,secularism source of hindu filthy hinduism, racism.

      atheist, goons, Daristan legalized union between humans, and goats, but Daristan faces sever issues, truth absolute Thin Allah, men, secular s, keeping gay relations with male goats, filthy skuns

      November 28, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Well, you know if you allow poop filled donuts, it's only a matter of time...

      November 28, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Primewonk", but "teavangelist" is really that fuking stupid.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Huebert

      @teabagger

      Please support that statement.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  14. William Demuth

    In keeping with my mood, I want to offer another Devils Advocate question.

    Here are EXACTLY the type of questions we need to have a REAL answers to. Not partisan ones, but one based on facts and stats gathered by our government, and crunched by them.

    Does a lack of IQ impact religious views
    Does being Gay increase the likelyhood you are a pedophille?
    Does race or ethnicity influence orientation?
    Why are so called celibate prisests molesting so many boys?
    Does race correlate with criminal activity
    Can orientation change based on enviormental variables?

    It always saddens me to see us avoid asking the tough questions for political reasons. We let our partisan madness rule the roost rather than get honest answers to reasonable questions.

    Why are these key bits of information not readily available from reliable sources?

    Imagine the progress we might make, if asking questions was encouraged, rather than supressed!!!

    America needs a whole lot more truth, and a whole lot more honesty. But rest assured, we will never get it.

    November 28, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Does a lack of IQ impact religious views
      - they can be correlated, but I won't say the connection is causal

      Does being Gay increase the likelyhood you are a pedophille?
      - no, the two are distinctly different

      Does race or ethnicity influence orientation?
      - Doubtful. Presumably there are studies somewhere

      Why are so called celibate prisests molesting so many boys?
      - Pedophilia is not the same as h0mosëxuality and nor are the two connected. Pedophilia is about power.

      Does race correlate with criminal activity
      - Incarceration can be correlated with race. This is a different measure than 'criminal' activity

      Can orientation change based on enviormental variables?
      - I am not aware of a single reputable study that demonstrates either correlation or causality here.

      November 28, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Simran

      I can site one paper for your question whether hom.ose.xuals are more likely to be pe.dophiles.

      http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_molestation.html

      The conclusion was:
      The empirical research does not show that gay or bise.xual men are any more likely than heterose.xual men to molest children. This is not to argue that hom.ose.xual and bise.xual men never molest children. But there is no scientific basis for asserting that they are more likely than heterose.xual men to do so. And, as explained above, many child molesters cannot be characterized as having an adult se.xual orientation at all; they are fixated on children.

      November 28, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Except for number 4 (the priests one) I've personally read well written peer reviewed studies on everything you listed. This research and information are not suppressed; you just won't find this stuff on CNN. It's a matter of audience. Most here haven't read enough of this kind of research to understand the results in context (have you?) nor do they have the fundamental education in statistics to read it critically. And no, none of these outlets is going to be responsible for the riots caused by presenting poorly understood research to an uneducated audience.

      November 28, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Simran

      Does race or ethnicity influence orientation?

      Not sure. But remember, ho.mose.xuality has been prevalent in all cultures in all times, and in many, it has not been as taboo. And it is widely prevalent in animals.

      November 28, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Excellent dialouge, we need this.

      I do agree that much truth is kept in the shadows due to its ramifications. I abhor this truth, but I do recognize it.

      Simran, if the stat you were claiming was true, the child assault stats in the Catholic Church scandal would be QUITE different than what we are led to believe.

      Priests molest boys far more often than girls.

      Perhaps you might want to hazard an explanation as to why the RCC attracts gay pedo's rather than straight pedo's

      Saraswati

      Lets say, I have some experience with both stats and numbers. but the whole "you're not smart enough to handle the truth" argument is unacceptable.

      Facts are facts, opinion is opinion, and never the twain shall meet.

      (and saying a Pedo is a Pedo is silly. if that was the case, the victims would reflect a random pattern and they clearly do not.)

      November 28, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Among the very Catholic (Italian and Irish) families where I grew up, young men with "unseemly" appetites were often "encouraged" to join the church. It was the prevailing thought that God would cleanse them of their urges.

      I think this, more than anything, is what accounts for the number of priests with this problem.

      As to the choice of victim, it is often cited as mere convenience. Priests have easier access to boys than to girls, as more boys serve at the altar, etc. As I understand it from a friend who counsels men who have these kinds of urges, it is often far less about gender than it is about control and access, though many develop a preference. That preference isn't always rooted in gender, and is more often with regard to the ruses used to lure the child, the ability of the offender to control children of a specific type, etc.

      Of those men who are caught engaging in this behavior, a high percentage of them are married men with children, which means that they are not gay, even if their preferred child is male. They are in fact straight, and they have an illness that leads them to abuse children.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Huebert

      Does a lack of IQ impact religious views
      Religiosity is not corolated with IQ

      Does being Gay increase the likelyhood you are a pedophille?
      No

      Does race or ethnicity influence orientation?
      No

      Why are so called celibate prisests molesting so many boys?
      I don't know. Are the rates of abuse within the Catholic church significantly greater than the rates for the population at large?

      Does race correlate with criminal activity.
      It certainly correlates with incarceration rates. Though incarceration rates correlate even more strongly with SES.

      Can orientation change based on enviormental variables?
      Orientation might not change but behavior does, hence the phenomenon of prison gay.

      November 28, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  15. hypatia

    who cares what yet another grifter with a passion for publicity spouts except his marks?

    November 28, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  16. teavangelist

    2 jokes for you

    hom0s3xuality is so g@y

    g@ys suck

    November 28, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • prwizdom

      Your an i.d.io.t can you make that out Teabilly?

      November 28, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      One joke for you:

      Christianity.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  17. Russ

    Piers' argument (a popular one) fails to understand something basic:
    Being "born that way" doesn't make something good or right.
    Many children are born with a higher predisposition to alcoholism.

    November 28, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Being born gay; however, is no more wrong than being born left-handed.

      November 28, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      So what?

      November 28, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      And Russ, you were born with a severe lack of intelligence. Therefore you should be discrimated against.

      November 28, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Russ,

      Now you have to show that being gay is actually harmfull or your argument is fallacious.

      November 28, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Primewonk: Piers' argument was based in science & could therefore make no moral judgment.
      Your argument shifts base to a metaphysical appeal (good vs. bad) – upon what do you base that?

      @ Hawaiiguest: Piers' argument is useless.

      @ Apple Bush: why the hostility? I would think (assuming you are pro-g.ay rights) you would want to use a better argument to support your position.

      November 28, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Cheesemaker: quite the contrary. the point is that this "born that way" argument does not preclude the same set of issues: is it good or bad? the idea that it's good by virtue of genetic disposition is simply not the case.

      yes, the logical next step is to debate whether it is good or bad, but now we're stepping into a metaphysical arena. the subtle shift is that one group is claiming science is in their favor, when in actuality the science makes no such statement of 'good' or 'bad.' that is entirely a metaphysical discussion.

      November 28, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Primewonk
      GOD HATES LEFT HANDED PEOPLE
      "A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left."
      - Ecclesiastes 10:2
      "The right hand of the lord doeth valiantly, the right hand of the lord is exalted."
      – Psalm 118 vv15,16

      You have a choice not to act on your wicked left-handedness and live a godly life!

      November 28, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Russ

      Wow congrats on not addressing anything against you and for showing exactly how little you care about discussion. What do civil rights have to do with your immoral bible saying anything?

      November 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Russ, I wasn't making an argument. I was making an observation.

      November 28, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Russ

      @ hawaiiguest: I'm sorry. I didn't realize your "so what?" was so insightful.
      if you are sincere, read what I wrote to Cheesemaker.
      this line of argument is a red herring. it does not advance either side's agenda.

      November 28, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Again, being born gay is simply a normal natural variant of human sèxual orientation. As such, it is no more "wrong" than being born straight.

      Unless, of course, you have actual peer-reviewed scientific research showing otherwise. Of course, I've asked you for this scientific evidence numerous times, but you have always refused to post it.

      November 28, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Russ
      Sin lies only in harming others unecessarily.
      All other "sin" in invented nonsense.
      What consenting adults do with their naughty bits in private doesn't harm anyone.

      November 28, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Apple Bush: I was giving you the benefit of the doubt.
      Insults are not a substi.tute for an argument.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Saraswati

      "Being "born that way" doesn't make something good or right.
      Many children are born with a higher predisposition to alcoholism."

      For an alcoholic, abstaining from alcohol generally does more good than harm. In the case of someone born gay, the opposite is true. Being forced to live a life without a loving partner causes the same harm to someone gay as to someone straight.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Primewonk: I'm not speaking about scientific deductions. I'm talking about scientific *presuppositions.* Science will not have any "scientific evidence" for it's presuppositions... by definition.

      You're trying to do metaphysics with physics. They are separate disciplines.
      You've left science & entered scientism.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Doc: your use of the term "sin" (which is normally blatantly religious/metaphysical) begs for a definition.
      Using it the way you are is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
      WHO defines sin? That's the key.

      But recognize: again, my earlier point, we are no longer dealing in science but in metaphysics.
      So, what is your faith-based definition of sin (seeing as how science has no such term or basis to deduce good or evil)?

      November 28, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Doc wrote, "Primewonk... You have a choice not to act on your wicked left-handedness and live a godly life!"

      Dammit Doc! Why can't you ignorant nutter handers understand that you don't have to be left-handed to support equal rights for lefties!

      November 28, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Russ

      And what is your basis for saying it's good or bad? If the answer has anything to do with your bible or religion, then it doesn't matter in this country.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Saraswati: i'm going to sound like a broken record here...
      upon what basis do you make such a judgment? a criminal might make the same assertions recording his predilections being unrealized.

      we are dealing with a metaphysical question, people. this is not the arena of science.
      appealing to science to answer a moral issue is making science into something it's not: a faith.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Russ,

      The point is you are making a value judgment. Is being born without legs good or bad? There is no value judgement. Your analogy to being an alcoholic is value based because you are implying that they can change the behavior and it would have a positive effect. "Being gay" does not have a health effect any more than being hetero does. You are confating 2 different issues and hence your analogy is deceptive.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Russ

      @ hawaiiguest:

      a) thank you. i'm assuming now you are conceding we're shifting from science to metaphysics. let's leave behind the weak argument Piers is making.

      b) I'm a Christian. my metaphysical basis is one with which you may disagree, but – as Rick Warren says in the video (though he dances a lot) – civil discourse is necessary to have intelligent dialogue from here. Your final remark assumes that religion has no seat at the table for a discussion of our country. Are you for censorship? Silencing the masses? That seems rather un-American...

      November 28, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Russ – the science shows gays are born that way. The science shows that being born gay is not a disease, disorder, illness, etc. We've been asking you nutters to post your scientific evidence for decades. Time after time you refuse to do so.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Akira

      Re: the left hand:
      My father, who was left-handed, routinely had his left arm tied behind his back and was constantly beaten for the sin of being born left-handed.
      Then, when his penmanship was criticized because he was forced to write with his right hand, was beaten for that.
      Ah, the "good old days".

      November 28, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • John

      Russ is Chad, A feces by any other name!!

      November 28, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Russ, on the grounds that one one has provided a single piece of tangible evidence that two women married to one another has ever, once caused anyone any harm. Provide an example where it has and I'll address it.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "appealing to science to answer a moral issue is making science into something it's not: a faith."

      Russ,

      This sums up why you are wrong, s.e.x has nothing to do with morality, religion has mislead us into thinking it does.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Cheesemaker: yes! I am making a value judgment. But no, I'm not conflating the two. I'm openly stating: "now we're moving into a new arena of discussion – metaphysics. Here's my basis. What's yours?" It's the only way to move forward civilly.

      But this whole notion of "science is pro-g.ay" fails to understand the limitations of science by its own definitions.
      Let's be open about our differences. But pretending science can make moral discernments fails to see that one has made science into a faith. It's either self-deception or purposeful manipulation. We can't have a truly open conversation on that basis.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Primewonk: science cannot make such moral judgments. it can tell you *if* & *how* something happens, but it cannot call it *good* or *bad.*

      you continue to miss my point: you're making metaphysical assumptions beyond your scientific bases. at that point, you need to see you are making a leap of faith & calling it science. you're guilty of the very thing you're criticizing others of doing: imposing their faith-based beliefs.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Russ

      @ John: I've never posted under another handle on this blog.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Russ
      I gave my definition of "sin".
      Sin is causing others unnecessary harm.
      Good and bad, sin and righteousness – these things are defined by culture.
      Example: Our culture has a very strong cannibalism taboo, but it cannot be "human nature" to feel repulsed by it as virtually every branch of the human species has praticed it at some point in their development.
      The Aztecs believed in transubstantiation. They consumed their human sacrifices in the belief that the dead literally became a part of the God to whom they were given.
      Binerwurs in India ate the sick amongst them to please Kali.
      The Karankawa, an indigenous Texan tribe, ritualistically consumed their enemies to gain their strength.
      The Wari, The Kuru, Fore, Caribs, Fijians, Popayans, Serengipeans, are all fairly modern examples (within the last 500 years).
      We are selfish creatures by nature, yet our survival depends on cooperation. In order to balance these two conflicting instincts, mankind has had to develop rules that allow room for both.
      These rules are not the same for all communities – hence we've had so many different types of religion and government throughout history.

      @Primewonk
      The only thing worse than a left-hander is a southpaw sympathiser! What society needs is to go back to the good old days when God was still in schools and nuns whacked left hand knuckles black and blue .
      I think the same approach could be used to cure The Gay. Good old pavlovian condition. Every time a gay person is aroused, whack their genitals with a ruler.
      My pastor told me that The Gay is an ariborne virus, so we have to cure them fast or else our children will become infected! Why do you think acceptance of the ho/mose/xual lifestyle is spreading so quickly?
      Personally, I wear a gas mask every time I visit a hair salon or go see a musical – just to be safe.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Russ wrote, " a criminal might make the same assertions recording his predilections being unrealized."

      And again, why would you associate being born gay – a normal natural variant of human sèxual orientation, just like being born straight – with a criminal?

      It makes no sense. It's like stating – we can't allow green-eyed people to raise children because criminals claim they were born that way. Do you see how fucking stupid that sounds?

      November 28, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • The Truth

      "Piers' argument (a popular one) fails to understand something basic: Being "born that way" doesn't make something good or right." Neither does a 2000 year old collection of bronze age wisdoms.

      "Many children are born with a higher predisposition to alcoholism." And yet not a single one has an inborn desire to start drinking as they do not even know what alcohol tastes like until they start drinking socially then find they have a problem with addictions, not alcohol specificly. If you are too dumb to understand this then you are a waste of time.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Russ

      @ saraswati: I'm sure we could throw varying psychological & sociological studies out there – but you'd still be missing my point: there is an underlying metaphysical grid being assumed here. How does one decide what is good or bad, ethical or unethical, moral or amoral? it's a metaphysical – and explicitly UN-scientific – enterprise. can you see that?

      November 28, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Russ, "Good or bad" is not a metaphysical discussion, it's an ethical one. It may involve some metaphysics, but they aren't the same area of philosophy.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Jesus

      "Being "born that way" doesn't make something good or right.

      Why stop with the gays? Let’s deny rights to any group born with attributes not considered normal. We can start with the blind, deaf, and mute. Then I think those damn down syndrome people have to go followed quickly by ‘little people’…..

      November 28, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Being "born that way" doesn't make something good or right.
      Many children are born with a higher predisposition to alcoholism."

      Hundred of thousands of experts have shown that heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

      Like their heterosexual counterparts, many gay and lesbian people want to form stable, long-lasting, committed relationships. Indeed, many of them do and that large proportions are currently involved in such a relationship and that a substantial number of those couples have been together 10 or more years.

      Research demonstrates that the psychological and social aspects of committed relationships between same-sex partners closely resemble those of heterosexual partnerships. Like heterosexual couples, same-sex couples form deep emotional attachments and commitments. Heterosexual and same-sex couples alike face similar issues concerning intimacy, love, equity, loyalty, and stability, and they go through similar processes to address those issues. Research examining the quality of intimate relationships also shows that gay and lesbian couples have levels of relationship satisfaction similar to or higher than those of heterosexual couples.

      A large number of gay and lesbian couples raise children. Children and teenagers whose parents provide loving guidance in the context of secure home environments are more likely to flourish – and this is just as true for children of same-sex parents as it is for children of opposite-sex parents. Based on research findings, mental health professionals have also reached a consensus that the quality of relationships among significant adults in a child’s or adolescent’s life is associated with adjustment. When relationships between parents are characterized by love, warmth, cooperation, security, and mutual support, children and adolescents are more likely to show positive adjustment. In contrast, when relationships between parents are conflict-ridden and acrimonious, the adjustment of children and adolescents is likely to be less favorable. These correlations are just as true for children of same-sex parents as for children of opposite-sex parents.

      Assertions that heterosexual couples are inherently better parents than same sex couples, or that the children of lesbian or gay parents fare worse than children of heterosexual parents, have no support in the scientific research literature. On the contrary, the scientific research that has directly compared outcomes for children with gay and lesbian parents with outcomes for children with heterosexual parents has consistently shown that the former are as fit and capable as the latter and that their children are as psychologically healthy and well adjusted as children reared by heterosexual parents.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Cheesemaker: Just because you are ABLE to do something doesn't mean it SHOULD be done.
      Just think about the atomic bomb.

      Again, we're asking a moral question here. not a scientific one.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Russ

      Don't try that bullshit. You talk about censorship and what not, but the fact remains that your bibles laws have no place in American law. The first and fourteenth amendments prohibit this, so I could just as easily turn the "un-American" comment at you, couldn't I? But wouldn't that be a dishonest discussion tactic? Surely no one would be that much of a douche right?

      November 28, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Russ, you wrote "@ saraswati: I'm sure we could throw varying psychological & sociological studies out there – but you'd still be missing my point: there is an underlying metaphysical grid being assumed here. How does one decide what is good or bad, ethical or unethical, moral or amoral? it's a metaphysical – and explicitly UN-scientific – enterprise. can you see that?"

      As I mentioned in my above post (responding to a different comment) it is ethical rather than strictly metaphysical. But yes, I certainly agree the definition of "good" is outside of science. I define good using a roughly rule utilitarian framework. But determining what, on that framework, is good draws heavily on science.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • John

      Russ is Chad. He has morphed into another ident*ity so he can bash gays or at least defend the christian apologists view on gays, while still keeping the faith with his guy friends.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Russ,

      Here is the bottom line, being gay does not infringe on the rights of others, gay marriage does not infringe on the rights of others....therefore I don't care whether someone thinks it is right or wrong based on "metaphysics"....metaphysics is meaningless to the discussion.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Doc: even within your definition of sin, there needs to be clarification.
      what would you call "unnecessary"? how do you discern it?
      You still aren't addressing the question: what is your overarching metaphysical grid? what is its basis?

      as best i can tell from your assertions, it is an entirely anthropocentric one – but that makes certain leaps in the dark as well.
      is that accurate? are you a relativist? or purely a naturalist?

      November 28, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Brent

      Religion-based bigotry is the foundation of anti-gay attitudes in our society and in the minds of a majority of Americans, particularly persons of faith. The term religion-based bigotry was coined because it best fits the description of the problem. The term religion-based bigotry encompasses the attitudes of prejudice, hostility or discrimination that are falsely justified by religious teachings or belief. We will never see full and equal rights unless we address the root of people’s anti-gay attitude.

      Religion-based bigotry is not synonymous with bigotry. It is a uniquely vile form of bigotry as the prejudice, hostility and discrimination behind the words are given a moral stamp of approval.

      Faith in America’s core message is that religious-based condemnation and rejection of LGBT people cause great harm to LGBT individuals and our society.

      We have learned that when we focus on the harms caused by religious hostility toward gay people – its destructive role in the lives of gay and lesbian Americans and explaining that being gay is not a lifestyle choice but is how you are born– persons of faith can understand why religion must no longer be misused to justify hostile attitudes and actions toward LGBT people.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Russ

      @ saraswati: make the next logical step.
      you can't define good or evil without metaphysics.
      ethics is metaphysics in action.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Jesus:
      see my initial remarks at Cheesemaker. You're actually furthering my point.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Brent

      Religion-based bigotry use religious teachings to justify discrimination against Native Americans, African Americans, minority religious groups, woman and interracial couples.

      Connecting the dots between historical bigotry against other groups and the attitudes of some people today toward homosexuality is one of the most effective ways to educate people about the denial of equal rights to the LGBT community.

      Most people know that, historically, religion has been used to justify discrimination against women, religious minorities and people of color. Putting anti-gay religious beliefs in this historical context can be a powerful tool in connecting discrimination that most Americans today accept as morally wrong and the discrimination faced by LGBT people. By citing historical instances of religion-based bigotry and prejudice, you allow people to be more comfortable with attitudinal change – they realize they are not stepping out alone against a commonly accepted viewpoint but rather following historical progress toward justice and equality.

      When talking about the misuse of religion to justify discrimination in the past, it is important not to say that the LGBT community’s struggle with discrimination is exactly the same as the Civil Rights Movement. Rather, the point is that religion-based bigotry has been a common denominator of injustice toward many groups in American society’s past. When given a chance, many people will see the underlying historical pattern of using religious teachings and beliefs to justify harmful discrimination.

      There is another benefit to citing other times in the past when religious teachings have been used to justify discrimination. Many times, when people of faith are challenged about their anti-gay views, they cite biblical verses or other religious texts as a safe haven when they are unable to articulate why they hold prejudiced attitudes toward LGBT people. Instead of telling people that their interpretation is wrong, you can remind them that other religious texts have been used in the past to justify attitudes and laws that are recognized today as morally wrong and unjust – such as discrimination against women, people of color and religious minorities.

      History provides the moral judgment, and we do not have to be theologians engaged in scriptural debates to point people to the judgment rendered by history.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Russ

      What the hell are you even talking about? You're just creating definitions for already ill-defined terms, and pretending like it's just truth.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Saraswati

      "@ saraswati: make the next logical step.
      you can't define good or evil without metaphysics.
      ethics is metaphysics in action."

      No, it's not. And yes, one of my degrees is in philosophy so I know what I'm talking about. You can't just make up definitions in contrast to those used in an entire field of academia.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • sam

      The bible is pretty tough on lefties, we should make sure all kids are taught to write with the right hand. For those already corrupted, we should try some conversion therapy. No one is born left handed, it's the liberal agenda that's allowed it to flourish, and now look where we are! The moral fibre of this country is in shambles. It all started when we let those darkies marry outside their race – now we've got one for president, AND he's left handed!!

      My religion indicates that left handedness is wrong. Therefore, it must be wrong for all. It doesn't affect me or my life or the lives of anyone I know, but, wrong is wrong, and it's my duty to stand up to it.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Pete

      Being gay is neither good or bad, it just is. There are good gay people and there are bad gay people. The fact that they are gay does not make them good or bad.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Russ

      @ hawaiiguest: sorry I hit a nerve there. i was simply pointing out that your comment was a silencing tactic.
      no, i am not for silencing those with whom i disagree. help me understand: how did you intend your last comment if not as a means of saying "you have no voice here"?

      November 28, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Russ
      Forgive the lengthy diatribe to follow.
      I am a naturalist who believes that there is no existence save that which we experience directly (ie: no spiritual realm). I am also a rational anarchist who knows that concepts such as ‘state’ and ‘society’ and ‘government’ have no existence save as physically exemplified in the acts of self-responsible individuals.
      I hold that it is impossible to shift, share, or distribute blame . . . as blame, guilt, responsibility etc. are matters taking place inside human beings singly and nowhere else. Therefore, we should be rational and realize that not everyone will share the same evaluations of good and evil. We must try to live perfectly in an imperfect world, aware that our efforts will be less than perfect while trying to remain undismayed by self knowledge of failure.

      People are inherently selfish. We instinctively do that which is least painful. Children do that which is least painful to themselves. Maturity comes when we are able to put aside our own immediate comfort and do that which is least painful for the group. Were it not for our ability to reason this out and cooperate, our species would not survive. As individuals, we are prey animals – soft, squidgy, slow and bereft of in-built offensive capabilities. As a cooperative group, we have become the dominant species in nearly every eco-system on Earth.
      But it takes a mighty big stick to beat the selfishness out of us! Historically, it has been a God sized stick capable to inflicting unimaginable devastation in this life and the hereafter.
      Look at the arguments on this board and see how many people cite Pascal's Wager as their reason for faith.
      People are not good to one another by default. Effective cooperation is a learned skill and the successful religions recognize this. Christianity reveals this truth about ourselves most poignantly in the character of Jesus Christ. His message is one of peace, charity, modesty and forgiveness – the traits most important to develop when living in a society. Yet these seemingly obvious truths, given as God's Word in the New Testament, are met with fear and hatred by the ruling powers. Yet Christ knew that to be the case from the beginning because He was perfectly self-aware – the embodiment of what it is to be a human.
      But the character of Jesus is not unique – He is an example of an archetype in mythology.
      I hope that sociological evolution is leading us away from religion. Not because Christianity, Islam, Hinduism etc are negative in and of themselves, but becuase they are necessarily divisive.
      The Old Testament, for example, is a rule book for ancient Jews – but many of those once common sense rules no longer apply to the modern world. We can safely sow two crops in one field or cook pork thoroughly enough to avoid trichinosis.
      Religion, like people, has evolved based on the laws of Darwinian evolution in that different environments have brought about different religions. That the 4000 year old mythology of displaced desert people and it's various offshoots has become the predominant religion of "developed" world is too long a history to recount here, but other faiths survive too.
      Islam and Christianity supplanted a great number of old world religions in the past, but nobody has been able to build a truly universal God based consensus.
      What it will take is democracy. True, participatory democracy based on what is the greatest good for the greatest number – globally.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "Just because you are ABLE to do something doesn't mean it SHOULD be done."

      You are right, but it is purely an individual decision upto and until it infringes on anothers rights. Until then I don't care what anyone thinks about any behavior. You can think think god doesn't want you to eat Oreo's and you can claim it is a moral issue and whether it is right or wrong is question of "metaphysics" but in a society based on freedom of the individual those questions ae irrelevant.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • John

      RUSS Is CHAD

      November 28, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Cheesemaker: rights? to what? from where? how are rights deduced?
      do you see the problem? saying "being gay doesn't infringe upon anybody's rights" assumes HUGE leaps in what is good & bad. it has an entirely metaphysical basis. you're doing metaphysics (faith/religion/etc.) but saying you're not. it makes your criticisms self-refuting.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Brent: you are doing religion yourself. you are making metaphysical assumptions, ESPECIALLY in claiming history is the basis for ethics & morality. ANYTHING could be justified upon that basis. scary.

      more poignantly, though, it's a self-refuting line of logic. you're not doing science, but scientism. read my comments above per that mistaken leap of faith.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • YeahRight

      " rights? to what? from where? how are rights deduced?"

      Rights to protect their families through marriage. These rights include:

      Tax Benefits
      -–Filing joint income tax returns with the I R S and state taxing authorities.
      -–Creating a "family partnership" under federal tax laws, which allows you to divide business income among family members.
      Estate Planning Benefits
      -–Inheriting a share of your spouse's estate.
      -–Receiving an exemption from both estate taxes and gift taxes for all property you give or leave to your spouse.
      -–Creating life estate trusts that are restricted to married couples, including QTIP trusts, QDOT trusts, and marital deduction trusts.
      -–Obtaining priority if a conservator needs to be appointed for your spouse – that is, someone to make financial and/or medical decisions on your spouse's behalf.
      Government Benefits
      -–Receiving Social Security, Medicare, and disability benefits for spouses.
      -–Receiving veterans' and military benefits for spouses, such as those for education, medical care, or special loans.
      -–Receiving public assistance benefits.
      -–Employment Benefits
      -–Obtaining insurance benefits through a spouse's employer.
      -–Taking family leave to care for your spouse during an illness.
      -–Receiving wages, workers' compensation, and retirement plan benefits for a deceased spouse.
      -–Taking bereavement leave if your spouse or one of your spouse's close relatives dies.
      Medical Benefits
      -–Visiting your spouse in a hospital intensive care unit or during restricted visiting hours in other parts of a medical facility.
      -–Making medical decisions for your spouse if he or she becomes incapacitated and unable to express wishes for treatment.
      Death Benefits
      -–Consenting to after-death examinations and procedures.
      -–Making burial or other final arrangements.
      Family Benefits
      -–Filing for stepparent or joint adoption.
      -–Applying for joint foster care rights.
      -–Receiving equitable division of property if you divorce.
      -–Receiving spousal or child support, child custody, and visitation if you divorce.
      Housing Benefits
      -–Living in neighborhoods zoned for "families only."
      -–Automatically renewing leases signed by your spouse.
      Consumer Benefits
      -–Receiving family rates for health, homeowners', auto, and other types of insurance.
      -–Receiving tuition discounts and permission to use school facilities.
      -–Other consumer discounts and incentives offered only to married couples or families.
      -–Other Legal Benefits and Protections
      -–Suing a third person for wrongful death of your spouse and loss of consortium (loss of intimacy).
      -–Suing a third person for offenses that interfere with the success of your marriage, such as alienation of affection and criminal conversation (these laws are available in only a few states).
      -–Claiming the marital communications privilege, which means a court can't force you to disclose the contents of confidential communications between you and your spouse during your marriage.
      -–Receiving crime victims' recovery benefits if your spouse is the victim of a crime.
      -–Obtaining immigration and residency benefits for noncitizen spouse.
      -–Visiting rights in jails and other places where visitors are restricted to immediate family.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "ESPECIALLY in claiming history is the basis for ethics & morality. "

      Oh look Russ's stupidity is showing.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Russ

      @ saraswati: so you have a degree in philosophy. do you agree with Nietzsche's assessment/criticism when he said "it is still a metaphysical faith that underlies our faith in science"? (the Gay Science) that's driving at the heart of the problem with Piers' argument here.
      [posted in the wrong place above]

      November 28, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Russ

      Try some reading comprehension.

      Don't try that bullshit. You talk about censorship and what not, but the fact remains that your bibles laws have no place in American law. The first and fourteenth amendments prohibit this, so I could just as easily turn the "un-American" comment at you, couldn't I? But wouldn't that be a dishonest discussion tactic? Surely no one would be that much of a douche right?

      November 28, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • The Truth

      Russ, if I had an ancient scroll that says we should only wipe our backsides with our right hand, does that make wiping with your left hand "bad"? Which hand I use makes no difference to you does it? It won't lessen the effect of you wiping with your right does it? The fact that I want to wipe with the left in my home or even when i'm in a public restroom doesn't change your right to wipe with the right does it? SO WHAT THE FVCK IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THAT AND BEING GAY or LEFTHANDED? IT DOESN"T EFFECT YOU SO WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO POLICE OTHERS? GET A LIFE AND LET OTHER PEOPLE LIVE THEIRS!

      November 28, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "rights? to what? from where? how are rights deduced?"

      In this country our founding fathers crafted the Bill of Rights....and indiiduals then determine for themselves what is right or wrong personally. Inferring our rights and morality come from some imagined creator that you have no reason to believe exist just muddies the water.

      And if you bring up the "empty tomb" I think I am going to throw up...

      November 28, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Russ you asked "do you agree with Nietzsche's assessment/criticism when he said "it is still a metaphysical faith that underlies our faith in science"?

      Answered in the other place posted...I didn't want to answer twice and confuse things.

      November 28, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Maybe this will explain the issue to you better...

      Replace "gay" with "bigot".

      We can argue all day and night about whether being a bigot is right or wrong, in this case I think being a bigot is wrong, and I think being gay is fine. Being a bigot is not illegal....nor should it be. Being gay is not illegal....nor should it be. Bigots can get married.....gays should be able to get married. The gov't has no business in determining morality....some things that are immoral are perfectly legal....

      Don't confuse what is moral with what is legal.

      November 28, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Russ wrote, " being gay doesn't infringe upon anybody's rights" assumes HUGE leaps in what is good & bad"

      And yet again, none of you ignorant fundiot hômophobic nutters has yet explained how someone being born gay infringes on YOUR rights. And not a single solitary one of you nutters has explained how allowing 2 gay people who love each other to get married affects YOUR rights. And not a single solitary one of you cretins have explained how someone being born gay is "wrong".

      November 28, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Sam: replace the term left with right & you are making the very argument you are self-projecting onto me.

      note: while I do believe there is a metaphysically based discussion to be had, my entire point here is that one side of this discussion is doing metaphysics & yet claiming it is not. thereby (either through self-deceit or purposeful manipulation) they are attempting to gain an upperhand by claiming SCIENCE SAYS, when it does nothing of the sort.

      sure, let's have a discussion about my faith versus yours – but recognize it is not a science vs. religion debate.

      November 28, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Pete: assuming this is somehow morally neutral IS (in & of itself) a metaphysical leap of faith. on what basis do you claim that? certainly science doesn't tell you that. you have an underlying faith/philosophy/metaphysical conviction/religion upon which you are basing that.

      again, this discussion is not about science but faith – even & especially if your faith is scientism.

      November 28, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "but recognize it is not a science vs. religion debate."

      Yes it is because decades of research have been involved to prove that being gay is not a choice, it's not a mental illness and it can't be voluntarily changed. Religion has no place in our society when it comes to civil rights.

      November 28, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Doc: thank you for being open about your metaphysical convictions. From here, we could have a reasonable, rational discussion about this topic – on which it appears we disagree. BUT, that is what I'm looking for in this thread... a recognition that we all have a similar philosophical point of departure. and not one that dismisses any & all religion in a self-refuting way (as EVERYONE has a set of metaphysical presuppositions – even if those presuppositions are that there is no such thing as metaphysics).

      per that thought: since you recognize you are bringing your own faith to bare, are you also exclusive of other religions (as many here are) in the discussion?

      November 28, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Cheesemaker: I've made no empty tomb references. But maybe the better question would be: what is your equivalent? Do you recognize that you are making a similar leap of faith here?

      You want no one else to influence the "individual's rights" & yet those rights are deduced... from a set of metaphysical values... shared or not. that's my point: do you see that you are guilty of the very thing that would turn your stomach if others do to you? you are looking to impose your metaphysically presupposed values on others & define 'good' & 'right' by those values... faith-based values. it's self-refuting at best, if not outright hypocritical.

      November 28, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Yeah right: read the rest of the thread. you're retreading waters.
      listing a set of rights is not speaking to their basis. upon what basis do we GET rights? that exposes your metaphysical underpinnings.

      and read my original comment: i'm explicitly arguing the opposite of what you're claiming I argued. *IF* being gay is not a choice, *if* one was born with a gene or predisposition... I'm allowing that possibility. see that?

      and my point was: predispositions do not equate with right or wrong. Piers argument is flawed. the science does not take sides.

      November 28, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Huh?

      " predispositions do not equate with right or wrong. Piers argument is flawed. the science does not take sides."

      Religious people find it very annoying that people don't need God to be good, as science has now incontestably proved.

      For millennia, we've been brainwashed into believing that we needed the Almighty to redeem us from an essentially corrupt nature. Left to our own devices, people would quickly devolve into beasts, more violent, tactless, aggressive, and selfish, than we already are.

      Today, we know that this isn't true. With the discovery of mirror neurons by Italian neuroscientist Giaccomo Rizzolatti in the 1990s, we now have physiological proof of why - and how - our species became hard-wired for goodness. Mirror neurons are miraculous cells in the brain whose sole purpose is to harmonize us with our environments. By reflecting the outside world inward, we actually become each other - a little bit; neurologically changed by what is happening around us. Mirror neurons are the reason that we have empathy and can feel each other's pain. It is because of mirror neurons that you blush when you see someone else humiliated, flinch when someone else is struck, and can't resist the urge to laugh when seeing a group struck with the giggles. (Indeed, people who test for "contagious yawning" tend to be more empathic.) These tiny mirrors are the key to most things noble and good inside us.

      It is through mirror neurons - not God - that we redeem ourselves, achieve salvation, and are "reborn" in virtuous ways once co-opted by religions. Evolution knew what she was doing. A group of successful cooperators has a much higher chance of thriving than a population of selfish liars. In spite of what we read in the headlines, the ratio of bad to good deeds done on any given day across our planet holds at close to zero any day of the year. Although we are ethical works-in-progress, the vast majority of us are naturally positive creatures - meaning not harmful to our environments - most of the time in most of the ways that matter. And God has nothing to do with it.

      Spirituality does but God doesn't. Evolutionary psychologists tell us that our brains are hard-wired with a five-toned moral organ that focuses on a quintet of ethical values - one of which is purity, or sacredness. In a world that can sometimes be disgusting, we evolved an upper tier of emotional longing - the aspiration for purity - to keep us balanced in this satyricon of carnal delights (where animality beckons and frequently wins). Our need for sacredness is part of our ancient survival apparatus, and manifests in what we call faith, the need to connect with that sacred dimension. This has been the primary purpose of religion, of course - to congregate people for the Greater Good - but God has been, in fact, the divine carrot. The important part was communion, a context in which to transcend ourselves, if only for an hour on Sundays. Without this ability "to turn off the Me and turn on the We," moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt tells us, our species would still be wandering around as groups of nomads, unable to create a civilization.

      Aside from mirror neurons, there's oxytocin, the molecule of connection (also known as the molecule of love). It's fascinating to learn that the vagus nerve produces more oxytocin when we witness virtuous behavior in others that makes us want to be better people ourselves. We are wired by nature to be elevated at the sight of other people's goodness, mirror neurons and oxytocin conspiring to improve the species. Miraculous though it is, this natural human phenomenon has nothing to do with theology.

      November 28, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Primewonk: you're assuming a radically individualistic notion of rights. which again, draws out the question – upon what basis are you making your assumptions? what is your metaphysical grid?

      your rights are derived from those greater definitions of good & evil. it's inherent to the conversation. so, yes, upon YOUR metaphysical basis, you can probably make that argument – but that's a self-fulfilling prophecy! and notice: you've not addressed the real point of division: you are not appealing to a scientific understanding but rather your particular presuppositions (faith) and are imposing it on others. in sum, you are doing the very thing that enrages you about those with whom you debate.

      the real discussion to be had is the difference in our presuppositions. science cannot and does not speak to the morality of these things. so, upon what basis do you decide good & evil? what's your faith/metaphysical grid/philosophical point of departure/presupposition(s)?

      November 28, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Russ

      @ huh?
      there's a major flaw in your argument. if evolution explains religion away... if your belief-forming faculties don’t tell you the truth, but only what you need to survive… then applying that scalpel uniformly destroys ALL knowledge (including evolution!).

      “I believe in God/morality/etc.” – well, that’s just b/c you were programmed that way
      “I believe in evolution" – well, that’s just b/c you were programmed that way
      If you keep on seeing THROUGH everything, you actually see nothing at all.

      note the below video, especially beginning at about the 3rd minute...

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rK0mjVcmcIo&w=640&h=390]

      November 28, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Typical

      Russ is the typical religious nut who will twist what ever you post to justify their point and ego, even if they are wrong. Don't bother feeding this egocentric troll.

      November 28, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • John

      Russ = Chad

      November 28, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Russ

      John = conspiracy theorist.
      as I said before, I've only ever posted under one handle on this blog.

      November 28, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  18. prwizdom

    Pastor Rick Warren, REALLY? You're comparing liking art, roast beef, mint chip ice cream (my words) to being GAY? Are you really freaking serious?? You are an educated, and very intelligent man. You know full well that being gay or hetero is not a choice, it is who we are, and we are made in the image of GOD. I'm not going to wake up one day and say, hmmm, I'll like women now. It just doesn't happen! This is what turns people off to christianity in the first place. Wake up Rick Warren. There are kids all over the world contemplating suicide and being bullied because they are gay and aren't accepted by society. Be part of the solution, not the PROBLEM. Words have consequences.

    November 28, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      @prwizdom

      Yes, and all those kids who are miserable, discrimated against, bullied and contemplating suicide CHOSE to be that way. That is how ignorant and dangerous people like rick Warren are.Unbelievable.

      November 28, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • lol??

      Ricky Warren,,,, bbbbuuuurrrrrpppp. Forbes rag approved!

      November 28, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  19. TC

    William Demuth

    Saraswati

    Because biology is reality.

    Language needs to be literal, or communication suffers. A classic language issue is "having children" or becoming "parents". Last I heard that was a purely hetro activity, but many want to manipulate the language to chase an agenda. Fox News uses the same childish ploy, and I hope the left dosen't absorb the same stupidity.

    ***** Something like 30% of all gay couples are parents and are raising, or have raised kids.

    Yes, it always pays to be accurate with definitions.

    Gay people are often parents, so parenting can hardly be said to be a hetero activity.

    November 28, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  20. Mohammad A Dar

    are hom o se.xual atheist, religious, or both?

    November 28, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • YeahRight

      Seeing as there are both gay/lesbian ministers and gay churches, the answer is both.

      November 28, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • TC

      Each individual makes the choice to be any of the above.

      November 28, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • lol??

      "YeahRight
      Seeing as there are both gay/lesbian ministers and gay churches, the answer is both." Give me a KJV quote. Burn my BIBLE??????????????/

      November 28, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      that only makes issue difficult to understand, too many variables.

      November 28, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
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About this blog

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.