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08/13/2008

Florida for (primarily Christian) marriage: Voters, are you hearing this?!

by Jeremy Hooper

We in the LGBT community are uncomfortable with marriage bans for obvious reasons. Such measures directly affect our lives, threaten our families, and thoroughly dehumanize our existences. Regardless of our relationship status or marital desires, the vast majority of us recognize how threatening and downright mean-spirited these attempts to inscribe discrimination into state and federal documents truly are.

200808131055But why should you care about this issue if you yourself are not an LGBT person? Well, check out this quote from the head of Florida's anti-gay campaign, John Stemberger, and then we'll get back to you:

The church is the only remaining institution in society that stands as a beacon of hope; and as salt and light to preserve a decaying and lost culture. Same sex marriage is not inevitable. The church of Jesus Christ can hold the line to protect this human institution. If Florida pastors will take a stand for God’s design in human relationships – and lead their people to vote ‘Yes on 2’ – we can and we will prevail.

Okay, so what we have here is the head of a campaign to pass a measure involving CIVIL EQUALITY unapologetically using religion to back his points of view. And not just religion in general -- the "church of Jesus Christ" in particular. This is a concept that should nt only raise pro-gay eyebrows. It is one that should cause every single man and woman in this religious freedom-loving nation to take pause! For if the "church of Jesus Christ" can be used as justification against gays, who's next? People of other faiths? People with faith in science rather than religion? Who knows?

Of all of the national campaigns to pass an anti-gay amendment, the Florida one has undoubtedly been the most unapologetically Christian in its basis. Here is an actual ad that they are using:

Now again, because it can't be reinforced enough: WE ARE TALKING ABOUT CIVIL MARRIAGE! And we're doing so in a CHURCH-STATE SEPARATED NATION!

When it comes to these campaigns, the lack of concern for gay people's welfare is always astounding. However, the American people in general -- and Florida voters in particular -- better wake up and realize that these folks' lack of concern for the welfare of anyone who thinks or prays differently than they do is just plain frightening!

**Stemberger's quote can be found here: Cloer to rally pastors for marriage amendment [Yes On 2]

FLORIDA

Say No 2

Vote No on 2

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Your thoughts

Historically speaking, there would be less violence if people would stop trying to impose their definition of God's design on the rest of us.

Posted by: a. mcewen | Aug 13, 2008 12:12:26 PM

Just a reminder that our country WAS founded and based on Christian-Judeo principles. Most of our laws are based on the ten commandments--thou shalt not lie or bear false witness, kill, steal, etc.

George Washington said, "It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible."

We cannot tear down every law that rests on Christian principles, or we will have tyranny. I don't believe you really want to change what is so good about our country. Perhaps you would rather live in a different country whose government and laws are not upheld by the Bible and its principles...Iraq? Iran? Saudi Arabia? Honestly, we all have it pretty good here!

George Washington also said, "Laws made by common consent must not be trampled on by individuals." Since Proposition 8 is only an effort to keep the laws of common consent intact, I say we should all support it!

Posted by: tamarasw | Aug 13, 2008 12:33:56 PM

Tamara: And in this thread...

http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_you/2008/04/video-because-1.html#comments

...you deny gays their "normalcy." Of course you would want to support his cruel, anti-gay measure.

Oh, and we're talking about Prop 2 here, not Prop 8. That's California.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Aug 13, 2008 12:39:03 PM

Tamara writes: "Perhaps you would rather live in a different country whose government and laws are not upheld by the Bible and its principles...Iraq? Iran? Saudi Arabia? Honestly, we all have it pretty good here!"

Actually Tamara, Saudi Arabia and Iran are theocracies, and ruled by religious police and leaders, using the koran as justification for their laws. Much like how you and some others would like to use the bible to be the rule of law here. Iraq we all know is a mess, thanks to some christianist president looking to start the book of revelations or some crazy fiction like that. We have it good here, but it could be better. Why settle?

Posted by: johnozed | Aug 13, 2008 1:04:32 PM

@ the 25:00 mark:

John Stemberger: “Our opponents, I want to brace everyone for this, you won’t hear a word about gay marriage, homosexual rights, you won’t see people with rainbow mowhawks dancing in the parades, like they do in their gay prides or whatever, you’re going to see little old ladies, and little old men saying ‘we’re going to lose benefits, we’re going to lose social security, and this is what you’re going to hear. They are preying upon Florida’s most vulnerable and precious citizens, our seniors, committing fraud, telling them that they are going to lose Social Security benefits. This is utter nonsense, I mean, there have been 27 other states that have passed marriage amendments, not a single benefit anywhere has been lost by any person.”
--
“not a single benefit anywhere has been lost by any person.”

You can find it here under July 24:
http://faith2action.org/radio/archive2003.htm

Posted by: Emproph | Aug 13, 2008 1:14:29 PM

Tamarasw: "We cannot tear down every law that rests on Christian principles, or we will have tyranny. I don't believe you really want to change what is so good about our country."

You mean like slavery or segregation? Both were for most of our history justified under the law by use of the Bible. Which "Christian principles" are you advocating we use to undergird our laws and from which group of Christianity do you wish to draw them? Shall we base our laws solely upon what the Catholic Church teaches? Its adherents certainly comprise the majority of Christianity and there certainly is about a 1,500 year precedent for such. How about one of the myriad of Protestant sects?

Oh and as for George Washington, you are forgetting his 1790 letter to a Jewish congregation in Newport, Rhode Island:

"The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support."
http://jeffweintraub.blogspot.com/2007/01/george-washingtons-letter-to-jews-of.html

Posted by: John | Aug 13, 2008 1:36:24 PM

tamarasw,

You are mistaken, my dear. Our political system was built on a number of bases, none of them the Bible. We took from the Magna Carte, the writings of the Federalists, Montesque, Locke, and even the Roman Republic.

Had we chosen a Biblical model we would have a king appointed by priests and a national religion. Both were rejected by our founders in favor of a revolutionary concept - rule by the common people through representatives.

As for our civil laws, they are actually build on English common law and while the Ten Commandments were culturally influential they certainly are not the basis of our legal system.

In fact, of the ten only two are always a part of our laws:

You shall not murder.
You shall not steal.


A few more are sometimes illegal:

You shall not commit adultery (in the military).
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour (in a court of law).

Two are explicitely excluded from being made into law by the Bill of Rights:

Do not have any other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself an idol.

And the rest are pretty much left up to whether you want to obey them or not (and I bet that you don't)

You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God
Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.
Honor your father and your mother
You shall not covet

OH, and you may not be aware of it but George Washington did not write or sign the Declaration of Independance or the Constitution or, to the best of my knowledge, any other significant portion of our laws.

Posted by: Timothy | Aug 13, 2008 2:07:47 PM

Well TAMARASW? We gay wisemen have spoken!Whatsamatter, don't like being thumped back on the head with your very own bible?!

Posted by: nikko | Aug 13, 2008 4:02:58 PM

"...as salt and light to preserve a decaying and lost culture."


Trying to preserve a decaying and lost culture, hmmm? Then maybe they should live kinda like the Amish do - in secluded villages of people who all believe the same thing, refuse to change/modernize/evolve, and, oh yeah, live strictly to the rules of their religion. They would have to be living lives full-time like that guy who wrote the book about living as the bible dictates for a year. All the adulterers would be stoned. No poly/cotton blends. No shellfish. Anytime they coveted the latest new techno-gadget, they would be committing a mortal sin. Etc.

Oh, but wait, the Amish don't try and make everyone else in the world obey Amish rules by force. Nm.

Posted by: Wren | Aug 13, 2008 7:32:56 PM

Timothy, you said...
"And the rest are pretty much left up to whether you want to obey them or not (and I bet that you don't)

You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God
Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.
Honor your father and your mother
You shall not covet"

Why would you assume that I don't follow those commandments? You know nothing about me. The fact is, I am trying to follow every commandment of our Heavenly Father. Including the four you mentioned.

Can I ask you all a question? Is there anyone in the LGBT community who is Christian? Because it always feels like an "us against them" mentality on these threads. I really am just trying to do my best to do what I believe my Heavenly Father wants. I keep thinking that other Christians will understand that. But perhaps there are no Christians among the LGBT community?

Posted by: tamarasw | Aug 15, 2008 12:31:10 PM

Tamara: Please stop with the "there are not gay Christians" idea. It's just childish.

Lengthier response to you can be found here:

http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_you/2008/08/wherein-afa-vio.html?cid=126560894#comments

Posted by: G-A-Y | Aug 15, 2008 12:36:32 PM

Why oh why do people of faith feel it is their duty to tell others how to live? Why can they not see that it is because of this that most wars have been waged on this planet? Can any of them tell me: how in the world do two people, who love each other, have any effect on the life you want to lead?
Now, if you really wanted to change things, how about making divorce illegal?

Posted by: Xeboprime | Aug 26, 2008 11:16:33 PM

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