Showing posts with label same-sex marriage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label same-sex marriage. Show all posts

Thursday, 6 August 2015

God Needs Your Help With This Whole Gay Thing

Seems like God is not as all powerful as we all thought.

That's right! God needs people's help to take away marriage equality.

More crazy stuff at the God's Design website.

Of could, God is also a big fan of marriage equality. That God is way better.

(Image source)

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Egypt's Highest Islamic Institution Freaks Out Over SCOTUS Marriage Equality Ruling

Go 'East' (source)
Oh no! The Americans are all getting gay-married and are going to force Egyptians to all become newly wed homosexuals!
Egypt’s highest Islamic institution, Al-Azhar, has slammed what it called “a campaign by international powers and organisations,” as well public figures in Egypt, to promote and legalise homosexuality.
It's an international conspiracy, I tell you. It must be the work of KAOS!
In a statement released on Thursday, Al-Azhar rejected same-sex marriage, stating that marriage in Islam is only between a man and woman, and that Islam prohibits all “sinful” extramarital affairs, referring to the recent decision of the US Supreme Court to end the same-sex ban.

The Islamic institution also said it rejected all campaigns to spread and legalise homosexuality and same-sex marriage in the Muslim world.  Social media users worldwide have declared support for same-sex marriage, launching “Rainbow avatars” and "#Lovewins” online campaigns.
First the Americans bring down the scourge which is Twitter and their Facebook with their Internet porn! Now, according to the Orthodox Church in Egypt all this gayness and atheism -- all acts of rebellion -- are a huge moral and religious crisis for ALL OF HUMANITY!
“Humanity already is having a huge moral and religious crisis, as well rebellion, which is an entry to atheism and all forms of extremism, including same-sex marriage," said Pope Tawadros II at his meeting with Orthodox Coptic churches in Alexandria earlier this week.
Americans, look at these groups which are so so very disappointed with you legalizing marriage equality! They're all losing their minds. With reactions like this from these people, I think y'all have something to be proud about.

Meanwhile, US evangelical nut jobs are sort of suggesting another civil war over this. Yes, the gays really are that icky for these people.

Friday, 26 June 2015

#LoveWins! : Same-Sex Marriage Legal In 50 States! Fundies Freak Out!

In case you've been living under a rock in the past couple of hours, I'd like to inform you that gay folks in the United States were finally accorded their right to get married! The Twitter tag #LoveWins is abuzz with partying.

I'm thrilled for all of my LGBT friends and readers in the United States!

However, remember that LGBT people are still not fully protected by anti-discrimination laws in many states. So I guess you could get married and then your boss could fire you. Although it would be a shame to work for such a person.

There's still work to do there, but how can that possibly stand now?

Let's not think about that though, let's look at reactions for evangelical nutbars to this ruling. Their minds are exploding.

Then you've got this letter (asking for money) from Mike Huckabee:
I refuse to sit silently as politically driven interest groups threaten the foundation of religious liberty, criminalize Christianity, and demand that Americans abandon Biblical principles of natural marriage. I will fight to defend religious liberty at all costs.

I also refuse to surrender to the false god of judicial supremacy, which would allow black-robed and unelected judges the power to make law and enforce it, which upends the separation of powers so very central to our Constitution. Too much power concentrated in the courts is a threat to our Republic. I will fight judicial tyranny and return power to the people.
Here's 19 crazed passages from the dissenting judges.

For 'muricans wanting to come up to Canada to escape gay marriage, better think again.

Predictable, the folks at LifeSiteNews are freaking out all over the place.

And my personal favourite:

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Russian Orthodox Church 'So Disappointed' With Scottish & French Churches, They're Not Gonna Talk to Them Anymore!

'So very disappointed.'  (source)
Maybe we've all been a little too hard on the Church of Scotland and the United Protestant Church of France.

They've made the Russian Orthodox Church so sad that they're not even going to speak to them anymore.  Yes, that's right, the Moscow Patriarchate's official website has informed us that after several warnings, they're totally finished with both of them. They shouldn't even bother trying to phone because they've got caller ID and will not pick up the receiver!
On May 16, 2015, the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland allowed ordination of gay people in civil partnership and on May 21 voted to continue the study of this matter aimed at an extension of the adopted decision. On May 17, the Synod of the United Protestant Church of France allowed a possibility of blessing the so called same-sex unions.

These decisions of the Protestant Churches of Scotland and France have deeply disappointed the Russian Orthodox Church as they seem incompatible with norms of Christian morality

We state with profound grief that today we have new divisions in the Christian world not only on theological problems, but also on the moral issues.
So, dear readers, if you could do the Orthodox Church a favour and ask these other poopy head churches to please mail back a long colourful gown and pointy hat which might have been left at a church in either country, then that's good -- NOT THAT THEY REALLY CARE THOUGH ... cuz the Russian Orthodox Church ain't talking directly to anyone who believes LGBT people shouldn't be discriminated against. It's so sad they're not giving the gays a really hard time anymore.
During last years we have kept attentive watch over debates in the Churches of Scotland and France. In 2013, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, sent a letter to the leadership of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in which he expressed his anxiety and disappointment over a possibility of ordaining gay people and expressed hope that the consideration of this issue in future would be based on the apostolic tradition. Regrettably, these hopes have not been justified, and the words of warning have not been heard.

Guided by the resolutions of the Bishops’ Council of 2008, saying that ‘the future of relations with many Protestant communities depends on their faithfulness to the norms of Gospel and apostolic morality kept by Christians over many centuries,’ and of the Bishops’ Council of 2013 saying that ‘a dialogue with confessions which openly defy the Biblical moral norms is impossible,’ the Department for External Church Relations does not see any prospects in maintaining official contacts with the Church of Scotland and with the United Protestant Church of France.
You know what? I'm not sure if these churches will really miss a church which is currently turning Russia into a theocracy with the help of Vlad Putin. In Russia, LGBT people are being beaten in the streets and it is a crime to offend Christians. With friends like this who needs enemies right?

So be proud United Protestant Church of France and Church of Scotland! You must be doing something right! Keep it up!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Greek Justice Minister Using 'Religion' & 'Traditions' to Denounce Same-Sex Marriage

Athens Gay Pride 2009. By Grzegorz Wysocki (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Greek Justice Minister Haralambos Athanasiou apparently made an unexpectedly forceful pronouncement recently that same-sex marriage in the country will be absolutely impossible. He's so upset with the situation, that he just refuses to talk about it. Perhaps he's locked himself into the bathroom.
“I won’t discuss it, I can’t conceive of it,” the conservative politician told Mega TV. “Besides, the convention of human rights forbids it. When it speaks about marriage it speaks [of marriage] between a man and woman. We are a country that respects traditions, respects human nature, and it’s not possible at least with this government and this ministry, to permit marriage.”

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Trinity Western Law School: Setting The Tone For Discrimination

At the time of writing this post, in the United States, seventeen states have already legalized same-sex marriage. Things are changing faster than anyone could imagine with the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell (DOMA). Internationally, it seems like another country legalizes same-sex marriage every other week.

Here in Canada, we enjoy legal same-sex marriage in all of our provinces and territories. We were actually the fourth country to legalize it, which makes me very proud to be a Canadian.

University of Ottawa law student Stéphane Erickson wrote an excellent opinion piece in the Globe & Mail about how the upcoming Trinity Western law school is in the wrong for discriminating against students who are in relationships with partners of the same sex.

Trinity Western law school has no right to judge its gay students

But all legal jargon aside; let’s call a spade a spade. This is wrong. It’s plain wrong. Denying access to education – above all legal education – based on one’s sexual orientation or lifestyle choices is wrong. Whether it’s a private institution or a public institution, it remains wrong. It’s wrong because it is hateful. It conveys the message that religion can indeed be used as shield, as a cloak, to discriminate, to judge and to perpetuate vile and harmful ideas – be it against women, ethnicities, sexual minorities, or other contributors to society that have been historically and systematically forced to silence, to shame, to the periphery.
Erickson has a good if not tragic point; he is himself a gay Roman Catholic. The Vatican has a huge problem with homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

His questions are good ones. How can a single law school respect both secular laws and their bronze age mythology at the same time? How can they serve two masters?

At the end of his piece, he asks this poignant question.
I therefore ask this of Canada’s soon-to-be law school: If a person is gay and loves another person of the same sex, and seeks to further his or her understanding of the law, notably in the areas of religious freedoms, and has good will, on which authority do you stand to judge him or her?
My answer is a simple one. They base it on their book, naturally. How could they do otherwise?

This new institution is for young students who ultimately wish to learn about the LAW. This is more than the petty laws of humans; those which have helped bring about some measure of equality for men who love men and women who love women. These young minds will learn how to fold and bend human temporal laws to serve their ultimate religious law, to serve their mission.

I think this will be a school which enslaves the law of the land to the verses of a book which would ultimately have gays and lesbians regulated back to their historical position of persecution.

Erickson deftly expresses concerns that underlie my objections to the school and no doubt the objections of many others.
The obvious questions follow: How is a law school, which does not recognize the legitimacy of civil unions, same-sex marriage, and non-traditional family structures, going to ensure an accurate and sincere legal education? How is the Charter going to be taught with respect to women’s rights, LGBT rights, and other issues pertaining to sections 15 and 7? Moreover, and maybe most importantly, how is the school going to ensure that students feel safe in an environment morally bound by religious doctrine and skewed interpretations of sacred texts? All these questions have been asked, with no – or very few – answers from the University.
I think the answer is apparent. They have no real intention of doing this. This is why they require their own separate school. This is why they have cloistered themselves away. Society is growing increasingly suspicious and intolerant of their attitudes towards LGBT rights.

Canadian society and its laws have become a hostile place full of scorn and ridicule for those who do not approve of the increasing public acceptance of LGBT people.  They cannot tolerate LGBT people being in relationships with those they love, marrying, having or adopting children -- living their lives and treated like human beings.

The condemnation of the homosexual lifestyle as a kind of sickness by the religious seems more and more ridiculous and vile with each passing day. As multiple sexual orientations and gender identities become ever more normalized in a more broadly inclusive society, it is these people who are left in the dust. Frankly, they start looking like the religious who were on the wrong side of the civil rights movement.

I believe the creators of this new law school don't like the direction things are going. Maybe they will try to raise an army of lawyers to swing the pendulum backwards. One can only hope they fail.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Are Catholics Who Oppose Same-Sex Marriage Bigots?

The image that pops into my head whenever
anyone says the word bigot.  Archie Bunker
was the most lovable bigot on television and 
reminded millions that the even the sincerest,
well-meaning people can harbour the worst
prejudices - often products of their cultural
or religious upbringing.
I received some feedback from Catholic reader John Graney for the blog post You Support Gay-Marriage? No Communion Cracker For You!  I'm always happy when I see Theists reading my blog and I hope my response to his comment won't sour the good will.
I'll dispense with the first part of the comment, where he states the teenager, Lennon Cihak, willfully chose not to get confirmed.  I'm not sure of this point, but it's not the meat of what he had to say, so we'll skip it.  Here's the remainder of his comment.

It is clear that you consider the legal relationship described as gay marriage a civil right. This is of course a new civil right; no one believed in it until recently. (It is unusual even in non-Christian cultures.) But even if it is a civil right, a proposition that I, as a Catholic, don't agree with, does it necessarily follow that opposition to it is based on bigotry? I'm not a bigot as far as I'm aware, although I certainly don't love anyone as much as I should. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. But the Catholic opposition to gay marriage is based on the following principles: 
1) Sexual relationships ought to be procreative.
2) Sexual relationships ought only to occur within the context of marriage.
3) Homosexual relationships are not procreative.
Therefore, homosexual people cannot be married. 
Bigotry is, as I understand it, an irrational hatred of someone else because they are different from you. Do 1), 2), or 3) display irrational hatred of gay people? I'm not defending these propositions, here, just saying that I don't see how they're bigoted. I'd really like to know what you all think is bigoted about them. I can foresee getting responses like, "oh, you just use reasons like these as a cover for your bigotry." Please no bluster, propaganda, or psychoanalysis. I want an honest response.
Let's start with the last point first.  What is bigotry?  Perhaps I misused the word in that post - it's happened before and will happen again.  I know this is a formulaic way of going about this, but bear with me.
Bigotry is, as I understand it, an irrational hatred of someone else because they are different from you.
Here's what the online Oxford Dictionary defines bigotry as:
bigotry - noun [mass noun]: intolerance towards those who hold different opinions from oneself: the report reveals racism and right-wing bigotry
Let's see if we can make ends meet.  Let's see what intolerance means (Oxford).
intolerance noun [mass noun]: unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behaviour that differ from one’s own: a struggle against religious intolerance, an intolerance of dissent, an inability to eat a food or take a drug without adverse effects: young children with lactose intolerance
Here in Canada and the United States we're no longer subject to the Queen or her English.  Indeed, it's the case all over the world now.  These days, like the days of old, dictionaries are merely trying to capture the meanings of words that are ultimately given by people, populations, races and cultures.  So one should read a dictionary like a news report of the current happening of a language.

With that in mind, I will march boldly forth.

The first definition seems to leave both the hatred and irrational of yours out entirely.  And my gut tells me that this can be the case.  I'm sure there are many very well-educated and highly rational bigots out there who don't particularly hate the group or groups they see as corrupt, wrong or otherwise intolerable. 

Here the whole game seems to hinge on the word accept.  I could be reading into it, but I do not see it as equivalent to agree.   If it means we're all supposed to agree with the misguided beliefs of other then everyone who is intellectually honest would be a bigot.  I think it means to simply live and let live - don't meddle with it.  Accept their right to be different and treat them equally like any citizen.

So, I suppose as long as you are not actively attempting to deny homosexuals the right of a civil marriage - you're not doing that right? - then you are at least accepting their difference.
But even if it is a civil right, a proposition that I, as a Catholic, don't agree with ...
Oh dear.  I've met many Catholics, like Lennon, who say they are Catholic but disagree with the Church's stance against civil same-sex marriage.  Well, you get a cookie for being consistent but I think you may qualify, under the above definition at least.  Of course, as soon as you place a dollar into the collection basket you're actively supporting an institution that's hellbent on controlling who can marry whom - even in civil ceremonies - a bigoted institution.  Perhaps then you would be a bigot, whereas Lennon would not.

There is something missing here though, and you have nailed it.  It has to do with whether or not the intolerance is rational or not.  Is there some foundation that justifies you or your church's hostile stance towards civil same-sex marriage?

An example.  I've posted several times before about circumcision.  I think it's a barbaric practice that is completely unnecessary and rather cruel.  Many, even Atheists, would disagree with me on this point and would even say my beliefs that governments should outlaw the practice are irrational and intolerant towards the religious.  Interestingly, I have an equal amount of horror and disdain for female circumcision (genital mutilation) which I believe many more Atheists would agree with and would not think twice about supporting any plan to have it banned outright.

Religious groups would likely accuse me of being a bigot for my desired to ban their horrendous ritualistic mutilation of babies' genitalia, while progressives and other non-religious people may have mixed views.

The truth is, the bigot is in the eye of the beholder.  Society as a whole judges, using the mores of the age, whether a person is a bigot or if their religion is bigoted.
This is of course a new civil right; no one believed in it until recently. (It is unusual even in non-Christian cultures.)
Let's say I were a first-century Roman senator, or a nineteenth-century landowner in the United States.  Would I be seen by my fellows as being a bigot for my opinions on slavery?  In Roman times, there was no concept of human rights to speak of and in antebellum America there may have been an inkling but it only extended to superior races.  This changed in the latter half of the nineteenth-century, then again a hundred years later and continues even today.  Although many Christians worked on the right side of history for racial equality, great swathes stood steadfast in their muddy puddles of bigotry, Bible in hand to defend their mouldy position.

What happened?  I think the very firmament upon which their arguments about racial superiority rested got undermined, washed away.  Without a proper logical underpinning, their rantings about the inferiority of the black man suddenly became untenable, unprovable, reprehensible - irrational.  This evolution, or drift, is still happening, constantly.
Sexual relationships ought to be procreative.
As you say, this is the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church and other religious organizations.  The Church itself is in the process, these days, of burning its credit as a moral authority - or at least it appears very much that way to many people.  How can an organization that has such notoriously corrupt banking practices and is widely known to have protected child-molesting sexual predators expect itself to be taken as a serious moral guide?  So many know gay friends and family who are absolute pillars of morality who contrast, on a daily basis, the barrage of endless sexual abuse scandals that illuminate our televisions screens and marr or newspapers without pause.

Your argument has a religious foundation.  But Europeans and Americans are becoming increasingly less interested in religion - at least in an organized or dogmatic fashion.  Mainly younger people are turning away from religion in droves.  They are not all becoming Atheists like me - many sting cling to some supernatural spirituality but they have decided to use their own minds to determine what's right without the dogma of old men in robes and pointy hats in Rome.

When they are faced with ethical dilemmas, they are, whether they are aware of it or not, often using Humanistic or Utilitarian systems to determine right from wrong - based on minimizing harm.  And in this age, it's becoming more and more clear to many that gay marriage, relationships and even sex only cause harm to religious dogmas and interpretations.  While making homosexuals second class citizens simply for whom they cannot help but be attracted to and love dearly is a cause of great suffering and is not the hallmark of any civilized culture.

Without a firm religious belief, your argument falls apart and appears irrational to an ever secularizing world.  And when people stop seeing the logical basis for your opposition to gay marriage they begin to search for irrational foundations.  It must be hate, anger, fear - but no, it's merely dogma, religious delusion, faith.  Regardless of how you feel, you will become a bigot in their eyes.

There was an election recently in the United States - I'm sure you know who won.  One of the Democratic Party's most prominent platform position was equal rights for homosexuals and civil same-sex marriage.  Actually, even younger Republicans and some within the party are now beginning to see the light and give up the fight.  It seems to be a generational thing.

You see, attitudes change.  Young blood comes in and old bigoted ideas are taken to the grave.  I'm sure the majority of nineteenth-century white supremacists in the South, who could never grow past the misguided ideas of their fathers, were well-loved by their children and grandchildren. They were probably known as that old relative that says those horrible things.  Like my grandfather who was known to make colourful comments about the Nipponese. Their words just stopped having any weight for those things - they were the ideas of a generation that had its turn.

Perhaps my children will make a bigot of me if I do not continue to grow.  I will become an Archie Bunker.

As America and the world becomes more accepting of same-sex marriage - if this trend continues, that is - the position of the Catholic Church will become increasingly contrary to what is accepted as ethical and moral in society.  As the years and decades progress, it will appear increasingly odious and irrational to outside observers who will conclude, in ever increasing numbers, that people who refuse to at least accept the right of two consenting adults to marry - regardless of the configuration of their genitalia - are, in fact, bigots.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Some Encouraging Media Response to Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops

There's been some encouraging media response to the CCCB's letter calling on  Catholics to deny services to people who wish to practice responsible sex or get married to someone they love who happens to be the same sex they are.  Don't sell them the pill or prophylactics - you may circumvent the will of the Almighty!  Don't let people get married or you may allow that apparently fragile Platonic idea of Marriage fall into shadowy extinction.  Come on, God really needs a hand - do your part, maybe even endanger your jobs.  Do it  for the Bishops.

I was pleasantly surprised to find this opinion piece at the Calgary Herald.  My admittedly limited exposure to the Herald has given me the impression that it was about as progressive as an AM news talk radio station - that place where grey-haired Conservatives go to talk about the price of gold and how the world is going to Hell in a hand basket.

In fact, the story went up last night and then the link mysteriously broke for awhile.  I'll admit I was a little suspicious, but it unbroke itself sometime before I checked it this morning.

Here's the article: Human Rights Must Trump Religious Freedom

When it comes to the title, I would put Religious Freedom in ironic air-quotes or italicize it.  We all must remember the old saying about crying fire in a theatre, or that "Your Liberty To Swing Your Fist Ends Just Where My Nose Begins."  And that seems to be the point that Lakritz is making.

I think the bottom line is that in a democracy, human rights must trump religious freedoms every time — and that means the rights of gays to be treated the same as anyone else in our society take precedence over anyone’s definition of “truth.”

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

The Wild Rose of Alberta (Even Creepier Creeping Theocrats?)

Until yesterday I'll admit that I never even heard of the Alberta (the Texas of CanadaWildrose Party.  But I caught a CBC news report about how the party is actually leading in the polls for the April 23rd general election.  In fact, they're well on their way to a majority.  The Conservative party has had an uninterrupted rule over the province for over four decades.

When I first heard that a party other than the Conservatives is in the lead I had no idea how this could be possible.  There was no wing any righter than the Conservatives (except perhaps the Christian Heritage Party).  Apparently I was wrong.

Uh oh.  I hope these personal beliefs don't affect his legislation in any way.  Well maybe it's just an isolated incident - every party has it's share of nutbars.  Wait, what's this?

Another Wildrose Candidate Under Fire:
Ron Leech, the Wildrose candidate for Calgary-Greenway, told a Calgary radio audience on Sunday night that he has an advantage because he is white.
During the interview, Leech said, "I think, as a caucasian, I have an advantage. When different community leaders such as a Sikh leader or a Muslin leader speaks they really speak to their own people in many ways. As a caucasian I believe that I can speak to all the community." 
Danielle Smith, campaigning on Tuesday in Calgary-Currie, said that Leech's comment must be taken in context and she isn't concerned.
Okay, not good.  Wait a minute, what's this?

Candidate John Carpay ... and Ron Leech again? From Beacon News:
Hunsperger is not alone in his anti-homosexuality stance. Ron Leech, Calgary-Greenway Wildrose candidate and evangelical pastor, wrote a 2004 article for the Calgary Herald that condemned gays. Almost 20 years ago Calgary-Lougheed candidate John Carpay wanted then-Premier Ralph Klein to invoke the notwithstanding clause in the Canadian Constitution to prevent Alberta from being forced into protecting gays from discrimination.
Apparently Ron Leech is also a pastor.  Here's a record of what he has to say about same-sex marriage.

But surely the leader of this party is fine right?  Uh oh: Wildrose leader: science on climate change 'not settled'.
The woman leading a front-running party in Alberta's provincial election has cast doubt on the widely accepted scientific theory that human activity is a leading cause of global warming
Anti-gay, Christian pastors and Science doubters.  Reminds me of my previous post Canadian Theo-Cons' Religious War on Science And Reason.

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