Homosexuality Archives

On The Radio

I sometimes cross-post items from this blog to my diary on RedState.com, one of the top conservative web sites. Occasionally, the editors find a diary entry that they like and promote it to the front page. They did this to my post about the Christian family in the UK that was denied the chance to do foster parenting because of their beliefs. This, of course, gives it much wider readership, and I wound up getting an e-mail from Melody Scalley who does a weekly conservative radio show on WESR in Virginia. She wanted to interview me about the article, and so this afternoon we had a 5-10 minute talk on the phone, which she’ll be running on her show tomorrow night.

I don’t see any way to get streaming audio or a podcast, so I’ll see if I can come up with the segment from somewhere. But if you just happen to be on the Virginia peninsula near Onley, tune in tomorrow to 1330 AM or 103.3 FM between 6 and 8pm.

Citing Your Values to Overturn Your Values

That’s precisely what a court in the UK has done. They’ve cited the values that the country was founded on — Judeo-Christian ones — to rule against holding to those values.

There is no place in British law for Christian beliefs, despite this country’s long history of religious observance and the traditions of the established Church, two High Court judges said on Monday.

Lord Justice Munby and Mr Justice Beatson made the remarks when ruling on the case of a Christian couple who were told that they could not be foster carers because of their view that homosexuality is wrong.

The judges underlined that, in the case of fostering arrangements at least, the right of homosexuals to equality “should take precedence” over the right of Christians to manifest their beliefs and moral values.

In a ruling with potentially wide-ranging implications, the judges said Britain was a “largely secular”, multi-cultural country in which the laws of the realm “do not include Christianity”.

Is Britain’s government "largely secular"? Yes, it is, as are all Western democracies. Our own founding fathers in the US did not set up a theocracy. But this by no means suggests that the government should take no position that happens to coincide with a religious view. Laws in our country against murder, theft and extortion are rooted in Christian morality; the Biblical ideas of the intrinsic value of each human being, and the values of justice and fairness. Further, we have death penalties, when we do have them, for only the worst offenders, and for the same reasons.

While other countries may have similar laws, this is more than a law issue. Our culture itself was shaped by these same Judeo-Christian values. I’ll make the obligatory disclaimer that it has been implemented by fallible human beings, and it’s not always been in a manner consistent with itself. Still, this foundation has produced the freest, wealthiest, healthiest and, yes, most tolerant countries in history. Millions of immigrants and refugees are trying to get into Western democracies all the time because of the results of holding to those values.

In fact, the judges unwittingly note this foundation in their ruling.

“Although historically this country is part of the Christian West, and although it has an established church which is Christian, there have been enormous changes in the social and religious life of our country over the last century,” they said.

It was a “paradox” that society has become simultaneously both increasingly secular and increasingly diverse in religious affiliation, they said.

“We sit as secular judges serving a multicultural community of many faiths. We are sworn (we quote the judicial oath) to ‘do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of this realm, without fear or favour, affection or ill will’.”

The irony is clear. These judges are citing an oath, that has been proscribed by the government influenced by the Judeo-Christian culture, to rule against people exercising their Judeo-Christian beliefs. You won’t find an oath like this in countries where you can be persecuted for believing the "wrong" religion. This value of fairness to all, regardless of who they are, is thanks to, for the most part, the Biblical beliefs of the Johns family, the ones trying to become foster parents.

Is it, therefore, "fair" to only allow people with the right beliefs and religious affiliation, approved by the government, to become foster parents? Will the court make the same ruling for Muslims and Jews who feel the same way? Apparently, society’s shifting standards win out over a basic, fundamental right of freedom of religion.

However, when fostering regulations were taken into account, “the equality provisions concerning sexual orientation should take precedence” over religious rights, they said.

And thus, the more homosexuals, or any group with a protected status, can convince governments that they must have special rights to override basic human rights, the more the foundation is chipped away; the very foundation that made this society what it is today, with our without an established Church. 

Some Anglican church officials say essentially the same thing.

Speaking personally, Canon Dr Chris Sugden, the executive secretary of Anglican Mainstream, said the judges were wrong to say religion was a matter of private individuals’ beliefs.

“They are treating religion like Richard Dawkins does, as if Christian faith was on a parallel with Melanesian frog worship,” he said.

“The judgment asserts that there is no hierarchy of rights, but itself implies there is one in which the right to practise one’s religion is subordinated to the secular assumptions about equality.”

Gays use to say that they didn’t want special rights, just equal rights. This is another example of special rights that cut to the very core of the free societies they live in. This is a huge step in the wrong direction.

Friday Link Wrap-up

The deficit commission that President Obama convened agrees that most of ObamaCare should be kept.  Unfortunately, they believe in order to keep it fiscally sustainable is for it to include Death Panels.  They laughed at Sarah Palin for predicting this.  I don’t hear anyone laughing now.

Speaking of Sarah Palin, Richard Cohen (no conservative, he) just can stop reading about (and apparently, can’t stop writing about) the former Alaska governor.  And in writing about her and her beliefs, he includes this bit of honesty:

The left just doesn’t get America. I say this as a fellow-traveler of liberalism and as one who recognizes that many liberals fear the heartland. They see it as a dark place of primitive religions and too many guns. For such a person, Palin is the perfect personification of the unknown and feared Ugly American who will emerge from the heartland to seize Washington, turning off all the lights and casting America into darkness. The left does not merely disagree with the right; it fears it.

Hospitals closing or ridden with crime.  Doctors quitting the medical practice or leaving the country to find greener pastures in which to practice.  Shortages of medical supplies.  While these are predictions of what will come with ObamaCare, we have yet another example of where socialized medicine is failing.  Mr. Obama, call Mr. Chavez to find out how well it’s working in Venezuela.  (Hint:  It’s not.)

The Christmas song “Silver Bells” was inspired by the sound of Salvation Army bell-ringers outside department stores.  But apparently familiarity breeds contempt.

The character of Aslan in the Narnia series of books, as well established in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, is an allegory for Jesus Christ.  That was C. S. Lewis’ purpose.  But Liam Neeson, who provides the voice for Aslan in the movie series, has apparently been infected with the political correctness syndrome that pervades Hollywood.

Ahead of the release of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader next Thursday, Neeson said: ‘Aslan symbolises a Christ-like figure but he also symbolises for me Mohammed, Buddha and all the great spiritual leaders and prophets over the centuries.

‘That’s who Aslan stands for as well as a mentor figure for kids – that’s what he means for me.’

Mohammed and Buddha died for your sins?  Really?

Does Romans chapter 1 condemn homosexuality?  Some interpret it in such a way that it doesn’t, in spite of the words chosen.  John Stott takes apart such interpretations.

Bryan Longworth had an interesting tweet the other day.  “Comprehensive sex ed has been taught in schools 4 over 40 years. The results? Epedemic #STIs. How’s perversion working 4 U?”  Not so well, judging by the results.

And finally, Chuck Asay has some words for Democrats who are ostensibly fighting for the workers.  (Click for a larger version.)


Friday Link Wrap-up

The Left considers honest disagreement as "hate", redefining what should be a rather well-defined term.  This leads Tom Gilson at First Things to feel compelled to state that he does not hate homosexuals, despite his having signed the Manhattan Declaration.  Apparently, being associated with that stereotypes you as some sort of Westboro Church member.  Love that "tolerant" Left.

That promise from Obama that you could keep your existing plan and not be forced to change under ObamaCare(tm) has already been broken.  But now even unions realize they won’t be able to afford coverage for children, so they’re dropping it.  (But since they are unions, after all, they have to put forward a good face about this whole government takeover.)

The cost of the War on Poverty, since its inception is more than the cost of all of the actual wars in US history.  Annual spending, in 2008 and adjusted for inflation, was 13 times what it was in 1964.  Imagine if this money were to be given to private charities who waste far less of each dollar than the government does.  Imagine how much less it would cost.  It’s easy if you try.

Hmm, I feel a song coming on.

Scalia the Prophet

James Taranto notes that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia basically predicted the ruling against Prop 8 in California.  Judge Walker, in this decision, cited, among other things, Lawrence v. Texas which struck down state laws criminalizing consensual sodomy.  "It’s just personal behavior", was the argument from those trying to get those laws overturned.  The Supreme Court justices themselves, who wrote the opinion in Lawrence successfully overturning the state laws, said that the Lawrence case "does not involve" the issue of same-sex marriage.

Scalia essentially called that disingenuous in his dissent.

Today’s opinion dismantles the structure of constitutional law that has permitted a distinction to be made between heterosexual and homosexual unions, insofar as formal recognition in marriage is concerned. If moral disapprobation of homosexual conduct is "no legitimate state interest" for purposes of proscribing that conduct, and if, as the Court coos (casting aside all pretense of neutrality), "[w]hen sexuality finds overt expression in intimate conduct with another person, the conduct can be but one element in a personal bond that is more enduring," what justification could there possibly be for denying the benefits of marriage to homosexual couples exercising "[t]he liberty protected by the Constitution"? Surely not the encouragement of procreation, since the sterile and the elderly are allowed to marry. This case "does not involve" the issue of homosexual marriage only if one entertains the belief that principle and logic have nothing to do with the decisions of this Court.

Same-sex marriage is not the first step on some slippery slope.  It is, for some, the destination; the result of supposedly innocuous rulings that have come previously which laid a foundation that backers, including liberals on the Supreme Court, claimed had nothing to do with same-sex marriage. 

This is how they remake society; by lying to you until such time as they’ve built up enough steam, by whatever means necessary, to force through what they ultimately want.  This destination has been predicted for some time; Scalia’s prediction came in 1986.  He (nor I) could believe that the liberals on the bench were that stupid as to not know what they were doing.  It was, and is today, not so much about the law as it is about the politics for them. 

Also, Scalia’s prediction was not "fear mongering"; it was an honest conclusion drawn based on an understanding of the law and its ramifications.  Neither it is "fear mongering" to suggest that this destination is itself not final, but simply a stopping point on the way to who knows where else.  One simply has to look at history, even just recent history, to know that.  After same-sex marriage, the Netherlands began giving civil unions to unions of 3 or more in 2005.  And in 2004:

Tucker Carlson, host of CNN’s "Crossfire", debated with Human Rights Campaign President Cheryl Jacques on the polygamy issue. Carlson asked her why shouldn’t polygamists be able to marry and all she could say was, "I don’t approve of that."

Jacque was pushing for same-sex marriage, but figured it would all just stop in its tracks right there, because she didn’t approve of it.  I’ve got news for you:  jokes about "boogetymen", trying to ignore this history and the considered opinions of law scholars much smarter than they or I, display an ignorance and dismissiveness that belie a facade of thoughtful consideration.

In 1986, few people who argued against sodomy laws thought that it was any more than a privacy matter.  They were naive and/or misguided.  Those who think today that the debate over what is marriage will be done once we have same-sex marriage are equally naive and misguided.  But they will have less of a reason to claim, down the line, that they couldn’t have had an idea what would come of it.  Willful blindness will be the only explanation.

Scalia was right.  Remember that.

What Makes Marriage, Marriage?

Wow.  Don Sensing offers up a philosophical discussion, but a very readable one, about what makes marriage, marriage.  It really is a very good read.  His conclusion is, in essence, that the same-sex-marriage proponents are trying to take the results of marriage and turn them into the definition of it.  But in reality, marriage is what marriage has always been; a male-female relationship.

But if you think I’ve spoiled the ending, don’t worry.  It’s getting there that is very instructive.

Read. The. Whole. Thing.

Overturning Your Roots

It has been said that if you wish to remake a culture, you have to disassociate it from it roots, its foundation.

Having said that, here is John Adams, 2nd President of the United States and signer of the Declaration of Independence, from 1798:

We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

And from today’s paper.

Reporting from San Francisco and Los Angeles —

A federal judge declared California’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional Wednesday, saying that no legitimate state interest justified treating gay and lesbian couples differently from others and that "moral disapproval" was not enough to save the voter-passed Proposition 8.


"The evidence shows conclusively that moral and religious views form the only basis for a belief that same-sex couples are different from opposite-sex couples," Walker wrote.

What are the reasons we have laws against marrying children?  Are they not, really, almost entirely moral arguments?  Dismissing those types of arguments, and we dismiss our heritage.  Sweep that out of the way, and those in power get to remake society.

Update:  La Shawn Barber ends her post on the subject with this:

Considering that we’re all sinners, even us forgiven ones (including me), I offer you Romans 1: 18-21:

“Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

“For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.”

It’s this morality and religion that, in my opinion, has been the prime reason our country, and Western civilization in general, has led the world in so many areas.  Chuck Colson has some good thoughts that (as well as some on yesterday’s ruling).

Obligatory disclaimer:  Yes, yes, Western civilization has not been as pure as the driven snow.  However, as poorly as we may have done and as many mistakes as we made over the centuries, the overall driving force has indeed been one that at least revered the Bible if not fully following it to the letter.  (Which you could say about pretty much everyone.)  As opposed to those following other religions and philosophies, Western civilization has been blessed with so much, more so than other cultures, and I think we have the religion we’ve at least given tacit approval to to thank for it.  The farther we stray from that, the fewer those blessings will be.

Boy Scouts Win Court Battle

We had a big discussion about this issue 3 years ago, but the Boy Scouts will not be evicted from a building they built but lease from Philadelphia for $1 a year.

A Philadelphia jury has ruled in favor of the Boy Scouts, meaning they will not be evicted from their home or forced to pay rent, at least for now.

Outside the courthouse, a lawyer for the Boy Scouts, Jason Gosselin, told Fox News the Scouts won on the most important issue, that of First Amendment rights.  The jury found the city posed an unconstitutional condition on the organization by asking it to pay $200,000 annual rent on property it was leasing for a dollar a year, in a building the Scouts built and paid for themselves, all because the city felt the Scouts were in violation of Philadelphia’s anti-discrimination laws.

"What we really want is to sit down with the city and resolve this matter once and for all" Gosselin says.

The Supreme Court ruled years ago that, indeed, the Boy Scouts can decide who is allowed to join.  Thus to purport to be shocked about the policies of a 100-year-old organization is incredibly disingenuous. 

This woman and Penn Jillette might have a lot in common to talk about regarding how the Religious Right have been portrayed in our culture.

[Eve] Tushnet entered Yale in 1996 a happy lesbian, out since age 13 or 14 (she can’t quite remember). Her father, a nonobservant Jew, and her mother, a Unitarian, both belonged to progressive traditions, tolerant of her sexuality.

When, as a freshman, she attended a meeting of the Party of the Right, a conservative group affiliated with the Yale Political Union, it was “specifically to laugh at them, to see the zoo animals,” she says.

“But I was really impressed, not only by the weird arguments but the degree to which it was clear that the people making them lived as if what they were saying had actual consequences for their lives, that had required them to make sacrifices.”

In Ms. Tushnet’s time, as in mine — I was four years ahead of her at Yale — the Party of the Right had a benignantly cultish quality. “Have you read ‘The Secret History?’ ” she asks, referring to Donna Tartt’s 1992 novel about a secretive student clique obsessed with Greek literature. “It was like that.”

But she listened to them, sincerely, and came out with a far, far different view of them than the culture had led her to believe.

But she found the Party of the Right students compassionate, intellectual and not terribly exercised about her homosexuality. She was drawn to the Catholics among them, who corrected her misimpression that the existence of sin “means you are bad.” It means “precisely the opposite,” they taught her. “It means you have a chance to come back and repent and be saved,” she says. She began reading books like St. Anselm’s “Why God Became Man.” She began attending church. Her sophomore year, she was baptized.

“By the time it was real enough to be threatening,” she says of her conversion, “things had gone too far. I didn’t see it coming.”

So now she’s a fervent Catholic and against same-sex marriage, but isn’t trying to change her religion to fit her notions of right and wrong.  She really believes in it, and understands what that means for her life.

As the hundred or so daily readers of eve-tushnet.blogspot.com, and a larger audience for her magazine writing, know by now, Ms. Tushnet can seem a paradox: fervently Catholic, proudly gay, happily celibate. She does not see herself as disordered; she does not struggle to be straight, but she insists that her religion forbids her a sex life.

“The sacrifices you want to make aren’t always the only sacrifices God wants,” Ms. Tushnet wrote in a 2007 essay for Commonweal. While gay sex should not be criminalized, she said, gay men and lesbians should abstain. They might instead have passionate friendships, or sublimate their urges into other pursuits. “It turns out I happen to be very good at sublimating,” she says, while acknowledging that that is a lot to ask of others.

Marriage should be reserved for heterosexuals, whose “relationships can be either uniquely dangerous or uniquely fruitful,” she explained in an e-mail message. “Thus it makes sense to have an institution dedicated to structuring and channeling them.”

She has her problems with the ex-gay movement (see here for her very thoughtful NRO piece on the topic), but does understand what the Church teaches on the subject and, rather than practice the a la carte version of Christianity some do, she’s taken Jesus’ advice to count the cost, and decided to apply the teachings rather than ignore that which she holds true.  That’s dedication and commitment.

But she got there by actually listening and giving a fair hearing to what others considered religious nuts.  Don’t believe the press.  Well, in general, but specifically about the Religious Right(tm).  Find out for yourself.

A New Hope (& Change)

(With apologies to George Lucas and Star Wars episode 4.)

The President’s numerous, and recent, trips to Virginia and New Jersey notwithstanding, Republicans were elected governors of those states.  The thrill (up the leg) is gone one year on, and when policies instead of history-making is more of a draw, two conservatives are elected.  (Christie is very pro-life, and is the first Republican governor in 16 years.  McDonnell is the first Republican for Virginia in 8 years.)  While Democrats are saying that the reasons are mostly due to local issues, the fact that they brought in the President so much for these races tends to discount their own analysis.  Bringing in a President that both these states voted for in 2008 was not enough to get the job done. 

Hope and change indeed.  Just not the kind the President represents.

In the small but closely-watched race in New York’s 23rd district, where the Republican dropped out, only to endorse the Democrat, the fact that Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman managed to garner 45% of the vote is astounding.  Coming in only 4.5 points behind Democrat Bill Owens is amazing for a 3rd party candidate.  While it’s likely that some of the absentee ballots cast early, before Dede Scozzafava essentially dropped out, may have gone to Hoffman, it probably wouldn’t have been enough to win it.  The main issue here is that, as Brit Hume on Fox News Channel put it, this is why you have primaries.  Scozzafava was chosen by the party machine.  Clearly, the base, even in New York, is farther to the right than the party realizes.  When you run a good, conservative campaign, you can both energize the base and bring in independents (ask Ronald Reagan … or John McCain).  This is a tough, if small, loss in a district that has been reliably Republican, but the party dropped the ball and misread its constituents.

Still, giving up NY-23 for New Jersey and Virginia is a trade I’d take.

Closer to (my) home, the city of Atlanta is poised to elect it’s first white mayor in 35 years.  Mary Norwood got 46% of the vote last night, which kicks in a runoff in a few weeks with 2nd place challenger Kasim Reed.  For a long time, it has been my opinion that Atlanta needed an African-American mayor to avoid spurious charges of racism.  Freaknik, an annual party generally attended by college students from historically black colleges, was heavily curtailed by 1998 and ultimately relocated to Daytona Beach under Mayor Bill Campbell.  If he had been white, he would have been labeled "racist" and that would have been an unfair distraction from the actual debate.  As it was, he was labeled an "Uncle Tom" for doing so, even though residents of all colors agreed that it was getting out of hand.  He did what had to be done, all for good reasons, but I think the racial overtones would have not allowed a mayor to do the job properly.  That Atlanta seems ready to elect a white mayor is a good sign that the race issue is diminishing, but time will tell if Norwood is elected.

One issue-related referendum I’d like to point out is that in Maine (as liberal as they come in New England) they overturned a law (that had not taken effect  yet) that would legalize same-sex marriage.  By a 53-47 margin, the people rejected what the legislature had passed.  Yes, the people elected those legislators, but apparently the peoples’ representatives stopped representing them at some point.  As I understand it, when it comes to referendums, same-sex marriage is 0 for 31.  I’m detecting a trend.

And finally, in a much smaller race, blogger Scott Ott, evangelical Christian and author of the wonderful, satirical blog ScrappleFace, lost to the incumbent for County Executive of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania by the small margin of 49-51.  The election was decided by 1,000 votes among the 40,000 case.  Scott put up a great campaign, and for a first-time political-office-seeker, this is fantastic, and shows that his conservative principles, especially with regards to fiscal policy, hit a nerve.  I hope this is not the end of Scott’s political aspirations.

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