Is Christianity really the problem?

Judging by the outrage and accusations of persecution being perpetuated by Christians who are on a mission to institute a theocracy, you’d think there was a serious epidemic of Christian tyranny afoot.  But let’s be honest, is Christianity really the problem?

(FreeBeacon) — A prominent Saudi Arabian religious cleric declared that the Holocaust is an “exaggeration” and that Jewish people consume the blood of children during a wide-ranging interview with an Arabic television station.

[...]

“It is well known that the Jews celebrate several holidays, one of which is the Passover, or the matzos holiday,” he said.

“I read once about a doctor who was working in a laboratory. This doctor lived with a Jewish family. One day, they said to him: ‘We want blood. Get us some human blood,’” Al-Odeh explained.

“He was confused. He didn’t know what this was all about,” Al-Odeh says as the interviewer nods along. “He found that they were making matzos with human blood. They eat it, believing that this brings them close to their false god, Yahweh.”

Jewish people “would lure a child in order to sacrifice him in the religious rite that they perform during that holiday,” Al-Odeh adds.

(Algemeiner) — A Sky News Arabic correspondent in Cairo  confirmed that protestors belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood crucified  those opposing Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi naked on trees in front  of the presidential palace while abusing others. Likewise, Muslim  Brotherhood supporters locked the doors of the media production  facilities of 6-October [a major media region in Cairo], where they  proceeded to attack several popular journalists.

[...]

Last Wednesday, August 8, “thousands of the  Muslim Brotherhood’s supporters” attacked 6-October’s media facilities,  beat Khaled Salah—chief editor of the privately-owned and secular Youm 7 newspaper—prevented Yusif al-Hassani, an On TV broadcaster, from  entering the building, and generally “terrorized the employees.”

El Balad adds that the supporters of Tawfik Okasha, another vocal critic of President Morsi—the one who widely disseminated the graphic video of a Muslim apostate being slaughtered to cries of “Allahu  Akbar”—gathered around the presidential palace, only to be surrounded by  Brotherhood supporters, who “attacked them with sticks, knives, and  Molotov cocktails, crucifying some of them on trees, leading to the  deaths of two and the wounding of dozens.”

Far from condemning these terrorists, Al Azhar, Egypt’s most authoritative Islamic institution, has just issued a fatwa calling for more violence and oppression, saying that “fighting  participants in anti-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations planned for 24  August is a religious obligation.”

(CNSNews) — Senior Iranian cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami said  during Friday prayers in Tehran that the Israeli state will disappear  from the face of the world once Islamic unity is achieved in the Middle  East.

“Tehran’s interim Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ahmad Khatami says once unity is achieved in the Muslim world, the Zionist regime will disappear from the face of the world,” PressTV reported.

[...]

According to Iranian reports, many people marched in cities all  across Iran, chanting phrases such as ‘Death to U.S.,’ and ‘Death to  Israel.’

(Fox News) — Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said confronting Israel is an effort to “protect the  dignity of all human beings.”

“The existence of the Zionist regime is an insult to all humanity,”  Ahmadinejad said. He was addressing worshippers at Tehran University after  nationwide pro-Palestinian rallies, an annual event marking Quds (Jerusalem) Day  on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan.

[...]

The leader of the Lebanese Shiite militant Hezbollah, which has ties to Iran,  says his group will transform the lives of millions of Israelis to “hell” if  Israel attacks Lebanon.

Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah says the group has a list of Israeli targets that it  can hit with few rockets.

“We can transform the lives of millions of Zionists in occupied Palestine to  a real hell,” he said.

(Yahoo News) — Israel is a “cancerous tumour” that will soon be finished off, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday told demonstrators holding an annual protest against the existence of the Jewish state.

“The Zionist regime and the Zionists are a cancerous tumour. Even if one cell of them is left in one inch of (Palestinian) land, in the future this story (of Israel’s existence) will repeat,” he said in a speech in Tehran marking Iran’s Quds Day that was broadcast on state television.

“The nations of the region will soon finish off the usurper Zionists in the Palestinian land…. A new Middle East will definitely be formed. With the grace of God and help of the nations, in the new Middle East there will be no trace of the Americans and Zionists,” he said.

Not for nothing, but if you think you’re being persecuted because a Christian believes marriage is between one man and one woman, try being a Jew anywhere else in the world.  Seeing a cross gives you a headache so you want to sue to have it removed from a museum? Try suing to remove a crescent in an Arab museum and see how your head feels.

If you believe you are oppressed and harassed because a cross is visible in a museum; or you think you’re being persecuted because someone believes in natural marriage, you need a reality check on what oppression and persecution truly entail.

Comments

  1. There you go again with your misuse of the word natural. You’re being disingenuously malicious. Before you use it, define what you mean by “natural”. Incidence? Found in nature? Growing without human care?

    • Pink, I have defined my terms elsewhere in other posts. I realize you are new and aren’t necessarily familiar with the way I use terms, but I’m consistent and therefore won’t usually define all my terms in every post.

      But natural marriage is marriage between men and women. The long term coupling of opposite sex couples which naturally bring about the next generation. “Marriage” is the recognition of this relationship. Its not really controversial, no culture that I know of until the last decade or two, has ever included same sex coupling as marriage.

      I certainly hope you aren’t going to nitpick on my usage of the term natural marriage and ignore the point my post is making. I’d hate to think you’d offer a distraction like that.

      • I asked you to define the word “natural”- which you seem to be using incorrectly.
        Natural can mean occurring in nature or it can be used to signify high incidence amongst a few other things.

        Which definition are you using of the word natural?

        The greater point of your post is moot. One sort of persecution doesn’t make another sort of persecution less damaging. Two wrongs do not make a right.

        • Well what you are implying is that cannibalism or murder is natural for people since its found in nature among animals. I’m not going to allow this thread to be derailed the way the last one was.

          However for some people the threshold of what is considered persecution has been lowered to ridiculous standards.

        • I didn’t imply anything. I’m asking for YOUR definition of natural because “natural marriage” makes no sense. As little sense as “natural divorce”. Both of those things are human inventions and conventions. So I’m asking for clarification of your definition of marriage, otherwise your statement is absurd.

  2. artlesspoems says:

    Christian fundamentalists are the problem. They want to create a society where women are subservient to men and where gay people cannot enjoy the happiness and spiritual fulfillment of wedded bliss. In short, Christian fundamentalists are Muslim fundamentalists… only Christian.

    • Artless

      that’s just nonsense. Christians do not push for subjugation of women nor do they seek to prevent gays from participating in longterm, monogamous sexual relationships where they make vows to each other in a religious ceremony in the presence of family and friends.

      Opposing government endorsement of that is different from opposing their ability to do so.

      And your likening of Christianity to Islam in this respect is outright stupid. Islamic countries at the behest of the government behead homosexuals, never in the history of america even at its most influenced by Christianity has that ever been the case.

      • artlesspoems says:

        My comment wasn’t about Christians: It was about Christian fundamentalists. You need to read more carefully before making a foolish reply.

  3. “Opposing government endorsement of that is different from opposing their ability to do so.”
    No it isn’t, it’s exactly the same thing. You are trying to force government to adopt your particular version of Christianity as the law for all. You do that by promoting bans and illegalizations which force everyone to follow the tenets of your religion- thereby trampling on everyone else’s freedom of religion.

  4. I meant your definition of natural, not of marriage

  5. Definition of PERSECUTE

    1
    : to harass or punish in a manner designed to injure, grieve, or afflict; specifically : to cause to suffer because of belief
    2
    : to annoy with persistent or urgent approaches (as attacks, pleas, or importunities)

    Christians persecute groups that don’t submit to their ideology all the time and have done so consistently throughout history. Every year Christians spend (and make) millions on persecution. There are whole groups designed specifically to make money off of homophobia and limit the rights of free citizens. They do that by promoting pseudo-science by court recognized fraudsters like Paul Cameron.

  6. artless,
    Who are these “Christian fundamentalists”? Are you referring to Christians that have particular beliefs? Or Christians that participate in particular actions? Or Christians of particular denominations? Or just simply Christians that you think are acting rudely?

    This term “Christian fundamentalist” is usually used as a derogatory term, but from what I can tell, it is a term that is fairly synonymous with evangelical Christian. Are you lumping the two groups together or not?

  7. John,

    You sound like you are essentially trying to excuse the imposition of Christianity in the United States by pointing to the deplorable practices of other countries around the world.

    Christian ideology in this country imposes inequality in this country. Period.

  8. Z writes: “Christian ideology in this country imposes inequality in this country. Period.”

    I would rephrase your statement to this:
    Christian ideology in this country is the root of equality in this country. Period.

    When our founders wrote “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and are endowed with certain inalienable rights…” they had a distinctly Judeo-Christian view that men (and women) have equal INTRINSIC value due to the fact that they were made in the image of their Creator. No other worldview out there has any sort of a fundamental reason for valuing equality and freedom. Yes, Christians have screwed up. But without the underlying Judeo-Christian framework, we have no basis for the retention of equal rights. There is no basis for equality in naturalism. Humans are just highly evolved animals, right? Animals and humans certainly don’t have equal rights. So isn’t it true that some humans are more “evolved” than others? So why shouldn’t those humans be treated with greater dignity and values than those that are less “evolved”?

    Intrinsic value is a DERIVED property. It must come from somewhere. Humans can’t ascribe value to themselves – this is the way inequality starts. In order to be equal, humans must have value that is EXTRINSICALLY applied to them. Otherwise, value is just a powergrab. The big fish eat the little fish.

  9. John,

    It seems as though many of your erudite and learned readers have trouble actually understanding the point your are making in numerous recent posts.

    I will say that your point regardingthe “religion of peace” is well made. I would love to see the LGBTXYZPDQ activists set up shop in an islamic country and begin to protest in the way they do here.

    On a slightly different, but related, topic. I saw a billboard the other day supporting marriage equality for all people and not limiting the right to marry.

    I’ve found that when pressed these folks don’t actually want marriage equality for ALL and that they are quite specific about who’se marriage rights they are happy to limit.

    • Craig you’re right people seem to lately be trying to read between the lines instead of the words that are actually on the screen and thus are arguing against an entirely different point.

      Pink, on the 1 hand you ask me to define what I mean by natural marriage, I give you my definition, then argue against my definition. why don’t you take at face value what I mean and deal with the point rather than nitpick whether you think my definition is good enough.

      Frankly, if I was gay and an advocate for same sex marriage I would be embarrassed how to tell a holocaust survivor or a jew from the middle east that I was being persecuted because not everyone supports my sexuality.

  10. John,
    Your definition is factually incorrect. Natural doesn’t mean biblical. Natural means found in nature and it can used to mean the norm in regards to incidence.
    You are using the word wrongly (and disingenuously) to build a bridge between your ideology and what should be perceived as naturally occurring.
    And since you asked, yes, cannibalism and incest are natural occurrences.
    You’re committing the naturalistic fallacy, implying that just because something is “natural” it’s good. That’s false. Cancer is a natural occurrence, treatments for cancer like radiotherapy are not natural occurrences. Which is better?

    • Aahh, now I see the problem pink, you think I said natural = biblical. I didn’t make that argument, and in fact you will find no where on this blog me arguing against same sex marriage with a religious or Biblical argument. Stop trying to read between the lines.

      Secondly, I’m glad you agree that natural doesn’t mean good, I’ve been saying this for years. For the sake of the discussion, it doesn’t matter what definition I use for natural. I could have used the word quarterback. What’s important to the discussion is that you understand what I mean when I use the term natural marriage. I told you what I mean when I say it, now its your job to address the entirety of the post as it was intended and stop nitpicking what you consider a definitional opinion.

  11. Christian ideology is certainly NOT the root of equality in this country.

    When this country was founded, white men may have had equality, but women didn’t count and black men and women weren’t even considered people, but property. It was only through the evolution of society that we have been able to move forward, despite much objection from the religious community. Implying that societies can’t evolve based on your interpretation of “naturalism” is simply absurd.

  12. Aren’t Christians all about not “changing the definitions” of words? By saying “natural marriage”, you’re implying that that’s better than the alternatives.
    Which is it? Or are you trying to hide behind semantics?
    What you mean by natural marriage simply makes no sense. Your definition of natural marriage is your religious group’s BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION of marriage. And now you’re outright lying by saying you didn’t make that argument- all of your anti-gay arguments are based in your religion. Certainly not in logic or science.

    • Actually pink, your definition of natural falls properly in line with what I said. It is rare to find in nature samesex pairings. You might find isolated instances but as a rule its male/female. And humans being a part of nature, and human societies have for all time except until recently defined marriage as man/woman. So you lose on both points.

      Lastly, the more you read between the lines and try to figure out what I really mean, the less I will interact with you. I don’t care if you believe the root of posts on same sex marriage are driven by my religious ideology or not. The reality is the arguments are not based on religion, the bible, or Christianity. That must be imposed on my posts, not drawn from them.

  13. For future reference:
    nat·u·ral (nchr-l, nchrl)
    adj.
    1. Present in or produced by nature: a natural pearl.
    2. Of, relating to, or concerning nature: a natural environment.
    3. Conforming to the usual or ordinary course of nature: a natural death.

    Oh wait a second…. This means Christianity isn’t natural. It doesn’t exist in nature. It’s a learnt (or indoctrinated behaviour) and it’s also a minority behaviour.

  14. Z writes: “When this country was founded, white men may have had equality, but women didn’t count and black men and women weren’t even considered people, but property. It was only through the evolution of society that we have been able to move forward,”

    Ah, yes, of course. But when women and blacks began to be given rights, what was the BASIS for this? Why should society have bothered giving them rights? Do they have rights because of what the constitution says, or is there a deeper reason that you believe that all people are equal?

    To be quite frank, why should homosexuals be given equal rights in a purely Darwinian worldview? After all, a wide-spread propagation of this activity would result in the demise of the human race!

    Rights are derived. You should ask yourself what they are derived FROM.

  15. Christians persecute gays when they deny them the legal protections and privileges of marriage. “Believe” all you like so long as you don’t try to legislate against love. It’s just dishonest to suggest Christians are just quietly ‘believing’ in their corners. Own your views – you hate gays and want them to hate themselves, best by living lonely and loveless lives. Why hide your views behind some false victim complex about being persecuted for your ‘beliefs’? It must be because you know you’re wrong.

    As for the WTC cross, maybe you’ve got a point. This is something the atheist community isn’t entirely unified on. That’s a GOVERNMENT museum, not a private museum, hence the concern with establishing religion in government. You don’t see atheists trying to pull down calvary crosses on the side of the highway, so don’t claim it’s because we ‘get a headache’.

    And your comparisons to violent theocracies in other parts of the world are irrelevant to the US.

    • Jason

      You should talk to the gays I do know and talk to and ask how I treat them. You make a lot of assumptions that just aren’t true. I don’t hate gays but I guess that’s all you want to believe.

  16. I get it, Tumeyn, you’re trying to link rights and civility to your deity when there is none. Just like there’s no relationship between Darwinian evolution and civility within a society.

    Societies evolve because we have finally begun to recognize the oppressive ways of religious ideology.

    You keep trying to attribute this recognition to a god, not realizing that belief in that same god is what caused the oppression in the first place.

  17. “Actually pink, your definition of natural falls properly in line with what I said. It is rare to find in nature samesex pairings. You might find isolated instances but as a rule its male/female.”
    FALSE: Homosexuality is documented in 1500 species:

    http://www.news-medical.net/news/2006/10/23/20718.aspx

    Christianity is only found in one species, so if we’re going with the word natural, don’t forget Christianity is much less natural than homosexuality.

    “And humans being a part of nature, and human societies have for all time except until recently defined marriage as man/woman. So you lose on both points.”

    Also false. First you intentionally left out “one man and one woman” because you know I would make the polygamy argument since polygamy has existed on every continent. Gay marriages have existed throughout history. From ancient Egypt to Ancient Greece, in China (Fujian province), in Africa and even in North America amongst the native population.

    Your use of language is all about deception. You’re perverting language to pretend your traditions are “natural & good” and anything that doesn’t fit them is “unnatural & bad”. It’s funny that Christians who are supposed to have faith need to appeal to so much artifice and manipulation to justify their beliefs. If you believe, isn’t that enough? Why do you need to use double-talk and dissimulation to defend your position.

    You said “Aahh, now I see the problem pink, you think I said natural = biblical. I didn’t make that argument.” But when I asked you for your definition of “natural marriage”, your answer was “natural marriage is marriage between men and women. The long term coupling of opposite sex couples which naturally bring about the next generation.”- That’s your religion’s biblical definition. It’s not the Muslim definition, it’s not the Buddhist definition, it’s YOUR Christian denomination’s definition, it’s not even civil laws definition. So you did make that argument, and you did mean Christian marriage when you said natural marriage and denying it means you’re being deceptive.

    • No pink, homosexuality is not the prevailing sexuality in any species. I said you can find it in sparse instances, which is correct.

      Second I said natural marriage is between men and women, male and female. There you go again telling me what I intentionally did to avoid such and such. What is at issue is the pairing of the participants, not the number of them.

      Lastly, please tell me which society has permitted samesex marriage to qualify as a marriage recognized as marriage by society outside the past few decades of modernity. It doesn’t exist and it isn’t a christian imposition. Even in the most Buddhist of nations is marriage between opposite sex couples, in the most Muslim of nations is marriage between opposite sex couples, in the most Hindu of nations is marriage between opposite sex couples.

    • Pink

      Btw, I’m curious, if you asked my definition of murder it would likely match the bibles definition too, but that doesn’t mean I’m importing a biblical definition on the subject. You must really be so emotionally invested in painting any opposition to same ex marriage as religious hatred that you keep making me out to say something I’m not.

      • Do you know the difference between co-relation and causality?

        Your definition of “natural marriage” cannot be arrived at from logic. Your position is caused by religion, it’s not a coincidence that you always have to insert religious (non-secular) views to justify them.

        • Pink

          Why do you keep saying I’m inserting religious arguments I to this? I have done no such thing. YOU have made that claim. Religion is completely absent from my posts on samesex marriage.

        • LOL
          Okay. What is your non-religious argument against same-sex marriage?
          And please don’t use logical fallacies.

        • Pink

          Just look under the samesex marriage tab. There you’ll find an index of my posts on the subject. I implore you to find an argument from religion in any of them.

        • All of them are either fallacies or presuppose your religion as part of the premise.
          Give me just one non fallacious argument that isn’t based in religion. Just ONE!!!!

        • First of all there’s no way you read them all which mean you are presuming their content. Is that fallacious in some way? It also seems that any argument anyone makes is a fallacy according to you if they don’t hold your view. You’re ridiculous.

        • In fact pink, you are the most conversationally dishonest commenter I have ever had here.

  18. Tumeyn,
    Don’t disappoint me and appeal to fallacies: “To be quite frank, why should homosexuals be given equal rights in a purely Darwinian worldview? After all, a wide-spread propagation of this activity would result in the demise of the human race!”

    What in the world is that? How do you arrive at the absurd presumption that it would be widespread as to overtake heterosexuality? It’s something present in minorities. From an evolutionary perspective we know gay men are invariably born from mothers who have higher fertility rates than their mother’s in law. That means there’s an evolutionary purpose at work similar to brood reduction. A highly fertile woman will have more children, by having a gay child that will decrease future brood size and consequently make sustaining the family easier.
    From a social perspective the same is true. LGBT people who don’t reproduce have more resources (time or money etc.) to contribute to the family unit. I know this from personal experience. When my mother-in-law had vascular dementia, it was us the gay-couple who had the resources and time to care for her.

  19. Z,
    No, I don’t think you really do “get it”. Either people have rights for a reason, or people’s rights are arbitrary and can be trampled on whenever it is convenient.

    If you believe that people have rights for a reason, then I would like you to articulate that reason. I’ve given you my reason. I want to hear yours.

    You see, a worldview should pass two tests: Is it true? Does it work? I’m asserting that Christianity passes both of those tests. Darwinism passes only one of those tests, so far as I’m aware. It explains only a piece of reality, but offers no comprehensive opinions on the way we should therefore carry out our lives. See this link for a great list of countries that have embraced atheism. Do you wish that the US would emulate any of these?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_atheism

    The Christian worldview not only is true, but it has resulted in the gradually expanding freedom, creativity, and charity that has described the US for the past 250 years.

  20. Tumeyn,
    How about logical reasoning and goodness? Your statement implies that non-Christian countries would be less moral than countries where there are more Christians. That isn’t true. Christian morality is arbitrary, logical morality counts on reason. Christian morality is so arbitrary and dependent on interpretation it has been used to support slavery, the death penalty, the subjugation of women and is now currently used to marginalize the lgbt community.

  21. Tumeyn,

    I don’t believe I’m trying to make an argument for state-sponsored atheism. I just think that society is fully capable of establishing rights for people to treat people fairly. You are simply trying to claim that there rights come from or are inspired by a deity and that’s just not the case.

    Darwinism has absolutely nothing to do with how we treat people and it’s just dishonest for you to keep claiming it does.

    Are you actually trying to credit Christianity for advancements in women’s rights and civil rights in the US over the past hundred years?

  22. Tumeyn,
    Your “logic” goes both ways because Christian states have done horrors in the name of Christianity. Apart from that I’d note that Communist Atheist states didn’t murder in the name of atheism, they murdered in the name of political totalitarianism (generally communism). Christian states murdered people for not following Christianity.

    In short, 809 million people have died in religious wars. That’s nearly a billion people.
    This retort that secular ideals and Godless Communism have killed many more is factually incorrect. It is true that Stalin, among others, slaughtered his own people by the millions during the industrialization of Soviet Russia. By comparison, 209 million have died in the name of Communism. Some 62 million died during World War II, civilian and military, on all sides. Conclusively, more people have died in the name of religion than in the name of Communism or Hitler, or the two combined times two.

  23. “No pink, homosexuality is not the prevailing sexuality in any species. I said you can find it in sparse instances, which is correct.”
    PERFECT example of a Straw-man fallacy. I never said it was prevailing. It’s a minority behaviour documented in 1500 species. Prevalence does not prove whether something is good or bad. Only 1 to 2% of the population has red hair. That’s neither good or bad.

    “Second I said natural marriage is between men and women, male and female. There you go again telling me what I intentionally did to avoid such and such. What is at issue is the pairing of the participants, not the number of them.”
    There’s no such thing as “natural marriage”. There you are inventing language attempting to make human convention part of nature. It’s deceptive. An attempt at fraud.

    “Lastly, please tell me which society has permitted samesex marriage to qualify as a marriage recognized as marriage by society outside the past few decades of modernity. ”
    In North America, among the Native Americans societies, same-sex unions have taken the form of Two-Spirit relationships. Amongst the Romans, there were instances of same-sex marriages being performed, as evidenced by emperors Nero and Elagabalus.
    In Egypt there’s even a pharaonic tomb for a gay couple, showing the relationship was approved by the pharaoh. Same sex marriages also existed in Ancient Greece and China (orchid marriages: lesbians & Fujian marriages: men).

    I’m not crediting Christianity with women’s rights or civil rights because many, MANY Christians fought against both. Southern Baptists were wholly against civil rights for African Americans in the name of their Christianity.

    • Pink, I am beginning to think I’m wasting my time on you here. You seem really keen on taking discussions down rabbit trails. You misrepresent my point and put words in my mouth, seemingly intentionally. So before I begin responding rudely, I’ll just forgo this discussion with you.

  24. Z writes: ” I just think that society is fully capable of establishing rights for people to treat people fairly.”

    Really? What do you mean by “society”? If you mean “country”, then you obviously haven’t studied 20th century history. Would you say the same thing if you were a citizen of Russia under Joseph Stalin? Or Pol Pot? Or Mao Ze-Dong? Humans are perfect INCAPABLE of establishing rights for people. Hence, the success of the American experiment. We base our rights on the fact that God created us with equal intrinsic value. No other political system has an underpinning that allows them to say this.

    “Darwinism has absolutely nothing to do with how we treat people”
    I agree. Darwinism alone gives you no basis for morality. So where do you get your morality from? What underpins your belief that all people should be treated equal? Certainly not all people DESERVE to be treated equal. Some people are just a$$holes. They DESERVE nothing more than to be trampled on by society. What should stop us from doing so?
    People don’t EARN their rights – they are GRANTED their rights. But who grants them? A single person in power? No, that’s how we end up with dictatorships. The majority? No, that’s how the rights of minorities get oppressed.

    I say rights are granted by the only “person” with authority to grant rights: The creator. Anything else results in chaos.

    ***When people truly believe that all men are created in God’s image, whose rights are trampled on? No one’s.

  25. 1. Your absurd assertion referencing pedophilia & bestiality: Slippery Slope Fallacy: http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/slippery-slope.html
    2. Your assertion that gay marriage has never existed, apart from being false is the argument from antiquity fallacy: http://www.logicalfallacies.info/relevance/appeals/appeal-to-tradition/
    3. Your arguments about “nature”, apart from misusing the word nature it’s a naturalistic fallacy: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Naturalistic_fallacy

    Fallacies are BAD REASONING. They are dishonest because they do not prove what you are pretending they prove. It’s either ignorant or dishonest. I’m still not sure which is your category.

    • Not every slippery slope is fallacious, pointing out a fact of history is not a fallacy, and describing nature is not a fallacy. Is there one in there about over generalizations and conflation? I bet there is.

      Thanks for the discussion. You have proven your goal is contentiousness, not discourse. Perhaps someone else will indulge you, but because of your persistent misconstruing of my views, I no longer will.

  26. No it’s not fallacious. Fallacious is an error in reasoning. I’ve seen your line of argumentation and it’s not even “your” argumentation, you’re parroting the same old Christian fundamentalist lines that have been debunked again and again and again- ad nauseum.

  27. 1. Slippery slope IS a fallacy in this case. Gay marriage exists in a number of countries and there are solid arguments against pedophilia and bestiality and polygamy. Countries that have adopted gay marriage have had no problem whatsoever rejecting pedophilia, bestiality and polygamy because we can reason against them with easy concepts like informed consent and equality of citizens.

    2. Describing nature (in your case incorrectly) when it doesn’t support your point IS A FALLACY. You’re not even describing nature. Homosexuality exists in nature; When you say nature and then give us a religious snap-shot of your doctrine you’re trying to fool people into believing that your religion is “natural” and gets to define what is normal behaviour according to your doctrine.

    3. Describing history (incorrectly) if you’re trying to make an argument and your conclusion is not supported by your premise IS A FALLACY. The point being that if something existed in history or not doesn’t make it necessarily good or bad. Your argument implies that because something is historical it’s good. That’s false. Slavery is a historical tradition. Here you try to fool people by implying (wrongly) that because gay-marriage never existed we should not consider it.

    My point isn’t contentiousness, it’s to stop the fraudulent use of language and the abuse of logic.

  28. Tumeyn,

    “Society” does not mean “government” or “country”. See – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society

    You seem to be firmly entrenched in the idea that morality comes from a deity and I guess nothing I can ever say will ever get you to think otherwise.

    Here are some other things that your starry eyed vision prohibits you to understand:

    – The rights of people are constantly being subverted worldwide in the name of god, even when they insist that we are “created in god’s image”.
    – Your god obviously did not create all people equally. If you really want to take up an argument for “equality” as it relates to your god, try to explain the complete variation and lack of equality in abilities and capabilities of all humans born all over the world.

  29. Z writes: “Your god obviously did not create all people equally. If you really want to take up an argument for “equality” as it relates to your god, try to explain the complete variation and lack of equality in abilities and capabilities of all humans born all over the world.”

    That’s EXACTLY my point! Our value CANNOT be attributed to abilities and capabilities. I never claim that we were created with equal ability and capabilities. Rather, I say that our value is INDEPENDENT of these characteristics. Our value is something completely “other” than our physical abilities and aptitudes. I think that you and I agree on this point. But I’m not sure WHY we agree.

    I’m claiming that we are equal because all of us (the rich and the poor, the strong and the weak) all bear the image of God and are loved by God. I’m still waiting for you to articulate why you believe mankind is equal. All the atheistic cultures of history (that I’m aware of) have a reputation for slaughtering the weak and unfit. This is exactly what I would predict from Darwinism.

    Once again, I’ll make the statement: THERE IS NO BASIS FOR EQUAL RIGHTS IN AN ATHEISTIC SOCIETY. Please show me otherwise.

    I’m not defending Christianity through the ages. I’m defending the core belief in equality present in America today. I don’t see any defense of equality that you have yet raised. Again, I’ll ask, why do you believe that all men are equal?

  30. Folks, ya gotta stop feeding the troll!

    • Kunoichi

      You’re right, but something in me likes to argue. However I think some people cannot fathom that an argument can be made sans religion against samesex marriage and so see it even if its not there.

  31. Do you really believe that communities of non-believers are truly not capable of being fair, promoting equality and being “good” on their own?

    Do you really think that atheism is not compatible with compassion or that atheists can’t have any reason to promote equality in a community?

    Again, we’re not talking about government here and I’m not promoting communism or a totalitarian state.

    People should behave the way they would like to be treated and if they act otherwise, they should expect the same towards them in return. Again, Darwinian evolution has nothing to do with how we treat people. You seem to be hung up on trying to relate atheism with “survival of the fittest” and have difficulty understanding that we can easily pair non-belief with equal rights.

    • Z

      You continually miss the point. No one is saying atheists can’t behave or be good or seek for equality. The argument is there is nothing about the atheist view that requires these things. There is nothing in the atheist view which prevents a change of mind on these issues. And there is nothing in the atheist view which is violated if all of a sudden everyone decides to misbehave.

  32. The non-believer can behave himself because he wants to, plain and simple. There are repercussions in place in every society for those who behave otherwise and everyone knows that. That’s why we have laws and generally people abide by them.

    That’s a ridiculous argument, John. There is nothing requiring even the Christian to “behave” themself. After all, it’s all about belief, not behavior. In their head, they are already forgiven, regardless of their behavior and the societal or legal repercussions. There’s nothing to stop the Christian from “misbehaving”.

  33. “The argument is there is nothing about the atheist view that requires these things. There is nothing in the atheist view which prevents a change of mind on these issues. And there is nothing in the atheist view which is violated if all of a sudden everyone decides to misbehave.”

    There is nothing in the Christian view that requires these things either because Christianity is interpretational. There are 38,000 Christian denominations, each with their own version of “truth”. Each calling each other immoral or heretical. Sometimes even killing each other to defend their alleged “truth”.

    “There is nothing in the atheist view which prevents a change of mind on these issues. And there is nothing in the atheist view which is violated if all of a sudden everyone decides to misbehave.”

    False. Atheists believe in personal responsibility. We are individually responsible for being honest, compassionate, kind, generous, helpful and for contributing to society positively. We don’t need archaic ignorant books to guide us in that respect. We do it because we can recognize through reason that we should not cause harm to others. Murder was a crime in most cultures long before Christianity existed. Human beings are capable of understanding and morality without the need to resort to fantasy and mythology.

  34. Oh how I love the “It happens in nature therefore it’s natural” argument. This argument opens the door to all sorts of behaviors that we see in nature, yet don’t condone in humans.

    Oh I stand in awe before that vast reservoir of Logic and Reason being displayed here.

  35. Z,
    You are dodging the question again. I’m beginning to think that you really don’t have an answer or are embarrassed of your answer. I’ll ask you strait up: Do you believe that all people have equal value? Yes or No.
    (of course, the followup question is: Why?)

    I’ve given you my answer. I’ve given you my reason. You disagree but you offer no alternative. Either you have a coherent, logical worldview that promotes equality or you don’t. I’m beginning to think that you don’t.

    See, the thing that I find incredibly attractive about Christianity is the fact that it ties together many aspects of our lives into a cohesive view of reality. Let me explain. Atheism tells you what NOT to believe (God), but it doesn’t tell you what TO believe about many key aspects of life: morality, origins, value, purpose. Christianity, on the other hand, describes a lot:

    1) Where did I come from? Biologically, I came from dirt (ie, evolution) and spiritually/metaphysically I am a child of God.
    2) Who am I? I’m a being who is intricately designed to reflect God’s image
    3) What is my purpose here? To serve God and serve others
    4) What’s my key problem? Selfishness – at my core I want to serve myself rather than serve God and others.
    5) What’s my pathway to success? Admitting that I can’t solve my key problem by myself. I need Him to solve it for me.
    6) How do I treat others? I treat them for who they are: Image-bearers of the creator, just like me. I don’t treat others like they treat me.
    7) How do I respond to my enemies? I love them and pray for them. I remind myself that God is just. The universe, as unfair as it seems, will be made right in the end. Injustices will not go unpunished. I treat my enemies in the same way that God has treated me on the countless times that I have rejected Him and spit in His face.
    8) How do I respond to tragedy? I recognize that throughout the ages (both inside and outside the Bible), God has worked to accomplish amazing things through tragedy. Tragic events are not without purpose or meaning. Life is not arbitrary and capricious. The death of Christ is the ultimate example of this.
    9) What’s my hope for the future? That God is in the process of remaking and perfecting his creation. The resurrection of Jesus is a glimpse of life re-made and restored. It’s the true “ending” injected into history.

    Z, I’ve tried to tell you this before in a variety of ways. You keep pointing to individual areas where Christianity doesn’t add up or where Christians have screwed up in the past (or where we screw up in the present). That’s fine. I don’t expect Christianity to explain everything. I don’t expect Christians to “get it right” all the time (see point #7 above). But in spite of all that, Christianity makes so much sense because it ties together almost all the various aspects of life into a beautiful, meaningful, and coherent view of reality. Atheism just can’t even hold a candle to the worldview described above.

    By the way, I’d love to see you answer all these questions from an atheistic perspective. The results might be rather enlightening.

  36. That’s a lot in your post, T – and I suspect that John might not be comfortable rerouting his conversation.

    Please email me your email address at zqtx@yahoo and we’ll chat. Thx

  37. Craig,
    I didn’t say that because something happens in nature it’s good. In fact, I explained the opposite. John is who implies natural is good by saying “natural marriage”.
    You need to brush up on your reading comprehension.

  38. Pink,
    Yet folks on your side frequently make the argument that “homosexuality” is natural therefore it must be good. Seems like it’s an arbitrary line to support your predilection, while discriminating against others. You state that “homosexuality” is present in 1500 species, OK. What % of those species are exclusively “homosexual”? simply because some tiny % of a given species engages in behavior that is superficially similar to a tiny segment of the human population does not signify any sort of linkage or validation.
    Another argument I am seeing in the debate on marriage is that the (or at least a significant) defining element of homosexual relationships is “love”. Are you suggesting that a male dog who mounts another male dog is “in love”? Or perhaps he is simply looking to assert dominance.

    Anyway, my point in bringing this up is that it’s a silly argument. As you pointed out not everything in nature is good (although I’d guess a Darwin fan might disagree), so your left back where you started. Having to explain why the “it happens in nature” makes your behavior of choice good, while it doesn’t confer similar legitimacy on other behaviors.

    So, if y’all want to keep on with bad arguments go ahead. I guess if folks think that y’all are really for “marriage equity for all” then “some dogs do it sometimes” is pretty convincing as well.

  39. I prefer the term, “real marriage,” as opposed to “fake marriage.” What is real is what is true, what conforms to reality. Reality for the thousands of years of human existence has defined marriage as the union of opposite sex individuals.

    “Natural” as more than one definition, but apparently our top-notch scholar doesn’t permit the others. So I will give the other definitions according to Webster (1 being as Pink describes; all are as adjective):

    2. According to the stated course of things. Poverty and shame are the natural consequences of certain vices.

    3. Not forced; not far fetched; such as is dictated by nature. The gestures of the orator are natural.

    4. According to the life; as a natural representation of the face.

    5. Consonant to nature. Fire and warmth go together, and so seem to carry with them as natural an evidence of self-evident truths themselves. Locke

    6. Derived from nature, as opposed to habitual. The love of pleasure is natural; the love of study is usually habitual or acquired.

    7. Discoverable by reason; not revealed; as natural religion.

    8. Produced or coming in the ordinary course of things, or the progress of animals and vegetables; as a natural death; opposed to violent or premature.

    9. Tender; affectionate by nature. Shak

    10. Unaffected; unassumed; according to truth and reality. What can be more natural than the circumstances of the behavior of those women who had lost their husbands on this fatal day? Addison

    11. Illegitimate; born out of wedlock; as a natural son

    12. Native; vernacular; as one’s natural language. Swift

    13. Derived from the study of the works of nature; as natural knowledge.
    Addison

    14. A natural note, in music, is that which is according to the usual order of the scale; opposed to flat and sharp notes, which are called artificial.

  40. Craig,
    “Yet folks on your side frequently make the argument that “homosexuality” is natural therefore it must be good.”
    Wrong, we simply respond to Christians who try to hijack the word natural by using it in a deceptive manner. Natural is neither good nor bad on face value, but we can see from the text above the author is using that terminology to bolster his anti-gay position.

    “You state that “homosexuality” is present in 1500 species, OK. What % of those species are exclusively “homosexual”? simply because some tiny % of a given species engages in behavior that is superficially similar to a tiny segment of the human population does not signify any sort of linkage or validation.”

    The response refutes the unnatural allegation. Nothing more, nothing less.
    Gays didn’t start the “natural” debate. It’s a Christian line which is used against gays and it’s an abuse of language. A con-job.

  41. Glenn,
    Natural has a number of meanings, that’s why I ASKED JOHN TO TELL ME WHICH ONE HE WAS USING.
    Then I used his definition to formulate my response.

    The trickery and dissimulation used by fraudsters in this case is pretending they mean “in nature” when they actually mean “minority behaviour”. They know that if they said minority their statement wouldn’t have the same effect.

  42. Thank you so very much for your timely complete and helpful answers, I now completely understand your position.

    It is interesting though that I’ve never actually heard anyone but homosexual apologists make the “animals do it” argument.

    It is also interesting that you consider the argument settled by simply stating that “homosexuality” is present in 1500 species. It seems as though one poor confused buck who mounts another is enough to add deer to the list of 1500 species.

    It’s also interesting that (at least in cattle) a “homosexual” bull who mounts another bull is likely to get gored, which is also natural. Maybe the bulls are smarter than we are.

    I’m pleased to see that your threshold for refutes is so high, befitting one of your intellectual stature.

    Again, you want to make a silly arguement feel free.

    Back in my stats class we were warned not to draw any significant cnclusions from a tiny percentage of a sample. I guess that was wrong.

  43. Craig,
    You’re confusing two things. Gay activists don’t defend homosexuality by saying “animals do it”. We respond to the anti-gay Christian allegations that homosexuality is “unnatural” by explaining it is natural.

    As for animals we’re not talking about confusion. A variety of animals pair with same-gender animals not only for sex but with an emotional bond. Penguins for example not only bond emotionally but raise abandoned eggs. All of that goes to the “naturalness” of homosexuality.

    If Christians stop wrongly using the term unnatural, we’re happy to leave the natural kingdom out of the debate.

    • Two things. Animals don’t talk so an animal’s “emotional” state must be inferred from human emotion involved with parallel behavior. So let’s not extrapolate too far in assuming what animals are feeling.

      Second, even if true homosexuality is found in 1500 species, so what. That’s nothing. There are millions of species. It doesn’t even generate a blip on the radar. So let’s not hang our hats on micro percentages to carry a broad point.

  44. I’m not extrapolating anything. Scientists have observed animals forming bonds and maintaining relationships (sometimes even monogamous) with same-sex partners. That’s an emotional bond. Mourning for example can be observed in animals and denotes an expression of emotion.

    As for the number of species, that’s really irrelevant. The point is that it is OBSERVED IN THE NATURAL WORLD. IT EXISTS IN NATURE- which makes the unnatural line a crock.

    • Pink

      If you’re saying that whether something occurs in nature has no bearing g on whether it is good or bad, then it is irrelevant to the discussion and is thus a red herring on your point(I know how much you hate fallacies)

      Second when I say natural marriage I am not making a moral distinction, but rather a description, which further means homosexuality imported into the discussion as natural is irrelevant.

      You’re full of fallacies this morning. You should take a refresher on fallacies.

      • It’s Christians who constantly throw around the word “unnatural”- Kirk Cameron did it for all of America to see.

        You can’t misuse a word and then complain when what you say is proved false.

        When you mix categories and say things like “natural-marriage” you’re also doing it to deceive by associating two words that have no connection. That’s not descriptive it’s a fraudulent representation appealing to the naturalistic fallacy. You want to make people think that your definition of marriage is “natural” and therefore correct, and any other definition is “unnatural” and therefore bad.

  45. I can’t speak on it fully, but I believe when the term “unnatural” is used to defend against the activist, it is meant to suggest what nature intended. Nature isn’t perfect, as we see defect and disorder all the time. But the presence of two genders suggests that the natural order, the intent of nature, is for each gender to unite with the other. Thus, it is unnatural for one to be attracted to another of the same gender, as it is contrary to nature’s intent, or the design of the parties involved.

  46. Pink,

    Realizing that you apparently speak for all gay activists, I disagree I have had numerous conversations where gay apologists do exactly why you deny happens. Perhaps some clarity or humility on your part might be in order. Further, as animals are unable to communicate with us any motives or emotions ascribed to them are at best projections based on the biases of the observer. As I pointed out just because animals engage in behaviors that are superficially similar to human homosexuals, does not demonstrate any equality between the two behaviors. You continue to ignore the fact that in many cases the “homosexual behavior” is not “same sex attraction” but an expression of dominance, which certainly skews the comparison. Further, you are still extrapolating your point based on a behavior engaged in by a tiny minority or any given species, said number is a tiny minority of the total species.

    While penguins do seemingly bond (this is inferred due to the communication problems mentioned earlier) with members of the same gender while nurturing their eggs, this is in a larger context where the males and females switch responsibilities as a part of a larger group. It seems a leap to equate this with a human relationship. not to mention that the actual mating process does involve the girl penguins, a fact that doesn’t provide as much support for your position.

    I’ll give you credit, you’re not dodging as much as earlier.

    It’s still a bad argument, and I still hear gay activists make it unprovoked.

  47. Marshal,
    Thanks. You’ve hit it on the head. When someone says ““unnatural” is used to defend against the activist, it is meant to suggest what nature intended. – that’s exactly what I’ve been repeating over and over again.
    When someone says “what nature intends”, they’re not talking about nature, because nature itself has no intent, they’re talking about god.
    Nature is just what’s out there, good, bad, horrible etc. Nature includes murder, infanticide and the like. When “intent” enters the discussion they’re then mixing another idea into the concept, the idea of “design” (and therefore a designer) but that’s not nature.

    Craig,
    You still haven’t got my point. The talk about nature is only to refute accusations of unnatural.

  48. Pink,

    You haven’t apparently gotten my point(s).
    1. The “animals do it” argument gets used by pro gay apologists independent of any thing else.
    2. You brought it up and it’s a bad argument, and you haven’t actually refuted anything.
    3. Your threshold must be incredibly low if your argument hinges on unsupported assumptions about motive and emotions in a tiny percentage of animals in a tiny percentage of species.

  49. Pink,

    Of course there is intent in nature. Do you suppose that living beings are intended to die out or? Or perhaps you suppose that they are. In either case, there is intent in nature and its design. I believe you are stumbling over the concept as if it must mean a conscious intent as in one’s intention to take a bath or have lunch or have lunch in the bath. That is not my meaning, but finding a word more specific to the point isn’t easy, nor should it be mandatory in such a discussion unless you are trying to limit arguments to only those that serve your premise. Do we really need to paint a picture, or can we simply talk together and not beat each other over semantics?

  50. Marshal,
    I did have the impression that you meant conscious intent. I don’t think we could classify everything else that happens as even unconscious intent. Are animals intended to kill other animals?
    It’s not really intent. It’s just what happens on a complex planet with animals that have varying degrees of intelligence.

    Craig,
    How many times do I need to point out that it’s Christians who brought and continue to bring the word natural into the debate?

  51. Pink,

    How many times must I point out that you don’t speak for all Christians, nor do you speak for all gay apologists. While I don’t suggest that your experience in these kinds of things is invalid, my experience is the the pro gay apologists trot this pile of crap out regularly and further insist that natural=good. Maybe if you’d realize the limitations with which you speak things would be more clear.

    Again I’m still waiting for how your appeal to a minute percentage of animals in a minute percentage of species refutes anything.

    Or you can just keep insisting that your blanket statement describes the entire reality of the subject and move on.

  52. Pink,

    Conscious or otherwise, there is intent, purpose or design involved in nature. Removing these words is a semantic trick that serves to give one license to behave in a manner that is contrary to them.

    Are animals intended to kill other animals? Of course they are. For those that are meat-eaters, they do it for food. For others, for survival if the predator will not desist in preying upon them. It is not a new notion to hear of animals being equipped for the purpose, either.

    But again, you refuse to accept the term because it suggests there is a logic to how we should act as opposed to how we often do. It suggests benefits of certain decisions and choices and negative consequences for others that are contrary to design and intent of nature. We have the ability to act in accordance with or in opposition to logic, reason and the intended design of our bodies or anything else. The results prove one and disprove the other.

    As to the concept of “natural”, I do not reject this word at all. Regardless of what Craig is saying (and I don’t necessarily disagree), I have no problem owning this at all. But like Craig suggests, it is the activist that uses the “happens in nature” angle to attempt to contradict the argument that homosexual attraction is unnatural. But the traditional side does not use the term in this manner, especially since the attraction in nature is also unnatural. Two genders that are complimentary and compatible to and with each other suggests that they were created, intended, designed (or whatever term suits your sensibilities) to unite. That “penguins do it” only shows that the disorder exists in nature as well.

    One more thing especially for you…

    Your condescending crack about time not being what I lack might make you feel you’ve scored points, but only demonstrates a lack of class and desire to truly engage on an honest level. If you wish to trade quips, I’m more than capable. But I’m trying to remain civil considering your “newness” to this blog. With two days in the work week gone, I’ve logged just under 24 hours already. I fall behind in blog discussions easily as a result. Lucky for you. But I do attempt to avoid leaving “loose ends” where the job gets in the way. So you might want to check past posts now and then to see if I’ve gotten the chance to finish a thought or deal with a response of yours. I’m still intending to demonstrate how your understanding of logic and fallacy is not matched by your comments.

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