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The Danger of Lip Service

For a long time now, the Democratic Party Leadership has held the dogmatic view that they believe that “marriage should be between a man and a woman.” During the 2008 Presidential campaign every Democratic candidate echoed those words with the exception of the two long shot candidates Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel.

While most people realize that the two frontrunners, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton probably didn’t believe the rhetoric, they nevertheless dogmatically echoed those words. Now Obama is President and Clinton is Secretary of State. When asked about this issue, both still dogmatically echo the opinion that “marriage should be between a man and a woman.” Whether they believe the words they are saying or not I don’t care. The problem is that it provides cover for those who really do hold to the opinion that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.

On Tuesday, the still Miss California, Carrie Prejean, restated her view that only “opposite marriage” should be considered marriage and to support this claim, she stated that her belief on this matter was no different than that of the President of the United States and the Secretary of State. Now if we want to criticize the position of Carrie Prejean and her new best friends at the National Organization for Marriage, we have to also criticize the President. The National Organization for Marriage is betting on the President’s popularity and so they don’t think civil liberty supporters will touch that.

Well, I will touch that. The President is WRONG! And his statements, which he almost certainly doesn’t actually even believe are now being used to fuel hate. Just as the beliefs of liberal Christians provide the cover for the hate spewed by the Religious Right. In the case of the liberal Christians however, they do believe some of their brand of bullshit, but still by claiming that the Bible is some how a holy book inspired by the Creator of the Universe, they are providing legitimacy to the Religious Right’s claim of doing God’s work by demonizing same-gender relations, sex education, contraception, and the sciences of evolution, stem cell research, and global climate change.

I’m sorry, but the Bible is not a holy book, homosexuals should be allowed to marry, and good meaning people who believe that the Bible is a holy book or who play lip service to the Religious Right on the issue of gay marriage even when they don’t really believe those things are just as much to blame as those who really do believe those things. If someone claims that the Bible is a holy book, than they are against same-gender marriage. This is the case whether they realize it or not. I know there are a lot of Christians out there who claim to support same-gender marriage, but if they put the Bible up on a pedestal, than they are actively working against that view.

I think the President should be ashamed for not speaking his real opinion on these matters. And those liberal Christian believers also be ashamed for holding up the Bible as a holy book when most of it is filled with hate. By claiming that it is holy, they are also claiming that homosexuality is an abomination.

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  • Mr. X

    “Law 45: Preach the need for change, but never reform too much at once.” -Robert Greene, “The 48 Laws of Power”

    I think this may go back to the whole “chess vs. checkers” question. Maybe Obama doesn’t believe what he’s saying, but knows that admitting it would hurt his “numbers” too much, in this backwards-ass nation of ours.

    People need time to acclimate to things. My personal projection – more states will legalize gay marriage, and/or civil unions; and as a greater consensus emerges, a federal law recognizing these unions will probably be passed, eventually.

    In “The Political Brain,” Drew Westen (a partisan Democrat, and proud) discussed this topic at some length. He pointed out that the old, hard-core conservatives will need time to absorb the reality: recognizing homosexual unions will NOT result in the dissolution of our society, our culture, our nation’s “moral fabric,” etc. etc. Once people have had time to SEE that their old superstitions are wrong, those superstitions will be far less defensible.

    I think Obama and Hillary “get” all this, and are treading lightly, for now.

    Maybe in a few years, he’ll be saying, “I believe that marriage should be defined as one man and one woman…but it is not my place to force unpopular and unwanted moral legislation on this nation of Christians, Muslims, Jews, and non-believers, etc. etc. etc. …”

    (And now, this is the cue for someone to say something stupid about Kool-Aid. Don’t let me down!)

    • Scott

      ^^ I agree with this post. Due to the fact we are a democracy, our president can only be president so long as he positions himself properly to maximize votes. Perhaps after he gets reelected, he might be more willing to do more risky things such as confronting the issue of gay marriage.

  • http://yahoo Ed Baker

    Stachs ,my friend .
    This is one subject that many people are not going to change their opinion to this lifestyle . Many victims of homosexual crimes are not ever going to reverse their feelings some have Hatred and some juist have an overwhelming fear …. I know how passionate you are on this but you can`t legislate how people should Feel about something. If that were the case ,the religious people would have enacted laws TODAY … that we Atheist should feel the bible is TRUE or face the consequences .I know of some people who were sexually attacked as children by homosexual predators and are fervently against gays even existing . (I was was attacked as a child Twice !!Once,by a gay teenage boy and almost by a homosexual priest .. So my friend you touched a subject with No winnable argument . This is added to religion and,Politics ,when it comes to a no-win situation.I feel for your cause but just because we are Atheists we should not take on every cause to swell our numbers .Lets first get accepted as non-believers ,then let those who want to fight for other causes do so ,without setting rules to be accepted by our Peers …..I mean this in a constuctive way .. I accept that there are gays and they are good people but I am only one person . Those who endured more trauma than myself will never forgive or accept .

    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

      During the sixties, most of the country was against integrating blacks and whites into the same schools. Blacks actually had to be escorted into school by police. But it was the right thing to do even though much of the country was against it. Today less of the country is against gay marriage than was against integration at that time.

      This is part of the atheist cause in my view! The main group of people who are against gay marriage is overwhelmingly fundamental Christians. Our fight and the gay community’s fight for rights are intertwined. We must stand with our gay friends and help them with their fight and they will help us with our fight.
      -Staks

    • existential blues

      > Many victims of homosexual crimes

      There are more victims of heterosexual crimes (by which you mean sexual abuse) than there are of homosexual crimes. Would then every girl who has been abused by a male relative be against heterosexual marriage?

      I’m sorry that your unfortunate experience left you with a prejudice against gays, as if whoever attacked you represents gays in general. I hope whites who have been attacked by blacks, Jews who have been attacked by Catholics, etc. don’t feel the same way as you do.

      In any case, the tide is rapidly moving in the direction of gay’s having marriage rights. Maine — who would have predicted? And the New Hampshire legislature?

      Gays have been married legally for a number of years in Massachusetts. None of the problems imagined by the fearful and the bigots have materialized.

    • http://www.myspace.com/rothtalltales Tralf

      I dated a girl (age 20 when I was 23) who was molested by her brother for 7 years (age 7-14). Was his crime, being “straight” in nature, any less egregious? No. Rape is rape. Do not equate consensual homosexual sex with rape. It’s ignorant in the extreme.

      Randy

  • http://www.myspace.com/itsahicke Her3tiK

    Where is it written we’re not allowed to criticize the people we elected into positions of power? Just because (what’s left of) the GOP considers it heresy doesn’t mean the rest of us do. I disagree with the prez on this, the war, the bailouts, paying attention to the right at this point, and a myriad of other things. Just because they refuse to criticize (or think, it would seem sometimes), doesn’t mean we have to as well.

  • http://www.atheistinsurgency.com Atheist Insurgency

    What is the incentive to marry? What are the benefits of marriage? Who is dictating and enforcing laws and privileges regarding married people to the exclusion of individuals? From where did this magical social status value come that is associated with being married? Insurance companies that bestow benefits to spouses? Marriage is a form of social engineering that needs to be reevaluated, or stopped entirely.

  • http://myspace.com/blackhawk089 Matt

    “when most of it is filled with hate” Deceitful words Staks, but I don’t want to go there…just pointing out it is deceitful, we will undoubtedly never solve that issue.

    You know what I find so ridiculously hilarious with this whole homosexuality controversy. Even homosexual couples….act like straight couples. What do I mean? Watch them. One will be the “male figure” and one will be the “female figure.” There are very few exceptions. I haven’t run across any personally. Why is that? I think you know where I’m going with that…

    I just find that so hilarious….they say they want the right to be gay and proud and all that, well….besides being 2 guys or 2 girls together…you still act like the stereotypical male and female roles. Go figure….

    A gay friend of mine….well…i don’t know if he’d consider us friends….but we took english together for 3 years so I knew him fairly well…he came from a hardcore Christian family and he “came out” after he graduated and went to college. Well, he recently wrote a blog about this study he found…i’ll post the link

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/134209.php

    THat is he link he posted…above…the one I’m posting is the original which he failed to use…

    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/123/1/346

    He had a big’ol caption saying “Family Rejection Of Lesbian, Gay And Bisexual Children Linked To Poor Health In Early Adulthood”

    The best part about this…was that several of his gay friends called him out on this…with comments like….

    “The original article was titled “Family Rejection as a PREDICTOR of Negative Health Outcomes in White and Latino Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Young Adults.”

    Why didn’t you link to the original article? ”

    “a) I have a hard time believing that the study sufficiently linked the independent and dependent variables. Are the “health problems” truly a result of family “rejection?”
    b) Does the study uniquely pertain to family rejections BECAUSE of homosexuality or bisexuality? Could the rejection be due to other factors?
    c) Were other variables such as socioeconomic class, divorce, geographic location or education taken into account?
    d) I would also like to know how “rejection” is defined.”

    I’m sure that rejection of family can be a contributing factor to health problems…but a definitive one? You can pull a study that had similar results for if someone ate a banana everyday or not.

    Of course Obama will not voice his true opinion (if he does support it anyways) about homosexual marriage….because the majority of America is still against it…for now. That is rapidly changing….politics is all about staying in office and having influence….and if you piss off the majority..well…good luck holding office or getting any money for support.

    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

      I have no desire to defend your acquaintance’s study as I don’t have the knowledge in that department. But I do have quite a number of gay FRIENDS (not people I sat next to in class) and I don’t see the clear cut masculine/feminine in any of them. But then again, I also don’t see the clear cut masculine/feminine in any of my straight coupled friends. I think you will find that no one is purely one of the other. We all have aspects of each. Now I think you are going to say that most people are dramatically more one than the other and I would agree. But I don’t think that a predominantly masculine gay person is necessarily always attracted to a predominantly feminine person. I know many of my gay friends are not like that. A lesbian friend of mine who wasn’t exactly butch of lipstick did date a girl who was very lipstick. But my friend wasn’t all that butch. If you didn’t know she was a lesbian, you really wouldn’t know. So I really don’t know where you are going with that.

      And just because you disagree with my interpretation of the Bible doesn’t mean that I am being deceitful. That is absurd. By that logic, I can claim that you are being deceitful. The way I see it is that the two principle characters in the Bible (Yahweh & Jesus) were very hateful characters. I have pointed out several instances in which I see that hate including these characters own words in which they claim to be hateful, but you just rationalize it away. Jesus said that to be his disciple, you have to hate your family. But I am the one sending “powerful delusions” (God’s way of saying that he lied).

      • Mr. X

        I don’t think there’s “clear cut” masculinity/femininity in any individual person (or couple for that matter). When we bring up these terms, we’re wandering into the useless realms of broad, vague, sweeping stereotypes and generalizations.

        “Masculine” and “feminine” are extremely subjective terms, and as our society becomes more accepting and egalitarian (a trend that I’m entirely in favor of), they will carry less and less meaning.

  • http://myspace.com/blackhawk089 Matt

    It is hard for me to say what I mean…I don’t really mean that one has to be butch and one “lipstick” like you said. Eh…I don’t really know how to say it better than I did lol….It makes sense to me haha.

    “The way I see it is that the two principle characters in the Bible (Yahweh & Jesus) were very hateful characters.”

    Again, lies and deceit. I will leave it at that. :)

    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

      “I don’t really know how to say it better than I did”

      Well then, you are wrong! Clearly you aren’t actually friends with any gay couples.

      “I will leave it at that.”

      No, don’t leave it at that, please show me exactly where I have lied. Calling someone liar is to me a serious charge. It means that you think I purposefully altered the facts. It is an attack on my honor and if you are going to make that accusation, than you should present your facts to back it up. How would you like it if I went around saying “Matt is a rapist, I’ll just leave it at that.” That wouldn’t be very fair or even true (that I know of). So if you are going to call me a liar, I expect you not to just “leave it at that,” but to present your evidence! Perhaps you misspoke and you didn’t actually mean to call me a liar. If that is the case, just acknowledge that and I won’t hold it against you. We all sometimes get carried away in our discussions. But I will repeat my claim that “The way I see it is that the two principle characters in the Bible (Yahweh & Jesus) were very hateful characters.” I have backed up that accusation again and again.
      -Staks

      • http://myspace.com/blackhawk089 Matt

        Ok, your right…I shouldn’t call you a liar and then say nothing else….but we both know that if we go down this road it will go nowhere!

        The reason I kept my response so general as “lies and deciet”…(i said lies…not ur a liar :P ) is because the comment that they are very hateful characters is a general comment…and it is very very hard to address something like this without a specific instance where you view God or Jesus as Hateful. So…thats why I said leave it at that, because ur comment was general…so was mine. :)

        • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

          General? I referred to specific instances in the past and you know that. I talked about how Jesus actually stated that he wants his followers to hate their own families and how he came to bring violence by his own admission. That is hateful. And the hate exhibited by God in the Old Testament is simply off the scale. Both God and Paul hate gays and consider homosexuality an abomination. God and Jesus both consider humans as evil sinners. I consider that to be hateful. And then there is Luke 19:27 in which Jesus claims that all who are his enemy should be killed in front of him. That is a far cry from the “turn the other cheek” philosophy he talks about in other places. In fact, I think it is rather hateful. We have gone through this dance before Matt. You may disagree with my interpretation, but your claim that I am purposefully telling falsehoods about subjects I know to be true is simply not the case… and I think you know that. If you do know that as I suspect, than it is you who have lied, not me.

  • Mr.O’Muck

    The problem with people on the left throwing these symbolic sops to the feebs on the right is that none of that ilk is ever fooled, assuaged, or reassured so it only serves to retard progress.

  • Tomkinson

    What legitimate State interest is served by official endorsement of homosexual unions?

    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

      Another retarded statement from you Tomkinson. What legitimate State interest is served by official endorsement of heterosexual unions? Oh please say raising a family, lol.

      • Mr. X

        The state exists to serve the interest of its citizens, not the other way around. Dumbass.

      • Tomkinson

        “Another retarded statement from you Tomkinson”

        Another baseless personal attack which reveals to anyone the sub-mediocre quality of your mind. I did not make a “statement”, I posed a “question.”

        I didn’t say or imply there was a legitimate State interest in heterosexual unions. If you want the State to endorse a particular type of sex contract, the burden is on you to make the case as to why it should.

        If you cannot make that case and reject the validity of the cases for heterosexual unions (only a small subset of which are in fact endorsed) then the only logical position, if you believe this is a serious injustice, is to fight for the end of civil marriage all together.

        This of course would cut against the shallow and obvious herd-mindedness which characterizes your political “thought.”

        By the way dummy you made at least two totally unsupportable “statements” on another thread.

        1. “The Brights are an attempt to religousize atheism which is why most atheists reject the Brights.”

        Right but Dawkins did NOT reject them yet you still finish the paragraph with “But please tell me these “trappings” of religion so that I can know what is and is not a religion.”

        2. “Oh, and you totally missed the point of the Tree of Knowledge. I don’t think any religious group should be represented on the Court House! And by putting the ToK up, we are proving the point.”

        Really? I mean Really?! I missed the point? According to Margaret Downey she was upset that she ONLY saw a creche and a menorah at the court house, she wanted to see “Kwanzaa candles and a big fat Buddha statue and I wanted to see a Hindu god and and I wanted the atheist community to be there…” Yet you say “I don’t think any religious group should be represented on the Court House! And by putting the ToK up, we are proving the point.”!!!!! I suppose you could all be lying about the point of it in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrcUxFqrhYk, if so one more reason why you scum shouldn’t be representing us.

        • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

          1. “Another baseless personal attack which reveals to anyone the sub-mediocre quality of your mind.”

          I love it, you criticize me for a baseless personal attack and then follow that up with a baseless personal attack. That is great stuff.

          2. I don’t think the state should support any marriage, but that isn’t going to happen right now. So as the first baby step, the state should recognize all marriage and then hopefully in time we can get ride of all state supported marriage. That has been my consistent position.

          3. “By the way dummy” more baseless personal attacks which according to YOU “reveals to anyone the sub-mediocre quality of YOUR mind.”

          4. Dawkins intended the Brights to be a religion of sorts. So I would still like to know what a “religious trapping” is? No weaseling out! Answer the question!

          5. As someone who was actually IN that video (sporting my Dangerous Talk shirt), I stand by my statements!!! You missed the point!!!!!! Many of the people in that video stated that the courthouse shouldn’t have any displays, but because the do have some, ours is needed to show that the state is merely accommodating religion instead of endorsing religion.
          -Staks

          • Tomkinson

            1. We are both going overboard when it comes to the acerbity of our tone.

            2. If this is your belief your approach is illogical and dishonest. It is for all intents and purposes impossible to remove a particular right once it has been instituted (in most cases this is actually a good thing), expanding marriage in the lack of a compelling argument is not a baby-step in the right direction, it is a giant leap in the opposite. But of course if you are honest about your goal it would give the lie to the notion that, you at least, are not out to harm state-sponsored heterosexual marriage. The same-sex marriage issue is much much more complicated than either side seems to be willing to consider.

            There is no more clear indicator of the abysmal level of discourse on this issue than when Biden in the VP debate said that the Constitution guarantees that from a legal standpoint there is no distinction between heterosexual and homosexual couples. Now of course the Constitution says no such thing but IF you wanted to somehow sculpt an argument with this result from say the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment then there would be NO way to avoid granting same-sex marriage, which Biden opposes one sentence later.

            4. A religious trapping is anything that outfits a belief system in the raiment of a religion. It could be anything from founding a church as Newdow has done to establishing certain communal rituals like the ToK (where it to be done annually) or it could be something more abstract like promoting an apocalyptic mindset (e.g. Global Warming [Note:I don't deny anthropogenic GW is a genuine concern, but the evidence does not justify the level of alarm and the most popular "solutions" are simply not to be taken seriously by the scientifically literate.])

            Perhaps the most strikingly quasi-religious aspect of the New Atheists or the Militant Atheists or whatever you choose to call them, I like Vulgar Atheists, is this deeply irrational evangelical need of theirs to go out and try to convince other people that not only is there no God but that all other religions, Christianity in particular, are irredeemably harmful and that other atheists who don’t share this conviction are, as Shaun says, like House Niggers. The notion that you guys are somehow the more pure atheists merely because I happen to think you’re all a bit naive, delusional, paranoid, hysterical, and above all, historically ignorant, reminds me of those silly ramifying splits in Christianity over the purity of doctrine.

            And this is different from fighting Intelligent Design in schools (a battle won in Dover primarily by people who were Christians with a Bush appointed Republican judge), or for stem-cell research which many Christians, including both the President and McCain, support. There are lines where secularism needs to take a stand. With a more measured approach you’ll find many comrades-in-arms among the theists in all of the necessary battles.

            5. I recognized you in the video. Nowhere in it do you express the sentiment that the point of the ToK was to remove all vestiges of religion from the Court House. If I missed it, at what specific time do you say this? Margaret Downey, the Prime Mover behind the project, repeatedly, in that video and elsewhere, expresses her wish for INCLUSION. The young guy with beard says he wants atheists to be apart of this too, the guy in the hoodie says he thinks the state should accommodate religions, including atheism and so on.

            If however that was your point, you are again going about this in precisely the wrong way. Putting up more symbols is not going to decrease them. And again it gives at the very least the appearance that atheism wants recognition as a religion. I couldn’t put up a sign that says “Eat at McDonald’s” at the Court but a religious symbol, surely. When Downey speaks of Kwanzaa candles, Buddha statues, creches, menorahs, Hindu gods and wants atheism represented among them. Well what do they all have in common? They are religions and atheism should be symbolically represented no more among them than religion should be represented in a biology class.

            • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

              Wow, let’s start with numbers 1 & 3 in which you are much gtrater offender pf the “Another baseless personal attack which reveals to anyone the sub-mediocre quality of your mind” than I am, but have attempted to put us on equal footing. In fact, none of my “personal attacks” were baseless.

              2. I don’t think the state should be involved in the marriage business at all, but the country is not in that place right now, so that option is off the table for the time being. I am compromising on that position. So, now we are left with a discriminatory institution. The logical course of action is to fix what we have and make it more fair until the time comes when we can get rid of it completely. You seem to want to put me in the “damned if I do, damned if I don’t” position. You whine that atheists should compromise, but when I do, you whine that I compromise. You just seem to want to whine.

              4 & 5 If Newdow has created a church I am unaware of it. If the science of global climate change is a religious belief, than is gravity also a religious belief? That is just a ridiculous claim. As fir the ToK, you clearly didn’t pat enough attention to the video. While a lot of what I said was cut because others said the similar things, the “guy in the hoody” did say that he didn’t think any of the displays should be there. Margaret agrees with that. The inclusion is as a compromise which you whined before that atheists should do more. Atheism deals with religion but is not itself a religion. Atheism is a religious alternative. That is why it should be included if there is to be anything at all. The ToK is trying to prove a point, but it is not a ritual as you see it. It is more like a form of polite protest.

              And you never really explained adequately what you mean by “new atheist” or “militant atheist,” etc. There have always been people who have rejected superstition. Nothing “new” about it. And as far as I know, no one is advocating violence of any kind in the greater atheistic community. So I don’t see “militant.” Vulgar? If science is vulgar than I might grant you that, but I don’t think it is. I think I dealt with this issue before in my blog “Good Cop/Bad Cop Atheists.” So if you are going to continue whining about this, please do it there.

              • Tomkinson

                I paid well enough attention to he vid. If you disagree, where exactly do you make your point in that video?

                Oh and BTW about Newdow http://factschurch.com/

                • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

                  Newdow’s Church is news to me, but it really looks like it is more of a parody than a serious organization. Tomkinson, you seem to whine so much that you missed the joke.

                  As for the video, as I stated before, my comments and others were edited for a variety of reasons, but at 4 minutes 5 second, Margaret made my point and at 5 minutes and 10 seconds and 5 minutes and 25 seconds my point was also made by other people. To refresh your memory, my point is that nothing should be there because of the Establishment Clause, but since something is here, multiple things should be there so as to not endorse religion, but merely to accommodate religion in a free speech zone.

            • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

              PS I will not defend other peoples positions, only my own position. Please don’t try to put other peoples words into my mouth!

  • http://www.myspace.com/rox1smf Rox

    What legitimate State interest is served by official endorsement of heterosexual unions?

    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

      Thanks, I was thinking the same thing.