Tuesday, June 8, 2010

not that ther's anything wrong with that

Do you know who your friends are? Is it possible that many "supporters" of the gay and lesbian community aren't really empathetic towards the gay plight, but are simply using them to help further their agenda? I'd say many Atheists are simply exploiting the gay community, using them as pawns in an effort to make the church look bad. Or to simply see them as a certain demographic to achieve political gain.

I know many of you will think the church makes it's self look bad with their stance on gay marriage etc. Maybe? But not my point. And for political purposes I don't blame the gays for having to ally themselves with whatever group is willing to help them achieve their "rights".

Timberwraith, A lesbian said on our last post "My housemate is a christian, he's progressive, open minded, open hearted guy and has a kind, level headed ethic. I'd take living with him any day, over an atheist with prejudiced/unkind views of people. Although she might not like my viewpoint of homosexuality(?) I respect what she says and agree with it.

My question is this: Is this as simple as drawing a line in the sand, pro gay lifestyle on one side, and everybody else on the other side. And that's it?

Over at "Debunking Christianity" I commented on "Another Christian leaves the fold" A diary of a beleaver". This guys basically says we (Christians) need to debunk our faith or we are all "Fred Phelps' ". Of course after many comments nobody answered my question of "All atheists must denounce atheism or they are Joe Stalin's". To me both of these are equally stupid statements.

I don't want to offend those Atheists who truly have the gay communities best interest at heart. But I wonder about people who say things like that? They seem to be more against the church then about the rights of the gays.

25 comments:

  1. I'm very confused. Are you asking whether atheists/gays are subscribing to the notion that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend"?

    I'm straight (not that there's anything wrong with that), but I believe very firmly that gay people are equal people. You mention gay marriage, but we still live in a country where gay people are dragged behind trucks.

    I think you're missing the bigger picture while focusing on one hot-button issue. The big picture is that people who are attracted to the same gender risk being socially ostracized, disowned by their family, condemned by their church, and then to top it all off, the very notion of them committing to a legally binding long-term relationship with civil benefits is denied. Gay people just want to live normal lives, and it's not atheists who are blocking the way (Hint: it's Christians).

    Now I know, there's some traditionalists out there who still believe marriage is a sacred pact between a man and a woman's father... but marriage is an ever-changing custom. Anti-miscegeny laws were written to prevent people of different races from marrying, and it was shocking to some people to see inter-racial couples holding hands in public (the nerve!), but we as a society are better for tolerating something that is utterly harmless.

    It's particularly pathetic because this prejudice is rampant amogn the old, but relatively absent among the young. Even most Christian youth are pretty tolerant of gay people, probably because homosexuality essentially came out of the societal closet before most people my age were even born. It's not so weird and horrible to us. It tends to be older generations that oppose homosexuality (and all minority statuses, for that matter), so I am hopeful we need only wait for the inevitability of mortality to wipe the ignorance away.

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  2. Geenks,
    I pretty much agree with everything you just said. I guess my post could have read: Some atheists don't give a shit about gays, they just use this issue to make the church look bad. Make more sense?

    Late, feno

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  3. I suppose it's a possibility. I don't think atheists need to do too much to make the church look bad on the issue of gay marriage, though. The church pretty much does that for themselves.

    The fact is that there are very few, if any, half-decent arguments outside of religious ones for not allowing gay marriage. As a Christian, I was sort of implicitly against homosexuality, though I was never all that outspoken or anything. When I became an atheist, I took another look at the issue and realized that without a religious condemnation, there really wasn't any other reason why I'd be against it.

    So while I could be wrong on this, I would assume that most atheists just don't see any reason why homosexuals shouldn't be allowed to marry. Do they use that for their own purposes? Maybe. But more likely, it's that they use it for a double purpose - make the church look bad and advocate progressive rights at the same time.

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  4. It's an extreme over-generalisation, yes. Fred Phelps thinks not only that all gays deserve to burn in hell, but that anyone who shows them the slightest compassion deserves to join them there and in fact will very shortly. That's not Christian by most Christians' definitions.

    However there are less extreme but still aggressive positions that many evangelicals do share with Phelps, like that homosexual activity is wrong in and of itself and/or should not be legitimised by same-sex marriage or even allowed, and that's the basis for the comparison.

    When I tackled same-sex marriage on ATA, I only bothered to address the secular arguments put forward by religious groups to solicit the support of the non-devout. I didn't see "Christianity is homophobic, don't be a Christian" as a productive line of counter-apologetic, so I didn't pursue it. Doesn't sound like it's working a treat on DC either.

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  5. Some atheists will say anything to attack religion. They'll bring up atrocities most Christians today also consider atrocities. Sure, it's annoying to bring up stuff that happened a long time ago, but my deal with Christians remains the same: don't mention the likes of Stalin, Mao or Napolean, and I won't mention the Dark Ages, the crusades, the Inquisition, witch trials, heretics being burned alive, Hitler, etc.

    And if this turns into a "Hitler wasn't Christian" discussion, I apologize, but Hitler was as Christian as Stalin, Mao, and Napoleon were atheist, which is to say: very much so.

    You also have to realize that as an affluent, straight, white male, I don't have too many Christians standing in the way of my goals. Every door has pretty much swung open in front of me, and I know this is not the case for many. Women, homosexuals, minorities, and especially the economically destitute are not afforded the same freedoms I have.

    Is it some sort of cheap shot if I point out that Christianity is, on the whole, unaccepting of homosexuals or women with power? I don't feel it is, because my goal is not to topple Christianity. My aim is for everyone to enjoy the ability to pursue the life they dream of, and for no one to be denied the basic dignity of being treated the same as everyone else.

    If gay people marched on Washington with signs saying "Ban Churches," I would be posting about how incredibly ignorant they are. I don't blindly side with any sort of homosexual agenda, nor do I align myself in direct opposition to organized religion. I just don't see gay people infringing on anyone's rights the way I see Christians coming together to rain on the parades of perfectly decent people.

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  6. We must be on the same wavelength Feeno. I just started a somewhat similar thread on my blog.

    I'll check back later

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  7. I guess my post could have read: Some atheists don't give a shit about gays, they just use this issue to make the church look bad. Make more sense?

    Feeno,

    I believe that gays are often utilized as "mascots" by the liberal, elite intelligencia much like blacks are. For example, economist Thomas Sowell once wrote re: blacks.....

    "William F. Buckley's wife once mentioned in passing, at dinner in her home, that she had been involved for years in working with a school in Harlem. But I never heard her or Bill Buckley ever say that publicly.

    Nor do conservatives who were in the civil rights marches in the South, back when that was dangerous, make that a big deal.

    For people on the left, however, blacks are trophies or mascots, and must therefore be put on display. Nowhere is that more true than in politics.

    The problem with being a mascot is that you are a symbol of someone else's significance or virtue. The actual well-being of a mascot is not the point.

    Liberals all across the country have not hesitated to destroy black neighborhoods in the name of "urban renewal," often replacing working-class neighborhoods with upscale homes and pricey businesses-- neither of which the former residents can afford.

    In academia, lower admissions standards for black students is about having them as a visible presence, even if mismatching them with the particular college or university produces high dropout rates.

    The black students who don't make it are replaced by others, and when many of them don't make it, there are still more others.

    The point is to have black faces on campus, as mascots symbolizing what great people there are running the college or university.

    Many, if not most, of the black students who do not make it at big-name, high-pressure institutions are perfectly qualified to succeed at the normal range of colleges and universities.

    Most white students would also punch out if admitted to schools for which they don't have the same qualifications as the other students. But nobody needs white mascots."

    Of course, at this juncture, I feel it necessary to mention to those who might be unfamiliar with Thomas Sowell that he himself is black.

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  8. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the king of over-generalizations and ridiculous unsupported conclusions.......JD Curtis!!

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  9. over-generalizations and ridiculous unsupported conclusions

    The Jeffy-the-Jefe Method of Argumentation

    1) State that the example cited is rife with over-generalization and unsupported conclusions.

    2) Provide not one single example of said "over-generalizations and ridiculous unsupported conclusions".

    3) You win the argument!

    Sowell stated in the above quotation that "In academia, lower admissions standards for black students is about having them as a visible presence, even if mismatching them with the particular college or university produces high dropout rates.

    The black students who don't make it are replaced by others, and when many of them don't make it, there are still more others.

    The point is to have black faces on campus, as mascots symbolizing what great people there are running the college or university.

    Many, if not most, of the black students who do not make it at big-name, high-pressure institutions are perfectly qualified to succeed at the normal range of colleges and universities."

    Is this true, untrue, or you really dont consider yourself sufficiently well-informed on the matter to make that call?

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  10. @JDiddly

    Whasup with you JDiddly?

    The Jefe trys to pay you a compliment, and you just get upset. I don't think that the Jeffster garnered the title "King" on you solely on the basis of this sinlgle post of yours. I mean, the dude has observed you over some period of time and I think he has GRADUALLY come to the conclusion that you ARE the "King of over-generalizations and unsupported conclusions".

    Be Proud of what you are. You've Earned it!

    P3eace

    Sub-Cool Steve

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  11. Oh well of course, if Sowell says it, it must be true! And of course, citing an opinion piece that backs up nothing that it says, displayed on a Republican website is certainly bound to be the fount of all that is unbiased and factual.

    Now of course, I'm not entirely a huge fan of affirmative action programs - I agree with the intent behind it, but I think they tend to perpetuate discrimination (whether you're hiring or not hiring someone because of race, you're still basing your judgment on race). However, there's a big difference between criticizing affirmative action and calling black students and employees "mascots" to be put on display. Show me a scrap of evidence that this is the "true" purpose of affirmative action, and I'll reconsider. Oh and by the way, someone else's opinion doesn't count as evidence unless they back up what they say with good, empirical studies.

    As far as admission standards is concerned, it's important to realize that discrimination is not limited to just admission into college. Both at the secondary and the post-secondary levels, there are (unintentional) factors that make African American students less likely to achieve. And these factors have nothing to do with intelligence. Last year I did a paper on stereotype threat, a well-grounded theory that illustrates how social norms can cause Black students to disengage from using schoolwork as a measure of self-worth. Essentially, it can be demonstrated that by reminding a Black student of his/her race before taking a test, they will do much worse than if you don't remind them of their race. This can be as simple as a few demographic questions including checkboxes identifying your race. When they are reminded that the stereotype is that they are not supposed to do well, the added pressure and anxiety caused by trying to prove the stereotype wrong (and do well) paradoxically causes them to do worse.

    Of course, there are numerous ways that one can be reminded of one's race, so my point is that even a bright African American student can be admitted into a top college (even granting that he has earned his spot there) and still end up dropping out because of the consistent need to fight against the stereotype. Hence, even without affirmative action in place, one should be able to predict higher drop-out rates among Black students.

    So there....I hope I can now resist the charge of not "providing one single example" of your (and Sowell's) unsupported conclusions. Better?

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  12. feeno - "Is it possible that many "supporters" of the gay and lesbian community aren't really empathetic towards the gay plight, but are simply using them to help further their agenda?"

    Many? Can you offer a percentage? I mean, if this post is to offer simply your opinion, can you at least offer what you base your opinion on? Is it informed, or just prejudice?

    feeno - "I'd say many Atheists are simply exploiting the gay community, using them as pawns in an effort to make the church look bad."

    Again, "many"? What does that mean? From what I have read on (atheist) blogs, for the most part, "many" atheists simply point out their disgust and frustration at a religious group garnering enough power to legalize discrimination against an entire demographic of the US population - all in the name of their faith. In stead of "making" the church look bad, they are simply pointing out that, to them, the church looks bad.

    feeno - "Or to simply see them as a certain demographic to achieve political gain."

    ??? What political gain, other than trying to achieve freedom and equality for a group of US citizens who have been, for far to long, mistreated, discriminated against, and denied equality. What other "political gain" are intimating?

    And what do you make of all the Christians who are in favor of gay rights and equality? What "political gain" do you suspect them of secretly fighting for?

    For what it's worth, as a fiscally conservative, gun toting, middle aged white male, atheist, I detest with my very being, any discrimination against any person based on their race, sexual orientation, or religion.

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  13. bob

    Thanks for clicking over and reading. To answer your first question, I have no idea what percentage it is. That's why I'm asking the question.

    I do know tho that I personally care a great deal about homosexuals and all other people. But because I believe that homosexuality is a sin, then I'm automatically labeled a homophobe and intolerable. I detest that. And when people give big speeches about how great there are I usually doubt them.

    I was responding to a guy's story who has left the church and used Fred Phelps as an example of Christianity, and that's why he left the church. I don't go to church with anyone who would stay in the church if Fred Phelps' word was Gospel. So if you want statistics that would be 0 percent.

    From your last paragraph you sound much like me and most Libertarians. So if you believe this, shouldn't a "religious" persons vote count just as much as any body Else's?

    As far as "Christians who are in favor of gay rights and equality". Well good for them, I respect them and think all people should stand up for what they think is right.

    I'm not against voting or voicing our opinions or trying to change cultural outlook. I'm against hypocrisy which seems run rampant now a days amongst any side of the fence your standing on.

    I think people have a right to say that they think this groups (pick a group) stance on this issue (pick a issue) is wrong and we don't like it. And we are trying to change it. But I don't think it's right to say "because they are for this they are just haters".

    I think if you re-read my post it is very fair and is letting you think for yourself. I'm not trying to trick anybody into thinking like me. I mentioned how there are noble atheists that do have their best interest at heart, but I ain't got a statistic for that either. But it sure as hell ain't 100 %.

    Thanks again for stopping by, I might be a bit of a dag, but there are a few cool people who respond here. I hope you feel welcomed and continue to stop by.

    Peace, feeno

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  14. feeno, earlier I stumbled across your testimony blog page. I left a comment. I believe it was posted in response to our dialog of over a year ago :)

    Anyway, I haven't read a whole lot on your blog, since I just come across it this morning.

    Concerning "...I believe that homosexuality is a sin..." and, "Christians who are in favor of gay rights and equality". Well good for them, I respect them and think all people should stand up for what they think is right."

    Have you stated your feelings on gay rights - specifically, the right to marriage (or civil unions)?

    Just wondering your thoughts. I visit regularly over at nakedpastor's blog, and the discussions concerning homosexuality can go on for hundreds of responses.

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  15. bob

    Wow, very cool. I remember you.

    I will tell you how I feel about this issue. I have never gotten into great detail about this, but I guess it's about time.

    Let me start out by saying that I'm kinda a loner on this one. I really don't have a camp that I know of that believes like I do? Most of my Christian friends and mosy gays don't like my view, but here it is; I think the church has a higher calling than one of politics. I say if two consenting adults want to get married, then thats fine by me. I am not however condoning the act of homosexuality. I think it is a sin against God. But so are a lot of other things. God gives us freewill, so who am I to take away that right from people. In other words just because it's legal doesn't make it right. But because I think it's wrong doesn't make me hate any of them or even treat them differently than any other sinner I run across. Myself included.

    I could go into greater detail if you wish, or if you have any other questions I'd be glad to answer them.

    That'd kinda cool you found that response I posted so long ago. Probably one of my first.
    Hope all has been well. Later, feeno

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  16. Thanks feeno.

    Wondering, how does your particular church leadership feel about the gay marriage issue, or do they even talk about it? I guess many just chose not to preach about it, which is fine by me.

    I would agree that the bible seems to be at least somewhat clear in it's condemnation of gay (I use "gay" because "homosexual" is much longer, and gay people seem to prefer the term) relationships. I guess I would agree with you - if I was still a bible believer, I would consider gay relationships to be sinful. But as you said - "...But so are a lot of other things."

    That is what perplexes me so. Why do so many Christians pile onto the gay marriage issue? I mean, isn't it "sinful" to be an atheist, an over-eater, a speed limit breaker, etc? Why aren't Christians against the marriage of any "sinful" couple? Why not have an anti atheist marriage amendment?

    I guess I ask because I honestly can't remember my thought process when I was a bible believer. It has been so long since I considered certain behaviors of others to be "sinful".

    One other question - do you think there are any sin(s) that, IN GODS VIEW, are more severe (worse) than other sins? If so, can you site a few and why you feel they are worse - IN GODS VIEW? For instance, in Gods view, is murder worse than rape? Is homosexuality worse than breaking the sabbath?

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  17. At my church you would never hear my Pastor or the "leadership" use slang or bigoted terms to describe gays. But they definitely think we need to stop gay marriage from being legalized. But would never do anything other than voting to stop it.

    "Are some sins worse than others"?

    Yes, absolutely. If I speed that would be considered a sin because God expects me to respect the laws that our government has put in place. But if I have an affair with someone, well now my sin has spilled over and affected other people. I have sinned against my wife, my kids and possibly even the person I was having the affair with? And then her family etc. Then it's just a big mess. Ask Tiger Woods.

    Plus in the book of John as Pilate was saying to Jesus "hey junior, don't you know I have the power to release or to kill you", Jesus says, "You have authority over me only because it was given to you by God. So the man who handed me over to you is guilty of a worse sin". I'm not sure what "man" Jesus was talking about? A Bible expert would suggest it was Caiaphas, Judas or maybe even the Jews themselves, for they should have known better.

    The book of James does say "if we break one commandment we are guilty of breaking all of them". So I guess some could say in that sense that all sins are equal? But God can forgive us all of our sins.

    Hope that helps.
    feeno

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  18. You use the example of speeding and having an affair, siting the affair as worse than speeding. But I get the impression that you say that because that is your...opinion, impression, perception...?

    I wanted to know what you thought, if any, were worse IN GODS VIEW. Obviously we, as humans, with laws and punishments, we view some violations as more severe, but what does God see when one man does 5mph over the speed limit, and another man cheats on his wife? I wanted to know if you believed God views certain sins as worse than others. I don't necessarily want to know if you, feeno, believes certain sins are worse than others. You are like me, a human. We allow emotions to influence our reactions.

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  19. Read my 4th paragraph again where it starts out "plus...." Taking that into consideration and then mix it in with what is taught in the book of Revelation where during the final judgment where "we people will be judged by the acts they have done" makes me think that God does see a different "degrees" of sin.

    late, feen

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  20. I guess my next question would be then (if you are confident that God does classify sins by degree) - is there a list somewhere, penned by God, so his followers will know how to classify sins? If there is no list, and since sins are to be avoided, shouldn't God not leave this up to guesswork on the part of his followers?...or is this going to be just another of those areas, like answered prayer, God's will for your life, when is Jesus going to return, is the Sabbath on Saturday or Sunday, and on and on, where believers can't answer a simple, yet perfectly reasonable questions about what they believe.

    The point I was trying to make, or hoping to eventually make, is that so many Christians trumpet their objections over gay marriage, to the extent that they ignore or overlook so many sins being committed right in their own churches. And as far as I am concerned, the only way they can justify so much attention focused on gay marriage is if they can point out why homosexuality is so much worse than any of a hundred other sins that Christians themselves commit.

    In other words, it seems like so much hypocrisy to me.

    Just my perspective.

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  21. Yep, I believe your right

    Welcome aboard.

    feeno

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  22. Huh. Because of a technical malfunction with Blogger, I wasn't even aware that my comment had posted on the previous comment thread. Looks like it posted several times. Oops.

    My answer to this is pretty simple. I'd much rather have an atheist use theists' negative relationship with LGBT issues as an avenue to critique organized religion than have a theist use atheists' support of LGBT issues as an avenue to critique atheism.

    It's not exactly a secret that organized religion and its followers tend to be far less supportive of LGBT rights than atheists. If you follow the money and political ties of anti-LGBT political action, you inevitably find the hand of religion working in the background. Consequently, I have few problems with atheists using LGBT issues to critique the prejudiced beliefs of religious believers. This particular avenue of criticism is well deserved.

    If you don't like this kind of criticism, then I suggest that you shift your beliefs to a more accepting path. Complaining about atheists objectifying LGBT people as a political foil is pretty ironic when you are one of the people who hold the very prejudices that are being critiqued in the first place. I look forward to the day when the majority of Christians call out people for exploiting Jesus’s teachings as an excuse to dismiss LGBT people’s lives and relationships as inferior and defective.

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  23. *sigh* And of course, as soon as I actually provide a well-thought-out reply to JD, he disappears. No reply. He keeps saying he wants a reasonable conversation, but as soon as you point out that his opinion is based on nothing but more opinion, he runs away...oh well.

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