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That Foul Odor? It’s the Religious Right Melting Down over Marriage Equality in NY

You have to hand it to the religious right. No one does apocalyptic drama better than they do when their leaders don’t get their way. The passage of marriage equality in New York had the usual suspects’ predicting the end of civilization—and the start of a whole new round of fundraising off our success. Here’s a selection of some of the choicer comments to come from the amen corner of the losing side.

Pat Robertson, Christian Broadcasting Network: In history there’s never been a civilization ever in history that has embraced homosexuality and turned away from traditional fidelity, traditional marriage, traditional child-rearing, and has survived. There isn’t one single civilization that has survived that openly embraced homosexuality.

Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York: “I think society and culture is at its peril if we presume to tamper with what has been given and already cherished through the history of civilization.”

Ted Beahr, Christian Film and Television Commission: “New York and the other increasingly socialized states have not only violated God’s law, they have also violated their own Constitution and the will of the governed. When they do that, they are just like King George. They have abdicated their moral and legal authority and are subject to indictment, trial and just punishment.”

Tony Perkins, Family Research Council: “Enormous political coercion has resulted in a profound failure of moral courage in the New York Senate. A clear majority of the people of New York oppose counterfeit ‘marriage,’ but Gov. Cuomo and anti-family lawmakers have shown that their allegiance is to a small but vocal minority seeking to redefine marriage and family.”

Brian Brown, National Organization for Marriage: “In response to last night’s vote, I have doubled our pledge to New York, committing at least $2 million dollars to make sure that New York Republicans understand that voting for gay marriage has consequences…Will you join us with a generous donation to NOM PAC New York? With your help, this battle has just begun. Your gift of $50, $100, or even $1000 or more will help get us off to a powerful start. In the next sixteen months we will change the faces of Albany.”

Photo Credit: Random Factor

(H/t: Right Wing Watch and ThinkProgress)

By:           John Gallagher
On:           Jun 28, 2011
Tagged: , , , , ,

  • 62 Comments
    • ChrisC
      ChrisC

      Is Pat Robertson forgetting about Ancient Egypt? For thousands years it thrived and accepted homosexuality. The Roman Empire as well. By time the Roman Empire collapsed, homosexuality had already been condemned (Thanks to Christianity) for a couple hundred years.

      Jun 28, 2011 at 5:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the crustybastard
      the crustybastard

      Heh. The Rome lasted as a kingdom, republic and empire for nearly 2000 years. Didn’t make it 200 as an officially Christian state. After that, Christianity gave us 900 years of barbarity.

      There’s not a lot to recommend Christianity as a political system.

      Jun 28, 2011 at 5:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • iDavid
      iDavid

      Like religion itself being a carafe of deluded imagination, the religious Pinochio brigade strikes again.

      Jun 28, 2011 at 5:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Erich
      Erich

      cropped with SnipSnip

      Jun 28, 2011 at 5:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      To Pat Robertson…

      There haven’t been many civilizations in history that have survived PERIOD. That is why they are HISTORICAL.

      Lets look at all the civilizations that fell WITHOUT accepting homosexuality Pat. How many? Gee, pretty much every single civilization out there except for the ones that exist right now…idiot.

      Jun 28, 2011 at 5:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • christopher di spirito
      christopher di spirito

      Pat Robertson must be 150 years old by now. What is it with these Christian loons? Don’t they ever die off?

      Jun 28, 2011 at 6:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • andrew
      andrew

      @the crustybastard:

      I couldn’t have said it better

      human rights and democracy cannot exist in a theocracy

      Jun 28, 2011 at 6:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GUYZNDFW
      GUYZNDFW

      Religion must die for mankind to live. The hour is getting very late to be able to indulge in having key decisions made by religious people by rationalists, by those who would steer the ship of state not by a compass but by the equivalent of the entrails of a chicken.

      Faith means making a virtue out of not thinking. It’s nothing to brag about. And those who preach faith, enable and elevate it are intellectual slave holders. Keeping mankind in bondage to fancy and nonsense that has spawned and justified so much lunacy and injustice. Religion is dangerous because it allows people who don’t have all the answers to think that they do.

      Most people would think its wonderful when someone says I’m willing Lord, I’ll do whatever you want me to do, except for the fact that there are no gods actually talking to us. That void is filled in by people with their own corruptions, limitations and agendas.
      And anyone who tells you they know, they just know what happens when you die, I promise you they don’t. How can I be so sure? Because, I don’t know and you do not possess mental powers that I do not. The only appropriate attitude for mankind to have about the big questions is not the arrogant servitude that is the hallmark of religion but doubt. Doubt is humble and that is what mankind needs to be considering, that human history is a litany of getting shit dead wrong.

      So do you think Jesus or Allah or whatever gods will end this Earth at this point? Maybe in your lifetime? If a nuclear bomb went off you would look on that as not necessarily as a bad thing? You would be going to your heaven/paradise and all is good now for you?

      This is why rational people, anti-religious people must end their timidity and come out of the closet and assert themselves. And those that consider themselves to be moderately religious really need to look in the mirror and realize the solace and comfort that religion brings you actually comes at a terrible price.

      If you belong to a political party or a social club that was tied to as much bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, violence and sheer ignorance as religion is, you’d resign in protest. To do other wise is to be an enabler, a mafia wife, with the true devils of extremisms that draw their legitimacy from the billons of their fellow believers.

      If the world comes to an end here or wherever or lives into the future decimated by the effects of religion inspired nuclear terrorism, let’s remember what the real problem was and is, that we learned how to precipitate mass death before we got past the neurological disorder of wishing for it. That’s it. Grow up or die.
      - Bill Maher

      Jun 28, 2011 at 6:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • justyn
      justyn

      You got to love it. The answer to all problems is to raise money,”Your gift of $50, $100, or even $1000 or more” so that they can continue their lifestyles. And to think Robertson could have been our president.

      Jun 28, 2011 at 7:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • STC
      STC

      Lots of claims without any real warranation. Apparently gay marriage destroys right-wing pundits abilities to make cohesive arguments. Not that they ever used that ability to begin with.

      Jun 28, 2011 at 8:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @GUYZNDFW: STANDING O!!! The world would be a much better place without religion. You are so right. It will destroy us.

      Jun 28, 2011 at 9:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TMikel
      TMikel

      These tunnel dwellers are quite capable of rewriting history to serve their agenda and quite incapable of changing to accept reality. This is not surprising as they make their fortunes off duping the gullible. The majority of them see this as a fundraising opportunity to further their scam on the innocent.

      Jun 28, 2011 at 9:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      The US fundies who are melting down seem to forget that plenty of other countries have marriage equality & none of them have seen society collapse or have been wiped off the face of the earth.

      The NOM blôg is rife with people calling this an “experiment,” as if the US is the first place e. v. e. r. to allow same gender people the right to marry.

      Last time I checked, Canada is still on the map. And Sweden is still standing.

      Jun 28, 2011 at 9:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • offbeatoh86
      offbeatoh86

      Pat Robertson look’d like he’s about to sneeze. LOL!

      Jun 28, 2011 at 9:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DavyJones
      DavyJones

      @Shannon1981: Religion itself isn’t the problem; the manipulation of believers is the problem. Atheists can be manipulated too, and can atheists can certainly carry out heinous acts; look at Stalin and Lenin and their ‘Red Terror’.

      Horrific people do horrible things; religion is just one tool, and it can be used for great good or great evil; as can many tools….

      Jun 28, 2011 at 10:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • iDavid
      iDavid

      @Davyjones,

      I disagree, religious text is the problem, it’s highly fabricated and so well done most take it at face value.

      Shannon1981 and GUYSNDFW

      I just finished a show on a Nastradamus book just found. He predicts the fall of religion with pix of clergy and Pope being cut down with swords. If all goes as said, religion may be a thing of the past. With their latest track record of sexual abuse, gay abuse and monstrously dropping numbers in people in congregations, they are running on very thin “wafers” of ice.

      Jun 28, 2011 at 10:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • iDavid
      iDavid

      PS AND that the clergy is a butt fuk club, which brought new priests applying down too. No priest wants to join a club if he is going to be tagged with that upon entry. I mean, hey, we do have our morals. It’s truly a perfect storm.

      Jun 28, 2011 at 10:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DavyJones
      DavyJones

      @iDavid: But most religious texts have very ambiguous ‘face values’. which leaves them open to interpretation; Interpretations that can be twisted.

      I’d also point out that there are many, many different religions around the world; most ‘anti-religious’ people look only towards the ‘big three’ and point out the atrocities committed in their name, while over looking the multitude of peaceful religions which have existed for centuries.

      If it were true that religion was the poison, all religions should have the same track record. The fact that they don’t, I think, points to the conclusion that some religions (specifically large religions) are sometimes twisted by evil people for evil purposes…

      (Oh and just a note; I’m an atheist…)

      Jun 28, 2011 at 10:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TomMc
      TomMc

      @DavyJones: You wrote: “Atheists can be manipulated too, and can atheists can certainly carry out heinous acts; look at Stalin and Lenin and their ‘Red Terror’.”

      Typical ‘red herring’, used by religious apologists for – at the very least – decades. What else ya got?

      Jun 28, 2011 at 11:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @DavyJones: So far all I see is great evil.

      @iDavid: I hope I live to see the day the world is without religion. Thanks for the tip. What is the name of this book? I am re reading The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins right now.

      Jun 28, 2011 at 11:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DavyJones
      DavyJones

      @TomMc:

      The Red Birgades {http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Brigades}

      FARC{http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolutionary_Armed_Forces_of_Colombia}

      North Korea under Kim Il Sung {http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_North_Korea#History_of_Anti-Religious_Campaign}

      I’ll admit that religion (as a pre-organized mass of people) lends it self to abuse, but that can be said of literally any organized group of people; and in the absence of religion, evil people would simply move to another tool with which to accomplish their goals…

      Jun 28, 2011 at 11:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DavyJones
      DavyJones

      @Shannon1981: Then I feel sorry for you; there are many religious people in the world who are great people, and if all you can see of them is ‘great evil’ that is very unfortunate indeed.

      Look at the acts of Martin Luther King Jr. or Ghandi. Look at the compassion shown by some religious groups to communities around the world. If you can tell me you’ve never known a person who was both religious and a good and honorable person, I’ll secede the debate, but the truth is many people use religion to bolster their own good character, and through it are made better, happier people. Is it without fault? Certainly not. But that doesn’t mean it’s pure evil.

      Jun 28, 2011 at 11:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      @Shannon1981: Cheçk out b1ogs: Pharyngula, and Dispatches from the Culture Wars, both pertaining to atheism & politics & science. Smàll bit of advice: wade in the comments section before diving in: the “regulars” on the 1st one can be kinda harsh to newbies.

      Also: Dawkins has oodles of vids on the UToob.

      –o–o–o–
      Anyone heard from Ruben Diaz since NY approved marriage equality? It must be like that Oz scene where the bad w1tch yells “I’m melting!”

      Jun 28, 2011 at 11:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rainfish
      Rainfish

      Is Any Religion Worth Saving?

      The Christian religion will be a dying religion and eventually consigned to the dust bin of primitive myth-based beliefs by the middle of this century, I predict. Unless it begins to evolve into more social relevancy, most remnants of the Christian religion will only survive to serve the ends of despots and political manipulators — much of which has already come to pass.

      I’m sorry but ask yourself this: if humans were to some day find a cure for death, would we even be having this discussion? Most religions are rooted in the fear of dying: loss of self — nothing more. And, unlike Buddhism, Abrahamic religions don’t really offer anything beyond the promise of the preservation of the self in its present form of consciousness. No real re-birth or evolution beyond the material sense of self — just a continuation of it in some “spiritual realm”. How sad and how limiting.

      Too many “religious types” are like frightened children at bedtime, so afraid when the lights go off. They cling to the past and to the extinguished light of yesterday which only drags them down further into darkness. But the dawn will come sooner, if only you would just stop thinking so much about it. It’s time to move on; make life better in the “here-and-now” so that our children will have a better life to look forward to in this world after we are gone.

      And that means our GLBT children as well. All of us, and especially those of you in the “christian” community, have a lot to make up for with them. It’s time to get started. Reject all forms of exclusion, no matter what you may personally feel about a particular group. As long as no demonstrable harm is being done to another, then you must allow each of us to live our own lives as we see fit. I am no longer a Christian (although I was raised as a German Lutheran), still I believe that your Jesus (perhaps not the present cultification of him), but, perhaps, the true Messiah would have done that.

      The real test of your humanity towards your fellow man or woman is not how well you get along with those who are like you, but how well you receive those who are not. I have no doubt that ol’ J.C. would agree with me on that one. Even Buddha, it is claimed, once said: “Be a lamp unto yourself.” But that doesn’t preclude lighting at least part of the way for others you meet along the road — as long as you don’t force them to follow you on your trail when they may have their own journeys to make along different footpaths.

      Still, I am hopeful. I think we can all find commonality, if we only try a little harder to seek it with one another. I think each one of us has been given a single piece of a cosmic jigsaw puzzle – unique unto itself. I believe that the mystery of our existence will never be completely unraveled until we each come together, along different paths if need be, and arrive at a common destination to help each other put the pieces back together again. Somehow, by then, I don’t think that we’ll be surprised at what we’ll find. We may find that, when the puzzle is complete, that it is just a giant looking glass with one image looking back.

      Maybe that is what faith is. I can’t prove it. I think that it could be true. Or not. But, perhaps, it might be all different tomorrow.

      In conclusion, just remember:

      “Veritas Vos Liberabit” (The Truth Shall Set You Free) but… “De omnibus dubitandum” (Everything should be questioned)

      (c) Bud Evans

      Jun 29, 2011 at 1:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rainfish
      Rainfish

      By the way, Pat “the anti-christ” Robertson has already bought his one-way ticket to hell for what he said about the Haitian earthquake which killed thousands of people.

      …view video and read story at GAWKER on the link below:

      http://gawker.com/5447408/thousands-dying-because-haitian-slaves-swore-a-pact-with-the-devil-for-their-freedom?skyline=true&s=x

      Jun 29, 2011 at 1:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WillBFair
      WillBFair

      @DavyJones: Don’t bother trying to convince these folk. They’re hopelessly ig and have been duped by Harris and Dawkin’s crude rhetorical games. It’s the oldest trick in the book: divide and conquer. In this case, divide liberal atheists from liberal christians. And these dingbats have swallowed it, hook, line, and sinker.
      Just think of the mindless ignorance. To think as they do, they have to ignore mountains of evidence: the millions of christians who love and wish them well, Biship Spong and his many books on their behalf, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, the Pres. of the NAACP, the millions who serve and defend the poor and oppressed, the Abolitionists, Episcopalians who are risking membership and capital on their behalf, etc… ad infinitum.
      They’re fed a steady diet of nutbar fundamentalism at JMG and elsewhere. And they don’t bother to look beyond at what decent christians are doing.
      You can’t reach people this obtuse.

      Jun 29, 2011 at 1:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      @Rainfish: thanks for the lïnk & the oh-so-sad reminder that Pat Robertson continues to preach.

      Remember how he promised to overturn MA’s approval of marriage equality?

      He’s had, what, 8 years to fulfill his vow, and guess what ! Boston still stands, and couples are still saying I DO.

      p.s. it’s always good to hear what you have to say. Please keep posting!

      Jun 29, 2011 at 1:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • iDavid
      iDavid

      @Shannon1981

      I watched the show on the history channel. It was pretty good. The name of the book isn’t obvious but would be the latest of his works.

      http://www.sliceofscifi.com/2007/10/26/lost-nostradamus-book-found-for-tv/

      @davyjones

      Unfortunately the 3 main religions are so large the others get left aside, at least size wise. Even though others like Buddhism etc are much more authentic, all religions disapprove of homosexuality, which is like disapproving of the sun. So we buck the tide cuz we know that is a foul. The main rels however are so full of holes they keep the mass consciousness in confusion. So best they go at least from my perspective.

      Jun 29, 2011 at 2:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ganondorf
      Ganondorf

      @Jeffree:

      “I’m old and threatened by things I don’t understand! Modern times, phoooey! I’m afraid of change, and like naps and soft foods.”

      @DavyJones:

      You are not an atheist. You’d have to know what it is, first.

      Jun 29, 2011 at 2:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ganondorf
      Ganondorf

      @Ganondorf:

      That wasn’t to “jeffree”, but wilberfarce=willbfair

      Jun 29, 2011 at 2:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DavyJones
      DavyJones

      @Ganondorf: Umm, well thanks for telling me what I believe and don’t believe since you obviously know better than I do… I’m an atheist; and agnostic atheist to be exact; meaning I don’t believe a deity exists, but I also don’t claim to be able to prove a deity does not exist. In the words of Carl Sagan, to believe you can know there is no God is itself “very stupid”.

      Jun 29, 2011 at 4:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DavyJones
      DavyJones

      @iDavid: There are many, many religions which approve of homosexuality; there are even many Christian congregations which approve of homosexuality.

      Jun 29, 2011 at 4:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      What role did Christianity have in the decline of the Roman empire? As the church became more powerful, the emperor’s power became weaker. They accepted Jesus as their personal savior and were quickly destroyed by barbarians (who also were christian).

      Jun 29, 2011 at 5:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rainfish
      Rainfish

      @Jeffree: Thanks Jeffree, and back at you! :)

      Jun 29, 2011 at 7:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rainfish
      Rainfish

      @iDavid: As to the claim that most religions do not accept homosexuality, well, I shouldn’t be too upset over that assertion since most religions do not accept rational thinking either. No loss really. Sensible people in the GLBT community wouldn’t lose two seconds of sleep over that meaningless exclusion.

      It’s odd how those deluded miscreants who hate us “fairies” so very much still feel compelled to believe in fairy-tales so obsessively. Go figure.

      By the way, I heard that Maggie Gallagher got so upset with our Marriage Equality win in New York that she spit Jonah out of her blowhole again. I guess they’ll have to revise the Old Testament to update that remarkable true life adventure story.

      Jun 29, 2011 at 8:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • iDavid
      iDavid

      @Davyjones

      The basic tenets of religion does not approve, which the Dahli Lama and the Pope will be the first to tell you, and those two cover about all of the flavors. But if you’d like to name the “many many religions that accept homosexuality” and not just a handful of their troops that have splintered, I’m all ears.

      @Rainfish

      I hear ya, those fairy tales have gone genetic, which is why I think it’s so difficult for many to break the addiction to bigotry.

      Regarding Maggie; I also heard she went to bed gorging on boxes of dime store chocolates while transfixed on her Jenny-Craig-wannabe flash cards. Regarding addictions, I’d say she took out double indemnity.

      Jun 29, 2011 at 8:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • iDavid
      iDavid

      @Kev C

      I find it ironic but TOTALLY logical that the Roman Empire after an almost 2K reign, crumbled shortly after the intro to Christianity.

      Jun 29, 2011 at 8:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • iDavid
      iDavid

      PS DavyJones —– I don’t tolerate religion and it’s hocus pocus show but I’m not an Atheist either, as I am a student of Jesus (who never wrote for or elected to be included in the Bible) thru a home study course called A Course in Miracles.

      Jun 29, 2011 at 9:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      Pat Robertson is popular in certain areas where entertainment for the people does not exist.

      Jun 29, 2011 at 10:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @iDavid: You are seriously messed up if on one hand you condemn religion and then on the other hand you follow the teachings of a self-entitled profit. Oh, and by the way, the Christian Bible predicts the destruction of the Catholic church as well according to anyone that isn’t Catholic.

      @TomMc: You mean as opposed to the “religion is to blame for everything bad in society” bull shit espoused for that same time period by atheistic people to hung up on themselves to believe in giving back to any cause that doesn’t directly benefit them? Such people completely ignore the number of religious charities making a difference on an everyday basis because a few lunatic right fringe nutcases hijacked Jesus and the crusades happened some 400+ years ago.

      @iDavid: Does it really scare people like you so much when others make a point that you can’t possibly contradict that you feel the need to go bat shit crazy instead. Who the fuck are you? Maggie Galagher?

      Jun 29, 2011 at 11:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Christopher di spiritu – man I had to wade through a lot of comments to get through to the end….so if you’re still here….yes the fundy’s die off but there is a lot of money in hate (also in manipulation and selling TV time etc) so there are always more to take their place!

      And WillBFair – you are so right. Never try to teach a pig to sing, it only wastes your time and annoys the pig; to paraphrase…..

      Jun 29, 2011 at 11:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • iDavid
      iDavid

      @Daez,

      Oh silly boy, do behave.

      Jesus is no more self entitled than the president of the U.S. Nor is he considered part of a religion by those in the know. But I am interested in biblical chapter and verse about the destruction of the Catholic church. Can you provide?

      I have no probs using Miss Maggie as a dartboard. At least she’s big enough not to miss. If you think what I humorously said about her was bat shit crazy, I’d say you come from a VERY insulated universe. Still living w Mom?

      Jun 29, 2011 at 12:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • robert in NYC
      robert in NYC

      Ahhhhhhhh, the hypocrisy of the right wing. I didn’t hear them rant about armageddon and the harm to children when the real threats to marriage reared their ugly heads in the forms of married men such as David Vitter who solicited five prostitutes and was re-elected; serial adulterers Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani, both three times married and all supporting pro-family values and the sanctity of marriage and Maggie Srivastava (aka Gallagher) a former unwed mother. Hypocrites and bigots all.

      And then there is Islam, a denomination that permits hetero polygamy, up to four wives at a time. Polgyamy was never condemned by God in the old testament apparently.

      Why are these so called “christians” afraid to address that I wonder?

      Jun 29, 2011 at 12:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • iDavid
      iDavid

      “Never try to teach a pig to sing”. 7 words of pure wisdom. I love THAT.

      Jun 29, 2011 at 12:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ganondorf
      Ganondorf

      @DavyJones:

      As I said, you don’t know what atheism is. Atheism isn’t agnosticism anymore than it is stalinism, communism, etc. You are, however, ignorant and stubborn.

      Jun 29, 2011 at 1:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TomMc
      TomMc

      @DavyJones: — 21.

      Thanks for the examples.

      The point I was trying to make (emphasis on the word “trying”) was that until the 20th century, most of the massacres and genocides in this world were predicated upon religious differences.

      However, I’ve never really not experienced firsthand any nastiness, homophobic or otherwise, from people who did not adhere to some religious beliefs.

      Yet, what exactly is “religion”? When people say “religion” do they really mean “belief” (and, at that, belief without empirical evidence — oftentimes too in violation of reason)?

      Perhaps maybe the *real* problem is/was with people who hold onto their *beliefs* – religious or otherwise – without examining them??

      Thanks again for the links, and your temperate response, DavyJones.

      Jun 29, 2011 at 1:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TomMc
      TomMc

      @Daez: “You mean as opposed to the “religion is to blame for everything bad in society” bull shit espoused for that same time period by atheistic people to hung up on themselves to believe in giving back to any cause that doesn’t directly benefit them? Such people completely ignore the number of religious charities making a difference on an everyday basis because a few lunatic right fringe nutcases hijacked Jesus and the crusades happened some 400+ years ago.”

      Er, do you believe that athiests are necessarily ethical egoists?

      Jun 29, 2011 at 1:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ganondorf
      Ganondorf

      Lastly.

      It is logically impossible for anyone to do anything because of atheism. Atheism is normatively inert (it isn’t a moral outlook, or even an outlook), and says nothing about what one should or shouldn’t do, or how one ought behave. People routinely do horrible things because they are christian, muslim, x. Christianity isn’t normatively inert, and does prescribe actions such as christians exhibit. It’s also literally meaningless to differentiate fundamentalist chriristian, muslim, x from any other. It’s all based on simple, irresolvable disagreement (e.g., “this passage in the bible means x because A, B, and C!” “no, it means y because of D, E, F!”), but originates in the same source (in this case, the bible and/or christian faith).

      And Carl Sagan was wrong. The god of christianity, judaism and islam is self contradictory. However, many of the thousands of other deities aren’t, so one can be either self contradictory or provide no good reason (one based on evidence) whatsoever for belief. Either or.

      Jun 29, 2011 at 1:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • idavid
      idavid

      @Ganondorf

      Davyjones is coming across clear as a bell to me as to where he stands, and I also think he understands atheism and agnosticism as separate ideologies quite clearly as well.

      It seems you are trying to convince him otherwise, and in a profoundly negative throw-him-under-the-bus kinda way.

      I would urge you to be a little more questioning and engaging of others you don’t understand especially when others do, instead of assumptive one-sided superior and aggressively dictatorial. We get enough of that from, ah now, Pat Roberson?

      Yeh.

      Jun 29, 2011 at 2:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ganondorf
      Ganondorf

      @idavid:

      Then you do not understand the meaning of atheism and agnosticism. I am trying to convince no one of anything. I am merely describing what the terms mean. Anyone who would attribute the horrors of Stalinist russia to atheism simply does not know what the term means, and this “davyjones” character did just that. You have provided no indication that your ignorance is any less than his.

      Jun 29, 2011 at 2:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • iDavid
      iDavid

      @Ganondorf

      Then consider being the helpful teacher rather than an antagonizing ass.

      Jun 29, 2011 at 2:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • iDavid
      iDavid

      @Ganondorf

      Or maybe question form may be more digestible;

      would you consider being more a helpful teacher rather than an antagonizing ass?

      Jun 29, 2011 at 2:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TomMc
      TomMc

      @Ganondorf: Your nod to Kierkegaaard nonetheless, it appears as though you are defining atheism negatively (that is, by what it is not). Perhaps by “logically impossible” you meant “logically nihilistic”?

      Suffice to say, there are branches of Christianity (and Islam) that jettison the moral baggage, while still clinging hard-and-fast to the ‘metaphysical’ — c.f., Meister Eckhart and Sufism.

      I am unsure if you are attempting to lay a coherent epistemological foundation for ‘atheism’, or if that is something you’d intuitively eschew (i.e. any variety of foundationalism) as well?

      Jun 29, 2011 at 2:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ganondorf
      Ganondorf

      @iDavid:

      Ah, disingenuous false modesty. A symptom of “true faith”. If you take issue with anything specific that I’ve put forth here other than the “tone” or other inessential to meaning elements, by all means, try to reason with an argument. If it’s just your personal taste and offense at how the content is presented rather than the content itself, you’re going to find yourself in what I imagine to be a pretty common position for you–holding your dick.

      Jun 29, 2011 at 2:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ganondorf
      Ganondorf

      “Your nod to Kierkegaaard nonetheless, it appears as though you are defining atheism negatively (that is, by what it is not).”

      No, I’ve never read Kierkegaard, and have no wish to. Existentialism does not make sense to me. Anyway, I think that the distinction between negative and positive atheism is without a difference, for both rule out belief in god. In fact, there isn’t a single observation of behavior that you could describe that would distinguish between negative and positive atheism. Therefore, it is a meaningless distinction. However, one isn’t merely a negative or positive atheist. I am certain that the god of christianity doesn’t exist (logical problem of evil, for example), but while I don’t believe Zues to exist because my commitment to the scientific method rules out belief in such things, I cannot prove with logical certainty that Zues does not exist. Nor should I, as the burden of proof rests on the person claiming that Zues exists.

      “Perhaps by “logically impossible” you meant “logically nihilistic”?”

      No. Logically impossible means that there is no possible world in which an atheist is compelled to act based on a belief of what he should do because of his atheism. Standard logical impossibility. Further, it is inconceivable. This because the absence of a belief in god cannot compel one to act one or another way, or round any “should”–is vs. ought, fact vs. value.

      “Suffice to say, there are branches of Christianity (and Islam) that jettison the moral baggage, while still clinging hard-and-fast to the ‘metaphysical’ — c.f., Meister Eckhart and Sufism.”

      Really? So there are muslims and christians who aren’t divine command theorists and don’t believe that their faith makes any demand on how they should behave toward others and themselves? Even if that were true, it is also true that christianity and islam are not normatively inert.

      “I am unsure if you are attempting to lay a coherent epistemological foundation for ‘atheism’, or if that is something you’d intuitively eschew (i.e. any variety of foundationalism) as well?”

      No, this isn’t about epistemology except a reference to the difference between atheism and agnosticism (foundationalism vs. coherentism–no), nor am I laying out any specific argument for atheism. I’m describing what it is, and certain implications that arise from it–or don’t, as is the case.

      Jun 29, 2011 at 2:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DavyJones
      DavyJones

      I know very well what atheism is, and no matter how often you assert otherwise; it still won’t suddenly make you right…

      Further, I never suggested that Stalin or Lenin acted because of their atheism; only that atheist are capable of acts of extreme evil as well. You seem to be trying to fit my argument into a debate you’re already prepared for, unfortunately, the academic argurment you’re trying to evoke has nothing to do with my position.

      That said, people can certainly be driven to action through atheist views, because through the beliefe that there is no god, they can be driven to believe that those who believe in God do great evil in the world (in views which are radicalizations od those in this very thread). You can try to debate me on this, but if you do, I’ll simply take it as a sign of the fact that you are an academic who is ignorant of the real world. I personally knew a catholic priest who was beheaded in Peru by atheist communist, his crime they said was spreading false religion. (which is to say, he preached out of the church where he also fed over 500 people a day).

      Jun 29, 2011 at 4:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TomMc
      TomMc

      @Ganondorf:

      “No, I’ve never read Kierkegaard”

      - So why the Either/Or?

      ——-

      “Existentialism does not make sense to me.”

      - It’s not supposed to make sense. Else it’d be called making-sensible-ism ;)

      ——-

      “Anyway, I think that the distinction between negative and positive atheism is without a difference, for both rule out belief in god.”

      - I thought – likely mistakenly – that negative athiesm only implies the possibility of any supernatural being (‘pace’ the Lacanians, “the presence of an absence”), whereas positive atheism flat-out asserted that as a possibility.

      ——-

      “In fact, there isn’t a single observation of behavior that you could describe that would distinguish between negative and positive atheism. Therefore, it is a meaningless distinction.”

      - Perhaps, but one position seems more ‘vocal’. (Maybe we should call one version ‘top atheism’ versus another, ‘bottom atheism’? Of course neither would be, realistically, mutually exclusive categories.)

      ——-

      “I am certain that the god of christianity doesn’t exist (logical problem of evil, for example)”

      - Theodicy *is* up-in-the-air.

      ——-

      “I don’t believe Zues to exist because my commitment to the scientific method rules out belief in such things, I cannot prove with logical certainty that Zues does not exist. Nor should I, as the burden of proof rests on the person claiming that Zues exists.”

      - Glad, very glad you “went there”. Indeed that is a perfect example to bring up when dealing with diehard theists – especially given that the background of Western Culture is still very much indebited to Greece (depsite her current debts). I am more than impressed that you’ve added that example into your overall argument. (That though, I must leave there… suffice to say I could write a lot more about that myself…)

      ——-

      “No. Logically impossible means that there is no possible world in which an atheist is compelled to act based on a belief of what he should do because of his atheism.”

      - Only (with)in modal logic.

      ——-

      “Standard logical impossibility. Further, it is inconceivable. This because the absence of a belief in god cannot compel one to act one or another way, or round any “should”–is vs. ought, fact vs. value.”

      - It seems you’ve extrapolated Hume into a place where he’d not ‘rouse Kant?

      ——-

      “Really? So there are muslims and christians who aren’t divine command theorists and don’t believe that their faith makes any demand on how they should behave toward others and themselves?”

      - Yup; hence my examples. Did you google them in the interim?

      ——-

      “Even if that were true,”

      - It is.

      ——-

      “it is also true that christianity and islam are not normatively inert.”

      - Not in this possible world. HA!

      ——-

      “No, this isn’t about epistemology except a reference to the difference between atheism and agnosticism (foundationalism vs. coherentism–no), nor am I laying out any specific argument for atheism. I’m describing what it is, and certain implications that arise from it–or don’t, as is the case.”

      - No, you appear to be under the impression that epistemology exists as a handmaid to the monotheistic religions — that is, that it is there to justify “belief” (v. knowledge). That you conflate agnosticism with atheism belies that utterance; moreso that you’re likely not aware of less dichotomous (i.e. either foundationalism OR coherentism) theories of truth.

      ——-

      All that aside, thanks so very much for the intellectual stimulation. That is the most thinking I’ve attempted (and in this case perhaps a crime – my “attempted thinking”?) all day. I do apologize if any of my responses above sound overly flippant and/or harsh.

      Suffice to say when any news article includes quotes from so-called Religious People(TM) then it can be hurtful to so many who don’t subscribe to their articles of faith. If only *they* had a modicum of your exemplary intelligence!?

      Jun 29, 2011 at 5:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ganondorf
      Ganondorf

      “So why the Either/Or”

      Because either a deity is self refuting or there is no good (objective/rational) reason to believe that it exists but isn’t ruled out by logical contradiction. I thought I’d explained that with the Zeus example…

      “It’s not supposed to make sense. Else it’d be called making-sensible-ism ;)”

      Well, then likely that’s why it doesn’t make sense to me. Another mystery solved.

      “I thought – likely mistakenly – that negative athiesm only implies the possibility of any supernatural being (‘pace’ the Lacanians, “the presence of an absence”), whereas positive atheism flat-out asserted that as a possibility.”

      Some of my best friends are into continental philosophy. They’re smart people, and aside from having a different vocabulary to discuss a lot of the same themes, place varying levels of importance on certain aspects of thought. I’ve understood negative atheism to mean “a lack of belief in god” and positive atheism “a belief that god doesn’t exist,” and I assert that this distinction isn’t coherent because believing that something doesn’t exist and lacking a belief in the existence of something is functionally identical save asserting that there’s a difference. If there’s no verifiable difference between the two except for one saying that there is, I affirm an identity of meaning. Or, if I replaced positive atheist and negative atheist in every instance of the word ‘atheist’ in a sentence without changing its truth value, I assert that they mean the same thing. And, I think that tool works, too.

      “Theodicy *is* up-in-the-air.”

      I don’t think any theodicy has reconciled the existence of evil with the existence of the 3-O god (and I’m familiar with a great deal of them). I think that’s another topic, though. As to christianity and islam being normatively inert, is it your contention that because there are a few self identified christians and muslims who aren’t divine command theorists and believe that their faith has no bearing on how they should behave, that christianity and islam are normatively inert like atheism is? If so, I don’t see it, and likely won’t be brought to understand that claim. Anyway, it’s been nice talking to you. Quite the departure from the others.

      Jun 29, 2011 at 5:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 12345deviant
      12345deviant

      Im gonna say it …… Jesus was GAY!

      Jun 29, 2011 at 6:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • iDavid
      iDavid

      @Ganondorf

      “Quite a departure from the others”. Could that be due to your inciteful moronic behavior?

      @12345deviant

      You know, he might get pissed you outed him. He hasn’t told his parents yet and Mary Magdeline doesn’t share.

      Details, the death of us I tell ya.

      Jun 29, 2011 at 6:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AxelDC
      AxelDC

      I was amazed at the meme on the right that the NY government has no right to make laws for NY. They describe it as “shoving it down the voters’ throats” and demand a referendum. Never mind that most polls show well over 50% support for gay marriage in NY, and don’t bother pointing out that Cuomo was just elected governor with 63% of the vote and he was very outspoken about his desire to push this bill through.

      Apparently, a popular governor with a 2-1 mandate has no right to push for the agenda he clearly laid out to the voters. I guess it’s the same shock that teabaggers had with Obama over health care reform when the entire 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary was about health care reform.

      Jun 30, 2011 at 8:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      AxelDC – blame the media, at least partly. They keep giving these nut cases a forum. The conservatives have a process. They try to influence the governing members (legislature/council/congress). If that doesn’t work they go to court. If that doesn’t work, then they want to use “the will of the people”, heavily propagandized if they have the time and money to do it.

      In other words, an activist judge is only activist when he doesn’t do what they want. If he upholds what they want, however wrong the application of said law, he is a “freedom fighter.” The law is good, until it disagrees with their (usually religious) views. The will of the people is fine (until it violates “God’s Law.”) They make me tired.

      What is so complicated about everyone having equal rights? Marry the adult of your choice?

      What needs to be said, and is seldom ever said – this same sex marriage argument is really a tempest in teapot. Gay people already exist, they always have and always will. We work and pay taxes. The question is will the government give us the same rights or will they continue to bow to people who continue to advocate mean and unfair policies?

      Jun 30, 2011 at 9:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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