oh jesus

All The Good Things That Can Be Said About the Anti-Gay Manhattan Declaration


The Manhattan Declaration is the 4,700-word manifesto signed by scores of Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christian leaders as a public reminder of the importance in protecting their religious ideology, no matter how discriminatory it may be. Supposedly, it’s a way to cue believers that human life must be protected above all else, but also that gay marriage is not something this national can tolerate. But of course, as one Declaration signatory tells it, that doesn’t mean the document is anti-gay!

Dr. Ronald Sider, the founder of Evangelicals for Social Action and a theology professor at a Pennsylvania seminary, signed the document, but he doesn’t denounce the meaningfulness of gay relationships. He tells the Village Voice:

It’s better for the people involved, and better for the culture, if a gay person has one longer-term relationship than a whole bunch of temporary ones and promiscuity. It’s pretty clear that that’s a destructive way to live. I’m glad if a gay person has one longer term relationship, rather than a bunch of relationships.

[…] The constitutional protection of minorities is enormously important. Religious freedom is important, but they are all important. I want gay Americans to be protected by the law. I want an end to gay bashing. I want them to have jobs, and have housing. I want them to visit their partner in the hospital, and to inherit property and pay taxes [together] legally. Those are all proper things a good society does to establish equality. Even though gay people are not practicing what I believe is the proper sexual relationship, I think they should be protected by the constitution and have all of their civil rights.

But of course, there’s a major caveat:

I don’t think the culture needs to say that partnership is marriage. I think it would be entirely appropriate and there is a range of views on this in the evangelical community but I would be open to a legal category of civil partnership. Gay people could have a specified number of legal rights that would encourage their ongoing commitment. But what really matters, and what’s really decisive, is what marriage means.

And not even what religion says marriage means. But what society needs it to mean!

This is precisely not a religious argument. It’s an argument about what a society needs, to preserve itself, to preserve what is wholesome from generation to generation. The core of that argument is historic, from every civilization.

[…] My argument was not a religious argument. It is about what marriage means. It’s true, a lot of contemporaries have redefined marriage. Marriage now means an emotional, romantic relationship between people. If that is what marriage is, then it should ought to be available to gays or lesbians. But if marriage is what every culture has always said it was, then it makes no sense to offer it to everyone, and [Prop 8 attorney Ted] Olsen’s argument doesn’t hold.

And don’t even try to compare a ban on interracial marriage with a ban on gay marriage. Dr. Sider has you beat!

[The ban on interracial marriage] was wrong, and racism is wrong, and I am glad that was overturned. But that doesn’t follow that every case in analogous.

The only analogous cases, of course, are the ones that treated marriage contracts as property transfers. That, too, was wrong. Marriage is about so much more, especially in the Catholic Church, which has yet to come out swinging for a ban on divorce.

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  • Flex

    Witness the annihilation of proposition 8. Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial begins on 1-11-2010 @ 8:30 AM!

  • Daniel

    Ireland just released a report showing that Roman Catholic bishops had intentionally flaunted the law by shielding child abusers for decades. Any other group would have been sentenced to long jail terms for aiding and abetting such atrocious criminals. It is time that religious leaders be held accountable when they commit crimes against people, including human rights violations.

  • Joe Mustich, JP

    To the marriage police, sexually phobic, and flat earthers, please find something else to do with your time, because life’s just to short. Find love…

    Onward to equality,
    Joe Mustich, Justice of the Peace,
    Washington, Connecticut, USA.

  • AndrewW

    It was signed by 150 “Conservative” members of the clergy. It doesn’t represent a single denomination, but, it does fairly represent the ideas of most evangelicals. That’s about 1/3 of those self-defining as “religious.” You know, the group you’re always calling “bigots.”

  • Joe

    What happened to the separation of church and state in that fine country of yours? The less religion you have in government the better off everyone will be. RELIGION POISONS EVERYTHING!!

  • AndrewW

    @ Joe: The problem is anti-gay beliefs are rooted in “religious teaching,” nothing else teaches that homosexuality is wrong. The good news is most people don’t actually take religious serious – only about one-third do. The people who support this “Declaration” are the very conservative, “literalists.” The other two-thirds are much less serious about “religion.”

    I don’t think you can separate church and state for that one-third, plus they’ll never actually takeover our government. Instead, we must focus on the two-thirds that are movable or mutable when it comes to religious beliefs.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    “I don’t think the culture needs “……..”I think it would be entirely appropriate….” ……..”I would be open to….”…….”Gay people could have a specified number of legal rights”….Who are you to say what I am entitled to? Who do you think you are? I will fight, until I have no more breath in my body, these arrogant fellow Americans that think they can rule over my American heritage. Complete ass. Marriage is contractual! Rights are being withheld from us because we are not popular with you. Bug off!

  • schlukitz

    @ No. 6 – AndrewW

    plus they’ll never actually takeover our government

    What makes you so certain of that, Andrew?

    No one thought a paper-hanger would ever actually take over the government in Germany either.

  • AndrewW

    @ #8 Schlukitz:

    Really? Comparing America in 2009 to Germany 70 years ago? Sorry, the comparison isn’t relevant. This isn’t your Grandfather’s America. Or even your Great Grandfather’s Germany. Try to catch up. We live in a new world.

    Here are the facts: It’s simple – these Christians are the “literalists,” and they are only 1/3 of the so-called “religious” people in America. Most people laugh at them. The LGBT Community is unfortunately obsessed with them. It creates the idea that they are more powerful than they actually are.

    Sooner or later we must learn that “engaging” these zealots only makes them more important and it creates the impression that they are the enemy. They are not. Indifference is the enemy.

    By the way, 150 anti-gay Christian clergy signed the Declaration – not “scores,” as the media has reported. There are about a million clergy persons in the US. When will they be signing?

    The sky is not falling my old friend – it is opening up. We need to learn how to take advantage of that.

  • schlukitz

    @ No. 9 – AndrewW

    Really? Comparing America in 2009 to Germany 70 years ago? Sorry, the comparison isn’t relevant.

    Yes. Really. I believe the comparison IS relevant. I was there and history has a habit of repeating itself, no matter what the time frame.

    Try to catch up. We live in a new world.

    Many Americans were saying the exact same thing in the late 1930s while war clouds were gathering in Germany. It was the rise of Nazism that caused my grandparents and my father to flee from Germany to this country.

    The loss of an uncle and nephew in a bombing raid over Germany and the 15 year separation from our father that my brother and I suffered as a result of Hitler’s transgressions against humanity during WWII, is a loss that you apparently did not have to suffer and probably have difficulty understanding. I don’t know how old you are, but telling me to try to catch up is, I feel, a tad condescending, as well as well as somewhat ageist, my old friend.

    Sooner or later we must learn that “engaging” these zealots only makes them more important and it creates the impression that they are the enemy. they are not. Indifference is the enemy.

    I will both agree with you and disagree with you on that statement. You are absolutely right when you say that “engaging” these zealots only makes them more important. One simply cannot reason with unreasonable people who believe that they are right, no matter what anyone else says or who presents them empirical evidence of their stupidity.

    That said, however, make no mistake about it. The religious zealots are the enemy and our past indifference allowed them to pass DOMA, not only on the federal level, but on the state level as well. And, let us not forget to mention overturning our legal right to same-sex marriage in California and Maine.

    And, NOM is NOT finished, by any long stroke of the imagination, in case you are unaware of that fact. They will be calling for the same elections to vote our rights away in those states where same-sex marriage and civil-unions now exist if they can pull it off.

    The LGBT Community is unfortunately obsessed with them. It creates the idea that they are more powerful than they actually are.

    I respectfully disagree with that. The LGT community does indeed, have good reason to be obsessed with them. The evidence of their power is all about us. Haven’t you noticed their heinous accomplishments? They are, in fact, more powerful than you seem willing to give them credit for. Complacency, is the very worst posture the LGBT community could assume at this time and place.

    I agree fully with you that we need to learn how to take advantage of openings. That is a strategy that should never be overlooked. But, as Prime Minister Chamberlain sadly discovered, dialogue and exploring openings with Herr Hitler, did not bring about a durable peace.

    Bombing the shit out of him did!

    To turn our heads the other way, as many Americans did prior to WWII, and pretend that nothing was going on over in Europe that we should be concerned with, would be foolhardy and would be seen, as the Japanese saw it, as weakness and reason to attack.

    On a personal level and as a gay man, I do not wish to sit around waiting for a Pearl Harbor on gay rights or a re-enactment of the gay holocaust in Germany that no one seems to be willing to pay much lip service to 70 years after the fact.

    As the old German philosopher said “We grow too soon old, und too late schmart.”

  • AndrewW

    @ Schlukitz:

    I never suggested “turn our heads away” from Christian zealots – I suggested doing some math. You seem to be obsessed with the “size” of our enemy. NOM does not speak for America – they speak for “conservative” Christians, about 1/3 of all “religious” people.

    With all the respect I can conjure up – comparing these people to Hitler borders on insanity. Perhaps you could explain how they intend to take over our government or wipe us off the face of the earth? What’s their Plan? I remind you (again) it’s 2009. And that “history repeats itself” stuff? Enough already. It ignores the fact that many of us have grown, learned and matured in our understanding and our thinking. This is not Iraq. Selling “fear” just creates more.

    I must wonder why you carelessly implicate the remaining 2 out of 3 Christians that are NOT conservative “literalists,” but rather new, younger Christians that are progressive, open-minded and actually supportive of “equality.” Instead you keep empowering the old Christian “minority.” Snap out of it. Learn to embrace and promote the Christians that can actually help us.

    It’s time to make “conservative Christians,” and their leadership, an amusing sideshow on our path to equality. Until we do that, they will continue to define us and own us. Stop giving them the permission and power to do so.

  • schlukitz

    @ No. 11 – AndrewW

    Well, that is your viewpoint and there is no changing it. Obviously, it would be foolish of me to try.

    I will simply choose to ignore the “old friend”, “bordering on insanity”, “enough already”, “history repeats itself stuff”, “careless implications”, “snap out of it” and “stop giving them permission and power to do so” orders you just issued.

    Is this the part where I extend my arm and click my heels together while I say “Sieg Heil”? LOL

    I’ll just let what you consider to be respectful comments pass with a more polite closure.

    L’chei-im! ;)

  • John McLaren

    How tragic Americans believe that the USA is the “home of the free”..a country where citizens enjoy more freedoms than any place in the world. But what about all those same-sex couples who have been married in Holland, Canada and many other countries and more recently Argentina. And what about most NATO countries who allow gays to serve openly and proudly in their armed services? A few years back two army officers were married on an Army base by a chaplain in Gagetown, N.B. in Canada. And in Nova Scotia two RCMP officers, wearing their scarlet uniforms were married in a church surrounded by friends and family. Now let’s brag that the USA has the best health care system in the world!

  • schlukitz

    Unfortunately, No. 13 – John McLaren, we Americans have been fed a “bill of goods”.

    We live in a land where the freedoms we enjoyed in the past, are slowly and methodically being taken away from us. A quick perusal of the changes of law that took place under the Bush dictatorship will offer visible and scary proof of that. We won’t even go into what his predecessors did.

    The naked and shameful fact is, that our government, instead of being the secular, democratic form of government that our forefathers envisioned for us, has become stealthily more and more of a theocratic, monolithic, religiously controlled government.

    Emboldened by their recent victories against the LGBT community, more and more of these religious “worms” are coming out of the woodwork.

    If we, unlike most of the other civilized nations of the world cannot get a decent health care system up and running in what is supposed to be the most advanced, medically savvy and adept and wealthiest country in the world, what chance does same-sex marriage have?

  • B

    in No. 6, AndrewW wrote, “@ Joe: The problem is anti-gay beliefs are rooted in ‘religious teaching,’ nothing else teaches that homosexuality is wrong. The good news is most people don’t actually take religious serious – only about one-third do. The people who support this ‘Declaration”‘ are the very conservative, ‘literalists.’ The other two-thirds are much less serious about ‘religion.'”

    First there’s the logical fallacy: the assumption without proof that “the other two-thirds are much less serious about ‘regigion.'” It is possible to be serious about religion and still reject the idea that there is anything wrong with homosexuality. I know a number of gay Christians who do that – they take their religion seriously but don’t proselytize and don’t make disparaging statements about gays or anyone else (atheists included).

    There’s also no proof that anti-gay beliefs are rooted in ‘religious teachings’ any more than anti-interracial-marriage beliefs were rooted in religious teachings (at the time bigots tried to use the Bible to justify miscegenation laws, something they are now trying to pretend never happened). Religion can be used to amplify a problem, but isn’t necessarily the root cause.

  • AndrewW

    Apparently “B” doesn’t care to tell the truth about religion – for 2,000 religion has taught that “homosexuality is wrong.” That is an indisputable fact. No other institution has taught that belief. None.

    It’s not hard to understand the “source” of the idea that we are wrong. That’s the easy part. What requires more thought and understanding is whether or not that belief is surviving the major changes in religion.

    I have defined the 1/3 that cling to that belief as the very conservative “literalists.” Some denominations are easy to identify as mostly literalists – try Baptists and Mormons. It gets more difficult with Catholics because despite the teachings (or this Declaration) most Catholics do not believe the Bible or the Churches teachings in a “literal” sense. (Reference: Abortion)

    Episcopalians, Lutherans and Presbyterians are actually “splitting” over whether or not the Bible is the “literal” word of God. Recently, the Pope made a marketing play for “conservative” Episcopalians (Anglican).

    If you want to discuss what is happening with religion, you need to do better than “a few friends of mine.” There is plenty of data available online. Google it.

  • AndrewW

    @ #12 Schlukitz:

    The alternative is to think. That option is always available to you. It’s your choice.

  • higher

    Why is promiscuous behavior always the exclusive territory of the homo in these debates? Isn’t today’s big headline about the golfer Woods and his bloody lip between two blonde women? There hasn’t been a sex scandal involving out celebs since Martina, and even then it was barely mentioned because of the shock of her lesbianism. At this point it only serves self-interests to attack our lives. The catholic church, especially the roman version, has been on a tailspin for years and, for their leadereship at least, it seems that the road always leads to that inncocent gay couple cuddling on the sofa at home. With guns blazing they kick down our doors and say : ” LOOK world, they made us pedophiles and now they want to take their lusts to the altar!”

    Yes, promiscuity can be destructive if its because its displayed recklessly and without care. Scratch that. I guess because of the perversity of puritanical society, it is destructive to be promiscuous…The very idea of having fun with sex is so guilt ridden that practitioners become lepers. And not only because of STDs. I wonder if the Native Americans were wiped out because of gay syphillis. Can diseases be gay?

    Whatever Dolan you self-hating homo. And you too Sider. Yeah please don’t denounce my behavior when it becomes your boring answer to the destructivess of being gay!!

    Johnny’s gay? Quick lock him in a room with a Leffew and throw dvds of leave it to beaver under the door. If he gets bored in 30 years have him adopt a piano prodigy from Korea, just make sure he doesnt name it Judy!!!!!!!!!!!

  • schlukitz

    The alternative is to think. That option is always available to you. It’s your choice.

    AndrewW, I want to thank you very much for helping to make a point that I have been laboring very hard to make on this thread…that point being that appeasement never works. Your snarky and uncalled for response just proved that conclusively.

    Despite the fact that I chose to disengage myself in a polite and gentlemanly and bow out gracefully from a debate you clearly had no intention of letting me win, you, nevertheless, felt a need to continue what is beginning to look, more and more, like a personal attack on me, in addition to some of the other posters on this site. Obviously, my acquiescence was interpreted by you as my being my Achilles heel and this seems only to have emboldened you to unleash more of the hostility you are putting out to others and me.

    I hate to be the one to deliver this news-flash to you, AndrewW, but your overzealous and superior sounding “I am right and you are totally wrong” attitude is really beginning to get the better of me…and probably a few others on this site as well. Despite the fact that I and most of the posters on this site see eye-ball-to-eyeball with you as concerns our unhappiness with the Church, you are on such a hate/rage with the Church, that you feel the need to pistol-whip even those of us who are on your side.

    You continually make reference to the one-third of the population that purportedly make up the religious right in this country. I have yet to see you post a source from which you draw this statistic.

    And while we are on the topic of percentages, Hitler and his small minority of henchmen probably also comprised a less than a one-third minority of the overall population of Germany. Yet, he had no problem whatsoever in toppling a government and taking over the reins. The rest, as the saying goes, is history.

    So, given our present disastrous financial melt-down, the real estate market collapse, our incomprehensible and highest ever national debt, the retail recession, two wars and the problems plaguing our present administration, what makes you so absolutely certain that this could never happen in the USA? We are in precisely the same place that Germany was before Hitler came into power and it was the frustration and the discontent of the German people and by his placing all of the blame on the Jews(Krystalnacht), just like American Christians are doing with gays, that allowed his rise to power. All he had to do was promise “A chicken in every pot and a Volkswagen in every driveway” and the sheep followed.

    What he didn’t tell the German citizenry was that he was going to take those things away from the Jews, in order to redistribute the wealth and finance his own plans for his aggression and enslavement of millions of Europeans. But, like you, maybe they didn’t really care to hear that either.

    Ever heard of McCain, Mike Huckabee or Sarah Palin? Perhaps you need to crack a few reference books or, at the very least, do a few Google searches as well as a little thinking of your own to bring yourself up to speed as to what is going on in the real world, instead of that ivory tower in which you seem to be living.

    And, since you chose to use the term “old friend” in what sounded to me like an ageist remark, the implication being that I am simply an old fart who has no idea what the fuck he is talking about, I will now return that compliment by stating that judging from what I am hearing from you, you are probably still a little wet behind the ears.

    And just in case you are too young to remember that expression, I will clarify it for you. The implication being that you are a smart-assed young kid who thinks that he knows it all and feels the need to impress everyone on these threads with his “smarts” while attempting to make an “old” man look stupid.

    Very juvenile of you, to say the least.

    Obviously, you still have a lot to learn about diplomacy, my young friend, as well as learning how to handle yourself with tact and courtesy in a debate.

    Or, as Joan Rivers expressed it so well,

    ”Grow up”.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Dear AndrewW Post #11 You said,”I suggested doing some math. You seem to be obsessed with the “size” of our enemy. NOM does not speak for America – they speak for “conservative” Christians, about 1/3 of all “religious” people.”===========================

    Top Ten Wealthiest Religious Right Organizations (from Americans United for Separation of Church and State)
    The nation’s largest Religious Right Organizations continue to amass political power and wealth. The following are annual revenue figures obtained by Americans United from the most recently available official governmental filings. Together, these groups raise more than $1 billion annually.

    1) Christian Broadcasting Network/Regent University Revenue $381,479,321 Founded by preacher Pat Robertson. Mixes Christian fundamentalism and far-right politics on a daily television show.
    2) Jerry Falwell Ministries/Liberty Counsel/Liberty University Revenue $368,240,536 Founded by Moral Majority leader Jerry Falwell. Various arms of the empire are now run by his sons Jonathan and Jerry Jr. Attacks church-state separation. Frequently assails Americans United. Liberty Counsel, sited at Falwell’s Liberty University, is a Religious Right legal group.
    3) Southern Baptist Convention Revenue $205,716,834 The nation’s largest Protestant denomination. Frequently joins other Religious Right groups to promote the “culture wars.”
    4) Focus on the Family Revenue $145,194,701 Large ‘family” ministry founded by James Dobson. Takes far-right views on numerous social issues. Dobson issues “personal” endorsements of Religious Right candidates and insists church-state separation “is not in the Constitution.”
    5) The Heritage Foundation Revenue $65,765,247 Known mainly for promoting low taxes and limited government, this group has recently joined forces with the Religious Right.
    6) American Center for Law and Justice/Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism Revenue $47,019,154 Pursues Religious Right legal strategy in courts and seeks to erode the church-state wall. Founded by attorney Jay Sekulow and TV preacher Pat Robertson.
    7) Alliance Defense Fund Revenue $31,644,593 Arizona-based group that funds and directly litigates court cases attacking the church-state wall. Urges fundamentalist pastors to openly violate federal tax law by endorsing political candidates from the pulpit.
    8) American Family Association Revenue $22,547,087 Pro=censorship, anti-gay lobby founded by the Rev. Donald Wildmon.
    9) Family Research Council Revenue $11,783,971 An offshoot of Focus on the Family. Represents Religious Right views in Washington, D.C. Sponsors annual “Values Voter Summit.”
    10) Concerned Women for America Revenue $10,640,810 Anti-feminist lobby founded by Tim and Beverly LaHaye. Attacks public education, gay people and modern science.

    Americans United for Separation of Church and State. 518 C Street, N.E. (202) 466-3234 (www.au.org) http://[email protected]

    Join today. 25 dollars for basic membership. AndrewW, I still contend that the queers need to unite into one Queer Union. These Religious Right Organizations are all joining forces. This is considerable strength that should not be underestimated. Schlukitz has a very real sense of danger. I was bothered when you said that he needed to catch up to the real world. The Chinese see HUGE value in speaking with older members of their community. They’ve seen a lot. I appreciate his experience.

  • AndrewW

    @ 1EqualityUSA:

    Schlukitz chooses to misrepresent what I’ve said and he refuses to answer any questions. His response is to continue to sound the alarm “the Christians are taking over our Country” despite any evidence. Sure, the “Religious Right” plays politics and they can claim Sarah Palin as one of their own, but it gets crazy when the suggestion is that we must “fight them.” Ahhhh, we’ve been fighting them for 40 years and all that did was make them more important than they actually are.

    Schlukitz speaks from anger and frustration. He needs someone to blame for our lack of equality. Blaming “religion” and acting as if they’re all the same misses the opportunity to engage and enroll many people. But, he paints them ALL with the same brush. Atheists do that. Oddly enough, they “know” there isn’t a God. How could they know that? They lack evidence, too.

    I’m neutral on religion and religious beliefs – I think they’re personal. I also have researched “religious” people, their individual intensity of belief, and their influence on politics. They are not all the same. Recognizing that is helpful.

    Schlukitz has warned readers (repeatedly) about religion destroying us all. I have asked readers to consider what “religious” actually means and what the benefits to our community might be. Understanding leads to progress. Anger does not. Age is irrelevant.

  • AndrewW

    @ Schlukitz:

    You have just compared McCain, Huckabee and Sarah Palin to Hitler.

    I rest my case.

    Get some sleep.

  • Stan

    Urban Dictionary:

    The Hitler Card (n) –

    Used when, in a heated debate, you compare something to Adolph Hitler. Usually a last resort defense, the Hitler Card is usually played by those who know they are losing a debate, but are too stubborn to actually admit it.

  • B

    In No. 16 · AndrewW lied by saying, “Apparently “B” doesn’t care to tell the truth about religion – for 2,000 religion has taught that “homosexuality is wrong.” That is an indisputable fact. No other institution has taught that belief. None.”

    The lie is in AndrewW pretending that religion in general is opposed to homosexuality, and it is simply not true. The word “religion” is not a synonym for fundamentalist “fire and brimstone” Christianity, nor is it a synonym for Mormonism. As two examples, there is Taoism (which predated Christianity) and Wicca (which probably predates it as well, although it was mostly stamped out by the Christians and has only recently been allowed to be practiced again)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_topics_and_Taoism :
    “Taoism neither accepts nor condemns homosexuality, people do. Taoism does not condemn people who accept homosexuality, nor those who do not. [1]. Taoism is concerned with harmony and bringing people’s energies into balance, including sexual energy; this involves people having healthy sexual relationships.

    “Taoism stresses the relationship between yin and yang: two opposing forces which maintain harmony through balance. Heterosexuality is seen as the physical and emotional embodiment of the harmonious balance between yin and yang. However, the practice of Qi Gong is said to align and balance yin and yang energies. This practice is especially important if the person engages in continuous homosexual relationships.”

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

    “Throughout most branches of Wicca, all sexual orientations including homosexuality are considered healthy and positive, provided that individual sexual relationships are healthy and loving[1]. Sexual orientation is therefore not considered an issue. Although Gerald Gardner, a key figure in Wicca, was arguably homophobic [2] this historical aversion is not now commonly held. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are almost always welcomed in individual communities, covens, study groups, and circles. Many LGBT Neopagans were initially attracted to Neopagan religions because of this inclusion, in which their relationships are seen on an equal footing.

    “In support of this philosophy, many Wiccans cite the Charge of the Goddess, which says ‘All acts of Love and Pleasure are My rituals’.[3] Therefore all forms and expressions of sexuality, as long as they are otherwise healthy and consensual, are accepted.”

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Dear AndrewW, Step by step the Religious Right is methodically pushing its agenda onto Americans. In Iowa, anti-gay forces are meeting with people 20 at a time in their homes, drumming up support to rid Iowa of same-sex marriage. Robert P. George said, paraphrasing, “It can’t be both ways. It has to be all one way or the other.” Now the fight is on to completely demolish the politicians and judges in states that have successfully passed marriage equality. New Hampshire is now having same-sex marriage up for a popular vote. We need Federal help, as we cannot handle the financial burden on a state by state basis. The Religious Right is trying to break down the separation of church and state wall, eroding away chances of fighting this legally. I understand our need to draw on “younger Christians that are progressive, open-minded and actually supportive of “equality.” News is full of stories to this effect. I agree that many queers are angry and frustrated and this shades opinions to the dire. After Maine, and now, New Jersey, dire thoughts abound. While supportive churches are hand in hand, denouncing discrimination against our community, cagier, shrewd Religious Right leaders are pulling puppet strings in Washington D.C. and nibbling at laws they consider obstacles. While everyone was pointing at Maggie Gallagher body snatchers-like, the real pod was Robert P. George of Princeton. Quiet corridors are where the most hurtful deeds are done. They have a plan and we don’t. They are organized and we are not. They have tax-exempt money at their finger tips, we have bits of cash, exploding without direction, like random shooting stars. Forgive the community members who get sensational in their responses. We all want equality.

  • persnickety.

    at no.9

    Comparing America 2009 to Germany 70 years ago may be pushing it, but it isnt when you compare the roman catholic church 2009 to itself 70 years ago. I’m under the impression that they’re about to scapegoat us in Ireland over the priest abuse cases? Well during the height of ww2, pope pious backed the catholic leadership in yugoslavia when they decided to slaughter hundreds of thouasands of croatians who werent roman catholic..oh guess what, the same cardinal involved in the genocide, was canonized or beautified in the 80s by john paul (Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac) …the church is evil…actively so. And they need to lose tax exemption. They need to have their lace frill skirts upended, and they need to fall away into history like with their brothers the Nazis.

    I’m sorry. the debate should be how this Org is to be picked apart and tossed into the dustheap, not can we work with them….also, if anyone says that was just a bunch of bad apples…it was the leadership, like always…and no lectures from self hating apologists…unless we want more of our community being killed by this blood hungry religious group, we ought better start taking tougher stances.

  • Angelo

    Need I repeat it “Anti-gay Christians” are NOT true Christians

  • AndrewW

    @ 1EqualityUSA:

    Yes, the Religious Right is very active, very organized and they appear to be the enemy – especially when we make them more powerful than they actually are. That’s our big mistake. They DO NOT represent “religion.” They are the conservative, Biblical “literalists.”

    You said: “While supportive churches are hand in hand … “ isn’t the solution. So far, very few churches have adopted “equality,” (less than 1,000 out of 300,000 US churches) and no individual denomination has. You have to look within all denominations, for instance half of all Catholics DO NOT subscribe to Catholicism regarding women’s choice and equal rights. The same is true for most denominations.

    Our problem as a community is understanding how to get the “less intense” religious people to support us. We don’t do that by offending “religion.” We don’t do that by suggesting they are “all the same.” Being anti-religion doesn’t help us.

    The hysteria about the Religious Right and the wild claims that they’re going to “takeover” America just make us look weak and empower them. The above claim that Sarah Palin is a modern day Hitler is absurd. Just try to imagine Palin convincing our military to take over Canada.

    Instead of spending all our energy on the 1/3 that will never help us, we must figure out how to engage the two-thirds that will help us. Denouncing “religion” makes that impossible.

    Keep thinking. I appreciate your comments.

  • AndrewW

    @ Persnickety:

    You said (regarding the Church): “I’m sorry. the debate should be how this Org[anization] is to be picked apart and tossed into the dustheap.”

    They are losing membership and they are dividing themselves into two very different groups – conservative and progressive. Whole denominations are splitting. Women and gays are the divisive issues. The majority are breaking towards the progressive camp – the open-minded, science believing, and “spiritual” non-literalists.

    If we are going to attack religion, let’s make sure we get the “right” ones.

  • AndrewW

    @ #27 Angelo:

    “Need I repeat it “Anti-gay Christians” are NOT true Christians.”

    Which denominations? Which Christians?

  • zebulon


    hey , true christians dont dilly dally over semantics…true christians are homophobic and are spiritual dictators. The whole new age cop out that there are good christos and bad christos is not true and subversive. Even if the “good” jesus freaks ruled everything there would always be something immoral to say about something. Christians need to be quiet and practice their superstitions alone at home like the wiccans who nobody cares enough about to listen to anyway….The point is, ya’ll had your chance, now be quiet, rule mumbo jumbo land on your own time, and go quietly into the night or something.
    demonninate that.

  • schlukitz

    @ AndrewW

    Post no. 28: You have just compared McCain, Huckabee and Sarah Palin to Hitler.

    No. I did NOT make that comparison. You did!

    Bear in mind that it was not I who attacked you in the first place. I never said a word to you or disagreed with anything you have had to say on these threads. I respect your right to state your thoughts and feelings without ridiculing you, even if I don’t agree and in return, I would ask you to respect my right to state my feelings and thoughts, even if you don’t agree with them.

    Having decided to disengage myself from this argument, and not wishing to throw any more gasoline on this fire, I opted to say nothing and let it slide when you misquoted me in your post no. 22.

    However, since you chose to repeat that misquote once again, in your post no. I felt the need to correct you, since it appears that you feel the need to make this your anti-Schlukitz poster motto to run with.

    This is what I actually said in my post no. 19.

    Ever heard of McCain, Mike Huckabee or Sarah Palin? Perhaps you need to crack a few reference books or, at the very least, do a few Google searches as well as a little thinking of your own to bring yourself up to speed as to what is going on in the real world, instead of that ivory tower in which you seem to be living.

    Please note that this was set off as a separate paragraph. Not in the same breath, sentence or anywhere within that paragraph, did I make a comparison of McCaon, Hardware and Sarah Palin to Hitler.

    My intent was to draw your attention to the religiously induced, radical thinking, anti-gay stances of these people who have made no effort, whatsoever, to hide their homophobia.

    What you did is called cherry-picking, a foul ploy that the religious right frequently employs against the LGBT community. It is disingenuous at least and deliberate distortion at best and does little to support your arguments.

    You might try taking a little of your own advice about thinking and try coming up with your own original thoughts and comments, as opposed picking up my comments to toss back to me in an effort to prove my insanity

    Whether you agree with me or not, may I remind you that cheap shots are not becoming to a gentleman and do little to enhance your credibility, Sir.

  • schlukitz

    Sorry for the confusion. That should have been post no. 22 in my quote of your comment set off in italics and post no. 28, which was missing in paragraph 5. Multi-tasking on the phone and on the computer at the same, is not one of my strong points.

  • schlukitz

    @ 23 – Stan

    From the same Urban Dictionary that you cherry-picked from


    He was For: abortion, capital punishment, censorship, eugenics, gun control, racial purity, and vegetarianism.

    He was against: atheism, capitalism, communism, democracy, drinking, the disabled, feminists, Jews, Jehovah’s witnesses, Gypsies, homosexuals, labor unions, pornography, prostitution, psychoanalysis, and smoking.

    Recognize any of these from the positions of McCain, Huckabee and Palin?

  • 1EqualityUSA

    AndrewW said, “Instead of spending all our energy on the 1/3 that will never help us, we must figure out how to engage the two-thirds that will help us. Denouncing “religion” makes that impossible.”
    Schlukitz, this is a valid take away point.(Nice “save” by the way, with the urban dictionary bit), but in the long run, what is going to help us attain equality? We can’t isolate ourselves onto an island. Gays are really sensitive to living truthful existences, so reaching out to segments of society who are conflicted goes against our grain. We’ve done the hard work of coming out and being true to ourselves and we expect everyone to be as genuine as we, in matters of self. Other communities might tinker with the ideas of equality, but have yet to do the soul searching. It’s not fair and it’s not right, but AndrewW is correct that if we alienate all who sit on the fence, it is to our own detriment.

  • AndrewW

    @ Schlukitz:

    You put your “paragraph” about McCain, Huckabee and Palin immediately after your comparisons of religion to Hitler.

    If people are actually interested, they can scroll up to Post #19. I had previously suggested that your repeated comparisons of “Christians to Hitler” bordered on insanity.

    It is insane. You can backpedal if you must. It’s still a crazy comparison.

  • AndrewW

    @ Schlukitz:

    In Post # 34 you just “compared” Christians McCain, Huckabee and Plain to Hitler.

    That is the 7th time. So, please stop your rambling “I didn’t really say that” comments. It makes we want to call Pfizer.

  • AndrewW


    Thank you for making the effort to understand the point I was making. We must shift our attention to the majority of religious people that will actually help us, instead of being obsessed with far right bunch.

  • Stan

    @34 –

    And Dennis Kucinich is for vegetarianism, so shall we call him Hitler?

    And Nancy Pelosi is for abortion, shall we call her Hitler?

    And Michael Moore is against capitalism, so he’s got Hitler written all over him.

    And Hillary Clinton is for censorship in TV and video games, so God-Damn, another Hitler.

    And Mother Teresa was against atheism. Get your Hitler nametags ready!

    And prostitution is still illegal in 49 states, so we’ve apparently got a bunch of Hitlers on our hands.

    And I’m against smoking, so clearly I must be Hitler.

    Just because you don’t like “Person A,” and you also don’t like Hitler, doesn’t mean that they are the same or even comparable in any serious way.

    That is the Hitler Card – an unsubstantiated comparison to pure evil. And it seems to be the only card in your deck.

  • schlukitz

    Thank you, 1EqualityUSA,for your very thoughtful, concise and indeed, most sensible commentary. I can always rely on you to see both sides of an issue with equal clarity and it is one of the many reasons I have found to hold you in the highest of esteem.

    While I have never made any secret about my distrust and dislike for organized religion, I have also made it very clear on numerous occasions, that I would fight to the death for everyone’s right to believe as they wish or observe the faith of their choosing, so long as those belief’s and faith do not impinge upon my civil-rights or liberties. I stand by that.

    Contrary to AndrewW’s insistance that I always denounce religion, engaging the two-thirds of the religious people who are “on the fence” makes very good sense to me and I definitely encourage it. I only denounce the remaining one-third who will never cease denouncing us, so I don’t think that puts me in the enemy camp. As you so well pointed ou teo AndrewW, we all seek equality.

    Just a few days ago and on another thread entitled California’s Vallejo Mahyor Osby Davis Sorry Saying Gays Are Sinners is Offensive, I responded to several commentaries by Naghanenu, as did you, in my post no. 54. As you will note, many of my thoughts and comments in that post, were very similar to those you made in your post no.35. I trust you will peruse it if you haven’t already had opportunity to do so.

    I am reminded of the old expression. “A plate of honey water attracts more butterflies than a plate of vinegar” and I do agree with you wholeheartedly that we should never close the door to the possibility of meaningful dialogue with those who disagree with us.

    I also fully agree with you that we cannot isolate ourselves onto an island. To do so would be foolhardy and disastrous. And, as you very sensibly point out, alienating those who sit on the fence is definitely to our own detriment.

    If AndrewW refuses, steadfastly, to allow me to remove the dunce-cap he has placed on my head as evidenced in his subsequent posts no. 36 and 37, despite my clarification of the comments he takes issue with, well, what can say?

    In my long experience on this planet, one of the things that I have learned, is that people see what they want to see, hear what they want to hear and believe what they want to believe. :-)

    I hope you are having a great day.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Schlukitz and AndrewW, This site helps us hammer out ideas. We need to give each other soft places to land. Mercy begets more fruit than strict, brute force. With all of the unenlightened haters attacking us, the last thing we need to do is be brutal with one another. Go work on your house and enjoy this day. The neighbor’s kitty I’m babysitting is eyeball to eyeball with David, my gardener who is on a ladder outside of the window. If this baby, black panther can become one of the pride in less than 10 days, I have no doubt that Queerty posters can stop hissing and start grooming each others pinnas. (ears, get your minds out of the gutter!))

  • schlukitz

    @ No. 39 – Stan

    As the old expression goes “If the shoe fits, wear it.”

  • naghanenu

    @ Schulitz.

    I find you to be antagonistic. Really. It is impossible to communicate with people like you.

    I must applaud the wise words of Andrew and the lovely 1EqualityUSA. They are very mature and i enjoy reading your posts.

    Christianity is what it is. Take it or leave it. An institution that has been around for two millennia will not crumble easily and i find such extremist comments not only insulting to its very being but more so to the people who have dedicated their lives to its teachings.

    I make no apologies for the fact that i support the gay cause. I have been criticised for it and mocked for it but its just something that is what it is. I understand where gays are coming from. I understand the frustrations, fears and the hopes you have( thanks to my brother) and i pray for you all that God will do His will on this matter. I really believe He will too.

    I also make no apologies that i am a Christian and am taught to not judge my brothers in the faith. Whatever way they choose to interpret the Word..God will judge them. it is not my place or business to do so.

    However i will not take any hateful dishonest rubbish being spewed at people who act on the basis of their faith. They are convicted in their heart to do what they must just like you are. You want marriage..they want marriage. it is a matter of when and how the law will compromise to make both sides happy. This is something that will always be struggled against. So suck it up and stop referring to people as bigots because they do not share your view.

    You bash them more than they bash you. Its obvious and they are capitalising on it. People are sympathetic to the church because the mud slinging is mainly coming from your end. You cant possibly assume you can win this by fighting this way. You cant so dont bother. Just how many substantial numbers of church goers have stopped since this gay marriage war began…i cant tell you the actual number but guess what it has not really reduced if at all. A liberal state voted to repeal a law that would have allowed you to marry. You can say the margin is small but it sounds like compensation to a loss. The loss is still a loss. A horrible one. Because i loved the campaign and there was no reason to have lost it but your side still did.

    Is it not time to change tactics? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. I have said before that if you must compare yourselves to civil right groups of the Sixties…do it well. Religion, as much as you are antagonistic to it, is the way to reach people. To appeal to the humanity in them. Trust me it worked in the sixties and it will work now.

    In simpler words, Gays, please, get a clue

  • AndrewW

    @ Schlukitz:

    Nice clarification. I would still take exception to this statement:

    “I only denounce the remaining one-third who will never cease denouncing us, so I don’t think that puts me in the enemy camp.”

    I think attacking even a portion of “religious people” hurts our efforts. Let me explain. If you we to see religion as a family, all with the common denominator of “God the Father,” you would understand why attacking one of the children (or one-third) as an attack on the whole family (religion).

    You are correct when you identify those far right conservative Christians, but they are in fact STILL Christians. That’s why attacking them hurts us in two ways: 1) it alienates all or most religious people and 2) it makes that group of Christians more important, not less. It actually makes gay people look like atheists when we are not. Atheists are the number one enemy of religious people.

    I would also add that with all the nutty things the far-right Christians have done, the rest of the religious institution is silent. Religion never attacks itself. I’ve never heard of a Christian denomination denounce the Muslim tortures and killings of homosexuals in the Middle East. In Uganda, remarkably there is no Christian outcry about a proposed death sentence for homosexual behavior. They stick together – despite differences in denominational beliefs. It is clearly “institutional” behavior and self preservation.

    So, I have not suggested a “dunce cap” or even disagreed with much of what you have said. I have only asked you to consider rethinking how we, as a community, speak about religion. We need to engage and enroll the two-thirds of the religious “family” that values equality.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Dear Naghanenu, Starting a post with the line, “I find you to be antagonistic. Really. It is impossible to communicate with people like you.” slams the door in the face of any person with whom you are trying to undrstand. We both are secure enough in our beliefs to handle someone else’s opposing views. Before 1985, I spoke like this and had similar thoughts, so it is possible to have a complete reversal of opinion. These are merely opinions, however, so no need to get all in a stir if someone spouts what they think, even if you believe otherwise. Now, if that person creates an organization that puts those opinions into motion, by all means, get yourself into a stir. I’ve got to go clean the house. I love this site so much. I think about all of you and hope that we can come to some consensus on how to proceed. Take care.

  • schlukitz

    @ no. 43 – Naghanenu

    I just went back and re-read my post no. 54 under the thread entitled California’s Vallejo Mayor Osby Davis Sorry Saying Gays Are Sinners is Offensive. I assume that is the post you are responding to? Please correct me if I am in error.

    I found nothing in that post that was antagonistic unless, of course, you consider the simple act of disagreeing with someone to be antagonistic. You are, of course, entitled to your opinion(s) which you have made quite clear in a number of your posts on Queetry, including your last one.

    As a matter of fact, I thought the tone of my post was quite conciliatory and which had my intent. I found it interesting that you chose to ignore the several compliments I paid you in that post, preferring instead to make statements like “suck it up” and admonishing the LGBT community for calling those who despise us bigots.

    I, for one, have a difficult time with recognizing and accepting debasing terms and derogatory comments that are so often hurled at our community by the bigots, haters and discriminators, so it does not behoove me or make me feel compelled to show my respect for the bigots…or refrain from calling them such. A rose by any other name…?

    You may not recognize the fact, but I was trying very hard to forge a bridge of communication between the two of us, not an excuse to continue hurling stones and telling us to get over ourselves. Clearly, you either did not see that…or deliberately chose not to.

    Being slapped in the face with an extended olive branch, however, is not, to my way of thinking, an effective way to establish meaningful dialogue or make progress in the struggle for equality for all American Citizens no matter how much money you may have thrown at it. If you cannot bring yourself to speak with us, rather than down at us, they there really isn’t much that you can say to us, that hasn’t already been said by the bigots.

    May I be so bold as to suggest, at risk of being slapped in the face yet again with the olive branch, might it just possibly be you who is deliberately choosing to be antagonistic?

    The honey water and vinegar expression comes to mind.

  • AndrewW

    There was a lot of Christian + Republican conversation here. You might find this article “GOP Split on Religion” interesting:


    From the article/poll:

    ” . . half of Republican-leaners said they want a greater role for religion in politics and public life, while half said they want religion’s role to be the same or less.”

    Religions splitting. Political Parties splitting. Great news.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Dear AndrewW, I read the article and can’t help but feel that the Republicans are going to have to move a little left on social issues. The Democrats will need to move a little right on fiscal issues. The Independent party might be an option, but with two Supreme Court Justices needing to be replaced soon, it might be wiser to give Dems one more chance to fulfill their promises to the queer community. This inequity with same-sex marriage will need to be handled federally. Originalists could set back our efforts.

  • AndrewW

    @ 1EqualityUSA:

    I think the Republicans have to become wholly the conservative party to survive. For most people the Republican “big tent” idea looks like a circus tent. The Republicans would be home to most of that 1/3 “very religious” crowd. Somewhat powerless.

    We already have a third party – Independents or Moderates. Maybe they’ll finally organize. If they did, they’d be formidable. Most Americans are tired of “extremes.” Right or left.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    A fiscally conservative, socially liberal party that believes that big government should stay the Hell out of our lives and strengthens the church-state wall of separation would be enticing. I work with cancer (chemotherapy) and wish that many of the under served patients coming in had taken care of their cancers when they were in the earliest stages. Playing catch up, after the cancers have metastasized is not only miserable for the patients and their families, but hugely expensive, much more so than if they had early access to care. Same would be true for people who have high blood pressure etc. Why wait until three-times-a-week dialysis is required or long term care post-strokes before seeking care. Preventative care is less expensive in the long run. Emergency rooms are taking the brunt of this lack of access. That’s a very expensive way to deal with health care. I suppose this thread is veering off of the subject, AndrewW. Why does the guy in this photograph above seems as though he has writer’s breath, gum disease, halitosis? He reminds me of the guy I had in art school who always sat next to me in human figure drawing and talked my ear off, Vincent Van Gogh-like. Clouds of bad air floated over me. I need to go paint. The photo is so goofy. NOM deserves goofs like this. I bet they wouldn’t even tell him he had chives resting on his goofy smile.

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