CO State Senators Get Biblical In Bashing Civil Unions

Queerty reader  Daniel Gonzales sent us this clip from the April 26 Colorado Senate debate on SB-2—which would allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions.

Maybe the high altitude can make folks in Colorado a little loopy, but State Senators Scott Renfroe and Kevin Lundberg sound downright bonkers.

Scriptures also say a woman who is menstruating should be exiled to a separate hut and that all the descendants of the Amalekites should be murdered, down to the little children. How’s that going, Sen. Renfroe?
SB-2 passed the Senate but now has to clear the House of Representatives, where Republicans hold a 33-32 majority.

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  • iDavid

    Thk god for religion as it restrains those who would otherwise hit the streets w guns whips and knives. Crowd control is not such a bad thing at times.

  • drewa24

    YAWNNNNNNNNNNN. Screw you filthy Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Homosexuals, Blasphemers, Athiests, or any one other than a Fundamentalist Evangelical Dominionist CHRISTIAN!! There is no room in this country, and by extension world for you. Aren’t we all getting just a little tired watching these people taking what belongs to ALL OF US and claiming it’s theirs?

  • cam

    They folks that are using the Bible are liars and hypocrites.

    The ten commandments state very clearly “No Adultry”

    Jesus said specifically that a man who divorces his wife and marries another is committing adultry.

    So ANY divorced person who remarries is breaking God’s Law and the words of Christ and yet NONE of these supposedly religous people are trying to outlaw divorce.

    They are therefore saying that St. Paul is more important than God and Jesus and are committing blasphemy. They are bigots just using Bible passages as an excuse for their bigotry.

  • WillBFair

    @cam: Thanks. You saved me the trouble of commenting. Nice job.
    If only we had leadership that would make these arguments immediately after a performance like this.

  • cam


    I wish! Somehow it’s become seen as being “Judgemental” to call somebody out for being a liar or a hypocrite.

  • avesraggiana

    It’s incredible to me that public policy that affects all citizens is being shaped by a really unevenly written book that was written two thousand years ago, during a time when its authors didn’t know about genes, genomes, germs, refrigeration, electricity, the internet, automobiles, sunglasses…How is it that this great country of ours is being held hostage by a small but vocal group of people who believe some invisible being wrote this book 2000 years ago, and that it is to be taken seriously and literally?! That’s craziness! If Biblical personalities of 2000 years ago knew what we know now and had we have now, would the Bible be the best they could come up with, even if they were “inspired by God”?

    Thing is, it’s the last remaining defense these people have – the Bible, and its few conveniently quoted verses. How sad.

  • 1equalityUSA

    Dear DenverBarbie, That photo looked like my high school. On a more somber note, tonsil, tongue, or throat cancer taint purdy. The teeth have to be pulled, then chemo with concurrent radiation leaves crackling, sizzling burns sweeping down the outside of the neck, past the clavicleeez, into the sternum. Cisplatin makes food taste metallic and good-bye to apples and all, since nary a tooth remains. The Cisplatin harms the kidneys if not enough fluid is taken in, but the nausea makes drinking really unpleasant. The sorest throat one can imagine, so much so, that a peg-tube needs to be placed in the abdomen, in order to give protein drinks and anti-nausea meds through the tube, as even swallowing pain meds on the excoriated squamous cell tissue is too difficult. Some lose their voice box. The things we take for granted, like talking (for work or home), or having teeth… Lung cancer is no prize either. Eating cookies may be a better option or not partaking at all, as the liver needs to process the ingested produit. Just sayin’…

  • Frankie

    In Colorado we have “The Center”, One Colorado, Mathew Shepard Foundation, and several more. And lets NOT forget HRC! You would THINK that with all the paid people that they would have anticipated that these Republicans (and religious rights who are 100% better organized than the GLBT community) would bring up these bible verses and the GLBT reps would have together mounted a campaign to contradict or cite other GLBT friendly bible versus.

    Supposedly the Pridefest in Colorado has over 250,000 people in attendance, yet it appears that they can’t mount a petition drive, email campaign 10% as effective as the religious right has done over the past years.

    So the question is: What good are all these paid people, and if the GLBT community in Colorado is not willing to work together, do they deserve Civil Unions?

  • Shannon1981

    Put an atheist in the White House. That will put a stop to all this bullshit. There should never be an mention of any religion when discussing matters of civil law, period. This is not a theocracy, no matter how much the Teavangelical Taliban might wish it were.

  • Danny

    The bible also says in Lev. 24 Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, injury for an injury, life for a life.

    Not solid grounds for any government or for maintaining the rule of law if everyone spends an afternoon getting revenge against those who have done their people wrong. That would be an ugly bloody mess that no one could stop. Not a good idea to invoke religion to discriminate and harm others in any debate.

  • Cam

    @Frankie: said…

    “So the question is: What good are all these paid people, and if the GLBT community in Colorado is not willing to work together, do they deserve Civil Unions?”

    I wasn’t aware that civil rights were tied to a persons behavior…..you know, because they have that pesky word “Rights” not “Privileges” in their name.

  • Ruhlmann

    Jesus fucking christ to see and hear politicians invoking superstition as inspiration for legislation against any group of people is chilling. I thank whatever holds the stars up that in Canada these savages would have been shouted down in Parliament. American evangelists can be really amusing but when they infect and fester in the political process they become something else entirely.

  • Dwayne

    Aren’t these 2 senators breaking the law of Separation of Church and State?

  • B

    No. 14 · Dwayne wrote, “Aren’t these 2 senators breaking the law of Separation of Church and State?” No, for technical reasons: they are simply arguing against signing a law, not trying to pass a law that would establish a state religion.

  • 1equalityUSA

    B, see what happens when a Robert P. George ”writes dull articles that others try to point to as justifications for their viewpoints.”

    No. 44 · 1equalityUSA wrote, “If numb-nuts P. George wants to believe his 13th century man and be a Catholic to the hilt, that is his business and good for him. The problem arises when he wants to force his Catholic beliefs on others and manipulate politicians and all to do it.”
    Aside from trash talk (“numb-nuts”), the reality is that George mostly writes dull articles that others try to point to as justifications for their viewpoints. It’s not like he is twisting arms, engaging in quid pro quo deals, or raising a lot of money.
    NOM probably made him chairman of the board for a while because of his credentials – hoping it would lend NOM more respectability than NOM deserves.
    Apr 28, 2012 at 4:42 pm · @Reply · Flag

    Full story here: http://www.queerty.com/conservative-jewish-movement-in-israel-approves-ordination-of-gay-rabbis-20120420/#ixzz1tOv99qrK

  • 1equalityUSA

    “No. 47 · 1equalityUSA
    Scalia doesn’t thinks Robert P. George’s articles are boring. Scalia is quite intrigued with “Robbie” Scalia should recuse himself from any SCOTUS marriage equality trials. I don’t want to live under their Catholicism any more than I want to live under the religious code of Islam, Sharia law. Separation of Church and State has never been more relevant.”

    Full story here: http://www.queerty.com/conservative-jewish-movement-in-israel-approves-ordination-of-gay-rabbis-20120420/#ixzz1tQjYqGm8

  • B

    Re No 16 and 17: “1equalityUSA” is replying to comments posted on different article. In No 17, he ignored the reply on that other thread: “Scalia doesn’t need Robert P. George to justify any anti-gay position Scalia wants to hold. All George is doing in that regard is saving Scalia or his law clerks the effort of coming up with the same or similar arguments on their own.”

    In No 16, “1equalityUSA” is also making a very dubious assumption – that these idiotic, Bible-thumping legislators have the intellectual ability and attention span to get through one of Prof. George’s articles. I really doubt if these individuals can do that. Just watch the videos of them – they are mindless Bible thumpers.

    Trying to drag George into the discussion, however, shows just how obsessed “1euqalityUSA” is with this character. Let me suggest maintaining a sense of proportions. While I wouldn’t agree with George’s arguments, the guy is simply not “satan incarnate”. He’s simply a displaced person – a 12th/13th century religiously inclined philosopher trapped in a 21st century body. That’s all you really have to say about him.

  • 1equalityUSA

    “satan incarnate” was your word, so don’t put it in quotes. You lost the debate. The Islamic religion is growing rapidly. If the codes of Islam start becoming established in our Nation’s populace, would you not want Separation of Church and State protecting you from Sharia Law or any other peoples’ beliefs? Separation of church & state has never been more relevant. No more red herrings, B. Address the points made on their merit instead of these meaningless ass-kissing of Robert P. George. Address the legalities of pressing Catholic doctrine onto Americans and using churches and politicians and SCOTUS to accomplish this.

  • 1equalityUSA

    European Catholic leaders are reaching out to other spiritual leaders, including those of the Muslim and Jewish faiths, to possibly form an alliance against the proliferation of marriage equality.

    In an address to U.K. Catholic bishops, Archbishop Antonio Mennini echoed the words of Pope Benedict, urging the church to take a leadership position in fighting against marriage rights for same-sex couples, the Telegraph reports. His address comes shortly after several clerics of multiple faiths have spoken out against U.K. Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone, who kicked off an investigation on marriage equality.

    Check out this article by Michelle Garcia

  • B

    No. 19 · 1equalityUSA wrote, ““satan incarnate” was your word, so don’t put it in quotes. You lost the debate. The Islamic religion is growing rapidly.”

    LOL. Declaring victory by pretending that the use of quotes is only to indicate what someone else said? You know, like the line in Citizen Kane about a “singer”, which was in quotes as they showed a newspaper headline because the implication was that the person in question could not sing and was merely a paramour. I used quotes because nobody would literally think of George as a Biblical/religous Satan incarnate – the quotes simply indicated a special use of a term (a legitimate use of quotation marks in English).

    Then you really go off the deep end by trying to drag Islam into it, when Prof. George basically is touting the Catholic theological line. The guy may be misguided, but he simply doesn’t have that sort of influence. It’s not like people are claiming him to be the latest in a line of prophets. He’s rather a legal expert with a position at one of the best universities in the U.S. and who writes dull, boring articles that attempt to justify Roman Catholic beliefs on social issues in his spare time.

  • B

    Re No 20 and 21 (“1equalityUSA”): This is getting silly. It is not news that the Catholic Church opposes same-sex marriage and would consider partnering with other groups that have the same beliefs. It’s like expressing surprise that “the son of the hot-dog dynasty had to marry the daughter of the mustard king” (to quote a line from the original version of the film Sabrina).

    BTW, the single comment that The Advocate displayed in the link you gave was a mere rant. And all the article claimed was that some worthy, an archbishop, in the Catholic hierarchy made a statement that would most likely be viewed very favorably by his boss’s boss. Maybe the archbishop would like to be a cardinal some day. Being a good “team player” by saying what upper management wants to hear is known to be one way of furthering one’s career in politically centric organizations. One may roll one’s eyes, but it is not news.

  • 1equalityUSA

    …And you used metaphors as well, they’re effective, most recently about Lincoln and the Republican Party. The metaphor provided was to show that anybody’s personal religious beliefs have no place in civic law, even if it is widely accepted.

  • B

    No. 24 · 1equalityUSA wrote, “…And you used metaphors as well, they’re effective, most recently about Lincoln and the Republican Party.”

    You should provide links, of course. As I recall, what you were referring to was not a metaphor, but rather a clear, factual statement that organizations change over time, using the Republican Party as an example. But I’m not going to bother searching to check … if you refer to some statement, you should provide a link to it.

  • 1equalityUSA

    Three questions:

    Yes or no, do you believe in Separation of Church and State?

    If yes, which religion should our government push onto us?

    Yes or no, should a majority vote decide which religious laws we abide by?

  • 1equalityUSA

    Let me correct the second sentence, lest B go off on this simple mistake and refuse to answer it again and again.

    If no, which religion should our government push onto us? (I am citing the post above.)

  • B

    No. 27 · 1equalityUSA wrote, “Let me correct the second sentence, lest B go off on this simple mistake and refuse to answer it again and again.”

    Sounds like “1equalityUSA” is now reduced to “when did you stop beating your wife” questions. Curiously, in No 26, he asked three questions but with no indication of whom “you” referred to! Then he starts whining about an imagined non-answer to a question that was never directed at the person he is pretending to ask!

    The silly part, of course, is that I never made a single comment suggesting any objection to “separation of church and state,” so it appears that “1euqalityUSA” is using the “smear by implication” tactic, or maybe he is just trying to change the subject.

    Finally, I suggest that “1equalityUSA” read the actual text of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution – it provides both freedom of religion (banning laws establishing a religion) and freedom of speech. A religious group has the right to spout about whatever they want to spout about, including legislation. If they get sufficiently involved in a political campaign, however, they’ll lose their tax-exempt status. If you want to tighten up the I.R.S. regulations regarding that, go ahead and talk to your elected representatives and see if you can get them to do something. Personally, I suspect it would be a waste of time – any request would probably get the usual form-letter response and then be ignored.

  • 1equalityUSA

    Whether it is Hindu, Halakha, Sharia Law or Christianity’s Canon, Americans are not to be burdened by other peoples religious beliefs. Freedom from other peoples’ religious beliefs is imperative. Separation of Church and State has never been more relevant.

    Robert P. George substantially involved himself with NOM, exerts influence on Supreme Court Justices, and tugs on fickle politicians to force the doctrine, to which he ascribes, onto others.

    The Catholic Church is overstepping their role as Spiritual advisors, attempting to influence laws that affect others. Many Americans haven’t the desire to live by the doctrine of that Church.

    Colorado’s State Senate, as seen in this video, are inserting their own beliefs into the political process. Religious beliefs have no place in civic law. Contractual marriages that give legal responsibilities to those entering into these secular commitments should not be excluded from equal treatment because of another set of Americans beliefs.

  • B

    Re No 29, where “1equalityUSA” wrote,

    1. “Robert P. George substantially involved himself with NOM, exerts influence on Supreme Court Justices, and tugs on fickle politicians to force the doctrine, to which he ascribes, onto others.”

    In reality Robert P. George has a legal right to have helped start NOM (although one suspects that he spent very little time on NOM given his other commitments), and he was otherwise simply writing articles expressing his opinions. If some Supreme Court justices like what he wrote, that’s their decision – it is not like George is twisting their arms. Similar, the term “tug on fickle politicians” is an overstatement – the only thing that “tugs” on politicians is getting reelected, which requires (a) lots of money and (b) not saying or obviously doing anything that would really anger their constituents.

    2. “The Catholic Church is overstepping their role as Spiritual advisors, attempting to influence laws that affect others. Many Americans haven’t the desire to live by the doctrine of that Church.” The Catholic Church has a legal right under the First Amendment to try to influence laws. But, if they do that, they should be treated like any other political group – they don’t get an exception to Harry Truman’s observation that, if you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. I do think the rules on tax-exempt status need to be tightened up, and if you do that, my guess is that the Catholic Church will have a lot less interest in politics (it didn’t accumulate all that wealth by spending like a drunken sailor). Regardless, tighter rules would help ensure that we have the proverbial “level playing field” since political organizations are not tax exempt.

    3. “Colorado’s State Senate, as seen in this video, are inserting their own beliefs into the political process. Religious beliefs have no place in civic law.” In this case, however, they are not enshrining religious believes into “civic law” as they were arguing that a law should not be passed. The constitutional requirements are that one cannot pass laws establishing a particular religion. It doesn’t say you cannot refuse to pass a law on the grounds that a religious organization doesn’t like the law. Nor does the constitution prohibit legislators from using religious-based rhetoric. So, we can laugh at these legislators or otherwise ridicule them, but they did not do anything prohibited by either a state or the U.S. constitution. You may wish it was otherwise, but it would take constitutional amendments to change it.

  • 1equalityUSA

    B wrote, “In reality Robert P. George has a legal right to have helped start NOM (although one suspects that he spent very little time on NOM given his other commitments), and he was otherwise simply writing articles expressing his opinions.”

    He will now be able to “simply” express those opinions on a worldwide stage, as John Boehner is appointing NOM’s Robert P. George to the International Religious Freedom commission.

  • 1equalityUSA

    The Catholics are striving to preserve HR2867 and John Boenher is appointing (NOM’s) Robert P. George to the International Freedom of Religion Commission.

    Committee on International Justice and Peace
    3211 FOURTH STREET NE • WASHINGTON DC 20017-1194 • 202-541-3160
    WEBSITE: http://WWW.USCCB.ORG/JPHD • FAX 202-541-3339

    October 27, 2011

    Dear Senator:

    On behalf of the Committee of International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference
    of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), I write to urge timely action on HR 2867, legislation to
    reauthorize the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), before its
    expiration on November 18, 2011. The USCCB worked actively to establish this important
    Commission and supports its reauthorization since it plays a vital role in preserving human
    dignity and human rights around the globe by monitoring and promoting religious freedom.

    Ongoing attacks against Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East and in other
    parts of the world point to the need to pay more, not less, attention to religious freedom.
    Violence against Coptic Christians in Egypt, the Christmas Eve bombings of Christian churches
    in Nigeria, last October’s attack on worshipers at the Syrian Catholic Church in Baghdad, and
    other heinous acts are grim reminders of what is at stake.

    Today the mission of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom is more
    important than ever. An independent bipartisan federal commission, USCIRF monitors the status
    of religious freedom and provides essential information concerning persecution and violations of
    human rights throughout the world. In addition, it plays a significant role is raising the profile of
    religious freedom around the globe.

    Although our Conference does not have a position on every provision in the legislation, we
    strongly support the inclusion of term limits and bringing H.R. 2867 to the floor of the Senate for
    a vote. Abolition of this body would send an unintended message to the rest of the world.
    Oppressive groups may come to believe that the United States is not committed to the protection
    of religious liberty.

    Religious freedom, rooted in the dignity of the human person, is “a cornerstone of the structure
    of human rights.” Pope Benedict XVI devoted his 2011 World Day of Peace message to religious
    freedom, calling it the “path to peace.” The free exercise of religion contributes to “the building
    of a just and peaceful social order.”

    The Catholic Church has long raised concerns regarding religious liberty throughout the world,
    defending members of all religions. Our Conference was deeply involved in the process that led
    to the creation of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. We urge you to
    support passage of HR 2867 before November 18, 2001, lest a critically important tool in the
    preservation of religious freedom is lost.

    Sincerely yours,

    Most Reverend Howard J. Hubbard
    Bishop of Albany
    Chair, Committee on International Justice and Peace


  • 1equalityUSA

    Sexual abuse continues. Recognize the name from the post above?

    Fighting Claims of Gay Affairs, a Bishop Turns to the Public
    Published: February 18, 2004

    Correction Appended

    ALBANY – Shoulders hunched forward and hands clasped on knees, Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany looked toward a row of television cameras, his shadow cast starkly against the white wall behind him. He proclaimed that he had lived a lifetime of chastity, but acknowledged, “I think the taint will always be there.”

    A man once lauded as a “street priest” who fought for social justice, Bishop Hubbard is fighting for something else these days: his reputation in the face of accusations last week that he had a homosexual affair with a man who later killed himself, and that he had sexual encounters with a teenage street hustler.

    The nation’s bishops have struggled for two years with defending themselves over their handling of priests who sexually abused minors. Several have resigned after allegations of abuse, while others have quietly weathered false charges against them. But few bishops have ever waged so public a battle over such sordid accusations.

    A dose of intrigue was added Sunday when the body of an Albany priest was found in the priest’s home. Although the police have not disclosed a cause of death, the Albany diocese said that it apparently was suicide. The priest, the Rev. John Minkler, 57, had met with Bishop Hubbard two days earlier over a nine-year-old letter that denounced the bishop, accusing him of homosexual affairs, tolerating gay activity in the priesthood and departing from church teachings. Bishop Hubbard said that Father Minkler sought the meeting to deny having written the letter after it surfaced in a local television report.

    No lawsuit or charges have been filed against Bishop Hubbard, 65, regarding the accusations, and the Albany County district attorney has revealed evidence casting doubt on the truthfulness of one of his accusers. Nevertheless, to fight back, Bishop Hubbard – a fixture in Albany for 40 years and one of the nation’s most liberal bishops – has begun a campaign to win over public opinion.

    He quickly called for an independent investigator to establish his innocence. Yesterday, the diocese announced that Mary Jo White, a former United States attorney in Manhattan, had been hired “to investigate and issue a public report on allegations of sexual misconduct” against the bishop. Ms. White, now chief of the litigation department at the New York City law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton, said in a statement that she took the job only after a promise of total independence, plentiful resources and the diocese’s full cooperation.

    Bishop Hubbard has promised to take a lie detector test. His aides have organized a media blitz, which included inviting five local television stations to hear his story Thursday, and meeting with the editorial boards of the local newspapers. A recent issue of the diocesan paper, The Evangelist, devoted eight pages to the case under the rubric “Bishop Fights Back.”

    “I feel that I’ve been stripped of my dignity,” a weary-seeming Bishop Hubbard said last week in an interview after the group TV appearance. “I feel very embarrassed and very humiliated.” Add to that fear, anger, pain and disappointment, he said. “But with it all, I really am at peace because I know that I am innocent.”

    The bishop has compared himself to another prelate, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago, who in 1993 was accused of sexual abuse by a man who later recanted. Bishop Hubbard said that the day after the accusation against the cardinal surfaced, he spent long hours with him working on a document for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

    “I’ve never seen a man who was so at peace with himself,” Bishop Hubbard said. “He never lost his dignity. He never lost his grace.”

    The very fact that he would pour out his heart so much, the bishop and his aides say, makes his case. Who else but an innocent man would put himself, his friends and his family through such an ordeal?

    “I’m not sure what else is to be done,” said Bishop Matthew H. Clarke of Rochester, one of Bishop Hubbard’s closest friends. “Anyone in his position who has been subjected to what he has been subjected to is pretty defenseless.”

    One critic, however, said that the bishop’s record in handling sexually abusive priests in his diocese was really responsible for his predicament.

    “If these allegations came out without this bad history, he would weather the storm without a problem,” said Mark Furnish, a victim of clerical sexual abuse and leader of the local chapter of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

    The bishop acknowledges allowing at least four priests to continue in ministry despite abuse allegations, saying he was following the advice of mental health professionals. The diocese also acknowledged paying out $2.3 million rather than what it had previously said was “hundreds of thousands” of dollars toward settlements with abuse victims.

    He has apologized repeatedly. “My greatest failing is that I did not handle allegations of sexual abuse with the transparency and accountability that should have been present,” Bishop Hubbard said in the interview. Nor, the bishop went on, did he appreciate the long-term effects of abuse on victims.

    Bishop Hubbard was a seminarian in Rome during the early years of the Second Vatican Council, and he brought the council’s modernizing spirit back to Albany as a young priest in the 1960’s. The council infused him, he said, with a sense of the church’s universality and the importance of the laity. He spent his early priesthood running programs for the poor, homeless and addicted, often taking them to treatment programs himself.

    “He just took care of the people,” said Elizabeth Servitello, a public health nurse in Albany in those years who often referred cases to Father Hubbard. “He worked the streets.”

    When he was named bishop in 1977 – at 38, the youngest ever appointed until then – one black activist proclaimed, “They picked one of ours!” according to the Rev. Robert C. Lamar, a retired Presbyterian minister who worked with Father Hubbard on social programs.

    Because he was appointed so young, Bishop Hubbard remains one of the few serving bishops appointed by Pope Paul VI. He was recommended by Archbishop Jean Jadot, the papal nuncio in the 1970’s who was responsible for a cadre of liberal-minded bishops.

    Bishop Hubbard has shown a tendency to take unpopular stands. In 1966, three years after his ordination, he said white Catholics had to confront their racism and apologize to blacks. Twenty years later, Bishop Hubbard was an early voice calling on Catholics to accept the church’s complicity in the origins of anti-Semitism. In 2002, when the American bishops met in Dallas to address the raging abuse scandal, Bishop Hubbard took a quixotic position against a zero-tolerance policy for abuser priests, which passed overwhelmingly in the face of widespread public outrage.

    As bishop, he has been outspoken in favor of labor unions and prison reform, and in opposition to the Rockefeller-era drug laws and the death penalty.

    Bishop Hubbard’s current chapter of distress began on Feb. 11, when a California man, Andrew Zalay, held a news conference in Albany arranged by John Aretakis, a lawyer who has repeatedly sued the diocese over clerical sex abuse cases. Mr. Zalay said he had recently discovered a suicide note by his brother, Thomas Zalay, from 1978. It was unsigned, undated, typewritten and mentions a sexual affair with a bishop named Howard. The diocese has questioned its authenticity.

    Bishop Hubbard rushed back from vacation in Florida and held a news conference the next day denying the allegation. Then, Mr. Aretakis brought forth another man who said that as a teenage street hustler he had two sexual encounters with the bishop in the late 1970’s.

    The bishop asked the Albany County district attorney, Paul A. Clyne, to investigate the Zalay matter. Mr. Clyne said there was no crime for him to investigate. He released the original police report about Mr. Zalay’s death, which said he was mentally disturbed and had a history of suicide attempts.

    Bishop Hubbard said he had no recollection of either man. He promised to remain as bishop as long as he had the support of the priests of the diocese, his flock and brother bishops. Cardinal Edward M. Egan of New York, himself the subject of an unfounded accusation, backs him, the bishop said. Some parishioners wear purple ribbons as a sign of support.

    The latest controversy may be a defining moment for the bishop, but he has weathered criticism for years from conservatives in the church.

    He says the debate over the ordination of women should continue, and has promoted many women to important positions in the diocese. Celibacy, he said, was a question “that could carefully be restudied.”

    Although he once backed lawsuits (ultimately unsuccessfully) to block licenses for two abortion clinics, he said opposition to abortion is no more important than a range of “pro-life” issues, including concern for the poor, homeless and mentally ill. He supported New York’s gay rights bill. During the interview last week, he declined to say whether he supports laws defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.For years Bishop Hubbard has been the subject of a whispered campaign that his diocese was friendly to gay priests, and that he was gay. His critics include a traditionalist group called Roman Catholic Faithful in Petersburg, Ill., and The Wanderer, an ultraconservative newspaper.

    One of his fiercest critics is Mr. Aretakis, who says he represents scores of people with abuse allegations and who has been engaged in an increasingly nasty fight with the diocese. One of its officials lodged an ethics violation against him for his conduct in a lawsuit. He, in turn, has passed on to reporters allegations that the diocese is rife with homosexually active clergy, including the letter linked to Father Minkler.

    “Why do you think a bishop protects the sickest of the sick?” Mr. Aretakis asked. “He is hiding so much of his own personal life.”

    Many of Bishop Hubbard’s supporters and critics agree that scandal has come to dominate his agenda.

    “I just hope, in the end,” said Bishop Clark of Rochester, “people will be at peace and rest in the truth.”

    Correction: Feb. 20, 2004, Friday

    An article on Wednesday about the fight by Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany against claims that he had sexual encounters with two men misstated the date of a news conference by a man who said his brother had a sexual affair with the bishop. The conference took place Feb. 4, not Feb. 11.

  • B

    No. 31 · 1equalityUS wrote, “He will now be able to “simply” express those opinions on a worldwide stage, as John Boehner is appointing NOM’s Robert P. George to the International Religious Freedom commission.”

    Really? He was appointed by Congress to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. If you check http://www.uscirf.gov/about-uscirf.html you will find that “USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission. USCIRF Commissioners are appointed by the President and the leadership of both political parties in the Senate and the House of Representatives. USCIRF’s principal responsibilities are to review the facts and circumstances of violations of religious freedom internationally and to make policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State and Congress.” That does not sound like a “worldwide stage”.

    Anything George does as a member of this commission will by necessity have to be consistent with the commission’s charter. Discussions of marriage versus civil unions in the U.S. would seem to be outside the scope of this commission. Plus, it would be problematic as some religious organizations are in favor of same-sex marriage.

    BTW, the official announcement ( http://www.uscirf.gov/news-room/press-releases/3710-two-uscirf-commissioners-appointed.html ) states “Dr. Robert P. George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He has served on the President’s Council on Bioethics and as a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He is a former Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award. A graduate of Swarthmore College and Harvard Law School, Professor George earned a doctorate in philosophy of law from Oxford University. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa at Swarthmore, and received a Knox Fellowship from Harvard for graduate study in law and philosophy at Oxford. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and is a recipient of the United States Presidential Citizens Medal and the Honorific Medal for the Defense of Human Rights of the Republic of Poland.”

    Another guy was appointed at the same time – the founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. Is he suspect too?

  • 1equalityUSA

    Did the founder of the American Islamic Forum form NOM?

  • 1equalityUSA

    Professor George founded the so-called National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which incessantly promulgates documentable untruths about gay human beings intended to demonize them in a political context. He was one of the authors of the notoriously anti-gay “Manhattan Declaration.” From the tweedy confines of his Princeton University office, Professor George is a main instigator of a huge quantity of malicious anti-gay-rights propagandizing and political gay-bashing. He is the founder of the American Principles Project. That site’s “Innocence” tab includes links to articles that contain statements like this:

    The “Health Literacy” section raises still more questions. It introduces concepts and skills on “violence,” “bullying,” and “safety.” Such approaches are often subterfuges to encourage affirmation (and even promotion) of LGBT lifestyles.

    GLAAD lists Robert George among their 36 commentators tracked as part of the GLAAD Commentator Accountability Project, and cites these facts about Dr. George:

    Described being gay as “beneath the dignity of human beings as free and rational creatures.”

    Argued that gay relationships have “no intelligible basis in them for the norms of monogamy, exclusivity, and the pledge of permanence.”

    Suggested that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo shouldn’t be considered a Catholic because by signing marriage equality into law, “he has made it clear that he simply does not believe what Catholicism teaches about sexual morality and marriage.”

    Said marriage equality is “about sex,” not about love, commitment, and responsibility.

    Sits on the Board of an organization that supports and funds anti-Islam extremists.


  • 1equalityUSA

    B–I’ve read almost everything there is to read on this guy, so no need to educate me about this Catholic queer oppressor. Now if you prefer to lavish your praise on this man and elaborate on his many scholastic endeavors, go for it. I does not impress me, as the man is still forcing his Catholic beliefs onto others. I do not want to live under the doctrine to which Mr. George ascribes. Just because someone has an education that you obviously admire, doesn’t change what he is doing with it.

  • B

    No. 36 · 1equalityUSA wrote, “Did the founder of the American Islamic Forum form NOM?”
    You do know how some Islamic countries treat gays, don’t you?

    No. 37 · 1equalityUSA wrote, “Professor George founded the so-called National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which incessantly promulgates documentable untruths about gay human beings intended to demonize them in a political context. He was one of the authors of the notoriously anti-gay “Manhattan Declaration.””

    So what? Did he promulgate “documentable untruths” intending to “demonize” anyone? I didn’t find any, just philosophical arguments (dubious in my opinion) based somewhat on Catholic theology. As to the “Manhattan Declaration”, calling it “anti-gay” is problematic: while it disapproves of a variety of sexual practices, including homosexual ones, it also states, “We call on the entire Christian community to resist sexual immorality, and at the same time refrain from disdainful condemnation of those who yield to it.” It is, however, strongly opposed to same-sex marriage, but apparently for theological reasons (weak ones in my opinion).

    Then No. 38 · 1equalityUSA wrote, “B–I’ve read almost everything there is to read on this guy, so no need to educate me about this Catholic queer oppressor. Now if you prefer to lavish your praise on this man and elaborate on his many scholastic endeavors, go for it.”

    You can’t be serious! First, your claim to have “read almost everything” is simply papering over the fact that you did not even know what the commission he was recently appointed to did, plus you didn’t notice that it is a U.S. commission, not some sort of “worldwide stage”. Second, I didn’t “lavish … praise on this man” but rather simply quoted the press release (which I cited) as an indication of why he might be a legitimate person to be appointed. It’s a bipartisan commission BTW, so it would necessarily include some conservative members along with more liberal ones.

  • 1equalityUSA

    “Charles Wendell “Chuck” Colson, born October 16, 1931, who wrote dozens of books, was also a co-author of the 2009 “Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience,” an anarchistic manifesto demanding signatories — more than 525,000 to date — break the law should they perceive the law not squaring with the Bible. The Declaration attacks same-sex marriage, abortion, laments both society’s decoupling of marriage from childbearing and its growing acceptance of infidelity.

    Colson co-authored the Manhattan Declaration with National Organization For Marriage (NOM) founder Robert P. George, whom Colson routinely praised.

    The Los Angeles Times described Colson’s Manhattan Declaration as incautious, “apocalyptic,” “disingenuous,” “irresponsible and dangerous,” and chastised its “Christian religious leaders who, even as they insist on their right to shape the nation’s laws, are reserving the right to violate them.” The Times also labeled the Declaration’s attack on same-sex marriage as a “canard,” “as is the declaration’s complaint that Christian leaders are being prevented from expressing their ‘religious and moral commitments to the sanctity of life and to the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife’.”

    Colson repeatedly attacked same-sex marriage and homosexuality. He wrongly stated “homosexual behavior” is more “dangerous than smoking, it lowers the life expectancy dramatically.” Colson also falsely stated that legalizing same-sex marriage was “sanctioning behavior known to be dangerous.” And, again falsely, stated that gays and lesbians “don’t want marriage; they want their sexual choices affirmed as normal and moral.”

    And as late as last year, despite years of research to the contrary, Colson was publicly advocating that homosexuality was both a choice and avoidable if parents “properly” raised their children. Colson pointed to the book “A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality,” as the way to “learn more about what parents can do to lessen the chances their children will grow up homosexual.”

    GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation included Colson in its recent premiere launch of the GLAAD Commentator Accountability Project (CAP), which tracks the statements of several dozen anti-gay pundits. The GLAAD CAP notes:

    When the APA passed a resolution declaring so-called “ex-gay” treatment unethical, [Colson] said: “If any of this reminds you of the tactics of Nazi Germany, it ought to. In Hitler’s Germany the term for what the [American Psychological Association] is doing was Gleichgeschaltung, which means ‘forced conformity.’ If you didn’t conform to the government’s point of view, you risked losing your job. That is what’s happening in the world of psychology today.””


  • B

    No. 40 · 1equalityUSA wrote, ‘“Charles Wendell “Chuck” Colson, born October 16, 1931, who wrote dozens of books, was also a co-author of the 2009 “Manhattan Declaration”‘ and ‘Colson repeatedly attacked same-sex marriage and homosexuality. He wrongly stated “homosexual behavior” is more “dangerous than smoking, it lowers the life expectancy dramatically.”’

    Talk about a non sequitur coupled with an ad hominem argument!

    You can read the full text of the “Manhattan Declaration” at http://www.manhattandeclaration.org/the-declaration/read.aspx and if you use your browser’s search function to find the word “smoking”, it will indicate that it is not found. Colson’s outrageous statements simply did not appear in the Manhattan Declaration. One might guess that others who helped draft it (Robert George and/or Timothy George) told Colson that they would not accept a document with such outrageous claims. Furthermore, how much each individual contributed to the document may be known only by the three individuals who wrote it.

    In any case, resorting to argumentum ad hominem is a pretty good indication that “1equalityUSA” realizes that he has no decent basis for his statements – the outrageous statements he’s attributing to Colson simply do not appear in the Manhattan Declaration
    as far as I can tell by a quick search and a quick scan through the document. If “1equalityUSA” knows of any such statements, he should quote them – then the claim can be verified by loading the document into a browser and using its search function.

  • 1equalityUSA

    moderated again.

  • B

    No. 42 · 1equalityUSA wrote, “moderated again.” I wonder why?

    BTW, in No 40, you attributed a negative statement about the Manhattan Declaration to the Los Angeles Times, but you did not provide a link. In reality, like any newspaper, the Los Angeles Times publishes articles that are intended to be factual, editorials, and various opinion pieces that may or may not represent the opinions of the newspapers owners or editorial staff. So, what was it? With no link, nobody can tell.

    Now, there is no way I’d sign something like the Manhattan Declaration – I don’t agree with what it says – but calling it “apocalyptic” is simply a gross exaggeration. It merely summarizes the beliefs of some Christians (not all). I’d almost certainly vote against a politician who signed it, figuring the guy was either an idiot or someone who knew better but thought it was OK to pander. The exception would be a choice between that politician and someone even worse.

    By contrast, in the last Presidential election, while talking to members of a fundamentalist church regarding sex education/condoms, Obama stated that, while he agreed that moral standards were too lax, government has to deal with the real world and he didn’t think a mistake, particularly at a young age, should be a death sentence. That sort of response impresses me a lot more than merely thinking “whatever” and signing some silly statement to pander to some religious nuts.

  • 1equalityUSA

    These men and woman truly believe their God is the only God and that they would be doing a disservice to not implement their doctrine in our country. The Manhattan Declaration is beautifully and eloquently written. I do not like how polygamy is lumped in with same-sex marriage and how same-sex marriage is categorized as sin, as Jesus never said one word about gays the entire time He was on this planet. I refuse to lie and live an inauthentic life just to blend into what another defines as the norm. I think that creating laws based on others’ beliefs is a mistake. If your Church has good teachers, teach. A willing heart transforms more so than one who is coerced and forced to live by another’s religious beliefs. Any Church leader using politics to force their laws onto others has very little faith in their Father’s Word. Christ would rather they teach, not oppress. When would this stop? Would other religions be targeted next? Believe, teach, serve, and transform, but politics and man-made laws are striving for the wind and feeding on it. Laws that stand to be overturned in due time is futility and an unwise use of the flock’s resources. I disagree with politicizing any religious beliefs. It is insulting to God. The Word transforms, but mere laws get overturned.

  • B

    No. 45 · 1equalityUSA wrote, “These men and woman truly believe their God is the only God and that they would be doing a disservice to not implement their doctrine in our country. The Manhattan Declaration is beautifully and eloquently written. I do not like how polygamy is lumped in with same-sex marriage and how same-sex marriage is categorized as sin, as Jesus never said one word about gays the entire time He was on this planet.”

    The “sin” part is simply their theology – religious beliefs evolve over time and the particular sects that the authors are trying to represent view anything other than a monogamous sexual relations in the context of marriage to be sinful. They also claim that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. The reasons are a little vague (for these sects, they ultimately depend on a misreading of Genesis), so they tried to justify their beliefs by ruling out everything else.

    They lumped in polygamy (which nearly all Americans oppose) as part of a slippery-slope argument. Here’s the main section from the declaration that does this: “We understand that many of our fellow citizens, including some Christians, believe that the historic definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is a denial of equality or civil rights. They wonder what to say in reply to the argument that asserts that no harm would be done to them or to anyone if the law of the community were to confer upon two men or two women who are living together in a sexual partnership the status of being ‘married.’ It would not, after all, affect their own marriages, would it? On inspection, however, the argument that laws governing one kind of marriage will not affect another cannot stand. Were it to prove anything, it would prove far too much: the assumption that the legal status of one set of marriage relationships affects no other would not only argue for same sex partnerships; it could be asserted with equal validity for polyamorous partnerships, polygamous households, even [other cases snipped – QUEERTY is having problems posting this for some reason and possibly keywords are an issue]”.

    It’s really not surprising that they would try such an argument – while weak, it is probably the best they can do, and at least it does not consist of a string of lies attempting to demonize gays.

    BTW, the section of Genesis that they depend on starts with a statement about “God creating male and female,” followed by “therefore a man shall leave his parents and is united to his wife.” If you check https://net.bible.org/#!bible/Genesis+2:19 (hope this link works) and look at footnote 71, that footnote states, “This statement, introduced by the Hebrew phrase (’al-ken, “therefore” or “that is why”), is an editorial comment, not an extension of the quotation. The statement is describing what typically happens, not what will or should happen. It is saying, “This is why we do things the way we do.” It links a contemporary (with the narrator) practice with the historical event being narrated. The historical event narrated in v. 23 provides the basis for the contemporary practice described in v. 24. That is why the imperfect verb forms are translated with the present tense rather than future.” So, all this section of Genesis is really saying is that marriage between a man and a woman is a custom motivated by a creation myth in which God created the first woman from the first man’s rib. That might be an interesting historical observation, but it is not a basis for public policy.

  • 1equalityUSA

    Genesis 2:19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them; and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

    “There is a delightfully childish quality about this picture. God makes all the animals, and they march obediently past Adam in review. It was an earlier and greater Noah’s Ark parade. Then, according to engravings in old picture books of the Bible, all these animals, elephants and rhinoceroses and lions and tigers and the rest, walk about or lie down in a sort of purring cheerfulness, a universal happy family.
    It is part of an ancient tale which some writer long unknown put here into the scriptural narrative. One might feel hard pressed to find in it a specifically religious message; yet by analogy and imagination there is one. Whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. :The name is that by which the ting is summoned into the field of thought, and is necessary for its full existence” (Exeg. on 1:5). That, to the mind of the ancients, was the power of a name. When Adam named the animals he determined what they should be like and how they should behave.”
    The Interpreter’s Bible p. 498 Volume 1 (of twelve volumes) Abingdon Press 1952

    I agree that basing laws on another’s religious view is overstepping the role of spiritual advisors.
    Genesis Vss. 19-20a are thus an elaboration of the original story, made for the same reason, and probably by the same hand, as vs 9. The author may, of course, have been dependent on a feature of the ealier saga not preserved by J. Vs. 20b resumes the thread of the story after the intrusion of vss. 19-20a; Adam (KJV) should be read the nan. (RSV)

  • 1equalityUSA

    Should be read “the man”

  • 1equalityUSA

    Genesis 20b-24 Man and Woman.–In the minds of those to whom we owe the several elements woven in Genesis, there are different attitudes towards sex (cf. Exeg. on 1:28; 2:16-17, 24; 3:1, 22, 23; 34). There is that which regards it simply and wholesomely as the fundamental of existence. And there is that which looks at it with doubt and distress because of the strange complexities of good and evil which it brings.
    This difference need arouse no wonder, for this double appraisal of sex runs through all history. Many of the fiercest human passions and darkest crimes come out of it. But loyalty and love and the deepest and most enduring human relationships also are rooted in it. The drama of the everlasting conflict between its good and evil has inspired much of the world’s immortal poetry, poetry that reflected not only the throbbing impulses of the body, but the inextricable web of power and pathos and pitifulness that makes up human souls. Remember Helen of Troy and Hector and Paris, Ulysses and Penelope, Antony and Cleopatra, Paolo and Francesca, Tristram and Iseult, Lancelot and Guinevere.
    Sex is fundamental. It cannot be got rid of or forgotten. It may be sublimated into adorations that are separate from the flesh. There is a kind of desire for saintliness that will deliberately choose celibacy. Sometimes whole groups have attempted this, as the Essenes did in the first century and as other little communities in many lands since have sought to do. But that cannot be normative. There was good reason for the writer of 1:27-28 to say of God’s creation of humanity that “male and female created he them,” and to ascribe to God the words, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.”

    The Interpreter’s Bible Vol. 1 page 499 Abingdon Press 1952

    Again, I agree that forcing others to live by the doctrines of any religion is a mistake. If a religious person is a fantastic teacher, then enthusiasm for the Word can be solicited. Forcing religious doctrine on unwilling populations will only create disdain and resentment. A good teacher of the Word would have transformation come to be with willing hearts. Religion, forcing itself onto others by law, stands to be temporary and overturned in time, yielding no fruit for the effort.

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