MYOB

As a direct descendent of one of our founding fathers, a Tea Party original, and a “conservatarian” (my dad’s description of me), I believe strongly in limited government. While they disagreed on quite a few things, nearly all of the founders agreed that any central government had to be limited in size, scope, and power. A system of checks and balances was put into place. After the Declaration of Independence, both the Constitution and the Articles of Amendment were written. These documents were written in such a way that if you take out one, the rest will fall.

I believe in everyone minding their own business. You have a right to your religious beliefs. If you believe that I’m living in sin for acknowledging and embracing the fact that I am a lesbian, that is your right. If you want to say so publicly, that is your right. I would fight to the death for your rights because I would expect my rights to be protected just as fiercely.

You do NOT have the right to enact laws that single out one group that you don’t happen to like based on your religious beliefs.

I’ve said that before, but it seems nobody is really getting the message. Let me say it again: you do not have the right to enact laws that single out one group that you don’t happen to like based on your religious beliefs.

Nearly every challenge to state gay marriage bans has won, ending with such laws being stricken down in Kentucky, Utah, and today, Virginia. In response Ted Cruz (who I normally like) introduced a bill co-sponsored by Mike Lee that would essentially bring back DOMA, albeit in a slightly different form. DOMA barred the federal government from recognizing gay marriages even in states that had decided that gay marriage was legal. The so-called State Marriage Defense Act would do an end-run around the Constitution and “protect” states from intrusion by federal courts if the voters in those states agree to make gay marriage illegal.

Here’s the big problem: the Tenth Amendment already addresses that sort of thing. The language literally says, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” In other words, if the Constitution doesn’t give the feds the right to have power over something, that power belongs to the States. Reading all of the recent judicial commentary on rulings that strike down gay marriage bans all pretty much points to the same thing…the Fourteenth Amendment. The end of Section One reads, “…nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

So we’ve established that the First Amendment gives everyone the right to agree or disagree (peacefully) with gay marriage and to speak about said disagreement openly, but that it does not give anyone the right to write laws based on one religious belief. Now we’ve also established that the federal government is not allowed to take any power that the Constitution doesn’t give it. Add to that the fact that the government, whether local, state, or federal, cannot discriminate against one group or another for ANY reason in how it applies laws and rights. I think it’s pretty clear that gay marriage is a fight that social conservatives should give up now.

I don’t agree with liberalism because I see what it is doing to my country. I am talking to people every day who actually believed that Obamacare was supposed to make their healthcare free and eliminate the wait to see a doctor – and they don’t understand why the opposite is happening. I am called a racist because I don’t like President Obama and think he’s worse than Jimmy Carter. I am called heartless because I believe that there should be limits to the amount of money the government spends, particularly on welfare, and I believe that welfare should be something that one has to prove they genuinely need (and are trying to get off of). I am called a traitor because I’m a lesbian who isn’t liberal and told that I should just kill myself so I can’t do any more damage to the cause of gay rights.

I’m watching the press, who is ardently protected, take advantage of their protections and make a concerted effort to defend an indefensible man holding the highest office in America. I’m watching my friends and family come home from foreign countries drastically changed because their country asked them to go to war and then refused to back them up when they needed it. I feel like I’m watching my beloved country disintegrate because the people refuse to educate themselves and want nothing more than to know how to get their free stuff.

We wanted the government out of our bedrooms. We got that. Now we want the government out of everything else in our lives, but we are somehow willing to give them complete control? How does this work? I just want you all, from Ted Cruz to Barack Obama, to mind your own business. Get out of my life. Get out of my healthcare, my gun safe, my workplace, my bedroom, my TV, my computer, my cell phone – get the hell out. You don’t have the right to tell me that I can’t defend myself and my family if someone decides to try to harm us. You don’t have the right to tell me that I have to turn over all of my personal information to make sure I’m a terrorist. You damn sure don’t have the right to tell me that because you believe a certain way, I cannot love another woman and commit myself to her for the rest of my life. When you social conservatives do something about the astronomical divorce rates and clean up your own act, then and only then will you be allowed to wag a finger at me and accuse me of trying to destroy that supposedly sacred institution.

You cannot claim to want limited government while you’re championing the fight to give the government more power. It doesn’t work that way. I believe in remembering the Sabbath and keeping it holy. That does not mean that I believe I should have a law written that forces all businesses to close on Saturdays to accommodate my belief.

Comments

22 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Charles Mark,

    mel, i agree with you. government has no right to infringe on our lives. we hire the government. the government doesn’t hire us. how is it that we are not simply abolishing our government, and electing a fairer one. don’t we have that right? we didn’t all vote for this president. how much more suffering do we need? i am not a supporter of gay marriage. i have a right to say that. but i certainly have no right to tell others what to do. i wish we had more balanced thinkers in washington. keep your voice loud and clear. i am a gay man in the minority. that means not a liberal moron. shevua tov. charles

  2. JAE,

    What is your opinion about polygamous legal marriage?

    If marriage, the civil and/or religious institution, evolved naturally to support the survival of the human family, the very basic core element of society, by definition the bonding of one male and one female to benefit/support the progeny of that relationship, how is anything but the natural marriage bond beneficial to society?

    I want gays to have every entitlement and benefit of all heterosexuals (bar none), but, the basic relationship and outcomes/products of these different relationships is different as night and day, and male and female. The leopard is spotted and the tiger is striped and we can’t just use these terms interchangeably – they have meanings based in undeniable truths. Natural law is more dictatorial here then is religion.

    Help those of us struggling to support your needs to understand.

  3. Patrick,

    Firstly, I’d like to say that this is the first article I’ve read on your site. In fact, in my twenty-five years, I’d never even thought of looking for a safe place to discuss LGBTQ issues in a conservative context until I tried to searching for a LGBTQ friendly firearms community a couple of days ago. Thank you. Thank you so much. I’d say that you have no idea how much it helps to find a site like this, but, maybe you do, and maybe that’s why this site exists.

    JAE, I totally get where you’re coming from. I’ve taken General Biology I & II, Anatomy & Physiology I & II, Microbiology, Biomedical Ethics, Introductory level courses in Logic, Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology, as well various Religious Studies courses and a few culture-specific courses. I recognize that the etymological roots of monogamy, polygamy, endogamy, and exogamy lie in the Greek word, gamos, which is also used to form words like “gamete,” used in biology to refer to germ cells that are inherently involved in reproductive acts, specifically, in pollination and fertilization. For myself, personally, I believe it is important to reproduce, but you can’t tell me that divorced heterosexual couples would make better parents than fully committed lesbian, gay, bisexual, or even transgender couples.

    Instead, what I’m seeing is that, like myself, most of my fourteen (and counting) nieces and nephews are being raised in an ultra-Catholic lifestyle, and the thing that has me worried is the possibility that one of my young relatives is going to end up going through what I’ve been going through: pain, confusion, self-harm, substance abuse, and the loneliest feeling in the world, of wanting to stand by my beliefs, but being made to feel like a persona non grata by those who should be my greatest allies – for something that I can’t even tell them about. I can recall numerous situations in which I would have behaved differently, more admirably, if I had felt free to consider the possibility that I may have had an alternative sexual persuasion. Moreover, I hear a lot of malarkey about the dangers that gay marriage poses to the sacrament of matrimony, but not an awful lot about divorce. To me, that constitutes a huge problem.

    In my syncretic way of thinking, loving something means having such positive regard for it that one believes that the world would be a better place if only there were more of that thing in existence. Love demands protection, preservation, and perpetuation of the object of that love, whether in physical, genetic manifestations of self, or in the promulgation of ideas. Mel, I don’t want to sound like a cornball, but I’d say that, whether you have kids or not, you’ve satisfied my requirements for human reproduction through the positive impact that this kind of work has on uncounted lives.

    Without getting into wearisome personal details, I don’t consider myself to be entirely gay, but, even so, being bisexual is not like having the best of both worlds. In fact, I’m afraid of being rejected by both sides, gay and straight. In a polarized world, I feel like I’m constantly caught in the crossfire between two warring factions that don’t know the first thing about me. I don’t entertain any illusions that gay marriage will ever be viewed as being identical, or even equivalent, to heterosexual marriage, but I’d say that, having some kind of formalized social ritual of the recognition of the union between two committed and loving individuals is essential to making it easier for LGBTQ individuals to embrace, and be embraced by, the status quo. In that sense, natural law dictates that, for society as a whole, as a kind of meta-organism, to enjoy greater health and accomplishment, allowing gay marriage is a no-brainer. I’ve seen a lot worse, and not much better, when it comes to cultural attitudes toward tolerance.

    I can’t say that I’ll be good about checking back in on a regular basis, but I hope to see more from this site in the future.

    Wishing you all the best.

  4. JAE,

    Comparing the worst of the hetero union, which is the dissolution of it, with the usually (demonstrably) unattainable best of the homo union is your typical apples-oranges debacle. The very best coupling for the procreation and sustenance of progeny, which forms the family unit which is the core unit of society is with the hetero marriage union. Fact, period. Every else is secondary and beyond.

    Have your homosexual civil unions with all the benefits that a civilized society determines should be associated with the stabilization that should hopefully come from these unions- just let’s not call these unions marriages (again, leopards are not tigers) and lets not undertake redefinitions of an ancient social structure and natural and necessary pair bonding- they are not by virtue of their naturally and socially unusual pairing criteria.

  5. Patrick,

    As a math and science tutor, I find it bewildering that the default position for some people is the reductionist perspective of considering a single aspect of biology to dictate every aspect of scientific inquest.

    JAE, by your line of reasoning, people who never have children should not be allowed to call themselves “married.”

    Plasmogamy is the marriage, or fusion, of cytoplasm, and occurs in the joining of cells during reproduction in bacteria and fungi, as does karyogamy, which is the fusion of nuclei. I already stated that I agree that the root word, “gamos,” indicates a fusion or blending of two things, which then become indivisible. Unfortunately for your argument, however, the term marriage is not a term used by biologists in the discussion of reproduction. I have a cousin who has been married twice, and yet has no children. How do you defend that, in terms of biology? And, no, you cannot simply blow off divorce as an outlier, because it is common enough to be statistically significant, and it is inseparable from the topic of marriage. I have an uncle who has five kids with four different women. Considering humans as primates, which are polyamorous, the purely biological perspective actually supports his lifestyle as the default, and yet, I wouldn’t want to be one of those kids for a million dollars.

    Saying “Fact, period,” does not make a claim into one based on logos. You are struggling with ethos and pathos. Comparing the differences between “marriage” and “civil union” with the differences between apples and oranges is a logical non-sequitur. As long as you are up in arms about calling something anything other than what it is, you should probably try not to make grossly inappropriate comparisons, especially given that apples and oranges are conceptually identical, from a biological perspective. Both are fruits, intended to protect and feed the genetic issue of angiosperms, and both encapsulate unique genetic offspring.

    If it really doesn’t bother you what other people do, then it shouldn’t bother you what they call it. On an unrelated issue, I have a personal, ethical objection to abortion, but it doesn’t bother me any more or any less when people say “termination.” If something bothers me, it’s the thing itself that bothers me, not the moniker that some other git slaps on it, and if I support something, I support the thing itself, regardless of what others call it.

    On another note, people have always been free to use marriage in a euphemistic sense, as in, “a perfect marriage of form and function,” without raising so much as an eyebrow. Furthermore, you have completely ignored the fact that there are many societies in which monogamous marriage is not the status quo, nor are polygamous relationships inherently less stable. In fact, with more competent providers of care, a polygamous relationship can better survive the death of a parent.

    The technology already exists to induce a differentiated somatic cell to revert to a stem cell, and from there, scientists in Japan have successfully created viable egg cells. Within the next view decades, it will be possible for same-sex couples to have children that are genetically descended from both of them. What will your argument look like then?

  6. Patrick,

    I am not, by any means, an activist, but I do admit that I regret voting against the same-sex marriage issue in Connecticut when I was in college. That was the only time I was glad not to get what I voted for.

    In any event, if you really care about the well-being of children, then you would not support causes that single out LGBTQ individuals. If the ideal family seems to be unattainable for gay couples, then it has more to do with the prevailing social pressures than it has to do with any individuals’ desires or abilities to become parents.

    Show me your perfect children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren (at least thirty, in order for the sample to be normally distributed, and, therefore, statistically significant), who all grow up straight and have your perfect heterosexual marriage, with no divorces or separations, barren couples, spinsters, or confirmed bachelors, and I’ll either eat my hat or sniff out a scared kid hiding in a closet, because there’s no way that anybody with any kind of same-sex attraction is going to feel comfortable acknowledging their predicament in that kind of environment, where family elders are sticking their noses into issues that they don’t understand.

    On that note, I can’t think of a more appropriate title for the original article than “MYOB.”

  7. Patrick,

    Saying that you support LGBTQ rights, but only if gay marriages are called “civil unions” is a bit too close for comfort to saying that gay couples will only be tolerated if they wear pink triangles on their coats. We need words that promote unity to expel irrational anger from the conservative community, not words that single people out. We need the perspective to change from one that focuses on sexual orientations and individual lifestyles to one that focuses on limiting the power of government to interfere with individuals’ lives. If the GOP started supporting gay marriage tomorrow, then it sure as heck wouldn’t drive conservative voters to the Democratic Party; in fact, it would keep a lot of conservatives from feeling pressured to rethink their political allegiances.

  8. JAE,

    It’s so simple, why complicate it, Patrick? Marriage is the permanent union between a male and female designed to encourage the production of and protection of progeny from that union. Western society and /or culture decided it was worthwhile to provide support to that institution.

    That no-fault divorce and other ills of a deteriorating civilized and cohesive society (including polygamy) caused failures of marriage is not material to the debate. That some opposite sex unions do not produce offspring is the outlier, the fact is that they have the biological capacity to do so. Annulment is the process by which those marriages may be discontinued, if desired. Elders that marry may do so for financial reasons- these are false social constructs. Sometimes, they are the caretakers of grandchildren – which gives them a genetically-vested interest in supporting those progeny.

    Homosexuals will never produce their own biological progeny from their union.

    I want homosexuals to pair bond for life, if that is their desire, and to raise families, if that is their desire. They need to develop their own institutional structure and label it accordingly. It can’t be marriage – that structure and definition has been cast. The homosexual union isn’t less than or more than marriage, it just isn’t marriage. The polygamous union is not marriage. Any union that isn’t between one male and one female with the intention and/or commitment to bond for life isn’t marriage (that also goes for opposite sex couples that have ‘open’ marriages – these are ‘arrangements’ that should not use the marriage institution).

    Language matters. Facts matter.

  9. Patrick,

    JAE, take the time to read the posts that you are responding to.

    Quote: “The technology already exists to induce a differentiated somatic cell to revert to a stem cell, and from there, scientists in Japan have successfully created viable egg cells. Within the next view decades, it will be possible for same-sex couples to have children that are genetically descended from both of them. What will your argument look like then?”

    Quote (from external site): “In a technical tour de force, Japanese researchers created eggs and sperm in the laboratory. Now, scientists have to determine how to use those cells safely — and ethically.”

    http://www.nature.com/news/stem-cells-egg-engineers-1.13582

    Quote: “Homosexuals will never produce their own biological progeny from their union.”

    Try not to lie to people. It’s offensive.

    Quote: ” The polygamous union is not marriage. Any union that isn’t between one male and one female with the intention and/or commitment to bond for life isn’t marriage (that also goes for opposite sex couples that have ‘open’ marriages – these are ‘arrangements’ that should not use the marriage institution).

    Language matters. Facts matter.”

    I already pointed out that, linguistically, in Western society, polygamy actually contains the word for marriage. It’s literal meaning is “multiple marriage.”

    Facts do matter. I suggest that you begin to acquaint yourself with them.

    Start posting some references, or sit down before you hurt yourself.

  10. Patrick,

    Quote: “Marriage is the permanent union between a male and female designed to encourage the production of and protection of progeny from that union. ”

    The word “permanent” does not mean, “until it is annulled.” That is a fact. Language matters.

  11. Patrick,

    Also, you don’t seem to grasp the definition of “outlier.”

    Quote: “In the case of normally distributed data, the three sigma rule means that roughly 1 in 22 observations will differ by twice the standard deviation or more from the mean, and 1 in 370 will deviate by three times the standard deviation[4] for details. In a sample of 1000 observations, the presence of up to five observations deviating from the mean by more than three times the standard deviation is within the range of what can be expected, being less than twice the expected number and hence within 1 standard deviation of the expected number – see Poisson distribution, and not indicative of an anomaly. If the sample size is only 100, however, just three such outliers are already reason for concern, being more than 11 times the expected number.

    In general, if the nature of the population distribution is known a priori, it is possible to test if the number of outliers deviate significantly from what can be expected: for a given cutoff (so samples fall beyond the cutoff with probability p) of a given distribution, the number of outliers will follow a binomial distribution with parameter p, which can generally be well-approximated by the Poisson distribution with λ = pn. Thus if one takes a normal distribution with cutoff 3 standard deviations from the mean, p is approximately .3%, and thus for 1,000 trials one can approximate the number of samples whose deviation exceeds 3 sigmas by a Poisson distribution with λ = 3.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outlier#Occurrence_and_causes

    Basically, the standard assumption for living systems, which can all be modeled by Poisson distribution, is that anything more than three standard deviations from the mean is an outlier. That means that, in order for what you said not to be a complete load of – ahem – misinformation, the incidence of childless marriages would have to be no more than 0.3% (or, three out of a thousand) of all marriages.

    Don’t try to dress up your statements with words you don’t understand. It isn’t very flattering.

  12. Patrick,

    In any case, you dodged the basic point I started making, which is that any extra effort to create artificial distinctions between citizens with equal rights will only serve to destabilize and polarize society, resulting in more antipathy toward homosexuality, more violence, and staggering economic losses due to lack of cooperation.

  13. Patrick,

    JAE, just out of curiosity, why are you trolling on a website called “gayconservative.org?”

    Don’t get me wrong, doing battle with the dark forces of misinformation is fun, and it’s good for me to sharpen my claws like this, but, I have to ask, what exactly is your ultimate goal?

  14. Patrick,

    Quote:”We do not allow our emotions to drive our beliefs; rather, we prefer to see all sides of an issue and think about it rationally before deciding where we stand. If you are a fellow homosexual, please treat us the way you would wish to be treated. Do not speak to us in condescension or make claims that you refuse to provide solid links for (by solid, we mean non-op-ed news from a valid source). Be the source of tolerance that you demand from others.”

    I’m sorry if I got a little too riled up. It’s just that I’ve been listening to claims that aren’t based on facts for twenty-five years, and it makes me angry to think that it will continue to screw young people up as badly as it screwed me up. I didn’t mean to sound condescending. I’m sorry.

  15. JAE,

    Here’s the piece of the debate you can’t win, regardless of your [rather nasty] attempts to quell opposition. Marriage, as an institution, based upon nature, including natural (not test-tube/Frankenstein) biology, has been reserved for male-female unions for all those reasons since stated, and for which you and millennia of generations are already familiar. Your insults don’t matter to me (and, your arrogance is palpable), the fact is that it is, simply, what it is and has been always. It is the minority of the population trying to change definitions – they need to have good answers to these very valid and still-unanswered questions.

    Why do you find this position so offensive? Is debate and discussion not permitted? Perhaps it is your goal that requires elucidation?

    There are distinctions between humans already- have you slept through affirmative action, hate crime legislation and other special protections afforded minority groups- are you not aware of class or any other cultural or legal distinction? Shall we put aside all humanness to accommodate your needs? There will always be distinctions among humans- no legislation will ever remove it.

    The fact is that humans are diverse, and our society has made numerous adjustments to accommodate, protect and support diversity. Shall we only distinguish when it benefits one group, or are we obligated to discern what is best for all groups, and society overall? When did your rights outweigh mine? What is wrong with defining the homosexual union according to homosexual pair-bonding needs, casting it and socially supporting it as another necessary and beneficial social construct?

    Let go of your defenses- you do more harm to your cause for full equality (which I want for you) than the most bigoted among us. You have the case to make, not I.

  16. Patrick,

    Yes, people are different, and no, I don’t agree with hate-crime legislation, in general, but your hangup with letting gays and lesbians use the word, “marriage,” is just as ignorant and insensitive as telling them to use different water fountains, different washrooms, and different schools.

    My arrogance is only a retaliation to ignorance. Respond to my earlier points and show me your perfect family, or stop trying to force people to speak your lingo. When you say “Western,” you really mean “Christian,” and, like it or not, this country is not built on the blood of Christians, alone. If you can’t think about things in global terms, and you can’t accept the fact that it’s wrong to legislate cultural barriers, then you can’t think for yourself.

    There are a lot of young people who suffer and die as broken people because of your kind of hard-nosed refusal to say, “Look, I’m comfortable with who I am. I don’t need to tell you who you are.”

    I’m glad that you just keep repeating yourself, though, without furnishing any substantive arguments, because it reassures me that sanity will prevail over blind stupidity in the end.

    BTW, the only reason I’ve taken as many courses that pertain to this issue is that I plan to get in on the ground floor and start making “test-tube/Frankenstein” babies for as many gay couples as I can, as soon as I can. Moreover, I’m the product of anywhere between 3.8 and 4.3 billion years of evolution, depending upon whom you ask, and I am completely naturally derived, and completely biological. Therefore, any life that I create, whether with my own DNA or not, is naturally, biologically derived. We’re not talking about mixing lipids and acids in a synthetic primordial environment until the soup starts to quiver. We’re talking about starting with human life and ending with human life, and it’s a good deal more natural than calling yourself a supporter of gay rights one minute and then belittling gays the next.

  17. Patrick,

    In closing, because I really don’t have much hope for you, JAE, what are you doing trolling on a site called “gayconservative.org?” I think that might be the single most important question that I’ve asked you.

    Goodbye, and try not to ruin any more lives than you probably have already.

  18. JAE,

    It doesn’t take long for the bigotry to reveal itself. You had no real defense of your position, so, you naturally went to the typical default position of the unjustified attack. Your bigotry against religion (which you introduced into the dialogue) feeds your political and philosophical advocacy, which is the basis for your faulty reasoning.

    You had better think up better rationale to up-end ancient social structures that are based upon natural law, if not for your generation for future generations that will seek answers to simple questions such as, why was it necessary to deconstruct a system that was successful at building a successful society to appease a minority that could not even successfully defend its political demands.

    You’ve been had by insidious forces much brighter than yourself.

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  20. Patrick,

    Incidentally, I take my religion more seriously than anyone I know, JAE. I work at an extremely traditional Catholic school, was raised Catholic, my mother is a Dame of Malta, my uncle is a Knight of Columbus, my sister is the principle of the same Catholic school, I was an altar server until I was seventeen, at one point, I gave serious thought to entering the priesthood, several of my friends are staunchly Zionist, and I have always enjoyed the time that I’ve spent studying other religions, whether through classes, literature, or cultural immersion. I’m not bigoted against religion, I just understand it, and I know the true value of its existence.

    Religion, etymologically and historically, is an ongoing process of self-restraint, as the “re-” prefix refers to backward motion, directed back upon the subject, while the “lig” root refers to ligation, or binding and restraint, and the “-ion” suffix is the French gerund form, equivalent to “-ing” in English, meaning that the process is ongoing.

    The widespread misapprehension that religion is a group of people or a cultural association is actually a perversion of true religion, which is ultimately intended to give us power and responsibility over our animal impulses. Religion represents the path to Sophia, from Greek philosophy, allowing us to dominate vulgar Amathia, which is similar to “nafs,” the demonic influences in Sufism. The possibility that only forty percent of the population ever reaches metacognition as a level of intellectual development indicates why it would be necessary for the prescripts of self-restraint to be formally articulated for the benefit of the remaining sixty percent who would be incapable of the self-analysis that would bring them to the same conclusions naturally.

    Asked what he gained from philosophy, [Aristotle] answered, “To do without being commanded what others do from fear of the laws.”

    Formal religion is the framework of laws which sixty percent of the population should rightly fear, but that the other forty percent should have no need of fearing, as they should be able to reflect on the real truths that God or the universe presents in all levels of reality, leading them to draw ever closer to truth, rather than merely approximating truth through the ghostly resonances of dead men’s myths. Scripture does not free us from the obligations of philosophy, as Jesus demonstrated whenever he challenged conventional wisdom. You, JAE, are like the Pharisees who feared free thought and worked to condemn a compassionate and ingenious young carpenter to death.

    As soon as I saw the word “bigotry” in your last response, I felt that there was no reasoning with you, but I just want to set it straight for the world that I actually apply the lessons of my religious upbringing to my daily life, rather than just saying the prayers and asking for forgiveness. I study, reflect on my mistakes, and try to avoid putting myself in a position of having to ask forgiveness in the first place, and I can’t recommend that highly enough. That is restraint. Unlike the more traditionally religious members of my community, I have actually refrained from screwing around. I’ve managed to deflect people and hold on to my virginity longer than anyone else I know, because I’m not just spouting empty words when I say that marriage is important to me. I have refrained from stealing. I have refrained from trying to deceive or manipulate others, except inasmuch as it has been necessary to pretend not to be gay. I don’t spread gossip. More and more as I get older, though, I find myself refusing to tolerate intolerance, and so I draw attention to simple truths, such as the fact that God or natural laws has or have given us the framework to author our own futures, and it would be evil to refuse to use those tools to further the existence of all life.

    “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use and by some other means to give us knowledge which we can attain by them.” ~ Galileo Galilei

    I tried extending the olive branch by apologizing, at one point, but you slapped that apology away like a spoiled child.

    “I’m sorry if I got a little too riled up. It’s just that I’ve been listening to claims that aren’t based on facts for twenty-five years, and it makes me angry to think that it will continue to screw young people up as badly as it screwed me up. I didn’t mean to sound condescending. I’m sorry.” ~ Patrick (FEBRUARY 23, 2014 at 5:52 PM)

    You took my apology as a sign of weakness, but all you did was make me sympathize less with conservatives. As I see it, then, there are two possibilities; you are either a foolish conservative, or a cunning liberal.

    Your wording in the following passage was particularly effective in rendering me more thoroughly disgusted with conservatives who fancy themselves as understanding people:

    “I want homosexuals to pair bond for life, if that is their desire, and to raise families, if that is their desire.” ~ JAE (FEBRUARY 23, 2014 at 4:31 PM)

    … “pair bond?” Really? You make it sound like homosexuals are nonhuman. Who says to a couple of heterosexual newlyweds, “Congratulations on pair bonding?”

    You are addressing someone with the love of balance of Taoism, the love of mental fortitude of Sufism, the love of life of Biologism, the love of perseverance of Judaism, the love of God of Catholicism, the love of meditation of Buddhism, the love of discipline of Bushido, the love of philosophy of the Ancient Greeks, and the intellectual curiosity of the Jesuits. I love all of these religions, and they are each more dear to me than my own eyes and hands. In what way am I bigoted against them for caring about them enough to actually think deeply about them? That would be like saying that a man is bigoted against his wife for thinking deeply about her as a human being with real thoughts and feelings instead of as nothing more than a talking head.

    I won’t say that you shame your mother, because, as unlikely as it seems, JAE, you might actually be an improvement over her, but you need to know that that isn’t enough. You have to engage in the ceaseless, ongoing process of self-reflection and self-restraint that makes you better than yourself. If you are not becoming better, then you are becoming worse.

    Even if I am the least of all our brothers, whom should you seek in me? Whatever I have said to you, I have said to Jesus. I can live with that. Whatever you have said to me you have said to Jesus. Can you live with that?

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