When I respond to a commenter it's because the comments they've made deserve to be answered - and sometimes the comments section is just too small.
Todays comments are in response to my post "How did we get here?" and are courtesy of NDP Nadine, who is a regular commenter at Either Orr. As per usual, quotes from NDP Nadine are in italics. They are unedited, except for placement.
SSM is all about the right to belong, the right to be equal; therefore, I consider it to be a human right.
One does not have to be married to be equal or to belong, in our society – in any society. Human rights are available for all humans. Marriage is not -- even now that the definition has been changed in Canada, there are whole segments of society ineligible because they don't meet the criteria. Human Rights are 'individual rights' -- marriage does not fall into that category.
As for equal coupling – one doesn’t have to be married in Canada to enjoy equal status in terms of taxation, housing, adoption -- common law couples enjoy most of the same rights and benefits, hetero or same-sex.
Whether gays like it or not, they didn’t fit the definition of marriage as understood by all cultures and religions. Proof: the definition had to change. Marriage is defined by its criteria. Changing the criteria is changing a fundamental component of the institution. It doesn’t make the relationships equal, it only makes them ‘fair’ which could have been done through a parallel form of registration. Legislation calling same-sex relationships 'marriages' will never make them so in the minds of many people. Don't say they are wrong, or bigots -- Bill C-38 says they are allowed to believe that because of their relgion.
In fact, so does the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, of which Canada is a signatory. Article 16 of the Declaration states: "(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution." Sounds very inclusive to me.
You’re dreaming in technicolour Nadine. I don’t hold the UN in high enough regard to care what they think, but think of cultural and political make up of the UN. This wording was put in place specifically to rule out same-sex marriage. Had they been inviting gay-coupling to be justified through this, the wording would have been ‘Men and/or women . . .’
And why the big rush to defend churches anyhow?
And why your big rush to bash them?
Throughout the world Christian churches have done more to support and sustain marginalised people than any other ‘group’. It was Christianity (the Papacy in fact) that created appeals courts for people accused of crimes. It was Judeo-Christian values that lead to our current understanding of ‘human rights’. I’m not going to give you a history lesson here, but the Catholic church and nations influenced by Catholicism were pioneers in the arts, technology and science. The church itself has been a champion of freedom during times when the secular world was brutal and violent in the name of the state. Don’t get me started on the Crusades or the Inquisition – two of the most misunderstood, mythologised eras in history. Churches by far, have done, and continue to do --- more good for society than any government or state that has ever existed.
Church history is full of discrimination, violence, bigotry, the spilled blood of millions of people.
Secular nationhood is filled with the same. It is the nature of man, not the nature of Christianity that makes it so. No one kills in the name of God or Christ. Those who do are in error. Their error does not make the church culpable. It is insupportable theologically and biblically for people to kill in the name of Christianity. People do kill as agents of their state, nation, or in self-interest -- and with full sanction of their motivators.
As for discrimination and bigotry– the values of justice and equality of all people, which we take for granted, are the products of centuries of Christian discernment and freedom.
Not to forget residential schools either.
The churches acted as instruments of the state. Some of what happened at these schools was shameful and the churches have accepted responsibility for their role. Unfortunately the problems of our Native communities continue, and there are no simple solutions. Blaming the churches for their part in this tragedy is fair, but keep in mind the residential schools were designed, mandated and created by the government. Although we tend to impute malice to the people who created and worked within these places, I would suggest that when they started, it was with grand ideals and lofty intentions but as often happens -- misguided, paternalistic, governmental do-gooders thought they knew better for these people than they could figure out for themselves. They were wrong.
These are things not to be forgotten because clearly, discrimination is a mainstay in religion.
In societies where there is no religion, or where religion has been forced out of the mainstream, how have things been?
Jesus would be appalled at how people treat each other in his name.
On this point we agree.
I think he would support SSM anyway.
I think you’re mistaken.
Jesus understood the nature of humanity. Although Jesus never speaks of marriage, he does speak of divorce. Matthew 19 says: "The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?" And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave His father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate." (. . .) "His disciples said to Him, "If such is the case of the man and his wife, it is better not to marry." But He said to them, "All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given: For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother's womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven's sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it."
Jesus’ thinking on marriage doesn’t reflect the values of his times. The Pharisees believe they have the right to divorce, Jesus is telling them that Moses only told them they had that right because mankind had become so hard-hearted. His quote on the nature of marriage, and celibacy in the event that marriage is for some reason not in the cards, is unmistakable.
It seems to me, it's simply because of latent bigotry.
It seems to me that support of SSM is because of blatant ignorance and arrogance. Both of our opinions in this regard are irrelevant to the discussion.
Homosexuality is genetic, no one choses to be social outcasts. So why do people think it's ok to discriminate on things people have no control over?
There is no scientific consensus as to the reasons for homosexuality, but let me ask you this – if in fact it is genetic, or some sort of pre-birth anomaly ---- if science could invent a cure, how many gay people would take it?
As for being social outcasts – don’t pretend this is 19th century, Nadine. Gays are no longer social outcasts – they are prominent leaders in many aspects of society. They are not, and quite frankly, they never have been at the back of the bus. They had to hide their predilections in the past, but unlike other marginalised groups – they could choose to do that.
(this was in response to a reply from nicol of The War Room -- for context, you should read the comments section of yesterday's post) --- nicol, haha, read some history dude. Being left of centre does not make one a Marxist. Way back in the 30s, keep in mind that the Communist party wanted nothing to do with the CCF. Opponents of the CCF back then tried to associate it with Communism including PM Bennett but it was never the case. The CCF banned dual party membership so no communists could have possibly infiltrated it. The CCF is rooted in social democracy, labour, agrarianism, populism and social gospel. Hardly Marxist.
Your comparison of the CCF and the NDP is faulty. The ‘root’ of the NDP might be the CCF, but the two parties are hardly the same. You and the NDP are much farther left than simply ‘left of centre’ ---or at least you were, until this Parliament.
And about homosexuality, do you remember chosing heterosexuality? I sure don't. Gay people know they're different from a very young age because they are indeed born that way. Have you been in a school recently and seen how suspected gays are treated? It's truly tragic.
Oh please. It’s chic to be gay. I’ve got four kids in public school in Toronto. Smokers and fat people are treated with more derision and contempt. And say what you like – yes, people choose to smoke and overeat, but some people also choose to flaunt their gayness. Get off the gay-as-victim bit. Gays have never been an ‘oppressed’ minority. They have been a closeted minority, they have been scorned and despised – but oppression means subjugation – they don’t fit the definition of an ‘enslaved’ segment of society. Don't tell me they want to change that definition now.
I'm convinced that people who appear sincere about their concern for gay oppression yet oppose gay marriage are hiding at least some prejudices.
We all have prejudices, Nadine. Some of us are able to admit to them, and others lie to themselves that they are perfect. I believe that gays are equal to me, but I don’t believe they fit the criteria to be ‘married.’ If you think that makes me a bigot, I can live with that.
You see your views on religion and religious people, and your simplification of complex issues in order to dismiss adversaries as ‘latent bigot(s)’ as justified. Dear, your bias is showing.
Otherwise it wouldn't be such a big deal.
So all things that are important to a person are the result of prejudice? Perhaps. But that includes your prejudices and your bigotry – this is a big deal to you – why? Because you are altruistic? Or because you have some deep hatred of religion, and people who follow a code of morality and value system that you reject?
It is a big deal to me because I believe I don’t have a right to impose my morality on you. You have a right to live as you see fit. You have a right to believe that I am a bigot, and you have a right to teach your children that I am a bigot.
You believe that I don’t have the right to teach my children that homosexual activity is against nature and that it is immoral – or that if I do, you and your ilk have the right to ‘correct’ my teaching in the public realm through the normalisation of homosexuality in the public school system.
Who in this equation is against freedom of thought, against individual rights, against the autonomy of the family?
And those examples of the UN are not representative at all of the entire body. The UN is a product of its parts, so when they don't care, it appears the UN doesn't care. You can't blame the UN for the actions of a few.
It’s funny how you believe this when it comes to the UN, but you don’t give the same consideration to churches and religious people.
My goodness, it seems that someone has double standard on their shoulder. But then, that’s okay, because crying discrimination and bigotry while simultaneously practising them, ‘is a mainstay’ of the left.
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I think the difference between the left and the right is this --
I neither want, nor expect my religion to change your opinion on anything -- but you believe your legislation should change mine.