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      10-27-2009, 12:13 PM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prowess Symphony View Post
Sorry thats not accurate. In the Orthodox and Catholic tradition, which are the oldest Christian religions, it is considered the actual body and blood of Jesus. The reason for that is, is that at the last supper he said "This is my body...this is my blood" while breaking the bread and pouring the wine.
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Google eucharistic miracles. Even people I've debated with (either here or on bimmerfest) have said as much. I was first clued in by a story a few months back about Florida student Webster Cook who tried to walk out of church without consumeing a wafer (to protest state funding of the chapel). Someone saw him and he was damn near lynched from the sound of it. He gave the wafer back a week later after receiving numerous threats on his life. Many people threatening him claimed he had kidnapped Jesus.

A good number of people take this very seriously, and think those crackers are LITERALLY Jesus' body.

I agree with Prowess: many of the founding fathers were very secular, and many were religious. The main point is, to protect all of their views, they set up a very secular government that protects the rights of the minority.
Shows you how much I paid attention in Sunday school and confirmation class.
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      10-27-2009, 12:18 PM   #90
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It doesn't matter what he referred to himself as. That was his practice.

This country was founded on the belief that right are inherent. This isn't even really a belief as it is demonstrably true; if you lived by yourself on a deserted island, you could do whatever you pleased. Rights can only be limited by people, and thus the inherency of rights is fact- not belief. Any question about why rights are inherent is pure speculation; we only can know for certain that they are.
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      10-27-2009, 07:38 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by shpirate87 View Post
I have not claimed that the Declaration was meant to found a Christian or any other type of religious nation. My post was meant to address the obvious flaw in the notion that the Founders would reject the role of opinions or beliefs in government. They founded the nation on a belief.

FWIW, Jefferson never referred to himself as a deist. The only founder who did so regularly was Franklin.
That's because it was largely considered undesirable to be called a deist at the time. It wasn't a compliment. I know you didn't claim that the DOI favored any one religion, hence the last first and last sentences in my previous post.
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      10-27-2009, 07:38 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by carve View Post
It doesn't matter what he referred to himself as. That was his practice.
It doesn't matter what he referred to himself as? Are you saying you know better than he what he believed? That he was not familiar with Deism?

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This country was founded on the belief that right are inherent. This isn't even really a belief as it is demonstrably true; if you lived by yourself on a deserted island, you could do whatever you pleased. Rights can only be limited by people, and thus the inherency of rights is fact- not belief. Any question about why rights are inherent is pure speculation; we only can know for certain that they are.
The country was founded on the belief that the inherent rights of man were given by God. That any government that infringed on those rights was acting in a manner that was offensive to God and therefore illegitimately.

Since you seem to like Jefferson:

"Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?" --Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia Q.XVIII, 1782. ME 2:227

"The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time; the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them." --Thomas Jefferson: Rights of British America, 1774. ME 1:211, Papers 1:135
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      10-28-2009, 11:54 AM   #93
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You're right & I misspoke; It does matter what he referred to himself as. But, I don't believe he referred to himself as a Christian, and he was hostile to orthodox religion. I should've said "it doesn't matter what he DIDN'T refer to himself as"

Jefferson's original DOI was much more secular, but he had to compromise. Neverthelss, the DOI isn't a governing document; the constitution is. The Constitution makes no mention of God and religion except in exclusionary terms, seperating government and religion.

Nevertheless, we're getting mired in the details and ad-hominim arguments. The point to take home is they all agreed rights are inalienable and they wanted to defend them, and in those rights was the right of religious freedom; to practice what you like without interference, and to never be forced to practice what you don't like. To invoke religion as the justification of promoting religious freedom doesn't make any sense. Let the government do it's secular job secularly.

"No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever."
-Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Act for Religious Freedom
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      10-28-2009, 12:45 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by carve View Post
You're right & I misspoke; It does matter what he referred to himself as. But, I don't believe he referred to himself as a Christian, and he was hostile to orthodox religion. I should've said "it doesn't matter what he DIDN'T refer to himself as"

Jefferson's original DOI was much more secular, but he had to compromise. Neverthelss, the DOI isn't a governing document; the constitution is. The Constitution makes no mention of God and religion except in exclusionary terms, seperating government and religion.

Nevertheless, we're getting mired in the details and ad-hominim arguments. The point to take home is they all agreed rights are inalienable and they wanted to defend them, and in those rights was the right of religious freedom; to practice what you like without interference, and to never be forced to practice what you don't like. To invoke religion as the justification of promoting religious freedom doesn't make any sense. Let the government do it's secular job secularly.

"No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever."
-Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Act for Religious Freedom
I am not arguing that Jefferson was a Christian nor that the Declaration is a governing document. My only point in entering this morass was to correct the notion that the founders were in some way hostile to the role of beliefs or opinions in governing. They were also not hostile to the belief in God as many here seem to believe.
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      10-29-2009, 08:47 AM   #95
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I think shpirate87 has done a very good job of explaining some of the points I was trying to make, especially from the historical perspective (as I've mentioned, history is not one of my strong suits).

To carve's point about having the government run its secular job in a secular fashion, I think the point that shpirate87 and I have been trying to make is that religion and spirituality are so ingrained in today's culture for a large majority of people that it is impossible to have a truly secular government. People will still act and make decisions based on their moral beliefs and their upbringing, which is often times influenced to a large degree by their religion or spirituality.

To that end, I would not support a candidate whose sole reason for making a decision (that would affect all of the nation) is that God or their religious beliefs dictate such a position. I also think that those types of lawmakers and politicians are relatively few and far between. Most, I would hope, would be able to come up with personal rationalizations for their decision (even if we still don't like those rationalizations).
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      10-29-2009, 03:49 PM   #96
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nos, did you vote for Bush? Because his whole reason for not supporting stem cell research is his religious upbringing.

How many candidates did you vote for who think gays should not be recongnized as married? Was it a fundamental fear of homosexuality, or their religious upbringing?

Best regards,
Wede
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      10-29-2009, 03:59 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by UncleWede View Post
nos, did you vote for Bush? Because his whole reason for not supporting stem cell research is his religious upbringing.

How many candidates did you vote for who think gays should not be recongnized as married? Was it a fundamental fear of homosexuality, or their religious upbringing?

Best regards,
Wede
Wow!

Bush did support stem cell research. He opposed federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Are you saying that valuing human life is a purely religious value?

The only reason to oppose redefining marriage is fear of homosexuality or religion?

Pretty narrow set of options aren't they?
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      10-29-2009, 04:44 PM   #98
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I would be considered among those of the religious persuasion, just so we are clear.

There are plenty of elected officials that think with their (religious?) upbringing.

Do I have some (religious?) superiority in terms of the secular rights I have because I married a female? Do the life-long commitments of same sex partners deserve any less consideration? There is probably very little, if any, evidence that heterosexual marriage lasts any longer than homosexual. So the basis can only be the (religious?) upbringing of those elected officals.

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Wede
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      10-29-2009, 05:05 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by UncleWede View Post
I would be considered among those of the religious persuasion, just so we are clear.

There are plenty of elected officials that think with their (religious?) upbringing.

Do I have some (religious?) superiority in terms of the secular rights I have because I married a female? Do the life-long commitments of same sex partners deserve any less consideration? There is probably very little, if any, evidence that heterosexual marriage lasts any longer than homosexual. So the basis can only be the (religious?) upbringing of those elected officals.

Best regards,
Wede
You receive the benefits of marriage because you qualified for a marriage license. Religion has nothing to do with civil marriage. Civil marriage serves secular purpose and religious marriage serves religious one.
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      10-29-2009, 05:27 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by UncleWede View Post
nos, did you vote for Bush? Because his whole reason for not supporting stem cell research is his religious upbringing.

How many candidates did you vote for who think gays should not be recongnized as married? Was it a fundamental fear of homosexuality, or their religious upbringing?

Best regards,
Wede
I did not vote for Bush in either election -- Nader in 2000 (college idealism run amok) and Kerry in 2004. Part of my reasons for not voting for Bush were due to my perceptions at the time that religion commanded too much of his decision-making process. However, I really didn't get much into understanding politics until late 2005 / early 2006, so I can't say that I did any rational analysis to support my perception.

The homosexual aspect of politics is of course of personal interest to me. Interestingly, no major party candidate, Democrat or Republican, has publicly supported a position that would allow men to marry men, or women to marry women, not even President Obama. Their reasons for doing so are varied, from the fear of what same-sex marriage might do to the institution of the family and/or children, to simply not wishing to alienate members of their party who would dislike them supporting same-sex marriage. So with that said, no candidate for whom I've voted has supported same-sex marriage.
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      10-29-2009, 05:40 PM   #101
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I need to be faster in responding, else I miss some good posts =)

My perspective of same-sex marriage is this:

It is not by any means a priority when I vote. Short of a politician saying that they wanted to make homosexuality illegal, there are far more issues that are more important to me: taxes, property rights, budget deficit issues, health care, Social Security, 2nd Amendment rights, etc.

If I could snap my fingers and make any change I wanted, the government would step out of the marriage business entirely. There would be no specific benefits (or penalties, in the case of how married people file taxes) offered by the government. Virtually all of the benefits conferred by the government recognizing marriage can be obtained by same-sex couples who contact a lawyer. Marriage would remain solely a religious institution, and they would continue to remain free to determine who they marry and who they won't. At best, the government's involvement would be limited to offering civil unions that would simplify the legal process that people would otherwise have to go through to obtain the various legal protections they get now (health care decisions, inheritance benefits, etc.).

A radical departure from conventional thought, yes, but it would remove much of the acrimony associated with same-sex marriage. Except from that which I receive from some of my gay friends, of course. A good number are still ultra-liberal and make being gay the primary focus of their life.
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      10-30-2009, 09:24 AM   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shpirate87 View Post
Wow!

Bush did support stem cell research. He opposed federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Are you saying that valuing human life is a purely religious value?

The only reason to oppose redefining marriage is fear of homosexuality or religion?
The fetuses weren't developed just for stem cell research. They were the leftover zygotes from fertility clinics, that were produced anyway. Now, instead of being used to save lives, they were disposed of. We're talking about a cluster of (or sometimes SINGLE) cell no more sentient and no more human than the thousands of skin cells you've shed while reading this thread. Nothing was gained, and thousands of fully developed people with desires, feelings, and loving families suffered and died. Not only that, but it resulted in much of the research moving to other countries where there are no such bans, setting the US many years behind our competitors in arguably the most important field of medical research in the past 50 years, if not ever.

Yes; the only reason to oppose gay marriage is based on religion. Everything else is a weak excuse. Can you offer a compelling secular reason?

I agree that, ideally, government should just get out of the marriage business. But, as long as they're in it, ANY group of adults should be able to
get married.
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      10-30-2009, 09:29 AM   #103
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So then I should have recieved a Civil Union license from the county, and the judge never should have used the words God or love, and I should not be considered married but instead unionized (made myself laugh there)

This is just one example of how it is extremely difficult to seperate the (religious?) upbringing from the secular leadership needed. When was the last time a president didn't end the State of the Union address with "God Bless America"?

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Wede
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      10-30-2009, 09:38 AM   #104
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I'm one of those that would benefit potentially from additonal research into stem cells as I'm type 1 diabetic. There is still a WHOLE LOTTA moral issues that need to be addressed. Should someone in a medical clinic be able to play creator just so s/he can save me? I certainly am NOT any more important than any other human life at this point, and certainly not unless that other life is pointing a weapon at me or my family.

Yes, many of those zygote were created in a lab, and aren't any more sentient than those skin cells, but what of the potential? Did you just cure my diabetes (which I happen to manage rather well with injections) at the expense of a mind that may have had the compassion and insight to bring world peace, or even a cure to cancer? We will never know. But those of us with the religious taint think there is Someone who does know. Now, should we be following in the path that our created intellectual brain has sent us, or should we be more like the little children who look up to God?

Its NOT an easy answer, and far greater minds have been discussing this very thing for a lot longer than we. MAYBE we're one of those compassionate minds that have the potential to come up with the answer!!!

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Wede
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      10-30-2009, 09:49 AM   #105
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There is a fundamental DIFFERENCE between homosexual and heterosexual adults. I'm not saying its somehow WRONG, just DIFFERENT. I could argue that since there is little procreation, it would likely be removed from the gene pool after a few generations.

That in NO WAY makes it right for me to have more control over the person I love in terms of medical visits/decisions. I should pay no more taxes, nor receive any more benefits because I chose a heterosexual civil union.

The sanctity of the nuclear family is so screwed up by heterosexual unions at this point, maybe we should give the different group a try at it. I see so many broken homes, and the very negative effect on the children of those unions. There are way too many young boys I see in youth sports and elsewhere who would have done much better with a father figure than a psycho-drug. My son is 10, and there is no way he would have turned out as well as he has without BOTH myself and my wife. Times when I got to my rope's end she took over, and vice versa.

Best regards,
Wede
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      10-30-2009, 10:03 AM   #106
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So then I should have recieved a Civil Union license from the county, and the judge never should have used the words God or love, and I should not be considered married but instead unionized (made myself laugh there)
This is exactly how it should happen, in my opinion. For one, the government doesn't really care why you're getting married, so long as it's not to commit fraud or if coercion is being used. Secondly, whether the state or federal government allows me to marry my partner doesn't change how I feel about him. We are in a registered domestic partnership in NJ not because we needed the state to somehow affirm our love for each other, but because it carried financial benefits that would not have been otherwise obtainable (not without additional costs, in some cases). It's perhaps a bit dishonest of me to be in a domestic partnership when I truly believe that government should step out entirely, but I'm also pragmatic, and would be content with civil unions as merely a fast tracked way of allowing two people to enter into the various legal arrangements that marriage typically confers.

Marriage, in my example, would be left to the various religious institutions to regulate. Any special significance that you wish to attach to the union of two people would be done here.

Quote:
This is just one example of how it is extremely difficult to seperate the (religious?) upbringing from the secular leadership needed. When was the last time a president didn't end the State of the Union address with "God Bless America"?

Best regards,
Wede
I believe that the federal government is already pretty secular with respect to marriage, or at the very least, treats almost all religions equally in that the government doesn't really care what religion you are, provided that you're one man and one woman. To make it completely secular would require going beyond just allowing same-sex couples to marry; it would necessarily have to allow polygamy (or any other arrangements as provided by the various religions). That's why, at the end of the day, the best would be to remove government completely, even out of the business of issuing civil unions in my example above. If people want to marry and they are within the rules of their religion, they can go ahead and get married and get whatever benefits that institution confers upon them. Any legal protections currently automatically granted by marriage would simply have to be pursued via a lawyer.
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      10-30-2009, 10:13 AM   #107
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Yes, many of those zygote were created in a lab, and aren't any more sentient than those skin cells, but what of the potential?
The zygotes were not going to be impanted in a womb. The only potential they had was for research. The other option is destroying them.
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      10-30-2009, 10:18 AM   #108
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There is a fundamental DIFFERENCE between homosexual and heterosexual adults. I'm not saying its somehow WRONG, just DIFFERENT. I could argue that since there is little procreation, it would likely be removed from the gene pool after a few generations.
Of course there's a difference =)

As for homosexuality and genetics, I fear that, much like the study of man's impact on the climate, any studies done which either suggest or do not suggest a link to genetics and/or development in the uterus will be trashed by one side of the debate, while praised by the other side. Personally, I doubt that there is a gene which could be pointed to which would determine (either alone or in combination with other genes) sexual orientation. Rather, I think it's a result of the highly complex in utero development process that a fetus undergoes, and is likely brought about by higher levels of various hormones (or lower levels of other hormones). Thus, while not genetic per se, I am 100% of the camp that it is not a choice. The only choice we have is whether to accept it or fight against it. I obviously believe in the former.

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That in NO WAY makes it right for me to have more control over the person I love in terms of medical visits/decisions. I should pay no more taxes, nor receive any more benefits because I chose a heterosexual civil union.
The medical visitation/decision rights issue is likely the biggest tragedy that exists for homosexuals today in states that don't already offer protection equivalent to heterosexuals. This is of course all the more reason to remove the government from this process, but also, to make sure that EVERYONE (not just homosexuals, but heterosexuals as well) has a will, living will, etc., to make sure that your wishes and assets are protected regardless.

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The sanctity of the nuclear family is so screwed up by heterosexual unions at this point, maybe we should give the different group a try at it. I see so many broken homes, and the very negative effect on the children of those unions. There are way too many young boys I see in youth sports and elsewhere who would have done much better with a father figure than a psycho-drug. My son is 10, and there is no way he would have turned out as well as he has without BOTH myself and my wife. Times when I got to my rope's end she took over, and vice versa.

Best regards,
Wede
I can't argue that there are many heterosexual couples who probably would have been better off not being parents. I also must say that there are homosexual couples who would be equally bad parents. The tragedy is two-fold I believe: 1) human nature and its tendency to have to struggle to commit to monogamy (or at least, to remain interested long-term in one's partner), and 2) couples who feel compelled to have children for the wrong reasons (to appease their parents, because they're friends have kids, etc.), and as a result, are not properly engaged in parenting their children. I do believe that absent those two items above, it's entirely possibly to raise normal, well-behaved children, even if they are raised by a single-parent or same-sex couple.

All of the paragraph above is just an assumption, of course; I don't have children, nor do my partner or I foresee ourselves with children down the road.
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      10-30-2009, 10:31 AM   #109
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The zygotes were not going to be impanted in a womb. The only potential they had was for research. The other option is destroying them.
Why not? WHO decided they weren't going to be implanted? What potential still remained?

And even before the CREATION of the zygote, WHO decided to CREATE that potential?

So, you created a zygote, and all you need is a willing womb to implant it to POTENTIALLY create the most wonderful (or evil) person the world has ever known. But instead you just flush it odwn the toilet . . . at what cost to HUMANITY as a whole? Do you know? I surely don't, but I don't know you either, nor do I necessarily trust you to make the right decision.

Of course, this is all said with extreme I'm just asking those difficult questions.

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Wede
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      10-30-2009, 10:38 AM   #110
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All of the paragraph above is just an assumption, of course; I don't have children, nor do my partner or I foresee ourselves with children down the road.
That's really too bad, there are so many little ones waiting for adoption, and you at least seem to have MOST of your head screwed on right

I can't think of a single mom I know personally who has well-adjusted kids, male or female. Evne those with extended family support, the kids are whacked and usually out of control. In part many moms have to compete and compromise so that their "partner" and/or kid doesn't use it against them. Single-Mom gives up so much power to that very thing, it cripples them as a parent.

Best regards,
Wede
UncleWede is offline   United_States
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