true victory for freedom

A Christian church voted on a resolution concerning its stance on same-sex marriages Monday. This Christian church voted to endorse same-sex marriage.

You may remember this particular Christian church, I wrote about them here, because their controversial tv commerical … well, caused some controversy.

The president of the United Church of Christ said his denomination “acted courageously to declare freedom” when it passed a resolution endorsing same-sex marriage on Independence Day.

The resolution calls on member churches of the liberal denomination’s 1.3 million members to consider wedding policies “that do not discriminate against couples based on gender.” It also asks churches to consider supporting legislation granting equal marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples and to work against laws banning gay marriage.

The endorsement by the church’s rule-making body Monday makes it the largest Christian denomination to endorse same-sex marriage. The vote is not binding on individual churches, but could cause some congregations to leave the fold.

“On this July Fourth the General Synod of the United Church of Christ has acted courageously to declare freedom, affirming marriage equality, affirming the civil rights of same gender couples to have their relationships recognized as marriages by the state, and encouraging our local churches to celebrate and bless those marriages,” said the Rev. John H. Thomas, president of the United Church of Christ.

Roughly 80% of the representatives on the church’s 884-member General Synod voted to approve the resolution Monday, a day after a committee recommended it.

No more perfect day for it, either.

the religious rights' anti-civil rights agenda dealt a powerful blow

Yet another country legalized civil rights for all of its citizens.

Parliament legalized gay marriage Thursday, defying conservatives and clergy who opposed making traditionally Roman Catholic Spain the third country to allow same-sex unions nationwide. Jubilant gay activists blew kisses to lawmakers after the vote.

The measure passed the 350-seat Congress of Deputies by a vote of 187-147. The bill, part of the ruling Socialists’ aggressive agenda for social reform, also lets gay couples adopt children and inherit each others’ property.

The bill is now law. The Senate, where conservatives hold the largest number of seats, rejected the bill last week. But it is an advisory body and final say on legislation rests with the Congress of Deputies.

Opposition conservatives said they will consider challenging the law before Spain’s highest tribunal, the Constitutional Court.

The Spanish Bishops Conference criticized the new law and urged resistance to it. The group said the bill, along with another passed Wednesday making it easier for Spaniards to divorce, mean that “marriage, understood as the union of a man and a woman, is no longer provided for in our laws.”

It is necessary to oppose these unfair laws through all legitimate means,” the bishops said, apparently alluding to a previous call for town hall officials who oppose gay marriage to refuse to preside at such ceremonies.

After the final tally was announced, gay and lesbian activists watching from the spectator section of the ornate chamber cried, cheered, hugged, waved to lawmakers and blew them kisses.

Several members of the conservative opposition Popular Party, which was vehemently opposed to the bill, shouted: “This is a disgrace.” Those in favor stood and clapped.

The Netherlands and Belgium are the only other two countries that allow gay marriage nationwide. Canada’s House of Commons passed legislation Tuesday that would legalize gay marriage; its Senate is expected to pass the bill into law by the end of July.

“We were not the first, but I am sure we will not be the last. After us will come many other countries, driven, ladies and gentlemen, by two unstoppable forces: freedom and equality,” he told the chamber.

I think the bishop who is quoted above — I bolded the line — needs to rexamine what “unfair” means. Isn’t it unfair to refuse to recognize a person’s basic human rights because of their sexual orientation? I think it is.

And in a day and age where the Texas governor says “to hell with non-straight citizens of my state!”, it’s refreshing to see an entire nation say, “Hey, this is your country, too.”

Andrew Sullivan has a related post — and is particularly damming of the Religious Rights’ anti-civil rights agenda,

In a while, many married Canadians or Spanish or Dutch or Brits may want to work or immigrate in the U.S. or have employers or universities over here eager for their skills and ability. But the immigration services won’t recognize their spouses. Are we soon to have a policy of family break-up in immigration policy? Or a de facto policy of refusing to let foreign gay couples immigrate? Or indeed married couples where one is, say, Spanish and one American, and only the American can live in the U.S.? The reputation of this country as a place of non-discrimination, already tarred by formal discrimination against foreigners with HIV, will inevitably suffer.

fuck texas

I saw this over at Epistolary:

Mr. Perry was asked by a reporter what he had to say “to gays and lesbians who are serving in the military right now in Iraq who are going to come back to Texas and may not be entitled to the same rights as the rest of us?” Mr. Perry responded that “Texans have made a decision about marriage, and if there is some other state that has a more lenient view than Texas, then maybe that’s a better place for them to live.”

In other words, in Texas, if you’re gay, it doesn’t matter that you served in the military with honor, it doesn’t matter that you may have been in combat, may even have been wounded, may have saved other soldiers’ lives. To (edit: add “most”) Texans, you’re a second-class citizen, not worthy of the same basic human dignity that a “normal” person is.

Says a lot about Texas, doesn’t it?

UPDATE:

Let me be more clear – fuck the Texas majority who enjoy treating people like second class citizens. There are, of course, some truly noble people in Texas.

Jews should be forced to wear yellow triangles

Writing about this article, Lee gets it absolutely right.

A few people will agree with this dick. A larger number will agree with me. And there will be two or three people who will leave a comment saying, “I’m a Christian, and these people don’t represent mainstream Christians.” But the fact is, when it comes to general public perception, these people are exactly representative of mainstream Christians. No “normal” Christian leader is going to come out and denounce this idiocy, of course. And therefore, by proxy, all Christians are going to be seen as agreeing with it.

Chalk it up to the “liberal media” or whatever scapegoat you feel like, but this is a very real situation, and the more that mainstream Christians allow this crap to be done in their name, the worse it’s going to get. Because the way I see it, there’s very little difference between this and “Jews should be forced to wear yellow triangles.”

Thou Shalt Pick Thy Battles Carefully

Rick is:

a) Snarky
b) A Good Writer
c) Unspun
d) All of the Above

The correct answer is D. Now, now … keep reading.

The Constitution of the United States is an anti-majoritarian document. The very purpose of the Constitution is to protect unpopular minority views from the majority. If everyone would just “go with the flow” of the majority, there would be absolutely no need for the protections embodied in the Constitution. Unfortunately, Americans not only don’t understand this; they don’t understand why it’s important. Many have grown up to believe that the core requirement of a democracy is that “the majority rules.” The rationale for protecting unpopular ideas held by “fringe groups” is just not part of their mental repertoire.

When you think about it, that’s rather ironic. The group currently in power was once considered fringe. Christian fundamentalists have battled vociferously throughout our nation’s history — becoming shrilly vocal in the last few decades. If not for the Constitution, their hateful bigoted ideals would have been squelched long ago. Instead, they now have slavish adherents, or at least people willing to pander to them, in every major office of the U.S. government. What a change adherence to the Constitution hath wrought. Ironic that endorsement of the Constitution should eventually result in the destruction of the Constitution, isn’t it?

At any rate, what America needs right now is to regain an understanding of the importance of core constitutional principles. It’s vital to us that we remember why the Founders would have written a document that would tie their own hands — and ours — on certain issues. Why did they write things like “Congress shall make no law [none, nada, zip] respecting an establishment of religion”? Why did American legislators impair our ability to easily and quickly deal with the criminal element in our society with (at least) the 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th — and later the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution?

If it’s right to say “majority rules,” why create a document that doesn’t allow that on every issue?

Unfortunately, these important questions almost never get discussed. When they do, it’s only in passing, by liberal fruitcakes like myself, to whom few (except those who already agree) ever listen. “We” liberals talk about such things only in attempting to push other important agendas, like stopping governmental funding of Christian proselytizing efforts, or trying to achieve equality for various minority groups (lately homosexuals).

While these are noble goals, they’re doomed to failure in a conservative society that is afraid that merely allowing people to choose whether or not — freely — to accept the promise of John 3:16 is insufficient. It will never work in a world where heterosexuals who want to marry other heterosexuals know that their entire world will collapse if a homosexual marries another homosexual and — damn the Constitution — G-d therefore says they cannot allow it. So long as “christians” believe that free will was a mistake and that they can correct it in G-d’s name (but, significantly, contrary to “his” stated will), the anti-majoritarianism of the Constitution is anathema.

You can read his full bit here.

The South Retreats Again

Saturday I linked to a story posted throughout the liberal blogosphere about how the pros of the life of a slave were being taught to school children in the South.

Today – well, yesterday – the Iron Mouth has an update:

Cary Christian School beat a hasty retreat before the advances of the decent people of North Carolina. They dropped the book from the curriculum because of “faulty footnotes and citation errors in the publication.”

Apparently the parents at the school found out what their kids were being taught, and the people running Cary Christian School found out that America was a decent place, filled with decent human beings.

Yep.

They Had It Good!

Being taught in some Christian schools in the south, and via The Game, comes the following:

‘SOUTHERN SLAVERY, AS IT WAS’

Here are some excerpts from the booklet:

* “To say the least, it is strange that the thing the Bible condemns (slave-trading) brings very little opprobrium upon the North, yet that which the Bible allows (slave-ownership) has brought down all manner of condemnation upon the South.” (page 22)

* “As we have already mentioned, the ‘peculiar institution’ of slavery was not perfect or sinless, but the reality was a far cry from the horrific descriptions given to us in modern histories.” (page 22)

* “Slavery as it existed in the South was not an adversarial relationship with pervasive racial animosity. Because of its dominantly patriarchal character, it was a relationship based upon mutual affection and confidence.” (page 24)

* “There has never been a multi-racial society which has existed with such mutual intimacy and harmony in the history of the world.” (page 24)

* “Slave life was to them a life of plenty, of simple pleasures, of food, clothes, and good medical care.” (page 25)

* “But many Southern blacks supported the South because of long established bonds of affection and trust that had been forged over generations with their white masters and friends.” (page 27)

* “Nearly every slave in the South enjoyed a higher standard of living than the poor whites of the South – and had a much easier existence.” (page 30)

I mean, really, is there anything that one can say after this? After a person has put their jaw back in place, I mean.

Hat Tip: Chepooka.

A Symbolic Penis

Over at Right-Thinking From the Left Coast, regarding Bernard Kerik, Lee writes:

Cower in terror, you Islamist queers. Bernie’s about to stick a boot up your ass.

Odd bit of language, don’t you think, using queer there?

I consulted Dictionary.com. There’s a link – you can click it.

I think it is absolutely atrocious of Lee to equate the war on terrorism with homosexuality. I’m sure that some of his supporters will try to say, “Oh, he meant definition #3 – ‘Questionable Character.'” Well, I do agree that many if not all terrorists are ‘questionable characters’, it’s hard in this day and age not to equate the word ‘queer’ with its homosexual definitions.

Like, that popular tv show, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. And look at that site define the show: “…an elite team of gay men…

Like the word queer, not many people today associate the word gay with ‘bright and lively’, do they?

The strongest evidence, of course, that Lee meant ‘queer’ in the homosexual is his reference to Kerik’s boot assuming the symbolic being of a penis being inserted into another man’s anus. And if you say “would you be getting on his case if he hadn’t used the word ‘queer’?” The answer is: no, I wouldn’t be getting on his case at all.

One of the benefits of a free-society, and an open marketplace of ideas, is that you can see how the other side thinks. I don’t think Lee is going to start self-censoring himself to avoid pissing off me (I’m just a flea to his big dog, hardly worth the effort of a swat) — and I certainly hope the day never comes where either he or I have to censor ourselves to appease the almighty FCC or some other group — I hope he continues to write & show everyone how he really feels. I realize a large portion of the citizenry agree with him. But many disagree with him, and part of writing for the public involves taking the lumps for what you’ve written.

Well, Lee – here are your lumps:

It is digusting to see yet another American so happy to jump on the bandwagon of bashing the homosexual community in any way that they can. Well, it’s true as far as I can see, and as I wrote in the comments of your thread, “I guess I shouldn’t be surprised – you won the election, after all – no reason to hide the contempt you feel for Americans who don’t fit your mold.”