"Gay Marriage Worse Than Slavery" | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

"Gay Marriage Worse Than Slavery"

Who would say such a thing? James C. Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, that's who. In a rambling diatribe on CNN, Dobson excoriated the U.S. Senate for failing to pass a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

There is much that is deceitful in Dobson's essay. For one, he says the tally, which was 49-48 and far short of the 2/3 majority required, shows that the Senate is out of touch with the American people. "Rarely has there been a greater disconnect between members of the Senate and the American people who put them in power," he writes. Yet, polls consistently show that a majority of Americans do not consider such an amendment a high priority. Less than 50 percent of Americans support such an amendment at all, which matches the Senate vote almost precisely.

He huffs and puffs about liberal judges, though most of the judgements he cites were made by judges who were appointed by Republicans. See "War Room" on Salon.com (subscription only) for a good analysis on this point.

The howler, however, comes in his conclusion, where he writes: "So where does the issue go from here? Time will tell. It took William Wilberforce more than 30 years to bring about an end to Britain's slave trade in the 1800s. Unfortunately, we do not have the luxury of a protracted victory."

Um. Er. Oh dear. So passing an amendment banning gay marriage is like banning the slave trade? Only, where banning gay marriage is concerned, we do not have the luxury of a protracted victory? Because it's one thing to take people from their homes, whip them and chain them, throw them into the belly of a ship and let them die by the dozen from disease and neglect. But letting two homos get married? Now that's a crisis!

I humbly submit that this argument shows that the "values" promoted by the Christian political right are utterly bankrupt.

Previous Comments

ID
172532
Comment

What's worse than being whipped and chased by dogs? Letting gays marry, that's what. Check out this INSANITY from James C. Dobbs of Focus on the Family.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2006-06-29T12:40:00-06:00
ID
172533
Comment

Focus on the Family is saying Congress is out-of-touch? That's laughable as it is!

Author
kaust
Date
2006-06-29T13:00:31-06:00
ID
172534
Comment

There's a legitimate Christian argument that homosexuality is wrong. When so-called leaders of the Christian right make these kinds of comments, it only hurts the cause and makes mainstream Christians look bad.

Author
JamesInNashville
Date
2006-06-29T13:07:02-06:00
ID
172535
Comment

Focus On the Family is the one that's out of touch.

Author
golden eagle '97
Date
2006-06-29T13:54:08-06:00
ID
172536
Comment

JimNWR, There is a legitimate Christian argument that homosexuality is wrong, though my opinion is that this Christian argument is wrong, even about Christianity. There are nearly as many lines about not eating the hoepee bird, (Leviticus), as there are about homosexuality: two or three, depending on what you count. Obviously, homosexuality was not an important issue to Jesus, who lived in a partially hellenized society where homosexuality was often celebrated. Jesus said nothing about it. Apart from the religious argument, the real question is what bearing Christian beliefs should have on the law. If you strip away Christian hysteria over the issue, there is nothing of substance left in the argument against gay marriage. Allowing homosexuals to "marry" is not a harbinger of impending decline, as different cultures throughout history prove. Many countries in Europe now allow homosexuals to marry, and it seems not to have made a blip in economic growth or anything else. The "traditional" family is not an "institution" with a "5,000" year history. That is incredibly ignorant. Besides, most "traditional" aspects of marriage, such as the utter subordination of women, have been happily tossed aside by our culture, and we are all better off for it. Oh, wait. Family values advocates generally oppose that progress too. There is no evidence that allowing homosexuals to adopt children places such children at risk. In fact, children of lesbian couples have a lower incidence of psychiatric disorders than children of heterosexual couples. I guess having two mommies ain't half bad. There is no sound factual argument against gay marriage, and in the public square, opinion must be anchored by fact. It is perfectly fine for Christians to think that homosexuality is wrong, just as it is perfectly fine for racists to think that miscegenation is wrong. Actually, both views are loathsome, but people are entitled to them. Yet, we (no longer) ban marriage between blacks and whites because there is no reason to do so. The restriction itself was nothing but "traditional" social engineering. It is the same with gay marriage. No church will ever be required to marry homosexuals. No church will ever be required to recognize a marriage between homosexuals. What then is the problem with leaving strictly religious opposition in the church and letting facts and civil rights hold sway in the public square?

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2006-06-29T13:55:19-06:00
ID
172537
Comment

I don't think comparing gay marriage to interracial marriage makes sense. I'm not aware of any place in the Bible that says interracial marriage is wrong. By the way, I'm not really sure the government should be in the marriage business at all. I've often thought that marriage should just be a church function. I haven't thought out all of the ramifications of that, however. By the way, I try my best not to judge people. That's a job for God. I've had several gay friends over the years. Hate the sin, love the sinner if you know what I mean.

Author
JamesInNashville
Date
2006-06-29T14:19:40-06:00
ID
172538
Comment

See, I am more of a love the sin, love the sinner type, though I am straight. And certainly, there have been many, many Christians who have argued that the Bible supports discrimination against blacks. I believe that they were wrong. Now, there are many Christians who argue that the Bible supports discrimination against homosexuals. I believe that they are also wrong.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2006-06-29T14:25:37-06:00
ID
172539
Comment

Very well said, Brian.

Author
Newt
Date
2006-06-29T14:36:36-06:00
ID
172540
Comment

I don't believe ANYONE should be discriminated against. Who people sleep with is between them and God. No one else's business. For legal protection and financial reasons, I think homosexuals should be allowed to have civil unions. I would not use the term "marriage" for them, however. As a matter of fact, I think heterosexuals who don't want a church marriage should use the civil union method as well. Like I said, i'm not sure the gov't should be in the "marriage" business.

Author
JamesInNashville
Date
2006-06-29T14:37:31-06:00
ID
172541
Comment

Just curious....what other "sins" do you love?

Author
JamesInNashville
Date
2006-06-29T14:40:07-06:00
ID
172542
Comment

Well, I think I've gone on the record many times as being pro-fornication.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2006-06-29T14:46:24-06:00
ID
172543
Comment

I'm not touching that one Brian. LOL

Author
JamesInNashville
Date
2006-06-29T14:49:06-06:00
ID
172544
Comment

Jim-I'm very curious about the difference between a civil marriage and a "church" marriage. I'm divorced. Do I have a "church" marriage? Do I have a "civil marriage"? Does one mean God approves and one mean that God doesn't? Do I still get a tax break? Can my spouse come see me if I suddenly have a stroke and I'm in ICU, am I assured no one can discriminate against a divorced man coming to see his wife since we are adulterers? Marriage gives those perks for folks. I do remember a time people used "unequally yolked" to mean no interracial marriage.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-06-29T14:50:00-06:00
ID
172545
Comment

"I don't believe ANYONE should be discriminated against. Who people sleep with is between them and God. No one else's business. For legal protection and financial reasons, I think homosexuals should be allowed to have civil unions. I would not use the term "marriage" for them, however. As a matter of fact, I think heterosexuals who don't want a church marriage should use the civil union method as well. Like I said, i'm not sure the gov't should be in the "marriage" business." -JimNWR Jim, just curious how "marriage" would exist in the word you described above? I know of several churches (yes, right here in Jackson) that are willing to "marry" gay couples. So, would marriage then be defined by each and every church -- creating hundreds of definitions? BTW, I firmly agree. I think marriage should be a church function or solely a "ceremony"... A union recognized in the eyes of the congregation. I also believe civil unions should be solely a civic activity to protect property and the interests of the parties involved... As for tax breaks... Well, I simply don't think having a spouse or a child should afford a tax break.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-06-29T14:52:29-06:00
ID
172546
Comment

Emily. Like I said, I'm still mulling over my "civil union" ideas. Basically, you would have all the legal rights of a married couple. Just because people used "unequally yolked" for that reason doesn't mean they were right. Regarding your other questions, maybe you should ask Chip. He's much more qualified than I am to answer theological questions.

Author
JamesInNashville
Date
2006-06-29T14:57:00-06:00
ID
172547
Comment

Good question Knol. I think the answer would be "yes." It would be up to each church to define "marriage." As for as taxes, I'm all for some sort of flat tax. The current system sucks.

Author
JamesInNashville
Date
2006-06-29T15:02:39-06:00
ID
172548
Comment

I'm with you that the state should stay out of the church. I also think the church should stay out of the state. And we should start focusing on sweeping up our own homes first. What I love about Chip is that he demands that we study the Bible on our own. I don't think he expects theological questions to only be had by pastors. And I do think these are questions we must ask ourselves as Christians. If by our interpretation of the Bible, we are going to hold our hands up to homosexuals, we are going to have to do the same to divorced people, alchoholics, etc.... Sin is a sin is a sin.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-06-29T15:08:45-06:00
ID
172549
Comment

So, Jim, we've found a theological conundrum... If I'm married in Religious Church A but move and can't find another Religious Church A. So, I change denominations and begin attending and following Religious Church B. Would I still be married? Is that recognition up to Religious Church B? What about divorce? Maybe this is why the Church wants to enslave the word marriage to their definition (including the taxes and federal recognition). Take the civil documents and protections away and you're left with a bloody mess of terminology and fuzzy meanings that really mean nothing outside the walls of the church (except between the two people establishing a committment). Yet another predicament tied to the church, civil arrangements, and marriage.... Could removing the word marriage from civil partnerships (meaning legal arrangements recognized by the govt) open marriage to polygamy and the other slippery slopes that lead to fire and brimstone? Never really thought about the complications faced by the Church and each of the churches when defining marriage. As it is, they don't have to really... They don't have to dig too deep on the meaning as long as the papers are signed. Hmmmm. Just rambling.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-06-29T15:11:19-06:00
ID
172550
Comment

Good points emily. I had stayed away from organized religion for many many years due to a lot of reasons. But when I heard Chip preach the first time, I knew I had found what I call a "real" church.

Author
JamesInNashville
Date
2006-06-29T15:15:56-06:00
ID
172551
Comment

Wow Knol. I may have to drink a few glasses of wine before I can come up with some answers to those questions. LOL Maybe when Tom Head sees this thread he will have some thoughts.

Author
JamesInNashville
Date
2006-06-29T15:20:22-06:00
ID
172552
Comment

It's very sticky Knol. Makes me ramble too :) I have talked about marriage after divorce with one of the pastors (not Chip...another one there) and I know what he said. It was a tough pill for me to swallow, but in my mind and heart, I know my relationship with my God, so if we were married by a church or by Ali Greggs (which was discussed haha) I know that we'll have a home with a God purpose. I don't really need the church to give me that :) Ergo, creating a constitutional amendment to a document created to protect RIGHTS I find it absurd to implement a definition of marriage. It makes about has much since as the prohibition amendment that backfired. And for the record, I love Dr. Dobson and his advice dearly. Just disagree with his politics.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-06-29T15:21:45-06:00
ID
172553
Comment

You know, Emily, I've often found myself appreciating much of his advice I've seen on TV. But, I can't help but think there are a billion other worthy voices that aren't into spreading homophobia, discrediting loving relationships and belitting their "brothers and sisters in Christ." Honestly, I find him to be a sad man that had so much potential before his monetary greed took over.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-06-29T15:26:57-06:00
ID
172554
Comment

"There's a legitimate Christian argument that homosexuality is wrong". My own thoughts....It's not as much a Christian argument. It's mostly old Jewish legal code written to ensure that there would be no assimilation into neighboring cultures. Also to ensure a constant population growth. As far as the Apostle Paul and his statements reflect, he was preaching to Greeks who found homosexuality as acceptable as Jews found it repugnant. He wasn't going to win that battle and he knew it. He was preaching to prostitution and temple worship specifically. And Jesus did indeed work alot of his ministry in the area of Gallilee known as the Decapolis. Ten Greek cities.......ten Greek cities with homosexuals in them. Right or wrong it was around and it was accepted. But there is certainly a healthy way to comport ones self within ones orientation and there is a very unhealthy way to do it and that is where I think the argument about right and wrong weighs heaviest.

Author
ATLExile
Date
2006-06-29T15:30:24-06:00
ID
172555
Comment

Yeah alt. It's been my experience that those most homophobic have a picture of some man in ridiculous drag forcing himself onto others in front of their children :) They don't have a picture of the men and women next door. They have ASSumed that homesexuality equals irrepsonsible sex, but it's simply not true. I love introducing my Christian, Republican homosexual friend to homophobes. People are scared of what they don't know or understand. And Knol, if I get one more AFA "Stop this now...!" message forwarded to my inbox, I'll snatch my hair out. It makes me have to spam that "Dr. Laura" letter to them.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-06-29T16:04:08-06:00
ID
172556
Comment

emilyb.....I think it's all about context and understanding what is written in context. It took becoming an Episcopalian to see that for me (but former Baptists do indeed make the best Episcopalians or so Bishop Gray told my Grandmother at my confirmation). Indeed you can't get to the truths in the Old and New Testaments without understanding the context of those times. The message is unlocked at that point. And there is a lot to learn there. I am now reading Proverbs closely....thought I might just try the instruction book for once in my 47 years. I do get so tired of using my skull for the hardness scale meter. But I'll be honest about Dr. Dobson as well. I rarely hear anything that offends me coming from his message when he stays on point. The problem is that he is "focusing" on the extremes.

Author
ATLExile
Date
2006-06-29T16:25:06-06:00
ID
172557
Comment

Alt, I love being Baptist for two reasons. 1. a sin is a sin is a sin 2. my responsibility for my spirituality I don't agree with the Baptist church on a lot of things; the main being "the Bible without error." Of course I don't think there's an error in the Bible itself, but there's HUGE error in how it's interpreted, stretched and twisted to define sin. Sin is when you are doing something you know is wrong. Someone else may not think it's wrong, but you may. You may think it's wrong, but someone else may not. The focus is on the PERSONAL, and we need to know that's it's not our responsibility to define it for others. Jesus gave us an example of how God wanted us to lead our lives, and our only job as Christians is to come as close to that as possible :) I've said it in a column, and I'll say it now. I'm quite sure Jesus never shoulder-poked anybody. And that's a verse I'll have to find and bring back to post. Found it while leading a group one night :) And it's obvious I disagree on the finite roles of men and women. That's also a decision for famillies to work on their own.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-06-29T16:38:41-06:00
ID
172558
Comment

That verse=sin is different for each person. what's wrong for me may be right for you....

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-06-29T16:39:38-06:00
ID
172559
Comment

I wish they'd quit with this fascination with "preserving marriage" and such. There are much better fights to be fighting, rather than arguing definitions ad nauseum...

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-06-29T17:21:17-06:00
ID
172560
Comment

I actually agree with JimNWR on one thing, which is that governments should get out of the marriage business. But my sense is that since they won't, the next best thing is to at least recognize the relationships of lesbians and gay couples. And for many, many reasons. I can't really say anything here that I haven't already said before. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-06-29T17:24:33-06:00
ID
172561
Comment

Tom. What do you think will happen now with the Episcopal Church? Will a split occur with the Anglican Communion?

Author
JamesInNashville
Date
2006-06-29T17:36:13-06:00
ID
172562
Comment

Jim, that's a great question and I'm glad you asked. As you might or might not know, back when I was an active Episcopalian I served as statewide network coordinator for Integrity, a group that advocates the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Episcopalians in all blessings and all orders of ministry. The Archbishop of Canterbury has just put out a letter arguing for a two-tiered membership approach to the Anglican Communion, based on adherence to a yet-unwritten covenant voted on by the majority of provinces. There would be full members, with full communion and full voting rights, and "constituents," part of the Anglican Communion but with no voting rights and with impaired international recognition, depending on the province. It doesn't take much guesswork to assume that by "constituents" he has in mind the United States and Canada, for their support of lesbians and gay men, and not Nigeria, where the archbishop has no problem with the public stoning of lesbians and gay men, and actively supports legislation that would put everyone who expresses support for lesbian or gay rights, or publicly celebrates a same-sex union, in prison for five years. (Nigeria already has a sodomy law on the books with a 14-year prison sentence attached.) U.S. conservative bishops--such as Bishop Duncan of Pittsburgh--also ostensibly have no problem with the Nigerian legislation and, apparently, no problem with the public stonings either, which I find very troubling. It seems that they believe it is less of a sin to support the murder and mass imprisonment of lesbians and gay men and their supporters than it is to be a lesbian or gay man or a supporter. The Episcopal Church will never be thrown out of the Anglican Communion entirely because we contribute a great deal of money to it. But you can expect that we will be reduced to some kind of constituent status, probably at the 2008 Lambeth conference, and that right-wing churches abroad will continue to adopt conservative congregations that leave the Episcopal Church, creating a delightful situation where lily-white St. Bubba's in Steppinpile, Mississippi could proudly claim to serve under the Bishop of East Uganda. That's one thing I like about the anti-gay Anglican movement: It has led white-church conservatives to put themselves under the authority of bishops of color in the Global South. If circumstances were different, it would be a beautiful sight. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-06-29T19:13:44-06:00
ID
172563
Comment

More on that Nigerian legislation. Here's what Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh, leader of the U.S. right-wing secessionists, had to say about Nigeria's oppression of gays and lesbians: It is jarring, to say the least, to see church leaders, who claim to champion the primacy of local understanding and culture, demanding that foreign sister churches give up their own local understanding and culture and be judged by an American understanding of individual rights. There is a word for the one-way imposition of values – colonialism. When I read that, I realized the temperature of Hell must have just dropped to 20 below--because a right-wing bishop just made an argument for moral relativism, and based on an illucid opposition to all things "colonial," to boot. Heterosexism makes for some mighty strange bedfellows. No pun intended. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-06-29T19:17:50-06:00
ID
172564
Comment

Wow. It's really amazing sometimes what is done in the name of religion and morality. I've been doing some research on the Episcopal Church lately. You've given me some interesting reading to catch up on.

Author
JamesInNashville
Date
2006-06-29T19:34:35-06:00
ID
172565
Comment

Jim, I've also heard amazing things about Wells. I'm going to a service there when we don't have the kids.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-06-29T20:19:19-06:00
ID
172566
Comment

I've been there. It's a wonderful, loving and accepting place.

Author
ladd
Date
2006-06-30T14:07:52-06:00

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