I’m A Christian (or not) Vote For Me!

06Feb08

oneofthem.jpgAlright, here we go. I really want to hear the ideas and opinions on this from Christians, non-Christians and everything in between…So Robert…that includes you 🙂

I read this article the other day…

The premise is that Politicians feel the need to be considered “Christian” when running for office (whether they are or aren’t). Since as much as 75% of Americans claim Christianity, there is a strong sense that politicians “claim” things to win votes. But, in expressing their religious faith, they tend to exclude those who either don’t profess the same religious stance or those who do not profess one at all.

We have the stance of separation of church and state. But in the same way, there are religious people (often overtly) that are politicians in office or running for office. Some claim that their faith will not influence their decision making, which I think is ridiculous. Everything I am is because of my faith and in my daily life, decisions are made and reactions are had, because of my faith. How can a politician say it would be any different?

Here is an excerpt from the article,

Standing in a Hindu temple in a Dallas suburb before statues of his religion’s deities, Tejas Karve says he understands why the candidates stress their commitment to Christianity. But it does leave him with a sense of exclusion. “I do believe they leave (non-Christians) out to a point.”

This quote from Mr. Karve confuses me. If we are not to have (based on our constitution) an overtly Christian state or run office (which the likely hood of this happening in my opinion is slim to no way), why does it matter to a non-religious or non-Christian person whether or not a candidate professes their faith. It is strange to me that Mr. Clinton’s time in office (a man that professes his faith as a Christian) didn’t seem to bother people before, but now with Romney, Huckabee, and Obama professing their faith, people are concerned.

Why does it matter if Romney, Huckabee or Obama are religious and how does that leave anyone “left out” of the political process whether they are religious or not?

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156 Responses to “I’m A Christian (or not) Vote For Me!”

  1. 1 Sean

    I think that the question of whether Romney, Huckabee or Obama are Christian or not is not really the issue here. As far as the Romney and Huckabee positions, that is on the headlines because the validity of the Mormon belief has been called into question versus Huckabee’s Evangelical Christian ordination as a Baptist preacher. Evangelical Christians (at least some of them) consider Mormonism to be a cult versus being a Christian denomination. So the press has taken any shots at this that they can to generate more headlines.

    As far as Obama’s beliefs, that was brought to the forefront because, as a child, he attended a fundamentalist Muslim school. There was a need to justify himself as a Christian to allay post 9/11 fears.

    As far as my particular stance on this (a proclaimed Huckabee supporter), I would rather have a Christian leader guiding our country. And, I have no desire for his beliefs to not interfere with his decision making process, in fact, if it didn’t, that would cause me to doubt the validity of his beliefs.

    Now, I don’t ask that any of our religious freedoms should be infringed upon, whether catholic, protestant, jewish, muslim, buddist, atheist, agnostic, whatever. This is still a country of freedom (supposedly), so people should still worship as they believe. (I can still hope that everyone becomes a Christian and gets to know the God I serve! 😉 )

  2. 2 Sean

    See B, I was waitin for ya! lol

  3. I didn’t expect anything less Sean 🙂

    My personal opinion, is that those who think that “Christians” running for office “leaves them left out” is a cop out.

    I know that many are concerned over Huckabees “willingness” to change the constitution, but I obviously would not be as concerned, because I understand his intent. Some would argue though that he is dangerous.

  4. Even Obama has taken some undeserved hits on his Christian stance. His pastor has even been challenged. It amazes me how much Christianity plays out during the election process. Hope it always does. We need to be involved and not just sit back. Sorry non-Christian, I am going to vote – to protect your rights.

  5. We Atheist have been left out of the political process.

    There has never been an non-believer candidate for President. The anti-Atheist prejudice of the American voting public is not likely to let that happen any time soon. There are no non-believers in the Senate. There is only one atheist among the 440 members of the House of Representatives.

    I want a President who will base his actions on reason and logic. I don’t want a President who prays to God before he decides to send US Troops overseas.

    I believe separation of church and state is needed to ensure all Americans will be treated equally. I know at least on candidate who doesn’t, Huckabee. I don’t see how anyone would be confused that an atheist like me would be concerned about a politician with his views.

    If you believe that our politicians, who all believe in God, are not doing an adequate job isn’t it time to give one of us atheist a chance. Of course I know that is unlikely to occur in my lifetime.

  6. Ed, do you really believe that all these people believe? See from my point of view, they may claim it, but they definitely are not living it. that is not a judgment, just fact. Look at our political process and show me how anyone can think that Godly men and women are running this country.

    Do you think that maybe some keep their true beliefs(or lack of them) under wraps to help out their careers?

    So based on the fact that Godly principles are at the heart of our constitution, why would you feel your left out?

    Maybe I should ask the Christians this question. Would you vote for an atheist if you thought they would uphold the constitution and the values it represents?

  7. As soon as it becomes popular to be an atheist all of the candidates will be professed Atheists or at the very least Agnostics who will claim to have never inhaled.

  8. B- Yeah so WE are on the same page.

    And as far as your question latest… I think I may already have done that.

  9. Ric – I think you’ve hit on it for me. I think being a “Christian” for a politician is the popular thing to do. A politician had to win. they can’t accomplish anything they would like to do unless they are in office. it is hard to know what is truth or untruth. If 75& of the population is “Christian” you can be the politicians are going to be “Christians”.

    I would be really curious who of those in office right now are actually more atheist than theist. But i am not sure they would want to come out based on opinion polls.

  10. “So based on the fact that Godly principles are at the heart of our constitution, why would you feel your left out?”

    ed, this didn’t make sense as I read it back.

    My question is this. If a man/women is a good leader that can uphold the constitution and will of the people, why does it matter whether religious or not? An, if the political process isn’t religious, why would a non religious person feel left out?

  11. Brent, you just stole a perfectly good response from me by rephrasing your question. 🙂

    I am not concerned about the religious views of candidates until they play the religion card as Huckabee is doing. Then I do take notice.

  12. Ed, I understand the card being played and truly it causes me concern as well. I battle between the rights of all people and my own rights. I also battle between what I feel are the virtues and standards that America was built on and many of the ideas of what should be allowed or controlled to have freedom today. I don’t wish for anyone to be left out of the political race, I jut want a good leader.

    As a Christian, I like Huckabee, cause I see a better country for me and my beliefs. I understand how that can segregate. I truly don’t wish to see that kind of division. With all that being said, I have not made a decision on who I will vote for, because there are things that concern me with every candidate.

  13. Brent when I took the “Vote Match Quiz” on a political site I read no candidate scored higher than 52% in agreeing with my views on issues.

    It does look like after Tuesday the races are taking shape. McCain has a nice lead on the Republican side and it’s Obama or Clinton for the Democrat’s.

  14. Ed, what would you see as your “drawing a line in the sand” for issues. In other words…if there isn’t a single candidate that matches up to all your views, which views are you willing to let go of and which ones would decide your vote?

  15. 15 Ed

    Brent, I this is the kind of dialogue we need more of between people, who on the surface would appear be opposites, Atheist and Christians, but when we get down to important points we agree far more than we disagree.

  16. Ronald Reagan was asked when running for president; “can an actor become a great politician?” His response was; “I don’t see why not, there are a lot of politicians who are great actors.” Will the real Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama, John McCain please stand up!

  17. WOW….a real post! YAY!….

    My question is…if this country was not founded on Godly principles…and people are what percentage not Christian??? Then why is God the first one that gets played as the Ace card in the hole for votes….why is that such a draw for our country if they aren’t looking for a Godly leader??

  18. My guess is that believing in God has become a qualification to be President. Some politicians, such as Huckbee, try to convince voters to vote for them because they are the most “religious”.

    The most important issue in all the elections I can think of is the state of the economy or war, not religion. Huckabee is the only candidate who is using the religion card right now. This will win him some votes and lose him some votes.

    America has never had a non-believer candidate for President. I would guess if any candidate came out and said they did not believe in God it would cost them any chance to get elected. I think this is due to the anti-Athist prejudice of most voters.

    My perception is that “Godly principals” are not at the heart of the Constitution. I am not an historical scholar but from what I have read I think the principles in the constitution flow more from the deists viewpoint.

    From Wikipedia:
    “Deism is a religious philosophy and movement that derives the existence and nature of God from reason and personal experience. This is in contrast to fideism which is found in many forms of Christianity[1]. Islamic, Judaic, and Catholic teachings hold that religion relies on revelation in sacred scriptures or the testimony of other people as well as reasoning.

    “Deists typically reject supernatural events (prophecy, miracles) and tend to assert that God does not interfere with human life and the laws of the universe. What organized religions see as divine revelation and holy books, most deists see as interpretations made by other humans, rather than as authoritative sources.”

    “In America, Enlightenment philosophy (which itself was heavily inspired by deist ideals) played a major role in creating the principle of separation of church and state, expressed in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Founding Fathers who were especially noted for being influenced by such philosophy include Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Cornelius Harnett, Gouverneur Morris, and Hugh Wil liamson”

  19. “I would guess if any candidate came out and said they did not believe in God it would cost them any chance to get elected.I think this is due to the anti-Athist prejudice of most voters.”

    I think this probably relates to what GG is saying. Is it really because of an anti stance, or is because the majority don’t agree with the stance?

    I am sure there are those that would vote against an atheist just like there are those that wuld vote against a Christian. but, I personally would not vote based on atheist or not. Now if that atheist is not going to line up with my ideas of what is important, than I would vote someone else, but only because of the politics, not because of the personal stance on life.

    Your last paragraph on separation of church and state is accurate except that it doesn’t speak to the context. The men that wrote the constitution were both diest and theist. The ideals of the constitution were made by men that saw the need for political and religious freedom. They had just come from an oppressive rule that was both political and religious in one. they saw how man made religion could destroy the freedom to worship and live as they saw fit and thus was born the separation of church and state to not allow the church(or more specifically the church of England) to abuse power over everyday living. This was a group of people that were either Christian or sympathetic to the Christian and wanted to see freedom for a Christian to worship apart from state rule and regulation.

  20. Brent, I can see what you are saying. I would like to believe that our founding fathers, at least those that were diest, were creating laws based on reason and not religion. I am not enough of a constitutional scholar to debate the issue.

  21. OK…

    This is such a complicated issue.

    There are a couple things we have to agree upon first.

    1. The word atheist has a VERY NEGATIVE connotation in this country.

    2. Politicians, ALL politicians, are opportunists. They will say and do whatever THEY THINK is necessary to attain or maintain power.

    Point #1 is a given as referenced by the recent study of Americans that showed that most Americans are least likely to trust ANYONE who calls himself an atheist.

    Point # 2 is also obvious, to me anyway. I’ll elaborate, consider Romney for a moment. This was the former governor of Massachusetts, MY HOME STATE, the BLUEST of the blue states. We should change our name to The Peoples Republic of Massachusetts…really. Romney while he was running for governor supported the following:

    1. A womans right to control her body. (we KNOW what that means)

    2. Equal rights for homo-sexual couples.

    Regardless of what his true feeling were he came out in support of those two pillars here in Mass. Then when he got the idea that he wanted to run for president and it became clear that he no longer wanted to be gov of Mass…lo and behold he start to tack to the ‘right’. He starts fighting against the Mass. Supreme Judicial Court ruling that NO WHERE in the Mass. Constitution does it state that a homo-sexual couple DOES NOT have the right to marry. He backs a state constitutional amendment that would have defined a marriage as the union between one man and one woman PERIOD. The amendment that was DOOMED to fail and he would have known that because polls were showing that the great majority of Mass. citizens and the majority of state legislators supported the rights of homosexuals. But, he continued his fight to try to ram-rod this piece of discriminatory dreck through the legislature. Why? Because the man was playing for the larger audience of the whole of the United States. Generally people down south and in the mid-west think the worst possible thing that could happen to this country is the sanctioning of gay marriage. Romney knew that and tried to capitalize on it!

    To my mind Romney is beneath contempt. While I oppose most of what Huckabee says, I respect the man’s conviction. I KNOW what he is, he wont change it to win an election. I will NEVER vote for him. However, if by some miracle (which is what it would take) he is nominated by the GOP to run against Obama or Hillary AND then lightning from the sky strikes down the Democratic candidate…..(again this would go a long way to convincing me of the God most Christians believe in 😉 ) ….I would accept & respect him as president BECAUSE he is a man of conviction, albeit his reasons for his religious conviction are, to me, flimsy at best.

    Any politician who says his faith DOES not influence his politics is a liar. What would be the alternative? Sticking your finger into the political wind and THEN deciding? That’s cowardice! That’s what politicians like Romney do and to a lesser extent what Bill Clinton did. I expect a politician leader to follow his damned convictions! Even when they differ from mine. Grow a freakin’ back bone! Stop trying to hold on to power for it’s own sake!

    All that said I will not be voting Republican this time around no matter who gets the nomination. My only goal is to see the current incarnation of the Republican party utterly destroyed. They have lied to us repeatedly, they have in essence ripped up parts of the Constitution for the ILLUSION of security, and they’ve done so for nothing more to maintain their power. That is unforgivable to me.

    R.

  22. Ric Booth said:

    “As soon as it becomes popular to be an atheist all of the candidates will be professed Atheists or at the very least Agnostics who will claim to have never inhaled.”

    Robert says:

    I agree with Ric to a point here…

    I would NEVER cast my vote for someone just because he or she is an atheist.

    I have met VERY conservative Libertarian minded atheists who I think are completely divorced from reality! I would take a Bible-believing compassionate socially minded christian over that sort of politican any day of the week and twice on Sunday* (one has to make allowances 😉 )!

    I am concerned with a leaders ideas and conviction. Not his religion.

    R.

  23. Any politician who says his faith DOES not influence his politics is a liar.

    Spot-on Robert. They would be lying about their faith or their decision making/politics. This sounds like a jewelry-box faith… Taken it out and worn only on special occasions… like campaigning.

    To Ed’s concerns, this is probably as close to professed non-belief as we’ll get in today’s climate. A candidate who makes the above claim has at most a small god who fits in (and stay in) their jewelry box.

  24. 24 Jason

    “1. A womans right to control her body. (we KNOW what that means)”

    Then say it, Robert.

  25. 25 Jason

    “He starts fighting against the Mass. Supreme Judicial Court ruling that NO WHERE in the Mass. Constitution does it state that a homo-sexual couple DOES NOT have the right to marry.”

    I can’t tell if you are defending this insipidly atomistic legistlation from the bench or not.

  26. JAson said:

    “Then say it, Robert.”

    Robert says:

    OK…

    It protects a womans RIGHT to an ABORTION!!!!

    Do I like abortion!? NO!!!

    BUT it should be SAFE, LEGAL and RARE!!!

    In this day and age of safe and effective contraception there should be NO REASON whatsoever for ABORTION.

    But I often wonder if by some miracle Roe Vs. Wade were to be struck down AND by a second equally miraculous occurrence the State of Mass. were to make illegal ABORTION. Would the Pro-Lifers be satisfied? I wonder if then SOME of these people would not start to go after contraception too. Maybe it’s the fallacy of the slippery slope… but it’s a valid concern…

    Jason said:

    I can’t tell if you are defending this insipidly atomistic legistlation from the bench or not.

    Robert says:

    What are you saying?

    The SJC’s ruling was simple: as the Constitution does not EXPRESSLY forbid gay-marriage OR expressly DEFINE marriage, city clerks cannot refuse to issue marriage licenses to prospective gay couples.

    That’s not legislating that’s interpreting the law. Their JOB!

    The Mass. State Legislature was then FREE to put forward an amendment to the State Constitution to define MARRIAGE as a union between one man and one woman, which they tried and I am happy ecstatic to report FAILED MISERABLY to do. Even IF the legislature was able to garner the support of enough members to put the question to the people, polling showed that the measure would have FAILED to get the votes to become part of the Constitution.

    On a more personal note, I find the whole idea of putting a question to the public that would in essence legalize DISCRIMINATION against a group of people abhorrent to the extreme. One of the jobs of the Judicial branch is to protect minority rights from the tyranny of the majority. I will not bend nor yield on that.

    Let the mocking and patronizing rebuke commence.

    R.

  27. Vinny’s internet is down…again, and I, his servant, have been sasked to relay a message to you all that he desperately wants to get into this discussion today and will as soon as he gets home.

    But, please, continue….

    🙂

  28. 28 Ed

    The issue of gay marriage is the one that for me is the clearest in representing religion trumping reason. Except for the bible saying gay love is a sin, is there any other reason to think marriage, or sex, between two members of the same sex is wrong?

    Legal issues aside I believe all love, between consenting adults, is beautiful. I now a gay couple. I don’t know how long they have been together but it is a least 10 years. They are clearly deeply in love and committed to each other. How can that possibly be wrong? What right does anyone, least of all the government, have to say their love is any less than any other couple?

    In 1992 Huckabee, in a response to an AP questionaire said:

    “If the federal government is truly serious about doing something with the AIDS virus, we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague.”

    In a Fox News interview in 2007 that he tried to clarify his statement:

    “I didn’t say that we should quarantine. I said it was the first time in public health protocols that when we had an infectious disease & we didn’t really know just how extensive it could be, that we didn’t isolate the carrier.”

    “Would I say it a little differently today? Sure, in light of 15 years of additional knowledge, I would.”

    By 1982, at the latest, the CDC know how AIDS was spread. That was 10 years before Huckabee made his original statement.

    From Wikipedia:

    “However, after determining that AIDS was not isolated to the homosexual community,[24] the term GRID became misleading and AIDS was introduced at a meeting in July 1982.[26] By September 1982 the CDC started using the name AIDS, and properly defined the illness.[27]”

    I think Huckabee did not do bother to do the research to understand AIDS and based his statement to isolate AIDS carries on his religious beliefs.

  29. Wow man – rockin’ post and discussion.

    Your comments on the often missed distinction between what politicians claim and what they actually believe(live) is especially poignant.

    As I Christian I feel like Godly priorities are very absent from washington – ie if everyone (except for 1) in Washington believed in God then killing children would be illegal.

    Perhaps we all feel in the minority and it’s easy to focus on what you don’t get as opposed to what you do.

  30. “Except for the bible saying gay love is a sin, is there any other reason to think marriage, or sex, between two members of the same sex is wrong?”

    Ed, for a Christian there is no issue over love. Love is multi faceted and includes sexual, brotherly/family or friendship love. As Christians we believe very strongly that sexual love is appropriate only for the marriage and between a man and a woman. To go farther, there is heavy reference in the Bible to the marriage relationship being one of God’s ordination and being one between a man and a woman. (If you hold to a literal Adam and Eve, than the Christian has an argument for the first marriage being God ordained). This is the reason the Christian community will always disagree with gay marriage. Whether the state desires to allow for unions between gay couples to benefit from a social and economical stand point, that is another thing. I will have to determine if I would vote for that, but I would not be voting for gay “marriage”. Which in my beliefs would be a re-defining of what marriage was originally set out to be.

    “The SJC’s ruling was simple: as the Constitution does not EXPRESSLY forbid gay-marriage OR expressly DEFINE marriage, city clerks cannot refuse to issue marriage licenses to prospective gay couples.

    That’s not legislating that’s interpreting the law. Their JOB!”

    For conversations sake. At one point in our countries life, the courts deemed marriage to be between a man and a woman and thus allowed for the creation of laws and benefits for these marriages.

    Are we saying that to allow for gay marriage now would not be changing that? Or are we saying that it never said it in the first place, so this is how we will interpret it now?

  31. “Perhaps we all feel in the minority and it’s easy to focus on what you don’t get as opposed to what you do.”

    Billy this is well said. Robert mentioned the fact that “atheist” has a negative connotation to it. I would say that “Christian” does as well. i have been reading through a book called UnChristian and it sure makes it sound like the whole country is against us Christians. It is interesting that 75% of our country would claim Christianity and yet 75% of our country thinks Christians suck. obviously my own take on the book, but basically what it says.

    I think that within our sides of life, we will always feel we are the minority and that everyone is against us.

    Now, with that being said, I believe that the atheist lifestyle is on the rise and the Christian lifestyle is on the fall. At one time I think it was the opposite, but it has turned a bit in my opinion.

  32. Hey, one interesting thing in that article was, the 2 main “concerned” parties were Hindu and Muslim. Not atheist. In fact they really didn’t mention anything about an atheistic take on this. They just showed how practicing religious that were not Christian, were not happy…interesting.

  33. 33 Ed

    I would not question that a Christian would believe that gay sex is wrong. That is what your God says. If I was a Christian that is what I would believe.

    I don’t see any other reason to think gay sex is wrong. Opposition to gay marriage is based on religion, the bible.

    I also agree that “we will always feel we are the minority and that everyone is against us.” I guess that’s human nature.

    Again I agree that traditionally marriage refers to one between a man and a women. I am not a “traditionalists” so that means nothing to me. I will admit a fairly strong bias against that word.

    My understanding is that it would take an constitutional amendment to define marriage as “only” being between a man and a women. I don’t now enough about the law so I let the lawyers and courts sort that out. I see it as more of a states issue than a federal government issue.

    In general I see laws as being created to protect citizens from harm. I don’t see where gay marriage cause harm to anyone else. If you join want to join a church that prohibits gay sex then those are the rules you need to obey.

  34. I am not comfortable in this forum but will try to share with out being unkind. I am a legal resident of Michigan. A couple of years ago our Governor vetoed a bill that would have prevented gay marriage. In order to over-ride her veto a petition was required with over several hundred thousand signatures. It required lots of work and accuracy. For example each signature had to be witnessed by the person circulating the petition. My daughter and I each got over two hundred signatures. Almost five hundred between us. The petition was a success. To me its not an issue of “traditionalism” it is an issue of sin, an abomination to God and what my Savior expects from me. I do not want my grandchildren taught that the “gay lifestyle” is an acceptable “alternate lifestyle” and if I have to make my voice heard I will.

  35. Hi Ed….I would like if you don’t mind B, to put my two cents in worth about the gay issue….

    To me Ed, there are four things that I usually hear from people who condone a homosexual lifestyle. They are made that way, homosexuality is of no harm to the participants or to anyone else, if it feels right to those involved, it is nobody else’s business and homosexual relationships and heterosexual relationships are equally valid. (Some even claim that the Bible condones homosexual relationships.)
    Here’s my problem with that. Other groups who have been discriminated against (such as women, blacks and the disabled) have been given equal opportunity, homosexuals claim that they, too, should be liberated, yet a persons gender, race and impairment all relate to what a person is, whereas homosexuality relates to what a person does.
    Homosexuals claim that scientific studies have shown that there is a biological basis for homosexuality, yet the majority of researchers had a vested interest in obtaining a certain outcome because they were homosexuals themselves. Their studies did not stand up to scientific scrutiny by other researchers.
    When Jesus was questioned about marriage, He referred to these 2 chapters (Matthew 19:1-12; Mark 10:1-12). Genesis teaches us that “male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27). We were created to a plan, male and female complementing each other.
    NO harm to other? I found this quote by Andrew Lansdown and he points out that “homosexual activity is notoriously disease-prone. In addition to diseases associated with heterosexual promiscuity, homosexual actions facilitate the transmission of anal herpes, hepatitis B, intestinal parasites, Kaposi’s Sarcoma and AIDS.’ Research on the life expectancy of a group of homosexual men in Canada in the early 1990s indicated that they could expect 8-21 years less lifespan than other men.”
    “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination” (Leviticus 18:22; see also Leviticus 20:13).
    The Greek word arsenokoitai used in 1 Timothy 1:10 literally means “men who sleep with men.” It is the same Greek word used for “homosexual offender” in 1 Corinthians 6:9, variously translated as “abusers of themselves with mankind” (KJV), homosexuals (NASB) or homosexual offender (NIV).
    “Liberal” churches have tolerance of homosexual behavior in the name of “love.” They plug for the acceptance of homosexual conduct as normal, “because they can’t help it.” They are not only wrong about the latter, but they are actually not being at all loving towards homosexuals, because, contrary to the Bible, they reduce the homosexual person to the level of an animal, driven by instinct. In removing moral responsibility from the person, they dehumanize them, contrary to what the Bible says, which is we are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), with the power of moral choice.
    As with all moral issues, our beliefs about our origin determine our attitude. If we believe that we arose from slime by a combination of random chance events and the struggle for survival, it is understandable to say that there is no higher authority, and we can make our own rules. However, if there is a loving God who planned us and gave commands for us to follow, then we need to do just that. Sorry b, didn’t mean to hog your blog….. 😉

  36. 36 Ed

    IndianLake Papa, I completely understand what you are saying.

    Gay marriage is an abomination in the eyes of your God.

    I admire your willingness to devote your time and energy to an issue that is important to you. I wish more Americans devoted that kind of energy to causes they believe in.

    I hope you can also understand why someone who does not believe in God would see no harm in gay marriage

    We may have a different view of what the laws of our society are intended to do.

    I see the Ten Commandments as a moral code. It is a parents responsibility to teach their children moral codes.

    I see the primary purpose of laws is to protect one person from intentionally harming another. Not a moral code.

    I don’t see where Christians can impose their moral codes on Atheist. If two people of the same sex choice to get married it has nothing to do with anyone else. It may offended Christians and Christians beliefs but gay people have every to live the way they choice.

    Gay people are citizens. They have the same rights to protection as anyone else.

    I don’t believe that the Ten Commandments and the bible are the laws of the country. They are the moral codes that people who believe in God live by. I have every right not to live by the Ten Commandments if I choice to as long I as don’t cause harm to someone else. My perception is that this is where we disagree.

  37. 37 Ed

    Hi GG, by the size of your post I would say you got more than your two cents worth. 🙂

    I would like to try and be clear on the important points where we disagree.

    Do you believe that gay sex causes harm to other citizens?

    How is two gay people getting married harming anyone else?

    Do you believe that the laws of the US reflect the Christian doctrine? The Ten Commandments?

  38. “They have the same rights to protection as anyone else.”

    Ed, I think I understand you here, but protection? Protection from what? they are free to live out their relationships as they please. They are free to be both physically and emotionally invested in whomever they like. Nothing is being taken from them. The problem comes up to redefining something that (by tradition or not) is already established.

    Would you be opposed to marriage between man/woman and union between man/man or woman/woman or does it all have to be marriage?

  39. here’s my idea.

    We aren’t given the names of who is running for president, just their stance on issue and their voting record.

    I can only pray the America stops voting for rock stars and finally does their homework…but who am I kidding.

  40. “We aren’t given the names of who is running for president, just their stance on issue and their voting record.”

    Ooooooh I like this. this would actually be quite revealing to both the non religious AND the religious. This was probably more like what it was in the early days with no mass communication. the debate process drives me nuts.

  41. Hi Ed, I thought I covered those questions, and given my Christian stance…to simplify…
    1) Yes
    2) “homosexual activity is notoriously disease-prone. In addition to diseases associated with heterosexual promiscuity, homosexual actions facilitate the transmission of anal herpes, hepatitis B, intestinal parasites, Kaposi’s Sarcoma and AIDS.’ Research on the life expectancy of a group of homosexual men in Canada in the early 1990s indicated that they could expect 8-21 years less lifespan than other men.” (One example…..)
    3) The United States, along with the World, were founded on Godly principle….it was man who chose a way of tolerence and denial of Gods existence….

  42. I believe the ten commandments are law, not just moral codes. When we start taking God’s law and ignore it and make our moral codes to adjust to our life style we are in dangerous territory.

    I sat across the table from a man who looked me in the face and said; “To me, killing a person who has interfered with my life is no worse than pulling weeds out of a garden.” He was executed several months later. Another man I talked with stated; “Whats worse? Destroy a man’s character by word’s i say or actually take his life?” He was serving several life sentences – he was a contract killer. Rationalization of our own moral codes is so dangerous. To state or imply that the homosexual lifestyle doesn’t affect me is incorrect. You have no idea how many times I have had to gown up or use rubber gloves to protect myself from known aids victims. How much of my medical costs such as insurance are related to the aids epedemic?

    When I see caution signs, such as “Detour ahead” I don’t ignore them or rationalize I can go that way if I want to. I correct my course. I firmly believe that those that are in the “gay lifestyle” are ignoring God’s warnings and obvious health warnings and are facing a dangerous road ahead.

  43. Thank you Indian Lake Papa. We do disagree about whether US laws should be moral codes or are primarly designed to protect it citizens from harm.

    Since we do live in a Democracy you vote your beliefs and I’ll vote mean.

    I think that is one thing we can agree on.

  44. I wonder how “Godly” (if we are looking towards the Judeo-Christian God) these United States principles actually were/are. Most of them were Lockean and Locke was most likely a deist and not a Christian. On top of that, how Godly is a government that condones and practices slavery? Leaving this issue on the table later results in 600,000 casualties of war.

    So now we are dealing with abortion and gay marriage. But we have equal rights and protection for woman and minorities. Would we go back to those earlier, simpler times?

  45. ED, was that a typo? “… you vote your beliefs and I’ll vote mean.”????? :o)

  46. Ed, I know you asked Deb, but let me throw this in there. Your question was, how does it hurt other people.

    Obviously if there is a sexually transmitted disease involved or contracted in any sexual situation, this affects the general public. Some diseases can be contracted by touch, others like HIV do not transmit this way. Herpes which is very common among both heterosexual and homosexual can be transmitted by touch or fluids.

    A person with a disease can no longer “help” via blood transfusions as someone who is healthy.

    A person that contracts some sort of disease puts there partner in danger and possibly ends the relationship or at least ends the physical intimacy between them.

    Now, I bring this up because of the startling statistics regarding HIV and aids in our country. Here are statistics from the governments cdc site.

    How did men contract HIV in 2005:
    452,111 via Male to male contact
    168,314 via injection drug use
    61,438 via heterosexual sex
    13,978 via other (Includes hemophilia, blood transfusion, perinatal, and risk not reported or not identified)
    525,442 died during 2005 of Aids

    They had an asterisks by the heterosexual statistic. They said that 98% of the people who contracted HIV from their heterosexual partner knew they already had it. They also said there is no way to determine if the HIV partner had contracted the HIV virus from a heterosexual relationship or a homosexual one.

    From these statistics we do see evidence the homosexual sex is an overwhelming contributer to the HIV/Aids virus. One would have to determine that this sexual behavior would be dangerous to the general public

  47. “On top of that, how Godly is a government that condones and practices slavery? Leaving this issue on the table later results in 600,000 casualties of war.”

    I would curious of the info around this. I’ve never really studied slavery and I would be curious of the details of this.

  48. Christian – do you think a Christian in the era of slavery could own slaves ? I do. There is an older movie out called “Half-slave Half free” find it and watch it! It is based on the true story of Solomon Northup a black free man from New York. There is also a book about the same story called: “Twelve Years a Slave”. It helps to understand that era and culture. I lived in Louisiana for several years and actually visited the plantation where “Platt” lived! You will have to figure out who Platt is !:o)

  49. GG, thanks for responding. I just wanted to be sure I understood where we disagree.

    1) “homosexual activity is notoriously disease-prone”

    Unprotected sex between any two people is notoriously disease-prone.

    2) “In addition to diseases associated with heterosexual promiscuity, homosexual actions facilitate the transmission of anal herpes, hepatitis B, intestinal parasites, Kaposi’s Sarcoma and AIDS.”

    Sex between heterosexuals can result in the transmission of diseases. What makes that different from diseases transmitted between to two gay people? Aids can be transmitted between two heterosexuals having sex.

    Refering back to my Wikipedia source:

    “However, after determining that AIDS was not isolated to the homosexual community,[24] the term GRID became misleading and AIDS was introduced at a meeting in July 1982.[26] By September 1982 the CDC started using the name AIDS, and properly defined the illness.[27]”

    3) The United States, along with the World, were founded on Godly principle….it was man who chose a way of tolerence and denial of Gods existence….

    I think I had this debate with Brent a while back about the US Constitution. I think we agreed to disagreed but it is a point that better legal minds than mine have been debating for years.

  50. Indian Lake Papa, are you saying that we don’t understand what the era of slavery was really like and that it was OK to own slaves?

    I would find that hard to swallow. I am going to plan to watch that movie though as I do need to be better informed of that era.

  51. Hey ed, the protected sex thing brings up some interesting questions for me regarding the stats I just posted.

    The stats I just posted seem to show that men/men sex does not include much safety and the heterosexual contact would. the difference of 450,000 to 60,000 is pretty drastic.

    I would assume that homosexual men as well as heterosexual men would want to be protected, but it seems to me that it would be more often that the homosexual is protected because of the increased vulnerability to HIV. If that is the case, then it would seem to me that heterosexual partners are less prone to disease based on these statistics.

  52. Indian Lake Papa, that was a typo, I meant to say mine.

    From your stand point that might be “mean”. 🙂

  53. “From your stand point that might be “mean”.”

    That typo was hilarious!!!

  54. Ed: We do seem to go in circles don’t we??? LOL

    Since my brain cells are depleting from todays blogging…I’m gonna cheat and say:
    “I would assume that homosexual men as well as heterosexual men would want to be protected, but it seems to me that it would be more often that the homosexual is protected because of the increased vulnerability to HIV. If that is the case, then it would seem to me that heterosexual partners are less prone to disease based on these statistics.”

    Ya, what he said…… 😆

  55. The movie stars Avery Brooks and Mason Adams (?). Make sure you get that one. There are other movies by the same title.

    The “Christian” slave owners were very “godly” people who were caught up in the culture of their time. Usually slaves were allowed Sunday off, some even went to the same church as their owners, but had to sit in the loft or rear of the church. In the book a statement was made that slave owners were caught up in a culture as much as the slaves themselves.

    I just think that God has to be the judge on that and that I had better be careful on my judgement of slave ownership by a culture that thought it was an accepted practice. It is a fascinating history of our nation. It was very wrong, but that is hindsight now. That’s why we had a civil war, in part, to right that wrong.

    Get the book – it is non-fiction and a good documentary on the times.

  56. 56 Ed

    Vince, there is a site that does just what you suggested.

    It’s a very comprehensive site, On The Issues , http://www.ontheissues.com

    They have direct quotes from each candidate on all the issues with links back to where they said it.

    There is also a Vote Match Quiz where you indicate your view on an issue, then see what percentage of the time each candidate agrees with you.

    In my case John Edwards scored the highest at only 52%. I am either very open minded or very wishy-wishy. 🙂

  57. THE book, “twelve years a slave” is readily available on the internet. get the one authored by Solomon Northup and Sue Eakin

  58. 58 Ed

    Thanks Brent for providing all those stats.

    I think the issue for STD’s is one of using condoms, which aren’t 100% effective, but I should result in a significant drop in disease transmissions rates.

    I think “promiscuous” sex is more the issue than gay sex. It would be interesting to compared STD and AIDS rates among gay couples that have been living together for 5 to 10 years. I would think the fewer partners you have greatly reduces the chance of getting an STD. I would guess this is true of straight and gay couples. This might be a good reason for encourage gay couples to get married.

    I don’t have any stats to back the above up.

    Brent, I am going to have to let you win this round by a TKO as it is past midnight here in CT and I am having a hard time figuring out what I posted where, 🙂

  59. Ed, please don’t concede by TKO here. This has been a wonderful conversation and we are all winners in this bout 🙂

    Rest well!

  60. 60 Ed

    I agree with you it has been a very interesting discussion.

    We are asking each other questions instead just trying to debate points.

    I look forward to more. I’ll just have to stock up on my Geritol. 🙂

  61. 61 Jason

    @R,

    “BUT it should be SAFE, LEGAL and RARE!!!”

    Why rare?

    R said,

    “The SJC’s ruling was simple: as the Constitution does not EXPRESSLY forbid gay-marriage OR expressly DEFINE marriage, city clerks cannot refuse to issue marriage licenses to prospective gay couples. That’s not legislating that’s interpreting the law. Their JOB!”

    This is just nuts; there are plenty of things that are not expressly forbidden. But what they have done is to ignore literally thousands of years of precedent in saying, as if in some ajudicary bubble, that anything that is not forbidden is allowed. That is not their job, Robert. That is nothing even close to ajudication. That has nothing to do with the law at all. Of course it is agenda driven interpretation. They are not deciding on existing law, they are reading between the lines, which is far, far, far outside of their purview.

    But this would be the standard liberal view of law: How far can I go? How far can I push it? Just what are the limits of how much I can siphon off society monetarily, sociologically and psychologically?

    If it weren’t for legistlation from the bench, none of this would have come about.

  62. I just gave your cahooters an award at my blog! Make sure they log on and get it! 😀

  63. cahooters….wow, that came out differently than it sounded in my head.

  64. India Lake Papa said:

    “I do not want my grandchildren taught that the “gay lifestyle” is an acceptable “alternate lifestyle” and if I have to make my voice heard I will.”

    Robert says:

    You are free to teach your kids whatever you want. However, what you are NOT free to do is to legislate morality for the rest of us to the tune of denying basic civil rights to a minority of soceity because YOU feel it offends your God.

    Gods Gal said:

    “he United States, along with the World, were founded on Godly principle…”

    Robert says:

    Well then I must be reading a different Constitution than you…. Because my well worn copy has no mention of God or Jesus. As I read history at the time of the founding of our republic, must theologians were railing about the ‘divine right of kings’. Strange how the founders took the bulk of their inspiration from John Locke who was most definitely NOT a Christian or Christ follower in the sense you would define the terms.

    inWorship said:

    “Would you be opposed to marriage between man/woman and union between man/man or woman/woman or does it all have to be marriage?”

    Robert says:

    This is actually an interesting concept. When the whole broo-ha-ha erupted here in Mass. about gay marriage an interesting proposal was made by someone.

    The ‘state’ should get out of the marriage business! Meaning that ALL couple hetero-sexual and homo-sexual could be issued civil union licenses which would outline the civil rights and responsibilities thus entailed. Once you had you ‘Civil Union License” you could go to the church of your choice and get married in the manner you chose. Naturally church are free to decide whom they will marry and whom they won’t. (Bless those pesky-palians!) I am completely amenable to such an idea. No couple is elevated above another by virtue of their sexuality and the rights and responsibilities are the same. Interestingly, many were still against it. Why? The state would no longer be issuing marriage licenses but civil unions. Marriage is just a word…someone elses marriage or union doesn’t sanctify or mock the relationship you have with your spouse. The worth of a marriage or a union or whatever is increased or decreased by what the participants in the union bring to it. Please don’t talk to me about the sanctity of marriage in a country where you can go to drive-up chapel and get married by an Elvis impersonator! “Thank ya very much!”

    Jason said:

    “Why rare?”

    Robert says:

    I don’t think abortion is a good thing at all and too many women use it a form of birth control. I want free and open access to effective birth control so women every where can have complete control over when they will bear children. This won’t eliminate all abortions but it will reduce them to a ‘rare’ occurrence. Education and personal responsibility are keys to success here.

    I got a vasectomy 2 years ago because my wife and I decided that FOUR kids was enough AND we wanted to continue to be able to have sex for pleasures sake without getting pregnant. OH WE ARE SUCH HEDONISTS! We took control over our bodies instead of leaving it to God. Does that make us sinners?!

    Jason said:

    ignore literally thousands of years of precedent

    Robert says:

    Like the 13th Amendment undid thousands of years of PRECEDENT in making it illegal to enslave another human-being!?

    PLEASE!!! Spare me the precedent crap. Homosexuality has been with us for thousands of years, it’s nothing new. In the past most of the time they’d KILL you for it….why aren’t we adhering to THAT precedent!

    The bottom line is this: many think homosexuality is abomination and that’s their right to think that. I often hear from Christians: “Hate the sin, love the sinner”. Well why don’t you DO THAT! Let these people live and love in peace and leave the judgment to God.

    R.

  65. The state would no longer be issuing marriage licenses but civil unions.

    I read about this point of view first in Tony Campolo’s book Letters to a Young Evangelical. Yeah, I read it even though I’m 48 😉 At first I thought, wow, yeah… simple. But then I thought well what about civil unions between multiple people? If the state limits it to just 2 people is the state continuing to impose a religious restriction? Or is it a moral universal law that such unions are reprehensible?

    Some religions have polygamy in their doctrine. Would the state inadvertently open this door? Would that be morally OK and only reprehensible to certain groups based on their religious beliefs? Should the majority who oppose polygamy get to suppress by law? Or should the state protect the minority?

    As an IT computer guy, multi-spouse unions would be a nightmare that would make Y2K look like a walk in the park… that is to say, I would have job security for life.

    What was this post about anyways?

  66. ric said:

    But then I thought well what about civil unions between multiple people? If the state limits it to just 2 people is the state continuing to impose a religious restriction? Or is it a moral universal law that such unions are reprehensible?

    Robert says:

    I can understand your concern there…but that could be just a ‘slippery slope’ argument. “If we allow homosexuals to marry what’s to stop 3 people from marrying or whats to stop some idiot from wanting marry his cat….”

    A slippery slope defense is no reason to deny two consenting adults the protections that a marriage or a civil union would afford.

    ric said:

    “Some religions have polygamy in their doctrine. Would the state inadvertently open this door?”

    Robert says:

    Apples and Oranges. Polygamy, from the Mormon point of view anyway, is reserved for males. And in the Mormon context polygamy tends to relegate women to property of the man. Which makes it BAD!

    To be fair to your question though, if three consenting people of any combination wanted to enter some kind of union. What the hell would I care? Logistics is not a reason to deny them.

    I don’t pretend to have all the answers here.

    I come at this question from the point of view of a man who has good friends of the homosexual persuasion. They are people. and if two of them want to share their lives together in a committed and monogamous relationship, in the eyes of the state, they should have the right to do so.

    R.

  67. “What was this post about anyways?”

    Hahahahaha!!!!

    Alright, question here.

    There are about 6 million unmarried couples living together in the US. Of which only 1/2 million are professed to be gay.

    This is not a question for or against homosexuality necessarily, but law in general. What does the majority need to be to either create laws or uphold traditions? Does it matter that the overwhelming majority thinks a specific way?

  68. I think everyone must have dropped out of Philosophy 101.

    Or failed out or, like me, never signed up. Math and Computer Science were so much more appealing to a logicaholic such as myself. While there may be multiple ways to solve a math/cs problem, in the end it is either right or wrong.

  69. inWorship said:

    “Does it matter that the overwhelming majority thinks a specific way?”

    Robert says:

    Think about what you are saying. You are allowing a majority to dictate the definition of civil rights to a minority. We aren’t talking about whether or not we are going to build a bridge or a school here. The outcome of what you propose would be to DENY a set of civil rights to a segment of soceity BECAUSE they feel offends a God.

    I’m sorry but can you not see the danger in such a proposition?

    R.

  70. ric said:

    “While there may be multiple ways to solve a math/cs problem, in the end it is either right or wrong.”

    Robert says:

    Well I am in the Electrical Engineering field. I use operational amplifiers all the time. Do you know how many different types there are? HUNDREDS! Hundreds of different ways to do one simple thing: amplify a differential signal.

    In electronics we talk about IDEAL conditions all the time. But we KNOW there is no such thing!

    Such is life. There is no black in white in the real world. You learn to appreciate the beauty of different shades of gray!

    R.

  71. 71 Jason

    @R,

    Not really answering the “why rare” question. You’re just telling me about your feelings. Which is nice, but hardly approaching a discussion of public policy. If abortion on demand is a “right”, and there is essentially nothing wrong with it, and it is just blob of cells, then rare seems to be a needless, indeed oppressive, restriction on what you say is a “right”. You have a considerable ethical problem, and your feelings, though interesting, do not go towards the discussion, especially in light of your defense of it as “right”.

    So why “rare”, if nothing is morally wrong with it and it is the right of a citizen to do so?

    “Like the 13th Amendment undid thousands of years of PRECEDENT in making it illegal to enslave another human-being!? PLEASE!!!.”

    I want everyone to understand Robert’s defense of his position. Liberating slaves is a moral equivalent of abortion on demand. hmm. Defend that moral stance, Robert. Perhaps you should consider a more compelling example.

    “Spare me the precedent crap”

    What puzzling legal, societal ignorance. Without precedent there is no model, there is no society, there is no civilization. I cannot imagine what could possibly make you say something that so completely dismantles nearly any argument you make on good/bad, right/wrong, whatever. Robert, as a person who has rejected God all you have is precedent! or are you reinventing the ethical and moral wheel all day long, everyday of your life? Upon what are you basing every argument you make? Could you possibly comprehend that your above comment effectively hamstrings every single position you have ever taken? man-o-man, that is amazingly short sighted. But anything to get what I want! Anything, anything to take what I think is mine. No principle is too important to be cast overboard as ballast that the boat of the marvelous ‘I’ may stay afloat. Liberalism.

    “You are allowing a majority to dictate the definition of civil rights to a minority”

    Robert, how in the world do you fit “civil rights” into into a defense of government endorsement of homosexual, polyamorous, etc. civil unions?

  72. Jason says:

    “I want everyone to understand Robert’s defense of his position. Liberating slaves is a moral equivalent of abortion on demand. hmm. Defend that moral stance, Robert. Perhaps you should consider a more compelling example.”

    Robert SCREAMS!!!

    That is NOT what I said!!!!

    I was addressing the SECOND of the TWO of your responses GO BACK AND READ!!!

    I said:

    “The SJC’s ruling was simple: as the Constitution does not EXPRESSLY forbid gay-marriage OR expressly DEFINE marriage, city clerks cannot refuse to issue marriage licenses to prospective gay couples. That’s not legislating that’s interpreting the law. Their JOB!”

    You responded:

    “This is just nuts; there are plenty of things that are not expressly forbidden. But what they have done is to ignore literally thousands of years of precedent in saying, as if in some ajudicary bubble, that anything that is not forbidden is allowed.”

    I then responded with this:

    “Like the 13th Amendment undid thousands of years of PRECEDENT in making it illegal to enslave another human-being!? ”

    I WAS NOT EQUATING THE FREEING OF SLAVES WITH ABORTION ON DEMAND!

    Maybe that was what you were hoping I was doing! I am happy to report I am NOT that stupid!

    I was equating the liberation of slaves to allowing homosexuals a basic human right!

    I am going to go cool down for a moment before I continue responding!

    R.

  73. Robert,

    I guess being vague and metaphorical, while fun, is too confusing. I do not care what the state does on this issue. No matter the “law”, my beliefs remain unchanged. They are not up for debate or vote. If I MUST vote, I will vote based on what I believe to be right.

    I think it is reprehensible that “the state” ignores a 20+ year life parner and instead grants power of attorney to a dying man’s parents who, btw, disowned him 25 years ago. But that’s US law. The state cannot do this to a spouse, so the solution may be to make life partners spouses. It may indeed solve this problem and require the state to enforce a more respectable treatment of this set of our populace.

    I think it is absurd that we have to have laws and constitutional ammendments requiring us to respect one another. (e.g., African Americans are people, Women are people, Native Americans are people, …) The American way has always been to try to legislate respect. We need this only in the absence of love.

    The Way on the other hand says love one another. That means, for example, do not disown your children and do not denigrate or in any way mistreat your child’s life long partner.

    I wonder if the reason we are struggling under the weight of volumes and volumes of public law legislating “proper” behavior could not be because we are trying to come up with a simpler, less-demanding alternative to loving our neighbors.

  74. ric said:

    “The Way on the other hand says love one another. That means, for example, do not disown your children and do not denigrate or in any way mistreat your child’s life long partner.”

    Robert says:

    VERY WELL SAID!

    I like my the idea I stated earlier…

    If people have a problem with homosexuality fine… “love the sinner, hate the sin”, all they want. But, these people will not JUDGE or LEGISLATE as aberrant and deviant two consenting adults because it’s breaking what THEY perceive to be THEIR Gods rule. Leave judgment to GOD!

    R.

  75. 75 Jason

    @R,

    “I WAS NOT EQUATING THE FREEING OF SLAVES WITH ABORTION ON DEMAND!”

    You are absolutely right. I misspoke greatly in that comment. The precedental contrast you made was not nearly so gauche. I sincerely apologize. really.

    It is, however, a considerable reach to imagine some moral parallel between conditions and rights and society on a Birmingham plantation and in a Provincetown coffee shop. The contrast between civil unions and homosexual marriage is not nearly as massive as the one I incorrectly, imaginatively, and thoughtlessly cited. It still is a pretty big reach, though.

    And people are still basically talking about their feelings on the matter, ignoring thousands of years of man and woman as a societal standard, why something, for the first time in history, should have a governmental endorsement, why something which has no conceivable basis, other than I want to, should bear the imprimatur of all of soceity. There is no case being made other than “I wanna!”.

    And the rest of my post still stands.

    and, Robert, “leave judgment to God!”?

    Please.

  76. Laws don’t change people. Love changes people. Sounds fluffy – but there’s truth in it.

    It’s against the law to murder (which is also a commandment)- there’s still murder

    It’s against the law to steal (also a commandment) but there are still thieves.

    Our country can make it legal for 2 men and 2 women to be recognized by the state as married – fine! They’re already together anyway. It isn’t taking anything away from us. Nothing really changes does it?

    My point is, and I think I have one, is that our laws make me laugh. They’re either not upheld or pointless. Not all, and I know they serve to protect us, to give us rights. But they don’t change us!

    The heart of the problem this discussion has gotten to is one’s convictions and beliefs against the others.

    Before I found God…I was a promiscuous, drinking, druggy who used abortion as a form of birth control. It wasn’t laws that drew me there or drew me away from that life. It was against the law for me to drink…I drank. It was legal for me to kill my babies, so I did. One worked, the other didn’t – I still did what I wanted.

    People are gonna do what they want, regardless of the law. For me, it’s not about legalizing gay marriage, it’s about the people. I was loved to repentance. There’s nothin’ in the govt books on that. I wonder if I put more energy into loving on these people and less into fighting against something will that make a change? Could it? Or is too late? Am I over simplifying? Or am I just naive and too hopeful?

    All I know is that it worked for me. No one fought against my actions, they loved me through them. They rubbed shoulders with me regardless. The govt doesn’t change people. People change people.

    Just some random thoughts I had while unloading boxes of pictures from my car, reflecting on my life’s journey thus far and feeling so overwhelmed with thankfulness that someone reached out to me, looked beyond my ugly shell and simply saw a person. A person worthy of love and their time. I have no more words…

  77. Apology accepted! 🙂

    Jason says:

    It still is a pretty big reach, though.

    Robert says:

    I really don’t see it as that big a reach. The reason this strikes such a vicious chord with me is I have a relative who is VERY near and dear to me who is gay. She and her now ‘spouse’ were recently wed in a beautiful ceremony. To have someone say that their relationship is somewhat less valuable in the eyes of God because of the nature of their love seems…. I can’t even put a word on it….

    They have an adoptive daughter together and the child is bright inquisitive and everything else a 5 year old should be.

    Why do we have to legislate their relationship to aberrant or deviant or non-traditional? That just seems so wrong to me. If that’s an emotional position so be it.

    R.

  78. 78 Jason

    @T,

    I totally agree with you in the matters of the sample size of one. Which is the point fo view from which you are speaking, and you speak from considerable wisdom, wisdom which we covet, but the experiences leading to the wisdom, we do not. I am always grateful for your unknowable perspective on the grace of Jesus Christ.

    I, however, am not addressing acts of ministry nor am I addressing what occurs within a person’s life. I am addressing our responsibility within a society. What we do nothing about, we tacitly endorse. We cannot look to our Nation and imagine that any one form of the law is about “them”. Our government is so open, so public, which is a great right, but with that relative transparency comes the responsibility of publically saying what is what. To think that one is incapable of loving someone and yet fighting with them about what is wrong and what is right is to ignore the dynamics within all of our most intimate relationships.

    To say nothing or to do nothing in matters of federal, state and local government is to quietly endorse the outcome. This is what I am addressing on my side of this discussion.

  79. 79 Jason

    @R

    Thanks for the grace.

    “Why do we have to legislate their relationship to aberrant or deviant or non-traditional?”

    can you tell me of a law in which we don’t?

  80. Jason said:

    “can you tell me of a law in which we don’t?”

    Robert said:

    Well we aren’t talking about allowing murder or theft or graft….

    We’re talking about diminishing people because of who they want to love…. every fiber of who I am screams out at the injustice of that.

    Call me a Liberal if you like…I’ll wear it with pride…I am a born and bred Mass-hole after all…. I think you’ll find that i am far from alone…in this state anyway…

    R

  81. “To say nothing or to do nothing in matters of federal, state and local government is to quietly endorse the outcome.”

    We agree here then too. The omission of that stance in my comment wasn’t a suggestion to not take a stand in voicing our side and voting.

    I just think that regardless of what takes place and what laws end up getting on the books – there will still be people doing things that either are against said laws or against the Word of God that we need to reach out to.

    If all states made gay marriage illegal we will not have “won” or be able to sit back and celebrate…there’s still much to do.

  82. I beginning to wonder if there is any hope at all for people who come at the world from two different philosophies to ever find common ground and live together peacefully. 😦

    It makes me sad.

    R.

  83. Marriage between a man and woman is scared. It’s….natural. It serves a purpose. They can procreate. Not all do, not all can. But a gay couple NEVER can. Does not mean they don’t love each other? I’m sure they do! And being against gay marriage does not diminish that.

    I’m just as much against their argument of wanting equal tax benefits and rights as a heterosexual married couple. Why? The couple down the street, who are not married but have been living together for years, has the same rights as the gay couple does. They’re not fussing about it. So should we abolish marriage all together so everyone stands on equal ground then?
    Or am I WAAYYYY out of my league here? You can tell me, I can handle it 😉

  84. I’m sure Vinny will have lots to add to this discussion when he gets home from the other house…he’s working hard over there today!

    R, it makes me sad too

  85. Tam said:

    “They’re not fussing about it. So should we abolish marriage all together so everyone stands on equal ground then?”

    Robert says:

    😦

    I’m done….

  86. Seriously R? I’m just saying that is an argument for their side. And it has always struck me as interesting. They have the same rights as any and all other non married couples have. Am I incorrect?

    I didn’t mean to make you 😦

    I was simply asking a question

  87. Tam

    Non-married hetero couples have the RIGHT to have their UNION state sanctioned…if they choose.

    In all but ONE state a gay couples have no such legal protections.

    If my cousin and her spouse didn’t live in Mass…they wouldn’t have been able to adopt their daughter TOGETHER…which IS important if one of them dies!

    If the word marriage is the hang up here fine….call it a civil union but do it FOR all couples….you want a marriage go to a church. Churches are well within their right to decide who they’ll marry.

    R.

  88. 88 Jason

    @R

    “I think you’ll find that i am far from alone…in this state anyway…”

    Now, me, on the other hand…

    “Well we aren’t talking about allowing murder or theft or graft….”

    Which is actually my point. There are no laws which are not based on traditional concepts of deviant or non-traditional. The above especially egregious issues are, of course, virtues in different cultures and in different circumstances based on their own concepts of deviance or non-traditional-ness.

    “We’re talking about diminishing people because of who they want to love”

    I believe that that is what you think. I don’t believe you are decorating your words at all. But what we are actually talking about is the completely innovative legistlation (ajudication everwhere except for NH, who are we kidding, not even the flake-city Beacon Hill has the pair to do anything but duck and dodge.) by which a previously non-extant cultural custom is not diminished but superfically inflated to a status of societal convention and official covenant. We all see and experience things in the sample size of one, but this just isn’t what we are talking about. We are talking about much broader concepts than this

    And Tam is quite right in her view to the sample size one. That truth nearly always gets lost in this discussion.

  89. 89 Jason

    @R,

    From the slippery slope department

    “Churches are well within their right to decide who they’ll marry”

    Actually look to Canada to see how far your tolerance will reach. Soon the word of God itself will be hate speech. Oh well, Nero, Domitian, Decius…Mao…Stalin…Dawkins..

    who can’t see it coming?

  90. 90 Jason

    As well, Robert, you are still arguing that the government should extend benefits to people just because they feel that they should. There is a logical relationship between a man and a woman. Whether you are a 6 day-er or unabashed materialist, this is the unavoidable conclusion. I certainly don’t deny that people have strong, strong feelings for someone of the same sex, but seriously, feelings are not a reason to legistlate. Perhaps we should explore the idea that it is a civil rights matter, because “they wanna” just isn’t a good reason.

    This is not an argument for anything other than what-about-me.

  91. I receive what you’re saying Robert.

    And thanks for not being “done” 😉

  92. 92 Jason

    “If my cousin and her spouse didn’t live in Mass…they wouldn’t have been able to adopt their daughter TOGETHER…which IS important if one of them dies”

    This is a bit of a red herring.

    I could name my next door neighbor the guardian of my child if I did so in a legal document.

  93. 93 Jason

    man am I ever a post hog.

    R “I beginning to wonder if there is any hope at all for people who come at the world from two different philosophies to ever find common ground and live together peacefully”

    It gives me no pleasure but I am quite certain you are on to something.

  94. “I could name my next door neighbor the guardian of my child if I did so in a legal document.”

    J, I was curious about that too. If the unmarried man and woman down the road decided to adopt, one still could right? So then, would the other “parent” have to have some sort of legal documentation giving him or her rights to the child if the adopter (sp?) passes on?

    I don;t know this stuff well…maybe i should bow out 😉

  95. 95 Jason

    “If the unmarried man and woman down the road decided to adopt, one still could right?”

    Absolutely. Homosexual couples have been doing this for a while, one adopts, then the other does as well, establishing dual legal guardianship. It is more clumsy than married heterosexual couples, to be sure, but it has been happening for some time now.

  96. Catching up with this topic I really like Robert’s suggestion that the Gov’t stay out of the marriage business.

    The subject of adoption, that Jason just mentioned is one.

    I don’t think the gender of the couple who wanted to adopt a child should be a factor. My perception has been that people who believe in God and the words in the bible would view this as wrong.

    Another place where the Gov’t does have to define what constitutes a “married” could is the martial deduction for income tax. My limited understanding of tax law is that a gay couple can’t claim this deduction now.

    I believe the income rates should be the same for every individual who is receiving income, with a deduction for a stay at home spouse.

    I can’t think of any other area where the Gov’t would need to have laws that define marriage.

  97. My favorite science blog, Science Daily, had a story back on Jan 25th about a breakthrough in HIV research.

    Since both gay and straight couples can transmit the virus any laws that only address gay couples will not be effective in slowing the spread of the disease. Medical science is finding the answer.

    From the article:

    “In a study that could open up the field of virology to an entirely new suite of possibilities and that paves the way for future drug research, scientists at Rockefeller University and the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center have pinned down a molecule on the surface of human cells that helps keep particles of mutant strains of HIV from spreading. Rather than floating off to infect more cells, the protein contains the virus particles by keeping them attached to the parent cell’s outer membrane, as if stuck there with glue.”

  98. 98 Jason

    @Ed,

    “Catching up with this topic I really like Robert’s suggestion that the Gov’t stay out of the marriage business.”

    That’s interesting, it’s a shame I missed that quote, because the whole debate is a push for the government to be MORE involved in marriage.

    hmmm, more incongruencies…

  99. Alright, I just had a long comment posted and it got lost..suck!

    Anyway…

    Robert, in your response to me, you said this…

    “Think about what you are saying. You are allowing a majority to dictate the definition of civil rights to a minority…I’m sorry but can you not see the danger in such a proposition?”

    Here’s the thing, this IS our political process. We vote and majority wins. Majority is in control for a period of time and places their politics into play, then the next election comes around and something else happens. It can be dangerous when abused, but it is what is happening everyday.

    I do understand the fear of this. It’s what Christians fight against all the time. We fear our rights being taken away. We fear being silenced from freedom of speech. I understnad the fear. But I don’t have a choice. if the majority votes against me, that is what happens. Now for me, it would be taking away something. for a homosexual it is the fight to get something added or redefined so as to allow it. this is a harder fight in my opinion, because there are people who live by tradition and tha majority is still very resistant.

    Now, can we of different philosophies find common ground…probably not. BUT, can we live together peacefully…ABSOLUTELY. My duty as a Christian is never to condemn. I will discuss and I will profess, but when the rubber hit the road, I am to love. Ric and Tam brought this up and I think they are right. there is a time to lay down the discussion and just care.

    the political process is maddening, because everyday, I choose to either vote or profess my beliefs or not to be nice to others. I will inevitably draw a line and I will be faithful to my God.

    I don’t wish for any to be segregated or disallowed. I understand the freedoms that we Americans have to create the society we want to live in. I truly think however, that our nations fathers had zero idea of what we would be debating today. Their number one issue was to be allowed to live and worship the way they wanted and not to be told how to live or worship by the state. Let us be reminded also that the separation of church and state was not created to keep the church out of the state’s business, it was to keep the state out of the churches business.

    Ed syas,

    “Since both gay and straight couples can transmit the virus any laws that only address gay couples will not be effective in slowing the spread of the disease. Medical science is finding the answer.”

    It would be horrid to pinpoint a facet of society and place laws on them based on a fear. I don’t think this is happening though. I do hope, regardless of gay or straight, that their will be a cure for aids.

    also,

    “Another place where the Gov’t does have to define what constitutes a “married” could is the martial deduction for income tax. My limited understanding of tax law is that a gay couple can’t claim this deduction now.”

    I think if all “marriages” were taken back to being seen as civil unions in the states eyes, this would solve that issue.

  100. I said… ““the United States, along with the World, were founded on Godly principle…”

    Robert said:

    Well then I must be reading a different Constitution than you….
    Sorry I just got home and haven’t been able to respond til now…but Robert….please don’t take this as an insult, but after knowing you for a bit now, that comment was shallow for a man of your caliber….you’re saying because the word God is not in the constitution, our country was not founded on Godly principle? Sorry, but that’s just plain not true…you’ve inspired my next blog…there was and is God all over our country!

  101. Gods Gal said:

    “you’re saying because the word God is not in the constitution, our country was not founded on Godly principle?”

    Robert says

    I’m sorry you think what is somehow offensive or beneath my caliber.

    But my FULL point remains…for more than 1700 years Christendom regarded the divine right of kings as sacred or preferred. THEN when a bunch of New World revolutionaries got the idea from John Locke that maybe just MAYBE a people CAN form a representative form of government….somehow God is given the credit? How does that follow?

    Yes people can THINK it was divine act of God that created the United States…but I don’t see compelling evidence to support that.

    It seems much more apparent to me the the founders saw dangers of intertwining religion and state-craft and created a secular document (the US Constitution) to guarantee free exercise of religion while not allowing one religion become preferred.

    I’ve read much of Thomas Jefferson’s writings he did indeed greatly revere and respect Jesus but he DID NOT see him as divine. Which was the case with many of the founders.

    R.

  102. Deb and Robert, I think you guys are misunderstanding each other.

    So for the sake of clarification and peace 🙂

    Deb’s point is NOT that God created the US or that the constitution is even a set of Christian principles. Her point is that the principles of the US were most definitely Godly in nature. If you look through the constitution and the equality of man and the created individual those are very much Godly principles. Does that make them Christian…not necessarily, but they do align with God’s principles.

  103. inWorship said:

    “If you look through the constitution and the equality of man and the created individual those are very much Godly principles. Does that make them Christian…not necessarily, but they do align with God’s principles.”

    Robert says

    This godless atheist can live with that! 😉

    Sorry Debs if I misunderstood you!

    R.

  104. “I’ve read much of Thomas Jefferson’s writings he did indeed greatly revere and respect Jesus but he DID NOT see him as divine. Which was the case with many of the founders.”

    ooooo, can’t agree there….by beneath your caliber, I meant unresearched to your usual degree…I hope that came clear… I also don’t agree with your theory on why God was left out of the constitution….have you read the State Constitutions lately?

    Alabama

    Preamble:
    We, the people of the State of Alabama, in order to establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish the following Constitution and form of government for the State of Alabama:

    Section 1:
    That all men are equally free and independent; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    Section 186, witness oath:
    “… so help me God.”

    Section 279, oath of office:
    “So help me God.”

    ——————————————————————————–

    Alaska

    Preamble:
    We the people of Alaska, grateful to God and to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land, in order to secure and transmit to succeeding generations our heritage of political, civil, and religious liberty within the Union of States, do ordain and establish this constitution for the State of Alaska.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Arizona

    Preamble:
    We, the people of the State of Arizona, grateful to Almighty God for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Arkansas

    Preamble:
    We, the People of the State of Arkansas, grateful to Almighty God for the privilege of choosing our own form of government; for our civil and religious liberty; and desiring to perpetuate its blessings, and secure the same to our selves and posterity; do ordain and establish this Constitution.

    Article 2, Section 24:
    All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences;

    Article 19:
    No person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in the civil departments of this State, nor be competent to testify as a witness in any Court.

    Terminus:
    … in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy four …

    ——————————————————————————–

    California

    Preamble:
    We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure and perpetuate its blessings, do establish this Constitution.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Colorado

    Preamble:
    We, the people of Colorado, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, in order to form a more independent and perfect government; establish justice; insure tranquillity; provide for the common defense; promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the “State of Colorado”.

    Article 5, Section 45:
    … in the year of our Lord 1885 …

    Terminus:
    … in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-six …

    ——————————————————————————–

    Connecticut

    Preamble:
    The People of Connecticut acknowledging with gratitude, the good providence of God, in having permitted them to enjoy a free government; do, in order more effectually to define, secure, and perpetuate the liberties, rights and privileges which they have derived from their ancestors; hereby, after a careful consideration and revision, ordain and establish the following constitution and form of civil government.

    Article 11, Section 1, oath of office:
    … So help you God.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Delaware

    Preamble:
    Through Divine goodness, all men have by nature the rights of worshiping and serving their Creator according to the dictates of their consciences, of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring and protecting reputation and property, and in general of obtaining objects suitable to their condition, without injury by one to another; and as these rights are essential to their welfare, for due exercise thereof, power is inherent in them; and therefore all just authority in the institutions of political society is derived from the people, and established with their consent, to advance their happiness; and they may for this end, as circumstances require, from time to time, alter their Constitution of government.

    Article 1, Section 1:
    Although it is the duty of all men frequently to assemble together for the public worship of Almighty God; and piety and morality, on which the prosperity of communities depends, are hereby promoted; yet no man shall or ought to be compelled to attend any religious worship, to contribute to the erection or support of any place of worship, or to the maintenance of any ministry, against his own free will and consent;

    Article 5, Section 2:
    … in the year of our Lord, Nineteen Hundred …

    Article 14, Section 1, oath of office:
    “… so help me God.”

    Terminus:
    … in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Ninety-Seven …

    ——————————————————————————–

    Florida

    Preamble:
    We, the people of the State of Florida, being grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty, in order to secure its benefits, perfect our government, insure domestic tranquility, maintain public order, and guarantee equal civil and political rights to all, do ordain and establish this constitution.

    Article 2, Section 5, oath of office:
    “So help me God.”

    ——————————————————————————–

    Georgia

    Preamble:
    To perpetuate the principles of free government, insure justice to all, preserve peace, promote the interest and happiness of the citizen and of the family, and transmit to posterity the enjoyment of liberty, we the people of Georgia, relying upon the protection and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish this Constitution.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Hawaii

    Preamble:
    We, the people of Hawaii, grateful for Divine Guidance, and mindful of our Hawaiian heritage and uniqueness as an island State, dedicate our efforts to fulfill the philosophy decreed by the Hawaii State motto, “Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono.”

    Article 7, Section 13:
    Bonds issued by or on behalf of the State or by any political subdivision to meet appropriations for any fiscal period in anticipation of the collection of revenues for such period or to meet casual deficits or failures of revenue, if required to be paid within one year, and bonds issued by or on behalf of the State to suppress insurrection, to repel invasion, to defend the State in war or to meet emergencies caused by disaster or act of God.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Idaho

    Preamble:
    We, the people of the State of Idaho, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and promote our common welfare do establish this Constitution.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Illinois

    Preamble:
    We, the People of the State of Illinois – grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberty which He has permitted us to enjoy and seeking His blessing upon our endeavors – in order to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the people; maintain a representative and orderly government; eliminate poverty and inequality; assure legal, social and economic justice; provide opportunity for the fullest development of the individual; insure domestic tranquility; provide for the common defense; and secure the blessings of freedom and liberty to ourselves and our posterity – do ordain and establish this Constitution for the State of Illinois.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Indiana

    Preamble:
    TO THE END, that justice be established, public order maintained, and liberty perpetuated; WE, the People of the State of Indiana, grateful to ALMIGHTY GOD for the free exercise of the right to choose our own form of government, do ordain this Constitution.

    Article 1, Section 1:
    WE DECLARE, That all people are created equal; that they are endowed by their CREATOR with certain inalienable rights;

    Article 1, Section 2:
    All people shall be secured in the natural right to worship ALMIGHTY GOD, according to the dictates of their own consciences.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Iowa

    Preamble:
    WE THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF IOWA, grateful to the Supreme Being for the blessings hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on Him for a continuation of those blessings, do ordain and establish a free and independent government, by the name of the State of Iowa, the boundaries whereof shall be as follows:

    Article 9, Part 2, Section 3:t 2, Section 3:
    … in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-one …

    ——————————————————————————–

    Kansas

    Preamble:
    We, the people of Kansas, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious privileges, in order to insure the full enjoyment of our rights as American citizens, do ordain and establish this constitution of the state of Kansas, with the following boundaries, to wit:

    Bill of Rights, Section 7:
    The right to worship God according to the dictates of conscience shall never be infringed;

    ——————————————————————————–

    Kansas

    Preamble:
    We, the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties we enjoy, and invoking the continuance of these blessings, do ordain and establish this Constitution.

    Section 1, Clause 2:
    The right of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of their consciences.

    Section 228, oath of office:
    … so help me God.

    Section 232:
    The manner of administering an oath or affirmation shall be such as is most consistent with the conscience of the deponent, and shall be esteemed by the General Assembly the most solemn appeal to God.

    Terminus:
    … in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-one …

    ——————————————————————————–

    Louisiana

    Preamble:
    We, the people of Louisiana, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political, economic, and religious liberties we enjoy, and desiring to protect individual rights to life, liberty, and property; afford opportunity for the fullest development of the individual; assure equality of rights; promote the health, safety, education, and welfare of the people; maintain a representative and orderly government; ensure domestic tranquility; provide for the common defense; and secure the blessings of freedom and justice to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution.

    Article 10, Section 30, oath of office:
    “… so help me God.”

    ——————————————————————————–

    Maine

    Preamble:
    We the people of Maine, in order to establish justice, insure tranquility, provide for our mutual defense, promote our common welfare, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of liberty, acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe in affording us an opportunity, so favorable to the design; and, imploring God’s aid and direction in its accomplishment, do agree to form ourselves into a free and independent State, by the style and title of the State of Maine and do ordain and establish the following Constitution for the government of the same.

    Article 1, Section 3:
    All individuals have a natural and unalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences, and no person shall be hurt, molested or restrained in that person’s liberty or estate for worshipping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of that person’s own conscience, nor for that person’s religious professions or sentiments, provided that that person does not disturb the public peace, nor obstruct others in their religious worship;

    Article 9, Section 1, oath of office
    “So help me God.”

    Article 9, Section 1, alternative oath of office
    “So help me God.”

    ——————————————————————————–

    Maryland

    Preamble:
    We, the People of the State of Maryland, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberty, and taking into our serious consideration the best means of establishing a good Constitution in this State for the sure foundation and more permanent security thereof, declare:

    Declaration of Rights, Article 36:
    That as it is the duty of every man to worship God in such manner as he thinks most acceptable to Him, all persons are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty; … nor shall any person, otherwise competent, be deemed incompetent as a witness, or juror, on account of his religious belief; provided, he believes in the existence of God, and that under His dispensation such person will be held morally accountable for his acts, and be rewarded or punished therefor either in this world or in the world to come.

    Nothing shall prohibit or require the making reference to belief in, reliance upon, or invoking the aid of God or a Supreme Being in any governmental or public document, proceeding, activity, ceremony, school, institution, or place.

    Declaration of Rights, Article 37:
    That no religious test ought ever to be required as a qualification for any office of profit or trust in this State, other than a declaration of belief in the existence of God; nor shall the Legislature prescribe any other oath of office than the oath prescribed by this Constitution.

    Declaration of Rights, Article 39:
    That the manner of administering an oath or affirmation to any person, ought to be such as those of the religious persuasion, profession, or denomination, of which he is a member, generally esteem the most effectual confirmation by the attestation of the Divine Being.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Massachusetts

    Preamble:
    We, therefore, the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the goodness of the great Legislator of the universe, in affording us, in the course of His providence, an opportunity, deliberately and peaceably, without fraud, violence or surprise, of entering into an original, explicit, and solemn compact with each other; and of forming a new constitution of civil government, for ourselves and posterity; and devoutly imploring His direction in so interesting a design, do agree upon, ordain and establish the following Declaration of Rights, and Frame of Government, as the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

    Part 1, Article 2:
    It is the right as well as the duty of all men in society, publicly, and at stated seasons to worship the Supreme Being, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe. And no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his person, liberty, or estate, for worshipping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience;

    Chapter 5, Section 1, Article 1:
    Whereas our wise and pious ancestors, so early as the year one thousand six hundred and thirty-six, laid the foundation of Harvard College, in which university many persons of great eminence have, by the blessing of God, been initiated in those arts and sciences, which qualified them for public employments, both in church and state: and whereas the encouragement of arts and sciences, and all good literature, tends to the honor of God, the advantage of the Christian religion, and the great benefit of this and the other United States of America …

    Chapter 6, Article 1:
    “So help me, God.”

    Chapter 6, Article 10:
    … in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-five …

    Chapter 6, Article 12:
    … in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven …

    … in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven …

    Amendments, Article 6, oath of office:
    “So help me God.”

    Amendments, Article 11:
    As the public worship of God and instructions in piety, religion and morality, promote the happiness and prosperity of a people and the security of a republican government;

    ——————————————————————————–

    Michigan

    Preamble:
    We, the people of the State of Michigan, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of freedom, and earnestly desiring to secure these blessings undiminished to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution.

    Article 1, Section 4:
    Every person shall be at liberty to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Minnesota

    Preamble:
    We, the people of the state of Minnesota, grateful to God for our civil and religious liberty, and desiring to perpetuate its blessings and secure the same to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution.

    Article 1, Section 16:
    The right of every man to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience shall never be infringed;

    ——————————————————————————–

    Mississippi

    Preamble:
    We, the people of Mississippi in convention assembled, grateful to Almighty God, and invoking his blessing on our work, do ordain and establish this constitution.

    Article 4, Section 40, oath of office:
    “So help me God.”

    Article 6, Section 155, oath of office:
    “So help me God.”

    Article 14, Section 268, oath of office:
    “So help me God.”

    ——————————————————————————–

    Missouri

    Preamble:
    We the people of Missouri, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and grateful for His goodness, do establish this constitution for the better government of the state.

    Article 1, Section 5:
    That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences;

    ——————————————————————————–

    Montana

    Preamble:
    We the people of Montana grateful to God for the quiet beauty of our state, the grandeur of our mountains, the vastness of our rolling plains, and desiring to improve the quality of life, equality of opportunity and to secure the blessings of liberty for this and future generations do ordain and establish this constitution.

    Article 3, Section 3, oath of office:
    “… (so help me God).”

    ——————————————————————————–

    Nebraska

    Preamble:
    We, the people, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, do ordain and establish the following declaration of rights and frame of government, as the Constitution of the State of Nebraska.

    Article 1, Section 4:
    All persons have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Nevada

    Preamble:
    We the people of the State of Nevada Grateful to Almighty God for our freedom in order to secure its blessings, insure domestic tranquility, and form a more perfect Government, do establish this Constitution.

    Article 15, Section 2, oath of office:
    … so help me God.

    Terminus:
    … in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Sixty Four …

    ——————————————————————————–

    New Hampshire

    Part 1, Article 5:
    Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and reason; and no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his person, liberty, or estate, for worshipping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience;

    Part 2, Article 84, oath of office:
    So help me God.

    ——————————————————————————–

    New Jersey

    Preface:
    … in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and forty-seven.

    Preamble:
    We, the people of the State of New Jersey, grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and transmit the same unimpaired to succeeding generations, do ordain and establish this Constitution.

    Article 1, Section 3:
    No person shall be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshipping Almighty God in a manner agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience;

    Article 8, Section 2:
    Nor shall anything in this paragraph contained apply to the creation of any debts or liabilities for purposes of war, or to repel invasion, or to suppress insurrection or to meet an emergency caused by disaster or act of God.

    Article 10, Clause 5:
    … in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and forty-eight.

    ——————————————————————————–

    New Mexico

    Preamble:
    We, the people of New Mexico, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty, in order to secure the advantages of a state government, do ordain and establish this constitution.

    Article 2, Section 11:
    Every man shall be free to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and no person shall ever be molested or denied any civil or political right or privilege on account of his religious opinion or mode of religious worship.

    ——————————————————————————–

    New York

    Preamble:
    We The People of the State of New York, grateful to Almighty God for our Freedom, in order to secure its blessings, DO ESTABLISH THIS CONSTITUTION.

    ——————————————————————————–

    North Carolina

    Preamble:
    We, the people of the State of North Carolina, grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations, for the preservation of the American Union and the existence of our civil, political and religious liberties, and acknowledging our dependence upon Him for the continuance of those blessings to us and our posterity, do, for the more certain security thereof and for the better government of this State, ordain and establish this Constitution.

    Article 1, Section 1:
    We hold it to be self-evident that all persons are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, the enjoyment of the fruits of their own labor, and the pursuit of happiness.

    Article 1, Section 13:
    All persons have a natural and inalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences, and no human authority shall, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience.

    Article 6, Section 7, oath of office:
    “… so help me God.”

    Article 6, Section 8:
    The following persons shall be disqualified for office:

    First, any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God.

    ——————————————————————————–

    North Dakota

    Preamble:
    We, the people of North Dakota, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, do ordain and establish this constitution.

    Article 11, Section 4, oath of office:
    “… so help me God.”

    ——————————————————————————–

    Ohio

    Preamble:
    We, the people of the State of Ohio, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and promote our common welfare, do establish this Constitution.

    Article 1, Section 7:
    All men have a natural andle right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience.

    Terminus:
    … in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one …

    ——————————————————————————–

    Oklahoma

    Preamble:
    Invoking the guidance of Almighty God, in order to secure and perpetuate the blessing of liberty; to secure just and rightful government; to promote our mutual welfare and happiness, we, the people of the State of Oklahoma, do ordain and establish this Constitution.

    Terminus:
    … in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and seven …

    ——————————————————————————–

    Oregon

    Article 1, Section 2:
    All men shall be secure in the Natural right, to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Pennsylvania

    Preamble:
    WE, the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and humbly invoking His guidance, do ordain and establish this Constitution.

    Article 1, Section 3:
    All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences;

    Article 1, Section 4:
    No person who acknowledges the being of a God and a future state of rewards and punishments shall, on account of his religious sentiments, be disqualified to hold any office or place of trust or profit under this Commonwealth.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Rhode Island

    Preamble:
    We, the people of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and to transmit the same, unimpaired, to succeeding generations, do ordain and establish this Constitution of government.

    Article 1, Section 3:
    Whereas Almighty God hath created the mind free; … and that every person shall be free to worship God according to the dictates of such person’s conscience, and to profess and by argument to maintain such person’s opinion in matters of religion;

    Article 3, Section 3, oath of office:
    So help you God.

    ——————————————————————————–

    South Carolina

    Preamble:
    We, the people of the State of South Carolina, in Convention assembled, grateful to God for our liberties, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the preservation and perpetuation of the same.

    Article 3, Section 26, oath of office:
    “So help me God.”

    Article 6, Section 5, oath of office:
    “So help me God.”

    Terminus:
    … in the year of our Lord, one thousand Eight hundred and Ninety-five.

    ——————————————————————————–

    South Dakota

    Preamble:
    We, the people of South Dakota, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberties, in order to form a more perfect and independent government, establish justice, insure tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and preserve to ourselves and to our posterity the blessings of liberty, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the state of South Dakota.

    Article 3:
    The right to worship God according to the dictates of conscience shall never be infringed.

    Article 21, Section 1:
    Properly divided between the upper and lower edges of the circle shall appear the legend, “Under God the People Rule” which shall be the motto of the state of South Dakota.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Tennessee

    Preamble:
    … in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-six …

    … in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-three …

    … in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-four …

    … in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-five …

    … in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-nine …

    … in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy …

    Article 1, Section 2:
    That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience;

    Article 9, Section 1:
    Whereas ministers of the Gospel are by their profession, dedicated to God and the care of souls, and ought not to be diverted from the great duties of their functions; therefore, no minister of the Gospel, or priest of any denomination whatever, shall be eligible to a seat in either House of the Legislature.

    Article 9, Section 2:
    No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this state.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Texas

    Preamble:
    Humbly invoking the blessings of Almighty God, the people of the State of Texas, do ordain and establish this Constitution.

    Article 1, Section 6:
    All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences.

    Article 16, Section 1, oath of office:
    “… so help me God.”

    ——————————————————————————–

    Utah

    Preamble:
    Grateful to Almighty God for life and liberty, we, the people of Utah, in order to secure and perpetuate the principles of free government, do ordain and establish this CONSTITUTION.

    Terminus:
    … in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-five …

    ——————————————————————————–

    Vermont

    Chapter 1, Article 3:
    That all persons have a natural and unalienable right, to worship Almighty God, according to the dictates of their own consciences and understandings, as in their opinion shall be regulated by the word of God; … Nevertheless, every sect or denomination of Christians ought to observe the sabbath or Lord’s day, and keep up some sort of religious worship, which to them shall seem most agreeable to the revealed will of God.

    Article 2, Section 16, oath of office:
    So help you God.

    Article 2, Section 17, oath of office:
    So help you God.

    Article 2, Section 56, oath of office:
    So help you God.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Virginia

    Article 1, Section 17:
    That religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence;

    Article 2, Section 7, oath of office:
    “… (so help me God).”

    ——————————————————————————–

    Washington

    Preamble:
    We, the people of the State of Washington, grateful to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for our liberties, do ordain this constitution.

    ——————————————————————————–

    West Virginia

    No mention.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Wisconsin

    Preamble:
    We, the people of Wisconsin, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings, form a more perfect government, insure domestic tranquility and promote the general welfare, do establish this constitution.

    Article 1, Section 18:
    The right of every person to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of conscience shall never be infringed;

    ——————————————————————————–

    Wyoming

    Preamble:
    We, the people of the State of Wyoming, grateful to God for our civil, political and religious liberties, and desiring to secure them to ourselves and perpetuate them to our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution.

    Terminus:
    … in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-nine.

    Anyway, l’ll be posting here tomorrow or so….it will include language etc used and intended usage in that day….
    D

  105. GOOD LORD DEB!!!!

    Trying to make a point ?!?!?!

  106. 106 Jason

    You had me at “Connecticut”

  107. oopsies…I suppose I am, do you think it worked???? 😆

  108. Jason – HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Deb – Are you twirling your hair? Gee, I don’t think anyone noticed…

  109. Yes, Tam has taught me well….I’ll even bat my eyes if needed….

  110. Please don’t it would take too long…

  111. WOW!!!

    That is a lot of GOD!

    BUT!!! Did I mention ANYTHING about the states?

    I am referring to he US Constitution the document that DEFINES us as Americans .

    To be fair many delegates from the states were exceedingly pissed off about the secular nature of the Constitution…

    …so it’s understandable why STATE Constitutions would be laced with God references. Those are GOD references too….NOT Jesus references. So the God in question could be the Deist God or the Christian GOD.

    What I find most interesting is Massachusetts, the state that has done the most kick God out of it’s government has the most references! 😉

    R.

  112. Whew! It’s amazing where this thing went. As a citizen of the good ‘ol USA I think it should be the governments responsibility to protect and give opportunity for a decent life for all its citizens. Morals are morals no matter what your personal beleifs are. Unfortunately, it seems we as a people in general (not necessarily those who have posted here) are getting too far away from and/or forgetting about why this country was founded to begin with. Let’s face it, people are always going to disagree an certain issues and that is never going to change, but as fellow citizens we are all in this mess together and I fear if we aren’t careful we all might be in a world of crap sooner than we think.

    I am a Christian. I beleive in Christ as my Savior. I beleive it is real.

    I can not condemn anything. I can disagree but I still must love unconditionally regardless of where my own beleifs lie.

    One thing I am sure of

  113. And Brent wonders why I posted as much as I did…..sigh…

    You mentioned continuously about the US, is that not the states????? What I’m saying is you’re taking one document and saying that’s it, and I’m not going to get into that part here because it’s part of my next post…..I realize sometimes we have to digress to move forward, so I’ll go back farther and show you that the God they speak of is the Christian God…Jehovah, Yaweh…..

  114. One thing that I am sure of is if it ever comes down to the laws of man vs. the law of God.

    God wins

  115. Praise365: AMEN AND AMEN>>>>>
    One thing that I love about my brothers and sisters in Christ is their ability to love unconditionally….it’s one thing in my walk that I “learned by example”, and very thankful that I did. Thank you for your words….

  116. Scott – You are right on with love. I am going to be asking some questions about this soon.

    Deb – I will be anxious to read your post on the US and God.

  117. praise365, I do like that name because it states you live your beliefs every day of the year, as we all should.

    This may be way off topic but what I find interesting is how people of religious faith hijack everything that mankind has every done that is good by saying this is God will; and everything that mankind has ever done that is bad is due to man’s not following God’s will. Your God gets all the credit and non of the blame. It is impossible to lose any argument with that logic. 🙂

    I want the laws I have to live by to be based on reason and logic, as the “laws” of science are.

    I do appreciate that caring Christian’s like GG pray that someday I will find God.

    I would just prefer if “God” stayed out of my laws. 🙂

  118. “This may be way off topic but what I find interesting is how people of religious faith hijack everything that mankind has every done that is good by saying this is God will; and everything that mankind has ever done that is bad is due to man’s not following God’s will. Your God gets all the credit and non of the blame. It is impossible to lose any argument with that logic.”

    Hey Ed, I do see how this can be frustrating. Of course, we would have to define what is good. Of course the whole idea of God’s will and what is good is a big debate within Christian circles as well. the whole idea of evil is a discussion that I think we will go on till we see Him again one day and can ask Him directly. And yes, I do beleive that day is coming 🙂

  119. I would be very happy for you when, or as a non-believer I should if :), that day comes.

    If we both live by the standards we claim, your’s God’s will and mine based on reason, this world will be a better place.

    In that case how the law reads won’t matter too much.

  120. Ed, Tam and I are chatting and discussing your last sentence…

    “I would just prefer if “God” stayed out of my laws.”

    How would you see this playing out? How would God be “in your laws” in a way that it would infringe on your rights or philosophies?

  121. 121 Jason

    @Ed,

    “I would just prefer if “God” stayed out of my laws

    Ed, such logic runs in every direction, it only depends on what one purports to be their motivation. I would just prefer if “athiest materialists” stayed out of my laws.

    But so what? What does that mean? For instance almost nothing I have said through this entire thread has anything to do with this dead horse, but still you invite us to a dead horse kicking party over at your house.

    You have a god and he lives between your ears. This god is your own moral prime mover. Let’s keep unfolding and unfolding the reasoning behind each idea, law, or whatever instead pf presuming “God” is a problem, huh?

  122. Ed,
    I do think it’s possible to do good and not be in the “will of God.” I spent the majority of my life being a “basically” good person before I asked Christ into my heart. For me to think that God is even the slightest bit capable of being less than perfect isn’t even an option. I suspect that your feelings are the same about your own personal beliefs and I can respect that.

  123. out @ a poetry open mic… way funner than blogging (no offense implied… its me not you). Looks like y’all worked this out quite well. I should go out more often. I really like GG umm… body of evidence. I’m gonna have to cut-n-paste that one.

  124. I see the process I call reason and logic as being different then the process of seeking God’s guidance.

    For example, and I don’t mean to beat a dead horse, the clearest example I can think of right now is should gay couples be allowed to adopt.

    Using reason I don’t see where sexual orientation has anything to do with this question.

    Someone of religious faith would look to the words in the bible. If the bible, or their interpretation of the bible, indicate that the gay lifestyle is sinful then they will want the law to exclude gay couples from adoption. This exclusion is based solely on their interpretation of the bible.

    I want reason, not the words in the bible, to be the standard use in developing laws. Sometimes both these standards are the same, sometimes they are not.

  125. Hey Ed, not an argument here, but there is a lot of data that has been brought together to show that a mother and a father in a child’s life are beneficial. Would the studies showing this be ones that you would consider scientific and logical?

  126. Ric, I think she cut and pasted it as well 🙂

    So Ric, where do you live and where do you go to these open mic events. Man I would love stuff like that in our little town.

  127. I would want the process to included the evidence that is avaliable. I would see that as applying reason to the process.

  128. How would reason work into an outcome of “a father and a mother are better’?

    Are we to be more concerned over the adult or the child?

  129. I would look at the adopted children of gay couples.

    I would compare their behavior, in terms of being productive members of society, against the standard of our society for being good citizens.

    My perception, based on some articles I have read, is that the adopted children of gay couples are just productive members of society as those of straight couples. However, I have not seen any definitive analysis so understand I could be wrong.

  130. Ed, I assure you I am not trying to prove you wrong..I know you weren’t saying that, but I wanted to be clear.

    I believe that information on kids and heterosexual and homosexual relationships will be varying for some time. I don’t really think we have anything to firmly plant our feet on right now, because I think these things are too new to know…a part from our beliefs.

    It will be interesting to see what comes of all this over the next 10 years…

  131. Ric, yes, cut and paste is my friend……..

    Ed this caught me… “Your God gets all the credit and non of the blame. It is impossible to lose any argument with that logic.” First if it is logic to you, why is it not considered…isn’t that what the non-believer looks for? Secondly, what blame would you like Him to have? If He makes us do what we’re suppose to do….He’s controlling and merciless….yet if He gives us free will and man makes bad decisions, He’s not taking the blame for their actions. I’m not sure how it’s “suppose” to be from your statement….if you could please explain a little further..

  132. Thanks GG.

    B- I live near Annapolis Maryland. I go to poetry open mics in Washington and in Annapolis. I haven’t gone to downtown Baltimore yet. … we’ll see.

  133. Very cool Ric. I would love to be in a big city!

  134. Hey Ric, have you ever heard of National Community Church in DC?

    I’d be curious of hearing someones take on it.

  135. GG, If I say look at all the miracles of modern medicine as proof of reason and logic, you would say that’s just God’s will pointing the way.

    If I say all the wars fought in the name of God are proof that religious belief has a negative impact on society, you would say that’s man not following God’s will.

    No matter what I use as evidence to support my belief that reason and logic are better than God’s the guidance, you would say the good things are God’s will, and they bad things are simply man not following God’s guidance.

  136. I could honestly say Ed, that there is no reason or logic we could ever give you to believe in God. I know your not looking, but I would long for that kind of tangibility or at least a tangibility you seek, for you to see what I see.

  137. 137 Sean

    Sorry Ed. When we believe what we believe it creeps into all aspects of our lives! Whether it be political, history or how we go about everyday! hehe 😉

  138. 138 Sean

    Hey Ed, btw, I was wondering about where in CT you are? You can email me if you would like to answer, or not.

  139. True, Ed, I believe that man hasn’t even begun to tap into the mind of God, and He has given us some pretty powerful and wonderful solutions medically to help us survive in a fallen world…I also believe He can heal without a single one of them….

    Your second point tho…Do you have any idea how many scriptures there are on war/soldiers? I think it would completely blow your mind….I dont agree with your last statement….God’s will for humanity is always good….always has been. There really is nothing He can do after all He HAS done if man refuses to acknowledge Him…if He doesn’t exist, people can not blame Him, they (humanity) needs to take reponsibility then for their own outcomings which I find few are willing to do. Can you truly and honestly tell me that you are 100% content and happy with how your life is? and that you don’t blame God for certain things? If that is too personal, I understand, and don’t answer…but please think about it. 🙂

  140. Brent and Sean, this is why “debating” religious faith is not productive. That is why a discussion about religion, where I can gain a better understand of the world of religious faith, is productive.

  141. And vice versa Ed. it is a hard line to draw, while we are all hold our own convictions, we do wish to understand to find something common or at least be able to approach in a way that is understood.

  142. GG, I hope I am never 100% satisfied with my life. That would be too boring.

    I am as, no more, happy and contented with my life than at any time in my 60+ years.

    If I was any more thrilled with life I would explode. 🙂

  143. ooo Ed, mental picture……no exploding please! LOL

    I’ll believe that about 60%, I still think there’s the 40 or so that hasn’t been tapped into yet…. 😉 I’m nodding off…so I’ll see all ya good peoples tomorrow.

  144. You know,when Jesus was executed by the Romans at the behest of their imperial collaborators (the priests, scribes and elders) ‘god’ was very much a part of their laws, both Roman and Jewish. “Render under Caesar that which is Caesar’s” cuts both ways. Just as the when the Jewish religion collaborated with the ruling authorities there was a muddling of truth and conviction, the same thing can be said of today’s ‘official’ faith and government.

    I suggest that issues of faith be incidental in these elections. Let’s hear more about how the candidates feel about the Constitution.

  145. Christian I think if it politicians kept politics to the simplicity of our constitution, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

  146. Brent,

    I’ve gone to NCC’s coffee house, Ebenezers Coffee House, for a couple of poetry open mics. Ebenezers is pretty cool. I have not been to one of their worship services… yet. Stand by on that one.

    For what its worth, I would love to live in a small town again.

  147. “For what its worth, I would love to live in a small town again.”

    Isn’t this the way it is…the grass is always greener 🙂

  148. Ed,

    I know we really don’t know each other but as I read your comments and some of the responses, I feel as though I know of you though my own life experiences. I write about them sometimes and talk about them frequently. I was a atheistic most of my adult life and would have been quite happy to remain that way.

    One would think that I, a former atheist and lover of logic, would be able to explain God and faith to my cohorts… but I cannot. I think the dilemma is described/illustrated best in that movie Contact with Jodie Foster. Have you seen it?

    She played the part of a scientist and atheist. She needed tangible proof to believe something. No faith. When her mission apparently fails according to all eyewitnesses and all the data collected, she is in a quandry… She can tell them what happed during the same time frame as the falling of the “space ship” but she has no proof whatsoever. It is the poetic irony in the storyline for the very one who demands hard proof must ask others to believe her on faith.

    Anyway, Jodi’s character at the end of the movie… that’s me. She knows what she experienced is real and she has no way to prove it.

    I know what I know and I don’t know how I came about knowing it. One post where I attempt to “explain” yet again is titled The Atheist ‘n Me. I also write poetry about this like the one found on the Media link/tab(?).

  149. Ed, if you have a chance, I think you would really appreciate Ric’s poetry. I know I do.

  150. Whew boy. I once tried to start up a restaurant in a small town. What a struggle. There were people living in that town who had moved there over 20 years ago and they were still considered ‘newcomers’.

  151. Christian, our are here is heavily retail. I don’t know how they do it. There are so many restaurants and shops and stores. I am sure they are not doing to well profit wise.

  152. Christian, open up a cafe and host a poetry open mic. I’ll come and bring my groupies and we’ll eat an insane amount of food. Just keep me posted.

  153. 153 Ben N.

    This country was founded by people trying to escape religious persecution. These people wanted a government that would not control who or what they worshipped. From those origins came separation of church and state, an idea that many fundamentalists take as a very anti-Christian, atheist concept. This is simply not the case. The founding fathers, both Christian and atheists alike, agreed on this concept knowing that if the country was to be united its government would have to stay out of people’s personal decisions and not show preference to one religion or another.
    A presidential candidate’s personal faith shouldn’t even factor into his or her campaign. What the American public needs to do is stop looking at irrelevant issues such as faith. Does it really matter if McCain or Obama actually go to church every Sunday? Isn’t it more important to vote for a person who has actual plans to improve healthcare coverage, decrease national debt, get more funding to the public school system, quickly and effectively end the war, start rebuilding our economy and become, once again, a noble, benevolent world super power?
    Anyone who uses their religion to win votes is cheapening both our electoral process and their own faith.
    Just a thought.

  154. Ben, how are you?!? It’s great you came by here, thanks for getting involved.

    I agree with you here Ben. Seperation of church was created not to keep the church out of the state, but to keep the state out of the church.

    Another aspect of your comment is that faith is irrelevant in the political process. I agree if the political process is out for people’s best interest and if it is out to create better create for it’s people. The standards for the faith I have would treat our country this way and in this case then be relevant, but not necessary.

    Our government and our churches have failed in the political process. We have forced our opinions into both communities and they should not be there. Our country shouldn’t be determining morality, it should deal with things as you’ve mentioned. The care of it’s citizens. But in both sides attempts to lessen the “power” of the other, we have begun legislating morality and this is God’s job, not the governments.

    “Anyone who uses their religion to win votes is cheapening both our electoral process and their own faith.”

    I would agree with this. This idea pretty much started the thoughts in my head. I can’t believe that in most candidates, the “faith” card is only played for support.


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