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Rush Limbaugh’s Fourth Wedding, Featuring Elton John, Raises Questions About His Faith

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Here’s a belated story that has stirred up debate over the fluidity of political and religious labels: Rush Limbaugh, 59, an entertainer with a strong conservative Christian fan base, is now on his fourth marriage. To top that off, the wedding singer at last week’s luau-themed Florida ceremony was none other than Elton John, an out-and-proud entertainer whose fan base logically takes issue with Limbaugh’s political ideology, including his stance against gay marriage. (Four traditional marriages are still kosher.)

Some of Limbaugh’s Christian fans have expressed disappointment in what all this says about his character and family values.

Then again, Limbaugh isn’t a religious leader, or even particularly religious – GetReligion’s analysis points out that it’s laughable to even describe him as a “pious fellow,” although that’s how evangelical fans may think of him, according to Limbaugh biographer Zev Chafets.

Also, L.A. Times readers have decided that Elton John performing at Rush Limbaugh’s wedding reception was “cool,” as opposed to “not cool.” Phew. And, on a related note, it’s still Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. which seems to be tying in nicely with all sorts of religion news lately.

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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Grumpy Old Person

posted June 14, 2010 at 12:44 pm


“Some of Limbaugh’s Christian fans are expressing disappointment in what all this says about his character and family values.”
Limbaugh would need to HAVE am ounce of character before his “Christian fans” (?) could be disappointed in it.
CAPTCHA: “prejudge the”



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Mark Elsasser

posted June 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm


Limbaugh may not be particularly “pios”, but he does more to protect Christianity on a daily basis than most “Christians” will do in their lifetime.



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Padin

posted June 14, 2010 at 2:21 pm


Religion is the second most destructive force in the world. The Catholic religion committed wholesale genocide while forcing their warped view on Innocent victims,the Muslim religion simply murders everyone who disagrees with their evil outlook. Intelligent people everywhere avoid organized religion as fervently as they do any other facet of organized crime



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Scott Straley

posted June 14, 2010 at 2:31 pm


The politicizing of Christianity has deformed it into a vehicle of hatred. For Christians to even associate Rush Limbaugh with “Christian values” demonstrates how far behind Christianity has left Christ. How many times does Christianity have to lose its way? How many lives have to be destroyed while alleged Christians impose their so-called values? We had the Crusades, the intentional ignorance of the Holocaust, slavery, and the arrest, torture, and killing of people who fall outside of Christianity’s norms. Is this really what Christ came to do? Do you really see this as His legacy and mandate for us? Limbaugh and his followers — especially his Christian followers — have done far more damage to Christ than can be imagined.



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Mike Bratton

posted June 14, 2010 at 2:49 pm


Interesting, these quotes:
1) “Limbaugh… does more to protect Christianity on a daily basis than most ‘Christians’ will do in their lifetime.”
2) “Limbaugh and his followers — especially his Christian followers — have done far more damage to Christ than can be imagined.
Neither statement is accurate; both are hyperbolic. Mr. Limbaugh has never, to the best of my knowledge and research, made a public declaration of his personal, salvific faith in Jesus Christ. From the available evidence, there is no justification for considering Rush to be a Defender Of The Faith, since we do not know if he even shares it. I hope he does, but we just don’t know.
As for the fanciful notion that modern Christianity “has left Christ,” well, there’s no evidence sufficient to deal with anti-Christian bigotry–a change of heart in such a needed magnitude must be prompted by God rather than coaxed by mere humans. Using Rush as a stepping stone to hurl brickbats at believers? Not the move of someone interested in a discussion.
Oh, and by the way, I couldn’t agree more with the statement that organized religion is a massively destructive force. Thankfully, Christianity is the one belief system that is not a religion. It’s a relationship.
–Mike



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Don Colibri

posted June 14, 2010 at 2:51 pm


Rush Limbaugh is a political commentator who espouses “Conservative” views which includes family and cultural values including the value of rational religious practices. He is NOT a Christian clergyman nor a shill for the Christian faith and should never be judged as such. If he wishes to show tolerance for an individual’s right to hold minority views such as homosexuality, why then he should be commended for doing his part to break the endless partisan cycle of “cultural warfare” plaguing the country, not condemned by radical hate-mongers of either side.
It matters not what Elton John’s nor Rush Limbaugh’s so-called “fan base” believes, it is up to these two men to act according to what THEY personally believe. If Elton John’s fans can come to understand that a majority of people firmly believe that “gay marriage” is a biological impossibility (forget religion) and a majority of Limbaugh’s fans can come to understand that “tolerance” for others’ (even incorrect) views is noble thing, why then this world just might become a better place to live in.
And a correction to the wild ravings of “Padin”. The actual “most destructive force” in the world is the Atheist-Materialist Religion. During the past century alone, the various manifestations of this evil and fanatical religious philosophy (Marxism, Marxist-Leninism, State Socialism, National Socialism, Fascism, Social Dawinism, “Progressivism”, Ba’athism and so on) have managed to slaughter directly over ONE HUNDRED MILLION of our fellow citizens on this Earth as well as enslaving and/or imprisoning hundreds of millions, even billions more.
The Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Zionists and all the rest can’t even account for a small fraction of that total ……



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Heretic_for_Christ

posted June 14, 2010 at 3:02 pm


Scott,
Magnificent statement. A little extreme? Maybe, but only a little. And maybe we need an extreme statement here.
Mike,
I was sort of with you re: Scott’s statement being on the extreme side (though I agree with the substance of his remarks indicating that something is profoundly wrong, even if we can’t be certain about the extent and severity of that wrongness)…and then I come to your final statement, which I find preposterous. A relationship? Fine! I sense God as an inner spiritual presence, so all of us can have a “relationship” in that sense; but if that were the essence of Christianity, there would be no churches and no clergy, no doctrines and no creedal statements. Christianity is an enormous institution whose business is the peddling of doctrinal religion.



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Georgia Dude

posted June 14, 2010 at 3:04 pm


Limbaugh sucks! That’s the bottom line, because I say so.



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Heretic_for_Christ

posted June 14, 2010 at 3:15 pm


Don,
Newsflash! Atheism is not a religion, no matter how many Christian websites offer this nonsense as a talking point. Among atheists, some are as dogmatic as dogmatic believers, but that is not the essence of atheism.
Materialism… are you denouncing capitalism? The terms are not synonymous, but capitalism deals with the desire for material gain.
And as for the genocides of the past century: Communism took an officially atheist stance; Naziism did not. But in either case, the slaughters they brought about were not a function of atheism; they were a function of tyranny, militarism, and racism–all of which can be found among true believers as well as atheists. We may not think too highly of professed believers who espouse racist views, but do not pretend that they don’t exist. In contrast, the slaughters brought about in the name of religion were exactly that–a direct function of religion, in contrast to politically motivated slaughters, SOME of which were, coincidentally, committed by officially atheist tyrannies. So your attempt to compare numbers–who killed more people?–is meaningless. (Besides which, ask yourself: How can it be that a church that claims to represent God could commit ANY murders at all?)



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Bob Morazzi

posted June 14, 2010 at 3:18 pm


In support of Rush, I think he would say that he likes the singer as a singer but doesn’t necessarily agree with his lifestyle, just because he hired him to sing at the wedding.
Lighten up people.
If all Hollywood liberals were not supported because of their political beliefs, there would be a lot of starving actors.



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hawk

posted June 14, 2010 at 3:23 pm


I love elton Johns music but I wouldnt have dinner with him if he asked me to.



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Robert C

posted June 14, 2010 at 3:27 pm


1.)Intelligent people everywhere avoid organized religion as fervently as they do any other facet of organized crime
2.)The politicizing of Christianity has deformed it into a vehicle of hatred. For Christians to even associate Rush Limbaugh with “Christian values” demonstrates how far behind Christianity has left Christ.
3.)Christianity is an enormous institution whose business is the peddling of doctrinal religion
4.)because I say so
Despite my relatively uncomfortable opinion of Mr. Limbaugh, I must say the the aforementioned comments ranks as among the more puerile, silly and trite made since Barack’s rather childish opinion of the Gates arrest.



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Helen Ann

posted June 14, 2010 at 3:34 pm


Rush Limbaugh can have anyone he likes perform at his wedding. It’s none of anyone’s business. Why is this concept lost on people? Maybe he doesn’t give a crap about EJ’s sexual preference or politics within the context of hiring a great musician for his private ceremony. Suck it up, people. There are bigger things to worry about.



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pagansister

posted June 14, 2010 at 3:38 pm


And we care what Limbaugh does or says? He has always been, IMO, a huge waste of radio air and a waste of space. I actually tried to listen to him a couple of times, but couldn’t stand it….would have tossed the radio. Fortunately the station in my home town stopped buying his show…best move they ever made. He is no longer available. As to his 4th wedding and choice of singer? He’s got money and can hire anyone he wants….and his so called objection to homosexuals obviously had no influence on his choice of singer. I’m a fan of Elton …and have no problem with his sexual orientation. What’s the big deal?



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Don Colibri

posted June 14, 2010 at 3:42 pm


My dear “Heretic_for_Christ”, what you need to do is learn to use a good dictionary rather than simply lifting a definition out of context in order to pound home your incorrect point of view. In the words of Ross Geller, “you could not be more wrong, you could try, but you could not be…”
Atheism is the philisophical conviction that there cannot exist any supreme creator, intelligent design, point of ceation not any spiritual reality whatsoever. It is the absolute conviction of this based upon no scientific proof whatsoever, and in most cases the insistance that others accept this completely faith-based reality as well. It is absolutely a “religion” according to any definition from any dictionary on Earth.
Most of the philosophies which I named if not all, were based firmly upon an atheist fundamental “social dawinism” and all were implimenting the 19th century “scientific-materialist” basis of atheistic faith. (you need to look up ALL the definitions of “materialism” to free yourself of the incorrect idea that it somehow only means “capitalism”)
Anyway as far as: “How can it be that a church that claims to represent God could commit ANY murders at all?” You will have to ask the churches involved themselves, I identify myself as a “religious independent” for the very reason that I personally cannot reconcile your question either…..



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Kurt

posted June 14, 2010 at 4:48 pm


I would not have sex with either of them. I might go gay for John Corbett, tho. He’s delish!



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Heretic_for_Christ

posted June 14, 2010 at 4:51 pm


Don,
I know about a hundred atheists; very few fit the militant definition you have offered. Do you think Christianity should be defined in terms of its most extreme Bible-thumping, hellfire-screeching fundamentalists?
As for the definition of atheism, which you claim is a religion by any dictionary on Earth, a quick search of the term brings up definitions from the Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, Encyclopedia Britannica, and Merriam-Webster Dictionary, none of which classifies it as “a religion.” You are, of course, entitled to call it a religion, but it is not a religion—-not by formal definition, and not by usage. As I stated before, SOME atheists are as dogmatic as believers, but that is not the essence of atheism.
As for your claim that atheists cannot tolerate religious beliefs in other people, all the atheists I know shrug at faith and feel no calling to destroy it. They don’t care whether people believe in Jesus, Jupiter, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, as long as they don’t try to inflict their beliefs on others.
Concerning capitalism and materialism, perhaps you failed to note where I explicitly stated that the terms were not synonymous? More importantly, you characterize the military dictatorships of the 20th century as materialist-atheist; but linking these concepts into a single phrase is meaningless, because every social-political entity is materialist in some way (including the papacy, which at one time in history ruled over the “Papal States” and had its own military forces) but not every entity is atheist. Among the murderous dictatorships of the 20th century, some were atheist, others were not.
Now if we can get off of our respective high horses, I appreciate your intellectual self-disassociation from organized religion. I gave up on religion long ago, after attending churches for a few years, but it my case it was because I found church doctrine itself to be untenable.



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Grumpy Old Person

posted June 14, 2010 at 4:55 pm


@Mark Elsasser
June 14, 2010 1:50 PM
“Limbaugh may not be particularly “pios”, but he does more to protect Christianity on a daily basis than most “Christians” will do in their lifetime.”
What on earth does Christianity need ‘protection’ from?



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Your Name

posted June 14, 2010 at 5:08 pm


“If Elton John’s fans can come to understand that a majority of people firmly believe that “gay marriage” is a biological impossibility”
Poppycock, Don.
The implication of the words “biological impossibility” is that procreation is inherent, i.e. a requirement of marriage. Preposterous. It’s a stale old tired ‘argument’ – often nonsensiclly phrased as ‘The parts don’t fit’ -that doesn’t hold water.
FYI, I am married – legally, for more than 6 years now. Or is my “biology” a figment of my own imagination?
DO BETTER.



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John Shuey

posted June 15, 2010 at 8:04 am


From Don Colibri: “Atheism…is absolutely a “religion”…”
Poppycock! Atheism is a worldview that is grounded in evidence and/or lack thereof for any “creator god”. Religion, precisely because it completely lacks even the smallest modicum of empirical evidence, depends rather on “faith” for its very existence.
If Atheism is a religion, then bald is a hair color.



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Robert C

posted June 15, 2010 at 11:24 am


A few rejoinders after my morning coffee.
I’ve come to the conclusion after fighting for it for many years that gay marriage although anatomically ( rather than biologically ) possible is rather unnecessary.
As far as atheism is concerned, well its an ism with doctrine and dogma and has established its own body of faith and self designated ‘priests’. Oh yes. its a religion in the truest sense of the word.



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Heretic_for_Christ

posted June 15, 2010 at 12:20 pm


Robert C,
By all means, wrap yourself up in your comfortable assumptions–most people do that. But if you have a few moments to think about it….
1. Atheism does not have its own body of faith; it is, specifically, an orientation that eschews faith and seeks truth via evidence. Atheism may take the form “There are no gods” or “I don’t believe in any god.” The former position is assertive, but it is assertive of a negative; and most atheists, EXACTLY because they seek evidence, recognize that proving a negative is logically difficult. Therefore, most atheists I know take the latter position–disbelief until evidence of a god is produced. That is NOT a “body of faith.” The people who speak for atheism–usually, in response to efforts to “Christianize” America–are not priests, unless you use that religious title for anyone who expresses a point of view. Is every political commentator a priest for this or that position on the social-political spectrum? No? That’s right, they’re not. Neither are outspoken atheists. You also call atheism an “-ism” with doctrine and dogma. Is capitalism a religion? Is rationalism? Is socialism? All are “isms” with “doctrines” based on their respective world-views. But they are not religions. If you define religion so loosely as to include all “-isms,” then the only thing you have accomplished is to deprive the word of any distinctive meaning.
2. Is same-sex marriage “necessary”? I don’t know, Robert–is “equal rights under the law” a necessary thing, or should we just scrap that pesky 14th Amendment? Why should deep thinkers like you care whether gay people are treated the same as heterosexuals when it comes to laws and policies in which marital status is a key factor in determining rights and responsibilities pertaining to inheritance, insurance benefits, and tax-filing status? By all means, explain why such issues are unworthy of your august attention.



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Robert C

posted June 15, 2010 at 12:41 pm


so. You can babble on about atheism all you want. Still your opinion.
As for the marriage issue. Note I sated ‘marriage’. As a gay man I am pro for spousal rights rather than marriage.



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Grumpy Old Person

posted June 15, 2010 at 12:43 pm


Robert C,
“I’ve come to the conclusion after fighting for it for many years that gay marriage although anatomically ( rather than biologically ) possible is rather unnecessary.”
Then you’ve come to a faulty “conclusion”. Marriage establishes kinsihp where none existed prior to the marriage. During hospital visits/making end-of-life decisioinns, etc., the question of “Next of kin” arises. Without marriage, cay couples are literally legal strangers.
Besides, how else are we to achieve equal treatment before the law and realize those 1,176 Federal benefits – you know, the rights, the freedoms, the obligations, the responsibilities – that come with marriage if we can’t marry? “Civil” unions don’t provide them. “Domestic partnerships” don’t provide them. In fact, some States have changed their Constitutions to ensure that gay couples never get any of the ‘benefits that arise from marriage’ – regardless of what the relationship is actually called. Ergo, gay citizens are 2nd class citizens in America. They do not have the equal protections that the Constitution ‘promises’.
So, please explain exactly WHY you believe “gay marriage is not necessary”. We lesser citizens really would like to know.



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Grumpy Old Person

posted June 15, 2010 at 12:46 pm


Robert C,
“Note I sated ‘marriage’.”
Yes, we noted that. It doesn’t make a difference to your “conclusion”.
As for, “As a gay man I am pro for spousal rights rather than marriage.”
Well, Robert, you ain’t gonna GET spousal rights if you ain’t a spouse. DUH, as the kids used to say.



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Lary9

posted June 15, 2010 at 6:20 pm


Everyone acts surprised to discover that at its heart the Limbaugh phenomenon is all about performance. The man is passionately committed to orthodoxy in only one idea that I can discern—Rush Limbaugh.



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Robert C

posted June 16, 2010 at 6:30 pm


I have been busy elsewhere and have not had time to reply till now. Please forgive the lengthy post but it warrants clarification for those “lesser citizens” who usually refuse to open their eyes to a varying point of view. So pardon me for not acquiescing to the meanderings of the world according to Professor Grumpy, however I not so demurely disagree. After years of fighting the fight, and more recently participating in the Proposition 8 debacle in California, I have now reverted to my original belief and suggested strategy, once proposed to my fellows at The Equality Alliance. Let me attempt to explain it this way. I have a friend who is a total fashionista and label houndstress. Often she is like talking to a brick wall, especially when it comes to cloths labels. If it’s not Jimmy Choo or Donna Karan, she won’t wear it. She MUST HAVE that designer label. MUST! And she would rather remain barefoot than wear anything that doesn’t flash the brand name she covets. Well, personally I just want a damn pair of boots when winter’s coming. Wherever you want to purchase those boots is fine with me. They could be “Gap”, “Banana Republic”, “H&M”, or “Payless” and I couldn’t care less. My friend, however, has several wants, desires, and endgames going on…and unlike my rather practical one, hers are steeped in emotion. She adamantly refuses “to settle for anything less “than Dolce & Gabanna or “lower herself to wearing something off the rack”. It’s couture or nothing, baby, and she’s willing to keep posing at the cash register time and time again with armfuls of expensive threads knowing full well she’s going to have her credit card declined again, and again.
Let me also say that a good definition of insanity has always been ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’. The fact is that 31 states have voted on same-sex marriage at the ballot box, and all 31 states have rejected it. Granting fully the argument that proponents were slow to fight or didn’t choose to execute a compelling strategy, the endgame didn’t pan out. If the LGBTQ community wants to achieve parity as coupled men and coupled women, then the LGBTQ community has to understand what it is up against: a well-funded, clever, practiced machine of opposition that knows how to use the buzzwords “gay marriage”, “same-sex marriage”, and “gay marriage taught in schools” to energize the bigotry and fear in voters to defeat any LGBTQ measure built upon the “gay marriage” verbiage.
On the other hand, the terminology “civil unions” however, prompts the usual knee-jerk irrational reaction in the gay Left — because the low information contingent of the gay community starts shouting “separate water fountains” and “back of the bus” whenever “civil unions” are mentioned. The LGBTQ community comprises some of the most determined, unthinking copy machines imaginable. Once, “a friend of mine who is smart” tells them something is bad, like “civil unions”, and tells them “that’s like having a separate water fountain”, there will never be any way for you to get them to stop repeating that. I maintain that the only way to resolve the endless ballot box massacres is to stop using ALL emotionally charged words. Many have suggested “spousal rights” for this purpose, because ‘rebranding’ efforts like this have usually been successful every time they have been used (a la Patagonian Toothfish, which is now effectively marketed as Chilean Sea Bass). You could call it civil unions, civil partnerships, registered partnerships, domestic partnerships, significant relationships, reciprocal beneficiary relationships, common-law marriage, adult interdependent relationships, life partnerships, stable unions, civil solidarity pacts, whatever, in the greater scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter.
The endgame is that we want equal rights. Yet, Americans are easily manipulated by powerful and well-funding consulting firms each election…firms that make a lot of money to work a side of an issue. These consulting firms are so good at painting an unpalatable visual of “gay marriage” that it will never, ever pass on a ballot of its own…chiefly (and this gets everyone mad at me, but it’s true) because black /Hispanic voters in even the most blue of states will always be the spoiler on this issue. That’s what happened in California during the election in which California overwhelmingly elected Obama. The black/Hispanic community strongly cast ballots for him while preponderantly voting for proposition 8. Bigotry passed with flying colors, including the bigotry from the disingenuous Obama himself who remains opposed to ‘gay marriage’. There is an actual cottage industry of consultants who do nothing but move from state to state running essentially the same campaign to rile voters up to vote against LGBTQ equality. They focus on fear mongering involving parents and children, and driving
black / Hispanic voters out to gleefully cast their ballots to oppress and discriminate against gays. They are very, very effective…since they have, essentially, a well-tuned remote control that pushes buttons and gets the desired effect every time. All of this works so well because the LGBTQ community refuses to change their approach.
Grumpy rather plaintively states; “Then you’ve come to a faulty “conclusion” “. Well, au contraire, I don’t think so. I happen to synchronize completely with the solution proffered by Alan Dershowitz. http://www.rossde.com/editorials/Dershowitz_marriage.html
In which he concludes; “Those who oppose gay marriage believe deeply that marriage is sacreda divine, a blessed sacrament between man and woman as ordained in the Bible. If they are right, then the entire concept of marriage has no place in our civil society, which recognizes the separation between the sacred and the secular, between church and state………The state is, of course, concerned with the secular rights and responsibilities that are currently associated with the sacrament of marriage: the financial consequences of divorce, the custody of children, Social Security and hospital benefits, etc. The solution is to unlink the religious institution of marriage — as distinguished from the secular institution of civil union — from the state. Under this proposal, any couple could register for civil union, recognized by the state, with all its rights and responsibilities……In this way, gay couples would win exactly the same rights as heterosexual couples in relationship to the state. They would still have to persuade individual churches of their point of view, but that is not the concern of the secular state….. Although this proposal may sound radical, it does not differ fundamentally — except for labels — from the situation that exists in many states today.”
Labels? No Dolce and Gabbana here! That coming from a constitutional law professor makes eminent sense, since there is no such thing as a true ‘definition’ of marriage. It depends which culture, which time in history to which you refer. Even early Christian sects affirmed same sex relationships in a rite known as adelphopoiesis (brother-making), which can be argued was a type of early Christian same-sex union, reflecting certain views of tolerant early Christian attitudes toward homosexuality. So, I hope I have clarified the point for those “lesser citizens” if you are able to grasp these concepts.



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Heretic_for_Christ

posted June 16, 2010 at 9:16 pm


Quite some time, I made the same recommendation: Get government out of the “marriage” business, leaving that term with its sacramental connotations to the churches. “Civil union” or whatever other phrase seems apt would then be the legal basis for spousal rights; marriage in a church would encompass the legal union and add on its own sacramental decorations. I made this recommendation because government should not be in the sacrament business, whether we are talking about same-sex couples or opposite-sex couples.
Well, that’s nice in principle. The problem I see, however, is that the states that now have rejected same-sex marriage will similarly reject the idea of legal unions even though it is not called marriage and would not have churchly approval. The rhetoric of the right may talk about not sullying the sacred concept of marriage, but they will object to same-sex legal unions even though they are not called marriage–because they hate the idea of giving ANY recognition–governmental or churchly–to homosexuality. They will fight same-sex civil unions as fiercely as they have fought same-sex marriage. The word itself means zilch to them; they plain-and-simple hate homosexuality and will fight any attempt to legitimize it. They may piously reject the plain-spoken hatred of the Phelps clan’s charming “God hates fags” ministry, but their hostility is just as real even if less plainly spoken.
Here is another problem: at the state and local level, and at countless agencies, governmental and private, personal records are kept with the language of “marital status” as a key variable; so even if same-sex legal unions were accomplished, the right’s next ploy would be to fight against every claim made by a spouse in a same-sex legal union, and their argument would be that the language of the relevant documents or policies make no mention of “civil union” but only of “marriage.” So it would be necessary to pass laws in every state dictating that “civil unions” carry the same legal status (relating to inheritance rights, insurance coverage, end-of-life decisions, tax-filing status, etc) as “marriage” and that members of such unions are therefore entitled to the same treatment as members of a marriage. It would probably require a federal law enforced by virtue of the Constitution’s supremacy clause, and the far right (especially now, in the era of the Tea Party crazies) might be as prepared to have another civil war over this issue as they were over slavery a century and a half ago.
All of which is to say that campaigning for a change in terminology is probably not going to resolve the issue–because the issue is hatred, not word-definitions.



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Heretic_for_Christ

posted June 16, 2010 at 9:57 pm


Some time ago, I made the same recommendation: Get government out of the “marriage” business, leaving that term with its sacramental connotations to the churches. “Civil union” would then be the legal basis for spousal rights; marriage in a church would encompass the legal union and add on its own sacramental decorations. I made this recommendation because government should not be in the sacrament business, whether we are talking about same-sex couples or opposite-sex couples.
Well, that’s nice in principle. The problem I see, however, is that the states that now have rejected same-sex marriage will similarly reject the idea of legal unions even though it is not called marriage and would not have churchly approval–because they hate the idea of giving ANY recognition, governmental or churchly, to homosexuality. They will fight same-sex civil unions as fiercely as they have fought same-sex marriage. The word itself means zilch to them; they plain-and-simple hate homosexuality and will fight any attempt to legitimize it.
Here is another problem: at the state and local level, and at countless agencies, governmental and private, personal records are kept with the language of “marital status” as a key datum; so even if same-sex legal unions were allowed, the right’s next ploy would be to fight against every claim made by a spouse in a same-sex legal union, and their argument would be that the language of the relevant documents or policies make no mention of “civil union” but only of “marriage.” So it would be necessary to pass laws in every jurisdiction dictating that “civil unions” carry the same legal status (relating to inheritance rights, insurance coverage, end-of-life decisions, tax-filing status, etc) as “marriage” and that members of such unions are therefore entitled to the same treatment as members of a marriage. It would probably require a federal law enforced by virtue of the Constitution’s supremacy clause, and the far right (especially now, in the era of the Tea Party crazies) might be as prepared to have another civil war over this issue as they were over slavery a century and a half ago.
All of which is to say that campaigning for a change in terminology is probably not going to resolve the issue–because the issue is not word-definitions but hatred.



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Heretic_for_Christ

posted June 16, 2010 at 9:59 pm


Robert,
I have tried to respond (not disagreeing, but pointing out some difficulties), but the site is not allowing my comments (didn’t even use any bad language, either).



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Grumpy Old Person

posted June 17, 2010 at 11:32 am


HA. Ha. Ha.
Speaking of ““lesser citizens” who usually refuse to open their eyes to a varying point of view”, gay Americans know all too well about being treated as “lesser citizens”.
And, speaking of “meanderings”, that fashion analogy was so off track it was irrelevant, since being treated equally under the law has nothing to do with wants, desires or emotions, as you contend. It has to do with being equal citizens under the law.
“The fact is that 31 states have voted on same-sex marriage at the ballot box, and all 31 states have rejected it.”
That is indisputably a “fact”, Robert, but you miss the point that human rights (or, more appropriately in The Land Of The Free (TM), freedoms) should not be subjected to a popular vote to begin with.
“the LGBTQ community has to understand what it is up against: a well-funded, clever, practiced machine of opposition”
We’re well aware that we have to put up with a well-funded pack of liars, haters and religionistas that literally want us dead, nevermind equal before the law. Sorry, but I don’t find lying to be “clever”; I find it to be a sin – bearing false witness – to try to ensure 2nd clas treatment of the ‘other’.
““separate water fountains” and “back of the bus” whenever “civil unions” are mentioned.”
Those are pretty apt analogies, considering separate but ‘equal’ is never equal. In this case, it is demonstrably UN-equal (think – I know you can – of the 1,176 federal benefits that do not accrue to ‘civilly’ ‘unionized’ couples).
“You could call it civil unions, civil partnerships, registered partnerships, domestic partnerships, significant relationships, reciprocal beneficiary relationships, common-law marriage, adult interdependent relationships, life partnerships, stable unions, civil solidarity pacts, whatever, in the greater scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter.”
Correct. You COULD call it anything you want. It doesn’t matter which you choose, none will be correct. Not a single euphemism that you listed is an accurate description of the institution we wish to fully participate in – namely, marriage.
“The endgame is that we want equal rights. Yet, Americans are easily manipulated by powerful and well-funding consulting firms each election…firms that make a lot of money to work a side of an issue.”
Again, so very, very true. These manipulative ‘consulting firms’ ARE out to make a profit. The include the likes of the liars and haters at the “Family” “Research” Council, Let’s Focus on SOME People’s Fammilies, the American “Family” Association, etc., despite their “Christian” makeup.
And again, you are correct when you say that Americans ARE easily manipulated by lies. Odd, and I know you agree since you wrote, “These consulting firms are so good at painting an unpalatable visual of “gay marriage””. They must lie in order to ‘win’. And, again, like you said, “They focus on fear mongering”. Sad to see you wish to remain a part of that fear-mongering and lying.
But, like I said, you are correct that we all DO want equal rights. Strange that you fight against that outcome so vociferously.
You and Alan Dershowitz have mangled/bungled your ‘arguement’ …
“The solution is to unlink the religious institution of marriage — as distinguished from the secular institution of civil union — from the state.
It already IS ‘unlinked’. Religious people are free to go to their priest/rabbi/pastor/immam and participate in the institution of Holy Matrimony. Those that are not religious can be married at City Halls by Justices of the Peace (or by Elvis impersonators in Vegas after a 3-day drunk). The State, generously, bestows the power to clergy to unite people in marriage, using the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, which, btw, is equally seen by religious LGBT couples as a “sacred, divine, blessed sacrament”. Betterosexuals aren’t so special.
“Under this proposal, any couple could register for civil union,
recognized by the state, with all its rights and responsibilities.”

Two flaws: 1.) “Civil” unions do NOT come with “all [the] rights and responsibilities of marriage”. Perhaps if the anti-equality side hadn’t bungled in their creation of this separate-but-not-equal institution, you might have a point. But since they aren’t by any means “equal”, that’s a false premise.
2.) This “proposal” is/was unnecessary to begin with, since “any couple could register for” marriage – instead of a newly minted lesser institution – and still be “recognized by the state” – since we’d be MARRIED. DUH!
“In this way, gay couples would win exactly the same rights as heterosexual couples in relationship to the state.”
As, of course, we would “win exactly the same rights as heterosexual couples in relationship to the state” if we were allowed to get married.
“They would still have to persuade individual churches of their point of view”
Many churches (and synagogues too!!!) have already been so “persuaded”. Don’t you believe in freedom of religion?
So, no, you haven’t “clarified” your “point”. You’ve merely verbosely reiterated it. And it remains as faulty (and UN-Constitutional) as ever.
Signed,
A “lesser citizen”. (In your eyes, anyway, apparently.)



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Robert C

posted June 17, 2010 at 1:36 pm


Well actually, in a democracy the majority has a certain control of “rights”. What you believe as being ‘equal rights’ is a misperception to many. “Equal rights” also could be interpreted as meaning “I won’t impose a speech code on you, and you won’t impose one on me”. You also seem to imply that ‘disposing’ of a voting consensus to achieve something that you want, is justified. That sir is a new vision of totalatarianism and is a very slippery slope. “Sins’ have no bearing in this matter. Strange comment coming from someone so agnostic as you. Now please “define” marriage. I doubt that you can without it also equally defining anyone of the other bundle of possible nomenclature I have already listed. If you wish to legislate marriage as a right then it stands to reason that you can legislate ‘civil unions’ to also have ‘all the rights and responsibilities of marriage’. Your reasoning, as usual, is not only faulty but quite humorous. But I am sure you will not let that stop you from being pompous. The Dershowitz quotes were part of a larger essay. I provided a link. Did you read it? Apparently not since he addressed the issues you fiendishly try to minimalize. If you wish to argue with Dershowitz be my guest, I can give you an address to pen a poison note. In the meantime I’d prefer to accept his perspective on the law rather than yours, and I rather enjoy sharing his perspective. Additionally, you are footloose and fancy free in accusing someone of ‘lying’. Pure nonsense. Obviously you are a card carrying member of the ‘low information contingent’ of the dense but obstinately blindly leftist wing of my fellow gay brethren. You can go back to scrolling for ‘friends’ now on Adam4Adam.



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Heretic_for_Christ

posted June 18, 2010 at 2:21 pm


Some time ago, I made the same recommendation: Get government out of the “marriage” business, leaving that term with its sacramental connotations to the churches. “Civil union” would then be the legal basis for spousal rights and responsibilities; marriage in a church would encompass the legal union and add on its own sacramental decorations. I made this recommendation because government should not be in the sacrament business, whether we are talking about same-sex couples or opposite-sex couples.
Well, that’s nice in principle. The problem I see, however, is that the states that now have rejected same-sex marriage will similarly reject legal “unions” even though it is not called marriage and would not have churchly approval–because they hate the idea of giving ANY recognition, governmental or churchly, to homosexuality. They will fight same-sex civil unions as fiercely as they have fought same-sex marriage. The word itself means nothing to them; they plain-and-simple hate homosexuality and will fight any attempt to legitimize it.
Here is another problem: at the state and local level, and at countless agencies, governmental and private, personal records employ the language of “marital status”; so even if same-sex legal unions were allowed, the anti-gay forces would fight against every claim made by a spouse in a same-sex legal union, and their argument would be that the language of the relevant documents or policies make no mention of “civil union” but only of “marriage.” So it would be necessary to pass laws in every jurisdiction dictating that “civil unions” carry the same legal status (relating to inheritance rights, insurance coverage, end-of-life decisions, tax-filing status, etc) as “marriage” and that members of such unions are therefore entitled to the same treatment as members of a marriage. It would probably require a federal law enforced by virtue of the Constitution’s supremacy clause, and the far right (especially now, in the era of the Tea Party people) might be just as ready to fight another civil war over this issue now as they were over slavery 150 years ago.
All of which is to say that campaigning for a change in terminology is probably not going to resolve the issue–because the issue is not word-definitions but hatred.



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Heretic_for_Christ

posted June 18, 2010 at 2:26 pm


To: Nicole
Why am I unable to post a comment onto this board? I have tried 3 times over the past few days to post a comment that is absolutely devoid of any terms of an inflammatory nature that might trigger some automatic hold-for-review program. Each time, I get a thank you message, and word that the blog owner will look at it.



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Robert C

posted June 18, 2010 at 4:04 pm


LOL your guardian angel defers. actually the post above is a comment that made it through.
love the captcha
staighforward potshots



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Nicole Neroulias

posted June 18, 2010 at 4:54 pm


I have no idea! I’ll look into it. Sorry about that.



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Nicole Neroulias

posted June 18, 2010 at 5:02 pm


Heretic, I found your comments in the blog’s Spam folder — not sure how they ended up there. (Maybe it has something to do with the length?) Thanks for letting me know; I’ll keep an eye on that folder from now on.



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Robert C

posted June 18, 2010 at 6:18 pm


You finally appeared Heretic, like an apparition of the virgin. LOL
You would be surprised at how many of the “tea Party’ crowd would accept that compromise. As I said earlier though, the problem would come specifically from the black community.



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Grumpy Old Person

posted June 24, 2010 at 12:59 pm


“Well actually, in a democracy the majority has a certain control of “rights”.”
Wrong again. The Constitution has control of people’s rights.
DO BETTER.
“What you believe as being ‘equal rights’ is a misperception to many.”
Wrong again. Equal rights means just that – equal rights. Though you must have missed my point that we shouldn’t be talking about “rights” at all, but rather freedoms. Even heterosexuals do not have the “right” to marry, but rather they enjoy a freedom that is denied to LGVT citizens.
“You also seem to imply that ‘disposing’ of a voting consensus to achieve something that you want, is justified.”
So you must therefore believe that the white majority should be allowed to vote on whether or not the black minority should be allowed to vote/enter public restaurants/marry/etc. That’s some version of democracy.
“That sir is a new vision of totalatarianism and is a very slippery slope.”
Nonsense. See above.
“‘Sins’ have no bearing in this matter.”
According to the radical ‘religious’ ‘right’ they sure as he11 do. Pleaase review all the statements that refer to the ‘sinful nature’ of homosexuals and homosexual acts in virtually ALL of the ‘argumenets’ made by the anti-gay crowd. Yous statement should have read “‘Sins’ SHOULD HAVE NO BEARING in this matter.” Then I would have agreed with you. Somehow tho, the ‘religious’ ‘right’ also disagree with your false (in their opinion) statement.
“Strange comment coming from someone so agnostic as you.”
Shows how little you know about me and how wrongly you have guessed. I was raised in a very strict Pentecostal/Salvationist home, went to a Lutheran university, and became an ordained deacon in my church where I have been a member for over 30 years. More delusion on your part, I’m afraid.
“Now please “define” marriage.”
The legal union of 2 persons. How difficult was that?
“I doubt that you can without it also equally defining anyone of the other bundle of possible nomenclature I have already listed.”
O ye of little faith.
“If you wish to legislate marriage as a right”
I don’t. It is a freedom.
“then it stands to reason that you can legislate ‘civil unions’ to also have ‘all the rights and responsibilities of marriage’.”
It also stands to reason that what you wish to have happen is simply unnecessary. Marriage will do just fine, thanks awfully. Besides, no State in America HAS done so, nor have they the power to do so – namely because of those 1,176 FEDERAL benefits that come with marriage. Like I say, try again, but DO BETTER.
And, like you said yourself, [y]our reasoning, as usual, is not only faulty but quite humorous. But I am sure you will not let that stop you from being pompous.
“The Dershowitz quotes were part of a larger essay. I provided a link. Did you read it?”
Not only did I read it, I debunked most of it. Perhaps you missed it. Please feel free to scroll up and re-read it, starting with the “The solution is to unlink the religious institution of marriage — as distinguished from the secular institution of civil union — from the state.” nonsense.
“If you wish to argue with Dershowitz be my guest”
When he comes on here and identifies himself and makes the same specious ‘arguments’, then perhaps I will. Meanwhile, it is
YOU who posits them here, so I will remain content to demolish your ‘points’ (not that you’ve made any valid ones).
“In the meantime I’d prefer to accept his perspective on the law rather than yours”
Feel free to continue to live on in delusion. You’re in some terrific company, apparently – liars like Tony Perkins, James Dobson, et al.
“I rather enjoy sharing his perspective.”
Well, you would, wouldn’t you. Continue to be happy in your hoped-for-but-as-yet-not-fully-achieved 2nd class status. Don’t be forgetting those States that changed their Constitutions so that even “civil” unions will never be a reality – even those that do not give you full equality before the law. Meanwhile, I’ll be enjoying my legally married status.
“You can go back to scrolling for ‘friends’ now on Adam4Adam.”
Didn’t know about that site ’til you mentioned it. (I guess you have it bookmarked as a ‘favorite’, eh?) But my husband is more than adequate for my simple needs.
Feel free to get back when you’re ready to fight for full equality.



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Grumpy Old Person

posted June 24, 2010 at 1:09 pm


h4c
“Some time ago, I made the same recommendation: Get government out of the “marriage” business, leaving that term with its sacramental connotations to the churches. “Civil union” would then be the legal basis for spousal rights and responsibilities; marriage in a church would encompass the legal union and add on its own sacramental decorations. I made this recommendation because government should not be in the sacrament business, whether we are talking about same-sex couples or opposite-sex couples.”
The government isn’t in the “sacrament business”. All legislative mandates have to do with civil marriage. They simply have ‘vested power’ with clergy to solemnize marriages performed in religious settings (like mine was). Perhaps instead of insisting the government get out of the marriage business, you should be insisting on religions getting out of the marriage business and stick to the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. Then, if the religiuosly unionized wish to actually get maarried, they can trot on down to City Halls or see their local Justices of the Peace.
Besides, your wished-for scenario wouldn’t go down terribly well with the vast, vast majority of betterosexuals who wish to actually get “married”. They really don’t want any part of “civil” unions, and probably for the same reason that I wouldn’t accept that 2nd-calss institution – namely, because it would take away some 1,176 of their benefits – because they won’t be legally married.
“Well, that’s nice in principle. The problem I see, however, is that the states that now have rejected same-sex marriage will similarly reject legal “unions” even though it is not called marriage and would not have churchly approval–because they hate the idea of giving ANY recognition, governmental or churchly, to homosexuality. They will fight same-sex civil unions as fiercely as they have fought same-sex marriage. The word itself means nothing to them; they plain-and-simple hate homosexuality and will fight any attempt to legitimize it.”
Agreed 100%. Your scenario is observable in the Texas GOP’s platform to re-criminalize sexual acts between consenting adults in private if the persons involved are of the same sex. And also in the (“Family” “Research” concil-approved and financially-supported) proposed Ugandan law to put homosexuals to death.
You’re right – they DO hate us, and they want us dead or in jail, nevermind equal or even semi-equal before the law.



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Robert C

posted June 25, 2010 at 9:29 pm


Time for a nice warm cup of tea GOP. You demolish nothing. Your rationale is faulty as usual and your rather pompous at expounding upon it.
Captcha ‘to concise’ LOL



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Your Name

posted June 28, 2010 at 12:25 pm


GOP does demolish your ‘arguments’, Robert, ‘cuz the ones you make leak like a screen door on a submarine. He uses fine logic and makes sense – which is more than we can say about your opinions (which is all you’ve posted).
S/he isn’t “pompous”; s/he is ACCURATE.
Hint: it’s “you’re rather pompous”, not “your”.



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Robert C

posted June 30, 2010 at 3:01 pm


Aside from being rather late to the discussion David, it’s your opinion and its horsefeathers.



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