Kingdom of Priests

Kingdom of Priests


Canaanites for Same-Sex Marriage

posted by David Klinghoffer

An ancient Biblical tradition, a midrash, relates that the Canaanites wrote marriage contracts between man and man and woman and woman, and that this was one reason the land “vomited” them up in favor of the Israelites who took their place. The historicity of this isn’t the point. It’s the moral that matters, having to do with the social impact of being libertarian about marriage combinations

Today Rod Dreher, Andrew Sullivan, and John Derbyshire are contemplating the question of whether there is a secular case against same-sex marriage. Is there?
Well, there would have to be. God doesn’t rule arbitrarily. He has in mind the aim to encourage human flourishing, and He knows better even than Andrew Sullivan does. That doesn’t mean His reasons are always entirely scrutable. That may be why the exact nature of a religion-free case against state-sanctioned gay marriage sometimes seems a bit hazy. Nevertheless, I’ll give you my three thoughts about how human interest is served by resisting attempts to remake matrimony.
First, the institution of marriage is very ancient, and that by itself tells us something. A profound wisdom accumulates over the millennia, as generations discover the kind of institutions best suited for human beings. For thousands of years and across a multitude of cultures, people have agreed that marriage means the union of man with woman. This consensus is enshrined in religious beliefs, revered by Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus alike. You can think of these beliefs as God-given, but you don’t have to. You also can think of them as human discoveries.

Second, our own experience tells us that society has a stake in preserving the unique status of heterosexual marriage. Marriage has a mystique, a prestige, in part because of the force of government sanction. Married couples invest in their marriage, accepting compromise and overcoming difficulties, because they regard their relationship in the light of this mystique. Complicate that by endorsing gay unions and you have diminished the prestige of heterosexual marriage, weakening it. At what cost? Social science makes clear the beneficial effects that being married has on health, self-esteem, earning potential, and more. Adults need the challenge of integrating their life with someone very different from themselves — a member of the opposite sex. Children need the influence of a mother and a father. 
Third, the integrity of moral tradition as a whole is at stake. Apart from its impact on family life, government endorsement of gay marriage undercuts other, seemingly unrelated beliefs about right and wrong, because those beliefs  derive from the same authoritative source. It calls into question the whole authority and structure of traditional morality. Our confidence in this tradition gives us strength to face moral challenges in every area of life. Government-imposed gay marriage makes it harder for us all to be as good as we would wish.
Your thoughts?


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Larry Yudelson

posted April 30, 2009 at 3:12 pm


Forget gay marriage. How can America cope in a world where heterosexual marriage is shorn of the Biblical ban on sex with a menstruating woman? In Israel, government officials refuse to solemnize a marriage unless the bride has ritually immersed first. Shouldn’t that be the case here too, as well?
Let’s not forget about letting women sue for divorce, which is opposed to Orthodox Jewish interpretation of scripture.
And finally, what about polygamy?
All of these changes in American law impact my marriage more than does Andrew Sullivan’s marriage.
I anxiously await David’s secular case against eating pork and shrimp. Is there one? In his own words, “there would have to be. God doesn’t rule arbitrarily.”
(For an original bit of Hebrew exegesis supporting gay marriage, check out my book, How Would God REALLY Vote: A Jewish Rebuttal to David Klinghoffer’s Conservative Polemic at http://benyehudapress.com/catalog/HowWouldGodREALLYVote/index.html)



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David Klinghoffer

posted April 30, 2009 at 3:37 pm


Nice try, Larry, but Canaanites, as non-Jews, were held accountable for instituting gay marriage because that’s an area of Biblical morality of equal application to Jews and non-Jews. The laws you mention (sex with a menstruating woman, pork and shrimp) are specifically Jewish laws, with no application at all in a gentile, Noachide nation. They obviously have nothing to do with America. Even in a Jewish state, the Biblical text makes no provision for their being enforced. There’s no court-imposed punishment prescribed in Scripture for consuming bacon.



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Husband

posted April 30, 2009 at 3:47 pm


“The historicity of this isn’t the point.”
Ah-yup. Never let history and facts get in the way of a good polemic, eh?
“Today Rod Dreher, Andrew Sullivan, and John Derbyshire are contemplating the question of whether there is a secular case against same-sex marriage. Is there?”
Nope. I read that column in its entirety and Derbyshire (a la Dreher) does nothing more than you do – he states his opinion. To which he (and you) are entitled. His arguments did not amount to much. But don’t be surprised when other people have not only their own opinion, but a few facts and arguments to back them up.
“Well, there would have to be.”
It would help greatly if you were to explain why.
“God doesn’t rule arbitrarily.”
So, you believe God made a mistake when God created God’s gay and lesbian children, huh? Methinks the ‘abitrariness’ is in your musings, not God’s creation.
“[God] has in mind the aim to encourage human flourishing.”
And God made more than enough of you fecund, hetero- bettero-sexuals to ensure that does continue to happen. Oddly, I don’t see your argument against allowing non-fertile str8s to marry – and they don’t cause no “human flourishing”.
“That may be why the exact nature of a religion-free case against state-sanctioned gay marriage sometimes seems a bit hazy.”
“hazy”??? Try non-existent.
” For thousands of years and across a multitude of cultures, people have agreed that marriage means the union of man with woman.”
What, did you forget (or simply ignore) you own Canaanite example? Did you forget to add the “for life” part. And the “for purposes of procreation” part? Did you forget the “1″ (man) and “1″ (woman) parts? (Or do you favor polygamy too?) Sooo selective.
“This consensus is enshrined in religious beliefs, revered by Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus alike.”
Um, nope, it isn’t. Muslims don’t accept the “1 man, 1 woman” concept that you do. Besides, wasn’t this supposed to be a “religion-free” case? (Your mentor Dreher’s was at least an attempt at it.) ‘Nother ‘besides’- MY religion does allow for same-sex marriages. Why should your religious tenets get to trump mine, ‘specially in a land that trumpets freedom of religion?
“Second, our own experience tells us that society has a stake in preserving the unique status of heterosexual marriage.”
Maybe your experience tells you that. Mine certainly doesn’t.
“Marriage has a mystique, a prestige, in part because of the force of government sanction. Married couples invest in their marriage, accepting compromise and overcoming difficulties, because they regard their relationship in the light of this mystique.”
And married gay couples don’t?
“Complicate that by endorsing gay unions and you have diminished the prestige of heterosexual marriage, weakening it.”
How so? Merely saying so doesn’t prove it. Again, this is nothing more than your opinion. Some facts and some proof might help you make a better case. Feel free to try them sometime.
“At what cost? Social science makes clear the beneficial effects that being married has on health, self-esteem, earning potential, and more.”
And you think gay citizens should be denied those beneficial effects on their health, their self-esteem, their earning potential? Why, pray tell? Why do gay citizens deserve less, in your not so humble opinion?
“Adults need the challenge of integrating their life with someone very different from themselves — a member of the opposite sex.”
Sorry, but I have no such “need”. (You made that up, didn’t you?) Trust me, my husband is quite the opposite of me in many regards, and our lives are well integrated.
“Children need the influence of a mother and a father.”
I (and many sociologists) disagree. Besides, there are no children in our family (just as there weren’t in either of my sister’s two heterosexual marriages). My marriage does not prevent any heterosexual married couple from staying together and ‘influencing’ their children. But since not all heterosexual marriages have children (seems it’s not a requirement), you do not have a valid point. (Unless you wish to make procreation – both the desire and the capability – a requirement of marriage. ‘Til then, though, you’ll need to do better.)
“Third, the integrity of moral tradition as a whole is at stake.”
This is Dreher’s (sole) point, but since most of us who have eyes can see how “moral traditiion” is a fabrication of moralizing moralists, and how dismally “moral tradition” has served society (child-raping priests, anyone? women as property, anyone? slavery anyone? – all “moral traditions” upheld vigorously and vociferously by moral(istic) traditionalsts), again, you’ve made an extremely weak argument.
“Apart from its impact on family life, government endorsement of gay marriage undercuts other, seemingly unrelated beliefs about right and wrong, because those beliefs derive from the same authoritative source.”
You keep saying this but you never expalain how, exactly, gay marriage “undercuts” anything at all. If you’re relying on this fictitious, false, hollow “same authoritative source” (tradition), you haven’t a leg to stand on.
“It calls into question the whole authority and structure of traditional morality.”
Some, if not most, “traditional morality” needs to be called into question. Blind adherence to unexamined (or long-outdated) traditions needs to be exposed for what it is.
“Our confidence in this tradition gives us strength to face moral challenges in every area of life.”
If depending on such a weak thing gives you strength, heaven help us all.
“Government-imposed gay marriage makes it harder for us all to be as good as we would wish.”
Pure and utter bullsh…, er, nonsense. (Hey, maybe you’re just not a “good” person to begin with. Your posts kinda prove it.) Instead, you wish to “impose” your views on all of society, many of who do not believe as you do. The Government is not “imposing” anything. They’re allowing something that you don’t happen to like. “Imposing” would mean they require it of all, and that’s simply malarkey.
Like I keep saying, DO BETTER. What you’ve typed so far is un-/mal-informed opinion and not much else.



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LutheranChik

posted April 30, 2009 at 4:55 pm


Oh, great…another hater added to Beliefnet blogdom.



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Your Name

posted April 30, 2009 at 7:22 pm


That the state allows gay marriage does not mean that it forces it upon anybody. The state of matrimony was originally a method of transfering ownership of a female of one family to the male of another, uniting these families economically. A woman was the property of her father until she bacame the property of her husband. She had no economic rights of her own. She was chattel; no better than livestock. That some gays want to solemnize and legalize their relationships to mimic straight people does not harm the institution of marriage for straight people. If anything, it gives gays something else in common with starights, and when somebody says ‘my wife doesn’t understand me’ it doesn’t matter whose wife, or in which relationship. Marriage in all countries (unless I am mistaken) is legally sanctioned and regulated. It is purely a legal state of being, with rights and obligations attached.



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Your Name

posted April 30, 2009 at 7:39 pm


an added thought:
Klinghoffer stated: “Complicate that by endorsing gay unions and you have diminished the prestige of heterosexual marriage. At what cost? Social science makes clear the beneficial effects that being married has on health, self-esteem, earning potential, and more. Adults need the challenge of integrating their life with someone very different from themselves — a member of the opposite sex.”
By the same token, allowing a black man into the US Army, or mixing of the races in one platoon would diminish the whiteness of that army unit.
Can you not see the parallel? Can you rationalize this one away?
Gays don’t want to marry you (straight man or woman). They want to marry another person who shares their ideals and goals. They want to compromise and build together a life, have companionship and protection from outside forces that would prey upon a weaker member.
The government has a stake in the debate around gay marriage and the intendent costs. If gay marriage were allowed, the tax code would need to be rewritten to cover the losses that would be imposed from spousal benefits, etc., at tax time. Marriage has financial consequences. More marriages, more costs to the current system.
“Third, the integrity of moral tradition as a whole is at stake.” Let’s not forget the moral tradition of slavery, shall we?
Your arguments are laughable and pitiable for its blind adherence to a system that excludes some to benefit others, be that system Jewish, Christian, Muslim or other.



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Steve Shay

posted April 30, 2009 at 11:29 pm


With all due respect David, I feel the government’s role in America is to keep us safe and free, and to help the underserved abroad when possible. For government to negatively micromanage its gay citizens, four-percent of our population who wish to do what they wish in the context of legal marriage, is in my view a waste of energy, and misguided as well.
Also, I see no statistics suggesting gay marriage would decrease population, nor that gay marriage would increase the gay population…Not that there is anything wrong with it. But this is a myth.
The rap against homosexuality from (certain) straights in the late 1970′s was that they were too promiscuous. Now, 30 years later, the segment of the gay population who want to be monogamous, and stigma-free in the eyes of the other 96 percent, are told by “your side” that they are a threat to your marital sanctity.
I listen, perhaps not religiously, to Michael Medved on the radio who of course shares your views on the gay marriage argument. When I listen to him talk lovingly about his spouse, Diane, which he often does, I wonder, “Who is he, and who are you, and who is government, to disallow a gay couple from sharing in this pot of happiness as they see fit?”



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Chance

posted May 1, 2009 at 2:58 am


Okay David. Your exegesis is awful.
First, you don’t cite the midrash that explains the story which makes me suspect. Furthermore, ever damn conservative who uses Canaanites to defend the opposition to Same-Sex marriage uses some “Midrash” but never actually cites it. The fact you also point against the historicity of the “midrash” you claim to cite is also problematic because usually someone who is attempting to argue a case for or against something by using a biblical text implies that the text should have historicity to it.
Second, if you read carefully, God does kind of rule arbitrarily. Many of the commandments are given to be holy like God is Holy. That doesn’t really mean much does it though? I mean, Kosher Laws aren’t given because Kosher food is healthier than non-kosher food (Although Leviticus Rabbah does state the reason for being Kosher is that in the World of Come, the righteous who did ate only kosher food will be able to enjoy the pig and lobster and all that delicious treif food).
Third, the reason God prohibits homosexual acts is because God doesn’t want men (persons with penises) to act like women because women are property and inferior to men. It has nothing to do with morality. At best it has to do with purity. I guess why not ban shellfish from being eaten or a man having sex with a woman while she’s on her period. You’re just like the Christian Right selectively picking and choosing what you do and don’t follow.
Fourth, did you know there’s a midrash blaming Cain’s murdering if Abel on God? I can cite it, Genesis Rabbah XXII, 9. Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai was uncomfortable with the story. Why? Because if God is ultimately good, why would God allow “himself” to be a by standard while an act of injustice is committed? My point is linking back to the first. I could use this midrash to blame every form of evil on God because God created humanity with such a propensity to commit acts of evil.
You’d be troubled if I only cited this one midrash, correct? Well, maybe you should stop citing one midrash to support your claim it reveals the absurdity to cite only one midrash.
Psychologically, I think most heterosexuals don’t want us queers marrying because ultimately we’ll be better at it than you will be and you don’t want that. What if queers are better at marriage? Oh no, we cannot risk that. Let’s prevent them from marrying. I just think it’s heterosexuals who are insecure about their own marriages, that’s all it is. Furthermore, there’s no proof that same-sex marriages will contribute to the ruination of civilization. Why do I think that? It’s never occurred. You can cite the example of the Canaanites but they’re simply a literary construct, a polemical tool. My point is, there is no society one can point to to say same-sex marriages have ruined civilizations.
Also, social sciences teaches us that a child needing a mother and a father is a myth. Most single parent children grow up fine. I feel fine. I don’t feel like I am missing anything by not having a father raise me.
Lastly, the fact you endorse the idea that the government teaches us what is right and wrong is dangerous. What about slavery? What about Jim Crow laws? Again, what about the fact that the government is libertarian in regards to kosher laws or driving/working on the Sabbath?
Really, it seems to me that the government is not all that important and should just be ignored by religious people. Ultimately, the state is either just as good as God by mimicing Biblical Legislation or should be ignored because it undermines it. Don’t want your children to be influenced by the “evils” of our culture? Don’t own a tv, don’t give you children toys that may have a negative impact on their growth. Homeschool them. Join a religious commune out in the middle of nowhere.



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Iris Alantiel

posted May 1, 2009 at 9:19 am


Marriage has a mystique, a prestige, in part because of the force of government sanction. Married couples invest in their marriage, accepting compromise and overcoming difficulties, because they regard their relationship in the light of this mystique. Complicate that by endorsing gay unions and you have diminished the prestige of heterosexual marriage, weakening it. At what cost?
I don’t know about that. I think we hetero couples have diminshed the mystique of marriage all on our own. Remember that time when Britney Spears got drunk and married someone in Vegas for 24 hours? Yeah, stuff like that. That threatens the mystique of my marriage more than if a loving couple makes a serious commitment with best intentions, but they’re either both men or both ladies.
Although personally, I’m not really a big fan of marriage mystique anyway. I’ve found it would probably have been better to deal in black-and-white reality: you’re probably going to fight, you’re probably going to have to work on your marriage a lot, some times will probably suck, and sometimes he’ll probably leave the dishes for me even if it isn’t fair. It probably serves us well to know exactly what we’re really signing up to live out before we put a deposit on the fluffy white dress. I think some women I know have gotten sold on the idea that “marriage mystique/prestige = this is God’s will = it will be smooth sailing”, and then they’re either devastated to find there’s conflict, or they learn to shove down their emotions and go along with anything just to keep the peace, because it’s a sign that the marriage is blessed.



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Seth Sanders

posted May 1, 2009 at 10:46 am


Hi David,
Where’s the Midrash from? This sounds really interesting.
It looks like the article kind of mixes up sacred and profane–there are plenty of secular traditions that have no moral value (slavery) and also Biblically commanded ones that are simply commanded and don’t necessarily make moral sense (slavery again–remember that the first law in the Covenant Code in Exodus, after the 10 commandments and the ritual cluster that immediately follows, is the rules for buying a fellow Israelite as a slave!).
Unless you’re going to argue in favor of the kind of polygamy that our Patriarchs Abraham and Moses enjoyed, and argue that we can have fellow Jews as slaves but must treat them better than the gentile slaves we also own, you’ll want a more sophisticated take on Biblical law!



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zen

posted May 1, 2009 at 11:31 am


Here’s contradiction number one-
“An ancient Biblical tradition, a midrash, relates that the Canaanites wrote marriage contracts between man and man and woman and woman…”
“For thousands of years and across a multitude of cultures, people have agreed that marriage means the union of man with woman.”
Number two- “…the question of whether there is a secular case against same-sex marriage. Is there? Well, there would have to be.”
“…people have agreed that marriage means the union of man with woman. This consensus is enshrined in religious beliefs, revered by Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus alike.”
There’s more but I don’t have all day to copy/paste them into my response, and it would appear the majority of those commenting found them as easily as I did.
There is nothing in here that answers your “thesis” about secular rationale to deny gay marriages. Unless you count the part about how studies have shown marriage to benefit individual health (so we surely don’t want to let gay folks in on that!) as well as societal health (then the more marriages regardless of orientation the healthier society will be, right????)
And this part? UGH. “Complicate that by endorsing gay unions and you have diminished the prestige of heterosexual marriage, weakening it.”
As someone pointed out above, we heterosexuals have done a fantastic job of undermining the “mystique” of marriage ourselves. Perhaps gays will do a better job of it and actually ELEVATE it- like they have with interior design and throwing fabulous dinner parties. ;)
I was really disappointed to read such a lame attempt at justifying a selfish and fear based approach to a human/civil rights issue. As others have stated above, religion has been used to rationalize everything from war to slavery. It’s time for the US to catch up with the rest of the FREE world and finally separate church and state completely on this issue. But then what would the fundamentalists have to focus their time and energy on?



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Your Name

posted May 1, 2009 at 11:36 am


Seems David isn’t interested in providing sources or answering questions or even debating the very ‘issues’ he raises. Seems he’s just interested in promulgating derogatory myths. As if B’net needed another fatuous, right-wing traditionalist.



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mmoore

posted May 1, 2009 at 11:54 am


I have a liberal Jewish and more mixed reaction.
My reading indicates that marriage arose around the same time as agriculture. It was an attempt to control human fertility, much as agriculture was an attempt to control the fertility of the land. Initially, it was not 1 man, 1 woman. A man controlled as many women as he could. Monogamy was actually a democratizing improvement. It gave every man a chance to continue his line where earlier only a limited number of men had that right. (Note: women usually fared worse if accused of adultery because they belonged to their husband. Here, Judaism improved the situation by stoning both parties.)
If we are talking about a same-sex marriage organized like current heterosexual marriages, I don’t see the problem. Such a stable union would build a community the same way a heterosexual marriage would. In my (straight-laced) view, it is much more destabilizing to have single homosexual men engaging in one-night stands with strangers 365 days a year than to have them married off and attempting to pay a mortgage. If we were talking about a same-sex “open” marriage, I would have problem with the idea. But I have problems with a hetero “open” marriage also.
I take the notion that it is helpful to have both a male and female raising a child seriously. I can see the difference in childcare in my sister and brother-in-law. But I know from friends in the school system that most of the children that they teach don’t have 2 parents now. A child with two parents, even if both female, would be a luxury for most teachers. It would mean that the child might actually have support at home.
Ultimately, I would prefer to see the government out of the marriage business. Give everyone a civil union. If your place of worship marries people, you can have a wedding ceremony. If not, the government still accepts your union as valid.



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marta

posted May 1, 2009 at 12:03 pm


I find that I’m of two minds on this issue. It’s very complicated, actually, the strains of thought going on here..
1. I don’t think honoring one group and not another means that one death is “worth” more than another. (This is addressed more at my previous commenters than at Mr. Hirschfield particularly.) Neither group is worth more than the other, and that’s not what this day is about anyway. At least not for me.
2. I found Mr. Hirschfield’s comment about “sacrifice” particularly spot on. As I understand ethics, you usually only are doing something moral when you make a choice. The people who entered the armed service made that decision, and as I understand it that’s part of what this day is recognizing. Civilians don’t make that decision at all.
3. Although… I wonder if some of them do. If you choose to immigrate to Israel, in a way that is putting yourself in a dangerous position. I wish it wasn’t, obviously! But there is a way in which it is similar to entering the armed services. And there’s a sens in which Israel wouldn’t exist without civilians either. (This obviously doesn’t apply to people who didn’t choose to live there, like children born there.)
4. I do think it’s important to not overstate the differences between terrorism and traditional war when it comes to the death of civilians. We say that terrorism is wrong because it makes no distinction between civilians and soldiers, which I absolutely agree with. But many traditional wars also accept “collateral deaths” as inevitable. (Every time you bomb a building or fire into a crowd…) Whether war should ever be justified is a huge issue and too big to debate here. :-) But I do think it is important we not be deaf to the civilian casualties in any war – accidental or intentional, traditional war or terrorism.
Like I said, some very interesting food for thought. I agree with you on much of what you said, and as for the rest, I appreciate such an interesting topic to consider today.



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marta

posted May 1, 2009 at 12:03 pm


Taking these points one by one:
1. “the institution of marriage is very ancient, and that by itself tells us something”
Even granting that point on historical grounds, I think you could argue that marriage is already being defined on different grounds. Male/female sexual interactions are capable of producing offspring, where as male/male or female/female aren’t. Society is served by having an adult look over a child for a period of time, and that can only arise by different-sex intercourse. I can see marriage being a way to regulate that intercourse – which is why out-of-marriage sex is chancy.
Today, though, people view marriage differently, I think. It’s a way to encourage people to create emotional connections of dependence, which is a naturally built-in safety net. Society does benefit from that – but it’s much harder to say why the benefit is greater when this relationship is heterosexual rather than homosexual.
2. Second, your “mystique” point – Can you honestly say that this mystique is harmed more by a committed, long term homosexual marriage than by a heterosexual Vegas-style marriage between two eighteen year olds that are divorced a few weeks later? A marriage for immigration purposes? A marriage by an attractive gold-digger with an old man so she can inherit his wealth? The mystique is important, but it comes from the commitment of the relationship, not the gender of the people involved.
3. “the integrity of moral tradition as a whole is at stake.” Not necessarily. There are two approaches:
(a) Prove that the moral/religious tradition can be made consistent with the idea of same-sex marriage. This is a theological point but if the point could be made, then the acceptance of homosexuality would actually encourage morality. Even more, admitting this makes the moral tradition seem able to admit error and so more relevant/up-to-date.
(b) Argue that the identification of state-sponsored marriage with that moral tradition is itself false. In that case homosexual marriage, as recognized by the state, doesn’t violate the moral tradition; it doesn’t comment on it at all.
What is moral should be determined not by a government anyway. It’s the government’s job to promote the interests of society across the board (many of whom think that moral tradition is wrong), and I think the argument could be made that you do more harm by forcing a belief down people’s throats than good by getting them to behave in a certain way. Society might be served by having a moral code, but I think society is best served by having that code be adopted through non-coercive means. This means that perhaps a government should promote institutions that encourage the adoption of that moral tradition, but that moral tradition should certainly not be institutionalized into the government itself.
So: if a government shouldn’t be institutionalizing the moral tradition, then anything the government institutionalizes can’t be seen as a direct comment on the moral tradition. (It may have an affect, but that’s different.)
Religions having homosexual marriage ceremonies is different. But as for the state, I just don’t see its recognizing gay marriage as a move against the moral tradition.



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marta

posted May 1, 2009 at 12:09 pm


I am very sorry – there was a technical error that made the first of the two comments I posted above not apply to this post. Basically I typed in a reply then had to refresh the page so that I could enter an up-to-date CAPTCHA code. However, when I did this my web page auto-filled the comment box, not with what I had just typed but with a comment I made a few days ago over on Windows and Doors.
I caught the mistake but not until after I had accidentally posted the W&D comment. Luckily I had copied what I typed for this post before refreshing the CAPTCHA, so I was able to make my original comment as well.
Please ignore the first comment. (“I find that I’m of two minds…”) And if anyone out there has the capacity to delete it, please consider this a request to remove it. (And this comment, if you feel it’s appropriate.)



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Dave

posted May 1, 2009 at 12:28 pm


What about plural marriage? There is nothing in the Torah or Talmud explicitly prohibiting it, and there is a very good argument that the weak declaration banning it has expired.
If you allow same-sex marriage into Judaism, how do you ban plural marriage, too?



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kat

posted May 1, 2009 at 12:36 pm


this whole topic is now so overdone by the media and every other organization out there.
the bottom line? ITS WRONG, there is nothing to think about, nothing to rationalize, nothing to debate.
Marriage between any other than a man and woman, is simply dispicable! end of story.



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Tzvi

posted May 1, 2009 at 12:51 pm


as an openly gay Jew, I have to take offense at the tack that you took mr Klinghoffer. As it says in Nevi’im:”justice Justice shall you persue”. Why in that case, is it fair or Just, to deny me the rights afforded to other people in this country. I’d like to think that to paraphrase from Moses Mehndolsohnn that one should be a “Man on the Streets and a Jew at Home”.
I pay my taxes, and yet in my state, when my ex an I were together, if something happened to him, his parents could have kept me from being with him. My cousin who was with his same sex partner for 25 years passed away and yet the surviving partner can get no survivor benefits.
I’d like to think that judaisim is a Bit more inclusive.



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I have a gay rabbi

posted May 1, 2009 at 12:56 pm


I do not care for your writing or your beliefs. Go away. I strongly prefer Rabbi Hirshfield. He is kinder and smarter than you.



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Carlos

posted May 1, 2009 at 1:05 pm


As I understand it, your provides us with 3 secular justifications for the denial of same-sex marriage rights. They are 1) Because “the institution of marriage is very ancient, and that by itself tells us something.” 2) “our own experience tells us that society has a stake in preserving the unique status of heterosexual marriage”; and 3) “the integrity of moral tradition as a whole is at stake.” Let me explain my concerns with your logic.
The first justification is that because we humans have come to a consensus on this issue and it has been enshrined in the world’s major religions, then it must be correct (or it tends to be correct). There’s a multitude of counterexamples of behaviors exhibit by humans that have been accepted across cultures for millennia, such as the acceptance of slavery, which is a reflection of human imperfection, not evidence of divine or moral sanction. Simply because societies act a certain way, does not mean they are acting morally.
Your second point is an assertion that’s not substantiated with an argument (you provide us with no examples of how “our own experience tells us that society has a stake in preserving the unique status of heterosexual marriage”). Nonetheless, let’s take for granted the truth of your premise. How does it flow logically that gay marriage is a threat to heterosexual marriage. I invite you to develop that for us. Those making the argument you advance seem to assume it away. But before I can accept it – certainly before I can countenance it a “secular” justification for the denial of same-sex marriage rights – you have to to connect those dots. Give me a study; show me how heterosexual marriages are being threatened; give me a plausible theory, something more than an assumption.
And your third point has a weakness similar to that of the first. You say that when the government sanctions a behavior that it traditionally has not, it is jeopardizing the reliance on all traditional morality. Such was an argument applied to interracial marriage. The fact is that we humans are not called on by God to accept passively the traditional or prevailing morality. I believe we are asked to use our God-given faculties to think critically about moral questions. I agree with you that we should give some weight, if not a degree of deference, to values that have withstood many years and transcend societies. However, if we never question such things, then there would never be progress. Giving women the right to vote did indeed threaten the “integrity of moral tradition” – many had to reevaluate what assumptions they had made as well as the righteousness of their government’s policies. And I believe that over the long run such reassessments of traditionally-held moral views make us a people better.



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Your Name

posted May 1, 2009 at 1:36 pm


I agree with you David, though I would have to add that God is Love and he causes it to rain on the just and the unjust. He is such a loving God that he has created all of us with free choice. If that is the life some have chosen well they are the ones that will have to answer to him for it someday just as everyone who will stand before him will be judged on judgement day.



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Josie

posted May 1, 2009 at 1:38 pm


To Kat, Amen to that ! Josie



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ruth

posted May 1, 2009 at 1:39 pm


by the way the “your name” comment is mine. God Bless.



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Your Name

posted May 1, 2009 at 2:16 pm


And once more, another so-called ‘learned’ commentary is put forth with the assertion that being gay is a life choice, and that marriage should be denied them for making a wrong choice. Maybe the Holy One is cringing at such an assertion culled from the depths of such devoted ignorance. Being gay isn’t a choice; it’s a fact of biological consequence just like being born with female or male mental gearing. Choice doesn’t figure into this, only the choice to come out of hiding and refute such ignorant assertions forwarded by commentaries like this one.



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Your Name

posted May 1, 2009 at 2:26 pm


Are you trying to say that gay marriage threatens heterosexual marriage and society as a whole? I thought that comments like that were non-existing among us Jews, and only biggots thought like that.



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Your Name

posted May 1, 2009 at 2:41 pm


To Kat and Josie (who agrees with Kat),
“Marriage between any other than a man and woman, is simply dispicable! end of story.”
Please clarify:
Is this ideal (i.e ‘non-despicable) marriage of a man and a woman “for life” or is divorce allowed?
If divorce is permitted may the divorced persons re-marry?
If so, how many times?
Is this ideal (i.e ‘non-despicable) marriage of a man and a woman “for the purposes of procreation” only, or may the fertile marry?
Is this ideal (i.e ‘non-despicable) marriage of a man and a woman meant to be only between persons of the same faith, or is inter-faith marriage allowed?
Is this ideal (i.e ‘non-despicable) marriage of a man and a woman meant to be only between persons of the same race, or is inter-racial marriage allowed?
Be careful how you answer these questions because some faiths find even these examples of 1 man, 1 woman marriage to be likewise “despicable”.
You are more than welcome to not only your opinions, but to your own ‘religious’ beliefs. It would be nice if you allowed others the same courtesy.
Meanwhile, thanks for providing further evidence of Christian ‘charity’. Your example shines before all the world.



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Your Name

posted May 1, 2009 at 2:43 pm


Should of course be “may the inferile marry”.



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Your Name

posted May 1, 2009 at 2:44 pm


GD keyboard



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Husband

posted May 1, 2009 at 2:51 pm


Ruth,
” If that is the life some have chosen “
Sorry to have to correct you, but it was God that “chose” my life for me. God knit me in my mother’s womb, and knew every word I would utter before it is even on my lips. I am wonderfully made.
Tell us, did you “choose” to be ignorant? Or just uninformed?



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Your Name

posted May 1, 2009 at 2:54 pm


“An ancient Biblical tradition, a midrash, relates that the Canaanites wrote marriage contracts between man and man and woman and woman”
Who will solve the mysterious case of the unnamed, uncredited, history-changing midrash?
Here, all this time we’ve been told that no society has ever had same sex marriage before.
A little enlightenment please.



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Your Name

posted May 1, 2009 at 2:56 pm


Whenever people want to bash gays, they immediately go to Leviticus 18:22, and whether thay can quote it correctly, or end up with some form of corruption, the truth of the matter is, they are abusing the Bible to promote bigotry and ignorance. The Bible never condemns gay people, and I can prove it.
The verse in question, 18:22, deals with the worship of the god Molech and the use of male temple prostitutes during that worship. Since the Israelites and the Canaanites all practiced this fertility ritual of Molech worhsip, it was being condemned by the writers of Leviticus. During the sex ritual of the worship of Molech, male temple prostitutes dressed themselves as Asherah, the female goddess consort to Ba’al, and the men who came to worship Molech had sex with these male temple prostitutes. Thus, Leviticus 18:22, properly translated from the Hebrew, says, “And with a male sex image (zachar), you (male) shall not lie in the beds of a woman.” It is clearly referring to Molech temple rituals, and the verse immediately before this even says so.
For the full scholarly proofs and greater detail, please see the subject at http://www.briangray.com. Simply go to the Catalogue section and look for the title under Books. The book is titled “Levitcus Revealed.”



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Maria Aznar

posted May 1, 2009 at 2:58 pm


Marriage between a man and a woman is not a matter of opinion. It is God’s plan for humanity. God is the Creator, and He created men and women. Let’s be obedient to God’s laws and not pretend to decide for ourselves what is right or wrong. We all know that we were born of our own parents, a man and a woman, according to God’s plan, and should be forever thankful.
God bless! +



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No longer Wife

posted May 1, 2009 at 3:03 pm


There have been so many erudite postings on here, the sentiments of most of which I totally agree with. I will not add to them except to say this to David Kinghoffer:-
Go to your Tanakh and read it from cover to cover. There is no mention of the word ‘marriage’ in it. The closest you get is a short verse in the Book of Malachi Chapter two – (read the whole chapter to see if you can spot it) – which in my view is highly suspect ‘authentic writing’ anyway. All you will find is a brief reference to a transaction of the transfer of property (i.e. the woman) to a man by her father as stated by a previous poster.
The word ‘marriage’ is not encountered until you read about the Marriage at Cana which Jesus attended and performed his first miracle – in other words, the New Testament (which I prefer to call the Second Testament).
God made us all AS WE ARE – I’ve been there, done that and am not impressed. I have two lovely sons, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren for which I thank the Eternal One every day – I have been truly blessed by them. Having said that, I have been psychologically and emotionally abused by men all my life and I have not been impressed by men’s behaviour (except for the very few kind, devoted husbands whom I do encounter occasionally, but have to beware the jealous wives who don’t allow their husbands to have friendships with solitary women).
Gay people are not sick! They do not have an illness which ‘can be cured’ – I am sick of hearing this from some very vociferous groups and individuals who would think nothing of having an affair outside of their own marriages as long as they didn’t get caught.
Gay people are human beings – lovely warm human beings – many of whom have more love in their hearts and are more loyal to their friends and partners than some of the self-righteous folk who decry their relationships. There is nothing ‘magical’ or ‘mystical’ about marriage – that is a myth perpetuated by men who still think we live in a patriarchal society!
Oh, and David – when you have actually found a reference to ‘marriage’ in your Tanakh, perhaps you would care to enlighten us about WHICH Midrash you refer to. I’ll look it up in my Talmud – perhaps I may find some reference there with which to enlighten us.



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Deborah

posted May 1, 2009 at 3:20 pm


I beleve that God gave us the greatest of gifts … free will! Who is there among us wise enough to determine how I should use that free will and if it is right or wrong? The ability to decide for ourselves how we wish to live is our birth right … our choice. We are sentient human beings created by One whose Wisdom is infiniately beyond our understanding of the grand design of Life.
It is by free will that we learn and grow in Wisdom.



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Buddy

posted May 1, 2009 at 6:30 pm


We are all God’s children. I am a 26-year-old, 100% physically disabled gay young man. We are all people, asking for the exact same equal rights. My wheelchair doesn’t define me, neither does my sexual orientation. If you are so concerned about same-sex marriage, don’t marry a person of the same sex.
You absolutely have the right to disagree with same-sex marriages. But, that should not hinder the ability for two people who love each other to have the same constitutional right of marriage. Maybe after you actually meet someone who is gay, and get to know them for the content of their character and not just the miniscule detail of their sexual orientation, perhaps you will then see that in the large scheme of things, we, as people, are more alike than not. We all struggle to survive, and live the best life.
Life is just too short. Let two consenting adults who love one another live their own life. With all the troubles in the world today, our people entitled to happiness? With liberty and justice for all, not liberty and justice for some.
Just my two cents,
Buddy–



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Buddy

posted May 1, 2009 at 6:44 pm


My comment should read “aren’t people entitled to happiness” my voice recognition software screwed up.



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Al Eastman

posted May 1, 2009 at 8:18 pm


It is refreshing to read an opinion that doesn’t always come from a radical regressive leftist liberal. Do I agree him 100%, no, I rarely do with anyone except myself.
Most of the counter arguments seem to be based on a sense of social justice, rather than sound theology. Please stop confusing the two.



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Steve Shay

posted May 1, 2009 at 9:36 pm


Maria Aznar
May 1, 2009 2:58 PM
“Marriage between a man and a woman is not a matter of opinion. It is God’s plan for humanity…”
Maria, You are saying those who do not marry are going against God’s plan?



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Steve Shay

posted May 1, 2009 at 9:54 pm


Al Eastman
May 1, 2009 8:18 PM
“Most of the counter arguments seem to be based on a sense of social justice, rather than sound theology. Please stop confusing the two.”
So you are conceding that sound theology, in the case of gay marriage, is unjust?



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Mordred08

posted May 1, 2009 at 10:32 pm


“An ancient Biblical tradition, a midrash, relates that the Canaanites wrote marriage contracts between man and man and woman and woman, and that this was one reason the land ‘vomited’ them up in favor of the Israelites who took their place. The historicity of this isn’t the point. It’s the moral that matters, having to do with the social impact of being libertarian about marriage combinations.”
So what moral is that: support same-sex marriage and the Israelites will invade your village, slaughter your women and children, and take your land as their own? Sorry, but I don’t think that moral is going to help your cause much.



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Robert

posted May 2, 2009 at 1:09 am


There many historical examples of time-honored traditions such as slavery, polygamy, war, and marriage. Does the ever-spiraling divorce rate prove that marriage between a man and a woman is the most effective means of raising children? What about child abuse? Is it more prevalent coming form hetero males or gay males? And love/ Is it time-honored coming from a man and a woman or two men or two women? As social values evolve to include ALL of G-d’s children – then all of us will be treated equally, in marriage, as well.



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Lloyd S.

posted May 2, 2009 at 1:27 am


“Complicate that by endorsing gay unions and you have diminished the prestige of heterosexual marriage, weakening it.”
The bigotry inherent in this statement (and others like it) is pretty appalling. It is merely a slightly oblique way of saying that if those lowlife fags are permitted to marry, then marriage itself will no longer be worthy of respect.
“Apart from its impact on family life,”
Another good one. How does the marriage of two gay men and women have any impact on the lives of any family but theirs? I’ve never seen anyone clearly articulate any concrete or tangible harm that will come to them because, when, and if gay couples are allowed to marry. But I can tell you that not according gay couples and their children the full rights and protections that are given to other families often has devastating consequences. They happen in hospital rooms when life partners are denied visitation rights. Or in schools, hospitals, and courts when they are denied parental rights. Or in courts when they are denied rights of inheritance. So tell me please which is the greater harm – the denial of protections to the children of gay couples or the posited diminishment in respect for marriage on the part of people who have some form of distaste for, or objections to, homosexuality.
Again, the underlying premise has to be that gays are so unworthy, they do not merit those protections.
“For thousands of years and across a multitude of cultures, people have agreed that marriage means the union of man with woman.”
For thousands of years and across a multitude of cultures, people have agreed that Jews are cursed by G-d and the epitome of evil. Does that mean they are right?



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Your Name

posted May 2, 2009 at 8:58 am


I don’t care what the world think about same sex marriage,it is wrong. I am not perfect, but what I read in the bible god words never fail and god is not a liar. Mankind is turning god words around to suit them selves, however there is a day of judgement and every one will be standing judgement for them selves. The way to god is always the narrow and lonely path,but the way to distruction is always wide and full of enthusiasm we have to te very careful because our enthusiasm will come back to hurt us in a big way. What would we gain to win the world and loose our soul.



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Your Name

posted May 2, 2009 at 9:23 am


Since God is our creator, He gave us specific guide lines by which to live out our lives in an honorable manner, beginning with His instructions to Moses in the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, as well as personal guide lines as recorded in the new testiment books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Many of His requirements are as emphasized by His Judges, Prophets. Priests, apostles, and diciples throughout the remaining books of the Bible, all of which provide us with the Moral Road Map expected of us to follow. Within His guidlines, He specifically and clearly defines what He expects of us, in behavioral diciplines regarding marriage, and relationships between man and woman, man and man, woman and woman, pointing out the abomination of same sex relationships. Read Leviticus chapter 18:22-30, and, Romans chapter 1:20-31. Accordingly, to ignore God’s guidelines relating to His behavioral expectations, is to openly defy God, and to invite His wrath regarding diciplinary actions, causing Him to consider destruction of our great nation and other destructive measures



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Your Name

posted May 2, 2009 at 11:23 am


God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, this is a conditional statement which includes belief in within our minds, soul and body, to believe and not die. If man thinks that he can live any way other than what God has given as his commandments, then his condtion will be very different than choosing everlasting life in heaven. Gods first commandment was to multiply and replenish the earth, I believe and know that this includes male and female in union with each other and in contract with God. Marriage is a contract between Man and Woman and God only. From the very beginning Man has chosen to listen to other voices than God’s and that has gotten us exiled from God’s prescence. The only way back to his presence is to beleive in Jesus Christ, choose to follow his commandments, ask for forgiveness and enjoy the freedom within God’s Spirit, anyother way did not come from God. It is plain to see that Satan will choose to pollute,deceive, destroy God’s plan of an abundant life for us, his children, to listen to anything other than God sentences you to death, separation from God and hell. Be not deceived that whatsoever you sow you will reap, Choose Jesus and live. Romans 10:9-10; John 3:16-17.



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Your Name

posted May 2, 2009 at 12:23 pm


Religions come and go and they are created by humans. The sacred books were written by humans and have justiified all sorts of really stupid things. We created God in OUR image – and lets face it – we don’t have much sense. Choose your religion, whatever gives you peace and joy, but don’t have the arrogence to force it on someone else. Love one another, don’t steal, don’t kill and respect the planet (our only home). The rest is pretty much up to what religion works for you. Do I really have to list the bloodshed, wars, abuse and cruelty fostered and excused by so-called “Religion”….Please take your heads out of your——and grow up. Spiritual ideas help us grow and become better people, dogma produces hate and prejudice. Your choice.



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Your Name

posted May 2, 2009 at 12:55 pm


It seems to me that the act of homosexuality itself is what will (or very well could) cause G-d to spew our nation out of the land and replace it with a more righteous nation.
But as an amateur Bible scholar, I cannot find any guideline or scripture which says or infers that a secular government’s sanction of marriage between a man and man, or between a woman and a woman, will make G-d any more angry at us. According to the scriptures, he is already disgusted because of our nation’s current acceptance of what he clearly labels an “abomination”.
So, absent of scriptural direction about what a government should do regarding same-sex marriage, it leaves us with only scripture-sensitive logic with which to make our decision whether to oppose same-sex marriage. It seems to me that G-d instituted marriage partially to obstruct the natural tendency of humans toward promiscuity. It also seems that one of the greatest social detriments of homosexuality (especially in males) is the extreme promiscuity so commonly displayed in that lifestyle. With that in mind, it seems to me that sanctioning homosexual marriage and a couple’s admirable desire for a “monagamous” commitment could in fact be of benefit to our society as a whole.



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Your Name

posted May 2, 2009 at 5:33 pm


Maria Aznar,
“Marriage between a man and a woman is not a matter of opinion. It is God’s plan for humanity.”
According to your faith beliefs. Not according to mine.
And here all this time I thought America ‘promised’ freedom of religion to ALL citizens. That means we don’t have to believe what you believe, Maria.
Meanwhile, the issue at hand is cvil marriage – the kind actually recognized by the (secular) government. Your “God” (and your idea of his plan) doesn’t enter into it. Or at least it shouldn’t – not in America, anyway.



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fyrchikn

posted May 3, 2009 at 12:06 pm


It is not for anyone to say what is right for any other person and we as humans have no real idea what G-d has in mind for us and if it’s wrong in the eyes of G-d for gays not to be together then why has he made them, a marriage is what 2 people make it. It is not for others or government to say what constitutes a marriage because I know more gay marriages that are more healthy than most hetero marriages, it is the same as what makes a family, it is up the the individuals involved not anyone else. If more people worried about themselves instead of sticking their noses in others lives this world would be a much better place. It all boils down to what is right for YOU not what others think. You have to live life for yourself NOT for others.



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Laughing at some comments

posted May 4, 2009 at 12:09 am


So “No-Longer-Wife” you say, Quote – “Gay people are human beings – lovely warm human beings – many of whom have more love in their hearts and are more loyal to their friends and partners than some of the self-righteous folk who decry their relationships.”-
Fantastic!! Wonderful…I can see them all linking hands singing Kumbai-ya.
Making such grand generalizations makes me laugh. I worked with one gay guy who was a basket case. No great love in his heart. More like pent up anger and aggression. He was frankly scarey.
Some other poster here claimed hetero couples were “afraid” gay couples would do the marriage thing better.
WT?? What a joke! Are YOU gay and casting aspersions?
If the gays want to have their civil unions, go ahead. If you want the money and benefits when your partner kicks the bucket, good-o.
But don’t call it “MARRIAGE”.
Despite the throw-away mentality some people have about this sacred union, it should stay as it was intended, between MAN and WOMAN.
Have a great day. :)



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Husband

posted May 26, 2009 at 10:32 am


Laughing,
“If the gays want to have their civil unions, go ahead.”
Perhaps you didn’t know, but in 30 American States, even “civil” unions aren’t permitted.
“If you want the money and benefits when your partner kicks the bucket, good-o.”
Except, of course, gay citizens can’t even do that. Not permitted – by federal law.
Feel free to try again, but next time, deal with reality, not religious fantasy.
“But don’t call it “MARRIAGE”.”
You’re a bit late. I already am – legally – married, whether you happen to like it or agree with it or not. Tuff. Get over it, then get used to it.



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capecodkwassa

posted May 27, 2009 at 6:32 pm


I think Jews shouldn’t be allowed to get married. Christianity is the dominant faith in the United States; most people in this country believe in Christ. So in America the “mystique” of marriage is that it’s a sacred convenant between one Christian man and one Christian woman.
Read the REST of the Bible, David. It is very clear that Judaism is the incorrect faith, superceded by the resurrection of Christ the Savior. A true marriage symbolizes the relationship between Christ and His church, which is called the bride.
Therefore, your Jewish “marriage” to your Jewish “wife” makes a mockery of the real thing.
How does that feel, David? Now you know how gay people feel when Jews like you advance discrimination against a fellow minority in order to score points with the Christian right. Are they your buddies, little David? Do they like Israel? You’re pathetic.



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David Klinghoffer

posted May 27, 2009 at 6:42 pm


Kwassa, the problem with your rhetorical move here is that while I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, I try not to decide what’s true based on how it makes me or other people feel.



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capecodkwassa

posted May 28, 2009 at 5:32 pm


Right. Religious extremists base their decisions on what they believe God says/said. My point is that you practice a religion that almost nobody belongs to; even most Jews don’t practice Orthodox Judaism. So besides the obvious question (namely: who CARES what Orthodox Jews believe about anything?)there is also the fact that many other religious extremists have bad things to say about YOU.
Elsewhere on your blog you complain about antisemitism. That is of course a sad problem in the world, but you personally have no moral credibility on the subject when you use your popularity as a bully pulpit against gay people. That makes your complaints seem like hypocritical whining.
And spare us the cheap talk about not wanting to hurt peoples’ feelings. Not only is that an outright lie when you just linked gay married people to a pagan cult, but also, I’m sure many if not most Nazis were polite.



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JDHURF

posted May 28, 2009 at 8:12 pm


I agree with capekwassa here entirely. Not only is David trumpeting the most reactionary and bigoted aspects of his own faith – which by definition necessitates the abstention of reason, which is evident all throughout David’s vulgar prose, but, as is transparently usually the case, doing so in order to score points with the powerful Christian right. It’s enough to make anyone sick.
David claims that the mere fact that marriage is very ancient “tells us something” in and of itself. While that is no doubt true, David is egregiously wrong to cull from this platitude the alleged fact that because “[f]or thousands of years…people have agreed that marriage…” is between a man and a woman, that this validates the premise. The only fact that can be logically deduced is that the institution of marriage, as with any ancient institution, carries with it still many heinous historical residues (David’s anti-gay bigotry here being an example of such a residue) and that many people have subscribed to this premise: it really shouldn’t have to be explained to an adult that consensus is neither evidence nor justification for anything. David without any apparent self-awareness or understanding of elementary logic presents the fallacy of consensus gentium as justification for his bigoted anti-gay dogmas.
David then goes on to make the bizarre claim that marriage has a “mystique.” What precisely is this mystique? David only mentions “the force of government sanction.” How government sanction produces mystique David of course doesn’t explain nor does he explain why this mystique justifies oppressing gay people, how it validates his anti-gay bigotry. I suppose its all just too mysterious for me.
David claims that allowing gay people to get married takes away from “the prestige of heterosexual marriage.” How? Again, he doesn’t bother himself with providing any explanatory substance. What is prestigious about a prejudiced social institution? Did allowing interracial marriage take away from the “prestige” of single-race marriages? Surely it did in the eyes of the racists and the reactionaries. Allowing gay people the fundamental human right of marriage only takes away from the “prestige of heterosexual marriage” in the eyes of anti-gay bigots and religious extremists like David, for, in my view and in the view of anyone with a rational and humane ethical calculus, denying gay people the right to marriage is very much diminishing of the “prestige” of marriage, not to mention diminishing of morality, civil and human rights and of our society in general. In no sense does David’s citing of mystique and prestige support or justify his anti-gay bigotry, quite the opposite, as my analogy should help illustrate.
David’s claim that “the integrity of moral tradition as a whole is at stake.” That is plainly false. What he means to say is that the integrity of HIS moral tradition is at stake and his moral tradition is without question not something to be proud of. Morality in and of itself is also at stake, but David fails to realize that through his anti-gay bigotry and general prejudice and oppression, HE is the one subverting a sane and humane moral calculus all in the name of “faith” (which requires the abstention of reason and which is supposed to be separated from political questions).



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itsumoai

posted May 29, 2009 at 1:34 am


Actually that’s not true. Hinduism and Buddhism have a long history of accepting marriages between members of the same-sex. Unfortunately a lot of the negative attitudes towards homosexuality, which are decreasing in most of these nations since they have gone back to their pre-colonial roots. Buddhism doesn’t even mention homosexuality, since what is important in buddhism is to overcome your dhakka (suffering, shortcomings, ect,) and help others.



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capecodkwassa

posted May 30, 2009 at 3:01 pm


Quote: “Kwassa, the problem with your rhetorical move here is that while I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, I try not to decide what’s true based on how it makes me or other people feel.”
The main point here is that you support discrimination against gays because of what YOUR Bible says, while very recently you called two other bigots “a couple of nasty little anti-Semites” because they brought out what their religion says about Jews. You are a hypocrite to call them antisemitic because you fail to see they are mirror images of you. You and the two Jew-haters both base your opinions on your Bibles and religious teachings.
Buddy, the New Testament is WAY more anti-Jewish than the Torah is anti-gay. The only reason most Christians and Jews are able to peacefully co-exist is because most Christians are moral enough to interpret their Bible in a way that’s not savage, primitive, and evil. You and your ilk should do the same with your own Bible. It’s time for Christians and Orthodox Jews to treat gay people with the same level of humanity that most Chrisitans treat Jews, depsite what savagery their ancient scriptures say.



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One day

posted July 3, 2009 at 12:43 pm


Sigh…the cause of all human evil, not wanting to be told what your doing is wrong. It grows from thoughts, to desire to the actual physical action when all reasoning and morals are totally ignored in order to justify your actions; followed by wanting to be forcefuly accepted by others. Homosexuality is wrong, whether YOU believe in God or not it won’t change The truth that He does exist and that he intended marriage and sexual interaction to be among man and woman only.
Everything that we do that goes against his character and as matter of “rebellion” corrupts the body, mind AND soul of us humans.
As Followers of Christ we are to be full of love and compassion. But that doesn’t mean that we are going to give a pat in the back to those who would like for us to accept Sin. We are all sinners, slaves to our sinful desires. True followers of Jesus understand this because we’ve been there, living a life justified by our own corrupted thinking and ways. We are not condeming but trying to bring light and truth with love, boldness, just like someone else brought light to us.
Pride, human rationale, pervertion of freedom have darkned the minds of those who live in sin, those who insist on ignoring God. Christians are to reprent truth, which most of the time is not welcome. That’s why when confronted with sin and evil we must stand by the truth whether people like it or not. At the end, it’s up to you to respond to God’s call to the light and repentance. We all have a choice, a choice that represents willingness and humbleness.
When you yield to the light and truth is not to us you are yielding to but to the Almighty God who is full of Love and Faithful to forgive. Love, by nature wants the best for us and the best is always in God and his ways. When we are not going Gods way we are going the wrong way.
I personally know ex-homesexuals and The joy and peace they have found in Jesus makes you want to weep. There is a way…



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antonio

posted January 23, 2010 at 11:13 am


God has been around for lots more than a mere 5000 years—and at last report, did quite alright.Further, there is nothing to suggest that for some 200000 years His creations also managed without exterminating themselves.Tentatively, more than we can with assurance say for ourselves, It also seems that sexual activity without marriage and same sex marriage has also been around for more than 5000 years.*
There is a long history of recorded same-sex unions around the world. Various types of same-sex unions have existed, ranging from informal, unsanctioned relationships to highly ritualized unions. It is believed that same-sex marriage was a socially recognized institution at times in Ancient Greece and Rome, some regions of China, such as Fujian, and at certain times in ancient European history. It was even more common in Africa and in the north American continent, pre-invasion.
Hu Pu’an records the phenomenon of two-women commitment ceremonies in “A Record of China’s Customs: Guangdong.In the neighboring province of Fujian, same-sex marriages between males were also recognized):
In “The origins and role of same-sex relations in human societies” James Neill, writes that primitive tribes (for reasons discussed in the book) very early engaged in partnering both same sex and mixed sex. When more established ritualization of unions began, older and dominant males collected women while younger males commonly resorted to same sex unions. It is likely these same sex unions were encouraged because they created a more peaceful and less competitive intrigue and violence.
Woman-woman marriage has been documented in more than 30 African populations, including the Yoruba and Ibo of West Africa, the Nuer of Sudan, the Lovedu, Zulu and Sotho of South Africa, and the Kikuyu and Nandi of East Africa.1
Formalized, socially-recognized relations between two men also exist in Africa. Among the Zande (located in southwestern Sudan, northeastern Congo, and the Central African Republic), a male warrior could marry a teenage boy by paying bridewealth to the boy’s parents.
Many indigenous societies in the Americas supported alternative gender roles for both biological men and women. Among the Mohave, men have married alyha (biological males.
* see cited source and wikipedia



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posted July 31, 2014 at 11:38 pm


Hello! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if
that would be ok. I’m definitely enjoying your blog and
look forward to new updates.



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