Monday, September 25, 2006

Threat to religious freedom

The New York Times notes that religious conservatives are making a new argument against gay "marriage" -- namely that it's incompatible with religious freedom. Set aside for now the typical NYT bias -- couching the argument in its lead grafs in terms of conservatives trying to drum things up from fear of losing their base, etc. Here is the meat of the argument:
To revive some of the emotions around the issue, several organizers said they were taking up the argument that legal recognition of same-sex marriages would cramp the free expression of religious groups who consider such unions a sin — an idea much discussed at the conference.
“That is an issue that wasn’t around two years ago and one that is absolutely moving to the very forefront,” said the Rev. Donald Wildmon, founder of the American Family Association, a conservative Christian broadcaster and advocacy group.
Although that idea may seem far-fetched to many liberal or secular-minded voters, legal scholars across the political spectrum agree that authorizing same-sex marriages could present legal questions for some religious groups. A Roman Catholic group in Massachusetts, for example, recently stopped offering children for adoption rather than provide them to gay couples.
At the Values Voters conference, Mr. Perkins played a preview for an October telecast to Christian broadcasters that dramatized the conflicts in stark terms. He interviewed parents who are suing the town of Lexington, Mass., because its public school assigned their 7-year-old son a book called “King and King,” about two princes who marry.
Amplifying what I wrote below, saying the homosex activists simply want "tolerance" is not true. Nor could it be (I'm not arguing bad faith). Tolerance is only possible for that which society considers "tolerable," and what is "tolerable" cannot be understood apart from some (religious or quasi-religious) notion of the good -- or right and wrong. The judgment that homosexuality is a morally neutral fact or attribute is not compatible with freedom for religions that say it is not, because that judgment of so-called "neutrality" will determine public policy on such matters as, say, assigning books in schools.

I'll note with amusement that the Times sees fit to note that the "idea may seem far-fetched to many liberal or secular-minded voters" -- and then goes on to cite two examples of how "tolerance" for homosexuality impinges on religious freedom (there are many others). Why is that necessary to note? "The idea that Bill Clinton is a cad may seem far fetched to many liberal or secular-minded voters" followed by references to Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky, Kathleen Willey, Gennifer Flowers, etc. Or should I be cynical and suggest that "liberal or secular-minded voters" are blind to events before their eyes because, in their typical narrative, their template of understanding "Christians" are by definition persecutors, rather than persecuted.

5 comments:

Winston Norris III said...

That is an issue that wasn’t around two years ago and one that is absolutely moving to the very forefront,” said the Rev. Donald Wildmon, founder of the American Family Association, a conservative Christian broadcaster and advocacy group.


In other words, if every one of your "arguments" for denying gay couples the legal recognition of their marriages fails, then try and try again.

This "argument" is going to fail as well, CM. Your church, and every other church in this country, is free to express whatever they want. Feel free to hang out at the funerals of dead gay people with signs proclaiming how much God hates fags...it's a free country and you're free to express whatever you want.

You're not free to deny people their civil rights simply because your religion has a certain prejudice towards a certain group of people.

Winston Norris III said...

The judgment [by the government] that homosexuality is a morally neutral fact or attribute is not compatible with freedom for religions that say it is not, because that judgment of so-called "neutrality" will determine public policy on such matters as, say, assigning books in schools.

The government has judged that divorce is "a morally neutral fact or attribute", yet, this is compatible with freedom for religions, like the Catholic church, that say it is not.

If an English teacher assigns a reading lesson that discusses the topic of divorce, is that "not compatible with freedom for religions" that say divorce is not morally neutral?

Can a history teacher not assign a book on Henry the VIII, because it might contain the topic of divorce? Can an English teacher not assign Shakespeare's Henry the VIII because it might contain the topic of divorce?

I think you, and other "Christians", are just looking for any and every reason you can think of to justify your contempt for gay people...no matter how ridiculous and pitiful those justifcations are.

CourageMan said...

I think you, and other "Christians", are just looking for any and every reason you can think of to justify your contempt for gay people.

Watch yourself.

Winston Norris III said...

Watch yourself?

Is it not the truth, CM? Is it not true that you have such little respect for yourself that you feel compelled to harbor contempt for those who have found a great respect for themselves?

I mean, come on, CM...be honest...and not just with me.

CourageMan said...

you feel compelled to harbor contempt...

Repeat that once more and you'll find out what my contempt is like.