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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Cutting Off God

Ever notice that every argument opposing gay marriage inevitably deteriorates into a religious sermon on the evils of homosexuality. Seriously, I have yet to encounter a truly secular argument opposing gay marriage that holds any water. Every one of their arguments boils down to one basic theme, bigotry against and hatred toward homosexuals.

In general, I love to get into a good discussion about religion. I love pointing out all the contradictions or just plain wacky beliefs they follow, or choose to ignore while cherry-picking the parts they like. I get a slight feeling of intellectual superiority when it becomes obvious that I know more about their bible than they do. There is nothing better than cornering a religious know-it-all into falling back on the ol' "God works in mysterious ways" when they have run out of excuses for beliefs they can't explain.

But I'm tired of religion poking it's head in where it doesn't have any right to be in the first place. And gay marriage is one of these places. So I am making a slightly late New Year's resolution: I will no longer tolerate any discussion of religious beliefs when it comes to gay marriage. Period!

"But people have a right to their religious beliefs. It's who they are. How can you expect them to set aside their most cherished beliefs on an issue so volatile as gay marriage?"

Let me explain it to you as simply as possible:

1. While many people consider marriage to have religious overtones, legally, in this country, marriage is a civil contract. For example, when my wife and I decided to get married, we were not required to be married in a church by a clergyman. We merely had to fill out the legal paperwork supplied by the state and then find someone who was granted permission by the state to marry us. And there was no requirement that the officiant be religious in any way.

2. In this country, we are governed by a Constitution that is neutral toward religion. While most people remember the phrase "Freedom of religion", this neutrality also means that our governmental institutions cannot actively support religious beliefs simply because of their religiously based justifications. There must be some secular justification for government to take action.

3. Because marriage is a civil contract regulated by government and because government can only act on secular justifications, common logic dictates that purely religious arguments for or against gay marriage should not be allowed to have any bearing on the matter.

Do religious people have the right to think that their god hates homosexuals and wants them to hate homosexuals too? Of course they do. Do they have the right to use those religiously based arguments to oppose gay marriage? NOPE. Only secular arguments can be considered when making law. When someone wants to make a religious issue out of it, we should ignore those arguments. Personally, I think we should stop taking the bait and simply refuse to get into any type of religious discussion with them. When someone wants to drag you down the road to god, simply say "You want to talk religion, go to church. This matter concerns civil law, and religion has no place in such matters."

So no more. I don't care if you're Mel White or James Dobson. Unless you have a secular argument to back up your assertions, your opinions may be interesting to your own congregations but they have no role in the workings of our government and I'm not going to tolerate them any further.

And to all you people out there who would like to tell me that I'm anti-religious because I'm trying to take away your right to religious freedom, TOUGH LUCK. As you are all so fond of telling us, go find a country that is ruled by the religion of your choice if you don't like it here, because in this country, we have a secular Constitution and when it comes to making our laws, your religiously based opinions don't mean squat. But if you think you really have a good secular argument against gay marriage, go ahead and lay it on me, because I'd really like to hear one.

10 Comments:

Blogger Jones said...

That makes perfect sense to me. I'll follow your advice. Though, I don't know why I have the feeling they won't get the point and if they will, they'll start using things like "nature", "common sense" and "morality"

Thu Mar 01, 04:01:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Lane said...

Why is marriage a civil contract? Or why should it be?

Let's try reversing the argument. Instead of saying that gay people should have the right to marry because everyone else does, we should say that government has no business involving itself in the private family lives of its people. Let's leave marriage to the churches. Let's get marriage out of our tax code and out of our courts. Let's stop giving married people "special rights." Let's stop letting the government decide how to divide marital assets, such as children, in the event of dissolution. Let's leave it all up to the churches.

I say no to gay marriage. And no to straight marriage!

Sat Mar 03, 10:23:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Naomi said...

Bruce, I am Naomi from gods4suckers.net. I want to thank you, for your comments both on my post, and for your excellent post on the subject. Bravo!

I'm taking a paragraph back with me, to use as a suggested template for our GifSters when forced to discuss this by homophobic fundies.

Nice blog, Bruce!

Sat Mar 03, 05:36:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Joe said...

I kind of lean towards Lane's point. Why is there civil marriage at all? I can see the point that before DNA testing that marriage gave a child a legal mother and father, but marriage isn't needed for that any more.
So, why? Why have civil marriage at all?

Sat Mar 03, 06:23:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Bruce said...

Why is there civil marriage at all?

Well, I for one can definitely see the advantages to having some sort of civil contract that grants rights to a couple for decision making and such, especially when children are involved. In my perfect world, the government would only sanction some type of civil union that applies equally to everyone. If a couple felt they needed a religious ceremony to sanctify their marriage, they could go to the church of their choice, but it wouldn't be legal under the law until they filed for a civil union.

Now, do I think that the above scenario has any chance of being implemented in the US today? No way. So, realistically, I'm left to support marriage equality for everyone under the current system.

Sat Mar 03, 06:59:00 PM 2007  
Anonymous Dave H. said...

Noticed that you posted about Sam Harris' book 'Letter to a Christian Nation' a little while ago.

Just thought you might want to keep an eye out for the latest response by Douglas Wilson which getting great reviews with more to come. You can read more about it here: http://www.letterfromachristiancitizen.com/

Wed Apr 11, 05:03:00 PM 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Origins Of Atheism

Do you know that if you make an endeavor to find out when and by whom atheism was authored you will not be able to find such information from any source? Not even the most “educated” atheists - particularly those associated with the most elite universities throughout the world can truthfully inform you when and by whom atheism originated. They can enlighten you as to who were its main perpetuators in different cultures; but they cannot identify its founder and when it actually originated.

The absence of a known author and time of origin of such a highly embraced philosophy is a strange phenomenon. But this phenomenon is highly indicative. It suggests that atheism is not of earthly origin - that it had its birth in another sphere before this state of time. Atheism is not a manmade doctrine but a doctrine of the demons. Its originator is none other than the old serpent himself, namely, satan. It had its origin from the very one it deceptively denies exists. It is a doctrine which denies the authorship and existence of its own author! This accounts for the absence of information in any literature embraced by atheists that identify both a human author and earthly time of origin for atheism.

The process by which atheism originated was much more involved than can be explained here, so a simple presentation of the basic principles that gave it birth must suffice. I will endeavor to explain how atheism had its origin by first directing your attention to a principle in the Bible found in Romans Chapter 9, verse 14. The Holy Spirit who spoke through the pen of the Apostle Paul, drew a conclusion from what is presented in the previous verses. In the entire chapter, He teaches that God is sovereign over the salvation and reprobation of humans - that God does not love everybody - that He decreed that some should be the objects of His eternal love and the rest should be the objects of His eternal wrath - that God, from His own will, has mercy on some humans while He hardens the rest. He has done this apart from anything they do good or bad. He teaches that humans are not truly masters of their destinies, but God is - that the details of their lives and destinies were foreordained by God in eternity past - before He brought any of them into existence. Then He asked the question: “…There is no injustice with God, is there?” We are then very emphatically given the divine answer: “May it never be!”

The Holy Spirit implies from the question that graceless humans who are informed about the truths of God’s sovereignty over the salvation and reprobation of humans will falsely conclude that God is unjust for loving some and hating the others - for decreeing that those He love should spend eternity in heaven and decreeing those He hates to spend eternity in the lake of fire, both apart fom anything they do good or bad in this world. A false conclusion that God is unjust for His actions is what began the birth process of atheism. It is very important to keep that fact in mind.

A conclusion that the Almighty Righteous God is unjust or wrong for any of His actions cannot be arrived at except through the total depravity of those who draw such a conclusion. So in order to understand how atheism had it origin, It is crucial to realize that the total depravity of the nature of satan is the key principle that underlies the origin of atheism. The total depravity of both the human and demonic natures is really none other than an antithetical principle or law to God and His Law. If you liken God and His righteousness to light and the total depravity of humans and demons to darkness, you can understand the antithetical nature of the two to one another. Light and darkness can never coexist; the one always dispels the other. Thus, the two are ANTI to one another. When the one expresses itself in the presence of the other, the other repels and cannot agree with the other, regardless of the expression. Atheism had its origin through the practical mental reaction of satan’s depravity towards God’s actions. The response of satan’s depravity was the false conclusion that the actions of God are wrong or evil.

Even though the conclusion that God is unjust is high error and was known by satan to be so, his total depravity nevertheless made it impossible for him to conclude otherwise. Depravity must direct the hearts of its graceless subjects against God even though they know better. This is because of the very antithetical nature of depravity to God and His Law. The nature of both human and demonic depravity is an unvarying and uncompromising principle that works apart from what its subjects know and remains opposed to God at all times despite God’s actions and despite their knowledge that it is impossible for God to be wrong.


The negative expressions of God towards the existence and outworkings of the depraved natures of humans and demons is always right, whereas the negative expressions and opposition of the depraved natures of humans and demons towards God are always wrong. The very antithetical nature of the depravity of graceless humans and demons invariably enslaves them to react negatively to God regardless of what God does. Therefore, their depravity reacts negatively to God, despite the fact that God can never do evil and despite the fact that He is always perfectly innocent. Here lies also the origin of insanity.

In order for satan to have arrived at the false conclusion that God is unjust in the midst of full knowledge that it is impossible for God to be so, his depravity had to cause him in principle to haughtily and deceptively seek to raise himself above God in order to judge God’s actions. It was a haughty attempt of a measly, totally depraved creature to reduce the Almighty God to the level of a creature and to raise himself to the position of God in order to subject God’s actions to his own judgement. It is impossible for the Almighty God to be debased to the level of a measly, depraved creature; and it is just as impossible for a measly, totally depraved creature to be exhalted to the level of the Almighty God. Satan understood this very well. However, his depravity nevertheless made him endeavor to assume such a deceptive role.

In order for satan to have endeavored to judge God, there had to be in place some type of opinion, philosophy, religion, charter or law by which he used to try to judge God. But God is not subject to anything. Nothing exists whatsoever that God is subject to or responsible to obey. God is not subject even to the most noble law in the universe - the TEN COMMANDMENTS - which He made for mankind, nor to any law made for the angels. He is above all laws and does only His own will. So there is no law He can possibly violate by any of His actions. Therefore, He cannot be rightly judged to be wrong in any action He performs. The only choices satan had by which to seek to judge God were some form of his own depravity - the antithetical principle of evil - the law of sin, or the most noble Law in the universe - the TEN COMMANDMENTS. Either choice would be the evil one attempting to judge the Righteous One - evil trying to condemn the rightousness as being evil - an impossibility and absolute deception. But he probably chose the latter so as to make God deceptively appear wrong by His own Law. Again, an impossibility and absolute deception.

Once satan deceptively drew the conclusion that God is wrong, the inference created within him a deep, abiding but unjust hatred and wrath for God. The ultimate end of all hatred is the death or complete destruction of the object of hatred. The hatred that satan had for God was not satisfied with merely seeking to punish God. It was satisfied with nothing less than God’s annihilation.

But satan’s foolish wrath created huge dilemmas for him. Although he wrongly concluded that God is unjust and wanted God annihilated as a result, he also clearly understood that it is impossible for God to be subject to his or anyone’s feelings, opinions, religions, philosophies, charters or laws, or any law God has made. But he was nevertheless forced by his depravity to make a condemning judgement against God which sought God’s annihilation. (A condemning judgement against God in the midst of the absence of a law that can condemn Him is insane hatred pure and simple.) But then he was faced with his knowledge that it is impossible for God to be destroyed by anyone, any means or anything. But his depravity and insane hatred for God insisted that God be annihilated! The dilemmas only served to inflame his foolish wrath. So after ranting and raving to no effect, the only way possible for him to gain some satisfaction from his rage and a semblance of the destruction of God in the midst of his understanding that God cannot be annihilated was through deception. He had to begin to deny the existence of God in full knowledge of His existence. This was the actual deceptive and utterly foolish birth of atheism.

The birth of atheism deceptively made satan feel free from his responsibility to obey and worship God, even though he also knew he wasn’t free. It made him deceptively feel he had the freedom to think and speak whatever he wanted without the feeling that it was sin, even though he knew this was not so. It made him deceptively feel that there is no punishment from God awaiting him, even though he knows full well there is. With God supposedly out of the picture, satan could establish all of the various erroneous manmade and demonic philosophies, religions, opinions and etc. in the world and none of them would be wrong in the eyes of his atheism. Democracy could be established to give all these the right of existence. Hence the birth of demonic democracy.

Lets recount the demonic steps that led to the birth of atheism: First came the measly and totally depraved demon’s deceptive efforts to exhalt himself to the level of the Almighty God and his deceptive efforts to debase God to the level of a depraved creature. Second came his deceptive efforts to judge God’s actions by the demon’s own depravity or by the law God made for human or angels. Third came the demon’s deceived conclusion that God is unjust or wrong in what He does. Fourth came his deceptive effort to impose the sentence of annihilation upon God’s existence. And fifth came the deceptive denial of the existence of God as a substitute for an impossibe annihilation of God. As you can see, each step from beginning to end during the birth of atheism was pure deception on the part of one who knows the truth. This proves that atheism is pure deception.

You will find those five principles at work in the hearts of every atheist. The conclusion that the One and only True God doesn’t exist cannot be derived except through deception. Atheism didn’t receive its origin by a true absence of proof of God’s existence, because there has always been and always will be overwhelming proof to the contrary. Atheism had its origin by the expression of satan’s depravity towards God, and it is embraced, maintained and perpetuated among graceless humans as a result of their total depravity. In other words, atheists follow in the footsteps of their master, the devil.

It was pointed out earlier that “The negative expression and opposition of the depraved natures of humans and demons towards God in regards to any of His actions are always wrong”. It can’t be any other way, because God is perfectly holy and therefore incapable of performing evil in any of His actions. Thus, in every case wherein humans or demons judge God to be wrong, it is done through the total depravity and deep hatred of those who are evil and already condemned because of being evil. Evil can never rightly condemn the righteous or the innocent. Any attempt to do is nothing but injustce. The perfect holines of God, His inability to sin and the impossibility of any creature or thing to condemn Him is clearly understood by those who express their foolish wrath towards God. This understanding adds to the heinousness of atheism. Atheism was born out of the deep depravity and deceptive wrath of the lowest creature that ever existed. His anger towards God amounts to a deep desire to murder the Most High God, to get rid of all righteousness and establish evil as if it is good - in the midst of his knowledge that such is impossible. Thus, the wrath that he has towards God - his desire to murder and annihilate Him, has fallen on his own head. That is, the deep wrath of the Almighty God is upon him. He cannot carry out his wrath upon God, but there is nothing that can stop God from pouring out His wrath upon him. All who are of like mind as satan - who embrace his atheism also has the wrath of the Almighty God against them. If God doesn’t grant them His grace, they shall suffer eternal punishment in the lake of fire with satan. “…There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be!”

Http://www.atheist-stooges.com

Thu May 10, 08:54:00 PM 2007  
Blogger concerned citizen said...

Blah blah blah...to the above

Great post! I really like the point you make.

What I'm passionatly involved in at the moment concerns every person being able to use the constitution as a tool to support their rights. Not based on religious affiliation.

Fri Jun 15, 12:30:00 PM 2007  
Blogger zooplah said...

Concerning the whole gay marriage thing, this is another case of cherry-picking. They take the anti-gay statements from the Bible and ignore the statements that weren't (like the fling between David and Jonathan).

Wed Jul 11, 05:10:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Daniel said...

anonymous: If you're going to be a tin foil hat, you can at least stand for it and not post as anonymous...

Fri Jul 13, 11:52:00 AM 2007  

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