gay-wedding-with-priest-and-rings

Sex is the New Religion

Sex is the new religion in America, and it’s a religion of the sword. That’s the real reason this controversy has risen in Indiana. A determined and vocal minority from the religion of sex is bullying and cutting down traditionalists who need a law that would allow them to be left alone. This clash of orthodoxies has opposing values with moralists on both sides demanding their rights.

One side says, “everyone must celebrate my same sex marriage” (a moral position). And the other side says, “God or my conscience prevents me from doing so” (also a moral position). Can anyone see any middle ground here? There is none. So the question is, whose moral “right” will take precedence?

Governors in Indiana, Arkansas and several other states see the need for protecting religious liberty for a very good reason—it is under attack. The scales have tipped decidedly against the free exercise of traditional religion—against the right of Christians, Muslims, Jews and anyone else who can’t celebrate the orthodoxy of the new religion.

Forget tolerance. This is well beyond tolerance. Now, if you don’t agree to celebrate same sex marriage, believers in the religion of sex will commence an inquisition and, without a trial, punish you for heresy. That’s why this legislation is necessary. Florists, bakers, photographers, real estate agents, Internet CEOs, and speakers like myself have all discovered personally that the people who say they are fighting for “tolerance” are often the most intolerant. In the name of “inclusion and diversity,” those of us who have a diverse view are being excluded, and even fired and fined because we won’t violate our beliefs to satisfy the overbearing clergy of the religion of sex.

A few years ago Cisco and Bank of America fired me as a training consultant because I had conservative beliefs about sex and marriage even though my beliefs were never expressed on the job. When a homosexual manager at Cisco found out on the Internet that I had authored a book giving evidence that maintaining the natural definition of marriage would be best for society, he couldn’t tolerate me and demanded that I be fired. An HR executive canned me within hours without ever speaking to me. This happened despite the fact that the leadership and teambuilding programs I led always received high marks (even from the homosexual manager!).

While I’m probably in the minority, I believe that people have the right to choose with whom they do business. In other words, I support Cisco’s right to fire me. My problem, as I explained here, is that they falsely claimed to be “inclusive and diverse” when they are anything but that. Their orthodoxy is just as closed and narrow as the most rabid fundamentalist church.

My friends David and Jason Benham agree with freedom of association and the rights of businesses as well. When members of the religion of sex learned that the evangelical Benham brothers were violating orthodoxy by being pro-life and pro-natural marriage, an inquisition began to get the Benhams fired from their TV show. Executives from HGTV ultimately caved to the demands of the dogmatic priests and cancelled the show, which was already in production. When Jason Benham told a TV reporter that HGTV had the right to fire them, the reporter’s jaw dropped. The Benhams are actually tolerant! So are most Christians (although there are some bad apples in every group).

Somehow people are getting the wrong impression about these state laws that seek to protect religious liberty. (Not that the media would ever misrepresent an issue related to homosexuality—we all know how fair and balanced they are.) This one graphic shows how these laws work. You’ll notice that they do not allow businesses to deny anyone service at a retail establishment. No one is doing that now, and you wouldn’t be in business very long if you did. The free market would see to it. Moreover, those who actually follow Jesus want to be with and serve unbelievers as Jesus did. We just can’t advocate events or ideas that go against Christ’s teaching on marriage (Mt. 19:4-6).

The truth is these laws are not swords but shields. They are intended to shield those in the traditional religions from those in the religion of sex who would like to use the sword of government to force the traditionalists to participate in ceremonies that go against their religion or conscience. In other words, the laws are designed to prevent discrimination against the traditionalists, not enable them to discriminate against those in the religion of sex.

America has a long history of successfully balancing a variety of religious and moral beliefs with other important interests. For example, even when military service was involuntary, we still made room for conscientious objectors who did not want to carry weapons. If we can allow people to exempt themselves from defending the country—which is the most important responsibility our government has—we can certainly allow people to exempt themselves from performing same-sex wedding ceremonies!

What compelling government interest is there to force someone to support a same-sex wedding? It’s not like there is a shortage of people willing to do them. If a 70 year-old grandmother who is a florist can’t arrange flowers at your same-sex wedding, why not just go to someone else who would be happy to do it? (Is it really that hard to find a gay florist?) Why don’t we ever hear about traditionalists suing gay business owners for refusing to print up anti-gay marriage fliers? Why is “tolerance” only a one-way street to the religion of sex?

Should a Muslim caterer be forced to do a same sex wedding? Should a Muslim T-shirt maker be forced to print gay pride T-shirts or those that satirize Mohammad? (The religion of sex would prefer we don’t use Muslims in our questions; stick to Christians please.)

There is no compelling government interest to force a business to do a wedding or print up anything against their beliefs. That’s why the religion of sex is distorting the facts and throwing a temper tantrum to get government to force people to violate their conscience. (Their approach reminds me of what bad preachers write in the margin of their sermon notes: “Logic weak here—pound pulpit!”) Apparently, the religion of sex just can’t tolerate the fact that some people won’t accept their false doctrines by faith.

I wish there was a compromise position here but there isn’t. We have two opposing values in direct conflict. The religion of sex values the sword of government compulsion over the freedom of religion and conscience. Do you?

47 replies
  1. Luke says:

    Dr. Turek,

    I’m just curious as to what your stance on the finer points of these policies is. I’m actually pretty conflicted on this stuff.

    Governor Pence was clear that the bill was not intended to allow discrimination. At his press conference a few days ago he said: “I don’t believe for a minute that it was the intention of the General Assembly to create a license to discriminate, or a right to deny services to gays, lesbians or anyone else in this state. And it certainly wasn’t my intent… But I can appreciate that that’s become the impression — not just here in Indiana, but all across this country. And we need to confront that.”

    So do you, Dr. Turek, think that businesses should be allowed to discriminate (I don’t mean that word in a negative sense — just in the technical sense) based on the sexual orientation or behavior of their client?

    The case of the pizza parlor in Indiana made some news (and honestly, I think the pizza place was treated somewhat unfairly by the media), for example. They said, when asked hypothetically if they would cater a same sex wedding, the owner said: no. They were clear though, that they would serve a gay couple who just wanted to come in and have some pizza.

    Do you, Dr. Turek, think that there is any state interest in disallowing discrimination in any case?

    For example, should the pizza place be allowed to not just refuse to cater the wedding, but refuse the gay couple who just wants to walk in and have a slice of pizza?

    Is there any service you don’t think a business should have the right to refuse to a gay person?

    Do you think the government has a state interest in disallowing discrimination on the basis of race, or religion, or handicap, or age?

    (I would say that in a lot of places, there is only one florist, or one baker in town. In some lawsuit along these lines, I remember reading that the nearest alternative was something like 200 miles away. This is a weak point in your piece. You don’t mention how you’d deal with cases where this isn’t an option.)

    You asked, perhaps somewhat rhetorically if certain things should be forced on businesses, and I’m sometimes not sure what I think. Let’s take a hypothetical motel which discriminates against those mentally different from most. They hang a “no retards” sign (a hateful term in which they include various conditions). Part of me thinks “who cares? if they want to be hateful idiots, that’s their problem. it’s their business and no one will patronize; the market will take care of it.” Another part of me imagines being on a road trip with my family, and deciding to stop in some small town with a small motel, because we shouldn’t drive any more (something that’s happened to us more than a few times); the thought of that motel having a “no retards” sign and being told that my down syndrome son can’t stay literally makes me angry (and I am not quick to anger). I’m sorry, but that’s just not morally okay. No one is forced to run a motel, but if you make the choice to run a motel in our society, then you need to follow our society’s rules.

    Back to the other hand though, I wouldn’t want to have to do photography for a neo-nazi gala. I’d hate to have my name associated with those photos on the internet or something. I also officiate weddings, and I wouldn’t be jazzed to be asked to officiate the marriage of someone who was previously divorced (outside of divorce for a few reasons). I don’t know what I would do if pressed, but honestly, I’d likely just get out of that line of work, I think. I really don’t know.

    So, I don’t really know. I think the truth is, we as a society, and our government just has to draw some arbitrary lines. You mentioned a conscientious objector not being forced to fight in war, but they are still forced to pay taxes to support the war (if they make the choice to work, anyway). This seems somewhat arbitrary and not consistent. Maybe that’s just the way it has to be.

    Anyway, I’m curious what you think about this stuff, in the specific: refuse to serve pizza, refuse a hotel room, refusing to rent my house, etc.

    Thanks,

    Luke

    Reply
    • Andy (@ItsAndyRyan) says:

      I sympathise with Frank not having his contract renewed by Cisco. But if I was a gay man I’d feel pretty uncomfortable having Frank lead me in a team-building course when I knew all he’d written about gays. To pick up your example/analogy, it would be like you attending a team building exercise led by a guy who’d said Down’s Syndrome children were sinners in past lives (as some people do argue – include famous figures in the media).

      That these views were not vocalised in the course wouldn’t help. I’m reminded of the Christian groups who campaigned against the film The Golden Compass because its author was an outspoken atheist, despite the film containing none of Philip Pullman’s views.

      Finally, I don’t why any of this means we have a ‘religion of sex’. It’s the anti-SSM campaigners making this all about sex, not those seeking equal marriage rights. When people complained 50 years ago that interracial marriage was against their religious beliefs, did that mean interracial marriage laws mean there was a religion of sex ( or a ‘religion of race’.

      In the famous case that came up in 2013 where a cake-maker refused to make a cake for a gay wedding, it turned out they refused before they knew anything about what the clients wanted on the cake – for all they knew the request could have been for a completely plain cake. They were pretty much refusing service on the basis of gender\sexuality.

      Are they being forced to ‘celebrate gay marriage’? I don’t know – are they being forced in other weddings to ‘celebrate’ the weddings of previously divorced couples, or the weddings of old people or whatever? I’d say no – they’re just providing part of the catering for the event.

      Reply
  2. Glenn E. Chatfield says:

    I think Frank has hit the issue on the head. NO one has ever suggested denying service to individuals, no matter what their sexual proclivities are, no matter their skin color, religious beliefs, etc. The issue has always been denying service to ACTIVITIES. Everyone should be able to refuse to deny service to any activity they find offensive. Black bakers shouldn’t have to bake a cake for KKK rallies, “gays” shouldn’t have to print T-shirts that say “God hates fags,” etc.

    AND, no one, NO ONE, should be fired or suffer any discrimination for doing nothing more than expressing beliefs on social or political topics, and yet that happens all the time with people who don’t want to sanction homosexuality.

    Reply
    • Luke says:

      Glenn,

      So if I my religion tells me that I should not have contact with a woman during her period, I should be forced to serve her anyway, since that would deny a service to an individual?

      How does that not throw my religious rights out the window?

      Thanks,

      Luke

      Reply
        • Andy (@ItsAndyRyan) says:

          Glenn, the distinction you make is a specious one, and you are just avoiding Luke’s question.

          Saying ‘it’s activity’ just requires Luke’s question to be rephrased – which doesn’t affect the question itself. If a pizza parlour denies service to an interracial couple, they can say it’s the activity they’re denying service to – interracial marriage or interracial sex – just as you say it is for gay couples.

          Likewise, Luke isn’t denying service to a woman on her period, he’s denying service to the ‘activity’ of a woman eating pizza on her period.

          Ultimately it’s still the individuals being denied service anyway.

          Reply
          • Glenn E. Chatfield says:

            No, it is not “specious.” Firstly, it is a stupid comparison. Eating is not an “activity” as described. You are equivocating. We are talking about supporting an event. For crying out loud, in Colorado the “gay” backer didn’t have to do the cake because it was considered “viewpoint discrimination,” and yet the Christian was attacked for discrimination against the person when it was in reality “viewpoint” discrimination.

            There is no such thing as “inter-racial” marriage to begin with. There is only one race – the human race. Prior to Darwin, “race” was synonymous with culture, such as the Irish race, the German race, etc. It was Darwinists who decided that race meant people along different branches of the evolutionary line.

            There was never a true biblical reason to deny “mixed” marriages, rather it was racist, pure and simple. But Christians, and people with common sense, know that there is no such thing as a marriage between people of the same sex.

            Now, every person sued so far for refusing to provide services to the activity – to the event – of fake marriage never discriminated against a single “gay” individual, and the florist had regular customers who are “gay.” She refused to participate in an event, the celebration of a fake marriage. There is no reason she should not be allowed to refuse service for that.

            In your upside-down world, a black has to provide services to the KKK, “gays” have to provide services to Westboro Baptist cult (whoops, no they don’t because they can claim viewpoint discrimination), and Jews have to provide services for Nazi events.

          • Andy (@ItsAndyRyan) says:

            Yes, it is specious. It’s irrelevant whether you personally believe the bible supports opposing inter-racial marriage or not. It’s not up to courts to rule on whose interpretation of which holy book is correct.

            And your views on the non-existence of race, along with irrelevant and incorrect references to Darwin, would be little comfort to the many couples denied the right to marry by anti-miscegenation laws in the the last century.

          • Glenn E. Chatfield says:

            You can call it specious all you want, but the point is that NO ONE should be forced to provide services for an event – or a viewpoint – for which they disagree. But you hypocritical people find it just fine and dandy if a “gay” baker doesn’t have to bake for a Christian. You are nothing but a bunch of bullies.

            Again, skin color is morally neutral. Sexual behavior is not morally neutral. There is no comparison between racism which prevented real marriages and common sense which says two people of the same sex don’t make a marriage.

            The fact that people called it “race” doesn’t alter the fact that there is only one human race. And it was only a minority of people who objected to such “mixed” marriages with invalid arguments that someone one person was not really human (thanks to the religion of evolutionism).

          • Andy (@ItsAndyRyan) says:

            Glenn, it doesn’t matter if it was a minority or not (and I’d like to see your cites to support that assertion) – people cited the Bible to justify laws opposing interracial marriage.

            And people – including prominent Bishops – cited the bible to justify slavery before that. We can read their long tracts still today a century and a half or so later. And they did this before Darwin published his theories, so it’s nonsense to blame him!

            Before Darwin was born American slavers had a whole host of different classifications of race – mulatto, creole etc – do denote different levels of blackness. Again, this was before Darwin. Saying his theories were responsible for racism is absurd.

            If anything has led to the idea that race is illusory it is research that followed directly from evolutionary science.

          • Glenn E. Chatfield says:

            Andy,

            If you want to play revisionist history about race, more power to you. However, your whole thing about race and “mixed” marriages is a red herring, so get back to the topic at hand. You cannot compare skin color with sexual behavior.

            The issue is whether or not people should be forced to provide services for activities/events which they totally disagree with. It should be obvious as to the answer to that question – NO ONE SHOULD BE FORCED. Besides, if one has a religious objection, the 1st Amendment already protects them, but leftist judges have decided to push their own liberal agendas with their declarations. Again, the proof of this is Colorado where a Christian baker is punished while a “gay” backer is not. The issue with both is the same, but one is a protected class – protection given based on his sexual proclivities. Such is the hypocrisy with the LEFT.

          • Andy (@ItsAndyRyan) says:

            “You cannot compare skin color with sexual behavior.”

            You might as well say you cannot compare gender with the sexual behaviour of mixing with a different skin colour.

            The correct comparison is either skin colour / gender – unchanging, unchosen – or the behaviour of mixed race / same sex coupling.

            You can’t say one is a behaviour and one isn’t.

            I’m not playing history revisionism – what I said is a matter of historical fact. Again, to claim no racism predated Darwin is demonstrably absurd.

          • Glenn E. Chatfield says:

            I’m not saying racism didn’t pre-date Darwinism; I’m saying it was a different kind.

            Skin color is morally neutral, unchanging. You are born with it. Gender is unchanging, morally neutral – you are born either male or female (don’t get into the rare hermaphrodite) – you can’t change that (contrary to all the mutilation attempts).

            All weddings, which being marriage, are events/activities. Chosen. True marriages are between members of the opposite sex, as has been recognized throughout history (except for very rare cases such as Nero, etc, which even then were not recognized by normal people), and as has been defined throughout history. Just because liberals and homosexualists (those practicing homosexual behavior or supporting it) decide to redefine the institution of marriage in the ultimate goal of destroying it, that doesn’t change what marriage really is. You can call a dandelion a rose, but it remains a dandelion nevertheless.

            ALL sexual behavior is a choice -ALL. No one has to engage in any sexual activity, and to give special rights to people based on their sexual desires is a travesty of law. Special right such as being able to redefine what marriage is and the special right not to be criticized because of homosexual activity.

            The issue is whether or not someone should be forced to provide service for activities/events which the service provider disagrees with. Again, would you have a black provide services for KKK rallies? “Gays” provide services for Westboro Baptist Cult activities? Jews for Nazi activities? And where are the attacks on Muslim bakeries for refusing to serve same-sex fake weddings? (There never will be because homosexualists are bullies and are afraid of Muslims.)

          • Andy (@ItsAndyRyan) says:

            “NO-ONE SHOULD BE FORCED”

            You quote the black guy being forced to serve the KKK, but the flip side would be that any racist could refuse service too, regardless of how much you pretend race doesn’t exist. “That black guy was holding hands with a white girl”. As I said, it’s not up to Courts to rule that his interpretation of his religion holds less weight than yours. That you disagree with him on racial/religious issues is irrelevant.

            What’s more, any religion could refuse service to any other religion. Or even the wrong sect of the same religion. “It’s against my faith to serve these heretics”.

            Your attack on any judge who disagrees with you on this issue as being a lefty is simple ad hominem. It includes Bush appointees, at any rate. They don’t all become lefties simply because they don’t let bigotry cloud a correct interpretation of the constitution.

          • Andy (@ItsAndyRyan) says:

            “Skin color is morally neutral, unchanging. You are born with it. Gender is unchanging, morally neutral ”

            Quite. So you don’t get to say a relationship with someone of a different skin colour is any less of a behaviour or a choice that someone of the same (or different) gender.

            Obviously YOU see one is being less moral; you see one as being against YOUR interpretation of YOUR religion. But that doesn’t get preference in the courts thanks to the First Amendment. A law that allows discrimination against same sex couples by virtue of one person’s religious objection would therefore also allow discrimination against an interracial couple by virtue of another person’s religious objection.

            This is not off subject, it’s a real consequence of the law in question.

          • Glenn E. Chatfield says:

            You still twist the issue, which is why I consider the discussion closed.

            No one is discriminating against ANYONE, they are discriminating against an event. Again, conflating skin color with sexual behavior is foolish.

            I’ve got better things to do than to argue with a fool.

          • Andy (@ItsAndyRyan) says:

            ” Again, conflating skin color with sexual behavior is foolish.”

            I already addressed this, and you conceded yourself that skin colour and gender are both unchanging. Thus I am not conflating something immutable with a behaviour – you must either argue that I am comparing two unchanging qualities (skin colour and gender) or two behaviours (sex between differing skin colours and sex between same gender).

            You’ve completely ignored this rebuttal, declared the discussion over, and finally signed off with an insult.

            I will let others judge how this reflects on the strength of your argument, Glenn.

  3. Luke says:

    I really do wonder if Dr. Turek thinks that the pizza parlor should also be allowed to refuse serving a gay couple just walking in to buy some pizza.

    I can see the “forced to celebrate” argument in some sense. I mentioned this in my hypothetical photography of a neo-nazi event. If people see that online — or a gay couple’s wedding — they might assume that the photographer supports these things. I sympathize with this.

    Jon Stewart made a good point though about the argument of “would you want to force a Jewish printer to print neo-nazi propaganda?” While on one hand claiming to not be discriminatory, or having any bad feelings toward gay people themselves, in these arguments the analogue to the gay couple is always some completely vile group or vile idea.

    Thanks,

    Luke

    Reply
      • Luke says:

        So my question is why. Wy should I be forced, by the government, to serie pizza to a gay couple. One could be using my pizza in order to seduce the other, take him home, and do G-d knows what. What if I don’t want to be part of that. I don’t want my yummy pizza used for such evil ends. Why should the government force me to be part of it?

        Reply
        • Glenn E. Chatfield says:

          How do you know the couple is “gay”? What if your pizza was used for the same purposes by a “straight” couple – which is just as immoral?

          You are intentionally misrepresenting the issue. Which is the normal thing for people like you who want to force everyone to either sanction homosexual behavior or be punished for it.

          Reply
          • Luke says:

            Glenn,

            I am asking a question. That’s all.

            You know nothing about me. If I had to vote for or against such a law today (allowing people to opt out of catering a gay wedding, or a wedding of divorces), I’d probably vote for it. I said above that I see both sides of the argument, but if anything I’m closer to your side. I don’t want to force anyone to sanction “homosexual behavior” not do I want to be punished for it. I am interested in where to draw the line, however.

            Honestly, all I did was ask a question, and you, instead of answering, come after me, and “people like me”. Similarly, you called another participant a fool. I know you are new to this forum, but it’s largely a respectful place (there are exceptions as above). It’s a great place where people can disagree without being attacked.

            Now to answer your questions, I am assuming I know the couple is gay. They could be holding hands, or otherwise acting romantically. I didn’t say I wouldn’t want to similarly refuse an unmarried straight couple, but it would depend on my specific religious view whether or not that was immoral. I hope that answers your questions.

            Thanks,

            Luke

          • Glenn E. Chatfield says:

            Luke

            I used the word “fool” as the Bible uses it for people who refuse to accept what God has said, and who mock the followers of God.

            The point is that no one should be forced to participate in any way with activities/events one finds offensive.

            I can’t speak for all Christians as to what they would do, but I can write from what Christians SHOULD do. I am a musician who plays for all sorts of events. I have turned down events which were either immoral or otherwise would give tacit approval. I was requested to do a “hand-fasting” ceremony (polygamy), which is not a proper marriage so I turned it down. I was requested to provide music to an event put on by a cult, and I turned it down. If someone wanted to celebrate a divorce, I would have to determine if it was a biblical divorce before I would participate. (there is disagreement among Christians as to what is a biblical divorce, but I think the Bible is clear that sexual immorality or abandonment are biblical reasons). If unbelievers want “Amazing Grace” played at a funeral/graveside, I would not do it because they have no understanding of the lyrics (people like it because it “feels good”). If I was a photographer I would refuse to photograph anything immoral (as the photographers from NM, who had a whole list of things that no one cared about, except fake marriages).

            I should have the right to refuse to provide music for any event I find abhorrent or which I think would appear to give tacit approval to.

          • Andy (@ItsAndyRyan) says:

            Matthew 5:22:
            “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.”

            Hmm…

          • Andy (@ItsAndyRyan) says:

            Regardless Glenn, I’m always hearing Christians complaining about atheists who call all theists stupid for believing in God, and they’ve got a good point. Dismissing anyone as ‘fools’ because they disagree with you on theological points (even other Christians) is not conducive to constructive discussion. Especially when the discussion is over a legal matter – I’ve pointed out several times that your own interpretation of your own holy book is not relevant to the rights or wrongs of the law, as it’s not the job of the Courts to rule on whose interpretation is correct. Thus calling me a fool for not agreeing with what YOU think your God says serves no purpose. At any rate, there are several thousands sects of Christianity in the US alone, and all disagree to a greater or lesser degree on what God says. By your logic you’re all fools to each other, but where does such name-calling get you?

        • Andy (@ItsAndyRyan) says:

          Luke, to me it’s a bit too reminiscent of the signs you used to get in England in the 1950s at lodging houses – “No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs”. I’m pretty sure it’s illegal now to turn people away on those grounds. Saying “Oh, being gay is a behaviour, not something you are”, doesn’t quite cut it. As I’ve pointed out already, being in a mixed-race relationship could equally be called a ‘behaviour’, and people can’t dismiss that comparison simply because they personally don’t object to mixed-race relationships.

          What the law-makers are trying to do is create a law that specifically targets gays, and doesn’t target other minorities. The point is that ‘it’s a behaviour’ doesn’t cut it as making the law target only the people the law-makers feel worthy of discrimination.

          And that’s even leaving aside that ‘it’s a behaviour’ really describes gay people anyway – I didn’t only become straight the first time I kissed a girl. I was straight before that!

          Reply
  4. Jorge says:

    The Bible is clear marriage is one man with one woman anything else is pervertion just like Sodom and Gomorrah and God does not allow it period. Gay marriage and movement is satans weapon to destroy society and souls. our belief rejects homosexuality but loves the people deceived by it, we can not participate of the ways of the world nor the works of darkness. Many empires and nations have colapsed because of sexual immorality even Mosses condemned such act in his time. You are with God or against, there is no other place, and there is a reward or a consequence. So to those people i can only say repent and turn from your sinful ways and receive salvation in the lord Jesus for He paid the price on the cross for your sin. homosexuality is a sin and hell is the consequence for it but repentance and reconciliation with God in Jesus can grant you a place in heaven as a reward.

    Reply
  5. toby says:

    Do Christians object to marriage that does not involve an sort of religious rites? I’m guessing not so long as they are opposite sex. I had a friend officiate a marriage and the book he held throughout the service was The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. It seems to me that if christians object to same sex marriage on religious grounds, then they should also reject religion free marriage.

    Reply
    • Glenn E. Chatfield says:

      There is no requirement for religion to be involved to make a marriage. A marriage — a real marriage as in between members of the opposite sex – is valid no matter whether it is unbelievers, different cultures, cults, etc. God recognizes real marriages as marriage. Therefore, Christians have no problem providing services to any real wedding for real marriages.

      Reply
  6. Luke says:

    Glenn,

    It seems that you are quite good at refusal. You not only refuse many events, but also refuse to answer my simple question. 🙂

    By the way, I myself said above that I would likely get out of the marriage business than be forced officiate the marriage of someone who was previously divorced (save for a few reasons). I completely understand the rules you’re advocating for. As I said before, I even think I support them. I’m just asking you a simple question.

    Thanks,

    Luke

    Reply
  7. Luke says:

    Correcting the fact that my phone keyboard was set to the wrong language, resulting in some confusing autocorrects, the question was: “Why should I be forced, by the government, to serve pizza to a gay couple?” (Rephrased, with some added context to: “Why should the government force me to be part of it?”)

    Thanks,

    Luke

    Reply
    • Glenn E. Chatfield says:

      Luke,

      “Why should I be forced, by the government, to serve pizza to a gay couple.”

      First, there is no such thing as a “gay couple.” There really is no such thing as a “gay” person or a “homosexual.” People are not what their sexual desires are. They are just people. No one should be allowed to refuse service in any establishment just because they don’t like the looks, politics, sexual desires, etc. If you are open for business to serve people, they turning down anyone just because of who they are is illegal – sort of what the civil rights battle was all about. If there were no civil rights laws, then a particular class of people would be denied every life-saving product by every store.

      (By the way, sexual “orientation” -i.e. sexual desires” – should have no civil rights protection, especially since the only “orientation” which is given special rights is that of homosexual desires – and there is no way to prove one is of any particular persuasion.)

      IF someone is dressed inappropriately for the particular establishment (no shoes, no shirt, immodest attire, “bum” clothes in a formal establishment, etc), then they can be refused service until they dress appropriately. That has been established as a right forever.

      There is a vast difference between serving a customer in a place of business and providing service for a customer’s activity or event. If a person of homosexual desires wants to come into a bakery and buy a cake off the shelf, let them. But if they want you to bake a cake celebrating what they call a wedding or any other celebration of the destruction of real marriage, then they should not be allowed to force it.

      Reply
      • Luke says:

        Glenn said: “First, there is no such thing as a “gay couple.” There really is no such thing as a “gay” person or a “homosexual.”

        Cool. You’re the first “gaytheist” I’ve met. Thanks for allowing me to coin the term. “)

        (Yes, I know it should be agayist, but we all agree gaytheist sounds better, sometimes we have to put form above function.)

        Of course, by your logic, there are no tall people, since “people are not what their height is. They are just people.” Don’t believe what the basketball game program tells you Glenn! There are no tall people! Us aheightigthists need to stick together!

        Anyway, I think you’ve tried to answer my question. I will take the blame here, in that I am not 100% sure what your answer is. I see some conflicting information.

        You say “If you are open for business to serve people, they turning down anyone just because of who they are is illegal – sort of what the civil rights battle was all about.”

        In this part, you seem to say: ‘yes, you as a pizza owner should be forced to serve pizza to a gay couple (not that they exist).’

        Then you seem to say no, I should not be forced: ‘By the way, sexual “orientation” -i.e. sexual desires” – should have no civil rights protection, especially since the only “orientation” which is given special rights is that of homosexual desires.

        So if the civil rights battle is what made this illegal, by exempting LBGT persons from civil rights, you exempt them from the first answer “that no one should be turned down because of who they are”, since the civil rights battle is how we got that answer. (Again, you say no one should be turned down because of “who they are” but as a proud gaytheist, you know that no one is gay. So turning down a person for being gay, is not turning them down for who they are.)

        You then return to a ‘yes’: “If a person of homosexual desires wants to come into a bakery and buy a cake off the shelf, let them.”

        (How can a person be made of homosexual desires, by the way? Shouldn’t you say “person with?” And then, do they have to be having the desire right then, or is it a “person that sometimes has homosexual desires”? Anyway, for one who tells us that ‘there are no tall people’, to say someone is “of homosexual desires” seems odd.)

        In the end, it seems that you’ve answered the question saying that “yes, government should force you to sell pizza to a gay couple.”

        My question though wasn’t: “should they?”, you will notice that my question was “why should they?”

        If I have a deeply help religious belief that it is immoral for me to deal with, or serve, or especially accept money from “people of homosexual desires”, why should the government force me to act immorally (or otherwise get out of the pizza business)? Why should the government have that right? What gives them that right?

        Why?

        Thanks,

        Luke

        (ps your behavior distinction seems dubious to me. Couldn’t I just say that I’d be glad to serve them, if not for behavior of their hand-holding and googly eyes? You could make up a justification for just about anything along behavior lines. I think Andy mentioned that inter-racial marriage is just as much a behavior and activity as gay marriage; you just have to pick the descriptive words you want to use.)

        Reply
  8. Luke says:

    So this is kind of sad. Today is my anniversary. My wife and I are not quite in the triple digits, so I’ll just say it’s anniversary number xx.

    I just called her and told her we are not a married couple. I told her that “people are not what their civil statuses are. They are just people.”

    Well, she wasn’t very happy with me, Glenn. Thanks a lot!

    And I already didn’t get her a gift — not that I ever do.

    This is like the worst day.

    Reply
    • Andy (@ItsAndyRyan) says:

      I guess this also means we can do with protecting religions too, since ‘there’s no such thing as a Christian’. Do we need a new name for people who’ve always felt attracted to their own gender since they started feeling attraction? Seems like gay or homosexual are both good terms to describe this situation, which applies to a decent-sized minority (and in fairly consistent proportions in every society).

      And for a group of people Glenn doesn’t even believe exists, he’s packed in a fair amount of contempt for them in a small number of words. I’ve known many committed gay couples whose relationships are no different from straight couples I know. Saying things like ‘What they call a marriage’ strikes me as the language of hate. I know many Christians who would say that language is not very Christian!

      ” I think Andy mentioned that inter-racial marriage is just as much a behavior and activity as gay marriage”

      I did, and that point has never been addressed. Let’s paraphrase Glenn’s final paragraph:

      “If a person of mixed-race desires wants to come into a bakery and buy a cake off the shelf, let them. But if they want you to bake a cake celebrating what they call a wedding or any other celebration of the destruction of real marriage, then they should not be allowed to force it.”

      Sounds icky, doesn’t it? Sure, Glenn doesn’t disapprove of mixed-race marriage, as far as we can tell, but others do, and in fact such people were in a majority in many states just 50 years ago (check out the polls from the mid-1960s in places like Virginia if you don’t believe me). Should their arguments have held sway?

      Do either of you today support the right of cake-makers NOT to refuse service to mixed-race couples getting married? A simple yes or no. Feel free to add why you say yes or no. But saying that service shouldn’t be denied in such a case but could be denied in the case of gay weddings is special pleading.

      Finally, of course people will be free to contemptuously use phrases like ‘what they call a wedding’, but marriage equality IS coming to the 50 states, and those people WILL be legally married, whether you accept it or not.

      Reply
      • Luke says:

        Andy said:“I guess this also means we can do with protecting religions too, since ‘there’s no such thing as a Christian’.”

        Well, of course religious expression is a behavior, and it’s fine to discriminate against behavior, so I think Glenn would certainly have to agree with you.

        Andy asked:: “Do either of you today support the right of cake-makers NOT to refuse service to mixed-race couples getting married? A simple yes or no. Feel free to add why you say yes or no. But saying that service shouldn’t be denied in such a case but could be denied in the case of gay weddings is special pleading.”

        Well, I think I said above that I’m a bit conflicted. Part of me thinks that people will just not go to a business with a “down with miscegenation” signs, so why should the government get involved. I just don’t like the idea of a “thought police state”. In part, I think the underground aspect of such movements can make them stronger; I think sunlight is a better disinfectant that a baton. On the other hand, I gave the example of the “no retards” hotel, and talked about how angry that made me. On that hand, I don’t think people should get away with this kind of thing. I definitely think that any business benefits greatly from the roads and infrastructure society builds, from the protection of contract law, and probably a million other things. It’s not unfair to expect society to put down some rules for providing that benefit.

        But yeah, I’m still conflicted and I don’t know. I could see some sort of compromise that when there is another florist within 20 miles that is willing, than other florist should be able to refuse business. But if a business is the only option, then they need to accommodate any customer. I still don’t think that’s perfect though.

        I guess I just wish people were nicer. How is that for a terrible answer?

        Oh, on the special pleading bit though, I’d say any answer I give certainly applies equally to those that don’t want to serve mixed-race weddings as it does to weddings between two people of the same sex.

        Luke

        p.s. On a personal note, regarding my proposed compromise: if I was the only option of minister for a couple, one of whom was previously divorced, I’d think I’d go ahead and do it. Honestly just to be nice to people. I could see it being hurtful if I refused. I don’t see any good in that. But if there was another option, I’d rather they use it.

        Reply
        • Andy (@ItsAndyRyan) says:

          It’ll all be a moot point in a few decades, I guess. The normal run of these things is that you get Christian groups vehemently opposing something at first, like the abolition of slavery of the allowance of interracial marriage – then after a few decades they dwindle away, leaving Christians to claim credit for the change!

          The only surprising thing right now is how quickly public opinion is turning against the bigotry. Before you know it Christians will be claiming credit for allowing SSM and pointing out what a civilising influence the holy institution of matrimony has been on gays!

          Reply
          • Luke says:

            I think that’s all true.

            Hillary Clinton features gay couples in her presidential campaign announcement. It’s only been 11 years since George W. Bush used the opposition to gay marriage to his political advantage. Even 8 years ago, a presidential candidate never would have had the courage to feature and endorse gay couples so strongly. The pace of change is fast. When it comes to treating people with humility and humanity, change can never come quickly enough, but this has been heartening.

          • Glenn E. Chatfield says:

            I am really amazed at the foolish responses which supposedly intelligent people are making to my comments.

            A person is NOT his sexual preference – that is what I am saying. In fact, sexual “orientation” is also a misnomer for what is factually happening. “Orientation” is only a desire, and everyone has sinful desires. So when someone says they are “gay” they mean they practice homosexual behavior. Here’s the thing — NO ONE has to have sex. Sex is always a choice. Therefore, to call oneself “gay” one is identifying themselves by their sexual behavior rather than by their being a human being. I never once even intimated that people with homosexual desires and behaviors don’t exist — I merely pointed out that one isn’t what one’s behavior is.

            I can say I am a air traffic controller, but that identifies what I do, not what my person is. A tall person does not normally go around identifying himself by his height, rather he identifies himself as a person. I don’t tell people I’m “heterosexual,” because that is telling people what I do in the bedroom not what I am. Same with someone who says he’s homosexual — that’s not what he is, it’s what his sexual behaviors are.

            Behavior is always chosen, as are philosophies (yes, religious beliefs are chosen, but philosophical beliefs are not behaviors – our behaviors are based on our philosophical beliefs, our worldviews.), but height or skin color or gender or hair color, etc are immutable characteristics people are born with — they can’t be short if they are born tall, they can’t change their skin color from black to white (without mutilating themselves as did Michael Jackson), they can’t change from male to female (no matter how much mutilation is done). But one CAN change sexual behavior – can can choose to have sex or choose to not have sex. Why should special rights be given for sexual behavioral choices?

            There is a vast difference between feeding someone and providing assistance to their sin (and if you don’t accept it as a sin, then at least have the common sense to see homosexual behavior as a perversion of human sexuality – biology 101 – and no one should be forced to assist someone in their perversion.)

            “LGBT” people are not their sexual behavior — they are people. They have the same civil rights as people as does everyone else. What they want — and are getting — are special rights based on what they do in the bedroom, all the while telling us to keep out of their bedroom.

            Why should the government have the right to force you to serve food to everyone whether you like them or not? Because, as I DID answer, if everyone decided to not serve a particular person that person would not be able to buy food or supplies of any kind. Remember the Jews in Germany? Is it right to say I can’t sell you goods just because I don’t like what you are?
            
Foolishness and intentional misrepresenting the issue abounds in this comment section. There is a distinct difference between serving people coming into one’s business on one hand, and providing service for an activity/event on the other hand. There are two different actions with NO similarity.

            Marriage is NOT a behavior – it is a cultural institution which is the bedrock of society. What takes place IN a marriage is a behavior. But ignoring the red herring of behavior in the marriage, the issue is whether or not someone should be force to provide service to ANY wedding based on personal philosophies. If I believe that a marriage is between one man and one woman, why should the government have the right to force me to violate my beliefs? And if I believe that people of different skin color should not be married, why should the government have the right to force me to provide services for it?

            Again, the canard of comparing skin color with sexual behavior just doesn’t fly. Just because people were wrong to suggest that people with different skin color shouldn’t be allowed to marry, that doesn’t mean that it compares to thinking people of the same sex shouldn’t be allowed to marry. One belief is based strictly on racism, while the other belief is based on nature, biology, and the historical definition of what marriage is.

            As for the fallacious claim about not being married because you are just people, I can’t believe such a ridiculous and foolish example was actually given. Marriage is not what you are, it is the institution—a relationship— in which you are joined. You are not “a marriage” – you are part of a marriage. Did I really have to explain that?!

            Those who enjoy homosexual relationships already have the same equal rights to marriage – marriage being the union of opposite-sex people. They can marry someone of the opposite sex. It is not “marriage equality” to redefine what marriage is. Real marriage and same-sex fake marriage will never be equal.

            By the way, Christians who supported slavery had to abuse Scripture to do so, but it was Christians who got slavery abolished. It was also abuse of Scripture to disallow marriage between people of different skin colors, but you also have to remember how remote that belief was.

            I see no point in my continuing this discussion. All I see is foolishness, red herrings, misrepresentations of positions, etc. I have better things to do with my time, so I am unsubscribing from this comment string.

  9. Luke says:

    Sorry Glenn, I will call my wife and apologize.

    Can I ask a serious question: Did you at any point think “maybe this chap is joking with that wife story; maybe he just wanted to make me smile?’ (It really is my anniversary, and I really didn’t get a gift, but I didn’t really make this call.) I’m truly curious.

    It seems to me that your argument that people would starve would only become an issue if everyone decided to refuse to serve the gay couple. As long as there are people who are willing, why force those who don’t want to? Dr. Turek made this very argument himself. (“It’s not like there is a shortage of people willing to do them. If a 70 year-old grandmother who is a florist can’t arrange flowers at your same-sex wedding, why not just go to someone else who would be happy to do it? (Is it really that hard to find a gay florist?”) Do you think he was wrong?

    If there are willing providers and choices, should the government still force the unwilling?

    You asked:“Why should special rights be given for sexual behavioral choices?”

    I’m not sure what you mean (sorry, I’d love to answer). What special rights do you mean? What is a right that a gay person would have that you could not take advantage of? (I’ll answer once I know what you mean.)

    You also asked: Remember the Jews in Germany?

    I do.

    You also asked: “Is it right to say I can’t sell you goods just because I don’t like what you are?”

    I suppose this is what I am trying to think through. I don’t think it is, but this invites the further question, is it right of the government to force you to act against your beliefs, because the beliefs are “wrong”?

    You asked this about “married couples”: Did I really have to explain that?

    Apparently, you thought so. 🙂 I didn’t think you did.

    One more question for you: Who is the fool? Is it the fool on the hill? Or is it everyone else? He knows they’re the fools, you know.

    Reply
  10. Andy (@ItsAndyRyan) says:

    Glenn: “By the way, Christians who supported slavery had to abuse Scripture to do so, but it was Christians who got slavery abolished.”

    Leaving aside that scripture condones slavery much more often than it condemns ‘gay behaviour’, it seems that the situation you refer to still has analogue with the present, as it will most likely be Christians who ‘abolish’ the barriers to gay marriage, as I believe all the Judges ruling on this are Christians, appointed by Christians.

    You say gays already have the right to marry the opposite gender (incidentally just as mixed race couple in anti-miscegenation states had the same right as everyone else to marry someone of the same skin colour). If that is the case, how can you also argue that gay marriage would be a ‘special right’, given that it would give straights like you, me and Luke the same right to marry another man as it would give gays? It’s not a special right for gays if it’s available to straights too, by the same logic that you say gays currently have the same rights as straights to marry the opposite gender. You can’t have it both ways, Glenn!

    Reply
  11. Andy (@ItsAndyRyan) says:

    Out of interest, have there been many occurrences of florists and cakemakers refusing service to divorcees getting married? I’m guessing not. They’re probably friends with lots of divorcees, think they’re OK, and therefore put any thoughts of sin aside when serving people getting remarried. Then it becomes a case if ‘let him without sin cast the first stone’.

    Reply
  12. David says:

    If conservatives were really serious about championing family values and protecting traditional marriage they would commit as much time and energy to protesting and trying to outlaw heterosexual divorce as they do banning gay marriage. I don’t think it would be too difficult to show empirically that heterosexual divorce is much more damaging to society than gay marriage. But then they would be faced with another problem, paying the bills when all the offended divorced, remarried adulterers sitting in the pews stopped tithing.

    Reply
    • Andy (@ItsAndyRyan) says:

      Yes, the hypocrisy is breathtaking – Conservative hero Ronald Reagan introduced no-fault divorce legislation, making it far easier to get divorced. Most of the right-wing commentators making the most noise against gay marriage are themselves divorcees – Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh etc. what was that line in the bible about taking care of the mote in your own eye before worrying about the splinter in other people’s? No surprise these guys don’t actually read their own holy book.

      Not to mention that SSM would most likely bring down rates of heterosexual divorce.

      Reply

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