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Comment Archives: stories: News: Pith in the Wind

Re: “Oh, Sure, Special Session to Thwart Gay Marriage, but Screw the Uninsured

My responses to the arguments of those opposing same-sex marriage (which has nothing to do with how one personally feels about homosexuality or same-sex marriages):

-->The sanctity of marriage has been ruined.

Marriage is foremost a civil ceremony granting certain legal rights for the couple. A couple may be married by local politicians, state politicians, judges, and clergy. No couple is required to be married in a church, synagogue, mosque, temple, etc., unless they choose to do so.

-->We should let the states decide.

Opponents are claiming that we should follow the will of the people. Fine. 60% of the citizens are in favor of marriage equality.

Using that argument, we would still be under siege from Southern bigots who would not allow blacks to vote or share water fountains or eat at the same lunch counters. We would still be outlawing interracial marriage (with which the Bible was used to oppose it, too).

SCOTUS stepped in (after seeing the wave of marriage equality cases being affirmed in the lower federal courts) and settled it under the 14th amendment: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

-->Marriage was redefined.

SCOTUS did not redefine marriage, as opponents have claimed, because the Constitution never defined it to begin with.

-->We should follow Biblical marriage.

There are at least eight ways to be traditionally married according the Bible. (1) Man + Woman (Gen. 2:24) [Note: Arranged marriages were the standard. Also, inter-faith or cross-ethnic marriages were forbidden for large chunks of biblical history]; (2) Man + Wives + Concubines (Abraham, Gideon, Nahor, Jacob, Caleb, et al.) (3) Man + Woman + Woman’s Property (Gen. 16); (4) Man + Woman + Woman + Woman… (David, Solomon, Gideon, Esau, Jacob, et al.); (5) Man + Brother’s Widow (Gen. 38:6-10); (6) Rapist and His Victim (Deut. 22:28-29); (7) Male Soldier and Prisoner of War (Num. 31:1-18, Deut. 21:11-14); (8) Male Slave and Female Slave (Ex. 21:4)

-->Marriage is “Christian”.

Christians are the only ones ranting over this. However, if marriage is considered a Christian activity, then non-Christians are not allowed to marry. Using this logic, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, atheists, or any and all other non-Christian people are prohibited from getting married.

-->Ministers will be forced to perform same-sex weddings.

There are at least two legal documents that prevent ministers from being forced to perform same-sex weddings—(1) the Constitution and (2) the explicit language written in the majority opinion.

The first amendment separates the responsibilities of church polity and activities, and those required by the state (government): “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

Secondly, in his majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that religious groups have a constitutionally protected right to advocate against same-sex marriage:
"It must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned.
"The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered."

-->God’s law is higher than man’s law.

For those who prefer to cherry-pick the Scriptures to “prove” their beliefs, why is this passage ignored?
Romans 13:1-2: “1Every person should obey the government in power. No government would exist if it hadn’t been established by God. The governments which exist have been put in place by God. 2 Therefore, whoever resists the government opposes what God has established. Those who resist will bring punishment on themselves.”

Religious zealots use the "biblical buffet" approach to bolster their claims. One verse in Leviticus is often quoted, but all of the other laws in Deuteronomy and Leviticus are conveniently ignored because they are too often violated by the very people using the Bible to bash gays.
In Romans 1, Paul wasn't condemning homosexual behavior, he was railing against idolatry and temple prostitution.
And because we know that homosexuality was well known in the times of Jesus, when does He make condemnation--or even address the issue--of homosexuality? It must not have been a been a big deal to Him.

Secondly, we are not a theocracy. Our laws are based on the Constitution, not the Bible. Our elected officials swear an oath on the Bible (mainly) to uphold the Constitution of the United States, not the other way around.

-->Couples should not live together outside of marriage.

Many are quick to condemn couples who live together and have sex outside of the bonds of marriage. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate that all couples who live together should instead get married? Marriage equality has now made that possible.


How, exactly, has anyone’s same-sex marriage negatively affected your marriage?

28 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by The Jabberwock on 07/01/2015 at 12:02 PM

Re: “Oh, Sure, Special Session to Thwart Gay Marriage, but Screw the Uninsured

Some Tennessee county clerks stopped performing marriage ceremonies before the Supremes weighed in. They say it's too much inconvenient work for their offices. The issue is indeed convenience and whose convenience should be served.

8 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Donna Locke on 07/01/2015 at 11:54 AM

Re: “Oh, Sure, Special Session to Thwart Gay Marriage, but Screw the Uninsured

So If a county stops performing marriage ceremonies altogether, doesn't that effect their budgets?

I would think it would be only a matter of time before this would be unsustainable monetarily, and possibly cause a loss of jobs for these very same clerks' offices in the counties where they refuse to issue marriage licenses. Just doesn't seem too bright.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by jack the idiot dunce on 07/01/2015 at 11:43 AM

Re: “Lifted Up Out of Poverty, but Not that Far Up

@Chris Allen: "And by the way, I think the commentator in both instances was you."

Wrong again. I jumped in because you were so confident of your ignorance. You'd throw half a million people out of work just to have your way? Really? Well, that's progress for you.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by yoyo moi on 07/01/2015 at 11:39 AM

Re: “Oh, Sure, Special Session to Thwart Gay Marriage, but Screw the Uninsured

"What will today's OUTRAGE be?"

How about the slave masters enshrined on Mt. Rushmore.

2 likes, 19 dislikes
Posted by yoyo moi on 07/01/2015 at 11:29 AM

Re: “Oh, Sure, Special Session to Thwart Gay Marriage, but Screw the Uninsured

Well, a number of our state legislators are behaving like toddlers. As for the county clerks, I wrote the following letter to The Tennessean and a longer one to my local paper. Maury County Clerk Joey Allen suddenly decided the office will stop performing marriage ceremonies. Advocates need to speak out about this in their towns.

Some county clerks have suddenly decided their offices will no longer perform marriage ceremonies. Apparently, these clerks think they have a right to use our government offices to spit on the civil right, the constitutional right, the United States Supreme Court has recently recognized for gay couples who want to marry.

These clerks should be declared unfit for office, unable to perform their duties, and should be immediately replaced.

Get people in there who understand that legal marriage is a threesome, with government one of the parties in every legal marriage. None of the substantial benefits and rights that government has made available to married couples can happen without a legal marriage, and government determines what constitutes a legal marriage and a legal marriage ceremony. Because of these government dictates, government should make it as convenient as possible for people to get legally married, not throw obstacles into citizens' paths as a number of county clerks are doing.

The Tennessee Code lists, by office, the current and former government officials who may "solemnize" legal marriages, and the Code contains qualifications for clergy acting as officiants. Since federal and state government decide and tell us what constitutes legal marriage in this country and this state -- for tax, property, inheritance, and other matters -- then it is on government to make legal marriage happen as conveniently as possible.

A steadily increasing number of Americans are not affiliated with a religion and will not seek out religious ministers to perform their marriage ceremonies. Our county clerks' offices issue marriage licenses and, for the sake of convenience, should perform the legal marriage ceremonies these couples must have to comply with government dictates.

If government officials don't want to comply with our laws, if they can't respect others' civil rights, they should resign from elected or appointed office, and not run for office in the first place. If they want to discriminate in their private lives, go ahead, but not on our dime. The people they're dissing are paying their government salaries.

Donna Locke
Columbia, TN

24 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Donna Locke on 07/01/2015 at 11:20 AM

Re: “#MayoralChatter Roundup (Continued): Rebrovick's Ad and Kane's Call for Debate

Has the Scene endorsed anyone yet?

Posted by Writeman on 07/01/2015 at 11:11 AM

Re: “Oh, Sure, Special Session to Thwart Gay Marriage, but Screw the Uninsured

I think a lot of people (including these state legislators and this author) have some fundamental misconceptions about how this Supreme Court ruling works. The SCOTUS ruled that it is unconstitutional for a state to pass a law banning same sex marriage. It is unconstitutional for states to decline to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. So:

(1) This is not the same thing as a federal law (statute), and it functions differently. All of the talk about whether the federal government can force the states to enforce a federal law is misguided. This is not a federal statute that says states must issue same sex marriage licenses. This is CONSTITUTIONAL LAW. The Court ruled that states’ laws banning same sex marriage were unconstitutional under the fourteenth amendment. The fourteenth amendment of the US Constitution doesn’t just also apply to the states, it in fact applies SPECIFICALLY to the States. It says that a state shall pass no law abridging due process or equal protection. So, this idea that because this is some federal law that is inapplicable or can’t be enforced against the states represents a complete and fundamental misunderstanding of how the Constitution works, and what the fourteenth amendment says. In short: if a state law violated the fourteenth amendment, it is invalid. The Court said that same sex marriage bans violated the fourteenth amendment. Therefore, the bans are invalid. End of story. States cannot continue to refuse to issue same sex marriage licenses.

(2) This idea that private religious leaders or cake bakers will be forced to provide their services to gay couples as a result of this ruling is also completely misguided. This ruling has ABSOLUTLEY NOT EFFECT on the ability of private citizens to discriminate against gay people. None. This ruling was regarding a state law. When you hear stories about cake bakers or employers who are forced to not discriminate against gay couples, that is because that state or municipality has a local statute which banned discrimination. The constitution does not protect your right to have a cake or get married in whatever church you want. If your state passes a law banning discrimination against gay people, that is a whole different situation. But THIS RULING has nothing to do with that. Therefore: there is absolutely no need for a law protecting clergy from having to perform same sex ceremonies because there is NOTHING to say that they have to do it in the first place. And, even if for some reason Tennessee TRIED to pass some law saying that private clergy must perform same sex wedding ceremonies, that law would almost definitely not stand because of a little thing called the First Amendment.

35 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Lawyer on 07/01/2015 at 10:53 AM

Re: “Oh, Sure, Special Session to Thwart Gay Marriage, but Screw the Uninsured

"Many things that were unthinkable (or even thinkable and derided as impossible) have come to pass."

Ok, great, so you're using the "slippery slope" argument, one of the laziest arguments out there. Well get back to me when this actually happens. There are literally thousands of people in Nashville alone who can perform weddings and all of them have the ability to decline to do so if they don't want to, be it because they are going on vacation, they are tired, or they object on moral and religious grounds. And earth to the slippery slopers, you don't even need a religious figure to get married. This is such a vapid argument.

24 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Chris Allen on 07/01/2015 at 10:34 AM

Re: “Oh, Sure, Special Session to Thwart Gay Marriage, but Screw the Uninsured

A distinction without a difference from the marauding hordes:

"And I would point out that no one forced that cake baker to make a cake. The cake maker just got a taste of the marketplace expressing its contempt for his attitude."

Also, Min, your retort is off-point. The cake-baker comment was in response to "what kind of couple would even want to force" someone to do something he didn't want to do. Saying that cake bakers and clergy are different is true (highlight poster!); I'll give you that. Of course, that has nothing to do with what Chris Allen asked or how I responded to his question.

While not being able to respond intelligently to the posts, you were able to get fingerpoint racism at a large group of people. Congrats; I guess.

2 likes, 24 dislikes
Posted by Ghost of Steve McNair's Hunchback on 07/01/2015 at 10:28 AM

Re: “Oh, Sure, Special Session to Thwart Gay Marriage, but Screw the Uninsured

Every session with Mark Pody is "special."

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by bubbadog on 07/01/2015 at 10:04 AM

Re: “The Daily Links: Hitler's Bed, Chris Christie, and Church's Taxes

notguilty, I would "like" your post twice if I could. That made me laugh out loud.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Brain Guy on 07/01/2015 at 9:42 AM

Re: “Oh, Sure, Special Session to Thwart Gay Marriage, but Screw the Uninsured

Cake bakers and clergy are different, and it is deliberate ignorance to pretend otherwise. If churches wish to be bigoted--and many do--they have always been able to be so. See the Southern Baptist Church, which owes its very existence to racial bigotry.

And I would point out that no one forced that cake baker to make a cake. The cake maker just got a taste of the marketplace expressing its contempt for his attitude. Welcome to America.

34 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Min on 07/01/2015 at 9:37 AM

Re: “The Daily Links: Hitler's Bed, Chris Christie, and Church's Taxes

Usself:

I wholeheartedly agree with you. I remember back in the 80s, one of the dailies did a piece on the amount of property taxes that the city didn't collect due to the church exemption, and it amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars back then.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Haysus on 07/01/2015 at 9:15 AM

Re: “Oh, Sure, Special Session to Thwart Gay Marriage, but Screw the Uninsured

I would love to see the spectacle of the National Guard called out to TN county courthouses to protect US marshals performing same-sex marriages.

16 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by bubbadog on 07/01/2015 at 9:09 AM

Re: “Oh, Sure, Special Session to Thwart Gay Marriage, but Screw the Uninsured

"Even if it was illegal to refuse to perform a wedding, what kind of couple would even want
to force a minister to perform their wedding if he/she didn't want to?"

Is this a serious question?

Think of the SJW's. Think of the cake-bakers, the pizza makers and the flower shapers. Think of the high-dudgeon, holier-than-though ritual shaming available on Twitter and the ability to destroy the lives of those who disagree with you. Think of Betsy Phillips.

Those couples exist (this is a big country) and, if given the chance, will do what you think this unthinkable.

"No clergy has ever been forced by law to perform a marriage and that isn't about to change." Says you. Many things that were unthinkable (or even thinkable and derided as impossible) have come to pass.

5 likes, 29 dislikes
Posted by Ghost of Steve McNair's Hunchback on 07/01/2015 at 9:05 AM

Re: “Oh, Sure, Special Session to Thwart Gay Marriage, but Screw the Uninsured

If someone does not understand the significance of the Supremacy Clause in the U.S. Constitution, perhaps that someone should reconsider whether he or she is actually fit to hold elected office.

And it's really going to come as quite a surprise to all those Catholic priests who have been refusing to perform marriages for divorcees for literally decades that the clergy doesn't have the power to refuse to perform marriages in the state of Tennessee.

31 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Min on 07/01/2015 at 9:05 AM

Re: “Oh, Sure, Special Session to Thwart Gay Marriage, but Screw the Uninsured

I don't think it's outrageous, just par for the course in Tennessee. It's actually pretty comical. And while Betsy might love for these officials to be dragged before a federal court, something tells me that those officials would also and it wouldn't make the state look good. They'd be heralded on Fox and Friends and get interviewed by O'Reilly and Hannity. And sad but true, it wouldn't hurt them in their districts. It might even help them.

Also, the proposed legislation by Holt and Terry that is "working on legislation to 'protect' religious clergy from being forced to officiate same-sex marriages" is one of the dumbest things I've heard out of this legislature. No clergy has ever been forced by law to perform a marriage and that isn't about to change. Even if it was illegal to refuse to perform a wedding, what kind of couple would even want to force a minister to perform their wedding if he/she didn't want to? Either this is cynical pandering designed to make a name for themselves in "the movement" or they just don't know the difference between a government clerk who hands out licenses and a person who officiates a wedding. I'm betting it's the former.

20 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Chris Allen on 07/01/2015 at 8:54 AM

Re: “Oh, Sure, Special Session to Thwart Gay Marriage, but Screw the Uninsured

Well it appears that david fowler has gotten off the mat from that Supreme Ct beatdown last week, and come out swinging in true punch-drunk fashion. I haven't seen the religious right this fired-up since the country elected a black president....twice! You loons do amuse me so

27 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by shanky on 07/01/2015 at 8:42 AM

Re: “Oh, Sure, Special Session to Thwart Gay Marriage, but Screw the Uninsured

These clowns can't be bothered to object to racist KKKers meeting in a State park, can't be bothered to outlaw adultery(Thou shalt not commit adultery) nor be upset over divorce.("I hate divorce, says the Lord") Malachi 2:16.

Of course they also missed this part: "Jonathan, your love for me was wonderful, passing the love of women." King David 2 Samuel 1:26.

14 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Kosh III on 07/01/2015 at 8:40 AM

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