Embracing Religious Tolerance

September 12, 2010

You cannot live in a religiously tolerant country, unless you allow people to burn the Qur’an for religious reasons. That’s where I ended up on The Rev. Terry Jones’ silly Qur’an burning ceremony. It doesn’t matter why he wanted to do it, or why he didn’t do it. It is our country’s current (and perhaps, faulty) understanding of the First Amendment that we can burn any sacred document, so long as it’s not a threat of violence against another.

Just to clarify my position, I don’t think that free speech should protect burning things. Burning isn’t talking, and the Founders wanted to protect political dissent, not government funded art works called Piss Christ depicting a cross floating in a jar of urine.

That said, even when a badly decided law is enacted, I want it applied fairly, using one standard, and that’s where the Qur’an burning fiasco reveals cultural double-standards I find troubling. I find it troubling because I’m a Christian, and Rev. Terry Jones got the cultural gauntlet thrown at him solely because he claimed to be Christian. It’s near impossible to imagine that if a Mosque burned a bunch of Dr. James Dobson books, that if that act caused a bunch of Coptic Christians in some other country to riot and murder people, that people in my culture would call members of that Mosque a “cult”, “pinheads”, “unAmerican” or any of the other names regularly used to describe the Rev. Jones.

The Rev. Terry Jones is just another American exercising religious liberty in the greatest country in the history of the world. That doesn’t make him right, but every American, no matter his religion, should be treated fairly and it’s along these lines where my culture failed. I know this because of how I’m expected to tolerate other views that go against my own, and calling your opponent “unamerican-cult-member” is hardly a demonstration of our grand tradition of tolerance.

Frankly, I smell a rat. I think this entire tolerance-talk is always designed to work one way. It’s best embodied by the “Stop the H8te” bumper sticker on my gay neighbor’s car I get to see every day. I don’t believe gay marriage should be legal, and I voted that way. About 70% of the rest of my state voted the same, but we’re the embodiment of hate. That’s tolerance-speak to some, but it seems an artless practice of tolerance. It’s childish, primitive, and is no different than calling someone a “faggot” for believing different than you.

The grossest part of the Rev. Terry Jones embarrassment was the horror over burning a Qur’an vs. the passive talk regarding a group of Muslims so primitive and furious that they kill people when their book is burned. Now that should bring us pause. People in America have always burned things we don’t like, I’ve seen President Bush burned in effigy, I’ve seen Bibles burned, even our flag. Burning even sacred items should not a murder cause.

But almost nobody commented on the murderers, instead, my culture appeared to actually blame Rev. Terry Jones for being the cause of murder.

Behold, President Obama:

“This is a recruitment bonanza for al-Qaeda. You could have serious violence in places like Pakistan or Afghanistan. This could increase the recruitment of individuals who would be willing to blow themselves up in American cities or European cities.”

So? Sending my daughters to college is a recruiting boon to al-Qaeda, so is the publishing of Playboy, so is having Israel on our maps. Should we end every Western act that makes immoral terrorists do their thing? If al-Qaeda responds to freedom in the west with a riot, that’s not our fault. The exercise of our freedom does not cause anybody to do anything. But there is no mention from the president that if violence breaks out in Afghanistan that it’s not the Rev. Terry Jones’ fault.

And we all know that building a Mosque at Ground Zero could never be used by al-Qaeda to recruit- oh, never mind. Do you smell a rat? I smell a rat.

It’s the equivalent of blaming a rape on the clothing the victim wears. We believe in personal responsibility to a point that it doesn’t matter which neighborhood a woman walks into, and frankly, it wouldn’t matter if she was completely naked, it doesn’t justify rape. How much less does burning a book justify murder? Burning the Qur’an isn’t what’s unAmerican. Blaming murder on some Florida pastor for burning a Qur’an is what’s unAmerican.

As a Christian, I get more than just a little squeamish when the leader of the free world uses his Bully Pulpit to point out a pastor. Where is the hysterical ACLU demanding a clear separation of church and state? Silent. That’s because the ACLU has no real interest in the separation of church and state. They just want to remove God talk from normal public discourse.

US commander in Afghanistan General David Petraeus is even more disturbing:

“It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort. It is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems. Not just here, but everywhere in the world, we are engaged with the Islamic community.”

Frankly, if this is true, then we are completely screwed. The whole reason why we’re fighting terror is so that we can practice our American thing without murderers crashing planes into our buildings. If we can only win a war by promising to stab Florida Reverends in the back then we’ve already lost the war. The fact that this is a military man now pressuring religious expression in the states should sound an alarm to the Separation of Church and Staters… again, they’re silent. They don’t want a General to give a Christian benediction while on government salary but he can tell the Rev. Jones that his religious expression will cause murder around the world.

If everyone is so angry at the Rev. Terry Jones, let them hold the same standard when a college student burns an American flag. Surely, al-Quaeda gains confidence by seeing our youth burn the flag. I don’t really care which standard our confused leaders use, I just want them to stick to one.

If our standard is to burn documents held sacred to others, then shut your pie when a pastor burns a Qur’an. If protecting our soldiers from al-Quaeda recruiting is the standard, then publicly condemn the building of the Ground Zero mosque and stop giving me this “They have the right to build it” crap… as if your condemnation of a pastor burning a Qur’an implies that you also don’t think it should be legal. You see, President Obama, I don’t talk to you like you’re an idiot, so quit doing the same to me. I haven’t seen anyone say that it should be illegal to build a Mosque on Ground Zero.

Man up and pick a standard. But they won’t pick a standard… and I smell a rat because of it.

Advertisements

43 Responses to “Embracing Religious Tolerance”


  1. You might find this particular post to be of interest:

    A Christian prayer of hope for LGBT equality (The Equality Prayer): http://queerfaithnews.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/a-christian-prayer-of-hope-for-lgbt-equality/

  2. Dcal Says:

    Big D
    The absurdity of attempting to placate Muslim extremists by bowing to their anger first became apparent to me in the Danish newspaper cartoon controversy, where Muslim anger exploded over the depiction of the prophet with a bomb for a cerebrum. What’s the point of getting upset if you’re just going to demonstrate the prescient accuracy of the visual statement?

    What’s the point of stopping someone from burning Qurans if the fact that the Reverend simply could was enough to get three people killed in Afghanistan riots over the issue?

    We used to have something called a war on terrorism, but clearly all that has changed, since the current political stance is the equivalent of saying “terrorists are everywhere and out of control, and all we can do now is tell our citizens not to do anything that might incite their anger.”

    Of course, the tactic of simply ignoring Islamic extremists didn’t pan out in our favor either, since that just allowed them to live among us until they could board our planes with a plan.

    It would seem the appropriate third option would be to hold Muslim individuals responsible for the outcomes of their own actions, and to protect our country from their terrorizing. But there are some feasibility issues related to holding over a billion people to a system of law they don’t regard…

  3. RevK Says:

    To be honest, I’ve never smelled a rat…

    I live in this middle ground where I believe that burning books is a bonfire of vanities — provocative to individuals with whom I ought to present the gospel.

    On the other hand, it is a legitimate tactic for a government at war to ridicule an enemy with freakish cartoons of their leaders (see our buffoonery of Hitler and the Japanese Emperor).

    Who has put me in this middle ground? The religion of Christ or Peace?

    If I don’t want to keep a Quran, is it OK to recycle it? Who would I offend if I didn’t?

    Would they shoot our soldiers if they carried Qurans in their pockets?

    I still want to be sensitive even though my own scriptures tell me that my preaching is an offense.

    I beleive God can save rats!

  4. Bryce Wilson Says:

    Doug I’m a great admired of your work, and your rhetoric so I hope you won’t hold it against me when I say you’re way off base.

    Normally I wouldn’t be able to verbalize why, beyond some knee jerk reactions, but I happened to read an essay of Chesterton’s in All Things Considered just before encountering your’s that summed it up.

    ” I have even seen some controversialists use the metaphor, “We must fight them with their own weapons.” Very well; let those controversialists take their metaphor, and take it literally. Let us fight the Soudanese with their own weapons. Their own weapons are large, very clumsy knives, with an occasional old-fashioned gun. Their own weapons are also torture and slavery. If we fight them with torture and slavery, we shall be fighting badly, precisely as if we fought them with clumsy knives and old guns. That is the whole strength of our Christian civilisation, that it does fight with its own weapons and not with other people’s. It is not true that superiority suggests a tit for tat.

    (…)

    For if you do not understand a man you cannot crush him. And if you do understand him, very probably you will not.”

    In other words, its not enough to say that it’s alright for a bigoted pastor to burn the Quran because someone put an image of Christ in jar of piss. It shows us using their “own weapons”. And what’s the point in being “different” if the standard we hold ourselves to isn’t higher. Tit for Tat just ain’t enough anymore and hasn’t been for two thousand years.

    Whether or not, the pastor has a right to do it, it is still a small minded ignorant action. I happen to agree that small minded ignorant actions should be granted equal protection, but I DON’T believe that they should not be called out for being small minded and ignorant, which is just what happened to said pastor.

    If I could speak to the pastor, I’d quote not Chesterton but Connery and remind him that “Goose Stepping Stooges such as yourself should spend more time reading books and less time burning them.”

    • tennapel Says:

      You realize people are burning things across our nation as we speak. I’m taking all of those people off the table, because that’s their right. Should the president and general decide which burnings are legal but moral and which are legal but immoral? Can we also get commentary on what the president and the general think which religion, which divorces, which affairs, which books are legal but immoral?

      And even Chesterton, wise as he was, wouldn’t defend murderers to take a shot at book burners. I don’t care what people say about book burners, I want to know what Bryce Wilson thinks of people who kill innocent lives because a pastor burns a book. It’s not the burning of a book that put this pastor on national news, it’s the response of murderers. The Phelps family loved the media response so much that they instantly announced their own Qur’an burning.

      Chesterton’s teaching doesn’t apply because I wasn’t advocating some revenge policy of burning Qur’ans because we burn Bibles. I don’t think any of these things should be burned. And our laws don’t imply that you can’t burn a Qur’an but you can burn a Bible, it implies that you can burn any sacred document so long as you own it and it’s not a threat of violence.

      • Bryce Wilson Says:

        Of course I find the killings of innocents over just about anything reprehensible.

        However, I also find the burning of a book, and that means just about any book reprehensible as well. Its the act of a small incurious mind and there are too many of those and books are one of the few things that can reduce their numbers.

        Yes as you pointed out things are being burned across the nation as we speak. I think it would be nice if they stopped.

        On a similar but parallel track, it echoes how I feel about something like Piss Christ. I’m offended not so much because of what the work says, I’m offended because it’s bad art. If I want to read something that really vents its spleen at God and his apparent arbitrariness, I’ll read Letters From The Earth. Because Twain was a genius who created a haunting howl of frustration and Serrano was an idiot throwing poo at the wall.

        If we bring that parallel into real life, I think it would be perfectly fine for the Florida pastor to write a critique of Islamic scripture. Burning the books goes down to the level of poo throwing.

        I guess I don’t see the point in calling yourself a Christian without holding yourself to a standard of higher behavior. I’m one of those pesky “Faith Without Works Is Dead” fellas. And when I see a Pastor going out of his way to do something that I consider evil, yes evil, I’ll go ahead and judge him by his fruits, just as I will judge the people who reacted to him with murder by their fruits.

      • Bryce Wilson Says:

        I do want to clarify when I say “I think it’d be nice if they stopped.” I mean I think it would be nice if they stopped because they realized what they were doing was wrong and counter productive, not because someone made them.

        And before I am accused of kowtowing, I want to point out that I went to the mat defending South Park during that whole controversy precisely because it was words against violence. I’m just sorry to see the shoe on the other foot.

      • tennapel Says:

        I don’t see the big evil in burning books. It’s a relatively new tradition to freak out at burning book-shaped-molecules by the people who worship intelligencia. They love information, not wisdom.

        You also have no right to claim Rev. Jones did so out of an incurious mind. For all you know, he has a rabidly curious mind. Curious minds burn Bibles and flags all the time. People burn books out of protest, not because they hate the book. There are lots of problems everyone has and book-burning doesn’t even show up on my top-1000 beefs with America.

        I disagree about Piss Christ. I’d hate it even if it was great art. I suppose you wouldn’t have a problem with Rev. Jones burning Qur’ans if it was artfully done? I doubt it. Twain is an over-rated genius. More of a smart ass than anything else, but I’ll give him credit for smoking a pipe and the huge mustache.

        I disagree that burning books is something “unChristian” behavior. The Old Testament depicts God’s followers dowsing pagan idols into the fire, Jesus brings an “artless” whip into the temple. In fact, I’d guess that Jones is probably less Pluralist about Islam than 90% of America’s churches. He may be artless, but he’s likely more orthodox and clearer on Islam that your pastor. He certainly isn’t afraid to take a stand and look ridiculous in a way that most pastors would not. Talk about faith without works.

        It’s not evil to burn a book. I think our definition of evil is completely different. So you think an American law, endorsed by every leader, general, president and pastor is an evil law? Get off the academic soap box. It’s just a book burning. It’s not the emblem of ignorance though killing people over book burnings is both evil and ignorant.

      • Bryce Wilson Says:

        “Curious minds burn Bibles and flags all the time.”

        Nooooo… Fearful minds burn things they cannot stand. I’m frankly more in favor of Satanism than I am objectivism, but I’m not going to burn a stack of copies of Atlas Shrugged because that would be tantamount to me admitting defeat.

        I can’t defeat the idea with my ideas, so the best I can do is lash out as its physical form.

        And your willfully misinterpreting my comment about Piss Christ. Its not as if I’m saying that if you somehow arranged the piss and Christ elements into a different Tableau, it would suddenly be genius. In short, if Piss Christ was good art, it would not be Piss Christ.

        But yes, I suppose we disagree on Twain, and I suppose we disagree on the definition of evil. Both are things I can accept.

        But really Doug? “Book Burning isn’t an emblem of ignorance?” That just makes me sad. Particularly as a reader who has gone out of my way to defend your books as well as get others to read them. I just wished you valued your art as highly as I do.

        And PS. My Pastor is The Vatican, and yeah, I guess they are more “pluralistic” then this guy (http://www.myfoxorlando.com/dpp/news/local/090810-vatrican-denounces-koran-burning) . And trust me I’m very far from sorry.

        PSS That “soap box of academia” comment just kind of cracked me up after you claimed I have no right to judge Rev. Jones mind. Whose judging without knowing now?

      • tennapel Says:

        Hitler was one of the biggest book burners and he was one of the most well read, brilliant men to rule in Modernity. That and a taco will get you one foolish leader. I always thought it would be brilliant move to burn Farenheit 451. People burn the wrong books, then preserve the wrong ones too. But it’s not a sign of ignorance. In fact, it seems kind of ignorant to fear book burning given every book is available on the internet for free. You’ve gotta be “uncurious” to not even understand an invention we call the internet.

    • Bryce Wilson Says:

      I hate to tell you Doug, but “Hitler did it.” is not a great argument.

      And no just because you haven’t succeeded in destroying an idea or belief doesn’t mean you didn’t try. So what? The internet acts as a safety net until an EMP knocks it out? No sir, I don’t like it.

      So sure burning a book is just a symbol, so so is turning a cross upside down. In either case the person who does it, who marks themselves as an enemy of thought, as an ally of ignorance, an enemy of communication and understanding marks themselves as an enemy of me.

      Reverend Jones may have the right to do as he wishes. But it is not right. And nothing will convince me otherwise.


      • You didn’t follow my argument. “Hitler did it” wasn’t proof it was a good thing, it’s proof that people don’t burn books out of ignorance. That’s a stereotype. Brilliant people burn books (and bras) all the time.

        Rev. Jones didn’t want to burn the Qur’an to destroy and idea or belief. It was a protest.

        The devil is smart and thoughtful when he turns a cross upside down. Again, the sin is not ignorance. The act is done to show utter disagreement and rage at an idea, without killing people.

        And it may not be right to burn a Qur’an but it’s not right to tell crass jokes and I’ve been known to do that too. It doesn’t mean that when someone decides to murder because I tell a crass joke that I’m the big dangerous source of the murder. THAT’S what’s ignorant about the whole debate.

        It’s absurd to even bring up Jones in the debate about people who murder over book burnings. YOu should know that, our generals should know that, and the president should know that.

      • Bryce Wilson Says:

        You are right that Hitler did not order the burning of books because he was ignorant, but the millions who burned them (and the Jews) for him did it because they were ignorant. And yes, I know Goebelles and all the other were very well read men, but I think we can both agree that Books can pass forward other kinds of knowledge besides just raw information, and a person can be plenty smart, and plenty ignorant.

        I think we have to disagree on the motivations of Reverend Jones, sure its a protest, its a protest against an idea and a belief. Lets put it this way, if Reverend Jones could somehow have it in his power to erase every single Koran in a kind of reverse Book Of Eli, do you think he would? Call me Jesuitical but I think its more interesting to learn about other cultures then to burn them.

        And as I said before, you’re absolutely right, I make no defense to the reaction of Jone’s book burning. I just contend that just because the reaction to an action was ugly and hateful, does not mean that the primary action itself was not ugly and hateful.


      • But that’s still just guilt by association. You could say that trains are also evil because Hitler used them to transport Jews to concentration camps. Burning books may be evil, but it didn’t become evil because Hitler did it.

        I don’t venture to guess what Rev. Jones’ motivations were other than what he said, and what he said seemed okay to me. Rev. Jones may be an idiot who is wrong about everything in the world, but his views on Islam aren’t irrational nor ignorant, nor unAmerican. That was the point of my blog.

        As for learning about other cultures, I find a lot of it a complete waste of times. Can you learn a lot from 1940s Germanic culture? I guess, but it’s overall pretty stupid. So are the superstitions and pathetic practices of primitive cultures, China and most of the Islamic world. The cultures I do love to learn about are good ones or correct ones, or wise ones. But they’re great because they are good, correct and wise, not because they are cultures. It’s the same with books. Books can be dumb or smart, good or bad, they’re just vessels of information. Them being a vessel isn’t what makes them good. What they contain is what justifies their reputation.

        My religion (which informs many of my values) tells me that Islam isn’t a big deal. It is, of course, a big deal to Muslims. I’m happy for them just as I am happy for America’s Scientologists. Have at it! This is America! Or burn L. Ron Hubbard’s work. If that’s what informs your world view, welcome to America! Burn a Qur’an or don’t… it’s not a big deal and we shouldn’t make such a big deal of it. When someone burns a Bible I don’t lose nearly as much sleep as it being kindly, rationally, methodically removed from our public schools.

      • Bryce Wilson Says:

        “But that’s still just guilt by association. You could say that trains are also evil because Hitler used them to transport Jews to concentration camps. Burning books may be evil, but it didn’t become evil because Hitler did it.”

        …Huh? Yes, I know that. Because that’s exactly what I’ve been arguing for the entire thread.

        Anyway between this and the “Other Cultures a waste of time.” comment (Gee then I guess it was a waste that your painstaking incorporation of different conceptions of the Afterlife made Ghostworld such a wonderful book to look at) I think I’m just about done. In the future I think I’ll just stick to your books, Mr. Tennapel, as this encounter has just succeeded in kind of depressing me.

      • Bryce Wilson Says:

        Grrr… And yes I know you’re not Dan Clowes…

  5. Rick Garcia Says:

    Doug,
    I agree with your post. The same people screaming about taking down the 10 commandments and no prayer in public places are the first to plead for us to be “understanding” to another specific religion.
    While I understand that any actions that MAY cause our troops harm should be commented on I don’t think the comments given were the way to go.
    I would have loooved to have seen what a “GENERAL PATTON” would have said about all this….

    Rick G.

  6. ZZxx Says:

    I agree with you Mr. TenNapel. I am tired of being branded a “hater” just because I and about 70% of the rest of my country during the 1950s opposed the union of a black and a white person.

  7. Patrick Says:

    “Just to clarify my position, I don’t think that free speech should protect burning things. Burning isn’t talking, and the Founders wanted to protect political dissent, not government funded art works called Piss Christ depicting a cross floating in a jar of urine.

    That said, even when a badly decided law is enacted, I want it applied fairly, using one standard, and that’s where the Qur’an burning fiasco reveals cultural double-standards I find troubling.”

    You get extra debate points for arguing a point of view you don’t agree with. And I agree with you on both counts: free speech, in my opinion (although I’m not a lawyer and never played one on TV), was never intended by the Founding Male Parental Units to protect the burning of sacred icons or texts. BUT given that our current social construct projects that as the tribal consensus onto the stream-of-metanarrative that is modern America, I agree: just be consistent.

    But that’s not the point, of course. That’s the rat you’re smelling. It’s a one-way ratchet: Use emotive rhetoric to label your opponent (“You aren’t against Free Speech, Free Love, and Fluffy Fluffy Little Baby Bunnies are you!?”), and scary over-the-top accusatory rhetoric when someone tries to use your own “logic” against you (“Someone will Die, Die, Die until they’re Dead because you dared to burn the sacred pinion feather of the almighty Quetzalcoatl! Let us not talk of Free Speech! This is blaspheme! Think of the Children! Think of Jack Black!”)

    Queue the music…

    I am I am I am I am
    I think I am
    I feel I am
    I’m glad I am
    I’m proud I am
    A real religious man

    Speaking of one-way ratchets… I have this “it’s beginning to feel a lot like 1859” feeling coming over me. The justices of the SCOTUS are split, originalists/textualists vs the-constitution-means-what-I-say-it-means-and-I-mean-it-to-say-Go-Left-Young-Lady, with Mr. Confused in the middle – Anthony Kennedy – sometimes supping with the guys on the Right, sometimes having drinks with the guys and gals in the Wrong.

    Republican Senators have gone along with the appointment of some pretty radical Leftists to the SCOTUS – something about Collegiality I suppose – but the Left fights to the death on every right-of-center appointee and go completely nuclear when a real conservative like my hero, Clarence Thomas, strides, Conan-like, from the mists of the rotting academic quagmire.

    Note how the Leftanistas on the court have held onto power well past their prime, waiting, praying for a liberal president to descend from the heavens, to appoint anyone-who-is-a-radical-leftist-and-under-the-age-of-60 (preferably a female of minority heritage) in their stead.

    So, here we are with our own Compromise of 1850 getting a bit long-in-the-tooth… what happens when the balance of the Force in the SCOTUS is disturbed…? (Not to hijack your post – feel free to ignore my off-topic ramblings, of course).

    BTW: congrats on getting a link to your blog on Kelsey Grammer’s new project’s website, “Right Network.” Any plans to do something with/for them?

  8. HarveyD Says:

    And we get to Hitler in 3 posts! Wonderful!

  9. Benjamin (Benmanben) Says:

    It is unfortunate that people who vote against gay marriage are considered “haters.” Modern day Americans seem to think that if you aren’t a hater, you’ll let anyone do whatever they want.
    Unless of course, that involves certain Christian things…

  10. Benjamin (Benmanben) Says:

    I’m also upset at how most modern day Americans think happiness is so important. So many people searching for the meaning to life seem to search for the most pleasurable one for the moment, not the most righteous one.

  11. Daniel Says:

    I smell a rat too, and I’m glad someone else does.

  12. Steve Says:

    Wish we could put down some big ass glue traps in Washington…

  13. ThatGuy Says:

    Hey Mr.TenNapel,

    Big fan of your work and pleasantly surprised to see how candid you are in your blog.

    I will say at the onset that I have not read the whole of your post but I told a friend you were pretty bright and he sent me a link to this posting of your voting against gay marriage. We’re both vested in the Pro Gay Marriage side of things and were wondering how you came to your position? I understand that you are straight, a father, and possibly spiritual(I haven’t read enough of your posts to verify that); however, I’m sure there is a more substantial reason for your position on gay marriage. Lay it on me.

    • tennapel Says:

      My most simple reason against Gay Marriage is that there’s no such thing. There is only such a thing as man/woman marriage. The word marriage means to marry the two sexes, to marry what is different, not to marry what is the same. I believe in treating different things differently. A man and a woman are different, and this whole marriage argument is based in a Modern idea that men and women are not different in any significant ways.

      The category of human is different from animal, so we don’t let humans marry animals. They too, are different, and to treat different categories as the same will often lead to bad law. A black man and a white man are not significantly different, so to disallow a white man from marrying a black woman is bad law. Most of our bad laws usually come from one of two errors: to treat significantly different things as the same when we shouldn’t, or treating essentially the same things as different when we shouldn’t.

      A woman is not the same thing as three women, so we shouldn’t legally treat a man marrying one woman as the same as a man who wants to marry three women.

      This is a pretty substantial reason why I’m against gay marriage, and you’ll notice I didn’t reference me being straight, a father, nor being spiritual. Those may be contributing factors to my bias or dogma, but they don’t provide the grounding of my reasons. You’ll also find straight, religious fathers in favor of gay marriage, and you’ll find practicing homosexuals in opposition to changing the definition of marriage.

      • Patrick Says:

        Oo-rah Mr. Tennapel Sir! Nicely done.

        I recently read Robert P. George’s “What is Marriage” – I am in awe of this guy: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1677717#%23

      • ThatGuy Says:

        I appreciate your response!

        So, let me reiterate what you said so I’m sure I understand this correctly.

        1)Humans are different from animals; men are different from women. Black men are not significantly different from white men enough to disallow them marriage (to females of course). Difference and sameness is not a relative quality that can make a marriage acceptable or unacceptable unless the person is so different they are an animal, or so similar that they are of the same sex. There are elements of slippery slope fallacy in this premise but I’m not going to split hairs over this. I respect your time too much and will take it as an opportunity to quote Mariam Webster, tit for tat.

        2) Bad laws come from treating a set of similar entities as “different” and a set of different entities with “samey”, one-size-fits all policies.

        3) Since the definition of marriage is pivotal to your argument, I will provide Merriam Webster’s record of it here. I imagine this definition smacks of what you perceive as political correctness and you may disregard it. But I’m posting it here anyway hoping we can maintain the civil exchange we’ve had so far:

        –noun
        1.
        a.
        the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc.
        b.
        a similar institution involving partners of the same gender: gay marriage.

        What I think you’re telling me is that the LGBT community are too similar (with respect to each other, society, mankind, straight society, yourself?) to be given the right to marry (other homosexuals) and the expansion of the definition of marriage does not sit well with you. A right to marry extended to the homosexual community would indeed fit into your bad law schema, treating different things (gays are different relative to straights) in a similar way.

        — RESPONSE —

        The true heart of the issue is that Marriage and Government/Legal Process are so intimately tied together that it has a profound influence on those who are in love but not allowed to marry. The ethereal meaning straight society derives from the “sanctity of marriage” (cue divorce & remarry rates), is one of the key contributors to several social and legal disparity experienced by the gay community on a regular basis.

        Who decides how much sameness/difference relative to current day american straight society to allow/disallow marriage? Who is the arbiter of these qualities? I sure would like to hear their justification for incurring the wrath of gay pride.

        The “Business-as-usual” alternative is very dis-satisfactory and you can count on a rise in gay expatriates moving themselves and their gay discretionary income (and wealth) to Canada if they can. If they are legally or financially bound to the US, they will contribute to civil unrest for being labeled “inadequate for marriage” and given a comparative disadvantage in a country that prides itself on being a cultural “melting pot” and life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

        Gay people will respond in kind to:

        · “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”
        · “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government laying its foundation on such principles”

        …as they interpret the phrases above. They will view Government as destructive of “these ends”, they will organize, they will cause traffic jams with large colorful parades.

        Doesn’t it seem a little petty to disallow an entire cross section of American society that’s clamoring for the opportunity to be recognized as a legitimate couple via legal process because of the discomfort you feel in expanding the definition of marriage? Also to deprive that same section of society tax benefits and spousal legitimacy (manifest in legal process like right of attorney in estate management and hospital visitation).

        If your reasoning for maintaining this position is that you would rather not see the tax benefits extended to you diminished by an influx of new gay marries, then I that is a position I can better appreciate…

        …though it is “lawful evil” AND still relatively petty. :P

        The more neutral alternative is to elevate the status of “domestic partnerships”; however, this seems fraught with political correctness and I don’t imagine it would be a very satisfactory position for you.

  14. tennapel Says:

    “b.
    a similar institution involving partners of the same gender: gay marriage.”

    Webster’s Dictionary just gave two brothers the same right to marry. I’ll stick to definition a. until the pro Prop H8te folks realize they lose that argument every time and invent a new definition c.

    “What I think you’re telling me is that the LGBT community are too similar”

    You’re not addressing what I said. Marriage is what you need to bond two sexes, not two people.

    ” to be given the right to marry (other homosexuals)”

    I can no more give them the right to marry than I can give a man the right to take a dump in the women’s bathroom. You can legally claim to declare me a woman, a child or a whale, but you can’t do so and be telling the truth.

    ” and the expansion of the definition of marriage does not sit well with you.”

    Does it sit well with you if we expand the definition of marriage to include fathers and daughters? Please, this has nothing to do with how well it sits with you and I. At least I hope so. If I declared father/son a category of marriage would you think that it sitting well with me was as good reason? Okay, then don’t claim that I only don’t change definitions of category because it doesn’t sit well with me.

    In fact, gay marriage might culturally sit just fine with me, but it’s still false.

    “A right to marry extended to the homosexual community would indeed fit into your bad law schema, treating different things (gays are different relative to straights) in a similar way”

    Gays aren’t different because they are “gays”. Two men don’t have to be gay to want to marry. This is why I can’t even get past your premise, because you’re trying to reverse engineer an argument by jacking up the categories in the first place. Gay men cannot get married any more than straight men can. That’s why this isn’t a gay issue. I know the whole world says it is, but every time they claim it they’re admitting their argument is effectively an emotional tantrum.

    Divorce and remarry rates, gays moving their tax income to Canada also don’t address what I said. If you’re going to ignore my reasons, that’s your business. But I gave it a shot, and your response is generally why those who claim to want to argue about gay marriage won’t even take it to first base. Though, I must admit, you got a lot farther than most in your camp without implying that I’m a latent homosexual, that I hate people or than I’m just a different form of racist. So bravo for that.

    • ThatGuy Says:

      Hello Doug,

      I’m not trying to avoid the issues you present. I’m having a difficult time recognizing them and bringing them to the foreground of our discussion.

      1) Explicit premise/conclusion
      2) Addressing what I believe are your primary concerns.
      3) Addressing the body of your response.

      1)—


      Here is my premise for absolute clarity:

      Premise 1: Straights have a better (but still imperfect) means of handling the legal issues mentioned above and that means just happens to be tied to marriage.

      Premise 2: Gays do not have the same recognition as straights and thus take a back seat to family consensus and society. (Though less prevalent, straights may also be disarmed by family consensus).

      Premise 3: Straight people like to get married but believe that this process should be exclusive to them. Their reasoning for this is usually peppered with references to subjective concepts like morality, religion, and exaggerated predictions of the next logical progression (What next? Are we going to marry men to their vehicles?). It does not account for the social and institutional issues that come from preventing gay marriage.

      Conclusion: Give gay couples legal recognition but separate it from marriage to satisfy those who suffer existential backlash in allowing gays to marry.

      2)—

      You’re not addressing what I said. Marriage is what you need to bond two sexes, not two people.

      Why two sexes? Why not two adults who plan on spending 20+ years together who want to legitimize that status? I don’t know how to confront this philosophical idea, i’m more focused on the legal implications.

      Divorce and remarry rates, gays moving their tax income to Canada also don’t address what I said. If you’re going to ignore my reasons, that’s your business. But I gave it a shot, and your response is generally why those who claim to want to argue about gay marriage won’t even take it to first base…

      Yes, I needled the divorce rates to attack the “appeal to integrity” argument. I mentioned wealth moving to Canada because it seemed relevant and topical with the United States experiencing an unemployment slump.

      I’m not trying to ignore your reasons, I thought your reasons were based on sameness/difference conjecture, and the definition of marriage, but I think I understand now…

      …The primary issue you have with gay marriage is that it sets the precedent for men to marry automobiles. The more touchy example listed “Adults marrying children” holds a certain charged quality to it and must be handled with care.

      If your concern is that there is no official “stopping point” for recognizing unions of disparate things then I would point to Scandinavia’s successful legalization of gay marriage and noticeable lack of provision for pedophillic relationships or for men who want to marry their Mustangs.

      We have a few legitimate precedences in countries that have successfully acknowledged gay union, and to my knowledge, we do not have a country in which pedophilia is encouraged via black market activity and gay marriage is legalized. Typically homosexuality is punished by death in these countries.

      3)—

      I can no more give them the right to marry than I can give a man the right to take a dump in the women’s bathroom. You can legally claim to declare me a woman, a child or a whale, but you can’t do so and be telling the truth.

      With the United States democratic republic (Representation) governance structure you certainly do have an influence over gays being allowed to marry.

      If being declared a legal whale had the same meaning attached to it that being a legally legitimate couple does, people would argue over the question “who gets to be a whale, who doesn’t, why?” in a similar style.

      Does it sit well with you if we expand the definition of marriage to include fathers and daughters? Please, this has nothing to do with how well it sits with you and I. At least I hope so. If I declared father/son a category of marriage would you think that it sitting well with me was as good reason? Okay, then don’t claim that I only don’t change definitions of category because it doesn’t sit well with me.

      In fact, gay marriage might culturally sit just fine with me, but it’s still false.

      Then I misunderstood you in the first response and first paragraph. A lot of emphasis seemed to be placed on the philosophical question of existence and not the question of “who gets what? Why and why not?” which was my primary focus.

      “My most simple reason against Gay Marriage is that there’s no such thing.”


      Again, I speak to the legal aspects of marriage and what some would call the corruption of a strong relationship between two people by introducing lawyers into the situation. Some people choose not to get married because they believe their relationship can hold without being stilted by legal recognition and the threat of impending divorce.

      If love as a man and woman experience it for each other is different from what a pair of the same sex feel for each other, that’s fine. My question is why does it have to be such a hassle for the gays to be legally recognized so that there are means of handling the following:

      Social ostracization via withheld recognition. This is the big reason for the emotional immaturity we see manifest in the vocal minority.
      Legally recognized spouses are not compelled to testify against each other in court. Gay couples are.
      Priority of family consensus over gay partner of x years in terms of hospitalization and procedure.
      Priority granted to family in challenging a will and demanding custody rights over that of a gay partner.
      Exclusion form hospital visits and funeral by will of…again…the family.
      A family may decide to liquidate the estate of homosexual kin and stick the debt to the partner.

      Gays aren’t different because they are “gays”. Two men don’t have to be gay to want to marry. This is why I can’t even get past your premise, because you’re trying to reverse engineer an argument by jacking up the categories in the first place. Gay men cannot get married any more than straight men can. That’s why this isn’t a gay issue. I know the whole world says it is, but every time they claim it they’re admitting their argument is effectively an emotional tantrum.

      Not trying to engineer anything, such a negative connotation; I was trying to follow the paradigm of difference vs sameness and establish where the marriage allowance threshold lies.

      I bold printed the lines above because they piqued my interest. I think they are the key to our misunderstanding.

      Your primary concern seems to be that inappropriate unions would be legally recognized as a consequence of gay marriage. I would answer this by referring to the top of the post where I attempt to address this concern by appealing to precedent.

      The second possible argument I’ve derived from the above paragraph is that if we allow gays to marry, straight men and women will get married and abuse the system.

      I don’t think this concern holds up to the idea that straight men are not sexually compelled to spend their lives with other straight men. Homosexuals are sexually compelled to spend the majority of their lives with someone of the same gender and sexual orientation in a situation which emulates marriage. I don’t think any amount of legal recognition or tax breaks will encourage a guy to spend his entire life in chronic bromance with a close friend.

      FINALLY


      I really appreciate your willingness to engage this. Tackling this nuanced discussion means a lot more to me.

  15. tennapel Says:

    “Premise 1: Straights have a better (but still imperfect) means of handling the legal issues mentioned above and that means just happens to be tied to marriage.”

    Straights have better or worse means of handling a legal issue has no bearing on if the issue is true, or good law. If everyone agreed that gay marriage was legal it also wouldn’t change the issue.

    “Premise 2: Gays do not have the same recognition as straights and thus take a back seat to family consensus and society. (Though less prevalent, straights may also be disarmed by family consensus).”

    Gays and straights have the identical right to marry the opposite sex. A straight takes no less of a back seat by not being able to marry a rock (and no, I’m not arguing a slippery slope when I mention these hypotheticals). Neither a straight nor a gay can marry a rock, nor the same sex. A man who wants to marry a rock is not taking a back seat to society.

    “Premise 3: Straight people like to get married but believe that this process should be exclusive to them.”

    False. I would like to get married even if it was open to gay marriage or marrying a rock.

    ” Their reasoning for this is usually peppered with references to subjective concepts like morality, religion, and exaggerated predictions of the next logical progression (What next? Are we going to marry men to their vehicles?).”

    If peppering ideas makes them false, I can show you videos of Christians claiming gay marriage is the most religious thing to legalize. Exaggerated predictions like, “This is going back to no interracial marriage.” should equally falsify the gay marriage position in your view.

    ” It does not account for the social and institutional issues that come from preventing gay marriage.”

    …also meaningless.

    “Conclusion: Give gay couples legal recognition but separate it from marriage to satisfy those who suffer existential backlash in allowing gays to marry.”

    To prevent existential backlash of liberals slamming Christians and traditionalists, let’s curtail the first amendment. Existential backlash?! Okay, so all of your premises are wrong and your conclusion doesn’t even follow from your wrong premises. I’m not sure where to go from here.

    And you still haven’t addressed my original argument.

  16. ThatGuy Says:

    Well I don’t want to leave you feeling like I’ve abandoned the discussion but I’m genuinely flummoxed. You said it best:

    “I’m not sure where to go from here.”

    So, respectfully, I disagree.

    — Take care. And thanks for Earthworm Jim. :)

    • tennapel Says:

      You never told me what you disagree with, and after asking my opinion, usually people at least respond to what I said. I mean, we started with you saying you disagreed with my conclusion, so after all of this writing, I got nothing but a “thanks for Earthworm Jim” from the entire exchange.

      But like I said, you’re still in the top class of people I’ve debated with on this subject because you didn’t call me a racist, homophobe, anti-science, hater. You take care too!

      • Trumpet Says:

        Doug–

        Out of curiosity and on the off chance you still read this, let me reiterate the question that I think ThatGuy was getting at: would you be okay with civil same-sex marriage if it was just called something different from “marriage?”
        If, for example, the government stayed out of the marriage business altogether and ONLY issued domestic partnerships (which offered equal civil benefits regardless of the gender of its participants), would that be acceptable to you?

      • tennapel Says:

        Trump, I have a bigger philosophical problem than just the word “marriage” though that is an adequate enough problem. I’ll only go back to the core of what I think about marriage, and that is that one man and one woman is the ideal. It has always been the ideal, and will always be the ideal.

        But am I okay with divorce? What if a man is beating his wife? Would I be okay with divorce then? My problem isn’t with divorce, it’s with treating divorce as an ideal. It’s not the ideal, so though it happens I don’t feel a big need to bend over backwards to address it as an amazing, beautiful thing. None of my same sex couple friends have ever called their relationship the ideal. They might say, “It is ideal for me.” But that’s not enough to be THE ideal. All of my friends who are divorced will never say that divorce is an ideal… it’s not the greatest to offer in and of itself.

        We can measure the validity of an ideal by asking, “What if everyone did this?” If everyone became a same sex couple as an ideal, the human race would end in a generation. Probably the same if everyone divorced as an ideal. But if every opposite sex couple married, human civilization would flourish, and probably improve from where it is now.

        So let’s pretend that same sex marriage is not the ideal. Given that, would it be okay to just call it something like, “Same sex people who are committed together for life with the purpose of flourishing, raising a family and enjoying the benefits of hospital visits.” First and foremost, this position of not giving same sex couples the identical word as opposite sex has already been labeled as bigoted. So you’re never going to avoid the word bigot until you claim same sex marriage is in every way interchangeable to opposite sex marriage. If you can’t say that then welcome on board the bigot train.

        This entire argument is NOT about same sex marriage. It’s about a systematic, complete culture war against the ideal. Postmodernism demands that NO truth claim can be made about an ideal. Go find any same sex marriage advocate and ask them about the ideal value of an unborn human in womb. You aren’t allowed to disagree on this, you will be ridiculed for holding to any of these old fashioned, immovable ideals.

        I see this most clearly in my friends and fans. They are commanded by culture to value my art, yet they are commanded by culture to call their political opposition a bigot. So there is this pleading among my friends, “Will you please consider this compromise where you won’t be considered so evil by pop culture?” They’re embarrassed, and it creates a cognitive dissonance where they know I’m a charitable guy who loves all people, including gays, yet I’m supposed to hate them. I don’t have to defend my own character, because the facts speak for themselves, and my opponents have already discredited themselves as completely vengeful totalitarians. If you stand up for an ideal, your job will be threatened.

        Given my statement above about my ideals, I don’t see why government wouldn’t want to write laws that endorsed or promoted the ideal. Besides the moment the government is determined to stay out of the marriage business to endorse domestic partnerships, they are already making a values statement about marriage. Similar to abortion, the claim of the left was that the definition of life was too moral, nuanced and gray for the government to come in and dictate an opinion, so it was left up to the mother. That is a values decision, the government created a religious, philosophical law that determined a baby wasn’t so human that we wouldn’t hand over the definition of his life to his or her mother. Likewise, for the government to say, “We can’t know what marriage is to make these kinds of decisions.” forces the government to act like a moral idiot, when it’s patently clear to most what marriage is, and even what an unborn baby is. We’re all invited by culture to enter into a delusion and if you fight that delusion you will be called deluded.

        I have a general rule about ideals and it’s that if you don’t get the first thing right, you will never get the second thing right. So if you define a black man as lower than a white man so that the black man can be owned, it doesn’t really matter what laws you pass to give him the freedom to wear a top hat, to drive a car, to keep his owner from beating him more than once a week, because the first thing is wrong, those second tier laws don’t alleviate the initial breach of the ideal. Once we get the ideal wrong about same sex marriage, it will provide the moral foundation to claim any opponent a legal bigot. Because the first thing is wrong, the second things that follow will be at least as wrong. Churches and traditionalists of all sorts will be considered legal bigots if the law is to be consistent. The same way that if a woman has a right to trump the civil rights of her unborn baby because she must control her own body, then that foundation works perfectly well for her to abort on the day before the child is born.

        That’s a long answer, and I’m not sure if that will satisfy you. I mostly want you to know that I don’t see these issues as individual, unrelated things completely unmoored from culture or our time in history. I try to be philosophically consistent in my positions, and all I’ve said here is that one man and one woman is the ideal for marriage. Believe it or not, that statement alone will create a huge backlash. That’s a radical statement these days. I think it says a lot more about how low, intolerant and totalitarian our culture has dipped than it does about me and my own imagined hatred against anyone.

  17. Trumpet Says:

    I’m not at all trying to change your mind here, and I really, REALLY don’t want to instigate an Internet Fight, I just wanted to try to express how I and (I think) many others feel about this, and about you, in a way that’s more articulate than random death threats on Twitter. I hope I succeed!

    I don’t believe that you hate gay people, but it does appear as though you’re implying that heterosexual marriages (and by association, relationships) are, in so many words, “better” than homosexual ones–in as much as you believe that they are more ideal, more beneficial to society. And I don’t know that I would exactly call that bigoted, but if I’m being completely honest, it is kind of a hurtful thing to hear.

    I guess I just feel as though ideals are sort of dangerous. Obviously they’re necessary in many, many cases–murder is not as ideal as not-murder, to say the least. I’d even say that marriage between a father and daughter is less ideal than that between unrelated adults, but I think that’s a very, very different scale than the difference between a heterosexual couple and a homosexual couple. I think that once you declare that a certain type of relationship as less ideal than another, not based on any particular moral judgement but strictly on perceiving one to be more beneficial than the other, it doesn’t seem like there’s much of a stretch towards upholding one religion above all others, or one type of occupation above all others. And that just doesn’t seem right to me.

    Truth told, I don’t believe that my relationships are fundamentally different from heterosexual ones in any significant way. I don’t even believe that an all-gay or mostly-gay society would collapse; surrogacy and sperm donors would probably be a much more prevalent and accessible option in such a case. I definitely don’t believe that two male parents is any less an ideal arrangement than male and female parents (I don’t know whether you’d disagree, but it’s a common argument). You might disagree with some or all of that, and you’re entitled to, but again, if I’m being honest, it feels like kind of a diss even if that’s not the intention. It’s the sort of thing that makes gay people feel “less-than.” And I think that’s where (not all, but some) gay people start to get mad at you: because on some level, what you say sounds an awful lot like “we are more deserving of this than you.”

    • tennapel Says:

      Trump, thanks for the generous, and calm reply.

      I may be implying that one man one woman marriage is better than same sex coupling, but I’m not singling out same sex couples. Rather, I reject any other form of coupling on the grounds that they are not the ideal. Polygamy isn’t the ideal any more than divorce isn’t the ideal, any more than same sex union isn’t the ideal. It’s like the answer to 2 + 2, there is one correct answer and an infinite number of wrong answers, some closer to the ideal than others, but all of them failing the achieve 4.

      Now I want to clarify something, because you’re injecting reasons into my argument I didn’t make. I didn’t ground my argument in what is more beneficial to society. That may also be true but I didn’t argue that here.

      I also agree with you that what I claim could be extremely hurtful to hear, particularly for same sex couples who may be happy parents or productive members of our culture. But it the feelings of someone else doesn’t tell me anything about the truthfulness of an ideal. Example, I believe in God, and I believe Him to be the most loving, amazing being ever. I hear people mock Him every day, call Him a dog, pee on his iconography, and generally disrespect him. It hurts me. Nobody cares. I’ve come to except that as part of life.

      “I guess I just feel as though ideals are sort of dangerous.”

      This is just another ideal. People don’t abandon ideals to hold nothing. They only abandon one set of ideals to grasp another. The question isn’t who does or does not hold an ideal, but which ideals are actual, true ideals?

      I don’t buy the slippery slope argument that saying one relationship is more ideal than others will lead to holding one religion above all others. Again, I didn’t make a religious argument, you brought up religion. My position may also be informed by religion, but that’s not what I stated above.

      And I want to challenge your claim that it doesn’t seem right to hold one religion, occupation or ideal above others. Is Islamic Radicalism less of an ideal than Buddhism? I want you to tell me that it’s identical or you need to admit that you’re doing something you just said isn’t right to you. Is being a teacher to be upheld more than a prostitute? Because if you make that judgment you admit that you’re doing what you said didn’t seem right to you. Do you uphold polygamy on the same ground as same sex marriage? Because if you don’t then you are doing what you just claimed didn’t seem right to you.

      If you don’t believe your heterosexual relationships are fundamentally different than same sex ones, I want to know if you hypothetically use birth control. If you do, do you know of a same sex couple of women who use the pill? The differences are so blatant, so simple that it’s hard to believe that you can’t make the distinction. You have to work hard to miss it. You can downplay child birth as completely insignificant, but I hope that irony isn’t lost on you… someone who can only speak because you came from a mother and a father.

      I don’t think it’s useful for me to answer your challenge that same sex parents are interchangeable with opposite sex parents. I will say that it is ideal for a child to be raised by a father and a mother. I agree with you that this is all going to feel like a “diss” and I take it as a “diss” when they have people who support traditional marriage fired. And it’s not all gay people who are mad at me. It’s mostly straight liberals who are mad at me. I get along pretty well with the gay people in my life, even the ones who disagree with me. Not everyone chooses to treat the other person like a sub human because they disagree. It’s a smallish, handful of extremely angry people who are the loudest.

      As for people who hear “we are more deserving of this than you.”, I can’t help what they choose to hear. I know that I’ve said nothing like that at any time in my life, and most of what those people judge me for I don’t feel, think or believe. They aren’t even as generous as you are in this exchange to address me.

      • Trumpet Says:

        “Is Islamic Radicalism less of an ideal than Buddhism?
        Is being a teacher to be upheld more than a prostitute?”

        My opinions in these cases are based more on moral judgements than theoretical ideals. I believe that radical Islam is worse than Buddhism because of its history of violence and oppression, not because Buddhism is the most ideal religion. I’m okay with making moral judgements (even if, in some cases, I vehemently disagree with them), but on a smaller scale that’s not based on any particular morality (“Is being a doctor to be upheld more than a lawyer?”), it just seems a bit arbitrary. I view straight vs. gay marriage as being on that smaller scale.

        “Do you uphold polygamy on the same ground as same sex marriage?”

        I don’t know a whole lot about polyamorous relationships, but I’m inclined to believe that they’re just as valid (and perhaps just as “ideal”) as monogamous ones. I do believe that polygamous marriage is a bad idea, but for fairly pragmatic reasons: it appears to correlate with an increasingly drastic imbalance of power between genders and economic classes. I can’t say the same about same-sex marriage.

        “You can downplay child birth as completely insignificant, but I hope that irony isn’t lost on you… someone who can only speak because you came from a mother and a father.”

        To be fair, that’s an assumption you’re making. I exist because my parents decided to have me, but I view the fact that they had sex in order to do so (as opposed to using a surrogate or sperm donor) as rather incidental.

  18. Trumpet Says:

    Oh, and for what it’s worth, I don’t really like it when people denigrate Christianity either.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: