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North Carolina’s End Run Around Marriage Equality

SECOND NEXUS PERSPECTIVES

A small, frail woman in her early eighties walks into a post office on Cape Hatteras Island, North Carolina. She steps up to the counter with a few packages. “I’d like to mail these, please.”

“And what are we mailing today?”

“Hanukkah gifts. Regular mail is fine.”

The clerk glances at the parcels. “Ginsburg, eh? I’m sorry, ma’am. I can’t help you.” He looks past her and says, “Next!”

Ms. Ginsburg blinks. “I don’t understand. Are they wrapped incorrectly?”

“The wrapping is fine. But you’re Jewish. I’m Christian. Your people killed our Lord and Savior. Mailing these would violate my sincerely held religious beliefs.”

***

This is an unlikely scenario, of course. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would probably not spend Hanukkah in North Carolina. More relevant, as “Notorious RBG” would surely have pointed out, is the fact that post office clerks are employees of the federal government, and are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or sexual orientation, among other “nonmerit factors.”

But what about state employees?

How the right to discriminate became law in North Carolina

On June 11, the North Carolina legislature passed Senate Bill 2. The law allows public officials whose duties relate to marriages — magistrates and registers of deeds — to recuse themselves from performing specific marriage ceremonies or issuing marriage licenses to certain couples if they declare a “sincerely held religious objection” to those marriages. Under SB 2, state officials can refuse to preside at any lawful marriages, including those of interracial, interfaith or same-sex couples.

A little history: In 2012, North Carolina voters approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions. A federal judge struck it down in 2014 after a group of clergy members filed suit, arguing that their inability to perform same-sex marriages was an unconstitutional abridgment of their religious freedom.

When the ban was lifted, at least six magistrates left longtime jobs, some with salaries above $50,000, to avoid performing same-sex marriages. In response, North Carolina State Senate leader Phil Berger crafted SB 2 to “protect” state officials. He said, “Just because someone takes a job with the government does not mean that they give up their First Amendment rights.”

Chris Brook, legal director of the ACLU of North Carolina, was quick to condemn the proposed bill. “State officials don’t get to pick and choose what laws they need to follow.

They can’t turn people away just because of who they are and who they love.” James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project, agreed. “That’s not religious freedom. That’s discrimination.”

Governor Pat McCrory vetoed SB 2. He issued a statement declaring, “Whether it is the president, governor, mayor, a law enforcement officer, or magistrate, no public official who voluntarily swears to support and defend the Constitution and to discharge all duties of

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  • Laurel Hermanson is editor-in-chief of STIR Journal. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis and worked in marketing, accounting and software development before pursuing her dream of barely making a living as a freelance writer, editor and stay-at-home mom. Her first novel, Soft Landing, was published in 2009. Her essays have appeared online at Role Reboot, Daily Life, Everyday Feminism and the Manifest-Station, among others. Her first novel, Soft Landing, was published in 2009. She remains committed to social equality and protecting the planet. She lives with her family in Oregon and works from home in her pajamas.

  • Show Comments

  • MarkGoyette

    The problem with SB 2 is the fact that there are still many who believe that inter faith and inter racial marriage is a violation of their religious beliefs, because both are mentioned in the Bible, so theoretically NC could start facing issues with people receiving marriage licenses based on things other than same sex relationships.

    • Steve Bartlett

      The Bible also states that if someone gets divorced for reasons other than infidelity they cannot get remarried. So those could be refused as well.

    • Kat Smith

      Let’s just let a Pagan or Atheist person say that marrying two Christians (a white straight couple) is against THEIR faith. Then we’ll see what happens. 🙂

      • Elijah McStotts

        It’s my sincerely held religious belief that our current rate of population growth is unsustainable, therefore heterosexual couples shouldn’t be granted marriage licenses.

      • That’s a great point, Kat.

    • itsmejmc

      I would argue that this most certainly will happen and maybe that is what it will take to make people realize how stupid and bigoted they’re being. “I am aware that this couple had sex last week. It offends my religion and I won’t marry them” or really you could say almost any hateful thing, claim it as a religious belief and force someone to sue you to prove it’s not.

      • Maria O’Connor

        Or if it doesn’t happen, then same-sex couples have grounds to show that the clerk(s) is/are being discriminatory toward homosexuals. If the grounds are that they shouldn’t have to go against their religion, then they should deny the above based on their religion as well.

    • tutoredwhisper

      Actually, the problem with SB 2 is that it’s unconstitutional on its face. That it can be broadly interpreted to also allow other forms of discrimination is secondary to the fact that it can’t pass constitutional muster under any legal test applied.

      • MarkGoyette

        Exactly. At its core it is discriminator, it is just moving the discrimination from the State to its employees.

      • Yu Gno

        I would suggest not going the discrimination route, and instead hold the first amendment as the guiding principle.

        Use the so called freedom of religion against the deniers. By allowing a state to use a person’s religious beliefs to keep from performing their lawful duties, the state has in fact promoted that religion or belief system above all others, as a matter of state policy. This is in direct opposition to the first amendment’s intent.

  • Terrapin1234

    Let me get this straight…a government employee can happily cash in his paycheck made up of tax payers dollars, but doesn’t have to actual do their job which is providing services to those tax payers?

    Ain’t religion grand, folks?

    • Bre Prange

      you to to tell me that the people who live in the state of north carolina voted against gay marriage and it was overturned by a bunch of paid off fuckwads? aint that grand folks?

      • jenny_whyme

        So, what you’re actually saying is that Freedom of Religion only applies to a small segment of the population. Gotch ya.

        • Alex Warhead

          what do you mean by this comment? who is issuing a legal marriage license, a document that is completely separate from a religious union, violating your right to “not believe” in gay marriage? you’re not being forced to get gay married yourself. you’re not being forced to conduct the ceremony in your church/temple/hut. there is NO religious conflict; if you believe that marriage is a religious institution then the legal contact (the only one that matters in the real world) has no link.

          • Krojack76

            Sadly you can argue this till you’re blue in the face with religious people and they won’t listen.. They feel it’s their duty to “SAVE” all of us from “EVIL”. They don’t understand that two gay people getting married has zero effect on them. They have to be busybodies and can’t mind their own business.

            Brainwashing as it’s finest.

          • Stephane

            It’s hard to argue with people that believe there is a big invisible man out there…

          • CoffeeGrunt

            It’s almost like they’re indoctrinated from birth to shove religion down everyone’s throats. I’m glad Christianity hasn’t taken on this fervour here in Britain, it’s much more of a minority thing and doesn’t factor into politics at all.

            I mean, we legalised interracial marriage decades ago and there’s been no sign of fire and brimstone yet. Ijits the lot of them.

          • Dennis Cox-Townsend

            The bizarre, incredibly sad thing is they don’t really care if a person’s profession of faith is honest. As a pastor, I can’t tell you the number of times parents wanted their kids to be confirmed and join the church whether the kids believed in any of it or not. It was all about what looked good. In the same fashion, in spite of all their speeches to the contrary, a lot of conservative Christians couldn’t care less if everyone is “saved.” Most of them are more than happy to think of their fellow human beings burning in hell while they sit smirking in heaven because it makes them feel superior.

          • David Padilla

            all the founding fathers saw this as such. thats why there is a christian couple in trouble with oregon state about violating a gay couples right for a cake….yes there is trouble in america

          • Rick Derris

            Who cares about the founders? They’ve been dead hundreds of years and were nothing more than racist bigots with a couple of good ideas.

          • Taylor Fultz

            Yeah, it’s almost like there are anti-discrimination laws or something that would also prevent a gay baker from refusing to provide a christian with a cake…

          • Joe

            Yes, because I want to force someone who doesn’t want to work with me to do it anyway through a court case. Most people would much rather find someone else that would be perfectly willing to make them a cake over taking it to the legal system. So all I get out of reading about this case is that someone was just looking for an excuse for a lawsuit to make money and get their name in the news.

          • Taylor Fultz

            Doesn’t change the fact it was illegal?

            And what happens when EVERY place they could get a cake from turns them away?

            Or, more likely, a couple lives in a rural area, and the only bakery for miles refuses them service? Going to find someone else involves hours of travel. By pursuing this case, the precedent is established for when people just don’t have that option.

          • Gordon Finlay

            If you can’t bake cakes for religious reasons, you can’t be a baker. Your religion is forcing you to act in illegal discriminatory ways and harm people, on the level of slander. Just the same as refusing service to blacks in the deep south, your refusal of service is an insult, and infers that the person you are refusing is less of a person than you, or at least your other customers. By all means I would sue the shit out of someone for that, seeing as punching them in the mouth is illegal, and some sort of response is warranted. If you want to withhold your services from a specific subset of society, the only indiscriminate way to do it is to withhold your services completely from everybody. Quit your job, close your business, and retire to a life of quiet, private bigotry.

          • xanthoptica

            Interestingly, the accounts of the case suggest that the truth is pretty much the opposite: http://www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/brint/almost_everything_you_heard_on_the_sweet_cakes_case_is_false

          • Elie Challita

            It’s not about bakeries, it’s about the principle. Refusing to service a wedding is one thing, but can you imagine if the local fire department refused to save a “house of sin”? Or if the only judge available summarily dismissed your custody case because you’re gay or divorced?

          • Alex Warhead

            actually, they are in trouble because they denied service to a protected group based on their protected status.
            they are being made to pay a fine for PUTTING THE COUPLE’S INFORMATION onto reich wing forums. that resulted in death threats and harassment.

            get your facts straight, dummy.

          • RON_KING

            If it is a religious “institution” the Government has no business regulating it at all. If it is secular then religious arguments do not apply.

        • CommonSense

          Interesting, considering that you all want laws that apply it to ALL people, not just the small segment.

          • Musette

            I think that she’s saying is imagine if people of other religions decided that it would be cool to refuse service to someone who wasn’t properly following THEIR religion and discriminated against christians. OH THE UPROAR.

          • kwilson

            What small segment? It is the responsibility of EVERYONE to only accept employment which does not inherently violate one’s deeply held beliefs. It’s called PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for a reason.
            I wish these religionists would show some.

        • Melanie Kies

          Freedom of religion doesn’t entitle you not to perform your job. If you don’t want to issue marriage licenses to gays, don’t take the job of clerk of court.

          • Gloria

            But that wasn’t part of the job when they took it. It’s no different than when they legalized abortion over 40 years ago. All ob’s are not required to perform them. Many doctor’s do not want to because of their religious beliefs. I don’t see how this is much different.

      • Terrapin1234

        So you think the the religion your parents indoctrinated you in should give you the right to discriminate and hate against other human beings, at the same time allowing you to steal money from tax payers?

        Maybe you should think that through.

        • David Padilla

          being a minority the basis of laws in which we have too many, the constitution protects those rights. marriage is ordain even by both federal and state governments. gays are not a minority and I do hate that when they claimed to be. beside that who is stealing my money?

          • Terrapin1234

            If a government employee refuses to do their job, yet cashes their pay check which comes from tax payer dollars, that is stealing.

            Gay people certainly are a minority, especially when the general public constantly calls them “fags” and “perverts” and “degenerates” and looks to prevent them from having the same rights and privileges as everyone else.

          • Taylor Fultz

            Are…Are you seriously trying to claim that gays are a MAJORITY?

          • Darkaine

            I’m assuming they just don’t consider them anything, minority/majority because it’s a choice blah blah blah.

            Really getting tired of that attitude, get to know some actual Gay people. Watch some of the horrors they go through and how they feel and then tell me it’s something they choose.

          • Terrapin1234

            I love hearing people claim that sexual orientation is a choice.

            “So tell me, when did you decide to become straight”?”

            The blank look on their face is priceless.

          • Darkaine

            Yeah growing up in the south and around a ton of southern baptists that approach doesn’t seem to work for the most part. I used to be a part of that until I got to know some gay people and heard/saw stories in person and online and realized that nobody deserves to go through what a lot do. Obviously this is not a choice and more people would realize that if they bothered to get to know people.

          • ThaddeusQuackenbush

            No, I think he’s claiming that gay people are not a “legitimate” minority that should have the same rights as the majority.

          • CoffeeGrunt

            At an average of 3.5% of the population identifying as LGBT, they’re a statistical minority. African Americans have 5x that number, for example.

          • Johnny

            I pay out more in tips in a week than you probably make in a month.

          • Marjie61

            what does that mean Johnny???

          • Mike G

            So we have too many laws, but making laws that ban gay marriage is a-okay, huh?

          • ThaddeusQuackenbush

            Conservatives only care about small government when it comes to business or regulations. When it comes to your bedroom, they totally believe in Big Brother government.

          • Mixx

            Thanks genius…

          • occams_beard_trimmer

            Why are you making word soup. Is it because you are an inbred moron or because you dropped out of school after the third grade?

          • Renato Vincenzo

            Uh, I don’t get it. What defines a minority? It’s estimated that 5 on 100 persons are homosexuals. So we have 5% of population with the common trait of being homosexuals a trait that put these’s persons lives in danger, not to talk about harassement and violence, and what about prejudice?

            Can you explain how all of this doesn’t make “gays” a minority?

            Also how marriage for everyone really affects the life of a christian (evangelical or catholic)? On facts. Not in some histerical and delusional imaginary world.

            facts.

            oh, and just to recall the bible: wasn’t it the Christ who clearly said that a man had to give to Caesar’s what was due to Caesar and to god what was due to god?
            He, himself not some self appointed interpreter, said that, and doesn’t added anything about using the faith to change Caesar’s rules.

            Also what about inter-religious marriages? Always in the bible king David was arshily punished by god because he has, as concubine, a woman from a different religion.

            And, just to make things fun, if we are talking about the freedom of a faithful cristian to follow the bible law code why don’t put in the laws the possibility of concubinate, or the right for a father to selle his own daughters as slaves, and also a ban on shrimps?

            It’s all in the bible. Maybe what’s happening is that from the bible people just use what is most useful depending on the main social trend?

            (oh, and I’m not going to open the Pandora box that it’s the Gospels message. One the Christ himself resumed in one single phrase”love thy neighorbod as thyself”, seriously how much do you people hate yourselves? Come on, whatever it is you can always forgive yourselves and start showing a little of love to yourselves).

          • Katarina Novak

            So the majority of people are homosexual? Interesting.
            Are we battling some panic over our latent tendencies?

        • Johnny

          Thinking doesn’t seem to be Bre’s forte’.

        • Dennis Cox-Townsend

          I doubt that Bre Prange is capable of logical thinking.

      • Amber

        Actually, gay marriage was legal in NC before the ruling.

        • Mitsa Waya

          Actually no it wasn’t…. I live here and I have read the Statutes …

          • Ryan Colson

            Actually it was recognized in 2014 and I don’t even live there, but Google told me so

          • DonDoninNC

            I live here too, and you are mistaken. Judge Max Cogburn overturned Amendment One back in October 2014.

          • Mike D

            Gay marriage was legal in North Carolina prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling a couple weeks ago. The federal courts overturned Amendment 1 in October 2014, making it legal.

          • Jennifer

            I live here too, and YES it was. That is why I was able to watch gay and lesbian couples getting married in Uptown Charlotte in October of 2014. I think you are confused and misinformed.

      • Alex Warhead

        “paid off”? evidence, please.

      • Chris Walton

        You call your own justice system “paid off fuckwads” but even over in the UK i understand that preventing same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and as such your supreme court deems the same. Read the constitution and learn something about your own country.

        • CoffeeGrunt

          Hello fellow Briton.

          I have to ask, did we have anywhere near this much fuss when we got Civil Partnerships in ’04? I’m too young to remember it clearly, but I don’t remember this magnitude of a sh*tstorm…

          • kwilson

            We have quite a few more fundietards crawling out of the woodwork to “vote their consciences” since Ronald Reagan slobbered all over their fundaments in 1981, with his ‘faith based initiative’ bull dukey….

          • CoffeeGrunt

            Hoh boy. I mean, the last time gays got called out by the Church here was some floods about ten years back that got blamed on them.

            They were subsequently laughed at by every outlet, panel show and critic, and the Church of England slipped that little bit further towards the end.

          • Chris Walton

            No, we didn’t have anything close to this mess, it was mentioned by one or two small circuit christian and marriage groups that marriage was between a man and a woman but common sense soon shot them down.

      • Herald

        Yup. That’s how the constitution works. If you want to live in a theocracy, I suggest Saudi Arabia.

        • Jeffery LeMieux

          Or you could move to an atheist paradise like China. Too bad the Soviet Union Paradise was shut down, eh?

          • Herald

            Well, it was replaced by the equally lovely Russian right-wing Christian paradise.

          • Jeffery LeMieux

            Yes, I thought about that one. Looks to me like the increasing Islamic population of Russia will soon be running up against the newly reconstituted Russian Orthodox christians in a throw-down. I don’t think Putin has a dog in that particular fight. I wonder where he’ll come down.

          • Herald

            What do you mean? He’s very Christian.

          • Jeffery LeMieux

            I know he’s been visibly supportive of the Russian Orthodox Church, but this has always seemed to me to be a political rather than a relgious commitment. He’s KGB through and through, that’s well-understood. Sorry but I don’t swallow the religious angle. And his statements may be Christian, but his actions are anything but. He’s about as spiritual as Stalin, who re-authorized the ROC because he needed their support. And I think Stalin attended a religious seminary before he joined the revolution, right? Was Stalin religious?

          • ThaddeusQuackenbush

            Jeffery LeMieux said: “[Putin]’s KGB through and through, that’s well-understood.”

            Not by GW Bush it wasn’t, who look into Putin’s eyes and saw his soul.

          • Jason Carrier

            The US is better off as a Secular Constitutional Republic.
            Though I think we need to go back towards a strict separation of church and state like the founders intended..

          • Jeffery LeMieux

            I was kind of hoping we still had a strict separation of church and state. Churches are not taxed, and thus cannot be impelled by government threat. And since we still have the free exercise clause of the second amendment, people are still free as individuals to refuse to participate in ceremonies that specifically ran against their religious conscience. er., well, they used to be free. Not so much any more. But hey, it’s only idiot religious bigots who are being gagged and censored, so hooray for American tolerance, right?

          • xanthoptica

            Nobody is being gagged and censored, as your posts here demonstrate. On the other hand, nobody has a “right” to be a county clerk; the ability and willingness to do the job is a qualification. If your religious beliefs are so consuming that they don’t allow you to do the job and license every legal marriage, you are simply unqualified. Sorry. Probably not a good idea to be a public defense attorney, either; you might have to defend someone you don’t like or approve of.

          • Jeffery LeMieux
          • Taylor Fultz

            …No, I’m NOT surprised. Because she broke the law. She deserved to get sued, she deserved to get fined. The same way a gay baker who refused to make a cake for a christian would. How do you think anti-discrimination laws work? How is this any different than if she’d refused a cake to an interracial couple on “sincerely held religious beliefs”?

          • Jeffery LeMieux

            The point I was making was that in fact people ARE being censored and gagged by the bureaucracy/courts. Dissent is becoming illegal in practice if not in law.
            The answer to your question about anti-discrimination laws is that you’re assuming like most on this list that the religious exception is wide enough to drive all forms of hatred through. Not sure which religions include racial segregation as part of their scriptural dogma. Of course some made the argument back in the 1950’s, but it was not upheld. Mormons would have the best chance of proving their scriptures included rejection of racial mixing.

            And in fact she did not break the law as gay marriage was not legal when she refused to provide the service. The service was not refused on the basis of sexual orientation., It was refused on the basis of religious conscience which is a freedom protected by the first amendment. The fact that her bakery served homosexual customers demonstrates that she was not refusing anyone on the basis of orientation. Of course supporters of the prosecution simply plug their ears and hum when faced with this kind of proof, and it cost this couple their business and the idiotic fine for causing “loss of appetite” and “weight gain” . . . simultaneously! ROFL

          • Taylor Fultz

            “causing “loss of appetite” and “weight gain” . . . simultaneously! ROFL”

            1) You obviously have no idea the kind of effect depression can have on the human body. Yes, you can lose your appetite. And then your body can takes what little you DO eat, (which are likely to be things that are sweet and rich in an attempt to cheer yourself up), and turns it ALL into fat.

            So, yeah, you’re not clever for that one; stop laughing patting yourself on the back, you dismissive ass.

            2) The LITERAL GIVEN REASON in Loving v. Virginia challenging all the STATE anti-miscegenation laws (there was never a national ban against it) was as follows:

            “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, Malay, and red, and placed them on separate continents, and but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend the races to mix.”

            So the argument was that it’s not racism! It’s not hate! It’s just God’s will! Sincerely held religious beliefs!

            But, see, here’s the thing about religion- you don’t have to prove anything about your beliefs. Because you CAN’T. A person doesn’t HAVE to give any reason as to WHY they, say, are religiously opposed to giving a cake to an interracial couple. They just have to say they are for religious reasons, and the burden of proof is on anyone else to say otherwise.

            A bakery is not a religious institution. They pay taxes. They are required by law to serve everyone. That’s what non-discrimination laws are FOR. Either they’re for EVERYONE or NO ONE.

          • Jeffery LeMieux

            Dismissive ass? Good one. Excellent argument. Of course I’m not the one dismissing debate by calling someone a “dismissive ass.” It’s clear you’ve swallowed whole the victim mentality that is enabling the worst of Americans vanity and greed.
            It’s clear the anti-discrimination laws are based on the 14th amendment which was primarily intended to protect former slaves from unfair treatment by government agencies. But why not use them to demand that everyone celebrate homosexuality?
            This dialogue is predictable. Just as in the abortion debate where pro-choice advocates will never admit the fetus as part of the dialogue, the hate-filled left will never admit the validity of the free exercise clause of the first amendment.
            This unwillingness makes it clear that force is the only recourse, and the courts are the power. Since most conservatives still respect America as a land of equality before the law as adjudicated by the courts, they’ve been taking it laying down.
            The totalitarian thought control that is being enacted by activist courts is either close to or has stepped over the line. It is my hope that the slow to move conservative majority becomes animated enough to impeach justices and remove unelected bureaucrats for their anti-social activism. Enjoy it while it lasts.

          • Taylor Fultz

            “Within Oregon’s public accommodations law is the basic principle of human decency that every person, regardless of their sexual orientation, has the freedom to fully participate in society. The ability to enter public places, to shop, to dine, to move about unfettered by bigotry.”

          • Jeffery LeMieux

            Am I the only person who finds it laughably strange that the accusation of bigotry, i.e., the “crime” of believing one’s view is superior or “noun:
            intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself,” to only apply to one side of most public debates?

            Why is the intolerance of religious conscience not itself a form of bigotry? Or is it just that one side of the debate is acceptable bigotry? I’m confused.

            Unfortunate wording of the law, even more unfortunate interpretation as it demands that halal Islamic bakers celebrate Jewish weddings and that gay friendly bakeries serve the needs of Christian bigots. oh, wait, they don’t. . . talk about selective indignation which reveals the real agenda.

          • Taylor Fultz

            “Why is the intolerance of religious conscience not itself a form of bigotry? Or is it just that one side of the debate is acceptable bigotry? I’m confused.”

            It’s unacceptable when it comes to the accommodation of public services. I say again: that’s what anti-discrimination laws are FOR.

            “…it demands that halal Islamic bakers celebrate Jewish weddings and that gay friendly bakeries serve the needs of Christian bigots. oh, wait, they don’t. . .”

            …Yes. They do.

            Religion is a protected class.

            You can’t refuse to serve someone based on their religion.

            There’s nothing saying a baker has to “Celebrate” the wedding. But they can’t refuse their goods based on their customer being Jewish. By the logic of saying that providing goods to a wedding party is “celebrating” it, can you honestly say that there haven’t been dozens of other sins “celebrated” by good christian bakers?

            And, yes, a gay baker would have to provide a cake to a christian bigot. That’s how anti-discrimination laws WORK.

            I said as much before. But you seem quite determined to reply to my comments without actually addressing what I’m saying.

            You dismissive ass.

          • Taylor Fultz

            Now please, do go ahead and insist that my utterly banal insult to your conduct renders this debate invalid without actually rebutting anything I’ve said!

          • Jeffery LeMieux

            Well, we do agree this is going nowhere and you have clearly won with your courtly manner. I’m not a fan of your style of discourse, so I’ll be avoiding exchanges in the future. Best wishes.

          • Taylor Fultz

            CALLED IT

          • Jeffery LeMieux

            As to the requirement that bakeries are for everyone or no one, how do you explain the fact that the bakery in question has provided services to homosexuals in their daily business, but refused to bake Halloween themed goods?

          • Pete K.

            I see a lot of arguing about Christians who wouldn’t stand for a gay marriage.. I’d like to see the argument when a Muslim county clerk (if one exists anywhere) turns down a gay marriage. That might be an interesting show. Observant Jews won’t drive on Saturdays. They’ll hire a Christian, for example, to drive their ambulances on those days, part time, to do the job when they can’t because of their religious beliefs. Anything wrong with these counties hiring LGBT people to stand in for marriages Christians or Muslims won’t do, due to their religious beliefs? With affirmative action and all, shouldn’t some LGBT people be on the county’s payroll anyway?

          • ThaddeusQuackenbush

            Jeffery LeMieux says: “Churches are not taxed, and thus cannot be impelled by government threat.”

            And yet, churches quite readily throw themselves into the political arena, which they aren’t supposed to do.

          • xanthoptica

            Ah, yes, the tired old ruse that atheism looks bad if you only cite totalitarian examples. No examples of that on the religious side, never…

          • Jeffery LeMieux

            It was an answer to the “tired old ruse” that ANY religious conscience is equal to totalitarian theocratic rule. Same rules applied. I hope we can agree that the knife can cut both ways here.

      • Keith kowalski

        discrimination is unconstitutional.

      • L Paul Beck

        Bre, the “people” of NC DIDN’T VOTE it in. The vote was scheduled by the Koch brothers bought State Legislature to be held on the day the primary RUN-OFF was held. The only people on the ballot were Republicans. Plus, they went to every Baptist church in the state and spoke with people at length about how they were going to hell if they didn’t go vote for this Constitutional amendment. It was only a tiny fraction of the states voters who actually voted and it just barely passed then.

        • David Padilla

          It was the supreme court not the will of the people.

          • Taylor Fultz

            The Supreme Court is in place for when the will of the people is unjust.

          • KVeg

            That is why we have 3 branches of government, thanks to the founding fathers. With the will of the people we would still have slavery or no women’s sport in college.

          • Dennis Cox-Townsend

            You’re not real familiar with how the US government works, are you, David Padilla? Did you miss that day in class or fail the entire course?

          • E. C. Chang

            This is exactly what the Supreme Court is for. If “the will of the people” amounts to an abrogation of a minority’s constitutional rights, it is the job of the Supreme Court uphold the rights of the minority when the will of the majority would unjustly deny them these rights.

            This is exactly what happened in 1967. Interracial marriage was legal in some states and illegal in others. The Supreme Court ruled in Loving v. Virginia that failing to recognize interracial marriages as legal was unconstitutional, and thus interracial marriage became legal in all 50 states. Incidentally, it was argued at the time that legalizing interracial marriage was an abomination before God, that it was against the laws of nature, and that it would be dangerous to children. Sound familiar? Interracial marriage has been legal for almost 50 years, and I’ve been in one for nearly 7 years. No one has ever been able to demonstrate to me how, exactly, legalization of marriages like mine has been a bad thing for anybody.

          • L Paul Beck

            It wasn’t the will of the people that forbade same-sex marriage in NC, it was the will of the handful of people who voted on the primary runoff. An election in which there were only Republicans on the ballot. The majority of people in NC approve of same-sex marriage. They just didn’t care enough to go vote on that election and at that, it still didn’t pass by all that much.

        • David Koch signed an amicus brief to the SCOTUS in support of gay marriage.

          http://www.politico.com/story/2015/03/david-koch-gay-marriage-amicus-brief-115752.html

      • Bobbie Jo Justice

        because obviously our forefathers were only kidding about that LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL nonsense?

        if people don’t like marriage equality in america, then I have a solution for them…….MOVE.

      • bgregs

        So when the people of Chicago voted to ban handguns, and those same “fuckwads” as you call them pointed out that violated the Constitution, were you just as pissed at them?

        • Alex Warhead

          i understand your point, but chicago didn’t ban all “arms”. they banned a particular type of firearm within city limits but left the door open for a wide swath of other arms. there was no “undue burden” placed on the populace. do you argue that limitations on the street-legal length of knives that you can carry is unconstitutional?

        • KVeg

          You better read about the Chicago vote before you post. Do not believe what you hear on Faux Noise and wingnut talkradio.

        • y0gabagaba

          No constitutional amendments are absolute. You have freedom of speech but can’t say what you want when you want with out consequence. You have the right to bare arms but its up to the law makers what arms you have the right to bare.

          I think the min requirement is a barrel loaded musket, everything else is optional.

      • Yu Gno

        The first amendment gives me freedom from your religion as well. Once the state takes sides on whose religion should be supreme, they have in fact violated the first amendment.

        This will be the next big ruling from the SCOTUS to set the rights hair on fire.

        • kwilson

          …from your mouth to god’s ears….

      • Mike Bro

        your personal choice and taste, even majority opinion has nothing to do with it. I assume most people would love it if there was no speed limit and would vote to over turn it, but it aint happening. HUMAN rights are the question here. and the religious aurgument has no place. because if that is the case, then America should let ISIS be, as it is a local movement with a LOT of support

        • Phillip Grant

          You are right on in a lot of places christans is basically set up as a state religion unofficially and there are to many laws that reflects that. I am a christans myself and I will be the first to cry out the bs. I believe no religion should head of a state. When the states started to get in the religion business they violated the first amendment. But when money is involved it ok to break the constitution.

        • kwilson

          ^^^^WE HAVE A WINNER, FOLKS!!^^^^

      • Mike D

        Maybe you missed the fact that it was Christian clergy who sued the state over Amendment One and who wanted marriage equality. I guess it sucks when the Christians turn on each other.

        • KVeg

          They do that often: Civil War. Northern Ireland conflict.

        • kwilson

          Not really – I kinda like watching them eat their elderly…
          (I know – I’ma go to hell for that….)
          😉

      • Dennis Cox-Townsend

        Well, since you failed US government and history in school (assuming you ever attended one) yet think you understand our constitution (which you don’t) I guess that makes you the fuckwad.

      • theotherme

        “All will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of
        the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must
        be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal
        law must protect and to violate would be oppression.”

        Thomas Jefferson

        One of those pesky founding fathers.

      • Nell Webbish

        Yes, though no one was paid off and it was over turned because it was unconstitutional. And yes, it was very grand to see the legal process our Founding Fathers put into place used to check the tyranny of the majority from trodding on the rights of the minority.

      • jsweevil

        Constitutional amendments whether state or federal are for protecting the rights of the people, not removing or withholding them. Your religious rights are there to allow you to worship as you see fit without interference from the government, not to force your views on other people. What the people in North Carolina voted for was an amendment to the North Carolina State Constitution to prohibit the rights of others, not to protect their rights. This is partially why it was struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Passing this law will also be struck down and probably before it ever gets to the Supreme Court costing taxpayers millions of dollars in the process. If employees of the state refuse to do their job, they need to quit. Period.

      • occams_beard_trimmer

        Passed by a bunch on inbred trailer trash. Overturned by the US constitution.

      • lisa1955

        Yes it is!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is called democracy. And Equal Rights!

      • Joe North

        Just because a bunch of yahoos in a random state get together to ban something in a knee jerk reaction doesn’t mean it was the right thing to do. Cooler (and smarter) heads prevailed.

      • Russell Curtis

        Are you telling me you think it is alright for a majority to vote away rights from the minority? Heres hoping you are always in the majority.

      • xanthoptica

        People have voted for loads of misguided things that were fundamentally unconstitutional. Sometimes the Court has to step in and point that out (think, for example, the lie that was “separate but equal” in the case of segregation).

    • CommonSense

      It’s true. Because Christianity trumps the Constitution.

      Religion over the national Government? Hmmm — we’re starting to sound an awful lot like Iran.

      • Terrapin1234

        Most of them won’t admit this, but what they want is a theocracy.

        • Alex Warhead

          they will totally admit it. the christian reich makes comments all the time on their media outlets about how the only way to change the constitution to reflect “biblical” law is to elect “godly” representatives enmass.
          you have reps like bauchman openly proclaiming that they are dominionists.
          it’s not as hidden as some of us want to believe.

          • Jodi Bontempo

            And the “godly” representatives that would be elected only want the parts of the “biblical” law that they can twist to their favor.

          • Pierre Montsion

            Its treason..wake the fk up America. Religious zealots are a threat to national security. Half the republican leaders are traitors. If not 80%
            I hope other “races” and “religious believers” start doing the same to the Christians..cause thats exactly where its headed, disintegration of society for religion. wow

          • David Root

            Hold on there… you nailed the problem in your second sentence — “Religious zealots.” Not all people of faith are zealots, and not all Christians share these warped views.

          • 303 Kush

            Yeah, but you’re beliefs are still incorrect, sinister, and sometimes genuinely silly. Don’t expect secularists not to clump you in with the guy selling pencils out of a cup and screaming about the rapture because your overarching belief system is based on the same bullshit as the zealots’.

          • Louis Richards

            Ah, yes. The “Bullshit” of Christianity.
            Feed the hungry, heal the sick, care for the poor and needy, and pay your freakin’ taxes!!
            (Or did he mean something else by “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s”?)

          • 303 Kush

            All true. Christianity also consistently hampers scientific progress, alienates vulnerable minority groups, and sends white people of mediocre intelligence to the most AIDS ridden parts of Africa to preach the genocidal message that condoms are sinful.

          • Guy

            Darwin was a protestant. Lemaître, originator of the Big Bang theory was a Catholic priest. Pasteur was a Catholic. Einstein was a polytheist. Oppenheimer was a Jew. Newton was a devout Protestant. I could go on and on… Also, your ignorance is clouding your judgment. Catholics are largely anti contraceptives. Most protestants (and the largest producers of American missionaries to foreign countries) have no such bans on condoms or birth control.

          • Katarina Novak

            And yet it moves!

          • 303 Kush

            Darwin was an atheist and to say different is a blatant and and troubling misrepresentation. The same can be said for Eistein, atheist. Lamaitre’s findings are still contested by his own church. Oppenheimer… Ok, you can claim him. Don’t forget, atheism was punishable by death for many hundreds of years in many regions of the world (still is in some places). Many great thinkers of the past had to hide nonbelief from the “you,” of their time.

          • Guy

            Your information is woefully inaccurate 🙂 Atheism is a construct of the 1950s in America. Prior to that, they were simply seen as non-believers. Atheism is a recognized religion by the United States Federal Government. For good reason, mind you… because it is a religion. One does not need a god to have a religious tradition. There’s billions of Confucians, Buddhists and Taoists in China and the East who do not worship a god but have temples on every hillside.

          • 303 Kush

            You may call it non-belief, you may call it atheism. What you may not do is call it Protestantism. I’m glad you’ve at least conceded that point. I cannot speak for Confucian and Taoist temples but the Buddhist temples I have visited are filled to the brim with deities and religious nonsense. Entities that protect sailors on voyages, demi-god messengers, and enough statues and idols to make any polytheist grow in their pants.

          • Guy

            See, this is that woefully inaccurate ignorance I was talking about. Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama) was a man, not a god. He is revered by many Buddhists as being the ideal human being and nothing more. Some Buddhists (Tibetans and other ritualistic Buddhists) attribute religious undertones into their traditions and elevate the Buddha to a higher status. Most of those “items of religious nonsense” are meditation foci of some sort. In this country, they would be similar to iPods playing easy listening music that people use when meditating. They often have special meaning to the person using it in order to calm their senses or to focus their energies on what is being meditated upon.

            In the end, you’re simply exhibiting a very base human trait of demonizing that which you don’t know or understand.

            Also, I don’t understand your point about not calling Atheism, Protestantism. I never said it was. Atheism is however a recognized religious tradition in the United States (there’s even Atheist chaplains in the armed forces). It is a belief system with clear, prescribed beliefs, writings, centers for congregating and they have a multiple international outreach centers staffed with full time professionals, counselors, marketing professionals and support and outreach employees. The staff for American Atheists alone has more employees than exist nationally for the Missouri Synod of the protestant Lutheran church (a large subset of Lutheranism in this country).

            Atheism has everything, structurally, that organized religious have. They all have people, places, outreach and beliefs concerning things that cannot be proven. Religious people simply believe in the inclusion of gods… Atheists simply believe in the profound exclusion of anything non-tangible (aka no gods, ghosts, aliens, afterlife, etc..). It doesn’t matter if you’re religious or not… it is all faith-based bias of some form or another.

          • 303 Kush

            I’ve been to Buddhist temples in four countries. They worship gods just like every other religion.

            I’m not reading your thesis paper. Be succinct if you want to debate.

          • Guy

            My bad, I thought I was talking to an intellectual. If you want to debate a complex topic, you really should work on your attention span. I’m not 12 years old and I’m not a member of this instant gratification generation. AKA, Generation know-nothing as you’re known in the East.

          • Guy

            Buddhists don’t have gods… so you were not in a Buddhist temple.

          • 303 Kush

            Now you’re being silly. I have visited many Buddhist temples and I’m not going to debate you on that point.

            Successfully expressing a point through the strength and brevity of your language is the mark of a true intellectual. To be succinct and accurate is the ultimate goal of any student of debate. You sir, failed miserably at both.

          • Guy

            There’s nothing to say to someone who says Buddhists have gods. Brevity.

          • Katarina Novak

            No need to get racial.

          • 303 Kush

            I didn’t mean it like that. the point still stands.

          • Katarina Novak

            I agree with your point, I think that Roman-Catholic church should be criminally prosecuted for their preaching against condoms. It’s just that good points lose credibility, when people start getting racial.

          • 303 Kush

            Well, fair enough.

          • Katarina Novak

            Scream about socialism and government control, whenever any of these topics are broached!!
            (The USA edition)

          • Guy

            Your comment is no different. Zealous beliefs, whether religious based or anti-theocratic leaning, are still zealous faith based beliefs. You’re no different than the people you are demonizing… only because you are making statements against an intangible concept whilst using nothing more than words and your own faith-based beliefs to do so.

          • 303 Kush

            My belief system is the exact opposite of a faith based belief system. Mine is a rejection of faith, organized religion, magic, fairlytales, ect… I don’t have faith. I reject faith based on a lack of evidence.

          • Guy

            Which is a faith based argument. Plenty of people, Taoists included, simply do not think either position is wrong. They are both correct in that everything is inter related on a fundamental level. Demonizing one part of the whole is akin to hating your own image as seen in a mirror. You cannot dislike the face staring back at you while praising your own nose and expect to be taken seriously.

          • kwilson

            Then why are so many of the ‘good Christians’ remaining silent, and voting for the zealots, instead of marching on DC with their massive numbers, and DEMANDING that the Constitution take precedence over the Bible, rather than the other way round???

            If you ALL would unite, as MEMBERS of the Christian religion and raise your voices louder than the zealots’. we might have a chance to rein the zealots in – but if you don’t, you prove you’re no better than the ‘bad Christians’, and why shouldn’t we lump you all together as zealots and nuts?

          • Katarina Novak

            A very good point! USA government used the argument of those who stand by and do nothing, being as guilty as “evil doers”, to manufacture consent of their population in order to invade other countries.
            It would be fitting for their own population to use it now.

          • Guy

            Beware of what you ask. If you choose to allow people and government to stifle free speech and the right to worship, you’re ultimately asking them to outlaw homosexuality, mandate what you can drive, and where you’re allowed to buy a house. All such things are interrelated. One cannot ask government to step on someone else and not expect a 2nd shoe to follow.

          • Katarina Novak

            It should be the government’s duty, to ensure that every inhabitant of the country adheres to its laws.
            If a group of people is trying to deny another group of people, the same rights everyone else has, that group must be stopped.

          • Joshua Phelps

            Hey, Christian here. I believe in church and state. I support marriage equality. Bigots using Christianity as an excuse sicken me. Don’t label the religion itself or the people who are in it horrible because of assholes.

          • unclevanya

            Tell more of your like-minded friends to speak out against what’s happening, and maybe the “assholes” won’t be drowning you out so much. They’re the ones who are hurting your “label”.

          • silhouete2

            The loudmouthed ones are afforded the right to act like “assholes” if they so wish in this country. I know of plenty of Christians who are speaking out in favor–but they aren’t “official” mouthpieces for certain religious institutions so they don’t get as much play on the news. Because you know, the news is about reporting contentious stuff, not positive stuff.

          • David Root

            I’m a like-minded Christian, and these people claiming to be “Christians” are not representative of the majority.

          • Oneiros42

            And yet those “Christians” are the ones in positions of power, making the decisions and getting all the press. If you want to show that they’re not in the majority, then you need to get the majority to get off their keisters and speak out against them en masse.

          • Richard Hanzon

            wow you present a good argument. boy what can i say to those facts that you so obviously hold dear to you. but may i offer one word to your vocabulary its called enlightenment… get some please..

          • Ed Di Giambattista

            Try it and let me know how you made out. You can post it here from your hospital bed or jail cell, depending where you make your “stand”. This is organized religion you’re talking about. There was a post here on FaceBook that summarizes it nicely. Satin and Jesus; face-to-face with the comment “Like and share ” if you’re for Jesus, otherwise you’re for Satin.
            Get it there’s no middle ground. On my first trip to St. Louis I had to drive out into the depth of St. Louis County. Up ahead there was spotlights (The big ones), troopers all over with lights flashing, and some in the street directing traffic with flashlights. My first thought “Major accident”, as I got closer I figured it was a carnival or county fair, but it was the wrong season. Then I saw where the troopers were directing the hugh amount of traffic. Not to a carnival or fair, it was to a major Church. Wednesday Night Prayer meeting. My first trip to St Louis was also my first venture into the “American Bible Belt”
            So how far do you really think you would get With your en masse “Speak out” , you’ll get off your keister and then you’ll get your keister shot off. Religion is something that people WILL NOT REASON about, or even discuss, as that would be considered sinful. You have a choice “the word of God” or the “word of Man” Since the latter gets you burning in hell for eternity the choice seems moot. I saw one religious group claiming that the inside of stars and their eternal temperatures constituted proof that a place like hell could in fact exist. This was before scientists had determined that stars are NOT eternal and they DO “burn out”. The typical response was to deny the truth of anything science has to offer and to parade out a PhD or MD who would agree with their superstitious beliefs
            I am not a “traditional” Christian and have gotton myself in trouble with family members and friends who take exception to even the simplest tenets of my beliefs; that the doctrines of Buddhism, and Hinduism are far in antiquity with relation the Bible. After being told that I was simply wrong, the proof was based on the “Tower of Babel” and just plan plagiarism, that for all practices and purposes every religious doctrine was “copied” from the Bible.
            Remember for those who believe, no proof is necessary….For those who don’t believe no proof is possible. Good Luck

          • Michael Russo

            Actually I’m more of a leather fan. Satin isn’t really my thing. Rayon and cotton are good too.

          • Andrea Meccas

            whatever you do just dont mix wool and linen..its a SIN! lol

          • Robert Kendall

            At elats you’re reading it correc5tly.

          • Cyndi Amberlea Hall

            Yes. Just yes.

          • Robert Kendall

            Not evry palce is like that, chief.

          • Wolf

            How can you not know how to spell the name of the most powerful enemy of your God? Seriously?

          • Guest

            Satin is much cooler than cotton due to how smooth it is, but I don’t know what it has to do with Jesus.

          • Robert Kendall

            most people aren’t political. adbn just ebcuase thye get air tiem doesn’t make ’em in charge.

          • There is no shortage of Christians who think this is wrong and don’t hesitate to say so. A chunk of the “conservative” media (I’m conservative and those involved don’t speak for me) aggressively coddles the Religious Right and their shrill claim to being THE spokespeople of Christianity. With actual media cameras assisting the unBiblical and hateful tsunami of rhetoric, less judgemental Christians are kept largely out of sight.

          • LaDiablaBlanca

            False. Christians killed gay people for thousands of years. They are only doing what their ancestors want. Why do you think people are throwing Christianity into the garbage? Because we dont need superstitions to be good people.

          • Thomas Lee Mullins

            Christians have not killed gays for thousands of years.

            Muslims are killing gays in the middle east. No one is mentioning them. If it was a Muslim working for the state, would they be criticized for not doing a same sex marriage?

          • LaDiablaBlanca

            Why should we be worried about Muslims here? Christians are the ones making the American state into a worse place, not Muslims. Islam and Christianity are basically the same though, superstitions forced onto people.

          • Mark

            Your enemies are not just one religion or in one group. There are plenty of people from different religions, from within the US and overseas that want a theocracy. Personally I take the goal of ISIL (a global Muslim caliphate) quite seriously. It may not be in my lifetime, but the Mid East has never known peace. It can’t blame a country that didn’t exist for wars going back thousands of years.

          • Katarina Novak

            Although I intensely loathe Islam and Muslims, I can’t really blame them on ISIS. USA-ers did this to themselves.

          • Dexi Chaos

            Nancy Botwin, is that you? lol

          • Thomas Lee Mullins

            A Muslim kills two Egyptian Christians in NJ. http://www.christianpost.com/news/egyptian-christian-immigrants-murdered-beheaded-in-nj-90424/

            There are Muslim terror camps in America. http://www.wnd.com/2012/01/381953/

          • Thomas Lee Mullins
          • Gigi

            Yes. And we are condemning radical Muslims who are killing gays. The fact that you haven’t heard us doesn’t mean that we’re not. Christians might not have killed gays as of late but that does not mean there aren’t some (many) who’d like to. I’ve heard quite a few calling for Levitical punishments for gays. “It’s not me. It’s in the Bible” they say. The Bible also says that mouthy children and adulterers should be killed (Lev. 20:9-10). You still supporting that?

          • Steve Allen

            Nice try Gigi, but there is no Leviticus 30:9-10. Lev 27 is the highest paragraph in that book.

          • Jean-Yves Salve

            Guess Gigi hit 3 instead of 2. Because Leviticus 20:9-10 says: “‘If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife–with the wife of his neighbor–both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death.

            And no, not a Christian but a former Christian but find idiots who claim ‘knowledge’ with a fervor of the idiot Christians who cherry pick verses to ‘support’ their bigotry and intolerance like the anti-gay right fools. 🙂

          • Gigi

            Yes I did. Thanks!

          • Guy

            I like it when ignorant people quote from the Torah when talking down about Christians. The Old Testament is not followed by Christians. It is nothing more than backstory that is used to lend credence to the coming of Christ in the New Testament. If you were to actually know something about the Bible, you’d note that Jesus preached universal acceptance and a needed departure from the constraints of the Torah.
            I’m a Taoist and degree holding theologian. I respect an all inclusive standpoint. What I do not respect is unenlightened people spreading unenlightened ideas that have not a shred of truth to them.

          • Hellraiser

            perhaps you need to rededicate yourself to researching modern Christianity. They are still pretty big on the Old Testament a.k.a. the Torah. As a matter of fact, their 10 greatest laws known as the Ten Commandments are from the second book of the Old Testament, the book of Exodus. They were delivered to Moses upon Mt. Sinai.

            They are so big on these commandments from God delivered to Moses in the book of Exodus that they even campaign to have them posted in schools and other government buildings. Again, no cherry picking. Either you believe it all as given to be the word of God or you do not. There is no middle ground. It’s a yes or no answer to the question of “do you believe this to be the word of God?” This applies to the Old Testament and New Testament alike. If one believes the Ten Commandments from the book of Exodus to be the word of god, one believes every word of the Old Testament to be the word of God. Obviously many Christians, dare I say MOST Christians, believe the Ten Commandments and therefore every word contained within the Old Testament to be the official word of their God.

          • Cyndi Amberlea Hall

            Unfortunately, many Christians today do not understand this biblical fact:

            The key to understanding the relationship between the Christian and the Law is knowing that the Old Testament law was given to the nation of Israel, not to Christians. Some of the laws were to reveal to the Israelites how to obey and please God (the Ten Commandments, for example). Some of the laws were to show the Israelites how to worship God and atone for sin (the sacrificial system). Some of the laws were intended to make the Israelites distinct from other nations (the food and clothing rules). None of the Old Testament law is binding on Christians today. When Jesus died, He put an end to the Old Testament law (Romans 10:4; Galatians 3:23–25; Ephesians 2:15).

            In place of the Old Testament law, Christians are under the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2), which is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…and to love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39).

            Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-law.html#ixzz3fTjfookf

          • Lilith

            What way too many Christians don’t understand about Judaism, is that for thousands of years, we’ve been constantly reinterpreting the Torah which includes the Old Testament, & laws; debating, adapting. There’s even a name for these commentaries- the Midrash. It’s why we’ve survived this long as a people.
            AGAIN- as the article says, Reform & Conservative branches of Judaism have long supported gay marriage- & that represents the vast majority of American Jews. Clean up your OWN house, please.

          • Cyndi Amberlea Hall

            ? – in response to my statement of the Mosaic law not being in effect for Christians? I’m confused by your response to my statement.

          • Lilith

            The response was to illustrate that the Old Testament/Torah is not unchanging in it’s interpretation for Jews; hence the widespread support among non-Ultra Orthodox for gay marriage. We don’t relate to the Old Testament the same way many Christians do, & it’s why our tribe has always been able to adapt & survive. Judaism is very earthy & practical in much of the everyday interpretation, including about sex. There are always flexible common-sense allowances. That is especially true among the Conservative & Reform, & other newer progressive branches- Reconstructionist, Renewal. We make the large majority of American Jews, & are also numerous elsewhere.

          • jb1907

            Except for the Orthodox that have a goy push an elevator button on the Sabbath. God forbid a remote control is used to turn on the TV.

          • Robert Kendall

            I agree; I find the idea of basing the civil law of doren country ont eh detailed laws of the Pentateuch nto emrely worng but heretical. They were to distinguish Go’d People in ancient times, which are gone

          • Alex Warhead

            according to the bible, only jews can be christians. gentiles are screwed regardless.

          • Cyndi Amberlea Hall

            Please provide your support. I find otherwise:
            Acts 15:7-9 ESV
            And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith.
            AND
            John 10:16 ESV
            And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.
            AND
            Galatians 3:14 ESV
            So that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.

          • Alex Warhead

            the hardest evidence is in the old testament which set the prophesies for the messiah to fulfill. it reads quite clearly that the salvation and deliverance was only for god’s chosen people.
            if you are the kind of christian that adamantly believes that jesus fulfilled the prophesies and THAT is what proves him to be the messiah, then you have to concede to the original point that he is the messiah ONLY for the jews.

            look, i don’t believe in any of it; it’s all garbage. but you are the type of christian that tries to use the book to back up your pre-existing beliefs. you are a hypocrite. or you’re a delusional fool.

            furthermore, if gentiles ARE able to be saved, why did your unchanging, infallible, infinite, all knowing diety suddenly change his mind?

          • Guy

            Why are so many atheists just anti-Christian or Jewish hating bigots? Food for thought. I haven’t seen an enlightened argument come from you. It’s all just vitriol.

          • Alex Warhead

            so you call the points i’ve made about bible “vitriol”?
            look, i get it; you don’t like it when people point out the foolishness of your particular cult.
            also, i am fervently anti-islam, anti-hindu, and anti-sehk. but, that’s not a comment about the people. i know many religious people in various “faiths” that are reasonable, calm, and intelligent. it’s just a shame that when it comes to this particular topic they suspend their critical thinking.
            i don’t hate the people. i hate the ideology. but, you’re free to believe whatever you want on your own time. it’s when members of these groups try to legislate and force their religious views over the rest of us that i tend to lash out.

          • Guy

            Again, more vitriol. I’m not a religious person… I’m simply pointing out here that people like you make it impossible to have a reasonable discussion. It’s like having a discussion about racism between two well intentioned people. You’re that third person who shows up wearing a white sheet and carrying a noose. You then complain that everyone gets bent suspends their critical thinking when you’re around.

            This is not surprising because you are actively engaging in closed-minded, bigoted behavior. Your comments have no substance other than to irritate and demonize. Is there any other way I can interpret what you have to say?

            I don’t pass judgment on people for their faith or lack thereof. One can have a discussion about the merits or lack thereof… but you get nowhere when you start the conversation with calling their god an imaginary sky tyrant. Oddly enough, I’ll quote George McGovern: “You can’t be diplomatic with a n*gger because they ain’t smart enough to understand nothin’.”

            See how your argument sounds so very similar? Nobody can have a righteous conversation with anyone whose predisposition errs on the side of closed-minded bias.

          • jb1907

            why would a jew want to be a christian?

          • Thomas Lee Mullins

            Messianic Jews or Hebrew Christians. Christ came to fulfill the law and not to to destroy it. Christ was the ultimate sacrificial lamb.

          • Lilith

            yeah…. Most Jews don’t consider the beliefs of Messianic Jews to be Jewish. That’s just a way to convert us, & most of us know it. I’m not at all Orthodox, btw. Just as most Jews are, offended by the under-handed tactics of the Messianic branch of Christianity.

          • Alex Warhead

            why would a jew want to be “jewish”?

          • Thomas Lee Mullins

            At least half of the apostles in the New Testament were gentiles. Paul was an apostle to the gentiles. Christ first reached out to the Jews then to the gentiles.

          • Alex Warhead

            i’ve NEVER seen any study that would suggest that. on the contrary, prevailing opinion is that all of the apostles were jews. jesus made it quite clear, as well as the OT prophesies that you christians are so adamant that “have already come to pass”: the messiah and salvation are ONLY for the chosen people. ONLY for the jews. modern christianity can twist it whatever which way it wants: i don’t believe in any of it anyway. the point is that if you “believe” it then you have to actually understand how it reads.
            i think you’re inventing things.
            of course, there’s no real evidence that jesus himself was real. there is a strong theological theory that the 12 apostles were also fictional; the number “12” being symbolic. but the “proof” of jesus’ existence is still in debate, historically. so, i guess there’s the first REAL prob lem you have to deal with.

          • Guy

            Odd, considering that the very first person Jesus “saved” was a gentile prostitute.

          • jb1907

            So does a County Clerk refuse service to someone that has been divorced or committed adultery?

          • Meredith McGlamery

            That opens a whole new bag of worms–how do they know who has committed adultery? Divorce, yes, it is on the marriage license application and could be used as a “religious objection” based under SB 2 in NC. Where does it stop if they can also deny interracial or inter-religious couples? What about atheists? Are they also going to be denied based on “religious objection”?? What happened to SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE???As a teacher, I am a government employee and it is in my CONTRACT that my PERSONAL beliefs mean NOTHING in the classroom, I am not allowed to share them in any way. Why should another government employee not be forced to follow the law of the land?

          • jb1907

            Exactly. Your job is to issue a marriage license no matter who is applying for it. You cannot use your religion at your job to discriminate.

          • Guy

            No idea… but Catholics will not marry you in a cathedral if you’ve been divorced before, have lived together under the same roof before marriage or are not baptised and confirmed as a Catholic. Minorities and non-religious people often cry foul over not getting their way (really, just a form of vocalizing greedy natures), but the reality is that some Catholic and Protestant doctrines are far more exclusionary to their own kind. Get caught at a bar on Tuesday night and see what happens when you arrive to church at a Primitive Southern Baptist church on Sunday. Also watch how the Amish and Amish Mennonites treat their own. Heck, go on vacation and visit the Vatican. If you are a woman or have a wife, try going in with exposed shoulders or uncovered busts. You won’t get in the front door.

          • jb1907

            The church can do whatever they want. A public sector employee has to follow the rules of the state/country. They cannot pick and choose what part of their job they do.

          • Thomas Lee Mullins

            If they don’t like it, they can always get another job.

          • Guy

            But, it is ok then for a woman to take a job as a secretary at a Catholic diocese and then sue them when they don’t provide birth control? (a trick question since this was a decided supreme court case a few years ago that was ruled against). It goes both ways. People on both sides of the argument want the other side to lose. Plain and simple. One camp wants all gays to be able to go to all cake shops and buy cakes. The other side wants rights for workers to not do things that goes against their religion. Same goes for public sector jobs.

            There is a very simple solution to all of this. If you’re of the (insert offending party here), if you want something from a business or government and they won’t give it to you for whatever reason… you take your business elsewhere. If this means moving your household to somewhere that does support you… then you’re silly for not doing it.

            I for one would not go somewhere I am not welcome. If you think suing people to make them like you will -EVER- work… then I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings…

          • jb1907

            The Catholic church isn’t supported by tax payer dollars and neither is a business. The County/District Clerk is a public servant job paid for by the taxpayer. They must obey the laws of the land.

          • Guy

            Yes, and this very same lobby is trying to force churches to marry gay people too. You cannot muddy the separation of church and state and then play the, “but its tax payer funded” card when talking about government employees. I personally don’t have a dog in this fight. My dog is in the fight with people who want to force people to accept diversity while not respecting the diversity of others themselves.

          • Guest

            No one is trying to force any churches into marrying anyone.

          • Guy

            A scholarly theologian (I graduated in 1999, then again in 2010 with degrees in Astronomy and World Theology (subset of anthropological study) would say that a Christian would say, “Yes, God gave Moses the Ten Commandments.” However, we would also say that according to the New Testament, when Jesus tore the cloth on the tabernacle at the Temple of Solomon that he was symbolically severing the laws of old and replaced them with his new order of things. Thus, the laws of the Jews hold little to no weight over what Christians MUST do to achieve God’s favor. The Ten Commandments… really, are just common sense. Don’t murder, steal, lie, cheat on your wife, become maddened by vanity and greed for material things, curse the name of God, and so on. They’re really all very simple and most of the world follows these rules without knowing them by heart. Think of your relationship with your partner. If you lied to them, tried to kill them, cheated on them or cursed their name to their face… all of these would produce a very predictable response from your partner. So, forgive me if I think that this argument is little to do about nothing. Taoist and Confucian philosophies read very similar to the Ten Commandments when discussing communal propriety. Only in China, you can be executed for withholding rice for taxes if you’re a farmer. You act as if these Ten Commandments oppress you… you’ve likely never been truly oppressed a day in your life.

          • Lilith

            AGAIN: As the article says: the Conservative & Reform branches of Judaism (& some modern Orthodox leaders) have long supported gay marriage. That represents the vast majority of American Jews.

          • Alex Warhead

            sorry, buddy. when the OT is touted by christians when siting biblical opposition to homosexuality then it’s valid for non-christians to throw it back in their faces. you can say those groups aren’t real christians, but to non-christians that’s a moot point.
            beyond that, your theology degree should have spent a greater amount of time focusing on the point that jesus is credited as saying that he did not come to abolish the old covenant; therefore the old laws of the OT are ALL still valid. furthermore, he is credited with explicitly explaining that the “salvation” he provides is ONLY extended to the jews. we gentiles are screwed regardless of how lightly certain groups try to twist the “word”.

          • jb1907

            the whole Torah/Bible is one big story told to the illiterate people back in the day to keep control over them.

          • Lilith

            It’s mythology, just as all peoples have mythology explaining our world, human behavior, ethics. The problems come if we become inflexible & don’t put practicality, tolerance & compassion first. After all, we were created, however we got here, w/ big brains & free will.

          • Jean-Yves Salve

            I never said he didn’t. 🙂 I am talking about the ones who don’t believe in a higher power and carry on like they know that it is fact with a religious fervor. I am a former Catholic, Protestant, Pentecostal and Jehovah’s Witness so have a little knowledge of the Bible. And I totally agree with you about Christ considering who he spent his time with and who he condemned for being so arrogant.

          • erisx
          • Gigi

            Duh! Typo.

            “Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death. Because they have cursed their father or mother, their blood will be on their own head. If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death.” (Leviticus 20:9-10)

          • erisx

            Hmm. You know, good point. Islam condemns gays, the same way Judaism condemns them, the same way Christianity does.

            We need a new religion.

            Or better yet, shed the religion thing altogether and make it a very person, non-organized thing.

          • Gigi

            Not all Christians or Jews hate gays.

          • Alex Warhead

            actually, your comment should read, “not all people who identify as christian, jew, muslim, or hindu, (blah blah blah) obey their holy books about hating and killing gays.”

          • Katarina Novak

            Ah, but how will our owners control us, if we abandon superstition?

          • Hellraiser

            or we could just focus on science and leave all the religious nonsense behind. Instead of billions of people on this planet wasting their time trying to appease an invisible man living on a cloud they could redirect that energy into known, empirically validated subjects that could better mankind. Of course that would never happen, especially here in the U.S. That would require education beyond that gained by sitting on the couch all day watching Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Swamp People, Duck Dynasty and Lizard Lick Towing Company. Our current populace simply doesn’t possess the intelligence quotient to make it so.

          • Lilith

            Don’t throw we Jews into the same bigot pile. Most American Jews are Reform or Conservative (not Orthodox) & as the article says, those branches have LONG supported gay marriage.

          • Chmeee

            Pastafarianism sounds like a good alternative…

            http://flyingspaghettimonster.wikia.com/wiki/Pastafarianism

          • erisx

            Bless its noodly appendages!!

          • Katarina Novak

            He boiled for us!!!

          • Vanilla Gorilla

            Dudeism is a great alternative

            http://dudeism.com/

          • Thomas Lee Mullins

            Christ never tells anyone to kill people who disagree with. He does say to pray for them.

          • erisx

            This is true. However, it is also true that in too many churches, Christianity is not really about Jesus. (More’s the pity.)

          • Justmom

            Christianity only condemns homosexual acts which are against nature not those who are tempted by the acts. Nobody is perfect and we all have temptations that are tailored to our own hearts.

          • Thomas Lee Mullins

            There are times people use the Bible as an excuse to kill but that does not mean the God of the Bible approves of them doing it.

          • Ivan McIntosh

            I think you’ll find that Christians are killing gays with the full support of their church, albeit in Africa rather than the US – but with the full support and funding of some US religious organisations. It is quite despicable, and an object lesson in the need to keep religious beliefs out of government.

          • Judith Neihart

            Yes,absolutely!!!

          • Rosa

            Yes, because bigotry is bigotry. Also your first sentence is untrue. Read up on Uganda.

          • Ed Di Giambattista

            The middle east is not my problem we have enough trouble here. I would be for sending help but it turns out that we’re 2 planes short.

          • Hellraiser

            it’s not our problem until more of the extremists raised in that oppressive culture decide to hijack a couple more planes and fly them into buildings you or your family members are employed.

            the middle east is our problem. it’s everybody’s problem. Until something is done to end the rampant extremist hate beaten into the minds of their youth it will be every person’s problem.

          • Amy Zucker Morgenstern

            “Christians have not killed gays for thousands of years.”

            I must be thousands of years old, because I remember Matthew Shepard’s murder like it was just 15 years ago. Just to mention the most notorious of many, many such killings.

            P.S. No one is mentioning Muslims in the Middle East because the US in SCOTUS stands for United States. We don’t actually have any control over other countries’ homophobic laws. Just this one’s.

          • Robert Kendall

            MAtthew Shepoard was killed bya couple of robbers, who used his gayness as a way to get him off out of sight to commit their crimes, and who would use any method they could to rob and murder a different victim. It’s called a crime, if you don’t mind technical language.

          • Thomas Lee Mullins

            Sudan is a Muslim controlled country. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Sudan

            Christians are being persecuted by Muslims. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Sudan

          • Jane

            Yes, yes they would.

          • Josh

            Nazis were by and large Christians… Christianity has only been around for 2000 years and Christians were killing gays at least a couple hundred years ago, so you can’t even say a thousand years. I’m too lazy to look it up, but I believe there are multiple countries in Africa where homosexuals are killed by Christians for being “abominations”.

          • Katarina Novak

            Not really. Roman-Catholic church has always been an opportunist.

            Up to about 13. century or so, “clergy” and “gay” were synonymous. Priests, bishops, and all that crap, openly lived in gay relationships.

            It was somewhere after that, that people slowly but surely began to collectively lose their minds. It happened very slowly. But the Roman-Catholic church saw a niche, and they’ve been milking it ever since.

          • Robert Kendall

            Yes, there are,a nd it’s wrong. And Europe was ahrdly all that Christian long before Nazziism arose.

          • Guest

            And they are encouraged by some American Christian churches. Google Pastor Scott Lively in Massachusetts.

          • Katarina Novak

            It’s currently politically incorrect to disagree with anyone who has brown skin.

          • Hellraiser

            politics have nothing to do with it. believing yourself to be superior to another human being due to a genetic trait is simply humanely incorrect. I know you hate all these niggers, sand niggers, towel heads and camel fuckers being all uppity wanting to be treated equal to you as if you weren’t born a superior human being but rest assured, the problem is you not them. Actually the problem is your parents who raised you to believe that the color of your skin made you superior to those with skin of a different color were allowed to reproduce and brainwash you with their backwoods, hillbilly ignorance. While this backwoods, hillbilly ignorance is indeed incorrect it is not due in the slightest to anything relating to politics.

          • Katarina Novak

            What are you talking about? I live in an all-white country. White skin doesn’t get you anything here.

            Almost all black USA-ers I’ve ever communicated with, were fucking racist to me. Then they label me the racist, when I object.

            You have, however, just proven my point. Any time you disagree with anyone non-white, while being white, you are automatically the racist.

          • Robert Kendall

            I’m simply a superior being and discovered it on my own. My fellow whites are the worst of the dogmanity infesting the planet.

          • Robert Kendall

            Unfortunately too true.

          • Hellraiser

            yes they would. that’s the point. you’re getting paid by the taxpayers to do your job. you do your job or you find a different job if you don’t like the duties of the one you have. Religious beliefs matter none at all. In the U.S. we have separation of church and state. A person’s religion matters not when it comes to performing their government job no matter what religion it is. If you’re Indian, you can’t work at McDonalds but refuse to make hamburgers because the eating of beef is against your religious beliefs and expect to keep your job. You’re getting paid to make a Big Mac so make that shit or get fired for not doing the job you’re being paid to do. If you don’t want to make hamburgers because it’s against your religious beliefs, get a job doing something else.

            same thing here. If you’re getting paid to issue marriage licenses, issue them as you’re getting paid to do or find a different job, one that does not violate your religious beliefs. The freedom to practice your religion does not mean you can refuse to do the job you’re being paid to do and your employer must keep you on staff, keep paying you even though you refuse to do the job you’re being paid to do.

            I’m actually glad these assholes are refusing to do the job they’re being paid to do. They are outing themselves as bigots to the rest of their community and the world. When they lose their jobs for discriminating against people they don’t like (be they gay, black, jews, asian, women, whatever) we will have far less bigots in government positions to deal with. A social issue like this gay marriage issue is great for weeding out those people in these positions who should have never been in these positions to begin with. good riddance. On their way out they’re going to cost states millions in discrimination law suit settlements but it’s worth th price tag. It’s not like the government would have sent that money back to us if not used to settle these law suits. They were going to waste it on nonsense anyway. At least now we’ll have something to show for these wasted tax dollars, many bigots out of these government positions.

          • Alex Warhead

            ummm..did you miss the big hullabaloo about the “family research council”s monetary support and consulting to uganda (mostly christian) that was seeking to pass federal legislation to have a DEATH PENALTY for people found guilty of homosexuality?
            there are 13 countries in african were homosexual activity is a crime, half of which are 50% or majority christian.

          • Thomas Lee Mullins

            Sudan is a mostly Muslim country and the government is Muslim. It is the Muslims that have been killing gays and persecuting Christians. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Sudan

            Islam on homosexuality. http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Islam_and_Homosexuality

          • Alex Warhead

            that’s very true, but not the focus of the comments at hand. you don’t get to whitewash over the crimes of christian regimes by pointing to those of muslim regimes.
            i also love the “persecuting christians” angle. yes, and injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere and it is wrong. but, christians aren’t the only ones getting the bad end of the stick. there are ethnic lines that cause the regimes in sudan to kill other muslims as well.
            yes, the way gays are treated in the muslim world is abhornet. actually, the way roughly 60% of the people in the muslim world are treated is horrible. no one is defending it. BUT, we both know that regardless of the monicure they use (christian, muslim, hindu, buddhist) it’s all a ploy to drive a wedge between the people. that’s all religion is: a dividing line to drive us apart. just like “race”.
            destroy it. people will still find reasons to hate and kill each other. at least we will have gotten rid of one, nay, the biggest excuse.

          • Guy

            Well, I’ll play ball with this one too. On the one hand, you’re likening Ugandan tribal political Christians to Christians in the United States. Big, huge mistake. You’re then demonizing all Christians for what a tribal society in Africa does… which has thousands of years worth of history that includes enslaving fellow tribes and executing their enemies. They’re only using religion as a scapegoat (which, is all you’re doing too… mind you).

            See, I could turn this argument around and say, “Well, since the founders of the KKK were all Democrats and many of them were Democrat governors and Federal Congressmen, then all Democrats are racist.”

            Do you not read how stupid that argument is?

          • jb1907

            No they just killed the Jews in 1492….

          • TuxedoCartman

            Thousands of gays and lesbians are killed every year by people who profess to being Christian. Want more systematic executions? How about Uganda, a fundamentalist Christian country that’s made it a capital offense to be gay. Not white enough for you? Then do pink triangle patches ring any bells? It’s what the Nazis used to identify homosexuals with, at the concentration camps where they were systematically exterminated.

            You might want to shut your mouth, before any more idiocy gets out.

          • Thomas Lee Mullins

            Sudan is a Muslim controlled country. Christians have no control over the government there. Christians are being persecuted there. http://www.meforum.org/22/sudan-civil-war-and-genocide

            http://nypost.com/2013/12/25/muslims-v-christians-in-islamists-new-war/

            Islam largest religion in Sudan. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in_Sudan

          • TuxedoCartman

            Who the fuck said anything about Sudan? Are you illiterate as well as stupid? Uganda. U-gan-da.

          • Thomas Lee Mullins

            Christians have been persecuted in Sudan by the Muslim controlled government there. http://www.meforum.org/22/sudan-civil-war-and-genocide

          • susanna marie

            There is no money to be made on gay marriages they don’t reproduce so church can’t not collect on newbies brought into their religion, not any mystery, same as contraception, lower babies count no up and coming money

          • Graham Nicholls

            many many many same sex couples have offspring. gay weddings are an industry in it’s own right in some countries.

            further, by embracing change such as this whole marriage issue rather than ignoring it, religions may indeed see a rise in their numbers as it becomes more inclusive and counsel orientated rather than exclusive and declarative as they seem to be now.

            I have some clergy in my life (I’m more spiritual than religious) and they embrace love, not arrogance.

          • Jane

            Yes.

          • susanna marie

            Sorry didn’t clarify, mostly referring to the Catholic religion ,one of the big money makers

          • Graham Nicholls

            well, Catholicism has somewhat been ignorant and slow and tends to “fight” with human nature rather than compliment it.
            If they see it the way you said, I imagine it may be because they detest this activity so bad that they simply deny or fail to recognize any merit within nor any statistical evidence that does not support their agenda.
            When you diminish the existence of a thing, you diminish your understanding of it and ultimately you diminish your world.

          • jb1907

            Every other religion is fine with the rabbi/pastor/head person getting married except the Catholic church. It all comes down to the property the “wife” would inheirit. Thus Catholics are just greedy….

          • Justmom

            In order to become clergy in the Catholic church, one takes a vow of poverty, among other vows.

          • MamaBear2012

            Who says they don’t reproduce? A Lesbian can go to a sperm bank and be impregnated. A Gay Man can donate his sperm to a surrogate mother. I think you better go get some real facts because you certainly have no clue.

          • Justmom

            She meant they can’t reproduce without assistance.

          • Shane

            Me either.

          • Guest

            While there are animals who can reproduce without a partner, no human can reproduce without assistance.

          • Justmom

            Heterosexual couples can easily reproduce without third party assistance, homosexual couples cannot. That was the point the comment was making. Do people really not get this?

          • tearsofjade

            Many men & women come into their same sex marriages WITH children after years of being in the closet & thinking marriage & babies would “cure” them. Many states allow them to adopt, gee, just like straight people who possibly cant make babies for whatever reasons! Many of us “straight” people can’t reproduce. I’m past menopause-should I be relegated to 2nd class citizenship because I can’t reproduce? How about the man or woman who has become infertile due to cancer treatment? Do many of you treat them as badly as you do gays? And we often hear about childless couples undergoing IVF, many with the “3rd party assistance” of a sperm or egg donor. The more people like you try to point out the DIFFERENCES between gay & straight relationships, the more you emphasize the similarities-do you not really get this?

          • Justmom

            You should probably read the thread before commenting so you can understand the conversation. The commenter said that the Catholic church won’t ever accept same sex marriage for the same reason it won’t accept artificial means of contraception: inability to reproduce.

            It’s a personal opinion expressed by a commenter. If you disagree with the comment, please direct your thoughts to the poster Suzanne that expressed that opinion.
            I already understand both positions completely and there doesn’t seem to be anyone with the education or ability to rationally discuss these matters on this particular forum. So, good day to you!

          • Katarina Novak

            They don’t accidentally reproduce. Hets can be denied contraceptives, and guilted into keeping the unwanted spawn. Many of them are brainwashed into not availing themselves in abortion anyway.

          • Alex Warhead

            “abortions for some, american flags for everyone”!

          • Kame

            The Simpson’s quote <3 best halloween ep ever!!!!

          • Jane

            It’s true, gay weddings are free. They don’t have to pay for the venue, the catering, the clothes or the license. Oh wait, no, the opposite of that.

          • Katarina Novak

            They also tend to be logical, not simply following something because it’s done. So, no mandatory indoctrination for children of gay parents.

          • Gina Gooligan

            but through sanctity of marriage and rights they receive they can use donor sperm or donor egg plus a surrogate, or even adopt. Next it will be Fertility centers and adoption agencies under fire.

          • Thoridias

            what the hell are you talking about? A church isn’t a for profit company trying to drive gross margins, and you’re forgetting the fact that people pay the government to get married. Even if they did pay the church, which they don’t, if the church was focused solely on money, they would absolutely allow gay marriage, more marriages means more money. Adults are the ones who put donations, not children.. A church does not count on a child growing up 20 years after the fact and decide to stay at their local church and keep donating, that makes no sense

          • Alex Warhead

            if you’re not paying your church then you’re not obeying the bible. tithings are set in the NT at 10% of your income.

          • Thoridias

            Stop right there, Christ has never one implied or stated that if you do not donate to your church you are a sinner or condemned to hell. It is called a donation for a reason, because you donate it through your choice. But that’s not the point I’m making, the point I’m making is that the church is not a for profit company, it’s an organization. The money hat comes in, goes into paying pastors and priests, repairing the church, and charitable goals. And leftover money is just used the next month for the same thing, the church doesn’t get to keep the profit and redistribute it among shareholders or such. And the argument I was making is that the church isn’t so concerned with needing to repopulate to keep more church goers. If a Christian family had a child, it does not guarantee they will one day in the future be donating to that same church so it doesn’t make sense that the church would be concerned about gay marriage for money.

          • Alex Warhead

            nope. OT rules require tithings and chirstians are still obliged to obey the 620 laws as set in the covenant. remember, jesus said that he did not come to destroy the old convent, but to renew it.
            you don’t get to cherry pick. it’s all or nothing. luckily, it’s all garbage, so you can just leave it in the landfill.

          • Thoridias

            Actually, funny enough, Christ said the opposite of what you just said. In the NT he states that the rules of the Hebrews are no longer the rules of the Gentiles. Every single of hose hundreds of rules, no eating pork included 😀 while we still kept some of those rules, all in all, many of those rules no longer apply to Christians, including mandatory donations. And while it might be different for Catholics from my Protestant belief, the bible is not a law book, it is a guide book on how to worship the lord, however, unlike many of my other companions, I’m realistic in the fact that the bible was not written by Jesus or God himself, it was written by men that lived thousands of years back, so many of the rules set at that point are no longer applicable in the modern world. I don’t cherry pick because I choose not to be adamant in the rules of the OT. If I am not going to follow one I will not be a hypocrite and follow another. If this sets to you my perspective, I’m a happily gay man who is also a devoted Christian. I believe I have the right to be gay because the Gentiles (Christians) no longer have to follow those rules. Not only are they rudimentary but they are unnecessary in someone’s own self journey wth God.

          • Jim

            Dude… In Matthew 10:5 Jesus SPECIFICALLY tells his Apostles NOT to take his message to the Gentiles & Samaritans but ONLY to “the lost sheep of Israel”.. PAUL (who NEVER personally met Jesus) is the one who claimed that salvation was for EVERYONE and that you didn’t HAVE to convert to Judaism FIRST (and therefore be subject to the Mosaic Law) before becoming a Christian..

          • Alex Warhead

            that’s fine, you can cherry pick and rationalize your “belief system” all you want to conform to your reading of the bible.
            i get it: it’s easier and less intimidating if you can bend the “word” to fit your pre-existing ideas.

          • Alex Warhead

            “so many of the rules set at that point are no longer applicable”.
            so…the bible wasn’t “divinely inspired”? the rules weren’t communicated directly from god? they were made up by men? did god approve of some of the rules, but not others? how do you decipher that? or, did the unchanging, infinite, all knowing, infallible god change his mind?
            of course, i agree with your general point, but you saying this AND claiming to be a christian is a bit perplexing. if you know that the book was created by men how can you claim that anything in it is valid? how can you say that you find it as any kind of moral authority? how could anyone with a conscience say it has any authority when it advocates for slavery, forcing single women to marry their rapists (as long as the rapist pays her father for his “transaction”), or KILLING CHILDREN?!
            look, either your god dictated the book and it has authority, or it was created by men and should be read as the sexist/racist/inhuman pile of garbage that it is. but, you ARE cherry picking. “i choose not to be adamant in the rules”? THAT’S FUCKING CHERRY PICKING!
            you are the worst kind of christian; you are the liberal christian that defends that most vile parts of western culture/history by whitewashing over it with “lovey dovey” bullshit. you cling to a book that would be used to condemn your own group (gays) and is used to warp the minds of the oppressed into accepting their lot in life. at least the westboro baptists are clear about their convictions. you, however, paint yourself as an ally to progressivism while maintaining a connection to one of the most evil ideologies in human history.
            get fucked!

          • Thoridias

            Its true, there are many laughable rules stated in the bible, one of them even states that if your husband died, you must marry his brother and bed with him, ridiculous right? But the statement you quoted me saying is true, those many hundreds of rules that were stated in the Old Testament are no longer valid in New Testament. The bible states that God pardoned the people from these many rules and they no longer had to follow them. But I think you are also not understanding how I see the bible. The bible is not a moral guide book, I don’t need the bible to know that murder is bad, that theft and cheating and so many other moral choices. That comes from my own knowledge of such. And I definitely do not use the bible as if it’s an autobiography written by God himself because it wasn’t. It was written by men, men with their own views of he world, flawed men. i use the bible to inspire my belief in God. I read the stories and the tales written in the bible, which at the end always has a lesson to be taught. You may be right, I may cherry pick what I agree with within the bible. But why is that wrong? Because people tell you that if you are to be religious you have to follow the bible as if it’s a university text book on calculus? God forgives sins for a reason, because it’s not about the details, when it comes down to it, it’s if you are devoted to him. My relationship with God is my own, my own journey, and it’s been my own struggle as well because I have doubted gods existence many times in my life. When I discovered I was gay was the hardest part in my journey, when I believed that God hated me or that he must not exist or else he wouldn’t let this happen to me. The Christian faith does not condemn gays, the people who misrepresent the faith, misread the bible, and who do not understand that homosexuality is not a choice are the ones who flood the world with hate that’s unneeded. They also cause people like you to hate and grow animosity towards people who have faith when sometimes, that’s all many people have. and while I see your ideas clearly, I certainly don’t respect that you just stated the westboro baptist church is somehow better than me and my beliefs. basically any other belief out there is better than the Westboro batist church. You can shit on me all you want but don’t ever say such stupid shit as to say that a progressive modern Christian is bad, when you’re biggest argument is that we follow backwards and old rules.

          • Alex Warhead

            you’ve misunderstood. there is NOTHING positive in christianity or in ANY religion. the “good” things that come from “religion” are good things done by people, who, for some befuddling reason, surrender the credit for their own actions to a ridiculous notion of “god”.
            “christianity”, truly, is what the fundamentalist baptists, puritans, and extremists follow. yes, if you’re a christian you must believe in what the bible reads; to claim that some parts are valid, some aren’t, but “i’m a christian” is ludicrous. you many consider yourself a “follower” of christ, but at best you seem to be a sympathizer with his more liberally interpreted message.
            do you believe in the adam and eve myth? no? well, guess what; that story is FUNDAMENTALLY essential to christian faith. without the curse of original sin there is NO NEED for jesus or his temporary inconvenience of being crucified. if you say that the adam myth is allegory then you have completely nullified the reason for jesus’s existence. it’s hard to do that AND rationally call yourself a “christian”.
            “liberal” christians need to give up the “christian” moniker and take that one last step to realize that they whole “god” concept, as described in the abrahamic tradition, is insanity. the god of the bible is a tyrant. he is a savage. he is immoral. he is the enemy of human-kind. that’s not my takeaway based on hateful organizations; that’s my takeaway based on reading the bible and koran. the character of god as depicted in those stories is an abomination. sure, jesus may have some moments where one can be empathetic, but remember, his character is drastically different in each of the NT books. in one he’s peaceful and quiet, in another he’s borderline autistic, in another he’s an outspoken reformist and activist against the state, and the other he’s outright arrogant.
            the point is that what you are calling “christianity” is completely unrecognizable according to the bible. for you to say that you use the bible as a “guide” is even more worrisome; the bible is the most violent, bigoted, hateful piece of literature assembled in history. throw it out. burn it. destroy it. it must be forgotten.

          • Thoridias

            Honestly dude, I am Christian, what you say will not sway my belief that that is what I am and what I believe. My belief is my own. You can think badly of religion all you want, but if it’s real or not, it is a part of humanity and the human race. You need to be realistic that that’s not going to change any time soon or in a the near future. You can’t convince nearly 5/6 of the human population that believing in a higher form or supernatural existences is not worth it. So let me be religious, let the religious be religious. If it’s not affecting your life than leave us be and stop being so damn pushy about your beliefs. Many of you claim Christians try and shove their religion down your faces, and that many be true for many, but from what I observed, your doing the exact same thing. You aren’t going to sway me and I’m not going to sway you, we are both too stubborn. So end of conversation, let’s agree to disagree and get on with our respective lives and be happy with them ok?

          • Guy

            You are mistaking allegorical teachings for factual history. It is good that you’re trying to debate a topic you’re biased against, but before you try to use the other side’s words against them, you should come to understand what those words mean.

            For example, Biblical theologians will be the first to tell you that there probably was no Adam, no Eve, no snake and no tree in a secret garden. Most every story in Genesis is an allegory and, any Jewish student of the Torah will agree that that the minute details are purely written intentionally as allegory. This means that the story of Adam and Eve is not a historical passage one must believe in. However, the meaning behind the story (God made man, woman, and recognized their faults and shortcomings due to having given them free will) teaches of the order of the universe. God made man, man submits to the will of God and must live by his teachings should he want to have a prosperous life and life everlasting. That is what that story is about.

            The other critical flaw you make is the failure to recognize the direct bisection of the Bible between Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament is given in the Christian Bible as a back story that tells of the coming of Christ and as a reference. However, when Jesus came, he himself a Jew (Torah = Old Testament), studied the Torah but clearly broke ties with that book and stated that the path to salvation is not through the words of the Torah, but that a man’s salvation is through me. Thus, Christians do not believe in the Old Testament. They do not stone adulterous women, they do not burn gays at the stake. They do not wear sack cloth for telling lies and they do not honor Passover or any of the other litany of Jewish holiday traditions.

            The rest of your diatribe is simply unsettled anti-religious bias that I won’t talk to. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but just remember that counter-religious people and religious people share the same personality traits: You’re both faith-based believers in something you cannot prove. This makes you brothers and sisters that think identically the same way. You act and react based on nothing more than faith.

          • Alex Warhead

            “You’re both faith-based believers in something you cannot prove.”
            no – i reject the claims made by theists. that’s not a “faith-based” position. i’m open to the idea that there is a “god” (little ‘g’) but the claims of the specific god made by abrahamic cults are so easily refuted an proven wrong that they aren’t worth consideration. yes; i’m an anti-theist. yes; i’m biased against religion – it has proven itself to be a poison over and over again. “faith” deserves no reverence or respect. “faith” is a conscious decision to favor idiocy.

            regardless of whether you think christians should or shouldn’t regard the OT isn’t an issue of concern for me: it’s an issue that christians need to make among themselves. when so many churches focus on the OT and the old stories in their sermons and rely on their “teachings” then that’s when your claim that it doesn’t hold sway goes out the window. i am dealing with reality of how the “gospel” is used and taught to the flock. christians can’t claim that the old laws no longer apply, then use the old laws as an excuse for their bigotry and bile. that’s not my problem; it’s all or nothing.

            regarding adam – you still gloss over the fact that without an actual adam and eve to commit the original sin there is no need for jesus’s act of “sacrifice” for salvation. the entire purpose of a savior is nullified as defined by the church. you can’t call it allegory if the entire crux of of your religion depends on it. otherwise you admit that the entirety of the story is a myth (which is fine). but, by doing so you negate any authority that you may claim your religion has.

            beyond that, your claim that the reason christians don’t “stone adulterous women” or “burn gays at the stake” is NOT because of the faith’s rejection of OT laws: it’s because our society has come to a point where we recognize the moral repugnance of such actions. western culture has embraced the importance of “individual rights” and “individualism” over the barbaric tenants of a nomadic, bronze age, desert, goat loving tribe. there are plenty of “christians” in america that are perfectly happy to advocate for violence against gays and independent women. luckily, as a society we have rejected those parts of a vile tradition. unfortunately, we still allow people to claim some sort of connection to religion as an explanation for that change.

          • Guy

            I’m still waiting for someone to point out to this guy that I’m not a Christian 🙂 He really doesn’t pay attention. Such is the position of bigotry. You have one platform you’ve copy-pasted off of the internet somewhere and I guess you have to stick to that eh? Right on buddy, keep it up.

          • Guest

            BS, Guy. Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”

            You are just another who wants to cherry pick rules from the bible you want enforced and ignore those you don’t. It’s all myth and superstition by men who wanted to control people and used today by people who still want to control people.

          • Justmom

            One of the most evil ideologies in human history?
            “Love one another as you love yourself” is an evil ideology?
            You sound like a hater.
            State worship is the most evil ideology in human history and progressives certainly love them some state power! The idea that a few people know better how people should live than they themselves do and have the power to force other people to do their will is the very definition of evil and a hallmark of progressive ideology.

          • Alex Warhead

            you know, this would be funny if it weren’t so painfully idiotic.
            “love one another as yourself” is hardly the message of the bible, let alone the NT. “submit or suffer” is more like it. the bible is just a heinous as the koran.
            the only time christians, muslims, hindus, etc. have ever acted in what we modernly call “moral” manner is when they adopt secular behaviours.
            and yes, i am a hater. i’m an anti-theist. while i can’t prove that their is no “god(s)”, i can certainly prove that the specific god of the bible is a load of bs. it’s all right there in that little book, if you care to actually read it with a critical eye.

            i will agree with you on the idea of “state worship”, though you are more likely referring to what’s referred to as the “civic religion”. sure, there are progressives that adhere to a more jingoistic mentality, but it’s the right in america that is most guilty of “state worship”. staunch defenders of the flag, the constitution (or, at least the first 2 amendments), and the founders are often on the right. any criticism of these often get us progressives labeled as “traitors” or “commies”.
            as for the “few people >knowing< better how other people should live": you do realize that that is the right's entire agenda, right? progressives haven't tried to force anything on you or your lifestyle. on the contrary, they are making it easier for people of various "lifestyles" to get access to the same services and "natural born rights" that folks like you seem to enjoy by default. if you mean to imply that progressives are forcing "gay marriage" down your throat well you're wrong. actually, you're not just wrong, your painfully stupid. i don't care if you "accept" gays or not; you're free to be a bigot. what you don't get to do is use your bigotry to deny others of their "natural born" rights.

          • Justmom

            Oh please, right and left are just two wings of the same bird. They pretend to oppose each other to fool people like you.
            Oh and of course the obligatory bigot name calling.

            Everyone who disagrees with you on anything is a bigot, of course. Nice to have a stack of one size fits all labels to throw around so you can smugly disregard any point of contention, rather than do any thinking.
            Good luck with your hate, I’m sure you’ll find many hours of comfort with such a lovely companion.
            You may also want to read up on the history of progressive ideology just so you know exactly who your parents are.

          • jb1907

            Tell that to the billons of dollars the Vatican is sitting on. In money and art.

          • Chmeee

            We know for somewhat of a certainty where the art is located, but where’s the money? Their balance sheet shows negative inflow to outflows, so any money they do have at this point is being used to offset that deficit.

            So I guess they should sell their artworks then? To whom shall they sell it to? Most museums couldn’t afford to pay what it’s all “worth” (if you could really put a price on most of their collection). Private collectors could, but that usually winds up hidden from public view. Some of it is in places that can’t be easily removed. But maybe Donald Trump can buy the Sistine Chapel to obtain the work of Michelangelo and move the whole thing to one of his casinos or skyscrapers. That’s got to be worth a couple of billion at least, right?

          • jb1907

            The Catholic church is all about money and money laundering.

          • Thoridias

            People have a strange perception that the Vatican is some rich establishment with millions in the bank, the truth is, the Vatican is actually and has been in debt for several years because they refuse to decrease charitable goals and peace keeping missions. I am not catholic so this isn’t a biased point of view, this is the truth of he fact.

          • jb1907
          • Thoridias

            If you read the article then you can see that the Catholic Church froze their assets and fired that FORMER employee. You can out blame the Vatican for the actions of some corrupt individuals. I’m not catholic, so please don’t take my arguments as bias. People are corrupt sometimes, it happens with every large establishment. But since 2005 the Vatican has done massive amounts of overhaul to eliminate the corruption.

          • jb1907

            It is one of the most corrupt banks in the world.

          • Lorenzo La Rocca

            Do you know that the Vatican earns more or less a billion euros a year from italian taxpayer’s through a concordate which grants them the “8×1000”? Google it

          • Guest

            The Vatican has billions in investments, gold, jewels and art. They are the largest landlord in the US and probably in most other countries as well. They don’t share their wealth with convents and parish churches because they are greedy above all else, but bankrupt they are not.

          • Thoridias

            First off, the Vatican does not invest, and secondly, that’s net worth of all their valuable objecvts, not the amount of money they have. It’s like saying a middle class family thats struggling to get by every month has 600,000 dollars because of the worth ofntheoir assets: house, cars, furniture. You cannot equate assets to actual money, that’s not how it works. And yes they are corrupt, never said they weren’t, but they are improving on corruption, and they are definitely not rich, they are struggling financially

          • Justmom

            Are you saying that the Vatican holds more property in the US than the federal government?

          • Thoridias

            False, look up some actual history alright? The condemning of homosexuality only began within Christianity during the medieval ages, specifically, after the Black Plague that tarnished European population. Authorities needed to encourage reproduction so Christian doctrine started to teach the banning and condemnation of homosexuality to encourage reproduction. Before then, it was not nearly ever a big problem, something Most looked the other way for. Further more, Christianity has only been around for 2000 years, that’s why the year is 2015 a.d. Which symbolizes the era in which Christ was born. Don’t spew out facts you don’t know k?

          • JohnnyCJC

            really? cause the quality of the average person has certainly gone into the shitter. you need a better argument than that!

          • Don’t feed the troll.

          • KyuC

            Unfortunately, they are louder than the majority.

          • Mike Williams

            This sounds mighty familiar for some reason. …….oh yeah! This is the same garbage Muslims always quack.

          • Jean-Yves Salve

            This sounds might familiar for some reason ……. oh yeah! This is the same garbage ignorant bigots always quack. 🙂

          • Mike Williams

            So, you approve of genital mutilation and letting young women drown because daddy(earth and sky) frown on strange men touching their female possession? How enlightened you truly are!

          • Jean-Yves Salve

            I see you are showing how right I am since you are talking about a cultural tradition not a religious one. 🙂 You may want to actually research instead of doing the same old sites full of crap. 😉

          • Andrea Meccas

            its all the same really..Everyone condemns everyone fighting over the same God.. Yet we’re all here, did God gve us enemys just to fight with? lol Have you ever heard people quote “eye for and eye” likes it gospel…didnt they finish the story? Wonder what would happen if people treated each other like they wanted to be treated? that wouldnt work because we would all get along and boy oh boy would God be mad! smh

          • Maureen Skaar

            the problem is, the minority is apparently overwhelming the majority with their whining and complaining and civil disobedience…Id do the job for that kinda pay and button it up

          • Hyde

            I’d argue that they are the majority. The ratio of supporting Christians to discriminating Christians is way lopsided. Why do you think the Supreme Court had to take control of the situation? The people could not be depended on to do the right thing.

          • Fasil Limerick

            I hear bagpipes.

          • Alex Warhead

            until the “majority” of christians start making the same amount of noise to drown out these nuts i’m afraid i’ve got nothing for you. we can’t demand that all “moderate” muslims be adamantly vocal against acts of extremist terror lest they be thought to be sympathizers themselves and let christians off the hook when they don’t do the same.

          • Kaji-Da Kuhmo

            Considering we are not really hearing from the other side of Christianity, they do represent the majority because its their voice that is heard.

          • Robert Scott Babcock

            So it’s ok to prejudge a group of people based on how some of the members of that group behave? Are you hearing yourself yet?

          • 303 Kush

            I judge Christians based on the fact that their worldview is empirically incorrect and has no evidentiary support. Grand claims call for grand evidence. Good person or not, the bible was written by desert dwelling scribes with no help from an omniscient finger wagging father figure.

          • Richard Hanzon

            hey Kush, if you haven’t gone to any school or attained any formal education then maybe your the desert dwelling uneducated idiot that you so eagerly ascribe to the people of five different ancient civilizations.Also if you want to believe that your opinion and judgment is of more value then that of the kings of 400 different kingdoms that have studied what those scribes wrote. well I’m not going to judge you. but if it was good enough for them and the majority of the people living today. yea I’m thinking your the desert dwelling idiot. sorry but its just my opinion.. Don’t Hate, Don’t Judge !!

          • 303 Kush

            “When I was a child I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” -1 Corinthians 13:11

            I never said uneducated, scribes were arguably the most educated people in the context of their time and region. There is beautiful writing in the bible and it’s worth studying, but no more than Shakespeare, Socrates, or Emerson.

          • Some fine points. But more than anything, we are a species of highly evolved social structure. Due in no small part to those desert dwellers constructing a framework of describing, discussing the nature of intangible existence among individuals in a common community. As long as everyone has a common perception, of the nature of shared existence, then each individual can comprehensively interact with each other, and with the greater society as a whole. That social structure is as valuable today as it was in antiquity. But only to the extent that it’s common to the masses…

            We have things like science now, to describe the nature of existence, and a [Constitution] to outline our system of leadership. But they will only better serve social solidarity when they become as well understood and accepted as religion. It’s a hard sell in a changing world, because it allows for the possibility of uncertainty. Religion offers certainty (and salvation), for anyone who just [hopes] really hard (and does what they’re told). People gravitate to that feeling. And when things don’t pan-out as expected/promised, they blame those who don’t conform to the commonly accepted reality…

            Social ideologies, structures will tend to follow and thrive in groups with the most numerous members. Those that are incompatible with others will conquer the world or die-off. The good news is; science is flexible and open to being actively questioned. (As long as it’s being examined, and objectively criticized, then it’s working perfectly) The bad news is, major religions are not, they don’t want to die-off, and there’s only one other direction to go…

          • Keziri

            Obviously we’re not highly evolved at all. We have people bitching about same sex couples wanting to get a piece of paper saying they are married and we have same sex couples bitching over a piece of paper because they somehow need it to proclaim their love. Evolved is not what I would call anything about this planet, except the technology and I have a feeling even that is primitive.

          • Good points. Our social evolution is far from finished. But as far as any lifeforms with which we’re familiar; We’re the champion social creatures. The Hymenoptera(e?) may have a case (ants in particular). But we’re downright “enlightened” compared to their responses to different [races] or non-conformity to their autocratic order (which is almost unheard of)…….. 😉

          • Annetta Jordan

            For same sex couples, it is not just bitching over a piece of paper. It certainly is not about the ability to proclaim your love. All I have to do is speak to do that. There were approximately 1000 legal rights and benefits denied to same sex couples including the basic right to even see each other in a hospital, even during death. For people who lived through this and died to change it, it is hard to hear someone talk so flippantly about it. I don’t know if you are gay, but if not, then it is like me trying to say what the life struggles of an African American have been like when I am a white person. I do not judge you for your opinion but only ask for some deeper understanding, and I do agree with you that the evolution of mankind could be a lot more advanced without the hating ignorants holding it back!! At least maybe in another 20 years or so, all Americans will be able to take for granted those rights associated with all marriages and then I believe we will have evolved a little more from where we were before and that is a good thing!

          • Keziri

            No it’s bitching over a piece of paper. Plenty of people who can’t even afford to get married still get on with their lives and live a life together. The only thing same sex couples are wanting is validation from the world, which is basically a bunch of other people they don’t even know and who really don’t even matter. For that matter, the same goes for anyone needing a piece of paper to say “Look, this proves I love you”. It’s validation. I just can’t understand why people feel the need to be accepted by a bunch of people they don’t even know and will probably never meet. The ONLY thing I see that needs to be upheld is, keeping violence away from people if they are different than you. There’s no need to harm a person just because they think/act/dress/look/are different than you. Also I believe religion should be gone. Why? Because every decade it gets changed to fit what people think it should be to the point where, no one knows what the real religion started out to be in the first place. I find myself wondering why God would create a man and a woman instead of a woman and a woman or a man and a man, and I realize the answer was because then none of us would exist. So I wonder why the bible says we shouldn’t lay with the same sex. Well, I suppose because back then it would have been harder to populate the planet with that going on instead. However, I suppose now, in the age of test-tube babies, anything goes. I wonder if 100 years from now the commandment that says “Thou shalt not kill” will be changed to “Thou shalt not kill unless someone is suspected of having weapons of Mass Destruction.”. I can’t trust anyones words on the bible because humans have had their filthy hands at altering things for thousands of years and we’ll continue to alter things until not even God’s name remains and I for sure as shit am not going to let a piece of paper dictate whether or not I openly love someone, man or woman. Got to love how the government made of people JUST like you, tell you WHAT to do at every turn and you let them because I guess there is no alternative. So yeah, you REALLY need that piece of paper or else your love is invalid and you won’t survive without the benefits the unknown people let you have while living on their planet. Also, I like how you try to compare the struggles of being homosexual to being African American. Last I checked, people born African American do no choose what color they come out at birth, however, a homosexual does choose who they sleep with. Notice I did not say “can not choose to be homosexual.” Being homosexual may not be a choice, but who you sleep with is. Granted, both homosexuals and African Americans have been harassed by bigots but so have Muslims, handicapped people, so have people with disabilities, so have obese people, so have people with eating disorders. Though I’ve never heard of a homosexual only bathroom, seating area, water fountains, separate schooling systems. separate neighborhoods. I see your attempt at a comparison though.

          • Annetta Jordan

            I will leave your illogical response for others to “validate” for you.

          • Keziri

            Right, cause I must need validation like you. Ok, thanks so much, I think I can live now.

          • Katarina Novak

            Paragraphs are your friends. On a non-related issue, if you skim everyone’s paycheques equally, you must give all of them equal human rights.

            As for comparison with other groups, nobody will give you extra points on the tests, for being LGB.

          • Keziri

            1) Are you even replying to the right person? Most people don’t have time to sit around spacing out paragraphs for people who can’t make their eyes follow the words. By the way, what I did write was a paragraph, what you’re crying for is spaced paragraphs. I guess you didn’t notice because you were busy trying to come up with some smartass shit to say while assuming I was LGB and you wanted to be a jerk to me.

            2) You must be replying to the wrong person, I’m pretty sure I never said I was LGB but I bet your assumption was that I was, which is why you jumped out there with “paragraphs are your friend” just to be a low key asshole. Do you think it matters so much on DISQUS and that all statements are reviewed for noble peace prizes? Please have several seats.

            And yeah, I put it in paragraphs for you, so you can read it while you eat your lunchables.

            3) I do agree with you. No one should get extra credit for some BS that was created by society and pushed on different groups of people in many different levels. Trying to compare is ignorant and a lame attempt at reaching.

          • Katarina Novak

            Allow me to respond in form, if not in kind:

            1) Yes, I am responding to the great wall of text. Why would I think you were LGB? You snidely reduced a demand for equal rights to a piece of paper and benefits. The matter has never been about proclaiming anything, its essence is a demand for equal rights under the law.

            2) I assure you, had I been a homophobe who thought that you were LGB, I could have done a great deal better than a reminder of grammatical etiquette. It is common courtesy to write in a coherent manner in such a discussion. It allows for easier understanding, and yes, I do think it matters even here. The quality of our language, reflects the quality of our thoughts, and it is for this reason that we should hone our language, for it is our means of connecting with others, as well as broadening our world.

            I will google lunchables.

            3) Trying to compare what, is lame? Would you mind specifying?

            Anyway, the purpose of my post was to reiterate, that since the government forces all of us to pay the same taxes, we must also have the same rights under law. Surely, this isn’t too much to ask, is it?

            To extend your comparison: An African USA-er doesn’t choose to be black. But an African USA-er can choose where to go. They can choose to move to Africa, whereas there is no such place as a gay continent.

          • Keziri

            1) Your assumption is way off, I don’t need to recite the old adage about assumptions, you are an ass. It is just a piece of paper. For Men and Men, for Women and Women, for Men and Women. You should be able to get married in front of your God or whoever you worship without the GOVERNMENTS approval.

            Also in your shitty assumption, you think I”m trying to undermine equality. Far from it. But you won’t see my point, even though I just stated it right ABOVE.

            2) I don’t give a fuck if you’re a homophobe or a homosexual. You came from nowhere, started off about a paragraph instead of the topic at hand because you wanted to be an ASSHOLE, which can be either homophobe, homosexual or straight.

            3) An “African USA-er”.. lol you’re even more of an ass than I thought. How about an American who is black since they were BORN IN AMERICA. For fucks sake.

            4) Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one. You have 2 apparently and you use it to start your conversations off. What I state is my opinion about the situation. What you state is your opinion as well. You also sprinkle your shitty ASSUMPTIONS about me in it, to try to validate your opinion and you’re still wrong in your assumption. We’ll just have to agree to disagree because I already know you’ll come back with some sort of grammatical and or spellcheck bullshit that has nothing to do with the topic because that’s how you like to start your conversation off with someone you don’t agree with. So I’ll end off with a “Whatever you say” since we are not going to see eye to eye and you’d just rather kiss the ass of the government by going along with the idea that their magical power of giving a sheet of paper with a few signatures on it suddenly makes people equal instead of everyone being equal at birth. Have a wonderful life on the farm. I won’t be needing to check back on this topic, you have your hands full being a condescending ass to other people as well.

          • 303 Kush

            Whoa bruh, I’m not trying to read that much. Brevity, bruh, brevity.

          • I hear ya, man… 🙂 I have complex thoughts and lots of words. I’m counting it as a grace that I was able to truncate it down to 3 paragraphs. Once my skull-jelly starts spinning on articulating a thought, it’s a self-perpetuating engine of over complicating over-simplifications of over-complications. of over-simplifications…

            Give me a scrap of pocket lint, and I’ll expound for hundreds of pages on it, until it’s been dissected on the macro, micro, quantum scale, correlated to anything,everything else with which I come into contact, in news, popular culture, or day-to-day life, until finally I’ve demonstrated that scrap of fibers is the entire meaning of existence, and all the forces of God, time, the Universe and EVERYTHING came into existence for the sole purpose of putting me together in space-time, with a piece of pocket lint, to observe,opine, articulate {{{all with a touch of dramatic flair}}}….. 😉

          • Guy

            I’m a Taoist and the illogical nature of your comment literally hurts. Why? Because in one breath you decry people of faith for having faith… then what is not said is the universal truth of the matter: A profound disbelief in religion is in and of itself also a faith-based assertion. Therefore you and those you disdain are both believing in something intangible yet you somehow believe, on faith, that you are correct and that they are wrong with absolutely zero evidential support to support your claim. It is one thing to disagree with another’s viewpoint but to “judge” an entire religion exemplifies an equal amount of faith being focused in a different direction. In short, you are no different than a religion man. In fact, I would say that you have more faith than the average religious person because most religious minded people focus on their own path to well-being… you are focused on the promotion of the detriment of all. It takes a special brand of faith-based zealotry to make that assertion.

          • Katarina Novak

            It is not up to the logical, to prove that a deity doesn’t exist.

            The religious are claiming there is a deity, and that it has specific rules. It is therefore on them, to prove their assertions.

          • Hellraiser

            get out of here with your logic and rationale. We’re talking about people who believe an invisible man lives in the cloud above their heads watching and judging them.

            It’s pointless trying to explain that it’s impossible to prove a negative. For something to be proven, there must be evidence and data to apply the scientific method. If something does not exist, it cannot leave evidence or data to research, test, re-test and peer review. They literally believe there’s an invisible man floating above their heads watching them, listening to them and sometimes even talking to them. I believe they’re far past the point of listening or even understanding logic and rationale.

          • Guy

            All well and good until someone like yourself tries to talk down to them from a position of inferior moral standing. One cannot tell another that they are wrong and expect action taken against that person without some sort of substance to substantiate their claims. It’s like the global warming debate… One cannot claim to know global warming is false without providing some sort of evidence. If a scientist writes a journal paper for or against the topic with nothing but, “I believe this to be true” as its cornerstone argument… you can guess how well that paper will be received. The mere process of trying to scientifically test the existence or non-existence of a god is on its face scientifically impossible. Thus, asking a person to prove or disprove that position is to make a logically fallacious argument. It’s only being done here to mask the fact that you’re just making faith-based judgments on topics of other peoples’ faith. You are no different than they are. You believe something to be false, “just because.” It is one thing to be an agnostic and say, “I don’t know.” It is another breed of individual who says, “I believe in God,” or, “I do not believe in God.” Those types of people are called faith-based thinkers and they both do not require scientific proof for their claims.

          • Katarina Novak

            No, you’re starting to trip over yourself here. If you want me to believe that something exists, YOU have to prove it to me! I don’t have to prove to you, that it doesn’t.

          • Guy

            I am not a prophet. It is not my place to tell you what you should or should not believe. I draw issue with ignorant people who try to tell people what not to believe based solely on political leaflets. Organized churches, as institutions mainly exist for profit and influence. This profit and influence rarely does the work of their creators and moreso does the work of the men residing under the roof. They seek to increase membership to thereby increase profit and influence. The actual spiritual journey individuals make is really a lonely one and is best performed alone without the need to prove oneself. As I pointed out earlier, anti-theists (I refuse to call them Atheists because there’s no such thing… it’s an umbrella term for closed-minded anti-theist activism) in the United States are not enlightened thinkers. There’s not much difference between them and any counter minority hate group. You have your immovable position and you wish to demonize an entire group for reasons YOU determine to be hate worthy. One must not waste time trying to speak to deaf ears. In short, there is no way to prove anything to someone who has made their judgment final before the conversation begins.

          • Katarina Novak

            I don’t need to demonise religious people, they’ve already provided an embarrassment of riches, in evidence of their depravity, a tiny sliver of which being, blackmail of hospitals into divorcing themselves from the procedure of abortion, genocide of people who have knowledge to perform abortion, and bombing of hospitals. They are the ones who continue to harass and kill the staff of abortion clinics, harass patients, and bomb the clinics. They are the ones who continue to scream and blackmail their way into legislation.

            Their mental deficit makes them a danger to women everywhere! Religion is mental illness! Religious whackadoos seek to strip women of our human rights, by trying to con everyone into believing that a parasite should have more rights than any woman.

          • Guy

            No, I think common sense people are trying to prevent sick, murderous, irresponsible people from harming children in the name of trying to keep a slim waistline.

            But to prove how utterly ridiculous your argument is… do you know the effects of your so-called depravity (blackmail, shootings, bombings, harassment) Abortion clinic shootings have resulted in the deaths of 8 people since 1983.

            During this same time period, people like you have supported the slaughter of over 30 million fetuses. That includes a higher kill rate than the Nazis exacted upon the Jews in WWII when you compare the rate of abortions from 2005 to present.

            At no point in history has a woman ever been given the right to abort a baby for convenience. If you go read Rowe v Wade, it doesn’t even legalize abortion. It merely says that Government may not step between a woman and her doctor. It specifically states that procedures the doctor performs may not directly or indirectly be performed to cause harm to the mother.

            Aside from that, the patient is protected from prosecution from the law. Outside harm comes into play when the doctors perform late term abortions when the fetus would otherwise be viable without the mother’s womb present. The only reason you have abortion today is that abortions are being provided under the auspices of woman’s health concerns and the inability (or lack of willingness) of government to determine what is and is not performed in regards to the promotion of a woman’s health.

            This is also why when a pregnant woman is murdered, the suspect is charged with a double homicide. In the eyes of the law, a pregnant woman is carrying another life.

            You, and women like you, are supporting the removal of that life and in so doing, you want to render it dead prior to extraction in order to prevent executing a living fetus. It’s a sick process dreamed up by criminal minds.

            So, forgive me if I’m not siding with the baby killer and her logic on this one. I don’t choose to entertain the company of convicted felons for the same reasons.

          • Katarina Novak

            No, I will not forgive you! There is no forgiveness for flying in the face of logic on an issue, that kills so many women each year!

            There is no forgiveness for crying crocodile tears for clumps, while ignoring all the dead, disfigured, and suicidal women, because guys like you get off on degrading an entire class of people!

          • Guy

            And, just out today, the senior leadership of planned partenhood is under investigation for selling aborted fetus body parts (hearts, lungs, livers, muscle and connective tissue). How long are you going to be somebody’s tool? I do find it funny how you’re now trying to justify killing babies and selling their body parts by saying that women who have babies can die, be disfigured or become suicidal. Oh, the absurdity. And… you call me out on logic?

            Why is this an issue for me? I was once a happily married guy. My wife was 7 months pregnant with my son. I was unexpectedly deployed in the military and would be gone past the baby’s due date. During that time, she met someone new. Big deal, it happens. C’est la vie. However, she neglected to tell me, my parents or her parents that she aborted my son in a late term abortion because her new “boyfriend” told her that if she had the baby he’d leave her. So, she aborted the baby in the 3rd trimester using a late term abortion provider with a partial birth abortion procedure.

            She told me 1 day before the baby’s original due date.

            So, just because she had a moment of selfishness, she deprived a father of his son, 4 grandparents of their first grandchild, and took the joy from 8 perspective aunts and 4 uncles waiting for the big day. The guy she left me for broke things off with her while she was recovering from the abortion.

            This happened 15 years ago. Since then, she’s had 2 suicide attempts (one, technically successful but doctors were able to revive her). She’s become an alcoholic and lives with my former mother-in-law due to severe depression. I don’t talk with her anymore but I grew up with her family and we’re all still very close. This singular issue wrecked no fewer than 8 lives and irrevocably damaged her family and her own well-being. She has never worked a day since she had the abortion where before, she graduated summa cum laude from the Univ of Colorado in 1999 and went on to get her MBA. She is now a non-functioning person thanks to chronic depression, drug and alcohol abuse.

            Oh but it’s just a mess of cells right?

          • Katarina Novak

            Nice strawman.

          • Guy

            It would be a straw man argument if it were not directly related to the topic at hand (and, also being an actual, factual occurrence). I don’t think you understand the definition of “straw man.” My entire topic has been about the illegal underpinnings of abortion and the apparent morality condundrums it presents. I think selling body parts is a federal crime and, well, selling body parts is a moral taboo.

          • Katarina Novak

            Your entire topic is about you, not liking something, and deciding that nobody else should have it.

          • Guy

            In this case, you’re right. I believe demented, crazed women should not be allowed to crush the heads of their babies and have doctors sell the fully formed organs (you know, those bits of cellular mass) for profit so a lunatic can shed a couple of dress sizes. It is murder. And I do not believe we should allow murderers to murder people. In my opinion, it’s worse than murder. You’re quite literally ordering a doctor to stick a metal device into a woman’s vagina to crush the head of the baby before it is born.

            Yes, it is my personal belief. If the State were to strap the woman to the chair for another 30 days it would be born on its own and viable. With medical assistance, a fetus can be made viable in as early as 21 weeks. The only thing preventing a live birth is the mother with murderous intentions that has to take a direct, conscious action to prevent it.

            You could go one step further, using your logic, and say that a 3 year old toddler is non-viable without parental control. So, why not abort toddlers when the parents can’t afford food and diapers? At what point do you justify that it is too late or too immoral to kill a kid?

            I submit that people are a product of their CHOICES. If you make a bad choice, you have to live with that choice. If you get an unwanted pregnancy, in my opinion, it is not the child’s fault. You cannot execute a baby because you don’t want to get fat. You shouldn’t execute a baby if you can’t afford it. I believe a woman’s choice to kill her unborn baby should land her and the doctor in prison with the death penalty**.

            (**with the exception of medically required cases where the mother is in GRAVE danger or in the case of violent sexual assault. These cases account for less than 5% of all abortion cases and rape accounts for less than 1% of all abortion cases. I’m fine with reducing abortions by 95%)

            You can send it up for adoption. I don’t mind paying for tax credits to adoptive families… it’s a truly worthy cause.

          • Guy

            Also, here’s some statistics directly from the CDC:

            -On average, women give at least 3 reasons for choosing abortion:
            3/4 say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or other
            responsibilities; about 3/4 say they cannot afford a child; and 1/2 say
            they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their
            husband or partner (AGI).

            -Only 12% of women included a physical problem with their health among reasons for having an abortion (NAF).

            -One per cent (of aborting women) reported that they were the survivors of rape (NAF).

            In short, 75% of abortions are convenience related abortions. Last year we aborted 1.34 million babies in this country. That comes to nearly 1 million deaths because women don’t want to get fat, miss work, lose relationships, etc..

            I wholly support a woman’s right to choose. I only consider that right to choose comes prior to engaging in intercourse. They can choose to have sex… or not. They can choose to use protection or a contraceptive or not. What I believe they do not have the right to do is murder their own children.

          • Katarina Novak

            You’re being unreasonable.

          • Guy

            No, I’m just embarrassing your argument with scientific data.

          • Katarina Novak

            You are embarrassing yourself.

          • Guy

            I don’t lend much weight to someone who supports harming babies. I put you and those like you just underneath pedophiles. At least they typically let their victims live.

          • 303 Kush

            Too long

          • unclevanya

            First, no one was saying “all Christians” in the first place. But someone always comes in and says “Hey I’m Christian and I’m not like that! So watch it!” Well, good for you, but that doesn’t help the situation one bit. All it does is fog up the windows.

            If you’re a Christian and you are just as appalled by the behavior of extremists, you should be the MOST frequent and MOST vocal opposition, because the extremists are the ones who are giving your faith a bad name, not some random Internet commenters who don’t happen to use the right combinations of descriptive nouns for your fragile liking. Get in the game.

          • silhouete2

            Thank you. Fellow Christian here totally agrees with you. 🙂

          • Stevo

            Agreed, certain churches and parishes push the Christian agenda but not all.

          • Matt

            The only way the fundies will capitulate is if the moderate free thinking Christians take to the polls and make a difference in elections. The ultra conservative right is powerful because they can get more votes, period. Those with the most votes win. Let’s take them down a notch and level the playing field. let’s put qualified people in office that do not speak like a baptist preacher.

          • John G

            The tighter they squeeze, the more moderates slip through their fingers.

          • xencosti

            Christian here, I agree with Josh. People using it as a screen, being bigots, etc. It’s sickening. Some people seem to have forgotten about Christ’s love. He loved all people whether or not he agreed with their actions. There’s the whole story about him having dinner with prostitutes and tax collectors (they were cheats back then). But I mean, hey, it’s easy to cherry pick the parts of the Bible you want to follow. I have a wonderful idea. Let’s let people be happy. I could understand if a gay person wanted a Christian pastor to marry them and they said no. But getting a license from a state official? I mean, aren’t church and state supposed to be separate?

          • RaeJeanne

            I am not Catholic, but don’t they(priests), or some, not marry people who have been divorced?

          • Michele Mayes-Gerra

            As a Christian I often speak out about these people who call themselves Christians. They are NOT Christians. They are CINO’s. (Christians In Name Only) Christians do not use the Bible as a weapon to do harm. Christians believe in the LOVE of Jesus Christ. These CINO’s that have overtaken our Churches and have become the mouthpieces of Christianity are preaching hate to their fellow man. The Preachers who preach in these Churches are teaching a doctrine that most will not find in a Bible. (Unless said doctrine is taken completely out of context) They cherry pick a verse here and a verse there and claim that God has spoken. They pick and choose just a few verses from the OT, instead of understanding that the OT is a History…it explains to us WHY God had to send his Son. None could have gotten to Heaven based on all the rules God had set in place. I know it is hard, and many of us no longer set foot into the Churches of today..because those Churches are indeed preaching hatred, they have become the Pharisee’s. All we can do is continue to speak up and speak out every single chance we get. As we get louder and as the younger generation gains it’s voice, we will put down these so called Christians and their doctrine of hate. And VOTE, in every election, every time. The only way to bring about change is to be proactive in our Communities… help get out the vote…If you have a car take your neighbors to get registered and to the polls. Every little bit helps

          • MoriyaMug

            Aaaand the No True Scotsman fallacy comes riding in strong.

          • Michele Mayes-Gerra

            Are you saying that I am wrong? That Christians should use Christianity as a Hate Group and the Bible as a weapon? Are you saying that Jesus did not preach Love? Are you saying that he said we were supposed to use our Christianity to discriminate against and do harm to those who are not just like these Christians?
            Your comment is meant to be a silencer… one to do harm..not love. There is no fallacy in knowing that the Bible has been translated so many times to make it say what certain groups want it to say. God never said Gays were an abomination… that was not even what the hebrew word they “translated” meant at all. There is no fallacy… If YOU want to use your Bible as a weapon and Christianity as a Hate Group… be my guest. I am quite sure the Westboro Baptist Church will gladly take in new members. As for me… I will continue to speak out when Christianity and the Bible are used as weapons to harm people, because I am pretty darn sure that Jesus didn’t tell us to go out and kill, maim, starve, and denigrate those who did not fall in line with Religious Zealots take on Christianity.

          • MoriyaMug

            I know my Bible pretty damned well, and I also know my logical fallacies. Any time you attempt to exclude an individual who claims membership in your ill-defined club by proclaiming him to not be a “true Christian,” that’s the No True Scotsman fallacy. Distancing an undesirable from your group through rhetoric.

            Go back and read your Bible. In it, Jesus did, in fact, tell people that he had come not to bring peace, but a sword. That all who would follow him must hate everything except him. He also brought us the lovely concept of infinite punishment for finite sin. It codifies various redemption, pprobably the most morally bereft ideas in the history of humanity. And even in the New Testament, yes, homosexuality is condemned.

            The WBC doesn’t take new members, btw. And they are no less Christian than you.

            I would go into more detail, but I have to go to work.

          • Guy

            “Judge not, lest ye be judged. Such things are the purveyance of the Father and not of the child.” (People often like to leave out that second sentence). Jesus also preached, “The path to heaven lies on a road walked alone and is guided by prayer spoken aloud, alone with one’s own words.” Never did Jesus teach to denounce others… in fact he preached exactly the opposite. I urge you to reevaluate yourself and your actions. At the end of times, would you smile at Jesus and tell him how proud you were to tell others how lousy they were? Jesus teaches in the above passage that salvation is a personal undertaking. Many theologians agree that this passage also directly denounces communal worship (as the passage was directly speaking out against said Pharisees you mentioned due to the trappings of man and their ambitions muddy the message of the Scriptures and actively lead people away from Him as they’re marched out on political agendas)

          • Michele Mayes-Gerra

            Christianity isn’t a Hate Group. Would I tell Jesus that I spoke out against those who call themselves Christians and then use their RELIGION to cause harm… Yes, yes I would. Here is how I look at it… Jesus preached that the most important thing is to love one another. How many people have turned completely away from Christianity because of these zealots? When I stand before God for judgement I will have spoken out against using Christianity to and the Bible as a weapon of hatred. When these Zealots face judgement they will speak out about how they turned those they considered unworthy away from God’s love. I do not tell these people that they should turn away from God… I tell them what they are saying is NOT what Jesus preached. Jesus didn’t tell us to starve the children, to make being poor a crime… In face we are specifically told not to pick all our crops so as to leave some for the poor amongst us. Jesus didn’t tell the gays they were an abomination that would rot in hell… In FACT the hebrew word that was actually used in that statement did not mean abomination at all…that comes from MAN translating, translated versions of the Bible to make it say what they “think” it should say. As for you comment about the Pharisees… are these far right religious zealots not using the Bible and Religion for they political wants… Isn’t THAT exactly what the article we just read is talking about….Perhaps it is you who needs to rethink some things. I do not think speaking out against Christianity being used as a Hate Group is a sin… If you happen to agree with these folks and folks like those at the Westboro Baptist Church that is on you.

          • Guy

            Hmm. Odd you bring that up. I was going to say that your diatribe above reads a lot like what someone at Westboro would say. I don’t believe in promoting or condoning hatred… so I’ll kindly leave you to it. You may not think that you’re being hurtful… but your position of magnanimous superiority seems to be drawing water from a fountain of vanity.

          • Michele Mayes-Gerra

            Right, let’s be real here. This little reverse racist/hatred crap … is just that. I’m sorry you feel the need to condemn me for not believing it is okay for someone to use Christianity to promote hatred. I do not hate those types of “Christians.” I simply do not feel the need to stick up for that kind of hatred. IF you are using a Bible as a weapon..you are NOT a Christian. You can try to demean me and talk down to me all you want… YOU can continue to attack people who do not believe in your brand of Christianity… I am sure you can cherry pick some of the best verses in the Bible to twist around and make me a sinner… it will NEVER ever excuse preaching hatred in the name of Christianity.

          • Guy

            But, it is you who are preaching intolerance, hate, and exclusion. I have said nothing of the sort.

          • Michele Mayes-Gerra

            okay, you and another poster have convinced me. I am obviously not a Christian at all. MoriyaMug claims that I must hate everyone to be a Christian and you claim I must accept all who preach pure hatred and that I must stand up for these folks. Are you happy now? You have totally convinced me that there is no possible way I could be a Christian. It is wrong to speak out against those who do not preach about the love of Christ and ONLY speak out of his hatred and condemnation. You and Moriya have turned me completely away from the love of God… There is no point in those of us who thought we were Christians to try and show non-Christians that not all are intolerant and preach nothing but hatred..no reason to point out how wrong and not Christlike that is. Thank you and Moriya for turning one more away from God’s love… and just think..you have done so well for your God… how many others read this taking down of what you considered a wrong-headed Christian and they themselves now understand there is no place in this Christian faith for those who think they should only preach of Christs love. Thank you, you great and wonderful Christian for showing me that Christ can not possibly love those like me and that we couldn’t possibly be Christians. Good job, How does it feel to turn one away from Christ?

          • Guy

            Is your faith so shallow that one cannot stand on their own merits of their own knowledge? If you’re drawing faith from the words of others… you, yourself, had no faith to begin with.

            Christians believe God loves and accepts all people from all walks of life. Nowhere does he preach in the New Testament that he loves and accepts all, except those who do this, that and the other. He also doesn’t waste time denouncing people en masse. No, Christianity is an evangelical sort of religion. By and large, it was designed to spread positive, uplifting messages to draw people to it. Christ did not use fear, loathing, and cynicsm to bully people into followership.

            That is the mistake you are making.

          • Michele Mayes-Gerra

            You do realize you have now come full circle. Christ did not use fear, loathing and cynicism to bully people into fellowship. One does not use the Bible or Christianity to do or cause harm to others. Funny how in every one of these posts of yours you felt it your right to vilify me, chastise me, BULLY me for standing up and saying that people using their Bible and Christianity to do harm are not acting like Christians at all. In fact, in reading over this entire post you have felt the need to Chastise, bully, and in many cases be downright ugly to anyone who does not believe JUST like you. THAT is a strange way for someone who calls themselves a Taoist to act. You have done your very best to make me into a villain for refusing to accept that HURTING others is a good Christian Practice. My faith is not in danger… However you did extremely well in proving my point. You used what you felt was your superior knowledge of religion to belittle anyone and everyone who did not accept your authority on how they should believe. You did harm ..you proved my point so excellently, by using religion to harm others. THAT does indeed turn those who are new in their faith from God’s love. There is not an inherent harm in saying those that preach hatred are NOT preaching the word of God…. there is only truth …Jesus did not preach to hate your neighbor, he preached to love them as yourself. If you are preaching to hate your neighbor for being different ..as I said to begin with that is NOT Christian or Christlike. Having come full circle and you ending up saying basically what I said to begin with… and proving my point so well, I feel no need for further discourse with you. Good luck with your Taoism.

          • Guy

            The Tao is about the question. The art of thinking… the process of learning. It has not much to do with the answers. The Tao is realism. I read you, I recite what I read. I ask you questions, I point out observations. If that is your definition of bullying, then by all means call me a bully.

            Truth be told, I read the following sentence and didn’t read much more from you: “As a Christian I often speak out about these people who call themselves Christians. They are NOT Christians.”

            Any man who puts him or herself above a god is someone to watch, closely. That is because they cannot be subservient to that which they preach when they so boldly proclaim they are more powerful than their god. See, you are actively dividing your flock by telling other people that they are not worthy. That is why nothing else you have said here matters. For so long as you believe that you have the power to speak for your god and tell others that god does not recognize them says more volumes than I can write.

            Sometimes reality hurts. Perhaps speak to yourself in a mirror and see if you like what you hear and if you think you’re a bully or not. This is because all I have been doing is rewording what you say.

            I am glad you think you’re a bully. That is what I called you in my first reply to you.

          • Michele Mayes-Gerra

            You are twisting my words to make them fit YOUR judgement of me, so that you can find me lacking and deserving of your hatred. Where does that quoted statement, say I speak for God? hmm? I do not say GOD condemns them to rot in hell? I Didn’t speak for God, God spoke for himself in the Bible, in the giving of his only Son. In sending Christ and the New Testament… God spoke for God. Where does it say that they are an abomination? It doesn’t. The rest of what I said only says that God did not preach hate or use his Bible as a weapon to do harm. You are the one assuming things and in those assumptions deciding to judge my sentence by your own standards… you have set yourself up to be my judge..and in doing so, put YOURSELF above God… perhaps I am not the only one in need of that mirror. So do tell me… Mr Judge, how does one get across the message that this stuff that hate-fueled Zealots preach is not what Jesus preached to us? IF you do not stand up and say NO.. God did not give his only Son in hatred, but in love. NO Jesus did NOT preach to hate and harm… IF you do not say that is NOT what Christ preached and it is NOT Christlike …than what? We sit quietly …or worse yet defend this type of wrong headedness that is using Christianity and a badly translated translation of a translated Bible to preach hate? We sit by and let these people preaching that Jesus HATES everyone that is not just like these Zealots …while more and more people begin to believe that this is what ALL Christians believe..that Jesus is a hatemonger with no love for them? I do not even know why I am bothering to understand where your hatred and judgement comes from. I read many of your comments to others and you have been yourself very judgemental of others…even down to calling someone you do not even know a baby killer. Almost every response you made to others was to judge them and find them all lacking… Why have you set yourself up to judge everyone? Why do you feel that you need to pronounce your judgements of EVERYONE else and find them all lacking? See, unlike you… I took the time to try to understand where you coming from…without judging you by One piece of one comment. I realize that others have hurt you and you lash out in kind… Maybe..it is time you stopped using such narrow things as one sentence to judge the entirety of others. My ex-husband, was a lot like you. He was one of those folks who said he only spoke the truth and if that made him an a%^hole then so be it. When you judge the entirety of people by one single sentence… You can not possibly know anything of that person… Because you are not seeing past your own judgement on them. I am sorry for you, sorry that someone treated you so badly… I am sorry your wife hurt you so badly that you see most of the rest of us as the devil and tainted by the same brush you have painted her with. Must be tough. You do realize that you can not reword someone else’s statement and then call it their statement? When you change the wording YOU change the meaning. You are twisting my words to make them fit YOUR judgement of me, so that you can find me lacking and deserving of your hatred. Again, I am sorry you have been hurt by those who are supposed to love you ..but I am not the person who hurt you.

          • Guy

            You’re without reason.

          • Michele Mayes-Gerra

            I get it Guy..in your eyes I can simply not do right. Still very much resembling my ex. I am divorced from my husband because he beat me half to death and held a gun on me and our then 3 year old child…but thanks for making another assumption about me. You see Guy, you are not the only person in this world to have been hurt beyond reason by someone who was supposed to love them. That’s okay, my daughter and I are doing great and no one has ever hurt either of us again, just because I didn’t believe as they did or do things in accordance with their very exacting standards. I am done, you are incapable seeing past your assumptions and judgements of who I MUST be. That is a real shame.

          • Guy

            I never said anything about your husband. However, my accusation still stands that a person who openly supports the murdering of children is beneath notice.

          • Michele Mayes-Gerra

            I see, you make a snide insinuation about why I am divorced and when you realize that your condescending little comment was WAY off base, you can let yourself off the hook by saying you never said anything about my husband. That is the entire way you debate. You throw out accusations and snide insinuations and when you are called on that, you start this whole process of turning it back around. There is never an end just constant accusation, insinuation, and put downs. I have done my best to try and understand why you came at me so vehemently and made it your job to insist that I was the worst kind of person. Again, I am sorry that someone that was supposed to care for you hurt you… Maybe more than one someone. Maybe, as you told me, you should take a good look in that mirror. Maybe you are judging all women, based off of the hurt one person dealt you. It is pretty self destructive … not to mention, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You expect all women to be worthless child murderers beneath your notice, so that is exactly how you treat them. By the way… I never said what my stance was on abortion… yet when I said you called someone a baby killer… You made another assumption about what kind of woman I must be.

          • Guy

            I am not surprised you’re divorced. Like I said before, you have this string of incoherent biases. You call it judgment, I call it a reflection in a mirror. You think it’s fine to call faux Christians out on their perceived nonsense and shout them down like it is your duty to do so. I simply say that you do not have that right in so much as they have the equal right to do the same to you. You’re committing the cardinal sin of being a hypocrite.

            You’re fine to have your own beliefs as to what is right and what is wrong. What you do not have the right to do is pass that judgment in the name of someone else. You can have your beliefs that your god says what is right or wrong… the problem comes when you put down a soap box and start to tell others that they are wrong. The proper way to go about it is to say, “This is what I believe… this is the virtue in my argument.” There is no winning a religious debate by telling others that their intangible beliefs or understanding is wrong… and have that be the crux of the argument. You need more persuasive substance. Plain and simple.

            On to me, I absolutely abhor the practice of abortion. You’ve never seen me say, “God says abortion is bad.” I’ve always, always, always said that this is “my opinion.” It is my personal belief. I do not name-drop a deity or some other entity in order to justify my opinions. I also see nothing wrong with judging peoples’ actions. The passage in the Bible that talks about, “Judge not lest ye be judged,” is, in context, a conversation telling people to not judge others with the eye of God. It simply means that we are not God, we do not speak for God. It speaks of base human nature to do such things and further passages give advice on how to overcome that nature.

            I take issue with peoples’ actions. With the exception of abortion supporters, I can get along with anyone. I can disagree passionately with their ideas and some of their actions… however, a person’s content is the sum total of their virtues and their vices. If that person has more virtues than vices, then I can have a relationship with that person. With the exception of women who kill their babies and pedophiles who harm helpless children, I can often find the good in anyone.

            I submit that there is absolutely no good in any woman who kills her own defenseless child.

            Barring that singular case, I do not judge people on their entirety over a single issue. I have also not judged -you- as an individual. If you go back and study what I’ve said, I am directly taking issue with one of your issues. Nothing more.

            If you think this is hatred, surely you live a very soft life.

          • LaDiablaBlanca

            Sorry, you cant change your cult into something it isnt just by ‘being a nice guy.’ You wanna improve the country because you actually care about people? Youll take your religion, and youll throw it in the garbage. Most of us who know respecting society and loving other humans beings, know you can do this without a cult.

          • Thomas Lee Mullins

            Religion is what put Christ on the cross. Christianity is my faith. While I might disagree with someones lifestyle, I would not harm or discriminate against them.

          • Jean-Yves Salve

            Great of you showing that love and respecting society by vilifying a whole faith because of the actions of a few. 🙂

          • LaDiablaBlanca

            You can love and respect people and not respect their ideas or their beliefs. Case and point: The KKK or Neo-Nazis.

            I think you need to learn to differentiate between ideas and people.

          • Jean-Yves Salve

            LOL Except that people who follow such ideals and beliefs and you loving and respecting them shows that you actually condone them due to the fact that people identify AS their ideas and beliefs that are so strong eg the KKK and Neo-Nazi’s.

          • Jean-Yves Salve

            I think you need to differentiate between logic and your knee jerk BS about the fact that the ideas are what makes the people who they are. 😀

          • LaDiablaBlanca

            A faith that is taught through indoctrination of people who have no choice but to accept it. A faith that basically discourages people from critically thinking about it or using reason to examine it. To take one from House “If you could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people.”

            Religious people arent bad, they just had it forced on them, and luckily, this is the generation where we start throwing away the unnecessary baggage, starting with the cult of Christianity and its indoctrination of the worlds children.

          • Bastion206

            Is this the religious equivalent of #notallmen?
            Deflecting the issue because “not all christians” is exactly that–a deflection. Christians are being placed above the law because Jesus.

          • erisx

            Its odd… and unfortunate that we dont get the same kind of pushback from, say, jewish people, or muslims, or atheists… isn’t it.

            Sorry but I believe it’s the religion (in its current state) that’s at fault. The fact that it is vulnerable to the nutjobs and haters the way it is means it needs to evolve. Or, go away.

            Peace!

          • Yuki Aya Masahiko

            U are right..And I am glad at lease someone in religion has the ability to think for themselves. No offense… But I have been seeing mostly all religious fanatics bitching about it. So I am glad to hear someone thinking for themselves. ^^

          • Dale A Ginger-Riquelme

            That is fair, however refusing to admit that those individuals ARE also christians who use their beliefs in such a manner is disingenuous. Just as much as implying all who are christians use their faith in such a way. But, no one was implying that.

          • Hyde

            Little hard not to when all the ones speaking out in the media and social media have this view. It’s disgusting. It doesn’t affect their lives, so they need to stop affecting other people’s lives.

          • Josh

            I didn’t see anyone saying all Christians believe this until after you made this idiotic comment. Most people know it’s a subset of Christianity. Many who speak against it are Christians themselves.

          • Gina Gooligan

            Would you slam the door in the face of a Jehovas witness that comes to your door? Ok, while not being that rude, clergy should have a way to politely refuse people they do not want at their doors. A list of figures that will do the ceremony should be made available. You don’t go to Burger king for a Big Mac.

          • Alex Warhead

            i wasn’t “blaming” all christians; i know many that are baffled by the current state of the “religious reich”. but, the fact of the matter is that the more vocal groups and prominent personalities are often making the cry to elect reps based on fundamentalist stances alone. heck, it wasn’t just 30 years back that pat robertson ran for president. after that, he argued that ONLY christians should be eligible to hold office (fundamentally AGAINST the explicit reading of the constitution).
            still, we have sitting congresspeople on our senate science commity that believe in the flood and that “evolution is a lie from the devil”. this is not a small fringe group; they are already infiltrating high offices. bauchman warned the muslim brotherhood was trying to get access to the whitehouse: the american taliban has had a stranglehold on american politics for the last 35 years.

          • Jacob Leatherberry

            and I believe the Church should pay a 90% tax rate if their followers aren’t going to follow the law of the land.

          • Richard Hanzon

            so your telling me that the people that blocked gay marriage are only Christians. they’re not Muslim or Jew or Buddhist or Hindu but only Christians?? or did you actualy look into and have you a copy of this report?

          • Alex Warhead

            come on, bubba; are you really gonna play this game? sure, many muslims, hindus, jews, etc. (heck, even a portion of atheists) are individually against gay marriage and may even preach their bigotry to their congregations. but it’s childish to say that those groups have just as much social impact as the plethora of christian churches in the usa or their elected puppets sent to dismantle the constitutional protections afforded to the rest of us.
            prop 8 in california wasn’t defeated because of monetary backing by saudi royals; the money came from the mormon church. the most vocal anti-gay groups aren’t jewish synagogues, they are fundamentalist (baptist) churches. the people rallying the cry for “religious liberty protections” aren’t sihk congress members , they are christian hypocrites.
            i live in ohio; i have over 20, 24 hr christian channels on my standard cable subscription. i have to pay extra if i want to get anything pertaining to other faith perspectives (i don’t, you can take it all).
            so your “well, other folks are just as nasty about it” plea for bs “tolerance” can suck it. this is america; roughly 80-85% of the 74% of religiously affiliated folks in this country identify as christian. trying to point the finger at other groups, despite their own back-asswards superstitious believes, as being keys to the anti-gay backlash is just weak sauce.

          • Richard Hanzon

            Hey Alex, so where did you get your stats because roughly 80-85 of the 74% just dosn’t sound like any stat I’ve ever heard of.. and prop 8 was shot down by California’s legislation. to the best of my knowledge The Mormons are from Utah.

          • Alex Warhead

            1) here’s the stats for 2013: roughly 80% of americans identify as religious (total pop of us estimated at 330 million; that’s 264 million). nearly 15% of americans identify as “non”s, though that doesn’t necessarily mean “atheist” (est. at 8-10%) and many call themselves “spiritual” with no clear affiliation with any one “organized religion” (whatever THAT gibberish is supposed to mean. i have found, anecdotally, that many of these folks identify as “cultural” christians but don’t identify with any “church”. ). 5% identify as “other” or “non-christian” (19.8 million, with breakdowns at 1.7% jewish, 1.7% muslim, 0.7% hindu, 1.5% buddhist, etc). that means that the percentage of religious “other”s in america is only about 7.5% of population of the overall “religiously affiliated” population. again, these numbers are as of 2013.
            actually, i underestimated the initial 74%, though i’ve seen studies in mid/late 2014 that read that that number is closer to reality now since “non”s make up just under 20% of the population.
            regardless, christians make up MORE than the 80-85% of the “religiously affiliated population” i quoted, though i would wager that one chunk of christians would accuse other groups of christians as not “really” being christians. i’ve got no skin in that game; if you call yourself a christian then that’s good enough for me.
            given that, i think it’s a safe move to round DOWN the overall population chunk to compensate for immigration, death rates, (de)conversions, etc. also, i know a pretty good number of “secular” jews that consider themselves ethnically jewish but don’t believe in the religious part of the identity. that’s weird to me, but again, i’ve got no skin in the game. either way, those nuances skew the numbers.
            still, the VAST majority of religiously identifying folks in the USA are christians of some stripe or another.

            2) yes, prop 8 was, in the end, defeated by the voters of california, most of whom were NOT in the major cities. still, the monetary support for the antigay initiative was found to be primarily supplied by the mormon church, which extends FAR beyond the boarders of utah. i went to hs and university in denver. at the time, denver had a larger mormon population (in raw numbers) than salt lake city. add to that bose, id, nevada, and central/northern california and you’ve got a BIG organization. how do you not know this?
            the point i was making was that the political influence of christian groups in the usa dwarfs, nay, obliterates, that of any other religious group. now, if you want to argue that “mormons” are not “christians”, i’ve got nothing for you. take that up with mormons. they call themselves christians.
            you were implying in your original post that muslims, hindus, etc. somehow have equal political sway, though, admittedly, they are also opposed to gay marriage. your point was not correct and i get frustrated when people try to point at very small minority groups to say they carry the same burden of responsibility as the overwhelming majority. it bugs me even more when “muslims” are specifically mentioned due to their already maligned image in the usa.
            sorry, (fundamentalist) christians are the primary force of resistance to progressive policies in america. trying to point the finger at the significantly smaller groups is a waste of time and makes you look suspicious.

          • Becky Wegner Rommel luvs Jesus

            Rich was thinking there’s some sort of Mormon repelling cattle guard running around Utah’s borders to keep em in.

          • sarmisarmi

            Hi Alex, not trying to argue with you. I am a Christian. I believe in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. And…most of the time, I’m an asshole. It’s just who I am..but I’m not an asshole in Jesus’ name, I believe in marriage (I say only marriage because I don’t gay drive or gay park) Marriage, between two people who love each other–it’s very basic. I also believe in legalizing marijuana, owning guns and a woman’s right to decide what to do with her body. I’m not a wealthy Christian nor do I go to a mega church (I rarely go to any church unless it’s a wedding or funeral) I also think anyone else can believe or not believe what I believe. I don’t care what religion you are or are not–I’m not going to tell you that you are wrong to live your life how you choose to live it. I don’t vote for the bigots–I rarely vote to the right. I try to generally love everyone and try to not judge anyone about anything they may or may not do. But sometimes I slip, like I said, I’m an asshole. I’m not asking for anyone to give me any special treatment–I’m already a white heterosexual, enough privilege my way for sure, but please, can you just take one second and appreciate the fact that we’re not all complete douchebags–just like not all muslims are terrorists, not all black people are in gangs and not all gay people are promiscuous.

          • kwilson

            Congratulations.
            The religion you identify with is STILL oppressing people, and since so many zealots vote, it really is incumbent upon your church to counter-balance them, at the very least.
            If the zealots are such a “small percentage” of Christians……..WHERE THE HELL ARE THE REST OF YOU on election day?

          • Guy

            And your actions are not oppressing someone? Your entire premise lies on the oppression of religious people… but you seem fine to want to do that because you don’t agree with them. Faulty logic is woefully faulty. You want universal acceptance of your views while lobbying to force those views on people. This can never work due to the sheer stupidity of the argument being presented. If you really want diversity and acceptance, you must first accept the diversity of those around you. Nobody ever gains acceptance after kicking them before saying hello. That’s the problem with so many politically motivated movements. They’re woefully shortsighted and lack common sense.

          • Katarina Novak

            That has already been tried. It ended in inquisition. And deaths of many many women.

            Do I need to remind you of the gentle Roman-Catholics, who killed a woman in Gallway, because the heartbeat of the dying parasite that was infesting her, was deemed more important than her life?

            THIS, is what happens, when we allow religious people any leeway whatsoever!

          • Guy

            Oh dear, one woman died. For shame, really. Especially when you temper that with the fact that American abortion clinics exterminate babies at a faster rate than Nazis killed Jews during WWII. Greater than 97% of abortions are performed for reasons outlined as “convenience.” It’s gotten so bad that in this country alone, more African American pregnancies end in abortion than in live births (and has been true over the past 4 years). You really should drop the whole woman’s health bit. This is not about a woman’s health or her right to choose. It’s about killing babies to avoid responsibility and consequences of bad choices. I don’t care about the small number of needful abortions for health reasons. They’re practically a statistical outlier. The overwhelmingly vast number of abortions are performed because for selfish, narcissistic reasons. So, religious people are trying to stop you from killing babies and you demonize religious people for that reason? Abortion is child abuse of the worst kind. Forgive me if I don’t hold your sick point of view.

          • Katarina Novak

            No! No clinic, anywhere, is killing babies! A clump of cells is not a baby!
            A clump of cells is not a human being!

            Religious whackadoos are not trying to stop any “killing”, they are trying to reduce women back to the status of cattle. A clump of cells, does not get to have more rights than a grown woman!

            I don’t forgive you! There is no forgiveness for such a perverted stance! You are responsible for what you are doing!

          • Guy

            Forgive me if I don’t give much weight to a baby killer’s argument. You can try and justify it all you want… but our criminal justice system attributes double murder counts to criminals who murder pregnant women. You’re just trying to make an irrational mind see things rationally by lying to yourself in order to justify your sick nature. The political left only supports abortion as a means of minority population control (Nearly 70% of all abortions are given to minority women in this country due to a strong, decades long PR push that advertises abortion and “family planning” services in minority controlled neighborhoods). You’re literally voting to kill off minorities so your rich white Democrat slave owners can use the survivors as voting pawns without ever letting them get too numerous to become politically influential as a group. It’s eugenics 101.

          • Katarina Novak

            Bullshit! You’re delusional. If one could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people.

          • Guy

            I’m not religious per say. I’m a Taoist. One does not need religion to call sucking fetuses out of vaginas infanticide.

          • Katarina Novak

            One just has to be unreasonable.

          • Guy

            It will never come to pass, I know… but I sleep better at night knowing that murder doesn’t have a statute of limitations in this country. I would love to see millions of men and women who choose to abort their children to face justice after seeking convenience abortions that resulted in the deaths of their child. It’s premeditated, planned and carried out with sound state of mind (abortion doctors must not take patients not of sound mind per the law). Thus, you have a great case for making a 1st degree murder case without the chance of using an insanity plea.

          • Katarina Novak

            Pull the other lane!

          • Guy

            Oh, and I will also submit to evidence here that a good example of a “clump of cells” would be a mole… or a wart… maybe even a skin tag. Even only 2 weeks after fertilization, a fetus is a multi-cellular complex organism in scientific terms.

            Abortion doctors are not removing warts and moles.

          • sarmisarmi

            You have a way of distorting the facts. The death of Sativa Halappanavar In Galway was tragic, clearly. It isn’t even known that an abortion would have saved her life–that is pure speculation. She had a severe bacterial infection and went septic. Did she request an abortion? Yes, she did. It is illegal in that country. At that time, neither her nor her fetus appeared to be in danger. IT WAS ILLEGAL IN THAT COUNTRY! Are you suggesting that we all go and change laws in other countries to suit our own beliefs? Why do you continue to propagate hate? I don’t understand you at all.

          • sarmisarmi

            AND I AM PRO CHOICE!

          • Katarina Novak

            She was in the process of miscarrying the thing, the doctors didn’t even TRY to save her, because the parasite still had a heart beat, and you are MISSING MY POINT! The reason why women’s lives legally don’t matter in that country, is because of religious whackadoos.

          • sarmisarmi

            Sorry, you must not have read anything I wrote.
            1) I do not identify with any religion. No sect, no organized religion. Perhaps you could look into what Christianity is. I am spiritual, I believe in God, if anything, I am non denominational or trans denominational.
            2) you mention “my church” when I specifically said I did not go.
            Please do not spew your hatred of others onto me.
            Thanks.

          • Alex Warhead

            hahahaha! “gay drive or gay park”.
            i never said that “all christians” are “x”. i merely pointed out that the groups that are presenting the largest significant road blocks to progress happen to be christian. you can’t get mad at me for pointing that out; you can only get mad at your christian brethren.
            now, i just railed on some poor guy for being the worst type of christian; the liberal christian. i do believe what i wrote to him. the “liberal christian” is well-intentioned but draws a blind eye to the vile aspects of their faith and “holy book” by whitewashing over them with the “lovey dovey” crap that has become so prominent in modern, american christian theology. you try to rationalize the abhorrent origins of your denomination and explain away the most vile parts of christian culture. you are an apologist for the most reprehensible facets of western history/culture. you are responsible for allowing the extremists to propagate in and use your “christian” monicure as a rallying cry for bigotry and oppression.
            what you should be doing is throwing it away. you should take the extra step to realize that the good things you do in your life are due to you’re being a good person, not to some invisible friend.

          • sarmisarmi

            I agree with you that I should..and DO get mad at other Christians, like a former president who presented more like Yosemite Sam than the leader of the free world.
            I don’t believe I draw a blind eye to anything, I think I am very aware that there are vile and disgusting things/aspects purported by ALL types of people, religions, etc.
            I don’t believe anything after “liberal christian” is true, not for me anyway.
            And the lovey dovey crap?? Well, isn’t that better than the hateful bigotry–I mean if you had to choose…
            Like I stated previously, I’m a bit of an asshole, so I appreciate the lovey dovey “crap” to help me bring it down a notch or two.
            I’m not trying to get you to be friends with my “invisible” friend, but I like Him, I’m going to keep him in my life.
            Thanks for your response, Alex, I like an honest exchange, especially when we both can remember we’re debating a topic, not each other. Cheers!

          • Alex Warhead

            to be clear, i like you already from your comments. i have friends and family that are in your “liberal christian” camp (even though some don’t identify as “liberal”). i can “hate the sin and love the sinner”.

            but, i want to point out that the reason you can tone down your “asshole”ishness ins’t because of god; it’s because you want to be less “asshole”ish. that’s a testament to your own goodness. don’t diminish that or give it away by appealing to something imaginary.

          • kwilson

            ^^^THIS^^^
            So much this….

          • Becky Wegner Rommel luvs Jesus

            That was beautiful.

          • Bastion206

            Please, PLEASE show me the article about a Buddhist denying someone a marriage license. Or the Hindu who rallied his Hindu bretheren to put this legislation on the books in the first place. This makes about as much sense as “I can’t be racist, I have black friends.”

          • Guy

            China, at one time a largely Buddhist and Confucian country exterminated millions of homosexuals between 1948 and 1960. Granted, they also began exterminating Confucians and Buddhists… but the peaceful nature of the religion allowed for the violent overthrow of society to those powerful enough to gain control. You will learn one day that religion… naked religion on its own, can do no evil. It is man that wields religion as a weapon that does evil. Your argument is against people and their willingness to either support or ignore such behaviors.

          • Dino

            time for an unholy war against the Christian bigots then…he haters are not true Christians and should be put to DEATH

          • Vince Edmonds

            Says the alinsky socialist worshipper.

          • Alex Warhead

            yes, i am a democratic socialist, but that’s irrelevant to the point being made. so, instead of making snarky, pseudo insults (at least, insults in the eyes of far right, hawkish lunatics), how about you say something of substance?

          • Vince Edmonds

            Ok … once the shooting starts, after we the people get tired of trying to silence you commie bastards, I’ll see you on the battlefield. … coward. Or, more to the truth of the matter, I will point and laugh as you cower in fear. You see, we the people have forcibly removed one tyrant and his lemming like worshippers once before. And the declaration of independence guarantees us the right to do so again. And, “demoncrap” “libtarded moron” and “socialist NAZI” are one in the same. So you can shorten it from your laughable “democrap socialist” .. lol … (it makes me giggle to even type it) … to just “NAZI PARTY” … as you continue to try and FORCE the country to” just shut up, disregard what YOU want, feel or think and JUST DO IT MY WAY SO I CAN BE HAPPY DAMN IT!” You disgusting piece of faggot loving shit

          • Alex Warhead

            yawn.
            kill yourself. no one will miss you. just do the world on act of kindness and remove yourself from it.
            do it now.

          • Vince Edmonds

            Lol ….. and miss all the fun killin low-life pieces of libtarded left-wing filth such as you? Lol …. no. But hey! You could always just kill yourself to save the planet from that “climate change” ….lol …. hoax. I believe in climate change change … but we grown ups call it “seasons” … idiots

        • CommonSense

          I don’t think it’s a great secret. Fortunately their numbers are declining. It’s going to be a nasty wakeup call when the tables are turned. Let’s start with taxes, shall we?

          • David Padilla

            I do not have problems paying taxes

          • doninkansas

            That is what will make them even more dangerous, a trapped animal loses all control and becomes even more vicious. I look for an increase in lgbt violence in theselaves. This bullshit needs to be smacked down HARD.

          • GeoBarbara

            Are the numbers declining and they’re just getting more vocal or are they increasing?

          • David Root

            The frightened ones are just getting more vocal. They like the way things were in the 19th century, and are trying to keep society from moving forward.

          • Michele Mayes-Gerra

            The numbers are declining…and drastically. Many of today’s youth does not identify as religious because of the hatred that is being preached in many mainstream Christian Churches. Many of us who are Christians understand that these religious zealots are not really Christians at all. If you look towards the things the Pope is saying…that we need to love one another, that we need to stop the persecution against those who want to use birth control… about the need to let this fight against lgbts go…it is because Christians are turning away from organized religion in droves. These zealots have worked themselves into a corner, we will see violence before it ends…. just as we did during the days of ending segregation and allowing inter-racial marriage. The good news though..is we will prevail and Lgbt’s will become a protected status because of the zealots.

        • Liuao

          It’s why the GOP tends to make its platform on Christian values and matters Christians take issue with, such as gay marriage, abortion, and so on. They have tended to be the “Christian” party for a while now. I’m actually Christian, but I don’t believe theocracy is appropriate for the US because we have a very clear constitution that covers all of these matters, already.

          • Nathan Aldana

            not to mention, the sort of religious person who wants a theocracy, tends to be the sort of religious pe4rson who wants any other denominations of their religion to fall in line or die along with the atheists and non-christians.

          • Mixx

            Right. The whole “my God is better than your God” argument. Always makes for a good laugh.

          • GeoBarbara

            double up vote

          • FoolsErrand

            May I suggest an edit to this? “the GOP PRE-tends to make its platform on christian values..”

          • Michael Johnstone

            no, the GOP doesn’t pretend to do it, they actually run on the “pretend christian values” platform.

        • Melinda Killie

          Yes, well, if they want a theocracy… they need to go to Iran.

          Our government was NEVER meant to be a theocracy.

          • clever_sobriquet

            Our government was meant to never be a theocracy either. The founding fathers knew how dangerous that was

          • Dani Messerschmidt

            They’re too busy threatening to move to Canada (where they have stricter gun control laws and approved marriage equality a decade ago), lol.

          • Thomas C. Riddell

            Canada is a great place

          • Thomas Lee Mullins

            Canada is a beautiful place.

          • Michael Kline

            Our govt WILL BE A THEOCRACY if YOU do not vote.

          • sir_nibb

            Can’t vote if I have to work on voting day. It needs to be a national holiday.

          • FactOverFantasy

            Call your city clerk and register to vote absentee. They’ll mail you your ballot and you just mail it back (my city even has a drop box for government mail, no postage required). Bing, bang, boom, I’ve voted two weeks before the polls open

          • George Armstrong Bluster

            ….except Republican city clerks throw away most of the ballots they don’t like.

          • Katarina Novak

            Do they get to exercise their sincerely held religious beliefs?

          • Nita

            Vote by mail, that’s what I do.

          • kwilson

            I agree on the national holiday bit, but if you know you’re going to be at work on election day, from dawn til dusk, do a mail-in ballot, or show up for early voting. Excuses will land us in Gilead.

          • Dale Arends

            Sorry, not a good excuse. Vote by mail. Besides, most states have laws requiring employers to give employees time off to vote, generally about 2 hours. VOTE!

          • Melinda Killie

            I DO vote. I do ALL I can to keep these religious zealots at bay.

          • Katarina Novak

            Revamp the voting system as well!

        • Mo T

          and that would be exactly what the Founding Fathers did NOT want….

        • kwilson

          They effectively HAVE one, in Oklahoma, and our erstwhile Governor Fallin (a pox on her house) is attempting to enshrine that fact in our State Constitution. She plans Amending it to allow only those religious icons/monuments approved by a vote of the People, to be erected on State Property. She’s refused to follow not only our State Constitution in this regard, but our Supreme Court’s recent ruling, that the 10 commandments must be removed from the grounds of the State Capitol building. And she’s in desperate need of recall, arrest, and trial for contempt of court.

          Instead, big surprise, our Attorney General is helping her draft the Amendment.

          Some democracy would be helpful before that hits the voting booth next year…..

        • Alyfox

          I’ve been telling this to several friends of mine.. lead to rather prickly arguments; they seem to believe it is the opposite. BS.

          • Raymond Danner

            The Federal judge who outlawed the Ten Commandments in the Alabama Supreme Court building erred badly in the wording of his decision. In it, he said (in effect) that anything that was religious in nature should be removed from anything run by the State. There’s only one wee problem with that: The statues of Lady Justice (aka the Greek goddess Themis) must, by his own order, immediately removed nationwide. I do not see that ever happening. (Oh, yeah, and the Statue of Liberty is also at risk.)

          • David Root

            That would also apply to the US’s motto on its currency, wouldn’t it… “In God We Trust”.

          • Michele Mayes-Gerra

            In God we Trust was put on our currency and in our Pledge during the 50’s when we had the commie scare. The Founders turned in their grave at that time and are rolling in their graves now. All this nonsense from the Christian Right that our nation was founded as a Christian Nation is utter tripe.

          • Katarina Novak

            “The commie scare” was a Roman-Catholic gambit as well.

          • Dale A Ginger-Riquelme

            Only since the religious right infused fear into their rhetoric about the “godless commies”

          • Alyfox

            I’ll admit I’m not up on my american h istory, but I dont think that the statue of liberty is religious in nature. As for the Lady Justice statues, they should be replaced by a bag with a dollar sign on it, to represent the corruption of the government -_-

        • Phillip Grant

          it the truth, as a Christian is sickens me that it leading back to what are forefather fought so hard against. I do not want to be ruled buy a king or queen, nor pope or pastors. I want a true republic that represent the people

          • 303 Kush

            Yeah, you also believe in Space Disney where grandma and rover are waiting patiently for you to die so you can all go on the “real” space mountain together.

          • Phillip Grant

            It does not matter what I believe in nor what you believe in, what matter is how you treat others regardless of how they believe or worship. Most of my friends are agnostic, here in America people are so easily offended. everyone has different beliefs. Get over it move on with your life. After all were are humans first.

          • 303 Kush

            Yes, the human thing, that’s what I’m trying to say. We’re Homo sapiens, how can we claim overarching and eternal knowledge of our ever expanding universe that we know so little about? Also, I’m sick of religion clouding easily solved problems with magical rhetoric. And I’m not offended, I’m not religious so that rarely happens to me.

        • ChrisDC

          True, but they’re living in a news/media/local community bubble that means they are also convinced that, if we were to govern based on religious principles, their interpretation of their religion will be the one that prevails.

          I could argue that state official have to carry out the law on equal protection and due process grounds (and I do), but what I’ve found does make them at least sit up and think is wondering why they’re so quick to want to put government in charge of enforcing religion.

          Their particular religious views aren’t reflected in the mass media, in movies, or in television, or among most politicians or among the electorate as a whole.

          So, they want to take this principle that is so important to them and hand it all over to people and institutions who (from their own perspective) aren’t getting it right.

          They don’t have the votes at the ballot box (at least not nationally), they’ve lost in the court of public opinion, they’ve lost in the legislative arena because most of their elected officials (at least privately) see no solution to this except “live and let live,” and their arguments don’t work with anybody in the legal community who doesn’t get paid to agree with them.

          So, to my Southern Baptist friends, I’m asking them whether they really want the federal government to start saying what is or is not God’s will. They’re not the only religion in town, so to speak, and all signs point to them losing if they ask the government to start deciding theological questions.

      • theotherme

        It’s our version of Sharia law.

        • Jack C

          I am going to assume then that you like the Christian Law over the Sharia Law? I assume this because you haven’t left my country.

          • John G

            We don’t have Christian Law.

          • Dale A Ginger-Riquelme

            but some want it, and biblically accurate law would be….difficult for many people. I am divorced and getting remarried, how does that affect me? I have worked on the sabbath and fail to keep it holy, is my employer obligated to stone me to death or would they go about the godly and round up a posse. My sister has 4 tattoos, do we carve them out or just kill her? Also, my Fiance enjoys shrimp, what is an appropriate admonishment for partaking in such an abomination?

          • Katarina Novak

            Everything that was voted on the platform of “family values”, is in effect Roman-Catholic law.

          • theotherme

            I didn’t see your name copy-righted on the Statue of Library.

      • Dennis Mullins

        Well, our president is Muslim.

        • J. Gilbertson

          And what if that were actually true? I sincerely hope that someday we have a non-christian in the white house. Maybe a middle-road Jewish candidate next?

          • Shawn

            atheist would be best for all.

          • Heather Christensen

            They don’t need to be atheist. Just someone who realizes that religion and politics should not coincide.

          • Shawn

            no one understands that more than an atheist.

          • Heather Christensen

            Obviously, but they aren’t the only ones.

          • Shawn

            it’s a good thing best doesn’t mean only

          • Mixx

            or at least someone who actually thinks for themselves. I’d like to think Obama does, but I’ve seen strange behavior.

        • Devon

          If our president is Muslim (which he is not) then you are not actually a blithering idiot… However, by the laws of logic and reasoning, it would appear that you ARE in fact a blithering idiot. Please don’t reproduce.

        • Jason Carrier

          Even IF he is, that means nothing.

        • occams_beard_trimmer

          He is a muslim.
          You are intelligent.

          This has been an example of two statements which are not true.

          /I think he is an atheist.
          //Might be wishful thinking.

        • hoggleboggle

          Which country are you in? Your the closest flag I can find to yours is Chile and I am pretty sure that he isn’t Muslim.

        • Minyassa

          Um no. If he even had been Muslim at one time he would certainly not be now after publicly drinking alcohol, eating pork and regularly attending a Christian church. That sort of thing (performing acts banned by a religion or belonging to another religion) tends to get one kicked out.

        • Julieanne

          You’re an idiot.

        • kwilson

          Bull excrement. Our President has said he’s a Christian – and if that’s enough to identify YOU as one, the same goes for President Obama.

          Get a grip.

        • Dale A Ginger-Riquelme

          He eats pork, his children are baptized, he does not pray towards Mecca, and he has never been on a hajj, overall he is a shitty muslim

      • Boater39

        Starting? I’ve seen parallels to ISIS for quite a while now…

      • lisa1955

        I totally agree and have been saying this for a long time. If we allow religion to inter into our government we are no better than the middle east. What are we going to have in the long run. The Baptist’s enforcing their interpretation of the bible against let’s say the Catholics. That would be like the Shiites against the Sunni’s. And trying to make everyone follow in the way they do. OR ELSE. And lets face there are many types of Baptist’s (Free Will, Southern…and so on) Where would it stop. It needs to stop now. Yes I want God in my life but NOT IN MY GOVERNMENT!!!!!! Like it started out as. Treaty of Tripoli, people…….The Treaty of Tripoli from the 1790’s…..WE ARE NOT A CHRISTIAN GOVERNMENT! And was signed by many of our for fathers. Like George Washington, John Adams, Jefferson, and so on…..Period!

        • David Padilla

          where do you get that history from I can qoute from every founding father that the basic principals of our government are christian. from george washington a man of prayer to I am a christian thomas jefferson.

          • ctinozzi

            Present evidence with accurate sources. And Washington was a deist. Not Christian.

          • Melodie Clements

            Thomas Jefferson was not a Christian, he was a Deist; a Deist is someone who believes God created the universe but allows his creation to take care of themselves, does not believe in the revelation described in the Bible, and does not believe in the divinity of Christ.

          • Mike Hugh-jass

            Being able to selectively quote Christian references from the founding fathers has *nothing* to do with how they believed government should function.

          • Joe Lawrence

            You’ve had an hour Dave, where are your quotes as ctinozzi requested??

          • freeopinions

            Cut him some slack. He has to have a quote from every founder showing how they were writing a Christian constitution. That will take some time… 😉

      • miquel95929

        This is in fact what Sharia Law does. In the West Christianity has a legal standing not from Scripture but from Constantine’s grant of the Office of Pontfex Maximus(Chief Priest) to the Pope. This is the basis of the Pope’s claim as a Head of State- He is the last remaining official of the Roman Empire.During the Reformation Protestants shed the tie to Rome & therefore their legal standing. Several Protestant nations then granted State religion status to certain Churches. In the US the 1st Amendment specifically prohibits this so there is no religious oversight of Government in the US. In fact the controlling Scripture goes against this as Jesus said to “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s & render unto God what is God’s.” In Islam the Umma(religious community) has some influence over societial actions in areas that use Sharia Law. Not all Muslim Nations use Sharia Law & those that do very often only use it for social areas of civil law.

      • SherpaDoug

        Only Christianity? Or can Jews, Hindu, Wiccans, and Satanists use the same excuse?

      • scuttlebutt56

        Not for me it doesn’t.

      • Larry Ell

        No it doesn’t!!! In fact this law will be vetoed by the court s unconstitutional as well why??? Our founding fathers is why! They expressly separated church and state, and by declaring this violates my religious beliefs, you have nullified that separation. You can’t have it both ways, if you work for government you must perform your duties whether they conflict with your personal belief system because the constitution says so!!!

      • disqus_BKyNZ8DZTE

        The federal government was to be a loose bond of the statest with state’s rights trumping federal. Somewhere along the line the people allowed the federal government to turn into an untamed beast that overstep their boundaries..

        • freeopinions

          Yeah. And when that didn’t work, they wrote the Constitution of the United States…

      • Yuki Aya Masahiko

        I hate to say this but u are absolutely correct about that.

      • Katarina Novak

        These people are not Christians. They are Roman-Catholics.

      • hcjiv1

        Who said anything about Christianity? Maybe they are muslim or orthodox jew or …

        Ah but this isn’t about marriage equality for you is it? Its about attacking christianity.

      • Dino

        its the Christian version of SHIARA LAW

      • Nate Rivers

        The constitution gives protection of religious beliefs and the freedom to openly practice them. There is to be no laws to limit them, so long as others are not put into harms way in doing so. IE. Honor killings such as stoning gays or women who have brought what is deemed shame apon her family.
        Religion is not above the government, but it is protected from the government like how various religious groups have been systematically hunted and or demonized by the hands of others. Such as the inquesition, the Salem

        witch trials and Saria Law in general.

    • E. C. Chang

      I’ll be waiting with popcorn in hand for an election official to refuse to provide a ballot to a woman or ethnic minority on religious grounds.

      • Karen Bennett

        That’s a scary thought. Some religious folks would not hand out ballots with any female candidate because they believe women should be subjugated. What if they believe Jews killed Jesus and don’t want to give a Jewish person a ballot? The same goes for marriage licenses. One could give out any BS reason as a religious conviction in order to discriminate. That is why we have a secular government which is even more important now with over 33000+ denominations recognized as Christian none of which agree 100% on doctrine nor use the same version of their holy book. Half of them call the others heretics, cultists, or false. By demanding Christians be allowed to opt out of doing their jobs the door is open for anyone of any “religion” to discriminate openly while being paid to perform a secular governmental service. Talk about a slippery slope.

        • Jeffery LeMieux

          This line of argument is foolish. The law in question applies specificially to marriage certificates, nothing else, but you dufi have it as the end of the world as we know it.

          • JewelEyed

            And if you don’t see that this law sets a dangerous precedent, then you are exploding with cognitive dissonance.

          • Jeffery LeMieux

            As someone who has long made the slippery slope against the redefinition of marriage to inevitably include polygamy, bigamy, and incest, I can’t argue against using the slippery slope here. But I don’t see this being extended to anything other than marriage. The post office example is ludicrous. I have a friend named David Rosenberg. He’s a Lutheran. And there’s no biblical limit on sending mail. ON the other hand, there are plenty of catholic pharmacists and doctors who won’t have anything to do with contraception and abortion. Sadly, since we’re moving to government run single payer universal health care, these people will no longer be able to practice their profession. But since we’ve got an oversupply of doctors, especially in rural areas and OB/GYN, no big deal there. . .

          • xanthoptica

            Perhaps religious clerks, pharmacists, polling station workers, etc. should consider that they are not responsible for other folks’ decisions. These workers can choose not to pursue a homosexual relationship; they can choose not to use contraception; they can choose not to vote. But the idea that by doing their job they are “participating” in a decision they did not make (or approve of) is nothing more than an effort to control other folks’ behavior by thwarting those decisions (by refusing to do their job). If you can’t dispense every legal medication, you shouldn’t be a pharmacist. If you can’t issue a license for every legal marriage, you should not be a county clerk. But let’s not pretend that in most cases these are attempts to control other folks’ behavior.

          • Jeffery LeMieux

            Yes, I can see that argument. Should we prosecute bartenders who provided alcohol to someone later arrested for drunk driving or worse? Should we prosecute the owner of a firearm that was stolen and used in a felony? Seems if we can argue for that, then participation does carry some legal and moral weight.

          • Mark Medelbo

            Guess what Jeffrey? In some states bartenders can be arrested if they serve alcohol to a drunk person who later gets charged with drunk driving.

      • Arman Gosparini

        You’ll need to get another box before that happens.

      • batcountry2

        Oh oh oh can I take the job and refuse Christians the right to vote on religious grounds? I wanna watch the rage.
        Please please please?
        (I’m being semi-sarcastic, everyone deserves the right to vote even if I personally disagree with them)

    • Böcker

      Like I said above I hope someone sues the sh*t out of the state over this one, they will regret this so called end run big time.

      • southerninsanity

        It’s coming. Don’t worry.

    • janet

      It’s a two-way street: I just read a Facebook post about how straight women enjoy having their bachellorette parties at gay bars. These women are spending money on taxis getting to the bars, buying drinks, spending more money in gay districts as they do the gay pub crawls. But the gays get really irritated when the women push their way through the lines just to get a drink. The gays, naturally, get upset by this and complain about the bachellorettes parties getting out of hand. Then the gays get really riled when they have to remember they’re still men and have to act in a gentleman like fashion. So, who’s the winner here? Not religion but the lack of manners.

      • southerninsanity

        And you believe everything you read on the internet, hey, Janet?

      • Rick Derris

        Yeah. That’s totally the same thing as being denied civil rights.

      • Bexy

        This is inaccurate and amusing on so many levels.

      • Donna Timney

        Seriously? DO you seriously believe the crap you wasted five minutes of your life typing?

      • Tom Reeder

        I don’t know what gay bars you frequent, but I absolutely love the women who come to the bars I haunt. I overheard one group behind me state, “no wonder we can’t find any good looking men…they’re all fucking gay”.

    • ssohara

      I think the First Amendment protects religious and political speech as well as artistic expression, etc. So on the one hand, the government employee has First Amendment rights to say whatever he or she wants. On the other hand, if you take a particular job, you have to be able to do what that job entails. So, for example, if I’m a religious Jew and I don’t want to work on the Sabbath, I should not take a job that requires me to work on the Sabbath. If I’m a Muslim and want to wear my head scarf, I should not take a job modeling wigs.

      I am fine with individuals and businesses refusing to participate in gay weddings but it’s different when it comes to a government official.

      And before y’all jump down my throat – I’m an artist and I would be happy to do a portrait of a lesbian couple, but I would not do a gay couple. Not because I hate men or hate gays, but because when I do portraits of men, they seldom come out right, and so due to my artistic integrity I would not want to agree to do a commission I couldn’t do a good job with. So I support the right of performers of whatever variety to decline a job.

      So for me, that means – if a gay couple walks into a bakery and wants to buy a cake that is in the window or sit at the counter and eat brownies – you absolutely MUST serve them. They are not forcing you to participate in their being gay, they just want to buy something you’ve already baked. BUT if they ask you to make a special cake for them, you can absolutely say no, regardless of the reason.

      It might be because you don’t want to participate in a gay wedding. It might be because they have a theme you don’t like (maybe they are doing a princess themed wedding and you’re a goth who hates the color pink or maybe they are Jewish and want a religious themed cake and you’re an atheist) or because you just don’t feel inspired. Whatever the reason, it’s OK not to participate, just be nice about it and don’t give them a lecture. They came to get a cake, not a speech.

      • HelzaPoppin

        actually, the 1st Amendment merely states you can’t go to jail or be charged with a crime for saying what you like. That doesn’t mean you can’t be fired for it.

        • kwilson

          So many, many Americans REFUSE to understand this, much less acknowledge it… seems pretty damned obvious to me, as I have actually read the Constitution of the United States…

      • KVeg

        “I am fine with individuals and businesses refusing to participate in gay weddings but it’s different when it comes to a government official.”

        You better explain participate. Baking a cake? Delivery Wedding Invites by the mail carrier? Setting up a wedding registry? Making pictures at a wedding? Printing invitations? Supply paper to a print shop that prints these invitations?

        You are on a slippery slope.

    • allbuss84

      Yes! We actually pay government employees to not do any actual governmental work while they work for their union 100% of the time forcing the government to hire a second employee to do the actual job the first employee was hired to do. Why should this be any different?

      • KVeg

        Non sense.

    • Jeff

      Of course, let’s just forget that was a group of clergy members that sued to get the law overturned in 2014. Of… course… claws out attack Christians. In fact, the article made no mention to it being Christians who made this happen, just that ANY religious group can refuse

      • CoffeeGrunt

        I suppose noting the religion of the people that passed said law, as well as population statistics noting the majority religion would be meaningless…right?

        • Jeff

          Of course not. Do you know 100% the religion of those that passed the law? Regardless, in NC a group of Christian clergy sued for the right of same sex marriage. I guess it’s a “what have you done for me today” mentality.

          For the record. This is a bs ruling.

          • CoffeeGrunt

            I don’t think you can really demand they be thankful when the vast majority of Christians are being a**hats to them, but a small minority are not. Just an outside perspective.

            I don’t know the religions because A, I live halfway across the world and B, simply don’t care enough to look too closely into your toxic politics.

          • Jeff

            I think the VAST majority of Christians really couldn’t care any less. It’s a small minority in the grand scheme of things, that are fighting against it. Sadly it’s the vocal minority that gets air play…

          • CoffeeGrunt

            One would expect a group who are taught to Love Thy Neighbour would be galvanised to help the downtrodden like, I dunno, some sort of Prophet told them to?

            The Bible is about so much love yet so many use it for hate. It’s fascinating in a somewhat disappointing way.

          • Jeff

            You’d think, but just like every creed and colour, Christians have their fair share of bad apples, fighting “in the name of”. I’ve been to the mid western and southern states many times, the bigotry isn’t reserved for just the Christians. It’s time that the whole USofA starts living up to their self titled “Greatest Nation on Earth” and starts embracing one another.

            Even though I am spiritual, I’d love to see all organised religion banned from public “domain”. As in, don’t ask, don’t tell. No longer can we say, “well that offends my religion, or my God, or Allah” We can move on to be a far more enlightened society.

          • Jeff

            And… I’m Canadian, we’ve been a lot more enlightened on this front than our cousins to the south for some time now. It really is a non issue here. Not a single church I know of gives a flip who you love, as long as you love. I do hope the USA gets their heads out of their asses before the country tears itself apart.

          • CoffeeGrunt

            That’s my point, it’s seen as much the same here in Britain. Yet in America…so very toxic…

      • Terrapin1234

        So which group is continuing the fight against it?

        • Jeff

          There are closed minded groups in ALL religions, atheism, sex and races.

          Edit: changed individual to group.

          • Terrapin1234

            Individuals? Sorry, but it’s not “individuals”…it’s a large group of Christians.

          • Jeff

            I can see you’re closed minded to anything beyond your current anger. That’s cool. You know very well what I’m saying. It’s a large group… yes but still a lot smaller than the majority. Changed my last to better reflect what I meant.

    • Paula Shannon

      The first amendment is grand

      • Black Irish

        my coffee is grande, also, the rio is grande

      • HeWhoMightNotBeNamed

        The First Amendment is against you on this. Your religious freedom can not be enforced on someone else.

    • BillipPhailey

      ding ding ding ding ding ding

    • violetteal

      This is a straw-man argument. A Muslim cannot discriminate against a Jew for being a Jew but if the Muslim doesn’t wish to do business with a Jew or anyone else because of an action based in his beliefs, that is different. A man walks in to a kosher deli and wants a pastrami with cheese sandwich, because of Jewish laws regarding food, he won’t do that. Is he being unfair?

      • Britni Weiss

        no, that is asking for something that is not sold at an establishment. This is allowing people to refuse to give something to one person that is provided to others.

        • Gloria

          No Britni, you’re wrong. They serve both pastrami and cheese, but will not put them together on a sandwich because of the kosher laws.

          • Britni Weiss

            and yet, a pastrami and cheese sandwich is not on the menu, it is not something they sell. You are free to buy both pastrami and cheese, and then make your own sandwich. So you are not being prevented from eating a pastrami and cheese sandwich.

            If I go to a restaurant that serves soup and bread, are they obligated to serve me soup in a bread bowl? No, I can buy the bread and buy the soup and eat it how I want, but they are not required to take two items from the menu and serve then differently then they are on that menu. If I go to the deli at my local grocer store, which sells paninis, I wouldn’t expect them to make me a sandwich with, for example, the coleslaw in it. Just like I would not go into a conventional bakery and ask for a gluten free cake if it is not something they sell.

            Not to mention that In a kosher deli, meat and cheese would not even be in the same area, as you can’t even use the same knives to cut them. Selling you that sandwich would invalidate their kosher certification, and they would loose the majority of their customer base. Just like , or into a gluten free bakery and ask for a conventional cake, which would contaminate all of their products, making some of their customers sick, and ruining the reputation of the business.

    • BinaryBlitz

      It’s like giving a dog a flea and tick bath. Religion are the fleas and ticks and the dog is the government. When you finally decide enough is enough and start to dip the dog, the little insects try to burrow in and fight for their lives. In the end though, it’s futile, the fleas and ticks are removed from our government and that symbiotic circus of train wrecks is untangled.

      Hard core religious people, and by that i mean who would put religion over their job, have infiltrated the government far more than even the scientologists did back in the day.

    • James M

      Yet most Christians in this country decry Sharia law in other countries. Isn’t this the very same thing just the Christian version?

      • Jack C

        So you’d better make your choice now where you want to live. Under one or the other. It will come down to that someday.

        • James M

          I won’t be living under either one. I can promise you that.

          • John G

            Unfortunately, the concept of “freedom” seems to escape some people. Freedom is not forced conformity.

    • Skull Crusher

      sounds like a normal government worker to me.

    • David Root

      That ain’t religion being practised, that’s Hypocrisy.

    • benched42

      Ever been to the DOT to renew your license?

      • ctinozzi

        In what state do you go to the DOT to renew your license? You go to the DMV. Also, the people at the DMV DO perform their jobs. It’s not their fault that the amount of paperwork is bullshit and confusing as hell.

        • John G

          I just renew my license on-line, haven’t been to the DMV since the early 2000’s.

        • benched42

          My bad with the DOT vs DMV. And at least in my state, if you don’t do it on line you have at least a 30 minute wait and they are NOT open outside of business hours.

        • freeopinions

          In what state is the DMV not part of the DOT?

    • batcountry2

      Pretty much.

    • Galileo2

      Let me get this straight…a government employee can happily cash in his paycheck made up of tax payers dollars, but doesn’t have to actual do their job which is providing services to those tax payers?

      Since the US government is prohibited from restricting certain activities of individuals, the answer generally is yes.

      But as this article shows, the devil is in the details in this case. This is why there are rules against screaming ‘fire!’ in a crowded theatre when there isn’t a fire being protected as ‘free speech’, for example.

      THEN there is the issue of State vs Federal governments. States have wide latitude against federal intrusion because they are regarded as sovereign except when it comes to specific powers granted to the Feds. Marriage isn’t one of those specific powers. Even then, they can not be forced to enforce Federal laws themselves, really. Hence, it is very difficult to enforce federal dictats on the States. That is why the States usually get bribed to go along with federal policy, instead.

    • rgray222

      Did you actually read the story?

    • DAni

      I wish media would label Christians who are against same sex marriage. That they would label them as Christian extremists. And you should talk loud out for the gay people. If not Christianity is gonna get haters out there..

    • NavinJay

      They can now just sit back, behind their desk, with their feet up, with a can of Pringles, and say EVERYTHING is against my “deeply held religious beliefs”. Man, how can I get that job?

      • Becky Wegner Rommel luvs Jesus

        “I’m just a small town pizza lawyer… Oh, it’s ah’ll perfectly legal!”

    • OldDog

      I wonder if their pay could be docked for tasks they choose not to do? For every marriage license they refuse to process, $nn deducted from their pay, etc. That ridiculous alternative makes about as much sense as their ridiculous refusal “on deeply held religious grounds”.

    • jb1907

      If someone objects to hunting, do they recuse themselves from granting a hunting or fishing license? Do they deny a drivers license to women if they are Muslim?

    • Veraxus

      They can accept money from gay americans, and they don’t even need to do anything in return.

    • john Johnson

      I wonder if an interracial couple walked in and happened to left it drop that they were interfaith, divorced 5 times between them and planning to raise the baby she carrying agnostic – would any of these officials refuse them?

    • Chris Webber

      Really? The public school system has largely been doing this for the last 40 years. Since 1975, corrected for inflation, we have more than doubled expenditures per student per year while educational achievement has fallen to the bottom of the industrialized world. When it’s motivated by a left-wing labor union, it’s OK? You’re going to whine about a hypothetical problem, while ignoring a very real one?

    • Vince Edmonds

      Why not? Your beloved “boy who would be king” obammy and his minions do it all the time

  • Tappy Mcwidestance

    Eventually the dinosaurs will die and we’ll get more oil from them.

    • 4everfireflame

      This

    • Elijah McStotts

      The problem with this line of reasoning is that the dinosaurs are procreating and teaching their children. Yes, it’s getting better with each subsequent generation, but that does nothing for those whose rights are being infringed upon in the here and now.

      • Jerseygirl

        Yeah, and a big issue is that they are reproducing without control because “god wants us to have babies!” while the smart, educated people who can actually think for themselves are practicing family planning and only having children they can afford. They may out produce us one day.

    • bgregs

      You win the interwebs!!!

  • Scott J Bonadonna

    This is a merger of church and state. Judges should not be allowed to serve the people that give them the power to govern and be allowed to deny any citizen their Rights based on personal religious biases.

    • Robb

      Agreed. But there are a lot of folks who sincerely think that the separation of church and state only goes one direction. They say that states can’t necessarily meddle in church affairs, but the church can meddle in state affairs. These are the same individuals that claim the US was purposefully founded as a “Christian nation”, despite tons of research, writings, legal documents, and lines of reasoning that refute that notion.

      • Robert J. Canty

        Exactly. Many use the Founding Fathers as evidence that is a Christian nation, but really we’re a Masonic Nation. And while the Masons believe in a supreme being, that supreme being does not need to come from any particular faith.

        • Terrapin1234

          Anyone using the “founding fathers” argument clearly knows nothing about them and their religious beliefs.

      • Sofa_King_Cold

        I’m pretty sure it is time to start taxing churches, since they seem to be very interested in political affairs.

  • jbandsma

    And they throw a welcome home party for Jim Crow.

  • Guest

    We are really going backwards in some ways. My religious beliefs…so I don’t have to: Immunizations for children, marriage, housing, birth control, it’s getting scary.

  • jayh

    So if it’s against my religious beliefs to sell a gun and I work at Walmart, am I allowed to not sell it to someone? No of course not, I would be fired.

    • NPettinato14

      Yes. You’d have discussed it with your supervisor upon being hired. Just as Muslims aren’t required to sell tobacco and liquor. There are requirements for reasonable accommodation of religious beliefs.

      • bgregs

        Muslims ARE required to sell tobacco and liquor unless their employer CHOOSES to allow them not to do so. The difference is that they are not a government employee paid for by the taxpayers and then telling the taxpayers that they won’t do the job they are being paid to do!

        • icedgreentea

          Also a difference is that the Muslims don’t want to refuse to sell tobacco and liquor only to some customers while happily serving other customers.

          • bgregs

            Well yeah, there’s that too….

          • ekdikeo

            I’ve worked in retail a long time, and I’ve never seen a Muslim even ask to not sell tobacco or liquor. For the most part, they don’t care who buys what. It’s not like they are being forced to partake.

      • Surely a religious person would therefore be careful about where they seek employment. A Muslim is unlikely to try and get a job at a dedicated liqour store. Similarly, perhaps bigots shouldn’t try and work in a place where they can subject other people to their bigotry.

        You can make room for religious belief, but it can’t run the joint.

      • Terrapin1234

        You clearly don’t know the law.

      • D3rdr1u

        Rubbish. In Berlin, it is mostly Muslims who work in Night Stores and sell a lot of tobacco and liquor. You know why? Because they are neither fanatic nor stupid!

      • The Ant*chr*st

        We aren’t talking about private enterprise. Could a Muslim clerk in Texas refuse to issue marriage licenses to Christians because they believe that Christians are heretics? Of course not. Do your job or get the fuck out. Work for a church.

    • Jerseygirl

      Big difference between being an employee of a business and being the employee of the government. Government employees basically sign documents stating they will follow the laws of the land.

      • Jennifer

        You are actually just proving Jayh’s point more. If you can get fired from not performing your duties at a private sector job, than surely there is more scrutiny on not performing your duties at a job that is part of the government.

  • Theresa Thomas

    Well. We’ve just taken our last trip to North Carolina.

  • Kevin Jones

    Addressing this should be easy. Government should withdraw the right to officiate over state recognized marriages from all clergy. Leave that authority to the people’s representatives, judges, notaries public, justices of the peace, ship captains, maybe airline pilots and bus drivers. Call separation’s bluff.

    • Atrimis

      The issue is that they’re trying to use religion in a governmental based idea. The law isn’t to allow people to get married in a Church; Churches by nature have always been allowed to preform marriages on same or different sex couples as long as they’ve wanted. The issue is that now they can be married in the eyes of the law, allowing for them to file their taxes together, be on the same benefit plans, and many other benefits that were allowed to different-sex couples for years. But now we have idiots in the government that are combining state and church issues, and yet this country was founded on a principal of the “division of church and state.”

    • Herald

      Representatives, judges, and justices of the peace are all government employees.

  • YenRug

    Surely SB2 is unconstitutional because it specifically supports religious belief? Yes, you can be free to hold a religious belief, but if you’re failing to carry out an action that is required by law then that inaction is illegal; by giving specific protection to religious belief then you have created a limited exception, which means the bill establishes support of religion, at no point does it say in the 1st amendment that it applies to a specific religion but only in general.

  • David Wade

    Can’t do your job? Then quit!

  • Atrimis

    GOD DAMN IDIOTS haven’t they ever heard of “Division of Church and State?” Take their stupid belief system and get it out of our government!

  • CommonSense

    I sincerely look forward to officials denying minorities their welfare checks because their convictions as hard working Americans lead them to believe everyone should work for their money.

    • L Paul Beck

      Point of order, most people who get government assistance are white.
      Most of the people on some form of government assistance are working full time or more.

      • CommonSense

        So?

      • djr

        Not one word of that is true.

        • L Paul Beck

          Djr, EVERY word of that is true.

    • Matt Fetterley

      I don’t doubt your sincerity, I question your humanity…

  • guest jones

    Article Six, Clause 2 This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

    • Douglas N. Meredith

      Tenth Amendment to the Constitution- “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Show me where marriage is a power delegated to the United States by the Constitution (and I agreed with the Obergfell decision, although not with the reasoning behind it).

      • MarkGoyette

        Show me where marriage is authorized at all under the law?

        The fact is when the federal government started recognizing marriages, even though they weren’t licensing them, marriage became equal domain under the law between federal and state governing bodies, since the Federal laws trump State laws thanks to A6C2 that means the federal government has final say in anything they deem as being in their domain, even if the laws pertaining to it are past at the State level.

        • Douglas N. Meredith

          Frankly Mark, the government should never have been involved in marriage in the first place. It is a religious ceremony; the government got involved when they learned they could collect revenue off of it (marriage license). Your reference to the Feds having final say in anything they deem as being in their domain is almost exactly why the Civil War was fought.

          • Vicki Poh

            marriage has always been a civil contract. look back through history at all the marriages that were done to unite countries and property. No religion. Just contract negotiations. You can say over and over again that it is a religious ceremony but history and facts prove you wrong. And Christians or any other religion do not hold a monopoly on marriage. Holy matrimony is a religious ceremony. A marriage is civil. I’m a Pagan. My husband agnostic at best. We have been MARRIED 23+ years. No religion was used at our wedding.

          • jenny_whyme

            Government has always been involved in marriage.. to think otherwise is foolish.

          • MarkGoyette

            Frankly if you mean religious ceremony as in a writ decreed by the governing body of the land, you are sadly mistaken. Marriage was around long before the establishment of matrimony, which is a religious right. Even if it wasn’t condoned as such, common law marriage was common place before the establishment of modern religion. Established governmental and monarchic orders, or laws, created the foundations which we recognize as marriage, and they were enforced through complaints through the establishment.

          • Terrapin1234

            Marriage is NOT a religious ceremony. I suggest you Google “history of marriage” and educate yourself.

          • Alex Warhead

            marriage has NEVER been a religious institution; it has always been a legal contract ensuring and securing property rights and inheritance.

          • KGarland

            It was actually the church that implemented marriage, under under the blessing of “god”. Those who wanted to get married had to pay the church in land, livestock and any worth the woman brought into the marriage. Woman were listed as property. All this to increase membership and the church’s riches. Government was included amd received a portion of the income. This had nothing to do with God. Everything to do with power and money. Might I suggest you do some research?

          • Terrapin1234

            Well, marriage in the world goes back a lot further than the “Church”.

          • KGarland

            True. It was the church who develop the financial aspect.

          • Robert J. Canty

            It is a religious ceremony in regards to the individual and differing faiths of those involved in any particular marriage. However, the benefits of the actual union given to the people from the government which stems from recognition. They are not actually collecting revenue from the marriage, they are collective revenue from the license which gives you legal benefits to being united.

            Your marriage can be recognized by a Church or faith without the government and without the license. The ramification of it is that you do you receive the legal benefits of being married.

            Let me put this into two examples:

            John Jones and Jane Doe (soon to be Jones) get married in a church, and have it recognized by the government. They pay for their license and from that day forward reap the legal benefits of their union. They are recognized as a married couple by their faith, and as a united couple by the government.

            Mike Smith and Michelle Johnson (soon to be Smith) get married in a church but don’t have it recognized by the government. They don’t pay for a license and therefore do not receive the legal benefits of being married, however that does not stop them from having joint-ownership over property nor does it prevent the bride from changing her name (or the groom if that is what they wanted).

            The big problem is that people look at marriage and say “It’s a religious ceremony” and yes that is true. However, in the legal sense, marriage is a “slang” term. The more proper term would be a Union. They get interchanged a lot. Some would argue it’s a Christian ceremony, which is absolutely absurb because people of the Jewish faith get married, people of the Hindu faith get married, people of the Buddhist faith get married, and so on and so on. Your individual marriage might be purely Christian because you are Christian, and there is nothing wrong with that. Same for those who are Jewish, Hindi, Muslim, Buddhist, etc. However, when it comes to the legal benefits provided by the government, they are all the same thing: a legal union.

          • Yu Gno

            Your marriage can be recognized by the state without any religious involvement.

            So what is your point?

          • Infernos_Reaper

            States’ rights pretty much ended in 1865

          • Actually marriages were first and foremost business arrangements to strengthen unions between countries and families to improve social standings. they didn’t become a religious domain until much further down the line as many forms of christianity began to take hold.

          • Brian

            Sorry. Marriage is not a ceremony. It is a contract. A wedding is a ceremony. Marriage is also a civil contract, and not a religious one. There were marriages long before there was Christianity. Marriage as a civil contract gives the participants in that contract specific legal rights. That is why it is a civil contract, and not a religious one.

          • Yu Gno

            What the government is involved in is the legal part of the marriage. They don’t care under what religion (if any) the ceremony is undertaken.

            As this is a legally binding contract, and one which has implications across state borders, it is in fact a matter for the federal courts to ferret out.

        • utopia27

          marriage is both a _contract_ and a _status_. Governments recognize (implicitly and explicitly) the _status_ of ‘married to spouse’. This is the bit that really bollixes up ‘civil unions’. ‘civil union’ isn’t sufficient status to permit hospital visits, ‘next of kin’ identity, and a whole host of other nits and noids scattered through common law and legal code. Governmental/legal recognition of that status has been an issue for a long, long time. In the US, the fed gov has always acted independently (of states) in its determinations of when and whether to recognize the status of ‘married’ – immigration law/precedent is a really rich hunting ground of weirdness. The only circumstance I can drum up for federal conferral of married status is in maritime law (yes, captains can marry couples).

          What SCOTUS has done here doesn’t directly impact federal recognition, or federal conferral. SCOTUS is providing oversight of (traditional, and ongoing) state-level implementation of the conferral of the ‘married’ status – and decreed that the status, contracts, privileges, and responsibilities must be implemented without discrimination.
          This is a fine legalistic distinction, but still a crucial one for 1st, 10th, and 14th amendment purposes.

      • bgregs

        14th Amendment “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States”

        So sorry for you, that means that the Constitution says that the PEOPLE have the rights, not the states. Try again?

      • Mike D

        That argument has been invalid since 1967 in Loving v. Virginia when the Supreme Court ruled all states must recognize interracial marriage.

      • HelzaPoppin

        The 10th Amendment does not come into play here. The Supreme Court did not write a new law, nor can they. They struck down an existing law which it ruled unconstitutional. The 10th has nothing to do with it.

    • MarkGoyette

      X Amendment…

      The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor
      prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively,
      or to the people.

      Though I do agree that States should be bound by the constitution for equality and human rights, marriage is one thing that isn’t covered in the constitution and thus will always be conjectured. All thanks to two competing principals both from the Constitution

      A6C2 and the 10th amendment.

      • jenny_whyme

        You skipped over this one.
        The Ninth Amendment (Amendment IX) to the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, addresses rights, retained by the people, that are not specifically enumerated in the Constitution.

        1. Not all rights are enumerated (listed).
        2. Rights belong to the People not the States.
        3. Marriage has been deemed to be a right by the SCOTUS on more than one occasion even before the marriage equality decision.

        • MarkGoyette

          This clause is what the SCOTUS has issued with their rulings, the actual right of law though is very limited to the People, only those laws which are put before the people are the ones the people really have any say in without going to court to get them removed.

          A6C2 and the 10th Amendment are what causes the biggest conflict between States rights and Federal rights.

          • Infernos_Reaper

            In 1865, after about 4 years of bloody debate, it was definitively concluded that federal government has more authority and say over issues than state governments.

          • Alex Warhead

            when the rights afforded to couples as part of the legal contract of marriage are mandated by the federal govt to be recognized by all states in the union (spouses not being forced to testify against each other, automatic inheritance rights, etc) then you have a very strong stance to claim that the “privilege” to enter into that contract is in itself a right. heck, even the “right” to take a driver’s test exists, as long as you fulfull the legal requirements set by age. sure, the license itself can be revoced, but the state bares the onus to defend any reason it may have from barring access to the test to any individual.

      • bgregs

        And since the 14th Amendment stated that ALL levels of government will treat EVERYONE equally, that means that such authority WAS granted to the Federal government moron!!!! 10th Amendment doesn’t apply in this case, too bad for you…

        • MarkGoyette

          14th Amendment is not part of the constitution, the constitution is made up of 3 parts, the preamble, the body (the constitution) and the Bill of Rights. It was established due to changes in political and social opinion in the years leading up to and following the Civil War. It established rights of the people from protection from unfair laws. It is the due process amendment, it doesn’t grant any rights what so ever, it establishes procedures to which unfair laws can be questioned and removed through due process.

          • Matt Fetterley

            Do you not understand that amendments are part of the constitution once they are ratified? The 14th amendment is as much a part of the constitution as the phrase “We the People”… You clearly need a civics lesson.

          • bgregs

            You cite an Amendment to the Constitution as though it defeats the rest of the Constitution, and then when I cite ANOTHER Amendment to the Constitution you claim it isn’t even part of the Constitution?!?!?!?!?

            Are you high, or just really really really stupid?!?!?

            When an Amendment to the United States Constitution is passed, IT BECOMES AS MUCH A PART OF THE CONSTITUTION AS THE ORIGINAL WRITING!!! That’s why the law against selling alcohol nationwide was declared Unconstitutional until the 18th Amendment was passed making the sale of Alcohol in the United States illegal. That lasted until the 21st Amendment was passed which negated it.

            Learn how your government actually works before you attempt to bloviate about it next time dumbass!

          • Waters

            So, since amendments above #10 aren’t part of the Constitution according to you, why are women allowed to vote? #19 shouldn’t be followed either according to your logic. And the Obergerfell case was exactly what you said…it was challenging an unfair law, which was reviewed and removed by SCOTUS, so #14 worked just fine.

          • MarkGoyette

            The amendments above 10 are refinements to the constitution, they are constitutional under the law but they are not part of it. These amendments for the most part establish standards and practices which were deemed as overlooked by the constitution or needed to be defined, that is why the amendment clause in the constitution was put in there, so that refinement could be made over time. The difference being barring an act of God, the word being used ironically, it is near impossible to permanently change the constitution, and thus the upper amendments are generally very precise in their wording, verses the first 10 which for the most part are very loose when it comes to wording, and left for open interpretation under the law when it pertains to constitutionality.

            That is not to say that the 11th and above do not hold authority over the constitution, they do, but when it comes to the power of amendments where they were established determines precedence, and thus if an amendment is passed that violates any of the 1st 10 amendments it will be reviewed to see exactly if and what effects those amendments have on said amendment, and all other amendments before it have established precedence, and so unless the amendment was written to change a preceding amendment it would have to be reviewed.

          • Terrance Steiner

            That is not how amendments work. There is no hierarchy of amendments. With sufficient popular support and votes any section of the constitution (including the bill of rights) can be revised. To quote Article V:

            The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

            The body of the Constitution have been revised and the bill of rights is not gospel.

          • HelzaPoppin

            utterly, ridiculously false

          • Starrrrrving

            You do realize that the constitution is not a top 10 list right? They are in order for when they were established, not for their importance over one another.

          • Yu Gno

            WOW! So you are saying your second amendment rights to bear arms is not in the constitution?

            You son, need some remedial civics. A third grader knows this much.

      • VerityHeld

        The Tenth Amendment hasn’t been valid since Lee met Grant at Appomatox Court House.

        • Dennis Cox-Townsend

          Really, VerityHeld? I wasn’t aware it had been removed from the constitution. Thanks for the update. LOL

      • Black Irish

        cars, penicillin, television, the internet, tattoos, and space travel weren’t in the constitution either… I guess those are also open to opinion… tattoos are forbidden in the bible though, aren’t they? think some people should be fired from their jobs for a god damn heart tattoo on their ankle?

      • Yu Gno

        Since marriage is a legal contract with implications stretching beyond state lines, it needs to be binding in all states, which would then have the whole topic fall under the aegis of interstate commerce, which is not a state right.

      • HelzaPoppin

        Contrary to the wails of right wingers, the 10th doesn’t come into play. Yes, states have authority over the laws regarding marriage. The federal government does not write marriage law (that’s why DOMA was struck down). However, there are limits, and states cannot pass laws that run afoul of the US Constitution. What the Supreme Court ruled was that a state law was unconstitutional because it violated Constitutional protections for equal treatment under the law.. They did not create a new law, they struck down an existing one – which is their role under the US Constitution.

        • Dennis Cox-Townsend

          Exactly, Helzapoppin! I’m so sick of those who disagree with the SCOTUS ruling claiming that it was “creating” law. They have no understanding of the meaning of “interpret” or the role of the supreme court in our government.

  • Oci_One_Kanubi

    The appropriate action for the state is, of course, to refuse to employ anyone in any position unless that person will sign an affidavit declaring that (s)he has no religious or moral objection to performing any of the required duties of that position. These affidavits should be proffered as a part of the hiring process, but they should also be proffered to every current employee, and wherever an employee cannot find it in hir conscience to sign, that employee must be transferred to another position (of equivalent pay and prospects, if possible), the duties of which would allow the person to sign. without feelings of guilt

    IOW, ensure that the situation can never occur that a state employee will be placed in the position to have to perform activities contrary to hir beliefs.

  • Guillotines of Progress

    can someone explain to Senator Berger that the first line of the first amendment to the constitution clearly states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” It’s the VERY FIRST FUCKING LINE!!!!

    • Atrimis

      I’ve been saying that ever since Bush was in office and made same-sex marriage illegal to begin with.

      • Herald

        Uh, Bush never did that.

      • Taylor Fultz

        That was Clinton.

    • Liuao

      That would require respecting the constitution which, as we can already see, most politicians don’t.

  • Gizzy N

    This is going to be very easily handled – every one of these people claiming “deeply held religious beliefs” is a hypocrite and a liar, and there’ll be no trouble proving it: not a ONE of them, guaranteed, has ever refused to issue a marriage license to an individual who was previously married & divorced for any reason other than adultery.

    Thus proving this has NOTHING to do with their religious convictions (as the religion they claim abhors gay marriage ALSO considers remarriage to be adultery unless divorce was the RESULT of adultery), and everything to do with their bigotry and hatred of LGBTs.

    And you don’t get to work for the government and bring your bigotry into play when it comes to doing your job.

  • Swillabrew

    Pure mind fuckery. I can only take solace in thinking about the ulcers & nervous breakdowns these rednecks are developing over watching their bigoted little worlds slip away.

  • Mancave001

    When it comes to privately owned business, I support an exception to prevent people from being compelled to violate their faiths by effectively participating in or sanctioning that which violates their faith. But these are public officials. You don’t get to claim religious exception when you work for the State. That’s like saying a teacher can refuse to teach the Theory of Evolution on religious grounds, and keep his job. Not appropriate.

    • Terrapin1234

      No, businesses may not discriminate either against protected statuses. Due to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a business may not discriminate against customers based on race, age, sex, religious beliefs, and in some states/cities, sexual orientation. A business owners religious belief can not trump the Civil Rights Act, period.

      • Mancave001

        The Civil Rights Act had nothing to do with orientation. It’s locality-dependent.

    • Alex Warhead

      unless i come into your business and demand that you butt-fuck me (gay AND premarital; so naughty) i can’t understand how your “religious” faith is being challenged by selling me flowers or a cake.
      let’s face it: the religious protection arguments are nothing but shallow attempts to create a second (or third or fourth) class citizenship to limit the access to services to folks we don’t like. as an atheist can i refuse service to a christian couple that wants some cupcakes for their church pot-luck?

      • Mancave001

        You lefty loons just cannot accept anything other than 100% of what you want, can you? You simply cannot tolerate that other ideas exist, can you? I don’t agree with those who would refuse to serve gay weddings. In fact, I wouldn’t patronize their businesses. But that’s the difference…I still respect their faith and refuse to force them to engage in private commerce. The fact is that you and yours cannot STAND that there are millions of Christians in this country who believe homosexuality is a sin. I’m not one of them, but I respect their right to believe and live as they choose. You cannot. They are wrong. They are haters. They are bigots. And they must be silenced and made to conform to the will of the State. We have a word for that. It’s called “fascism.”

        • HelzaPoppin

          Actually, you’re describing authoritarianism. Fascism is an economic model. That said, businesses are chartered or licensed by government. They are government-granted legal entities. Businesses dont have religious beliefs. Individuals working in or for that business may decline service due to “genuine” religious objections if the owner or presiding officer allows them to, but better have someone available to step in, because the moment you turn someone away, you have committed a civil rights violation. No one is violating your religious beliefs. You can continue to believe whatever you like. You simply cannot use those beliefs as an excuse to infringe upon others.

          • Mancave001

            That depends on the state’s current law. As to whether certain business owners *should* be allowed to turn away gays, we simply disagree. There should be an exception for those businesses that are closely held and involve personal services/participation. This would exclude the denial of service in public gathering spaces and accommodations (e.g. restaurants, parks, entering a store, a mall, a movie theater, a hotel, etc.).

            We also disagree that no one is violating anyone’s beliefs. When you force a devout Christian photographer to shoot a gay wedding, you are asking him to choose between his beliefs and his livelihood. The same applies for a musician. Or a baker who is to make a cake with two brides. The same would apply if a Muslim caterer was forced to prepare pork for a wedding. These businesses are not just businesses, but people. We’re not talking about letting Wal-Mart or Applebees deny service on religious grounds. We’re often not even talking about “corporations.”

            Beyond the 1st Amendment/Free expression issues, it is again very hard (and I think, wrong) to compel commerce between two people. Would you expect a black florist to provide flowers for a white supremacist’s wedding? Are you going to force churches to perform gay weddings? Why not? They hold tax exempt status from the State. I’d think you’d be even more in favor of forcing them to do that.

          • HelzaPoppin

            Nonsense. Businesses are businesses and people are people. They are not the same. And there is no “agree to disagree” when it comes to the Constitution. This is hatred, pure and simple, and no strained rationalization is going to change that.

          • Mancave001

            So you know what’s in these people’s hearts, then? Interesting skill you have. Would you say the same about a Muslim asked to prepare and serve pork?

        • Alex Warhead

          i can accept that people are bigots. i don’t have to tolerate it, however. i call them out on it. a “good” person would listen to that criticism and evaluate their perspective.
          “respect faith”? who said that “faith”, an irrational belief in the improbable, should be respected? if you tell me that you reject and oppress a group of people and deny them access to services because of an invisible, four thousand-year-old pink elephant that made up a bunch of rules and dictates them to you, i will call you crazy.
          furthermore, homosexuality may be defined as a sin. so is lying. are you going to deny people services if they’ve told a lie? how about gluttons? or “fornicators”? “sorry, i can’t make you a wedding cake. you lived in sin. RELIGIOUS FREEDOM!!!”. but, those sins aren’t an issue with these clowns. they only adhere to the restrictions on “gays”. hmmmm…interesting, that. but sure, they aren’t bigots. right… oh, and they can eat shellfish because the OT rules are void after jesus…except for gays. ewwwww, the gays.
          look, you can believe that homosexuality is a “sin” all you want. but, you don’t get to deny services to people because you don’t agree with who they sleep with.

          oh, and the word “fascism” doesn’t mean what you think it means. for fuck’s sake, open a dictionary. if anything, what you’re trying to name is “totalitarianism” or “tyranny”. it’s not “fascism”, you schmuck.

          • Guy

            As a Taoist, I like to sit and watch people…to understand things of both man and the harmony that exists in the world. I have to point out here that your argument here is trying to decry the exclusion of gays by religious people… while you’re actively trying to exclude religious people from a conversation. Tsk tsk tsk.

            Like I have said on this board many times, you are one in the same… and your bias blinds you to that truth. You make the same arguments against faith believers as they make against non-believers. You’re all believers in faith. Yours simply is a counterpoint to theirs with no more or less proof of concept. That’s because you and a Christian believe in the same thing: That thing is uncertainty.

            To come out and denounce the possibility of a God being present is no different than to say that God is here. Neither the god believer nor the anti-theist has proof and science laughs at untestable hypotheses.

          • Alex Warhead

            knock off the self-congratulatory, self-aggrandizing bullshit, you pompous prick.
            there’s no attempt to “exclude” religious people from the conversation. the point is that one’s religion has NO place in dictating public policy. freedom and protection by the law extends to everyone. in no way is this argument about denying christians, muslims, jews, hindus, etc. from being idiot bigots when it comes to hating on gays. hate away. but, you don’t get to use bullshit biblical arguments to justify anti-gay “vitriol”; if you try i will throw that shit right back in your eyes.
            my “vitriol” is aimed at “liberal christians” that try to balance their progressive tendencies (which are good) with a contorted version of the bible (which is ALL bad). the reason the “born gay” argument gained so much ground is because of liberal christians trying to make some sort of excuse to convince themselves that being tolerant or accepting of gays (a good thing) is accepted by the bible.
            the real issue is that IT DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER if being gay is a choice or inherent; you don’t get to deny legal protections to any group because the majority approves of it.

            liberal christian interpretations are slowing the progress this country can make. it adds another siv that all social issues have to slowly work their way through. the only reasonable way to govern is to have a purely secular govt that evaluates “harm” and “benefits”. policies that promote freedom, liberty, equality, and improved quality of life are what need to matter. not appealing to some imaginary sky tyrant.

          • Guy

            The above translated: “Hello. I am an anti-religious bigot. I hate you because of your Christian religion.” This reads no differently than, “Hello, I’m a Southern American Christian and I hate you because you’re gay.” Like I said, you are absolutely no different than they are.

            You are using the same bigoted arguments, the same illogical thought processes, and the same impassioned pleadings that people of faith use. You are no different. Thus, your veiled self-righteous claim that the best government is a secular one… becomes very problematic. Considering the source that is exhibiting raw, overt hate-speech towards a large section of the population… your version of a secular state would be exclusionary and outright oppressive to any and all that did not follow your personal belief system. In this country, we’ve already had that system. It was called segregated Southern states during the early-mid 20th century. Blacks were allowed to exist but they did not enjoy equal rights or protections. You are suggestion religious people should have no rights or representation. Thus, you are, like I have said, acting the same way as the people you are demonizing by wanting to oppress people you don’t like.

            Nothing more to say here… you’re the same.

          • Alex Warhead

            no, you dufus. nowhere did i say “i hate you because you’re (christian)”. actually, i wrote exactly the opposite. the fact that you can’t seem to comprehend that you may like or respect someone while completely disagreeing with them or laughing at some of their beliefs is a bit unfortunate. i will admit that i have a negative bias the moment someone says “god”, “jesus” or “allah”, but i live by the “golden rule”. if they want to live that way, so be it. i will not support any laws that would deny them that right. i may think they are crazy, but then again half the shit americans do in the privacy of their bedrooms seems weird and scary to me.
            however, when things are forced on the population, however much of a minority they may be, and forces them to move underground or live in the shadows, then yeah, i have a pretty big problem with that. when that kind of action is defended by waving around “religious freedom”, yeah, i’ll hit back pretty hard. bullies need to get a tooth knocked out every so often.
            gay marriage is not being forced on anyone. you nor i nor anyone else is being forced to get “gay” married. no one is forcing religious people who “disagree” with homosexuality to accept it. they can hate all they want. they just can’t infringe on the gays rights to have access to a legal contract.

            NOWHERE have you actually used any of my actual words or statements to show that i am “using the same impassioned pleadings” as people of faith. NOWHERE. all you do is say that line over and over and over, but you don’t actually show any of us where i say these things OR explain how you’ve come to your conclusion.
            i on the other hand do my best to give reasons behind my statements. i try to explain the nuances. i try to show WHERE my opponent’s line of thinking is flawed and explain why.
            “bigoted”? hardly. “impassioned”? yeah. i think i covered that.

            “you suggest that religious people should have no rights”? no, i specifically wrote the opposite. you seem to be confusing the idea that one can live by their own moral code but not enforce it on others and the idea that if i am not allowed to force others to live by my standards then you are oppressing my freedom of religion. you realize that’s batshit crazy, right?
            if someone wants to live by sharia law, have at it, hoss. those are your rules and you can abide by them. but you can’t force others to live by them. you can’t legislate them. you can’t harm others because of the tenants you personally hold. i’m living proof; i’ve been straightedge for 20 years. my best friends swallow random pills they find on the ground and fuck anyone that offers themselves up. i disagree, but i’m not going to carve an “x” into their face.

            “…or representation”. christians have a majority representation in the fact that america has a protestant culture. despite my anti-theist views, to refute that would be asinine. but, that does nothing to support a god claim OR give credence to the religious views of the majority. a secular govt does not mean a govt that suppresses religion; it is a govt that protects every (non) religious group’s right to practice and assemble. it does NOT, however, site any religion’s views as national law OR raise any religion above others in political or social importance.
            again, the fact that you can’t seem to grasp that is frightening.

            now then, you seem to be implying that by making sure that businesses that refuses service to gays (selling cakes, for example) are legally punished is somehow “oppression”. well, it’s not. in order to have a business one must have a business license. if you want to get that license you must agree to abide by the law. in OR, that means that you can’t refuse business based on gender/creed/ethnicity/race/ or orientation. like it or lump it, that’s what the law reads. but if you’re going to make a claim that making christian (for example) business owners serve gay clients is forcing them to go against their religion, then you’ve got a hell of a lot of explaining to do.

          • Guy

            TL:DR

          • Guy

            Oh and I forgot to mention, “Oooh you’re so edgy!” Heh, it’s funny how millenials think. You want a discourse with someone, but you insult them before the conversation begins. It’s a great way to waste your time and be always unheard in life.

    • Black Irish

      that is a slippery slope, and will wreck the US economy… you want to go back to white and black lunch counters at Woolworths, and then McDonalds, TGIFridays, and the rest of them? we’re trying to have a civilization here mon frere

      • Mancave001

        Obviously you can’t read. Such discrimination is and always should be illegal. Comparing McDonalds to a sole proprietor musician, photographer or the like is absurd.

        • Black Irish

          which one is it cave boy? do you support legalized discrimination or don’t you?

          • Mancave001

            Sorry, youngster, you don’t get to force me into a false dilemma. “Discrimination” is not a dirty word. Everyone discriminates, as it’s part of life. The question is the type of discrimination and the reason for it. Do you discriminate against ax murderers? Nazis? Islamic terrorists?

            You compared this debate to racial segregation. You implied that if I support the ability of certain small business owners to not serve gay weddings, I must support racial segregation. This is purely idiotic.

            I support anti-discrimination laws re: sexual orientation. I also support an exception to these laws in certain limited cases. Specifically, there should be an exception for the exercise of religious freedom for closely held (e.g. family or sole owner) businesses that involve personal participation by the owner(s) providing services for weddings.

            Understand, I do not personally agree with the business owners in question, nor would I support their businesses by patronizing them if they turn away gays. The difference is I don’t think they should be compelled by law to either violate their faiths or lose their businesses. I support letting the market decide on this issue.

          • Black Irish

            no, you want it both ways… and you can’t have that… by the by, what makes you think I’m a youngster? are you a cave?

          • Mancave001

            You are using the classic logical fallacy of the false dilemma. According to your logic, there can be no exceptions to anything. Do you support abortion rights? I do, to a point. Are you saying we all have to be either 100% pro-life or pro-choice? That is, we either support abortion on demand up to the moment of birth, or making abortion illegal in all cases.

            This is no different. I support anti-discrimination laws for gays. I also think that in certain, very-limited circumstances, an exception is warranted to protect the 1st Amendment rights of others. Why is that hard to understand? You simply disagree, which is fine. You think, as many do, that one surrenders his 1st Amendment right to free expression as soon as he applies for a business license. I disagree. It’s that simple.

            Oh, and I called you “youngster” because your screen name is “Young American,” genius. You know, the way you used my Man Cave screen name to mock me? Hello? Is this thing on?

          • Black Irish

            you’re trying to be ironic, aren’t you?

          • Mancave001

            THAT’S your response? LOL. Goodbye.

  • That is why there is supposed to be the separation of church and state. … Failing to do their legal job, for any reason, is a fireable offense. … Fire them all, including the governor.

  • NPettinato14

    Straw man argument. The premise of the article is fatally flawed from paragraph one. But if you’re already convinced, it could be written by a five year old and still “make sense”.

    • Alex Warhead

      state your case: where in that paragraph is the “strawman”?

  • PopeScooby

    is there a provision in the law stating that in order to have these “deeply held beliefs” about marriage and turn people away the state employee must never have been divorced? Do they have to prove they have never had pre-marital sex? if their belief are so strong that they can deny others they should have to prove how perfect they are.

    • Liuao

      That would require them to follow the tenets of their faith, themselves. You’re not allowed to do that.

    • jadeshah

      don’t forget the fact they must have never masturbated, have their wives wear jewelry and adornments, eat bacon (leviticus 11:4) or wear clothes of two different fabric (also leviticus, i forgot the verse). but ya know, obviously the bible if for them to say and the common folk to obey, right?

  • sick of shitheads

    Let them quit and fire those who refuse to do their jobs. Who gives a crap. There are plenty of us who would be happy to upgrade our paychecks and do their job…. and with a smile.

  • Amy

    If you can’t/won’t do your job, you either quit or get fired!

  • Chuck Sc

    I’d be willing to bet if you offer these assholes, er I mean christians enough money they would forego their religious objections and pronounce you wife and wife. Wish these people would just STFU and do their jobs.

  • jadeshah

    ‘beliefs?’ the gay thing is only the first step, isn’t it? next it would be “i can’t serve black people because that goes againts my upbringing,” followed by “i can’t defend in court an inter-racial/inter-religious couple, i was brought up not to,” Lawyers, and judges go through years and years of law school, suck up the taxpayer dollars of the people in their wages just so that they can learn how the heck to try people fairly in court or any other situation. So practically, what NC is saying is that none of this education and practice matters because the judges hate gays? Isn’t the first thing they teach in law school how not to let your prejudices outweigh the ruling, I mean come on, this isn’t Vatican city or Saudi Arabia (both countries the US deride/look down upon), it’s North Carolina!

    • In_Miami

      Actually the bible clearly separates the races and forbids interaction… so could be a valid point that can be used to bring us back to 1500 AD!

      • jadeshah

        can’t wait. pretty sure we’ll be at 1500AD by 2050AD

        • In_Miami

          I dub thee “Sir Jadeshah”

          • jadeshah

            thank u lord king. (its actually jade shah hahaha)

          • In_Miami

            Thou hast proffered a confusing statement!
            Henceforth you will be know as Sir “HAHAHA”

      • Black Irish

        There are large parts of the south that are at least 500 years behind, in every way… the gov of Louisiana has performed exorcisms ffs!

  • Sven2547

    How did that old hymn go? “And they’ll know we are Christians by our…?”

    Bigotry, apparently.

  • Thedudeabides

    I completely agree with this law. The government allows for specific holidays like Christmas, Hannukah, Eid, etc for employees to respect their religious beliefs…this is no different. No matter how hard the LGBT community pushes and bullies their political agenda, there are some who hold true to their beliefs. I would not expect an imam (or any person of the Muslim faith) to perform a Christian wedding, nor would I want to compel them to do so. Same goes with someone of the Mormon faith (who do not consume or handle alcohol) to perform any ceremony for Catholics (who use wine as sacrament). Forcing someone with contrarian beliefs to participate in something against which they are opposed is the very reason people left England to settle in America. Students are no longer required to stand and pledge allegiance in school. Children of other faiths do not have to participate in Christmas plays (or Holiday plays, as they’ve come to be known)…or the U.S. military allowing Sikhs to wear their turbans and grow facial hair contrary to normal regulations.

    • bgregs

      Yes, and those holidays don’t harm the taxpayers dipstick! Telling someone that they aren’t allowed to get married EVEN THOUGH THE LAW SAYS THEY CAN harms them!

      • Thedudeabides

        Those holidays are paid for by the taxpayer, dipstick. And it is not about harming the taxpayers, it is about religious respect for the individual. And while the law says they can legally get married, but it shouldn’t be compelled by someone who has a religious objection against it…you would have gotten that if you had read my entire post and not just stopped after the first sentence.

        • bgregs

          Just do your fucking job. Problem fucking solved. If you don’t want to do your fucking job because you think your magic sky monster will be offended, then quit your fucking job and get a fucking job with your fucking church!!!!

          • Thedudeabides

            LMAO…someone needs a little church in their life…or a Xanax. You LGBT nuts are as militant as those you rage against.

        • pbot

          But they’re not performing or participating in any religious ceremony. If your interpretation of your religion prohibits you from performing the critical duties of your job, you must find another job. If a Muslim bartender won’t serve alcohol or a Jewish chef won’t cook cheeseburgers they shouldn’t work at a bar or burger joint.

          • Thedudeabides

            That’s the thing: One day you have a job where you didn’t have to worry about those things, then the next you are FORCED to do it.

          • pbot

            Yeah… and?
            See interracial marriage for reference.

          • Thedudeabides

            So…most of my relationships have been interracial and I would not want to force someone who morally disagreed with it to HAVE to marry us.

          • pbot

            You would rather be refused a marriage license because of the race of yourself and your partner in order to not make a person who uses religion to mask their bigotry uncomfortable?

    • JustTheFactsMa’am

      “pushes and bullies their political agenda”?? No, they want EQUAL rights. That’s their “agenda”. Now, argue against that.

      • Thedudeabides

        Everyone wants equal rights…pedophiles and polygamists, too. You can argue whatever you like, but those who hold to their moral beliefs will not be dissuaded. Same with those who abstain from alcohol or premarital sex.

        • pbot

          Gay people aren’t pedophiles or polygamists. If holding to your moral beliefs means not doing your job you need to find another job. You can abstain from alcohol, but if your religious view makes you adamant that all people should not drink alcohol, don’t be a bar tender. Nobody is making you enter into a same sex marriage or perform a religious ceremony. If your view is to deny others from entering into a same sex marriage, don’t be in a position where officiating all legal marriages is your job.

          • Thedudeabides

            They are not pedophiles or polygamists, but your post was about “equal rights”. I was playing devil’s advocate and saying that they want equal rights, too. This goes back to the moral imperative of those who are against performing something that conflicts with their beliefs to not have to do so. Call it a “conscientious objector”…and considering the ink is not even dry on the law…these people who have worked in their positions for years without having to worry about doing or performing actions that go against their beliefs, are now forced to deal with it because of the new law.

          • pbot

            It’s like legalizing assisted suicide for those critically ill in chronic suffering and saying “what’s next, giving rights to serial killers?”
            The same thing happened to people who one day didn’t have to worry about officiating marriages between blacks and whites (also citing religion) one day and the next couldn’t project their religious inspired bigotry onto others attempting to enter into a secular contract.

          • Thedudeabides

            They have been doing civil unions for a long time…this is marriage.

          • pbot

            Then they shouldn’t have made marriage a secular thing if they wanted to exclude people for religious reasons.

          • Thedudeabides

            This just goes back to the legal definition of it…most approve of civil unions, but many say marriage is one man, one woman.

    • jadeshah

      except you know… this includes lawyers and judges who suck up taxpayer dollars. a few sikhs wearing turbans and a few kids not participating in a nativity play is not something one can compare to professional government officers throwing tantrums and quitting their jobs.

      • Thedudeabides

        Fundamentally, it is EXACTLY the same thing. And if I felt the duties of my job conflicted with moral beliefs (considering something legal now was illegal when I started), I would ask not to have to perform that particular function based on my moral standing…if refused, I would quit, as I’m sure any of these other passionate folks in this room would, if something went contrary to their beliefs.

    • Alex Warhead

      “I would not expect an imam (or any person of the Muslim faith) to perform a Christian wedding” – but this ISN’T a religious ceremony, it’s a legal contract, separate from any silly voodoo or superstition.
      if i’m vegan working the cash register can i refuse to sell you a steak at the supermarket? it goes against my believes that your eating meat should be allowed.

      • Thedudeabides

        Not really a cogent analogy. If you were a vegan working in a place that serves meat, you would expect that you might have to serve meat. Try this one: You are a vegan working in a vegan restaurant that is now FORCED to serve meat…what do you do?

        • bgregs

          If you are a vegan working at a vegan restaurant and it’s bought by new owners who suddenly add meat to the menu, then you should either suck it up and continue to be a vegan in your personal life, or else quit.

          • Thedudeabides

            Or, you can allow the worker NOT to serve meat if they do not want to if there are other workers who are willing to serve it.

    • pbot

      They’re not performing a “Christian” wedding, or any religious ceremony. They work for the state signing civil contracts. Unless you want to change marriage back from a secular arrangement you have no grounds to project your religion on someone else’s choice to enter into a legal, secular, marriage. If your religion prohibits you from doing your job of officiating those legal, secular, agreements that’s your problem and need to find a different job.

  • Kirkus1964

    Does this mean an Orthodox Muslim person who works at the DMV can refuse to issue Driver’s Licenses to women?

    • “The Wine”

      yes, who wants more women drivers anyway (sarc off)

      • Liuao

        Lol. Silly boys.

  • Liuao

    Why are they issuing marriage licenses to divorcees without clearance from the church, then? Why aren’t the ensuring Christian women don’t marry non-Christian men? Those are both addressed in the Bible, as well. This is hypocrisy at one of the highest levels and the worst part is, it’s now affecting our laws.

  • VetTeacher

    North Carolina is the ass end of the intellectual universe. It used not to be, but then the Reaganoids, Bushoids and disillusioned Dixiecrats defected to the party of stealth fascism and things just haven’t been the same since. I apologize the rest of the nation. Lewis Black was right. It WAS (past tense) a smart state. Back then. At least compared to now. Blame every part of education except the teachers. It’s a right to starve state.

  • VerityHeld

    Right. Enough. Time to send in the troops. It always comes to that when dealing with a former Confederate state. Sweet reason is the real lost cause there.

  • Kristy Bill

    See this is why people think southerners are a bunch of backwoods, hillbilly rednecks. Smarten the frick up and stop hiding your bigotry behind your religion

  • lisa watson

    WOW how dumb???? Jesus was a Jewish man with Jewish family and a Rabbi,They had there part as God intended……and He knew it and still stayed a Jewish man,born bread and buried a Jew.Dang hate is so stupid as are those that dish it out

    • jadeshah

      the amount of Christians that refuse to believe Jesus was a Jew is frankly astounding.

      • MarkGoyette

        Yes, those Christians read an edited bible, because it is right there in the bible, Jesus was a Jew.

  • L Paul Beck

    So now, someone who is employed by the State Government can refuse to perform a civil act, not a religious ceremony, because of their religion. BAD things are to come out of this law.

    • MarkGoyette

      I refuse to issue a license to this Christian heathen because the Flying Spaghetti monster only supports enlightened causes and the wisdom to know what is real. And thus issuing a license to somebody who believes in a fictitious being that looks down from the sky violates ever principal of my belief system.

  • Phil Rockow

    It’s this kind of b*llsh*t that makes me think that all religious institutions should lose tax exempt status. If they want to try to influence politics, then they can pay taxes like everyone else does. As far as these county officials,your religious beliefs have no place at work do your job or quit. Simple

    • jadeshah

      exactly. if the church wants to play lawyer-judge like the big kids, they’ll have to send in the bucks too.

  • turtlegirl1977

    The law actually says that every magistrate/assistant and deputy register of deeds has the right to recuse from performing all lawful marriages/issuing all lawful marriage licenses… in effect for at least 6 months…may not perform any marriage/issue any marriage license until the recusal is rescinded in writing. I’m a NC resident and think this law is BS, but at least it doesn’t allow an employee to pick and choose which marriages they will perform/license.

  • David Padilla

    this is what we need for every state

    • bgregs

      What? A law that violates the US Constitution?

    • Liuao

      Are you prepared to give the same considerations and legislation for Muslims? That’s what you’re opening the door for in a country with the kinds of laws and constitution we have. That’s what happens when you start introducing religion into law.

    • Terrapin1234

      Oh look, a bigot.

  • David Padilla

    yes it is grand america is not founded on marxist doctrine

    • bgregs

      Are you high? Or just a moron?

      • MarkGoyette

        My leaning is say moron.

  • How is this different from allowing taxi drivers to refuse customers because they’re carrying alcohol or have dogs (Ohio, Minnesota)? How is it different from allowing cashiers at Target to refuse to check out a customer because they’re purchasing pork or alcohol products?

    In both cases, another employee is brought in to complete the transaction and the customer goes about their business.

    • bgregs

      Not true. Taxi drivers aren’t allowed to refuse that. Dogs, yes, alcohol, no.

      And NOBODY is allowed to refuse to ring up alcohol except MINORS who are required to do so!

        • bgregs

          That they’ve DONE so does not make their acts LEGAL.

          Furthermore, taxi drivers and checkout clerks are NOT government employees tasked with providing equal service to every person in the Country!

        • bgregs

          From your first link:

          “Commissioners at one of the country’s biggest airports are considering punishing Muslim cab drivers who refuse service to passengers possessing alcohol or guide dogs.”

          In other words, they’re saying that it’s AGAINST THE LAW for them to refuse to carry alcohol and dogs…

        • Terrapin1234

          Psst…you said, in your original post, they were “allowed” to do what they did. Yet, in reading the article, it clearly states they are considering being punished. Did you bother to read the article?

          • Did you bother to notice the courts have upheld their religious objections?

            One has permission to be religious outside of their place of worship.

          • Terrapin1234

            You didn’t post a link to anything showing that any court upheld their actions.

            Futhermore, your Target article shows that Target made sure the customers were taken care of by making sure another worker could do it.

            The issue with NC’s bill is that it allows anyone and everyone do discriminate. They don’t make provisions to ensure that the law is upheld and that gay tax paying citizens can receive the services that they are legally qualified for. You seem to be missing this point.

          • Going to get another employee is the perfect answer. The couple gets to get married (as they should) and the bigot gets to keep on being bigoted.

            Link –

            Obama Administration sues company which fired employees for refusing to do things which violated their religious beliefs.

            http://eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/

            Edited to add the quote from the government.

            “Everyone has a right to observe his or her religious beliefs, and employers don’t get to pick and choose which religions and which religious practices they will accommodate. If an employer can reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious practice without an undue hardship, then it must do so. That is a principle which has been memorialized in federal employment law for almost 50 years, and it is why EEOC is in this case.”

        • bgregs

          And from your second link:

          “Muslim cashiers at some local Target stores who object to ringing up products that contain pork are being shifted to other positions where they don’t need to, the discount retailer said Saturday.”

          In other words, they are being moved from the job of ringing up pork products to another job that doesn’t involve ringing up ANYTHING!

          You should REALLY try harder!!!

          • That’s my entire point.

            Why wouldn’t moving those employees from ‘marriage licenses’ to ‘drivers licenses’ be acceptable?

          • bgregs

            And if the government can find a job where a judge isn’t a judge, then I’d be willing to discuss it, but as long as they are in the job that requires it they need to DO the fucking job you dipshit!

          • So judge A can’t go get judge B?

            Why not?

    • jadeshah

      except tax money doesn’t go to taxi drivers or waiters. the driver agrees to serve you, you pay them money, or you tip them. the one who didn’t serve you because of their beliefs don’t get the tip. but then lawyers all get sponsored by the state with money that everyone has to pay.

    • Black Irish

      I don’t know what law you’re talking about but don’t you think dogs in taxis could be a health code violation? a prepackaged hot dog in Target isn’t going to hurt anyone except the moron who eats it…

      • EEOC v. Star Transport.

        The Obama Administration sued a company which fired two Muslim employees for refusing to do things which would force them to violate their religious beliefs.

        Money quote from the government: “Everyone has a right to observe his or her religious beliefs, and employers don’t get to pick and choose which religions and which religious practices they will accommodate. If an employer can reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious practice without an undue hardship, then it must do so. That is a principle which has been memorialized in federal employment law for almost 50 years, and it is why EEOC is in this case.”

        • Black Irish

          See how I was talking about the dogs in taxis?

          • I did.

            If you read up though, you’ll see it was a religious objection rather than a health code objection.

          • Black Irish

            you can deny dogs in taxis for religious reasons?

          • Indeed you can. It started in Minnesota, taxi drivers were fired for refusing (Islam believes dogs are unclean), and the Obama Administration sued.

            Freedom of religion extends past one’s place of worship.

          • Black Irish

            I didn’t see that in the reference you gave…

          • Black Irish

            Thanks… and, after reading that bit, it looks like the taxi companies cracked down on this bullshit practice, especially guide dogs for the blind… did you say that the Obama administration was supporting Muslim cab drivers who wanted to check people’s luggage for alcohol?

          • The Obama Administration sued on behalf of two Muslims who were fired for refusing to transport alcohol.

            EEOC v. Star Transport.

          • Black Irish

            so not the dogs in the taxis… you’re not trying to be confusing on purpose are you? I mean, those two examples are really, really different…

          • The dogs in taxis was a separate case entirely. I didn’t realize that was coming off as confusing.

            Two separate incidents. In one, Minnesota (and Ohio) cab drivers refuse to carry riders with dogs and/or alcohol, including service dogs.

            The precedent cited for this is the Obama Administration’s lawsuit against Star Transport for not accommodating the religious beliefs of their employees.

  • pbot

    Would a Jew working in a restaurant not be fired for refusing to serve people cheeseburgers? You’re serving it, not eating it. If you can’t perform the duties of your job for religious reasons, you need to find another job. Not to mention the hypocrisy of giving marriage licenses to adulterers and divorcees is like that Jew fine with serving shrimp and bacon to people but crying about their religion when asked to serve cheeseburgers.

    • MarkGoyette

      I knew a Muslim that worked as a bar tender, he even saw the irony in that, but he did it because he needed the work and it wasn’t like he was drinking the wears.

  • Kurt

    Consider these words from decades ago, written by ministers to a repressive Communist government behind what was known as the “Iron Curtain”… “Our Bible instructs us to respect and accept your authority over us and
    the people of our country. For years now, we have done that. But our
    Bible also teaches us to distinguish between the authority granted to
    the governments and the authority that belongs to God”. Perfect description of the dynamics taking place today. Government is granted authority, God is the one who grants it, not man. True not only for America, but every country on earth. God won’t be mocked.

    • Terrapin1234

      So we all must capitulate to the rules governing the religion your parents indoctrinated you in?

      • Kurt

        It would be wise if people would quit mocking God and actually followed what He said.

        • ds77

          Unless we just don’t care about God and choose to follow common sense.

          • Kurt

            “Unless we just don’t care about God and choose to follow common sense”…that’s the problem, people have none apart from God, and don’t care about God. That’s dangerous.

          • Bill

            Your delusions are dangerous.

        • Terrapin1234

          Why do you think that the religion your parents chose for you must be my religion as well?

        • bgregs

          Quite frankly Kurt my boy, FUCK your god!!! I don’t believe in your god, I don’t accept your god, and I don’t HAVE to do either of those!!

          Now then, NEITHER can I force you to stop believing or accepting your god. Freedom of religion goes both ways, I cannot force you and you cannot force me!

          • Kurt

            You’re right, you don’t have to do either of those. People that don’t, however, do so at their own peril.

          • bgregs

            Tell ya what little boy, let god choose to punish me if she chooses to do so. In the meantime, leave the adults to their conversation that’s clearly WAY over your head.

          • Kurt

            Well, GOD bless you, little one!!

          • bgregs

            Nope, still nothing around from her. But nice try. Move along fuckwit.

          • Kurt

            Grow up, potty mouth, lol.

          • Kurt

            It is amazing what a foul-mouthed fool you really are…

    • ds77

      Kurt, all that mumbo jumbo only matters if you are a christian/believe in God. The rest of us don’t care about it one bit, and God has nothing to do with the life we choose to live. Fictitious stories(Religion) have no place in today’s Government.

      • Kurt

        “God has nothing to do with the life we choose to live…”, Yup, that’s the problem.

        • bgregs

          Nope, that’s no more a problem than you choosing to live a life with god in it. Get the fuck over yourself fucktard!

    • bgregs

      Not in the United States, god doesn’t. Government’s power in the United States comes from the GOVERNED!!!

      • Kurt

        You’d like to think that, but no.

        • Terrapin1234

          Do you not understand that your religious belief is no more valid than any other in the world?

          • Kurt

            Well, that is where we obviously disagree, and because Jesus is unique in all of religion, it is valid, important and with eternal consequences.

        • bgregs

          Actually, yes. You might like to think otherwise, but here in the REAL FUCKING WORLD, it’s still true.

          Now run along kurty-boy! Adults are talking here.

          • Kurt

            You can head back to the kiddy table now.

          • bgregs

            Uh huh… Sure shithead. Go pray to your little powerless “god” and try to change the real world. You’ll find REALLY quickly that she’s powerless against those of us who don’t believe in her!

  • Liuao

    Are they prepared to give the same considerations and legislation for
    Muslims? That’s what you’re opening the door for in a country with the
    kinds of laws and constitution we have. That’s what happens when you
    start introducing religion into law.

  • UpYoursPlutocrat!

    scraps
    thrown 2 dogs like ‘gay marriage’ etc, because Washington is very
    nervous. ‘crowd pleaser’ issues 4 increasingly unruly masses…it is
    just an appeasement for now. the sh&t IS COMING!

  • Yu Gno

    The first amendment is as much freedom FROM religion as it is freedom of religion. Since it states essentially that one religion will not take precedence in matters of law, one would have to assume then that anyone who does not believe in the same manner as another is free from from the repercussions of that belief.

    By upholding these “freedom of religion” statutes, the states are in fact making a particular religion the law of that state. This is exactly what the first amendment was intended to protect us from.

    • Not if another employee completes the transaction.

      If Employee A refuses to fill out the form, and goes to get Employee B, no one is denied equal protection.

      • Böcker

        Bullsh*t, these public jobs are secular. They are not protected with their so called beliefs. Don’t want to serve the public, quit.

        • Not in all cases though.

          Certain government officials who are pacifists have been permitted to not work in the CCW section of their courthouse.

          That seems to be a reasonable accommodation.

      • bgregs

        First, a single employee at the Clerk’s office or a judge’s office is one thing. The judge themselves or the Clerk themselves is a different issue. But then again you’re not intelligent enough to comprehend that based upon your other comments…

      • Yu Gno

        It matters not; most county clerks have taken an oath to uphold the constitution, not the bible. If their beliefs run afoul of the constitution, they have broken their oath of office and deserve to be relieved of their position.

        The should find work elsewhere in the system in a position where their beliefs will not cause denial of rights to others.

        That to me would be a better outcome than the either / or situation many seem to feel we need to deal with.

        See., there are ways to handle this without anyone being denied equal rights. or losing a job. It might not be the same job, but my guess is there are a lot of positions a county clerk could qualify for within their governmental agency.

        If they want to pitch a hissy fit in an attempt to deny the right to marriage to all, then they do deserve to be relieved of their position.

        And of course, your argument fails completely in counties where there is only one clerk, or where all clerks share the same “religious” beliefs.

        Then there is denial of equal protection.

    • MarkGoyette

      Not quite. There is nothing in the constitution that says laws cannot be based on religious values, the 1st only states that the State (meaning the governing body be it the Federal or State) cannot establish laws which either outlaws a religion or sets up a particular religion as supreme law. Now there are other clauses in play which prevent using religious doctrine as a prime establishment of law over all, e.g. the 14th Amendment which is primarily a way of bringing unfair laws to trial for review. We have established anti discrimination laws also, one of which is the 1st Amendment, and thus certain religious ideas cannot be taken into law because they are civil discrimination, e.g. interracial or inter religion marriages being illegal. They also can’t outlaw things like Koshering, because this would be a law violating the 1st amendment’s establishment idea. For a law to pass, even if it has its grounds in religious ideas, it still has to have solid foundations in the public good.

      • Yu Gno

        You may split the hair as fine as you wish, it matters not. Once religious beliefs are given supremacy by law, the state enacting those laws based upon that belief have violated the first amendment.

        As you stated, while laws may also have background in religious values, if they are not based upon sound secular reasoning they can be struck down. Your own words are the undoing of your initial premise.

        An example of such a law would be one relating to murder. While this is covered in almost every religious text around, it has also been an established tenet of secular law before religion was organized. But before you go about practicing any types of murder allowed under the bible, you should check your local laws. It would seem that the biblical writers had a somewhat situational attitude toward killing other humans that secular law does not find as convincing.

        You haven’t really presented anything that isn’t discussed fully in first term law, and in fact have presented the absolute argument to lose a SCOTUS battle should anyone have the temerity to bring such an argument that far.

  • Kobayashi Yatsuhashi

    Remember everyone, forcing your religion on someone else is “religious freedom” but when someone returns the favor it’s “persecution”

  • Eric

    What religious activists tend to forget is that the separation of church and state is what has allowed religion to flourish in the United States. Get ready for the anti-religion backlash as they continue to push their bronze age beliefs out of their churches and further into the public sphere.

  • In_Miami

    I believe that ANYONE should be allowed to practice their religion to the letter…ONCE they have proven the existence of whatever deity or entity they worship!
    Until that proof is offered, then their religion and the unfounded beliefs should NOT affect others!

    • silencedogoodreturns

      rather like you and your childlike faith in the Church of the Warmers

      • Terrapin1234

        “Church of the Warmers”????

        What does that even mean?

        • silencedogoodreturns

          your cult that believes in AGW, and that by raising taxes the people that brought you the Obamacare website will be able to magically adust the global thermostat

          • Taylor Fultz

            You shouldn’t put words in people’s mouths. It’s rude. Especially when your foot is so firmly crammed in yours.

      • In_Miami

        You will need to help us with that one, even Google does not know what you are talking about!

  • Böcker

    public jobs are secular, not religious so SC should just get the f**k over it. I hope someone a lot of someones sue the sh*t out of the state over this piece of crap bill.

  • James Howald

    I’m confused. The SCOTUS ruling doesn’t apply to North Carolina because of SB2. But on page 1, you said NC’s Governor veto’d SB2. So, it isn’t the law, right? Just an attempt they are making to circumvent the SCOTUS ruling (or anticipated ruling at the time the bill was introduced.)

    • bgregs

      The legislature overturned his Veto.

    • Böcker

      This will end up in court take my word for it, they are not above the law as they seem to think. Public jobs are secular.

    • Nathaniel Grubbs

      The veto was overturned. And the SCOTUS ruling doesn’t apply to SB2, even though, technically, it applies to NC marriage laws (although, also technically, NC’s law was overturned prior to Obergefell, so Obergefell only reinforces the unconstitutional nature of NC’s defunct anti-marriage law, rather than actually overturning it – to be honest, this whole article is confusingly written).

  • silencedogoodreturns

    thank goodness

  • Mike Bro

    so a state trooper can officially not shoot someone killing people if he is christian because it violates the 10 commandments, let a shooter carry on his spree, and face no repercussions?.. btw i am a Christian, and this is stupid. my religion is not at all threatened by gay marriage, and my church supports it. not all religious people are this bass ackwards,

  • Nathaniel Grubbs

    This article is a bit misleading. I disagree with the law, but it should be accurately described. While the hypothetical incident is possible, it isn’t likely to happen, and this should be clarified. Magistrates and registrars who don’t want to serve same-sex couples are barred from serving any couple when they claim this newly established right. While this does mean that certain individuals are able to get paid for not doing their job, this bill should not interfere with the services available. In fact, the bill requires services be available to all who come, and even establishes a minimum time they should be available each week for the first time in NC history. Again, this does mean that public employees are getting to avoid certain duties without taking a pay cut, but they don’t get to pick and chose couples to serve – they are barred from serving any when they claim their new religious right.

  • ekdikeo

    “Marriage is a considered by law to be a civil right, not a religious privilege — something opponents of same-sex marriage often overlook. All couples must acquire a state-issued marriage license, even if they plan to have a religious ceremony.”

    Not true — marriage, to the State, and marriage, to religions, are entirely separate concepts. You can do either one without the other. (although religious performances of the ceremonies may require that you do the State marriage as well..)

  • David Padilla

    religion plays the very foundation of this country from george washington to honest abe to Nixon to obama. 21th century americans have been dupt about the 14 amd they do not even read the whole passage. Separation of church and state was the intention of not allowing one denomination ruling the rest like the catholic faith did to europe. It also states nor the forbidding the establishment of religion. IN other words you must allow faith to run it role in daily life.The american people who fought against the british and won would never allow for a nonchristian state to exist.They themselves were chrisitians of many different faiths. The right one is at the supreme written on the very walls the basic judeo christian ethics the ten commandments. In our very first schools bibles were used as school books.

    • bgregs

      You should REALLY go study some history… And when you’re done with that, go back to your high school history teacher and smack them upside the head for failing to teach you what really happened!

    • Sully

      Most of the founding fathers built this nation because they were directly OPPOSED to Christian rule. Read yer history, pal.

  • Sully

    Here’s an idea…

    If your religious beliefs prevent you from upholding your position, to serve all citizens regardless of creed/nationality/social status, then you’re not allowed to work for the Government… on ANY level, state or federal.

  • David Padilla

    court

  • Bill Larson

    Your religious freedom ends at the exact moment it begins to limit my civil rights.

    • southerninsanity

      It think it’s obvious that the state of North Carolina disagrees with you.

      • bgregs

        Which doesn’t mean that they have the authority to do so…

        • southerninsanity

          I don’t disagree with that at all, and I’m confident that the court system will throw this out at some point.

  • D3rdr1u

    Americans are funny… Although we also have discussions concerning marriage for all, religious freedom was NEVER part of that discussion. If there are laws, you abide them. If you work for the state, you fulfill your duty. No way out of that, that’s bureaucracy. If you come with the religion argument, people would look at you as if you were insane. Religious freedom means, you can practice your religion, but not that you can shape everyone and everything else around it. Religion is NOT something to be protected. It’s the people that are to be protected, no matter what they believe in.

  • Scotty Zee

    That seems ridiculous, I can see pastors refusing to marry a couple in their church. But a secular public official? That seems absurd seeing as that isn’t even a religious marriage. At least that’s what I gather anyway.

    • Black Irish

      if pastors do that, they should get their tax exemption taken away… if you’re not going to serve two of your citizens, then you don’t get to benefit from their taxes… seem fair?

      • Scotty Zee

        That makes sense, although really the way I see it, pastors and other religious officials who facilitate marriages typically do it within their particular religious setting. But going and getting a marriage license doesn’t need to be done with the help of a pastor, so same-sex couples can just avoid them if the pastor refuses to marry them. There is always someone willing to actually assist you. Well that or they could just go to a church that supports their marriage xD

      • bgregs

        Pastors have ALWAYS had the legal authority to refuse to wed anyone that they don’t want to wed. And for ANY reason!

        My wife’s first marriage was in a Catholic Church to a non-Catholic. The Priest REQUIRED him to go through many hours of classes before he’d conduct the wedding. Had he chosen not to go through with that, the Priest would have refused to wed them. And that would have been PERFECTLY reasonable.

        But had a JUDGE required the same thing, that would have been wrong!

        • Black Irish

          poor reasoning… just because they did it in the past doesn’t make it right

          • bgregs

            Ok, explain then why it should change. Just because it’s always been done doesn’t mean that it SHOULD change either.

            The fact of the matter is that churches are allowed to exclude whomever they wish from their church, and always have, based upon the twin ideas of religious freedom and freedom to associate (or not…)

            And quite frankly, while I’m willing to have a discussion about making churches not be tax-exempt anymore, unless you come up with a compelling reason to make churches include those whom they disagree with, I’m never going to accept your reason.

          • Black Irish

            I never said that it should change just because it’s always been done… If you read anything I wrote you’d also see that I never said that they shouldn’t be allowed to discriminate if they want too… but if they DO discriminate they should lose their tax exempt status.

            Did you know that if a church actively supports a political candidate they can lose their tax exempt status? That’s separation of church and state… they can support whomever they want, but, they can’t ALSO get a tax exemption.

            Bob Jones “University” got the slap down from the IRS because they banned inter-racial dating based on some bullshit bible passage somewhere… doing it is one thing, doing it and having the citizens that you are discriminating against pay for your lunch is another

            And, frankly, I don’t care if you accept anything I say… religion is a joke… I might as well ask Zeus to bless my marriage.

          • bgregs

            Yes, I’ve known that for years. It’s poorly applied.

            My point still remains, give me a reason why they should not be allowed to refuse to conduct weddings if they disagree with the people being wed?

            And don’t come at me with the bullshit statement “I’m not saying they shouldn’t be allowed, I’m saying that should make them be taxed!” because it’s the same fucking thing.

      • TCLucas

        I disagree. You can NOT force any church to perform a wedding. To be clear I support Marriage Equality 1000% (yes 1,000). Any Court clerk Who refuses to give a license should be fired but churches get Holy Matrimony.

        • Black Irish

          I didn’t say force them… I said take away their tax exemptions… this has been done before. Bob Jones “University” prohibited interracial dating based on biblical grounds, and their tax exempt status was revoked…
          Do what you want, but if you freely choose to discriminate against the tax payers who are footing YOUR bill, then you’re going to have to pay your own way.
          See how simple that is?

          • Taylor Fultz

            You have to be Catholic to be wed in a Catholic church…You have to be Mormon to get married in a Mormon temple… Religious institutions aren’t tax-exempt because they’re inclusive, they’re tax-exempt because they’re religions.

          • Black Irish

            That’s different from being gay… don’t you think? I was “raised” catholic (I’m better now thanks) and there were some pretty strict rules about who could, and who couldn’t, receive communion, and who could be buried in their cemetery… just like the boy scouts… you’re not allowed to jump from weeblo to eagle scout unless you follow their rules… but you can’t keep a kid out of scouts because he may be gay (or atheist)

  • Steve W

    Withhold federal $ until they comply with federal law.

  • TCLucas

    The 1st Amendment is about speech NOT actions. If your religion keeps you from doing your job, you don’t need that job,. Nor should you have that job

  • Ned Nederlander

    So Ms. Ginsburg goes down the street to the FedEx office and mails her package. The former loses not only a customer but a ton of customers after Ms. Ginsburg relates her experience on social media, and the latter gains community goodwill and makes a lot of money. Why do we need government to solve made up problems? Especially ones with such easy solutions?

    • Terrapin1234

      Maybe you should go ask a black person that same question?

    • bgregs

      And then when FedEx tells her the same thing, and so too does UPS, she’s up shit creek without a paddle.

      • Ned Nederlander

        What makes you think so many businesses would refuse her?

        • bgregs

          The fact that it’s happened every time it’s been allowed.

          • Ned Nederlander

            I don’t think that’s an accurate statement. What’s happened? Jews being refused postal service? Or are we talking about gays, in which case there’s dozens of businesses willing to serve them for every one that isn’t. And the one that isn’t gets death threats.

  • Phillip Grant

    To have true marriage equality… The states should not be issuing marriage licenses or even being in the marriage business . There should be no tax benefits for married couples or any benefits related to marriage from the government.Keep marriage a scared pack between two people. With the amount of different religions out there I am sure two people can marry and it won’t matter what there sex is.

    • bgregs

      First, the government has a real valid role in marriage, because marriage has been shown to provide benefits to society as a whole.

      Second, good luck getting that passed… People LIKE the government being involved!

      • Phillip Grant

        so why is the divorce rate is so high, because people now are getting married for the wrong reasons. Get the government to stop providing there benefits. And maybe people would stop marrying for wrong reason. I do look at this situation as a military vet where there are to classes in the military single/married for a married service members there benefits far out way a single service members.

        • bgregs

          That benefit to society is still there even when people get divorced. And quite frankly, I don’t CARE that the divorce rate is high! People have the right to marry and break up if they want to do so.

    • Musette

      Have fun not being able to have a legal union with your partner and getting through all that red tape when they die! Also I hope you didn’t want to visit them dying in the hospital since you’re not registered as family.

      That sounds like a great idea. Instead of working to give everyone the same benefits, we’ll just make sure nobody does! 😀 Now NOBODY is happy, yayyyyy!

    • Sully

      First… it’s *Sacred pact.

      Second… Marriage began as a formal agreement between two families/clans/tribes, loonnngg before “religion” came along to put its stamp on it.

      Third… since marriage coupling best helps the economy as a whole, it’s in a government’s best interest to reward those willing to tie the knot.

      Fourth… marriage helps with all of the mid-illness and post-death b.s., which is something most people who can legally get married take for granted.

      • Phillip Grant

        religion and marriage been hand to hand since man been worshipping what God or gods they believe in, also Religious leaders were also rulers. In this nation when founded are founding fathers did not want a state religion and so the first amendment was a freedom of religion. What that means was each person was responsible for their individual beliefs, like Christians, and the many denotations, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism. Over time many states develop an underground religious state of Christianity and we have are fanatics and in a lot of state the law shows that. State run marriage was one off the foot holes. I am a Christian myself and I see terrible inequity that the law inflects on people. Just like the Pharisees and there laws We are becoming the same.

  • Brian

    I just don’t get it. As the opening of this article illustrates, these measures aren’t *really* about “religious freedom.” Because, let’s be honesty, no one is going to deny service to a Jewish person because of their role in The Bible concerning Jesus. No one is going to deny service to someone entering a second marriage, someone entering a mixed-faith or mixed-race marriage.

    This is all about gay marriage. Pure and simple. This is all about singling out one group of people -homosexuals- and treating them differently and using “religion” as an excuse. Unless these government workers are making sure everyone they help is 100% in line with their faith, they’re being hypocrites and looking for an excuse to treat gay people differently and like lesser persons.

    No one has ever been able to sufficiently explain to me why being gay is *the* roadblock issue when it comes to marriages in the eyes of the government. I accept that religions want to treat marriages differently and they’re free to do so. That’s fine, I have no problem with that. But here, we’re talking about marriage as a legal, governmental, construct. As a contract between two people that unites their lives legally and grants them many benefits in society and has no real basis in religion.

    Why is it such a friggin’ issue and THE issue? Why is it such a roadblock so many people want to fold their arms over and say, “No, this is TOO FAR!” I mean, we allow all sorts of “un-Biblical” marriages. Divorces, mixed-faith, mixed-race, marriages to adulterers. No one person is without sin, are these government workers going to refuse to help someone because they do something in line that breaks a commandment?

    Of course not. It’s all about “not liking t3h gey!” and it needs to stop. Sadly, too many Fundamentalist Right-Wing Christian A-Holes are all too ready to support these lunatics and let THEM impose their religious beliefs on everyone else. When the people at their counter aren’t looking to impose any religious belief on anyone, or violate any religious belief. They want to sign a contract together.

    Ooooooo.

    I’m getting really, really fed up with religion. Can we as a species abandon it and stop believing in and fearing a magical sky-being who’ll spank us for ‘being bad” and basing our lives and rules around some book written millennia ago?

    • Samantha

      Exactly. It makes me upset to see so many states still trying to fight this and they come off so bigoted.
      And you’re right about the clerks who are refusing to issue certificates are just using religion as an excuse to discriminate. They don’t seem to understand that in a secular government position that they are required to fulfill their duties to the letter of the law.
      It’s upsetting how easily they are willing to discriminate against an entire group of people, which is treating them like second-class citizens.

  • Ghille

    One would _think_ North Carolina would be getting tired of being backwards and obtuse!

  • B H

    SInce they are representing the state, they are required by law to follow the law. This nonsense will end when a judge holds one of them in contempt and threatens them with jail time

  • Lebowski113

    Must be great to spend so much time, energy and money to keep other people as second class citizens just so you don’t have to accomplish anything in order to feel better about your own sad life.

  • Mark Myers

    Religion was used as an excuse to deny services to blacks and Native Americans as well. Should we return to those days?

  • cleanSooke

    Wait, why are any government employees performing a marriage? THAT is unconstitutional.

    • Terrapin1234

      Are you not familiar with the marriage process in the US?

    • bgregs

      It’s not Unconstitutional at all. Government employees have ALWAYS performed marriages. Not all government employees, just certain ones. They’re called Justices of the Peace and they’re generally Judges.

      • cleanSooke

        I understand that, my first marriage was with one. But, if marriage is a religious thing (as these state employees state religious “rights”) then where is the separation of church and state?

        I think the real debate is why are any government agencies involved in marriage. REGARDLESS whether or not they ALWAYS done it. Before we got rid of slavery, they ALWAYS had slaves, it was men who ALWAYS were allowed to vote.

        The idea that a government agency (state or otherwise) performs a religious “rite” is unconstitutional in of itself.

        The state at MOST should only recognize a marriage as a contract. If the state wants to look at marriage as a contract and NOT a religious affair, then it should be handled just like any other contract.

        No government in the USA should be performing a “marriage”. In that light it is unconstitutional.

        • bgregs

          Marriage is NOT religious, that’s the basic failure of your comment. Marriage has ALWAYS had a government component to it!

          • cleanSooke

            But the premise is based on religion. The rules governing it is religious based. In our ceremony the word god and a bible were involved even though neither of us was/are religious.

            My point being that if it is indeed a purely governmental then there should be no bias against gays or even polygamy. But as you say “Marriage has ALWAYS had a government component to it!” Key word is “component”. It is still mainly if not purely a religious event.

            So, if there is indeed a separation of church and state then what they’ve ALWAYS done is wrong. If indeed the government shall not impede upon a religion then that means any religion that allows these marriages (straight, gay or polygamy).

            Am I to believe that these same judges and justices won’t marry two people of any different faith or is it just the ones they don’t find agreeable.

            In other words, these people should be fired, and any law that discriminates against these people is illegal.

  • Stephanie MacFarlane

    glad I’m not American

  • Lebowski113

    You can’t stop people from getting married just because you don’t like them. I don’t like lowbrow bigoted rednecks but I don’t try to pass or maintain laws saying they can’t marry their sist… wait, bad example.

  • Nomes

    Hey, public school teachers are state employees! Does this mean I have the right to refuse to teach anyone whose religious views are different from mine?

    • Terrapin1234

      In NC apparently you can.

  • lani4

    Welcome to the US UnChristian Taliban. You have the right to live according to your own beliefs and have those beliefs guide your own behaviour – you do NOT have the right to impose your beliefs on others nor do you have the right to force others to abide by your beliefs. If you don’t agree with gay marriage, don’t have one. The USA is no longer – if it ever was – the ‘land of the free’ – unless you mean the land of the free to conform.

  • mystic

    Basically, the christian religion rules in north carolina in spite of the fact that the constitution of the united states guarantees separation of church and state. Really getting sick of this. Seems about time that the christian nutbag extremists of this country got slapped down hard.

    • southerninsanity

      What’s occurring in North Carolina is wrong, but it seems you need a refresher course in what the intent of separation of church and state is.

      • bgregs

        Sounds to me like mystic understands it and you don’t. You have a right to practice the religion or lack thereof of your choice. You can go to the church (or not) at will. You can be opposed to gay people all you want in your private life.

        But when your public persona gets involved AND starts pushing your religious beliefs upon others, you aren’t practicing freedom of religion anymore, you’re FORCING religion upon others. And I guarantee that you wouldn’t like it done to you!

        • southerninsanity

          You really should calm down. You are correct on what it means; that is not how “mystic” referred to it. And for the record, I think it’s absurd that 1) they have this law and 2) they allow government employees to go against federal law.

  • Marsel

    Maybe, if we the people, stop being as separate as they want us to be, learn to speak to each other, take each other as is, and be, I don’t know, a nation of people first not of certain types of people; we can all decide to actually make things like this Harder, instead of soooo easy. Then we can insts, anyone who has these jobs that have such objectionable aspects, be made to quit in the interest of said job being performed for those whom it was meant to be performed. Personal convictions must be returned to where they belong, within the person who decided to make them their personal convictions. I am not gay, and I have been married long enough to not see the big draw to it. haha jk, I understand wanting to be considered as equal and worthy of my choices as any of my countrymen, without someone trying to condemn me based on their Personal convictions.

  • Sethjj1975

    Can someone explain to me where in the Constitution it explains that religious people are above the law and, therefore, do not have to heed the same rules as the rest of society? I simply cannot seem to find “religious exemption” anywhere in the document.

    • southerninsanity

      I believe the “argument” they would use, and before anyone goes off I am not saying I agree with this, is that being forced to do this violates their freedom of religion.

      • bgregs

        Yes, that’s the claim they’re making. But it’s a false claim. Their religious views can forbid them from taking part in the act, but issuing a contract marriage license, or conducting a wedding as part of your official duties as a representative of the taxpayers isn’t the same as taking part in the act!

        • southerninsanity

          Again, as I stated, “I am not saying I agree with this.”
          So, please stop stalking me and getting all riled up responding to my comments.

  • alfredo rubalcava

    As long as marriages are conducted in a court of law, I don’t see what the big fuss is. Though, if the LBGT tries to get married inside a church, then I would say its a violation of freedom of religion. If you take a state job, knowing you have to perform licenses to other than straight people and have a problem with it, let go of your job and I’ll gladly take up the job and stamp away.

  • Mike D

    I wonder how many straight atheist couples have been turned away based on “religious freedom”? I’m pretty sure it’s close to none.

    • Black Irish

      anyone with a tattoo should be refused… or wearing poly/cotton…

      • Mike D

        Anyone with shrimp at their reception.

        • Black Irish

          how about a tattoo of a shrimp?

  • theotherme

    This is our generations version of Jim Crow. My how history repeats itself.

  • exfl

    I suggest that all African-American state employees refuse to serve white clients for a week based on their sincerely held religious objection to past diescrimination. We will see how serious they are about this law.

  • pbot

    I’m sure these righteous people also deny secular marriage certificates to divorcees and adulterers too.

    • southerninsanity

      They SHOULD, but I seriously doubt they do that.

  • hippiedad

    Can’t perform your job for religious reasons? Then quit. We are not a nation built on any religion. Our founders came from the Age of Enlightenment where religion no longer holds sway over how we govern ourselves. This is a good example of why our founders did this. You can’t serve two masters. It’s either your god or the people, but you can’t have it both ways.

  • pbot

    If you’re not married in the church, your marriage is not recognized by the church. Every single secular marriage license these people sign violates their religion, gay or otherwise.

    • Black Irish

      actually, marriage has nothing to do with any church… it’s a legal contract… the second you sign your marriage license you are legally married. The sick thing about this discussion is that anyone cares a rats ass what a church thinks…

      • pbot

        Exactly my point. Secular marriages aren’t recognized by their church to begin with. Yet they project their religion onto people’s secular contracts? The hypocrisy of it all.

      • southerninsanity

        And truth be told, the government never should have gotten involved in marriage in the first place. But, it was another revenue source.

        • Black Irish

          Marriage is a contract, and when contracts are not followed all hell breaks loose. The government absolutely has every right and responsibility to see that this kind of contract is enforceable.

          • southerninsanity

            You’re mistaken.

          • Black Irish

            how am I supposed to respond to that? how about “no, you are”? marriage is a contract… you don’t believe me? ask any contracts lawyer in the country…

          • Taylor Fultz

            Marriage isn’t religious.
            Matrimony is.

  • HelzaPoppin

    If the state wants to allow individuals the option not to perform their duties, that’s probably allowable (albeit very very stupid), however, the office itself must have someone available to perform those duties in their place or else they will run afoul of the Supreme Court ruling and the Constitution. Turn anyone away and you’re toast.

    That said, anyone claiming a religious objection, who previously issued marriage licenses to divorcees, mixed couples, adulterers, etc, will be exposed as making phony religious objections and will have little legal defense when they get sued.

    • southerninsanity

      Yes. I think the clarification should be that this is not the state refusing service; this is the state saying that specific individuals don’t have to provide the service (not that I agree with that either).

  • pbot

    If they were following their religion they would also not only deny licenses to divorcees and adulterers but to the sterile and past child bearing age as well.

    • southerninsanity

      Now you’re asking them to do even less work.

  • Alan Coffel

    Even with this law, the barrier to marriage equality has been transformed from a high wall to a low curb. Yes, try to get rid of the curb, but it is no longer an insurmountable obstacle. Step over it. There are a hundred offices in NC to get a marriage license, and the application can be done on-line. The license is good anywhere in the state. You don’t need a county official to perform a marriage ceremony. Any ordained minister can perform a ceremony, and there are “churches” where you can be ordained on-line for free (e.g. Universal Life Church). Sue the crap out of the bigots who won’t do their jobs – for official misconduct, not discrimination – but never let them slow you down or get in the way of your happiness!

  • Alan Wayne

    Thank you Koch Brothers for donating an all Republican state government here in NC AKA Neanderthal Carolina. Damn now I can’t marry my dog but I still can marry my cousin.

  • PatriotM

    If you want a theocracy, you are by definition anti-American. Give up your citizenship if you want to be a traitor to the United States, the Constitution and the law.
    If you are a loyal citizen of America, do your damned job and keep your religious extremism to yourself!

  • qwedie

    Everyone should have the right to marry. Women, men, two or as many as wish. This is the next fight. Why can’t this be the way it is? If two or ten people love each other, I ask you what is the difference? Love should be shared as much as possible.

  • Johnny

    You will never legally be able to hate hiding behind your religion in this country without a fight. Gay people are here to stay, get used to us. YOU are the minority in this “thinking.”

    • Liuao

      And plenty of straight people are standing right behind you. You are as human, American, and entitled to your rights as anyone else is.

  • CoffeeGrunt

    As an outsider, I don’t get it. The two things America bleats on about so much in literature, in movies, in all your media are the separation of the Church and the State, and the quote, “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men were created equal.”

    So where the f**k did it all go t*ts-up? For the country that parades about freedom so bloody much, there seems to be a disconnect between what your lawmen practice, and what the country was founded upon.

    It just seems incredibly regressive, and quite saddening.

    • Samantha

      Tell me about it! Not all Americans agree with what North Carolina and other states are doing. Some of us are upset that they’re carrying on like this.

    • southerninsanity

      Part of it is a general misunderstanding of what the intention was with the concept of separation of church and state.

      • bgregs

        So please explain it to us oh wise one….

        • southerninsanity

          Why do you feel the need to stalk me?

          The intent of separation of church and state was that there would not be a government-mandated religion (as was occurring in England at the time). In North Carolina, there is no state-mandated religion. They’re simply allowing individuals freedom of religion.

          And, as I have stated before (not that it will keep you from getting another overreaction), I am not in favor of this law whatsoever. I’m of the opinion that government employees should do their jobs; if their personal beliefs interfere, they’re welcome to find different jobs.

  • yaymccheeks

    This too shall pass. The Religious Right has, in recent decades, had only two things it believed in deeply enough to agitate for; their hatred of Gay and Lesbian people, and their need to control women’s bodies. As our culture has transformed around these two issues, they have become increasingly unhinged, because there isn’t anything else they actually stand for. What we are witnessing is the “I’m melting. What a world, what a world,” moment of the religious right; a last gasp attempt to make their power matter now that the world has moved on.

  • Jerseygirl

    Fire every one of them that refuses. If you work for the government, state or federal, then you work for the taxpayer and you have agreed to follow the laws of the land. Your religion should be private from your work life, if you don’t want to follow the rules and laws of the job you took then quit and work for a religious institution. There are plenty of out of work people who would love to have your job and won’t be a pissy, ignorant monster.

    • southerninsanity

      You miss the point. This law allows these individuals to refuse.

      • Jerseygirl

        No, it is a loophole that will be eventually closed. You get hired to follow the law and the biggest is separation of church and state. Your religion does not belong anywhere near law.

        • southerninsanity

          Who said religion belonged anywhere near the law? I didn’t.

          And for the record, this law specifically allows individuals to not do their jobs if their religious beliefs prevent them from doing so. Period.

          I will agree with you that, sooner or later, the courts will rid North Carolina of this absurd law.

  • Paul

    Shouldn’t they be also refusing to handle divorce cases? Isn’t divorce against their religious beliefs? I wonder if they would refuse to serve white supremacists? Or isn’t racism against their religious beliefs?
    I hope there are enough of you real Americans who love the idea living in a country where everyone, no matter who or what they are, have the same rights, around to stand up and stop the Christian Reich.
    Or should we call them Christian Extremists?

    • HelzaPoppin

      I prefer Talibangelicals

      • ijoined2downvote

        Talibangelicals.

        Perfect. I’m using that.

    • Liuao

      Extremism is ugly no matter what the religion or belief.

  • HelzaPoppin

    Because what NC really needs is to waste even more taxpayer money defending lawsuits the state has no hope of winning. Fiscal conservatives, my dyin ass.

  • Nell Webbish

    It’s unconstitutional to restrict Conscious Clauses to just religious objections. Which means they are going to have to allow any “sincerely held objection” – religious or otherwise – to be justification to recuse oneself.

    And if that is the case, why would anyone hire someone with sincerely held objections that prevent them from performing x percentage of their job? Is it discrimination not to hire someone when they tell you “Oh by the way, I won’t do blank, blank or blank if group A, B or C is involved”?

    Welcome to Lawsuitville, NC. Be prepared to watch your tax dollars swirl around the bowl of the Stupid Legal Battles toilet bowl.

  • Jesse Duncan

    I can see where this would be reasonable; I can also see how it will never be applied reasonably.

    It’s reasonable if we assume the state will provide other, non-biased workers to perform the duties that the biased workers refuse. It actually would work really well this way, as everyone’s beliefs and rights could be honored.

    But we all know that’s not how the law would be applied – it’ll be used to deny certain groups the rights they deserve because “my butthurt matters more than your liberties” is just how America works now.

    • Nell Webbish

      I’m not sure if I buy into the idea that it is reasonable under any situation.

      There are a small handful of protected classes that we hold above others to protect from discriminatory practices. It is not reasonable when people who hold public office or a public job demand to be allowed to discriminate against those classes. This law actually is an attack against the basic principles of our nation.

      • Jesse Duncan

        From a realistic standpoint, I totally agree. I was speaking in a hypothetical sense, imagining for a moment that I lived in a world where society in general was made up of reasonable people who make logical decisions.

        In this perfect world of mine, you can have a law that says public servants don’t have to serve those they disagree with, because there’s another public servant the next booth over who has no problem with it.

        • Nell Webbish

          I take you’re point.

          In my perfect world, people with sincerely held opinions that arise from their personal choice in religious lifestyle take personal responsibility for those chosen beliefs instead of asking the public to bear the burden of them.

          • Jesse Duncan

            Take the word “religious” out, and it sounds like a world I’d be fine to live in.

          • Nell Webbish

            Done. Let people know we solved the problem 😉

        • bgregs

          The problem is that even that perfect world that’s still an additional burden that they’re placing upon someone else.

          If such a public official wishes to TRULY show the world that they believe, then they should bear ALL the burden themselves, and quit the job instead of say “Just go down the hall”

    • bgregs

      No, I disagree. This isn’t a reasonable law in any way. You already have a PERSONAL right to freedom of religion. That gives you the right to practice your religion in your personal life. But when you are out in public, you STILL cannot force your religion upon others.

      • Jesse Duncan

        So, if someone takes a job in government, they lose their Constitutional rights? That’s what you’re saying, and the fact is, that’s not how it works.

        Like I said, in a perfect world the law would be reasonable. But I accept we don’t live in a perfect world, and therefore it will be abused and used to limit access to Constitutional rights.

        • Nell Webbish

          I’m not aware of a constitutional right to refuse to do the job you have agreed to perform in exchange for your salary.

          At best there might be a right to recieve some kind of compensation for leaving the job, but it would not be Constitutional in nature.

        • bgregs

          Read it again Jesse. In their PERSONAL life they have all the same protections that EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US HAS IN OUR PERSONAL LIVES!!

          But government employees, IN THEIR OFFICIAL CAPACITY, have to serve everyone equally!

        • Nell Webbish

          And it would be more accurate to say that all employees (not just gov employees) agree to a temporary abridgement (not a loss) of any number of rights while they are in performing their duties.

  • EastCoastTransplant03

    This works until they are on vacation and they walk into a business of someone who is not religious and sees the cross around there neck and asks them to leave as they don’t sell to people that follow religions. When they are on the other end of it,they’ll be crying discrimination.

    It drives me crazy that these religions cannot remember what they went through to be accepted themselves and are now doing to others what was done to them.

  • Cj Carr

    How about they hire people that don;t have a religious affiliation that this would offend then? Maybe that should be part of the job of someone marrying another person in a country where that is legal.

    • Nell Webbish

      You can’t discriminate in hiring practices based on a person’s personal choice in religious lifestyle.

      Ironic, huh?

    • Alan Coffel

      It’s an elected office in NC

  • Alan Coffel

    North Carolina law says the Register of Deeds (issues marriage licenses) has to be bonded and carry liability insurance. It seems like this change in law would be a potential risk to any bonding or insurance company. They should probably be consulted if a RoD won’t perform official duties. Also, money from marriage license fees goes to various organizations by law. I would think recipients of those fees (like battered women’s shelters) would have standing to sue the official who refused to take a marriage license fee.

    • Nell Webbish

      Interesting. Especially the insurance issue.

      • Alan Coffel

        It’s hard to change the way people think, but not so hard to change the way they behave. Go after the money and let the official explain to the county why he can’t get insurance…then go after him because he doesn’t meet the requirements of the job without it. The legislature really didn’t think through the implications of what they were doing.

      • Alan Coffel

        I’d rather see a religious wingnut sued by a battered women’s shelter for depriving them of needed funds. It would serve better to show their religious hypocrisy. The visual of an anti-gay bigot portrayed as sympathetic to wife beaters and child abusers would be powerful.

  • Rileybus

    “On June 11, the North Carolina legislature passed Senate Bill 2. The law allows public officials whose duties relate to marriages — magistrates and registers of deeds — to recuse themselves from performing specific marriage ceremonies or issuing marriage licenses to certain couples if they declare a “sincerely held religious objection” to those marriages. Under SB 2, state officials can refuse to preside at any lawful marriages, including those of interracial, interfaith or same-sex couples.”

    You know they’ll definitely preside over Christian Ms.Whitey McWhite’s fourth marriage as long as it’s to a white Christian male.

  • pbot

    When two elderly people get married most say “aww” not “marriage is for making babies you heathens!”

  • Nick Tabat

    You do have a choice. If you don’t want to provide government services because of a deeply held religious belief than you have the right to quit in protest. You have the right to write letters in protest. You have the right to speak in protest, but if you decide to not do your job in protest, than we have the right to fire you and hire someone else.

  • Isolate the Unknown

    So I live in NC. I am not a religious person and I feel if 2 people who are in love want to get married, far be it from me to keep them from being happy. I also feel that if we make someone do something that goes against that person’s will or beliefs… then we are back to square one with becoming more of an open minded & caring society. Always… with positive change comes a seemingly negative response.. but what you give to one child, you must give equally to the other.

    • Nell Webbish

      That sounds real nice … right up to the point where tax-paying citizens of NC can’t get access to state-provided services that are funded by tax payers because a public employee being paid by tax-payers is refusing to do X percentage of his or her job.

      • Isolate the Unknown

        That’s a simple fix. Commission.

        • Nell Webbish

          Okay, you realize these are elected officials for the most part and are limited in number. We are not talking about Radio Shack sales guys.

          And that does not guard against the situation where some tax-payers would be denied access to state services they have a right to,

          • Isolate the Unknown

            Commission work… The more marriages they do, the more money they make, yet with a choice. Save us money as taxpayers and everyone gets what they want.

          • Isolate the Unknown

            A paradox has happened within the foundations of our government. It’s going to separate itself. And not so much like Radio Shack sales persons… more like lawyers and how they earn their income.

    • bgregs

      When we’re making the employees of the state serve all the people of the state while in their official persona, we’re not reducing ANYONE’S rights. In their private lives they can be as bigoted as they want.

      • Isolate the Unknown

        Commission work… They want to get paid… the more they marry, the more money they make.

        • bgregs

          Or, and this is just a crazy thought, they could just do their fucking jobs or else have the goddamned balls to fucking quit!

          No commission, just do the fucking job.

          • Isolate the Unknown

            and that’s the problem…. You can’t think like that. It’s about respecting both parties. This was a major change in society. There has to be balance. Equality for all.

          • bgregs

            I am respecting both parties, you are not. I’m flat out saying that in your PERSONAL FUCKING LIFE you can believe whatever the fuck you want to!!! But when you become a government fucking employee you have to serve ALL THE FUCKING PUBLIC!!!!

          • Nell Webbish

            Again, your idea does nothing to ensue the rights of tax-paying North Carolinians to access public services they have rights to recieve.

            Your assumption that commissions will fix the problem is just silly.

      • Isolate the Unknown

        Therefore they have a choice and everyone gets what they want 🙂

  • vulpes123

    Yep!

  • tahiti 5000

    Once again, religion proves itself to be a dangerous, outdated, and foolish belief system.

    • Bill

      Does religion come any other way? lol

    • Black Irish

      I’m going to ask Zeus for rain today… may I suggest you burn something so that Thor doesn’t send a swarm of locusts to your ziggurat?

  • Cyvaris

    Where does it stop? Can a public school teacher refuse to teach a student that they perceive is violating their deeply held religious belief? Please tell me they can, because the shit storm resulting from that would be amazing.

    • Black Irish

      They used to… when my grandfather (a catholic immigrant right off the boat) when to elementary school in the very early 20th century there were almost daily religious lessons, most of them focusing on why the pope was the anti christ and why catholics were all going to hell

    • Jesse Duncan

      On the other end – can a student demand certain things be taught, because they have a strongly held belief about the subject?

      • Cyvaris

        As a teacher…briiiiiiiing it oooooooooon.

      • bgregs

        No, they cannot.

    • Nell Webbish

      Here’s the analogy I often use:

      Can a ER doctor who happens to be a Jehovah’s Witness refuse to provide an accident victim with a life-saving blood transfusion because of doctor’s religious beliefs about blood products?

      How about if withholding the transfusion wasn’t life-threatening but it would result in a life-long disability? Or merely 18 months of painful PT?

  • Hobknobed

    There’s no way that the state arbitrarily applying a supposed religious law towards particular people that has the effect of denying them Constitutionally guaranteed rights isn’t a violation of the First Amendment. It was adopted specifically to prevent the application of religious law by the state, and the since the adoption of the 14th Amendment it is settled law that the First Amendment applies to the states as well. Further, you can’t separate the state from the agents that carry out its duties – that’s exactly what the state is.

  • traveler19491

    The chief argument here is that when the christofascists claim “sincerely held religious beliefs” as the reason for refusing to do their jobs, they are, in effect, injecting religion into their duties, which is a clear violation of the establishment clause. This should really not be that difficult to get shot down by SCOTUS. Of course, Scalia will have another aneurysm over it, but that’ll be fun to read about.

  • tearsofjade

    If a state or federal official is unwilling to do the job they’re paid to do for ANY reason, that person/those people should immediately be fired. If I still worked & refused to do MY job, I’d be fired on the spot. “Christians” do not run this world! Its WE THE PEOPLE, not THEY THE CHRISTIANS in the constitution.

    • Scott Plumer

      I agree, but I think it also raises a question: should workers be forced to do something they feel is unethical?

      • Nell Webbish

        They are public officials, not indentured servants. They are free to leave as they wish if they find the job they agreed to do … in some cases campaigned to do … is no longer acceptable to them.

        They might have a right to recieve some kind of severance package, but that’s about it.

      • bgregs

        If the act involves them being paid by the taxpayers, and it involves those taxpayers’ rights, then yes.

      • southerninsanity

        No, but they can pursue other jobs. They’re hired to do a job; if they choose not to do it, they’re welcome to quit.

      • tearsofjade

        Scott, didn’t see this til just now. If someone feels that doing the job they swore to do & are paid to do is “unethical”, then I’d have to say an ethical person with the kind of morals these “christians” CLAIM to have would quit long before it came to being fired. I have no sympathy for those who use their religion for hatred. For all I care, if they are unwilling to do their jobs, to hell with them. Kind of funny tho-they CLAIM this is all about religious freedom, yet the ONLY people they’re targeting are the LGBT communities. Divorce is against biblical law-why are these “christians” not refusing services to those who are divorced? Wearing clothing of mixed materials is against biblical law-why are “christians” not refusing those folks services? How about a “christian” dry cleaners who is asked to clean a suit or dress covered with the remains of shellfish? Isn’t it as wrong to serve THEM & take THEIR money as it is to serve gays? How about some “christian” is a teacher, who becomes aware that a parent bore a student out of wedlock, & refuses to teach that child because its a product of “sin”? Leviticus is FILLED with hatred against all kinds of people-if that chapter, most likely added by fallible MALES with their own biases & hatreds, if not unethical & discriminatory, I don’t know what is.

        • Scott Plumer

          Thanks for the reply. I’ve asked many Christians how they decide what parts of the OT to follow and what parts to ignore, and have never gotten a satisfactory answer. But I think I don’t think there are easy answers. You and I agree that the reason they won’t perform same sex marriages is because of bigotry, but as an issue of personal ethics, I don’t think someone is under an obligation to be consistent, and I don’t think it always has to be a religious issue. At a company I used to work for, my boss insisted I charge a client for equipment they didn’t need. Would I have been within my rights to refuse to charge them?

          No need to reply if you don’t want to.

          • tearsofjade

            Scott, I would have to say that your ex-employer was asking you to commit fraud, which is a crime. Had you been fired for refusing that, you’d have had one heck of a good case for unemployment AND whatever criminal division it is that roots out & prosecutes business fraud. But I’m assuming you also had a family to support.
            Interesting factoid-in the bible, the carpenter called Jesus said “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, & render unto god what is god’s”. Now I’m not a religious woman-my idea of religion is the golden rule, which covers it all in one, non religious sentence. However, I interpret the meaning of the Caesar statement as to say you obey the laws of your country, like them or not, tho you can still believe in your god. The law of our country now says that gays deserve and now have the same rights as those of us who are straight. Rights I believe they should have had all along. As “good christians”, the laws of the country have to be obeyed. That doesn’t mean you ignore your religion-it means you have to reconcile the secular with the religious. Leviticus also gives a father the RIGHT to sell his daughter(s) into prostitution. The law of the land says NO NO NO, & except for a few pervs, that part of Leviticus is totally ignored.
            I enjoy talking to you. A nice, sane conversation about an issue like this is all too rare on-line! TY, Scott!

          • tearsofjade

            Then Scott, your employer was asking you to commit fraud, a crime, & if he’d fired you for refusing, you’d have had plenty of ammo for obtaining unemployment payments & for whatever agencies that investigate workplace fraud/crime.
            I believe that if you take a job, there’s no ifs ands or buts. You’re paid to do a job, & unless you’re asked to commit a crime in that job, you do it to the best of your abilities & NOT demand a pass because of your religious beliefs. Don’t want to serve gays due to religious beliefs? Then get a job in a factory where you don’t have to deal with the public. But be assured that whatever items you produce WILL be bought in part by the LGBT community, not just by straight people. When I say “you”, I mean that in the collective sense. I believe differently than you-you’re expected to be consistent in whatever job you have, from teacher to electronic engineer to cook to florist. In most jobs, there’s no place for someone who makes their own rules.
            Its nice to have a conversation about these things without hateful words on either side. Thank you, Scott.

  • mike

    Religion – destroying EVERYTHING in it’s path for thousands of years. hooray.

    • mike

      It is a SCARY time indeed, unless you are a gun-toting, bible hugging, amendment-hiding-behind, heterosexual close-minded person.

  • Elliot

    This post office example is like comparing apples and steak. A wedding, is a religious service. Mailing parcels is not.

    • Liuao

      It’s not if you go to a Justice of the Peace.

    • Nell Webbish

      No, this is about legal marriage not the religious ceremony. There’s nothing religious about it.

    • bgregs

      Wrong. A wedding CAN be a religious ceremony. It doesn’t have to be.

      Look, for example, at the following three situations:

      1) I was married in a religious service, but outside of a church.
      2) My brother was married outside a church in a secular service.
      3) My father was married in a religious service within a church.

      Which one of us is married? I’ll give you a hint, the answer is D) All of the Above!

    • southerninsanity

      Not all marriage ceremonies are religious services.

  • boochi

    Homosexuality is still a mental illness and it always will be. No liberal progressive with an agenda is going to change that. Nothing is normal about homosexuality or for that matter transgenderism.

    If a private business wants to discriminate against anyone, they should be allowed to do so. If the community disaproves, they will do so with there wallets. If the business drys up, they go under. Speak with your wallets and don’t be a civic tattle-tale.

    • bgregs

      Sure fucktard. In the meantime, we in the real world all understand that while homosexuality is not a mental illness, bigotry is!

    • occams_beard_trimmer

      Clearly you are a great thinker*.

      *If in this case we define great thinker as complete moron…also probably gay and self loathing.

    • Scott Plumer

      Medical professionals do not share your opinion that homosexuality is a mental illness.

    • Liuao

      Would you say the same thing if there were a group movement to discriminate against you and allow businesses to refuse to serve Christians?

      • boochi

        Absolutely, a Christian can spend their money somewhere else.

        • Liuao

          Well, the Bible also says polygamy is okay. Divorce is not, except in two very specific circumstances. So why is polygamy not okay, but divorce is? Hypocrite.

          • boochi

            Hypocrite? I am an atheist and I believe marriage should be between one man and one woman. I offer no support to plural marriage.

          • Liuao

            Atheist or not, you subscribe to medical opinion from seventy years ago. That’s not in any way honoring the scientific method.

          • occams_beard_trimmer

            Nor do you offer support for your argument.

            /And no one believes you are an atheist.

        • Nell Webbish

          Again, this is about government services and government employees, not private business.

          And even if it was about private businesses, you are still wrong. If you don’t like it, feel free to start a grass roots movement to amend the US Constitution.

    • Nell Webbish

      You are completely free to believe all of that, no matter how intellectually impotent and ethically flaccid it is.

      First, this is about elected officials and public employees, not private business employees.

      And no, private business cannot discriminate against a small handful of protected classes as defined in a little thing we like to call the US Constitution.

      • boochi

        The Constitution never included homosexuals as a protected class, unelected judges did.

        • Nell Webbish

          Oh christ, not the stupidity of the “unelected judges” thing.

          Did you spend every minute of your US Government class sleeping? Are you that ignorant of the seperation of powers the founding fathers created and why they did it? Or do you think the very basis of the American system sucks and you know better.

          I’m done, you are just too stupid for me to waste my time with.

        • HeWhoMightNotBeNamed

          Doesn’t matter. The Constitution protects every single individual person equally, regardless of whatever group they may belong to. And these “unelected judges” are part of the Third Amendment to the Constitution that classifies the three branches of government. The Supreme Court plays a vital role in protecting the Constitution against those who would destroy it because it’s unpopular. It’s working perfectly.

        • IJustWannaSayThis

          The whole point of judges and the judiciary is that they are “unelected”. So they act as a counter weight against the elected gvernement. To prevent misuse or overreach of authority

          • boochi

            Judges are still partisan appointments.

  • occams_beard_trimmer

    Religion is stupid. This is simply more proof.

  • Scott Plumer

    I think the religious freedom argument is invalid. The First Amendment says “prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” Performing a same-sex marriage does not prohibit the free exercise of one’s religion in any way.

    • southerninsanity

      The people supporting this article would say that requiring them to issues these licenses/perform these marriages violates their personal beliefs.

      • bgregs

        And they would be just as wrong as you are! BUT, let’s assume for a moment that it DOES violate their personal religious beliefs, they have a solution that doesn’t involve harming anyone else!! They could fucking QUIT!!!

        But no, they want to continue to suck at the taxpayer tit while simultaneously telling those same taxpayers to fuck off and die!

        • southerninsanity

          And the fact that they should quit/pursue a different career is something I have said repeatedly. But you’re simply obsessed with stalking my comments, cursing and throwing out childish insults. You should seek help.

  • Nom de Plume

    While the law is total b.s. and will ultimately get overturned in court, the article is NOT accurate. Magistrates and registers of deeds can recuse themselves from performing marriage ceremonies under SB2, but it makes them ineligible to perform ANY marriages for six months. They cannot pick and choose who to marry. These are civil servants who are not upholding the duties of their job in the words of our governor, and should be fired. But this article is not factual.

  • geoherb1

    This article is wrong. The officials can’t recuse themselves from issuing licenses for or performing specific marriage ceremonies. They have to recuse themselves from issuing licenses for and performing all marriages.

    • Nom de Plume

      You are correct. The law will still not stand, but ultimately the article is wrong.

  • Bruce Schramm

    This is the most ridiculous garbage I have read in a long time. You are perfectly fine with the federal government telling states not to follow or enforce immigration laws yet you whine about them trying to get around this law. Whatever, why you feel you need to force someone to marry you that can’t stand you is just sad. Suing someone for not baking you a cake? Really? Why not support a business that supports you? Oh, that’s right, Christianity is forcing their ideals on you… Stop whining, get your act together and everyone would have a lot more respect for you. I don’t try to make christians do anything for me, I support business and people that leave religion at home. You should too.

    • Mike G

      Government employees are paid with tax dollars, they should not be exempt from doing their job. If they “can’t stand you”, they should find another job. This is American after all, and they are free to find a job that comports with their beliefs. As to the cake incident, well, I actually agree that suing them was unnecessary. They should have just taken their business elsewhere.

      • Bruce Schramm

        It’s not really their job to marry anyone, their job is pushing paper. If it was a matter of them not processing the paperwork I would be on board. It was stated that it was an issue of officiating, if I’m catholic, I go to a catholic, if I’m Jewish, I go to a rabbi, I don’t get the issue here. The paperwork is legal and the rights are now established. This just screams forcing their beliefs on others which is where this whole issue came from in the beginning. I support their right, just absolutely support everyone else’s rights in the process as well.

    • occams_beard_trimmer

      Right, and those darkies should have just stayed out back because we dont want them at the lunch counter.

      /Your position is stupid and you should feel stupid for having it but you wont because the Dunning-Kruger effect is more powerful.

      • Bruce Schramm

        Bwahahaha, name calling and race baiting because you can’t form a legitimate argument. You should be proud.

  • Jack C

    I read the article and disagree. “Marriage is a considered by law to be a civil right, not a religious privilege.” The constitution never promised marriage. So, lets start by removing the governments ability to define marriage by getting rid of the IRS and the joke of a tax code that is in-place now. #FlatTax, everyone is taxed by consumption, NO breaks for anybody; campaigners, lobbyists, big corporations, small family businesses, religious groups, AND married couples. With no tax exemptions there will be no need for the civil definition of marriage at all.

    I see the writer named a few groups of religious organizations, but I don’t align with the views of those groups. Are you really trying to convince me that because ‘everybody’ is doing it, I should too? Give me a break and use an argument not from grade-school. One of the many reasons Christians left England was because the government had tried to re-define marriage, something that belongs to the church.

    America has grown past the need to provide incentives to couples who want to get married and reproduce. However, we have not outgrown our heritage. America is a country whose moral guidelines come from the Bible. If that offends you. please leave. I don’t need you trying to re-define my country. I love it the way it is. Surely you can find another country that afford you the privilege to change their ways. You don’t have to be American. I am American.

    • Rachel6694

      “America is a country whose moral guidelines come from the Bible”. Was that before or after we murdered most of its indigenous people?

      • Jack C

        If we are to protect the equality of all the American citizens then lets start with marriage vs being single. Get rid of all marriages or civil unions. The government has no business showing such a biased view towards couples. End the injustice and inequality, end government definition of marriage. That would be American.

        • Rachel6694

          on that point we agree. The government shouldn’t be in the marriage business.

    • Liuao

      Then polygamy should be legal. It’s allowed in the Bible, right? What about stoning those guilty of committing adultery?

      • Jack C

        I think you are misquoting something that someone else may have said. I don’t see anywhere were it says that is good to practice polygamy. But I also fail to see how you comment relates to the story.

        • Liuao

          The reason I broach the subject of polygamy is because the argument against gay marriage is that it offends God and is not aligned with Christian values or the Bible. Polygamy is in the Bible and was allowed. Furthermore, Muslims, by their religion, are supposed to be allowed up to four wives. The Christian denomination of Mormonism uses the Bible in their argument for polygamy, among those who wish to practice it. Why isn’t polygamy legal when the Bible allows it, if this is supposed to be a “Christian” country?

        • occams_beard_trimmer

          To some religions it IS good to practice polygamy.

          /But all religion is stupid. This is why the founding fathers intentionally made a SECULAR country.

          • Liuao

            And also to avoid opening Pandora’s Box when it comes to mixing religion and law.

    • HelzaPoppin

      Marriage does not belong to the church. It, in fact, long predates it. Your post is riddled with fiction.

      • Mike G

        We had better outlaw divorce then too, right? Because more laws restricting people’s freedom is what America is all about, right?

        • Jack C

          I never said anything about making marriage illegal. I just don’t think the government should be showing that kind of bias to unequally provide favors to ‘married’ people.

      • Jack C

        Are you going to offer any proof, or just state that I am wrong?

        • HelzaPoppin

          so which church does marriage “belong to?”

          • Jack C

            So you admit that you can not prove that marriage is something that should be defined by the government/king?
            Any church can have their own definition of what a marriage is it guess. So long as that chruch isn’t the government.

          • HelzaPoppin

            answer the question. You made the assertion. YOU back it up. Which church does marriage belong to?

        • Nell Webbish

          It’s called human history. Go learn it.

          • Jack C

            Please save me life time it would take to learn all of human history and help me understand why you say this? What specifically can you point to as the definitive moment, if it is ‘IN FACT’?

          • Nell Webbish

            No. It’s not my job to educate you so you have an informed opinion. Even someone with the most rudimentary understanding of early human history or just an awareness that the entire world does not practice one of the Abrahamic faiths should be able to think a second or two and see how that is correct.

          • Jack C

            Please do not you use your rudimentary understanding of early human history as an excuse to insult me. Colleges are a joke, the ‘higher’ education systems are topic for another debate. Please bring back real logic, not just lame putdowns.

        • IJustWannaSayThis

          Marriage has existed in many Ancient cultures including Rome(pre-Augustian) and the Vedic civilization in India.

          My point isn’t that’s the state should have a role in marriage instead of the church – it’s that neither should.

    • Nell Webbish

      Feel free to promote the end of legal marriage. Good luck with that. Until then legal marriage needs to be administered according to Constitutional law.

      Second, the idea that marriage is solely religious, invented by religious or principly dictated by religions is ignorant nonsense. Marriage predates the existence of the world’s religions and there are plenty of human cultures — both current and historical – where marriage has no religious component at all.

      Third, no one cares where your moral guidelines come from. This is about the law and legal marriage. The laws of the US have nothing to do with the Bible. In fact, our founding fathers went to a lot of trouble to keep religioun out of our laws and our government. If that offends you, please leave. Or get a real education. Because you don’t have to be a stupid American.

      • Jack C

        Marriage is not defined, or mentioned, in the US Constitution, therefore out of the realm of Constitutional law. Thank you for your support, can I add your name to the list of people that wish to remove civil marriage from the USA?
        Just because other cultures got together and had kids, does not imply they got married. You rebuttal lacks merit, you failed to provide proof. You neither cited a civilization that predates the account from the Bible where God joined Adam and Eve, nor did you mention a civilization that didn’t have any religious beliefs about marriage, from any period in time. We will disagree on this point because we have different definitions for the word marriage. I’m not asking you to agree on a single definition of marriage, just that it is out side of the scope of government.
        Everyone does care where I get my morals from, why else would they protest to me speaking about what I believe? They tell me I’m wrong just because I say that I believe the Bible. I think you claim that I’m ignorant based only because I don’t believe what you believe. The founding fathers ensured that the government didn’t define religion. The term ‘separation of church and state’ appears no where in any founding document. They do not force anyone to vote laws into existence. They didn’t say if that law is biased solely on my personal convictions about morality, I can’t make it a law. There is no case to argue that if this country were established by radical Muslims that the morals of this country would be as they are now. Everyone has to draw their morality from some place. To whom or what do you attribute the morality of the US? How can you tell me that what I believe about morality is wrong. Where do you get that authority from? A such authority does not exist. Even Freud said, “…men are not gentle creatures, who want to be loved, who at the most can defend themselves if they are attacked; they are, on the contrary, creatures among whose instinctual endowments is to be reckoned a powerful share of aggressiveness.” And a meme associated with Anonymous is “None of us are cruel as all of us.”

    • occams_beard_trimmer

      “America is a country whose moral guidelines come from the Bible.”

      Like how we stone unruly children and non virgins?

      Morally the bible is a steaming pile of feces. Like the brains of those who ‘believe’ it is ‘the word of god’.

    • southerninsanity

      “Jack C,” I will agree with one premise of your comment – the government should not be involved in marriage and never should have been. Unfortunately, they saw a revenue opportunity and took it.

  • Gary

    Laws don’t say that a magistrate is the only person allowed to perform a marriage so I’m okay with saying that they don’t have to, but since there isn’t any other way to get a marriage license, then I disagree with the idea of allowing a magistrate to decide who gets married and who doesn’t. I disagree with this writer’s contention that this would be a successful end run around the SC decision.

    • Nell Webbish

      Except there is a bit of a problem with tax-paying citizens of NC not getting access to state-provided services that are funded by tax-payer dollars because a public employee being paid by tax-payers is refusing to do X percentage of his or her job.

      The fact that there are other non-state provided outlets to receive this services does not mitigate the harm of not having access to the public services one should be recieving by virture of ones citizenship.

  • Cherie Cotton

    It makes me rejoice, seeing so many post from people who actually “get it” and support the Constitution!
    It restores my faith in humans. Thank you ALL so much!

  • I am so tired of the Religious Right trying to change others ways of life…..

    Do you ever get tired of someone trying to convince you, that your not as smart as they are?
    Do you ever have someone around you that Always acts as if he or she is better than you?

    That’s kind of like religion today.

    MY RELIGION IS THE ONLY TRUE RELIGION, IT’S BETTER THAN YOURS AND THE WAY ALL OF OUR LIVES SHOULD BE LED.

    Well I don’t agree.

    The
    Creation of religion was brought about in many ways, with many
    different people telling stories of different events. Down through the
    ages men and women have tried to promote what it is that they believe as
    being the correct ways of life.

    For
    most of those people the best guide for a good life is the Bible and
    the Bible is the sum of all of those stories that tells of the
    greatness, caring, sharing and wonders in life.

    Readers
    who follow the writings in most cases care about others, no matter what
    color, ideas, feelings or what they believe about life.

    Your
    religion is not mine.. mine is surly not yours, especially if you have
    to hate someone, degrade them or do all you can to destroy them and what
    they stand for. In this case what they want from personal freedoms. It’s called Human Rights.

    Why would you do all you can to destroy the lives of others no matter what they do or say if you believe in God? Would God have hated others, put them down or turned them away… The answer is NO.

    When
    our Founding Fathers came to this country they left behind a land that
    had been totally controlled by the church. When will you stop telling
    others that God was part or our Constitution and God was the reason our
    nation was created?
    GOD HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE START OF OUR NATION AND OUR CONSTITUTION STANDS TALL AS IT IS WRITTEN WITHOUT THE WORD OF GOD.

    Our Nation has a separation of church and state for a good reason.

    What if in different states, different religions, created laws and they were completely different?

    What
    if laws were written by some preacher who hates all other religions,
    hates half this Nation, hates women, hates gays, hates men, hates those
    out of work, hates those who are homeless, hates, hates. hates…..

    Today if we had one so called religion in this country over all of the rest, we would have a MIDDLE EAST on our own soil.

    It
    is up to you to enjoy what you believe and share it with those in your
    church. However, please understand one thing, those of us who truly read
    the Bible, will never abide by your hate, degradation, lies, deceptions
    and segregation.

    Jesus,
    did not tell his followers to hate one another and he sure didn’t tell
    everyone to cast others out, because of feelings, beliefs or ideas. He
    welcomed everyone, even those who would destroy him.

    For
    just a moment think about how loving your neighbor could make lives
    better and how caring for those who need help can change our world.

    Your religion should be worshiped in your church, your home and in your heart.

    Stop
    acting like your so much better then others, when in fact you really
    are not and you show it. You see, your not as perfect as you think..

    Gary Downing

    • Liuao

      Amen.

  • Naturalism

    I hope conservatives refuse to drop this issue. I hope they continue to equate homophobia with Christianity. I hope they dig in their heels and make a loud clamor about refusing to help homosexuals.

    Because nothing could be more effective at sweeping them into the dustbin of history.

    • southerninsanity

      And here we have another stereotyping, broad brush-painting liberal who wants to claim all conservatives are against same-sex marriage. That’s an outright lie.

      • bgregs

        And here’s another bullshittingly stupid comment by southerinsanity attempting (and failing) to use the No True Scotsman fallacy and not only failing to get it right, but having it be utterly false AGAIN!!!

        • southerninsanity

          You should be banned for stalking, profanity and comments that aren’t even a remotely constructive discussion. You need help.

      • occams_beard_trimmer

        “And here we have another stereotyping, broad brush-painting liberal who wants to claim all conservatives are against same-sex marriage.”

        Irony is lost on you?

      • Naturalism

        Some conservatives like big government (I mean, they all do, but some of them admit it). Some conservatives approve of abortion. Some conservatives aren’t strong supporters of free speech. Some conservatives today support marriage equality — and in the future, nearly almost all of them will.

        Still, today, the conservative movement has long since strongly associated itself with being against homosexual inclusion and civil rights. If it is reasonable to talk about groups of people having common preferences — and I think it is — then it is reasonable to talk about conservatives being against gay marriage.

        But not you specifically? Wonderful! Congratulations, you don’t have to go into the dustbin!

  • Dawn N

    I live in NC, this “law” is ridiculous. They have the right to discriminate based on their religious beliefs. If they choose to recuse themselves they are not allowed to perform ANY marital services for 6 months. They still get paid the same of course. The only thing I can say on a semi-positive note is that only 14 public officials have actually recused themselves so far. I hope that is all that ever take advantage of this atrocity of a law.

  • Dennis Mullins

    Someone needs to reread the first amendment, this new law violates it! The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion,

    • HeWhoMightNotBeNamed

      In their personal lives, yes. The separation of church and state however, which is also part of the first amendment, implies that your beliefs cannot be projected onto someone else. Your beliefs are your own. The laws of the state are completely separate and must be respected as such. If the clerks cannot perform their duties because of religious belief, they must resign or be fired.

      • southerninsanity

        The “establishment” clause means that the government cannot declare a national religion, as had occurred in England at the time.

        • bgregs

          And the Free Exercise Clause means that people need to butt out of other’s lives. In other words, Separation of Church and State shithead!

          • southerninsanity

            It is as I stated it. Your stalking/obsession/namecalling is completely unnecessary.

        • occams_beard_trimmer

          According to every SC decision it means far more than that.

    • southerninsanity

      No national religion has been established, so the establishment clause has not been violated.

  • Liuao

    If you’re going to argue the biblical aspect of it, then why isn’t polygamy legal? Because that is in the Bible.

  • Keith McAdams

    They will lose. Even with First Amendment Free Exercise Clause . . run afoul of compelling government interests. The government has a compelling interest to document marriage for use in legal proceedings, ie. Insurance, custody, etc.

  • WillVMI68

    The law sounds ok to me.

    • bgregs

      Then you’re a fool.

  • Noblelox

    Funny, I was always lead to believe that the American constitution enshrined the separation of Government and Religion. Yet you have “In God we trust” on your money, and shit like this keeps happening? I thought you Americans would all die for the constitution, and yet none of you will lift a finger against this rampant perversion of this fundamental foundation on which the whole document is based. But if someone wants to take your guns off of you, everyone starts waving it like a call to arms.

    • Common misconception, see my above comment for more detail.

      TL;DR, no, we do not in fact have any “official” “separation of church and state” anywhere within the Constitution.

      • occams_beard_trimmer

        Yes we do. It is in the first amendment.

        • southerninsanity

          And that applies solely that there will be no establishment of a national religion. That hasn’t occurred here, so claiming that this is some violation of the separation of church & state is incorrect.

          • bgregs

            Except that it does NOT only apply to the government creating an official religion. It ALSO applies to the government showing favor to certain religious ideals and NOT showing favor to others! You are free to live your religious life as you wish, and NOBODY is allowed to prevent that or change your religious life.

            In other words, FREEDOM FROM RELIGION FUCKTARD!!!

          • occams_beard_trimmer

            Wrong. You are incorrect. There have been MANY constitutional cases about this very subject and all have come down on the side opposite of what you are claiming.

      • bgregs

        Yes we do. First Amendment.

    • southerninsanity

      The “separation” purpose was that the federal government would not mandate a national religion (as had occurred in England). Folks twist that concept into other interpretations.

      • occams_beard_trimmer

        No matter how many times you claim that same thing, it will not magically become true.

        /Your GED in constitutional law notwithstanding.

    • Samantha

      Well “in God we trust” wasn’t added to money until the 1950s due to the Cold War and anti-communist sentiment across America.

  • AFell

    does this mean that in this same capacity that public officials can deny divorce decrees? Because the no fault divorce has done more damage to the institute and sanctity of marriage than any amount of same-sex marriage could ever do…

  • John from Detroit

    I have no problem with public officials recusing themselves from performing the duties of their office…… PROVIDED THEY RECUSE THEMSELVES FROM ALL THOSE DUTIES. That is leave public life, and decline their pension as well.. Just flat QUIT.

    • southerninsanity

      It really is a simple solution. If you truly don’t believe in something that is required of your job, quit and find another job.

      • John from Detroit

        Exactly what I said.. In different words. Or as the old saying went:
        IF you can not stand the heat get out of the kitchen.
        Meaning
        If you can not do the job.. QUIT and find another.
        Exactly as you said. Nice to find agreement on a topic like this :).

  • Jeff Kreisler

    im confused. doesn’t the US have an official separation of church and state at the federal level, making it the law of the land? wouldn’t that force all states to separate civic duty?

    • Common misconception. There is no “separation of church and state” anywhere in the Constitution. All there is in the Constitution regarding religion is; “Congress shall make no law regarding and establishment of religion”

      Meaning Congress can pass no law either promoting or outlawing any specific religion.

      People, Senators, Congressmen/women, Presidents are free to introduce, debate and pass whatever laws they see fit in accordance with their religious beliefs, so long as it does not promote, privilege or disadvantage one religion over another.

      The phrase “separation of church and state” that most people like to drag out is actually referring to a comment made by Thomas Jefferson and others. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_church_and_state_in_the_United_States

      Basically it is addressing the intent of the Establishment clause in that it was teh founders intent NOT to make laws based on religion. None of the founding fathers, said anything about said laws meeting or not meeting religious principles.

      No matter how much the left wants to deny it, there is a vast difference between making laws based on religion, and making laws in accordance with religious principles.

      • IJustWannaSayThis

        I’m confused – what IS the difference between those two? In both cases doesn’t it boil down to laws that conform to a particular ideology?

      • occams_beard_trimmer

        “No matter how much the left wants to deny it, there is a vast difference between making laws based on religion, and making laws in accordance with religious principles.”

        What IS the difference? Please explain to be because I am on ‘the left’ and my advanced degree just didnt prepare me to understand such difficult concepts and you just made a claim without backing it up.

        • IJustWannaSayThis

          Dude you could have asked the same question without sounding condescending 😛

          • occams_beard_trimmer

            No. I always sound condescending when someone makes an outrageous claim without any supporting evidence.

            /

      • bgregs

        Wrong. The specific phrase “separation of church and state” isn’t actually present in the Constitution, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not there! The word “privacy” isn’t in the Constitution either, and yet we’ve been determined to have just such a right.

        • southerninsanity

          Again, as “Corelogik” stated, the correct concept for the idea of separation of church and state is that the federal government would not declare a national religion (as had occurred in England). Period. That’s it.

          • bgregs

            Wrong AGAIN!!! The correct concept for the Separation of Church and State is that not only will the state not create an official state religion, but that the state will not show favor to any one religious ideal EITHER!

            Aren’t you getting tired of being wrong every time you post YET?!?!?

          • southerninsanity

            Your obsession/stalkling of my comments should be a concern for you. The facts are as stated. Period. In this law, the “state” isn’t showing any favoritism. They’re claiming that individuals can exercise their personal beliefs.
            Now, that being said, for the 10th time, I disagree wholeheartedly with this law.

          • occams_beard_trimmer

            Wrong.

        • Liuao

          It’s called the Fourth Amendment, ffs.

  • This is just absolutely pathetic.

  • violetteal

    This is a poor comparison. This is an interaction between two religions. The laws are based on actions not persons.

  • Richard Hanzon

    how is it that you talk about Christians like you are?? what is it that you want to do that they are keeping you from?? why all this hatred??

    • Britni Weiss

      Christians have voted to prevent people from getting legally married. This allows a government employee to circumvent a federal ruling that says banning/preventing marriage between two consenting adults is unconstitutional. When religion is used to circumvent law, there are going to be people preventing others from doing what they are legally allowed to do.

      • southerninsanity

        “Christians have voted to prevent people from getting legally married.”
        Let’s be careful stereotyping and commenting with such a broad brush. I know many Christians who have no problem whatsoever with same-sex marriage.

        • bgregs

          Nice try with the No True Scotsman fallacy, but still a failure on your part.

        • Britni Weiss

          Of course, which is why I did not say “all Christians”. Of course there are Christians with morals, but the ones that are most vocal are the ones who want to prevent other groups from getting rights.

    • bgregs

      People are trying to get married. Christians are preventing them from doing so.

  • VD65

    Hopefully something is done about this. States cannot override federal laws…simple as that and they are going to lose a lot of funding if they keep trying. Christianity is NOT the only religion in the US even though they act like it is. We might as well have Sharia law the way this is going because they are trying to do exactly the same thing they have complained about Islam. What a bunch of hypocrits and it’s not exactly all the average people but those with money and political clout that think they are above the law. How come this country always has so many extremists when gays can get married in most countries like Canada since 2005, other countries and Ireland by a vote of the citizens, a particularly religious country? People don’t care about their religion. They just want to judge and be mean spirited. If there is anything like the movies Left Behind, guess what folks, you’ll be waving as everyone else is leaving.

  • Jeffrey York

    Is SCOTUS going to issue an addition to the ruling.”..if it so pleases you, your highness.” This is not a Theocracy, this is law. Do your job or quit and let someone

    else.

    • southerninsanity

      Unfortunately, it won’t be that easy. This will involve another suit that will have to go through the NC system, then the federal courts before getting to the U.S. Supreme Court. Hopefully a judge prior to that point will realize what a joke this is and declare it unconstitutional.

  • Ken

    Interesting how they take taxes from everyone but suddenly can’t do the job they were hired to do. Everywhere I have ever worked, not doing the job you were hired to do is grounds for termination. I’d call them all together and tell them I completely understand their feelings and I will be accepting resignations after I get back to my office. If I don’t see you at my office then get your ass back to work and quite crying over it.

  • Heather Justina Stala

    I do believe that once in their assigned duties they have taken on, their personal beliefs, feelings, political views, and so on do not apply in their carrying out of their duties of said position. Thus causing them to act impartially in that position whether or not it is a federal or state held position, especially when it is a judge. Thus in this case I do believe this judge needs to be removed from the bench as he is incapable of being impartial and has proven such in his stance on the performing a legal marriage ceremony that is a federal law that he must uphold as a state judge and all his cases must now go for review since he has proven his inability to be impartial.

  • Carl

    After reading this story, and some of the readers’ comments, I realize how powerful the mainstream media is and how little effort we put into searching for the real truth. The “unlikely scenario” the author manufactured is a clear piece of evidence he/she has no idea what Christianity stands for; just like Fox News has no idea what Islam stands for when they so blatantly call ISIS Islam Extremists. Its sad to see that the media is no longer a source of information, but rather a very incendiary propaganda machine. let me tell you the truth, While Christians do “sincerely hold religious objection” against same-sex marriage they do not “sincerely hold religious objection” against interracial or interfaith(no definition available, author made this word up) marriage because this has no foundation in true Christian beliefs. Its sad that the media has convince people that ALL Christians are bigots and hypocrites because they oppose all kinds of non-white marriage and yet they commit adultery and so many other horrible things. But here is the truth: yes Christians make mistakes like everyone else and try to hide those mistakes like everyone else, after all they are humans. The difference is in that based on their beliefs, they do not condone any of those behaviors even if they do them and therefore we should not force them to condone something their belief objects to. I want to help you all fight for your right to marry, but to be successful we need to understand that the reason why Christians oppose is not only because that is the one “Sin” they are not committing, but rather because their religion does not allow them to condone any kind of sin. Treat other the way you want to be treated, and fact check what you read!

    Peace

    • IJustWannaSayThis

      but by supplying a marriage license they are not themselves condoning anything. It’s just their professional job to record the union and pass out a piece of paper confirming the same.

      How does this violate their personal belief?

    • bgregs

      In other words, Carl hasn’t actually noticed any discrimination on the part of Christians (because he IS one and is thus protected from being on the receiving end of their discrimination…) and therefore he claims that Christians don’t actually act like that even though they CLEARLY do and always have JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER HUMAN BEING ON THE PLANET!!!

    • southerninsanity

      Carl, if these people are truly basing their actions on their “religious beliefs,” are they issuing marriage licenses to divorcees? Adulterers?

      • Carl

        Thank you for your comment. whatever their “religious belief” is it is not supported by Christian beliefs.

    • cathimeinecke

      So it is okay for the Christian to deny a marriage license to a same-sex couple, but also commit adultery as long as they apologize for the adultery. I have seen too many hypocritical “Christians” who deceive, lie and harm others only to sit with their noses in the air on Sunday sitting church. I realize all people can make mistakes but to continually commit wrong doings and think that going to church each week makes it right is what I have seen more often than not.

      • Carl

        Its never ok cathimeinecke. your response has proven my point. we are to comfortable believing the propaganda machine and not fact checking the stories. I agree with you, there are “Christians” who deceive, lie and harm others only to sit with their noses in the air on Sunday sitting church, but those people do not represent the Christian beliefs. if you keep believing everything the media tells you very soon you will find yourself drowning in the vary same hate and bigotry you are fighting to eliminate.

        Peace

        • occams_beard_trimmer

          No true Scotsman.

          /Perhaps if so many xian preachers didnt spend all their time talking about THOSE peoples sins.
          //Clean up your own house.

    • occams_beard_trimmer

      But they will eat shrimp, right?

  • cathimeinecke

    Since they are public employees and are paid with tax money, should the good people of North Carolina stop paying their taxes based on Religious beliefs. If so, I would like to start a church, The First Freedom Church. We have the freedom from paying taxes that support the wages of bigots.

    • southerninsanity

      Now there’s an idea!!! 🙂

  • Gary Pranzo

    I would only be OK with this if the Gov could provide a clerk that would perform the marriage. So If I am gay and go to get married the clerk/magistrate says (Nicely) I am not able to give you a license or perform the marriage but this person over here will do it for you. That is OK but if they are the only person doing the ceremony then they are not just exercising their religious freedom they are BLOCKING someone else’s freedom. I can go to another baker in the same town most likely and get a wedding cake but If the one and only county clerk will not issue me a license to marry I have to find a county that will. What if all the counties around me have Christian clerks?

  • Steve Clancy

    You know who else wants religion to control people’s choices in life? ISIS.

  • TylerDurden

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

  • Johhny Tbone

    The GOP needs these kinds of issues otherwise they’d have no platform. They sure as hell can’t use their recent legislation record…. “Well… we voted against ACA 50+ times, tried to legislate vaginas and oh, we renamed a few post offices”… the GOP so needs gay marriage in the limelight..