Louisiana Voters Approve Gay-Marriage Ban

By KEVIN McGILL

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Louisiana voters overwhelmingly approved a state constitutional amendment Saturday banning same-sex marriages and civil unions, one of up to 12 such measures on the ballot around the country this year.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, the amendment was winning approval with 78 percent of the vote, and support for it was evident statewide. Only in New Orleans, home to a politically strong gay community, was the race relatively close, and even there the amendment was winning passage. Turnout statewide appeared to be about 27 percent of Louisiana’s 2.8 million voters, somewhat low for a state election.

Read the entire article on the My Way website.

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43 thoughts on “Louisiana Voters Approve Gay-Marriage Ban”

  1. If I lived in Louisiana, I could now sleep at night knowing that
    two men or two women can’t share FMLA and Social Security benefits! I’m glad they found an issue to properly motivate the voters to come out to the polls.

  2. Now that heterosexual marriage has been protected, we’ll no doubt see rates of divorce, spousal abuse, premarital sex, abortion, heterosexual pornography, single parenthood, and child abuse go down. Won’t we?

  3. James, the assumption underlying your comment is that restricting marriage to heterosexuals is inherently unfair. Read this critique: Redefining Marriage Away by Robert P. George and David L. Tubbs. In fact, there is a boatload of articles, some that take on your assumptions directly on the index page. (Also, try to argue ideas. Sarcasm takes no creativity or discipline.)

    Jim, upholding traditional marriage is no guarantee that cultural breakdown in other areas will not continue. But neither are those breakdowns a justification for defining marriage out of existence. See Stanley Kurtz’ The End of Marriage in Scandinavia. In fact, throw marriage out the window and breakdown will increase further.

  4. Fr. Hans writes: “Jim, upholding traditional marriage is no guarantee that cultural breakdown in other areas will not continue. But neither are those breakdowns a justification for defining marriage out of existence.”

    In my view, banning homosexual marriage in light of all the other problems just doesn’t make sense. It’s like living in a society in which drugs are legal, people drive without seat belts, everyone smokes, no one exercises, whiskey is sold in roadside stands, and then we have extremely tight controls on ice cream so as to promote health.

  5. Jim, redefining marriage to include homosexuals is far from a minor problem. Where do we stop? Should we allow polymorphous marriages? Bigamy? How about a child-adult relationship? Redefining marriage solely as a human rights issue (itself a specious idea, see my article: Gay Marriage Far Removed from Civil Rights Movement) opens the door to labelling any kind of relationship as a marriage. Meanwhile, traditional marriage declines even further.

    Those who suffer the most are the children caught in these relationships.

    Quoting Stanley Kurtz: “…gay activists are asking us to ‘transform, at unknown cost to ourselves and to future generations, the central institution of our society.’ Gay marriage ought to be resisted ‘firmly, politely and above all, unashamedly.'”

  6. My biggest gripe is that the arguments against gay marriage are often based on distortions, emotionalistm, exaggerations and outright misinformation by many of the pro-family groups. My sarcasm was directed more towards these groups who see gay marriage as the end of civilization while ignoring everything else. Their concern is out of proportion.

    I understand the legal concerns regarding gay marriage, especially on polygamy. These are valid questions. However, I think some are overstepping proper bounds by suggesting that NO benefits whatsoever should ever be extended to non-traditional families. There are cases where it’s morally and legally viable to offer certain protections to couples who don’t fit the mold, so to speak.

  7. An example of what I’m talking about: two men are raising several minority HIV positive children in Florida. Florida has decided that this couple has no right to adopt these children, however, despite the consistent care they’ve given and any evidence that they’ve made a stable home for these kids (despite Lou Sheldon’s absurd claim that they’re “recruiting” the kids into a deviant lifestyle).

    Would these kids be better off in a “heterosexual home”? I don’t know. Depends … do these heterosexuals do drugs or are they alcoholics? Are they chronically unemployed? Do they have a history of spousal or child abuse? Is the father in the military and away for long periods of time? Doesn’t matter … legally they would have more of a right to the kids than their current parents do. Sorry but this doesn’t seem rational to me.

  8. Note 7:

    While it is true that there any many children who live in foster homes, it is not a solution to abandon standards of quality for adoptive parents. We should instead attack the root problem and fund programs that make adoption more affordable for couples who want to adopt but, who fear that they lack the resources to care for a special needs child. I have worked with many prospective adoptive parents and it is false to assume somehow the “gay” parents are more willing to adopt a special needs child than heterosexual parents.

    Every child raised in a “gay home” is deprived of a mother or is deprived of a father. Every child wants and needs a loving mother and a loving father. I know from working as legal counsel for adoptive parents that when a child is informed that he or she has been adopted, the child inevitably asks why his or her biological parents “didn’t want him or her.” The point of this observation is that children desperately want both a mother and a father.

    Both a mother and a father brings something special to the parent-child relationship. As a female, I benefitted from having a mother with whom I could discuss uniquely female problems. How would two gay men be able to give me guidance on the process of becoming a adult female as my mother could? How would two gay men pass on wisdom about pregnancy, childbirth and mothering? There are things that young women want a mother to talk to about, as much as we love our fathers. My father provided me with an example of a mature, loving, stable and psychologically healthy male. I was able to avoid unstable, psychologically-unhealthy males later in life because I knew what to look for in a mate. How could two gay women provide any guidance on how to relate to the opposite sex? Every time I have spent any time with an openly gay woman, I have heard derogatory remarks about the entire male sex. Gay women are people who by definition either cannot or will not create a lasting relationship with a man. I would not give up my relationship with my earthly father for anything.

    Had I been raised in a gay home I would have missed the benefit of either a mother or father. In any event, I would not have had the benefit of observing an example of a loving, mutually respectfull relationship between a mature and loving man and a mature and loving woman. A decision in favor of gay couples gives precedence to the wishes of the adults and not the needs of the children. It is the ultimate form of narcissism.

  9. Of course, the ideal situation is that a child be raised with the two people who are responsible for creating them: that is, their birth father and mother.

    I’m also certainly for maintaining high standards when it comes to who may adopt a child.

    The problem is that Florida isn’t saying that “generally” a man and a woman are better capable of rearing a child than a single parent or two women, two men, they’re saying they’re always more capable. This just isn’t so.

    Suppose the two men in question had received the children into their homes because they were relatives of the deceased parents. The children have lived with them for years and had grown to see them as “family”. Do we need to remove the children from the only family they’ve known and place them with a mom/dad?

    When you’re talking about foster care and adoption, you’re never talking about the ideal because the birth parents are the ones who abandoned them in the first place. Thus, anything is going to be varying degrees of preferable.

  10. Note 9:

    I consider the example to be disingenuous. This is simply the beginning of a process where societies prohibition and social disapproval of gay conduct is demolished.

    Gay rights advocates claim that as much as 10% of the population is gay. Other sources set the figure as low as 3%. Let us set aside for the monent the thornly question of when it is proper to classify someone as gay and go with the statistic we have.

    Let’s assume that the higher figure is correct, 10% of the population is exclusively gay. Next, let’s look at a much smaller population, that portion of the gay population which is living in a stable, committed relationship AND which are ready able and willing to care for a special needs child. This is probably far less than half of the entire gay population, which makes it less than 5% of the total population. Think of it this way, what percentage of the heterosexual population which lives in a stable relationship is ready, able and willing to care for a special needs child? Not many, that is way special needs children remain in foster care or institutions.

    Zooming the camera back out, and looking at the entire population there are precious few cases in which a gay couple is available to care for a special needs child. If the special needs child is HIV positive and if that child has a very short life span then hospice care may be called for. Hospice care is generally beyond the capability of most individuals regardless of orientation.

    So… as a practical matter, the case being discussed will arise in only a tiny percentage of cases. The reason is it being raised is that it is an attempt to break the rule against placing children with gay couples. In law this argument is called “hard cases make bad law.” First, gay rights advocates use special needs children to break the prohibition against placing children with gay couples. After the public is inurred to placing special needs children with gay couples, the argument advances to include all children. After the rules have been relaxed a second time and enough time passes, the gay rights advocates complain that gay couples are “good enough” to care for the most precious thing we have-children- so they should be good enough to be allowed to marry. An on it goes.

  11. Again, I’m only arguing for this to be decided on a case-by-case basis as individual circumstances vary wildly. In a “general” sense, children of parents with advanced degrees fare better than those without, children of white parents fare better than children of minority parents, children of younger parents than those of elderly parents, children of two-parent wealthy homes better than two-parent lower middle-class homes.

    Sexual orientation is, to me, but one factor that should be considered among many as are the others. I’d personally feel safer having my kids stay with two gay men I know over having them live with Britney Spears and her new husband (which I give all of 6 weeks).

    ***

    The problem with Louisiana’s amendment is that the language goes too far: “to provide that the legal incidents of marriage shall be conferred only upon such union [marriage]”, meaning no right unique to marriage, even in isolation, can be granted to two people outside of a marriage contract. This is too limiting, especially when you consider that there are instances where a child can be raised by two people in some non-romantic relationship (brother and sister?) who yet still deserve some legal protection.

    But … I realize my arguments must not be too persuasive, so I’ll leave it at that.

  12. Note 13:

    Decisions about the placement of children in foster homes or adoptive homes are made by judges with the assistance of social workers and information provided by various witnesses having knowledge of the case. We have a system of family law which directs our judges in their duties. The value of a system of law is that is it consistent across all cases. Although it is possible to allow a judge a certain range of discretion, removing all constraints would negate the whole concept of a system of law.

    Gay rights advocates essentially want to argue that sexual orientation is unimportant and should not serve as the basis for any legal distinctions. They want distinctions erased. Those who oppose changing the law in favor of gays adoption take the opposite approach. Sexual orientation is an important factor in the adoption of children and does have an impact on the child’s welfare.

    Essentially, you just don’t think that the sexual orientation of a prospective adoptive parent matters. I do.

  13. James,

    If those advocating “gay rights” were rational, reasonable, and really concerned with the welfare of children, then your ‘case by case’ argument might work. However, the “gay rights” advocates are none of the above. Any attempt to create a reasonable accomodation for the benefit of the children (an exceedingly rare case by the way), would be used by the advocates as a wedge to obtain the rest of their agenda. The Louisana amendment may not be fair, but so what, that is a sophomoric, teenage argument used to try to obtain priviledges to which someone is not entitled. Combined with the judicial tyranny, no reasonable compromise is possible. It’s gone far enough and the homosexual population will find that much of the freedom they now enjoy will vanish because they have over reached themselves in their arrogance.

    All culture, all socieity is based on discrimination, without discrimination, there is no culture, no society only chaos.

    Homosexuality is by its very nature selfish. People who define themselves as inherently selfish have major problems parenting (not just limited to homosexuals by the way).

  14. Michael:
    What do you mean by “much of the freedom they now enjoy will vanish” exactly? Plan on starting a pogrom or internment camp?

    I’m aware of heterosexual pedophiles and heterosexual rapists. I personally know women who’ve been molested or raped by males, far more than males who’ve been molested by other males.

    I’m going by the gay people I know. One turned down a job to care for his ailing grandmother who lives nearby. Two couples have been together longer than some heterosexual couples I know. Almost all of them are generous to a fault, so I don’t know who or what you’re basing your comments on.

    YES there are radical gays and no one’s denying it, just as there were radical black groups in the civil rights era.
    However, just because there were Black Panthers in the civil rights era does not automatically invalidate the claims of all blacks from that time.

    I just watched this special on Hitler Youth. A recurring thread in all evil movements is the use of propaganda to dehumanize one’s opponent, thereby making it easier to see them as expendable. It happens in radical Islamic groups against Americans, in radical secular and atheist groups against Christians, in some corners against Palestinians and in America against gays. It mixes truth with lies and distortions, delegating a group of people into a collective “they” that the government or political powers-that-be must eradicate en masse for the “good of society” or “the State” or “the Party” or even “the Religion”.

    I am willing to correct others when they consider all Christians as “hypocritical” or “insensitive”. Likewise, I must correct those such as yourself when you lump together in one bag as “evil” or in this case “intrinsically selfish” an entire group of people, including people I consider friends.

  15. James,

    In much of the country homosexuality per se is not met with a great deal of public condemnation. Most homosexuals are free to be open about their choice in a way that was not possible when I was growing up, even in the 60’s. However, I feel there will be a cultural backlash that will bring back the closet, although probably not permanently. That is the loss of freedom to which I was referring. I am sorry you mistook my comments for anything more sinister than that. I am not advocating such a resonse, I am merely perdicting it. I am surprised, however, that you focused on that part of my post to the exclusion of the rest of it.

    If you have read any of my other posts, you will find that I have never held homosexuals to be evil, at least no more so than the rest of us. I do not view the sexual part of the homosexual sin to be any worse than fornication or adultery (equally selfish in nature and equally disqualifying events for parents if persisted in). IMO, the Bible places homosexuality in a slightly different, and worse, category because of the idolatrous nature of the sin in addition to the carnal quality. St. Paul also admonishes us to leave homosexuals alone, i.e., not persecute them. I am perfectly willing to do that as long as it is not constantly demanded of me that I accept their sinful way of life as normal and equivalent with hetrosexuality or be forced to bear with the sophomoric arguements that attempt to rationalize homosexuality by comparing it to the sinful behavior of hetrosexuals. A sin is a sin, and as the old saying goes, “two wrongs don’t make a right.”

    Homosexuality should not be a political issue at all. It has become a political issue because of the unwarranted demands of the militants, bolstered by judicial tyranny. Yet somehow cultural conservatives take the heat for it becoming a political issue. Only those caught in the materialistic net really belive that homosexuality is normal. Such a belief posits a distorted understanding of man that leaves humanity a twisted stump with no real function or hope. I will never accept such a view, because I know it to be profoundly untrue.

    I am glad that you reject the ridiculous notion that all Christians are hypocrites. We know we are sinners and need forgiveness. For we Orthodox at least, that means living a life of repentance for all of our sins, daily if not by the minute and second. We are also called to pray for those still caught in their sins and point out sinfulness when we see it. Most of us are far better with the third part of that formula than we are with the first two parts which sometimes leads to the impression of hypocrisy (and sometimes it becomes hypocrisy).

  16. Phew.
    I’m glad that
    a) I don’t live in the United States of America (and I will never go live there)
    b) I gave away my Christianity and cling to my agnosticism
    c) I have a homosexual neighbour that is quite the delightful human being
    d) my child is not and will never be baptised and is the most cherished element of my adult life.

    This comforts me that teaching my child philosophy according to Confucius, Aristotle, Socrates, Nietzche and what responsibilities lies with his fellow humans is a good choice.

  17. Re:Daniel
    Marx? To my kid? Are you nuts? πŸ˜‰
    Seriously, if my kid needs to understand capitalism, i’ll give him Marx but i’d give him Sloterdijk or some Samuel Clemens anytime before Marx. Oh and maybe some Kierkegaard Lite.

    It’s going to be hard but it’s already “paying off”.

  18. Actually there is no more powerful way to rebel against everything that is false, corrupt, crass, cruel, and evil in this world than to live your life in accordance with the teachings of Jesus Christ. Seek God and don’t be deterred by the flawed human institutions that sometimes fail in their attempt to serve him.

  19. Phonono, Dean and I actually agree on something. Such agreement is powerful evidence of the truth. Christianity is the most radical approach to being that there is. Without divine inspiration, it would be impossible to invent it. Of course, that is just the problem that nice agnostic folk have, i.e., since you don’t accept the divine nature of Jesus Christ, you reject everything else as crazy. Of course the obverse should be true, once one accepts Jesus Christ as Lord, God and Savior and experiences His living presence in the Sacrements, even the best of the authors you mention (despite some legitimate insights into the human condition) are totally unsatisfactory, others such as Nietzche are deadly.

    The question that drove me into the arms of Christ was the question of evil. Jesus Christ and the Church not only answer that question, but offer the antidote. Most people reject Christianity because they look at lives of us poor representatives of our Lord and assume that since we are such miserable ambassadors, our Lord is a fake. If our conversation here gives that impression to you, I’m sorry.

    The other stumbling block is the exclusivist claims that Jesus makes such as “No man comes to the Father except by me.” To recognize the truth of that statement, one must have faith. Explanations come after faith, not the other way around. Christianity is a supra-rational theophany of God and man. No philosophical system man’s reason alone devises can really compete with it. Sin is real, the need for salvation is real, don’t rest in the pale rationalizations of man’s reason. Struggle in the depths of your own heart to submit to God’s overwhelming love and you will find true freedom and real peace. It’s hard, it’s demanding, and most people,especially me, don’t do a very good job of it, but that should not diminsh the value of the path.

  20. Not too sure if you can include Nietzche in the category of “responsibilities to human beings” given that he rejected any ground for transcendent or universal moral norms. Nietzche is impressive in some ways* but I wouldn’t rely on him for training children.

    *(Tom Wolfe’s article on Nietzche’s prophesy of what the last century would be look proves Nietzche to be a prescient social thinker — btw, Nietzche said this century would be even more brutal than the last. Unfortunately the article is nowhere online.)

  21. Good for you, Dean and Michael. Well put in both posts.

    Phonono, you’re obviously intelligent and thoughtful. Consider that man’s answers ultimately fail in the face of suffering, evil and death. A philosopher might bravely withstand those things for awhile, but only the cross of Christ can overcome them. This is the great truth of the Christian faith. God’s love is stronger than death, even death on a cross.

  22. I found some more info on the Acton website:

    ——–
    Tom Wolfe’s long-awaited second novel is really two books: the one a rollicking chronicle of the state of American culture at the cusp of the new millennium, the other an old-fashioned morality play.

    Wolfe as cultural chronicler presents the kind of insightful and comprehensive cross-sectional description of the follies of contemporary American life that made his The Bonfire of the Vanities such a triumph. In A Man in Full, topics such as racial politics, sexual mores, and the 1960s counterculture receive withering scrutiny. The upshot of Wolfe’s analysis is that late-1990s American culture suffers from widespread moral confusion, resulting in widespread cultural instability. Which brings us to Wolfe as moralist.

    In other places, Wolfe has paid homage to the prophetic accuracy of Freidrich Nietzsche. As Wolfe explains, Nietzsche wrote of ” ‘the history of … two centuries.’ He predicted (in Ecce Homo) that the twentieth century would be a century of ‘wars such as have never happened on earth,’ wars catastrophic beyond all imagining.” Our experience in the twentieth century has been precisely this, but Wolfe reminds us that Nietzsche had more to say. “But then, in the twenty-first, would come a period more dreadful than the great wars, a time of ‘the total eclipse of all values’ (in The Will to Power). This would also be a frantic period of ‘revaluation,’ in which people would try to find new systems of values to replace the osteoporotic skeletons of the old.” The resulting chaos will make the twentieth century look mild by comparison. Wolfe concludes, “Ecce vates! Ecce vates! Behold the prophet!”

    In A Man in Full, Wolfe seems to indicate that the fulfillment of this Nietzschean prophecy is upon us, and the solution he offers through the single moral exemplar in the novel is a return to a pre-modern moral tradition (from a rather surprising source). Wolfe is always worth reading for his fine, fun style; A Man in Full offers the additional benefit of moral exhortation to help us dodge a Nietzschean destiny.
    ———–

    Bonfire of the Vanities is arguably one of the best books of cultural criticism I’ve ever read. I rate it with The Shock of the New and The Banquet Years, two of my favorite books.

    I found A Man in Full Disappointing though. It lacked that incisive and unsparing criticism that I like about Wolfe. Further, the resolution to the protangonists very serious existential conflict seemed too scripted, too divorced from real experience, too far removed from Munch’s Scream.

  23. This weekend I had to perform a funeral for a young couple who lost their unborn child one week before his birth. That small casket with a fully formed child lying inside raises questions that are only resolved by Christ Himself dying and being raised from the dead. The Gospel is the only word that speaks to death directly.

  24. Re: Well, my condolences to the couple. I lost my grandmother last year, while I was in Estonia and Finland. I knew she would not survive until Christmas, but i was quite saddened to learn her passing a mere day before my return to my hometown. I cried on the Internet station where i took my father’s mail. And then cried some more in front of my son and spouse. My son said “Don’t cry daddy, it’s alright.” Phew. Three year old at the time.

    When i was ten i asked my local priest ( I was raised a Catholic) that, if God is everywhere, why doe we have to go to church to pray for Him? And the priest didnt answer my question. He just said that “that is just God’s way”. I pressured him more. ” Read the Bible, all your answers are there”. Well I read the whole Bible. Five times. Nowehere I had the answer. Sure, i was too young to “read between the lines” and i discovered that the Bible was actually a bunch of books written by different people, put together by other people speaking many languages but not my native language… and nobody talked about what happened to the dinosaurs and why do we have new diseases appearing and if Israel is Holy Land why is that God allows his people to blow up everybody and have the nuclear weapons… you see where I’m going?

    I started reading science stuff, like how water is a cycle, how plants grow and make oxygen, how the sun gives us heat and energy. At least i didnt have to read those horrible stories about the Philistines arranged in a row and dvided in two halves, one half beheaded and the other enslaved, etc.

    I dont think that people who embrace Christ are inferior to me, nor do I think that Buddhists who give offerings to Sakyamuni to get an edge in business are fools who dont know anything about Siddartha Gautama’s sayings. Just that the only inevitable common denominator in Humanity is Death. Everybody dies. Period. And many people don’t want to accept that. In fact nobody accepts that. We don’t want to die. Sure, life is hard and bad most of the time, but we have moments of joy. When my grandmother died, and i saw here lying there, lifeless, all the mournings that i did not go through (we dont do that anymore, we dont know how…) of my 15 friends and one cousin who committed suicide, all that came back like a slap in the face. There, you see. DEATH. That’s it. You’re nothing special. You,re going to end up like her, your father, your mother, your spouse, everybody around you will die like that someday. And then YOU too. And that’s frighteningly real. That’s concrete. Anything i try to do is only a delay of death. I can only play with death, trick her for a while. In the end, we all lose. All my life i had some certainty that after death nothing happens. And while i had operations i had glimpses of death. Now, i had death straight in the face. You die and nothing happens. You turn to dust. All that remains are memories in other people’s heads. That’s the most difficult thing to accept. Because even the people with zillions of dollars will die. Maybe sooner than me. Maybe in a very painful and suffering death. Maybe in a quick painless death. Life is not fair. That’s why i had a kid. I tricked death. Some part of me will survive me after I’m gone. Then he’ll maybe have a kid, and so on.

    When I was a teen I decided to become straight edge because i was tired of seeing everybody get drunk and pass out and smoke and such. I only needed music. Music was my drug, and still is. Drums. Fast. Furious. Anger outside of my body through wooden sticks. Then bass. Frustration out of me through those metal strings. Then seeing those bands live. Young Gods. Bad Brains. Jesus Lizard. Then music from China. Scandinavia. Africa. Iran. India. There is so much music in the world, one life is not enough to listen to all those beautiful soundscapes. It kept me alive. Never smoked once in my life. Followed my gramp’s advice “The best way to stop smoking is to never start”. But I was often ill. And that’s where i saw life is not fair. You get as clean as you want, you do as mch good as possible, there is always some bad things happening. No there is no God out there for me. For anybody. Just us. So we might as well try to get along. Hell or Heaven are right here and their doors are open at anytime. It’s hard to not get angry at someone who says “F… you!” but at least i know that person’s going to be really puzzled if i answer “Have a nice day too!” and leave.

    Keep up with your faith, i will not stop you from believing. And i wish you well for your future endeavours. Over and out.

  25. Phonono, your honesty and graciousness are refreshing and admirable. IMHO, you are in fact closer to a true faith in God than many Christians who use their faith to hide from their own inadequacies and hypocrisies. I hope you will continue to visit this site from time to time. I, for one, will be glad to dialogue with you, without trying to force you to change your beliefs, even if we disagree.

  26. I don’t understand how someone who professes “after death nothing happens” is “closer to faith in God than many Christians”, even those who seem to “use” faith in some utilitarian fashion. I know I’m not the best Orthodox Christian; heck, more than half the time I long for communion with Rome. And I may in fact be “using” my weak faith to hide from my inadequacies. But I truly fail to see how someone who believes “You die and nothing happens. You turn to dust. All that remains are memories in other people’s heads” has more faith in God than I. Bill, please explain.

  27. Daniel, it’s not that I’m saying that Phonono actually believes in God, or indeed has any faith at all. It’s that I think his (I’m assuming Phonono is a man) honesty (about himself) and graciousness (by which I mean courteous frankness) move him closer to having a stronger faith than those Christians whose nominal “faith” they use as an excuse to hide from their own sinfulness (and yes, that latter description fits me most of the time as well). Phonono, to my way of thinking, is well suited to faith one day, and I hope he finds it. He’s asking the right questions, and although his answers are wrong, he still sees the important issues. That’s a huge first step. People come to God from all directions, and it’s their ability to be honest with themselves which determines much of the ease or difficulty of that journey. One must be clear with such seekers, yes, so that they are not cheated of the Gospel, but one should also show a welcoming love.

    I’ll be glad to discuss my views on this further, if you like.

  28. Bill, while I understand your compassionate view and to some degree share it, care must be taken to not go too far in accepting that phonono is near the Kingdom. The velvet trap of the worldly triangle of rationalism/materialism/naturalism is still a trap. I just read phonono’s last post again, there is a quiet fatalism of tone that is close to despair. Such despair is a living death and there is no healing for it without Christ, no matter how ethical and moral the person is otherwise. Jesus said, “Unless you eat of my Body and drink of my Blood, you have no life in you.”

    Baptism is the remission of sins, Christmation is the “Seal of the Gift of the Holy Spirit” by whom “all things are made new” and the newly illumned soul becomes part of the community of Christ, part of His Body and enters into the Kingdom. We must remember that Jesus told us that the least in the Kingdom is greater that the greatest born of woman.

    Salvation comes by grace and faith in Jesus Christ. Anything short of salavation is death. I think we can properly say that phonono is perhaps not far from the Kingdom, but that “not far” is huge in its effect. There are certainly many who profess Christ with there mouths, but deny Him in their hearts, they too are at grave risk, but at least if they choose to repent, they have already made a step that phonono has yet to make.

  29. Michael, both you and Daniel have expressed excellent points. I would merely add, again, that I never said or implied that phonono actually believes in God or is already of the Kingdom. I think the three of us are saying the same thing from slightly different angles. My point is that phonono already has some important tools for faith, but not the faith itself. As you correctly point out, “‘not far’ is huge in its effect”… but, again IMHO, less huge than “very far.”

  30. “We don’t want to die…There, you see. DEATH. That’s it. You’re nothing special. You,re going to end up like her, your father, your mother, your spouse, everybody around you will die like that someday. And then YOU too. And that’s frighteningly real.”

    Yes, it is real, and the reason we don’t want to die is that we were not created for death. The “don’t want to,” the insistent drive to look beyond death, is an important indicator of things that have have their origin before conception and beyond death.

  31. Bill, phonono does seem to be facing the Death much more honestly than a lot of folks. But as you say he has come to the wrong conclusions. In Gods time, and with the work of faithful, honest Christians he will realize his error.

    You said that “people come to God from all directions”. May I suggest that people come to the Path that leads to God from all directions. Once they have found that Christ is the Way, the Path to God is straight and narrow. For some reason I’ve always thought this not be congruent with the idea that people can come to God from a variety of directions. But I may be in error. Lord knows, it wouldn’t be the first time & it won’t be the last.

    Except when it comes to taxes. πŸ˜‰ Just kidding, Dean, just kidding.

  32. I realise that if i post something here and never coming back, i will be very irresponsible. You can’t just irrupt in the middle of a conversation and leave.

    To go back to the thread, I don’t see how homosexuals (male or female) marrying would threaten the institution of marriage, let alone the sanctity of it, if it is the union of two individuals that love one another. Britney Spears marrying and divorcing 3 days after is much more damaging to the ideal of marriage because it trivialises it. If we stick with the Holy Bible for directives, we get stuck with the possibility of a man marrying with a woman even if she does not want to and stoning to death if she commits adultery. Where is the pardon? And where is the compassion?

    I remember walking back home, and seeing a couple of punks (a couple in the sense of a young man and a young woman) begging for money to buy food (or whatever) and i noticed one of the evangelists who usually pray at the former movie theatre turned God&Jesus shop (bible bars and Christian rock and Angel fighter cartoons and whatnot), she was lecturing him on how Jesus was merciful if you accepted him in your heart and blablablah… for 10 minutes on! i just came back from the grocery store so i went over, pulled out two bananas, gave them to the punks, smiled at the woman, and walked away. The evangelist woman was stunned and speechless.

    I know that Orthodox christians are different but the point is when you start to get deep into the theology, you lose the essence of the message Jesus tried to convey.

    Back to death, when i said there’s nothing after death, i mean that you dont feel nothing. You dont suffer, but then you cant feel anything because suffering is part of life, which is part of feeling. No feeling without suffering. No Good without Evil. If you dont feel anything then nothing happens. It’s an eternity of feeling nothing.

    When i said i was agnostic, i mean i dont have an opinion on the existence of God. How can I ? I’m just a human being! How can i claim understanding something which transcends humanity? That’s very pretentious!

    Healing that i find, i do not find it in drugs (legal or illegal) i do not find it in alcohol, i do not find it in following the false prophets who create churches to avoid taxes (like Scientology) i find it in myself, in the love my wife, my child and my parents have for me, and in the love i have for them.

    Sorry to disturb the thread on homosexual marriage ban in Louisiana.
    My real name is Eric

  33. Are you saying, then, that it all comes back to death and taxes?

    But seriously, folks, Daniel’s suggestion that “people come to the Path that leads to God from all directions” should be anthologized. It has a Lewisian turn to it.

  34. Welcome back, Eric. The threads here often wander from the point, so you’re not out of line. If you don’t mind my asking, what country are you from?

    The marital fortunes of Britney Spears do indeed trivialize marriage. But that does not mean that homosexual marriage doesn’t have a similar effect on traditional marriage. Homosexual “marriage,” besides being based on relations that are unnatural in the merely biological sense of the word, let alone the moral (Missourian has had some excellent and choice words to say on this subject), is fundamentally not of the same kind or value as heterosexual marriage. Broadening the definition of marriage to include homosexual unions will stretch the term past its breaking point, and traditional marriage will indeed lose its value in society. This, BTW, is not a call to go out and bash or kill homosexuals per se. It is an argument against the bigotry of hard-core gay rights adherents which assume that if something in society won’t accomodate to them, it must be wrong.

    Your statement about “sticking to the Bible for directives” suggests to me that you’ve experienced mostly a literal and condemning interpretation of what it says. Care to go further into what you were taught about the Bible?

    Your story of the beggars and the evangelist reminds me of the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Michael, Daniel, Dean, others, am I off base here?

  35. Eric is actually intellectually very honest. He’s right, of course, about biblical morality. There are divisions of Christianity such as Catholicism and Orthodoxy that are not “anti-biblical” but are an evolution of biblical thought (“extra-biblical”?) that are based on the prime teachings of Christ and the commands to love God and others. Certain elements within the old Testament are based more on cultural taboos and societal concepts of purity than real Christian morality. Thus, we don’t mandate that a woman marry her rapist, that disobedient children be stoned to death, that having multiple wives is to encouraged, etc.

    Sometimes the Catholic Church will decree certain things that aren’t in the Bible at all (e.g., no birth control even within marriage). Both denominations strive for these highest ideals in all things, but recognize that none of us are capable of attaining that in this life. However, it’s wrong to say that because we all have “bad habits” (Christians call it sin) that bad habits are to be encouraged. (Am I off base here?)

    Based on THAT, I understand the opposition to gay marriage, the use of birth control, sex outside marriage, etc. At the same time, I do NOT understand how such a cultural opposition to not only gay acts but gay PEOPLE has become so prevalent that Jimmy Swaggart last week threatened that he would “kill him and tell God he died” should a gay man so much as look at him the “wrong way” to the laughter and applause of his audience (really …)

  36. Eric, I’m interested in your comment about music earlier. I’m wondering where the nihilistic subtext (which, as you indicate, is broken by the love of your family) comes from. It not expressed philosophically as much as attitudinally, as mood really, which is why I am asking about the music.

  37. To answer some of the questions very quickly, I was born in Northwestern Quebec, in the predomnantly French-speaking (and Catholic) part of Canada, my native language (meaning the first language my mom and dad spoke to me) is French, I quickly learned Mandarin Chinese and Korean and am now studying Finnish and Swedish. I’m a professional translator and have been into music for as long as i can remember. The “nihilistic subtext” is the current attitude i have because of several difficulties i have experienced professionally, since i’m a very sensitive individual. I read the Bible several times, as i read many other books of “wisdom” except maybe for the Quran, which has been commented by some Muslim friends, especially the issue of no mention of the hidjab in the Quran. All the questions i sent to my bishop concerning the Bible were always answered very evasively and vaguely.

  38. This is a bit personal but…

    Were the questions sent to the bishop part of a larger crisis? IOW, did you hope his answers would resolve questions not directly mentioned in your correspondence to him?

  39. Jacobse: I was tired of getting the same old politician-style evasive answers from my local curate. He told me to write to my Bishop. I was just trying to get in the parts of the Bible that I find questionable, puzzling if not downright contradictory, and I have yet to find someone who will answer my questions in a satisfactory manner. I still do not understand Christians who are against gay marriage since I have yet to find Jesus condemning it in the Apostles recall of what He said.

    And homosexuality occurs naturally in many mammals, birds and reptiles. Even if we put all homosexuals on a spaceship and send them to Pluto we will still have homosexuals, unless we stop having babies (not a desirable thing, right?) It’s a mystery of Nature. It has a purpose.

  40. Whoops, i accidentally hit the Say it! button.
    Like individuals born hermaphrodites or with Trisomie 21, or mental retardation, we must not try to prevent them from being born. And we must not prevent them from being together. That would be a crime for it would prevent them from being happy.

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