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Freedom of religion & Gay marriage


JustinW
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Moontanman

Children do not have the same rights as adults, your comparison fails.

 

Then you are happy to discriminate on the basis of age. Congratulations, so am I.

 

You seem to have a real worry with this, is there a movement I am unaware of that supports child marriage?

 

Actually yes. NAMBLA. And if they can't get that, they will be quite happy for the age of consent laws to be dropped.

 

So couple who are sterile shouldn't be allowed to marry?

 

That you and the following posters even make this point demonstrates the futility of posting links. You won't bloody read them. In essense the mainstream religious view is that marriage be kept between a man and a woman becuase only in that pairing is procreation possible as a general rule. They view that their thinking is in line with biology and that the pairing of male and female is required for the continuance of the species. In their view "marriage" is the way to recognise that pairing.

 

Even if you assume that most Christians do not have a problem with gays why do you think they right to control the word marriage? The church no more owns the word marriage than it owns the word moral. Simply stepping up and laying claim to a term doesn't make you own it...

 

Jeez. How about I'm trying to come up with a way to get through the problem while pissing off and irritating the least number of people? Which has to be better for a nation than for a small section to demand something and to hell with anybody elses opinion. The answer in each nation to the gay marriage situation will be political, it will be a compromise of some sort. What I suggested was a compromise that most people could probably live with.

 

Fascinating to watch the American left refusing a compromise position when they've done nothing but bitch and moan for years that the conservatives refuse compromise.

 

They're coming, they are spreading, they intend to Evangelicalize the world, they intend to take back society and as long as so called main stream Christians don't do anything to stop them they are as bad as moderate Muslims who don't condemn the radical fringes.

 

Amazing. And if I were to say the same about the green groups planning world control in Rio I'd be called a conspiracy nut. Newsflash for you. Every special interest group, religious or secular will do whatever it can to increase its influence and power. This is reality, deal with it.

 

John,

Because they advocate violence towards gays.

 

Can you provide a quote from the Pope? Or a Cardinal? How about the ArchBishop of Canterbury? Not everybody who disagrees on gay marriage also advocates violence towards gays. That is simply bullshit. Or are you suggesting I beat my friends up on a weekly basis? There are a few who do so advocate. There have been people from the climate warming camp who advocate violence towards us sceptics as well, does this mean that all warmers do? No, and nor do all who disagree on gay marriage advocate violence. Roughly 50% of the British population is Christian, let's say that half of those are against gay "marriage". That means that 1 in 4 people that you pass in the street "advocate violence towards gays". Really? That many? It's a wonder there are any gays left.

 

Also, claiming that, because we advocate marriage for gay couples, means that we advocate under-age sex is a strawman.

 

Wrong again. Is it that people can't read or am I not expressing myself clearly. I am saying that it is hypocritical to complain about discrimination on the basis of sex and at the same time condone discrimination on other grounds. If "discrimination" is wrong, then discrimination on the basis of age is wrong. I don't take that view. I take the view that no matter how you write the rules you will finish up discriminating against somebody. I'm quite happy for that discrimination to be on the basis of age and ability to knowingly consent.

 

iNow, read Cardinal Pells statement, he covers most of what you are talking about.

 

I must admit, given the tone of many comments I do now wonder how many people really give a rats arse about gay marriage at all but are very happy for any reason to stick it to a Church or three. Hatred of religious people seems a far stronger motivator that support for the gay community.

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I must admit, given the tone of many comments I do now wonder how many people really give a rats arse about gay marriage at all but are very happy for any reason to stick it to a Church or three. Hatred of religious people seems a far stronger motivator that support for the gay community.

 

 

The rights of gay people trump religion every time for me. Gay rights are personally important, my oldest son is gay. I will fight for his rights in any way i can. His worth as human being cannot be measured by the writings of bronze age savages nor should his rights as a human being be lessened.

 

Your constant effort to associate the movement for gay rights and some insane group of pedophiles is as despicable as it is dishonest.

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iNow, read Cardinal Pells statement, he covers most of what you are talking about.

No, he asserts many things, but he does not address my central criticism. He attempts to wave it away like Oz behind the curtain, or like a magician at a show using smoke and mirrors, but he does not even begin to offer a meaningful argument... only hollow assertions. Let me elaborate.

 

 

He essentially states that marriage is and should only be between a man and a woman because of the prospect of having children. He then suggests that the elderly beyond reproductive years and the infertile are both still allowed to marry because they are "in a sexual union naturally designed to give life."

 

Ignoring for a moment the inherent suggestion that we are designed (intelligently or otherwise), this still is trivially false by definition alone. To "give life," you must first be fertile. If you are infertile, you are not "designed to give life." Using his own metric, and applying his own requirements, the elderly and the infertile should not be allowed to marry. That's clearly contrary to the position he's arguing.

 

"
Marriage between a man and a woman always has an inherent capacity for, and orientation towards, the generation of children, whether that capacity is actualized or not.
"

 

As I said... That's rubbish on it's face. Elderly couples lack the "inherent capacity for, and orientation towards, the generation of children." Infertile people lack the "inherent capacity for, and orientation towards, the generation of children." He neither addressed nor negated my rebuttal that they are singling out homosexuals. Shit, John... He actually reinforced it.

 

 

He then argues that "marriage" creates the best conditions for raising children, all the while completely ignoring that this would apply equally regardless of the genitals attached to the participants joined together in those marriages. He engages in this same trick throughout his essay, actually. Throughout, he argues for various benefits inherent in marriage itself, despite the fact that nobody is questioning those benefits.

 

Here's where he drops the ball, though... Throughout his essay he never bothers to show how one form of marriage (couples with similar genitals) is any less capable of achieving those exact same benefits as another form of marriage (couples with different genitals). He just drones on and on about the benefits of marriage itself, despite the fact that this is entirely peripheral the issue, and also despite the fact that those same benefits are realized regardless of the genital makeup of couple. Either way... Nobody here is saying marriage itself doesn't have benefits, and again, his own position neither addresses nor negates my comments that they are singling out homosexuals... It actually reinforces them.

 

Let's see... what next... He then argues based on history, or the status quo... "It's long been this way, and that's why we should keep it this" or "respect the tradition" is how he articulates his position, as if that is even remotely relevant or matters whatsoever in this issue. I'll make why this is a bunk argument more plain for you. Recall that we had a history of slavery, and the status quo suggested it was okay for people of white skin to "own" people of black skin... The fact that it had long been that way, or that we had a tradition of slavery, does not serve as an argument against the inherent wrongness of slavery. Closer to the subject at hand, we also had a history of preventing black people and white people from marrying... it had "been that way" for years and was part of "tradition." This, too, does not serve as a valid argument to oppose it. I hope it's immediately clear to you why and that this point doesn't require further elucidation.

 

Finally, he puts forth the old canard of religious freedom, or how opening marriage to same sex couples would harm religious freedom, and how important it is to protect religious freedom. Well, I've got news for you guys... Nobody is taking away or impacting your religious freedom. Nobody is forcing any churches to perform any marriages they do not want to perform. They are free to only marry couples they choose to allow to marry. That was never in question, so the issue of religious freedom is entirely moot. It's a complete red herring. The point is that religions do not have the "freedom" to impose their personal beliefs on others. The point is that they don't have the "freedom" to make the rest of us live by their religiously motivated preferences... not that religions are being forced to do something they don't want to do. Their freedoms are not being taken away, so this too is a failed argument.

 

 

Again... The arguments put forward in opposition to same sex marriage are trivially easy to debunk, shown fallacious, and are entirely disingenuous when given even remedial scrutiny. There are zero relevant secular reasons to stand in opposition. Given all of this, and given the counter points I and others have offered here, it's quite clear that this issue ultimately boils down to little more than ignorance and bigotry and potentially the desire of religious people to impose their personal beliefs on to the rest of us.

 

 

Hatred of religious people seems a far stronger motivator that <sic> support for the gay community.

I'm really quite curious to know what specifically I have posted in this thread that would give you such an impression. Religion has been rather peripheral to my comments, or at best supplemental.

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"Can you provide a quote from the Pope? Or a Cardinal? How about the ArchBishop of Canterbury? Not everybody who disagrees on gay marriage also advocates violence towards gays. That is simply bullshit."

What?

I was talking about the guys in the video clips not the pope.

The bullshit seems to be coming from your direction.

 

Discrimination is, of course, unavoidable.

Most of us discriminate against murder.

However, as has been pointed out, child abuse has a victim and is a crime. Gay marriage doesn't and isn't.

Can you really not see the difference?

Conflating the two is strawmanning.

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Moontanman

 

Your constant effort to associate the movement for gay rights and some insane group of pedophiles is as despicable as it is dishonest.

 

I'm not associating them at all. How many times do I have to say this? The point has repeatedly been that if you allow one form of discrimination and object to another then you are a hypocrite. This means that arguing from the POV of "discrimination is always wrong" is literally invalid because two wrongs don't make a right. Similarly the simple argument "It's discrimination" is pointless because no matter how you write the rules you are going to discriminate against somebody, unless you want a no rule free for all and I doubt that anybody is advocating that.

 

Now if you want to argue that discrimination due to genitals (gay union) is wrong but discrimination due to age (thus preventing the sickos getting their way) is okay then you are both discriminatory and a hypocrite. As this happens to me my POV, welcome to the club. I'm quite content to be called hypocritical and discriminatory on this. Do you understand now?

 

John

I was talking about the guys in the video clips not the pope.

The bullshit seems to be coming from your direction.

 

Mate, I'm having great trouble keeping track of who you are talking about. Sometimes it's the general public and sometimes it's the yankee extremists. I'll grant the Americans have problems, but the extremist types aren't a large percentage of the population down here and I doubt they are all that large in England. So for our nations we can ignore them.

 

The "gay marriage" battle is a political one and will be won or lost in the hearts and minds of the general public. Not american nutjobs but those quiet parishoners who go to Mass or C of E service on Sunday. These are the people that must be convinced that the option put forward is a good idea and supportable. They are also the ones who quite often don't give a rats arse about whether gays have a Union or not, but they do feel that the word "marriage" should be reserved for men and women.

 

John and Mary public are not "gay haters" and don't advocate violence towards gays. If any group is most likely to go out gay bashing it's the skinheads and their friends, groups that are strangely absent from church congregations. It has been my experience with these groups (and I've fought some of them) have very little in the way of spiritual or religious opinions. They're generally cowards who think that gays would make an easy target. That these "people" attack only in groups gives a good measure of their "bravery". But to quote G'Kar "They made a very satisfying thump when they hit the ground". ;)

 

But you don't win a political battle by telling 50% of the population that they are wrong and the tiny minority (and gays are a minority) are right and that the majority must change or else. You don't win people over to your side by chucking insults around that if they don't agree then they must be advocating violence against gays.

 

The suggestion I put forward about giving the church the word "marriage" was a way to win the battle. For now, it would give the gay community everything except the word and would placate those in the general public. Within 20 years all Unions would be Marriages in the vernacular and the battle is over and more importantly is won. There is nothing that can be done to change the minds of the extremist minority and so it is pointless to even try. All you will do is make them feel righteously persecuted or some such rot.

 

Discrimination is, of course, unavoidable.

 

Thank you. That was the point I was trying to make. So doesn't it follow that the argument "It's discrimination" is sort of pointless?

 

However, as has been pointed out, child abuse has a victim and is a crime.

 

That is a purely cultural perspective. I happen to agree as it is my cultural perspective, but I have to accept the fact all the same. Quite a number of cultures have practices that we would define as "child abuse" and who are we to say that they're wrong? I think they would be wrong, but it would be bloody hard to "prove".

 

iNow.

 

You make some good points but we seem to be reading the same thing in different ways. Taking the comment;

"Marriage between a man and a woman always has an inherent capacity for, and orientation towards, the generation of children, whether that capacity is actualized or not."

 

You view this as "rubbish" because of infertile or post menopausal people. Whereas I'm reading it this way "Of the three possible pairings, male/male, female/female and male/female only the pairing male/female has an inherent capacity for procreation. Whether it is actualized in a particular couple or not is beside the point, it is the only pairing where procreation is inherently possible."

 

All his later comments are based on "marriage" having the definition he describes and should be read in that light. Although defing marriage as a long term relationship entered into with a view to engendering new life is a bit of an iffy argument when applied to the elderly.

 

Finally, he puts forth the old canard of religious freedom, or how opening marriage to same sex couples would harm religious freedom, and how important it is to protect religious freedom. Well, I've got news for you guys... Nobody is taking away or impacting your religious freedom. Nobody is forcing any churches to perform any marriages they do not want to perform. They are free to only marry couples they choose to allow to marry. That was never in question, so the issue of religious freedom is entirely moot. It's a complete red herring.

 

This might be true in the USA, but not elsewhere. As the refernces in the letter point out, under anti discrimination laws if a gay marriage is to be fully equal to a heterosexual one, then it is discriminatory and illegal to deny gays the right to marry in the church of their choice. It would not surprise me if Ausrtralian laws are somewhat similar. You have to admit that it's more than a bit odd to have anti discrimination laws that apply to who can get married, but not where. It does come down to how the laws are actually written in various nations. The legal situation in Britain is summarised quite well here.

 

“In order to permit same sex couples to marry the Government merely needs to repeal s11© Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 which says ‘11 Grounds on which a marriage is void; c)that the parties are not respectively male and female’.”

 

“However if it does repeal that sub section then those organisations and individuals which are authorised to register Marriage (which of course includes Church of England Priests by virtue of their office) would at that point be obliged to perform Same Sex marriages unless there is a specific statutory exemption,” he said.

 

The current state of the law, Mr. Addison wrote on his blog was that there was no difference between “Civil” as opposed to “Religious” marriage [as] both are in law the same thing and merely take place in different premises.”

 

So without specific exemptions, then the fears are not groundless.

 

the desire of religious people to impose their personal beliefs on to the rest of us.

 

Can't you see that they are viewing it in exactly the same light but from the other side?

 

I'm really quite curious to know what specifically I have posted in this thread that would give you such an impression. Religion has been rather peripheral to my comments, or at best supplemental.

 

Mate, you are possibly the most evangelical athiest I know. If you've ever missed the chance to sink a boot into a religious person I missed it. Your writings have long shown that you hate religions (I'm not too fussed on them either) and view people with religious or spiritual views as at best deluded and possibly demented. They are certainly "faulty" in some way since they have "imaginary" friends. So I have to wonder whether you really care about the topic or just relish the opportunity to demonstrate why religious people are "wrong".

 

I believe in existance after death and you don't. The only difference is that you seem to have a burning need to tell people like me that we are wrong. Me? I don't care. I have no desire or need to convince you of something that is currently unprovable. Either you are right or I am. In 80 years time, either we are both in non existence or we'll be sucking down some spiritual tequilas in the fourth dimension from the left. :D Either way makes no difference in the "here and now" and to spend time and energy on which is right is a waste to me.

 

I simply want nothing more than to live my life in such a way as to ensure that the Westboro Baptist Church pickets my funeral. I don't know that this would give my life "meaning", but it would just be nice to p*ss them off that much. ;)

 

Back on topic. I put forward the "Civil Union" and giving the churches the word "marriage" idea as a possible way to appease the mainstream church going population (which is who the polls listen to) and win the battle, ending the gay marriage argument forever. I've been responded to with exactly the same terms and arguments that have failed to advance the gay marriage cause for the last 10 years. They say the definition of insanity is to continue to do the same thing and expect a differnt outcome. So how have the usual tactics, name calling and finger pointing been working out for ya?

 

If what you've been doing for 10 years hasn't worked then here is a novel idea "Try something different". Throw the religious a bone and try for a compromise that people can live with for now and will give the desired end result in the future. Of course, this means you have to give up the victory dance and all the "Nyah, nyah, we beat you" and I suspect this is the real reason why compromise is not to be considered. The enemy must be utterly destroyed, you can't allow them even a partial win. (In the Americans case I can understand this attitude. You can't allow those looney Baptists a win.)

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The point has repeatedly been that if you allow one form of discrimination and object to another then you are a hypocrite. This means that arguing from the POV of "discrimination is always wrong" is literally invalid because two wrongs don't make a right. Similarly the simple argument "It's discrimination" is pointless because no matter how you write the rules you are going to discriminate against somebody, unless you want a no rule free for all and I doubt that anybody is advocating that.

 

Now if you want to argue that discrimination due to genitals (gay union) is wrong but discrimination due to age (thus preventing the sickos getting their way) is okay then you are both discriminatory and a hypocrite. As this happens to me my POV, welcome to the club. I'm quite content to be called hypocritical and discriminatory on this. Do you understand now?

You are correct that there will always be some types of discrimination. However, that seems peripheral to the argument many in this thread have put forth that this requires a relevant secular reason to support it. In the instance of children, it's not an argument that discrimination based on age is okay, and that's why you are being accused of strawman. The position is that children lack the mental capacity to offer an informed consent with a clear understanding of the consequences of their actions.

 

Yes, it's a type of discrimination. Where it differs, however, is that there is a relevant secular reason to support it. You don't seem to be acknowledging this in any way with your continued suggestions that others are hypocrites.

 

Mate, you are possibly the most evangelical athiest I know. If you've ever missed the chance to sink a boot into a religious person I missed it. <...> So I have to wonder whether you really care about the topic or just relish the opportunity to demonstrate why religious people are "wrong".

<...>

So how have the usual tactics, name calling and finger pointing been working out for ya?<...> Of course, this means you have to give up the victory dance and all the "Nyah, nyah, we beat you" and I suspect this is the real reason why compromise is not to be considered. The enemy must be utterly destroyed, you can't allow them even a partial win. (In the Americans case I can understand this attitude. You can't allow those looney Baptists a win.)

You evaded my actual question, and I'd still be curious to know where you think I've engaged in "the usual tactics, name calling and finger pointing." My arguments on this topic are pretty crisp and on point. Telling me I'm being rude or mean or guessing at what my motivations may be are not relevant. You apparently cannot touch the arguments I've put forth with a valid rebuttal.

 

I'm really not arguing. I'm merely explaining why I'm correct.

 

I understand what you say about taking baby steps and taking a win where we can get it... That equal rights under the term civil union is better than zero rights under the term marriage. This is essentially the position Justin put forth in the OP. I get what you're saying... It's a compromise that may achieve at least some of the objectives.

 

Here's what I think you may miss, though. My objective is not that same sex couples have access to the same benefits. That's a peripheral outcome of my objective, but not my intended goal. My intended goal is to ensure equality to people, and to ensure when we restrict that equality that we have a relevant secular reason for doing so. Nobody has yet been able to offer a single one.

 

Sure, compromise might be better than where we are today, but you still need people like me who are willing to stand up passionately on principle alone and fight for what is right as opposed to settling for what is just practical. Cheers.

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The "gay marriage" battle is a political one and will be won or lost in the hearts and minds of the general public. Not american nutjobs but those quiet parishoners who go to Mass or C of E service on Sunday. These are the people that must be convinced that the option put forward is a good idea and supportable. They are also the ones who quite often don't give a rats arse about whether gays have a Union or not, but they do feel that the word "marriage" should be reserved for men and women.

 

This is where you're wrong. Most theists are actually a lot more moderate than you believe.

 

Why would our God, the omnipotent creator of the multiverse, care about who marries whom? Most of us think this way. Most of us don't care about gay marriage. The term marriage does not belong to us. At all.

 

You're hearing a vocal minority. And that's it. A hateful, bigoted, minority.

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John

 

 

1Mate, I'm having great trouble keeping track of who you are talking about. Sometimes it's the general public and sometimes it's the yankee extremists. I'll grant the Americans have problems, but the extremist types aren't a large percentage of the population down here and I doubt they are all that large in England.

 

2So for our nations we can ignore them.

 

3The "gay marriage" battle is a political one and will be won or lost in the hearts and minds of the general public. Not american nutjobs but those quiet parishoners who go to Mass or C of E service on Sunday. These are the people that must be convinced that the option put forward is a good idea and supportable. They are also the ones who quite often don't give a rats arse about whether gays have a Union or not, but they do feel that the word "marriage" should be reserved for men and women.

 

John and Mary public are not "gay haters" and don't advocate violence towards gays. If any group is most likely to go out gay bashing it's the skinheads and their friends, groups that are strangely absent from church congregations. It has been my experience with these groups (and I've fought some of them) have very little in the way of spiritual or religious opinions. They're generally cowards who think that gays would make an easy target. That these "people" attack only in groups gives a good measure of their "bravery". But to quote G'Kar "They made a very satisfying thump when they hit the ground". ;)

 

But you don't win a political battle by telling 50% of the population that they are wrong and the tiny minority (and gays are a minority) are right and that the majority must change or else. You don't win people over to your side by chucking insults around that if they don't agree then they must be advocating violence against gays.

 

4The suggestion I put forward about giving the church the word "marriage" was a way to win the battle. For now, it would give the gay community everything except the word and would placate those in the general public. Within 20 years all Unions would be Marriages in the vernacular and the battle is over and more importantly is won. There is nothing that can be done to change the minds of the extremist minority and so it is pointless to even try. All you will do is make them feel righteously persecuted or some such rot.

 

 

 

5Thank you. That was the point I was trying to make. So doesn't it follow that the argument "It's discrimination" is sort of pointless?

 

 

 

6That is a purely cultural perspective. I happen to agree as it is my cultural perspective, but I have to accept the fact all the same. Quite a number of cultures have practices that we would define as "child abuse" and who are we to say that they're wrong? I think they would be wrong, but it would be bloody hard to "prove".

 

 

 

1others manage OK

2 my nation pretty much does ignore them, but that doesn't stop them being wrong.

3 evangelism is one of the bigger groups of US Christians.

4 what you have put forward is a way to lose the battle.

5 simply, no

6 many of those practices are religious and is a reason why power should be taken away from religion

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You're hearing a vocal minority. And that's it. A hateful, bigoted, minority.

 

That would be the first time I've heard the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England referred to as a "minority". Since the Salvation Army seems to agree does that make them a paramilitary organisation now? :D

 

1others manage OK

2 my nation pretty much does ignore them, but that doesn't stop them being wrong.

3 evangelism is one of the bigger groups of US Christians.

4 what you have put forward is a way to lose the battle.

5 simply, no

6 many of those practices are religious and is a reason why power should be taken away from religion

 

1. Bull. You made the comment about advocating violence in direct response to my comment where I was talking about the Catholic and C of E mainstream. If others understood that you were referring to looney Baptists then I can only gaze in wonder at their psychic abilities.

 

2. My nation ignores them too. Which makes them a diversion and not really germane to the topic of what to do in your nation and mine.

 

3. So what? We're having more trouble by morons trained by Al Gore than we are from evangelicals.

 

4. A sound argument indeed. Would you care to enlighten this poor simpleton as to why? Since as I pointed out the current campaign of 10 years or so has just been working out so well.

 

5. Riiiiiiight. Is this because discrimination is okay if you agree wiith it and is bad if you don't like it? Or what?

 

6. You do know that the Empire is dead, don't you? We have a much better thing now called the "Commonwealth". It let the white man put down his burden quite some time ago. We don't have to tell other cultures how to live anymore.

 

iNow.

 

You're talking about a relevent secular reason, but really it's a choice made by society. No, children cannot give informed consent, this is plainly obvious. However that this matters as a criteria for marriage is a societal choice. Our society didn't discover a scientific principle about informed consent, we chose to make that part of the deal. Similarly we chose (albeit for religious reasons, but we at least know what they are) to make marriage between a man and woman. Therefore, of course, we can choose to make the rules otherwise to what they are and include the gays. But we have to accept that all the rules are essentially simply choices and be prepared for people to challenge other choices that they happen to disagree with, like age of consent laws.

 

A 6 year old cannot give informed consent to a medical proceedure either. As a society we get around this by choosing to let the parents have the final say. Again the reality is that we allow this in medical matters but not in marriage purely as a societal choice. There is no reason, religious or secular for it to be this way. So since there is no actual "reason" then to allow one form of discrimination while decrying another is being a hypocrite.

 

Now maybe you missed it, but I always included myself in that hypocritical group. I accept that virtually all the rules of our society are nothing more than generally agreed upon choices and have little to no reason behind them. Combine that with the fact that all rules will discriminate against somebody and you're left with "Society chooses to discriminate", which it does. If it is normal for a society to discriminate then to argue that something is discrimination is rather pointless. Pointing to somebody elses discrimination while ignoring your own is a true case of pot and kettle.

 

So I choose to support gay unions. I'd like it be marriage as it would save my friends the cost of overseas trips but I doubt that politically it will fly with the mainstream religions. As beating my head against the brick wall of religious predjudice is something I try to avoid then the first step of "Unions" would have to do. Give it 10 years or so and everyone will be calling them marriages anyway. I choose that my society does not allow for child marriages. I'm fully aware in making this choice that I am discriminating against some people and am being a hypocrite. Tough.

 

You evaded my actual question, and I'd still be curious to know where you think I've engaged in "the usual tactics, name calling and finger pointing.

 

It was more a general comment. For 10 years at least those in favour have been crying "discrimination" and "bigot". So how well has that worked? About as well as Greenpeace against the Japanese whalers. It hasn't really advanced the cause at all and as Moontanman pointed out it's going backwards in some places. So fighting the fight using the same old terms and same old arguments isn't working, is it? None of us are in a position to actually effect the campaign so whether we think it's going well or badly is rather beside the point. But would you say it's going well? If nations were ships in a convoy then the situation could be described as "Going forward on one engine" for some while most of the rest are "Dead in the Water" and some are "Holed and taking on water".

 

I'm really not arguing. I'm merely explaining why I'm correct.

 

Do you assume that others argue from the position that they are wrong?

 

Here's what I think you may miss, though. My objective is not that same sex couples have access to the same benefits. That's a peripheral outcome of my objective, but not my intended goal. My intended goal is to ensure equality to people, and to ensure when we restrict that equality that we have a relevant secular reason for doing so. Nobody has yet been able to offer a single one.

 

Because they don't have to. What you are calling a "relevent secular reason" is really nothing more than a societal choice. You live in Texas where the age of consent is 17, just to the north is Oklahoma where it is 16. What beside "They chose to have it like that" is the relevent secular reason for the difference? What is it that makes the youth of Oklahoma special compared to Texans? Do they develop faster and therefore can handle a lower age of consent? Can you prove this?

 

You keep waving this "relevent secular reason" as if it means "relevent logical reason" when it doesn't. The drinking age in the USA is 21 yet according to Wiki;

As of January 1, 2010, 15 states and the District of Columbia ban underage consumption outright, 17 states do not ban underage consumption, and the remaining 18 states have family member and/or location exceptions to their underage consumption laws.

 

Again, except for "Because the Legislature chose to make it that way", what is the "relevent secular reason" for this disparity?

 

Sure, there are times when there are "relevent secular reasons" to restrict the activities of some people, for example the mentally impaired come to mind, but for the most part it doesn't exist. There is no "reason" beyond "they chose to do it that way" and the main reason they chose to do it that way was because that was the most politically viable option at the time.

 

We're no better. It used to be 21 for everything and now it's all over the place. What was magical about 21 years of age? Was there a religious reason or a relevent secular reason for choosing that number? I doubt it. It was far more likely that a number was needed and for one reason or another we chose 21.

 

Some people confuse the rules set down in a bronze age book for laws of nature and this is wrong, but you mistake "choices" for "reasons" and this is also wrong.

 

Sure, compromise might be better than where we are today, but you still need people like me who are willing to stand up passionately on principle alone and fight for what is right as opposed to settling for what is just practical.

 

Generally I agree, but, what is "right"? What is considered "right" varies from time to time, era to era and nation to nation. You treat "right" as an absolute that you have intimate knowledge of, sorry but you just have your opinion. "Right" is a relative term not an absolute. Generally the only people who believe that they are right as an absolute are totalitarians or religions, or lunatics.

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Back on topic. I put forward the "Civil Union" and giving the churches the word "marriage" idea as a possible way to appease the mainstream church going population (which is who the polls listen to) and win the battle, ending the gay marriage argument forever. I've been responded to with exactly the same terms and arguments that have failed to advance the gay marriage cause for the last 10 years. They say the definition of insanity is to continue to do the same thing and expect a differnt outcome. So how have the usual tactics, name calling and finger pointing been working out for ya?

 

If what you've been doing for 10 years hasn't worked then here is a novel idea "Try something different". Throw the religious a bone and try for a compromise that people can live with for now and will give the desired end result in the future. Of course, this means you have to give up the victory dance and all the "Nyah, nyah, we beat you" and I suspect this is the real reason why compromise is not to be considered. The enemy must be utterly destroyed, you can't allow them even a partial win. (In the Americans case I can understand this attitude. You can't allow those looney Baptists a win.)

 

JohnB, as recent efforts by these religious people show there is no way to appease them, they want it all. As I have stated before in my state that "minority" has passed a constitutional amendment that prohibits not only same sex couple from marrying (they did this even though state law already prohibited gay marriage) that amendment also interferes with civil unions between heterosexual couples. They don't want to defend marriage they want to disenfranchise any one who is not religious. What about this is unclear to you? They don't want compromise, they are doing the will of God...

 

This is where you're wrong. Most theists are actually a lot more moderate than you believe.

 

Why would our God, the omnipotent creator of the multiverse, care about who marries whom? Most of us think this way. Most of us don't care about gay marriage. The term marriage does not belong to us. At all.

 

You're hearing a vocal minority. And that's it. A hateful, bigoted, minority.

 

 

While I don't know about the rest of the world but in the USA they must be a very powerful minority, they weld tremendous influence on the so called moderates and those moderates can't seem to understand that just because someone claims revelation from God it doesn't mean they are talking to anyone but their own egos...

 

37 states have already passed redundant laws or constitutional amendments to limit the rights of gay people, it's an easy thing to slide by the religious because they know the bible says homosexuality is an abomination so they are afraid to oppose these laws.

 

So these people put on their polyester cotton blend clothes and go and vote against equal rights for gays and after they go by Red Lobster for Dinner and put up with their disrespectful children and smile and know they are following the word of god....

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Re "1. Bull. You made the comment about advocating violence in direct response to my comment where I was talking about the Catholic and C of E mainstream. If others understood that you were referring to looney Baptists then I can only gaze in wonder at their psychic abilities."

What I actually said was

 

"John, either these gay haters are a tiny minority, in which case we can go ahead and let gay couples marry, or they are not, in which case they are a much bigger problem than this and you shouldn't say they are unrepresentative."

 

Now, do you think I would call the catholic and C of E a tiny minority?

No, of course not. So it was perfectly clear that when I referred to them as gay haters, I was referring to (gosh) the people who clearly hate gays.

No psychic ability needed, just a bit of common sense.

 

"2. My nation ignores them too. Which makes them a diversion and not really germane to the topic of what to do in your nation and mine."

The topic was started by a Texan. What your country or mine do is a bit tangential to the topic, on the other hand the antics of the loony baptists are quite germane.

"3. So what? We're having more trouble by morons trained by Al Gore than we are from evangelicals."

Lucky us, but so what? Just because group A and group B are both wrong doesn't mean that you shouldn't question group A because group B are also wrong.

Also, I believe that the same sort of sloppy thinking and abdication of decision making is involved in both politics and religion. So getting rid of one would help to address the issue of the other.

"4. A sound argument indeed. Would you care to enlighten this poor simpleton as to why? Since as I pointed out the current campaign of 10 years or so has just been working out so well."

Because it hands power to an undeserving, unelected and (I suspect) unrepresentative group.

" 5 Riiiiiiight. Is this because discrimination is okay if you agree wiith it and is bad if you don't like it? Or what?"

No it's because it's not a bad thing to question discrimination so that you can decide between discrimination against murder of discriminating against sexuality.

 

In some instances "It's discrimination" is a valid argument and not "pointless"

 

"6. You do know that the Empire is dead, don't you? We have a much better thing now called the "Commonwealth". It let the white man put down his burden quite some time ago. We don't have to tell other cultures how to live anymore."

What has the "white man" got to do with it?

Right and wrong transcend nationality, colour and religion.

If some religious group doesn't agree then they are quite simply wrong.

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For 10 years at least those in favour have been crying "discrimination" and "bigot". So how well has that worked? About as well as Greenpeace against the Japanese whalers.

You have no way of measuring how many minds have changed among those who choose not to speak out, or those who merely read threads like this but decide not to reply.

 

It hasn't really advanced the cause at all and as Moontanman pointed out it's going backwards in some places. So fighting the fight using the same old terms and same old arguments isn't working, is it?

You are making a huge assumption, here. As in North Carolina this month, even using a different term was not acceptable. Why do you continue to suggest that changing the term will solve the issue when we have evidence from as recently as the last 30 days that shows the contrary?

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A trip,

The term marriage does not belong to us. At all.

 

I'm going to have to disagree with you just slightly.

 

My argument was centered around the fact that a "marriage" is a religious ceremony, having nothing to do with legal standing. I've been away for a while and thought about it a little. I realized the inaccuracy in this side of the argument. Even if we did classify "marriage" as a religious institution, who's to say that a same sex couple couldn't be "married" within a religion that accepts such? I see that this point has been made while I was away and it is something I should have thought of from the first.

 

This is what it says in Wiki under "Marriage Ceremony", and I think this comes closer to explaining why I differed between a "marriage" and a civil union.

"A marriage is usually formalized at a wedding or marriage ceremony. The ceremony may be officiated either by a religious official, by a government official or by a state approved celebrant. In many European and some Latin American countries, any religious ceremony must be held separately from the required civil ceremony. Some countries – such as Belgium, Bulgaria, France, the Netherlands, Romania and Turkey[81] – require that a civil ceremony take place before any religious one. In some countries – notably the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Norway and Spain – both ceremonies can be held together; the officiant at the religious and civil ceremony also serving as agent of the state to perform the civil ceremony. To avoid any implication that the state is "recognizing" a religious marriage (which is prohibited in some countries) – the "civil" ceremony is said to be taking place at the same time as the religious ceremony. Often this involves simply signing a register during the religious ceremony. If the civil element of the religious ceremony is omitted, the marriage is not recognized by government under the law.

 

While some countries, such as Australia, permit marriages to be held in private and at any location, others, including England and Wales, require that the civil ceremony be conducted in a place open to the public and specially sanctioned by law. In England, the place of marriage need no longer be a church or register office, but could also be a hotel, historic building or other venue that has obtained the necessary license. An exception can be made in the case of marriage by special emergency license, which is normally granted only when one of the parties is terminally ill. Rules about where and when persons can marry vary from place to place. Some regulations require that one of the parties reside in the locality of the registry office.

 

Within the parameters set by the law of the jurisdiction in which a marriage or wedding takes place, each religious authority has rules for the manner in which weddings are to be conducted by their officials and members."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

iNow,

 

You are making a huge assumption, here. As in North Carolina this month, even using a different term was not acceptable. Why do you continue to suggest that changing the term will solve the issue when we have evidence from as recently as the last 30 days that shows the contrary?

I think you are correct here and that JohnB might have it in an earlier post when he mentioned that this was ultimately a societal decision. And everybody knows that society doesn't always make those decisions based on logic more than feeling.
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JohnB, as recent efforts by these religious people show there is no way to appease them, they want it all. As I have stated before in my state that "minority" has passed a constitutional amendment that prohibits not only same sex couple from marrying (they did this even though state law already prohibited gay marriage) that amendment also interferes with civil unions between heterosexual couples. They don't want to defend marriage they want to disenfranchise any one who is not religious. What about this is unclear to you? They don't want compromise, they are doing the will of God...

 

Moontanman, how do a minority change the Constitution? Serious question BTW. We have to have a referendum and the amendment passed by the majority of voters. How did they pull it off without majority support? Is it that with voluntary voting they could mobilise more people? We have compulsory voting which changes the picture dramatically. I know that this is tangential to the topic but I really would like to know.

 

John et al. In talking about "minorities" is has occurred to me that I've been making a mental distinction concerning the various religious groups but I've not made it clear in my posts. Obviously there is the extreme who will never be satisfied. Throw them a bone and they'll just want the rest of the cow. These are the ones who will oppose civil unions or any other type of unions for the gay community. Think of them like the religious version of communists. All communists are left wing, but not all left wing are communists type of thing.

 

At the moment, by framing the debate in the terms of "gay marriage" we are placing pretty much all the religious on one side. This is why I was talking about giving them the word for their use. It won't make any difference to the extremists but it will mollify the Catholics and the other sects, thus splitting the religious opposition. The Catholics etc will be happy because with the word given to the religious then there will be no "gay marriage", just civil unions. It also places the extremists out on their own and removes their ability to draw influence and support from the other Christian sects. Since "marriage" is reserved for the religious then they can't frame the debate as being opposed to "gay marriage" they will be forced to oppose gay civil unions.

 

So any time I've said that the religious would be satisfied or mollified, I was referring only to the moderates, knowing full well that the evangelicals will not be satisfied at all. But I would expect the moderates to then be withdrawing much support for the extremist campaign. The extremists are using the same tactic that the Scientologists are, they try to garner support making the argument that attacks on scientology are attacks on all religions. In a similar fashion the extremists hide their "control everything" agenda behind the cloud of "defending marriage".

 

This is why i think the idea would work. Only the evangelicals are really against gay unions, the others are only against gay marriage. Giving the word to the religious would mean that the evangelicals would be out on their little lonesomes fighting their fight against gay unions of any kind. They lose the ability to draw support from moderate groups and can't hide their agenda behind a smoke screen.

 

iNow has mentioned North Carolina and the referendum. In a reading of half a dozen or so news stories I notice one thing is quite plain. Those in favour of the Amendment framed their argument totally in terms of "defending marriage" and slipped the bits about other types of Union in "under the radar" as it were. This tactic abviously works, so we have to stop them from being able to use it.

 

John, that's why I think the idea would work, it deprives the extremists of their most effective tactic.

 

As in North Carolina this month, even using a different term was not acceptable. Why do you continue to suggest that changing the term will solve the issue when we have evidence from as recently as the last 30 days that shows the contrary?

 

Because as I said above, they are being allowed to frame the debate using dishonest terms. They get to frame it as "defending marriage" and add in their little extras behind the smoke screen. So I don't see the evidence as showing the contrary, I see it as demonstrating that if we continue to allow the extremists to define the debate in their terms then they will win. If we can redefine the debate into our terms, then they lose allies and tactical abilitiy.

 

(And I noticed you couldn't supply any "relevent secular rasons" in answer to the questions I posed. ;) )

 

Oh, and John

What has the "white man" got to do with it?

Right and wrong transcend nationality, colour and religion.

If some religious group doesn't agree then they are quite simply wrong.

 

It was an oblique reference to "white mans burden", that it was our duty to bring enlightened government to those poor benighted natives who just didn't know any better. As to the rest, good luck with that concept. Large chuncks of the USA disagree with the rest of the civilised world as to whether the Death Penalty is "right" or "wrong". How about "Post birth abortion"? Right or wrong? And how can you prove it?

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Large chuncks of the USA disagree with the rest of the civilised world as to whether the Death Penalty is "right" or "wrong". How about "Post birth abortion"? Right or wrong? And how can you prove it?

I'm sure we both look forward to the day when the US joins the rest of the civilised world and stops killing its own citizens in the name of "justice".

Anyway the answer to the question of showing if it's right or wrong is simple and I have mentioned it before.

What would happen if everyone did that?

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Moontanman, how do a minority change the Constitution? Serious question BTW. We have to have a referendum and the amendment passed by the majority of voters. How did they pull it off without majority support? Is it that with voluntary voting they could mobilise more people? We have compulsory voting which changes the picture dramatically. I know that this is tangential to the topic but I really would like to know.

I think that's roughly correct. A majority of "voters" in the Us is not the same thing as a majority of the "population."

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Moontanman, how do a minority change the Constitution? Serious question BTW. We have to have a referendum and the amendment passed by the majority of voters. How did they pull it off without majority support? Is it that with voluntary voting they could mobilise more people? We have compulsory voting which changes the picture dramatically. I know that this is tangential to the topic but I really would like to know.

 

Mostly via lies and deceit, the fundies mobilized a huge ad campaign aimed at churches, by strawmaning the debate they managed to make even moderates follow their plan. Moderates seem to be crippled every time someone claims to be defending Christians or some aspect of Christian belief. The fundies basically shamed the more moderates into supporting them.

 

 

So any time I've said that the religious would be satisfied or mollified, I was referring only to the moderates, knowing full well that the evangelicals will not be satisfied at all. But I would expect the moderates to then be withdrawing much support for the extremist campaign. The extremists are using the same tactic that the Scientologists are, they try to garner support making the argument that attacks on scientology are attacks on all religions. In a similar fashion the extremists hide their "control everything" agenda behind the cloud of "defending marriage".

 

You under estimate the effectiveness of this tactic.

 

This is why i think the idea would work. Only the evangelicals are really against gay unions, the others are only against gay marriage. Giving the word to the religious would mean that the evangelicals would be out on their little lonesomes fighting their fight against gay unions of any kind. They lose the ability to draw support from moderate groups and can't hide their agenda behind a smoke screen.

 

Sadly, this did not work where i live, the evangelicals have far too much influence over the moderates and use shame, guilt, and fear to manipulate them.

 

iNow has mentioned North Carolina and the referendum. In a reading of half a dozen or so news stories I notice one thing is quite plain. Those in favour of the Amendment framed their argument totally in terms of "defending marriage" and slipped the bits about other types of Union in "under the radar" as it were. This tactic abviously works, so we have to stop them from being able to use it.

 

Millions of dollars were spent trying to show this distinction but what was preached from the pulpit was believed not the truth.

 

John, that's why I think the idea would work, it deprives the extremists of their most effective tactic.

 

How do you manage to do that?

 

 

 

Because as I said above, they are being allowed to frame the debate using dishonest terms. They get to frame it as "defending marriage" and add in their little extras behind the smoke screen. So I don't see the evidence as showing the contrary, I see it as demonstrating that if we continue to allow the extremists to define the debate in their terms then they will win. If we can redefine the debate into our terms, then they lose allies and tactical abilitiy.

 

In politics that is impossible, lies and deceit are the coin of politics...

 

(And I noticed you couldn't supply any "relevent secular rasons" in answer to the questions I posed. ;) )

 

Oh, and John

 

 

It was an oblique reference to "white mans burden", that it was our duty to bring enlightened government to those poor benighted natives who just didn't know any better. As to the rest, good luck with that concept. Large chuncks of the USA disagree with the rest of the civilised world as to whether the Death Penalty is "right" or "wrong". How about "Post birth abortion"? Right or wrong? And how can you prove it?

 

 

What is post abortion? How it is relevant to this issue?

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What is post abortion? How it is relevant to this issue?

 

I only brought it up to demonstrate that the line between right and wrong is not clear. I view it as clearly wrong, but this places me on the opposite side to apparently "great" thinkers who feel it is okay. What it is is killing the baby after birth if it deemed to adversely interfere with the familys life and lifestyle. Since the child is only just born, they can't really be thought of as "human" and won't be aware of what they are missing out on, so what is the problem? "Merely being a human being is not enough to warrant a respect for a person’s right to life."

 

Read about it here if you want. This has been around for a few months down here and is one of the reasons that I choke when "progressives" expound on their "values". You'd never get a conservative to take their stance.

 

You under estimate the effectiveness of this tactic.

 

No, I think it is very effective. It works doesn't it? So it needs to be neutralised. The fundies get to define the terms and pick the battleground, which puts all the advantage in their hands. By giving them the word "marriage" to use as they see fit removes the advantage IMO. They can't campaign against gay marriage because it isn't about to exist, gays aren't getting married, they're having civil unions. ;) It also gives the moderates a face saving way out as they might be against gay marriage but civil unions are a secular matter.

 

By changing the battleground from "marriage" to "unions" we bring these people and their motives out into the open and redefine the terms to our advantage. They're no longer "defending church marriage" they are against "Civil Unions in a Registry office" and interfering with personal liberty is a strong motivator in the US.

 

It is hard to understand some of the quirks of the American psyche from the outside. We don't have the very strong evangelical movement that you do and the bizarre claims of some of the televangelists over the years have left us scratching our heads and thinking "Someone believed that BS?". From the outside, if we were asked which States would be most likely to be strongly Bible belt with strong fundy in fluence we would go for the Southern ones and Alabama would be up at or near the top of the list. Yet Alabama has the largest percentage of same sex couples raising children in the USA which is a surprise as we wouldn't think of States like that as being too "gay family friendly".

 

I don't know what the final answer will be and I suspect that it will be different for each nation in the short term. It would be great if sex wasn't a determinant in the marriage equation, but it is. Politics has been described as "The art of the possible" and we need to take the possible wins we can now, while keeping our eye on the final target.

 

NASA didn't get to the moon in the three man Apollo capsule in isolation, they built on the earlier, smaller wins of the Mercury and Gemini missions. Take the small wins when you can, but never forget that are only stepping stones on the longer path.

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You will seldom get anyone (right or left leaning), to accept the stance of these two

Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva

which is that it's acceptable to kill newborn babies.

 

Surely you could have found a more balanced site than "LifeNews.com is an independent news agency devoted to reporting news that affects the pro-life community."

So why did you cite them?

 

Essentially, all you have done is say "there are two loonies who claim to be left wing" and here's a biased report that says so.

It's not evidence that the difference between right and wrong is unclear or a matter of opinion.

In particular, it doesn't refute my assertion about how you can tell the two sides apart.

 

On the other hand, I agree with you about "It is hard to understand some of the quirks of the American psyche from the outside. We don't have the very strong evangelical movement that you do and the bizarre claims of some of the televangelists over the years have left us scratching our heads and thinking "Someone believed that BS?". "

 

Americans do seem to have their own particular brand of stupidity.

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I think, in general, Americans have come to react best to short, emotional pitches that seem easy to stand behind, sort of a convenience approach to morality. Average Americans rarely want to think beyond to what ramifications may happen.

 

The life-begins-at-conception pitch is an easy sell to moral convenience. It offers clear guidelines and seems to cherish all life. It also ignores the rights of the host mother (in total contrast to most conservative stances), to say nothing of the legal morass it would create for every pregnant woman who has a miscarriage.

 

The religious right seems to love moral convenience. A couple of years ago, Florida greatly increased the distance registered sex offenders could live from a school. Sounded great, sounded right, but it effectively meant that RSOs couldn't live in ANY populated area, since the overlap of school districts cancelled out available homes and apartments. RSOs (which included those who'd been caught urinating in public and charged with indecent exposure) had to join the ranks of the homeless (iirc, they couldn't leave the state either), living under bridges at the city outskirts. These were people who had already gone to prison and been released, with their debt to society supposedly paid up.

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Americans do seem to have their own particular brand of stupidity.

 

So do our nations. Unfortunately none of them are experimenting with stupidity "Lite", it's always the full strength stuff. :D

 

Lifenews was just the first link I grabbed. Remember I wasn't out to show the right or wrong of the proposition. I think that most people would find it very wrong indeed, however very well educated people have found it right as well. It was only meant as a topic to illustrate that right and wrong are subjective and not objective, nothing more.

 

I could have linked to the Sydney Morning Herald, The Sun or the The Telegraph. They're all pretty much the same story, probably all taken from the same AAP feed.

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John, I'd like to agree, but considering some of the other suggestions that have come out of the mouths of our "Intelligensia" over the years, I wouldn't bet on it.

 

One of the problems with being a young nation that was granted independence and a workable system of governance is that we avoided all the things that can go wrong. We've never had a civil war or revolution so there are many down here that believe we are somehow "different", that the excesses that other nations have seen simply "couldn't happen here".

 

A good example was the Republic debate where the preferred option for the republicans was one like the Weimar Republic, Germany 1930s. When you asked them if they didn't think a system that allowed Hitler to gain power might not have some problems it was always, "But we're Australians, that couldn't happen here."

 

We've had serious suggestions from the PC crowd that judges should be sent to "Re-education Camps" where they could be schooled in making the "right" decisions. (And yes, that was the term they used.)

 

Because we haven't had these really bad things happen in our history, there is the belief by some that they never could. This can be quite scary.

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