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March 4, 2011

O'Brien on same-sex marriage vote

Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien is urging Catholics to contact the lawmakers following a committee vote in Annapolis Friday to send same-sex marriage legislation to the full House of Delegates.

O'Brien's statement:

"The Judiciary Committee's disputed decision to advance legislation that would redefine marriage in Maryland is both regrettable and irresponsible. Instead of strengthening and protecting marriage, our State has moved one step closer to dismantling it altogether, a move that would threaten the stability of society and families for current and future generations.

"It is only the relationship of a man to a woman, a father to a mother that can bring a child into the world, and it is this relationship that government, people of faith and all of society should be encouraging. Every child has the right to be loved and nurtured by his true father and mother, not only for his benefit but the benefit of our wider human family. How can this possibly be lost on people of good will today?

"I encourage every Catholic in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, and all who value marriage and family, to immediately contact their elected officials in the House of Delegates to ensure that the voices of reason, faith and love of family are not lost in the ensuing debate."

Posted by Matthew Hay Brown at 5:18 PM | | Comments (103)
        

Comments

I, as a taxpayer, urge my fellow taxpaying citizens to call the Archbishop and ask him to pay taxes if he wants to influence politics. Last I heard, MD wasn't 100% Catholic, and there isn't a cross on top of the Capitol. Also, why would an organization which doesn't contribute to the payroll of the legislature have any say at all? This isn't Elizabethan England, so the bishops and cardinals don't need to give people their permission.

What happened to separation of church and state. Report this to the IRS!

"Our state has moved one step closer to dismantling it (family) althogether" - um, last time I checked, divorce dismantles families. This character should invest his time trying to outlaw divorce instead of trying to deny same sex loving couples the same rights afforded to heterosexual couples.

Secondly, the Catholic Church shouldn't be dispensing advice until they've cleaned up their pedophile problem...

So instead of trying to discuss the article, you void his opinion because he does not pay taxes? Anyone who stands up for their beliefs and values, are always told to shut up, that their opinion doesn't matter. I welcome his remarks, and hope people start thinking with their minds and hearts about the destruction of the family (and how this bill will affect their children in the future).

The Archbishop not only won't pay taxes, but he'll continue to want state aid for his schools (the schools that produce his kind of thinking).

Abp. O'Brien and colleagues have yet to notice that two quite separate groups of people are under discussion. Those inclined toward heterosexual marriage are highly unlikely to go the other way. Those inclined toward same-sex marriage are highly unlikely to go the other way. Overlap between the two groups should be fairly small for fundamental reasons. Proper concerns about children, their upbringing, and the loving and nurturing they experience arise whatever environment they are in. Since the Church officially blesses non-procreative marriage already, for example, by an old, previously unwed couple, the question arises of the real objections underlying its present campaign.

Politics from the pulpit. Renounce the Catholic Church's tax exempt status, and maybe your statements will be credible.

I applaud the comments by the Archbishop and now at least I see one benefit of having a church heirarchy. God bless.

I'd love to hear what the arch bishop says about 100years of raping children and the systemic cover up by the church. Has he commented on that?

Why am I not surprised that the only supportive posts for the unconstitutional intrusion of the Catholic Church into state affairs, are from the idiot Clay and his slightly more accomplished Catholic clone (Clay) Anonymous.

Last I checked, the First Amendment was to guarantee government did not intrude into religion and demand membership in one faith to be eligible to participate in our democracy. Also, I think FREE SPEECH is not contigent on paying taxes. Nor is the right to petition government. Those that scream for equality should first learn the fundamentals of our Nation's Principles.

Dear bishop: if you don't agree with same-sex marriage, then don't marry another man. Why should I be denied a civil governmental right because of your religious views?

Since when is civil marriage a prerequisite for having children? Does that also mean that, if a couple has children, they are not allowed to get a civil divorce? He can live in whatever world he wants to, but the government cannot make everyone else live by his world view.

this from the vatican's chief witchhunt man and from a church filled with pedophile's. OBrien, get a life and realize that you don't run the civil government. Pay taxes on all those buildings and get a real job and get off your throne. That's why I left the catholic church you sanctimonious and hateful person. Go do your job at God's altar instead of trying to convince the legislature to pass church law to be followed by non-catholics

Right on O'Brien, you are one smart Irishman. We all know the fate of societies/empires (Rome & Ancient Greece) who approved of gay unions. They all failed. When Islamists rule the world and USA and 2100, this will be a moot point. By the way, Joey- learn history brother and look at the Maryland flag - at the top of our state flag is the PAPAL CROSS. Good to know there are still men of virtue out there. Thank you Archbishop O'Brien.

I firmly support marriage equality but I think all the hubris in attacking the Archbishop is way out of line.

The Christian bashing in general, and the Catholic bashing in particular had better stop very soon. Most Marylanders are Christian and about a quarter of them are Catholic. It’s time to start making friends with those voters who will be deciding the fate of gay marriage should it go to referendum. I have never been one to favor putting civil rights up to a vote, but that’s what is about to happen.

In November of next year you will find that the decent Christians who might have supported you last month will have tired of a year and a half of hate mongering anti-christian bigots and they will turn their backs on you. You will have only yourselves to blame.

I, as a tax-paying, law-abiding citizen, claim my Constitutional right to free speech and freedom of religion. Archbishop O' Brien holds the same rights as I. The Constitution disallows an "established" church, but does not disallow free speech by anyone - as our Supreme Court has just reiterated (Westboro Baptist - their opinions bother many, but their rights remain).

It seems to me that the proponents of homosexual marriage should be spending their time trying to convince others to support their position, rather than bashing anyone (or any institution) that does not agree with them.

And, please, let's put the "bigot card" away. Disagreement is not bigotry. For this bill to pass the House of Delegates, all mention of bigotry needs to be avoided. "Disagreement with my position" and "bigotry" are not the same thing. Ever.

I agree he and the Catholic Church has no place in any Political discussion. Not just because it violates the seperation of Church and State but, I think more importantly because of the sins of the Church itself. How many years to cover-up and ignore child abuse that was going on under its watch. How many Nazis and I would imagine other war criminals did they allow and help to escape. How long did they stand behind their anti divorce stance and tell battered women to stay with their abusers for the sake of family and the church.

The God and Jesus that they taught me about was loving and accepting. I was taught to not judge, for it was and is only Gods place to judge.

As for this notion that gay marriage will undermine the family, please someone tell mw how. And if it is all about the family then you "Christian" men and woman who oppose it how about a law that prohibits divorce. Wouldn't that protect the family?

Marriage between two of the same sex is un-natural, immoral and wrong It is no wonder that the plethora of liberal thinking Marylanders are in their predictable hissy-fits over the Archbishops aptly correct concern and comments..

The archbishop has every right to tell his priests not to marry gay couples or to refuse communion to "sinners," but his jurisdiction stops at the church door. What right does he have to tell anyone to lobby against my being married to my husband in a civil ceremony so that one of us won't be burdened with estate taxes, so we can get joint health insurance and pension rights. Remember what Jesus said about politics, your Excellency, "Render unto Ceasar the things that are Ceasar's, and to God the things that are God."

Where did Jesus ever say anything against gay marriage? Why is the Church against it? I was raised Catholic and I love my wife. I could care less about who marries who.

What next?? Marriage between a man and his dog? My dog could use good health care and benefits. Doesn’t MD elected officials have better things to do like really fix schools, job creation, crime, etc…

The Archbishop is allowed to say whatever he wants whenever he wants as we are all granted free speech rights. I don't agree with his position because his religion doesn't practice exactly what his argument states. Catholics who are too old to have children are routinely married in a Catholic Church. They are not participating in procreating and if we allow older individuals to wait this long this will threaten the stability of families as none will be created. I also don't understand how same sex marriage undermines the institution of marriage. Divorce undermines the institution of marriage...male/female couples undermine their own marriage. It occurs everyday and occurs without same sex marriage. Is the premise then that divorce of m/f's will accelerate when these marriage's become legal? The tax breaks and rights under marriage in this country have nothing to do with any religious faith. These are "state" rights and should be granted to all who want to enter into a marriage - many who marry in this country don't practice a faith or even believe in God. Are they marrying under false pretense's? Should they not be allowed? I think the people who support the Archbishop by and large are totally hung up on the use of the word "marriage" as if it is somehow directly tied to a faith. Plenty of people (male/female) marry without the presence of the clergy...they use a judge for instance. So again I ask what really is the issue?

The Arch-Bishop is unbelievable.When it suits him he wants the "flock" to follow him and do his bidding. However, this time last year he had no time at all for the flock. In fact he had very litttle time for the politicians also last year.
Forget him. He is no leader at all. He leads when it suits him. Sorry Eddie no can do

After 16 years of Catholic education, I left the church because of the evil it has done to our world by its stance against realistic family planning and its treatment of women. Once again, equality for all seems a concept it can't understand. Luckily, many church members arer not so narrow-minded.

The Archbishop is concerned that same-sex marriage will dismantle the family? I think we heterosexuals are doing a fine job of that ourselves as evidenced by the 50% divorce rate. The Archbishop wants to preserve the traditional family for one reason - to propagate the faith. More children = more Catholics = more money coming into the church. The Archbishop should clean up his own house first before commenting on anyone else's.

I am motivated to write because I grew up in the Catholic Church and I am getting the impression from reading The Sun that all Catholics are against the marriage equality bill currently before the House of Delegates. This may be the impression that the powerful Catholic Lobby wishes all of us to believe, but it is far from the truth.

As President of PFLAG (Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) Baltimore County I can attest to the fact that many of our members are Catholic and support Marriage Equality. Along with five other members of our group I attended at the Catholics for Marriage Equality Conference two weeks ago in Pikesville. The room was full of supports made up of both LGBT people and allies.

Whether we know it or not, ALL of our families or extended Families, or not are blessed with LGBT children. It is time that we raise these children with the same Christian expectations we raise our heterosexual children with. Accepting that our children might possibly be gay and raising them with the expectation that they also marry and raise children will only improve society. This is all about the relationship between the two people in the relationship. We as Christians are destroying civilization when we deny monogamous LGBT people the chance to get married. When the parents and straight siblings of LGBT Catholics see the church’s disrespect for loving and lasting lesbian or gay relationships they find this outrageous.

The people in the Catholic Church make up the church, not the hierarchy. The formal opinion of the Catholic Church is simply wrong on this matter. The time to pass the “Civil Marriage Protection Act” is now.

All Catholics need to know about "Catholics for Equality"

@Ed, would you consider adult priests having sex with children unnatural, immoral and wrong? If a priest was caught doing it would transferring them to another parish and covering it up be the answer? This has been the Catholic church's answer for 100 years all over the world, yet the archbishop gets to chime in and tell us what is right and wrong....doesn't make sense.

I'm particularly interested in what other spokespeople for criminal organizations that to say about issues that don't concern them. Perhaps Al Qaeda can weigh in on Wisconsin collective bargaining. Or maybe the mafia can issue a statement on the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell.

Maybe the archbishop should stick to what his church is good at (spreading AIDS in poor countries, assisting in the rape of children and laundering money from dictators)

The Archbishop has every right to give his opinion on the matter. He also has every right to address his Catholic followers as he is doing.

The debate over taxes is such a joke. Every religious organization urges their followers to pressure their elected representatives. Some churches in this city have held virtual rallies prior to elections.

We have a clause in the First Amendment that prevents the ESTABLISHMENT of a religion and guarantees the free practice of one's religion, not a wall that says religion cannot enter the public debate.

The Archbishop is practicing his First Amendment rights. I agree with him 100% and would add that the abandonment of traditional laws regarding marriage will be a disaster and constitute discrimination against people of faith who own businesses and might be forced to subsidize something they find morally unacceptable.

Does the Church condemn older couples who get married that can't have children? Do they condemn couples getting married who DON'T WANT CHILDREN?? Those people are still allowed to get married. Marriage has NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR GOD. NOTHING. Holy Matrimony has everything to do with your God. Protect THAT term. If marriage was about religion, atheists wouldn't be allowed to get married, but they do. You can go to a courthouse, have no mention of God, and still walk out married. Marriage is about LEGALLY protecting the person you chose to share your life with should you die before him/her. Without marriage, my partner would have to pay a 40% inheritance tax on my assets without the recognition for marriage.

We need to stop voting based on our religious beliefs. Our first amendment assures us we shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion. Unitarian and Episcopal Churches think that gay marriage is ok. They should have the RELIGIOUS FREEDOM to perform such ceremonies and have it recognized under the law (see 14th amendment, equal protection).

The first amendment also gives you free speech - so please, by all means continue to preach against homosexuality - because the bible says so. Incidentally, the bible ALSO calls eating shellfish (crab cakes, anyone) the same level of offense as homosexuality - an "abomination". It also says you can't cut your hair, can't wear blended fabrics, and can stone your children to death. The bible ALSO says I can own slaves. (Imagine is we put THAT up for a popular vote in 1865, like we plan on doing for gay rights now!)

Jesus said the old laws in the old testament are no longer valid. He also said NOTHING against the "evils" of homosexuality. Don't you think that might have been something worth mentioning to a group of 12 men who shared close living space with one another, if it was SOOOOOO important???

One other thing: in this case, njhp, disagreement on position IS bigotry. It is denying someone rights based on something they are. "I'm not a racist, I just don't think those colored people should be drinking from the same fountain as me - yuck!"

I hear bluster against same sex marriage but no one on that side ever makes the argument. I mean EVER NEVER!! They just spout venom and step back. I for one don't care if 2 men/women want to live in a loving relationship and have the same rights as the traditional marriage of man and woman. To quote the Bishop, "Every child has the right to be loved and nurtured by his true father and mother." I don't even know what that means. What about orphans? How do they exercise that right? Check the stats on same sex marriage who have adopted. And finally how's that traditional marriage working out?... over 50% divorce rate, abuse, single parenting... And as for the church being the guides to God, how's the raping of children and cover up on a huge scale working out for their credibility. The hypocrisy is staggering.

Why aren't the Archbishop and his Catholic church pushing for legislation to outlaw divorce? Or all the other so-called "Christian" churches that keep coming out against same-sex marriage? After all, Jesus was silent on homosexuality but spoke out very forcefully and explicitly against divorce and remarriage. Why do so many people only seem to remember their bible and theology when it comes to the issue of gay rights? I suppose it's just just easier to oppose the civil rights of a minority whom many find objectionable out of ignorance, unfamiliarity, or plain old bigotry--and that, in and of itself, is hypocritical bigotry of the very worst kind.

But for those of you who are not gay, or don't really care about the issue, think about it: do you want the churches of your state making the laws that govern you? Do you want to be forced to live according to somebody else's religious beliefs?

HASN''T THE CATHOLIC CHURCH RUINED ENOUGH LIVES? WHEN WILL IT STOP? ARCHBISHOP - MIND YOUR OWN F****ING BUSINESS OR GIVE UP YOUR TAX-EXEMPT STATUS!!!

Any government not having Christ as the head will not stand. Christ will be back to prove that point. He does not disagree with the basic rules laid down by His Father, including what happened at Sodom and Gomorrah and Adam and Eve laying the framework for one man one woman marriage.

Just in case the Archbishop doesn't get time to check on-line this weekend, how about if everyone prints out a copy of these Comments and mails it to him? He might not be aware of what's going on around town.

Clay, maybe you're right - but that's not how our constitution works here in America. How about you go off and make your own Christian-Taliban country?

Well Joe, Christ will be back to rule the world. He will make all countries the same. There wont be any more countries. Everyone needs to prepare for that and not get caught off guard.

Clay,

So ... if Adam and Eve were the first married couple (and the only residents of Eden), could you please explain how all humankind descended from them ... with out the tiniest bit of ... you know ... incest ... going on?

Seems like this might've made for a very weak gene pool from the get-go. But, then again, you don't believe in evolution... and probably genes either .... so it was all magic? How convenient.

I mentioned that before here. Perhaps you could explain how, if only same sex couples married, the human race could survive. Thanks.

Clay - The true measure of idiocy is when someone is so clueless that they believe that all problems of the world will be solved when the dead god/Human hybrid abomination of their made-up god, comes back to fix everything. Such a STUPID attitude abrogates your responsibility to be a good steward (Gee, where have I heard that before) to the planet we have evolved the ability to either protect or destroy. Every time you post, it is a scream on your part, to show us all how stupid people like you truly are and why you must be marginalized before you destroy us all under a mound of ignorant consequences that would exist, should your side prevail.

When Christ returns, the dead in Christ will rise first. Then the rest of us will rise in the air to meet them. Christ and His saints will rule on earth for 1000 years. During this time, satan is locked up. Then after 1000 years, he gets out again. Christ returns one final time for judgement, when satan and his followers are thrown into the lake of fire. Christ and His followers reign forever in heaven, where there is no darkness. Now Robert let me ask you. What is your role going to be in all this? If it happens to you, wont you be having some regrets? I would certainly say so. You would be rolling around in a fire with that guy forever, screaming and bouncing off of one another. What kind of life is that? You will certainly be having regrets to find out that this is what will happen.

Clay - Why don't you just get the word "Jackass" tattooed on your forehead, so no one will have to guess, without actually hearing the rubbish that spews from your tiny brain.

Clay,

No one, so far as I am aware, has suggested universal same-sex coupling. Not to worry.

No one except homosexuals. God bless.

Clay, take your meds. And PLEASE call Father Amorth.

Clay,

You are confused, as usual. Perhaps you are referring to the fact that marriage equality will apply to all. Straight folk will still, though, be allowed to marry whoever they wish ... and be allowed to make babies, so the population will not be in jeopardy. You do realize, though, that nearly all homosexuals are the product of heterosexual marriages? Perhaps you should look into that.

You, however, will not be forced into a same-sex relationship. Nor will your church be required to sanctify same-sex unions .... or even to "approve of homosexuality." Life will go on. Again ... not to worry.

BankStreet - I don't think Clay could get himself involved in a different sex relationship if he was willing, had a stack of hundred dollar bills in his hand, and was standing in the center of a house of ill-repute. Finding a partner for him would involve paring him with someone even less NFS (Not Functionally Sentient) than himself, and who would want to be married to a vegetable? Well, maybe he would, on second thought.

Yes life will go on, but what type of life pleases God? The bible tells us to live soberly and righteously in this present day and age. It doesnt say that it is ok to live a life full of what God calls sin, for a heterosexual person or for a homosexual person. How will Christ find us when He returns? No one knows the day or hour that Christ will return except the Father. When we look around the world today at all the turmoil around Israel and the mideast, when we see all the crazy weather and earthquakes, we see more and more confusion in our world, regardless of whether there were wars and disasters before or not. One man has predicted that Christ will return (Howard Camping?) three times now and he has been wrong all three times. Now he is saying it will be in May. I dont believe he knows when it will happen any more than anyone else does. I do believe it will be soon however, due to all the crazy occurences that keep happening. Yes we have always had earthquakes, but look now at Haiti and Christchurch New Zealand. I dont remember anything like this happening there in my lifetime. We have a president who complains about a cross showing when he gives a speech. People complaining about "In God We Trust" after all the years it has been on our coinage. Homosexuals marching in parades and asking to be allowed to be legally married and for people to accept them as they would any couple. People appearing on Maury Wills and saying that they have sex with their pets and kissing a donkey on the air. A girl who did a good job in "The Parent Trap" saying that she wanted to portray Linda Lovelace and running around Hollywood high on booze and cocaine to the point of not knowing where she is and running her car into a pole. In the 50's in Hollywood at least people who had problems made some effort to keep everyone from knowing them. Why? Because society had more respect. If Rock Hudson had a thing for some guy he didnt march in a parade banging on a drum with the president and the head of the Air Force applauding. This is because of the general breakdown in society that we see all around us. Everyone is proud of their sexual problems, but dont dare mention God on a coin because it may offend someone's right to live God free. The thing is, no one can live God free. Anytime someone mentions this, they should be thanked instead of put down. Thanks.

Oops, meant to say Maury Povich and not Maury Wills, the former Los Angeles Dodger. Also, yes I know that homosexuals were discriminated against in the 50's and they didnt mention their relations because they wouldnt get a job, etc and how people feel that they shouldnt have to go through that, etc. However, people who were heterosexual didnt mention their relations either, for example the Kennedys. My point is that if everyone has to push their personal relations in front of everyone else, that there has been a general breakdown in society. It is cool to be not normal in personal relations, and Hollywood is certainly involved with pushing that agenda. Before we saw American families like The Brady Bunch. Now it is CSI and we watch how the knife goes all the way in and how people argue and fight instead of helping one another. I dont even watch tv. What good does anyone get out of it? We would be better off outlawing it and oil along with it, but money talks.

Clay,

If you haven't been aware of earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and blizzards occuring during your lifetime, you haven't been paying attention. That, or you have skewed your memory to fit your apocalyptic visions. Given your propensity for adjusting other historical and scientific data to conform with your personal cosmology, my money's on the latter.

By the way, you never really explained how we Gay folk plan to destroy civilization by requiring same-sex marriage of straight folk. Or did I misunderstand you?

Clay,

Please define "push." Let's assume you are married and have a couple of children. You might well:

- have a photo of your wife and kids on your desk at your office

- chat with your co-workers about what you and your wife did over the weekend or what you plan to do on your vacation

- get together with other folks with whom you share interests, perhaps joining with their families (that is, wives and kids) for social gatherings or outings

Were I to do any of these things, with my boyfriend/partner/husband, would I be "pushing an agenda"? Or are only you straight folks allowed to have an "agenda"?

As I have said before, Clay, all we Gay folk want is to be treated as equals, with honest respect. We will be happy to be invisible again, but this time it will be because we will have fully integrated into society, not because we have been forced into hiding. Never again, Clay ... never again.

I certainly dont think gay people plan to destroy civilization or neccessarily push their agenda on anyone. Most homosexual people are fairly quiet. My opinion is that everyone's sex life, straight or gay, gets pushed in our faces by tv and Hollywood. Of course gay people will talk about what they did on the weekend with their partner, etc. I dont feel threatened by any such thing. What it boils down to however, is that God doesnt want us to be homosexual. What would I be doing for gays to act like I havent heard that? Maybe it sounds like I am pushing an agenda of course, but it is for the good of us all. Thanks.

I mentioned that before here. Perhaps you could explain how, if only same sex couples married, the human race could survive. Thanks.

Posted by: Clay | March 7, 2011 10:35 AM


Clay,

No one, so far as I am aware, has suggested universal same-sex coupling. Not to worry.

Posted by: BankStreet | March 7, 2011 7:44 PM

No one except homosexuals. God bless.


So...what did you mean by that exchange, Clay?

Aren't we just fortunate to have a clenched butt Christian absolutist like Clay to tell us all how to live, and that he takes on this task "for the good of us all". No thanks Clay. Your restrictive limited world is not a place for real people, who face reality realizing the limitations of the planet to support us and the runaway population growth that hastens an end that no god will show up to fix and can only be fixed by us. Best thing that could happen to Humanity at this point in time, is a rise in the rate of homosexuality, and the increase that seems to have happened may very well be a natural process to slow down our rush toward oblivion. Animal studies have shown it to be a mechanism in populations reduced to crowded conditions, with all other factors remaining the same, but people of low intellect, like Clay , have their inflexible doctrine to sustain them, even in, and despite, the face of the truth.

What I meant by that exchange is that I wouldnt be surprised if some homosexual person suggested it, even if they know it wont happen, because that is what they see as best for relations. Let me ask you something. My friend whom I grew up with in high school (I havent seen him in a few years) said that when his gay friends come over (men) they head right for the liquor cabinet. And yes, so do a lot of straight people. This cant be all due to discrimination, etc. Dont you think they would be more fulfilled with kids, etc? Most of them dont want to adopt and yet they dont seem happy. Their relationships dont often last long and there is more promiscuity in general than in straight relations. If the hot young guy gets more looks than the young woman gets from straight men, it is probably due to the fact that the straight man isnt going to fool around on his wife. Is allowing gay people to marry the answer to that problem when their relationships arent as strong to begin with? The fact is, it doesnt seem like most gay people will marry anyway. We may not see a higher divorce rate among homosexuals, but that will probably be due to the fact that most of the gays who want to marry have been together for years and are more loyal to begin with. Most gays dont want to make such a commitment in my opinion. The whole atmosphere is too much of a party and wanting some fresh meat more than commitments. Yes straight men often look at women that way. For gays however, the party is the same as it was at Sodom and Gomorrah. It is the same old often sad party. God is the answer, no matter how hard it is to give up our habits. How many gays have filled themselves with coke and made a real big mistake to find out later that they now have aids? I know two that I graduated from school with that were two of the nicest guys I ever knew. Now they are gone. I wonder what they are now saying about the whole thing?

Clay - I hope you find that padded cell that is surely in your future, before you do any real harm. You are without a doubt, the biggest north end of a horse headed south, that I have ever seen in my entire life.

Or perhaps Robert, it bugs you to admit that I understand more about what I talk about than you think, after seeing a friend lying there with nothing but a little flesh hanging from his bones like a concentration camp victim, telling people, "I'm really sick" when what he was saying was "goodbye." I failed him by not witnessing to him. I made a huge mistake. I believe his priest did, I'm not sure. I'll carry it with me for the rest of my life. It wont happen again.

Clay,

If you ever have the opportunity to "witness" to a person dying of HIV/AIDS I hope you will have the basic human decency to refrain from hectoring him/her on a "lifestyle choice." AIDS is caused by a virus, not by sexual orientation. What that man most needed and wanted from you was a human connection, perhaps a hug.

As to your presumptions about the "Gay Lifestyle," I will have been out as a Gay man for eighteen years, this coming June. Have I seen the use of illegal drugs and the abuse of alcohol? Yes. Oh ... have I seen the use of illegal drugs and the abuse of alcohol SINCE I came out? Yes.

Do I partake? No. Does anyone in my circle of Gay friends? No. Time to retire another stereotype, Clay.

Clay only recognizes stereotypes that feed his absolutist doctrinaire beliefs, which makes him a ......... Oh wait, that was already covered in my last post.

Clay, your ignorance is getting a little too obnoxious right now. I don’t know any gay people who live the kind of life that you describe. I think BankStreet and I are the only one’s posting right now that are a part of the LGBT population so you’ll just have to take our word for it that your stereotypes come from the land of make believe.

Please don’t “witness” anymore. It doesn’t help anybody.

Clay,

I went back and read your posting about your single-data-point presumptions about the "Gay Lifestyle." Among your other ramblings, you mused, "Dont you think [Gay folk] would be more fulfilled with kids, etc? You do know I have a well-adjusted twenty-seven-year-old daughter, don't you? And yeah, I'm plenty "fulfilled."

I have a straight adult son also Clay. Doing my part to be fruitful and multiply. Most of the gay men and women that I know of my generation are parents.

The "lifestyle" as far as parenting goes is pretty much the same as straight folk:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAKYpUo18wU

I have never met a gay person who doesnt do drugs or alcohol. How many have I met? Around 100. Like I said, it is obvious not every gay person is hooked on drugs or alcohol. I also didnt say that no homosexual people had kids. What I said was that what gay people promote doesnt exactly encourage it. The huge and I mean huge majority of gay men I have met have no children and do not intend to. And what I am saying is make believe? No way. What you guys are trying to do is cover up problems that many gay people have. I have been around since the Stone Wall days guys. Andy Warhol and the banana peel cover and the whole works. The biggest problem they have is that they live a lifestyle that God doesnt approve of. And I shouldnt witness to them? What if I would have witnessed to my friend and he would have accepted Christ? No thanks. I would rather listen to what God tells me, even though we can learn a lot from the opinions of others. Cant we?

Clay,

You obviously hang out with a faster crowd than I do. I am not "covering up" anything --- just reporting from he field.

As to religion, I know Gay men who are devout evangelical Christians, as well as those who are active members of "mainstream" denominations. I also know guys who are Pagan, agnostic, and atheist. Your "witnessing" to any of them would be met with either derision or rigorous challenge, were you to attempt it. Your god's "approval" is neither necessary nor relevant. And your personal disapproval (driven as it is by personal bias and discomfort with something you neither share nor understand), as long as it remains inside your tortured and simplistic mind, is as well.

Anyone who loves Christ shouldnt deride or challenge witnessing. Anyone who doesnt can never be hurt by it. That can never be an attitude from a tortured mind. I havent seen any of the guys I mentioned in a few years. I dont believe that their lifestyle is that different from what it was before. Two of them are no longer with us. God bless.

Your "witnessing" would (and should) be met with derision and/or rigorous challenge by any of the Gay men of whom I was thinking, Clay, for the simple reason that each of them has blazed his own spiritual path through the thicket of faith-based homophobia and bigotry. Some have rejected religion altogether, some have embraced "alternative" spiritualities, and some have found a home within a faith that appreciates them as their god made them and as valid human beings (complete with their innate sexuality).

So you see, Clay, how your "witnessing" would be both unnecessary and unwelcome -- to say nothing of arrogant in the extreme, presuming as it would that your personal revelation has any more value than theirs.

You might, instead, listen, fo a change.

I understand what you are saying but listen is what God expects us to do to Him, including where the bible talks of sexuality. There is nothing arrogant about wanting to help someone. When I have mentioned about former gays now attempting to follow God and marry women, etc, you respond by saying that they really are denying their true sexuality or that they are just in the ministry to make money, etc. True sexuality is the sexuality that we decide on, regardless of any physical attributes we may have since birth. I also never denied being a sinner like all of us. The decisions we make are what God is looking for in us, and the only revelation that matters in the end is what God reveals to us. We cant be arrogant in trying to encourage others to follow it, and even if they dont want to listen we shouldnt be discouraged. Have a good one.

Clay - You are 'Order of Protection' nuts. I don't want someone like you standing up-wind of children, or down-wind, for that matter. I can only assume that you would inspire what Rick Santorum does when people meet him in person, the urge to just walk up to him and pop him in the kisser.

Clay,

You are correct in saying "the only revelation that matters in the end is what God reveals to us." Thus what you feel your god has revealed to you has meaning only to you; the "revelation" made to another is "the only revelation that matters" to that person -- your "witnessing" aside. Revelation is intensely personal and intensely idiosyncratic. I daresay your god has "revealed himself" to the man in the pew next to you on Sunday morning in ways that differ from your own convinced "revelation." For you to "witness" your own version to anyone is to force the theology of Clay on your fellow man. That is why it is unwelcome and arrogant. And that is why you would benefit from listening to what others feel like sharing as to their own understanding of their place in the cosmos, rather than insisting they adopt your way. The Bible is a minefield of contradiction, written by men (yes!) ignorant of the world and of science, assembled and codified more for political expediency than for any divine purpose, translated innumerable times, and parsed and analyzed by scholars for centuries. It is no wonder that folk continue to find new meaning and relevance even today. For you to point to isolated passages to sustain your own prejudices is foolish, cruel, and decidedly un-Christian (as I understand the teachings of Jesus).

As to sexual orientation being a matter we "decide," I ask you the perennial question, Clay: when did you rationally DECIDE to be a heterosexual? Not when you first REALIZED you were heterosexual, not when you first decided to act on your innate orientation -- when did you make a CHOICE to be heterosexual (from among various equally possible options presented you)? Once you can tell me the exact day that happened, I will acknowledge that, for you, sexual orientation was a choice. I know it was not for me and for no one I have ever encountered. No amount of "witnessing," prayer, or wishful thinking will change that. Do you honestly believe that your own heterosexual orientation could ever be changed?

As to what the Bible "teaches" about sexuality, those lessons would have men take multiple wives, force a woman to marry her rapist (with no option for divorce) and stone a woman (on the door step of her father) who could not demonstrate virginity at marriage by displaying blood sheets. I think I'll pass.

This is what your buy-bull, and presumably your god, has to say about marriage, Clay;
http://www.youtube.com/mrsbettybowers

Well it looks like not everyone in Annapolis agrees with you guys. I think that the right decision was made.

Yes, Clay, the "resolution" of the marriage-equality issue in this year's legislative session in Annapolis was a huge disappointment to a lot of people across the state, including a large number of families who were denied the protections that civil marriage would have afforded them. It was especially frustrating (and ironic) that a lot of the opposition came from Black delegates from Prince Georges County who voted to deny civil rights to a minority. Bigotry and ignorance sadly triumphed this time, but the tide is with justice in the long run. Indeed, as Martin Luther King reminds us, "Justice denied anywhere diminishes justice everywhere."

This fight is hardly over. We'll be back.

Clay, it was actually the gay lobbyists that worked along with their amazing allies and tireless advocates to derail gay marriage. If they had won this year they would have had nothing to work for next year. They likely had the votes for passage. But if it passed how then could they continue to ask for more money?

The official statement by Equality Maryland is that the bill was recommitted to committee as “a strategic step that will allow us to fight and win in the future.” They also say that “None could have done more to push for the passage of this legislation.”

http://www.equalitymaryland.org/2011/3/11/equality-maryland-vows-to-keep-up-fight-for-marriage

Given that the folks at Equality Maryland are pushing this major defeat as a “strategic step.” I’m left wondering why you are giving credit to our lawmakers for derailing marriage equality. Not to worry though. The same lobbyists will be coming back for your money next year with their fancy airs and $100 a plate gala’s. After all, that’s what they are in business for. And this year’s debacle guarantees they still have jobs next year.

https://equalityfederation.salsalabs.com/o/35015/t/450/shop/custom.jsp?donate_page_KEY=327

Equality Maryland Board member and co-chair of Equality Maryland’s Legislative Committee explained the reason to not go for a vote on his blog yesterday with this peculiar statement: “The thought behind not holding a vote is that it makes it easier to bring it up again next year and also does not demoralize opponents in other states. That was the thinking behind the decision to recommit.”

http://maryland-politics.blogspot.com/2011/03/what-happened.html

Clay,
You seem to have a lot of information gathered to "know" all about homosexuals in only knowing 100.
If an all powerful deity wants anything changed, I think he has the power and authority to do so himself or herself.
Taking the Lord's name in vain (defined as an exaggerated sense of self importance), would be against the doctrine, but since your doctrine suggests we are all sinners, it would already be pre-justified.
The Bible's talk of sexuality is based more on patriarchal dominance over anyone. With only 6 references to homosexuality, one referring to dress code, that neither gender should wear the other genders "style" of dress, which has nothing to do with sexuality.
Making babies is one of the easiest things to do, but raising the child is another matter entirely.
Gay marriage is a civil issue. This country promotes freedom, yet creates law preventing that "freedom", which is taken for granted, as well as an accountability or responsibility of our actions is avoided, and blamed on by the last socially acceptable scapegoat, homosexuals.
In your summation, when a teenage child is forced on the street to fend for themselves when the sexuality is revealed, it's the fault of the child's choice, and not the abandonment from their "parents" that broke "traditional family structure".
Your narrow world view, only relates to "humans", but same sex "coupling" has been prevalent in almost every species of creation. Dominion is not domination. To widen your scope, you would have to crawl out from under the rock in your parents basement.

Furthermore, "marriage" must still legalized by the state, no matter what denomination to become valid, and therefore must be dissolved in the same manner. It is a legal document. "til death do us part" can always be arranged somehow. Those vows, much like the doctrine in these dogmas, had to be changed, along with the customs/rituals to conform to social norms and standards. Much like any other civil unrest, ie. the woman's right to vote, abolition of slavery, took a long time to come into fruition, as will equality for all, even though it won't be accepted nor appreciated by some of the population.

According to God, marriage is something that comes from Him and not from a government. Of course, people who dont follow Him dont see it that way, and there will never be agreement as long as some follow God and some dont. From what I understand, a lot of black churches in Baltimore and elsewhere got behind not allowing gay marriage. That was really saying something, given the fact that the president is so for gay marriage and abortion, etc and he is the first black president. It means they made a choice to follow God first and not their race and pride in their history. That is what God expects of us, and the Archbishop is also following what he believes God expects of him. God laid down the basic laws with Adam and Eve being one man and one woman. Nothing changed with the New Testament. Christ is not in disagreement with what His Father laid down in the Old Testament, and what He did at Sodom and Gomorrah. What Christ changed were the Jewish rituals of washing and food and sacrifices, etc. It was no longer necessary as Christ laid down Himself for us as a sacrifice. Now all we need to do is follow Him. Nothing changed about homosexuality, even though Christ never married. How could He? His wife would have been a distraction from laying down the basic idea of giving ourselves to Him. Some would have given themselves to His wife. The idea is absurd. That is one of the distractions with the Catholic Church and Mary. I agree with what the Archbishop has done.

Clay,

A couple of points of clarification (one of which has been made to you repeatedly, but to no apparent avail):

-The current campaign (and I stress *current* as it continues unabated) is for equal access to CIVIL MARRIAGE, which has no relationship to Holy Matrimony or any sacrament "ordained by god." None. Neither I, nor countless other citizens care one bit what your god has to say about marriage. None of that is relevant to this effort. Every marriage in this State and in this Nation is provided by the CIVIL courts. Sanctification by your (or any other) church is, at best, a totally optional accessory to CIVIL MARRIAGE. Another way of telling you this (again) is to remind you that, when a marraige fails, the parties don't head to church for un-marriage ... they go to court (from whence the marriage came in the first place).

Secondly, President Obama's support for marriage equality is late in coming and remains lukewarm. You can take that off your list of reasons to condemn the President.

Dont let the fact that Christ didnt marry discourage you from seeing marriage in a Christian light instead of a civil one. If He did marry, people would attempt to dress like her or argue that she was really part Irish or whatever. It would be ridiculous. Thanks.

Clay - In the 6000 or so years that your god tells you we have existed, there have been many permutations of marriage supported, and even mandated, by your supposed god, and manifested in the words you hold out as the inerrant and inviolate word of that god. Perhaps the whole question could be better explained to you by America's Best Christian (TM) who has brought everything nicely together at this link; http://www.youtube.com/mrsbettybowers

Clay,

Until your longed-for Christian theocracy replaces our current government, no one here has the CHOICE to "see marriage in a Christian light instead of a civil one." Every (recognized) marriage is a CIVIL MARRIAGE. (What part of my last post did you not understand or choose to ignore?) If one chose to forgo a trip to the Courthouse and made do with a churdch weddiing only, one would find themselves in a common-law marriage, which is not recognized by the State of Maryland by the way ... so don't try to file a joint tax return or assume a tidy probate of your will!

Well, the bible says to refrain from marrying if you can so you can better serve God. Gay people are no different. They are being called to serve and be obedient also. Thanks.

So, Clay, you're now anti-marriage (for everybody)? Hard to keep up.

Well Paul said if you can, refrain from marrying. So if most homosexuals dont want to marry then they already are in a better position in a way to be obedient and serve Him. It seems to be a more positive way of looking at the situation. Thanks.

Ah ... so it's only Gay folk who should "refrain from marrying"? That's not what you said earlier. Straight folk can also "refrain from marrying," you know.

I would agree that Gay folk should not marry people of the opposite sex; such a marriage is based on lies (or at least delusion) and will almost always lead to heartbreak and ruptured families. Of course, your counsel applies to the so-called ex-gays you have mentioned.....

Now ... if only we could find a way to foster stable and committed relationships within the Gay community.... You know ... an insitution that would protect and honor those who choose fidelity and a lifetime with a single partner.

Any suggestions?

Or do you prescribe a life of lonely frustration (or promiscuity)?

It of course doesnt hurt straight people to refrain from marrying if they can also. Paul was talking about being able to better serve God. My suggestion for an institution that can foster committed relationships in the gay community? A good God fearing, dedicated church. I didnt see any falseness in the couples that I saw where a former gay person was making an effort to maintain a straight relationship. They seemed quite happy to me. I also dont think that most gay people will marry if allowed to. So why should they suddenly be less frustrated? They are going to stay single anyhow for the most part. In addition, if they are that dedicated of a couple why would not being allowed to marry break them up? Why would being allowed to marry keep them together? You dont think we would see a high divorce rate among gay couples? We probably wouldnt, because most wont marry anyway. I know quite a few straight couples living together even though they legally can marry. Is it that much of an advantage? In God's eyes it is, but they dont seem to see it that way. What it boils down to is one thing. Homosexuals dont want to be treated any different than anyone else. If straight people have something, gay people want it to. There is one big problem with that attitude. God doesnt agree with it, even if the majority of Christians dont care that much one way or another. Is there anything else to say besides complaining that you are being treated differently? When gay people believe in the afterlife and see themselves as going to where they dont want to, sometimes they make an effort to change. God bless.

Somehow a picture of Clay is developing. I see him as never marrying, never having sex, never having sexual release at all, with the "ick" factor that would play into his mindset causing him to refrain from touching even himself, which will eventually lead to his prostrate gland to go into disease mode. It is the one male organ that will not function properly if unexercised and cessation of sex, even in normal people, often leads to problems that can result in early death. Clay's problems with sex may send him to an early grave, much to the betterment of the overall intellectual level of those left behind. He is clearly NUTS!

Clay,

Your propensity for twisting logic almost confounds me. You say that we won't see a high divorce rate among gay people ... because most gay people won't marry. Discussions of a divorce rate presume a marriage before the divorce. Put in that logical context, I suspect we will see a divorce rate roughly parallel to that of straight folk.

You propose a "good god-fearing church" as a place that can "foster committed relationships in the gay community." I strongly suspect that any church that meets your standard of "god-fearing" will preach that Gay folk are abject sinners destined for an eternity in hell -- not likely to draw a big Gay crowd, let alone, foster strong relationships. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I know many Gay folk who are devout Christians, active in congregations that welcome them without judging or condemning them. Those congregations DO foster committed relationship; many of them sanctify and honor same-sex marriages. Even those that do not -- usually because denominational policies keep them from doing so -- accord those couples every possible emblem of respect and honor.

You ask, "So why should they suddenly be less frustrated?" in response to my suggestion that granting marriage to same-sex couple will create less frustration. You do confuse me in your response to your own question : "They are going to stay single anyhow for the most part." That just confuses me, Clay.

You go on to say, " In addition, if they are that dedicated of a couple why would not being allowed to marry break them up? Why would being allowed to marry keep them together?" Would you not agree that the bonds of marriage help keep couples together? Is this not one of the reasons that the church (and society, for that mater) promotes marriage?

You do make one valid point, though: "If straight people have something, gay people want it to[o]." Yes, we Gay people want a lot of tings that straight people have:

- respect for our relationships
- safety in our homes, jobs, and in the street
- fair and unbiased treatment from the law and from the State to which we pay taxes

If God doesnt want something, He doesnt want it. No one said that gay people should be harrassed, hated or any such thing. It is just wrong to condone marriage between two same sexed individuals and to condone such a relationship without marriage also. If He doesnt want it, that is His decision. I believe that He wants things orderly and it creates disorder. Someone may say that they want to marry their pets, like I saw on Jerry Springer. Then they say, "well, they let gay people marry, why not us? What is wrong with our relationship?" Why would God want to allow one thing that goes against how He made men and women? No one should be treated differently by the law for their sexual orientation. But there is a difference between not discriminating against someone in court or on the job and condoning a relationship that God doesnt want, whether it starts in court or in a church. All Christians feel that they are doing is supporting what God wants. If they happen to have such an influence that makes a difference in civil areas, maybe thats what God wants. Thanks.

Clay - Was the third grade your "senior " year? I don't know many people who get past nine years old who remain so one dimensional that they run the risk of being laughed at every time they open their mouth, unless they have serious neurological problems.

Clay,

You say, "No one should be treated differently by the law for their sexual orientation." Every Courthouse in the land includes something called the "marriage bureau" (or some such). Does your granting of equality before the law end at the door to the Marriage Bureau?

Don't forget, Clay, we're talking Civil Marriage. Nothing at all to do with the sacrament of Holy Matrimony.

Does your god prefer quickie marriages in Las Vegas wedding chapels, which may last only a weekend, over a (Civil) marriage between two men whose relationship might last for fifty years of monogamy and commitment? I'm not asking if your god LIKES those quickie marriages -- I'm asking if he prefers one over the other? Hint: one seems to favor order, the other disorder.

Well Mr. Littel, I pointed out that God doesnt want same sex relationships, while saying that gay people should not be hated or discriminated against in jobs, etc. That doesnt seem very one dimensional to me. What you have posted is extremely one dimensional in my opinion. All it does is point the finger at someone and call them childish in a childish way. What good comes out of it? If you arent a happy person, is this the place to express that? I post here because the Lord gives me confidence and makes me happy, and I want to express that with others and help them. Why are you posting here? For attention and needling? People who have a need to do that arent very happy people. Only God can fulfill that gap in your life. Thanks.

Clay,

You watch Jerry Springer... That says a lot. Does God want to you watch that show?

Gee Clay, I believe I have covered why I am here several times before, but I'm willing to state it again in compensation for your obvious short term memory problems (which no doubt helps you forget all the inconvenient inconsistencies in your thought processes, that even other religionists like to point out).

I am here for the same reason that "Doctors Without Borders" go to the most fetid and backward places on Earth, because that is where the disease that needs to be treated, exists. Religion is a disease that Humanity should have long ago gotten rid of, and as a vector for the most virulent form of that infection, you are what needs to be most directly and forcefully attacked, lest you do what you profess is your "duty", and spread.

I have never watched Jerry Springer. I once saw an ad for people who have sex with their animals, next Springer. A lady was talking about her relations with her pet. God bless.

@Clay: “I post here because the Lord gives me confidence and makes me happy, “

Irish Whiskey will do that without insulting your neighbors Clay

“I want to express that with others and help them.”

List three people who have been “helped” by your posts. Don’t list Cletus; that was me using an alias.

“Why are you posting here? For attention and needling? People who have a need to do that arent very happy people.”

Exactly!

Only Irish Whiskey can fulfill that gap in your life. Thanks.

If Catholics are insulted by my posts, I am sure God wants them to be. Sometimes it wakes people up. Irish Whiskey tomorrow night for many could get them killed on the way home. Not everyone uses a designated driver. God bless.

Clay,

A wise man once said that the purpose of religion was "to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." You are so comfortable in your piety that you have been absolved by your god when you insult others. I'd say you were waaaaaaaay overdue for some affliction. I hope, for your sake, it isn't too painful. I also hope it teaches you humility, but I am not optimistic on that front.

I dont feel inflicted. The bible says that anyone spreading Christ's word will put up with rejection. Most people dont know Him, so it happens all the time. Its part of the job. I have given out over 1000 Christian tracts on Halloween and found four lying in the neighborhood. Thats not too bad of a ratio. Some friends of mine give them out in Rehobeth at a parade. They give out 900 at a time and found one or two last year after the parade. One thing we have to be sure to do is to not let satan discourage us, and that is certainly true here. Have a good one.

Clay,

You (as always) miss my point. The fact that you do feel "inflicted" merely underscores that point. You have spun a cocoon of smug piety that protects you from any sense that anyone else might have a valid perspective on the world that differs by as much as a scintilla from your own. I both pity you and find you ludicrous.

As has been said here countless times, your "witnessing" (at least what we see of it here) is both laughable and repellant to the point that you become a living breathing advertisement for total rejection of any sort of organized religion. I suspect the tracts you distribute at Rehoboth (I assume you are referring to Pride.) are taken to the bars afterwards as objects of comedy (or used as coasters) ... which is why you're not finding so many thrown in the street.

You have a good one, too.

Clay maybe you read from a differnt Bible. I don't remember reading God wanting people to feel insulted. I do remember Christ saying do unto others as you would have them do to you, and as you judge so you shall be judged. I also remember Christ saying he who is without sin should cast the first stone.

If people are feeling insulted it isn't God's will but yours.

Clay - It must have been a horrible let-down for your mother, when finally came to the realization that she was little more than a half-wit factory. You are the epitome of the zealous absolutist, so wrapped up in make-believe, that you have lost touch with the real world. I feel sorry for your mother the same way I feel sorry for the mother whose son's picture has just been posted on the local news as a just captured, long sought after child molestor. You are every bit of an embarrassment, not only to yourself, but to those responsible for thrusting your worthlessness on the world. You are a waste of skin.

Clay has a very 1950's mind set where 'Christian' values tended to also be the typical social norms. My grandmother's generation had issues with 'living in sin'. I get all this; however, we now live in a society where civil rights are of the highest import.
I'm gay, have seen the same things Clay talks about but have also seen really boring gay people.
Clay makes me want to live that crazy wild gay cartoon of a life. For some odd reason, most of my friends have been str8 and I can say that, without a doubt, they are miserable drunks and addicts, too.

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About Matthew Hay Brown
Matthew Hay Brown writes and blogs about faith and values in public and private life for The Baltimore Sun. A former Washington correspondent for the newspaper, he has long written about the intersection of religion and politics. He has reported from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, traveling most recently to Syria and Jordan to write about the Iraqi refugee crisis.
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