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Author Topic: Tell me what's wrong with gay marriage  (Read 12172 times)
Emily Care
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« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2004, 02:38:52 PM »

Quote from: Valamir
In my mind the amount of effort spent fighting for a right that has no intrinsic value makes about as much sense as the amount of effort spent fighting against it.

Maybe it would be cheaper to get rid of marriage as an institution altogether. I wouldn't mind.

Here are some of the benefits of marriage though:

Quote
State-Granted Legal Marriage Rights  
Assumption of Spouse’s Pension
Automatic Inheritance
Automatic Housing Lease Transfer
Bereavement Leave
Burial Determination
Child Custody
Crime Victim’s Recovery Benefits
Divorce Protections
Domestic Violence Protection
Exemption from Property Tax on Partner’s Death
Immunity from Testifying Against Spouse
Insurance Breaks
Joint Adoption and Foster Care
Joint Bankruptcy
Joint Parenting (Insurance Coverage, School Records)
Medical Decisions on Behalf of Partner
Certain Property Rights
Reduced Rate Memberships
Sick Leave to Care for Partner
Visitation of Partner’s Children
Visitation of Partner in Hospital or Prison
Wrongful Death (Loss of Consort) Benefits  

Federally-Granted Legal Marriage Rights
Access to Military Stores
Assumption of Spouse’s Pension
Bereavement Leave
Immigration
Insurance Breaks
Medical Decisions on Behalf of Partner
Sick Leave to Care for Partner
Social Security Survivor Benefits
Sick Leave to Care for Partner
Tax Breaks
Veteran’s Discounts
Visitation of Partner in Hospital or Prison


But I think you're on target with the economic analysis, Ralph. It's about the $$, although not all of these benefits are financial. Or at least, the bigotry is backed up by considerations of cold hard cash. Denial of same-sex marriage is plain old financial discrimination.

--Emily
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Jason Lee
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Posts: 729


« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2004, 02:43:51 PM »

Quote from: Emily Care
But I think you're on target with the economic analysis, Ralph. It's about the $$, although not all of these benefits are financial. Or at least, the bigotry is backed up by considerations of cold hard cash. Denial of same-sex marriage is plain old financial discrimination.


Got an update on that.  According to the girl's research, insurance company costs would increase by 1% for those not currently supporting domestic partnerships (many already do).
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- Cruciel
GreatWolf
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« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2004, 03:27:49 PM »

Well, it's with a measure of trepidation that I weigh in on this thread.  But someone needs to stand up for the opposition, and since I believe that what is being called "gay marriage" is wrong, I figure that I'm the guy.  So here goes.

Hi.  My name is Seth Ben-Ezra.  Many of you know me around these parts as the guy who is (slowly) working on finishing Legends of Alyria.  Occasionally I weigh in on debates and discussions as well.  I would hope that, over the time that you have interacted with me in this forum, I have generally shown myself to be a calm, rational, logical person.  Those of you who have met me in person should also be able to testify to the nature of my character.

I am also a devout Christian, confessing the faith of my fathers.  I believe that the Bible was written by holy men who were writing the words of God.  I believe that the Bible is therefore inerrant and is the only rule of life, faith, and practice.*

As a result, as I examine the Bible, I see that God speaks to marriage.  He ordained and instituted marriage, and He established it to be a lifelong bond between a man and a woman, sealed by vows.  I therefore believe that it is not given to human beings to change or alter what God has established.**

Am I appealing to tradition?  No.  Tradition can be good, but it is not the final standard of action.   Am I appealing to economics?  Obviously not.  Am I being irrational?  I don't believe so.  I can map it out in the form of a syllogism in proper form and demonstrate its validity, if you wish.

So what's going on here?  Why is it that I apparently fit into a category reserved for those who are bigoted and irrational?

What is actually at stake here is this:  is the Bible the only rule of life, faith and practice?  This is the question that needs to be answered.  Obviously, if your answer is "Yes", then the issue before us resolves itself quietly.  However, if your answer is "No", then the true issue reveals itself.  At its heart, the issue of "gay marriage" is religious...for all of us.

Is this all irrelevant to the question of the legality of "gay marriage"?  By no means!  The Bible is clear that even governments must obey God.  Someone may claim that I am overreaching, that religion needs to stay out of the public arena.  But then aren't you imposing your beliefs about religion on me?  My religion demands that I bring it into the public arena.  Where is the tolerance now?  Or is it okay to discriminate against Christians now?  

Am I being a bigot?  I don't think so.  I have relatives who are homosexuals, and I do not despise them or look upon them as somehow "sub-human" or "not good enough".  At the same time, I cannot, in good conscience, say that what they are doing is acceptable in the eyes of God.

And that is the debate.  Under all the rhetoric, under all the name calling, lie two simple questions:

1)  Is this what God says?
2)  Do I want to obey Him?

I know that this forum will be closing soon, and I'm willing to continue this discussion via email or PM, if any of you wish.

Seth Ben-Ezra
Great Wolf

*As an aside, when I say "believe", I am not stating that which makes me feel happy or which I like.  Rather, I say "believe" to indicate a yielding to reality.  Kinda like saying "I believe that the sky is blue."  Religion is objective, not subjective.

**Obviously, this is an abbreviated argument for the sake of space and time.
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Alan
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« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2004, 03:33:47 PM »

Quote from: GreatWolf

1)  Is this what God says?


The basic response to that is: Which god and how do you know it was really he/she who said it?  If it is your god, how is he better than anyone elses?

Sorry to be so harsh - but this is the key - if we don't accept the Bible (in the version you prefer) as word of god on faith, then the strongest case against all sorts of homosexual issues just goes away.
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- Alan

A Writer's Blog: http://www.alanbarclay.com
Marhault
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Posts: 185


« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2004, 04:18:29 PM »

Hey, Seth.  I may not agree with you, but I'm glad somebody came out to speak for the other point of view.  My question is, though, your religion (and everyone elses) is specifically removed from the issue when we are speaking about the United States government.

This isn't (or rather, shouldn't be) a religious issue.  If the only grounds on which an official of this nation can come up with to deny a homosexual union are religious, then there are no valid grounds for that official to deny it.  The problem here is that the laws of our nation have been written in large part, by religious people, in accordance with religious doctrine, in violation of the "separation of Church and State" axiom.  The laws should either be changed, or we should just come out of the closet as a christian governed nation.
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Jason Lee
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Posts: 729


« Reply #20 on: April 07, 2004, 04:48:04 PM »

Thanks for weighing in, truly.  Though, I wish I could say something other than 'discrimination'. ;)

Quote from: GreatWolf
So what's going on here? Why is it that I apparently fit into a category reserved for those who are bigoted and irrational?

What is actually at stake here is this: is the Bible the only rule of life, faith and practice? This is the question that needs to be answered. Obviously, if your answer is "Yes", then the issue before us resolves itself quietly. However, if your answer is "No", then the true issue reveals itself. At its heart, the issue of "gay marriage" is religious...for all of us.

Is this all irrelevant to the question of the legality of "gay marriage"?  By no means!  The Bible is clear that even governments must obey God.  Someone may claim that I am overreaching, that religion needs to stay out of the public arena.  But then aren't you imposing your beliefs about religion on me?  My religion demands that I bring it into the public arena.  Where is the tolerance now?  Or is it okay to discriminate against Christians now?


The problem here is obvious.  When you have two people with opposing faiths, an equal amount of conviction, and no discernible difference in evidence, you cannot simply rule one right and the other wrong without it being oppression.  The Christian beliefs of yours that are being oppressed are those that oppress others, just as murder or theft is illegal because it harms another, even should you happen to believe it's right.  Why this is labeled 'irrational' is because it doesn't consider that another point of view may be correct - it is not objective.

Quote
Am I being a bigot?  I don't think so.  I have relatives who are homosexuals, and I do not despise them or look upon them as somehow "sub-human" or "not good enough".  At the same time, I cannot, in good conscience, say that what they are doing is acceptable in the eyes of God.


Yes, I'd say you are being a bigot.  Consider that they are doing something unacceptable in the eyes of god, making them sinners.  How is that not a statement that their way of life makes them 'sub-human' or 'not good enough'?

Interesting side note on this topic.  The supreme court already has a precedent on this issue.  Once upon a time it was illegal for blacks and whites to marry in Virginia.  Well, someone went and did it anyway - those naughty bastards.  The supreme court ruled that you cannot deny someone the right to marry based on an immutable class (something you can't change, like race, gender, or nationality) according to amendment 14 (I believe).

So, the only real question I see is whether or not homosexuality is an immutable class.  Studies point to a biological cause (homosexual males having brain patterns similar to females, and lesbians having inner ear structures similar to men), which would make it an immutable class.  Consider that if homosexuality is an immutable class, then according to strict biblical interpretation these people are damned from birth.  Devil spawn?  That's definitely discrimination.
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- Cruciel
GreatWolf
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« Reply #21 on: April 07, 2004, 04:49:18 PM »

I have a couple of quick responses, then I have to bail (I'm under a bit of a time crunch.)

Alan,

I don't think that you're being harsh at all, because you're right, that is exactly the question.  Why is my God better than yours?  It's a fair question to ask.

Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of time (as I mentioned), so I can't lay out a full response right now, but here's the abbreviated version:

My God acts in perfect love and in perfect justice.  I know this because He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for my sins.  In this way, His justice was served (because to merely overlook my sins would be a travesty), but His love was displayed (because He did this for me without my asking for it at all).

No other god can make that claim.  Therefore, my God is better (as you say) than the other gods.

Obviously, this conversation could continue (and I'm willing to do so).  However, we both need to realize that the reality is that this is a conflict of gods:  yours vs. mine.  That is why I appreciated the candor of your post.

Marhault,

I know that "separation of church and state" is routinely hauled out to justify many government policies.  Again, I could take time to haul out the old arguments about how that phrase isn't actually in the Constitution blah blah blah, but you've probably already heard it.  ;-)

Here's a different thought that I think is more profound:

Everything is religious.  It cannot be avoided.  You are incorrect when you say that "[t]his isn't....a religious issue."  By saying that the dictates of religion do not belong in the public square, you are making a religious statement.  In essence, this is de facto atheism, because you are saying that what God has to say is irrelevant to politics.

Now, I happen to think that our nation is a de facto atheist nation, so, in a sense, this is consistent.  I believe it was clehrich in the Radical Politics thread who called for a banning of all religion from politics.  In a way, I'd support this.  At least the hypocrisy would end.  The USA claims to be a nation blessed by God (God Bless America), but at the same time we refuse to obey Him.  I say, pick one!  Either choose to obey the Christian God, or come out and reject Him.  But let's not limp between the two choices any longer.

To lay it out on the table, I think that the issue of "gay marriage" is going to be a watershed in our nation's history.  IMHO, it will eventually happen.  Maybe not now, but, as I said, I think that our nation is de facto atheistic, and, as has been well established, once the religious objections are removed, nothing really remains.  I believe that this will be the wrong choice, because there is a God in heaven who is not mocked.  And, in the end, it doesn't matter what you believe.  What matters is the truth.  And He is the Truth.

I probably won't be able to get back to the forum tonight, but if either of you want to continue this by PM, I'm open to it.

And I appreciate your courtesy, Marhault, in being willing to listen to me.

Seth Ben-Ezra
Great Wolf
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Jack Spencer Jr
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« Reply #22 on: April 07, 2004, 04:59:10 PM »

Quote from: montag
this, is the best, non-bigoted argument against gay marriage I'm aware of:
link
the basic point is, that marriage is to some extent a hassle, that it takes time and effort and dedication and that it does indeed function as a social norm which keeps people in line. By redefining marriage as a purely voluntary act of people in love (de-emphasising the commitment aspect) we are – according to this argument – about to loose (a) social cohesion and (b) an institution, which emphasises the role/value of commitment, which places commitment to another person right in the middle of our society, .. and thus naturally colours social reality.

I can agree with those points and I don't think this applies only to gay marriage, but straight marriage as well. This may be why the divorce rate is so high. Marriage is a hassle and if you think it isn't, you might want to save the receipt for that ring.
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joshua neff
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« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2004, 05:02:31 PM »

Seth, I disagree with you in a big, big way. However, I think you're being really, really reasonable about this, & I appreciate that. I've gotten into arguments about gay marriage on other boards, & no one with an oppsing viewpoint has been as...gentle as you. Very cool.

And you know what? That's all I'm going to say. Because nothing I write here will change your position (just as nothing you write will convince me that same-sex marriage is wrong--I'm not a Christian, so appeals to the Bible mean nothing to me). Instead, I'll shake your hand in a gentlemanly fashion & agree to disagree.
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--josh

"You can't ignore a rain of toads!"--Mike Holmes
Alan
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« Reply #24 on: April 07, 2004, 05:08:10 PM »

Quote from: GreatWolf

My God acts in perfect love and in perfect justice.  I know this because He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for my sins.  In this way, His justice was served (because to merely overlook my sins would be a travesty), but His love was displayed (because He did this for me without my asking for it at all).

No other god can make that claim.  Therefore, my God is better (as you say) than the other gods.


Hi Seth,

Well you answered one half of my question.  What about the other half?  How do you know this is true?
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- Alan

A Writer's Blog: http://www.alanbarclay.com
GreatWolf
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« Reply #25 on: April 07, 2004, 07:02:05 PM »

My wife is about to drag me off to hack off my hair.  (Some of it?  All of it?  The audience holds its breath.)  But I was able to get back to this thread for a moment.

Josh,

I'm glad that I'm not coming across as being a jerk.  I'm trying to speak the truth in love, and that can be hard to do on an Internet forum.  ;-)  Glad to know that I'm coming across in the way that I want to.

Alan,

How do I know that this is true?  Same as anything else:  the testimony of witnesses.  Here are a brief sampling:

The Testimony of Creation

All Creation testifies of its Creator.  Moreover, His Law is engraved on the soul.  There is a reason that the Golden Rule is acknowledged throughout mankind; it is because it is a reflection of the moral Law of the Creator.

The Testimony of the Scriptural Record

The writers of the New Testament were either eyewitnesses of the events that are recorded or spoke to the eyewitnesses themselves.  The testimony of eyewitnesses is usually accepted as evidence.

Also, such finds as the Dead Sea Scrolls confirm the classic understanding of certain portions of Scripture and disprove certain higher critical theories (e.g. the two authors of Isaiah)

The Testimony of the Extrabiblical Record

There are corroborating witnesses from the New Testament period.  Josephus is one who is usually cited.

The Testimony of the Soul

However, when all is said and done, the reality is that the Spirit of God has opened my eyes to see the truth.  This isn't some pat on the back for me. I didn't do anything, so what's there to be proud of?  One way the Bible speaks of becoming a Christian is being "born again".  Well, what choices did you have in being born?  It was your parents' actions that caused you to be born, not your own.  So, in the same way, God opened my eyes to the truth and caused me to see.

Remember, this isn't about producing evidence that will convince you.  The evidence is there; this is all objectively true.  However, if you do not want to see it, then you will not see it.

Cruciel,

As for being a bigot....  Well, I could note here that, while we were still living in Erie, my homosexual relative (my wife's uncle) and his boyfriend were always welcome at family gatherings and were, as much as possible, made to be welcome and a part of things.  I suppose that I could mention that I am not persuaded by the studies that are being produced to "prove" that homosexuality is biological.  (Science is notorious for being in error about many things, as it is the product of finite, fallible, human minds.)

I would rather focus on two points.

First, to say that homosexuality is a sin is not to place homosexuals below me somehow.  For example, lying is a sin, and I have lied.  All have sinned, not just "them" (whoever "they" are).  As I say, there is no room for superiority here.  Rather, we all need to repent of our sins and throw ourselves on the mercy of the Court.

But if not....

Christians have been called worse names through the ages.  We have been called cannibals, devil worshipers, rebels, and seditious.  We have been whipped, beaten, jailed, stoned, crucified, shot, hung, drowned, and burned alive.

And, after 2,000 years, we are still here.  And those that opposed us have failed.

The much-maligned Paul wrote in the Bible to "be at peace with all men."  So that is what I pursue with all men, including homosexuals.  My conscience is clear before God that I am not a bigot.  And, in the end, that's all that matters.

Seth Ben-Ezra
Great Wolf
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Valamir
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« Reply #26 on: April 07, 2004, 07:05:14 PM »

An excellent job at witnessing my friend.
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ADGBoss
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« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2005, 05:17:00 AM »

Well I see someone stole my money argument.... that'll teach me to be busy eh.

One thing I want to say though is that I think there is a deeper question here that goes beyond the sexuality of those involved.

Spiritual / Religious marriage and state marriage are more intermixed then they have ever been.  By that I mean we have representatives of religions performing a state function, which they have done for a long time, but at this point going to a secular marriage person, Justice of the Peace or going to Vegas, are occasionally considered socially illegitimate.

Where this problem is occuring is that the state is now in a position to say "We are letting you do service X, then you have to let anyone do it." Well I believe this is unfair to force people who are biased because of their beliefs to perform these actions.  Now I know this happens all over society and in many cases is equally wrong.

If the Catholic Church does not want to sanction same sex marriage then they do not have to.  If Lutherans or Buddhists or Celtic Pagans want to sanction same sex marriages, then they can.  If we really want to split Church and State (which few nations have really ever done) then we should need to split secular and spiritual marriages.  Secular arrangements should have few or no restrictions (age limits and animals being the two that come to mind) and certainly there is no reason why people of the same gender couldn't be married by secular institutions. Spiritual arrangements COULD have secular components if they wished it and met certain requierments but perhaps they would not have to.  So two Catholics could get married and still not be considered married by the State. As well as vice versa.

A second issue I have with the whole argument is this: We accept the idea that in a marriage there is likely going to be sex and thus in same gender arrangements people will engage in homosexual activity.  Well what IF two friends, lets say female, want to never be separated. They want to live together, share together, grow old together... and both are straight. Well thats just stupid you say.... but it does happen.  Should the right of two people to gain the benefits of marriage be limited by those who are in love or who are going to have sexual relations?

Finally we also see the idea of poly marriages. (Its not just for Mormons anymore) Why just 2 people? Why not 3?  Again I have no problem with a religion saying we do not like it and that does not make them evil or hateful.  From a state level, other then pissing off economics and of course property laws, there is not reason why 3 people could not be married. Yes I know what the definition of marriage is but these relationships DO exist, are as functional as dual marriage, and should have some consideration.  

I myself am fairly liberal on many social issues, homosexuality being one of them.  Mainly its because I could care less who sleeps with who, when, why, and how.  On the other hand lets not force people who don't want such a thing in their part of society (religion) to do it or accept it.  I think that this is issue goes a lot deeper then gender in marriage and mere economics.

Just my 2 Lunars.


Sean
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Vaxalon
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Posts: 1619


« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2005, 05:43:39 AM »

Personally, I think the government should be completely out of the marriage game.  No marriage licenses, no registrations.  Put it entirely in the hands of the churches.  If your church says you can get married, dandy, if they say you can't, don't come crying to the courts.

The government should, instead, allow any group of people, related, married, or not, to declare that they are taking responsibility for the care of each other, and as a result, should have that group recognized by the government as a family.  The only requirement should be that they live together as a nuclear community, sharing housing and other resources.

I know of TWO families that consist of a pair of sisters who live together, jointly taking care of children of one of the pair.  In the one case, even though the mother and daughter are completely dependent on the sister/aunt, and are dependents and family members in every sense, they cannot get medical insurance through her because they aren't "members of the immediate family".

Recognizing these kinds of relationships would be a STABILIZING influence on our culture, not destabilizing.

Edit: GAH!  You beat me to it.
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daMoose_Neo
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« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2005, 06:15:07 AM »

Quote from: ADGBoss
...lets not force people who don't want such a thing in their part of society (religion) to do it or accept it.


I have to agree wholeheartedly with this.
A chunk of the arguements in the Pro camp deal with "This is what WE want." while a chunk of the arguement in the Con camp (mostly religious fields) is "Well we DON'T!" The seperation of church and state goes both ways: the state can't tell churches what, within reason (First Amendment protection), it can and cannot do.
"Marriage" as an institution has long been recognized as a portion of faiths and beliefs, approved of by governments for more control. What I'm NOT keen on myself is my government being able to walk into my church and tell me what I have to accept as a marriage and what I don't. Sanction civil unions and bestow the benefits, aside from a level of acceptance thats what a lot of the request is about: the ability to care for a partner, make important decisions in their life by default, etc. just don't tell me my faith has to accept it as legit. Call it an issue of semantics.

Per Mormens and poligamy- quite a bit of study on poligamist Mormens seems to indicate were it widely acceptable and available with marriage benefits in taxes, benefits and insurance as-is would place a massive strain on the system. As an aside, a very close friend of mine is Mormen and she's discussed the whole issue before- for one, it apperently isn't a core portion of the belief structure, and two many churches and the central officials dropped its promotion when the courts decided against them, breaking affiliation with churches that do promote it. Asking/telling them they could only have one spouse seems akin to telling American muslims "Your church can't actively seek the death of "infidels".", even though officials of the faith in the East say so.
Other issues exist within the extremist Mormen-style of poligamy anyway, issues that are legally invalid under any circumstances in our (US) nation- forced marriage and underage brides being two intertwined factors. Thats not to say *all* polyigamists of the faith do so, just that it was common and remains a factor in the situation today.
In a nut shell, regular Joe Mormens don't give a twitch either way. Those who advocate the poligamy on the basis of faith and belief are in a minority looked down on by those in their own church.

As another aside, to be Christian and honestly believe and know whats going on, you have to be willing to look yourself in the mirrior and see your own flaws. The biggest step on the road to recovery, so say addicts and abusers, is admitting theres a problem- to even consider yourself Christian you have to admit to yourself you Sin and screw up. When a Christian says "Thats wrong and sinful," bare in mind it takes one to know one.
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Nate Petersen / daMoose
Neo Productions Unlimited! Publisher of Final Twilight card game, Imp Game RPG, and more titles to come!
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