Originally posted by Paulie
I think part of the problem is agreeing on a definition of ****phobia. The definition that I believe is commonly accepted, and that's thrown around as slander as in Tedbear's post (forgive me if I've interpreted it incorrectly, Tb),is one who inherently hates Group **** and, as you've said, wants to hurt them. But the way I read the rest of your post, I sense that your definition also includes anyone who opposes any part of Group ****'s agenda for any reason and I can't agree with that definition. I believe that it's possible to have legitimate policy disagreements for reasons other than hatred and malice, don't you?
As an example, Senator Clinton of New York, according to her official website, believes that the U.S. needs to strengthen its border security and crack down on illegal immigration. Does that make her a Latinophobe? Or, back to Tedbear's post, are only right-wingers who hold similar positions Latinophobes?
Or, speaking to your example, the fact is that a large number of Christians do oppose gay marriage and civil unions based on their interpretation of the Bible. Yet they also do believe in loving their neighbor, be they gay, straight or anywhere in between. In other words their Biblical beliefs call on them to Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner. Obviously you have a different outlook based on your beliefs and experiences. But the fact that you disagree with that position doesn't mean that it's based on hatred or phobia.
Well, I'm done talking about politics; I'd prefer to read about someplace to get a good meatloaf sandwich (hard roll w/ gravy, warmed up, please). I probably overreacted, but Tedbear's post raised this right winger's hackles a little bit.
PS; Hope my spelling, grammar & syntax are OK.
Look, I know it raises hackles in a lot of readers, but they still have 99.9% of this site to their concerns about meatloaf sandwiches--and, lest anyone doubt it, I share those concerns. But it's rare to get an opportunity to have a POLITE, CALM discussion of these matters that go to the heart and soul of some of our lives. So at the risk of p_ss_ng off a few other Roadfooders, I just gotta get a few more things off my chest.
Here's how I read the above post. I see a person who believes themselves to be good-hearted and "God-fearing" in the most positive sense and also believes themselves to be "tolerant" of "alternative life-styles". But I also see someone who, deep down inside, shares with most Americans the fact that they "don't get it" when it comes to gay people.
The clues that lead me to seeing what I see are a few buzz words. The first is reference to a "group" (in this context, obviously, a homesexual) agenda. It is indisputably true that there are national and local organizations for gay people that advocate certain agendas but suggesting that what they advocate is subscribed to by all members of this particular group is like saying, well, saying that all "right wingers" subscribed to the gay-bashing agenda of the most vocal members of that group. All one has to do is look at politics in San Francisco, a city with a large enough gay population so that the lack of unanimity of opinion among gay people on almost every political issue is obvious. To put it succinctly, there is no agenda, including, incidently, gay marriage, that is a consensus view among gay people because gay people are like all people. Each one has a wide range of personal views and agendas.
The second buzz word, or more properly buzz argument that concerns me in what you say is the argument that the fact that many Christians believe their Bible argues against gay marriage is relevent to political discussion. You see, I consider myself a Christian, but I also know a little bit about American history and so I know that the first Americans, the Pilgrims and Puritans, came here to escape a secular legal code which incorporated religious views with which they did not agree. I further know that the descendants of those Americans, who created our government, attempted to make certain that everyone would be free to be religious and to practice their own religion in this country, but that our secular legal system would not embody anyone's religion in its code nor would our government give preference to any one religious viewpoint--including that of Christians. Hence the question is not what Christians believe but what Christians believe is a proper concern of government. And they are very wrong--beyond the pale wrong--if they believe that their interpretation of the Bible should be encoded in American civil and criminal law.
Nobody is suggesting that any religion be required to perform religious marriages of anyone they don't consider it appropriate to marry. In the case of Catholics, that would include a man and a woman, either of whom is divorced. But CIVIL marriage--marriage performed by the STATE without benefit of religious sanction--is another matter. Even if your religion finds the civil marriage of a same sex couple to be wrong, there are other religions that don't and so the secular legal system ought not forbid it. That way, persons in a same sex relationship who happen to adhere to your version of Christianity can foreswear marriage, religious or civil, and persons in such a relationship whose religious views tell them it's OK can follow the tenets of their own faith. That's the American way.