Ponder moral legislation

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There’s so much talk these days about all kinds of social issues and how to approach them as far as the rule of law is concerned. We tend to ask ourselves if we support this idea morally, and base our decisions and opinions on that mentality.

However, I don’t think we’re asking ourselves the right question. We have to be careful how we marry religious morality with law and order. First off, there are plenty of things that are legal that aren’t necessarily considered moral. The real question we should be asking ourselves is: How much do we want to police morality, and where do we draw the line?

The gay marriage debate comes to mind right away. Those who oppose it do so based on moral convictions, but should that be reason enough to outlaw something? It’s a question I think we should all ask ourselves.

Religious ideas of morality shouldn’t necessarily be a factor when it comes to making laws. If you disagree with that, then I ask: Why not try and outlaw everything that may be considered biblically immoral? Why not create an entirely ecclesiastical government?

Thomas Jefferson once said, “(I)t does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are 20 gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” This basically means to live and let live. It seems to me that most people who advocate moral legislation only want to focus on certain immoralities, and I find that to be an inconsistent philosophy.

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Young Fred
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Young Fred 11/29/12 - 10:09 am
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The old bait and switch

The old bait and switch argument. If you disagree with same sex marriage, then you wish for creating an "entirely ecclesiastical government". Hate to burst your bubble, but many who aren't considered hard right evangelicals, don't support same sex marriage.

A legal union I can support, just don't go redefining words to support your politics. Where would it end?

grouse
1635
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grouse 11/29/12 - 08:31 am
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I don't understand the
Unpublished

I don't understand the difference between marriage and legal unions except semantics. No religious institution will be required to marry anyone even if marriage is allowed across the board. As the writer implies, religion should not influence civil law.

TParty
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TParty 11/29/12 - 08:41 am
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"A legal union I can support,

"A legal union I can support, just don't go redefining words to support your politics."

I suppose redefining words to support your religion is okay though?

Fiat_Lux
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Fiat_Lux 11/29/12 - 10:03 am
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Yeah, but...

Legal protection for immoral behaviors does, in fact, pick our pockets and break our legs.

Taxpayer funded abortion on demand is a perfect example. We all have been forced to pay for a virtual genocide, in this country and even more so in third world nations. The impact on our societies is incalculable, even if the vast majority of us are far too desensitized or thick to make the connections. God alone knows the good that was intended to come to humanity through the lives of all those babies. And what burden of insecurity and questions of self-worth must our children and their children carry, even if only subconsciously, knowing that so many of their fellow Americans thought of them as purely optional?

As even one of the most simplistic cause-effect phenomena, the abysmal lack of interest and a general sense of responsibility, as Americans, to our nation and its legacy should have been instructive in that regard.

We are reaping what we have sown. We have elected terrible leaders for at least half a century simply because they are an accurate reflection of the people who put them in office, either by their support or by their negligence to their duty as citizens. Even being a good and moral person doesn't make up for not having actively fought this decay from its first appearance.

We should have been paying better attention when we first started having qualms, and I include myself in the "we".

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 11/29/12 - 10:45 am
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Who trying to redefine words
Unpublished

Who trying to redefine words to support religion?

TParty
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TParty 11/29/12 - 11:07 am
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"Who trying to redefine words

"Who trying to redefine words to support religion?"

Polygamy, concubines, Levirate marriages, victims of rape forced to marry their rapist, arranged marriages... all sorts of ideas...

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 11/29/12 - 11:17 am
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Who?
Unpublished

I appreciate the effort, but that didn't answer my question.

Who is trying to redefine polygamy? Who is trying to redefine concubines? Who is trying to redefine arranged marriages, etc etc.

TParty
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TParty 11/29/12 - 11:22 am
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"Who is trying to redefine

"Who is trying to redefine polygamy? Who is trying to redefine concubines? Who is trying to redefine arranged marriages, etc etc."

Religious people today- who make laws, and claim traditional marriage, which they got from the bible, but seem to always forget what the bible says about marriage...

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 11/29/12 - 11:27 am
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I haven't seen ANYONE trying
Unpublished

I haven't seen ANYONE trying to redefine any of those words. I'm going to have to disagree with you on that.

TParty
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TParty 11/29/12 - 11:32 am
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When religious folks speak

When religious folks speak against gay marriage- they use words like "Traditional marriage" and "the bible says..."

Traditional marriage? What is that? A time when a woman could be purchased from her family? The bible says? There are so many contradictions in the bible- you can find anything to support anything.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 11/29/12 - 11:35 am
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Yet they are not redefining
Unpublished

Yet they are not redefining any words...that is the point I'm making. Granted, they may be trying to impose their beliefs on people.....redefining words....no.

Bulldog
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Bulldog 11/29/12 - 11:50 am
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Most law derives from moral concepts

Those who object to the use of morals to structure both criminal and civil law are the ones missing the point. Law must of necessity derive from the moral conscience of the people. (Please note that is distinctly different from the specific religious beliefs of any particular organized religion.) Ancient British common law (from which our own basic law flows) was little more than a codification of the moral conscience of the people. In the last 50-75 years we have move further and further from this base resulting in numerous unintended consequences. The result is that lawyers are almost universally despised because so much of our law now violates our collective moral sense. Much of what is legal is indeed morally repugnant to many. In some cases , public outrage has resulted in multiple states revising laws when the abuse is publically revealed . The abusive use of imminent domain is one that comes to mind. Criminal law and the vast majority of civil law must reflect the common moral sense. If it does not, we will continue to see contempt for, instead of, respect and compliance with our legal system.

TParty
6003
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TParty 11/29/12 - 11:52 am
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To say "This is a traditional

To say "This is a traditional marriage" when evidence and examples can be made that their ideas are not traditional- is proof that a group is trying to redefine a word, and even own it.

"A legal union I can support, just don't go redefining words to support your politics. Where would it end?"

What do you think this person is talking about? Marriage should only be between a man and a woman, and anything else can be a legal union, or whatever words you want- just not marriage, because it's owned and defined by.....?

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 11/29/12 - 12:07 pm
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I think we just have to agree
Unpublished

I think we just have to agree to disagree.

duffstuff
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duffstuff 11/29/12 - 12:26 pm
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1
Hey this is Dallas Duff the

Hey this is Dallas Duff the writer of the editorial. I just wanna expand on a few things and comment on whats been said to this point. To Young Fred...I'm not saying that if you disagree with same sex marriage than you are for an ecclesiastical government. I'm saying that its hypocritical to oppose it if your argument is that you thinks its simply immoral. The reason being because you probably don't support legislating other moral arguments like modesty, pre marital sex, amongst other things. And if you do support legislating based upon those ideas than you may end up with a country that looks less like a free society and more like the middle east. We are suppose to have freedom of religion in this country which means tolerating other peoples moral ideas as long as they don't directly harm us. And to the person who noted how minutely semantical the difference between marriage and civil unions are, hit the nail right on the head. The legalities are the same they just don't want it called marriage. Here's an analogy to display how absurd that is: I like eating chicken but I don't like certain connotations the word "chicken" has, so I'm gonna call it gobbletygook from now on. And maybe there are certain people that don't deserve to use the term chicken (in my view) so I'm gonna make them have to call it gobbletygook in order get chicken. They can still order chicken, but they're not allowed to call it chicken. Say what???

Jane18
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Jane18 11/29/12 - 12:52 pm
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Our Morals Against Some of Man's Laws

A person needs only to look at what is "legal" today, that at one time was not. One example is pornography. We, as a country have let the very things that were looked down on before(and rightfully so), and know that our very own culture has been attacked and used against us. We have became so lenient and forgiving to things that are not morally right. I don't care what court has legalized something or set a "precedent" for, to make something that was wrong into something right, by law, for some of us, it is still wrong!! And let me say this, when you want to start using The Bible for an excuse to back up any wrong, one needs to remember there is a difference between the Old Testament and the New Testamet. But, .....there are some laws that have not changed! No matter what law or precedent is made, it is not going to make a normal people believe in something that is Not normal, or morally right.

Jane18
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Jane18 11/29/12 - 12:50 pm
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Sounds Like "Gobbletygook"

Dallas, you are making "gobbletygook" excuses!

GiantsAllDay
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GiantsAllDay 11/29/12 - 12:54 pm
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5
Yes there is a difference

Yes there is a difference between the old and new testaments. Today, if a person followed the old testament to the letter he would be a criminal. Today, if one followed the new testament to the letter he would be crazy and probably locked up in a mental institution and rightfully so.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 11/29/12 - 12:55 pm
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3
The proverbal line

"How much do we want to police morality, and where do we draw the line?" Yeah, that is the question. So, is there a line at all? Or, is it absolutely anything goes?

dichotomy
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dichotomy 11/29/12 - 01:50 pm
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"Polygamy, concubines,

"Polygamy, concubines, Levirate marriages, victims of rape forced to marry their rapist, arranged marriages... all sorts of ideas..."

TPARTY must have woke up out in left field this morning and decided to take the Techfan approach of discussing something nobody was talking about.

Here is the reality folks. Moral has nothing to do with legal and neither have anything to do with Constitutional.

Lots of things have been legal/illegal AND moral/immoral up until they were ruled constitutional/unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

You are all wearing yourselves out arguing about things you nor the people you elect have much power over. And in the process, half of you are managing to kill off politicians who might actually put this country on sound financial footing.

Now I realize that your religious/moral convictions are extremely important to many of you. But your demands that your political candidates swear a blood oath to your religious/moral values are NOT helping anyone but the political opposition. You scare people as much as the Taliban and the politicians are mostly just paying you lip service to get your vote. If they had won they would not have outlawed anything anyway because they can't. And even if they did the Supreme Court would have struck it down. Please concentrate of the ONE common sense value of putting this country on a sound financial footing which will allow you lots of free time and the freedom to continure to try to spread your values and morals through your church.

TParty
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TParty 11/29/12 - 02:00 pm
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"TPARTY must have woke up out

"TPARTY must have woke up out in left field this morning and decided to take the Techfan approach of discussing something nobody was talking about."

Know how I know you didn't read all the comments?

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 11/29/12 - 02:05 pm
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TParty. ;-)
Unpublished

TParty. ;-)

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 11/29/12 - 02:22 pm
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Definition

The definition of marriage as being between man and woman pre-dates any organized religion. I agree with Young Fred that we don't need to be changing the definition of the word marriage. Set up any kind of contract you want, but don't call it marriage.

duffstuff
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duffstuff 11/29/12 - 02:58 pm
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1
With all due respect, I feel

With all due respect, I feel like some of ya'll aren't really getting the point of what I'm saying. Don't worry about what other people's sense of morals are as long as they don't directly hurt you. And by you I mean people in general. Of course we shouldn't adopt an anything goes society but the whole concept of law (in a country that professes freedom of religion) is to protect the people with a sense of basic law and order minus religious bias. and I don't understand why people can't grasp this concept. And saying my analogy is gobbletygook isn't an intelligent rebuttal to my point. Maybe perhaps you can explain how that analogy isn't relative to the point I'm trying to make? Explain the excuse you are referring to? I assume you mean an excuse for immorality? I believe morality is determined by the behavior of the individual. I don't worry about other people's morality. Gays exist whether you like it or not so giving them more or less rights doesn't have any affect on the behavior. And hey, just because its legal doesn't mean God is letting them into heaven. (thats a joke btw) I am a Christian and I try to live by the principles Jesus taught as best I can but that doesn't mean legally I have to push everyone else to do the same. You gotta give tolerance to get tolerance. I've yet for anyone to be able to tell me how letting John and Steve down the street get married affects their lives one bit? Excuse me for having the audacity the think we should all live and let live! I've got some nerve!!!

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 11/29/12 - 03:18 pm
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Stuff

Duffstuff posted:

I've yet for anyone to be able to tell me how letting John and Steve down the street get married affects their lives one bit?

If that's true, then preventing John and Steve down the street from getting married will not affect their lives one bit.

The tangible things that homosexuals seek through calling themselves married are spousal benefits. For example, they want to file federal income tax returns as "married, filing jointly" in order to get a lower tax liability as compared to the individual column. Likewise, they want to get the Social Security spousal survivor benefit when one dies. I'm sure there are others.

Of course, they can get that income tax benefit right now. The IRS does not check your marriage license when you send your return in. Two homosexuals can send in a return claiming "married, filing jointly" and the IRS accepts it at face value.

I don't know about the Social Security Administration regarding whether they demand proof of a marriage license. I will find out soon enough when I file for benefits.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 11/29/12 - 03:23 pm
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2
Civil Right

Marriage is not a civil right. It is a contract. Certain contracts contain qualifications in order to be legal. For example, state governments have established that certain close relatives cannot be married in that state. Also, there are minimum age requirements. In all states, only two people can enter into the contract for marriage. So adding the ban on homosexuals is something that most states find reasonable. They have the authority to do so.

Fiat_Lux
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Fiat_Lux 11/29/12 - 03:38 pm
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3
Since Thomas Jefferson is being held up as an authority on this,

then try this quote on for size, from the 1786 Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom penned by the same man:

[That] To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical.

I suspect old Tom would be (is?) completely scandalized that our federal government is freely bestowing exemptions to implementing Obamacare all over the country but somehow can't see its way to allowing an exemption for matters of conscience and faith. It is hard to escape facing the fact that Obummer and his minions at every level of civil authority have a common goal to not simply marginalize Christians, but to persecute any who dare to challenge the soulless, godless agenda of socialism Obamessiah has slated for us.

You're not going to like what's coming. And a lot of people needlessly will die because of it. If you aren't old enough to remember, you might explore some history about the Soviet Union's first few decades to get a few hints at how abjectly stupid we have become and what we are throwing away.

Bruno
780
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Bruno 11/29/12 - 03:42 pm
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1
Marriage is a social or legal

Marriage is a social or legal contract. Given that our laws allow for this contract between consenting adults I don't see that it is a 're-definition' to have it include two males or two females who are doing the consenting.
Gay marriage would do absolutely nothing to my marriage. As to the supposed 'sanctity of marriage' being eroded, I would say to look to Hollywood and the number of divorces in the country before you worry about two men getting married. I have a number of gay friends both male and female that have been in longer relationships than a large number of my straight friends.
Little Lamb, you are off the mark on your analogy between having a minimum age requirement and having a gender requirement. One has to do with the maturity of the individuals entering into the contract. The other has to do with the 'morals' of those imposing the law. There is simply no legal reason to deny gay marriage.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 11/29/12 - 04:02 pm
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3
GiantsAllDay "Today, if one

GiantsAllDay "Today, if one followed the new testament to the letter he would be crazy and probably locked up in a mental institution and rightfully so."

Can you please provide more detail...just what exactly in the new testament if you followed would be crazy??

Are you talking about being forgiving or wise in Matthew, is it the commandment to be peaceful in 1st Thessalonians, or maybe its the Be Merciful in Luke or thankful in Collossians that gives you trouble. What exactly would send you to an institution???

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 11/29/12 - 04:05 pm
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1
Bruno, would you agree that
Unpublished

Bruno, would you agree that there is no legal reason to deny polygamy?

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