Since we’re on guns today, how about this one. Schools would be nothin’ compared to what the Liberty Counsel suggests.

(transcript via Raw Story of a radio interview with the head of the Liberty Counsel, Matt Staver, audio here.)

Matt Staver:

"Basically marriage will be completely destroyed, families will be destroyed, children will be hurt by this and freedom of speech and freedom of religion, including in the pulpit itself, will absolutely be bulldozed over. This would open a floodgate of unimaginable proportions. That’s why with those kinds of consequences to have five of the nine justices ultimately have this kind of power in their hands, that’s not how this court and this country was established, to have five individuals to be able to have that kind of catastrophic, social reengineering power in their hands, that’s just not something that was envisioned by the founders."

Craig Parshall:

"Absolutely right. God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind so we need to be in prayer, but I also think we need to be preparing our hearts as well Mat that if in fact the Supreme Court decides to trample underfoot the truth of God’s word, we as a church are going have to decide what we’re going to do. Mat, you know I’m going to appeal to your pastor’s heart, that means that every single pastor who is called to hold out the word of life is going to have to decide whether or not he is going to sidestep certain passages for fear of some sort of response from the government."

Matt Staver:

"This is the thing that revolutions literally are made of. This would be more devastating to our freedom, to our religious freedom, to the rights of pastors and their duty to be able to speak and to Christians around the country, then anything that the revolutionaries during the American Revolution even dreamed of facing. This would be the thing that revolutions are made of. This could split the country right in two. This could cause another civil war. I’m not talking about just people protesting in the streets, this could be that level because what would ultimately happen is a direct collision would immediately happen with pastors, with churches, with Christians, with Christian ministries, with other businesses, it would be an avalanche that would go across the country."

Craig Parshall:

"There is no ambiguity as to what the definition of marriage is. Here are nine people in black robes who are basically going to judge, and I’m going to put this in the vernacular of the common man, these are nine people who are basically going to say: God didn’t say that and here’s our ruling. I know I really distilled it down but you’ve got judges who are basically going to decide for us at the high level, potentially, how marriage should be defined. That’s amazing. Who would have thought we would ever find ourselves in that place?:

Matt Staver:

"It’s stunning. That’s why I am very concerned that this has made its way to the United States Supreme Court because only five of those nine can make a decision and so five people, potentially, in the United States, only five out of the hundreds of millions that we have, have in their hand this opportunity to literally wreck marriage, to destroy the very foundation of our family and the biblical definition of marriage. The consequences are staggering. This could be the Roe v. Wade of marriage and family. If we ultimately say as a court and if the country follows it that marriage is between two people of the same sex and it’s now how common sense, history and the Bible ultimately defines it, that has catastrophic consequences. That is staggering and it is actually something that we ought to be in significant prayer about because this could be the unraveling of the United States."

"Like other anti-gay groups, Liberty Counsel argues that hate crime laws are “actually ‘thought crimes’ laws that violate the right to freedom and of conscience” — an opinion rejected by the Supreme Court"-Southern Poverty Law Center


Please consider reading and signing my atheists, agnostics, and nones acknowledgement petition on the White House petition Website. Even if you choose not to sign, please consider what it means when a sitting president's campaign adviser can blithely state that he does not view 1/5 of the American public as a constituency, what it means for our civil rights, and what it means to others who are religious that hear that. It is as egregious as Mitt Romney’s infamous 47% remark.

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I said it before and will say it again:

What a load of horseshit.  The only people impacted by the recognition of gay marriage are gay couples.  If churches don't want to perform gay marriages, no one is holding a gun to their head and saying they must.  This business of saying that marriage equality "bulldozes" marriage has no foundation in fact.

Nevertheless, I can see a Second Civil War coming out of this, at least in part, but mostly because of the loss of influence that fundamentalist christian churches are suffering, especially lately.  They're no longer in the majority, while the "nones" are rising in numbers and influence.  It is possible that, at some point or other, those churches might organize to regain what they've lost, doing so violently.  THAT could get seriously UGLY.

But the fact of the matter is that those churches, like religion in general, have been losing influence and relevance for over a century now, and the trend continues.  They're losing it because they have no basis in fact.  Indeed, what they are based in are fairy tales, prevarications and outright LIES, and at some level, even they know this.  They've had their way for a long time, but as the truth of what they are about becomes more public and available and as their assertions are challenged and refuted, their loss of status becomes inevitable.  Give it a century, maybe two or more, and the church as an effective political engine in the US will be a rather bad memory.

It's interesting to me that christianist profiteers like "Liberty Counsel" and "National Organization for Marriage" use such Orwellian language - their "Liberty" depends on oppression of others, and their organization for marriage is completely devoted to preventing some people from marrying.

Thanks to another Nexus member, I'm reading the book "King Leopold's Ghost", which describes the conquest of the Congo by Belgium's King Leopold.  He uses the same kind of language, claiming to be preventing slavery, when in fact he enslaved millions, and claiming to bring "civilization" and "Christianity"  to the Congo when in fact he brought oppression, mass murder of millions, and enriched himself fabulously in the process.  Leopold garnered support from human rights - type - organizations with Orwellian language, claiming the opposite of what was true.

There will not be a civil war over LGBT equality.  If the 20th century civil rights movement did not bring a second Civil war, neither will accepting as human, the much smaller number of human beings who are LGBT.  People died.  here was violence and discrimination.  And the work is not yet completed.   But there was not a Civil war.  

Churches do not have to marry anyone who is not the favorite race or ethnicity of the church members.  They are not required to have interracial marriages within their racially segregated temples.  Synagogues do not have to marry Muslims.  Mosques do not have to marry Christians.  Mormon temples do not allow nonMormons within their gilded walls.  Catholic churches forbid marriage of divorced persons.  No church will be required to marry together any LGBT couples.

The staged temper tantrums of christianist polemicists are designed to pull at insecurity of christian privilege.  And bring in contributions, to keep the self-described leaders rich.  LGBT people make for a great scapegoat, with prepackaged prejudices and historic hatreds continuing to provide fodder.

I am completely in favour of gay marriage, but disagree that churches should not be forced to perform them if they retain the right to legally marry people.

A teacher does not have the right to refuse to teach people in their class simply because the pupils are gay/black/female/short/disabled etc. I see no difference between refusing to allow gay marriage and refusing to marry black people.

If the priest relinquishes the right to legally marry people and only performs the wedding ceremony, then I am ok for them to discriminate over who they do this for, even if I disagree with their discrimination. Realistically, I think you are right Sentient.




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