Reflections on the same-sex marriage debate within the church

Image by Sabtastic
Image by Sabtastic

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been involved with a Facebook group set up to discuss same-sex marriage (SSM) within the church. This has been set up as the CofE undergoes a “shared conversations” process to talk about the issue. This has been the first time I’ve really spent much time actually talking with people within the church who believe in same-sex marriage (or ‘affirming’, as I will use in this post as a convenient shorthand). Although I have had brief conversations with affirming people before, most of them have been pretty fleeting so it’s been good to have the chance to engage with people over an extended period of time.

I thought I’d share one or two observations about the debate as I’ve observed it over the past few weeks. I do think there is a difference in the way the two sides think and approach the question.

Firstly: the debate is all about the Bible. This one is pretty much a no-brainer. Obviously the debate was going to focus on the Bible, it is the heart of the disagreement: does the Bible call same-sex relationships sinful or not? When I joined the group, I was expecting to spend a lot of time discussing the Bible.

Having said this, what I’ve found interesting is that the debate has not really been about the Bible texts themselves. We have spent a little bit of time discussing interpretations of the Bible, but in general the group does not spend much time discussing the various interpretations of Romans 1:18-32 (for example). I wonder whether this reflects the fact that there really is very little scope for interpreting the Bible any differently to the way it has traditionally been interpreted. Diarmaid MacCulloch (who is himself strongly affirming of SSM) has said: “Despite much well-intentioned theological fancy footwork to the contrary, it is difficult to see the Bible as expressing anything else but disapproval of homosexual activity, let alone having any conception of a homosexual identity.”

It seems instead that people would rather talk about almost anything about the Bible other than the Biblical texts themselves. We talk about the Bible’s clarity, interpretation, translation, history of interpretation on slavery and so on… almost anything other than the text of what the Bible actually says.

This leads me onto the second point (where I contradict my first point, but please stick with it…): the debate is not really about the Bible at all. It seems to me that the debate is not actually about what the Bible says. It’s not even really about interpretation, or any of those other issues surrounding how we understand the Bible.

The debate is actually about the presuppositions we bring to the table. As we’ve been discussing, what I’ve come to believe is that most affirming people see SSM as a matter of basic justice. When asked for a Bible text to justify SSM, a lot of people come out with “love your neighbour as yourself.” Now unless I’m missing something, Jesus doesn’t here mention marriage – rather, the idea is that the most loving thing to do for our neighbour is to allow them to enter into a SSM if they want to. So SSM is argued for on Biblical principles rather than on the text of the Bible itself.

I find this interesting because although equality, justice etc. are all Biblical principles – you can’t just extract them from the Bible and use them in isolation from the Biblical context. Especially when those principles are being used to argue against other things the Bible does actually say. So, for example, although I think ‘equality’ is a Biblical principle, it doesn’t stand on its own – it only exists within the larger framework of other things the Bible says about what it means to be human. Similarly, ‘inclusion’ is a Biblical principle – Jesus ate with sinners such as Zacchaeus – but we must also read it in tandem with its radical exclusivityJesus’ demand is to repent and believe in the good news. So, in this example we can’t just take ‘inclusion’ as a Biblical principle and apply it in isolation – that would be doing a big disservice to everything else that the Bible says.

My sense is that most people on the affirming side of the SSM debate come to the table believing that SSM is an inalienable right – that no-one should be denied the right to marriage because of their sexual orientation. In our society this is a hugely powerful idea which draws on a lot of things our culture believes about identity, humanity and romance. Given this foundational belief, when coming to Scripture one essentially has to presuppose the conclusion one wants to draw: because if the Bible did actually call same-sex relationships sinful, that would be wrong. So the answer is already decided before the Bible is even opened.

Recently someone made the perceptive comment that a theology of SSM is actually highly elusive: although many affirming groups criticise the traditional interpretations of Scripture, there are very few people who actually attempt to go through the Bible and build up a theology of SSM. A few have tried but their efforts haven’t achieved anything like a consensus. Most people seem content to simply point the finger at a range of interpretations, no matter how good or bad those interpretations are – just their very existence validates the fact that at least one of them must be correct (see my third point on this post).

But I think it serves to highlight the differences in our approaches. Although many affirming folk would claim the Bible as their authority, I think in reality the Bible’s authority is relativised and set aside. Our current cultural narratives about equality, justice, romance etc are taken as axiomatic and take precedence when interpreting the Bible – without any real theological reflection about the nature of equality etc.

In sum, I’m grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to discuss this issue with people – it’s always good to try to understand other people’s views better, and it has helped me to clarify my own thinking. But it has made me realise even more that there is a huge and unbridgeable chasm between our two perspectives – and I think to affirm both within one church would be absolutely unworkable.

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31 thoughts on “Reflections on the same-sex marriage debate within the church

  1. Hi Phill
    Some excellent points here, especially in regard to the way in which Cultural pre-suppositions are being imposed upon the biblical text. The many different ways in which those who are affirming of SSM have tried to argue their case in itself suggests to me that they really have no case at all – they give the impression of simply ‘clutching at straws’. Revisionists should take note of the conclusions of liberal writers like MacCulloch and others (as cited in Bishop Keith Sinclair’s dissenting statement in the Pilling Report) that the Bible’s teaching is absolutely clear – if people want to believe otherwise, they would need to find some other source for their sexual ethic. Even in terms of natural law, there is no way around it. As you quite rightly point out, there is no way that the two views can be held together within the one Church (this is a very different matter to that of the ordination of women – an issue about order, not morality). The only helpful thing that might come out of the ‘shared conversations’ is a deeper pastoral awareness of caring for those with SSA, but sadly I feel that there are too many who are simply trying to use these conversations to push for a liberalising of our Church’s teaching – even the Archbishop of Canterbury keeps pointing to the ‘shared conversations’ whenever he’s asked about the issue – I presume the CofE’s teaching on sexuality has currently been suspended!
    In Christ
    Pete

    • Hi Pete,

      Thank you for your kind comment. I agree with you that the multiplicity of arguments on the revisionist side is telling. In the Facebook group I mentioned, a thread was set up specifically to talk about different commentators on Romans 1:18-32. Pretty much every commentator from every part of the church does not think Paul would have approved of same-sex relationships in any form… strangely enough, no-one could find any commentators who were affirming (and few people engaged with the thread).

      I’m preparing a sermon for Sunday on Ephesians 5:1-14:

      “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality … because these are improper for God’s holy people. … For of this you can be sure: no immoral, impure or greedy person – such a person is an idolater – has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.”

      “Let no one deceive you with empty words” – I think this is exactly our situation now.

      In Christ,
      Phill

  2. To be fair though.

    Who cares what the bible says.

    We are talking about morality where SSM is allowed, not christianity.

    Two very different things.

    • Ah, Darren, I was wondering when you’d show up! 😀

      I’d hope that Christians care what the Bible says, which is who this post was really aimed at.

      We’ve had the discussion about morality before. How do we know what is moral and what isn’t? I don’t think atheism has a satisfying answer to that question.

      God bless,
      Phill

  3. Atheism has no answers, as it is a lack of belief.

    SSM hurts absolutely no one, and creates only happiness, unless you have a religious belief against it (at which point it still doesn’t affect you) Founded in a wishy washy old book written by goat herders with a very narrow view of the world a few hundred to thousands of years ago…

    Yea…

    I’ll stick with my morals using logic and sense, rather than getting dictated to what I think is right or wrong.

    Would the 9/11 attacks or ISIS etc exist if people had used their logic and personal morals as oppose to following a book blindly?

    I think not. And Christianity, although milder, is in effect no different to those terrorist organisations.

    The danger comes when you consider a book to be more valid than your own humanity, and that of others.

    • “Atheism has no answers”

      Thanks for clarifying! 😉

      We’ve talked about SSM at length before so no need to rehash the old arguments again.

      “I’ll stick with my morals using logic and sense, rather than getting dictated to what I think is right or wrong.”

      That’s all very well if a society broadly agrees what is logical / makes sense. Not all societies agree on that. Some might argue, given an evolutionary understanding of ethics, that it makes sense to terminate all homosexual people because they are evolutionary dead ends. Some societies argue that in order to create a wonderful new world it’s necessary to exterminate millions of people… the benefits outweigh the costs. Some people even today argue for eugenics: “the social movement claiming to improve the genetic features of human populations through selective breeding and sterilization, based on the idea that it is possible to distinguish between superior and inferior elements of society,”. This is all based on what is logic and sense to some people.

      Most people in this country simply do not realise that most of our idea of what is right and wrong comes from Christianity in the first place. You only need to take a look round the world and through history to realise that most people do not think the same way that we do about morality, and it’s the height of arrogance to claim that our morality is objectively any better than theirs. Without some notion of right or wrong which is beyond humans, everything becomes subjective.

      I just think it’s ironic you’re calling Christianity almost as bad as Al-Quaeda and ISIS, when I think most of what you believe about right and wrong comes from a broadly Christian perspective in the first place.

      For what it’s worth, my morality is not based in an ‘old book’ – it’s based on God, on the way he created the world. Yes, I think the Bible is his Word to us, but it describes how the world is because he created it. Whether you like it or not we are living in His world, He knows what’s best for us and if we break His rules we will harm ourselves and others.

  4. ‘Most people in this country simply do not realise that most of our idea of what is right and wrong comes from Christianity in the first place.’

    And Christian morals comes from morals from before Christianity. Unless you believe that god instilled those beliefs, which without proof would frankly be a ridiculous conclusion to come to.

    Morals:

    If something hurts society – bad.

    If something is good for society – good.

    Not rocket science, and you certainly don’t need a book to tell you.

    If you do, I would suggest that:

    ‘Some might argue, given an evolutionary understanding of ethics, that it makes sense to terminate all homosexual people because they are evolutionary dead ends’

    Would probably come from blind followers rather than people who think for themselves. You know a bit like the Nazis following their leader. Same difference really.

    Most people still think he’s a nut job too.

    Lets look at facts. Your god – where does any knowledge of it come from?

    The bible.

    So ‘For what it’s worth, my morality is not based in an ‘old book’ – it’s based on God’ – Same exact thing, unless you are saying that god has personally had correspondence with you?

    Is that what you are saying?

    And no, ‘I just think it’s ironic you’re calling Christianity almost as bad as Al-Quaeda and ISIS’ I don’t think its as bad as ISIS etc.

    Obviously, I don’t think you are a hateful terrorist, but blind faith is what has driven these terrible crimes, and blind faith is what drives your thinking, the similarities are blindingly obvious.

    ‘Whether you like it or not we are living in His world, He knows what’s best for us and if we break His rules we will harm ourselves and others.’

    – No, we are living in our world, and this line ‘if we break His rules we will harm ourselves and others’ – is the type of fear mongering that drives people like ISIS etc.

    It is so detrimental to society. Shocking.

    • “If something hurts society – bad.

      If something is good for society – good.”

      Would killing all severely disabled people be good for society? Would killing all people who put too much drain on the NHS be good for society?

      I think you make it too simple.

      I don’t think God has personally corresponded with me – but I do think all of us are born with knowledge of God. I read in the New Scientist a few years ago that you don’t have to teach children to believe in God… they just do. You have to consciously reject it.

      I’m afraid the morality of Christianity was not based on pre existing morality. The morality of ancient Rome (where Christianity first began) was pretty brutal. Christians were very different then. If we were having this conversation back then you’d probably be telling me how ridiculous I was for thinking that we should be kind and loving to people.

      Many of the laws we have were created by people who explicitly founded them on Biblical ideals (see Nick Spencer’s book “Freedom and Order” – my brief review here.)

      It’s interesting that the societies in the world which you’d probably consider most ‘moral’ are the ones which have been most heavily influenced by Christianity. Funny, that, isn’t it?

      God bless,

      Phill

  5. Obviously I make it simple, it is.

    Killing disabled people who are human beings is obviously bad, as they are human beings with feelings, causing pain is bad.

    ‘I read in the New Scientist a few years ago that you don’t have to teach children to believe in God… they just do. You have to consciously reject it.’

    – Yeaaaa… clutching at straws there really.

    Kids also believe in fairys and santa claus both of which have been instilled by the parents, like in Italy where they believe in the Christmas witch or in Mexico the tooth mouse etc. I guess to me Santa is about as real as god.

    Are you trying to prove the existence of god? At which point I ask, why? Your faith must be weak, as god is all about ‘faith’ due to zero proof of god.

    ‘I’m afraid the morality of Christianity was not based on pre existing morality. The morality of ancient Rome (where Christianity first began) was pretty brutal’

    Sure, are you saying Christians haven’t been brutal – Crusades.

    Christians were very different then – like Buddhists are now?

    If we were having this conversation back then you’d probably be telling me how ridiculous I was for thinking that we should be kind and loving to people

    – maybe but you really can’t say, as you didn’t live there so how can you know what you would say.

    I have no doubt that christian morals have been influenced by people over the ages, look at queen victoria, look at just this pope, etc, christian morals are influenced and changed all the time.

    They are certainly not original and never have been.

    Laws have been founded on biblical ideals, obviously… the UK is a Christian nation.

    It’s interesting that the societies in the world which you’d probably consider most ‘moral’ are the ones which have been most heavily influenced by Christianity. Funny, that, isn’t it

    – Not really,fundamentally I agree with a lot of the Christian morals, much more so than Muslim morals etc.

    But the fact that I am white British from a Christian background probably makes me that way. If I was born in Saudi I’d probably be more inclined towards Muslim ideals and consider Arab countries to more moral.

    And at no point have I tared all of Christianity with the same brush brushing it all aside, obviously there are a lot of great elements that help people etc.

    But ultimately your blind faith is damaging and dangerous. Your living in fear, of something that likely doesn’t exist, and that is so horrid, i feel for you.

    I think the suicide bombers lived in fear too.

    • “Killing disabled people who are human beings is obviously bad, as they are human beings with feelings, causing pain is bad.”

      Suppose someone argues that it’s better to terminate severely disabled people, because then there will be more money available and better treatment for people to give them a better quality of life. i.e. it’s a net benefit. That would be better for society, wouldn’t it? It’s at least a defendable position, right? Why do you disagree so strongly with it?

      Kids also believe in things like the permanency of solid objects or that their parents love them – both of which are good beliefs. Also, you have to teach kids to believe in Santa or the tooth fairy.

      When it comes to Roman civilisation I can only go with what I know – and they were pretty brutal. All I’m saying is that if we were having this conversation back then, it would be very different. What do you mean by Christian morals changing all the time?

      I think you have far more blind faith than me, because you seem to have blind faith that the world would be a good and moral place if only people exercised logic and reason to determine what is right and wrong. I think history shows the opposite, that where logic and reason have been used it has often led to limitless violence. If you don’t have a baseline about the value of every human life (and atheism cannot give you that baseline) then you can do anything.

      It’s interesting that you do all this while admitting that your morality is basically Christian in perspective.

      God bless,

      Phill

  6. It’s at least a defendable position, right? Why do you disagree so strongly with it?

    – And that is why we discuss issues like this in the government etc. No need for religion or blind faith. Certainly no need for the bible.

    Also, you have to teach kids to believe in Santa or the tooth fairy…. or god.

    And are you a child? So would you class children believing as proof of god? At which point I’d ask again do you need proof of god?

    I definitely do not have blind faith, and it would seem you don’t either, but yes if people use logic and humanity then the world would be a much better place. You’d still get nutters. You always will.

    limitless violence – Like the crusades in the name of Jesus type of violence?

    Or like blowing up innocent people in the name of Allah type of violence.

    Yup the dirty hand of blind following is every where.

    Of course my morality is basically christian in perspective, I gained most of my morals from my Catholic mother and Christian Father, apart from the believing in god and the bible mumbo jumbo part.

    Where we differ is where I have realised that the christian morality needs to be questioned, and I as my own person needs to decide what is right and what is wrong, no one else can tell me.

    We are human, not perfect, but believing blindly in something is a recipe for disaster. Whether that be nazi, or ‘god’.

    Back to the original subject if you can find one reason that is not in the bible as to why same sex marriage is in any way worst than Straight Marriage, then I’d love to hear it.

    the truth is you can hide behind the bible. So you don’t have to show yourself.

    Same sex marriage is good. Hate is always bad.

    Plus, as far as I can tell, didn’t Jesus have 2 dads and a surrogate mother?

    • Darren,

      I hardly know where to begin with your comments. It seems to me like that your questions bely an underlying reason why you don’t believe. If I was able to answer all your questions adequately, would you believe in God then?

      “Back to the original subject if you can find one reason that is not in the bible as to why same sex marriage is in any way worst than Straight Marriage, then I’d love to hear it.”

      You mean, like the arguments I discuss here and here? Didn’t mention the Bible in either of those posts. We discussed it at the time.

      God bless,
      Phill

  7. ‘If I was able to answer all your questions adequately, would you believe in God then?’

    Ummm, if you brought proof then yes I would. But… oh no… still no proof of god. lol. You see as I said, to believe in god you need stupid blind dumb unquestioning faith. Not something I’m into.

    And yea, those are religious and bigoted arguments, as much as they would like to pretend they are not. Some of those same arguments were used when interracial marriage was legalized in the US. Slippery slope and all that rubbish.

    Fact is there is not 1 valid argument against same sex marriage that isn’t against straight marriage. Which is why SSM is becoming legal throughout the civilized world.

    Great dodging of my key points though. 🙂

    • Hi Darren,

      What would constitute ‘proof’ of God? I’m sorry I don’t have the time at the moment to write a detailed response to every single point you make, which is why I asked the question whether you would actually believe if I could answer your questions.

      I think the arguments are valid against same-sex marriage, especially concerning the welfare of children and whether we want children to grow up what many studies have shown is the best environment for them (i.e. with their biological mum and dad).

      God bless, take care,

      Phill

  8. What would constitute ‘proof’ of God?

    proof
    pruːf/
    noun
    noun: proof; plural noun: proofs

    1.
    evidence or argument establishing a fact or the truth of a statement.
    “you will be asked to give proof of your identity”
    synonyms: evidence, verification, corroboration, authentication, confirmation, certification, validation, attestation, demonstration, substantiation, witness, testament;

    Basically anything tangible and god like… maybe a little miracle? Give me a pot of ice cream in my hand now… go… oh dear nothing… oh well…

    We have been through the ‘best for children’ argument, and actually there have been quite a few studies that show a child brought up by a gay couple fairs better than a child brought up by a traditional couple and the opposite (christian publications…) and the same etc etc etc.

    Nobody actually has an answer, (although studies most point to children fairing the same in both situation) probably because every case is individual.

    But just one last point on this, to be clear – you would rather an alcoholic abusive mother and father raised 12 kids, as oppose to 2 loving gay parents raising 1 child?

    Would you agree with that.

    So anyway… the whole ‘think of the children argument’, really isn’t one, as you can’t actually show that a child being brought up by a mother and a father is better off than one brought up by same sex couple due to the individuality of the cases.

    We are talking about marriage, the union of 2 people, that doesn’t mean having kids, which if it did, would mean you think that the elderly and infertile shouldn’t get married.

    If you don’t think that, then that makes you a hypocrite, not an insult, just a fact.

    Dam infertiles, thinking they can get married. hahaha

    • Proof of God – a miracle? You’d explain that away. People explained Jesus’ miracles away. They explained away the resurrection. Frankly I don’t think anything will ever be enough for you – you’ve decided what you want to believe and rationalise it. We all do it. The book of Romans says, people “suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.” I think it’s just obvious that God exists. We all know it, creation proclaims it.

      I think the jury is still out on same-sex parenting. The problem is finding a large enough sample size to remove bias is actually quite difficult, because there are comparitively few same-sex parents. But there are flaws in some of the studies – see here for example.

      I think your example of an alcoholic father raising 12 kids instead of a same-sex couple raising two kids is wrong. Yes, sure, the two kids being raised by the same-sex couple will be better. But in the case of the alcoholic parents something is wrong. If they were loving and not alcoholic, it would be better for them to be raised by their biological parents than the two kids by the same-sex couple.

      If you want some stories about how kids feel being conceived by third-party reproduction (which every child in a same-sex marriage would be, unless they were adopted), have a look at the Anonymous Us website. Some of the stories are heartbreaking.

      The fact that some couples (elderly / infertile) does not invalidate the principle of the welfare of children. Think about it this way: not every married couple will have children, but in an ideal world every child should be born to a loving married couple.

      God bless,

      Phill

  9. ‘Proof of God – a miracle? You’d explain that away’

    – Um, nope bring my grandmother back to life, make gravity end, your god your can do anything you like! Surely proving is no biggy…

    Are you saying you think your omnipotent god would struggle to prove himself? wow… that’s unimpressive…

    resurrection… yea… not really got any proof of that though have you.

    Look at it this way – I am god and I died and came back to life 12 times – don’t believe me, and need proof of that…. well yes obviously as you know that is garbage. Even though you cant actually prove it isn’t so.

    Or I read humpty dumpty, therefore he exists…

    Russell’s Teapot.

    See how that works.

    What?! The bible says that if you don’t believe then some punishment or bad thing will happen to you or that those people must be wrong! No way!! Shock horror, its almost like they want you to be scared to question the religion… so you don’t and then you are subjugated to those laws.

    Wow. Surprising…

    ‘I think the jury is still out on same-sex parenting.’ – um nope, nope definitely not, that’s why same sex parents can have children in most civilized countries. They can have their own children, (they aren’t infertile you know, I know you hate those guys… lol) surrogacy (you know like Mary but actually real… (below the belt?… maybe…)) or adopt the ones that have been abandoned by straight people.

    I’m sure some of the stories are heartbreaking – Married couples straight and gay both have surrogates, so not sure what that has to do with marriage. Separate issue all together, please try and stick to the subject.

    ‘The fact that some couples (elderly / infertile) does not invalidate the principle of the welfare of children.’

    – Absolutely, we are talking about marriage, not children, correct me if I’m wrong but can single people adopt?… What? They can?! Shock horror. Marriage is about 2 people, and straight and gay couples can have children the same way as each other.

    So you are you saying you do think that the elderly and infertile shouldn’t marry… Wow.

    Lets try and stick to the subject of 2 consenting adults who want to get married is the equal whatever gender or race that may be.

    You literally don’t have a logical leg to stand on.

    • Hi Darren,

      Someone once said atheists believe two things: 1. God doesn’t exist; 2. I hate him. I think the passionate tone of your reply suggests to me that (2) is true in your case 😉

      Alright, let’s say you claim that you died and rose to life (just the once, no need for 12 times). Try to convince your closest friends – those who know you best – that you did. Try to convince them so much that they will go to a horrible and painful death rather than deny it. Do you think you could do it?

      This is a bit like what happened with the resurrection. If Jesus wasn’t really raised from the dead, you have an awful lot of inconvenient facts to explain. Why did a bunch of people who’d just witnessed their only hope being crucified, three days later suddenly start to believe that he wasn’t dead? And not only that but many of them died horrible deaths because of it.

      And of course there’s the fact that 2000 years later a lot of people around the globe believe that he not only rose from the dead but is alive today – and they claim to know him.

      Did you read that link I gave on same-sex parenting? (This one) It says:

      Authors of the “no differences” studies typically use participants derived by non-random methods, employ small samples, and have few controls. They often rely on recruited or volunteer participants, and some simply ask the parents about child well-being rather than studying actual outcomes for children. In other words, most do not adhere to best practices for social science. While these limitations are regularly acknowledged by the researchers themselves, very seldom are these factors reported within media.

      There is a HUGE amount of political pressure at the moment for social scientists to come to the ‘right’ answer on same-sex parenting. But not everyone is convinced. From the above web page, this is what the American College of Pediatricians had to say:

      Of the several dozen extant studies on same-sex parenting in the past two decades, only eight have used a random sample large enough to find evidence of lower well-being for children with same-sex parents if it exists. Of these eight, the four most recent studies, by Dr. Mark Regnerus, Dr. Douglas Allen and two by Dr. Paul Sullins, report substantial and pertinent negative outcomes for children with same-sex parents. … At this time, the three largest statistically representative datasets used to address the question—Regnerus’s New Family Structures Survey, with 3,000 cases; the National Health Interview Survey, with 1.6 million cases; and the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health, with 20,000 cases—have all found that children with same-sex parents fare substantially worse—most measures show at least twice the level of distress— than do children with opposite-sex parents on a range of psychological, developmental and emotional outcomes.

      You’re right that both hetero- and homosexual couples have surrogates / third party reproduction etc. (I don’t agree with heterosexual third party reproduction or surrogates either, for what it’s worth). But the difference is, EVERY child in a same-sex marriage is going to come from a surrogate or third-party reproduction (unless it’s adopted). I think that’s a fundamental difference.

      Heterosexual couples resort to donor conception or surrogacy when there is something wrong. For same-sex couples those options are … well, the only options.

      I am absolutely not saying that elderly or infertile couples should not marry! I’m just saying that the fact that not every couple has children doesn’t negate the fact that in an ideal world every child should be born into a marriage with a loving mother and father.

      God bless,

      Phill

  10. Lol. I don’t hate something that doesn’t exist. I hate the fact that you judge people based on a book rather than logic and human emotion. he fact for instance that the pope called Hitler an Atheist when he was quite clearly a devout Catholic. The fact that he puts his priests lives in front of abused children’s and so on…

    Or facts like the lies spread about condoms in Africa… really need I go on, because I really really can.

    Again, religion promoting blind dumb ignorance.

    ‘This is a bit like what happened with the resurrection.’

    – Really? Were you there, did you witness it? No, all your knowledge of it is based on a book…. then you really don’t know that it happened, and blind ignorant faith, and interpretation comes into it.

    And of course there’s the fact that 2000 years later a lot of people around the globe believe that he not only rose from the dead but is alive today – and they claim to know him.

    – Erm… Earth is flat – everybody though that, yet it was wrong. If all your friends jumped of a bridge would you do that too?

    ‘Heterosexual couples resort to donor conception or surrogacy when there is something wrong. For same-sex couples those options are … well, the only options.’

    Are they? Wow. So adoption and natural conception is impossible for gay people? Wow! Taught me something new. lol.

    Again, we are talking about marriage not, children, which we can sling studies at each other all day, but really we are talking about marriage.

    ‘in an ideal world every child should be born into a marriage with a loving mother and father.’

    I disagree, I think in an ideal world every child should be born into a loving home.

    Its thinking like that, that Hitler was a fan of, in his ideal world everyone was blond and blue eyed etc…

    So, your argument against gay marriage is the fact that children who may or may not be a part of the relationship, may or may not be disadvantaged because of the gay parents.

    Even though marriage is about 2 people not children…

    Great thinking…

    • Hi Darren,

      Hitler used the language of religion but he was not a devout Catholic – not if you can judge a person by his fruits anyway! He also used Darwin’s ideas to justify the creation of a master race – in fact his actions probably owed much more to those ideas than any religious ones.

      I’m not a Catholic and I’m not an apologist for the pope. I have many disagreements with the Catholic church. But the Catholic church do not speak for Christianity, they do not speak for me.

      You didn’t answer my question about convincing all your friends you died and were raised to life. Do you think you could do it, to the point of getting them to die a martyrs death rather than deny it?

      I find it strange that you think marriage is not about children. If marriage is defined as a man and a woman, then it will by its nature include children because if they have sex (which married people generally do…) then children most likely will ensue. Yes, it doesn’t happen every time but it is the usual pattern!

      But also, from the point of view of the State, marriage is a lot about children.

      Think about it this way: why should the State really care about what its citizens do in bed? Why should the State get involved in the first place? Because there is some advantage to the State in promoting some ways of living over others. Why should the State promote marriage? Because there is an advantage in children being raised in a stable home with its mum and dad – children raised in this way will generally be better citizens in the future. So I think the main reason (or one of the main reasons) the government get involved in marriage is because of children.

      I think you are underestimating the difference being born to a biological mother and father actually makes. Children don’t want two loving parents who could be anybody – they want their mum and dad. Read some of the stories on the Anonymous Us website I linked to. Two parents of the same sex cannot replace the missing parent.

      I think there is a mountain of social science research which indicates that kids generally do best living with their mum and dad. I’m not trying to create an ideal here, I’m just saying this is what I believe children actually want.

      I note that you didn’t respond to what the American College of Pediatricians had to say about children who are raised in same-sex households.

      God bless,

      Phill

  11. In Hitlers opinion he was very devout, he was doing the bibles bidding and destroying the Jews.

    What? Thats just his mistaken opinion? Well… When you have something like the bible guiding your morals stuff like this happens, where you can interpret it to say whatever you want.

    “The anti-Semitism of the new movement (Christian Social movement)
    was based on religious ideas instead of racial knowledge.”

    [Adolf Hitler, “Mein Kampf”, Vol. 1, Chapter 3]

    “I believe today that I am acting in the sense of the Almighty
    Creator. By warding off the Jews I am fighting for the Lord’s work.”

    [Adolph Hitler, Speech, Reichstag, 1936]

    “I have followed [the Church] in giving our party program the
    character of unalterable finality, like the Creed. The Church has
    never allowed the Creed to be interfered with. It is fifteen hundred
    years since it was formulated, but every suggestion for its
    amendment, every logical criticism, or attack on it, has been
    rejected. The Church has realized that anything and everything can be
    built up on a document of that sort, no matter how contradictory or
    irreconcilable with it. The faithful will swallow it whole, so long
    as logical reasoning is never allowed to be brought to bear on it.”

    [Adolf Hitler, from Rauschning, _The Voice of Destruction_, pp. 239-40]

    “My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a
    fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded
    by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and
    summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest
    not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian
    and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord
    at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the
    Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was his fight
    against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with
    deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact
    that it was for this that He had to shed his blood upon the Cross. As
    a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have
    the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice… And if there is
    anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly, it is
    the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty
    to my own people. And when I look on my people I see them work and
    work and toil and labor, and at the end of the week they have only
    for their wages wretchedness and misery. When I go out in the morning
    and see these men standing in their queues and look into their
    pinched faces, then I believe I would be no Christian, but a very
    devil, if I felt no pity for them, if I did not, as did our Lord two
    thousand years ago, turn against those by whom today this poor people
    are plundered and exposed.”

    [Adolf Hitler, speech in Munich on April 12, 1922, countering a
    political opponent, Count Lerchenfeld, who opposed antisemitism on
    his personal Christian feelings. Published in “My New Order”, quoted
    in Freethought Today April 1990]

    Plenty more where that came from – http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/08/23/list-of-hitler-quotes-he-was-q/

    That sounds pretty dam devout to me. Yes he was using science to help his crazy ideas… which come from the bible. And who is to say he interpreted the bible wrong? You? The pope? Well.. That’s your opinion… which is what it all boils down to.

    I know your not catholic, but frankly its all the same. Lol. A variation or interpretation on what the bible says…

    ‘You didn’t answer my question about convincing all your friends you died and were raised to life. Do you think you could do it, to the point of getting them to die a martyrs death rather than deny it’

    – No, my friends aren’t idiots. Not that this question has any relevance, as you cant prove any of the Jesus story actually happened.

    ‘If marriage is defined as a man and a woman’

    – That’s the point its not defined as a man and a woman. And children are not a requirement of marriage. And seeing as the evidence points to gay parents being just as good as straight parents then your point is mute.

    Two parents of the same sex cannot replace the missing parent.

    Erm yes they most certainly can. Lol. – Still its about marriage not children.

    I think there is a mountain of social science research which indicates that kids generally do best living with their mum and dad

    Lol yea, as well as a mountain of evidence that children do best with SSM parents who have had to fight tooth and nail to have them.

    Your point is about children not being cared for or doing as well with Same sex couples, and that is simply not true. All the evidence point to them doing just as well.

    ‘I note that you didn’t respond to what the American College of Pediatricians had to say about children who are raised in same-sex households.’

    – Yea, because I can quote about a billion counter studies and we can go at this all day long. But its pointless, you have lost, and the right side has won.

    Children who wouldn’t have existed, children who would be in foster homes, or who have been abused can now have stable happy homes that just weren’t possible before.

    So yea, again, you literally don’t have a leg to stand on. SSM is only good. Don’t be like Hitler, pop your bible down and use your brain.

    • Hi Darren,

      Hitler may certainly have believed he was acting for God… he was wrong. There’s an interesting article about God and Hitler here:

      “Hitler denied the deity of Christ and forced people to worship him as god. Then he killed or imprisoned hundreds of Christian pastors and developed a detailed plan to destroy the Church. If he was a Christian, as many people suggest, then he wasn’t a very good one.”

      And the church did stand up against the Nazi-isation of the church. The Confessing Church, which came up with the Barmen Declaration, rejected Hitler’s “German Christian” movement.

      I don’t think Hitler’s crazy ideas about a master race came from Christianity. I think we can credit Drawin with those.

      “Not that this question has any relevance, as you cant prove any of the Jesus story actually happened.”

      Oh, it has all the relevance in the world. You have to explain the Bible, too, You have to explain why it is that thousands of people suddenly started converting to Christianity when its main proponent had been crucified a few days or weeks earlier. You have to come up with a convincing explanation, you don’t get to just wave your hand and say it didn’t happen. As you say, your friends aren’t idiots. People don’t just believe someone rose from the dead without good reason. And they especially don’t believe someone rose from the dead and then die for that belief.

      “All the evidence point to them [children in SSM] doing just as well.”

      Except for the evidence that doesn’t? Such as that presented by the American College of Pediatricians? And the fact that many of the studies which say there is ‘no difference’ generally have methodological problems?

      I think your comments about the ‘right’ side betray your view of the evidence here. You don’t care about the evidence, because you already believe that SSM is right and there is nothing wrong with it. I don’t blame you, I think it’s what a lot of other people think. But however passionately you believe something is right, we have to look at the facts. And I don’t think the facts actually display the certainty you do… in fact I think the facts tell a very different story.

      God bless you Darren,

      Phill

      P.S. I’ve never been compared to Hitler before. There’s a first time for everything.

  12. Phil, by no means do I think you are like Hitler in the manic side of things, just in the blind following side of things. I have brown hair, so did Hitler, does that make me like him? Nope…

    ‘If he was a Christian, as many people suggest, then he wasn’t a very good one.’ – And who’s opinion of what makes a christian are we taking as fact? In Hitlers eyes, he was doing what the bible said and that made him better than any other christian. Who is to say everyone else hasn’t interpreted the bible incorrectly and he had it didn’t?

    How do you know your interpretation is correct?… Yup… no way.

    Obviously parts of the church stood up to Hitler, thank ‘god’… lol, but that still doesn’t take away from the fact that he was Christian and his interpretation of the bible was to kill millions of Jews. And you want me and other people to use this book to rule our lives… and to judge us and tell us how to live… errrmmm no thanks.

    ‘Oh, it has all the relevance in the world. You have to explain the Bible, too, You have to explain why it is that thousands of people suddenly started converting to Christianity when its main proponent had been crucified a few days or weeks earlier. You have to come up with a convincing explanation, you don’t get to just wave your hand and say it didn’t happen. As you say, your friends aren’t idiots. People don’t just believe someone rose from the dead without good reason. And they especially don’t believe someone rose from the dead and then die for that belief.’

    – Erm… yea… why do people convert in general – that’s a wholeeee other subject. (Indoctrination, Desperation, Fear, Poverty, Ignorance etc etc) and how do you know it was days or weeks after. Frankly if your argument is, ‘well if millions of people say its so then it must be…’ then wow… your faith must really be waning, why do you need other people to believe?

    And millions of people used to think that the earth was the center of the universe and that stars could simply fall out of the sky, and millions of people believed smoking was good for your throat, millions belive in many different gods so… who’s right?

    http://www.smashinglists.com/top-10-ideas-that-everyone-used-to-believe/2/

    Did you mother never say to you if your friends all jumped off a bridge would you?

    Suicide bombers also die for their belief. So are you saying you should be a Muslim? Are you following the wrong religion?

    Fact is, you say god exists, then you have the burden of proof which is always on the one making the positive statement.

    Otherwise I could say there is an invisible floating elephant above your head and you’d have to believe me. Or you’re a murderer and we’d have to imprison you as no evidence is needed.

    As you have no proof of Jesus, or god, well… then you only have an old collection of books that can be interpreted in whatever way you like that you base your life on…

    Just like the Qur’an is a text of ‘peace’ but actually can be interpreted to produce suicide bombers etc.

    Bertrand Russell says it best:

    ‘Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake.

    If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes.

    But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.’

    Now… to children…

    ‘Except for the evidence that doesn’t? Such as that presented by the American College of Pediatricians? And the fact that many of the studies which say there is ‘no difference’ generally have methodological problems?’

    Well… I’d tend to go with the mountain of evidence that shows that Kids do just as well with gay parents. And you mean this American College of Pediatricians – https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/pages/American-Academy-of-Pediatrics-Supports-Same-Gender-Civil-Marriage.aspx

    Lol.

    ‘I think your comments about the ‘right’ side betray your view of the evidence here. You don’t care about the evidence, because you already believe that SSM is right and there is nothing wrong with it. I don’t blame you, I think it’s what a lot of other people think. But however passionately you believe something is right, we have to look at the facts. And I don’t think the facts actually display the certainty you do… in fact I think the facts tell a very different story.’

    Hmm… I definitely do care about evidence which is why I don’t believe in god. And why I think that Same Sex couples can raise children just as well as a straight couple.

    The facts show this, time and time again…

    Like I said I didn’t particularly want this to become a study slanging match… but hey…

    http://journalistsresource.org/studies/society/gender-society/same-sex-marriage-children-well-being-research-roundup

    http://www.apa.org/about/policy/parenting.aspx

    http://www.apa.org/news/press/response/gay-parents.aspx

    – That’ll be the American psychological association – the biggest one in the world.

    etc etc

    Yup, pretty much the only ones who seem to have problem with SSM raising kids are the ‘christian’ fundamentalist ‘researchers’… lol. Surprising…

    All the experts show consistently that gay couples fair just as well as straight ones, when raising kids.

    And finally… marriage – you know the subject we are suppose to be debating:

    SSM hurts no one, and to be against it, at least try to use actual evidence, your reasons are bias unproven opinion using your interpretation and children which isn’t what marriage is about. This is about 2 people and their love for one another.

    And who is anybody to say no to love, especially using a book that can be used in whatever way the reader wishes.

    You know like Hitler did. 🙂

    • Hi Darren,

      Thanks for your comprehensive reply 🙂 I’m glad that you think I’m not like Hitler in important respects, it’s not every day you get compared to a megalomanic dictator.

      Hitler denied the divinity of Christ and forced people to worship him as God. That goes against pretty much everything the church has believed for 2000 years. Hitler tried to destroy the church, even! The Bible can’t just be interpreted any way you want. The church has actually interpreted it pretty consistently over the years, there are a few notable areas of disagreement (such as baptism of infants, or pacifism/just war) but I think you’re trying to make a mountain out of a molehill here.

      What I’m saying on the resurrection is that we both have to explain how the Bible got here. I think it’s fairly clear… I think what the gospels say happened actually did happen. You, and others who deny the resurrection happened, still have to explain it. How did it get here in the form that it did? Especially given that many of the people who wrote it died horrible deaths.

      Yes, suicide bombers also die. But the difference is suicide bombers don’t know what they’re dying for is a lie. Many of Jesus’ followers claimed to have actually met him after he was raised. If they didn’t, they were lying and they knew it. It would be really strange to die for something you knew was a lie.

      [Incidentally, I don’t think atheism is the default belief. Atheism is not neutral. Like I said, you don’t have to teach children to believe in God – they just do. Human beings are programmed to. And a lot of people don’t believe in God but still pray, or still believe in spiritual things. Atheism is not neutral ground, it is a belief which requires evidence. I think agnosticism is more reasonable.]

      No, the American Academy of Pediatrics is different to the American College of Pediatricians (confusing though). You’re right that there are a large number of studies which conclude that same-sex parenting is neutral. But the paper I mentioned (here)

      The issue is not the number of studies but the qualify of them. This is a problem because you can’t just Google same-sex parenting studies and pick off the top results, you have to drill down into them to see what kind of methodology they used – and that takes time. Many studies use poor methodology, i.e. they don’t use random samples, small sample size, don’t compare actual outcomes but simply ask the parents etc.

      This is what that paper I quoted has to say:

      Of the several dozen extant studies on same-sex parenting in the past two decades, only eight have used a random sample large enough to find evidence of lower well-being for children with same-sex parents if it exists. Of these eight, the four most recent studies, by Dr. Mark Regnerus, Dr. Douglas
      Allen and two by Dr. Paul Sullins, report substantial and pertinent negative outcomes for children with
      same-sex parents. The four earlier studies, by Dr. Michael Rosenfeld and three by Dr. Jennifer Wainright and colleagues, find no differences for children with same-sex parents because, due to errors in file coding and analysis, a large portion of their samples actually consists of children with heterosexual parents. When the sample used by Wainright’s three studies is corrected of this error and re-analyzed, these data also show negative outcomes for children with same-sex parents similar to those reported by Regnerus and Sullins. More importantly, they also show substantially worse outcomes for children who have lived an average of ten years with same-sex parents who are married than for those who have lived only four years, on average, with unmarried same-sex parents.

      At this time, the three largest statistically representative datasets used to address the question—Regnerus’s New Family Structures Survey, with 3,000 cases; the National Health Interview Survey, with 1.6 million cases; and the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health, with 20,000 cases—have all found that children with same-sex parents fare substantially worse—most measures show at least twice the level of distress— than do children with opposite-sex parents on a range of psychological, developmental and emotional outcomes. The longer social scientists study the question, the more evidence of harm is found.

      As I said, there is a HUGE amount of political pressure in this area for social scientists to come to the ‘right’ answer on this issue. Couple that with the problems of finding good data (i.e. relatively low numbers of same-sex parents) then I don’t think it’s surprising that many researches don’t find any difference. But it is surely significant that the biggest and most comprehensive data we have on this subject does show a significant negative outcome for children raised by same-sex couples. That can’t be disregarded, surely?

      Lastly, I promise: “And who is anybody to say no to love”

      So would you say yes to love between two children under the age of 16? Would you say yes to love between two siblings (same-sex – no worries about DNA and children)? What about three or four people – polyamorists? Should they be denied the right to have their relationship legally recognised as well?

      I’m just saying that we all have to draw the line somewhere. You can’t let “love” be the only defining characteristic. I think I draw mine in a logical place. I’m not sure that you do.

      God bless,

      Phill

  13. Ah wonderful, you make this too easy:

    Hitler denied the divinity of Christ and forced people to worship him as God.

    Erm… nope, nope, he believed in Christ, and was clearing out the Jews which is what he thought god wanted (see the the myriad of speeches he made listed above).

    ‘That goes against pretty much everything the church has believed for 2000 years’

    – Are you sure? So how do you explain the crimes the church committed throughout the ages? Or recent crimes such as the pedophile scandal, where the pope put priests in front of children’s lives? That was the church doing that right?

    The bible got here because people wrote it, convinced people it was a holy text and then rewrote/copied it to make sure it didn’t disappear etc. Obviously… That’s how its here today.

    How is the Qur’an here? – Does the fact that its here mean that its correct?

    ‘You, and others who deny the resurrection happened, still have to explain it’ – Here is the explanation, it didn’t happen, someone made it up. And again see my last post, burden on proof is on you, and teapot.

    You on Muslims –

    ‘Yes, suicide bombers also die. But the difference is suicide bombers don’t know what they’re dying for is a lie’

    Hahaha, ok, so your last post ‘People don’t just believe someone rose from the dead without good reason. And they especially don’t believe someone rose from the dead and then die for that belief.’

    – so, if people die for Jesus, that’s ok, but any other religion is wrong because you say so… hahaha.

    Fact is indoctrinated people can become suicide bombers and it boils down to… again, blind dumb unquestioning faith being a damaging factor to humanity.

    – No idea if atheism is the ‘neutral belief’ I would think it’s what do your parents believe that get passed on to the kids, which is why you have Muslim populations, christian ones etc etc.

    ‘No, the American Academy of Pediatrics is different to the American College of Pediatricians’ – Thanks for clearing it up.

    When looking closer, the college is a break off religiously bias group, that came from the Academy (the original and respected group), and their stance is against same sex parents based on religious grounds. So I think we can safely discount any of their studies in favor of the Academy who are a recognized and widely respected association who produce non bias studies.

    So, that’s your study debunked.

    ‘Lastly, I promise: “And who is anybody to say no to love”’

    This part is wonderful, its the ol slippery slope argument that has been used countless times by the religious extremists, when battling same sex marriage and interracial marriage.

    If pedophiles, polygamists, incest people, want to get married i suggest they take their case to court and try and get a marriage license.

    But they will fail as they always have due to the same reasons they have always failed.

    Their relationships have as much to do with gay marriage as straight marriage. I mean if a man can marry his wife why cant he marry a 12 year old.

    Oh yea, shes a child…

    Fact is marriage is about 2 people.

    Marriage matters to gay people in similar ways that it matters to everyone. Gay and lesbian couples want to get married to make a lifetime commitment to the person they love and to protect their families.

    And that’s literally it. If you have really thought about it, then to be against it, is just bizarre.

    Unless… you blindly follow a book that you or someone else has interpreted to say they are against SSM, which probably stems from the fact the people interpreting that book are repressed gays, lashing out at gay people because of their own sad jealous insecurities and repression – google – homophobia – journal of abnormal psychology if you want a study that shows that as a male homophobe (not saying you) you are likely a repressed gay.

    • Hi Darren,

      The quote I gave about Hitler was lifted from that article I sent you. Hitler tried to replace Christianity with a Reich Church which worshiped him as a god. You seem to think that no-one is capable of lying or using speech in a political way to gain an advantage. Those speeches of Hitler you quote from were made publicly, where he was trying to win the support of a largely Christian nation. But his actions betray that he didn’t really believe it.

      Roman Catholic priests have abused children – the church has never condoned their actions (although the Catholic church has tried to cover it up, which is almost as bad). What the church believes and what Christians do are two different things – and, in fact, to be expected: we are all sinners.

      But there are many positive things too, for example at my church people help down at the soup run, food bank, street pastors etc. In fact, the Trussell Trust (which runs the food banks) was founded by Christians “on Christian principles“. So yes, Christians do bad things. But let’s not forget the good things too. How many atheists are there setting up food banks, soup run, homeless shelters etc? Most of the ones I can think of were founded by Christians, and most of the people I know around here who help out are from the local churches.

      You say about the Bible: “people wrote it, convinced people it was a holy text ” This is exactly what I am disputing though. You suggest that people wrote it – knowing that it was false. But people don’t do that and then die for that belief. No-one dies for what they know to be a lie. So I think your explanation of how the Bible came to be here falls down.

      There is a difference with suicide bombers: the people who wrote the gospels claimed to have actually seen Jesus with their own eyes. Suicide bombers don’t claim to have seen heaven with their own eyes. It would be like you convincing your friends that you’d died and risen again, and then your friends dying rather than deny that belief.

      Don’t discount the ACP on the basis of ‘religious bias’. Look at what they actually say, look at the arguments. Look at the studies. You’ll find that most studies which conclude there is no difference for children raised in same-sex households have a small sample size, etc – they do not follow social science best practices. Unfortunately, I think because of the prevailing attitude in social science, anyone who disagrees with received wisdom is branded a lunatic and ignored. I don’t think that’s the way science is supposed to work.

      Frankly I think you are being way more socially conservative than me when you say that marriage is about two people. It’s about two people now – but what arguments will you use in the future when polyamorists are demanding to have their relationships recognised legally? Let’s say you’re a politician faced with a room full of angry polyamorists who demand marriage be extended to include them. What would you say to them?

      God bless,

      Phill

  14. ‘You seem to think that no-one is capable of lying or using speech in a political way to gain an advantage

    – Oh no definitely, that’s exactly what the church do all the time. You know the whole blind faith thing, and the if you dont do as I say you’ll be in hell forever… etc…

    And the speeches I shared with you show that he was a fervent Christian who based his beliefs on the bible. Perhaps if the bible didn’t exist he would not have targeted the Jews.

    ‘But his actions betray that he didn’t really believe it.’

    Hmmm… nope, nope, again re read his speeches what you think is that Hitler had no influence by the church or the bible… but actually that’s just not the case, that’s the church lying or using speech in a political way to gain an advantage.

    “I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of
    the Almighty Creator.”

    [Adolph Hitler, _Mein Kampf_, pp. 46]

    Doesn’t sound like he thinks he’s god does it. And there is lots and lots of factual historical proof that he was religious. Sounds like he thinks he was doing gods work.

    And yes, tons of positive comes from the church too, but not that the bible has anything to do with that, its the way in which someone had interpreted it that it was used for good. You think those people wouldn’t be doing good without the bible? Is your faith in humanity that low?! Wow. See this is why I say, pop your bible down and think for yourself.

    ‘How many atheists are there setting up food banks, soup run, homeless shelters etc?’

    Quite a lot actually, the church does have a head start, but as an example a local one to me is http://maddogsstreetproject.co.uk/ but plenty more where that came from, I also know plenty of atheists who work in shelters and soup kitchens that are religious organisations that have been long established.

    ‘ This is exactly what I am disputing though. You suggest that people wrote it – knowing that it was false. ‘

    – Oh no, I think they probably believed the story, or wrote down what they think happened, maybe embellished a bit, and I’m sure some parts of the bible are based on fact. But risen from the dead… lol. No. absolutely not. hahaha.

    ‘But people don’t do that and then die for that belief. No-one dies for what they know to be a lie. So I think your explanation of how the Bible came to be here falls down.’

    – What you just said to me about suicide bombers – you know how you think their belief is a lie because its based on nothing but a book that has been used to manipulate its members – yea… pot kettle…

    ‘Don’t discount the ACP on the basis of ‘religious bias’

    – Erm yea I think I will, when you mix anything other than logic into getting results then you can’t trust the data. The more you look at the ACP the more it unravels as a bias organisation pushing an agenda.

    The only reason you listen to them is because it supports your beliefs. Exactly what you are accusing everyone else of doing.

    The fact is that every single unbiased institute that has done a study on Same Sex couples children has come up with a similar conclusion.

    Maybe go with the guys who’s only goal is knowledge and facts.

    ‘Frankly I think you are being way more socially conservative than me when you say that marriage is about two people. It’s about two people now’ – ‘Let’s say you’re a politician faced with a room full of angry polyamorists who demand marriage be extended to include them. What would you say to them?’

    Great, so if you want polygamy, child brides, incest etc then you go fight for what you think is right in court/parliament nothing to do with gay marriage.

    So in summary, you have no argument against gay marriage apart from 1 incorrect study by a bias American organisation that talks about children, not marriage. And the ol slippery slope argument that was used by the racists when it came to interracial marriage…

    This discussion isn’t going so great for you is it… lol.

    • Hi Darren,

      I feel like we’re repeating ourselves. And reluctantly I have to say I also feel like you’re not really engaging with the arguments that I’m making. So I suspect the end of this conversation is nigh. But let’s give it one more go.

      “And the speeches I shared with you show that he was a fervent Christian who based his beliefs on the bible” – this is exactly what I disagree with. Yes, he used the language of God to gain political advantage. But in no way did he actually believe it – which I think is demonstrated by his actions and what he did in creating the Reich Church etc. (Mein Kamf was written well before that.)

      It’s interesting that you seem to think anything good that Christians do is nothing to do with their faith, but anything bad is a distillation of Christianity’s very essence. The church first set up hospitals, schools, orphanages, etc. The Trussell Trust is a Christian charity; the local soup run round here is mostly manned by people from local churches. I think to say the church “has a head start” is a bit of an understatement.

      You’re still not understanding my point about the suicide bombers. The people who died horribly (who wrote the Bible) were the ones who claimed to see Jesus. They didn’t read it in a book, they actually met him. It’s a bizarre thing to do if a bunch of people claim to meet someone who died, and then go on to be tortured and killed for that belief – if it turns out to be a deception.

      “The only reason you listen to them is because it supports your beliefs. Exactly what you are accusing everyone else of doing.”

      I think you basically proved my point a few comments back when you said that the data on SSM had come to the “right” conclusion.

      Indulge me in a thought experiment for a moment: just imagine that there was a huge amount of pressure for social scientists to come to the right conclusions on SSM. Imagine that most studies were based on small sample sizes, didn’t use social science best practices, and so on. Imagine that these problems never got reported. How would you determine the truth in that situation?

      “Great, so if you want polygamy, child brides, incest etc then you go fight for what you think is right in court/parliament nothing to do with gay marriage.”

      I don’t want it at all. I’m just saying that all the arguments for SSM can also be used for polyamorous marriage. And, whether you ignore it or not, the movement is growing (that’s only one example of articles that have appeared about polyamory in the last 12 months). Sooner or later we’re going to have people demanding legal recognition for their polyamorous arrangements. And if your only argument at that point is “marriage is about two people”, you’re going to be swept away.

      God bless, best wishes to you and the family,

      Phill

  15. ‘Yes, he used the language of God to gain political advantage.’ –

    I’m sure he did that too, but he made some of those speeches and wrote before he was in politics. So wrong there.

    ‘which I think is demonstrated by his actions and what he did in creating the Reich Church etc.’

    Like the Anglican Church or your Evangelical church broke off from Catholicism…

    ‘It’s interesting that you seem to think anything good that Christians do is nothing to do with their faith’

    That’s not what I said or what I think, I said people do good things because of their faith too, and that that is also a result of the way the bible has been used in a good way, again with blind dumb unquestioning following whatever the reader and leader says but for good this time.

    – “has a head start” is a bit of an understatement. – Obviously, as the church made it socially unacceptable to be atheist in the past, and most people were christian (In this country). But to say atheists don’t do soup kitchens etc… well erm they do, clearly, as I showed the local example to me, (I’m sure there are many more) and as more people become atheists more secular organizations and charity’s appear.

    You think all the Doctors etc going out to Africa are only Christian… Lol. Nope.

    The study you quoted came from republican funded right wing christian spin off of the actual Academy of Pediatricians.

    Your study, and their organisation is total and utter rubbish, just do a little tiny bit of digging.

    ‘Indulge me in a thought experiment for a moment: just imagine that there was a huge amount of pressure for social scientists to come to the right conclusions on SSM. Imagine that most studies were based on small sample sizes, didn’t use social science best practices, and so on. Imagine that these problems never got reported. How would you determine the truth in that situation?’

    – You mean like the college of pediatrician that are paid by the republican right wing christian party in America, like the study you quoted?

    I trust the people who are after truth, not the ‘right result’ like the study you quoted.

    ‘Sooner or later we’re going to have people demanding legal recognition for their polyamorous arrangements. And if your only argument at that point is “marriage is about two people”, you’re going to be swept away.’

    People are already demanding it, they always have, mainly from a religious point of view I might add. And yea, they can also use straight marriage to argue their points as straight and gay marriage is the same, ultimately it is up to the courts and government etc to decide.

    Still nothing to do with gay marriage, as that is between 2 people of the same sex a different case all together.

    I don’t think we have repeated anything, I’ve debunked your study, and fundamentally you believe in something that has no proof, and base your life on a book that can be interpreted in any which way the wind is blowing, you know like Hitler using it for his purpose, and interpreting in the way he wanted too.

    But are probably so invested in ‘Christianity’ that you are scared of lifting your head and even considering you might be wrong.

    Where as I need proof and logic, and if there is a god, and I get to the pearly gates, I’ll say, well, you’ve seen the Stephen Fry video.. haha

    And this is the ultimate point – proof and logic shows that SSM is right.

    The only way you could oppose it, is if you believe in something with no proof, as you have nothing to base your opposition on, like the bible, or you are a repressed gay (not saying you are) and that repression turns to jealousy and rage, (possibly suppressed) which comes out as opposition towards something that any logical person would say (as they do) yup, that’s fair enough.

    P.S. Is it polyamorous or polygamous?

    • Hi Darren

      I think it’s probably best to draw stumps on this discussion now, I’d just like to mention a couple of things quickly and leave you the courtesy of the last reply if you’d like it.

      “You think all the Doctors etc going out to Africa are only Christian… Lol. Nope.”

      It’s interesting you mention Africa, because I just rediscovered an article by Matthew Parris (an atheist) who grew up in Africa. It’s called, “As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God.” I’m afraid the original article is behind the Times paywall, but you can read an excerpt from it here.

      “I trust the people who are after truth, not the ‘right result’” – me too.

      I wrote about the Stephen Fry video before.

      Polyamory and polygamy – well these days there are blurred lines between them but polygamy one person married to several women, whereas polyamory is more like love shared between multiple people in various different ways. So the two are different but I’m not sure many people really care about the differences now.

      Take care, hope you have a good week. You’re always welcome here to comment. God bless,

      Phill

  16. Hmmm, well you learn something new every day, never heard of polyamory… 🙂

    Always enjoy having discussions with you Phil, although we disagree fundamentally, and I do think I won this one, you seem like a nice guy.

    Keep up the blog, you never know, you might turn into an atheist yet, there’s still hope. 🙂

    Take care,

    Darren.

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