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Source: (consider it) Thread: Gay Marriage, and blurred boundaries
sharkshooter

Not your average shark
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quote:
Originally posted by Leaf:
quote:
Originally posted by sharkshooter:
... why, when there are other commissioners and clergy willing to perform the marriage, must some who are not willing be forced to do so?

Because they took the king`s shilling and thereby agreed to the king`s terms, even when they change.
Because some people want people who disagree with them to lose their jobs.

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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. [Psalm 19:14]

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by sharkshooter:
quote:
Originally posted by Leaf:
quote:
Originally posted by sharkshooter:
... why, when there are other commissioners and clergy willing to perform the marriage, must some who are not willing be forced to do so?

Because they took the king`s shilling and thereby agreed to the king`s terms, even when they change.
Because some people want people who disagree with them to lose their jobs.
They can disagree all they want, as long as they do their jobs.

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Louise
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quote:
Originally posted by sharkshooter:
... why, when there are other commissioners and clergy willing to perform the marriage, must some who are not willing be forced to do so?

Suppose you lived in a country where a religious caste system was a big problem - leading not just to employment discrimination but also sometimes to much worse: assaults and murders against untouchables eg. if an untouchable was thought to be dating someone from a higher caste. The government decides to tackle this injustice across the board, and makes it illegal to discriminate against people on grounds of caste. Despite this, the upper caste employees demand to be accommodated, somebody else should have to deal with those nasty untouchables so they don't sully their dainty little hands and consciences.

By doing this, effectively they are asking to be paid by the government to uphold and model in working hours the very injustice the government has been elected to fight. If the government is serious about fighting the harm the caste system causes, then they can't allow people to practice it while being comfortably paid on the government dime. The individual instance may seem trivial but it's part of a global picture and people are fighting to change that overall picture.

To give another example, I live in a country where excessive alcohol consumption is a problem and the government is doing what it can to fight it. This has led to strict regulations for my civil service friends about whether drink can be served at any official event, because it's not consistent to be fighting the hard-drinking culture in Scotland while allowing civil servants and guests to get blootered on government hospitality. If you think that's scandalous and that it's every Scotsman or woman's right to get bevvied up on whisky at an official knees up, then you just have to persuade the rest of the electorate to vote for your 'Let's Have a Party' Party, and then, voila! Back to trebles all round!

What you can't do is despite your views losing out at the election, turn up at work and say 'I'm a special snowflake. Me and my bottle of Laphroaig must get a conscientious objectors' exception while you lot all sit about sipping Highland Spring*', that's not how it works.

If you're not happy to accept the results from the ballot box, even when you don't like them much, then you need to accept that a government job is not for you and that you'd be better, eg. in the case of our dedicated alcoholic, to resign and work for United Distillers instead.

L.


*a brand of mineral water

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Leaf
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quote:
Originally posted by sharkshooter:
Because some people want people who disagree with them to lose their jobs.

Yes: they are called "voters" and "politicians".
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ToujoursDan

Ship's prole
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quote:
Originally posted by sharkshooter:
quote:
Originally posted by Leaf:
quote:
Originally posted by sharkshooter:
... why, when there are other commissioners and clergy willing to perform the marriage, must some who are not willing be forced to do so?

Because they took the king`s shilling and thereby agreed to the king`s terms, even when they change.
Because some people want people who disagree with them to lose their jobs.
It's not a disagreement. It's the law. The law says "no discrimination". Their job is to carry out the law.

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mousethief

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If you get a job with the government thinking, "the law will never change in such a way as that I may have to do something I disagree with at some point" you're probably too stupid to be working for the government at all.

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Augustine the Aleut
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The commissioner's job is to officiate at a marrage as defined by Parliament. This has always permitted marriage for divorcé/es, which is not or has not been permitted by several churches, and between degrees of affinity not permitted by several churches. I have yet to hear of a commissioner resigning in protest against officiating at the marriage of a godparent and godchild, which is clearly forbidden by canon law. They have never been officiating at Xn marriages as such, other than by happenstance (where the couple in front of them may happen to be Xns may be making their promises, deeming this to be a Xn marriage).
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Pre-cambrian
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quote:
Originally posted by Matt Black:
Indeed, there is evidently a continuum from "should a white supremacist refuse to serve a black man" (no) to "should a Muslim butcher refuse to sell pork" (yes), with the example under discussion here falling somewhere between the two and being complicated somewhat by the fact that these are state rather than privately-owned organisations we are talking about.

I'm sorry, but there is no continuum here at all. They are completely different categories, one being what you sell, the other being who you sell things to.

What you choose to stock in your shop is entirely up to you unless constrained by e.g. trading standards or drugs laws. In this particular case, what the commissioners are selling is marriages as defined by the law.

Whom you sell to is an entirely different continuum with its own governing rules. There may be some legal controls (tobacco to the under-aged) or discretions (drunks in a pub), put there is usually a requirement not to discriminate. So state marriage commissioners (or registrars in the UK) cannot discriminate, not least because they are the backstop after all the religious groups who can also stage marriages have applied their own little discriminations.

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Matt Black

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
If you get a job with the government thinking, "the law will never change in such a way as that I may have to do something I disagree with at some point" you're probably too stupid to be working for the government at all.

What about changes to your pay and pension?

P-C - point taken.

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Low Treason
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quote:
Originally posted by tomsk:
Sharkshooter, I don't know if you've seen this but the case of Ladelle v Islington involved a Christian registrar trying to opt out of conducting civil partnerships (the closest thing Brits have to gay marriage) (this seems to be what Canada may do). Islington sacked her. She claimed religious discrimination. Islington had an equal opportunities policy which it wanted everyone to uphold. The court decided the requirement put her at a disadvantage as a Christian, but was a legitimate objective to require staff to comply. This was a case where the law had changed by the introduction of civil partnerships. I'm not sure how that was dealt with vis-a-vis contracts of employment but it appears she was simply required to do the work as she was a registrar and the Council was required to register civil partnerships. i wouldn't be surprised if her job was to 'carry out civil registration duties in accordance with the law'.

Sorry for coming in to this a little bit late, but the registrar in question lost the case (on appeal I think) because her contract of employment with the council had an anti-discrimination clause.

Thus, although the change in the law regarding civil partnerships came after she commenced her work there as a registrar*, by refusing to follow her [new] duties, she was in breach of the contract by discriminating against those seeking civil partnerships.

In that respect, her views on 'gay marriage' (or whatever)were held to be irrelevant - she would have been in the same situation had she refused to perform ceremonies because the participants were divorced/of different faiths/of different race/had poor taste in clothing etc etc.

*I should add that her contract of employment would have also contained a clause requiring her to undertake any additional or amended duties caused by future changes in the law.

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Doublethink.
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quote:
Originally posted by Matt Black:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
If you get a job with the government thinking, "the law will never change in such a way as that I may have to do something I disagree with at some point" you're probably too stupid to be working for the government at all.

What about changes to your pay and pension?

P-C - point taken.

*hollow laughter*

Well they have already frozen my pay, changed my retirement age and increased my contributions (and are talking nationally about doing so again) and seriously changed my job once and are about to do so again. And they may be about to freeze incremental pay increases within pay band too. This is before we get to competitive tendering for services and what actually happens with TUPE.

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Matt Black:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
If you get a job with the government thinking, "the law will never change in such a way as that I may have to do something I disagree with at some point" you're probably too stupid to be working for the government at all.

What about changes to your pay and pension?
What about them? [Confused]

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Nicolemr
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Sharkshooter, there was quite recently a case here in the US, down south somewhere, of a Justice of the Peace who, quite illegally, refused to marry interracial couples. He felt it was immoral for the races to mix that way, and that the children that would result from mixing races would be at a disadvantage.

Should he have been allowed to continue to do this?

If your answer is no, what's the difference between this and the case under discussion?

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Matt Black

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# 2210

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Matt Black:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
If you get a job with the government thinking, "the law will never change in such a way as that I may have to do something I disagree with at some point" you're probably too stupid to be working for the government at all.

What about changes to your pay and pension?
What about them? [Confused]
Notwithstanding what Think2 says (which I am surprised at), the employment advice we have always been given as business owners is that employers cannot unilaterally alter core T&Cs such as pay and pension conditions without the employees' consent.

--------------------
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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Matt Black:
Notwithstanding what Think2 says (which I am surprised at), the employment advice we have always been given as business owners is that employers cannot unilaterally alter core T&Cs such as pay and pension conditions without the employees' consent.

That's not anything like what I've experienced in the US, where the employer calls all the shots and whatever they give you, you say "thank you" and be glad for that. Unless you're in a union.

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pjkirk
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Matt Black:
Notwithstanding what Think2 says (which I am surprised at), the employment advice we have always been given as business owners is that employers cannot unilaterally alter core T&Cs such as pay and pension conditions without the employees' consent.

That's not anything like what I've experienced in the US, where the employer calls all the shots and whatever they give you, you say "thank you" and be glad for that. Unless you're in a union.
I'm guessing that "consent," for US purposes, consists of little more than the employer telling the peon that they just got a paycut, rather than waiting for them to find it in their next lower paycheck. i.e. notice so they can quit prior to implementation of new policy.

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Matt Black

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[Confused] Don't you have contracts of employment in the US?

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"Protestant and Reformed, according to the Tradition of the ancient Catholic Church" - + John Cosin (1594-1672)

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Matt Black:
[Confused] Don't you have contracts of employment in the US?

What's that?

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Matt Black

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Ah! It becomes clearer now...

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pjkirk
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# 10997

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quote:
Originally posted by Matt Black:
[Confused] Don't you have contracts of employment in the US?

Yes, but they cover the minority of employed people. Maybe 10% if I had to take a guess.

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Dear God, I would like to file a bug report -- Randall Munroe (http://xkcd.com/258/)

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Matt Black

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[Eek!]

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sharkshooter

Not your average shark
# 1589

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quote:
Originally posted by Nicolemrw:
Sharkshooter, there was quite recently a case here in the US, down south somewhere, of a Justice of the Peace who, quite illegally, refused to marry interracial couples. He felt it was immoral for the races to mix that way, and that the children that would result from mixing races would be at a disadvantage.

Should he have been allowed to continue to do this?

If your answer is no, what's the difference between this and the case under discussion?

The difference is this:

There is no more difference between a white man and a black man than there is between a tall man and a short man. That is to say, the difference is in appearance only.

That is not the case with the difference between a man and a woman. I am not suggesting that a man is better than a woman, or visa versa, but simply that they are different. Significantly different.

So, for a black man to marry a woman, white or black is irrelevant. Whereas, for a man to marry, the gender of the partner is relevant.

(I am actually amazed that you think skin colour differentiates between people as much as gender does. This idea had never crossed my mind before, and I just realized it is the basis for much of the arguments.)

So, in case it is not obvious, in the situation you proposed, to refuse to perform the marriage of a black man to a white woman is different, and would be unacceptable.

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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. [Psalm 19:14]

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Josephine

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quote:
Originally posted by sharkshooter:
There is no more difference between a white man and a black man than there is between a tall man and a short man. That is to say, the difference is in appearance only.



But that JP that refused to perform the marriage disagreed with you. He considered black folks and white folks to be different kinds of folks -- so different that it was immoral, and a violation of God's will and God's law, for them to marry each other.

So the question is, does each person authorized to perform marriages for the state get to decide for themselves when people are pretty much the same, and when they are different kinds of people, and whether different kinds of people should be allowed to marry?

It seems like you're saying, "My opinion is the one that is True and Correct. If they believe like I do, then they should be able to follow their conscience. If they disagree with me, they're wrong, and should do what the law requires." But I can't imagine that's what you meant. So help me understand....

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by sharkshooter:
quote:
Originally posted by Nicolemrw:
Sharkshooter, there was quite recently a case here in the US, down south somewhere, of a Justice of the Peace who, quite illegally, refused to marry interracial couples. He felt it was immoral for the races to mix that way, and that the children that would result from mixing races would be at a disadvantage.

Should he have been allowed to continue to do this?

If your answer is no, what's the difference between this and the case under discussion?

The difference is this:

There is no more difference between a white man and a black man than there is between a tall man and a short man. That is to say, the difference is in appearance only.

That is not the case with the difference between a man and a woman. I am not suggesting that a man is better than a woman, or visa versa, but simply that they are different. Significantly different.

So, for a black man to marry a woman, white or black is irrelevant. Whereas, for a man to marry, the gender of the partner is relevant.

(I am actually amazed that you think skin colour differentiates between people as much as gender does. This idea had never crossed my mind before, and I just realized it is the basis for much of the arguments.)

So, in case it is not obvious, in the situation you proposed, to refuse to perform the marriage of a black man to a white woman is different, and would be unacceptable.

I've pretty much responded to this on another Dead Horses thread. So this is just a cross-reference.

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Matt Black

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# 2210

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quote:
Originally posted by Josephine:
quote:
Originally posted by sharkshooter:
There is no more difference between a white man and a black man than there is between a tall man and a short man. That is to say, the difference is in appearance only.



But that JP that refused to perform the marriage disagreed with you. He considered black folks and white folks to be different kinds of folks -- so different that it was immoral, and a violation of God's will and God's law, for them to marry each other.

So the question is, does each person authorized to perform marriages for the state get to decide for themselves when people are pretty much the same, and when they are different kinds of people, and whether different kinds of people should be allowed to marry?

It seems like you're saying, "My opinion is the one that is True and Correct. If they believe like I do, then they should be able to follow their conscience. If they disagree with me, they're wrong, and should do what the law requires." But I can't imagine that's what you meant. So help me understand....

Surely it's a matter of biological fact rather than an individual's opinion as to whether one person is 'different' from another?

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orfeo

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quote:
Originally posted by Matt Black:
Surely it's a matter of biological fact rather than an individual's opinion as to whether one person is 'different' from another?

However, it's a matter of opinion whether the difference is a relevant one or not.

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Matt Black

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...and, indeed, in what circumstances the difference may or may not be relevant. I was responding though to Josephine's skin colour analogy which, as a matter of biological fact, is significantly different from the differences between men and women.

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Matt Black:
...and, indeed, in what circumstances the difference may or may not be relevant. I was responding though to Josephine's skin colour analogy which, as a matter of biological fact, is significantly different from the differences between men and women.

Which begs the question as to why a differing genital configuration is relevant to legal marriage whereas melanin concentration or blood type are not. If the argument is made that marriage law should reflect these differences between men and women, does that mean the law should treat husbands and wives differently? A hierarchical gender structure within marriage is certainly Biblical in origins, but modern marriage law has largely moved away from this position in most Western nations.

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Josephine

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quote:
Originally posted by Matt Black:
...and, indeed, in what circumstances the difference may or may not be relevant. I was responding though to Josephine's skin colour analogy which, as a matter of biological fact, is significantly different from the differences between men and women.

That men and women are different is a fact. That black skin and white skin are different is a fact. That the difference between men and women is a different difference than the diffence between blacks and whites is a fact.

That the one difference is more significant than another difference is an opinion.

And whether either difference, or both differences, or any other difference, is relevant to the question of who can marry whom is also an opinion.

In my opinion. Yours may be different.

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Nicolemr
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Sharkshooter:

Josephine has effectively said what I would have replied to you (and probably phrased it better, too) so "what Josephine said'.

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Porridge
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# 15405

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quote:
Originally posted by sharkshooter:
There is no more difference between a white man and a black man than there is between a tall man and a short man. That is to say, the difference is in appearance only.

That is not the case with the difference between a man and a woman. I am not suggesting that a man is better than a woman, or visa versa, but simply that they are different. Significantly different.

So, for a black man to marry a woman, white or black is irrelevant. Whereas, for a man to marry, the gender of the partner is relevant.

(I am actually amazed that you think skin colour differentiates between people as much as gender does. This idea had never crossed my mind before, and I just realized it is the basis for much of the arguments.)

So, in case it is not obvious, in the situation you proposed, to refuse to perform the marriage of a black man to a white woman is different, and would be unacceptable.

1. All of the differences listed above -- melanin concentration, stature, genital configuration -- are biological, at least in terms of the individuals' genetic make-up. All result in differences of appearance.

2. Some of these differences also affect function. A man who is 5'6" will probably not make the basketball team; a man who is 6'5" will not be signing on as a jockey. The differences in their genetic make-up which produced different heights, will affect some of their life activities.

It's possible that Mr. 5'6" didn't want to play basketball anyway, nor did Mr. 6'5" give a hoot about horses, but that's a different issue.

3. A man, regardless of height, is not going to give birth and lactate (yeah, I saw that Oprah show too; that's a different fish in another kettle). A woman, regardless of melanin concentration, is going to have a permanent low sperm count and be unable to impregnate a partner. The differences in their genetic make-up which produced different genders will affect some of their life activities.

And again, it's possible Mister has no wish to give birth or lactate, and Mistress doesn't care about sperm production or erections. That's neither here nor there.

Short-tall differences result in different appearances AND different functionalities in certain situations. So (usually) do different genital configurations, resulting in flatter chests for men and wider hips for women, etc., in addition to procreational issues.

So I don't buy your argument that the differences between men and women occupy a different category of "difference" than the differences between white and black or short and tall.

That you see male/female differences as more important, or larger, or more significant, than some other kinds of difference is a value judgment exactly like the one made by the judge cited above.

No one marries a set of functions, biological or otherwise; if that were true, any Person A could marry any Person B who performs those functions.

We marry one specific individual for the total particular set of qualities, needs, strengths, history, traits, characteristics, capacities, and, yes, functions that person seems to have.

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Robert Armin

All licens'd fool
# 182

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sharkshooter:
quote:
I am actually amazed that you think skin colour differentiates between people as much as gender does. This idea had never crossed my mind before, and I just realized it is the basis for much of the arguments.
Back in the 80s, when I was training for ordination, I did an elective on discrimination and prejudice. A group of black students, from a Pentecostal training college, joined us one day to talk about their experiences. I remember asking the women present about gender discrimation; they replied they weren't aware of it at all, in relation to the mass of race discrimation they lived with every day. One anecdote does not make a case, but I've often wondered about that reply.

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Keeping fit was an obsession with Fr Moity .... He did chin ups in the vestry, calisthenics in the pulpit, and had developed a series of Tai-Chi exercises to correspond with ritual movements of the Mass. The Antipope Robert Rankin

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sharkshooter

Not your average shark
# 1589

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I guess, then, that, since we differ so much at a basic level, further discussion is useless.

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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. [Psalm 19:14]

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Augustine the Aleut
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# 1472

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Well, there's a reason it's called Dead Horses. I don't know if it's any consolation to Sharkshooter, but I half-agree with him.

I think that we have been engaged in two different conversations. One has to do with civil actions, where discrimination of any sort needs solid justification (e.g., for civil marriages, most accept that 7-year old children may not contract them; this would be acceptable discrimination to pretty well everyone).

The other has to do with religious actions, where other rules of justification can apply-- as I mentioned before, some churches would not allow divorcé/es with living spouses to marry, or the unbaptized with the baptized. While we might not like these judgements, churches may make them, and their adherents comply or take their business elsewhere. A man who wishes to marry another man in an Orthodox church either stays unmarried, or goes elsewhere.

It happens that most north Americans do not see a difference between ecclesiastical and civil marriages as, for most of our history, the officiants were the same. For most Europeans, the two ceremonies are separate; the ecclesiastical one has no civil relevance, and normally follows after the visit to the city hall/ mairie/ ayuntamiento for the legal ceremony.

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Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Augustine the Aleut:
Well, there's a reason it's called Dead Horses. I don't know if it's any consolation to Sharkshooter, but I half-agree with him.

I think that we have been engaged in two different conversations. One has to do with civil actions, where discrimination of any sort needs solid justification (e.g., for civil marriages, most accept that 7-year old children may not contract them; this would be acceptable discrimination to pretty well everyone).

The other has to do with religious actions, where other rules of justification can apply-- as I mentioned before, some churches would not allow divorcé/es with living spouses to marry, or the unbaptized with the baptized. While we might not like these judgements, churches may make them, and their adherents comply or take their business elsewhere. A man who wishes to marry another man in an Orthodox church either stays unmarried, or goes elsewhere.

It happens that most north Americans do not see a difference between ecclesiastical and civil marriages as, for most of our history, the officiants were the same. For most Europeans, the two ceremonies are separate; the ecclesiastical one has no civil relevance, and normally follows after the visit to the city hall/ mairie/ ayuntamiento for the legal ceremony.

Actually the conversation is about sharkshooter's apparent horror that civil servants aren't allowed to import their religious doctrine into the performance (or, in this case nonperformance) of their duties. No one is suggesting that religious institutions be forced to perform marriages they object to on religious grounds, except for those religions that don't want to admit their position on this issue is based in bigotry and want a high-sounding justification like "freedom of religion" to hide behind in their efforts to tinker with civil law.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Knopwood
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# 11596

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quote:
Originally posted by sharkshooter:
(I am actually amazed that you think skin colour differentiates between people as much as gender does. This idea had never crossed my mind before, and I just realized it is the basis for much of the arguments.)

Bingo. In fact, your assumptions about the ontological significance of sex are not universally shared, and in fact contradict current scientific thinking about the line between male and female. As your "Aha!" moment vividly illustrates, if you're going to win people to your way of thinking, you have to be able to make your case to people who don't already agree with you. In this case, people who don't have a prior belief that male != female but are dichotomously separate and exclusive are not going to see same-sex marriage as a "change" (when Lynn on the other thread spoke of wanting to retain Jesus' teaching on marriage my thought was well, duh) and so any argument against such a "change" is bound to fall on deaf ears.

The "traditional" teaching only makes sense if we accept certain rules and properties of gender as being universally applicable and binding, and that path entails plenty of implications that "traditionalists" don't want* any more than other Christians - and ultimately, in fact, leads to bare materialism.

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*Hence the accommodation made for all the family arrangements against which a similar case could be made while the case of gay couples is unique in crying out for uncompromising fidelity to the Bible, or at least one small narrative strand.

[ 31. January 2011, 01:19: Message edited by: LQ ]

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Lynn MagdalenCollege:
So when the law changes in a way that has a bearing on their faith or some other personal element, that's their problem and there is no recourse but to resign? Okay.

To bring it onto this thread as requested by Louise:

Yes. Got it in one.

I'm a public servant. When I joined the public service it was made quite clear to me that the job involved implementing law and government policy irrespective of my personal views of the law or policy.

Whether that view could be classified as a 'religious' one doesn't make one iota of difference. Religion is not some kind of trump card to pull.

This is what rule of law means. Not rule of personal conscience, rule of interpretation of scripture passage or anything else.

Individuals don't get to make the rules up as they go along according to their personal viewpoints, however strongly held. If they do so, then a person affected has the right to go to court to have the error corrected.

[ 31. January 2011, 01:28: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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What orfeo said.

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This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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Oh, and if you want a Biblical basis for my position, check out Mt 22:15-22 (and the parallel passages in Mark and Luke).

Taking Caesar's money to do Caesar's work... what part of that allows you turn around and say that you want to not work on Caesar's instructions but you want to keep getting his rewards?

Uh-uh. If Caesar's paying you for work, then you've got work to render to Caesar. If you can't do that, resign.

[ 31. January 2011, 06:16: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Louise
Shipmate
# 30

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bumping up the big old legacy thread - given the current interest.
L.

though I'll temporarily lock it - til everyone picks up the right thread for the current discussion - it seems to be causing a bit of confusion

[ 18. May 2012, 16:27: Message edited by: Louise ]

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