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Saturday, December 15, 2012

The "magic bullet"


I have already gotten several e mails from people who want to know what they can do right now to stop crazy shootings like the one that just happened.  
I too wish there were an easy solution to this complex issue. But like many issues  there may not be one simple "magic bullet" to solve the problem Just as it was not a bullet or a gun that started the problem.
 In my opinion, part of the issue has been a general shift away from a respect for innocent life at all levels in society. Be it in violent games, the media who will often empathize with the criminal more  then the victim, the push for "sexual freedom" that dehumanizes the most easy to victimize among us. violent movies where the criminal is often on equal ground with the hero. All these things I think allow people with Susceptible minds to somehow justify inhuman acts.
Another issue is there are some people who are just mentally unstable no matter what they are taught. I have always said one of the worst things the state ever did was close many of the mental health facilities. Now, those same mentally ill just fill our jails and prisons.
While there have been advances in medicine some people refuse to take them and some people just snap. When that happens there is very little a caring society can do to stop their immediate actions against themselves or others.
At best, we can minimize the damage they do. In this regard I support stronger safety measures at schools. Some sort of immediate response capabilities should be available to those who wish to protect children at the schools from imminent harm, not minutes away as our very dedicated local police unfortunately are.

69 comments:

  1. I have always thought teachers should be allowed to have guns. Or perhaps just all adults at school.

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  2. Why not just hire and train more police officers and have a few in each school, just in case something like this happen. It's all about responce time. With a few cops at each school, we could have proper people on the ground when needed.

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    1. I think People would be willing to spend that kind of money in order to have to peace of mind. It just comes down to what we are willing to spend and payout as tax payers.

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  3. It's really difficult to know what to do to prevent these school shootings from happening.

    Some say to hire more security guards for the schools, but I read where this guy gained entry into the school by breaking out a window. A security guard couldn't have prevented that.

    Somewhere I read that this kid was a genius. Another place said he had some kind of emotional disorder, like autism, where he could not stand to come in contact with other people. Another place said his mother had put him under a great deal of pressure to do well in school.

    One might wonder if this highly intelligent but disturbed young man, under so much pressure to do well in school, and probably behaving in socially unusual ways, due to his illness, may have been bullied again and again, while attending this school, years ago, and may have done all of this just to get all of that pressure to do well, accompanied by social rejection out of his system.

    We need to be so very careful, how we treat our children, and to protect them from any bullying that might be going on in their lives. We need to take time each day to let them know how very much we love them. We need to not set expectations for them which they are unable to attain, which might cause them to feel they are failures.

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  4. In primary schools, only children teachers can come in. There would be guardroom in the entrance. Maybe this would be useful.

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  5. Teacher and admin carry. This solves the simple 'funding' issue. If I can take responsibility for my own safety, I would.

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  6. Hey Stacey... Thanks for helping to lay this tragedy at the feet of those who push for "sexual freedom" (read: the LGBT community). Why don't you take a few sociology or psychology classes before spouting off in the future?
    Tom Cogburn
    Knoxville

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    1. Tom, thanks for your words of support and encouragement. I have taken all of the courses you have mentioned. Some were even advanced level. As I recall I did quite well in them.

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    2. Oh! I wasn't aware that I was in the presence of a psychologist, a sociologist, or a researcher in one of these fields.

      I'm pretty sure that I read you have a Bachelors Degree in Business and an Associates Degree in Marketing.

      Regarding how you did in these courses, I'm sure you'll recall that LGBT and questioning teens--the ones who you believe are victims of the push of "sexual freedom"--are usually the victims of violence, not the perpetrators. Maybe you can correct me.

      Do you have any scholarly articles that might suggest that "the push for "sexual freedom" that dehumanizes the most easy to victimize among us" results in violent behavior?

      Tom Cogburn,
      Knoxville

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    3. Tom,
      I was not speaking of the homosexual community in that regaurd but more about those that advocate abortion as a way to allow some to escape the personal responsibility of their "sexual freedom" it has resulted in the deaths of millions of unborn children.

      as for your assumption i was talking about homosexuals (I wasnt) It doesn't take a doctor to do research any more you can look things uo on your own. Here is an example that they tend to end up in more violent situations (this has a compilation of links to other studies and articles) http://www.conservapedia.com/Homosexual_Couples_and_Domestic_Violence is an example http://www.otago.ac.nz/news/news/otago009976.html

      I tend to see many member of that community starting out as victims of violence there plenty of studies on this you can google it yourself
      Or check this report for a more comprehensive look. http://www.home60515.com/3.html

      While not an "in every case" sort of thing it does show a radically strong causal link. Much stronger then any study on trying to find a genetic link for homosexuality.

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  7. A few things to consider...

    1.) In my undergraduate education, I hold a double major in Sociology and Human Services. I also hold a master's degree in Clinical Social Work. I have spent over 2 decades working in the field and keeping myself apprised of the various social and psychological factors that impact people and the community. And as a gay man, I can speak extensively from personal experience when it comes to LGBT issues.

    2.) When did this become a dialogue about the "causes" of homosexuality? Aren't we past that? Hasn't the American Medical Association, The American Pediatric Association, The American Psychiatric Association, The American Psychological Association, The National Association of Social Workers, The National Association of Sociology, The Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and many other professional organizations determined that homosexuality just "is".
    None of these associations continue to list homosexuality as an illness or disorder. In fact, each one, in their code of ethical conduct, focuses on the eradication of discrimination and prejudice based on sexual orientation.
    There simply is no need to question the "why" any longer.
    We exist. We have always existed. We will continue to exist long after you and I have passed from this planet.

    3.) The numbers simply do not add up. The estimates of the presence of homosexuality in the US vary from 1.5% to as high as 8% of the population.
    However, when you look at the numbers of children who are abused, you see that 16% of males and 27% of females in the U.S. (a total of 43% of all children) are considered to be victims of some kind of childhood abuse (sexual, verbal, emotional, and/or physical).
    If there were a "causal" relationship between homosexuality and childhood abuse, there should be significantly more homosexuals in this country than exist.
    Furthermore, almost all statistics show that females are more likely to be the victims of childhood sexual abuse, yet there are proportionally more gay men than there are gay women.

    4.) If you must believe that there is a causal relationship between childhood abuse and sexual orientation, consider this. When a parent begins to suspect homosexuality in their child, what do you suppose their reaction is? Do you believe it would be one of open embrace and warm acceptance or would it more likely be one of disappointment, frustration, and possibly physical/emotional/verbal/sexual abuse?

    5.) One of "conservapedia" links is almost laughable. Do you really think that an organization such as the "Family Research Institute" is a neutral or objective source? Here is a portion of their mission statement: "...one overriding mission: to generate empirical research on issues that threaten the traditional family, particularly homosexuality, AIDS, sexual social policy, and drug abuse"

    You've had your cross-hairs firmly focused on the LGBT community for some time. For whatever reason, it's one of your missions in life to expose us as unnatural or broken in some way. The truth, however, is that we are highly functional people--working alongside you, going to church, fighting in wars, raising children, etc..

    It's time that you stop asking "why" are their gay people and simply "accept" that we exist.

    Tom Cogburn,
    Knoxville

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  8. Tom,

    1. The fact you are of that lifestyle doesn't give you instant credibility as to the reasons for that lifestyle. It would be like me making an determination on who is the worlds greatest legislator and why.

    2. Its true those groups changed their point of view but it was not based on any finding of fact. It was done by a popular vote of its membership based on the fact it was no longer popular to define it as a mental issue.

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  9. 3. just because all abused children dont grow up to be homosexual does not mean those that are abused are not more likely to become homosexual. 4. abuse and the abuseive family is never the cause and effect reaction to the child. It is not the childs fault they are abused or the fact that they are in a family that is abusive. The victim of rape or abuse is not the cause of the rape or abuse. You need to get that through your head. on

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  10. 1.) What gives a “lifestyle" credibility is its ability to function within society. As I pointed out, people in the LGBT community are fully capable of functioning right alongside heterosexuals. We are your police officers, your postmen, your dentists, your janitors, your neighbors, your fellow church worshipers, your teachers, your politicians, etc...

    2.) A psychiatric or medical disorder is something that involves, as I mention above, "functionality". Being gay does not disable a person. It does not make them unable to work and function in the community.
    Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder; these are illnesses that impact a person's ability to function. They require treatment.
    Furthermore, professional organizations did not change their point of views of homosexuality based solely on "popular vote". They reached a consensus based on research and their own personal experiences in dealing with LGBT clients. To suggest that homosexuality was declassified as a disorder based on some kind of simple, election process is ridiculous.
    What you're suggesting is that hundreds of thousands of highly educated and trained mental health and medical professionals blindly support the notion that homosexuality is a normal orientation that exists along the continuum of human sexuality. That's kind of insulting and dismissive of them.
    To believe that level of "conspiracy" is an indication of denial on your part.
    You use statistics and other information to support your theories that homosexuality is related to abuse. Do you realize that these stats come from the very same professionals who you believe simply put the "homosexual question" to a popular vote?
    Why would you believe any of the statistics they produce would be reliable or valid when you believe them to be so unprofessional and misinformed that they allowed homosexuality to be declassified as a disorder by popular vote?

    3.) You suggested that there is a causal relationship between abuse and homosexuality. And I pointed out that with 43% of all children being the victims of some kind of abuse (verbal/emotional/physical/sexual), there should be more homosexuals than current statistics show there to be (between 1.5% and 8%).
    Such a wide margin does not support your argument.

    4.) I'm not really sure what you're trying to say in your final point. I have not suggested in any way that a child is ever at fault for being abused. I only asked that you consider the possibility that when a parent suspects or discovers that their child may be gay, their reaction--the parent's reaction--may be that of abuse.
    This is one of the reasons there is a large percentage of LGBT homeless youth. They either run away from stressful and unaccepting households or are sent away by parents who, for religious or other reasons, do not want to have a gay child living in their home.

    Stop playing tricks. Stop trying to make me out to be some kind of bad guy. There has been nothing in my posts to indicate that I believe children are at fault for being abused.

    The bottom line is that your arguments supporting your beliefs that homosexuality is a sign of being broken or mentally unhealthy just does not hold up under scrutiny.

    As I've said earlier, you need to stop asking the question "why do we exist" and start asking yourself, "how can we coexist"?

    Tom Cogburn,
    Knoxville

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  11. Tom, you need to re read what i wrote and what has been documented in multiple studies. That children of abuse are a t an incredible high risk of. Looking for acceptance in the homosexual community. To suggest the homosexuality is the cause for the sexual (or other types of abuse) is to blame the victim. I never said "all" but the rates do show something that is much closer in relation to. A cause then anything that has ever been proven through genetic studies.

    S omeone's functionality has little to do with if they have mental issues or not. I can point to tons of alcoholics, drug addicts, people who cut or burn themselves who have full time jobs. Just because the can function in society has little to nothing to do. With the mental health of a. Person.

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  12. Stacey…
    1.) I have read the articles that you referred to. I am not moved.
    There are just as many studies, if not more, that have found that a correlation between abuse and homosexuality is inconclusive.

    And I just don’t understand why you won’t admit that when you have stats that show 43% of children are abused in some way, but there are only between 1.5% and 8% of the U.S. population who are gay—that there just isn’t a very strong correlation between childhood abuse and homosexuality.

    Here’s a stronger correlation that you can use… 100% of homosexual people were the result of heterosexual intercourse. If you truly want to reduce the numbers of homosexuals, you should probably start there.

    Maybe straight couples should abstain from intercourse until scientists have come up with a 100% solution to ending the possibility of couples having gay babies.

    Kind of ridiculous, huh?

    2.) I do not "blame the victim" when I say that a gay teen is tossed out of his or her house or is in some other way abused by a parent. I am blaming the PARENT--for not being accepting, for behaving irresponsibly, and for abusing their child.

    How you get that I am "blaming the victim" is completely beyond me.

    3.) You say that you know alcoholics and drug addicts who work fulltime jobs. That may very well be the case. But what you don’t understand that “functionality” involves more than just a person’s ability to hold down fulltime employment.

    There are many facets to the definition of “functionality”. A person may be functional at work, but have legal problems, family problems, mental health problems, and/or financial problems related to alcohol or drug abuse and/or dependence.

    “Alcoholic” is a layman’s term. It’s used by nonprofessionals to describe a certain type of behavior—usually an addiction to alcohol. In the psychiatric or medical profession a person’s use of alcohol is very narrowly defined based on FUNCTIONALITY. Specifically, there are 15 codes in the DSM-IV that relate to Alcohol use.

    The term “drug addict” is also a layman’s term. The DSM-IV separates each type of specific drug (opioid, amphetamine, hallucinogen, cannabis, cocaine, etc.) and describes each disorder based on how the drug impacts a person’s functionality.

    My point is to get you to understand that there is a difference between someone who simply “uses” alcohol/drugs and someone who “abuses” or is “dependent upon” alcohol/drugs.

    By its very definition, a person who is an alcoholic or drug addict is someone who has crossed the threshold from just “using” and has entered into the realm of “abusing” or has “dependence”.

    Do you see what I’m saying?

    And lastly, a person who burns or cuts themselves is clearly self-injurious. This is self-harm. There are physical injuries involved. This is DYSFUNCTIONAL behavior.

    I’m not trying to be a wise guy. I’m just trying to explain that there are professionals (MDs, RNs, Psychiatrists, Social Workers, etc.) and professional organizations (AMA, APA, NASW) that define “disorders”. There are specific definitions for specific disorders.

    You should have a look at the DSM-IV and the ICD-9. Just look at the wiki’s description of the DSM-IV and ICD-9 and you’ll get a clearer understanding as to how they determine what is and what is not an illness or disorder.

    Hopefully, you’ll begin to understand why it is that homosexuality is not considered a mental or medical disorder.

    Tom Cogburn,
    Knoxville, TN

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  13. So let me get this straight.

    By your point of view even though there have been multiple studies from multiple sources that show a very real and strong correlation between abuse and homosexuality you say bs their can be no correlationThen you argue children who turn out to be homosexual were not abused as children but when they came out as homosexual those same formerly good parents immediately become abusive.

    . yet when another study confirms there has been no gay gene found you hold on to the theory that its an absolute fact.

    Then you say cutting and burning yourself is clearly dysfunctional because it is harmful activity but engaging in an activity that causes dramatically shorter lifespans and exposes its participants to 50x the rate of catching a deadly disease is natural .

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  14. I say that there is no correlation based on the numbers that I have repeatedly produced. Can you explain why it is that of the 43% of abused children in the country, only 1.5%-8% of them "become" gay or lesbian? What happened to the other 41.5% to 35% of the kids who did not "become" gay?

    I just don't see it in the numbers.

    And I don't hold to the theory that there is a gay gene. God knows, I don't know why a person is gay. I really don't spend too much time trying to figure it out. At age 46, I've long ago accepted being gay.

    The only people who seem intent on discovering homosexuality's origin are the conservative and religious right or those gay apologists who seem intent on explaining their presence on the planet.

    I, personally, do not believe it is a question that is worthy of my attention or efforts.

    Regarding the "activity that causes dramatically shorter lifespans and exposes its participants to 50Xs the rate of catching a deadly disease", I say this: Gay people do not have the market cornered on risky behavior.

    Heterosexuals do everything that gay people do with regards to sexual intercourse. I won't go into the gory details, but I believe you can figure out what I'm talking about.

    "At the end of 2010 it was estimated that out of the 34 million adults worldwide living with HIV and AIDS, half are women." (Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS)

    So, there are some roughly 17,000,000 women living with AIDS. Where did they get it? Did they all get it through sharing needles while using drugs? Or is it possible that a significant number of them were infected by HETEROSEXUAL men?

    Besides, avoiding a deadly disease is easy enough--use protection.

    Sure, there are plenty of gay men out there who do not practice safe sex. I would argue that they have some kind of a mental health disorder (very likely 302.83 Sexual masochism or 302.84 Sexual sadism, from the DSM-IV); just like someone who cuts and burns themselves.

    And let's not forget that of all of the populations who are at risk of HIV/AIDS, Lesbians have a lower risk than heterosexuals.

    Being gay, in and of itself, does not pose a risk. Risky behavior is what poses the risk.

    And what are you guys going to ponit to when a cure for HIV/AIDS is discovered? Will it be OK to be gay then? Will you finally stop telling us how destructive we are?

    HIV/AIDS is already a much less deadly disease than it was when it was first discovered. Science continues to make huge advances in the treatment and eventual cure of the disease.

    Bottom line:
    -stop looking for causes of homosexuality. we have always been here; we will always be here.
    -being gay is not a disorder. being risky is a disorder.
    -worldwide the vast majority of HIV/AIDS cases involve heterosexual people
    -being gay is not a risk. risky behavior is what causes the risk.

    Tom Cogburn,
    Knoxville

    My friends continue to urge me to not engage you. They believe that you are a lost cause; that you are married to your beliefs, in large, because your political future hinges on you holding such ideas about the LGBT community. We'll see...

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  15. Well Tom while there are heterosexual s with AIDS the % of the population with AIDS is 50 x higher in the homosexual community. You can talk about rates of growth till the cows come home but it is like talking about the rate of growth for a 5 year old vs a 300 pound NFL lineman. Sure, one may be growing but one is still dramatically bigger then the other. And whe WHO has said they expect no epidemic type outbreak in the heterosexual community . While women do get it more, much of that is through the nature of the sex they are having and the fact that there are those men who are bisexual in their activity and are not reported or recorded as such. The CDC by their own admission does not record bisexuals by their activity but by how they self identify. This clearly throws the numbers off.

    As for what your friends think that is up to you. You can comment or not. I have never said homosexual s are lesser beings or not deserving of equal rights in the eyes of government. I just think they have that now and the activity is not something the govt should be teaching abt in school. It is not governments place and the activity is dangerous. Now some may argue we should teach the safe ways to do it but I think that is like teaching the safe ways to smoke or shoot drugs or drink.

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  16. Stacey,
    The fact still remains that, worldwide, heterosexual women are getting AIDS at a higher rate than any other group. And who's to say that bisexual men are giving it to them?

    Scientists who study the nations of Africa, where the numbers of HIV/AIDS transmissions are off the charts, believe that much of the transmission has to do with uncircumcised males who have multiple encounters with sex workers--not through male-to-male contacts.

    Regarding your comment, "I have never said homosexuals are lesser beings or deserving of equal rights in the eyes of the government."

    Do you support Same-Sex Marriage?

    And what do you think you do when you try to associate homosexuality with being broken; that we are the result of "abuse"; that we lead "dysfunctional lives"; and suggest that homosexuality should still be considered a mental health disorder?

    It's an insult to me and all of the other responsible gay adults who live fairly mundane lives.

    So many of my gay friends blend into the background of our communities--working in a variety of fields, going to church, raising families, taking care of elderly parents, and contributing to the community.

    I've never stated that there aren't members of the LGBT community who act irresponsibly. But you can't paint us all with the same broad brush.

    Maybe you should narrow your focus. Instead of making broad comments about gays in general, you should be focusing on irresponsible members of the community. That's what we in the LGBT community do. We target their BEHAVIOR; not their ORIENTATION.

    I am hopeful that you are beginning to understand the point of view of the LGBT community.

    Many in the straight community view us negatively. They see gay pride parades with guys running around in skimpy speedos, gyrating to techno music, and seeming to live a life of debauchery.

    It's not at all that different than what you see at Mardi Gras or Carnival celebrations.

    I've never gyrated. I've never done illegal drugs--well there was the one time I took a hit off a joint, but it made me so sick I've never had it again. I'll bet I could count the number of times I've been to a gay bar on two hands. I've had 3 relationships in my life and never indulged in promiscuity.

    And I'm hardly the only gay person who lives that way. There's a group of gay men who meet at the TVUUC on Monday evenings. We talk about politics, religion, movies, etc. Our first topic for 2013 is "What is your Winter reading list?" After the meeting we head over to TGIFridays and have a late supper together, where we talk about more of the same stuff.

    I hope you can begin to see what we're not all that different.

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  17. Homosexuals have the same rights to marriage as heterosexuals do. You just want a new definition of the word to mean what some in popular culture may want to suit their current desire. Much as you may dislike it, the behavior is the orientation. There may be people who have had those feelings they do not act on them and instead lead normal happy heterosexual lives.

    While I have no hatred in my heart I do not support your lifestyle. I am sorry but I just don't see any proof that it is natural or healthy. Now I may be proven wrong tomorrow when they find the gay gene but I will not hold my breath.

    Until then just because something is popular does not mean it is right or good for society.

    While you may not change or have any desire to it does happen and there are many people who have done it.

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    1. Tom, most of what you want can be achieved through a contract or power of attorney. What you really want are the government benefits. What I have yet to hear from the homosexual community are the reasons it will be a benefit to the greater society. Not just those in the homosexual community.

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  18. Well, obviously I don't agree with your conclusion. Gay and lesbian couples are raising 4% of all adopted children in the U.S. Certainly these families have an interest in "government benefits and protections".

    But aside from that single point, an individual's rights are not dependent on whether they benefit greater society. Ever hear of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment? There's nothing in that law that indicates a person's rights and protections must be a benefit to the greater society.

    If you believe that all we're after are "government benefits", why don't you even the playing field and reverse all of those same "government benefits" that heterosexual couples enjoy through marriage? That way, using your logic, we'd just drop the issue.

    You're on the losing side of this issue, Stacey.

    Even Newt Gingrich seems to be seeing the light... He stated in a recdent interview, "I think that [same-sex marriage] will be much more difficult than immigration for conservatism to come to grips with." "It is in every family. It is in every community. The momentum is clearly now in the direction in finding some way to ... accommodate and deal with reality." "The reality is going to be that in a number of American states – and it will be more after 2014 – gay relationships will be legal, period."

    Gay marriage poses no threat to heterosexual marriage. No one's marriage will end or become less authentic if same-sex couples are allowed to marry.

    -We're not broken
    -We're not going away
    -We are entitled to the same rights and protections as every other tax-paying, law-abiding, citizen of the U.S.
    -Same-sex marriage WILL be protected by federal law within the decade. And those who are seen as obstructionists to SSM will be viewed as the segregationists of the old South.

    Tom Cogburn

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    1. It is the right of government to incentivize things that are to the greater benefit of society. We do it all the time. By your own admission there is little to no benefits to general society of homosexual marriage.

      You seem to fall under the "if its popular its right" ideology. Not a good way for a society to run. by your argument if incest or bigamy was popular it too should be legal. Wrong. There are alway some who will push some radical deviance or another. There always have been and always will be. That does not make it right. Those that push that sort of thing will end up where they always havre. In the dustbin of history.

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    2. Was there a benefit to general society when the Supreme Court ruled that interracial couples had the right to marry?

      According to a 1968 Gallup Poll,(the year after the SCOTUS made it legal) just 20 percent of Americans thought it was OK for a white person to marry a black person.

      Tom Cogburn

      Certainly the country didn't think it would benefit general society.

      And I think it's so interesting that you do not support the "if it's popular it's right" ideology. That's the main argument of the proponents of Proposition 8.

      They believe that since the issue was put to a "popular vote", they were right to deny same-sex marriage.

      You guys can't have it both ways.

      Now that you're losing the support of America--now that Americans are more supportive of same-sex marriage--you throw out this ridiculous argument that a person's rights must be beneficial to general society.

      You're just not making sense at this point.

      You don't address the 14th Amendment, which you know doesn't base a person's rights on whether it's beneficial to general society.

      And I'm really tired of the "slippery slope" argument. Back in 1967 when interracial couples were seeking the right to legally marry, the same arguments of bigamy and incest were thrown around.

      Obviously that did not happen.

      Finally, if you'll check the dustbin of history, you'll find that equality has always triumphed. Racial minorities, women, religious minorities, the disabled, etc have triumphed over alarmists such as yourself.

      The only ones who end up in the dustbin are the segregationists, the sexists, the Christianists (it's a word), and so on...

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  19. Race is a protected class. Sexuality is not. If it were some would argue bigamists , those who want to have incest with a family member or pedi files should have protected status. Just because your prediliction is en vogue at the moment does not separate it from the others who want the same status. Constitutional amendments are voted on by the people in about every state I can think of. The votes have little to do with if it is a benefit to the greater good. You have yet to prove that with your fetish. Sorry.

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  20. Prior to 1964 race was not a protected class. Racial minorities fought hard for protections and rights. They used the political and judicial system to force the Caucasian majority to accept their demands.

    Do you remember the one of the first federally integrated organizations? It was the armed forces.

    The LGBT community has been using pretty much the same means to do the same thing. As a result 25 states in this country have passed laws to protect LGBT people.

    And we also have been integrated into the armed forces--serving openly alongside heterosexual soldiers.

    Can you see a trend?

    You compare homosexuals to pedophiles.

    Homosexuality is defined as a relationship between two, consenting, unrelated adults of the same gender. It is perfectly LEGAL to be gay in this country.

    Pedophiles involve ILLEGAL relationships with children who are unable to give consent. Incest involves an ILLEGAL relationship with someone with whom you have a blood relation.

    Homosexuality has NOTHING in common with those other two ILLEGAL acts.

    I think you're confused about the 14th Amendment. Are you suggesting that it only pertains to certain states? Do you think that states get to define what the 14th Amendment includes?

    The 14th Amendment specifically dictates to the states. It says, "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

    Finally, if you're going to toss around psychiatric terminology such as "fetish", then have the decency to accept their precepts that homosexuality is neither a "fetish" nor a "mental disorder".

    Tom Cogburn

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  21. But Tom, you wish to change legal definitions as you speak. You can not do it for one without admitting it can be done for others. Also, race has been or can be defined genetically. Not so for your predeliction. Therefore it can no more be a protected class then someone who likes fat people people who wear leather or skinny people or peanut butter sandwiches. It is a preference not a race. The 14th is not being broken as I said before, homosexuals have the same rights as heterosexuals I have never said they are not allowed equal protection under the Liam but the state has the right to doll out benefits as it sees fit. If not then you could do away with "affirmative " action laws as well as many others. By your definition "consenting" could allow incest or 3,4,5 people or more who wish to get married isn't that so? Also, you have yet to tell me the greater good of homosexual marriage.

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  22. Stacey

    1.) The DEFINITION of marriage would not change.
    It might surprise you to know that in those states that allow same-sex marriage, the laws governing marriage have not changed--they've been expanded.
    There is a distinct difference between being "changed" and being "expanded".
    The marriage licenses issued in those states that have legalized marriage between same-sex couples ARE IDENTICAL TO the licenses given to heterosexual couples.
    Both types of couples must meet the same criteria, agree to the same conditions, and sign the same forms.

    2.) The Civil Rights Act of 1964 listed "religion" as a protected class. It prohibits employers, except (religious organizations) from discriminating against individuals because of their religion in hiring, firing, and other terms and conditions of employment. Title VII also requires employers to reasonably accommodate the religious practices of an employee or prospective employee, unless to do so would create an undue hardship upon the employer.
    I'm sure you'll agree that religion is not a genetic trait.
    And since the law protects religion, Congress, in 1964, did not establish that "genetics" must be a key factor in determining who is protected.

    3.) Consenting means that a person must be of a legal age to consent.
    Consent laws vary from state to state. That's why it is still possible for kids as young as 16 (and younger in some cases) to marry in the state of Tennessee.
    The age for consenting parties to have intercourse, oddly, remains at 18 in Tennessee.
    How can a 16 year old be legally married in Tennessee, where the age of sexual consent is 18?

    4.) I do not have to come up with a "greater good" argument with regards to same-sex marriage. No right or protection is based on its greater good to society. Why don't you understand that?
    This "need for greater good" concept is something that you've made up and has no point in this discussion.

    5.) Congress has already dealt with bigamy. The Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act of 1862 was signed by Abraham Lincoln.
    It's reasonable to argue that bigamists in this country MIGHT at some point in the future attempt to have this law overturned.
    But what you and I are talking about is same-sex marriage ONLY.
    Whatever a group may, or may not wish to pursue in the future does not provide a basis for denying our rights and protections.
    You can't say, for example, "The courts and legislators will never again make changes to current disability law because at some point in the future another group MAY wish to define itself as disabled."
    Each case must be heard, based on its own arguments and merits.

    Tom

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  23. Sorry but the definition you want is a new definition. Here is the definition of marriage. https://www.google.com/search?q=marriage+definition&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&client=safari you may also want to check the state constitution for the clear definition.

    Religion is protected class but not an absolute by your own definition and they were not given any additional benefits you want a new class that would grant new benefits.

    Much as you may hate to admit it popular does not make legal or right. The legislature decides what activity is beneficial to society and deserving of the reward from the state. As of now your lifestyle is not worthy of additional protections because of genetics nor is it worthy of being incentivized any more then any other unhealthy lifestyle that brings little to nothing to the greater benefit of the state.. By your desires of consenting and of legal age being the criteria and nothing else (save possibly popular) then I can not see why you would have any problem with adult incest or polygamy to the 10th degree. By your criteria if it became popular enough it should be normalized and those who wish to practice it given special status and benefits from the state.

    Sorry. I don't agree with that and do not see it as something that will bring stability to our state or health to its general population. I see it similar to the age of concent. It is set by the state. While you and others may not like where we set it, WE SET IT for the benefit of the greater population.

    My understanding of the concent law is 18 years old or less then a. 4 year difference in age. Unless you are married then that goes out but a minor has to get concent of an adult guardian to get married (I think that is the current rule). Again, those are rules the state sets, those are definition the state sets for the greater good of the population of the state as allowed by the constitution of the state. Even if there were a sudden desire to change the definition the state constitution restricts what the legislature can do and define as a marriage to one man and one woman.

    Now if you want to go to your place of worship and have a ceremony and call it marriage you can. The state will just not recognize it for benefits. Admit it that is what you want. That or the ability to force religions to perform your ceremonies who have clearly recognized it is in direct contradiction to their faith. If all you wanted was a ceremony then you can have that now. Same with most if not all legal powers granted between couples.

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  24. As for the greater good argument you may also want to check our oath of office.

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  25. Stacey,

    You continue to want to compare homosexuality to incest and bigamy. It very simply isn't factually correct.

    Worldwide, heterosexuals commit 40,000,000 abortions a year. Should I equate you to someone who has abortions?

    Regarding the definition of marriage, you should understand that the word "marriage" is not an absolute. Ten countries around the world currently define marriage to include same-sex partners.

    And if you'll recall from the Old Testament, Abraham had 3 wives; Sarah, Hagar, and Keturah.

    So the term "marriage" depends on when and where you speak of.

    Your argument that gay marriage must be of some benefit to the state in order for it to be legal is simply wrong. We are a country where INDIVIDUAL rights supported--not the greater good.

    If we were a country where only those rights that were beneficial to the state were recognized, then the slaves would never have been emancipated. There would be no rights for the disabled.

    Both of these progressive acts had significant negative impact to the states. With the Emancipation Proclamation, the agriculturally strong south suffered great setbacks economically. And with the Americans With Disabilities Act, many businesses have endured great financial problems, or closed altogether.

    That you believe that YOU as a legislator get to set laws whether we like it or not is shortsighted. You forget about the judiciary branch of the government. You, alone, do not get to determine what is good for the people.

    And you know, I'm really tired of you continuing to say that homosexuality is an "unhealthy" lifestyle. As I pointed out earlier, you heterosexuals make up over half of the HIV/AIDS cases worldwide.

    And you guys take the lives of 40,000,000 infants each year.

    Finally, if I'm not mistaken, no gay person has ever led the United States into war--wars that have claimed the lives of some 1.2 million Americans on our soil alone. That doesn't count the hundreds of thousands of civilian lives lost in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan.

    THAT is some extremely UNNATURAL behavior!

    I'll say again what I said earlier... You're wrong on this one, Stacey. You're wrong politically. You're wrong medically. You're wrong psychologically. And you're wrong morally.

    You're going to wind up in the dustbin of history--looking like the villains of our past.

    Tom

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  26. Tom,

    You are not talking about getting individual rights, you are wanting to get government benefits. If it were an individual right it would be the right to marry. You have that. I have never read of the state busting down the doors of the church to stop a homosexual marriage. You want to call it "marriage" you can. You have that right. The state just does not recognize it for government benefits. The rest of the stuff can be done with a contract or power of attorney.

    You may also wish to recheck your history books, Lincoln did not free the slaves as part of a huge moral issue. He did it to preserve the union. He said many times he would allow slavery if the south stayed with the union. He also needed the soldiers who were granted freedom in return for volunteering. More or less it was for the greater good of the union.

    Same for the special needs. There is no special granting by the state to those with special needs. They are granted the same rights not special rights. Even if they were counted as a special right then the handicapped are great in number and their numbers and needs were of a benefit to society as they offer much to society by being in society in decreasing home health costs to the state. Homosexual marriage does not offer that or anything like it.

    As for the rights of the judiciary, they are an equal branch at best. They are not supposed to create law but instead to interpret the laws the legislature creates and make sure it is not in contradiction to the us or state constitution. The Tennessee state constitution is quite clear. Marriages that are and will be recognized by the state are between one man and one woman.. Sorry but that's just how it is.

    As for the health issue you don't need to trust me, contact the WHO. They admit there is no expectation of any mass infection of the heterosexual community. The rates of transmission among for AIDS is 50x higher in the homosexual community. 50 TIMES!!!!! And that is just one of the health issues of concern in that lifestyle. You can deny it to the cows come home but it does not change the facts. Yell, scream, stomp your feet. Those numbers do not change. Look them up for yourself. Please.

    There is one easy way to look at the odds of success. Look to the past. Every civilization that has adopted homosexuality has crumbled shortly there after. Guess what will happen if the US goes for homosexual marriage benefits. Collapse. History has proven it over and over and over.

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    1. Well, Stacey, let’s talk about broader rights and protections for gays and lesbians. Do you agree that an employer should be allowed to terminate an employee based on sexual orientation? What about housing? Should a landlord be allowed to evict a tenant after discovering that he or she is gay?
      There are more rights and protections that our community is looking for other than marriage equality.
      And I always find it just a bit hypocritical when conservative, small-government types, want to intrude into private citizen’s lives—citizens who wish to marry.
      Regarding Abe Lincoln’s views on slavery, here are a few of his quotes on the matter: "Whenever I hear any one arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." "In 1841 you and I had together a tedious low-water trip, on a Steam Boat from Louisville to St. Louis. You may remember, as I well do, that from Louisville to the mouth of the Ohio there were, on board, ten or a dozen slaves, shackled together with irons. That sight was a continual torment to me; and I see something like it every time I touch the Ohio, or any other slave-border." I think his feelings about slavery were pretty clear.
      With regards to the disabled, only 9.7% of the population meets the definition of being disabled. This is roughly equal to the number of LGBT people living in America. We do not seek special rights. We seek equal treatment under the law.
      Furthermore, the disabled aren’t forbidden from getting married, even though statistics show that some disabled people have a high likelihood of transmitting their genetically transmitted disabilities to their offspring. Based on your earlier statements, the state should not allow certain disabled adults to have children due to the possible negative impact on society.
      You continue to demand information about how same-sex marriage will positively impact society. Consider this; most states who currently offer same-sex marriage see a significant increase in their tax revenue. One study showed “Over three years, weddings by resident Maryland couples alone will generate between $40 and $64 million for the state economy.”
      Also consider that when you provide an avenue for long-term, legal marriages between same-sex couples, you reduce the frequency of sexually promiscuous and dangerous activity.
      And you provide a stable living environment for the children in sex families. There are somewhere over 100,000 children waiting for adoption in the U.S. Many linger for years in the foster care system. However, as of 2009, some 21,740 same sex couples had an adopted child.
      Finally, most studies show that LGBT people who are allowed to marry experience greater physical and mental health benefits. They have less depression and anxiety, greater stability, and fewer health complaints. This creates less stress on the health care system, both financially and by fewer people seeking help.
      Though I’m sure you’ll find some way to dismiss them, these are a few ways that same sex marriage will benefit greater society.
      The judicial branch of the government has found in many instances that same-sex marriage rights, employment rights and housing rights have been unequally enforced across the country. This is why the Proposition 8 results and the DOMA policy is going to be heard by the Supreme Court this summer. It’s only a matter of time.
      And finally, I just don’t buy your idea that homosexuality has resulted in the collapse of various cultures. That’s a flat out myth. Take Native Americans. Many of the Native tribes here in America fully embraced homosexuality—even highly regarded “two spirits” who lived among them. But it wasn’t homosexuality that led to their undoing. Rather, it was the colonization of North America by our ancestors. We simply wiped them out by force or through disease.

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    2. Being a landlord I do know a little about that law. Finding out someone is homosexual is not a valid reason to break a lease contract and before you ask yes I have rented to openly homosexual people before. No conservative is stopping you from anything. If you want to get married on your own in some "church" that supports that then go ahead. I know of no conservative saing that should be outlawed. No conservative or law is out there to break down some "church" door to stop a homosexual "marriage". We are just not in favor of changing the current state definition to add anything or anyone. To add someone or something to the state definition would be an expansion of government. Not a contraction. Admit it, what you want is state government recognition and that is more government and more cost. Against conservative values.

      As for Lincoln again check your history. He said similar things that Washington said and Washington was a slave owner and trader. Lincoln may have been personally against it but made clear several times that he was willing to accept it to preserve the union.

      As for special needs vs homosexuals there is a vast difference, without special allowances the handicapped would not have access to many things such as stores and businesses. There is No way that homosexuals are stopped from shopping because they are homosexual. They can still make it through the doors without being married. They can still buy food and products.

      As for adoption the myth that there is some huge backlog of children is a myth. I know plenty of people that are now having to go to China to adopt. The numbers you see in state care are mostly those who have been taken from their parents for some reason that may not be eligible for adoption.

      As for the marriage rate you said the total for all marriages. Not homosexual marriage nor did you factor in the higher divorce rate and state legal costs from that divorce among homosexuals.

      As for homosexuals that do adopt, the children of those families have dramatically higher rates of about every bad thing you don't want to see in children. Drug use, drug abuse, suicidal thoughts, suicides, drop out rates the entire list. Now you may argue its all society's fault but its not about forcing society to conform to your wants, it is about what is best for children and the latest studies show what is best for children is a traditional. Mother and father household.

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    3. 1.) It may not be a “valid” law, however landlords are fully within their rights to deny rental to perspective gay tenants, deny the renewal of a gay tenant’s lease for no reason; deny renewal of a month-to-month lease with no reason.
      If a tenant believed that their lease renewal was denied based on one of the protected classes (gender, race, religion, etc.), then they would have cause to seek a remedy via the TN Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act or the Federal Fair Housing Act.

      2.) Marriage is a legal term. What you say we’re allowed to do is called a “WEDDING”. Straight or gay couples can have “weddings” until the cows come home, but no government body will officially recognize it until the state’s laws defining “marriage” have been satisfied.
      Gay people want “marriage”. And it’s really none of your business why we want marriage. We may want it for protection of assets, for emotional reasons, or for government benefits and protections. It doesn’t matter why we want it.
      Our case for marriage equality is based on one thing—EQUALITY. And until our marriages are equal in the eyes of the law, we will continue to fight.
      You say that no church will bust down our doors to prevent our “weddings”, but some are doing everything within their power to stop our “marriages”.
      Finally, the costs to the government—if any—have no place in the decision of legalizing same-sex marriage. It’s either legally protected under the Constitution or it’s not.
      Somehow massive, churches that spend hundreds of thousands of dollars per year on building maintenance, “mission trips” to Hilton Head or Myrtle Beach, and pastor salaries, have managed to avoid paying taxes for over two centuries. Tell me THAT hasn’t cost the state a tremendous amount in lost revenue.
      But I doubt you’re going to argue that these bloated organizations that bring in millions of dollars in revenue, should begin to pay their fair share.
      So spare me your concerns about the potential government fiduciary impact of same-sex marriage.


      3.) I stand by my comments re: Lincoln’s views of slavery.


      4.) We may be able to buy food, but if we’ve been in a relationship with the same person for 30 years and then that person suddenly has to go into a nursing facility, the residence that they have shared during their time together can be sold either outright or divided up to pay for nursing home expenses, all before the state will step in and pay a dime in care. This is a PROTECTION for married couples. It is an example of the over 1,000 protections and benefits of marriage that aren’t available in any way for same-sex couples.
      And don’t start talking again about how this will cost the government more money. The costs are not a factor in determining equality.
      The way I see it, you either take every legal and financial benefit/protection away from heterosexual married couples, or you apply them equally to same-sex couples.

      (cont.)

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    4. 5.) In September 2009, 423,773 children were in child welfare systems throughout the United States. Of those children, 114,556 had a goal of adoption. I think 114,000 kids represent a backlog. Just because some people go to other countries to adopt children does not mean there aren’t still kids still waiting here.

      6.) At least 50% of all heterosexual marriages end in divorce. If you’re going to refuse marriage to homosexual couples based on possible divorce outcomes, then you need to refuse marriage to heterosexuals based on the same notion.

      7.) As for gay adoptions being so unsuccessful, “not so” according to a study commissioned funded by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law. "We found that children adopted by lesbian and gay couples are thriving," said U.Va. Psychology professor Charlotte J. Patterson, who led the study.
      “The research assessed adjustment and development among preschool-aged children adopted at birth by lesbian, gay or heterosexual couples. Using standardized assessment procedures, researchers found that parents and teachers agreed, on average, that the children were developing in typical ways. Measures of children's adjustment, as well as parenting practices and stress, were found to be unassociated with the parents' sexual orientation. And, regardless of their parents' sexual orientation, how well children were adjusted was significantly associated with how warmly their parents were oriented to them.”
      Another study by Ellen C. Perrin, MD, Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, found that “a growing body of scientific literature demonstrates that children who grow up with 1 or 2 gay and/or lesbian parents fare as well in emotional, cognitive, social, and sexual functioning as do children whose parents are heterosexual. Children’s optimal development seems to be influenced more by the nature of the relationships and interactions within the family unit than by the particular structural form it takes.”
      The only studies that I can find denouncing same-sex adoptive parents were largely created or funded by organizations like the Family Research Council, a devoutly “so-called Christian” foundation. In February 2010 the FRC’s Senior Researcher for Policy Studies, Peter Sprigg, stated on NBC's Hardball that gay behavior should be outlawed and that "criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior" should be enforced.
      And finally, having worked in the children’s services, I can firmly say that any child would be better served in a loving, caring, financially supportive same-sex household than to linger in group homes, foster homes, runaway shelters, psychiatric hospitals, or juvenile detention facilities. When I was working on my Master’s Degree in Social Work, I worked for the Run Away Shelter here in Knoxville. The system for those kids was like a revolving door. They literally went from our place—where they could only stay for a couple of months, to hospitals, then to group homes, then the detention center (usually for minor offenses), and then, maybe, a foster home—where multiple other kids lived.
      I often saw the same kid come back through, over and over again; once they had run out of time in a different facility. These kids didn’t know how to do anything. They couldn’t wash their clothes, they didn’t know anything about money management, nor did they know how to look for work. They were completely dependent.
      Being in a same-sex household is much better by comparison.

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    5. As a landlord I have several reasons I may decide not to allow someone to rent.. Stability may be one of them. I hate to let you down but the US is not all equal. People do not all receive the same things or get treated the same way just because they are born here. I can not go and receive welfare . Why? Because the government has decided to give some people the benefit and not others. Same with a host of other benefits. They are not dolled out fairly. They are dolled out as the government sees fit for the success of society.

      Same with punishments. Just because you may want something does not make it good for society. Again, you keep going back to the same argument as to why people who want to merry their sister or adult children or 5 people at one time should be allowed to do so. Sorry but the state has decided those are not healthy lifestyles that are a benefit to society. Get over it.

      Again, I refer you to history. Look up Lincoln's thoughts on slavery you can (like you like to do on many issues) close your eyes and stomp your feet and wish it so or not so but that does not. Make it so.

      As for your lost "rights" the ones you listed can be covered by a contract or poa. What you want are the benefits of govt. list a lost "right " that can't be covered by contract or poa.

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    6. Those children may be on a path to adoption but they are not adoptable. There is a difference. They may still have custody issues that stop them from adoption. Look closer at it. You will see I am right. I researched this one in the past.

      Again, you may not like the facts but they are clear, children of homosexual parrents are much more likely to have difficulty in life. Now you may wish it not so and may want a child to prove your point but it is not about what is best for you. It is about what is best for the child. Study after study shows the best odds of success come from a one mother one father home. Not to say no one or never could it ever work any other way but if you want to give the child the best odds of a positive outcome you can't think selfishly. You can compare anything to the worst case scenarios and argue it could be better but there is no discussion on what the best case is and should be. That is one mother and one father.

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  27. And let me add that I am glad you are so pro life. I hope you fight near as hard for the legal rights of the unborn to just live as you do for special rights for one class of citizens. That is one thing we may agree on.

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  28. As for being anti war, I thought you might want to at least support WWII you do know Hitler was killing homosexuals as undesirables right?

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    1. With regards to war, I am of the opinion that I would never engage in it. Are you aware that the earliest Christians—those who lived closest to the time of Christ’s birth and death—REFUSED to join the military; even though to do so meant they would be put to death?
      War does not jibe with Christ’s commandments—“Love your neighbor as you love yourself” and “Turn the other cheek.”
      It wasn’t until some 300 years after Christ’s death that the notion of Christians becoming involved in a “just war” gained popularity.
      Here are a few quotes from the earliest Christians: Origen (184/185 – 253/254) said that Christians "do not go forth as soldiers". Tertullian (160 – 225 AD), wrote "only without the sword can the Christian wage war: for the Lord has abolished the sword." Clement of Alexandria (150 – 215), wrote "...he who holds the sword must cast it away and that if one of the faithful becomes a soldier he must be rejected by the Church, for he has scorned God."
      And finally, with regards to WWII… I am going to direct you to an essay by a pacifist who discusses how the allied invasion actually led to a greater destruction of Jewish, Gay, and Communist lives. http://sirnickdon.xanga.com/698853445/what-about-wwii---pacifist-considerations/ Maybe it will give you pause so that you can rethink your ideas on going to war.

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    2. I have been lucky enough to have been able to talk to people who were in concentration camps. Not a one thought they would have been here were it not for the fight to stop Hitler. None thought the alies fought an unjust war. Jesus talks about taking up the. Sword for self protection just not ad an offensive weapon. You may also wish to check some Old Testament lots of just wars in there . You may want to reference the words "jawbone of an ass" , sling shot or sword for reference. While mostly a pacifist myself I see there are evil crazy people in the world. Even at the U U church shooting no one just let the guy keep shooting. They attacked and stopped him. No one wanted him to keep doing evil.

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    3. During the many years that I lived and worked in San Francisco, I worked for two years as a social worker in a large Jewish home. I worked closely with elderly people who not only survived the Holocaust, but also survived the Russian anti-Semitic atrocities.
      I was responsible for providing counseling to these people who suffered horrific post-traumatic stress disorder. Even though it had been decades since they had been to Germany or Austria or Russia, many still woke up screaming in the middle of the night or suffered debilitating depression and anxiety.
      One woman would absolutely come unglued if a house-keeper came into her room to tidy up and accidentally moved a pair of glasses or a cup. She immediately was thrown back into a time when the Germans came to her home and took all of her possessions and forced her and her family into a camp.
      The amazing thing about these people was how liberal they all were. Out of hundreds of residents, there were maybe a dozen who voted republican. They were very much against war. They had seen enough violence and bloodshed in their lives. They hated what we were doing in Iraq.
      The U.S. wasn’t exactly chomping at the bit to become involved in the war against Germany. Our government was aware of what was taking place to the Jews.
      Hitler began his rise to power and his anti-Semitic campaign in 1919. The U.S. didn’t enter the war until Dec. 1941 when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Our initial beef was with Japan—not Germany. Germany actually declared war on America because of their alliance with Japan and Italy. Our only connection with regards to Germany at that point was support of Britain.
      To understand just how far removed we were with the atrocities against the Jews, the SS St. Louis, carrying nearly 1,000 Jewish refugees was turned away from America in 1939 on direct orders from Roosevelt. It was forced back to continental Europe, where 620 of the passengers were eventually accepted. Of these, only 365 survived the Holocaust. This falls in line with America’s immigration policies in the 1930s. Because of the Great Depression, Roosevelt refused to let many Jews come to this country, even though he was fully aware of what was going on in Europe.
      So, it would seem that the belief that America swooped in and saved the Jews from the concentration camps isn’t quite accurate. We let Hitler decimate the Jewish population of Europe for several years before getting involved. We didn’t enter the war to stop the Holocaust, we entered it to defeat Japan and in reaction to Germany’s declaration of war against us.
      When the Jews did finally come to America, they weren’t welcomed with open arms. They were discriminated against in housing, employment, education, etc.
      And regarding the TVUUC shooting, you’ll note that no one in the congregation pulled out a concealed weapon and began shooting. There really are other ways of dealing with crazy and evil people than blowing them to kingdom come. But you wouldn’t know that based on the fact that the U.S. spends more on defense than the next 19 biggest spending nations combined.
      I believe it was Christ who said in the Book of Matthew 26:52 that he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword.

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    4. True of our past immigration issues but I highly doubt that those that lived would be opposing of America getting in the war when we did. I bet they wish we got in sooner.

      As for Jesus he tells his deciles to take up swords for safety. http://www.loveyourenemies.org/sword.html you can check links for the passages. As for the UU church they did not offer up their throat for the slaughter they defended themselves and probably saved their own lives.

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  29. Tom, I want you to know that I do not condem you as a person. I only hope that you see That What you are doing is very risky. Even deadly. No real good can come of it for you or anyone else. look around you, do you really see true inner happiness of those around you? I have known several homosexuals, I can't say I ever knew any that had real inner peace. I always thought the term "gay" was really a big lie as it was the opposite of what I think they really were. None were happy deep inside no matter what the external factors were.

    You can change. It has been done by others and can be done by you. You can be a leader if you so chose but you must allow your heart to turn. Deap inside you know what you are doing is not right and that you are capable to be so much more. Will it be easy? Probably not but God will never put before you more then you are capible of handling.

    It is coming a new year. Please at least say you will think about it.

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    1. Stacey,
      Let's be very clear about one thing... You do not know me. What I do is very likely no more risky or dangerous than what you do. I am a 46 year old man who has never had any kind of STD. I do not drink. I don't use drugs. And while I don't go to church on a regular basis, I am a Christian--a very spiritual man.

      So, I am not 50 times at risk of becoming infected with the AIDS virus. My BEHAVIOR impacts my risk, not my sexual attractions.

      With regards to my being happy, I can honestly say that the happiest, most spiritual moment of my life came on the day that I finally accepted my orientation.

      It was early Autumn nearly 25 years ago. I was helping my father burn off the last of the dead vines and plants from our garden.

      I had been experiencing anxiety about my attractions to men for years. I had prayed. I had sought counseling. I had gone to church. I had read numerous books.

      I knew that being gay meant that people would hate me. And I feared that God would hate me.

      I prayed many times a day for God to intervene--to stop the feelings I had.

      In the garden that day, I was feeling very anxious and sad. I was deep in prayer. When all of a sudden, it occurred to me that I was praying for what I wanted. I was begging and demanding that God do what I wanted Him to do. Never hat it dawned on me that I should be asking that God's will be done.

      So, that's how I began to pray. I was literally saying, "Not my will, but Your will, God..."

      All of a sudden I felt an immediate peace. For the first time in years I felt calmness and relief. And in my heart I heard God say to me, "I want you to be the way I made you to be. Be happy with how I made you."

      I've never had a doubt in my mind that God spoke to me that day--telling me that He made me gay; that he was happy with who He had made.

      So, until you've had such a personal experience with God, don't presume to tell me what God wants for me.

      He has blessed me many times over. I have lived a fantastic life; doing things that many people will only dream of getting to do.

      He continues to guide me to this day--often directing the words that I write to people such as you. I know I couldn't come up with this stuff on my own. This is God talking through me. I am firm in my beliefs.

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    2. One other thing, Stacey; regarding “inner peace”… I challenge you to find any human being—gay, straight, or otherwise—who is constantly barraged with insults, violence, discrimination, etc. to have a true sense of inner peace. That fact that you continue to find me in need of being fixed is insulting. It perpetuates a long-standing myth that gays are broken; that we’re unnatural.
      As gay kids—and, yes, I was a gay child—we are taught early on to suppress our attractions to same-gender kids. I knew by the time I was in the third grade that I formed crushes on male celebrities on TV. And don’t accuse me of being unusual. Just remember back to your own childhood. Innocent crushes begin in normally developed children between the ages of 8 and 10.
      But everywhere I looked told me it was wrong. There were no valentine’s cards from a boy to a boy. I didn’t see any examples of two men who were in love with one another.
      All I heard were words like “sissy” and “faggot”. All I saw were fights and bullying.
      You know, throughout history there have been examples of how beliefs held by larger society has a negative impact on a person’s self-esteem. Left-handed people were thought to be evil for long periods of time. Christians were taught that Christ sat at the Right Hand of God, while God doled out punishment and judgment with His left hand. For decades—maybe centuries—left handed Christian children were forced to learn to use their right hands.
      Another example is that of skin tone. For the past several centuries those with lighter skin tones were revered over darker skin tones. During slavery, light skinned slaves were worked inside of homes, while darker skinned slaves were forced to more difficult work outside.
      And even today, in the African American community, there is a premium on lighter skin and straighter hair.
      The bottom line is that “inner peace” for minorities is often largely dependent upon how the majority of society TREATS us.
      When you lighten up on us, I’m sure you’ll find that we’ll enjoy a greater sense of “inner peace”.
      Think about that the next time you start telling gays how they should feel…

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    3. No one can make you feel bad about you but you. I personally see just the oposite. Homosexuality is glorified in the media today. It is shown in huge disproportionate numbers to their actual population and they are often shown as heroic or victomised. I can t recall the last show or movie I saw where it was the oposite. Get over your self victimization. No one who looks at the current media is buying it.

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    4. Homosexuality is certainly not as verboten as it once was, but make no mistake that homosexuals are still being discriminated against. They still experience great negative pressure from the religious and political right. This is especially true for young gay people. That’s why young gay people are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide than their peers. And that’s why young gay people whose family has rejected them are 8 times more likely to attempt suicide.
      Those are facts—not “victimization” reports.
      And with regards to victimization, you know you’re just as guilty of “whining” when you complain about the media’s glorification of homosexuality. So spare me…

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    5. Yes. Homosexuality is so "natural" that now even though it is more accepted then ever even glorified the suicide rates have gone up among those who experiment with homosexuality. Why? Because now people, even little children are being pushed to "experiment" with something when there is any possibility or questioning or insurity of their sexuality. Later after the fact many realize they have made a mistake and feel stigmatized for life in what is not natural for them. Your answer is "make them feel happy they did it" instead of my aproach of "leave the kids alone and let them develope on their own."

      The results speak volumes.

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    6. You’ve got to be kidding. Do you really think anyone can be pushed into homosexuality? I couldn’t be pushed into heterosexuality. Were you ever pushed to experiment with homosexuality?
      You make up this stuff without any proof—none at all.
      Tom

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    7. Tom, children are impressionable and often susceptible to suggestion. Add in that a child may be unsure of their sexuality (if they are sexual at all) and when an adult figure tells them that they may be homosexual and its ok if they are so they may want to experiment with it. Guess what the child thinks? "Well, maybe I am. I guess it's ok to try it out. What could go wrong?" Many children who suffer from sexual abuse fall into that same trap. An authority figure tells them something is ok and they should feel ok with what is going on so the abuse continues for years. It does not make it natural or ok.

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    8. Children are impressionable, but not stupid.

      And when we're talking about a child's "sexuality", we're not talking about actual "sex". We're talking about "attraction"—about which gender they are attracted to.

      The root word "sex" in "homosexual" or "sexuality" does not mean intercourse. It means "gender". Just like when someone fills out a job application and sees the word "sex". It's not asking the applicant about their intercourse history.

      What I don't think you understand about children--maybe you've forgotten about your own childhood--is that they CANNOT be forced to be attracted to a gender that they do not find naturally appealing.

      Is there any way that anyone could have forced you to be attracted to another male when you were a kid or a teenager?

      You did not choose which gender you were attracted to as a child. Neither did I. It came about naturally--just as it has since the beginning of mankind.

      You will never be able to "fool" a child into voluntarily experimenting with something that is unappealing to them.

      The gay and lesbian (bisexual and trans) community wants to impart information to prepubescent and adolescent kids who are naturally feeling same-gender attractions, that they are not alone; that they are not broken; that their feelings are natural; and that the community will provide support to them as they grow.

      We're not out to convert kids. It's simply not possible to convert a kid. All we want to do is to create a safe and accepting environment; so that they don’t develop neurotic self-hatred based on society’s preconceived notions that all males will be attracted to females and all females will be attracted to males.

      If you believe that a person’s gender attraction is so malleable that outside influence can alter it, then show us. Show us how easy it would be for you to convert to being gay. And I mean, really throw yourself into it. Date men, form a lengthy relationship, have homosexual intercourse exclusively...

      Isn’t that what you ask of us; that we should change our natural attractions?

      If you can show us that it's possible for a straight person to become gay, then the LGBT community will listen to you when you claim that gays can become straight.

      I'm not trying to be glib. I'm being serious. Show us how easily it is done. Show us that it's possible for a straight person to choose homosexuality.

      Tom

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    9. Tom, I don't have to personally prove anything because the proof is already there. Look to prisons for your proof. Homosexuality is rampant. Now are you arguing that more criminals are homosexuals ? Assuredly not. But there are many who are easily swayed into fulfilling their base desires however they see fit. Did their genetics suddenly change when they became incarcerated? No. They were weak beings who decided to fulfill their sexual wants as they saw fit. I am sure they were able to justify it in their own minds as well.

      Children by their nature are not intelligent and are impressionable. Many are not sexual at an early age and succeptable to suggestion. If an adult came to 6year old boy and told them it is natural to wear dresses and makeup guess how that child is going to dress? Guess what that boy is going to think when they get older and go into the real world?

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  30. You may be firm but I doubt it is in Gods will. God spoke and acted on what he did not think was acceptable behavior. Again, II is not mine to be your final judge but there is nothing wrong in trying to direct you to gods own words and actions. It is not your feelings, it is your actions that put you at risk. Physically and spiritually. Yes, you may think in your heart you know what god wants but he is pretty clear multiple times, not just in the "man made laws" of Leviticus but in multiple places that homosexuality is not good for you. You can go on deluding yourself but that is what it is, self delusion. It may feel good but in reality it is wrong and your actions put you at risk.

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    1. I don't think you're in a position to tell anyone what God wants. I always find it interesting when people profess to know what is best for someone. That's a kind of spiritual judgment that neither you nor I should make.

      This is what I know from the Books of the Bible... There are 613 laws listed in the the Books of the Old Testament--67 of which are considered "abominations" (eating shellfish and women wearing pants are two examples).

      Even the most observant Jew cannot keep all of the laws.

      Later, through Christ's birth, life, death and resurrection, He fulfilled the laws. Have a look at Hebrews 10:8-10, Hebrews 9:11-15, Hebrews 8:13, Galatians 3:13, Romans 7:4-6, John 1:17 to start with.

      Christ gave us two commandments. He said "Love your neighbor as your love yourself." And "Love God with all of your heart, soul, and mind." He even went so far as to say, "On these two hang all other laws, commandments, and covenants."

      As I'm sure has been pointed out to you, Christ never said anything about homosexuality.

      So save your breath, Stacey. I am firm in my spiritual beliefs. Many gay and lesbian Christians are firm in their beliefs.



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  31. You are not correct on Jesus never spoke on homosexuality. He said " And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
    Not much in there about 2 men getting it on. Sorry. Also in the time of Jesus homosexuals were put to death. Jesus never said it was natural or that they should be allowed to do whatever. Jesus said he was not to nullify the law but fulfill it. If you go to the first two (love god with your heart soul and mind ) I think god was quite clear on homosexuality several times even if you forget about liviticus. Of course you would like to deny that because his words are uncomfortable to you.

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    1. When’s the last time you had bacon? Have you ever had intercourse with a woman outside of marriage? Have you ever had food grown in a garden where multiple crops are grown (i.e. green beans, corn, cucumbers, etc.)? Have you been around menstruating women? Do you shave your beard?
      I could go on for about 600 more laws and commandments that you probably break on a weekly basis…
      But Christ told us not to point out the splinter in another person’s eye when we have a plank in our own.
      Tom

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    2. Tom. You are going back to Leviticus also known as man made law. Not thought to be clearly directly from God. God and Jesus were quite clear many times on homosexuality in several places several times.throughout the bible. Not just in one place. As I said I do not claim to be perfect or without sin but even Jesus when talking to the woman who he saved from being stoned by those causing her of adultery told her later to "turn from sin and sin no more". Was Jesus condemning her? No. He nearly pointed out what she could do better to be a better person free of sin. Just as I do not condemn you as a person. But it would be false to say your activity is not thought of as a sin in the bible. Please don't hide your head to the facts because you wish to live in denial.

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    3. I do not live in denial. I am of the belief that God has said to ME that he approves of how He made me.

      You may make light of that. You may believe it has been Satan's will that I have felt. But I don't agree.

      Let me throw this out to you... Do you believe that God stopped talking to mankind on the day that the last Book of the Bible was written by John the Apostle near the end of the first century?

      I believe that God is very active today. I believe that He continues to guide us and speak to us. And I believe that His relationship with us continues to be rekindled and reshaped based on His relationship with us. He has never left us.

      The literal worship of and single focus on the Bible is considered to be Bibliolatry. I, like many Christians, do not put all of my eggs into one single basket; so to speak.

      The Books of the Bible are tools. However my primary source of spiritual guidance comes from my personal relationship with Christ--through prayer and prayerful meditation.

      How is it that you worship? I'm curious...

      Tom





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    4. Tom, God made us all, sinners and saints, murderer,child molesters, priests and popes, rapists and nuns. I am sure deep down there are many sinners who say to themselves "Well, this is how God made me and it seems alright by me so this must be the way he wants it. as a matter of fact he made the pope and the Nun when he made me so we are both following his words the same way." It is a delusion. Mankind is flawed. Left to our own devices we will fall to our more base desires. That is why God sent us his son and gave us the bible. To help us flawed beings and to give us a guide on our way so we do not fall pray to our base instincts. on The "magic bullet"

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    5. God gave us the Books of the Bible, sure enough. But God also gave us faith, the ability to reason, and the ability to communicate with Him.

      If I was not clear before, I did not come to my decision to accept my homosexuality easily. It was after years of prayer, reading, counseling, and thought.

      I accept that I am a flawed human being. But my homosexuality is not what makes me flawed. It has no more to do with my being flawed than the color of my hair.

      Tom

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    6. Tom,

      We have the ability to communicate to him but not necessarily with him. If so, all people would get the same answers. They do not. Mans reasoning is flawed because man is flawed. I am sure there are people who reason away all sorts of evil and sinful actions to justify what they want. Some do it after minutes, some probably after years. That does not make it right

      You are correct in that God did not mistake you. You are made in his own image. That does not mean he accepts your actions or that your actions are not sinful. We all are flawed human beings. Not by birth but by actions. We are given free will over our actions but that does not mean that God wants us to take every option that comes to us or that it is his will that we do every action that is in our head or heart. We all have our own cross to bare. Some are easy, some less so. Do not be fooled because yours may be heavy that god does not want you to carry it but to dance upon it.


      That is why we have the bible. As a guide so we do not misread our own desires into thinking that is what god wants of us. You say it yourself, it was your decision. Not Gods. God did not suddenly change his words. God did not suddenly overturn his teachings and change his stance on homosexuality. You made the decision to accept it. Not God.

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    7. Stacey,

      At this juncture, we are verbalizing our personal, spiritual beliefs to one another; which is pointless.

      I don’t believe I can sway you to my personal religious beliefs and I know that you cannot sway me to yours.

      I will only say this… Throughout modern history, we have seen mankind use verses from the Books of the Bible to support many horrible acts. We’ve seen slave owners insist that they have a God given right to purchase and use human beings as chattel. We’ve seen it used to support segregation. We’ve seen it used to denounce women’s rights. We’ve seen it used to go into wars. We’ve seen it used to pollute the world and decimate entire species of animals.

      We’ve seen it used to do so many things that we, today, would consider to be unthinkable.

      And I have to ask you; did God change His mind on those things? Did God change His mind about slavery? Did God change His mind about segregation of the races? Did God change His mind about the treatment of women?

      I don’t think so…

      I think mankind has been moved by God to alter its behavior. And I believe that God is moving mankind, again, to alter its views on homosexuality.

      Laws and attitudes regarding LGBT people are changing around the world.

      I don’t believe that He would continue to make us if He did not wish for us to be here.

      This is your blog—your playground. You can say and post whatever you please. But the handwriting is on the wall. Whether you like it or not, homosexuality and transgender issues are being embraced by rational Christians everywhere.

      We will live in a world where LGBT people are treated fairly—with the same rights and protections as heterosexuals. It’s inevitable.

      I’m sure that frightens people like you. It represents a change in beliefs that you have long held. But I’m sure you’ll get through it. I’m confident that one day, you’ll come around.

      Just like Strom Thurman, who supported segregation of the races throughout most of his life. He eventually had a change of heart and reached out to the African American community. The whole country did.

      Were they just going with the popular tide? Or were they truly changed through God’s grace and the widespread good works of integrationists?

      I’ve given you fact after fact re: homosexuality.
      --Some of the earliest written records that we’ve found have had references to homosexuality.
      --Homosexuality has been found throughout the animal kingdom.
      --Scientists, physicians, psychiatrists, and therapists around the world no longer treat homosexuality as a disorder, based on research and observation—not a popularity contest.
      --Homosexuality—the attraction to a member of same gender—is not a risk factor in having HIV/AIDS. Rather, high risk sexual activity is the risk factor in contracting the disease.
      --Children raised by LGBT parents are no more susceptible to psychiatric problems than those raised by heterosexual parents.
      --There is no conclusive information that would indicate that childhood trauma has a causal relationship to homosexuality.
      --Local, state, and federal laws--politicians and judges--are more frequently supporting LGBT rights.

      If you want a future in politics, you’re going to have to change your outlook. Pandering to old-school beliefs may get you some attention and votes now, but you won’t be able to count on it forever.

      Tom

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  32. Tom, you keep going back to the "it's popular" reasoning for support. Popular does not make anything right or acceptable (except possibly by those swayed by popular opinion.) I am sure there may be those who shift with the wind just like flys on manure. That does not mean something is right, healthy or moral. There are tons of studies and statistics that show it is not natural, that it is not healthy that it is not gods will. Yes the bible speaks of slavery . Killing and many other things that are not pleasant. They were not endorsements of those activities throughout history but God did make some strong, long term pronunciations on the act of homosexuality.

    Now you can go on and close your eyes, cover your ears, stomp your feet and yell "it's not true!!" As loud as you want. It does not change facts or numbers. It's not a healthy life mentally physically or morally by Gods own teachings. As far as what may happen in my political future, you seem to think that being in politics is the goal. That is for the selfish self serving politician. The public servant does what they think is in the best interest of society. That has been proven by society's throughout time as well as several studies. Homosexuality is not good for people, children or government. I shall continue to speak the truth and let the chips fall where they may. Being in or out of office will not change them.

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  33. Tom,

    You keep grasping at straws looking for justification. Unfortunately or possibly fortunately I seem to have struck a nerve and now you seem to be striking out. I will not put your comments up as they violate my policy on comments. If you have anything new and can do it in a respectful manner I may put them up but that is up to you as well as me.

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