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US judge orders immediate end to military gay ban

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  1. Jock S. Trap 13 Oct 2010, 10:07am

    The bigots will always appeal!!

    They have no respect for their brave service people.

    In fact a law should be passed to ban religious bigots from politics.

  2. DADT = Irrational discrimination…of course it does.

  3. de Villiers 13 Oct 2010, 12:30pm

    > In fact a law should be passed to ban religious bigots from politics.

    Be careful, that sounds like discrimination on the grounds of religious belief.

  4. De Villiers – I don’t know if your comment is tongue in cheek? (or not, or something other….)

    I am not sure anyone has ever made the case (to me) why it is wrong to discriminate on grounds of religious belief. It seems to me that religious belief is separate to other ‘naturally given’ characteristics e.g. age, race, sexual orientation etc…

    I would never wish to harm someone because of their religion but that doesn’t make it wrong to discriminate on that basis per se. For example, when mormons knock on my door with the intention of converting I discriminate against them directly, politely and with respect. Yes – I discriminate on the basis of their purpose for visiting but part of that is their faith too……

    I choose certain people as friends and others as aquaintances on the basis of religious belief too….Yes, there are other factors, like levels of fundamentalism and embodied spirituality. But I choose.

    Would it be wrong to shut someone out for being a member of cult?

    Just some ideas. Feedback is appreciated.

  5. Richard: You have to appreciate that the Church, as a force, was around long before any governments, and it is they that really defined the laws, rightly or wrongly, in the first place.

    Most common statute has been passed down from ancient religious dictate, and in the US particularly strongly defined the American Constitution.

    The First amendment states that there should be free speech for all. I for one agree with that; it may allow the religious bigots to spout their filth, but equally, it may be the main reason why this Judge’s bill may go through and allow gays in the military.

    Truth, as they say, is a double-edged sword, and I would rather have total free speech than suppression, censorship and nannying officials.

  6. I agree with Jock and Richard, being gay is not a belief system, it isn’t something you learn, it’s something you are. The worst thing being gay can do is inspire/justify you to…..well I can’t really think of anything? Have too much sex?
    Religion is a belief system, it is something you learn, it’s not something you are. The worst thing being religious can so is inspire/justify you to drive planes into buildings, torture people, imprison people, kill people.
    So I don’t think Jock has to be careful to say that religious bigots should be banned from politics. It’s a good idea. And it’s incredibly naive to think that there is freedom of speech anyway. Someone who thinks that has obviously never said anything controversial in the public domain and then been ‘closed down’ for it. The political party that de villiers and spanner vote for stopped teachers from even mentioning the word homosexual in schools twenty years ago, and yet they still vote for that party, so they obviously don’t care that much about freedom of speech. Hypocrites.

  7. i believe that UK equality legislation uses the phrase ‘unfair discrimination’. That adjective makes all the difference. It’s fair to discriminate against people on the grounds of their behaviour, political views or taste in music, for example. What is unfair is to discriminate on grounds that a person has no choice over, for instance, their ethnicity, sexuality or skin colour.

  8. de Villiers 13 Oct 2010, 3:00pm

    I will put aside Leo’s somewhat reductive insult and point out that not being a UK citizen, I have never voted for the Conservative Party. I have stated my politics elsewhere.

    Those who are fundamentalists are always quick to condemn those with whom they do not agree and whom they consider to be enemies. Extremism has its place in history – and it tends to arise from religious groups who feel that they are under threat.

    Christian religious revival in America was boosted by the failure of the Scopes trial and the thought that religion would be traduced and discredited. Jewish revival followed the holocaust. The Islamic revival seemed to start after the the British and American intelligence services organised a coup in Iran in 1957 to restore the Shah Phalavi and rose again after the 1967 Israel war when the Arabs were thoroughly routed. The thought of annihilation and of being attacked breeds fundamentalism.

    But militant secularism has resulted in damage, too. General Nasser and Saddam Hussein operated secular regimes that were involved in fierce human rights violations in relation to persons who wished to pray to whatever god they wanted. Turkey’s secularisation under Atatürk resulted in women wearing veils being attacked by the army with bayonets. China is one of the biggest human rights violators when one thinks of its treatment of Christians and the Falun Gong. All of which contributes to radicalising peaceful persons.

    There seems to be a contradiction with the secularity of Anglo-Saxon countries. Not content to have secularism within the public sphere, it goes further to require the removing of any tolerance from any persons with religious belief. This total lack of any tolerance appears not to be far from the intolerance of the religious fundamentalists. For those on the mainland continent of Europe, talk of banning or eliminating particular religions has echoes of the horrors of the darker parts of the 20th century.

    Laws that permit discrimination help us. Once one starts to remove rights for one group of the grounds of religion or belief or race or sexuality the whole principle of non-discrimination by the State and equality under the law and within the polity crumbles.

  9. de Villiers 13 Oct 2010, 3:03pm

    > Laws that permit discrimination help us

    sorry – prohibit.

  10. Jock S. Trap 13 Oct 2010, 3:32pm

    Religion and religious belief is a lifestyle choice. Those within it choose to discriminate and use the Bible or other religious text as an excuse to allow such shameful acts. They choose to teach through lies and hatred, then tell us it’s what They think is best for children. They bang on about ‘religious Freedoms’ to choose their attitude but then use the very same ‘religious Freedoms’ to deny those religions, such as the Quakers and Liberal Judism, the right to allow equal marriage regardless of gender.

    Ultimately, they have choosen to allow such hate and it’s teaching to others, through Their Lifestyle, yet it is always aimed at how people are born, race, gender and sexuality.

    Therefore it must be safe to say that they are actually questioning the very creations of the “Creator” they worship. Not very ‘religious’ that is it?

    Religion = Hypocrites!!

  11. de villers – “The thought of annihilation and of being attacked breeds fundamentalism.” – so why is it that homosexuals haven’t become fundamentalists and killed people in the name of homosexuality? We’ve faced annihilation and the fear of being attacked for the last thousand years in the UK. In fact if your idea were true, homosexuals would be raving lunatics blowing everything up, have fantastic revived communities, killing people in the name of homosexuality, acting like the religious bigots and fanatics that you are defending.
    And you may not have voted tory, but you do defend them. Why defend a party that doesn’t believe in freedom of speech, if you so fundamentaly support it? Or is it just religious freedom you are defending?

  12. de Villiers 13 Oct 2010, 5:31pm

    Leo – that is a lot of questions that you raise. I defend freedom of speech. Perversely, in the England that was curtailed more by the left than for the right. It was the Left under the previous Labour government that criminalised religious hate speech – against which measure many starts of the English literary and cultural sphere protested. The Left in England oddly seems to be more authoritarian in many more respects than the Right.

    I am not in agreement that gay people do fear the same threat of annihilation. Jews were very nearly wiped out in a large part of Europe. Once gone, it would have been difficult to rebound – and some parts of Eastern Europe still now contain very few Jews. Similarly the Islamic fear that the West seeks to wipe out or subjugate Muslims and the American Christian fear that Islam intends to create a Caliphate in the West and wipe out civilisation.

    In all cultures, repressive or otherwise, gay people have appeared throughout the ages. Unless there is some genetic discovery for homosexuality in which case there could be attempts to eliminate it, there is unlikely to be the same fear. If there were such a discovery of a gay gene and it were possible to eradicate for now and ever more homosexuality and if there were to be such attempts to do so, I could foresee the growth of a radical and violent gay movement to oppose such a movement – to the stage of blowing-up such buildings or killing doctors who would administer the ‘treatment’.

    I do not defend religious bigots although that is an effect of that which I have stated. Similarly, my defence of freedom of speech might be said to defend holocaust deniers since they would be protected by such freedom. That would be an effect rather than an aim. That which I seek to defend is common tolerance of difference. That may be difference in religion or belief systems. It may be difference in race. It may be difference in culture.

    I am unable to say that there is a universal truth or theory of everything. There is much that we do not yet know. Theories such as dark matter, string theory, electromagnetism – for the moment we take much of these theories on belief supported by mathematics. The third prediction from Einstein’s theory of relativity – the gravitational redshift of light was for decades, a theory supported by mathematics and accepted as correct without proof until it could be demonstrated in 1959. Humans have been able to advance by unproven ideas.

    I have no difficulty with religion per se as a way of people addressing the unknowable or unknowing and to create a sense of meaning from the nihilism of our lives. The modern use of religion as creating definable god and dogma is to my mind a modern corruption of it – it confuses the myths of the bible which no doubt contained meaningful metaphorical teaching with literal truth. But from religion comes art, music, meaning, transcendence, unknowing, spirituality, notions of the holy and the profane. That is something worth keeping. Militant secularism demanding the illiberal destruction of others’ belief systems is to my mind counter-productive and counter-intuitive.

  13. de villiers, for me, you confuse religion with spirituality. And its usually religion that stops the questions about the unknown. Religion has the answers, and doesn’t ask questions. As an example, when I was in seminary, an old Nun had just got a new copy of the cathecism. When I commented on this she turned to me and said ‘now I have all the answers.’ There were no questions in the world for her, all she had to do was read the book and that would be it. And this is true of most religious people in my experience.

    But you are right about science, all great scientists have had a deep spiritual life, einstein, newton, darwin……einstein however didn’t crack one of his theories because he just couldn’t equate god into it. That was left up to someone else who didn’t have the same god issues as him. I also agree that we are now living through a new occult age of science that we all believe in and yet do not understand. Equations mean nothing to me, but what I do know is that those equations have led to me being able to type on this keyboard and communicate with someone. If it were left to the religious we wouldn’t even be able to be gay, let alone type things to one another on a forum.

    And I know what you mean about art, music, meaning, transcendance. Again though, great artists/musicians are usually incredibly blasphemous and hate organised religion. Leonardo for example would have been ex communicated by the church for his work. And the list of other great artists who have hated the religion that they have made work for is endless. In fact, usually when an artist is religious and has no problem with it, they make bad work.

    I hope you don’t misunderstand my anti-religion position. I am deeply spiritual, and I think people should be free to believe anything they want to. Jock’s point was though that religious bigots should be banned from politics. Which I presume he means those who literally believe that the world was created in seven days (sarah palin) or those who think that mohammed shot up to heaven on a cloud (ahmadinejad). And I think if the religious Bush and Blair had not had their ‘god on their side’, thousands of people wouldn’t have been killed in afghanistan and iraq. Like I said there’s a difference between being religious and being spiritual.

    And don’t forget that gay’s were on those trains to the concentration camps (and hitler was a catholic), that gay people are executed in iran (by muslims), and that just over 50 years ago (in this protestant country) being gay was illegal. I don’t see a gay state anywhere in the world where gays treat the religious like we have been treated by them.

    But you are right, there is something in all those holy texts that is worth keeping. I just hope you’re not using your right wing powers of linguistic seduction to make me write a long comment back before you then annihilate me with insults, like you usually do.

  14. I dunno why there’s a problem with criminalising hate-speech though actually as I can see why it should be illegal

  15. Chester: The problem in all this is defining it. If I say I don’t like you, or even hate you, is that hate speech? Or do I have to add that you are gay/black/old/female etc. to do that?

    At what point does personal opinion become an insult, or even be defined as “hate speech”? Who defines that line in the sand between free speech and the unacceptable?

  16. depends on why – like I may not like someone for themselves which is totally different to having a religion like christianity inciting hatred over race, sexuality etc! that’s why it’s hate-speech, personal opinion can be labelling a group of people as sick, depraved etc so that they are demonised by others who share your belief!
    the unacceptable is when people get hurt or commit suicide or people start murdering others due to the opinion/religious garbage that someone’s been spouting

  17. de Villiers 15 Oct 2010, 4:42pm

    Leo – I agree with much of what you have said. I consider that the Catholic Church has fallen into error with its (fairly) recent hardening of doctrines. Elements of the faith such as the Trinity were never intended as literal statements – rather they were indicative of a deeper meaning. The hardening of the mythos into logos is to reverse all that Aquinas thought and wrote.

    But on a more practical level, I consider that it is dangerous to proscribe religious “bigots” from taking part in politics. Rather than have different groups such as the gay community or the religious community trying to deny each other their rights, I would prefer limiting and fencing off the power of the state so that it did not matter who held the balance of power.

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