Civil discourse has long been regarded as a necessary component of a well-functioning democracy. But a New York Times reporter believes that value should be abandoned in relations with those who disagree with him on the issue of same-sex marriage.
Josh Barro claimed that those who oppose redefining marriage to include same-sex unions are "unworthy of respect" and he is justified in being uncivil toward them in a Twitter debate with Ryan Anderson, William E. Simon Fellow at The Heritage Foundation.
The debate began when Barro tweeted on July 23 that "anti-LBGT attitudes" should be "ruthlessly" stamped out. Several conservative publications noticed the tweet and wrote about it (see here and here). They pointed out that in 2012 a gunman did try to "stamp out" the traditional marriage supporters at Family Research Council. Barro clarified that by "stamp out" he did not mean to "off people," but "we should make anti-LGBT views shameful like segregation." more >>
Over one hundred United Methodist Church leaders and laymen have called on their denomination to strictly enforce its rules against homosexuality and gay marriage.
Methodist Crossroads, a theologically conservative online group, posted a statement on Thursday that garnered over 100 signatures so far, including clergy from large UMC congregations.
The statement argues that unity for the Protestant denomination can be found by having church officials strictly enforce the Book of Discipline's rules on homosexuality. more >>
Within their coalition, the Democratic Party has both those who believe religion causes harm and those who find great value in their religious faith. Much of the party's future will depend on how party leaders navigate these opposing views.
Part one of this series pointed out that the Democratic Party represents well both the non-religious and racial minorities. In the future, however, the religious in America will be mostly non-whites and the non-religious will be mostly whites. To win elections, therefore, the party will need to manage the differences between these groups.
One can, of course, be non-religious without being anti-religion. A problem for Democrats, though, is that some of the loudest voices from the secular left in recent years have demonstrated suspicion or open hostility toward religiously motivated viewpoints. In such an environment, the more that liberalism becomes associated with secularism, the more difficult it will be for the Democratic Party to mobilize those for whom religion motivates liberal political beliefs. more >>
This is the third in a five-part debate series on same-sex marriage between James W. Doig and Robert P. George. It originally appeared on The Witherspoon Institute's Public Discourse. You can read Part One here and Part Two here.
Thanks for your thoughtful response to my initial comments. In your opening paragraphs, you ask that I provide a general account of what marriage is. To me, it is a continuing relationship between two individuals who commit their lives (including their sexual lives), their futures, and their fortunes to each other. The two individuals may be of opposite sexes or the same sex. If they have children-natural or adopted-that commitment extends to the children as well.
Some observers may want to extend the term marriage to other patterns of human relationships; I would not. However, I believe, as I understand you do, that some legal protections (filing joint income-tax returns, etc.) might be extended to individuals in some non-marital but stable relationships. more >>
Faith & Freedom Coalition Chairman Ralph Reed said Tuesday that North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper's decision to not defend the state's voter-approved constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman violates his fiduciary responsibilities to the state's residents.
Cooper held a news conference Monday to announce that following the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal's ruling that Virginia's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional, he would no longer defend against lawsuits seeking to overturn North Carolina's constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage that was approved by a majority of voters in 2012.
"North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper's announcement that he no longer feels bound by the oath of his office to defend his state's marriage statute violates his solemn obligation to protect and defend the constitution and the laws of the state," Reed said in a statement shared with The Christian Post. more >>
While two states have successfully banned conversion therapy for gay youth, a majority of state lagislatures have voted down bills that would implement such bans after hearing the testimonies of ex-gays who say they've benefitted from sexual orientation change therapy.
Proposed bans similar to California's and New Jersey's laws prohibiting sexual orientation change therapy, or SOCE, for minors have been voted down or withdrawn in Virginia, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Washington, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Hawaii and Rhode Island.