Thanks to two helpful guys, Greg and Aaron, there is now a new version of AACalc with functionality for AA50 and 1942 (or whatever, I’m way out of it.)
Check it out at http://aacalc.nfshost.com/
What’s ridiculous is for the adherents of bronze-age mythologies to enforce their moral code on everyone else.
One of my best friends is lesbian and she is one of the most moral people I know. Of course, as an atheist, I realize you probably think I’m not entitled to make any moral judgments whatever.
Freedom has to be freedom for all or it is a very shallow freedom. Gays and lesbians want to recognize and celebrate their committed relationships to their life partners as “marriage” and not have to call it something else because some people are disgusted by their lifestyle. So let them. That, or just get it over with and declare the US a theocracy just like the Taliban. You have many of the same religious beliefs about sex and marriage, and apparently also a similar belief about the role of religious morals in the law of the state (unlike your founding fathers). Not quite as extreme, you are not advocating stoning, but it still causes stigmatization and 2nd class status based on a part of people’s identity that they can’t change.
You have an ideological commitment that I don’t think I will ever be able to reason you away from, so I give up.
I’ll be posting news about AACalc soon.
By the way, the situation in Canada is this:
The government recognizes same-sex marriage, and justices of the peace as public servants have to perform them if asked.
However, churches are protected from having to perform same-sex marriages. So, if you want to get a same-sex marriage in a church, you have to find a church that will accept this.
To me this seems a pretty good approach. Conservative christians and muslims don’t have to go along with it in their churches and mosques, so their religious customs are not threatened, they are not forced to do anything against their beliefs. All they have to do is accept that the state does not use their definition of marriage.
This is just like the Amish not insisting that everyone live without electricity, the Jewish not insisting that everyone get circumcised, and the muslims not insisting that no one drink alcohol etc.
I disagree, Jenn.
I am 100% atheist, and I consider myself 100% married.
Marriage is a social institution that is found in every culture around the world, and it takes many different forms.
Marriage is a social institution that is legally recognized. It is also a social institution about which many religions have many different things to say. The state has to have a definition of marriage and this definition should be a secular one.
Your proposal is an interesting one but it is not going to happen anytime soon and so it is not a realistic way of giving everyone equal treatment under the law. Your proposal also would not protect traditional marriage because, with the law out of the picture, SOME churches would start performing same-sex marriages.
Conservative christianity does not have the patent on “marriage”. Do you think Muslim states would be correct in prohibiting marriage between muslims and non-muslims? Government should be secular.
Your proposal could be achieved much more easily by simply saying to yourself that true marriage is in the eyes of God. The state can call marriage whatever it wants, but this is not “true marriage”. God and his institution of marriage are safe because no one can rewrite God’s laws. God (and Christians) are not harmed by the inaccurate use of terminology by others. State-sponsored marriage would just be seen by you as the civil union you are proposing, and true marriage in your eyes would be the one performed in a church in front of God. The state just uses the term “marriage” because it is shorter and correlates to a universal human institution that does however take many different forms.
Think of another social institution: education and graduation. You could take the view that one is only “educated” when one has learned something of the “truth”. There may be all kinds of people “graduating” from university who have not learned anything good and maybe even a lot of wrong ideas. Should we say that only certain kinds of learning should be included in the term “education”, and that those with a degree in Creation Science or in Climate Change (depending on what you think is wrong) should not be allowed to call themselves “educated”?
It’s just a word. A word for which you have a very important personal religious meaning, but a word that is used differently by different people. Misuse of a word can’t harm you or your God.
First, I do appreciate that you are proposing a decent compromise that would have the government no longer discriminating in this area.
But, an analogy: Just as you think only certain relationships qualify for proper marriage, I have my own definition of what passes for proper logic and reason.
While I don’t think that what others call logic others passes muster, I don’t feel that civilization will collapse if others are allowed to claim that their arguments consist of “logic”.
Similarly, I think social conservatives should get a grip and realize that not everyone is going to share their definition of “marriage”, and maybe that’s not the end of the world either. If two gay guys (or gals) want to consider themselves married rather than unionized, what’s that to you? Marriage is about SOCIAL validation of your cherished love. Gays and lesbians do not want to feel that their unions have a 2nd class status socially and legally.
What blows my mind is the inability of social conservatives to see the parallels between their views and those of the Taliban - to impose your moral code on everyone else. That is tyranny, no matter who wrote the moral code.
The rejection of tolerance and scientific rationalism is why Islam went from being intellectual leaders in the middle ages to now lagging behind the west in every kind of development. The US is on the verge of making the same transition.
One of the main functions of a constitution is to enshrine certain legal principles so that they are beyond the will of the majority.
Arguably, this function is most important when it comes to minority rights, because minority rights will by definition otherwise be very vulnerable to derogation by the will of the majority.
This in turn is something that I see as indispensable to the Freedom that Americans cherish so much. America is a beacon to the world of everyone being free to have and express their political views, their religious views, etc.
As soon as the majority can decide to take away rights from a minority, then you have lost the foundation of your freedom.
There is a limit to freedom of course - one cannot be allowed to harm others through the exercise of one’s freedom.
And that, I think, is where the real issue about same sex marriage is found. Some thing that such marriage IS harmful to society, and others do not.
Just back to my earlier point: if Germany in the 1930s had had a strong judiciary, and religious and minority rights enshrined in its constitution , and widespread respect for the rule of law (what is now missing in Afghanistan and is being lost in the US to bipartisan conflict), the holocast could not have happened. The courts, if they were doing their job, would have struck don the antisemitic laws, and the German people, if they had a proper understanding of the importance of minority rights and respect for the rule of law, would have supported that.
Now - sex with children, with animals - those are harmful behaviours. Tolerating or recognizing consensual adult same sex relationships does not mean you also have to accept those things.
Go to law school. It will change your mind.
I agree, this is civics, as long as we keep it from straying into a debate about specific political issues.
Jennifer: your comment re judges not being there to interpret the law.
Nobody who has ever gone to law school would agree with this statement. In fact, if your statement were true and the law could be enforced without interpretation there would be no need for law school.
You’re just going to have to trust me on this. Laws have to be interpreted because it is impossible to write laws that expressly address every conceivable situation. Further, the ONLY issues that end up in court are ones where there are arguments to be made for different interpretations of the law. When the law is clear, people settle quickly because there’s no point spending thousands of dollars to litigate an issue where the outcome is already clear.
As soon as you try to apply the law to any situation, you are interpreting it. Sometimes the interpretation is obvious, but often it is not and that’s when you end up in court.
2ndly, in terms of legislating from the bench: if you want your constitution to have any strength, you have to give judges the power to enforce it. That means they have to have the power to strike down unconstitutional laws, and to do that of course they have to interpret what the constitution says.
This does mean that judges will have a lot of power. It may be that you prefer they didn’t, that this check on government should be eliminated. It is a check on both liberal and conservative administrations, but unfortunately because your appointment process is so political you end up with Supreme Court judges who have strong ideological commitments. The result is that the US Supreme Court does often end up interpreting the law according to political ideology rather than according to the best legal reasoning.
The Canadian Supreme Court is appointed in a much less political way (though our current Conservative government has started to politicize the appointment process) and the fortunate result is that I think it makes better legal decisions. If the government does not like the results, they can change the constitution and thus change the law that the judges have to apply.
Denny Crane is not a judge.
However, in the states, you have elected judges. That means that, for good or ill, judicial decisions are shaped by what judges think the electorate will approve of.
In Canada our judges are appointed by the government, not elected. This is less democratic, but it also gives judges greater freedom to apply the law rather than the political will of the people.
Funny that there’s activity in this thread all of a sudden, because there’s been some work getting done on AACalc (not by me though) and it may be ready soonish and it may also move to a new address - hopefully here at axisandallies.org if djensen would answer my PMs - wait, I haven’t checked, maybe he has replied.
Anyway, as I said, the work has not been trivial. The sub rules nearly killed me the first time around, it is not a matter of “cut and paste” (PHP scripts are not just word documents).
Funny thing re signatures - I really like the JFK one. I guess how offended you are by a sig depends if you are on the opposite end of the political spectrum.
I’ve disabled the Game ID feature on AACalc because the save games were taking up space and it appeared it wasn’t really getting used.