You’re missing the point


Marriage defined in bible, not by secular governments

This is in response to the April 13 letter written by Mike Wrona (“Opposition to gay marriage uses intolerant argument”).

I believe Wrona is unclear on what intolerance actually is. Intolerance is not the rejection of something like gay marriage. No, intolerance is the rejection of a person or belief based upon a prejudice against a race or sexual orientation.

If we’re gonna play the definition game, quoth OED:

1. The fact or habit of not tolerating or enduring (something); inability, or unwillingness, to tolerate or endure some particular thing; incapacity of endurance. Const. of.

2. spec. Absence of tolerance for difference of opinion or practice, esp. in religious matters; denial of the right to differ; narrow-minded or bigoted opposition to dissent.

Rejecting homosexual marriage outright on the basis of religion meets definition 2.

The intolerance that happens on this campus that is not addressed is the intolerance against Christians.

When a homosexual or atheist makes an attack on Christianity or any other religion, the response is they are ‘progressive.’ I will listen to any homosexual’s argument that they put forward, but I don’t have to support this. I tolerate their views, even if I don’t agree.

Mr. Newman, like many other theists, seems to view criticism as attack.  Attack would imply ad hominem arguments, a refusal to actually address your opponent’s (legitimate) points, or knowingly committing other logical fallacies for the purpose of denigrating your opponent or their position.

Contrarily, Christians are put down by these groups with no rhyme or reason intact. That is intolerance in the true sense of the word.

No doubt there are actual attacks on Christians from others, no doubt there are actual attacks on homosexuals and atheists from others.  Persecution does not make one’s argument correct, and Mr. Newman is quite arrogant in asserting that Christians are persecuted and others are not.

I do not support gay marriage and here is why: Marriage is not a ‘civil’ thing, it is something that is given to a man and a woman from a church, because marriage is defined in the Bible. Therefore it supersedes what your view of marriage may be.

Without a church, as far as I’m concerned, it is a civil union. I have no problem with gays getting civil unions and having the same rights as a married couple in the eyes of the state.

I do have a problem with a religious word being applied to people who are not following the word of God as Christianity, Judaism and Islam are all clear on their definition of marriage as the unison between a man and woman.

This is the only part I agree with.  If his church chooses to only recognize marriage as that between a man and a woman, fine.  I do not support his church, but it has that right.  Likewise, the state should not be in the business of granting “marriages.”  The libertarian stance is that the government should not be involved in a civil contract such as marriage at all.

Mr. Newman does not suggest what should become of state-sanctioned heterosexual marriage should gays be granted civil unions – whatever the state ends up doing, it should be applied equally, so:

  • If the state continues to issue “marriages”, then that term should be used universally.
  • If the state only issues civil unions to gay couples, then straight couples should not be issued marriages.

To allow one group the use of “marriage” without allowing all groups, the government is respecting the religious definition of marriage, which it is forbidden from doing.  It also clearly violates the definition of equality, based simply on the religious definition of a word.

Josiah Newman

senior-agricultural and biological engineering


4 Responses to “You’re missing the point”

  1. 1 Shamelessly Atheist

    Indeed. Modern marriage is a contract, far more like that of Roman law (as are most of the legal systems in the west). There is little if anything in law which is taken from any religious document, despite what some history revisionists think.

  2. 2 You're kidding me...

    You are so cowardly (to respond without letting the person who you are responding to know), that I must laugh at you.

    You take my letter and attack it in your blog, and I don’t see the response until MONTHS later. Wow, you missed the clear point of the letter, and it was titled by the Collegian, not myself. Gay marriage was simply a jumping off point for me, try to get anything published in the Collegian without a ‘jumping off point’ (response to someone else’s letter.)

    You state that “rejecting homosexual marriage outright on the basis of religion meets definition 2.” I was actually writing about ‘DEFINITION 2’ in my letter—–I have EVERY SINGLE RIGHT in the world to DIFFER MY OPINION on what yours is. My argument isn’t strictly formed on religious matters, but to me the idea of ‘MARRIAGE’ is the idea of being able to PROCREATE and produce OFFSPRING. This is not present in a homosexual ‘marriage.’ What is funny is that, you and the man who responded to me, offered ‘BIGOTED AND NARROW-MINDED OPPOSITION TO DISSENT’ in the manner of your response.

    You go on to state that I act like gays aren’t looked down on or attacked. THIS IS COMPLETELY PREPOSTEROUS. I know that alot of different groups are attacked or looked down upon, this is a wrong course of thinking. I never claim that Christians are the only group that are attacked. You are clearly a chump who needs to put words in other people’s mouths in order to popularize your idiotic blog.

    I see your points, okay, and you make a logical case—I will agree with that much, but why push the issue? If there is such a stir over the idea of ‘Gay Marriage’ that people are outright offended about it, and it’s going to perpetuate a social problem that no one in their right mind wants to deal with, why not call it something different? And why not have Congress and the Supreme Court define marriage solely as a unison which can handle procreation.

    If you say you are religious on campus, many groups look down on you scathingly, but the problem is never considered—-many people on campus won’t stand up for the right in the Freedom of Religion. This is the point I was trying to get across in my letter to the Collegian, you misinterpreted that, the Collegian gave my letter a title, and here we are. You wrote a blog tearing me apart without trying to even see the real point of the letter—-and that is why you are a coward.

    • 3 natefoo

      This blog is intended as simply a place to empty my brain. I don’t think that posting my thoughts without notifying you and challenging you to a response is “cowardly.” Primarily, I write these posts to get the distraction out of my head. It would be arrogant of me to even assume that you want to discuss your views with an anonymous poster on some random blog. I have no profile or readership, so it’s not as if I achieved any sort of (unfair one-sided) victory in the eyes of anyone.

      I do write real replies to Collegian letters when I feel an issue is in desperate need of rebuttal, but writing too often would probably have the effect of never being published at all. And yeah, I’m familiar with their often lousy choice of titles…

      I don’t deny that you have the right to hold a different opinion, and I hope it didn’t come across that way. As per the definition, I’m not sure how you separate rejection of gay marriage from rejection of gay people.

      If I offered a bigoted and narrow-minded opposition to dissent, please, by all means, give me examples. I think I tried to be fair and logical, so I don’t know what you’re referring to. If you mean my difference of opinion regarding whether or not our government should allow for equal rights in unions under the law, I understand your beliefs but simply disagree with them. You may define that as intolerance. It’s likely that the definition doesn’t matter, for debating the core issue, and I probably should not have harped on it.

      If marriage is only intended for procreation and offspring, do you oppose Christians marrying unless they sign a contract to produce offspring? Should infertile couples be denied the right to marry? What if they plan to adopt?

      I’m glad to hear that you don’t think other groups aren’t persecuted, and I apologize for the misunderstanding. However, I believe it’s irrelevant to your argument (although I seem to have misunderstood your point, more on that later). To state that your group is maligned by its opposition does nothing to further the argument you put forth about your views on homosexuality. I tried to address this by stating that everyone is maligned, so let’s not play victim and simply debate the issues.

      If you read the “about” page of this blog, you’ll see that I have no desire to popularize my silly blog. I have no readership outside a few of my friends, nor do I want any. Please confine your arguments to the facts, not to insults and ad hominems about my motives and character.

      Your next point is not clear – you say I make good arguments but then ask why I should make them? Then state that gay marriage offends people and creates a social problem that people don’t want to deal with. I think the advocates working hard on both sides of the argument would disagree with that.

      I’ll deal with the second half in a moment, but here’s the response to the first: you don’t have a right not to be offended. There’s no protection from offending your personal opinions in the Constitution, and indeed, our nation was founded on the principles of protecting the rights of minorities from trampling by the majority.

      Advocates for the legalization of gay marriage push the issue because it’s a basic issue of equality. As a straight person, your life will not be affected by the right for gays to marry, yet (I presume) you seek to deprive them of that right, to keep them at a lower status than yourself, simply because you disagree with their sexual orientation. Some flavors of some religions teach that homosexuality is wrong, but in a secular society not ruled by religious law, there is no valid argument against equal rights.

      Your points continues on and it sounds as if you support equal rights under the law if not given the name marriage. It’s okay, as long as only people who can procreate are allowed to use the term “married.”

      The simple fact here is that this is an inequality. You are stating that you have the right to something that others should not. It may seem like a minor point (however it’s clearly not, as lobbying by religious groups has shown). Not to mention that it would preclude sterile straight couples (or those who don’t want kids) from using “marriage.” Is that your intent?

      I think your letter as written had two points, regardless of your intent: to voice your opposition to the idea of homosexual marriage, and to make the point that Christians are maligned on campus. I argued mainly against the first, while you felt your point was mainly the second. I did this because the original string of letters was about gay marriage, and your comments regarding Christians did not really seem to be relevant to the argument to which you were replying.

      So, if you want to discuss freedom of religion, let’s do so. How do you feel that freedom is being violated on campus?

  3. 4 You're kidding me...

    Okay, I respect the casual respectful discourse afterwards. I just did not expect to see my name come up in some random dude’s blog. I respect your right to an opinion…..and I just expect the same in return (I know I didn’t show that last night).

    Those who genetically (have the DNA) to procreate is marriage to me (but this may not be everyone’s opinion, you try to label me as someone guilty of bigotry, and I am pretty far from that—and frankly offended by what I consider to be ‘slanderous’ writings about me as an individual). You do not know me, the Collegian titles their own articles. You want to see someone’s religion (not violated by the University—but other students), persecuted, I beg you to walk around campus one day. Look at the ‘atheist club’ handing out cookies to say God doesn’t exist. God forbid they decide to sit out there one day and argue against Islam, but they are cowards, and that won’t happen. They realize most of the Christians on campus are peaceful people, and therefore an easy target for a coward to hit.

    You want to see religious discrimination? You should have seen my apartment for two years. I lived with an openly homosexual man….and tried to be very tolerant of his choice of lifestyle (I understood it was to the other extreme of where mine was, but felt he had the right to live as he saw fit). Then one day, the guy completely tears apart my faith, right in front of me…..if you show a group or a person respect for something that society still deems to be ‘on the fringes’… would tend to expect respectful discourse when it comes to the whole reason people came to this piece of land in the first place: Religious Freedom.

    The gay groups on campus also offended many of the people serving overseas and many graduates of the University when they had their ‘Mr. Queer’ competition. Yes, they have the right to hold it. But the fact of the matter is they showed enormous disrespect to many religious and patriotic service men and women serving for the country that protects their rights. You want to write a quality blog? Address both conservative and liberal viewpoints….I consider myself to be neither, but I would like to think that students at the University I have loved since I was seven years old could show respect to men and women who protect their rights.

    Before you spout off and write and obnoxious blog about someone you don’t even know, maybe you should take the time and think about that person’s situation—factors that you don’t see or consider on paper. And that, is where I find fault with your writing. You picked apart my letter, but failed to bring out the real issue……which means you can’t read between the lines. If you cannot read between the lines, you should not be writing idiotic lines and posting them online.

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