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ras52's Avatar Joined over 3 years ago
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Go to: Why I watched a snake-handling pastor die for his faith

ras52's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by ras52

I bet he didn't believe in evolution either, which is ironic given that his death is a classic example of natural selection in action.

Fri, 01 Jun 2012 21:53:16 UTC | #945090

Go to: Pope 'exorcised two men in the Vatican', claims new book

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Comment 12 by rrh1306 :

The RCC can nominate him for saint hood now.

That's fine by me. You've got to be dead before you can become a saint, and the sooner the better Darth Ratzinger is dead, the better.

Thu, 09 Feb 2012 23:21:28 UTC | #916060

Go to: Religious groups cry foul over Ontario anti-bullying bill

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Comment 14 by 78rpm :

This is what she told me, as closely as I can remember her words: "I was in boarding school when I was 13. There was a girl there who was 18. I thought she was perfect. I thought of her night and day, totally in awe of how wonderful she was. Probably you could say I loved her. If it had been nowadays, I would have been labelled a lesbian, put into a cohort with other lesbians, and that would have been my life thereafter. As it was, though, a little while later I found that I liked kissing boys, and I never looked back."

I think you're basically saying that people shouldn't be coerced into a sexual stereotype, whether gay or as straight: just because you had a childhood infatuation with someone of the same sex doesn't make you gay. Had this women been labelled a lesbian at 13, she'd probably have acted differently, felt she needed to conform to that role, and her life may well have turned out different. Who's to say whether it would have been for better or for worse? But it certainly might have turned out worse as a result.

But the answer isn't to try to shoehorn everyone into a straight stereotype either. I know several middle-aged gay men who have been trapped in loveless marriages because at the time they grew up homosexuality was not discussed, maybe even illegal. Essentially you're saying it's more important to avoid a straight person being trapped in a gay lifestyle than vice versa.

In an ideal world, people would be so accepting of different sexualities that teenagers would feel comfortable experimenting with members of both sexes until they came to a conclusion on their sexuality. In this ideal world, there would be no need for "gay clubs", any more than there's currently a need for "straight clubs". But we're not in that ideal world. To some extent, I think we are getting there, but not fast and teenagers who do experiment with members of the same sex are very often subject to bullying.

At the moment, gay or gay-curious teenagers do need support in a way that their straight contemporaries don't. Is a "gay club" the best way of providing it? I don't know, but it does have several merits. It's very visible, making it clear that different sexualities are not just something to be tolerated, but something to be embraced. But at the same time, it allows less confident students to go, meet other gay students in a supportive and fairly private environment.

Fri, 09 Dec 2011 18:10:01 UTC | #897179

Go to: Republicanism As Religion

ras52's Avatar Jump to comment 33 by ras52

Comment 3 by rjohn19 :

Obama the most religious since Carter???

How quickly we forget. A youtube link from this very site...

http://richarddawkins.net/videos/3309-obama-the-secularist

You're confusing religiousness with secularism. In the speech you link to, Obama said:

I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, to take one example, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I can't simply point to the teachings of my church or invoke God's will: I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths including those with no faith at all.

That neatly encapsulates how Obama can be both religious and a secularist. Obama seems to be genuinely Christian, and personally opposes abortion on those grounds. But he is also an ardent secularist, fundamentally opposing the use of religion to justify government policy, in this case abortion. I don't see an inconsistency there. Religion is a personal believe, and it's perfectly possible to have deeply-held, personal religious beliefs without seeking to proselytise.

Tue, 13 Sep 2011 14:50:57 UTC | #870341

Go to: Loving Christians respond to atheists

ras52's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by ras52

Most of these people are not anonymous, and are presumably posting from completely traceable Facebook accounts. Facebook is incorporated in Santa Clare county, California. I assume it is illegal to make threatening comments of this nature in California. So are these comments being reported to the police or other relevant authorities? It's no good assuming that Fox News will report it.

Sat, 30 Jul 2011 22:21:02 UTC | #855971

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