Seeking out the wise, good and honest

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friends and family will always be more important than politics

From Jack Hunter, Oct 23, 2014

A new Pew Study showing how liberals and conservatives get their news contained an interesting stat—44 percent of “consistent liberals” have “hidden, blocked, defriended, or stopped following someone” on Facebook because they disagreed with their political postings. 31 percent of “consistent conservatives” have done the same. 
The study notes that liberals generally see more ideological diversity in their social media feeds than conservatives do, which might be the reason for liberals unfriending people they disagree with more than conservatives. 
But I’m less interested in whether liberals might defriend more than conservatives, than in who they’re actually defriending. Are they just Facebook friends? 
Or real ones? 
I have unfriended all sorts of people from my Facebook over the years but can’t recall a single time I’ve blocked or quit following someone I would genuinely consider a friend. I’ve certainly never unfriended a family member. 
In fact, I’ve seen some pretty asinine views pop up in my Facebook feed that I endure simply because the come from friends or family. “I know this person,” I think to myself. A particular view they hold that I don’t like is not representative of that person as a whole. 
If thinking logically, someone should subscribe to a particular brand of politics because they believe that philosophy will make life better for themselves, their friends and their families. Humans being humans, sometimes those friends and family will disagree. But the ultimate goal, supposedly, is betterment for everyone. 
Friends and family should come first, politics second. 
Ideologues have a tendency to make their politics so much a part of their identity that they can lose focus of what’s important. Sometimes being a “liberal” or a “conservative” or even a “libertarian” becomes the priority. What their friends and family think about politics becomes more important than the fact that they are friends and family. It’s hard to imagine anything dumber than parents and their children, or good friends, who don’t talk to one another over who someone might have voted for. Yet, we know this happens. 
It’s hard to think of anything sillier than unfriending someone you have genuinely cared about up until the point you disagreed with them on Facebook. Yet, I’m sure this happens as well. 
Online and in life, it is important to separate the personal from the political as much as possible. We believe what we believe because we think it will help the ones we love; we should never love what we believe so much that it damages our flesh-and-blood relationships. “Liberal” and “conservative” are mere political identities. “Mom,” “Dad,” “daughter,” “son” and “best friend” are our real identities. 
Political ideologues often look down on others who are not as attuned to the news of the day as they are. But the opposite is also true. 
Normal people more concerned with putting food on the table or attending their kid’s dance recital than what politicians say, probably see many ideologues as crazy people disconnected from what’s important. 
Often, they’re right.
I like to have some diversity of opinions in my friends. I find that it helps me to understand why I believe the way I do. It has also brought about some changes that I think my past self would have been surprised of.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Serious Moral Law

I think there is a balance between pure libertarian-ism and the nanny state. I like the way Jeffrey Holland put it as he spoke about serious moral laws,



For example, parents have to exercise good judgment regarding the safety and welfare of their children every day. No one would fault a parent who says children must eat their vegetables or who restricts a child from running into a street roaring with traffic. So why should a parent be faulted who cares, at a little later age, what time those children come home at night, or what the moral and behavioral standards of their friends are, or at what age they date, or whether or not they experiment with drugs or pornography or engage in sexual transgression? No, we are making decisions and taking stands and reaffirming our values—in short, making “intermediate judgments”—all the time, or at least we should be.
When we face such situations in complex social issues in a democratic society, it can be very challenging and, to some, confusing. Young people may ask about this position taken or that policy made by the Church, saying: “Well, we don’t believe we should live or behave in such and such a way, but why do we have to make other people do the same? Don’t they have their free agency? Aren’t we being self-righteous and judgmental, forcing our beliefs on others, demanding that they act in a certain way?” In those situations you are going to have to explain sensitively why some principles are defended and some sins opposed wherever they are found because the issues and the laws involved are not just social or political but eternal in their consequence. And while not wishing to offend those who believe differently from us, we are even more anxious not to offend God, or as the scripture says, “not offend him who is your lawgiver”  —and I am speaking here of serious moral laws.
But to make the point, let me use the example of a lesser law. It is a little like a teenager saying, “Now that I can drive, I know I am supposed to stop at a red light, but do we really have to be judgmental and try to get everyone else to stop at red lights? Does everyone have to do what we do? Don’t others have their agency? Must they behave as we do?” You then have to explain why, yes, we do hope all will stop at a red light. And you have to do this without demeaning those who transgress or who believe differently than we believe because, yes, they do have their moral agency.
 ("Israel, Israel, God Is Calling", Jeffrey R. Holland, Jan 2012)
So for everything that is not a serious moral law, we need to give as much liberty as possible. For serious moral laws, such as marriage, we must tread lightly and civilly in the scope of our laws. We have to address the negative effects that breaking such natural laws has on our society.

Breaking serious, moral laws are, perhaps, like the opposite of a public good. The public can have serious, individual harm when society chooses to break them.

What are the Boundaries of Marriage in Our Civil Society?

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook.

State of Washington Marriage Equality Law has a provision to protect religious freedoms.

Consistent with the law against discrimination, chapter 49.60 RCW, no religious organization is required to provide accommodations, facilities, advantages, privileges, services, or goods related to the solemnization or celebration of a marriage unless the organization offers admission, occupancy, or use of those accommodations or facilities to the public for a fee, or offers those advantages, privileges, services, or goods to the public for sale.
I think this refers to this Washington state law .
RCW 26.04.010
Marriage contract — Void marriages — Construction of gender specific terms — Recognition of solemnization of marriage not required.
(1) Marriage is a civil contract between two persons who have each attained the age of eighteen years, and who are otherwise capable.
     (2) Every marriage entered into in which either person has not attained the age of seventeen years is void except where this section has been waived by a superior court judge of the county in which one of the parties resides on a showing of necessity.
     (3) Where necessary to implement the rights and responsibilities of spouses under the law, gender specific terms such as husband and wife used in any statute, rule, or other law must be construed to be gender neutral and applicable to spouses of the same sex.
     (4) No regularly licensed or ordained minister or any priest, imam, rabbi, or similar official of any religious organization is required to solemnize or recognize any marriage. A regularly licensed or ordained minister or priest, imam, rabbi, or similar official of any religious organization shall be immune from any civil claim or cause of action based on a refusal to solemnize or recognize any marriage under this section. No state agency or local government may base a decision to penalize, withhold benefits from, or refuse to contract with any religious organization on the refusal of a person associated with such religious organization to solemnize or recognize a marriage under this section.
     (5) No religious organization is required to provide accommodations, facilities, advantages, privileges, services, or goods related to the solemnization or celebration of a marriage.
     (6) A religious organization shall be immune from any civil claim or cause of action, including a claim pursuant to chapter 49.60 RCW, based on its refusal to provide accommodations, facilities, advantages, privileges, services, or goods related to the solemnization or celebration of a marriage.
     (7) For purposes of this section:
     (a) "Recognize" means to provide religious-based services that:
     (i) Are delivered by a religious organization, or by an individual who is managed, supervised, or directed by a religious organization; and
     (ii) Are designed for married couples or couples engaged to marry and are directly related to solemnizing, celebrating, strengthening, or promoting a marriage, such as religious counseling programs, courses, retreats, and workshops; and
     (b) "Religious organization" includes, but is not limited to, churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, nondenominational ministries, interdenominational and ecumenical organizations, mission organizations, faith-based social agencies, and other entities whose principal purpose is the study, practice, or advancement of religion.

[2012 c 3 § 1 (Referendum Measure No. 74, approved November 6, 2012); 1998 c 1 § 3; 1973 1st ex.s. c 154 § 26; 1970 ex.s. c 17 § 2; 1963 c 230 § 1; Code 1881 § 2380; 1866 p 81 § 1; 1854 p 404 §§ 1, 5; RRS § 8437.]
Notes:
     Notice -- 2012 c 3: "(1) Within sixty days after June 7, 2012, the secretary of state shall send a letter to the mailing address on file of each same-sex domestic partner registered under chapter 26.60 RCW notifying the person that Washington's law on the rights and responsibilities of state registered domestic partners will change in relation to certain same-sex registered domestic partners.
     (2) The notice must provide a brief summary of the new law and must clearly state that provisions related to certain same-sex registered domestic partnerships will change as of *the effective dates of this act, and that those same-sex registered domestic partnerships that are not dissolved prior to June 30, 2014, will be converted to marriage as an act of law.
     (3) The secretary of state shall send a second similar notice to the mailing address on file of each domestic partner registered under chapter 26.60 RCW by May 1, 2014." [2012 c 3 § 17 (Referendum Measure No. 74, approved November 6, 2012).]
     *Reviser's note: "This act" refers to 2012 c 3. 2012 c 3 §§ 8 and 9 have an effective date of June 30, 2014. 2012 c 3 §§ 1-7 and 10-17 took effect June 7, 2012. Chapter 3, Laws of 2012 was subject to Referendum Measure No. 74 and took effect December 6, 2012.
     Finding -- 1998 c 1: "(1) In P.L. 104-199; 110 Stat. 219 [2419], the Defense of Marriage Act, Congress granted authority to the individual states to either grant or deny recognition of same-sex marriages recognized as valid in another state. The Defense of Marriage Act defines marriage for purposes of federal law as a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife and provides that a state shall not be required to give effect to any public act or judicial proceeding of any other state respecting marriage between persons of the same sex if the state has determined that it will not recognize same-sex marriages.
     (2) The legislature and the people of the state of Washington find that matters pertaining to marriage are matters reserved to the sovereign states and, therefore, such matters should be determined by the people within each individual state and not by the people or courts of a different state." [1998 c 1 § 1.]
     Intent -- 1998 c 1: "(1) It is a compelling interest of the state of Washington to reaffirm its historical commitment to the institution of marriage as a union between a man and a woman as husband and wife and to protect that institution.
     (2) The court in Singer v. Hara, 11 Wn. App. 247 (1974) held that the Washington state marriage statute does not allow marriage between persons of the same sex. It is the intent of the legislature by this act to codify the Singer opinion and to fully exercise the authority granted the individual states by Congress in P.L. 104-199; 110 Stat. 219 [2419], the Defense of Marriage Act, to establish public policy against same-sex marriage in statutory law that clearly and definitively declares same-sex marriages will not be recognized in Washington, even if they are made legal in other states." [1998 c 1 § 2.]
     Severability -- 1973 1st ex.s. c 154: See note following RCW 2.12.030.
From what I can tell, this law was passed sometime after Jan 2012,
The Washington State Legislature is considering passing a bill that would allow same-sex couples in the state to “marry.”  This bill is the latest, of course, in the homosexual agenda’s march to abolish the definition of marriage.  Normally a bill legalizing same-sex “marriage” would be bad enough.  But this bill goes a step farther and poses a clear and present danger to the religious freedom of churches.  Section 7 of the SB 6239 says the following:
Consistent with the law against discrimination, chapter 49.60 RCW, no religious organization is required to provide accommodations, facilities, advantages, privileges, services, or goods related to the solemnization or celebration of a marriage unless the organization offers admission, occupancy, or use of those accommodations or facilities to the public for a fee, or offers those advantages, privileges, services, or goods to the public for sale. ("Washington Same-Sex “Marriage” Bill Is A Threat To Churches", Jan 27, 2012)
This clause seems to be in the bill but not in the final law, "unless the organization offers admission, occupancy, or use of those accommodations or facilities to the public for a fee, or offers those advantages, privileges, services, or goods to the public for sale."

In the discussion, I asked the poster to clarify his position. He said that as long as a church is not getting paid for any product and services, they can refuse to marry who they don't want to. I asked about tithing, temple recommends and temple marriage. He said that as long as monetary donations were not the only criteria the church used to refuse service to someone, it would hold up in court.

This seems accurate based on the language of the bill. I don't see any reference to fees in the language of the law.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Pluto and Marriage

Yesterday, I heard a news story about same-sex marriage. The next news story was about people wanting Pluto to be considered a planet like the others in our solar system. I thought it was ironic. It seemed like a similar problem. If Pluto is a planet, is Ceres or Eris?

People wanting to redefine words to include things unlike the others .