Icelandic prime minister weds, Australian one cohabits

These must be confusing times for social conservatives, you know, the folks who believe that a certain Big Guy created Adam and Eve, whose descendants are expected to pair up in matrimony — not any kind of matrimony of course, but the kind where the plumbing fits.

I don’t think they were overjoyed to hear that the current Prime Minister of Iceland, Johana Sigurdardottir (pic at right) wed her long-time partner Johina Leosdottir Sunday, 27 June 2010, the day that a change in Icelandic marriage law took effect, permitting same-sex marriage.

Iceland now defines marriage as a union between two consenting adults regardless of sex. This sparsely-populated North Atlantic country becomes the ninth in the world to legalise same-sex marriages.

Leosdottir and Sigurdardottir, who became head of government at the height of financial panic February last year,  had been in a civil union for many years prior to the wedding.

Reuters reported that “The new law was celebrated at a church service on Sunday, which was also the international day for homosexual rights,” but I don’t see any report that her wedding was held in a church.

The law does allow a religious exception, with text saying, “Ministers will always be free to perform marriage ceremonies, but never obliged to.”  The head of the Church of Iceland, a Lutheran-based denomination, has encouraged individual pastors to abide by the law.

* * * * *

Three days before Iceland’s prime minister married her love, Australia found itself with its first woman head of government. Julia Gillard took office when she successfully challenged Kevin Rudd for leadership of the Australian Labour Party which holds a majority in Parliament.

Also significant, though much less noticed, was that Gillard’s rise to the top completes a female trinity at the top of the Australian state. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain, who is represented by Governor-General Quentin Bryce. Here she is in the photo below:

Gillard’s long-term partner is Tim Matheson, a hair-stylist, but any speculation that they would formalise their relationship by tying the knot was quickly banished. Word was put out that they intend to continue the present cohabiting arrangement.

* * * * *

Its been argued that the gay push for marriage rights is in essence a conservative impulse, one that believes in formal structures of monogamous commitment. The thing that holds back many social conservatives from embracing this argument is simply that they cannot get their heads around the non-heterosexuality of it.

With this conjunction of events, I’m just tickled pink wondering which of the two prime ministers social conservatives would rather have in charge of their government: the married lesbian or the unmarried heterosexual “living in sin”.

40 Responses to “Icelandic prime minister weds, Australian one cohabits”


  1. 1 Raphael Wong 3 July 2010 at 06:06

    I would suppose that the social conservatives – I am a centrist – will pick the one “living in sin”. For two reasons: (1) cohabiting is still on the way to marriage; (2) the decision on their cohabitation could be simply a ploy to chase away unwanted media attention.

    The other one also rejected for three reasons:

    (1) homosexuality is a fundamental rejection of human identity; cohabitation is simply mischief.

    (2) Iceland is now going through a major economic crisis. It was the only European country to go totally bankrupt. A responsible leader would be gearing the people together to combat the economic crisis, not creating a social rift by trying to act “progressive”.

    (3) Also, this is obviously a policy passed to suit the PM herself i.e. out of selfish reasons. Given that she is the first to wed, obviously this policy is passed on her whim, not on sound procedure.

    Those are not MY opinions on the issue, which are below:-

    (1) I don’t see anything wrong with monogamous cohabitation (doesn’t seem like anything else), although if they are sincere about being with each other, I see no reason why they shouldn’t be wedding, unless there are some logistical problems of sorts.

    Then, being cynical about politicians as I am, I would argue that she is only doing this to chalk up the liberal vote, especially the feminist vote. Feminists are for all this independence thinggy-ummies. (The LGBT movement itself originated in radical feminism.)

    (2) I have figured out that the Nordic countries are somewhat more liberal than the rest of Europe combined, so I don’t find it surprising that such a law was passed.

    Nonetheless – somewhat like or unlike the Australian case – there seems to be a populist air about it. Perhaps this new amendment is arranged so as to deflect people’s attention from Iceland’s devastating economic situation.

    And as a parting comment, I would say that your article takes a rather cheap shot at social conservatives. Your opening paragraph sounds like a joke told in a pub over a pint.

    I notice one thing when reading your blog: your blog posts on politics, economics etc etc are well-written: incisive and sharp but formal and polished. That is, until the word “social conservative” pops up. From then on, the quality degrades to that of the stuff on XiaXue’s blog.

    For her blog, that kind of quality is fine because it suits her topics, but frankly, it does not suit yours.

    That is my two cents only.

  2. 2 yawningbread 3 July 2010 at 12:06

    Ah…. another comment that is almost as long as the article itself. Fits a pattern we see all the time from anti-gay campaigners though of course you claim you are “centrist”, as they often do.

    If the first three points are not your opinion, then (a) whose opinion is it? and (b) why are you taking the trouble to foreground them?

    Re “policy passed to suit the PM herself” and “populist air about it”, Iceland’s marriage law was passed unanimously by Parliament — which has five different parties, no party with a majority — and Iceland has had a Registered Partnership law, applicable to same-sex couples, since 1996.

    • 3 Raphael Wong 6 July 2010 at 02:31

      Alex,

      (1) I had no idea what your “anti-gay campaigners” claim to be “centrist”, whoever they are. Suffices to say, however, that I am not one of them, unless of course you deliberately choose to extend the definition of “anti-gay campaigner” because you wish to label me as one. But … hey, that would be rather undemocratic, won’t it?

      Cheers.:D

      (2)(a) That is my rendition of the opinions of the “social conservatives” you feel “tickled pink” about.

      (2)(b) Just to demonstrate to you that they don’t face your imaginary dilemma.

      (3) I apologize; I am a political cynic.

      During the early 1930s, several laws favouring the Nazi Party were passed unnaimously, so there would be no need to suspect these laws then?

      Also, LGBT lobbies have a track record at harrassing governments to cede to their demands; Stonewall certainly does that in the UK. So I see no reason why the LGBT lobby in Iceland should be any less manipulative.

      I would suppose that the 1996 law was passed on the same grounds, so it doesn’t change my evaluation of this 2010 law.

  3. 4 Trey 3 July 2010 at 16:44

    Superstitious religious conservatives are going to say that Iceland suffered from economic troubles because their PM is gay and living in sin. Just like how I heard some opine that Singapore is suffering from floods because the Government is persecuting the churches (i.e. the CHC investigations).

  4. 5 Anonymous 3 July 2010 at 22:13

    “Just like how I heard some opine that Singapore is suffering from floods because the Government is persecuting the churches (i.e. the CHC investigations).”

    Really? What I heard from others is that God is very angry with the rest of us for not doing any thing about it sooner…

    Anyway, de facto relationships are pretty normal in Australia. When I was a student in Aus in the late 90s, all forms provided the de facto option when asking about the applicant’s relationship status. At the time, I did not notice any debate about recognising de facto relationships at all. So I guess even the conservatives have come to see de facto as ‘normal’

  5. 6 anon 4 July 2010 at 21:47

    Trey, they seem to have the sequence wrong anyway; this woman became PM after the financial crisis happened, as the previous government got the blame for it, though of course globally it was the result of the deregulation of the banking industry by American conservatives.

  6. 8 Francis 5 July 2010 at 08:31

    “Your opening paragraph sounds like a joke told in a pub over a pint.”

    I disagree with Raphael Wong. I think the the opening paragraph was rather well written. It gets the message across in the humourous way.

    • 9 Raphael Wong 6 July 2010 at 01:50

      Francis,

      my two cents only, but humour has different levels too. There is good humour and crass humour. Just because something is humorous doesn’t mean that it is well-written.

  7. 10 ST 5 July 2010 at 10:59

    The comments here (esp the first) are quite interesting. Alex had earlier written about blogs preaching to the converted, meaning we tend to read blogs we agree with or want to agree with.

    I wonder why this Rachel Wong person persists in reading Alex’s blog and what’s making her come back time and again and taking the time to speak not only for herself but for “others”…

    • 11 Raphael Wong 6 July 2010 at 02:12

      ST,

      My name is Raphael (or Ralph if you like), not Rachel. (And I am male, not female or intersex, so calling me “Rachel” is kinda mixed up).

      Yes, and I agree with Alex on that. Most people tend to read only blogs that they agree with, not those that they disagree with. This creates effective “cyber-ghettoes” since websites do not have immediately visible “next-door neighbours”.

      So, why do I still read his blog? Well, for a few reasons:-

      (1) I found him, along with Seah Chiang Nee (LittleSpeck), to be one of the more astute commentators on Singapore politics. And yes, I do agree with much of what he writes, more than he probably thinks I do.

      (2) I am a centrist (as I mentioned in my comments), and as a centrist, I have decided that my role is to point out what looks greener on the other side but really isn’t. So, I read blogs that I disagree with partially in order to critique them.

      (3) I do believe that there is something in everything that everyone can teach you, an extension of Confucius’ principle. I read through blog posts I disagree with to seek out such gems.

      Both Yin-Yang (East) and Imago Dei/Original Sin (West) teach that there is (currently) no such thing (in our earth) as a totally evil person or a totally good person.

      I don’t agree with the courses of action or policies that Alex recommends be undertaken (most of the time), but I empathise with the sentiment behind it. But equally, I empathise with the sentiment of those he sees as his opponents.

      And so, I basically want to point that out to him, that how his opponents actually think is different from what he thinks they think.

      That’s really all there is.

  8. 12 Raphael Wong 6 July 2010 at 01:48

    Alex,

    (1) I have a long post this time so that you will not misunderstand me yet again.

    (2) The first half is a response to your “random musing” at the end of the article. Why do I bother writing the first part? Just to point out your poor attitude, that is all.

    (3) Yes, of course, just as Hitler had laws that suited the Nazi Party unanimously passed in the Reichstag before he had enough power to become Chancellor.

    Sorry, I am both a political cynic and a student of politics; you can’t get me there.

  9. 13 Beast 6 July 2010 at 13:20

    I am a liberal, a heterosexual, who doesn’t really like marriages.

    Having said that, I have no problems with people wanting to get married. It is merely a formality; as Sim Wong Foo laments, marriage is simply a life-long contract. You can still have hot monkey sex with or without it. Calling the act of cohabitating a sin is akin to plucking a fruit from a tree without paying thievery.

    Screw the religious morons, I say. They want everyone to fall under their strait-laced, android-like structure. Humans are social creatures alright, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have the right to think for ourselves.

    P.S I think the argument that gays are genetically “programmed” to be gays is ludicrous. We don’t see people arguing whether people who dislike apples or any other food are genetically programmed to dislike them. That kind of argument arises from the kind of deceptive prejudice that comes with being associated with a branch of socially outcast people, something which I absolutely abhor.

    Straight, gay, whatever. As long as you don’t harm anyway or break the law (the mantra of “do unto others as others would do unto you is a good barometer, albeit not a perfect one), I think the conservatives should simply just shut up and bugger off.

    Regards
    Beast

    • 14 Raphael Wong 7 July 2010 at 14:41

      Beast,

      (2) And plucking a fruit from a tree without paying is not theft? Somehow I think that the farmers in the world would disagree with you greatly, especially if you are taking the plucked fruits out of their field. It is thievery, by any mode of human logic.

      (3) That’s prejudice against religion speaking. Of course, you have the right to think for yourself, but that freedom of choice is accompanied by the necessity of following through all the consequences of that action, not simply heaping the blame on the government when bad consequences pop up, which liberals just enjoy doing. Which is why, once having been a liberal myself, I am now a centrist.

      (4) And in claiming that, you are agreeing with the people you were just calling “religious morons”. Ironic, isn’t it? Now, this is one thing I find hilarious.

      (5) Ah, but there is harm done, to self, and to other people’s children, as the “religious morons” would say. Then, of course, you would ignore them because you have preset them as “morons”. Ah, liberal arrogance never ceases to amuse me.

      Indeed, your handle “beast” suits you very well indeed.

  10. 15 tk 6 July 2010 at 17:55

    alex, one thing you haven’t mentioned is that ms. gillard is an atheist.

    also, AP reports that no wedding ceremony was held for Leosdottir and Sigurdardottir (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i2LM59jFJWkIk3LWyC-JubfWk_6QD9GK8BLO0) so i’d say its a fair guess that they too have no active faith.

    so, “living in sin” or “sinful behaviour” doesn’t enter their personal thinking (obviously) in either case – because it’s a ridiculous concept.

    so, atheism is no big deal in australia or iceland, but imagine if a US presidential candidate out on the stump said, “i don’t believe in god”. chances of being elected? hahaha. they’d have a better chance if they were a gay hispanic catholic.

    so to add to your question, which is worse for a social conservative christian fundie? an atheist unmarried hetero PM, or an atheist married lesbian? hilarious.

    • 16 Raphael Wong 7 July 2010 at 14:53

      tk,

      (3) That is presumptous. If this concept is as “ridiculous” as you say it is, then they should be ignoring it like people ignore flat-earth theory today. In that case, why bother initiating the same-sex marriage law in the first place, especially given that there is a civil union law already in place?

      The reason why Iceland’s PM needs to pass that law is to use the law as a mechanism to affirm their belief that they are not “living in sin”, which shows that they still care very much for that concept.

      (5) As I said before already, an atheist unmarried hetero PM.

      • 17 tk 8 July 2010 at 15:22

        I don’t think it is “presumptuous” at all. Let me explain why.

        The Aussie PM and Icelandic couple *are* ignoring the concept of ‘living as sin’, as i stated previously. The purpose of the Icelandic law is not to ‘look good’ in god’s eyes, but to provide a formal recognition to LGBT couples that their love is acceptable and welcome in society. And of course Gillard is ignoring it – she’s not getting married, is she?

        A civil union may confer the same legal rights (though depending on the jurisdication it often doesn’t, for things like inheritance and workers’ accident compensation), but does not convey the same message to society as a formal marriage. (And by the way, no-one is saying the marriage has to be performed in a church by a man in a dress and dog’s collar).

        Some of my gay friends could care less about being formally married, and other friends jumped at the chance as soon as it was offered to them. I might add, the same applies to many of my straight friends.

        I really don’t know why you’re so hung up on the concept of an invisible sky-man telling everyone what they can and can’t do. Especially when your sky-man is different from the islamic sky man and they’re both different from the mesopotamian sun-sky man(men?).

  11. 18 anon 6 July 2010 at 20:57

    “Living in sin” has for a long time been a jokey colloquial expression simply meaning a couple living together unmarried.

    Rachel: “I read blogs that I disagree with partially in order to critique them.” In other words you’re a troll.

    • 19 Raphael Wong 7 July 2010 at 14:30

      Anon,

      My name is Raphael (male), not Rachel (female). Haha, I was wondering when the word “troll” comes up. Which it seems to have … finally.

      But calling me a troll simply shows that you have plucked my words out of context, as well as mixed up “criticism” with “critique”. So, I wonder … what is acceptable criterion for not being a “troll”?

      Or is “troll” simply shorthand for somebody whose opinions you disagree with?

      Incidentally, I at least provided my name; you, on the other hand, stuck to anonymity, which is a characteristic of trolls. LOL.

    • 20 tk 8 July 2010 at 15:24

      anon – yeah i know, but it’s a historical phrase that *did* mean something at one time, and it seems the concept still holds a lot of resonance for *some* (^^^) people :))

  12. 21 Beast 6 July 2010 at 21:16

    I have worked in Australia before. Most of them are closet atheists who will not hesitate to tell you how stupid religion is behind closed doors.

    Btw, I am an atheist too.😛

  13. 22 solo onanist 7 July 2010 at 18:06

    Rachel (for such I choose to call you),

    1) You only choose to “critique” gay affirmative posts. Why is this? Alternatively, why is this such a major issue for you?

    2) What exactly is “the harm done to themselves and other people’s children” by gay people happily having full physical and emotional relationships with each other? Kindly produce any evidence of such harm that is unique to gay relationships.

    3) What right do you, or does anyone else, have to try and prevent them, judge them, or even criticise them for it?

    4) Isn’t it harmful to teach people of any age that are only attracted to their own gender that they are “wrong”, “abnormal”, “sinful”, and that they can be miraculously “cured” if they join such and such church? The harmful effects of this homophobic bullying, leading to self hatred and in many cases suicide, are well documented.

    5) Do you think your posts themselves may be seen by some (or many) gay people as simply a form of homophobic bullying, the like of which could lead to a loss of self esteem among vulnerable young gay people?

    6) Don’t you think your posts, which are plainly misinformed and homophobic, will help galvanise a sense of outrage among gay people and their supporters, and lead to a greater politicisation of the gay population, over what is simply a basic human right, the right of two people to love each other without interference from religion or state.

    • 23 Raphael Wong 8 July 2010 at 13:17

      Solo Onanist,

      (1) Ermm … are there any gay-critical posts on this site? *rolls eyes*

      (2) The harm of self-deception. The direct inverse to a hypondriac who believes he or she is sick all day.

      By hiding behind a politically-constructed label, the person is ducking the inner emotional conflict, and when defending/promoting one’s evasion to children, influencing them to do the same.

      (3) Prevention is perhaps a little too far, if you mean prevention by law, but “judging” and “criticising” come under somethings called Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Opinion and Freedom of Conscience, ala the English Father of Liberty J S Mill. An acknowledgement that any opinion should be permitted rebuttal, and that includes the opinion of the LGBT lobby, because their opinion is not perfect either.

      Those, by the way, are tenets of something called democracy, unless of course you have decided to abandon democracy long ago.

      (4) The latter, yes, because it is deception, even about the nature of a church (the small letter ‘c’ is important here). The former, it is acceptable if the “wrong” and “sin” is classified appropriately.

      For instance, it is not wrong to say that it is “wrong” for the third-world people to be poor, but it is wrong to pin the blame the poverty on the people themselves, ala lazy-native theory. It is not wrong, though, to pin the blame on the rich people who take wealth away from the poor, or deny them the means to attain it. But either way, poverty is still wrong; it is just that the responsibility for making the people wrong falls differently.

      In the case of homosexuality (and its adjuncts), what is damaging is that the churches (small ‘c’ again) put it down to personal and familial responsibility. That is based on the feudal societal paradigm that they are used to. The feudal paradigm undoubtedly no longer functions in the modern-day, rendering their analysis highly flawed. Instead of that approach, I take the wider view that homosexuality (and its adjuncts) as a condition is a negative effect of Capitalist exploitation, which has now reached the cultural-psychological level. Homosexuality (and its adjuncts) are “Wrong” and “sinful” because no social system should be influencing people in such a negative manner.

      As you can see, there is nothing homophobic about my views; they are about as homophobic as a doctor saying that STDs are transmitted through bodily fluids is STD-phobic.

      The mere opinion that homosexuality is “wrong” or “sinful” is not in itself “homophobic bullying”; that is making the definition overly elastic. It suits the agenda of activists to conflate the two, but the conflation is illogical. (Conversely, it is also incorrect for activists on the gay-critical side to conflate two senses of “Wrong” and “sin”.”)

      What turns the mere opinion into homophobic bullying, is when “wrong” and “sin” are projected into a purely individual level, and used as a foil to assert one’s superiority over the other. That is a characteristic of all bullying, not just “homophobic” ones. And all bullying leads to devaluation of self-worth, and increased risk of suicide, prior to intervention on behalf of the victim. But since what you state is a general characteristic of all bullying, there is no reason by homophobic bullying should receive special attention over all other kinds of bullying.

      • 24 Beast 8 July 2010 at 13:38

        Full of hogwash, masked with bombastic words (Typical scholastic conservative).

        Comparing homosexuality to a “negative capitalist effect” is like saying there are no homosexuals in communist countries.

        How has the homosexual community “influence” society in a “negative” manner? And how does one begin to conflate a sexual aspect of human beings into a “social system”?

        Using bombastic words is fine, but please, avoid ambiguity.

      • 25 Beast 8 July 2010 at 13:41

        “The mere opinion that homosexuality is “wrong” or “sinful” is not in itself “homophobic bullying”; that is making the definition overly elastic. It suits the agenda of activists to conflate the two, but the conflation is illogical.”

        Well I won’t call that bullying. More like self-righteous and vindictive, and yes, very homophobic.

        Why would a sexual act, regardless of their sexes, between two consensual adults be “wrong”? As for the word “sinful”, it has no definable meaning: If you are a Muslim, eating pork will be sinful. So, by that definition, am I supposed to stop eating pork?

      • 26 solo onanist 8 July 2010 at 15:49

        Rachel, you have avoided answering either part of my question number one. Strange, as you claimed that this is something that you never did. I will consider your other replies when you have answered this one properly.

        BTW I am not a “gay activist”. But it is clear that you devote much time to being an anti-gay activist. Why is that?

    • 27 Raphael Wong 8 July 2010 at 14:04

      (5) I figured so, but I wish to persuade them otherwise. I have read enough gay blogs and articles by gay activists to know that they have a frustration they are trying to express in all this media. (And ditto for their opponents.) But the frustration is blinding them to any opinion contrary to their own on matters regarding sexuality.

      Vulnerable young gay people are no more vulnerable than young any-other-kind-of-people. In fact, the assumption of vulnerability is itself a form of ageism, which should itself be a concern to anybody who claims to be anti-discrimination.

      Having been bullied myself before, I am against any kind of bullying, whichever side it is performed by. But I contend that there is a difference between misguided good intentions and malicious bullying.

      (6) Really? I am disappointed that I am still regarded as “misinformed and homophobic”, after I have spent a series of long posts clarifying my position. Shows how stubborn LGBT activists can be, I suppose.

      The right of two people to love each other is a basic human right, you are correct. In fact, ironically, that is the reason why the state exists in the first place, to ensure that that right is preserved.

      But there are different methods to show that love; some are correct, and some are wrong. So the question to do with LGBT is this: Is sex the correct way to show love to a same-sex friend; and is telling a child that he/she is LGBT the correct way to show love to the child?

      • 28 Beast 8 July 2010 at 18:49

        “I figured so, but I wish to persuade them otherwise. I have read enough gay blogs and articles by gay activists to know that they have a frustration they are trying to express in all this media. (And ditto for their opponents.) But the frustration is blinding them to any opinion contrary to their own on matters regarding sexuality. ”

        Hey, dude, I am a heterosexual and believe me, I have more frustration than most gays. Why, you ask?

        1. Our country is so conservative that we can’t really criticize the powers to be without the threat of the ISA hanging over our heads;

        2. Our laws are so archaic that if we engage in “unnatural sex” under S377A (Actually, that law also affects straights as well: A blow job or anal sex can potentially land anyone in hot soup), we are held accountable for. What kind of a country does that? Go figure.

        3. We hang people with more than 15g of heroine in their bags. Think about it for 5 secs……fuck, I am so pissed I can’t even wait for five secs.

        4. We are being forced to contribute 20% of our paychecks into the CPF against our fucking will. How democratic is that?

        And the list goes on. You wanna talk about frustration? I am game.

  14. 29 Beast 7 July 2010 at 23:34

    Hi Ralph

    Allow me to rebut:

    1. “And plucking a fruit from a tree without paying is not theft? Somehow I think that the farmers in the world would disagree with you greatly, especially if you are taking the plucked fruits out of their field. It is thievery, by any mode of human logic.”

    I am talking about a tree in the wild forest, not a farm. I know I should have stated more lucidly, but I thought it was obvious. Apparently not.

    2. “That’s prejudice against religion speaking. Of course, you have the right to think for yourself, but that freedom of choice is accompanied by the necessity of following through all the consequences of that action, not simply heaping the blame on the government when bad consequences pop up, which liberals just enjoy doing. Which is why, once having been a liberal myself, I am now a centrist.”

    As an atheist, religious speak to me is nonsense. For example, religious people talk about souls and spirits and being born again, and it all sounds like babble because they are neither grounded on facts nor proof.

    The problem with your argument is that, like typical Singaporeans, you want the government to babysit you from the time you are a toddler to the day you lie on your deathbed. You may want to be an infantile adult, but I do not.

    3. And in claiming that, you are agreeing with the people you were just calling “religious morons”. Ironic, isn’t it? Now, this is one thing I find hilarious.

    Agreeing with “religious morons”? In what sense? Explain.

    ” Ah, but there is harm done, to self, and to other people’s children, as the “religious morons” would say. Then, of course, you would ignore them because you have preset them as “morons”. Ah, liberal arrogance never ceases to amuse me.”

    When gays get married, or couples choose to cohabit, it is the collective choice of two grown adults. As long as they don’t break the law, there is no reason for you to feel offended.

    Yes, my liberal arrogance amuses you, but at least I don’t force you to agree with me. You, however, want everyone to agree with you, based on conservative ideas which are out of sync and out of touch with modern society.

    4. Indeed, your handle “beast” suits you very well indeed.

    We are all beasts in the evolutionary tree. Oh, I forgot. You believe in Creationism. Bumper. :p

    • 30 Raphael Wong 8 July 2010 at 14:35

      Beast,

      (1) Well, if it was wild, then no. But most “wild” forests nowadays are natural reserves, so that they are the property of people preserving those forests.

      I figured that this should be obvious. Obviously not.

      (2) And likewise, to a religious person “religious” in your sense of the word, atheist speak would be nonsense, and immoral, and based on the atheist’s arrogant individualistic denial of reality.

      Even from an Agnostic standpoint, I find your words “facts” and “proof” very vague, and likely extremely narrowly defined.

      I endorse the Agnostic position as the most rational position to hold by empirical reason. But it is arbitrary to restrict the definition of reason to empirical reason.

      (3) Whenever did the government enter the equation? Did you not get my point that I oppose Section 377A?

      This is a personal attack, not a reasoned argument. But then, after being on atheist blogs for so long too, I am used to atheists directing personal attacks at people they think are “Religious” according to their stereotype. So I shall let this one go.

      (Still, Alex, you should take your opportunity to be objective and state that you won’t tolerate this personal attack either.)

      (4) You are supporting the notion that homosexuality is a free choice, and rejecting the “gay gene” theory.

      (5) No problem. Then, in the same vein, when someone cites Section 377A to criticize gay marriage, you shouldn’t feel offended. After all, Section 377A is the law, no? And one can’t break the law by citing the law?

      (6) Neither do I force you to agree with me. All I want is that you understand my full position properly, before critiquing it, instead of applying your jaundiced “conservative” stereotype to me.

      Since I am a centrist, I will certainly have some conservative features, but I will also have some liberal features too.

      And yes, I admit, I am out of sync with “modern” society. And I make no apologies for that. I want to be in sync with the future, not the past that your “religious morons” sync with, or the present that you and Alex and company sync with.

      (7) I don’t believe in “Creationism”, at least not in the sort you are thinking of.

  15. 31 yawningbread 8 July 2010 at 07:46

    “4. Indeed, your handle “beast” suits you very well indeed.”

    This is a personal attack as I am not going to tolerate this.

  16. 32 Beast 8 July 2010 at 10:10

    Its ok mate.

    The Beast is a creature of intelligence. At least I don’t call myself a sheep.🙂

  17. 33 Beast 8 July 2010 at 13:40

    “The mere opinion that homosexuality is “wrong” or “sinful” is not in itself “homophobic bullying”; that is making the definition overly elastic. It suits the agenda of activists to conflate the two, but the conflation is illogical.”

    Well I won’t call that bullying. More like self-righteous and vindictive, and yes, very homophobic.

    Why would a sexual act, regardless of their sexes, between two consensual adults be “wrong”? As for the word “sinful”, it has no definable meaning: If you are a Muslim, eating pork will be sinful. So, by that definition, am I supposed to stop eating pork?

    • 34 Raphael Wong 8 July 2010 at 15:01

      Beast,

      (1) It is only vindictive and self-righteous if the second condition holds. I don’t engage with the word “homophobic”, because it only represents what the LGBT(Q) activist feels offended by.

      There is an article I think you should read, if you can find access to it. It is an article from the Journal of Applied Philosophy, and is titled “Turning the Tables on Homophobia”. It is written by a professor from a university in Canada, the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. It deals with the logical fallacies inherent in charging people with homophobia. (And in case you were wondering, the Journal was not started by creationists.)

      (2) I already explained why the sexual act is wrong, so I’ll not repeat myself. Consent alone is not a sufficient condition for what is right or wrong. If two adults had mutually-consented-to mutual heroin injections, does the fact that the heroin was consumed by “mutually consenting adults” mean that the NCB can’t take both adults to rehab?

      To be sinful means to separated from God (if you are religious) or Good (if you are irreligious). So if you sincerely believe that eating pork is bad, for whatever reason, then yes, you stop eating pork.

      After all, vegetarians believe that eating meat is wrong/bad/sinful; does that mean all the rest of us need to stop eating meat.

      Or on the reverse, are we obliged to force the Muslim to eat pork or the vegetarian to eat meat, or push through an education system that claims that Muslims are pork-phobic, and vegetarians are meat-phobic?

      • 35 Beast 8 July 2010 at 18:38

        (1) “It is only vindictive and self-righteous if the second condition holds. I don’t engage with the word “homophobic”, because it only represents what the LGBT(Q) activist feels offended by.”

        There is an article I think you should read, if you can find access to it. It is an article from the Journal of Applied Philosophy, and is titled “Turning the Tables on Homophobia”. It is written by a professor from a university in Canada, the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. It deals with the logical fallacies inherent in charging people with homophobia. (And in case you were wondering, the Journal was not started by creationists.)”

        Oh sure……..you are not homophobic………but you disprove of consensual sex between two consenting adults of the same sex………?

        Duh. I won’t be reading it. No time for homophobic nonsense.

        (2) “I already explained why the sexual act is wrong, so I’ll not repeat myself. Consent alone is not a sufficient condition for what is right or wrong. If two adults had mutually-consented-to mutual heroin injections, does the fact that the heroin was consumed by “mutually consenting adults” mean that the NCB can’t take both adults to rehab?”

        Erm, no. You haven’t really explained yourself. You go into a huge litany of jibjabs without answering to the point. Try to be less scholastic. I am an engineer. Not a philosopher.

        I think you mean CNB. As a matter of fact, I don’t think drugs should be banned. Heroine may be harmful, but cigarettes kill more people than all those supposedly harmful drugs combined. By that notion, we should ban cigarette smoking as well.

        “To be sinful means to separated from God (if you are religious) or Good (if you are irreligious). So if you sincerely believe that eating pork is bad, for whatever reason, then yes, you stop eating pork.

        After all, vegetarians believe that eating meat is wrong/bad/sinful; does that mean all the rest of us need to stop eating meat.

        Or on the reverse, are we obliged to force the Muslim to eat pork or the vegetarian to eat meat, or push through an education system that claims that Muslims are pork-phobic, and vegetarians are meat-phobic?”

        That’s exactly what I mean: The definition of “sin” is moot in secular culture because it is not rubber-stamped by secular law, and carries no weight whatsoever. To talk about sins is to talk about little green men. They only exist in the minds of imaginative, deluded folks.

  18. 36 Raphael Wong 8 July 2010 at 16:05

    tk,

    (2) Well, it is still for the purpose of making GLBTQ people “look good”, and “living in sin” is the antonym of “living the good life”. So the purpose of the Icelandic law is still to prevent LGBTQ people from being criticized as “living in sin”.

    As for Ms Gilliard, I think that her announcement has less to do with personal choices, and more to do with getting the Papparrazzi off her back.

    (3) Ah, but the whole purpose of the LGBT movement is to gain the same legal/financial rights as opposite-sex couples, no? So since, they are pushing for “civil rights”, then they should be satisfied with “civil unions”. Or are they actually pushing for something more than civil rights?

    (4) And so what? What does personal preference have to do with morality? Some people like smoking cannabis, and some people don’t; does that make a claim that taking drugs is unhealthy invalid?

    Do you not realize how illogical your argument is?

    (5) I am not hung up on an invisible sky-man; that is nothing but your jaundiced caricature of me. Neither do I think that Muslims are hung up with a sky-man either. Seriously, don’t talk about religion if you don’t understand a hoot about it.

    I have a more comprehensive theory of ethics, which interestingly enough partially derives from a not-so-invisible sage who once walked around in a huge Eastern country and another not-so-invisible prince who once sat under a tree in a different Eastern country.

  19. 37 yawningbread 8 July 2010 at 18:41

    I will let through final replies to Raphael Wong over the next 24 hours to 6 p.m. Friday (singapore time) and then close this thread. It’s the channel-hogging that I’m putting the stop to.

  20. 38 Beast 8 July 2010 at 18:42

    Totally don’t understand. You are just bullshiting, pretending to be a professor of philosophy. Normal speak please.

    Whatever definition of communism you wish to put, I still do not understand how communism or democracy (or capitalism or commercialism or whatever you wish to call it) have anything to do with being gay or not being gay.

    I honestly think you yourself don’t even know what you are talking about.

  21. 39 Beast 8 July 2010 at 18:44

    Supposedly there is really a “social breakdown” caused by capitalism, what does that have anything to do with being gay???

    Homosexuality also takes place in animals in the animal kingdom. Are they all capitalists?

    Not trying to sound insulting, but………..I have to ask:

    “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT???”

    Cric…..cric………cric………stony silence.

  22. 40 tk 9 July 2010 at 10:50

    yeah good move alex.

    raphael since you profess to be so concerned with ethics, how about you try to live an ethical life, not a religious one.

    /fin


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