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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Religion in Politics (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Religion in Politics
DiamondDog
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Is anyone else here bothered by the president's religious issues in politics?

For example, the lack of funding for schools' sex-ed courses if they choose to teach birth control rather than just abstinence?

Or the fact that he wants to outlaw abortions (except in rape or incest, I think)?

Or the fact that doctors/pharmacistz are allowed to refuse to give you birth control (for any reason) because they don't believe it's right.

And gay marriage. The issue that's blatantly religious. Because according to the conservatives, gay marriage is an abomination to god and marriage.

In my opinion, all of these examples are breaching the separation of church and state. Just because they believe in a certain religion doesn't mean we all do.

Just wondering what anyone else though about these...


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ladystardust
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I absolutely agree. I feel he's trying to fix up our country to match his religious beliefs. He doesn't want same-sex marriage because it would profane the sanctity of marriage, which, I'm sorry, is an idea that is hardly exclusively Christianit, therefore shouldn't be mandated by Christian beliefs. He doesn't want abortion because it is immoral to kill any child, even if it is barely recognizable as a human being.

He's so concerned with what his religion has told him is right that he is willing to overlook what may be best for someone (such as teaching them how to use birth control, not to merely avoid sex like you're some sort of robot) in favor of forcing his beliefs on us. Sounds like biggotry and a definite breach of the Separation of Church and State to me.

I don't even like the way he speaks. I don't think I've heard him give one speach that wasn't well peppered with "God" this and "Lord" that. I have nothing wrong with religion; it's a fabulous thing. But the president speaks like he is some sort of prophet put on earth to do God's work, no matter how many people's rights he has to ignore on the way.

President Bush is not a pope. If he was, I would have no problem with him expressing his idea of what everyone's morals should be. But he is not; he is the president, a term which shouldn't ever have religious or moral connotations. He is in power to protect our rights, not destroy them.

[This message has been edited by ladystardust (edited 10-07-2004).]


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Barbarosa
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"Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people" Karl Marx

I love that quote. Of course some have said the same about TV.

quote:
Or the fact that doctors/pharmacistz are allowed to refuse to give you birth control (for any reason) because they don't believe it's right.

Well, I for one am glad that the freedom to choose if I feel it is right or wrong, safe or unsafe, to write or give anyone a prescription is still my right.

It's good that is true for the same reason that it's good that you can choose where you go to get your care, or prescriptions filled.

It is good that we still get to choose who it is that runs the country, and we can voice our approval or disapproval of that person's actions in the way the founding peoples intended. VOTE !

If you are unable to vote, talk to those who can, write to those in power and tell them how you feel. Be an informed agent of change. It is good that we can still do these things too. Never forget there are many places where these simple little things cannot be said, done, or even thought.


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DiamondDog
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I've been involved in discussions, rallies, and things of that nature involving this topic for a little while.

It's just a little depressing when someone says, "I'm against all abortion, and because our president is too, I'm voting for him. I trust him, he doesn't lie!"

And I'm hoping that we are able to maintain our level of freedom, because if we lose the choice of what happens within our bodies, or if it's made illegal for homosexuals to marry, etc... then we lose a lot of liberty.


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Bobolink
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I am not a U.S. citizen so the U.S. presidential race affects me only incidently. I did like what Senator Kerry said at the town hall debate that as president, his religious views (Catholic) must not take presedence over the constitution or the law of the land. As President, he is President of all U.S. citizens and has no right to force his personal religious beliefs on anyone

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We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

- Albert Einstein


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113533
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Whenever I run into someone who is a Bush supporter, I simply ask them, "Why". Oftentimes I hear the reply of, "Because he is a strong Christian". This is something I am really bothered by.

Anyways, I just wanted to remind everyone to get out and VOTE on Nov. 2!!! Do your part, make a difference in this country, and maybe we will see a change!


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Gumdrop Girl
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I have a friend who recently earned his citizenship (Mexican immigrant) and this is going to be his first election. A lot of my other friends were giving him flak for supporting Bush because Bush is pro-life. I've been defending his (and everybody's) political choices. About religion (or lack thereof) in politics, when it comes to making and enforcing laws, many people feel that those laws should reflect good morality. For a helluva lot of people, morality is based in their religion, and when they choose someone to represent their views on good and bad, the religion aspect becomes inextricable. I think religion is a valid reason to pick a candidate since voting is a very personal decision that reflects a lot of very personal views.

Do *I* inject my religion into my politics? Not really. But I do respect other people's choice to use their religion to influence their vote, no matter how much I may disagree with them.

Oh, and not everybody wants to change the course of events in this country. i think it's terribly presumptuous to assume we're all toeing one line here.

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113533
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I was by no means saying that that is a "bad reason" to vote for someone. I guess I didn't explain that when I ask certain people that question, they hesitate and say, well he's Christian and so am I, so there you go. And that is there only reasoning. These people are not very informed about the rest of Bush's policies, nor do they seem to care about the effects his policies will have on this country as a part of the world.

Also, I wasn't really talking about "changing the course of events" so much as I was talking about changing the record America's young voters have. We all know that young voters aren't all out in full force. I simply want to *remind* people to get out there and make use of their right to vote.


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Milke
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But, equally as commonly, people will be for Kerry, because he's not openly anti-abortion, or because he hasn't spoken out against gay marriage. Not that either thing means he's necessarily *for* either thing. It's human nature to identify with people who are outspoken about having something in common with us, but it's intelligent to do a bit more research, and to makee a choice based on several strong reasons.

For the record, I believe Gummy was referring to the fact that not everyone here is a Democrat, nor do they need to be to feel this site's goal is important, or support its aims.

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Milke, with an L, Mrs BD to you, RATS, TMNTP, MF, CWCD, WAOTA

I've made up your mind.


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Heather
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quote:
Originally posted by Milke:
For the record, I believe Gummy was referring to the fact that not everyone here is a Democrat, nor do they need to be to feel this site's goal is important, or support its aims.

No, they certainly do not.

On the other hand, supporting candidates, politicians or political agendas which are clearly anti-choice, or which are clearly anti-comprehensive sex education or equal human rights, for instance, really would make it blatantly impossible to support this site's aims.


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Milke
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Which is why it's too bad we have to choose a set of policies, even if we only agree with some of them. It's unfortunate politics so often end up being so binary. Again, though, thay's why we need to do a lot of research before making a decision like this, rather than accepting someone because we know one or two good things about them.

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Milke, with an L, Mrs BD to you, RATS, TMNTP, MF, CWCD, WAOTA

I've made up your mind.


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Gumdrop Girl
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Hmm, so a contrary political view or choice will negate real efforts to support a cause through private means? what about people who vote for candidates based on criteria other than repro. rights?

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Heather
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Supporting a political agenda or initiative which does things like keep us from ever being able to get public funding unless we start telling abject lies or adopting heterosexist views or one religion's ideals -- something which may well eventually bring the whole site to an end regardless of volunteer effort, as it still needs be paid for and managed -- or which would make things like advocating for all reproductive choices, including abortion or emergency contraception, illegal or impossible absolutely would negate private efforts. Supoorting something like a removal of funding for sexual health clinics most certainly negates efforts to direct people to get sexual healthcare.

Because with scenarios like that, in short order, there'd be no private effort to give because we couldn't be here or do what we do at all.

So, in a word, yes, as far as I'm concerned, though "contrary political view" isn't how I'd describe that, unless you're talking about a political view, and action to support and encourage that view in action, that's contrary to what we do and keeping us here.

People who may vote for candidates with other views and aims they may hold as greater priorities for them but who still want to reduce, inhibit or remove reproductive rights are still promoting the reduction, inhibition or removal reproductive rights: that's pretty basic.


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Heather
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(And while it is likely obvious, people who choose pro-choice or GLBT-inclusive or sexual rights and comprehensive education candidates or political initiatives to vote for generally are capable of awareness and consideration of other issues. Wishing to support issues like that doesn't give everyone a free set of instant blinders, eh?)
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BetterSitUp
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I for one am an avid Bush supporter. I believe aborion is wromg. Not from religous stand point, (though i am a religous person). It is my belief that abortion is murder and should not be the "choice" for a woman to make. I support gay-marraige, which is one of my flaws with Bush. However, because of the way Kerry always comes off with a smug attitude and never sticks to anythng he says, i believe Bush is the better (not the best) choice.

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"She's the blade and you're
the paper." ~Sugarcult


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Heather
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You know, it's always a strange conflict to have someone post here who says they support Bush, because Bush would absolutely NOT support this site, and is the biggest reason why every year, we barely scrape by because we cannot get public funding in this country, simply because we give accurate sex information that DOES support those of us who are GLBT as well as anyone of any age who does not wish to be married or who is or has been sexually active in any way before marriage (like yourself). No less, many of the services we point users to, like sexual healthcare and emergency contraception, have been severely limited by Bush and would be more so if he could curtail them further.

Moreover, it might be worth asking yourself if it's a good idea to have someone in office unwilling to change their mind or re-evaluate their opinions. In ther words, being staid about absolutely everything, even when you suspect or have discovered you were clearly wrong, is often not the best course of action.

(And just a note: it isn't okay at this site to call abortion murder. Besides the legal and language issues that make it so that abortion really could NOT be murder, this is a pro-choice site. So, while you can have whatever opinion you like, that is one we ask people not to bring here. Thanks.)


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00goddess
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BetterSitUp:

If you are pro-life, and wish to prevent abortions from happening, then supporting Bush is not the way to do it. Before Bush took office, the number of abortions in the US had been steadily declining, and when he took office, they were at a 24-year low. However, since Bush took office, the number of abortions has increased in the 16 states that provide multi-year data.

Why have abortions increased? Several reasons:

- 2/3 of women who abort say it is because they cannot afford a child. The economic slump makes people reluctant to have children, and this slump can be directly traced to Bush's economic policies and the war.

- Half of women who abort say they do not have a reliable mate. Men who are jobless are less likely to marry. In three states where marriage numbers increased in 2002 over 2001, abortion levels fell. In all 13 states where marriage levels fell, abortion levels increased by the thousands. Increased unemployment leads to more abortions.

- Women worry about health care, for themselves and their children. 5.2 million more people are without health insurance than were without it before Bush took office. Women of childbearing age are overrepresented in that 5.2 million. Significantly, Bush has also cut funding for programs that provide health coverage for children in low-income families. Does that sound pro-life to you?

- And then there's that nightmare that is abstinence-only "education." Bush has cut funding to educational programs that teach responsible, realistic birth control and sexual health, and increased funding to those which teach only abstinence. The Bush administration also laid down new guidelines mandating that sex educators in any program receiving federal funding *must* tell people that condoms do not work. If you do not tell people how to prevent pregnancy, then abortions will increase.

So, BetterSitUp, please ask yourself: do these social and economic policies represent a truly consistent pro-life policy? No one, not even pro-choice people, wants abortions to happen. We'd all rather give women the tools and education necessary to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Bush, however, does NOT want to give people these tools, nor does he want mechanisms in place to care for these children after they are born.

BTW, for anyone wondering, the source for most of this data is a recent article by Dr. Glen Harold Stassen, a Christian ethicist and pro-life activist. It has been widely cross-posted across the net now, and anyone can find it for more info.

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Heather
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It's also worth adding to that fantastically outlined list (however NOT fantastich what is on it is), that globally, abortions (legal and otherwise) have also increased massively due to the loss of Title X and UNFPA funds/clinics because of the Bush's Global Gag Rule.
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00goddess
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I suspected that might be the case, but I was too lazy to look it up It just makes sense, though, and it's what, interestingly, both pro-choice activists and reasonable pro-lifers (such as some Roman Catholic organizations) were saying would happen when Bushco first instituted those cuts.

Bush et al are not pro-life- they are ANTI-CHOICE.


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ladystardust
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Here's something interesting I found:

"I don't think witchcraft is a religion. I would hope the military officials would take a second look at the decision they made."
--George W. Bush, as Governor of Texas

Bush said this about a group of Wiccan soldiers being given the same religious rights in the military as members of other religions. It bothers me that our president feels that Wicca, which is UNDENIABLY a religion for many people, is not worthy of the equality other religions get.

To clarify: Wicca has nothing to do with Satan. Witches are not evil seducers or sinful people. I think it's about time our government gets over its fear of witches and accepts that Wicca is a religion like Christianity and deserves the same rights.

If you'd like more information on Wicca, check out religioustolerance.org. That's where I found this quote.

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"The sun's not yellow, it's chicken." Bob Dylan, Tombstone Blues


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Gumdrop Girl
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quote:
You know, it's always a strange conflict to have someone post here who says they support Bush, because Bush would absolutely NOT support this site,

I'll just say it once and for all. I am voting for Bush because I'm not a one-issue voter. No, I'm not a ga-ga, Kool-Aid drunking, party-line toeing, theocrat zombie. I don't even think Bush is the best candidate the GOP could endorse. But he's the one who received the party nomination, and for the issues that matter most to me right now, I don't think Kerry could do a better job.

So then, how do I reconcile having more than 9000 posts on this page with my political leanings? I'm pretty socially liberal, but I prefer to do things through private means. I've got a pretty strong libertarian bend. And yeah, I do intern for a government agency. That does bother me a bit, but considering I'm not being paid means I am not a tax burden, but I am afforded a lot of research opportunities that non-profits sometimes don't have (though I wish they did -- I'd love to work in the non-profit sector).

Personally, I'd like to see this issue more or less buried to low-priority under a conservative administration. This is not where the government should be focused. Like I said, I've got libertarian tendencies, so I think government needs to get the hell out of social issues. I said earlier that I don't bring my religion into my politics. Other people do, and I recognize that fact (albeit a little begrudgingly).

Anyway, I'm expecting a lot of you to come down hard on me for this. I get crap from folks a lot. I don't want to argue with people; I might choose not to answer my critics because I am tired of defending myself over and over (I do get harassed a lot from my colleagues). I'm not a swing voter. I vote regularly, and if you don't agree with my stance, then you should vote, too

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Toll free STD and clinic information, and condoms sent to your door for Los Angeles County residents.
1 in 3 sexually active people will be exposed to a STD by the time they turn 24.


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Heather
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To be perfectly frank, at this stage in the game when I rarely discover someone I know is voting for Bush, all I can feel is gross dissapointment and feeling like I've been slapped in the face. And a lot of confusion. I can't help but be confused when I see someone who has contributed greatly to something take action which threatens to make doing so in the future difficult or impossible, or to make the lives of many other who contribute (including the person who started it, flatly, me) infintely more difficult and painful in this country, and to make doing things we counsel on -- like getting emergency contraception -- feasibly moot in the near future. Likely, that's a big part of the feeling of dissapointment, as might be the fact that if people like Bush had always been in office in this country, there would never have been organizations like this one in the first place. Heck, I'd probably be in jail just for having same-sex partners or discussing and supporting things like birth control, women's rights, what have you.

It might be easier for me to swallow that somone of intelligence would vote that way if I knew of any other issues where the Bush administration had done anything close to a decent job: if he hadn't, on top of working to destroy civil and constitutional rights, women's rights, GLBT rights, reproductive rights, a million quality of life issues for anyone below the upper middle class (while lathering benefits on the richest citizens that are unfathomable), ALSO almost singlehandedly screwed all our international relations, lied about terrorism issues to the point that thousands of soldiers and civilians here and abroad have been killed, and maimed the economy to boot. While I certainly wasn't a supporter of Reagan and the first Bush, I have to say that even they didn't do as horrid a job as this Bush, and I never thought I'd see the day when I'd say that, in comparison, they almost look competent.

In other words, the only person I can see voting for Bush would BE a one issue voter, because the big picture is far more terrifying and speaks far more loudly than Bush and his cronies on just one issue. So, I just can't make sense of it otherwise: I heard people supporting Bush because of what the Taliban did while turning away from the fact that he FINANCED them grossly with our tax dollars, that sort of thing. I just can't make sense of it.

And per Scarleteen and other organizations like it, there's really just nothing to say in terms of the paradox suppoting that man and his buddies creates. Because I think it's great to support things privately, but it's awfully hard to do that when they're no longer there because a person or party you've supported has eventually made it impossible for that organization to exist.

Ugh. Too depressing this early in the morning, this stuff (and I need to go do a bunch of work to try and save our much-needed and used GLBT youth center that's about to sink, yet again, mainly due to this administration and in spite of massive public efforts fror it).

I know this comes off as harsh, but I don't feel right leaving it unaddressed when it's been put on the table. However, it makes me so soulsick that it's very difficult for me to know how to respond.

[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 10-24-2004).]


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Barbarosa
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I would hope that the people here at ST are above passing judgment on you for exercising your right to choose your candidate. We do after all still have that right.

It is our responsibility to make an informed decision based on our understanding of the issues, and our belief that our chosen candidate represents our views on said issues. I do believe you are well informed, and I trust that your choice is based on information that you consider valid and reliable.

Happily we have the choice to vote for whomever we choose, irrespective of party lines, religious affiliation, race, or gender. The burden of responsibility falls squarely on our shoulders to be well informed, and try to remain free from bias that might creep in from the popular media or other unreliable sources.

I do not recall being told when I filled in the little box on my voter card so many years ago that in doing so I understood in order to be a good democrat I must always vote a straight ticket, even if my party chose poorly for a candidate in any office. (I didn’t miss any fine print did I?)

Voting for a democrat or republican or "other" candidate means nothing more to me than the fact that the individual earned my vote based on their platform as I understand it, and my confidence in their ability to represent me and my beliefs where it counts.

Why would anyone vote any differently?


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Milke
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And I guess now I know, with complete certainty, that reproduction is not the only thing one can be anti-choice about.

I can't vote -- in any country, and depending on the choices I make, may never be able to again. But I believe, and always have, that regardless of my personal feelings, it would never be appropriate for me to tell someone else how to represent themself. While I have volunteered for a political party I care about, and not liked the choices other people made, it was never my place to tell them they disgusted me, nor refuse to associate with them because of those choices.

I chose to marry someone with political beliefs very different from what mine were at the time. Living in a different country from the one I'd grown up in, and being around people like my husband and Gummy has altered my beliefs in some ways, though I was always allowed to feel how I wanted to. I was at no time expected to agree, and was encouraged to come to beliefs through my own means. Because I know that different people live in different situations, and have different priorities, I'm now a lot less likely to judge someone on their politics. However, on occasions when I am confronted by someone who makes it clear that they have no tolerance for diverse beliefs, or anything but contempt for those who feel differently from them, I find it hard to know what to say.

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Milke, with an L, Mrs BD to you, RATS, TMNTP, MF, CWCD, WAOTA

I've made up your mind.


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Dude_who_writes
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The thing is, though, that with some of the key issues that have been raised in this particular political season, it's easy to understand why people can be so offended and disgusted.

I'm offended because my personal rights and liberties are at risk here. Call me a one-issue voter if you want, but ultimately, this "one" issue is a very big, and very personal one for me. And, because of that, supporting a canidate such as Bush, and thereby supporting his policies and ideals, is essentially telling me that you're supportive of a curtailment in GLBT, Women's and Reproductive rights, all of which I support and hold very near and dear to my heart.

It may not seem right to you, but I do take offense to people who are avid supporters of Bush because of how is presidency has and more than likely will affect me any my rights as a queer person. I take offense to those who choose a canidate that is vocally supportive of limiting my choice, almost irreversibly, in regards to whom I can and cannot marry. I'm bothered when someone is supportive of a canidate who is completely and vocally against choice in all forms, whether it be in regards to reproductive rights, access to information, and the imposition of a strict set of fundamentalist-based morals in a country that was founded upon the principal of religious freedom and tolerance. I'm offended when people admit their choice for a canidate who, after all these years and all the work that we've accomplished, has a close advisor who is still refering to HIV/AIDS as the "gay plague."

It may all boil down to who I am and how I was raised. My family has always been a few paychecks from being homeless, and I've seen how much my family suffered here in Michigan alone under the GOP party-line toeing Govenor Engler from 1990 to 2002; I've seen what privatizaion has done. I have very dear friends to me who have serious health problems and no insurance because the private company for which we work doesn't offer benefits to it's employees.

And I've seen the past four years where the rich have just gotten richer under Bush's revised version of Reganomics and the trickle-down effect while the middle and lower classes are punished simply for being of that class. I've seen our country go to war, a tool which which I am only supportive under circumstances of absolute need, with false pretenses.

I've seen far too much that I do not agree with and which is not supportive of condusive of my own rights, and it certaintly does offend me. And, yes, I take these things personally, simply because they are personal..

All of this may seem overly-harsh and close-minded, but for me, the fact of the matter is quite simple: For those who are supportive of a canidate who wishes to limit my own personal rights have no reason to expect me to be supportive or less-than offended by their political choices.

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Tim, as in "Donate"
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"Each has his past shut in him like the leaves of a book known only to him by his heart, and his friends can only read the title." -- Virginia Woolf.

[This message has been edited by Dude_who_writes (edited 10-25-2004).]


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Heather
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Dissapointment is neither intolerance nor contempt. Nor am I "anti-choice" when it comes to voting (and comparing, regardless, the public decisions one makes which impact everyone with those one makes about one's own reproduction is pretty dizzy hyperbole). And I don't recall refusing to associate with anyone.

I feel the exact same way about people supporting Bush that I do about people supporting China's continued forced occupation of Tibet, about people supporting aspects of racism, sexism or homophobia, about support of people like Hitler and Mussolini, about someone buying from companies which harm their workers, et cetera. And some of these things are isues we call into question even right here at these boards all the time.

Being anti-choice would be me saying "I don't want you to have the right to choose," not "I am dissapointed in and confused by the choices you are making," and I feel very strongly it is any person's place to express that and question it, and per this situation in this particular venue and on this issue, it is most certainly mine.

I know my own choices in many regards, on many different issues, have been questioned by people close to me, even by people unknown to me quite publicly, and I certainly hope no one ever stops questioning me in that regard because I find it terribly important that they do so, and that all of us question things, especially when our interest in such is far more than simply personal and in the common interest of keeping important things we value around.

[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 10-25-2004).]


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Heather
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Just an aside.

This morning, I had a few moments of "What if the shoes were on other feet?" that I thought I might share, just as food for thought.

What if one of our presidential candidates was:
- Banning heterosexual marriage and the rights afforded to those who marry and had made statements that heterosexual people were not equal to those of another sexual orientation? Or banning those of a certain race from marrying while allowing others of another race to do so?
- Sending numerous women or children, rather than men, off to be wounded and die in another country based on an outright lie about the dangers there, and/or in a country that wasn't Iraq, but say, Canada, where their citizens were dying in droves from our forces to "liberate" them, despite their noninterest in such?
- Taking away men's rights to reproductive choice or access to condoms?
- Taking healthcare and housing away from not the poor or the elderly, but from middle-class teens and twentysomethings?
- Placing people in offices and committees which were clearly unsuitable such as, let's say, a three-pack a day smoker into the office to regulate tobacco, or someone to a men's health committee who told men who wanted to know how to use condoms that they needed to be married to get that information?
- Outsourcing and/or removing the jobs of only the middle-to-upper class?
- Creating "faith-based" initiatives not based in Christianity, but in Islam, Wicca or Jainism?

Just for thinks. Given, some of those analogies are not perfect, because our current President is still essentially doing some of those things, but all the same, I find it helpful to put things in a different perspective sometimes like this.

A good one for me, for instance, was discovering that BOTH Kerry and Bush plan to put judges on the supreme court with a known bias (per reproductive choice), and finding out that even though I was far more comfortable with one position than the other, the known bias still didn't sit well with me, even when it would have benefitted me.

[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 10-25-2004).]


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Milke
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But the point has never been that what Bush is doing is okay, or something that necessarily should be supported. The point is that we still deserve the right to choose, and not have those choices held against us by those who disagree. In much the same way as I have the right to be very much in favour of, or very opposed to abortion, I don't have the right to tell pregnant women whether they should have one or not, or hold against them what they choose to do.

If, at this point, people are pretty evenly divided about who they're choosing to vote for (and if the stats weren't like that, only one side would still be campaigning), we either have to assume that half the country is terribly misguided, or that people have their reasons for their choices.

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Milke, with an L, Mrs BD to you, RATS, TMNTP, MF, CWCD, WAOTA

I've made up your mind.


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Laura
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Here is some evidence that a substantial percentage of voters are terribly misguided, at least when it comes to certain issues:
http://www.pipa.org/OnlineReports/Pres_Election_04/Report10_21_04.pdf

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Dude_who_writes
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quote:
Originally posted by Milke:
If, at this point, people are pretty evenly divided about who they're choosing to vote for (and if the stats weren't like that, only one side would still be campaigning), we either have to assume that half the country is terribly misguided, or that people have their reasons for their choices.

And, for the most part, I don't think anyone here would disagree with that. It's not the fact that anyone is saying that other's don't have the right to make that choice that is being called into question, it is the motiviations for that choice that is.

I have a bias with a lot of the issues that have been raised in this election. I can admit that, and it is in fact probably the deciding factor in my taking offense to those who are supportive of Bush. It's human nature to be biased; that is precisely why there is no true objective figure out there. It's impossible not to be affected by the situations and circumstances you've been placed in throughout your life.

I am queer. I was raised in a low-income family. I was abused in my childhood under the guise of good, Christian-based child punishment. I've had a realitive lose his life in a war over oil and imperalism. All of these things, and a myriad more, affect my political self, whether they are positive or negative is determined by perspective. And when I make my own choices, and form my own opinions in regard to whom I will and will not support politically, and also when I view the political allegance and support of others.

I'm more than willing to admit my biases, because they are Very Important and form the filter though which I view the world. I will support anyone's right to choose, no matter what choice they make, but I still have the right to question that choice, or more importantly the motiviations behind that choice. And, as has already been said, likening a specific reproductive choice, such as having an abortion which affects only a small group directly, to a political choice which as the power to affect how each and everyone in this country lives and how they can choose to live is like attempting to compare a pebble to Venus. Not to mention that it's incredibly ironic to make that analogy in reference to supporting a canidate who wants to ensure that that specific choice is no longer an issue through the systematic and legal extermination of it.

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Tim, as in "Donate"
Scarleteen Advocate

"Each has his past shut in him like the leaves of a book known only to him by his heart, and his friends can only read the title." -- Virginia Woolf.


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Heather
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It's not cohesive to purport that having feelings about a choice someone is making, and expressing them fairly and honestly (specially when the person expressing feelings is not the one who brought the matter to the table) is inhibiting the right to choose in any way in any situation, but all the more so when the choice made is one which affects everyone.

It is also unsound to suggest that a given person being dissapointed or upset by a choice in expressing those feelings is holding something against a person: doing that would require other actions.

And again, comparing a personal reproductive choice with who one is supporting for a public office is just not sound: that's not the same sort of choice. If my friend Alice chooses to have a child or have an abortion, that isn't going to impact my civil rights, my ability to work, my agency to have healthcare and the like, and it's really unlikely to affect someone she doesn't know two countries over at all.

And yes: when discussing this issue much of the issue absolutely is about the Bush administration and what is and has been wrong there: that's how this thread began. If it isn't, or if it's a given that it is unacceptable and corrupt, then asking for unilateral support -- with no expression of feeling spoken and no allowance for nonsupport -- for those posting in their support of him becomes even more paradoxical.

At these boards, how many times have we expressed dissapointment about a given set of a choices a user has made, and done what we could to inform them better to make what we see as sounder choices, or ask them to consider the choices they're making? Come on, that's a huge part of what we do here. And again, even those are largely far more personal choices.

This is again, perhaps one of those "my site, my rules," moments, because by no means am I going to say it's not okay for anyone here to question or express fair feelings about politics or completely public or civil issues, on any side of the fence. I'd be more than open when I put my politics on the table to answer questions about the whys of them and to ask why someone is dissapointed when they are, etc. While in some cases some limits need be set (for instance, why it's acceptable to talk about reproductive choice issues here or any variety of reproductive choice, but it's not okay to use histrionic hyperbole because I'm not going to do something I know creates an environment of often extended harassment or shame here, and I do expect civil, sound discussion), this is a public matter. Someone doesn't want it to be one, they don't want to know what others feelings on it are or have questions asked about it, then by all means, it doesn't need be brought here.

I never assumed anyone didn't have reasons for their choices: I stated clearly I simply didn't yet understand what they could be in terms of supporting the Bush administration, especially when one also seeks to and/or does support comprehensive sex education, reproductive choice, civil rights issues like GLBT rights and the like, much in the same way that I would have trouble comprehending how someone who sought to support independent farming bought organic but built strip malls over those same farms.


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00goddess
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quote:
Originally posted by Milke:
But the point has never been that what Bush is doing is okay, or something that necessarily should be supported. The point is that we still deserve the right to choose, and not have those choices held against us by those who disagree.

Milke, if someone turned you out of your home, or walked up to you and, say, spit in your face, would you hold that choice against them? I would, if they did it to me.

Likewise, if my neighbor, Bob, decided to lynch a person just because they were black, or gay, I would hold those choices against him.

Frankly, the choices I make indicate what kind of a person I am, and the same with everyone else.

So yes, it would be quite disappointing to me if a friend of mine lynched someone else, or if they beat their wife, or did any other sort of horrible thing. It would also be disappointing to me if someone else chose to endorse those choices. And yes, I would take that choice into account, in forming my opinion of that person.

The choices we're talking about here aren't as simple as chocolate or vanilla ice cream. You can get chocolate, and I can get vanilla, and it's all ok. I won't hold it against you But anyone who makes choices which infringe upon human rights, which threaten lives and livelihoods for personal gain, then yes, that's a problem for me. And I don't think that's at all unreasonable.

The points I am trying to make are that you can't separate a person from their choices, and that it's ridiculous to equate disagreeing with, or expressing disappointment in, someone else's choice, with taking that choice away. They just aren't the same thing; they aren't even in the same ballpark.


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Barbarosa
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quote:
Originally posted by Laura:
Here is some evidence that a substantial percentage of voters are terribly misguided, at least when it comes to certain issues:
http://www.pipa.org/OnlineReports/Pres_Election_04/Report10_21_04.pdf


This is a great post. If you have not read it do so before proceeding. It really helped me to come to grips with my own confusion at otherwise intelligent people’s inability to see reality.
I have to say that Ms S is right on several accounts. She is telling you that because of the person she is, she fears for her well being if we get another 4 years. And she is right to feel this way. You should too.
On the topic of moral choice please see Patrick Johnston,’s web site He is the vice chairman of the Ohio branch of the far-right Constitution Party. At a recent debate on Issue 1 he is quoted as saying "Even if Ohio would be better off, gays should not be allowed to marry," he says, because homosexuality is a sin that "merits discrimination." In fact, he says, "I support and endorse the criminalization of homosexuality."
As to the agenda of this administration, please refer to the excellent piece by ESTHER KAPLAN entitled “Follow the Money” from The Nation. http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20041101&s=kaplan
MY tax dollars at work in places that I do not want them. And yes, a vote for this administration is really saying you do not value this site, or what has been done here over the years. Because you then tacitly support the defunding of environmental programs, the EPA, PPI, AIDS education and research, Women’s rights, and many, many others. Where will those dollars go? To the religious right. Who will suffer then? Anyone that opposes their agenda. How has the LA county budget been affected I wonder. Will the STD hotline get continued support? Doubtful. There are those that suggest STIs (in particular AIDS) are God’s wrath and should not be treated. And they aren’t just wacky fundamentalist preachers either.
Voting a party ticket is not exercising your right to vote any more than voting for a candidate because if you don’t you will go to hell is a choice. It is simply doing what you are told.

OK, I am not feeling the love right now. Everyone go to your rooms, and do not come out till you are ready to sit down and be nice.



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wobblyheadedjane
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Can you please find a citation where someone, anyone remotely connected to the Bush campaign or the GOP has said "If you do not vote for Bush, you will go to hell?"- because I haven't heard any such thing, and google sure didn't turn anything like that up.

I am not a US citizen, and I would never in a million years vote for Bush- but at the same time, I find it hard to believe that people exercising their right to vote is comparable to someone performing a lynching. That's just a red herring, plain and simple; lynching is lynching, and voting for Bush, deplorable or not, is someone exercising their right to vote as they wish under the Constitution . I don't see lynching anywhere in there. It's not a valid or sound comparison, in my opinion.


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Heather
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I'll agree there that isn't a sound comparison (not sure if it was meant to be, but all the same).

I haven't seen anything quite so intense as "you'll go to hell if you don't," yet.

But I have seen mailings like this from the GOP, which suggest if you don't, the Bible will be banned while (gasp! shudder!) gay men holding hands and proposing marriage will be allowed: http://www.steveclemons.com/GOPMailer.htm

And this site -- http://www.kerrywrongforcatholics.com -- is paid for by the Republican National Committee as well.

So, not exactly sure what you were looking for there, Jane, but that's the sort of thing that does carry that flavor.


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