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Thread: Amarica = over religus?

  1. #21
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    Well, the first Amendment in America states:
    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    So technically, in a governmental sense, we're not -supposed- to be overly religious, but I think the number of Christians in the US ends up affecting the government and the law. It's an unfortunate little loop hole. :/ Not to mention we have a very religious president who went so far as to try to amend the constitution to ban gay marriage, which would have been in direct violation of our First Amendment. I think that's a problem, and a sign that one specific religion has a bit too much influence in this country.

    I have never heard an argument against gay marriage where religion was not somehow involved. Yet it's still illegal in most of the US. Same for adoptions by gay parents. If any individual citizen is supposed to, according to our constitution, be free to believe/practice under whatever religion or lackthereof they choose, why do we have laws or bans on certain practices based solely on religious beliefs? (That's a rhetorical question, by the way, the answer's pretty self-evident).

    I have no issue with people making personal choices in their lives based on their religion, or practicing their religion. But I do have a problem with my personal freedoms being affected by someone else's religion. I'm not Christian, I'm an atheist. I'm not gay, but if I were, I'd want the freedom to be able to marry the person I loved, regardless of gender. But I wouldn't be able to in most states. Why? Because someone else's religion says that it's wrong. Mine doesn't. Why should my life be affected by another religion's laws in a country that's supposed to have freedom from religious rule?

  2. #22
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    Alright, first of all we don't teach religion in our schools here. I have heard that said a few times. If you want to go to a religious school that is your choice, and you go because you are already religious.

    You are just as able to go out and say you hate God and hate religion here as you are anywhere (if not more free). Just because someone calls you an idiot or insults you, doesn't mean our entire country wants everyone to be a Christian or religious. What I mean is that you are using your right to freedom of speech to say "God sucks", but the guy saying you are an idiot and going to hell is ALSO using his right to freedom of speech, and there shouldn't be a bias. You are very ignorant and oblvious if you are suprised that saying curses against God or supporting something directly in conflict with the religion the majority of the people in a nation practice get you insults etc. That is to be expected..just like if you went into Saudi Arabia and stood on a stage and said Allah is an idiot. You would actually probably be killed there in fact...unlike here.

    What Darkslash meant about mentioning Islam in Europe is that it seems as though countries in Europe..who are more liberal and less religious, tend to actually give into demands of religious extremists simply because they want to appease or be "politically correct".

    Next, no where in the First Amendment does it mention marriage, nor is marriage a right. It is a privelage, as any judge or preist can choose not to marry anyone for any reason. Marriage is also not just religious, it is also legal. Thus, and amendment would state that the GOVERNMENT would not LEGALLY recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex. That doesn't mention religion as the reason, and it is perfectly okay for people to vote for that amendment because they are religious. Now, if the amendment said "We are not recognizing gay marriage because it is against Christianity"..then you would have a point. It doesn't matter what the motivation is..in fact religious motivation is a good thing. Look at slavery...do you not think that many people who wanted to abolish it were not using religious reasons such as God creating everyone equal as a motivation? (don't even bring up slavery in the Bible because it has nothing to do with those who choose to use it for this interpretation..it is religious nonetheless) It isn't as if slavery was bad for the country economically...it was very important and essential. So..I guess we shouldn't have abolished it because people were agreeing with it for religious reasons. I know there were other reasons to abolish it etc, but I am just pointing that out.

    There is not problem with people voting on an issue one way, because the alternative directly contradicts a very important part of their life. It does not violate the Constitution. Our government is not religious, and the majority of the time our religions do not influence our laws. There also is not problem with that happening, as..in democratic republic..you get elected. So, if your constituents are mostly Christians, then if you want to be reelected or support them, you will vote for what they want. Just like special interest groups or any other motivation or belief people might bring into their voting decisions. To argue against that is to argue agianst the concept of democracy and voting..which is a completely different issue.

    ~Kiva

  3. #23
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    Originally posted by Only-now
    You are just as able to go out and say you hate God and hate religion here as you are anywhere (if not more free).
    Just curious how you square the part about "if not more free" to say you hate God in the U.S. with the fact that atheists are actively discriminated against there? I'd say there's a pretty big difference between "noone really caring" and harassment and in some cases even violence being visited upon you.

    What Darkslash meant about mentioning Islam in Europe is that it seems as though countries in Europe..who are more liberal and less religious, tend to actually give into demands of religious extremists simply because they want to appease or be "politically correct".
    Yes, and we all know that how things seem aren't necessarily the same thing as the way they really are.

  4. #24
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    I was referring to the countries in which you are not allowed to state that opinion. I am sure in the wonderful continent of Europe there is no discrimination religiously...since Europe is ages beyond us barbarians here.

    I think you fail to realize that fact that freedom of speech works both ways. So I can call you an idiot because you don't believe in God and vice versa. If I beat you up, I go to jail..if you beat me up, you go to jail. There isn't any difference there. It is not our country that has established Christianity as the state religion, and thus the government discriminates. Those are people who do that, and I would even guess they aren't the majority. I would also like to say that I would be willing to bet that "dsicrimination" takes on a new meaning when you are using it....and thus ends up perpetuating tha view of a one-way freedom of speech. Ex: "I hate God!" That's using freedom of speech right? "I hate people who don't believe in God!" Not freedom of speech, discrimination right?

    Your statement is true, about things not being the way they seem...but I doubt that is one of them.

    ~Kiva

  5. #25
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    Originally posted by Only-now
    Next, no where in the First Amendment does it mention marriage, nor is marriage a right. It is a privelage, as any judge or preist can choose not to marry anyone for any reason. Marriage is also not just religious, it is also legal. Thus, and amendment would state that the GOVERNMENT would not LEGALLY recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex. That doesn't mention religion as the reason, and it is perfectly okay for people to vote for that amendment because they are religious. Now, if the amendment said "We are not recognizing gay marriage because it is against Christianity"..then you would have a point. It doesn't matter what the motivation is..in fact religious motivation is a good thing. Look at slavery...do you not think that many people who wanted to abolish it were not using religious reasons such as God creating everyone equal as a motivation? (don't even bring up slavery in the Bible because it has nothing to do with those who choose to use it for this interpretation..it is religious nonetheless) It isn't as if slavery was bad for the country economically...it was very important and essential. So..I guess we shouldn't have abolished it because people were agreeing with it for religious reasons. I know there were other reasons to abolish it etc, but I am just pointing that out.
    The ONLY reason gay marriage is an issue is because it's considered sinful in a few religions. There are no other grounds on which to abolish it. It's a legal loophole, allowing laws to be enforced for solely religious reasons. If you can give me a non-religious reason for gay marriage to be prohibited, then you'll have a point. But I don't think there are any.

    You can't really make an accurate comparison with the slavery issue. There are obvious non-religious reasons for slavery to be considered wrong. Not to mention, if you know your history, religion was also used to defend slavery in many cases.

    My point was not that there's a clear legal enforcement of a specific religion in our country, my point is that because of the social support Christianity has, it ends up being reflected in legal decisions. Don't try to tell me our president had any reasons other than "this is a sin in Christianity" to try to pass that marriage amendment.

    Originally posted by Ghamu
    Just curious how you square the part about "if not more free" to say you hate God in the U.S. with the fact that atheists are actively discriminated against there? I'd say there's a pretty big difference between "noone really caring" and harassment and in some cases even violence being visited upon you.[/B]
    That's an excellent point. I've never been victim to any violent harassment for my beliefs, but there's a definite unfair social outlook on what is and is not socially acceptable to say when it comes to religion vs. atheism. In American society, it's considered perfectly fine for a Christian to say that they know their religion is the Truth and the one true God is the Christian God. Yet I can't count the number of times I've been told I'm being rude or insensitive or disrespectful for simply saying I don't believe in God/Christianity, or that I view any modern religion like any mythology.

    Sure, legally both parties are allowed to state their beliefs, but society is more accepting of Christians doing it than atheists.

    I've been called a Satanist (which is absurd considering atheists don't believe in Satan), an anti-christ. I've had people tell me I must have no morals or I must be miserable all the time because I don't follow a religion. Yet when I turn around and say, "Well, I don't believe the Bible is true, I view it like a mythology," I'm told I'm being incredibly offensive. I have to walk on eggshells not to offend anyone with my views.

    There's definitely an unfair social attitude towards atheists in this country because we're a minority and Christians are the incredible majority.

  6. #26
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    Originally posted by Only-now
    I would also like to say that I would be willing to bet that "dsicrimination" takes on a new meaning when you are using it....and thus ends up perpetuating tha view of a one-way freedom of speech. Ex: "I hate God!" That's using freedom of speech right? "I hate people who don't believe in God!" Not freedom of speech, discrimination right?

    Your statement is true, about things not being the way they seem...but I doubt that is one of them.

    ~Kiva
    Well, if I told you what I read into freedom of speech before we made the bet, I don't think you'd be willing to carry it through. Because, in this case you'd lose.

    Discrimination is rather denying someone an employment (or an apartment/whatever) because of this person's religious or non-religious beliefs, sexual orientation, gender, etc. and so forth. In this, I don't differ much (if at all) from the average dictionary.

    Heh, I knew we don't really see eye to eye on a range of issues, but I didn't think your opinion of me was that low. Oh well.

    As for your doubts on the whole Islamist deal, well, you show that the Islamists are actually getting their way (anywhere in Europe, really) and I'll concede the point.

  7. #27
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    Alright then. For one, you can't label a country based on your experiences. We don't know what you said, how you said it, who the people you were talking to were, or what any of the circumstances were.

    Secondly, you just pointed out the situation in your own argument. The majority of people are Christians in the U.S! Why is it surprising then that Christianity is the most widely accepted relgion and the one that people are most accustomed to hearing about or coming into contact with? It is dumb to believe that somehow magically, there is is SUPPOSED to be a social equality between the majority and minority. It has never been that way here, or anywhere in the world and never will be. Honestly I believe most people you meet would not insult you if you told them your views...and I believe they wouldn't have a problem hearing it. Do you know how many people and beliefs are not socially equal to the majority? Get over it! It isn't a problem, it's life..here and everywhere! There is only a problem if legally there was a difference, and there isn't.

    Once again, it doesn't matter what the motivation is for proposing an amendment. I agree, many people have religious beliefs that don't support gay marriage. So..that is obviously going to influence their voting in a democracy. Remember, just because the President proposes an amendment doesn't mean that it is instantly law. Also, lets not forget that most people are against gay marriage as well. This is a democracy and the minority does NOT rule and SHOULD NOT rule. If the majority of people believe gay marriage is wrong..they can make it law..and it is perfectly fine, no matter what the reasons they believe it to be wrong for. It states no where that religion cannot play a part in decisions or voting, or proposals. In fact, we are colonized religiously in many areas, and the people that founded our nation were religious and even expected or assumed we would be the same in the future.

    Well, if you believe in that view of discrimination, then I think you would also find very few if any cases of discrimination against atheists...not to mention to get a job, or a house you never have to mention your religious beliefs.

    ~Kiva

  8. #28
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    I could directly quote you some examples if you wanted. I paraphrased pretty well above. In one circumstance I simply compared Christianity to Greek mythology and someone was offended.

    And I never said I expected there to be equality in a society with such a large population of one belief, I simply said I found it frustrating, especially since it ends up being reflected in legal decisions where I feel it has no place.

    And I was responding to the original thread question that yes, I feel this country is often too religious.

    Also, to bring up your own analogy to slavery...you do realize that it took several civil rights movements to move towards racial equality? That wasn't the result of a democratic vote. A similar situation occurred in the civil rights movements for gender equality. I do not believe that might always makes right and I have every right to complain about the fact that I think there are unfair and intolerant practices in this country that should change, regardless of how the majority feels. And I expect it will take another civil rights movement to move towards better treatment of homosexuals because sadly, I'm not sure the majority will support it any time soon.

  9. #29
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    Sure, you have every right to want change..that is perfectly fine. You can also be frustrated as well...but I think criticizing the system as if it were wrong is just grasping because of this frustration. You also realize that there is STILL not social equality between races..and there never will be. True, we have convinced most people that racism is crap and doesn't deserve a place in society...but we havent convinced everyone. I have encountered plenty of black people who were racist agianst whites, and vice versa (though more from the former honestly). Civil rights movements are very democratic in ideal, as any law or amendment that came from them went through a democratic system, could be challenged, could be supported etc. You have every right to complain about how the majority feels..and how the majority feels does not mean it is right...but it is how the majority feels. We WORK on what the majority feels and what they vote on and we use this same principle to change that same law later on.

    It is funny that what you are advocating is that people not be allowed to reflect on important parts of their lives when making voting decisions. So now we must dictate what people choose to make their decisions off of? There is no criteria to vote, and their shouldn't be. If a judge made a decision with no consideration of the law and based it solely on relgion..that would be wrong..and it rarely if ever happens. However, it is PERFECTLY OKAY for a voter to vote against gay marriage because his religious BELIEFS (and I thought we had a discussion on how important these are and how much motivation they provide) are against it. It is not up to the govenrment or anyone to tell someone that what they use to make their decisions when voting is wrong.

    This is my last post here tonight..I don't want to wear myself out and post for 3 hours straight etc.

    ~Kiva

  10. #30
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    I never criticized the legal system. I was criticizing society's affect on it.

    And yes, I'm quite aware there is still not social equality between races. I'm from LA. That furthers my point that movements towards racial equality were not a matter of the society as a whole doing what was best, but a result of smaller groups rising up and making enough noise that society as a whole gave them what they wanted. It's sad that it has to come to that whenever our society is intolerant of a group.

    I never ever once said people shouldn't be allowed to base their votes on their values. I simply said I dislike that there are so many overly religious and intolerant people here because their values are affecting my life and the lives of others in negative ways.

  11. #31
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    Sorry..THIS is my last post...I'm addicted apparently!

    *sighs* Overly religious? Those are thier basic religious beliefs. Overly religious would be killing gays, or attacking them. Not using your core beliefs as a Christian to use the democratic system to enact a law that upholds what you and the majority feel is right because of those ideals. That brings me to the fact that those effects are negative to the minorty..and they can complain...but they can't attack the system or impose themselves on the majority because they don't like the decision. The legal system is an invention of society...so, it is going to have an effect on it...ESPECIALLY in a democracy.

    I agree too, the minority can be important..and if the majority is wrong for w/e reason...the minority can be valuable in changing the social standpoints and views of the majority. They MUST do this if they want change, because the majority makes the laws. Thus..those movments still relied on a democratic situation in order to be effective. That is a perfectly fine way to go about trying to change something you think is wrong...but there is also a limit to how far you can go...as well as the the fact that you must direct the energy towards using the system to change things, instead of attacking it.

    Instead of attacking the fact that people use thier views which differ from yours to makes a decision that the majority supports, maybe try to change the opinion the majority holds. You do this without harassment, violence, or imposing it on others forcefully. You also cannot EXPECT people to change, and then when they don't...attack them as being "overly religious" because they don't see your point of view. Their viewpoint is just as strong as your opposition to their's.

    *closes Lea window to stop from posting again*

    ~Kiva

  12. #32
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    You don't consider intolerance based on religion to be taking it too far?

    I'm not sure what you mean by "attacking." I never said I think the minority should rise up and start a war against the majority. I do think the minority should continue to protest the actions of the majority if they're unhappy with them, though.

    Where did I say I felt we should use violence or harassment to achieve these goals? My goal is to change their minds, not harm them. You're putting words in my mouth that I never even alluded to.

  13. #33
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    Originally posted by Only-now
    Also, lets not forget that most people are against gay marriage as well. This is a democracy and the minority does NOT rule and SHOULD NOT rule. If the majority of people believe gay marriage is wrong..they can make it law..and it is perfectly fine, no matter what the reasons they believe it to be wrong for. It states no where that religion cannot play a part in decisions or voting, or proposals. In fact, we are colonized religiously in many areas, and the people that founded our nation were religious and even expected or assumed we would be the same in the future.

    Well, if you believe in that view of discrimination, then I think you would also find very few if any cases of discrimination against atheists...not to mention to get a job, or a house you never have to mention your religious beliefs.

    ~Kiva
    Democracy cannot exist without both majority rule and minority rights. Left to its own devices, it is inevitable that the majority will wipe out the minority, both politically and otherwise. Thus, the minority must have it's right to exist both politcally and physically in the country and with the same legal standing as every other group. Gay marriage and gay adoption bans threaten that right. A gay marriage ban undeniably opens the door for discrimination against said group. A gay adoption ban prevents gay parents from passing on their views to their children, which is a primary way through which generations decide their moral standings; thus, an integral right of the gay minority to exist would be threatened if such a means of moral translation between generations is hampered. In the end, the majority of this country does not have the right to pass any law it chooses lest we sacrifice a fair and just democracy in the process.

    And the founding fathers wrote that first ammendment for a reason; they would have written it differently if they meant something else. But they didn't, and so we go by what they did.

  14. #34
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    I think we've already been down the politics of religion / minority/majority rights / gay marriage, etc., so to get back on-topic, I guess it would be useful to define what we mean by "over-religious." Who decides what is "over-religious"? Is it a good or bad thing, and in which cases?

  15. #35
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    Personally, I don't see how someone can be over-religious or under-religious. I mean, that's just who they are, it's neither a flaw nor a virtue. When people start using religion as a weapon, that's when problems start. In all honesty, though, people will find their weapons even without religion, so I can't say religion as a whole is either good or bad. Personally, I'm religious, and I think it does a lot of good for me.

  16. #36
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    I would have classed *overly-religious* as someone who discimminated against groups of people for their beliefs/way of life, or used their views to etc. This would mainly list extremists, such as the KKK and the Taliban. People who believe that their religion is the *True* one are overly-religious when they belittle other religions or thrust it in your face trying to convert you when you don't want it, or have your own religion anyway.

    Just a word on the Gay Marriage front.
    There is a difference between religious marriage and legal marriage. If some sections of Christianity wants to deny a couple marriage because of that sections translation of the Bible, sure let them do that. A legal marriage is COMPLETLY different and should have nothing to do with religion. Law is law, religion is religion. They should not blend.

  17. #37
    Aka STM (Administrator ) Sadiki's Avatar
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    How I define over-religious is that the religion controls and gives a purpose for their whole life, like the book of their religion or " church" will tell them what they can / can't do.

    In example in a lot of African countries where Aids is real problem, people wont use condom because Church says that protection takes you to hell. Well if the thing really is it really that black and white, because bible also doesn't allow suicide and in my opinion that is a suicide to have unprotected sex in a country where over half of population has AIDS.

    I also pretty much agree with Dyani about some groups being over religious by putting their relgions over the laws. I know in a lot of countries the main religion and goverment do work together and it really shouldn't be that way, even thought only country where that truly doesn't happen at all is Sweden or that's what I heard from my religion teacher ( religion sience that explores through diffrend religions ). That is the only country where chrurch and goverment are fully seperated.

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  18. #38
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    Spirit and Kiva iv read your post and i say plz stop your "vs" thing this was not was this thread was created for it was created so i could expanden my experince and knowlage in other words things that benefits me" i know it sounds really ego centrix but if ya whana discuss that stuff please go to the thread opesit to mine who is pracetly bult for that talk"

    and thanks Darkslash for trying to put the thread back ontopic.

    as Stm made an intresting point " witch akshely shocked me" that sweden is the only country in the world 0.o" that dont let Relegion mingel with the goverment....

    i know this sounds really suprising but that shocked me...but am glad sweden is like that...

    i cant really understand how you can base your laws on the relegion that is the biggest...this is a very black and white but what if Christinatey would not be the biggest relegion in amarica? would they chance the law to lets say the Atichst relegion just to please the popularety?

    anyhow i really whana talk abut this becuse ..i dont know it just stuns me...becuse this works bad both ways really....

    as we look on amarica they dont let gay marrige becuse of the relegion...acording to me and my thoughts the priest shuld be forced by law to marrige these two..why? becuse its a part of his job...

    example...if you work at a pizza delevery and are asked to deliver this pizza to a gay cupple you dont say" i refuse to deliver this pizza becuse you dont like gays" ya cant do that becuse acording to your job laws" and laws in general" you have to deliver this pizza to who ever pays for it...in other words your personal opinion dose not matter when your working on who gets what and why...

    so as a priest i dont think you shuld have the right to refuse to marrie a cupple no matter what sex or colur becuse maring everyone is a part of your job

    however if a priest dose not get payed by anyone to do his serveces then he can refuse and chose who ever he wants...

    now please tell me and am seriues am i wrong our right.

    in other words this is the new topic you shal talk your opionions abut this and remember its me your talking to and not the others who have there opionion ya can ofcurse answer them but your here to adjicate me not them....

    however that was a sub question answer if you wish but heres the main one...

    personaly i dont think you shuld base a law on a relegion as i said befure what if it chances..

    and here comes the question...

    do you think its okay to base a law on a relegion or not

    in other words i want opinions talked to me but not only that i want reasuns...what good comes out of it ,what bad comes out of it...

    and as said if you dont think its good post a reasun why ya think so and an opinion to me if you wish that the law would be better if it was baised as it is in sweden.


    now thats alot for you to answer now stay on this topic plz our il have it closed down iv said it 100 times il say it again

    this thread is for my personal knowlage not a vs thread abut belives....thank you

    and continues to adjuicate me ^^ iv learn alot form this thread the last view days

  19. #39
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    Well, if you look into history... way back, you can see that most of our morals kind of came from spiritual belief as well as common sense. Caveman 1 kills Caveman 2 and Caveman 2's tribe kills Caveman 1's tribe. Simple sense and common beliefs back in the Ice Age gave rise to *laws*. They were more moral codes than anything else. Don't kill your neighbour because you will be punished.

    SO technically, all laws by governments are based on some beliefs/faiths at some point. Otherwise its just plain logic and morals.

    Religion and Laws should not mix though. When one religion is in charge of a government, that country gets very one sided and all other faiths ignored or worse, vandalised. Laws should be created on morals and common sense. Religion should have no part in it.

    Oh, about this *Priest must marry gays* point you made, Shadow. As the Priests employer is the Church and the Church has its own set of rules rather than obeying the governmental law, they do what they wish. The Church laws themselves are based off their own translation of the Bible. Priests go by this Church law. They refuse to marry certain couples because of their own laws.

  20. #40
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    Im not trying to continue my discussion with Spirit, but I want to clarify some things.

    Intolerance would be not allowing gays around, openly trying to get rid of them, attacking them physically/verbally, etc. Some people do this, and it's wrong...but voting a law you feel is correct and is protecting a valuable legal and in many cases religious tradition is not intolerance.

    I was not referring to physical attack when I said "attack". I mean that just because the minority is unhappy, something they are entitled to...does not mean they can then crticize and 'attack" w/e they want reagardless of whether that is actually the problem or not. What I mean is that the minority may not like the decision the majority made..and they can protest it, and try to get it changed...but when someone such as yourself says the problem is that people are too religious...and attacks the fact that people use it when voting...it is wrong and misdirected.

    I never said that you wanted to hurt anyone or harrass anyone. I was stating that that type of method of forcing change through violence etc is wrong. Some people believe that is the right way to go about it. Although gays aren't usually violent in protest...I do find a lot of what they do is done the wrong way and actually hurts them...like the gay pride parades etc. I was just saying there is a way to fight against what you don't like...but it seems like people are too impatient to use that. They want to be accepted now..and expect it.

    I don't have anything else to say right now, but there ya go.

    ~Kiva

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