Christian sex therapist loses appeal

It makes no sense. Why would Christians even begin to think they had any qualifications as sex therapists? Certainly one can be Christian and be a competent sex therapist, but that falls apart when the sex therapist identifies his profession with Christianity itself (or really, any religion). That’s what Gary McFarlane of the UK did when he refused to treat same-sex couples – and it’s why he was fired.

Mr McFarlane said after the hearing that the decision not to let him appeal against the ruling left him “disappointed and upset”.

“I have the ability to provide counselling services to same-sex couples,” he said.

“However, because of my Christian beliefs and principles, there should be allowances taken into account whereby individuals like me can actually avoid having to contradict their very strongly-held Christian principles.”

It doesn’t work like that. Most professions have a set of ethics (whether specifically created by those in the profession or adopted from outside sources), and exceptions to those rules just do not tend to occur. If one person is allowed to skirt the tenets of his profession because he really believes something strongly, then there really are no more ethics; there are rules for some and privileges for others.

My favorite part of this whole thing comes from Lord Justice Laws.

Lord Justice Laws said legislation for the protection of views held purely on religious grounds cannot be justified.

He said it was irrational and “also divisive, capricious and arbitrary”.

The thing about religion and theology is that in all the apologetics and excuses and convolutions is the fact that if someone rejects the premise of a religion in the first place, then none of the intellectual masturbation holds any water. There are no attempts at universal appeals within theologies, and so they prove themselves useless in how society and professions ought to consider ethical guidelines and rules. Gary McFarlane’s religious beliefs do not deserve consideration because they have no justifications which can be utilized in how to counsel and treat patients on a human level.

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We aren’t racist! We aren’t rac…hang on a second

It’s a lie that the Tea Party is not about pushing racist, bigoted agendas. All the movement represents is the philosophically incoherent libertarians of the Republican party. (Not that I want to suggest that there are a large number of Republicans who hold coherent philosophies, whether libertarian or not.) And here are some stats to back up this all-too-obvious fact.

Among whites who strongly support the Tea Party, 60 percent agreed that America “has gone too far in pushing equal rights.” By comparison, only 23 percent of white Tea Party opponents agreed with that statement.

Other findings from the survey:

  • 94 percent of Tea Party opponents said American society “should do whatever is necessary to ensure equal opportunity.” Of all whites polled for the survey, 79 percent agreed with that statement. Tea Party supporters agreed less. Sixty-four percent said America should do whatever’s necessary.
  • 72 percent of Tea Party opponents concurred that “we don’t give everyone an equal chance in this country.” By comparison, 55 percent of all whites and 23 percent of strong tea party supporters concurred with that idea.
  • 77 percent of Tea Party opponents agreed that “if people were treated more equally, we’d have many fewer problems in this country.” By comparison, 54 percent of all whites and 31 percent of Tea Party supporters agreed.

  • 90 percent of Tea Party opponents dissented from the idea that the “government can detain people as long as it wishes without trial.” By comparison, 70 percent of all whites and 54 percent of Tea Party supporters dissented.
  • 72 percent of Tea Party opponents disagreed that the government should be able to tap people’s telephones. By comparison, 50 percent of all whites and 33 percent of Tea Party supporters held that position.
  • 94 percent of Tea Party opponents agreed that “no matter what a person’s political beliefs, he or she is entitled to the same rights as everyone else.” By comparison, 89 percent of all whites and 81 percent of Tea Party supporters agreed.
  • 74 percent of Tea Party opponents dissented from the idea that “the government should be allowed to profile someone because of race or religion.” By comparison, 57 percent of all whites and 33 percent of Tea Party supporters opposed such moves.

When teabaggers say they want more liberty, they mean for themselves.

Topless march in Farmington

After protesters marched topless in Portland for equal rights, Andrea Simoneau, a 22 year old student at the University of Maine at Farmington, decided to organize a similar march in her school’s town.

Hundreds of spectators poured into the street and lined the sidewalks to watch, while clusters of protesters held up signs in opposition to the march.

That’s roughly the desired outcome. Make something that shouldn’t be a big deal into a big deal. It’s too bad that there were so many non-news cameras all over the place, but it can’t be said that that wasn’t expected. Nor could it be said that it was unexpected that some people on the other end of the spectrum would go too far.

Resident Elaine Graham took on the most active role of protest, following topless women with a blue blanket and holding it up to cover them during and after the march.

That’s really not okay. Graham was being disruptive of what was a legal protest in Maine. She really needed to stay at an appropriate distance with a sign or some other form of non-interfering expression. Of course, this isn’t the first time Elaine Graham has gone too far.

Meet Elaine Graham of Farmington, Maine. This is Elaine Graham being expelled from a Judiciary Committee work session on the same sex marriage bill last April. I have no idea at all what she is screaming. However, Ms. Graham is holding three crudely crafted signs. The top one reads: “Mission Homosexual Movement CHANGE WORLD MORAL ORDER.”

(I added the link to the image.)

No stranger to silliness, Graham has again and again publicly expressed her sexual immaturity in ways more inappropriate than what’s par for the course. It’s sad and pathetic, really. Burdened with hatred based in Christianity, she cannot accept that other people have a more adult view than she when it comes to sex, the human body, and even love.

Finally, here’s one of the pictures from the march. Obviously I’m not going to upload bare breasts on WordPress (nor am I going to link to anything besides news images, should images be floating around out there), but I think it’s worthwhile to upload this particular picture because it captures the whole event so well. Graham is there, misbehaving out of sexual immaturity, while who knows how many men take video and pictures of the event.

This contrasts so much with a show I saw in Portland last night. The bulk of the show had three bands/musicians (one of which was Theodore Treehouse), but in between sets there was a belly dancer. Any person would have fallen over him- or herself if this woman merely made eye contact, but notably, everyone refrained from recording. There were a couple of photographers for the show itself, but no one in the audience pulled out a camera or cell phone and started snapping away. It wouldn’t have been appropriate by and large, but it also would have really distracted from what was actually a very skilled and talented performance. Of course, the reason for this difference in reaction is the certainly higher sexual maturity present in the audience at that show versus the sexual maturity of those who showed up to gawk in Farmington. People were able to recognize that the belly dancing was not a sexual act; many (though certainly not all!) in Farmington saw the topless march as a sexual display. It wasn’t.

Thought of the day

Being called a nigger by a drunk black guy named “Chicago” is one of the more interesting experiences one can have in life.

Thought of the day

Atheism has never motivated a person to evil. Nor has it motivated anyone to good. It is, in fact, simply a descriptive position; it is not normative.

The Arizona immigration law

Maine doesn’t get a lot of immigrants. Some groups from Mexico come up in the summer to (mostly) pick blueberries, and a lot of people from Quebec find themselves working on the coast around the same time, but there just isn’t a big foreign population in Maine, even when considering migrant workers. That said, it’s obvious even from all the way up here that there are some serious issues with Arizona’s new immigration law.

Under the new Arizona law, immigrants unable to produce documents showing they are allowed to be in the U.S. could be arrested, jailed for up to six months and fined $2,500. That is a significant escalation of the typical federal punishment for being here illegally – deportation.

1) People can just lie and claim to be native. Police can do nothing.
2) If another crime has been committed, however, and the person lies about being an immigrant (even a legal one), that is another charge that can be brought against the person. When natives lie to the police, however, the ramifications are significantly less.
3) Freed black people in the 1860’s had to carry documentation showing that they were no longer slaves.

More immature sexuality from a Christian

Immature sexual views are rampant among the religious. One of the worst is that sex is only for marriage. That ignores the fact of how important sex ought to be in a relationship. It need not be the most important connection between a couple – and that will vary, I suspect with most preferring a close emotional relation first – but it is plainly silly to claim that it isn’t an important enough aspect for couples to physically explore before making a commitment as legally serious as marriage. It’s fortunate that more and more people are moving from this childish point of view, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t others who hold immature views on sexuality.

As I said, sometimes sex is just sex; it’s what you do when you are married. Just like cleaning the toilet is what you do to keep your house clean…and I bet you don’t have this great desire or huge emotional connection to scrubbing the porcelain! You do it because it needs to be done and that’s the way it is with married sex… it does need to be done! It’s the glue that God gave us to bond us to one another. The bible is very clear that it is your responsibility as a spouse.

Got that? The Bible says that even if sex is like scrubbing a toilet, you ought to do it. Life isn’t about being fulfilled; it’s all about the procreation. Even though the only procreation allowed must occur under specific guidelines.

Totally makes sense.