Bronze Age Desert Cults Dislike The 21st Century

Well here’s two doubly depressing reports relating to the upcoming constitutional referendum which – if successful – will see a clause added to Bunreacht na hÉireann permitting marriage between two legally eligible citizens regardless of their gender. From the UK’s Guardian newspaper:

“…a bitter row has broken out between supporters and opponents over the funding of their respective campaigns. Supporters of a yes vote have accused opponents of a lack of transparency over finances and of accepting funding from rightwing Christian groups in the US.

One of the no side’s strongest supporters in the US is the lavishly funded National Organisation for Marriage (NOM). In a letter to supporters around the world, it has urged evangelical Christians to visit keepmarriage.org, which is campaigning for a no vote.

“Just like in campaigns for marriage here in America,” the letter says, “slanted public opinion polls become fodder to influence and depress supporters of marriage. This is happening in Ireland. If [the no campaign] can manage to pull off a victory, it will be a tremendous boost to the cause of marriage worldwide. Please do what you can to bring awareness to their efforts.”

However, a spokesperson for NOM in the US denied this weekend that it had channelled funds to any of the three main opposition groups to gay marriage during the campaign. NOM is aware that foreign donations to lobby groups during referendums in Ireland are banned, the spokesperson said.”

Anyone who has seen the anti-equality campaign being waged by the minority “No” side, with its glossy publications and professionally-produced videos, will understand that there is serious money underpinning its efforts; and that money most certainly is not in euros. Meanwhile in the Irish Times claims of one of the possible and unexpected side-effects of immigration:

“Tens of thousands of Christian immigrants who have become Irish citizens are being mobilised across the Republic to vote down a historic move to legalise gay marriage in Ireland this week.

While liberal Roman Catholic priests and nuns are defying their bishops to urge a yes vote on Friday, religious leaders in the evangelical Christian community are now placing their congregations on the frontline of the battle to persuade Ireland to say no.

In the yes corner are radical Catholic clergy such as Sister Stanislaus Kennedy, a lifelong anti-poverty campaigner who backed gay marriage last week.

On the no side, more than 30 born-again Christian pastors originally from Africa and representing dozens of churches are urging their congregations to help defeat marriage equality.

And organisers of an evangelical alliance for a No vote believe that the votes of up to 200,000 African and eastern European immigrants, many of them conservative Christians and Muslims, could help swing the vote in favour of no on May 22nd.

Nigerian-born pastor Adewale Kuyebi, from the Christ Apostolic church in the north-west Dublin area of Blanchardstown, predicted that “100 per cent” of his 300 members would be voting no.

“We don’t need to tell them what to do because they already know that it is against the scriptures to allow for same-sex marriages,” he said.

“Our church encourages all our members to vote in this democracy and I am confident all of them are for the no side because they read their Bible and understand what it tells them.

…we do not want a godless law being incorporated into the Irish constitution.”

Pastor Mike Garba, who preaches at the Mountain of Fire and Miracles church in the mainly working-class Finglas district of north Dublin, said he was also confident that all those eligible to vote in his congregation would vote no.

“Our message to our 250-strong congregation is that if you know the rules then you must vote No. We tell them that if you read your Bible then you know that it is against Christianity to see the same-sexes marrying. It is the same in churches like ours all over the country – 100 per cent no to this,” he said.

Such claims are disputed by the pro-yes Immigrant Council of Ireland.”

I’m actually so annoyed with the above reports I think I’ll forgo saying anything else. Instead I’ll wait until Friday to make my reply to the so-called pastors and their Harry Potter churches when I put a large cross beside the word “Yes”on my ballot paper.

Take that you moronic, small-minded bigots with your Bronze Age cults… Ooops…

[Apologies in advance to Sharon D and everyone else. You know I need to vent my secular heathenism every now and again! 😉 ]

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10 comments

  1. WTF. I’m tempted to respond to their claim that everyone who reads their bible knows the rules and will vote no with: everyone, Christian or otherwise, who has even a modicum of a thing particularly foreign to evangelical churches, namely education of any kind and even the smallest inkling toward critical thinking will know this is a bunch of BS. I’m not a Christian but do recall Jesus teaching unconditional love? ? ? And the heavens should literally forbid external secularly or otherwise imposed rules “telling” people what is spiritually acceptable. That whole concept needs permanent erasure from religion, and that’s not even before pointing out (which I could argue for but won’t right now) that one’s personal spiritual beliefs and the social/economic institution of marrage do, can, ought, to have nothing to do with each other except for mere correlation when they happen to coincide in the same person’s values and actions. Ridiculous and dangerous. “Born again” is more like death by forfeit of self authorship. Handing over your spiritual authority and turning into one of the sheeple who has no mind of their own is a transformation to be mourned, not celebrated. And once they lose any insight into who they really are, they try to speak with the voice of another on political policies. Scary! I live in the states, I will hope that common sense and common humanity win out on Friday for you in Ireland.

  2. Seems you might have inadvertently outlawed ‘normal’ marriage between opposite sex partners … no really …

    “Taken together these words will constitute the 34th Amendment to the Constitution. This sub-article, if inserted, would be the only provision in the Constitution regarding who may marry and, if ratified by the people, would remove normal marriage from the Constitution and leave in it two forms of marriage only, both homosexual.”

    http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/uncertainty-in-wording-of-marriage-equality-bill-seriously-threatens-constitution-1.2109937

    1. With all due respect, this article appears to be based on unsound reasoning and faulty logic. I quote from the site you linked to your comment: “The second part of the sentence excludes any distinction *in law* based on the sex of the couple.” Emphasis mine.

      The fallacies in the argument can be easily pointed out and with some critical thinking, it is easy to see the problematic nature of the claim.

      1. The problem as I understand it is that the constitution, prior to the amendment passed by popular vote, made a legal distinction as to the sex of the couple, which the amendment was presumably passed to rectify. The legal practice of only allowing for heterosexual, opposite gendered couples to marry is exclusionary, prejudiced, and discriminatory. Per your concern, I wish to point out that, had the amendment to the constitution explicitly stated that same sex couples could marry, while failing to also mention opposite sex couples, the amendment would indeed be exclusionary, prejudiced, and discriminatory. 2. Failing to allow civil marriage as an option for couples of any gender identity, sex, or sexual orientation is exclusionary, prejudiced, and discriminatory. 3. A failure in the law to make the right distinctions is not the same as opting in the law to make no distinctions. Take the following unrelated example to suffice as a case in point. Statement a: “We will accept applicants with disabilities for this position.” It could legally be read, “We will *only* accept applications from people with disabilities.” In that case, though it’s great that people with disabilities are being represented, they are being included at the exclusion of the nondisabled, which is just as discriminatory as excluding people with disabilities from a work opportunity. Statement 2: “We will accept applicants regardless of ability.” Here, there is a failure to explicitly state that the nondisabled will be considered for the job, but surely, the word “regardless” should point to the inclusive nature which this lack of distinction successfully instates in the application policy. 4. The amendment to the Irish constitution and notably the statement I quoted at the beginning of this comment is an instance of Statement 2, *Not* an instance of Statement 1. 5. The phrase “no distinction in law” serves the same syntactical and logical role as “regardless of” in my hypothetical example. Just as “regardless of ability” includes both people with and without disabilities, “No distinction in law based on the sex of the couple” is meant to include both couples of the same gender and couples of the opposite gender. 6. This lack of specification of sex or gender of any kind in the clauses of the amendment is what makes it inclusionary, anti-discriminatory, and devoid of prejudice, and promoting of equality. 7. Therefore, the amendment is doing what it intended to do, namely dissolve arbitrary and devisive differences between equally valid committed relationships of any and every sex and gender. 8. Therefore, it is wrong to hold up the implimentation of the amendment on these grounds, as the grounds themselves cannot hold.

      Unfortunately I don’t know Irish enough to speak to the other concerns in the article. I have my suspicions about the use of logic in the making of those concerns, however.

      1. The point was simply one of wording not intention. (And indeed there are cases in English common law at least, where the courts have long ago agreed that a particular statute was misprinted or is otherwise nonsense as written, and have come to a consensus as to what they believe it should have said). As written the Irish text, which apparently takes precedence over the English, appears to say that two people can be married regardless of whether they are (two) men ‘fír’ or (two) women ‘mná’, but omits to innumerate the heterosexual option (!) I.e. a couple ‘beart’ of one man ‘fear’ and one woman ‘bean’. The wording refers explicitly to a pair of people but nowhere uses the singular words necessary if you are to include one of each sex.

        Now I see the article is a few months old, so the wording may have been improved in the meantime. It has been flagged up elsewhere as an example of what happens when you draft in English alone and then try to translate the result into the other language. Generally bilingual jurisdictions draft in both languages from the start as this can lead to greater clarity all round.

        1. Hi, Marconatrix. It was clarified by the attorney-general, etc. that the wording, “Féadfaidh beirt, gan beann ar a ngnéas, conradh pósta a dhéanamh de réir dlí”, was correct. The article by Bruce Arnold was simply more of the barrel-scraping scaremongering typical of the “No” campaign, and the very reason they lost. Arnold is rather typical of the conservative Irish press, at least in times past. These days they are more socially liberal while favouring right-wing socio-economic policies that would give even Donald Trump pause for thought.

          1. I was only commenting on the linguistic issue. The wording you give is not that quoted in the article. I have no desire, and indeed no business, to comment on your gay marriage laws as such.

      2. Just to clarify, Éilis Niamh, the articles in the constitution were legally interpreted as preventing same-sex unions. They did not actually explicitly state so, which is why some favoured legislation rather than a referendum. However fears over a future constitutional challenge in the supreme court led to pressure to make the definition explicitly gender-neutral in the constitution. Which also of course gives the whole thing a democratic mandate making gay rights the settled will of the Irish people 😀

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