Box Turtle Bulletin

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“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Hating the Sin. Not Giving a Damn About the Sinner.

Rob Tisinai

October 26th, 2011

Will is a full-time student with a part-time job. I work for a big company with spectacular benefits. And as of January 1, Will’s going to be covered under my medical and dental plans, because my firm has a provision for domestic partners.


Our opponents often blast companies for offering such benefits, and are dead-set against having state, local, or federal governments offer such a thing.

Sometimes the objections are foul. It’ll cost too much money! It would be awful to let a straight person’s spouse die of lingering treatable cancer, but it’s just good fiscal sense to strand homos in medical hell.

Sometimes the objections are patently false, like Maggie Gallagher’s naive belief that two working spouses will each naturally take care of their own health insurance.

And sometimes the objections are just plain ignorant, as when Maggie claims that not being allowed to marry offers this super-cool benefit: “the ability to walk away from a partner’s medical debts.”


Wait, that’s not enough.


Maggie may be legally correct, but she’s morally ignorant.  What makes her think I value this ability to “walk away”?  Will’s medical bills — and general welfare — are my responsibility, just as mine are his.  That doesn’t change just because we’re in a same-sex committed relationship.  Is that so impossible to understand?

Our religious opponents continually claim they hate the “sin” but love the “sinner.” But it’s this sort of thing — this exact sort of thing — that shows how meagerly our opponents understand us, how little they even care to understand us, and how empty their claim is of sweetly and religiously loving us.



Bose in St. Peter MN
October 26th, 2011 | LINK

One of Maggie’s favorite statements — about marriage bringing together the “two great halves of humanity” — strikes me as particularly awful.

The logical inference is that straight, cis, gender-conforming men and women are the sole, rightful owners of humanity. For lesbian, trans, gay, intersex and other folks, humanity is conditional, to be denied or conferred at the whims of the “two great halves.”

I agree with you, Rob… that’s not compassion, not love, not empathy.

October 26th, 2011 | LINK

My neighborhood Society of Friends wants me to get married and have the same social benefits as they do because they believe it would be as uplifting for me as it is for them. At least, that’s what they say God finally managed to get through to them while they sat around listening for their instructions on Sunday mornings.

Such consistent beliefs are certainly religious and are also rather sweet. And I admit to thinking they’re lovely to boot. So I wish these other creeps would stop trying to claim-jump the local Quakers’ previous and valid claim to sweetly and religiously loving me.

Rob in San Diego
October 26th, 2011 | LINK

See Maggie forgets that we have love and commitment for each other. In her eyes we’re all together for just the Santorum sex.

Rev Ray Neal
October 27th, 2011 | LINK

I deal with this kind of response frequently…and I’m a Christian minister who also happens to have a same-sex husband/partner. Sometimes I’ve even been told that I must not realize that I can’t possibly be a Christian, much less an ordained Christian minister, because I am gay. But, then they usually say, “We love you, we just hate your sin.” I’ve gotten that from family members, other ministers, and people I meet on the street. I sure do wish they would all practice the Christ-like faith they profess to have. sure would make a big difference.

October 27th, 2011 | LINK

I am so happy you and Will are together. Just remember nothing warms a mothers heart more than grandchildren. I wish you and Will many Blessed years of happiness.SG

Timothy Kincaid
October 27th, 2011 | LINK

Maggie claims that not being allowed to marry offers this super-cool benefit: “the ability to walk away from a partner’s medical debts.”

Yes. In precisely the same way that a heterosexual couple that are unmarried can do. Which is why Maggie opposes heterosexuals marrying.

ohhhhh…. yeah, she actually campaigns for heterosexuals marrying.

What makes her think I value this ability to “walk away”? Will’s medical bills — and general welfare — are my responsibility, just as mine are his.

Actually, that is one of the reasons that marriage exists at all. It is a social contract that ties people to each other and provides that when things go bad, there’s someone there to help. So that a) care is there and b) it isn’t up to the rest of everyone else to take care of it (ask Maggie if she’d prefer socialized medicine). It is a HUGE societal improvement project, in a way.

Gosh, I guess Maggie’s either astonishingly cynical or astonishly stupid.

October 27th, 2011 | LINK

This column brings up two issues for me:

1) If these people were actually “Christians,” they would know it’s not their job to sit in judgement of anyone. Furthermore, the whole “Love the sinner. Hate the sin” thing is irrelevant once we realize that we don’t need anyone’s approval to live our lives as we see fit. I despise the word “tolerance.” What makes someone think they have the moral authority to “tolerate” (versus accept) me?

2) Mr. Tisinai wrote, “Maggie may be legally correct, but she’s morally ignorant.” I think you meant to say that she is embarrassingly ignorant and morally bankrupt. Then again, I can see how one might argue that her knowledge of moral values is deficient, thus making her ignorant. However, this is just a suggestion, pointing out that she is BOTH ignorant and devoid of the same morals she claims to champion (i.e., what impact would millions of same-sex partners walking away from medical bills have on the health care system’s ability to treat patients not to mention health care costs?) is just more fun in my humble opinion.

Timothy Kincaid
October 28th, 2011 | LINK

Unfortunately, Maggie’s morals are based on Catholicism, not Christian principles.

Christian principles would apply choices based on the heirarchy that one finds in Scripture:

1. Is there a specific Scriptural teaching?

2. Would this teaching be overruled by Peter’s Sheet, i.e. is there “unpure or unclean” assignment which is arbitrary rather than inherent?

3. Where does this teaching fit into the Big Ten?

4. Is this a teaching you would want applied to you if you were in the other person’s shoes? This vetos all.

But Catholic morality – of the sort that Maggie believes – is based on the teachings of the church. Heck, I bet that if they Catholic Church decided something wacky like – oh, I dunno – not being able to eat meat on Friday, Maggie would not question it.

Or, imagine if the Catholic Church came up with something as irrational as not using birth control when you aren’t physically, emotionally, or financially capable of raising a child. (I’m just kidding. Surely they wouldn’t say that!)

A Christian principle might suggest that such irresponsibility was unwise, if not downright immoral. It certainly isn’t very loving to subject such a child (or your already present children) to poverty. And it sure isn’t loving to insist that those who want to be responsible in procreation should be stopped from doing so.

But ya know, I bet Maggie would believe the Church even they claimed that the irresponsible act was the correct moral choice.

Timothy (TRiG)
October 28th, 2011 | LINK

Ah, so making fun of religion on BTB is just hunky dory, as long as it’s not Timothy’s religion we make fun of. I’ll remember that for future reference.


October 29th, 2011 | LINK

Must make MAggie’s husband feel all warm and fuzzy inside to know that if he had huge medical bills that Maggie wished she had the option to just walk away. Shows her moral character and how much she truely loves him.

Timothy Kincaid
October 29th, 2011 | LINK


I’m sorry if this came across as an attack on the catholic faith in comparison to other belief systems. All faiths come with some wackiness I suspect. And yes i was unfairly mocking of their beliefs (I’ll continue to mock the church’s contraception ban but the fish on Friday dogma was harmless tradition and I shouldn’t have used it)

My point is that Maggie’s ethical system isn’t based on princies but rather on rote obedience. It is also true the Catholics hold no monopoly on mindless obedience and in reality Catholics ignore their church’s nonsense by huge majorities.

October 29th, 2011 | LINK

Catholics hold no monopoly on mindless obedience

No and the Mormons might be the in running for the top spot in this category.

And wackiness is just another way of sometimes saying it’s cult-like. From some perspectives someone’s sacred canons probably are viewed as wackiness by people who are ignorant. Take for example, the constant referral (not here on BTB) about Mormons’ “magic underwear”.

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