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How Brave Will You Feel When the First Child Dies?

Rob Tisinai

June 21st, 2013

A mob — I mean, a horde — I mean, a coalition — of Christian-based anti-gay activists has taken a stand against any Supreme Court decision that favors marriage equality. They vow to…well, that part’s a little vague. Some excerpts:

As Christian citizens united together, we will not stand by while the destruction of the institution of marriage unfolds in this nation we love…

We stand together in solidarity to defend marriage and the family and society founded upon them…

We cannot and will not allow this to occur on our watch…

But, make no mistake about our resolve. While there are many things we can endure, redefining marriage is so fundamental to the natural order and the true common good that this is the line we must draw and one we cannot and will not cross…

Not sure what they’re promising to do, but this echoes the Manhattan Declaration:

And so just as Christ was willing, out of love, to give Himself up for the church in a complete sacrifice, we are willing, lovingly, to make whatever sacrifices are required of us for the sake of the inestimable treasure that is marriage…

[We will not] bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent…

Yes, they’re brave and resolute — and surprisingly reluctant to tell us what all this will look like in practice. Or perhaps not so surprising when you start imagining examples. Say, this one: Denying health care to children.

It’s easy to see how it could happen. It takes just one employer with the courage to say:

Whatever the law says, I refuse to grant spousal and family benefits to your same-sex “spouse,” to your “spouse’s” biological child, or (shudder!) to the child you have adopted together. Such arrangements are abhorrent to God, and recognizing them would violate my promise never to treat them as marriage or even the equivalent. I stand my ground, ready to accept any sacrifice or harm it does to me.

And suddenly those children lose access to anything but emergency health care. No more long-term care. No more preventive care, the sort that catches problems while they can still be treated. So I have to ask these brave and resolute Christians:

How brave will you feel when the first child dies?

If experience is any guide, somebody will read that and express their concern that it’s needlessly inflammatory. It’s inflammatory, to be sure, but needlessly so? Sometimes the truth is inflammatory all on its own.



Lightning Baltimore
June 21st, 2013 | LINK

Sadly, it’s an easy answer: they’ll blame the parents of the dead child.

Bill T.
June 21st, 2013 | LINK

If we are really lucky, the American Taliban will hold their breathe until they turn blue, then go home to pout.

Timothy Kincaid
June 21st, 2013 | LINK

I think it’s very clear. They will stand together, but not by, and they will not cross any lines nor will they bend.

Picture a group of people standing in a clump doing nothing and I think you pretty much have it covered.

Regan DuCasse
June 21st, 2013 | LINK

They are already ignoring females in trouble. They wax so nostalgic about how right and true the Bible is about marriage. And how “God ordained” the marriage of men and women is. And how superior the man/woman model of love and family and children.
Except for the failure rate of marriages that end in divorce, which is precipitated by a lot of tragic child custody and domestic violence that can lead to mass murders that involves people not even in the family or marriage. There are millions of children living in poverty and a female is assault every 45 seconds in America, most of which goes unreported or without the perpetrator ever caught.
The violence in America is staggering, actually.
Or at least, the lack of respect is so prevalent that a simple act of kindness seems remarkably heroic in comparison.
Which is what makes the way the anti gay see themselves as at once victims AND heroes in the ‘fight’ against gays, and ‘standing up’ against a peaceful and non violent group of law abiding and responsible citizens so ludicrous.
Their priorities are in themselves outrageously twisted.
From their own sites, to the articles in online journals like WND and TownHall, the constant complaints against gays grow more and more strident, ludicrous and most of all, inflammatory.
Only the most ridiculously stupid person who enjoys the drama of being offended more than common sense would believe it.
Short memories or people who have never had to actually experience real discrimination or bigotry for the purpose of comparison would know better.
It’s that simple.
But the fact that females are so ignored in a routine conversation on social violence and the reality of it, I resent it.
I resent it a lot.
It’s a sign that ONLY being anti gay is their interest, and nothing else. They are SINGLE minded in their mission to spite gay people and defame gay people.
Not really deal with more urgent issues.
I have no patience with that.
Because that makes them part of the problem.

June 21st, 2013 | LINK

The Supreme Court did just change the rules for protesting on the Supreme Court grounds ………. and, elsewhere. Here is link to the story:

June 21st, 2013 | LINK

Reagan I enjoyed your commit, but you omitted the fact that women do abuse their spouses or significant others, too. Most are just too ashamed to admit that they are victims. Here is a link to the story of well though of female doctor who is accused of poisoning her colleague whom she had been dating:

June 21st, 2013 | LINK

They already claim that simply being a loving couple raising a child is a form of child abuse. I can’t see it as all that much of a stretch that they will celebrate the death of that child as proof that they were right.

They won’t SAY it that way, of course. They’ll say it’s a tragedy – but they they’ll go on to say what caused it.

Whether it’s proof to them that gay people are bad parents, that God is punishing the parents for choosing to be gay, or some other thing, I suspect that the last thing that will cross their mind is the missed opportunity to heal the sick or comfort those in need.

June 21st, 2013 | LINK

Rob, your question assumes that they actually care about children — or anyone else. It’s going to take a lot of convince me that’s the case, because from everything I’ve read from them, all they care about is their own power and authority. If there are negative consequences to any of their words or actions, it’s someone else’s fault.

Regan DuCasse
June 21st, 2013 | LINK

Charles, I haven’t forgotten it AT ALL. It’s ALL bad. ALL domestic violence is terrible.
But it’s a serious fact that women are a HUGE majority of victims, as are children in this, okay? I’m not minimizing the issue of males as victims.
Nor same sex domestic violence. But it is rarer.
The anti gay issue objectifies females similarly to the way pornography does. It’s a no brainer, my dear. I don’t disagree.
But it’s impossible to discuss the issue of domestic violence with these humps by any means and THAT pisses me off no end as it is.

June 21st, 2013 | LINK

Regan, of course we all agree that domestic violence horrible. And, also we must all agree that no one segment of our society has a monopoly on it.

Richard Rush
June 21st, 2013 | LINK

“Yes, they’re brave and resolute — and surprisingly reluctant to tell us what all this will look like in practice.”

I think there are some serious fantasies going on here.

I’ve often wondered if some American Christian fundamentalists feel their freedom is infringed because they can’t get away with the carnage that Islamic fundamentalists enjoy.

When Christian fundamentalists talk about opposition to gun control, I don’t believe they are thinking about protecting access to guns for hunting or self-defense the way most of us think of those things. It seems clear to me that they have fantasies of an armed uprising of some sort – against the government (the phrase ”government tyranny” is used frequently) and/or against all those who don’t share or adhere to their religious beliefs. I’m on the emailling list of a daily “conservative” newsletter, and that is exactly what comes through when I read “between the lines.”

June 22nd, 2013 | LINK

Richard, gun control is just plain off the mark, you missed your target. If you want to be able to defend yourself from punks or others that want to hurt you, a gun is a perfect tool to use. Just get trained in how to use one. Abortion kills far, far more children every year than do guns. Also, the mass killings that we do have appear to be committed by people with mental illness. Something we really need to be concerned about in this country.

Jim Hlavac
June 22nd, 2013 | LINK

they’re not going to do anything but huff and puff and try to blow the house down. There’s no way for them to really not follow the law if gay marriage is allowed — they’re not part of it. What, some christian guy won’t marry a guy he’s not dating?

As for the benefits that may be denied by some Chick-fil-a or something — a few good lawsuits will fix that problem — money talks rather loudly with these fellows.

I can’t worry that they will freak out — the No Gays Movement is just obtuse.

Regan DuCasse
June 22nd, 2013 | LINK

Hi Charles, I think what I’m trying to articulate and you know this is true is that the anti gay are idealizing the man/woman model as ‘God ordained’ a model of the most natural union that anything else MUST be deviant, evil and the complete opposite to the detriment of all that’s holy.
When all around us, if that were true, domestic violence of any kind wouldn’t be an issue at all.
And they are using discrimination against gay people, with something that’s not exclusive to ANY human group and that’s so wrong on it’s face.
Deflecting the issue of marriage equality as a PROBLEM, when VIOLENCE is so prevalent and ignoring that, is what makes their own lack of priorities so rabid.
That’s the only reason why I brought it up in the way I did.
Thanks for your input!

Blair Martin
June 22nd, 2013 | LINK

So they say “[We will not] bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent…”

How many of them are divorced and remarried?

How many of their “churches” have divorced and remarried people in their congregations?

Didn’t Jesus of Nazareth cast a dark view on divorce?

….and hypocrisy….

June 23rd, 2013 | LINK

You are of course assuming that they actually care about anyone other than themselves. Conservatives, at least politicians, claim to care for others, but they love to mock and insult the poor and the needy as well as cutting off any and all aid they can.

June 23rd, 2013 | LINK

One last comment, but a couple leaders have openly stated that a supreme court ruling in favor of marriage equality would lead to “armed rebellion.” Some are basically threatening to over throw and/or kill those in their way to prevent equal rights.

June 23rd, 2013 | LINK

This story is a little (a lot) vague.
WHAT organization posted this?
WHERE was it published?
WHO is associated with this.

very poor reporting, that almost (totally) reeks of propaganda!

Richard Rush
June 23rd, 2013 | LINK

corey, if you click on the link in the first sentence of this post, I think it will answer your questions. Perhaps you didn’t notice the link because you were a little too eager to scream “propaganda!”

July 2nd, 2013 | LINK

The Jesus I know allowed himself to be killed so that others would not have to suffer the consequences of their ‘sins’. They may claim to be willing to be martyrs, but their lives are not threatened, and their deaths would help no one.

Priya Lynn
July 2nd, 2013 | LINK

“The Jesus I know allowed himself to be killed so that others would not have to suffer the consequences of their ‘sins’.”.

The very foundation of christianity is based on a logical fallacy. Punishing someone who didn’t commit a crime doesn’t exonerate the person who did.

If humans performed this sort of “justice” we’d be outraged but somehow the christian god gets a pass for a gross injustice.

Imagine if a mother had two children and Suzy smashed a valuable vase because mom wouldn’t let her stay up late and then mom said “Suzy was so bad I beat Tommy so she wouldn’t have to suffer the consequences of her sin.”. What an insane mother, eh? But god is loving and just when he does the same thing.

Or suppose George’s son Phil robbed a bank and George showed up at Phil’s trial and said “No, send me to jail instead of Phil, I want to forgive his sin.” Would that fly? Of course not, no one can assume the guilt/punishment for another.

In Christianity its subjective morality, one standard for god/Jesus a seperate standard for humans. Crazy!

Timothy Kincaid
July 2nd, 2013 | LINK

Oh goodie, more evangelical atheism. I love it about as much as I love evangelical Christianity and evangelical Islam.

All of them love to distort the beliefs of others in hopes of conversion (or perhaps to convince themselves that they are right).

Richard Rush
July 2nd, 2013 | LINK

“Oh goodie, more evangelical atheism.”

Okay, but at least Priya Lynn is rational. That’s one of the unique qualities of “evangelical” atheism.

Timothy Kincaid
July 2nd, 2013 | LINK


everyone thinks that their beliefs about religion are not only correct, but obviously so. To those whose experiences differ from yours, Priya Lynn’s evangelism is no more rational than that of snake handlers, faith healers, or the guys in orange robes who used to sell flowers at the airport. Or, for that matter, the very very nice people down at the Congregational Church.

You believe your senses, they believe theirs, and ain’t no one going to convince anyone otherwise. And every single evangelist is convinced that they are different because they come telling the truth unlike those horrible people who handle snakes or sell flowers or don’t believe in deities (or preach that mealy mouthed everything-goes watered down religion down there at that sell-out Congregational Church).

And all of it is obnoxious. And dreary.

Priya Lynn
July 2nd, 2013 | LINK

Right. People bring up christianity all the time on this blog but Timothy doesn’t try to shut them up by screaming “evangelical” when they do but if I respond then Timothy seeks to shout me down with “evangelical” aimed as an insult.

Love your double standard Timothy, its that undeserved religious privilege again, its all nice and good when someone brings up the topic of christianity first, calls us all god’s children or something, but somehow its obnoxious to respond with an atheist’s viewpoint.

Priya Lynn
July 2nd, 2013 | LINK

I won’t be back to hear you attempt to spin that either.

Richard Rush
July 3rd, 2013 | LINK

Timothy, you implied that Priya’s comments have no more credibility than one religious belief system competing with another. If you really believe that, then I assume you would agree with the following:

Science produces a growing bundle of beliefs that have no more or less credibility than beliefs derived from Bible stories.

July 3rd, 2013 | LINK

Whoa! PL what’s with the vitriol? I understand that not everybody is Christian, or even believes in the existence of higher powers, but as TK points out, everybody is different. Dismissing somebody’s beliefs is not the way to persuade them to agree with you. I don’t feel the need to delve into Christology to explain how my beliefs are rational. It should suffice that I have deeply held personal beliefs that seem to me as rational as yours seem to you. However, when talking about a group of Christians, dismissing them as insane for being Christian in the first place does no good. Rather, one must approach them by their point of view. My focus was on Jesus being sacrificial to the point of death, and for the goal of his death to be redeeming to others (however that may happen), in order to contrast with the mentalities of those battling gay rights. Fighting others to the death to keep them from enjoying life is quite the opposite of the mentality of Jesus. You can rail all you want against Christianity, but it won’t stop everybody from believing it. Those that continue to believe must be addressed through that lens. Failing to do so will alienate them from your ultimate point (i.e. you will get stuck on arguing how stupid religion is rather than demonstrating how important LGBT equality is).

RR, you assume scientific and religious thought are mutually exclusive. However, many religious people see the distinction between scientific thoughts and questions versus religious thoughts and questions. The two are distinct, so not contradictory.

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