The Old Rule on Race: Separate but Equal. Too Liberal for Anti-Gay Politics

I’ve referred often here to Albert Mohler, the President of the Southern Baptist Seminary.  While he is regarded by some as an intellectual, I sometimes find his political and religious views so primative it is chilling.

During the last few decades of segregation, the segregationists argued that separate but equal was “fair”. They had come to realize that equal was an American attribute.  It was necessary to separate the races because if they got to know each other they might intermarry. This was was forbidden by their “faith”.  While the old race rules seem stark and brutal to us now, it is actually more enlightened than Albert Mohler’s view on gays.

Today, Mohler was critical of remarks President Obama made to an LGBT group. In those remarks the President said, “…I support ensuring that committed gay couples have the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple in this country.” 

Later in his remarks he said, “You will see a time in which we as a nation finally recognize relationships between two men or two women as just as real and admirable as relationships between a man and a woman.”

These statements set Mohler off.  In his view, giving the same financial, property and relationship rights to gays is unjust.

Mohler’s views about gays does not quite rise to the moral and ethical level of the segregationists’ separate but equal.  He likes the separate, but not the equal.

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About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years.
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33 Responses to The Old Rule on Race: Separate but Equal. Too Liberal for Anti-Gay Politics

  1. Brad Campbell says:

    Like I have mentioned in earlier threads, I do not believe in the gay lifestyle but they should have the same rights as anyone else.

    Gays/lesbians would be killed in many other countries. Here in the US it is about whether they deserve the same financial-social-economic rights as others. In other countries they would just be killed….no questions asked.

  2. Wanna B Sure says:

    I do believe that same sex marriage will become the law of the land, with all the benefits (medical, retirement, etc.) Will that be the end of it? Some churches will not participate in the ritual, or in the administration of the Sacrements. Will they then be marked with discrimination and/or hate crimes? Would they be threatened with loosing their 501-c3 church status if they don’t comply and recognise the marriage? Will the LGBT community be satisfied if churches don’t comply? Would they picket these churches? Just asking for different opinions.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Wanna 12:16 It seems like a lot of the opposition is a generational thing? If that is the case, our generations will die off and with it much of the opposition to gays.
      Today, there are still people who are prejudiced against black people, but mostly they are accepted as equals. So, some decades from now, my guess is we will see a few people still stuck in the past on the gay marriage issue but nearly everyone accepting it. I would predict, in addition, that Biblical literalists will have moved on to some other taboo by that time.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Wanna 12:16 I thought I had answered your question, but I’ll try again. I don’t think there will be much picketing or hell raising because the churches that are prejudiced against gays will simply become smaller and smaller until they are too insignificant to bother with. The Rob Bell mega churches who preach about the love of Jesus instead of the rath of hell will find some way to manuver around the scriptures and allow gay couples to participate in church life. I’ll say again, the historical model of racial integration is what to expect. Now, having said all this, I’ve been wrong before.

  3. Avatar of Mac Mac says:

    Wanna B, thanks for asking: My partner and I had a ceremony in the Unitarian Church in Winnipeg, MB and we purchased a marriage license from the Canadian government. We had the ceremony on Friday with our families (including parents in their 60′s thru 80′s) and 4 close friends, then had a huge party at our home on Saturday. This was 4 years ago, and US society and Christianity seems to be going okay. Our south Fargo neighborhood thinks we’re cool.

    Every church out here remains open; there seems to be no rash of divorce or family anarchy; and the kids of the neighborhood seem to think we’re just more old people living down the street.

    We’re a living example that gays in committed relationships don’t harm society, and in fact I maintain we advance society. The objection to gay marriage seems to be an offense of the sensibilities of certain religious types (i.e. my religious book says this is bad, so then it is). I have begged on every forum out there for someone to tell me how my marriage harms theirs, but no one has responded. I’ve even offered some examples i.e. giving us a federal and state tax break might make their taxes go up–having us part of the insurance pool as a family may make their rates go up—nothing, no response from anyone.

    Brad, I appreciate your remarks, but they smack of condescention. It’s kind of offensive that you have taken the high road and deigned to tolerate homosexuals in spite of your faith, and seem to imply we should be glad we’re not subject to execution in our home country. You know what? Those remarks are really offensive. You speak as if we’re subhuman or something.

    Wish I were a sociologist, so I could qualify this, because in my opinion, humans need someone to dump on and feel superior to, and gays are the final minority in US society in which discrimination is not only legal, it’s often encouraged.

  4. Avatar of Mac Mac says:

    Sorry, Wanna. I thought you were asking for general perspective. In my opinion, I cannot imagine anyone standing outside a church and picketing because they won’t perform a ceremony for them. There are plenty of Christian churches who welcome gay parishioners, so I don’t see it being a huge issue. Why on earth would a person of faith try to force someone to let them join their worship group, knowing full well the people in there despise them?

    With all due respect Wanna, your question also suggests that gay people don’t think or rationalize like society in general. There’s nut cases, and zealots, and freaks in our world, just like everywhere else. Would there be a nut case or two with a picket sign outside First Lutheran because they declined to perform a ceremony? Maybe. Would the Fargo Fags assemble and storm the church, demanding they change their policy? Are you kidding me?

    Regarding churches losing tax exempt status—besides the irony churches get tax breaks and they fight tooth and nail to keep gay people from getting tax breaks—in my opinion the minute a denomination steps into the political arena, they should lose their tax exempt status. They’ve changed from a religious organization to a public relations firm: they are being paid (receive donations) by individuals who use their organization and its ideals (religion and the threat of hell) to force an agenda on society.

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      Mac; thank you for your comments

    • Avatar of PK PK says:

      The problem with you analysis is that a lot of the extremists are in the liberal media and the Southern Poverty Law Center that would most definitely attack churches that won’t recognize gay marriage. Many people, like you said, won’t care. But the machines won’t stop. There is a social engineering agenda underlining the gay movement, just like there was with the woman’s movement. At face value they’re both good causes, but the propaganda machine will not stop. Don’t get me wrong, i’m not for so called conservative media either. They’re a bunch of war mongering fascists, just the other side of the coin. There are many people in high positions in this world that have a philosophical belief that the world is overpopulated and it’s there job to control it. The gay lifestyle fits that well and there can’t be a resistance(churches) that threatens it, which is why it won’t end when gay marriage is legal. That’s just the first hurdle.
      Your last paragraph doesn’t make much sense. It’s not the churches who are resisting gay marriage, it’s people who belong to churches. With your line of reasoning anyone who belongs to a church shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Now if there are churches using their funds to proactively fund anything political, that’s against the law and they should lose their privileges, but they are isolated cases and every church shouldn’t suffer.

  5. Avatar of Mac Mac says:

    It’s been my observation there are extremists in every group. To deny equal protection under the law to same gender couples based on the argument that extremists in their group will cause a ruckus is pretty lame.

    When individual pastors and congregations use the tools of their trade (threat of eternal damnation, being ostracized from friends and family) to shape American law and public policy, they become a PR firm, not a church, and should pay tax accordingly.

    My apologies for implying every church in America should lose its tax exempt status. The quantity of churches who do good for society far outnumber the mouth-foaming zealots that hog the headlines.

    • Avatar of PK PK says:

      I’m going off of observations of the Southern Poverty Law Center and others too, they’re anti-American groups who highjack good causes and use them for their own gains. There definitely are extremists in every group. The sad thing is, these extremists always manage to get into positions of power, which is why we have the horrendous world history that we do.
      If a church wants to engage in those activities they should have to pay taxes, i agree. The reason those people hog the headlines is because the media, on both sides, play games to create division amongst the people. The more we fight amongst ourselves and our distracted, the easier the criminal class can get away with their crimes. Alternative media is the way to go.

  6. Avatar of seaofstories seaofstories says:

    Churches should have to pay taxes. Period.

  7. Avatar of Mac Mac says:

    No. IMO arts organizations and philanthropic groups tax status should remain as it is. It’s when churches cross from philanthropic into political organizations is where I personally think their status should change.

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      Re. “when churches cross from philanthropic into political organizations”…It is my understanding that those provisions are already in place. Although not enforced as strongly as probably should be. How would you diferentiate? “in house speach”? External lobying? etc.?

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      In your opinions would individuals apart from the “organizations” ie. churches, American Legion, Free Thinkers , etc. jeopardise the status of those organizations?

  8. Avatar of Mac Mac says:

    Great questions, probably best answered by legal experts. I do think individuals are jeopardizing a number of things well beyond tax status as it relates to their religious denomination.

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      In your opinion,How would this affect “free speach”, both individual, and corporate, apart from corporate lobying?

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      Hi Mac again; Your ” I do think individuals are jeopardizing a number of things well beyond tax status as it relates to their religious denomination.” Specifically what do you mean by “a number of things”? also What do you mean by “as it relates to their religious denomination”? If there is a hazard that you are aware of, those church members should be made aware of it. Thanks much.

  9. Avatar of Mac Mac says:

    IMO, there are alot of great things about Christianity. These types, so many of them supposed evangelicals, spew such hateful venom that they turn people away from what can be a pretty good faith. To be more specific—there may be some great things about the Baptist faith (there’s a few principles I actually like) but based on the behavior of Mohler, I would no longer consider anything coming from the Baptist denomination of value.

    Regarding free speech, it shouldn’t affect it at all unless these individuals are unwilling to be held accountable to their statements.

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      I’m still out on the north forty. What is an IMO?

      • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

        Wanna 1:17 Join the I’m-always-a-little-behind club with me. I happen to know a couple, IMO, in my opinion, and, IMHO, in my humble opinion.

      • entech says:

        come on you are not that old or removed. IMO = “in my opinion”.
        Did you know that “The church of Reality” has tax exempt status.

        David

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          David 1:36 Here in the states, the term “501C3″ is an common as dirt. So, I have this idea. What don’t all of us that post here, liberal and conservative, form a new church and call it, Church of 501C3. We could skip the hymns and prayers and just worship the concept of no taxes on donations.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Minnesota Public Radio/TV is a 501 C3. They lobby for political support. They show material that some people disagree with.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          Actually –I didn’t know the IMO. I’m also not familiar with the Church of Reality. I am however familiar with The Church of What’s Happenin Now–Baby. I am old, and I play the Acordion quite well, and not that polka crap.

          • entech says:

            From their website.
            The Church of Reality is a non-prophet organization.

            David

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 2:09 Polka Crap, now that’s hitting kind of low. :)

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Jon; to sooth your sensitivities, I’ll play a Schotisch for you, or a nice Norwegian waltz. How about Shifting whispering sands, cherries pink, or Gogi Grant’s Wayward wind? You play polks when they’re stomping out grass fires. Smiley face.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 2:58 I like all those selections, too. (Here’s something I discovered by accident here. Punch the colon : and follow with the ) and gwalla, you get :) ) Whatta country!

    • Avatar of PK PK says:

      In my opinion. “Regarding free speech, it shouldn’t affect it at all unless these individuals are unwilling to be held accountable to their statements.” What do you mean?

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