Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Google's Stupid Move on Prop 8

So the "official" Google Blog, hosted by the co-founder of Google, recently came out with a statement against California's Prop 8, the marriage protection act.

I don't understand why companies that want everyone's business choose to endorse a certain set of ideals. It boggles my mind. Why not stay neutral? Why not just leave it alone, and be a search engine?

You see, the problem is not that they are against Prop 8. The problem is now I have formed a negative opinion about Google. I like their products, and I like what they have done for the internet. But now I will use them with a sour taste in my mouth because they support homosexual marriage, and I don't. If they hadn't publically said anything, I would not have known their position and would not have had an opinion about them either way. In fact, I may now choose to use other search engines more often simply because of this ridiculous act.

For the record, I am FOR Prop-8 because I believe that marriage is something God, the Creator, ordained between a man and a woman. Not a man and a man or woman and a woman. It is not about being equal, it's about the protection of family values. It's about standing up against sin, and saying enough-is-enough to the continued onslaught of attacks on the Christian faith and beliefs.

God loves everyone, but sin separates us from His love, mercy and grace. Endorsing, or even tolerating sin (the Bible is very clear about homosexuality, as it is about adultery, drunkenness, and murder to name a few) does more of a dis-service to the sinner than it does a benefit. Gays need Christ, and they need to understand that continuing in a life of sin will lead to eternal separation from God. They do not need us telling them it's OK to do what they do. Just like we would not allow our kids to have 10 Snickers bars in a sitting or drink radiator fluid, it is our job to stand up and say, "you shouldn't do that because it will hurt you!"

And that is why I am for Prop 8. Marriage between a man and a woman, as it was given to us by God Himself. We can't allow another piece of God's wonderful creation to be trampled by sin.

35 comments:

SHEP said...

Blah, Blah, Blah, Jesus loves you, Zeus Loves you, Buddha loves you, Barney the purple dinosaur loves you, every other made up ficticious creature in the world's history loves you. Great argument. Very convincing. I'm sure the smart folks at Google will read your opinion and realize they screwed up. HA!

Jeremy said...

We'll all find out one day, I suppose. I'll be praying for you, Bud.

Crazy N8 said...

Hey Jeremy,

I have to respectfully disagree with your position. The reason why I say this is because that everyone has different belief and value systems, and passing a proposition like this ignores that not everyone has similar thoughts. There are aspects of society that are still being marginalized, and even if you believe God has said it is wrong, God also said to love one another as thyself, and to do unto others as you would have done unto you. I believe the overarching themes of the Bible are more about love than about damning the sinners, particularly in consideration of the New Testament.

That's just my two cents though...

Nate

Heather said...

If you can't see that this issue IS about being equal then you are a bigot. Plain and simple. Sorry.

Jeremy said...

The real issue behind this post was this: Google has no business getting involved in this proposition. They need to recognize that not everyone who uses their services feels the way they do, and to keep all their customers happy, they should stay neutral.

I feel the same way on many issues. Business should stay out of tough politics if they want to keep all their customers coming back. Otherwise, they will invariably drive some to leave and that's not good for the bottom line.

That's all I was trying to say.

Nate, I appreciate your thoughtful comments. Many people just say "bigot" and "hate" because they are too ignorant to make a point. You obviously have a brain, so thanks for the comment. :)

No said...

"They need to recognize that not everyone who uses their services feels the way they do, and to keep all their customers happy, they should stay neutral."

The implicit assumption here is that Google considers keeping customers happy more important than this issue. Google knows that this can only drive away users, at least in the short term. And therefore that they are making this statement anyway indicates how strongly they feel about it - they're saying that they feel it is more important to "do no evil" (and clearly, it is their interpretation that to keep silent on this issue would be evil) than it is to keep customers. That's respectable, I think.

Also! Addressing the original post.

"For the record, I am FOR Prop-8 because I believe that marriage is something God, the Creator, ordained between a man and a woman. "

There's nothing stopping a company from being religious and allowing said religiousness (or lack thereof) to influence policy. There is, however, something against the government doing this - the Constitution.

Honest opinion - you support Prop 8 on the basis that your reading of the Bible (old Testament, at least) leads you to think that gay marriage is harmful. Ok, well, to each his own. But - how can the 1st amendment be read in such a way that allows the Bible's words to be used as a basis for law?

Vareth said...

"(the Bible is very clear about homosexuality, as it is about adultery, drunkenness, and murder to name a few)"

Actually, not as clear as you would think. Particularly if we're talking Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

I'd really like to discuss the issue, if you're willing, but if not, just let me know and I'll not waste my time.

God bless. :)

Jeremy said...

I am not about to debate what the Bible says about sin. New Testament or Old, it is clear about what is acceptable in God's eyes, and what is not...

1 Corinthians 6:9-10

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Romans 1:26-27

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

Homosexuality is not the sin that will put someone in hell. All sin leads to separation from God. And since we all have sinned (me too, of course!) we're all doomed to hell. That is, unless we accept our Savior's offer of forgiveness.

Jeremy said...

No:

In response to your question about the 1st Ammendment using the Bible as a foundation for laws, I'd like to pose this question:

Why is sodomy still illegal? Why is incest illegal? Or bestiality? All of these should, technically, be choices that adults can make for themselves, yet they are regulated by our laws. Why? Why aren't mom-son or father-daughter relationships being promoted as healthy and loving?

Who decided that these were wrong, and why?

Drew Levitt said...

Sodomy isn't illegal in the United States - see the Supreme Court case Lawrence v. Texas! Meanwhile, incest is illegal because it is biologically and genetically dangerous, and bestiality is illegal because animals can't give legal consent. (The consent issue also accounts for statutory rape laws.) I don't see the basis for a valid comparison with gay marriage in any of these other statutes.

Vareth said...

"I am not about to debate what the Bible says about sin."

Rest of the comment unnecessary. That's all I was asking. :) You're wrong, but I'd rather talk to people who are willing to explore what the Bible says instead of taking it at face value.

Thanks for your time, and God bless. :)

Jeremy said...

Vereth:

I'm wrong? I quoted scripture, and it was pretty clear what it says. We're all still speaking English here, no? :)

I would love for you to tell me on what point I am wrong. And, I would appreciate you using scripture.

Thanks.

Jeremy said...

Drew:

I appreciate your correction on sodomy. I'll look into that.

Regarding the relevance of these issues with gay marriage, my point is that everyone wants a 'choice' and 'equality'. If I had an unnatural affection for my sister or my mother, and she returned it, why is it not our choice? I mean, if two people love each other, what right do we have to stand in their way?

Another question: what about polygamy?

Gay marriage opens up a door that I'm not sure our society is ready to go through. Some real perverts will be coming out of the woodwork demanding that their lifestyle be accepted, too.

Crazy N8 said...

Hey Jeremy,

There are a few things about Prop 8 that I think might need clarification. First, the rights bestowed by a domestic partnership are the same as a marriage in California, however, there are some states in the country that will recognize a same-sex marriage (SSM) as marriage in their state, but have no equivalent domestic partnership law or such in their state. This includes New York, New Mexico, and a few other states. This means that technically, under California law, no rights will be taken away, but it could have implications if a same-sex couple from California moved to a state that recognized their marriage, but not their domestic partnership, civil union, etc. In spite of that, there is a certain amount of community support that is given to people who are married that does not seem to be present for those who get a domestic partnership, and community support of same sex couples increases if marriage is available.

Ok, so now that I've gotten the technical part of my comment out of the way, I would like to focus on the fact that many people feel that SSM will undermine society and cause degradation of the family unit, as well as impose limitations on religious freedoms. There are already households in existence where both parents are of the same gender. The existence of these families does not devalue, diminish, or in any way incapacitate the ability of a heterosexual couple to marry or raise their children. As far as religious freedoms go, allowing SSM does not force religions to accept gay people into their churches or force them to marry those people. You still have the right to believe that homosexuality is a sin and an abomination. SSM doesn't force you to change your belief system, it just changes how the gov't views and categorizes same sex couples and allows them to have some of the rights and securities that are linked indelibly to marriage.

Lastly, SSM is in no way associated with bestiality, pedophilia, incest, or polygamy. SSM is simply allowing two consenting adults of the same gender to have an avenue to express their love and commitment to each other. The slippery slope argument fails to examine the two consenting adults part.

Nate

Charlie Peppler said...

Jeremy,

I have to agree with you 100%. It's rather naive to think that when the management of Google makes a statement like they just have, that they are not imposing a value system on those that work for them.

Imagine being a Christian and working in an environment where the management has said they are forced to recognize that which God says is damaging to all involved? (skip all the nonsense about how no one is hurt when you rewrite the definition of marriage. Spare me.)

Not exactly, (*cough*) "inclusive".

If you want an example of what happens when the model changes from the leadership down, just check out the Episcopal church.

What starts with "inclusivity", eventually becomes railroading out those who don't agree. Ask the Episcopal bishops in CA how they voted on the deposition of Bishop Bob Duncan, and why.

This is social re-engineering on a grand scale. As Christians, our best approach is to vote with our wallet. McDonalds? Drive by it. Ford? Buy something else. Ford actually figured out that pushing the gay agenda hurt their business, so they backed off. So it will be with Google.

You want our business? Stay out of the culture wars, and do software. You want to preach your pro-gay dogma? Lose customers.

In the end, it's all about the bucks. I think we're finally catching on.

Think twice, Google. You don't own us, or anybody else. There are options, and if there aren't there will be.

Jeremy said...

Nate:

Well put. It doesn't change my mind, but I appreciate your reply. I disagree that SSM is considerably different from other, currently banned forms of relationships. As long as there are consenting adults involved, I stand by my statement that we are opening a door that may lead to exposing a very dark side of our society, that we will then be forced to accept because of 'case law.'

But again, I appreciate your thoughtful comments and thank you for reading my post.

Charlie:

Amen! Amen! And Amen! :) If I worked for Google right now, I'd be seriously torn between my religious beliefs and getting a paycheck. I do feel sorry for anyone at Google that does not support their official stance. Google, Walmart, Ford, whoever needs to stick to doing what they do, not getting into the political ring.

No said...

(I'm addressing a few comments here, so I've bolded comments I'm addressing for clarity. Also, I've placed three asterisks before parts I'd specifically like a response to.)

"In response to your question about the 1st Amendment using the Bible as a foundation for laws, I'd like to pose this question:

Why is sodomy still illegal? Why is incest illegal? Or bestiality? All of these should, technically, be choices that adults can make for themselves, yet they are regulated by our laws. Why? Why aren't mom-son or father-daughter relationships being promoted as healthy and loving?

Who decided that these were wrong, and why?"



Parent-child and human-animal relationships are considered wrong and illegal because consent is presumed impossible. Even if a child really did have a sexual affection for a parent, it would be impossible to prove the parent wasn't just forcing them - a far more likely situation. ***Regardless, that certain laws are based on religion (like, for example, Blue Laws) is totally irrelevant.*** That there are existing laws which violate the Constitution does not imply we should make more of them.

***Any chance of getting answer to the original question?***


Another question: what about polygamy?

Gay marriage opens up a door that I'm not sure our society is ready to go through. Some real perverts will be coming out of the woodwork demanding that their lifestyle be accepted, too.


Well, what about polygamy? Consenting adults, remember. And why, barring religious reasons, which aren't supposed to be the basis of law, and given provable consent, shouldn't these perverts be allowed to have officially recognized relationships? This doesn't address the fundamental issues here.

"You want our business? Stay out of the culture wars, and do software. You want to preach your pro-gay dogma? Lose customers."

And that's exactly what's happening. Google considers it more important that they operate in an inclusive state than that they get every customer they possibly could. ***I find it unusual that y'all are saying Google, a major company, ought to have less regard for morality.*** (Not your morality, obviously, but eh.)


I do feel sorry for anyone at Google that does not support their official stance. Google, Walmart, Ford, whoever needs to stick to doing what they do, not getting into the political ring.

I feel sorry for anyone working for a company that chooses not to use its influence for just causes. ***And why should they stick to what they do? "Don't be evil", remember.*** As I said, Google obviously believes that "it is more important to 'do no evil' (and clearly, it is their interpretation that to keep silent on this issue would be evil) than it is to keep customers. "




Also, as an aside, consider Google's long-standing policy on net neutrality. In large part, this is a moral issue, and it shares many parallels with this current point of contention. For example, this policy could be bad for business - as a large, rich company, Google stands to gain from a lack of net neutrality, as opposition would have a much more difficult time. Ought they to have done this? ***Again, barring religious reasons, is there any significant difference between expressing a stand on this issue and expressing a stand on gay marriage?***

Vareth said...

"I'm wrong? I quoted scripture, and it was pretty clear what it says. We're all still speaking English here, no? :)"

Well, if you're wanting to look at the historical Bible, no. :) There's still a lot of debate over what language the Old Testament was first written in, though the majority lean towards older versions of Hebrew and Aramaic.

The problem is, I can't directly address the scripture you've quoted without addressing the history that surrounds it. Paul is one of the trickier people in the New Testament; if you research him you find there's actually quite a lot of debate about whether his letters were even written by a single person. But who wrote the letters isn't that important for the sake of the argument. In condemning homosexuality (and you may want to look at the Greek, as you'll find the phrase "homosexual offenders" is actually tacked on, there--"male prostitutes," I will grant you), Paul is relying largely on his own reading of the Old Testament, particularly that most famous of condemnations, Lev 18:22 (quoted, since you asked for quotations):

Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

Thus, if we want to discuss homosexuality in the Bible, it is this passage we need to address.

If you haven't figured this out already, I've got quite a lot to say on the subject: it's something of particular interest to me, both because of my linguistic studies and because of my religious beliefs (Catholic, hi). So, since this is your blog and this is kind of a long comment already, before I launch into my actual argument, lemme make sure--you don't mind if I keep going? :)

Jeremy said...

Vareth,

You are welcome to continue your argument. However, I want to make my beliefs clear and it may affect your reply.

I believe the entire Bible is the inspired Word of God. I believe it is completely historically accurate, inerrant, and as relevant today as when it was written. I believe it contains the written full revelation of God's desire for His creation, His plan for salvation, and it is a living document when stuidied with a faith in Christ.

So, please don't fire off a bunch of stuff about how the Bible is messed up in this way or that. If that's the plan, let's just call it now and part ways.

But if you have an argument that does not contradict Romans, Corinthians, or even Leviticus, have at it!

Benji said...

I respect your view, it takes gut and heart to be vocal about your belief, even if they are unpopular.

The truth is, the United States did not establish a state religion for a reason. The founders did not want one particular religion to dictate the lives of others. If I do not believe in the same values and principles as you do, why should I have to follow them because of what your book says? I am willing to bet that if I tried to impose my beliefs on you because of what my God and my beliefs state, then you would be just as frustrated at me as I am at you and the rest of the world that tries to impose their beliefs on me. My own personal philosophy is this: people have the right to pursue happiness as long as it doesn't hinder another person's right to life or freedom. You may not agree with what I do, but it does not prevent you from doing what you want to do. If I married another man, why would that prevent you from getting into heaven or being saved by whatever deity you may believe in?

Cheers,
Benji
Berkeley, CA

Vareth said...

"So, please don't fire off a bunch of stuff about how the Bible is messed up in this way or that."

If I was going to do that, I would've already done it: that is a much shorter and easier argument. If you're ever interested in exploring that one, I encourage you to read (among other things) Misquoting Jesus, an absolutely brilliant book about the early transmission of Biblical writings.

However, that isn't the argument I intend to make in this case. I don't believe one should have to throw out the Bible: as I think I mentioned, I was raised Catholic. My beliefs are not so different from yours. I'm going to argue by your terms, as you've said--an argument that does not rely on throwing out Leviticus, but rather staring it dead in the face.

Are you familiar with the term "exegesis", and how much do you know about the history of the Old Testament and the philosophies of the time in which it was set down? I'm not asking sarcastically; I want to determine where I should start.

Thank you for your time so far. :) Also, if you'd rather do this over email instead of clogging up your blog, that's fine, too. Just lemme know.

Jeremy said...

Vareth,

I think that one problem with exegesis is that a secularist has no ability to properly interpret or study the Word of God. Because God alone gives understanding, if you are trying to ignore God when you interpret or even read the Bible, you get nowhere.

So many people try to come up with reasons not to believe the Bible. It's old, it's been translated wrong or from copies of copies, etc. That's all crap. It was, is, and will forever be the inspired Word of our Creator and Savior.

By suggesting "Misquoting Jesus" as reading material, you unfortunately just sank your argument. You obviously do not believe in the validity and authority of God's Word. And, if you don't, there really is nothing I can say nor you can say that will be of benefit to the other. As I said before, if you read the Word with a mindset that it is false, errant or defective, you gain nothing.

If I have misread your comments and you do believe, wholeheartedly, that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, then let's continue. But I will say this: we must be extremely careful not to try to change God's Word to fit our view of the world. It should be the exact opposite. When we see something we don't like, we must change our thinking instead of trying to fit the Bible to our own mold.

Vareth said...

Jeremy,

I can see this is going to be a long discussion.

Firstly, exegesis does not rely on throwing out God; I don't know where you read that, but it's wrong, plain and simple. Exegesis means looking at a text intensively, trying to figure out everything the text is saying. If you're a Christian, it means exploring God's Word to figure out exactly what it is God meant.

I think I stated that I would not be saying anything about mistranslation, or throwing out the Bible. I think I also stated that Misquoting Jesus (which is written by a respected Christian theologist) is a source for a different argument, not this one.

Before you attack my reading comprehension of a book that I have studied intensively, please work on your own reading, and please stop putting things that I am not saying into my arguments. If we start out this way, we're not going to get anywhere.

Stop anticipating that I am going to tell you "the translation is wrong." As I said, this is a short and easy argument to make: if I were going to make it, I would have done so three posts ago.

"Do not lie with a man as with a woman" is actually a very good translation, IMHO.

"we must be extremely careful not to try to change God's Word to fit our view of the world."

I agree. That goes for you as well as me. :)

Jeremy said...

Hey Vareth,

I apologize for putting words in your mouth. That is and was not my intention. Obviously in these short comments things can come across differently than what was intended.

For clarification, I did not mean that all exegesis is bad! I meant that exegesis from a secular non-believer's view point is hopeless. Obviously, studying God's Word is not only useful, but critical to understanding His character and will.

Regarding translations, I'm not of old-school thought that the KJV is the 'only' good translation. In fact, I believe it probably one of the lesser useful ones because of the limited number of words available to the early translators. So, I generally use every available translation when studying the Bible to get a more accurate picture of what the author intended.

Anyway... feel free to continue... :)

Tiffany said...

Hi, Jeremy:

I have to say, I am a devout Christian, and I agree with Benji.

I think a Christian nation would be a fabulous and beautiful thing. However, the U.S. isn't it. Law should not be based strictly off of one group's religious beliefs. I do still believe that much of our contemporary morality is influenced by the Bible. However, in America, the ultimate law is freedom.

If you have no better reason for wanting marriage to be defined as between a man and a woman than that the Bible says so, I don't see how you can impose that belief on people who don't buy the Bible. It makes non-Christians hate us even more - we are supposed to be loving, after all! That means not imposing ourselves on others, loving them for who they are and even who they want to be - and we'll deal with the sin when they agree that the Bible is law. Look to the plank in your own eye.

Jeremy said...

Tiffany,

I am not trying to be unloving in any way. I don't hate gays or lesbians. In fact, if I did hate them, I wouldn't say anything about their sin and I would happily sit on the sidelines while they walk the broad path to hell. Because I love them, I feel compelled to defend the morality of the Bible and to make sure we are all aware that breaking God's laws leads to an eternity in hell.

I would certainly be the first in line at hell if it were not for the unfathomable love of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. But if we as Christians hide what we have from the lost, how will they ever know to look for it? If you are a Christian, someone told you at some point that you were living a life that would ultimately lead to eternal separation from God. And, so, in faith you believed and accepted Christ. Don't you think you should now tell others that same thing? If we don't, their lives are in our hands and we are accountable!

I am not condemning the sinner, I am condemning the sin. Big difference!

For what it is worth - the laws of this country were founded on Christian morals and principles. Our founding fathers did not intend to force anyone to believe in God, but they did expect everyone to follow the morals outlined in the Bible. Now, we are changing them and it's a bad idea.

No said...

Gonna repeat something I posted a bit ago in hopes of getting a response.

Honest opinion - you support Prop 8 on the basis that your reading of the Bible (old Testament, at least) leads you to think that gay marriage is harmful. Ok, well, to each his own. But - how can the 1st amendment be read in such a way that allows the Bible's words to be used as a basis for law?

(Again, bear in mind that just because there are existing laws which violate the Constitution does not imply we should make more of them.)

Jeremy said...

No:

I don't know what you want me to say. I believe the last comment I made to Tiffany sums up how I feel. The laws of the USA were formed on Christian morals and principles.

If someone doesn't like it, Canada is just a few miles north. Or, better yet, head for Cuba. They really hate God there and look what an awesome place it is!

Jeremy said...

To all readers...

I am growing tired of replying to this post. I feel I have more than thoroughly explained my position and I am not going to change (as I suppose you will not either). You are welcome to comment but from this point forward I will likely not be responding to or even reading them.

The great thing about this is that if you don't like what I have said, you don't have to read it. There are plenty of liberal, socialist, atheistic blogs on the net that will, I'm sure, appeal to some of you.

So, thanks to everyone who contributed...

bagram56 said...

Hey Valley Girl...............no one said anything about equality..just talking about marriage here. Oh blah,blah,blah shep........I think I will stick with Barney rather than listen to your dribble.

bagram56 said...

tiffany said "and we'll deal with the sin when they agree that the Bible is law. Look to the plank in your own eye" IF YOU WANT TO PRETEND TO BE A "DEVOUT CHRISTIAN" TRY NOT USING THE BIBLE INCORRECTLY. TAKING VERSES OUT OF CONTEXT ONLY SHOW YOUR IGNORANCE AND BEING A PHONEY

bagram56 said...

OKAY AS JEREMY SAID THIS WILL NOT BE SETTLED HERE. EACH HAS HIS OWN OPINION OF RIGHT AND WRONG. BOTTOM LINE MOST OF YOU USE IS THE CONSTITUTION.........FINE LET THE PEOPLE OF CALIFORNIA VOTE AGAIN AND MAKE THEIR OWN DECISION. AS MOST OF YOU STATED THIS IS AMERICA AND LET FREEDOM RING.

Karen Ahlstrom said...

Jeremy,

I know you said you weren't reading these comments anymore, but I just want to say that I admire your faith, and your refusal to be drawn into debate with somebody who seems bent on destroying it. You've obviously learned the lesson in the poem that starts "Come into my parlor said the spider to the fly..."

I also wanted to let you know that the terms used in 1 Cor 6:9-10 that have been translated various ways as catamite, male prostitute, abusers of men and their own selves, etc, are about as ambiguous in the original Greek as gay and queer are in modern English. People may claim that they only mean Happy and Odd, but everybody knows what they're referring to in context.

Keep the faith!

-Karen

blackwhiteshot said...

however;
the pope says we're not from the apes,
and some people still think the world is flat.

Idahoan said...

Don't you see what the real issue is here? It is not just about marriage. It is about defending the Constitution and our judicial system. We should not allow judges to make laws. They are to uphold the laws, not make them. That is not their responsibility. When the California Supreme Court judges overruled the vote of the people regarding this issue, they overstepped their authority. That is very, very dangerous. We are watching California.