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Re: [gaykingdom] Please check your religion at the door

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  • Jase
    Gart, Respectfully, just because you do not believe in G-d or a higher being, does not mean that we as a community should outlaw faith and religion. What we
    Message 1 of 11 , Oct 17, 2005
      Gart,
       
      Respectfully, just because you do not believe in G-d or a higher being, does not mean that we as a community should outlaw faith and religion. What we should outlaw is a mandatory or "state" religion. There are many faiths that are gay inclusive and welcoming. And it is hard for a person of faith, namely myself, to always check it at the door. Does this mean I am not a good leader or a moral and equal person? No!
       
      I don't believe religion has ever been thrown around in anyone's face or used as a mean to say "I told you so".
       
      While I respect your belief, I would strongly argue against it because that would not welcome all. It would push back and possibly discriminate against people whom do have a faith. Outlaw mandatory or "state" religions, but not faith of the people. 
       
       
      This e-mail communication, including all attachments, may contain private, proprietary, privileged and/or confidential information and is intended only for the person to whom it is addressed. Any unauthorized use, copying or distribution of the contents of this e-mail is strictly prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient of this e-mail, and have received it in error, please delete it and notify the sender immediately.
      -------Original Message-------
       
      From: Gart
      Date: 10/17/05 12:13:57
      Subject: [gaykingdom] Please check your religion at the door
       

      Hi all!

      I have been following the debates here for a while now, and I would like to make a suggestion: Please check your religion at the door, or for future immigrants into the gay kingdom; at customs upon entry.

      Religion has brought us nothing but pain and suffering and is the direct cause of all anti-gay discrimination worldwide. Therefore it is one of the main reasons why we want a sovereign state to begin with.

      In my humble opinion, there is no god. I don't even believe in Santa Claus, and I can see him!

      Everyone is free to believe whatever they want, of course, but faith is a private matter and it should remain that way. It is irritating to me that god gets dragged into these debates all the time. I think we should establish that the foundation of the gay kingdom is strictly a legal and political matter, and specifically a non-religious one.

      Even in a gay state, religion can become a source of division and conflict. I say; outlaw and abolish all organized religion from the gay state and make it a constitutional amendment that organized religion has no place there.

       

      Gart

      Amsterdam

       
    • William J. Freeman
      I dunno, some of the most public Christians seem to be fairly evil folk. I d much rather be in charge of my own beliefs over trusting it to my neighbor, or my
      Message 2 of 11 , Oct 17, 2005
        I dunno, some of the most public Christians seem to be fairly evil folk.  I'd much rather be in charge of my own beliefs over trusting it to my neighbor, or my government.
         
        -----Original Message-----
        From: gaykingdom@yahoogroups.com [mailto:gaykingdom@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Jase
        Sent: Monday, October 17, 2005 12:28 PM
        To: gaykingdom@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [gaykingdom] Please check your religion at the door

        Gart,
         
        Respectfully, just because you do not believe in G-d or a higher being, does not mean that we as a community should outlaw faith and religion. What we should outlaw is a mandatory or "state" religion. There are many faiths that are gay inclusive and welcoming. And it is hard for a person of faith, namely myself, to always check it at the door. Does this mean I am not a good leader or a moral and equal person? No!
         
        I don't believe religion has ever been thrown around in anyone's face or used as a mean to say "I told you so".
         
        While I respect your belief, I would strongly argue against it because that would not welcome all. It would push back and possibly discriminate against people whom do have a faith. Outlaw mandatory or "state" religions, but not faith of the people. 
         
         
        This e-mail communication, including all attachments, may contain private, proprietary, privileged and/or confidential information and is intended only for the person to whom it is addressed. Any unauthorized use, copying or distribution of the contents of this e-mail is strictly prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient of this e-mail, and have received it in error, please delete it and notify the sender immediately.
        -------Original Message-------
         
        From: Gart
        Date: 10/17/05 12:13:57
        Subject: [gaykingdom] Please check your religion at the door
         

        Hi all!

        I have been following the debates here for a while now, and I would like to make a suggestion: Please check your religion at the door, or for future immigrants into the gay kingdom; at customs upon entry.

        Religion has brought us nothing but pain and suffering and is the direct cause of all anti-gay discrimination worldwide. Therefore it is one of the main reasons why we want a sovereign state to begin with.

        In my humble opinion, there is no god. I don't even believe in Santa Claus, and I can see him!

        Everyone is free to believe whatever they want, of course, but faith is a private matter and it should remain that way. It is irritating to me that god gets dragged into these debates all the time. I think we should establish that the foundation of the gay kingdom is strictly a legal and political matter, and specifically a non-religious one.

        Even in a gay state, religion can become a source of division and conflict. I say; outlaw and abolish all organized religion from the gay state and make it a constitutional amendment that organized religion has no place there.

         

        Gart

        Amsterdam

         
      • Jase
        Bill, That was what I was attempting to say. That we should be able to have our own beliefs. That religion hasn t been thrown around to members of the GLK by
        Message 3 of 11 , Oct 17, 2005
          Bill,
           
          That was what I was attempting to say. That we should be able to have our own beliefs. That religion hasn't been thrown around to members of the GLK by those who represent it. Yes, i agree that most public Christians are evil and vile. i have suffered many an injury and abuse at their hands. But to outright say the kingdom should be able to have faith is wrong in my book. We should be able to worship or not whom we wish. We shouldn't outright outlaw ALL religion! 
           
           
          This e-mail communication, including all attachments, may contain private, proprietary, privileged and/or confidential information and is intended only for the person to whom it is addressed. Any unauthorized use, copying or distribution of the contents of this e-mail is strictly prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient of this e-mail, and have received it in error, please delete it and notify the sender immediately.
          -------Original Message-------
           
          Date: 10/17/05 12:38:12
          Subject: RE: [gaykingdom] Please check your religion at the door
           
          I dunno, some of the most public Christians seem to be fairly evil folk.  I'd much rather be in charge of my own beliefs over trusting it to my neighbor, or my government.
           
          -----Original Message-----
          From: gaykingdom@yahoogroups.com [mailto:gaykingdom@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Jase
          Sent: Monday, October 17, 2005 12:28 PM
          To: gaykingdom@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [gaykingdom] Please check your religion at the door

          Gart,
           
          Respectfully, just because you do not believe in G-d or a higher being, does not mean that we as a community should outlaw faith and religion. What we should outlaw is a mandatory or "state" religion. There are many faiths that are gay inclusive and welcoming. And it is hard for a person of faith, namely myself, to always check it at the door. Does this mean I am not a good leader or a moral and equal person? No!
           
          I don't believe religion has ever been thrown around in anyone's face or used as a mean to say "I told you so".
           
          While I respect your belief, I would strongly argue against it because that would not welcome all. It would push back and possibly discriminate against people whom do have a faith. Outlaw mandatory or "state" religions, but not faith of the people. 
           
           
          This e-mail communication, including all attachments, may contain private, proprietary, privileged and/or confidential information and is intended only for the person to whom it is addressed. Any unauthorized use, copying or distribution of the contents of this e-mail is strictly prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient of this e-mail, and have received it in error, please delete it and notify the sender immediately.
          -------Original Message-------
           
          From: Gart
          Date: 10/17/05 12:13:57
          Subject: [gaykingdom] Please check your religion at the door
           

          Hi all!

          I have been following the debates here for a while now, and I would like to make a suggestion: Please check your religion at the door, or for future immigrants into the gay kingdom; at customs upon entry.

          Religion has brought us nothing but pain and suffering and is the direct cause of all anti-gay discrimination worldwide. Therefore it is one of the main reasons why we want a sovereign state to begin with.

          In my humble opinion, there is no god. I don't even believe in Santa Claus, and I can see him!

          Everyone is free to believe whatever they want, of course, but faith is a private matter and it should remain that way. It is irritating to me that god gets dragged into these debates all the time. I think we should establish that the foundation of the gay kingdom is strictly a legal and political matter, and specifically a non-religious one.

          Even in a gay state, religion can become a source of division and conflict. I say; outlaw and abolish all organized religion from the gay state and make it a constitutional amendment that organized religion has no place there.

           

          Gart

          Amsterdam

           
           
        • SEBama1
          Gart, For one, I appreciate the fact that you have been keeping up with the debates. However, I have to compare the checking of your religion at the door
          Message 4 of 11 , Oct 17, 2005
            Gart,
                For one, I appreciate the fact that you have been keeping up with the debates. However, I have to compare the "checking of your religion at the door" with the idea of "checking your sexuality at the door".
                With all this in mind I have but one question to ask you Gart, just for you (and anyone else in this thought pattern) to ponder on. At what point do we stop?
            Stop telling people what or how to believe, think, live? Oh, and who may I ask is to make this decision?
                Can someone tell me when do we stop limiting others rights as we are already limited in our current societies.
             
            Louis Trusty
             
             
             
            From: Gart
            Sent: Saturday, October 15, 2005 11:32 AM
            Subject: [gaykingdom] Please check your religion at the door

            Hi all!

            I have been following the debates here for a while now, and I would like to make a suggestion: Please check your religion at the door, or for future immigrants into the gay kingdom; at customs upon entry.

            Religion has brought us nothing but pain and suffering and is the direct cause of all anti-gay discrimination worldwide. Therefore it is one of the main reasons why we want a sovereign state to begin with.

            In my humble opinion, there is no god. I don't even believe in Santa Claus, and I can see him!

            Everyone is free to believe whatever they want, of course, but faith is a private matter and it should remain that way. It is irritating to me that god gets dragged into these debates all the time. I think we should establish that the foundation of the gay kingdom is strictly a legal and political matter, and specifically a non-religious one.

            Even in a gay state, religion can become a source of division and conflict. I say; outlaw and abolish all organized religion from the gay state and make it a constitutional amendment that organized religion has no place there.

             

            Gart

            Amsterdam

          • Anthony N. Urwin
            Hello ALL: I would tend to agree with Gart. I live in the Netherlands as well, and we have essentially a complete secular society and government with complete
            Message 5 of 11 , Oct 18, 2005

              Hello ALL:

               

                          I would tend to agree with Gart. I live in the Netherlands as well, and we have essentially a complete secular society and government with complete rights for gays and lesbians. If that isn’t a model for this “venture” into a gay state, I don’t know what country would be. I would definitely say that the NL is far more secular in government policies and legal legislation than the United States. This is most evidently seen when the Dutch government passed gay marriage. It was not a religious battle. I think what Gart is saying, correct me if I am wrong, is that religion has absolutely no place in politics, running affairs of state or even being mentioned in a constitution, save mentioning that religion is a freedom that you can enjoy; period. Religion organized or otherwise should never be mentioned in any official capacity. I think it’s simpler for everyone and makes more logistical sense. Religion is just one of those things that really offend people no matter where you come from. Most of peoples dislike toward gays and lesbians stems from religion. If for example you see that a tree you have planted is becoming sick and weak. With further inspection you see that it is the soil. Do you keep allowing the soil to remain to kill the tree or do you remove the soil all together and plant it in new fresh soil not tainted by the old soil?

               

              Well, just my thoughts…and thanks for listening…

               

              Anthony

               


              From: gaykingdom@yahoogroups.com [mailto:gaykingdom@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of SEBama1
              Sent: Tuesday, October 18, 2005 06:23
              To: gaykingdom@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [gaykingdom] Please check your religion at the door

               

              Gart,

                  For one, I appreciate the fact that you have been keeping up with the debates. However, I have to compare the "checking of your religion at the door" with the idea of "checking your sexuality at the door".

                  With all this in mind I have but one question to ask you Gart, just for you (and anyone else in this thought pattern) to ponder on. At what point do we stop?

              Stop telling people what or how to believe, think, live? Oh, and who may I ask is to make this decision?

                  Can someone tell me when do we stop limiting others rights as we are already limited in our current societies.

               

              Louis Trusty

               

               

               

              From: Gart

              Sent: Saturday, October 15, 2005 11:32 AM

              Subject: [gaykingdom] Please check your religion at the door

               

              Hi all!

              I have been following the debates here for a while now, and I would like to make a suggestion: Please check your religion at the door, or for future immigrants into the gay kingdom; at customs upon entry.

              Religion has brought us nothing but pain and suffering and is the direct cause of all anti-gay discrimination worldwide. Therefore it is one of the main reasons why we want a sovereign state to begin with.

              In my humble opinion, there is no god. I don't even believe in Santa Claus, and I can see him!

              Everyone is free to believe whatever they want, of course, but faith is a private matter and it should remain that way. It is irritating to me that god gets dragged into these debates all the time. I think we should establish that the foundation of the gay kingdom is strictly a legal and political matter, and specifically a non-religious one.

              Even in a gay state, religion can become a source of division and conflict. I say; outlaw and abolish all organized religion from the gay state and make it a constitutional amendment that organized religion has no place there.

               

              Gart

              Amsterdam

            • Gart
              Hi Louis, First of all; thanks everyone who responded to my posting. I appreciate you taking the time to put your points across. Louis, I don t see how you
              Message 6 of 11 , Oct 18, 2005
                Hi Louis,

                First of all; thanks everyone who responded to my posting. I
                appreciate you taking the time to put your points across.
                Louis, I don't see how you compare religion to sexuality. The two
                have nothing in common whatsoever. You ask me; where do we stop. It
                is actually quite easy. In these matters you can only stop at zero,
                so everyone is clear on the matter. Faith should be a private thing
                and believers of any persuasion should not flaunt their religious
                convictions but keep them to themselves.

                Let me stress once again that I think anyone and everyone should be
                free to believe what they want. Anyway, how are you going to stop
                someone from believing, and why should you want to?

                The Gay Kingdom as a political body wants to remain 'neutral' on
                religious matters. I think that would be a mistake. Religious
                movements of any kind could gain power and influence while the gay
                government tries to maintain its neutrality. The results could be
                disastrous. It wouldn't be the first time. So instead of maintaining
                neutrality, the gay government should draw the line right from the
                start: at zero.

                This means that believers of any kind should not be allowed to form
                organizations for any other purpose than to celebrate their faith
                amongst themselves, in their own houses, mosks, temples, churches,
                whatever. No religious group should have leaders that oversee more
                than their own group or house. Religious groups that take their
                leadership and direction from non-gay leaders outside of the gay
                kingdom (most notably the catholic church) should not be allowed to
                establish chapters in the gay kingdom at all. Religious leaders
                should not be allowed to engage in any political activity, not even
                in political endorsements. And of course religious groups should not
                be tax-exempt, but just get tax deductions for the charity work they
                do.

                As a non-believer and a gay man who knows his history, I take
                offense when confronted with what should be the personal beliefs of
                others. Apart from my personal opinion about religion and religious
                beliefs, I want to reserve the right to be spared the unsollicited
                and unwanted expressions of other people's personal matters.
                Discretion and respect are the key. I don't want strangers to
                intrude on my life with anything from loud pounding music, garbage
                and dog shit, and public conversations on cell phones, to their
                yeast infections on private body parts. Their spiritual beliefs are
                also on this list.

                I don't presume to have all the answers, but I think it is important
                and useful to have the debate on religion (and spirituality) in the
                gay kingdom. I think, as the first state worldwide to truly abolish
                religion from government and public life, we could set an example
                for the rest of the world. For religion is not just the root of all
                anti-gay violence and oppression, it is also the cause of most armed
                conflicts throughout history.

                Gart
                Amsterdam


                --- In gaykingdom@yahoogroups.com, "SEBama1" <sebama1@g...> wrote:
                >
                > Gart,
                > For one, I appreciate the fact that you have been keeping up
                with the debates. However, I have to compare the "checking of your
                religion at the door" with the idea of "checking your sexuality at
                the door".
                > With all this in mind I have but one question to ask you Gart,
                just for you (and anyone else in this thought pattern) to ponder on.
                At what point do we stop?
                > Stop telling people what or how to believe, think, live? Oh, and
                who may I ask is to make this decision?
                > Can someone tell me when do we stop limiting others rights as
                we are already limited in our current societies.
                >
                > Louis Trusty
                >
              • Michael P. Gronseth
                Let me toss in my perspective on this issue. The First Amendment of the US Constitution forbids the establishment of a national church. The Fourteenth
                Message 7 of 11 , Oct 18, 2005
                  Let me toss in my perspective on this issue.

                  The First Amendment of the US Constitution forbids the establishment
                  of a national church. The Fourteenth Amendment extends that to the
                  states. Much debate and interpretation over the last 200+ years has
                  been found in the nature of what exactly is "establishment of
                  religion"? Is it like in the country of England where the Sovereign
                  as Head of State is also the Supreme Governor of the Church of
                  England? Does supporting worthwhile charities of all kinds through
                  grants and other taxpayer funding, regardless of the theology or lack
                  thereof constitute establishment? (1)

                  What I see by many in the gay community is a completely anti-
                  Christian backlash. Yes, our oppressors often cite religious beliefs
                  as a justification for continued discrimination, but other
                  justifications exist. Yet there are many, many good Christian people
                  out there who are supportive of their gay brothers and sisters. The
                  (Episcopal) Diocese of New Hampshire popularly elected a non-celibate
                  gay man as its bishop. That election was supported by the Episcopal
                  Church of the USA, the American "branch" of Anglicanism. Even the
                  Rev. Jerry Falwell, who in the past has been a virulent critic of the
                  gay community and homosexuality in general, has acknowledged that
                  housing and employment are not "special" rights to be denied to gay
                  Americans. To paint all people of faith with the same brush is to
                  treat them in a similar fashion like gay men and women have been
                  treated by a subset of the faithful. In other words, not all
                  Christians (or Jews, or Muslims or etc.) are like the Rev. Fred
                  Phelps of www.godhatesfags.com.

                  No government can be completely secular. Personal faith informs the
                  actions of individuals as much as personal experience and education.
                  They say here in the US, "you can take the boy out of the country,
                  but you can't take the country out of the boy." When it comes to
                  politicians and bureaucrats of all kinds, you can't take the faith
                  out of the person. It forms an integral part of an individual as much
                  as their race or sexual orientation do. The best aim is to
                  disestablish religion, or never establish it at all. On the federal
                  level, the USA has never had the equivalent of the Church of England
                  or the Lutheran Church in Norway. Under American jurisprudence, the
                  Supreme Court has been asked many times to decide if a particular
                  relationship between Church and State is an establishment. Some
                  policies have been upheld over the years such as not taxing Churches.
                  Others like the display of the Ten Commandments or school organized
                  prayer have not. Where the line is drawn is the sand will always be a
                  matter of debate. One cannot criminalize thought, not even religious
                  thought. One can regulate how much deference or support the Church
                  receives.
                  --
                  Michael P. Gronseth
                  Negaunee, MI

                  (1) Historically, aid and relief efforts in response to tragedies
                  have come through non governmental means. Individuals turned to
                  private charities or their church congregation in times of need.
                  Government intervention and direct aid efforts are a much more recent
                  development. Recent proposals by the current administration in
                  Washington seek to allow all charities to compete for federal grants
                  regardless of the secular or religious nature of the applicant
                  organization. Also, private sector contributions in the US for global
                  crises such as the tsunami typically out number official government aid.
                • James Nunn
                  It appears the simplest way to deal with this is have, as part of the Constitution, a reference that states the Gay Kingdom will not recognize, support or
                  Message 8 of 11 , Oct 19, 2005
                    It appears the simplest way to deal with this is have, as part of the Constitution, a reference that states "the Gay Kingdom will not recognize, support or oppose any one religious tradition over another." To ensure that this never changes (or at least makes it difficult to change), the Constitutional Amendment process should stipulate that this section (or the section that covers the "Bill of Rights") may only be amended with an affirmative vote of no less than 90% (or some other figure), and that that vote must be confirmed by a second vote no earlier than three months after the first vote, with the same percentage.

                    This would clearly put this matter back into the hands of the people of the Kingdom.

                    Just a thought.

                    James

                    On 10/18/05, Gart <gzeebregts@...> wrote:
                    Hi Louis,

                    First of all; thanks everyone who responded to my posting. I
                    appreciate you taking the time to put your points across.
                    Louis, I don't see how you compare religion to sexuality. The two
                    have nothing in common whatsoever. You ask me; where do we stop. It
                    is actually quite easy. In these matters you can only stop at zero,
                    so everyone is clear on the matter. Faith should be a private thing
                    and believers of any persuasion should not flaunt their religious
                    convictions but keep them to themselves.

                    Let me stress once again that I think anyone and everyone should be
                    free to believe what they want. Anyway, how are you going to stop
                    someone from believing, and why should you want to?

                    The Gay Kingdom as a political body wants to remain 'neutral' on
                    religious matters. I think that would be a mistake. Religious
                    movements of any kind could gain power and influence while the gay
                    government tries to maintain its neutrality. The results could be
                    disastrous. It wouldn't be the first time. So instead of maintaining
                    neutrality, the gay government should draw the line right from the
                    start: at zero.

                    This means that believers of any kind should not be allowed to form
                    organizations for any other purpose than to celebrate their faith
                    amongst themselves, in their own houses, mosks, temples, churches,
                    whatever. No religious group should have leaders that oversee more
                    than their own group or house. Religious groups that take their
                    leadership and direction from non-gay leaders outside of the gay
                    kingdom (most notably the catholic church) should not be allowed to
                    establish chapters in the gay kingdom at all. Religious leaders
                    should not be allowed to engage in any political activity, not even
                    in political endorsements. And of course religious groups should not
                    be tax-exempt, but just get tax deductions for the charity work they
                    do.

                    As a non-believer and a gay man who knows his history, I take
                    offense when confronted with what should be the personal beliefs of
                    others. Apart from my personal opinion about religion and religious
                    beliefs, I want to reserve the right to be spared the unsollicited
                    and unwanted expressions of other people's personal matters.
                    Discretion and respect are the key. I don't want strangers to
                    intrude on my life with anything from loud pounding music, garbage
                    and dog shit, and public conversations on cell phones, to their
                    yeast infections on private body parts. Their spiritual beliefs are
                    also on this list.

                    I don't presume to have all the answers, but I think it is important
                    and useful to have the debate on religion (and spirituality) in the
                    gay kingdom. I think, as the first state worldwide to truly abolish
                    religion from government and public life, we could set an example
                    for the rest of the world. For religion is not just the root of all
                    anti-gay violence and oppression, it is also the cause of most armed
                    conflicts throughout history.

                    Gart
                    Amsterdam



                    --- In gaykingdom@yahoogroups.com, "SEBama1" <sebama1@g...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Gart,
                    >     For one, I appreciate the fact that you have been keeping up
                    with the debates. However, I have to compare the "checking of your
                    religion at the door" with the idea of "checking your sexuality at
                    the door".
                    >     With all this in mind I have but one question to ask you Gart,
                    just for you (and anyone else in this thought pattern) to ponder on.
                    At what point do we stop?
                    > Stop telling people what or how to believe, think, live? Oh, and
                    who may I ask is to make this decision?
                    >     Can someone tell me when do we stop limiting others rights as
                    we are already limited in our current societies.
                    >
                    > Louis Trusty
                    >







                    YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS






                    --
                    James D. Nunn <jdnunn@...>
                    "When we lose the right to be different, we lose the right to be free." Charles Evans Hughes
                  • Anthony N. Urwin
                    Mooi geschreven! Anthony Amsterdam ________________________________ Van: gaykingdom@yahoogroups.com namens Gart Verzonden: wo 19-10-2005 0:24 Aan:
                    Message 9 of 11 , Oct 25, 2005
                      Mooi geschreven!

                      Anthony
                      Amsterdam

                      ________________________________

                      Van: gaykingdom@yahoogroups.com namens Gart
                      Verzonden: wo 19-10-2005 0:24
                      Aan: gaykingdom@yahoogroups.com
                      Onderwerp: [gaykingdom] Re: Please check your religion at the door


                      Hi Louis,

                      First of all; thanks everyone who responded to my posting. I
                      appreciate you taking the time to put your points across.
                      Louis, I don't see how you compare religion to sexuality. The two
                      have nothing in common whatsoever. You ask me; where do we stop. It
                      is actually quite easy. In these matters you can only stop at zero,
                      so everyone is clear on the matter. Faith should be a private thing
                      and believers of any persuasion should not flaunt their religious
                      convictions but keep them to themselves.

                      Let me stress once again that I think anyone and everyone should be
                      free to believe what they want. Anyway, how are you going to stop
                      someone from believing, and why should you want to?

                      The Gay Kingdom as a political body wants to remain 'neutral' on
                      religious matters. I think that would be a mistake. Religious
                      movements of any kind could gain power and influence while the gay
                      government tries to maintain its neutrality. The results could be
                      disastrous. It wouldn't be the first time. So instead of maintaining
                      neutrality, the gay government should draw the line right from the
                      start: at zero.

                      This means that believers of any kind should not be allowed to form
                      organizations for any other purpose than to celebrate their faith
                      amongst themselves, in their own houses, mosks, temples, churches,
                      whatever. No religious group should have leaders that oversee more
                      than their own group or house. Religious groups that take their
                      leadership and direction from non-gay leaders outside of the gay
                      kingdom (most notably the catholic church) should not be allowed to
                      establish chapters in the gay kingdom at all. Religious leaders
                      should not be allowed to engage in any political activity, not even
                      in political endorsements. And of course religious groups should not
                      be tax-exempt, but just get tax deductions for the charity work they
                      do.

                      As a non-believer and a gay man who knows his history, I take
                      offense when confronted with what should be the personal beliefs of
                      others. Apart from my personal opinion about religion and religious
                      beliefs, I want to reserve the right to be spared the unsollicited
                      and unwanted expressions of other people's personal matters.
                      Discretion and respect are the key. I don't want strangers to
                      intrude on my life with anything from loud pounding music, garbage
                      and dog shit, and public conversations on cell phones, to their
                      yeast infections on private body parts. Their spiritual beliefs are
                      also on this list.

                      I don't presume to have all the answers, but I think it is important
                      and useful to have the debate on religion (and spirituality) in the
                      gay kingdom. I think, as the first state worldwide to truly abolish
                      religion from government and public life, we could set an example
                      for the rest of the world. For religion is not just the root of all
                      anti-gay violence and oppression, it is also the cause of most armed
                      conflicts throughout history.

                      Gart
                      Amsterdam


                      --- In gaykingdom@yahoogroups.com, "SEBama1" <sebama1@g...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Gart,
                      > For one, I appreciate the fact that you have been keeping up
                      with the debates. However, I have to compare the "checking of your
                      religion at the door" with the idea of "checking your sexuality at
                      the door".
                      > With all this in mind I have but one question to ask you Gart,
                      just for you (and anyone else in this thought pattern) to ponder on.
                      At what point do we stop?
                      > Stop telling people what or how to believe, think, live? Oh, and
                      who may I ask is to make this decision?
                      > Can someone tell me when do we stop limiting others rights as
                      we are already limited in our current societies.
                      >
                      > Louis Trusty
                      >







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