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Messages - Jeff Fairchild

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Social Issues and Public Policy / Re: Health Care Debate: Going Forward?
« on: November 22, 2013, 08:04:33 PM »
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]I worry the President's weakness on domestic policy will tempt our enemies overseas.  The chaos that is Syria, Lybia, Iraq, Egypt, Afghanistan & beyond pale besides N. Korea's nukes & Iran's threats to destroy the Zionist State. A President humbled by defections from his own party bodes poorly for our foreign relations.    So, a successful repeal of Obamacare could tempt terrorists to take aim against a weakened President. Not good!
First, I think Obama has already proved his weakness to our enemies overseas and that terrorists already have all the temptation and encouragement they require to take aim at our nation.  Even with that, I am much more worried about the damage that has been done, is being done, and will continue to be done by Obamacare than I am about terrorist who are already sufficiently tempted, encouraged and provoked.  Obamacare is a self inflicted tumor that keeps growing and getting more infected the longer it is allowed to remain.  It needs to be removed as quickly as possible, together with the fools who shoved it down our nations throat. 

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UCC Café / Re: Random Thoughts ... Please Add Your Own
« on: October 03, 2013, 06:31:46 PM »
Yes, thanks Arthur.  Great thought.

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UCC Café / Re: Meetings
« on: September 09, 2013, 06:58:49 PM »
I met Cindi Knox this past Saturday when she had the grace to participate in a fund raising event at my church home.   :)

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Social Issues and Public Policy / Re: Gun Control II
« on: August 27, 2013, 07:53:48 PM »
I agree, God bless Antoinette Tuff.  Too bad she wasn't there to save the day in this case: School bus beating

Or in this case: 88 year old WWII vet beaten to death

She wasn't needed in this case: Business owner scares away suspects after third attempted robbery

Or in this case: Woman Pulls Gun on Knife-Wielding Attacker

Good question on how the gunman in Georgia was able to obtain a firearm with his history.  I hope someone in the new media follows up on that issue.

6
Theology Forum / Re: There are no nations! There is only humanity.
« on: August 21, 2013, 08:25:46 PM »
"That they may all be one"   :)

Easy to say, easy to pray, much harder to do.

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Jeff:

 Thanks! Silly me for imagining my link would work for those without a subscription.  ::)  What was I thinking.  :-[  FWIW, the online price is less than the paper version I dumped after 30 years along with our local paper.  I'll post one of the articles below.
Thanks Steven.  Very good column.   

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The way forward for traditionalists may me not to asking them to abandon their values but to appeal to them in a new way.  I hear Jon, Bobbie & others wanting to participate in society's established institutions not transform them.  That's hard to argue with, if framed right.
Bingo!  :)

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Thanks Denise.  It's nice to have things that we can agree on.   :)

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"No, civil marriage is a real thing, not just something in our minds.  Currently, civil marriage in the U.S. isn't what I think it should be, but that doesn't make civil marriage a figment of my imagination. "

I agree! I think marriage transcends governments & formal religion.
Thanks Steve. I think "marriage" trancends governments and religion with respect to people who consider themselves to be married regardless of any restrictions applied by government and religion, but civil marriage cannot trancend government because civil marriage is defined by government.

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Here's another article from the Wall Street Journal that seems to try to advocate progress without disdaining those of traditional views.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324485004578426841033535214.html?mod=lifestyle_newsreel
I can't read the article because I don't have a subscription to the WSJ.  (darn capatilist must expect me to pay for enjoy work produced by the sweat of their brow  ;))

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IMO, the SCOTUS ruling against same-sex marriage will not matter.
I am far less than certain that they will rule against same-sex marriage, especially as applied to the facts in California.

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The direction of the sensibilities of the public seems clear. Eventually, same-sex marriage will be recognized nationwide but not on a straight, painless line.  The GOP might be wise to encourage the values of marriage: life-long commitment  stability  cooperation, communication, consideration, forgiveness & go silent on other aspects.
I agree completely, except I would think it wise for all political parties to do as you suggest. 

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What kind of relationships merit government recognition as marriages? Tough! I've done taxes for married couples who separated years ago & rarely see each other. I know others who have never owned property jointly & keep their finances separate. With the current rates of divorce & % of dissatisfied couples I counsel, I'm sure lots of legal marriages are merely legal contrivances for long dead relationships.  But, should the government care?
I think the government should hold them to the contract they made with the government, and trying to do anything beyond that wouldn't be an efficient use of the governments time and resources.

10
Great discussions.  ;D ;D ;D

I think the example of Incest is a good example to bring up as I don't think anyone here would argue for it.  I saw this first hand when I visited an isolated island in North Carolina a long time ago.  Yes, there are still pockets in this country where unforced incest takes place.  These should not be recognized by the state because genetic defects start occurring from inbreeding after a couple generations.  This ultimately makes it a liability for society as those defects are passed on.
In addition to any genetic concerns, there is the problem of undue influence between one family member and another, plus the fact that the two people involved in the incest already enjoy a relationship recognized under the law, with benefits and responsibilities under that recognized relationship that provide efficiency and general benefits to society.

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I don't know if I would go as far as supporting marriage of more than two.  My reservations here aren't with three people that love each other, but with the extreme cases of powerfull men extablishing large harems.  This could potentially have negative impacts on the gene pool.
Powerful people are already allowed to gather large harems under current U.S. law, and the practice is often celebrated in our society (see, for example, Hugh Hefner and any number of music videos).  I don't think granting legal recognition to plural marriage will change that behavior other than to grant some legal protections to those in the "harem". 

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Jeff:
Thanks!
Again, we may flounder helplessly without a common definition of "marriage".    If I knew your definition, I might be able to agree.
Back at you.   :) ;)

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If marriage is mainly & merely a civil contract, why give it special treatment different from other relationships?
Civil marriage is a contract. Our nation and others give it special treatment because they have found out over time that it is more efficient for the served society and its individuals to do so and beneficial for the served society and its individuals to do so.  For example, soceity benefits when people make a life long commitment to love and care for another specific person, so society, via the government that serves the society, grants such relationships some special treatment as a means to encourage such relationships.  Historically marriages have served addtional purposes and provided other benefits (see, for example, creating a connection between competing families, tribes, or even nations, providing for a desired transfer of wealth, providing for more than one parent for a child).

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A reason to disagree would be James Rix' analysis that marriage is a social construct devised within each society as it sees fit & will not necessarily be consistent from one society to another or from generation to another.
Civil marriage is a social construct.  Unfortunately, societies don't always come to the best social constructs for themselves.  Currently, with respect to plural civil marriages, the society of the entire U.S. has failed itself, and with respect to SSM much of the society of the U.S. continues to fail itself.  At least in my view.   ;)

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So, your view of marriage is True for you & mine is True for me but there is no marriages apart from our imagination.  It recalls a line from the 1st Matrix movie: "There is no spoon!"
No, civil marriage is a real thing, not just something in our minds.  Currently, civil marriage in the U.S. isn't what I think it should be, but that doesn't make civil marriage a figment of my imagination.

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I've got lots of views for which I can't see any reason for anyone not to agree. I don't imagine my lack of imagination makes me right.  ;)
Let me add that I see many reasons to agree that plural marriages and same sex marriages should be allowed.   ;)  I don't think that one's lack of imagination makes one right, but I do think a lack of imagination can make one wrong.   ;)

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Marriage seems to be a special form of human relationship between 2 people.
A broader consideration of practices througout history until today would say that marriage is a special form of human relationship between 2 or more people.  I see no reason not to agree with that view and hope that some day the SCOTUS will recognize that limting civil marriage to just 2 people is unconstitutional discrimination, just as I hope that the SCOTUS very soon recognizes that limiting civil marriage to opposite sex couples is unconstitutional discrimination.  I believe the sooner the SCOTUS recognizes one, the sooner the SCOTUS must recognize the other.

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Closely genetically-related people have higher risks for recessive traits that may be problematic. Genetic counseling and, when warranted, contraception can address this issue for fertile heterosexual couples.
I think risks are problematic.  I wonder if genetic counseling and contraception are sufficient to address the risks.

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Additionally, there can be harmful psychological and power issues in a sexual relationship between closely-related persons. This can be addressed by counseling.
These are biggies for me, and I am very doubtful that counseling would be sufficient to address the problems, although it may be sufficient for some.

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For couples who love each other, do not have a history of familial contact between each other, and who are incapable or reproducing, it would seem incest has few genetic and psychological risks.
It would seem, but I wonder what happens after they understand the family relationship.

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That said, I am not interested in a sexual or romantic relationship with any of my relatives, and I would think that those who are interested constitute a small fraction of society. It would be more helpful to address the issue by reducing harm than by stigmatizing such couples, as the latter would merely increase the chance that the relationship would be carried on in secret.
I like the idea of reducing harm, but disagree that stigmatizing "merely" increases "the chance that the relationship would be carried on in secret".  Stimatizing increases the chance that a potential victim of an incestual relationship will not become a victim.  Kinda of like saying that we stigmatizing sex with an underage person "merely" increases the chance that the rape would be carried on in secret.  I just can't agree.

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OTOH, without the religious overtones, civil marriage is a contract between two individuals of majority age.
I would add that the contract also includes the state, so that it is a contract between the parties to the marriage and the state. 

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What is a marriage?
With respect to civil marriages, it is whatever the state says it is. 
 
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When should a relationship be called "a marriage"?
Whenever someone acting in goodfaith wants to call their relationship a marriage, keeping in mind that someone simply calling their relationship "a marriage" doesn't make the relationship "a marriage" in the eyes of the the state.

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When should the government allow a relationship to be recognized as a marriage?
When doing so would provide enough benefit to the individuals and society served by the government, keeping in mind that one significant benefit is not to trample on the rights of the individuals who are part of the served society. 
 
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What rights, obligations and responsibilities should those in such relationships expect?
Those that increase efficiency for the individuals and society served by the government and those that generate enough benefit to the individuals and society served by the government.  For some examples, see the current set of rights, obligations and responsibilities expected of those in a civil marriage.

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How difficult should it be to become married or divorced?
Realitively easy to become married, harder to become divorced.

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Should marriage relationships have government benefits which favor them over other relationships?
Yes, to the extent that those benefits increase efficiency for the individuals and society served by the government and/or provide a benefit to the individuals and society served by the government.  Again, for some examples, see the government benefits currently granted to marriage relationships.

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Anyone have suggestions for a "Hymnal Supplement" that would have more contemporary music - words and tunes?

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