Election 2016, July 10-16

I thought I would change the weekly election post to Sunday so it would not distract attention from our regular Monday post.  Please continue to give me feedback on your preferences.

Any thoughts on our political races?  This commentary caught my attention.

What’s missing from “Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Struggle to Be Unifying Voice for Nation” by Patrick Healy in the NYT.

Before you push us to judge whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump would do better in bringing us together in racial harmony, Mr. Healy, please say a few words about why President Obama has failed. Of course, neither Clinton nor Trump inspires hope for a new opportunity at racial harmony. That’s what Obama did in 2008. He was ideal for that issue and we voted for the hope. Now, so many years later, things seem even worse. Can you analyze how that happened? Because that did happen. I don’t see how we can begin to think about what more Trump or Clinton could do unless we understand why President Obama failed.

If Obama couldn’t unite us, why should we think either of the current candidates can?

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101 thoughts on “Election 2016, July 10-16

  1. How is it that the folks most distrustful of the government are often the ones most likely to think the police can do no wrong?

  2. Scarlett,

    Just read Ann’s commenters. Although, I should probably add – do no wrong when it comes to dealing with African Americans.

  3. Ann is the blogger CoC linked to in the post above. I believe she’s a law professor at UW Madison.

  4. And I meant people IRL.

    I know a couple of guys from northern Virginia — middle-aged UMC professionals — who have guns in part because they don’t trust the government, including the police, to protect them. One of them was raised in a poor Asian country where corruption is rampant, which perhaps has shaped his views. But at least they are consistent.

  5. Hmmm. I take for granted the level of thoughtful discourse we have here.

    There was an interesting piece in the NYT a few weeks ago on the supposed failure of Obama to focus on issues affecting black Americans. This is an example of one of his grievances:

    “Beyond [the failure to make sufficient black] appointments, the president’s reluctance to highlight black suffering is lamentable. He seems capable only of being forced to do for black citizens what he willingly does for others. For instance, Mr. Obama traveled to Newtown, Conn., two days after the shooting deaths of 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School. He later called that the worst day of his presidency. Yet he had to be prodded to return to his home base, Chicago, as it suffered a rash of black death.

    On that visit, Mr. Obama lamented the absence of male role models, claiming that government alone couldn’t end violence because “this is not just a gun issue” but an issue of “the kinds of communities that we’re building” and that when “a child opens fire on another child, there is a hole in that child’s heart that government can’t fill.” This was mourning mixed with scolding; in Newtown, there were no reprimands for the grieving.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/26/opinion/sunday/barack-obama-the-president-of-black-america.html

    Now, although he included this example to make a different point, I think that Obama could have, but clearly chose not to, embrace the elephant in the room. He has written and sometimes spoken movingly about longing for his absent father, and could have used that experience to remind black men of the responsibilities they have toward the children they bring into the world. Yet perhaps he didn’t want to be accused of “scolding,” and certainly a crime scene is not the time and place for a discussion about the role of family dysfunction in producing young black men who kill each other.

  6. ” the supposed failure of Obama to focus on issues affecting black Americans.”

    That is the complete opposite of some of the crap I’m seeing in my FB feed today, with a lot of complaining about “Obama’s Black Lives Matter”, BLM being a racist hate group, links to a Giuliani comment talking about how a White Lives Matter would never be tolerated, and blaming Obama for creating division in the country and being responsible for the attacks on police. I think I’m going to have to stay off FB for a while.

    Neither Trump or Hillary will unite the country. Each has such large percentages of people that just despise them with a white hot fiery passion. I think whichever one wins, the partisanship and gridlock in Congress is only going to get worse, and that is starting from a very low point. I’m such an optimist by nature, and I feel so pessimistic about our near-term future.

  7. I am a recent citizen. Was a newbie when Clinton was President, and then witnessed Bush two terms and Obama two terms. What I observed was there was no great transformative change. The Presidents passed one big piece of legislation and the rest of their term/s was spent fighting fires big and little. I had no great expectations in 2008 and that perhaps was in contrast to many voters who thought a transformative change was on the horizon. Maybe, I am just Louise, an optimist about the future but a pessimist about the speed at which we arrive at that future.

  8. Louise, I agree; I don’t know that one person, even the POTUS, can effect much change.

    Also keep in mind that Obama didn’t have a typical AA upbringing. He was largely raised by white grandparents (I wonder if they gave him ‘the talk ‘), and was one of a very small number of AA kids at school. I wouldn’t be surprised if he never ran into racial profiling until after he left for college.

  9. Scarlett- I have at least two people on my FB feeds (and yes these ppl I see frequently IRL) who believe the police can and do no wrong. They also believe they are above the law. Both have blamed Obama because Obama said “police were targeting blacks”.

    I never thought Obama was going to solve problems. I rather hoped he and the First Famiky would be real life Huxtables and at least show a different path. Idealism I know. And I know realistically the path is not open to most minorities. But 8 years ago I was more idealistic.

  10. It’s rare that conversations here overlap with conversations in Sunday School. Sunday School is over half retired people, many of whom have lived here all their lives and worked in farming, forestry or related natural resource industries.

    A couple weeks ago, someone commented that maybe it was time for gun laws to become more strict, given the increase in people shooting each other. He was considering whether the hassle it would be to have to trap or poison varmints (instead of shooting them) would be worthwhile if it decreased gun violence. Today, a different person prayed for the cities where people are shooting each other. Those cities are (and I quote), “Cesspools of violence.”

    It’s hard for me to communicate tone on a blog, and after Sky’s comments about feeling out of place as a conservative, I want to clarify that the tone communicated nothing but sorrow about cities, where guns are used to shoot people instead of being put to their proper use: shooting varmints.

  11. “How is it that the folks most distrustful of the government are often the ones most likely to think the police can do no wrong?”

    I did not read all 408 comments on the linked post, but from the ones I read I did not reach the same conclusion.

    IRL the folks I know who are most distrustful of the government tend also to be distrustful of police. It seems to me that the angry rhetoric stems more from the perceived mishandling of incidents that they believe has only promoted divisiveness.

  12. In other news, it looks like Theresa May will become the next British PM. With the likely election of Hillary, it looks like the world will soon be run (to a significant degree) by sensibly dressed women of a certain age. I for one welcome our new pantsuit clad overlords.

  13. “our new pantsuit clad overlords.”

    My favorite line of the day!

    Usher in the new fashion of the power pants suit. American and British designers will clamor for the opp to dress the Pres and PM. Models will wear them on the runway. We’ll be back in the 90s before sundown.

  14. Rhode – we are already in the 90’s. Short overalls are back. SHORT OVERALLS!!! My God.

  15. Ivy – I dress my son in them… I had no realized that they were back for adults…

    And with Pokemon and Tamigachi making a resurgence… it really is the 90s

  16. My parents are in the category of people who think the police can do no wrong. I would say the vastmajority of the people that they associate with agree with that statement. As rural Westerners, they have had infrequent dealings with the police, and I have never had a truly negative experience. Both have gotten an occasional traffic ticket, but they realize that “they deserved it.”. All of the stories of police behaving badly involve situations that they have never been in and people that don’t look like them. In the last 10 years, they live in a place where they know all of the police in the county by name.

  17. Yep, the 90’s are back! I have noticed that fashions tend to reemerge every 20 years (in the 90’s a lot of 70’s stuff came back)

  18. WCE,

    I have heard similar comments about guns in cities for years, maybe decades. I recall one Republican rancher hunter conservative opening that there was no reason people in cities should have so many guns because there was there so many people crammed together that of course people would be hurt by them.

    As we’ve both noted before, one size fits all laws and regulations can be incredibly problematic, whether it is mandating low flow shower heads in the Pacific Northwest or banning large quantities of ammo purchases in rural areas.

  19. Has Pokemon ever gone away since the 90s? DS and his friends were really into it for about 5 or so years in the mid-sights, and the kid of a friend several years younger than DS went through it at about the same ages.

  20. WCE said “I want to clarify that the tone communicated nothing but sorrow about cities, where guns are used to shoot people instead of being put to their proper use: shooting varmints.

    While the murder rate is lower in rural areas than in cities, it isn’t 0. People are murdered all the time in rural areas. Meth wars, domestic violence, simple fights… Guns are used for more than shooting varmints in rural areas. I don’t find that comment sorrowful, but rather, reeking of the same condecension we were discussing the other day (and I mean the speaker of the comment, not WCE)

  21. I want Pokemon Go! I think those are the cuttest little critters around. I have a Pickachu watch, and a wonderful Tshirt that shows Totoro wearing a Pickachu costume.

  22. For the life of me, I can’t picture 90’s fashion. Except for plaid shirts of course.

  23. baseba;; caps on college guys. That is the other thing I remember. Baseball caps had the same role as hoodies do today – something to hide under

  24. I lived in Manhattan in the 90’s, and I don’t recognize any of those fashions. Chokers were big in the 70’s.

  25. They were also huge when I was in jr high in the 70’s. I think the 90’s appearance was intended to be retrro 70’s

  26. I clicked through the whole thing. The only things that struck me as specifically 90’s were scrunchies, those floral princess dresses, and flannel plaid shirts. Doc Martens and big hair were 90’s, chokers, denim jackets, and platforms were definitively 70’s. I had thought crop tops were early 00’s but maybe I was wrong.

    The 90’s were one of the blandest decades ever, both in terms of fashion and music. Rock bands all had limp unwashed hair and limp vocals. I pretty much gave up on rock around 1995. Nothing has called me back since :-(

  27. sorry to hijack the election post with 90’s, think I’ll send CoC a topic for a fun friday

  28. People get killed in rural areas too, of course, but they are probably less likely to be hit by an errant bullet while they are going about their daily business, and their sons are probably less likely to be mistaken for a rival gang member and victimized in a drive-by shooting. So I don’t think it’s condescension, because I don’t think that even residents of meth territory in rural Ohio or Kentucky live with the same level of fear as those on the South Side of Chicago.

  29. Please do, wine mama! I am loving your links!

    MM – you’re showing your age. :) Us youngins were so bland and uninspired compared to those who came before, eh?

    I definitely think it makes sense for gun control rules to be different in urban areas and rural ones, or in different states. You know who is against that? The NRA. Because they don’t want Chicago to be able to ban the sale of guns – all guns must be available nationwide. How successful the ban was in Chicago is debatable, I know. But I think it should have been legal for the local government to debate & decide. I think it is very much a state/local issue – like fireworks.

  30. Ivy – I’ve been coming to that conclusion lately myself. I feel there’s middle ground between the 2nd amendment and localized responsible gun control/ownership. But it’s such a hot button issue, or an issue of “if you aren’t on my side you are stupid” it won’t get discussed rationally. However, I know there are local controls – not every state is open/conceal carry, not every state has child protection laws, etc. Maybe not enough controls… And then there’s the carry across state lines issues…. like fireworks can be purchased legally in one state, smuggled across to another state which has stricter laws and used. Totally illegal but it happens every summer.

  31. @Rhode – oh yes, I live in a state where they are illegal, but there are a dozen stands directly across the border and they go on & on with little enforcement for a week around the 4th! That’s part of why it is in my mind as a comparison.

  32. Weren’t shoulder pads early 90’s? All I really remember is that there were NO cute maternity clothes then, and everything was polyester. Pregnant women at my Big 6 firm all had custom suits made.

  33. Its a bit strange to me that “big city” now equals “south side Chicago” on this board. I’ve seen a lot of references to Chicago lately, as a stand in for all US cities. Like most cities Chicago has rougher neighborhoods and some really nice ones. “City” does not equal “bad area”.

    Heck, plenty of small towns have a rough areas. I feel safer in Brooklyn than I do in those areas, mainly because there are more people around in Brooklyn.

    I went for a long walk yesterday in a park near me – the variety of cultures, peoples, lifestyles – was staggering. So glad I live where I do.

  34. The reason I shared the anecdote is that I think it reflects increasing support for gun regulation among those who were previously strongly opposed.

    Our impressions of places can be shaped by odd things. DS1 and I had an 8 hour wait in Chicago so we rode the “L” downtown. Because we had a stroller, we needed to ride an elevator down to the train. The elevator smelled strongly of stale urine. DS1 asked me why people pee in elevators instead of bathrooms in big cities, and I told him most people used bathrooms and only a few people pee in the elevators. But it’s the pee-in-the-elevator, not the aquarium or the skyline, that DS1 remembers.

  35. WCE – I take your point about shifting attitudes and actually wonder whether they really are shifting or if people are more willing to admit to them. My rather conservative brother in law, I recently learned, is in favor of mandatory safety classes for new gun owners and I’d bet if pushed he’d think a license is not unreasonable. Maybe I’m just not around him enough or the topic just hadn’t come up. We were visiting recently and he was talking to my boys about when they could go hunting with him. (Not for a long while yet and not until they’d taken safety classes.) I don’t think his views are out of line with the majority of NRA members.

    (I also learned that porcupines are really dangerous for pets. He went and grabbed his shotgun when I casually mentioned I some one in the yard. The porcupine escaped into a neighboring field. Apparently, their quills can really do some damage to smaller animals, like dogs.)

  36. @COC – I reference Chicago because I live here. I hadn’t really noticed others referencing it as a stand-in much except for that South Side comment above, but maybe it goes over my head.

    @ATM – I bet your BIL’s views are the norm among gun owners/NRA members too. But the organization itself has other aims – like maximizing its own contributions and helping to maximize profits for gun manufactures and sellers. True for most lobbying organizations.

  37. I want all my children to take gun safety classes and I’d want that even if they never wanted to shoot a gun. Understanding different types of guns and whether you should run or comply if someone pulls a gun on you is in my category of “useful life knowledge I hope you never need.”

    My view is shaped, in part, by my uncle who has been an EMT covering the state mental health center for a few decades.

  38. It’s not clear what age group that research covered. But my idea of gun safety is teaching 12 year olds to shoot, not trying to convince a 6 year old not to touch a gun left within his reach.

  39. I’m annoyed that the Y camps do not have the bb gun and rifle range anymore (but at least they still have archery). I’m not a gun-toting card-carrying republican, but I spent my summers at Y camp and learned the basics of gun safety through hands on learning. My parents weren’t going to take me a gun range and show me, and I wasn’t interested enough to want to do that, but I felt I learned the basics, learned the dangers, and that was enough for me.

  40. @Lemon. I agree. To this day, a pellet rifle at an outdoor education program is the only thing I’ve ever shot, but I think it was a valuable experience that I would like to eventually seek out for DS.

  41. Funniest comment I read today re Republican convention- Pokemon will be seen at convention- will be made keynote speaker and be unanimously nominated for Prez or Trumps VP!

  42. I would love to learn how to shoot! I think we do have a range within driving distance!

  43. Winemama, I don’t know anything about him. Why is he “good riddance” other than the obvious he’s willing to be Trump’s VP?

  44. the obvious, comma, that he’s willing to be Trump’s VP.
    I think that’s correct, and if not, it is closer to correct than my first attempt.

  45. “Like many Hoosiers, I believe marriage is the union between one man and one woman, and I am disappointed that the Supreme Court failed to recognize the historic role of the states in setting marriage policy in this country. Nevertheless, our Administration will continue to uphold the rule of law and abide by the ruling of the Court in this case. Under our system of government, our citizens are free to disagree with decisions of the Supreme Court, but we are not free to disobey them. As we move forward as a state and a nation, Hoosiers may be assured that our Administration will respect the law and the dignity and worth of every Hoosier and every Hoosier family.”
    http://www.indystar.com/story/news/politics/2015/06/26/hoosiers-reacting-sex-marriage-ruling/29329915/

    “I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian — for me — for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix.”

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0512/76109_Page2.html

    The first is Pence. The second is Obama.

  46. Indiana’s RFRA shouldn’t allow restaurants and bakeries to refuse service to LGBT

  47. How do you fight against a guy in a truck? That’s a really low-tech terrorist attack, but horrifyingly successful. From the news reports I can’t make out whether he was also firing on people. He did have weapons in the truck. The news reports are conflicting.

  48. The eyewitness accounts I read reported that he was shooting at people before the police killed him.
    I am actually surprised that there haven’t been more of these kinds of attacks. The world is filled with soft targets and vehicles.

  49. I just heard this commentary: The more unsophisticated the weapons (trucks or box cutters for ex.) that terrorists use, the more frightened their victims will be.

    Homophobic. Racist. I keep hearing that the overuse of these labels has been a factor in the rise of Trump.

  50. WM – is he still anti-gay rights? I have watched my parents and their friends (similar to Obama) as their thoughts re: gay marriage/rights have evolved over the past 15+ years. They went from not entirely supporting either side but definitely being uncomfortable with gay marriage to now very much supporting gay marriage/rights. Has he moved at all as the country did?

    The Nice thing is horrifying.

  51. CoC,
    That may be right. Nuclear and biological weapons could destroy us, but they don’t pose much threat to our daily life. A terrorist with a truck could hit anytime anywhere

  52. Kate, I’ve also changed my stance on gay marriage over the last 15 years (I used to think civil union was good enough)

    Pence hasn’t changed

  53. exactly, to change your way of thinking is growth, it isn’t flip-flopping

  54. No one seriously believes Obama’s claim that his views on same-sex marriage have “evolved.” He was lying. But there are many people, myself included, whose opposition to same-sex marriage is deeply rooted and based on sincere religious beliefs. The suggestion that we need to “grow” or “evolve” out of our backward thinking is offensive. And I believe that Trump gets much of his support from voters who are tired of being told that their beliefs are wrong.

  55. I really do think Obama has evolved regarding gay marriage. I believe my parents have, too. And I don’t think religious beliefs should dictate public policy and who gets to be married when the entity issuing the marriage license is the government. I wholeheartedly support a church’s right to perform or not perform whatever marriage ceremonies its members/leadership decide. But I do think it is 100% wrong for politicians to bring their religious views in to granting people rights, particularly when those rights are fundamental ones.

  56. Scarlett, I’m not trying to offend anyone. After my brother came out to me over 10 years ago, it definitely changed my views on the subject. I just think a government issued marriage shouldn’t be held to religious views on the matter (separation of church and state).

  57. “I wholeheartedly support a church’s right to perform or not perform whatever marriage ceremonies its members/leadership decide”

    agreed

  58. There was no “fundamental” right for a man to marry another man until the Supreme Court discovered it last year, by a single vote. Expanding “fundamental” rights to include “everything we want to do” and then excluding from the public square those who dare to question such expansion leads to greater, not lesser division.

    And it is ironic that the same people who keep discovering new fundamental rights in the Constitution would like to ignore one that actually appears there.

  59. Scarlett, I am a religious person and I believe God made some people straight, and some people gay. If he designed us that way, then I can’t believe that a loving God would not want the same happiness granted to gay people to be in a committed marriage, the same rights as straight people have

  60. “Marriage has always been between one man and one woman.”

    That’s definitely not been true since 2004.

  61. “I really do think Obama has evolved regarding gay marriage.”

    I don’t think his core belief has evolved; I think what has evolved is his willingness to go public with it.

    I have mixed feelings about that. I have great respect for the politicians who were willing to come forward and publicly support same sex marriage (e.g., locally during the election on the constitutional amendment WRT SSM), but OTOH had Obama taken that position publicly prior to, or during, the 2008 presidential campaign, we’d have likely had Hillary as president.

  62. I don’t think it really matters that legally marriage used to only be permitted between a man and a woman. It was that way because our laws didn’t allow otherwise. Marriage is still a fundamental right derived from the Constitution and subject to strict scrutiny. What your (and my) religion says about it doesn’t really matter. Restricting marriage between a man and a man or a woman and a woman fails the legal test. I personally do not care if you don’t support gay marriage. But I do care if our politicians do not. I feel the same way about abortion. Because of my religious beliefs, I personally would never have one. But those are MY religious beliefs and I recognize and appreciate that this is not a theocracy. As such, I believe in our constitutionally protected privacy rights which includes a woman’s right to have an abortion. And even more important, I think it is important that our politicians do, too.

  63. I’m becoming increasingly concerned that we will see some sort of violence at one of the conventions. There seems to be nothing too crazy for people to undertake.

  64. ” Marriage is still a fundamental right derived from the Constitution and subject to strict scrutiny. What your (and my) religion says about it doesn’t really matter. ”

    I have a different take. I try to separate legal marriage and social marriage, which would include religious marriage.

    Legal marriage is fairly well defined, and includes things like exemption from estate taxes for wealth transfers between spouses on death, medical benefits, not being required to testify against a spouse, being able to file taxes jointly, etc.

    Social marriage includes religious marriage. Religions are not obligated to recognize or sanction all legal marriages, e.g., SSM, and could also recognize marriages that aren’t legal, e.g., SSM prior to 2004.

    I kinda wish we didn’t use the same word for both types of marriage. I would’ve preferred to leave the word, “marriage,” for social marriage, and use some other term, e.g., “domestic partnership,” for legal marriages. If we’d done this, it might also make sense for another sort of not unheard of living arrangement, of unmarried (including divorced and widowed) siblings living together in interdependent domestic arrangements.

  65. WCE, I am pro marriage equality as a legal institution, and expect religious institutions to be free to carry on as their beliefs dictate with no interference from government. My initial reaction to your link was surprise, but I guess calling something a Christuan-whatever doesn’t make it church-affiliated. When we first moved from Philadelphia to mid-America, a friend of my dad’s was trying to pick up extra work painting houses. He was not getting much business until he changed his ad to read “Christian House Painter”, then he had more work than he could handle. The people who run that for-profit site may be hedonists using a marketing gimmick, in which case I don’t think they should be following laws that guarantee fairness.

  66. Eharmony, the most well-known Christian dating site, was established in 2000 and I was aware of it not long after. Its policies clearly predate the legal establishment of same sex marriage.

  67. Finn – I think most people are fine with that. I certainly couldn’t care less from a legal/equality standpoint what we call it or what religious institutions think of it. But the government is very involved in the business of marriage and always has been.

    And I am not sure we should be giving corporations the right to have religious freedom. If you want to be free to express your religious views through your business, don’t incorporate or form an LLC. If you want that liability shield to be respected, I am not sure how you can argue that an entity has religious views.

  68. The belief that only churches (and possibly non-profit organizations) can have protected religious views is part of why the battles over religious freedom are so virulent. Here’s an old case that comes to mind.
    http://www.publiceye.org/ifas/fw/9004/court.html

    I think part of Trump’s appeal is that conservative Christians feel like they are the only group that is not protected. To my knowledge, no one is examining the religious beliefs of the people hired to cut diamonds, and whether diamond cutting companies may be discriminating based on religious beliefs.

  69. People certainly have protected religious views. But an entity is not a person. The whole purpose of forming an entity is so that you don’t have personal liability because there is a shield between the shareholders and the corporation. We tell founders not to commingle their moneys with the entity because it can lead to piercing the veil. I don’t know how you then turn around and say that the corporation had the religious views of th shareholder. If you want the protections of an entity, great. But you shouldn’t then be able to argue that that entity has the rights of a person.

  70. Kate, I’m not familiar with the rules for legal entities but you are likely right.

    I think of religious freedom in association with hog farming. Muslims and Jews are free not to eat pork, and they should have reasonable social accommodations, but they can’t attack or destroy hog farms. Food companies should generally avoid religious discrimination, but it’s OK to only employ rabbis or imams with the appropriate religious credentials to designate food as kosher or halal. How religious food issues (like kosher and halal) interact with issues like religious dating websites is something I haven’t figured out.

    The question is whether a website established explicitly to matchmake among practicing religious believers is similar to halal/kosher or not. Christians wonder why THEIR religious dating websites (and not those targeting Muslims or orthodox Jews) are the first ones subject to enforcement, so perhaps the unevenness of enforcement is a factor in the frustration.

  71. I was not aware until today that Eharmony is/was a Christian dating site. I’ve known of the site for quite a while based on ads I’d seen or heard, but I have no recollection of any mention of it being a Christian site.

  72. WCE your argument assumes all Christians are anti- gay marriage, and that is not the case. Every lesbian or gay person I know is a church-going Christian, with the exception of one who is Muslim. So for some people, being gay and being on a Christian dating site are not mutually exclusive. As to the uneven enforcement, you said this was the result of a lawsuit. I assume the other sites have not her sued yet. With this precedent, they may have to change as well.

  73. “I think part of Trump’s appeal is that conservative Christians feel like they are the only group that is not protected.”

    Strange, I seem them as a dominant group that is more than adequately protected. I think they take their relative position of strength in this country for granted and are shocked when another group says they’ve gone too far.

  74. ATM, at least part of me agrees with your analysis. But the gay marriage transition is as hard for certain conservative Christians as establishing hog farmers as a legally protected group would be in some Muslim countries. No government should ever require pork to be declared kosher or halal, but as noted above, marriage is both a civil and religious institution.

    MBT, I don’t know how the Eharmony marketing has changed over time, but the site was established to help devout believers find each other. I agree that there are many Christian churches that welcome gay believers, but those gay believers wouldn’t have been able to seek partners on Eharmony.

    As a society, we are still struggling to figure out the balance between protecting religious minorities (including conservative Christians) and allowing democratic laws reflecting changing social morals to be enforced.

  75. WCE I agree. And I wonder if we’ll begin to see more private club type groups to allow people to restrict access, like country clubs.

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