Skip to main content


I have a friend who is a Christian who wrote a facebook post about how Jesus wouldn't want Christians refusing to bake cakes for weddings of gay couples.  She has a lot of very nice christian friends who feel the same way she does.  One still argued that Jesus would want Christians to refuse, because they would be condoning and participating in sin.

I was raised Christian, and even graduated from seminary to be a minister, but I haven't attended church for over a decade.  I still consider myself a Christian, in that I follow the teachings of Jesus to love my neighbor as myself.  But I don't practice any of the Christian rituals and I doubt I will ever attend church again.  Still, the old theologian in me perks up whenever I hear arguments about morality from the bible and I couldn't resist responding to the argument that Jesus would want Christians to stand up for biblical marriage.

Here's my response:

the same bible that says this:

Leviticus 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

also says this:

Deuteronomy 22:28-29 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels[a] of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.

now, the argument against baking a cake for a wedding for a gay couple is that the gay couple has gay sex and helping them get married condones and even tangentially participates in their sin of having gay sex.

but who today would bake a cake for a wedding in which a rape victim is sold to her rapist by her father? who today wouldn't feel that they were condoning and participating in a horrific evil?

but see, according to god almighty, breaking a virgin is okay as long as you buy her from her father and you never return her.

because according to god, marriage is a sales transaction. a sale of a human being. a father sells his daughter to another man.

and that definition of marriage has been THE definition for MOST of the 2000 years since Christ, so, everyone who is trying to claim that modern marriage is the definition of marriage in the bible are either ignorant or in denial.

until very recently, women were the property of men, which is why they didn't need votes or their own credit cards or driver's license or education, etc, etc, etc...

everyone but crazy extremists picks and chooses which parts of the thousands of years old religion that they are going to adopt for their philosophy and worldview. some pick loving people. some pick judging people. i personally, pick loving people. just like jesus did.

Discuss

If there is one thing I have wanted to say to liberals who spend more time pointing fingers at other liberals for marginal differences than they do actually working for liberal causes in the real world, it is: SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!

I used to make Daily Kos a daily part of my life, but after years of never ending infighting, I stopped when I realized that Daily Kos is less about working for liberal causes than it is about liberals pointing fingers at each other INSTEAD of working for liberal causes.  

I don't expect Daily Kos to ever change.  The finger pointing is just too intoxicating for too many people.  But since I did spend years here trying to be a part of working for liberal causes, I am going to take the liberty to say Thank You to Bill Maher for finally speaking for liberals with a sense of perspective and telling liberal puritans who have a self righteous stick up their ass to just SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!

Discuss

Thu Jan 22, 2015 at 11:00 AM PST

Jay Leno on Bill Cosby

by AntonBursch

At the National Association of Television Program Executives in Miami, Leno was asked about the sexual allegations against Cosby.

"I don't know why it's so hard to believe women," Leno said. "I mean, you go to Saudi Arabia, and you need two women to testify against a man. Here, you need 25."

- CBS News

I grew up watching Bill Cosby on tv and listening to recordings of his stand up and I loved him.  In particular, I loved his stand up about his abusive mother.  I had an abusive mother and it helped me cope as a little kid to hear him joke about it.  As an adult I often wondered at the bravery it must have taken for him to talk openly about his mother, even with jokes.  But it helped bring child abuse out into open conversation and that was a good thing, because child abuse was one of those things that no decent person was okay with, but our society turned a blind eye to.  

I haven't known what to think about Bill Cosby since all of these women started coming forward.  I haven't really bought into any of the rationalizing in his defense that I have heard, but I also honestly just couldn't accept that he is guilty.  He's Bill Cosby.  It's like finding out Mr Rogers was a child abuser.  But after hearing what Jay Leno said... there's no denying it anymore.  Bill Cosby date raped dozens of women and he got away with it for so long because, like child abuse, our society wants to turn a blind eye.

I breaks my heart to accept that someone who helped me cope with child abuse growing up was doing something just as bad to women.  I don't want to believe it.  But I have to accept the truth, because these women deserve to speak up about what happened to them and they deserve to be believed.  As much as my heart is broken about Cosby, it's broken far more for these women.  Although, I am amazed at their bravery speaking about what happened to them and I am so happy that the response by our society is generally supportive.

I really wish that Bill Cosby would admit to what he did.  Yes, it would probably be the end of his fortune, because he would be sued.  But despite what he did to these women, he has done so much good in his life.  This is one last good thing that he could do.  Admit what he did and give these women the respect they deserve and send a message to women everywhere that there is no "statute of limitations" on speaking up about having been date raped.  That date rape IS rape and that our society is wrong to turn a blind eye to it.

Discuss

So we lost the majority in the senate and our numbers in the house shrunk a bit and we lost a few governorships and some state legislatures this election.  It happens.  Sometimes we win and sometimes we lose.  It's not the end of the world. It's democracy.  Especially in a nation of over 300 million people living across 50 states all with their own values and priorities and interests.  

We ran up big wins in 2006 and 2008 and we did pretty well in 2012.  What?  Did we think it was gonna last forever?  This country is never going to make up it's mind and pick one team over the other.  No matter what anyone asking for donations says.  It's never gonna happen.

Instead, what's going to happen, is what has happened since the beginning.  We're gonna go one way and then we're gonna go another.  We're gonna try somethings out and then we're gonna decide we don't like them after all.  We're gonna make mistakes and then we're going to correct them while making more mistakes.  We're going to keep up this tug of war forever.

At least that is my hope.  I know that many people want this country to make up it's mind and either be one thing or another.  But I don't.  I want us to keep struggling.  I think it's good for us.  I think it's the key to our ability to successfully adapt as a nation.  If we ever lose that tension, I think that's when we're going to be in real trouble.

Now, I know, lots of people on both the left and the right sincerely believe that if everyone would just accept their ideas that this country could solve all of it's problems.  Well, that's just laughable and everyone else knows it, thank goodness.  And that is why neither side is ever going to be left in charge for very long.  Because enough of the people of this country know that nobody has all of the answers.  Nobody.  

This country was founded on the belief that nobody has all of the answers.  Whether it's about god or economics or foreign policy or marriage.  Nobody has the answers for everyone else.  Not a king.  Not the pope.  Not a politician.  Nobody.  Instead, we decide together what our answers our going to be until we change our mind.

And we never stop changing our mind, so, relax.  So the country tipped a bit towards the right this election.  It's going to tip back to the left again soon, I promise.  And it won't be because the left became more progressive or more moderate or more anything.  It's going to be because this country likes to change.  It's in our dna.  

So, relax.  We lost.  We'll win again next time.  We always do.  And then we'll lose some more and then we'll win some more and along the way we'll do some good and help some people and leave a better country than we were given.  I promise that we will.  We always have.  Not a perfect country.  But a better country.  

Discuss
Welcome Anton,

Thank you for choosing Premera Blue Cross as your health plan.

The date you can begin using your benefits: June 1, 2014.

I received that message in an email 4 days ago, 133 days after I changed my plan through the Washington Health Benefits Exchange following a life event(new job) for which I was granted a special enrollment.  It took over 4 months for the paperwork to get processed and sent to my insurance company.  

Now, don't get me wrong, I am so thankful for the ACA and for the Washington Health Benefits Exchange and for the opportunity to change my plan when my life changed, but waiting for over 4 months for the plan to get processed and sent to my insurance company is the definition of bureaucratic incompetence and with all due appreciation, I have to say that we have to do better than that.  

I voted for President Obama in 2008 with the confidence that he would be a competent president and the hope that he would actually manage to make some progress solving some of our big problems, such as our health care system.  When he started working with congress on the ACA, I could not have been happier.  

I held my breath as the ACA worked it's way through congress to finally be signed into law.  And I kept holding my breath through the 2010 midterms and the 2012 election, as the GOP ran on repeal of the ACA.  And I kept holding my breath until the moment I read earlier this year that I had health insurance through the ACA.  That is when I finally exhaled and relaxed.  No more pre-existing conditions.  No more yearly or lifetime caps.  It wasn't perfect, but it was a leap forward and it covered the most important things.  I actually thanked god for the ACA.  I did.

So, it is with great love that I offer this constructively criticism of the ACA, or specifically, the WA implementation.  Which, for the record, is fantastic is so many ways.  But it needs to be better.  4 months of anxiety wondering when I will have insurance again.  4 months of having to hold off doctors I visited before I knew what was happening and asking them to wait to get paid.  And eventually, these last 2 months putting off going to the doctor until I have insurance.  The ACA is supposed to exist so that people don't go through things like this.  

I know that progress has it's bumps in the road.  But having only started taking medicine for high blood pressure a year ago, it's truly scary bumps when I had to put off going to the doctor for the check up she kept asking me for this summer.  And my wife held off going to the doctor for a issue that her doctor is having her do an ultra sound next week to figure out.  

Now, would I go back to before the ACA?  Not a chance.  Years ago our health insurance company refused to pay for my wife's care and they cited her having once missed a period (which they only knew about because she went to the doctor to see if she was pregnant) as a pre-existing condition.  The ONLY debt that we have accrued in the 14 years that we have been married (other than car payments and student loans) is those medical bills the insurance refused to pay.  We're still paying them off.  Without the ACA, our insurance wouldn't cover my wife getting this ultra sound.  They would just let us go bankrupt and if it got bad enough, let her die, because they don't care about us.

I spent the last 4 days thinking about whether or not to write this diary.  It's the mid terms and I don't want my criticism to get stumbled upon and used to attack the ACA.  But I decided that I can't let shameless political opportunists silence my voice and I have a responsibility as a Democrat to speak up when I can see that there needs to be some improvements to the work we are doing.  

So, again, I say with love, that we need to do a better job with the ACA.  People need affordable health insurance that they can count on.  That's what was promised and that's what should be delivered.  

Continue Reading

Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 11:51 PM PDT

My 2 cents on Israel and Gaza

by AntonBursch

After Iraq, I don't feel like America has any kind of moral high ground to point fingers at other countries about war.  We were attacked on 9/11 and we had every right to respond with force, but somehow our response sidetracked into invading and demolishing a nation that had nothing to do with the attack.  We were traumatized and in our zealousness to defend ourselves... and in our foolishness and our pride... we ruined a nation.  We ruined an entire nation.  Who are we to lecture anyone else about war.  We are fuck ups of epic scale.

But maybe that is why I do have a 2 cents on what Israel is doing in Gaza.  Speaking as an America, with both the legitimate pain of 9/11 and the shame of what we did to Iraq, it seems to me that Israel is... going America in Gaza.  And that's not a good thing.  

I am not going to judge Israel.  How can I?  But I am going to say that they are wrong.  Just like we were with Iraq.  They are wrong in Gaza.  

At least, that's what I think.  That's my 2 cents.

Discuss

This is the first trailer for the film about Alan Turing, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and if it doesn't choke you up to watch it knowing his story, then I don't know what you are doing around here.  Alan Turing is the mathematician who is probably the single person most responsible for saving the world from the Nazis.  His country rewarded him by arresting him for being gay and castrating him.  He eventually committed suicide.

Discuss

My income changed in the last month, so, I am changing the plan I am getting through the WA state marketplace.  I am close to picking a plan, but I am not sure if I should get a plan with a health saving account (HSA) or without.  I certainly wouldn't mind putting the amount of out of pocket medical costs that I might have to pay in a year into a tax deductible saving account, but I have never had one before, so, I don't know the downsides.  Anyone know the good/bad of having an HSA?

Discuss

I am really happy that the ACA is finally starting to poll favorably.  My hope is that this new ACA bandwagon grows big enough that Democrats start running ON the ACA instead of from it.  

Especially those who actually voted for it.  They did real good and it's kind of been depressing that so many have been more concerned with keeping their job than what is likely to be their greatest legacy as public servants.  If i had voted for the ACA i would be boasting of it all the way to my death bed.  As it is, I feel proud for everything i did to help get President Obama and Democrats elected in 2008 and again in 2012, if only because of the ACA.

Yes, I know it's not the best way to handle health care, but it helps tens of millions of people and I honestly don't know how helping tens of millions of people is anything but incredible.

When I think of the ACA, I think of this story I once heard growing up.  It was a story about two friends on the beach after a big storm and there are thousands of star fish that have washed up. One of the friends starts picking up the star fish one at a time and throwing them out into the water.  The other friend says that there are far too many to save and that ultimately, throwing a few dozen back into the water wouldn't matter.  The friend picks up a star fish and throws it into the water and says 'It mattered to that one'.

That is how i see the ACA.  Maybe it's not going to save everyone, but it saves tens of millions of people.  Why we are not all between cheers and tears of joy when we talk about the ACA just baffles me.  Because that is how I feel about it.  Maybe because I am one of those star fish and so are a lot of people I know.

The ACA saves lives.  We are all a part of those lives being saved.  That isn't a little thing.  That's an incredible thing.  I think that we should all feel proud of the ACA.  Proud and humbled.

Discuss

I have to watch The Fountain again before I can decide if Noah is director Darren Aronofsky's best film.  But I can say that with this film he has cemented himself as the most daring and imaginative American film director of his generation.  

Also, somebody just hand the Academy awards for best Actresss and Best Supporting Actress to Emma Watson and Jennifer Connelly, because nobody is going to top their performances this year.  I have been a fan of Jennifer Lawrence since Winter's Bone, but Hermione just blew Jennifer's best performance out of the water.

I don't want to spoil the movie for anyone, and trust me on this, neither the trailers nor having heard the story from the bible spoils this movies for anyone.  Unless someone tells you what is in this film, you have no idea what you are about to witness.  

If you are a fundamentalist religious person, this movie is going to be a painful experience for you.  Everything you believe in is going to be challenged and in such a subtle way that you won't be able to brace yourself for it.  

If you are someone who doesn't enjoy fantastical movies, then just don't even bother showing up to this one, because it is a myth through and through.  

If you hate environmentalists or vegetarians, then, again, just don't even bother, cause you'll hate this film.

But if you love the other movies directed by Darren Aronofsky... Pi, Requiem For A Dream, The Fountain, The Wrestler and Black Swan... then you are in for a real treat.  This is Darren Aronofsky with $160 million dollars telling a conflicted, hopeful, horrific, beautiful, wondrous, heart breaking, challenging story that is on par with Stanley Kubrick's 2001.

Discuss

Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 06:41 PM PDT

I LOVE the new Cosmos!!

by AntonBursch

I just finished watching the new Cosmos and I love it!!!  Neil deGrasse Tyson is a fantastic new host for a new generation!  I can't praise him enough.  And the story about his personal encounter with Carl Sagan made me choke up.

Thank you thank you thank, Seth MacFarlane(creator of Family Guy and Ted) for working with Ann Druyan, Sagan’s widow, to bring back a show about the incredible beauty and magnificent wonder of the Cosmos.  I was humbled and inspired by the new show.  And I have now officially forgiven you for killing Brian.  ;)

Oh, and I LOVE the new creation timeline.  Well played.  ;)

If you haven't seen Cosmos yet, you can watch it on Hulu.  That's how my wife Melissa and I just watched it.  Melissa is already describing herself as a Cosmos fangirl.

http://www.hulu.com/...

Discuss

Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 03:09 PM PST

Can you hear music in your mind?

by AntonBursch

I don't mean... do you hear music when none is playing... like you're schizophrenic... I mean in you mind.  Like picturing a person's face in your mind.  Do you hear music?

I ask, because I do.  I always have.  I can play songs in my head.  Sometimes, songs just start playing in my head and I start humming or singing or if I am home alone, I start dancing along.

Like right now... I just started playing this in my head... from the opening credits of the 90s movie Dumb and Dumber.

I have no idea why that song popped into my head, but it's just there in the mix of songs I remember from over the years.  I often find myself humming along to songs in my head from the movie Annie, which I saw over 30 years ago.

I saw Cloud Atlas last year and for days the theme played in my head and brought back feelings I felt watching the movie, which made me cry.  

Now that I think about it, I remember a lot of songs and music from movies.  More so than from just listening to music.  Huh.  Don't know if that really means anything other than the fact that I watch a lot more movies than I listen to music.  

I don't have anything useful to say about any of this.  I just thought about it and found it kind of interesting and thought that maybe there's lots of people who can do this too and it would be cool to hear from them.  Or maybe hear from someone who actually knows something about how and why this happens to people.  

I see pictures and even motion scenes in my mind too, but not as well as I hear music.  I am terrible at names, but I can remember images pretty well.  Like, I will remember exactly what someone looks like in a picture of them... I can see the picture in my mind, but I'll just get nothing for their name.  Actually, I tend to only remember the music of a song and not always the words.

Anyway.  Just a curiosity.  :)

Discuss
You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.

RSS

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site