LIBERALLY LOATHING: Andrew O’Hehir can see the hate!

THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 2015

Part 4—As long it’s over there:
If a person opposes same-sex marriage, does that mean that he or she is in the grip of “hate?”

We’d be inclined to say no. For one possible example, consider Barronelle Stutzman, whose situation was described in last Saturday’s Washington Post:
SOMASHEKHAR (4/4/15): Most recently, 70-year-old florist Barronelle Stutzman was fined $1,000 last week for violating Washington state's nondiscrimination law by refusing to create arrangements for the wedding of a longtime customer, a man she has said she considered a friend. A judge also directed her to provide services for same-sex weddings in the future.

The case is now on appeal. Stutzman—who could be forced to pay more than a $1 million in legal fees if she loses, according to her attorney—said she has no intention of backing down.
Stutzman said she regarded the customer as a friend. But she also said that participation in the wedding would be “against my faith.”

Is Stutzman gripped by the “hate-filled attitudes” we love to divine in The Others? We wouldn’t automatically say so. So too with Jennifer Williams, who was interviewed by CNN’s Gary Tuchman last week.

Tuchman tramped the back roads of Georgia, looking for evangelical Christian white southern florists. (No Catholics or blacks need apply!) In a small town, he interviewed Williams, who was described as an “observant southern Baptist...flower shop associate.”

By coincidence, Tuchman had journeyed to Jeff Davis County. Presumably, that added to the excitement:
TUCHMAN (4/1/15): Head out toward Jeff Davis County, Georgia and you don't have to look hard to find supporters of the state's proposed religious freedom restoration act. And they aren't afraid to say why.

If you had gay customers in here to buy flowers and they said, “We want you to come to the commitment ceremony, bring the flowers,” marriages not allowed in the state yet, would you do it?

WILLIAMS: No. I couldn't.

TUCHMAN: Jennifer Williams is an associate of this flower shop, an observant southern Baptist who says she regards the Bible as the rule book for her life. She doesn’t believe refusing service to a gay couple is discrimination.

You talk about the Bible and how important it is. I mean, the Bible talks an awful lot about love and loving your fellow man.

WILLIAMS: Right. It doesn’t mean that I love them any less, because I don’t. I pray for them. I hope—

TUCHMAN: But if you don’t serve them, it’s not like you’re—

WILLIAMS: It is not that I hate them. I don’t hate them.
Williams specifically said she doesn’t hate gays. Despite the craftiness of Those People, it isn’t obvious to us that her claim has to be wrong.

For ourselves, we aren’t observant southern Baptists. We aren’t even Catholics, a group Tuchman chose to pass over.

Back in the day, we stopped being Catholics at the same time everyone did—the first Sunday we were in college! We don’t have religious views, and we don’t oppose same-sex marriage.

That said, is it obvious that people who do oppose same-sex marriage are “bigots” driven by “hate?” We’re going to say it isn’t. We’ll even give a pass to Pope Francis on this matter, as we did with Obama and Hillary Clinton before the pair recently flipped!

Others within our tribe have better eyes for the hate. But uh-oh! As has been true through the annals of time, they’re only able to spot the hate in the other tribe!

They can’t or won’t see it within our own tribe. Consider this essay by Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir.

O’Hehir had all the advantages. His mother was a well-known poet and a Mills College professor. After growing up in the Bay Area, he graduated from Johns Hopkins in 1984.

These advantages may have equipped O’Hehir to write his fascinating essay about the episode he called “pizza-hate-gate.” His essay illustrates a key point:

It’s easy to see or imagine the hatred in The Others. Often, though, we humans refuse to see the hatred when it exists within our own tribes.

Flawlessly, O’Hehir executed this ruling principle of tribal loathing. He wrote about the episode in which the owners of a small-town pizza shop were descended upon by members of our own tribe, complete with death threats, relentless name-calling and so many phony orders of pizza that the business had to shut down.

To many people, this behavior by some in our tribe will perhaps seem less than attractive. Tricked by the headline on O’Hehir’s piece, we actually thought that he might comment about this behavior:

“Secrets of the hate-pizza revolution: Indiana’s dreadful culture-war week”

So read the headline at Salon. In truth, it had been a dreadful culture-war week, and dreadful culture-war episodes tend to help the plutocrats.

In these endless episodes, we in the 99 percent split ourselves into tribes, hurling insults at each other as we do. When we 99 act that way, the one percent are glad!

From that headline, we assumed that O’Hehir might discuss the imitation of hate which emanated from our own tribe. If you read his lengthy essay, you’ll see no such thing occur.

In fairness, O’Hehir had plenty of insults for the O’Connors. In a textbook piece of liberal loathing, he described people like the O’Connors as “a bunch of dumbass zealots in a flyover state.”

In his second paragraph, he mocked “their defiantly heterocentric pizzeria.” In that same paragraph, he referred to “the combination of ignorance [and] bigotry” which had produced Indiana’s new religious tolerance law.

O’Hehir was having no trouble seeing the hate Over There. In paragraph 4, he displayed the greatest complexity of thought he would manage:

“It’s easier to mock those who seem stupid and evil than to consider how they got that way, whether their deranged understanding of the world holds any truth, and what the long-term consequences of their alienation and bitterness are likely to be,” the thoughtful liberal wrote.

In context, that was almost uplifting. Is it possible that the O’Connors only seem “stupid and evil?” Might their “deranged understanding of the world” possibly “hold some truth?”

That last formulation seems hard to parse. But that’s as close as O’Hehir came to imagining anything in the O’Connors that doesn’t come straight from the beast.

Good God! The O’Connors had been assailed all week, in ugly, stereotypical ways. A teacher had threatened to burn their shop down. She was under review by the local police.

But even after all that, O’Hehir made an odd presentation. To all intents and purposes, he simply never mentioned the ways the O’Connors had been assailed. Instead, he stressed the fact that he couldn’t understand why people came to their defense!

O’Hehir was deep inside his own textbook loathing. Under the circumstances, this passage illustrates two key parts of this prehistoric practice:
O’HEHIR (4/4/15): Tea Party legislators in Indiana... represent an entrenched, exurban and politically active white Christian minority that feels deeply uncomfortable with nearly every aspect of contemporary American society, and that increasingly understands itself as a disenfranchised and persecuted identity group…Why that group is so deeply invested in the right to deny pizza to gays I don’t claim to understand—it’s another symbolic erosion of an imaginary grade of American normalcy that only existed in commercials, or something like that. But many members of that tribe correctly identified the O’Connors as kin, and embraced them after they went through the pillory of social media.

If you’ve been following this bizarre story, you already know that the conservative counterattack took tangible form in a GoFundMe campaign originally intended to raise $25,000 for the O’Connor family. It was finally suspended on Friday after raising a grand total of $842,637, nearly all of it in small individual donations. (Purely on the level of strategy, shouldn’t they have pushed onward to $1 million?) That’s both heroic, or mock-heroic, and deeply pathetic. It’s a sum much too small for actual politics, but a needlessly large one to fling at the proprietors of a pizza parlor for reasons no one can explain.
The tribal player will always be proud of his own massive ignorance. He will boast about his inability to “understand” people who aren’t exactly like him. He’ll praise his cluelessness about the world which exists outside his own tents.

In this instance, O’Hehir stresses his inability to understand the O’Connors’ position, which he mockingly describes as a “deep investment in the right to deny pizza to gays.” Bizarrely, he even claims that “no one can explain” the funding support which sprang up after they closed their restaurant.

Strange, isn’t it? Religious leaders from the pope on down instruct followers that same-sex marriage in an offense against religious principle.

In spite of this rather well-known fact, O’Hehir remains completely puzzled by people like O’Connors! It isn’t that he doesn’t agree with their beliefs. In the purity of his befuddlement, he “doesn’t claim to understand” them, thus making it sounded like he's tried.

He does know where to aim his tribal complaints. As he continues, he says the O’Connors are working from a “deep pool of alienation and bitterness in heartland white America.” Eventually, he says this:
O’HEHIR: Now the bewildered O’Connor family gets to reopen their pizza parlor or take a permanent beach vacation or buy a time machine back to the pre-gay 1950s. But their disaffected and self-ghettoized Caucasian tribe will be with us to years to come, and is likely to wield disproportionate power into the indefinite future. As long as those people feel neglected and unheard—derided by their enemies on the left, alternately pandered to and frozen out by their supposed allies on the right—they will remain a toxic and destructive force in American politics.
The O’Connors belong to a “self-ghettoized Caucasian tribe!”

Can we talk? A substantial majority of black Americans don’t support same-sex marriage at this juncture either. But O’Hehir is a skilled tribal player. When he starts slinging his insults, no Catholics or blacks need apply!

O’Hehir grew up with all the advantages. This seems to have produced a classic tribal hater. He’s amazed by all the hate he sees or imagines among The Others. But he can’t see the hate in himself, or in others within his own tribe.

The pitiful state of O’Hehir’s commenters helps show where this leads. Near the end of his comment thread, one brave soul tries to note that giant numbers of people all over the world are still opposed to same-sex marriage.

A reader responds in the predictable manner of our liberal loathing:

“Only a hillbilly fool would have made a statement like ‘we will not cater a same-sex wedding reception.’ ”

Now the O’Connors are hillbilly fools! When pseudo-liberals drive wedges that way, the ruling plutocrats cheer.

We suggest you read O’Hehir’s essay for one specific reason. Read it to see how easily we can see or imagine the “hate” in The Others while completely ignoring the hate which exists over here in our tribe.

We've divided and conquered ourselves this way ever since we crawled from the slime. Tomorrow, we’ll take a break from all this:

We’ll show you what Dr. King said.

Tomorrow: “The love ethic of Jesus”

139 comments:

  1. Bob, for my daughter's high school graduation, I ordered a fancy cake with her picture on it.

    Did the baker "participate" in my daughter's graduation?

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    1. Is your daughters high school graduation akin to a religious ceremony? Does the "baker" have to lend its best creativity to that ceremony thus, by action, endorsing that? Participation includes personal acts of creativity, and the baker certainly does that, even at a special graduation.

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    2. You support forcing a baker to create a cake reading GOD HATES FAGS for a Westboro funeral picketing event. Yes, it is participation. Participation syn: involvement, part, contribution, association

      That the left now supports forcing people to write out messages antithetical to their conscience is frightening but not in the least surprising.

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    3. As a baker, I would have asked for proof of your daughter's citizenship.

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    4. Why would Westboro bring a cake to a picketing event?

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    5. Jeff, it the two gays got hitched before a judge in a civil ceremony, then it would be OK for the caterer to cater the reception afterwards. Is that what you are saying?

      FYI, My daughter graduated from a Catholic high school, so yes, there was quite a lot of religion involved in the ceremoney, from beginning to middle to end.

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    6. I have never seen a wedding cake with writing on it, so participation would seem to be limited to "selling," so the baker is participating only in the way that Sears is participating in my home remodeling by delivering a washing machine.

      Still, I wonder if we might do better by ignoring the silly Indiana law. Smart merchants will seek all customers, since money has no sexual orientation.

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    7. There is nothing in the actions of a Catholic church graduation that would violate the mandates of a religion. No perceived sin is being committed based on the religious tenets of either group.

      In terms of being "hitched" before a judge in a civil ceremony the question is whether or not the term marriage has a religious connotation to it? It is a good question, but catering requires a certain act of endorsement, one knows that their name (name of the caterer) will be tied to the affair. For me personally I don't see a problem with a civil ceremony, but the word marriage is fraught with religious connotation.

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    8. OF course all of this deviates from the raw hatred displayed by a group or groups or supporters who claim they are tolerant of other people. Whos is up for bombing or burning down the building of someone you disagree with? I am not.

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    9. Nothing need be written on the cake. If a polygamist requests a cake with a groom and three brides it should be up to the baker to create it or not.

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    10. It is a grey area and perhaps a little charity and respect on both sides could help keep things smooth.

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    11. "There is nothing in the actions of a Catholic church graduation that would violate the mandates of a religion."

      Well, that's your interpretation which is the whole can of worms we're opening here. How far does individual interpretation go when we are taking about discriminating against a protected class?

      Suppose the baker belonged to a church that teaches that the Roman Catholic is the "whore of Babylon" and that the Pope is the anti-Christ. There are those out there, you know.

      If on the basis of that, he interpreted it to mean that he would be in violation of his "sincerely held beliefs" if he sold cakes or donuts to Catholics for any reason, would you his "religious freedom" trumps everything?

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    12. I still do not see a compelling need for either the state or lynch mobs to become involved in order to force someone to bake a cake. If a baker said to me, you belong to a church that is the "whore of Babylon" and I will not serve you, then, given the environment (ie many bakeries, many options) I would shrug and spend my money elsewhere. I would not want him to do something against his religious beliefs. I would also not want him to use his creativity and unique talents (unique to him, not the industry) to endorse my child's graduation if he thought the graduation was a religious ceremony or if I thought it was a religious ceremony. I would not presume beliefs "trump everything". I think that you must consider the environment the opportunity, and the impact on an individual that may not receive his cake for graduation.

      Does any of this justify putting a bakery out of business? Or threatening to burn down a Pizza parlor? Or attacks (cyber and otherwise) upon a small business? I don't think so.

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    13. That's why Somerby has written this piece. Someone with a legitimate cause abandons the high ground when they do things like make death threats against pizza parlor owners.

      The cake is symbolic.

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  2. Well said and revealing as to how a small pizza parlor can be attacked and vilified by a hate that ironically they claim to be fighting. The parlor does sell pizzas to people regardless of their orientation, what they chose not to do is participate through their efforts in a religious ceremony whose actions go against their teachings. To them it is an endorsement of such a ceremony, they live their religion they don't simply pay lip service to it.

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    1. I thought they wouldn't associate with any same-sex marriage, not just those which are religious ceremonies.
      Clarification, anyone?

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    2. They obviously won't sell pizzas to a Methodist wedding if they are Baptists.

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    3. Neither would I @ 1:57. But it is purely hypothetical. Why would Baptists want a Methodist wedding, and even if they did, how many Baptists having a Methodist wedding want pizza any way?

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    4. BTW, the picture Bob's reCAPTCHA screener used on that comment was of pizza. And I could swear there was a gay wedding cake pictured as a trick image.

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    5. Methodists, Baptists and other Protestant marriage ceremonies tend to comport with the doctrines and beliefs of each other, so there is no religious conflict. There might be if a polygamous group of protestants sought something similar.

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    6. Not true, Jeff. There are a lot of Protestant congregations who will rent out their churches and their ministers for weddings of couples that are not members of their congregation, or even their religion.

      And hold on to your seat, because some of those couples are actually GAY.

      And some of them even have openly gay, married and ordained ministers.

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    7. That is their choice, they are not compelled to disavow a doctrine they believe in. However I was asked an entirely different questions, as to why someone may not cater a gay wedding, but would of different religions. If some Baptists, and some Methodists, and some Lutherans and some other Protestant groups decide to ignore that aspect then that is indeed their call, but that is irrelevant to the question of the belief system being relatively similar to those groups. If some groups choose to ignore that aspect, then like so many other things, it is a decision they hold to. It does not justify fear mongering and lynch mobs for those who do not wish to change the doctrine of Christianity.

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    8. I see, Jeff.

      We all get to "pick and choose" which teachings of our own religions to "sincerely hold" and to ignore, then shoehorn them nicely into very literal self-righteous justification of our own prejudices, biases, and even illegal activities.

      Then I get to claim to be the victim when I discriminate against anybody as long as I call it "religious freedom" and base it only on the individual interpretation of only one part of what I say my religion teaches, whether or not the religion teaches that or not.


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    9. Well I do note the gay community will not protest or attack or threaten the AME church Mosques, Muslim communities, Orthodox Jewish communities.... ie they seem to pick and choose already don't they. Let me know when the gay community begins threatening to burn down Muslim businesses as well as other groups in their self righteous anger and justification.

      And if you have a religion with certain tenets that disallow you from service to people, there are tons of alternatives, I will gladly go to someone else and ask them to carry out the service in a free society and I will leave you to your belief system and its limits to you economically.

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    10. April 10, 2015 at 9:37 AM,
      You nailed it exactly. Jeff has no problem with these other tenets of his faith, because he's not a bigot about those tenets, so there was no reason to run to the Bible to justify his bigotry. In the case of his bigotry against homosexuality, on the other hand...

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    11. When mosques and Muslims team-up with ALEC to change the law so they can legally discriminate gays, I'm sure the gays will protest the end-around to legally discriminate. by Mosques and Muslims (and ALEC).

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    12. They and AME were key in passing prop 8 in California, they were also important and agreed to Indiana's AFRA and in a recent video, it was shown Muslim bakerywill not provide a cake for a gay wedding. But hey, pick and choose as you will

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  3. I wish O’HEHIR had shown the family O'CONNOR the same MALALA-KING-GHANDI-MANDELA respect employed by the great Bob SOMERBY.

    He could have called them SOME OTHER LIFE FORM. Or perhaps PRE-HUMAN DROOGS.

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    1. Somerby says don't hate people for their religious views (because it makes the 1% happy) and you think he is saying don't hate anyone ever.

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  4. Note how high a level of conformity is being demanded of the O’Conners. Ms. O’Conner didn’t:
    -- Physically attack a gay person
    -- Verbally attack a gay person
    -- Criticize gay sexual practices
    -- Say that gay sex should be illegal
    -- Say that gay marriage should be illegal
    -- Threaten a gay person or gays in general
    -- Express a wish that harm come to an individual gay or to gays in general
    -- Refuse to serve gays in her restaurant
    -- Refuse to cater a gay wedding.
    -- Say she wouldn’t serve gays in her restaurant.

    All she did was to answer a hypothetical question about catering a gay wedding with pizza -- a situation that would almost certainly never arise.

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    1. Hayseed O'Connor thought the wrong thoughts, we found out, and that's enough.

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    2. That's nothing. Tom Cotton thought he was defending Indiana's law by contrasting it with Iran executing homosexuals and putting Christian clergy in prison.
      He has no idea Iran does these things due to their "sincerely held religious beliefs".

      Thank dog Cotton is such a neanderthal he doesn't support my sincerely held beliefs.

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    3. 1:29 -- You seem to be equating the execution of homosexuals with refusing to cater a gay wedding, just because both come from religious beliefs? But, some consequences of religious beliefs are better than others. E.g., giving money to charity can also come from religious beliefs. I'm sure you would agree charitable giving is morally superior to executing gays.

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    4. "I'm sure you would agree charitable giving is morally superior to executing gays."
      Yes, I agree.

      "You seem to be equating the execution of homosexuals with refusing to cater a gay wedding..."
      No, there is a difference. The religious beliefs of those who execute homosexuals are more "sincerely held", than the religious believers, who refuse to cater a gay wedding.

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    5. Yes, just as those who go to jail rather than say, teach school, to avoid military service indicates one sincerely believes something and the other,,,well, that said, who are we to judge tribally.

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    6. Yes, indeed. We could look back at the case history of "conscientious objector" laws for some sort of precedent, where we will find that such status was clearly limited to those adherents of a religion that sincerely taught that all war is wrong, to those who sincerely believed it.

      Wouldn't have worked for Catholic Bob to suddenly get religion and attempted to dodge the draft out of his "sincerely held religious beliefs."

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    7. Somerby would be more likely to base his views about war on his philosophical views, given he was a philosophy major. That doesn't carry any weight with draft boards because only religious seems to count, leaving those who are not religious in the cold when it comes to conscientious objection. Doesn't seem fair because it privileges the religious over the non-religious.

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    8. Clearly the trolls can't read. Bob quit being a Catholic when everyone else did.

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    9. Sincerely held beliefs are only one First Amendment test in America. Musings about executing homosexuals are silly in this conversation.

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    10. "Sincerely held beliefs are only one First Amendment test in America."
      True, but it's been THE justification for discrimination regarding the Indiana law.

      "Musings about executing homosexuals are silly in this conversation."
      No sillier than allowing discrimination of homosexuals.

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    11. Yes, they are the reason a baker might refuse to service a gay wedding but they must be balanced with state interests, least burdensome means (to religious freedom), so the belief alone is not enough

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    12. I do not think the state has a compelling interest in a market that has many equally good options. Belief alone is enough in a given environment unless there is a compelling need. I don't see that compelling need

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    13. Well, you think wrong, Jeff, and there are volumes of case law that support the state's "compelling interest" in holding discrimination to be illegal.

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    14. I think I am right on this, but that doesn' t mean the courts agree with me. But then there was a time the courts and I would have been at loggerheads over slavery (I tend to abhor it). I think the variable is the question of "compelling interest" and how that is defined

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    15. "...he courts and I would have been at loggerheads over slavery (I tend to abhor it)."
      What kind of man of faith are you? Slavery is in the Bible.

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    16. Why would someone "tend to" abhor something like slavery. That's like saying "I tend to abhor murder." What gray area do you see that would make your abhorrence merely a tendency?

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    17. If you had studied your Bible you would also have known that slavery was generally a term for criminals and captured prisoners and as long as there was no death penalty, you were to be released after seven years. Like some of the old southerners who were muddled in their justifications, you and they share a somewhat muddled view of such things. Rhetoric, especially empty rhetoric rarely plays well with people who actually read. Wouldn't you agree?

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    18. Pardon the link [LINK] but apparently Somerby has never made any claim of acting virtuously in this matter:

      [QUOTE] ...While Somerby didn't share his generation's fiery politics, neither did he want to go to Vietnam. He protested the war in a desultory fashion, and upon graduating in June 1969 found a desultory way out of the draft. The Selective Service had nixed graduate-school deferments, but holders of bachelor's degrees could beat the heat by teaching.

      Somerby needed a classroom, and Baltimore needed teachers. He had read Jonathan Kozol's Death at an Early Age, and was at least as eager to help bring racial justice into the classroom as to avoid getting his butt shot off. He arrived in August 1969, spent 10 weeks in the educational equivalent of basic training, and in November debuted in a fifth-grade classroom at a school in west central Baltimore.

      He hated it. War might have been hell, but at least you could shoot back. “The happiest day of my life was the night before spring vacation that year,” Somerby says. “God, to have a whole week off—it was just thrilling.”

      As the specter of the draft faded, however, teaching began to exert a pull. He logged two years, three, five. He saw flaws in the system and began to catalog them—inadequate textbooks, misdirected curricula, systemic finagling with standardized-test results. Determined to be the next Kozol, he turned to advocacy journalism. But the articles he'd so painstakingly researched and written appeared and faded without a ripple, leaving him frustrated and embarrassed. [END QUOTE]

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  5. So I take it they wouldn't cater to a Jewish wedding either because they would be "participating" against their religion. Or they wouldn't cater to a wedding between two divorced people, since that also would be "participating" in violation of their religion.

    Here's the sad thing. The homophobes are desperately trying to confuse the fact that selling a product or a service to a wedding is actively participating in that wedding. And clearly it is not.

    I challenge you to find any religion that strictly prohibits florists from selling flower arragements to ANY couple who is getting married in violation of that religion's doctrines about marriage.

    And believe me, there are a lot of those happenning.

    So how come the only violation that ever comes up is the marriage between gays if it's not used as an excuse to discriminate out of homophobia?

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    1. Because it's less obvious when two heterosexuals are involved that their marriage represents some violation. Most religious people would refuse to provide a cake with a groom and 3 brides at the top for a polygamist wedding.

      The use of the word "clearly" does not assist theophobes in convincing anyone that creation of a product is not participation.

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    2. But you are a scrupulous "Christian" who must never "participate" in any wedding ceremony that violates what you personally determine is your sincerely held religious beliefs.

      So being so religious, wouldn't you be duty-bound to make absolutely certain that anybody who requests your services for their wedding is doing it absolutely by the book with no deviation?

      Or when it comes to heterosexuals who might be getting hitched outside of church law, is "Don't ask, don't tell" sufficient?

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    3. You all know that it is very easy to register some sort of name, don't you? Anonymous is usually reserved for trolls. And confusing when three anonymi (yes, I made it up) argue amongst themselves.

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    4. When you register a name you develop a persona and people start expecting internal consistency across your comments (aka throwing your own words back at you).

      If you attract troll hostility, they will track your name across multiple websites and use metadata to figure out who you are, harassing you wherever you go and even figuring out who you may be in real life. It's what they do. So, don't urge people to use nyms if they don't want to.

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    5. Plus, @ 3:13, it is how serial rapists run up the count on campuses and make it appear there is an epidemic when their is none.

      As somebody who has many a beer bottle broken on my face by angry troll/rapists, I salute your caution.

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    6. Jewish weddings do nothing to violate the basic tenets of belief, so why not cater a Jewish wedding?

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    7. "Jewish weddings do nothing to violate the basic tenets of belief,.."
      What makes this an absolute truth? I think you are referring to the basic tenets of organized religions. However, my understanding is, the belief doesn't have to violate the basic tenets of any religion, it just has to violate one's "sincerely held religious belief", which any person can individually hold.

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    8. It isn't about an absolute truth, it is however about religious tolerance and your question as to why there isn't an issue regarding similar religions that hold similar doctrines. I think your understanding is incorrect.

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    9. If this is the case, then we're just back to:
      why is homosexuality a sin which you can not abide, but wearing a cotton-polyester shirt or eating shellfish (also in the Bible) not?

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    10. ""sincerely held religious belief", which any person can individually hold."
      "I think your understanding is incorrect." (of the above).

      My understanding was from a post here earlier this week, which argued exactly that, and which I was told I didn't understand because I'm a liberal.
      ---------
      Having written that, it seems you think it must be based on religious tenets of organized religion. Which, if so, leads to my question at 5:26 PM.


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    11. Also, if homosexuality is so important, how did God leave it out of the 10 Commandments (unlike capitalism, BTW) and his Seven Deadly Sins?

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    12. It would have been No.11 but God read the Howler and opted for brevity.

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    13. These are questions of a theological nature. Under Christian tenets, as well as Jewish, homosexual acts are a sin.

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    14. "Under Christian tenets, as well as Jewish, homosexual acts are a sin."

      Link, please.

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    15. Sheesh, really? Just google it. Think Old Testament Leviticus and Corinthians and Romans in the New Testament

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    16. Sheesh. I did.
      I also found that under Christian tenets, as well as Jewish, wearing cotton-polyester blend clothing is a sin.

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    17. Is there anyone out there who doesn't realize this whole thing was an end-around to legalize discrimination?
      As jeff might say, Sheesh, use some common sense.

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    18. Oh, by all means, Jeffs. Google up Leviticus. And this time read the whole thing, not just the parts you want to cherry-pick that fit your rather narrow world view. Then ask yourself how closely you are living to those laws. All of them.

      And while you're at it, read in their entirety the letter to the Romans and both letters to the Corinthians and report back to us what the true purpose of those letters was -- Hint: Not exactly the Pauline condemnation of homosexuality that you think it is.

      And here's the problem with people like you, Jeff. You can spout a few, maybe even several, Bible verses you learned in Sunday school, but you really know nothing about the Bible beyond those isolated, out-of-context verses.

      It's like Alexander Pope said, "A little learning is a dangerous thing . . ." It makes you think you know everything when you know precious little.

      And I am deeply offended when "Christians" abuse the Bible to score political points.

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    19. "And I am deeply offended when "Christians" abuse the Bible to score political points."

      As was Jesus. He had a lot more to say about Pharisees than he did about gays.

      Delete
    20. Anonymous are you trolling? It seems so, either that or my point is too subtle for your muddled point. Let me clear things up for you....
      1-I was asked to show where in the Bible the question of homosexual acts is a sin. I showed you, at that point you should merely shut up sit down and acknowledge, "Yes it is a doctrinal point".
      2-I suggested Leviticus as well as Corinthians and Romans to point out to you that it isn't merely a recent phenomenon of the last 2,000 years but much older, in other words there is a consistency to the doctrine...
      3-The overall purpose of the letters is not focused on homosexual acts but mentions them in passing however still clear in the condemnation, because among apostles prophets and Christ it was a given that such acts were morally wrong.

      4-Finally, you don't know "people like me" because you frankly aren big on hating people who "don't think like you do". I have seen your lynchmob in many countries, sometimes they even demand women wear burkhas, you need to get over that aspect. By the way, I have read the Bible in its entirety in three different languages, I am neither a theologian nor am I wedded to demanding other people accept my view. A question was asked, I answered it, and you decided to build an entire universe out of the answer. In short your whiney googled response reflects the depth of your ignorance on the matter.

      I am sure you would be deeply offended at Christ for not embracing being gay, you would call him a homophobe for being a traditional rabbi and you would demand that he accede to the demand of the elite. Jesus did indeed have a great deal to say about the Pharisees, at the time they were the cudgel hitting upon anyone that disagreed with them. Today Jesus would condemn those groups that do the same, that by the way, would be your community. You might want to think on that while you threaten to burn down another pizza parlor.

      Delete
    21. Under Leviticus, eating cheeseburgers is a sin because it mixes dairy and meat. It is even a greater sin if the meat wasn't butchered and prepared under strict Kosher rules.

      Do you eat cheeseburgers, Jeff? Or is that part of the laws set forth in Leviticus that we are allowed to ignore, as you demand strict adherence to the laws against homosexuality?

      Delete
    22. By the way, Jeff, here is the text of Leviticus 20:13 to which you refer:

      "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them."

      Still think executing gays is silly in the course of this conversation?

      Delete
    23. "I am sure you would be deeply offended at Christ for not embracing being gay, you would call him a homophobe for being a traditional rabbi and you would demand that he accede to the demand of the elite."

      And here is the core of our disagreement, Jeff.

      You seem to have created a Christ that neatly fits your political ideology even to the point that you take something he didn't do -- embrace gays -- as a condemnation of gay person.

      I on the other hand have read the Gospels, don't see where Christ said one thing about gays, but also see where he very literally "embraced" sinners of all kinds, even to the point of angering the Jewish authorities to the point that they executed him for it.

      In other words, the Christ I see in the Gospels is the one who told us to love everyone, including those who aren't so easy to love.

      The Christ you apparently believe in is one who tells you its OK not to love people he didn't specifically embrace.

      Delete
    24. Straw man argument, and rather childish and stupid, but not unexpected. Allow me to once again state why I used Leviticus my slow witted friend
      1-It shows consistency of the condemnation of homosexual acts as going back beyond even our times, but into earlier times.
      It is not an endorsement of the punishment, but an understanding that the moral question of homosexual acts being a moral issue is not new, and wasn't new 2000 years ago.

      Nor, may I add does that give you the right to threaten arson on a pizzaria or to destroy someone's livlihood because they disagree with you.

      Delete
    25. C'mon, jeff.
      Now that we've shown your hypocrisy about beliefs in the Bible, you'll just have to find some other justification for your bigotry against homosexuality.
      I, for one, think you are up to the task.

      Delete
    26. Sigh.... I haven't created a Christ that fits into any political norm. Indeed you may be uncomfortable with the idea that Christ would not have endorsed being gay, He was a very traditional man and maintained all of the laws required of a rabbi.

      You may or may not have read the gospels but apparently like so many you read them to fit your paradigm (nothing new there I think everyone does) but I will bet my view of Jesus is much closer to the reality of Jews and Jewish leaders in Israel than is yours. You may choose to believe or not believe what the New Testament tells us, but you cannot ignore the context of the time. Remember Christ sat with the sinners because they sinned, not because he endorsed what they did. To say otherwise would be a lie

      Delete
    27. No anonymous what you have done is show your ignorance of the matter. Now go along and threaten to burn down someone elses building. Maybe there is a mosque you can attack somewhere? Oh wait, you won't do that, they hit back.

      Delete
    28. "...Christ would not have endorsed being gay, He was a very traditional man "
      Really? Sheesh.
      Christ was killed because he was a radical, not a traditionalist.
      You matt have read the Bible, and can cite parts of it, but if your belief is Christ was a traditionalist, you certainly don't understand it.

      Delete
    29. Sorry, "matt", should read "may".

      Delete
    30. So Jeff, how come the "condemnation" of homosexuallity still applies, but the clearly spoken death penalty for it doesn't?

      What a convenient religion you have created in your own mind! It allows you to decide what form of bigotry you can practice,

      Delete
    31. "Indeed you may be uncomfortable with the idea that Christ would not have endorsed being gay, He was a very traditional man and maintained all of the laws required of a rabbi."

      Oh Good GAWD!!! Jeff, are you at all familiar with the Gospels? He broke all kinds of laws! Why do you think the Jewish authorities saw him as such a threat?

      Once again, try reading the whole Gospels instead of pickihg and choosing among the few verses that fit your political ideology.

      You might be shocked at those passages where Jesus told his disciples to love everyone, especially their enemies, without saying, "except for gay people. OK to discriminate against them."

      Delete
    32. I am glad you used the term "legal protection" David. Because that's what anti-discrimination laws are all about -- the legal protection of civil rights that all citizens have by virtue of their citizenship.

      Yes, and many states and municipalities have chosen to extend these legal protections to sexual orientation. You may think they are unnecessary but the duly elected representatives of said states and municipalities seem to disagree.

      In those states "public accommodations" which also specifically include businesses open to the public cannot discriminate on the basis of race, religion, disability, or sexual orientation.

      Delete
    33. Actually Anonymous, Christ broke no laws. He was bought before the council called the Sanhedrin to be judged. They realized that he lived to the full extent of the law and so they were forced to turn him over to Roman justice and frame him for disloyalty to Rome, not to their religious tenets. You apparently have huge gaps in your readings of the Gospels. It may be that you get your talking points on the gospels from political groups rather than really read them? Just wondering.

      Delete
    34. I might add that loving someone (if you had bothered to read the blog) is not the same as endorsing what they do. You presume a lack of endorsement is the same as hate, and that only by such endorsement can you show love. It is a false dichotomy people with such black and white thinking love to delve into. You certainly are a zealot, just not a very informed our thoughtful zealot.

      Delete
    35. Oh, Anonymous 3:13, god forbid "people start expecting internal consistency across your comments" --no fun in consistency!

      Delete
  6. You support forcing a baker to create a cake reading GOD HATES FAGS for a Westboro funeral picketing event. Yes, it is participation. Participation syn: involvement, part, contribution, association

    That the left now supports forcing people to write out messages antithetical to their conscience is frightening but not in the least surprising.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And the right supports executing homosexuals and imprisoning Christian clergy (as, I'm told, Iran does), because it's based on "sincerely held religious beliefs".
      Not the least bit surprising indeed.

      Delete
    2. ISIS is also destroying antiquities and beheading "infidels" including Muslims they deem not Muslim enough, purely out of their "sincerely held religious beliefs."

      I'm sure Bob and his new right wing friends have no problem with that at all.

      Delete
    3. That is not true @ 1:46. I am sure Bob joins me in disagreeing. But unlike me, if Bob had a gun, he would not shoot ISIS. He would find common ground and persuade them that the 1% is happy they are preoccupied with destroying ancient Sumerian artifacts. I, on the other had would dispatch our armed forces after the fall out cleared from our nuking Iran so they don't get the nuke.

      Delete
    4. The ultimate cause of the conflict in the Middle East is global warming (climate change).

      Delete
  7. Thank heavens we are back to a topic Howler Readers--- be they Tru or Pseudo, Old or Gnu, Troll or Panegyric --- agree deserves comment. Tribal Bloggers vs. Fundamentalist Florists.

    For awhile there I feared we were going back to those awful posts on education and test scores.

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    Replies
    1. Clearly, you are not a teacher.

      Delete
    2. No. I have never cheated on my student's tests. Plus hanging around ratty union halls to protect my rights to a rubber room is not my cup of tea.

      Delete
    3. But you probably expect your kids to magically learn to read and do math, I'll bet, the same way they learned to talk. Unfortunately, manipulation of symbol systems is an unnatural act that does not come as part of development without teaching. But easy to mock the people who help kids grow up and succeed in life.

      Delete
    4. Test scores can bounce up and down from year to year! Also, “there are legitimate technical concerns with the value-added scores,” the one quoted expert said.

      None of those statements are “wrong.” That said, they constitute a very fuzzy tea. Meanwhile, we were struck by the problem which didn’t yodel:

      What happens when teachers cheat?

      Duh!

      Delete
    5. Can you really not express a coherent thought in your own words (beyond "duh")?

      Delete
  8. I wish our online theologians would take a freshman course in moral theology where they would learn the difference between "participation" and "remote cooperation."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. More like "participation" and "retail."

      Delete
    2. I would contend that applying your gifts and talents for a forbidden act is more than remote cooperation it is active participation (versus say simply tossing out a pizza for a general sale). One would have to know the wedding goes against the dictates of ones conscience, one would also know their name or endorsement would be added to the action, and one would know that gifts they believe given to them by God would now be used in a pursuit God prefers they do not pursue.

      Delete
    3. What do you think the Mormon take is on this, Jeff?

      Delete
    4. I think Mormons are pretty much left to make their own decisions on the matter on an individual basis.

      Delete
    5. Mormons are not left to make their own decisions on anything. They get the party line through their bishops and through church publications. The church invades private life to the point of telling families whether to send their kids to public or private schools. In California, the Mormon church strongly supported Prop 8 (opposing gay marriage). There is no principle of individual doctrinal belief in the Mormon church. Someone who strays from the approved interpretation is considered to be struggling with their faith. That is considered contagious, so they are shunned. Shunning is a very strong form of peer pressure, so if you have disagreements or doubts you keep them to yourself and you do not show deviance in social practice. More than other churches, the Mormon church is a subculture as well as a religion and it dictates everything about how people live, not just what they believe on Sundays.

      Delete
    6. Jeff, please stop putting your ignorance of moral theology on display.

      Selling a cake or flowers for a gay wedding is "remote cooperation" at best, and I wish you'd look up that concept and learn about it the next time you are tempted to confuse it with 'active participation."

      The same concept also teaches parents of a gay child that they are not committing a sin by attenting the wedding of their child, even if they think that gay marriage is sinful.

      But of course, Leviticus says that they have to take that child to the gates of the city and stone him to death.

      Delete
    7. In terms of Mormons making their own decisions in regard to such things, I know plenty on both sides of the fence on that so I would have to question your somewhat long statement.

      Delete
    8. Anon 10:49 You haven't countered anything I said. Was I wrong in regard to the Sanhedrin? Nope, was he handed over to Roman justice instead of being judged for breaking with doctrine? Yep...

      It isn't my ignorance of the Bible that is being displayed, it is your intolerance and hatred and reflective of the truth in the original article. You claim to have read the gospels, sadly you have read the words but cannot understand them or how to implement them. Your kind threaten to burn down those who do not comply with your specific thought process.

      You are stuck on Leviticus because your hate blinds you to the explanations given, it is unfortunate that people like you do this, I love how you claim the bible while sreaming and berating those who disagree with you, it is ironic, to say the least, sadly it isn't surprising.

      Delete
    9. "You claim to have read the gospels, sadly you have read the words but cannot understand them or how to implement them."

      Says the guy who claims Christ was a traditionalist.

      Delete
  9. Should a devout Muslim male barber be forced to cut the hair of a woman even though he believes his religion does not permit him to touch any woman who is not a member of his family?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why would someone seek a profession that placed him in moral peril?

      Delete
    2. No. But a devout Muslim male barber should be forced to hang naked from the ceiling while a female American government operative questions him if someone in another Muslim sect declared he was a terrorist.

      Delete
    3. 2:51 are you referring to the actual case in Toronto from a couple years ago?

      Delete
    4. The example of the barber suggests that RFRA opens the door to religious justification of all people, not just LGBTs.

      Delete
    5. My post at 4:29, meant to be " religious justification of discrimination against all people, not just LGBTs." Sorry.

      Delete
    6. Since we're talking about "should", I think businesses should generally be able to choose their customers. The civil rights laws regarding blacks were necessary and appropriate, because the level of discrimination was so high. But, the same protection isn't needed for other groups. In particular, there's no shortage of pizzerias, bakeries and florists to handle gay weddings, so there's no need for a law forcing those who object to do that.

      Delete
    7. In the movie The Hundred Yard Journey, one restaurant unfairly kept another from serving food on its opening night by getting the market vendors not to sell to them. They happened to be Indian in the French Village. In the film, they bought up all the supplies ahead of the other restaurant, but if they could have convinced the vendors not to sell to the newcomers it would have accomplished the same end. That is the kind of thing that happens when businesses are permitted to choose their customers instead of being required to sell to the public indiscriminately.

      Years ago my father was in the bar business. He was coerced into selling certain brands of beer by his suppliers. If he didn't go along with their demands, they wouldn't sell anything to him. Business doesn't work the way you think it does, David.

      In a small town there are not the same number of florists and bakeries as in a large city. The idea that a gay wedding would be catered by a pizzeria is ridiculous.

      Delete
    8. The idea that a gay wedding would be catered by a pizzeria is ridiculous.
      Exactly. That's was a clue that the original story was a set-up, not a real news story.

      Yes, in theory a gay wedding might not be able to find a florist or a baker, but AFAIK there have been no such cases at all. The cases that we hear about are where the gay couple intentionally went to a Christian business for a service or product that they knew the Christian business would not want to provide. These cases were intentional attacks on Christian business owners -- using the law to bully them. After all, gays could have just left these Christian's alone, and followed a live-and-let-live approach. I must admit that these attacks succeeded. Businesses have been vilified, fined, forced to pay big bills, or even shut down.

      Delete
    9. So David, pre-Jackie Robinson, it was OK for Major League Baseball to openly discriminate against blacks because there was no shortage of Negro Leagues teams for them to play on.

      Great logic.

      Delete
    10. A couple of points.... No law ended discrimination of the Major League, it was economics, specifically talent that was obvious and the view that eventually the Negro League may actually eclipse Major League baseball in talent (the superior players were seen on film as well as in exhibition). Major League did not want to end up weakened by that. It was their choice.

      Major League baseball was also the only economically strong game in town. A kind of monopoly. The Negro League did not have equal access. Is there an argument that a pizzareia or bakery is the only game in town and that all the other bakeries and pizzarieas do not have equal access? Does this justify the arson threatts and the attack and sabotage of their delivery systems (in the Pizzaria)?

      Delete
    11. "Does this justify the arson threatts and the attack and sabotage of their delivery systems (in the Pizzaria)?"
      I don't think so, but others may if it's based on a "sincerely held religious belief".

      Delete
    12. Yes, as a matter of fact, pizzas are solidly against the strict dietary laws set out in Leviticus, which we now know is the be-all, end-all of all religious discussion.

      They not only mix meat and cheese, but they also quite often contain pork products!

      Delete
    13. So David, pre-Jackie Robinson, it was OK for Major League Baseball to openly discriminate against blacks because there was no shortage of Negro Leagues teams for them to play on....Great logic.

      Anon 10:39, I didn't say discrimination against blacks was OK. On the contrary, I said civil rights laws were needed to change the country's treatment of blacks. However, I asserted that other minorities didn't necessarily need the same protection.

      BTW, your example shows that even blacks don't always need legal protection. Professional baseball was integrated without a single law or regulation requiring such integration. Branch Rickey made the voluntary decision to put Jackie Robinson on the Dodgers, then the other team owners chose to follow his example.

      Delete
    14. Well, my first answer somehow wound up mysteriously above, but once again, I am glad to see you use the term "legal protection." The typical right wing spin is to call anti-discrimination laws "granting more rights to other people than to me." instead of the protection of the rights of all.

      But David. You dodged the question. You used the separate but equal doctrine of Plessy to justify discrimination. As long as other accomodations can be made, -- such as separate but equal drinking fountains, and separate but equal baseball leagues -- then discrimination is OK.

      In this case, it's OK for a pizzeria to discriminate against gays as long as there is another pizzeria somewhere that doesn't.

      And please don't deny you said it.

      Delete
    15. Don't be so hard on poor David, 11:24 AM. After all, he hasn't had time yet to query his wife, cousin, sister-in-law, wife's friend, cousin's husband, or sister-in-law's brother-in-law on the proper answer to your question.

      Delete
  10. Golly, everyone seems so civil in the comments section, not always true here. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I can't believe I actually bought the idea that jeff musings knows anything about the Bible. My bad.
    Thanks, jeff musings, for showing me the error of my ways.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Care to specificially critique where I was wrong? Trolling goess to credibility, no wonder you remain "anonymous", I would be embrassed too if I were you.... best of luck with the empty rhetoric ;)

      Delete
    2. Christ was a traditionalist.

      Delete
    3. Christ was a Nazarene, a Galilean, they were of the most traditional sects. The new way or wave was arguably the Pharisees who would accomodate themselves with Rome. In terms of the doctrine of that time, he adhered to the laws, but within those laws also pointed out the blatant hypocrisy of those who ignored the laws and used them for their own benefit. Christ never said "be a fornicator, be a tax collector, in fact, while the Pharisees accpeted money changers on the temple grounds, Christs drove them out, as would many who followed the more traditional sense. You see you believe the Jews were ALWAYS like the Pharisees and Sadducees when in fact they were really a recent political movement.

      If that is your best shot you are woefully out of depth

      Delete
    4. In violation of strict Jewish law, Jesus:

      -- Broke bread with sinners.

      -- Ate meals prepared on the Sabbath.

      -- Touched the unclean.

      -- Prevented the stoning of an adulterous woman.

      -- Spoke with the Samaritan woman at the well.

      -- Didn't wash before eating.

      -- Healed on the Sabbath.

      Delete
    5. Thoroughly enjoy the Jesus troll invading the pitch here and troll baiting. The hypocrisy is priceless.

      Delete
    6. Of all of these chargess, which were he found guilty of in the Sanhedrin court, ie the court that rules over such matters? I think the answer is none, and this is due in part to the political faction which imposed their interpretation as to how the rules apply, if you had read the gospels (which your counter arguments indicate you haven't or rather you have understood what you have read), you would have known that his explanations rejected the interpretations of the a sect that was less than 140 years old. It is the reason the Sanhedrin gave Christ over to Pontius Pilate (who himself said he was innocent, but allowed Roman mob rule to Roman punishment). I note you haven't been too keen on the issue of the sanhedrin proceeding even as you tacitly ignore it because 1-It is not a violation of strict Jewish law, unless you interpret it as the Pharisees did (a political sect),
      2-The Sandhedrin were made up of various sects but differed in interpretation of the law
      3-Many of them were doing the same thing (why Christ was calling out their hypocrisy

      Christ violated no law, he was innocent

      Did Christ live by the law? He certainly did. Today you would be railing against him and damning him, just as you damn anyone who disagrees with you.

      The intolerance and punishment your kind wish to mete out to those who do not think exactly as you do reflects to that movement towards fascism that so many of you seem so intent in implementing.

      You really need to read your Bible a bit. Perhaps you might start with the very correct and legal responses Jesus gave to those who questioned him on the street during those occasions. Did Christ really stop a woman from being stoned to death? Or did he merely ask a question? That is not a sin. Think about it if you dare.

      Delete
  12. Trolls are like weeds, the pop up everywhere, hateful little things.

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    Replies
    1. Malala is impressed by your Christian charity.

      Delete
    2. Thank you. I wish those who wanted to burn down a pizzaria and so on displayed some charity

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete

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    ReplyDelete