Done and Done: Supreme Court invalidates DOMA, Effectively Ends Prop 8 in CA

Equality Smiley

Sometimes they get one right! And on this occasion, it’s a Double Rainbow all the way! ;-)

http://nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/26/19151971-supreme-court-strikes-down-defense-of-marriage-act-paves-way-for-gay-marriage-to-resume-in-california?lite

http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/26/politics/scotus-same-sex-main/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/06/26/195857796/supreme-court-strikes-down-defense-of-marriage-act

And the decision clears the way for the resumption of same-sex marriage in California.

This debate is certainly not over, but at least now people can enjoy the same marriage rights while we’re having the debate.

And I’ll certainly continue the discussion with those who have concerns about the religious arguments pertaining to same-sex marriage and what the Bible ACTUALLY SAYS about marriage.

Until then, I remain on record for Marriage Equality!

So for now, let us celebrate the fact that our nation has crept a little bit closer to equality.

And unfortunately, let the fear mongering, hatred, and bigotry from fundies in the name of Jesus begin!

And let us begin with Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, who sounded more pissed than professional in his dissent. Seriously, I expect that kind of rhetoric from the Glenn Becks and Bryan Fischers of the world, but not from an Associate Justice toward a colleague.

Then again,

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Happy Summer Solstice 2013

Happy Summer Solstice 2013 – Friday, June 21.

May this first day of summer and longest day of the year bring you warm summer nights, playful joy with friends and family, bountiful crops, sincere contemplation and reflection, and unending discovery!

And many thanks to the stargazers and astronomers and astrophysicists and scientists, who have given us knowledgeable explanations and accurate predictions of the workings of the universe, and who have made antiquated myths like Joshua 10:12-13 a thing of the past.

Cheers!

Summer Solstice 2013


Joshua 10:12-13
“At that time Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord gave the Amorites over to the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, “Sun, stand still at Gibeon, and moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.” And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole day.”

Because there’s nothing like a god who will suspend the physical laws of an imagined geocentric universe so that you can take vengeance on your enemies…

Quincy and Rory Kate Have Come Home

After a month in the University of Iowa Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and after a month of daily trips to and from the NICU, Quincy and Rory Kate have come home.

Both are healthy, gaining weight, and making sleep for periods of more than 3 hours quite impossible. The twins were born on May 11 at 34 weeks. This meant that the past month has been an exercise in patient vigilance and a trusting reliance on doctors, nurses, friends, and family. The trips to and from the NICU only made the birth of the twins all the more logistically inconvenient. BUT, the medical staff at the UI hospitals helped nurture premies born at 5 lb. 1 oz. and 4 lb. 14 oz. to a healthy 7 lb. 2 oz. and 6 lb. 4 oz. respectively.

I’d like to thank all of my friends and colleagues who passed on thoughts, prayers, and well wishes during this period. I’d especially like to thank my mother, Sharon Costales Cargill, who moved here to Iowa City in March to help us with our growing family. She has been invaluable and we could not have done this without her.

I’d also like to thank the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics doctors, nurses, PAs, and staff. Not only did they oversee a flawless delivery of twins, but their constant care and commitment to the twins has been a true blessing. They deserve all the credit for their tireless efforts.

This entire experience has been a lived example of the intersection of humanity (in the birth of the twins) and science and technology, which provides life-saving healing and care that was simply unimaginable or attributed to the realm of the “miraculous” even only decades ago. I am thankful for science and technology and those involved in them, to those doctors and nurses who dedicate their lives to the personal well-being of others, and I offer my deepest appreciation to those untold thousands of donors who contribute substantial funding to this kind of scientific and medical research that saves young lives.

I am proud to be associated with the University of Iowa and the wonderful research that is going on here. It is my hope that in caring for Quincy and Rory Kate, some young resident doctor or nurse in training was able to hone their craft and develop a deeper appreciation for the delicate existence that is newborn human life.

On behalf of Roslyn, Talitha, MacLaren, Quincy, and Rory Kate, I’d like to express my deepest appreciation to all those who made the past month a little bit easier for us. Your kinds words on Facebook, Twitter, my blog, email, phone calls, text messages, cards, and letters offered tremendous encouragement. Your gifts were both humbling and much needed. The coordinated meals provided by the Caring Connection at First Presbyterian Church (thank you Liz Hall) and the visits from Sam Massey (you are awesome) and his team, Uncle Jordan Smith and Cory Taylor (for bringing contraband burgers and fries on multiple occasions), a visit (and a fridge stock) from Rick Bennett, and an extended stay from Ruth Anne Bennett (who provided custom curtains for the nursery), all allowed us to spend even more time with the twins. Again, we appreciate your time and efforts in this difficult, yet joyous time for us.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Rory Kate Duvall Cargill

Rory Kate Duvall Cargill

Quincy Enoch Domenico Cargill

Quincy Enoch Domenico Cargill

Mac gives kisses to Rory Kate

Mac gives kisses to Rory Kate

Mac gives kisses to Quincy

Mac gives kisses to Quincy

Rory Kate Duvall Cargill

Rory Kate Duvall Cargill

Rory Kate Duvall Cargill

Rory Kate Duvall Cargill

Rory Kate Duvall Cargill

Rory Kate Duvall Cargill

Quincy Enoch Domenico Cargill

Quincy Enoch Domenico Cargill

Quincy and Rory Kate

Quincy and Rory Kate

Quincy and Rory Kate with Daddy

Quincy and Rory Kate with Daddy

Rory Kate and Quincy

Rory Kate and Quincy

Rory Kate and Quincy

Rory Kate and Quincy

Rory Kate and Quincy

Rory Kate and Quincy

Rory Kate and Quincy

Rory Kate and Quincy

Mac helps feed Quincy

Mac helps feed Quincy

Mommy, Quincy, and Rory Kate

Mommy, Quincy, and Rory Kate

Mommy, Quincy, and Rory Kate

Mommy, Quincy, and Rory Kate

Rory Kate and Quincy

Rory Kate and Quincy

Rory Kate and Quincy

Rory Kate and Quincy

Rory Kate Duvall Cargill

Rory Kate Duvall Cargill

Quincy and Rory Kate with Daddy

Quincy and Rory Kate with Daddy

Quincy and Rory Kate with Daddy

Quincy and Rory Kate with Daddy

The family sleeping in a real pile

The family sleeping in a real pile

Huffington Post story on Iowa Professors’ Des Moines Register Editorial on “Biblical Marriage”

Meredith Bennett-Smith of the Huffington Post has published an article entitled, “Biblical Marriage Not Defined Simply As One Man, One Woman: Iowa Religious Scholars’ Op-Ed“, which examines an editorial that Dr. Hector Avalos (Iowa State), Dr. Kenneth Atkinson (University of Northern Iowa), and I wrote for the Des Moines Register. (UPDATE: The link to the article at the Des Moines Register is broken, but there is a .pdf copy of the article on my Academic.edu page that you can download and read.)

I blogged about this a few days ago.

Ms. Bennett-Smith interviewed me for the piece. The HuffPo article does a nice job of summarizing the editorial:

“The Bible’s definition of marriage can be confusing and contradictory, noted the scholars. They stated in their column that a primary example of this is the religious book’s stance on polygamy, a practice that was embraced by prominent biblical figures Abraham and David. Furthermore, Avalos, Cargill and Atkinson point out that various Bible passages mention not only traditional monogamy, but also self-induced castration and celibacy, as well as the practice of wedding rape victims to their rapists.

In an interview with The Huffington Post, Iowa University Professor Robert R. Cargill said the column was the brainchild of his colleague Hector Avalos, who suggested local scholars put together an “educated response” to the often-touted claim that the Bible defines marriage as solely between one man and one woman. “[T]hat’s not the only thing the Bible says,” Cargill told HuffPost.”

The Des Moines Register editorial concludes:

“So, while it is not accurate to state that biblical texts would allow marriages between people of the same sex, it is equally incorrect to declare that a “one-man-and-one-woman” marriage is the only allowable type of marriage deemed legitimate in biblical texts.”

That is to say, the point of the editorial is that while the Bible cannot be used to sanction same-sex marriage (because it clearly opposes male homosexuality), it ALSO cannot be said to endorse ONLY marriage between “one man and one woman” because the Bible (the whole Bible, not just the New Testament) clearly offers polygamy, marriage imposed upon men who sexually violated women, and Levirate marriage as God-ordained, God-sanctioned marriage options. (Remember, these forms of marriage were commanded in the law in an attempt to protect women from the abuses of men and a society where women did not have rights equal to men.)

The article concludes that we should be careful when attempting to use ancient religious documents to legislate modern social relationships. Or as we conclude in the editorial:

“Accordingly, we must guard against attempting to use ancient texts to regulate modern ethics and morals, especially those ancient texts whose endorsements of other social institutions, such as slavery, would be universally condemned today, even by the most adherent of Christians.”

So nowhere in the editorial do we endorse polygamy. (In fact, I am personally opposed to polygamy because it tends to promote the continued suppression of women, as polygamy is usually one man and multiple wives – not the other way around – and often within a religious context.) The point of the article is not to promote polygamy, but to point out that marriage between “one man and one woman” is not the only form of God-ordained, God-endorsed, and in some cases, God-mandated marriage in the Bible.

In the HuffPo article, I also address the attempts by politicians and fundamentalists to use snippets of the parts of the Bible they like (“cherry picking”) for political purposes and for purposes of focused, special condemnation:

“Politicians who use the Bible aren’t necessarily interested in the truth or the complexity of the Bible,” he said. “They are looking for one ancient sound bite to convince people what they already believe.”

Give it a read. I welcome comments on the HuffPo article, here on this post, or debate the issue with me and my colleagues on my FB page. Just remember that my wife and I just had twins, and that my spare time to respond to comments is limited (and often covered in spit-up ;-).

Three Iowa Religious Studies Profs Author Joint Editorial on Claims of “Biblical” Marriage

Iowa State Univertities

Three Iowa Universities: The University of Iowa, The Iowa State University, and The University of Northern Iowa.

Three religious studies professors: Dr. Hector Avalos (Iowa State), Dr. Robert R. Cargill (Iowa), and Dr. Kenneth Atkinson (UNI)

One joint statement in the Des Moines Register entitled, “Iowa View: 1 man, 1 woman isn’t the Bible’s only marriage view“, warning against those who attempt to claim that the Bible defines marriage as only “between one man and one woman”. (UPDATE: The link to the article at the Des Moines Register is broken, but there is a .pdf copy of the article on my Academic.edu page that you can download and read.)

Please read the editorial. It demonstrates the potential flaws and consequences in attempting to root modern civil and social institutions like marriage and its legislation in 2000+ year old religious documents that often say more than people think they say.

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