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eHarmony Hates Gays, Married Guys, Short People

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eHarmony–the dating site of choice for those looking to get hitched–has a long-standing "straight people only" policy, which was challenged yesterday in a lawsuit. Linda Carlson tried to use the site to meet a woman, and was declined. She's not the only one peeved at eHarmony:

eHarmony had just prevailed in an earlier lawsuit yesterday. A man sued when his membership was declined because he was "legally separated" from his wife. (Technically, eHarmony felt, the man was still legally married to his wife.) And in April the company also faced complaints that they were rejecting men who weren't tall enough.

The company issued a statement saying:

The research that eHarmony has developed, through years of research, to match couples has been based on traits and personality patterns of successful heterosexual marriages. Nothing precludes us from providing same-sex matching in the future, it's just not a service we offer now based upon the research we have conducted.

Others have pointed out that eHarmony's founder is an evangelical Christian who once had warm and fuzzy ties to James Dobson's Focus on the Family.

Still, as one article helpfully notes, outcasts who like the eHarmony model of high fees, absurdly long questionnaires, and few matches are not without options:

A rival site launched Friday catering exclusively to gay men. (It's called myPartnerPerfect.com, and offers its males-only service for just $37.95 a month, or $204 for a year).

These cases have a lot in common with the roommates.com case I wrote about in "SWF ISO GBM Roommate," where the judiciary was called into to decide whether websites that let people specify their desire for roommates of a certain sex, religion, age, etc. are discriminatory.

Via H&R reader D.C.

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  1. I tried eHarmony once. Specified that I was looking for somebody close by, didn’t want to move for a relationship, and emphatically didn’t want anything long-distance. They gave me eight matches, the closest of which was 150 miles from me. That’s one hell of a formula.

  2. Yes, lets waste time in court trying to solve a problem the market will solve on its own. It is not like e-harmony is the only government approved way to cruise the personal ads. If gays want to find lovers and married people are looking for hookups, I have no doubt the market will and probably already has responded with services that cator to such needs. If e-harmony doesn’t want to take their money, I am sure someone will.

  3. It’s silly to see someone sue over this when you get sites like OkCupid.com that accept everyone (gays/staight/bi), and you can seek out either long-term dating, sex partners only, or just looking for new friends, has really lengthy questionnaires and personality tests that matches others for you, and is 100 PERCENT FREE. If you ask me it’s better than EHarmony plus you stay away from the prissy drama queens that watch Oprah and Daily Soaps.

  4. So now libertarians are siding with evangelical Christians in their hatred of gay people? Wow, that’s some impressive commitment to freedom and justice ya got, there.

  5. The Court really needs to impose sanctions on the fool attorneys who filed this claim.

  6. If you ask me it’s better than EHarmony plus you stay away from the prissy drama queens that watch Oprah and Daily Soaps

    Brian, we wouldn’t have any, well, issues, being raised here would we?

  7. Free speech, right to free exercise of religion, right of association. Quaint ideas that have no place in the 21st century.

  8. See how far you get if you confess your atheism.
    I completed the “absurdly long questionnaire” a couple years ago and the result was something like (and I’m quoting from memory here) “Go to hell.”

  9. Pro Liberate,

    Why do you hate gay people so much? 🙂

  10. “See how far you get if you confess your atheism.
    I completed the “absurdly long questionnaire” a couple years ago and the result was something like (and I’m quoting from memory here) “Go to hell.”

    Ed is that really e-harmony’s fault? It seems to me that your experience is the result of e-harmony being populated by mostly Christians looking for other Christians to marry. That is not e-harmony’s fault. It just means that you are a hell of a lot better off using a different service.

  11. “the eHarmony model of high fees, absurdly long questionnaires, and few matches”

    Oof.

  12. I don’t want a harmonious relationship. I want a dissonant relationship.* Can I sue?

    *I know, I know, why else would anyone post here.

  13. Dan T. asked me to phone this one in for him | June 1, 2007, 1:12pm | #

    So now libertarians are siding with evangelical Christians in their hatred of gay people? Wow, that’s some impressive commitment to freedom and justice ya got, there.

    Jennifer IS DAN T. !!!? Dan T. un-masked at last?

  14. This is as stupid as suing a futon store because they won’t sell you a waterbed.

  15. I have always said “Dan T” is a comic parody. Know we know the feral genius behind it.

  16. > This is as stupid as suing a futon store because they won’t sell you a waterbed.

    Great analogy.

  17. I was too punk rock for eHarmony. Why do they hate wallet chains?

  18. JENNIFER IS NOT DAN T. YOU ARE ALL DAN T.

    EHARMONY HATES TROLLS, TOO.

  19. WTF, Short people?!

    Also, Katherine M-W, great editing on your post 😉

  20. “eHarmony Hates Gays, Married Guys, Short People”

    Using the word “hate” in this context is really, really lame.

  21. “Ed is that really e-harmony’s fault?…e-harmony being populated by mostly Christians looking for other Christians to marry”

    John,

    My point is that if e-Harmony is a Christians-only dating service, they should state it up front and not waste the time of we intelligent humans.

  22. A barber can tell a woman, “We don’t do highlights and women’s hairstyles. Just flat-tops and crew cuts,” and be well within the law.

    He cannot, however, tell a woman wanting a men’s haircut “We don’t allow women customers.”

    If e-harmony is willing to set up gay men with women, using exactly the same process by which they set up straight men with women, I don’t see the problem. It’s just a matter of e-harmony not selling a product that gay men are interested in.

  23. Ken,
    Why do you hate teh lame?

  24. Personally, ed, all I had to do was watch a billion eharmony commercials and listen to that nauseating Natalie Cole song to know that the service not only wasn’t for me, but that I would probably vomit all over any woman I met on it.

  25. If ever there were a rational, non-bigoted, cold-blooded, impersonal, business justific’n for excluding homosexuals from anything, this is obviously it.

    Here we have this database of people looking to marry. You think it’ll be very productive to try to match them with partners of the same sex? Heh…surprise!

  26. “My point is that if e-Harmony is a Christians-only dating service, they should state it up front and not waste the time of we intelligent humans.”

    But of course they are not a “Christian only” service. It is not their fault you don’t like Christians.

  27. We intelligenter humans let the direct object take the accusative case, us do.

  28. Having never used eHarmony, I cannot attest to the upfront clarity of the “unmatchables” but I feel that eHarmony should be able to match whomever to whomever they want. So what if they don’t match pagans and gays and atheists and feminists and NAMBLA members*? There should be a diversity in the marketplace and eHarmony is not, by any stretch, the only player.

    *Besides, as Pat Robertson has told us, these people were responsible for 9/11 and Katrina and deserve no life mate.

  29. vomit all over any woman I met on it

  30. There are already ads on TV saying, “If you were rejected by eHarmony come on over to our site.”

    So now libertarians are siding with evangelical Christians in their hatred of gay people? Wow, that’s some impressive commitment to freedom and justice ya got, there.

    Suppose eHarmony took Carlsen’s money, knowing they couldn’t make any valid matches for her. Wouldn’t that be fraud? Think she would have sued for that?

    If e-harmony is willing to set up gay men with women, using exactly the same process by which they set up straight men with women, I don’t see the problem.

    The straight women would. eHarmony promises compatible matches. Again, that’s fraud.

    BTW, the Google ad to the right on my screen is for “Real Jock Gay Fitness Community.”

  31. Klugscheisser –

    hmmm. somehow that makes sense…

  32. VM,

    Und du bist ein besserwisser [Ein smileygesicht einsetzen].

  33. I just took a look at PlentyOfFish.com, appears to be free (supported by Google ads) and has a truly interesting forum community.

    They match straights and gays, but conspicuously omit the man-dog relationships that have been in such demand since states began allowing gay marriage.

    Your dog wants tubesteak.

  34. I AM NOT DAN T., for Chrissake.

    I may be a former club dancer-slash-phone whore-slash-public school teacher-slash-pothead, but I have some standards, dammit!

  35. They match straights and gays, but conspicuously omit the man-dog relationships that have been in such demand since states began allowing gay marriage.

    BRILLIANT! Sehr klug!

  36. “Nixwisser” is probably closer. And Full time Wixer (wichser), too!

    🙂

  37. Should you be able to sue J-Date if you are not Jewish and they reject your membership? Clearly not, that is a forum for Jewish singles to hook up with each other.

    As for the height thing, it is a sad fact that woman consider shortness an extreme negative in dating matchability. I read a study that determined being very short, under 5’3″ or so was as negative to a man’s dating prospects as being convicted of a felony.

    My wife is 5’7″ and I am a 5’8″ and she has stated very bluntly that if I was any shorter she would not have dated me.

  38. Using the word “hate” in this context is really, really lame.

    Using two reallys in this context is really really hyperbolicious.

  39. Well, I guess if it’s illegal to offer a hetero-only dating site, it’s also illegal to offer a gay one. Can MyPerfectPartner expect to be sued?

    These kinds of lawsuits are so ridiculous: If you don’t like a website, find another one that suits your fancy. It’s a big net out there.

  40. Naw, Jennifer is Dave W.

    *ducks*

  41. The next lunch you steal’s gonna have arsenic in it, sugarplum. I’ll see to it personally.

  42. the service not only wasn’t for me, but that I would probably vomit all over any woman I met on it.

    Indeed, the commercials are lame and the featured lovers are nauseating. I labored over the questionnaire just for kicks and I honestly couldn’t care less who they cater to. In fact, by favoring the mildly retarded, they are doing the rest of us a favor by keeping us out. So yeah, eHarmony is providing a public service after all. And suing them for not catering to every lifestyle imaginable is stupid and misguided.

  43. Jennifer,

    That should’ve been HCFS-plum if you really aren’t Dave.

  44. “They match straights and gays, but conspicuously omit the man-dog relationships that have been in such demand since states began allowing gay marriage.”

    Do they really match straights with gays? How do those relationships work out I wonder?

  45. I may be a former club dancer-slash-phone whore-slash-public school teacher-slash-pothead, but I have some standards, dammit!

    Jennifer,
    Since you are listed your shameful and sordid professions, why did you leave out worst and most current: journalist.

    Oh yeah, that would undermine your assertion that you have some standards. ;~)

  46. Or HFCS.

  47. made up internet backstories?

  48. DAMN! Either drop the are or change listed to listing.

  49. I completed the “absurdly long questionnaire” a couple years ago and the result was something like (and I’m quoting from memory here) “Go to hell.”

    What do you expect from a company that got its start with radio ads on Dr. Laura?

  50. Naw, Jennifer is Dave W.

    Heh. Over at the Grill-Aide’s they say they don’t like all the red versus blue sniping that goes on here in the comments section. But then you get someone like me who isn’t red or blue (that I know of), and they don’t like that either.

    I think there may be room for someone to set up a “corporatarian hegemony” site, and ban people who can’t hew close to that mindset. maybe Grill-Aide’s is that site, but it is just that corporatarian-ness is the kind of love that dare not speak its name these days.

    I like the Jennifer blog because we get to 2d guess her when she does her 60 Minutes style interviews. I always wanted to be able to say right to an Ed Bradley or a John Stossel: “No, man, here is what you really should have asked.” Of course, hindsight is 20/20. The key is that we have a lot of fun over there.

    Oh, and jennifer, you are really into talking about sex and masturbation and stuf. Here is a fun link about something I had never thought about:

    http://juliansanchez.com/notes/archives/2007/05/hungry_like_the_wolf.php

  51. “Since you are listed your shameful and sordid professions, why did you leave out worst and most current: journalist.”

    God that is true. Jennifer why did you go to the darkside like that? Why couldn’t you do something respectible like sell drugs or be a hooker?

  52. I have a friend who was once a patient of the founder back in his psych days, and she said that he is very cool about the religion thing. Her Christian background was making her feel guilty about her sexual urges and he told her that those urges were natural and therefore from God and therefore nothing to feel guilty about.

    So he may be an Evangelical Christian, but he is not a batshit crazy Westboro Baptist Church style Christian.

  53. “eHarmony Hates Gays, Married Guys, Short People”

    Who doesn’t?

  54. I may be a former club dancer-slash-phone whore-slash-public school teacher-slash-pothead, but I have some standards, dammit!

    Well…at least, you’ve never practiced that most vile and disgusting of all professions – dare I name it – you’ve never been a…a literary, uh… critic. You haven’t, have you? 😉

  55. eHarmony’s founder is an evangelical Christian

    I knew it! I looked into them years ago, saw the “we don’t do gays” thing, and moved on (I didn’t know about the “no short guys” policy either–double whammy); but I remember thinking the whole tone of the place screamed “evangelical Christian”. And that was before they started airing those smarmy television commercials.

    I guess the relevant point is that I didn’t care that they don’t do gays. I just went somewhere else.

  56. Since you are listed your shameful and sordid professions, why did you leave out worst and most current: journalist.

    Nonsense. I’m one of the good media jackals.

    Boasting: check out my latest blog post, which links to my latest article. I’m apparently the first person in the state to break the story of how the Department of Children and Families is harassing homeschooling parents by threatening to take custody of their children.

    That was my first story on the topic. It will NOT be my last. My editor already told me I can do more on the subject.

  57. I’ve clearly lost it. I’ve had over an hour and a half and I still haven’t come up with a funny J-Date joke.

  58. J-date: %100 circumcised

    nah.

    /kicks pebble

  59. That was my first story on the topic. It will NOT be my last. My editor already told me I can do more on the subject.

    Way to go, Jennifer! That’s great!

  60. Good article, Jennifer.

  61. Like Ed, I too put myself through the eHarmony online dating inquisition where I mentioned my atheism and I also got rejected. It was only after I heard about Dr. Warren’s fundie ties that I put two and two together.

    Fine, If Warren and his fellow bible-beaters don’t believe nontheists, homosexuals, or little people deserve lovin’ because they somehow don’t met their ridiculous standards, that’s their call.

    I’ll take my money elsewhere.

  62. Will URKOBOLD be setting up e-Disharmony for those seeking incompatible troll-mates?

  63. I actually don’t like always being a contrarian since I am a Reason subscriber and sympathetic on most issues, so I am glad to say I agree with the post here. eHarmony may be goofy and I believe disingenuous here, but the proper response, espcially in this case where there are many reasonable alternatives, is to punish them by not giving them your business. The law and government should stay out of this fight.

  64. Funny you should wonder that, D.A.R. hier is a venture that the URKOBOLD just launched.

  65. Hier’s the cribsheet to the J-questionnaire. You’ll ace it.

  66. What about transgendered?
    Could you in good conscience mark ‘female’ when ah…

  67. I wonder how they feel about interracial couples. You don’t see any featured on their TV ads. Talk about the last taboo….people are better with gay couples than they are with color blends.

  68. pdog:

    NOT WITH THAT TUCK UNDER. SLOPPY. GO BACK TO YOUR ROOM AND TRY AGAIN. OR ELSE WE WILL DO IT FOR YOU. WITH SUPERGLUE.

  69. I’m with Ken (and I’m sure others in the above comments I skimmed through). I don’t see the need for eHarmony hate. My biggest beef with them was they sent me twice as many matches the week after my subscription expired as they did the month it was active.

    BTW I am an atheist, but may have classified myself as other. I’m calling myself The Cult Of One these days. I also would have claimed to be “deeply spiritual” in the Howard Roark sense.

    Anyway there are dozens if not hundreds of places to find a mate online. Plenty of options for gays, transgendered, chubby chasers (actually I think most dating sites are candy shops for CCs), whatever your disposition.

  70. NO BEEF. NO ROARK. NO CANDY.

  71. Why don’t these malcontents go over to eDissonance.com?

  72. > Katherine Mangu-Ward wrote: “…the judiciary was called into to decide whether websites that let people specify their desire for roommates of a certain sex, religion, age, etc. are discriminatory.

    Of course it’s discriminatory. Any time a person makes choice, they are discriminating.

    The better question is: What business does the government have prohibiting discrimination between individuals engaging in private contracts?

    At my motel I only rent rooms to black Jehovah’s Witnesses who speak German and wear purple underwear. That’s my business, not the government’s.

  73. I guess part of what gets people riled up is the connection with James Dobson and eHarmony’s early ties to Focus on the Family. I’m repulsed by the likes of Dobson, but that doesn’t mean a website that focuses on a specific client base is bad. According to Alternet.org, mypartnerperfect.com is a gay site that has a similar pseudo-algebraic approach.

  74. Of course they’re rejecting short men. They don’t add anything of value to the site because women won’t date them (or so their online profiles say). I’m 5’6″, and I tried Yahoo’s dating site for a while. As an experiment, I tried 5’10” in my profile. Plenty of matches. When I changed it to 5’6″, the number of compatible matches basically dropped to zero. I dropped Yahoo soon after. Every other online site I’ve tried the same thing happened, so I no longer bother. The dimwits suing eHarmony for this ought to get a clue and stop. Suing eHarmony won’t change women’s preferences, so even if they accepted short men they will still be dateless.

  75. Her Christian background was making her feel guilty about her sexual urges and he told her that those urges were natural and therefore from God and therefore nothing to feel guilty about.

    That’s specious reasoning. Just because you have an urge doesn’t mean it’s moral to act on it. Were that so, it would be nearly impossible to sin; the only way to do so would be to do something you don’t want to do, or not do something you want to do. If there was no sin, there’d be no need for Jesus, and Christians would be fools to bother with him.

    Then again, I’ve always suspected that atheists are far more troubled by truly committed Christians than by the faithless panderers like this dude who call themselves Christians.

  76. That’s specious reasoning. Just because you have an urge doesn’t mean it’s moral to act on it.

    And just because a guy tells you not to feel guilty about an urge doesn’t mean he’s telling you to act on it. Do you think this woman would be better served by being told that Jesus hates her when her hormones make her horny?

    Exactly which glands do you think need to be surgically removed from your body in order for your soul to qualify for the Kingdom of Heaven?

  77. He said that these urges came from God, which is a pretty good endorsement from someone who’s ostensibly Christian.

  78. Exactly which glands do you think need to be surgically removed from your body in order for your soul to qualify for the Kingdom of Heaven?

    Three guesses.

  79. Also, there’s a happy medium between saying that homosexual desires are wonderful gifts from God and saying that anyone who ever has a thought about the wrong genitalia is inescapably hellbound. Hate the orientation, love the person burdened by it. I know that the distinction is sometimes hard to grasp for ambiguity-loving libertines, but there it is.

  80. He said that these urges came from God, which is a pretty good endorsement from someone who’s ostensibly Christian.

    So God made humans but the Devil made estrogen and testosterone? Or did sex hormones evolve independently of the Creator, who would certainly have put a stop to it if only He’d known what was going on?

  81. Let’s see, I can descriminate by age and sex,
    but eHarmony can’t use sex based choices?
    Oh, they can if they let everyone do it.

    About height:
    How many want to marry a woman a foot taller?
    How many want to marry a woman two feet tall?
    See what I mean?

    The right man, short or not, can win a woman’s heart.
    He just needs a chance to have a chance.
    See a short ugly guy with a tall babe in tow
    and you know he’s got something not showing!

  82. No, God (indirectly) made estrogen and testosterone in order that humans and animals could be fruitful and multiply. The free choice of Adam/Eve to originally sin turned these hormones from instruments of goodness to instruments of evil.

  83. crimethink, you’re too smart for this. Helpful hints:
    1. Quit playing with your instrument of evil.
    2. Get a girlfriend, or boyfriend if my suspicions are correct.
    3. Start living for yourself instead of your imaginary friend.

  84. Right on Colonel, go on playing the “if you oppose homosexuality you must be homosexual yourself” card. If you oppose Christianity, doesn’t that mean you must be a closet Christian yourself?

  85. Right on Colonel, go on playing the “if you oppose homosexuality you must be homosexual yourself” card. If you oppose Christianity, doesn’t that mean you must be a closet Christian yourself?

    It’s not even that, Crimethink; it’s just that you keep pushing this contradictory theme about how people think too much about sex, which is often sinful but no big deal because it’s just sex, just don’t have it unless you want to make a baby, big deal. It’s like dialogue from an old bodice-ripper novel.

    The entire topic of sex, let alone the thought of having or thinking about it, is personified here by the main-character super-stud alpha-male pirate captain or whatever. And you’re like his captive who keeps moaning “No, no, please don’t, I hate sex gasp oh no don’t I hate that I hate you oh this is horrible sto-o-o-p it this instant” while her bosom heaves right the hell out of her dress.

    I mean, certainly your language is richer and more varied than hers, but the way you view sex, Crimethink — it’s just got this heaving sort of vibe to it.

  86. No, scratch that. More like the indignant Victorian lady captive who stiffens and demands “Unhand me, my lord” in an imperious voice.

  87. crimethink – without facetiousness, I (and Thomas Aquinas) would say the answer to your question is Yes.

    And btw, Mt. 6:6 suggests you were being pleonastic 😉

  88. Jennifer,

    When I post in a thread whose topic revolves around sex, I’m going to have to think about sex. That doesn’t mean I enjoy doing so.

    Whatever heaving quality you notice must be due to the fact that it’s almost solely on sexual issues that I’m passionately disagreeing with people here.

  89. Hate the orientation, love the person burdened by it. I know that the distinction is sometimes hard to grasp for ambiguity-loving libertines, but there it is.

    Nonsense – the distinction is not hard to grasp; disagreement with, or non-acceptance of, a point of view is not the same thing as an inability to grasp it. After all, a few of us ambiguity-tolerating libertines make the identical distinction every day with respect to those who exhibit a religious orientation. 🙂

  90. I take that back, Crimethink’s untapped sexual energies are clearly redirected into posting here. I don’t know anyone else who can post 100 times on a 300 post thread and still be wound tighter than a cheap watch after everyone else gives up and goes home. I think his form of batin’ is de-batin’!

  91. OK, I see the identity thieves are back with us. I’m all for parodizing people, but when have I talked about myself in the third person?

  92. When I post in a thread whose topic revolves around sex, I’m going to have to think about sex. That doesn’t mean I enjoy doing so.

    Then you must not be thinking about it the right way.

  93. When I post in a thread whose topic revolves around sex, I’m going to have to think about sex.

    Like in last week’s post about paranoid guys who worried that keeping their cell phones in their pockets might cause testicular trouble, and you interpreted this as more proof that society–but certainly not you–thinks about sex too much.

    Unhand me, you filthy, filthy sex thoughts, you! (slap)

  94. crimethink,

    Let me get this straight, you believe that there was an actual Adam & Eve? Is that right?

  95. I have to agree with Bob Smith. When it comes to eharmony’s bias against the short, it is not their fault – it is womens’ fault. Like Bob, I am also 5’6″ – short but not unusually so. About 80% of women exclude me based on my height in all the major personals sites, including at least half of those shorter than me. Apparently unlike Bob, however, I write some of them anyway.

    It is funny, however, how women think men are so superficial….yet how many men write in their profile “no fat chicks”? About zero…and even then, being fat is largely a choice. Women have proven themselves both quantitatively and qualitatively more superficial than men. How embarassing.

  96. Rob, how has writing to those women actually worked for you? I tried that but I’m not interesting or witty enough since none ever wrote back, so I stopped. No reason for them to, really, since they probably get messages from dozens of men who match in every particular. Am I a better catch than many of them? Sure, but when you live in the land of plenty you can afford to throw out some of your food. As for “fat chicks”, I see men being a lot more tolerant of a woman’s weight than women will be of a man’s height, and there are always attractive “big girls” like Sara Ramirez (Grey’s Anatomy).

  97. Rob, it’s my fault.

  98. Actually, Bob, I have gone out with several women somewhat taller than me that I met online, including one who seems to be on the path to “working out”. I also had a very pleasant relationship with a 6’0″ Japanese woman once, but that is another story entirely. It’s not impossible, but it is far harder than it should be.

    The odd thing about women is that they honestly believe themselves to not be so superficial. The problem is that they are unable or unwilling to articulate what the issue is. They really believe they “just aren’t attracted” to some decent-looking, educated, professional, nice guy….but they darned well would be if he was 5’11” rather than 5’5″.

    Men, on the other hand, do know what the issue is. Most of the time here in the US, the issue is that she is a tub of lard.

  99. Jennifer,

    1. It was primarily a joke; I believe I alluded to the fact that tinfoil hats were being replaced by tinfoil underwear. Not exactly my most serious post ever.

    2. It’s not like testicles and sperm counts — you know, the subjects of the article — have nothing to do with sex. The subject didn’t just spring out of some repressed desire deep in the bowels of my id.

    Grotius,

    Must I remind you again that what I do or do not believe is not at issue here?

  100. Also, of course, I never said that I was perfectly free from disordered sexual desire myself. As I alluded to above, if I were that perfect I wouldn’t need to bother with Jesus.

  101. And if you’re questioning whether sex is an obsession of our society, go to your local supermarket checkout and calculate the percentage of magazines that have SEX in big bold letters on the cover. I’d be surprised if it’s below 50%.

    Even Reason did this back in ’04, with their “Voting is a lot like SEX” cover. For a magazine called Reason…. (gulp)

  102. if I were that perfect I wouldn’t need to bother Jesus

    Edit: Delete “with”.

  103. Then again, people have always been obsessed with the forbidden fruit, I guess. In victorian times all it probably took to get a guy going was an exposed ankle, while nowadays so long as the areolae are safely stowed away it’s just another Calvin Klein ad.

  104. Dammit crimethink, this isn’t about sex, it’s about trust!

  105. people have always been obsessed with the forbidden fruit, I guess

    By defintion:

    obsess 1503, “to besiege,” from L. obsessus, pp. of obsidere “besiege, occupy,” lit. “sit opposite to,” from ob “against” + sedere “sit.” Of evil spirits, “to haunt,” is from 1540. Obsession was originally (1513) “the act of besieging,” then “hostile action of the devil or an evil spirit” (1605)

  106. Mark Twain: “Adam was but human – this explains it all. He did not want the apple for the apple’s sake, he wanted it only because it was forbidden. The mistake was in not forbidding the serpent; then he would have eaten the serpent.”

  107. crimethink,

    Must I remind you again that what I do or do not believe is not at issue here?

    You made an argument which dealt with original sin, Adam and Eve, etc. It thus seems fair to ask you a question that I did. If you can explain to me why it is unfair to ask you that question please do.

    In the future if you don’t want folks to question your religious (or other) beliefs then don’t mention them.

  108. crimethink,

    And if you’re questioning whether sex is an obsession of our society…

    Yeah, I am. Humans evolved to have lots of sexual relations for both procreative and other uses. Viewed from this naturalistic perspective there is no obsession with sex by merely being interested in sex.

  109. Grotius,

    I was not making an argument. I was stating the Christian belief about the source of disordered desire. This guy is dressing up very un-Christian ideas as Christianity.

  110. crimethink,

    This was your response to Jennifer’s query:

    No, God (indirectly) made estrogen and testosterone in order that humans and animals could be fruitful and multiply. The free choice of Adam/Eve to originally sin turned these hormones from instruments of goodness to instruments of evil.

    Looks like an argument to me.

  111. That’s not an argument, it’s an assertion. It doesn’t start from first principles and reason to a conclusion; it just states a couple of propositions.

    Perhaps I should have prefaced it with “Christians believe that…” and then all would be hunky-dory.

  112. crimethink,

    It still looks like an argument to me.

    Anyway, are you suggesting that you don’t believe these things?

  113. I am remaining silent on whether I belive these things. I have found in the past that anything I say can and will be held against me in the court of H&R opinion. Since these things are not essential to any actual arguments I’m making, I choose not to risk that.

  114. Now if only Adam had answered that when interviewed about his meal!

  115. Perhaps I should have prefaced it with “Christians believe that…” and then all would be hunky-dory.

    Except for the Christians who don’t believe that, who according to you aren’t really Christians at all. Real Christians, according to you, might know that sexual urges are natural, but not from the part of nature that God had anything to do with.

    Are hunger pangs and feelings of thirst also something to feel guilty about?

  116. Jennifer, as a RealChristian (TM) myself, may I say I profit from your posts. I won’t butt in here though.

  117. I am remaining silent on whether I belive these things.

    You’re a Christian, right? And you say that Christians believe these things?

    I have found in the past that anything I say can and will be held against me in the court of H&R opinion.

    Dude, that is true of all of us. You are in no way special or unique.

    Since these things are not essential to any actual arguments I’m making, I choose not to risk that.

    If they aren’t “essential” why do you mention them? Note that your statements on this thread has all sorts of religious language in it.

  118. crimethink,

    BTW, didn’t Jesus say that you aren’t supposed to hide your light under a bushel?

  119. Jennifer,

    A person who does not believe in original sin is not a Christian. Were it not for those things there would have been no need for Christ.

    Grotius,

    Yes, but sometimes my light is darkness.

  120. For those unfamiliar, crimethink is self-deprecatingly alluding to Matthew 6:23 – “If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!”

  121. M,

    One of the things that takes away from the Bible’s authority is its vast number of contradictory statements, etc.

  122. Grotius – I’m acquainted with that inference. Because I’m preparing to go hier* http://www.mises.org/upcomingstory.aspx?Id=96 I must resist the temptation to discuss this much at the moment. Perhaps I can be abstemious enough to leave it at suggesting that Whitman’s demurral

    Do I contradict myself?
    Very well then I contradict myself,
    (I am large, I contain multitudes.)

    will apply a fortiori, without necessary loss of authority, to an anthology of genres compiled for various and multiple purposes over many generations.

    *a bug is preventing hyperlinking

  123. Gay folks need to get over themselves with regards to things like this… Just because everything doesn’t cater to you or your desires doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing.

  124. Holy crap M, have you got Matthew 6 memorized? Not that it’s necessarily a bad thing… 😉

  125. One of the things that takes away from the Bible’s authority is its vast number of contradictory statements, etc.

    Consistency is the hobgoblin of … well, you know the rest.

  126. A person who does not believe in original sin is not a Christian.

    So original sin equals the sex drive? In that case, why bother baptizing babies? After all, original sin doesn’t kick in until puberty.

  127. doesn’t kick in until puberty

    So who’s denigrating prophylaxis now?

    Speaking of kicking, y’all make what you will of the inerrant word that “it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks” (Acts 26:14).

  128. By the way, it needn’t shock Gentle Reader that not all believers will charge forward in response to every casual challenge swatted their way by self-styled gadflies insufficiently animated to have investigated other resources.

    Even when we realize that our approach to the word is incomprehensibly alien to others, we do recall that teh itertoobz hold vastly more introductory information about Christianity than about, oh, say, libertarianism.

    When hostile non-Christians take up every statist’s “Oh yeah, Stupid? Well, who’s gonna keep the bad guys down?” with the same devoted persistence that our terribly simplifying interlocutors solicit, we Christers will respond with alacrity, gladly to snatch your inquiring souls from the maws of Hell.

    Just as fast as we can wriggle on our arctic mittens to do so.

  129. approach to the word

    That too, but s/b “world”

  130. Christians believe that original sin is the source of disordered sexual desires. That does not necessarily mean that such desires are the only effect of original sin.

  131. That’s what I meant to say.

  132. original sin is the source of disordered sexual desires.

    What’s the difference between ordered and disordered sexual desires? (By the way, I’m asking specifically about desires, not actions.)

  133. Ordered desires tend toward, or at least are not incompatible with, intercourse with one’s spouse with semen being deposited in the vagina.

    Disordered desires are everything else.

  134. That’s actually a pretty sloppy definition but hopefully you get the idea. Desires that lead to something besides union with spouse & possible procreation are disordered.

  135. 2351 Lust is disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.

    2352 By masturbation is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. “Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action.”

  136. Ordered desires tend toward, or at least are not incompatible with, intercourse with one’s spouse with semen being deposited in the vagina. Disordered desires are everything else.

    So basically, any sexual thoughts are evil unless you’re married and thinking about your spouse? Though hormones created by God cause sexual thoughts, the thoughts are evil until after marriage?

  137. The pleasure is momentary; the expense is exorbitant; the position ridiculous.

  138. crimethink,

    Consistency is the hobgoblin of … well, you know the rest.

    Religions and “revealed texts” call for absolute consistency and uniformity until it suits their purposes to call for something else.

    Anyway, it is the blatant “factual” inconsistencies which make one giggle the most.

    M,

    …will apply a fortiori, without necessary loss of authority, to an anthology of genres compiled for various and multiple purposes over many generations.

    Actually, they create an absolute loss of authority since it is quite reasonable to assume that they are merely human created, edited and copied texts.

  139. M,

    Sort of odd that the suggested readings at the conference don’t include anything by Leo Strauss.

  140. M,

    …to an anthology of genres compiled for various and multiple purposes over many generations.

    Furthermore (and here we will lapse into a bit of historicism here), it is rather bizarre for moderns to basically ignore the historical contexts of these works. Which is what religionists do on a daily basis.

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