gay marriage

How to Remove Rainbow Banner from WordPress Reader (Temporarily)

In her post titled Listen Up WordPress, InsanityBytes explained her frustration over the rainbow banner that WordPress put at the top of the Reader – signifying marriage equality and the Supreme Court’s decision today – and her inability to remove said banner. If you still see the rainbow banner (I have no idea how long they’ll keep it up) and want to temporarily remove it, there is a way. It’s as simple as unchecking a box, but finding the right box will require a bit of exploration into the inner workings of browser code (which might be fun for you). The downside is that the rainbow will show up again if you refresh the page, but that shouldn’t be a problem since the Reader loads new posts without reloading the whole page. If you need a more permanent solution, go here.

How to make the rainbow banner image disappear from the top of the WordPress Reader

Step 1 – Make sure your on a page with the rainbow in a desktop browser…RemoveRainbow1

Step 2 – Pull up the browser’s developer tools somehow (you can Google how to do this for your browser). In most it’s in the menu at the top or even in the right-click menu. Here’s how I get to it in Safari. Right-click and then “Inspect Element”.

RemoveRainbow2

You should be able to find a page of elements like this. Congratulations, you’re looking at the HTML you’re browser uses to render the website. This is called the DOM (Document Object Model). Select the DOM element you see highlighted here called “header”. It’s nested under html and body.

Find it? Great! Notice what happens when you click it? Look at the style rules (click around to open them if they aren’t visible). They change depending on which DOM element you select. The one for “header” has a CSS style rule for “.masterbar” that looks like a rainbow of colors. That’s the culprit and you can see it at the bottom right of this image. You’re almost done…RemoveRainbow3

Step 3 – Uncheck that box under the “.masterbar” style rules (see screenshot). That’s it! Check your other window where the WordPress Reader is…RemoveRainbow4

You should now see this! No rainbow. 🙂RemoveRainbow5

 

Personally, I like the rainbow and join with WordPress in celebrating marriage equality. However, they should have provided a way to permanently remove it. If you forget and refresh the page, you can just do these three steps again to make the rainbow disappear from your Reader again.

Feel free to play around in the developer area of your browser, explore and learn new things. It doesn’t affect anything permanently and any changes you make will be gone when you refresh. It’s just affected your local browser window. I hope this helped.

Gentleness and respect,
–Russell

Supreme Court Just Validated Gay Marriage. Now What? 5 Gay Marriage Concerns (and Your Thoughts…)

Love

Today the Supreme Court of the United States ordered that state bans outlawing gay marriage are unconstitutional. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote these words that will echo through the ages…

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.

It is so ordered.

I am overjoyed to hear this, and deeply saddened that I’m presently unable to bring myself to risk family torment by stating my joy on Facebook. I feel like a coward and can’t wait to come out of my own southern-baptist conservative closet. Am I alone in here? I will celebrate here, on this private blog, with those of you who share that view and anyone else willing to listen.

Concern

I write this from a church where my two daughters go to daycare. I’m working from here today because I jogged here with our double jogging stroller and didn’t want to spend the work-time making several trips between home and here today. Our 5-year-old just finished the celebration at the end of Vacation Bible School where they celebrated not turning to the left or the right, but following God down the narrow path by following the Bible and trusting His word. I was struck, as I usually am, by the peer-pressure demonstrated when the crowd of children erupted in cheers for those slightly older than my daughter who had accepted Jesus during the week. That kind of pressure from others is no way to evaluate truth. I was also uncomfortable with how this week’s theme to “obey the Bible” seemed to stand in stark relief (by most biblical interpretations) against the court’s ruling today. There are certainly Bible-believing Christians who allow for gay marriage within their view of scripture (see Pascal’s previous post and my comment there), but that view is presently more uncommon in the micro-culture where we live. Unfortunately, most of the opposition for same-sex marriage seems to be religiously based. I don’t want that for my precious, sweet daughters. It’s probably just my INTP personality thinking too far ahead, but these tensions are uncomfortable for me and seem unnecessary.

Arguments

I’ve heard many arguments for why marriage equality is bad (moral slippery-slope, etc.). What I haven’t yet heard is any significant argument against marriage equality that both a) stands up to scientific scrutiny and b) is not ultimately based on biblical interpretations (and accompanying biases that tend to run more deep because their based on perceived divine authority) and/or the genetic fallacy (and other of the less-known fallacies). That certainly does not mean that such legitimate reasons do not exist. I am ignorant of many things and this may just be one more. That’s why I hope we can all benefit from your thoughts.

In my view, the road ahead may be challenging as we work out how, when, where and the degree to which state or federal laws should impact personal liberties, but that’s a constant struggle in a free nation. Equality under the law is how things should be. We should start there and then figure out the implementation specifics. I agree with Pascal that perhaps churches should volunteer to give up their tax exemption status in order to become more politically active about this and other issues.

Top 5 reasons to object to gay marriage – and an atheist’s rebuttal

I saw the following older video (2009) from The Atheist Experience about a year ago. I remember that in the video Jeff addresses the top 5 arguments (from a certain website at that time) against gay marriage. He talks through those issues from the perspective of an atheist. I don’t remember the video well enough to know if I agree with every point, but seeing these clips may help some of us understand one another better. First, a warning. I’ve seen many videos from The Atheist Experience over the years. While I agree with the vast majority of what I’ve heard from them, I very often do not agree with the way they say it – it is quite often lacking in gentleness and respect. Still, if you can get past the anger and condescension that you occasionally find there, the content is often incisive. Here are the arguments people voted for as the primary reason that they oppose gay marriage – Jeff will be going through them in this reverse order.

5. It’s bad for the kids or it will cause problems for the family.

4. The purpose of marriage is to make children.

3. Homosexuality is unnatural and/or abnormal.

2. Marriage is defined as “one man and one woman.”

1. Watch the videos to find out. Hint, it starts with an “s”…

What is your take on these? I encourage you to comment on any that jump out at you. My goal, as always, is mutual understanding and compassion in the midst of difficult and polarizing topics. I know I’m not unbiased and I hold some false beliefs. The more I hear from you, the better chance I have of recognizing my own blind spots. In addition to the objections above (and Jeff’s rebuttals), here are more questions you might discuss to help us all understand…

Questions

If you’re for gay marriage, why? What do you wish opponents of gay marriage would understand? Are you for LGBT protection under anti-discrimination laws?

If you’re against gay marriage, why? What do you wish your proponents of gay marriage would understand? Did the video help clarify anything? Did it make things worse? Will you fight marriage equality now after the supreme court ruling? How? Are you for LGBT protection under anti-discrimination laws? Do you think you’ll ever be able to celebrate a gay wedding and accept a same-sex married couple to the same degree that you accept their peers in a heterosexual marriage?

Sign-off

This is a historic moment in time. I’m very glad you’re here. Thank you for taking the time to read and contribute your unique point of view for the improvement of our shared understanding and a better, more compassionate and moral future – whatever that may look like. You have my sincere gratitude.

To all same-sex attracted people who may read this, I hope you feel the warmth I’m sharing with you right now. To all those who have same-sex attracted friends or family members, please spend time with them, give them a hug, and pass on the love. Today, I openly celebrate them from my corner closet – and I’m straining against the door.

Gentleness and respect,
–Russell

P.S.

J, someday the perceived hurt we will cause our families (admittedly, primarily yours) will be outweighed by the real need from hurting people who are desperate for our support. All it may take is for one of them to stumble to the ground in front of the crack in your closet door. Then I won’t have to strain anymore because you’ll break through to them before I can blink. You always do. I sincerely hope that if that time comes, you can bring Jesus with you. I love you. 🙂

An Internally Consistent Christian View on Gay Marriage?

Old Cobblestone Road

Dear Russell & Friends,

The final session of the The Table occurred two nights ago.  To refresh, this a local church holding small Wednesday follow-up meetings on the Sunday sermon.  The sessions will continue, but my attendance as a guest was prompted by this particular sermon series topic – – hard questions asked of Christians.  The room was full this Wednesday night.  The topic was a Biblical view on homosexuality.  The hour flew by.  Opinions were respectfully expressed, but clearly deeply held.  Can I express an internally consistent view on gay marriage?  That was honestly one of the reasons that I began teaching Romans.  So I’ll try.  My style is usually narrative, but I’m going to present a numbered list to facilitate discussion.  I realize that I could be wrong and I’m open to the audit of our readers.  I’ll write from the perspective of a 43 year old white American lower upper class man.

  1. I believe that scientific research and my conversations with a dozen gay colleagues over a dozen years supports that sexual orientation is primarily inherited – – nature outweighing nurture in a majority of people.  That said, I don’t believe that being gay is a choice for most people.
  2. The best number that I can find is approximately 10% of people on earth are represented in the LGBT spectrum.
  3. As a Christ follower, I accept the authority of scripture and believe that interpretation requires study and an understanding of the culture and capabilities in which the inspired words were written and read.
  4. The context of Paul’s letter to the Romans is well described in Will Durant’s Caesar and Christ.  Homosexuality as understood today was common in the culture of Rome and Greece before it.  I don’t know if the number was similar to ~10%.
  5. As an American I acknowledge civil authority and the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.  There is a reason that this is the first sentence in the First Amendment of the ten known as the Bill of Rights.
  6. I could dwell on number 5 for a while.  I’m distressed with a growing lack of civic knowledge in my society.  I think that studying and understanding the Constitution are appropriate responsibilities of an engaged electorate.
  7. That said – – the US Supreme Court makes decisions for all citizens of the United States.
  8. Most citizens of the United States do not follow Christ.
  9. I’m not convinced that 3 of 4 people in our Christian churches follow Christ.
  10. I accept the civic authority of the US Constitution as a citizen of the US and accept the authority of scripture as a follower of Christ.

Thank you for your patience so far.  I hope that for the views I hold and represent, I have represented an internally consistent rationale.  What do I do with this foundation?  Here are my views:

  1. I approve of the US Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage for American citizens inclined to do so – – marriage has no benefit with taxation, but rather a penalty.  Marriage has enormous implications in health care and in the care of children and the elderly.  In my practice I have seen gay couples care for each other and for aging parents with integrity.
  2. I respect the churches of all faiths who do not accept this as consistent with the moral teachings of their sacred texts.
  3. For that reason, I would never compel a pastor or church to conduct the marriage of a gay couple before God against conscience.
  4. There are streams of thought in Christianity and other faiths where these marriages are approved and conducted.  This is where our family debates as a body of Christ occur.  This is where some of the discussion with other believers landed Wednesday night in a smaller coffee club after the main meeting.
  5. If Christian churches in the United States are faced with an imperative to act against conscience by the federal government, then a voluntary first step seems obvious:  relinquish the tax exempt status of houses of worship.  If there is no federal subsidy to churches, then we can stand on Biblical principles and the Constitution with equanimity.

I expressed some of these views on Wednesday night and felt that I had talked too much.  I much prefer writing to friends.  Are my views internally consistent?

 

Pascal:  1:16

photo credit:  Doris Antony via Wikicommons, CC-BY-SA-2.5